Why the reference to the wings in re the two major political parties? Are we being asked to envision either of our two major political parties as a bird, an aircraft. If so, each would surely have two matching wings, one on either side of the body/fuselage. Maybe they meant to make an analogy with the sides of an aisle in a room, or the banks of a river as in rive gauche or rive droite, or to those seated on the far left hand side of the room or on the far right hand side of the room from the front? All, implying that there is a body politic made up of members from both parties that is pretty much in the center of wherever. Sounds nice, but has nothing whatsoever to do with today’s politics.
How many Republican members of the House could be considered centrists? The majority of those who opposed bringing charges against Trump in either of the two impeachment hearings? The 147 out of 197 House Republicans who voted against certifying Biden’s electoral college victory? 50 out of 197 does not a centrist majority make; but it might a start. 147 out of 197 does a right wing majority make. Someone should be asking, “Who are, where are, all these centrist Republicans we hear spoken of?”
In the Senate, it is politics uber alles for Senate Republicans. Most of whom almost always do what Mitch McConnell asks/tells them to do; Mitch being constituent to none of them excepting maybe Rand, son of Ron. What do the Senators’ actual constituents think of their Senator working for someone else? Out of the 53, only three or four have even pretended to have a mind of their own. Turns out, only two or three ever really did. These are they who would have gleefully convicted a Democratic President for sneezing or forgetting to wash their hands. Almost all of the Senators from red states support the NRA, the Second Amendment, Pro-life, increased defense spending, and suppressing the non-white-Christian vote. Sound centrist to you? It is almost impossible to name a Republican Senator who isn’t far to the right of any definable center.
The party aligns itself with the Heritage Foundation (recently caught on tape bragging that it had helped write or written the voter suppression laws being proposed in 40 states) and the Federalists Society; two organizations that are definitely not centrist. Does a party mostly made up of the Christian Right, Libertarian conservatives, Neoconservatives, Paleoconservatives, Traditional conservatives, the Freedom Caucus, and the Tea Party sound centrist?
What would a centrist/moderate Republican politician look like? Would they be known as left wing Republicans and support such as the right to vote, gun control, a woman’s right to chose? Any American’s right to any thing other than to own a gun, or perhaps to buy a politician or two? Would they be someone who is of this century? Someone who looks to the future instead of to the past? Someone who subscribes to equality? Who favors a more egalitarian society?
Today’s Republican party is the very definition of right wing.
This sort of false equivalency reflects the sad state of the main stream media in our times. In reality, both major parties have been moving rightward ever since Nixon. Today, the GOP is the party of the right-wing extremist Trump cult. The Democratic Party is the party of what used to be called Rockefeller Republicans. There is no liberal party to speak of in America today.
But the media seem willing to accept the GOP meme that anything to the left of Trump is “liberal” and “socialism.” They are using these terms as epithets to denote anything non-Trump, not according to their actual definitions. Sadly, the Trumpification of American politics has been abetted by the Foxification of American media and the both-siderism impulse. Sad.
a little more than sad. the question is what can we do about it.
i would argue that the Dems are not “rockefeller republicans.” they are the good cop face to the R’s bad cop face. neither party has any interest whatsoever in the issues Ken mentions except as red meat bait for their “base.”
the country is controlled entirely by the very, very rich…who do not “compete” but meet to decide what is best for themselves, meaning short term profits and long term power.
talk to the people and you will find they have no clue what to do about this, or even that this is the problem.
talk to the “press” and you will find not one “reporter.” only graduates of journalism programs where camera positioning and production values are more important topics than researching, or even understanding, “facts.”
Progressives these days are welcome (?) only in the Dem party. At one time (a hundred years ago or more), it was the GOP that was progressive, not the Dems.
I grew up in GOP country in upstate NY with moderates like Nelson Rockefeller in power. Me and Howard Dean and some others. Eventually all moderates and progressives were driven out of the GOP. The ones who remain are hardly progressive and barely moderate. Mitt Romney! Liz Cheney?
Progressives these days are welcome (?) only in the Dem party. At one time (a hundred years ago or more), it was the GOP that was progressive, not the Dems.Things change.I grew up in GOP country in upstate NY with moderates like Nelson Rockefeller in power. Me and Howard Dean and some others. Eventually all moderates and progressives were driven out of the GOP. The ones who remain are hardly progressive and barely moderate. Mitt Romney! Liz Cheney?
“The 147 out of 197 House Republicans who voted against certifying Biden’s electoral college victory?”
Wikipedia says 138 of 208 Republicans objected to certifying Pennsylvania’s vote. Where does the above come from?
NYT and Vox says there was 147. Not sure where the 197 came from.
well, of course 160 years ago the Republicans were the progressive party. But success brought them the opportunists. Even a hundred years ago, or less, the Republicans were the honest party in Chicago..because the Democrats were in power there… not to mention the Democrats in the South up to about 1965, while decent people were Republicans.
Thing is, times change, evil is fungible.
as for the “progressives” in the Dem party today….well, they feed the R’s their lines.
i might have thought Rockefeller was moderate. But he gave a speech at my college that made me think “liar.”
and then there was Attica.
“They’re all alike at the bottom.
Selfish and grasping and cruel…”
[that is..all the people at the top are all alike at the bottom.]
Looks like 147 is the sum of House and Senate.
“Don’t it always seem to go you don’t know what you got til it’s gone.” Manchin is a fool but so are most of the elite in this country. We make Yugoslavia look like Japan except for our democracy and the bat poop crazy lunatics are ready to toss that out without a second thought because they think it will appeal to their base and get them elected again in 2 , 4 , or 6 years.
Hillary was dead wrong about deplorables being half of Trump’s base—it is 100% of his base because every f***ing Trump voter is willing to throw away this country in favor of their selfish interest—in most cases nothing more than making the other side cry. I have always thought this country was worth fighting for but I am questioning that lately. The GOP at the federal level is monstrous and some of the state parties are even worse— they peddle hate and express disdain for everyone but their wealthy benefactors.
I wonder how the oligarchs will feel when democracy and the Constitution are no longer around to save them and the country is ripe for the picking by any dictator with more smarts than the f***ing moron. I have to say if the choice is between Putin or Xi or the f***ing moron, I am going with Putin or Xi.
I think JP has the right idea. Construct the bill to what Manchin wants and thinks 10 Repubs will agree to. He can put on his special chap stick and go to work kissing butt to get three more to agree. If it does not happen, then confront the SOB. If it were me dealing with him (it is like discussing with some commenters here), I would have been explosive by now. This is why you have the JPs and Kens talking. You have me in the distance when all else fails.
It angers me how this sh*thead can hold the country captive for his stupid ideas.
A sad reality is that in the US, 30 state legislatures are controlled by the GOP, just 18 by Dems, and two are split. It may be the case that gerrymandering has something to do with how party control is maintained in some (many?) of these states. But this level of GOP control in states is such that the Republicans remain a political force to be reckoned with even when the national popular vote for presidents is consistently for Dems, and the GOP dominates in decisions & legislation about how state voting is carried out. And Joe Manchin ( & a few Dem allies) want to keep it this way, along with all the GOP members in Congress.
I lost track of who JP is and what he says, and I hope I am not one of the commenters who make you explosive.
People have been people forever and it’s easy to feel explosive…i get that way all the time. We make progress..a little at a time… when we control explosive…and, of course, sometimes when we don’t, but generally control works better.
I don’t know if there is any rationality or honesty dealing with Manchin, but I have thought a couple of times that there was room to “compromise” to get us one step ahead. For example we could take raising corporate tax to [whatever the number Manchin offered], and then go for vigorously enforcing it, closing loopholes. Similarly, there may be a way to get “election reform” that includes transparency, while we find ways to get our people to vote… in person, with id’s, etc. if that’s what it takes. and if I remember Roosevelt got elected in spite of the electoral college. so did Obama. Eventually Roosevelt delivered for Blacks in spite of the too, too, solid South.
maybe you are now thinking of exploding. but this is winnable if we fight smarter.
and yes, they are a bunch of bastards all.
And of course Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are Dem senators from very Red states, who are important to retain the Dem Senate majority, as their fellow Dem senators will tell you. What to do? What to do?
typos above: “when step ahead” should have been “one step ahead”. loopholed should have been loopholes.
i don’t think the Trump voter is willing to throw away this country. he thinks he is saving it. he has been misled…because he is not very smart and the “elites” know how to play him. that’s how they got to be elites. been going on for a long long time.
Trump is an effect, not a cause. It has been this way with the GOP since the Civil Rights Act, it just took them a little time to put it together after George Wallace showed them how to win elections. For an American to be so clueless about the totally racist basis for the GOP the last 50 years can only be caused by abject stupidity.
“This is the grave of [spit] Lee Atwater.
After Bush’s victory, Atwater became the new head of the Republican National Committee. This is a good time to remind everyone that there isnothing special about Donald Trump. The party elites had ginned up racism for their own ends for decades. It helped that they were racist themselves. All Trump represented was the rubes taking control over the party and running it like a rube would. The fact that someone like Atwater could rise in power based on racism and lies to the point of heading the RNC should tell everyone that the moral cancer that is the Republican Party is by no means anything new. And on the day Tom Foley became Speaker of the House, the RNC dropped a memo suggesting that Foley was gay and maybe even lovers with Barney Frank. Even Bob Dole decried this from the Senate floor, and who knew more about dirty politics than Dole! Atwater defended the memo, calling it “factually accurate” but later had to fire his underling who had put it together. What’s more, in a sign of just how cowardly people can be when faced with power, Howard University actually named Atwater to its Board of Trustees in 1989!!!!! This led to massive student protests and the resignation of both Atwater and Howard’s president…
However, not only did Robinson lose the primary, but Atwater came down with brain cancer in 1990. I don’t usually wish horrible cancers on anyway. However, if anyone deserves an exception to this rule, it was definitely Lee Atwater, who did more damage to this nation in his 40 years than all but the most evil individuals in American history did over lives twice as long. That this was discovered after he had a seizure during a fundraising breakfast for Phil Gramm is somewhat fitting. We all know that disease is not connected to justice, but you can imagine God finally saying, OK enough of this guy.”
I think I disagree about cause and effect here. Racism is endemic in the human species. America did a pretty good job of eliminating it from the law in about1965, and eliminating it from public respectability, and as much as possible eliminating it from private thoughts.
But the seeds of racism are always there waiting for a favorable climate. What Trump did was not so much making racism respectable, but making “hate your neighbor” visible enongh in public for the racists to find fellowship and encourage them to express themselves “out loud” as it were.
Interesting, to me, is that they deny being racists…racism is still socially unacceptable…but they express their hate their neighbor freely and that inevitably turns into pernicious racism.
But have no fear, they still hate “liberals” more than they hate blacks as such.
I don’t know if George Wallace was a racist at heart. I did hear that he lost his first election for not being racist enough, so he resolved never to be “out-niggered” again. Seems to have changed his mind after he became confined to a wheel chair.
And then, as always, fighting “racism” with “anti-racism” doesn’t work. It enters a spiral of violence that ends badly for everyone. And if you look closely you will see racist style thinking whcih has nothing to do with skin color.
“eliminating racism from private thoughts”:
“racism” became unacceptable in polite society. people want to see themselves as acceptable in polite society, so they consciously work on rejecting their own “racist” thoughts.
so what happens when they find themselves “spit on” by professional anti-racists, who regard their wannabe friends as “white liberals trying to ease their “white guilt” and are publically contemptuous of their pathetic efforts to reach out across the color line?
Decades ago, Andy Young wrote something to the effect that you should never trust anyone who says they aren’t racist. You should say “I’m working on my racism.”I agree with Young.
I guess I agree with the “working on it” part. But I think “never trusting anyone who says…” misunderstands the nature of language. On the other hand I will admit that some people who say “I am not a racist” are…..either flaming, or just not paying close attention.
If I say “I am not a racist,” which I never do any more, it means I don’t accept the label you are trying to pin on me. But I also know how easy it is to be aware of the color of a person’s skin, and treat them just a little different, for better or worse. There are deeper levels, but it never does me any good to try to talk about those, except with my kids, who agree the whole thing would be a joke if it wasn’t so tragic.
Just for what it’s worth: my friend is a surveyor. He showed up on a job site one day…vest and instrument… and a colored man said “you were here yesterday.” he said, “no, I wasn’t.” “yes, you were!” “oh, well, I guess we all look alike.” colored man thought a minute, then smiled and said, “good one, bro.”
i hope I can say “colored man” without being called a racist.
I don’t know what country you live in, as the one you describe is totally strange to me.
” But what’s particularly revealing here is that a term like “white supremacy,” which is hardly an arcane or technical phrase, is treated by Sullivan as if it’s just another one of those crazy unintelligible terms invented by the woke cancellers of Western Civilization. “Structural racism” is a little more abstruse, I suppose, but here, per his request, is a nice straightforward example of what Sullivan believes are the imaginary “structures” that reflect this supposedly non-existent thing:
In 1967, Black households at the 20th percentile of Black household income earned 55.0% as much money as White households at the 20th percentile of White household income. In 2019 — the most recent year for which these data are available — the same comparison reveals that Black households earned . . . 54.8% as much money as the comparable White households.
Now for the first 25 years or so after the civil rights reforms of the 1960s, the complete failure of those reforms to do anything about the income and wealth gap between Black and White Americans was ascribed by right wing propagandists, and in particular by Sullivan’s great good friend, Bell Curve co-author Charles Murray, to the insidious effects of the welfare state, which mysteriously enough sapped initiative from Black people much more powerfully than it did from their White counterparts. Just toss out the social safety net, the argument went, and return to the social Darwinist paradise of the original Gilded Age, and this gap would disappear, or at least be ameliorated quite a bit.
So the experiment was performed: More than 25 years ago, welfare “reform” destroyed most of America’s already relatively modest safety net. And we see the result in the statistics I quote above.
What could possibly be the explanation for this? There are at this point only two candidates: Black people make only a little bit more than half as much as White people because of the profound economic and social effects of a structural racism that is both a legacy and an ongoing daily consequence of the fact that America has always been and remains a white supremacist nation, or Black people make a little bit more than half as much as White people because they’re just naturally inferior to them, so whadddaya going to do?”
It is not at all surprising that we live in separate worlds. The tragedy is that we ALL live in separate worlds. That’s why we cling so desperately to the illusion of social acceptance in whatever group will have us. Thing is, nature being relatively reliable, and brains being small, we DO share aspects of experience….and group solidarity was important to our survival as a species.
My brain, being particularly small, I had to look back to find where “Sullivan” or “white supremacy” came into this conversation. i didn’t find it.
Oops. There it is. In a box I didn’t see before. Must have had an ad covering it last time I was here. I’ll try to read it and get back to you.
Meanwhile let me try to say, I do not deny that racism exists, I do think we made good steps toward reducing pernicious, legalized, racism back in the sixties, and then lost that progress….partly, at least, thorough overreaching (bussing) and partly through a new-rhetoric coming from some people which is irritating even to people who “are working at” social justice themselves.
I try to point this out to people…because it hurts their own cause…but get called a racist for my trouble.
As for the rest of your comment here… Don’t confuse the propaganda of the Right with what I am trying to say. I have been arguing against that for years and years…with as much effect as arguing with you about what you think is the way to fight racism.
Read the Andrew Sullivan bit. Just bears out (to me) we really do live in separate worlds. Orwell may not have noticed the black people under the unfair burdens, but Abraham Lincoln did. You appear to believe the article made compelling sense. I believe it did not. For one thing “structural racism” implies some sort of (legal) structure. Offering evidence of what might be the effects of racism, structural or otherwise, or even of “natural inferiority” [which I do not believe in] hardly “proves” that “structual racism” exists. It might; probably does at least in some jurisdictions; but the argument offered here is hardly “proof;” it really isn’t even evidence.
For what it’s worth people are cruel…note the treatment of the burro…quite possibly because their own lives are hard and they need to be cruel to survive, or think they do, if they think at all. [someone like Jesus comes along and tries to teach them they don’t need to be cruel, and they crucify him, and two thousand years later some half wit intellectual claims Jesus is the ultimate unreal (racist) abstraction.] I suspect “no one noticed” the people under their burdens, because we recognize that life is hard…especially in poor countries, where the unfair burden sharing has a long history most of which has nothing to do with white people…and we believe in [perhaps wrongly] human agency..that is that humans can change the way they do things….circumstance permitting… and the poor burro cannot.
sorry if this is hard to understand. takes more than a short paragraph to explain an entire world [worldview].
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.
Look at everything that has happened in the country since the Civil rights Act. From redlining, to educational opportunities, to even grocery stores and it is clear that the racism is systematic.
If it looks like a duck, it might be a decoy for ducks.
you keep arguing as if i was saying there is no racism, or no effects of racism. what i have been arguing is that your saying “all americans are racist, or america is a racist country, founded in racism… or other things people who think they are “fighting racism” say that annoy other people who think they are not racists…are self defeating.
Because I did not think that Animal Farm was an endorsement of socialism, and because I did think that 1984 describes a world that is exactly what the people who are afraid of socialism are afraid of, i had to look up [in google and Wikipedia…just like the man said] an article that would explain why [that man] would call Orwell a socialist. And I learned (I suppose] that yes, Orwell described himself as a socialist, but it turns out his views were more like mine than those of the nti-Sullivan article. Point is, the real world is rather more complex than you seem to allow for.
By the way, Orwell apparently wrote a book describing the conditions of workers in northern england…not much room for “racism” there as an explanation. blind greed works better, which really doesn’t care if you are white or black. but black people enslaved in Africa by other black people were the most convenient source of exploitable labor available in the New World, so “racism” became the inevitable result, just like anti-semitism in europe, and whatever the hell excuse England has to treat its own people as slaves, just like the rest of the world has since the begining of time.
endemic is not the same as “systematic” or “structural.”
by the way, “looks like a duck….” was originally [in my experience] a favorite argument-clincher used by people who made their living being “anti-communist” to describe anyone who wanted to use government to help people suffering the effects of unregulated capitalism.
it was dishonest then, but more than that, it was stupid.
Alternate reply to “If it looks like a duck..”
“Be kind to your web footed friends
For a duck may be somebody’s mother..”
sung to the tune of Stars and Stripes Forever.
unless I have to explain it.