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Your host, PM 'Papa' Carpenter


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January 11, 2020


There was quite bit of apocalyptic language. Which, given the propensity of conservatives to use the same sky is falling rhetoric at every opportunity seems fair. I never thought the Soleimani assassination would produce any of these events. The Iranians are far too smart for that. On the other hand it really isn’t going to prevent business as usual on the surrogate front. The chief effect is going to be driving America’s onetime allies farther away. Trump consulted none of them but exposed them to risks considering none of their interests or even warning them as to what was coming. Today America is a little more isolated than it was before.

Alas itchy trigger fingers led to Iran shooting down an air liner that killed everyone aboard. Which hearkens back to Iran flight 655 and the USS Vincennes that was also shot down in Iranian airspace with complete loss of life. The number of my fellow countrymen lost in the latest event stands and at 57. Aside from the children in that total were quite a few professional from dentists to professors whose loss is incalculable. Per Trump this is dangerous airspace so tough luck. That it was made more dangerous by Trump is irrelevant to Trump. No American lives were lost so no big deal.

Eh, this was just Brooks fulfilling his monthly both-siderism quota. After all, he’s gotta maintain his street cred as the wise, reasonable adult who’s above it all. God forbid he ever take a stand on anything that didn’t involve puffing himself up as more mature and morally righteous than everyone else. (Never mind that he ditched his wife of 28 years for his much younger and hotter assistant, all while he was nagging poor people that the cause of their poverty was their lack of family values.)

I would imagine our Canadian friends are especially furious, and rightfully so.

Don’t you wonder who his target market is though. Who ever actually agrees with him?

His target market is the "a plague on both their houses", both-siderist contingent that every four years congratulate themselves on not voting for either of the two drastically flawed candidates. It's the "Dilettante Digest". It's above worldly concerns.

It was this attitude that drove them to print the execrable, mendacious Jeff Gerth, without whom we would have been spared Whitewater.

Imagine what the Clinton presidency would have been like without the NYT. A lot less distracted, for one thing. And a lot more accomplished.

Your certainty does not wear well, considering your absolute certainty that Trump would not win. You also miss entirely something critical about Bernie: even the people utterly opposed to his agenda don't think Bernie is lying to them. When you ask Bernie a question, he answers the question. When you ask any other Democrat running a question, you get in return a spew of planned talking points that are merely kicked off by the question's possible tangential relationship to some slice of a few words of the question. Trump, unfortunately, possesses this habit as well- everyone knows he is lying, but his lying in his true way. Americans dig "authenticity" far far beyond its practical value. Also, your notion of the "center" fails to accommodate the concept that its a moving target. The "center" four years ago, or ten, or 6 months ago is not where it was. Biden has a major Hunter problem, a major age/slowness problem, and a major baggage problem with the near universally reviled Democratic leadership of the past 25 years. Obama was a huge outlyer, which you ignore. Mayor Pete? Please. That leaves Warren & Sanders. If they make some kind of common cause...

People are poor. They feel poor. Trump has not done one damn thing for the white working poor and they all know it. Blacks and browns are voting Democrat, no matter who wins the nomination.

A chunk of Trump's base will bite on Bernie in a heartbeat if they think he will help them. See c.f. Medicare expansion in the states. GOP does not want to talk about it, for darn good reason.

Your concept of the possible is blinkered, IMO.

Your observation about what politicians say is true of all politicians. They tell people what they want to hear and avoid telling people things that might alienate others. The goal of this being to assemble a sufficiently large mass of voters to get elected. That is not Bernie now although it was the Bernie who got elected to the Senate. There he was not afraid to fearlessly hold positions on things he needed to hold to get elected.

Times have changed and so has the office he is seeking. Basically Bernie has decided to make the far left his power base and, as he did last time, make the rest of the Democratic Party his enemy. His people are the only ones he speaks to and I am sure that to such people all he says seems like the wisdom of the ages. Unfortunately that is not true. If Bernie believes he can succeed in his endeavors by alienating major Democratic Party factions well proceed Senator. As the wise man said.

From what I can tell, based on the folks I know who are fans of his, his target audience seems to be mild-mannered, uppercrust white people—Lutherans and Presbyterians and such—who similarly regard themselves as grounded and reasonable but don’t really have any skin in the game because they’re safely sheltered from the shifting winds of politics.

“Mayor Pete? Please.”

Yes? What about Mayor Pete? Please offer some examples of where he offers canned responses that aren’t related to the question. If anything, he seems to me to offer the most thoughtful, substantial, unrehearsed answers of any of the candidates. I get it, he’s too young, isn’t polling well with black voters, etc. But to call him a lightweight sure doesn’t match with what I’m seeing.

As for Bernie, he seems the most canned of all the candidates. “Corporations have been crushing the middle class for 40 years, and it’s time for a revolution!!” Okay, that may be true, but there are a few details that seem to be missing in his rinse-repeat diatribe.

Here’s the important thing. Bernie is not going to be the nominee. That’s a guarantee. Will you, as his supporter, still vote for the Democratic candidate in November?

One would have to be insane to not vote for the Democrat, any Democrat.

OTH your hubris viz your guarantee is weak shit...Bernie has a solid shot.

According to statistical analysis by Silver’s 538 group, he does indeed have a shot to be the nominee. Just not a particularly good one compared to Biden. So do Warren and Buttigieg for that matter. Bernie has some particular problems with key demographic groups within the Democratic Party. Blacks, Hispanics and large sections of organized labor. He has much to overcome to become the nominee.

None of the above matters because, as "seen through a glass darkly", and assuming 'The Donald' isn't caught in 'flagrente' with a boy scout, he's a shoo-in for the next election. My belief in that is NOT based on a 'yuuuuuuuuuge' admiration for the man but merely on the distressingly poor, feeble, and in some cases malignant, er, 'quality' of the Dem runners.

Call it hubris, but look, as a Buttigieg fan, I can still accept the reality that it is highly, highly unlikely that he’s going to be the nominee. And I’m fine with that. He appeals to my personality and political views, but if he doesn’t appeal to enough other people, it’s probably best that he’s not the nominee, because priority #1 is removing Trump from office. Same with Bernie. Bernie clearly has his passionate fan base, but outside of that, his appeal is extremely limited. He’s a boutique candidate, the sort of single-issue, idiosyncratic oddball that tends to cultivate a very loyal but restricted following. His single issue also happens to be the complete dismantling of capitalism, so good luck with that. Look, you do Bernie, I’ll do Pete, but at the end of the day I hope we get over ourselves and do what’s best, which is simply to vote Trump out.

Sure Duff. In your considered moderate thinking and language everyone you disagree with is malignant and evil. Have you ever even owned a mirror?

As opposed to, I suppose, Peter, your own generous, moderate, thoughtful and polite response to anyone who fails to agree with you!

Truly, you are an example to us all!

Starting to get it Duff. The difference is that I am not a hypocrite about it. I am almost always civil to those I disagree with in matters great and small. But I really don’t like hypocrites especially profoundly ignorant hypocrites.

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