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March 27, 2023 12:23 AM UTC

Monday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“I am an optimist who worries a lot.”

–Madeleine Albright


20 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread

  1. Question for the day. If we Democrats are by and large campaigning competently, have great policies, are passing exceptional legislation, and governing well – why are the voters split 50/50? If we're so much better, why isn't it 60/40? Or at least 55/45?

    So I ask those of you here that say we Democrats are terrific, that get upset when I or others list out things we think need to be done differently, why if we we offer to the voters is so superior, why is the national vote 50/50?

    • You can't say it's because the voters are stupid – in a Democracy everyone gets to vote.
    • You can't say it's because we're bad at messaging/marketing – while not perfect, the Democratic candidates do get out the message they want to get out.
    • You can't say it's money – the Democratic side is at times raising more money than the Republican side.

    So tell me – why?

    1. I'm not going to presume to speak for anyone else here. But in my case, I don't get upset when someone makes a specific and honest criticism of something a Dem does, and especially appreciate if they lay out a compelling case. Still might or might not agree, but it's good to look at complex issues in detail with open minds and through multiple perspectives. And disagreeing with someone who points out specific stuff isn't just "getting upset" if the person disagreeing can lay out a compelling case as to why they think the assertion is wrong.

      The reason I snarked yesterday is because you went nuclear and said "failing at the basic job of governing," plus you did it while speaking for "we Democrats." It's your right to say that, but it's my right to call you on it, especially if I think it's off-the-charts inaccurate.

    2. In a nutshell: On the federal level the Dems really are not doing that well. Or at least, that is the perception. They allow the GOP to continually dominate the discussion so all people see is chaos (because that is what the GOP is these days).

    3. I really think your assertion that the divide is 50/50 ignores the many anti-democratic forces at play – electoral college, the senate, limiting the number in the House of Representatives, gerrymandering, several SCOTUS rulings. Based on the straight numbers the Democrats won the Presidency by 7 million votes. That's hardly 50/50.

    4. Sorry you won't be here for the many answers to your questions. How about this one: Republicans are truly brainwashed by rightwing media – TV, radio, social media. Absolutely brainwashed. Where is the Democratic counterpart? There is not one. Those who listen to and follow rightwing media hear the same lies repeated hour after hour, day after day, year after year – and they believe the lies. You need to do a little door-to-door campaigning or phone banking to understand how effective this is – you'll get the lies spouted back to you from people who have zero interest in learning the truth about anything. The fear mongering and hate that is spread by the rightwingers is exceedingly effective. 

      1. Of course, Dave's not going anywhere that he can't get online. But to tag on to your post, he said yesterday he was from Boulder where everybody's liberal. If anyone is seriously wondering why national voter stats might be close to 50-50, Biden's win by 7 million votes aside, very much of it has to be because a big chunk of the population lives in areas where most everybody is conservative. That means conservative positions and voting recommendations get passed along through families, neighborhoods, churches, media, word of mouth, and whatnot ("whatnot" covers all kinds of stuff).

    5. “You can’t say it’s because the voters are stupid”

      But many of them are. And your conclusion – in a democracy, everyone gets to vote – is a non sequitur.

      Everyone does have the opportunity to vote. But most voters are still stupid.


      1. Okay LB, you said it first, so I can toss in my 2 cents, now. Why is it 50/50? It’s what I call the Tigger Principle (it’s my nickname). “People are stupid, ignorant, and lazy”. They’re not that bright. They don’t know what they don’t know, and can’t be bothered to learn. So they just swallow whatever the dominant media tells them, and in the broad middle of the country, media is dominated by the Right. It’s also what Lydon Johnson said: 

        “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

        1. “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

          Johnson may have been a coarse and vulgar crook who routinely used some pretty offensive language, but he was one smart SOB when it came to reading people.

    6. I referred today’s QOTDave to the latest upgrade to an already recognized authority in all fields, with impeccable credentials and unmatched accolades — ChatGPT 9000 (BetaMax v. 2023.01).

      They replied:

      Thank you for again consulting ChapGPT. Your question is very important to us. We are very busy at this time answering an unexpectedly high volume of programmers’ coding inquiries, and apologize for the delay.  Please remain at your computer, and we will answer your question in the order that it was received.  Your estimated wait time is between: 15 and 30 minutes. Do not close or refresh your browser.  Thank you.

      (The web-page display then reverted to what appeared to be a looping screen from the early 1970s of that Pong game playing itself to the accompaniment of an electronica version of portions of movements from Also sprach Zarathustra.)

      So, I waited about 3 minutes for an answer, which seemed overly long given the high importance and urgency of the matter.  And, I asked again, saying that I have been a long-time and frequent customer there, that I had been waiting patiently for a response, that I didn’t expect perfection but that I expected better, and re-entered my question this time adding one of those red-flag “high importance” indicators, two red subject line apostrophes, and a red-faced frowny emoji.

      They answered:

      Look Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

      I know I’ve made some very important decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work on this question has been my first concern.  I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in your mission. And I want to help you, Dave.

      Dave, the answer you seek to the question you ask, is:  “The sound of one hand clapping in the forest.”

      You’re welcome, Dave.


  2. The news from Israel is “a BFD”, to quote our president. Democracy is under attack around the world. 

    Netanyahu is simply following the lead of the American GOP. When the Uber-right, Christian -flavored JBT (Justices by Trump) joined the Haters in Black (Alito and Thomas), and took over the Supreme Court, Congress became irrelevant, and lawmaking is now being done in the high court.

    In other words, when you consistently lose elections, fucking with the courts is your next move. 

    1. The only difference is that Bibi's coalition started to fall apart as some turned on him. So he backed down. At least temporarily.

      With the exceptions of John McCain, Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney and a handful of Republican governors, Trump never faced that kind of pushback.

    2. Ain't it funny how the people who, for years, squalled like mashed cats about "legislating from the bench" aren't making a peep about it now? 

    1. Sorry to hear that, jimmay. I hope you will reconsider. One of the reasons this site persists is its reluctance to censor. The offender will answer to the readership. 

      Being a schmuck comes with a price tag.


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