The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

    Spot on. Reality check. Every single word.

    And I don't always agree with him. But this is masterpiece analysis, built of decades' experience. Unfortunately, not enough young lefties will learn until it's too late:


    p.s. He doesn't say it, but I will: among other things, people fed up with this is how Trump won enough votes to win against Hillary.

    Not sure - maybe someone amplified these sides to make them more pronounced and offensive and tiring. Back in 2016 "but her emails!" and innuendo about the Clinton Foundation was about the most disturbing the right could find. Sure $15 minimum wage and Medicare for all seemed too much, but BLM didn't control the party, global warming was still largely "let's try to move off oil", MeToo was largely based on real sexual attacks and exploitive behavior. Things got much more snowflake after, perhaps by highlighting the most querrelsome and absurd. After all, the press learned to let Trump control the narratives - he gave them their eyeballs, their ratings.

    Navigating culture xformation



    Harvey Milk was a Goldwater conservative, and Penn isn't wrong. I heard a Zoom call where all the men were talking that way and I thought, "There' no way all of them actually are. They're talking like that because everyone will hang up if they talk like men really talk."

    Conservative talkers like Dave Rubin are forever asking why people like Bill Maher just can't get themselves to cross the Rubicon and join the conservative side. My guess is for whatever reason that was just a lot easier for Rubin to do than Maher. Maher has a general TV audience and not a specified internet one. They take pictures together and their material is even similar, so it's anyone's guess.

    Maher is so smug, it's hard to take him serious. Is he really pointing out the most important issues of the day? The 1 time i appreciated him was noting suicide pilots weren't "cowards", whatever evil they were.

    That's the thing is it is cultural stuff. The Biden program for nascent truck drivers, Andrew Yang's UBI proposals, this would go nowhere in most GOP circles.

    Maher's whole point about Democrats becoming hyper-regulatory to the point of being counter-productive, with his story about what he had to do to install a solar panel - I see that all the time, like here:

    As the tweeter notes, it's even a theme of a popular TV show.


    Well, China's gov can confiscate whatever property it wants.

    Not to deny over-regulation here, but we just finished with 4 yrs of Trump bending gov to whatever crazy direction he wanted. Obviously some middle ground between fascist control and deep dysfunction.

    In many ways, San Francisco is one giant high speed restroom so I can see why they'd be excited about this development.


    Sarandon trolls, NYPost trolls back, liberals get more bad rep:

    This stuff is how the 1970s turned in to a 1984 Reagan blowout.

    Better in Rocky Horror & The Hunger.

    I have to admit that the leather jacket with flowers is a good look though.

    Biden distortion field?

    Fallows on framing

    Always winter in Bidenland

    Not the first time Fallows has brought this up

    I think that is basically the same thing Maher is addressing. Everyone expects Democrats to fix cultural and social issues because progressives constantly focus on those and all being doom and gloom and government could and should fix them if they really wanted to.

    When in actuality (as my deceased spouse used to say, who turned much more conservative over the years as a small business owner fed up with regulation), Democrats at the national level after Carter are better at running the economy! They just are:

    It's great to see the American economy booming, even if almost no one other than @ModeledBehavior
    saw it coming.

    The U.S. econ­omy added 467,000 jobs in Jan­uary. Pay­olls grew by nearly 1.2 mil­lion in No­vember and De­cem­ber, an up­ward re­vi­sion of about 700,000.

    — Erik Brynjolfsson (@erikbryn) February 4, 2022

    That's because it's not simplistic laissez-faire trickle down, they really are managing it at a federal level. When they try to micro-manage people's daily lives and their social and cultural choices is when it becomes the problem. Nobody immigrates here for the socialism stupids (even birth tourism in the U.S. is to give their baby a heads up in a capitalist world, not to get free health care.)


    correction to info above

    Carter actually implemented the tough medicine that fixed the economy, giving Reagan a much easier time of it.

    Reagan era wasn't so hot as I remember it - either considerable inflation or considerable unemployment, one or the other, always. To the point that  most economists told us that it was impossible to have both low unemployment and low inflation. Also that the huge debt would continue to grow and unbalanced budgets contributed but it was impossible to avoid them. The Bills Clinton and Rubin proved all of that untrue.

    From Noah Opinion - all about Carter:
    (or was it all about Nixon?:

    Also William Poole (2005)L


    Unbeknownst to many, last fall was the silver anniversary of a watershed moment in Fed history and the economic history of the country. On Oct. 6, 1979, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker took dramatic steps to rein in the runaway inflation that had been sapping the strength of our economy since the mid-1960s. Without his bold change in monetary policy and his determination to stick with it through several painful years, the U.S. economy would have continued its downward spiral. By reversing the misguided policies of his predecessors, Volcker set the table for the long economic expansions of the 1980s and 1990s.

    How bad was the period of the Great Inflation? The inflation rate, a mere 1 percent in 1965, hit 14 percent by 1980. Unemployment trended up from a low of 3.5 percent (annual average) in 1969 to 9.7 percent in 1982. The stock market was in the dumps. Oil prices jumped off the charts. Presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter became desperate enough to tinker with price controls, the results being disastrous.

    Volcker, in office only two months, took the radical step of switching Fed policy from targeting interest rates to targeting the money supply. The days of "easy credit" turned into the days of "very expensive credit." The prime lending rate exceeded 21 percent. Unemployment reached double digits in some months. The dollar depreciated significantly in world foreign exchange markets. Volcker's tough medicine led to not one, but two, recessions before prices finally stabilized.

    We've learned a lot from that period.

    For starters, ideas matter. Bad economic advice, much of it from economists, contributed greatly to policy mistakes in the pre-Volcker days. Keynesian economics had been in vogue by then for decades. This school argued that the government could tax and spend its way to full employment. Inflation was acceptable if it put more people to work. Thankfully, such thinking has been discredited today, although our economic models still need improvement.

    The Fed also learned that to be effective, it must have the confidence of the markets and the public. During the 1960s and early 1970s, various Fed chairmen made rumblings about fighting inflation, but they always backed down when the complaints about the resulting higher cost of credit grew loud. Fed Chairman William McChesney Martin, for example, was no match for President Lyndon Johnson, who depended on cheap credit to finance the Vietnam War and his Great Society. Because the markets observed the Fed's lack of fortitude, they had no expectations that the Fed would conquer inflation. It is extremely costly to bring inflation down if inflation expectations don't come down. Not until Volcker showed that the Fed could take the heat did the markets believe that the Fed was serious this time.

    Another lesson from the Great Inflation is that the Fed can only achieve its goal of maximum sustainable employment if it is successful in achieving its goal of price stability. The idea that we can let down our guard on inflation to increase employment is unwise in the long term because higher inflation eventually destroys rather than creates jobs.

    We've also learned our lesson to speak up. In the 1960s and 1970s, not everyone in the Fed System believed that an inflation/employment tradeoff would work. But these people didn't forcefully vocalize their worries. Everyone connected to the Fed today must be vigilant in ensuring that all sides of a debate are given a forum. I think we do a good job at airing debates today, but I believe the public should also be privy to this communication. If we are transparent in all that we do, we will have the public's support when tough medicine is needed again.

    Last, we learned that we need strong leaders. Paul Volcker was vilified for years because of the steps he had to take to break the back of inflation. "Wanted" posters targeted him for "killing" so many small businesses. Yet he remained resolute, doing what he knew was best for the country in the long term. We are also fortunate that President Ronald Reagan supported Volcker and the cause of price stability.

    Let's hope we always have such strong leaders at the helm.

    And for mortgages: (instead of mortgages, the principal went up what with leveraged institutional owners and bailouts of them over individual mortgage holders - with the especially nasty robo-forclosures of 2010 or so)


    The danger arises from illiberalism on the left and the right. Both sides are chipping away at the foundations of the American Republic; each side seems oblivious to its own defects.

    from What’s Happening on the Left Is No Excuse for What’s Happening on the Right Op-ed @, Jan. 20, 2022, by Jonathan Rauch and Peter Wehner (Mr. Rauch is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Mr. Wehner is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.)

    This is the same place Maher is coming from. He made his bones making fun of conservatives and still does that a lot. He's a liberal by the old standards. His harangue in the video is: Why did those standards change on him? Why did so many liberals become illiberal "progressives"? And the Rauch & Weiner op-ed makes clear that the tit-for-tat trolling by the illiberal right of the illiberal left, and vice-versa, is what is feeding the divisiveness that everyone is noticing unless they are blind.

    Ironically it is common for many to see Maher as an illiberal complainer. No he's not. He's a liberal. Don't blame the messenger, look at yourself.

    looking for undocumented immigrant victims of a hurricane to give them money (collected from taxpayers), can't seem to find them:

    NEW: We got the latest data on how much is being paid out of the fund for excluded Hurricane Ida victims.

    $1M isn't the final amount, but it's not likely all $27M will be used up. It's unclear how any leftover money will be used.


    — Samantha Maldonado (@sssmaldo) February 4, 2022


    GOP tricks senior voters - but wait, vote fraud doesn't have a significant impact I've heard - why would they do that?

    For "equity's" sake? God help us.

    (I kept trying to verify this wasn't true.

    Gonna be great for midterms.)

    I see Fox and all its friends are already on it, hot and heavy:

    Ed sez:

    p.s. looks like he checked it out first, too, just like PP:

    So no crackpipes. Never were, never will be.

    We just didn't wait long enough for the obvious refutation.

    But note that Republicans will still use discredited CONVICTED FELON Dinesh D'Souza* as go-to point "commentator" in spreading this type of disinfo. So no, both sides don't do it - 1 side has some thoroughly fucked up assholes - and the other side it's craven manipulative assholes all the way down, except for a few token nice guys they occasionally trot out to say "see, we're not all like that" before they're erased and replaced by a few other supposedly nice guys but worse than the previous branch.

    *D'Souza prosecuted by Preet Bharara for faked illegal campaign donations, trying to pull off that great Hans Von Spakovsky "Democrats are illegally voting by the millions" canard, and eventually pardoned by Trump so he can go back to making shit up for the right. Meanwhile, Al Franken remains retired for a 2-decade joke on tour about grabbing a flak jacket. All equivalent here. James O'Keefe, and... some Dem Congresswoman who had an in-office affair. Except O'Keefe didn't apologize or resign and is instead suing after likely helping steal Biden's daughter's diary.

    What are Showtime producers thinking? That anyone centrist is not going to hear about this, get angry about it, and further label liberals and even the Democratic party with this "white people are evil" kind of thing? They could at least add a pinch of irony. It's not like those who hate what the ad is saying are going to watch the show, it's not going to grow the audience, it's preaching to a small choir but giving that choir lots of (negative) p.r.


    WaPo ditches Watergate cred

    Slouches towards the "both sides do it" Karen-of-record.

    (will NYT be jealous?)

    Seriously, if the press can't call out huge obvious criminality, while one side is trumpeting obvious self-serving falsehoods, we're in trouble. Sure, liberals should be less unhinged ( or more hinged?), but this has been going on a long time. Bush trying to make his non-judicial secretary a Supreme Court Justice along with twisting all attorneys to political picks are obvious preludes to Javanka in the White House, politicizing the Executive Branch, and other overreach, as just 2 examples. The weakening of mainstream press outrage while having Fox, Sinclair and Clear Channel as partisan bullhorns is a distressing tilted playing field.

    She's talking about the "horse race press" which has always been with us and which Josh Dawsey is a member and which we all like to indulge in time to time. I think she's wrong to think outrage is what happened with Bernstein & Woodward, it was horse race turned into detective story, drip, drip, drip, day by day. No outrage there either. Afterward, just congressional investigations and hearings that some got addicted to and others could care less.

    (Pentagon Papers, now that one caused outrage on both sides!)

    Horse race press does "both sides do it" because that's what they report, how both partisan sides are doing things. They are cynical about it, cynical about both sides.

    While I don't mind you posting stuff on my threads, this really doesn't fit here to my mind. It's like you don't get why I started the blog.

    The only thing I myself is outraged about, which Bill Maher expressed well, is that I didn't change but the Democratic party did and liberals did. That's what the thread is about. The Democrats being taken over by the woke and the politically correct and ridiculous micro-managers and bureaucrats of things to no effect but taxes (i.e., "social workers" telling him what he needs to do to install solar panels.)

    Republicans were already getting in our face and trying to do nanny state with Jerry Falwell. Maher has been skewering that since those days. 

    Who could have predicted though, that the other party would also become religious warriors?

    And the last thing I want is more outrage, partisan or cultural, please leave the outrage out of WaPo and the NYTimes. Do stories on Trump's taxes, not as Emma Zahn said on one thread about a news story "when did the NYTimes get so woke?"

    I AM SO SICK OF OUTRAGE it makes me vomit.

    That's the last thing I want from newspapers, and frankly, it's the last thing I want from politicians as well. I'll vote for the guy or gal who isn't outraged but can handle whatever is happening. I even like judges that aren't outraged, I think that's a good thing.

    You seem to like it, I don't, never did. That's where we differ. But I will say one thing: Trump sells it. He sells outrage over political correctness. That's how he won the GOP primary and that's also how he won enough swing voters in places like Wisconsin, because like it or not, fair or not , Hillary basically signified outraged politically correct liberals who were going to legislate morals and Trump bashed exactly that and promised jobs jobs jobs and MAGA instead.

    (BTW, horse race journalism, basically that's what Josh Marshall did to himself and TPM, he just does it with a liberal bent. I actually prefer my horse race coverage more neutral and cynical when I indulge. Yes, "both sides do it" if that's the way you want to put it. But try it this way: Hillary vs. Obama vicious partisanship, lots of outrage. And oceankat will remember this-we had a nice little site at TPM Cafe where horse race was avoided almost totally and people talked policy and ideas. But all in one swoop, TPM Cafe was turned into a "horse race" site when he merged the political section where most members were with TPM Cafe. Us that wanted to talk non-partisan and non-horse-race stuff were suddenly flooded out by the likes of "horse race, horse race, horse race." The people who practiced calm horse race, rather than outrage, actually started this site that we are still using now -- is actually why I didn't join right away, wasn't my cup of tea.)

    I got why you started this thread - maybe i disagree some with"every word he says". That "both sides" press is less "both sides" and more "them damn liberals", giving the right a pass more and more. It feeds the kray-kray you're decrying - only these loons that Maher enjoys smugly decrying get through. It's combing through a 1000 pages of good legislation to find the crack pipe, when under Trump they wouldn't bother reading it - just another day in DC, ho-hum. The press amplifies this for fun and profit. Before many would've been in campus quad screaming & ignored. Now theyre propped up at the table, given equal billing or better.

    I like a Democratic party that is an ALTERNATIVE to what the GOP has been doing since like 1980

    which can be summed up as: CULTURE WARS distractions from reality.

    I think Bill Maher would like that too. But we don't have that, instead we have doppelganger OUTRAGE AND CULTURE WARRING BACK, maybe even worse. Falling for Trump's trolling hook line and sinker.

    I'd like to say to all the liberal "bloggers" earlier in the century always calling for Dem politicians and journalists to "get a spine" and asking "where's the outrage?" (to which I often thought: what's wrong with MSM? I'm actually looking at it and they're not doing what you claim and there's nothing wrong with "both sides" journalism, it's their job, and JUST SAY NO TO CULTURE WARS ):

    look what you did, see what this country has turned into?!  You turned this country into a troll thread. you pleased?! 

    Democrats need to go back to offering an alternative - that's what most centrists and independents want and they decide elections - and that means not culture warriors or lefty firebrands nor p.c. police, nor makework jobs for billion dollar taxpayer-funed government programs run by armies of nosy social workers that do nothing but make bureaucratic makework.

    Stop the whole warrior mentality and offer running the country like grownups. Bill Clinton did while being trolled to the max, proved it could be done, worked like a grownup with all the nuts including Gingrich, got re-elected and maintained a high approval rating to the end during an impeachment.

    It's not rocket science: some have to be grownups: STOP FEEDING THE TROLLS AND DO LOTS OF SISTER SOULJAH MOMENTS.

    Look at the 2020 "Hispanic vote" for clues. They are the future majority after all. Things haven't changed that much, the only thing is fear of doing Sister Souljah moments to left wing nut cases.

    Meantime I and lots of other people will be happy to vote for any Bloomberg type that doesn't play the game. I'm very serious. The national GOP will do what they've been doing for decades, or not. Maybe they'll get smart. Meantime people will be looking seriously way downticket at anyone that looks like a RINO to counter the incredible bullshit that is taking over "liberalism" and giving it a bad name.

    Yes I am with Maher 100% here. And so are the myriad family and friends who pointed out the Maher tape to me, not a single one a registered Republican yet, but starting to vote that way.

    "see what this country has turned into?!  You turned this country into a troll thread. you pleased?! " - well, no, i don't say "this country" is the same as political fighting or just a product of partisan issues. Most people have other stuff to do, survival + enjoyment. Which is why the MSM losing standards is problematic - people check in, expect a relatively adult summary of the news, and leave, and then we realize say a WaPo or CNN didn't find it notable to report that Trump was found to commandeer election booths, but instead the big news might be some jackass bit from Cori Bush about defund the police that almost no Democrats support. Biden had a great jobs report, but MSM reported it as "sluggish" and "disappointing" - the same MSM that would have praised Trump's jobs at exactly the same level. So the "Mainstream Public" is having trouble breaking through to the Mainstream Media.

    You still have a burr up your butt about Hillary, but she was largely about working families, security, healthcare, women's opportunities & support, those left behind, education, little controversial. Race was largely just part of the fabric - she had these or those supporters, relatively very little pandering except the pejorative "female issues", fair pay, etc. Because she was so boring and predictable, they needed exotic scandals & conspiracies rather than her putting her own foot in her mouth so much. And the bored MSM helped stir that up - months of front page news about her emails, while while more outrageous revelations about Trump's insurrection often goes below the fold. So yeah, liberals can be saying stupid shit, but the MSM helped give that voice to the most unhinged. If there hadn't been a pandemic, boring Joe would've been crucified for being boring and he would've never got elected. But he was able to largely sit in his living room for 8 months running, and MSM didn't have much to sink it's teeth into, so occupied itself with BLM stupidity instead, without the strong connection they wanted.

    Guess Maher is friendlier towards Hillary:

    Just 1) is she supposed to be more boring than Biden? 

    2) if she wasn't the identity politics queen, who was?

    3) why do we still try to think of Trump 2016 as "easy to beat" considering he still drew a lot of votes 2020 despite his absurdities & trampling on adult standards, he's still not going away, blew away all the Republican field with little effort in 2016, somehow always attracts a huge following & interest (thanks, CNN...), just seems to defy gravity

    4) how much of that "identity politics" backdrop was created by Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and Russia, and how much is *still* constantly regurgitated by these or similar players?

    Etc, etc. 

    you are the one with a burr up your butt about Hillary and it's extremely tiresome and I am embarrassed for you, like you are such a fanboy it has to have been a conspiracy, just can't be that a lot of people are not fans like you are. she herself is much more logical about what happened to her than you are. It really is unseemly what a fanboy you are.

    A reminder: she was my Senator before she was Sec. of State and I thought she did a great job at it.

    I would have been fine with her as president, as I knew from reading how much she had changed in her life, but I could VERY CLEARLY SEE what you just apparently won't: she didn't convince enough people of her changed brand. Lots of people don't like her, especially heartland people, they look at her and still see THE HILLARY POLITICALLY CORRECT HARRIDAN BRAND, which she discarded long ago, but she's not talented enough of a campaigning politician, not as talented at that as her husband to sell that she changed.  She had no talent at exhibiting her changed brand, it's just that simple

    The GOP attack dogs that helped brand her more didn't invent that old Hillary, she did. I don't blame them for taking advantage of her flaws They just picked up on it and ran with it and she didn't have enough talent to show how she changed. It's just reality. To take it any other way is whining she's a victim. A woman with that intelligence level is no vicitm. She really wasn't a good candidate, no skills at it, she belonged elsewhere, like Sec. of State. Not good with uneducated people, clearly an elite. Unlike her husband who could really do the empathy thing, an incredible talent at that. For chrissakes, even I would listen sometimes, her testifying to Congress on Benghazi or giving a campaign speech and think like this: oh gees, why can't see do this part right, why does she have to sound like such a PILL or SCHOOLMARM, it still sounds like Marian Wright Edelman is going to be running the oval office, doing this

    there's lots of Americans who don't want fleas pestering them about injustice all the time, they actually want a president to try to make them comfortable, not uncomfortable.

    She didn't have the right personality to run for the job. Her strong result was a testament to the fact that Trump really had only support in the range of 45%. But his team was smarter than her team at playing the electoral college.

    But realize that she would not have been popular as president, only elites like us would be supporting her, which would be counter-productive at times, it would have been a very troubled presidency with a legion of determined enemies and not enough strong supporters to counteract that. If she could not fix her branding, who could? 

    WHY WON'T YOU LET GO? She has. You actually think she would have transformed the nation or what? You actually come across just like Trump about this - that the evil "THEY" stole the election from her, whine, whine, whine...

    "She really wasn't a good candidate, no skills at it" - so getting 3 million more votes than your opponent in the final = "no skills". Running a near tie up to the last primaries in 2008 losing by 60 delegates (with Michigan & Florida removed) = "no skills". 

    I don't understand where this extreme judgment comes from. Bill Clinton got 25 million fewer votes than his opponents in 1992, the same # of votes in 1996 yet he's a genius. Bush got 3 million more votes than Kerry, won by only 35 electoral votes, while 2000 was a tie. Biden was floundering on his 3rd attempt until Clyburn pulled him out, and then the pandemic let him not have to campaign.

    So who are these great "some skills" candidates Hillary pales to? Carter for perseverance, Reagan, Obama, Trump.

    Who are the non-winners that showed such amazing campaign skills? Who exactly is Hillary graded against? Why such an extreme chasm, where barely lost = "no skills"? Trump blew *all* his Republican opponents out of the water (many arguably with no campaign skills, though a number were sitting Senators). I can easily argue ways that Hillary ran a flawed campaign both times (or 3  including Bernie). But there are also a ton more asterisks in these 3 contests as well. Including a lot of Hillary's lack of skill wasn't with people, but with the press and the social media platform (which barely came into being in 2004 with Howard Dean's brief campaign & media meltdown, so not a lot of historical comparisons to make).

    NPR put 3 reporters on this story about which skin-color emojis one should use, including the sociological, communicative and emotional ramifications one should consider:

    Surely this is the woke singularity event in which reality and parody merge so completely that one is utterly incapable of distinguishing between the two.

    — Bo Winegard (@EPoe187) February 9, 2022

    Going to be tough to prove this meme wrong:

    Uh, what? They didn't cotton to Charlottesville much either - "blue collar" or just crazed right-wing racists? In this trucker case, the funny money-backed "spontaneous" truckers movement is all about right-wing positions over vaccines and distancing. And then again, i thought we agreed that the Marxist/corrupt side of BLM was just a tiny piece of more normal people actually concerned about displays of heedless police & citizens racist brutality, but most wouldn't support "defund police", including the mayor of Atlanta. So now does "leftist" mean unreasonable and petulant only? Sure, we have a current quandary of putting woke values in a more temperate zone rather than cancel culture and displays of intolerance, but that's often how more extreme and activist movements behave. The Black Panthers weren't a huge movement, but by Sal Alinsky or whatever methods they punched higher than their weight class. And sure, that lost Humphrey votes to Nixon and Wallace, but there were other factors as well. But the ability of a Roger Stone to disrupt and propagandize everything wasn't nearly as great then as having the Fox and Sinclair behemoths where they can invite and use both sides against the middle, and whereas many people in 1968 were just getting color TVs, now we're all hooked into constant unhinged lobsided news & opinion, whoever's it is at heart. People like to agree with their peers, and we've exacerbated instant polling agreement among friends & families & online acquaintances. Is it "leftists are crazier", or simply it's much easier to catch a few saying stupid shit and amplify it to the world, along with the shaming & mass attacks on anyone who doesn't agree or steps out of line with some fringe element? The Media could be a mature taming force in this, but for various reasons are a lot weaker than should be, and it's very much part of the story - they're often our reference point, deserved or not 

    Reality check version by Nate Silver and David Shor, not getting personal about it but just talking about what they see:

    Shor bringing up educated evangelicals and what they effected in the GOP reminded me how many have equated Wokeness to a religion and they really really don't like it. For example see Antonio Garcia Martinez' THE CHRIST WITH A THOUSAND FACES. Other examples of those who see the same thing are Wesley Yang, The Woke Temple, Andrew Sullivan, etc. Heck, the really strident fighters against the same thing that Bill Maher sees are virtually everyone that signed the "Harper's Letter" about freedom of speech vs. cancel culture

    (Maher takes it more on a "what will be will be" basis, and uses it to make jokes for his show; the rant was really answering viewers who asked "why did you change, why are you picking on Dems now?" and he answers "I didn't change,they did. I'm still a liberal, the same liberal. They have become just as ridiculous as conservatives." But those others, they are really passionately fighting it. )

    It really does intersect with the cancel culture problem! Trying to cancel those who are not ideologically pure, by the left and by the right. Neither party a big tent anymore, the purists have strangleholds on each.

    The voters at the center want none of it. They are the new "silent majority". First the Christian right, then the Tea Party takes over the GOP and practices cancel culture takes over the GOP and tries to cancel those who don't tow the line including butting into private lives (Log Cabin Republicans for example, melted out of existence.) Now The Woke are chasing all those not ideologically pure away from the Democrats.

    If things don't change, you'll have two very small political parties and everyone else registered Independent because they don't want to be so "pure". (I still believe this was the appeal of Trump in 2016 to enough voters to win - he wasn't ideologically pure, he talked some GOP and some Dem ideas. When the very same voters saw the disaster he really was, they dumped him. Jim Clyburn was wise enough to see that a Biden type was needed, and most definitely not a more ideological woke type. He argued in that same vein after the election, too.)

    The Editorial Board of the internationally prestigious (and yes, elite,) Financial Times have heard tell of Maher's rant, think it has merit, and have decided to give their opinion on it (it basically says it's time for Joe to have some Sister Souljah moments, to stop "ducking" those, or else).Copied for fair use purposes to share with my fellow news junkies on Dagblog as a comment on my blog tracking the topic. My underlining added.

    Joe Biden must confront the left’s cultural over-reach

    Many liberal Americans also worry about the excesses of progressive activism

    THE EDITORIAL BOARD @ The Financial Times, Feb. 10

    Last month, Bill Maher, a pot-smoking bachelor and no one’s idea of a traditionalist, used his HBO talk show to attack America’s political left. His complaints ranged from gender-neutral toys to slack enforcement of the laws against shoplifting in San Francisco. He drew a distinction between a fringe of cultural radicals and a liberal mass who “refuse to call them out for it”.

    Parts of his screed were sensationalist. In a federal system of 350mn people, there will always be local oddities in policy. But it is foolish to ignore the fact that lots of even non-conservative Americans (his cheering audience included) agree with him. Or that his delineation of the left into two groups is astute.

    The number of Democrats who really want a cultural revolution is small. Those who lack the stomach to confront the zealots are legion. They have spent much of the past two years, for instance, pretending that Defund the Police means something else.

    This ducking of the issue has a price. There are lots of reasons why President Joe Biden has low approval ratings. He has been a disappointment in the fight against the pandemic. In his social spending bill, he has assumed that policies that poll well individually remain popular when combined in great number. Part of the mix of problems, though, is cultural. Some voters worry that the 79-year-old is uncomprehending and therefore indulgent of a generation of progressive activists.

    Republicans attribute their victory of the Virginia governorship in November at least in part to a backlash from cultural moderates. Among the first executive acts of Glenn Youngkin, who took possession of the office last month, has been to purge school curricula of “divisive concepts, including critical race theory”. Vague, yes. Cynical, even. But if his message resonates in solidly blue Virginia, Biden must consider the mood in Arizona and Georgia, among other states he took from the Republicans in 2020.

    A president cannot and should not micromanage local policing and schooling, much less the private decisions of “woke” business. What he can do is state his own liberal-but-not-radical position in the cultural struggles of the day, as did former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama at various times.

    Maher is not the only American who subscribes to liberalism in its old sense while balking at group rights, equivocation over crime (many of whose victims are poor minorities) and the minefield of modern speech. It is not as though Biden need turn into J Edgar Hoover to win these voters over. And if and when they are reassured, the Republicans’ own capacity for cultural over-reach, perhaps in the form of judicial rulings on abortion and other issues this year, will stand out.

    At the moment, Biden is relying on his bona fides to get him through. He has spent much of his career at the conservative end of his party. He is a Catholic who came of age before the Permissive Society of the 1960s. If anything, the worry upon his third bid for the White House was that the author of hardline criminal justice laws was too draconian and old-fashioned for modern America. Perhaps to compensate for that past, however, he has been nervous to shout down the strident voices to his left. He is caught between strict liberals and the kind of progressives for whom liberalism is a polite cover for all kinds of structural inequities. Refusing to pick a side is a good way to maintain the uneasy peace within the Democratic party. Unfortunately, it is also a good way of arousing the mistrust of large parts of the country.


    I'll try to address some of these issues.
    1) A legally required "gender free toy zone" sounds like madness - and it is. Sure there's good sense behind making more diverse dolls (brown & black & other skin), just because part of what dolls are is about ourselves. But it could be okay to encourage some greater diversity - not pass a law requiring it. Yet I also get annoyed from all this "woman in STEM, women in STEM" nonsense. My Mom didn't go into STEM, yet at some point she turned a pretty hefty paycheck. Yet when she could advise someone down and out what did she suggest? "STEM".
    2) The Squad is mostly bankrupt of real ideas & behavior, and the BLM organization (but not the phrase) is corrupt. Sure, "defund police" was a holler in a time of pain, but after the protests *most* people put things back in perspective. But in general, police haven't been defunded. Why do we act like they have? The Squad makes up 4 or 5 of 435 Congressfolk - 1%. They do not "represent the Democratic Party" - they are a small fringe
    Oh yes, Susan Sarandon will keep saying stupid over-tweaked stuff forever. She's a great actor, but politically she has either dumb ideas or dumb ways of expressing them. Which is often what we expect of actors, prejudiced or not, even though Richard Gere made a good advocate for Tibet. But again, they're not the mainstays of the party. [though I might note that since Hillary disappeared & Obama left office, it's pretty hard to see who the A-Team is besides Biden in the White House. So maybe it's not so much the fringe Dems have gotten crazier - maybe there are no longer the compelling superstar mainstream figures?]
    3) But stupid laws decriminalizing shoplifting, mob snatch-and-runs, letting convicts easily out on the street again - I simply don't know who's for this. Yet someone's making a number of these laws. Sure, gun control ideas keep getting shut down, but "law freeing 10 people who ransacked an Adidas store" or decriminalizing any theft under $1000? Besides inflicting pain on storeowners, it's also political idiotic.
    4) Product warnings - uh, due to liability issues, products have long had "warning: do not let your child insert this refrigerator into his/her nose" tags to ward off even the most remote liability. This is a distraction, *but* yes, the careful instructions for putting up a solar panel and running electric cables around an old shack *can* be a real fire hazard, and considering the millions of dollars in forest fires caused by PG&E and solo arsonists & perhaps accidents, it's not terribly dumb or "woke", even if it seems annoying. Cancer from wood dust? not so likely.
    5) I don't think most Dems think of Liz Cheney as a soulmate or all her conservative weirdness is forgotten/forgiven just by joining this Jan6 committee - but she has done an excellent job, even as she accuses Biden programs of being "socialist" and other nonsense. But for optics, it does help Dems to have 2 Republicans join them in investigate so sure, I'll be less critical.
    6) Partisan Conservatives laugh at stuff that's not funny all the time - even people getting executed, or immigrants put in cages - so "they are laughing at it" doesn't mean "it rings true" just like calling french fries "freedom fries" wasn't a sensible or ethical answer to the French not joining us in the trumped up excuse to invade Iraq - what "rings true" was it was mostly manipulated bullshit that was known to be BS by Feb/Mar 2003, yet we went in anyway. That callous cynical partisan laughter is even more omnipresent these days with the MTG & Boehlert & smarmy Ted Cruz and others. And maybe they'll sometimes find a Dem policy that at least sounds tonedeaf (like giving crack pipes to addicts sounds as dumb as freeing mass shoplifters, but in case there are some reasonable health policy justficitacations, but still, we should understand what should be done in the dead of night or not at all, even if it sounded good. There are hills not worth dying on.
    7) I don't know what supposed bad job on Covid the FT thinks Biden's done, but I think overall he tried & succeeded in getting vaccines out & having better health advice than Trump allowed. Resistance to vaccines & masks has been fomented by Republicans - not sure what he could have done. Yes, Biden can support state & metro areas' attempts to lower shooting, but as long as Republicans keep gun laws sacrosanct, this will be tough. It is nice the FT "possibly" acknowledges GOP overreach on abortion, however. 
    8) but there is cancel culture going on, and there are insatiable leftists engaging in it, and there are areas where' we've grown nonsensical, like letting testosterone-laden transexuals compete/easily beat women, or fainting at every hint of the adolescently named "n"-word, or going through bouts about proper ways to encourage greater ethnic and gender and religious acceptance without ripping some group down or making a caricature out of rules for another group. But yes, continuing prejudice and discrimination may make some race-based solutions useful, though it's worth considering in some areas class-based measures & solutions might make more sense and face less rightful appraisal as unfair. But some black ex-Army officer getting up at a parent-teachers meeting to proclaim just because he made out ok that racism doesn't matter anymore in 2021, well, that's pretty delusional as well. But I'm still doubtful that the crazy statements are a large degree above outragous statements 20 & 40 years ago. We largely just have the Web to obsess over them & pass them on to 1000 of our closest friends.
    Maybe more, not sure...

    you're giving your personal reaction to these things. you're one voter.

    I think Maher is far more representative of many more voters, and especially important swing voters who are liberal about many things but not this type of stuff.

    In the end, it's not about arguing over the policy of each and every example, it is how those examples BRAND the Democratic party because no one has the guts to "Sister Souljah" them as ridiculous WHEN THEY SOUND RIDICULOUS AS PRESENTED to any moderate sane voter.

    It is NO DIFFERENT with the GOP establishment not having the GUTS to call out insane excuses for Trump nuts.  In both cases extremists have somehow scared the shit out of the establishment of each party and they think they must pander to them rather than DENOUNCE them, they should DENOUNCE the extremists or they risk losing the moderate majority.

    We have stupidly gotten into a situation where both parties are afraid to dis their extremist wings. Instead of loudly denouncing idiocracy, they stay silent or pander. The moderate majority has nowhere to go, the parties get smaller....

    AGAIN: Maher has skewered idiot righties for decades. But all of a sudden, he finds plenty of fodder in lefty Democrat land with no Democratic politicians denouncing all the craziness and he is a liberal and has not changed his views. Message: real old-style liberals are no longer welcome. He makes fun of it all the way to the bank, to a growing audience. Financial Times sees the problem clear as a bell. And again, I got a link to exactly that video from family members and friends who have never (yet) registered Republican. But he expresses what they are upset about and well.

    Do you really think Peracles' laundry list arguments about the rationality of policy involved with each thing Maher used as an example is going to matter to anyone? NOPE. The main message: the Democratic party is pandering to Woke liberal extremism and I hate it and Maher is one of the few that is speaking for me in denouncing it and the Democratic party is not denouncing it, 'The Squad" has them by the balls, and they are extremists.

    1,2,3,8 - sure, Sista Souljah them

    6 - but no one loses sleep that Republicans never Sista Souljah even their craziest crackers

    5 - Dems are supposed to reach across the aisle (how many GOP FBI directors & SecDefs have Dems appointed) to make legislation bipartisan, impeachment trials unbiased, Obamacare balanced, but when they do find Republicans like Cheney and Kitzinger to work with, they're "hypocrites" for working with their enemies. Well screw that.

    on 6 - but no one loses sleep that Republicans never Sista Souljah even their craziest crackers

    AGAIN: I, and many others would like to have an ALTERNATIVE party to the one that has played culture wars for decades. Not one that behaves exactly the same. An alternative.

    Yes, I had my compromised-but-acceptable alternatives kneecapped in 2000 (Bradley), 2008 (Obama), 2016 (Trump), largely by the woke "accept no compromises" mantra ["let's all go up to Dakota to protest a pipeline rather than hold our noses and campaign for a moderate candidate we can't stomach"]*. Well, Obama was a compromise I could deal with, but his lacks were largely as predicted, and it butchered the Democratic machine & down-ticket candidates. Biden was my lowered-expectations candidate for 2020, since I didn't see anyone with the magnetism and compelling platform to guide the party, so him handling the pandemic & jobs situation much better despite no-instant-miracles (the Jerry Ford WIN button turned upside down) leaves me largely satisfied, and hopefully he can avoid war with Russia/Russia invading & other challenges for a guy well-steeped in Capitol Hill. But I'm certainly open to some more attractive alternatives appearing in 2022 and 2024, as the challenges of this era & the consolidation of the economy under our own Silicon Valley & other oligarchs makes the public's future options more iffy. But part of me is afraid it'll just be another Bernie in the Midst.**

    *I should note that part of the "a woman, but not that woman" also launched the woke "it has to be a POC woman" expectation too as a rather shitty opportunistic opposition tactic. Sorry, white gals - you've been moved to the back-burner off history, w/o quite ever making it to the front-burner of history. A shame you're actually a majority, but rules are rules... see, we got all these people waiting... #4thWaveFeminism indeed - intersectionality über alles (circa 2012, Wikipedia tells me - 10 years of divisive wokedom to celebrate this year)

    **Bernie himself seems more reasonable & helpful post-campaigner, perhaps less influenced now by his fans, and back to his roots.

    ***For a non-party alternative to arise, enough Republicans have to escape their Stockholm Syndrome to want to rejoin the real world. That may be starting, but the numbers aren't compelling yet. Democrats/liberals of course have enough to speak out, even if we have some municipal govs going down the Woke Wabbit hole.

    New York Times so woke it's bleeding:

    moving to Texas, can't take this anymore...

    nuance on one thing gone viral:

    tho I betcha Bill Maher would be all for giving em crack pipes if it would make them stay off the streets stealing stuff

    this guy "Black Empire" explains how it is supposed to work out (even tho he's disappointed that that's the way it works):

    the radicals get to talk, but then they sit down and shut up and they learn to eat moderation

    unless you want to have a parliamentary system with many parties

    p.s. I did a whole thread once upon a time how Bronxite types just don't like radical left talk.

    Or check out any of the mryriad threads on "hey wha happened in 2020?! why did so many "Hispanic" voters switch over to the GOP, they were supposed to be ours"

    Preaching to her choir AND A.O.C. retweeted it:

    Josh Hawley tries to brand Biden with her via mainstream Axios. She takes the bait, doesn't defend Biden, of course. She digs in that her tribe is being murdered,it's them against the whole racist U.S.A. Not exactly a team member. And AOC applauds. Biden admin.: crickets, no sister souljah. Jim Clyburn's office probably silently swearing, trying to figure out how to gag her.

    Ilhan Omar also needs some Sister Souljah'ing. She says today that Biden's sanctions on Afghanistan are unconscionable, basically the totally simplistic un-nuanced view taht the Taliban didn't hurt any Americans (nor Afghanis? all the wimmin would be pleased as punch with them in charge if we would just stop sanctioning em) while we give money to countries that did. She's doing that while Biden's still suffering a lot of heat for withdrawing the way he did. A real team player.

    last before that, she retweeted this:

    yesterday she retweeted this 

    This vicious pattern of #PoliceBrutality must stop. These thugs in uniform stain the image of decent policemen & women who uphold the law. They don't consider Black ppl are human-beings with divine & constitutional right to *life, liberty & pursuit of happiness* #JusticeForBishar

    — Abukar Arman (@Abukar_Arman) February 11, 2022


    meanwhile what the evil supposedly "DINO" Joe Manchin is worrying about

    one reply of many

    which sounds like most Americans right now, Ilhan Omar & Cori Bush or Joe Manchin?

    Dems are going to go down in the Nov. elections without more Sister Souljah moments.

    It's no longer about Trump for the Dem vote, he's history for 2022, especially now that he's turned his back on DeSantis types. But people who could vote for DeSantis types or Manchin types, they may very well if Dems keep up with not decrying the Woke shit. I've got a real strong inkling that lots of these kind of people are still very mad about the 2020 riots, much more than they care about what happens about Jan. 6, especially since so many of the Jan. 6 participants are being prosecuted. but the ring leaders, you say. Well if you're not into ideology but practicality, people have their own agency and nobody is forcing them to riot. If you're not into arresting "ringleaders" who excuse looting and burning, then why are you going after some and not others? yeah, yeah, they know,  heard it before, democracy is under threat when they attack congress blah blah blah but not when they burn police stations and attack federal courthouses...national politicians represent the people but bodega owners don't blah blah blah

    real centrist people, not right wing nuts, followers of Yglesias, still talking only the other day about summer 2020, on a thread Yglesias started on the Ottawa truckers. they're not forgetting it, not letting go, they see equivalence of The Woke and the libertarians trying to pull it all down, society falling apart into tribes, Yglesias sees and has to address it 

    For whatever reason ~ Fewer Americans now say Trump bears a lot of responsibility for the Jan. 6 

    FEBRUARY 8, 2022 @



    They started forgiving & forgetting by Jan 8, nothing too surprising.

    this >>>>

    nooooo! who are comics and pundits going to make fun of if they keep doing that?! cheeky

    The recall of the 3 ultra woke school board members in SF was successful - oh the humanity! - meanwhile here is what the rest of the state has been thinking lately:

    oh look a rare bird, a realist activist:

    Yeah, we be suffrin' over here in Your up.

    And does 1 soundbite cure 8-12 months of obstinate?

    Meanwhile, in the cluelessness department:

    I see a lot of the "cluelessness" is all just imitating the BLM lefties in 2020, a sort of version of whatabout-ism.

    For example, on Jan, 6  while it was still going on there was this huge outcry that the nasty racist Capitol police weren't shooting down white rioters as they most certainly would if they were black rioters, even though we just had a whole year of rioting and looting and other mayhem in many cities with a lot of police holding back or even hands-off. I even got chastised that day by NCD and rmrd for saying this was partly influenced by and payback for BLM all year, that it had nothing, zero to do with BLM and Capitol cops were racist. I remember oceankat speaking up for me by butting in and basically saying something along the lines of "anyone who can't see the two are related are blind" it's about rule of law vs. libertarians/anarchists.

    The Fox types and other supporters of the truckers are playing a LOT of 2020 BLM memes, very deliberately. This for example is basically the same meme as the elderly white lefty protestor in 2020 being knocked over by marching cops and cracking his skull because he walked right into them (viral incident with video was like in Rochester or Albany, somewhere in upstate NY.) Now it's the same "oh the humanity!" theme of brutal cops, they are evil

    So proud of our Canadian police. To serve and protect. So glad they took that 80-year-old, 5-foot-nothing man off the streets. I feel so much safer now.

    — Ezra Levant (@ezralevant) February 7, 2022

    it's here in this story, too

    It’s this massive sense of entitlement & opt-out of the social contract that gets to me with the #Clownvoy #NZConvoy2022 Refusing to pay a parking ticket after blocking people from their homes & work places for a week - AFTER free parking was offered!

    — Dr Sea (@DrSeaRotmann) February 15, 2022

    I don't forget it because it was one of rmrd's ridiculous gas lighting tricks with me, he was fond of that video of the old white guy being knocked over by marching cops, would post it on my threads months later. What he didn't get was how much it was just more proof how he was more interested in hating and abolishing police than in fighting racism. I was going to look an example of that up, but why bother, water over the damn.

    The point now: I see the trucker movement purposely imitating a lot of BLM memes. This unifies ultra-libertarians left and right (ala Boogalois Bois and BLM defunders and abolitionists) but it also backfires as it turns a lot of the center off.

    Fox types are playing with fire here...

    p.s just like with BLM, there is extreme emphasis by supporters of the trucker protests that these are almost all "peaceful" protests, as if the breaking the law didn't matter. Yes back to MLK Jr. You block a street, do a sit-down, you're ready willing and able to be arrested, that's part of the whole shtick, that how you draw media attention to laws you think are unjust. You get arrested. If the cops just *shrug*, that's not what you're looking for. Nor is what you're looking for is anarchy and the complete downfall of rules of civilization.

    NOT like in Minneapolis where the cops just allowed a small band of BLM protesters take over a section of highway every night for weeks, like it was their own private party where they could express themselves, instead of arresting them from the getgo. So what happens: that crazy immigrant guy drove down a ramp and killed one of those protesters because there were no police policing that area of the highway (of course everyone on the left jumped to the conclusion that he was a white supremacist attacker until they found out was some kind of Arab immigrant with a fancy car who was just running wild.)

    Oh, i just figure a lot of people don't pay attention to details when so many robotic memes & slogans and 2nd hand analysis is available. Eric Gardner had a long clueless thread yesterday. But i get this dumb shit from both sides* - Facebook is a drag with "friends". After 2 years people are sick of inconvenience, but i don't think that means sympathy for honking truckers. But the tiny minority shit disturbers will pretend to be driving a "movement".

    *check out the people discussing "DNS infiltration" as if it's shady when it's all public. 6 years later they're still clueless. 6 years later Dunham is still clueless. 6 years later the hippy anarchic republic of Portland is still clueless. And so on.

    He's not blind:

    the fallout of the 2020 Geo. Floyd protests focused on changing the enforcement of rule of law and related rioting and looting across the U.S. are a deep psychic societal wound totally intertwined with the Covid pandemic. Just one side effect: lots more guns, lots. Lots more angry and frightened people. Going to be a major chapter in the history books. And my bet is a lot of the blame now being laid on Trump - he is going to eventually be seen more as symptom, not the only instigator. Those culture wars have been brewing a long time and have been manipulated by many. The thing to watch now is: the breaking point of liberals like Maher and Bai. 

    Kinda going off thread, but FWIW, in Canada the trucker movement now using all kinds of narratives against Trudeau that have been used against Trump and whypipple in the U.S. Here's a smattering of stuff I found quickly under #TrudeauForTreason hashtag:

    The Ottawa avocado-toast-eating laptop class flipping out about $25.00 donations from American moms and blue-collar workers to the #freedomconvoy while the Trudeau Foundation regularly receives hundreds of thousands in foreign funding is really cute. #TrudeauForTreason

    — Josh D (@canadianaco) February 17, 2022

    Flying a Canadian flag? Better make sure you're on the same side as the media and the police or you just might get pulled over and have your life ruined. #TrudeauDictatorshipMustGo #TrudeauForTreason #FreedomConvoyCanada2022

    — TradeyPants (Fringe minority w/Unacceptable Views) (@TradeyPants) February 17, 2022

    At least 68 churches burned, Trudeau shrugs.#CanadaTruckers #TrudeauForTreason #FreedomConvoyCanada2022

    — Dr. Jimmy Yam (@JimmyJoeYam) February 17, 2022

    DR Robert Malone
    "There is speculation Justin Trudeau & his families foundation holds 40% of Acuitas Therapeutics which is a lipid nanoparticle delivery system for Pfizer. There appears to be a major conflict of interest with Trudeau." #TrudeauForTreason #COVID19

    — NeverSchwabber (@Davos_Prison) February 17, 2022

    It seems like only yesterday, don't it, when the left was outraged by Trudeau's black face costumes and warning all of us how it was going to destroy him.

    Another well-known liberal willing to say straight out that he's increasingly repulsed by both parties and no longer has a political home

    Opinion: I reject both parties’ ideas of Americanism. And I’m not the only one.

    By Matt Bai @ Contributing columnist, Yesterday at 3:45 p.m. EST

    This is a FULL COPY OF ARTICLE by paid subscriber FOR FAIR USE

    For more than two decades, I’ve tried to make sense of political currents in both parties, often to the consternation of readers on both sides. I’ve been called a corporatist and Republican apologist; more often, I’m called an elitist who pumps out Democratic talking points.

    In all that time, I have not felt as utterly repulsed from the mainstream of both parties as I do right now. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.

    Like most kids who grew up politically engaged in the Northeast, I started political life as a registered Democrat, casting my first presidential vote for Michael Dukakis. In my mid-20s, while a city desk reporter at the Boston Globe, I changed my registration to independent, and I’ve never gone back.

    For many years, when I told curious politicos or readers that I was an independent, they would nod knowingly, as if we both understood this was a necessity of the job — a veneer covering my obviously leftist sensibilities.

    In fact, I never thought party registration had anything to do with my credibility as a reporter. I chose to be an independent because, temperamentally and intellectually, that’s how I’m wired.

    I wasn’t comfortable with the increasing tribalism of party politics. And once you’ve covered cops, courts and housing projects in cities such as Boston and New York, it’s hard to maintain a belief that government has all the answers.

    Through six presidential campaigns and counting, I have found much to disdain in both parties but also plenty to admire. I like politicians generally, and I’ve written positively about both Democrats and Republicans — Barack ObamaMark R. WarnerChris ChristieJohn Kasich — who had the courage to rethink old orthodoxies.

    I have never bought into the idea that journalists shouldn’t vote — that refraining from the exercise of citizenship somehow made us any less biased. I’ve voted Democratic in most elections, if not always enthusiastically, and I’ve cast ballots for Republicans and third-party candidates, too.

    All of which is to say that, like a growing number of Americans who eschew party affiliations, I leaned in one direction more often than not, but I wasn’t a loyalist.

    Lately, however, I find myself feeling not so much ambivalent about the parties as alienated. I’m confronted with two extreme interpretations of what it means to be American, and I emphatically reject them both.

    It seems self-evident that the Republican Party — more a celebrity fan club than a political organization at this point — would, if left to its own devices, destroy the foundation of the republic. I never thought I’d write those words about any U.S. political party, but here we are.

    It’s not just that Donald Trump and his imitators would blow up the integrity of our elections, or that they have expressly countenanced a violent insurrection against the federal government, or that they basically admit to having no governing agenda beyond the reclamation of some mythical White heritage.

    It’s also that the Trumpist GOP advances the notion, in all kinds of ways, that citizenship alone doesn’t mean you belong here — that your race or ethnicity, the language that you speak, or the identity you choose can somehow make you less American than your neighbor.

    We’ve seen this interpretation of Americanism before — in segregated schools and diners, in the internment of Japanese Americans, in populist disdain for Catholics and Jews. No patriotic American should entertain it, and no politician with an ounce of integrity would excuse it.

    You might think, given this Republican calamity, that any political alternative would be sufficient. And, yes, a party that doesn’t seek to limit ballot access and install an autocrat is definitely a step up.

    But that doesn’t mean a lot of us who consider ourselves liberal feel kinship with today’s Democratic Party — or that we’d even be welcome if we did.

    Rather than focus on traditional American ideals of citizenship over race or origin, the left is in thrall to its own misguided cultural revolution (yes, I use the term deliberately), embracing a vision of the United States that lays waste to the 20th-century liberalism of its greatest icons.

    I’ve always liked and respected President Biden, and in most ways he has governed well. His $1.2 trillion infrastructure package was a major achievement. His efforts to counter the pandemic have been steady. He seems poised to make a historic addition to the Supreme Court.

    For all of his successes, though, there’s a fire raging in his party that Biden hasn’t even tried to control — and probably couldn’t extinguish if he did. For me (and probably a lot of suburbanites voting this fall), this is more than a backdrop to his presidency. It’s a dealbreaker.

    In their zeal to beat back Trumpism, the loudest Democratic groups have transformed into its Bizarro World imitators. Tossing aside ideals of equal opportunity and free expression, the new leftists obsess on identity as much as their adversaries do — but instead of trying to restore some obsolete notion of a White-dominated society, they seek vengeance under the guise of virtue.

    One of the bibles of this movement is a book called “How to Be an Antiracist,” in which Ibram X. Kendi declares: “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

    This is not — as the celebrated author claims — an expression of support for Lyndon B. Johnson-style affirmative action, which still makes sense to me. It is a case for the kind of social upheaval that occurred when foreign empires relinquished their colonies. It does not end well.

    Liberals used to believe in civil debate about such ideas. But now, the arbiters of language are constantly issuing Soviet-style edicts about which terms are acceptable and which aren’t (“woke” was okay, now it’s not) — a tactic used for controlling the debate and delegitimizing critics.

    We can disagree about whether this radical uprising is necessary or politically self-destructive. But it’s clearly not in keeping with the principles that are supposed to unite the country.

    I was taught — and still believe — that in the United States, we are bound not by common origin, language or culture but by a series of laws and values that make us who we are.

    As long as you swear allegiance to those laws and values — racial equality, free speech, unfettered worship — then you’re no more or less American than anyone else, and no less deserving of respect, protection and opportunity.

    That we’ve failed to honor that promise over the life of the country, and are failing still, doesn’t mean you throw up your hands and abandon the project. It means you rededicate yourself to the ideal of true equality, rather than reducing individuals to a box on a census form.

    This is the ideology that both parties used to call liberalism. There is no longer room for it in today’s stark political dichotomy.

    In part, it’s a testimony to the damage that one shameless and unprincipled man managed to wreak on our politics. Trump always had a talent for bringing out the worst in everyone; more than a year after leaving office, he remains the decaying star by which everyone else in our political solar system must orient themselves.

    But it’s also the result of an antiquated primary system — at the presidential level and below — that plays to an ever-winnowing group of fervent believers in both parties.

    The more people grow disgusted with extremist party politics, the more only those extremists are heard and the more power they exert on anyone who wants to run for higher office.

    This is about the point where some (most likely some in my own business) will scream: “Both sidesism!” That’s the now-cliche argument that any criticism of Democrats whatsoever must be some kind of journalistic reflex to equate the parties, when clearly one is worse than the other.

    One is worse than the other. But that doesn’t mean we have to feel jazzed about supporting a party that would grade our worthiness as people on a sliding scale of identity. It doesn’t change the fact that the broad center of the American electorate — traditional conservatives and liberals both — no longer has a political home.

    So where do we go?

    For years, I’ve predicted the eventual triumph of an independent president, outside the two-party system. That candidate hasn’t emerged, but the lane for a credible independent has never been wider.

    There’s also the probability that some reformist Democratic governor or political novice is looking at the political landscape and thinking that, if you could unify that liberal constituency inside the party, you might just be able to commandeer it.

    I’ve never been very good at predicting the path ahead. What I do know is that politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum — and, one way or another, a force will arise to fill the space at the eye of our destructive political storm.

    Until then, you can call me a dissenter.

    Opinion from a published sociologist that Identity politics is ruining the UK too - anti-responsibility, anti-family, anti-cohesion and pseudo-intellectual poison, eating out the very heart what keeps the society going -

    yet another liberal saying the woke don't stand for his values

    "I've always thought of myself as progressive, but I don't use that label anymore," @jaravis, co-organizer of the successful SFUSD recall told me. "Because the elected leaders calling themselves progressive, they don't seem to stand for any of the values."

    — Matt Welch (@MattWelch) February 16, 2022

    I like this picture and don't know where to plop it.  Also it's a reminder that there will be a lot of bashing of all 4, maybe all 5, by The Woke in the coming days. Heck, I've been noticing a lot of bashing of Mt. Rushmore lately - i.e. this is why the children need the 1619 Project, they need to know how evil and sinful these men were, far from heroes, and how it should probably be destroyed (just another example of how Dems can win friends and influence people.) Of course, no paper with left bonafides will run this photo; they will instead publish op-eds that explain why these men should not be admired, how the sculptor was affiliated with the KKK and how the mount should be returned to a state where it represents the spirit ancestors of the local natives...

    U.S. financial markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Presidents Day.

    — MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) February 18, 2022

    Denial is a river in Egypt:

    here's the full tweet of an Axios story she's responding to; it's by Mike Allen:

    Squad politics backfire: The push to defund the police, rename schools and tear down statues has created a significant obstacle to Democrats keeping control of the House, the Senate and the party’s overall image.

    — Jim VandeHei (@JimVandeHei) February 18, 2022

    I still call bullshit:

    Who is preachier than the motherfucking Republicans on guns and abortion (even contraception!)??? So despite years of Dems trying to push gun control, and the "free dumb", Bundy's, NRA, Boehlert etc al crews pushing back every step of the way, like with their semiautomatic family Xmas cards, losing lawsuits re their Sandy Hook oversteos, Kyle Rittenhouse running around like a jackass, et al, a few obnoxious progressives yelling "defund" have Hispanics voting for "guns in the halls of Congress, guns in elementary schools and grocery stores" reptards to allow more guns around the streets and create danger in any situation? At some point we just may become too stupid as a country to survive. Preachy about Covid masks even, how awful those Dems are - vote the "we hate government" GOP, yay!

    just another one who hates both parties now:

    (she got a lot of her 15,000 followers by doing Devin Nunes jokes)

    Dr Suess memory lane

    In 2017 Melania tried to donate a selection of Dr Seuss books to the Cambridgeport elementary school library in Massachusetts and the school's librarian, Liz Phipps Soeiro, turned them away. Soeiro doubled-down on her rejection of the books saying "you may not be aware of this, but Dr Seuss is a bit of a cliche, a tired and worn ambassador for children's literature ... "another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr Seuss's illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes." 

    I remember 1 of the "intolerant" orgs the Chick Fil-a founder gave to was Salvation Army - seriously, note all the white (but rosy) faces and white beards and those bells - no POC women Santa's, amirite? - unacceptance naturally follows.

    It's like a death match:

    I really don't want any part of supporting that. I'm increasingly proud of being registered as an Independent, basically from from the getgo of all this, the Christian Coalition. I think partisanship is sick and sickening. Most of our founders feared it and I think correctly so.  History and life in general does not fit into a cookie cutter ideology. We have separation of church and state, and religions should now include Church of The Woke as well as their doppelgangers

    But they're complaining about Wokism in UK as well - no escaping it.

    No sale, sorry. How's that going for the Labour party? What party is still in power there, and who is still PM, despite scandals that outrage citizens across the board? Political parties have to disavow The Woke if they want a majority. The Woke can still ply their trade in the culture and see how they do then without supportive politicians.

    No, it's embedded in various institutional movements - real people are complaining about how the focus is going off the rails, that the priorities are all this PC stuff & not dealing with pandemic, the UK's trucking problems to the EU, all these other problems. Whether Boris gets taken down or not.

    there is no future for symbolic racial politics -

    and a reminder that it's not like the pros didn't know that, just two examples:


    starting with

    Unfortunate findings but critical research. It’s consistent with the work of Jennifer Eberhardt of Stanford, who finds that increase in racialized perceptions of policy problems decreases overall support for solutions. I talk about this dilemma in @PracticalEqual.

    — Rᴏʙᴇʀᴛ L. Tsᴀɪ (@robertltsai) April 24, 2021

    Here’s what I say:

    — Rᴏʙᴇʀᴛ L. Tsᴀɪ (@robertltsai) April 24, 2021

    and continues

    Then there's this much longer thread from  the same time


    By artappraiser on Tue, 04/27/2021 - 2:08pm |

    No Sister Souljah moments in the Dem party, though, just continued pandering. So you lose more and more registered voters.

    Bill Maher: "Trump ran a hugely corrupt Paycheck Protection Program that benefited his own family & the wealthy by far, therefore both sides do it and it's also the Democrats' fault." Presumably that means the Democrats made Louis DeJoy kneecap the USPS to disrupt mail-in voting, and the Democrats made Oath Keepers & Proud Boys show up at the Capitol, and the Democrats made Trump & Co. destroy records.
    "It's baked into the cake, it's bipartisan" (the 'just give up' version) - 1:22 in. Thanks, Bill, thanks Marianne.
    These asswipes don't even note how extensively Trump had key administrators going through all layers of the executive branch & pursuing allegiance or resignation (see McEntee below) to make sure every department was complicit, & any responsible ethical career civil servants were marginalized or pushed out. Just smug talkshow bullshit, pisses me off. And no, the truckers aren't pissed off at Trump - because smug douches like Maher play bothsidereism, the message never really gets across to his audience just how craven and corrupt things were, always toned down to avoid being outraged for the real reasons, while the right has no problem making shit up to keep its audiences in full-tilt outrage 24x7. And how Trump helped unleash the pandemic by downplaying masks & vaccines & other protections whose absence have then disrupted truckers' and others' lives, along with how in 2018 he dismantled a lot of the Emergency Preparedness measures for epidemics,  along with roughwalking over the CDC, just to save a fucking dime to toss to his richest supporters as part of the huge rebate. But no, that's too complex, so just blame everyone.

    Note: McEntee wasn't the only one involved with exec branch litmus tests, and the extent this was done is far behind business-as-usual and how government usually operates. Obama's bailout was shy on bailing out individuals and small businesses, but that could be seen on the label, not hidden in illegal manipulation of the system (aside from the robo-call mortgage foreclosure, that got put on 1 scapegoat to the relief of banks).

    the political parties suck, they mean nothing -

    Republicans against Trumpism @RpsAgainstTrump

    Mitt Romney was right about Putin.

    Mitt Romney was right about Trump.

    — Roy Crockett (@rcrockett) February 22, 2022

    Romney was sworn in as the 70th governor of Massachusetts on January 2, 2003.[175] He faced a Massachusetts state legislature with large Democratic majorities in both houses, and had picked his cabinet and advisors based more on managerial abilities than partisan affiliation.[176][177] He declined a governor's salary of $135,000 during his term.[178] Upon entering office in the middle of a fiscal year, he faced an immediate $650 million shortfall and a projected $3 billion deficit for the next year.[164] Unexpected revenue of $1.0–1.3 billion from a previously enacted capital gains tax increase and $500 million in new federal grants decreased the deficit to $1.2–1.5 billion.[179][180] Through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and removal of corporate tax loopholes,[179] the state achieved surpluses of around $600–700 million during Romney's last two full fiscal years in office, although it began running deficits again after that.[nb 11]


    Romney sought to bring near-universal health insurance coverage to the state. This came after Staples founder Tom Stemberg told him at the start of his term that doing so would be the best way he could help people.[190] Another factor was that the federal government, owing to the rules of Medicaid funding, threatened to cut $385 million in those payments to Massachusetts if the state did not reduce the number of uninsured recipients of health care services.[166][191] Although the idea of universal health insurance had not come to the fore during the campaign, Romney decided that because people without insurance still received expensive health care, the money spent by the state for such care could be better used to subsidize insurance for the poor.[190]

    Determined that a new Massachusetts health insurance measure not raise taxes or resemble the previous decade's failed "Hillarycare" proposal at the federal level, Romney formed a team of consultants from diverse political backgrounds to apply those principles. Beginning in late 2004, they devised a set of proposals that were more ambitious than an incremental one from the Massachusetts Senate and more acceptable to him than one from the Massachusetts House of Representatives that incorporated a new payroll tax.[166][177][191] In particular, Romney pushed for incorporating an individual mandate at the state level.[21] Past rival Ted Kennedy, who had made universal health coverage his life's work and who, over time, had developed a warm relationship with Romney,[192] gave the plan a positive reception, which encouraged Democratic legislators to cooperate.[166][191] The effort eventually gained the support of all major stakeholders within the state, and Romney helped break a logjam between rival Democratic leaders in the legislature.[166][191]

    On April 12, 2006, Romney signed the resulting Massachusetts health reform law, commonly called "Romneycare", which requires nearly all Massachusetts residents to buy health insurance coverage or face escalating tax penalties, such as the loss of their personal income tax exemption.[193] The bill also established means-tested state subsidies for people who lacked adequate employer insurance and whose income was below a threshold, using funds that had covered the health costs of the uninsured.[194][195] He vetoed eight sections of the health care legislation, including a controversial $295-per-employee assessment on businesses that do not offer health insurance and provisions guaranteeing dental benefits to Medicaid recipients.[193][196] The legislature overrode all eight vetoes, but the governor's office said the differences were not essential.[196] The law was the first of its kind in the nation and became the signature achievement of Romney's term in office.[166][nb 12]


    from the wikipedia entry on him

    Romney was more fierce as a governor than a later senator. While he sometimes opposed Trump, it was sporadic.

    I'd suggest political parties in some states don't suck and get things done. However the Republicans at national level have been playing any slight advantage as a "mandate" and disadvantage as "withhold all cooperation", whereas Democrats *in general* want to see government work. 

    This has only gotten worse since the Brooks Brothers rebellion, the dishonest push to war in Iraq, the rise of the sock puppet Tea Party from Bush's financial ashes, and the wholesale dishonesty of the Trump rise to power and misrule.

    Look at such basics as health care and infrastructure. Even when Republicans run on infrastructure promises, they turn around en masse and undercut their own position. The Dems have their outliers, but aren't usually as a party trying to run the country into a wall, embrace our enemies, and otherwise act immoral, atavistic and even suicidal. Such is the "subtle" difference. But yes, some of the wacky woke wisdom make some Dem urban areas rather crazy.

    Another "Spot on. Reality check. Every single word."

    Oh look, Bill and I are not alone -

    My take: AOC has it exactly backwards. Her and the other "The Squad" types are the reason the Democrats lost House seats in the 2020 election and the only reason Democrats have 50 Democratic senators instead of 48 is that Jim Clyburn made them sit down and shut up about "socialism" and "defund" until the special election in Georgia was over

    Andrew Yang:

    I’m going back on Bill Maher this Friday. I think the Oscars will come up.

    — Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) March 28, 2022

    The two-party system is focused on personal attacks instead of policy debate.

    — Forward Party (@Fwd_Party) March 30, 2022

    The party for democracy reform so that more of us have an actual say. @Fwd_Party

    — Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) March 29, 2022

    Are you sick of the political #DoomLoop caused by the two-party system? Join our movement and be a part of saving our democracy.

    #ForwardParty #NotLeftNotRightForward

    — Forward Party (@Fwd_Party) March 29, 2022


    gosh it's really refreshing to see honest analysis using exacting terminology, so rare:


    Elon Musk today:

    The far left hates everyone, themselves included!

    — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2022

    But I’m no fan of the far right either.

    Let’s have less hate and more love.

    — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2022

    I’m old enough to remember when @elonmusk was labeled as a California left wing liberal who made cars in Sunny California that don’t work in the real world and he was vilified by the right wing

    — Earl of FrunkPuppy (@28delayslater) April 29, 2022

    True haha

    — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2022

    Both sides do do it.

    Elon Musk isn’t imagining things

    This post has been very platform-centric because platforms are a convenient index.

    But the ideological movement — not an overthrow of the party establishment by leftists, but the establishment leaders themselves taking on new ideas — is clearly visible in other forms. In June of 2016, Dylan Matthews wrote for Vox that “President Obama’s huge reversal on Social Security is a big win for liberals.” In July of that year, Victoria Massie wrote “Hillary Clinton said ‘systemic racism’ in tonight's speech. That's major.” On May 27 of 2020, David Roberts described a new consensus approach to climate policy on the left, and on May 28 he published a piece arguing that Joe Biden should embrace this consensus even though Biden “just won without them.”

    You can see that both of those articles have July 2020 updates at the top noting that Biden had basically done what Roberts recommended and adopted the new progressive consensus. Pivoting left after winning a primary is a little odd, but it’s what Biden did, and progressives acknowledged it at the time.

    There’s lots of room for debate about whether this was a good idea. But the people who yelled at Elon Musk that he was imagining this leftward transformation are being silly. The fact that DW-NOMINATE scores don’t pick up on it is a limitation of that metric — not to say that it’s wrong, but just that analysis of roll call votes only tells you so much.

    Among Democrats, self-identified liberals started to outnumber self-identified moderates only in Obama’s second term. And at around that same time, mainstream Democrats started to embrace ideas that they would previously have shied away from.

    That’s not a commentary on the wisdom of the ideas or of adopting them, but the shift pretty clearly happened. It’s very hard to reason clearly about the world if you don’t start by acknowledging the reality.

    the ending of

    Democrats have changed a lot since 2012

    Moving left on economics — but also on climate, race, and a bunch of other things

    by Matthew Yglesias and Milan Singh @ Slow Boring, 11 hr ago

    ^ The point: It follows that Bill Maher is not imagining things either. The party moved left and away from him. Again, his rant here was spot on. Too many old school Democrats won't admit this has happened, they are in denial, just like Yeglesias and Singh points out. Most common thing I see is blaming right wing agitators like, say, Fox, DeSantis or Trump, saying their culture warring points are not true, are made up out of whole cloth. In actuality, the attacks are not made up out of whole cloth, they are based on reality and some Democrats are in deep denial about that, thinking their party is the same one of twenty years ago..It's not, it's moved left and the source of many culture wars issues are Dem warriors, not the right  who are merely taking advantage by exaggeration.

    That's being kind - their "exaggeration" frequently ventures into straight-out lies.
    Sure, they'll look for some of the more extremes to riff off of, take The Squad and run.
    But pretty much ever Republican of any stature backs the Jan 6 insurrection.
    Most high up Democrats don't support defund police, as an example.

    Sorry but I have to disagree. Here's just another example, I see many each day - Bill Casey had to go to "holdout" stage to have white supremacy removed from the abortion bill!!!

    Re: Most high up Democrats don't support defund police, as an example.

    Not in 2020! Biden was the only one to support more funding because he knew the polls.

    They also remained silent - crickets - while Federal court buildings were beng attacked by anarchists, cities were being looted and burned, middle class people harassed for where they owned houses and went out to dinner. Al Sharpton, I repeat Al Fucking Sharpton was one of the few who spoke out!!! Top Dem politicians except Biden were all in hidey holes, afraid to upset The Woke, afraid to appear to agree with Trump.

    Another example - The whole frigging Teachers Union nationwide is basically infiltrated by Woke theology. Crickets from Dems on that, they're afraid of pissing off the T.U. so they say Do you think every upset parent in VA is a deluded right winger?Lots of the shit right wingers flog on that front really is happening, PP. It really is, because Dem politicians are afraid to speak out against and be labeled on the right's side.

    Think you have blinders on.

    I've got 3 brothers, all with college educations,  1 in L.A., 1 bicoastal in L.A. and Ft. Lauderdale and with business allover the west, and another in Milwaukee, voted all their life for Dems, now supportive of De Santis type Republicans because THE WOKE TURNED THEM OFF BIGLY ONCE UNCLOAKED in 2020. Yeah, Kyle Rittenhouse helped, they really started paying attention and turning away from Dems when Kenosha burned and it was crickets from Dems.

    I think it's so bad that I see plenty of sotto voce opinion by Dems that the Supreme Court leak is like manna from heaven, only thing that's going to save them, otherwise they were going down. The GOP operatives are no dummies, they know what resounds.

    end of story reminder: Dems did not have a resounding victory in 2020. While Biden managed to win over Drumpf because the majority were sick of the fat stupid narcissist's face, and Biden was selling bipartisanship, Dems lost a bunch of centrist seats in the House and at their little after election get together Clyburn had to read the riot act to progressives  in private there, that he did not want to hear the words "defund" nor "socialism", that they lost seats to Wokeness and wokees better shut the fuck up until the Georgia Senate run offs were over or GOP will be in charge of it. He probably is the person most responsible for the current Dem squeaker Senate by telling progressives to shut the fuck up on the Woke shit, otherwise it would be in total control of the GOP.

    I often tell the same story. But it was also the primaries, where the liberal wing holds more sway traditionally (see Bill Bradley, Bernie Sanders), and certainly black voters (thus savvy mainstream Clyburn as king-and-queen maker), so a lot of pandering - close to suicidal in 2020. Show me a general election where most Dems are parroting woke left wing talking points - it's not nearly as strong. I think the pissed off election of 2018 there were a lot of mainstream female candidates, not just Squad wannabes.

    I still think the framing of the Hillary election is informative - she got 3 million more votes, but much of the woke wing was against her along with Fox-fed Republicans, so the impression is that Dems ran another Walter Mondale with no popularity. [and before you launch into the obvious, if she'd campaigned better those swing states might not have been swing - but part of that failure was also being branded effectively by various cohorts. And i again note not-quitr-woke Feingold got blasted same election. Not likeable enough? So let's discuss the broader playing field, and the effect of those differences and how changes by 2016 were more noticeable - not to whine, but to figure out how to maneuver around, not that we as political scientists will hold much sway]

    What the fuck, blinders...

    There's a difference between Ron Johnson gleefully saying he supports this shitty abortion bill and assholey wryly suggesting the border's not that far, vs pro-chiice politicians getting stuck with over-the-top verbage like "white supremacy" shoved in, and i just had a Twitter battle with some douche wh had to claim that loss of abortion rights wasn't so bad for a rich white daughter, wouldn't suffer so much(no response when I asked what if she's preggers cuz she was getting fucked by her father who'd then disown her as an iut-of-wedlock embarrassment). So no, thanks, don't have blinders on - woke messaging does fuck things up, but it's not embraced by majority of Dems like lockstep Fox-enraged GOP messaging, and not as dishonest as this bullshit:

    Updating tweet

    And part of our shortages are because Trump (plus Chinese) mismanaged the pandemic so badly, so the global economy is out of whack - supply and demand, dumb motherfuckera - that's not "socialism", that's pure economic self-interest and simple limits on production.

    Yglesias and his partner just wrote an essay proving the Democratic party is unabashedly all for embedding identity politics, especially racial identity politics, into every vein of life. Woke elite basically wrote their 2020 platform.. If Republicans didn't take advantage of that, they'd be stupid. True that many of them have done that in stupid ways.

    So here we are: the Dems turn off more people like me and Maher to the point where we really don't want to be seen with them, and the GOP doesn't offer a good alternative

    [...] Eight years later, the 2020 platform promises to “embed racial justice” throughout the governing agenda:

    We will take a comprehensive approach to embed racial justice in every element of our governing agenda, including in jobs and job creation, workforce and economic development, small business and entrepreneurship, eliminating poverty and closing the racial wealth gap, promoting asset building and homeownership, education, health care, criminal justice reform, environmental justice, and voting rights.

    You see that racial justice embedding at work in the climate plank’s promise of targeting “40 percent of the overall benefits to disadvantaged and frontline communities.” You see it in a promise to “prioritize support for Black entrepreneurs and other entrepreneurs of color” and to “end violence against transgender Americans and particularly against Black transgender women.”

    The new platform invokes the racial wealth gap — an idea not present in the 2012 platform — on five separate occasions, while the 2012 platform mentions wealth only to condemn a Republican Party approach “that benefited the wealthy few but crashed the economy and crushed the middle class.”

    And that’s a general trend. This chart illustrates the frequency with which specific words and phrases are mentioned in the 2020 and 2012 platforms; it shows a large increase in mentions of “health care” plus frequent invocation of terms related to race and identity categories.

    Conversely, economic concepts like taxes and jobs take up less space in the new platform.

    But again, part of what’s interesting about this is that while Democrats started de-emphasizing economics relative to climate and racial justice issues, they didn’t adopt a more moderate posture on economics to chase some hypothetical voter who’s super amped-up about racism but skeptical of the welfare state. They went left on economics, too, while also talking about it less.

    A miscellany of increased progressive commitment

    Here’s a quick roundup of some other miscellaneous differences between the 2012 and 2020 platforms:


    .P.S. You consistently won't leave the partisan political frame to hear what others are saying. Maher didn't say he liked Trump. His rant is about how he was with the Democrats but they left him. Lots of us don't want the partisan frame you use. Andrew Yang for one example. We're done with it. All you keep saying is: stay with us, the other guys are worse. And the Dems keep getting worse. Biden is great because he still really believes in bipartisanship. You clearly don't, you express that there's only two choices on everything. Well, when you get away from the noise of national politics and it's stupid binary memes, that's not true.  I like some Republican governors just fine, for example, and I probably prefer a lot of them on town councils allover the country, cause at least they don't waste time debating whether the country is systemically racist, whether policing is evil , how 2nd graders need to be taught about 20 genders and how Israel needs to be chased into the sea, etc. Lots of candidates down ticket that don the Democratic party label are pretty loathsome in my eyes.

    Uh what? I disagree with framing Planned Parenthood as just about abortion; disagree with making abortion tied to "rich white privilege" or "white racism" or some other toxic equation. I do understand California is overregulated and causing people to shut down businesses and leave the state. I'm sure lots of people get tired of hearing about LGBTQ and 1st this or that identity "hurdle" or stupid definitions of "systemic racism". Protesting race in the middle of a pandemic by harassing diners and wrecking storefronts wasn't going to win the movement any friends. (I mentioned a window of understandable rage as 3 deaths rolled together to generate outrage, but that window was like 3 days, not a whole summer. "Kids, you literally protest too much"). I like you mocked the "defund the police" and social workers and parents sitting on corners to supposedly calm the hood down. 

    You give me this crap like "You clearly don't, you express that there's only two choices on everything." Where you get this dumb impression, i don't know. I do think things are polarized, but i can sit in a southern bar talking with right wing rednecks about politics and we come away feeling pretty good, no minds changed too much, but also i have to admit that was before the Trump era cranked it to 11, and stuff i get from my mom and her friends is worse than ever - basic precepts of Christianity have taken a beating. But i still think people can be talked to one on one, and there's more commonality that exists -;it's just there are fewer 1-on-1 opportunities, especially in a pandemic, and internet encourages everyone to give their opinion, even if they don't really have one. It's been a while since someone said "i don't really follow that, I'm more into sports". I guess I even have to reconsider "Take a Knee" - people could watch sports and ignore anything in the "real world" - Jackie Robinson was long ago, so now it's just about who kicked the other's ass the hardest, who had the most skill... until it became racial protest and now whether once-males should compete against women. (and stupid COVID politics on tennis courts). I *do* see a number of governors saying rally stupid shit in tandem. Maybe that's the same as "i like some Republican governor's - i don't figure all 30 or whatever are as big of jerks as De Santis or Abbott. 

    I did think Maher's comment on 9/11 "cowards" vs bravery was spit on, and dumb for him to lose his job over it. I prolly don't think Maher as bad as my last reaction, but he's pretty smug, and i think he overplays the "sins of our former tribe" .

    Anyway, screw the fucked up nonsense that i only see things as "two choices" to everything, but to be real much of politics is to make the populace think there's only one sane choice. Anyway, i don't even live in America - why would I agree with 2 annoying *US-based* framings as the only alternatives? Somehow you got me confused with someone else, how i don't know, or maybe my Hillary comments gave you a knee jerk (there's really a lot more nuance and reference to her as an easier to discern highlight of how different forces have been evolving, and how that election exposed a lot of fault lines, but ones that existed and had been growing for quite a while. Some cultural, some tech, some political, some personal media + corporate media, some regional, some gender-ethnic-sex preference, some via legal systems, some job related, some generational and educational, some with migration & immigration, urban/suburb/rural, some tribal but partly needing new definitions of tribe... and then what happened since opened new fissures. Much of this isn't particularly new - old folks more supportive of the war in Vietnam while youth more against and draped with all the culture and changing world ethoses... But now the level of controlling factors, corporate and political control hitting the evil levels that they were mistakenly portrayed as having earlier. This female Alabama cop who ran off with an inmate - the ways they tracked her, and she was being somewhat careful (and they did a good job, but scary to consider in other ways). Most people are tracked with little awareness, except people now notice more and more something they said on the street pops up in some targeted ads online, etc. Which definitely affects the actual possibilities of persuading anyone of anything, vs cornering them in their own bit of internet persona and milking it for all it's worth.

    The Ukraine War is an interesting example of breaking out of a heavily defined and restricted framing. By all rights they would lose, be absorbed, had no self-determination. But all the received wisdom wasn't so wise, still more independence, things aren't all pre-determined. Elsewhere the lines remain more firmly drawn. How much self-designed unique thoughts and behavior can we draw on? Will there be some kind of online war to break the logjams of our interactions?

    My radical right-wing agenda is that we should return to the centrist consensus politics of, oh, say 2013.

    — Antonio García Martínez (agm.eth) (@antoniogm) May 12, 2022

    Well put.

    — Antonio García Martínez (agm.eth) (@antoniogm) May 11, 2022

    If a bestselling 2016 book gets you canceled now, imagine 2013 politics!

    Those were such barbaric dark ages! We've progressed *so* much since then....but there's still SO MUCH TO DO.

    — Antonio García Martínez (agm.eth) (@antoniogm) May 12, 2022


    Elon Musk this afternoon:

    In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party.

    But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican.

    Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold …

    — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2022

    edit to add, FWIW, there's currently mass quantities of derision about the above tweet trending on Twitter under "Poor Elon"


    Elon Musk votes Republican for the first time

    Billionaire genius finds girlfriend in their "fluid relationship" dating transgender Chelsea Manning, suddenly embraces conservative values.
    It's a good thing he doesn't respond to say space obstacles or battery chemistry like this.

    Andrew Yang interacting with orphans in the middle:

    dupe on purpose:

    The pediatric gender transition scandal is first and foremost an institutional crisis.

    The capture of medical organizations (AMA, AAP, APA, etc.) has enabled policymakers to claim--sincerely, if misguidedly--that they're just "following the science."

    — Leor Sapir (@LeorSapir) June 28, 2022

    The capture of gay rights orgs (ACLU, HRC, Lambda, Trevor, GLSEN) has enabled these groups to retain donors, harness institutional inertia, and exploit the public perception of a seamless continuity between LGB and TQ+.

    — Leor Sapir (@LeorSapir) June 28, 2022

    The institutional weakness of our political parties--which we ignore because we associate party polarization with party strength, whereas the opposite is true--has meant that individual politicians are too weak to resist pressures from activist groups.

    — Leor Sapir (@LeorSapir) June 28, 2022

    The establishment media has for half century drifted toward a self-appointed "conscience of society" role, where Ivy League-educated journalists believe that without their moral guidance and curation of truth self-government would fall into the hands of immoral know-nothings.

    — Leor Sapir (@LeorSapir) June 28, 2022

    Universities are institutions devoted to the advancement and preservation of knowledge, but have become "homes" and "communities" where members are supposed to feel "safe" and "affirmed." Research/teaching deemed at odds with these goals is unwelcome.

    — Leor Sapir (@LeorSapir) June 28, 2022

    The legacy of Jim Crow has left much of the public, especially the legal establishment, with a deep and systemic mistrust of schools. That mistrust is then exploited and filled with regulations like the ones under Title IX used to impose irresponsible gender identity policies.

    — Leor Sapir (@LeorSapir) June 28, 2022

    The crisis of institutions predates the trans issue and is bipartisan. The problem is most acute when the leaders of our institutions are themselves anti-institutionalists (e.g., school admins who believe that the role of schools is to facilitate student "self-expression").

    — Leor Sapir (@LeorSapir) June 28, 2022

    so sick of elites playing the race card and colonizer/gentrifier shit I could puke. I simply don't want to part of any political that tolerates this kind of behavior, which was probably parodied as hyperbole fantasy on The Simpsons a decade ago. Remember when people used to argue about a parking space without playing the race card or colonizer card?

    Here to help NOT.

    Whenever government creates a market inefficiency and hurts well-meaning businesses, it often pretends like the only answer is more government.

    — reason (@reason) July 12, 2022

    edit to add another example

    Keep fueling that mindless bureaucracy with the same or more tax dollars while at the same time hopey it changey:

    What "mindless bureaucracy? Everything's not broken. CDC's broken when no one pays attention. So pay attention, doomsday era. Yeah, bureaucracies are a price to pay for other efficiencies - so pay attention & make it work better, not "cut it all down"

    Electing people who pack gov with incompetents is a losing strategy. So pay attention, block the losers, cherish the competents. Is it tough?


    I was reminded by this that Wolraich was strongly arguing this about the Democratic party on this very website at the time he was promoting his book on TR. He used the very same words, that the problem is that they don't clearly stand for anything. While he felt the opposite was the case with the GOP:

    This actually clarifies for me why I've been registered as an Independent since the Reagan years. BOTH "big tent' parties are basically bogus and don't stand for anything, they just weave back and forth to court special issue interest groups that are selling narratives at the time that attract political demographics that happen to be up for grabs at the time.It's all bogus, there is no ideology, There would be some ideology to parties if it was more of a parliamentary system, but not with only two big tent parties. All you're doing with those is falsely dividing up the population's vote! Constant sturm and drang, mostly fake, to attract certain groups passionate about special issues (not to mention the attraction of donor money.)

    The majority of voters like the idea of compromise with special interests.

    I DO very much like Yang/Forward's promotion of ranked choice voting to strip a lot of the raison d'etre for this problem away. There's far less incentive to temporarily pander to the successfully divisive narratives of the day. They're all fake narratives anyway, not the nuanced truth, meant only to rouse rabble. The two big tent parties make for constant false divides to be politically successful.  The reality is that sausage eventually must be made. Why not leave all of this faux partisan activity to professional team sports or entertainment shows ("bread and circuses"), why not try to strip it away from running society and civilization?

    Fox quotes Bill Maher saying GOP control will be a bad thing. (This is one benefit of doing Sister Souljah moments - they cannot brand him as a dumb 'libtard', but rather feel it important to broadcast his message that 'the big lie' is a very bad thing)

    liberals on twitter bitch about taking him seriously and how he's an out-of-touch boomer and loser, but guess who invited him on his show to talk about the U.S. political situation:

    Third Way agrees:

    • Democrats are underwater on... the economy, immigration, and crime."
    • ...
    • "[V]oters question whether the party shares essential values like patriotism and the importance of hard work. ... Only 43% of voters say Democrats value hard work, compared to 58% for Republicans."

    The economy... how could Biden and Dems do a better job on the economy, considering Biden's 1 1/2 years dealing with COVID (not mentioned, oddly enough - guess that's too far back, unlike Benghazi. How many jobs? Not that the president does it all, but usually some credit goes to him. The press managed to let Trump claim credit for Obama growth, and then let's Republicans bash Biden while ignoring good reports. Do i know what to do about the fucked up press, including go-along Maggie and the lukewarm NYT? (Trump stealing ca large number of classified reports and not giving them back 1 1/2 years becomes "a document dispute" as just 1 crappy example of accepting his framing).

    Immigration - I've seen a number of efforts and announcements by Dems for secure borders. I don't know why we usually get Republican framing, as if most Dems were preaching open uncontrolled borders (tho i do remember the remarkable idea in the 80s that unmanaged Mexican immigration would promote "diversity" (uh, yet another Hispanic country in the Americas?), get rid of that peaky white majority, and give the Dems a permanent majority - a bit ignoring that the US & Canada were the only seriously successful countries on the 2 continents.

    Crime - again, while BLM was heavy for 3 months, why does all crime reporting seem to be filtered thru The Squad or other usual woke elements? Chicago is fucked as always, but are other Dem-run cities not trying to control things, and how are their efforts failing, and what are the alternatives? I'm intrigued by the guy running for mayor of LA (as an opposite to the woke Frisco councilwoman who manages to legislate more crap to keep the city from dealing with homelessness, drugs, crime, and other core hygiene (Maslow) issues.

    [....] As of this writing, the host of YouTube’s The Rubin Report has 1.3 million Twitter followers and 1.79 million YouTube subscribers, who have helped to make him one of the most notable influencers on the contemporary American Right. But amid a field of frauds, clones, and wannabes, Rubin’s path to political celebrity has been among the strangest. Once a gay comedian from New York, he became a dissatisfied liberal LA interviewer, and has now decamped to Miami in his latest incarnation as pro-Trump, Newsmax-commentating, party-line Republican. There, he rallies with Ron DeSantis, dines with Donald Trump Jr., and guests at Peter Thiel’s fundraisers.

    Rubin’s peculiar political trajectory has made him the go-to example of a modern liberal “mugged by reality” and driven from the moderate Left by progressive intolerance and irrationality. This conversion narrative has been politically compelling and personally lucrative. His most watched video—PragerU’s “Why I Left The Left”—currently has over 14 million views: [....]



    15 years ago he would've been making fun of "Heather has 2 mommies". Yes, sometimes the jokes just write themselves, whether for 4-year-olds or adults.

    I personally don't know if detransitioning is a big thing or not. The jokes come across more smarmy than funny - it's right wing "politically correct", always picking the proper party-abiding position political stance.


    More proof that it's California liberals that have gone off the deep end.

    p.s. begs the question: WHY DON'T PEOPLE GET THAT MODERATION IS THE POLITICAL ALTERNATIVE TO  EXTREMISM? Offering left-wing extremism in response to right-wing extremism = divisiveness, pure and simple. It's a Manichean system, not democracy.

    edit to add: Hello the longtime Senator gets it, what a surprise NOT

    calling for more government is a fine and dandy thihg Democratic party likes to do but you do have to have people who will fill the jobs to execute that; a thread with several participants

    Another example:

    and another

    Dupe on purpose because he says the same thing, that his party moved away from him

    Another liberal mugged by crime. Tweeted by Activist. Old School Lib, party moved, now Moderate D. Assoc Broker w BHS, write AFineBlog, Love NYC!

    The trains have been remarkably awful over the past few weeks, like even worse than usual.

    — Andrew Fine (@AFineBlogger) June 17, 2023

    And I presume, by local 'woke' politicians that call themselves Democrats?

    You can do a 'Sister Souljah' or you can do this -

    Woke lefty nuts have too much influence in local politics and on the national level it has been a big mistake for the Dem party to kowtow to them. (Just as it's been a big mistake for the national GOP to kowtow to the Freedom Caucus.)

    Do you have an example of who's kowtowing to whom on the national level? How much of this is real, and how much is media/social media echo/amplify chamber?

    Obviously crime & homelessness is a huge issue, and besides 2A stupidity, I can accept there's quite a bit of defund/cashless bail/no charge under $x that helps the problems grow. But Republicans beat that immigration drum for decades w/o handling. And world population is growing by leaps and bounds, get ready.

    Then again, these make me want to laugh


    Bill no doubt senses young elite liberals don't like him and his anti-wokeness, and he'd be right.

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