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marylandblue's Journal
marylandblue's Journal
March 30, 2019

When diversion is the purpose.

Some people like to divert attention. It really doesn't matter why or how. It only matters that they do it. They do it so much they become diversionary experts.

There are a lot of ways to divert attention. Some are fallacies. Some are not. Some diversionary tactics have a name. Some don't.

At any one time, there is one topic. It's simple. But diversion is complicated. There are infinite number of methods and an infinite number of other topics to choose from. So it's hard to pin down exactly what kind of diversion it is. There is no point to pinning it down anyway, because the point of the diversion is to avoid the real topic. For the diverter, talking about the type of diversion works just as well as any diversion. Anything so long as the real topic is avoided. Even arguing about what the real topic actually is can be a diversion.

If the diverter senses the diversion is not working, he doesn't return to the topic. He simply abandons the whole line of thought and goes somewhere else.

It helps if the diverter is shameless. Then there is no limit to what he can say. The bounds of normal human conversation are no constraint. He can create ever more distracting diversions if he needs to.

So next time you see a diverter diverting, just don't go there. It's not a fallacy, it's not a lie, it doesn't matter what was said before. It's just a diversion. Don't let yourself be diverted. Stay on topic.

I'm speaking of Trump, of course. But he isn't the only one.

March 22, 2019

I'm switching to Buttigieg because he is a game changer.

After Trump, I am firmly convinced that there is no disqualifying characteristic anymore. Trump showed that. All these holier than thou evangelicals don't really care about your sex life. They never did and they never will.

If the oldest, dumbest, most morally corrupt, least experienced, craziest candidate ever, a fat cat New Yorker no less, can win the rust belt, then why not a young mayor actually from the rest belt?

Buttigieg won 82% of the vote in a rust belt city that's 60% white. I think that's proof he has wide appeal.

Sure, they will cynically use his orientation against him. But it won't work with him. Because he answers so calmly, so clearly, and, when needed, with a sharp barb. Only a few politicians in America have shown they can do this. Buttigieg is the only one of them running for President.

My position has the advantage of being testable. If he isn't shooting to the top after 1 or 2 debates, then he isn't the one.

March 13, 2019

Trump's vulgarity is a feature not a bug

...President Trump’s crude performance last week at an annual gathering of conservatives — he physically embraced the American flag, called the Mueller probe “bullshit” and referred to Rep. Adam Schiff as “shifty” — was an affront to the decorum we expect from presidents, and plenty of critics pointed this out. Trump was “not merely undignified as a leader; he is committed to stripping away the dignity possessed by others,” Michael Gerson wrote in The Washington Post. One Twitter commenter described the speech as “an undignified mess of slop,” and another labeled Trump “the most undignified President in history.”...

...In fact, demagogues like Trump are almost always undignified. That is a feature, not a bug, of their politics. When Hillary Clinton infamously described his supporters as a “basket of deplorables,” Trump swiftly converted the comment into a badge of honor. It turned out that he wanted his followers to trumpet themselves as “Les Deplorables” — because that was already his argument. While their critics think demagogues hurt themselves politically by violating the standards of polite society, they’re doing the opposite: They’re doubling down on an unorthodox but potent politics.

In other words, we must understand why Trump’s CPAC performance was rational from his perspective before we can begin to understand how to deal with it. And that means taking Trump, his supporters and his “undignified” performances seriously.

A textbook demagogue meets four tests. First, he identifies as a man of the masses, usually by attacking elites. Second, he creates great waves of passion. Third, he uses that passion for political benefit. Fourth, he tests or breaks established rules of governance. Taken together, this approach enables the demagogue to create a state within a state — a massive cult — that follows him alone...

March 11, 2019

Don't forget about state legislatures special elections, we are losing them this year

Republicans have flipped 4 seats from blue to red in special elections. Last year we flipped a net 8 seats from red to blue and in 2017 we flipped a net of 13. Don't let the Presidential primary distract you, from those special elections. They count too, and are part of the keeping the momentum going through 2020. If you have money or time, please check out to see where and when the next special elections are


March 9, 2019

I don't care about negative attacks on candidates, I only care how they respond

Everyone of our candidates is going to be attacked for something sooner or later. If there is nothing to attack, they'll make something up, and the media will run with it. It's a given. I don't care. At all.

That sounds pretty callous and immoral, but it's the only way in our post-fact Trump world. Facts don't matter when Trump's lies are treated as truth. If the facts don't matter anymore (and obviously they don't), then I at least want someone who shares my values. Which means ignoring their real or imagined faults so we don't have another great candidate taken down by a trivial non-scandal scandal.

But their response to whatever "scandal" gets cooked up does matter. Because that's how Trump did it. He manipulated the media and shamelessly turned it around to make Clinton look like the crook. And he'll do that again. Countering that attack is worth everything.

AOC is the Democrat who responds best to attacks. She always has a snappy comeback to whatever they say about her. Unfortunately, she is too young. But I hope the older generation is learning from her. I'll be watching them when the attacks come, and whoever gives a good answer or turns it all back on their accuser is the candidate to beat Trump.

Please think about this when choosing a candidate. Whatever their other merits, they must be able to parry the inevitable attack. Shrug off whatever stupid nickname Trump comes up with. Defang the Russian troll farms. That's how we will win.

Edited to add: Think about this way. Take whatever negative information you have already heard about a candidate, put it into a Trump tweet then imagine the news covering it for days and saying it's really damaging information. How will that candidate respond and how effective will that response be.

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