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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #10121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Other than all of the anonymous Americans stated to have committed crimes in the indictment, and all of the Americans who have already been indicted, and all of the Americans who haven't been indicted yet.
    Yeah, he directly contradicts what the actual indictments say. lol. It's k for him though, Fox will repeat that line.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Lol, that sentence looks weird in print.

    Something about the idea of that man participating in some kind of Socratic dialogue just seems unrealistic.
    Just another in a long list of reasons why forced civility doesn't work in the Trump era.

  2. #10122
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    So, earnest question (for like Eversor), what would a properly reformed conservative party actually look like? As in, let's say in 2020 pro-Trump conservatives were magically dumped in a well, and replaced were people who genuinely believed in a kind of intellectual conservatism, and weren't beholden to their donors. What kind of policies would they seek? I don't just mean principles like "smaller government", here I'm looking for concrete policy decisions.
    I think the person to follow is Reihan Salam. He wrote a book with Ross Douthat back in 2008 which was very policy heavy which argued that the GOP needed to fundamentally change it's direction and reconcile some of its philosophical tenets to a more overtly activist approach. Salam identifies as a "Reformicon", which is a tiny, tiny movement within American conservatism, but Salam is also the intellectual muscle behind whatever Marco Rubio is doing behind the scenes as he considers waging a primary challenge against Trump in 2020. So I'd encourage you to take a peek at his book, or check out this video from 2008, with Douthat and Salam talking about their book:



    It's one of the more promising, innovative and thoughtful intellectual schools within conservatism right now, but whether -- even in extraordinary circumstances -- it could become the dominant ideology of the GOP... I'm doubtful. In that vein, I'd add also that the book was written at a time before people really anticipated a radical realignment to the two parties, and I'd say that many of axes upon which that realignment will occur probably weren't those that Salam and Douthat imagined as being the most relevant in 2008.
    Last edited by Eversor; 07-14-2018 at 02:57 PM.

  3. #10123
    that's it, I'm going to be voting for this marco aurelius guy in 2020

  4. #10124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Yeah, he directly contradicts what the actual indictments say. lol. It's k for him though, Fox will repeat that line.
    Let's be honest here, Fox probably told him that line. The tail is wagging the dog with the GOP. Has been for over a decade now.

    I can't understate the barrier to truth in this case. The man is lying about the contents of a document that is publicly accessible on the DoJ's website, and not even a particularly long or legalistic one. I'm not surprised about the kinds of people who would fall for the lie, I'm only disappointed that they exist.

  5. #10125
    My name is Maximus Decimus Eversor, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE god emperor, Marcus Rubelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this election or the next.

  6. #10126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I think the person to follow is Reihan Salam. He wrote a book with Ross Douthat back in 2008 which was very policy heavy which argued that the GOP needed to fundamentally change it's direction and reconcile some of its philosophical tenets to a more overtly activist approach. Salam identifies as a "Reformicon", which is a tiny, tiny movement within American conservatism, but Salam is also the intellectual muscle behind whatever Marco Rubio is doing behind the scenes as he considers waging a primary challenge against Trump in 2020. So I'd encourage you to take a peek at his book, or check out this video from 2008, with Douthat and Salam talking about their book:



    It's one of the more promising, innovative and thoughtful intellectual schools within conservatism right now, but whether -- even in extraordinary circumstances -- it could become the dominant ideology of the GOP... I'm doubtful. In that vein, I'd add also that the book was written at a time before people really anticipated a radical realignment to the two parties, and I'd say that many of axes upon which that realignment will occur probably weren't those that Salam and Douthat imagined as being the most relevant in 2008.
    This is really the story of why the GOP is so screwed up today. GOP reform was a response to inevitable demographic change (or some reason the GOP has never appealed much to brown people, even conservative ones, lol). Those guys ^ and a bunch of others wanted to realign the party toward conservative goals that are, uhm, a little more common and achievable. For most of the reformists it was a lot more about the long-term survival of the party than any heartfelt change in beliefs.

    Of course, we know what happened next. The Tea Party infused the GOP with stubbornness and radicalism, making any sort of reform politically unviable. The GOP then chose to respond to inevitable demographic change by disenfranchising those problematic demographics.

    As white boomers keep dying off, and brown people keep having kids, you really have to wonder what comes next after gerrymandering. Right?
    Last edited by Jon`C; 07-14-2018 at 03:28 PM.

  7. #10127
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    This is really the story of why the GOP is so screwed up today. GOP reform was really a response to inevitable demographic change; for some reason the GOP has never appealed much to brown people, even conservative ones (lol). Those guys ^ and a bunch of others wanted to realign the party toward conservative goals that are, uhm, a little more common and achievable. For most of the reformists it was a lot more about the long-term survival of the party than any heartfelt change in beliefs.

    Of course, we know how the story ends. The GOP's chosen response to inevitable demographic change is to disenfranchise people who don't vote Republican.
    Sorta. That's one of the ways in which Trump hijacked the party and took it in a direction other than the one the party establishment wanted to go in. Romney tried to bring hispanics into his coalition in 2012, and Jeb Bush -- the establishment's candidate in 2016 -- played up his closeness to hispanic culture in order to appeal to (presumably socially conservative) hispanics (his fluency in Spanish, his Mexican wife and family -- he's even quoted on the recording identifying as a "Mexican" himself, despite that being a laughable suggestion, in almost every respect). One of the ways in which Trump bucked the party establishment in 2016 was by doubling down on a white only coalition. (Despite that, he ended up getting about as many hispanic votes as Romney did.)
    Last edited by Eversor; 07-14-2018 at 03:57 PM.

  8. #10128
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    My name is Maximus Decimus Eversor, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE god emperor, Marcus Rubelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this election or the next.
    I'm still relatively young, so I've got plenty of time to be kidnapped, sold in to slavery, and then to gradually make my way up through to the highest echelons of power through gladiatorial combat.
    Last edited by Eversor; 07-14-2018 at 03:42 PM.

  9. #10129
    The way in which demographics have become destiny seems like an underappreciated way in which technology has negatively impacted American politics. In doesn't seem coincidental that the idea that people vote their demographic identities has gained currency and become an unquestioned dogma alongside the technological ability to narrowly target individuals based on their identity.

  10. #10130
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Of course, we know what happened next. The Tea Party infused the GOP with stubbornness and radicalism, making any sort of reform politically unviable. The GOP then chose to respond to inevitable demographic change by disenfranchising those problematic demographics.
    Note that the Bill Clinton's dick is to blame for this chain of events (with honorable mention to Justice Kennedy):

    1. Clinton sex-scandal cements a razor-thin loss of Al Gore to GWB
    2. Bush reacts to 9/11 by invading Iraq
    3. The now familiar conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 (including various anti-Semitic strains) bubble up in the wake of Bush-hating Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 documentary, and neo-conservatvism becomes a common slur against establishment conservatives associated with the Bush administration
    4. Ron Paul unites this "long tail" of motley discontents, wackjobs, and idealists into a populist movement based on bad ("Austrian") economics and libertarianism in his 2008 bid for the presidency. His supporters coin the term "Tea Party" in a record-breaking "money bomb" online fundraising day. Alex Jones is wildly popular among this crowd.
    5. Opportunistic (in stark contrast to the often mistaken but idealistic members of the Ron Paul contingent) agents of mainstream conservative populist propagandists (you know the type: the usual charlatans on AM radio and Fox News) proceed to astroturf the grassroots movement originally whipped into a frenzy by Ron Paul. A quick Google search reveals that a bunch of the organizations that funded the hijacking of the Tea Party were funded by big tobacco and other greedy bastards like the Koch brothers. John McCain's nomination of Sarah Palin for Vice President is a direct nod to this movement (and an important predictor of the later support of Trump to come).
    6. Hilary Clinton tries to ride on the coattails of Barack Obama, but reminds the voting public more of the same people that the Ron Paul populists were reacting to in the first place: GWB. (In fact, if you look at some of the arguments in the 2008 Ron Paul campaign made by supporters, you'll read many times over about how bad it is that Bush and Kerry are related, that it's all rigged, that all establishment politicians are in on it together and are friends, etc. See also: any number of Alex Jones "documentaries".)
    7. Trump simultaneously taps into the strands of (hijacked), now-billionaire-financed Tea Party astroturfing (becoming friends and allies with some of their worst propagandists like Hannity), as well as the youth-centric, anti-establishment online populism that Ron Paul had harnessed (now happening mostly on 4chan), and fusing it with old time racist populism (which has some roots in Ron Paul's earlier career, if you look at his racist newsletters, and his affiliation with secessionist Lew Rockwell).
    8. Mainstream conservativism has now mutated into whatever the **** this mess is, when all but the least honorable public officials choose to stick around. (No surprise that they are also literal traitors as well. Lol)


    Tl;dr: pick the establishment candidate, or the fascist traitor (in the foreign and domestic sense). Apparently corporate America didn't want there to be anything in between? I guess if more Americans read Marx they'd know that capitalism is self-destructing? And I haven't even touched on the role of the Republicans and Bill Clinton in financial deregulation in the 90's and the later financial crisis.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 07-14-2018 at 04:16 PM.

  11. #10131
    It really sounds from my line of reasoning that the (legally) enforced two-party system is potentially an information-bottleneck that may well precipitate a faster transition out of democratic capitalism and into fascism (rather than some kind force for moderation).

    I suppose when you play tag team with the working public to shake them down, eventually you start to see less coins falling out than angry hornets. But hey, at this point, why even bother to restrict yourself to domestic interest groups when you inevitably prostitute yourself out to ride through the next election....
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 07-14-2018 at 04:38 PM.

  12. #10132
    It seems to me that a multi-party system with publicly financed campaigns could have prevented this, but I don't have much experience of how that plays out in other democracies.

    Then again, the U.S. only ever had lukewarm interest in democracy anyway. The really funny (and sad?) thing is that by chance of namesake of the Democratic party, the actual word "democrat" has become all but a slur among the more moronic members of the voting public.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 07-14-2018 at 04:42 PM.

  13. #10133
    I'm sure it'd come across to some as beating a dead horse, but it's unfortunate that we don't have more people in the chattering classes talking about how the George W. Bush administration totally ****ing wrecked the GOP. In some ways, we're still living through the consequences of how miserably his administration not only ****ed up the country, but completely discredited the Republican party -- not only in the eyes of Democrats, but in the eyes of Republican voters. (That, really, is what drove the Reformicons in 2008: fear that the GOP had completely lost its way during the Bush years.) I suspect that a significant source of Trump's popularity was that he ran as a Republican who displayed overt contempt for the GOP.

  14. #10134
    Not to mention discrediting the Democrats who followed his lead! For all his image, Obama largely continued the surveillance state / forever war policies of his Republican predecessor. Subtract the image, and you are left with Hillary Clinton (who, on paper, was a great candidate for liberals still enamoured with Obama): no more than Bush in a Democrat's clothing.

  15. #10135
    (Note that I'm talking about perceptions more than policy. I'm not trying to whitewash all the **** that GWB did, and in matters of substance, Hillary Clinton would have probably been a much better president thatn GWB was. But without Obama's "cool" factor, she just reeks of the establishment.)

  16. #10136
    Actually, the GOP's rejection of Hillary Clinton was just as much a rejection of the Democratic party as it was a rejection of "intellectual" conservatives like George Will.

    Which, makes sense, if you realize that Clinton was basically trying to be a "sane" Republican, running as a Democrat. In this sense, centrists like herself were bound to lose, since neither side particularly likes them outside a class of well-to-do intellectuals (for example, a tenured math professor of mine was a die-hard Clinton supporter).

  17. #10137
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Not to mention discrediting the Democrats who followed his lead! For all his image, Obama largely continued the surveillance state / forever war policies of his Republican predecessor. Subtract the image, and you are left with Clinton (who, on paper, was a great candidate for liberals still enamoured with Obama): no more than Bush in a Democrat's clothing.
    I dunno I think just because the media didn't really want to scrutinize Obama too much and wanted him to succeed, they didn't really hold him accountable for much at all, never mind presiding over the ever-expanding surveillance state, so that his presidency, in effect, legitimized Bush-era policies in the eyes of Democrats. I don't think Democrats had many hangups about Hilary Clinton and surveillance in 2016. The big issue with HRC seemed to be her business ties.

  18. #10138
    But the criticism of her business ties were mostly from the ideological left, which I'd consider to be distinct from mainstream Democratic Party rhetoric. Mainstream Democrats are mostly concerned with identity politics, and this is what she ran on.

    Hell, Sanders was criticized by agents of the DNC for not even being a good member of the Democratic Party: "He's not a Democrat, he's a socialist! I don't wanna hear none of that OWS / economics stuff, GTFO.")

  19. #10139
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    But the criticism of her business ties were mostly from the ideological left, which I'd consider to be distinct from mainstream Democratic Party rhetoric. Mainstream Democrats are mostly concerned with identity politics, and this is what she ran on.
    Right... but I think she was actually fairly popular with the identity politics crowd.

  20. #10140
    I mean, even OWS was co-opted by identity politics. We're ****ed.

  21. #10141
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Right... but I think she was actually fairly popular with the identity politics crowd.
    Oh, she was. But apparently it's hard to win elections on that alone when those very same identity politics had been fermenting the conditions for a Trump to rise up and slap some feminists around.

    Something about that socialism shaped hole in our heads I guess.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 07-14-2018 at 06:33 PM.

  22. #10142
    Of course I agree with you that the media was by default on the Democrat's side (and by extension Clinton?), since they had been so eager to like Obama all throughout his tenure, as you suggested.

  23. #10143
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    Fomenting?

  24. #10144
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    It probably smelled like they were fermenting it, I guess

  25. #10145
    Oh... yes.

    Well, it tastes pretty fermented too.

  26. #10146
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    It seems to me that a multi-party system with publicly financed campaigns could have prevented this, but I don't have much experience of how that plays out in other democracies.

    Then again, the U.S. only ever had lukewarm interest in democracy anyway. The really funny (and sad?) thing is that by chance of namesake of the Democratic party, the actual word "democrat" has become all but a slur among the more moronic members of the voting public.
    Thinking about this, the whole "spreading democracy" around the world is such bull**** when you realize that we aren't really all that enthusiastic about state-sponsored initiatives to promote (rather than suppress!) democracy within the country. Not too surprising though when you go back to the original definition of "all men were created equal" to exclude slaves, though.

  27. #10147
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Oh, she was. But apparently it's hard to win elections on that alone when those very same identity politics had been fermenting the conditions for a Trump to rise up and slap some feminists around.

    Something about that socialism shaped hole in our heads I guess.
    I wonder if we can say now that the economic left beat the identity politics left in the debate that arose immediately after Trump was elected. It kind of seems like it in July 2018. I probably would've thought very different earlier in the year when #metoo was in full stride.

  28. #10148
    I think the economic left has won to the extent that it actually has ideas that can be converted into policy proposals. Or policy slogans, anyway.

  29. #10149
    I hope so.

    Maybe people have had enough time to reflect to realize that pussy hats don't do anything to stop fascists.

  30. #10150
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    I hope so.

    Maybe people have had enough time to reflect to realize that pussy hats don't do anything to stop fascists.
    Seriously, I think that's very close to literally the reason why #metoo petered out. I think there was, for a time, a belief that if you purge the Democratic party of sexual predators, you could pressure the GOP for not doing something about the sexual predators within its own ranks, making it easier to impeach Trump based on his sexual impropriety. I think once it was clear that that was an illusory goal, #metoo lost some of its steam.
    Last edited by Eversor; 07-14-2018 at 07:08 PM.

  31. #10151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I wonder if we can say now that the economic left beat the identity politics left in the debate that arose immediately after Trump was elected. It kind of seems like it in July 2018. I probably would've thought very different earlier in the year when #metoo was in full stride.
    The economic left has always won the debate, the problem is the rich people and media companies willing to spend an unlimited amount of money to ensure the identity left ends up informing policy instead.

  32. #10152
    I was about to launch into conspiracy theory mode and ask if there is any documented evidence of billionaires funding efforts to deliberately steer the Democratic platform toward identity politics, but then I remembered Fox News and the endless stories they've aired about all-gender bathrooms.

  33. #10153
    By the same token, I feel that the right has this virtually unlimited source of political leverage that it can tap into, simply by restricting the rights of some minority enough to blow it up into a scandal that dominates the cable news cycle (or simply introducing reactionary legislation that immediately dominates the discussion on the House floor, exhausting the political attention of Democratic constituents as they desperately call their representatives to stop it). In fact, in large part, you could construe the entire existence of the (present day) Democratic party as one large reaction against the mistreatment of minorities.

    For example, with the border issues that have been in the news lately: despite Eversor's points, here we are again, with my Facebook wall dominated with human interest stories about the mistreatment of Latin American immigrants.

  34. #10154
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    I was about to launch into conspiracy theory mode and ask if there is any documented evidence of billionaires funding efforts to deliberately steer the Democratic platform toward identity politics, but then I remembered Fox News and the endless stories they've aired about all-gender bathrooms.
    I mean, it should be noted just how much intersectionality serves the political/demographic strategy of the Democratic Party to build a coalition of minority groups. I don't think it was self-evident to Americans a decade ago that there was a harmony of interests between them. But: it's "offensive" now if you acknowledge that the interests of certain minority groups aren't harmonious, and they actually compete with each other.

    Isn't it a striking coincidence how much that serves the interests of the Democratic Party which wants to secure electoral victories through winning diverse coalitions, modeled after Obama's victories in 2008 and 2012?
    Last edited by Eversor; 07-15-2018 at 04:23 AM.

  35. #10155
    All I can say about that: you can't easily win a two front war (economic issues and social issues), but it's even more self-defeating if you completely ignore one front just because you're so effective on the other front. Maybe conservatives like goading liberals into fighting the social justice war. Just look at all the books written by the likes of O`Reilly and Hannity on the so-called "culture wars". (Of course this is likely just as much about riling up their own side, since, after all, ostensibly it is conservatives who are gobbling this stuff up, right? Wookie?)

  36. #10156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    By the same token, I feel that the right has this virtually unlimited source of political leverage that it can tap into, simply by restricting the rights of some minority enough to blow it up into a scandal that dominates the cable news cycle (or simply introducing reactionary legislation that immediately dominates the discussion on the House floor, exhausting the political attention of Democratic constituents as they desperately call their representatives to stop it). In fact, in large part, you could construe the entire existence of the (present day) Democratic party as one large reaction against the mistreatment of minorities.

    For example, with the border issues that have been in the news lately: despite Eversor's points, here we are again, with my Facebook wall dominated with human interest stories about the mistreatment of Latin American immigrants.
    Everyone does this: right, left middling, Democrat, Republican, whatever. This is the nature of American politics (especially as of late). Always trying to capitalize on whatever tragedy or misfortune is at hand. Shooting? Ban machine guns and raise the gun purchase age. Border issues? Keep Families Together act. Opioid epidemic? Introduce a bill. Trump making deals with China? Introduce a bill. Prisons over-crowded? Pass a bill. This has been par for the course for at least thirty years. Sometimes they even introduce legislation so quickly and poorly prepared, they have to vote against their own legislation.

  37. #10157
    Speaking of legislation thrown together, whatever became of last year's disaster of a budget? Have there been any notable consequences of that? Or did they patch it up just enough at the last minute?

  38. #10158
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    This is not relevant to any discussion, but I thought it was really funny.


  39. #10159
    lol!

    "Next question."

  40. #10160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    Everyone does this: right, left middling, Democrat, Republican, whatever. This is the nature of American politics (especially as of late). Always trying to capitalize on whatever tragedy or misfortune is at hand. Shooting? Ban machine guns and raise the gun purchase age. Border issues? Keep Families Together act. Opioid epidemic? Introduce a bill. Trump making deals with China? Introduce a bill. Prisons over-crowded? Pass a bill. This has been par for the course for at least thirty years. Sometimes they even introduce legislation so quickly and poorly prepared, they have to vote against their own legislation.
    I know, right? It's so weird how our elected officials create laws to address issues in our society.

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