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Chew Toy McCoy

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Good read. But I'd like to say it works both ways and I think this quote hints at what I'm saying.

Anti-Clinton paranoia may have been a necessity for Republicans who yearned to regain power in the 1990s. With relatively little substantive disagreement on policy, the easiest way to maintain energetic opposition was to construct a narrative of criminality and anti-American perfidy that must be countered at all costs.

The left also seems to blindly believe Democrats are the good guys and doing the right thing. It's been said before that if the Republicans really want to get their agenda passed with little attention or kickback then they should welcome a Democrat for President. Obama was no exception.
 

lizkat

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The interesting part to me is the pivoting of the right away from policy issues per se in the early 90s when the Rs were actually making gains policy-wise with a southern Democrat (Bill Clinton) in the White House, but they were enraged at the very idea the Democrats were thus managing to co-opt what had been Republican talking points on stuff like welfare and criminal justice reform.

Up until then they had been jousting with Dems on those policy-centered differences, but suddenly ol red state former governor Bill Clinton was confusing the Rs by practically saying on certain policies (but from a blue White House!) "ok sure, have it your way".

So they're like "wait now, what? Hell yeah it's our way, these are conservative reforms, you can't take credit for those, you're a Democrat."

And Clinton was like "Did you want these fricken reforms or not? You just helped vote for them and we're good with it so.... done and done, no?"

But no. So then. as the author of that piece suggests, that was when the Rs started up with the whole focus on Democrats as immoral, evil, depraved. The shift, see, was from policy points to character assassination and conspiracy theory weaving, and they have never looked back.

All this stuff sickens me. Dwight Eisenhower as a Republican with moderate conservative views couldn't win a GOP primary right now, much less end up as the American president he actually was for eight years... wiinning both times by a landslide.

I'm tired of members of the House Freedom Caucus (and now the GOP generally) forever labeling the moderate Rs they contest in primaries as RINOs, and tagging moderate Dems as radical leftists... and really, really tired of their projecting upon Democrats their own "depraved, corrupt, and ruthless" behavior.

These guys in today's Republican Party do make me feel like we're all living through production of some film based on Lewis Carroll's novels Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Assumptions are bizarre, conclusions dogmatic and in between those endpoints God himself could not flowchart the logic.
 

Yoused

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The left also seems to blindly believe Democrats are the good guys and doing the right thing.
You must be unfamiliar with the Left. The Left thinks Joe Biden is a steaming turd. Honestly. I do not like the guy, and it bothers me that he will band-aid over the system and keep it afloat for the next Republican sledgehammer person.

Because Reagan and the Bushes and the Cheeto-Faced Ferret-Wearing ShitGibbon were so unbelievably awful – so bad that they make Richard Nixon look like a flaming liberal – the relief of getting someone a little more tolerable, a person who can handle those troublesome word things, looks like approval. It is like this D President is going at us with a baseball bat instead of a crowbar.

Because, the actual Left is so far to the rim of the discourse that they are now treated as lunatics. Alexandria is the inside edge of the left. The right has pounded us so hard for so long that we just want to spit on them and tell them to STFU, even when their ideas have some wisp of merit that we might give thought to.

If the Left ever gets real power, this is the worry of the Right, that there will be payback for all the shit that has been flung at us by ignorant assholes for about as long as we can remember. They will complain loudly that the dog bit them, the dog that they just could not stop kicking every chance they got. It would (maybe will) not be pretty.
 

Alli

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Joe was decidedly not my first choice during the primaries. He wasn’t even second or third. But he has won me over through his words and actions over the last few weeks. And let’s face it, nobody else would be poised to take office without the advantage of a full transition - which his team is being denied.

So he will bandage us. You cannot begin to heal without that. Don’t concentrate on someone coming along down the road and ripping off the bandage. Concentrate on the healing that can be done in the meanwhile. And who knows, maybe some people will realize they like the feeling and don’t want to go back to hurting and being hurt. And maybe that hurting others isn’t even as much fun as they once thought.
 

Yoused

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... Honestly. I do not like the guy ...
I should clarify that I (and probably most of the real Left) do not feel a personal sense of dislike for Joe. He seems like a decent, caring and duly humble person with whom I think I would be happy to share a beer, a dinner or a football game or whatever, but his policy leanings and corporatistic inclinations suck donkey balls in general terms of sustainable solutions.
 

lizkat

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I should clarify that I (and probably most of the real Left) do not feel a personal sense of dislike for Joe. He seems like a decent, caring and duly humble person with whom I think I would be happy to share a beer, a dinner or a football game or whatever, but his policy leanings and corporatistic inclinations suck donkey balls in general terms of sustainable solutions.

Yeah... and it sucks that his leanings are the ones that made it possible for him to win the election. Progressives are doing great at grassroots level the past few years. Taking it up the chain is a hell of a slog though, thanks to 40 years of relentless Republican brainwashing... and to be fair, too much Dem get-along and go-along via K street lavishing dough on both sides of the aisles. These guys have all spent too many lunch hours together at places where the rest of us could only dream of getting a waitstaff job for the fricken tips.
 

SuperMatt

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When people are presented with actual issues on a ballot, such as the minimum wage of $15 in Florida, they want it. But for some reason, they have an insane tribal loyalty to a party that vehemently opposes any change to the minimum wage. Same thing for health care. People don't LIKE dealing with insurance companies, or losing insurance when they change jobs, or getting denied due to pre-existing conditions. BUT since the evil Obama made the ACA, they hate it. It kind of boggles the mind. Right-leaners often even vote for local tax increases when they know the money is going to a project the community needs.
 

Scepticalscribe

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I should clarify that I (and probably most of the real Left) do not feel a personal sense of dislike for Joe. He seems like a decent, caring and duly humble person with whom I think I would be happy to share a beer, a dinner or a football game or whatever, but his policy leanings and corporatistic inclinations suck donkey balls in general terms of sustainable solutions.

Yeah... and it sucks that his leanings are the ones that made it possible for him to win the election. Progressives are doing great at grassroots level the past few years. Taking it up the chain is a hell of a slog though, thanks to 40 years of relentless Republican brainwashing... and to be fair, too much Dem get-along and go-along via K street lavishing dough on both sides of the aisles. These guys have all spent too many lunch hours together at places where the rest of us could only dream of getting a waitstaff job for the fricken tips.
The thing is, Mr Biden - especially if he does not feel the need to run for a second term - loosed or liberated from the need to cosy up to commercial interests or potential donors - could well, if he selects (or is allowed to select) idealistic, intelligent, progressive, motivated individuals to serve with him in his cabinet, - could well leave the country in a far better place than where he found it.

The man has decency and empathy (and integrity); these qualities are not to be mocked at, for character matters when you are in power.

Years ago, I remember reading a profile of Mikhail Gorbachev which observed that he "had a rough sense of decency", and I have since thought that this "rough sense of decency" guided - or helped to guide - his choices, and decisions in such a way as to ensure that the break-up of the Warsaw Pact, and the USSR, was a lot less sanguinary than it might have been otherwise, had his character been different.

Moreover, - two further points occur.

The first is that nothing will persuade me that Bernie Sanders could have, or would have, won an election for president, ever, standing as a candidate for the Democrats; not in the United States as it stands, culturally, at the moment. The left delude themselves if they think that this is not the case, or that he was "robbed" by Secretary Clinton four years ago.

And that beings us back to @lizkat's point about how Mr Biden's "leanings" were what enabled him to win the election.

It is a perennial fault of those of us on the left (and I am - and have been - guilty of this, too,) to expect perfection from our candidates when they assume office, and to rail at them, when, as is inevitable with the human condition, they fall short, as people, politicians, philosophers, leaders, for the exercise of power involves crafting compromises and reconciling contradictions, - with principles and people, both - which can be both philosophically inelegant and political messy and just occasionally, rather unsavoury. And politically unpalatable.

And we rail at them for that, the outraged response of principle betrayed; because we expect the best, and nothing but the best, anytime that standards slip, (which is often, to almost always) we howl, our hurt evident, instead of embracing, and celebrating and cheering, and owning those baby-steps of political, legal, economic, social and cultural progress, often very hard won, eked out, etched out, in the face of ferocious and sustained opposition.

Contrast that with the perspectives held by conservatives: Whereas we groan at any lapse, and curse, and resent our conditional support, and bemoan - and regret - the descent from assumed (or aspired to) perfection, (as if the good is the enemy of the best, or the good is in defiant opposition to the better than it was,) - they cheer every success, and not only do they not howl at any stumbles, or when their people fall short, they cheer them when they fall far short, very far short, as far short as it is possible to fall, in fact, we should by now realise that there is no depth to which they can fall which will not be greeted by cheers, raucous roars and whoops of wild celebration.

We express disappointed dismay at the smallest lapse, regret the merest compromise, and apologise to ourselves for our former support; they excuse the most egregious outrage, and exult at inequality, greet greed with cheers, and cruelty with approving laughter.

While we need to hold Democratic administrations to account, and indeed, insist on standards and stress that our support is conditional, we also need to learn not to expect perfection from those who are merely good, and decent, and have some sense of fairness, whose goodwill we can actually count upon, not when those who vehemently oppose them are truly bad, appallingly awful, and perfectly ghastly.
 
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lizkat

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We express disappointed dismay at the smallest lapse, regret the merest compromise, and apologise to ourselves for our former support; they excuse the most egregious outrage, and exult at inequality, greet greed with cheers, and cruelty with approving laughter

This... precisely!

Somehow our transactional assessments of everything keep drifting to the binary now,where they used to be multifaceted. It's become all the thing either to love or to hate a movie or TV show... and many of the aggregators of such info have happily quit offering scales of 1 to 10 in favor of a binary take on it all: a simple thumbs up or thumbs down.

So it's easily enough we become polarized as to our politics in the USA at least, where there are two major parties at seeming odds with each other on policy all these years. I say "seeming" because there's a lot of noise around "opposite" views on assorted issues in our campaigns, but big ticket legislation still gets tweaked in a narrow band and well short of extremes of American politics.

Sure there are polls that explore in more depth how prospective voters view a candidate or a policy. But on those "scale of of 1 to 5" queries when asked if one definitely agrees, somewhat agrees, is neutral, somewhat disagrees or definitely disagrees... we're not wearing out that neutral button.

Anyway you're right about the opposite ways that Dems and Republicans sometimes assess our human lack of perfection... Dems seem quicker to express public regret when sensing having misstepped (or being told off about a bad move), and are even sometimes too quick to put the "cancel" stamp on high profile members who transgress norms, or who are too slow to come up with something real in meeting campaign promises. But Republicans these days seem altogether too quick to exploit any flaw or perceived weakness in anyone (opponents or constituents!), to project their own malevolence on others, to dismiss accusations or charges laid against them for flagrant demostrations of amorality or chicanery, and yes to exult in how very well greed can be made to work as the underpinning of policies given descriptions that could beggar outrage for their 180º flip on meaning when it comes to implementation.
 
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