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July 03, 2024 08:05 AM UTC

Wednesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr.


28 thoughts on “Wednesday Open Thread

  1. Cold Civil War Remains The Best Analogy For America Today. David Kurtz at TPM.

    Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts, who has hauled the venerable think tank deep into MAGA land, hailed the Supreme Court’s presidential immunity decision using language that is barely veiled authoritarianism: “[W]e are in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be.”

    Don’t make us hurt you, remains a recurring theme of Trumpism’s cycle of abuse.

    Meanwhile, The Guardian has more on the preparation of the blacklist of government workers the Heritage Foundation is helping to fund.

    Also, the Hyenas are circling:

    WSJ: “The increasing likelihood of a second Trump administration has helped spark a steep selloff in U.S. government bonds, with investors betting policies including tax cuts could drive up deficits and inflation.”

  2. Perfidious Albion: British Elections July 4. Quinn Norton at EmptyWheel. 

    This is an eloquent and hilarious history of the Tory rule over the past 14 years. Scroll down to the kitty picture. Here are a couple of samples. Worth reading the whole thing.

    The Conservative Party, also know as the Tories, has been in power for 14 years. It will almost certainly be wiped out at the polls, possibly even out of meaningful existence, though probably not. Modern democratic Britain is a conservative Tory country. They spent nearly 60 years in power in the 20th century, and one of the longest lasting Labour PMs, Tony Blair, basically got the job by being a Tory in all but name. Britain hates the Tories because they continually crash the country into a wall, the same wall their faces are currently planted in now. But Brits love the Tories because Tories tell them that Britain is the best, and they shouldn’t feel bad about the British Empire, and they can go it alone, because they’re made of sterner stuff, and meant to be the best rich white people that rich white people can be, and like Lucy with the damn football, the Brits fall for it every damn time.

    Homelessness is becoming common, and young people despair of ever owning a house even as their rents balloon. The country is at least 1.2 million houses behind what it needs.

    House building hasn’t kept up with population. One in every 26 houses needed by British families… doesn’t exist. This drives house prices and rents up, but even worse, there’s just no way to shelter people if there’s no shelter. There are many reasons a particular person might be the one that become homeless, but homelessness in the UK itself is simply math. The question is not why people become homeless, we know why. It’s which ones are left standing when the music stops.

    1. It certainly didn't hurt Labour's chances when Keir Starmer, aping his mentor, Tony Blair, detoxified the Labour Party after it took its little walk on the wild side with Jeremy Corbin in 2019.

    2. The best outcome for the UK would be a Labour majority and the Liberal Democrats in the opposition instead of the Tories.  Much online chatter about strategic voting in the UK to relegate the Tories to a third place finish.  

      1. For sure! And it looks like it may happen.

        The Conservative and the Lib Dems are each in the 70 to 75 seat range according to the most optimistic for the Lib Dem, and the most pessimistic for the Tory polling numbers. 

        Of course, there is always that possibility that with enough of the xenophobe vote peeling away from the Conservative Party, Nigel Farage's Reform Party can edge its way into third place behind the Lib Dems but ahead of the Tories. 

        Now that would be a memorable moment akin to that time when Tom Tancredo brought the Constitution Party into second place in Colorado's 2010 gubernatorial race.

        1. Nigel Farage claimed the NHS would be paid $ 350 million pounds a week if Brexit was passed. That was of course a complete lie. And now Brits are listening to this asshole again. We’re not the only dullards with short attention spans. 

          1. He did say that indeed. And you're right, we aren't the only dullards with short attention spans. We brought that over from the mother country in the 1700's.

  3. The only way to save America as we know it is with Democratic majorities in Congress.

    The only way to hold a President accountable for their actions is a Congress that's willing to act. The Supreme Court has ensured that the courts won't do it. Republicans have shown repeatedly that they have no intention of enforcing limits on Trump's behavior. Meanwhile Democrats are willing to hold Biden accountable for a bad debate performance.

    Only Democrats are willing to limit what a President can do.

    1. Let's secure what we can – the House of Representatives. 

      The Senate is too far of a reach but the House is still winnable.

      Right now, the House will stay Republicans. There are three or four seats in NY which will go red to blue, and three or four seats in NC which will go blue to red.

      There are a handful of Republicans in CA who represent districts Biden won in 2020 but which Biden will probably lose this time around. They managed to survive in 2022 (Michael Garcia, John Duarte, David Valadao) and will probably survive this year, too.

      Despite his attempt to distance himself from Biden, Adam Frisch will probably not be able to overcome the Bread Sandwich who is simply a younger, more alert version of Scott Tipton. CO's delegation should remain 5 to 3 in favor of the Dems.

      But if the DCCC is strategic and ruthless in selecting, targeting and funding winnable districts, there still could be a Democratic House.

      As for the Senate, best case scenario is 50/50 split with Vice President Vance or Youngkin casting the tie-breaking votes. (Yes, I think that if Trump thinks that VA is in play, he picks Youngkin who also wins him some enthusiasm from the establishment GOP.) 

      Here's an idea:  with a 50/50 split Senate, Angus King and Lisa Murkowski form the Centrist Party which leaves the Senate split 48 Dems plus Bernie, 49 Republicans, and two Centrists. It might make it little more challenging when Trump tries to appointment replacements for Thomas and Alito from Leonard Leo's candidate list next year.

      1. First things first … if Senate Democrats do incredibly well, WV would be the only loss, so there will be a 50 to 48+2 tie, broken by whoever is the VP.  If Democrats lose the Presidency, I have a hard time seeing both Brown and Tester winning their races, so it becomes (at best) 51 to 47+2. 

        Next, who gets to be the Republican Senate leader? THAT choice is reason for Murkowski to stay in the Republican conference and for King to consider announcing he is joining that conference. If Republicans have a majority and seems possible to leverage a moderate as Leader, I could even see some Democrat biting the bullet and switching parties..


  4. This thread is a good read (not that anyone here but our favorite little troll needs any reminding…)

      1. I don't care if the Senate were to continue to represent "states" as long as seats were apportioned based on the population of each of those "states."  In other words, a miniature version of the House.

        I wouldn't even object to indirect elections (by the state legislatures) coming back as long as the Senate seats were apportioned based on population. With the exception of Wisconsin, most of the legislatures are controlled by the party that wins the state's electoral votes.

        And while Wyoming and Alaska would cry about no longer being on par with California, Texas will be happy to know that it no longer enjoys the same representation as Vermont or Delaware.

        But does anyone see any way in which any of this changes?

  5. American Presidency modeled on 18th C Monarchy. Josh Marshall at TPM

    The American presidency is modeled off 18th century kingship. It is in key ways a relic of 18th century monarchy. Of course, the new Americans were trying to move away from monarchy. But when they felt the need to create a new and more powerful national government and chief executive, monarchy was the only model they knew. So they based it very much on that model and then fenced it in with various limitations. It’s elective for fixed terms. The occupant of the office can be overruled in various ways. They can even be removed from office through a specific quasi-legislative/quasi-judicial process. But the presidency’s DNA is still very much that of 18th century monarchy. That makes the office very different than the 19th and 20th century model of the Westminster prime ministership. 

    There’s nothing the architects of the American republic were more focused on or fearful of than the accumulation of too much power in any one person’s hands. The idea they ever would have imagined the kind of immunity and impunity the Supreme Court just corruptly granted in their name is simply absurd.

    1. ROFLMAO!!!  

      (And here I figured Dean Phillips would re-enter the race. What about the dude who won those 3 delegates in American Samoa?)

  6. I think I'll get out in front of the predictable tweet coming from Cadet Bone Spurs tomorrow wishing a "Happy Independence Day….even to the leftists and losers who want to destroy this great nation Monarchy!!"

    "A very happy 4th to all you who didn't plead the 5th about the 6th!" 

    1. I'm not certain what would constitute "handled correctly" — and I'm uncertain a Biden withdrawal would mean all possible candidates would be willing to say "don't pick me."

      Historically, LBJ's dropping out of the race but remaining as President didn't work out well. An open competition between dissident McCarthy, VP Humphrey, and apparent heir to Camelot Kennedy didn't develop party unity.  Establishment Democrats who pushed Humphrey-Muskie weren't able to convince young people and leftists to whole-heartedly back the ticket, Previously defeated Nixon came back and won a convincing victory in the Electoral College.  This year, without a credible 3rd party bid equivalent to Wallace, a Republican EC win would look even more like a landslide.

      So, do you think Biden saying "I shouldn't be a candidate but I should be President until January" is going to be a message of "all out opposition to Trump"?? Or will he need to resign and turn things over to Harris?

  7. Barring a catastrophic medical event, Biden will be the nominee. Get over it.  He will. He's a resilient man. 

    If he should decide  not to run, Veep Harris is the  obvious choice to replace him. 

    Concern trolls are clutching pearls over all those other racists and misogynists who won't vote for Harris- but her chamces of beating Trump are at least as good as Biden’s.  

    They haven't really let Harris show her strengths, but she is a compelling speaker who can work a crowd

    Try passing over a qualified woman of color as a candidate, and see how well that plays with the most faithful and energizd Democrats : black women. 


    1. And while the NYTimes and other pundits play with their shiny new toy, obsessing on Biden, what should be subject of ongoing reporting and punditry is the matter of why a seeming plurality of voters are planning to vote in favor of Trump despite his corruption, venality and shocking unfitness for office.  His record from his prior 4 years in office deserves front page news treatment in bold print every day.  It should be re-examined in light of how it predicts what he will do to our economy, the world economy, our freedoms, our security, the likelihood of destabilizing our allies, strengthening our enemies, igniting inflation, exploding the deficit, etc.  Quite honestly, I consider the pundits and reporters chasing only Biden as useful idiots and derelict in their duty to report the dangers of a new Trump administration.  Unbalanced, hysterical punditry that serves to provide comfort and cover to Trump is a looming tragedy for us and the world.

    2. "Barring a catastrophic medical event, Biden will be the nominee"

      That catastrophic medical event already occurred. It's called senility. But we only noticed it last Thursday because of the extraordinary efforts of Anita Dunn and Jill Biden (Colonel House and Edith Gault Wilson, respectively, in an earlier White House) in keeping it under raps.

      At any rate, I agree that Biden will be the nominee unless he voluntarily withdraws from the race. There is no way anyone can push him out.

      But if he really means what he says about Trump being the existential threat YADDA YADDA YADDA that we keep hearing, I would think that he would look at the polling numbers and see the writing on the wall.

      Who to replace him? An open convention. Nothing else would work.

      Kamala could and should run. So should Elizabeth Warren. Gavin Newsom. Gretchen Whitmer. Wes Moore. And personal preference, Michelle Obama. 

      And if Kamala is the great orator you claim she is, the delegates will be swept away and nominate her.

      But if Biden were to try to hand it off to Harris, it would be about as successful as LBJ's delivery of the nomination to Hubert Humphrey. (Ironic, it will be happening in Chicago, too!)

      Of course, Pomposa, you would label anyone trying to pass over "a woman of color" as a racist and/or misogynist.

      But there is another reason why folks might be reluctant to sign on with Harris. She is not taken seriously.

      She didn't have the staying power to remain in the race four years ago through Iowa. If stamina is a metric, Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigeig and Amy Klobuchar each has more of a claim to the nomination than Harris.

      She's had one serious (i.e., national security-related) assignment as VEEP:  dealing with border. Need I say more?

      And she polls about as poorly as Biden was before his debate performance.

      The only real selling point for nominating her is that she could probably access the funds raised to date by the Biden-Harris campaign without too much litigation.

      But I'm not completely insensitive to the hard left's need to check off the boxes when it comes to identity politics. That's why my preference – Michelle Obama – makes so much sense. She's a two-fer. But she's a two-fer who could actually beat Trump and deliver the House of Representatives to the Dems.


      1. Who to replace him? An open convention. Nothing else would work.

        Yeah, that "open convention" would need to consider the difficulty of some delegates being "pledged" and held to the vote by state laws.  And then, there would need to be consideration of what will happen to the "Biden-Harris" campaign contributions. 

        If neither Biden nor Harris is the nominee, Roberts said “the campaign would be required to refund contributions designated for the general election.” Other experts were less certain on this distinction.

        If a candidate other than Biden or Harris is at the top of the Democratic ticket, their campaign would be starting from scratch.

        At the very least, LOTS of uncertainty. 

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