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Thread: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

  1. #91
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Mahjong Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Since we're not delving here, I'll add another story on the theory that cumulative dozens of such stories will stir the intellect to contemplation. From the Equifax class-action lawsuit (non-Americans look it up): They stored sensitive personal information in unencrypted plaintext accessible from front-end portals. Sensitive data served over the web was also unencrypted. They used "admin" as a username and password.

    In a point for Sanders, he has called for eliminating these credit rating leeches and replacing them with a public credit registry - as well as making it unlawful to use credit scores as a discriminatory criterion in employment, insurance, and rental housing. Who can disagree on either?
    Rental housing? Why would it not be a valid tool there? Credit should be an irrelevance to the other two as it is not germane, unless you are writing up some kind of credit-insurance policy.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

  2. #92

    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    Everything about the US Government is insane - you took all the wrong lessons from two World wars.

    Here only the self-employed file their own taxes, which they do because they are operating as a business. If you think you've been over-taxed you can file you a change of tax code, at which point the Revenue will re-calculate and pay you the difference, with interest on anything from the previous tax-year.

    You're unlikely to be in the wrong tax code unless you change jobs, or work more than one job.
    Noted, but what do tax filing procedures have to do with the lessons of the world wars? The wars drove up tax rates and I'm sure led to innovations in administration, but what's the specific connection you're making?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Rental housing? Why would it not be a valid tool there? Credit should be an irrelevance to the other two as it is not germane, unless you are writing up some kind of credit-insurance policy.
    For reference, see Sanders' overall housing reform plan and a think-tank paper that influenced the public credit registry idea.

    The narrative as I know it is:

    1. Financial and real estate speculation destroyed the economy in 2007-9.
    2. Besides losing homes many people suffered unduly in their credit ratings.
    3. Businesses and speculators who treat real estate as an appreciating asset have contributed to rising property prices and rents.
    4. Credit score tests for rent have become more stringent, placing greater burdens and restrictions on middle-class renters and below.
    5. Credit scores are often inaccurate anyway.
    6. All of the above are subject to and perpetuate racial and other forms of discrimination, where people of color are more likely to be targeted for predatory lending in the first place (thus harming their scores among other things), categorized as high-risk or not have a credit history at all - further noting that all the above, including the 2008 recession and contributing factors, devastated middle-class black and Hispanic families in particular.
    7. The current system of credit checks is deeply unfair to tens of millions of people who need access to credit to live.

    As for why a transparent and accurate government registry of credit scores shouldn't be relied upon in residential leasing (including after medical debt is excluded from the algorithm as Sanders proposes), I'm not sure. I would assume to preclude any resurgence of the long-standing disadvantages referenced.
    Vitiate Man.

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  3. #93
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Noted, but what do tax filing procedures have to do with the lessons of the world wars? The wars drove up tax rates and I'm sure led to innovations in administration, but what's the specific connection you're making?
    I'll repeat - everything about the US Government is insane.

    You did ask for my opinion.
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    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    I'll repeat - everything about the US Government is insane.
    Which means: I wish they were like Boris and his posse (=sagacious and reasoned).
    Quote Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
    The article exists for a reason yes, I did not write it...

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    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    I'm coming at this pretty late, apologize. Great points made on all sides.

    I wish I could feel the optimism Seamus and others express about the failsafes of American Democracy, and that the American people "Will not stand..."

    We are STILL TODAY putting children in cages, overseen by pedophiles, laying on concrete floors with mylar blankets. Refusing them medical treatment. Run by the companies that donated the most to Trump's campaign funds or PACs. STILL. This moral outrage continues. We have NO decency, no moral fiber, no core. We have been exposed as hollow men, and our children should never forgive us.

    Relying on the American people to "Do the right thing" in November 2020 is a sick and twisted joke. Assuming it even comes to pass. Nobody seems to be asking why Moscow Mitch is so adamant that no changes be made to electoral processes... could it be that he'll recognize the urgent need in the 3rd week of October, 2020?

    I've been saying it for 3 years now. You have already witnessed the last American Presidential election. Trump may not be able to hold the cabal together under his own personal leadership much longer (I'm personally convinced he is suffering from severe dementia), but his puppet masters aren't going anywhere.
    Last edited by Don Corleone; 11-05-2019 at 03:30.
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    I cant tell if this is poes law in action or not.
    Being better than the worst does not inherently make you good. But being better than the rest lets you brag.


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    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    Not Poe's law buddy. Maybe I got a little fired up, but if I had to choose a single word for the United States right now, that word would have to be "dishonored".
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

  8. #98
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone View Post
    Not Poe's law buddy. Maybe I got a little fired up, but if I had to choose a single word for the United States right now, that word would have to be "dishonored".
    Over here, our PM is holding back the publication of a report on Russian interference in the 2016 referendum until after the coming election. Both our countries are being screwed over by the same far right group.

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  9. #99
    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone View Post
    I'm coming at this pretty late, apologize. Great points made on all sides.

    I wish I could feel the optimism Seamus and others express about the failsafes of American Democracy, and that the American people "Will not stand..."

    We are STILL TODAY putting children in cages, overseen by pedophiles, laying on concrete floors with mylar blankets. Refusing them medical treatment. Run by the companies that donated the most to Trump's campaign funds or PACs. STILL. This moral outrage continues. We have NO decency, no moral fiber, no core. We have been exposed as hollow men, and our children should never forgive us.

    Relying on the American people to "Do the right thing" in November 2020 is a sick and twisted joke. Assuming it even comes to pass. Nobody seems to be asking why Moscow Mitch is so adamant that no changes be made to electoral processes... could it be that he'll recognize the urgent need in the 3rd week of October, 2020?

    I've been saying it for 3 years now. You have already witnessed the last American Presidential election. Trump may not be able to hold the cabal together under his own personal leadership much longer (I'm personally convinced he is suffering from severe dementia), but his puppet masters aren't going anywhere.

    I can't find a single incorrect statement in this post.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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  10. #100
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Mahjong Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    I used to think of myself as a Republican. Similarly to George Will and Max Boot, I no longer think of myself that way. I am a conservative, listed as a Republican in my voting district so that I might participate in primary votes, but not truly part of the Republican party.

    I used to argue that Trump's core of support was not the majority of the party and that he enjoyed the support of many simply as a way to oppose our political left. This is clearly no longer true.

    The Republican party is shrinking, shedding membership as the party becomes more and more an expression of Trump's fickle will. When "Dubya" took the oath for a second time, roughly 32%% of Americans identified themselves with the Republican party (and 34% with the Dems). That number is down to 26% now, meaning that the party has more or less rid itself of 1 in 5. While Trump earned roughly 45% of the votes cast in GOP primaries in 2016, the erosion of membership has certainly NOT come from that cadre, thus suggesting that his 45% has morphed into a commanding 57%. Add in those who are 'yellow dog' GOP types regardless of who/what is the nominee as the only thing that matters to them is the power earned by winning, and Trump truly does enjoy 80+% support in the Republican party -- it is the party of Trump and his creature.

    As Trump has a well-earned reputation for breaking/destroying anyone who opposes him from within his own "team," he is in a position to force those within the party who would otherwise oppose him to do his bidding (at least until the primaries finish), as he can get his majority of party support to oust most of those who do not do his bidding. As Profiles in Political Courage reminds us, those pols who will oppose their own parties when it is difficult of risky for them are few and far between. It is simple, as with Ryan, to opt out. It is even easier for opponents who do not hold office to opt out (Will and Boot from above).

    My political home for nearly 4 decades has cast me off as dross, melted away in the smithing of a purer form. Regrettably, Trump is almost the archetype of that form.

    Small government? Fiscal responsibility? Free trade? Opposition to efforts at conquest?

    Now we have a party in love with the powerful executive who is not the lead voice of an administration, but THE voice; we have a party that seeks the decrease of taxation (good) without any real effort to address the system of taxation or the process of budgeting and spending (bad - though to be fair the GOP has had a problem with this part even before Trump), and we have a party pugnaciously using protectionism to enhance US trade and, worse, as a weapon for other political objectives such as immigration. And while blame over the lackluster response to Russian aggression in Ukraine and the Crimea can be laid at the feet of Obama and the rest of NATO/EU leadership at the time, Trump has managed to give away Syria to the Russians and is assisting in the decoupling of Turkey from NATO.

    I no longer even feel much of a sense of loss in the GOP no longer being my home. But I pity what our political culture has become overall.
    Last edited by Seamus Fermanagh; 11-05-2019 at 21:23.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

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  11. #101
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Mahjong Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    While I do not hold with the idea of a right-wing "cabal" in the sense that there is some kind of 'Illuminati' conspiracy, I do believe that Don C is functionally correct.

    Those who have made a career of enhancing the polarization of political America, notably Limbaugh and Hannity, are no longer the voice articulating right-wing America's frustration with liberalism and the media, they have become the guiding spirit of a social movement that seeks its destruction. Hannity talks almost daily with President Trump, offering advice and counsel that is probably listened to more than those who hold official positions (however temporarily) in the White House. Listen to the Limbaugh program for a week or two and you will hear the "spin" or tactical approach put into practice by Trump or one of his minions within the month.

    And both of those media types are interested in one only one thing, crushing the American political left.

    So it becomes okay to ignore civility and revel in confrontation and vulgarity; it becomes acceptable to tolerate racist ass-hats rather than squelch them as they deserve; it becomes understandable that propriety and ethics must be set aside in order to defeat the enemy; it becomes acceptable to eschew small government in favor of an even smaller and more powerful executive, enabling this authoritarian to do what "must" be done....


    This polarized movement is not fascism, as it lacks the socialist elements of it and carries more of an isolationist bent rather than expansionist. Yet is has all of the other trappings: The narcissistic leader reveling in the adulation of the crowds and the pomp and circumstance of long parades parading to honor his person, the ever shifting coterie of advisors and administration participants warring among one another for the favor of the leader and never knowing who will be praised or cast aside, the concentration of decision power in the hands of the executive himself, reacting as inspiration and intuition spurs his thoughts -- 'knowing' that he is the better leader and disdaining most advice. This is a leadership cult reveling in power and seeking to set aside too many of the constraints placed upon it.


    I feel our institutions will eventually overcome this -- even with the ham-handed efforts of the Dems as opposition (they are themselves too polarized in their own way to be a 'better' alternative, only less bad) -- and I believe that this administration and this phase of our political life will pass. But we have managed to bring a demagogue to the fore, a leader even more divisive than Jackson at his obstreperous best, and this is a grave test of our republic.
    Last edited by Seamus Fermanagh; 11-05-2019 at 21:25.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

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  12. #102
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    I used to think of myself as a Republican. Similarly to George Will and Max Boot, I no longer think of myself that way. I am a conservative, listed as a Republican in my voting district so that I might participate in primary votes, but not truly part of the Republican party.

    I used to argue that Trump's core of support was not the majority of the party and that he enjoyed the support of many simply as a way to oppose our political left. This is clearly no longer true.

    The Republican party is shrinking, shedding membership as the party becomes more and more an expression of Trump's fickle will. When "Dubya" took the oath for a second time, office, roughly 32%% of Americans identified themselves with the Republican party (and 34% with the Dems). That number is down to 26% now, meaning that the party has more or less rid itself of 1 in 5. While Trump earned roughly 45% of the votes cast in GOP primaries in 2016, the erosion of membership has certainly NOT come from that cadre, thus suggesting that his 45% has morphed into a commanding 57%. Add in those who are 'yellow dog' GOP types regardless of who/what is the nominee as the only thing that matters to them is the power earned by winning, and Trump truly does enjoy 80+% support in the Republican party -- it is the party of Trump and his creature.

    As Trump has a well-earned reputation for breaking/destroying anyone who opposes him from within his own "team," he is in a position to force those within the party who would otherwise oppose him to do his bidding (at least until the primaries finish), as he can get his majority of party support to oust most of those who do not do his bidding. As Profiles in Political Courage reminds us, those pols who will oppose their own parties when it is difficult of risky for them are few and far between. It is simple, as with Ryan, to opt out. It is even easier for opponents who do not hold office to opt out (Will and Boot from above).

    My political home for nearly 4 decades has cast me off as dross, melted away in the smithing of a purer form. Regrettably, Trump is almost the archetype of that form.

    Small government? Fiscal responsibility? Free trade? Opposition to efforts at conquest?

    Now we have a party in love with the powerful executive who is not the lead voice of an administration, but THE voice; we have a party that seeks the decrease of taxation (good) without any real effort to address the system of taxation or the process of budgeting and spending (bad - the to be fair the GOP has had a problem with this part even before Trump), and we have a party pugnaciously using protectionism to enhance US trade and, worse, as a weapon for other political objectives such as immigration. And while blame over the lackluster response to Russian aggression in Ukraine and the Crimea can be laid at the feet of Obama and the rest of NATO/EU leadership at the time, Trump has managed to give away Syria to the Russians and is assisting in the decoupling of Turkey from NATO.

    I no longer even feel much of a sense of lose in the GOP no longer being my home. But I pity what our political culture has become overall.
    I was ready to agree with each and every word of your post Seamus, right up until you made the unqualified statement regarding reduction in taxes. Between the elimination of tax credits for the working poor and the reduciton in allowable deductions for the middle class, the GOP has effectively raised taxes on people not in their inner circle. I am proof. My taxes went UP under the Trump Tax Cut and Jobs act. Substantially. To the effect of 12% net increase in paid tax, and before anybody starts, please spare me the altered withholding / reduced refund canard... That's a crock designed to throw silt in the water. I calculated my taxes before I sent them to a CPA and we both agreed and whined.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

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  13. #103
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    While I do not hold with the idea of a right-wing "cabal" in the sense that there is some kind of 'Illuminati' conspiracy, I do believe that Don C is functionally correct.
    .
    Just to be clear, when I say Cabal & handlers, I'm talking about Hannity (we want no survivors at CNN), about Limbaugh (it was never about reduced deficts, that was a tactic), the Koch's, the Mercers, Sheldon Adelstein and the like. They have spent good money on the best government money can buy, and they are not about to let it go. They're not idiots, they know they can't win an election or the House w/ 35% (sadly, you can claim the Senate with that).
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

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  14. #104
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone View Post
    Just to be clear, when I say Cabal & handlers, I'm talking about Hannity (we want no survivors at CNN), about Limbaugh (it was never about reduced deficts, that was a tactic), the Koch's, the Mercers, Sheldon Adelstein and the like. They have spent good money on the best government money can buy, and they are not about to let it go. They're not idiots, they know they can't win an election or the House w/ 35% (sadly, you can claim the Senate with that).
    To what extent is this a new phenomenon, though? Is it not just more obvious with Trump bearing in mind he's probably suffering from dementia?

    I think the same was said regarding GW Bush, after he had a breakdown following 9/11 and started seeing the "War on Terror" as a mission from God.

    The nature of American politics means you basically need a millionaire in your pocket (or to be in theirs) to become POTUS.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."

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  15. #105
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Mahjong Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone View Post
    I was ready to agree with each and every word of your post Seamus, right up until you made the unqualified statement regarding reduction in taxes. Between the elimination of tax credits for the working poor and the reduciton in allowable deductions for the middle class, the GOP has effectively raised taxes on people not in their inner circle. I am proof. My taxes went UP under the Trump Tax Cut and Jobs act. Substantially. To the effect of 12% net increase in paid tax, and before anybody starts, please spare me the altered withholding / reduced refund canard... That's a crock designed to throw silt in the water. I calculated my taxes before I sent them to a CPA and we both agreed and whined.
    Fair counter. I meant reduction of taxes in a general sense. You might even say irresponsibly. The system has been suborned so as to ensure the preservation of real wealth while hammering the middle class family trying to step up further.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

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  16. #106
    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    I used to think of myself as a Republican. Similarly to George Will and Max Boot, I no longer think of myself that way. I am a conservative, listed as a Republican in my voting district so that I might participate in primary votes, but not truly part of the Republican party.

    ...

    My political home for nearly 4 decades has cast me off as dross, melted away in the smithing of a purer form. Regrettably, Trump is almost the archetype of that form.

    Small government? Fiscal responsibility? Free trade? Opposition to efforts at conquest?

    Now we have a party in love with the powerful executive who is not the lead voice of an administration, but THE voice; we have a party that seeks the decrease of taxation (good) without any real effort to address the system of taxation or the process of budgeting and spending (bad - the to be fair the GOP has had a problem with this part even before Trump), and we have a party pugnaciously using protectionism to enhance US trade and, worse, as a weapon for other political objectives such as immigration. And while blame over the lackluster response to Russian aggression in Ukraine and the Crimea can be laid at the feet of Obama and the rest of NATO/EU leadership at the time, Trump has managed to give away Syria to the Russians and is assisting in the decoupling of Turkey from NATO.

    I no longer even feel much of a sense of lose in the GOP no longer being my home. But I pity what our political culture has become overall.
    I have never seen this party of which you are nostaligic, consequence of my youth and distance of my perspective I suspect.

    The republican party I saw growing up was one that spent blood and treasure freely, conquered foriegn lands in all but name and turned an equally blind eye on those that abused of the openness of america's markets as the democrats did. Fiscal responsability, free trade, these seemed like more of an inside joke than anything else with the party; like border security it was something to promise during the election and promptly forgtten it on the plane back to washington.

    Free trade especially, give access without any reciprocation then act suprised when manufacturing lost out was thier routine. Be it europeans propping up thier local production with regulations and tariffs or the chinese outright demanding state ownership; what ever the republicans practiced was it wasnt free trade. Closer to self sabotage.

    As an aside I take issue with your assessment of foriegn policy: I've said it before Syria was given away when america helped topple Gadaffi and tried doing the same to Assad, keeping him on side after that was a pipe dream and the things replacing him quickly corrupted. They laid out the welcome mat to putin there and then; one with white arabic writing and a sword on a field of black.

    Turkey much the same, amazing what an influx of refugees properly wielded can do home and abroad for a would be dictator, almost as amazing as how much of a turn off causing their flight was for your relationship.

    So it becomes okay to ignore civility and revel in confrontation and vulgarity; it becomes acceptable to tolerate racist ass-hats rather than squelch them as they deserve; it becomes understandable that propriety and ethics must be set aside in order to defeat the enemy.
    Losing gracefully is losing nonetheless; the neocons that ran the party, (bush, cheyne, mccain, romney etc) turned it into an artform and I cannot say america'd be better off if civility wasnt all they had over the opposition, as much as it would be appropriate to the tone of my sentance. Doesnt help that they arent that civil to begin with, just ask Mccain's peers. And constitutents. And wife.

    The Republican primary field before trump ran was filled with graceful losers. In the face of the current democrats when the caveat of civility is capitulation: civility can hang.

    The democrats have a warped definition of racism, with how they weaponize it it's become so there isnt a man alive in a red tie that hasnt said something that can be twisted and inferred beyond reason into revealing them as a racist asshat. Would have thought this would have become apparant after the covington kids were called racist for smiling while white.

    Under the definition used outside of the universities, hack editorials and the DNC, I struggle to name a republican who hasnt been roundly squelched after showing themselves as such.
    Last edited by Greyblades; 11-05-2019 at 23:41.
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  17. #107
    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Fair counter. I meant reduction of taxes in a general sense. You might even say irresponsibly. The system has been suborned so as to ensure the preservation of real wealth while hammering the middle class family trying to step up further.
    I'm really not splitting hairs here... "Reducing taxes in a general sense" for whom? You're right in that what is currently happening is lacking in the true populism that is common among fascist systems. I see the current situation as a very well engineered direct drive to true plutocracy. The whole purpose is to extract wealth from the lower and middle classes, and when no longer needed, the upper 9% transitionals to the oligarchs. I mean, we can't even pass highway bills at this point, FFS, yet we're running defecits well beyond any boundaries of sanity. What do you call it?

    To PVC's point, this is nothing new in the American Experiment. Landed aristocrats of Virginia, Robber baron industrialists, and now the latest. Americans like to tell ourselves that we are the land of the free, home of the brave, but in reality, we're not that different from feudal serfs (geographic restrictions aside).
    Last edited by Don Corleone; 11-06-2019 at 00:18.
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  18. #108

    Default Re: The XYZelensky Affair and the Whole Impeachment Shebang

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    While I do not hold with the idea of a right-wing "cabal" in the sense that there is some kind of 'Illuminati' conspiracy, I do believe that Don C is functionally correct.

    Those who have made a career of enhancing the polarization of political America, notably Limbaugh and Hannity, are no longer the voice articulating right-wing America's frustration with liberalism and the media, they have become the guiding spirit of a social movement that seeks its destruction. Hannity talks almost daily with President Trump, offering advice and counsel that is probably listened to more than those who hold official positions (however temporarily) in the White House. Listen to the Limbaugh program for a week or two and you will hear the "spin" or tactical approach put into practice by Trump or one of his minions within the month.

    And both of those media types are interested in one only one thing, crushing the American political left.

    So it becomes okay to ignore civility and revel in confrontation and vulgarity; it becomes acceptable to tolerate racist ass-hats rather than squelch them as they deserve; it becomes understandable that propriety and ethics must be set aside in order to defeat the enemy; it becomes acceptable to eschew small government in favor of an even smaller and more powerful executive, enabling this authoritarian to do what "must" be done....


    This polarized movement is not fascism, as it lacks the socialist elements of it and carries more of an isolationist bent rather than expansionist. Yet is has all of the other trappings: The narcissistic leader reveling in the adulation of the crowds and the pomp and circumstance of long parades parading to honor his person, the ever shifting coterie of advisors and administration participants warring among one another for the favor of the leader and never knowing who will be praised or cast aside, the concentration of decision power in the hands of the executive himself, reacting as inspiration and intuition spurs his thoughts -- 'knowing' that he is the better leader and disdaining most advice. This is a leadership cult reveling in power and seeking to set aside too many of the constraints placed upon it.


    I feel our institutions will eventually overcome this -- even with the ham-handed efforts of the Dems as opposition (they are themselves too polarized in their own way to be a 'better' alternative, only less bad) -- and I believe that this administration and this phase of our political life will pass. But we have managed to bring a demagogue to the fore, a leader even more divisive than Jackson at his obstreperous best, and this is a grave test of our republic.
    What you're thinking of is dirigisme, which is not a socialist practice but formal state interventionism common to any statist ideology - something Trump has never shied from in his attempts to directly meddle in macroeconomics and monetary economics, and in the operation of individual companies, on personal whim.

    Trump has been repeatedly shown not to be isolationist. No one is actually an isolationist anymore. To say that fascism must be expansionist misses the context. European fascists led weak or marginalized countries with imperial ambitions (our contemporary correspondence being of course Russia). But the United States is already an empire, the preeminent one. We don't have anywhere to expand. International politics awakens few passions or even attentions here, so the public consciousness (as opposed to professional or governmental) turns inward to the progress of the culture war. Fascism conforms to time and place like any other movement.

    Think of all the elements of fascism that have ever been documented. Almost all the elements are present here in spades.

    One or two of these features do not amount to and produce fascism in themselves. Even a combination would not necessarily congeal into fascism, perhaps only into the kind of authoritarian subordination that so many billions have lived under. But when there is a preponderance of such, combined with a reactionary alignment to destroy political liberalism, circumscribe the benefits of citizenship around the "real" national group, and reorder the economy to secure elite control and strict stratification of classes, such a convergence on the checklist of criteria, we must admit to an imminent threat of falling under the fascist yoke.

    But the most important thing, Seamus, is to see beyond Trump to understand this as a natural growth of a Republican Party that rejected the legitimacy of liberal democracy decades ago, its voters and its politicians alike. Shed your exceptionalism and think about it this way: Would you agree that in other countries and in other times it has been possible for people(s) to violently commit to sectarian principles and governance? You would have little choice but to acknowledge that it's a common story of human experience. Now make a list of criteria for those distant foreigners and apply them blindly to our compatriots. What is the dispassionate result? It not only can happen here, it is.
    Vitiate Man.

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