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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 11,173

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I wonder if "we had the power to stop Trump" will be a comforting memory

or whether we will as a party regret not using that power when we had it.

Unused power is effectively the same as not having any power.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Thu Jul 11, 2019, 04:18 PM (14 replies)

Everyone please keep calling them concentration camps. Not only is it true,

but it drives evil people crazy.

If you must discuss it, tell people we will stop calling them concentration camps when the GOP stops saying "Democrat politician".
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Mon Jun 24, 2019, 08:33 AM (66 replies)

The Optics of Weakness and Bringing a Rope to a Sword Fight

As I consider my situation, a private citizen who would like to combat and discourage the rise of fascism in my country, and the tools that I have at hand, including my fellow citizens who are also not fans of fascism, there is one weapon in my arsenal that consistently lets me down. It is sword-shaped, but has the consistency of an over-boiled noodle. Fighting fascism is completely impossible with it. And it is the national leaders and the political elite in my country who (theoretically) wield a lot of power but are either on board with fascism or are too afraid to fight it.

Is there any situation in which our nominally anti-fascist political elite would present themselves as STRONG rather than WEAK? Every response to the proto-fascism in this country is marked by weakness, by capitulation, by caution, by inaction. Can we not fashion an action that would both fight fascism and also appear STRONG to our benighted citizenry? It doesn't take much. It doesn't even require actual strength, just the appearance of strength.

Can't we muster a show of strength in our dedication to not become the Fourth Reich that signals to our people that fighting fascism is worth it? Or did that die after WWII?
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Wed Jun 19, 2019, 11:13 AM (6 replies)

Here's why "We Shouldn't Impeach Because Trump won't be Removed by the Senate" isn't even an excuse

The US Senate has NEVER removed a president that has been impeached. NEVER. NOT ONCE.

They have had two opportunities, once with Andrew Johnson, and once with Bill Clinton. Johnson was a racist clown, and Clinton's impeachment looks more ridiculous every year. So, we already know that the Senate is inclined to keep racist clowns around.

Impeachment really has nothing to do with removal from office. The fact that the threat of impeachment caused another scoundrel to step down before it happened is a historical outlier. We already know that Trump has no shame and wouldn't step down in similar circumstances. So, impeachment (without removal) is the thing we are after - especially highly publicized hearings and discovery during the investigation which are the things that truly hurt Nixon.

Can't we, for once, really hurt Donald Trump? Can't someone, somewhere, in this entire country grab this moronic, traitorous fascist by the neck and give him a good shake (metaphorically, of course). Just once?

"He won't be removed" is a certainty. That has NEVER happened, and is obviously not what the act of impeachment is about.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Wed Jun 19, 2019, 11:06 AM (47 replies)

How is it possible for a state to make something illegal in another jusidiction?

I've been hearing about this Georgia law that would make it illegal for women (presumably residents of Georgia) to have abortion procedures in other states. Just how the hell does that work?

It would be like punishing people who go to Europe and have a drink before they are 21. Or punishing people who go to Amsterdam and smoke hemp. It's not illegal there - so if I'm doing it there, how does the state have a right to punish me for doing something _legal_.

Is this just plainly an illegal law on its face, or am I missing something?
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Thu May 16, 2019, 07:25 AM (42 replies)

Shed a few tears, won't you, for Wall Street financiers who can't figure out the primary

"Wall Street Democrats Are Absolutely Freaking Out About Their 2020 Candidates"


“There’s tremendous fear,” said one banker who was there. The candidates who had long cultivated relationships with Wall Street — such as Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand — were struggling to gain traction and had grown more hostile to finance as their party had, too. Joe Biden, leading in early polls, had a comforting history in the Obama White House and a reputation as an Establishment Democrat but had never, until a few months ago, maintained any meaningful relationship with Wall Street, hadn’t even announced his candidacy yet, and struck many bankers as a dubious bet to beat Donald Trump. Nearly everyone else in the field, the financiers felt, was being pulled leftward by Bernie Sanders (the preposterously well-funded contender they considered too crazy to even imagine in the White House) and Elizabeth Warren (less crazy, Democrats on Wall Street think, and way more competent). “She would torture them,” one banker told me. “Warren strikes fear in their hearts,” explained a New York executive close to banking leaders from both parties — so much fear that such investors often speak of the U.S. senator from Massachusetts, a former law professor and consumer advocate, as a co-front-runner with Sanders. “How do we come up with an alternative?” asked one person at the dinner.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Mon Apr 29, 2019, 02:28 PM (4 replies)

The "cure" for Bernie Sanders is better Democratic policies

There is a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth here on DU that Sanders is doing very well in the polls.

To that I say, take heart - Sanders (and also the other candidate with big poll numbers, Biden) gets a big boost from early name recognition. His numbers will inevitably drop as other candidates become better known to the electorate (Biden will have an even bigger drop, because not only is he a pretty bad campaigner, he is also a soft touch with the Republican party and the big banks).


if you really want to beat Sanders, please encourage your candidate of choice to adopt better (anti-corporatist, anti-crony, pro-people, pro-labor, pro-economic equity) policies.

It isn't some magic wand Sanders is waving. He's not popular because of his party affiliation (or lack of one). He's popular because he adopts policies that tell the rich and the elite and the comfortable in the status quo that some changes need to be made. America needs a raise.

America is desperate for a non-status quo leader. So, if you are worried about Sanders winning the democratic nomination, please tell your candidates that they need to get on board for change, not all of which will make their donors ecstatic.

My preferred candidate (and she was in 2016, as well) already is way on board for change.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Wed Apr 24, 2019, 02:42 PM (11 replies)

Gin and Tacos blogger on impeachment

If "The senate won't convict" is the argument against impeachment and "The Senate won't pass it" is the argument against House legislative efforts, what is it exactly that you strategists believe the House Democrats should spend the next 18 months doing?

Is the goal to just...be in the majority, and then sit there? "Yes! We took the House! Now, to hold HEARINGS on stuff for 2 years"?

That's like, Beto-level emptiness. Keep saying stuff like "We all need to come together" without ever saying TO DO WHAT.


Here's the take-home point.

What we confirmed today is that Democrats can never wait for bipartisan buy-in to act against Trump. The GOP has made its deal with the devil and is willing to turn a blind eye to this nakedly corrupt authoritarian clown show in exchange for long-term control of the federal courts.

Either the House Democrats act now, or they just give up and we turn into Putin-era Russia, where the truth becomes so obviously irrelevant and the game so obviously rigged that the public checks out of politics altogether. This really is an important point. What happens next matters. If this isn't impeachable, nothing is impeachable. "But he won't be convicted in the Senate" is a terrible argument, a legacy of the "Let me explain why we can't win and shouldn't try" mindset the Reid-Pelosi-Schumer years have baked into Democratic DNA.

If the current status of our political system is that one party openly abets a corrupt wannabe-dictator and the other party is afraid to challenge him because they think it will make voters mad, then we might as well throw in the towel right now. If not impeachment, then what is the right thing to do? Act "disappointed"? Give pretty speeches?

What if - just maybe - it actually *improved* the party's standing to demonstrate it has basic principles that can't be swayed by amateur theorizing about how it might impact the next election. "We are for the rule of law...unless we worry that White Working Class Diner Customers won't like it" is exactly the kind of spinelessness that those voters detest.

Posted by ProfessorPlum | Sat Apr 20, 2019, 11:20 AM (21 replies)

My frustration with the media: they read off of the GOPs ham-handed cue cards

something weird with our corporate media. Whenever there is some incredibly oafish move by warmongers and fascists that they expect the media to react a certain way, the media (almost always) complies.

The latest example is the Barr PR spin. Barr lies to the world about what is in the Mueller report (and even says the report does not exonerate Trump), and the media get that they are supposed to react as if A) Barr is telling the truth and 2) Trump is exonerated. Coverage for weeks afterwards proceeds from these two premises.

Where are contrarians in the media? The people who say "wait, is that really true?" and fact check the rest of the media? I guess they have all been fired (or not promoted) and we are left with dumb, ovine, talking faces who have the sense to detect what it is they are expected to say, but not the additional critical thinking skills to ask the meta questions about who benefits, and what if they are being lied to.

GOP: Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. We expect the media to freak out and demand war. Media: will do
GOP: Funding civilization is the same as "socialism" and will lead to collapse. Media: Venezuela, Venezuela, Venezuela, Venezuela!
GOP: John McCain is a noble truthteller (even though his votes are by and large despicably GOP). Media: Saint McCain!!
GOP: Hillary Clinton is *suspicious* and *evil* Media: What is she hiding? How can we trust her?

etc, etc, ad nauseum.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Tue Apr 9, 2019, 08:02 AM (16 replies)

Did you know that arguing about candidates on DU will not affect who will win the nomination?

Just wanted to throw that out there. There is no Democratic Underground primary, we award no delegates, and god knows the rest of the Democratic electorate doesn't give two little poops about how some online community thinks they should vote. Your killer argument about why Hickenlooper is a policy god and about to ignite the party will probably have little to no effect on people's opinions, either here or in the American electorate at large.

On the other hand (and here is the upside), the vehemence of your disagreement with someone here over who is the best candidate, and who is the worst, will have absolutely NOTHING to do with how "unified" Democrats and other decent people will be about getting rid of Trump. All of the calls for unity, and to stop fighting, and to stop being divided, and to "pledge" that you will vote for the eventual nominee, are basically wastes of time as the vast majority of people here are not "divided" about the need to Dump Trump. Rend your garments all you want to, but the level of division here arguing over candidates won't mean much at all when someone sews up the nomination.

So, everyone can stop posting calls for "unity". There will be unity aplenty out in the real world come November 2020. And don't be discouraged if it seems like we disagree with each other. We are supposed to when picking favorite candidates. And also realize that the winner of the primary is probably already determined in the heads of all of the voters in the states who aren't on DU. Our disagreements here mean little . .. and that's a good thing.
Posted by ProfessorPlum | Wed Apr 3, 2019, 12:29 PM (35 replies)
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