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January 06, 2020

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Sometimes comedians really get to the heart of things.

"We took ALL the accumulated knowledge of mankind, from the beginning of time to the present, and put it on a system, the internet. We made it readily available to every human on the planet...………….and the whole planet got dumber."

Thus, the problems you pose are not bound to be solved anytime soon. (sad face)

The idea that all we have to do is vote for the right guy or gal and solve all our problems is so delusional that it makes my eyes hurt just typing that inanity. Democracy is hanging by its fingertips. We are now in as grave a crisis as the Civil War but with a much worse prognosis. Democrats, for the most part, still inhabit the real world but are demoralized and impotent. Macho Republicans, on the other hand, are not only sabotaging democracy but its necessary foundations in trust, truth, and mutual tolerance. Democracy doesn't just doesn't shake off the body blows of nihilists like Trump and Giuliani, House goobers like Gosar, Gohmert, and Doug Collins, not to mention Senate cynics like McConnell, McSally, and Graham. Barring some epic landslide, the cancer will metastasize until this last best hope of mankind is dead and buried. Once again: if you voted for Trump or against Hillary Clinton, you do not get to call yourself a patriot. The kindest word for those benighted millions is "dupe".

There will be no Medicare For All, student debt forgiveness, a Green New Deal, a wealth tax, or indeed, any significant tax increase on the rich period. You'll need more than a geriatric millionaire promising a "revolution". You'll need a system that works and that system no longer exists. It died on January 20, 2017 and its corpse no longer resembles anything like a democracy. Rather, it looks something like a comatose fentanyl junkie, its body curled in a dark doorway as passers-by look the other way.

I would like to believe that earnest children will repair our social fabric with their politically correct voguing. But their smug judgments are as intolerant as any Republican racist. It's not their fault but these kids aren't soldiers so much as draft dodgers in the war against democracy. Their parents didn't teach them that you can't babysit a vital civic culture with a big-screen TV and smart phones grafted to their moonstruck faces. At some point, they need to study history and statecraft, not merely declaim opinions one might see on The View, Twitter, or Facebook.

It's late night in Portland and I can't sleep. Maybe my mood will lighten with the dawn but it's likely to be one more false hope. I'll admit I want people to care and to demonstrate that care with necessary passion. But yelling is not the same thing as caring. It's self-indulgence as is this jeremiad. Right now, I just want the nightmare to end, and at that point we can properly mourn our nation in the harsh light of a brand new day.

In 2003, we escaped Minnesota for Sun City AZ. I loved the concept of self-governance. I had spent most of my work life too close to politics as i was running a local union with about 7,500 members. I had my fill of all things political; we were simply pawns.

Sun City was far more "pure" than organized labor (said with a smile). If i saw things i didn't like, i could (and did) put my hand up and make a difference. We were built on a platform of taking ownership and it had worked beyond anyone's wildest imagination.

Now, 17 years later, i have come to understand the community is simply a microcosm of the bigger picture. Boomers are different than the greatest generation (and i am a boomer).

We no longer take any sense of pride in owning and running the community. We are simply contented to let someone, anyone else do the heavy lifting.

It is what has happened in society. Our attention spans are captured in the news channels we elect to watch. As noted above, history is meaningless, even if there are blueprints to get us back on track.

Jon, as usual, is spot on. The parties are evolving to meet the new paradigm. Ultimately we become little more than watchers as we fall further from the tenets we were founded under...which means we are lessor for it.

Soleri: "It's not their fault but these kids aren't soldiers so much as draft dodgers in the war against democracy."

Mic drop...

Maybe the world has changed. The theory that centrism is the key to winning was proven false in the last election. Obama and Clinton were centrists and couldn't hold the senate. So why is centrism key to winning the senate? If democracy is dead anyway, as Soleri writes, then why not experiment and find out if there is a new path to victory? My personal view is that climate change doesn't care about centrism and its ability to produce marginally less climate pollution. If centrism won't avoid climate catastrophe, then what's the point in "winning"?

I agree with Soleri that the American "system" is dead but it didn't happen on January 20, 2017. It has happened because of the persistent slog towards a "new system" led by extreme conservatives and libertarians. Everyone, please read DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS by Nancy MacClean to get a beginning understanding of the long chain of planned activities that has led to the undermining of the American form of democracy. Like Soleri, I am pessimistic about significant change. Furthermore, this ruminating may be a moot point when a significant part of our country and the world is under water and the rest is subject to devastating fires.

Notes from the ignorant campfire kid in the remains of the great Sonoran desert.

Of course Jon is correct and is backed up by the singing poet, Walt, aka Soleri. Actually I agree with 98 percent of Jon’s column. Particularly back when the USA like Arizona actually had folks that talked to each other. I just got back long bullshit emails from McSally and Sinema about impeachment after I asked them what they thought about Trumps actions. They just grafted a bunch of legal chit I already knew and didn’t give a hint as to their opinion of Trumps actions. Like assassinations. But then Ben Sasse didn’t get back to me at all when I called him out over his opinions on Drone murders.

I wonder if Pompeo realized he was committing suicide upon his actions. Iran put the 80 mil dog hunter bounty on Trump but logic tells me they will likely shoot one step below.

Since Soleri keeps assuming I am a purist? I must “assume” he was able to see who I checked off in the race between Clinton and Trump and other idiot upstarts for the 2016 Presidential election. Well you know what they say about the assuming chit.

I must say I have never thought of Bill Clinton as a Democrat. But then I have never thought Gosar was a Republican and still don’t. LBJ was a Democrat and Eisenhower was a Republican.

I agree with Soleri that we are in deep shit and it’s not likely to get better in a long time if ever for the USA. I understand why Walt is angry and will probably remain so.

In support of Jon and Soleri, I offer you Ted Rall. The tsunami is coming. Lefties have a choice: get washed away, or grab a surfboard. https://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_ted_rall/the_splitting_up_of_the_democratic_party

The planet was in fairly decent shape up until the “advent of agriculture” and the ability to congregate in one place on top of our own diseased shit pile.
Animals seem to thrive better absent the presence of humanoids.
https://www.treehugger.com/animals/wildlife-thriving-fukushima-evacuation-zones.html

The Purists https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/1/7/21002895/bernie-sanders-2020-electability

Time to go for a walk in the desert.

And then there's this (I believe it was on Jon's front pages previously but it still fits.)
Apocalypse Becomes the New Normal
.https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/02/opinion/climate-change-australia.html

”...“Yeah, but only a centrist Democrat can defeat Trump in 2020!” goes the inevitable refrain from people who believe this because “centrist” Democrats told them so. The actual truth is that those in charge of the party want to remain in charge of the party, which means they will keep on doing what demonstrably hasn’t worked because it works just well enough for them to be able to hang on to their jobs.

“...The “I can win!” argument from “centrist” Establishment candidates like Joe Biden failed spectacularly in 2016. It is easy to blame Hillary Clinton for losing to the worst presidential candidate in modern history, but the fact is the Democratic Party lost that election because its nominee peddled a message that was burdened by the party’s shabby record. People stayed home on Election Day because of that as much as anything else, and if that same shabby message is the Democratic Party hood ornament for “Whoever/Whoever 2020,” people will stay home again.

“Right now, more than ever, people want to hear new and innovative ideas about [...] many other projects that have stagnated in our current right/far right political status quo. This is not a moment for threadbare timidity, but for bold moves in a better direction.
These Establishment Democrats remain groomsmen and bridesmaids at the unholy union between Republican Party greed and Democratic Party fears.

“...The people, by and large, are hip to the jive now. Attempting to sell them more of the same old incrementalist GOP-lite retread ideas is a bland recipe for chicken-fried defeat.

[...]

“One must bore through miles of rhetorical sediment to plant this core seed of truth within the minds of many who have been trained from birth to believe capitalism and democracy are one and the same, but it can be done. ...that seed has penetrated and begun, at last, to germinate. Establishment Democrats have not yet gotten the message, but the mass of Americans desperate for new ideas and relief from the old ones will not wait forever for them to figure it out.”

https://truthout.org/articles/the-era-of-centrist-establishment-democrats-is-over/

I, like Cal, agree with 98% of what Jon has quoted from Kwak’s book (I haven’t read it.)

The case that I make, which William Rivers Pitt only alludes to in the article I’ve excerpted above, is that Trump won because of frustration with the so-called “centrist” status quo, and so a sufficient portion of the voters elected a middle-finger to office.

They’re going to do it again. The only question is... will it be Trump again, or will it be a leftist middle-finger? Which do you prefer?

And Joe Biden is no middle-finger.

Pitt: “The actual truth is that those in charge of the [Democratic] party want to remain in charge of the party...”

Ah, “centrism.” Who are the purists now?

Ex Phoenix Planner wants to know what's so great about centrism and here's my answer: nothing except the alternatives are so horrible that they're not alternatives at all, just capitulations to an ugly mob. The mob on the right is truly terrifying, an eerie echo of central Europe in the 1930s. The much smaller mob on the left is a compound of youthful naivete and delusional posturing. In their daydream of governance, you don't need a center at all. Rather, the small minority that worships at the Church of St Bernie or St Liz will carry the day with their all-too obvious virtue and refusal to compromise. Therein lies the problem: most Americans are risk-averse and allergic to challenge. They vote for the known quanitity rather than the bold messiah. In a general election opposite Trump, they would be crushed, along with whatever remains of our democracy.

Democracy has been under attack from the right since Nixon. The Culture War is its main weapon and racial animus its primary emotional grievance. You don't create a strong social democracy given all that. If you're patient, you might eventually repair the deep damage to this nation's soul as people learn to understand and forgive one another. But Republicans are ready to fight back with every Fox News-inspired innuendo and false equivalence it can muster. Did eight years of Barack Obama, an extraordinarily decent political actor and leader, soften the right's toxic demonization of the emerging new America? We found out when Trump crushed the more genteel purveyors of cultural reaction on the right and proved there is no bottom to America's descent into madness. America wanted a disrupter and got one, good and hard.

If we lived in a plebiscatory democracy, I would probably vote for every bold proposal Bernie and Liz advocated. But we don't, which means we live within a Constitutional straitjacket that checks our bold initiatives and ruthlessly frustrates them. This is why politics is such a tough slog in America. The very framework of our governance intends to frustrate the will of the people. If you want bold change, big dreams, etc., you not only have to win, you have to conquer.

Republicans and their Federalist legal poodles are unapologetic. They would rather end democracy altogether before ceding control to people they regard as illegitimate. The few truthtellers among them - the Never Trumpers - have more or less abandoned the party entirely. There is no status quo ante where decent Republicans trek to the Oval Office to tell the president he's gone too far. That's over. White nationalism is a proto-fascist movement that would sooner destroy America than relinquish it.

We got very close to winning in 2016, which is why I'm still gnashing my teeth at every left-wing betrayer of the only coalition that could midwife America's transformation. Yes, it's too slow. Yes, climate change will likely be a test too severe for even a functional democracy. But the alternative is an unspeakable crime as we see each day we wake up. Centrism, ultimately, is getting enough people on board so our legitimacy is a given. Change is the ordeal we would gladly endure if we could see one another as American brothers and sisters. Republicans know that, of course, which is why they want to you to see Democrats instead of themselves as your real enemy.

Not as Poetic but Well Said!

So who can beat Trump from the center, Biden? The geriatric millionaire who will call for push up contests instead of a revolution? Buttigieg - the mayor of a town smaller than Surprise, AZ? Michael Bennett - the 2020 equivalent of, yawn, Chris Dodd?

Biden is too old but he gets something that eludes many on the left: democracy depends ultimately on bipartisanship and compromise. The zealots on the fringes, left and right, seem to think they can win a war - or revolution - which means they think democracy itself isn't worth rescuing. While anyone the Democrats put up will be infinitely better than Trump we're still duty-bound to make democracy work. Ideally, if the victory were big enough, it would shock Republicans into a reappraisal of their post-truth rhetoric and nihilism. Biden embodies that hope better than anyone. Toxic bravado where we stomp the other side into the dust is guaranteed to result in a civic catastrophe, be it authoritarianism or a even a military coup. Time to step back from apocalyptic scenarios.

Apocalyptic? But Trump's zealot evangelistic base think he was elected by god to wipe out secularism and bring about the second coming.
So maybe you end up with a Bloomberg/Warren ticket?

Bombs away in Iraq! Iran responds.
Note regardless of Sunni or Shia, the Mohammed plan is drag the The USA into a quagmire resource eating, human casualty unwinnable war. And Trump aint Ghengis Kahn.

Cal, the average "evangelical" is a fraud. Anyone who supports a sleazeball like Trump doesn't take morality and religion seriously, or for that matter, compassion, gratitude, and kindness, and humility. Whenever I see a picture of those birdbrains laying their hands on Trump's KFC-fed body, I want to scream Happy Holidays at a Baptist church.

Yep!

Then again:
You might ask, what you know?
Well aint my name Calvin?
Mom dropped the John part.

The Biblical Basis for War

Donald Trump and Bill Barr Are Setting a Religious War Trap

Barr was only one of three religious warriors with things to say this past weekend. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a similarly sectarian speech Friday at the American Association of Christian Counselors’ World Conference in Tennessee.

Not to be outdone, President Donald Trump himself spoke Saturday at the Value Voters Summit, where he managed to make Barr’s comments sound rather temperate.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/donald-trump-bill-barr-setting-religious-war-trap.html

and: Congressman Matt Shea
"Biblical Basis for War" manifesto

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Shea#%22Biblical_Basis_for_War%22_manifesto

PS I left home at 14 as this looked like where I was headed.
https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ACYBGNR6xKKXTzH74AwORvlWaQt9I2-BTA:1578456702560&q=Calvin+University+calvinist&stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAFWQz07CMBzHM40JDmIIJh4wMQsnT2xj8mceTAgSQ0QSA4bgpRmlG5XSQVu2zMfgETz7IvIAHj148w0MJweuGG-fb_v59ds2dVY41Ke6UfLYk_uYgw4JMMVcaNAnBHmIr5Ttvjk0aSXhrZuwZUMIJVvRsyEd23VHO4dO5isltWXXJlKpuUOpm4BM7YRtw66VE664YeAlDJlhBXI2YoQlPJyXSzN5jmWGUcJlPg6qKyWte7oZVML5RVU2WGRG4sup2zZvEnDwqdyls1_fH8f56-Xr27typap9NKxTHiLGc4aq3i8QixrE4TxXULP5TLvV7YFus3nb6tycK_kj9d9KZq2c1CH02QhTTxO-1scTPEMj7Kz3cqDZ6bV6A6DtPnu5PxgLMeOXuo5oMZRu0Weevkl6O5aA74KGnABotICOwD51CMCUCywWm8TjADo-E2NQnyKGofNycPo7pT1QHMSvwSL6a_4BpVMfwv8BAAA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjaqLK4kfPmAhXiCTQIHWMQCLMQxA0wAHoECA4QCA&sxsrf=ACYBGNR6xKKXTzH74AwORvlWaQt9I2-BTA:1578456702560&biw=1128&bih=529

"And it never faced the "woke" issues of today — ones central to the left but that turn off many average Americans."

Oh man. There is so much here to unpack, but I won't. Suffice it to say that Non White Male America doesn't see our nation the same way as White Male America does.

Also, both parties worship at the alter of Capitalism. Capitalism failed in 1929 and again in 2008. In 1929, the crash set off a chain reaction that helped lead to WWII. Germany was heavily dependent on US loans at the time. Before 2008, China saw "the West" as the way to do things, run things economically. 2008 shattered that illusion and now we see that China is surpassing the US as the new economic super power of the 21st Century. Capitalism is also responsible for the majority of the destruction of our natural world. Its so bad that most of us don't even know what the natural world is around us- and we live in the middle of it and are especially sensitive to it here in the desert.

My wishlist? A democratic system for both our politics and economics. Enough of 2 parties towing the same lines, gutting and hurting America and her social services. I'll say nothing of our overseas Empire. The faster it ends, the better.

I tend to be more optimistic than most I believe our country can survive this latest turmoil. History would indicate that we can survive "Crusty the Clown".
I believe that true leaders surround themselves with competent, nay, brilliant people and let them do their jobs with minimal direction. Think: TR, FDR, DDE, Hell maybe HST.
It hurts,but, I have to admit I even miss
GW.
Keepthe Faith we Will Survive

Dont forget,
Pompeo said,
God sent Trump to save Israel
from Iran.

See Jon's Front Pages article
The Nightmare Stage of
Trumps Rule is Here.

"It is easy to blame Hillary Clinton for losing to the worst presidential candidate in modern history..."

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, the largest margin in history.

We will never know about the Electoral College because of vote suppression and Kremlin meddling, including specifically in the "firewall states."

In the Electoral College, about 70,000 votes in three states decided our fate — and that's if one accepts the count as honest.

Would Sanders have done better? Almost certainly not. But his fans will never be convinced. It's always been telling that the right-wing media machine is mostly silent on Bernie. They want him to be the nominee so they can unleash the full treatment.

Not to worry Jon. Bernie will remain a senator. However The question is will his PURIST army seek revenge and stayhome and not vote?

Pointing out that Hillary won the popular vote is like saying that your offense had more yards but less points in a football game. It's irrelevant. Just like your view that the U.S. is a center-right nation and liberals must accept that reality, the U.S. is an Electoral College system but HRC supporters keep pointing to the popular vote as if that means anything. I could list all the theories as to why Bernie would have won Michigan and Ohio and held every state that HRC won (I mean, which purple state would Bernie have lost?). But that would be just speculation.

What we do know is that centrism lost.

I like Bernie Sanders. He seems like a nice guy. The kind of fellow you could have an egg cream with, and maybe a pastrami on rye, too.

I like some of his policy proposals, too.

Unfortunately, he has absolutely no record of proposing any substantive legislation that became law--perhaps because until 2015 he was a lone wolf, who conveniently rebranded himself to run as a Democrat

And as much as "the kids" may like his brand of socialism lite, it still scares the hell out of many of the "centrists", who tend to vote more than our feckless youth. This fear is not based in logic, and is therefore difficult to argue against.

So, I find the idea of Bernie winning a nationwide election somewhat unsupportable.

If Bernie wins the nomination the current white supremist GOP and thier zombie followers will have all knives out.
They will conduct the dirtest election campaign in history.
They will paint Sanders as a addled communist Jew.
They will say he is more dangerous than Leon Trotsky. And must surley be axed.

Then Trump in a victory parade will declare himself, Ruler for Life.
Issuing orders for McDonalds Hamburgers from his golf cart at his Miami Castle.

Well at least until Barr and Pompeo figure how to render him unto Brutes.

Oops, Brutus.

Note: Paul Wolfowitz and Karl Rove are still among the living and speaking up for another war. (Per the Washington Post). 2020 is going to be nuttier with these guys still in the picture. And with John Bolton the insane deconstructionist now wanting to have 15 mintues of fame (more likely a two hour rant)telling us that the guy who fired him has made ammends via drone assassination.

I have a list of the guys Eldon Musk can invite for the next rocket ship to Mars. Besides the obvious American candidates we should save a seat for Trumps lovefest Korean pal, Rocket Man.

This doesn't happen for me often but my hats off to Senator Lee of Utah. Waiting for Trumps response.

And Jon's Front Pages has good article on Impeachment False Swearing.

Tonight, Extra mesquite for the desert campfire

It's 1856 All Over Again:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/opinion/1856-election-2020.html

What are lessons for 2020? Expect a terrifying year. What drives Americans to extremes is not losing an election but the fear of losing for all time. As Democrats and progressives count on an evermore diverse population to ensure victory, some of President Trump’s supporters foresee permanent defeat. Fox News stokes dread of demographic change with repeated images of migrants climbing fences. The president told supporters as a candidate in 2016 that he was their “last chance” to save the country.

Thanks for the article, here's a sentence relevant to this conversation:

"Republicans did not actually favor abolition, which was considered an extreme position; they merely wanted to block slavery from spreading into newly opened territories of the West."

Centrism doesn't age well.

Extremism never ages well, which is why the wholesale makeover - Reconstruction - of the South failed. We can in our infinitely self-flattering ways find the "reasons" and then work our way back to the ideological errors of others not tutored in our airless intellectual constructs. We live and learn but it's hard to do in real time because people disagree about almost everything. Unless you plan to shoot your way out of every impasse, you do the next best thing which is barter and compromise since short of war that's the best we can do.

Centrism is not an ideology so much as a practice to keep talking, finding common ground, and maintaining the system that provides those salubrious benefits. It's imperfect because we are imperfect. Still, what would your alternative be? Civil War? American history is not a fairy tale. Clearly, people are a work in progress, but if we're approaching a brick wall at a high rate of speed, I'd still suggest tapping on the brakes. The "woke" left needs to understand the consequences of our mutual failure will be counted in lost lives not lost elections. We are so far from the daydream of democratic socialism that it's no longer a matter of when but a long series of ifs punctuated by bitter tears.

"Centrism is not an ideology so much as a practice to keep talking, finding common ground, and maintaining the system that provides those salubrious benefits. It's imperfect because we are imperfect. Still, what would your alternative be? Civil War?"

I like that, but then I'm a centrist.

Lots of Rs and Is would vote for Biden or Klobuchar if Trump is the alternative. Far fewer would vote for Sanders or Warren. I'd like to start by getting rid of a guy who has been undercutting our most fundamental institutions from the outset. If that succeeds, we can get more ambitious in subsequent elections.

El kabong. I dont recall if you said you wanted to do coffee with a few of us.
And anyone else at 1100 Sunday?

Jon, glad to see the Treehugger article in the Front Pages
Interesting piece on housing density and efficiency.

Pompeo's god (and Pence) providing cover for murder.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/pompeo-fight-battles-rapture/

Some great posts in this thread, friends!

Soleri said, "The few truthtellers among them - the Never Trumpers - have more or less abandoned the party entirely. There is no status quo ante where decent Republicans trek to the Oval Office to tell the president he's gone too far. That's over."

There are still some Never Trumpers out here in the conservative Christian world, clinging on to the political discourse by our fingernails, but we do often feel like a maligned and marginalized group even amongst our "own kind."

So, in my little corner of the political world, we are deeply interested to see where the GOP goes once Trump is out of office, whenever that may be. I hope the party will do many things differently then, but if he wins again, it will be exponentially less likely that politicians will want to pivot away from the way he's done things. Politicians play to win and if something wins, they'll play that way.

I also meant to mention that I liked Jon's post a lot. Much good food for thought. I use the phrase "magical thinking" fairly frequently so I liked the headline in especial.

Couldn't agree more Mark, both this column and the responses are exceptional. As depressing as the country is these days, i read some of the comments and it gives me hope.

Oddly, my favorite people these days are the "never-trumpers." They have stayed true to their ideologies and present a sense of something more than just "winning." Jon's point early on appeared to be the democrats starting with Clinton moved away from their ideologies.

My dream is one day we all will embrace Hubert Humphrey's quote; “The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in shadows of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.”

Unfortunately, I'm not sure i will live long enough to see it.

I spent part of this weekend watching Howard Stern's two hour interview with Hillary Clinton from month ago. It was a friendly conversation with no gotcha questions and Hillary was at her best: warm, funny, quite honest, and perceptive. It's maddening to think people "hate" her since she's quite likeable and has no noticeable character flaws like Mad King Donald. Yet somehow, 30 plus years of right-wing smears on her did their job and she was as hated as much as a man with utterly no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Give this a look: she doesn't spend a moment insulting, demeaning, lying, or self-pitying. You might think she was your favorite teacher or a kind next-door neighbor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kHUA-Zma1U&t=19s

Hmmm, SoleriA ?

Today from 1100 to 1400 Roger of 83 years in Arizona presided over coffee with other posters on this blog, Jerry, Petro, Joe and Cal. Roger's family has been in Arizona since 1920. All of us have been in Arizona for at least 40 years. Missing were other natives from previous meets.
However a good time was had by all.

Good article by Rogue. I tend to agree with him and Soleri that moderation, compromise and disparate coalitions are the necessary ingredients to government accomplishment. Those that know my posts know I differ greatly in worldview from Rogue and most of the posters here, but I enjoy reading and sometimes commenting because the folks here are generally thoughtful and civil. That's a rare thing in political forums. A couple of thoughts.

If the desire is to foster politics where compromise can happen, the climate issue which was mentioned a few times here, can work against that. It is often called the "existential threat" and if that is true, how can that be compromised on? If one believes the threat, only drastic solutions will do. However, getting a majority to agree to the type of ideas in something like the Green New Deal would be virtually impossible. At least half the country is going to see the party proposing such drastic steps as the "existential threat".

Since this is an article about Democratic politics, there has understandably been a lot of Trump ire expressed. That's totally fine in a place like this, of course, but I'll put a little counterweight out there. I'm not a Trump lover, but I'm also not a Trump hater. I'm not a fan at all of the Rhetorical Trump, but as a right-of-center type, I often appreciate the Administrative Trump. And every time I start feeling down on him, he goes and does something thoroughly Presidential, most recently in authorizing the attack on Qasem Soleimani. He practically earned reelection based solely on that, in my opinion.

Yep, Trump just earned his Knights Templar badge. But does he understand Barr and Pompeo's biblical Wars beliefs and the deal on Rapture?
Any guesses on who will be the first US citizen driving down a DC boulevard that gets droned by a foreign country?

Cal, given the hundreds of thousands of innocents killed from the naked invasion of Iraq by America, among other US inspired slaughters, there are quite a few choices for a foreign country to be "thoroughly Presidential". Putin is also very well experienced in acting "presidential" and could provide covert technical assistance to assist another foreign country in taking "thoroughly presidential" action against US officials. Drawing the US into another trillion dollar military adventure would suit Putin just fine. Barr, Pompeo and Pence would be all in and apparently from a comment posted above you can still fool a lot of Americans all of the time.

Jon1790, I wouldn't mind a right-of-center Republican as long as he respected the norms of democracy, the rule of law, and basic truth. Trump not only fails here, he does so flagrantly and shamelessly. When you minimize these necessities as somehow stylistic and extraneous to results you like, you're not understanding what makes our system possible in the first place. Self-governance doesn't work when you have a president dividing Americans against one another. It doesn't work when a president just invents "facts" to justify an assassination of a terrorist/foreign leader. It doesn't work when the president behaves like a mob boss trying to shake down a foreign ally for a "favor". Yes, he's your lovable scamp who drives libs like me crazy but he's much worse than a crude 'n lewd disrupter of our civic classroom. He's destroying what makes democracy possible in a diverse nation such as ours. Yes, he's a great president for that part of America that doesn't read and prefers propaganda to journalism. But Republicans alone are not America. You're part of America, as are all of us. This means we have to take care of the system that sustains us. Right now, your side is just peeing in our collective reservoir.

"How i learned to stop worrying and loved the bomb."


Cal, granted the turnabout factor could be worrisome, but do you think the Iranians up to this point over the last 40 years have been restrained by norms or precedent? If they could take out a high American official, don't you think they would have done it if they could, but for fear of the consequences? Are they more afraid of those consequences now than they were under previous presidents? I tend to think so.

Soleri, I'm not sure what invented facts you're referring to. There are more than enough verified non-invented facts to justify the action.

It's true that people who support the administration's policies tend to minimize the president's verbal adventures. I suppose it's natural. But likewise people who can't stand the policy take quite easily to hating the source of the policy. Trump makes it easy to hate him. Conservatives hated Obama and Hillary, and Trump is way easier to hate.

If conservatives like to downplay his rhetoric, liberals like to overblow it. He's not just the bombastic and sometimes uncouth politician we disagree with, he's a threat to democracy. Is he more of a threat to democracy than the impassioned house members who want to undo an election and remove a president for treason, bribery and other high crimes without specifying any actual crimes in their articles? More of a threat than 2 1/2 years of aggressive hyperventilating about Russian collusion that was apparently contrived on the left, and then furthered by some seriously disturbing FBI misconduct? More of a threat than people like Stacy Abrams who refuse to see their defeat as legitimate and blame it on racism? Personally I think the identity politics is one of the biggest threats to health of our republic out there.

Referring to journalism you don't like as propaganda is a slam that cuts both ways, as well. When it comes to propaganda, many conservatives consider the kings of that to be the mainstream media, or as it's sometimes called, the public relations arm of the Democratic party. Personally, I wouldn't go so far as to call all MM propaganda, but many of the most prominent outlets like CNN and Washington Post seem about as partisan as can be.

Jon 7190. There are lots of Foreign countries. Regardless of how bad a person Qasem Soleimani, I think it was a long term tactical mistake. But likely will pickup more votes for Trump. The US keeps doing stuff that keeps the bad guys, "Ayatollahs" in power with Russian, China, Syrian and other countries support. But then maybe Trump is a Khan reincarnated.
Quien sabe

Leaked Iranian files interesting but not suprising. The US made lots of wrong moves. Bernie was a wise guy.

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