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Thread: 2019 American Political Scene

  1. #31
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    When you think things cannot get weirder... https://narativ.org/2019/01/02/salva...-lost-davinci/

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    John Bolton is the last adult standing.
    God help us.

    https://www.ft.com/content/f199a438-...1-4ff78404524e
    John Bolton puts brakes on Trump withdrawal from Syria
    US national security adviser insists Turkey must agree not to attack Kurdish militias
    Laura Pitel, Financial Times, January 6, 2019

    The White House’s top security official has given the first indication that President Donald Trump is rethinking a decision to rapidly withdraw US troops from Syria, saying Turkey must first promise not to attack anti-regime Kurdish militia before American forces pull out.

    Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem before travelling to Turkey on Monday, John Bolton said Washington was demanding guarantees for Kurdish forces who formed the backbone of the US campaign against Isis jihadis but now fear an assault by Turkey.

    “We do not think the Turks ought to undertake military action that is not fully co-ordinated with and agreed to by the United States at a minimum so they do not endanger our troops, but also so that they meet the president’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered,” said Mr Bolton.

    Asked if that meant that the withdrawal of an estimated 2,000 US military personnel in the region would not take place until Turkey ensured the safety of Kurdish fighters, Mr Trump’s national security adviser said: “Basically, that is right.”

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, has repeatedly vowed to launch a military offensive in north-eastern Syria to clear the region of members of the YPG militia, which has close links to insurgents who have waged a three-decade armed campaign in Turkey.

    Following the US president’s surprise announcement last month that Isis had been defeated in Syria and that American troops would soon depart, Mr Erdogan restated his plan to attack the group, as well as promising that Turkey would take over the battle against Isis.
    Wait till Trump, in one of his 5AM Twitter rant sessions, decides that Bolton is sabotaging him...

    Firing the mustached chickenhawk will be the only good thing out of this sorry mess.

  3. #33
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    unfortunately i agree, even tho Warren actually knows what she's talking about. but she looks like this when she's trying to kick back:
    The 'have a beer with Liz' photo is marginally less cringeworthy than Dukakis on a tank. Laid off steel workers aren't going to vote 1 Liz because she drinks beer, but they might be turned off by the sense that it is 'faked' (even if it is not).


    yet this also shows the engrained misogyny that's still rampant in US politics. look at Mitt Romney-- blue-blood family, graduated from Stanford, completely tone-deaf. national politician.

    ivory tower elite? George W Bush, graduate of Yale and Harvard Business School.

    Paul Ryan. characterized as the "wonky conservative" (even tho his numbers NEVER added up) and advocated extremely unpopular policies, yet was seen for a while as future Presidential material.
    Warren, Hilary & a legion of others undoubtedly get held to different standards than male politicians, but in this case I think the issue lies elsewhere. She isn't just an Ivy League graduate, she is an academic. The particular prejudice at work here is the anti-education one, and yes there is a whopping double standard being imposed by the GOP, as there is on military service, personal morality....and pretty much every other issue any of us can imagine.

    All that said, she is pretty much the perfect Trump punching bag. Maybe his unpopularity will make that point moot, but I don't see playing to his strengths as a great strategy. This is especially the case when Warren herself will likely hand him ammunition. There are and will be others in the race better able to harness anti-Trump sentiment. Hopefully the people who don't get their way won't throw a tantrum and hand Trump another ictory.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

  4. #34
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    BF,

    Warren, Hilary & a legion of others undoubtedly get held to different standards than male politicians, but in this case I think the issue lies elsewhere. She isn't just an Ivy League graduate, she is an academic. The particular prejudice at work here is the anti-education one, and yes there is a whopping double standard being imposed by the GOP, as there is on military service, personal morality....and pretty much every other issue any of us can imagine.
    of course, Obama was also both an Ivy League graduate and an academic teaching constitutional law.

    i agree with you in that my impulse says that Warren is too egg-head for quite a few people. OTOH I also don't like what is essentially Republican propaganda influencing a Democratic intra-party discussion, because it sure as $h!t doesn't go the other way around.

    this has happened over and over again; for instance, not just HRC but also Nancy Pelosi.

    logic says Dems should play it safe, but -god-, it would be damned emotionally satisfying to see Warren or a future AOC, precisely the very people who make the MAGA-crowd froth at the mouth, large and in charge.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  5. #35
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    BF,



    of course, Obama was also both an Ivy League graduate and an academic teaching constitutional law.

    i agree with you in that my impulse says that Warren is too egg-head for quite a few people. OTOH I also don't like what is essentially Republican propaganda influencing a Democratic intra-party discussion, because it sure as $h!t doesn't go the other way around.

    this has happened over and over again; for instance, not just HRC but also Nancy Pelosi.
    That is the problem of a party that needs to pitch to a broad series of constituencies v a party that overwhelmingly relies on on a much narrower demographic. Swings & roundabouts.

    logic says Dems should play it safe, but -god-, it would be damned emotionally satisfying to see Warren or a future AOC, precisely the very people who make the MAGA-crowd froth at the mouth, large and in charge.
    They don't necessarily have to play it 'safe' as such. There is a decent gap between 'stupid' and 'safe'. The MAGA crowd are going to lose their shit if anyone to the left of Trump gets nominated, more so if that person is any combination of female and/or non-white.

    We got to see pretty much daily mouth foaming under Obama. The entertainment wore off quickly enough. The real fun of a Dem win will be watching the GOP tear itself apart as the old guard try to reassert control over a psychotically angry base without Trump to lead them. That will likely happen whether it is Warren, Harris, Biden, Booker or Beto.


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  6. #36
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    I obviously don't speak for anyone besides myself, but Warren doesn't come off as egg-headed to me. She comes across as an angry, spiteful grandmother who likes to lecture you and makes you have a kale smoothie for dinner instead of dinosaur mac&cheese with hotdogs. Also, put down your gameboy!
    I don't see how HRC is an "intra-party" Democratic discussion. She ran for President. She also had sky high disapproval ratings, bad enough that a random celebrity TV show host beat her. If you seriously want to make any discussion of likability taboo because it is "sexist," go right on ahead, but that's pretty short-sighted.

  7. #37
    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    The real fun of a Dem win will be watching the GOP tear itself apart as the old guard try to reassert control over a psychotically angry base without Trump to lead them. That will likely happen whether it is Warren, Harris, Biden, Booker or Beto.
    What makes you think that Trump is going to go off quietly?

    Let's say he loses the election (certainly not a certainty). First of all, he will not concede easily. Then he will say that the election has been stolen from him because "Real Americans" voted for him and the other side used immigrants or watever. Then he is going to go round the country on his stupid rallies screaming that he is "winning" and Mitch is a lame duck or whatever. His psychotically angry base will still have him and he will continue to bludgeon the GOP base into submission long after his Presidency. As long as he has not bent over the Wall, people like Limbaugh, Hannity and Coulter will continue to egg him on. Senator McTurtle knows that the good people of Kansas hold Trump in far greater esteem that they hold him.

    Why will he do that? Because Trump, above all, wants to be loved, and he has found that among his base. The Presidency has imposed some shackles on him. Loss of the office will remove all of those shackles and he can act Presidential with the amount of money he has.

    I expect this state of affairs to go on for the next 15-20 years, at least.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    What makes you think that Trump is going to go off quietly?

    Let's say he loses the election (certainly not a certainty). First of all, he will not concede easily. Then he will say that the election has been stolen from him because "Real Americans" voted for him and the other side used immigrants or watever. Then he is going to go round the country on his stupid rallies screaming that he is "winning" and Mitch is a lame duck or whatever. His psychotically angry base will still have him and he will continue to bludgeon the GOP base into submission long after his Presidency. As long as he has not bent over the Wall, people like Limbaugh, Hannity and Coulter will continue to egg him on. Senator McTurtle knows that the good people of Kansas hold Trump in far greater esteem that they hold him.

    Why will he do that? Because Trump, above all, wants to be loved, and he has found that among his base. The Presidency has imposed some shackles on him. Loss of the office will remove all of those shackles and he can act Presidential with the amount of money he has.

    I expect this state of affairs to go on for the next 15-20 years, at least.
    Good luck with that from behind bars.

  9. #39
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    I don't see how HRC is an "intra-party" Democratic discussion. She ran for President.
    as in the primaries, or Nancy Pelosi's election as Majority Leader.

    She also had sky high disapproval ratings, bad enough that a random celebrity TV show host beat her. If you seriously want to make any discussion of likability taboo because it is "sexist," go right on ahead, but that's pretty short-sighted.
    who said discussion of likability is "taboo"? if anything, i'm acknowledging that the connection between likability and sexism is there and it's probably engrained, unresolvable for quite some time.

    numerous psychological studies have looked into how personality traits are perceived differently by gender among the public. ambition is fine in a man, looked down upon in a woman. this doesn't mean that any mention of likability is inherently sexist, just that it is something used as a cudgel much more often against female politicians than male politicians. i can't think of any female politician off the top of my head where she gets top marks for "likability", whereas i can think of multiple male politicos who bask in that particular glow.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  10. #40
    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Good luck with that from behind bars.
    Don't count on that. Impeachment itself is a far-fetched idea.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    Don't count on that. Impeachment itself is a far-fetched idea.
    Agreed. But post presidency the State of New York may have something to say about that.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
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  12. #42
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    BF,

    We got to see pretty much daily mouth foaming under Obama. The entertainment wore off quickly enough. The real fun of a Dem win will be watching the GOP tear itself apart as the old guard try to reassert control over a psychotically angry base without Trump to lead them. That will likely happen whether it is Warren, Harris, Biden, Booker or Beto.
    i used to think that way too, but my feeling now is that a Dem win will mean a rally-around-the-flag effect for the GOP, regardless of which Dem. (this happened for the Dems post-Nov 2016, altho Trump made it far easier with his "shock and awe" first Muslim ban.)

    i also don't think there's a GOP "old guard" anymore-- they're all converted now.

    also, you're right that there was daily mouth foaming under Obama. well, Obama was seen by the progressive base as naive for bending over backwards to accommodate the GOP, only to have his face spat on. there will be immense pressure for the next Dem President to "do unto them what was done unto us."
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    Don't count on that. Impeachment itself is a far-fetched idea.
    I'm holding out for cardiovascular disease...

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    I'm holding out for cardiovascular disease...
    Ditto. We're just x number of Big Macs from the solution to our national embarrassment.
    He'll be 73 in June. Maybe with all the stress that this year is certainly going to heap upon him, he'll do us all a favor and cash in sooner rather than later.

    Can't wait for Cohen to start testifying in open session. And that's just the warm-up act.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    i used to think that way too, but my feeling now is that a Dem win will mean a rally-around-the-flag effect for the GOP, regardless of which Dem. (this happened for the Dems post-Nov 2016, altho Trump made it far easier with his "shock and awe" first Muslim ban.)

    i also don't think there's a GOP "old guard" anymore-- they're all converted now.
    So what is the future of Trumpism without Trump as President? Will he hang around to fight a bunch of intra party battles for his legacy, or will he give a bunch of speeches about how much of a victim he was & then move on to something else?

    also, you're right that there was daily mouth foaming under Obama. well, Obama was seen by the progressive base as naive for bending over backwards to accommodate the GOP, only to have his face spat on. there will be immense pressure for the next Dem President to "do unto them what was done unto us."
    Agreed. If Dems can grab the Senate there will be a VERY busy first two years and a ton of payback. There seems to be little reward for compromise.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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