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Where Does It End?

Good conversations are being had among the sensible, but for the most part no one is backing away from the precipice we find ourselves at. My more fever swamp righty sources spent the better part of the day saying the cosplay revolutionaries were Antifa trying to make MAGA look bad. Once that was thoroughly debunked, they switched to “no riot at all.” Some are even suggesting that Ashli Babbit who was shot dead by Capitol Police isn’t really dead, and it’s all a false flag op. It’s classic: “my team can never do wrong.” I see more and more people descending into Q-anon bullshit. People who should know better. I see more and more lefties descending into their own fever swamps, where they are the anti-racist saviors who will defeat fascism. This is all a lie. None of this shit is real. Instead of trying to understand what drove Trump supporters to Trump, are doubling down on shaming the deplorables for supporting white supremacy.

This will not fix a damned thing, and will only make things worse.

Trump was often his own worst enemy. Historically, leaders who bring about political realignments are politically talented, but total lunatics. Think of Napoleon as being the archetype of this. Met his Waterloo and ended up in exile, but he changed the entire political landscape of Europe for generations. FDR might be the rare exception who was successful at effecting a long realignment but managed to not be a complete lunatic.

Would be change agents often their success is short lived because their own megalomania defeats them. Trump had that in spades. His strength was in media, which I think he has a very strong instinct for. But when it came to political survival, and moving the ball forward, he wasn’t able to carry much over the finish line. He almost certainly revealed the possibilities of a coalition that is more diverse racially, and more working class. I hope someone comes along who can carry that coalition forward who has fewer self-destructive tendencies than Trump. But that’s liable to be an insider, and I don’t think that coalition would tolerate someone on the inside.

Trumpism is not fundamentally an economic grievance, though economics is downstream from that. It is a deficit of dignity. The anger over politicians and elites who seem to care more about people in other countries than they do Americans here at home, that don’t care about the decay of small towns and cities due to job flight, that want to solve the problem by offering Universal Basic Income, which will only make the dignity deficit worse.

All it takes is a little respect, and maybe accepting that it’s better to pay extra for some things to ensure other Americans can make a decent living and provide. Maybe every election shouldn’t be about owning the “libturds” or the deplorables. Maybe we could agree that politicians are generally horrible people that shouldn’t be trusted with a lot of power. Maybe we can accept that we do actually need police reform in this country. Or that if Congress wants to make something illegal, it should have to pass a law, rather than having most of our laws made by people who are unaccountable.

But one thing is for sure, if we double down on hating our political opponents, calling them names, and descending farther down into the fever swamps, conspiracy theories, and thinking half of your fellow Americans are flaming racist xenophobes, this is going to end very badly.

The Only Losing Move is Not to Play

The thing R-leaning people need to understand is that mail-in voting is just easier to manipulate than in-person voting. I’m not talking fraud, necessarily, though mail-in voting is also easier to manipulate in a fraudulent way too. But that’s not what I’m speaking about here.

Never underestimate the friction of having to get a warm body before a poll worker. It’s significant. In fact, GOTV for in-person voting is considered a critical part of that game. We all know how that works, and how to play. But this game is different.With mail-in voting, its easier for activists to get legit votes from people who don’t give a shit, and who are easily influenced on-the-spot, by promises of free shit, or just a good salesman. That’s fundamentally why I oppose it. You should have to give a shit enough to go wait in line yourself. Social media brings another whole bunch of dynamics that make it easy for activists to generate votes from people who otherwise were going to find better things to do on election day.

The problem Republicans have is the Dems are much better at playing this game. The GOP just whines that it’s unfair or unethical and refuses to play. They are beating you at the mail-in ballot game. Yes, there’s probably some fraud in there, but I do believe the Dems own the mail-in game even if you don’t count fraud, because it plays to their strengths.Your only choice is to change the game so they can’t use those techniques, or play along with them, and be just as shameless. You’ll have to work harder, because they have some structural advantages that you don’t. But if you want that overnight vote dump to look more realistic, you have to play. This is the opposite of War Games: here the only losing move is not to play.

PS – I’m looking at heading in a new direction for the blog, but I just don’t have time anymore. I used to make time come hell or high water, but that gets tiring. But we’re headed into dark times, and I feel like we made a horrible mistake moving to social media. I can’t easily be silenced here, except by Verizon pulling my business-class FiOS. I own all my servers. I used to get people asking me why I self-hosted. I’ll bet you aren’t asking that anymore!

Debate Thread

Naked Power Plays

The McConnell hate is palpable right now. If you don’t think the Dems would have done the same thing if the situation were reversed, I have a bridge to sell you. They would be fools not to.

Most of politics is slinging bullshit. You weave a narrative for the rubes to rally around.

“Let the next President fill the seat!”

“Do your job!”

“It was her dying wish!”

“Mitch is a hypocrite!”

It’s all nonsense that will be repeated mindlessly by partisan cheerleaders. If the Dems had been in charge of the Senate, Merrick Gardland or someone more liberal would be on the court right now, and to me that’s a consequence of losing elections. If Hillary had won and the Dems won back the Senate in 2018, no one vilifying Cocaine Mitch right now would be complaining about Schumer allowing a vote on RBG’s replacement. What surprises me is how many educated people are fall for “The Narrative.”

This is raw, naked, political power, as our system is designed to allow. Anyone who thinks higher principles are involved here is a fool. Mitch McConnell is doing exactly what Chuck Schumer would be doing if the party was reversed. When the party in the White House, controls the Senate, they can put whoever they want on the federal courts without compromise. That’s how the system is designed to work. If you want a check, the party that doesn’t hold the White House needs to take the Senate. If you fail to do that, these are the consequences.

I had no greater principle to espouse when Scalia died suddenly and unexpectedly and the GOP moved to block the Garland nomination. Why did the GOP do that? Because it could. There needs to be no higher explanation than that.

I spent a lot of time on here telling people “This is how the system works. If you don’t like reality, learn how things work then work harder than your opponents and outmaneuver them.” If you’ve ever read “Rules for Radicals,” even a lot of Alinsky’s advice amounted to “Don’t be a crybaby. Work for the change you want to see.” A lot of Dems very desperately need this lesson, but no one is telling them.

As for the current Supreme Court situation: there may now be a prayer for the Second Amendment. They won’t need to worry so much about holding Weeble Woberts. But if I were a fan of Roe or Obergefell, I’d be worried. I understand the Dems freaking out. But the temper tantrums I can’t abide by.

BTW, I’ll also make a prediction, because I like predictions. John Roberts is the next David Souter. He’ll move further left to rebalance the Court. If I were the Dems, I’d be inviting the Chief Justice to all the cool kid parties and try for that play.

Truth

Reason notes: “Every petty excuse for the police to bother you is a loose trigger for further injustice.” Truer words have never been uttered. That goes double if you don’t have the money to hire a decent lawyer. Justice is for those who can afford it. If Evan Nappen hadn’t jumped on this, the dude would be going to jail.

I’m also glad to see NRA jumping on this quickly.

The Most Bloomberg Thing Ever

He’s paying people to pretend to like him. Seriously, how cartoonish is that? You can almost imagine the rich kid at recess handing out fivers so other kids will play with him. It’s a real life caricature. This is the most Bloomberg thing I’ve ever heard of. Begs the question: how much is he paying people to pretend to give a shit about gun control? I’m half tempted to switch my registration just to be able to Bern Bloomberg in the primaries. I’ve never in my life seen a more patently offensive campaign to every day people than his.

Before us is a great test of our republic: can someone actually flat out buy the Presidency?

Conspiracy!

Tam has a look at the reality of the Iowa Caucus debacle. This whole affair was made for conspiracy theorist. I admit I’m quite amused at the whole thing. On one had, I can totally see a software team being that incompetent, especially if it’s all former Hillary people right out of some code camp. What I’d like to believe, is that this was a legit attempt to rig the election for establishment Dems, but they screwed the app meant to do it up so bad the plot was foiled! But it’s generally a good rule to never attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence.

Political Hobbyists

Really interesting article in the Atlantic about college educated people ruining politics.

Unlike organizers such as Matias, the political hobbyists are disproportionately college-educated white men. They learn about and talk about big important things. Their style of politics is a parlor game in which they debate the issues on their abstract merits. Media commentators and good-government reform groups have generally regarded this as a cleaner, more evolved, less self-interested version of politics compared with the kind of politics that Matias practices.

I disagree they are mostly college educated white men. There’s plenty of gender equality here. I was raised by parents who were very involved in their community. They were not political activists, but political involvement flows naturally from community involvement. While I’ve certainly been guilty of treating politics like sports (though, I hate all the teams), there’s a certain superficiality about it that’s described here that annoys me.

I’ll leave the reader to ponder the irony of decrying people talking politics to death on a politically oriented blog :)

Shapiro’s Bloomberg Appeasing 80% Ruling

Attorney General is often a good stepping stone to Governor. So if you have those kinds of ambition, you’ll want an issue that isn’t liable to get a Virginia-sized revolt going, but that will please your party’s paymasters. Shapiro has found his issue. Bloomberg has a huge hard-on for stopping “ghost guns,” so if you ask me, that’s what this is about. It’s a good old fashioned moral panic among the right kind of people, and these days, thanks to social media, we do love ourselves some moral panic.

Granted, this is just about the most useless thing in the world: literally the only person this is going to deter is someone who has no ill intent. The only thing I can think of that’s more useless are “no guns allowed” signs where the sign is basically the security plan. Shapiro has decided that hunks of inert metal need to be regulated. I suppose you could throw it at someone and cause a decent head injury.

Shapiro’s opinion hinges on the definition in the UFA of “may readily be restored.” OK then. How much machining is needed to qualify? Notice he doesn’t say 80% lower. Is a block of aluminum now a firearm? I have literally no idea how to comply with this opinion. It’s essentially nonsense.

Attorney Josh Prince is of the opinion that if taken to court, it would not end well for the commonwealth, and I hope he’s right.

Indicted Philly Rep Was Gun Control Leader

John Richardson has done some good citizen journalism on the indictment of Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell by Josh Shaprio’s office.

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