Saturday, January 28, 2017


A Report From Inside the Bubble

This piece from in The Week is rich, target rich. I was sucked in by the headline: There Will be Bloodletting in the Democratic Party; but it's not about a figurative civil war among the factions of the Democrat Party, it's about a figurative war by the Democrats against the horrible, horrible, no good Republicans. Earth to Ryan Cooper, that's been going on for some time now, you just choose to ignore it. I can find no information about Mr. Cooper. Where he's from, where he went to school, etc, are kind of a mystery. I do know he's in his early 30s. It's not mystery he's a lefty with the normal lefty blinders on. Target rich. Here we go. Big opening.

For many years, there has been a marked divergence in behavior between Republican and Democratic base voters. Broadly speaking, liberals want compromise, and conservatives don't.

Right. I see it a little differently. The Republicans, while in the minority, have been pretty ineffectual but at least tried sometimes to stop what they saw as horrible policy and legislation. The Democrats generally don't compromise at all unless they absolutely have to. And then their idea of compromise is the Republicans totally capitulating to their demands. They want lefty policy and legislation and nothing else. What was the vote count for the ACA, Obamacare, like? Oh that's right, all the Democrats voted for it and not one Republican voted for it. Roberta Flack ask where is the love? A normal person would ask here, where is the compromise? But of course, the left, in the bubble with other lefties and the group think they generate, always thinks that they are the angels of light and the Republicans are the idiots of evil. One might be able to tease out that very thinking from, well, every single word of this rather silly piece. Let's see.

Because the extremely poorly-designed American Constitution is constructed to require compromise, this gave Republicans a large advantage during times of divided government.

The American Constitution is brilliantly designed but it is a work of the extreme right, the founding fathers, so the left hates it, the right loves it. Mr. Cooper's criticism is therefore completely in sync with lefty group think, and it's completely wrong. Also, only a moron would think that being in the minority is an advantage to a political party's efforts to effectuate the policy and legislation it thinks is good. Former President Obama had a majority Democrat House and the Senate his first two years and, for a while, he had a filibuster proof 60 seat majority in the Senate. Not a lot of compromise occurred during that period. The Republicans were never even consulted about signature legislation. President Trump's party has a majority in our bicameral legislature but a narrow lead in the Senate (4 votes). I believe we'll get to 60 plus in the 2018 elections but that's nearly two years away. But that's important. Many more Democrat senators are up for election then than Republicans and ten of them are in states which voted for Trump. If the Democrats don't want to sink to having only 30 plus Senators, those 10 had better be rational, effective and honest for the next two years, and not just knee-jerk reactionary/obstructionists of the type Mr. Cooper is cheer-leading for here. But I digress. Back to the piece.

With President Trump, that is changing, and fast. He came into office losing the popular vote by the biggest margin ever, with a substantial assist from Russian spies and an even bigger one from the FBI, and now Republicans are seizing the chance to jam through a huge raft of horribly unpopular legislation. Ordinary rank-and-file Democrats are seething with fury, and demanding no compromise with Trump.

See, the Democrats are popular; their candidate won the recent popular vote for President by a huge margin. (Of course, regarding winning the White House, the national popular vote and ten pennies will get you a dime). And the Republicans only won because of outside help; the Russians and the FBI put Trump in the White House. He couldn't have won without that outside (and inside?) interference. It's just a fluke he's the president at all. The people of America love us Democrats and most people agree with us and it's only by cheating and nefarious interference that the Republicans win anything at all.(The fact that Democrats are in their worst position since the 1920s is apparently not part of lefty group think). And what the Trump administration and the Republican led Congress want to get done is of course "a huge raft of horribly unpopular legislation." Of course the Republicans desired legislation is horribly unpopular. The Republicans are horribly unpopular, and stupid and evil as well. That's how they gained 1000 elected offices at the state and federal level in the past eight years, by being horribly unpopular.

Anybody who's up for re-election is going to have to channel this energy. [of no compromise]

Oh, please don't put your energy into angry obstruction of everything Trump and the Republicans want. Whatever you Democrats do, don't do that. That would break my heart.

Senate Democrats are, most of them, extremely confused by this sentiment. They are the first target of liberal outrage, since they have to vote on Trump's Cabinet nominees. They don't control the chamber, so it mostly doesn't matter in substantive terms how they vote — but it's still a powerful symbolic act. (Though they could have come close to picking off the wretched Mike Pompeo as CIA director, since Rand Paul voted against him.)

OK, for a second there, Mr. Cooper was in touch with reality. Because of what former Senator Reid did to the filibuster of Presidential nominations, there was no chance that the Democrats would be able to block even a single Trump nomination without Republican defection. He got that right. But it's back to the bubble almost immediately. Voting against a nomination who is going to be confirmed is "still a powerful symbolic act"? Maybe in the bubble, you Democrats are all high fives and champagne for the symbolic act, but out in the real world, no one cares about ineffectual opposition. And where is the compromise in voting against a nomination? Isn't that what the horrible, horrible no good, stupid, evil Republicans do? Powerful symbolic act! I am laughing out loud at that, and I'm not laughing with you, Coop. And who is the CIA director now? Why, I believe it is the wretched Mike Pompeo. Let me check on Google. Here he is being sworn in by Vice President Pence. So yes, indeed, he is, powerful symbolic acts notwithstanding. I'm going to skip a bit of the piece about other powerful symbolic acts by the Democrats. Then there's this bit of comedy.

Democrats are stuck in an antiquated, genteel model of how the Senate is supposed to operate. The president needs to staff his Cabinet, and so back in the day, unless somebody was really terrible, the norm was that he should basically get to pick who he wants. And indeed, when Obama first took office, he got reasonable deference

OK, I'm laughing out loud again. I guess if you ignore the tone in the House and Senate by the Democrats ever since the horribly unpopular Republicans took back the House and Senate in landslide electoral "whuppins" during the mid-terms, you could call the Democrats' behavior in the Senate lately genteel; but you would also have to ignore Senate Majority Leader Reid's unfortunate decisions and statements (lies). I do commend Mr. Cooper for noticing that it's normal to defer to the newly elected President and let him have his cabinet picks, and for noticing that the Republicans acted normally for President Obama, powerfully symbolic no votes notwithstanding. Can he keep it up in the remainder of the piece?

But for the most part, Republicans mounted total procedural obstruction to Democrats and President Obama, and it only worsened as his presidency passed...They filibustered nearly every bill, even ones that would go through 100-0, simply to gum up the calendar and eat up precious floor time. They filibustered nearly every judicial nominee (until Senate Democrats scaled back the filibuster), to keep liberals out of the courts — and last year, when Antonin Scalia died, Senate Republicans refused to even consider Obama's Supreme Court nominee for an entire year, in hopes that Trump would be able to fill the seat. That has literally never happened before.

Eye. Speck. Beam. Perception. Mr. Cooper remembers Republican principled and ordinary opposition to what the Republicans rationally thought were bad policy, legislation and nominations. He seems to forget that the Democrats did every single one of these (with one exception) too, and often. But in the bubble, it's Democrats good, Republicans bad, and stupid. Mr. Cooper does give a nod to the Reid rule. He's pretty neutral here on something that will forever prevent the minority party from blocking any nomination on whom the majority party remains united. No hint here if he's mad at Reid for being so short sighted. I wonder what he thought of the filibuster rule before the former Senator nuked it for presidential nominees? Well, well, he did write about it then here and here's the money quote: "In reality, the Senate's vaunted traditions [including filibusters] are already near death. The question is who will kill them off first. The Democrats should get it over with, and get a bit of desperately needed governing done in the process." I'd say he was for it when it was the Democrats facing opposition. Of course, in the bubble, when the Democrats do it, it's good; when the Republicans do the exact same thing, it's bad. And the only reason no one has used the Biden rule before is because the criteria for its implementation, a Supreme Court vacancy in last year of a president's term of office, have peviously never presented themselves, at least since Biden's statement about his rule in 1992. That it hasn't happened before is not because the Democrats were just too noble to do it. It is former Vice President Joe Biden's rule. And he's a Democrat, I believe. OK, we're in the home stretch.

This has been a nihilistic, will-to-power struggle for years now, and obviously so. Republicans now control the whole government due to happenstance and the idiotic Electoral College, but they're not moderating their policies to the slightest degree out of some sense of decorum. Instead, they're going to ram through their agenda as fast as possible, and try their utmost to disenfranchise enough liberals and rig the election procedures such that America becomes a permanent one-party state.

Again, good that he notices the ordinary opposition which political parties have always employed. Here, however, it's all the Republican's doing and not the precious angles on the left. And again, Trump didn't win fair and square, it's the pesky Russians and Comey and the "idiotic Electoral College" that defeated Hillary. Bubble thoughts forever. Like the stupid (and racist) thought by the left that requiring ID to vote of every voter is voter suppression because of course the poor, downtrodden blacks in America, and only them, are utterly incapable of obtaining ID. Like the notion that making the boundaries of House Representative Districts beneficial to one party is only done by evil, stupid, horribly unpopular Republicans. Mr. Cooper seems to have no historical recognition that Gerrymandering is a Democrat invention (back then called Democrat-Republicans) and the Democrats created and still require the Gerrymandering of districts in states with sizable black populations so that there would be a black district here and there. No, that's not rigging election procedures; of course not, the Democrats are doing it. And again, the evil, stupid and horribly unpopular Republicans couldn't have gained all those House and Senate seats by fair means. Only a moron would think they won fair and square. Now the big finish.

Elected Democrats are going to need to ditch their usual cringing, timid, compromising ways if they want to have a chance at a political career in the future. Even fairly milquetoast liberals are crying out for some sort of firebrand to lead a ferocious, determined resistance. If, say, Tom Udall or Kirsten Gillibrand can realize this, their national profile will quickly grow.
But those who vote for Jeff Sessions to become attorney general might face a primary challenge instead.

I confess that I often think of the Republicans in the minority as "cringing, timid, compromising" so I guess it's universal that people interested in politics are down on their party's representatives who fail to stop the party in power every single time. I fervently hope the Democrats do get a firebrand leader, and that Democrats do indeed put up ferocious, determined resistance to everything the Republicans try to achieve. If the Republicans want it, it must be bad. I hope Tom Udall and Kristen Gillibrand do rise to lead the Democrats. I hope they replace all the Democrats who vote for Jeff Sessions for attorney general with even more lefty candidates. You go Democrats. Do your worst.


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