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Current location: Somewhere in the NYC metropolitan statistical area
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 36,113

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No. The one word is "conservatives"

Trump is a result, not the cause.

It is conservatives who rejected any compromise or cooperation with "the enemy", and punished transgressors.

In the 70s and 80s they targeted Rockefeller Republicans to unseat them and drive them out of any position of power, all because the R Rs stood in the way of their complete-deregulation and "damn the deficits, full tax cuts ahead" priorities. They sought out what hot buttons to push to get people single-issue voting, the better to beak up Democratic voting blocs.

In the 90s they faced their worst nightmare: a charismatic "pro-business" Democrat from a southern state, one who was ok with the death penalty and cutting back on welfare. All the usual Republican campaign rhetoric against Democrats were wet noodles against a guy like that. A guy like that could peel off enough support that all the conservatives' pet projects would be stymied for years or completely undone. A guy who wouldn't be giving conservative partisans lifetime judicial appointments.

So they went full hot button: What's your nightmare? Look! Bill and Hillary Clinton are IT! What's your pet peeve? Bill and Hillary Clinton do it! What have you spent years grinding an ax about? Bill and Hillary Clinton are its living embodiment! They ran against Draft-Dodgin' Dope-Smokin' Jazz-Playin' Slick-Talkin' Citizenship-Renouncin' Hippy Bill and Manhatin' Harpy From Hell Hillary. Newt Gingrich enshrined that tactic, and changed the House rules to further discourage "fraternizing" with Enemy colleagues.

In the end Newt stepped down as Speaker because the Salome Caucus he'd built was going to boot him for failing to deliver the head of Bill the Clinton to them on a silver platter.

2008 rolls around, and they take that playbook they built up in the 90s and use it as a starting point, with extra racism on top. Total Opposition. Screw economic recovery, we have to make sure this Chicago guy is a one-term president. No cooperation.

They voted against their own bills when Obama said "Ok, if that's what it takes to get it done, we'll do it your way" because they could not be seen shaking hands and cooperating with the new boogeyman. Anything less would have the Salome Caucus putting them on the silver platter list.

Conservatives treated all internal opposition as slackers, apostates, and fifth columnists. And they've done so for decades. They turned the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Ahab, and anyone who gets in the way of the hunt for the White Whale...
... the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heartís shell upon it.

They built that.

Just remember he'll turn that against us the moment it suits his purpose

...just as he did before Trump.

Yes, he's witty and funny and (for now) he directs his scorching at Trump.

But, as a Republican strategist, he spent his entire career doing the very things that built Trump's base. He scare-mongered and scandal-mongered and played to all the bigotries and pet peeves, and called it "playing hardball". His job was to get Republicans elected, and there was no part of that job that involved "dialing it back." He was one of the people who painted Democrats as supervillains: utterly-corrupt, moral degenerates out to destroy the nation and all that's good and holy to get their voters all hot-blooded and into the voting booth.

But the drawback is: When you paint the story that way, it's supposed to end with you bringing the bad guys to justice. They rot in jail, or better yet get hanged or fried. Blow up the Death Star. Drop the Ring into the fires of Mount Doom. The Enemy surrenders unconditionally and their symbols get blown up.

Your audience wants this:

But they never get it.

When you tell that story for decades, continually amping it up despite its blatant falsehood, you create an expectation that you can never really deliver on. You can justify decades of investigations and re-investigations and re-re-re-re-re-re-re-investigations, but that's not going to hold up in court. So you put yourself into the position of portraying the other side as unbearably evil and an active threat, and then don't do anything about it. The base still has their hot buttons pushed, still believes every word of it, they just start thinking you're ineffectual at best, or more likely are part of the problem.

That's what Rick Spent his career building, and lo and behold, the Republican voters went for a guy who told them what they wanted to hear. Even the ones who voted for Johnson or stayed home are thanks to Rick and his colleagues, because they would "never vote for THAT woman!!!"

That's part of why he's so entertaining when he speaks: because he'll go right for the hot buttons.

So enjoy the performance, but never think he's a friend. In his eyes he's done nothing wrong. This isn't a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" situation, it's more like "the temporarily uncomfortable creator of my enemy is the guy who will knife me in the kidneys the moment I've wrangled his hellbeast back into its pen."



Hillary Clinton
‏Verified account @HillaryClinton

.@SenJohnMcCain lived a life of service to his country, from his heroism in the Navy to 35 years in Congress. He was a tough politician, a trusted colleague, and there will simply never be another like him. My thoughts and prayers are with Cindy and his entire family.

Some statements on Twitter about the passing of John McCain


Barack Obama
‏Verified account @BarackObama

Our statement on the passing of Senator John McCain:

Malcolm Nance
‏Verified account @MalcolmNance

Malcolm Nance Retweeted Donald J. Trump

NO YOU FUCKING DONíT. John McCain was a MAN!! worthy of our love, respect, & tears. ďA Jack Tar, he is, he was, he areĒ. YOU? YOU ARE A REPULSIVE COWARD not even worthy of our revulsion, derision & scorn. McCain will LOL from heaven when I say you are #LowerThanWhaleShit

Donald J. Trump
‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump

My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!

Nice blasts at Trump and lackey Republicans, but a fluff piece for Wilson, who helped build it

Wilson starts off with:
Steve Bannon is a spent force in American politics, but he still has enough evil juicing through his veins to try to keep making himself relevantÖ. Bannonís going to keep trying to slither back into the national political spotlight

You know who that description also fits? Rick Wilson. As the host says:
The position that youíve held within the Republican Party Ö youíve saved a lot of Republican skins, letís put it that way. Youíve played a lot of Republican games.

And what were those games? Telling the Republican base that they were right to absolutely revile Democrats. That you HAD to vote Republican or else Democrats would destroy the country:


Rick's own role in that is never even touched upon. And speaking of people who rely on "constant historical revisionism". Case in point:
Look at the last three presidents: George HW Bush Came into office with the collapse of the Cold War, a very risky time for the world; Bill Clinton came in with the dot.com bubble having burst and the economy in trouble; [Ö] George W Bush in his first two years had to face 9/11; Barack Obama had to face the housing and market crisis of 2008, so all these presidents were tested by these crises.

We will lightly note that Rick lists four presidents, not three. But let's get into the meat:

GHWB did not come into office with the collapse of the Cold War. It happened -- slowly and in stages --during a period that coincided with the entirety of his presidency (January 1989-January 1993). He was already president when the the series of events that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall took place. Mikhail Gorbachev, the reformist General Secretary of the CPSU, became Presidency of the Soviet Union in 1990. That same year, former Soviet Client Iraq invaded Kuwait, and Bush sidelined the Soviets completely. That contributed to the attempted coup against Gorbachev in August 1991, whose failure accelerated the total dissolution of the Soviet Union in December of that year. Bush exited his presidency with the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the one who really had to deal with its aftermath was the one elected in 1992, Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton did not come into office with the dot-com bubble bursting, he came into office with it starting. In January 1993, when he came into office, there were 50 web servers across the entire world. Legislative initiatives headed by Al Gore helped move the technology into the private sphere (not the military/research institutions it had been previously), creating the bubble which lasted roughly from 1995 to 2000. Clinton's crises were the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Reagan/Bush deficits. And the rise of non-state terrorists, which brings us to the next guy...

Dubya brought the PNAC Gallery into office, people who jeered at Clinton for paying attention to non-state actors like Osama Bin Laden and who had spent Clinton's presidency hankering to finally get rid of Saddam. He brushed off warnings about a potential threat. After the attack, they highjacked the will to defend against those who attacked us (Saudis and Egyptians) to pursue their pet projects in the Middle East, starting with ousting Saddam. Oh, and there was the whole promotion of "the ownership society" which was just fine with the bad actors of the housing market, because they thought homeowners tend to be more conservative, which would win them votes.

Obama did have to face the aftermath of the crisis Bush's actions helped initiate and exacerbate, but his greatest challenge was a Republican congress that saw that normal relief efforts would create a bounce-back in time for the 2012 election (which always helps the incumbent), so they avowed a strategy of full and complete non-cooperation. Including all the fine people Rick Wilson helped get elected.

I'm not inclined to let Rick get away with his Soviet-grade rewrite of history.

Weekend TOONs 2 - Tributes to the Queen

At the bottom are a repeat of what I posted yesterday, to fill it out and keep the whole bunch together.
The lady herself was about as far from His Waddling Hairweavership as humanly possible, so I didn't want to pile her in with the toons about that pile of orange.

She endured, and endures

Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)

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