Commenter Archive

AvatarComments by Saul Degraw*

On “The Hedgehog Who Won

Overbroad, vague. Trade is not charity. We have been trading with China since Nixon. They are an incredibly large market and a huge consumer of American agricultural products.

"

More insanities:

1. What is going on with the Overstock CEO? Though he seemed to suffer from mental illness for years.

2. Trump sent out a tweet "ordering" American companies to look for alternatives to the Chinese market? Apparently saying we have lots "trillions" of dollars because of China.

Suppose Trump was not the President but just a relative? How many actions does he commit a day that would get his family looking into conservaship? But no, he is President and owning the libs must rule the land above all so no one is allowed to talk about our dementia addled President.

"

Way to prove a point George.

"

I never know what to make of the fact that by LGM standards I am a moderate or even center-right in the eyes of some posters. Meanwhile on OT, I am the second coming of Robspierre combined with Lenin.

"

Trump and the GOP are not well:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2019/08/the-national-republican-congressional-committee-is-selling-t-shirts-of-a-map-of-the-usa-that-includes-greenland

Even if this is a pure troll/scam/grift, it does not bode well for politics or discourse.

"

Are not at the center of attention anymore.

"

I don't find George amusing. I don't think he adds much to the discourse here. I refuse to suffer his foolishness gladly or gently because of aw schucks bipartisanship. People who put forth insanities and inane thoughts need to know it will not be taken easily.

On “2019 Time Capsule

That is some St.Cristopher’s level thinking. Warren or Bernie benefit the most from Biden gaffes.

"

Jill Biden said the same thing.

On “The Hedgehog Who Won

Fuck off and don’t tell me what my interests are

"

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/458135-trump-jews-that-vote-democrat-show-lack-of-knowledge-or-great

We are moving into more authoritarian shit now.

"

Also they are in districts that are turning Blue. Trump might not be a catalyst but he is an accelerant at least.

On “2019 Time Capsule

Biden or Warren will get the top spot. I think Warren has a path to victory especially because of recent Biden gaffes and announcements that he is going to a slower campaign schedule but Biden is also comfortably ahead.

I can see Biden picking a moderate white guy despite conventional wisdom stating that he needs to select a veep that is more progressive than he is.

"

You just made every liberal Democrat faint in horror.

On “The Hedgehog Who Won

My personal view is that what most GOPers decided they want most of all is white rule to varying degrees. They are seeing new generations that will be plurality if not majority minority and it freaks them out. They also fear urban rule. This is similar to the freak out had by rural Protestants in 1920 because the 1920 census showed the urban population exceeded the rural population for the first time. This lead to prohibition and suppressing reapportionment for a decade.

2018’s Democratic houseware is largely a result of the GOP finally managing to alienate a lot of college educated suburban voters especially female voters. Fox News (yes Fox News) came out with a pol last week that should scare the bejebus out of Trump and the GOP. Trump is massively unpopular and every major nominee is beating him the pols. Though Harris does this barely as of now. A bunch of GOP Texas congresscritters decided to retire because they were facing steep odds in 2020. In Texas.

I would like to take one partisan claim too. “Democrats in disarray” is a deeply held and wrong belief that needs to die in a fire. Lots of middle aged white guys seemed programmed to vote GOP and discount Democrats because that is what white guys seem programmed to do in the United States. I remember a lot of white guys predicting that the GOP would gain seats in the House in 2018 because how else could it be. Lots of white guys seem convinced that Trump is going to rocket to unassailable popularity any day now.

I think the Squad and even more moderate freshman Democrats are more disciplined and better campaigners than people give them credit for. Especially guys who grew up in the Reagan 80s

"

I think your history is slightly off. A big chunk of the 19th century to early 20th century Republican Party loved protective tariffs. They thought the tariffs promoted American industry and manufacturing (and enriched themselves). One of the earliest Republican responses to the Great Depression was to increase tariffs. This backfired. The Democrats got better and for worse (see the 1619 project) were often big supporters of free trade. This did not really change until the post war era and then not really and not for long.

On “Churches In the Hands of an Angry God

What do you mean by Christian America and non-Christian America? As far as I can tell, Christian America here is narrow casted to various Evangelical/fundamentalist strains of protestantism and ignores Roman Catholics (who represent I think something like 24 percent of the entire United States population), mainline but non-evangelical Protestant sects (Episcopalians, Quakers, Methodists, Lutherans, etc.), Orthodox churches, African-American churches, etc.

I'm Jewish but the neat little "trick" of using "Christian" to refer to Evangelicals only and generally right-leaning Evangelicals only is very annoying.

"In order to find the answer, one must see American Christianity not as a religious institution per se, but as a composition of individuals whose evaluative frameworks have been shaped by a culture irreconcilably at odds with a truly Christian moral foundation."

This is pure and absolute bullshit of the highest order.

On “Ben Shapiro Works Those Feelings

I don't think people are thinking about it that far. Maybe it is more of a prosperity gospel thing. The Good Lord Helps those that help themselves. What it is though is not Jewish. These are the eight levels of charity according to Maimonides:

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/45907/jewish/Eight-Levels-of-Charity.htm

The highest level is: "[1] The greatest level, above which there is no greater, is to support a fellow Jew by endowing him with a gift or loan, or entering into a partnership with him, or finding employment for him, in order to strengthen his hand so that he will not need to be dependent upon others . . ."

Notice that this requires the giver of charity to commit positive action. Maybe it is ultimately "anti-welfare" in the long run or scheme of things but it is certainly far from Shapiro's latest cruel rant. It also might require some sacrifice by giving someone a gift or entering into a partnership (possibly to your detriment).

"

I read that essay. I can sort of see the point but on the other hand, I think lots of people (left and right) valorize a lot of the factory jobs on the mid-20th century (but for different reasons). I remember hearing a quote from a Ford worker about how he was about to become the 51st nut, after bolting the 50th nut every day for months/years on end. Such was the monotony of factory work.

What conservatives seem to miss about such work is that it seems "manly" to them and less effete than being a barre instructor. What liberals miss about the era is that a variety of factors (which might have been historical anomalies) lead to people in such grinding or dulling work getting reasonable incomes.

So this is a weird dichotomy split.

"

I'd bet Shapiro's core audience is much older than he is.

"

I think they are true believers and expert marketers. I don't think Rush Limbaugh or Ben Shapiro are secret Democrats. There is something "sophisticated" in believing that they peddle stuff they know is false.

"

I don't know enough about Calvinism itself to say whether what Shapiro is stating here is close to real Calvinism but it is roughly in line with a kind of bastard Calvinism/puritanism. I'm old enough to remember when Bush II complimented someone for working two or three jobs. He was (deservedly in my opinion) mocked by the left for this but he was at least sincere because he was praising the person for doing what needed to be done and showing hustle.

Now it looks like we have reached a point where conservative speaker is telling people that it is their fault for needing to work more than one job without any view at broader economic factors or societal trends.

"

In 2011 or so, Ben Shapiro called American Jews who vote Democratic and/or are liberal, "bad Jews." The Jewish vote for Democratic presidential candidates is between 69-80 percent depending on the year. This is more for Congressional elections. Right now there might be 2 GOP Jewish congresscritters.

So Ben Shapiro is willing to get up there and say most of his co-religionists are "bad Jews." Pardon me if I don't give any Fs on people who attack him.

More broadly, I think this shows a deepening divide between the right and left in America. There is something very puritanical and Calvinist in Shapiro's statement which is odd because such sentiments are not found anywhere in actual Jewish philosophy. Like it or not, Shapiro has a huge following and is quite wealthy from it. This thought is reflective in a lot of the voting population and a big chunk of the rest of the population (including me!) finds it morally odious. People like Shapiro are avatars for voters at large.

On “Choose Your Own Political Narrative: Iowa State Fair Edition

I don't know if they need to be that old but there are a handful of people in the 60 plus range who remember the more working-class SF from the pre-hippie days. Some moved here in the 1950s, others are born and bred. There used to be a guy with a shop front in Noe Valley filled with GOP kitsch and a sign that proudly said "it will always be Army Street (it was renamed to honor Cesar Chavez)

*Comment archive for non-registered commenters assembled by email address as provided.