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September 29, 2023 12:09 am MST

Friday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.”

–Samuel Butler


15 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

    1. The Washington Post offers a fuller review of her career, accomplishments and her life.

      Throughout her years in politics, Mrs. Feinstein remained acutely aware that her course had been set by tragedy. She once told the New York Times that for years she could not bring herself to sit in the chair where Moscone had been shot, but neither could she remove it from the mayor’s office.

      “I think one of the most positive qualities any individual can have is what I call the phoenix syndrome, the mystical bird that became the symbol of rising from your own ashes,” she once remarked, reflecting on a life that had been punctuated by grief and defeat as well as triumph. “That’s the challenge of life. You’ve got to recover from your own ashes, many, many times.”

      1. As a gay man who came out in the early '80's, I have followed Di Fi's career from her elevation to the mayor's office following the murders of Harvey Milk and George Moscone, through the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the gay community's attempt to recall her for vetoing a domestic partnership ordinance (apparently she was still evolving), the attacks on her for closing the bath houses while many in my community were screaming "My Body, My Freedoms" at the top of their pneumocystis carinii-ravaged lungs (sound familiar?), her unsuccessful run for governor during which she was ironically branded a "San Francisco liberal" by Pete Wilson, her election in 1992 in the aftermath of the mistreatment of Anita Hill, and her career as a center/left senator who committed the faux pas of commending Blanche Dubois Graham on the manner in which she conducted the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearing.

        All in all, Feinstein was a good and honorable public servant who probably stayed at the party a little longer than she should have stayed.  

        RIP Senator Feinstein! 

  1. Civic Friendship from Brad DeLong.

    Instead, one of our two main political parties, the Republican Party, has become so constituted that acknowledging the other party as a civic friend would be tantamount to its own ideological bankruptcy. To regard Democrats as anything other than alien mortal enemies is to hand in one’s GOP card – and for many party professionals, one’s livelihood. It simply cannot be done.

    I date the start of this democratic decline to 1993, by which point the neoliberal (market-fundamentalist) Reagan Revolution had already failed in policy terms. In the 1994 midterm election, Newt Gingrich, then the House Minority Whip, concluded that since the Republicans could not campaign on policy successes, they would instead run on scorn and fear – of black people, “feminazis,” gays, Mexicans, professors and other clever types, and anyone who had gotten rich the wrong way or would never come to Jesus.

    In the multiracial, multi-denominational, pluralistic America of the late twentieth century, it was Gingrich who broke the democratic civic bargain of treating one’s political adversaries as fellow citizens in the expectation that they would do the same. In doing so, he secured an electoral victory for his party and the office of Speaker of the House for himself. Since then, whenever Republican activists, politicians, intellectuals, and donors have faced the choice of continuing down the Gingrich path or returning to the high road, an overwhelming majority has opted for the former.

    1. I’ve always laid the blame for the hatred from Republicans toward Democrats at Gingrich’s doorstep. Until he took the Speakership, the other party was the loyal opposition. After him, the other side of the aisle became the enemy.

      I still remember the stories of how a Republican Senator’s wife would pick Pres. Biden’s kids up from school, along with their own, and keep them until he could get there to collect them on his way home.

      1. That asshole really did change the rules of the game from disagreeing/arguing with one's adversaries to annihilating one's sworn enemy.


      1. related question – why do some work until they die and die with enough money to buy 1,000 or more places to live and still live comfortably themselves. Why have a society that allows that?

          1. A fair side question – "what if elected officials people might write to are among those who own more housing properties than they could ever hope to live in?" That was strictly ever so strictly rhetorical, of course.

            1. Look at the last three presidential nominees from the GOP …

              McCain couldn't remember how many houses he owned.

              Romney had several houses but more importantly, one in California that had a car elevator in the garage for his vehicles.

              And then, of course, there is the guy with the Fifth Avenue triplex, Bedminster golf course, Mar-A-Lago, etc., etc.

                1. He claimed that he got a small (i.e., $ 1 million) "loan" from daddy to help him start building his empire.

                  Your account, I suspect is closer to the truth.

                  The best part of the story is how, when daddy's brain turned into tapioca pudding, he offered to help manage his father's affairs while screwing his siblings out of their shares of the family fortune.



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