Open Thread for Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019

Madman Theory? THIS guy could do Madman Theory. And I don't mean Elvis.

Madman Theory? THIS guy could do Madman Theory. And I don’t mean Elvis.

How long has it been since I’ve done one of these? Near as I can tell, I haven’t done one since July 23 — and I led that one with one of our campaign talking points (might as well kill two birds). After that, I decided I was going to have to bow out of blogging for the duration. It was just too awkward.

It wasn’t James’ fault. Whenever I said “If I were blogging, I’d write about this” in his presence, he’d say, “Aw, man, I hate for you to give up your blog.” But I had to, once I fully realized anything I said would reflect on him and Mandy. I couldn’t do that to them; they deserved better. Also, there was no time.

But let’s get this started up again:

  1. Active shooter reported near Charleston, SC cops say — Oh, God… I pray this turns out to be nothing, a mistake, a hoax, anything but deadly.
  2. Seeking North Korea Deal, Trump Seems Willing to Ease U.S. Demands — Want a win in diplomacy? Move the goal posts. We’ve already given Kim so much — two summits with a POTUS (and technically, he IS POTUS) on equal terms. What next? And in related news…
  3. Trump suggests his embrace of the ‘madman theory’ brought North Korea to the table — The startling news here is that Trump has heard of the “madman theory.” Did someone leave a book open in the White House bathroom during Executive Time?
  4. N.C. Republican At Center Of Election Fraud Case Won’t Run In New Race — That’s probably a good call. Although who knows — as fouled up as our politics are these days, he coulda won.
  5. Cohen To Detail Alleged Trump Lawbreaking. White House: He’s A ‘Convicted Liar’ — I gotta admit, the White House kinda has a point this time. You know how Woodward and Bernstein gave a nod to Robert Penn Warren when they named their book All the President’s Men? When the corresponding book about this administration is written, its title should allude to Mel Brooks: Sleazeballs.
  6. U.S. blocked Russian troll factory’s Internet access on day of midterms — Hey, something went right this time!

75 thoughts on “Open Thread for Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019

  1. Doug Ross

    Nothing on Dan Johnson pleading guilty to wire fraud and corruption? One wonders how it took so long to determine he was stealing money over such an extended. Guess people in his office figure its just free tax dollars, so who really cares?

    Is there a Richland County agency that ISN’T corrupt or incompetent? Prosecutor office, Election board, school board, recreation commission… all have had issues in the past year.

    Since every post must by law reference Trump, the connection here is that the U.S. Attorney who closed out this case is Sherri Lydon, a Trump (known misogynist) appointee. She is an acquaintance thru church and seems like a very intelligent person.

    Reply
  2. Bart

    Just a thought about Cohen’s testimony today. In his opening statement, he made the comment, “I lied but I am not a liar.” I.E., I lied before about the same thing but now I am telling the truth about the same thing. How can one lie and then claim to not be a liar? Now, this guy has been proven to be a consummate liar like his former client Trump. So, who do we believe since both have been proven to be less than truthful. The difference is that as far as I can recall, Trump has not been under oath and Cohen has been and he lied. Not giving Trump a pass but at all levels this is when truth is stranger than fiction.

    The one thing I do believe is that Trump never expected to be the Republican nominee or win the election. I believe it caught him totally by surprise and since then he has been basically trying to fly by the abundant “seat of his pants”. He is who he is and what he has done and said comes as no surprise to me.

    A cancelled check is nothing but a cancelled check and without any proof positive the check was specifically for “hush money”, in the end, it is nothing but a “he said – he said” scenario.

    But, Trump haters will believe and hang onto every word Cohen has to say that is bad about Trump. And Trump supporters will not believe anything he has to say and dismiss him as a liar. Cohen will serve his time and while in prison write a best seller. He probably has a book deal already in hand worth millions.

    This is another example of politicians and their enablers on both sides of the aisle. When their favorite is attacked even if the attacks are legitimate, they will circle the wagons and defend until the bitter end. The difference to me this time is that like others who have turned on their “bosses”, i.e., mafia guys testifying against mafia dons, the mafia guys’ testimonies were used to convict the mafia dons. This may be Trump’s swan song if Democrats go the extra mile and use his testimony in a trial or impeachment proceedings.

    Stay tuned for the latest episode of the Washington, DC “Caligula’s cesspool”

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      Also let’s not forget one simple fact — as Wikipedia states – “Trump was never able to successfully conclude any real estate deals in Russia.”

      So essentially all this grandstanding is about Trump saying he didn’t have any business deals in Russia which technically is true — a deal isn’t a deal until it is signed. It’s a spin on the truth just like every other political candidate does. Do we believe Elizabeth Warren’s claims about her Indian heritage? Do we believe Hillary Clinton didn’t have more than one cellphone?

      Is any of what Cohen is claiming an impeachable offense? He paid off a porn star. Big deal… Ted Kennedy let a woman drown.

      Reply
      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        And what does Ted Kennedy have to do with the situation? Does your mentioning that make anything short of letting a woman drown OK?

        You’ll note that Ted Kennedy was never president. The one time he even tried, post-Chappaquiddick, Jimmy Carter — weakened as he was at that point — whipped his ass (Jimmy’s language, not mine — although I enjoyed it when he said it).

        Because this nation used to have standards…

        Now watch Doug scoff.

        Reply
        1. Doug Ross

          Yeah, Teddy just disappeared into the sunset . Whatever happened to that guy? I assume the shame of such a cowardly act caused him to become a monastic recluse devoting his life to charitable works. #scoff

          The Catholic Church gave Teddy a bigger pass than the American public did… but I’m sure they’d do that for any poor Irish kid.

          Reply
        2. Barry

          And Ted Kennedy and his womanizing is ONE big reason many so called conservatives said they hated the man until his death (and even afterwards for some)

          Trump’s womanizing is no big deal because conservatives now only care about policy.

          Reply
            1. Barry

              Nah, I listen to too much nutty racist gut wing radio. They never mention his policies. I doubt most could even cite many policy proposals. They do know all about his womaning. That is all Hannity (trump’s love interest) talks about.

              Reply
  3. bud

    Is anything Cohen claims impeachable?. Of course. Impeachment is largely a political undertaking but there is certainly ample evidence of crime. Take the purchase of a painting (of himself no less) out of his charitable foundation. Besides, Cohen is going to prison for effecting Trumps porn star payoff done at his bidding. So absolutely Trump could be impeached. But he’ll never be removed from office. Sadly we’re stuck with him until 2021.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      So “crimes” that occurred before he became President that were known before he was elected and that he was never charged with at the time. Those crimes? Not like sleeping with an intern while in the Oval Office and lying about it… real crimes.

      Reply
      1. bud

        Again, impeachment is a political act. Trump continued making payments to Michael Cohen to pay off Stormy Daniels. He lied about that. The payment to Stormy have already been adjudicated as a crime. This occurred while he was president. Besides the constitution doesn’t specify a crime has to occur while POTUS is in office. Clearly Impeachment is EASILY justified regardless of the spin his apologists make. It’s puzzling why people defend this racist criminal. If he was actually making the country better perhaps it could be justified. But given the many problems we’re facing because of it really is perplexing.

        Reply
  4. Doug Ross

    Some news from New York that hopefully SC politicians will reflect upon before throwing more money at failing schools in SC:

    “Mayor Bill de Blasio is canceling one of his signature education initiatives, acknowledging that despite spending $773 million he was unable to turn around many long-struggling public schools in three years after decades of previous interventions had also failed.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/26/nyregion/renewal-initiative-de-blasio.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

    BUT BUT BUT… IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN!!! WE HAVE TO TRY, DON’T WE!!!! IT’S NOT LIKE IT’S OUR MONEY, RIGHT?

    Here’s the best part:

    “The New York Times reported in October that Mr. de Blasio was preparing to close Renewal, and that city officials had known some Renewal schools were likely to fail but had left most of them open anyway. As a result, officials essentially kept thousands of children in classrooms where they had little if any chance of thriving.”

    This is the same educrat mentality that denies children even in the worst schools any options for vouchers to just TRY something else. Better to stay in failure factories than offer any hope to those who might have a better chance.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      Meanwhile, today the SC Department of Education announced plans to take over the Sumter school district due to poor financial management.

      “After SLED discovered “irregularities in the district’s use of funds under the Child Early Reading Development and Education Program (CERDEP),” the district was placed under fiscal watch in 2017, according to the news release.”

      But let’s give them even more money. That’s the problem. If they had more money to waste, a few more dollars might actually trickle through to the students.

      Reply
  5. Mr. Smith

    What struck me about the Republicans’ plan of attack against Cohen: They didn’t seem to realize that by emphasizing his sleaziness they were at the same time emphasizing that Trump willingly and closely associates himself with sleazebags, along the lines of like attracts like.

    Reply
        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Really? How about reviewing the various offenses against decency committed by those guys, comparing them to the sweeping cesspool that is Trump’s standard mode of operation, and getting back to us on that…

          Reply
      1. Mark Stewart

        Of course Trump should be impeached. That is Congresses most important job. It’s one of their Constitutional reasons for being.

        If by this point you do not grasp that Trump is unfit for office, any office, and is also unlike any other politician – even more so than Nixon – you are being willfully obtuse. The man deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. Period.

        Reply
        1. Doug Ross

          Waiting on the charges…

          You can’t impeach a president because you don’t like his tweets.

          The country is doing fine.. certainly nowhere near the disaster you and other chicken Littles predicted.

          He’s still been better than George W.Bush….

          Reply
          1. Mark Stewart

            Huh?

            There are no “charges” in impeachment; it is a political process. How the country is doing has nothing to do with it, either.

            Still better than GW Bush??? He will be remembered by history as one of the bottom-third of our Presidents. Trump is in a class of one. The world hasn’t seen anything like this since the decline of the Roman Empire. I’m sure there were many Popes and such of the medieval period that weren’t that different than Trump, but history doesn’t remember them…

            Unfortunately, this country will need to always remember Trump – as the cautionary tale he should be to us all.

            Reply
            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Interestingly, maybe even Caligula wasn’t as bad as Trump. Sure, he has a terrible rep today, but that could be because of hostile chroniclers. You know, fake news. :)

              It’s sometimes shocking how little we really know about major historical figures.

              I hope that two millennia hence, assuming humanity survives, the ubiquity of media today will allow for greater understanding of the historical figures alive today. But I don’t suppose there’s any guarantee of that…

              Reply
              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Doug will never, ever get it, as evidenced by the fact that he can say “the country is doing fine” in all seriousness.

                By definition, the country is profoundly, shockingly fouled up. If it were not, there is no way people could have flocked to the polls and elected this creature as president of the United States. And Doug doesn’t see that at all. He actually thinks Trump is little different from other people who have held the office, and BETTER than some. He just named one. I just don’t even know how to discuss the matter with someone who can THINK that, much less type it for the world to see. At what point will we make connection? What will be our common reference points for reaching any sort of agreement?

                Reply
                1. Mark Stewart

                  We need a leader to emerge. One who can re-inspire America to be what it has always been. That means a place of opportunity, welcome and fair play.

                  Trump plays on the insecurities of those who feel marginalized and left behind. And then he pushed a tax plan that does nothing but further attenuate the socio-economic benefits of the 1%. His “base” shouldn’t need anything else to realize that they have been completely bamboozled. And yet…here we are.

                2. Doug Ross

                  When Trump is impeached, we can talk. When he starts a phony was that kills hundreds of thousands of people we can talk. When he drives us into a recession worse than 2008 we can talk.

                  Until then I will just have to disagree with you.

          2. bud

            You can’t impeach a president because you don’t like his tweets.

            Of course you could. You could also not impeach him if he shoots someone in col blood. The whole high crimes or misdemeanors thing is just a guideline.

            Reply
            1. Doug Ross

              Will then Democrats should start there process if it’s so crystal clear. Let’s see how that goes. It’s a slam dunk. Trump’s actions while in office are worse than Watergate and Lewinsky combined.

              Let’s get Mike Pence in the Oval Office ASAP so Democrats will then start cooperating and compromising for the betterment of the country. I know that they will not vilify Pence.

              Reply
              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Of course they will. Pence is their natural “enemy.” He is (unlike Trump) a conservative Republican. The competition between the parties would return to its nasty norm. But we wouldn’t have a malevolent, disgusting, conscienceless fool as our president anymore, which is a good thing.

                Reply
          3. bud

            Life expectancy is down for the third year in a row. By that metric the country is doing poorly.

            I’ll just make one last comment. Anyone who does not want to impeach Trump has lost ALL credibility regarding law and order issues. The man is a crook. Period.

            Reply
            1. Doug Ross

              Yes, bud, life expectancy is dropping due to Trump’s policies. Or maybe it’s all the Democrats who jumped off cliffs when he won…

              I’m not saying don’t impeach Trump.. I’m saying BRING IT. If the case is so clear, just get it over with instead of talking about it. There’s no point waiting until 2020… You obviously think it is an open-and-shut case that can be wrapped up in a few weeks due to the preponderance of evidence. So do it. Call up AOC and get her to lead the trial.

              Mueller’s two years is apparently going to prove what those of us who weren’t suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome knew all along — there was no collusion with Russia. Russia didn’t give the election to Trump, Hillary’s lifeless campaign and own personal baggage cost her the job she thought she was guaranteed to have.

              Reply
              1. bud

                Yes, bud, life expectancy is dropping due to Trump’s policies.
                -Doug

                Trump apologists like to point out how strong the economy is doing because of him. Can’t pick and choose which metric he’s responsible for and which one isn’t. He owns it all or none of it.

                Reply
            2. Bart

              bud, I appreciate your comments but like it or not, Trump has not been arrested, indicted, or convicted of any crime. Until evidence is presented that can support any accusations of misdeeds and criminal actions in a court of law or by impeachment, Trump, like it or not, still has the right under the Constitution to “presumption of innocence”. Yes, I will agree without question that over the years based on a preponderance of stories and reports about Trump, it is “very likely” he has committed crimes he has not been charged with or prosecuted for. However, none of them have actually resulted in legitimate court proceedings resulting in a guilty verdict by a jury.

              I will also admit that he doesn’t meet my moral standards for the leader of our country because of my knowledge about him well before he ran for POTUS and therefore it is just one of the reasons I didn’t vote for him in 2016 and won’t if he runs again in 2020.

              The exercise of the “Six Degrees of Separation Theory” cannot be used in a court of law. “Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.”

              While it is accurate that Trump can be associated with every individual who has been charged with crimes that are not directly connected to the original purpose of Mueller’s investigation, Trump and Russian collusion in the 2016 elections, they alone or as an aggregate have not produced an actual “smoking gun” that can be used legally against Trump.

              “I’ll just make one last comment. Anyone who does not want to impeach Trump has lost ALL credibility regarding law and order issues. The man is a crook. Period.”

              I am a law and order supporter and believe in the Constitution as the guiding principle for this country. Therefore until a direct connection with proof of misdeeds is produced or can be supported in Mueller’s findings, I do not support impeachment because Trump is an a$$hole. The 5th and 14th Amendments are still in force today and the only exception is if there is compelling evidence or reason to believe and can justify a charge that the public’s safety is in jeopardy.

              Agree or not, Starr did have sufficient cause to present to the House a reason to start impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton. He lied under oath. If Trump lied under oath to any questions posed by Mueller, then there is sufficient reason to impeach him and I would support it. Unsupported charges do not meet the standards.

              So, if you want to assess my credibility as being invalid because of my position, so be it. Your right to do so.

              Reply
      2. Mr. Smith

        I make no bones about it, I’d get rid of him in a New York minute. I have never despised an American public figure more than I do this president. And it wouldn’t matter to me if unemployment and inflation were both at zero and the stock market were through the roof, I’d still want him gone.
        I want that stinking pile of human excrement shoveled out of my Oval Office by whatever means it takes.

        Reply
        1. Barry

          Trump is a racist POS. BUT,

          I’m not thinking impeachment though. I prefer he lose at the ballot box. Can you imagine how sore a loser he would be during a transition? I doubt he’d even meet with a new president.

          Reply
        2. Brad Warthen Post author

          To Mr. Smith: “And it wouldn’t matter to me if unemployment and inflation were both at zero and the stock market were through the roof, I’d still want him gone.”

          Of course you would. In fact, I will never understand people who make their political judgments based on how the economy’s doing. It’s like basing your judgments on whether we’re in a year ending with an even number, or on the probability of precipitation. I’ve despised the “It’s the economy, stupid” way of looking at things ever since James Carville said it…

          Reply
          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Anyway, I don’t think you’d want inflation at zero, and maybe not unemployment, either. There are reasons why you don’t want zero inflation, but I forget them at the moment. Danger of deflation, or the economy is too cold, or something….

            Reply
    1. Bart

      Maybe the take should be that “your sleazebag liar is worse than our sleazebag liar and therefore we have the higher moral ground”. It works for either side.

      Reply
      1. Mr. Smith

        That’d the right view to take – if you’re a stone-cold cynic.

        What Republicans demonstrated on Wednesday is that they have taken expediency to the point of perversion. It was a display of total self-abasement. Don’t take my word for it, here’s conservative columnist Michael Gerson: “At some point, kissing up involves moral corruption. And Republicans passed that milestone some time ago. Many in Trump’s army of enablers have lost the ability to distinguish political realism from moral surrender. Now they are left to impugn the reputations of the president’s accusers, as though the whole Republican Party had signed on as part of Trump’s legal team. How did Republicans do? Cohen started the hearing with an absolutely awful reputation and still came across looking more trustworthy than his accusers.”

        Reply
        1. Bart

          Thanks for making my point. Illustration from your reply below.

          “Cohen started the hearing with an absolutely awful reputation and still came across looking more trustworthy than his accusers.”

          “That’d the right view to take – if you’re a stone-cold cynic.”

          Yes, I am a cynic after more years than I care to remember listening to the pundits, analysists, politicians, and other assorted lying public figures speak from both sides of their mouth and out of another region of the body that shall go unnamed.

          Haven’t gone “stone-cold” yet but getting close. Thanks for the “nudge”.

          Reply
          1. Doug Ross

            I’m a stone-frozen cynic. Haven’t had any compelling reason to change my mind in thirty years. Politicians are mostly corrupt self-serving scumbags.

            Reply
                1. Harry Harris

                  Is that how one becomes a selfish know-it all?
                  (Just a joke – the comment kind of begged for it.)

          2. Mr. Smith

            The next time you start to wonder what the problem is with our politics, look in the mirror – because cynicism is a big part of it.

            Reply
              1. Mr. Smith

                Yeah, just what I expected. Cynics consider themselves the “smarter” set, because they think they have a better grip on “how the world really works.” When, actually, they’re its ruination.

                We have the capacity to shape the reality we live in.

                Reply
                1. Bart

                  “We have the capacity to shape the reality we live in.”

                  Whose reality are you speaking of? Yours, Doug’s, bud’s, Harry’s, Brad’s, or a political or social philosophy? Reality can be whatever one chooses it to be, but it necessitates embracing all of the things that fit into one’s reality narrative and basically excluding or dismissing all other ideas and concepts of the possibility of an alternate reality. Ultimately it a product of the influences and experiences in your life from birth to the grave that formed your reality.

                  The reality of my comment is that both sides have their preferred advocate(s) and no matter what the other may say about him or her, they turn a blind eye and won’t bother to engage in critical thinking about the other person.

                  So, Trump or Cohen, which one is being truthful or to put it bluntly, is the worst liar of the two or can one liar be a more useful tool than the other one? No doubt Trump will lie without hesitation or regret, that is who he is. Cohen, how can I trust him when he has already been convicted of lying and is going to prison? Or is this an example of Kamm’s “Principle of Permissible Harm” where Cohan is given the benefit by Trump’s critics of doing the least amount of harm to the public but imposing greater harm to Trump by testifying about him? And vice versa for Trump’s supporters when he uses an element of truth to cover his lies.

                  But, does lying by either one assigns a greater value to their lying depending on which one is on a higher plane in your own reality? If I believe neither one is on a higher plane, and both are liars then am I a cynic, a skeptic, a realist, or all three? Does that make me the reason or cause for the condition of the hostile political atmosphere we live in today? Are you excluded from the cause and effect by reason of your reality? Do you see yourself as the voice of reason in your vision of human ignorance when you look in the mirror?

                2. Mr. Smith

                  “Reality can be whatever one chooses it to be”

                  Sounds pretty relativistic to me. And relativism can be cynicism masquerading in a different guise. Plus, personal experience can blind as well as teach. But in this instance I don’t think the Dems can be accused of turning a blind eye to the witness’s shortcomings. They fully and explicitly recognized Cohen’s history of past lies – and doing so didn’t require them to be cynics. But that does not preclude the value of his testimony. (Unless we’re supposed to conclude that everything he’s said about Trump is a lie, which would of course involve further legal jeopardy on his part.) And it would take an overdose of cynicism to conclude that the Dems are only interested in “getting” Trump, without regard to the truth, that it’s just liars vs. liars. It’s that sort of conclusion – that politicians are all liars to one degree or another, or that they’re only interested in tactical advantage – that leads to the ruination I was referring to. Because it’s that kind of cynicism that undermines faith in institutions, in concerted action to promote the general welfare and therefore in democratic government.

                  Having said all that, that wasn’t exactly what I meant by our capacity to shape our reality. Instead, I was referring to something larger and more fundamental. I was referring to the reality we all share, as a country, as a state, as a community, as a neighborhood — the kind of society we choose to build as a group. Some believe, or would have us believe, for example, that the so-called free market is a fact of nature and that if we fail to construct our lives around its “laws” then we risk the equivalent of the wrath of God. But the free market is not the same as gravity and its precepts are not equal to the laws of thermodynamics. It is a man-made construct. And while there is a place for it, government (which is just another word for “community life”) is about more than the free market or even the economy. To the extent free market mechanisms serve to provide the good life to the most number, then that is all to the good. But to the extent it fails to do so, then it is up to us to alter or abolish the “reality” it has shaped.

                3. Doug Ross

                  The irony is that I am a cynic for saying everything is relatively fine under Trump while apparently all the Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferers who say the world is ending are the optimists.

              2. Mark Stewart

                What Mr. Smith has said here rings true.

                I would quibble that it is up to us, through our governance policies and outlook, to mold and enhance the civic “rules” we collectively agree benefit the most people, the most justly.

                Reply
  6. Karen Pearson

    My only problem with impeaching Trump is that then we’d have Pence for president. He doesn’t appear to be quite the sleaze Trump is (aside from his constant toadying to Trump). But he strikes me all too much as a smart dictator wannabe. I hope they both get squashed come election day.

    Reply
  7. Doug Ross

    Cynicism based on reality is just demonstrating intelligence. If you watch something fail repeatedly over decades you can probably assume it will continue to fail when the same practices are continued.

    Reply
    1. Harry Harris

      Equating evidence or one’s experience with “reality” demonstrates a touch of arrogance in my view. One’s experience is at best a sampling technique on which conclusions may be drawn. At worst, it becomes a selective compiling of samples that confirm what we’ve chosen to believe or wish to promote. Most of us struggle to resist our tendencies toward the worst. I believe that a bent toward cynicism is a choice that we make. Skepticism, rather than cynicism seems a more useful tool in sorting information as we look to draw conclusions. Cynicism seems to be an attitude that is likely to bias our view of “reality.”

      Reply
  8. Doug Ross

    The infighting in the Democratic Party over Representative Ilhan Omar’s comments about Israel and all the attention Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s meteoric (Palin-like) rise to prominence is an example of why Republicans continue to win elections. Republicans are much more in (ahem) lockstep with fairly consistent views. Democrats are a band of small groups, each fighting for their seat at the table. Plus, the old guard led by ancient Nancy Pelosi, has no REAL interest in the issues that the young progressives are pursuing. They are too hooked in to lobbyists to care about anything but their own re-election and perks of the position.

    Term limits would help new ideas get traction much faster.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Ummm… term limits would lead to the election of far more unqualified, wacky neophytes like Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

      But you’re right to compare her to Palin. Another person who should be ignored but is not.

      Which provides us with today’s musical cue…

      Reply
        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Honestly, I’d have to know more about those districts, and those races, to be able to estimate just how stupid they are.

          But my understanding is that those were very safe seats, so anyone who got the Democratic nomination was going to win. So basically, they’re full of people who always vote for a Democrat, who are more or less just as stupid as people who always vote for a Republican.

          Which brings me to MY cure-all (as opposed to yours, which is term limits) — reapportionment reform. These two newbies seem like excellent illustrations of why we need to stop the practice of drawing safe seats for the parties.

          The thing that everyone seems to be missing is that these two yahoos are NOT representative of how and why the Democrats captured the House. Pelosi is speaker because of all the moderate Democrats who beat REPUBLICAN in districts that were more evenly drawn than the one This Year’s Girl lives in.

          Which is why Nancy owes the louder members of the Peanut Gallery nothing…

          Reply
          1. Doug Ross

            AOC beat the incumbent Democrat. It was a huge upset. The people decided she was the better option. So basically the same people who voted for the incumbent liked AOC better. That RARELY happens in politics.

            So were the voters smart before and dumb now? or does AOC reflect a changing landscape that the old guard has to shut down to maintain power?

            Seems like Pelosi better stop telling the kids to get off her lawn and move down to SunnySide Rest Home.

            Reply
            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              No, the relatively sane grownups are the ones who should stay. The loonies are the ones who should leave.

              I’m very, very concerned that the loud children are going to make it impossible to get rid of Trump. And that’s the main consideration here…

              Reply
              1. Doug Ross

                So how do you reconcile voters choosing AOC over the incumbent? It’s another symptom in my view of what gave us Trump. People are fed up with politics as usual.

                Which is why I expect someone like Mark Cuban or Michael Bloomberg to enter the race in 2020 and likely win. But if Trump faces an old retread like Joe Biden, he’s got a decent chance.

                Reply
                1. Doug Ross

                  Also, do you understand that the best chance you have to get single payer healthcare is for people like AOC to use their newfound political / social capital to push for it like she has?

                  Nancy Pelosi ain’t giving you single payer.

                2. Brad Warthen Post author

                  I believe the negative effect of her advocacy of single-payer probably outweighs any forward momentum she is able to give it.

                  If people thought it was socialism before, having her name attached to it doesn’t help…

                3. Brad Warthen Post author

                  “So how do you reconcile voters choosing AOC over the incumbent? It’s another symptom in my view of what gave us Trump. People are fed up with politics as usual.”

                  That’s right. There is a great sickness in the electorate, and it’s going to destroy the republic if we don’t reverse the trend.

                  Surely you don’t think a trend that puts her and Trump in office is a GOOD thing, right?

                  Bloomberg is out.

                  And if Trump is replaced by some clueless lefty neophyte, that’s not progress. That’s not curing the disease…

                4. Doug Ross

                  The disease is the politicians and their partisan self-interest. For now, we need some of the quackery of AOC (acupuncture) and Trump (vaccination deniers) to get to the ultimate cure: libertarianism

                5. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Aiiieeee! Your devilish plot comes to light!

                  Changing the subject: I just realized we’re having this conversation on a week-old post. I should probably do a new Open Thread…

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