Democrats & Liberals Archives

An Amateur Cognitive Theorist's Perspective on Trump

Whatever the Republicans think happened on Tuesday, they lost. What? But obviously, they won the election! Well, thanks for pointing that out. But still, that, in part, was why they lost. When they say, “Make America Great Again”, which America are they talking about?

Are they talking about the Rich man's idea that America lost it's greatness when FDR changed things? The Religious Right's idea that it went away when we departed from a common Christian Culture? The Nativist's idea that we went wrong when we departed from the anti-immigrant, racially biased system of the early twentieth century? The Neo-Con's idea that where we really went wrong was in changing course from the aggressive foreign policy of the Kennedy era? Or are we talking about the warm fuzzies of a particular administration, ranging from Eisenhower to Nixon, from Reagan to Dubya.

I'm citing all these because, quite frankly, there's more of a coalition of discontents than one truly unified mass of them. But they all agree: things were better when we were in charge. Things were better, when this, that, or the other constraint on our behavior didn't hold.

I'm not sure they even realize it. They can't all get what they want, and Trump has offered everybody exactly what they want in order to get enough people out there to get what he wanted: the Presidency.

So, he managed to balance the umbrella on the tip of his finger. Now the symmetry breaks.

What is symmetry breaking? Well, it's what happens when that umbrella picks a side to fall toward. Now, things aren't as simple as a rigid umbrella tipping over to one side or another, but the fact is, Trump's constituents have conflicting desires of what happens now that Republicans control everything. There are some people who want nothing more than just an improvement in their standard of living. There are others who don't give a crap about that standard, who simply want us to run off the immigrants, illegal or otherwise. There are some who want to see the roll-back of some liberties for some people. Some want us to be more belligerent, while others want us to be less, withdrawing from all that.

I don't think people really listened, and really, critically examined what he was saying, or they might have realized just how unlikely it will be that Trump hasn't lied to somebody about what he intends to do. Nor, after years of red-faced rhetoric, including plenty from Trump himself, do I think that people have critically sat down and worked out what they would be losing. Let's take Obamacare for example.

I mean, you folks on the Right threw a fit over five million people getting their preferred policies cancelled. You got angry over a 25% increase in premiums. What happens when you repeal and replace Obamacare? Well, you might instantly end up getting rid of insurance for a whole lot more than 5 million people. You might find a whole lot more people going on indigent care, and then there's Medicare drug benefits and all that other stuff. Do you really want to widen the donut hole? Do you really want to be caught given tens of billions of dollars in pretty much gratuitous subsides back to the insurance companies and drug companies?

This was part of why people like me loved the Obama Administration. Here was a guy who would actually think things through! He didn't just follow the politically easy route in deciding what to do, he'd look over what was actually happening, and would adjust how things were done to suit. If he had had a cooperative Congress, he could have done a lot better. Instead, he got people like Trump, ideologues who make promises that fit nicely on bumper stickers.

God help us. I look at this, and I see the consequences of teaching generations of Conservatives to essentially repeat back positions to the teacher like students in a class. Yes, they're well indoctrinated. But it makes people lazy in terms of dealing with the way the world actually works.

Obamacare is a perfect example. You ask me, can we change this for the better, should we alter it where it hasn't quite gone through like promised, and I'd say yes! I'm not wedded to that original proposal. Results should factor in, and that's the point of a system like ours. Republicans? They buried the needle on their criticism, were oh-so-fictionalized on the subject of what they were going to destroy. Why? Because they had to get people to hate something that was actually quite in their interests! They had to hate the idea of guaranteed, affordable healthcare coverage! Rather than do the sensible thing and approach it from the idea of sincere, results-oriented policy critique, which they judged would go over their constituents heads, they instead gut-punched everybody by saying that it was a communist takeover, that would destroy freedom in America as we knew it. I mean, Death Panels, for crying out loud!

But what happens when it passes, and when finally the GOP gets the power to undo it?

Well then, Nancy Pelosi told us: you pass the bill, you read the bill, you find out what's in it. When things finally turn to the subject of actual policy, things get a lot more trickier than "keep your government hands off my Medicare!" You end up having to pick and choose your changes, if you don't want to cause an epic disaster.

And guess what? As the Republican Congress, with a Republican President, there's nobody else to point to, to pass the buck. You can only pass the buck around the poker table. You can't force somebody who you beat out of the game to deal the cards. The buck stops here, as President Truman once said.

And this is one example, one subject on which the GOP said it knew everything, that everything the Democrats did was bad, that we should just chose them, and they'd make all the best choices. Trump won these voters by taking this extreme of rhetoric to which Republicans had taken themselves, and taken it even further than they dared to, because they knew, they'd have to make good on their promises. In a way, it would have been better for them if events had unfolded like it seemed they were going to unfold a month ago. Then, with a Democratic Senate, White House, a Democratic Court, and a waning Republican majority in the House, they could have complained to their hearts content that they weren't getting what they wanted.

Now they can get whatever they want. And they will be judged on each and everything they win. Each policy they implement will be judged on its success. Each outrage that comes from them, each predictable failure will be held against them. There are no other targets left But Trump, the Republican Congress, and the now likely conservative Supreme Court.

But that's not all. Because when the Republicans out there, the tired, dissatisfied voters went from Trump, they wanted change from how things were in Washington. They wanted an end to the gridlock. But also, they wanted less of the corruption that they've been seeing, less of the Washington politics. But the problem is, Trump has absolutely no experience in Washington, no experience in policymaking, in dealing with the federal court system, or the Supreme Court, or anything like that. He portrays himself as some kind of savior figure, but wouldn't the less naïve version of this story be that, having little experience, relying on others to help guide him through the complexity of Washington, he'll do little more than just turn in the breeze? Or, worse yet, he'll keep trying to satisfy whatever turn in the public mood arises, and he'll make a mess of policy in the process.

For years, Republicans have kept this country in a state of indecision, with precisely this point in mind. The filibusters, the takeover of Congress, first the House, then the Senate, and now this, have all been about stealing the choice of this country's direction away, halting the abhorrent direction they'd seen things going, ever since the Bush Administration and its Republican Congress declined and failed. They never registered that they'd made bad choices in any meaningful way, never really reformed themselves, and have spent ten years basically throwing rhetoric against the wall to see what stuck, and electing people accordingly.

Now, though, this party has to do it's job, and I'm not talking about satisfying its favorite voters, I'm talking about actually governing. They're making the choices now. It's their show, but now they are confronted with the complexity of the real world, which doesn't necessary serve their bias, the way their rhetoric, their belief in their own policy supremacy would. That real world is going to beat the crap out of them the way it does everybody, and they've done their absolute best to make sure that the average Democrat would prefer to throw them an anchor rather than a life preserver, if they see them struggling in the water. But worse yet, it might not work out any better for them IF we throw them that life preserver, because getting help from us would be tantamount to treason in their eyes! There are consequences to heightening the absurd, insular fearmongering about the other side to the levels they have. If many folks, inspired by the independence and non-establishment nature of the candidate see him making the deals, making the sausage, they might not like him that much anymore, and you might just see people going, "He sold us out!"

That's if Trump survives the full term. I think there's enough monkey business going around that Trump might not. If he is, for one reason or another, forced to resign, or put in a position where he can't win the next election, then some may blame his fellow Republicans for letting their hero down, or worse, conspiring against him.

Long story short, there is a lot to balance when you're at the top, and you can do a much better job of it, if the job, if good policy, not wish fulfillment, not defeating the other side and replacing them, is your first priority. When everything is about you, about your being better than anybody else, a position of great power is like the tip of a finger, balancing an umbrella. There are few ways to stand, and many ways to fall, especially if you weren't all that well balanced to begin with, and the GOP, in its rush to recover its power from it's height a decade ago, has utterly unbalanced itself.

How you gain power is as important as what you gain it to do, especially if you claim that you're going to be the best thing ever. Trump and the GOP have set an impossibly high bar for themselves, and nothing short of clearing it will ensure that they keep all the power they've fought for.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 13, 2016 8:55 AM
Comment #410065

Extremely poor analysis of the political situation. Daugherty still thinks this was a Party win. It wasn’t. The Party was thrashed during the primaries by a non-politician. The Party elite wouldn’t even publicly support the candidate. The Party was dragged, kicking and screaming, to do its job for the nominee.

Mr. Daugherty should understand that it is impossible to criticize what he doesn’t even understand.

I do believe writing such stuff is therapy for Mr. Daugherty. If so, at least it serves some purpose.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 14, 2016 7:35 PM
Comment #410069

Sorry Charley, you got business in the center column.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 14, 2016 9:12 PM
Comment #410071

Royal Flush-
Yeah, about that, the kicking and screaming part. That’s part and parcel of my analysis. You see, about the only thing that truly united the GOP was Clinton.

I doubt Clinton has it in her to be Trump’s next opponent. I think the DNC is going to pick somebody who appeals more strongly to the working class voters. I think they’re going to pick somebody who can get under Trump’s skin, and I don’t think you’re going to get the twenty-five year lead up time of reputations destruction you got with Hillary Clinton. Hell, you might not even know who you’re running against until 2020! Hell, you might not even have Trump running at all!

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’re looking at a popular vote/electoral vote split. The majority of voters did not pick the President Elect. Normally, smart, capable politicians would understand that they were faced with a very provisional mandate at best. Bush shows what happens if you don’t get the memo on that. He almost single-handedly rebuilt the Democratic Party.

I don’t imagine Trump or his political team having the horse sense to really play it carefully on this one. I think they’re going to imagine that they’ll get lucky once again, but luck runs out when you have a party with as many cracks showing as the GOP. The pick of Bannon as a political strategist in the White House should send up signal flares to just about any sensible Republican or Democrat that Trump is just talk about uniting the Country. The rather vicious slander of protestors out there, the claims of widespread riots where there are none seem to show that Trump and his ideological alt-right allies remain in fear-mongering mode.

But here’s the thing: not everybody is doing a body cavity search of the Conservative news media head-first.

Trump’s rather abrasive rise to power has also functioned to limit his pool of allies, his choices for key cabinet positions. The hiring of both Reince Priebus, longtime RNC chairman and Steve Bannon, late of Breitbart and the Trump Campaign has lead to a situation that sources are delicately calling a knife fight. Hell of a way to start an Administration.

Truth is, you papered over deep and growing divisions in order to get Trump elected, so everything wouldn’t be a complete disaster. But sometimes when you do that, you only get that complete disaster later, with interest.

You need to realize that you have made a game of rigidly defining who and what a Conservative was. This was fine, so long as most Republicans agreed on it, but in the frenzy to get back to power, to resolve your time in the wilderness quickly, you pushed things hard on ideology, creating a situation where that rigid definition got even more so, but without the saving grace on having the two parts agree with one another. The newer ones were convinced that the older ones had essentially sold out conservatism, so, lo-and-behold, you have the same feverish intensity of partisanship, but now with extra blue on blue action for more popcorn-munching entertainment value.

Your candidates bore the mark of that this year. They were so bland and weak, in no small part, because your party’s litmus-test atmosphere, it’s insistence on rigid conformity and ideological rigor has created an environment that clears away the creative, the charismatic, the competent. So, what you are left with is a vacuum of leadership, into which steps a guy who excels at playing himself off as a tough customer, an enemy of political correctness, and a tireless political warrior.

Just what your party didn’t need, but was addicted to anyways. Trump worked so beautifully because he’s turned your disregard for the opinions of the party elites against his enemies, the media-bias theory against the others, and then hijacked the party in such a way that they couldn’t win without him. Now you’re stuck with him.

Trump didn’t beat sixteen tough opponents to win, he beat a bunch of poorly experience, lip-service-oriented opponents, who quite frankly didn’t have the sociopathy necessary to lie as convincingly and extensively as Trump did.

The Trouble for you is, he doesn’t stop being a sociopathic liar who talks a good game but doesn’t deliver when he becomes President. The office reveals the man beneath, and a lot of people wont’ like what they see.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 14, 2016 10:35 PM
Comment #410073

Perhaps brow beating 7 year old children into submission has convinced Stephen Daugherty he is correct when he says Trump has already failed.

Stephen Daugherty and the Democratic cult will intimidated the weak and ignorant into thinking they have to listen to their master as he repeatedly chants the failure of their evil nemesis, Donald Trump.

I wish phx8 was making these wild claims of victory. At least then I would know for certain they were crap.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 14, 2016 11:08 PM
Comment #410076

Weary Willie-
I’ve denounced that woman’s behavior. You want me to weep in a dramatic Jeremiad, taking on her personally chosen behavior, which I’ve denounced, as my own responsibility, since I express such opposition to Trump.

So, in short, you’re basically trying to emotionally blackmail me into sugarcoating my criticism of Trump. But what am I suggesting here?

I want people to fight for their right to vote. The abrogation of that right, I believe, is part of how the GOP won, and in fact the whole reason why Voter ID laws, polling place closures, Voting hour cuts, and other lovely methods were employed.

I want people to stand up when Trump abuses is power, not just take it. I want them to protest when his policies offend them. I want them to take full advantage of their freedoms to motivate a political opposition to him.

I want people to find out the truth about what he’s doing, why he’s doing it. Find good, firm facts that tell us what is and is not going on. In Particular, Trump comes into office with any numbers of conflicts of interest, from people he owes money to, to projects that may impinge on matters he will be asked to make decisions on.

If he, in the process of winning this election, has done something illegal to win it, I want him to be prosecuted for it. I also want any case about any misdeed that preceded his election to continue, and for the dark corners of his past to be fully illuminated.

Note where I haven’t talked about the need to make a young seven year old girl cry to do all of this. Honestly, I’m not feeling that creating abandonment issues in young ladies like that is altogether necessary for my goals of holding Trump accountable. But if you want to stick that in, non sequitur, in a clumsy and transparent attempt to force me to go easier on Donald Trump It’s not going to work. Her judgment was peculiar to herself and her child.

Please, refrain from additional entries like this. They’re inflammatory and manipulative, not to mention stupid.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 14, 2016 11:31 PM
Comment #410078

I told j2t2 this isn’t about Trump. It’s about the left here on WatchBlog supporting and condoning voter intimidation.

You’ve condemned this behavior, but your brethren have not. They are supporting it. You are trying to ignore the instance, which I now know you didn’t see, you are ignoring the left’s support and justification of this instance, you are now waging an effort to silence me to get your way.

Your insistent condemnation means nothing when you plaster over your disapproval with a litany against Trump. Trump has nothing to do with this. Your condemnation of this means nothing if you don’t insist the people here on WatchBlog recognize it as voter intimidation and recant their approval of it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 15, 2016 12:00 AM
Comment #410079

“When they say, “Make America Great Again”, which America are they talking about?
Are they talking about the…”

This is why your little diatribes mean very little, Stephen: You have no idea and no desire to understand how or why the ‘other side’ believes as they do. If you did, you wouldn’t waste so much time over-analyzing the most basic things in order to dismiss the rejection of the liberal policy you support.
As they always do, leftists pushed to far, to fast, with to much force. And now you are facing the backlash. Not everybody wants government to control every part of their life, Stephen.

The left has spent years criticizing people for putting party before country and not giving Obama a ‘fair’ chance. But now, party before country is justified. They have been condemning people for not giving Obama everything he wanted. But now Trump must be stopped at all costs.
They dismissed millions of Americans who lost their health insurance because of ‘ObamaCare.’ Attacking the integrity of people who said their premiums were shooting through the roof. Mocking people for being happier with their pre ‘Obamacare’ plans. But now you want people to be concerned that millions might lose their insurance? That Trump’s plans might raise premiums? That people might find out they were happier with their ‘Obamacare’ plans?
Hypocrisy, thy name is liberal.

You’ve been preaching the Republicans evil-democrats good line for years now Stephen. You’ve been predicting the end of the GOP for years now. With that track record, why should anybody but far-left cheerleaders heed your words now?

Posted by: kctim at November 15, 2016 9:54 AM
Comment #410086

Weary Willie-
I speak for myself, but I have no reason to believe that the others who have commented on your entry think any differently. The first might have been attempting irony, and sent their obvious disapproval of the mother way over you head.

Do yourself a favor, and quit yakking with your confused interpretations of the English language long enough to actually ask liberals what they think of that. 95%, easily, will disapprove of her actions.

They’ll also think that your argument that his means that liberals condone voter suppression or intimidation is the stupidest thing they ever heard. Do yourself a favor and try and draw attention by doing serious discussion of political matters, rather than setting yourself on fire and complementing yourself on your brightness.

What’s so complicated about it? People were deprived of hope and change, so now they’re following hate and change. If anything, though, I think the most serious fault in your political strategies is that you fail to realize that many of these people are just with you provisionally.

That was the problem with the Clintons, too. So, I guess that bias can be bipartisan.

Trump sold everything on anger at the establishment, played up feuds between him and them. Now, though, it seems like we’re seeing how he papered over his breach with them: He’s giving the establishment figures jobs, leading his administration!

Yep. Draining the swamp there!

How long, with all the promises he made in all the directions he made them, will those working class voters wait before he screws them? How long will it take before they realize that he was another false hope? How long before a skeleton crawls out of the closet to make them regret their vote? You are balanced on the tip of a finger here, but you folks… you’ve long practiced a kind of politics that essentially says, “f*** decorum, I want instant gratification.” What happens when everybody starts scrambling over what they wanted? And just who will be the ones left with the short straw?

My bet, those same working class people you’re accusing us of failing to understand.

Trump was always a fraud. Just like the rest of the Republicans. The difference is, he had a lot more practice at being the kind of fraud your people devolved your party into, and he has the sociopathy and/or flaky personality necessary to make promises to everybody he can’t keep.

In a way, what shocks me most about Trump winning was how transparently politician-like he was from the start, like a stereotype of a politician, rather than the more disciplined, more careful politicians of today.

I suppose he could be… what could you call it? The Rebound President from Obama. People wondered what it would be like to bounce back to another spoiled, corrupt rich boy. Now, to their regret, they’ll have a chance to find out.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2016 1:19 PM
Comment #410087
I told j2t2 this isn’t about Trump. It’s about the left here on WatchBlog supporting and condoning voter intimidation.

Oh Brother Weary, It is about Trump!!!It is not about one unknown mom with a Youtube video. You has used a strawman to prop up some irrational rant of false equivalence that doesn’t deserve a rational response. In fact it is bigger than Trump it is about the conservative movement and their strategy to suppress 3% of the vote. A concerted effort of years and throughout the many states to build a false crisis of voter fraud then not addressing the real voter fraud but passing suppression laws instead.

It seems you understand this but yet you pester others that would mention real voter suppression as if some how the 7 year old is a voter and this one incident allows conservatives to get a free pass on actual voter suppression laws because the “left her on WB” don’t buy into your game.

So please why don’t you stop your intimidation of people her on WB with this nonsense? Look we have been through this on several other threads now why not re-read these comments until it sinks in.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 15, 2016 2:15 PM
Comment #410089

Daugherty writes; “I think the most serious fault in your political strategies is that you fail to realize that many of these people are just with you provisionally.”

Hmmm…here’s what was written in the New York Times on November 12, 2015. I wonder if this is the “serious fault” in Republican strategies that Daugherty writes about.

“In January (2016 not 2017), Republicans will occupy 32 of the nation’s governorships, 10 more than they did in 2009. Democratic losses in state legislatures under Mr. Obama rank among the worst in the last 115 years, with 816 Democratic lawmakers losing their jobs and Republican control of legislatures doubling since the president took office — more seats lost than under any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

“Republicans have more chambers today than they have ever had in the history of the party,” said Tim Storey, an analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “So they are in a dominant and historic position of strength in the states.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 15, 2016 3:03 PM
Comment #410090

Apparently, the only thing complicated is all the spinning you are doing to justify your party’s hyperbole that you seem to have swallowed hook line and sinker. Geesh.

My political strategies are not at play here, and I absolutely agree with you in that their support of Trump will drop if he doesn’t deliver. They’re not liberals who will stand behind THEIR guy/gal no matter what.

I could care less about who Trump appoints to his administration.

How long before his voters are screwed by him? How long before they realize that he was another false hope? How long before they regret their vote? Hmmmm? Well, seeing how it’s been 8 years and you still refuse to acknowledge just how bad Obama screwed the country, that he was nothing more than another false hope, I guess we will just have to wait and see if they turn out at the polls in 4 years. I mean, if black and hispanic voters wouldn’t show up to defend everything Obama did, it’s quite possible Trump voters will feel the same way.

“Now, to their regret, they’ll have a chance to find out.”

Yes, they now have the chance to see if their vote pays off for them, but whether they approve or regret that vote still remains to be seen.

You and your Amazing Kreskin abilities are going to be a blast over the next 4 years, Stephen. LOL

Posted by: kctim at November 15, 2016 3:09 PM
Comment #410092

Royal Flush-
Right. You recall were we were, eight years ago? If I had made that argument, you would have angrily denied that you were down and out.

I get the impression of strain on your party. It doesn’t take many unpleasant truths to begin the downfall of a political movement, especially one perched on the threshold like yours is. More voters chose Clinton than Trump. He’s President because a few tens of thousands more chose him in some areas of Florida and Pennsylvania.

You need to realize something very simple: You won, but it took a ****load of willpower and a furious among of effort to do it. You lied your ass off and told everybody they were getting everything. You told the fiscal conservatives you would close up the deficits, the rich they’d get their tax cuts, the hawks that they’d get the sequester taken off the Defense Department, plus plenty of new toys and money for more soldiers. You’re telling everybody you’re going to clean the whole places up, you’re telling everybody that all the corporations will get much more friendlier regulation.

Now that you’re in charge, you’re going to have to make decisions. Even the failure to make a decision is going to be a decision! And making decisions means pissing some people off. If you’re not bold enough in pissing the right people off, some people will think you were lying to them (because you were.) But if you’re bold enough in pissing those other people off (who you promised the world as well,) then you’re going to lose whoever you decided to throw under the bus. Look at your vote totals. Take a look at Obamacare. If you touch the third rail of Medicare, like Ryan, glutton for punishment he is, seems set on doing, you alienate a significant number of seniors in Florida. Don’t? You piss off everybody who wanted to gut Obamacare. Gut Obamacare, though, and suddenly seniors will find their policies cost more for their drugs. Won’t that be a charming thing to explain in your town halls!

We’ll be very helpful in doing that. We’ll tell them exactly what they lost and why.

You’ve lied to them for the last decade. Relentlessly, heartlessly, recklessly. And now? Now, you got the power you wanted, but you never prepared for the judgment necessary to make it work. You never created a common ground of practically thinking. Instead, you trusted to mutable, inconstant rhetoric and political ideology.

That’s the real funny thing about it. You guys hate politicians, but you are more willing than your Democratic colleagues to take EVERYTHING at face value when the right politician tells you to. There are even dumbasses out there who think that Trump won the popular vote!

What’s going to happen is this: because you’ve founded everything on perceptions, everything will go out of control, because perception is inconstant and treacherous at the best of times, and easily shifted by the more dominant quantity and quality in the universe, which is reality. How your policies affect the real world will dominate all efforts to shape perceptions over the long haul. If you touch the Obamacare provisions that actually matter, if you gut the wrong parts, and aren’t as absolutely careful in your legislation as we were in ours, then you will suffer for the changes you make, because Democrats will be able to say, “Congress is the Real Death Panel, because they took out the provision banning lifetime caps,” or pre-existing conditions, or whatever. You have people’s lives literally in your hands as you move to demolish it.

But if you don’t demolish it, whatever will your voters say? You are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

That’s what fools the right are these days. They don’t realize that at the heart of power is conflict, and that in grabbing for that, either one prepares oneself for tough choices, or one prepares oneself to fall.

You never prepared yourselves for tough choices, you just prepared yourself for when your dreams came true. All this time, I half internalized the idea that perhaps the liberals were the naive ones… but no, that isn’t true. It’s the conservatives these days who are naive, and they’ve elevated themselves by appealing to a population made equally naive by a culture and an education system ill-suited to confronting them with the harsh truth. So, in the face of this, two erroneous approaches arise. Either the despair of those who, in their laziness, have failed to grasp what greater effort can afford them, or the brash, limitless confidence of those who lack the insight or wisdom to see the traps and pitfalls ahead.

You’ve removed the last obstacles to your own self-destruction, once again. You have, in the course of time, successfully fought off the need to confront the mistakes that destroyed your party back in 2006, and even moreso in 2008. But the same reality waits. Tax cuts still won’t increase revenue, much less prevent deficits. Defense spending still isn’t magically removed from the deficits. Regulations protecting people still will be missed when the toxic spill hits their homes, or the stock market collapses over the newest flavor in rampant speculation. The terms of reality will still dominate the terms of perception.

I represent a political movement that, over the years, has adapted to dealing with the terms of reality in more solid and productive fashion. We may not always be able to get people to avoid your temptations, but we will always be there to pick up the ball when you drop it, and sooner or later people will figure out that your people have no interest in earning power.

Then all those figures you quote won’t mean a damn thing, because they will be a thing of the past.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2016 4:04 PM
Comment #410093

That’s just the thing. He didn’t screw the country. If you look at most of the figures, the country is in a better place than it was. More to the point, Republicans forced most of the screwing over, by preventing further stimulus, enacting more austerity at a state level at a time in which it was sorely unneeded. YOu have no idea what destruction your people have wrought on this country, on it’s reputation, how badly you’ve betrayed its interests, just to stand here in triumph. The fact that Bush— sorry, Trump is standing here now, promising an Infrastructure stimulus is a dead giveaway as to how this game really worked. You obstructed our use of power for the better part of this decade, from the start of this Administration, so that when somebody finally swooped in, it would be your people.

Nothing of this Tea Party thing was real. Nothing of any of your promises to be better stewards of the budget was real. It was a huge lie from back to front, and because of it, a generation’s standard of living has been stifled, their debts multiplied. And now, who do you have elected, but a son of a b**** who is going to make us look bad time and time again, and who has invited forces in the mainstream that represent the exact sort of injustice and bigotry that our greatest generation worked to defeat.

And for what? The average Conservative won’t be served well by this. The standard of living will likely continue to decline as your Ayn Rand Objectivist continue to subject our prosperity to the filter of the law of the jungle, allowing only the strongest to truly survive. Oh, I’m sorry, let me rephrase that, creating a system where only the rich can avoid crashing and burning because it’s so frigging hazardous!

You guys are the out of touch masochists of the political world. You love fiercely people who have no respect for you or your interests, who just see you as peasants who are feedstock for their get-rich-quick schemes. It’s no wonder you picked Trump, that perpetual con-artist as you leader, because who else could so enjoy spending the next four years screwing everybody else as the most powerful man in the world?

You chose him. You made your choice clear, that come hell or high water, you would take the risk on a quadruple bankrupted real-estate speculator with a court date later this month over RICO violations. The guy is one socioeconomic class away from being a gangster, a thug at heart. And that is who you’ve decided will carry out this nation’s laws.

We warned you, but these days, you don’t respect anybody else near enough to take warnings at face value.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2016 4:17 PM
Comment #410094

Then all those figures you quote won’t mean a damn thing, because they will be a thing of the past.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2016 4:04 PM

Really? I’ll stick with facts as they are and let you do the tea leaf readings. I guess your logic makes sense that when facts change…facts change. LOL

I do understand that some of my Leftie Pals just aren’t emotionally strong enough to face the facts so they project their deep unfulfilled desires, wet their pants, and pout.

What I wonder is; who does Daugherty believe is going to lead this Liberal/Progressive Revolution. Bernie the Socialist?

“You guys are the out of touch masochists of the political world.”

Please explain Daugherty how it is masochistic to “beat” yourself with success.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 15, 2016 4:53 PM
Comment #410095

To you and others on the left, he didn’t screw the nation simply because he supports the same social and economic policies you support. You are willing to discount the negatives and to dismiss that which is of no concern to you.

You got a good portion of your government healthcare, you are happy. Others, who don’t like government mandates that strip away choice, who wanted to keep their plans and doctors, who’s co-pays and premiums have skyrocketed, know they have been screwed.
You got your 5% unemployment, you are happy. Others, who are part of the record number of people no longer counted on the rolls, who now work part-time jobs, who are now flipping burgers, know they have been screwed.
You got your PC and social justice, you are happy. Others, who were intimidated, threatened and forced to support what they do not believe in, know they have been screwed.
In places, you succeeded in further chipping away at the the 2nd Amendment, you are happy. Others, who cherish the right and who have absolutely nothing to do with the reason why you are attacking the right, know they have been screwed.
You have very lax border security and illegal aliens seeking a better life, who ‘coincidentally’ also vote democrat, are flooding in. You are happy. Others, who have lost their jobs to illegal aliens, who see their hard earned tax dollars go to support illegal aliens, know they have been screwed.
You have capitalized on your identity politics and separated people into groups, you are happy. Others, who see us all as one group, Americans, do not like the division and know they have been screwed.

It’s politics Stephen, and if you would stop hyperventilating about what you think might happen in the future and spewing hate towards those who disagree with you, you just might see that.

“We warned you, but these days, you don’t respect anybody else near enough to take warnings at face value.”

Especially when they preach about how the rich are going to screw everybody, and then turn around and support a multi-millionaire who tells them that they need to give up more to help society.
I’ll take the honest guy preaching personal responsibility over the guy lying to my face and pretending to care, any day.

Posted by: kctim at November 15, 2016 5:57 PM
Comment #410096

Obama admits the US has been muscled out of Syria

Well, I will give Obama credit for finally admitting his failure in Syria. He fiddled around too long and now the US has been out maneuvered. His failures in other parts of the world are also obvious but so far not admitted.

My Pals will ask me “what would you do”? Hell, I don’t know. After the fire is beyond control it’s a little late to call for help.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 15, 2016 7:17 PM
Comment #410098

Royal Flush-
You HELPED Russia muscle us out, when you decided that any time Obama decided to intervene, you would hamstring him at home. We intervene in Libya, you hamstring us. We give Syria a redline, you hamstring us. We get hacked by Russia, you celebrate! We make a deal with Iran to prevent them from getting Nukes, you send them a letter, telling them not to trust us!

It’s too late, though, to undo the damage of all the backstabbing, just as it was too late to take back that comment your people made when they said that Clinton’s retaliation against Bin Laden in Afghanistan was just him trying to distract from Monica Lewinsky. You’re out of touch with the world, caring more about scoring political points here at home than actually handling world events like mature adults.

As for that other part, what success? Electoral, fine, some Washington bigwigs have more power, big success. I’m sure people in Ohio can eat that when those big-wigs enable the people who send their jobs overseas, once again. Or that this will cure the people who are sickened by your toxic spills. Or that this will help bring back crops once climate change has stricken them with drought and record heat.

You talk about a more abstract, more political kind of success, I’m talking about success in terms of results for the conservative movement, which has successfully kicked trillions of dollars to the rich and powerful, while stagnating or reducing everybody else’s standard of living and economic stability. More debt, more tax burden shifted onto them… That is the masochism there. Fortunately, you have the opiate of the masses, FOXNews, to tell people it’s the liberal’s fault every time. That’s who they should take it out on, right?

Problem is, even FOXNews can’t walk right past the fact that now you guys are fully in charge, so whatever policy you write up had better work… but when was the last time you had to care, really care, about whether any policy worked?

I’m looking at a dynamic here, a slope in the curve. You tell me, what keeps your people moving any higher than this?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2016 7:31 PM
Comment #410099

Yes, it’s rare indeed a Democratic admits they are wrong. It must have slipped out when Obama wasn’t thinking.

Stephen Daugherty says 95% of Democratics believe the mother’s behavior was outrageous. Yet, 70% of the Democratics on WatchBlog who commented on the mother’s intimidation of her son’s voting choice, support and condone it. One even called it “education”!

So, Stephen Daugherty. Your empty condemnation means nothing, because you support those that support voter intimidation.

j2t2, it is NOT about Trump. You’re trying to make it about Trump because you know you can’t support this woman’s behavior. It IS about the mother’s behavior and the Democratic party’s acceptance of it, and it’s about you and others here on WatchBlog who believe voter intimidation is an educational experience a 7 year old child should endure.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 15, 2016 7:52 PM
Comment #410109

Weary Willie-
I am a person who has been three times diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which means I don’t read people well, and I sometimes lack a little common sense.

That in mind, even I couldn’t help but notice that every Democrat you accused of being for voter suppression over the mistreatment of this child both condemned the mistreatment, and laughed at the idea that they wanted to suppress anybody’s vote? Where is the front door on this particular argument?

If they don’t support her behavior, there’s no entryway for them to support any kind of motive, any kind of goal based on that behavior. You can’t really say, “because you support what this woman did, you support voter suppression,” when they don’t support what the woman did in the first place!

But let’s say for the sake of argument, that they did support her actions. Even then, the harsh discipline of a child for that action doesn’t translate to support for policies that take the franchise out of the hands of grown adults. They’re two different things. Your argument is weak even if the worst expectations of Democrats and Liberals are true.

But your worst expectations of Liberals and Democrats are not true. They universally condemned it, and if you can’t tell that the response about shooting shotguns after his kids is tongue in cheek, you’re even more autistic than I am. You’ve confronted them with what to their mind is the most ridiculous argument they’ve seen all year!

And yet you continue to act as if you won. What are you working for, the Junior Goebbels of the year award?

If all you can do is trash people for not being Republicans and Conservatives, then you’re not adding much valuable to the conversation. There’s going to be a lot going on over the next four years that deserves to be talked about at length. You seem to be stuck on stupid with this one, eternally trying to convince somebody, anybody, that Democrats and Liberals are inhumanly evil, and worse yet, hypocrites.

Meanwhile, Trump’s conflicts of interests are becoming all the more apparent, and he’s trying to get his family in on Classified information. You need to realize what a catastrophe you’re rolling into before you start badmouthing others for their political choices.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 16, 2016 8:29 AM
Comment #410110

Please move discussion of the abusive woman in Houston to the middle column.

Posted by: Warren Porter at November 16, 2016 8:31 AM
Comment #410121

Mr. Daugherty writes; “I am a person who has been three times diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which means I don’t read people well, and I sometimes lack a little common sense.”

Sorry that you were born with this affliction. I understand it quite well as our younger son also has moderate Asperger’s.

He also was tested and confirmed. As a result, he got a little increase in pay at work as the Federal Government kicks in a little to encourage employment of those who are challenged by medical conditions.

He has learned techniques that enable him to more easily read body language clues.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 16, 2016 2:26 PM
Comment #410127

“Meanwhile, Trump’s conflicts of interests are becoming all the more apparent, and he’s trying to get his family in on Classified information”

You did not read this correctly.

This is not true

Of course if you want to believe this hoax that will not be a new revelation.


Posted by: tom humes at November 16, 2016 4:26 PM
Comment #410142

Do you think that will solve this issue, Warren Porter? Should we just stop talking about it so it can go away? Would that make you happy? Would that make you think this issue is solved?

Why can’t we dismiss issues Democratics bring up so easily?

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 17, 2016 2:01 AM
Comment #410147

tom humes-
Are you, by any chance rejecting that report because he rejected it in one of this twitter-patings?

Royal Flush-
As far as my condition goes, I am of two minds about it. There are aspects of it that are disabling, and there are aspects that are liberating, that give me abilities, and the irony often is, they can be two sides of the same coin.

I think less in words and more in pictures. I can have incredibly detailed daydreams. Like almost cinematic in their quality. If my book ever gets published, it’s because I could run through the scenes of the book in my head, and simply write from what transpired there.

But it’s difficult to organize one’s life from that level, to form solid motivations to change from a routine. The fact that I actually devoted about 12 years of my life to political writing tells you how profoundly the events of the earlier part of the decade, and the controversies involved with that, affected me. I don’t commit to things without strong motivation.

The visceral experience? Mindfulness. Most people have to concentrate to get in that state where their whole attention is on a thing. My challenge is the opposite. How do I withdraw? How do I tear myself away from what I’m doing? Now, this can be useful with studying and things like that, where you follow facts around, follow one definition to another, chase through the encyclopedia greedily gobbling up facts before you find what you’re looking for!

And it can be a handicap, as you get caught up doing things and can’t break their spell on you, even when you know you’re late, even when you know others need you to break away. You notice things others mercifully ignore, and with a lack of social graces, that sometimes means you spot the things others overlook, and tell them about it even when they might have decided it’s of no consequence.

I’m glad your son is getting help in order to deal with the nonverbal deficits, among other things. I only got diagnosed after my fellow students put me through hell, and I’d been dealing with the syndrome for 13 years. Bullying can be harsh if you take what the bullies are saying about you at face value, and don’t have that knack of disconnecting. One of the key things, the worst things, is being unable to tell the difference between somebody who’s asking you a legitimate question, and somebody who’s just trying to lead you along into something meant to humiliate you. We’re naturally very trusting, since we take much of what we see in people at face value. I’ve grown more guarded since.

I hope you and your son the best in dealing with all that. It can be a trial, but there is a certain beauty to an existence like ours, a certain ability to appreciate the world from a more concrete standpoint, to worry less about what is thought of something, and more about what the nature of that something is, in and of itself.

I believe in starting from the objective to find one’s view on it, not starting from one’s view, and then trying to chose what objective things to believe about it. I like more neutral, more fact-oriented sources, rather than partisan ones, even from my own side, because I’m less interested in believing something because I trust their loyalties, and more interested in trusting something because it’s the concrete reality. I think there is value in having people who are motivated to set aside biases, and see things for what they are, without all the social investment in it. I think every movement and political party needs those who analyze things this way, who can bring them back down to earth, keep them honest, their promises properly modest. It may not be as entertaining as politics done the other way, but in my view, if I want entertainment, that’s what movies, TV series, and (for those who care to partake) reality shows are for. I don’t need my government to fill me with thrills and chills, I need it to remain for the most part, boring, out of the way except where it’s needed.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 17, 2016 8:48 AM
Comment #410163

Many thanks Stephen for taking time to aptly and extensively describe what living with Alzheimer’s feels like to you. Much of what you said I find also in our son to some degree.

Before we set up signals he could recognize and respond to, he would spend hours describing movies he liked with almost a perfect recall of action and dialogue. It took time to discover his “off” switch and how to gently use it.

I do admire you and others who were dealt a less than perfect hand and yet have achieved a life worth the living. To be a useful and valuable member of society is what we should all seek.

Good Luck to you.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 17, 2016 2:21 PM
Comment #410164

Mea Culpa Stephen, I meant to write “Asperger’s Syndrome”, not Alzheimer’s. Pardon my “brain fart”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 17, 2016 2:24 PM
Comment #410205

Royal Flush-
Yeah, I’ve got sort of your son’s recall for things. I can actually walk into a room and identify a movie within a few moments, 95% of the time. Pattern recognition is a strength of ours. I think it’s the brain’s sort of compression algorithm- you recognize a pattern in the world, you can represent the world with less information.

As for imperfect hands being dealt…

I’m sort of split on that, for a number of reasons. The first of which would relate to a podcast I once heard which talk about averages. These people trying to analyze the cockpits they build around the average dimensions of an airman found out, after measuring ten different attributes of thousands of airmen, that very few had more than three measurements around the average.

I think brains are the same way. I think there is a big gene pool of different traits that have multiple genotypes, and that the environment can trip those to develop across a certain range. I think it would be rare to find somebody with a truly average brain in more than a few respects. What I think operates is sort of a spread within which we consider a person’s cognitive behavior normal. Your sun and I, I would guess, fall just outside of that. So, I guess in that sense, we’re dealt an imperfect hand, but so are a bunch of people. You’ll see it in folks who have a wide range of conditions, I would say, from clinical depression, to PTSD, to ADHD.

I think the time may be at hand for people to admit that finding the average, “neurotypical” person might be as difficult, as impossible, as finding the truly and completely average pilot.

I think we might, policy-wise, get a great amount of mileage from testing kids to see where they fall on certain skillsets. Which leads to my other point. When I was about ten or eleven years old, I realized I had an advantage in certain respects. I realized that I could use my powerful visualization abilities to help me learn things, if I played my cards right. That a powerful imagination was not just a plaything, but could be the key to unlocking other abilities, learning other skills.

I think other people can do the same. If you’re a better listener than a reader, it might be a good idea to do audio books, or read out loud, rather than sight-read. That’s one example.

I think people are a lot smarter than they think they are, but we’ve got a culture that sort of intends to value people in their “natural” state, but instead really try to fit them within the mold of the “average” state of being, which these days isn’t much to write home about. I believe that part of the point of all the freedom we got is the ability to expand our knowledge, our expertise, not to be force to be content as a peasant, a laborer only valued as livestock.

I’m not a big fan of participation trophies. I’m also not a big fan of running the competitive environment as if there can or should be a final winner. I think you need a system out there that keeps people on their toes, that brings in as many people (including Aspies like me and your son) as possible, so that the country as a whole benefits from all the powerful minds working at all our problems. The market and the Republic will be better for that in my view, even if it makes some of the powerful out there nervous. In my view, the powerful should ALWAYS be nervous. Powerful people who aren’t cautious with their power are part of what the system was built to constrain.

I’m glad we’ve found this topic in common. It’s an odd note of hope in the midst of a lot of fear and anxiety, and from the most unexpected of places. If we’ve got more in common than we thought, then the same can be said for a lot of people with much less severe differences than ourselves.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 17, 2016 10:02 PM
Comment #410207

And thank you.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 17, 2016 10:02 PM
Comment #410233

Stephen, we have much more in common than either of us will admit to.

Again, good luck and much success.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 18, 2016 12:54 PM
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