Sunday, January 31, 2021

The Adenauer solution.

 


I honestly believe that we need a kind of Truth and Reconciliation Commission similar to the one that was instituted in South Africa after Mandela came to power. It was necessary at the time to heal the country after the crimes of the previous Apartheid regimes were coming to light. 

I watched those specials on CNN about the attempted coup of the American government by all those trump cultists, and I honestly don't see how I could ever find common ground with those people. Frankly, I want them as far away from me as possible. But I can't deny that there are millions of them out there, and now, thanks to a republican party that is becoming crazier by the day, they are gaining real power in Washington as more and more of these crazies are being elected to national office. 

One has to wonder, then, how do we cope with these people? How do we deal with this segment of America's population? 

Here is an article written for Mother Jones by Benjamin Carter-Hett with a suggestion for how the country can deal with them moving forward.  

"In 1954, Eugen Kogon worried that the “the silent gradual, creeping, unstoppable return” of the ex-Nazis seemed to be the “fate” of Germany’s new democracy. Kogon, a Christian socialist intellectual who had been imprisoned in concentration camps, was not alone in his concern. For years after the 1949 founding of West Germany, liberal-minded Germans worried the transition to democracy would end with a rebound to authoritarianism. No one would ever think it’s easy, making the transition from dictatorship to democracy. Especially when the dictatorship has been a particularly brutal and murderous one. But for Kogon, and others yearning for democracy, a basic problem presented itself. What do you do with the people who ran the old regime? And what do you do with the masses of the old regime’s followers? Aren’t they all waiting for restoration—and maybe not just waiting, but actively working toward it?

At the end of the Trump era, we face a similar question. Trump’s post-election attempt to subvert democracy was no surprise. And the raiding of the Capitol was the sort of uncomfortable shock we knew might occur. It was, as I’ve written, our Beer Hall Putsch. This makes aggressive punishments for those involved an obvious need. If we do not do this, our democracy could spiral into dictatorship. Especially insidious has been the Republican Party’s reluctance to stop Trump, even after this attempted coup. Hundreds of Congress members still voted to overturn the election and against impeaching the insurrectionist-in-chief. The lesson is clear: One political party is committed to authoritarianism. We need a harsh reckoning now with those who directly supported the coup attempt.

But, as we look beyond this, there is still a broader issue: the willingness of Trump’s 70 million voters to believe the whole charade up to this point. And, if polls are to be believed, even after the events of January 6.  What about the voters who actively supported all this? What do we do with the aides, lackeys, flacks, and bureaucrats who helped his administration violate the norms of our democracy and bring myriad forms of grief to countless Americans? What about those who felt comfortable looking the other way while pocketing their tax cut? Comparisons between Trump’s regime and Weimar Germany, or Nazi Germany, have been done many times during his reign. Of course, the comparison is partial—Trump the person is a very long way from being Adolf Hitler 2.0. But if Germany’s pre-Nazi regime provides a lesson on how to counter a putsch, post–World War II experience also provides a lesson, on how to recover a democracy.

Kogon thought the return of the Nazis—back into the courts, the schools, the upper reaches of government—was going to be a “fatal” blow to democracy. The funny thing is some of the ex-Nazis Kogon feared so much actually agreed with him. One of them was Rudolf Diels, who had been the first chief of Hitler’s Gestapo. In the same year as Kogon’s lament, Diels complained about people who called him “a top Nazi” when “I only worry that they are coming again” and, when they return, “they will not start again at ‘33 but at ‘45”—meaning with the full, brutal radicalism of the end-stage Nazi regime.

Propaganda, then as now, was also a problem. An American diplomat reported in 1954 on the “loss of public confidence in leading Berlin officials, connected with internal political attacks and external propaganda directed to [the] unreliability [of] West German leadership generally.”

And yet we know that somehow democracy prevailed. The 1950s became known in West Germany as the age of the “economic miracle.” The parties of the democratic center extended their reach. The political extremes of left and right melted away. The country joined all the military, political and economic organizations of the democratic West. Gradually it became indispensable to all of them. In the 1970s a stronger democracy could fend off the challenge of domestic terrorism. In 1989–1990, the eastern Communist twin collapsed and Germany was triumphantly reunited. Since 2015, the rise of the Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) and neo-Nazi activists in the Germany army and security forces has drawn media attention. But we need to remember that support for the far right is heavily concentrated in the former East Germany, more a legacy of the Communist German Democratic Republic. In recent years, global surveys have routinely found Germany to be the most admired country in the world.

In 1949 these later successes were all but unimaginable. The new West Germany hardly looked like a promising infant democracy. Among its 50 million people, over 6 million had been members of the Nazi Party, and millions more had belonged to Nazi-affiliated organizations or served in one of the many Nazi police or security forces. During the war, Germany had mobilized eighteen million men for service in one or another of the armed forces (far more than the United States, although Germany had only half the American population). A staggering number of them—a little over five million—had been killed in action, leaving countless millions of grieving family members. Around two million civilians had been killed as well, in allied bombing raids, or mass deportations near war’s end at the hands of liberated and vengeful Poles or Czechs. The luckier of those deportees reached West Germany, especially Schleswig-Holstein in the north and Bavaria in the south, owning only what they could carry. For years they constituted an embittered and reliably far-right voting bloc.

After 1945, Germans who had been victims of the Nazis—Jews, Communists, and other political opponents—were mostly dead, in exile, or in East Germany. There had always been more people who just kept their heads down and tried to get along. By war’s end they were all that was left.

These surviving, hungry Germans, in their ruined cities, with Allied occupation troops everywhere, thought that they were the real victims of Hitler and the war. They complained about the “self-righteous” allies. They didn’t know, or didn’t care, about the sufferings of people in the countries Germany had invaded or occupied. A palpable anti-semitism lingered and kept them from any feelings of remorse about the Holocaust. Quite the contrary: newspapers and magazines filled their pages with sensationalized stories of unscrupulous Jews making huge profits on black market coffee, or venturing forth from their “DP” (displaced person) camps to commit violent crimes against unsuspecting Germans. As the Cold War emerged in the later 1940s, the number of Germans willing to tell pollsters the Nuremberg war crimes trials had been “unfair” shot upwards.

It was in this atmosphere, in August 1949, that West Germany experienced its first free national election since 1932. Some scholars have called it “the last Weimar election”—referring to the Weimar Republic of 1919-1933—because, like in that earlier experiment in democracy, the 1949 contest revealed a bitterly divided country voting for a wide range of parties, from the Communists on the far left to the “German Party” and “German Conservative Party” on the extreme right.

The center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU), edged out the expected winners, the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), by a narrow margin: 31 percent to 29.2 percent. A few weeks later the newly elected Bundestag confirmed by one single vote the administration of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, the leader of the CDU.

Adenauer seemed as unpromising a democratic leader as his country was an unpromising democracy. He was seventy-three years old when he entered the chancellor’s office, a dry and cautious man with no gift for oratory. In a television-saturated age he could never have risen to the top.....

 Adenauer was a committed democrat and anti-Nazi. He had been mayor of the city of Cologne for many years, until the Nazis, who hated him, drove him from his post. He endured the Third Reich in forced retirement, occasionally in prison, sometimes in hiding or on the run.

Now fate had given him a huge chance. For the last act of his life he could give his country a new beginning. He reassured his younger, ambitious rivals: he would just be there for two years or so. At his age how could he do more? He would hold the stirrups for them. Their time would come very soon.

In fact, Adenauer would be chancellor for fourteen years. He would triumph in election after election. In 1957, he would do what no other German leader has ever done: win an outright majority of the popular vote in a free election. The new Germany and its democratic success was as much his doing as anyone’s.

Let’s go back to the cool and un-illusioned eyes. Adenauer had watched as his countrymen and women fell prey to the Nazi demagogues. He was a democrat who had little faith in the democratic commitment of his fellow citizens. So, he thought, better not to test it too much: better to ask as little of them as possible.

This applied above all to those who had been active Nazis. The dry and correct Adenauer would never have said, like Lyndon Johnson, that he would rather have them inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in. But he would have understood the point immediately. It was how he worked, too.

Adenauer talked about “drawing a line under the past.” One of the first bills the new Bundestag took up was an amnesty for Nazi criminals. It was followed by such measures as the “131er law” (passed under article 131 of the West German constitution) that allowed civil servants and even military personnel of the Nazi era to get their old jobs back. Such people were known for years as “131ers.”

In 1945, the victorious Allies had set out on an ambitious campaign of “denazification” in Germany. Although American, British, and French procedures were all somewhat different (Soviet procedures were unrecognizably different) the basic idea was to identify active Nazis, remove them from any possibility of public influence, and punish the most guilty with fines or imprisonment.

But by 1946 the western Allies found that examining millions of people was too much. They also realized that almost everyone who had lived in a dictatorship came out tainted—including the police, the firefighters, the engineers, the teachers, the doctors. You could have justice for Nazism’s victims or you could have a functioning society. You couldn’t have both. The Allies handed the procedure over to German tribunals, who predictably let almost everyone off the hook. Adenauer knew how much ordinary Germans detested the denazification system. As his administration took up its work, the whole increasingly pointless process was brought to a halt – though only after many of the worst Nazi criminals had been tried, convicted, and in many cases imprisoned or executed.

Of course, the emerging Cold War worked to Adenauer’s advantage—and he played brilliantly the cards it dealt him. The British and Americans wanted West German soldiers for deterrence or defense against any Soviet attack. But rearming was unpopular in Germany: the right opposed supplying soldiers to the same countries that were still imprisoning German commanders from World War II, while the left fought any use of Germans as cannon fodder. Adenauer pushed through rearmament, but extracted a high price for it. With every move toward a new army, he demanded and got concessions from the Allies—the end of prosecutions, the release of war criminals from prison, eventually the end of the occupation and the restoration of full sovereignty to West Germany.

Building up West Germany’s defense establishment meant bringing back the army officers, intelligence experts, police officials, and diplomats of the Nazi era. There was no other way. When the new army, the Bundeswehr, was created in 1955, its officers were overwhelmingly Hitler’s officers. West Germany’s foreign intelligence service was led by Reinhard Gehlen, who during the war had headed up intelligence on the Red Army. The courts were filled with judges who had handed down Hitler’s draconian sentences. Police officers had arrested Jews and Communists. Professors had taught the supremacy of all things German.

This went right to the top. Adenauer’s Chancellor’s Office was managed by Hans Globke, who in the 1930s had written the official commentary to the infamous antisemitic Nuremberg laws. In the 1960s one of Adenauer’s successors as Chancellor was Kurt Georg Kiesinger, who had been a Nazi Party member and had worked in the propaganda department of the Nazi Foreign Office.

None of this was morally attractive. The reintegration of former Nazis came at the expense of those who had fought Hitler’s regime, or been its victims. Resistance fighters, including the conservative officers of the famous Valkyrie plot, were widely reviled as traitors. A 1954 opinion survey found that nearly 40 percent of respondents thought that anti-Nazis who had gone abroad should be barred from holding any high governmental office in West Germany. Nor was postwar Germany a comfortable place for surviving or returning Jews. In 1950 a carpenter named Max FΓΌrst returned to Germany from Israel. At first the only job he could get was delivering mail. One customer angrily protested that he could never accept his mail “from the hands of a Jew.”

But this was the material out of which a new democracy had somehow to be made. Adenauer understood this. And so he worked slowly, coolly, pragmatically. He steered West Germany toward membership in NATO and to what would eventually become the European Union, tying the unpredictable country to wider and more stable structures. He made things easy for ex-Nazis so that their secure life and career prospects would reconcile them to the new state. His reward came in three decisive re-election victories.

His country’s reward is the Germany of today: prosperous, solidly democratic, its citizens much more concerned with social justice and the environment then are those of most other countries. Success came at a price: the cost to victims and opponents of Nazism in the years just after the war, and later on, the radical extremism and even domestic terrorism of the late 1960s and 1970s that arose in reaction to the lingering Nazis and Nazism in all corners of the Federal Republic.

The final tribute to Adenauer’s work was ironic. By 1962, like many long-serving leaders, he had grown arrogant in power. In October of that year the news magazine Der Spiegel published an article highly critical of the new West German army, based on information which Adenauer’s administration claimed was classified. Der Spiegel’s editor in chief Rudolf Augstein and several of his reporters were arrested and charged with treason. An unprecedented and widespread outcry from a newly-energized democratic citizenry forced Adenauer to back down and, a year later, to leave office.

Then and since, some have argued that all Adenauer did was lead a “restoration” of the old, authoritarian Germany. But politics, as Bismarck said, is the art of the possible, and what were the other possibilities for a post-Hitler Germany? The radical right lurked just the same in the 1950s as in the 1920s: in veterans’ groups, revived versions of the Nazi Party, the embittered expellees. Adenauer’s policies drew the poison from them and brought them into the tent. The shortest and clearest response to the “restoration” claim is the Spiegel affair. Democratic outrage forced the old man from office. The system worked, even against its architect.

There are lessons for us in this experience. Just as West Germans in 1950 ranked Hitler second after Bismarck as the greatest German statesman ever, a large share of the American electorate still thought it was a good idea to vote for Donald Trump after four years of seeing what he was. As we have seen, ever more dangerous extremism is growing among the Trumpers. Those people will be with us a long while yet. For the sake of our democracy’s long-term health, they need a viable path back to the political center, not roadblocks of exclusion and retaliation. Those who have spent four years in rage at all of Trump’s abuses of human rights, the rule of law, and basic decency—and I count myself very much among them—will need to think hard about where political wisdom really lies. The cool, unglamorous figure of Konrad Adenauer offers a way to do that." [Source]

I disagree with the author's premise. A "cool unglamorous figure" would never cut it in 2021 America. There is too much social media, cable television, and 24 hour news to compete with. 

Moving to the political center won't work, because these "Trumpers" will never come there with us. They are, in my opinion, going to be forever locked in their extreme right-wing echo chambers and spaces. They are there for many reasons. Primarily for racial self-preservation, power, and sense of belonging with like-minded individuals. 

This has now gone way beyond just politics and political ideas. This has morphed into something else. As we can see from what transpired on January 6th. It's become darker, more baleful and way more  menacing. 

*Pic from qz.com

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

“I watched those specials on CNN about the attempted coup of the American government by all those trump cultists, and I honestly don't see how I could ever find common ground with those people.”

In all of these discussions, I think we need to distinguish between the crazies who stormed the Capitol on January 6th, and everyone who merely voted for Trump. These people do not all have equally radical beliefs. There are those who can be persuaded to come back to reality, and those who cannot. This was the subject of Hillary Clinton’s much-derided “deplorables” comments. Right-wing opinion leaders attempted to make out that she’d described everyone who’d ever voted Republican as a “deplorable,” but she was saying the opposite — that the majority of Republican voters were NOT irredeemable; only a subset of them were. And you shouldn’t try to appeal to the evil people, just those who’d been deceived by the evil people.

That might still be an unpalatable message — if the Republican Party is made up of dimwitted donkeys led by evil jackals, it still hurts to be described as a donkey — but a more truthful one.

Anonymous said...

Comparisons with postwar Germany aren’t really valid, I think.

For starters, the Allied denazification process purged the worst of the worst from the Nazi era. By the time the country was released from occupation, the German “deplorables” were mostly dead, imprisoned for life, or had fled to Argentina. The people who were left were not the hardcore Nazis, only some if those who’d gone along to get along.

Also, the Nazis had discredited themselves by bringing true devastation upon Germany. Hitler had picked a fight with the rest of Europe, and the US, and left his country in ruins. The situation is not the same for Trump. True, his lack of any meaningful effort to defend the US against COVID has left 400K (and counting) dead and the economy badly damaged. However, he hasn’t left the nation a smoking crater, like Germany after WWII. And keep in mind that the deaths and economic losses of the COVID epidemic have not been distributed evenly — some communities have faced huge losses, with others left mostly untouched — and understanding how badly America has fared relative to other nations requires a level of news literacy than many Americans do not have. As a result, it is still depressingly possible for many of Trump’s followers to, even now, lie to themselves about, and minimize, the extent of Trump’s failures.

It will take more work to change the minds of Trump voters than it took to change the minds of those Germans who’d passively gone along with Hitler until their country was wrecked.

Gambler2 said...

To Anonymous at 3:00 PM

I agree with your analysis. I don't see any purpose to try to integrate some of the extreme members of Trump's cult. For example Marjory Taylor Green is beyond the reach of accepting sane policies going forward. Same for many other hard core followers who have made a religion of worshiping Trump. Nevertheless, I think there are many people who voted for Trump that can be brought back into the fold of democracy. I think it all depends on whether or not Biden and the Democrats in congress can pass measures that actually help the American people and give them hope for the future.

It will be difficult because for at least 50 years, the Republican Party has used fear laced with lies to fool people into voting against their own self-interest. Democrats, Independents and disaffected Republicans must band together to counter the lies and fear. People in power in these groups must take every occasion to speak out and counter far-right propaganda.

I am somewhat hopeful, but I'm not totally convinced that this will happen.

dinthebeast said...

So the question now is which of the Pig People can be de-porkified back into functioning society, and that's not a precisely answerable question as it remains in the willful choices made by each individual US citizen Pig Person.

On a more general level we can and should try our asses off to solve the problem ahead of those individual choices so as to influence them as best we can given everyone's own freedom of choice.

That, after all, is the very definition of political behavior: any attempt to influence the opinion of another human being.

So what is the boundary, on one side of which lies the possibility of functional participation in a healthy society, and on the other side of which lies a dead loss to any such society?

I would submit that the most obvious and consequential one would have to be the willing acceptance of objective reality; the "truth" part of "truth and reconciliation."

Thirty years of unrelenting propaganda have brought us to this place where measurable percentages of the population actually believe the world is being run by child raping cannibals.

There can be no reconciling with those folks before the truth part sinks in.

The mechanics of such a process are still unknown, as it is a fairly new phenomenon in society and nature: In the wild, any creature that writes mistakes into its description of the world becomes dinner for one that didn't, so the basic underpinnings of our biology are being violated by the ridiculous garbage these folks hold as the truth.

But what to do about the rights as citizens of Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Breitbart, Newsmax, OANN, and all of the rest? And in their absence, would the propagandized really develop new information behaviors?

These are the questions we must find working answers to if we want the United States of America to remain the functional, if badly flawed, society that it is, much less to make any approach toward that hallowed "more perfect union" and doing so will require compromise from everyone involved at every level, given the polarization of basic thought we now operate under.

How to avoid letting the "functioning society" part get compromised away in the accommodation of the humanity of those Pig People will be one of the hardest questions to answer, and most likely, the least popular conclusion drawn.

We must do it anyway. Careers and bases of influence and profit will be damaged by it, so the fight for it will be brutal and uncertain, but the alternative is complete oblivion.

In a very real sense, it is a civil war, one that cannot be won with the weapons of conventional war, because if it could, we wouldn't be here.

As driftglass has put it so many times, we can't long endure half Fox and half free.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Gambler2 said...

Dinthebeast said...

There can be no reconciling with those folks before the truth part sinks in.

-----
I agree, Doug and I'm not sure I have an answer to address this issue.

One step that many people hate might be to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. Originally people who wished to participate in broadcast privileges were required to devote some time to the public interest, since the airways were considered owned by the public. Apparently that is no longer required. Furthermore when reporting politics, they were required to give opposing opinions equal time. That's gone too. So maybe bringing these practices back might help.

That's all I got for now. Time for others who post here to give us their ideas.


mike from iowa said...

Mike Hucksterbee says Biden is failing in poll numbers and tghis will be a constant lie/lament from him as long as Biden is Potus. McCTurtlefuckface will do what he can to make Biden fail, just as he did for Obama, but he doesn't have control of both houses and not sure how many magats will back him.

Given enough time, less han magatty magats will see the error of their beliefs, but I doubt they run o Dems with open arms. If they stay a third party that keeps wingnuts/magats divided, all the better for the progressives and the nation.

dinthebeast said...

Fergus' stick is the prospect of a new political party which would bury the right wing electorily, his carrot is the support of his idiot hordes, who still comprise a majority of Republican primary voters.
He has neither the attention nor skill to launch a political party, but his primary voters remain a threat to any sanity that might try seeping into the Republican party.
At least until the newest shiny object lie dispenser supplants him with even batshittier and bigottier bombast.
You know it will happen, it always does.
Also, he's old as dirt and less healthy, so he will eventually just croak off and leave us alone, leaving his rabid morons to turn to thoughts of resurrection.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

dinthebeast said...

Speaking of the Huckster:

Gov. Mike Huckabee
@GovMikeHuckabee
The same Fauci who once said a mask was dangerous now says use 2 masks. Will 2 pair of glasses make us see better? 2 sets of headphones to hear better? 2 watches to stay on time? Makes “common sense,” right?

Jason Isbell
@JasonIsbell
Another one! Huckabee knows the difference here, he’s just pretending he doesn’t to pander to an audience he thinks is ignorant. It’s more like using two compressors for your awful, awful bass playing, Mike.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

mike from iowa said...

Last updated: February 01, 2021, 15:58 GMT
United States
Coronavirus Cases:
26,771,042
Deaths:
452,332

1875 bodies counted of a pleasant Sunday, the last day of January.

Anonymous said...

The identity of the officer who killed the unarmed protester is now publicly available on various search engines. The officer is a vocal member of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and has expressed his desire to see Trump supporters killed on his Facebook account.



https://twitter.com/amuse/status/1355977064642445312

Anonymous said...

1875 bodies counted of a pleasant Sunday, the last day of January.

11:07 AM

All bullshit. the funeral homes and casket makers are not doing booming business......

PilotX said...

"There can be no reconciling with those folks before the truth part sinks in."


Agreed. This country is coming to an inglorious end. The forces of ignorance, mass media, hatred and racism have all congealed into something that cannot be corrected or stopped. We have always at our heart been a big stupid country. The "founding fathers" knew this which is why they tried to keep true democracy out of the hands of the unwashed masses but like the capitol police those guard rails would be overrun. It was fun while it lasted. Good luck to all of us because it will only get worse so the choices are to remain and watch it burn or bailout.

PilotX said...

"The identity of the officer who killed the unarmed protester is now publicly available on various search engines. The officer is a vocal member of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and has expressed his desire to see Trump supporters killed on his Facebook account."


Interesting. Maybe he should have killed a few "armed" protesters. Would that make you feel better? Maybe if he had been a vocal supporter of the klan? We just need a few more thousand officers like this patriot!

PilotX said...

"All bullshit. the funeral homes and casket makers are not doing booming business......"

You sure?

Anonymous said...

“The identity of the officer who killed the unarmed protester is now publicly available on various search engines.”

If you were part of the mob that stormed the Capitol, then you were a terrorist, not a protester.

mike from iowa said...

Funeral homes may be hurting because of pandemic, it is not like there aren't bodies to be taken care of. You just aren't seeing large, well attended expensive funerals. People opt for cheaper services like cremation.

dinthebeast said...

In fact, the rules on how many bodies can be cremated per day have had to be relaxed in several major cities.
Add this to the parts of objective reality that have to be accepted before any reconciliation or unity can be attempted: who is alive and who is dead.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

PilotX said...

"People opt for cheaper services like cremation."

Dumbass doesn't believe it. Another trump "genius" in action. We are screwed.

Gambler2 said...

Anonymous said

"The unarmed protester......."
----------------
Do you mean the "unarmed Protester" who was trying to jump through the window of the capitol building?

If you did, I don't have a lot of sympathy for her. If you participate in an insurrection, you should be willing to die for your cause. Otherwise, why be there?

mike from iowa said...

Had the cop shot the insurrectionist 15 times and reloaded and shot her 15 more times, not once in the back, I'd say he got his point across.

PilotX said...

“Do you mean the "unarmed Protester" who was trying to jump through the window of the capitol building?“

They all showed a lot of restraint because I would not have shed one tear if they had shot many more because they were yelling they were going to kill the VP and members of congress not to mention killing one of their colleagues. Should have been a lot more dead people.

dinthebeast said...

The Big Lie=the big grift:

Trump’s Sleight of Hand

February 1, 2021 at 6:51 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 81 Comments

“Former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party leveraged false claims of voter fraud and promises to overturn the election to raise more than a quarter-billion dollars in November and December as hundreds of thousands of trusting supporters listened and opened their wallets,” the New York Times reports.

“But the Trump campaign spent only a tiny fraction of its haul on lawyers and other legal bills related to those claims. Instead, Mr. Trump and the G.O.P. stored away much of the money — $175 million or so — even as they continued to issue breathless, aggressive and often misleading appeals for cash that promised it would help with recounts, the rooting out of election fraud and even the Republican candidates’ chances in the two Senate runoff races in Georgia.”

-Doug in Sugar Pine

dinthebeast said...

It was Fergus' idea for the mob to march to the capitol, not the rally organizers, and the event permit specifically noted that it was not a permit for a march on the capitol.
He did it, full stop.
Senate Republicans will acquit him anyway.
We are then left with the task of taking those votes to acquit and tying them around their necks and beating them with them in 2022.
Let's give Biden a filibuster proof majority, whether he needs it or not, because these creeps have to go.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Anonymous said...

Video shows shocking negro assault that left 84-year-old San Francisco man dead
At least two black suspects have been arrested.



https://www.foxnews.com/us/video-assault-84-year-old-man-san-francisco

Anonymous said...

Capitol Rioter Asks Court to Let Her Vacation in Mexico

I don’t have the words to describe how brainwashed these people are. They fell so far down the Trumpian/QAnoner Internet rabbit hole that they can’t even comprehend that trying to overthrow the government is kind of a big deal and might result in serious consequences for them.

If they weren’t such angry racist assholes, I’d almost feel bad for them. Almost.

Field Negro said...

Anon@2:38 p.m., you make some valid points. I think I am still stung by the events on 01/06/21. Maybe in time I will come around.

Gambler2 said...

Field, you are doing better than I am. I'm so angry and outraged that I would have every person who entered the capitol building executed it I could. Hopefully, I will calm down soon, but I'm not counting on it.

Gambler2 said...

Biden administration moves to release billions of long-awaited Maria relief for Puerto Rico

Read more here: https://www.mcclatchydc.com/#storylink=cpy

"Hurricane Maria was a deadly Category 5 hurricane that devastated Dominica, St Croix, and Puerto Rico in September 2017. It is regarded as the worst natural disaster in recorded history to affect those islands and was also the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Mitch in 1998."

Can anyone please explain to me why Trump didn't release this money long ago?

Anonymous said...

Everything about the impeachment trial is already living down to expectations.

Instead of arguing that he didn’t incite his followers to storm the Capitol and can’t be held responsible for what went down, Trump is going to present a justification defense. “The election was rigged. I really won, but was cheated of my victory by evil Democrats. Therefore, violent insurrection was a perfectly reasonable response.”

So far, so vile.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are going to try to dodge the choice of either supporting or opposing Trump’s actions. They plan to pretend that impeachment of an EX-president is unconstitutional and the whole proceeding is illegitimate and that’s why they were FORCED to vote no, while passing no judgment whatsoever on the morality or legality of the events of Jan 6th.

I don’t think I’ll have the stomach to watch this extravaganza of bullshit.

Gambler2 said...

Anonymous said...

I don’t think I’ll have the stomach to watch this extravaganza of bullshit.
------------
Please look at the bright side. Regardless of what the Republicans in the senate do, the American people will be able to see what Trump did and how the cowardly Republicans have responded. Registered Republicans are already leaving the party in droves, and re-registering as Democrats or Independents. Hard to see how Republicans will be able to regain power with only about twenty to twenty-five percent of the voters behind them.

Gambler2 said...

Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?

February 2, 2021 at 7:43 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 75 Comments

A president has only limited control over the economy. And yet there has been a stark pattern in the United States for nearly a century. The economy has grown significantly faster under Democratic presidents than Republican ones.”

“It’s true about almost any major indicator: gross domestic product, employment, incomes, productivity, even stock prices. It’s true if you examine only the precise period when a president is in office, or instead assume that a president’s policies affect the economy only after a lag and don’t start his economic clock until months after he takes office.”
https://politicalwire.com/2021/02/02/why-are-republican-presidents-so-bad-for-the-economy/

Flying Junior said...

Jake: Ya know, Jimmy, those Stop the Steal Trumpy guys are pretty fuckin' crazy!

Jimmy: How fuckin' crazy are they, Jake?

Jake: Those Trumpsters as so fuckin' crazy that the same guys who were among the primary instigators of the insurrection are already publishing a "news" account claiming that it was all a false flag operation!

Jimmy: You mean those right-wing whackadoodles that dutifully obeyed Trump and travelled to D.C. to Stop the Steal, with their guns strapped across their chests?

Jake: The very same. In this case, I'm talking about the Oath Keepers.

Jimmy: I don't believe it.

Jake: Check this out, buddy!

Was the Capitol Riot a False Flag?

Jimmy: I don't believe it. That's insane!

Jake: You got it.

PilotX said...

"Capitol Rioter Asks Court to Let Her Vacation in Mexico"

You can ransack the Capitol building, shoot a church full of elderly people or shoot two people during a protest and get out the same day or driven to Burger King but if you're a 9 year old Blah girl you're handcuffed and pepper sprayed. This is Amerikkka.


https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/01/us/rochester-police-pepper-spray-child/index.html

Flying Junior said...

Jake: Ya know, Jimmy, those Stop the Steal Trumpy guys are pretty fuckin' crazy!

Jimmy: How fuckin' crazy are they, Jake?

Jake: Those Trumpsters as so fuckin' crazy that the same guys who were among the primary instigators of the insurrection are already publishing a "news" account claiming that it was all a false flag operation!

Jimmy: You mean those right-wing whackadoodles that dutifully obeyed Trump and travelled to D.C. to Stop the Steal, with their guns strapped across their chests?

Jake: The very same. In this case, I'm talking about the Oath Keepers.

Jimmy: I don't believe it.

Jake: Check this out, buddy!

Was the Capitol Riot a False Flag?

Jimmy: I don't believe it. That's insane!

Jake: You got it.

PilotX said...

LOL!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNrQeKWWRyM

Paradoctor said...

Ladies and gentlemen, and also the trolls:

I am moderately confident that peace and sanity can be restored to this country; and where this country was never peaceful or sane, then peace and sanity can be successfully imposed. But at a price.

The price is that the Left must explicitly present itself as the small-c conservative faction. If they're the radical right, who are all wrong, then let us be the conservative left, who are all that's left.

Small-c conservative, not big-C; for "Conservatism" is no more conservative than Pravda was pravda. (='truth') The very name that big-C Conservatism chose for itself is a Big Lie, and I say that we should call them out. Emphasize how they consistently favor destruction. Guns? Check. War? Check. Killer cops? Check. Capitol punishment? Check. Violent bigotry? Check. Sedition? Check. Lies and madness? Check. Ecological devastation? Check. Climate chaos? Check.

To be small-c conservative one must wish to conserve. Fortunately there are many things that the Left sincerely seeks to conserve, unlike the Right. The environment, human rights, and the middle class, for three.

Also small-c conservative are rationality and order and good manners; about which every faction, and every human, in truth has mixed feelings. So to advocate for these stuffy old-fashioned values is necessarily somewhat hypocritical. But it's a calming hypocrisy, in harmony with the natural hypocrisy of all humankind.

So call the insurrectionists scary, though admittedly exciting, and ourselves reassuring, though admittedly boring. Biden gets that much at least.

Fortunately, the natural hypocrisy of all humankind allows even the stuffiest of small-c conservatives to accomplish radical systemic change, if that change is successfully sold as necessary to right the ship of State, restore order, and affirm the virtues of the past. This works even if the past never actually had those virtues, but only claimed them. Giving force to those claims will feel like restoration, rather than innovation.

So wave that flag, play that stirring music, and call all the Founders liberators, even the slaveholders, if that's what it takes to pass the necessary reforms. The people will see right through your flattery, but will go along with it if your program makes sense. Abandon purity, ye who enter here! 'Tis the price of power.

Once, in my youth, and during one of the many arguments that I had with my father, he cynically predicted that I will become a conservative in my old age. Stung to the quick, I retorted that if so, then it shall be on my own terms. Half a century later, I see that we were both prophetic.

Anonymous said...

'A moral and national shame': Biden to launch taskforce to reunite families separated at border

From the article:

"Biden officials said they could not say how many children had to be reunified because the policy had been implemented without a method for tracking the separated families. In an ongoing court case, a reunification committee said in December that the parents of 628 children had not been located."

dinthebeast said...

Paradoctor: Yes, yes yes. We on the left have been tasked with the conserving of norms and traditions for decades, ever since the supposedly conservative political party abandoned governance and took up the pursuit of power as their singular focus.
It kinda sucks sometimes to be a liberal and know that you have to do the conservatives' jobs for them before you can even address your own agenda, but you're right about using it as a tactic.
But I've been saying it for a while now: fuck MAGA, MGBA instead, that is Make Government Boring Again.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Paradoctor said...

I prefer to phrase that as MAGE: Make America Good Enough. That's a modest and perhaps achievable goal, with an anagram that's a word instead of baby-babble. If Horn-Hat can say he's a shaman (ha!) then we can say we're mages!

PilotX said...

Welcome to the Republican Party. High school dropout Lauren Boebert, who just got her GED last year, is now a U.S. congresswoman. Wait, it gets better. She also has a police record and since she is a shining example of the American education system she wants to abolish the Dept. of Education. She dropped out of school because she got pregnant but opposes comprehensive sex education and wants to defund Planned Parenthood. To top it off with the most hillbilly shit I’ve heard in my life, she gave birth to her third son in the front seat of her pickup truck. πŸ˜†πŸ˜‚ Well, at least we know who the GOP will nominate as their presidential candidate.

PilotX said...

Welcome to the Republican Party. High school dropout Lauren Boebert, who just got her GED last year, is now a U.S. congresswoman. Wait, it gets better. She also has a police record and since she is a shining example of the American education system she wants to abolish the Dept. of Education. She dropped out of school because she got pregnant but opposes comprehensive sex education and wants to defund Planned Parenthood. To top it off with the most hillbilly shit I’ve heard in my life, she gave birth to her third son in the front seat of her pickup truck. πŸ˜†πŸ˜‚ Well, at least we know who the GOP will nominate as their presidential candidate.

Anonymous said...

"Welcome to the Republican Party. High school dropout Lauren Boebert, who just got her GED last year, is now a U.S. congresswoman. Wait, it gets better. She also has a police record and since she is a shining example of the American education system she wants to abolish the Dept. of Education."

Yeah, that's the GOP of the 21st century, alright. They claim to be anti-elitist. And they are! But not in any good way.

Not in the way the Democrats try to be, by using regulation and taxation and promoting labor unions to ensure that the economy is fair and all of the nation's wealth doesn't end up in the bank accounts of the top few percent of earners.

Nope, the Republicans are against "intellectual elitism," not economic elitism. In other words, they're not anti-rich; they're anti-smart. They resent people who are educated, and they don't want any of that high-falutin' government by "people who know how to do stuff." Yuck, expertise!

What the new Republican voter wants is to see an utter moron like himself on TV, shouting about how great America is and how all the other countries suck, bragging about her pickup truck and her gun collection, and not making him feel bad about being fat and ignorant and uncultured.

Basically, it turns out the movie Idiocracy was a documentary.

Anonymous said...

"Welcome to the Republican Party. High school dropout Lauren Boebert, who just got her GED last year, is now a U.S. congresswoman. Wait, it gets better. She also has a police record and since she is a shining example of the American education system she wants to abolish the Dept. of Education. She dropped out of school because she got pregnant but opposes comprehensive sex education and wants to defund Planned Parenthood."

She also claims she learned that government assistance isn't necessary, because she worked at McDonald's. Which, again, proves she's a moron, since almost nobody could work at McDonald's without government assistance -- the company doesn't pay a living wage and its employees only manage to survive by receiving food stamps and having their pay topped up by the Earned Income Tax Credit (aka Uncle Sam).

What a mega-dunce.

mike from iowa said...

Worse yet for major corporations, they were encouraging their newest employees to seek Medicaid and food stamps and had officials to show applicants how to apply. (WalMart MickyD and possibly others)

Micky Ds recently confirmed paying a livable wage would not cost jobs, as chicken little magats run around crying. The costs would be added to Big Macs.

Anonymous said...

“Worse yet for major corporations, they were encouraging their newest employees to seek Medicaid and food stamps and had officials to show applicants how to apply. (WalMart MickyD and possibly others)”

Of course they do that. Their business model assumed taxpayer will subsidize their businesses. That’s no way to run a country.

You people are insane said...

Emphasize how they consistently favor destruction.

Consistent projection.

Guns? Check.

It was guns that kept red areas from falling prey to the lootings and arsons which plagued Kenosha, Minneapolis and Portland.

War? Check.

Trump is the only president in decades who didn't start a single war.

Killer cops? Check.

You're fine with rampant killings NOT by cops.  It's proof that Black Lives Only Matter As Political Tools.

Capitol punishment? Check.

There's no "o" in "capital", and some people need to die.  Like the murderers of Victoria Rose Smith.

Violent bigotry? Check.

Figures you find "bigotry" worse than armed robbery and murder.

Sedition? Check.

You're one to talk.

Lies and madness? Check.

If you don't recognize your own words as madness, it's proof you are insane.  You believe that a man can put on a dress and become a woman.  A real conservative doesn't want to destroy femininity, no matter which case the "c" is.

mike from iowa said...

drumpf/noem body count collected 3406 moar bodies to gorge on, Tuesday.

Gluttony is a sin except when magats do it.

Anonymous said...

Alright, now Trump's attorneys appear to be backing off his justification defense for him sending thugs to storm the Capitol building. They say they won't bring up his "rigged election" claims in order to justify his incitement of a riot.

We'll see. I still don't trust them not to descend into the sewer. Trump just can't help himself. One way or another, whenever given a choice, he always takes the worst path. I wouldn't be surprised at all if his attorneys go into "Stop the Steal" mode the moment Senate Democrats say something that makes Trump especially mad.

mike from iowa said...

Magats are stoopid fucking critters. They claim all kinds of crimes, without evidence, that HRC needs to be locked up for and then completely ignore the crimes drumpf has committed.

Without the total demise iof magats, there will be no United States reconcilliation. Magats will not allow it.

Paradoctor said...

I addressed ladies and gentlemen, and "also" the trolls. Speaking of whom:

"Capitol", spelled with an O, refers to the head, of government or of the body. "Capital", spelled with an A, refers to the means of production, Comrade.

Gun cultists, as is typical of fanatics, misread their holy text. The Second Amendment is at pains to mention the need for a "well-regulated" militia; a clause that gun cultists routinely ignore. As a result of that, and Scalia's scandalous ruling in "DC vs Heller", we now have only half of the 2nd Amendment, with malign results now self-evident. I propose this repair of the broken 2nd: "The right of the people to bear arms in a well-regulated State militia shall not be infringed." One grammatical clause, that links rights and responsibility.

There's much else, but I have class to teach in a few minutes, and they are ladies and gentlemen. But one last note about lies and madness:

May Kal-El illuminate the darkness of Marjorie Taylor Greene's mind... with a space laser.

PilotX said...

Mrs. Boebert has a long history of resisting arrest and avoiding court. Soooooooo much privilege here because 9-year-old Blah girls get pepper sprayed. This is the law and order GOP, put a Parkland denier on the Education committee and let a person who couldn't handle high school biology and dropped out in charge of environmental science. Just go ahead and nominate an actual clown for 2024.

https://nypost.com/2021/01/16/gop-rep-lauren-boebert-and-husband-have-racked-up-arrests/

Anonymous said...

“May Kal-El illuminate the darkness of Marjorie Taylor Greene's mind... with a space laser.”

Her wacky conspiracy theory is self-refuting. If the Jews were really the sinister, world-dominating baddies and really did have a space laser, Marjorie Taylor Greene would already be vaporized.

Bzzt. Gone, in a puff of smoke, to the cheers of a grateful nation.

Her supporters would have to leave teddy bears and flowers on the scorched spot on the sidewalk where she previously used to rant.

Paradoctor said...

Kal-El has told the Council of Elders and the International Bankers to use their space laser only for good.

Anonymous said...

Randy Rainbow has decided to join the Marjorie Taylor Greene pile-on.

Good job, Randy.

mike from iowa said...

Anon @ 2:24 PM

Her wacky conspiracy theory is self-refuting. If the Jews were really the sinister, world-dominating baddies and really did have a space laser, Marjorie Taylor Greene would already be vaporized.

Not necessarily. I have said over and over if there was a kristian god there would be no magats because they have abused and bastardized the religion of peace and brotherhood allegedly preached by jeebus.

Gambler2 said...

Here's the reason the economy suffers under Republican presidents

In addition to considering the Gross Domestic Product and other empirical factors, we ought to consider a moral one, to wit: the reason the United States fails to thrive under GOP presidents is because they so often seek out more and better ways to lie to us.

These lies are intentional. They are ubiquitous. They are huge. And the bigger they are, the more pain they cause, over years and over decades. If the lies are not directly related to the economy, they are certainly related indirectly, as most of them are conceived and motivated by the desire for riches, with the net effect being the crowding out of the many from the center of American democracy for the benefit of the few.

Read the short article at https://www.alternet.org/2021/02/economy-republicans/
It's a good one!

Anonymous said...

"In addition to considering the Gross Domestic Product and other empirical factors, we ought to consider a moral one, to wit: the reason the United States fails to thrive under GOP presidents is because they so often seek out more and better ways to lie to us."

I'd say the reason that the economy has done worse, on average, under Republican presidents in the last several decades is that they often cause, or at least exacerbate, some kind of crisis that trashes the country and the economy.

Nixon pressured the chairman of the Federal Reserve to drop interest rates in response to the OPEC oil embargo, resulting in "stagflation." And then cheated during his re-election campaign, resulting in a federal government in disarray and his ultimate ousting.

Bush Junior did absolutely nothing to intervene as the housing bubble inflated and then popped, taking down the banks and then the entire economy.

Trump sat around with his thumb up his butt and did almost nothing to defend Americans as a new and virulent disease swept the globe.

Only when a Republican leader is lucky enough to avoid having a major crisis happen during his administration, and at least smart enough not create any crises of his own, does the economy make it through his term(s) of office unscathed.

The biggest example of this would be Saint Ronnie Reagan, who frankly accomplished jack shit, other than spewing free-marketeer "government is the problem" propaganda, but got extremely lucky in some events that happened coincidentally during his rule. In particular, the economy improved, mostly due to monetary policy set by the Fed chairman, Paul Volcker -- who was appointed by Reagan's predecessor, Carter.

Naturally, the wingnuts instead gave all the credit to Reagan's tax cuts, deregulation, and union-busting, which actually put the country on a path to massive income inequality and general decline.

Anonymous said...

Canada has put the Proud Boys on their terrorist list, alongside Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

So, if you're a Proud Boy, don't expect to be taking a trip to Toronto anytime soon. There'll be a heavily armed welcome party waiting for you when you arrive.

dinthebeast said...

Saint Ronnie Reagan began the demolition of the unions that were the reason we had a middle class in the first place.
Last year, Driftglass used to remind folks that we weren't so much in the fourth year of the Fergus administration as we were in the fortieth year of the Reagan revolution.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

dinthebeast said...

So congress is looking at getting rid of the stupid prefunding requirement at the root of the financial troubles at the postal service.
Now if they can only mail RNC finance deputy chair DeJoy somewhere very far away, we might be able to just mail stuff again.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

mike from iowa said...

Ronnie Raygun tripled the national debt and held office when inflation hit its highest point. Raygun sat around with his finger in his ass as 241 American marines got lit up in Beirut by suicide truck bomber. As a result he pulled troops out of Beirut. That showed them terrorists what was what.

He also fucked up central American countries and destabilized their region for decades. Among other things.

mike from iowa said...

Kenosha killer Kyle has moved and didn't bother to report it to authorities. He is under an arrest warrantand hopefully shoot on sight order.

https://www.wisn.com/article/prosecutors-kyle-rittenhouse-violated-conditions-of-release/35410096#

Anonymous said...

"Kenosha killer Kyle has moved and didn't bother to report it to authorities. He is under an arrest warrantand hopefully shoot on sight order."

Sorry to offer a correction, but it looks like the prosecutors have only demanded an arrest warrant, not that the judge has agreed to issuing one.

mike from iowa said...

Yer right Anon, though I see no reason not to issue it immediately. The sooner this waste of space is diminished the moar room for the next ammosexual magat.

Colin Day said...

Paradoctor, a capital is a city that is a seat of government. A capitol is a building in which a legislature meets.

Also, let's see "cool unglamorous" Joe Biden become President in 2021. Nevermind

dinthebeast said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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