ChrisWeigant.com

Rewriting History

[ Posted Monday, July 3rd, 2017 – 16:51 PDT ]

Here we sit, on the eve of (or, more correctly, the day after) our nation's birthday. I've pointed out in years past that the whole "fourth of July" discrete date is nothing short of a myth. We celebrate a fiction. Our nation's birthday is a lie. One might almost call it "fake news."

The problem stems from how many actual steps it took for us to "declare independence." As I previously pointed out:

The timeline for declaring independence is a convoluted one. After the draft document was submitted, Congress tinkered with the wording for over a week. On July 2nd, they moved forward when twelve of the thirteen colonies voted to declare their independence from Great Britain (to accept the document, in essence). New York abstained, and it wasn't until July 19th that all thirteen approved independence. On July 4th, the document's final language was sent to the printers -- two days after the most meaningful vote had been taken on the independence question.

The story gets even more convoluted at this point. August 2nd is the date that most of the men actually signed the document -- although many of them would not do so until months afterwards (one, Thomas McKean of Delaware, wouldn't actually sign the document until 1777). In the spring of 1777, the official public record of Congress was released, and (lo and behold!) it stated that July 4th was the date that the "Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States" was signed in Congress. This was, to be blunt, a blatant lie. New York wouldn't even vote for independence for another two weeks, so it is impossible that any sort of "Unanimous Declaration" happened on July 4th. To further muddy the waters, in the official record, the entries for July 19th (when New York finally did agree) and August 2nd (when the physical document was actually endorsed by most of the signers) were omitted. It wasn't until 1821, when the Secret Journals of Congress were published, that these entries were restored. On July 19th, the entry specifies that a formal copy of the Declaration of Independence be printed up to be "signed by every member of Congress." This signing took place on August 2nd, according to the true record of what happened in Congress (instead of the made-up version they published in the spring of 1777).

We all think we know what happened 236 years ago. We all picture Trumbull's painting as the signing of the Declaration of Independence, even though (1) it does not actually depict this event, (2) some people were present at the signing who are not in the painting, (3) the signing took place a month later, (4) the 56 signers were never actually in the same room at the same time, (5) even if they had been, only 42 of them are actually depicted, and, most importantly (6) Congress voted for independence on July 2nd, not July 4th, and New York didn't give its assent until July 19th.

Now, historical accuracy is a wonderful thing, but it leaves the open question: when should we celebrate our independence? June 28th? July 2nd? July 19th? August 2nd? Whenever the last guy finally got around to signing the document?

So, obviously, we've been rewriting our own history from the very beginning. Which means that humorous attempts to do so are as American as apple pie. Today, Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, wrote an amusing version of the Declaration of Independence for the Washington Post. His version is of "Donald Trump reading the Declaration of Independence," and it begins:

Thank you very much for coming, including the members of the horrible Fake News Media, to this tradition that I have started, another beautiful first for this administration, the reading of the very famous and well-known Declaration of Independence, one of the greatest declarations in the history of the world. Here we go:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one group of people to dissolve the political bands -- really, bands? Is it "bands" or "bonds"? Who knows? -- which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God, and our God, too, our wonderful and very Christian God, entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. That was a long sentence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, so much happiness, such tremendous amounts of happiness, we are doing so well with the happiness, aren't we? -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, I, too, received the greatest consent of the governed, the most consent of any president in a long time, despite the unfair electoral college being rigged against a Republican.

There's a lot of stuff on "Prudence" here that I'm skipping because prudence is what got this country into trouble in the first place. We need to be bold!

As I said, this is amusing, but leaves too much of the original intact. For those who have forgotten, here is how the real McCoy starts:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The funniest rewrite of our foundational document, however, comes from H. L. Mencken, from 1921. He "translates" the Declaration into "American," or the vernacular of the day. Here's how his version begins:

When things get so balled up that the people of a country got to cut loose from some other country, and go it on their own hook, without asking no permission from nobody, excepting maybe God Almighty, then they ought to let everybody know why they done it, so that everybody can see they are not trying to put nothing over on nobody.

All we got to say on this proposition is this: first, me and you is as good as anybody else, and maybe a damn sight better; second, nobody ain't got no right to take away none of our rights; third, every man has got a right to live, to come and go as he pleases, and to have a good time whichever way he likes, so long as he don't interfere with nobody else. That any government that don't give a man them rights ain't worth a damn; also, people ought to choose the kind of government they want themselves, and nobody else ought to have no say in the matter. That whenever any government don't do this, then the people have got a right to give it the bum's rush and put in one that will take care of their interests.

Now, what I'd give money to see is Trump reading Mencken's version, because I really believe Trump would be much more comfortable with this language than the high-flown text of the original. But I do have to warn anyone who wants to read the full text of Mencken's version that this was intentionally-rough 1920s vernacular, so it contains casual terms which are highly racist, anti-Semitic, or otherwise ethnically offensive. You have been warned. But for those with the stomach to plow through such language, it's still a pretty funny read.

Tomorrow, I'll be running a previous column with my own rewrite of the preamble of the Declaration of Independence (because it sure beats writing a new column on a holiday), which is nothing short of what the Founders doubtlessly would have written, if they had had a lot more paper to work with. There's something to be said about freedom of the press when an extra page or so of pixels costs nothing, in other words.

In any case, I certainly hope everyone has a happy Independence Day tomorrow, no matter which version of history you care to believe in. The barbecue and fireworks wouldn't be any more nor less satisfying than if we had all agreed to celebrate yesterday, after all. So go out there and have a happy Fourth of July, everyone!

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

58 Comments on “Rewriting History”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    So, obviously, we've been rewriting our own history from the very beginning. Which means that humorous attempts to do so are as American as apple pie.

    apple pie is most likely english, or perhaps dutch. there were apple pie recipes published in england over a hundred years before columbus.

    JL

  2. [2] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    If you can get through the Jimmy Dore preamble, this clip has a message from Dylan Ratigan that is topically relevant.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRVeh18P5fI

    You may recall, Ratigan was fired by MSNBC for speaking the truth about financial fraud on Wall Street.

    A

  3. [3] 
    neilm wrote:

    Reminds me of Damon Runyon. Loved the "Runyon Omnibus" as a kid.

    45 is a bit of a Runyon character in many ways - the brash New Yorker, the built in tragedy, and the crazy storyline - although even Runyon wouldn't have written a story about Harry the Horse becoming President - nobody would have believed that one!

  4. [4] 
    michale wrote:

    Always love yer history lessons, CW... :D

  5. [5] 
    michale wrote:

    IS AMERICA STILL A NATION?
    Pat Buchanan: 'Are we passing on the house we inherited – or observing its demolition?'

    http://www.wnd.com/2017/07/is-america-still-a-nation/

    VERY good read....

  6. [6] 
    michale wrote:

    Happy 4th to all...

    First 4th I plan on enjoying immensely in a LONG time! :D

  7. [7] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Now would be a good time to consider declaring independence from the Big Money Democrats and Republicans.

  8. [8] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Happy fourth of July to all.
    I will be spending the day as I always do- looking for a woman named Dependence.

  9. [9] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Altohone (2)-
    Watched your clip after posting comment 7.
    Considering how annoying Jimmy Dore seemed in the first clip I saw that you posted, I am starting to get used to him. Once you get past him and can listen to what he is saying it's not too bad.

  10. [10] 
    altohone wrote:

    Don
    9

    Yeah.
    Sorry about that :)

    The content really is what makes him palatable.

    He did two recent clips interviewing Tim Canova who is running again to replace Debbie Wasserman Shultz that are worth checking out.

    But his takedown of Chuck Schumer's recent announcement on This Week that Democrats need an economic plan is spot on, and even occasionally funny.

    Chuck Schumer Admits Bernie Was Right

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QOU6e7M_jc

    Democrats really are in a hole and still digging.

    A

  11. [11] 
    michale wrote:

    Happy fourth of July to all.
    I will be spending the day as I always do- looking for a woman named Dependence.

    Heh :D

  12. [12] 
    michale wrote:

    Chuck Schumer Admits Bernie Was Right

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QOU6e7M_jc

    Democrats really are in a hole and still digging.

    I have been saying that for a year now...

  13. [13] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Thanks CW for a great 4th of July column. How nice it is to remember a time when a political platform could rest on 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' - not that each of those elements wouldn't be hotly debated today. Hell, I remember reading once that 'the pursuit of happiness' was even decried then as being too pro-hedonism. And everyone knows that a section about King George's role in the slave trade was taken out for being overly critical of human trafficking.

    Such lapses wouldn't survive one of today's news cycles, certainly. heh.

  14. [14] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Al [10] and Michale [12]: actually scary how much you guys are echoing each other nowadays.

    Watched that Jimmie Dore segment. There's 24 minutes I'll never get back (and why I don't take political advice from lounge comics). Then I went to the transcript of Schumer's appearance, and....nope, he never said "Bernie was right". Not once. He did say that he was listening to both the left and right wings of the party (in the form of Sanders and Joe Manchin), which Dore was quick to dismiss - can't have a party leader listen to his whole party now, can you?

    I did like the part where the ginger guy suggests that all Schumer 'needs to do' is listen to Bernie Sanders (Sanders, you recall, couldn't even get a majority of Democrats to support him over Hillary).

    And NOT, by the way, listen to virtually any other Democrat: Dore has previously attacked MSNBC hosts, Corey Booker, even (the far better comedian) Al Franken. Nope. Only unaffiliated (and apparently, unelectable) liberals need apply.

    Like I said, 24 minutes wasted. poof!

  15. [15] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale [5],

    IS AMERICA STILL A NATION?
    Pat Buchanan: 'Are we passing on the house we inherited – or observing its demolition?'
    http://www.wnd.com/2017/07/is-america-still-a-nation/

    VERY good read....

    Very good read...if you need a good heaping helping of fear-mongering & bigotry, sprinkled with xenophobia.


    Among the issues on which we Americans are at war with one another – abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, white cops, black crime, Confederate monuments, LGBT rights, affirmative action.

    Did ya notice which group is listed three separate times? I feel so special!!! Anyone else think Buchanan's "war" with homosexuality is his own attempt to hide the truth?

    He to John Jay's words in Federalist No. 2

    In the first line of the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson speaks of “one people.” The Constitution, agreed upon by the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia in 1789, begins, “We the people …”

    And who were these “people”?

    In Federalist No. 2, John Jay writes of them as “one united people … descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs. …

    John Jay was many things, but a sociologist he clearly WAS NOT!

    The colonies were not a monolith. Not everyone came from the same country, not everyone spoke English, and not everyone went to the same church! Buchanan is being dishonest because he is not an idiot. If Buchanan wants to focus on statements that were meant to be more symbolic than literal, to mislead the uneducated so that they are afraid of their own shadows, that's on him.

  16. [16] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    14

    Way to miss the obvious about the title.
    Hint- It wasn't a quote.

    And Dore didn't "dismiss" Schumer listening to Manchin, he mocked it mercilessly, and justifiably.

    I'm not the least bit surprised you prefer that Schumer listen to Booker and Manchin, who voted with pharma coddling Republicans to block cheaper imported drugs from Canada.
    Do you think you're scoring points for bashing a comedian for doing what our radical lefty host CW did in these pages?
    Have you forgotten he gave them a MDDOTW award for that exact thing?
    Why listen to the voters when you can put the interests of lobbyists first right?

    You sure got me with that Bernie bit though... with him only getting 46% of Dems supporting him despite starting with near zero national name recognition and Hillary having a 60 point lead, with Bernie facing a massive smear campaign, and facing DNC election rigging efforts for which the chairwoman and four others lost their jobs... all while making Bernie the most popular politician in the country.

    DNC lawyers are now arguing in court they are legally entitled to cheat, but you will support the corrupt status quo and point to their "win" as proof of something.
    Better to lose to Republicans than win with a progressive right?

    Did you catch that the last two were the two worst fundraising months for the DNC since the beginning of the Iraq war?

    Why do you think that is?
    Could it be that the Democratic base is unhappy with their "leaders"?
    Are you out of touch with your own party?

    A

  17. [17] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey gang

    Minneapolis just passed a $15 minimum wage on Friday.

    71,000 workers will get raises phased in through 2024.

    -
    -

    Meanwhile, Republicans in Missouri just passed legislation that will overturn the minimum wage increase in St. Louis and prevent any other cities from having local control.

    Workers there will see the minimum wage cut from $10.10 per hour back to $7.70

    A

  18. [18] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    It's good to see a little bit of mock in Democracy. That's Capitol Steps' tag line, of course. Their July 4 show is pretty good, solid old-fashioned gridiron style humor. Much directed at the President, of course.

    For me, this was the best monologue style joke. A Russian is at customs entering a Baltic state.

    Agent: Name?

    Russian [in Boris Badinoff voice]: Vladimir Putin.

    Agent: Occupation?

    Putin: No, just visiting.

    Public radio station broadcast schedule and downloadable mp3 at http://www.capsteps.com/radio/

  19. [19] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, before I get to these, I just posted today's re-run column. Kinda late, sorry 'bout that...

    -CW

  20. [20] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    nypoet22 [1] -

    My favorite bit of fake US history: Johnny Appleseed existed, but if he really did what he is purported to have done, he was doing it for a very different reason.

    Apples that people eat are almost all grown on grafted trees. This is not new technology -- it was also the way eating apples were grown when Appleseed was around. You just can't be sure they're going to be tasty enough by planting seeds -- the flavor varies widely, and many are not really all that edible.

    But there's one use of apples where it doesn't really matter...

    Frontiersmen (and frontierswomen) used alcohol as barter, for centuries. Look into the reasons behind the Whiskey Rebellion for proof.

    But whiskey (or simple corn squeezins) is relatively tough to make. Requires lots of copper tubing, and knowledge of distilling.

    However, there's an easier way. Hard cider. All you need is an apple tree, a cider press, a jug, and some time for fermentation. Viola! Hard cider.

    And the apples you use don't have to be all that edible or tasty.

    Kinda puts Johnny Appleseed (seeded apple trees were just fine for hard cider) in a different light, eh?

    :-)

    -CW

  21. [21] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    michale [5] -

    Just had to say, I still miss The McLaughlin Group. Pat Buchanan is an absolute Nazi on domestic policy, but on foreign policy I often found myself agreeing with him...

    -CW

  22. [22] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Don Harris [8] -

    If we're going to get all fifth-grade-humor, how about (from the mid-1980s, obviously):

    Q: What's Prince Charles' favorite US state?
    A: Indiana!

    Heh.

    -CW

  23. [23] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, here's the perfect mashup of my last few comments, for anyone in the mood for juvenile humor (and cider):

    http://tinyurl.com/y7cx3rzs

    :-)

    -CW

  24. [24] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LeaningBlue [18] -

    OK, now THAT was funny!

    Heh...

    -CW

  25. [25] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @cw,

    when i was a teenager i wanted to try to brew hard cider, but a decent cider press was really expensive, so my granddad decided to steer me toward brewing beer. little did he know, the love affair that would blossom... (sing along if you know the words)

    https://youtu.be/6amlgpzMM58

    alas, until the craft brewing craze of the last decade or so, american beer tradition has ranged from mediocre to downright undrinkable. so, i hope everyone broke with tradition and had a high quality brew with their 4th of july bbq.

    JL

  26. [26] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Al [16]: Sorry about the long post, but you're just begging for a point-by-point rebuttal:

    Way to miss the obvious about the title.
    Hint- It wasn't a quote.

    D'ya think I missed that? Fact is, the whole premise is fallacious, though a good attempt at spin.

    And Dore didn't "dismiss" Schumer listening to Manchin, he mocked it mercilessly, and justifiably.

    Oh, yeah, God forbid that Manchin's West Virginian voters should be listened to any more than Bernie's Vermont voters.

    So let me tell you why Chuck might do that. Next year's midterms don't look great for Democrats on paper: the GOP will be defending just eight seats, while Democrats will have to fight for 23 — plus the two held by independents who caucus with Democrats. To take back the Senate, Democrats will not only have to pick up four previously Republican seats, but hold on to every seat they currently hold. Senators from blue states don't look like they're in any significant danger, but eleven (almost half) are from states that Trump won.

    So Schumer has no choice but to listen to Manchin, and also Heitkamp of N. Dakota, Donnely of Indiana, McCaskill of Missouri, Tester of Montana, and Balwin of Wisconsin. You're dreaming if you think any of those folks want the party to take a hard left right now, and it doesn't make any sense to put them in unnecessary political jeopardy, either.

    I'm not the least bit surprised you prefer that Schumer listen to Booker and Manchin, who voted with pharma coddling Republicans to block cheaper imported drugs from Canada.

    Of course, there's more to that story. According to Politifact (Jan 18, 2017), you're probably referring to a vote taken Jan. 11, in which 13 Democratic Senators voted against a bill that, in addition to bunches of things completely unrelated to pharma, would have encouraged importation of drugs from Canada.

    Thing is, says Politifact:

    "The vote was more symbolic than substantive. It was an amendment to a Senate budget resolution, which is a non-binding measure that doesn’t get signed by the president or become law. Rather, they set a framework for committee chairs to work within when deciding how to spend money."

    "Simply put, if adopted by the Senate, the amendment would not have required the United States to begin importing drugs from Canada -- period, full stop," said Jeff Giertz, communications director for Booker.

    Then, all 13 Dems who had voted against that bill voted for an alternative bill (S.Amdt.188 to S.Con.Res.3) that would have also recommended the importation of drugs from Canada, but under different rules. That amendment also lost, anyway.

    So 'big Pharma' had an 'eh' afternoon that day. Would have won those meaningless votes with or without the Democrats.

    Makes a nice meme, though, to blame Democrats for something that sounds sinister.

    Do you think you're scoring points for bashing a comedian for doing what our radical lefty host CW did in these pages? Have you forgotten he gave them a MDDOTW award for that exact thing?

    I don't always agree with Chris, although I do agree with him a lot - most of the time. I imagine he doesn't mind that.

    You sure got me with that Bernie bit though... with him only getting 46% of Dems supporting him despite starting with near zero national name recognition.

    You're overselling. Bernie was a known and liked Senator when he first announced. You seem to forget that liberal insurgent candidacies are familiar in Democratic politics - Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown, for instance, also launched insurgent candidacies that went all the way to the convention. It happens.

    Did you catch that the last two were the two worst fundraising months for the DNC since the beginning of the Iraq war?

    Financial prowess, like sexual prowess, depends, apparently on who you ask:

    Trump serves as rocket fuel for Democratic fundraising - POLITICO

    AHCA vote leads to Democratic fundraising score - Business Insider

    Democrats fail to cash in on Trump troubles, GOP coffers overflowing - Fox News

    Republicans outpace Democrats in party fundraising - USA Today

    House Dems Smash Fundraising Records Ahead of Midterms - NBC News

    Could it be that the Democratic base is unhappy with their "leaders"?

    Or is the left simply asserting itself as the answer, as it often does following a Democratic electoral loss? When the far left can demonstrate that it can win seats outside of liberal enclaves, I'm sure that party leadership would be happy and eager to pay more attention to them. Until then, we've go a midterm election to win.

  27. [27] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Aaarggghhh! I hate screwing up code!

  28. [28] 
    michale wrote:

    Minneapolis just passed a $15 minimum wage on Friday.

    71,000 workers will get raises phased in through 2024.

    And, if it's like Seattle, those SAME workers will lose about $125 a month BECAUSE of the "raise"....

    Who could have POSSIBLY predicted this would happen!!??

    Oh... Wait....

  29. [29] 
    michale wrote:

    Or is the left simply asserting itself as the answer, as it often does following a Democratic electoral loss? When the far left can demonstrate that it can win seats outside of liberal enclaves, I'm sure that party leadership would be happy and eager to pay more attention to them. Until then, we've go a midterm election to win.

    TRANSLATION:
    Know your place, stoopid people!! :D

    I love blue on blue wars.. :D

  30. [30] 
    michale wrote:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4661406/PIERS-MORGAN-Trump-press-winning-fight.html

    The Left Wing and their MSM lapdogs are so easily manipulated...

  31. [31] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    [30] Piers Morgan on Controversy. Sorta like Dennis Hastert on Coaching.

  32. [32] 
    michale wrote:

    [30] Piers Morgan on Controversy. Sorta like Dennis Hastert on Coaching.

    Can't refute the message so attack the messenger..

    CHECK...

  33. [33] 
    michale wrote:

    Which is ESPECIALLY funny because Morgan's point is the EXACT same point that CW made just last week...

    You just CAN'T admit that the Left Wingery is getting played...

  34. [34] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    26

    "D'ya think I missed that? Fact is, the whole premise is fallacious..."

    Sure Hillary... you looked up and linked to the transcript to "prove" he didn't say "Bernie was right", and then added the "not once" emphasis because you were completely on the ball.
    Is lying to yourself convincing?
    It's not working for me.
    And, no, it's not remotely fallacious... Bernie's whole campaign was about an economic agenda to help average Americans.
    What premise are you arguing?

    "God forbid that Manchin's West Virginian voters should be listened to any more than Bernie's Vermont voters"
    "So Schumer has no choice but to listen to Manchin, and also Heitkamp of N. Dakota, Donnely of Indiana, McCaskill of Missouri, Tester of Montana, and Balwin of Wisconsin. You're dreaming if you think any of those folks want the party to take a hard left right now, and it doesn't make any sense to put them in unnecessary political jeopardy, either"

    First of all, only a right wing neoliberal would falsely call policies that favor the working class "hard left".
    Second, Bernie won all of the states you listed handedly, except Missouri... which he lost by 0.2 points. The Democrats in those states seem to prefer his economic agenda... and significantly, independents do too.

    The notion that right wing, Wall Street coddling neoliberals running Republican-lite campaigns are necessary to win in those states is dubious at best.

    As for your excuses about corporate Dems voting with Republicans, let's take Corey Booker as a test case.
    He recently announced that he would "pause" his fundraising from Big Pharma due to the massive wave of criticism he faced for that "symbolic" vote with Republicans.
    Why?
    Because Democrats are furious about that bullspit, and he wants to be reelected.
    Of course, he was lambasted for the pathetically weak "pause" announcement too, but even he can see the writing on the wall.
    Why can't you?

    "I don't always agree with Chris"

    Nor do you recognize you are out of step with the majority of Democrats it seems... or care about the consequences for pushing policies that hurt Dems.
    But you were still bashing a comedian for agreeing with CW as if his position was radical, when it's obviously not.

    "You're overselling. Bernie was a known and liked Senator when he first announced."

    False.
    His name recognition in many states, particularly in the south, was extremely low.
    You really should stop talking out of your rear.

    "democratic fundraising" is not DNC fundraising genius.
    Nice straw man attempt though.
    All that effort and you couldn't even look up the number under discussion... or did you, and you just couldn't bear admitting I was right?

    "When the far left can demonstrate that it can win seats outside of liberal enclaves, I'm sure that party leadership would be happy and eager to pay more attention to them."

    Right wing corporatist Dems have yet to demonstrate they can stop losing, and the party refusing to provide comparable support to progressive candidates does help create a self-fulfilling prophecy. But you are either lying or ignorant with that "happy and eager" bit. The corporate Democrats who control the party have made it abundantly clear they are not eager to embrace real progressives.

    And again, your mischaracterization of FDR type policies as "far left" is dishonest.
    But see above for the reality about the vital states in contention. People like you clinging to a fantasy is what is hurting Dems.

    "Until then, we've go a midterm election to win."

    You got a mouse in your pocket?

    A

  35. [35] 
    altohone wrote:

    28

    Pure fiction.

    A

  36. [36] 
    michale wrote:

    Right wing corporatist Dems have yet to demonstrate they can stop losing, and the party refusing to provide comparable support to progressive candidates does help create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    He's got a point, Balthy...

    Democrats have continued to lose since 2010...

    The problem is that Democrats have put all their eggs in the Identity Politics basket and simply CANNOT put any Middle Class Working Americans in that same basket. They are simply NOT compatible.

    I know, I know, the Party hopes that EVENTUALLY minorities will outnumber everyone else and THEN, so the thinking goes, Democrat Party will be in like Flynn...

    The problem with that line of reasoning is that the vast majority of legal minority voters ARE Middle Class Americans before they are black or brown or yellow or whatever...

    And, the facts clearly show that THOSE voters are not basing their vote on who caters to their ethnicity but rather who caters to their economic well-being..

    And THAT is CLEARLY not the Democrat Party...

    In short, the Democrat Party needs to jettison Identity Politics or they will never win another meaningful election...

  37. [37] 
    michale wrote:

    28

    Pure fiction.

    A

    Yea??

    A ‘very credible’ new study on Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has bad news for liberals

    When Seattle officials voted three years ago to incrementally boost the city's minimum wage up to $15 an hour, they'd hoped to improve the lives of low-income workers. Yet according to a major new study that could force economists to reassess past research on the issue, the hike has had the opposite effect.

    The city is gradually increasing the hourly minimum to $15 over several years. Already, though, some employers have not been able to afford the increased minimums. They've cut their payrolls, putting off new hiring, reducing hours or letting their workers go, the study found.

    The costs to low-wage workers in Seattle outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one, according to the study, conducted by a group of economists at the University of Washington who were commissioned by the city. The study, published as a working paper Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, has not yet been peer reviewed.

    On the whole, the study estimates, the average low-wage worker in the city lost $125 a month because of the hike in the minimum.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/26/new-study-casts-doubt-on-whether-a-15-minimum-wage-really-helps-workers/?utm_term=.294c58515cb7

    The *FACTS* say otherwise..

    You remember FACTS, right??

    I know, I know... You don't have much use for them...

    But that doesn't make them any less factual...

  38. [38] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW (22)-
    What is Popeye's favorite town in New Jersey?
    Mount Olive.

  39. [39] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthasar-
    "When the far left can demonstrate it can win seats outside the liberal enclaves, I'm sure that party leadership would be happy and eager to pay more attention to them. Until then we have a midterm election to win."
    Just because people don't think that the candidates they vote for don't want candidates that represent the Big Money Party instead of average citizens doesn't make them far left. In fact, it makes them mainstream. 80% of citizens want the Big Money out of politics- including a majority of Republicans.
    Not everyone that supported Bernie was far left. After all, didn't some of them end up voting for Trump?
    You are in the right ballpark about how the party leadership will ignore the mainstream citizens that you call the far left.
    But we don't have to prove we can win. They can't win without us so we have to let them know that they must listen to us first or we will not only not vote for them we will in fact vote against them (see http://www.onedemand.org).
    Good luck winning the midterm elections without us.
    Keep on with Trump, Trump, Trump and distraction issues like the healthcare debate.
    That strategy has been 100% successful recently.
    As long as the debate on issues such as healthcare are being defined by the Big Money Party all that will result is false solutions that only pretend to solve the problem and benefit the Big Money Party contributors (see Obamacare).
    Until people like CW stop with the Trump tweets and distraction issues and focus on fixing the system it won't matter if the Democrats win or lose because they still won't represent us.

  40. [40] 
    michale wrote:

    Balthy,

    "When the far left can demonstrate it can win seats outside the liberal enclaves, I'm sure that party leadership would be happy and eager to pay more attention to them. Until then we have a midterm election to win."

    This, coming from the guy who claims that NOT-45's win in the LIBERALIST of "liberal enclaves" actually has some meaning..

    Either wins in a "liberal enclave" means something??

    or it doesn't...

    Which is it???

  41. [41] 
    michale wrote:

    CNN is under fire for threatening to identify the creator of the Trump wrestling video
    https://www.circa.com/story/2017/07/05/politics/cnnblackmail-network-threatens-to-identify-hanassholesolo

    Typical Leftist media.. :^/

  42. [42] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Bernie won all of the states you listed handedly, except Missouri... which he lost by 0.2 points. The Democrats in those states seem to prefer his economic agenda... and significantly, independents do too. The notion that right wing, Wall Street coddling neoliberals running Republican-lite campaigns are necessary to win in those states is dubious at best.

    There's a great way to test that theory built right into every contest: put candidates up against those sitting Senators in primaries. I'm sure that Manchin, McCaskill or Tester would welcome a challenger from the left in the primaries, which would help them position themselves as centrists in the General.

  43. [43] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    The corporate Democrats who control the party have made it abundantly clear they are not eager to embrace real progressives.

    Ask Elizabeth Warren if that's true.

  44. [44] 
    michale wrote:

    Balthy,

    Do you see the inherent illogic and irrationality of your argument??

    On the one hand, you deride and ridicule Left Wing candidates who can only win in "liberal enclaves"..

    Yet you hysterically tout NOT-45's win in the LIBERALIST of liberal enclaves as the ONLY thing that has meaning in the 2016 Presidential election..

    In other words, you are talking out both sides of your ass, depending on which argument you want to make...

    Kinda detracts from the credibility of EITHER argument, don'tcha think?? :D

    I'm just sayin...

  45. [45] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Ask Elizabeth Warren if that's true.

    ask her in public on the record, and she'll put out all the big tent inclusivity spin that lefties are known for. ask her in private off the record, and my money says she sheepishly acknowledges that the party gears treat real libs like the third wheel.

    JL

  46. [46] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Don [39]: we don't have to prove we can win. They can't win without us so we have to let them know that they must listen to us first or we will not only not vote for them we will in fact vote against them. Good luck winning the midterm elections without us.

    Until people like CW stop with the Trump tweets and distraction issues and focus on fixing the system it won't matter if the Democrats win or lose because they still won't represent us.

    But it isn't about YOU, it's about those poor folks at bus stops in the early morning cold, who would have to suffer Republican policies for another couple of years because of your perception that Dems weren't 'listening' hard enough to you.

    No difference between the parties? Tell that to the black or hispanic mother of three who is right now watching the news and contemplating losing her Medicaid, food stamps, minimum wage hike, and local not-for-profit school, among other things. I'd bet she's not worried about ideological purity.

  47. [47] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @balthasar,

    the issue isn't ideology, it's legalized corruption. yes, there's a difference between the two parties, but let's face it, people like don tend to vote their interests pretty narrowly, and won't be swayed by appeals to any "bigger picture."

    also, that last paragraph injected ethnicity where it wasn't necessary. cuts to healthcare, food stamps, minimum wage and public schools will adversely affect non-wealthy people of all ethnic backgrounds.

    JL

  48. [48] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    M [44]: I was working my way back to you.

    Do you see the inherent illogic and irrationality of your argument?? On the one hand, you deride and ridicule Left Wing candidates who can only win in "liberal enclaves".

    To the contrary: many of those liberals are among my favorites. I'm rather questioning the premise that a Bernie-style liberal could win, say, Montana more handily than Tester, who has built a level of trust among his constituents by staying closer to the center. The problem with 'purity' tests is that they're not very location-specific. And politics is very location specific, as you know.

    Yet you hysterically tout NOT-45's win in the LIBERALIST of liberal enclaves as the ONLY thing that has meaning in the 2016 Presidential election..

    You mean that she won in California, which has the 6th (or 7th) largest economy in the world? Yeah, that matters too.

    Y'see, in the end, at the national level, whether on Trump's or Schumer's end, you have represent ALL of the people in your party, and ultimately in the whole country, not just your own narrow constituency. Extremists at both ends would prefer that their parties focus on THEIR concerns, not only because its their comfort zone, but also because reaching compromise with the 'enemy' is akin to betrayal in their minds. And because, despite their best efforts to the contrary, this system isn't parliamentary, and that just locks everything up. And that's what Americans are really angry about.

    So yeah, I'll take hits from both sides, because the 'squishy' center is where the action is, and the alternative is inaction, or extremism in either direction. The people I talk to outside this forum don't give a shit about ideology, they just want someone to improve their lives without disrupting them all to hell.

  49. [49] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    NYP [47]: I agree with you on all points, including the unnecessary ethnic reference.

  50. [50] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Damn..hit 'send' too soon.

    So, to continue [re 47]: But even as the issue of institutionalized corruption (for instance, the continuing fallout of the 'Citizen's United' ruling) gets ignored by a hamstrung and timid legislature, our rapid ideological balkanization, which has sent so many into hilariously sycophantic 'safe zones' on Reddit, also needs to be a part of our dialogue, because the latter has a HUGE effect on the former, and extremism isn't usually the path to meaningful (or mutual) anti-corruption policy.

    For the record, I'm glad that there's a wide variety of opinion here. That keeps me coming back. Could use a little more diversity on the right, tho...

  51. [51] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthasar, Nypoet-
    Actually, it is the bigger picture that does concern me. Supporting and even electing the Big Money Democrats hasn't helped the people you mentioned much, if at all.
    That is why the people you mentioned are suffering NOW and why it will get worse.
    IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PURITY. It is about acceptability.
    Never said the parties were the same. But Big Money candidates and legislators are not acceptable whether they are Democrat ,Republican, third party or independent because they listen to the people that finance them- and that's not us.
    This is the same as demanding that candidates support any other issue, with the exception that this issue effects all other issues and no matter what the candidates promise they will not do what is needed on the other issues until they represent us instead of the Big Money interests.
    This election is too important to wait any longer to demand better.
    People are fed up with the excuse that we can't demand better now because this election is too important to implement change now and more and more people no longer believe it. Too many broken promises that never materialized.

  52. [52] 
    altohone wrote:

    nypoet
    45

    My feelings exactly.
    I'd put money on it.

    That said Elizabeth Warren wouldn't endorse Bernie, and she isn't as far left on the economic issues.
    Hard to tell if that's catering to her electorate or personal ideology.

    I appreciate your comments thereafter as well.

    A

  53. [53] 
    altohone wrote:

    37

    First, you're citing the Washington Post?
    Have a little self respect.

    Second, when a study needs to be called "very credible", there's usually a problem.

    That study was torn to shreds by another study, and don't forget, the people like the Washington Post pushing it have some credibility issues... even when they briefly serve your agenda.

    I'm not holding my breath... but the Big Money controlling both parties is lying to you about the minimum wage... not for valid economic/job growth reasons, but in order to maintain their personal profits... as an independent, I hope you question their claims and look into the issue thoroughly some day.
    Just to put it into terms you may embrace, adjusted for inflation, the majority of white men haven't seen an increase in their incomes since 1972 despite the steady increases in productivity.
    All the gains are going to the top, and it is their economic policies that are chiefly responsible, not illegal immigrants, homosexuals or minorities.

    A

  54. [54] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    42

    Manchin has a primary challenger... not sure about the rest yet.

    But that "great way to test it" hinges on neutrality from the DNC and the establishment, and they are anything but neutral. They put their thumb on the scale. And they aren't just helping their preferred candidates, they're attacking challengers with slimy tactics.

    When Tim Canova challenged Debbie Wasserman Shultz, not only did millions pour in from the establishment for her, Hillary, Obama, Biden and numerous other figures in the establishment rallied to protect her... the woman who lost her job running the DNC for valid reasons.

    But it's not just incumbents.
    Progressive candidates running for open seats face the same corrupt dynamic.
    Right wing corporatist Dems want their ideology to keep prevailing, and don't play fair... it is not "let the one with the best ideas win". It is not "let's do what's best for the party" either... it's "let's do what's best for right wing corporatist Dems and their donors".

    That mentality, which was glaringly on display in the presidential primaries as well, is hurting Dems and preventing them from embracing needed changes.

    A

  55. [55] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    [50] - Could use a little more diversity on the right, tho...

    Diversity on the right will come. There's an interesting and telling discussion arising from a broader article in The New Yorker, named "America's Future Is Texas." (The links can all be found here: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/07/05/lawrence-wright-straus-bathroom-bill-comment/ ).

    Over the trans-gender bathroom bill, the state Administration presented the Speaker of the House with legally crafted legislative language spelling out the limits of how far they would go. The Speaker's reply:

    "I’m not a lawyer, but I am a Texan," Straus said. "I’m disgusted by all this. Tell the lieutenant governor I don’t want the suicide of a single Texan on my hands."

    Could it be that a practicing Christian was moved by testimony during the debate? There's little doubt that the wizards in the Echo Chamber could have produced counter-claims and -studies by nightfall to provide cover for the partisans in Austin or Washington. Safe under the cacophony of fraudulent defense, many seem to feel free to do the right thing for the agenda, even if truly and broadly immoral, and contrary to Christian teachings and common decency. Many do so, but not all. Fewer do so, in ones and twos, all the time.

    At least for now, on this, count Republican Speaker Joe Straus among the decent.

  56. [56] 
    michale wrote:

    Alty,

    First, you're citing the Washington Post?
    Have a little self respect.

    Of course... That eliminates an avenue of argument that you Left Winers love to use..

    I think JL calls it Ad Homeniem Fallacy Bigus Dorkus or some such thing like that.. :D

    Second, when a study needs to be called "very credible", there's usually a problem.

    So, we can ignore all the "very credible" global warming studies, then right?? :D

    That study was torn to shreds by another study, and don't forget, the people like the Washington Post pushing it have some credibility issues... even when they briefly serve your agenda.

    Actually, the study that disputed this newer study had a much more limited group than the new study..

    Face the facts, sunshine..

    If you force small business owners to pay more for the same work, hourly workers are going to get fired..

    It's that simple.. :D

  57. [57] 
    michale wrote:

    [50] - Could use a little more diversity on the right, tho...

    Considering what happens to people who even THINK about advocating a position that is not Left Wing solid, do ya'all really WONDER why there aren't more presenting a counter opinion???

  58. [58] 
    michale wrote:

    Manchin has a primary challenger...

    Cite???

Comments for this article are closed.