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cab67

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Member since: Wed Jul 24, 2013, 01:10 PM
Number of posts: 1,469

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what I increasingly think is going to happen - serious sore loserism

It is entirely possible that the presidential election will be close, that we won't know for sure who won for several days, and that the result will be disputed. It's also very possible that if Trump is defeated, he'll pretend he won and pull all kinds of shit to stay in office. He'll claim the results were rigged, that a lot of mail-in ballots were fraudulent, that undocumented immigrants voted in large numbers, or whatever.

But although my optimism is best described as highly cautious, I'm really beginning to think that the result won't be all that close, and that a Biden victory will be clear by the morning after the election. He'll win enough electoral votes that no office-holding Republican other than Trump himself will be unable to spin some other result out of the numbers.

If that's the case, we're going to see Trump be the worst loser in human history.

He'll never concede the election to Biden. He'll never admit he lost, even if he only tangentially alludes to voter fraud and doesn't actually claim victory. He'll be the first president in the modern era, other than those who died in office, to not congratulate his successor.

He'll also be the first president in the modern era who won't attend his successor's inauguration. Other than VPs who replace a president who died (T. Roosevelt, Coolidge, Truman, LBJ) or resigned (Ford), the outgoing president has always attended the inauguration of the incoming president. This has been true when the outgoing and incoming presidents are of different parties (e.g. Truman and Eisenhower, Eisenhower and Kennedy, LBJ and Nixon, GW Bush and Obama), and it's even been true of presidents voted out after only one term - Hoover, Ford, Carter, and GHW Bush all attended the inaugurations of their successors.

Trump will be a no show. He lacks the grace and decency to be magnanimous. Indeed, he doesn't even have the self-control to act like such a person, even for a little while. He'll slink off somewhere and not be seen. Republicans won't want him campaigning on their behalf, news channels won't seek his thoughts or opinions on political issues, and he won't be able to go on the lecture circuit. He'll exist only as a cranky voice on Twitter.

His portrait should never be displayed in the White House or the National Portrait Gallery. It would besmirch these places.

I'm sure his handlers will make sure he feels important and relevant, but it'll be Sunset Avenue.

Again, there are a lot of what-ifs that have to happen for any of this to come to pass. But that's what I'm really beginning to think will happen.

My unrequested tuppence, anyway.

If it went to the Supreme Court, who would be involved?

I mean, if the results of the election are somehow contested long after the election, and it ends up with the Supreme Court as in 2000, would the entire panel of judges be involved?

Wouldn't the justices appointed by Trump be required to recuse themselves?

Honest question here.

about my comment yesterday regarding Trump lying to Woodward.

After admittedly cursory research, I though it likely that Trump didn't know anything about the virus in February, and was lying to Woodward to cover his ass over his inaction.

I now realize my initial assumptions about timing were wrong. This wasn't just CYA on Trump's part.

Nevertheless, I hope you can understand why I might have come to that conclusion. Any sentence with the words "Trump knew" is immediately suspect to me. Trump is obviously dealing with a diminished deck right now. I don't know if it's a stage of dementia, the effects of one or more strokes, or just his inherent ignorance, but the concept of Trump understanding something well enough to make that kind of calculated decision seems unlikely on its face.

I certainly wasn't trying to parrot any kind of right-wing argument; Trump knowing and doing nothing, as opposed to not knowing and lying about it after the fact, are both pretty bad.

In any event, we now have a new slogan to chant at rallies:

Trump knew.
Trump lied.
200,000 died.


(I realize the current US death toll is below 200k, but it'll get there.)

Why Trump will probably never be convicted of anything.

Even if Biden wins in November, there are two reasons it'll be almost impossible to get a conviction for any crimes he's committed, before or during his time in office.

1. There's no way an impartial jury could be empaneled. A majority of Americans think he's a useless crook. A sizable minority think he can do no wrong. I don't think it's possible to find 12 people in this country who could honestly claim to be neutral or impartial on anything he's done.

2. His health. In particular, there's clear evidence of a mental decline in recent years. Has he had mini-strokes? Is he dealing with dementia? An argument could be made that he's unable to help in his own defense because of his limited faculties.


I very much want to be wrong about both of these. The country, and the world, can't heal from this abomination until there's real accountability. But I'm growing increasingly concerned that the Orange One himself might avoid efforts to make him accountable.

Thoughts? Fears?

the only thing that will get people to take this seriously.

Seeing the news that the Governor of Oklahoma has tested positive for COVID-19 brought something to mind:

The only way some people are going to take COVID seriously is if a public figure they respect gets very seriously sick or dies from it.

We see occasional reports of people who attended rallies and later got sick. Sometimes, these people are even named. But I don't think it will matter until a big name on Fox "News" or a member of the cabinet (or Trump himself) becomes a victim.

That might open their eyes.

Or maybe not. I've never seen such resistance to reality before.

I walked out of a convenience store last night (UPDATED)

I ran in to get some pop after buying gas. I was wearing a mask.

The cashier was wearing neither mask nor gloves. He gave me a condescending look.

As I approached him, I noticed a sign taped to the wall behind him saying, "NO MASKS REQUIRED. THIS IS A NO-FEAR ZONE." This despite the fact that both the state governor and local city council have issued mask orders. I put the pop down and walked out.

I'm thinking of contacting the national chain office to let them know what one of their franchises is doing.

Additional note: this was in Illinois. Strictly speaking, the governor's order doesn't specifically require wearing masks in stores. It requires wearing them if maintaining social distance is not possible. Which would be true for pretty much any convenience store.

UPDATE: This particular store isn't very close to where I am in Illinois. (I'm not a full-time IL resident, but for a couple of reasons, I've been here for most of the pandemic.) But I thought that if I were to contact someone about this, photographic evidence would be useful - so I went back to get some.

Long story short - neither the sign nor the idiot behind the cash register was present. I'm not the only person who saw them, nor am I the only one to have had a problem with either. Turns out, this wasn't the policy of the local franchise. It was entirely on the single late-night staff member, who is evidently now a former employee. He was one of the don't tread on me, and don't stop me from treading on you types, and the store had gotten complaints about him before, mostly for running his mouth at people who really didn't care what he thought of the current state of affairs.

friendships and politics

I didn't lose many friendships after the 2016 election. My circle of friends doesn't include many conservatives, and the conservatives I count as friends are generally of the more rational variety who have no use for Trump.

But I seem to be losing friendships over this year's primary.

Many of my friends like and support Bernie Sanders. That's not usually a problem, but a handful have gone from Sanders supporter to Sanders cult follower. They've accused me on Facebook of blindness and stupidity for not seeing things exactly as they see them, of being a DNC operative, and of not being a True Progressive.

I'm very progressive. But I'm also a realist.

When, during an argument, I pointed out that equating Biden with Trump is like saying that because Mars and Pluto are both further from the sun than you, they're in the same orbit. The person I was arguing with said a comparison between Hitler and Francisco Franco would be more accurate. I stopped the argument at that point; there's no point holding a discussion with such a person.

I've been voting in presidential elections since 1988. I've never encountered anything like this. The whole "my candidate or no candidate" attitude strikes me as unhealthy.

Anyone else experiencing this?

Added on edit - this isn't happening to me very often, but that it's happening at all is disturbing enough.

something I just posted on Facebook

I am writing to those of you who believe Joe Biden to be some sort of “corporate Democrat” beholden to special interests – someone who isn’t interested in common folk, and someone who would govern far too close to the center.

Two words – “Supreme” and “Court” – should be enough to get you to the polls to vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is. Nevertheless, I’ve encountered people who seem to think there’s not much difference between Biden and Trump. Some declare that they could never vote for Biden and would sit out the election or vote for a third-party candidate (which is the same thing as sitting out the election). I am writing to you in particular.

Yes, it’s your right to sit out an election. It’s also your right to go from store to store and buy every available bottle of hand sanitizer. Both are extremely selfish. You're basically saying that your feelings matter more than the common good.

Biden is in no way my ideal candidate. He’s way too centrist and way too old. I haven’t forgotten Anita Hill, nor have I forgotten his vote for the Iraq War. But the idea that he’s at all as bad as Trump is laughable. It should be dismissed as irrational by everyone living in the real world. Jupiter and Pluto are both further away from the sun than you, but that doesn't mean they're in the same orbit.

Consider two basic facts. First – many of the more contentious recent Supreme Court decisions have been 5-4. This includes Citizens United and the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act. Have you noticed that the four reasonable votes came from justices nominated by “corporate Democrats”? And second – as many as three justices may retire during the next administration.

I haven't forgotten Anita Hill, but I haven't forgotten Ruth Bader Ginsburg, either. Do you want Biden to replace RBG, or Trump?

I’ve heard some of you claim that “corporate bought candidates” won’t act on climate change or the environment. Unlike other politicians I can name, Biden doesn’t think climate change is a hoax. Obama, who arguably governed like a 1950's-era progressive Republican, signed us into the Paris agreement. Like Obama's, Biden's EPA and Department of the Interior wouldn't be staffed by pseudoscientists interested in selling National Parks to mining companies. (Obama increased the amount of National Park and Monument land; Trump has reduced it.)

I agree that we need Medicare for All, and I would rather vote for someone who will support it, but Biden at least wouldn't try to dismantle whatever public health care we have in the US. Nor would he put unqualified people like Betsy DeVos in cabinet-level positions.

I don't care how high your ideals are. Getting Trump out of the White House should be everyone's top priority, and deciding not to vote because neither candidate suits you is selfish.

And this goes for me as much as it goes for you. I’m not a fan of Bernie Sanders, but if he’s the nominee, I will enthusiastically vote for him.

friendships and politics

I didn't lose many friendships after the 2016 election. My circle of friends doesn't include many conservatives, and the conservatives I count as friends are generally of the more rational variety who have no use for Trump.

But I seem to be losing friendships over this year's primary.

Many of my friends like and support Bernie Sanders. That's not usually a problem, but a handful have gone from Sanders supporter to Sanders cult follower. They've accused me on Facebook of blindness and stupidity for not seeing things exactly as they see them, of being a DNC operative, and of not being a True Progressive.

I'm very progressive. But I'm also a realist.

When, during an argument, I pointed out that equating Biden with Trump is like saying that because Mars and Pluto are both further from the sun than you, they're in the same orbit. The person I was arguing with said a comparison between Hitler and Francisco Franco would be more accurate. I stopped the argument at that point; there's no point holding a discussion with such a person.

I've been voting in presidential elections since 1988. I've never encountered anything like this. The whole "my candidate or no candidate" attitude strikes me as unhealthy.

Anyone else experiencing this?

The realist's lament.

A couple of years ago, I was chair of the faculty assembly for my college. We were facing some unusual challenges that year - possible efforts to break the college up, major turnover in the offices of the provost and dean, and some quasi-union-related conflicts.

At one point, someone who felt very strongly about a particular cause stood up, pointed at me, and shouted, "You.....you realist!"

I've always thought it best to work in the real world. Yes, I want the world to be better. And yes, I'm working to improve it. But that doesn't allow me to ignore the world as it is. Like I once said of a colleague, "his strength is an ability to think outside the box. His weakness is forgetting where the box is." So although the person who called me a realist presumably meant it as a perjorative, I was flattered.

A lot of us want change. Gerrymandering has to end. Citizens United has to be overturned. The Electoral College shouldn't be a thing anymore. And the two-party system, as it currently exists, is strangling the country.

Countries with parliamentary systems often have multiple parties. This means voters are better represented by their elected officials, but it can also lead to instability if one party can't form a majority. If the coalition built to form a government collapses, so does the government itself.

In the US, the parties are the coalitions. The Democratic Party, in my lifetime at least (but see below), has been a coalition of progressives, intellectuals, labor, and (for the most part) African-American and Latinx voters. These parties can destabilize (e.g. when Dixiecrats became Republicans), but by and large, they're more stable. This is good.

But this also means people at the distal ends of the ideological spectra tend to be marginalized. Which, if you're closer to the center, isn't necessarily a bad thing, until one of the parties falls into a death spiral created by talk radio loudmouths, gets pulled way to the far right, and refuses to cooperate with the other party. And the center begins to look more and more like the left. Stability becomes stasis.

All of this is central to the thinking of many people I know. They support certain primary (or, in my state, caucus) candidates because they promise to "shake things up." And more than a few are suggesting they might abstain from the general election or cast a protest vote if the primaries don't go their way.

Herein lies my dilemma. I am very sympathetic to what they say. We need to shake up the two-party system. But that won't work unless both parties are shaken up at the same time. Try to bring down the DNC, and the result isn't a more progressive Democratic Party - it's a much stronger and emboldened Republican Party, along with efforts to bring the Democratic Party closer to the center.

So I find myself begging these people - many are good friends - to be realistic. Some of these candidates are never going to be president. It doesn't matter whether I like these people or agree with some of their policies. They're never going to be president, and all of the highfalutin' speechmaking they make won't change any of that.

How do I reach out to these people? How do I get them to see we're all in this together? That a less progressive candidate may not accomplish as much as we want, but it's better than getting nothing we want? That incrementalism is bloody slow, but it's the only approach that works?

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