Harsh Your Mellow Monday: Distant Sounds of Inevitability Edition

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Andrew Donaldson

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

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  1. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    Re: Generations:
    Even when Trump is gone, we will still have around 60 million American voters who think this was just exactly what they want.
    And history has shown us that the party that represents these people, has no qualms about a “rule or ruin” strategy where they are committed to destroying whatever organs or institutions which oppose them.

    So we can expect maximum obstruction and subversion at every level.

    What would be the biggest mistake the Biden administration could do is treat this revolutionary party like a normal party which abides by the customs and norms of American culture. We need some sort of truth and reconciliation mechanism, and investigations and prosecutions of the corruption and lawlessness.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Chip Daniels
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      That hard-learned lesson from the Obama years seems likely to be well within Biden’s ken. He worked for years in the Senate, saw what they did to Obama and how they did it, and is good at inside baseball. He knows the measure of his adversaries.Report

  2. Avatar Kazzy
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    “ And by least risky, we don’t mean the virus; we mean to the politicians and leaders who are deathly afraid of the blow back from making the wrong decisions.”

    This infuriates me. Blowback comes with the territory. Asking others to bear costs so you don’t have to is a complete abdication of leadership.

    Whatever the calculus is for the re-opening of schools, it’s a shame that “How will this go FOR ME?” is any part of the formula for elected officials.

    You don’t get to lead only in good times. Do what is right for the people who elected you to serve, not for yourself.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Kazzy
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      I’ve been thinking that the situation really highlights the challenge this presents to our federal system. With school systems being run at the local level I think we’d have problems even if there was competence at the very top. You’ve got huge variation in resources and circumstances not to mention leadership capabilities. Even those jurisdictions best situated may not have people in charge capable of marshaling their advantages.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to InMD
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        I’m not quite sure I follow. My argument is that whomever is making the decision should not be factoring in the blowback they may suffer. This is too big a decision.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to Kazzy
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          I agree in principle. What I’m saying is I think that’s expecting a lot of the lowest level elected office in the land with respect to something like covid.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Kazzy
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      says:

      Given the number of guns out there, and the occasional shooting of a Congress critter or member of a state legislature, I’m willing to cut them at least a little “how will this go for me?” slack.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain
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        Given how many guns are out there, the fact that the rate of shootings of any elected official is pretty close to noise tells me they are worried about nothing. Hell, I tell cops they are being silly being worried about getting shot on the job, and they get shot at a higher rate that elected officials.Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to Kazzy
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      says:

      You know, one of my favorite movies is “The Replacements”. At one critical moment, coach Gene Hackman tells struggling QB Keanu Reeves, “Winners want the ball”. Even when it’s risky. Especially when its risky.

      I think this goes for politicians, too.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    Hoover analogies: My general view is that ideology seems to come first and above all for many people and if someone is the kind of person whose psychological self-worth/protection revolves around a particular ideology than the brain will go into overdrive to protect it. I know people who take the virus seriously but who cling hard to their libertarian ideals of voluntary compliance over the idea that maybe government might have a role in fighting the virus. IIRC a lot of social psychology research reveals that people start with their conclusions first and then look for the evidence that justifies the conclusion. Unfortunately, a lot of evidence can be manipulated depending on ideology. There is a lot of evidence that people stopped going to out in February and March, well before the stay at home orders went into effect. To the libertarian, this is a sign that shelter in place orders were not necessary. To the liberal, it is a sign that keeping open is foolish because it will produces enough spread of the disease to make it worse but not really keep businesses afloat.

    Cauldron: I disagree that officials are picking virtual school because it is the easiest outcome and they are afraid of blowback. While parents are being put between a rock and a hard place and there are equality issues, 62 percent of Americans think it is unsafe to reopen schools in the fall according to a poll I saw last week. The schools will certainly not get much help from the Trump admin.

    Speaking of crisis revealing character, this is finally a situation that Trump cannot bullshit and/or bully and/or litigate his way out of. A pandemic is a wide-spread natural event that does not care about human desire or wishes. Trump is a vastly stupid and venal person who did think that being President was akin to being a C.E.O. and governors, representatives, and Senators were no different than lickspittle regional managers or would-be regional managers. He did not realize that they had agency and/or constituents of their own.

    Inertia by election: I also disagree that Biden is winning this by inertia. He is certainly being helped by the Republican and Trumpian response to the pandemic and associated depression. Despite what I wrote in my first paragraph about ideology, I am pretty astonished that the GOP is not cynical enough to save their skins by voting for massive stimulus. By all accounts, they are committed to reducing and/or eliminating the extra 600 in unemployment insurance, largely because of President My Staff Made Me Take Multiple Tests for Dementia. Also because McConnell feels secure in his reelection chances. If McConnell felt insecure, there would be massive stimulus.

    Biden is campaigning but he is doing so in a way that treats the virus as real and serious. There is a certain tendency in pundits or people who wish to be highly paid pundits that the Democrats never know what they are doing. Any victory is a result of dumb luck. Biden has made blunders but he entered the Senate at the age of 30 and stayed until he became Veep, he knows what he is doing. Plus is personality type might be the perfect foil against Trump. It is kind of hard to call him an elitist, he has true working class bonafides and would be the first President since Reagan to attend a non-elite school for undergrad (Clinton went to Georgetown for undergrad but that is a pretty elite school). He also attended Syracuse law, not an Ivy league law school.

    On realignment: It is entirely possible that America’s thermostatic electorate takes place and Democrats do well in 2020 but do poorly in 2022. That being said, Trump was never popular and Biden does not have the disadvantages that H.R.C. had in the states that gave Trump his freak victory in 2016. I remember way back to (checks notes) 2018 when pundits and wanna be pundits were claiming that the Democrats would get their asses kicked in the polls because all the passion was with Trump voters on the right. As Speaker Kevin McCarthy can tell you….oh wait, the Speaker is Pelosi. Trump was never a popular President. His highest approval rating was always bad.

    The GOP has basically destroyed most of the support it had from moderate, suburban white women and a lot of the support it had from whites with college degrees in general. The polling did indicate that whites still supported Trump with a plurality 49 percent but this mainly comes from a boost of having the support of 57 percent of whites without college degrees. You cannot win an election by catering to whites without college degrees nationally for a long term.

    The national GOP seems determined to go the way of the California GOP. A party that would rather fly its own freak flag and be a rump party than moderate and be successful. There will always be states where this is more viable than not.Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    Dahilia Lithwick captures Trump’s vile “superpower”:

    “Mary Trump’s words there could just as easily be true for John Kelly, Kellyanne Conway, John Bolton, Mitch McConnell, Susan Collins, or Melania Trump. And as Mary Trump is quick to observe, the sheer stuck-ness of his enablers means that Trump never, ever learns his lesson. Being cosseted, lied to, defended, and puffed up means that Donald Trump knows that, “no matter what happens, no matter how much damage he leaves in his wake, he will be OK.” He fails up, in other words, because everyone around him, psychologically normal beings all, ends up so enmeshed with his delusions that they must do anything necessary to protect them. Trump’s superpower isn’t great vision or great leadership but rather that he is so tiny. Taking him on for transactional purposes may seem like not that big a deal at first, but the moment you put him in your pocket, you become his slave. It is impossible to escape his orbit without having to admit a spectacular failure in moral and strategic judgment, which almost no one can stomach. Donald Trump’s emptiness is simply a mirror of the emptiness of everyone who propped him up. It’s that reflection that becomes unendurable. This pattern, as Mary writes, “guaranteed a cascade of increasingly consequential failures that would ultimately render all of us collateral damage.” Nobody, not even Mary, who signed on briefly to ghostwrite one of his books, ends up just a little bit beholden to Donald Trump and that includes his rapturous supporters who still queue up, maskless, to look upon his greatness. As she concludes, his sociopathy “reminds me that Donald isn’t really the problem at all.” That makes hers something other than the 15th book about the fathoms-deep pathologies of Donald Trump: It is the first real reckoning with all those who ’caused the darkness.'”Report

  5. Avatar Philip H
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    RE “The Cauldron:” Given the federal troop violence in Portland, which the Administration intends to extend to Democratically controlled cities I don’t think we need to wait until October. Between that, the looming foreclosure crisis, and the unwillingness of Republicans to extend unemployment benefits to anyone unless tied to liability immunity for businesses, and a payroll tax cut designed to further undermine Earned Benefits, Republicans have decided to all but declare war on Liberal Democracy to retain power. Some judges may well try to intervene, but considering the the U.S. Marshal’s Service is part of said violence . . . . we are sliding down a slippery slope picking up speed every day.Report

  6. Avatar Dennis Sanders
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    I’m going to push back a bit on high-speed rail. I do think it works better in high-density areas, but I think the geography thing is a crock. No, I don’t think we can build high-speed rail from say New York to LA, but we can create regional networks like we already have in the Northeast. Living in the Twin Cities, I would love to take high-speed rail to Chicago which is a distance to drive, but where flying doesn’t always make sense. I think we can create high-speed rail not like the Sunrise movement wants, but in more attainable regional networks. But we have to stop thinking it is impossible. China is as big as we are and has high-speed rail so why can’t we? I wrote about a realistic high-speed rail plan last year: https://medium.com/conservative-pathways/conservatives-and-trains-part-three-8b27a40ff011Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Dennis Sanders
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      HSR has to be straight with zero crossings and dedicated right of way.

      Yes, it makes sense in dense urban areas, but the only way it happens is if those urban areas are willing to coordinate on a route and take the political heat for punching through neighborhoods, etc. Not just because of eminent domain, but HSR is LOUD, like living near an international airport ‘loud’, except it’s not just the few neighborhoods near the end of the runway along the glide path, it’s hundreds of miles of neighborhoods, most of whom won’t really reap the benefits of the HSR, since local stops kinda defeat the purpose. Even with sound barriers, it’s going to be loud. And the barriers basically mean you have giant walls cutting through the neighborhood.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        How loud is a passing hyperloop vehicle?

        There are other reasons to consider hyperloop rather than rail in the western US — weather/climate, potentially better at handling the elevation changes, ease of avoiding at-grade crossings, etc. And of course, most of the population in the American West is eight or ten large metro areas separated by long distances; 200 mph is probably not going to be fast enough.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain
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          Well now, hyperloop is a whole different critter. Hell, if we could do maglev that would change the equation quite a bit (steel wheels on steel rails will always be loud). Either should be a lot quieter that HSR (and hyperloop tubes would have insulation, wouldn’t want air density changing just because a cold front moved into an area).

          And hyperloop can, I believe, handle sharper turns than rail can, although that is still pretty relative, since anything going that fast is going to need a lot of room to turn.

          All that said, any system that serves a metro area is either going to have to run along existing transit corridors, or cut new ones. Both come with a political cost.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Dennis Sanders
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      China can just expropriate the land they need for rail right of ways and the idea of NIMBY or environmental concerns impeding a Chinese state sponsored project are probably entirely foreign to the Chinese administrative state. The US, both for very much good and a little ill, has to grapple with these constraints.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Dennis Sanders
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      Having driven Chicago/St. Paul (and even South Bend/St. Paul) dozens of times, I hear you!

      I think it’s smart to think of next gen transportation on a regional/hub basis. I suppose from my perspective the idea isn’t to adopt some technology or another, but to facilitate movement and open up multiple prospects for housing and households. High Speed Internet falls into this category too. Which is to say, facilitating easier movement between St. Paul and Chicago (can take a bus from St. Paul to the other city if needed 🙂 ) with limited stops in a few places in between is something that would be worthwhile. Airplanes are fine for a certain sort of travel, but ground transportation – if sufficiently fast – would change work/life dynamics in the US.

      It’s worth pursuing, but I’d pursue to goals, not the means.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Marchmaine
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        Another potential regional route is the extended version of the Front Range megalopolis from Albuquerque, NM to Cheyenne, WY. Practical HSR from Chicago to the West Coast is going to go through Cheyenne anyway — just like the Pony Express, the transcontinental telegraph, the transcontinental railroad, the current UP rail line, and I-80. There are enormous advantages to using the South Pass in Wyoming, which means Cheyenne.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Michael Cain
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          Yeah, if you build good regional hubs with the idea of facilitating movement and work… then a matter of connecting hubs is a secondary concern. Ironically, maybe starting in CA or BOS/WAS is the wrong place to start.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Dennis Sanders
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      I agree with this. A continent wide system of high speed rail doesn’t make much sense but it can work on a regional hub basis in the United States. Besides what North mentions, another big constraint is that local transit in many potential hub cities is lacking. You can travel along the North East corridor on Amtrack and then switch to relatively good transit systems for the United States in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. Not so much from say Miami to Orland or other Florida cities.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Dennis Sanders
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      I’ve always heard high-speed rail promoted for business travel. But that concept is probably over with. Traditional business travel wasn’t going to outlast the internet, but coronavirus may have ended the model for good. I personally think a lot of the “new normal” is going to blow over. And top-level execs are always going to want to go to conferences. But the day-to-day trudging of business travel, the visiting the suppliers and attending the regional sales meetings, that’s nobody’s idea of a perk. Tourism and product delivery are likely to remain transportation issues, but not business travel.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Pinky
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        I kind of liked having to go to different cities for immigration court and interviews, especially if the case wasn’t that hard. You got to travel, try different craft beers and nice restaurants, go to famous book stores like Powell’s etc. It could be very annoying and tiring at times but many trips were kind of fun.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Dennis Sanders
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      California’s HSR experience is instructive for a lot of reasons.

      The politics of getting it going required a promise of linking every major city in the state. The vagaries of geography and California’s size played into plotting a route that runs up the central valley, which again changes the notion of what a “major” city is. The result: the backbone trip, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, is plotted to have stops in Palmdale, Bakersfield, Tulare, Fresno, Madera, Gilroy, and San Jose along the way. In fact there are lots of people in all these cities, but if you aren’t from California and haven’t heard of all of them that’s not really a surprise.

      But it’s a long way to go. I’ve taken regular commuter rail from Palmdale to Los Angeles; that’s about an hour and a half. The track is nowhere even close to what it takes to support high speed rail – it works its way down a rather twisty and rugged canyon where the existing train is obliged to slow down to less than 20 mph, with the result that it can take between 90 minutes to two hours, depending mainly on the weather. Repeat, mutatis mutandis, for all of the peculiarities of geography up and down the state, everywhere that isn’t the flat central valley.

      The result there is that they’re basically saying “It won’t be high speed in some places,” and by “some places” you should read “everywhere that isn’t the central valley.” So it’s going to be two hours from L.A. to Palmdale, another hour from Palmdale to Bakersfield, two hours at best to work up to Gilroy, and then an hour from Gilroy to San Jose and another hour and a half from San Jose to San Francisco.

      The initial cost was estimated at about $40 billion, with a projected completion date in the early 2020’s. No one sane believed that was going to actually happen. Currently, completion of the L.A-S.F. route is projected for 2033 at a cost of just under $100 billion.

      So you’re looking at six and a half hours to commute by train from L.A. to San Francisco in 2045 or so when this thing is finally done. And you’ll likely be paying the equivalent of $400 to $500 each way to do it.

      Your alternatives with existing 2020 technology are twofold. First, you can fly from L.A. to San Francisco with an hour-long flight (plus two to three additional hours of effing around in LAX and SFO) for about $100 of base airfare. Or you could drive from L.A. to San Francisco in the same six hours the train would take (if you’re fortunate or clever enough to avoid traffic delays) for whatever the cost of gas and prorated wear and tear on your car, again probably in the range of around $100.

      Technologically and environmentally, it can be done. Eventually, and expensively. As a practical commuter option? I just don’t see a market for the eventual end product at all.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko
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        According to Alon Levy, the real big problem of California HSR was the insistence of doing it themselves rather than taking up French or Chinese offers to build the HSR system for them.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to LeeEsq
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          No, the problem was never a technical one, which would be the only reason that outsourcing it would have made sense. The problem, from day one, was political.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Burt Likko
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        I wanted California to be much more aggressive in terms of technology. Hyperloop, perhaps. It would have given them a much better chance of shoehorning into existing state and local rights-of-way, and running enough “trains” to support both express LA-to-SF as well as locals that also hit Bakersfield and Fresno and etc. Yes, there were more tech hurdles to get over. But I give you 54 billion transistors per chip and rocket boosters that do their heavy lifting then fly hundreds of miles and land themselves, products designed and built in the State of California. Bright people. An abundance of confidence.

        It’s hard to over-value the right-of-way. The places where HSR has succeeded are all places where the state has retained control over the right-of-way, and can simply announce changes in use. I’m probably biased. One of the big hurdles to ever finishing Denver’s light/commuter rail system is that the BNSF controls critical right-of-way. The land was originally given to them by the federal government. Now they’ve announced that they’re not interested in lease (not buy) terms unless they start at $7B up front and a billion per year forever. For access to 30 miles of right-of-way that carries maybe a train per day. I’m hoping that the collapse of coal-fired electricity will bankrupt them soon and the right-of-way can be purchased for pennies on those dollars.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Michael Cain
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          Hyperloop isn’t a thing, and making it be a thing will be more expensive than HSR.

          Although, I dunno. The Chinese government already subsidized the development of a major California infrastructure project; maybe they’re willing to do it twice? Learning how to fabricate large steel structures was a good return, and UGF construction is certainly a useful skill if you’re preparing for a modern strategic-scale war.Report

  7. Avatar North
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    All cogent points on the politics- though I think you give ol’ Joe short shrift: it takes certain levels of political skill and competence to see your opponent is immolating and have the discipline to stay out of his way and let him do it.

    Your cautionary on electoral majorities is well put but you are overlooking the policy side of things. This entire Trump interregnum has accomplished astonishingly little of substance in the realm of policy. If Obama’s accomplishments were an automobile then Trump’s era has pried the bumper off in front, broken the mirrors and scratched up the paint a bunch but otherwise accomplished very little lasting damage to it. There is much that will remain for a future liberal administration to build on. If that’s what we can expect from current zombie conservativism- just a pause in liberal advancement until their incompetence and incoherence lead to the election of another liberal administration that will resume advancing- that’s a mighty fine state of affairs for liberals even if no permanent electoral majority is in the offing.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to North
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      And I think that’s how it has to be. I’ve been and still am of the opinion that Biden was the best of the actual choices to beat Trump. He’s too old to pander in a way that seems threatening and too known to paint as a radical. He personifies ‘generic Democrat’ in a way no one else in the party with national prominence can. People in the Midwest can vote for him without reservation.

      I still think there’s going to be a reckoning around realignment and Biden is at best a 4 year postponement. But for this particular election and these particular circumstances there was no one better. Even his gaffes seem to bounce right off him when his opponent is typing out light speed craziness on Twitter.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to InMD
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        You and are much in agreement on this. I feel the same way about ol’ Joe though I would have loved a younger centrist. That being said the four year delay Joe offers is manna from the heaven. I would very much prefer that a knock down and drawn out fight for the direction of the Democratic Party take place without Trump being the possible beneficiary if the losing side of that fight drags the Democrats to defeat for a cycle. Maybe, maybe, a big enough loss might finally start the GOP on the road to figuring out what the fish comes next.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to North
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          We can get plenty of reallignment, which i agree is coming, at the congressional/state level. Much easier to get a wave of younger folks there to start pushing the D’s in a different direction. Let Joe be the kindly slightly risque grandfather who doesn’t spark major fears outside of the fever swamps while we a new generation of D’s. At least i hope so.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to greginak
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            Me too, but the leadership cadre is really old and under current rules when they retire their successors are only very marginally less old. So while electing a whole bunch of younger pols is great I really worry that there needs to be some kind of shake up to put some fresher blood in the leadership levels of the party. But not so much of a shake up that all the brains fall out of the organization either.Report

  8. Avatar Marchmaine
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    Only morans want unicorns; I want a Pegasus! Right-of-way issues would be significantly reduced; of course the laws of geography and demographics remain intact.

    On the demographic roll, I got this from Dreher, but David Shore’s interview on the Intelligencer is interesting. Success stalks the Democratic party in ways I don’t think folks appreciate. I’m not sure which way the Republicans go after Trump… part of me assumes establishmentarians resume control… part of me thinks we’ll see a parade of scions via Trump Jr. and the like and a period of decline until a new party kills the Whigs – see sentence #2 above. But, right now everything is clouded by Trump.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Marchmaine
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      The David Shore interview is enlightening but I still question whether ‘the educated’ is really enough to form the backbone of a coalition as he suggests could be possible. I’m not sure it is. As an educated person by his definition I’m pretty comfortable saying we have no solidarity anyway.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to InMD
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        That struck me as some of his ambivalence? That is, as the educated middle class goes Democratic, it is offset by losses elswhere; plus, the demographic gains are electorally “sub-optimal”

        “So college-educated professionals have basically become Democrats. These voters aren’t optimal for winning the Electoral College. But they have other assets as a demographic.”

        The most counter intuitive thing I found was this:

        “So if you look at Black voters trending against us [Democrats], it’s not uniform. It’s specifically young, secular Black voters who are voting more Republican than their demographic used to. And the ostensible reason for this is the weakening of the Black church, which had, for historical reasons, occupied a really central place in Black society and helped anchor African-Americans in the Democratic Party. Among Black voters, one of the biggest predictors for voting Republican is not attending church.”

        Perhaps the most interesting thing to me was his perspective as a Data/Polling guy:
        “Hey, these are things you should talk about, these are things you should avoid.”

        Ideologically motivated Staffers:
        “Let’s do X where X is one of the things the Data/Poling guys say we should avoid.”

        Politician:
        “Says X”Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Marchmaine
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      Is Pegasus supposed to be a link to something?Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Marchmaine
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          I grew up hearing stories of mythical Los Angeles to Las Vegas or Los Angeles to San Francisco commuting infrastructure that was imminently to be built, none of which required any technological innovation at all, just a right of way (along existing, well-plotted routes!) and enough capital to get the thing created.

          It’s gonna be a high speed rail. No, it’s gonna be a maglev train. Now, it’s gonna be a hyperloop.

          None of them have ever happened. They all have to compete with airplanes for ridership. With the result that the capital outlay is prohibitive compared to the reasonably projected revenue stream.

          As I write above about the planned CalRail system, it’s technologically feasible. Hyperloop offers much faster commuting times too. But the economics of it make me very skeptical indeed.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Burt Likko
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            Hey now. His Muskness has invented The Tunnel so tourists can go up and down the strip in AC electric cars in some sort of tube through the earth. That is the Future (whoooosh)Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    Hmm. I had a really long response to sum of your posts (not the Lithwick link) and it is not here. Was it eaten?Report

  10. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    I will just go for realignment. I don’t know if we are going to see theromostatic election where Democrats win big in 2020 and Republicans win big in 2022. You could very well be correct. That being said though, realignments do happen. The GOP was largely shut out of the Federal Government from 1932-1948 and largely did not control Congress for much of the 20th century especially from 1954-1980 (when it only gained the Senate, it took until 1994 to regain the House).

    The thing about demographic/horse race punditry is that it seems to follow some rules: Everything needs to be a horse race to make it seem exciting, Democrats are never to be given credit for more enthusiasm, status quo bias, and over-correction. A lot of pundits are still scared out by Trump’s freak victory and are overcorrecting for it. The thing is that Trump was always massively unpopular as a President. Certain sections of the blogosphere just want to down play this because it means giving credit to Democrats and eww Democrats have cooties.

    The GOP has gone fully double and triple down on religious fundmentalism to the point of theocracy, white supremacy, rage at the “elites” or “(((elites)))” , and uber free market economics. This in the face of a pandemic and deep economic crisis. Plus Trump is bragging about taking tests for dementia and traumatic brain injury patients more than once.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Saul Degraw
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      The Denver Post ran a story this morning about the state-level Republican party. They have been reduced to 24 of 65 seats in the Colorado House. Last month, some of the extreme members were primaried by moderates, who won. It appears that after the election, the current rather extreme minority leader will be replaced by someone who is considerably more inclined to try to moderate the Democrats rather than just ranting.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Cain
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        Colorado seems to have enough relatively moderate Republicans left where it might be successful in that state. You also have the QANON lady who won her primary though. The Californian Republican Party has been reduced to equally rump numbers and does not seem to mind.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Saul Degraw
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          The geographic distinction between where moderates can win Republican primaries against right-wing incumbents for Colorado House seats and Ms. Boebert can win a primary for a US House seat is significant. Myself, I think Ms. Boebert has made a safe Republican seat a 50/50 proposition come November. A Democrat won it in 2004 running against “Bush’s war”.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw
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      All those years of gun control arguments now look a bit different, when actual fascism comes to America.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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        Not really. I imagine that they’ll be back in full effect moments after Biden wins.

        “The police fascism *PROVES* that they’re the only ones who should have guns!”Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          Where are the Oath Keepers? Where are all the “patriots” with their arsenals who swore they would be the ones standing between citizens and jackbooted stormtroopers?
          Are they all out shooting 30-50 feral hogs or something?

          What we are seeing is that the citizens who clamor the loudest for guns will eagerly turn them on their fellow citizens instead of the government.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            Not living in Portland, I guess. They’re out in the sticks.

            Do you think that the protesters protesting should have access to guns or are you pleased that they’re not particularly armed?Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              How would that work out, exactly?

              Would the protesters vigorously brandish their weapons and the DHS officers would run away in terror, never to return?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                So you’re wondering why people aren’t doing something that you wouldn’t see the point of doing?Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                No, he;s making two points:

                1) People like the Oath Keepers, the 3%’s etc aren’t actually about protecting then nation form government tyranny, unless said tyranny is directed at them, and even then they aren’t actually using their weapons, just threatening with them.

                2)Armed protesters in the city would be met with swift, sure and deadly violence were they to be armed and engage these federal agents. Even now, unarmed moms linking arms and walking are being gassed and flash banged for their troubles. As are former Navy officers.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                From where I am sitting, I see the question as being “why are these people that we have defected against not making sacrifices to collaborate with us?”

                Which kinda answers itself.

                The government being pushed for by the CHAZ/CHOP types is a type of government that is seen as being as tyrannous (if not more tyrannous) than the tyranny of the current group of cops beating the CHAZ/CHOP types.

                So there’s nothing but downside for interacting, and, if successful, the status quo is restored and the Portland types can go back to arguing that the Oath Keepers, 3%ers, etc shouldn’t be allowed to own guns.

                I’m not seeing where the upside of collaboration would be.

                What am I not seeing?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The “Oath” that the Oathkeepers made, was to defend American citizens from tyranny.

                Not just “Americans who share my political opinions.”Report

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

                I agree that Oath Keepers have, well, sworn themselves into a corner, but there is still an issue of just not being stupid or insane. If you are very reasonably certain that taking a certain action will only result in both sides of a conflict hating on you, being Switzerland isn’t a bad call.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                If only we had an indication that the law enforcement types were populated with Scot Peterson kinda people.

                I guess you can’t count on other people dying for you.

                Now what?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Very true, LE take an oath as well, that they all seem to have forgotten…Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Now we find out what percentage of Americans are actually committed to law and order, and how many are just closet fascists.

                And by “now” I mean November 3.

                The point I am making is that unless the majority of American people, and their elected officials, and military/ LEo are actually committed to the Constitution and the rule of law, then it doesn’t matter if Joe on the street has a gun or not.

                “My gun protects me from tyranny” has always been bullshit.

                Freedom and democracy is kept by the mass of people working in concert.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Those police departments are in progressive strongholds, Chip.

                There’s a lot of clandestine support of fascism out there.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                Brandishing on your private property, that’s a bit different.

                Now pointing your gun at someone who is not an immediate threat (like the woman was doing), one could argue that is assault (I think, IIRC the definition of assault).

                And the gov weighing in like that is just stupid.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                It can be argued that that wasn’t brandishing. The crowd was trespassing, the homeowners had cause to be concerned that their property was going to be damaged. The crowd was trespassing and there was history of crowds like this being violent. They had already destroyed property (the gate). And even if it was, it could be argued that it was a reasonable response to the actions of the crowd.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                Showing that they were armed, maybe. Pointing them at people walking past? Nope, illegal as hell.

                (I see Oscar made the same point,)Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                Yep. Brandishing is merely displaying a weapon with an intent to intimidate. However, on my personal property, I can do that all day long (how else would I tell you damn kids to get off my lawn?).

                But pointing it at people who are not on your property (even if they were on private community property), that’s a no-no. You have to wait until the kids are actually on your lawn before you can tell them to get off of it.Report

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

                What exactly would it look like if Oath Keepers or 3%’s showed up to stand down federal officials like that, given how vigorously such people are reviled by those getting smacked around by the feds?

                How quickly would the narrative turn from “Fascist Secret Police assault peaceful protesters” to “Radical Militants/Gun Nuts threaten/assault/wound/kill federal agents during armed protest”, and not “Armed citizens defend peaceful protesters from out of control Trump thugs”?

                But let’s be honest here, the nation is awash with guns (so I’ve been told), if the protesters are tired of secret police, it’s not hard to get some rifles, you probably don’t even have to leave the urban growth boundary to do it.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Or just a bunch of 80% lowers and a drill press.

                Not that this line of thought makes any sense. If the people in Portland feel it’s come to that it’s up to them to take action, not random third parties.Report

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

                So as I asked, suppose some protesters get some rifles.

                Then what happens?Report

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

                Depends on how committed you are. The feds appear to be fully committed to being violent fascists. How long does this go on before the people decide to be violent revolutionaries in return?

                I honestly think the only reason it hasn’t yet is there is an election on the horizon and reasonable people are hoping the ballot box will be sufficient to end this.

                Of course, people like me aren’t exactly confident that the leftists that are currently under the boot heel will remember this should Biden win, and pressure his administration to enact changes so this can’t happen so easily again.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                The Oath Keepers are in favor of secret police, as long as they arrest the right people. Did anyone expect otherwise?

                https://oathkeepers.org/2020/07/feds-in-camo-nab-suspects-in-portland/Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Mike Schilling
                Ignored
                says:

                Honestly, not really.

                One of the reasons I never joined is because a very large percentage of Oath Keepers are…

                Wait for it…

                Cops and former cops.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      The only good thing is that Trump doesn’t have enough personnel to pull off a general coup d’etat. He needs the Armed Forces and intelligence services for this and they are sick of him. All he has is the DHS-SS. That’s scary enough but they can’t enable him to stay in power.Report

  11. Avatar Michael Cain
    Ignored
    says:

    General remark on high-speed rail — any map that shows an HSR line running west from Denver is not a serious proposal. I-70 from Denver west across the mountains to the Utah border was the most expensive per mile non-urban piece of the interstate highway system. It wasn’t finished until the 1990s. I invite anyone to drive that and then envision trying to build a rail line for 200 mph trains through that terrain.Report

  12. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Bill Kristol writes an honest piece on whether the GOP is a lost cause and admits that NeverTrumpers are now perpetual apostates: https://thebulwark.com/can-the-republican-party-be-saved/Report

  13. Avatar LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    The Democratic Party is lucky that the Republicans are so devoted to their ideology and Trump is such an incompetent reverse Midas that they can’t break from their script even if their political lives are on the line. Even Boris Johnson managed to reverse course and take Covid-19 seriously.Report

  14. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    Fifteen years later, America is a thousand Dovers, and the press response is silence. This time it’s not a few Podunk school boards under assault by junk science and crackpot theologies, but Princeton University, the New York Times, the Smithsonian, and a hundred other institutions.

    When the absurdity factor rocketed past Dover levels this week, the nation’s leading press organs barely commented, much less laughed. Doing so would have meant opening the floodgates on a story most everyone in media sees but no one is allowed to comment upon: that the political right and left in America have traded villainous cultural pathologies. Things we once despised about the right have been amplified a thousand-fold on the flip.

    Conservatives once tried to legislate what went on in your bedroom; now it’s the left that obsesses over sexual codicils, not just for the bedroom but everywhere. Right-wingers from time to time made headlines campaigning against everything from The Last Temptation of Christ to “Fuck the Police,” though we laughed at the idea that Ice Cube made cops literally unsafe, and it was understood an artist had to do something fairly ambitious, like piss on a crucifix in public, to get conservative protesters off their couches.

    Today Matt Yglesias signing a group letter with Noam Chomsky is considered threatening. Moreover a lot less than booking a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit can get you in the soup – a headline, a retweet, even likes are costing people jobs. Imagine how many movies Milos Forman would have had to make if Jerry Falwell had been able to get people fired this easily.

    An excellent piece by Matt Taibbi on how the right and left have changed places in the race to be the most fascist, totalitarian party of zealots since I was a kid in the eighties.

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-left-is-now-the-rightReport

  15. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    A question.

    I am, of course, a big fan of this.

    That said, does the local government have the ability to ask the Feds to get the hell out?

    I, personally, believe that they *SHOULD*.

    But I don’t know that they, in practice, *DO*.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      The Democrats demanded the same thing throughout the 1860’s and 1870’s, for the same reasons.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      In practice federal law enforcement agents can only be deployed to federal property and federal installations without the express consent of the local authorities. But he doesn’t care.Report

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

        No, they can also be deployed to enforce federal law. Hence ICE working in SF and other Democrat cities.

        I would think a federal employee would know that.Report

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

          CBP is only legally deployable within 100 miles of the border – a zone that Portland is within. However they are not engaged in their legally mandated mission there, in as much as they are not enforcing immigration aw by protecting the federal courthouse. Thus they can not be “off reservation” to chase people down in the streets, especially for graffiti which not a federal crime last time I checked.

          US Marshals are within their legal jurisdiction to protect the courthouse, but you will notice they claim they are not pursuing people in the streets in unmarked rental cars. Being a federal law enforcement agent only grants you the ability to cross state lines while pursuing their Congressionally granted authority. If they are moved to activities by the Administration for any reason, they either need expanded Congressional authorization or they get their lanes restricted.

          And again, DHS can’t put forth “evidence” of a federal crime in Portland, which means these folks can only stay within the federal courthouse ground based on the recent Executive Order.

          That thorough enough for you?Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            Also, the whole ‘100 mile’ rule is utter BS.Report

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

            They, as you say, have authority within 100 miles of the border. And without congressional changes, have the authority to enforce laws. As far as I know, congress hasn’t changed the mandate. I do know they are suing in regards to this, but that means it is up to a Federal judge and several periods of appeals.

            Federal law regarding the destruction of federal property, 18 USC 1361 I believe, absolutely exists and does give them the authority to act to apprehend the perpetrators. Is this worse than the Obama admin randomly killing protesters at the Malheur preserve a few years ago on the other side of the state?Report

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

              I was wondering when the Bundys were going to show up in this conversation. Took you longer then expected. It is worth reminding you that LaVoy Finicum was killed not by the feds but by Oregon Sate Police after he fled a traffic stop by the FBI who were attempting to arrest him on a federal warrant. He wasn’t oin federal property and again, it wasn’t a federal officer. But I’m sure you googled that before you spoke up, right?

              CBP has legal authority to enforce border and immigration laws within 100 miles of the border. Please explain which immigration laws they were enforcing by grabbing unarmed peaceful protesters off the streets blocks away from federal property in unmarked vehicles.

              The US Marshals Service has legal authority to protect federal courthouses and pursue federal fugitives. Please provide evidence that shows Deputy US Marshals participate din the aforementioned street sweeps and that they were apprehending known wanted federal criminals in doing so.Report

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

                40 U.S. Code 1315, that says the secretary of Homeland Security “shall protect the buildings, grounds, and property that are owned, occupied, or secured by the federal government … and the persons on the property.”

                The measure allows the secretary to deputize Homeland Security employees “in connection with the protection of” federal property. That comes from the WH press secretary. “When a federal courthouse is being lit on fire, commercial fireworks being shot at it, being shot at the officers, I think that falls pretty well within the limits” of the law, McEnany said, adding that the White House believes under the law, “agents can conduct investigations of crimes committed against federal property or federal officers.”

                Now, does that give them the ability to go after people who have broken the law? They obviously think so, Portlands mayor doesn’t think so, Oregon senator Wyden doesn’t think so, so they are suing, and now we have a court case to decide it.Report

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

                There is a huge difference between identifying and arresting specific individuals for specific acts – which DHS has authority to do as do the US Marshals for courthouses (which I have now said 3 times) – and just driving around grabbing people off the street – even if said people are let go later. The grabbing is akin to rendition, which is a favorite tactic of authoritarian dictators everywhere.

                And its a great rabbit hole you keep leading us down to distract from WHY the protesters where there in the first place and WHETHER the feds have helped restore order or incited more violence.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                The feds have the right to arrest specific people for specific crimes, provided they have either an arrest warrant or probable cause — I don’t know all the details surrounding the need for warrants versus probable cause. Perhaps one of our resident lawyers can weigh in.

                In any case, if the feds make a legitimate arrest, their next step would be an indictment in federal court. Nothing like that is happening. As far as I can tell, these aren’t legitimate arrests. No indictments are being filed. The targets are being held without being allowed to contact counsel. They’re held. They aren’t charged. Then they’re released.

                If they’ve committed a crime, the feds should be able to name that crime and present evidence. Evidently the cannot do this. The reason they cannot is they’re grabbing random people who committed no crime.

                Of course Mike would support this.Report

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

                Yes, why were they attacking the federal courthouse? Do they hate all feds? Only feds who enforce laws? Only feds when the alternate party is in charge? Or is it just an inanimate focus for rage? Dunno.

                As far as restoring order goes, I am not sure about it. I don’t think they have helped in Portland proper, but it is a federal building, we have seen what happens when those get “occupied” in Oregon, as we both elided to.Report

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

                I have a close friend who works in the federal building adjacent to the courthouse for a non-law enforcement office. Even with COVID telework policies he’s been there three or four times since the protests broke out. As recently as the end of last week. There was no lack of order during the work day – he was able to get into and out of his building with no issues. He reports that the day time protests are well attended and entirely peaceful, and that the feds in the courthouse seem uninterested in them. He saw calm returning to the city until these goons showed up.

                So no, I don’t think they have enhanced order one iota.Report

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

                Notice how some of the people they grabbed were never charged with anything. There isn’t even a paper trail of who grabbed them or why.

                The account I read was that they grabbed a guy, drove him around, held him for a few hours then let him go.

                This is not how legitimate governments handle “violent criminals.”

                This is how terrified tyrants handle political prisoners.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                For your consideration.

                (I’d also suggest you reread about the concept of the “Duty to Protect” and then re-read at least the wikipedia pages devoted to Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales and Warren v. District of Columbia and consider the implications that follow from these Supreme Court rulings.)Report

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

        I wonder why Governor Faubus didn’t explain that to President Eisenhower, who then sent in the 101st Airborne and federalized the entire Arkansas National Guard, so he could protect the rights of US citizens that were being willfully violated?Report

  16. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Talk about harshing your mellow on a Monday:

    At the end of the month, the extra $600 per week of unemployment insurance benefits put in place under the CARES Act is set to expire, which could affect some 33 million workers. In the coming weeks and months, eviction moratoriums and mortgage and student loan forbearance programs will wind down. Small businesses continue to struggle to stay afloat, and many of those that got loans have used them up already. State and local governments are still in dire need of financial assistance. These issues aren’t ones that only plague the parties that are directly affected; they also have knock-on effects across the economy. Not being able to pay rent isn’t just a problem for the tenant — it’s also a problem for the landlord.

    It’s an urgent situation, but many people in government aren’t treating it that way. We’re sleepwalking toward catastrophe.
    https://www.vox.com/21327754/coronavirus-economy-second-stimulus-unemployment-extend-congress?scrolla=5eb6d68b7fedc32c19ef33b4Report

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

      And you wonder why King Cheeto is deploying federal law enforcement to democratic cities?Report

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

        They keep trying to light the Reichtstag, but it won’t catch fire.Report

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

          /looks at ‘antifa” trying to burn down a federal courthouse, sees the irony in calling the right nazis.Report

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

            /Looks at Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch communist lighting the Reichstag fire, and sees the irony in calling the Nazis, “Nazis”.Report

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

            The guy arrested in Nashville for setting the courthouse there on fire is an ultra right white nationalist. The folks who early on talked about lighting off the court house in Portland were identified by local law enforcement as anarchists, who are not actually ANTIFA.Report

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

              Yeah, no.

              I have seen absolutely nothing that would indicate the arsonist is a “white nationalist” So unless you show something that is definitive proof of this, it falls under the same category as the 47 fires set in Portland. Antifa actions.Report

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

                well both Reddit and Twitter say he is, so he must be, right?

                That aside the actual ANTIFA folks who were there and helped organize the march that occurred that day put out multiple statements condemning the arson and pointing out he best interpretation was it was angry individuals taking advantage of the events.

                Of course, at the time, a LOT of people accused black people of attacking the courthouse until the photos emerged of the people actually doing the burning.

                But sure, its ALWAYS ANTIFA that does the bad stuff.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Evidently the police did later arrest one black dude for breaking windows at the courthouse. There is no evidence, however, that he was associated with Somers. But again, we have one dude committing vandalism. He got arrested. There isn’t much more to say.Report

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

                Yeah, that comes across as the new OK symbol, Jussie Smollet, and all the other conspiracy nonsense that has been spouted by the left in the last four years.

                Sorry, but Antifa has released documents advocating the violent overthrow of our current society, see Keith Ellison holding their book, see the websites for them. Rose City Antifa and its actions have been fairly well documented in Portland by Andy Ngo. They have been documented up and down the west coast, and I have seen the actions with myself. Who am I going to believe, you? Or my lying eyes?

                I generally think Antifa is a lot like the Hells Angels, in that 95% just want to hang out and look cool, but that other 5% can and will do some serious damage.Report

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

                Dude, how can you trust anything Ngo says? He’s a mouthpiece for Patriot Prayer. Yes, he shows up to film violence at protests, but only when it makes antifa look bad, not when it makes his buddies look bad.

                This is not objective reporting. The fact you trust him reflects poorly on you. It demonstrates you have no interest in a true account, but only one that validates your prior beliefs.

                From: https://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2019/08/26/27039560/undercover-in-patriot-prayer-insights-from-a-vancouver-democrat-whos-been-working-against-the-far-right-group-from-the-inside

                Another person he includes in the “grifter” category: Andy Ngo, a conservative writer who’s built a Twitter persona around filming fights between antifa and right-wing extremists (that, and trying to convince people that hate crime allegations raised by LGBTQ+ Portlanders are simply “hoaxes”).

                Ngo tags along with Patriot Prayer during demonstrations, hoping to catch footage of an altercation. Ben says Ngo doesn’t film Patriot Prayer protesters discussing strategies or motives. He only turns his camera on when members of antifa enter the scene.

                “There’s an understanding,” he says, “that Patriot Prayer protects him and he protects them.”

                Report

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

                I read across the political landscape, from conservatives like Ngo and Zeto to liberals like Taibbi and Yglesias, Bari Weiss to Johnathan Chait. I want to know what is going on, not what to think. I do this as NO reporter can be completely objective, and what I used to do, listen to NPR and read the NYT has proven in both cases to be complete shit.

                I get good, interesting information from Ngo even with the pinch of salt I read all journalists, and I have found that the Merc is too biased the other direction, but can be quite good in some cases. But as far as that article is concerned, I agree with Reason Magazine when they state that the video doesn’t support any of their insinuations.
                https://reason.com/2019/09/03/andy-ngo-video-antifa-patriot-prayer-attack-media/Report

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

                So wait, unless we prove 100% that he is fash, then you’ll insist 100% that he is antifa? That seems like strange reasoning. Given that, I have to question your commitment to evidence and reason.

                It is possible to say we don’t know what his motives and associations might be.

                I guess this photo is of him and his buddies: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EZbb_sNXQAAzzbF?format=jpg&name=900×900

                Of course that proves nothing. Just three white dudes.

                All the same, if I saw those guys at a protest, I would be suspicious of them. I would keep my distance. Why? Because I know what protestors tend to look like. I know how they dress. I know the kinds of people they tend to hang out with.

                Does this prove anything? Of course not. However, the same applies to you. You want to say this is “antifa violence” (your words). Well, put up or shut up. Why do you think this guy is associated with antifa? Do you have any evidence of that? Literally anyone can show up to a protest.Report

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

                What is being left unspoken, and the reason I referenced the Reichstag fire, is the assumption that a single act is sufficient cause to attack an entire group.

                History says that the Reichstag fire may in fact have been set deliberately by a Communist;
                And this fire may in fact be set by a left wing anti-fascist.

                But in both cases, there is no causus belli against their respective groups.

                There is no evidence of coordinated or conspiracy or even any sort of organization at all among antifa or anti-DHS protesters.

                But there is plenty of evidence of coordination among federal agencies to provoke and instigate violence.Report

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

                Exactly. The feds and the cops have been caught on camera instigating violence again and again, with very little oversight or accountability. This seems far worse than a few random jerks engaging in vandalism.

                As I’ve said before, it’s pretty easy to distinguish libertarians who actually oppose state violence and those who just want cover for right-wing violence. Thus it has always been.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                And you know, this is why I’m suspicious of EVERYONE’S claims. Maybe if we actually had a press that valued truth and accuracy in reporting…….but we don’t. Welp…bed’s made.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                Much of the press is still committed to truth and accuracy in reporting. And much of the press goes to great lengths to draw clear lines between reporting and opining.

                Fox doesn’t OAN doesn’t. Breitbart doesn’t. And sadly they are no longer outliers in terms of eyeballs.

                But lots of reporting is quite factual, especially when its by the local press about their own communities.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I think my local tv is more factual…I won’t agree about the local newspaper. There’s clear evidence of many newspapers and tv news outlets having an open bias. As I’ve said before, I have no objection to bias, as long as people actual admit their bias and not try to hide it as “honest journalism”.Report

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

                How did the right-wing get dragged into this? Officer Chauvin was a Democrat, who worked for a Democrat, who answered to a 100% Democrat city council, with a Democrat mayor. The violence is all happening in liberal cities run by Democrats.

                If anything, it’s more like a slave revolt, and Republicans are, at most, just reading about it in the papers.Report

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

                And you know he’s a Democrat how exactly?Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Democrats have glowing spines during sex.Report

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

                Note, as a leftie socdem, my spine doesn’t glow. Instead I emit a series of high pitched chirping noises.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                We’re still waiting for the sooper secret new tape of the Floyd murder that was going to blow the entire murder case showing it was all a big nothing burger. Is it coming out any minute now? Two weeks? Is trump wishing Maxwell best wishes the secret to release the tape? That’s it!!!!! That was the signal. We’ll be seeing new recordings of it any second now and Chauvin will be released. And to think we heard it all hear first.Report

  17. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Seen around Twitter:

    History will show when tyranny came to the streets of America, the 3%, militiamen and gun nuts who like to dress up as GI Joe in tacticool were nowhere to be seen.

    But a bunch of moms dressed in yellow with bicycle helmets on stood tall.

    https://twitter.com/taffygeek/status/1285549994427252737Report

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

      Those moms are all high ranking members of antifa. In fact, to join the “Mom Corps,” each woman needs to have personally done one of three things:

      1. stabbed or shot a member of the Hammer Skin Nation

      2. Burned a federal building to the ground

      3. Given a wedgie to an annoying creeper at a nightclub.

      Most opt for #1, as the member of the elite Mom Corps are some true badasses. They also excel at espionage, computer hacking, and baking cookies.

      Anyway, don’t them fool you. These women are true subversives of the most alarming sort.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d
        Ignored
        says:

        How good are those cookies? I’ll stab a fecker for some good fresh baked cookies.Report

        • Avatar veronica d in reply to Oscar Gordon
          Ignored
          says:

          They’re anarchist cookies, meaning each cookie is different. Each is encouraged to explore its own path to cookie excellence. Thus, eating one of these cookies is a unique experience, a surprise, a radical change of outlook.

          Plus, cinnamon.Report

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

            By the way, if you want more uniform cookies, you can pick some up at your local Marxist-Leninist bake sale. Sadly they will only distribute cookies in exchange for grueling labor, as stipulated by the Vanguard.

            I am informed that someday the apparatus of the kitchen will melt away, much like the cheap ass margarine they use.Report

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