How the D candidates would introduce themselves at the next debate if they were honest

Hi, I’m Joe Biden. I’m the perfect apparatchik – no principles, no convictions, and no plan. I’m senile, and I have a problem with groping children. But vote for me anyway because orange man bad.

Hi, I’m Kamala Harris. My white ancestors owned slaves, but I use the melanin I got from my Indian ancestors to pretend to be black. My own father has publicly rebuked me for the pandering lies I tell. I fellated my way into politics; put me into the White house so I can suck even more!

Hi, I’m Elizabeth Warren. Even though I’m as white as library paste, I pretended to be an American Indian to get preferment. My research on medical bankruptcies was as fraudulent as the way I gamed the racial spoils system. So you should totally trust me when I say I’m “capitalist to my bones”!

Hi, I’m Bernie Sanders. I honeymooned in the Soviet Union. I’m an unreconstructed, hammer-and-sickle-worshiping Communist.

Hi, I’m Kirsten Gillibrand. I used to be what passes for a moderate among Democrats – I even supported gun rights. Now I’ve swung hard left, and will let you just guess whether I ever had any issue convictions or it was just pandering all the way down. Tee-hee!

Hi, I’m Amy Klobuchar, and I’ve demonstrated my grasp on the leadership skills necessarily for the leader of the Free World by being notoriously abusive towards my staff.

Hi, I’m Robert Francis O’Rourke. I’m occupying the “imitate the Kennedy” lane in this race, and my credentials for it include DUI and fleeing an accident scene. The rumors that I’m a furry are false; the rumors that I’m a dimwitted child of privilege are true. But vote for me anyway, crucial white-suburban-female demographic, because I have such a winning smile!

Hi, I’m Pete Buttigieg. I was such a failure as the mayor of South Bend that my own constituents criticize me for having entered this race, but the Acela Corridor press loves me because I’m fashionably gay. And how right they are; any candidate you choose is going to bugger you up the ass eventually, but I’ll do it like an expert!

Hi, I’m Bill de Blasio. I’m as Communist as Bernie, but I hide it better. And if Pete thinks his constituents don’t want him in this race? Hold…my…beer!

Hi, I’m Cory Booker, and I’m totally not gay. OK, maybe I’m just a little gay. My city was a shithole when I was elected and I’ve done nothing to change that; I’m really just an empty suit with a plausible line of patter, especially the “I am Spartacus” part. But you should totally vote for me because I’m…what was the phrase? Oh, yeah. “Clean and articulate.”

Hi, I’m Marianne Williamson. If elected, I will redecorate the White House so it has proper feng shui. I am the sanest and least pretentious person on this stage.

331 thoughts on “How the D candidates would introduce themselves at the next debate if they were honest

  1. It is a sorry state of affairs. The worst part is half the country thinks they are where we need to be going. Interest rates are going negative and MMT is the monetary plan. With the next recession no matter who is in charge they are going to print. Get your gold bitchez!

  2. Gold is for after the recovery

    GOLD is for the mistress – silver for the maid” –
    Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade! ”
    ” Good! ” said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
    But Iron – Cold Iron – is master of them all.”

    Gun up, or die unnoticed

  3. You’re absolutely right. But you left something out.

    Everyone you’ve mentioned sucks less than Trump, with one possible exception (who I’d prefer not to discuss right now because I’d need to do more research before coming down that hard on anyone.) Some of them suck a lot less than Trump. Some of them, like Joe Biden, are only half as bad as Trump, but he and Harris, at .35 Trumps,* are definitely the worst of the lot.

    But if you’re implying that the 2020 election is going to be like the recent movie in which a giant, radioactive lizard and an alien dragon fought for dominance over our plant amid the ruins of cities, I wouldn’t argue.

    * A Trump is the standard measure of suckiness

    • Thank you troutwaxer. Now wax your trout and get back to your day job of teaching autofellatio to dogs.

    • > Everyone you’ve mentioned sucks less than Trump

      That would be the Trump that’s reduced unemployment to near-historic lows?

      The people who have jobs probably disagree with you about that.

      If the Dems go into the general election with any of those candidates, they are going to get curb-stomped, and they are going to deserve it.

      • Unemployment has been falling for many years. There’s no obvious impact on any macroeconomic graph due to Trump’s election.

        This is unsurprising – typically, it takes 18-24 months for most policy to show up in stats, and he’s only been in office a bit longer than that. Up to about the end of 2018, unemployment stats should properly be credited to Obama(as moderated by a GOP Congress), if we’re assigning them to politicians at all.

        As for curb-stomping, https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/general_election/. A Fox News poll from Friday about the general election match-ups has Biden +12, Warren +7, Sanders +9, and Harris +6. For reference, Clinton won by 2.1%, the final polling average was Clinton +3.6%, and polls from this point in 2015 showed Clinton +4-5% in the head-to-head. So if you’re going to make an argument about polling error, knock 3% off each of them to match what happened last time. Biden and Sanders would still crush Trump, and Warren and Harris would be expected to squeak out wins.

        • If Obama was doing so great, how come things didn’t take off while he was busy publishing massive amounts of new regulations? It was Trump’s explicit and expressed deregulation policy across the entire Federal government that got business to open up the wallets. Immediately.

          Obama’s recovery was the most anemic in history. Historically, the deeper the recession, the faster and more vigorous the recovery. Not Obama’s…not letting a crisis go to waste merely served to stretch the crisis out.

          My earning power is still only half of what it should be, thanks to Barack Obama – and now the Democrats are proposing to double down on his failed policies? Fuck no.

          • Not Obama’s…not letting a crisis go to waste merely served to stretch the crisis out.

            So exactly like the Great Depression, except that being a far wealthier civilization now it didn’t push people over the starvation line.

          • Personally, I’m not a big fan of Obama. He was very much a centrist Democrat a-la Clinton, and would have fit comfortably into a group of ‘Country-Club Republicans’ from the 1970s. Other than Obamacare he didn’t actually do much. He gets mad-props from most Liberals for being the first Black president and for not doing anything stupid (like getting us into another war,) but that’s a pretty low bar to jump.

            • Alsadius > There’s no obvious impact on any macroeconomic graph due to Trump’s election.

              Yeah, yeah. It’s sheer coincidence that the economy started roaring as soon as Trump got in office. It would totally have done the same thing if Obama had been granted another term. Totally.

              Give it a rest.

              > So if you’re going to make an argument about polling error, knock 3% off each of them to match what happened last time.

              I’m old enough to remember when the “polls” gave Hillary a 90% (in one case 99+%) chance of winning, so color me unimpressed.

              troutwaxer> not doing anything stupid (like getting us into another war,)

              LOL WUT?

              Unless I’ve missed one or two, Barack “Nobel Peace Prize” Obama bombed and/or missiled the fuck out of eight separate countries during his term of office. Clearly this is some new definition of “not getting us in a war” with which I was previously unfamiliar.

              • >I’m old enough to remember when the “polls” gave Hillary a 90% (in one case 99+%) chance of winning, so color me unimpressed.

                I remember the major networks quoting 92% when the polls closed.

                I think the skew from the polling numbers will be worse (and thus more favorable to Trump) this time. This is part of a long-term trend of likely Republican voters being less accessible to pollsters, and less willing to talk to pollsters when they are accessible.

                • Yeah, it’s a lot like the polls that purport to show an unrealistically low level of gun ownership in the United States, when what’s actually happening is that people are reluctant to disclose that they own guns to some random yob calling them up on the phone.

                  This is especially true now that Dem thugs are attacking Trump supporters in public places for (e.g.) wearing one of his campaign hats.

                    • That happens a lot. Do guns just naturally make boats capsize?

                    • Yes. They are heavy. And gun parts are round and liable to cause a harmonic rolling motion which is difficult for the non-expert to stabilize.

                • I stayed up to watch the returns on my first election, back in 1980. The big scoreboard kept notching up for Carter, until he had 75% of the vote, and the TV crews were cheering, and Unka Jimmuh was calling on Ronnie to “do the right thing” and resign instead of making the poor poll workers keep going into the night counting useless votes.

                  Yet *somehow* by the end Reagan managed to get 489 electoral votes to Carter’s 49…

                  It was then that I first became aware that the mass media is a machine of falsehood and propaganda.

                  • Huh???

                    I worked as a judge of elections in 1980. After turning in the results, I went over to the Republican ward office. I remember someone coming in a bit later, and asking how the election was going

                    The committeeman said “Carter just conceded”, to which the new arrival said “You’re —–ing me, John!” But it was true, and no later than 9:30 Central Time.

                    I can’t imagine there was ever a point at which Carter seriously thought he was winning, much less calling for Reagan to concede.

                • 92%? I am amazed they managed to show that much epistemic humility; why, they only lost 3½ bits! By media standards that’s a roaring triumph -_-

              • Locketopus:

                Yeah, yeah. It’s sheer coincidence that the economy started roaring as soon as Trump got in office. It would totally have done the same thing if Obama had been granted another term. Totally.

                What’s this “started” you speak of?
                Here’s unemployment over time.
                Here’s real GDP growth.
                Here’s the S&P 500.

                Three of the biggest and most obvious macroeconomic indicators, none with any obvious bump from Trump taking over. Where exactly is this “start”? If the exact same trend continues across Obama’s time in office and Trump’s, it probably doesn’t have much to do with either one of them.

                I’m old enough to remember when the “polls” gave Hillary a 90% (in one case 99+%) chance of winning, so color me unimpressed.

                The site I’ve taken most seriously, since the late Bush years, is 538. They said 71% Clinton, 29% Trump, and they made comments in the attached write-up that Trump is unusual and hard to poll, so it’s probably a bit closer than their poll-based model would indicate. And Trump’s win was enough of a squeaker that calling it a 29% chance seems about right to me. The people saying 99% were usually using models based on self-abuse, not based on actually looking at the numbers, but that was clear pre-election. If you want to throw out the predictions made by hyper-partisans, do so with my blessing. (Though note that your own prediction goes away under that model).

                If I had to predict now, I’d give Trump about a 40% chance of winning – he’s not getting obliterated like his opponents want him to be, his flaws are already known (while most of the Dem candidates can’t say that, and thus have downsize surprise potential), and he’s a pretty good campaigner in his own insane way. But he’s starting on the back foot, and even if he’s been able to mount comebacks before, that’s no guarantee he can do it again.

                Unless I’ve missed one or two, Barack “Nobel Peace Prize” Obama bombed and/or missiled the fuck out of eight separate countries during his term of office. Clearly this is some new definition of “not getting us in a war” with which I was previously unfamiliar.

                I’m not the guy who said this, but I’d wager he means boots on the ground where they weren’t before. Nobody really cares about US bombings – that’s the modern equivalent of a sternly worded letter. (Which is a bit nutty, but seems to be the case.)

                • > If I had to predict now, I’d give Trump about a 40% chance of winning

                  I don’t know anyone who voted for Trump last time who’s planning to vote for someone else. Not one single person.

                  I know numerous people who did NOT vote for Trump last time, or who voted for him reluctantly, who will be voting for him enthusiastically this time (that group would include me, by the way).

                  In what group of Trump voters do you imagine this large-scale disillusionment, to the extent they will vote for a communist instead, is taking place? Can you identify a specific demographic?

                  • His polls have been getting worse since he took office, including from right-leaning pollsters like Fox News. There’s no weird jump discontinuities in the graph, that might imply shenanigans – it just looks like typical popularity decline.

                    As for a demographic, probably the people who aren’t super-partisan or super-engaged. If it’s Trump vs Clinton, they’re both shit, so you vote for the one you think is a bit less shit. If it’s Trump vs Not-Clinton, it’s possible there’s only one shitty candidate in the race, in which case you vote for the non-shitty one. People who self-identify as Republicans support him overwhelmingly, but independents shifting away en masse would still doom him.

                    • >His polls have been getting worse since he took office, including from right-leaning pollsters like Fox News.

                      In what universe?

                      Zogby has him at 51% That’s a new high. Furthermore Zogby says he’s at 49% among Hispanics and 28% among blacks.

                      If you bear in mind the usual oversampling of Democrats and the strong shy-Trump-voter effect, those are very grim numbers for the Ds. Trump only has to pick up a few percent more of the black vote to lock up the election.

                    • independents shifting away en masse would still doom him

                      It doesn’t necessarily have to be away from Trump to be toward the Democrats. I think you correctly identified that a lot of people were underwhelmed with both major-party candidates three years ago. And the result was that the plurality voted Clinton, others voted Trump, some voted third-party, and the rest stayed home. Both parties are going to be competing for voters in all four categories.

                      Which of these groups the Democrats focus on is probably a function of who wins the nomination. Harris seems likely to retain most of Clinton’s voters. Biden does better with blue-collar union labour, which helps him with the non-college-educated whites among whom Trump performed so well. Inslee is campaigning largely on environmental issues, so he might scoop those who voted for the Greens last time. The ACLU likes Booker, positioning him to recapture votes that went to the Libertarians. O’Rourke seems to be emulating Smiling Bob in order to appeal to voters who stayed home due to the historically unpopular candidates in 2016.

                      Some of these categories are richer in votes than others, but the Democrats really don’t need very many. Michigan and Pennsylvania going blue would have swung the election, and Trump’s combined margin there was about half a percentage point. For the sake of comparison, the swing in these states from the 2016 to 2018 Congressional elections was over seven percentage points.

                      In what group of Trump voters do you imagine this large-scale disillusionment, to the extent they will vote for a communist instead, is taking place?

                      If fifty-five thousand Michigan and Pennsylvania Democrats turn out next year who stayed home over the Comey letter, the Benghazi scandal, or just general antipathy towards Clinton, then not a single Trump voter need change his mind to end up with a Democrat president. Where then do the Republicans turn to negate those gains? Do they really expect they’ll be able to make the brand of any of the candidates I listed as toxic between now and election day as they did Clinton’s – which they’d been working on since the 2008 campaign?

                    • Again with the “polls” (his numbers been getting better recently anyway, as esr points out). It should be clear after the 2016 election that polls as we know them are not a reliable guide. Whether they are broken or simply dishonest is irrelevant.

                      How many people do you PERSONALLY KNOW who voted for Trump last time who are planning to vote for the Dem this time? Any? Do you even know any Trump voters? At all? It doesn’t sound like it.

                      If you don’t know any Trump voters personally, how many well-known public figures can you name who are planning to switch? There are a few, granted, but for every one you name, I’ll bet I can name at least three who were lukewarm or even anti-Trump in 2016, but are 100% on-board the Trump train now.

                    • ESR: Your link 404’s. I was looking at the RCP polling averages: Trump’s favourable/unfavourable, job approval, and head to head matchups (note that some of those are state-level, not national).

                      Last time, the oversampling/shy Trump voter effects added up to a 1.5% swing from the final polling average to the general election results. I’ve included an effect of that magnitude in my estimate of Trump’s chances. It’s not actually a huge swing, it’s just that it was (barely) enough in a tight 2016 race.

                      Locketopus:

                      How many people do you PERSONALLY KNOW who voted for Trump last time who are planning to vote for the Dem this time? Any? Do you even know any Trump voters? At all? It doesn’t sound like it.

                      I don’t know anyone who’s decided to switch away from Trump, but I hang out with hyper-partisans. I trust nationwide polls far more than I trust my own eclectic social networks to give me a representative sample of how the people as a whole feel. For all that they get a lot of flak, a 1.5% miss in 2016 isn’t huge. Certainly not enough to discredit the whole industry.

                    • “Where then do the Republicans turn to negate those gains? ”

                      I suspect a ton of people didn’t vote for Trump because he didn’t have government experience, foreign policy experience, etc. This time… those concerns have flipped to his benefit.

                    • I’m assuming you live in Colorado, and have ready access to that great weed, and that’s what prompts you to make asinine statements in a public forum. Trump’s “polls have been getting worse since he took office.” AYFSMRN???????

                    • I would like to make a point about polls. I’m 71 years old and have never ever been polled.

                • (replying to an earlier comment, as this thread has apparently exceeded the maximum nesting depth, not to mention becoming hard to read).

                  > For all that they get a lot of flak, a 1.5% miss in 2016 isn’t huge.

                  Trump won by 304-227. That’s not “1.5%”.

                  I know it’s fashionable to pretend to that we live on some alternate timeline where the popular vote is what counts, rather than the electoral vote, but that’s not actually the case.

                  The polls were either rigged or run by incompetents. There’s really no alternative, dude. Now, I can believe that Hillary’s campaign wunderkind, the aptly-named Robbie Mook, is that stupid. You know, the guy who didn’t schedule one campaign event for her in Wisconsin?

                  The pollsters? Not so much.

                  Last time Trump had little confidence within his own party, and a small campaign war chest.

                  Neither of those is true this time.

                  • I’m not against the electoral college. But polling the EC is nearly impossible, and so in practice we use nationwide polls and add an adjustment factor for likely EC breakdowns. Trump won 304-227, yes, but if you look at the states that made up that 304, the tipping-point state was Wisconsin, which he won by 0.77%. So if we take Clinton up in the polls by 4-5% at this point in the last election cycle, and Trump actually winning the key state by 0.77%, we should give him a buffer of about 5-6%.

                    If a Democrat is leading by 6, and Trump does what he did last time (in terms of improving during the campaign, outperforming polls, and getting an efficient vote split), then we should expect the Democrat will probably win.

                    And again, the difference between the popular vote predicted by polls, versus the popular vote he actually got, was 1.5%. That is not a large error. It’s well in line with poling error in most other contexts, and not much above the theoretical margin of error for the combined data set (which is pretty good given that theory assumes you can poll perfectly and get honest answers form everyone, and that’s not actually possible). This doesn’t require incompetence or malice, and in fact tells me that the pollsters did pretty well. If one voter in 70 lied to the pollsters because they didn’t want to tell a stranger they were pro-Trump, the pollsters got it basically perfect otherwise. It just so happened that 1.5% mattered a lot here, given all the very close states – 75 E-votes were won by less than 1.5%.

                    A side note on pollster finances – election polling is advertising for them, not their main product. Most of them do commercial polling as their primary business, and do political polling as a way of showing off how accurate their results are to the banks and telecom companies that pay them most of their income. There’s no money to be made in skewing the data, which is why it’s usually pretty close to the mark.

                    • Because the election is won on the marginal votes of states within the EC, national polls are pretty much meaningless. Roughly 1/6th of the respondents to a truly randomly selected national poll are from New York or California, and you can’t determine how Pennsylvania is going to vote from their responses.

                      Targeted polls of Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina – the states won or lost by 5% last time – is the way to figure out who is going to win.

                      Trying to infer whether Michigan is going to 47% or 46% for Trump by finding out whether 65% or 70% of Californians really hate Trump is a fool’s errand.

                    • My argument already factored in those considerations. The Californians, New Yorkers, Soutehrners, and Midwesterners come moderately close to cancelling out. The difference between them and the EC winner was about 2.9% in the last election. (I said 5-6% above to factor in Trump outperforming polls, because we don’t have 2020 election data to look at.)

                      If you want to look more closely at swing-state polls than national polls, feel free. I tend to prefer national at this point, because the national data is more available this far out, but that’s one where reasonable people can disagree. That said, please do note that I tried to take your objections into account. Simply re-stating them without acknowledging that isn’t terribly productive.

    • Have you forgotten that a former Secretary of State lost to a Reality Television Game Show Host, and that she couldn’t even manage to cheat her way back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with the full might and the power of the Mainstream Media behind her?

      If you want a quantum of abject failure and uselessness, you should be rating the DNC clown-show in Rodhams.

    • If the Left keeps going on as they are now, we could well see a McGovern-class curb stomping of the Democrats.

      Me, I’m just waiting to hoist a beer in my new Trump 2020 pint glass…

  4. All the D party candidates are running for Spunky Ethnic Vice President. Say what you like about Clinton and Obama, at least they were running for President.

    There must be a pile of stories waiting to be published expressing outrage over someone mentioning the gay candidate’s first name is Peter and last name starts with Butt.

    • I endorse your first paragraph and I haven’t even been following that closely. None of them seem to want to grasp the nettle except maybe Harris, and she strikes me as being Hilary II. Wanting power rather than leadership.

    • I’d say Biden, Sanders, Harris, and Warren are actually running for President. Buttigieg is pulling a Trump, where he runs as a publicity stunt and does weirdly well, so he’ll milk it as long as he can. The rest are running for VP.

      • My guess is that it won’t be Biden, because as people start dropping out of the race, their supporters, who are most left-of-Biden will go for Not-Biden in whatever forms are then available. (‘Biden’ is an American Indian word which means ‘Out-of-touch Baby Boomer’ and most Democrats know that.)

        The recent Godzilla movie is a pretty good match for how our election will go. We have Trump, represented in the movie by Ghidorah, and the rest of the monsters are in competition to discover who will be ‘the Alpha’ and have a chance to oppose Trump. In this case, Biden* is Rodan, who gets shived by Mothra just before Godzilla and Ghidorah fight.

        * As far as my opinion of the man is concerned, I’d liken Biden to Jet Jaguar, in the sense of ‘what the fuck is he doing here? You couldn’t budget for just one more rubber suit?’

        • > their supporters, who are most left-of-Biden will go for Not-Biden in whatever forms are then available.

          You are confusing “communist millennials” with “Democratic voters as a whole”.

          I think Trump will beat Biden handily, but it won’t be anything like the rout you’ll see if the Dems nominate one of the outright communists in the race.

          In particular, I think you, and those like you, are grossly underestimating the reaction of the black voting block to the “open borders” crapola.

          In the mind of a “woke” white communist, all the “brown people” are the same. In their own minds… not so much.

        • I think your argument is plausible, but the Trump experience does make a bit more confident of Biden’s chances. Voters seem to consolidate around the frontrunner more than I’d expect from straight ideology, and he needs like 1/4 of the voter supporting other candidates to go his way. If he doesn’t shoot himself in the foot too often, he stands a very good chance.

          That said, win or lose, he’s clearly a candidate who is actually trying to become President, and has a plausible path to the job.

        • In what universe is Biden a boomer? He was born 20 November 1942, fairly early during US participation in WWII, and thus could not possibly have been the child of a returned serviceman. I don’t expect this coming election to take place in an alternate timeline, though I sometimes think many Democrats live in one.

      • O’Rourke was serious, at least when he got in — many expected him to do well, and he hit 10% in polls after declaring and brought in a lot of money early.

    • Couple of ways to try to see the race at present.

      1. Biden is just a placeholder. A place for the saner Democrats to camp and wait to see.

      2. Biden is just there as a practice target. To make a “win” mean something their eventual nominee has to beat someone. Well Biden is, at least on paper, someone formidable. But he is a loser, always has been.

      3. The whole field is a farce and as they all flame out the Democrats will cry out for a savior, and She will answer the call. Fully vetted, fully intersectional, fully self funding. The Oprah. Reality Star vs Reality TV star, in a steel cage.

      Or there is an even darker 4.

      The Democrats see this cycle as a once in a lifetime opportunity to go for it all. Nominate the dream Communist they all want, the one that will end it all, bring them the Revolution, the Final Solution. If they can crash (spoiler alert, with control of the Fortune 500, the FED and the media they can) the economy they figure any of them can beat a crippled Trump, why waste that opportunity on anyone but the most Left candidate possible? So the Primaries are tryouts to see who is the most Left. And if the economy is still somehow roaring next Fall they weren’t beating Trump anyway, so losing a crazy candidate won’t matter, best they save the A material for 2024 and crush Pence like a bug.

  5. “Everyone you’ve mentioned sucks less than Trump, ”

    nah, Trump is way better than any of them
    #MAGA Trumpslide 2020!

  6. This post is both accurate and very sad. The quality of people being elected to public office is now so bad that we can no longer ignore the underlying pathology (looking at you Ocasio-Cortez).

    These people are being elected by a majority of voters in lots of districts across the country and, in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, one of these bozos will likely get close to half the vote (Hillary actually received more than half). That is a damning reality about the quality of our brethren citizenry and their voting acumen. This is not a good portent of our future.

    • Well, we can cry about it, or we can talk about taking active measures to eliminate the Democrat Party as a political force forever.

  7. Surely a good deal of Harris’s melanin comes from her Jamaican father.

    And hasn’t O’Rourke been called “Beto” since childhood? What do his friends call him if not that? As far as I know the only period in which he was not called Beto was at Yale, where he tried “Rob” on for size. Apparently it didn’t fit.

  8. And here’s how they plan to appeal to American voters:

    Call them white supremacists.
    Ban the most popular rifle in America.
    Put the federal government in charge of internet access (a recent Warren brainstorm).
    Spend trillions on the dubious Green New Deal.
    Medicare For All, a.k.a. socialized medicine.
    Free medical care for illegals.
    “Free college,” including for illegals.
    Abolish ICE.
    No border wall, and decriminalize border crossing.

    How could millions of undecided voters not jump on that platform? And what could possibly go wrong?

      • Bah! That downvote was meant to be an upvote….. there appears to be no way to retract a mistake….

      • PSA is one of my favorite businesses: founded for the explicit purpose of selling so many good-quality ARs that it’s impossible to confiscate them all.

        • And they do well at it, too. I really like the quality of what I got from them. The interesting one will be what I get from CF, in a few days.

      • /me notes the current trajectory of politics / stability of civil order this side of the pond and envies the hell out of you guys who can just buy guns.

        • Your country has done us the service of demonstrating beyond all doubt why we must never give in to the demand that we surrender our rights or our arms.

      • Second PSA. They do make a pretty nice mil-spec 5.56 upper/barrel setup with an m-lock shroud. Not the flashiest or most expensive but have a (well earned in my experience) rep for being solid rifle at a budget price.

          • Don’t forget the ammo. Federal is offering a rebate through 9/30/2019 called the “go green” promotion. They are offering a nickle a round off their green tip, 62 gr 556 cartridge.

            The new green deal you can love! Excellent

      • building a PSA ‘pistol’ AR this weekend, and nothing troutwaxer can do about it
        he’s impotent.

        • Classic Firearms is selling an ATI 7-inch AR-15 pistol with blade brace and M-Lok shroud for $349. I’m interested to see just how usable it is and how well it shoots. Especially with a red dot sight.

    • Yes, the “All y’all are unforgivably awful and we’re here to punish you for existing, so vote for us to prove that you’re not evil!” platform. That dog will hunt.

      If the editors of the Babylon Bee had orchestrated all of this as an elaborate practical joke, would it look any different?

    • Spend trillions on the dubious Green New Deal.
      Medicare For All, a.k.a. socialized medicine.
      Free medical care for illegals.
      “Free college,” including for illegals.

      That’s lots of free stuff, and lots of jobs. And lots of people who think they have or will have one of those jobs.

  9. Yawn. Whoever you vote for, a politician will get in. Think about it. Now, Trump is probably terrible. But so was Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush the first, Raygun, and so on back to Washington. The best option would be for you Yanks to pick up your guns, and declare open season on the politicians. State, federal, hell, even local. Shoot the lot. Then, for good measure, go and shoot the corporate criminals (but I repeat myself) as well.

    Freedom does not come from owning a bigger house. Nor from being able to boss around someone less fortunate then you. Freedom comes from not having anyone able to tell you what to do. That’s what you’ve got the guns for. To keep your freedom. Except, in your case, you lost it before you had it.

    • I suspect that things will get real if, or when, they actually attempt a national firearm confiscation program. They have already tipped their hand that they will try a mandatory buy-back program first, and when that fails, try to coerce LEOs into conducting a house-to-house search and arrest pogrom. They might even get a few urban Police departments to attempt this, but it would end in Prohibition-scale disaster. It’s a Catch-22 for Progressive politicians. They can’t impose a tyranny without confiscation, but confiscation triggers a civil war and the start of hunting season. And only one side actually knows how to shot.

      • I wouldn’t rely on the “can’t happen here” concept. They’ve used that on the Electoral College, since small states would lose representation; however, the Democrats in small states would GAIN representation. All you need is an unpopular Republican governor, and you get a Democrat legislature that goes for the abolition of the EC. I’m sure you could get a gun grab by some analogous means.

        • The best thing that can happen to us is for the next Obama to push through a firearm confiscation program (a la Obamacare). Then the veil falls away and the tyranny is laid bare. Alternately, if we continue with incrementalism and death by a thousand cuts, the ship may sink before the mutiny has a chance.

          I used to think that the Democrat leadership was too smart to make this overt mistake, but they may well put socialism (Communism) into their party platform at next year’s presidential convention.

            • Not at all. I am not defeatist. Rather, there are many intelligent ways to beat a tyranny. The biggest danger is waiting too long to hit bottom. Faster means higher bottom and less pain rebounding and recovering.

              In Wisconsin alone, you can marshal several hundred thousand Walter Mitty types who can heart-shoot a deer at 400 meters. And don’t get me started on Texas.

              • Number of hunting permits for 2019 in the US is north of 15 million (source https://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/LicenseInfo/Hunting.htm ). That may have some duplicates for people wanting to hunt in multiple states but if you call it 20% that still leaves 12 million individuals willing and able to don the gear, make the trek and pull the trigger on a firearm. Add in the militia folks, ex-military, the weekly and monthly range shooters and you have north of 20 million people in the US owning a personal weapon, ammo and skills necessary to put lead downrange. Granted, there is a wide variability in skill, but not a number to be discarded. House to house confiscations will not be happening.

          • > the veil falls away and the tyranny is laid bare

            If that helped, the Wickard v. Filburn case would have lain that to rest almost a century ago. And yet they persist.

            The truth is, most don’t care as long as they are getting their “free” stuff.

        • > since small states would lose representation;

          On paper. In practice, I’m not so sure. Small states are irrelevant now b/c all the attention currently goes to 3-5 battleground states (which will not be small states by definition).

          Without the EC, a state like Wyoming will at least get 1/400 of the candidates’ time.

          • Isn’t the entire population of Wyoming less than Clinton’s popular vote margin in California in the 2016 election?

            Without the EC, the only states that will get any attention from presidential candidates are those with a megalopolis, and the big cities will rule everyone else. Preventing that is the point of weighting the EC as it is now.

            • My contention is that they don’t get any attention now (with the partial exception of Iowa and New Hampshire). Ditto for the non-competitive big states.

      • New York tried vigorously enforcing gun control. It even worked somewhat, so of course the Democrats started howling and demanded that they put an end to “stop and frisk”.

        • In 2013 the New York state legislature passed the SAFE act. It banned “assault weapons”, limited the capacity of magazines, mandated background checks on all weapons transfers, etc. Since it has been enacted “By 2015, only around 45,000 such registrations were performed while the estimated number of assault weapons requiring registration nears 1 million.” (source wikipedia, meaning it is at least twice as bad).

          In other words, the people of New York State when faced with the prospect of felony possession of unregistered firearms or registration and potential confiscation said “I refuse. Your move.” So far the state of New York has charged 40 or so people with this crime since 2013. The dems in the city got their gun control law passed and now are faced with massive passive non-compliance. The gun owners in NY are echoing the Texians of Gonzalez telling the Mexican army to come and take it. And this is in New York.

        • We might need to take a good long look at Houston, Dallas, El Paso, and San Antonio while we’re at it. There are some blueberries in our cherry cobbler. They’re starting to smell bad.

    • Now, assuming y’all are going to vote for /someone/. Accepting that the lesser evil is still evil. Why would you vote against your own best interests? So, should you vote for the candidate that wants universal healthcare, or the candidate that wants you to beg if you have a serious health issue (and then die and/or declare bankruptcy because you can’t afford to pay tens of thousands of dollars)? Should you vote for the party that seems to want honest to god fascism (of the more power to the government, government and corporations merging, crush worker’s rights and unions, etc.), or the, oh wait, both major parties suck. Umm… Never mind.

      Vote for Cthulhu, why vote for a lesser evil?

      • He could also be a member of the “F Troop”, I suppose. They also go trolling for morons from time to time.

    • > Think about it. Now, Trump is probably terrible.

      Nah, he’s probably the least bad president in my lifetime. He’s not the orator that Reagan was, but he hasn’t let himself get fucked by congress the way Reagan did.

      • But he’s actively working to curtail gun rights, and has so-far managed to succeed somewhat.

        • Really? If you believe that you’ve fallen–as many have–for the rope-a-dope.

          If nothing else, his saying a prominent Democrat (I forget who) was why we need red flag laws is enough to make most Democrats reflexively oppose red flag laws–and sure enough, nobody’s really been talking about them since.

          • >If nothing else, his saying a prominent Democrat (I forget who) was why we need red flag laws is enough to make most Democrats reflexively oppose red flag laws–and sure enough, nobody’s really been talking about them since.

            Yeah, that bit of judo was brilliant. I laughed my ass off. And it worked.

            This is revealing what a wretched, disconnected lot of gray men “movement” conservatives have been for decades. I grow increasingly angry with them in retrospect as Trump reveals what could have been done to push back against the erosion of liberty and culture by the repressive Left. Timorous, useless, gutless, self-emasculated, ineffectual milksops, the lot of them. They utterly failed the civilization they were supposed to conserve.

            • They were too busy adjusting their bowties and trying to ensure they got into the right DC cocktail parties.

            • Trump shows what it took to win the hearts and minds of the conservative public. In retrospect, we’d gotten tired of watching our politicians – whose hearts were in the right place, to be sure – roll over and let the left and the press (but I repeat myself) run roughshod over them.

              Trump was the first to really fight back. Look where it got him.

              • >Trump shows what it took to win the hearts and minds of the conservative public.

                Not just conservatives. Libertarians have been long fed up with the rather total failure of anyone on the conventional political spectrum to oppose Totalitarianize All The Things effectively.

                • >more than a touch of the tism which explains, but does not excuse, his behavior.

                  We don’t yet know that there is any behavior to excuse. We have a report of an accusation, that is all.

                  I know nothing to support “pro-pedo”, and I’ve known RMS since 1979.

  10. Impressive that every single one of these ‘honest’ statements includes blatant and easily checkable factual errors.

    • >Impressive that every single one of these ‘honest’ statements includes blatant and easily checkable factual errors.

      So obvious that you have not pointed out or documented them?

      • Bernie Sanders did not exactly “Honeymoon” in the Soviet Union. As part of his duties as mayor, Bernie Sanders and his wife went to the Soviet Union with 10 other people, immediately after their marriage. This was as part of the official delegation from Burlington, VA for the “sister-cities” program between Burlington, VA and Yaroslavl in the Soviet Union. The trip took place in 1988 at the height of perestroika. Both Sanders and his wife have described it as an “interesting honeymoon,” but it’s pretty obvious they were joking.

        It clearly wasn’t the kind of “Oh my darling, we will go to Russia and spend our passions observing the glorious revolution” that most right-wing commentators are making it out to be. Instead, it was very standard mayoral-type stuff.

        So you’re technically correct if “honeymoon” means “the mayor and his brand-new wife traveled to our sister-city as part of a 12-person delegation.”

          • In factual terms where Eric’s claims above are concerned, the only thing that matters is…

            shirt_off != honeymoon.

        • > As part of his duties as mayor, Bernie Sanders and his wife went to the Soviet Union with 10 other people, immediately after their marriage. This was as part of the official delegation from Burlington, VA for the “sister-cities” program between Burlington, VA and Yaroslavl in the Soviet Union.

          Said sister-city status having been instituted by… Bernie Sanders.

          International relations are not typically part of the duties of a mayor.

          My city has six sister cities. You know how many times I remember our mayor making an official visit to one of those cities as part of his “duties”, or one of their mayors making an official visit here as part of his “duties”?

          Zero, that’s how many.

            • IDK, if you had the chance to take a tax payer funded trip with your brand new wife to a place you (and presumably she) really wanted to visit, you wouldn’t *call* it a honeymoon, but…

  11. What about Tulsi Gabbard?

    The thing about her is that she seems to be to the Ds what McCain was to the Rs. She isn’t really all that honest, except maybe by politicians’ standards; if you look at her record, she has moved as far left from her original views as Biden or Gillibrand. However, she gives the APPEARANCE of honesty because she is willing to call the most obnoxious Democrats out on their dishonesty.

    It’s kind of telling that the D candidate most hated by the D base is just as leftist as the rest, but more hostile to dishonest politicians. It tells you a lot about the D base itself. I’m reminded of Heinlein once saying something to the effect that politicians are generally MORE honest than their supporters.

    • Expanding on that, I guess she’s already said what she wants to say, except that to put it more bluntly she would say, “The USA has made a big mistake in siding with Saudi Arabia, and should side with Syria and Iran instead.” It’s defensible, I suppose, but very controversial and would probably doom her campaign. In some ways, she’s like Carter (which was once the ultimate insult for Democrats): she has an honestly wildly different view about foreign policy, and on domestic policy mostly just goes with her party platform.

      • If you don’t like Wahabi Islam, and maybe think they shouldn’t be allowed to send missionaries to other countries, it’s not a bad position, and I think the Iranians offer some other advantages as well – they clearly have more scientific and technical sophistication than the Saudis, for example. Or if you think that Al Quaeda/9-11 was a creation of the Saudi right, and that the Saudis should suffer for their tolerance of same, it’s also a decent idea.

        It’s not something I’ve extensively researched and there may be better counterarguments, but I think those are the basic ‘Dump the Saudis and go with Iran’ arguments. I’m not massively behind one position or the other, but I’m definitely not a big fan of the Saudis.

        • The Saudis could be better, true. On the other hand, they are our allies and the Iranians are our enemies, and we should treat both appropriately – and not like Carter and Obama did, who were known for harming our friends and helping our enemies.

          • After 9-11 I think we needed to spend a lot more time on the question of whether the Saudis are really our friends than we did.

            My idea of paradise is that we go super-green and thus can stop worrying about the Muddled East.

            • Fat chance. So-called green energy is not feasible as a wholesale replacement for current technologies, period.

                • The problem is that greens react to the idea of nuclear power the way vampires respond to crosses and sunlight. It’s the most feasible and the most efficient of the non-hydrocarbon options, so of course they want no part of it, not even the LFTRs mentioned just down-thread.

                  • Bringing up another question to ask candidates:
                    do you believe coal fired electrical plants producing carbon dioxide pose a bigger threat to the environment than nuclear electrical generator’s production of nuclear waste?

                    • That’s a very good question for testing scientific knowledge, but the real answer is “Don’t build either.” (I’d have no objection to something like a pebble-bed or thorium reactor of some kind, assuming all the technological issues can be solved.)

                    • Sorry, Troutwaxer, but this is the same kind of idiocy that has people protesting pipeline construction “so they leave the oil in the ground”. Not gonna work that way. So-called “green energy” is a boondoggle that cannot and will not supply our real needs for power. We’re going to have one or the other (or maybe natural gas-fired plants). You can’t say “none of the above”, just as you cannot escape the laws of thermodynamics.

          • It wouldn’t be hard to convince me that the Saudis haven’t been very good allies to us, and Americans would be better off by moving them out of the ally column and possibly into the enemy column.

            Moving the Iranians back into the ally column would also benefit the US. But the current leadership of Iran can not be allies of the US, and I don’t think the US has the capability to cause another Iranian revolution that ends up with a friendly government in place, and going to war with them would be a disaster even if we could turn them into the Persian version of Japan after a decade, which we can’t.

            • As far as I’m concerned, we should turn Tehran into radioactive glass. They are not now and will never be anything but enemies to us.

              The Saudis’ interests do not aligh preciseely with ours. OTOH, they are defacto allies of Israel, even if they can’t admit it publicly, and Israel is our best ally in the Middle East, so I’ll cut them slack. As for 9/11, there’s no evidence the Saudi government itself was involved with it, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt there.

              • we should turn Tehran into radioactive glass.

                You can fuck right off with that collectivist dick-waving bullshit. The Iranian people are under the yoke of a theocracy, and they need to be liberated, not obliterated.

                As we speak, women all over Iran are defying the mandatory head-rag rule, and often getting tossed into jail for it. We should be sending them pallets of duct tape to bind their “religious police” shitheads to lampposts.

                What the collapse of the Soviets teaches us is that all governments ultimately depend on the consent of the people even to exist. Sometimes that consent is maintained by fear, and once that fear is lost, it’s game over for the tyrants. Iran needs HELP, not the brain-dead saber-rattling posturing you’re displaying here.

      • No, she’s not saying the U.S. should side with Syria and Iran instead of Saudi Arabia. As far as I can tell, she’s largely a noninterventionist. There’s no need to pick a side in every conflict. You can instead say, “Not my problem.”

    • I think she is angling to be Biden’s VP candidate (or possibly she has a deal with more than one of the others), the quid pro quo in this case being her shivving Harris.

  12. I think the Matrix has underflowed a uint, and is now selecting candidates from the bottom of the list.
    Red pill, STAT!

      • I think it’s later than that…For example, for our first 150 years or so, everyone believed that it was beneath the dignity of a presidential nominee to campaign directly. Instead, the nominees would retiree to their respective estates and let supporters make stump speeches.

        • I think ‘beneath the dignity’ was partly an euphemism for ‘don’t want to get shot’. To be fair, getting shot is undignified.

  13. Agree.

    There are plenty of people who don’t respond to polls.

    But people still think polls “mean something”.

    • >repeating a lie about Warren that has been very very thoroughly debunked.

      Having read the article, my evaluation is that it seems highly likely to me that it is the Globe’s informants that are are lying, retail and wholesale. Not so much to protect Warren herself as to protect the racial-preference system, against which Warren’s history offers an obvious point of attack. It wouldn’t do, after all, to admit that the sacred goal of “diversity” can be so easily gamed.

      I also don’t trust the Boston Globe not to have suppressed the truth of the matter even if an honest minority of their informants admitted that Warren got a diversity boost.

      My evaluation would change if persons both close to those hiring decisions and hostile to diversity preferences were to tell me that Warren didn’t get that preference.

      Barring that, my trust in the truthfulness of the higher-ed establishment on issues close to this is not just zero, it’s negative. They’ve been caught in related lies too often.

    • Even if the Globe’s story is correct, it doesn’t help Warren’s case. The big issue is that Warren lied and tried to cheat, not whether or not she was successful.

      As an analogy, if an able-bodied person parks in a handicap spot, they are a bad person, regardless of whether or not there were plenty of handicap spots available.

    • After Harvard hired Warren, they put out a press release touting the hire of a Native American as a diversity accomplishment. So, honest question: Do you think that Harvard somehow didn’t notice she’d make a good press release until after they hired her?

      To some extent I don’t blame her for believing “family lore,” but the fact that she identified that way shows that she didn’t have to worry about racial discrimination. Being a little bit Native American became hip in the 1960s. It should be obvious that her self-identification worked to her advantage in the new era of “affirmative action” (a.k.a. reverse discrimination), and of course she was smart enough to know it at the time.

  14. As terrible as they are … as anti-American, communist, socialist, horrible as they are … the demoKKKrats will continue to have an electoral advantage as long as they own the institutions. We must work harder to destroy the mainstream media. This includes Facebook/Twitter/Google because they’re no different at this point. These communists (and they ARE full-bore communists) can swing an election by 10 to 40 percent. Elections that should be landslides for Republicans come out as squeakers, and squeakers come out as losses. Hitlery Clinton would have received, at most, 10% of PV in a fair fight.

      • How do we provide countervailing pressure? I’m under the impression that people used to say mean/rude things to people going to the welfare office. How can we bring that sort of thing back?

  15. It’s no news that political candidates are dishonest. I’d rather go with a different hypothetical: how would Democrat base voters introduce themselves if they were honest?

    I don’t subscribe to the idea that most of them are touchy feely hippies. I think most of them are cynical, malicious hedonists who want the government to kill anyone who might think anything negative about their joyful hedonistic lives. And I think this helps them tremendously, since women love bad boys.

    • I know a fair number of folks on the other side of the aisle. I think the most accurate statement about them is that they behave like they’re the valiant and principled opposition right now. The Trump Resistance and the incessant calls for groundless impeachments may look to us like a prolonged temper tantrum, but in their own minds, they’re the French Underground standing up for the Jews while fighting the Waffen-SS and Civil Rights activists directly confronting the Night Riders of the KKK all at the same time. I don’t know any of those folks well enough to know if they honestly believe all that about themselves, or whether they believe the atrocious things they say about their opposition. Neither do I know if this is all a very complicated and toxic form of social posturing. I suppose it’s also possible that watching Shrillery lose nearly three years ago produced such profound cognitive dissonance that it drove a number of them a bit mad.
      I can’t deny their apparent malice, however. They have developed a mean streak a mile wide and seem to believe the most ridiculous fabrications about everyone who disagrees with or offends them. They don’t honestly seem to be fully in contact with reality, but telling them they’re full of hot air and that the MSM have been playing them for fools would be a waste of time, because they see themselves as the clear-eyed defenders of justice, equality, and the brotherhood of mankind.

      • Add to that the insistence that they are always the underdog, the thwarted and powerless. They always locate power where they don’t have it. If they don’t control Congress and the Presidency they will say that’s where all the power is. When they _do_ hold political power they will say they don’t really have power because Fox and Murdoch are the real powers.

        • That’s another layer of irony, which makes the rest of it more bitter. They, particularly aging left-wing Boomers, still talk about themselves as though they’re still fighting the battles of the late 1960s. It seems to have escaped their notice completely that their “revolution” and the “resistance” is in fact the progressive establishment defending itself.

          But, of course, the Deep State is a conspiracy theory, and the Obama-Clinton attempt to weaponize the intelligence community and the DoJ against Trump is really proof that Russia got Trump elected, because Orange Man Bad.

      • I don’t believe they believe they’re the valiant underdogs. I believe they present themselves that way, mostly. That’s natural in American politics. The Republicans do the same thing, though Democrats have acquired the historical cachet more easily.

        But I think they see themselves as the rightful rulers as well. This varies a bit by candidate. The front runners – esp. Biden, Warren, Harris, Klobuchar – seem to think they’re the ones who should have been leading until the Orange Usurper showed up, and for them to win the election is to score a return to normalcy.

        Sanders is probably the closest to one believing he’ll transform US politics. It fits with his being an independent who caucuses with Dems, rather than being an official Dem.

        • How can anyone look at someone like Bill Maher, for instance, and not see the truth about him? He doesn’t support the things he does because of some hippy-dippy peace/love thing. He supports abortion because he regularly forces his female victims to get them, and he supports violent crushing of his opponents lest they ban the abortions on which his lifestyle is based.

          Remember Sarah Palin? The infinitely powerful, infinitely crafty, infinitely evil Left destroyed her. Do you remember why? It was because she exercised FREEDOM OF CHOICE and did not abort her baby with Down’s Syndrome.

          We need ACW 2.0 and the resulting political cleansing, and we need it NOW.

          • Bill Maher is far from the central example of a Democrat.

            I recall Palin’s baby, and some of the conspiracy theories swirling around it, but that wasn’t the left’s primary criticism of her. I think it was enough for the left that her name had (R) after it.

            And I am far, far away from wishing for ACW 2.0. I’d rather have four years having to deal with President Warren than that.

              • I’m really not seeing that as likely. Too few people have a side in the culture wars, and too many are taking the side of “pox on both of you; we just want to put food on the table and watch movies”. I think it will get hotter, in the form of more riots and mass shootings, but it will get overwhelmed in the limit. Too many people know how to make enough money to be comfortable, and would rather not be made uncomfortable by boat rockers.

                • John Wheeler-Bennett used to poke fun at those wimpy Nazi street fighters getting whupped by studly Prussian political police. But the Nazi were getting lessons in street fighting and building up favors acting as muscle for politicians, getting cover from politicians and targeting their enemies.

                  ‘If fascism comes to America it will come as anti-fascism’ said Huey Long. Antifa gets ribbed for being sissies, but they are getting lessons in street fighting, acting as muscle for the D party, getting cover from every D party candidate, and targeting their enemies.

                  • For every John Wheeler-Bennett, I bet there’s a thousand people we’ve never heard of, poking fun at those wimpy incels, hippies, neckbeards, purple-hairs, gamergaters, jezebellers, rabid puppies, and coder conduct commies that couldn’t win a fight unless the weapons of choice were 140-character strings. (And even then…) And the people they mock mostly just keep flailing, or they cut their hair and go to work. I’ve been watching this happen for decades.

                    The fact that you found one example doesn’t mean everything’s an example. You’re right to be watchful, but I’m simply seeing too many people tired of the whole thing, at a faster rate.

                • >’m really not seeing that as likely.

                  Not anymore…. but had Hodgkinson been a moderately competition marksman, it would have been close: months of escalating tit-for-tat violence culminating in the worse* political** assignation since Lincoln. Fortunately, President Trump’s famous call for peace seems to have worked.

                  **Kennedy and Garfield were more ‘crazy’ than ‘political.’
                  *regardless, 24 congressmen vs. 1 President is a close call, imho.

              • We’re only in ACW II if both sides panic.

                With regard to leftwing panic, I can’t imagine going nearly so far to the right as to return to a 1950s Jim Crow kind of situation. At this point our country is composed of about 40 percent various minorities, and removing them from all the high-level jobs would cripple the U.S. in profoundly horrible ways; at that point we’d be bringing in White high-school dropouts to run our IT depts. (or whatever they’d run.) So that’s not going to happen. We might roll back to a 1970s concept of civil rights, and while I’d be very unhappy about the whole thing it wouldn’t be a disaster (except possibly for LGBT people – maybe we can roll them back to a 1990s version of civil rights.)

                The same is true with regard to rightwing panic. If we had ten years of elections where everyone voted Democratic, we might end up with a system more similar to France or Germany, with a basically capitalist system but higher taxes, socialized medicine, and a slightly better distribution distribution of wealth for those making less than $250,000/year. If you’ve been to Europe in the last ten years you’ll know that’s not a disaster either – neither Germany nor France is a soviet-style dystopia with bodies in the streets and there are plenty of opportunities in both countries for a smart person to make lots of money. You’d probably be unhappy with the system, but would it be worth killing people over?

                The big problem here is that we’re being propagandized by both sides that the other team is horrible, and that we’re doooooomed if they gain power. It’s fine to fight for your version of political perfection – more power to ya – but the idea that if the other guy wins something deeply horrible will happen is bullshit. Stop being afraid.

                • >but the idea that if the other guy wins something deeply horrible will happen is bullshit. Stop being afraid.

                  Hey lefties! Want to reduce our fear that we’ll be deeply-horribled if you win? Stop trying to take away our guns. We know where that leads, and we are not getting in anybody’s goddamn boxcars quietly.

                  • It’s worth noting that USA Today published an editoritl yesterday or the day before saying that the Left should pass an “assault weapons” ban but stop calling for a buyback in conjunction with it. Their rationale is that a ban will pass without the buyback, but will never pass with it.

                    Me, I need to head for the range…

                  • I don’t think taking away all the guns is any more likely than a return to fifties-style Jim Crow. I’d expect smaller magazines and a ban on bump-stocks at worst/best. But the paranoid propaganda about your guns being taken comes free with every NRA membership, and maybe it’s time to stop listening.

                    I hate the people on both sides who are trying to widen the divide into an abyss. If you take them seriously, that’s how we get ACWII. You and I definitely have some different takes on politics, but we don’t need to magnify those all out of proportion.

                    BTW, how’s the ankle?

                    • I don’t think taking away all the guns is any more likely than a return to fifties-style Jim Crow. I’d expect smaller magazines and a ban on bump-stocks at worst/best.

                      You don’t seem to understand quite where things are. That isn’t a condemnation; you simply aren’t immersed in the right cultures.

                      A mag ban is unacceptable. Even the CA ban just got ritually torched a couple months ago during Freedom Week, so that law is no longer relevant in any meaningful way. And the grabbers are in such a panic about an upcoming Supreme Court case that they have descended to openly threatening the court.

                      We are so far beyond false compromise that we are now in not one more step mode. No magazine ban will be adhered to. Attempts to ban semi-autos will be met with conversions to full-auto.

                      And I’m one of the ones who isn’t maximally infuriated.

                    • But the paranoid propaganda about your guns being taken comes free with every NRA membership, and maybe it’s time to stop listening.

                      No it comes from the large number of opinion leaders on your side openly calling for just that, in extremely shrill and violent terms at that.

                    • >No it comes from the large number of opinion leaders on [Troutwaxer’s] side openly calling for just that, in extremely shrill and violent terms at that.

                      Yep. Including all the declared Democratic Presidential candidates

                      Often, by the way, these are the the same people insisting that “White people must be destroyed” (Elie Mystal on CNN a few days ago) or spewing anti-Semitic filth (Rashida Tlaib pretty much any time she opens her mouth).

                    • But the paranoid propaganda about your guns being taken comes free with every NRA membership, and maybe it’s time to stop listening.

                      Sorry I missed this in the first response….

                      There is a large and growing by the day contingent of gun owners who want to either kick out the entire leadership and reform the NRA, or burn it to the ground and salt the earth.

                      And the reason for that is because as far as anyone can tell the NRA exists mostly to surrender and compromise whenever it gets the chance. If you think that the NRA is some massive roadblock in the way of implementing gun control, congratulations, you have been suckered by one of the greatest propaganda jobs they ever pulled off.

                    • >If you think that the NRA is some massive roadblock in the way of implementing gun control,

                      Yeah, so a lot of anti-gun people have this mental model where NRA is an insidious cabal of extremists who are constantly pumping up radicalization in a general population of gun owners that might otherwise be amenable to “common sense” restrictions.

                      Once or twice I’ve tried explaining that J. Random Gun owner these days is such a hard-core 2A absolutist that he considers the NRA squishy soft. It’s actually kind of hilarious watching hoplophobes try and fail to process this – you can almost see a big TILT TILT TILT sign above their heads.

                    • “the paranoid propaganda about your guns being taken comes free with every NRA membership”

                      Wrong. I’ve known the Left wants to take my guns since before I joined the NRA. If anything, the NRA is not hard-line enough.

                      I’m a Benefactor Life Member of the NRA because, for better or worse, they’ve been the most effective organization protecting my Second Amendment rights. The recent revelations about financial mismanagement and personal enrichment make me quite nervous, because they mean that Andrew Cuomo and the other New York gun grabbers might actually succeed in taking the organization down and it will take time for, say, Gun Owners of America to reach the same level of effectiveness. But it’s absolutely essential that someone fill the role, or else out rights are going to get trampled.

                      I’m not a Second Amendment absolutist. I think that it’s entirely legitimate to take away someoneone’s right to own firearms, after due process has run its course (thus, red flag laws are bullshit). Until Democrats demonstrate they’re not interested in taking away lawfully-owned firearms, though, I will continue to fight them with everything I have.

                    • (this is a reply to Ian Breune’s comment below yours, because there’s no Reply button there.)

                      “A mag ban is unnacceptable. ”

                      And pointless.

                      Don’t believe me? Ask Seung-Hui Cho.

                • If we had ten years of elections where everyone voted Democratic, we might end up with a system more similar to France or Germany, with a basically capitalist system but higher taxes, socialized medicine, and a slightly better distribution distribution of wealth for those making less than $250,000/year. If you’ve been to Europe in the last ten years you’ll know that’s not a disaster either – neither Germany nor France is a soviet-style dystopia with bodies in the streets and there are plenty of opportunities in both countries for a smart person to make lots of money. You’d probably be unhappy with the system, but would it be worth killing people over?

                  It’d be worth killing us over, in the eyes of powers in Russia or China, who see lots of riches and no meaningful defense. There’d be no meaningful defense because we would have to had given that up in order to afford all those social services.

                  It wouldn’t be “basically capitalist”, either, as is known by anyone who understands what dirigism is. The resulting irritation would lead to enclaves of people who refuse to stop innovating, but also want to keep the fruits thereof, and end up selling their innovations on a shadow market, hiding from both foreign powers and the domestic state.

                  You’d end up replacing a system where the 1% have nifty things and few people understand why, with one where the 1% have nifty things and few people understand where. In public view, imagine everyone going to the DMV for all their basic needs, only with most people believing that’s as good as society gets.

                  I’m not afraid, though. Even such blinkered Democrats are still Americans, and would get wise and turn back, or see themselves routed around like censorship on the internet.

                  • There’d be no meaningful defense because we would have to had given that up in order to afford all those social services.

                    Nonsense. France and German national health services cost around 7-8 percent of their national economies and they have very good outcomes. The U.S. medical system is up to 18 percent of our total economy. Leaving aside other issues, (it’s communism/no it’s not) we could save ten percent of our national economy by going to a well-designed single-payer system. That leaves plenty of money for both guns and butter. I’m fine being critiqued, and there are real obstacles to converting our healthcare services, but at least do the math!

                    • “Do the math”, he says, neglecting the math that would ensue if one agency imposes a monopoly on health services.

                      But you know what, you’re right. I neglected a few things, too. Such as that $100 million any pharma pays to get a new treatment through phase 3 clinical trials, as required by the FDA, while France and Germany’s analogues require it to pretty much just piggyback on the US.

                      I also neglected the math where either country only has to manage services for a population around a fifth as large as the US’s, with a much more homogenous health profile, and tighter clustering.

                      But I figured a doughty math-doer such as yourself would have automatically noticed that and not brought health services up in the first place.

                    • The ever-so-superior Europeans can afford to spend more money on their social programs because we’ve been backstopping NATO for fifty years. We’ve been doing their defense spending for them, by proxy. Do you remember the kerfuffle from a few years ago, when both President Obama and later President Trump asked our NATO allies to spend 2% of their GDP on defense, as NATO guidelines suggest? As of 2016, only we, the Brits, the Greeks, the Poles, and the Estonians were actually doing that. The Bundeswehr is currently only ‘mission ready’ because while it has no ‘combat ready’ units, it has no mission either.

                • I’ll stop being afraid when the Left stops trying to paint targets on my forehead, and the foreheads of people I love.
                  Until then, when I see Antifa rioting without meaningful police intervention, elected officials publicly pondering the use of nuclear weapons against American citizens, and everybody to the left of Fox News suddenly chanting “White Man Bad!” in unison, I’m going to put two and two and two together, and conclude that they wouldn’t mind a corpse of me, and everyone else they’ve spend the last decade deploring, vilifying, and de-humanizing.

                • The same is true with regard to rightwing panic. If we had ten years of elections where everyone voted Democratic, we might end up with a system more similar to France or Germany, with a basically capitalist system

                  Well they’d probably abolish, or at least stop enforcing, all border controls and import a bunch of people from Latin America. The result is that the US ends up with a social system similar to Brazil with a few walled rich enclaves (for some reason these walls aren’t evil unlike a border wall) surrounded by crime-filled hell holes. Which come to think of it is similar to the direction France and Germany are going only in Europe it’s Muslims.

                  Also schools that actively promote pedophilia to kids, and any parent who disagrees is an evil “pedophobe”. California schools are already starting to do this under the rubric of transgenderism.

                  • California has a buttload of immigrants and more every day. We’re also the world’s fifth-largest economy. And notice how those immigrants are rioting in the streets? Not happening, is it? Feel free stop worrying about the scary Messicans any time now. Have a taco. You can get one at any of three local restaurants. Or some Chinese. Or maybe some Philipino food. Did I mention the Thai? Or the two Vietnamese restaurants? Or the El Salvadoreno? All within walking distance, plus Pizza, a Subway, a Carls Jr. and a really good diner. One of the kinds of fears that gets spread by rightwing propaganda is the fear of strangers. In my neighborhood that’s not a problem – if your people can run a restaurant it’s good enough for me!

                    Not to mock your fears too hard, but I’d just as soon stop at polite loathing where you’re concerned; it would be a huge, national failure of critical thinking if we let either the leftwing or rightwing loonies take over the American Asylum and then started shooting each other.

                    • We’re also the world’s fifth-largest economy. And notice how those immigrants are rioting in the streets? Not happening, is it?

                      Nevertheless, crimes are going up, San Fransisco is becoming a literal shithole, and all the fashionable liberals talking about how evil Trump’s wall is are building walls of their own around their mentions.

                      Feel free stop worrying about the scary Messicans any time now. Have a taco. You can get one at any of three local restaurants. Or some Chinese. Or maybe some Philipino food. Did I mention the Thai? Or the two Vietnamese restaurants? Or the El Salvadoreno? All within walking distance, plus Pizza, a Subway, a Carls Jr. and a really good diner.

                      So, you seem to be one of those who subscribes to the “ethnic foods and funny clothing” theory of cultural differences.
                      Unlike you, I’m actually familiar enough with different cultures to realize just how different they can be.

                      If you subscribe to the cliche that “apart from superficial differences we’re all fundamentally the same”, that just means you’re too narcissistic to imagine anyone different from yourself.

                      if your people can run a restaurant it’s good enough for me!

                      Ugh, the stupid, it burns.
                      Do you have any concept who stupid you sound to anyone who actually understands anything about different cultures (and that they’re not all like middle class American liberals) when you write that?

                • I’ve visited France. I’ve lived in Germany, many years ago. They were nice at the time, but they’re run by idiots now. The simple fact is that we’re not Europeans, never were, and never ought to be. The only way to become like France or Germany is to stop being Americans, and to discard not only our system of government, but everything that underlies it, including the notions that rights predate government and that governments must serve their people rather than vice versa. To such a coup d’etat I will not consent.

              • Just out of curiosity, and stipulating that the Late Unpleasantness is probably not quite the right model, how close to Fort Sumter do you think we are: Bleeding Kansas, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, the Election of 1860, or some other point?

                • >how close to Fort Sumter do you think we are:

                  I think it’s about 1859. There are two ways the 2020 elections could trigger a revolt.

                  Scenario 1: Trump wins again. The Left, egged on by the “Resistance”-obsessed national media, goes berserk. Early violence is focused against ICE offices – we’ve already seen this. Sanctuary jurisdictions entirely reject Federal authority. Overtly Communist and Socialist paramilitaries (which already exist in 2019 – I’m not idly fantasizing) become more visible on the streets in Blue country, attempting to delegitimize the government much as the Nazis did in Weimar Germany.

                  Scenario 2: Some Democrat wins. “Late” returns from a handful of Democrat-run large cities in swing states make the difference; the smell of massive election fraud is in the air. Media gloating at the expense of “deplorables” is 24/7. But shit does not hit fan until the new President issues an executive order mandating the massive new gun-control measure the D base is all-in for. Deplorables see the boxcars coming next, and Federal agents attempting to implement the measure start being shot. Various Red-country jurisdictions declare refusal to cooperate.

                  ACW II can still be avoided, of course. But we’re closer to it than I ever thought I’d see.

                  • > Overtly Communist and Socialist paramilitaries (which already exist in 2019 – I’m not idly fantasizing) become more visible on the streets in Blue country,

                    I’d like to stop for a moment to consider the irony of some of these paramilitaries calling themselves John Brown Gun Clubs. 1859 indeed.

                    • Googling on that took me to Redneck Revolt, which I’d never heard of. Fascinating.

                  • Interesting scenarios – they’ve crossed my mind as well.

                    Two of the biggest disparities I see between these and the ACW is that today, we have no bleeding Kansas, and we have no chattel-style slavery.

                    A third disparity is that we have no clear geographical dividers. There’s no obvious front in 2021 like there was in 1861. That doesn’t preclude a civil war, of course, but it does make it harder for anyone to stake out clear territory for the rebels to defend. Maryland may be solid blue when it comes to electoral votes, but that conceals a 55-45 split in its popular vote. A Maryland that tried to secede would suddenly find itself surrounded by the Cumberland and Delmarva, and a great deal of panicked hunkering down in Baltimore and PG County. Same for the other States; most are too purple to try this, and they know it.

                    Come to think of it, there’s another thing keeping ACW2 away: too many Americans are unwilling to actually punch someone in the face over their differences, let alone point a gun, and most of them are on one side. It’s like I said earlier: they’ll fight only if there’s a laptop in front of them and enough iced Starbucks in the fridge.

                    This is closer to some weird-ass alternate reality 1789 France where the Girondists have all the guns and Robespierre is trying to taunt one of them into hitting him in the jaw.

                    • >This is closer to some weird-ass alternate reality 1789 France where the Girondists have all the guns and Robespierre is trying to taunt one of them into hitting him in the jaw.

                      Quite.

                      If ACW II happens, it’s not going to be a relatively neat civil war, with frontiers and flags and uniforms and formal declarations of secession.

                      It’s going to be a bloody mess with different factions struggling for legitimacy and control of the apparatus of government – more like the French Revolution, indeed, or the Roman civil wars.

                    • You have a valid point about the lack of clear fronts or boundaries. We have no Bleeding Kansas, but things do seem to be getting sporty in Portland. My personal fear is that the initiation of hostilities will trigger lots of Rodney King-type rioting, lots of localized violence along racial lines, and so forth until the violence goes viral and we get Bleeding Kansas in dozens of states simultaneously. I would not expect every major city to become Sarajevo, particularly where Red towns and cities are surrounded by like-minded Red rural areas, but the interface between Red districts and Blue districts would be a different story. Amarillo, Lubbock, and Abilene might be okay, but things could get ugly in the Texas Triangle.

                      We’re standing in a powder magazine with a box of matches. You seem to be dis-satisfied without our refusal to strike those matches, but I don’t understand why. Do you want us to blow ourselves to Kingdom Come?

                    • “too many Americans are unwilling to actually punch someone in the face over their differences”

                      It won’t take too many Antifas punching out the wrong folks to light the fuse.

                      The lack of chattel slavery is immaterial. The SJW Left is quite outraged enough without it, especially since they argue that we’re jsut as bad now as we were then.

                      I don’t *like* the idea of ACW II. I’m making arrangements to protect myself and my loved ones anyway.

                    • It’s going to be a bloody mess with different factions struggling for legitimacy…

                      Agreed. Let’s stop believing the worst, craziest people on both sides so we don’t have to do this.

                    • No bleeding Kansas, no chattel-style slavery. Also no Weimar- Weimar was a beard for the German Army rearming and we have no German Army rearming.

                      So what’s our problem? Our problem is that mass immigration will kill the golden goose of Affirmative Action, which for all its flaws gave us a black middle class. When it goes, Quo Vadis?

                  • But shit does not hit fan until the new President issues an executive order mandating the massive new gun-control measure the D base is all-in for.

                    More realistically, the Dems will throw their base a bone, like outlawing extra-big magazines and then go back to quietly helping Facebook/Amazon/Google maintain their monopolies. They’ll stop worrying about gun control until the next big massacre, at which point they’ll outlaw bump-stocks… or whatever similarly wimpy scenario someone who knows guns better than I do can come up with.

                    I think any scenario which involves massive gun taking is highly unlikely. IMHO when Obama took that photo-op with the rifle, the writing was on the wall about any large-scale gun control. Not gonna happen.

                    Maybe some pissed-off incels who make online threats and egg each other on will get their guns taken by ordinary police officers, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

                    • like outlawing extra-big magazines

                      You mean standard capacity. There is another indicator of the current situation: we refuse to use your side’s lying terminology anymore.

                      at which point they’ll outlaw bump-stocks

                      Which shows just how far behind the times you are; that has already been done by executive fiat.

                      Maybe some pissed-off incels

                      Because staring into the void that is creating the icky-icky-incels would be difficult, and you can’t get virtue points from it. Also looking in a mirror is disturbing.

                      So we will continue to pretend we don’t know what the problem is, or that it is guns/video games/violent movies/etc. and let it fester some more.

                    • It was a shotgun. The photoshop parodies were hilarious.

                      I don’t think you understand progress, friend. What y’all call ‘progress’ is the process by which the demands of lunatic fringe become the policies of the main-stream. While it may be true that pathetic also-rans like Pendejo O’Rourke, and shameless attention whores like David Hogg, propose gun control so draconian it would justify immediate armed resistance because they’re trying to be relevant again, they opt to go full ‘mandatory buy-back’ because that’s what they think the base wants. Under those conditions, our heightened state of alert is a rational response.

                      The worst ideas on your side are making their way into the mouths of candidates and nationally prominent pundits, so we have no reason to believe that it’s just your lunatic fringe any more. The moderates have lost control of the Democrat party and scarcely belong in it at all anymore.

        • I left my post ambiguous as to whether they believe the valiant underdog stuff they spout because I really don’t know. Some of them are undoubtedly as cynical as OP stated. Others may actually believe in their virtue but my, isn’t it convenient that their policies also happen to benefit them?

          They’re totally entitled; it’s probably the single biggest factor that puts me off even wanting to listen to them any more. I commented previously that they seem to think the presidency is a crown to be inherited, only by them of course. Their naked outrage for the last 3 years that someone other than them is daring to usurp that throne should be enough to put off voters and I look askance at anyone who isn’t bothered by it.

          • I’ve gotten that same sense from a lot of them as well, yes.

            I’ll defend them here, a little bit, out of respect for those people I’ve met on the left who really do seem to be trying to do good. Some of them really do see themselves as the underdogs, and that cohort tend not to get the microphone as often. They express concern that strikes me as genuine. They really are saddened by the plight of the poor or the sick or the oppressed minorities. I suspect a lot of them do real, useful things to help such people in their locality. They may even do so much of it that they have no time left to talk into microphones about what other people ought to do.

            Maybe we’re just fed up with blowhards on either side.

            • Fair enough. The distinction between the blowhards and the ones who do actually care, and are often really doing something to rectify injustice, is one reason why the SJW tag was invented. I try to use it rather than ‘leftist’. Since this post is specifically about Democrats, however, I used that term. I get the impression that the overlap between politically active Democrats and SJW is pretty high but I could be wrong. I don’t follow the USA political scene in fine detail.

      • The Trump Resistance and the incessant calls for groundless impeachments may look to us like a prolonged temper tantrum, but in their own minds, they’re the French Underground standing up for the Jews while fighting the Waffen-SS and Civil Rights activists directly confronting the Night Riders of the KKK all at the same time. … They don’t honestly seem to be fully in contact with reality, but telling them they’re full of hot air and that the MSM have been playing them for fools would be a waste of time, because they see themselves as the clear-eyed defenders of justice, equality, and the brotherhood of mankind.

        I have a few acquaintances who are the sort of radical left-wing ideologues that make up the “Trump Resistance”, and the sort of stories which are their self-defining cultural touchstones are … slightly different from how you present these. Well, mostly at least, in that I see you correctly referencing John Lennon’s Imagine: “Imagine there’s no countries; nothing to kill or die for, and no religion, too. Imagine no possessions; no need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man.” As for the rest of it… no, not by a long shot.

        IMO, the best name for this subculture is “left-wing #inactivists” — which is not (merely) a critique / indictment of their methods, but also the nihilistic attitude by which they don’t hold anything as cultural victories that must be defended. The Civil Rights era; universal enfranchisement; even the passage of Obamacare all aren’t sufficiently real victories to #inactivists. There is some irony that this soi-disant progressive subculture actually now eschews marginal improvement — I hasn’t seen a finer description of their actual cultural story than the words of Eric Voegelin: “immanentize the eschaton”. Not only do #inactivists believe in Lennon’s perfected world, they believe in their ability to swiftly and “immediately” achieve this outcome [as witnessed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s speeches putting a 12-year timeline on the Green New Deal to end climate change]. Therefore, since they haven’t (…yet!) achieved this perfected society, even their “victories” so far will need to be swept away when that great work finally is completed.

        Furthermore, I think the religious subtext of Voegelin better explains the Trump Resistance / Trump Derangement Syndrome effect seen since 2016 than any alternative. If only the power of god is able to erect a perfect, heavenly society, then one could claim that whatever power a (sub-)culture would use toward that end is their god. Therefore, progressive #inactivists didn’t just see Trump’s election as — per Michael Moore’s words — “the biggest ‘F** you’ in history”, but an act of deicide. In that light, coupled with their existing nihilist tendencies … yes, I can see why they seem to be fully decoupled from reality as a result.

        • The funny thing is, I had managed to forget the lyrical field-toilet of blasphemous, nihilistic nonsense that is “Imagine,” so I didn’t actually mean to reference it. I can see how they might hear that song as an inspiration instead of a nauseating insult to their intelligence, however. Now I need to go play something decent at full volume to re-expunge it from my brain.

          The “#resistance” that I know must be meme-ing and grandstanding differently from the ones you know. In my neck of the woods, “Defeating the Nazis” and “MAGA hats are the new Klan hoods” are recurring themes. I could also be ascribing too much significance to those memes.

          I think you’re right, on the whole about, explaining their behavior from a religious point of view, particularly if they don’t profess any other religion. Depending on their particular hobby-horses, the a-religious Left might well be said to worship progress, the state, the party, or even a particular candidate. I knew folks in the previous election cycle who seemed to have very nearly built shrines to Hillary. I hesitate to accuse my brothers and sisters on the “Christian Left” of apostasy, so I am not entirely convinced that the religious explanation is the best one and universally applicable, but it is very useful.

          • The “#resistance” that I know must be meme-ing and grandstanding differently from the ones you know. In my neck of the woods, “Defeating the Nazis” and “MAGA hats are the new Klan hoods” are recurring themes.

            Not entirely; I also see quite a lot of these (as well as “feel the Bern” stickers on cars), but it should be noted that I live close to quite Blue university campuses embedded in a Red state, so age might be a significant source in the difference.

            I hesitate to accuse my brothers and sisters on the “Christian Left” of apostasy, so I am not entirely convinced that the religious explanation is the best one and universally applicable…

            This bit took me a lot of soul-searching to find a comfortable, semi-complete response: I hadn’t intended my post to be read as an accusation of either apostasy or heresy, but upon review there are at least three lines of reasoning for which I actually am comfortable making that manner of accusation.

            Starting with what I feel is the strongest: while I didn’t address this (directly) in my prior response, your original post mentions seeing the left having “developed a mean streak a mile wide and seem to believe the most ridiculous fabrications about everyone who disagrees with or offends them.” I see such vitriolic attitudes as directly opposed to the doctrine of universal salvation and grace of Christ — and thus unbecoming of any christian. [Of course, the root “holier than thou” attitude is independent of one’s political leanings, so this is hardly unique to a left-leaning perspective.]

            Secondly: there’s a number left-aligned groups which make arguments that certain political positions are “on the [right | wrong] side of history” — by which I mean they argue not for an inevitable victory in the far distant future, but try to imply the futility of opposition today, as if said victory is imminent. This is not only contradictory of the story as told in the Apocalypse of John (aka “book of Revelations”) — that evil in the person of the Beast shall rule before the final salvation and second coming — but also implies a detailed knowledge of the future, such that only an omnipotent God might possess.

            Finally, as might be implied by my original name of “#inactivist”: I see a proper Christian as personally living the gospel of Jesus — which I suppose a left-leaning person would read as focusing on tending to the poor, the hungry, and the outcasts of society. To me, this means having more than just “fire insurance faith” — in fact, more than just voluntary tithing or signing petitions — as implied by James 2:15-17. [Suppose a brother or sister does not have any clothes or daily food and one of you tells them, “Go in peace! Stay warm and eat heartily.” If you do not provide for their bodily needs, what good does it do? In the same way, faith by itself, if it does not prove itself with actions, is dead. (International Standard Version)]

            In sum: I didn’t intend that reading, nor do I believe it applies often — but if it does, here are the places / reasons I’d be looking for clarification.

  16. I see you overlooked Tulsi Gabbard, but that may be just tacit admission that she is difficult to impugn. I know conservatives who like her — based on her personality, not so much her policies.

    • >I see you overlooked Tulsi Gabbard, but that may be just tacit admission that she is difficult to impugn.

      No. She’s emitted some some obvious lies and stupidity, notably about gun control, but (a) they’re not unique to her, every D is spouting them, and (b) I couldn’t think of way to make them funny.

      • Whatever Tulsi’s limitations, she did a damned fine job of gutting Willie Brown’s whore in the last debate.

        • >Whatever Tulsi’s limitations, she did a damned fine job of gutting Willie Brown’s whore in the last debate.

          True, and I admit that is a point in her favor.

          Kamala Harris turns my stomach. Naked power lust, arrogance, intersectional pandering, fascist instincts…and this was the thing the media was all ready to anoint as an inevitable front-runner when she launched. I’m amused and pleased that she has underperformed so badly since.

            • > She and Robert Francis O’Rourke are, to my mind, the most vile candidates in this race.

              Agreed, now that Swalwell is out.

            • From what I can see, he’s pretty much a nobody, who wants power because he’s photogenic. What’s he done to put him in the same category as Harris?

              • How is he photogenic? He looks like a scarecrow. I assume you are basing this on his appearance on the cover of VANITY FAIR–the same magazine which pictured Bashir Assad’s wife on the cover, in a naked gloat about the deaths of the servicemen in Iraq killed by her husband’s orders.

                As to what makes O’Rourke so vile, look at his response to the false flag operation in El Paso. He broke into a big evil grin. He is currently dehumanizing all gun owners, and very successfully so.

      • > lies … notably about gun control … every D is spouting them,

        They *have* to. It’s the Party line. Literally, it’s on the Party web site.
        They’re not going to get Party financial support if they don’t stay with the official platform; none of them have enough political power of their own to get away with deviance on major policy issues.

  17. My perspective on this is skewed by my interpritation of the long term evolution of the two main political parties.

    The Democratic Party was the staunchest supporter of slavery among western culture nations, long after it was outlawed in other countries. Only after the Confederacy’s defeat was it forced to abandon slavery. Even though a few Democrats were opposed to slavery, they were in the minority, the official platform included the preservation of slavery. Unofficially, it desired a hierarchy of classes lead by a group of elites.

    The modern Democratic Party is embracing socialism, which is a structure where elites decide what is best for everyone else. Those of us that completely read Marx and Engels’ recognize that the hierarchical structure is a replacement for a crippled feudalistic structure where directives are elicited by a group of elites. Fully applied socialism in the Soviet Union and China are examples of the result of how it really works. All were equal, some had a greater level of equality than others. ( I recommend reading “I Chose Freedom” by Victor Kravchencko, for some insight into applied socialism)

    The introduction of social security and workmen’s compensation were not implemented by left wing reformers, but, by one of the most conservation politicians on modern history. This was he felt those who made businesses wealthy should be taken care of in their old age. Recent politicians have perverted this into a means of creating a system of dependency on the state.

    The extremists in The Republican Party are acting any better, as they are solidifying a system in which the wealthy are insured of their position by assisting the Democrats in reducing the middle class and expanding the less than affluent in this country, by eliminating opportunities to advance.
    Some members of both parties openly want to override the US Constitution.

    ‘The way to eliminate the middle class is through inflation and taxes’ Vladimir Lenin (paraphrased)

    My mother once told me “when someone tells you that they are going to take care of you, watch out, they only want power over you” … “do not confuse strength of leadership with sociopathic behavior”

    Social responsibility is not socialism.

    • The problem is that here is no practical difference between politicians who preach social responsibility and full-on socialists.

    • The problem I see with this argument is that the left has a ready reply: they’re not socialists, but democratic socialists, or social democrats, or some other label that means they’re collectivist with some sort of custom paint job, and you’re calling them socialist in an intellectually lazy attempt to slander them.

      The problem I see with that reply is that it’s several thousand people trying to say you’re deluded because this pile of rat poison comes in environmentally sound green, not red.

      • Sorry, a tad too much scotch whiskey and a late night response.

        North Korea’s official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and mainland China is the People’s Republic of China. Neither one can be described as democratic nor a republic. So any argument they may have only disguises their intentions. Perhaps the name should be changed.

        • I think leftists are already fairly advanced at producing new names for old things and presenting them as if new. Even more so than rightists. Rightists, by contrast, are fairly advanced at noticing this.

          What seems relatively new is a discipline of binding names to meanings and committing to those bindings, so as to move on to more productive labor. About the only people I see willing to exercise this discipline are programmers, and even there, I see some falter.

  18. W/r/t Willie Brown’s whore, you left out that fact that she belongs behind bars for attempted murder. She tried to suppress DNA evidence that sprung a man from death row. ( A black man, not that it should matter.)

    • > She tried to suppress DNA evidence that sprung a man from death row.

      That in itself should get her impeached and removed from office, rather than being considered any kind of viable presidential candidate.

      • She should be disbarred, and end her days starving on the street as a pariah, but justice is rare in this world.

  19. Well, if the topic is politics, I noticed there is a regular commenter here called John C. Wright. And someone recommended an article of his which is one of the most insightful things I have read for a long time: http://www.scifiwright.com/2019/08/a-new-political-spectrum/#more-23857

    “If there were a real spectrum there would be something, anything, that adding to it gets you communism, and subtracting from it gets you republicanism, and subtracting more gets you fascism.

    Now, the only thing that fits this definition is the degree of opposition to communism. When the opposition is zero, we have communism. When the opposition is bound by laws and common decency, we have republicanism, and when the opposition is ferocious and lawless, we have fascism. So to it might be useful as rhetoric to Leftists to simplify all the complexities of politics to a one dimensional spectrum measuring the degree of resistance to their powerlust, but why any republican or democrat or monarchist in his right mind would use such a spectrum, I have no idea.”

    Thing is, there is such a thing as conservative sci-fi, but no such thing as a reactionary sci-fi yet. I am a reactionary, and right now I am reading John Ringo’s Council Wars 1 which is awesome, breathtaking in its scope and setting, a very carefully worked out political philosophy, and it is *wrong*. Wrong in the exact way we reactionaries tend to think republican conservatives go wrong. Their idea is to try to constrain political elites from below, via popular democratic votes. But you cannot! The rulers cannot be constrained by the ruled per definition! You can constrain them from above, not below: you need a king, and an absolute king at at that, because only an absolute king can stick it to the aristocrats good and hard! The reason for absolutism is not to screw the peasants, aristocracts can do that on their own thank you: it is to have the power to screw the aristocrats. Only absolute kings can restrain elites. Why nobody these days gets it while Sir Robert Filmer back then got it perfectly beats me… if it is any help, we have learned a lot from China’s history too. Chinese absolutism was so obviously well-working, it had a huge influence on the Enlightenment: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Quesnay

    Anyway, Wright might be a conservative, not a reactionary, too, but at least an insightful, deep conservative. I will start reading his books ASAP. Any ideas where to start?

    • >Only absolute kings can restrain elites.

      And the index of their success at doing so is that, uniformly, absolute monarchies have been overthrown by their elites. Except for a tiny handful of surviving exceptions (Morocco, Siam, Nepal, Saudi Arabia) where the “absolute” part has become theoretical and the monarch rules only on the sufferance of the local elite.

      You are spouting ahistorical nonsense. Who are you and what have you done with TheDividualist?

      • And the index of their success at doing so is that, uniformly, absolute monarchies have been overthrown by their elites. Except for a tiny handful of surviving exceptions (Morocco, Siam, Nepal, Saudi Arabia) where the “absolute” part has become theoretical and the monarch rules only on the sufferance of the local elite.

        Only because the great powers of the previous half-century have taken a very dim view of monarchies. If you look at the historical record, you find that absolute monarchies are the norm and it is democracies that are a flash in the pan.

        • >Only because the great powers of the previous half-century have taken a very dim view of monarchies.

          Again, ahistorical nonsense. The heyday of absolute monarchies ended well before the decolonialization push – and they were never “the norm”, because the apparatus through which a monarch can be absolute is expensive and difficult to maintain. Only a few of the most advanced preindustrial societies could support anything resembling centralist absolutism; for the rest, the ruler never commanded enough energy surplus for large-scale enforcement – his writ had to be intermediated in a way that sharply diminished his power anywhere more than a day’s march from his capital.

          James Scott has provided us with an excellent antidote against the mythologization of absolute monarchy in The Art of Not Being Governed. He shows that across a huge swathe of Asia such pretensions are readily defeated by as little as 300 feet of altitude. I recommend it.

          If TheDividualist represents what NRX is peddling in 2019, they’ve lost whatever claim to being interesting they once had.

          • > his writ had to be intermediated in a way that sharply diminished his power anywhere more than a day’s march from his capital.

            Cf. John Lackland of England.

            Probably the most despotic of the classic monarchs were the Russian Czars, but even they had endless trouble regulating the behavior of the boyars on their own estates (and several of the ones who who tried were deposed and/or assassinated for their troubles).

            Same thing with the Chinese and Japanese emperors. More of them were puppets for a junta of lesser nobles and officials than not, and the ones who weren’t relied on a vast network of officials and local lords who ran things more or less as they pleased. A wise emperor didn’t look into such things too closely, as long as the tax money kept coming in.

            Same thing with many of the Roman Emperors. In theory, the power of the Emperor was absolute. In practice, some guy on his estate in Germany typically did as he damned well pleased.

          • Hm, I shouldn’t have used “we”. It makes it look like there is a consensus, but there isn’t. For example, carlsbad1819.wordpress.com ‘s objections that Moldbuggian absolutism is Bonapartist-Caesarist are still not resolved. There is a consensus in the idea that some form of monarchism might the most conducive to libertarianish outcomes (that came from Hans-Hermann Hoppe), but not in the details. I personally go for the absolutism view because sharing government (i.e. more than one person having a say) automatically means expanding government.

            Anyway. You are an anarchist, “not being governed” looks like a *good thing* to you, right? The whole point is that currently you are governed too much and badly by a thousand kings three miles away, and you would be governed much less and better by one king three thousand miles away. The whole idea is to do away with the entire system of what we call government today, which must look like a good thing to an anarchist, and have only a tiny but hard-hitting government mostly focused on reining in misbehaving elites. Like: “armed bands that terrorized parts of France under aristocratic leaders during this period” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fronde

            The argument that absolute rulers were not very good at it is the same exact argument used against anarcho-libertarian ideas: without a government who would organize resistance against particularly strong gangs of warlords? Well, it may be sometimes better to pay that price of slow and inefficient organization of resistance for either not having government (your anarchism) or absolutist minimalism (mine).

            Absolutism does not imply micromanagement. It means only two things 1) sovereignty is entirely concentrated in one person who does not share power (see the Old Fritz in his Anti-Machiavel) 2) the sovereign is above the law and constitutional limitations. (Sir Robert Filmer: “Saying that the law rules is like saying the measuring tools of the carpenter build the house.” Above the law does not mean acting willy-nilly. It does not mean that carpenters should not use measuring tools and should build houses randomly. It means they get to decide how to use these tools, are not inherently bound by them.)

            This makes the government tiny (because one person can only do so much) but hard-hitting (gangs of warlords cannot hide behinds the law or constitutional rights or something).

            So it sounds like that book is making my point. This is really hilarious. I would expect you to argue that absolutism is tyrannical. And you are arguing it is too anarchist for you? Heh.

            • > I personally go for the absolutism view because sharing government (i.e. more than one person having a say) automatically means expanding government.

              Wait, what? This is blatantly wrong, and shown as such by countless examples throughout history – and not just in politics or government either, but private institutions as well! Ever heard of checks and balances? ISTM that you’re literally missing the point of what may be _the_ most basic principle of institutional design.

              I second ESR; NRX have some interesting points (especially since NRX could very plausibly work as a step _towards_, rather than away from, liberal democracy! See e.g. Neo-Confucians, who are essentially “NRX with Chinese characteristics”) but you’re not doing a very good job of advocating for them.

              • Heard of them, yes, but there is no proof they are actually achieving anything. For instance, they are only set on the elected part of the government, not on the unelected, permanent bureaucracy. https://foseti.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/on-government-employment/

                Then the most common checking is consitutional done by judges. Who is checking the judges? If they can derive gaymarriage from a 200 years old document written by people who wanted gays castrated or killed, they can do literally anything.

                So yes, it is a principle that has be accepted so far, but one of the first innovations of NRx was to investigate how it actually looks like and it seems it does not work.

                Instead, the idea is to try to find the kind of government that has as its incentives well lined up.

                Let me try to explain by an example why limiting, constraining or checking power does not work and why this principle was an illusion. Alan has a gun. Bob does not. Alan pulls the gun on Bob and demands Bob to become his slave. What can save Bob? If he has a gun. Or if Charles the Copper with a gun walks by and points it to Alan, thus forcing him to let Bob go. But what if Charles is a bad cop and also a slaver? Then we can hope that Dick the good cop or Ellen the soldier with a bigger gun will walk by. Ultimately, the power given to Alan by his gun can only be limited by people who also have a gun AND are willing to use it only for good, and not evil. Thus, those people are willing to voluntarily self-limit their own power. They are not using their own power to the maximum extent. If this does not happen, then all you have is just a bunch of random slavers running around.

                What incentivizes whoever wields a power to check and balance to actually use it to check and balance and not for his own goals?

                • In theory, the solution is ambition-checking-ambition, though I’ll admit that theory has crashed onto the shoals of political parties.

                  That said, it’s still an argument for some of the quirkier parts of the constitution e.g., the EC, non-elected senators, lifetime judges, spoils-system appointments, etc. on the theory that they tie different political actors to different constituencies.

            • Absolutism does not imply micromanagement. Nothing does. And that is because nothing can defy Dunbar’s number, incentive incompatibility, and the implications of the laws of thermodynamics on how one person allocates their calories.

              This is what I take as Eric’s point. Absolute monarchs necessarily delegate power, whether they like it or not. They can ride into some town and override the local authority, and they’ll succeed so long as the monarch’s immediate big guys with sticks are enjoying that gig or the local authority enjoys his gig and believes he’ll get it back when the monarch leaves. And meanwhile, any place the monarch isn’t, gets to play (e.g. 10c Romans whenever Otto went back to Germany).

            • I remember reading once a history book about pre-christian european barbarians, Germanics, Prussians, Slavs. Their law was about kinship, property, who had the right to avenge whom (and therefore was entitled to payment so he would resign his right to revenge; hence, the money was never paid to women). It was also about people who had no kin; and one of their ideas was that the king was a neighbour to everyone, and kin to everyone. Quite a minimalist version of kingship. The book then proceeded in describing how kings gradually used their rights as “kin to everyone” and “neighbour to everyone” to grant themselves more and more power.

              Now, how you prevent this from happening in your minimal absolutist monarchy, just curious?

              Given modern technology, a minimalist king nowadays with just bare rights like the pre-christian kings would have already a lot more power and a lot more ways to grab more power; for starters, faster travel and immediate information distribution would mean he would really be much more present than pre-christian kings, and could therefore introduce his preferred vassals into any neighbourhood more easily, slowly building the client hierarchy, bureaucracy etc; the end result would probably look worse than democracy.

              Unless, of course, you would built-in some mechanism of check and balances which would prevent the kings to usurp more power.

              • This is a very real problem and an unsolvable one. The issue is assuming that it is possible to design well-functioning systems as such, that are able to take out all human arbitrariness from them. But it is not. Checks and balances are wielded by people. They are powers. Wielded by people. Based on laws. Interpreted by people. There is no guarantee those powers are actually wielded as checks and balances and not for other purposes.

                But suppose you manage to constrain the formal government. Congratulations: it will be usurped by an informal government, such as its own employees: https://foseti.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/on-government-employment/ + the universities + the media, as it is currently.

                Moldbug’s idea was a joint-stock realm, constrained by shareholders. I am skeptical about that.

                My idea would be this. We all know doping in professional sports is a big deal. But could you find at least one athlete who is really, really honest? Just that sort of character? You could. So you pick him and make it his primary job to ensure his own succession, either raise one of his kinds into being a really honest athlete or find one somewhere. Can he do it? Yes. Meanwhile the eyes of the whole country are on him. They have no legal powers to keep him honest, but there is a tremendous human pressure on him to stay honest. I think this can usually work, and even when occasionally not, I think it fails far less frequently than the modern system. And when it fails it has easy extralegal remedies. Like a dagger in the back or poison in the cup.

                • Dagger in the back or poison in the cup work on good kings too, y’know.

                  Plus the king could find himself under a pressure of a small but a prestigious elite, which could have malicious goals, and for the said elite convincing ONE king is way easier than convincing many people.

                • How would you design a computer system in order to be as resistant to a malicious external threats? Seems to me that the best techniques include distribution and massive redundancy (replication plus software redundancy).

                  Next, have you read the recent blog post at slatestarcodex about resistance to a parasite manipulation? Seems the answer is redundancy, multiple signal paths etc.

                  Seems to me that having a single absolutist king is as far as it’s possible from distributed system with many redundancies (unless you would go with two-king systems of Sparta and such like)

                  • We have a much more serious problem. Malicious insiders have spent the last several decades arguing that the principle of least privilege, as applied to government, is evil, that defense in depth is unnecessary, that no one needs to authenticate with the system in order to use it and that the demand that they do is racist, and that the initial design docs and system specifications mean the opposite of what they say, if they can be said to have any meaning at all.

                  • A king is a single point of failure. But there is something worse than having a single point of failure, having multiple single points of failure. And that is what a distributed system can turn into if you’re not careful.

                  • The computer system is a good analogy for the economy. You don’t want to put all oil production into one huge mega-facility to be easily bombed.

                    Power is different. The biggest external threat is war and just look at how militaries respond to it. Top-down command, yes, mitigated by Auftragstaktik, but still unity of command is a strong principle, it just needs to delegate and encourage initiative. Having multiple commanders, lack of unity of command is known to be a disaster.

                    Also look at how corporations replicate it. There is one CEO. They don’t want to turn various departments of the corporation into semi-independent entities that can survive a bad CEO. They rather just try to have a good CEO. Part of the CEO being good is, yes, aggressively delegating decisions down to the departments and encouraging initiative and responsibility-taking on their part. But he always reserves the right to override them. Whatever independence departments have a in well-run corporation is *granted* by the CEO, it is not the kind of power to *resist* a bad CEO with.

                    And why? Because if they have that kind of power, they will work in their own interests, not the corporations’s interest.

                    The interest of the IT department leader’s is to always learn the latest technology and hire the most people. So to do good work, but to do it very expensively. The interest of the corporation is that the CEO should force them to good work with a limited budget.

                    Single points of failure are better than multiple points of basically open sabotage.

                    • But companies are awful analogy to a society. A company goal is not to satisfy it’s workers, it’s not to ensure they are happy or wealthy – while if you would want to convince that your system is better, you would have to be convince them that it will be making them happier, wealthier and healthier.

        • That seems ahistorical. The idea of absolute monarchy as we now know it was created by Renaissance political theorists, and by the compromise that allowed a monarch to dictate the religion of their country. The Middle Ages had a different view, one under which kings ruled “under the law.”

      • the saudi monarchy mainly survives because the american government has found it useful, some of its elites got quite impressively shaken down for spare change recently

    • On John C Wright books:
      The Golden Oecumene Trilogy is a pretty fantastic nanotech society.
      I enjoyed everything else of his I have read so far.
      -George

    • John writes both SF and fantasy; I prefer the former but you can tell he’s a master of setting in both. (The fantasy often throws together lots & lots of stuff, much of which comes from old folklore; as erudite as anything this side of Avram Davidson but wearing it lightly.)

      His first published books are the trilogy starting with _The Golden Age_: they’re an excellent starting point for an SF fan — and surprisingly hard SF — but anyone who’s not already used to SF could easily bounce off them hard. The Superluminary space opera trilogy is, well, operatic.

      If you want to dip in with shorter works, I like his time travel SF collection _City Beyond Time_ more than most of his fans seem to.

  20. Questions that will never be asked at a candidates’ debate:

    Will you pledge to start the process to amend the constitution, repeal the 2nd amendment, and see how many states and voters support ratification?

    Since bathroom issues are newsworthy both for the homeless and trans-sexuals, will you pledge that the Federal Government under your administration will demonstrate “how things should be done” by making all federal public buildings — notably including post offices — provide “correct” public toilets facilities?

    Do you support the demand from Black Lives Matter that police and investigators cam-cord their activities, and will you order FBI and like federal officials to make video records, of their interviews?

    I have about 40 other topical questions that “journalists” can’t be bothered to even think about .. .

    • All 47 Democrat Senators have voted for an amendment that would gut the First Amendment. It empowers Congress and state legislatures to enact “reasonable” regulations of political campaign spending. “Reasonable” meaning whatever the party in power thinks is a good idea… Even the ACLU doesn’t like it.

      As to police body cams: a lot of cops like them: they protect cops from bogus complaints. Also, I think all interrogations should be recorded – to establish context of statements. (Yes, the subject clearly misspoke out of fatigue and confusion; no, the confession was not coerced.) And someone reviewing an interrogation may detect something that was missed by the interrogators.

  21. If I won the Lottery… I’d love to run a “Democrat” ad campaign which

    – called for open borders.

    – called for confiscation of all firearms.

    – identified the Democrats as the party of abortion.

    – identified the Democrats as the party of “gay rights”.

    I doubt if the Democrats could carry even California on that platform.

  22. [Popping this out, as a tangent.]

    The heyday of absolute monarchies ended well before the decolonialization push – and they were never “the norm”, because the apparatus through which a monarch can be absolute is expensive and difficult to maintain. Only a few of the most advanced preindustrial societies could support anything resembling centralist absolutism; for the rest, the ruler never commanded enough energy surplus for large-scale enforcement – his writ had to be intermediated in a way that sharply diminished his power anywhere more than a day’s march from his capital.

    This is where I complain about the very model of Sid Meier’s Civilization games, and wistfully long for an alternate. Those games give you all sorts of fancy knobs and buttons to configure your civ, giving it various tradeoffs as a function of government type, civic values, and religious tenets. You can go for Democracy, giving you extra happiness! But they get tired of war faster. Aww. But that’s okay, you can build Heroic Epics all over the place, and adopt a Military Tradition, and blah blah blah… Underlying all of this is the conceit that you choose to do all this. There’s an absolute power beneath all this social evolution.

    I want the Civ-type game where you sit in one city – by default, the one you first founded – and give orders to build a granary, a scout, a temple, a bank, etc. and they probably get done, because you’re the big man in the village. Then you send the scout out to find another place to settle, and maybe he comes back, maybe not. If he does, you interpret his report as you like, and if he says there’s a nice valley two days east, you build your settler and send it out, and maybe you get a messenger back weeks later saying they succeeded, or maybe there’s no word at all, and you don’t know whether barbarians killed them all, or they just decided to declare independence and are training warriors to come club you later.

    Or maybe you went with the settlers to make sure it went as planned, and you see them doing what you want, while your capital runs itself, hopefully well. And you set the new village up with a big man you can trust, work out some trading, ensure a nice road between so that people travel a lot and keep the culture unified. Meanwhile you’re checking on your wizards for new ways of farming, moving, fighting, and building.

    I know why this won’t get built. One, it’s hard to do right. Two, it wouldn’t be fun. People like ordering their civs around too much. And yet, one could learn so many valuable lessons about how the fog of war also applies to ruling…

    • I’m still waiting for a computer wargame that actually simulates the fog of war correctly. You sit in your command center, and you get reports from your scouts that, if you’re lucky, tell you where the enemy force was when the scout saw it, and if you’re really lucky, either how big the enemy force was or when the scout saw it. And then you issue orders, and if you’re lucky, your subordinates obey the orders that you issued as you intended, not some other set of orders or in some weird way like the British battlecruisers at Dogger Bank concentrating their fire on the crippled Blucher instead of chasing the rest of the Germans.

      I don’t think I’ll ever see it, but it’d be an interesting experience.

      • You’re not going to see that in the commercial world, it’s no fun at all–which is the point of playing games.

        I’ve never had access to actual military simulations, they may do it better because they need to.

  23. I Hope that if we have to have a Democrat as the next president that it’s Buttigieg.

    If I have to get fucked in the ass at least he knows how to use lube…

    Although probably Harris has pegged a guy or three.

  24. Hi, I’m Tusli Gabbard. The only thing that distinguishes me from the rest of these bozos is that I’m willing to let horrible dictators stay in power instead of being overthrown by potential horrible dictators, rather than send American troops to overthrow said horrible dictators.

  25. I just want to hang out at home, play wargames, swim, and watch movies without being told I’m a horrible person for not liking the insistence on social justice narrative over story.

    Much like commies throughout history though, you’re not only required to tolerate, you are not allowed to NOT approve. And being totalitarians, “the personal is political”, there is not aspect of life or hobby exempt.

    Look at gamergate – where lies were spun from whole cloth about how games were designed and played while showing you the exact opposite and insisting that you ignore your lying eyes.

    Wargaming recently had an issue with a euro design that was deemed “too insensitive” to colonialist issues, compleat with a NYT article on how you might need to watch out for wargamers because people can play teh bad guys, and might get to LIKE playing nazis.

    Ravelry, a knitting site, compleat with patterns for “pussy hats”, decreed a few months back that you cold be a republican, but they would not tolerate any support of “white racist” Trump or his policies in patterns or forum posts.

    You heard me right, a knitting site.

    Look up Taleb’s intolerant minority – and it doesn’t take many – before those who don’t care will have to, whether they want to or not.

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    Vote -1 Vote +1Elizabeth Warren, the worst of the bunch - Real News

  27. Look to the Yugoslav war for what it’s likely to be

    Except those in the cities will die by their millions.

    • >Look to the Yugoslav war for what it’s likely to be

      No, I don’t think so.

      The fault lines in American society are not really ethnoracial. The only reason they look that way even a little is because Blacks and Hispanics are disproportionately likely to be government clients.

      No, our fissures are more around class, urban/rural, and taxpayer versus tax eater. That makes the French revolution and followons like the Vendee revolt a better model than Yugoslavia.

    • Yeah, American cities, especially on the East and West coasts – you know, the ones most involved in fomenting SJW hate – are remarkably vulnerable. A few well-placed explosives, and they become nearly uninhabitable.

      • I am periodically astounded by the arrogant naiveté of many leftist urban residents who don’t seem to understand that their food, water, and power come from the “red” areas they despise.

      • This is a Combine:
        https://static.agcanada.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2017/07/S700-main_cmyk-e1501182689896.jpg#_ga=2.207422992.242496203.1566768342-1986914701.1566768342

        This is how you grow enough food to feed Manhattan and Chicago. AND the half the rest of the world.

        This is what the cab looks like: https://static.agcanada.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2017/07/interior_cmyk.jpg

        It doesn’t drive like your prius. It doesn’t even drive like your neighbors F150. It’s *complicated* and *hard to use*.

        And it’s what you use at the *END* of the growing season.

        The guy in the front of that? He probably doesn’t own a AR-15, might not even own a glock. But he’s got a 30-06 that he can hit the lungs on a deer at 200 yards with *without* a scope. And a .357 revolver that he probably *has* used to shoot 6 beer cans off a log at 50 feet. Maybe even after drinking those beers.

        In modern America there’s 3 days worth of food in the cities. After that it’s riots and mayhem.
        You’re not going to *make* him run that combine, you have to provide him the sort of incentive that isn’t “if you don’t we’ll kill your family”, because if you threaten his family…it won’t go well. His will will probably stab you with a kitchen knife. His son (and possibly daughter) will shoot you with *their* rifles (probably a .22. in your eye, because they can.).

  28. won’t even require explosives, just truckers unwilling to risk driving loads in.
    inner city yoots will do all the work.

  29. “I don’t think taking away all the guns is any more likely than a return to fifties-style Jim Crow. ”
    damn straight, because
    We. Will. Not. Comply.

    Bring your own jackboots, we’ll empty them.

    • Like I said above, when Obama took that photo op with the rifle, the writing was on the wall. Not gonna happen.

    • > We. Will. Not. Comply.

      You won’t. But your kids will when you die of old age. It’ll take a few generations. But you aren’t actually willing to use the guns, so it doesn’t matter. If it did, you’d be shooting government officials already.

  30. Troutwaxer is simply not going to understand a simple statement

    Will. Not. Comply

    That is a polite way of saying
    Foad.
    So Troutwaxer, may you FOAD.

  31. “extra big magazines”
    Lol
    and we will continue laughing at you, and tell you to fuck off.

    fuck off fascist.

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  33. [Indent’s annoying me again, so this pops out.]

    So what’s our problem? Our problem is that mass immigration will kill the golden goose of Affirmative Action, which for all its flaws gave us a black middle class. When it goes, Quo Vadis?

    As I recall, AA didn’t give us a black middle class; blacks starting businesses and generating wealth gave us that.

    Without AA, fewer immigrants might enter, but the ones already here will likely stay. They’ll probably complain. It’ll be hard to tell them from the rest of the population… At any rate, though, America + peace dividend is still gonna look like the best gig.

    • AA didn’t give us a black middle class-

      Yeah it did. A talented tenth of blacks were barely lower middle class in 1960. Affirmative Action got going in the sixties. By 1970 half the black households were middle class, so Nixon kept AA, and we’ve kept a black middle class ever since. I don’t expect conservatives to like this. AA goes against everything conservatism is about, unless you are John Derbyshire and kind of like moaning.

      When mass immigration kills AA no one knows what will happen. Given a feckless, batty, corrupt, incompetent governing class, it won’t be good.

  34. [Likewise, this.]

    And the grabbers are in such a panic about an upcoming Supreme Court case that they have descended to openly threatening the court.

    With what? Strongly worded letters?

    I’ll give the NRA-ILA credit for one concrete thing: coordination. They publish a grade for each candidate, and anyone with gun rights concerns can find that grade easily and assess a candidate in that light, reasonably convinced that the NRA-ILA could back that grade up with records of that candidate’s votes and/or stump speeches. It’s so recognizable that candidates themselves will advertise that grade to prove their bona fides. That’s probably the single biggest benefit they provide to gun rights advocates, their management challenges aside.

    Any organization able to provide that level of information would probably suffice to fill the void if the NRA-ILA were to crumple.

    • But it will take time for such an organization to establish its credibility. The NRA-ILA did not spring, fully formed, from Charlton Heston’s brow…

      • I was going to agree with you (and I do, in principle), until I read Ian Breune’s comment.

        So now the question in my mind is how we can raise awareness of the GoA system.

    • With what? Strongly worded letters?

      Read and laugh.

      They publish a grade for each candidate, and anyone with gun rights concerns can find that grade easily and assess a candidate in that light, reasonably convinced that the NRA-ILA could back that grade up with records of that candidate’s votes and/or stump speeches.

      Except that they don’t back it up. And they routinely give horrible candidates A++++++amazeballs+++ ratings. In the meantime GoA also gives ratings, which non-members are allowed to see. And they show their data.

      Any organization able to provide that level of information would probably suffice to fill the void if the NRA-ILA were to crumple.

      The “what about the gap?” question is a legitimate one, but overblown. It ignores that other organizations are already and have already for years been doing more effective work than the NRA. That is before including all the state level organizations that are supposedly affiliates of the NRA, but have been hung out to dry and have to fight their own battles.

    • >With what? Strongly worded letters?

      Packing.

      They’re Democratic legislators. They’ve threatened to pack SCOTUS.

      I’ve read a lot of SCOTUS amicus briefs in the last 25 or so years. Started when I contributed to one in the 1996 Communications Decency Act case – I was running a small nonprofit ISP at the time and helped the anti-censorship lawyers show that CDA requirements would be unduly burdensome. Discovered that reading 1A cases was easy and fun; habit well developed by the time of Heller and the wave of 2A cases that followed.

      Never, ever before have I seen a stinkbomb like the Whitehouse brief in NYSRPA v. NYC (informally “Casey”). The “best” anti-2A briefs are clever and evil; not this one, it reeks of stupidity and desperation. The crude threats risk backing the Court into a corner where it almost has to slam the shit out of the anti-2A side just to assert its integrity.

      Before this brief I was expecting a 5-4 ruling against NYC, but on the narrowest possible grounds – a technical win for 2A but one without much actual usefulness going forward. Now I’m going to predict 7-2 with a firm ruling that the standard of review in future 2A cases is to be strict scrutiny (“narrowly tailored to further a compelling government interest”). I think even RBG will go pro-2A majority on this one, she’s on record as loathing court-packing schemes and does not react calmly to bullying.

      And this is of course exactly the outcome the senators are scared of. There are several pending cases that could get remanded back to lower courts with instructions to apply strict scrutiny; one of them could gut the NFA.

      • While I think this is a conclusion devoutly to be wished, I’m not sure that one amicus brief from a few senators is enough to fracture the gun-grabbing liberal bloc. I’m also not convinced that John Roberts won’t get squishier on us, either. In particular, I can see them bending over backwards to ignore the threat and rule against the Second Amendment just to show that they discount that kind of thing completely. That’s the kind of knot Roberts loves.

      • The court has already been packed — by Trump. I doubt RBG is going to want to see herself on the losing side of a series of 5-4 decisions that see the undoing of whatever modest progress the country has made on civil rights for women and minorities. I think she would welcome a restructuring of the court if it mitigates the effects of the court-packing that has already been done.

        • “Court-packing” doesn’t mean appointing people to fill preexisting seats, it means increasing the number of seats. Democrats have threatened to do the latter.

  35. I haven’t been politically active since I realized, in the spring of my undergrad sophomore year (67-8), that everything said or written about members of that class year was true of me. When I graduated, we’d had the summer of love, Woodstock, Altamont, Kent State, and the rest of it.

    Therefore, I was not at all surprised by the laser-printed signs in the rear window of the sedan in front of me at a suburban traffic light in late November/December 2004. On the left (caps in the original):

    “PENNSYLVANIA VOTERS GOT IT RIGHT!”

    and on the right:

    “OHIO VOTERS SOLD US OUT!”

    The driver was a well-dressed suburban mom in her 40s, a boomer like me, but she can’t have grown up in a rural village surrounded by small farms. Seeing the work my and my friends’ parents did to make our lives possible, I realized in the late 70s, was the biggest break I’ve had in life. Raising kids without that kind experience is . . . sub-optimal is too soft, but it’s all I’ve got. I don’t know where we go from here, but the optimism that got me through grad school is gone.

  36. Here are my predictions about 2020, based on my reading of Win Bigly by Scott Adams and some other pro-Trump commenters like Brian Cates, Jeff Carlson, REX, and Thomas Wictor. I’m convinced that Trump is, as he has said, a student of Sun Tzu and thus strategic deception. He wants his enemies to underestimate him and think he’s reactive, thin-skinned, and out of control, but he’s a long-term planner, and laying a huge trap. He’s known since Admiral Rogers’ surprise visit that Obama was illegally spying on him. (Here’s the best rundown on the scandal.) He’s been preparing his revenge for years. (Note all the judges he’s been appointing.) It will all be wrapped up in airtight legal cases with Inspector General reports, grand juries, and DOJ indictments. Literally dozens, if not scores, of Democratic Party bigwigs are in severe legal jeopardy, up to and including Obama and Hillary. It’s Watergate x 10, and it will hurt much of the media as well, because they were complicit in the Russian collusion hoax created by the seditious plotters.

    There are also other scandals waiting to blow: The Awan IT scandal. The Weiner laptop. Jeffrey Epstein. NXIVM. Project Cassandra. Hillary’s email server and that coverup. The Clinton Foundation. Antifa funding. Urban Democrat corruption in Baltimore and elsewhere. Hunter Biden’s lucrative Ukraine and China deals. Probably some I’ve forgotten, or yet to be revealed.

    Even just a few of these blowing up during election season will cripple Democrats.

    We can all agree that Trump has a huge ego, but it’s weird to me that so many think he’d conspire with Putin or want to be a dictator. That would be stupid and not fit his personality. He wants a legacy. He wants to be vindicated and seen as a patriotic hero, and as smart. What better way than to expose DC corruption and deal a shattering blow to the Democratic Party that causes a political realignment? (Another possible piece of the puzzle: Has Trump been an FBI informant for decades?)

    If I am correct, 2020 will be a Republican blowout. Trump wins reelection and the GOP keeps the Senate and takes back the House. The national and worldwide freakout will be a sight to behold.

    • I hope you’re right, but I can’t help believing you’re wildly optimistic. And investigations that turn up results that should put Democrats in prison will instead be buried fast and deep.

      • I realize it’s wildly optimistic, I try to be aware of confirmation bias, but nothing else makes sense. Idiots don’t become billionaires. A guy who teaches his top execs how to avoid blackmail doesn’t hire hookers in Moscow. A fan of Norman Vincent Peale doesn’t plot to become a dictator.

        Trump is in control of the federal government now, so anyone trying to bury things as Comey, McCabe, etc. did are in for a difficult time. The Mueller report was their last major attack, and it failed.

        I’m not sure Trump will go so far as to put Obama and Hillary in prison, but he doesn’t have to. Indictments, plea deals, and Presidential pardons look like the perfect combination. Put them through years of agonizing suspense (currently ongoing), force them into months or years of embarrassing legal cases, destroy their reputations forever, and then show some mercy. Trump as the merciful bringer of justice, protecting America. Why would he not want that? I think that fits his personality 100%.

        • “Trump is in control of the federal government now”

          Here is where I think you go wrong. I think Trump’s control of the Federal government is not anywhere as close to complete as it should be, and that is precisely where things will get buried. The Deep State is very much a thing.

          • True, it’s not complete, not yet. And he likes to throw out strategic deception to make it look like he’s struggling. “That Sessions guy, he didn’t do anything!” Haha, right. Classic Sun Tzu.

            It took years to get Capone, and there were no Capone partisans in the federal government, so this job is much bigger and more complicated. But Trump has his people in the top positions. He can (legally!) use warrants to surveil any remaining plotters. He can bide his time and see who talks to who. I have zero doubt that a massive counterespionage effort has been going on for 2.5+ years now. One of Trump’s books has a whole chapter on revenge. It’s just a matter of time.

        • This!

          Though it shouldn’t last years. The trials would no doubt be spun out indefinitely by the defense. Also, it would goad the Left-establishment into absolute maximum effort in 2020 – cornered rats fight harder.

          I would say, get the indictments, wait about two weeks, then issue the pardons. The damage is done, permanently, but the goad is taken away. If it was possible to go to trial and and get the evidence on record first, that would be optimum, but the defense would delay that by months – too long.

          • Two weeks is not enough. You don’t want the scandals to be over too soon. All big scandals last for months.

  37. It’s not the conflict that will kill urbanites by the millions, but starvation, disease, and thirst
    Plus their own actions of course

    Sarajevo was a small city, compared to NYC, SF, etc, and our transportation system is far more efficient, but less robust. The tens of millions in LA for example, cannot exist without water piped in from the Colorado or points north,and there are only 3 pipelines, easily severed.

    The only reason the inhabitants of Sarajevo didn’t starve to death was UN (which means US) intervention. No one else had the logistics. In the event of US:CW2 No one has the resources to bring enough food and water to *one* of the coastal blue enclaves, let alone them all.

    The US isn’t Europe, we have a lot more land, a lot lower population density (outside of the big cities) and we can feed ourselves. food imports are for variety and choice, not need.

    *Getting* that food to the big cities takes a rail and road net that is fragile, and easy to interrupt.
    The “blue” side has no clue how vulnerable they are, because they have no clue who does most of the work to feed them, clothe them, and ensure the lights stay on, or how many of those who do this, are on the ‘red’ side.

    We don’t have to fire a shot except in self defense, all we have to do is stand back while your pets devour you.

    So keep calling us racists! deplorable! scum! I’m sure *this* time it’ll work.

  38. Meanwhile, he and his family are reviled as “deplorable” Even if he was a regular D voter

    His faith is ridiculed, and his history mocked, by those who depend on the food he provides.

    This will not end well, the deaths of empires rarely do.

  39. “Hi, I’m Marianne Williamson. If elected, I will redecorate the White House so it has proper feng shui. I am the sanest and least pretentious person on this stage.”

    No, you’re not, not by a long shot. Tulsi is the closest one of you to being sane, and that’s why the other dingbats don’t want her on the stage. She makes your insanity more obvious. Much more obvious.

  40. As to “Civil War II”: I think the better analogy is 1876, not 1860.

    In 1860, there was no legitimacy issue. Even the most ardent seccessionists agreed that Lincoln won the election. When the Southern hardliners split the Democratic Party in April, almost everyone understood that they were throwing the election to the Republicans. And when Lincoln’s election was announced on election night, Charleston fired black-powder salutes (because secession was now imminent).

    What drove secession was that a dominant plurality of Deep South whites regarded the loss of Federal support for slavery as an existential threat. Two states and hundreds of counties in other states were majority slave; whites in those areas feared being slaughtered in a slave rebellion, as had happened in Haiti.

    1876 was different. Then, it was the outcome of the election that mattered. Flagrant corruption in the Grant Administration had generated a reformist surge. This surge was narrowly thwarted by the reported election result, which included dubious results from three Southern states with Reconstruction governments also tarred as corrupt. There was definite talk of armed resistance to another Republican administration so elected. In the end, of course, the Democrats conceded the election in return for the end of Reconstruction.

    2020 looks to be another crisis of legitimacy, with the added fillip of side A trying to overturn 2016, all but openly threatening to trash the Constitution if they win in 2020, and engaging in increasing levels of intimidatory violence, and side B muttering about armed resistance to side A’s program and potential electoral fraud by side A.

    As our host has noted, the question is whether the result in 2020 is seen as legitimate (and whether it actually is legitimate). If not, civil order could break down.

    The elephant in the room is the forces of the state: the police, US law enforcement agencies, and the armed forces. If putsch comes to shove, what will they do?

    • In 1860, there was no legitimacy issue. Even the most ardent seccessionists agreed that Lincoln won the election. When the Southern hardliners split the Democratic Party in April, almost everyone understood that they were throwing the election to the Republicans.

      This appears to be false, according to Wikipedia:

      The split in the Democratic party is sometimes held responsible for Lincoln’s victory, however, despite the fact that Lincoln won the election with less than forty percent of the popular vote, much of the anti-Republican vote was “wasted” in Southern states where no ballots for Lincoln were circulated. At most, a single opponent nationwide would only have deprived Lincoln of California, Oregon, and four New Jersey electors, whose combined total of eleven electoral votes would have made no difference to the result; every other state won by the Republicans was won by a clear majority of the vote. In the four states of New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and New Jersey where anti-Lincoln votes did combine into fusion tickets, Lincoln still won three and split New Jersey. If the opposition had formed fusion tickets in every state, Lincoln still would have received 169 electoral votes, 17 more than the 152 required to win the Electoral College.

      The South may have thought it would split the vote, but I think it knew it hadn’t once the returns were in. There were simply more Northerners than Southerners. The South believed it would never win control of the White House or Congress ever again, and that’s why it took its ball and tried to go home.

      There are legitimacy concerns in 2020, but they’ve been voiced so early that anyone who actually cares about Russian deception and works for a voting precinct or a social media company will be on the alert. Hacking alone won’t rig our election; our ballot systems are too disparate and airgapped.

      • While it is true that the historic 1860 vote would have elected Lincoln even if combined for one candidate, it is by no means certain that the aggregate vote would be the same.

        It seems very likely that Douglas’ supporters in the North were discouraged by the desertion of the South from the “official” Democratic ticket. There was also the opposition of President Buchanan’s faction, which controlled the Pennsylvania Democrats, and slated Breckinridge instead of Douglas there. Buchanan also tried to promote Breckinridge in other states.

        With the Democrats united, Douglas would have swept the slave states, California, and Oregon (137 electoral votes). The expectation of victory would motivate his followers in the North, improving his results there.

        If the Republicans nominated Seward, as expected, instead of Lincoln, Douglas would have a very good chance of carrying Illinois (13 EV). If Douglas split New Jersey’s electors (as he did historically) that would give him 153 EV of 303 – a majority. He would also have shots at carrying Ohio or Pennsylvania, either of which would put him well over the top.

        By splitting the party as they did, the Southerners ensured that couldn’t happen. The result was what they expected; they had no quarrel with it.

  41. Hi, I’m Tulsi Gabbard. I’m a war hero, and a principled Democrat. I will not be speaking, as the Democratic party has been corrupt for at least the last 34 years.

  42. So at the bottom line we are at a point where technology gets better but humanity keeps getting worse.
    A fulfillment of the American dream in a way.
    We can’t really put trust in Yanks to save the world any longer, can we?
    Yanks killed any idealism, holiness, ethical values and naivety holding age long social structures, supporting stability and a sense of shared, united purpose for their debauchery and short-sighted gains.
    Yanks also left the Old World to shambles after WW2, while even until now taking everything of value to their side of the world while abandoning the Old World to the whims of the Communist Monster and myriad other low life and mental and social plagues that inhabit those places. People and places which Yanks didn’t see fit to take in to their small off-shore paradise.
    Yank system is supporting and enacting bringing and mixing clueless, limited and often harmful replicas to the purpose of overcoming lawful, loyal and respectful inhabitants by sheer numbers and rabbit powers of multiplication under their broken, filled with holes like cheese and exploited to death like MS-Windows vulnerabilities, demo-version Democracy helping to instate a government of blind cruel oppression and injustice everywhere at the expanse of children who are taking part of their inhumane human-experiments.
    It’s time to point a finger at this naked, cynical, cruel fake Emperor keeping to itself and practicing remote control juggling governance sort of Abra Kadabra.

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