10 October 2020

"I don't like where this is headed..."


Evolution of the Republican party, as described by Garry Trudeau in his recent book Lewser.

17 comments:

  1. You could make a very similar cartoon about the Democrats... "Weren't you once against the surveillance state?" "You used to have a strong anti-war faction but you've been saber-rattling against Russia for years now!" "What about protecting American workers? Now you love free trade and callous refrains of 'learn to code'!"

    It's a realignment and we're in the middle of it. The individual politicians are largely just along for the ride.

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    Replies
    1. We need less "What about.....", and more ownership.

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    2. The Democratic Party didn't lie to the American people about a pandemic that has cost more than 200,000 lives. False equivalency is a logical fallacy, and it's one you're guilty of, Anon.

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    3. Florida ended all COVID-related restrictions two weeks ago and has not even suffered a spike in cases, much less hospitalizations or deaths. Blue-state governors like Newsom and Cuomo sold lockdowns as the only way to prevent mass death, even as they pursued policies like sending COVID-infected patients back to nursing homes, where it spread like wildfire. So spare me your condescending sanctimony about how illogical I'm being when all I did was point out that the mainstream policy positions of both parties are changing. If you prefer the disingenuous and destructive policies of the Democrats to the disingenuous and destructive policies of the Republicans, by all means vote Democratic, Peter! But don't pretend that your party is indistinguishable from the Dem party of fifty years, or even of fifteen years years, ago.

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    4. Anon, your comments re Florida were interesting, so I asked my cousin in south Florida what's going on. This was his reply:

      "It's hard to generalize from my own experience, but even with opening up, it doesn't seem as though most establishments are at anything close to full capacity. Our governor may say it's safe to congregate, but most people aren't doing so. We went to the beach for sunset last evening. There were a lot of people there, all socially distanced. Many looked as though they were from out of town, some were speaking foreign languages. Prior to the pandemic, most of them would have been waiting for a table at a downtown restaurant. These folks were not dressed as if they were headed out to eat. I read a newspaper article about the loosening of restrictions in which several restaurant owners said that they had no intention of using their entire capacity. One said she felt the need to do the right thing. Another said he didn't want to be known as a Covid hotspot. We've had almost no leadership from federal, state or local leadership on virus containment. Fortunately, a lot of businesses have stepped up. However, with restrictions being loosened, and seasonal folks retuning in the next one or two months, I'm afraid we'll see an upswing then."

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    5. Interesting! Thanks for the data point. Personally, I'm inclined to believe that the baseline risk to an otherwise healthy individual from covid at this point is lower than we've been led to believe, but that's my private opinion and I'm not especially interested in arguing it (Lord knows I'm sick of thinking about it at all, at this point :D ). Nevertheless, I find this news heartening! That anecdote seems to make the point that if you give people relevant information and leave them to do the right thing, in most cases they will in fact do the right thing; that's kind of the opposite assumption as the one behind an authoritarian government crackdown like the one we've seen in California, for example. I live in Washington state, so I've seen some of the deleterious social effects of heavyhanded government response firsthand. My greater point with my comments on covid, though, is that the institutional failure to respond appropriately to covid has been a pretty solidly bipartisan effort, and I think it's hard to deny that blue state governments have botched it as badly as red state governments have. There's certainly plenty of blame to spread around.

      To bring it back to the comic, it's really easy to view politics through these kinds of partisan good-guy-bad-guy blinders. I'm not really impressed with the attempt to show shifting policy battles and party lines as being a simple case of "one party has their head up their a**". To name an extreme example, it was within living memory that Strom Thurmond was one of the most prominent Democrat politicians, right? But no one would in good faith argue that his views represent any aspect of the Dems today. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about, except it's happening around us, rather than half a century ago. The politicians who used to be for one thing and who are now for another? Well, our political class is craven and most of their principles seem to boil down to "how can I personally enrich myself?"... are we surprised they'd go along with Trumpism when it looks like the short-term politically advantageous thing to do? I don't have any faith in our political class, but that doesn't necessarily imply that pivoting from "free trade" to "tariffs" is clearly a bad thing.

      Of course, maybe I'm just offended at a comic strip that wasn't funny! I can accept a dubious political point if it at least makes me laugh.

      One last thing I want to say: I've been reading this blog since... 2008? 2009? A long time ago! I'm glad to see you still going strong, and although I don't share your politics (I'd classify myself as a "Democrat turned somewhat reluctant Trump supporter") it's made me happy that you've still put my comments critical of Democrats through, and cared enough to engage me civilly. It's easy to despair that we'll never learn to coexist these days, but I'm going to take this conversation as a glimmer of hope. Cheers to you!

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    6. Your comment was phrased in civil terms ("spare me your condescending sanctimony" is so much more eloquent that the typical angry rebuttal. You do have the disadvantage of posting as "anonymous," which draws more scrutiny from me and sometimes leads to confusion and unnecessary conflict when anons reply to anons. If you want to continue signing in anonymousely, I would encourage you (and others) to sign comments with some identifying term ("Ralph in Sioux Falls" or "Crimson Tide forever" or such).

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    7. That's a fair point and an honest oversight on my part.

      - Jon in WA

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    8. Welcome Jon in WA; hope you stay upwind from the fires. And I forgive you for the Seahawks heartbreaking last-second victory over the Vikings last night.

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  2. Reminds me of:https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/12/how-did-republican-party-get-so-corrupt/578095/

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  3. "Standing up to brutal regimes"

    There's a smoking crater where Qasem Soleimani used to be that would like a word with you. Unless you think dropping off pallets of cash to state sponsors of terrorism is "Standing up to brutal regimes."

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    1. "Pallets of cash" You're talking Bush, correct?

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-usa-cash/u-s-sent-pallets-of-cash-to-baghdad-idUSN0631295120070207

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    2. Weak deflection.

      Obama was spineless when in came to Iran, and the result was dead Americans and an enriched Iranian elite.

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    3. Try again, IronHorse.

      https://www.factcheck.org/2019/03/obama-didnt-give-iran-150-billion-in-cash/

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    4. My point still stands. Obama delivered a pallet of cash to Iran that was, effectively, a ransom payment:

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-sent-cash-to-iran-as-americans-were-freed-1470181874

      I could care less if the money was "officially" theirs. Iran coordinated the use of explosively formed projectiles to kill and wound US service-members, sponsored an attack on the Embassy in Baghdad, and regularly uses terrorism to conduct their national objectives throughout the Middle East. They jail and torture their own nationals for protesting.

      They want their money back? The moral response to that is "get bent".

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    5. The issue of the money is really irrelevant and sidetracks the real problem brought about with President Obama's dealings with Iran. Our policy towards Iran, put in place by President George W. Bush, seemed to be working, imperfect though it was. The deal that President Obama made with Iran, though made with good intentions amounted to appeasement. This appeasement had consequences for the region. President Trump backed out of the deal and okayed the killing of General Qaseem Soleimani, also bringing consequences for those in the region and to the USA.

      The Atlantic has an informative piece about this.

      https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/01/obama-should-never-have-appeased-iran/604744/

      I would agree with anon that neither of our major parties seem to resemble the parties of my youth. Both have a backbone that bends to the loudest voices on either side.

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  4. Remember when Trump had the opportunity to stand up to reports of an emerging pandemic that his own advisors told him was a serious threat? He considered a trade deal with the country where the pandemic started more important.
    The result is now more than 214,000 American deaths from a disease that, just last month, Trump said "affects virtually nobody."

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