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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#16221 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 08:08

View Postkenberg, on 2020-September-17, 07:02, said:

OK, Caputo is kaput. Well, for the moment at least. Sorry to dwell on the obvious, but I think I will comment.
Listening on NPR I heard part of an interview with him. Not the notorious one that led to him taking leave, but an earlier one.
It was stunning.

Some people I disagree with. Others, Caputo is an example, I listen to for five minutes and regard the speaker as a total nut.
Anyone could see this. Anyone. You don't need a graduate course in psychology to recognize this level of nuttiness.

So this leads to the important question: How did this guy get an important job?
The appalling answer is that his rambling nonsense appeals to the ear of our president.

This is where we are. We have a president who not only cares little or nothing for expertise, it is not even required that the person have sanity as long as his babbling supports the president.

He really has to go. How obvious can it get?


According to a new poll of Republicans from Vanderbilt University, sourced by the LA Times, the majority of Republicans agree with the statement "the American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it". And who were these Republicans mostly? The same people who answered that "discrimination against whites is as big of problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities".


White privilege is occult racism. I would venture most who suffer from it would not accept its racist nature. The Republican party encourages that ignorance.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16222 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 10:22

View Postkenberg, on 2020-September-17, 07:02, said:

OK, Caputo is kaput. Well, for the moment at least. Sorry to dwell on the obvious, but I think I will comment.
Listening on NPR I heard part of an interview with him. Not the notorious one that led to him taking leave, but an earlier one.
It was stunning.

Some people I disagree with. Others, Caputo is an example, I listen to for five minutes and regard the speaker as a total nut.
Anyone could see this. Anyone. You don't need a graduate course in psychology to recognize this level of nuttiness.

So this leads to the important question: How did this guy get an important job?
The appalling answer is that his rambling nonsense appeals to the ear of our president.

This is where we are. We have a president who not only cares little or nothing for expertise, it is not even required that the person have sanity as long as his babbling supports the president.

He really has to go. How obvious can it get?

awm recently characterized the Trump administration as a Putin-style government for which imo Trump's cabinet, especially William Barr, Republican members of Congress and Trump's relationship with Fox News are prime examples. Caputo fits the mold but I think even Putin would shake his head at Caputo's incompetence.
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#16223 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 11:01

re: Putin-style government

Here's what passes for a plan for governing in the Republican party these days - a one page list of slogans and a website that an 80 year old semi-demented Don Draper might have put together. There is no one behind the curtain.
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#16224 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 12:23

View Posty66, on 2020-September-17, 10:22, said:

awm recently characterized the Trump administration as a Putin-style government for which imo Trump's cabinet, especially William Barr, Republican members of Congress and Trump's relationship with Fox News are prime examples. Caputo fits the mold but I think even Putin would shake his head at Caputo's incompetence.



To me, this seems important. People can argue about a lot of things, but five minutes of listening to Caputo makes it clear he should never be hired to do anything. Everyone has known such people and we usually just do our best to avoid them. And certainly not put them in charge of anything. Of course it is not just this one guy. I can imagine a group of people discussing the need for law enforcement, the dangers police face, the excessive force that is too often used, the interaction of police with the community and I can imagine people really trying to solve these problems but not always seeing things the same way. But you do not expect much disagreement about incompetence. People cannot get their jobs simply because they chant whatever they are told to chant. Just about everyone agrees with that. Not everyone, I didn't say everyone.

It seems a solid reason why people who disagree about many things could still agree that Trump needs to exit the scene.
Ken
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#16225 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 12:44

View Postkenberg, on 2020-September-17, 12:23, said:

To me, this seems important. People can argue about a lot of things, but five minutes of listening to Caputo makes it clear he should never be hired to do anything. Everyone has known such people and we usually just do our best to avoid them. And certainly not put them in charge of anything. Of course it is not just this one guy. I can imagine a group of people discussing the need for law enforcement, the dangers police face, the excessive force that is too often used, the interaction of police with the community and I can imagine people really trying to solve these problems but not always seeing things the same way. But you do not expect much disagreement about incompetence. People cannot get their jobs simply because they chant whatever they are told to chant. Just about everyone agrees with that. Not everyone, I didn't say everyone.

It seems a solid reason why people who disagree about many things could still agree that Trump needs to exit the scene.


Quote

It seems a solid reason why people who disagree about many things could still agree that Trump needs to exit the scene.


This remains the mystery to me, although the shell around that mystery is slowly being penetrated. We can look at a number or reasons: white privilege, tribalism, religious views, etc. But to me, what it boils down to is one central thing: self-centeredness. And those who are extremely self-centered lack empathy. Without empathy, the idea of required sharing becomes associated with stealing.

The oddity of the extreme of this self-centered thrust is that the basic premise is so faulty - because no one person can self-replicate. That by itself means that as a species from birth we are dependent on others. And the healthier, smarter, and enabled is the group, the better it is for each individual within the group.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16226 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 14:43

This one seems easy Winston - it is a feeling of disenfranchisement. When people think that things are going wrong and that the mainstream politicians are not working for them, they look around for anything else. Some will go protesting, others will join a movement that promises them solutions. Trump is just the latest in a long line. The people are not being self-centred, they are feeling desperate. And in the case of the current Republican base, many would prefer any way of hurting the perceived alienating force than to side with them against someone who, from their point of view, at least spoke their language even if the results were less than optimal. The answer is not to give up on them as deplorable, self-centred or lacking empathy but rather to find a way of bringing them back on the boat. If the Dems have any sense they will raise a sizeable sum (over and above what is already being done) and allocate it to regeneration and retraining programs in those regions that have been hardest hit by manufacturing moving overseas. It may not be enough but it is at least a start. The "we are better than you" attitude though - not good. That is just reinforcing what they already think of liberals and what they stand for.
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#16227 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 14:58

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-September-17, 14:43, said:

This one seems easy Winston - it is a feeling of disenfranchisement. When people think that things are going wrong and that the mainstream politicians are not working for them, they look around for anything else. Some will go protesting, others will join a movement that promises them solutions. Trump is just the latest in a long line. The people are not being self-centred, they are feeling desperate. And in the case of the current Republican base, many would prefer any way of hurting the perceived alienating force than to side with them against someone who, from their point of view, at least spoke their language even if the results were less than optimal. The answer is not to give up on them as deplorable, self-centred or lacking empathy but rather to find a way of bringing them back on the boat. If the Dems have any sense they will raise a sizeable sum (over and above what is already being done) and allocate it to regeneration and retraining programs in those regions that have been hardest hit by manufacturing moving overseas. It may not be enough but it is at least a start. The "we are better than you" attitude though - not good. That is just reinforcing what they already think of liberals and what they stand for.


That may have been true in 2016. It doesn't explain continued support after 3+ years of Trump up close. The best explanation I've seen is white privilege.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16228 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 17:56

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-September-17, 14:58, said:

The best explanation I've seen is white privilege.

You guys really are amusing. You should consider The Gong Show.

#16229 User is online   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 19:24

I don't really feel totally qualified to comment on the USA situation but at a very broad level I don't think you can get much more self-interested white privilege on display than from many "liberals". They hate having their privileged positions and expectations challenged, having to even justify conditions. And they are still generally as white as you can get
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#16230 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 20:41

View Postthepossum, on 2020-September-17, 19:24, said:

I don't really feel totally qualified to comment on the USA situation but at a very broad level I don't think you can get much more self-interested white privilege on display than from many "liberals". They hate having their privileged positions and expectations challenged, having to even justify conditions. And they are still generally as white as you can get


No doubt white privilege is undercounted by liberals. The difference is in the authoritarian nature of the right wingers who also fear the loss of white privilege.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16231 User is online   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 20:59

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-September-17, 20:41, said:

No doubt white privilege is undercounted by liberals. The difference is in the authoritarian nature of the right wingers who also fear the loss of white privilege.


Lets not start again on who the authoritarians are
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#16232 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-17, 21:01

Here is something that Bill Barr said last night in a speech:

Quote

Indeed, aside from the importance of not fully decoupling law enforcement from the constraining and moderating forces of politics, devolving all authority down to the most junior officials does not even make sense as a matter of basic management.
my emphasis


My understanding of this is that Barr is saying the DOJ should be constrained and moderated by political whims.
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#16233 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 07:59

There are times that I think the Dems are tone deaf. I am going to speak of white privilege but first a review of defunding the police.

When the idea of defunding the police came up I wrote against it and Winston explained that nobody really wanted to defund the police. Well, some do, but those who don't should not use that slogan. There are a lot of people who normally vote D but who do not want the police defunded. Sure, I know JB does not favor defunding but the Dems have managed to create an image as the party that favors defunding the police.

Now about white privilege. I am white and the first thing that comes to mind when I see white privilege decried is wondering just which of my privilege's need to be scrapped. I can't think of anything that I plan to do today or tomorrow that I would like to see disallowed.

I am not at all saying that there are no problems to be addressed. I am saying that Dems sometimes show a remarkable ability to phrase things in a manner that is very unlikely to draw wide support.


Ken
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#16234 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 08:26

View Postthepossum, on 2020-September-17, 20:59, said:

Lets not start again on who the authoritarians are


When I use the term "authoritarian" it is in the sense of its use by social psychology. This is one quick definition but there are more in-depth discussions available.


Quote

Definition. The authoritarian personality describes a type of person who prefers a social system with a strong ruler—the authoritarian person is comfortable being the strong ruler but if the individual is not the strong ruler then he or she will demonstrate complete obedience to another strong authority figure.


You will note that this definition has nothing to do with political sides, which is why I wrote about right-wing authoritarians. And, for what it's worth, social psychology has found that authoritarian personality is more often associated with what we in the U.S. call right wing.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16235 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 08:31

View Postkenberg, on 2020-September-18, 07:59, said:

There are times that I think the Dems are tone deaf. I am going to speak of white privilege but first a review of defunding the police.

When the idea of defunding the police came up I wrote against it and Winston explained that nobody really wanted to defund the police. Well, some do, but those who don't should not use that slogan. There are a lot of people who normally vote D but who do not want the police defunded. Sure, I know JB does not favor defunding but the Dems have managed to create an image as the party that favors defunding the police.

Now about white privilege. I am white and the first thing that comes to mind when I see white privilege decried is wondering just which of my privilege's need to be scrapped. I can't think of anything that I plan to do today or tomorrow that I would like to see disallowed.

I am not at all saying that there are no problems to be addressed. I am saying that Dems sometimes show a remarkable ability to phrase things in a manner that is very unlikely to draw wide support.




Ken,
My understanding of "defund the police" is that it is a sloganized (meaning usually insufficient) phrase for redirecting police funds to better solve community problems. The emphasis is that all community difficulties are now handled by the police: mentally ill person out of control? Call the cops. Traffic violation? Cops. Husband and wife conflict? Cops.

My understanding is that defund the police is an appeal to redirect those resources to other ways to handle those things which are questionably now handled only by the police. The slogan should be: redistribute the funds that now go only to the police to use for more effective community solutions. But that doesn't fit on a bumper sticker.

At least, that is my understanding and I hope it helps.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16236 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 10:23

View Postkenberg, on 2020-September-18, 07:59, said:

I am saying that Dems sometimes show a remarkable ability to phrase things in a manner that is very unlikely to draw wide support.

Surely you're not suggesting that what some message-challenged Dems say, what the majority of Dems say and what many Reps say Dems say are one and the same.

Here is my favorite member of Congress, Abigail Spanberger's campaign statement on racial justice. No message-challenged wording there. She ends all of her letters to her constituents with

Quote

I will always put the people of Central Virginia above party politics. Thank you for the privilege of serving you, and please call my office if we can assist you. You can reach us at (804) 401-4110 or (202) 225-2815.

which, I hope, other Dems in public office or seeking office are smart enough to emulate.
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#16237 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 10:58

Early voting started today in Virginia. The deed is done.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16238 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 11:13

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-September-18, 08:31, said:

Ken,
My understanding of "defund the police" is that it is a sloganized (meaning usually insufficient) phrase for redirecting police funds to better solve community problems. The emphasis is that all community difficulties are now handled by the police: mentally ill person out of control? Call the cops. Traffic violation? Cops. Husband and wife conflict? Cops.

My understanding is that defund the police is an appeal to redirect those resources to other ways to handle those things which are questionably now handled only by the police. The slogan should be: redistribute the funds that now go only to the police to use for more effective community solutions. But that doesn't fit on a bumper sticker.

At least, that is my understanding and I hope it helps.


I posted because I think packaging, ie slogans, count. And I think the way they are going about it will cost votes, maybe quite a few votes. There is an advertising mentality that leads people to claim more than there actually is. This can backfire. An exercise program that helps me stay in some sort of reasonable shape is attractive. One that promises to have me jumping four foot hurdles after I do cartwheels would scare the crap out of me. I realize the analogy is not perfect here. But if you, or someone, has to explain to me that of course it's just a slogan and of course I should not take it literally, I think they should re-think the slogan.
Ken
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#16239 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 11:21

View Postkenberg, on 2020-September-18, 11:13, said:

I posted because I think packaging, ie slogans, count. And I think the way they are going about it will cost votes, maybe quite a few votes. There is an advertising mentality that leads people to claim more than there actually is. This can backfire. An exercise program that helps me stay in some sort of reasonable shape is attractive. One that promises to have me jumping four foot hurdles after I do cartwheels would scare the crap out of me. I realize the analogy is not perfect here. But if you, or someone, has to explain to me that of course it's just a slogan and of course I should not take it literally, I think they should re-think the slogan.


I agree. Bad word usage. At the same time, compelling the police to handle all community problems is unfair to the police - and the community.

Perhaps the slogan should simply be: Let's rethink policing.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16240 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-September-18, 15:06

David Brooks, opinion columnist at NYT said:

You’ve probably heard of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but you may not have heard of Derek Kilmer. Kilmer grew up in a timber region in Washington State that had seen many of its logging jobs disappear. First at Princeton, then getting a Ph.D. at Oxford, he studied how towns recover from deindustrialization. He went back home to help his community recover economically and now represents that community in Congress.

Kilmer is the chairman of the largest ideological group among House Democrats, the New Democrat Coalition. The New Democrat Coalition is a caucus for moderate and center-left House Democrats. It has 103 House members, of whom 42 are the up-and-coming freshmen who brought the Democrats their majority. Its self-declared priorities are “pro-economic growth,” “pro-innovation” and “fiscal responsibility.”

You may not have heard of Kilmer or even the New Democrat Coalition. The media wing of the Republican Party wants to pretend that A.O.C., the Squad, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are the Democratic Party because it wants you to think Democrats are a bunch of socialists.

Progressive Twitter is far to the left of the actual Democratic Party and it also emphasizes A.O.C., Sanders and Warren because that’s what makes its heart flutter. Even the mainstream media pays far more attention to the Squad than to Kilmer or moderates like Abigail Spanberger.

This week a thoughtful scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Danielle Pletka, fell for the mirage. She wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post in which she disdained President Trump but said she would have to vote for him because the Democrats have moved so far left.

Pletka’s essay kicked up a storm, but usefully raised the question: Where exactly is the Democratic Party?

The professionals who actually run the party do not fall for the mirage. Nancy Pelosi understands that her job is to manage a group that includes both A.O.C. and the New Democrat Coalition’s members.

House Democrats began this Congress with nine bills that were their top priorities. They were about such things as infrastructure spending, lower prescription drug prices, voting rights, gerrymandering and democracy reform, and rejoining the Paris climate accords.

The Green New Deal and so-called Medicare for all were not on the table. Pelosi was promoting ideas a majority of the House Democrats could agree on, and these ideas are not radical left.

Joe Biden has the same approach. Biden was arguably the most moderate of the nearly 30 Democrats who ran for president in the past year. The team around him, the folks who would presumably lead his administration, are Clinton/Obama veterans and not exactly a bunch of left-wing woke activists: Mike Donilon, Ron Klain, Anita Dunn, Jake Sullivan, Jeff Zients and Bruce Reed, one of the leaders of the moderate Democratic Leadership Council.

They understand they are leading an extremely broad coalition and have done an excellent, underappreciated job of incorporating both moderate ideas and ideas from the Bernie Bros.

To the extent that Biden’s gone “left,” it’s mostly in areas where the moderates agree: quadrupling federal spending on low-income housing assistance, making community college free.

A Biden administration would not be further left than the Democratic voters out in the country or their representatives in Congress. Those voters are not mostly the urban gentrifiers who propel the left; they are mostly the “somewhat liberal” suburbanites and Black moderates who gave Biden the nomination.

In 2018, those voters massively rejected almost all of the nearly 80 Sanders-like insurgents the left put up to challenge more moderate incumbents in primaries. This year, with only three exceptions, they’ve done the same. This week Senator Chris Coons of Delaware held off a Medicare-for-all, Green New Deal challenger 73 percent to 27 percent.

If you ask whether the Democrats shifted too far left, my answer is: The party has gotten more ideologically diverse, but there is a large, strong center that will keep it in the political mainstream.

But there is a prior and more important question here: Are the Democrats a political party?

You might have thought that the Democratic and Republican Parties are different versions of the same thing, but that’s no longer true. As Jonathan Rauch of the Brookings Institution has noted, the G.O.P. is no longer a standard coalition party. It’s an anti-political insurgency that, even before Trump, has been elevating candidates with no political experience and who don’t believe in the compromise and jostle of politics.

Right now, Republicans are a culture war identity movement that suppresses factional disagreement and demands total loyalty to Trump.

The Democrats are still a normal political party. In 2020 they rejected the “base mobilization” candidates who imagine you can magically create a revolutionary majority if only you go purist.

Biden is a man who doesn’t do culture war, who will separate the cultural left from the political left, reduce politics back to its normal size and calm an increasingly apocalyptic and hysterical nation.

The Democratic Party is an institution that still practices coalition politics, that serves as a vehicle for the diverse interests and ideas in society to filter up into legislation, that plays by the rules of the game, that believes in rule of law. Right now, it is the only major party that does that.

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