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Thread: 2019 American Political Scene

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    2019 American Political Scene

    A new thread for the new year.



    God help us all...
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

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    let's see, in the last 24 hours POTUS has trashed a former JSOC/ISAF Commander as having a "big, dumb mouth", said that much of his wall is already "fully renovated/built" (which begs the question, uh, why the government shutdown then?), and got into a spat with the last GOP presidential candidate.

    in short just another usual week.
    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

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    He's also claimed he fired Mattis.

    And praised the Soviets for invading Afghanistan back in 1979.

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    outside the (deliberate) clown show of the Cabinet meeting, some of the politics regarding the shutdown/budgetary impasse is amusing to watch.

    Pelosi said that her first order of business is to pass the House version of the previous, bipartisan-approved Senate bill that would keep the government running. the very bill that Trump indicated that he would sign, prior to being cowed by Ann Coulter.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post

    Pelosi said that her first order of business is to pass the House version of the previous, bipartisan-approved Senate bill that would keep the government running. the very bill that Trump indicated that he would sign, prior to being cowed by Ann Coulter.
    And now Sen. McConnell is saying the Senate will not consider any House Bills to end the shutdown.

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that their pay is one of the few functions unaffected by the shutdown.
    "Draft beer, not people."

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    And now Sen. McConnell is saying the Senate will not consider any House Bills to end the shutdown.

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that their pay is one of the few functions unaffected by the shutdown.
    problem being that for most of the Senators, money is not an issue to begin with, so their pay is not an effective lever for action. although i don't mind this step on principle alone.

    there's also interesting considerations from the purely political angle, on the House Democratic side. Nancy Pelosi now leads a group that's more politically coherent compared to her last go-around as Majority Leader. Dems' gains in the last midterms have resulted in an urban/suburban split, which is a considerably less glaring divide than the previous urban/rural split.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post

    there's also interesting considerations from the purely political angle, on the House Democratic side. Nancy Pelosi now leads a group that's more politically coherent compared to her last go-around as Majority Leader. Dems' gains in the last midterms have resulted in an urban/suburban split, which is a considerably less glaring divide than the previous urban/rural split.
    What's your assessment of the progressive caucus and their potential to break solidarity with the moderate Dems? Lots of new Freshmen reps in the House.
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    What's your assessment of the progressive caucus and their potential to break solidarity with the moderate Dems? Lots of new Freshmen reps in the House.
    not high. they want to be the kingmakers, the lefty equivalent of the Freedom Caucus, which essentially paralyzed Paul Ryan and John Boehner before him.

    however, that's not likely going to happen because Dems have a different party structure from the GOP. also, Nancy Pelosi is a more talented politico than either Ryan or Boehner; she completely crushed the recent challenge to her leadership.

    even more importantly, the -GOP- has no give on any of the major issues. they simply have no flexibility to make offers to the moderate Dems to isolate the progressive caucus, so Pelosi has plenty of space to apply her Party whip in both directions.
    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

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    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Pretty sure most of my hair will be gray by the end of the year. At this point I expect this "trade war" to continue spiraling out of control. Would not be surprised to see full-blown Constiutional crisis depending on the Mueller Report. I really wouldn't be shocked to see enough GOPers defect and start nuking the Presidency so someone could get set-up for a 2020 run.

    Dem hopefuls to declare this year?
    -Warren (obviously already running)
    -Beto (I don't see why he wouldn't at this point)
    -Booker
    -Harris
    -Gillibrand
    -Biden
    -Brown
    -Klobuchar? (she's slimy as shit, but seems to be pretty much Teflon, at least in MN)

    I don't vote for Democrats, but I'll totally make an exception for The Rock (even though he's already decided not to run). The least offensive of the above candidates is probably Biden, who is also the least likely to run. The rest of them piss me off more than Obama or HRC ever did.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
    He's also claimed he fired Mattis.

    And praised the Soviets for invading Afghanistan back in 1979.
    The Soviet intervention of Afghanistan was totally reasonable (from the perspective of non-Cold War, non-great power politics, so don't take a US view on this) and basically in the same ballpark as Syria invading Lebanon in 1976. Afghanistan was a Soviet ally that was quickly destablizing and the likely replacement was going to be proto-Islamic radicals. We're not talking about replacing a shining Democratic regime with Soviet oppression, we're talking about bolstering a standard Soviet authoritarian regime against proto-tribal-Taliban. In retrospect, it was counter-productive to oppose the Soviet intervention, since they were going to collapse in short order anyways. You can't know that in the 1980s, but you have the benefit of retrospect in 2019, and the only narrative on Soviet intervention in Afghanistan we have now is basically a Late Cold War myth, akin to George Washington chopping down a Cherry Tree, but with Stinger missiles instead.

    Ask yourself "what did we get out of our Afghanistan intervention"? Great, the Soviets pulled out Afghanistan. They were pulling out of Poland by the late 80s, and by the early 90s they were pulling out of Chechnya. You did not need to give weapons to the Mujahdeen to get the Soviets out of Afghanistan, because they were already screwed.
    Last edited by GVChamp; 04 Jan 19, at 16:02.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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    The Soviet intervention of Afghanistan was totally reasonable (from the perspective of non-Cold War, non-great power politics, so don't take a US view on this) and basically in the same ballpark as Syria invading Lebanon in 1976. Afghanistan was a Soviet ally that was quickly destablizing and the likely replacement was going to be proto-Islamic radicals. We're not talking about replacing a shining Democratic regime with Soviet oppression, we're talking about bolstering a standard Soviet authoritarian regime against proto-tribal-Taliban. In retrospect, it was counter-productive to oppose the Soviet intervention, since they were going to collapse in short order anyways. You can't know that in the 1980s, but you have the benefit of retrospect in 2019, and the only narrative on Soviet intervention in Afghanistan we have now is basically a Late Cold War myth, akin to George Washington chopping down a Cherry Tree, but with Stinger missiles instead.

    Ask yourself "what did we get out of our Afghanistan intervention"? Great, the Soviets pulled out Afghanistan. They were pulling out of Poland by the late 80s, and by the early 90s they were pulling out of Chechnya. You did not need to give weapons to the Mujahdeen to get the Soviets out of Afghanistan, because they were already screwed.
    not sure how this connects with -praising- the Soviet invasion, though, as a righteous response to "terrorists going in to Russia", which isn't a true statement.

    IE the USSR invasion to uphold a puppet Communist regime isn't the same as the US invasion to defeat a political group sheltering terrorists who -did- attack the US.

    makes even less sense for POTUS to say this now with US troops in country. completely clueless on multiple levels. w
    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

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    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    not sure how this connects with -praising- the Soviet invasion, though, as a righteous response to "terrorists going in to Russia", which isn't a true statement.

    IE the USSR invasion to uphold a puppet Communist regime isn't the same as the US invasion to defeat a political group sheltering terrorists who -did- attack the US.

    makes even less sense for POTUS to say this now with US troops in country. completely clueless on multiple levels. w
    Trump's wrong, but it's not clear to me who I should be rooting for if I am not a Cold War American. Afghanistan would be better off if the Soviets had somehow "won" and created a shithole state like Ethiopia or Cuba. Maybe that's impossible to do, but the Mujahdeen did a whole bunch of nothing, and the failure of the Soviet government turned Afghanistan into literally the worst place on Earth. The Soviets couldn't have turned into paradise, but the metric of success is basically anything other than "shittiest place on Earth."
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    I don't vote for Democrats, but I'll totally make an exception for The Rock (even though he's already decided not to run).
    i could say the same for the GOP and Schwarzenegger...oh wait, I -did- vote for him, lol.

    The rest of them piss me off more than Obama or HRC ever did.
    an odd group of folks to be pissed off about...none of them evoke much emotion from me. all of them standard Dem, policies won't vary much. AFAIK the only person in that whole bunch that evokes more than a "meh" reaction for me is Gillibrand (and that in a negative way).
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    The Soviet intervention of Afghanistan was totally reasonable (from the perspective of non-Cold War, non-great power politics, so don't take a US view on this) and basically in the same ballpark as Syria invading Lebanon in 1976. Afghanistan was a Soviet ally that was quickly destablizing and the likely replacement was going to be proto-Islamic radicals. We're not talking about replacing a shining Democratic regime with Soviet oppression, we're talking about bolstering a standard Soviet authoritarian regime against proto-tribal-Taliban. In retrospect, it was counter-productive to oppose the Soviet intervention, since they were going to collapse in short order anyways. You can't know that in the 1980s, but you have the benefit of retrospect in 2019, and the only narrative on Soviet intervention in Afghanistan we have now is basically a Late Cold War myth, akin to George Washington chopping down a Cherry Tree, but with Stinger missiles instead.

    Ask yourself "what did we get out of our Afghanistan intervention"? Great, the Soviets pulled out Afghanistan. They were pulling out of Poland by the late 80s, and by the early 90s they were pulling out of Chechnya. You did not need to give weapons to the Mujahdeen to get the Soviets out of Afghanistan, because they were already screwed.
    The Soviets staged their own coup against their own puppet Hafizullah Amin for being "too commie". Do some reading.

    Nor were they withdrawing from Poland.. they were there to help impose martial law from 1981-83.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    The Soviets staged their own coup against their own puppet Hafizullah Amin for being "too commie". Do some reading.

    Nor were they withdrawing from Poland.. they were there to help impose martial law from 1981-83.
    I do believe he said "late" 80s as opposed to early 80s

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