ChrisWeigant.com

Tired Of All The Whining

[ Posted Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 – 16:52 UTC ]

Maybe we all just misheard him. Maybe it was his outer-borough accent. Maybe what candidate Donald Trump really said was:

We're going to whine. We're going to whine so much. We're going to whine at trade, we're going to whine at the border. We're going to whine so much, you're going to be so sick and tired of whining, you're going to come to me and go: "Please, please, we can't whine anymore." You've heard this one. You'll say: "Please, Mr. President, we beg you, sir, we don't want to whine anymore. It's too much. It's not fair to everybody else." And I'm going to say: "I'm sorry, but we're going to keep whining, whining, whining."

It's certainly plausible. After all the debate surrounding whether Trump is saying "bigly" or "big league," the possibility that he really made a promise to whine so much we'd all get tired of it isn't so far-fetched. If true, it certainly has to be counted among the campaign promises that President Trump has kept. Because while listening to Trump's Arizona speech last night, I have to admit I was indeed tired of all the whining.

I must admit that I only tasted Trump's whine. I did not guzzle it in full from the cardboard box. I made it through his speech up to the point where Trump hinted that Joe Arpaio would be pardoned, and then all the whining was giving me such a headache that I had to turn it off.

Trump, according to Trump, is the most put-upon president America has ever had. Everyone is mean to him, and nobody kisses his ass nearly as much as it deserves to be kissed. Because of this sad state of affairs, Trump must whine. And whine and whine and whine. He doesn't even serve up cheese and crackers; it's just all whine, all the time.

The biggest bunch of meanies that deserved some vintage presidential whine last night was, as always, the media. They have the effrontery to repeat back the words that come out of Trump's mouth verbatim, after all. This includes all the things Trump says that he later deems inconvenient and therefore didn't actually happen. Poor, poor, put-upon Trump!

Decades ago, the Republican Party used to sneer at Democrats' reliance on the politics of being a victim. Minorities and other oppressed groups complained about their status, and this equated to "playing the victim card" or "victimology." Staunch Republicans believed (so they told themselves) in the Horatio Alger nature of America -- that everyone can just pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and if you weren't a success it was solely because you weren't trying hard enough. But somewhere along the line, conservatives began adopting the victim stance as well. Conservatives complained that they were being shut out of academia, and their cries sounded a whole lot like demands for some sort of bygone quota system for hiring known conservatives at elite universities.

Trump is, of course, the ultimate practitioner of victimology. It's not the people the cops are shooting, it is in fact the police who are the real victims. Any news story that doesn't openly praise Trump is either unfair or flat-out fake news. Trump will shame all the CEOs into moving all their factories back to America, even while Trump-branded products are still being made in China. And, of course, the white man is the ultimate victim in today's America, because the deck is stacked so severely against him.

Historically, populism has almost always had a large amount of victimhood contained within it. Over a century ago, when populism really began being a political force, it almost always had a large streak of anti-immigrant feeling. The immigrant groups were different back then, but the sentiment was exactly the same: "They're taking our jobs!" That language never seems to change, in fact. Trump is following a path that was blazed long ago.

Today, of course, the immigrant group Trump is most against is Mexicans. His answer used to be to build a border wall and force Mexico to pay for it. But the standard: "Who is going to pay for the wall? MEXICO!!!" call-and-response line was noticeably absent from Trump's speech last night. Instead, it was replaced with some whining about how Congress won't fund Trump's big, beautiful wall. Trump even threatened to throw a temper tantrum and shut the government down if Congress doesn't fork over the money. This is an open admission that Trump was lying all along about Mexico paying for the wall, but his supporters don't seem to care much. They keep right on lapping up the tasty, tasty whine emanating from Trump.

While Trump's main whine was against journalists (as usual), it seemed more bitter than before. Perhaps this is just because I haven't listened to even a portion of a Trump rally in so long, though. But Trump also saved several large helpings of whine for members of his own party.

Quite obviously, Trump was told by rational adults -- in no uncertain terms -- not to name Republican names in his speech. This is no stretch of the imagination since Trump all but admitted this during the speech, instead promising he'd be "presidential." So Arizona's GOP Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake were absent from the whine bottle's label. But Trump proved he didn't have to name them in order to crush a few sour grapes under his feet. Flake recently released a book which might as well have been titled: "Donald Trump Is A Festering Cancer On The Republican Party," but it's still pretty unusual to see a president essentially campaigning against members of his own political party.

It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out next month, when Congress -- fresh off their month-long vacation -- will be feverishly working to avoid several looming deadlines. Trump antagonizing fellow Republicans may not exactly be helpful in these upcoming legislative battles, to put it mildly.

Trump has the opportunity to score at least a few legislative wins in the budget battles. So far, he has missed virtually every opportunity for such wins, though. Trump's never been all that interested in what actual bills say, contrary to his many promises that he knew exactly the right plan to solve all of America's problems. Time after time, Trump just walks away instead of presenting his own plan. He promised he knew how to fix the healthcare system, and then didn't even offer up a draft for Congress to work on. He promised he had the answer to Afghanistan and would unveil it within 30 days, and he just this week announced a policy that is pretty much the same policy we've been following -- over 200 days after he took office. So his track record isn't exactly good for following through.

This is likely going to mean that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will be driving the legislative efforts with little or no involvement from Trump or the White House. Ryan and McConnell have their own problems with getting their caucus to agree on just about anything, so this doesn't exactly bode well for Trump chalking up big legislative wins next month either. Instead, Trump could be in for a marathon round of disappointment with Congress, once again.

This will give Trump a chance to whine even more. Losing budget battles in Congress will harvest a bumper crop of sour grapes for Trump to stomp upon for this year's vintage, in other words. Let the annual whine-making begin! Because, as he promised, even when we have gotten tired of all the whining, Trump is just going to respond: "I'm sorry, but we're going to keep whining, whining, whining."

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

52 Comments on “Tired Of All The Whining”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    We're going to whine. We're going to whine so much. We're going to whine at trade, we're going to whine at the border. We're going to whine so much...

    Perfect.

  2. [2] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    This is of course, served with lots of cheese. And lots of bread. Gotta flash lotsa bread. And Crackers, lots of them, too.

  3. [3] 
    neilm wrote:

    Whine and cheesy crackers. The state of the right wing today.

    Basically 45 is only tapping in to the hatred of the smug winners like myself whose advanced education has given us huge rewards* in the last 20 years. My friends who don't have my level of education have been pointing this out for over 15 years to me, so it isn't something that I don't know from a personal and emotional level.

    As long as we let the nasty little populists, like 45, defecate hatred as he did last night the symptoms are only going to get worse. However we need to realize that 45, like a suppurating abscess, will continually appear until we can pull everybody up instead of the lucky few.

    * http://www.budgetmodel.wharton.upenn.edu/issues/2016/2/22/education-and-income-growth

  4. [4] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    The dip has a Russian taste. Manafort?

  5. [5] 
    altohone wrote:

    Paula
    delayed response to comments 111, 112 Trump's Not So New Afghanistan

    Neoliberals and their defenders are NOT FDR Democrats... neoliberals have spent the last thirty plus years dismantling or trying to dismantle everything FDR put into place, and their ideology is antithetical to what FDR stood for.
    You spent the primaries attacking FDR Dems as the enemy and still haven't stopped. You not only enable neoliberal liars exactly the way you claim others enable the troll... you actively aid in disseminating those lies.

    Just as you don't seem to understand the nature of those you support and defend, I suspect you may not quite understand that FDR was the first and only president to refer to financiers as banksters, that he knew the damage they caused and would cause again if not controlled, that he fought for stringent regulation, the SEC, and Glass-Steagal, ushered in a 30 year period of economic growth without a financial crisis caused by fraud, decreased inequality, and used the power of the government to bail out the people instead of the banks.

    In 2008, we again witnessed the harm the banksters cause.
    Neoliberals bailed out the banksters, not the people.
    You were one of their cheerleaders.

    Some believe Mark Twain once said that it's easier to fool people than convince them they've been fooled.

    With that in mind, here are some FDR quotes.
    If you truly are an FDR Democrat, you need to consider that neoliberals have fooled you into believing that they are too. They're not.
    See if you can spot some differences.

    “For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital—all undreamed of by the fathers—the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.

    There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small business men and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. They were no more free than the worker or the farmer. Even honest and progressive-minded men of wealth, aware of their obligation to their generation, could never know just where they fitted into this dynastic scheme of things.

    It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over Government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property.”
    - FDR

    “A number of my friends who belong in these very high upper brackets have suggested to me, more in sorrow than in anger, that if I am reelected they will have to move to some other nation because of high taxes here. I shall miss them very much.”
    - FDR

    “The hours men and women worked, the wages they received, the conditions of their labor — these had passed beyond the control of the people, and were imposed by this new industrial dictatorship. The savings of the average family, the capital of the small-businessmen, the investments set aside for old age — other people’s money — these were tools which the new economic royalty used to dig itself in. Those who tilled the soil no longer reaped the rewards which were their right. The small measure of their gains was decreed by men in distant cities. Throughout the nation, opportunity was limited by monopoly. Individual initiative was crushed in the cogs of a great machine. The field open for free business was more and more restricted. Private enterprise, indeed, became too private. It became privileged enterprise, not free enterprise.”
    - FDR

    “We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out.”
    -FDR

    "No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.”
    - FDR

    “For too many of us the political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people’s property, other people’s money, other people’s labor — other people’s lives. For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness.

    Against economic tyranny such as this, the American citizen could appeal only to the organized power of government. The collapse of 1929 showed up the despotism for what it was. The election of 1932 was the people’s mandate to end it. Under that mandate it is being ended.”
    - FDR

    A

  6. [6] 
    altohone wrote:

    John M
    delayed response to comment 113 from Trump's Afghanistan Escalation

    "If it were not for very specific instructions from the Emperor on how to behave, Americans could have faced a low level insurgency against the occupation forces in Japan"

    Yes, in an alternate universe where something other than what actually happened happens, a comparison of our 70 years in Germany and Japan to the longest war in US history in Afghanistan would be apt.

    Until then you are essentially comparing war to peace, and it is stupid.
    Mentioning our continuing presence in allied countries who are not fighting us in a discussion about valid reasons to continue ongoing war in Afghanistan makes no sense.

    "My point was also, who would have foreseen that in 1945 that 70 years later that what amounted to our original occupation forces would still be in both Germany and Japan?"

    Do you seriously think Americans would have tolerated 70 years of war in those countries?
    I doubt they would have tolerated 16 just to control half the territory.
    Or are you suggesting a lack of foresight at the prospect of a war lasting that long is a good reason to test the possibility?

    ""you broke it you own it for however long it takes to fix it" is still apt also."

    Meh.
    Paying for what we broke, and using the broken pieces to justify breaking it further are vastly different.
    Apt is not the word I would use there either.

    A

  7. [7] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    [5]Neoliberals and their defenders are NOT FDR Democrats... neoliberals have spent the last thirty plus years dismantling or trying to dismantle everything FDR put into place, and their ideology is antithetical to what FDR stood for. You spent the primaries attacking FDR Dems as the enemy and still haven't stopped. You not only enable neoliberal liars exactly the way you claim others enable the troll... you actively aid in disseminating those lies.

    Really? Is this what you call Party-building? Inventing a new shade in the political rainbow, then attacking it? What possible use can such an attack have?

    And your evidence is a bunch of FDR quotes that have little relationship to the present, unless you squint your eyes and read them all as meant to be affirmations of modern leftist doctrine. Just because FDR used some of the same terms as the modern left doesn't make him the equivalent of a modern leftist. It was a different time. There was a different vocabulary.

    In fact, there were some on the left in the 1930's who viewed some of Roosevelt's New Deal programs as a prelude to fascism, particularly the National Recovery Administration (NRA), which was compared at the time to Mussolini's fascist program, touted before the war as a 'third way' between capitalism and communism (not to be confused with Clinton's 'Third Way' politics of the 1990's). But the term 'fascist' was not yet associated with jackbooted thugs in the 1930's, so even the meaning of that term is obscured by contemporary bias.

    There were other hits on FDR: his record on racial equality is spotty - he certainly did less on that account than Truman, who (re-)integrated the military and civilian government workforce. He was accused both contemporaneously and afterward for his policies regarding European Jews and Japanese-Americans, some saying that he did little to try to liberate German death camps, or even slow them down during the war.

    I get it. The modern left wants to be associated with FDR's 'new deal' and particularly with his early attacks on banking interests. But Elizabeth Warren's rhetoric, or even Bernie's is namby-pamby compared to FDR's fiery broadsides.

    But we now live in a world very different from the 1930's and 40's: Social Security and Medicare and their associated programs consume nearly half of the US budget, and Democrats are scrambling to protect what they can from budget-and-tax cutting Republicans. Newer initiatives, like the Voting Rights Act and the Consumer Protection Agency are likewise under attack. What we need right now is solidarity in the face of unprecedented Republican onslaught, much of which is still yet to come.

    What we don't need are new designations, like neo-liberal and FDR democrat, that divide our common dedication to liberal ideals into camps of 'pure' and 'not pure'. That's 'purely' and obviously self-defeating.

  8. [8] 
    neilm wrote:

    What we don't need are new designations, like neo-liberal and FDR democrat, that divide our common dedication to liberal ideals into camps of 'pure' and 'not pure'. That's 'purely' and obviously self-defeating.

    Yup. Learning opportunity here.

  9. [9] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Neilm-3

    College education. UK VS US approaches. Your opinion?

  10. [10] 
    neilm wrote:

    College education. UK VS US approaches. Your opinion?

    Firstly Scotland is different from England/Wales regarding secondary/tertiary education, I'm going to focus on the Scottish system.

    In 5th Year (Junior Year in American parlance) we take "Highers" - usually 4 to 6 exams covering English, Maths, and 2-4 others. You choose which Highers you are going to take after 4th year (Sophomore) and your selection dictates the courses you can apply for at University.

    If you want to take more Highers, or need to repeat some Highers to get better results, you can stay at secondary (High) school for one more year - 6th Year Studies (Senior year).

    Most kids who get the grades they need in 5th Year go to University.

    When you apply to university you are applying to a specific degree (major). Thus if you want to be a doctor you apply to the School of Medicine. Vets apply to Veterinary School, lawyers to the School of Law etc. Moving between schools is non trivial and unusual. Thus you limit your career choices for life at 16 (when you choose your Highers) and 17 when you specifically choose your career.

    Most degrees take 4 years, but some professional degrees like Medicine take 6 years.

    OK, now I've explained the background, let me tell you my experience. Note that my parents were wealthy so I had opportunities most kids don't have.

    After getting 6 straight "A"s in my highers in 5th year I had no idea what I wanted to do. I took some more advanced courses in 6th Year Studies, but had to choose at 18. I chose Medicine because I had no real passions (not a good move, I must add).

    After three years of Medical School I had discovered computers. I had bought and built the U.K. version of the Apple 1 and had taught myself machine code, etc and was doing some fairly advanced programming.

    I applied for a transfer to Computer Science school and had to start from the beginning again - no credits are transferable, thus I spent 7 years at University.

    My kids are going through the American system and the big advantage is the flexibility of choice in choosing a Major. On the other hand, becoming a doctor or a lawyer takes a lot longer and is far more expensive. Also only the top 6% of kids went to University in the 1980s in the U.K. (the U.K. government paid all the fees and also living costs) whereas in the U.S. today about 30%+ get a tertiary education.

    I prefer the U.S. system, but if I really wanted to be a doctor I'd have preferred the U.K. system because it is faster and cheaper.

  11. [11] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Balthasar-
    Let's give credit where credit is due. The Clintons invented the neo-liberal. I doubt Altohone even invented the term.

    "What we need right now is solidarity in the face of unprecedented Republican onslaught."

    Also nothing we haven't heard before. How do you define solidarity ?

    Are those of us that do not want to support the Big Money Democrat neo-liberals supposed to support them in the name of solidarity?

    If so, why don't the those that support the Big Money Democrat neo-liberals have to support small contribution Democratic candidates in the name of solidarity ?

    It isn't pure vs. not pure- it's acceptable vs. not acceptable.

  12. [12] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    money is certainly a part of the problem, but it's not just about the money. FDR was big money, JFK and LBJ were big money, jimmy carter was big money. it's not about hiring politicians who don't have big money supporters, it's about hiring politicians who have the balls to follow their own conscience, not the dictates of their donors. if a politician like bernie sanders or liz warren takes actions in the interests of the people, the donors will not stop giving their big money.

    money will always seek influence, if not through campaign donations or lobbying jobs, then through less direct means. the measure of a politician isn't whose money they take or don't take, it's whether donors serve their agenda or they serve the agendas of their donors.

    JL

  13. [13] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Neilm-10

    A high proportion of my grad school profs were UK expats, most influentially a gentleman from U. Edinburgh. His take on the situation was UK grads were better researchers and writers, US trained counterparts were better "on their feet" and more naturally collaborative. I think there is a lot of truth to this, but the bell shaped curves on learning styles are pretty wide.

    My own feeling is the US approach to education is industrial, UK and European educators are more like skilled craftsman. The higher up the educational food chain you go, the more the US system looks like the UK.

    I grew up in the upper middle class, both parents college educated and demanding. My school was basically like a junior college, big library, well equipped labs, small class sizes. Taxpayer funded.

    I was lucky enough to find a college with a strong work study program and emerged with a B.S. and almost no debt. I worked for a few years to pay of the debt and get a cushion, then went on to M.S. and Ph.D degree, all financed with fellowships and some entertaining knocking about the country in the summer dong paid field work (and living in a field). This was not easy to do in the '80s, it would be damn near impossible to do day. Higher ed. in the US is outrageously pricey... and a lot of the money coming in to college coffers is poorly spent on "living esthetics" and bloated admin. A year in a private college in the mid '70s could be had for the price of a (new)Ford Pinto. A year today is more like a low end Acura.

    I had one those early Apples myself. Typed my dissertation on it. Built a flight sim in assembly language.

  14. [14] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-11, NYpoet-12

    Maybe we should just draft our government officials like the ancient Athenians did.

  15. [15] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet-
    It's true that FDR,JFK and LBJ were Big Money candidates. They were also selected by a different apparatus they we have now.
    It's also true that Jimmy Carter was Big Money.
    As well as Clinton and Obama.

    Just because we haven't yet used the tools available to purge the Big Money candidates from our political process doesn't mean that we can't.
    As continuing to support the Big Money candidates has not worked all that well and has given us Trump, perhaps it's time to try something different.

    Part of the measure of a politician IS whose money they take or don't take. It is a good indicator of whose interests the politician will serve.

    "He who pays the piper calls the tune"
    -old saying

    Just because the donor offers the money doesn't mean a politician has to accept it. And Just because Big Money will continue to try to influence our political process doesn't mean we should make it easier for them by supporting their candidates.

    If we can demand that candidates support fixing Obamacare, raising the minimum wage, etc. why can't we also demand small contribution candidates ?
    Why is it acceptable to take Big Money but not acceptable to be on the wrong side of other issues?

    I'm going to need more than excuses like "money will always seek influence" before I support Big Money candidates. It happens so accept it is not good enough for me.

  16. [16] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey gang

    I'll be back later to deal with some replies...

    In the meantime, right wingers have launched another smear campaign against the left.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-41036631

    Pathetic.

    A

  17. [17] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    On a related note to both my previous comments and your article on whining, how about limiting the Trump articles to one or maybe two a week at the most. Trump's strategy, after all, has always been to distract with the daily nonsense so there is no room in the news cycle for anything else. By whining daily about Trump's daily whinings you are playing into his hands.

    Why not write about Ralph Nader's recent article "Barak Obama- What's He Waiting For?" (can be found at Common Dreams and probably Nader's blog).
    You could even include a part about how Ralph constantly "whines" about how other leaders and media ignore issues and ideas while he ignores One Demand.

    Then you could refer to my petition which is taking the advice Ralph gave in his article to start a petition to get leaders like Barak Obama to listen to ideas they have been ignoring.

    Any one here that would like to sign the petition can go to https://www.change.org/p/ralph-nader-address-one-demand-campaign-financing-approach

    You do not have to support One Demand to sign this petition.

    You could also sign the petition if you believe it should be part of the public discourse, even if you don't support it.

    You could also sign if you want to help make Ralph aware of the hypocrisy of ignoring this while complaining how others ignore his issues.

    note: I'm not saying Ralph is purposely being hypocritical. I don't even know if he has personally seen anything I sent him or if it was discarded by his screeners.

    That is the purpose of the petition to get past the screeners and why Ralph advised starting a petition.

    Any one that wants to sign for whatever reason is appreciated. Anyone that wants to do a little bit more can sign the petition through Ralph's article on the Common Dreams website.

    I posted a comment about my petition on Ralph's article. Apparently, Common Dreams puts up a "sign this petition" box when you put a petition in a comment. I assume they must keep track of people that click on this box so anyone signing the petition through this method would be extra helpful by demonstrating to Common Dreams that you at least think this issue should be discussed.

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don and Chris,

    On a related note to both my previous comments and your article on whining, how about limiting the Trump articles to one or maybe two a week at the most.

    This is a most excellent suggestion Don, and I hope Chris considers the endless possibilities inherent in it.

    Actually, I would just add that any Trump piece be restricted to analysis of his agenda and policy prescriptions as opposed to his antics. Although, I think that much of his antics are directly related to his overarching agenda and various specific policies.

    And, this sage advice applies also to the media in general - especially the 24-hour cable "news" stations - who are being played by Trump like a finely tuned violin, giving him the virtually continuous media coverage he both craves and desires as essential to his strategy of distraction and of holding onto his base.

    By the way, considering the apparent character and personality of Trump, less focus on his antics and more light shed on his agenda and policies might do more to curtail his destructive and divisive politics.

    Clearly, Trump is trying to solidify the wedge that comes between the people who support him and the media that would inform them.

  19. [19] 
    Paula wrote:

    [5] Altohone: Read Balthasar [7].

    When the ACA was being created I was furious that the Public Option was not included. I wrote many a bitter word about that here, at the time. Meanwhile, my sister, a nurse, was thrilled. And one day she told me to quit complaining and be glad at what was accomplished because it was a major step forward and would lead to better things. 2 years later I was able to get insurance through the exchanges for the first time in 15 years.

    And however imperfect and incomplete, the ACA also changed expectations such that the public now overwhelmingly wants it to be protected, and the next great thing: Universal Coverage, is actually being taken seriously instead of dismissed out-of-hand as previously.

    You are engaged in "thought-policing". You are more focused on people believing exactly what-you-believe in exactly the same way, then you are on getting things done in the real world that would support outcomes you want.

    But people can only influence others, they can't force people to change their own minds. The ACA's popularity soared when people were confronted with losing its benefits -- real world reactions to real world realities.

    What do I want re: Healthcare (as an example)? I want the ACA strengthened and some form of Public Option (Medicare/Medicaid Buy-in or whatever). While I think the very idea of Medical Insurance as a profit-maker is wrong, I'm prepared to let them wither over time versus destroying them in one move. Why? Because they employ people. It's bullshit make-work, but so is a lot of other work. But until we devise a different economic schema -- guaranteed universal incomes or whatever -- I prefer to avoid the shake-ups.

    Is that "neo-liberalism"? I don't know and I don't care.

    Now, I know all the arguments about Government run Single-Payer and I agree with them, EXCEPT there has to be an attached plan for dealing with the wholesale disruption of the (used to be 1/7th, now I'm reading 1/6th) economy if Single Payer were implemented.

    You would call me insufficiently Liberal or Progressive if I don't sign-on to Single-Payer-sans-Plan-to-handle-Disruption -- to which I reply: STFU. Give me the plan or go away.

    This is what I liked about Hillary. Everything she offered was worked out, broken down and budgeted for. What she offered, to me, was more time to figure out how to move towards better and better and better, while caring for people along the way. I am not a fan of "let everything blow up and Nirvana will naturally spring up from the ashes".

  20. [20] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Paula-
    I was also upset about the lack of a public option. And still am.

    But liking what the Big Money Democrats offer and how everything is broken down and budgeted for has never translated to the real world.

    All the evidence suggests that despite some gains such as achieved by Obamacare that overall things have not been getting better and better and better.

    The One Demand plan for removing the the Big Money politicians from our political process also starts out with small victories in 2018 and builds on those victories with each subsequent election.

    Will it cause some disruption? Yes.

    If you want to make an omelet you have to break some eggs.

    Is it blowing everything up ? No.

    While I can't speak for Altohone, I am not engaging in thought-policing. I am making my argument for what I believe, just as you are.

    As you said previously what we do is up yo us. What you do is up to you.

    But please argue your position only on the issues and stop with the unnecessary attempts to discredit those that disagree with you with belittling and untrue claims like thought-policing. It's way too much of a Republican strategy for someone that claims to be a Democrat.

  21. [21] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-17, Liz-18

    Donald Trump is the Lex Luthor of American Politics. When Lex goes on a tear in downtown Metropolis, Perry White, editor of The Daily Planet, is naturally going to devote a lot of ink to Lex, his henchman and henchwomen.

    I'm cool with that. Kittens can wait.

  22. [22] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-20

    Breaking eggs is necessary but not sufficient to make an omelet. Besides eggs and hard surface, you need, butter, salt, pepper, milk, a pan, a heat source and a lot of technique.

    Your concept and marketing remind me of Kramerica Industries.

    Prof: "I've been reviewing Darren's internship journal. Doing laundry, mending chicken wire, high tea with a Mr. Newman?"

    Kramer: "Well, it all sounds pretty glamorous, but it's business as usual at Kramerica."

    Prof: "Far as I can tell, your entire enterprise is little more than a solitary man with a messy apartment which may or may not contain a chicken."

  23. [23] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Baltasar-7 and Paula-19

    Both of you nailed it!

  24. [24] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    I am not familiar with your Kramerica reference, but the message is clear.

    You are firmly in the Paula camp of attempting to discredit those that disagree you with belittling comments. As with Republicans that employ this tactic it could mean that as with Republicans you cannot argue the issues on their merits.

    But I am still offering you the opportunity to argue on the merits.

    As you have approved of Balthasar's and Paula's comments then you must be able to define solidarity as I asked Balthasar to do in comment 11.

    Will you answer those questions or have we found the chickens? :D

  25. [25] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    By the way, despite the one guy in a messy apartment reference being a belittling comment- it is also in this case somewhat accurate (I live in a house, not an apartment).

    But just because an idea came from one person and hasn't gotten beyond that yet does not discredit the idea or the person.

    ALL ideas pretty much start that way.

    While I am not claiming to be equal to Einstein (He was probably ALMOST as smart as I am :D), if I remember correctly it took about forty years for his theory of relativity to be accepted in part because he was just a lone patent clerk with a perspective that no one else was promoting. And he may have even lived in a messy apartment.

  26. [26] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Liz (Don too, I guess)[18]: Trouble with that is, you don't want to get to ignoring the literal elephant in the room. It would be analogous to a mother who ignores her child having a tantrum in the middle of a public meeting. Sure, paying attention to the child's outburst 'only encourages him', but for the love of God, are you just going to stand there and let the little monster scream bloody murder? At some point the child has to be removed, but no one will do that if everyone else remains mute.

  27. [27] 
    altohone wrote:

    Balthy
    7

    I'm not a Democrat.
    I'm not interested in helping Dems build a party that continues to embrace neoliberalism.
    I am baffled that you think my goals are in sync with yours despite everything I have said in these pages.
    They're not.

    Those preaching unity are actually demanding unity from the left to support the right wing, corporatist, neoliberal status quo which HAS failed both the Democratic party and the majority of Americans.
    It's a one way street.
    Neoliberals would rather lose to Republicans than win by embracing the left, and they have no intention of unifying with us.

    "Inventing a new shade in the political rainbow, then attacking it?"

    Bull.
    I didn't invent anything.
    I am attacking the current establishment Democrats who embraced neoliberalism over three decades ago.

    "What possible use can such an attack have?"

    When too many Dems including the majority of those in office and in control of the party machinery are in denial about their complete and utter failures, and the ideology that caused those failures, getting them to admit the problem is the first step.

    "And your evidence is a bunch of FDR quotes that have little relationship to the present"

    There's a perfect example of the denial right there. Every single one of those FDR quotes is fully relevant to the present.
    All of them.
    Inequality is worse now than it was in the Gilded Age, the wealthy once again feel they are entitled to select our leaders and dictate policy and legislation for their own benefit and at the expense of the majority, the same frauds that FDR fought to implement policies to prevent were at the heart of the 2008 "financial crisis", the same legalized corruption is at play, the same exploitation of workers is once again common, the same tax evasion by the wealthy is once again common, and the same excuses are being trotted out by our financial royalty to try to justify and maintain it all.

    "unless you squint your eyes and read them all as meant to be affirmations of modern leftist doctrine."

    No. You're just blind to the reality.
    The principles of leftist economic doctrine as implemented by FDR with much success haven't changed.

    "Just because FDR used some of the same terms as the modern left doesn't make him the equivalent of a modern leftist. It was a different time. There was a different vocabulary."

    So, let me get this straight.
    We use the same terms but the vocabulary has changed?

    "there were some on the left in the 1930's who viewed some of Roosevelt's New Deal programs as a prelude to fascism"

    Are you repeating that interesting tidbit because you agree with it, or is there a point hiding in there somewhere?

    "But the term 'fascist' was not yet associated with jackbooted thugs in the 1930's, so even the meaning of that term is obscured by contemporary bias."

    Here's how FDR defined fascism-

    “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself.

    That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”
    ? Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Wikipedia has a very interesting entry on fascism with different definitions offered by 10 different historical figures.

    But FDR's works fine for me, and I'm not seeing any "contemporary bias".

    "There were other hits on FDR"

    Whataboutery at its finest.
    FDR also wasn't big on LGBT rights or recreational pot.
    But we're talking about economics and the failure of neoliberal economics in relation to FDR's economic programs that have a proven track record of success, and which served to motivate Democrats to turn out and win huge numbers of elections.

    You wanting to change the topic of the discussion is just another typical tactic used by neoliberals when their sacred cow is threatened.

    "I get it. The modern left wants to be associated with FDR's 'new deal' and particularly with his early attacks on banking interests. But Elizabeth Warren's rhetoric, or even Bernie's is namby-pamby compared to FDR's fiery broadsides."

    Nice condescending straw man.
    The left doesn't want to be associated with FDR's economic programs and policies, we ARE associated with them.
    We've been fighting to protect them from assaults by neoliberals for decades.

    I fully agree with you about Warren and Bernie though.
    Both have failed to challenge neoliberalism strongly enough.

    "But we now live in a world very different from the 1930's and 40's"

    No we don't.
    The evidence on our economy and policies says the exact opposite.

    "Social Security and Medicare and their associated programs consume nearly half of the US budget, and Democrats are scrambling to protect what they can from budget-and-tax cutting Republicans."

    Bull.
    The budget has become a problem due to endless war, massive tax cuts for the rich and corporations, corporate subsidies, legalized tax evasion, and a lack of enforcement on illegal tax evasion...

    ... ALL IMPLEMENTED WITH THE SUPPORT AND VOTES OF NEOLIBERAL DEMOCRATS.

    Obama even tried to cut SS and Medicare with his Grand Bargain.
    I hope that's ignorance or denial, and not dishonesty.

    "Newer initiatives, like the Voting Rights Act and the Consumer Protection Agency are likewise under attack. What we need right now is solidarity in the face of unprecedented Republican onslaught"

    Neoliberal Democrats failing to challenge those attacks all while appointing neoliberal judges throughout our judicial system have contributed greatly to those problems, but re-implementing the necessary portions of the Voting Rights Act and defending the CFPB are both worthy causes in which you have my full support.
    In exchange, some criticism of neoliberal Democrats who were ineffective in defending key elements of the Voting Rights Act, and who take millions from the interests attacking the CFPB would only seem fair.

    "What we don't need are new designations, like neo-liberal and FDR democrat, that divide our common dedication to liberal ideals into camps of 'pure' and 'not pure'. That's 'purely' and obviously self-defeating."

    Milton Friedman wrote "Neoliberalism and its Prospects" in 1951.

    I'm sorry you are ignorant about the term and believe it to be a "new designation", but it's not.

    Likewise, Democrats proudly called themselves FDR Democrats long ago because of the massive benefits his programs and policies brought to Americans.
    So it isn't a "new designation" either.

    Neoliberalism is antithetical to liberalism, so you are also ignorant if you think there are common ideals between them.
    They are not the same.
    Not even remotely.

    And trotting out the "purity" argument when the difference between FDR Democrats and neoliberals amounts to violations of core principles, and you think those violations of core principals should be papered over as if they don't exist and in the name of unity is just more ignorance on display.

    What is "self-defeating" is clinging to the ideology which has failed the Democratic party and the country, despite massive evidence of economic failure and massive electoral losses.

    A

  28. [28] 
    altohone wrote:

    nypoet
    12

    Very well said.

    But getting Dems to admit their leaders are serving the interests of big donors is a different story.

    A

  29. [29] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    8

    Nope.

    And I expected you to have a little more knowledge about the subject.

    A

  30. [30] 
    altohone wrote:

    Don
    11

    Nope.

    See comment 27.

    The Clinton's embraced neoliberalism, and helped transform the Democratic party away from FDR policies, but they didn't invent it.

    A

  31. [31] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    If Perry White devotes all the ink to Lex Luther's antics when the purpose of Lex Luther's antics is to get Perry White to devote all the ink to the antics instead of devoting ink to efforts to get rid of Lex Luther and similar villains (like the ones that PRETEND to be your friends, see: Big Money Democrats) then Perry white is playing into the hands of Lex Luther and the other villains.

    I assume the kittens reference is another attempt to belittle.

    I don't see how anything in comments 17 or 18 could be considered an irrelevant fluff issue like kitten pictures.

    Big Money in politics effects every issue. Seems pretty important to a lot of people.

    Unfortunately, many have been suckered by the public financing and overturn Citizens United movements. This does not mean that those promoting these approaches are all conning their followers. Many if not most are well meaning.

    It is almost as difficult to recognize when you are heading down the wrong path as it is to acknowledge it. And if I'm on the wrong then I am no different.

    But we have been on the Big Money Democrat path and despite the appearance of heading in the right direction that is presented during campaigns it is clearly going the wrong way once the election is over and the detours are revealed.

    As I have said here before and will say again in the future:
    Even if you are facing the right direction, if you are taking one step forward and two steps back- you are still going the wrong way.

    We haven't tried the other path yet.

  32. [32] 
    Paula wrote:

    [20] Don: But please argue your position only on the issues and stop with the unnecessary attempts to discredit those that disagree with you with belittling and untrue claims like thought-policing.

    Was replying to Altohone's comment to me.

    And (you can guess what's coming!) I stand by my "thought-policing" statement. I believe that is what he (consciously or unconsciously) is trying to do.

    Additionally it is my view Altohone is far more focused on dissing Dems than he is on promoting constructive action. That is my reaction to his writings. It isn't up to you to tell me how I should react to his writings. I mean, you can, you can say whatever you want. Just don't expect me to agree.

    As for the fact that things haven't been getting better and better and better, I didn't say they had universally. I said I felt Hillary's election would have put us in a position where that COULD happen, unlike the position we are in now. (I also said I'd been able to get health insurance WHICH WAS A GENUINE REAL-WORLD IMPROVEMENT FOR ME AND MILLIONS OF OTHERS.)

    If you follow my postings you know I believe much of what ails this country is the result of Republican obstruction, and blatant lying and cheating, all used in efforts to destroy the social safety net and further empower the 1%. Democrats have their failings, but they pale in comparison to both the goals and the tactics used by the GOP. Furthermore I believe the GOP lead us to Blotus, who is catastrophic.

    I would enjoy the luxury of being able to criticize Dem failures -- but for me, now ain't the time. Sorry. I don't have room for it right now because we have NAZIS MARCHING IN THE STREETS. We have Republicans passing laws -- or trying to -- to make it legal to drive into protestors. And today, in St. Louis, some shithead did that again: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/8/24/1692938/-It-s-happened-again-Car-drives-into-marchers-at-LGBT-vigil

    I agree with you that the way big money affects our politics is a serious problem. I disagree with your approach to solving it. And while you reject my contention about "thought-policing" you are very intent on getting everyone else to agree that your opinion on the matter is the only correct view. And you feel like you're beating your head against a wall here, and you are. If you have a message and it isn't resonating, blaming the receivers won't solve your problem.

  33. [33] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Altohone (30)-
    Ok.

  34. [34] 
    Paula wrote:

    [23] TS: Thanks!

  35. [35] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Paula-
    I wasn't telling you. I said please.
    I suppose I could also agree that while I often agree with Altohone, Altohone can sometimes be more attacking than needed, so maybe he should also try to stay away from attacks. I'm sure I have also been attacking at times.

    Of course I want people to agree with me- who doesn't?
    But I don't see how pointing out the flaws in your argument is blaming the receivers.

    We clearly see the NAZIS MARCHING IN THE STREETS in different light.

    As I said in comment 11, why does the solidarity have to be supporting the Big Money Democrats?
    Why can't it be supporting small contribution Democrats?

    Now that the results of supporting Big Money Democrats (President Trump and NAZIS MARCHING IN THE STREETS) are evident, NOW IS the time to examine and remedy Democratic failures that have contributed to if not created the current fiasco.

  36. [36] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Don [24]

    sol·i·dar·i·ty /säl??der?d?/
    noun

    1. unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.

    See? That's not so hard. ;)

  37. [37] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-24

    Kramerica is from a Seinfeld episode. It is a parody of ill conceived invention by a novice inventor: use of rubber bladders to prevent supertanker spills. The concept is tested by dropping a a large rubber ball filled with oil from a skyscraper. The test does not go well. Moral of story: start humbly with your first breakthrough invention.

    I take innovation seriously. Especially when the stakes are high. Your reform proposal is unconvincing. It is basically just a variant of everyday 3rd party spoiler politics.

    Like many 3rd parties, your non-party platform is monolithic: no politician shall get my vote unless he:she only accepts contributions of less than $250. Almost all the electorate already agrees with you...in fact almost all of them do you one better: they don't give a penny to any candidate.

    So, one candidate accepts your terms, and starts with a near empty war chest. The opponent keeps on taking big donations and books ad time. Do his/her supporters desert him/her in droves? I don't think so, because most of them don't give any money either. They are in the money candidates camp because of many issues, not just one! Most of the money in virtually any campaign is big money.

    Do voters routinely desert the more affluent candidate to even things out? They do not. The more affluent candidate wins 90% of the time. Your proposed threat is not credible! The politicians and their handlers know this. Politics is very Darwinian, in general a poor candidate has low fitness. It's been done.

    How does your registry help matters? People make a non-binding pledge. They may not even show up. I think politicians already have pretty good idea of who like them. But, let's skip part that. How are you going to make your registry transparent and fair? It seems to me you are going to need to run a shadow voter registration system. That sounds pretty complicated, and pretty expensive. Your solution to this is....?

    In summary, I think your idea is a bad one. It doesn't get the big money out politics and is roughly equivalent to holding your breath until mom gives you ice cream. That never works, cause no kid ever dies. Hollow threat.

    OK, you disagree. Prove me wrong. Prove all the experts who don't buy your ideas are wrong and misguided. The burden proof always lies with the innovator. Innovators suffer.

    What's the proof. Run for something and win. Or help a small money candidate run. I've done that, congressional level, 3 party race. It was fun. It was empowering on a visceral level. We stayed in touch for years! Our candidate got about 6 votes. The worst lizard won.

    I consider sarcasm a valid debating technique when people take themselves too seriously for their level of expertise....and you seem pretty sarcastic yourself when it suites.

  38. [38] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    To follow up on the path analogy in comment 31:
    I have explored the path we haven't tried yet and while there are some obstacles it is a pretty direct path.

    The Big Money Democrat path is much closer to the path that Billy would take to get home from the neighbor's house in a Family Circus comic strip- except Billy ends up farther away from home.

  39. [39] 
    altohone wrote:

    Paula
    19

    See comment 27

    I am glad you could benefit from the taxpayer funded corporate subsidies to for profit insurance companies approach in Obamacare.
    I hope the massive increases in premiums under Obamacere which are triple or quadruple the rate of inflation do not price you out of coverage, and I hope the attacks on Obamacare continue to fail until Single Payer can be implemented.

    The public option is insufficient, but would have been a drastic advance, and you should recognize that Obama and other neoliberal Dems are fully to blame for not even achieving that quarter measure to challenge the corporate, for profit system.

    Nurses are the driving force behind Single Payer, so I hope you and your sister get on board.

    The disruption argument is weak though.
    Single Payer would be a massive economic stimulus that relieves all US businesses of the massive burdens the corporate for profit healthcare system we have puts on them... not to mention the boon to individuals.
    The unnecessary bureaucracy of the current system is the single worst excuse to maintain it. If you want to support a jobs program, there are other options that cost far less, are far more efficient, and which accomplish much more.

    "You are engaged in "thought-policing". You are more focused on people believing exactly what-you-believe in exactly the same way, then you are on getting things done in the real world that would support outcomes you want."

    No.
    Arguing against failed programs, policies and ideologies is not "thought policing".
    And if things that are necessary were actually "getting done", I wouldn't have an argument.
    The failed status quo isn't getting things done.

    "But people can only influence others, they can't force people to change their own minds."

    Typing my words in this comment section is not using "force".
    I am trying to influence you.
    You may not like my approach, but it still doesn't amount to using force.

    "Is that "neo-liberalism"? I don't know and I don't care."

    Not knowing what neoliberalism is poses a serious problem, particularly since you are defending it from a position of ignorance.
    Wikipedia has a good entry on it.
    The central tenet of neoliberalism is a market based approach to all problems.
    It doesn't work to control Wall Street... it doesn't work in creating fair trade mechanisms... it doesn't work in improving education or health care.

    "I know all the arguments about Government run Single-Payer and I agree with them, EXCEPT there has to be an attached plan for dealing with the wholesale disruption of the (used to be 1/7th, now I'm reading 1/6th) economy if Single Payer were implemented."

    Good.
    I hope you support candidates who agree with you.
    Hillary didn't agree with you.

    That said, Single Payer doesn't disrupt one sixth or one seventh of the health care economy.
    Health insurers represent a fraction of the health care economy.
    Doctors, burses, therapists, aides, administrators, researchers, drug manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, etc. would all still be employed in their for profit jobs.

    Single payer simply socializes the collections and payment system in a manner similar to Social Security... which would be far more efficient and cost effective. SS has a 3% overhead and an 87% public approval rating.

    "You would call me insufficiently Liberal or Progressive if I don't sign-on to Single-Payer-sans-Plan-to-handle-Disruption -- to which I reply: STFU. Give me the plan or go away."

    Yes, I would, and no, I won't be "forced" to shut up.
    (see what I did there?)
    In any case, the disruption argument is bunk as noted, and there are numerous plans to handle the small amount of disruption that will occur. There isn't one plan that everyone agrees on, there are numerous different plans, but everyone agrees a plan is necessary.
    FDR said something to the effect of try something, if it doesn't work, try something else until you find what works.

    I personally recommend a search about the "disruption" arguments made in Canada compared to what actually happened when they implemented their plan.
    If you need my assistance, I am offering.
    But I believe you capable.

    "This is what I liked about Hillary."

    Plans that maintain the failed status quo and don't solve our problems are not what I consider likeable.
    And she spent a billion dollars accomplishing exactly nothing... unless you count exposing the failures and foibles of neoliberal Democrats.

    A

  40. [40] 
    altohone wrote:

    Don
    35

    As Balthy said, namby pamby relative to FDR.

    Paula
    32

    "Constructive action" requires Dems abandoning neoliberalism.
    It is at the core of the massive election losses and failing economic policies.

    But I spend a ton of time talking about other issues. Maybe they just don't personally offend you and you therefore don't notice.

    A

  41. [41] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    I figured Kramerica was from Seinfeld. Just didn't remember the specific exchange or who the professor was.

    You are right that most people don't contribute and that most candidates accept Big Money.

    That is the problem.

    The registry helps citizens see that others are participating and allows small contribution candidates to target districts where they can be competitive. It will not magically change the system overnight. I never claimed it would.

    It could have some success in 2018 and build on that success in future elections.

    It is not holding our breath until mom gives us ice cream. Not an advisable strategy. Hope you have not been holding your breath waiting for the Big Money Democrats to deliver on their promises.

    It is citizens working together to achieve a common goal of removing the Big Money from politics.

    With 15-20% of citizens participating candidates will NOT be running unfunded small contribution campaigns. And the Big Money will be less effective.

    The Big Money works because as you said all candidates are Big Money candidates. Just as with the two party system, voters currently have no other choice.

    Once citizen join together to form a Union for Politics there will be other viable choices.

    And politicians respond to votes. They do not care if voters stay home or vote for their Big Money Current Major Party opponent. Either way they can blame those voters if they lose.

    But if you cast a vote against Big Money candidates by voting for a small contribution candidate, they will care. And if they still don't care then it will be possible to replace them.

    Democracy 101.

    What's the proof of the Big Money Democrats delivering on their promises? Plenty of proof that they don't.

    The proof for One Demand?

    The Tea Party has proven that taking on the establishment candidates can be effective when employed over multiple election cycles.

    Bernie has proven that small contribution campaigns can be competitive. Even though his campaign was not a true small contribution campaign he has created the perception that small contribution campaigns can be competitive.

    Also, Buddy Roemer was elected running campaigns for Congress and I think Governor with a one hundred dollar contribution limit.

    The Women's March and many other internet campaigns have also been effective in moving the public discourse in ways and time frames previously thought impossible.

    One Demand combines these proven approaches and did so before any of them had been proven out, with the exception of Buddy Roemer.

    If you think you have heard this before, it's because you probably have.

    Yet you continue to ask where's the proof without addressing these assertions and do not answer the questions such a those in comment 11.

    Ba-Bawk!

  42. [42] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-31.

    My point was that this eponymous blog is one person's POV of the political world. CW is the head writer and editor-in-chief and CFO etc. Apparently, he considers Trump an existential threat and writes accordingly. It's his call, and that's probably where his head is at. It's his baby, we just visit and apparently enjoy it enough to comment and keep on coming back. It's hard enough to write about what you are passionate about, writing about secondary things for the sake of variety starts looking like unrewarding work.

    You have your own passion. You should be working to fulfill it on your web page. Not just piggy backing your project here.

  43. [43] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig (42)-
    Of course it's CW's blog. I visit it and comment here because CW and not just the other commenters actually reads and replies to the comments. And just like the old fashioned Daily Planet letters to the editor occasionally the comments might have an effect on CW's POV or even change it.

    But you are also right that I should do more than just comment here. Wish I'd thought of that.
    (hope that wasn't too sarcastic.)

    I wonder what Ralph Nader is up to.

    I could even set up a website where people can register to participate.

    I could even pass out flyers, go to different gatherings of people and join a group like New Jersey Independent Voters to try to find and connect with other people that are open to trying new approaches.

    I might even try submitting hundreds of articles and letters to the editor, etc. to many different publications.

    Yeah, I'll have to get to work on those things.

    And if I did start a blog I would emulate CW by reading and answering the comments. I would also appreciate, whether I agreed with it or not, if a commenter on my blog pointed out that I was falling into the trap set by Lex Luther, Donald Trump or any other villains and doing what they want me to do.

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Balthasar,

    I'm hardly talking about ignoring the guy when I wrote:

    Actually, I would just add that any Trump piece be restricted to analysis of his agenda and policy prescriptions as opposed to his antics. Although, I think that much of his antics are directly related to his overarching agenda and various specific policies.

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The only 24 hour US news channel I have access to is CNN.

    Their coverage of Trump's antics is constant, non-stop, and laden with heavy doses of sarcasm a lot of the time - the kind of coverage, in other words, that proves the point about the media that Trump always makes with his base.

    This coverage has had relatively little to do with the destructive policies and initiatives that the Trump administration is engaged in propagating. And the irony here is that if CNN and others would do more of this kind of journalism, it would go a long way further to demonstrate why Trump is unfit for the office he holds and could even begin to persuade some of his supporters to question their support.

    So, I agree, ignoring Trump is not an answer. But, there is a lot of ground between putting Trump on ignore and what the media is doing now.

  46. [46] 
    Paula wrote:

    [40] Altohone: Constructive action" requires Dems abandoning neoliberalism.
    It is at the core of the massive election losses and failing economic policies.

    And that right there is your problem.

    You are saying progress will only occur if millions of people (or whatever your estimate would be) stop thinking a certain way.

    You define neo-liberalism as believing in a market-based approach to solving all problems. I don't believe in that. At all. So I guess I'm not a "neo-liberal". And yet I believe there's more than one road to Universal Coverage (to take one issue). So we're in disagreement. So now you have to change MY mind, in addition to all those neo-liberals. How many other sets of people believe differently than you? How do you know they're "neo-liberals"? What if they believe in market-based approaches to some things and not others? What if they're 100% Communist?

    My own "if I were Queen of the World" approach to our economic system would be to socialize what we need and privatize what we want. However, since that's as far as I've gotten I'm not prepared to promote the idea. But I'm not "neo-liberal".

    Meanwhile, how many other issues are subsumed under your "neo-liberal" banner? How many other povs will you have to change? How long will it take? How will you go about it?

    Your premise: everyone has to reject "neo-liberalism" before anything good can happen is too broad to be meaningful. You can't make progress that way.

    Among other things, people say they believe all kinds of stuff, which, when push comes to shove, they don't. Or don't understand. Or know nothing about. Focusing on "beliefs" isn't the path. Focus on outcomes. What are you trying to achieve and what are the benefits? Sell people on the benefits and outcomes and they don't care how you get there. People with skin in the game WILL care, however, so you have to deal with them, and probably differently.

    But ACA, despite your criticisms, has been extremely meaningful and valuable as a step towards Universal Coverage. Making the perfect the enemy of the good is bad strategy. But making the-impossible-to-even-quantify your goal renders "strategy" impossible.

  47. [47] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig, Paula, Balthasar-
    Despite not being able to agree, and sarcasm, insults or what ever aside, I do appreciate that you and anyone else does discuss One Demand. Whether or not we can ever convert each other it is helpful to discuss it, could help improve it and helps me understand reservations people may have so I can try to address them.

  48. [48] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-43

    OK, now that's sarcasm. I can take it and smile.

    I know you've done all those things. This is the information era. You have a trail. I oringinally thought you might be a scam artist...so I poked around a bit. I quickly came to the conclusion that you are not . You are just not making much headway with your effort.

    Your numbers don't add up...to get 20-25% of voters to make small donations would be extraordinary, and still wouldn't make them competitive with a candidate taking large donations. Your concept amounts to unilateral disaramament.

    I think you are sincere, but also dangerously wrong. You are a crank obsessed with your vision. Like inventors who claim they make magic fuel systems that give your car 125 mpg. To which I say "show me it works."

    I don't maintain discussions with a crank. Feel free to reciprocate. Better that way.

  49. [49] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    I apologize for any time I've been cranky. :D

    The small contribution candidates don't have to raise equal money to the Big Money candidates. They just have to raise enough to operate a campaign which they can in some districts from 15-20% national participation in 2018.

    The success of even just a few small contribution candidates in 2018 can inspire more people to participate in future elections which will result in more districts with competitive small contribution candidates in those elections.

    I have shown how it works. See comment 47 for examples of how parts of it have worked.

    And once again, it's the VOTES that matter.

    With 15-20% national participation there will districts above that average at 25,30 or even a few near 40% of voters participating.

    A small contribution congressional candidate could easily win a primary in states without the top two primary with even 20% of general election voters that don't normally participate in the primaries going up against the 15-20% of general election party regulars that vote for the Big money candidates in the primaries.

    And a small contribution candidate could be competitive in the general election in a district with 25 to 35% participation against two Big Money current major party candidates either by winning or enabling one current major party candidate to win in a district gerrymandered for the other current major party.

    Either result could encourage more participation in subsequent elections.

    Oh, by the way, I'm still waiting for you to show me how it works when it comes to supporting Big Money Democrats.

  50. [50] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Liz [45] The only 24 hour US news channel I have access to is CNN.

    You have my deepest sympathies. CNN would make anyone cynical about politics. I'm an MSNBC guy myself, preferring Rachel Maddow to all others, but appreciative of the depth of Hayes, and the ideology of O'Donnell.

    CNN has more international boots on the ground, so to speak, but loses me with all the showy hyperbole, as if to say, 'Here, we'll make this interesting with some great graphics' as opposed to (prime time) MSNBC's approach, which is, 'This is interesting, let's fill in some details'.

  51. [51] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula [46] Yup. I've been trying to find a way to say that for two days now. Well put.

  52. [52] 
    Paula wrote:

    [51] Balthasar: Thanks!

Comments for this article are closed.