If R&R Fails, Who Gets the Bloodbath?

Imagine if Detroit (or Chattanooga, TN, or Tuscaloosa County in Alabama) ran their production lines the way Congress runs it’s legislative process.

I know you ordered an SUV ma’am, but the production parliamentarian has ruled that your chassis is extraneous and out of order. So the production and finance committees have put together a nice little off-road dune buggy for you and your grandkids! And it gets great mileage! For a dune buggy, that is. You live in Wyoming? Sorry …

And that's the problem. When process and personal ambition collide and fornicate in the halls and recesses of Congress, you get dune buggies instead of SUV's. Huge expensive dune buggies, certified by the government.

And of course Washington D.C. is a abuzz with rumors of who will vote how at what stage of the process to repeal and replace Obamacare with the so-called AHCA. Or Ryancare. Or Trumpcare. Process is how you earn a lot of money in the beltway. The better you are at oiling up the channels for ambitious senators and members of congress, the more you'll end up making as an indispensable, high-priced consultant. Or as that key legislative aide who gets things done. And then goes on to be a high-priced consultant.

The question is no longer whether parliamentary process has gotten irredeemably arcane. It has, for some time now. The question is whether you can effect real change in Washington without bending and prancing to the tune of the procedural rules of Congress. And if you are always forced to dance to the parliamentarian's tune, then is real change ever possible?

Yes it is. But that means a White House that knows exactly how much it wants to invest in supporting and trying to push through the AHCA, which means having the option of walking away as a real possibility.

Voters' concerns are far more in line with Trump's preferences. They'd both like to talk about tax cutting and regulatory relief, because that means more jobs. And that's what most voters care about. Not the fact that reconciliation means Obamacare repeal and replace is first up and then a budget and then tax cuts because otherwise Democratic Senators will fillibuster repeal and replace into oblivion. Voters don't care. They want to know that job growth, real job growth is coming just around the corner.

And guess what? Janet Yellen at the Federal Reserve, and a growing number of firms are growing increasingly optimistic about the economy's prospects. Is this just early buying of the tax-cuts-are-a-coming hope? Or is it something more? Is it just about Trump's administration? Or is it a relief rally that Obama's regulation-addicted administration is finally gone and anything Trump does has got to be better?

Because if repeal and replace goes off the rails, and the media howls with glee, and Democrats predict armageddon, maybe, just maybe, voters will be watching the economy instead. Could President Trump use that fact as a springboard to push for tax and regulatory relief, even if repeal and replace fails?

Think about this: it's the GOP House (and to a lesser extent Senate) members that have staked their political identity on repealing and replacing Obamacare. For years, it's been their fight. It's Ryan's plan and it's his fight. And - for now at least - Republican voters have tended to say they will not blame Trump if repeal and replace fails. They'll blame Ryan and the GOP Congress instead. They'll blame Congress, not the White House, in other words.

This could mean that President Trump might just be able to still get some sort of tax cuts done, even if r&r fails. Or it might be bloodbath. But for who?

Posted by Keeley at March 16, 2017 5:22 PM
Comments
Comment #414428

Keeley, Republicans have a disadvantage that the Democrats have long since eliminated. The Republican Party, and their members in both congress and the senate, still represent right, moderate and left constituencies.

Just as the Independent vote determines election outcomes, the Independent voter holds great sway over federal legislative action. The Independent voter is most likely to be a middle-class worker.

Middle-class workers have not fared well under Obamacare as they are not likely to be subsidized and have seen premiums rise as benefits decline.

Hopefully, both the house and senate will be hearing from this huge voting constituency and their displeasure with ObamaLite will be evident.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2017 6:07 PM
Comment #414429

Keeley-
I got a deal for you. You know that car you’re currently driving in? I’m going to promise you an new one. But before I can give it to you, I have to chase you in the car you’re currently driving and launch a rocket propelled grenade at it!

No deal? But you don’t need that car, I’ve promised you a new one if you just take my deal!

That’s the GOP’s basic problem. They’re trying to sell people on the promise that the market will make things better. Where Obamacare could, day one, tell you that dreadfully terrible insurance practices were at an end, the GOP’s just obligating you to buy a new car at a higher price.

Now you might say, “but they’re getting rid of the mandate.” Trouble is, they’re switching to something far more idiotic. If the Mandate is being forced to pay a tax until you buy a car, the new policy is roughly like having the choice not to buy a car until you absolutely need to buy one, and then you pay a thirty percent mark-up for waiting so long. That will certainly keep the young and cheap insurance customers out of the market until they’re sick enough to gut out the premium. That won’t save the insurance markets.

And that’s the problem. When process and personal ambition collide and fornicate in the halls and recesses of Congress, you get dune buggies instead of SUV’s. Huge expensive dune buggies, certified by the government.

We are a representative republic. By it’s nature, anything coming out of Congress will be the result of a combination of different interests. The question is the quality of that combination. It’s not a system of government designed to perfectly suit anybody.

You’re approaching it as if it’s supposed to move quickly, act arbitrarily, and convey your interests into law purely without any compromise. Yes, there’s corruption, but the people you’re cheering on are not the solution to it. In fact, they’re some of the biggest parts of the problem.

Voters’ concerns are far more in line with Trump’s preferences. They’d both like to talk about tax cutting and regulatory relief, because that means more jobs.

Polling for tax cuts for the rich and corporations is anemic. So is support for greater defense spending. As for regulation? Let me ask a frank question: is this something people respond to spontaneously, or is it simply something that’s been drilled into their heads?

You ask about individual provisions, about most policies besides the mandate, and the provisions poll pretty well. It’s one reason why you, the disillusioned conservative, are not getting the complete rollback you desire. Nobody thinks much of the idea of unbanning pre-existing conditions, or dumping kids off their parents insurance while they’re still in college, or letting insurance companies set lifetime limits.

Let me submit this to you: there is a difference between people cheering on a general category (less rules, yay!) and their reaction when they find out that the deregulation screws them (I’m paying WHAT for my electricity bill?!?!?!) People love marching along on the autopilot of a political slogan, because it makes them feel like they know something. But when some hidden fine print for that deregulation hits them, well, you yelling “but you said you wanted this!” won’t do any good.

And guess what? Janet Yellen at the Federal Reserve, and a growing number of firms are growing increasingly optimistic about the economy’s prospects. Is this just early buying of the tax-cuts-are-a-coming hope? Or is it something more? Is it just about Trump’s administration?

That’s real cute, thinking that his simply spirit would change things. No, he doesn’t get credit, especially with the trend over the last few years. Obama’s economy has been growing steadily, adding jobs steadily.

As far as the rest goes?

Your problem is precisely that their identity is wrapped up in Opposing Obamacare, opposing Obama-anything.

The problem is, if they were sensible, then the opposition could never be complete.

The strategy of the GOP was built on painting Obama as an absolute screw-up, wrecking everything, destroying the constitution- essentially the ultimately political evil, worst President ever, so that Republicans shaken by the failure of the GOP screw-ups of the previous decade would have any motivation to vote to return the screw-ups to the majority.

It worked, part way. Got the GOP back the House, eventually the Senate, and eventually the White House. But such a fierce turnaround meant the GOP Voters had to be fed the load of horse**** necessary to get them that eager to win, and that right there is your problem.

After chasing the car of defeating the Liberals and winning back the Senate/House/White House Trifecta for ten years, Republicans now have to make good on all the BS they made up in order to win. They have to suffer the effect of cutting perfectly good policies, go through with the unpopular policies they said they’d implement when they had the power, and so on and so forth. If they’d returned to power by a less partisan route, involving less gerrymandering and voter suppression, they could have counted on more moderate voters to support them using their power in a sane way. Instead, they’re faced with a dilemma of sacrificing the votes of the center to please the fringes, or the fringes to please the center. They can afford to lose neither.

I would say you should always be careful what kind of policies you dream of carrying out, what facts you build your power on, because people will expect you, at some point, to make good on your promises. If you didn’t formulate policy wisely, with good study, then it will be the key to your majority’s destruction.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 16, 2017 7:07 PM
Comment #414430

Royal Flush-
No, actually, if you look at the polling, the GOP’s mostly just Conservatives now, by over 70 percent. It’s the Democrats who have wings to their party, conservative and moderate, as well as liberal.

You can hope all you want. Your trouble is, you’ve engineered your party to be hard to steer away from its right. Even when you want to appeal to the center, you’re constantly having to reassure your base that you’re not RINOs, rather than recognizing that having a buffer of moderate and liberal Republicans would give you some ability to mix with the other party.

It creates a strained environment for the GOP, and it will break them down eventually. Even now, they’re fragmenting, because quite frankly, they know that far from being in the perfect situation, in regards to the voters, they’re balanced on the edge of a knife. Democrats could pass Obamacare because they could keep the left-fringe in line long enough to pass what was a somewhat conservative market plan.

Republicans have arranged things so that they have to prove their bonafides by demolishing Obamacare, but they also have to avoid disaster by not having so many people get tossed off their policy, or crowding ERs, that the public turns against them.

Well, good luck with that. So sorry that after all these years of bloviating about how awful Obamacare is, you actually have to do something else than just complain about it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 16, 2017 7:17 PM
Comment #414431

LOL…Stephen writes; ” I’m going to promise you an new one. But before I can give it to you…”

AH…would that be free for me Pal? Or would that be free just for some like Stephen?

Stephen, and all the other Lefties on WB, won’t reveal any details on their personal Obamacare coverage. Ashamed I guess.

Stephen once again would have us believe that the Democrats lost the House, the Senate and the Oval Office because of “truth-telling”. The public couldn’t handle their “truth” and choose Trump’s “lies”.

Shhh…don’t anyone tell the Left about Trumps rising public approval numbers.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2017 7:35 PM
Comment #414432

My buddy Stephen is just an endless source of humor. This clown can’t even recall the primary candidates numbering almost twenty for the Republicans and less than five for the Democrats.

The Republicans had candidates of every political stripe. The Democrats had Left, and so far in Left Field as to be in the parking lot.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 16, 2017 7:41 PM
Comment #414434

Royal Flush-
I don’t have Obamacare because I’m employed at an organization that gives me healthcare as a benefit. Five years ago, I might have chosen differently. Five years ago, though, I had coverage on other terms.

The markets are for individuals, many of whom are older, self-employed, or entrepreneurs.

Besides, you folks, you claim everything will suddenly become ideal if we just let you have your way. No cost to us, just eliminate all the regulations we can. It’s free until life catches up to you. Life has caught up to me repeatedly, especially with aging parents, so I don’t have the luxury of being naïve about the costs of healthcare. I’ve dealt with Bush’s donut hole personally, and benefited from its reduction.

You talk about truth telling, and I’d tell you this: The experienced truth is more powerful than the truth that is told. The GOP keeps running afoul of this. It’s one thing to abstractly bash gay people, but what if your child comes out to you? It’s one thing to tell people Obamacare is a government takeover, but what if you learn that your insurance, which you got at a discount on the Affordable Care Act’s market, was under threat in the repeal?

This is what is going to beat the hell out of the GOP over the next couple years. They’ve become convinced that these victories have rendered them invulnerable. But as your friend’s argument here might well inform you, even Republicans are having their doubts that the system is going to serve them well. The Obamacare repeal dream now within reach, the Affordable Care Act Repeal reality now intrudes, and there’s only so much experience you can talk people out of.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 17, 2017 12:15 AM
Comment #414445

“It’s the Democrats who have wings to their party, conservative and moderate, as well as liberal.”

Hillary would be President IF that were true, Stephen.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/10/12/5-facts-about-democrats/

http://www.dsausa.org/why_are_there_now_millions_of_socialists_in_the_usa

On issue after issue, today’s democratic party is much further left than it was just a mere decade or so ago. The personal attacks on your fellow Americans who disagree with you have reached a fevered level. You have cranked your identity politics up to a thousand. You equate American individualism and exceptionalism to fascism.
From choice to guns to immigration to religion to taxes, today’s democrats make yesterday’s democrats look like libertarians.

Truth is, the democratic party has moved far left on issues that actually matter, you forced those beliefs onto the entire country and you paid the price for doing so.

Posted by: kctim at March 17, 2017 9:37 AM
Comment #414447

kctim-

In surveys conducted this year, 41% of Democrats describe themselves as liberal, 35% say they are moderates and 21% say they’re conservative. In 2000, 43% were moderate, 27% liberal and 24% conservative.

Always read the fine print. Yes, of course, the party has moved more to the left. But the GOP long ago swerved hard to the right The split between conservative/moderates/liberals runs about 68/25/8. Compare that to Democrats, who split between liberal, moderate and conservative 45/35/17.

As for fevered attacks? Why don’t you take a step back and ask what telling folks they hate their country, that they want the economy to crash, that they hate the constitution means to them, especially since they don’t agree with you?

You folks cranked your politics into overdrive long before we did, and you’re making it very difficult to find common ground. The moderates and conservatives in my party are being starved of a real purpose. Without Republicans willing to make deals, come to compromises, there’s not much use or strength to Democrats willing to do the same. The decline of the Conservative and the moderate factions is traceable to this. You keep on forgetting to factor in the reaction to your extremes, in the calculus of how Democrats move politically.

As for this:
You equate American individualism and exceptionalism to fascism.

You love individualism, just as long as they’re your kind of individuals, agreeing with you.

As for Exceptionalism?

I believe that my nation is only as exceptional as it demonstrates itself to be. We can’t go out and torture people, and then come back and boast that we’re exceptional on human rights. We can’t get stuck in badly thought out wars and embarrass ourselves with fiascos like Abu Ghraib, and then boast we’re exceptional in military matters.

When a corrosive contempt for science, encouraged for the sake of scuttling science based policy on the environment and consumer safety, erodes our national, cultural appreciation for STEM fields, then it’s rather foolish to boast of that we’re academically and scientifically exceptional.

Point is, we have to earn high marks for it to be any more than empty blather aimed at making the leaders who are proclaiming the exceptionalism look good.

The difference between you and I is that I will push my country to actually be great, do great things, live up to its promise, build its infrastructure and its society, raise up its poor with its immense wealth, etc., while you’ll just sit on your butt and tell tall tales while the rest of the world passes up by, take our leadership from us. It’s not exceptional to boast of superiority. Just get an earful from North Korea, the way they talk. Any group of leaders in a country can bloviate that they’re the best.

America’s strength is in proving it, but when you have leadership like the right wing these days, proving it takes a back seat to making the friends of the corrupt leadership more wealthy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 17, 2017 11:12 AM
Comment #414449

Stephen,
At least you admit that the left has moved further left. Kudos to you.

You guys keep mentioning that the GOP has somehow moved hard to the right, but that’s nothing but partisan doublespeak.
I am considered ‘the hard right’ nowadays, Stephen, and the actions of today’s GOP proves they are only just a few steps behind the left. The may not give you guys everything you want, but they have compromised with you to the point where they are now nothing more than the moderate democrats of yesteryear.
As far as Republicans not compromising with you, give me a break. If they compromised any more they would have to change their party affiliation.

Hate the country and Constitution, and crashing the economy are POLITICAL rhetoric, Stephen. Calling people racists because they don’t support your policies, targeting and attacking individuals and their livelihood because of the policies they support, rioting to silence individuals for what they say, those are personal attacks and you guys have gone full blown nutso.

The so-called moderates and conservatives in your party are nothing more than single issue voters who tolerate the extremes in order to protect their pet issue.

“You love individualism, just as long as they’re your kind of individuals, agreeing with you.”

In other words, as usual, you are unable to defend your disgust for individualism, one of our nations founding principles, so you must resort to nonsense. Pathetic.

As for exceptionalism, your dissent to torture and war have nothing to do with it. Neither do your elitist held beliefs of science and academia.
It’s your constant attacks on Americans who put their country first. It’s your constant squawking about how great other countries are because they are given free this and free that. It’s your constant demeaning of your fellow Americans who simply disagree with you, and your gushing adoration of foreign nations and people who do. The way you compare us to countries like North Korea when you don’t get your way.

The difference between you and I is that I am willing to fight for what actually makes our country great, and you are willing to use government to force onto others what you mistakenly believe will make it great.

“while you’ll just sit on your butt and tell tall tales”

I did more for my country by the time I was 25 than you will do your entire life, so spare us the personal insults.

“America’s strength is in proving it, but when you have leadership like the right wing these days, proving it takes a back seat to making the friends of the corrupt leadership more wealthy.”

Yeah yeah. Life is hard. Others have more. People disagree with you. You’re not given what you feel you are entitled to. ALL because of wealthy people, or white men, or religious folk. It’s always somebody else’s fault.

Posted by: kctim at March 17, 2017 12:47 PM
Comment #414450

There is a nice chart in this linked article displaying the movements of Democrats towards the left and Republicans towards the right. There is some movement to the left for Democrats, but very little. The GOP has veered far to the right. This chart comes from 2012:

http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2012/04/10/150349438/gops-rightward-shift-higher-polarization-fills-political-scientist-with-dread

Here are more recent charts, from 2015. These histograms only measure the House of Representatives:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/10/12/1430848/-Watch-the-Republican-Party-gallop-to-the-right-over-the-last-40-years-in-this-amazing-chart

The GOP has moved even farther to the right with Trump. I’m not sure where support, or at any rate ignoring racism, bigotry, and misogyny would fall on the chart.

Anyone want to check out Congressman King’s latest racist statement? King says his GOP buddies are patting him on the back for saying it. When the GOP needed someone to write the House version of the failed immigration bill of 2013, they turned to King. He wrote it along with Michele Bachmann.

Here is the money line from that notorious racist:

“We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

Posted by: phx8 at March 17, 2017 2:57 PM
Comment #414452

Steven wrote; “They’ve (GOP) become convinced that these victories have rendered them invulnerable.”

You do come up with the most ridiculous ideas.

Many thanks phx8 for the NPR link. I find the chart interesting as it clearly shows that not only are conservatives ascendant in the GOP, but also in the House Chamber itself. It appears from the chart that the nation, as a whole, is becoming more Conservative in the folks they send to congress.

The chart and article give no idea at all of the parameters used to compile information. It could just be a guess for all I know.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 17, 2017 3:47 PM
Comment #414453

Why should I not admit that the party has shifted? Without reliable middle ground, or a GOP able to govern, most Democrats feel that the only hope for real government is to defeat the GOP and take over.

I used to think very differently, but after a little while, it became obvious even to me that the Republicans don’t intend to share power, and won’t compromise unless forced to it by circumstances beyond their control. It has become obvious that the GOP has become so antisocial, so lacking in people skills that it’s a fool’s errand to try and court their approval through compromises. NO matter how much you compromise, you practically have to act like a GOPer to get your law passed. So, no. We won’t do it. We have nothing to gain.

That’s not to say we haven’t been able to force some compromise from them, but that’s their fault. They took positions that put them with their backs against the wall of public approval. The Debt Ceiling BS is a great example. Who can pull the trigger on that hostage? It was back down, or be blamed for a fiscal and financial disaster.

Put another way, they didn’t so much compromise with us, as compromise with their own awareness of their political mortality. All We needed to do was not flinch when they played chicken with us.

And really, what would be the benefit of proving us wrong on that standoff? It’s like betting you can shoot yourself in Russian Roulette. Even if you win the bet, you lose.

As for calling people racists? Why are you calling Black Lives Matters people thugs and terrorists? I’d say that’s a lot more offensive. I’d say it’s very offensive to call black civil rights leaders racists for bringing up cases of potential racial bias. I especially like the nice touch of calling Obama a racist for saying that arresting Professor Gates for breaking into his own home.

White people can’t unilaterally declare “racism is over,” and then ignore blatant examples of not-so-post-racial behavior by governing officials, by police officers, where glaringly obvious evidence contradicts the rosy view of racial relations. I’m sorry you’ve gotten so delicate and sensitive, feel so besieged, but your people haven’t exactly covered yourself in flying colors, especially in North Carolina, where the GOP researched ways to screw black voters the worst.

Here’s what I think of my country: I love it. But it’s fallible. What was the quote by Carl Schurz?

The Senator from Wisconsin cannot frighten me by exclaiming, “My country, right or wrong.” In one sense I say so too. My country; and my country is the great American Republic. My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.

That is my patriotism. Not the blind love of a father or mother spoiling a child, indulging their temper tantrums and misbehavior, afraid to punish them for doing wrong for fear of seeing the child burst into tears, but the healthy, strong love of a parent who knows their child needs guidance to stay well-behaved and well-liked by the rest of the world, to stay virtuous and well-admired.

I don’t want my country simply coasting on its image from the past. I want it maintaining the foundations of it’s high regard, doing what what’s right, not simply attempting to paper over ugly realities with delusion or deception.

I think people are looking at America as it is now, and are shaking their heads. They see others pulling ahead with their economies, their innovation, their freedom of thought and expression of equality. They see others interfering with our systems of government, and wonder how strong we really are. The military might buy us such respect, the way being a seven foot tall man made of muscle will buy you respect, but the minute that fails or gets subverted, what would be left?

I didn’t compare us to North Korea. I set North Korea as an example of what to avoid, a place where the leader is praised and exalted to the point of absurdity, where the government propaganda’s falseness is painfully obvious, even to the people who feel trapped into maintaining the charades. It’s a place that says it’s the most prosperous and best working country on the planet, but which is so far behind its neighbor to the South that you can tell the shape of the country by the lack of electric light between the Chinese and the South Korean border.

Anybody can say, “America first.” I mean, geez. Who wants to lose any competition. The question, though, is not one of blindly, mindlessly picking every possible fight to scramble to the top of every pile. It’s to choose outcomes that leave us in the best possible positions. This relentless need to prove to everybody that you can’t push us around, that we’re the strongest, etc., comes from not pride, but a deep, abiding shame that needs glory-seeking to compensate for it.

As for life being hard? You don’t need to tell me. I was born premature with Aspergers Syndrome, bullied from first grade to 7th grade relentlessly, and had to deal the last twelve years trying to keep my family afloat with less than ideal resources while My father’s health has steadily declined.

What I don’t want is self-righteous bastards in Washington who think all this is terrible educational and character building funneling more of this character-building hardship my way, because if they get much better at it, I might end up with dead father and out of a home. Life is very ****ing hard, of course, I get it, I’ve gotten it for most of my life. I just have no love for people who think it’s their business to make it harder for everybody else, just so they can beat their high score at the video game modern wealth has become.

And you know what the Declaration and the Constitution tell me? That I am free to revisit my pain back on the rat-bastards who imposed it on me. That’s the way this works. You don’t get graded on a curve just because you think you’re so righteous. You are accountable even those those who can’t get your magnificent vision.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 17, 2017 4:49 PM
Comment #414455

Mr. Daugherty writes about his idea of love of country.

I ask him to share with us one example of his purposeful action, not required by law; other than voting, that display this love.

He writes; “And you know what the Declaration and the Constitution tell me? That I am free to revisit my pain back on the rat-bastards who imposed it on me.”

We greatly appreciate Stephen finally revealing his true thoughts about our Founding Documents. You sir, are anathema to those of us who cherish the very values you despise.


Posted by: Royal Flush at March 17, 2017 5:15 PM
Comment #414456

Want a peek into Mr. Daugherty’s benevolent kind of socialized government?

“In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article138964428.html#storylink=cpy

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 17, 2017 5:51 PM
Comment #414460

Royal Flush-
So, you’re saying that you don’t believe in the social contract, or in Jefferson’s arguments? Beyond the first, broadly quoted parts of the Declaration, Jefferson’s giving the crown a laundry list of reasons why Britain has lost the right to rule the colonies. Are you saying he’s anathema now?

Look, I’m beneficiary of a system that allows me, through my vote, to exert my part of the overall push and pull of the electoral system. We chose who runs our country, and if they’ve dissatisfied us, we can chose to get rid of them. Or, if somebody has unexpectedly shown their virtue in office, we can reconsider our negative opinion of them.

As for proof of my love of country other than my vote… I can point here. I haven’t spent all this time writing for this site, literally composing hundreds of entries, perhaps even now the bulk of published material on the Democratic and Liberals side of this site, because I think America belongs on the ash heap.

I don’t like how people like you get so captivated by your clever words and focus-grouped phrases, that you think you can get away with sucking so bad at policy that it literally endangers the lives of Americans, both here and abroad, not only on the homefront, but on the battlefield. I don’t like how I hear, and remember folks like you beating the crap out of Democrats over bad budgeting, and then see you folks turn around and budget with no discipline whatever, the power of the purse wielded not with responsibility, but with partisanship that attacks even beloved, bipartisan-supported plans. Nobody asked Trump to do away with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. There is no great hue and cry to go out and gut NASA’s Earth Sciences division. And what kind of idiot slashes funding for floodplain mapping?

Well, Trump. For people like him, the game is providing political pornography for private market fanatics, for people who don’t even bother to answer a fundamental question: will it actually work?

See, there’s where you and I part ways. I’ve long been a pragmatic man. Before 2006, my articles about the Iraq War talk about other ways to win. I took issue with the way armor in vehicles was neglected, with the way that intelligence was butchered and distorted to justify the war.

If you don’t take care of the concrete in the world, you have no foundation for positive change.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 18, 2017 12:40 AM
Comment #414487

“As for proof of my love of country other than my vote… I can point here (writing on Watchblog).”

Thanks for setting us straight about your love of country Stephen. Writing on a political blog certainly qualifies for some mindsets.

Shit! I had something a little more substantial in mind but, if that works for you; OK. Perhaps you are not able or willing to do more.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 19, 2017 5:42 PM
Comment #414500

Royal Flush-
Look, there are a ton of you, including your current President, who did not serve. In fact, it seems like you folks would rather have somebody who did not serve, but supports your belligerent attitudes, than somebody who did serve, and dissents from them.

Experience counts for less with you than conformity, and like with any political system, no matter what “ism” it follows, when conformity of thought overrules quality of thought, you get ivory tower ideologues trying to tell the very people who have seen how things work how to do their jobs. Do you know your Trump White House has deployed political apparatchiks to look over the shoulder of his cabinet departments? That is some Soviet-style BS.

But you’re willing to support that, because politics has become, in your view, the instrument of salvation for America.

For saving it from itself. You’re so scared of letting people stumble into error that you don’t even realize that it is part of the design. If you aren’t allowed to make errors, then you don’t learn either your own fallibility, or your mechanisms of failure, so that you can correct them.

The toxicity of the modern right is the denial of error. If you won’t admit when things go wrong, you can’t really do much robust to resolve it. You’re too busy trying to make sure people don’t find out how badly things got screwed up to actually air out the error and let yourself openly get to work on it. Look how many screw-ups and embarrassments Trump has kept going, despite quite a few months having passed since his election. He can’t seem to drop the wiretapping claim, despite the fact most people won’t back it up, not in Congress, not in the intelligence community.

I believe that there is patriotism in revealing the truth, spreading the truth. An informed public is a public that’s got a real choice, and only when you have a real choice can the true shape of democracy be seen.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 20, 2017 1:12 AM
Comment #414509

Where did my Pal Stephen read that I was talking about “service” in my request for things he has done that show love of country? He then goes on at length about his loving truth and spreading truth.

The funny thing is Stephen, before writing about loving and spreading truth you deliberately made up crap about your opponents and passed it off as your “truth”.

Your hypocrisy Stephen, is exceeded only by your hubris.

What I had in mind about love of country was expressing love of your fellow citizen in some fashion that actually cost you something in time, goods or money; without the recipient having to pass a political test for worthiness.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 20, 2017 4:34 PM
Comment #414510

When Stephen speaks of “real choice”, he is speaking of only of the choice that the left presents.

Stephen’s lengthy essays remind me of the biblical account of the Pharisees. The Bible said they loved the preeminence, to stand in the raised places and on the street corners. They loved to hear themselves talk and tried to make everyone think they were the smart ones.

Regarding Trump’s service to the country; it takes a little digging, because unlike Stephen, Trump chooses to not shout from the rooftops of what he has done; but Trump has spent millions to take care of Americans less fortunate than him. The left cannot understand this idea of sacrifice. This is why whenever a study is done of conservative vss liberals and giving, the conservatives always win.

Posted by: Blaine at March 20, 2017 5:17 PM
Comment #414578

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Posted by: augustinebarlow at March 23, 2017 2:01 AM
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