May 1st, 2017

Why the Democrats lost

As a little introduction, I’d like to offer this passage from Through the Looking-Glass:

“I’m just one hundred and one, five months and a day.”

“I can’t believe that!” said Alice.

“Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

* * * * *

I’m a bit puzzled by this report—mostly by what’s left out of it:

…[The] Democratic Party [is] at a historic low point…trying to figure out how it can win back power. Much of the debate over how to move forward has centered on whether the party should try to win back working-class white voters – who make up the bulk of Obama-Trump voters – or focus instead on mobilizing its base.

Turning out the base, the data suggests, is simply not good enough.

“This idea that Democrats can somehow ignore this constituency and just turn out more of our voters, the math doesn’t work,” Canter said. “We have to do both.”

…Priorities USA released a poll last week, conducted in part by Canter’s firm, that found the Democratic base – including voters who usually sit out midterm elections – was unusually motivated to participate in the next election. Officials with the group have preached in recent months that Democrats can both reach out to white working-class voters and their base with a strong message rooted in economic populism.

This ignores one of the elephants (donkeys?) in the room, something I touched on in a previous post today: the fact that Hillary Clinton was an unusually poor candidate. But a more important—and less personality-driven—problem for the Democrats is that “reaching out to white working-class voters and the Democratic base” posits an approach that is contradictory and/or extraordinarily difficult. Although Clinton didn’t even try—and that’s part of why she lost—how would Democrats go about doing that?

What would such an approach actually look like, while still maintaining a recognizably Democratic identity? The needs of those two groups used to be united—or at least appeared to be united—back in New Deal days. President Bill Clinton was able to do it, too, but he did it by tacking to the middle. These days the bulk of the Democratic Party, and its base, has traveled much further to the left than that. Yes, there were leftists in the 1930s (including some of my own relatives) and in the 1990s, but there are a lot more of them now in the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

What’s more, at some point the party made white men the enemy, in both its rhetoric and its policies. That rhetoric and those policies were a conscious effort, not an accident—the result of a calculation to go for the base and ignore that other demographic, a bet that such an approach would lead the way not just to victory but to permanent victory. The Democrats’ base hates Trump for a lot of reasons, but one of those reasons is that he has thrown a wrench into that theory and those efforts. By appealing to the “forgotten” group—a group that had not so much been forgotten as taken for granted or, more probably, purposely written off as irrelevant—he siphoned off just enough of that group, in the right geographic areas, to win.

If Democrats believe they can appeal to both their base and that group without changing something very fundamental about their message and more importantly their policies, then I think they’re up there with the Red Queen in believing impossible things.

Of course, they might not actually have to appeal to this group in order to win. Maybe all they have to do is to nominate a more appealing candidate than Hillary Clinton. Obama certainly was. But where shall they find another?

Which for some reason reminds me of this (note particularly 1:13 to 1:25):

87 Responses to “Why the Democrats lost”

  1. Frog Says:

    Democrats have become the Party of Black Shirts, face masks and thuggery. They are the Brown Shirts reborn. Hillary was the whitewashed face of this partisan evil.

    Democrat riots with vandalism and arson have become their standard answer to Freedom of Speech.
    They cannot be converted. Their violence must be countered with even greater violence. We do not dirty ourselves irredeemably by violently opposing their totalitarian violence. It is simply necessary.

    I am in favor of forming militias everywhere to turn out, break up their gatherings, bust a few heads.

    I am not a violent guy, but one cannot reason with evildoers. One cannot just stand by knowing that Kristallnacht is coming, somewhere, sometime, but soon.

    So today is May 1, the “traditional holiday” of socialists, communists and anarchists. Let ’em have it!

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Frog:

    Your suggestion wouldn’t just mean that we “dirty” ourselves. In fact, it is the sort of argument the people you criticize on the left use to justify their own violence.

    There are two remedies for the problem. One is that the police and/or National Guard do their duty to protect the public. That is the first and best line of defense. If that doesn’t happen, a second line of defense is people protecting their own property and persons against threat, for example in this manner.

  3. DNW Says:

    What was written was certainly not benign.

    ” … whether the party should try to win back working-class white voters – who make up the bulk of Obama-Trump voters – or focus instead on mobilizing its base.”

    It was posed, as your comments following acknowledged and then emphasized, as a disjunct hypothetical. Which, logically implied, that the white working class, was a, not part of the core Democrat base; and b, even worse as you say: ” … at some point the party made white men the enemy, in both its rhetoric and its policies.”

    This only highlights what has become anecdotally noticeable in much of the less-inhibited progressive rhetoric – spoken when they feel they are safely among friends or have the hammer- a kind of racist, or racialist, anthropological premise in which the moral values of autonomy, individuality, private property, and the right to maintain “metaphysical” interests and commitments (contra Marx’s disallowance), is seen as specifically white, or at least predominantly, a psychological trait of “whites”.

    The idea of one humanity, and of natural rights and law, so ardently embraced by the liberal left in its public appeals at one point, has evaporated. The “we’re all God’s children” talk once so rhetorically useful to the left, and which I suppose many of us thought was sincere, turns out to be an intellectually dead meme.

    I guess that once they have the power to kill, or figure they do, there is no longer any need to pretend to share the enemy’s values in order to use them against him.

    In the phrasing you have repeatedly used before, this has the potential for not ending well.

  4. DNW Says:

    By the way. I was looking an article linked to on “Drudge” and was struck by what appeared to me at least, as a very astute framing of the issue, by Le Pen.

    Maybe what she is saying will not resonate with the French voters at large but these thrusts seem very adept to me:

    “Ms Le Pen … rebranded her campaign with the new motto “Choose France”. ”

    “Ms Le Pen said: “The country Mr Macron wants is no longer France; it’s a space, a wasteland, a trading room where there are only consumers and producers.”

  5. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “reaching out to white working-class voters and the Democratic base” posits an approach that is contradictory and/or extraordinarily difficult. Although Clinton didn’t even try—and that’s part of why she lost” neo

    Agreed that to be an inherently contradictory and therefore difficult approach but here in Florida, she certainly did try. Hillary ran incessant commercials touting her plans for millions of “green energy jobs”. She was going to lead us into a glorious future of clean energy jobs, comrades!

    I suspect that failed to resonate nearly as much as it might have with Trump “appealing to the “forgotten” group—a group that had not so much been forgotten as taken for granted or, more probably, purposely written off as irrelevant—he siphoned off just enough of that group, in the right geographic areas, to win.”

    Which BTW, is an argument that neither Rubio of Cruz could have accomplished or would have thought to promote.

    Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again!” resonated because those receptive to that message KNEW that today’s America is NOT the America they grew up in, with no faith in a new paradigm (green energy!) needed.

  6. Ray Says:

    The democrats have become the party of victim groups and straight white males are the oppressors of these victim groups. How are the democrats going to appeal to white males? By claiming that working class white males are also victims who need the democrat party to take care of them?

  7. eeyore Says:

    When party leaders and spokespeople call all those who voted for Trump racist, mysoginistic fascists and don’t back away or condemn it, I have a hard time seeing how they can reach out to these voters and bring them back into the fold.

  8. Jamie Says:

    Maybe they think they can do it by lying to the white working-class voters. Because they’re just a mindless horde, after all.

    I’d say that Pres. Trump did approximately the same thing, knowing full well that the power of the Presidency, even with Congress in the same party’s hands, can’t do all that much to regenerate jobs whose time has passed… except for two things: 1. He seems to be kind of trying to do what he can (in Heinlein’s formulation, maybe “he’s an honest politician – he stays bought”), and 2. If you ask those working-class folks who voted for him, most of THEM went in eyes-open, realizing the limits of governmental power, but simply figured they had a better shot with someone who at least acknowledged, sympathized with, and held out even a modicum of hope for their situation.

  9. Kyndyll G Says:

    Essentially the Democrat party – or what is left of it – made a gamble that between millennials, and assorted victim groups for whom straight white males were the supposed oppressor, they had enough votes to win. Luckily for us, they fell short.

    They have become so unhinged that I’m not sure what they do next. As eeyore says, after six months of violence and insult to ordinary people, and general outrageous nuttiness, “Oops, sorry, our bad,” isn’t going to cut it. The truth is, if runaway nutjobs are in charge over there – and they probably are – expect quadrupling down on violence, outrageousness and nuttiness.

    Unfortunately, I rather suspect that if there are any sane people left in any position of power in the Democrat party, they are keeping very quiet for now. Imagine how dangerous it is at this point to be on the side of reason and reality over there.

  10. Jenk Says:

    Voters tend to have short memories, but that was something the Democrats could count on before the internet. The mask is off, guys (I can say that–“guys”–right?), so you needn’t bother. Say “Hi” to the Whigs on your way out. Deplorable, isn’t it…?

  11. miklos000rosza Says:

    Everyone I know, all of my friends, everyone I have the remotest connection with in the literary world, is a Democrat and would “never” vote Republican. Most have at one time or another expressed in passing the view that Trump is beyond the pale.

    But they’ve quieted down now. Some say they don’t watch the news. When, very occasionally, I have pointed out to anyone some item — like the “White Men Should Not be Allowed to Vote” article which appeared in Huffington Post, or the parade here in Portland being shut down by threats from blackshirts, they are appalled at such extremism, but never connect any dots or say anything to indicate they realize that this is the side they are now on.

    I never push it. It’s not in my interest to do so.

  12. Frog Says:

    Do not minimize the totalitarian (dare I say fascist) Democratic Party. Listen to the DNC head, Perez, spout filth and quasi-encourage violence. Note the Dems call themselves “The Resistance” as if we on the right were Nazi occupiers of their France. Note the tolerance of violent, looting mobs in places like Berkeley, with arson, as cops stood by without interceding.

  13. parker Says:

    Frog,

    Bad idea. We can’t start the hot war. You have every righqt to protect yourself and your family, beyond that, you become a mirror image of the left. You will know if CW2 has started. Its not here as of now.

    DNW,

    Its becoming more possible that Le Pen may pull off a victory. If we think the American left has gone bonkers over Trump; you ain’t seen moonbat compared to what will thrown at a president Le Pen. The good news is it will set off a political earthquake in the EU.

  14. John Guilfoyle Says:

    When you’ve become the party of grievance mayhem & violence, perpetuate as an unlimited ‘right’ the killing of the unborn, & foist the notion that mentally ill men should have unrestricted access to the women’s toilets and change rooms…Sorry…you probably aren’t going to “win back” the white working class. And that’s not even getting into the discussion about immigration and the economy…

    You may not like Frog’s approach…but there are lots of folks who grudgingly agree that if the police won’t, we will. And I assure you the pervert male who goes into the women’s toilet with my 10 & 14-year-old daughters may just come out on a stretcher.

  15. Oldflyer Says:

    Well, some Democrats think they have a solution; and maybe they think it will reconnect them with white men.

    Big news today is that Joe Biden again thinks he may run–again.

    If “Gropin” Joe is a viable choice, does it prove the thesis that voters have a very short memory?

    Actually, I think the Democrats will just double down on their traditional strategy; i.e., create as many “victims” as possible, intensify the indoctrination efforts at the public school and university level, and resist Trump in every way. They probably feel that time is on their side because in four years the schools will spew forth millions of indoctrinated voters, while demographics and the actuarial tables favor a culling of the GOP vote. Of course, if Trump is successful the pipeline of prospective Dem voters from the South will begin to run dry.

    I sympathize with Frog’s frustration; but, I wonder if some in the Dem inner circle are not hoping for that sort of backlash? “See what a Trump/GOP country looks like? We tried to tell you.”

  16. Mac Says:

    It’s a bad development that “white” has become a casually malicious term on the lips of white progressives as well as non-whites. “White men” even more so. Perhaps a bit surprising among the former but a logical development. See Burnham, Suicide of the West. But it’s hard to see the Democrats re-capturing non-white non-progressives in big numbers. Probably they think they won’t need to.

  17. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Neo, your allusion to a “second line of defense” and your link to the NPR interview with the Korean store owner reminds me of the post linked below.

    When things really get bad, don’t expect anyone – the police, the Guard, anyone – to come rescue you. They’ll likely be hunkered down, keeping themselves alive so that they can restore some semblance of order and pick up the pieces of whatever’s left after the worst is over.

    http://www.seraphicpress.com/flashback-los-angeles-riots-20-years-ago/

  18. Montage Says:

    A year ago the Republican party was in shambles with Trump the likely front runner. Trump! He will get clobbered….

    Things change. You get voters behind you and things can change FAST. That is the lesson here. The fact that we have a two party system and the fact that the electorate swings back and forth between parties and has for 100 years or more tells you all you need to know.

  19. neo-neocon Says:

    Frog:

    The majority of Democrats don’t fit your description. I know plenty of Democrats, and not one fits your description. You are describing activist leftists, certainly a sizeable group and one of which I’m very very aware—and yes, they have infiltrated and influenced the Democratic Party.

    When you talk about “Democrats” you sound like a Bolshevik talking about the kulaks, only in reverse. You are already halfway down that slippery slope.

  20. TommyJay Says:

    I’d like to believe Neo and think that the Dems are dreaming in the rabbit hole about a comeback, but I’m just not that optimistic given the capriciousness of the political processes.

    Jenk goes even further by bringing up the demise of the Whig party. I just finished reading “Six Frigates” by Ian Toll which is a naval war history book, but has a great deal about the political environment of the early U.S.

    According to Toll, the Whigs were destroyed by being on the wrong side of the war of 1812, in its wake. People/editors referred to “these” United States prior to 1812 and switched to “the” United States after the war. Whigs were anglophiles and still wished to affiliate themselves with a few splintered factions of “these” states.

  21. neo-neocon Says:

    TommyJay:

    If you look at the next to last paragraph of my post, you’ll see I do NOT think they are dreaming when they think of a comeback. I just don’t think the comeback will come from taking the advice in that linked article, advice which they turned their backs on long ago. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t make a comeback through several other routes, including the fairly simple one (as I alluded to in that paragraph) of nominating a candidate with more charisma than Hillary Clinton.

  22. TommyJay Says:

    The “forgotten man” meme perhaps has its beginnings in Frederic Bastiat’s writing on the “Broken Window” or “What is Seen and Unseen.” An unseen economic operator is essentially a forgotten man.

    According to Amity Shlaes “The Forgotten Man” it was a term of art from economists of the early 20th century about the taxpayer shlubs who funded politician’s largess. And Shlaes then claims that FDR turned that on its head, and campaigned on putting a chicken in every (forgotten) man’s pot. More recently, we had a mortgage in every pot, until the keys were left in the mailbox.

    But the analog to this analysis that strikes me the hardest is Oleg Atbashian’s “Shakedown Socialism.” Oleg is the creator of ThePeoplesCube.com and was a graphic designer for the propaganda branch of the Soviet government. The Bolsheviks were great promoters of labor unions to improve the lot of working class folks right up to the point where the Soviet gov. had succeeded in grabbing all levers of power. Once that happened, unions became irrelevant to the power structure.

    So, is it possible that the Dems thought they counted all of their chickens, even though the eggs weren’t done hatching? Have they jettisoned the working class vote before they locked up all of the levers of power? Can they get them back? How about a Tesla in every garage? A solar panel on every roof? A wind turbine in every yard?

  23. Cornhead Says:

    The Forgotten Man narrative – and neo’s point – is straight from Bannon.

  24. Cornhead Says:

    Maybe an aside, but DNC chair Tom Perez declared last week that pro-lifers are no longer welcome. Why? It came up in the Omaha mayoral race. I couldn’t believe it. What idiots!

  25. Frog Says:

    Neo, I am quite big-picture comfortable with my view. Yours, and parker’s, cedes the battleground to the enemy, with its protests better described as mob violence. Parker lives somewhere in the rural West. You live in the heart of iniquity, Boston, which is passive in its tolerance for enabling Democrats. Enabling. You ignore the passivity of the cops at several venues of violent anti-speaker protest despite the obvious criminal conduct on display. You ignore the uniform clothing and face masks of the assailants. That passivity, or parker’s do-nothing-until-they-come-for-you, is how tyrannies are born.
    The history of Germany pre-1933 is a horrible history. The many anti-Nazi groups and parties wrangled among one another instead of uniting and stamping out the evil. I see the same here and now.
    Which is why I call for objectors to violent, anarcho-socialist “demonstrations” to organize and ready themselves. The disease seems to be spreading, and it must be quelled.
    Your argument that the other side uses the same argument to justify its conduct is false. It is purely the fascist Left that is acting out.

  26. neo-neocon Says:

    Frog:

    I never doubted that you’re quite comfortable with your view. That doesn’t make it right.

    And you’re saying I’m ceding the ground doesn’t make it true, either. I believe in defending oneself, and in controlling a mob.

    In your earlier comments you conflated “Democrats” with “violent demonstrators.” You used the term “Democrats” much too indiscriminately. You want to form “militias” “everywhere” and “break up their gatherings,” as well as “bust a few heads” with “even greater violence” than theirs, in a vigilante movement.

    You don’t say “only when the police fail.” You don’t say “only when they threaten life and limb, do it in self-defense.”

    I made it clear in my earlier comments that I’m in favor of the police controlling riots and not standing by the way they’ve been doing in some places. I also linked to the example of Koreans defending their property during the Watts riots when the police couldn’t or wouldn’t do it, and made it clear I thought that was justified. That is certainly is not “ceding the battleground to the enemy.” You are advocating mob violence.

    The Nazis justified some of their Brownshirt activity by saying it was to quell the violence of other mobs, by the way.

    And I suppose you don’t care that some of those heads you imagine cracking might belong to people who may be just demonstrators caught up in a situation in which a mob of leftist thugs took over. It happens that way sometimes. Or is your group of vigilantes going to be a surgical operation, dispensing justice exactly as needed? Or do you think anyone who’s part of a demonstration on the left deserves what he/she gets at the hands of your vigilantes? After all, you have to break some eggs to make an omelet, right?

    On the Brownshirts [emphasis mine]:

    Their primary purposes were providing protection for Nazi rallies and assemblies, disrupting the meetings of opposing parties, fighting against the paramilitary units of the opposing parties, especially the Red Front Fighters League (Rotfrontkämpferbund) of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), and intimidating Slavic and Romani citizens, unionists, and Jews – for instance, during the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.

    Of course, after they had served their purpose, Hitler destroyed them.

  27. M J R Says:

    Oldflyer, 7:35 pm — “I sympathize with Frog’s frustration; but, I wonder if some in the Dem inner circle are not hoping for that sort of backlash? ‘See what a Trump/GOP country looks like? We tried to tell you.'”

    Regardless of what comes to pass, regardless of what in fact our “Trump/GOP country” actually becomes, with the enemedia on their side they’ll make up whatever they have to make up so as to ensure their narrative is fulfilled — and then some. And pound, pound away mercilessly.

  28. Pandora Says:

    morons. pure morons. once the dems achieve breeding demographics in a generation, it’s over. they win FOREVER, and you pathetics lose and lose and lose FOREVER

  29. Bill Says:

    I’m kind of speechless as to the turn this thread took.

  30. Bill Says:

    As an aside, Pandora, you’re right, if the GOP has decided it’s going to be the white peoples party, it’s well and truly doomed.

    The answer to that, from my perpsective, is to drop the racist idea that black and brown people can’t be convinced of the wisdom of conservative ideas.

    But too many here assume that’s impossible and that’s one reason we got Trump. Circle the wagons is a strategy as well. I think it’s a doomed strategy, but I’ve been plenty wrong before.

  31. CW Says:

    Very interesting post and comments.

    No doubt Hillary was hoping to monopolize the women’s vote the way Democrats had monopolized other minority votes, but apparently it’s easier to herd people by race than by gender. If she had been more successful in cultivating that groupthink mentality in women she could have created an unbeatable voting block.

    Trump has certainly come to power at a critical time, and that’s a scary thought. Given the mess that he was handed it’s hard to conceive of how he could not come away looking like a hero; but he’s Trump and anything’s possible given that he’s flying by the seat of his pants. One thing is for sure: if he blows it this will be the greatest wasted opportunity we’ve ever seen.

  32. Jamie Says:

    Wading in… I think maybe it’s easier to “herd” people by ethnicity than by gender because every woman has at least one male person in her life (even if only momentarily) and almost every woman has at least one male person she loves in her life, whereas not every person of a particular ethnic group knows and loves people of another ethnic group – sometimes because of lack of opportunity, sometimes because of intragroup pressure to avoid the offending ethnicity. It’s always harder to demonize, or in a less extreme but not-real word to “otherize,” a group when you know and love at least one member of it. Yes, you can try to convince yourself that the person you love is the exception to the rule, but you can’t escape the fact that the person you love is in fact a member of that other group.

    This goes for parties too, I believe, and it’s why neo’s insights are so valuable to me: I now live in a deep-red area and could perhaps be persuaded, over time, to forget the deep-blue hue of many of the friends I love in my old home, through lack of exposure to actual blue folks in my daily life.

    I also think it’s why R’s are less likely to turn to extreme approaches like violent mobs or even non-violent but over-the-top weird protests: it’s very hard to avoid exposure to D sentiments if you watch TV or movies, listen to any sort of radio other than what my husband jokingly calls “hate radio,” or read any print content. We hear what the blues think about themselves, about the world, and about us, we know the truth of what we are, and so we see both how outlandish their view of us is, how blinkered their view of reality is, and how rosy their view of their own motives and actions is. The corollary is not true: a blue person has to work to be exposed to a positive portrayal of red thinking, motivation, action, and consequences. It’s not that we are more thoughtful or necessarily more industrious as a group than our interlocutors (although readers of neo probably are); it’s that a bluer tone is endemic in the mass media.

  33. Big Maq Says:

    “Well, I think the message that has been shaped by the Democratic Party has been shaped toward identity politics, and they’ve lost the key part of their base, the people — my family history goes back to the Roosevelt Democrats, the people who believed that regardless of any of these identity segments, you need to have a voice in the quarters of power for those who have no voice. And we’ve lost that with the Democratic Party.

    I’m not saying the Republicans have it. – Sen Jim Webb (D-VA)

    There are several on the dem side who see what the score is. Webb is just one example (and he also happens to be one who tried to run for dem candidacy for POTUS).

    For now it is not popular with the dems, but enough might see the light and reshape their messaging back to their original position.
    .

    Who knows. As it seems right now, those dem voters who swung to trump are probably not a permanent add to the GOP side, AFAICan Tell, as trump is willing to change course so easily.

    Just one example, in trump’s interview with John Dickerson last Sunday, he is happy to articulate the headline “Pre-Existing Condition is Covered”, but waffles when it comes to explaining how he would see that work, if also leaving it to the states to determine the price of that coverage – well, evidently, they will have “pools”, we are to understand.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-interview-full-transcript-face-the-nation/

    I’m sure that his converted dem base will find that a satisfying answer.
    .

    These folks, more than most other groups are probably significantly affected by the outcome on this question.

    If that coverage was important to me, and I’d voted for trump, I’d be upset he wasn’t more firm and clear on this point, as it seems he’s happy to slap a label on something, and market that, but not follow through with the substance I want.

    This is one of several things that these voters ought to be disappointed about. Yet, they are still on board.

    Not sure they are getting the “voice” they thought they were.

    We’ll see.

  34. Big Maq Says:

    “The Nazis justified some of their Brownshirt activity by saying it was to quell the violence of other mobs, by the way…
    Or do you think anyone who’s part of a demonstration on the left deserves what he/she gets at the hands of your vigilantes?”
    – Neo to Frog

    Neo, don’t you realize that the Brownshirts are gone, it is now Greenshirts (not the nature loving kind of “green”).

    Different color, same attitude and types of ideas.
    /jk /sarc /sard

    Precisely why it is important to note who is referring to articles (in certain religious publications) as supporting their points. AFAIC, it wasn’t a mis-reading on their part, and that fact ought to be a concern to regular readers of that publication.

  35. neo-neocon Says:

    Big Maq:

    By the way, did you know that prior to Obamacare, most states either had mandatory coverage (including those at high risk) or, more commonly, a high risk pool for those with pre-existing conditions? And that the high-risk pools were usually subsidized by the state to help defray the cost to the consumer?

    That doesn’t mean high-risk pools were cheap to most people. But they were a lot cheaper than individual underwriting (which was the other option open to people with pre-existing conditions). I know, because I was in a high risk pool for many years, and I did research on how it worked on a state-by-state basis. The really bad situation concerning pre-existing conditions, where such people couldn’t get coverage except through very expensive underwriting, only existed in that form in a few states even prior to Obamacare. A national high-risk pool that was partly subsidized would have been helpful. There was no need to totally revamp health insurance to eliminate the problem.

  36. DNW Says:

    A commenter writes:

    “As an aside, Pandora, you’re right, if the GOP has decided it’s going to be the white peoples party, it’s well and truly doomed.

    The answer to that, from my perpsective, is to drop the racist idea that black and brown people can’t be convinced of the wisdom of conservative ideas …”

    1. Then the place to start is with rebutting the progressives and collectivists, who assert and rejoice in such a supposed innate immunity. Is that something you are up to, or capable of doing?

    2. Trump’s populism seems to have attracted noticeable numbers of black supporters. But then, populism is not necessarily conservatism.

    3. What we have repeatedly seen in the news are announcements by many progressives that there is on their view something peculiar to certain whites (and largely but not exclusively whites) in the way of libertarian and natural law interests; which they, as progressive-collectivists, reject as applying equally to “warm” brown and black people.

    But then, you are a self-styled conservative and not a libertarian or classical liberal in your sensibilities and aims. Thus, you may in fact be some kind of communitarian conservative; and in essence differ with socialists only as much as (poorly informed) Christian socialists imagine that they differ from Marxists.

    And, as I said in point one, progressives are announcing and celebrating the very same supposed anthropological phenomenon which you are claiming is a canard propagated by racist whites. This of course does not exclude the possibility that La Raza and the Ku Klux Klan, may both be in effect peddling the same specious anthropological line, from different points of allegiance; but, it puts paid to your implied attribution of exclusive responsibility for the theme’s perpetuation.

    4. And finally: If you think you have something to convincing sell in the way of “conservative” values to “brown and black people”, then have at it. No one is stopping you simply by failing to cheer lead you on.

    Sounds like you figure you have the key. Insert key in lock, turn it, walk in door, and “good selling!”.

  37. DNW Says:

    “I also think it’s why R’s are less likely to turn to extreme approaches like violent mobs or even non-violent but over-the-top weird protests: it’s very hard to avoid exposure to D sentiments if you watch TV or movies, listen to any sort of radio other than what my husband jokingly calls “hate radio,” or read any print content. We hear what the blues think about themselves, about the world, and about us, we know the truth of what we are, and so we see both how outlandish their view of us is, how blinkered their view of reality is, and how rosy their view of their own motives and actions is. The corollary is not true: a blue person has to work to be exposed to a positive portrayal of red thinking, motivation, action, and consequences. It’s not that we are more thoughtful or necessarily more industrious as a group than our interlocutors (although readers of neo probably are); it’s that a bluer tone is endemic in the mass media.”

    Could be. But I think it is more likely that the people we are calling conservatives (or maybe better, ‘traditionalists’) have generally been taught that it is: objectively wrong, always and everywhere, to deprive a soul, of his natural rights.

    And there, in that last sentence we encounter four concepts [objectivity, categoriality, the intrinsic transcendence and significance of an individual life, and the reality of teleology] which have been jettisoned by the modern left, and been replaced by a materialist vision of a self-justifying (through its success) form of directed social evolution.

    Having denied those “Is” propositions held by traditionalists; and having rejected that an Ought can be derived from an Is in any case; and having reduced “solidarity” to a subjective feeling which is an artifact of an ultimately pointless evolution, a ‘feeling’ which may be induced or suppressed at will for the sake of achieving some social end, the convinced left-liberal is truly liberated from many of the the conceptually installed inhibitions restraining most traditionalists when it comes to the prospect of advancing a cause “by any means necessary”.

  38. DNW Says:

    By the way, off exact topic, but addressing commonly held racial stereotypes or assumptions, I was mining Youtube the other day for old music some of which I recalled from childhood.

    It popped into my head that along with JJ Jackson, and Young-Holt Unlimited, I’d scoop up a couple of The Spencer Davis Group’s old tunes too.

    I knew they were “British” but figured some ‘Afro-Carib’ looking Brit singer was doing the vocals, in the way Bobby Tench did on Jeff Beck’s ‘Situation’ recording.

    It was a 17 year old Stevie Winwood

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

    Looks like there is an entire blogging theme out there on stereotypes and mistaken racial identities in music groups.

  39. Jamie Says:

    DNW, well said!

  40. Oldflyer Says:

    I hope that Pandora was trying for satire even though my previous post did deal with problem of demographics. Demographically, the GOP does have a problem; and it isn’t likely to go away.

    Not sure why several posters seem to think that the GOP is intentionally a “white party”. I think it more accurate to say that politics now divide essentially along class lines. I am well aware that using the term “class” is provocative; but, we obviously do have an informal class based society, even if it is not systemic. And the Democrats target the upper end, where the money is, and the lower end where citizens (and non-citizen voters) are vulnerable to promises of government largess. It is obvious why the lower end is amenable to their arguments; not so understandable in the case of the filthy rich. (I suspect that they subscribe to the “philosopher King” paradigm and think that if smart people like them controlled society, it would be beneficial for all. Still a mystery why they think Democrat politicians are the answer.) In addition to the extremes of the economic classes, the Democrats clearly own the academic “class”, and much of their captive audience.

  41. skeptic Says:

    Neo, the premise of your post is wrong. The Democrats did not lose. As evidence:the total t*rd sandwich budget deal. Here is what National Review says and they are putting a positive spin on it:
    “The bill does not defund Planned Parenthood. It does not include any of the president’s deep cuts to domestic agencies. Public broadcasting is funded at current levels. The National Endowment for the Arts’ budget is increased. There’s even funding for California’s high-speed rail.

    So what did Republicans get? As has been widely reported, the bill does not fund the president’s border wall.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong but were you among those who got the vapors when the Democrats shut down the government in 2013? So tell me, how are we get any conservative budgets through Congress without: A) changing the appropriations filibuster rules, which the old-bull RINOs like McConnell, McLame, Corker, Collins, etc etc refuse to do or B) calling the Democrats bluff and shutting down the 15% of the government for possibly months on end?

    I think the Democrats will blink if the administration shows that the country can get along fine without the 15%.

    Where do you stand on this Neo?

    p.s. sorry for the irascible post. I am truly p*ssed about this deal.

  42. neo-neocon Says:

    Skeptic:

    There’s a very simple way to discover what I wrote about previous shutdowns. Go to the search box on this blog and do a search for the word “shutdown”. Then you won’t have to imagine.

  43. skeptic Says:

    Neo, TL;DR

  44. realHuxley Says:

    Neo, the premise of your post is wrong. The Democrats did not lose. As evidence:the total t*rd sandwich budget deal.

    Skeptic: Winning does not require achieving maximal objectives. (I learned that fancy bit from Chomsky.)

    Trump’s 2016 victory isn’t a happy ending. At best it is the end of the beginning, as Churchill once put it.

    There’s plenty of work left to do and that in no way invalidates Trump, aside from his naive campaign rhetoric about how easy it would be do to everything.

    Trump truly did not know how hard it would to be POTUS. Some of that was arrogance but some of it was the nature of the beast.

    I give Trump credit that he seems to be learning.

  45. realHuxley Says:

    And I give Democrats credit that they are not learning.

    Spirited, yet principled, resistance would be to their credit. But that is not what we are seeing.

    Democrats need to go Bill Clinton — triangulation, Sister Soldjah, etc. — and save their powder for the big stuff.

    Instead they are going 1968/1972 — hard left, street fighting man. Richard Nixon, a dark peculiar individual, won those elections.

  46. Subotai Bahadur Says:

    In reference to your discussion with Frog, and your citing the concept that not all Democrats are like that: At an earlier time I could possibly have gone along with that. Three things make that not possible for me any more.

    First, the fact that the police are NOT stopping the street violence against those the Democrats consider enemies, and in fact they are doing so at the orders of Democrat politicians. Depending on the rule of law, when the law means only what Democrat politicians order the cops to do or not do is suicide. Both for the person depending on the rule of law, and the existence of that rule of law itself. By the way, I speak as a retired Peace Officer [28 years].

    Second, I commend to your attention the Nullification Crisis under Andrew Jackson, and the lead up to the First American Civil War a few decades later. States and localities claimed the right to “nullify” Federal law at will. Which is exactly what Democrat ruled areas of the country are doing now; both with Federal statutes and the Bill of Rights. Nullification of law is a breakdown of the structure of a polity, and was one of the proximate triggers of the First American Civil War. We are on the same path now, and are de facto not one country any more.

    Third, and perhaps most critically; have you heard of any Democrat criticizing the thugs, the rioters, and “the Resistance” and their attempts to crush the First Amendment? I haven’t. Granting that news in this country is pretty much controlled by the Left. Such a criticism would be heresy and endanger the life and livelihood of any Democrat who made it, and of his/her family.

    There no longer seem to be Democrats who put country and Constitution over Party. In a parallel with the movement that the Antifa dresses like; Radical Muslims want to kill all infidels. Moderate Muslims want Radical Muslims to kill all infidels. Replace Muslims with Democrats and infidels with non-Democrats and it lands uncomfortably close to the situation we are in.

    Until we see Democrats who take issue with the totalitarians who lead and speak for their party, we have to take the threats and actions of those totalitarians as the intent of that party and its members. And act accordingly.

    Subotai Bahadur

  47. realHuxley Says:

    It was a 17 year old Stevie Winwood

    DNW: Like I assumed Dusty Springfield was black for the longest time, even though I should have known better.

    She was something.

    If you haven’t listened to “Dusty in Memphis,” you’ve got a treat in store.

  48. Subotai Bahadur Says:

    Pardon my coming back, but I forgot to make clear that I do NOT consider the Republican Party to be any sort of paragon of civic virtue, or even a repository of such amongst its leadership. They are functionally Democrats with a lower testosterone count. They would be just as pleased with being a kept pseudo-opposition party in a dictatorship, as that is a well paid gig with no work.

    The Republican rank and file are figuring that out, and I will credit them with a) being quite vocal with their disgust to the Republican leadership [such as it is] and b) being quite vocal to the public in general with that disgust. Republican leaders and politicians lie just as much to their voter base as the Democrats do to theirs. Just different lies, and done more blatantly.

    For clarity, I consider that while technically Donald Trump is a Republican [as am I], he is not part of the Nomenklatura of the Party and is in fact considered to be more of an enemy of the Party than the Democrats. He threatens too many rice bowls.

    I would classify him as a combination of Nationalist, Patriot, and Capitalist; which places him outside of both major parties and may be the basis for the arrival of an actual SECOND party in this country if we last that long.

    Subotai Bahadur

  49. realHuxley Says:

    Subotai Bahadur: Many points taken and neo can defend herself, but …

    …your citing the concept that not all Democrats are like that…

    No. Not all Democrats are like that. We’re not talking about the Democrat leadership or those who take orders from them. We are talking about the Democrats who are family, friends and neighbors.

    They are not like that. Many of them don’t follow the news close enough to know. The others buy into the idea that they have to fight the Real Evil (and Trump entirely qualifies) by voting for the Lesser Evil.

  50. Micha Elyi Says:

    apparently it’s easier to herd people
    by race than by gender.
    CW

    Old Mrs. Clinton forgot that not every marriage is like hers. Feminists declared a Gender War yet many females are happily fraternizing with the other side.

  51. tim ferrell Says:

    IMHO, Neo neocon is a liberal who is pretending to be a little conservative. Don’t buy it.

  52. yumyum Says:

    I’m sure the left will have no problem expanding their demographic.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqCFxg2ez44

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJJoJWY1VFM

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wllc5gSc-N8

  53. realHuxley Says:

    IMHO, Neo neocon is a liberal who is pretending to be a little conservative.

    tim ferrell: How tiresome. No, she is not. Unless anyone who doesn’t precisely match your standards is a liberal…or worse.

    Once upon a time neo was on the knife-edge of declaring me a troll. I comment here for my own satisfaction.

    But I say unto you, neo is not a liberal pretending to be conservative.

  54. Bill Says:

    Tim – In what way, shape or form is Neo a liberal?

    I wish all this strict adherence to conservative dogma had been a little more at the front when DJT began his run. Since he’s not a. Conservative.

    Unfortunately, it seems that one’s “conservative” bonafides are now just judged by how loyal you are to the Donald. He defines the party and the movement now. This won’t end well.

    On that note – to all of you DJT supporters mad at the Republican spending bill. If he spent more time actually trying to fulfill the promises he made he’d be actually leading a decent fight to change things, drain the swamp, etc. You know, “leading the party”. He owns this. Emmanuel Goldsteining Republicans in Congress but giving their President a pass seems pretty inconsistent to me.

    He needs to work harder, quit golfing at Mar a Lago, and quit wasting time with distractions like his asinine Civil War comments of a few days ago.

  55. Reformed Trombonist Says:

    > In fact, it is the sort of argument the people you criticize on the left use to justify their own violence.

    One could argue that it’s much more peaceful to simply give in, to let our rights be siphoned away, because, after all violence is violence and it’s just as bad as we do it.

    Reminds me of being in grade school, when someone would punch me and I’d punch back. We both got in trouble, of course, public schools being a gynecocracy. “If you hit him back, you’re just as guilty.”

    I never bought that argument then, and I don’t buy it now.

    On the other hand, I agree with you this far: we can’t be the ones initiating violence. But when people try to exercise their constitutional rights and get a bottle in their chops at 25 mph, thrown by black shirts, with the police standing by in implicit sponsorship… something has to give, or your grandchildren will be living someday in North Korea. They might wish that we had gotten a little dirty.

  56. Bill Says:

    To all the “conservatives” salivating over Civil War 2…

    You aren’t a beleaguered minority. You ostensibly own the Presidency (which means the military, the FBI, the nuclear arsenal), the Congress, the SC, and a square ton of state and local governing bodies.

    Quit being victims.

  57. richardaubrey Says:

    Bill. You think the IRS has come all over honest all of a sudden?
    Question can apply to other agencies as well.
    The problem is that moderates and conservatives are looking at the left and thinking, “If it’s okay for them….” “It” means physical violence, shouting down and slandering those whom you dislike, lying about posityions…..
    And it’s demonstrably okay for the left.
    Should say that, for the half century I’ve been watching, the left selects against mesomorphs. Just sayin’

  58. mockmook Says:

    The fact that it isn’t assumed (and desired) that the White working class is part of the Dems base tells you all you need to know.

    Reaching “beyond” the base for Whites? Do they understand how ridiculous that sounds?

  59. Bill Says:

    Furthermore

    One of the saddest things for me about our current political climate is that the right has become a mirror image of the left. Same Alinskyite cruelty, same calls for violence, same fever-swamp talk about the “other”. I used to be amused at how conservatives just thought liberals were wrong, but liberals thought conservatives were stupid and EVIL. Now I don’t see any distinction in how the two sides talk about each other.

    The calls to violence are two sides of the same coin using the same logic. “Conservatives” arguing we need to “do what’s necessary” because someone got injured at a rally while the police looked on are no different than BLM activists calling for violence because some 15 year old black kid got gunned down while police looked on.

    Same, same.

  60. Bill Says:

    … Continuing….

    Except that African Americans in this country have a LOT more legitimate, current and historical beef about being gunned down and brutalized by the police than almost any white conservative, ever.

  61. Big Maq Says:

    To reinforce Bill’s last couple of points about how we go wrong when we simply adopt a blue or red team position / narrative…

    “We live in a complicated country, and simple narratives can’t tell its story. …

    There is only one way through the tribalism of competing narratives, and that’s through a commitment to justice. No, not “social justice.” True justice — the quest for evidence, the search for facts, and the dispensation of punishment without regard to race, creed, class, or religion.” – David French
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/447272/jordan-edwards-police-shooting-texas-narratives-justice

  62. DNW Says:

    To a certain unnamed commenter:

    The fact that someone has had to eat a lot of shit in life, does not mean that I have any legal or moral obligation eat a little – or any at all.

    Get that through your hearts and flowers hand-wringing head, and you might begin to grasp the lay of the land.

    You remind me of the guy who tried to justify stealing my coat because someone had taken his.

    That you implicitly preach that kind of B.S. ‘solidarity in suffering line’, shows the bankruptcy of your claims to be a “conservative” IF the term “conservative” has anything at all fundamental to do with an uncompromising commitment to the rule of law, instead of just meaning that , “I’m a slow change, status-quo kinda temperament guy”

    But then, a discussion back in October kinda cleared that all up didn’t it: when you admitted that even if it were possible to do so morally and legally, you would not expel all illegal aliens for the sake of re-establishing a rule of law polity, if it caused some suffering ( but Not to death) to the aliens.

    As you earlier admitted, your political posture is not ultimately secular, natural law or otherwise based, but premised on your religious understandings; which are essentially communitarian.

    So given all this, why the continuing principled “conservative” pose?

    Trump – who I more or less execrated – merely threatened to enforce already existing immigration law and the illegal border crossings began to plummet. Shows what your hypersensitive do-nothing say-nothing inhibitions are worth when it comes to their cash value in maintaining the republic.

  63. Big Maq Says:

    “No. Not all Democrats are like that. … We are talking about the Democrats who are family, friends and neighbors.

    …Many of them don’t follow the news close enough to know.” – Huxley

    A crucial point that often gets missed!

    Many here like to lump all into one – they “otherize” folks who may simply have a different view, and relegate them to the “unpersuadables”.

  64. Big Maq Says:

    “which are essentially communitarian” – DNW

    Nice swipe at Bill?
    /sarc

    How should we label you?

    Anarcho – Capitalist??
    Anarcho – Nationalist?
    Anarcho – Mutualist?
    Cultural Nationalist?
    Monarchist in some form?
    Fascist?

    Gotta wonder. Using a term like “communitarian” (though it has its place in academics) is a word well used by a strain of “conspiracy theorists”, such as…
    https://thecommunitariantrap.blogspot.com/

    You wouldn’t be one of those, would you?

    What’s YOUR label?

  65. Exurban Says:

    Looking at center-left political parties in other developed counties, you see that many of them are in a state of collapse — the French Socialist Party, the British Labour Party, and others. They have tried using telegenic front men (and women) but it doesn’t work because their policies are unsuitable for their traditional voters, who are deserting them. The policies don’t change because party activists don’t want them to change, and at least as importantly, the big-money donors don’t want certain policies to change.

    In sum, when it comes to what’s hurting parties like the Democrats — it’s not the leader, it’s the base.

  66. DNW Says:

    “Except that African Americans in this country have a LOT more legitimate, current and historical beef about being gunned down and brutalized by the police than almost any white conservative, ever.”

    Yes, of course. George Will is unlikely to be pulled over by a traffic cop and then gunned down after failing to signal a turn. He is probably also less likely to be smoking blunts, or on other drugs at the time, carrying an illegal firearm, or to respond provocatively or incoherently.

    And if it makes you feel good to wave a bloody shirt around, feel free.

    Alternatively, one could of course dispassionately look at the actual statistics as to who by racial category is in general perpetrating disproportionate numbers of homicides, assaults, and rapes in this polity; as well as who is, according to statistics victimizing whom when it comes to these same categories of homicides, assaults, and rapes – intra and inter-racial both.

    I suppose cops should ignore such stats, and hope that the laws of probability will never catch up with them, but that may be too much to ask, even of cops without psychological issues.

  67. DNW Says:

    “Communitarian” is of course a well-known political (or social theory) label dating back some decades, and willingly embraced by its proponents.

    Although elements of it can I think be said to predate Amitai Etzioni, and the Clintons’ cynical exercises in solidarity pimping, and peddling the politics of meaning, it should be familiar enough to anyone who lived through that era and examined the available material.

    Here’s a paragraph from Wiki. Take it with a grain of salt, but it conveys the gist:

    “Etzioni thus coined the movement Communitarianism to reflect the importance of the role the individual has within the community. He argues that communitarian thinking developed in reaction to the “me-first” attitude of the 1980s, which stressed the importance of individual wellbeing over the community. Etzioni, witnessing the deterioration of the community in response to the rise of capitalist mindsets, advocated for the agenda of communitarianism. The agenda of communitarianism is to create stronger communities that are more reflective and responsive to the needs of society, as once individuals are collectivized into their communities, the citizens are more apt to act in responsible ways. Etzioni also urged the movement to attempt to establish common ground between liberals and conservatives, thus bridging that division. “

    I also think that elements of this concept would in-principle also be obvious to anyone who had, as I am sure you have, closely studied Rawls’ “A Theory of Justice”, wherein he reveals that behind all the charts and graphs illustrating the optimization of social satisfactions for those operating behind a veil of ignorance, is the primary principle of value in his system: namely, a fundamental “commitment to a shared fate” on the part of the members of his society.

    Now Bill’s communitarianism, is he suggests, based on principles of his religious faith. Because of that faith, he is, or was, willing to let the rule of law go by the wayside for all of us, if it meant expelling those who were not even present legally.

    I think, that as a description of the pointed social stance, it is a fair description.

  68. DrDean Says:

    The Democrats aren’t nearly as stupid as they are being made out to be. Evil and anti-American, yes, but not stupid.

    They are very well aware that the Paul Ryan, et al, RINOs / NeverTrumps in the GOP are assuring the Democrats take over the government in the next few elections.

    I for one have been a Republican for decades and voted for Trump, as imperfect as he is, to stop the Leftist-RINO globalist establishment’s transformation of America into a free-trade-labor territory under distributed international governance.

    Clearly, the Republicans in Congress should be protecting American citizens from un-Americanism and should be helping Trump (polishing his rough edges…) to tear down every vestige of the globalist establishment that has a death grip on the American government and economy.

    Karl Marx: “… we are for Free Trade, because by Free Trade all economical laws, with their most astounding contradictions, will act upon a larger scale, upon the territory of the whole earth; and because from the uniting of all these contradictions in a single group, where they will stand face to face, will result the struggle which will itself eventuate in the emancipation of the proletariat.”

  69. Big Maq Says:

    “How should we label you?

    Anarcho – Capitalist??
    Anarcho – Nationalist?
    Anarcho – Mutualist?
    Cultural Nationalist?
    Monarchist in some form?
    Fascist?

    Gotta wonder. Using a term like “communitarian” (though it has its place in academics) is a word well used by a strain of “conspiracy theorists”, such as…
    https://thecommunitariantrap.blogspot.com/

    You wouldn’t be one of those, would you?

    What’s YOUR label?”

    @DNW – And?

  70. DNW Says:

    Big Maq Says:
    May 3rd, 2017 at 11:51 am

    “which are essentially communitarian” – DNW

    Nice swipe at Bill?
    /sarc

    How should we label you?

    Anarcho – Capitalist??
    Anarcho – Nationalist?
    Anarcho – Mutualist?
    Cultural Nationalist?
    Monarchist in some form?
    Fascist?”

    None of the above. I’m not even sure why you imagine they might apply, or why the conspiracy blogs you have been reading would make you think so.

    In general, I think that the term that could describe my political leanings, as they would many here, is what once was called “classical liberal”, or if we are talking affective leanings, as: political libertarian/ personal conservative. Eh … somewhat conservative, somewhat not.

    But I feel no allegiance to such labels, nor do I take any pride in membership of affiliation.

    Basically I belive it is your right to make choices that result in you dying in six inches of dirty ditch water, and it is my right to let you.

    Gotta wonder. Using a term like “communitarian” (though it has its place in academics) is a word well used by a strain of “conspiracy theorists”, such as…
    https://thecommunitariantrap.blogspot.com/

    You wouldn’t be one of those, would you?

    What’s YOUR label?”

    No, I would not be one of those whoever they are.

    Since you are curious (or pretend to be) and ask outright, I’ll answer regarding my background in this area.

    I got my terminology at the university, by studying philosophy both ancient and modern; and politics; and economics; as well as the historical development and theory of law and constitutionalism from the late Roman jurists through the development of the common law and constitutionalism.

    Let’s skip the Aristotle-to-the-Scholastics-to-the Phenomenologists routine, and just list a few of the more relevant course ( common I assume to the kind of curricula I experienced) It included, The Evolution of the English Common Law from Ine of Wessex to Coke; American Constitutional History (in the usual split two year presentation), Constitutional Law and modern politics, The Philosophy of Law ; Constitutional law- Civil Liberties; Civil Rights from a Constitutional perspective; and etc.

    So … well, now you don’t gotta wonder anymore.

  71. neo-neocon Says:

    tim ferrell:

    Sure, that’s how I get my jollies, pretending to be a conservative–brilliant thought on your part!

    I would hope I had better things to do than to spend an enormous number of hours every day in some strange masquerade to no purpose.

    You obviously have read very little of this blog, and I very much doubt you care to spend any time learning. But on the very off chance that you do want to learn about my beliefs and how I arrived at them, I recommend you go to the right sidebar and read the series “A mind is a difficult thing to change.” That’s just for starters. There’s lots more.

  72. DNW Says:

    Mac,

    I just too a look at your link: https://thecommunitariantrap.blogspot.com/

    Now … you just typed “communitarian” into a search window and copied a link to the most ludicrously negative blog spot page you could find, didn’t you.

    There is no author attribution. There is no “About” button. The page links are a mess.

    What one does notice is that in a battle waged against principalities and powers, we may see their public face in public parks, the pope, and his nefarious secret ally Billy Graham all of which are are in cahoots to bring about “the New Atlantis” whatever that is.

    My own search reveals that the blog was a newer project of the author which replaced this one http://fanaticforjesus.blogspot.com/ … which on other pages is filled with images celebrities politicians and Christian ministers displaying Masonic hand clasping styles.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  73. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Evil hasn’t lost. Thus the patron of the Demoncrats have not lost. They have suffered a minor tactical setback. The same way the commies got in Vietnam. Guess who won in the end…

  74. Ymar Sakar Says:

    http://grimbeorn.blogspot.ca/2017/05/transiting-sex-and-race.html

    Grim had a good post about the Leftist alliance, religion, totalitarian intolerance, etc. that people here might be interested in. I put up 4 comments there concerning insights into the nature of this war.

    The crowd at Neo Neo is very good at political and worldly education, but in terms of the spiritual component and the non political, I don’t see many discussions on those aspects of this war.

    As for slippery slopes and hate in this war, I think hate is necessary. But what tends to happens is that humans are weak, they put Faith in the G. Meaning the Government of enlightened elites or Hero Kings. They are so weak, that hate possesses and controls them. They are not strong enough to bend their emotions to the Will of their spirit and soul. That is why Lucifer and the State Church could easily manipulate humans using their negative emotions. But hate in and of itself, especially towards, can be a productive challenge. Maybe for 3% of the pop, but still.

  75. Micha Elyi Says:

    Subotai Bahadur‘s griping echoes the complaints of the Goldwaterites after the 1964 election. They complained mightily about the Rockefeller Republicans and the Country Club Republicans and how those people were thwarting the rank and file Republicans blah blah blah. How ironic that Trump fanatics, whose candidate is a Rockefeller Republican himself and owns a country club (!), are trying to portray their Orange Piñata as somehow representative of a realio, trulio Republican Party. And that their Orange Piñata is being sabotaged blah blah blah. Yet their Orange Piñata won the election–with the help of the same party leadership they claim are sabotaging their Orange Piñata. What a bunch of sore winners the Trump fanatics are!

    I wouldn’t buy a used car from Trump and I ain’t buyin’ this rot from a Trump fan either.

    Doubly ironic is that Trump fans rejected Rudy Guiliani because he was “too liberal”. Ha ha, Trump is far more outside the Republican mainstream and leaning leftward than Rudy ever was.

    Why did Democrats lose in 2016? Because the celeb chasers who voted for Lightbringer Obama voted for tabloid TV celeb and game-show host Trump in 2016. Simple as that. If old Mrs. Clinton had been the Democrat novelty candidate instead of Bernie, she’d be president today.

  76. Big Maq Says:

    “I got my terminology at the university, by studying philosophy both ancient and modern; and politics; and economics; as well as the historical development and theory of law and constitutionalism from the late Roman jurists through the development of the common law and constitutionalism.”

    Clever appeal to authority. Doesn’t quite say where you fall.
    .

    “But I feel no allegiance to such labels, nor do I take any pride in membership of affiliation.”

    Rather coquettish.
    .

    “what once was called “classical liberal”” – DNW

    Almost spit out my coffee. 😉

    You hardly seem so, from your “arguments”.

    Well, in a way so, as I understand some “anarchists” would also classify themselves this way, as a “logical progression” from there, or as an avoidance to using the prenominal descriptor “anarcho”.

    Would laugh, but it isn’t really funny at all.

  77. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Bill Says:
    May 3rd, 2017 at 8:35 am
    Furthermore

    One of the saddest things for me about our current political climate is that the right has become a mirror image of the left. Same Alinskyite cruelty, same calls for violence, same fever-swamp talk about the “other”. I used to be amused at how conservatives just thought liberals were wrong, but liberals thought conservatives were stupid and EVIL. Now I don’t see any distinction in how the two sides talk about each other.

    That’s evidence of your immaturity and lack of wisdom, Bill. Meaning, anyone who knew the perils of love and hate, would have recognized that having a faction continuously bumping out “you are an enemy” would spread the hate sooner or later. Being “amused” at the fount of negative emotions like hate, underestimating evil, and playing politics, is how people got their legs broken and are kneeling down in front of Trum.

  78. DNW Says:

    Big Maq Says:
    May 4th, 2017 at 11:28 am

    “I got my terminology at the university, by studying philosophy both ancient and modern; and politics; and economics; as well as the historical development and theory of law and constitutionalism from the late Roman jurists through the development of the common law and constitutionalism.”

    Clever appeal to authority. Doesn’t quite say where you fall.”

    It’s not an appeal to authority, but we’ll ignore that for now.

    What’s significant is that you are misrepresenting my answer by editing out what was in fact your second question. You are posing the material you’ve quoted just above, as my answer to one question, when it was in fact an answer to your second, and a different one. Perhaps you have already forgotten that in a second challenge you expressed wonderment at where I got the terminology “communitarian”. You said,

    “Gotta wonder. Using a term like “communitarian” (though it has its place in academics) is a word well used by a strain of “conspiracy theorists”, such as…”

    Remember? I said,

    “Since you are curious (or pretend to be) and ask outright, I’ll answer regarding my background in this area.

    I got my terminology at the university, …”

    Feel better now? No? Let’s then review briefly and in order. You started off thus, and I replied:

    ” ‘Big Maq Says:
    May 3rd, 2017 at 11:51 am

    “which are essentially communitarian” – DNW

    Nice swipe at Bill?
    /sarc

    How should we label you?

    Anarcho – Capitalist??
    Anarcho – Nationalist?
    Anarcho – Mutualist?
    Cultural Nationalist?
    Monarchist in some form?
    Fascist?’

    None of the above. I’m not even sure why you imagine they might apply, or why the conspiracy blogs you have been reading would make you think so.

    In general, I think that the term that could describe my political leanings, as they would many here, is what once was called “classical liberal”, or if we are talking affective leanings, as: political libertarian/ personal conservative. Eh … somewhat conservative, somewhat not. …”

    See? You got a direct answer to the identification question you initially posed, and you got it in the order you asked it.

    But for some reason, and as we can see from the text immediately above, you, in your text quoted further above that, decided to edit out your second question in order -apparently- to try and make my response to your second question, look like an attempted evasion of your first. Not good, Maq. Bad Maq. Tsk Tsk

    You further comment:

    “ ‘what once was called “classical liberal” ‘

    – DNW

    Almost spit out my coffee. 😉

    You hardly seem so, from your “arguments”.

    Well, in a way so, as I understand some “anarchists” would also classify themselves this way, as a “logical progression” from there, or as an avoidance to using the prenominal descriptor “anarcho”.

    Would laugh, but it isn’t really funny at all.”

    So now, finally, and in second place in your newest rejoinder, you provide a fragment of the answer I gave to your first question. This after first having buried your earlier provenance question so as to make what was my second question answer, look – you hoped – as though I was evading your first, and political identification, question.

    You have a morally dubious habit Maq, which I have mentioned a number of times before. It involves your trimming-up and re-arranging quoted materials so as to suit the retorts you wish to place.

    In fact, I did quote your questions at length, and in order, and directly answered them.

    So we see that you have engaged in at least several dishonest manipulations of the text here:

    1, You reconfigured the exchange in order to evade acknowledging that I had in fact, directly answered your first question first: i.e., the question wherein you asked how I might be politically identified.

    2, You then deceptively attempted to convey the impression that my second reply, which was in response to your wonderment challenging me on the source of the communitarian terminology, was somehow an attempted evasion of your first, political identification, question.

    3, Finally (for our purposes here), you take a snippet of my first direct and complete response, place it out of chronological order and context, and begin guffawing at your own ignorance.

    There are numerous other problems with your comment; but, I don’t intend to Fisk the entire thing, and will leave it with just pointing out the obvious deceptions you engaged in.

    You really need to take a good look at yourself here and consider how these deceptive practices reflect on your character.

  79. Big Maq Says:

    “Get that through your hearts and flowers hand-wringing head, and you might begin to grasp the lay of the land.

    You remind me of the guy who tried to justify stealing my coat because someone had taken his.” -DNW

    You know very well what you are doing. You talk like you are just innocently following a “definition”, but you go well beyond that.

    So, yes, you deny a label for yourself, then use one that doesn’t seem to match the line of your own arguments.

    But, it’s all fine to label others and mock their standards with strawman / ad hominem arguments that may have nothing to do with your label for them.

    Call me out as being “deceptive”, if you want, when essentially it is recognizing this very thing in your posts.

  80. DNW Says:

    Big Maq Says:
    May 4th, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    “Get that through your hearts and flowers hand-wringing head, and you might begin to grasp the lay of the land.

    You remind me of the guy who tried to justify stealing my coat because someone had taken his.” -DNW

    You know very well what you are doing. You talk like you are just innocently following a “definition”, but you go well beyond that.

    So, yes, you deny a label for yourself, then use one that doesn’t seem to match the line of your own arguments.

    But, it’s all fine to label others and mock their standards with strawman / ad hominem arguments that may have nothing to do with your label for them.

    Call me out as being “deceptive”, if you want, when essentially it is recognizing this very thing in your posts.

    Well you are deceptive, as there again, you go snipping bits of text out of context and then suggesting that they somehow buttress your accusatory contentions, when they in fact, clearly do not.

    In my comment prior to this one, I examined in context, in order, and in detail, your deliberate misrepresentation of the material you had quoted in order to convey a false impression which any reader can instantly see is clearly at odds with what a straightforward reading of the original text would reveal to him.

    In this newest instance, one notes that you have become upset at a couple of dismissive descriptions of a certain person’s moral sensibilities; a person whom I had addressed as an “unnamed commenter”. http://neoneocon.com/2017/05/01/why-the-democrats-lost/#comment-2202862

    It should be also noted that if one is clever enough to infer the identity of the particular subject, though he is never named nor directly quoted, then one should be aware enough of his repeated, whining indictments of Republicans and Trump supporters and fed-up conservatives, to grasp the matter in question: whether conservatives are morally obligated to take a dive so as to satisfy the unnamed commenter’s religiously based political sensibilities; or, whether conservatives may justly respond reciprocally, without somehow betraying their commitments to their own freedom.

    In fact, since the unnamed commenter and I no longer exchange views, and as I am merely using his indictments in order to point out the problematic nature of his own style of self-immolating communal sensibilities, I have taken some care to redact his name when quoting him, and to respond even more abstractly when possible.

    You both seem to be caught up in some “feelings” thing. Or maybe not. I really cannot tell what your problem is.

    All I can tell for certain is that what I wrote upset you enough for you to engage in more of your rhetorical subterfuges … for what end, I cannot really imagine … since they are so transparent.

    As for what my ideological and political leanings are, I have been pretty clear. As to where I got the conceptual background that forms the material out of which my views are shaped, I have now been explicit.

    Why you wish to drag anarchism into this and to try and stick the label to me is somewhat surprising. I am anti coerced-communitarianism, not a secular antinomian.

    But maybe you figure that someone who is willing to grant you the dignity of digging your own grave if you so choose, is somehow an anarchist.

  81. DNW Says:

    It should be unnecessary for me to engage in this tedious bit of defensive writing, but when I earlier wrote:

    “It should be also noted that if one is clever enough to infer the identity of the particular subject, though he is never named nor directly quoted …”

    That statement obviously refers to the material cited in a link immediately posted above that very sentence.

    Elsewhere, the unnamed commenter, while still not named, was quoted insofar as his propositions were re-presented.

    Again, I also hate the tedium involved in these belt and suspenders routines, but in dealing with bad faith opportunists, it becomes necessary

  82. Steve57 Says:

    Keep ’em coming, neo. I bookmark just about every one of your references to ballet, opera, theater, and dance.

    In my uncultured youth the only opera I ever could bring myself to like was Cosi fan tutte. You make everything so much more understandable than the people who earlier tried to force it upon me.

  83. Steve57 Says:

    This is not to say that there isn’t a place for rugby, keggers, cheap Hawaiian rum, the 45 ACP, and the 351 Cleveland. I don’t want anyone to get any wrong opinions about me.

  84. AesopFan Says:

    The conversation seems to have died down, but this still seems like the best post on which to drop this annotation to the original questions:
    http://hotair.com/archives/2017/05/04/quick-thoughts-cant-left-win/
    (by John Sexton)
    Which is a rejoinder to:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/why-cant-the-left-win/522102/
    (by Conor Friedersdorf)
    and ends thusly:
    “Forget for the moment that this is the description of a political framework that involves millions of people. Pretend this is a description of one person. What can you say about that person, at least as regards their faults? Put as bluntly as possible they are (1) condescending, (2) controlling, (3) accusatory, (4) uncharitable, (5) self-involved, (6) grandstanders eager to (7) condemn their fellow citizens. And I would add at least one more criticism: they are often violent. The left has repeatedly shown since January that it is willing to tolerate and wink at violence when it serves their goals.

    I’m certain Friedersdorf (and those he’s quoting) would never summarize their argument so bluntly, and that’s fine. I’m not suggesting this is a charitable interpretation. However, I do think people who aren’t especially political look at call-out culture and have a reaction to what they perceive as the underlying character of the movement. And that’s a simple mechanism, not an extended argument, though the results may be the same. In short, if this is where progressive politics continues to head, the left will continue to lose.”

  85. AesopFan Says:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/what-the-smug-liberals-critique-leaves-out/525189/

    Friedersdorf doesn’t say anything objectively wrong or even highly debatable here, but it’s an odd juxtaposition to the post quoted above.

    He may be one of the few sane liberals remaining on the Left, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t biased.

  86. neo-neocon Says:

    AesopFan:

    Friedersdorf is more a libertarian than a liberal.

  87. Big Maq Says:

    @AesopFan – great link. Thanks.

    That quote of his on Levin hits home, as he is one who had become increasingly vitriolic. He first seemed more focus on the issues and explaining his point of view. but 2008 seemed to be a definitive turning point.

    Indeed, the tone in this and other “conservative” media has mirrored that of those on the left.

    But these things attract an audience, and it is no surprise that our politics follows suit.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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