Comrade Trump!

[ Posted Tuesday, July 17th, 2018 – 17:04 UTC ]

President Donald Trump loves to come up with sneering put-downs of his political opponents, both Democrats and Republicans alike. "Crooked Hillary" and "Lyin' Ted Cruz" immediately spring to mind, but there are literally dozens of these snide Trump taunts to choose from. Trump has singlehandedly reduced the political game to the level of schoolyard taunting, and the fact is that he's quite good at it. Once one of his labels sticks, it's hard to get rid of, in other words. But he's just handed his opponents a dandy opportunity to return the favor. Starting today, Democrats should all start speaking with one voice whenever Trump's name arises, by attaching one simple word as a defining taunt. Because the time has now come to start universally calling him "Comrade Trump."

Like all really effective playground taunts, this one is based on an embarrassing reality. Also the sign of a good smear, it is designed to get under Trump's skin in the worst way possible. Which is why, if prominent Democrats start using it on a regular basis, it could easily become the defining label for a man who has so masterfully smeared anyone he doesn't like with similar put-downs.

A bit of historical context may be required for our younger readers. The "Red Scare" in America began almost immediately after the Russian Revolution, when there was reportedly "a Red under every bed" for Americans to worry about. Communists were a direct threat to American democracy, the Red-hunters told us all, and we had to be eternally vigilant to keep them from infiltrating our country and our way of life. Various degrading labels were used to describe these enemies of the state, the worst being "commie" (often followed by "bastard"). But there was a whole subcategory devoted to those in America with communistic leanings, who were variously described as "fellow travellers," "useful idiots," and "parlor pinks." The "pink" designation referred to someone who wasn't quite fully red, but trending in the red direction. This was later jazzed up a bit by adding one letter, resulting in "pinko." This may seem awfully silly to readers who know nothing about this era (from the Russian Revolution straight through the Cold War, roughly), but it was anything but. The Cincinnati Reds baseball team even publicly begged people (in 1953) to call them the "Redlegs" to avoid any possible communist tinge, as an example of how prevalent the fear of being called "red" was, at the time. Being painted pink was just as bad, and was often a political death sentence for a politician in the hysterical McCarthy witchhunting era. If you know nothing about this historical period, I would recommend watching the comedy Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (which is a great movie as well as brilliant satire).

The most famous example of such red-baiting in politics was when Richard Nixon (a self-styled commie-fighter extraordinaire) ran against Helen Gahagan Douglas for a Senate seat, in 1950. Nixon infamously called Douglas "pink right down to her underwear," and also regularly called her the "Pink Lady." His anti-Douglas campaign flyers were even printed on pink paper, just in case anyone didn't get the point. Nixon's campaign manager helpfully explained: "The purpose of an election is not to defeat your opponent, but to destroy him." Anyone who thinks politics has become nastier than ever before in American politics should take a good look at the 1950s to disabuse this erroneous notion, in other words.

Douglas lost the election, and Richard Nixon went on to represent California in the Senate before becoming both vice president and president. But in one significant way, she got the last laugh on Nixon, by coining her own playground taunt for Nixon that stuck to him for the rest of his life: "Tricky Dick." How many today remember the "Pink Lady" taunt as opposed to "Tricky Dick," after all?

What's interesting to students of American history is that the red-baiting taunts were almost exclusively used by Republicans against Democrats. The fearmongering was almost entirely one-sided in American politics, and really didn't go away until the death of the Soviet Union. Which is why Trump's fawning obeisance to Vladimir Putin is so notable, really. Republicans spent over half a century slamming Democrats for being subservient to Moscow only to now see one of their own cozying up to a Russian dictator.

Which is why Trump is so ripe for taunting as Comrade Trump. "Comrade," of course, was the preferred egalitarian title for any citizen of the Soviet Union, because it was supposed to do away with all the aristocratic labels that had predated it. It levelled everyone to the same status, which was a big part of communist theory. Even their leaders were supposed to be called by the same term as any peasant, although honorifics were added ("Comrade Chairman" instead of just "Comrade," for instance). But it was and remains a thoroughly Soviet term.

Which is why this one word is so perfect to attach to Trump's name. It says so much, in just two short syllables. It alludes to Russia's reversion to autocratic rule under ex-K.G.B. agent Putin. It equates Russia today with the Soviet Union perfectly, in fact. A good comrade was one who wholly and fully believed the Soviet propaganda, and strove to live his or her life according to its tenets. Good comrades always put the Russian state ahead of themselves, in other words. So what better word to describe Trump's subservience to Russia's leader today?

Donald Trump is mercurial in his attitudes towards just about every foreign leader on the planet, except one. He badmouthed Kim Jong Un mercilessly before deciding to meet with him and become best buddies, just to give the most obvious example. He slams Theresa May one day, then cozies up to her the next. Nobody can be sure what his attitude towards any leader -- whether American ally or foe -- will be on any given day. Except one.

Trump has never uttered a single "discouragin' word" against Vladimir Putin. He refused to do so during his presidential campaign. He has likewise refused to ever do so throughout his entire presidency. He cannot bring himself to condemn the Russian leader even when people are dying of nerve agents in Britain or when Russian intelligence agents are indicted for attacking the sanctity of American elections. No provocation by Putin crosses any sort of red line (pun intended) for Trump, because according to Trump, America and Russia should really be friends. Putin is a "very strong" leader whose word is to be trusted above the combined consensus of every American intelligence agency in existence. Putin simply could not have interfered in the 2016 election in any way, because he "strongly" says he didn't -- end of discussion. To paraphrase an infamous Trump boast, Putin could come to America and shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, and Trump would still defend him to the world ("That guy was just asking to be shot, everybody knows that").

After Trump embarrassed both himself and America in his disastrous press conference yesterday, there can no longer be any doubt about how Trump feels about Putin. Either he's afraid of what Putin has on him (the pee-pee tape?) or he's just been bamboozled by yet another strongman on the world stage -- but either way, the result is really the same. Trump sides with Putin, not America. He has more than earned -- by both his words and his actions -- the title Comrade Trump. Democrats should immediately begin using it whenever Trump's name comes up. Any Democratic politician asked about Trump in an interview should, halfway through the question, interject: "Oh, you mean Comrade Trump?" Any answer about Trump should begin with this title: "Well, I think Comrade Trump has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt what he thinks of Putin." All tweets about the president from Democrats should liberally (again, pun intended) sprinkle the term Comrade Trump throughout the nation's political discourse.

Some might shy away from this tactic, complaining that it reduces them to Trump's level. But Democrats should be way beyond such timidity, at this point. Turning one of Trump's most effective weapons against him is entirely legitimate and indeed downright necessary. Calling him Comrade Trump over and over again is almost guaranteed to elicit a response from Trump, and it is also virtually assured of getting under Trump's skin in the worst way possible. Democrats campaigning for the midterms could easily begin using the taunt in their advertising: "My opponent stands with Comrade Trump against the interests of our great country. I stand for America, not for Comrade Trump and his buddy Putin!" The best thing about this taunt is its simplicity. One word wraps up Trump's entire attitude towards Russia and Putin, whether you believe the pee-pee tape exists or not. There are other terms that could also signify Trump's abject subservience ("Putin's Poodle," perhaps?), but none carries such historical and political weight. It can even be embellished to make it even more derogatory ("Da, Comrade Trumpski!"). Not only is this designed to enrage Trump, but it also will make any Republican old enough to remember the Cold War extremely uneasy. "Well, if Comrade Trump agrees with Vladimir Putin, then I guess Republicans all have to spout the party line, don't they?"

Donald Trump has -- much more than many of the victims of his own taunting -- earned this designation. I can't think of any other term which so perfectly encapsulates all the doubts and fears about Trump's attitudes towards Putin and Russia, in fact. Which is why I heartily encourage Democrats everywhere to give Trump a taste of his own playground-taunting medicine. When even Republicans and Fox News are condemning Trump's cozying up to Putin, the time couldn't be riper. So from this point forward, Democrats should use the term whenever possible, in as many ways as they can. When Trump has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that his philosophy is now "Russia First!" the perfect response is for Democrats to sneer back (in full Boris-and-Natasha fake Russian accent, of course): "Da, Comrade Trump!"

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


69 Comments on “Comrade Trump!”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    , Chris, Democrats and others opposed to Trump should start name-calling? Seriously?

    Well, that explains quite a lot. :(

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If the Democrats had a message for the overall, then they might think about name-calling as a tactic.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    To put it another way, you cannot beat Trump at the only game he knows.

  4. [4] 
    Steedo wrote:

    CW is dead-on with this. This is not slow-pitch. The time for nice is long past. The question is which team you are on: the Patriots or the Traitors? The Americans or the Commies? So Comrade Trump it is, say it every chance you can, challenge any audience to deny that he is Putin's bag boy and a piss-poor example of an American.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Who said anything about nice?

    The key word here is 'smart' - as in an effective strategy to win elections.

  6. [6] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW- I'm in with "Comrade Trump." Little Donny Pinko has a nice ring too.

    I've watched a lot of Strangelove clips this week.

  7. [7] 
    Aloysius McG wrote:

    E.M. We're ALL glad to see you commenting.

    I too, have an uneasy feeling about calling an experienced schoolyard bully like Trump names. It won't be necessary to do so as the very professional Special Counsel and Deputy Attorney General continue their methodical investigation. A steady release of indictments and guilty pleas of those closer and closer to Trump will keep the issue fresh. Most Trumpsters will support him no matter might even increase their support. Serious patriotic Americans of many stripes will not need to have "Comrade" attached to his name to associate it with treason. (This should preserve the expected blue wave, may we be blessed with a tsunami.)

    The CW's sobriquet of "useful idiot" could be used repeatedly, as in, "the Republican Party had their useful idiot to sign onto everything in their agenda of wealth transfer to the already wealthy despite the consequences to the deficit and national debt. It required only frequent tongue baths and nauseating obsequiousness....not to mention a personal $31 million tax break for him and tacit permission to monetize the office of President. The consequences of the so-called "Tax Reform Act" are already visible.......increased profits for corporations and the investing class, stagnating wages and loss of basic support for the working class and those at the lower income margins; cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The negative effects of the Trade War as negotiations are also already receiving pushback from many Republicans.

    The basic Democratic message should be about economic fairness, educational opportunity for all, affordable and accessible health care, preservation of voting rights for all American citizens, and comprehensive immigration and justice reforms. I would also feature the environment and cooperation with the rest of the world to hold the effects of climate change to no more damaging than is already baked in. As a political amateur, I am presenting these as issues of importance to me. The analytics folks and psychologists can do their things to identify and sell winning issues.

    All that said, I like "Comrade Trump" but I am particularly partial to Trumplethinskin. {:))

  8. [8] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    Meanwhile, down in the dirty trenches where Comrade Trump's Justice department has to deal with Russian agents, remember that gun rights advocate who was charged with foreign agent registration violations yesterday? Today, it's felony conspiracy with an objective [to] unlawfully advance the interests of the Russian Federation.

    Not FARA paperwork. Fixin' to sneak. She's a spy. A spy who conspired with yet-unnamed Americans. Unlike those dozen military officers in Moscow who tonight might be laughing their asses off, or might be dead, she's a civilian. Unlike them, she's in central lockup in D.C.

    Rather than write in detail about this, I'll just suggest that you listen to the first 10 minutes of Rachel Maddow's program, the reading of the transcript of her initial appearance yesterday. You can hear it here, commercial free:

    This is a big deal, with implications arising from the reason -as yet unknown- that the government felt it was necessary to file sealed charges on Saturday, arrest her under those charges on Sunday, unseal the charges on
    Monday, and indict her as a spy today.

    Those implications dovetail with those arising from the reason that the government insisted on keeping her in lock up, and, as Maddow reads, the Judge summarily ordered her held at least until a detention hearing tomorrow.

    It's possible that the Friday indictments scared a young student and activist, she panicked, and booked her flight out of DC. On the other hand, she may have been ordered Saturday to get out of there right away. Either way, the Feds would have been listening; after all, she's a made spy. Maybe we'll get some hints tomorrow when the government explains why they wouldn't let her out on bail.

    By the way, this is not "collusion," at least not in the Trumpian definition of that undefined term, because, as far as we know tonight, and in all likelihood in fact, her American co-conspirators are not Trump campaign or White House people. They might not even be elected officials.

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Like all really effective playground taunts, this one is based on an embarrassing reality.

    Well, at least ya admit it's playground.. IE Immature and childish..

    I long for the days where such things were frowned upon around here..

    So much for reality-based discussions.. :^/

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:


    , Chris, Democrats and others opposed to Trump should start name-calling? Seriously?

    Well, that explains quite a lot. :(



    The logic is..... non-existent...

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    The immaturity and childish antics is what drove me away the last time..

    Looks like it's time for another hiatus... :^/

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why Democrats shouldn’t try to out-Trump Trump

    In the Time of Trump, it’s tempting — in fact, almost irresistible — to out-Trump Trump. To be just as mean and malicious, just as vicious and venomous, just as petty and personal.

    But could you? Could you out-low and out-lie Trump? I don’t think so. And you don’t want to try.

    Above all, you don’t want to inflame the hate and violence that burn in America today.

    Democrats should dare to differ. Rise above it all — and above Trump. Call on America to be better and do better. Be positive and uplifting. Give people hope and optimism. Appeal to their hopes, not their fears. Talk about the great things we can do if we pull together instead of pulling apart.

    Democrats should take heed...

    But they won't...

    Here's the best campaign slogan for Democrats.

    The Democrat Party: Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory Again In 2018

    Democrats claim to be different than President Trump..


    Yet, they (and ya'all incidentally) prove every day that they are not..

    Democrats prove every day that they are as mean, as nasty, as hate-filled, as intolerant and as bigoted as they accuse President Trump of being..

    And that's just sad...

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Media beclown themselves with yet another bogus Russian conspiracy theory

    The greatest threat to the press’ credibility is the press.

    Consider, for example, the extra-absurd and bogus viral narrative created Tuesday by Mic Senior Political Reporter Emily Singer.

    Singer found a Getty Images picture from May 2017 showing Trump meeting in the Oval Office with a delegation of Russian officials, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. If you look at the photo carefully, you can see White House National Security Council staffer Cari Lutkins huddled in the back.

    This is where things take a turn for the stupid.

    On Monday, the Justice Department announced charges against Russian national Maria Butina, who they say conspired against the U.S. as a secret agent.

    Butina has red hair. Lutkins also has red hair. This shared trait was enough for Singer, who tweeted the Getty picture Tuesday morning with the accompanying caption: “I thought this was a photoshop, but it's not. This is Maria Butina — arrested for being a Russian spy — in the Oval Office with Trump.”

    Democrats... Being Stoopid Til The End Of Time... :^/

  14. [14] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    For those of you complaining about CW's suggestion -

    Apparently you've never heard the phrase,

    'turnabout is fair play'.

    Yes, Agent Orange is a bully with a predilection for schoolyard taunts, but since he coined 'little Marco' and 'lyin' Ted' back during the election, he really hasn't been on his game in that respect, and failed to come up with taunts for Pelosi or Schumer that have stuck in anywhere near the same fashion.

    But Chief Little Hands outdid himself this weekend with Putin - acting the role of obeisant servant to the former KGB spymaster to such a degree that republicants (and even the usually reserved Leon Panetta) speculated that whatever the Russians have on him, it must be a doozy.

    Poor Donald's heart sank, however, when he saw the blow-back on Fox n' Friends the next morning, and reluctantly agreed to 'fix' the situation with the change of a single word from the press conference - from 'would' to 'wouldn't'.

    But Blotus couldn't resist delivering his 'correction' in the manner of a hostage, clearly signalling as he read the prepared script in front of him that he was being FORCED to correct himself, and undermined the whole thing with an unscripted aside about 'other' unnamed hackers.

    But by doing that in that specific manner, Don the Con thereby insulted the collective intelligence of everyone watching because, as was the case in the incident that occurred a few days earlier with Teresa May and the 'Sun' interview, there was actual videotape of the event that proved otherwise.

    This led Mitch 'the Bitch' McConnell and his fellow Senate Republicans to take the extraordinary step of making their own video, to reassure nervous Europeans that America 'has their back' when it comes to Russian aggression. I can't think of an instance where a Congressional leader split with the leader of his own party on a matter of foreign policy in this manner. Ever.

    So maybe Comrade Chump has more to worry about than a bit of name calling.

    Meanwhile, the fellow they call 'Odumbo' made a rousing speech over the weekend, and unsurprisingly, that video, which included a few digs about the current occupant of the Oval Office, went viral. But then, he's got a sense of humor about himself, which Trump definitely does not.

  15. [15] 
    neilm wrote:

    Personally I prefer "Treasonous Trump" - it is a bit more unwieldy, however there is some alliteration, and the point is clear even to teenagers.

    Treasonous Comrade Trump's lying is getting worse. He was always a serial liar, but he is lying more often. His supporters must be so proud - a serial liar and a traitor - I'll bet that isn't what they thought they were buying when they got their MAGA hat from China - but you know humans - can't abandon sunken cost even if it is hurting more and more.

  16. [16] 
    neilm wrote:

    If I were Treasonous Comrade Trump right now, I'd re-introduce National Service for all 18 years olds - boys and girls. Two years of marching, goose stepping if he can get the military to accept it.

    At the end of every two years they can march all over DC so Treasonous Comrade Trump (off course I use CTRL-v) can have his parade.

    His base would love it - marching, authoritarianism, getting people into the military where they become Republicans instead of University where they become Democrats.

    Also, it would put all other topics on the back-burner - especially if he said there were to be no exceptions except for severe medical ones like bone-spurs (that are hereditary and sadly were passed down by Treasonous Comrade Trump to his offspring and manifest themselves in late teenage years).

    Paul Ryan trying to get a deferment for his kids would amuse the whole spectrum of political shades in this country.

  17. [17] 
    neilm wrote:

    Word count aside, his raw number of false claims has spiked: Trump made 2.9 false claims per day in 2017. He’s made 5.1 false claims per day in 2018.

    The Toronto Star are really getting their own back for Treasonous Comrade Trump's attacks on Canada :)

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I would like someone to explain to me how Democrats' juvenile name-calling will help them win elections.

    Most commenters here engage in the same juvenile behavior with every childish contribution they make and all it has managed to do is fill this blog with asinine drivel.

    What positive impact has it made?

  19. [19] 
    neilm wrote:

    I would like someone to explain to me how Democrats' juvenile name-calling will help them win elections.

    "Two legs bad, four legs good."

    There are two aspect to the "Comrade Trump" nickname. The first is George Orwell's observation that most people don't pay much attention to politics, so are conditioned by heuristics, and "Comrade Trump" or "Treasonous Trump" are far more effective with the public at large than for people who spend every day on a political internet chat site.

    The second, as CW explained, is that you know Treasonous Comrade Trump just can't let slights go - he will be his own worst enemy. Playground taunts are his superpower and, in what might be the most amusingly ironic thing about this abomination of an administration, his Kryptonite (I wonder if the kids understand the Kryptonite reference better than the "Comrade" prefix).

  20. [20] 
    neilm wrote:

    What positive impact has it made?

    Cheers me up.

    I really like it when I get Michale so upset that he not only has to bring out some ancient Obama transgression that only exists in the fevered brains of the RWNJs, but can't help himself and calls the greatest living President "Odumbo". The amusing thing is that Obama is so much smarter than Treasonous Comrade Trump it is like comparing a Nobel Laureate to a bag of Cheetos.

  21. [21] 
    neilm wrote:

    Most commenters here engage in the same juvenile behavior with every childish contribution they make and all it has managed to do is fill this blog with asinine drivel.

    That's "amusing asinine drivel", please. Some of us try hard to entertain in these times of darkness and horror in the Republic.

  22. [22] 
    TheStig wrote:


    I don't think the US Military has any desire in resurrecting the draft - unless the Professional Armed Forces are used up in a large scale protracted war. Which, come to think of it, might happen if Trump starts one for no particularly good reason. I see the US military as an effective moderator of Comrade Trump's militaristic tendencies.

    The political affiliations of the US military skew by class: enlisted lean Democrat, officers Republican.

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I see, Neil, you think name-calling by Democrats will lead to Trump's downfall.

    Or, is it that you think name-calling in the comments section will inspire more name-calling and then ... then what?

    Good luck with all of that.

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Some of us try hard to entertain in these times of darkness and horror in the Republic.

    That's only working to obscure the overall. Which will lead to the downfall of America.

    Not amusing.

  25. [25] 
    neilm wrote:

    That's only working to obscure the overall. Which will lead to the downfall of America.

    America is doing better than it ever has. Our economy is still trundling along as it has for 6-8 years, we are moving forward on progressive social issues (gay marriage, climate change science understanding, marijuana legalization, compassion for deserving immigrants, awareness of the healthcare issue, we are getting better educated, healthier, happier, better traveled, etc.).

    Even Treasonous Comrade Trump's actions are having little effect - the trade war will probably peter out before it has any real impact on our economy - Russia is becoming more and more of an international pariah thanks to the treason - the SCOTUS right-wingers will act as a catalyst for liberal passion for decades, just as Roe vs. Wade activated the right wing.

    America is having a self indulgent idiot moment with Treasonous Comrade Trump, and of course there will be another recession, but if we can address the growing inequality and forge one America instead of two Americas we will be even stronger.

  26. [26] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I wonder if the kids understand the Kryptonite reference better than the "Comrade" prefix

    That's been going around. Rachel used the phrase 'same Bat time, same Bat channel' last night when signing off, then wondered aloud to O'Donnell whether anyone under the age of 50 got the reference.

    My nephew, who's in his early 30's, happened to be in the room and said "of course" he gets it. We live in an age that keeps rehashing and remixing the 1960's and 70's after all. He sure knows alot more about Pink Floyd than I do about Green Day.

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That is terribly narrow thinking.

    Look around, Neil. America is in decline and has been for a very long time. It's global leadership role is waning and, in fact, today it is no longer the leader of the free world.

    President Trump is only hastening that process and, perhaps, rendering it irreversible.

    How do you think that will impact the American economy?

  28. [28] 
    neilm wrote:

    Look around, Neil. America is in decline and has been for a very long time. It's global leadership role is waning and, in fact, today it is no longer the leader of the free world.

    There are two serious contenders to America as the World Leader, and one problem.

    Contender One: Russia
    Nobody wants to be in Russia's economic sphere - most people want to get cheap energy from them and for them to leave everybody else alone and not shoot down commercial airplanes or invade nearby countries. Their military capability is only their nuclear arsenal, and they aren't unique in that any longer. If Putin gets overthrown there will either be a more grasping kleptomaniac, or utter confusion.

    Contender Two: China
    China has had an amazing run of economic growth and they have lifted more people out of abject poverty in 20 years than has ever been achieved before. Their economy, however, is the poster child for Warren Buffett's observation "You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out." We will see how strong they are when they have to face a real downturn in their economy.

    So, long term, even if Treasonous Comrade Trump cheats again in 2020 and we are stuck with him for two terms, there is limited long term impact if we go back to intelligent, educated leadership again. Our allies will come back into the fold when we lose the idiot, and if China crashes, the S.E. Asian economies are going to pivot back to us as well.

    The only real problem is Canada. Finally we have an American President has identified our real foe, a country that mocks our language ("aboot" - you're messing with us) and spelling: for Pete's sake, there is no "u" in "Color" or "Labor".

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, long term, even if Treasonous Comrade Trump cheats again in 2020 and we are stuck with him for two terms, there is limited long term impact if we go back to intelligent, educated leadership again.

    Now, THAT'S amusing! And, I know you weren't even trying. :)

    Seriously, how do you propose to get America back to intelligent, educated leadership again after Trump is relected, given, you know, the American electorate?

  30. [30] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:


    Re "Address the growing inequality."

    There are only three methods of accomplishing that:

    1) Increase the productivity of the less productive/unproductive.

    2) Decrease the productivity of the more productive.

    3) Confiscate from the more productive in order to give to the less productive/unproductive.

    Tell us, which do you favor, and why?

  31. [31] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    America is having a self indulgent idiot moment

    We are indeed, but as David Frum pointed out last night, the assertion that 'no votes were changed' in 2016 is becoming more and more dubious as new information emerges from Mueller's investigation about the breadth of the Russian operation.

    Maybe that's the secret that Putin holds over Trump's head: that the election was in fact rigged.

    No proof yet, but that's why the Trumpers are off their meds when it comes to Mueller. That's why McCain calls this 'the centipede scandal' - because there's always another shoe about to drop.

  32. [32] 
    neilm wrote:

    3) Confiscate from the more productive in order to give to the less productive/unproductive.

    Because it works, as just about every SS/Medicare recipient will attest.

    But I'm sure you are not sucking on the teat of the taxpayer by taking any SS or using Medicare, or other services.

  33. [33] 
    neilm wrote:

    No proof yet, but that's why the Trumpers are off their meds when it comes to Mueller.

    They are so transparent. Mueller was a great guy - Michale had a fantasy first meeting between Mueller and the traitor where Mueller was going to tell Treasonous Trump he was off the hook and that Mueller was really going to focus on Hillary's emails.

    Well, that didn't happen. Mueller actually took his job seriously and showed some backbone and scared the living bejesus out of Treasonous Trump and thus his blind horde. So they started playing the man, not the ball, as usual, and not Mueller is second only to Hillary as the target of their daily two-minute-hate session.

    The louder they scream, the closer Mueller is getting to the truth.

  34. [34] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Seriously, how do you propose to get America back to intelligent, educated leadership again after Trump is relected, given, you know, the American electorate?

    Liz, you're apparently only seeing the trend among Republican presidents, who have indeed been getting more and more stupid since Nixon initiated the Southern Strategy in the late 1960's.

    Among Democrats, however, the trend is exactly the opposite: the last three elected Democratic presidents had master's degrees, and the last two were both known for their intelligence and wit. Under their guidance, America became both prosperous and internationally reliable.

    I think Comrade Chump will be the catalyst of a realignment of the GOP the moment that he is defeated in 2020. They simply can't go any dumber, and his brand doesn't travel well either - candidates who have tried to do his shtick have largely gone down in flames. He'll leave a gaping hole in a party already morally gutted by their own acquiescence. It could take a decade for them to recover.

    And that bodes well for, well, everyone.

  35. [35] 
    Aloysius McG wrote:

    [34] CRS

    May I point out that you missed an essential method to decrease income and more important, wealth inequality: unrig the systems which exacerbate the advantages of being born to wealth.

    Several trust fund "babies" I know have no inherent superiority to my many middle and lower income friends, relatives and acquaintances. Both groups exist over the broad spectrum of human capabilities, character and achievement.

    The advantage for the wealthy lies in access: to education, especially in early childhood and universities; to adequate medical care; to the influential circles of the monied elite; and especially to political power. Tax breaks which favor the wealthy and corporations, unregulated dark money, stifling of unions and blunting of governmental protections of the rights of most Americans are but some of the areas which could be changed.

    America should strive to even the playing field.

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Liz, you're apparently only seeing the trend among Republican presidents ...

    I'm talking about the electorate, and they aren't standing still. To be clear, that isn't a compliment.

    The critical question at hand is how to persuade the electorate to elect competent leadership, especially in the wake of a Trump re-election. That isn't an easy proposition in an era of a devolutionary media culture and a dysfunctional political culture.

    Based on the last Democratic presidential campaign, Democrats have a lot of work to do and they haven't even begun to tackle the existential questions of our time on this planet.

    Bottom line: less name-calling and more focus on the big picture issues is what will save America.

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    I think Comrade Chump will be the catalyst of a realignment of the GOP the moment that he is defeated in 2020.

    Now, there is a scary thought.

    What if the GOP does indeed make a clear break from Trump and realign. Don't be surprised if that process takes little more than an election cycle.

    Are Democrats ready for that outcome? Hardly.

  38. [38] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm [36]

    Re "Because it works."

    That's no answer. EVERY ONE would work very well, provided you're smart enough to pull it off.

    You imply that my gov't "benefits" (SS and Medicare) exceed my contributions to the system. That's a bit of a 'gray' area for SS. I have no doubt received more SS $ than I paid in, but they're not the same $. The first $ I paid in SS tax was worth 5 loaves of bread. A dollar they send me today buys only 2/3 of a SINGLE loaf of bread!

    I'm far AHEAD on the medicare thing - I have yet to collect ANY medicare benefits. (I've been trying - fell off a gawdamn 8 ft ladder thinning my pear tree 3 or 4 wks ago, but never broke a thing! I'll climb higher next time.)

  39. [39] 
    neilm wrote:

    What if the GOP does indeed make a clear break from Trump and realign.

    Treasonous Trump was an anomaly in 2016 - the four parts of the Republican Party saw what they wanted in him, and they could all get together hating Hillary with Treasonous Trump as choir leader.

    Treasonous Trump might be able to replicate this in 2020, but let's look at the four groups and see how his actions are impacting them:

    1. Raving, frothing at the mouth Trumpies (hi Michale): they love him - he is annoying all the people that want annoyed, and they have little clue on reality so whatever.

    2. Lib/ertarians: they see Treasonous Trump as the lesser of two evils, which, given their party platform on abortion, immigration, marijuana, etc. really means that they hate Democrats more than the hate Treasonous Trump and the rest of the Republicans. They'll probably fade in support, mostly by not voting rather than switching to Democrats. Some may even vote for the Lib/ertarian candidate and rediscover their true liberal democratic principles.

    3. Religious loonies: SCOTUS - Treasonous Trump is their man! They are all in

    4. Country club/Chamber of Commerce Republicans: I see their support waning, particularly the women, who find Treasonous Trump not good enough to be their President. I actually see some of them switching to voting Democrat, but the best favor they will do is not to vote.

    So what happens if Treasonous Trump doesn't run in 2020?

    As I said, he is an anomaly, and he was new so nobody really knew what to expect and so projected their own image onto him. After a brutal campaign where a lot of the crap that has been going on is replayed time and time again, and a Democrat that calls for "Time to Restart America" or somewhat, I think his chances are low of a second term.

    If he bows out ("My work here is done! People are saying I'm the best President ever.", etc.) it will be difficult to find a replacement. As was pointed out, the candidates who have tried to follow his model can't pull it off.

  40. [40] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Aloysius [39]

    The main benefit of inherited wealth is not educational opportunities - (anyboy with an ounce of initiative can get an education in this country) - it's dividends and interest income.

    So when you say "Unrig the systems which exacerbate the advantages of being born to wealth", you're basically advocating that the savings which highly successful people accumulate should be confiscated and redistributed to those whose forbears were not so successful.

    That's not an uncommon ideology, mostly not uncommon among those whose forbears were not very successful. Actually, it's basically just greed and envy, right?

  41. [41] 
    neilm wrote:

    That's a bit of a 'gray' area for SS. I have no doubt received more SS $ than I paid in, but they're not the same $.

    Current retirees are getting 2x to 4x what they put in to SS in inflation adjusted terms including a nice investment return as well.

    Your generation is scrounging off the younger generations, and that is just with SS - when you throw in Medicare the giant sucking nose of cash flowing from taxpayers to the 65+ crowd drowns out everything else in government spending.

    I'm OK with that, but it is bloody nonsense for somebody lounging off everybody else's hard work to get all self righteous about "the productive" vs. the "non-productive".

    Look, the system worked for you. You are probably the last generation the current system will work as well as it does. Either get "productive" and stop taking our SS and Medicare money or have the decency to have some self respect and appreciation for what the rest of America if giving you for free.

  42. [42] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Neil [44] 3. Religious loonies: SCOTUS - Treasonous Trump is their man! They are all in

    Yeah, but now that Trump has filled Kennedy's seat with a social conservative, will they feel the same urgency about the Court? Could be that the worst thing that could have happened to him politically was getting two picks early in his first term.

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I don't believe Democrats as a whole have a plan, Don, big money or no big money. That is the real problem that rises above even the money issue.

    A man with a plan doesn't need big money, after
    all. That has already been proven.

    In other words, Don, 'One Demand' (I don't like that name, still) requires that there be an underlying plan promoted by the Democrat in question.

    Without a plan to move the country forward, the premise of One Demand doesn't interest me.

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Treasonous Trump was an anomaly in 2016 ...

    I think if you analyze why Trump won in 2016 and how he resonated with people who voted for Obama (twice), then I think you will begin to understand why he won and see that America was on a decline well before Trump came on the political scene in the wake of the election of the first African American president.

    Trump didn't create the America that elected him in 2016 but he sure knew how to milk for everything it's worth.

    It has been said that Trump pulled the veil off the illusion of America.

    Speaking of which, are you able to access William Bradley's columns at Huffington Post ... or anywhere? His last few pieces are must reads!

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I find it very interesting that folks around here don't seem to want to discuss what the Democrats need to do to reverse Trumpism.

    I know this isn't easy stuff but, it is essential if you are serious about resisting Trump.

  46. [46] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm [46]

    How do you define "the rest of America?" (the folks I'm sponging off)??

    My 4 kids pay substantially more SS tax than I receive in benefits. The ones who are crashing the system are the ones who came from large families (basically the baby boomers), but who chose to spend their income on big boy's toys and ocean cruises rather than on raising families.

    When I started paying into SS, there were 15 or 20 workers for each retiree. Now there's 3 1/2 to 1 and headed rapidly for 2 to 1.

    I'm betting you are one of those who's crashing the system, right?

  47. [47] 
    neilm wrote:

    I'm betting you are one of those who's crashing the system, right?

    The people who are crashing the system are those who are taking more out of the system that they put in (hint for you: mirror time). I expect little or nothing from SS and also expect to supplement Medicare which I expect to be rudimentary. I've been saving for decades based on that model.

    If I got all the money I'd put into SS back in inflation adjusted terms (forget the nice additional return you got) as a lump sum and forfeited my right to SS I'd jump at the chance.

    It is nice that you are willing to sponge off your kids money - do they know you think like that?

  48. [48] 
    neilm wrote:

    As for letting yourself off the hook because you have four kids:

    1. The kids are paying in expecting to get something out when they retire - not to keep you flush.

    2. I also have four kids and agree that we need to keep growing the workforce to keep the system even somewhat operational.

    3. Thus I assume you are for open borders that the Lib/eratrian party platform calls for.

  49. [49] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    Just to follow up on my comment last night regarding the Russian woman. The filing here is a good summary of what she did, when, for whom, and with whom.

    She's a real spy; she won't turn. Why would she? After a couple of years, she'll be traded in a spy swap, and go home. If she turned, she'd have to stay in the US.
    Even with changed identity, she'd be marked and looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life. Russia deals with traitors much more harshly than we do.

    Speaking of traitors, US Persons 1 and 2 in the filing are both all but publicly outed in the press, and both are going to have some 'spainin to do.

    By the way -and this is pure speculation on my part-, Bloomberg reports the DAG, R.R., gave the White House the choice of before or after the Summit for the FSB indictment earlier last week. So, the impetus for. and order to, get out probably went DoJ -> WH -> Russian DC operative -> FSB HQ -> Torshin -> Butina. They wired funds on Thursday, and she was all packed when they took her Sunday.

  50. [50] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    "It's nice that you are willing to sponge off your kid's money - do they know you think like that?"

    That response proves that you are totally and abysmally ignorant of how a "pay-as-you-go" system (aka Ponzi) functions, (kinda like on a par with the way you understand how inflation functions).

    My contributions have NO CONNECTION WHATSOEVER to me or to my benefits. My contributions paid for the benefits of my grandparents and parents, some of whom never contributed anything (same as your grandparents and/or parents) My benefits in turn, come from my kids, and their benefits will have to come from my grandkids.

    The spongers are the folks who didn't HAVE kids, or at least enough kids. How about it, are you one of those or not?

  51. [51] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Liz [50] I find it very interesting that folks around here don't seem to want to discuss what the Democrats need to do to reverse Trumpism.

    We already know what to do, Liz. Show up.

    We need to vote, and to 'get out' the vote among our friends and neighbors.

    We need to first rip control of the Congress away from the Republicans, then to defeat Trump soundly in 2020.

    It will require, mostly, getting souls to the polls. We've go lawyers working overtime to ensure that the GOP doesn't screw us again with voter restrictions in the swing states, and have also used the courts to dismantle illegally gerrymandered districts in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

    In Florida, we're signing up new voters among the burgeoning new Puerto Rican community (thanks Republicans!) who will be our winning edge in the next statewide elections there.

    Lots to be optimistic about.

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Let me put it another way.

    What is the Democratic message that will get people out to the polls. Or, do you think a winning message is even necessary.

  53. [53] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    It has been said that Trump pulled the veil off the illusion of America.

    The only illusory America is in the minds of the far right, who think they're the "real Amurika". They are not: they are a minority of Americans at best.

    All Trump did was to lift the beautiful ornamental Rock that is America and allow us to see some of the crawly things underneath. They'll burrow back underground soon, they always do.

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Do you think that the Resistance is up to the task of dealing with Trump? What is the resistance doing that demonstrates a successful strategy in countering Trump?

  55. [55] 
    neilm wrote:

    The spongers are the folks who didn't HAVE kids, or at least enough kids. How about it, are you one of those or not?

    Re-read - I stated I have as many kids as you do.

    I know exactly how the system works - that is why I've been saving since my 20's because I can do math as well, and also watched medical and college inflation (I know, you get your panties all squeezed up when the whole of the rest of the world uses inflation as a synonym for price increases) run at higher rates than the base level.

    So I built all that into my model and put all my kids thru college, saved for retirement, and added an extra supplemental amount for Medicare.

    I doubt you did any of these things, particularly in your 20's and 30's.

    Everybody out there who is 40 or younger and making at least the median household income - put 10% or more of your money into tax advantaged long term instruments and make the rest of your life work around what is left - you won't miss much (in 30 years time that fancy BMW will be useless to you, but the $30,000 you saved buying a Honda instead will be a great present to yourself - maybe a whole year less working before you retire) but you 60-year-old self will thank you a lot.

    Time is your most valuable resource - would anybody under 40 swap places with Warren Buffett - you get to be a billionaire, but you are 89 years old! And Warren Buffett would swap places with a healthy but penniless 20 year old every day of the week.

    Saving money isn't saving, it is spending it on time. Spend as much money on time as you can and make the most of the time you've got.

  56. [56] 
    neilm wrote:

    Balthasar [58] - exactly!

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, Neil and Balthasar, if American greatness wasn't illusory, then Trump wouldn't have been elected.

    Which means that the Democrats have to do a lot more than GTVO. They have to have a reason for being and they have to be able to communicate that message to voters.

    Can Democrats do that?

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If Senator Biden is their next presidential nominee, then Democrats have a very good chance of doing that and of reconceiving the Resistance into an organization that can indeed resist Trump and Trumpism.

    And, they won't have to resort to imbecilic name-calling, either.

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don, this is the wrong time to be making 'big money' the overarching issue.

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The Democrats can't even resist Trump, Don.

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I meant to say 'the Resistance'.

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here's what I'll say, Don. I believe the Democrats need to communicate a positive message that will persuade a majority of Americans to vote for them and I believe that muscular campaign finance reform should be included in that message.

    That's as far as I'm prepared to go at this point, Don.

  63. [63] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    If Senator Biden is their next presidential nominee, then Democrats have a very good chance of doing that and of reconceiving the Resistance into an organization that can indeed resist Trump and Trumpism.

    I can get behind that sentiment, Liz. I saw Joe the other day, and he's looking fit and able. And he'd make mincemeat out of Trump.

    Don't worry about Don, Liz. He fancies himself a Naderite, but spends most of his time attacking Democrats, which even Nader doesn't do.

  64. [64] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:


    Over 50% of Americans (the usual standard for a majority) have already rejected that message by not voting in off year elections.

    Why not find out how many of them would be interested and be willing to respond to a different message?

    Have you not already hired a consulting firm to run polls to find out whether or not there is a real desire for or need for One Demand? Maybe a poll of 1000 registered voters who haven’t voted in the last two presidential elections as to the reason they chose not to vote?

    Again, this would be something that would give your organization the appearance of legitimacy. (not that you need anyone’s input on how One Demand is run, I know!)

  65. [65] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:


    <And if the Democrats want to win elections, maybe they should stop listening to their partisan supporters and pay attention to those that do not support them so they can find out if there is a way to gain the support of the very citizens they need to be able to win.

    Do you hear yourself? Ignore those that got them elected to focus on those that don’t support them, or anyone, for that matter! THAT is how they should focus on getting elected?

    Don, you seem to consider all Democrats as being “Big Money” Dems who don’t vote on behalf of their constituents. While I know that there are some who seem deeper in corporate pockets than others, have you any evidence showing that the more large donations a candidate receives, the more likely they will vote against the well-being of their constituents?

  66. [66] 
    Kick wrote:


    We already know what to do, Liz. Show up.

    Balthy is right, of course. :)

  67. [67] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller

    Poor Liz doesn't like the name calling? Get over yourself already, please, Liz. How is your incessant and repetitive condescending rants against an entire political party any better? You could save yourself a lot of time and let the names fly, Liz. Seriously.

    Know this, Liz... because it is a fact: Democrats don't need a message in the midterms in order to beat "Trumpism." All politics is local, particularly during the midterms, and Democrats don't need a message because they need about a thousand of them and to GOTV... get out the vote. What worked for AOC in New York is great for her in her district but would go down like a lead balloon in CA-48.

    Please resume your rants about the Democrats needing a message after the midterms, please, because that's when it'll be relevant.

    You needn't worry about Benedict Donald, either. Mueller's got this and has for a very, very long time.

    Rant over. :)

  68. [68] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Because the time has now come to start universally calling him "Comrade Trump."

    Not bad... not bad at all. :)

    I promise to sprinkle that one in every now and again, but then it's no secret around here that I'm quite fond of the moniker "Benedict Donald." There really is a reason I've referred to Trump as Benedict Donald for a very, very long time now.

    Fasten your seat belt. :)

  69. [69] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    not a big fan of the name-calling. i like the creativity, but greatly prefer a positive, optimistic message.


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