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AvatarComments by Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels*

On “Rebuilding from Ashes

I agree with Chip and North. This is a good analysis on theory and with reasonable solutions but the fact is that the GOP does not actually care about things like limited government and the deficit unless Democrats are in power. Plus our punditry elite is addicted to the filibuster as some kind of grand tradition but mainly because it keeps their taxes down.

On “The Perils of Impeachment

The 50-50 senate with Harris as the tiebreaker did not come into power until last week. Forcing this before then would have let Republicans hold it up in the Senate. A later trial allows for a better presentation of the evidence.


Impeaching and holding the insurrectionists accountable is fighting.


How about the perils of not impeaching? Which would be a normalizaton of political violence and an end of democracy.

A lot of people seem to think that because some Republicans stood up to Trump, because the insurrection was unsuccessful, and because Biden was sworn in on time that we are free and clear from democracy ever being threatened by an authoritarian ever again. This is wrong. The thing about coup d'etats is that they seem comical until they succeed. Napoleon III allegedly blabbed so much about his coup that he became a running joke until it succeeded.

I think it is more likely that not that several members of congress aided and abetted the insurrectionists. Among them at least Boebert (Q-Colorado), potentially Greene (Q-Georgia), Hawley, and Cruz. Last week we found out that Trump wanted to oust the acting attorney general and replace him with an obscure DOJ official in Georgia named Jeffrey Clark who was willing to overturn the results. Jeffrey Clark is long-involved in the Federalist Society. We also found out that a PA Republican Rep named Scott Kelly directed Trump's attention to Mr. Clark. The only thing that stopped this is a mass revolt from career DOJ lawyers. The Arizona Republican party decided to censure their governor, AG, and Cindy McCain for not being sufficiently pro-Trump.

I don't see how not impeaching does anything but encourage people to try more violence. There cannot be unity without accountability. Time and time again in history, it seems that people respond to failed right-wing fascist coups by quaking in fear and soft peddling on the consequences for the fascists. This does not teach them to stop.

On “Impeachment: A Briar Patch With No Rabbits

Considering the Arizona GOP just censured three Republicans for not being sufficiently pro-Trump including their governor, I think the GOP is between a rock and a hard place. I think there are other reasons to want him gone beyond electoral politics. You can think he did commit acts that deserve him being barred for office, you can find him dangerous to democratic norms.


My main point is that election results cannot be credited or blamed on one on individual but this seems to be an insidious trap in American punditry both amateur and professional. As polarized as the country is, some districts are around the edges and others are changing. Democrats picked up three former Republican suburban districts by significant margins. They lost districts that are largely rural and white but were staying in the D column for reasons of an old hand.

I just have a hard time seeing why it is hard to grasp the concept that wave elections involve a lot of wins in marginal districts that might switch frequently for a large number of reasons.

But American punditry likes to give all the blame or credit to one individual because American punditry is very lazy. Plus there are large doses of sexism in Nancy hate or hating on Democratic women in general. This week I saw a few Republicans gloating about how Bobert (nuts-Colorado) was more attractive than Pelosi and Biden’s press secretary. Never mind that voting for someone based on looks is very stupid.

During the early years of Trump, there were a few libertarians who were dismayed about their Trump curious cohort and surmised that these folks “hated liberals more than they loved liberty.” A lot of anti anti Trumpism still seems based on hating Democratic voters more than anything else. We amplify the volume of nobodies like Michael Tracey and cosplay socialists Walker Bragman because they dunk on the Democratic party because people see the Democratic party as the mean mom party. The eat your vegetables party. So much of American politics is stuck in pouty adolescent rebellion and we are not great for it.


2018 was a wave election and those involve marginal seats, some of which were likely to go back to the GOP with Trump or not. Regardless of the speaker or not. Attributing every win or loss to the Speaker is the height of green lanternism and a bad understanding of demographics and gerrymandering. But by this variant, Schumer should get credit for Democratic victories in Arizona, Georgia (x 2), and Colorado.


Jaybird, Rose Twitter represents less than 1 percent of the American populace. Biden has already rejoined WHO, rolled back Trump's anti-LBGTQA legislative actions, ended the Muslim Ban, and done many other things. He is going to be a good liberal President.

You need to get over your psychological hatred of the Democratic Party.


And now Republicans are very upset that Democrats are governing like Democrats. How dare we do something like that?


Pelosi and Schumer’s political instincts are much better than the average OTer gives them credit for.


Forbidding Trump from ever running for office again and stripping him of all his ex-President perks is a plus. No unity without accountability. Roght-wingers push the envelope of authoritarianism again and again without consequences because fearful corporate types and “very serious people” get twists in their underwear over what would happen to their taxes without Republicans being around.

Unity has to be more than asking Democrats to take one for the team again.

On “The Feast

What's odd to me about these drawings is that the women look like they are in their 50s or 60s. Most of them would have been in their 20s or 30s. The overwhelming majority. Yes, labor made people look older then but not by that much.


Taken on its own? Maybe. However, Fox is cutting one of its news hours and replacing it with another right-wing opinion show from a Trumpist lickspittle. In concert, they seem to think the lesson is to double down on being a safe space for right-wingers with grievances.

On “Biden Executive Orders: Read For Yourself

It was only slightly a year ago that people were worried that Biden would be a sop to the right and not be effective. Biden is moving at great and efficient speed to undue the worst aspects of the Trump years. I think he was always more liberal than a lot of people gave him credit for. He is also pretty firm in the Democratic middle and if that middle moves left, so does he.

All in all, the Democratic Party seems to treat this as an opportunity for another New Deal and Great Society. This is good.

On “President Biden’s Inauguration: Day One for Forty Six

Heather Mac Donald has no sense of shame:


Biden looks like he can be one of the most transformative Democratic Presidents since FDR. Maybe since FDR though LBJ is close. It does not help that he inherited the Presidency from an oil barge ramming into a dumpster fire.

On “Inauguration Day in America

How many bad faith takes can we expect to see in this next four years? A poll....

Jaybird, Black bloc and their supporters at Jacobin are about the least relevant political bodies you can imagine in the United States. Yet you seem to think they are super relevant.


Politico has an article on the burrowing of Trump officials into civil service positions. This happens every admin but Tump might have taken it to new extremes. A big issue is that some of it seems to be self-owns by Trump's lackeys. Biden can revoke the security clearance of someone like Ellis (general counsel for the NSA and former Nunes' pal) easily and make him associate counsel for traffic tickets easily.


Looks like Iran is interested in coming back to the peace table:


"Democracy has prevailed" and Trump is no longer President. This was not as peaceful a transition of power as it should have been by a long shot. But we remained firm and he is gone.


On “The Politics of Survival: Putting Yourself in a Box

yep those poor multi-millionaires and billionaires who hate paying for the safety net. Won't someone think of the billionaires? They might be able to get an extra yacht but for the taxes.

On “The Lost Art of Book Learning

When I was in law school, we had to do our first research assignment without using Lexis or Westlaw. This is the only time I have needed to do this. I agree that Wikipedia is a poor substitute for actual books written by scholars. I also like reading physical books as opposed to e-readers but there is something about keeping a certain method of doing things just because as horribly antiquated.

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