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Your host, PM 'Papa' Carpenter


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June 21, 2017


If she can vote bring her home.

That collective "whew" you heard from the Republicans regarding this dodged bullet is somewhat premature is it not? They haven't done anything really nasty yet by way of killing Americans. They haven't really done much of anything at all. If they wish to take this election as a sign of broad public support for their plans then I say, proceed. Up until now they have mostly just threatened to hit a big chunk of their base with a shovel. Let's see what happens when they show the courage of hatreds and start banging away.

There were two special elections last night, Georgia and South Carolina. Two republicans won in two republican districts. The democrats lose, but republicans broke even.

Look on the bright side, PM. When the AHCA is passed, it will kill off tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of GOP voters--far more than it will affect Democratic voters. And that is a very good thing in the long run. For the country and the Earth. It's why I'm coming around to hoping the AHCA passes. I'm starting to embrace the whole GOP attitude that if something hurts your enemies more than your friends it's a good thing, regardless of how much your friends might suffer in the short term. Because it's war. It has been for far longer than good ole boy Newt. It's been so since the 1850s. The Confederate armies may have surrendered in 1865 but the war never ended. And it's high time for Democrats to realize it. And I take some comfort in JFK's observation that "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

See this:

The outcome is "rather formulaic" if one listens to Chuck Todd only.

Here's another point of view--yes, the Republicans won a seat that they have had since 1976--but they had to win it in a run-off, and they only won it by what? 4 or 5 percentage points? And the GOP had to spend millions in a district where they normally triumph by double-digits. In SC, the GOP candidate won that special election by only 2 to 3 percentage points over the Democrat--and that district was one where the GOP usually win by double-digits.

In fact, most of the special elections this year have the GOP winning--but by very small numbers, usually between 2 to 6 percentage points in areas that have traditionally gone GOP by much, much higher numbers.

But since Chuck Todd and others cannot do nuance, perhaps this might be the most important take: Democrats ran candidates in traditional GOP areas, and months after Trump and the GOP scored big wins in those areas, the Democrats managed to come very close and thus force the GOP to spend time and resources in those areas. With the entire House up for re-election in 2018, that means that there will be more challenges (two candidates have announced runs against Paul Ryan) and there stands to be a very good chance that the Democrats will take the House by a wide margin.

After all, this has happened before. In 2005, Democrats challenged Republicans in special elections following Bush's win in 2004. No, they did not win many. But the numbers were very close, and paved the way for the Democratic blowout of the House the following year. And George W. Bush's approval ratings were much higher than Donald Trump's.

(Of course, the usual idiots on the far Left started attacking Ossoff immediately for not kowtowing to St. Bernie and for standing up for voting rights. Again, idiocy exists on both sides)

"fiscal recklessness"?

Would that include the $23 million the Dems spent on this election, 7-1 larger than the Republicans?

I have said it before but I will say it again, until you Dems get over your hissy-fit and start to think rather than foam, you will not topple 'The Donald'.

That, of course, neglects the outside money which the Republican lavished massive amounts on this election. But let's go with money doesn't influence elections which, presumably, is your point. So give us of your wisdom and tell us what you think they should think. No reason to be coy. If you think you know say it and if you don't then admit it.

Uh, no. Just please stop, Duff, and keep your head where it seems most comfortable--up your own ass.

Fact--the GOP OUTSPENT Democrats and all they could do was win by around 4 percentage points--in a district where they usually win by double-digits.

Fact--there was and still is voter suppression in Georgia, and Karen Handel was a big part of it.

Fact--the special elections have shown that these supposedly safe GOP districts are in play, with Democrats coming very close--much closer than expected and challenging the GOP.

Fact--the people who know what the hell they are talking about (not you, sadly) are looking at this and realizing that the GOP is going to be in trouble in 2018. And they can look back at 2005-2006 and 2009-2010 for patterns--and guess what? Those patterns are popping up now.

So please, keep your head up your own arse. You are not seeing the big picture, but that's to be expected in your case.


Yes, the South never got over pouting about its loss of free slave labor after the war. I say we let'em secede. I venture to improve on JFK's statement: 'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make non-violent devolution a pretty damn attractive alternative.'

Kevin Drum reports today a conversation he had with Dave Weigel which is almost word for word the same as a conversation I had with my wife a few days ago:

Wife: I think Jon Ossoff has a real chance.
Me: Nah.
Wife: Why do you say that?
Me: It’s Georgia."

A few special elections this year is one thing. The republicans have had a chance to do any real damage yet. But if Death to America care passes, it shouldn't take much effort for Democrats to roll tape of republicans throwing a beer bash in the white house rose garden as they celebrated taking health care away for tens of millions of people.

" shouldn't take much effort for Democrats to roll tape of republicans throwing a beer bash in the white house rose garden as they celebrated taking health care away for tens of millions of people."

Good news, Anne--someone's already started:

Expect more to follow this example.

I basically agree, republicans haven't had a chance to do any real damage yet. The damage is inevitable, and I suspect it will cause a slow erosion in republican support. But do not underestimate effectiveness of republican counterattacks designed to emotionally appeal to the many who approve of denying coverage (code word alert!) to the *undeserving*, even at the cost of real suffering to themselves.

Go back to wanking over murdered black children.

I agree.

Republicans winning in Republican strongholds. I'm having the vapors.

I try to always keep that in mind. My worry is if the Democrats can successfully
counter that narrative.

What message did Ossoff pitch? He did mention health care a few times, but mostly skulked around hoping no one would take him for other than a doctrinaire centrist. He didn't have to use Sanders as a model and probably wouldn't have won anyway, but should have stood for something other than not being with Trump. Apparently the Democratic party will never learn.

Peter, according to the NYT, both parties brought in about $28 million. It was divided $4.5 million to the Republicans and $23 to the Dems!

And still they lost!

And, buddy, can you spare a dime?

Yes, that is the question, isn't it. When one side plays by the rules, and the other side lies and gets away with it, that does seem to be a problem.

I often wondered about why wars often cannot be avoided? Why can one side just not say; we are not going respond in kind to deceitful and murderous provocations? The answer (I think) is that the deceitful and murderous activities would continue unabated until deceitful and murderous means were employed against them. If one side wants to fight badly enough, the other side really has no option but to oblige.

In the political realm, shavage has accurately written above that the Civil War has continued to be fought right up to the present day. The side which lost on the battlefield feels unbound by Constitutional rules, and feels free to use deceit and lying. They are now media-savvy, and more capable than the Democrats of employing powerful advertising techniques that couple fear with lies.

I do not advocate that Democrats follow their lead. But it does lead to a situation where one side has one arm tied behind their backs.

Perfectly summed up the situation. Kudos to your wife.

We should have cut iff the south at the Whiskey Rebellion. I try to give myself hope by remembering that the democrats did manage to win in 2006. And as Peter likes to remind me, we elected Barack Obama. Twice.

The Democrats need to give up on national healthcare it's clear the country as a whole doesn't want it. If Pelosi is still in leadership by 2018 the Democrats will lose again.

Tsar Vladimir would like to thank all the Stupid White Folks, inside and outside of the USA, for making his job so much easier by weakening their countries--the very countries which they claim to love more than the rest of us do.

And naturally you are ignored the question you were asked. You pretend to some deep knowledge about what the Democrats should do but when pressed for even a hint of what that might get be you go radio silent. Do you have an opinion that you can articulate or do you not? Just a pompous blowhard?Or is there some vestige of intellect beneath the blowhard armor?

Umm....did you actually listen to anything Ossoff said? Because it comes across that you didn't.

Well, the ACA is enjoying higher approval numbers than Trump and the GOP.

Oh, and stop blaming Pelosi, for the love of God. Why not go back and read about the achievements of the Dem-controlled house from 2009 to 2011?

Nancy Pelosi didn’t lose a Republican seat in a Republican district in a Republican state. ACA sure didn’t lose a Republican seat in a Republican district in a Republican state. Respectfully, this kind of thinking is not helpful.

A Republican seat in a Republican district in a Republican state; come on. The hissy fits I’m seeing are more discouraging than a not unexpected loss. I haven’t made it over to Josh yet, but the antidote to the freak out, Pierce, Chait, Levits and Yglesias are sane and offer constructive advice.

Charles Pierce nails it twice today; on Pelosi, a beautiful piece, why Pierce is essential right now:

Also Pierce on Obama’s greatest mistake:

Jon Chait ties in a lot of stuff and has a lot of common sense:

As Eric Levitz points out, Nancy Pelosi didn’t cost Jon Ossoff the election:

Matt Yglesias has as usual a sensibly encouraging take:

I’m nominally for a 50 state strategy, but sure as fuck not at the stupidity of, say, allocating as many resources to Mississippi as Michigan. But we also need to field better candidates, and be less mushy. Without that it doesn’t matter what x state strategy we run.

It’s probably safe to conclude whatever the Bernie faction has to say that we can continue to treat it as rubbish

Peter, I have absolutely no idea what the Dems should do - but I know a man who does:

"If u think the party who's won the vote in 6 o last 7 Prez votes but holds ZERO power & is now 0-4 in 2017 votes is going to win next year...get a friggin' clue."
"The DNC & DCCC has NO idea how 2 win cause they have no message, no plan, no leaders, won't fight & hate the resistance."
"I say this to my 7.5 million ppl on social media & the millions who watch my movies & read my books: Are we going 2 sit by & let this happen?"

No, no, that wasn't Donald Trump, that was your 'Leftie' idol, Mr. Michael Moore! What can one say except that with friends like that who needs enemies.

And by the way, Peter, I have never'pretended to deep knowledge of what the Democrat party should do'. All I have politely suggested is what you should *not* do:

a) Do not, under any circs, ever pick another Clinton as a candidate.
b) Do not heap hysterical and vile abuse on your fellow Americans whose *support* you are seeking because, guess what, they will not vote for you - duh!

RE: Pierce's essay on Obama's failure to sound the alarm on Russian interference in our elections.

We needed Churchill, and Obama was Chamberlain.

That's a cheap insult. Tell that to Osama bin Laden, Iran, al Qaeda, etc. Obama did the wrong thing here, but that hardly makes him Neville Chamberlain. And please don't do a Kristol here and cite Munich. This situation is nothing like 1939.

Perhaps this will sound simplistic but I believe the Democrats need to hijack the Republicans' message. You see, the R's pride themselves on their patriotism. They believe they alone understand what America is and what it takes to "make it great again." Democrats waste their time trying to persuade that America is doing fine. Dems need to wrap their message in the flag as R's do -- show that they, the Dems, are the ones who love America and who are going to make it great again. Dems need to deliver their message and ideas but all the while explain why theirs is the true, patriotic agenda (which it is, of course). Dems should adopt language that includes words and phrases that include, flag, America, the best, the greatest, etc. It seems to me what the battle comes down to is, which side loves this country more, which side believes America should be number one, which side is the truly patriotic side? If we must envelope our message in more simplistic terms, then I say, let's do it! Whatever it takes to convince and win. Because people, in general, are not informed and do not understand the issues. But they understand "patriotic" symbolism. Dems truly have the love of country-- love of country and fellow countrymen, sanctuary for dreamers, compassion for their fellow man, etc. Dems just need to couch their message in terms that the masses can understand and attach themselves to. It's a competition you see -- a competition of who is more patriotic.


Thank you for those articles, Max especially the Charles Pierce ones. They're as humorous as they are informative, and that's why he's one of my favorites. I agree that ousting Nancy Pelosi would help nothing and might even worsen the situation. It would be like the 2016 primaries all over again in terms of there really wasn't anyone else. The Bernie brats pissed and moaned about the DNC fixing it for Hillary, but one, there was no one else, and two, their right wing flavored misogyny and their blow hard, self aggrandizing candidate turned a lot of people off. They always seem to attack the women of the party. (Pelosi, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Donna Brazile). I have yet to see them go after a democratic man as ferociously. When it comes to sexist attacks on female democrats, the Bernouts do most of the Republicans' dirty work for them.

Thank you. And when Bernie was given the chance to work with the Platform Committee, he:

1. Put on a complete clown, Cornell West;

2. Tried to oust Barney Frank and Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy.

Now there's coalition-building for ya!

That's not an answer, Marc. Instead of just accusing me of ignorance, give us your impression of what Ossoff's message was.

What's worse is that they seemed to have only doubled down on their bone headed thinking.

I agree, Max Obama was no Chamberlain, but it still made me think of Bush the Lesser ignoring memos titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.".

I call 'em as I see 'em.

So does Trump.

Very well, Max, why didn't Obama blow the whistle?

He should have. I don't know his reasons, but I bet he regrets it. As I stated he did the wrong thing. But he's not remotely Neville Chamberlain.

You know what a lot of All of This is? *Nobody expected Trump to win.* Not the Republican Party, not Trump, not Comey, not Obama. (OK, I know a woman who is more than borderline psychic, and she called Trump in January.)

Everyone operated under that a priori. Seventy thousand votes, a handful of counties in three states - even though there is no question who America voted for. It would not surprise me if this is the biggest stain on Obama's record, long-term.

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