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July 26, 2021

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The collapse of the Republican Party into an authoritarian personality cult is a byproduct of racial and cultural anxiety. We saw early signs of this when Nixon was president. There were still, back in that day, Republicans of good conscience and the republic survived. Today, the party is a reflection of the right's digital and electronic media, which promote conspiracy theories and an all-out culture war. It isn't an accident that the Gingrich Revolution and Fox News debuted on the national scene at the same time. The rage and revulsion of America's "left behind" have been curated by political cynics where "reality" is now what enhances that rage. It's all fair game now, from mask mandates and vaccines to disappointing election results.

With nearly half this nation checked out of consensus reality, democracy is likely to fail sooner rather than later. There is only so much flexibility we can demand of our fellow citizens when multiculturalism is more a matter of minority pride than any coherent national identity. We all live in digital and demographic tribes now, where the "other" is not merely wrong but potentially an enemy. You could call this the balkanization of the national soul.

Political extremism reflects a collapse of our shared reality. Where I live, I see the constant temptation not to blur distinctions for the sake of a broad-based unity but to sharpen them in an effort to turn its citizens into warriors. This is as true among illiberal leftists as it is the white nationalists. Provocations are the rule of the day where any perceived difference can become an irreversible forward ratcheting of identitarian antagonism. This is what underpins our retreat from democracy.

We are probably the world's greatest multicultural democracy but India was the largest. Its retreat into authoritarianism and civil violence shows what life might be like here in another 10 years or so. I wish I could be more sanguine about our future but history has never been a feel-good story. It's harsh, cruel, and unrelenting. It already seems like a lifetime ago, but I miss the Obama years. This downward lurch into chaos is our permanent nightmare.

Soleri, look on the bright side. Most of the problems facing America right now can be squared against the other side.

Multiculturalism isn't going to be the downfall of America. In fact, America's outgroups are very patriotic. Ruy Teixeira, the closest thing to a leftwing equivalent of Frank Luntz, studies voting patterns and habits of Democrats. He's started a Substack newsletter and has interesting takeaways about the recent election.

https://theliberalpatriot.substack.com/people/12224429-ruy-teixeira

Political extremism is pretty much endemic to the rightwing. Remember: Proportion is key.

The Democrats didn't become Stalinists in the way Republicans became fashoid.

The Democrats are agitating for inclusion, and these social convulsions have made the body politic's immune system stronger.

The mainstream leftwing is not in thrall to the illiberal leftwing in the way the way the GOP voter is in thrall to the Fox triumvirate of Carlson, Hannity and Ingraham.

_ucker Carlson has taken on the mantle of making white supremacy mainstream. He is also the most watched program not only on Fox, but on all of cable television.

You could bemoan that TV is the idiot box that has coarsened the culture, and cable is where the most-watched alternative would be reality TV or professional wrestling ... but those are meant to be entertainment without a pregnant political message.

Fox is earnest and sincere in its prejudices and ideology. Its viewers aren't the kind of people who go off the reservation, and if they do, it's to OAN or to far-right Facebook and YouTube.

There isn't anything close to this on the leftwing side in numbers, scale or cultural power. And leftwing positions have the grace of being tethered to reality (i.e., they can be evaluated and challenged with science, logic, observation and lived experience.)

Bobson, I agree the right is much worse than the left. They disdain not only democracy but factual reality and complexity. That said, I live in Portland, where I see the left's dark side, its thought police and intolerance. Yes, the mainstream left is much more civil but they are essily cowed into silence by the far left's intemperance. The zealots may not be truly fascist but they're definitely on the spectrum.

Here are a few of the telltale signs of their complicity with Portland's breakdown in civility and public order. In the aftermath of the George Floyd riots 15 months ago, they denied that Antifa or anyone associated with the left had any role in the widespread destruction downtown. Instead, they blamed it on the Proud Boys (a strategy employed in reverse by the Trump cult after the January 6th insurrection). Moreover, they not merely denied any responsibility for the destruction, they actively celebrated it in near-nightly riots that lasted for months afterwards. They also marched through Portland streets on several occasions demanding residents in certain neighborhoods come outside and raise their fists in solidarity with BLM. When a right-wing journalist named Andy Ngo was beaten unconscious by a mob, they accused him of faking his head injuries. Through all of this, I never heard a single mainstream lefty denounce their violence. Rather, they minimized, deflected, and temporized, an understandable strategy given the fanaticism on the far left.

Look, if Liz Cheney can denounce her side's violence, why can't we? My suspicion is that we're much better spotting the tribalism on the other side than our own.

This comes at a cost to our integrity and ability to tell ourselves hard truths. The left's cancel culture is one example that can be brutally effective in shutting down open debate and diversity in the public square. Another example would be CRT where any deviation from its precepts becomes proof of that person's racism. Intolerance is mainstreamed and valorized as a form of civic hygiene by those whose own cultural panic outweighs their liberalism.

Nothing depresses me more than witnessing excellent journalists having to mouth platitudes for fear of alienating wokesters with unwelcome truths. When they crouch in fear of a mob of childish zealots, democracy suffers for their curtailed insights. We have become less a free people than a smug tribe of sanctimonious birdbrains.

What makes this doubly frustrating is that it's going to lose us elections because we have trained ourselves to believe our own bullshit. Last year, we lost seats in the House and Biden's landslide victory in the polls was cut in half when the votes were - accurately - counted. 2022 will likely be a bloodbath where previous Democratic voters continue to migrate to a party that gleefully notes how we chronically refuse to hold certain victim groups responsible for their own failings. I know it's a cliché, but tough love demands we hold each other accountable. When we start making exceptions based on ideology and empathy, the entire enterprise of democratic self-rule begins to wither. We need to wake up to this reality because a lot of less-educated citizens already have and they vote.

Literally if the only way to vote were to do it in person on election day after verifying citizenship and identity, what would be the legal objection?

Everything beyond that default process is either a luxury or an administrative convenience. It is not the moral equivalent of 1964. People should stop pretending otherwise.

Ah, yes, "b-b-but the budget!" someone will say. The budget is not an argument. The argument is over the legal requirements to vote. Under default in-person voting, if people were left waiting in line due to inadequate budget planning, there would be (ehrm, mostly peaceful) riots in the streets. The system is self-correcting in that way. Meaning that it is far more likely that wouldn't happen. Plus with all of the savings from doing it with pen and paper instead of paying grifting government IT contractors for technology that doesn't even work, even a state like Arizona could afford it.

And speaking of those diminishing returns of added complexity, that kind of gets to the whole issue, doesn't it? There was a simple, straightforward, and yes, NEUTRAL dammit, voting process (although we are now told by some charlatans that voting in person with ID is the equivalent of Jim Crow). If that process needed anything, it would be AT MOST paid time off to vote, which most states including Arizona have. Yet, as with so much else in their lifetimes, the Boomers have taken that simple process and made it into an entrenched multi-million dollar bureaucracy and government contractor graft machine, with its own Talmudic body of statutes, regulations, policies, exceptions, work arounds, and case law. They have added a dollop of techno-narcissism (the unwarranted belief that ever-increasing technological complexity always results in greater efficiency and societal benefit) for good measure. Like Dr. Pangloss, these Boomers call this supposed achievement the best of all possible worlds. To them it is the *only* way we can have fair elections, and anyone who tries to change any part of it is a racist engaged in voter suppression.

It is obvious that the fear of changing this grotesque, laughable apparatus is directly related to its failure to deliver the aforementioned best of all possible worlds -- i.e., the project has failed, but it cannot be acknowledged to have failed. As Kunstler states:
"How did white liberals and progressives react to all that? Increasingly with shame, disappointment, consternation, and amazement that the civil rights campaign had worked out so imperfectly. Despite all their idealism, American life had not become a nirvana of equality, fraternity, and amity. In the most troubled places, the urban ghettos, the statistical markers of out-of-wedlock births, crime, drug use, failure in school were getting demonstrably worse year by year. It was embarrassing, confusing, galling to the sociology professors, the congressional staffers, the school boards, the media pundits, the arts community, the literati, the clergy . . really everybody who had hoped to right all the wrongs of history in their lifetime. . . The figments and phantoms that preoccupy “woke” revolutionaries are a product of that still-vibrant shame, disappointment, and hysteria that progressive America feels about the outcome of the long civil rights campaign."

If you are a white liberal or progressive you should really be wondering why some people are trying to get you so exercised over the arcana of self-inflicted Talmudic election law. The premise they are trying to sell you is "this is the only way you can win." Your question to them as your so-called "experts" or "leaders" should be: If what we've been doing for the past 50 years (including building this Talmudic system of election law) is working so well, WHY IN THE HELL ARE WE STILL HERE, sweating 50% +1 (against an oaf like Donald Trump, no less) instead of sitting pretty with an impenetrable majority? WHY are we still sitting here fingers crossed as 1 million+ of the worst, least-skilled, and most-dependent of the third world crosses the southern border hoping that will save us in a few cycles? That's the question they don't want to talk about, because it would mean owning up to their own policy failures. Sadly, if you ask that question, the most likely deflection you will get is of the "real communism has never been tried" variety (i.e., we've never had a real chance), which is patently ludicrous yet is the Democrats favorite excuse when they never exercise power. You hold power right now, FFS. If you had the votes you would pass that federal election law. So maybe worth asking why the votes aren't there, and thinking beyond the pat explanations about a supposed "steal".

Literally if the only way to vote were to do it in person on election day after traveling to polls by horse and buggy, what would be the objection? A luxury or an administrative convenience is not sinful or decadent, it's how life works.

Not often you find Luddites amongst the kids, who nonetheless never tire of blaming Boomers for everything, going all Greta and such. All the while being the most technologically tethered group of people on the planet with the largest carbon footprint.

When the USA was founded, the Founders codified those who could vote and run for office: white wealth males. Every other group (including white working class males) have had to fight for the right to vote and hold office. Native Americans weren't even US citizens until 1969. It would be no surprise that as demographics shift, the elites of this nation would reach out to the one group of 'allies' they keep around: the white working class.

Racism was created to keep the poor white workers and the enslaved African populations divided so they didn't rise up against the people with all the political and economic power- the slave owners. That those in power carved out extra 'rights' for the white population is proof that the system we know was built on these divides. The poor and working whites of this nation don't get material gains, they get a wink and a nod and other minor preferential treatment.

This hasn't changed a lot in the last 400 years. The issues are not something that both political parties can or will ever address. Yes, the GOP are openly fascistic. Yes the Democratic party mouths nice words but somehow, someway, they just can't quite do anything to improve things for everyone else. No, neither will actually try to fix what they've come to learn to use to keep the divides in place.

Arizona has deep systemic issues with race and class. We will see them highlighted in awful color as the water crisis intensifies just as we've seen the highlighted during the Pandemic. Mother nature does not care about the garbage that is flung around in American politics.

The Sixth Extinction

Roger's very woke comment requires more corrections than I have time. I will say that the young United States had the widest franchise of any nation on earth. Also, American Indians became U.S. citizens in 1924. Voting rights were determined by states. In Arizona that could vote by the 1940s. The last state barrier to Indian voting fell in 1957.

I'm a little late to this one and I'm not sure I'll have time for a big debate, as I've been pretty busy this month with vacation and working to make up for vacation (and dodging that crafty virus!). But I can't let this good article go without commenting, which will surprise no one.

I appreciate Rogue's recognizing the significance of these events, on that we agree. On pretty much everything else in the column, we don't. I can usually find at least a few points I can concur on in his writing, but here I'm coming up empty. Mostly I see a lot of partisan points, use of the word lie and scare quotes, but not much actual evidence for his points.

One example, Rogue says, "But some [bills] did [pass], especially those aimed at killing or limiting popular vote by mail. For example, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill that will automatically expunge any voter who doesn't cast a ballot every two years."

Yes, the law will take voters off the list to automatically receive mail-in ballots if they do not vote by mail at least once in two years. Use of the word "expunged" sounds scary, and the casual reader might think the voter is losing his registration entirely, but this is actually a measure to limit extra mail-in ballots from floating around. Suppose a voter moves without notifying the state (common), this measure would keep his mailbox from receiving ballots in perpetuity, which could be used by an unscrupulous partisan finding the ballots. If you vote in presidential elections and midterms, you will continue to receive ballots automatically. If you only vote every four years, you could vote in person on election day, during early voting or you could request a mail in ballot. Sure sounds like suppression to me! Our well-spoken and unifying President calls measures like these "Jim Crow 2.0".

Is this an example of what Rogue calls modern conservatism's and Trumpism's being "fundamentally authoritarian — radical — and rejecting the Constitution."? If so, I am grateful for the clarification, because these claims are often devoid of examples and just accepted as a given by liberals. Requiring some infrequent voters to request a mail-in ballot is obviously latter day Fascism and must be stopped at at all costs! (though AZ Dems must not be so dedicated because, in Texas, D legislators fled the state in the Plague Party Plane to keep similarly Fascist measures from being voted on.)

The national voting rights legislation that Rogue laments at least two Democratic Senators aren't willing to nuke the filibuster for is probably the most blatantly unconstitutional legislation ever passed by the House, and anything in it that isn't against the letter of the constitution is certainly against the spirit of it.

Sinema and Manchin (and maybe others privately) are smart enough to recognize that in an election that saw Dems lose house seats, get the barest majority possible in the senate and gain the White House in a close electoral victory (the results of which are questioned by close to half the country and not just Republicans), Democrats do not have a mandate to make wholesale, radical changes like a massive federal takeover of elections, among other things. Many hard partisans want to get while the getting is good, but I am glad there are at least a few moderates who don't want to blow up the country for partisan gain.

As for the Arizona audit (no scare quotes), it sure seems like it's taking forever. The recount and examination of ballots ended in late June. The month of July was spent clarifying data and buying and installing brand new ballot counters (they don't count the votes for candidates, just the number of ballots) which have been used to recount the ballots multiple times. Many readers of this blog will attribute that to incompetence or scheming. That may be, but there's another possibility. That is that the audit has revealed a difference between the number of votes certified and the number of actual ballots. The senate, knowing that any results that don't affirm the certified results will be relentlessly attacked, are reconfirming the results and doing everything they can to make the audit as unassailable as possible in a court of law and in the court of public opinion. Just a thought, what if the results show both (1)that Joe Biden got at least 10,000 less votes in Maricopa than previously counted and (2)the data they have is well-documented and reproducible and up to the standards of legally-valid evidence? I don't know what that would look like, but we should be prepared for that possibility.

Soleri,
We are completely at odds over the election and any possible redeeming values of the former President, the MAGA/America First movement and modern conservatives in general. However, I respect your willingness to confront the dark side of the modern Left. I imagine any rational person living in Portland would have to think those thoughts, but few are willing to say them and I appreciate your intellectual honesty in doing so.

Jon7190. I agree with you. You didn't throw up up much here but i do think your are smarter than Ken and Karen.
"Keep Scribbling"

If the stories under Front Pages arent enough to cause you to move to Uruguay, i most tell you there are no
Pete Granthams to save the US
from the Gools.

Jon7190, thanks for the compliment. I wish I could return it! Once both parties had decent actors who put country before party. With Donald Trump, the GOP is now a wholly-vested instrument for the exaltation of a lifelong con artist.

Democracy depends on two sane parties to function. A generation ago, we could disagree and still manage to put country before party. January 6th, sadly, has destroyed that ideal on the right and our sharp polarization is now pushing some Democrats into the same territory. See AOC and the "Squad", for example, along with those leftists who regard compromise as a gross impurity given their lofty ideals and absolute command of historical detail.

Here's the problem. If you cannot admit the possibility that you might be wrong, you are no better than a zealot. Righteousness curses your life based not on your imaginary command of sociopolitical reality but, let's be frank, wishful thinking. You are marginally well-informed, to be sure, but not to the point where you should presume to wage war against your own country because there are no shades of gray in your cognitive universe.

The one and maybe only wisdom we can hope to attain in life is humility. That's where our freedom is. Once you no longer presume to have all the answers, you're freed from the nightmare of certitude. One way of understanding this is by listening to your inner dialogue. If it's a non-stop argument about Who's Good and Who's Bad or Who's Right and Who's Wrong, there is no freedom let alone peace. Democracy fails when we chronically abuse one another with a wholly unjustified certainty about political reality.

Cal, thanks.

Soleri,
I actually agree with most of that, as I often do when you get purely philosophical. Lack of humility is a cause of many problems in our lives personally and societally, and that lacking comes out in politics in a big way. How to cultivate humility and modesty is a question that goes much deeper than what politicians to vote for.

In the context of the 2020 election audit, that is actually one of my fundamental complaints about the left. They are so dismissive of any concerns, so cocksure that there couldn't possibly have been anything majorly wrong with the election and so condescending towards anyone who thinks differently from them. They have absolute certitude (or at least pretend to) about something that is really unknowable without thorough investigation.

I am not absolutely certain about the election. Despite the late night counting stops in critical districts, the subsequent hugely lopsided vote dumps for Biden, the breaking of virtually every rule and wisdom of assessing electoral politics, the seeming mathematical and statistical impossibility of the results, the many hundreds of sworn witnesses, and dozens of other reasons to be skeptical of what happened in this very unique year, I think it's possible there wasn't enough chicanery to have swung the election. But I will never come to that conclusion without there being transparency and thorough investigation.

The certitude that Democratic and some Republican politicians state, but yet doing everything in their power to prevent access to the actual evidence makes me even more suspicious than do all the other data points. My dream is for Democrats to have the humility to say, "We are quite confident our man is legitimate, but just to make sure we are all on the same page as a country, we will work with you to go over all the data so everyone will see this election was fair and secure and if there were any problems we can work together to right them." I know, fantasy, right?! In reality, it is more like, "Our guy won, shut up with your questioning. Examining the election threatens Democracy!"

I think letting a broadly questioned election go without examining it threatens democracy, damaging the confidence of many citizens in the integrity of our system and the value of their vote. It certainly could have a chilling effect on Republican turnout. Or maybe that's part of the idea?

I will give you this. Time and distance has made me a little more circumspect about Donald Trump. I see more clearly some of his flaws and weaknesses, as well as understanding more of his accomplishments. I can better understand how you feel about him now, because I despise Joe Biden in a way that surely rivals your feelings about Trump. I dislike him much more than I ever did Obama or Clinton. Hopefully I can avoid falling into Biden Derangement Syndrome!

Jon--
Democracy Docket has the details on the myriad courts that found no evidence supporting your assumptions. To address one issue: the late surges for Biden you claim look suspicious were in states where state law prohibited early and mailed-in ballots from being counted until after polls closed. In-person votes --disproportionately cast by Republicans -- were counted and reported faster.

Jon7190, your rock-solid certitude about Trump's spurious allegations is an example of zealotry. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and you provide none. Moreover, your gullibility is laughable given Trump's pathological mendacity. Does a little light ever flicker in the recesses of your mind? Say, "this could be bullshit"?

One reason why I'm continually beating the drum about the hard left's similar zealotry is this very concern. If we can't find the courage to speak sanely about reality, we will cede the public conversation to idiots and full mooners. This is the root of my obsession about "wokeness". It's more than merely nutty. It's straight-up authoritarianism. They are absolutely right because they know in their hearts the "truth". Belief itself becomes the ultimate narcotic.

The good news is that you can easily see the left's self-delusion. Now you need to take the next step and find a clean-enough mirror so that you can see your own.

Jon7190, you said "...[I'm] dodging that crafty virus." Are you vaccinated with regard to Covid-19? If so, why? If not, why not?

No human dodges nature forever.
We all rot from something.
And Houdini ain't made it back.
HIPPA HIPPA HOORAY.
I am looking forward to my third shot and love my masks with messages
Probably because i was an Air Force medic and i am old!

Oops meant HIPAA HIPAA HOORAY

Boy, I'd really like to see a list of Trump's "accomplishments".

Other than treason, grifting from a bunch of rubes, lying incessantly, undermining our oldest alliances, cozying up to every dictator he could find, fomenting insurrection, and ignoring a pandemic, I can't think of one.

Oh, that's right, a tax cut for millionaires and billionaires.

Did I mention treason?

“Despise” (Jon 9170 said) others?

I am unable to despise the person Donald Trump as I believe it is wrong to speak badly of persons suffering from mental illness. Thus I apologize for improper remarks I may have made about anyone seeming insane.

I can’t despise the Person Joe Biden as he seems like a good guy. While at 78 he may have some mental slippage he doesn’t seem insane.

However I can despise actions and outcomes of events that these two men were a part of and played influential roles.
Biden has a history of political decisions I consider bad.
https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2019/04/joe-biden-apology-advice

Trumps history of bad decision making is still playing out in the form of January 6.
https://www.thoughtco.com/trump-scandals-4142784

The most current tragedy perpetuated on another human being as a result of actions by both Trump and Biden administrations is the outrageous prosecution of Daniel Hale and the continuing torture of Julian Assange. ( as did the Obama administration)
https://theintercept.com/2021/07/30/daniel-hale-drone-whistleblower/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=The%20Intercept%20Newsletter

Vine Deloria, Jr wrote the book “Custer Died for Your Sins.” Now the whistle blowers of today are persecuted for exposing the sins of evil men.
Can “Manunkind” be of any benefit to the planet earth as he rapidly propels to the Sixth Extinction.

“'pity this busy monster, manunkind'
pity this busy monster, manunkind,

not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
--- electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
A world of made
is not a world of born --- pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

a hopeless case if --- listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go

E. E. Cummings

Chris,
We have debated the election results here a few times, at great length, I don't know if you were here for that. There I linked all sorts of sites, including reports and master sites with branches into every aspect of election questions including a good one about the court cases (see comments on RC posts 5/6/21, 1/7/21 and 12/7/20). My list yesterday of suspicious data was as condensed as I could get it to make my point.

To summarize my point of view: no single data point is dispositive and in each debate I've made sure to emphasize there is no absolute proof to date. There could potentially be innocent explanations for most (yes, late blue swings were expected but c'mon). However, there are so many data points that call the results into question that the cumulative effect of them is impossible to dismiss unless one is predisposed to dismiss them. Ask yourself if all the exact same facts were flipped 180 degrees and Trump won under a cloud of questions, what would your position be? To wit, what was your opinion in 2017 about Russian collusion allegations?

Soleri,
To quote myself: "I am not absolutely certain about the election. " You might have missed the not. Anything is possible, I fully grant. I have an opinion, based on facts and data, but I wouldn't call it zealotry. You may call it whatever you want, suit yourself.

You have a hard time not centering your arguments around Trump, in fact I'd say your feelings for him are rather zealous:) Despite being about the election, this is really not about Trump anymore, as there is no clear way the president could be changed regardless of the results of any audits now. That ship sailed Jan. 6. This is about principle and truth and the consequences to the country's future if the election was stolen. If you read or listened to any of the serious people that are pursuing this, you would see it goes far, far deeper than "Trump's spurious allegations". In fact, I think I've listened to maybe one Trump speech about the election in its entirety. I don't consider him an authoritative source of info (but then, Ive always avoided his speeches. I don't care much for them).

I would agree that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. That's what the audit is about. No one has ever done an election audit on this scale and depth before. If critics weren't so concerned about tearing it down, they might be a little gracious and keep in mind that they were essentially writing the book as they went. The Cyber Ninjas greatly underestimated how long it would take (even apart from MCBOS obstructionism) and early procedures evolved as they got more efficient. Many people will attack the results regardless of quality, but fairer observers will just have to see what kind of quality their report has. I'm pretty curious.

In my ongoing effort to lead horses to water, I posted lots of links in the previous debates listed above. I'll just give two now for anyone interested . Seth Keshel is a data analyst who worked behind the scenes with the legal teams in the Nov 4-Jan-6 period. He is noted for having accurately predicted every state in 2016. This is one of his first public interviews from December 2020 where he gives a brief 20m overview of unexpected election data. He has since polished his presentations and has become something of a rock star in the [admittedly small and nerdy] audit movement. Here is a morebroad ranging interview if you found that one interesting (election talk starts in earnest about 30m mark)

iaed,
I'd love to but I will avoid jumping into any Covid debates this time. Maybe sometime if Rogue does a post on it.

Jon--

I wasn't here for that, and frankly I have no appetite for rearguing everything again. Let me just note one thing about Arizona, however: in the Superior Court case brought by the GOP, Republican lawyer Kory Langhoffer told the judge the party was not alleging fraud.

Cal, before we get derailed by delta, can I meet you to return your long-overdue books?

Chris i just sent you an email.

Jon7190, one reason why I cite a lifelong con artist "zealously" is because you have no evidence of any wrongdoing except the assertions of that con artist. Yes, you throw out random names as if we're supposed to chase down every crazy allegation in the right's patented wack-a-mole strategy. But conspiracy theories and heavy breathing are not evidence of anything except your complete gullibility. You are a True Believer and the linchpin of your beliefs are the assertions of a man who lies compulsively (Obama's "Kenyan birth"; Ted Cruz's father a JFK assassination co-conspirator; Trump honored as Michigan's Man of the Year; Covid is under control and no deadlier than the common flu, e.g.).

If you marinate your brain in an us vs them duality, you will believe his lies because your critical thinking skills are subordinate to your wishful thinking: Team R is always right! Always! There's a simple correction to this delusion of yours. It's called skepticism. Instead of believing anything a pathological liar says, you can demand of yourself and your fellow zealots that they provide real proof. Sadly, you live in a fantasy world where you and Trump are always right. When small children do this, we often chuckle. But adults? Really, Jon, it's time to grow up.

Jon7190, the Covid-19 vaccination program is controversial, of which I am sure you are well aware. By answering why or why not you availed yourself of any of the vaccines, I might better understand how you arrived at your assertions in these posts.

Speaking of immunizations. Looks like Donald is denying Rudy vaccine $$$$.
Mask up Rudy your about to be Trumps next convicted felon, ex pal.
Sociopaths of the world unite, the people are coming for you.

Chris. I was there.
You didnt get my email?

@Cal, feel free to speak ill of Donald Trump without a burden on your conscience.

Donald Trump exhibits the signs of mental illness, yet he can never deign himself to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

Psychologists and psychiatrists revoked the Goldwater rule and can guess at Trump's afflictions.

Mary Trump, Donald's niece, happens to be a clinical psychologist herself. Moreover, she gives a close look into the family dynamics in which he was raised. He's the bitter fruit of a poisoned tree.

Donald's not insane, per se, but he'd have narcissistic personality disorder. He grew up in a bubble and created one of his own as an adult, so in all likelihood he's emotionally arrested and has an inability to discern truth from lies. (A lie is a conscious act, as it requires the liar to have knowledge of truth and falsehood and privilege the latter.)

Thanks Bobdug for the science. Sorta like redin Soleri for the rhythmic poetry.
But i guess i posted as a result of waking up one night hearing my grand daddys whiskey soft voice, saying
"I's knowsem when I's seesem."
That brought back memories of me and him standin on the steps of the navy building in Annapolis. Both wearing navy outfits. I still got the photo. I guess i was 2 going on 3. The story goes that my grandad at the time was the oldest man to voluntarily enlist in the navy. Regardless he had what many would call, a call to duty.

Which brings us to now
the civil war reenactment in prime time.
Free admission. Dying permitted.

@Jon7190,

Seth Keshel?

[taking a deep breath]

Jon, if you leave now and leave quietly, you can leave with a shred of your dignity intact. You can help yourself to a mask and a squirt of hand sanitizer too.

To the audience here at Rogue Columnist and to those playing along at home ...

Jon7190, with a straight face, just tried to co-sign as an expert who is the election-counting equivalent of Dr. Demon Sperm. I Googled so you don't have to.

On the first page, you'll see Keshel's Twitter feed and ... it's all you'd imagine and so much less. Then you see a lot of sites doing what Jon did and try to pass him off as a neutral subject matter expert. These sites are those low-grade far right news aggregators that are all sharing the same frothy nonsense from probably the same handful of content originators. And probably put some malware on your computer to boot.

Now, here's how to reality: A legitimate expert on elections would have on the first page of Google rankings a newspaper, a cable news channel, or probably even a government body with transcripts of testimony. The one article I did find mentioning Keshel was on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram website. And the political reporter was writing a "circus comes to town" article.

Thank you and good night. Remember to tip your servers and take a mask or two on your way home.

I am astonished and concerned that debate here actually tried to frame the FOBC "audit" circus as a legitimate exercise in fact finding. God help us...

Arizona Republicans: "If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything"

@DoggieCombover, I don't see a debate.

I see an individual who is trying to re-litigate the outcome of an election they were on the wrong side of, reframing and rewording their arguments in the hopes of getting that one response for them to say "Aha! I gotcha" and feel vindicated about a conspiracy fantasy.

You can't have a debate when there are no equal arguments worth taking.

Logicians and skeptics have a term for this: Not Even Wrong.

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_even_wrong
RationalWiki (funny): https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Not_even_wrong

It's a degree worse than being factually incorrect. It is being so incorrect that there isn't even a factual basis to evaluate the claim.

Further, duly considering a Not Even Wrong claim gives it a respect it does not reserve, thereby devaluing other competing claims to truth posited in good faith.

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