Author Topic: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man  (Read 228620 times)

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Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2590 on: September 01, 2021, 07:08:46 AM »
This right here? A huge part of the problem:

https://www.foxnews.com/world/pope-inadvertently-quotes-putin-chide-wests-afghan-war

"To quote one of the world's greatest political figures, Angela Merkel, it is necessary to stop the irresponsible policy of enforcing its own values on others and attempts to build democracy in other countries based on outside models without taking into account historic, ethnic and religious issues and fully ignoring other people’s traditions"

"Fine words! There speaks the voice of political wisdom! We must heed the advice of the great Merkel!"

(half an hour later)

"Waaaait a minute...that wasn't Merkel, that was Putin!"

"Yeah, err, actually forget what I just said, that evil Putin has no idea what he's talking agbout, he negotiates with terrorists, and we won't ever listen to a word he says"


Every single time Putin goes to the US he gives a lengthy interview to an American journalist in which NO questions are ever off limits (no American president has ever given an interview to a Russian journalist despite numerous requests because they know their bullshit would be torn apart with basic facts and evidence - in fact earlier this summer Putin offered to debate Biden live for the world to see* after Biden called him a "killer" and Biden refused). And every time he does it, he says the same thing again and again about America's arrogance and hypocrisy. But because he's been carefully built into the devil incarnate it makes it so much easier for the American establishment to convince their people to ignore him.

So thank you, Pope Francis, for inadvertently recognising the wisdom of what we've been saying for years.

* https://abcnews.go.com/International/putin-challenges-biden-debate-president-calls-killer/story?id=76539031




(p.s - and as a Brit with a deep love of irony I'd further like to thank His Holiness for castigating those who seek to impose their 'moral values' upon other cultures. Coming from the head of the Catholic Church it was just the laugh I needed on this drizzly Wednesday afternoon)   



"As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts' desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron" - H.L.Mencken, 26th July 1920.

"China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump's very very large brain" - American President Donald Trump, 26th September 2018.

Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2591 on: September 01, 2021, 07:54:30 AM »
That's damn hilarious.
I don't know how they can be so proud of winning with them odds. - Little Big Man

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Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2592 on: September 05, 2021, 05:04:06 PM »
This is an interesting lecture about language and how it's used.

Geoffery Nunberg, author "Going Nucular: Language, Politics, & Culture in Confrontational Times"

I don't know how they can be so proud of winning with them odds. - Little Big Man

"We can't rewrite history. We can learn our own history, and share it with other people. While, we learn, from them, their history." -Me,Myself,I

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2593 on: September 08, 2021, 06:26:02 PM »
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/08/wealthy-lobbyists-slashed-biden-tax-reform-congress-democrats-moderate.html

I've said it before and I'll say it again: how the Democrat Party managed to position itself as the party of "the left" in America is the greatest magic trick ever performed.

And since that article, good though it is, is being coy (legal reasons I presume) I have no need to follow suit. The mysterious "lobbyist with ties to Senate Democrats" is 'Americans for Prosperity' (a Koch advocacy group) and the "Senate Democrats" are the usual suspects (Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin); senators who have proven time and again that if you're the likes of the Koch brothers then the politicians you want in your pocket are the ones with a "D" after their name, not an "R" (the Rs are already yours). 1 or 2 Ds are worth 50 Rs when the margins are so slim and you've suddenly been stricken by that same quenchless thirst to bring "Prosperity" to "Americans" that every 'philanthropist' sooner or later ends up feeling, usually right around the time someone like Bernie Sanders raises the question of culling the political power of "lobbyist groups", or *gasp* taxing private 'Charity Foundations' (stop complaining about your 3rd-world working conditions Amazon warehouse workers in Pennsylvania, Jeff and MacKenzie need to rid Equatorial Guinea of leprosy).

Said it in the Biden thread a week or so back, I'll repeat it here: the actual "radical left" (the real ones, not Tucker Carlson's phantasms) know who and what needs to go, and first in that line? The Establishment Democrats and the political climate (dare I say structure? Yes I do) that makes them available to the highest bidder. Over 81 million people voted for Biden to represent their interests yet the same 150 oligarchs and plutocrats are now dictating the terms of his spending bill. This situation won't change while the so-called 'left' remain conditioned to be quietly grateful for whatever scraps and crumbs get thrown their way.
"As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts' desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron" - H.L.Mencken, 26th July 1920.

"China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump's very very large brain" - American President Donald Trump, 26th September 2018.

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2594 on: September 09, 2021, 06:49:23 AM »
There's probably a really snazzy "the left I want vs the left I got" meme somewhere to be made, but it's way too early for such cleverness, so just assume I posted it in agreement.

Offline Stadler

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2595 on: September 09, 2021, 09:22:24 AM »
You don't respond to me much, and that's fine - I've come to accept that conceptually I embody (philosophically) all that you despise - but I asked then (it was in the "Trust the media" thread) and I'll ask again now, in good faith, because I don't see what you see here on the ground, who is this "radical left" to which you keep referring and how is this "radical left" - who are pandering their own lies, who are manipulating for their own agenda, and who are playing their own brand/game of politics; in short, playing their due part in the divisiveness that is destroying this country - the answer?  The bad guys are us, and they are part of us.  Pointing fingers is pointing fingers.  I don't see ANY faction of our country defusing the rhetoric, downplaying the hyperbole, or making a credible argument that they really do have 330 million people's best interests - both individually and collectively - at heart.

As a result of maybe not understanding who this "radical left" is, I'm struggling to see what the end-game is.   As corrupt as we may be, as plutocratic as we may be, given the current situation here, how else do you manage 100 million square miles, 330 million people and a $23 trillion economy that much of the world (for better or worse) relies on?   In the world economy such that it is, do you expect that we can blow this all up (because that is what it would take) and still have a place at the table?

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2596 on: September 09, 2021, 04:26:22 PM »
As a result of maybe not understanding who this "radical left" is, I'm struggling to see what the end-game is.   As corrupt as we may be, as plutocratic as we may be, given the current situation here, how else do you manage 100 million square miles, 330 million people and a $23 trillion economy that much of the world (for better or worse) relies on?   In the world economy such that it is, do you expect that we can blow this all up (because that is what it would take) and still have a place at the table?

The “radical left” that I refer to is the large but almost entirely powerless political class that believes not in replacing capitalism (a pointless aim) but in regulating it. Their core belief is that capitalism in America has become so ungoverned and ungovernable, so corrupted and abused, that it is simply not functioning for the benefit of all these “330 million people” that you reference. Obscene levels of wealth are being concentrated in an increasingly tiny number of hands and those hands are more and more controlling every pen stroke in the Oval Office.

Once upon a time this ‘radical left’ would propose measures to redress this corruption and socio-economic imbalance. Finally however (it was around the time Obama obeyed his masters and bailed them out of the banking crisis at the expense of the common man and woman and then shat himself when it came to at least punishing them in some token way), they learnt that it’s useless. The system is irredeemably rigged in favour of the wealthy, and no amount of dumb slogans about “Change You Can Believe In” will ever make any difference to that state of affairs.

You (Stadler) wrote:

“As corrupt as we may be, as plutocratic as we may be…do you expect that we can blow this all up (because that is what it would take) and still have a place at the table?”

Making campaign finances more transparent will not blow up the American system and cause it to lose its seat at the table. Requiring federal contractors to disclose political donations (something Bernie Sanders asked Obama to do before he left office but of course he didn’t) will not blow up America and weaken its geopolitical standing. Regulating a political system in which billionaires are now literally able to buy candidates is not going to blow up America. Clamping down on PACs, Super PACs, and those absurd ‘charity foundations’ that every oligarch sets up as a tax dodge is not going to blow up America. Pushing back against the concentration of ownership of media outlets is not going to blow up America. Addressing the absurdity of middle class Americans paying more in federal income taxes than literal billionaires (over $1 trillion of whose wealth is held in offshore tax havens) is not going to blow up America.

I could go on all night with a list longer than Schindler’s of sane proposals that, far from blowing up America, the ‘radical left’ believe would in fact be for the greater good of the country, because it would meaningfully address the root cause of the division that you (Stadler) write about: unfairness. There, I said it, the most loathed word in the English language among capitalists (“Who’s to say what’s fair???”). Your society is not fair. Your “world’s greatest democracy” has been corrupted almost beyond recognition. The gap between rich and poor is widening every year despite the poor having to work harder and harder just to stay afloat while the rich upgrade their yachts and set up more and more ‘foundations’ to buy malaria nets for Ugandan orphans (“Philanthropists Bill and Melinda Pledge Another $100 Billion From Their Foundation!” – next week’s CNN headline. “Microsoft Declared £220 Billion in Profits in the Republic of Ireland in 2020 but Paid No Corporation Tax On It Because It Funnels Those Profits Through Bermuda” – not next week’s CNN headline).

You (Stadler) often blame social media for many of your society’s ills, but consider this: social media exists in every developed country, yet of those countries only America has this level of political dysfunction and cultural rancour. If guns are not the problem (so the theory goes), merely a tool, then neither is social media. On the contrary, it is an invaluable tribune. All those angry, resentful, hate-filled voices – you created them, you know.  I mean America (not you personally Stadler). Look at what you’ve made. Listen to it. You people who now want restrictions on social media but baulk at restrictions on guns – don’t turn away from it, don't silence it, don't try and push it underground again. Listen to it. That shit is what your “greatest democracy on earth” has produced. And it’s worth at least considering that one of the reasons it’s been produced is because of how unequal America has become.

So that’s the issue. The “radical left” have no meaningful political representation in America. The far right have the Republican Party, the centre right have the Democratic Party, and the left are hoping Bernie Sanders can somehow overcome a system that keeps on hamstringing him time after time. And as for “compromising”? No. We on the left have seen too many times how that goes:

The right: “Meet us halfway”

*the left takes a step forward*

*the right takes a step backward*

The right: “Come on, meet us halfway”

Repeat steps 2 through 4 ad infinitum.


What I try to do is help people on the left see the situation as it is. To open their eyes, by way of concrete examples, to who is on their side and who isn’t. I try to make them understand that the left gain nothing by “ending the division” because “ending the division” means “go away and stop bothering us”. You want the left to care about what works best for 330 million Americans? Why should they? To this point you haven’t given a single shit about them (again not you personally Stadler, I’m talking about the powers that be). They get dismissed by both the Republicans and the Establishment Dems as dangerous communists who want to turn the USA into Venezuela.

Consider the link that I posted at the top of this page. How insane is it that a supposedly Democrat-controlled Presidency, House and Senate can't even get some of those ridiculously mild reforms passed. Raising estate taxes (after the 1 million exemption) should be a no-brainer, and it's ludicrous that capital gains tax is what it is. Not even any hope for changing the unearned income rate either. So for what did those 81 million people vote?? So that yet again the same 150 vultures that have hovered over every Resolute Desk for the last 6 presidencies can protect their interests while feeding people the lie that “this is the only way to keep this admittedly corrupt plutocracy together”?

So there you have it, that’s who the “radical left” are. They’re the people who understand how and why the system is rigged and have a set of rational proposals for beginning to address it. They are the people who recognize that before talking about issues like climate change, foreign policy, public spending and whatnot, the first order of the day is to fix the corruption in Congress (otherwise nothing else is possible) and to wrestle back control of the American government from the oligarchs who have their hands stuffed way the fuck up Biden’s ass and are flapping his mouth about and dictating what he signs (as they did in 2016, 2012 and 2008, and will do again with whoever wins in 2024, 2028 and 2032). Tucker and Sean reduce them to gun-taking, Jesus-hating baby-killers, and CNN cheerlead for the dickheads who think pitching a tent on Wall Street or vandalising a statue of Robert Lee is going to make a difference (billions of advertising dollars in the culture war and CNN wants every cent of it), but the reality is very different. The problem is, the reality rarely gets written about, because as I said: the real left have almost no meaningful representation in the American political establishment.       
"As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts' desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron" - H.L.Mencken, 26th July 1920.

"China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump's very very large brain" - American President Donald Trump, 26th September 2018.

Online El Barto

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2597 on: September 09, 2021, 05:07:22 PM »
Now that Dave's addressed your question I'm going to chime in because, A: my take is a little different, and B: because I owe you an answer from a week ago when you asked me a similar question. I said that the radical left know who the real enemy is, and it's the system that prospers on division. Both the division of resources between the haves and the have nots, and the division that's so prevalent among us. The radical left saw absolutely zero difference between Hillary and Trump. They both represented a continuation of a system that's failing us all. The "FREEDOM" shouting republicans actually did vote for an anomalous politician, but not because he represented a significant change in the paradigm, but because he was the one who would fuck over their enemies. That is by definition that continuation of division.

You may find this difficult to believe, but the "radical" left here has nothing against the republicans, other than a comparable blindness that plagues the democrats. There are naturally political differences, but in reality, the people who line up to pray at the Trump altar are just as much victims of this system as anybody else. From the other side, Trump's minions view democrats as the number one problem facing America. Of course they really couldn't be any more wrong.
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2598 on: September 09, 2021, 09:38:53 PM »
I may not be reading the room well, a common failing of mine, but I tend to much think the "radical left" really do hate Republicans.
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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2599 on: September 10, 2021, 06:56:59 AM »
I may not be reading the room well, a common failing of mine, but I tend to much think the "radical left" really do hate Republicans.

Based on what I read above, I at least in part qualify as 'radical left'. Hate is a big word, one that I won't throw around lightly. I do hate some aspects of the right, especially the ones that won't call out blatant idiocies like the Big Lie or Jan 6th. They're the ones that will do serious damage to our country. But to group them all together, some definitely do, but I just can't. In fact, I was listening to an interview that the local left leaning radio station did with Kevin Faulcner, candidate for Gov, and the level of common sense he showed was so refreshing, even more so than what I hear from a great deal of my own party, specifically Governor Batman. Now I won't vote against the recall because currently Larry Elder is leading, and he's just a fucking mess altogether, but I will give Faulcner a serious look if he runs next year in the general election.

Offline Stadler

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2600 on: September 11, 2021, 09:08:52 AM »
As a result of maybe not understanding who this "radical left" is, I'm struggling to see what the end-game is.   As corrupt as we may be, as plutocratic as we may be, given the current situation here, how else do you manage 100 million square miles, 330 million people and a $23 trillion economy that much of the world (for better or worse) relies on?   In the world economy such that it is, do you expect that we can blow this all up (because that is what it would take) and still have a place at the table?

The “radical left” that I refer to is the large but almost entirely powerless political class that believes not in replacing capitalism (a pointless aim) but in regulating it. Their core belief is that capitalism in America has become so ungoverned and ungovernable, so corrupted and abused, that it is simply not functioning for the benefit of all these “330 million people” that you reference. Obscene levels of wealth are being concentrated in an increasingly tiny number of hands and those hands are more and more controlling every pen stroke in the Oval Office.

Once upon a time this ‘radical left’ would propose measures to redress this corruption and socio-economic imbalance. Finally however (it was around the time Obama obeyed his masters and bailed them out of the banking crisis at the expense of the common man and woman and then shat himself when it came to at least punishing them in some token way), they learnt that it’s useless. The system is irredeemably rigged in favour of the wealthy, and no amount of dumb slogans about “Change You Can Believe In” will ever make any difference to that state of affairs.

You (Stadler) wrote:

“As corrupt as we may be, as plutocratic as we may be…do you expect that we can blow this all up (because that is what it would take) and still have a place at the table?”

Making campaign finances more transparent will not blow up the American system and cause it to lose its seat at the table. Requiring federal contractors to disclose political donations (something Bernie Sanders asked Obama to do before he left office but of course he didn’t) will not blow up America and weaken its geopolitical standing. Regulating a political system in which billionaires are now literally able to buy candidates is not going to blow up America. Clamping down on PACs, Super PACs, and those absurd ‘charity foundations’ that every oligarch sets up as a tax dodge is not going to blow up America. Pushing back against the concentration of ownership of media outlets is not going to blow up America. Addressing the absurdity of middle class Americans paying more in federal income taxes than literal billionaires (over $1 trillion of whose wealth is held in offshore tax havens) is not going to blow up America.

I could go on all night with a list longer than Schindler’s of sane proposals that, far from blowing up America, the ‘radical left’ believe would in fact be for the greater good of the country, because it would meaningfully address the root cause of the division that you (Stadler) write about: unfairness.

I understand better so thank you.   I don't have much problem with most of what you've written (up to the break, which is by no means arbitrary), except the over-simplification of the tax structure.   Whether they will materially change things or not is up for discussion, but I don't see any compelling reason why we couldn't do those things in the interest of the greater good, if that's really the goal.  And I say that not to challenge you, but to point out that the "radical left" nomenclature is what threw me.   I guess we're re-definining that with the use of the quotes, which is fine, but that's not how the "radical left" plays out on the ground here.   I'm not talking about Tucker's version here, I'm talking about those players that ostensibly are in a position to actually effect the change you're talking about. 

I get that Obama is, to many, a traitor, a sellout, but I think there's information there.  I resist the easy conclusions ("it's all about MO-NAY!!!") because I can't accept what I see as the logical consequences of that.  I'm not saying NONE of it is because of money, or even much of it isn't, but by singling out one variable like that it minimizes all the competing interests that weigh in, and it seems to allow a lot of other assumptions that don't follow.  Voting comes to mind here; the beautifully named "Voter Reform" bills are a great example; there's nothing egalitarian or "for the greater good" about those.  They are merely a means to shift power from one establishment to another; that is, of course what you're addressing above, but now we get to...

Quote
There, I said it, the most loathed word in the English language among capitalists (“Who’s to say what’s fair???”). Your society is not fair. Your “world’s greatest democracy” has been corrupted almost beyond recognition. The gap between rich and poor is widening every year despite the poor having to work harder and harder just to stay afloat while the rich upgrade their yachts and set up more and more ‘foundations’ to buy malaria nets for Ugandan orphans (“Philanthropists Bill and Melinda Pledge Another $100 Billion From Their Foundation!” – next week’s CNN headline. “Microsoft Declared £220 Billion in Profits in the Republic of Ireland in 2020 but Paid No Corporation Tax On It Because It Funnels Those Profits Through Bermuda” – not next week’s CNN headline).

You minimize "who's to say what's fair", and to a reasonable degree you're right to do so.  But it's not something we can avoid entirely.  At the very least we need to agree on whether we mean fairness of opportunity, or fairness of outcome.  Fundamentally, the difference between capitalism and communism, in the broadest sense, is that difference.  So if we're nominally keeping to "capitalism", we're talking about fairness of opportunity.  I think we do have something to answer for in terms of fairness of opportunity (though I don't think it's AS BAD as many say) but the examples you give aren't really that.  The "income gap" stands for OUTCOME not OPPORTUNITY.   There is inherently nothing unfair about it, since it's not a zero sum game.  As a general rule, a dollar in Bill Gates' pocket is not a dollar out of my pocket, or your pocket, or Bart's pocket.  I'd have no problem in installing a safety net for those that can't, or those for whom fate has been unreasonably unkind.   

But I say this not to dicker with you, or to parry, but as preface to what the real problem is here (in the States) and it includes the "radical left" every bit as much as any other political subgroup:  there's no halfway.  There's no barter.  The last great barter in our system was the Affordable Heathcare Act, and it was botched, catastrophically.  It will be a LONG time (in political years) before there is landmark national legislation of that kind again.  This isn't a failure of the Establishment, it's a failure of the political will of our country.  The EXACT same reason we fucked up the withdrawal in Afghanistan is why this can't happen even in degrees. 
 

Quote
You (Stadler) often blame social media for many of your society’s ills, but consider this: social media exists in every developed country, yet of those countries only America has this level of political dysfunction and cultural rancour. If guns are not the problem (so the theory goes), merely a tool, then neither is social media. On the contrary, it is an invaluable tribune. All those angry, resentful, hate-filled voices – you created them, you know.  I mean America (not you personally Stadler). Look at what you’ve made. Listen to it. You people who now want restrictions on social media but baulk at restrictions on guns – don’t turn away from it, don't silence it, don't try and push it underground again. Listen to it. That shit is what your “greatest democracy on earth” has produced. And it’s worth at least considering that one of the reasons it’s been produced is because of how unequal America has become.

That's a fair criticism, and certainly, if I'm forced to choose, you're right, it's a tool.  But I see it sort of tangentially to the way you do.   If you'll let me save some face (I'm kidding) it's both.  It is a canary in the coal mine, in the sense that it's only a device, but it's a reflective one. I think we SHOULD listen to it, but in a way that is different than what you're saying. It's not valuable for it's revolutionary uses, it's not valuable for providing a voice, since all it is is a cacophony of voices shouting over each other and as a result ignoring each other.  But we should listen to it the way we listen to our bodies when they don't feel well, or our cars when they don't run well.  We DID create it, but what we created is not a glorious dissent from our inequity; that's just the excuse.  We created a crucible for our basest feelings of insecurity, inadequacy and ineffectiveness. 
 
And for the record, I would never limit or outlaw social media.  If you know me by now, I do not believe government is our answer to our problems.  It's at best a facilitator.   Yes, we need to exercise some self-awareness, and some self-control - same with guns, by the way - but I would never presume that government is there to protect us from ourselves.  If it is, it's doing a really shitty job of it.

Quote
So that’s the issue. The “radical left” have no meaningful political representation in America. The far right have the Republican Party, the centre right have the Democratic Party, and the left are hoping Bernie Sanders can somehow overcome a system that keeps on hamstringing him time after time. And as for “compromising”? No. We on the left have seen too many times how that goes:

The right: “Meet us halfway”

*the left takes a step forward*

*the right takes a step backward*

The right: “Come on, meet us halfway”

Repeat steps 2 through 4 ad infinitum.

This is where the conversations get complicated, because you are very explicitly arguing from a side, and I'm not, my general ideologies notwithstanding.    That's not really the dynamic, is it?  You can't really switch between the "radical left" (yours) and the left that way.   And I haven't even gotten to the differences between the party apparatus itself and the people they represent.  For example, the "Establishment" compromised with Obama for the ACA and ultimately got it shoved up their ass for a program who's only metric for success has been "how many people can we force to get this via IRS penalties?"?  I won't go off on the tangent of identity politics and the total lack of compromise there, except to say we're well past the point - tolerance - where you might rightly say "there shouldn't have to BE compromise when it comes to individual rights!".  It's a different point for a different thread, but the identity politics left has gone from tolerance - not up for debate - to forced acceptance, to now demanding that people actually all THINK the same way.   At issue, of course, is the very nature of ones being, and if that doesn't demand compromise, what does?

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What I try to do is help people on the left see the situation as it is. To open their eyes, by way of concrete examples, to who is on their side and who isn’t. I try to make them understand that the left gain nothing by “ending the division” because “ending the division” means “go away and stop bothering us”. You want the left to care about what works best for 330 million Americans? Why should they? To this point you haven’t given a single shit about them (again not you personally Stadler, I’m talking about the powers that be). They get dismissed by both the Republicans and the Establishment Dems as dangerous communists who want to turn the USA into Venezuela.

We've had this conversation before, and while I understand it, I'm not sure where I fall on this, because we aren't discussing apples and oranges.  You may not see it this way, but whatever we want to call that section of the right that is not Establishment, but falls somewhere between the "Establishment Dems" and the extremist right - let's call them, I don't know, "Middle Americans" is in the EXACT SAME POSITION.    I have people in my family like this.  They don't buy into the Establishment Dems (for different reasons than you state), they're certainly not "Radical Left", but they don't buy into the CNN/cartoon version of the Radical Right.   They aren't stupid, they aren't bigots, they aren't the hard-core deplorables that have come to symbolize anyone to the right of Amy Klobuchar, but they feel the same way as you do.  No one gives a shit about them, either. Trump et al doesn't, pandering to the weirdoes like he does, Biden and Harris don't, pandering to the special interests like they do, Bernie and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez don't, since they are scrambling for their (political) bona fides by entrenching in a side (we saw this in the lead-up to the 2020 election).   I don't say this to point fingers, I say this to point out that even in your "righteousness" (and I say that in the most respectful of ways, not sarcastically) you're (collective) only fighting yourself.  And if you add in that the necessary governance that transcends party or ideology - things like Afghanistan - can't happen with this continued divisiveness, we're at what seems to me an uncrossable crossroads.

Your side will NEVER win.  Not because you're wrong, or not capable, or any of those things.  You won't win because NO "side" will ever win in that way.  There's never going to be even a plurality of one side in power long enough to effect the things you need to effect.   Sure they did it ham-fistedly (and in hindsight it was almost cartoonish but for the human cost) but that was the Capital on January 6th.   Why is their usurping of the Establishment a crime and yours wouldn't be?   You're not going to win "Middle Americans" (my definition, above) through force, any more than they are going to win you through force.  The only solution IS compromise, you just have to compromise with the right people on the right things (in all senses of the word "right").   So as I asked before, what's the endgame, because the only endgame I see in all of this continued fight is one that speaks Mandarin.   

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Consider the link that I posted at the top of this page. How insane is it that a supposedly Democrat-controlled Presidency, House and Senate can't even get some of those ridiculously mild reforms passed. Raising estate taxes (after the 1 million exemption) should be a no-brainer, and it's ludicrous that capital gains tax is what it is. Not even any hope for changing the unearned income rate either. So for what did those 81 million people vote?? So that yet again the same 150 vultures that have hovered over every Resolute Desk for the last 6 presidencies can protect their interests while feeding people the lie that “this is the only way to keep this admittedly corrupt plutocracy together”?

I don't really want to get into policy here, but it's unavoidable to some extent:  some of those things, Dave, ARE debatable.  I can see - even if I do or don't agree with them - the wisdom of some of the systemic reforms you put forth.  Not all of them are "reasonable", though, to all 330 Americans.  They seem to just be either a punishment or a vehicle to your particular outcome.   Capital gains taxes; that's not a toy of the rich; that SHOULD be an incentive for ALL Americans - we're talking about America - to partake in the generation of wealth.  There's no law, no barrier, no hurdle for any of the 330M to take advantage of that feature of our system.  You take that away, you're not punishing the Gates' and Cubans' of the country; they can afford other ways of hiding their money (you mentioned one already).   Instead, you're punishing the very people you need to effect your bigger change; the Barto's and Stadler's of the country.  Even if I was inclined to support you on principle, I'm not supporting that.

I also think, sidebar, that this election is not the best example to use for systemic proclamations.  The record turnout wasn't because all of a sudden Americans got un-lazy and interested in politics.  Those 81 million - a significant percentage anyway - voted the way many people have in recent elections have: not FOR someone, but AGAINST someone.   Hell, had I believed he could reign in Harris (meaning, if I knew then what I know now) even I would have voted for Biden.  I wanted a person that could at least pay lip service to the fact that we are a nation of 330 million, not 81 million, or 44 million or 13 million.   Everything Biden (and Trump to be fair) said during the campaign sounded like the teachers on Peanuts (waaa, waaa, waaa-waaa-waaa) until he said "I'm going to lead ALL Americans, not just those that voted for me."  I heard that loud and clear.   There was NO policy, not taxes, not immigration, not Afghanistan, not healthcare, not even the spectre of the Supreme Court, that could get me to vote for Trump in 2020.   

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So there you have it, that’s who the “radical left” are. They’re the people who understand how and why the system is rigged and have a set of rational proposals for beginning to address it. They are the people who recognize that before talking about issues like climate change, foreign policy, public spending and whatnot, the first order of the day is to fix the corruption in Congress (otherwise nothing else is possible) and to wrestle back control of the American government from the oligarchs who have their hands stuffed way the fuck up Biden’s ass and are flapping his mouth about and dictating what he signs (as they did in 2016, 2012 and 2008, and will do again with whoever wins in 2024, 2028 and 2032). Tucker and Sean reduce them to gun-taking, Jesus-hating baby-killers, and CNN cheerlead for the dickheads who think pitching a tent on Wall Street or vandalising a statue of Robert Lee is going to make a difference (billions of advertising dollars in the culture war and CNN wants every cent of it), but the reality is very different. The problem is, the reality rarely gets written about, because as I said: the real left have almost no meaningful representation in the American political establishment.     

Well said (seriously) though I think it's only part of the scenario.  There are certainly people here who have boners over what you write (I say that to be funny, not dismissive) and you're not wrong as far as you go.  I think it misses something, though.   I think there is an equal subset of people who are not deplorable, who are not interested in every issue being a covert race war, who are not bigots, who are not looking to line their pockets, that would agree with you on some of the points - the systemic ones - but what happens when the problem is identified but the solutions are different?   This goes back to the fairness argument; are we talking fairness of opportunity or fairness of outcome? 

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2601 on: September 12, 2021, 03:07:08 PM »
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Consider the link that I posted at the top of this page. How insane is it that a supposedly Democrat-controlled Presidency, House and Senate can't even get some of those ridiculously mild reforms passed. Raising estate taxes (after the 1 million exemption) should be a no-brainer, and it's ludicrous that capital gains tax is what it is. Not even any hope for changing the unearned income rate either. So for what did those 81 million people vote?? So that yet again the same 150 vultures that have hovered over every Resolute Desk for the last 6 presidencies can protect their interests while feeding people the lie that “this is the only way to keep this admittedly corrupt plutocracy together”?

I don't really want to get into policy here, but it's unavoidable to some extent:  some of those things, Dave, ARE debatable.  I can see - even if I do or don't agree with them - the wisdom of some of the systemic reforms you put forth.  Not all of them are "reasonable", though, to all 330 Americans. 

(A disclaimer before I start, I'm quoting this part of your post because it best illustrates my point. I recognise that it's not the entirety of the point you went on to make. Secondly, even though you're the one using the term "end the division", the 'aggression' that's about to follow in this post with regard to that idea is not directed at you but at certain paragons of bipartisanship who shall be named and shamed)
 

This is the issue I have with what I've quoted above: every single piece of legislation that was, is or ever will be proposed is by definition “debatable”, and when a literally impossible standard of “it must be reasonable to all 330 million Americans” is set (a standard that only ever seems to be expected of the left, never the right) it means that everything the Democrats ever propose will be sent back to the drawing board (Mitch McConnell has admitted more than once that his primary aim is to block almost everything the Dems ever try to do as a matter of principle; is this the “spirit of bipartisanship” my side is supposed to be working towards?).

Were the Republicans’ tax cuts “reasonable to all 330 million Americans”? No, they benefitted the wealthy, and as if they didn’t have enough to worry about, the bill for those cuts is going to be handed off to your kids.

“Excuse me Mr McConnell but these tax cuts are highly debatable, they don’t benefit the poor and the young and the…”

“FUCK YOU WE’RE DOING IT ANYWAY!”

And they did it. And I didn’t hear anyone on the right voicing this newfound concern they’ve suddenly developed for considering what works for "all 330 million Americans".

Was screwing the Dems out of essentially 2 SCOTUS judges “reasonable to all 330 million Americans”? (let’s ask women in Texas).

“Excuse me Mr Graham but this is highly debatable, what you’re doing is not to the benefit of all 330 million Ameri…”

“FUCK YOU WE’RE DOING IT ANYWAY!”

And they did it. And, once again, I didn’t see anyone on the right voicing this newfound concern they’ve suddenly developed for "all 330 million Americans".

What was it they said instead? “This is the World’s Greatest Democracy™. If you want to change something, vote!” Well they did. They voted. Democrats control the House, Senate and Presidency, but now when they want to push through some (I’ll say it again) ridiculously mild reforms they can’t because they’re “debatable” and “arguably don’t benefit all 330 million Americans” (I’ll say that again too: this is a literally impossible standard, especially within an economic system that is inherently and necessarily exploitative). When the right are in power it’s “Hey, this is a democracy and we’re the winning party. If you don’t like it, vote!” yet when the left win they can’t even push through minor pieces of their agenda because the same old vultures are blocking it.

If you want to end the division, stop making voting increasingly pointless for the left. How are they supposed to feel when they yet again kick the shit out of the Republicans at the voting booth (as they were told to do, like good little citizens of the World’s Greatest Democracy™) but also yet again it’s the same old right-wing plutocracy holding the cards? Just be honest with people, that’s all I ask. “Sorry folks but what matters first and foremost is what keeps this corrupt plutocracy of ours functioning. The world relies on it!” Stop telling the left that the way to change things is at the voting booth, because it demonstrably isn’t.

In this thread you (Stadler) are concerned with what benefits all 330 million Americans yet in the Covid thread 2 days ago you said you "don't accept as a foundational gospel" the principle that "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few", so in this paradigm of “benefit”…which is it? Is democracy a fundamentally utilitarian system or isn’t it? If you don't accept that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few then why do the Democrats need to give a shit about what you want or need? The Democrats won. That means their agenda takes precedence. You want to debate that agenda? No problem, let’s debate it in here and in the barrooms and living rooms of America. But in Congress – they won. That means that, yes, the concerns of the 81 million people who voted for them take precedence. It doesn’t mean they should ignore everyone else who didn't vote for them, but it does mean that the winning side gets priority. Otherwise what is the point of voting? What is the point of winning an election if whenever the right win it’s “Hey, you don’t like our tax cuts, tough shit, vote next time!” but whenever the left win we suddenly have to craft bills that perfectly cater to everyone from the CEO of Merrill Lynch to a single parent working 3 jobs to pay for her health insurance. For elections to matter, losing has to actually mean something.

Trends suggest that the majority of American voters don't want a Republican government. Republicans have controlled the White House for 12 of the last 20 years despite only 4 of those years resulting from a Republican having won more votes than his Democratic opponent (lecture us more on how to organise our political systems, America). The way things are going it is more and more looking like the Republicans will not win the popular vote again for a long time (if ever), and once all those Cuban Americans who remember Castro start to die off in Florida even the EC may be beyond their grasp. That is why they have spent years looking to game the World’s Greatest Democracy™ in any way they can, up to and including buying up Sinema and Manchin to block the doing away of the filibuster (“I see it as key to bipartisanship!”, oh piss off Kyrsten, we can see the bill of sale stamped across your forehead).

As I wrote in my first post, what I try to do is warn the left not to fall for the right’s tactics.  The right does not want to “end the division”, they want the division to go back to being quiet, unseen and working for their benefit, just the way it used to be and just the way they liked it. A new poll released today suggests that 63% of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters want Donald Trump, the crown prince of tribalism and divisiveness, to be the GOP leader going forward…

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/09/12/politics/cnn-poll-donald-trump-republicans/index.html

...and his ludicrous 'Save America' slush fund Super PAC is still raking in more cash than any other player in the game. Why do those people in the poll want him to lead the GOP? For his erudite understanding of geopolitics? For his record of concern for all 330 million Americans? For his history of building bridges between warring factions of America? These are the people who are now pretending to give a shit about “what’s best for all Americans”? The ones who are still pinning their hopes on a guy whose only tactic is “blame the left and the ‘RINOs’ for absolutely everything”?

The division is not going to end, Stadler. It just isn’t. So with that in mind you face a choice: how little you get fucked (because you’re right that ultimately no one side will win in the long term). I’ve given this illustrative example several times before and I’ll no doubt give it many more:

"I want you to use my words against me. If there's a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said, 'Let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination”

Those are his exact words. Here he is saying them (listen to how masterfully this avowed man of God spews his lies, the fake sincerity in his voice):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7vdEAwcdSw

And then what happened? The first instance he was able to go against his word and fuck over the Dems, he did it. The result? He went on to crush Jaime Harrison in his Senate election (for a while he was looking in serious trouble, which is why he played the “If the Dems get to nominate a judge our country will be hijacked by the radical leftist agenda” card. Worked like a charm, his first class seat on the gravy train was secured for another 6 years). Graham crushed Harrison BECAUSE he deceitfully fucked over 'the enemy', not despite it.

This is the guy calling for an end to the divisiveness now? This is the guy demanding the Democrats enter into the spirit of bipartisanship? Find me one – ONE – Republican who condemned Lindsey Graham for his bullshit. Find me one Republican who said "Yeah, come on guys, we did promise not to do this when it was Merrick Garland, let's not be total shitheads here".

Again, what I try to do is ‘warn’ my side not to fall for their bullshit anymore. Stop taking the first step forward when they promise to take the second. Stop taking them at their “word”. Recognise their tactics and adopt them yourselves. Stop trying to be ‘the better person’, because it doesn’t work. Call out the false equivalencies. When they tell you “This is America – we change things at the ballot box”, ask them by how many tens of millions of votes the Democrats need to beat the Republicans in the World’s Greatest Democracy™ in order to get one iota of their agenda past Mitch McConnell without having to resort to another executive order. When they tell you: “Hey, 2 wrongs don’t make a right, and if you think we’re so bad, why copy us?”, tell them “Because you’ve rewritten the rulebook such that it’s now the only thing that works. Case in point: Lindsey fucking Graham’s South Carolina Senate election”. 

Finally, anyone who ever tells you they want to “end the division”, ask them these 2 questions: “What exact division are you talking about and what do you think are the root causes of it?” The answers they give will reveal a lot about how sincerely they want to end it. I believe you (Stadler) when you write about wanting it to stop but you are alas completely and totally powerless. The snakes in the GOP suddenly calling for "compromise" and asking us to take them at their word that they'll reciprocate when they're back in power? We don't need to take them at their word, we can simply look to their recent history of guerilla partisanship.   
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Offline sueño

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2602 on: September 12, 2021, 03:30:53 PM »
Good Lord, that was amazing, Dave.  :hefdaddy  Thank you.
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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2603 on: September 12, 2021, 03:38:28 PM »
Dave, I enjoy reading your posts, and while I might not subscribe to all your conclusions, I never think "eh, he's out of his mind." As someone who has historically voted R more often than D, that post resonated with me more than most. I normally vote for R candidates in my local elections, because I think the Ds in my area are too far to the "left" for what I am seeing on the ground here. Then I see R candidates in other parts of the country, and it is like they aren't even visiting the same library as the Rs in my state, to say nothing of being on the same page or even reading the same book.
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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2604 on: September 12, 2021, 09:47:48 PM »
Dave, I enjoy reading your posts, and while I might not subscribe to all your conclusions, I never think "eh, he's out of his mind." As someone who has historically voted R more often than D, that post resonated with me more than most. I normally vote for R candidates in my local elections, because I think the Ds in my area are too far to the "left" for what I am seeing on the ground here. Then I see R candidates in other parts of the country, and it is like they aren't even visiting the same library as the Rs in my state, to say nothing of being on the same page or even reading the same book.

I just filled out my first 'R' bubble in ages in our recall election. While I'm against the recall, I really like what I've heard from Kevin Falconer, and threw him a vote in case the recall option wins. I deeply respect our local radio station, who lean left obviously, for having him on for an interview, and respect him for coming into 'enemy territory' so to speak and sharing his vision. In an open election between him and Gavin, I'd be at odds as to who to vote for. I do believe California needs to temper their prog rage for sure, it's just not working quite the way they sell it to.

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2605 on: September 13, 2021, 03:27:04 AM »
Good Lord, that was amazing, Dave.  :hefdaddy  Thank you.

Yeah, that was an outstanding post.
Hey dude slow the fuck down so we can finish together at the same time.  :biggrin:
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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2606 on: September 14, 2021, 09:18:11 AM »
Seems Larry Elder, frontrunner to Gavin Newsom in the California recall election, already has a page on his election site calling the results fraudulent and asking for a recount and investigation.


Polls opened 17 minutes ago.


I just can't with this man.

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2607 on: September 14, 2021, 03:06:23 PM »
Seems Larry Elder, frontrunner to Gavin Newsom in the California recall election, already has a page on his election site calling the results fraudulent and asking for a recount and investigation.


Polls opened 17 minutes ago.


I just can't with this man.


Ok, so I went to his site again, and the section with all the typical election fraud rhetoric has been taken down. I wonder if he had it loaded and ready and someone fucked up and posted it early?

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2608 on: September 14, 2021, 03:20:32 PM »
Trends suggest that the majority of American voters don't want a Republican government. Republicans have controlled the White House for 12 of the last 20 years despite only 4 of those years resulting from a Republican having won more votes than his Democratic opponent (lecture us more on how to organise our political systems, America). The way things are going it is more and more looking like the Republicans will not win the popular vote again for a long time (if ever), and once all those Cuban Americans who remember Castro start to die off in Florida even the EC may be beyond their grasp. That is why they have spent years looking to game the World’s Greatest Democracy™ in any way they can, up to and including buying up Sinema and Manchin to block the doing away of the filibuster (“I see it as key to bipartisanship!”, oh piss off Kyrsten, we can see the bill of sale stamped across your forehead).

This is one area that pisses me off with Republicans.  I find myself in the middle politically but often lean a bit more conservative, but I find it really hard to support the GOP.  Instead of trying to win votes by good policy making and being leaders to look up to and respect, they just play "the game of thrones" and manipulate and move the goal posts to keep their power.  It pisses me off that gerry mandering is more important than doing what is in the best interests of their voters.  They will argue that keeping them in power is what's best, but that's just BS. 

One thing with covid, it seems that more R's are dying because of their blind following and it's going to be a lot harder in the future for R's to keep their power.  How they don't see this is astonishing to me, but I guess if they admit they are wrong about covid, they "lose" in the near future.  But someone's got to look at the bigger picture right??

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2609 on: September 14, 2021, 03:47:02 PM »
Trends suggest that the majority of American voters don't want a Republican government. Republicans have controlled the White House for 12 of the last 20 years despite only 4 of those years resulting from a Republican having won more votes than his Democratic opponent (lecture us more on how to organise our political systems, America). The way things are going it is more and more looking like the Republicans will not win the popular vote again for a long time (if ever), and once all those Cuban Americans who remember Castro start to die off in Florida even the EC may be beyond their grasp. That is why they have spent years looking to game the World’s Greatest Democracy™ in any way they can, up to and including buying up Sinema and Manchin to block the doing away of the filibuster (“I see it as key to bipartisanship!”, oh piss off Kyrsten, we can see the bill of sale stamped across your forehead).

This is one area that pisses me off with Republicans.  I find myself in the middle politically but often lean a bit more conservative, but I find it really hard to support the GOP.  Instead of trying to win votes by good policy making and being leaders to look up to and respect, they just play "the game of thrones" and manipulate and move the goal posts to keep their power.  It pisses me off that gerry mandering is more important than doing what is in the best interests of their voters.  They will argue that keeping them in power is what's best, but that's just BS. 

One thing with covid, it seems that more R's are dying because of their blind following and it's going to be a lot harder in the future for R's to keep their power.  How they don't see this is astonishing to me, but I guess if they admit they are wrong about covid, they "lose" in the near future.  But someone's got to look at the bigger picture right??

Imagine if Trump were to run as an Independent. I could see that happening and people voting for him this way, and actually winning because of this kind of political slinging both sides do.

Of course I will definitely be wrong.
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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2610 on: September 14, 2021, 04:29:03 PM »
So as to not keep re-treading old ground, I'm picking and choosing as well; it'll be clear what point is being made.

This is the issue I have with what I've quoted above: every single piece of legislation that was, is or ever will be proposed is by definition “debatable”, and when a literally impossible standard of “it must be reasonable to all 330 million Americans” is set (a standard that only ever seems to be expected of the left, never the right) it means that everything the Democrats ever propose will be sent back to the drawing board (Mitch McConnell has admitted more than once that his primary aim is to block almost everything the Dems ever try to do as a matter of principle; is this the “spirit of bipartisanship” my side is supposed to be working towards?).

Were the Republicans’ tax cuts “reasonable to all 330 million Americans”? No, they benefitted the wealthy, and as if they didn’t have enough to worry about, the bill for those cuts is going to be handed off to your kids.

See, the distinction though, is that we're talking two different animals: you pre-reform, and me post-reform.  The tax cuts WEREN'T reasonable and no one (here), least of all me, said they were.   I despise Mitch McConnell more than I do Trump, and he's an example of what I mean when I say if we're not careful we're going to get another Trump, just someone who knows what they are doing.   But if the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result, then some of the people applauding you have a lot to answer for, because all that is is "tit-for-tat". 

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Was screwing the Dems out of essentially 2 SCOTUS judges “reasonable to all 330 million Americans”? (let’s ask women in Texas).

I'm sorry, two?   At best you get one; whatever rule was or should have been in place for Neil Gorsuch would have allowed either him or Amy Coney Barrett in the door, so that's one, and there was no "screwing of the Democrats" with Brett Kavanaugh.

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What was it they said instead? “This is the World’s Greatest Democracy™. If you want to change something, vote!” Well they did. They voted. Democrats control the House, Senate and Presidency, but now when they want to push through some (I’ll say it again) ridiculously mild reforms they can’t because they’re “debatable” and “arguably don’t benefit all 330 million Americans” (I’ll say that again too: this is a literally impossible standard, especially within an economic system that is inherently and necessarily exploitative). When the right are in power it’s “Hey, this is a democracy and we’re the winning party. If you don’t like it, vote!” yet when the left win they can’t even push through minor pieces of their agenda because the same old vultures are blocking it.

Look, you explained yourself, so I get you're not talking to me, but you're using MY words in place of MITCH MCCONNELL and LINDSAY GRAHAM, and, well, don't.  I'm neither of them, I don't have the same ideology as them nor the same view of the nation or our politics.  They're not even pretending to account for all 330 million Americans and they are part of the problem.  But playing their game in return isn't the answer, no matter how good it feels to shove it up their ass.  That's just kicking the can, becasue you know as well as I do that all things come around. 

We need to break the paradigm - I think you and I agree on that - I'm only saung that the paradigm CANNOT be just "the left!" - a DIFFERENT left - get their own shot at marginalizing people.   I think you seem to miss a fundamental part of MY point, which is that the answer ISN'T "left" or "right".  The answer is "everyone".   I'm not going to use the same metaphor I used before, because it got mocked by petty people that didn't understand and more importantly didn't WANT to understand, but you know full well that politics is a game of reaction, not pro-action, and so everything that comes is at least in part a response to that which came before.   Moving to the fringes - in either direction - doesn't work because it only serves to move the opposition the same way. 

I'm not sure what it is to you - though I'd be curious; I'd guess "hopeful with a mix of frustrated hopelessness" if I had to guess - but to me the rise of Bernie - a reaction himself to the Neo-cons that came before him - is directly related to the rise of the fringes we've seen lately (the "Proud Boys" are one that get named a lot).

I get it, you want to win, you want a chance for your ideas, and so be it, but I don't see how doing the same thing in reverse is going to make a long-term difference in this country and their place on the world stage.

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If you want to end the division, stop making voting increasingly pointless for the left. How are they supposed to feel when they yet again kick the shit out of the Republicans at the voting booth (as they were told to do, like good little citizens of the World’s Greatest Democracy™) but also yet again it’s the same old right-wing plutocracy holding the cards? Just be honest with people, that’s all I ask. “Sorry folks but what matters first and foremost is what keeps this corrupt plutocracy of ours functioning. The world relies on it!” Stop telling the left that the way to change things is at the voting booth, because it demonstrably isn’t.

I'm not sure how to respond to that, since we're clearly talking about two different "votes".   Over the last 13 years, 9 of them have seen a Democratic President, of the last 29, 17.  You've got a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate.  What's voting got to do with it?  If you're talking about voting in the chambers of Congress, that's a different animal.   

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In this thread you (Stadler) are concerned with what benefits all 330 million Americans yet in the Covid thread 2 days ago you said you "don't accept as a foundational gospel" the principle that "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few", so in this paradigm of “benefit”…which is it? Is democracy a fundamentally utilitarian system or isn’t it? If you don't accept that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few then why do the Democrats need to give a shit about what you want or need? The Democrats won. That means their agenda takes precedence. You want to debate that agenda? No problem, let’s debate it in here and in the barrooms and living rooms of America.

Context, and you know that.  The premise I was responding to was that the needs of the many are ALL that matter and fuck individual, fundamental rights.  In that context, no I DON'T believe that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  We don't force women to have babies to increase our birth rate, to increase our work force, to increase our purchasing power.   We don't allow government to jail people who create a moral or philosophical disturbance in order to placate the masses and preserve the status quo.    We don't allow unlimited surveillance of our people in order to preserve national security (remember the uproar over the Patriot Act?).    But in the context in which you raise the point, which isn't utilitarian as much as egalitarian, having each and every individual voice heard IS the greater good.   I didn't actually expect that to be a controversial point, because I would have expected - and maybe, assume, ass, u, me, here - that you WOULD support having an equal voice of dissenting views.  If you're just advocating for your little side to have a turn, guess what; in our lifetime YOU would be the plutocracy.   It's the nature of power in a system like ours. 

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here; your points make a sort of populist sense - hence the applause, I guess - but I'm increasingly struggling to see the deeper logic; if the idea is that Dems won so fuck off, why didn't that work in 2016?  Or any of the other years that Republicans won?   Hell or high water, if the vote controls, why not accept the outcome?  Why the "not my President!" billshot? Why isn't that insurrection?   McConnell, douche-rocket that he was, was in control of the Senate.   If the power margin is all that matters, then why aren't we accepting the Supreme Court and moving on?  Again, giving you the benefit of the doubt, because you're smarter than that, but it's dangerously close to "well, it counts if it's MY way, buit doesn't if I don't like it".    And that's the ESSENCE of the divisiveness I'm talking about.   I know this will never be perfect; but at least if we can disagree with civility we have a fighting chance of maintaining the presence that CAN help all Americans at least to a degree.   I said before, we're never going to see any major landmark legislation unless and until we find a way to work together. Your way will NEVER work, even if you have the votes, because you're only trading labels.   Once Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gets in and says "Fuck those people that aren't with us", you've just changed the in-group and the out-group, and you've just created another group for whom there is the same question:  "why should we vote?  why should we play along?"   

We can "meta" this back and forth all day long and get nowhere.  We are at fundamental loggerheads that I can boil down to one thing: your argument is INDELIBLY rooted in your ideology.  Not your general philosophical outlook, but your specific ideology, and achieving it's superiority.   Mine is not.  I'm not looking at the problems of JUST 2021, I'm looking at the problems of humans in the in-group and the humans in the out-group. 

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Trends suggest that the majority of American voters don't want a Republican government. Republicans have controlled the White House for 12 of the last 20 years despite only 4 of those years resulting from a Republican having won more votes than his Democratic opponent (lecture us more on how to organise our political systems, America).

Side bar: can't speak to the lecture, but the fact is, and yes it is a fact, that the simple matter is, for President, the number of total votes is meaningless.  That's like you bitching about your football picks because the uglier quarterbacks won every game.  Maybe so, but doesn't matter, since that's not how the winner is determined, and everyone knew that going in. 

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The way things are going it is more and more looking like the Republicans will not win the popular vote again for a long time (if ever), and once all those Cuban Americans who remember Castro start to die off in Florida even the EC may be beyond their grasp. That is why they have spent years looking to game the World’s Greatest Democracy™ in any way they can, up to and including buying up Sinema and Manchin to block the doing away of the filibuster (“I see it as key to bipartisanship!”, oh piss off Kyrsten, we can see the bill of sale stamped across your forehead).

Probably not, as we know it today, but you'll be surprised to know I don't think that's a bad thing.   One of two things will happen:  your way will win out, and the radical left will take over and force-feed their ideology down our throats like the Trump, Obama, and Bush acolytes did, and after four (or maybe eight) years, we'll have the inevitable backlash.  Like in 2020, those that voted for that radical left and hoped for what I'm calling for will be disappointed, and will jump ship and vote for the enemy (i.e. vote AGAINST the power).   I've seen this now at least five times in my lifetime. And each successive time, the extremism and divisiveness gets worse, and we diminish as a nation.   The other possibility is that the labels will fall away, and it won't be "Democrats and Republicans" as we know it today.  The "sides" will, like water finding it's level, even out and we're back to square one.   

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As I wrote in my first post, what I try to do is warn the left not to fall for the right’s tactics.  The right does not want to “end the division”, they want the division to go back to being quiet, unseen and working for their benefit, just the way it used to be and just the way they liked it. A new poll released today suggests that 63% of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters want Donald Trump, the crown prince of tribalism and divisiveness, to be the GOP leader going forward…

Again, I've said this before, don't put MY words in THEIR mouths. I'm not the 63% and for me, Trump ISN'T the answer for 330 million people.  You're just rabble-rousing now. :) :) :) :) :)   You're looking out for "one side" against another's tactics, and I'm saying something very different:  flip-flopping between hard core sides is going to be a force-multiplier for the implosion of this country.   Then, it doesn't matter if the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few; the resources won't be there to make a difference.   

You forget that money only comes along willingly, not by force.   In your most extreme scenarios, do you honestly think that Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are going to stick around for the revenge party?  Not on your life.

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The division is not going to end, Stadler. It just isn’t. So with that in mind you face a choice: how little you get fucked (because you’re right that ultimately no one side will win in the long term).

So I snipped the Lindsay Graham piece, for no reason other than space.   

I'm out of order here, since I want to address something below as well, but if you're right - and I'm not convinced it will never end, though I do agree wholeheartedly that if it doesn't NO ONE wins - then what's the end game?  Why are you so committed to a strategy where no one wins?  I'm being sincere with you and not bating you: is this a function of you not really caring one way or another because you don't live here?  Because I can't do that.  Not yet; maybe when I'm 75.  I know El Barto is there already, but I'm slower to that point.  Call me naive, but I think if we have the will to end slavery, to get to the moon, hell, to start this country to begin with, then anything is possible.  It won't be in social media time, it might be a generation or more, but I do believe it possible, because I believe it's NECESSARY. 


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Again, what I try to do is ‘warn’ my side not to fall for their bullshit anymore. Stop taking the first step forward when they promise to take the second. Stop taking them at their “word”. Recognise their tactics and adopt them yourselves. Stop trying to be ‘the better person’, because it doesn’t work. Call out the false equivalencies.

But it doesn't have to be that way; it's not a zero sum game.  I'm not stupid, and while I admitted to a sort of naivete, I'm not naive (there is a difference).  I'm not suggesting that anyone be SUCKERS.  I'm not suggesting one side take one in the shorts.  I'm not even saying don't fight or don't call out inconsistencies.  Do ALL of those things!   Live in truth, and in fact.   I've got zero problem with that.   But there's a way of doing all those things without poking the other side in the eye.   You're arguing "for" the Radical Left, but if you were here saying "Trump in 2024!" I'd be saying the same thing to you.  There's no room for Lindsay Graham in the scenario I'm talking about here.

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Finally, anyone who ever tells you they want to “end the division”, ask them these 2 questions: “What exact division are you talking about and what do you think are the root causes of it?” The answers they give will reveal a lot about how sincerely they want to end it. I believe you (Stadler) when you write about wanting it to stop but you are alas completely and totally powerless. The snakes in the GOP suddenly calling for "compromise" and asking us to take them at their word that they'll reciprocate when they're back in power? We don't need to take them at their word, we can simply look to their recent history of guerilla partisanship.

Am I (powerless) though?  From the standpoint of time, maybe (what I'm calling for doesn't work in social media time).  But - and I've said this before:  If I came in here guns-a-blazin' throwing the n-word around, AT A MINIMUM, someone would call me aside and say, "not acceptable, bro.  Change your tune or change your URL."  We can fight for our beliefs and fight for our ideas as vigorously as before, but with an eye to the big picture.   I'd expect you (meaning your position, or side, not you personally) to criticize the "Drumpf" references as much as you criticize the "Hillary For Prison" nonsense.  I would expect that you call out inexact science on the part of Kamala Harris as you do for Trump, and stop making excuses about how that's somehow "justified".  I'd expect you to jump down someone's throat for justifying their position on the grounds that they are "on the right side of history", whether you believe it or not, because the corollary is that those that don't agree aren't just on the opposite side, but also cosmic failures.   And less facetiously, I'd expect you to acknowledge that for every one of YOUR "radical left" - that is to say, not necessarily "extremists", but not of the Establishment Democrat party, that there is what I called above a "Middle American", that isn't invested in Trump, isn't invested in the Establishment Republican Party, and if not excluded on pure ideology could help this become a more civil place, with a higher utility just by attrition as opposed to any specific program.

The details matter here.  The assumptions matter here.  The language matters here.  Attacking Lindsay Graham as a REPUBLICAN is not the same on any level as attacking Lindsay Graham as a piece of shit human being.   You know as well as I do that there are a LOT of people in this divisive country and here specifically don't make the distinction. Lindsay Graham is a piece of shit BECAUSE he's Republican.  That's not all of it, but it's the START of the divisiveness I'm talking about.  We can't even get to the point of the economic and opportunity divisiveness if we can't even talk like human beings to each other.

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2611 on: September 14, 2021, 06:39:27 PM »
Seems Larry Elder, frontrunner to Gavin Newsom in the California recall election, already has a page on his election site calling the results fraudulent and asking for a recount and investigation.


Polls opened 17 minutes ago.


I just can't with this man.
The way y'alls silly-ass recall system works he really has no business losing. All I know is that I'm glad I got out of there today.
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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2612 on: September 14, 2021, 08:03:42 PM »
Seems Larry Elder, frontrunner to Gavin Newsom in the California recall election, already has a page on his election site calling the results fraudulent and asking for a recount and investigation.


Polls opened 17 minutes ago.


I just can't with this man.
The way y'alls silly-ass recall system works he really has no business losing. All I know is that I'm glad I got out of there today.

It's quite retarded man. Honestly, I think Elder is the reason Gavin will pull this out. It was questionable until all the details of what type of dipshit elder actually is started gaining traction, and all the fence dems and independents are all of a sudden like 'maybe Gavin aint so bad....' It wouldn't surprise me to see Gavin avoid recall by a fairly large margin.

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2613 on: September 14, 2021, 10:31:12 PM »
They called it 49 minutes in, Gavin is currently up by 33 points. Nice waste of 250 million.


I think I'm more upset that Barto visited my state and didn't even say hi though. :'(

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2614 on: September 15, 2021, 05:08:19 AM »
I guess I'm unclear..

What is a Recall, and why did they do one?
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D
Nice one Tim, I have great faith in you, as the fogey with the best taste.

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2615 on: September 15, 2021, 05:44:59 AM »
I guess I'm unclear..

What is a Recall, and why did they do one?

It's a recall of our governor, the election has two parts
The first part is a simple yes/no on the recall, and if that is triggered by a simple majority, the second part of who do we want to replace him with is triggered. I'm CA, a recall can be started by collecting signatures from 12% of the people who voted in the previous election. The current one cost the state 250 million

As to why, it's supposedly a combo of strict covid policies, the handling of the water anf fire crises, the handling of our utilities, EDD, and a really nice dinner he had. Some I agree with, some I don't. The guy is a real douche for sure, but don't want him replaced with a talk show host.

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2616 on: September 15, 2021, 06:30:18 AM »
I'm CA, a recall can be started by collecting signatures from 12% of the people who voted in the previous election.

Wow, that seems like a pretty low threshold.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D
Nice one Tim, I have great faith in you, as the fogey with the best taste.

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2617 on: September 15, 2021, 06:34:10 AM »
I'm CA, a recall can be started by collecting signatures from 12% of the people who voted in the previous election.

Wow, that seems like a pretty low threshold.

Yup. That's how we ended up with Governor Schwarzenegger

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2618 on: September 15, 2021, 08:33:25 AM »
I'm CA, a recall can be started by collecting signatures from 12% of the people who voted in the previous election.

Wow, that seems like a pretty low threshold.
The problem as I understand it is that the incumbent needs an actual majority to keep his job. If he gets 49.99999% he's out. The replacement is chosen by a simple plurality, though, so the guy who gets in is probably going to do so with ~35% of the votes. This gives a decided edge to the other party who's unified behind their lizard. That's why his only real opponent in this was the republican. Not only is it bad for the party in power, but it also prevents them from getting rid of a bad governor. If they could have recalled him and had a proper vote 2 months later for his replacement they probably would have done so. Because of this their only option was to replace a bad democrat with a Rush Limbaugh wannabe.


I think I'm more upset that Barto visited my state and didn't even say hi though. :'(
Rest assured that if I'd been up in your part of the state I would have. I stayed down in SD and LA and kept way too busy.
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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2619 on: September 15, 2021, 09:00:58 AM »
I'm CA, a recall can be started by collecting signatures from 12% of the people who voted in the previous election.

Wow, that seems like a pretty low threshold.
The problem as I understand it is that the incumbent needs an actual majority to keep his job. If he gets 49.99999% he's out. The replacement is chosen by a simple plurality, though, so the guy who gets in is probably going to do so with ~35% of the votes. This gives a decided edge to the other party who's unified behind their lizard. That's why his only real opponent in this was the republican. Not only is it bad for the party in power, but it also prevents them from getting rid of a bad governor. If they could have recalled him and had a proper vote 2 months later for his replacement they probably would have done so. Because of this their only option was to replace a bad democrat with a Rush Limbaugh wannabe.


Yup, they even had a court case lined up that stated that our recall process was unconstitutional because the way it's set up doesn't represent the will of the people faithfully. I'd expect a law or two are already in the works to change how the system works, but it's written into our state constitution, so it might be a rough road.

On a side note, the presence of Elder is 100% what tanked this process. Even a good deal of Dems and independents can't stand Newsom, and want to see someone else (myself included), and would probably have gone for a moderate GOP candidate, like Kevin Faulconer (former SD mayor), but the Trump side of the GOP took over and went all in on Elder's Trumpy rhetoric. This scared the fence dems and independents enough to pump the brakes, resulting in a thorough ass kicking.

In the coming general election, we'll see if they learn something and vote for a moderate, or if they keep doubling down and getting spanked. Newsom will run again, and he'll win handedly again if they don't read the room with unblinded eyes.

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2620 on: September 15, 2021, 10:57:32 AM »
I'm CA, a recall can be started by collecting signatures from 12% of the people who voted in the previous election.

Wow, that seems like a pretty low threshold.
The problem as I understand it is that the incumbent needs an actual majority to keep his job. If he gets 49.99999% he's out. The replacement is chosen by a simple plurality, though, so the guy who gets in is probably going to do so with ~35% of the votes. This gives a decided edge to the other party who's unified behind their lizard. That's why his only real opponent in this was the republican. Not only is it bad for the party in power, but it also prevents them from getting rid of a bad governor. If they could have recalled him and had a proper vote 2 months later for his replacement they probably would have done so. Because of this their only option was to replace a bad democrat with a Rush Limbaugh wannabe.


Notwithstanding this particular case (I'm only familiar with Newsom, not his challengers) wouldn't this - in the context of the other threads here - be a good thing?  Isn't this a way of breaking the stranglehold of the office-holder? 

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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2621 on: September 15, 2021, 11:05:13 AM »
I'm CA, a recall can be started by collecting signatures from 12% of the people who voted in the previous election.

Wow, that seems like a pretty low threshold.
The problem as I understand it is that the incumbent needs an actual majority to keep his job. If he gets 49.99999% he's out. The replacement is chosen by a simple plurality, though, so the guy who gets in is probably going to do so with ~35% of the votes. This gives a decided edge to the other party who's unified behind their lizard. That's why his only real opponent in this was the republican. Not only is it bad for the party in power, but it also prevents them from getting rid of a bad governor. If they could have recalled him and had a proper vote 2 months later for his replacement they probably would have done so. Because of this their only option was to replace a bad democrat with a Rush Limbaugh wannabe.


Notwithstanding this particular case (I'm only familiar with Newsom, not his challengers) wouldn't this - in the context of the other threads here - be a good thing?  Isn't this a way of breaking the stranglehold of the office-holder?
No. For one thing, the democrats can't get rid of a bad governor. They can only let a republican take his place. And in this case a fringe republican, at that. That reinforces the stranglehold. And if you're suggesting that it could be a way to break the democrats stranglehold on California, I'd simply point out that California is a fiercely democratic state. It's not like Texas where the numbers are close and one side has firewalled itself into power. Newsome won with a whopping 62% three years ago. Biden got 63.5%. While I'm sure there's some pretty righteous gerrymandering in place to make it seem more democratic than it really is, loopholling in a GOP governor really wouldn't reflect the will of the people.
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Re: P/R side chat thread, v. I am not a number I am a free man
« Reply #2622 on: September 15, 2021, 11:44:03 AM »
Current stats have CA with only 24% of the electorate being registered Republican, while almost 50% are Dem, and I'd gather of the independents, they lean blue based on previous results.

And Cali has had more than a few GOP governors...Arnold, Wilson, Dukmejian, and the latter two were re-elected. The GOP could stand a chance here if they'd spit out the Trump teet and just start embracing some actual conservative politics.