1. redwood says

    I’m so tired of hearing and reading about Donald J. Grump. I wish that once in a while we could declare a moratorium, a day when no one mentions his name, none of the news companies cover him. Just one day. It would be worth voting him out just for the pleasure of him being out of the news. Another four years of the relentless surge of the surly man will kill us all.

  2. davidc1 says

    I did read a piece in the Guardian about the coal miners who voted for him .Some are pissed off at him that a further 5,000 miners have lost their jobs .But some poor fools are still going to vote for him .
    Don’t know what it would take for the majority who voted for the donald last time to ditch him this time.

  3. raven says

    He is going to kill us

    Not right.
    He has already killed many of us!!!
    The death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic is now 202,000 dead.
    His followers just don’t care.

    Stalin said it long ago.
    One person’s death is a tragedy.
    202,000 dead is a statistic.
    We are in statistic territory now as far as deaths go.

    And the death rate is now going up rather than going down everywhere.
    There will be another 100,000 dead by end of the year.

  4. KG says

    Yabbut, Biden did and likely will do a lot of things we here all disapprove of, therefore it doesn’t matter how many people Turmp kills, it would be wrong to follow the only course of action that stands a chance of removing him from power. Right, Vicar? Right consciousness razor, mnb0, drew…

  5. PaulBC says

    I can’t help thinking he has already made good on his threat to kill someone on 5th avenue, multiple times over, precise method not withstanding.

  6. Allison says

    I can’t believe there’s still a possibility this murderous incompetent could get elected

    I can.

    I guess I have a rather low opinion of most of my countrypeople. The USA was born in genocide and casual murder, and we haven’t changed all that much over the past 300-400 years. For most people, it seems, it doesn’t matter how bad their lives are as long as somebody else is having it worse. And as long as there are groups of people provided to them that they can blame things on and hate and take their frustrations out on. (Blacks, women, refugees, queers — the list goes on and on.)

    I came of age during the “summer of love,” which devolved into a clusterfuck as the hippies and revolutionaries of the 1960’s collided head-on with reality and turned into the reactionaries of the 1970’s and 1980’s. (So much for “the age of Aquarius.” :-( ) Also the Vietnam war (“it’s lies all the way down.”)

    I’ve learned to keep my expectations really low.

  7. raven says

    I came of age during the “summer of love,” which devolved into a clusterfuck as the hippies and revolutionaries of the 1960’s collided head-on with reality and turned into the reactionaries of the 1970’s and 1980’s.

    Not all of them!!!
    So did I.

    I’m not a reactionary and never have been.
    In fact, I’ve been fighting the Social Justice battles since I was a teenager.
    We’ve won quite a few battles over the years. It’s mostly since the 21st century that things have started to go down hill.
    There are millions of Boomers who aren’t Trump fans and GOP voters.

  8. raven says

    The Boomers voted mostly for Trump over Hillary but the margin isn’t huge.

    50-65 44% Hillary 53% Trump
    65-over 45% Hillary 53% Trump

    So, OK, the Boomer reactionaries outnumber the liberals, but not by all that much.
    What really put Trump ahead was white women voting mostly for Trump.

  9. PaulBC says

    @8 I was all of 2 in 1967, though I have 7 older siblings and may feel a little more connected than others of my age cohort (Phil Ochs was on heavy rotation through my childhood in the 70s).

    I think there were many people sincere about loving each other and putting people ahead of money. Others were purely on board for the parties. Many were never part of it to begin with (At least some of those Trump voters have gotta be “Okies from Muskogee”, right?) And I suppose there are sell-outs.

    What do you really expect? The 60s did result in major progress for civil rights as well as a more general questioning of conformity that has remained to this day. No reason to sell it short.

    I don’t blame boomers, though I kinda wish they’d get off the stage and give someone else a chance for crying out loud. I think of myself as GenX (right on the border), which is kind of like the Prince Charles of generations. We’ll be way too old by the time of succession if we’re alive at all, and nobody wants us anyway. (But for some reason the GOP has done a much better job of grooming its GenX cohort, assholes like Ted Cruz, and I could continue but I won’t.)

    Millennials and younger seem to be the only ones willing to break with the past and create a new society that may not be all peace and love, but at least embraces diversity. I used to think they were the clear hope for the future, but now I’m almost certain that by the time today’s “leaders” are done, there will be little left to build on.

  10. says

    @#6, KG:

    Death toll from the Iraq War: 1000000, roughly 5 times the current US coronavirus death toll, with an additional tens of millions of refugees. (And that’s just the direct death toll; since the Iraq war created ISIS, every death from ISIS action is also an Iraq war consequence.) Biden voted for it, and as late as 2012 said it was so great that even if he had known Bush was lying he would still have voted for it. If you’re going to argue that Biden isn’t responsible for those deaths because he wasn’t in Iraq killing people, then Trump isn’t responsible for coronavirus deaths because he isn’t out there coughing in people’s faces. Then there’s the Libyan invasion with another 6-figure death tol, all the people killed by drone strikes (don’t go to a wedding in the mideast… or become an EMT), basically every single fucking person killed by cops in the last 20 years and all the violence over BLM protests thanks to his imbecilic crime bill, and of course if he had insisted on getting rid of the ICE concentration camps instead of defending them as necessary and good (despite the fact that the government had already been sued over the way the camps treated people) Trump probably wouldn’t have them at his disposal at all.

    Face it: Trump may be running our police state, but we only have a police state because Biden and his fellow travelers were its enthusiastic architects over a course of decades. And idiots like you choosing to reward him by putting him in charge — when he already says he wants mass arrests on the left, not the right — are dangerously insane. You want Trump out of office? Nominate somebody who is actually better than he is by a measurable amount, not just the same sh*t in a different, less-Twitter-prone container.

  11. PaulBC says

    @13 I’ll keep it quick. When Trump starts murdering journalists (let’s say around February if he can hold back) will you still be doing this lame-ass “both sides do it” schtick? (OK, no more for me on this thread.)

  12. Artor says

    Yeah Vicar, the US didn’t have a police state until Biden came along. Gee, you are SOOOO knowledgeable of history! Wait, that’s not quite right. I meant to say is that you are an ignorant buffoon with your head so far up your ass I’m surprised you haven’t suffocated yet. Apparently you are unable to read or remember jack shit, or you would know that most people here DID NOT want Biden as the candidate, but he’s who we are stuck with, so it would be fucking stoopid to vote for anyone else at this point. But fucking stoopid is your schtick, so you do you.

  13. Pierce R. Butler says

    The president wants you dead — and so do his friends and advisers. It’s that simple:

    The most powerful man in the federal government delights in the infliction of pain, misery and grief. … Mike Lofgren … recently wrote, “The stupidest leader imaginable randomly might have gotten something right; Trump’s one hundred-percent record of failure was carefully calculated to achieve a specific result: mass death and a ready-made scapegoat.” … he is actively promoting the spread of the virus with his mockery of masks and packed indoor rallies. …

  14. PaulBC says

    oddie@4 Twitter should not be in charge of official White House communications to begin with, though I admit I am running into some outrage fatigue over it. Also, they should have banned him years ago if they applied even close to uniform standards.

    I’m surprised nobody has yet managed to hack his Twitter account and post tweets in his name. Granted it would be hard to top what’s there already.

  15. stroppy says

    @ 8 “…collided head-on with reality and turned into…”

    There was a lot of turmoil at the time and a lot of angst, confusion, fog of war, and jaw-boning over the spoiled hoards of the Dr. Spock generation. To be sure it was as you say for some, but that’s only a slice of the story. Suffice it to say, plenty of boomers were never part of the so-called monolithic “counter-culture” to begin with.

    Nihilism sums up what’s happening now as well as anything else, I guess.

    Germane insofar as, if you have a problem with climate science, you have a problem with reality in general:
    The Many Ugly Faces of Climate Science Denial
    (It’s ok to bypass some of the lefty, clickbait titles at Common Dreams and look for the worthwhile content.)

    …nihilism as “the sense that all meaning has been lifted from life if a set of urgently needed beliefs are sorely threatened by events and new interpretations.” Prominent amidst the core sustaining beliefs of contemporary US culture is the idea that God infuses the world with divine meaning and providence. Another widely held core belief is that history is set on a progressive trajectory of mastery over nature. Or as ProPublic senior environmental reporter Abrahm Lustgarten puts it: “The sense that money and technology can overcome nature has emboldened Americans.”

    These views are not consistent with each other, but both share the assumption that one way or another the cosmos is made for us. Its adherents also share an intensity of conviction and a common enemy in liberal government interference with their theological or economic imperialism.

    Aggressive nihilism “responds to the shocking evidence” that these core concepts, lodged not merely at the highest level of consciousness but also in more subtle ways in institutional structures and even crude gut level sensibilities, cannot go on as formerly. That response often takes the form of upping the ante of deniability and doubling down on the exact activities that exacerbate the problem. As Connolly puts it, “Fox News, the Republican Party, and the right edge of evangelicalism take the lead, often inspiring each other to new levels of extremism.” These levels often include threats of or actual deployment of violence to achieve their goals….

    …The greater danger is passive nihilism. On the highest levels of consciousness most now believe climate change is real and dangerous. Nonetheless old residues of a crude faith in material progress and a world that exists for us are deeply etched via much of our day to day life over many years…

    But hey, let’s all travel back in time and punch some hippies. That’ll fix things.

  16. Kagehi says

    Vicar… Part of the f-ing problem is that “we” don’t nominate anyone. Haven’t you been paying attention? The DNC already wanted someone like Biden. They claimed that almost anyone else that might have run, who was more liberal, was, “Unelectedable”, when this lie, and others, gave more and more support to “their” picks, the candidates that actually “where” more liberal, one by one, went along with the “leadership” of their party, and told the people that had supported them, “Heh, vote for this other guy.” Short of every single one of the people that previously supported those candidates going from, “I trust you, and what you as president.”, to, “Suddenly I don’t trust you are all, and won’t vote for the guy you just endorsed.”, there was no way in hell we where going to suddenly get a massive shift towards a “more liberal” candidate. We cannot, I now believe, hope, at all, to do what you keep harping on and whining about, and support a better candidate over the “lesser of evils”, without gutting the two party system somehow, and stripping said parties of the ability to stack the deck, and/or derail the public into eventually voting for someone that represents the “parties” ideals, not the “people’s”. Not voting for Biden won’t get us there though, since that just leaves us, once again, with Trump, and.. frustratingly, that is worse at the moment.

    We know what the F-ing problem is. But the solution isn’t to someone “magically” just vote for the right candidate instead. The whole freaking deck is stacked against the ability to do that, and the card dealer is feeding the good cards to everyone at the table except “the people”. We can’t simply not play the freaking game, because the people screwing as all over won’t stop playing, even if we do. We keep trying to point out that the game is rigged, but security is on the payroll of the people rigging the game. We have, where we can, tried, and sometimes succeeded, in getting better people in various places, but the system is still, “Which of the two big teams do you want to join.”, and as long as it the team leaders deciding what the F the parties stand for, and, again, not the people, it doesn’t necessarily matter, because, next election, we will get a bunch of candidates running as “progressive”, and one by one they will drop out, and hand everything over to the “party pick” again. And, so it will go on, and on, and on, because no one has a freaking answer, other than, “Just stop voting for people you shouldn’t”, to ACTUALLY fix it, and that includes your incessant demands that we pull 300 million heads out of the sand (or even more than half of them), and somehow get them to not vote for the candidate the person they “really wanted”, just told them, “Vote for instead, I trust them, and if you still trust me!”

    This is why people are fed up with you Vicar – you don’t actually have a solution, just an endless, and utterly useless, complaint.

  17. PaulBC says

    @19 I am not such a purist that I find “two big teams” all that offensive. More than two would be better, but in reality, life is about selecting from a limited menu (of employers, of schools, literally of “teams” if you’re an athlete) not finding your perfect match.

    It would be nice if I didn’t have to walk away from every decision in life believing that I’m being ripped off or that someone more powerful than I has more to say about what happens next than I do. But you know what? I’m just this mass of cells, pretty easily squashed by an 18 ton weight or ripped through by bullets. I can yak yak yak all I want but I’m lucky if anyone will listen. In a planet of 7 billion people, I am not that fucking important. And truth told, I actually have it pretty good. I am comfortable, I am privileged and every now and then I may even walk away thinking I got just want I wanted out of a choice.

    Elections are the worst. It’s like when people tell you the pedestrian button on the traffic light doesn’t real to anything. It’s just a dummy to give you the feeling of control. This is not far from the truth. But I fucking try anyway. And I am sick and tired of all the crack smokers who seem to think an election is only worth participating in if they get exactly what they want. Do they take this approach to jobs? To family obligations? To paying traffic tickets?

    I believe that voting purists are unlikely to be purists in other things, mainly because these other things have tangible personal outcomes whereas votes leave enough in doubt that you can pretend whatever you like.

    And to get back to the OP. Trump is killing people, not just with COVID and he will keep killing. Can we just vote this fucker out of office even if the alternatives are not what you want?

  18. kome says

    We should be fighting like hell to be dragging this country, and everyone in it, as far to the left as we can.

    If that means we threaten to withhold votes for candidates (not just in the presidential election, but lower offices as well) who think it’s worth it to compromise and work with the very same people who celebrate police murdering civilians, then we have a moral obligation to do it. Harm reduction is a viable strategy, but it is meaningless if you’re only content with “lesser of two evils” and not “let’s try to make things good, for once.” It is our vote; candidates need to EARN it, they should not simply get it by virtue of being not literally Hitler. There is no incentive to be better represent us if they know they can take us for granted.

    And as long as the rather large segment of the electorate who is content with a “lesser of two evils” political strategy will fight leftists and progressives harder than they fight conservatives and white supremacists, then the possibility of Trump winning re-election is not surprising at all. It’d be wonderful if all those so-called pragmatists stopped gaslighting progressives and worked with us, but that’d presume they actually share progressive values rather than just paying lip service to them.

  19. PaulBC says

    kome@21 I am not “content” with the minimal standard of a president who I’m pretty won’t compile a domestic enemies list and start dropping people out of helicopters. All the same, I will vote against one I strongly suspect will do that even if the alternative is the “lesser of two evils.”

    I won’t tell anyone else how to vote, not least because they wouldn’t listen anyway, but I am baffled that there is even an ongoing discussion about the upcoming election or “withholding” votes (cause it worked so well when I withheld my smiling face from employers till I got exactly the job I wanted). At this point we’re already well into a failed state, and the big issue is how ugly we’re willing to see it get in the medium term.

  20. PaulBC says


    And as long as the rather large segment of the electorate who is content with a “lesser of two evils” political strategy

    And what is your plan for reducing the size of this segment? Because you just argued compellingly that all other things equal, the best I can do with my vote is support “the lesser of two evils.”

    I am not intending to gaslight you at all. If you have a good plan for making this work, I would love to hear it. I see it in game theoretic terms where I have control over my own move and no others. I’d also love to be voting along with this awakened electorate for something better. So where the fuck do we get them?

  21. PaulBC says

    And, OK, this is getting far afield so I’ll preface by reiterating that Trump is killing people and must go. (Obligatory on-topic point)

    But if I (a dreaded neolib) am “gaslighting” bona fide leftists merely by pointing out that in my 55 years on earth, I have noticed they almost always lose, then how do you explain the phenomenal success of rightwing wackos in packing the courts, decimating the tax base, gaining “freedom” to march around threatening people with firearms? Is it possible that as repulsive as they are, they are just better at playing this game?

    E.g., they stay united, set longterm strategy (like the Federalist Society cloning the next Supreme Court in an underground lab in the 80s–and now we enter phase II), invest in effective PR, learn how to meet Americans where they live with all their bigotry and their largely mistaken belief in individual opportunity.

    I am just pointing out that your guys are getting your clocks cleaned and I tried to point it out in 2016. Sure, Democrats as a whole are not much better, but there’s usually some shot at success.

    I do not want the left to heel and fetch for mainstream Democrats. I want them to win. They just seem to suck at it. That is why I do not waste much time with leftists. Sorry not sorry if you think that is gaslighting.

  22. mattandrews says

    Artor@15 wrote:

    Yeah Vicar, the US didn’t have a police state until Biden came along. Gee, you are SOOOO knowledgeable of history! Wait, that’s not quite right. I meant to say is that you are an ignorant buffoon with your head so far up your ass I’m surprised you haven’t suffocated yet. Apparently you are unable to read or remember jack shit, or you would know that most people here DID NOT want Biden as the candidate, but he’s who we are stuck with, so it would be fucking stoopid to vote for anyone else at this point. But fucking stoopid is your schtick, so you do you.

    Last election, I got into it here with a guy who claimed to be a teacher, African-American, and gay who was adamant he would be safer in a Trump presidency than a Clinton one. We had a couple back-and-forths that got nowhere and I went about my life.

    I thought it was odd that somebody claiming to be part of those groups would be fine with a Trump presidency. At the end of the day, people of specific ethnicities and sexuality are not monolithic in their beliefs, so it’s entirely possible this person was on the level.


And to be brutally honest, I’ve been reading/lurking/occasionally posting here for 12 years. A leftist Black, gay man who saw Clinton as such a monstrous betrayal of liberal values that they preferred Trump is kinda on-brand for this site.

    It wasn’t until a few years later when the news of Russian trolls shitposting in support of Trump broke that I thought, “Wow, maybe I actually engaged with one of these fucknuts.”

    I then thought of all the websites on the net, why stir up trouble here? Maybe it was a divide-and-conquer thing. PZ and the majority of the posters are all-in on “There’s very little daylight between the Democratic Party and the GOP”, and the hatred of Clinton was pretty much out in the open.

    If this person was a troll and could peel off some hard core liberals to vote third party or stay home, then mission accomplished. Any bit of sand in Clinton’s gears would help.

    So when I read the Vicar’s posts of how the Democrats are the same fucked-up monsters as the GOP, and that Joe Biden is basically a serial rapist on par with the BTK killer, I do wonder.


I’m probably wrong. There’s a big “Biden/Obama/Trump/Bush/Pol Pot are interchangeable” vibe here. In addition, the Democratic Party could stand a good shove to the left. I see notable Dems like Feinstien and Manchin are saying “No” to expanding the Supreme Court if somehow Biden wins and the Senate flips, which should be a fucking Day One move in my opinion.

    Then again, you read the Vicar’s posts and quite frankly, they’re almost of a caricature of the Angry Liberal Willing to Burn It All Down, No Matter Who Gets Hurt™.

    I hope this person is actually a troll, to be honest. Because if ol’ Vic is someone who is utterly fine with Trump finishing the job he started so they can go “I told you”, they’re as much a monster as every fucking MAGAt out there causing this misery.

  23. nomdeplume says

    Trump is like a testing to destruction of the American political and electoral system. It failed the test. Turns out the self-styled “world’s greatest democracy” had a dysfunctional structure which worked for a few rich gentlemen in the eighteenth century, but is totally inadequate now (and for some time previously). You guys really need to start again and study what other democracies do. Oh, sorry, too late…

  24. PaulBC says

    @25 I completely agree that expanding SCOTUS is a no brainer once the congressional votes are there. I never liked Feinstein, though I have voted for her. Manchin is better than a warm body voting for the other side I guess.

    If they really want to block the only reasonable recourse and a completely appropriate response to 4 years of running roughshod over the voters’ will, then they are bad people who do not represent my interests. They’re still not as bad as Republicans and when the election comes I vote based on my very limited influence over the world even if the result is the “lesser of two evils.” Honesty, I think Feinstein cares a lot more about donors withholding money than little old me “withholding” my vote.

    Finally, you have some unicode problem going on. You might want to stick to a limited character set. 

  25. Elladan says

    So why not talk about what you can do to fix the Democratic Party and its control by right wing corporatists then?

    The gaslighting is the constant refrain blaming the left and demanding they heel. That’s all. If you truly want them to win and feel political affiliation with them, stop blaming them and stick with blaming the party leadership, the establishment fundraising machine, the consultants, the system of elite sinecures and ivy league appointments, the right wing infiltrators, and all the other signs of disease in the Democratic Party, your chosen political vehicle to achieve your goals.

    I’ve seen people repeating this nonsense every single election since as long as I can remember, and it’s beyond tiresome. The other day, Democrats on Twitter (or who knows, maybe fascist trolls, but it’s unlikely) resurrected their stupid Jill Stein memes to try to blame her for Trump. Jill Fucking Stein. Just like when they tried to blame Nader for the shrub. Meanwhile the party has been frantically attempting (and succeeding) in maneuvering to ban the Green Party from state ballots, which I’m sure is making them a lot of friends.

    Really Twitter people? You want leftists to vote for you, so you sneer at them? This is a political strategy, vote for me or I’ll blame you? Never mind obviously that it’s factually ludicrous: the Libertarian Party got vastly more votes than the Green Party, so many in fact that if you eliminated both of them, Trump would probably have won the popular vote and a sizeable lead in the EC.

    I think everyone here is probably unhappy with fecklessness and corruption in the Democratic Party. And yet it seems more emotionally satisfying to some people to look for traitors than to just suck it up and admit your party has an uphill battle trying to appeal to anyone, to the point where even running against a cartoon villain it’s at serious risk of somehow, miraculously managing to lose. Again.

  26. consciousness razor says

    I don’t know what you’re all so worried about. I was informed by very reliable sources that Biden has electability.

  27. mattandrews says

    Regarding the Unicode: I’m not seeing anything off here. Using Safari 13.whaterver in the latest MacOS. Is it the TM in the next-to-last paragraph, or is there other stuff? I initially typed everything in OS X Notes and pasted into the browser. Had to reformat paragraph breaks, but outside of the TM, I can’t think of any special code going on.

  28. mattandrews says


    Never mind. Opened the page in Chrome. It’s the paragraph breaks. Thanks for the heads up.

  29. PaulBC says

    CR@29 I am not sure who really believes strongly in Biden as an electable candidate (sure, somebody probably does). My view is that Sanders really would have been more electable in the general election, which is most of the reason I voted for him in the CA primary. Party operatives like Clyburn in South Carolina helped mobilize the Black vote for Biden. That’s politics whether you like it or not. Sanders actually had much better outreach to Latinos this time around (which is another reason I felt more comfortable that he was trying to reach the Democratic party as a whole).

    But who cares about little old me? That is kind of my point. Elections aren’t won by abstractions like electability or by individual preference. You need to run a campaign. Trump knows how to tug at the hatestrings if not the heartstrings of America, so he surprised a lot of mainstream Republicans in 2016. Sanders didn’t have the same success overcoming party politics. He got closer in 2020. Biden was the favorite already by the time the news switched to the pandemic. (But after that, it was just a completely messed up primary.)

    I would much rather have Sanders as the nominee right now, but it’s like any other decision. You make the next step based on present circumstances, not what could have gone differently. And I think many Democrats are in the same situation (not least all the people who voted for Sanders in California along with me).

    BTW, Obama was a superb campaigner and I think that is really the takeaway from his two wins rather than any larger lesson about the state of American culture or politics. I have a feeling that other mainstream Democrats simply refuse to follow his playbook (laid out pretty clearly in Audacity of Hope–if there’s a place where 10% will vote for you can you can raise it to 25% that is better than dismissing them entirely). He also had natural charisma. I have no idea why there is no attempt at skills transfer here.

    It is unforgivable the Hillary Clinton declined to campaign in “blue wall” rust belt states that she actually lost and reprehensible that she taunted these voters by saying they would be “replaced by suburban Republicans” (or maybe it was just Schumer who did this). So Clinton definitely scored some own goals and was less “electable” than Biden is today.

    To be clear, I don’t like the Democratic establishment much either. I just don’t see what the plan is for breaking their stranglehold and I would rather fight Republicans first.

  30. ludo says

    In the video:
    “This is over 200.000 people” “This is how many people have died because Donald Trum did not tell the American people in februari what he told journalist Bob Woodward”.

    No. That is the total death toll, not Trumps contribution to it.

  31. birgerjohansson says

    Right now, dealing with climate change is first, second and third on the list of priorities.
    Number four is “expanding the supreme court” to take it back, but the current pathetic crop of democrats do not have the guts for it. So come 2022 you do what Republican voters do: you get rid of candidates you don’t like during the primaries.
    And remember, the Democratic party will not provide funding. You have to fund the struggle against status quo Democrats on your own. And the media will ridicule you.
    But Martin Luther King faced worse odds.

  32. PaulBC says


    No. That is the total death toll, not Trumps contribution to it.

    I will begin to consider caring about nuances like this on the day a single Trump supporter can be demonstrated to have any connection to reality at all.

  33. wzrd1 says

    Well, by this time tomorrow, given current death rate trending, we’ll have a number of dead in the US equal or greater than the entire population of Rochester, NY. Typically, that resonates better with people’s minds than dots in images of a packed stadium.
    A major population center depopulated equivalent number. Next metropolitan area jump is Birmingham, AL, at 209k. More likely, his devout followers will follow their god-king and emperor until we’ve lost the equivalent of one of our top ten population centers, at 1 million people dead, but even money, they’d find themselves way too invested even then to jump ship.

  34. raven says

    No. That is the total death toll, not Trumps contribution to it.

    OK, which one is the one Trump wasn’t responsible for killing?

    You identify them and we will subtract 1 from today’s total of 204,724 dead from Covid-19 virus.
    And BTW, since you are so knowledgeable, this is a known undercount.
    How many more should we add to that total?

  35. unclefrogy says

    well if you was there then you will remember what it was like way back then.
    You remember the bumper stickers “America love or leave it” as well as turn on, tune in and drop out.
    you remember Bull Conner, and Medgar Evers,
    the Human be-in and The Birch society.

    I am kind of tired of hearing about how those in the past were such failures. If you were there then you know that it was absolutely not monolithic and just like today there were extreme faction then as well even so in fact there were some notable changes that did happen then look them up but utopia did not descend upon the land true. The struggle still goes on today there appears it is not going to be any once and for all event unless it be the dreaded Nuclear Holocaust that we have been lucky and skillful enough to avoid till now but just barely .
    each has their own time in the sun and their own struggles to endure Why take the word of those we struggle against and declare themselves winners that we were failures, because that is to imply we are failures today and will be forever regardless of any objective evidence to the contrary.
    uncle frogy

  36. raven says

    To put the death toll in right wingnut terms, this is:

    .1. 102,000 Obama Ebola pandemic US deaths.
    .2. 50,681 Benghazis.
    .3. 69 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.
    .4. 3.5 US Vietnam war dead

  37. PaulBC says


    You want leftists to vote for you, so you sneer at them?

    No, I did not want or expect “leftists” to vote for Hillary Clinton, e.g. in 2016. You’re not the audience for the sneering. One sneers to vent and to bond with allies.

    And you do it too. Was anyone dumb enough to think obscure memes about how Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a big cheating meanie would get people like me to vote for Bernie Sanders in the primary? For one thing, “DWS” was completely off my radar before seeing any of that, and I knew I was going to vote for the Democratic candidate in 2016 whether it was Clinton or (longshot) Sanders.

    Do you understand that very little of this communication is even intended as persuasive? So why do you repeat the obvious that it’s unpersuasive?

    I had a small, naive hope that anti-Hillary forces on the left would at least stand down after Bernie Sanders himself asked them to. Whether it made a difference or not, who knows? Most likely Comey had the biggest hand it Trump’s win.

  38. birgerjohansson says

    COVID19- it is ironic that the Italians have learned it is possible to open up parts of society if it is done cautiously and with sensible leadership and precautions.
    Italy gets lots of flak for not having its shit together, but they are handling this phase of the pandemic well.
    Most of the countries in Africa are doing surprisingly well.
    Britain, USA and Brazil are faliing, and for purely political reasons.

  39. stroppy says


    It’s a pretty crude view of how people think and societies work to reduce politics to a simple tug-of-war with two sides and an arbitrary line drawn between them. It’s pure adolescent fantasy. It’s about on a level with saying that the space shuttle was driven by a big rubber band.

    As for the “hippies,” as I recall, it seems like the country was pretty burned out by the time Nixon-Ford ended. I think a lot of people felt that with the end of the war and increasing acceptance of civil rights that maybe, just maybe the country was moving in the right direction and started to relax. So clearly the hippies, unique in all of history, were somehow to blame for something or other. Right?

    People were also pretty well burnt with Dubya by 2008. But with the election of Obama, people once more heaved a sigh of relief. But history plays out. Evil is taking its revenge. Must be them damn hippies again.

    Yeah, right.

  40. PaulBC says

    unclefrogy@38 Well, I was not there, or I was too young to remember, but I agree that not everyone was a hippie. In fact, you could probably figure as much just from watching reruns of Dragnet.

    I think the biggest mistake was to lose the debate over the 60s in ensuing decades. It was a pivotal decade for civil rights. That alone should be enough to endow it with some respect. Conservatives spent most of my youth in the 70s and 80s blathering about “moral relativism” and decline of standards. I dunno. Folksinger Phil Ochs was about the biggest moral absolutist I can think of. SDC and SNCC don’t strike me as especially relativist. JFK, RFK, and MLK, Jr.: also not relativists. What is the “relativism” the conservatives speak of? And in the Trump era, it seems that the rightwing has finally cornered the market on flexible morals, though there was also a lot of foreign policy relativism in the form of “What’s right for the US is not what’s right for other nations.”

    To the extent that the 60s had a PR campaign, it was a little too nuanced and ironic. E.g. the movie The Big Chill (1983): lot’s of self-soothing defeatism there. Meanwhile the backlash kept at it like the Energizer bunny.

    I guess the best that can be said of my generation is nobody gives a rat’s ass about us at all. Thankfully the cult of Reagan is dying down.

  41. says

    @The Vicar

    “then Trump isn’t responsible for coronavirus deaths because he isn’t out there coughing in people’s faces.”

    except Trump is in fact doing that. His rallies are super spreader events and at lest one death has been traced to them (Herman Cain).


    “Meanwhile the party has been frantically attempting (and succeeding) in maneuvering to ban the Green Party from state ballots, which I’m sure is making them a lot of friends.”

    I cannot speak to other states but when the WI Democratic party managed to prevent the GOP weaponizing the Greens against them it made me so happy I sent them 5 bucks. There’s a larger conversation about how ballot access laws are unfair as well as why reforms away from the first past the post system are needed. But there is a different conversation about what is reasonable for a political party to do in the present with a critical election and a primary opponent willing to do anything to retain power.

    The WI Green Party did not get enough valid signatures to be on the ballot and moreover did not have the material resources to pursue a legal challenge. If either was true, fine whatever the WI Democrats should not have fought it. Instead, a literal GOP law firm stepped in and sued on the Greens’ behalf-Hawkins cravenly called this “taking help where you can get it.” At that point the law suit was not de facto the Green party but instead the GOP; the Democrats had every right to respond in the manner they did. If the WI Democrats aided the libertarian ticket while stopping the Greens you would have a point but as it stands I find it entirely unreasonable to expect the Democrats to simply let the GOP use the Greens as useful idiots without defending themselves.

    And in terms of the WI it was mostly not about having the Greens on the ballot in itself. It had everything to do with the timing of the process and the legal challenge disrupting the absentee/mail in ballots. Tens of thousands of ballot had already been printed and the legal deadline to send them out was 3 days after the ruling was issued. It was practically impossible to meet the legal deadlines if the court ruled to reprint the ballots.

    And for the record I use to vote Green now and then depending on the polling, race. Never again given what Hawkins said.

  42. DanDare says

    A big problem is in US you can’t include a stop gap 2nd preference. Otherwise Bernie could run without fear of “splitting the vote”. However at the moment it is what it is.
    In a first past the pole system you can only afford protest votes (minor candidate or none) if the person likely to then win is not too seriously awful and the country is not on the skids.
    That means right now you folks need to vote Dems and get better people into the Dems long term or form a new party to massively rival the old ones.

  43. vucodlak says

    Going to? He’s already killing us at a pretty staggering rate. The vast majority of the worldwide Covid-19 deaths can be laid at his doorstep. Add in the deaths because of his utterly incompetent response to natural disasters, his outright betrayal of allies, his emboldening of tyrants and dictators all around the world, the people that his CPB and ICE agents have disappeared, the people who’ve lost healthcare in the pandemic, those who’ve lost the ability to support themselves due to the economic collapse caused by the blundering response to the pandemic… the Trump body count is in the millions already.

    If Trump is still in the White House at the end of January, then we need to understand that that is an extinction event for humanity. That is the knowledge that should inform our response. He’s not just going to kill us, he’s going to kill us all.

    If we let him.

  44. unclefrogy says

    it looks like many seem to think there is one enemy to liberty and justice and the rule of law and it is Agent Orange and his political party.
    I think that there are in reality 2 enemies there is the incompetent malevolent POTUS and the conservative party. There is the fact that the conservatives must know by now that they have made a bad bargain he is their enemy as well. I am pretty sure that McConnell does not like having to kowtow to the likes of this ignorant ass and that he can not be trusted but they are helpless. We have two enemies the the murderous fool and the republican party’s as it stands today an authoritarian ideology.
    two fronts at the same time
    uncle frogy

  45. birgerjohansson says

    My understanding is Trump is close to broke. He is presumably kept afloat by Russian loans.
    And if IRS demands money for past tax shenagians the house of cards may not be sustainable anymore.

  46. kome says

    @43 stroppy

    I agree that it’s a simplistic view. I really wish people would stop doing that. But time and time again, we hear from leaders of both major political parties and their most ardent boot-licking supporters that there are only two parties and this is a tug-of-war and anyone who thinks differently is an idealist who needs to wake up to reality and fall in line. We’re seeing it on display here in this thread, as we do any thread that devolves into talking about the election.

    Quite a lot of comfortable and privileged people in the US are simply voting for their team because politics is a game to them. When latinx people, including the occasional indisputable American citizen who simply looks to be of latinx ancestry, are being thrown in concentration camps to be raped by law enforcement or die from malnutrition and lack of medical care, and the comfortable and privileged care instead about fretting (to take a not-so-random example) that Trump will start dropping people out of helicopters next term if he wins re-election. These are not people who care about the consequences of politics beyond feeling smug about their team winning while giving them an easy out in blaming others when their team loses. They want to browbeat people who have principles and values into simply falling in line, because that’s easier than them getting off their lazy asses and fighting for a better world.

    The right wins elections because they demand purity out of their elected officials. Republican politicians worry about stepping out of line with the values of their constituents. The left loses all the goddamn always because we’re lead by people who don’t mind the Democratic party’s values constantly being adulterated beyond recognition as long as it doesn’t carry the -R after their name, and enough of their supporters have somehow swallowed the delusion that that’s somehow a good idea. Democrats worry that they won’t appeal to Republican voters while taking for granted the progressive vote. Nothing is more concerning to Democrats than the progressives who aren’t in a state of learned helplessness / Stockholm Syndrome.

  47. PaulBC says


    I am pretty sure that McConnell does not like having to kowtow to the likes of this ignorant ass and that he can not be trusted but they are helpless.

    I am not saying you’re wrong, but to me it looks like Mitch is having a grand old time, fully liberated from even having to present the appearance of representing “the world’s greatest deliberative body” (ha!) He loves his job as high-level fixer, and if he had to do it under a “normal” GOP president, there would be so much more paperwork involved, and sops to be thrown to the Democratic party and the NYT editorial board.

    The only thing left is for Trump to smash the piñata once and for all with some kind of election “win” or enough doubt to stay in office anyway. After that, McConnell knows he will be the one making the “rules.” Granted, it may not happen that way, but I doubt see any concern from his side.

  48. PaulBC says

    kome@51 Based on every vote I have cast since I could in 1984, you’d conclude I was a vanilla Democrat. You’re entitled to conclude it’s because I “want my team to win” though to be honest, it’s kind of like rooting for Charlie Brown’s baseball team. I generally know from the outset that we’re likely to lose. It pisses people off if I observe that maybe the other team wins more because their outfielders are paying attention and not eating rice pudding out of their glove (which I swear I remember from an old Peanuts strip but I digress). Anyway, if I just wanted to be on a winning team, I would not be a Democrat.

    I have never chosen not to cast a vote because the candidate is “too progressive” nor do I prefer progressives to suffer from Stockholm syndrome. In fact, the only thing that gives me some hope are people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is both progressive and wins elections.

    I have chosen to ignore candidates who obviously will not be elected. That would include Ralph Nader in 2000. It included Bernie Sanders through most of 2015, after which (early 2016) he certainly had my attention, but I didn’t consider him a viable candidate in part because the primary game is rigged, yes but if you don’t have a plan to “unrig” it you’re still not a viable candidate. Things were a bit different in 2020 though there was just too much other crap to really turn things his way. I did vote for him in the primary and would never have voted to nominate Biden. I am also not a big Sanders fan the way I can honestly say I think AOC is incredible and I wish there were more like her. I like Al Franken too, FWIW, and I wish he could have followed Republican rules and held his senate seat.

    I can’t stand Rahm Emanuel. He’s exactly the kind of game-playing Democrat who does fuck things out for people with ideals. I like Obama, though on balance, I’m not sure what he ever really did except be a smart, classy guy in the White House (not that this is something to sneeze at). He made early mistakes by not pushing for a bigger stimulus package in 2009, let the Tea Party eat his lunch, seize state governments, and rig the census. Everything after 2010 is mostly the consequence of processes set in motion by our opponents who know how to play a long game.

    I don’t expect the above to change any minds. I am just annoyed at the oversimplified view on the left over why people like me vote a straight, mainstream Democratic ticket.

  49. unclefrogy says

    and regardless of how we got here, there is only one winner and there are 2 choices of who will become POTUS
    pick one or not you choose only one will win.
    uncle frogy

  50. stroppy says

    Kome @ 51

    “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”
    Will Rogers

    Republicans win because, as someone pointed out elsewhere, they play the long game. Expunging RINOs from the party has only contributed to their pernicious evil.

    The system eventually funnels candidates down to two and then one. But pop open the hood and the machinery is not that simple, there are countless stakeholders and pulling them all together (using an analogy) is like a year round, 24-7 combined game of multi-dimensional chess-bridge-poker-go-…-whatever. A tug of war is what you think you see if you only pay attention to the end of the process.

    There’s no one answer, but in the end a polarized electorate does make your choices pretty clear. The fact is that in a country of 300 million+ people you’re not going to get a pure outcome ever. And then trying to pretend that you can fix the system to your liking at the end of the process by pure pique, i.e., taking your ball and going home, is naive.

  51. Kagehi says

    @unclefrogy Oh, I don’t doubt that the GOP knows he is their enemy too, but they are like fictional demonologists – it doesn’t matter how many devils you have barely survived by the skin of the teeth dealing with, they keep bargaining with them, because its an easy way to power. So, yep, you are absolutely right, and I suspect more people know there are two enemies, as least here, than you give credit for. Among the rest of the country though…

  52. Kagehi says

    @stroppy The man who started everyone down this path of explaining reality to each other, again…, does seem to live up to the reputation of his name though – Vicar: Someone who spends a awful damn lot of time preaching at other people about how they are sinning and need to change their ways. Its all he ever seems to do recently when ever politics comes up.

  53. kome says


    I’m not sure why you keep insisting that I’m boiling the electoral process down to a tug-of-war, when what I am doing is trying to argue that we, as average voters (as opposed to members of the donor class), should be exerting the influence we have on the electoral process to put it more in line with what we value. I’m not sure why the suggestion that people who have progressive values should fight for them is so difficult to understand and is met with such resistance, but it is wonderfully emblematic of one of the primary reasons we have Donald Trump in the first place. It is the tactic, in the words of Dr. King, of the white moderate who is more concerned with a negative peace (an absence of tension) than a positive peace (the presence of justice).

    Also, for what it’s worth, it’s hard to take seriously your argument that we’re “not going to get a pure outcome ever” when Donald Trump is so pure in the mind’s of the majority of the Republican voter base that they act with cult-like devotion to him, some of whom have even said they trust Trump over Jesus. How come the right gets to have their purity, but the left is repeatedly told that expecting our elected representatives to, y’know, actually represent us is some utopian fantasy?

  54. stroppy says

    Kagehi @58

    True. Which reminds me, I almost wandered down that dim rabbit hole. One of the hazards of getting old I guess. Need to pay more attention.

  55. PaulBC says


    Also, for what it’s worth, it’s hard to take seriously your argument that we’re “not going to get a pure outcome ever” when Donald Trump is so pure in the mind’s of the majority of the Republican voter base that they act with cult-like devotion to him,

    Where “we” means us, the good guys. If you’re running a bigoted authoritarian candidate it’s not hard to push the buttons of a large mass of humanity with built-in brain wiring to favor in-group preference (bigotry) and adherence to hierarchy (authoritarianism). The hard part is to get enough people to imagine something better, and all these imaginative people aren’t as clear on what they want. It is not a symmetrical contest.

    I would also question how “pure” Trump is. He has some intrinsic appeal to his base, but they have to overlook obvious flaws as well. They like winning. They want to pack SCOTUS with people who will interpret the constitution their way–and if you think they are a bunch of dumb hicks, consider how dumb we have been on the left of center. We let them control the vote before the 2010 census, gerrymander the fuck out of many states, and were negligent to a timetable of SCOTUS justices potentially on the way out that they were not only aware of but had been grooming replacements for. For decades!

    The GOP does not win a “pure” contest in any sense. But it’s also true that they agree a lot more, because what they share is the very worst of human nature. “Neolibs” aren’t great, but they are driven by careerism and a love of nice op-eds about them in the NYT. So they will back down on the possibility of real victories if there is a career risk. That’s the landscape. Now you tell me how an idealistic campaign from the left can fix this. Because I don’t see it.