A Climate Hawk Laments: I Was Wrong About the Environmental Left

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson

Christopher is an energy policy/public affairs professional based in Washington, D.C., focused on market-based carbon policy.

Related Post Roulette

207 Responses

  1. Avatar Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    You make many good points, but you make them about groups and movements that, at least for this election are still on the margins. As I keep being told over and over Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party because many on the left are fearful too, both of 4 more years of the current Administration, and of the “socialism” boogeyman that conservative media, conservative K Street, conservative media and conservative politicians have served up to America since at least Macarthy if not longer. So job well done in scaring people so much of a political theory that we can’t apply it to the US in my life time.

    What we on the left need from you is not resignation, or combativeness or tut tutting (which you lean dangerously close to here). What we need is amplification of the economic costs of climate denial since the conservative political space is allegedly driven by economic issues.

    As an example – GE (an allegedly American company) patented the wind turbine designs now spreading across the country. But rather then spearhead the building and installation as a business opportunity they licensed to European outfits since Europe started putting them up in serious numbers a decade or so before we did. Now, as windmill parts run on the American railroad behind my house to places in the US, they bear those European company names and the profits for them flow back to those companies. That’s foregone economic opportunity in the US and needs to be labeled as such.

    Or, a more pressing case – there are around 500K people employed in the solar industry in the US. There are around 50K people employed in Coal (and another 50K or so in the railroad and trucking industries who move coal). Yet conservative economic orthodoxy at the moment says we must “save Coal” even though it employs fewer people and is in decline in no small measure because of dropping exports and cheaper (and cleaner) natural gas. A conservative, market based case for an alternative to what you see as the excesses of the green new deal would applaud and support that shift since that’s what markets do. Yet all I see from the conservative side of K street is lambasting of the solar industry with nefarious campaigns like “The Sun Sets, Wind Dies. But Coal Burns 24/7.”

    So before you and your conservative colleagues go all in on the twigs in the eyes of one small segment of the left, how about grabbing the logs out of your own?Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      Well, there’s the view that wind turbines are, economically, not much better than corona virus, so of course we would rather have them afflict some other country’s energy sector.

      As for employment, if we wanted to maximize the number of energy sector jobs we’d pay people to run in hamster wheels. That’s not the goal. The goal is cheap power. Ideally we’d have an energy sector that employed nobody and produced unlimited gigajoules for free.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      “So before you and your conservative colleagues go all in on the twigs in the eyes of one small segment of the left, how about grabbing the logs out of your own?”

      The piece is also a big lament for Joe Biden’s Stunning Historic Defeat In 2020, and already preparing the narrative for “the Left abandoned us, therefore they no longer get to be part of the Democratic Party” that we’ll see going forward.

      It’s interesting because I always thought that the Left breaking off and forming its own actual party would be something that they chose to do; it didn’t occur to me that they’d actually be purged out of a mealy-mouthed centrist party that wants it to be the 1990s again, forever.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      So before you and your conservative colleagues go all in on the twigs in the eyes of one small segment of the left, how about grabbing the logs out of your own?

      Great. More theists quoting some radical from 2000 years ago.

      READ ANOTHER BOOK.Report

    • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      I find it funny that you claim to want an economic discussion, but then chose an example explicitly ignoring the difference between reserve and intermittent power supply. There are good arguments for LNG to replace coal because they are both reserve energy sources, but intermittent power supplies are different in kind, not merely price per joule. If you want to get around that problem we first need drastic technological advances in power storage, because right now a battery storing solar or wind generated electricity loses charge over time, but a load of coal can sit in a warehouse indefinitely without any decay of energy potential.Report

  2. Avatar Kristin Devine
    Ignored
    says:

    I think I gave myself whiplash nodding along to this so vigorously. Great piece, thanks so much for writing it.Report

  3. Avatar DensityDuck
    Ignored
    says:

    “A Joe Biden presidency, on the other hand, presents at the very least a stop to the sort of vapid policymaking that seeks to bail out coal plants. ”

    yo dogg you really expect a Joe Biden presidency to not be the very epitome of “vapid policymaking”?Report

  4. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    As the author kept dropping the names of these dangerous radicals posing a threat to the republic, I kept asking myself “who?”
    Its like one long exercise in the Zizek Maneuver.
    https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/11/the-zizek-maneuverReport

    • Avatar JS in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      I blame Twitter. “Look how many followers X has! How many retweets! They must be a big, massive name!”

      And mostly — they aren’t. They’re mostly nobodies, jumping up and down in an echo-chamber, their biggest impact on the world is when they’re nut-picked to prove someone else’s vapid point.

      If I see anyone quoting Twitter for anything, I just ask myself “Is this person quoting someone off Twitter because they managed to make an incredibly pithy point? Perhaps distilled something down into it’s purest essence, or are they substituting some random tweet for actual thought, analysis, or other mental effort? It’s so very rarely anything but the latter.

      It’s all nut-picking and slap fights and “THIS IS CLEARLY WHAT ALL X BELIEVES” because some yaboo on Twitter said it, it must be true.

      It’s literally the worst of the internet, distilled. 180 proof social media, primed to make anyone consuming it generate bad decisions.

      And of course I use it. Mostly to follow bands so I can see tour dates. But if you catch me quoting it to someone to try to prove a point, smack some sense into me.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Was it merely yesterday that you were saying that Republicans had to account for rubbing shoulders with the marchers in Charlottesville?Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        They do have to account for electing Trump. They do have to account for active voter suppression.

        Plus, go find the comment you refer to. Link to it. I seem to recall its point was, “If the D’s are responsible for the hard left, then the R’s should be responsible for the hard right.”

        That seems fair, right?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
          Ignored
          says:

          Here it is, in its entirety:

          Conservatives get very indignant when we call them fascists and say they are a radical force that disregards the norms of liberal democracy.

          But look at it from our perspective;

          The conservative world, starting somewhere in the Clinton presidency, became rife with dark talk of the need for militias, leading to actual armed groups training in the woods for an expected revolution.

          At the moment Obama was elected they took to the streets in Revolutionary garb, brandishing guns and forming groups like the Oathkeepers promising to take up arms against the liberal government.

          Much of the rightwing punditocracy openly supported the Bundy clan as they staged an armed takeover of federal property and aimed their guns at BLLM agents.

          Rightwing commenters like Kevin Williamson talk about hanging women who get abortions; Bill O’Reilly kept ranting about “Dr. Tiller The Baby Killer” right up until the time when someone did in fact murder the doctor; Popular rightwing commenter Ann Coulter openly questioned whether women should be allowed to vote; Newt Gingrich suggested repeal of child labor laws.

          Not to mention the fact that the rightwing tolerates and winks at the actual, amrband-wearing Nazis and white supremacists, either the softer spoken types like Charles Murray, or the tiki-torch carrying guys in Charlottesville. And how many rightwing preachers have loudly demanded that God’s Law should override the laws of man?

          Do I need to go on?

          Look, if you want to rub shoulders with these guys and remain silent while they talk about White Genocide and chuckle at memes of Pepe pushing (((George Soros))) into an oven, well, then don’t get all huffy when we make the connections.

          So far, no Republican politician has had a Sista Soulja moment, where they draw a line and declare a boundary to conservative thought. At this moment, anyone up to and including actual Nazis, are welcome to join and be a Republican in good standing.

          This is a You Problem, something you guys need to clean up. Until you do, we will keep pointing out the truth.

          Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            You think there might be a difference between a Guy on Twitter, and the President of the United States?

            Because hey, here is some deranged Guy on Twitter, saying he wants to adjourn Congress so as to rule as an autocrat.

            Wait, that wasn’t a Guy on Twitter- it was the Freakin’ President of the United States!Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to veronica d
          Ignored
          says:

          They’re actually not. The far right is eschewed by the party and viciously ostracized. David Duke wastes more time endorsing Democrats than Republicans because Republicans won’t have anything to do with him or his ilk. The same is true of Aryan Nations types and other movements that are basically tiny pockets of thuggish morons from the shallow end of the gene pool, who often have long rap sheets.

          There are some clear and sharp lines on the right that nobody crosses if they want to be in the group, and crossing those lines is a quick way to end both a career and a social life.

          In contrast, there is no line on the left, anywhere, that has any consequences. You want to support Mao, Chavez, Castro, and Che Guevara? More power to you! You want to make abortion mandatory and legal at 2 years? You go girl! You want to join the communist party, ELF, Antifa, and send classified intel to Wikileaks? Fight the power! You want to eliminate private property, fossil fuels, and make everyone live a Khmer Rouge subsistence farming existence? You’re a hopeless romantic and a dreamer, and we’ll raise a glass in your honor! Keep the struggle alive!

          No matter how many tens of millions end up in mass graves, or how many times a socialist experiment ends in economic disaster, ala Venezuela or North Korea, the left never grasps that maybe there’s something deeply problematic about supporting radical leftism.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to George Turner
            Ignored
            says:

            Heehee, yeah the right has a bright line all right. If you’re the Cheif Grand Poobah of the Birther movement and have the endorsement of David Duke the right has a bright line for you straight to the leadership of their party and then the White House.Report

            • Avatar Urusigh in reply to North
              Ignored
              says:

              Interesting. You claim that the Right doesn’t draw a line against guys like David Duke, yet your example is not what we say about Duke, but what he says about us. Let’s go to the actual quotes from President Trump, shall we?

              “TRUMP: Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”

              TRUMP: And as I have said many times before, no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws. We all salute the same great flag. And we are all made by the same Almighty God.”

              Regarding Duke specifically: TRUMP: Just to put it clear, I disavowed him in the past, and I disavow him now. And it was very clear that I disavowed. But they – the press doesn’t want to go with it.

              And lets not forget that when it comes to Nazis in general “TRUMP: I have a son-in-law who is Jewish, Jared, who’s a great guy. My daughter is Jewish. I have grandchildren that are Jewish, OK?

              So, our President condemns them in the strongest possible terms as evil, repugnant, hateful bigots…and Republicans in Congress call him out and say that he needs to go even farther than that as they fall all over themselves to also condemn racism, Duke, and Nazis…but that’s Republicans winking, dog whistling, and rubbing shoulders with them? Hate to break it to you, but David Duke and Richard Spencer don’t get invites to speak at CPAC.

              So, as long as we’re on the subject, what line do the Dems draw for leftist radicals as “too far”?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                Our current ranking Democrat condemned Antifa in strong terms too. So that’s somewhat moot and also beside the point.
                Do you deny that Donald was the head birther during the Obama years? I don’t really need to rest much of a case on that ol’ Racist David Duke (who, despite those denunciations endorsed Donald enthusiastically anyhow) when Don’s own actions and words make it for me.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                “Our current ranking Democrat condemned Antifa in strong terms too.”

                Link please. I haven’t seen it.

                “Do you deny that Donald was the head birther during the Obama years?”

                Not sure why you consider that relevant. His documentation is seriously questionable and there are statements from family members that he was indeed born in Kenya. At best, there is a lack of solid evidence either way, so it doesn’t support your claims.

                “when Don’s own actions and words make it for me.”

                I’ve provided relevant quotes directly from Donald Trump contradicting your claim. I can do the same for his acts. I invite you to actually make your case, with similar direct sourcing, or admit that you don’t actually have any.Report

              • Avatar Jesse in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                “Not sure why you consider that relevant. His documentation is seriously questionable and there are statements from family members that he was indeed born in Kenya.”

                Always good when the mask slips off.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Jesse
                Ignored
                says:

                Same offer I made North, If you have a case to make, I welcome you to do so.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                “Until you prove that it’s not possible Obama was born in Kenya we’ll continue to believe that he was.”

                “But it *isn’t* possible to prove that it isn’t possible…”

                “So you’re admitting he was born in Kenya, then. OWNED.”Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Shrug. My exact words: “At best, there is a lack of solid evidence either way”

                sarcasm/ Yup, you got me, I’m a real die-hard crazy, not just some guy on the internet who looked at the scanty evidence presented on both sides and said “well, neither side of this argument met my standards for “proof” so I’m just going to file this under “the world may never know” and carry on with my life. /sarcasm

                I feel “there is contradictory evidence on this matter” is a supportable statement of fact and anything much beyond that really isn’t. If you think you can make a tight case that convincingly accounts for those contradictions, go for it, otherwise I’m staying undecided. If you’re admitting that such a case doesn’t actually exist, then why are you confident in a conclusion one way or the other?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                Post is made, trapped in moderation.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                LIBERATE NORTH’S COMMENT

                Trust me, this is hilarious to people on the twitters.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                North has been silenced? Cancel culture casts a wide net, yo.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Scott Adams warned us what PC would do to all of us when people didn’t want to be friends with just because he was a douche canoe. We didn’t listen.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/08/30/pelosi-condemns-violent-actions-of-antifa-protesters/

                As for the birtherism, it is rather self evident.
                https://www.cnn.com/2016/09/09/politics/donald-trump-birther/index.html

                https://www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16138358/charlottesville-protests-david-duke-kkk

                So yeah, that David Duke endorsed Donald Trump & the GOP and the general fact that Duke and his ilk are comfortable doing so whereas Antifa is virulently opposed to the Democratic Party and their policies is just the cherry on top of the underlying reality.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                Pelosi. Thank you, I’ll take her off my list in the future. That said, I’d like to note from that exact article: “the strongest criticism of left-wing protestors that any Democrat leader has made.” So, how much company does she actually have in that regard? Who else can I take off my list?

                As for the birtherism, you haven’t addressed the question at all. I didn’t deny that Trump made any of those claims, you haven’t established that any of them are untrue, and you have yet to tell me why you even consider it relevant to our discussion.

                David Duke. You still aren’t addressing that Reps, including President Trump himself, DID set the line and renounced Duke emphatically, exactly what more than renouncing the man do you propose we do about him? “Duke and his ilk” are also comfortable endorsing Democrats, including Tulsi Gabbard for President in 2020 and Rep Illan Omar for Congress. So, is that proof that Dems are dog whistling and rubbing shoulders with white supremacists? I can also post the quotes of Duke criticizing President Trump for “failing to live up to his expectations in office”. Guess he didn’t much like the way Trump talks about him and didn’t actually get the policies he falsely projected on Trump.Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, you’re a birther.

                Well, goodness. That’s a thing.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to JS
                Ignored
                says:

                That is not an accurate description of myself and is unsupported by my comments. Please read what I actually said rather than making assumptions. I am undecided, because the evidence I’ve seen is weak and contradictory. If you think you can make a tight case that convincingly accounts for those contradictions, go for it, otherwise I’m staying undecided. I am intellectually humble enough to admit “I don’t know”. Are you?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                Pelosi denounced Antifa who’re a motley collection of anarchists and communists who’ve never supported the Democratic Party and have never been part of the Democratic coalition. That’s pretty much all the denouncement that is needed. Jim crow-ism, birchers, the dixiecrats and similar race mongers have been a part of the GOP for decades (ever since they fled the reforming Democratic Party and were embraced in Nixons’ southern strategy). Even poor ol’ Bill Buckley had to take a run at the worst elements of them when he was busy with his efforts to make conservatism respectable. So, yeah, frequent and repeated denunciations of that elements of their historic party is warranted from GOP figures. The Democrats have no such onus on them when it comes to the Antifa twitts. I dare say Antifa hates Democrats and liberals far more than they dislike republicans.

                I think this piece summarizes the relative relationships well and is well linked and supported: https://www.thedailybeast.com/gop-has-a-white-supremacy-problem-dems-dont-have-an-antifa-problem

                I don’t really have the interest in re-litigating the birther fooferaw again. The birthers, Trump foremost among them, claimed then President Obama was not an American (and also a closet Muslim) based on a motley assortment of tin foil hat nonsense and then called upon anyone who disagreed with them to prove them wrong. Since you can’t prove delusional conspiracy theorists wrong (they just add more layers of tin foil to their hats) it eventually died down out of sheer embarrassment on the right. You will find, outside of the rarefied environment of the right’s closed information loops, that birtherism is generally considered irrational and a glaring sign of racism.
                If you’d like to make a case on behalf of the birthers and the birther in Chief I suppose you could submit a guest post or something. But I think that in this case it might be a subject for you best left dropped.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                “I think this piece summarizes the relative relationships well and is well linked and supported”

                No, it really doesn’t. It admits you have a substantial overlap in platforms, but doesn’t even mention what the supposed differences are, much less substantiate them. Hate to burst your bubble, but Neo-Nazis are just as far outside the usual political establishment, if not further. You’re still pushing a double-standard without evidence. And it certainly took your leadership their sweet time to finally condemn Antifa, they originally refused to do so even when asked https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/mark-jennings/not-one-democratic-presidential-candidate-will-condemn-violence-riddled

                CNSNews.com then asked the candidates, repeatedly, 1) Do you condemn Antifa? And 2) Do you believe federal law enforcement agencies should take all lawful steps necessary to prevent Antifa from engaging in ‘domestic terrorist violence’ during the 2020 U.S. election campaign?

                Campaigns acknowledged receiving the questions, but none answered them. This was after Antifa was already officially classified as a domestic terror group, had assaulted a journalist, and firebombed an ICE facility. Sorry, but that’s definitely “winking” at them. Condemnation was long overdue by the time they finally did it.

                Birthers. Shrug. I wasn’t the one who brought it up, but if someone is going to throw it in my face as if it supports their position somehow, I expect them to be able to back up their claims or drop the matter themselves.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh, yes, the Democratic Party you imagine has substantial policy overlap with Antifa, which says more about your understanding about the actual positions of the Democratic Party than it does about Democrats. Antifa despises the Democrats openly; the nativists and Neo-Nazi’s are publicly quite favorable about Trump. That, by itself, says nothing about Trumps belief but once you factor in that he is himself a birther (and that is only his most recent foray into racialism) that brings us back to my original point.
                Ah and so it’s not that Democrats don’t denounce Antifa now, they just don’t do it soon enough and repeatedly enough for you. Move the goalposts all ya want, it doesn’t bother me but it’s mightily unpersuasive.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh, yes, the Democratic Party you imagine has substantial policy overlap with Antifa, which says more about your understanding about the actual positions of the Democratic Party than it does about Democrats. Antifa despises the Democrats openly; the nativists and Neo-Nazi’s are publicly quite favorable about Trump. That, by itself, says nothing about Trumps belief but once you factor in that he is himself a birther (and that is only his most recent foray into racialism) that brings us back to my original point.

                Ah and so it’s not that Democrats don’t denounce Antifa now, they just don’t do it soon enough and repeatedly enough for you. Move the goalposts all ya want, it doesn’t bother me that you’re mightily unpersuasive.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                “Heh, yes, the Democratic Party you imagine has substantial policy overlap with Antifa, which says more about your understanding about the actual positions of the Democratic Party than it does about Democrats.”

                From your own link: “Another in-depth look at antifa members found them to hold “an ideology that runs afield of the Democratic Party platform and supports oppressed populations as it protests the amassing of wealth by corporations and elites.”

                I’m sorry, does today’s Democrat Party NOT “support oppressed populations as it protests the amassing of wealth by corporations and elites”? Seems they aren’t as anti-Dem as you think, because here’s a quote from 2017 on CNN “Scott Crow, a former Antifa organizer, says the “radical ideals” promoted by Antifas are starting to be adopted by liberals. “They would never have looked at (those ideals) before, because they saw us as the enemy as much as the right-wingers.” Also, “But Crow said the philosophy of Antifa is based on the idea of direct action. “The idea in Antifa is that we go where they (right-wingers) go. That hate speech is not free speech.” That’s another concept that Dems seem to have some internal difficulty refuting, with some speaking up for free speech and others agreeing that whatever they label “hate speech” does not enjoy 1st Amendment protections. From Wikipedia: “”Antifa is a movement that focuses on issues involving racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism, as well as other perceived injustices. The majority of Antifa members do not promote or endorse violence; however, the movement consists of anarchist extremists and other individuals who seek to carry out acts of violence in order to forward their respective agendas.” Sounds like Dems to me. From the New Yorker (hardly a right -wing mouthpiece) article on the history of Antifa: “Many liberals who are broadly sympathetic to the goals of Antifa criticize the movement for its illiberal tactics…“An anti-fascist outlook has no tolerance for ‘intolerance.’ ” he writes. “It will not ‘agree to disagree.’ ”” Funny how I’ve heard that exact sentiment from self-described Democrats here and elsewhere. Profiles from CNN, the New Yorker, and Rolling Stone all agree that the movement has been getting increasing acceptance and growth from mainstream liberals (Dems).

                Oh, and for Dems openly supporting Antifa, there’s DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison who tweeted a picture of himself with an Antifa handbook, saying that the book would “strike fear in the heart” of President Trump. Kinda odd for the DNC chair to be openly supporting an anti-Democrat group, isn’t it? Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, two Democratic congresswomen part of “The Squad,” urged supporters on Twitter to contribute to the bail fund for antifa-led counter-protesters who tangled with law enforcement at the Boston Straight Pride Parade (NOT peaceful protestors, Boston police arrested 36 people, charging nine with assault and battery on a police officer. Four officers sustained non-life-threatening injuries as they attempted to prevent the antifa-fueled crowd of about 1,000 counter-protesters from mixing it up with an estimated 200 parade participants. Photos posted online showed a black-clad antifa activist being carried off by police. Antifa protesters attempting to block a road scuffled with officers, as shown on video. Others arrested were charged with crimes including resisting arrest; disorderly conduct; assault; carrying a dangerous weapon, and assault by means of a dangerous weapon, according to a police log posted by the Boston Herald. So, antifa nearly kills four cops and the Squad members try to crowdfund their bail, guess they sided with Ellison over Pelosi. Democratic New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland appeared on the news network to discuss Antifa in Portland, calling them “peaceful protestors working to safeguard their city from domestic terrorism”…when describing an incident where weapons were used by Antifa, including chunks of concrete, hammers, and more, to physically attack those they considered to be their opponents. One man was beaten viciously in front of his wife. There’s also a picture confirmed by Snopes of Tulsi Gabbard hanging out with and praising a prominent Antifa member at the Standing Rock protests. Despite Pelosi’s denunciation, Nancy actually seems to be in the minority for her party on this issue: Democrats in the House of Representatives this March 2020 rejected language in a homeland security bill that would have classified the antifa movement as a domestic terrorism campaign. Can’t forget the donors either: the left-wing billionaire George Soros has ties to Antifa through a group called the Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ). Soros’s philanthropy, known at the time as the Open Society Institute, gave $100,000 to AfGJ ($50,000 in 2004 and $50,000 in 2006). Acting as a fiscal sponsor, AfGJ gave $50,000 to Refuse Fascism, an unincorporated Antifa group. Refuse Fascism participated in rioting on Feb. 1, 2017, at the University of California, Berkeley, with the goal of preventing conservative controversialist Milo Yiannopoulos from giving a speech. The rioting caused more than $500,000 in damage. Last but certainly not least, there’s your current Presidential candidate: Joe Biden launched his presidential campaign by praising AntiFa as “a courageous group of Americans.”

                “Antifa despises the Democrats openly”

                Yet they are endorsed by the DNC Chair, members of the Squad, protected by a majority of House Democrats, and funded by the biggest Dem donor…certainly doesn’t sound like two opposed groups to me. I’ve gone 10 pages deep in Google results on search terms (antifa & Democrats) and not found a single example of Antifa so much as criticizing Democrats, much less “despising” them. What’s your source?

                “the nativists and Neo-Nazi’s are publicly quite favorable about Trump.”

                David Duke and his ilk didn’t pick Donald Trump as their preferred candidate for 2020, instead they they went with a “Tulsi Gabbard for President” banner right on Duke’s twitter page featuring the tagline, “Finally a candidate who will actually put America First rather than Israel First!” (huh, it’s kind of like he finally realized that Trump’s definition of ‘America First’ isn’t a white supremacist one). David Duke also personally heaped praise on House Rep (D) Ilhan Omar, also saying “By defiance to Z.O.G. Ilhan Omar is NOW the most important Member of the US Congress!”. Turns out that once illegal immigration is down, Duke thinks Dem antisemitism comes closer to his vision for America than anything Trump is running on, which might explain why seems to have been largely silent about Trump since 2017 when Trump called him evil and repugnant after Charlottesville.

                “That, by itself, says nothing about Trumps belief but once you factor in that he is himself a birther (and that is only his most recent foray into racialism) that brings us back to my original point.”

                No, that brings you nowhere, because you didn’t make a point to begin with. You have yet to even attempt to establish that birthers are factually wrong, nor that they are necessarily motivated by racism, nor that Donald Trump himself is a racist. You ASSUME much, and that’s all you’ve done.

                “Ah and so it’s not that Democrats don’t denounce Antifa now, they just don’t do it soon enough and repeatedly enough for you.”

                More that the majority of them actively refuse to denounce Antifa when pressed on it, only a few have done so, and several of them did and still continue to support them. Even when they do finally comment, they are careful to specifically condemn “the violent actions”, but not the group or its agenda; a degree of hair-splitting that isn’t at all equivalent to Trump calling the entire ideology of racism and white supremacy “evil” and “repugnant”. I’m not seeing any evidence that the Democrat establishment disagrees with Antifa on anything besides when it is and isn’t appropriate to punch a Nazi in the face. If you have it, link it.

                “it doesn’t bother me that you’re mightily unpersuasive.”

                Shrug, it doesn’t bother me either. I’m not an eloquent speaker or writer, I would certainly be a poor choice for a political speechwriter. I know that appeals to emotion or shared group identity are more persuasive than bare facts and logical arguments, but reason is the battleground I chose and I’m sticking with it. If that’s not enough to persuade you, then the deficiency is as likely to be on your end as mine. Tell you what, I’ll keep trying to offer better arguments, you try being more open to the idea that you might be wrong.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                All of which rolls us right back to my original point. If you squint and search hard enough you can find areas where, if you spin it hard enough, Antifa and the leftward wings of the Democratic party have some overlap but if you wanna see where racialists and nativists sit within the GOP, well, one of their own was nominated to the head of the GOP and then to the presidency. Bright lines, pretty clear and all that. But I recognize that a person who says that the description of “however, the movement consists of anarchist extremists and other individuals who seek to carry out acts of violence in order to forward their respective agendas.” Describes Democrats is using an awful lot of motivated reasoning to start with.

                You can try and claim that the birthers had some scintilla of merit in their arguments but it’s going to take a heck of a work, especially for someone who claims to not even be a birther himself. Probably not a good idea. Even Don himself ended up having to reverse on the matter and try and pretend that HRC was the original birther which is typical Trump.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                So…this is what you’ve come to, a reply that neither addresses any of my points, nor makes any points of your own, nor offers any actual evidence supporting either. The only progress you’ve actually made is that you seem to have gone silent on most of the points you must realize that you’ve already lost on.

                Since it seems the debate is de facto over, let’s sum up the results, shall we?

                I have demonstrated that the DNC Chair and a majority of House Democrats support Antifa and your sole counter-example of Nancy Pelosi splits hairs to condemn “violent acts”, but not the group itself. Your only provided link admits the Dems and Antifa overlap and neither that link nor you have specified how you believe they differ, much less substantiated that claim. You claim that Antifa “despises” Democrats, but I have multiple quotes from Antifa organizers stating that they have been receiving increased support from and influence over mainstream liberals (e.g. Dems) and you have provided no examples whatsoever of Antifa speaking against Democrats. Despite me asking repeatedly, you have yet to even answer the presumably simple question “what line do the Dems draw for leftist radicals as “too far”?”

                You have claimed that Republicans don’t draw a clear line against the racist fringe. You have repeatedly claimed Trump is a racist/white supremacist/etc based solely on the prior endorsement of David Duke. I have demonstrated that President Trump (and pretty much the entire Republican Establishment) condemned Duke and his entire ideology in the strongest terms, and that Duke is in fact no longer supporting Trump, but rather Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat. You have repeatedly referred to birtherism, but not specified how that theoretically supports anything you’ve said and you’ve refused to substantiate any such claim.

                So, is there a clear line between Reps and “Duke and his ilk”? Yes, I’ve demonstrated it.

                Is there a clear line between Dems and Antifa? No, you haven’t even described it, much less demonstrated it.

                It was interesting for a while, but you might as well stop replying to me if all you’re going to do is avoid answering my questions and refuse to substantiate your unsupported claims.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                You aren’t making points, just vague allusions and word associations. I’ll try and touch on a few of your “points” such as they are.
                Of course antifa and the Democrats have an ideology that “runs afield” of each other. Antifa claims to be opposed to racism, for instance, so in that their ideology “runs afield” of every significant political group in the country. Big whoop. Then you roll out an assortment of names of antifa sympathetic kooks who say that the Democrats are moving towards Antifa’s positions. Gosh, who would think that Antifa advocates would claim to be winning the ideological war? Imagine that.
                You then seem to seriously state that Antifa which is quoted as consisting “of anarchist extremists and other individuals who seek to carry out acts of violence in order to forward their respective agendas.” in your words “Sounds like Dems to me.” To which the only response anyone can have is an incredulous- Dude? Are you drunk? The Democratic Party as a group of anarchist extremists who seek to commit violence to forward their agenda? What on earth are you smoking? That’s not an argument, it’s just idiocy.
                Then you point at an assortment of unlinked profiles from various “both sides are extremist” media organs citing merely vague allusions that Antifa has been getting increasing acceptance from mainstream liberals. Uh huh, and Trumps’ hair is real.
                You do have a minor point with Keith Ellison. He did post a single tweet with him waving around an Antifa handbook. He was also a bit supporter of Bernie Sanders’ campaign which tells ya a lot about his influence and his salience within the party.
                As for refusing to include Antifa as domestic terrorists what you conveniently leave out is that Antifa was just one of a broad assortment of left wing groups that the GOP tried to get labelled that way and it wasn’t the entire house- just the House judiciary committee. Link here: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/mar/11/judiciary-democrats-thwart-republican-effort-add-l/ I don’t think you’re an idiot so I’m going to assume this is simply more of your typical base stealing.
                As for George Soros, I shouldn’t even bother to address Soros mongering but what the heck? He’s a billionaire who funds a bunch of left wing causes and one of his assorted funds gave fifty grand to an Antifa related group. That’s bad on his accountants for screwing up if it was intentional and bad on him if it was intentional but says utterly nothing about Democrats in general. I could go digging up the mountains of disreputable groups that various right wing rich people have funded but why should I? That wouldn’t say anything about the GOP any more than Soros tossing money at an Antifa group would say anything about Democrats.
                As for Trump, David Duke did endorse Trump in 2016: https://centerforinquiry.org/forums/topic/18472/
                And was a vocal supporter up to and including during the Charlottesville protests (and, note, the Antifa idiots are illiberal loons but so far they haven’t killed anyone which is more than we can say of Trumps right wing supporters). https://www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16138358/charlottesville-protests-david-duke-kkk
                You aren’t making points, just vague allusions and word associations. I’ll try and touch on a few of your “points” such as they are.

                Of course antifa and the Democrats have an ideology that “runs afield” of each other. Antifa claims to be opposed to racism, for instance, so in that their ideology “runs afield” of every significant political group in the country. Big whoop. Then you roll out an assortment of names of antifa sympathetic kooks who say that the Democrats are moving towards Antifa’s positions. Gosh, who would think that Antifa advocates would claim to be winning the ideological war? Imagine that.

                You then seem to seriously state that Antifa which is quoted as consisting “of anarchist extremists and other individuals who seek to carry out acts of violence in order to forward their respective agendas.” in your words “Sounds like Dems to me.” To which the only response anyone can have is an incredulous- Dude? Are you drunk? The Democratic Party as a group of anarchist extremists who seek to commit violence to forward their agenda? What on earth are you smoking? That’s not an argument, it’s just idiocy.

                Then you point at an assortment of unlinked profiles from various “both sides are extremist” media organs citing merely vague allusions that Antifa has been getting increasing acceptance from mainstream liberals. Uh huh, and Trumps’ hair is real.

                You do have a minor point with Keith Ellison. He did post a single tweet with him waving around an Antifa handbook. He was also a bit supporter of Bernie Sanders’ campaign which tells ya a lot about his influence and his salience within the party.

                As for refusing to include Antifa as domestic terrorists what you conveniently leave out is that Antifa was just one of a broad assortment of left wing groups that the GOP tried to get labelled that way and it wasn’t the entire house- just the House judiciary committee. Link here: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/mar/11/judiciary-democrats-thwart-republican-effort-add-l/ I don’t think you’re an idiot so I’m going to assume this is simply more of your typical base stealing.

                As for George Soros, I shouldn’t even bother to address Soros mongering but what the heck? He’s a billionaire who funds a bunch of left wing causes and one of his assorted funds gave fifty grand to an Antifa related group. That’s bad on his accountants for screwing up if it was intentional and bad on him if it was intentional but says utterly nothing about Democrats in general. I could go digging up the mountains of disreputable groups that various right wing rich people have funded but why should I? That wouldn’t say anything about the GOP any more than Soros tossing money at an Antifa group would say anything about Democrats.

                As for Trump, David Duke did endorse Trump in 2016: https://centerforinquiry.org/forums/topic/18472/
                And was a vocal supporter up to and including during the Charlottesville protests (and, note, the Antifa idiots are illiberal loons but so far they haven’t killed anyone which is more than we can say of Trumps right wing supporters). https://www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16138358/charlottesville-protests-david-duke-kkk

                You can flail about trying to pretend that being a Birther is a non-issue but it isn’t going to get you anywhere. If you want to try and mount a defense of the Birthers and the Birther in chief it’s your own reputation and effort you’re wasting but Birtherism is utterly discredited now, having failed utterly to prove any of their allegations, and it’s viewed-rightly- as a particularly embarrassing episode for the right. https://www.cnn.com/2016/09/09/politics/donald-trump-birther/index.html

                So, no, you haven’t demonstrated any significant domination of the Democratic Party by Antifa. After knocking down your various allusions and free associations we’re left with one tweet (a tweet of all things) from Keith Ellison a Democratic Party vice chair and, if we’re being wildly generous, some favorable mentions from the Squad. It’s odd, isn’t it, how you always end up having to go back to the Squad. 41 Democratic congressfolk were elected in 2018 and all you hear about are mentions of those 3. So the Squad and a tweet. That’s it.

                And so, back we go. Antifa is a bunch of scattered, incoherent, illiberal loons who spend most of their time causing trouble, wrecking poor people’s cars& neighborhoods and making right wingers happy. They aren’t even organized enough to endorse candidates (the only references I could find are of individual ones endorsing Jill Stein), have never been part of the Democratic party and when Democrats pay mind to them at all they denounce them; but mostly Democrats rightly ignore Antifa as the trifling pathetic twits they are. Right wing racialists, on the other hand, have a long and storied history of being an integral part of the GOP and the right. From Tricky Dick Nixon to Strom Thurmond, to Jesse Helms, to Steve King on down to Trump they’ve been dog-whistled (or in the case of Trump dog-fog-horned) and have openly celebrated Trump (though I’ll certainly grant that they’re pissed at Trump for being pro-Jewish. I have never accused Trump of anti-Semitism and I do not now). How many Antifa Senators can you name? I couldn’t find any. Even the Squad can’t be honestly considered Antifa supporting.

                So, in summary, Antifa? Inconsequential to the Democrats, marginalized, ignored and occasionally denounced. Right wing racists? A long standing voting block of the GOP with a long history with the party who’re pandered to either subtly or blatantly and have a long list of high ranking GOP political figures including the party’s current birther President.
                So, no, you haven’t demonstrated any significant domination of the Democratic Party by Antifa. After knocking down your various allusions and free associations we’re left with one tweet (a tweet of all things) from Keith Ellison a Democratic Party vice chair and, if we’re being wildly generous, some favorable mentions from the Squad. It’s odd, isn’t it, how you always end up having to go back to the Squad. 41 Democratic congressfolk were elected in 2018 and all you hear about are mentions of those 3. So the Squad and a tweet. That’s it.
                And so, back we go. Antifa is a bunch of scattered, incoherent, illiberal loons who spend most of their time causing trouble, wrecking poor people’s cars& neighborhoods and making right wingers happy. They aren’t even organized enough to endorse candidates (the only references I could find are of individual ones endorsing Jill Stein), have never been part of the Democratic party and when Democrats pay mind to them at all they denounce them; but mostly Democrats rightly ignore Antifa as the trifling pathetic twits they are. Right wing racialists, on the other hand, have a long and storied history of being an integral part of the GOP and the right. From Tricky Dick Nixon to Strom Thurmond, to Jesse Helms, to Steve King on down to Trump they’ve been dog-whistled (or in the case of Trump dog-fog-horned) and have openly celebrated Trump (though I’ll certainly grant that they’re pissed at Trump for being pro-Jewish. I have never accused Trump of anti-Semitism and I do not now). How many Antifa Senators can you name? I couldn’t find any. Even the Squad can’t be honestly considered Antifa supporting.
                So, in summary, Antifa? Inconsequential to the Democrats, marginalized, ignored and occasionally denounced. Right wing racists? A long standing voting block of the GOP with a long history with the party who’re pandered to either subtly or blatantly and have a long list of high ranking GOP political figures including the party’s current birther President.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                Dude, WTF is wrong with your post? You appear to have copypasted the same thing at least 3x times. Are you just hoping now that repeating your weaksauce will somehow make it stronger?

                You still haven’t provided a single example of Antifa “despising” Democrats.

                You still haven’t described any difference in ideology between Democrats and Antifa.

                You still haven’t countered my examples that more Dems in Congress have expressed support for Antifa than denounced them. a standard that I have no trouble at all meeting in regards to Reps denouncing Duke and racists.

                Despite me asking repeatedly, you have yet to even answer the presumably simple question “what line do the Dems draw for leftist radicals as “too far”?”

                And you’re still BS’ing about calling Reps racist after I’ve laid down the line and backed it up.

                Hell, you’ve repeated that BS about birthers, what x5 now?, and still can’t even say WTF that has to do with anything.

                You’re even still going on about David Duke, but your link for him is from 2017, my reference to him supporting Tulsi Gabbard for 2020 President is from 2019, so according to the more recent data Duke’s endorsement is a point against Dems, not Reps.

                “A long standing voting block of the GOP with a long history”

                Are you fishing kidding me? The largest gathering of white supremacists in decades could pull in enough people to fill the average high school gym. White Supremacists aren’t a “voting block”, they’re a fishing rounding error. Nobody is “pandering” to a tiny number of crazies that couldn’t swing an election for dog catcher even if they had 100% turnout.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                basically this is a conversation between two npcmeme.jpgReport

              • Avatar North in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Kiss Kiss, love you too DD.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                There’s nothing wrong with my points, bud, just your motivated reasoning (or lack thereof).

                Antifa is a passel of anarchist, anticapitalist idiots who spend most of their time plaguing a handful of liberal communities and who believe in violence to advance what few principles they have. They have no policy or principle overlap with Democrats beyond the fact that both groups denounce racism and fascism (which also gives them a same degree of overlap with every other reasonable person in the country). If you want to try and prove genuine overlap between Antifa and the Democrats the onus is on you. So far you haven’t proven squat. Just some allusions and free associations in your various word salad posts.

                I completely countered your example of Dems “supporting” Antifa, root and branch. You just are pretending either not to see it or to not understand it.

                What line do Democrats draw for leftist radicals? Violence? Capitalism? Reason? Not rampaging around smashing up poor peoples cars and businesses? Not hiding behind anonymity? The lines are myriad.

                I note that after I laid out a very clear timeline of the GOP’s entanglement with racialism with multiple prominent GOP elected members you continue to have failed to name a single elected Democrat who’s openly espoused Antifa ideology or embraced Antifa as a group, past or future.

                Yes, David Duke endorses Gabbard now, the Democrat who got less than 1% support in the primary. He supported Trump in 2016 and up until Trump (laudibly) proved he’s not an anti-Semite. So we have racists supporting a massively unpopular and marginal Democrat on one hand who won not a single contest and who’s only delegates came from placing second in American Samoa. If you can’t tell the difference between a Democrat who barely qualified for running in the primary now and the head of your own party I don’t think I can help you.

                You’re not even arguing, you’re just repeating yourself now and not even very interestingly.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                “What line do Democrats draw for leftist radicals? Violence? Capitalism? Reason? Not rampaging around smashing up poor peoples cars and businesses? Not hiding behind anonymity? The lines are myriad.”

                What’s funny here is that you think I’m the one who doesn’t know things about the democrat party.

                Violence? Not rampaging around smashing up poor peoples cars and businesses? Not hiding behind anonymity? Check, Dems supported BLM even when they were rioting and destroying entire city blocks. Dems routinely praise and express support for movements known for riots, assaults, and widespread property damage. Dems have a very mixed record, at best, at prosecuting any criminal for these crimes who happens not to be white.

                Capitalism? You are perhaps aware the Bernie Sanders is officially a Democrat these days? Earned lots of delegates? OccupyWallStreet was mostly Democrats? GreenNewDeal fishing socialist wish list to restructure the entire economy came from your side of the aisle, not mine? That the people polled who rate “Socialism” more favorably than “capitalism” are overwhelmingly democrats?

                Reason? Now you’re just making me laugh.

                Overlap: Gee, lets start with…
                o support oppressed populations as it protests the amassing of wealth by corporations and elites
                o That hate speech is not free speech.
                o movement that focuses on issues involving racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism, as well as other perceived injustices
                o The majority of members do not promote or endorse violence
                o has no tolerance for ‘intolerance.’
                I’m honestly curious, which of those do you think does not describe the Democrats? Are you saying that Dems AREN’T focused on taxing the rich, aiding the oppressed, ending racism/sexism, censoring hate speech, and changing regulations to outlaw discrimination? I’m trying to be as generous as possible to your side here and use the most positive version of the sentiments I can, so I’m going to be rather surprised if you disavow something on that list.

                “I note that after I laid out a very clear timeline of the GOP’s entanglement with racialism ”

                No, you listed four names, without any dates, arguments, or links. That’s barely a list, much less a timeline. I give more than that and you call it “word salad”. Try to live up to your own standards already.

                “you continue to have failed to name a single elected Democrat who’s openly espoused Antifa ideology or embraced Antifa as a group, past or future.”

                Forgot the DNC Chair Keith Ellison already, have you? How about your current Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, who called them “courageous people”? Democratic New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland calling them “peaceful protestors working to safeguard their city from domestic terrorism” after they committed arson and assault? The squad literally soliciting bail money for them? That’s 5x already and I’m not even bothering to list local officials like mayors.

                “If you can’t tell the difference between a Democrat who barely qualified for running in the primary now and the head of your own party”

                I can tell that she’s an elected Democrat in office. I can tell that Duke supported Trump because he wanted to reduce illegal immigration and Duke supported Tulsi and Omar because they’re anti-semites. If you really want to have the debate about WHY Trump supports reducing illegal immigration, bring it on. You keep throwing Duke at me like he’s current somehow, but I find it pretty telling that the last two party officials he endorsed are both democrats, there isn’t a single Republican he felt better represented his views for the last several years. That’s a weak attack on Dems, admitted, it’s two people, but it’s more than his current endorsements for Reps, which is ZERO, which kind of disproves your entire claim that he and his ilk are part of the Reps.

                “You’re not even arguing, you’re just repeating yourself now and not even very interestingly.”

                I would repeat myself less if you would listen more.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                Heheh, I was wondering how long it’d take you to try and start smuggling BLM into the conversation. Sorry, doesn’t work even remotely to support your assertion. You allege that the Democratic Party is entirely and openly supportive of Antifa. But when pressed to actually support your position all you have are fan dances and frantically overstretched association word games.

                Why yes, I noticed Bernie Sanders was a candidate. I also can’t help but notice that he lost. Even worse this year than he did in 2016. And he lost to a candidate who’s openly capitalist. The Green New Deal? A sidelined far left wishlist that has been dead since the squad proposed it? Honestly you should write AoC a check for as much as you have to depend on those three politicians to give you examples. How does a party, dominated by Antifa and its ideology as you allege, send Bern down to defeat? Why does a party that is dominated by Antifa and its ideology, as you allege, elect BARELY 3 representatives who might, if I’m extremely uncharitable, share ideology with Antifa in 2018 and 38 who absolutely don’t? Once again you just spray wild word associations that go down in flaming wreckage when compared to reality.

                Prepare yourself for shock. I will happily reject the whole “Hate speech is not free speech” canard. And tolerance for intolerance I’ll tentatively reject though that’s so vague as to be uselessly anodyne. It’s honestly funny how far you have to water down the Antifa loons ideology to try and make them stretch to fit the ludicrous assertions you have about their relationship with the Democratic Party. Maybe you’re more fond of Antifa than I originally thought! As for the rest of that list, sure, that’s a general list of pretty unobjectionable positions

                Excuse me for assuming you had a clue who those prominent elected Republicans were. I apologize for overestimating you there. Here’re your links:
                Nixon: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Lee_Atwater
                Strom Thurmond: https://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/27/us/strom-thurmond-foe-of-integration-dies-at-100.html
                Helms: https://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/09/roland.martin/index.html
                King: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/15/us/politics/steve-king-offensive-quotes.html

                As to the Dems, for a person who has such a deep knowledge of the Democratic Party you seem to not understand that a DNC Vice chair is an unelected party bureaucrat; not an elected politician. Still you do have one tweet from a DNC Vice chair.

                You also seem to be ignoring that Biden, like Pelosi, has denounced Antifa. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/joe-biden-condemns-antifa-attack-against-journalist-andy-ngo

                Inconvenient for your thesis, that. I’m sure you’ll dig through the denunciation, like you did with Pelosi, dissect it and then discern from the entrails that somehow it actually means Democrats support Antifa again. You do you. But then again you set the bar for yourself ludicrously high. The GOP has a long, well storied and unfortunate history of being in bed with racists so proving that they’ve been entangled with them is pretty easy. I given you links, quotes, and prominent elected candidates.

                Antifa remains a bunch of deranged cowardly loons who cause far more trouble for liberals in the cities they pop up in than they cause for conservatives anywhere. Frankly if they didn’t exist conservative republicans like you would have to make them up. The Democratic Party isn’t controlled or even supportive of those idiots. You have vague allusions, overstretched word associations and, yes, one supportive tweet from a party functionary. I don’t need to include weak shit like that to demonstrate the GOP’s entanglement with racists because if I tried to include all that this wouldn’t be an overlong book, it’d be a fishing encyclopedia.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                Main response is in moderation but wanted to note this. After MUCH digging, I finally found your Biden “Courageous group of individuals” quote. I was puzzled why I couldn’t find Biden saying nice things about Antifa in any main stream media outlets; turns out that’s because it didn’t happen. Joe Biden was referring to the people who opposed the tiki torch marchers in Charlotte as “a courageous group of individuals”. He never referred to Antifa by name and while I have no doubt some of those Antifa parasites were present; leeching off more legitimate liberal protests is basically where the Antifa cowards got their start; characterizing that statement as praising Antifa is… well… I’d say divorced from reality but really it’s just normal right wing base stealing to try and substantiate a ludicrous claim.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s exactly the same standard your side make constantly about Trump’s “fine people on both sides” comment regarding Charlottesville, except that Trump actually did specifically exclude the racists present and condemn them utterly, whereas Biden made no such distinction about Antifa. That doesn’t stop pretty much every Dem I ever debate here from bringing it up, so apparently you all think that’s enough to condemn a politician, thus here we are. I’m merely holding you to your own standard.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                Ok, so you concede that and the rest then. Biden didn’t endorse Antifa and, in fact, denounced them.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                Shrug. I’ll take Biden off my list when you take Trump off of yours. I’m willing to compare on pretty much any reasonable standard you want to use so long as you apply it consistently to both sides.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                If Biden had a history of punching right wingers in the face while wearing masks (an activity I consider both counterproductive and also massively cowardly) or attacking poor people’s cars and businesses or other Antifa related activity then I’d maybe see the point of reading that statement as pro-Antifa (which it obviously isn’t). But unlike Trump Biden has no history with Antifa, whereas Trump, the head birther, is a pretty obvious race baiter. I Wouldn’t consider his “good people on both sides” blather particularly indicative of his race baiting personally and, on quick review, since it wasn’t on my list in the first place I’ll happily “take it off” my list. You can cross that one off and settle for all of these instead.
                https://www.vox.com/2016/7/25/12270880/donald-trump-racist-racism-historyReport

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                Trump’s statements in full:

                https://www.politifact.com/article/2019/apr/26/context-trumps-very-fine-people-both-sides-remarks/

                “Those people — all of those people – excuse me, I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue of Robert E. Lee.”Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, because “”They asked me would I like to debate this gentleman, and I said no. I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him,'” Joe Biden hasn’t expressed support for assaulting Republicans to an entire crowd of cheering Democrats? Pull the other leg, it’s got bells on it.

                Regarding your list, this will be fun.

                “Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists” Are you seriously disputing that illegal immigrants are, by definition, criminals and rape is widespread in the migrant caravans? This isn’t even a debatable point, Mexican cartels routinely commit drug and human trafficking across our southern border. There’s nothing “racist” about stating the truth.

                “stereotyping a black reporter”

                She’s the one who brought the Congressional Black Caucus up, and when he asked “Are they friends of yours?”, she responded in the affirmative “I know some of them”. So he made a reasonable assumption based on facts at hand and was right.

                “pandering to white supremacists after they held a violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia”

                Already disproved.

                “cracking a joke about the Trail of Tears”

                The interpretation the article uses is weak and unsupported.

                ““go back”

                Bluntly, I consider it a fair criticism. The US is the #1 desired immigration destination in the world, it deserves a respect the squad aren’t giving it, and more pointedly the corrupt and inept governments so many of those migrants flee from were socialist and ended up in that way because of the sort of policies the squad are pushing. Trump called out “Progressives telling us how our government is to be run” and that isn’t a “race”.

                1973: No admission of discrimination, “welfare recipients” is not a race.

                1980’s: A single unconfirmed claim from someone 20 years later that only came out after Trump declared his candidacy. This is not credible. Possibly related to the 1992 claim instead.

                1988: Donald Trump has been entirely consistent on his rhetoric regarding trade imbalances, race has nothing to do with it.

                1989: the five individuals accused in the case did at one point confess to crimes related to the rape of then-28-year-old Trisha Meili. You’re seriously accusing Trump of racism on the basis that he trusted a police investigation and the confessions of the accused?

                1991: A salacious bit of gossip in a book timed, once again, only after he switched parties. Trump denied making the remarks. I am unable to access the Playboy Interview being used as a supposed admission.

                1992: Libutti, a race horse broker, lost millions of dollars in Atlantic City. Witnesses testified that managers at several casinos would transfer both black and women dealers to other tables. I’m not finding any mention of DT himself being aware of or involved in this behavior.

                1993: Quote taken out of context. Also from that same testimony: “Nobody is more for the Indians than Donald Trump”. Read the full transcript, Donald Trump is alleging that organized crime has infiltrated the Indian reservations. He is not setting a racial standard on how actual Indians should look, but rather complaining that there are non-Indian criminals openly operating out of Indian reservations and Indian casinos and it isn’t being caught because Indian casinos don’t face the same level of scrutiny and law enforcement as his own casinos. He is complaining about that double-standard, that Mr. Miller is not doing his job.

                Transcript lightly abbreviated for space: I think it is obvious from everything you have heard today that organized crime is rampant, is rampant–I don’t mean a little bit–is rampant on the Indian reservations. People know it; people talk about it. I watched the FBI discussion the fact that they had virtually no agents checking… What is happening on the Indian reservations is known by the Indians to a large extent. I don’t believe anything is being done about it. And, to be honest with you, I think if you knew some of the characters that you are dealing with, I think they would be afraid to do anything about it… If this continues as a threat, it is my opinion that it will blow, it will blow sky high, it will be the biggest scandal since Al Capone in terms of organized crime, and it is going to destroy an industry that is a legitimate industry, an industry that is carefully watched by everybody. Congressman Miller, I believe, will be very embarrassed by it, I believe a lot of you folks that are standing there, I believe honestly knowing that what you say is perhaps not as correct as you would like to make it sound… But to sit here and listen as people are saying that there is no organized crime, that there is no money laundering, that there is no anything, and that an Indian chief is going to tell Joey Killer to please get off his reservation is almost unbelievable to me. If you look at some of the reservations that you have approved…They don’t look like Indians to me, they don’t look like Indians to Indians, and a lot of people are laughing about it, and you are telling how tough it is, how rough it is, to get approved. Well, you go up to Connecticut, and you look. Now, they don’t look like Indians to me.

                2000: Same as above. Trump complains about organized crime using them as fronts because Indian casinos face less scrutiny and enforcement.

                Nicholas Amato, the former Essex County executive who was head of the New Jersey Casino Redevelopment Authority in the early 1990s and later became a vice president at Trump’s casino company, defended Trump against charges of racism, noting that the businessman once helped fund two Connecticut tribes. “To suggest he’s anti-Indian is absolutely untrue,” Amato said. “That’s ridiculous. You don’t sponsor an Indian tribe if you’re anti-Indian.”

                2004: The claim is entirely unsupported. “You’re an unbelievably talented guy in terms of education, and you haven’t done anything,” Trump said on the show. “At some point you have to say, ‘That’s enough.’” doesn’t so much as imply race, it’s a straight up description of firing an underperformer.

                2005: Oh look, a reality TV pitch that’s controversial, this is my shocked face. Reading “a team of successful African Americans versus a team of successful whites” as racist is flat out oxymoronic, both sides are described using the exact same word “successful” and the entire point of a team competition show is that both sides are evenly matched, which wouldn’t be possible if Trump thought the African American contestants would be in any way inherently less capable than the white contestants. Probably divisive as hell, but can you imagine the ratings? Hell, it would be a case study in debunking racial prejudice if the black team won.

                2010: Trump opposed the project, calling it “insensitive,”. He’s right.

                2011: Birtherism. I’m still waiting for you or anyone to make a case that explains the many discrepancies in the contradictory evidence on that. I don’t know if it’s true, but then neither do you. Seriously, why take so long to release the certificate? Why did Obama spend millions withholding his school records? Did he get an F in economics or is it because he was registered as a foreign student? I find it irritating that the same people so convinced that Trump’s tax returns MUST hide something criminal are so blase about documents Obama did his best to hide.

                2015: Yes, criminals are crossing our border. That’s not remotely disputable. https://cis.org/Huennekens/DOJ-26-Federal-Prisoners-Are-Aliens The so-called ‘Muslim Ban’ was nothing more than restrictions on countries already flagged by the Obama State department for insufficient capacity and/or cooperation in validating documents to reasonably ensure that visa holders were in fact who they said they were.

                2016: He’s right, a lot of Muslims do hate us. You doubt this?

                2016: Judge Gonzalo Curiel was a member of La Raza (“The Race”), associated with a center-left legal organization holding strongly pro-immigrant positions. Bench standards require judges to avoid “even the appearance of bias” and there’s plenty there to imply potential bias against Donald Trump. Bluntly, he SHOULD have recused himself.

                2017: You already took Duke and Charlottesville off your list.

                2018: “Shithole countries” Nothing racist there, Dems want us to have policies more like Norway and that’s not considered racist, but Trump is somehow racist for wanting more law-abiding citizens like Norway? BS, race is NOT the only relevant difference between Haiti and Norway.

                ““Pocahontas,” Funny standard you all have there: a white woman appropriates a racial identity she has no legitimate claim on to get a leg up in employment and publicity, but you think Trump is the racist for mocking her lies?

                Wow, it just gets even less credible from there. Was that really the best you’ve got? He’s had ~3yr in the most powerful office in the Nation, issued dozens of Executive Orders, and given many, many speeches and rallies…and the best you can muster is a few dubious old memories, scandalous gossip by people looking to cash in on his campaign, and clickbait reporters deliberately taking partial quotes out of context or flat out assuming the worst possible interpretation of ambiguous statements with much clearer likely meanings? You were so confident, I honestly expected something more solid than this gish gallop of TDS confirmation bias.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh, yeah good Biden and Trump are well over a half century out from being in high school or we’d be seeing some fists flying.

                As for Trump, *shrugs* that was mostly just frosting on top of the cake of him being a birther. I’m content to let the argument rest on that disagreement. On the side of the GOP being entwined with the racialist right we have few federal Republican Senators, one past Republican President and one current Republican President assuming one accepts that being a birther who accused the previous President of being a Muslim Kenyan as being racially dubious. On the side of the Democratic Party being captured by Antifa we have a tweet from an unelected DNC vice chair.
                Works for me.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s probably about as close to agreement on this as we’re going to get: Both sides have a few people with weak associations to radical elements. That’s where we end up with a high minimum standard of evidence applied on both sides. If that’s where you want to stop, I’m cool with that. I only have so much free time for this and there are other articles I’d like to read and possibly comment on. Anyway, Have a Nice Day!Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                Why did Obama spend millions withholding his school records? Did he get an F in economics or is it because he was registered as a foreign student?

                The least complex explanation is he either took some fluff classes or his grades didn’t qualify him for his awards. The school was under tremendous pressure at that time for minorities to succeed, that sort of stuff happened.Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      The “Zizek Maneuver” is the best.Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    The question is always “what do you care most about?”

    I have seen arguments online where there’s this position: “X is important!” and former ideological opponents start making noises that, hey, maybe X is important. Instead of responding with something like “yes! Let’s work together on X!” or even something as gracious as “I HAVE BEEN SAYING THAT X IS IMPORTANT FOR YEARS! I TOLD YOU SO!”, the response was more like “I don’t want to hear *YOU* talk about how X is important.”

    Like, it’s not about X, it’s about being seen as the type of person who thinks that X is important.

    Environmentalism is one of those things that is used as a cultural marker rather than as something that actually imposes heavy costs.

    I mean, let’s look at the current global pandemic. There are people out there who can treat this like a snow day. They have internet, they have Microsoft Office, they have skype, and they can do 80ish percent of their job sitting in an Oxford top and PJ bottoms in the basement. This global pandemic is making their lives easier. Sure, when the whistle blows, life starts to suck again because they can’t go out for drinks or pick up something from the Italian place on the way home but, when it comes to their job, they have experienced very little impact from this global pandemic.

    And there are people who, due to this global pandemic, have lost their job, lost their insurance, are worrying about making rent, are worrying about how they’re going to get a job when things finally open up, and every day is worse than the last by inches and they know that, as bad as it is today, at least they’re still in the frying pan.

    And when environmentalism is embraced by people for whom making these environmental sacrifices is like having a snow day try to talk to people whose lives will have to be revamped entirely by these changes, it’s going to come across as, at best, “not getting it”. And, given class realities, the people who actually *CARE* about environmental issues will be surrounded by people who nod when they ask the question “Don’t you *CARE* about the environment?”

    And the answer “I care about the environment about as much as you care about my livelihood” just doesn’t make sense and the people who actually *CARE* about the environment don’t understand that it sounds like they’re saying “Just treat it like a snow day! Have laborers drive groceries to your house! Get stuff from Amazon! Learn to make brioche! It’s fun!” to someone who recently lost their job and would be considering a job delivering groceries or Amazon if only there were a grocery store or Amazon warehouse close enough to be hiring someone like them.

    The global pandemic is bringing into stark relief that there are people out there who see environmentalism as brioche. A flaky delicacy for people who can afford it.

    Maybe there would be a way for the different groups out there to find common ground… but the educated elite have lost the ability to communicate with people who aren’t just like them. And, for some reason, the educated elite have forgotten the rules about recommending brioche to people who are hungry.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Environmentalism has been a luxury good for its entire existence. It was the preoccupation of wealthy developed countries and wealthy developed peoples and drops in salience to the electorate like a paralyzed falcon every time there is an economic downturn. I think that reality is a core conundrum for anyone who seriously worries about the environment. If the only way to stop climate change is to make the great masses of the people impoverished then the world is gonna burn.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North
        Ignored
        says:

        This goes back to whether it’s a moral issue, fundamentally, or an engineering problem, fundamentally.

        If it’s an engineering problem, there are engineering solutions that can be weighed and we can see what works and what doesn’t…

        At which point, I suppose, the eggheads need to master getting the people for whom this is a luxury moral value to do a better job of advertising the engineering solution.

        “Nuclear! It’s dangerous, sure… but Danger is my middle name! Also, it’s a lot less dangerous than it used to be. It’s still sexy, though!”Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Yup. More or less.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          This goes back to whether it’s a moral issue, fundamentally, or an engineering problem, fundamentally.

          Counterpoint: it’s a fundamentally a political problem. The moral aspects of climate change necessitate engineering solutions. The engineering aspects necessitate answering difficult moral questions.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            Something something Cnut the Great.Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            The moral dimension doesn’t make it impossible to make a case to people operating under different frameworks. Seems like the choice not to do so is the biggest rub.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to InMD
              Ignored
              says:

              The first step is agreement on the factual case, seems to me. Which, unfortunately, is a political issue.Report

              • Avatar James K in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                No, you have it backwards. Facts don’t drive political positions, political positions drive (acceptance of) facts. People deny climate change because they object to the political solutions. If different solutions were in play, climate change denial would be much less of a problem.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to James K
                Ignored
                says:

                Our congress is still full up with climate deniers, James.

                January 2019: According to new analysis from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, there are 150 members of the 116th Congress—all Republicans—who do not believe in the scientific consensus that human activity is making the Earth’s climate change. Notably, since the previous Congress, the number of climate deniers has decreased by 30 members, in part because 47 former deniers retired, resigned, or were defeated in their 2018 re-election contests.

                Three years ago the House had 180 climate change deniers.

                Not sure how proposals will change their minds about the4 facts given the blanket rejection of every proposal offered, but maybe you’re right.

                Add: Personally I think the hurdle is getting people committed to a cheaper early cost vs. a more expensive later cost. That means taking it seriously.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to James K
                Ignored
                says:

                As the entire article above notes, the vice versa is true: Climate Alarmists manipulate, fudge, retroactively “adjust” historical data or outright ignore inconvenient facts because what they really want are their anti-capitalist political polices pushed though, quite regardless of any actual impact on climate. You can see this clearly on issues like nuclear, which has the lowest environment impact of any of the proposed energy sources, doesn’t have the reliability problem of intermittent sources like wind/solar (or continually kill animals like wind/solar), and has substantial support on the Right,… yet is widely rejected by the Greens on the Left. They truly do care less about finding bipartisan solutions than they do about restructuring society to their liking.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                And is it being pushed by the R’s. Yeah greens dont’ want it. But who actually does? Who is trying to build lots of nukes? The cost and hurdles to build them is huge and nobody in the US is trying to build them in any number.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Republican Martha McSally of Arizona is cosponser of a bipartisan nuclear power bill proposed last August.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, nuclear is to environmentalists like targeting immigration enforcement at employers is to immigration hawks; an obvious solution that they try and ignore because they don’t like it.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North
        Ignored
        says:

        Is “Hey, lets not piss in the drinking water reservoir” a luxury good?
        Or “Lets not dump mercury into the fishing grounds” a luxury good?
        Maybe “Lets not spew toxic chemicals into the air we breathe” is a luxury good?

        Who gets harmed the most by these poisons? The people who can escape to their luxury condos in the country?

        This false framing of “your job or your health” is just dumb.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          I think that if “Environmentalism” was understood as being against peeing outside, dumping mercury, and spewing toxic chemicals into the air, it’d do a lot better.

          I can find you a link to an essay about “The Environmental Left” seeming to believe that the bailey of “Environmentalism” entails a hell of a lot more than issues like those three non-controversial stones in the motte. Would you read it, if I linked to it?Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          Hey Chip, I’m all for environmentalism myself and your points, from deep in the motte of environmentalism, are difficult to dispute. Yeah, let’s not piss in our water supply or dump waste into where our fish live is a modern development that came about with both scientific understanding and the affluence necessary to enforce those rules and develop alternatives. In the developing world today when the people there consider the options between taking jobs that expose them to environmentally harmful shit or damage their environment or starving they chose the not starving route every time. Likewise with preserving the rainforest and preventing climate change. It goes straight out the window as a voter priority the moment that their biweekly paycheck looks untenable. I don’t say this to celebrate it- it’s simply a fact of human nature.Report

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

          Oh, look, right on cue:
          E.P.A., Tweaking Its Math, to Weaken Controls on Mercury

          https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/16/climate/epa-mercury-coal.html

          But yeah man, those young college kids on Twitter…Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            The 2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill was an environmental disaster that began at the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado,[2] when Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) personnel, along with workers for Environmental Restoration LLC (a Missouri company under EPA contract to mitigate pollutants from the closed mine), caused the release of toxic waste water into the Animas River watershed.

            That crazy EPA!Report

        • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          Congratulations, add in “let’s save cute endangered species (or at least the ones that are fun to hunt) and you’ve hit the bipartisan overlap with Conservationists on the Right. Those are bipartisan issues not being disputed. Between 1970 and 2018, the combined emissions of six major air pollutants dropped by 74% while the U.S. economy grew 275%. Since Trump took office, emissions of the pollutants – which include nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and fine and coarse particulate matter – fell between 1.2% and 8.7%. That’s been the trend no matter which party controls which parts of government. The only pollutants actually going up lately are ozone and fine particle pollution in cities, Concentrations of coarse particulate matter (PM10) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) more widely (which EPA credits to the mass wildfires, so the blame there goes more to the California State government for terrible forestry management practices than to any Federal policy). So, “your job or your health” IS a false framing, but in the opposite way you imply: the job-killing proposals aren’t actually essential to preserving health or the environment.Report

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

          Is [environmentalism] a luxury good?

          Yes.

          In economics, a luxury good (or upmarket good) is a good for which demand increases more than proportionally as income rises, so that expenditures on the good become a greater proportion of overall spending. Luxury goods are in contrast to necessity goods, where demand increases proportionally less than income.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxury_goods

          So as a country gets richer they care more about the environment… and the reverse should also be expected.Report

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

            Which costs more, environmental damage, cleanup of environmental damage, or avoiding environmental damage in the first place?Report

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

              Which costs more…

              Irrelevant. The issue is my willingness to spend money on this.

              If all of my money goes to food, water, and shelter for my family then the amount of money I’ll give to the environment is zero.

              There’s no way you’ll convince someone to let their family starve so the environmentalists can virtue signal.

              My ability to consume food has a serious upper limit, as I get richer I’ll care about food less and have the bandwidth to worry about other things.

              When you enact policies which make people poorer, you need to plan on your newly poorer population to care about environmentalism less.

              This btw brings us to why I think economic growth is the greatest Good from a policy standpoint, because among other things people will have more ability to worry about luxuries.

              The environment is a luxury. Justice is a luxury. Caring about racism is a luxury.

              And note after I stop worrying about food the the next thing on the list isn’t the environment. I’d put medical care, funding retirements, and education as more important.

              There’s a hierarchy of needs there’s no way caring about the environment is on the bottom three rungs out of 5 on the maslow scale.Report

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

                Whether and how much you spend on environmental damage is not your choice to make. Other people are making that decision for you.

                Here’s an article describing how Norfolk VA is already experiencing the cost of climate change:

                Hurricanes get the headlines, but on this street, it will be the repeated jabs of flooding day after day from climate change, with its rising tides and increasingly stronger storms, that will force the city to make tough choices. By 2040, projections by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science show, the river will overflow its banks and flood this street twice daily during high tides. Norfolk plans to protect the city with $1.8 billion in storm-surge barriers and flood walls, but those projects — if built — won’t stop the rising tides in Larchmont. The water will come. This is where Norfolk will eventually begin its retreat.
                https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2020/04/13/after-decades-waterfront-living-climate-change-is-forcing-communities-plan-their-retreat-coasts/?arc404=true

                The landowners here are paying an environmental tax. This tax is one they aren’t allowed to vote on, and can’t sue, or bargain with.

                The only thing these land owners can do is surrender and accept the financial losses. Along the way, depending on how politically connected beachfront landowners are, the state and federal governments will step in and give them taxpayer money to either rebuild or move.

                And you will pay this tax.

                Sure, maybe you can tell yourself you can object and protest, but you will almost certainly be flicked aside as an insignificant annoyance, as we all are when well connected people from both parties need to socialize their losses.

                The article was about one city, but we can see this happening with all coastal cities facing rising seas. We see it with rural communities facing wildfires, or agricultural communities facing depleted aquifers, or fishing industries facing collapsing fish stocks or mining companies faced with toxic waste.

                The point is, you don’t get to choose any of this.

                Its happening right now, today, April 17, 2020, and the state and federal budgets already passed and the taxes you just filed contain these costs, and they will again next year and the year after that for the rest of your life.Report

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

                Other people are making that decision for you.

                We’re talking about an economic law, not my personal choices. Society, as a whole, also reflects this strongly.

                All of the spin and (un)happy talk won’t convince society that fighting climate change is a necessity, i.e. more important than food, water, sex, shelter, etc.

                So if you want society to do something useful about climate change, then you need to either make it cheap to handle (restructuring all of society is the polar opposite of “cheap”) or you need to make everyone rich enough that it doesn’t matter.

                This is why the “rich white” wing of the environmental movement is worried about climate change and the poor minority wing is worried about environmental justice.

                RE: Norfolk
                Which is cheaper, voting in a group of politicians that will not socialise the costs of them moving over the next 20 years, or voting in a total restructuring of the economy to make all of us poorer?

                If “something must be done” then we can talk the cheapest things which becomes a talk about nuclear power. If the only acceptable alternative is a socialist restructuring of the economy with a benevolent gov making all economic decisions, then I have two replies.

                First that it won’t work (socialist countries are filthy bad for the environment). 2nd that the environmental movement has become a mouthpiece for the socialists and the point isn’t environmentalism, the point is socialism.Report

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

                You keep reciting economic creed, as if it matters.

                It doesn’t matter that “socialism doesn’t work”.

                The rich white wing of both parties are demanding socialized losses and collectivized subsidies, and they are getting it.

                Socialism DOES work splendidly, if you are on the receiving end of it.

                Who cares if it makes the rest of the nation poorer or not? They certainly don’t.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                One of the things we are constantly informed of (and you can see it in this thread) is how expensive nuclear power is. And while it might be true on an individual plant level, comparing it to the costs of completely changing an economic system over to a socialist paradigm, where the default is everyone being poorer (as whitnessed by every socialist country seen) it is miles away cheaper than all alternatives so far presented.

                Added to this is that most people who tell us it is too expensive often immeadiatly go to tell us how we should switch over to a greener system. But, as witnessed by such practices in Germany, resources such as necessary natural gas and other fuel production also comes from outside sources. And just as we have outsourced pollution to China and its manufacturing, this isn’t an actual greening of anything.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                Another take on the issue:

                The most vocal expressions encouraging climate change mitigation policies usually include or even prioritize completely eliminating fossil fuel use as the ultimate goal, usually in the near term. Whatever the merits of that goal, it runs in a slightly different direction than say, merely reducing carbon emissions to a sustainable level in the near term, as recommended by the IPCC.

                The political, social, economic implications of the two policy goals are, obviously, very different, and will produce very different reactions in people.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s a result of one of our big parties defecting on the issue. Contra right wing talking points no one sells out better than the American center left. This is an issue where they literally have no one to sell out to.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                (everyone thinks their own party sells out. its the beast of politics)Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                I dunno dude. Over the last two decades the conservative position seems to have gone from ‘market based solutions’ to ‘this is not even a problem that exists.’Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Right now, conservatism and liberalism are pretty evenly split in this country. And until there is a reconing that forces one over the other, issues like this cannot be decided. It lets one team win, and that cannot happen.

                Most of the problem boils down to what someone considers important. And once that is decided, all sorts of facts and figures can be marshaled/cherry picked in support. And they will. not. matter. to someone who is idealogically opposed. Left or right. And you can see this happening with all sorts of issues; guns, abortion, the environment. And if other things are important, such as jobs, national security and so on, you will see that first issue as detrimental.

                Since at least the ’70s, we have made great strides in polution mitigation, energy conservation, and general greening, for lack of a better word, in this country. So, we are on the right path. But, that time line is not something supported by everyone. So, things get pushed, one way or another. Are untruths told, by both sides? Yes, because this is politics and that applies to every thing political.

                No one wants to make the environment worse simply to make it worse (except people who are more akin to serial killers) but they might not place the environment in the same league as, say job creation or something else. But, due to politics, it is now a moral matter, and having a different opinion verboten is to be fought tooth and nail.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                Ugh… Reckoning.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                (everyone thinks their own party sells out. its the beast of politics)

                Not sure about that. Everyone thinks the opposing party sold out. That is commonplace for members of a political party. It’s pretty rare for a person to think *their own* party sold out, though. Seems to me anyway.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                What was it you were saying about Pelosi the other day? Schumer?

                Beleive me, the right said the exact same things about Ryan and McC (RINO’s and DINO’s)Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                What was it you were saying about Pelosi the other day? Schumer?

                Excellent point. None of the self-identified partisan Dems agreed with me about that.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Mmm… For some people you might be right.

                So-and-such* can’t fail! It can only be failed!

                *Insert politician/theory of your choice here.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to North
        Ignored
        says:

        I think there’s a reasonable way to talk about it as protection of the commons while taking legitimate economic interests into account. I know he’s a cartoon character but I always felt like Arnold Schwarzenegger had a compelling way of talking about the issue.

        Of course people like him are being comprehensively purged from the GOP which is why I roll my eyes a bit at the OP, despite agreeing with the core premise. But like the idea that the only thing stopping action is conservative America’s fear of socialism? Give me a break.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          I agree and I have seen an occasional clip from the Governator on environmentalism that I thought was pretty mature.

          And yeah, it’d be nice if there were two fully functional political parties in the country so ours could just be “Environmental concerns!” and they could be like “Economic Concerns!” but as long as the GOP remains a decaying corpse animated by Trumpism then we’ll have to tackle both rolls on the Democratic side.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to North
        Ignored
        says:

        “Environmentalism has been a luxury good for its entire existence. ”

        Why is that a bad thing?

        Sure, the environment might be a luxury good, but aren’t luxury goods what make life worth living?

        The issue is that if you say something is a luxury good, then when you institute controls that protect it you’re making an explicitly economic calculation and you have to address the cost rather than handwaving it away as a MORAL DUTY.

        Saying “the environment is a luxury good” does not imply that we can’t (or that we shouldn’t) buy luxury goods if we want them! We just have to pay for it, is all. And, increasingly, the world is rich enough that we can pay for it.Report

    • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m writing this as an employee of a company that may not survive the lockdown, and who badly needs the health insurance that goes with it.

      When did American’s this feudal notion that one’s livelihood is supposed to be guaranteed for life? Did it come about with the closing of the frontier? When you say that economic classes can’t talk to each other, are you asking about willful ignorance? Understanding has to work both ways.

      Phillip’s comment right off the bat summed up my objection to this piece. Substituting the lunatic fringe for the general population is a lazy argument.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Slade the Leveller
        Ignored
        says:

        When did American’s this feudal notion that one’s livelihood is supposed to be guaranteed for life?

        It wasn’t just a feudal notion. It was true for pretty much all of the pre-Moderns. You learned a skill/trade and you got good at it and, if you were *REALLY* good, you joined a guild. And people would always need blacksmiths and silversmiths and tinkers and coopers and stringfellows.

        And you would do that until your body stopped doing it. If you were lucky, you had students under you that you could impart your wisdom to and they would feed you in exchange and then, one day, you died.

        “Guaranteed for life” wasn’t how it was as much as “useful to trade for food for life”. And, until very recently, a skill that was useful to trade for food at age 20 was similarly useful at age 50.

        So… I’d say the closing of the frontier was the first punch to the concept but it wasn’t officially dead/buried until FDR.

        When you say that economic classes can’t talk to each other, are you asking about willful ignorance?

        I’m not saying that economic classes can’t talk to each other. I’m saying that the people who can treat this present crisis like a snow day have no freaking idea how to talk to people whose lives are in the slow process of being destroyed. I’m not saying that there aren’t important concepts that exist on the side of our elite that are worth transferring over… I’m just saying that the communication skills of the elite are not up to snuff.

        “Understanding has to work both ways.”

        I suppose. But I put more responsibility in the hands of those who have leisure to take classes in Communication over those who, for whatever reason, never had the opportunity to take such a class.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          I’m not saying that economic classes can’t talk to each other. I’m saying that the people who can treat this present crisis like a snow day have no freaking idea how to talk to people whose lives are in the slow process of being destroyed. I’m not saying that there aren’t important concepts that exist on the side of our elite that are worth transferring over… I’m just saying that the communication skills of the elite are not up to snuff.

          That’s some class “A” bull pucky right there. There are a lot of us in that position who 1) actually do understand intellectually and emotionally what’s happening to our neighbors; 2) support them directly when possible through offering employment and purchasing their goods and services and 3) vote like their live depend on it. Progressive liberals have been and still are trying to close the gaps that put so many people in such a bad place.

          Communication isn’t the issue – agreement on the path is the issue.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            I don’t think I’m wrong, but I understand that this is me being pessimistic.

            If I am proven wrong, it’d be a good thing. I look forward to seeing y’all’s persuasive skills on display in the coming months.

            (Out of curiosity, how do you rate y’all’s persuasive skills for primary season?)Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              (Out of curiosity, how do you rate y’all’s persuasive skills for primary season?)

              Wait, are you equating Philip’s economic/social class with his party affiliation?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I was assuming that since he felt targeted by my original statement and his use of the terms “us” and “our neighbors” that he was part of the economic/social class that needed to do a better job communicating to those in the other economic/social classes.

                Was that necessarily a mistaken way to read his comment?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess I’m confused why you’re criticizing people for attacking people they should want to persuade by attacking them for attacking people they should want to persuade..Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not saying “you’re not communicating well” as a moral assessment of failure.

                I’m trying to say it like an engineering assessment.

                (See also: Criticisms of Clinton’s “put a lot of blah blah out of business”.)Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Social engineering? !!?11?!?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                If it’s not possible to say “I don’t think that X is working” without it being taken as an attack, I don’t think that we’d be in a place where we want to be.

                (Reminds me of the Babtists, to be honest.)Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “Hey, it’s not my fault liberal democrats bristle at my honest criticism.”Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Except we don’t all see it as honest criticism, much less an “engineering” assessment. Yes, we do see is as moral judgement.

                In many, many exchanges between the left and right the right dings the left, and then ignores them, because of alleged communication faults. On the rare occasion when engagement continues past that point, communication faults do indeed generally come out as moral judgement often backed up with a claim that not using the words the right might use means the left doesn’t CARE to understand.

                None of that is true, but its all about priors and even when the left suspends its priors to try and engage we still get judged.

                Hell, as an oceanographer working on climate science policy issues (among others) for a federal agency, my whole existence gets judged regularly by the Right – i’m one of those government moochers you see who isn’t good enough to get a “real job.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                What could I possibly do to help change the perception that it is a moral judgment that might persuade you to look at it like an engineering issue?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                “as an oceanographer working on climate science policy issues (among others) for a federal agency,”

                deffo a working-class representative right there, someone who truly understands the needs of the poor.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                deffo a working-class representative right there, someone who truly understands the needs of the poor.

                Early in my career I was on food stamps as an hourly state employee married to a starting out teacher. Don’t lecture me about what I know or don’t know about the needs of the poor.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, it could easily be my “fault” that liberal democrats bristle at my honest criticism.

                Could you offer a path for me to follow that would get them to not do so?Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                There is the obvious irony here, which I’m not the first to notice. JB spends a lot of time lecturing “the left” about how to communicate effectively without sounding like a scold, and yet he comes across to us as an annoying scold.

                Doctor heal thyself, or something like that.Report

        • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          I think we’re kind of wandering away from the subject of the post here, so I’ll leave you with this thought. What we’re really finding out about the American economy is just how much of it is bullsh*t. Jobs that get vaporized at the snap of a finger aren’t ones that actually contribute to a well-functioning economy.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Slade the Leveller
            Ignored
            says:

            I wouldn’t use the term “bullsh*t” as much as “a luxury good”.

            Waitstaff jobs, for example, have been vaporized by the quarantine. I wouldn’t say that they’re B.S. But, man, eating out (certainly as often as we did) was a luxury good, wasn’t it?

            Lotta luxury goods out there.Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to Slade the Leveller
            Ignored
            says:

            I don’t think it’s bullshit that the job can be vaporized. I do think it’s bullshit that we’ve done such a poor job accounting for that reality.

            Like where are all the fool Trump supporters who were talking about full employment and record wall street gains a month ago? To me any system that fails to allow people to have enough to support themselves through a rainy day (or 90) is fundamentally flawed.Report

            • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to InMD
              Ignored
              says:

              The system hasn’t failed to allow people to save three months’ living expenses. Some people have failed to save money. No one stopped them. They chose to spend their money on other things. I guess you can criticize “the system” for failing to force people to save, but it certainly hasn’t stopped them from doing so.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                Ha yea sure, all those folks in the service sector living paycheck to paycheck really had the slack to set aside a few grand or more. Even Trump himself isn’t foolish enough to believe that.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Sadly, yes they do. The average poor person in the US has their own car, smart phone, a flatscreen TV, a computer/game console, and have not experienced any gaps in food or shelter in the previous year. Poverty isn’t what it used to be. Multiple studies show that the gap between those who stay in those conditions and those who move up the ladder have less to do with the jobs they start from and more to do with financial literacy and spending patterns (e.g. “excessive spending on “Status” goods like a flashy car and bling jewelry). They CHOSE to live at the highest level of luxury they can currently afford (or higher, given the massive credit card debt often involved), rather than save money.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t buy it. The ability to get consumer goods for cheap here and there or find a way to finance a car (an immediate need for most people) doesn’t say anything about whether low wage service workers can reasonably set aside the thousands of dollars that are necessary to sustain months of unemployment. It also doesn’t address whether the little bit that can be set aside isn’t routinely dashed by other immediate emergencies and needs. There’s a real precarity to the way too many people live. Yea some of those people are dumb and irresponsible but the real cause is larger policy decisions about how our economy and support systems work, not a morality tale about ants and grasshoppers.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, if the poor did have money stashed away, I’m sure environmentalists would make sure to raise energy prices so the poor have to spend it on gas and utilities.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Where there’s a will there’s a way, George.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                “Yea some of those people are dumb and irresponsible”

                No, MOST of those people are irresponsible. That’s the hard data on it. It is a near guarantee that anyone who graduates high school, gets and holds ANY job, and waits until marriage to have children WILL escape poverty. Those are all individual decisions, not government policy.

                This is particularly relevant in regards to the “savings equal to months of income” objective because the minimum required for each month is heavily determined by those decisions like financing that flashy car instead of a cheap secondhand, or renting the slightly larger apartment, and most especially the habit of carrying a large credit card debt and merely paying the minimum each month. That emergencies happen isn’t an argument AGAINST minimizing recurring outlays in favor of savings, it’s an argument FOR living frugally so that you have the savings to absorb those one-off expenses and have the positive income margin to bounce back and refill that savings account before the next emergency comes along. Things like high fees on paycheck advances, overdraft account fees, late fees on bills, higher costs on financing due to poor credit; those kinds of things all snowball rapidly if you don’t stay above a certain threshold of fiscal health. Savings aren’t a luxury good, they are an essential safeguard, people not behaving accordingly is their own fault.

                “the real cause is larger policy decisions about how our economy and support systems work”

                That doesn’t let them off the hook either, the way our economy works is determined first and foremost by individual consumer decisions, including theirs. Quite aside from any moral component, dumb decisions are dumb decisions. We have a multitude of support systems at every level of government to address temporary circumstances, but we can’t fix “dumb”. That the majority of people still in long-term severe precarity are there due primarily to their own dumb decisions is actually a fairly positive reflection that our existing policies and economy are generally sufficient for anyone not actively self-sabotaging to climb the ladder and achieve stability.

                CAVEAT: The very poor in the big cities are indeed pretty screwed, but that is primarily due to property policy causing rent to rise faster than incomes, so that’s an individual mistake (move somewhere cheaper to live), a government mistake (zoning that limits nearby housing while over-concentrating businesses, and corporate (locating offices in high-rent areas with insufficient pay to offset local housing costs). So if that’s what you meant I’ll give you that one.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                True, all of that… but it’s not even “MOST of those people are irresponsible” so much as “most people are irresponsible”.

                Most of the population wants to live paycheck to paycheck. That’s not how they’d phrase it, but if they have extra money on hand they’ll find ways to increase their spending levels.

                There are ways to counter that, employer retirement savings plans and so forth, but most people don’t groke saving.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                Why do somersaults to justify our system working in a way that doesn’t account for what you’re also admitting is a basic part of the human condition? Whether the right word is dumb, or irresponsible, or whatever it’s a given that when provided abundant options to take the path of least resistance many, many people do it. Our consumption driven economic system encourages and indeed relies on just that sort of behavior, even if I still don’t buy the story about short order cooks and servers driving Ferraris.

                The problem we have is a system that in downturns flushes millions of people into already overwhelmed, poorly run bureaucracies to try to meet their basic needs or in practice forces them to double down on debt. The effect is to freeze up their spending and often make it harder for them to spend in the future which has ripple effects throughout the economy. Even if you don’t care about the morality of the situation (I do but you don’t have to), you should care about those ripple effects. Failing to fix it after 2008 is one of the forces eating at the working and (by proxy) middle class which is why it merits attention.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not doing “somersaults” by laying out basic data about the way people behave and how that impacts their fiscal situation. The poor will always be with us, there’s no fix for dumb decision making other than taking away their ability to make their own decisions, which is a lot more authoritarian than I’m willing to support. Our current system does better at providing a ladder up than pretty much any system in history, so there’s a lot more room for changes to make it worse than to make it better.

                I’m not saying it’s perfect though. I fishing hate “too big to fail” because it creates moral hazard and encourages companies to privatize profits while externalizing risks. That said, excessive social safety net programs do the same thing on the individual level. As you noted, many, many people will take the path of least resistance. So we shouldn’t be making poverty easy to stay in, but rather easy to get out of. That means I’ll happily support vocational training, classes in fiscal literacy, maybe even some kind of saving deposit matching, certainly some more aggressive anti-trust enforcement, but I’m not any more interested in bailing out irresponsible individuals than I am in bailing out irresponsible companies.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Urusigh
                Ignored
                says:

                It is a near guarantee that anyone who graduates high school, gets and holds ANY job, and waits until marriage to have children WILL escape poverty.

                LOL. ‘People who can get and hold a job can escape poverty’.

                First of all, that’s clearly not true, in that ‘ANY job’ includes minimum wage jobs, which people literally can’t support themselves on.

                Second, you’ve excluded wide swathes of people who can’t get and hold a job, because they live in places where there are no jobs.

                Also…I love this crazy idea that everyone can graduate high school. You do realize that a lot of poor high schoollers have to drop out to _work_, right? Because their family needs their help or, at minimum, can’t support them.

                ‘If poor people just did impossible things, they’d no longer be poor!’

                CAVEAT: The very poor in the big cities are indeed pretty screwed, but that is primarily due to property policy causing rent to rise faster than incomes, so that’s an individual mistake (move somewhere cheaper to live), a government mistake (zoning that limits nearby housing while over-concentrating businesses, and corporate (locating offices in high-rent areas with insufficient pay to offset local housing costs)

                Oh, so you mean…they _can’t_ pull themselves out of poverty if they happen to be…very poor. Hmm. Interesting exception to claim, making a giant blanket statement and then excluding the most important part.

                Also interesting that you think the poor can magically just move somewhere else and find jobs. Because your requirement was for them to have a job, which often requires them staying in a city.

                Wait a second: Is your claim that the very poor in _not_ big cities can pull themselves out of poverty? Because believe it or not, that’s actually _less_ likely. The reason the poor often live in cities isn’t because cities make poor people…it’s because there’s more _work_ in cities! Poor people aren’t being stupid for living there.

                It’s the rural areas that don’t have any jobs _at all_, and what jobs exist often require vehicles that the poor don’t have. As does…everything.Report

              • Avatar Urusigh in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                You do realize don’t you, that Reps in general and myself in specific have been consistent on pushing lower unemployment, vocational training, help for small business entrepreneurs, and reducing taxes on the investment those entrepreneurs need to start up? I’ve been arguing against “stay at home” because people need jobs, I’ve been arguing against UBI because people need jobs, “People need Jobs!” is pretty much a starting axiom of my political worldview.

                “But, people can’t get jobs if there are no jobs…” isn’t an argument against me or my party, because the majority of our policy platform is CREATE MORE JOBS! Donald Trump had the lowest unemployment, fastest rising wages for the bottom half of the income range, and highest small business confidence (and he reversed the high closure rate under Obama) in our recorded history. We know people need jobs, we targeted policies and legislation specifically at helping depressed areas (“Opportunity zones”), and our governors actually manage to run cities that have good jobs AND affordable housing. I have to Caveat Deep Blue run cities because they are mismanaged in that regard. That’s why there’s consistent migration FROM blue states TO Red states, because yes, even poor people can move somewhere else for lower living costs.

                And yeah, the data is solid, if you’re actually trying you can get a GED and hold a job, PERIOD.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Unskilled immigrant workers are able to remit money to Mexico.

                There’s a treadmill effect here, where the minimum acceptable standard of living is considered to be whatever an unskilled worker earns. No matter how wealthy society gets, this will always be the case, and thus there will always be people who “can’t afford to save,” even if they can, in fact, afford to save.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure I guess if the expectation is to live 10 people deep in crammed in a tiny decrepit houses or trailers in violation of god knows how many labor and zoning laws, fine I assume it is possible. But if you don’t see the political and economic problems with that being the only path of saving for a big chunk of the work force I don’t know what to tell you.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                “Some people have failed to save money. No one stopped them. They chose to spend their money on other things. ”

                ok boomerReport

  6. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    Good piece, I think there’s more right about it than wrong. It’s a tough thing, trying to get to the pure core of the issue. Trying to get environmentalists to shake all the socialism chaff out of the climate preservation wheat is a lot like trying to get immigration hawks to shake their nativist chaff out of their border control wheat. You say things like “nuclear power” or “maybe leave out all the centralizing crap” to one group or “go after the employers instead of the immigrants” to the other group and they can both can barely keep from saying “but what would the point be then?”Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to North
      Ignored
      says:

      It’s like telling Trump fans “Instead of glorying in how much be pisses off liberals, enjoy his success with …”

      OK, I got nothing.Report

      • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Mike Schilling
        Ignored
        says:

        Enjoy his success with… the short list, in no particular order:
        Reducing illegal immigration
        Seating Originalist judges
        Advancing Free Speech, Freedom of Religion, and Pro-Life protections
        Setting unprecedentedly good economic records on multiple metrics
        Reducing taxes
        Reducing regulation
        Negotiating trade deals
        Criminal Justice Reform
        Increasing military readiness
        Winding down foreign wars
        Confronting China on trade
        Passing “Right to Try”
        Eliminating the Obamacare Individual Mandate
        VA Reform
        Withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord and Iran Nuclear Deal
        Support to Charter Schools
        Rollback of Obama DoED changes to Title IX guidance
        FINALLY fulfilled the pledge of the last SEVERAL Presidents by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem

        You know, basically everything he actually campaigned on: better enforcement, better economy, better judges, better trade, and better foreign policy… but sure, you can obsess over his twitter feed rather than paying the slightest attention to executive orders issued, legislation passed, and changes in executive agency policies.Report

        • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Urusigh
          Ignored
          says:

          He didn’t reform crap at the VA.Report

          • Avatar aaron david in reply to Andrew Donaldson
            Ignored
            says:

            Trump signs VA reform bill, making good on a campaign promise

            The law, which won bipartisan support in both the Senate and House, comes after years of stories about chaos inside the VA, including CNN investigations in 2013 and 2014 that found dozens of veterans died or were seriously injured because of long wait times at hospitals across the country.
            “In just a short time we’ve already achieved transformative change at the VA, and believe me, we’re just getting started,” Trump said.
            The measure passed the House by a 368-55 vote earlier this month. It passed the Senate by a unanimous voice vote.

            https://www.cnn.com/2017/06/23/politics/trump-veterans-reform-bill-signing/index.html

            If even CNN is conceding that he made reforms…Report

          • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Andrew Donaldson
            Ignored
            says:

            https://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/469825-veterans-affairs-reform-is-now-reality-under-president-trump

            As of 2019:
            During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump made correcting this problem one of his top priorities. Through taking executive action and signing bipartisan reforms into law, he has time and again demonstrated his own commitment to delivering the reforms our veterans deserve. He has also made sure the government provides them adequate resources. The budget allocation was a record $201 billion for Veterans Affairs this year, and the budget request for next year calls for raising that figure to $220 billion. Some of that money will go toward attracting medical and management talent to Veterans Affairs that was lacking in certain areas, a task furthered by the Veterans Affairs Choice and Quality Employment Act. The Trump administration has also taken crucial steps to improve the prospects of future veterans. The National Defense Authorization Act this year has raised military salaries by 2.6 percent, the most in nine years. President Trump has also worked with lawmakers to reform how Veterans Affairs works and will continue to ensure that dollars are spent wisely for our veterans and their families. To that end, he signed the Veteran Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act, the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, and the Mission Act, all designed to create flexible new treatment options while building a culture of accountability. The Mission Act notably allows veterans to use benefits at private medical facilities if their local Veterans Affairs hospital is unable to fully meet their needs. On his own authority, President Trump has signed executive orders to improve treatment at Veterans Affairs. Understanding that suicide and mental health issues are very often as devastating as any physical injury incurred in the service, President Trump signed two executive orders specifically addressing suicide among veterans, which has ballooned to tragic levels. Veterans who live far from traditional federal hospitals can take advantage of new telehealth options to connect with doctors and therapists, including mental health professionals, from their homes. The White House also launched an official hotline two years ago to help veterans navigate the complexities of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Since then, the hotline, primarily staffed by veterans and direct family members of veterans, has fielded more than a quarter million calls from veterans and resolved an impressive 94 percent of its cases.

            Note the executive orders. Even if you gave 100% of the credit on legislation to Congress, President Trump also has a strong record on VA reforms entirely on his own exercise of authority.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Urusigh
          Ignored
          says:

          Setting unprecedentedly good economic records on multiple metrics
          Reducing taxes

          These go together, as we were running a trillion-dollar deficit even before the virus. What ever happened to the Party of fiscal responsibility. And of course, if you look at trend lines, what he’s managed to do is not screw up the Obama recovery, at least until recently. And the tariffs have been disastrous enough that we now have to subsidize farmers who’ve lost their foreign markets.

          He’s also done all the dumb, irresponsible foreign policy things you noted. And much of his staff is “acting”, since they’re too unqualified for Senate confirmation.Report

          • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Mike Schilling
            Ignored
            says:

            “What ever happened to the Party of fiscal responsibility. ”

            They couldn’t get spending cuts past House Democrats and winning the 2016 election required bringing in voters who won’t allow entitlement reform.

            And of course, if you look at trend lines”

            You clearly haven’t, they go from the slowest recovery in our history to spiking upward rapidly after Trump took office.

            “And the tariffs have been disastrous enough that we now have to subsidize farmers who’ve lost their foreign markets.”

            That’s not due to tariffs, that due to swine flu wiping out most of the Chinese hogs that they buy our soy feed for. COVID-19 isn’t the first or only pandemic to originate in China and impact our economy by reducing their spending.

            “He’s also done all the dumb, irresponsible foreign policy things you noted.”

            Absurd. Obama himself declared that it would take “a magic wand” to hit 3% GDP, his admin declared that the recovery was about to end and stagnation was the new normal, and big name Economists like Paul Krugman declared that if Trump took office with those policies the stock market would crash and never recover…so nobody outside the Trump camp was predicting that trend lines would continue upward at all, much less rapidly…Then Trump won, implemented his policies, and we hit record after record that Obama had called impossible. You can’t claim that Trump was riding a recovery when it was already called over before he took office, you can’t claim that he was merely continuing Obama’s ANYTHING when he outright reversed most of Obama’s policies, and most importantly, all those records came AFTER he made all those changes. Even the NYT stopped trying to deny that Trump deserved credit for his economic successes.Report

    • Avatar Urusigh in reply to North
      Ignored
      says:

      Shrug. I’m a Republican immigration hawk. I fully support raids and audits on employers to reduce the magnet effect drawing illegal economic migrants here. I support candidates proposing mandatory E-Verify every chance I get. Frankly, every Rep I’ve ever discussed the issue with agrees. We aren’t willing to lighten up on border enforcement either (stopping them on the other side of the border is MUCH cheaper than deportation proceedings), but it’s not like the Rep base actually WANTS to give businesses a pass an undercutting citizen wages by hiring illegals under the tableReport

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Urusigh
        Ignored
        says:

        Great – then I hope you call ICE and tell them that dragging 600 undocumented migrants out of a chicken plant in Mississippi last year without prosecuting and fining their employer was a dereliction of duty. Because when enforcement comes to town this is what happens. I can’t find any news coverage anywhere over multiple searches that shows businesses being prosecuted for this action by this Administration.

        So if this is something you and Base really want, you need to do a far better and louder job of putting the screws to the President and Administration of your party because they are doing a lousy job of listening to you.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          I most certainly don’t want this. One part of the GOP’s coalition wants it, another just wants to make money and jobs.

          Urusigh: it’s not like the Rep base actually WANTS to give businesses a pass an undercutting citizen wages by hiring illegals under the table

          Actually yeah, I’m cool with that. I view anything that gets in the way of job creation as a problem. I expect that immigrants create more jobs than they destroy. I see no reason why we want to export jobs to Mexico by making it impossible for their industries to function here (locally we’ve had crops rot on the ground, I assume because the farmer couldn’t find pickers).

          I don’t view “undercutting citizen wages” as a serious problem. I don’t see why my min-wage teens need or deserve a “living wage”. My older teens have already worked their way far enough up the food chain that they’re way past min-wage.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Dark Matter
            Ignored
            says:

            “I expect that immigrants create more jobs than they destroy.”

            Well, yeah, they’re cheaper than machines. So they ‘create jobs’ in the sense that if they weren’t available we’d have machines doing what they do.Report

            • Avatar InMD in reply to DensityDuck
              Ignored
              says:

              The statement only makes sense if you don’t distinguish between highly skilled legal immigrants who we should all want coming here and illegal aliens working under the table for scraps. These are not the same things yet seem to be endlessly conflated.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Because illegal immigrants don’t eat, buy gas, and so on. They consume more in government handouts than they generate (whoops, they can’t get gov handouts).

                My expectation is even the low class immigrants are a net positive, especially when the 2nd order effects of not having them are crops rotting on the field.

                The only disadvantage to having them around is “undercutting citizen wages”. This is a side effect, but I expect it’s marginal. I have a hard time picturing the inner city poor replacing migrant labor.

                Excluding people who live in other countries and have a different cost of living structure, these jobs are not intended to be serious jobs for serious people. They’re starting jobs for workers who are not established.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Your assumptions would be borne out be several attempts over the decades to get “good solid Americans” back into the fields. The most recent of such stories (which I think is 3 or 4 years old now) detailed a California farmer’s attempts to get americans back to pick his produce after a loss of migrant workers. Even offering $25 an hour, 401k and health insurance he couldn’t get takers.

                Undocumented migrants come here because they do have more opportunity, its safer then their countries of origin, and businessess want to pay them. Why we keep pretending this is a net bad thing economically is somewhat beyond me.Report

        • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          “I can’t find any news coverage anywhere over multiple searches that shows businesses being prosecuted for this action by this Administration.”

          That’s odd, because my Google search immediately top listed recent articles by WaPo listing x5 employers prosecuted and NYT listed x11, and AP had this to say:

          Under President Donald Trump, the number of business owners and managers who face criminal charges for employing unauthorized workers has stayed almost the same, even as almost every other enforcement measure has surged. Lawyers and experts agree that investigating managers takes longer and is far more difficult than arresting workers. A key hurdle that predates the Trump administration is that federal law makes it a crime to “knowingly” hire workers who are in the U.S. illegally.

          “The ‘knowingly’ term has proved to be a huge defense for employers,” said Muzaffar Chishti, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute. “The employer says, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t know they were unauthorized.’” In a statement Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Matthew Albence said that anyone found to have broken the law in the Mississippi case would be held accountable, including “the employers who profit off their crimes.” Warrants unsealed after the Mississippi arrests allege that managers at two processing plants participated in fraud.

          After Trump took office, then-Acting Director Thomas Homan declared that ICE would try to increase all worksite enforcement actions by 400%. ICE succeeded almost across the board in just one government fiscal year. According to statistics the agency released in December, it quadrupled the number of investigations it opened and audits of paperwork submitted by employees to get hired. And it made 2,304 arrests in worksite cases, seven times as many as the previous year. The major exception was for managers. ICE arrested just 72 managers in the 2018 fiscal year, compared with 71 the year before. And 49 managers were convicted of crimes, down from 55 the previous year.

          “I hope you call ICE and tell them that dragging 600 undocumented migrants out of a chicken plant in Mississippi last year without prosecuting and fining their employer was a dereliction of duty.”

          In a statement Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Matthew Albence said that anyone found to have broken the law in the Mississippi case would be held accountable, including “the employers who profit off their crimes.” Warrants unsealed after the Mississippi arrests allege that managers at two processing plants participated in fraud.

          So it looks like they’re trying, the standard of proof on that charge is just harder to establish and easier to beat in court. They do usually mange to impose fines, but I’ll admit they usually aren’t high enough to dissuade employers from just writing it off out of the savings from cheaper illegal labor. Hopefully Trump-appointed judges start levying harsher fines. Not sure how to fix that, but increasing funding to ICE so they have more/better investigators would probably help. Which party is trying to increase ICE funding vs trying to #AbolishICE again?Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m not talkin’ about raids or E-verify. Or rather, not just such things. I’m talking about serious, vicious, fines on businesses or even individuals who you bust employing illegal immigrants. I’m talking about giving illegal immigrants who turn in their employers to ICE rewards like green cards or other incentives.

        This is simple economics. Illegal immigrant labor is used because it’s cheap- fines and penalties focused on the employers make illegal immigrant labor expensive. Going after the immigrant workers is utterly irrational. You deport them and they just start walking again. You can’t jail them- that’s even more expensive than deporting them. You erect barriers to entry and they simply bypass them or destroy them. The employers, though, they can’t start walking again and they care enormously about jail time or huge fines. If you go after the employers, and especially if you reward illegal immigrants for turning their employers in then those illegal immigrants cease to be economical to employ. Eliminate demand for illegal immigrant labor and you vaporize illegal immigration entirely.

        There’d be costs, of course, we’d be talking about huge surges in labor costs for all kinds of agricultural goods, construction and service labor. Prices would either go up or, in the case of agricultural goods, we’d have to import those foods from cheap labor locations.

        The GOP, of course, doesn’t do any of this. They fight furiously to block any employer focused enforcement let alone serious fines. They’re fine with terrorizing the immigrants themselves, of course, that actually makes illegal immigrant labor cheaper because the workers have no other alternatives. No surprise that they end up with more of it.

        If an immigration restrictionist administration actually cared about stopping illegal immigration they’d go after the employers. You say you’re a libertarian in general so you know that economics is the heart of this issue. This is very much like environmentalists and nuclear power. It’s a big obvious solution to carbon based energy but environmentalists don’t like it for a variety of reasons so they make up all kinds of excuses why it’s unacceptable. Employer enforcement is the same thing, the GOP is heavily in thrall to business interests who don’t want any such thing and the GOP’s voters seem to care a lot more about terrorizing the illegal immigrants themselves than they do about eliminating the issue. So instead of going after the employers they endorse idiocy like the Wall and roaring around on ATV’s chasing Mexicans through the desert.

        I’m not talkin’ about raids or E-verify. Or rather, not just such things. I’m talking about serious, vicious, fines on businesses or even individuals who you bust employing illegal immigrants. I’m talking about giving illegal immigrants who turn in their employers to ICE rewards like green cards or other incentives.

        This is simple economics. Illegal immigrant labor is used because it’s cheap- fines and penalties focused on the employers make illegal immigrant labor expensive. Going after the immigrant workers is utterly irrational. You deport them and they just start walking again. You can’t jail them- that’s even more expensive than deporting them. You erect barriers to entry and they simply bypass them or destroy them. The employers, though, they can’t start walking again and they care enormously about jail time or huge fines. If you go after the employers, and especially if you reward illegal immigrants for turning their employers in then those illegal immigrants cease to be economical to employ. Eliminate demand for illegal immigrant labor and you vaporize illegal immigration entirely.

        There’d be costs, of course, we’d be talking about huge surges in labor costs for all kinds of agricultural goods, construction and service labor. Prices would either go up or, in the case of agricultural goods, we’d have to import those foods from cheap labor locations.

        The GOP, of course, doesn’t do any of this. They fight furiously to block any employer focused enforcement let alone serious fines. They’re fine with terrorizing the immigrants themselves, of course, that actually makes illegal immigrant labor cheaper because the workers have no other alternatives. No surprise that they end up with more of it.

        If an immigration restrictionist administration actually cared about stopping illegal immigration they’d go after the employers. You say you’re a libertarian in general so you know that economics is the heart of this issue. This is very much like environmentalists and nuclear power. It’s a big obvious solution to carbon based energy but environmentalists don’t like it for a variety of reasons so they make up all kinds of excuses why it’s unacceptable. Employer enforcement is the same thing, the GOP is heavily in thrall to business interests who don’t want any such thing and the GOP’s voters seem to care a lot more about terrorizing the illegal immigrants themselves than they do about eliminating the issue. So instead of going after the employers they endorse idiocy like the Wall and roaring around on ATV’s chasing Mexicans through the desert.

        Democrats are mostly incidental to this point, mind. The centrist majority is either indifferent to immigration or simpatico with business interests and thus it’s a mild plus. Then you have the liberal wing that’s all for it on humanitarian grounds. So obviously there’s not much reason for Democrats to push employer enforcement.

        But when it comes to Republicans? As long as they keep doubling down on chasing illegal immigrants around while ignoring their employers then it’s really hard to believe they care about immigrant qua immigration and a lot easier to believe that they just wanna terrorize illegal immigrants.Report

        • Avatar Urusigh in reply to North
          Ignored
          says:

          “I’m talking about giving illegal immigrants who turn in their employers to ICE rewards like green cards or other incentives.”

          I haven’t heard that idea before, which I suppose itself is a bit of an indictment of the current discussion among the establishment politicians…I like it. Let’s do that!Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Urusigh
            Ignored
            says:

            Take it with my compliments. I don’t think it’s my idea originally but I have been mentioning it around these parts for ages. You’re welcome to it as I’m not an immigrant hawk myself.Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    This is a great example of nut-picking. Yes there are deep ecologists and a lot of them are truly nuts but most environmentalists do not want us to revert to hunter-gatherer pastoral lifestyles. By most I mean 99.7 percent of them.Report

    • Christopher Johnson Christopher Johnson in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      I almost used that word to try to say what I was trying not to do, but I’m sorry if you felt like I missed the mark!Report

    • Avatar Swami in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      But many if not most do want to either radically reform free markets or convert to some type of planned economy.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Swami
        Ignored
        says:

        That’s due more to an (unjustified) lack of imagination coupled with a (justified) belief that current practices require government intervention to change. There are free-er market type solutions to some of these problems, public-private ventures that get the incentive arrows aligned in the right direction, that sort of thing. But things can get a bit weird. My niece’s girlfriend is big on subsidies for residential solar panel installs but she got super pissed when I mentioned net-metering as another incentive because – and I admit this never occurred to me – it perpetuated reliance on the grid. Yes, there are anti-Grid people out there in enviroland. Each of us alone on an electrical island. You heard it hear first.Report

  8. Avatar Slade the Leveller
    Ignored
    says:

    To address the OP, what about American energy isn’t socialist already? Utilities are some of the most heavily regulated business in this country, and I’ll bet they like it. What other industry, outside of defense contractors, is guaranteed a profit by legislative action?Report

    • Avatar JS in reply to Slade the Leveller
      Ignored
      says:

      “Utilities are some of the most heavily regulated business in this country”

      Rather famously, one time they weren’t, it damn near bankrupted California.

      Enron was fun, wasn’t it? I got to see that from ground zero on the Texas side. I’m still surprised anyone actually went to jail. And I know a lot of regular, working Joes who lost the whole contents of their 401k over it.

      Was a good lesson — no matter how much you believe in your company, no matter their massive stock growth, never go 100% in.Report

  9. Avatar Doctor Jay
    Ignored
    says:

    You could call this “poor message discipline” if you wanted, rather than a moral failing or subterfuge.

    In a moment of downturn of aspirations, a bunch of people express their disappointment in a colorful and vibrant way. Does that mean they don’t care about climate change?

    Now, I’m sort of with you on the irritation of constant moral scolding and one-upmanship that I can find among the far left. But I don’t find the world of policy they want terrifying. They call themselves “socialist” but they are social democrats, make no mistake.

    It’s like you have no confidence in the middle. In people like me. There are huge swaths of Americans that don’t want a Soviet style economy, but they maybe do want college to be more affordable, and healthcare not such a pain in the butt.

    And in the environmental realm, we could do cap-and-trade, pair it with a carbon duty, and serve a lot of interests. But we don’t because we are so caught up in “Do you know what THOSE PEOPLE said this time?”Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to Doctor Jay
      Ignored
      says:

      I know plenty of real full-on socialists who know what the word means. However, they are also generally poor, trans, and catgirls, so they don’t have much real power. Myself, I’m a social democrat. I know what the words mean. Much of the left is such.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Doctor Jay
      Ignored
      says:

      You make really excellent points. Really excellent.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Doctor Jay
      Ignored
      says:

      This a good response. There is a lot of excluding all the middle ground that goes on in general and in this post. Huge ground for working together on getting a lot of moderate policies and low hanging fruit. There always has been.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Doctor Jay
      Ignored
      says:

      I get the impression that the “Green New Deal” is popular with about 50% of the country, is being sold as environmentalism, and extends far beyond environmentalism and especially moderate environmentalism. Now, in fairness, I put “GND” in quotes, because I assume that half the stuff people say about it has nothing to do with any actual legislative proposals. But it means something that most of the top-tier primary candidates supported something like it. Am I misreading this? If not, how do you square it with your position that the extremists are being over-represented?Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        I think that’s a huge overstatement of how popular the whole package is. Lot’s of it seems to be more critical theory gobbledygook than actually policy proposal.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        The Green New Dream made a splash and then Pelosi kissed it on the cheek and slid it into its legislative grave (with the name on the headstone misspelled). She’d have never been able to do so, nor would have tried, had it been at 50% national popularity.

        I think the GND is popular to varying degrees with somewhere around 25-30% of the most left wing side of the Democratic Party. So that would make it, what, 5-10% popular nationally using grossly rough and absurdly generous numbers?Report

        • Avatar JS in reply to North
          Ignored
          says:

          The problem is people on social media don’t understand polls, and successful politicians do.

          “Large majority of Americans support Medicare For All” a poll blares, and Sanders supporters rejoice, and wonder why Biden/Pelosi/Whomever is so stupid they won’t support it.

          What they don’t do is drill down to the questions — and then the follow-ups, wherein you learn “M4A” is indeed quite popular, right up until the point where the people being questioned realize it’s not an optional “Anyone can buy into Medicare” but “everyone goes onto Medicare” and then it quickly stops being popular.

          Green New Deal is the same — a lot of Democrats absolutely would love some sort of massive, New-Deal esque investment in energy infrastructure designed to mitigate and reduce our climate impact and modernize an aging energy and transportation grid.

          It’s the details that make or break a big idea.

          Some politicians specialize in big ideas and no details. Some specialize in the details of making big ideas work — as best they can work. Some rare few do both, or at least know how to delegate the parts they don’t do.

          Voters, however, mostly seem to like big ideas over details — understandable, as the details get real arcane and complex real quick — but that makes them darn impatient, and darn unhappy once rubber meets road.

          If you want to stay a politician you have to learn really quick when it’s likely the “Big Idea” and the “Actual Implementation” are going to diverge sharply in terms of public support.

          Well, if you want to be a politician that gets things done. There’s plenty that have careers as basically gadflies, fluttering around making sure they’ve got all the right sound bites and “big ideas” they’re careful to keep really far from ugly detail.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to JS
            Ignored
            says:

            Very well put in every line. Well done.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to JS
            Ignored
            says:

            Yes, very well stated, and to reinforce that point, the original New Deal was only possible because of the overwhelming dominance of the one party in all branches of government.Report

            • Avatar JS in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              Well, that and sheer desperation.

              My limited study of that era is well behind me, but I seem to recall that push-back against the New Deal got increasingly more effective as the nation clawed it’s way out of the hole.

              Which culminated in the whole court packing discussion. Had that come even four or five years early, it might have been an accomplished — not the rock foundered upon.Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to JS
            Ignored
            says:

            “a lot of Democrats absolutely would love some sort of massive, New-Deal esque investment in energy infrastructure”

            Yes. That’s the point I was trying to make. I understand how the polls work, and that ironing out the details takes a lot of work. That’s true with every policy initiative. I’m not arguing that the GND will pass as is (if there even is an “as is” at this point). But it tells you something about the Overton Window.Report

            • Avatar JS in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              It tells you nothing, really, other than what’s vaguely on the public’s mind. Not even how. “GND is a thing”. Okay, are we talking “We’re really into it, let’s save the planet come hell or high water” or “We’re into it like we recycle, which is we don’t unless it’s really cheap and easy. And even then maybe.”

              It’s really easy to read into it what you want, of course — and it leads politicians, pundits, and public alike to get really confused when their interpretation collapses against reality.Report

    • Christopher Johnson Christopher Johnson in reply to Doctor Jay
      Ignored
      says:

      I tried to be as sympathetic as possible on the personal aspects of this and show grace on the emotions involved. It’s hard to convey that in print.

      I’ve written previously on the need for moderates to engage on the issue so we can get stuff like a carbon tax passed, and I understand that nutpicking only makes that harder. I really appreciate the insight!Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Christopher Johnson
        Ignored
        says:

        So if you’ve written about the need for moderates to engage, and they haven’t yet, what’s your take away?Report

      • Avatar Swami in reply to Christopher Johnson
        Ignored
        says:

        A carbon tax, a conversion to safer cleaner nuclear energy, massive R&D into other cleaner technologies and carbon removal. Are these what you are suggesting?

        That is what most moderates (those with distrust for the far left and right) seem to suggest.Report

        • Avatar Jesse in reply to Swami
          Ignored
          says:

          Yet that exact bill will never be brought up by Mitch McConnell, maybe half-a-dozen GOP rep’s would vote for it, and maybe Susan Collins & Mitt Romney would bote for it in the Senate, after the oil & gas industry dropped 8 zillion dollars of ads into opposing it.Report

  10. Avatar Michael Cain
    Ignored
    says:

    When I finished reading the original GND documents, I noted three things. (1) The large amount of it spent on the economics. I can see where many people would interpret it as an attack on capitalism/markets. I read it as “No sacrifices have to be made to people’s lifestyle.” (2) It was — because it had to be — written for the Democratic base. There are ~25 states that the Dems depend on electorally, much as there are ~25 states the Republicans depend on. Once you identify those, many of the parts of the deal are obvious. Eg, “no nukes” is a given. (3) It was clear that whoever wrote the engineering/technology/systems/whatever you want to call it parts had spent zero time with the government’s own extensive set of tech experts at the national labs. This has been studied for a long time in sometimes painful detail.Report

    • Avatar JS in reply to Michael Cain
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m coming around to the belief that nuclear plants, unless someone actually cracks fusion, are on their way out.

      They’re too capital intensive, too expensive, require too much government backstops and subsidies — and they’re faltering in the face of fast growing green energy. It may end up cheaper to simply massively overbuild solar, hydro, wind, etc and then build in whatever storage solutions make sense locally (pumping water uphill, molten salt, whatever) than building nuclear plants.

      Dying the same way coal did, although that day’s probably a few decades off. But I’m struggling to envision any real nuclear build-out in America, or Europe, or Japan now. Not because of NIMBYism, but cold economics.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to JS
        Ignored
        says:

        How much of the expense is due to onerous regulation (and, from that, the need for subsidies)?

        I imagine that the benefits of green energy rely rather heavily on such things as trade deals with China and if anything happens to the relationship between the US and China, Green Energy goes from being a great idea to being a less great idea.

        And I’m not confident that our relationship with China is firm.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Scherer 3 and 4 have breezed through the nuclear regulatory steps except when the builders have deviated so far from the plans that it has been necessary to stop things in order to model what was built and answer questions like, “Is the weakened support structure still adequate to hold up the reactor vessel?” What has driven the price up is the consistent inability of the contractors to deliver parts at bid price, the need to rework delivered parts that did not meet spec, and the financial costs of putting off any revenues for a year, then another year, then another year… If/when Scherer 3 and 4 go online, Georgia will be able to enjoy some of the highest-priced base load power in the country. The exact same thing happened with Summer 2 and 3 in South Carolina, except the state regulators there pulled the plug when it became clear that it was cheaper to eat the sunk cost and buy power from alternate sources than it was to finish the nukes.

          China has experienced similar delays and costs for similar reasons. The Russians are building a new nuke for Finland. The published schedules suggest that it will be another demonstration that nukes cost $8-10B per GW of generating capacity, and take 8-10 years to build.

          Maybe small modular reactors will change the game. A group of small utilities in Utah are financing construction of one such modular reactor to be located on federal property in Idaho (ie, DoE is assuming a good part of the risk premium, and less obviously the price of cooling water). My bet is that they will all be forced into bankruptcy by the cost.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
            Ignored
            says:

            Oh, jeez. Is the problem that we are no longer able to do things?

            (I’ve been wondering if part of the problem is that we can’t do things anymore.)Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Well. Based on what I know of this kind of thing, the customer said “we want A, for price B, on date C,” and contractor Joe said “you don’t know how much things cost or how long they take, because B is wildly underpriced and C is laughably short”, and contractor Frank said “sure we can do exactly what you want”, and by the time it turned out that Joe was right Frank had already built half the thing and it was too late to change things…Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              and, to bring in another angle, if the problem is “we are no longer able to do things” then we won’t suddenly become able to do things if we do different things than nuclear plants. If stuff always takes three times as long and costs five times as much, that doesn’t stop happening if you’re building a wind farm instead of a nuclear power plant.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                …that doesn’t stop happening if you’re building a wind farm instead of a nuclear power plant.

                One piece of good news is that, at least in my neck of the woods, we seem able to build wind farms on schedule and within budget. That at least suggests that the problem with nuclear is we’ve forgotten how to do it. And that if someone just eats the enormous cost of the first few, we’ll be able to make the forgings right, do the rebar right, do the welds right, etc. Of course, a wind turbine is a simpler undertaking than even a small nuclear reactor.Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                “That at least suggests that the problem with nuclear is we’ve forgotten how to do it”

                We’ve always known how to do it. It’s just expensive to do. Other things have just gotten so much cheaper. Why spend a decade building an expensive, high maintenance nuke when you can build NG or PV or wind farm that produces power at half the cost per KW? Or even solar thermal or offshore wind for roughly the same cost, but half the headaches AND you don’t need nearly as much up-front money AND you’re actually insurable?

                The problem is nuclear power has started not making economical sense, at least if you’re not a ship.

                The other issues nuclear faces don’t help, but the cold economical facts aren’t super great either. It’s not as bad off as coal — but “twice as expensive” as PV, NG, or onshore wind is….not a great place to be, you know? Especially since 2 of those 3 continue to drop in price.Report

          • Avatar JS in reply to Michael Cain
            Ignored
            says:

            That was pretty much my understanding. Nuclear is just…too expensive. And not because of NIMBYish, it’s just — expensive, outright.

            Now if you’re the Navy, and you need a certain amount of power in a limited amount of space, it’s very likely the best possible deal. I don’t see nuclear power carriers and submarines fading away any time soon, even if they did crack fusion.

            But on land? There’s just…cheaper alternatives.

            Of course, pointing that out often gets you entirely ludicrous responses at times. Sort of a reflexive pro-nuclear response to a reflexive anti-nuclear response, as it were.

            “It’s just too expensive, even for ‘green’ energy” is not the argument they’re often expecting. But the costs of renewables really has dropped drastically over the last 20 years, and storage solutions are growing as demand for them does.

            A quick gander at DOE and you can find all sort of methods to project over all energy costs, and it appears nuclear is…roughly twice onshore wind, twice PV, twice NG,. and roughly comparable with offshore wind and coal. It’s worth noting that even 5 years ago, nuclear was projected to be cheaper than PV or onshore wind, not twice as expensive — things really have moved fast.

            But it’s really hard for nuclear to compete with PV, NG, and onshore wind when nuclear is twice as expensive. Solar Thermal and off-shore wind are slightly more expensive than nuclear, but those prices are falling and…nuclear is not.

            To capital intensive. Too long to build. Too expensive. Even factoring in battery storage, there are simply cheaper options that also don’t involve heavy carbon emissions.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to JS
              Ignored
              says:

              And what, if I may inquire, is the base load backstop storage system? Where is it implemented? Because my understanding is that currently when renewable power sources don’t produce enough power they just cough in an embarrassed manner and fire up a fossil fuel plant. Germany, for instance, shut down its nuclear power sector after Fukushima and switched to burning coal.
              So where in the world are they producing all their power off renewables and using storage to meet demand when renewables aren’t sufficient?Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                >And what, if I may inquire, is the base load backstop storage system?

                Not nuclear. You can’t rev it up and down. Combined cycle NG is what most people use (and yes, Germany is moving to that) because it’s cheaper, more efficient, and cleaner than coal.

                I don’t have any problems with nuclear myself. It’s just too expensive. “What about base load” and “what about storage” doesn’t magically make nuclear cheap. It’s literally one of the most expensive forms of power, and it’s not growing cheaper.

                Whereas renewables are, NG is, and storage solutions (from pumped hydro to molten salt) are.

                Nuclear is really struggling to be economically feasible. How can it be, when for 1 MW of nuclear reactor you can buy 2 MW of PV or wind or NG, and PV and WInd are still dropping rapidly in price? Worse yet, rule of thumb on variance issues with renewables is you need to overbuild by about a factor of two — which means it’s still competitive with nuclear, and you don’t need the massive up-front investment costs.

                Moreover, modern interconnects means that if it’s not sunny or windy in Germany, it probably is in France. And if you need storage, I understand Norway or Sweden have a lot of dams they can pump water back uphill for.

                Unless someone cracks fusion, nuclear — aside from ships — is going to go the way of coal. For no other reason than Adam Smith’s invisible hand.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to JS
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not live or die on nuclear myself. But my point is that these non-fossil fuel backstop systems currently don’t exist right now. When the renewals don’t cut it they fire up the old dinosaur burner. So when we’re talking about a power grid that uses no fossil fuels it bears keeping in mind that these baseload storage systems are all theoretical. None of them have been implemented to that scale. Likewise no one has implemented a 100% renewable power grid that just can shift power from place to place depending on when the sun is shining or wind is blowing. So when we say “nuclear is too expensive,” it bears noting that it’s too expensive relative to a power system that is currently imaginary. It doesn’t seem crazy to me to ask that some proof of concepts be built first.

                In theory you could have nuclear providing a baseload minimum round the close and then renewables would make up the majority of the generation and deal with the surging up and downs.
                It just amuses me when environmentalists (not you) say “We much decarbonize the economy, the world is at stake, no cost is too great!” and then as soon as one mentions the word nuclear they cluck “Oh well that is too expensive”.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                We’ll see if the Western Interconnect in the US can pull it off. The preliminary figures for all generation in 2019 are out now. The WI generated 40% of its electricity from renewable sources last year. California’s multi-state imbalance market for renewables, which lets utilities start playing the statistical game to turn geographic and type diverse renewables into something much more reliable, is growing steadily. It would be bigger already if the federal quasi-governmental power authorities didn’t control so much critical transmission capacity, and refuse to play along. Big batches of pumped hydro storage are at various points in the permitting process.

                Different national laboratories have studied the problem in the WI at the nuts and bolts level for years, and the results say it’s doable. My suspicion is that the biggest hurdle will turn out to be getting around the feds.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                It’ll be fascinating to see what happens!Report

    • Avatar Jesse in reply to Michael Cain
      Ignored
      says:

      The one positive part of the Green New Deal is that it realized any serious effort to fight climate change will need to make sure to help those deeply effected by the changes in the economy that we need, in order not to have a climate disaster.

      The truth is, any incremental moderate changes that will get passed are not enough to actually effect anything, and a lot of the far reaching plans would be electoral poison and lead to incredible electoral backlash, as we’ve already seen in places like the Green New Deal.

      The reality is yes, your average American will not accept a worse lifestyle to lessen climate change, so in order to lessen climate change, we’re going to need to make sure any pain the average American feels in the form of higher energy prices or whatever, is seen as worth it.

      Passing a carbon tax and dumping some money in to R&D may have been enough in 2000 or 2010, but in 2020, that’s simply not enough.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jesse
        Ignored
        says:

        The chief reason why the GND came into existence is the fact that every argument against a piecemeal proposal is shot down on the grounds that it is…piecemeal.

        Like the arguments we’ve had right here, where some small bore thing like plastic bag bans are argued against on the grounds that this one thing by itself will do nothing, and will cause economic harm.

        The GND grasps that our entire industrial and consumer economy has built in injustices which contribute to environmental stress.

        Like how the environmental harms are screened away from our eyes by the global supply chains. We see immaculate Apple stores and well paid tech workers, but never see the misery and suffering of child labor and toxic environmental damage on the other side of the world.

        The environmental damage of the global supply chains can only be addressed by an approach which is equally global in its thinking.Report

  11. Avatar Chris
    Ignored
    says:

    lol… Good one.Report

  12. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Headline:
    The western U.S. is locked in the grips of the first human-caused megadrought, study finds

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/04/16/southwest-megadrought-climate-change/?itid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_cwg-megadrought-610pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans

    Huh. This megadrought is already causing economic problems across the West.

    Can we afford a megadrought? Aren’t there cheaper options available? Did anyone ever study the costs of dying forests, depleted aquifers, and crop failures?Report

    • Avatar Urusigh in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      If you’re asking if the costs of climate related damage has been compared to climate change prevention costs to try finding the optimal balance, the answer seems to be “yes”.

      According to Cambridge climate economist Chris Hope’s model, the economically optimal peak atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is around 500 ppm, with a peak global surface warming of about 3°C above pre-industrial temperatures (about 2°C warmer than present). In his book The Climate Casino, Yale economist William Nordhaus notes that he has arrived at a similar conclusion in his modeling research. To limit global warming to that level would require major efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but as the IPCC report on mitigation noted, that would only slow the global economic growth rate from about 2.3% per year to about 2.24% per year. According to these economic models, this slowed economic growth rate would be more than offset by the savings from avoiding climate damages above 3°C global warming.

      So, plans that cost more than 0.06 global growth rate are sub-optimal. That leaves a serious debate about how that global pie gets split between individual nations and much of the green radicals think the US should take on more than a proportionate share, but it does seem to indicate that a complete overhaul of capitalism is unnecessary. CAVEAT: These figures predate COVID-19, so our rather unprecedented pause on economic activity is likely going to impact those models in unpredicted waysReport

  13. Avatar Rufus F.
    Ignored
    says:

    It occurs to me that maybe there is no political solution to this problem. Environmental issues are inescapably multicausal problems. It’s hard to think of a large problem that isn’t multicausal, but this one is almost an exemplar. The reason political ideologies don’t work is they insist on believing that multicausal problems have singular multicausal solutions, which they don’t. Eventually, their adherents prioritize preserving their respective ideology over solving the problem. As in this case. It might be a matter of tens of millions of small, practical solutions made by non-ideologues. Or, maybe, it’s unsolvable in a mass society. But, I tend to think no problem is completely unsolvable.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *