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    • Hope Is Bullshit
      I am unintersted in “hope.” Or as we called it in the Obama bullshit years, Hopium. Hope is not a plan. Hope is bullshit. Luck is real, but you don’t count on luck other than in the sense that the harder you work, and the more things you do, the more likely you are to […]
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The Football.

I’m not talking about the upcoming super bowl, which is leaving people in Pittsburgh conflicted. Theoretically, we should be for the Eagles because nobody likes the Patriots. But then, we don’t like the Eagles. Oh well. I’m sure we’ll watch it anyway and will cheer whenever Tom Brady gets sacked.

No, the football I’m talking about is DACA. There’s a cynical game being played here. Political junkies have seen how this is played before. Republicans are particularly adept at playing this because they live by the sword. But as one character said to another in Game of Thrones last season, “I’m sure that cutting off people’s heads is very satisfying but it’s not a particularly good way to get people to work together.”

There will be no deal on DACA because Republicans don’t want one. Check out Greg Sargent’s Twitter thread where he explains it all. They want to dangle it out there like Lucy with the football and Democrats will go to the White House trying to make a deal on it only to have either the White House advisors or the Republican house and Senate leaders whip the football away at the last minute. They sometimes tag team each other. Ryan will call chief of staff Kelly to work on Trump to make sure he holds the line.

We’re talking about the lives of 800000 people here, cynically used as pawns in this giant power struggle.

I have no idea what Democrats are going to do but it’s rather pointless to put the blame on them for not negotiating. They don’t have the numbers on either side of Congress to force the Republicans to do anything. And it’s actually Ryan and McConnell who can’t get their own people to vote for the budget. They can’t even strong arm their own numbers to pass this horrible thing. That’s why they’re playing Lucy with the Football with Democrats, trying to wear them down to the point that they’ll accept any damn thing. As if they have a choice.

The principled thing is to hold ground. Just wait it out until the Republicans can get their own ducks in a row. We’ll see how that goes.

But one thing is for sure, the lives of 800000 Dreamers and 9 million children on CHIP and the pay of thousands of military personnel, those people are really not very important to Republicans. They’re determined to lop off some heads. It’s just not a very good way to get people to work with you.


Podcast recommendation: The Ezra Klein Show. He has the best guests, the interviews are long enough so you get the most from them. He tackles a mix of topics. Last week was the future of virtual reality, this week is with Krista Tippet, host of On Being. Tippet herself is an extraordinary interviewer who explores what we believe. She has a beautiful voice. The topic is how to oppose Trump without becoming like him. In other words, how not to lose your soul when his supporters seem to have no problem losing theirs.

Some things that Tippet gets to the heart of:

For all the magnificence of the symbolism behind Obama’s Presidency, it obscured that there was still unfinished business with respect to racism in the country. This is what this blog has been saying for years. Obama was not a predominantly civil rights person. Not like Jesse Jackson or John Lewis. Obama was an aspirational President. And a lot of academic liberals projected their idea of an end to racism onto him. Many liberals thought that voting for Obama meant that they had become better people. They failed to see the warning signs that the country was headed for a financial disaster and that Obama was being heavily funded by Wall Street and moderate Republicans. What happened after is that real racism came back with a vengeance because Obama in the end was primarily a symbol, not a solution. And it didn’t help that the Obama contingent stampeded liberals to the polls by weaponizing the word racist. We’ve gone over this before. This blog saw it in real time.

The second thing she points out that I’ve been struggling to articulate is the idea that as a country we have elevated wealth and celebrity. Trump is a manifestation of this tendency on the right to venerate his billions and his reality TV show persona.

But it’s not a whole lot better on the left when we see the reaction to Oprah Winfrey possibly running for President. Suddenly, many people on the left are just as eager to jump on her bandwagon for almost the exact same reason the right voted for Trump. She’s rich. She’s a celebrity. She’s a black woman. A twofer! What she isn’t is a politician. And when it comes to the top spot in the nation, experience counts. It’s meaningful to people’s lives in the end. This is something that the last three presidents have lacked in one way or another. Bush was a governor of Texas, a largely ceremonial governorship. Obama was primarily a lawyer who had served in the Illinois legislature (performance reviews definitely mixed) and was in the US senate for less than a year before he decided to run. He had very little practical experience in Washington. That was considered an asset because he also hadn’t been forced to make hard decisions and vote on them like Clinton had. Now there’s Trump whose selling point was being an alpha male who is going to bully people to do what the base wants. But he has no concept of what it is to actually hold office or work with other branches. Maybe that’s an asset for others. I think it’s a severe liability.

She also says we should reach out to people who have lived isolated lives and turned to Trump because they don’t hear differing opinions or only fights between the most extreme positions. But also we need to give up on people who are lost to us. I think that would include people who are still clinging to Trump no matter what he does. I think she’s right here. There are a lot of undecided voters and non-voters from 2016 that I think *are* reachable. The fact that they were undecided indicates that they were not entirely sold on Trump.

But the die hard Trump fans? I think there’s something else going on with those people. For them, there is no internal struggle. They are responding to something entirely different and no matter how you try to get through to them whether by extreme rhetoric or reason, you will be met with a brick wall. We have to write them off. They’re a minority. A dangerous minority. But their votes are never going to be up for grabs.

The Democrats are challenging every seat this year. This is in contrast to the Obama era when many seats in the south went unchallenged. Indeed this was Obama’s strategy. (Yeah, Obots, he really wasn’t a political animal. Witness what a disaster the DNC was during his presidency. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was *his* pick) Just write off the south. But what Krista is getting at is you need to present voters with local alternatives that they can listen to and respect. This I think was the key to Doug Jones’ win in Alabama. And he ran as a true blue Democrat, presenting voters with an alternative to the Republican message machine they had been hearing all their lives. Roy Moore’s pedophilic curious tendencies may have actually helped his candidacy. The race was already close before that news came out. So voters were already responding to Jones before they knew about Moore being banned from the mall.

45 Responses

  1. Excellent post.

    • Obama was treated like a celebrity too, no? I watched his 2004 speech and thought he would go somewhere but not right to the top so fast, especially when there was a better alternative. The podcast guest is right that this culture falls for the next shiny object too easily. I incurred a momentary wrath last week with a friend when I said Obama precipitated trump for not taking on the Rs effectively. Not a fighter. We needed a fighter.

      • IIRC, in 2004 when asked if he would run for prez in 2008 Obama said something to the effect that he didn’t believe in applying for a job he wasn’t qualified for and that if he were to run he would have to start campaigning while he was still serving his first term as a US Senator. I always wondered what changed his mind….perhaps an angel from God? Unfortunately, if he had meant what he said, we wouldn’t be in this cesspool.

        • Obama was another greedy grifter (if not for big money but easy living) just judging by his resume and what he did up to that point in 2004/2008. We went through all of this in 2008. He saw he could get it and grabbed it to have a life of easy living and luxury for the rest of his life, which is long.

      • The #1 reason given by Trump supporters was “Because he fights.”

        • He is a fucking coward. They got duped out of their tax dollars to enrich this 71 year old mfer. All the signs were there from the get go.

        • He “fights” in much the same way that pro wrestling–which he was a part of for a while, lest we forget–is a “fight”.

          You actually believe a faux-tycoon grifter who relieves himself in a gold-plated toilet is a friend of the working man?

  2. This guy is the Dept. of Commerce head. This is the kind of leadership we have in every agency. Lucky for us, some of the agencies run well despite this kind of leadership and because of what they do that the administration would not mess with them.

    • Who needs character, integrity and leadership skills when money and corruption can get you anything you want except respect, which clearly he has no interest in.

  3. Here is why you blame Dems — It’s so simple. They are doing this for no other reason than they hate Trump. Go listen to Paul Ryan. They were Ok with the bill except for the DACA part, which If I am not mistaken, isn’t up until March? Look, I’m not saying republicans are perfect by any means, but I’m pretty sure that I remember them also getting the blame when they weren’t in charge! You should also go check out Schumer’s comments from 2013 about shutting down the gov’t for immigration. Yeah, the left are the ones playing games. They never stop.

    • The problem is that Republicans want to govern by a series of continuing resolutions and they are using DACA, Chip kids and the military hostage to extract concessions. It’s stressing a lot of people’s lives to do things this way. Democrats want them to shit or get off the pot with DACA now so this doesn’t happen again when the CR expires. We’re not supposed to do budgets on CRs. It’s extremely disruptive. It makes it hard for government agencies to make plans. Like the CDC. There’s a severe flu epidemic. Great. The CDC is offline now.
      Do you see the problem or do you simply not want to see the problem? As for not liking Trump, yeah a lot of us don’t like him and don’t think he should be president. How is that different than a lot of you not liking Hillary and not wanting her to be president and stating BEFORE THE ELECTION, that she was going to face 4 Years of investigations. Answer, it’s not different except as far as I know, Hillary didn’t collaborate with Russians to use stolen emails or have a Quid pro quo over sanctions.
      You’re wasting your time here. We know who’s really at fault here and you, um, don’t.

      • When the Democrats agreed to the last CR, McConnell promised a vote on immigration/DACA. Where is that vote now?

        • He lied. They have no intention of scheduling a vote on DACA.

          • I hope the Dems are going on TV and talking about the Republican shenanigans. Like you said, the football is tossed around between McConnell and Ryan and the WH in the middle with no intention of resolving this issue.

    • @Ken… and you should check out Trumps comments on Obama during the 2013 shutdown

      • I saw them. Doesn’t phase me or make me change my mind. There are contradictions on both sides. They are 2 cheeks of the same butt.

        • Annnnnd THAT attitude is how we got Trump.
          Someday, I will write a post on Tversky’s similarity concept that will instantly crystallize why you think this.
          Too much to go into now. And you’re right, you’re not going to change your mind anyway. Because if the Russians, bankrupcies, porn stars, stupid tweets, poking North Korea, running around calling himself the best at everything like Muhammad Ali, insulting a whole continent, sympathizing with Nazis, calling immigrants criminals and murderers and trying to make all of our healthcare costs more expensive doesn’t do it, nothing will.

          • Lol it seems the dems lost this one. Trump’s comments don’t phase me because I also saw Schumer’s comments on shutdowns for immigration. Did you see those, too? Or just choosing to ignore? Both parties play that crap. Like I said, 2 cheeks, same butt.

          • They’re lives. 800,000 of them.
            It’s definitely risky but I think I’ve proven my point. The republicans prefer to operate government on CRs indefinitely and they’re causing chaos in the agencies that need to be funded.
            The public is on the Dreamers’ side. But maybe not enuf are clued in to how this scenario is playing out- yet. So, we’ll see.

          • In posting this, I am assuming that Kenny-boy is a sincere Trump Chump, rather than some underemployed Boiris Badenov eking out a living at some Internet cafe in Lower Slobbovia, posting troll turds for Tsar Vladimir.

          • *sigh* Boris Badenov, that is.

            I can haz edit feechur, plz? 😛

    • Both parties are to blame, both parties are at fault…blah, blah, blah and of course, more blame for the Democrats I have a suggestion for you — you should sit out next election and not vote. Just sit at home, relax, don’t do anything.

        • Truly if you believe the both siderism stuff it doesn’t matter who you vote for then. Really just sit home and don’t bother since it doesn’t matter.

        • Because you do more harm than good by voting.

      • This is the new Republican thing. They can’t admit that the entire GOP has pretty much failed so they start the both sides thing as GOP apologia. I’m seeing the same thing from Republican friends.
        It really makes me laugh because not long ago the GOP was bragging they had all the branches of government and could do what they want. Now they are claiming that Chuck Schumer is all powerful.

    • There are enough votes to pass DACA but the GOP wants to link it with border enforcement. Democrats are the ones playing politics with DACA.

      • You mean the WALL that Mexico was going to pay for. LOL. Dumb fuckers.

      • Mitch promised a vote on DACA. We will see who is playing politics over the next couple of weeks. I’m willing to get it is the GOP. The GOP does not want DACA because their nutty base does not want DACA. DACA messes with their ethnic cleansing goal.

  4. Well, shutdown is over. Dems got Chip funding but not DACA. Everyday of these next three weeks they have to pound on TV how trump broke DACA without a plan, how he and Rs will not fix it, and what happens when they don’t fix it. Put a human face to DACA every minute of everyday for the next 3 weeks and tie it to trump and Rs and their lack of humanity.

    • I think that is the plan. I mean DACA is supported by 80% of Americans. The only ones who are against it are Trump’s base. It is like the entire country is being held hostage by the far right these days.

  5. FYI – The Bush wing of the GOP loves open borders because it means cheap labor. Cut back illegal immigration and wages will rise organically.

    Trump wants to keep jobs here and keep Americans working at them.

    • And that’s not racist because there are lots of black and brown Americans who need jobs too, although not as many as before Trump took office. Black unemployment is at an all-time LOW.

    • ROFL! Dream on! And when are you guys going to CA and picking crops? Is he replacing his Mar a lago foreign workers with you all or workers he is asking visas for in his vineyards in VA?

      And if you are for deporting 800K young people who are doing well and contributing positively to this society, there is something WRONG with YOU. We should deport you to the shithole you came from, first thing when power changes hands. But we won’t.

    • Oh, the cr@wd@d is back.

      Boil the water! 😈

  6. The only passionate argument for DACA was put forth by Kamala Harris on Maddow. I have not seen anything else that strong from other Democrats. They have to up their game. Give one more reason to vote Democratic in 2018.

    • Kamala Harris is Willie Brown’s Former Booty Call. She is a female Obama – an empty suit.

      • You voted for a 70+ year old demented mfer who screws strippers and pays them hush money and forces them to have abortions.

        • She was a pornstar, not a stripper.

          • All the trailer trash who voted for trump hopes one day they make enough money to pay a porn star. He is one of them, they are one of him.

          • I mostly agree with pm317, but let us remember that the majority of Trump Chumps live in the suburbs and exurbs–rather than the countryside–and have an average income above the national average.

            But perhaps she meant “trailer trash” to represent a certain constellation of social, economic, and political attitudes, rather than a description of actual economic status and dwelling places.

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