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Member since: 2001
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Dear World: Laugh at us some more, please

Dear World,

Don't think I haven't been aware of the sniggers, the sly jokes, the snide remarks about America and Americans that have been gathering steam since early on November 9th, 2016. Intermittently, of course, they change to incredulous gasps, followed by full-throated guffaws and nigh-uncontrollable belly laughs.

Yes, it's humiliating. No, I don't actually enjoy it.

Nevertheless, America merits it for allowing ourselves to be conned into condoning the brazen theft of our democracy by a cabal of ignorant, nihilistic, dick-banging clowns.

And while not all of us went gently into this choking, devastated, tempest-riven night (and indeed, we are fighting, continuing this fight and will NEVER give it up), those of us who had no part in it and continue to resist can handle a little personally-unmerited humiliation and ridicule for the sake of a greater priority: a livable planet for our grandchildren.

Although it's almost impossible to know the operational facts of our particular rake's progress in Washington, it does seem clear that until fairly recently, a final decision about the Paris Accord rested in abeyance. There was real, albeit small, hope that science, expertise, and diplomatic experience might have a chance to prevail. Of course, last week's visit to Taormina and the latest round of carefully diplomatic politesse and carefully-but-thinly-veiled snubs seems to have been the thumb on the wrong side of the scales.

The Bottomless Sinkhole of Ego Fragility, ever-sensitive to the least intimation that the boundless admiration and respect to which He Is Entitled is being withheld, was of course onto y'all in spite of all the formal protocol. The soccer ball pic didn't help, either, but I'm totally not blaming anyone for it. I'll even pretend to believe it had NOTHING to do with the weirdness in Riyadh.

Because, seriously, nothing short of the kind of bizarre all-autocrats-together grotesquerie of excess the Saudis cannily whomped together for him could ever have convinced him otherwise, especially after the extreme awkwardness of the Israel and Rome visits.

To say it bang: He believes you were laughing at him. He suspects you'll keep doing it, even while he finds it utterly incomprehensible that anyone could fail to appreciate his near-superhuman accomplishments in every conceivable area of massive-dick dominance.

And today's Samson-in-the-Temple I SHALL DESTROY YOU ALL HAHAHAHAHAAHHHH!!! stunt is the response. So much so, that he even went off-script, ignoring the teleprompter's carefully-phrased list of disingenuously spinning talking-points, to say so: "At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?"

Well, he's had the uneasy feeling that the answer is "Hell, they've been laughing at us since mid-2016 if not before," and the reptile cortex under that dead opossum has been diligently protecting him from the shameful reality that he's the focal point for much of the humor.

Today's travesty was just that: Another manifestation of the reptile cortex protecting his fragile bottomless sinkhole of low self-esteem from reality.

So, please. I beg you. We have such a small window if time remaining.

Laugh. Tell jokes. Point fingers. Let loose your best and most trenchant comedians, editorial cartoonists, humor writers, and quick wits among the punditry. A hailstorm escalating to a Category Five hurricane of ridicule of America, Americans, and the cognitively-impaired, selfish, tiny-dick goons that reflect all that's worst in us and who've been elevated so far past their level of incompetence that Laurence Peter's spinning a deep-bore tunnel to Antarctica as I write this.





Those of us with the basic maturity and intelligence to have some perception of how the hell we got here, we can take it.

If we're lucky, though, a wave of catastrophic cerebrovascular accidents, childish tantrums, and blatant incompetence might thin the herd to the point where damage control can begin.

So have at it, please. PLEASE. It's time.


Dear Senator Franken: You are a hero of American democracy.

Dear Senator Franken,

I don't live in Minnesota anymore, but I was born and raised there, and lived there long enough to understand exactly how Minnesota culture affects the expectations on public servants.

Which is not to say all Minnesota elected officials and bureaucrats are paragons of rectitude, transparency, humility, and moderately progressive values. And I would point out that while at least one of your predecessors, the infamous Norm the Weasel, was NOT born and raised in the North Star State, plenty of gormless numpties nurtured in the Land of 10,000 Lakes have been elevated to office by appealing to the stubbornly contrarian 'well, who do you think YOU are, then' streak of Minnesota character.

You, however, are on the roster that includes Paul Wellstone, Eugene McCarthy, Hubert H. Humphrey, Bruce Vento, Alexander Ramsey, Don Fraser, Floyd B. Olson, and so many more. America is lucky to have you, and we owe Minnesota a debt of gratitude for sending you to Washington.

I'm fairly sure you would say that you were "just doing your job" when you called out JeffyBeau Sessions on his Big Fat Lie during his confirmation hearing.

But the thing is, you did it. You put genuine concern for the quality of public service ahead of good-old-boy Senate traditions, and didn't go along with the 'easy ride' to a former colleague.

And the other thing is, you and your staff did the homework. You foster and uphold the standard of conscientious preparation, investigation, and inquiry, and the day of that hearing you were prepared, with the right information and the right questions. You couldn't be dismissed as a mere partisan hack shooting from the hip in an effort to grab the news cycle. (Well, you could, and were, but only by The Usual Suspects, which is a back-handed form of confirmation of the value of your work.)

The result of that seemed like a minor speedbump, at the time- JeffyBeau had to publicly recuse himself from any DOJ activity connected with the relationship between Russia and >Redacted<'s campaign.

There were a lot of us who'd have preferred to have him withdraw from consideration for the post but it has become increasingly clear that this was far too critical to the >Redacted< Administration's policy plans to be possible. Failing that, we'd have loved to see his confirmation denied. But, again, the current configuration of the Senate, combined with the good-old-boy culture of that institution, made it a forlorn hope.

Instead, he had to recuse himself.

And it's now becoming just how clearly that's put a foot in the churn the Administration was trying to use to obfuscate the whole Russia connection.

You played a big role, Senator.

And you did so because you were just doing your job, as you conceived it. A conception based on your own fundamental decency, intelligence, and respect for democracy.

It's a quiet kind of heroism, but it merits acknowledgment.

Thank you.


You Want My Applause for Firing Comey? Here's What to Do:

Dear GOPpie Lurkers/Trollbots

Let's start from the common ground we have. I agree with those who are saying:

  • Comey has definitely bungled some things. He's made poor decisions and some of them reflect very negatively on his agency.
  • In particular, he bungled reviewing how a Democratic Presidential candidate handled classified materials from her previous cabinet level service, and he did the bungle during the Presidential campaign with catastrophically injudicious timing.
  • Democrats should be (and are) scathingly critical of this particular bungle, among other things, and probably have good reason to say their confidence in Comey as FBI Director was profoundly impaired.

So we're all on the same page there. Am I weeping and planning on sending flowers and a stoutly-phrased note of support to Mr. Comey? I am not. On some level, yes, I'm glad to see him get a little comeuppance for what was either reprehensible ineptitude or inappropriate (and possibly illegal) partisanship in handling of investigations/reviews pertaining to BOTH candidates during the election.

Yes, I am. There, I said it.

Now, HAD those items upon which we share common ground been the actual, motivating force behind the decision to fire Mr. Comey, how would a competent, judicious Administration, conscious of the importance of process in buttressing the rule of law, have handled such a firing?

It is, indisputably, the privilege of a Chief Executive to fire the Director of the Bureau, even in mid-term, if deemed necessary. The key issue is not "whether" but "HOW".

They could have taken precedent from the Sessions firing. They could have begun by having private discussions with him laying out the case for the damage to the Bureau's standing, talking about requesting his resignation (the 'tacit heads-up, here it comes' meeting). Then they could have initiated private discussions with the key leadership in Congress, laying out that case again and planning an orderly transition process.

Over several weeks, with the White House communications quietly signalling that such a case is compelling, and that a transition is under discussion, they could work out the most critical concerns from both sides of the aisle. They could address possible appearances of conflicts of interest, assuring everyone that the transition plan maintains a high level of impartial attention to those concerns.

Of course, that didn't happen.

Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that the motives for firing Comey are ENTIRELY as stated above in the common ground agreement, and that there is not only no fear at all of the still-ongoing investigations into Republican Presidential campaign connections with the Russian government, but that there is no conceivable reason for such fear. So, y'all are genuinely and truly gobsmacked at all the foofooraw about Watergate and Saturday Night Massacres and Independent Investigators and WTF is Kissinger doing in the Oval Office hard on the heels of the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador!?!?!

Poor you.

Why are people so suspicious? Let's review:

  • There IS such an investigation ongoing at the FBI, and everyone knows it. Your protestations about "no there there" and "wanting it to continue and be done so we can move on" are all very well, but as long as every single thing you do can reasonably bear the appearance of attempting to obstruct or shut down said investigation, that's the construction that will be put on it. Grow up. You're in Washington. Whether you "won" or not, there's still gonna be politics.
  • Within the past couple of weeks, two important things have happened in connection with this investigation: a) Grand Jury subpoenas have been issued; and b) The guy you fired asked for more resources to conduct the investigation properly and quickly.
  • You involved the Attorney General, who had already recused himself from related procedures and investigations, in the process.

Of course you look like roaches in the midnight kitchen when the light goes on, scuttling for cover. And yeah, it's all just so unfair, yadayada... Poor y'all.

However can you redeem yourselves in the eyes of a suspicious electorate?

Here's a list:

  • Turf JeffyBeau out of the process altogether. Even though this of course had nothing to do with the Russia investigation, the fact remains that he was involved in firing the guy in charge of the investigation he recused himself from having anything to do with. Talk about bad optics. No, he may NOT suggest candidates to replace Comey. No, he may NOT be involved in interviews or discussions thereof.
  • Have ALL of Comey's records and files relating to this investigation placed under seal, NOW, and appoint a special master from the local Federal District Court (Merrick Garland, for example, would be a nice touch) to maintain them sealed until...
  • The horse is miles down the road. Don't try to slam the barn door. If you've truly got bupkis to worry about, it shouldn't matter anyway: request a bipartisan Congressional panel to nominate an Independent Special Investigator and invite the FBI, DOJ, Senate Republicans, and Senate Democrats to each appoint a Special Commission member to take over the investigation under the ISI. FUND IT. Have Comey's records turned over to them.
  • Then, finally, stop whinging about it. Stop commenting on it, tweeting about it, sniping at it. If y'all are asked to testify, do so, with quiet dignity and accuracy.

Give it a try. If you really want to put this to bed, I can't guarantee it'll work but it's the best chance you have to wrest control of the narrative back, spike the guns of the vile, partisanship-motivated character assassins arrayed against you, and reveal the Fake News for what it is.

Worth a try, nyet?


P.S. Major bonus points for releasing the tax returns.

I'm Disappointed in My Party Leadership... Again...

"Yo, Ladies... Hang on Under that Bus, There... We'll Stand up for Your Rights Over Your Own Bodies....... Eventually."

No, sorry, Nancy.

Just letting you know that I'm one of those annoying women who shares the belief that denying women a fundamental human right is, like, a hard line.

In 1992, our Party Platform acknowledged that reproductive choice was a fundamental right, and that ALL women's health care costs should receive the same status with respect to government programs and funding for services. All. As in, yes, if a woman on Medicaid wants to terminate a pregnancy, her Medicaid should cover the cost of doing so in a safe, fully-equipped medical facility.

Of course, we never actually delivered on that.

And we've done a buttload of backpedaling on that since 1992. When some kind of compromise, or concession, is needed, to achieve some kind of "greater good," guess what went under the bus.

Time, after time, after time.

Suppose we backpedal on Jim Crow laws being okay in the South, next time.

Or maybe we go ahead and allow some states to invalidate certain marriages b/c they think they're icky.

You know, just to get over it and move on.

Maybe it should be okay for a candidate to run under our banner even though they're cool with state legislatures implementing racist vote suppression laws, because, you know... fraud!

Maybe it should be cool for someone who loudly sez maybe there isn't really any need to get all worked up about anthropogenic climate change to run as a Dem.

Hey, how about we go ahead and endorse candidates who think it's just peachy-cool for cops to get a few weeks' paid suspension at most for killing brown people? Because Blue Lives REALLY Matter.

And when all the people who are pissed off about that bullshit have joined us under the bus, there will be enough of us under here to STAND THE FUCK UP, and roll that sucker over a cliff.

So think about it, Nancy.

I'm not real happy with you and your enablers right now. Don't you have some real work to do? Like organizing the resistance in Congress?


A dinner conversation that's still bothering me.

We were dining out with friends tonight. One of them has been paying attention to media coverage focused on the "why" of white, low-income people who voted for >redacted<.

She told the story of a Louisiana >redacted< voter who was spending time in Yerp, where they don't have "real" news, like, yanno, Faux. And most of what they have is in furrin' language, so her only choice for teevee news was, apparently, the Yerpeen CNN service.

The >redacted< voter had just never seen anything like it. That Christiane Amanpour woman was doing a segment on the famine in Africa. She had a little African kid, rake-skinny, bloat-bellied, dull-eyed, sitting next to her while she recounted the terrible conditions in the famine zones and how many Africans were affected.

The >redacted< voter's take on this?

That Christiane Amanpour was trying to make HER, the >redacted< voter, FEEL GUILTY about the famine. Like the famine was somehow on HER, the >redacted< voter, and it was somehow up to HER, the >redacted< voter, to feel bad and do something about it, with HER hard-earned money that she needed to help HER family and HER relatives who were terribly victimized by the bad unfair system in America that only helps undeserving welfare people and not people like her and her family.

And this friend, the one who was recounting this to me, said that the coverage she'd seen of people like this woman, and the terrible economic conditions in Louisiana, and their 'unique' culture, and the generational poverty they struggle with, and the devastation of their environment and everything, well... it doesn't EXCUSE their woolhat assholery, but it kinda made it, yanno, understandable.

And that just pushed my button.

"Look," I said, "my Dad's family were 'Cadian. Sure, Minnesota French Canuck, but that's 'Cadian, we had oyster stew for Christmas dinner and frog leg fries for 4th of July, and my Dad's Gran'mere spoke 'Becoise more than English. Don't tell me it's the culture.

And we were poor. After he got out of the Marines my Dad had a hard time holding a good job. We scraped. My Mom had to work, in an era when women didn't do that much.

We wore hand-me-downs. We had "cowboy hash" for dinner all too often (Mom used to call leftovers baked in a casserole with lima beans and tomato soup "cowboy hash" to get us to eat it.) We got socks and coloring books for Christmas some years, not the cool toys. We brought sack lunches of baloney or peanut butter, or went home to eat canned soup for lunch.

But here's the thing. Each one of us kids was given a piggy bank. And there was a bigger piggy bank on the sideboard. The 'rents put their spare change in that one. We were supposed to put at least a nickel from every allowance in ours, plus "found" pennies and any other money we could.

And a couple of times a year, we'd empty those piggy banks, and send the money to help kids who were... wait for it... yep, starving in Africa.

So, no. It's not understandable to me."

And it's still not.

But it makes me wonder: When did that stuff change? And how? At what level, did it stop being important for good parents to teach their kids about compassion, empathy, and connection with other parts of the world?



That Awkward Moment When You Realize YOU are Now the "Conservative."

Here's the basic definition via Merriam Webster, excluding the ones about being a member of the British Conservative Party or being a Conservative Jew:

a : tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : traditional conservative policies
b : marked by moderation or caution a conservative estimate
c : marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners a conservative suit a conservative architectural style

I sat staring at that, and my world, my identity went fluid, morphing, disorienting me profoundly.

I want to conserve the institutions of a representative democratic government-- the right of a President, for example, to appoint a Supreme Court justice, even in the final year of their term.

And the established institution of an independent Civil Service that functions, not at the whim of patronage or loyalty to a party, but based on competence, skill, and dedication to impartial service under established Federal laws and regulations.

I want to conserve the institutional rights of workers to organize, the official rights of LGBTQ individuals to marry, the established rights of women to make decisions over their own bodies and access safe and legal abortion as needed.

I want to conserve the institution of municipalities that may declare themselves sanctuaries for immigrants and refuguees, the institution of states' rights to refuse to permit fracking, the institution of school districts providing meals to hungry children and in-school health clinics to their students.

I want to conserve the reputation of America as a nation that strives after equity as well as justice, that is willing to learn from our mistakes, and that respects international law and the efforts of nations to settle differences through negotiation rather than warfare.

I want to conserve the institution of law and justice administered not by private for-profit contractors but by dedicated independent civil service employees under the scrutiny of elected officials and an independent judiciary.

I want to conserve the institutions long-established to promote citizens' health and well-being through public investment in environmental protection and public health.

I want to conserve the established role of government in regulating trade, markets, and currency in order to prevent catastrophic economic disruption.

I want to conserve the expectation that those elected to the highest offices and gravest, most consequential duties of governance will accept the responsibility to enact those offices and duties with restraint, equity, gravitas, and respect even for those whose opinions and ideologies differ from theirs.

I have not abandoned the mission of progressive change. I still want universal health care, and an economy built on ensuring the broadest possible distribution of both benefits and opportunities. I still value the greatest possible access to quality education, and I'm still committed to the government's role in ensuring a livable planet for our grandchildren. I still believe in all of those progressive doctrines that look to a better future.

And I know that some of those things can't necessarily be accomplished only by "building on" what is already established. Some changes will be, must be, more profound.

But I also know that in the face of an existential threat to our Republic and its people, change that is to endure and provide long-term benefits must be achieved by people working with a sense of possibility, building on hope, from a positive conviction of shared good. Not, as we are seeing now, by the heedless, smash-it-all-up iconoclasm of DickBro nihilistic greed.

And so it becomes imperative to focus on conserving the bedrock institutions we've already fought to establish over America's long march of history and justice. It becomes imperative to conserve the wisdom that has come with making the most hideous and costly errors, and learning from them. It becomes imperative to focus on conserving the core values of equity and justice, and meeting threats not with fear and hate, but with courage, love, and humility.

Guess that makes me the real conservative.

Who ever would have imagined?


Why I Want [Redacted] to Finish a Full Term Through 2020

Here's why; it's simple.

There is NO, repeat NO established Constitutional or legal method for bypassing the line of succession established by the Constitution itself, and the Presidential Succession Act which was last amended in 1947. Read up on it, it's all very interesting. But the point is, there is a line of succession, it's written into law, and there is no way to bypass it.

So, if >>Redacted<< gets his ass impeached prior to January of 2021, here's what happens:

Pence becomes President. Pence scares me even more than >>Redacted<< because Pence KNOWS what he wants: The Rapture, and he KNOWS how to make it happen.

Okay, let's say we find Pence's hand up the Matryushka dolly too, and he's out. Here's what happens:

Paul Ryan becomes President. You want that? Srsly? Because I don't. OK, let's say he's out for some reason, probably involving orange jumpsuits. Then what happens?

Orrin Hatch becomes President. Are you cool with that? You don't know Orrin very well, do you? Alrighty, let's say he croaks before being sworn in. Could happen, he's a mean old cuss. Who's next?

Rex Tillerson becomes President. Fer realz. And may anything divine that happens to have a sense of mercy protect us. Let's say Rex decides he just wouldn't have enough time to spend with his family, and he passes. Who do we get?

Steve Mnuchin. No comment.

And then we'd get James "Mad Dog" Mattis. Or (in definitely descending order) JeffyBeau Sessions, or Ryan Zinke.

Now, if ANY of these individuals succeeded >>Redacted<< they would have the option of nominating a Veeper of their own, just as Ford nominated.... anyone remember? Anyone?

Nelson Rockefeller, that red-hot flaming radical leftist socialist liberal.

Well, by today's GOP standards, anyway.

Any odds on whether one of these pricks would nominate someone who's already on the Administrative staff? Ivanka? Bannon? Priebus?

Or even one of the nutjobs from the HFC?

Or someone else Uncle Vladdy suggests?

So, I don't see ANY good paths, post->>Redacted<<-removal.

I want his bloated cheesy posterior glued to that chair behind the Resolute desk for FOUR WHOLE YEARS, suffering humiliations galore.

While Americans vote out GOP state legislatures, and turn as many Gooberships as possible over to Democrats.

While Senate Democrats form a solid bloc devoted to preventing as much damage as possible.

While the GOP eats itself in a bloody, messy, terrifying spectacle.

While America elects a Democratic House Majority in 2018, with the mandate of fixing campaign financing, fixing electoral gerrymandering, and fixing voter suppression.

While the Democratic Party listens to voters and comes up with a strategy to unify behind a strong candidate for the 2020 election.

So, no.

I'm not in favor of impeachment and removal.

And that's why.


Dear JeffyBeau: Where's the rest of it?

Our distinguished Attorney General and laid-off Keebler Elf, The Hon. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, hereinafter "JeffyBeau," for brevity, Got Real Tough on America's cities today.

It's all about Enforcing the LAW, doncha know.

To make Americans SAFE.

From Terrible, Horrible, Awful, Violent People.

And to be sure that America's Cities know it's their JOB to keep people safe, JeffyBeau sez this:

"Y'all ENFORCE the laws, and y'all COOPERATE with Federal Law Enforcement to keep folks safe, or NO MORE DOJ GRANT SUGAR FOR YOU!"

Oh, wait.

Just a minute, that's not *precisely* what he said.

Let's say, he made a good START on saying that.

But it was way, way more limited.

He didn't include a few things.

Like, um... racially or religiously motivated hate crimes covered by Federal statutes.

Or, um... violations of the Federal Violence Against Women Act.

Or, hmmmm, lessee... not even various RICO-related crimes that involve violence tied to organized crime and gangs.

So apparently, the only kind of Terrible, Horrible, Awful, Violent People JeffyBeau is concerned about are the Bad Hombres that commit a teeny-tiny minority of violent crimes in America's Cities.

But that teeny-tiny minority is enough to cut off their DOJ Grant largesse. And maybe even claw back previous crime-fighting money from the DOJ.

JeffyBeau, honey, do y'all mind a little friendly advice?

Just sayin' here... You are the folksy lawyer-type and all, and I'm merely one of those Democrat Lefty Libtard Obstructionist Observers, but all the same, here's how it 'pears to me:

Remember the grounds on which various Federal Court Judges enjoined against enforcement of the Muslim Ban 1.0 and the New Improved Muslim Ban 2.0?

That they picked on a particular class of people? Denying due process based on factors that could just possibly be construed as discriminatory?

Well, JeffyBeau darlin'... I can pretty much GUARANTEE you that right now, even as I'm typing this, there are some mighty slick, well-funded attorneys, on retainer for some of America's biggest cities, putting together a helluva case to show how, if DOJ is going to say it's okay to pull out the sugar for them not co-operating with ICE, y'all better be ready to put the same kind of muscle behind cooperation with Federal enforcement of ALL KINDS of violent crime related to Federal Statutes.

Including, like, the far more common kinds, like, you know: Violence against women. Hate Crimes. Stuff like that.

Of course, to prove you're serious about all that, the DOJ better show a proportional enthusiasm for getting local law enforcement cooperation in pursuing THOSE nasty, bad, violent criminals.

Of which, there are a WHOLE LOT MORE.

Numerically speaking, as it were. And proportionally, too.

So, JeffyBeau, when do we get the rest of it?

I'm waiting.... ::taps foot::

::looks at watch::



If You Can't Be a Good Example, You May Be an Awful Warning...

What a delicious, delightful, de-lovely day it has been (with thanks to Cole Porter)!

Watching >>Redacted<< and Paul Ryan simultaneously flopsplaining the AHCA fail from opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue was a much-appreciated moment of fulfilling schadenfreude for so many of us, and surely there will be many, many more.

In fact, if these three contributions to the Great AHCA Autopsy have any validity (and I suspect they have considerable) the hits will just keep on coming:

Republicans Land a Punch on Health Care, to Their Own Face - NYT

Inside the GOP's Health Care Debacle - Politico

9 Strategic Mistakes President >>Redacted<< and Republicans Made on Health Care - Time.com

All three articles offer some interesting and unique analysis, but they also have one strong analytical point in common, which is simply that for all the bill's manifold flaws, and for all the current Administration's bumbling ineptitude, and for all Ryan's unpopularity and weaselly manipulations, the thing that really saved Americans from losing their health insurance and access to care was the House Freedom Caucus:

"Since the Tea Party wave of 2010 that swept House Republicans into power, a raucous, intransigent and loosely aligned group of lawmakers — most from heavily Republican districts — have usually ended up landing a punch to their own party’s face." - Jennifer Steinhauer, NYT

"But by and large, Trump's first attempt to corral the Republican-controlled Congress—and particularly the Freedom Caucus, a rambunctious, ideologically charged collection of GOP legislators who have long refused to fall in line behind the party's leadership—failed miserably." - Tim Alberta, Politico

"Freedom Caucus members were goaded on... The Freedom Caucus had notched one victory. It was time for another. And another. And another. But they were not officially signing on as supporters, and every shift rightward made it more difficult for lawmakers from swing districts or from moderate ideological backgrounds to acquiesce." Philip Elliot, Time.com

Paul Ryan's flopsplaination this afternoon contained a rare moment of honesty:

"Ryan said he was aware of the problem during a 10-minute session with reporters where he accepted blame for the failure. He repeatedly said his caucus was used to functioning as "an opposition party" looking to move into a governing one. “We weren’t just quite there today. We will get there,” Ryan said." - Time.com

Give the devil his due- as Speaker, it's a Party Leader's privilege to give the diagnosis and use the royal "we" in copping to the flaws that accompany it. But I'm betting that he was looking at HFC members when he delivered that line. Or if not looking at them, silently making a bitter roll call.

Of course, it's easy enough to look at the banner carriers of Conservative Ideological Purity as only half of the GOP's problem. At some point during the wild ride, I carried away a journalist's observation that "Ryan's only got two problems: Republican moderates and the Freedom Caucus."

And I thought to myself, "Is there a middle ground between GOPpies who can be reasonably identified as "moderates" (mostly pragmatists from swing districts, I suspect, rather than true ideological moderates,) and the Freedom Caucus? And if so, how big is it?"

Either not big enough, or not assertive enough, to pull the outliers from the middle and the far right back into the fold when the chips are down and the politics really matter. Given something better to work with in terms of policy (these three and many more articles have pointed out that the bill itself offered woefully inadequate policy foundations for the scope and impact to which it aspired) the occupants of such a theoretical middle ground might have been able to pull in enough support. But when politics is all they got, the GOP apparently has no remaining center of gravity.

Hopefully that is the key difference we can rely upon, when the GOP has finally gnawed itself into oblivion and the Democrats are given another chance at Legislative control in either House. We have our own ideological purists whose lessons learned from painful time in the wilderness may well be very similar to the Tea Party-inspired HFC.

When that happens, it will be incumbent on the Democrats in our middle ground between the moderate centrists and whatever we're calling our ideological banner carriers (be it "far left" or "real progressive" or any other form of True Scotsman) to exercise our Party's clear superiority in crafting solid policy to underpin politically fraught legislation. And then to act as a strong center of gravity to bring in enough support.

It will help enormously if Democratic voters study the Awful Warning provided so vividly these past eighteen days.


Watching [Redacted] and Ryan simultaneously flopsplaining AHCA: Priceless.

Short summary:

>>Redacted<<: "Democrats' fault. What AHCA? TAX REFORM! BIGLY YUGE TAX REFORM!!!"

Ryan: "Governing is HARD."

That is all.

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