Friday, December 13, 2019

A horrible day -- in the US and the UK

We're impeaching Trump. So why does it feel as though WE got our asses handed to us today?

Every time I turned on MSNBC, I saw some Republican fiend lying his head off. The only thing more infuriating was the sight of Democrats responding in a measured, gentlemanly fashion. As a result, Trump's approval ratings will go up; support for impeachment will probably plummet. Even the NYT grudgingly admits that impeachment will benefit Trump.

Pelosi completely mishandled this.

There should have been dozens of articles of impeachment. One of the counts against Andrew Johnson held that he had brought "disgrace and ridicule" to the office. Why not use those exact same words in the current situation?

For unfathomable reasons, many actual crimes were left out of this impeachment: Obstruction, the dangling of pardons, witness interference, mishandling classified material, even insecure communications. The Stormy Daniels pay-off was, in and of itself, far worse than anything Clinton did. Pelosi's decision to ignore such crimes sends precisely the wrong message: Trump did nothing wrong; the Democrats have lied. The Republicans can now claim that their man is the victim of a smear campaign.

If you're going to impeach a man, do a proper job of it. Go for the kill.

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell is openly coordinating with Trump on the Senate trial. To give you an idea of how hideously unethical this is, consider the words that McConnel will recite when he takes the oath during the trial:
“I solemnly swear ... that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God.”
There is no way to square those words with his confession of coordination. If McConnell takes that oath, he will be committing perjury.

Will any Democratic senator stand up and call out McConnell? No. When he takes that oath, Dems should chant en masse: "PERJURY! PERJURY! PERJURY!" But they won't. They're too chickenshit.

I like what Marcy said: "Gaetz is a putz, but the Dems do deserve some of his disdain here for their cowardice." Damn straight. Hell, on a certain level I can admire what the Republicans are doing. They've decided to "imitate the tiger" (as Shakespeare put it) while the Dems imitate the bunny rabbit.

During this impeachment inquiry, the Dems in the House should have rained hellfire on the heads of all Republicans. They should have called the Republicans traitors, liars and scoundrels. They should have attacked Fox News as a Goebbels-esque brainwashing operation. They should have denounced Trump's supporters as gullible fools.

In this political environment, the American people demand anger and passion. Perhaps that's not the way things should be, but that's the way things are -- right now. Ferocity works. Ruthlessness works. Name-calling works. Hatred works.

Remember the way Dan Ackroyd used to say "Jane, you ignorant slut"? (You probably don't, unless your hair is as grey as mine.) That's how every Dem should have responded to demons like Gohmert and Nunes.

If the Republicans ask for a return to civility -- well, que messieurs les assassins commencent. We all know who started it: Bullying is Trump's whole act. We have no choice but to respond in kind.

That's the final message of the classic film It Happened Here: "The appalling thing about fascism is that it forces you to use fascist means to get rid of it."

The UK blew it. I don't know what to say to my British friends, other than the obvious: Boris Johnson's decisive victory made me physically sick. Seriously, this election made me feel worse than I felt on the day I had my first heart attack.

This tweet from the great British journalist Carol Cadwalladr should frighten us all:
America, wondering what UK election means for 2020? Think: zero idea what is going on in real time. Zero idea who is being targeted with what data. Zero idea who is placing 1/3 ads. Mainstream media still being gamed. Lies absolutelyfuckingeverywhere. Like Britain except worse
She and her readers seem to believe that rigged tabulation machines play a role in this victory. Perhaps -- but I would note that the exit polls called it for Johnson. In the United States, a consistent pattern of disparity between the exits and the "actual" tallies is a key indicator of fraudulence.

The British election proves one thing: Progressives who keep pushing liberals into the farther reaches of leftism are utterly deluded. Progs, socialists, feminists, the advocates of Identity Politics -- they're all pigheaded louts who refuse to accept the inarguable fact that they are not popular.

Here's another inarguable fact:


Anyone who disagrees with that equation is a de facto Trumper. I will not listen to any counter-arguments from the progs, for the same reason I won't hear out the arguments offered by flat earthers. Corbyn=Sanders and that is that is that is THAT.

Face it: Even though the S word is less toxic in the UK than it is in the US, an avowed Socialist got clobbered by an international laughing stock who seemed destined to lose. You really think Bernie can do any better in this country? I'm glad Jeremy Corbyn is standing down. If only the damned, deluded fool had done so long ago.

Personally, I will not vote for Bernie Sanders if he wins the nomination. If the progs foist Sanders upon on us, there's no hope anyways, so what the hell. The world is fucked. Why do I bother with a healthy diet? I might as well start eating ice cream and burgers again. Heart attack #3 can't get here fast enough. I'm fucking done.

A final word about Glenn Greenwald. I literally would spit in that man's face if I saw him dying in the street. The same goes for Matt Taibbi. Fucking libertarian Putinista Trump-lovers.

Don't read either the Intercept or Rolling Stone -- even when they publish good writers.
Well, Corbyn carried baggage Sanders doesn't have -- although Corbyn::IRA is probably a good proxy for how Sanders::Sandanistas will be handled. And Labour was kind of fucked by Brexit: Yes, it's a stupid idea and, no, it shouldn't be carried out, but it *was* decided in a referendum, so it's hard to back it out without being seen as anti-democratic. I'm also not sure if the problem with Labour's platform was so much that it was too progressive as it was too diffuse, wide-ranging, and rambling; on the other hand, I can't imagine those adjectives *won't* apply, in spades, to anything the current Democratic Party puts together.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not arguing Sanders has a chance in hell of winning. I'm just saying Corbyn was an amazingly stupid choice of candidate, given his ability to annoy the fuck out of people. I'm not sure who might represent an American equivalent -- maybe stage-4 Teddy Kennedy, or possibly Rod Blagojevich. (I'm talking justifiable annoyance; certainly Hillary reached Corbyn-like levels of annoying, only part of which was earned.) Clearly he was one of a extremely short list of people Johnson could have defeated. While most people don't have the visceral response to Sanders you do, I think there's a pretty broad spectrum of folks who manage to rise above their differences to loathe Corbyn.
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!
-- Shakespear, Richard II, Act 2, Scene 1

So much for polling.

The S word probably did win any moderate voters, but it was the Labour hard core in the very safest areas that flipped. Old left areas. Areas that hate continentals almost as much at Conservatives. Or slightly more, it would seem.

There was also a Stone-style gambit in the Brexit party. The Brexit party did a deal with the Tories to not stand candidates in Tory areas, so the Tories wouldn't lose votes. Their leader has been bragging about hurting Labour.

So now Scotland becomes independent, we get Voter ID laws, and the worst possible Brexit deal. A disaster of epic proportions.

Whilst I can sympathize with what is about to happen to the English people when Brexit hits I'm sort of glad for the results. American voters will get to see the culmination of Johnson/Putiin policy will have on the U.K. economy. I'm hoping the financial crisis hits the end of October 2020.
"Corbyn = Sanders. Anyone who disagrees with that equation is a de facto Trumper. I will not listen to any counter-arguments from the progs"

Enough reverse psychology. Then you won't get any counterarguments. No counterarguments for you, OK? :-)

"(T)he farther reaches of leftism are utterly deluded".

Other countries similar to Britain don't charge their citizens for university education or allow private companies to run the railways. The Labour programme was mild and social-democratic by the European standards of the past 75 years.

A reminder of three points that appear in the Labour manifesto: 1) stop selling weapons to the Zionazi entity that are used to violate human rights of Palestinians (as if said entity can exist and no longer do that); 2) remove judicial protection for Zionazi and other war criminals and criminals against humanity; 3) immediately recognise the state of Palestine. I mention these not in order to bang the drum, but simply because out of the tens of millions of people who have been exposed to the lying "anti-Semitism" slur against the Labour party, very few are aware that those three great promises appeared in the manifesto, promises that one could imagine the Zionazi machine taking an exception to.

It's basically f***ing finished for Britain. Outgoing Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson (no apologies for quoting her in this instance) warned last night of the rising wave of nationalism on both sides of the (English-Scottish) border. She drew a parallel between the rise of Scottish separatist nationalism and the rise of British Brexit-mediated nationalism. They're both about blaming foreigners and those who aren't of the chosen ethnic group.

I write as Tommy Robinson has declared that he has joined the Tory party.

The writing is on the wall. Britain will be the first "advanced" country to get Greeced. In fact it will be much worse than Greece: since the culture here is the thick-arsed one of "do what you're told", there won't be anywhere near the Greek level of resistance. There will be starvation. There will be the race war that the "Enoch was right" white-power scum who have organised under the "Brexit" meme have long wanted and pushed for. A better model than Greece may be the Venezuela that has been ruined by US sanctions - except that most of Britain is an island and it will be much more difficult for people to leave the country to survive as 1 in 5 of Venezuelans already have. I am going to try to emigrate...
When you talked about how Democrats behave on TV, it took me back to 2016. In that horrible year I stopped watching TV, not because of the Rs or the media bias against Hillary, but because of the people supposedly on her side. They acted so dumbfoundedly as if they had nothing to say and sometimes as if they agree with the attacks. Hillary herself wasn't much better in that regard. And they wonder why they lose.
B, b, b...I hope you understand that when I said progressives are unpopular, that doesn't mean I favor right-wing positions. If I ran the zoo, the zoo would be a somewhat socialistic place in various ways that you would appreciate.

But I'm also honest enough to admit that other people don't think as I do.

That's an easy admission for me to make because I have never been popular or likable -- which is why I never could have run for public office (although I considered the idea for about fifteen minutes in the '80s). My antipopularity was made crystal clear to me in first grade, when I was the last person chosen for any sport or group activity, and I've received many reminders in the years since. Thus, I'm used to the idea of people not sharing my views.

Unfortunately, most American progressives have a mental disease which has no name, but which may be considered the exact opposite of paranoia: The average prog goes around with the insane delusion that people LIKE him. (Or her.) The British progressive is much the same, or so I gather from the Corbyn debacle.

One must deal with the electorate that IS, instead of pining for the electorate we would prefer.

As for Israel: It has been clear to me for a while that the way to deal with Israel is to say nice things about it while running for office, and then, after the office is gained, to leak the country's dirty little secrets. For this trick to work, one must have few dirty little secrets of one's own. The point is to remove the country's aura of sacredness and to help the average person understand that it is just another nation, populated and run by individuals who are just as prone to corruption, avarice and prejudice as anyone else.

Corbyn arguably crossed the line separating justifiable criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism. The wreath-laying ceremony business was either unconscionably stupid or just...unconscionable.

There are similar skeletons in Bernie's closet, as discussed in previous posts.

We live in a world in which Bernie's skeletons are unforgivable and Trump's are forgivable. Infuriating. But that's the way it is.
I'm glad we agree about Israel being just another country. It should be subject to the same criticism leveled at other countries, not less and not more. When it does something inappropriate, it should be criticized but should not be held to higher standards than other countries. And Corbyn was spectacularly unpopular. Some of that was no doubt the negative advertising but most is just on him. On one other topic, the Democrats should stop talking about Carter Page, who is an absolute goof, and start talking about the real bad guy, Paul Manafort. Manafort had more influence in the Trump campaign and was on the Russian payroll.
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