Sunday, May 19, 2019

Amen, Amash!


Shortly after the criminal con man was elected president by a minority of American voters, I stated the only way to remove him is for enough Republicans to find their conscience. My impossible dream, so to speak.

The Democratic leadership have been waffling, over-calculating cowards and will accomplish nothing if left to themselves. Impeachment can only succeed with the help of a handful of decent-minded Republicans who respect the Constitution and rule of law. Will it become another tragic lost cause for justice? Probably, if left to the Party of Trump.

On May 1st I wrote: "The entire Republican Party is guilty of covering up for criminals, violating their oaths of office, and betraying our Constitution."

Our friend TB3 questioned the accuracy of my broad statement: “Surely not the entire Republican Party. Just the corrupt ones afraid of Trump airing their dirty laundry. It just seems to be a large number of them.” 

I responded, “TB3, Perhaps I am exaggerating a bit by including the entire Republican Party. Elected or appointed individuals who stand with Dems for impeachment, and charges of obstruction of justice, and charges of violating campaign finance laws can be excused. I would include any Republican who challenges his fitness for office and renounces support for his presidency and his administration. Shall we start a list when they appear?”

Until this weekend there were zero names of elected Republicans to begin that list.

At last we have one name for the list. 

We can thank Michigan Representative Justin Amash for being the first elected Republican to bravely take a stand for the truth and our Constitution.

The first metaphorical penguin has jumped from the ice and taken the plunge. Will he be devoured by a seal, or will more join him?

You see, he actually read the Mueller Report, unlike most Republicans, including Barr, it would seem. The cover-up has failed. There is now a crack in the dam. Surely more will follow. This is the time for Republican Senators to find their conscience. 

Will it happen? Not with the majority of the corrupt authoritarians; that is certain. As we continue dreaming the impossible dream, we would still need 17 of them to read the report and reach the obvious conclusion. Trump obstructed justice and his campaign colluded with Russians.

I won't hold my breath. Authoritarians have no conscience. But some are smart enough to see how history will judge their crooked leader, and their response to his reprehensible behavior, pathological dishonesty and documented crimes. There would be some bi-partisan agreement on impeachment and removal.

Perhaps more war-mongering and tariff madness will tip the scales. Wall-Mart prices are rising, and farmers are hurting, thanks to the dotard's delusions of trade prowess.

Amash tweeted the reasons why he decided Trump should be impeached:

~~~~

Here are my principal conclusions:

1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.


I offer these conclusions only after having read Mueller’s redacted report carefully and completely, having read or watched pertinent statements and testimony, and having discussed this matter with my staff, who thoroughly reviewed materials and provided me with further analysis.

In comparing Barr’s principal conclusions, congressional testimony, and other statements to Mueller’s report, it is clear that Barr intended to mislead the public about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s analysis and findings.

Barr’s misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice.

Under our Constitution, the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” While “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is not defined, the context implies conduct that violates the public trust.

Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.

In fact, Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence.

Impeachment, which is a special form of indictment, does not even require probable cause that a crime (e.g., obstruction of justice) has been committed; it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct.

While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances, the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct.

Our system of checks and balances relies on each branch’s jealously guarding its powers and upholding its duties under our Constitution. When loyalty to a political party or to an individual trumps loyalty to the Constitution, the Rule of Law—the foundation of liberty—crumbles.

We’ve witnessed members of Congress from both parties shift their views 180 degrees—on the importance of character, on the principles of obstruction of justice—depending on whether they’re discussing Bill Clinton or Donald Trump.

Few members of Congress even read Mueller’s report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation—and it showed, with representatives and senators from both parties issuing definitive statements on the 448-page report’s conclusions within just hours of its release.

America’s institutions depend on officials to uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system even when to do so is personally inconvenient or yields a politically unfavorable outcome. Our Constitution is brilliant and awesome; it deserves a government to match it. 

~~~

Amen, Amash!

We now have ONE elected Republican who understands the ONLY way to keep America great is to impeach the crooked, evil racist currently desecrating the Oval Office.

Of course, the treacherously dishonest and hypocritical theocrat Pence would pardon his criminal benefactor. We know this. But he can't pardon him for his insurance/bank fraud and money-laundering crimes being brought by the state of New York.

The Tangerine Tyrant is going down in disgrace, as he should. It's only a matter of time. 

28 comments:

Jefferson's Guardian said...

"Shortly after the criminal con man was elected president by a minority of American voters, I stated the only way to remove him is for enough Republicans to find their conscience." ~~ Dave Bubya

After two-plus years of Trumpism it's evident that Republicans are going to follow this president into the depths of hell and have no qualms about taking all Americans with them.

Republicans are without conscience. They lack the basic human qualities of empathy, caring and understanding. Politically, they've abandoned democracy and the rule-of-law. Spiritually, they've abandoned their souls.

Maybe Justin Amash's sense of honesty, and his beholding of the truth, will, indeed, be the start of the proverbial cracks in the wall.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

"On May 1st I wrote: 'The entire Republican Party is guilty of covering up for criminals, violating their oaths of office, and betraying our Constitution.'

Our friend TB3 questioned the accuracy of my broad statement: 'Surely not the entire Republican Party. Just the corrupt ones afraid of Trump airing their dirty laundry. It just seems to be a large number of them.'
" ~~ Dave Dubya

TB3 is adverse to making broad, sweeping generalizations, and rightfully he should be.

On the flipside, it wasn't a unanimous consensus by German parliamentary leaders that allowed a fanatical totalitarian to commit such perverse inhumane atrocities in the last century, and ultimately lead a nation to ruin.

It has been proven, time after time, that a vocal enough minority can effect change, whether good or bad, for the majority. Usually, though, that majority is silent and sits on its hands.

At this point under Trumpism, the majority of Republicans have chosen silence. Their silence, however, speaks volumes.

TB3 said...

"TB3 is adverse to making broad, sweeping generalizations, and rightfully he should be." - JG

You have my number on that one. I find that casting all of a perceived group of people in the same light is detrimental to an arguement/conversation. Often times, I feel like saying all Conservatives do this or all Republicans do that simply drives people teetering on the edge of your side away from you. For example, as with Dave, I have a fairly open opinion towards gun control. I often find common ground with my Republican/Conservative friends over gun rights and gun control. However, there are some on the "right" who would cast someone with my other political beliefs as some Gun-Hating-Liberal. Just because I'd like to have a conversation on what "Well Regulated" means in the 2nd Amendment, doesn't mean I want to take your guns away and lead us toward tyranny.

"At this point under Trumpism, the majority of Republicans have chosen silence. Their silence, however, speaks volumes." - JG

It's all politics. The current make-up of the House and Senate allows many Republicans to create this curtain of deniability. Just keep silent rather than speak up, the Dems in the House will save us from having to exercise our morals, conscience, and convictions. Rep. Amash isn't exactly new to criticizing Trump, either. Wasn't/Isn't he a Never Trumper?

Dave Dubya said...


JG,
"Republicans are without conscience. They lack the basic human qualities of empathy, caring and understanding. Politically, they've abandoned democracy and the rule-of-law. Spiritually, they've abandoned their souls"

Again we have to concede not ALL of them are Right Wing Authoritarians. Just damn near all of them.

TB3,
Amash is a libertarian of Palestinian and Syrian Christian heritage. I'm sure he deplores Trump's bigotry.

I have amended by statement.

"Save one, the entirety of elected Republican federal office holders is guilty of covering up for criminals, violating their oaths of office, and betraying our Constitution."

The list of Republican office holders supporting impeachment is hereby started.

1. Amash.

Welcome to our band of Constitutional patriots.

Now, how about some more Constitutional spine from Democrats? That list needs to grow to unanimous.



U.P. Tim said...

If only the Rep. from Michigan's 1st Jack Bergman(R) had any balls and would do the same. I let him know he is a coward today if he doesn't.

Dave Dubya said...

Tim,
No conscience, no courage. Sounds like a good motto for the Party of Trump.

We know his motto: "No collusion. No Obstruction. No questions!"

Jefferson's Guardian said...

"We can thank Michigan Representative Justin Amash for being the first elected Republican to bravely take a stand for the truth and our Constitution." ~~ Dave Dubya

So we know, for sure, one Republican has read the Mueller Report. Others may have, of course, but they lack the courage and conviction -- unlike Justin Amash -- to publicly pronounce the truth.


"...saying all Conservatives do this or all Republicans do that simply drives people teetering on the edge of your side away from you." ~~ TB3

Under today's climate of ultra-political partisanship, who's "teetering on the edge"?

I only ask that people teeter toward the side of truth. Republicans, save one (so far), "always" seek the dark recessed spaces of lies and ambiguities -- more now under the reign of Trumpism.

I'm resigned to believe if they can't be honest with themselves, there's no way they're going to be honest with me.

Vern's a perfect example.


"Again we have to concede not ALL [Republicans] are Right Wing Authoritarians. Just damn near all of them." ~~ Dave Dubya

As I previously mentioned, it doesn't have to take all of them to create a formidable danger to the Constitution and the rule-of-law, and ultimately democracy itself. Therefore, those who remain silent and continue sitting on their hands are just as guilty as those who attempt to push down on our Democratic processes.

In a court of law, the accessory to a crime is guilty also. (But it's a mute point, isn't it?...since Republicans, save one, don't believe in, or adhere to, the principles of the rule-of-law.)

Dave Dubya said...

Until more speak out for truth and justice, this will remain accurate:

"Save one, the entirety of elected Republican federal office holders is guilty of covering up for criminals, violating their oaths of office, and betraying our Constitution."

So much for the "law and order" candidate and party. All of their treachery and deceit is wrapped in 10,000 lies.

The Party of Trump is the Party of Crime and Corruption. They even make some Democrats look virtuous.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

"[Trumpists] even make some Democrats look virtuous." ~~ Dave Dubya

Before Trumpism, I would have thought this was impossible. After the last two years it's very evident you're correct.

These are dangerous times, courtesy of Trump and his deplorable and corrupt adherents.

They're treasonous and treacherous -- a recipe for disaster.

TB3 said...

"Under today's climate of ultra-political partisanship, who's "teetering on the edge"?" - JG

Anecdotaly, because I can only speak from my own experiences, I've a few very good friends that are further right along the political spectrum than I am. If I am having a discussion with them and trying to sway them to see my opinion, it's proven difficult for me to get my point across, let alone finish making my point, by first prefacing to them that I think everything about their political identity is wrong. So, yes, it's nebulous and gray these political opinions. Now, these are face to face interactions. The internet and the shroud and "courage" this provides people to argue black and white with people is different. My friends know I am not a baby killing, gun-taking-away, big government, immigrant loving libtard because I don't treat them like redneck, gun-loving, women-should-be-in-the-kitchen, racist asshats everytime I talk to them. I learned one is anti-abortion and I point out that so am I an that I'd never want to be involved in one, but as they are a self-professed conservative, why is it the Government's place to pass laws forcing people from being able to have one but it's not the place of the government's place to pass laws to force people not to own AR-15s?" I find these little openings and this is what I mean by people that are 'teetering on the edge'. It's not pointing out hypocrisy, it's pointing out flaws in their rationales.

"Oh, you think you think AR-15s are fine to own; Why?" I may ask. Unlike the JTFs of the internet, they can't scurry away or readily change the subject when placed on the spot like that. When the JTFs do this, they have lost and we're no longer having a worthwhile conversation as adults. We're dealing with intellectual toddlers.

If my friends make a plausible point, I may amend my thinking. Or I may find an opening to poke at their logic. Likewise, they learn when they ask similar questions of me as to the why's of my political opinions. And then later? We're all out having a beer and nachos having a grand ol' time with a better underlying understanding of each others' opinions. Maybe I planted a seed that'll get them to question their own thoughts? Maybe they planted one with me. Who knows? But at least we all know we can have those kinds of conversations and still be amicable. Despite what the Rush's and Hannity's of the discourse say, people of different opinions can be incredibly good friends.

In short: This isn't a zero-sum game. There's the Truth and there's the truth (Oh, God, I risk sounding like Rudy). Unfortunately, some of the time, Truth and truth are a matter of personal experience, exposure, and nuance. Your Truth isn't their truth and going into a discussion where, I hope, your goal is to sway the person to your Truth... starting with the innate hostility of "Republicans, save one (so far), "always" seek the dark recessed spaces of lies and ambiguities" severely handicaps you. For clarification; I'm using the generic you/your, not specifically you JG. Despite quoting you. :)

Dave Dubya said...

TB3: ”My friends know I am not a baby killing, gun-taking-away, big government, immigrant loving libtard because I don't treat them like redneck, gun-loving, women-should-be-in-the-kitchen, racist asshats everytime I talk to them.”

This is the advantage with face-to-face discussion on a personal level, especially with the somewhat less authoritarian individual. Shared beliefs and agreement on facts are much more possible in civil discourse. The key is in the civility, and that works best when the parties have known each other for some time or have a modicum of respect for differences of opinion.

The Right Wing Authoritarian Trumpist indoctrinated by FOX(R) and hate radio, (We know the type) will not be interested in hearing, much less understanding, our political positions. There is a cult-like nature of their beliefs that essentially transforms “conservatism” into a religion. It is based more on bias, belief, resentment and fear, than on reason, facts and evidence. They believe they are right and we are wrong, so why listen?

Without fear of death, religion and cults would be out of business. Without fear of change and others, conservatism would also be out of business.

Asking them questions about why they believe what they believe can offer us better understanding of their particular beliefs or experiences. But just as often, questions could be met with suspicion, mistrust or resentment. This is the difference between the hard wiring and response of the respective amygdalas of authoritarian brains and ours.

We know what happens when information contradicts beliefs. The liberal is naturally more curious, while the authoritarian is naturally more suspicious.

Often an emotional minefield of suspicion, resentment, and anger, in a sea of lies and misinformation, needs to be bridged with mutual agreement on definitions of terms and what constitutes facts and evidence. Too often that minefield and sea cannot be bridged. We can meet them halfway at best, depending on the reasonableness of the other.

This great polarization and schism was not built on progressive advances in women’s rights, voter rights, or environmental, financial and consumer protections. The polarization and schism has always been the reactive agenda of the Right. When your ideology favors the wealthy elite few, divide and conquer becomes the strategy for political dominance.

I don’t know anyone who is “pro abortion”. A pro-choice person can be anti-abortion in many cases, but understands the decision is best left to the woman, not conservative white men. There can never be equality of rights when women alone lose the right to reproductive freedom. Unfortunately that isn’t the only area of inequality for women.

Equality has never been a value on the Right. Never will be. The same is true for having open minds, compassion for others, and democracy itself.

Dave Dubya said...

Amid gibberish about “socialists” and personal insults, a certain liar has suggested a Justice Department Opinion is the “Rule of law”.

It isn’t.

He then quoted some unknown source:

”The Justice Department has long held the opinion that close presidential advisers have “absolute immunity” from being compelled to testify before Congress about their work for the president.”

He didn’t even accurately quote the Trump Justice Department’s:

Testimonial Immunity Before Congress of the Former Counsel to the President

The immunity of the President’s immediate advisers from compelled congressional testimony on matters related to their official responsibilities has long been recognized and arises from the fundamental workings of the separation of powers. This immunity applies to former senior advisers such as the former White House Counsel. Accordingly, the former Counsel is not legally required to appear and testify about matters related to his official duties as Counsel to the President. The President does not waive an adviser’s immunity from compelled congressional testimony by authorizing disclosure of any particular information. The disclosure’s impact on executive privilege does not ultimately bear on any underlying immunity from compelled testimony. Because Congress may not constitutionally compel the former Counsel to testify about his official duties, he may not be civilly or criminally penalized for following a presidential directive not to appear. The same rationale applies equally to an exercise of inherent contempt powers against a senior aide who has complied with a presidential direction that he not provide testimony to a congressional committee. May 20, 2019

MEMORANDUM FOR THE COUNSEL TO THE PRESIDENT

On April 22, 2019, the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives subpoenaed Donald F. McGahn II, the former Counsel to the President, to testify about matters described in the report of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III. You have asked whether Mr. McGahn is legally required to appear. We provide the same answer that the Department of Justice has repeatedly provided for nearly five decades: Congress may not constitutionally compel the President’s senior advisers to testify about their official duties.

...Since the 1970s, this Office has consistently advised that “the President and his immediate advisers are absolutely immune from testimonial compulsion by a Congressional committee” on matters related to their official duties.


I highlighted the significant terms. The testimony required does NOT apply to “official duties or responsibilities” when it is regarding criminal conduct by the president.

Trump instructed McGahn to inform Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that Mueller must be removed. (Obstruction of Justice) McGahn refused Trump’s subsequent request to cover up the attempted obstruction and refute press reports of the president’s directive, according to Mueller’s report.

Congress has the Constitutional right and duty to investigate crimes by the president in impeachment hearings. It doesn't even take a "jailhouse lawyer" to know this.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

"My friends know I am not a baby killing, gun-taking-away, big government, immigrant loving libtard because I don't treat them like redneck, gun-loving, women-should-be-in-the-kitchen, racist asshats everytime I talk to them." ~~ TB3

TB3, although you don't treat them like redneck, gun-loving, women-should-be-in-the-kitchen, racist assholes everytime you talk with them, you still think they are, right? ;-)

I don't consider people like this "my friends" -- although I've worked with them, they were acquaintances, or they were extended family members. I wouldn't choose to go have nachos and a beer with them, that's for sure.


"...people of different opinions can be incredibly good friends." ~~ TB3

Sure...but they better keep politics out of their conversations.


"Unfortunately, some of the time, Truth and truth are a matter of personal experience, exposure, and nuance. Your Truth isn't their truth and going into a discussion..." ~~ TB3

Possibly, TB3, I should have originally used the term "facts" instead of the word "truth". Facts are not subject to interpretation like "truth" is -- unless you're a Trumpist, that is.


"...going into a discussion where, I hope, your goal is to sway the person to your Truth... starting with the innate hostility of 'Republicans, save one (so far), 'always' seek the dark recessed spaces of lies and ambiguities' severely handicaps you." ~~ TB3

I'm not attempting to sway anybody when I make factual statements like the one above. If it's not factual, you'll have to show me why, and where, it isn't. What other Republican in Congress, besides Amash, has stood up to Trump?

TB3 said...

"This is the advantage with face-to-face discussion on a personal level, especially with the somewhat less authoritarian individual. Shared beliefs and agreement on facts are much more possible in civil discourse. The key is in the civility, and that works best when the parties have known each other for some time or have a modicum of respect for differences of opinion." - DD

Right. And JG asked: "Under today's climate of ultra-political partisanship, who's "teetering on the edge"?" He didn't ask me 'Where online, under today's climate....'. Furthermore; I can't assume everyone I speak to online that I do not have a longstanding personal relationship with is either This or That. ESPECIALLY when first engaging them. Just as in the real, face-to-face world first impressions matter. If I first engage someone online by being overly aggressive about how wrong I perceive them to be, it's hard clawing back from that.

"The Right Wing Authoritarian Trumpist indoctrinated by FOX(R) and hate radio, (We know the type) will not be interested in hearing, much less understanding, our political positions." - DD

Will they, though? I mean if they tune into Rush, Tucker, and Hannity everynight and hear them tell them what Liberals say, do, act and then someone they perceive as liberal comes at them hard and aggressive, doesn't that kind of validate what the propagandists tell them? Another anecdote- I, in my younger/dumber years, used to listen to Hannity and Rush pretty religiously. Rush came on during my lunch break, Hannity during my 45 minute drive home. I used to use phrases like Feminazi and Activist Judges because I was just parroting what I heard. Gentle questions and challenges from those around me broke me out of the bubble. I would not have reacted positively had I been called indoctrinated or authoritarian or without conscience. So this is what I keep in mind when I engage people. Now the JTFs of the world, that's a different circumstance. I'm talking about engaging people that actually care to do more than watch the world burn because that's the only thing that gives you those warm fuzzies anymore.

"Equality has never been a value on the Right." - DD

What's the phrase? When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression. I don't think it's about valuing equality, I think it's a matter of perception. MAGA is a phrase wallowing around and bathed in this misperception. The times that these individuals are harkening back to was a time of horrible inequality. Their parents or grandparents may have had the perceived American Dream, but many, many others didn't. When this was opened up to the others with progressive legislation and cultural shift, these same people did not lose their access to the American Dream. Again; Those that chant and believe in MAGA believe we live in a Zero-Sum Society. Two men or two women getting married to one another does nothing to diminish a heterosexual union. Despite what the horribly incorrect politicians and "men of God" have to say about it.

TB3 said...

"Amid gibberish about “socialists” and personal insults, a certain liar has suggested a Justice Department Opinion is the “Rule of law”." - DD

1) That is absolutely pathetic. Civics isn't hard and everything we need to know about how our government and laws work are right there posted freely on the internet.

2) Are we still waiting on JTF to give us the definition of a socialist? I think we are. Until then, I think anytime I see that word mentioned in reference to JTF, I'll just consciously replace it with 'Meanie Heads'. Maybe I'll find one of those browser add-ons/extensions that will automatically do it for me.

TB3 said...

"TB3, although you don't treat them like redneck, gun-loving, women-should-be-in-the-kitchen, racist assholes everytime you talk with them, you still think they are, right? ;-)" - JG

Well, maybe a little redneck-y. But the world is made up of a kaleidoscope of people. I feel like my presence and friendship has a moderating effect on any tendancy to be the other things I mentioned.

"I don't consider people like this "my friends" -- although I've worked with them, they were acquaintances, or they were extended family members. I wouldn't choose to go have nachos and a beer with them, that's for sure." - JG

I'm sorry to hear that.

"Sure...but they better keep politics out of their conversations." - JG

Because you don't want to hear different opinions or you can't accept that they have different opinions? People can be civil about disagreements. One just has to go into a conversation with the intent on being civil and accept that hearts and minds may take more than one conversation to change.

"Possibly, TB3, I should have originally used the term "facts" instead of the word "truth". Facts are not subject to interpretation like "truth" is -- unless you're a Trumpist, that is." - JG

They sure as hell are. Facts are indisputable, but that doesn't mean they can't be interpreted in different ways. Fact: The sky is blue. Interpretation 1: Light from the sun hits the atmosphere and is scattered by gas and particles in the air and we perceive it as blue. Interpretation 2: God created it that way. Neither of these interpretations changes the fact that the sky is blue.

"I'm not attempting to sway anybody when I make factual statements like the one above. If it's not factual, you'll have to show me why, and where, it isn't. What other Republican in Congress, besides Amash, has stood up to Trump?" - JG

You're not looking to sway anyone? Are we just here to inflate our personal biases? Furthermore, there's no way what you said above is a fact. No one can prove [All] Republicans, save for one (so far), always seek the dark recessed spaced of lies and ambiguities. Making that assertion is silly. Plenty of Republicans have stood up to Trump at various times over the past couple of years, though you're now adding the 'in Congress' condition. :) There was/is an entire movement referred to as 'Never Trump'. Romney had a whole, powerful anti-Trump speech before the Primary. McCain stood up to Trump. Graham before he became a sycophant. GHW Bush. Barbara Bush.

Dave Dubya said...

TB3,

”You're not looking to sway anyone? Are we just here to inflate our personal biases?”

Good questions. Sadly, swaying Right Wing Authoritarians on the internet is largely a futile effort. I’m more of an entertainer... ;-) My purpose is to vent and rant, but also to learn and understand more about why I rant. Sometimes it leads to clarifying thoughts and modifying positions.

Sometimes information does inflate my personal biases. My anti-authoritarian and anti-bigotry biases run deep, and the growing evidence of authoritarianism and bigotry inflates my bias. I can’t stand intolerance! I welcome those teetering on the edge to share in these biases.

You are correct that an aggressive tone would hamper swaying someone. I’m not a good de-programmer. As we’ve seen, the far right authoritarian personalities who choose to engage us are not interested fair discourse. They don’t want to understand us. They come to challenge us and want to “own” us. Sooner or later they deflect, distort, project, or play the commie card.

I must confess to finding some sport in swatting their CRAP back to them. I admit to employing jest, satire and sarcasm for entertaining purposes. I’ve said a sick sense of humor can help us cope with these sick times. Sanity must stand athwart the madness, but sanity stands better with humor. Or so I have found.

Unlike the “entertainers” on the Right, I try not to employ deception, lies and hate in said entertainment.

My personal approach is far less aggressive with my authoritarian leaning acquaintances. Unless asked, I won’t tell them what they don’t want to hear. Politics is religion to them, and there’s no point to engage them in either subject. There are many more constructive and mutually beneficial things to discuss.

Your earlier dalliance on the Dark Side, followed by deconversion, affords you better insight into the true believers or those susceptible to propaganda. You’ve been on the fence.

At one time I was as well, but didn’t know it until later, after seeing effects of the Vietnam war on my neighbors, my brother and my parents. I was a little flag-waving Marine wannabe for a while, and then reality hit home. My budding authoritarian tendencies were overtaken by growing compassion, reason and curiosity.

Some people can, and do, come back from the Dark Side, and we need to engage them in the manner you’ve taken.

You are the better diplomat, my friend. I’m more or less just narrating an ongoing, sordid and surreal cartoon.

TB3 said...

"I must confess to finding some sport in swatting their CRAP back to them. I admit to employing jest, satire and sarcasm for entertaining purposes." - DD

I totally understand this. It can feel satisfying, but in moderation. There's the risk of doing it solely for that feeling and you just become like the JTFs of the world.

"You are the better diplomat, my friend. I’m more or less just narrating an ongoing, sordid and surreal cartoon." - DD

You give me too much credit. It's hard overcoming my urges. Thankfully, our totalitarian, overreaching government has made it illegal, if not problematic, to exercise my freedom to punch people in the face over their dogged stupidity.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Fuck it! I had a long response addressing TB3's responses to me, but lost it switching back-and-forth taking care of a problem at the office.

Maybe tomorrow...

TB3 said...

Well that makes me nervous.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

LOL

No need to be nervous...unless, of course, you have a reason to be. Let me go with a shorter version...

"I'm sorry to hear that [you don't associate with racist redneck assholes]." ~~ TB3

Please don't be.

Didn't your mama tell you you're judged by the company you keep? ;-)


"Because you don't want to hear different opinions or you can't accept that they have different opinions? ~~ TB3

No, because not unlike United States policy not to negotiate with terrorists, I don't associate with, or attempt to find common ground with, racists. Why do you?


"One just has to go into a conversation with the intent on being civil and accept that hearts and minds may take more than one conversation to change." ~~ TB3

You must have the patience of a saint.


"They sure as hell are. Facts are indisputable...[n]either of these interpretations changes the fact that the sky is blue." ~~ TB3

As you said, the sky isn't blue. Only our eyes perceive that particular spectrum of light as blue. In the western sky at sunset, sometimes "the sky is red".

Your "sky is blue" example isn't considered a fact. I know you can do better than that.

How about these facts? The whole number 10 is less than the whole number 50; the Sun is larger than Earth; the Trump inaugural crowd was smaller than Obama's; and Donald Trump is a mobster. (Threw that last one in for fun, although we'll soon find out this is a fact.)


"You're not looking to sway anyone?" ~~ TB3

Not really. I realize this isn't the forum, and these aren't the times, for changing other's points of view. But I'm doing all I can to shove the racist crap right back when I can.


"No one can prove [All] Republicans, save for one (so far), always seek the dark recessed spaced of lies and ambiguities. Making that assertion is silly." ~~ TB3

What's so silly about observing that only one Republican has aligned with the Democrats that Mueller's Report outlines clear evidence ("facts") of obstruction. Their hand-sitting, as I've explained already, shouts volumes that they're complicit in, and abetting, Trump's crimes.


"...though you're now adding the 'in Congress' condition..." ~~ TB3

Come now, TB3, I thought it was always implied. My "save one (so far)" remark should have cued you in that I was referencing Amash, as compared to the rest of Congress. I apologize for not making it more clear for you.


"You give me too much credit. It's hard overcoming my urges. Thankfully, our totalitarian, overreaching government has made it illegal, if not problematic, to exercise my freedom to punch people in the face over their dogged stupidity." ~~ TB3

There ya' go! I knew you'd eventually crack under the glare of the hot lights!

That's why I choose with whom I consort very carefully. ;-)

Jefferson's Guardian said...

"There was/is an entire movement referred to as 'Never Trump'. Romney had a whole, powerful anti-Trump speech before the Primary. McCain stood up to Trump. Graham before he became a sycophant. GHW Bush. Barbara Bush. ~~ TB3

True, John McCain voted against Trump's interests while senator. Romney spoke out before his election. Since, he's been sitting on his hands.

G.H.W. Bush? Barbara Bush? They don't vote in Congress, so who cares?

Lindsay Graham? He's a sell-out. It's my guess he's been compromised in ways we're not aware of yet.

"Entire movement", eh? I have one every morning and it has as much impact on political events as the one you referenced.


"My purpose is to vent and rant, but also to learn and understand more about why I rant. Sometimes it leads to clarifying thoughts and modifying positions." ~~ Dave Dubya

Whether venting and ranting, trying to convert the masses, or shoving the troll's racist hatefulness back in his face, what difference does it make?

Nobody's objectives are more correct than another's. I don't think TB3 recognizes this.


My anti-authoritarian and anti-bigotry biases run deep, and the growing evidence of authoritarianism and bigotry inflates my bias. I can’t stand intolerance!" ~~ Dave Dubya

I have to agree with you, Dave. I feel the same way. I'm a "live and let live" personality, and as long as someone's (or "something's") actions or intentions don't affect me or others, it's not my prerogative to tell them they cannot.

When those actions or intentions do affect me, my family, my community or my physical health or well-being, than I have every right to protest and object and contribute to its ending.


"Some people can, and do, come back from the Dark Side, and we need to engage them in the manner you’ve taken." ~~ Dave Dubya

Both you and TB3 shared personal and anecdotal stories of your "conversion" from the authoritarian right-of-center mindset. I can't share the trials and tribulations of your journey, since I've never been there.

I wonder whether this journey would have been possible in today's political climate? I'm guessing your chances would have been severely compromised.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Now Trump's Justice Department is attacking our First Amendment by indicting Julian Assange on 17 counts of the Espionage Act. [head shaking]

This president is truly an enemy of the people. Truly!

TB3 said...

"There ya' go! I knew you'd eventually crack under the glare of the hot lights!" - JG

You got me!

"Nobody's objectives are more correct than another's. I don't think TB3 recognizes this." - JG

You are correct and I don't mean to project mine as the one, true way. Good exchange.

"Now Trump's Justice Department is attacking our First Amendment by indicting Julian Assange on 17 counts of the Espionage Act. [head shaking]" - JG

And apparently planning to pardon four alleged, or actually convicted, war criminals on Memorial Day. This President seems like the personafication of all the things Republicans griped about with Obama... and yet. If Hillary had been elected and did an eighth of the things Trump has done... no. I can't even entertain that thought. It's hard enough remembering that what we're living through already isn't a hypothetical.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

TB3, we're entering darker and darker times. Remarkably (or not), Trumpism is following a similar trajectory to Nazism. This whole thing is getting more sinister with each news cycle.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

"Impeachment, which is a special form of indictment, does not even require probable cause that a crime (e.g., obstruction of justice) has been committed; it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct." ~~ Dave Dubya

Trump met the minimum qualification after only a week in office.


"While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances, the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct. ~~ Dave Dubya

How can any rational, honest person not agree we're experiencing "extraordinary circumstances"?

Al Smith, representative from Texas, said it best last evening when he posited that Democrats are standing at the edge of the abyss of accountability. If they refuse to impeach they will have, by default, given their approval to the imperial dictatorial presidency -- not only for the mobster-in-chief, but also any other future elected presidents (if we have any).

This outcome would be the fault of the Democratic Party.

They would, forever, be seen as putting political expediency and party interests before their Constitutional duty to protect against all enemies -- foreign or domestic.

If they do the moral and proper thing, and impeach as they should, the G.O.P. will then be placed in that same position. Of course, the G.O.P., being the domestic terrorists they're appearing to be, probably doesn't care.

In some circles, this whole circus is seen as a conspiratorial grab at garnering even more power for the increasingly omnipotent corporate state.

Dave Dubya said...

JG,
Those two points are from Amash. His entire case should be read into the record by every Senate Democrat when Trump is impeached.

If he is not impeached...well it WAS a republic, if we could have kept it. The outcome will be blamed on the failure and treachery of both Republicans and Democrats.

And the least moral party will continue to hold power. The greater evil will prevail. The Right is winning their war on truth and democracy.

I wish I could be optimistic, but this is all going downhill so fast. The nexus of the alt-Right and military/corporate/government is only solidifying their neo-liberal fascism.

Unless there is a massive rise of consciousness and conscience to support AOC's and the other new progressives' vision, it will get much worse. That other path will be further erosion of civil society, civil rights, and our standard of living by the isolationist populist element of the Right. Then the neo-liberal corporatists will "clean up" with their suppressive neo-feudal state.

Orwell's 1984 has become the operators' manual of the authoritarians and corporatists.

Perhaps catastrophic climate changes will wake some up, but that would be a bit too late. It becomes a question of who and what survives the coming events.

Trump is exactly the reason for the impeachment and the emoluments clauses.

If there is no impeachment, the Constitution is a relic of the past and the republic is dead. There will only be a binary equivalent of the Party of Oceania.

Fun times.

Dave Dubya said...

Ignorance accomplished:

Cathy Garnaat, a Republican who supported Amash and the president said she was upset about Amash’s position but wanted to hear his reasoning. She said that she will definitely support Trump in 2020 but that Tuesday night was the first time she had heard that the Mueller report didn’t completely exonerate the president.

“I was surprised to hear there was anything negative in the Mueller report at all about President Trump. I hadn’t heard that before," she said. "I’ve mainly listened to conservative news and I hadn’t heard anything negative about that report and President Trump has been exonerated."

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/republican-justin-amash-stands-position-start-impeachment-proceedings-despite-criticism-n1011176