This is why the Democrats don’t have a rosy future: Maxine Waters calls for “no peace, no sleep” for Republicans we oppose

You’ve probably heard that Congresswoman Maxine Waters gave a stemwinder of a speech the other day. She not only claimed that “God is on our side” (i.e., the Democrats), but that we should disrupt the lives of anybody from Trump’s cabinet in public. This has already happened, and I decry it. Besides Sarah Huckabee Sanders getting kicked out of a restaurant in Virginia (see here), protestors outside the home of Secretary of Homeland Security Chief Kirstjen Nielsen blasted loud recordings of the crying of immigrant children and chanted, “No justice, no sleep.” (She’s responsible for enforcing Trump’s policy of separating the children of illegal immigrants.) While I don’t think Nielsen is married or has kids, assailing people in their homes, in restaurants, and in public, with the goal of making their lives miserable, is something I frown on.  By all means picket their work, call them out in Q&A, write critical pieces about them, and call them liars or miscreants, but do people’s lives really have to be ruined because we disagree with their politics?

If you say, “yes”, then you must think there’s nothing wrong with also harassing women going into abortion clinics, or attacking people like Nancy Pelosi or Bernie Sanders in public because you, as a Republican, vehemently disagree with their politics. What’s sauce for the elephant is sauce for the donkey. Or do only Leftists have the right to harass people with whom they disagree?

As for the “God is on our side” trope, well, it’s a standoff because Republicans say the same thing. And because most of us don’t believe in God, making such claims is not only risible, but a lie.

Below we have Congresswoman Maxine Waters fulminating about Republicans, God, and the right—and apparently the duty—to ruin the public lives of members of Trump’s cabinet.

As RealClear Politics notes about this talk and Waters’s subsequent remarks:

Rep. Maxine Waters claimed the favor of the Almighty during a speech at a Capitol Hill “Keep Families Together” rally on Saturday. She said cabinet members and highly visible Trump enablers should expect harassment at restaurants, gas stations, shopping places, and even their homes until they change their immigration policy. Several have already been confronted at public places.

“Already you have members of your cabinet that are being booed out of restaurants. We have protesters taking up at their house who are saying, ‘No peace, no sleep. No peace, no sleep.'”

Waters echoed the same language in an MSNBC interview later that day.

“We’re gonna win this battle,” Waters said to the crowd. “Because while you try and quote the Bible, Jeff Sessions and others, you really don’t know the Bible. God is on our side. On the side of the children. On the side of what’s right. On the side of what’s honorable. On the side of understanding that if we can’t protect the children, we can’t protect anybody.”

She said that there should be “no sleep, no peace” for the people responsible who are for the separation of children from their parents that was part of the recent “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

Waters finished with a call to action: “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. You push back on them. Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!”

I agree with Waters’s aims, of course: to get rid of Trump, whose administration has enacted odious policies. What I take issue with is her call to make the lives of Republicans miserable by attacking them in public, wherever they may be.

Several readers have commented that disrupting the lives of Republicans in public is just fine, thank you. By all means ask them to leave restaurants—or any public space. Harass them, make their lives miserable, blast sounds outside their houses. After all, we’re the ones with God on our side.

I’m sorry, but think about this: do such disruptions, or calls for them, accomplish anything? Did Huckabee’s expulsion from the restaurant win converts for Democrats? If you think so, I have some land in Florida I’d like to sell you. What do you think centrists or Independents think when they hear about things like this?

If you disagree with me, fine. But on this issue I am firmly on the side of civility. I don’t need a second; my own opinion is enough. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and . . . 

Keep it up Maxine, and we’ll have another Republican President in 2020.

Sometimes punching helps, too!


  1. GBJames
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I think the frame: “disagree with their politics” trivializes the state of affairs. I do not think that we are experiencing a difference of politics, except in the most legalistic definition of “politics”. I think we are in the middle of a sort of coup wherein our basic governing structures are being undermined by the Republican takeover of the federal government.

    (That said, I find appeals to the “correct” interpretation of religious doctrines to be ridiculous in the extreme regardless of which political direction they derive from.)

    I am not happy with incivility. But I’m not at all surprised that the incivility the country has been suffering from the political right has provoked incivility in return.

    More is at stake than “politics”. I don’t think the main issue we face is a failure to be polite. And I would ask you, PCC[E], if there is any “political” scenario in which you would be less bothered by the civility of participants.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure what you’re asking. First, OF COURSE I don’t think that incivility is our main issue: Trump and his policies is the main issue. And our main goal is to make sure, as much as we can, that Trump is not re-elected nor his policies enacted. But I never think that it’s okay to harass other people for their views (by the way, the Republicans said the same thing about Obama as you say about Trump). This post is about one tactic that I see as counterproductive, and nowhere have I said that this is the most important thing to do. But it’s something we can all do–be civil and don’t demonize everyone on the other side.

      • GBJames
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        But my question stands… What are the limits to your concerns about civility. You say “don’t demonize everyone on the other side”. But it sounds like you are saying “don’t demonize anyone on the other side”. Is that what you mean?

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          I advocate attacking ideas and staying farther away from attacking people. By all means go after Trump’s ideas, but don’t spend all your time calling him a racist. Do not go after Trump’s family or construe everything he does, like eating steak well done, as nefarious. There’s just too much nastiness towards other human beings, and I think it’s unnecessary. I don’t like the term “Rethuglicans” and I don’t like the term “Libtards”.

          Now sometimes I can’t help calling Trump a “moron”, so I’m a bit of a hypocrite here, but my main point is that we should be attacking ideas rather than people. I’m not clear why you’re forcing me to list those who should be demonized and those who shouldn’t.

          And of course Catholics think that anyone getting abortion is committing murder. Surely if you think that our harassing Trump employees is justified because the nation is in a state of peril, then you can understand why Catholics see the nation as in a state of MURDER, justifying things like harassing women getting abortions. That, of course, has led to the murder of doctors who perform abortions. Shootings and punchings are right around the corner.

          • GBJames
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

            I’m trying to figure out how your opposition to incivility is bounded. There’s tension, I think, between being an unbridled free-speech advocate (which you and I both are) and making an issue of incivility in the public sphere.

            Shooting/punching and other forms of physical abuse are not at issue. We’re talking about loud vocal “activity” in public spaces. This is protected speech for everyone, even left-leaning folk.

            • Robert Ryder
              Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

              There’s a considerable gulf between what we have the right to say and what we ought to say. I realize our current moment feels like a crisis, but aren’t we always moving from crisis to crisis now? So, if every moment is a crisis, does that mean we are always at liberty to demonize people whose ideas we disagree with? Isn’t that one of the prime reasons that we find ourselves in our present state? Shouldn’t we demonstrate that we’re better than the Trumpians by exhibiting decent behavior instead of acting just like them? Democrats are more likely to succeed if they criticize Republican ideas, not individuals, and if they develop and communicate positive ideas of their own.

              • mikeyc
                Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

                Well put, Robert.

              • GBJames
                Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

                I’ll simply restate my observation as to how similar your “more likely to succeed…” statement is to the “honey vs. vinegar” comments that get made to “strident” atheists.

                Our government institutions are being systematically destroyed from inside. The controls have been turned over to people who think that “government is the problem”. Unfortunately, in a democracy, the government is us. I don’t think we’re watching politics as usual.

              • Lynn Wilhelm
                Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

                GBJames, you’ve said this very well. The US is moving towards the brink of a theocratic autocracy or at least away from a free democracy.
                Unfortunately the incivility Trump has fostered and supported seems to get people to pay attention. We may not be able to afford the toll the high road will require.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        I think civility is almost always the better course. But I, for one, would have no problem publicly shaming (if any such thing is possible) the likes of Corey Lewandowski, who trolled the nation’s conscience by showing up at a Mexican restaurant right after he mocked a 10-year-old immigrant girl with Down Syndrome who’d been separated from her mother on the border.

        Such demonstrations of public opprobrium, I think, serve a purpose similar to that of the corrosive political cartoon. By that token, I think the protesters who gathered outside the gates of the White House circa 1967 chanting “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” while Lyndon was trying to conduct cabinet meetings with Bob McNamara and the Joint Chiefs did more to focus the nation’s wrath on the debacle in Vietnam than all the letters written in high dudgeon to editors of their daily papers.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          Actually, I found the outrage of Lewandowski’s “womp womp” comment to be over the top. Based on the video clip I saw, he was just complaining that his opponent was starting to drag out a story that was calculated to tug at the audience’s heart strings and not referring to the subject of the story at all. Regardless of what was really in Lewandowski’s mind, the Left should avoid going up against these kind of ambiguous speech acts. There are plenty of other opportunities to point out this administration’s heartlessness.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

            Lewandowski is a lying thug, with no qualifications whatever either to have managed a presidential campaign or to opine on public policy. He does, however, pass the Trump loyalty test, which is all that really counts.

            When the final reel runs, it’ll be Lewandowski and Stephen Miller armed with Lugers next to the boss in the Trümpenbunker below the White House. (I kid, of course, though it’s scary to think how little.)

            • Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

              There are so many slimy people in his sphere. The closer you get to Trump, the slimier it gets.

        • Caldwell
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          “he mocked a 10-year-old immigrant girl with Down Syndrome”

          He was mocking the guy who was attempting to argue from emotion rather than reason.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 28, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

            It’s rich when the side that warns of alien invaders infesting this nation, and that incites fear in the rubes by conflating refugees with MS-13 gang members, mocks the opposing side for arguing from emotion for citing specific instances of the human cost of the administration’s new policy.

    • Kirbmarc
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      I don’t think that verbal incivility is a real problem.

      By all means insult, mock, satirize Trump and his cronies, create petitions, start campaigns, protest peacefully in the streets, call your representatives, write scathing reports on the GOP/Trump policies, expose their lies loudly and publicly, and do whatever it takes to oppose their decisions, including civil disobedience.

      Harassment, however, might be a problem, if only in terms of optics. Political violence is DEFINITELY a problem. Arguing in favor of those things is counterproductive.

      The best way to stop the Republican control of political institutions is to vote them out in November, taking back the House and possible the Senate for the Democrats.

      • mikeyc
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Your last paragraph is the only way out. Unfortunately, that means the only way to save the Republic is to hope the Democrats win in November. As there is very little chance they can do it (it’s the Democrats) I do believe there is no longer any hope. Our country will continue its decline.

        • nicky
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          as an outsider, I still think it is possible for the democrats to regain House and/or Senate. It is admittedly an uphill struggle, since so many more dem seats are up for re-election.
          I think our host points are correct: by harassing, the democrats gain nothing, lose the moral high ground, and risk losing the support of moderates who are abhorred by these tactics. I still believe Ms Obama was right: if they go low, we’ll go high (or something in that vein).
          If the republicans retain control of House and Senate in November, Ms Waters will be -at least partially- to blame.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      In what way, specifically, are the duly-elected Republican officials undermining our basic governing structures?

      • GBJames
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        In every way they can.

      • Linda Calhoun
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        Gerrymandering and voter suppression.


        • nicky
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          Not to mention Mr McConnell’s blanket refusal to even hear Mr Garland, on spurious grounds (to put it mildly).

        • nicky
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          And then I did not even mention counting fraud, did I?

      • Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        False accusations against the FBI and other intelligence agencies, gutting of the State Department, abandoning our allies, recreating the economic environment that caused the 2007 crash, engaging in damaging trade wars, and so on.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        How ’bout we start with Senate Republicans refusing to advise or consent on a Supreme Court nominee for a year (and then exercising the nuclear option to ram through one their own)?

        From there, might wanna look at a president who’s undermined the integrity and independence of the United States Department of Justice, who’s gutted the State Department, and who violates the Emoluments Clause with nearly every breath he and his misbegotten progeny take.

      • Mark R.
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        He is Putin’s puppet…look it through those eyes. Everything he does is helping Putin with his ultimate goal of becoming a super-power again. Putin wants to destroy the West’s influence and the superiority it has held since the end of WWII. He has been systematically disrupting the EU for years, using the same tactics used against the 2016 election in the U.S. He spends millions backing up the nationalist politicians and parties in the EU, and he has gained a lot of power there; look at Austria, Greece, Hungary, Poland to name a few- all these countries have had huge gains in terms of governmental control by the extreme right. The EU dodged a huge bullet by electing Macron over Le Pen in France. Brexit was also a boon for Putin. But the U.S. is his ultimate prize and Trump has become one of his best assets at achieving this.

        You should look up the acronym MICE for creating assets or spies. Stands for money (bribing someone who is greedy), ideology (Trump has the ideology of an authoritarian and oligarch), coercion (someone has something over you) and ego (if they have a huge ego, take advantage of it). When an agency is looking for someone to turn, they first sum up if the person has any of these traits. Hopefully the person has at least 2 of those traits. Unfortunately, Trump has all 4.

        Once you understand Putin’s angle, it’s pretty hard not to see what’s happening here.

        So yes, he is undermining our basic government structures as the readers above have pointed out, and much of it is to benefit Putin.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          I agree. I would also add that Trump is also going to favor any country that he and his relatives can do business with. It would not surprise me at all if this was a subject of conversation between Trump and Kim Jong-un. Something similar is going on with China and Saudi Arabia. Trump putting his own business interests ahead of the country’s should be one of the opposition’s lead stories.

        • nicky
          Posted June 28, 2018 at 12:52 am | Permalink

          MRGA, doesn’t sound as good as MAGA,of course, but it is more realistic.

  2. freiner
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I second your opinion. All well said.

  3. Kirbmarc
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    People seems to forget that many TRIED to stop Hitler from taking over Germany with violent means. They all failed. There were fights in the streets.

    Horst Wessel, a Nazi street thug, got killed due to a combination of his political activities, his street fights and a quarrel with his landlady. This obviously didn’t stop the Nazis: instead they turned him into a martyr.

    Goebbels have REPEATEDLY tried to have a martyr for the Nazi cause. He finally found one in Wessel, and he exploited his death in all the ways he could.

    The “Horst Wessel Lied” became the anthem of the Nazi party, Wessel was described as an idealist and someone who was striving to improve Germany, and once the Nazis were in power they made people think of him as a secular saint.

    Political violence doesn’t seem to be very effective at stopping a far-right dictatorial movement.

    Even if you think that Trump is going to become the New Hitler, the strategy of many loud voices on political twitter and other social media doesn’t seem likely to work very well at stopping him. At best it’s obnoxious, at worst it’s actually counterproductive.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      There are several books out now about the rise of Hitler. (I read a review of them recently but can’t seem to find it. Perhaps the Economist or the NY Review?) Mostly they claim that his rise didn’t affect most Germans and most were certainly not appalled by what happened.

      I think it can happen slowly. Perhaps people like us will resist but many people don’t keep up with the news or they think they do but get it from a crazy neighbor, relative, or sources like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

      Even now, when institutions are being damaged as we speak, most people don’t really care. After all, the FBI still exists, the news is still broadcast, and you can still buy stuff at the mall.

      • Historian
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        I think that more people do care than pre-Trump based on Democratic turnout in primaries and the few general elections. The question is whether enough care and will they turn out in November? We’ll know before long.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          My guess is that the drumbeat to get out the vote in order to block Trump is really going to ramp up as November approaches. There will be fresh outrages between now and then, as well as bad economic news due to his costly tax cuts, trade wars, and complete lack of understanding of how economics works. Perhaps not Bill Maher’s recession but it will be obvious that Trump’s “winning” is over.

  4. Posted June 27, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I do want to point out one thing: in a country with 435 US reps who represent small enclaves, there are bound to be at least a few extremist kooks on both sides (e. g. they have Louie Gohmert, John Shimkus, etc.)

    So while I agree with you in that I do not agree with her suggested tactics and that the GOP will run against her (the RNC has already put this clip in an attack ad), I wouldn’t get too discouraged about things.

    On statistical grounds there will always be a few loud kooks that vote the same way that you do.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    While I do not agree with Maxine Waters methods I do not think she will be considered the doom of the party. She should dial it back and stop the radical stuff but she is just one person in the house of representatives. Lets just sit back and read the dissenting opinion from Sonia Sotomayor on the ruling yesterday by the court on the immigration ban. It was a great thing and just what those white catholic guys on the court needed. It is the best that can be done right now.

    Waters is way ahead of her time out there in California as many of them are. Look at the vote yesterday in New York City. The mainstream democrat from the past is dead. Waters may seem crazy but she also was one of the few who voted against the Iraq Resolution and there are damn few democrats who can say that.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      You accurately outline Waters’ influence and prestige within the Dem Party. So for her to publicly call for a Kristallnacht against her political opponents is all the more damaging. All this deranged, uncontrolled hysteria among the Dems will wreck their chances in the upcoming mid-terms.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        I think you are hyperventilating just a bit there. The comparison is just far out.

        • nicky
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          I agree with Matt here Randall, I do not think he is hyperventilating. This ‘unruly’ behaviour as promoted by Ms Waters may go well with her base, but will in all probability turn off those moderates the democrats need for their ‘blue tsunami’. It also gives loads of ammunition to the Trumpistas.

        • nicky
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          Ok, “Kristallnacht” is over the top, but we do get his point, don’t we?

      • Linda Calhoun
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        I don’t agree with what Waters is advocating.

        That said, deranged, uncontrolled hysteria has worked exceptionally well for Republicans.


        • Christopher
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          Same for lying until everyone believes you or can’t tell the difference anymore. I don’t wish to follow their tactics but damn it, it keeps working for them and I don’t know what we should do to stop it.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          Linda: “That said, deranged, uncontrolled hysteria has worked exceptionally well for Republicans.”

          There is some poly-sci research out there that suggests that politics is asymmetric in that the hysteria that works for the R’s might well backfire for the D’s. The gist is that the R’s are mostly held together by tribalism whereas policy matters are more important to D voters.

      • Marta
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        No, she did not call for a Kristallnacht against her opponents, and it’s really offensive that you’ve made these equivalent.

        “deranged, uncontrolled hysteria?”

        This is an example of the civil rhetoric you’re pounding your tuba over?

  6. Posted June 27, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I agree with the post. All tactics like that do is drive independents and moderates away from the democrats. They may not vote for republicans, they may just not vote but it still hurts.
    To stifle freeman of speech is to lose our freedom. We can lose it to extremists on the right or we can lose it to extremists on the right.

    • GBJames
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure who’s advocating stifling freedom of speech here.

      As for “All tactics like that do is drive…”, I find the argument eerily similar to complaints against “strident atheists”.

      • darrelle
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        Some of the common comments in these discussions also bring to my mind past arguments between accommodationists and “strident atheists.”

      • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        The problem of “strident atheists” is not that they are strident but that they are being characterised as strident when they are not.

        Also, to get rid of the Republicans and Trump, you must persuade the people that vote for them to vote for somebody else or at least abstain from voting at all. You will not do this by harassing prominent Republicans.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          Not “harassing” them but going up against them often may get them to quit. Certainly many of Trump’s appointees have quit because they can’t stand the moral position he puts them in. If you are forced to lie to support your boss’s crazy positions every day, it takes a toll. Confronting them to increase that toll is a worthy pursuit.

          • Posted June 27, 2018 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            And then Trump replaces them with people who can stand the moral position he puts them in. By forcing them to resign you have achieved nothing.

            Having said that, confronting Trump employees over matters of policy may be productive. If you can persuade his staff that it is wrong to forcibly separate children from their families, maybe they can persuade Trump that it is wrong or at least that it would be politically beneficial not to do it. But making it impossible for Trump’s staff to eat a meal at a restaurant isn’t going to do that.

            • Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

              Right. Object to the policy not the person. It is ok to confront the person but only while they are working in their official capacity, not with family or eating at a restaurant. They need to hear the message but they shouldn’t be prevented from doing what they need to do.

        • GBJames
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          “you must persuade the people that vote for them to vote for somebody else”

          This is not necessarily true. Other changes would make a larger difference. 1) Eliminate voter suppression. 2) Eliminate gerrymandering. 3) Motivate more people to vote.

          • Posted June 27, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            Well you are not going to do 1 or 2 until after you have kicked out the Republicans. 3 is definitely an option that needs to be pursued but you also have to make sure they vote Democrat.

            • GBJames
              Posted June 27, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

              High voter turnout nearly always favors Democrats. That’s why the voter suppression works.

      • nicky
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        The argument may sound similar, but the situation, the stakes and the characterization, are very different.
        – Those moderates need to vote, and vote democrat, we cannot afford to turn them off.
        – ‘Strident atheism’ is very different, there is no acute need to get people on your side in a quite immediate term, short term turn off is not a real problem there.
        – Most importantly, Ms Waters’ tactics actually are ‘unruly’ and uncivil, while ‘strident atheism’ generally, if not always, is just a spurious and undeserved accusation.

  7. Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that if we go down this road, ultimately it will all come down to which side has the most guns, and of course we all know the answer to that.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Not to mention ammunition. A popular doormat/entry area slogan out here in flyover central states, “Due to the high cost of ammo, do NOT expect a warning shot.”

  8. Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    We can lose our freedom to extremists on the left or we can lose it to extremists on the right.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      The extreme left will fumble it away, and the extreme right will pounce on the ball.

  9. BJ
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I find the idea that what is happening right now with Trump’s policy is somehow similar to what happened leading up to Nazi Germany. How come Australia isn’t yet Nazi Germany? What about several What about Italy? What about several other EU countries? These are all places where the immigration policies are even more restrictive, and where their policy regarding people who show up to their border without legal reason are treated as bad or worse than what’s happening here.

    I hate Trump. I hate his policies. I hate the way he is making this country look. But I also hate Trump Derangement Syndrome, and I hate self-righteous people who act like they care about peace and building a nation of tolerance who then advocate violence and constant emotional abuse of their political opponents.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      The Left has lost its collective mind over this immigration toddler thing. for over a year now, trump has continually goaded them into impotent, self-destructive fury.

      • Marta
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Excuse me?

        “immigration toddler thing”?

        • BJ
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

          Yeah, that’s an…interesting choice of words…

          • Jenny Haniver
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

            Don’t you know that means “waah waah,” a la Corey Lewandowski?

            • nicky
              Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

              Wasn’t that “whomp, whomp”?

              • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

                I think “whaa-whaa” is more accurate. Lewandowski was accusing his debate opponent of rolling out a sob story. See

              • Jenny Haniver
                Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

                It’s a minor point to be sure, but please see Paul Topping’s defense of my rendering of Lewandowsky’s remark. I heard him say “waah, waah” which is clearly a way to express mock sympathy. He clipped the aitch. In the interest of rendering a closer approximation of his vocalization, I spelled it the way I did. someone in the media, heedless to such nuances, reported it as “whomp, whomp” and that was picked up by the rest, which to me is more of an approximation of helicopter blades in motion or someone pummeling something.

              • nicky
                Posted June 28, 2018 at 1:02 am | Permalink

                I stand corrected. 🙂

      • Linda Calhoun
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        “The Left has lost its collective mind over this immigration toddler thing.”

        Sorry, you\re wrong about that.

        Forced separation of young children from their parents does serious physical and mental damage, which is very difficult to repair. and, those kids are placed in settings where they are not allowed to be touched, and where they are not allowed to hug each other, which makes it that much worse.

        And, why the hell do four-year-olds need to be “guarded” by armed guards?

        Turning our backs on those kids is not an option, at least not for me. We don’t have a lot of power, but I hope we are decent enough people to not let the situation drop.

        I think playing recordings of those anguished screams, at every opportunity, is a great tactic. Adults can speak their minds, so let those kids speak theirs, with the only tools they have.


        • Posted June 28, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          1) What is your proposal for handling the minor children of persons caught illegally entering the country?:

          2) Where was the outrage on the Left when obama separated 26,000 children from parents caught illegally entering, or when he deported 70,000 adult illegals without their children?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Better to have lost one’s mind than to have lost one’s metaphorical soul — to have abandoned any fellow feelings of humanity for one’s fellow man.

        My god, man, do you not recognize this “immigration toddler thing” as being about Central American people wanting the same thing almost every native-born American wants — a better life for our children? Or has Trump’s demagoguery convinced that it’s all a plot by Democrats to “infest” the nation with MS-13?

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          My goodness, sir, don’t you recall what Brian Kilmeade of Fox said just a few days ago? “These aren’t our children.”

          Sadly, I do think that Trump’s demagoguery has convinced a lot of people that every Latino trying to come to the States for whatever reason is a pathogen that will “infest” the nation with MS-!3, just as every Muslim is a terrorist. In his remarks, one cannot escape the echo of the old anti-Semitic trope of Jews being moral and physical pathogens. But to carry on the epidemiological trope, if anybody is an infectious agent, Trump is the pathogen, infesting the US with his virulent xenophobic cancer.

          • Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

            I think Trump is not a source of virulent xenophobic cancer, but rather a consequence of the fact that the country is being invaded. It is normal for some of the local population not to like being invaded.

            • GBJames
              Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

              That completely fails to recognize forty years of Republican political strategy. For starters.

              Trump is the consequence, not the cause.

            • Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

              This is nonsense. Where are your references? See which says:

              “Despite a recent uptick in border apprehensions, the number of illegal border-crossers remains historically low.”

              • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

                Given that (according to Wikipedia) there are currently about 14 millions of illegal immigrants in the USA, twice the population of my country, “historically low” is not so reassuring. I could find some references, but why, after everyone knows that people kept coming illegally with their children despite the family separation policy, and this finally put an end to this policy.

              • GBJames
                Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

                The number of immigrants relative to your country is completely irrelevant. What matters, if it matters, is the number relative to the population of the US, 327 million, nearly all of whom are immigrants, the children of immigrants, or the grandchildren thereof.

                There is no flood/invasion except in the minds of Republicans and their foreign supporters.

              • Jenny Haniver
                Posted June 27, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

                I meant @Mayamarkov above.

            • Mark R.
              Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

              It’s words like “invade” and “infest” that Trump is using to spew his virulent xenophobic demagoguery: he is very much the source of this cancer. ‘Invaded’ is hyperbolic and carries negative connotations; the US is far from being invaded.

              • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

                People define these terms in different ways. I avoid “infestation” and I am not even sure how to translate it when used for humans. To me, “invasion” means foreigners entering a country despite the organized resistance of locals. Because there are border patrols trying to stop groups of illegal immigrants, I classify the latter not only as illegal immigrants but as invaders.

            • nicky
              Posted June 28, 2018 at 1:06 am | Permalink

              I’d add there is a big difference between the latin Americans ‘invading’ the US, and muslims ‘invading’ western Europe. The former generally integrate well into the ‘receiving’ society after a generation or two, something that can’t be said of the latter.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          It may not be a plot, but it will surely be one of the effects.

        • Posted June 28, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

          trump has never convince me of anything. It’s unfortunate you can only see this complex issue in such black & white terms.

          Wanting to improve one’s economic condition is no justification for breaking the law. You seem to be advocating here for a policy whereby anyone who wishes to immigrate may.


          • Posted June 28, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

            Amazing that this needs to be explained! I suspect you know this but it doesn’t fit your “Dems want open borders” narrative.

            Wanting to escape poverty and danger is not an excuse for them breaking our laws but a reason for us to change those laws, not to open our borders but to be a compassionate country and an example to the world. Please take it as a given that we don’t want to let in criminals or would-be terrorists. Everyone is in agreement on that. And by all means structure the laws so we can take advantage of immigration. After all, the best people want to come here and have for a couple hundred years.

            • Posted June 28, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

              The overwhelming majority of the planet’s inhabitants live in economies inferior to ours. The remedy to that is not to let them move here.

              Legal immigrants on the whole are less educated and less skilled than native Americans; illegals even more so. But even if you advocate expanding immigration out of some misplaced ‘compassion’, turning a blind eye to illegal entry is not the way to go about it.

              • Posted June 28, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

                Straw man alert! No one is talking about turning a blind eye to illegal entry! Instead, it’s about what should be considered legal entry.

                We should only let in those people that we want to let in. Those that are well-educated or well-qualified and seeking an education are obvious wins for the US. That should be a no-brainer. Even if they take their education back to their homeland, it is still a win as our values and culture are exported to the rest of the world. Since our culture is probably our biggest export, this is a huge win.

                There is also the issue of migrant workers. Our agricultural industry depends on them. Some sort of accommodation is in our interest.

              • GBJames
                Posted June 28, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

                Furthermore…. many of the people involved are seeking asylum. That is an entirely legal process and it is fundamentally wrong to treat them as criminals.

                I kind of remember that we used to have some kind of principle in the United States having to do with “due process”.

              • Posted June 28, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

                I think the anti-immigration response is that seeking asylum is only legal for those that present as such at a designated entry point. Coming across the border at any other point is illegal, regardless of whether asylum is being sought.

                The pro-immigration response to that is that many of these people seeking asylum probably don’t know these rules. Even if they do know this, the rules have not been applied consistently in the past. Perhaps all we need are good signs and an information campaign not a border wall.

                The hard-line anti-immigrationists want to enforce the laws with zero tolerance and little regard for those at the border and THEN fix the laws after we’ve averted the crisis. Of course, there is no crisis and they can’t get any laws passed though they’ve tried over and over.

                The pro-immigrationists want people to recognize that there’s no crisis and that the laws need to be fixed immediately. Until the laws are fixed, those coming across the border need to be treated fairly and with heart.

                The issue of those illegals already in the country and the DACA kids must also be dealt with in any legal solution.

      • Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        I am afraid it is Trump and his administration who came out of this affair as impotent. He tried to deter the illegals by separating them from their children, but in vain. The illegals predictably kept coming with their children, detention centers were soon overwhelmed, the costs soared, the fate of children and even parents moved the hearts of many Americans, Trump was finally forced to retreat, and illegals now can keep their children while invading. Actually, there are many Americans who like the illegals and want them to come, the more the better.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          You are repeating another lie. Most people on the Left are not in favor of illegal immigration. There have been many bipartisan attempts to fix our borders with legislation, none of which includes “open borders” or anything like it. They have been shot down by ultra-conservative Republicans. There was even a verbal agreement reached in a meeting that included Trump but he reneged on the deal one day later.

          • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            I don’t know about the subversive role of Republicans, but I am ready to believe it. Many Republicans are influenced by the business, and much of the business likes hiring illegal immigrants and doesn’t want them to stop coming.

            But what I said wasn’t a lie. You yourself say, “most” (about the people on the Left not in favor of illegal immigration). Here on this site, every time when I write something against the illegal immigrants, there are several opponents who say they like them and want them in the country. Actually, I think “open borders” would be better than the current system that rewards many lawbreakers while keeping most law-abiding people out.

            • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

              I can’t speak for everyone here, of course, but I am not in favor of illegal immigration but, whatever the solution turns out to be, it must deal with the illegal immigrants that have been in this country for years. I don’t feel that throwing them out makes any sense at all. Not only would it be heartless, it would hurt the country in many ways. A fair solution is possible but the process does not start with lies about how they are rapists, gang members, and all the rest that the GOP is using to stoke the xenophobic, racist parts of its base.

              • Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

                I know from your earlier comments that your position is quite reasonable.

                However, I disagree about the “gang members” (I do not know about “rapists”). There are powerful violent gangs in the countries of origin of illegal immigrants. Actually, some of the immigrants use this fact as a rationale to apply for asylum. Of course, not all of them are gang members. But a few are, and it is impossible to say which ones. Hence, accepting immigrants from these countries is likely to saddle the locals with the gang problem, the likelihood increasing with the number of immigrants.

                The problem is exactly mirrored in the saying that “only a small proportion of Muslim immigrants to Europe are radicals”. If the main motivation of the government is the safety and well-being of residents, given that this small proportion is impossible to identify, and once let in will be impossible to neutralize or expel, the reasonable policy is to minimize this immigration.

              • Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

                Sure, some gang members may cross the border into the US but no one is in favor of that. Anyone who claims that this is a huge problem needs to show some statistics. And how are Trump’s policies really doing anything about gang members coming into the US? The border wall? That won’t stop them. Most illegals enter the country by acting as tourists and simply not leaving. Surely gang members can afford plane tickets. These are the lies of the Trump administration.

              • Jenny Haniver
                Posted June 27, 2018 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

                @Mayamarkov below. Arguing that a country should exclude all members of one group because some members of that group are criminals or (name your fault) is nothing but a declaration of nativism. I don’t know if there are criminal gangs in Bulgaria, but should we ban all Bulgarians because a few are members of a criminal gang? Let’s ban Germans because of their Neo-Nazi groups and skinhead gangs — they certainly influence the US alt-right, there’s a lot of cross-pollination. See “Meetthe Neo-Nazi Biker Gangs of Germany” — bet they love them some Harleys!

                And certainly, all Russians should be banned because of the pernicious activities of the Russian mafia in the States — why, they even have ‘our’ president and his cronies in their pockets. They also deal drugs, murder people and commit all manner of other criminal acts. But you know Trump is talking about brown and black people, and to captiously claim that this not the case is more than disingenuous. The Russian mafia is a far greater threat to the US than MS-13; and they wouldn’t hesitate to use MS-13 to do some of their dirty work (and then take the fall for being suckers) if it came to that. An aside: if anybody thinks the Russian mafia is less “primitive” at least because they don’t tattoo themselves, think again. Just do a Google Image search for Russian mafia tattoos.

              • nicky
                Posted June 28, 2018 at 1:17 am | Permalink

                Thanks for spurring me on to look for those Russian Mafia tattoos, Jennifer, most impressive!

        • Mark R.
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          Please stop using the word “invade”. It is a misrepresentation of what is happening and just an ugly word meant to demean these people. Also saying “illegals” is offensive. You’re scapegoating.

          • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

            “Invade” is an ugly word for an ugly deed. If you wish, I’ll abstain from using it, but what they do will remain the same, namely, striving for a better life by violating the laws of their future host country and imposing themselves on people who don’t want them.

            I’ll also stop using “illegal” as a noun, if this is a problem.

            • Mark R.
              Posted June 27, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

              This “ugly deed” and the law that they are violating (if this is their first entry, which is the majority of these families) is a frickin’ misdemeanor…defined as “a minor wrongdoing”. You’re acting like it’s some sort of grand felony that deserves the type of cruelty they are currently experiencing.

              Anyway, thanks for refraining from the negative labels.

        • Posted June 28, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          Well, it seems that the Dems have been bamboozled again — most likely voters blame the illegal immigrant parents, not the administration:

          The “zero tolerance” agitprop wasn’t even trump’s idea: it was one of his few remaining advisors, a savvy old GOP hand. And it’s worked out great for the Republicans heading into the mid-terms.

      • helenahankart
        Posted June 28, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        The left has l”ost its mind”? Well, what description are you going to give for a system that arraigns unaccompanied toddlers to appear in court?

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      You really need to work on eliminating your capability for nuance if you ever want to be popular with the regressive left!

      • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        I’m afraid our host has no chance whatsoever to be popular with the Ctrl-Left. Remember how after Trump’s election members of the Ctrl-Left told him that it was his fault! (Because he had posted before some fairly mild criticism of Clinton.)

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      It’s not only, or even primarily, about immigration policy, BJ; it’s about scapegoating minorities (and calling the press “the enemy of the people,” and economic isolationism, and making alliance with despots rather than traditional democratic allies). And it’s not just Trump (though he’s the pathogen’s current Typhoid Mary). It’s reared its diseased visage in the Penist Front National in France, and in the UKip in Britain, and in numerous other ethno-nationalist parties throughout western and central Europe.

      • BJ
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Everybody is always scapegoating another ethnic group. The regressives scapegoat Jews, whites, men, and apparently sometimes Asians. Center groups often scapegoat the poor and the unwell. The far right scapegoats minorities and the godless communist hippie losers. Until any of this goes far, far beyond what it is now (which is slightly worse than status quo), talks about Nazi Germany and anything else of the sort is absurd and I’ll see any of it as hysterical emotional reasoning.

        Meanwhile, in Europe, the rise of right-wing populist parties is really the fault of the countries’ own bungling of the refugee crisis. Still, Eastern Europe has always had this strain, UKIP is practically a joke in the UK, and the France’s FN managed to bungle its biggest opportunity in decades. After FN’s disaster last September, they’re just lucky not to be quite as much of a joke as UKIP.

        • Mark R.
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

          Along with using the refugee crisis as a rallying cry, the right-wing populist parties in Europe have also been receiving huge financial aid from Russia.

          • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

            Of course, the failure of so-called European leaders to defend the borders has made every day Christmas for Putin.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          No one else in modern American history has succeeded in getting himself elected president where his primary public policy was the scapegoating of minorities — though George Wallace gave it a shot (and Huey P. Long was preparing to, until he got clipped in Baton Rouge, though his primary scapegoat was rich folk).

          Every time Trump gets in trouble, he goes back to it like a sore tooth, whether it’s black NFL players, or his Muslim ban, or the immigrant “infestation,” or transgender military troops. It’s gotten worse lately, and it’s likely to grow worse still, as Trump finds himself legally and politically cornered.

          Sure, Donald Trump is not Hitler, but he’s far from politics-as-usual in these United States. This nation is crossing lines it hadn’t ought to, and doing damage to its norms and institutions it may not easily recover from. Tell me you see that, BJ.

          • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

            Even if he was the first one, I think more are to be expected.

          • BJ
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            Yes, I see that. But this is another one of those conversations that has gone from discussing rather sweeping and far-fetched statements to far tamer ones with which I certainly agree.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

              See? Socrates was right; this dialogue thing works. 🙂

              • BJ
                Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

                Socrates was a jerk who talked too much. Dialogue is worthless. My lived experience is the only truth! Deepak Chopra says I can speak my truth through my fifth chakra! Socrates can suck it.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          Most of Eastern Europe has been at the receiving end of a mass Muslim migration before, and hasn’t liked it.

  10. Robert Bray
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    ‘God’s on our side. . . .’

    As so often after reading WEIT sociopolitical posts, I think of President Abraham Lincoln and his work to save the Union during the long Civil War. Lincoln wouldn’t countenance the rabid notion of Julia Ward Howe’s ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’ (1862), which famously begins ‘Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. . . .’ Nor did he ever accept that the end, however noble, justified the means.

    Howe’s song made the ‘war between the states’ into a Protestant northern crusade, and an awful lot of people in the North got on the ‘Battle Hymn’s’ mighty train.

    Not Lincoln. He knew and felt that every Civil War death was an American death, with none more or less tragic than the next on either side. Alone in his White House office, probably in September of 1862, he wrote this:

    ‘The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purpose of either party — and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose. I am almost ready to say that this is probably true — that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By his mere great power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And, having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.’

    And put it away in his desk, not to be seen by the public until after the assassination. It was a meditation.

    Lincoln’s ‘God,’ to the extent we can understand that he had one, was sternly Calvinistic, in line with his (Lincoln’s) deterministic naturalism. No Jesus, no heaven or hell, just a divinity all but unknowable. But the one thing about such a God that Lincoln believed he did know was that ‘God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time.’ And so our great president would not repeal the law of contradiction to satisfy the triumphalist theology of Howe or her counterparts across the Potomac.

    Sorry for the length here. But, like PCCE, I am dismayed at the foolish rhetoric of Democrats like Rep. Waters; and I am desperate about the Republic’s current situation.

    • nicky
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      That reminds us of Johan Cruyff (arguably the greatest footballer ever): “In Spain all 22 players make the sign of the cross before entering the pitch. If it works therefore all matches must end in a draw.”

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for referencing this Lincoln meditation as I would have included it if you hadn’t. And you did a much better job.


    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      He sounds a lot like Descartes – and I noticed that after a biography I read recently which tries to make him into a Christian. The number of times where expresses *Christian* rather than theistic sentiment generally in the biography is *once*, which sounds pretty weak as an argument.

      Descartes says somewhere that it is basically blasphemous to pray for anything other than what god would do anyway. (“Thy will be done.”)

  11. BJ
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Also, Jerry, I wish I could give you a clip, but Linda Sarsour was on a panel during MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes last night. That’s right: MSNBC is promoting an bigot who has spread antisemitic conspiracy theories and general Jew hatred to millions of people and dozens of college campuses around the country (not to mention extremely regressive views and oppressive ideology — especially toward women — by supporting Islamic law) as a respected progressive activist.

    Republicans aren’t the only ones who happily support people who spout deranged and previously deadly bigotry when they see someone as a useful ally to the cause.

    • BJ
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      I found the clip!

      And the discussion is about this very subject. Because Sarsour is definitely someone we should be asking when it comes to whether hatred from the other side is going too far.

      Up until now, I had mostly convinced myself that Sarsour was at least not being too openly embraced by the establishment wing of the Dem media and party (even though she had previously met with several Dem government officials and acted as a surrogate for Bernie Sanders during his campaign, and has been promoted endlessly by the less respected but widely read left media outlets). I can no longer do that.

      If Democrats are going to spread hate like this, maybe they should be treated terribly and shamed everywhere they go. (Note: I have never voted for anyone but Democrats, so I’m not really suggesting this. I’m merely providing a corollary)

      • Historian
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        I watched the video. I dislike Sarsour greatly, but here she did not spread hate. She simply spouted typical liberal rhetoric. What disturbed me more about this video was that Sarsour and another guest, Jess McIntosh, think that harassing political opponents is act of civil disobedience. How profoundly ignorant they are! Civil disobedience means opening yourself up to arrest through actions such as the sit-ins that took place in the 1960s. Harassment could possibly motivate the base, but it also could motive the opposition’s base.

        Host Chris Hayes made a good observation when he showed a clip of Tea Party protestors disrupting town halls in 2010. The right wing has a history of harassing opponents. Curiously, I don’t recall the right wing pundits being very upset by this. Incivility is a symptom of the growing political divide in the country. Admonishing people to be civil will have very little practical effect.

        • BJ
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

          I know she didn’t spread hate on this video. She obviously couldn’t do such a thing on MSNBC. My point is that MSNBC is happily legitimizing her.

          Can you imagine MSNBC bringing someone onto a panel to talk about how we should counteract the bigoted policies of the Trump administration if that person went around to college campuses and used her social media to spread hatred and conspiracy theories about black people (Sarsour instead spreads hate and conspiracy theories against Jews and Israel)?
          Or if they said they wished they “could take the vagina away” from a woman who is a victim of FGM and supports BLM (Sarsour instead does this to Ayan Hirsi Ali, a victim of FGM who opposes Islamic oppression)?
          Or if they fraternized with David Duke (Sarsour instead fraternizes with Louis Farrakhan)?
          Or if they talked about how well The Confederacy treated slaves (Sarsour instead talks about how well Saudi Arabia and Sahria law treats women)?
          Or if they said they were “honored” to share the stage at an anti-Africa event with a convicted white Apartheid terrorist who killed to black civilians (Sarsour instead shared the stage at an anti-Israel event with convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who killed two Israeli students by bombing a supermarket in Jerusalem, and Sarsour has continued to advocate for this person).

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            “My point is that MSNBC is happily legitimizing her.”

            You sayin’ news organizations should no-platform her?

            • BJ
              Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

              I don’t know if this is a serious comment or mere sarcasm. I’ll pretend it’s the former just in case…

              I think we can agree that a partisan news channel that actively acts as a mouthpiece for a specific side and/or political party picks and chooses its speakers based on their ideology and willingness to toe the line. And, if its viewers see it as a legitimate mouthpiece for their own side (as the channel wishes them to), they are meant to take to heart the things said on their channel. Having someone like Sarsour on is legitimizing her to those viewers; it is send the message, “this is someone who is to be trusted and respected on the left/by Democrats/by progressives.”

              This has nothing to do with no-platforming, which is about different circumstances, different issues, and a different overarching philosophy.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

                I was actually just funnin’ ya, BJ. But the point is news channels ought to entertain a broad spectrum of viewpoints on interview shows, as should college campuses and other venues.

              • BJ
                Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

                It’s so hard to tell these days! Sorry, Ken. Our conversations would be a lot more fun in meatspace.

                Of course, it would be ideal if news channels aired a broad array of views, but that was not the case with the panel here. Regardless, Sarsour certainly wasn’t there to spew her filth, because MSNBC doesn’t want people to know about her extreme bigotry; they want people to think she’s a respectable progressive to whom good progressives should listen.

        • nicky
          Posted June 28, 2018 at 1:25 am | Permalink

          “The YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement.”
          But I have seen, heard and read Ms Sarsour in action: odious.

      • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        I am among those who expect to see her in the Congress.

        • Liz
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          Are you registered to vote?

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

            IINM, Maya does her voting in the Republic of Bulgaria.

  12. Adam Michell
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Isn’t success in American politics driven by who can motivate their base to vote rather than who can attract the so-called independent voter?

    • mikeyc
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      In the primaries that’s especially true. But in recent years that has meant that the most extreme candidates get selected to run in the general election. As in the case of Trump, it can result in a candidate with extreme views winning the office. Or the primary winner becomes a liability for other races. Witness the nomination of a Socialist for the Democratic candidate in New York yesterday. The Democrats have handed the Republicans a get out the vote drive right there.

      • tomh
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Why would you call Ocasio-Cortez (D) a Socialist? “I am absolutely proud to be a Democrat but it also means that the Democratic Party is a big tent and there are so many ways to be a Democrat,” interviewed on CNN, about calling herself a Democratic socialist. Her positions, such as Medicare for All, are well within the Democratic Party platform, she’s just more willing to advertise it than most.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          She has characterized herself as Socialist. I would vote for her, tomh. I looked at her campaign site after learning of her victory and for the most part I’d support her, especially as her opponent was an olde school Dem, the very people responsible for this mess.

          But that’s not the point and I’m sure you know it. You just don’t like me.

          The point is that it is not too overblown to say the survival of the Republic relies on the Dems winning in November. The Democrats need to take at least one of the houses of Congress to at least stop the bleeding. But to do that they have to win everywhere, not just in New York. This is who they chose for that particular battle and it is why they will lose the war.

        • Historian
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          She calls herself a Democratic Socialist. Per the NYT:

          “A member of the Democratic Socialists of America, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez gathered endorsements from liberal groups like MoveOn, Democracy for America and People for Bernie.”

          Many in the Democratic Party can accept self-professed socialists such as Bernie Sanders. But, the word “socialist” scares the Democratic Party establishment because it thinks socialists will find it hard to win general elections. Even though socialists such as Sanders have views are that are now largely Democratic Party orthodoxy, the political pros would recommend that the word be jettisoned.

      • nicky
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        “The Democrats have handed the Republicans a get out the vote drive right there.” I fear I could not agree more.

        • Harrison
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

          The power of the “socialist” label is overblown. Voters overwhelmingly indicate favorability toward social democratic policies, but the right has done its best to tarnish the label. It’s much the same as how the Affordable Care Act polls more favorably than Obamacare even though they are the exact same thing.

          • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

            I think those who tarnished this label most were some who carried it. Anyway, how do you think, why do politicians such as Sanders and this lady put the label on themselves? It is expected to be counter-productive.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Depends on the size of your base. With their identity politics, the Dems have severely limited their potential base. The number of registered independents steadily increases, so the game now is to win the indies. And the Dems are doing everything conceivable to alienate indies.

      • nicky
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        And, as Mickey pointed out, mobilise the Republican base.
        Waters’ call is suicidal, IMMO.

        • nicky
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          Sorry: mikeyc.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        Christ, no US political party since the Know-Nothings has been more heavily invested in “identity politics” than today’s GOP. It’s become the party of white nationalism — more particularly, a rural white nationalism, with a base kept in a perpetual state of anxiety and fear by the demagoguery of Fox News and Trump tweets regarding urban dysfunction, the Muslim menace, and the dusky hordes “infesting” our country from its southern border.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          I think that the root cause for the GOP base to be in a state of anxiety is urban (and rural) dysfunction itself.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

            Crime’s down; the economy’s up. Immigrants, legal and illegal, do the scut-work natives don’t wanna and commit crimes at a lower rate than natural-born citizens. We’re in a period of relative and peace and prosperity.

            So what’re they so afraid and anxious about? Only that they’ve lost the monopoly on power and privilege they fantasize that their parents and grandparents had decades ago. To paraphrase FDR, the only thing they have to fear is fear itself.

            • Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

              Well put. This also is a big part of Trump’s fantasy that the country is going to hell and only he can save it. Dems need to transform that into a winning slogan:

              “The country is doing fine so Trump can go to hell.”

              Ok, that’s not it. Someone should come up with something better.

            • Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

              Do you realize that in the first paragraph of this comment, you verified the claims of your opponents that imported cheap immigrant labor (esp. illegal immigrant labor) undermines local labor?

              The prosperity, as always, leaves many behind. Suicide is increasing, economic woes cited among the reasons:

              To me, accusing poor people whom the mass oursourcing left jobless or competing with immigrants for low wages, in “fantasies about a lost monopoly on power and privilege”, isn’t quite accurate description of the situation.

              • Liz
                Posted June 27, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

                In 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, it was viscerally for me not just the poor. Everybody and their brother was losing their jobs and couldn’t find another. Including myself. We were competing for jobs at restaurants and landscape businesses and it wasn’t good. Upper middle class. It’s still there. The root cause of the issue is still fear, though. I’d rather be homeless than have a child ripped away from his/her parent. I couldn’t honestly say that in 2010.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

                The US has historically low unemployment rates, and illegal border crossing arrests reached a 46-year low last year.
                What this nation needs is to raise the minimum wage (and to boost non-minimum wages) and to enact comprehensive immigration reform. Nothing good can come from scapegoating immigrants who are seeking a better life here for their families as invading vermin.

              • Posted June 28, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

                Good luck raising wages until there is a continuous supply of immigrants ready to work for peanuts!
                I think scapegoating is OK. Otherwise, nobody would conform to the laws.

        • Posted June 28, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          You’re blind to the beam in your own eye, Ken.

  13. Richard Sanderson
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Contemporary discourse is increasingly carried out and dominated by extremists on the Far Left and Far Right.

    These are the same types of extremists that established Gulags, Auschwitz, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, etc.

    But they, those evil “centrists” are the actual problem, according to these thugs. You have to laugh.

    If the likes of Dan Arel got his way, there would be mass murder and rape. Not by him, of course, but he would be cheering it all on.

  14. Historian
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The events of the last two years are reminiscent of the crackup of the American political system in the 1850s. We know how that turned out. The Waters speech as well as the fanaticism of the Trump cult indicate that the “center will not hold.” The two political parties are migrating to the ends of their respective ideologies. People now disdain former friends based on political beliefs. Long time office holders are scared of being booted out and sometimes this comes to pass as happened last night in New York City when Representative Joe Crowley, fourth in line in the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives, lost his primary fight to a 28 year old Democratic Socialist. We are witnessing a titanic battle to the metaphorical death that has so far been peaceful, but if Trump loses in 2020 that may no longer be the case.

    The essence of this struggle for the “soul” of America is cultural and based on two radically different visions of the future of the country. One side, fearful of demographic and cultural changes, fantasizes a return to the supposedly golden era of the 1950s. The other side accepts these changes and believes the country can adapt while retaining its core values such as democracy, pluralism and its secular nature. Neither side will give any ground; compromise is virtually impossible.

    At a horrific cost, the nation survived the Civil War. But nobody was sure of that in 1861. Today, we are at another 1861. The hatred between Republicans (now mostly Trumpites) and liberal Democrats is profound and growing. I fear that violence on a widespread scale may not be too far away in the future. If that happens, chaos will quickly follow and very likely will mean the end of democracy and the establishment of an authoritarian regime headed by Trump or someone else.

    I can be accused of prophesying doom. I hope I’m proven wrong. But, for now at least, the political system has wide cracks and nobody is emerging to close them.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      I think you are not far off from proper analysis of the situation. Some differences might be that no secession seems likely and without that I don’t see civil war but maybe chaos. Another sameness could be in the 1850s the south was the minority position. Much less population. In the present dispute, even though it does not seem so today, the republican position is also less in numbers. Also these numbers are older and will continue growing less. The other side should be able to overwhelm them with numbers as time goes forward. In the mean time this Trump thing may eventually self-destruct. His economic ideas may tank the economy and if so, that will be the end of him. Could be the end of all of us.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      It seems to me as well that the rhetoric is as heated, divisive and hateful as one would expect in civil war.

  15. Laurance
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I think we need to be careful to not help Trump play the martyr. Just as there are christians who relish being “persecuted” and collecting their Victim Credibility Points, so the trumpeters will be able to do likewise. Trump is just getting more to tweet about.

    • Mark Cagnetta
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Fascists always play the martyr; it’s in their playbook.

      • nicky
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        More reason not to give them cheap ammunition.

  16. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I don’t even know where to start

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Ah I got it :

      I did not vote for Maxine Waters.

      I would not vote for Maxine Waters – if I had to today. I mean, who knows – let’s hope she does something to outweigh this … this … whatever this is.

    • Marta
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Me, neither.

      I’m damned sad that people aren’t civil to each other. I grew up reading etiquette books for pleasure. I mean, I know which fork to use when dining with the Queen, and I’ve been waiting for decades for the invitation.

      We can be civil until monkeys fly out of our butts, and it will still be like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

      Meanwhile, Steve King has re-tweeted yet another neo-Nazi (but I’m sure he was polite when he did so.)

      But let’s please be civil to Steve King and neo-Nazis. That really worked out well last time.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Never the less, Steve King is the bottom feeder among bottom feeders in Iowa. In fact, I am not sure that he is not old Nazi.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        “… I know which fork to use when dining with the Queen, and I’ve been waiting for decades for the invitation.”

        Got a feelin’ you’ve a better shot at being invited for tea with the Queen, Marta, than the Donald do.

        Promise us you won’t curtsy. 🙂

  17. Grania Spingies
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I think that framing this as a civility issue is a tactical error.

    The problem is not that Huckerbee Sanders and company don’t deserve to know that people think badly of them for their role in the Trump regime.

    The problem is that whatever action is taken is going to be emulated and escalated by the other side. (Anything with the name “Red Hen” in its name, including a children’s books publishing. company is getting harassed by Trump supporters today, just for example.)

    The only thing this achieves is that the divide between the two parties grows larger and a significant amount of energy that could be channeled into, say. registering voters; i.e. getting eligible voters proper ID and motivating them to get off their butts and vote; is instead going to be expended on furious tirades on social media.

    • Jonathan Dore
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      +1, and then some.

    • nicky
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink


  18. Katiness Everdeen
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    The bar for the kakistocracy is set low. Expectations should be adjusted accordingly.

  19. Mark Cagnetta
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I honestly feel Americans are failing to grasp this situation. We no longer have a democracy; we are clearly in the midst of a fascist government. A political cartoonist has been fired for making fun of the so-called president; the Comedy Central show, “The Opposition,” with Jordan Klepper, is being cancelled because he goes after Trump. We have no checks and balances in our government. The SCOTUS, just in the past few days, have made horrendous decisions. In our name, children are being taken out of their mothers’ arms and being locked in cages.
    We can sit back and be civil, but that’s what we’ve been doing all along. Remember, Politeness only favors the oppressor.
    In addition to you, Jerry, every anchor, including the crackpot Jeanine Pirro, on Fox News is calling for civility on the part of us “leftists” (isn’t that name-calling?) We have to resist nonviolently, but we have to resist.

    • Robert Bray
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Was the Social Contract (or Compact) in the U. S. ever more than wish thinking? I, for one, took the idea seriously, believing the S.C. was real, founded in the Declaration’s ‘self-evident’ ideals and rights and made politically binding in the Constitution: government by the consent of the governed.

      I can no longer defend this belief. Just a few days ago I came upon this passage in my reading (a roman policier set in Venice):

      ‘The contract’s been broken, between us and the state, or been dissolved, but no one wants to make the news public. We know there’s no contract any more, and they know we know. They don’t care what we want or have any real interest in what happens to us or in what we want. . . . And there’s nothing we can do.’

      As in Italy, so here in this dying Republic.

      • Historian
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        You raise an important and profound question about the social compact. Even in an alleged democracy, the compact can dissolve when a group feels itself expelled from it. Now, the situation is worse because both the left and the right feel excluded or in danger of being that. So-called moderates that can reach out to both groups for the purposes of finding common ground are quickly disappearing. In such a toxic environment where literal hatred and contempt of the opposition abounds, the belief in democracy erodes. A democratic system of governance can only remain robust when all groups believe it gives them the chance to thrive aligned with their cultural values. If people perceive that democracy doesn’t work for them, they will quickly discard it and embrace an authoritarian system. This is where the nation stands now. The gulf between the two groups is growing; they both believe the opposing group hates America. Each group has a radically different vision for the future of America. Hence, democracy is in danger and chaos may ensue. This is why the times are so scary.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          As someone once said A house divided against itself cannot stand. Let’s see how long we can stand. The way things are going we may not stand for long.

        • nicky
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          Well, although not all on his own, Mr Trump has succeeded to (Mr Putin’s agenda):
          – Divide the Western Alliance
          – Isolate the US
          – Divide the US from within
          I think the latter is what this discussion is all about, and Ms Waters is pouring oil on the fire here, but we should not neglect the first two points. Maybe Ms Waters would do better to get into those?

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      1) Nothing of your pieces of evidence of fascism did not also occur during the obama admin;

      2)this ‘resistance’ of the Left against trump is not just ineffective, but counter-productive. As Stephen Fry so astutely observed, the Left is obsessed with being right and unconcerned about being effective.

      • nicky
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        I do not see/understand your point 1, but your point 2 is correct, with high probability verging on certainty.

      • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        The “But Obama did it” response is starting to sound awfully like a sulky brat standing in front of a broken window and going “A big boy did it then ran away”
        I think the appalled response of people to having children taken from parents on ethnic/national grounds and celebrated as such is that this is getting uncomfortably close to one of the defintions of genocide.
        (Check if you don’t believe me)
        Celebrating steps on the way to that (and let’s be clear–Miller et al. are gleefully doing that and their base is responding with equal glee) needs a more substantial response than “A big boy did it then ran away”

        It’s not hyperbole to be worried when self-described white supremacists get into power and start edging in white supremacist programmes, and loudly advertising them as such, to see how the public responds. Perhaps it’s therefore to be celebrated that 70% of Americans seem to be not ready for them?

        • Posted June 28, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

          My observation is not a tu quoque, as I most definitely am not defending trump. I merely observe that when obama expanded the surveillance state, committed war crimes with double-tap drone strikes, approved assassinations of US citizens, and engaged in draconian handling of deportations, the Left was silent.

    • BJ
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      “…we are clearly in the midst of a fascist government”

      Wait, when and how did that happen? Notes and examples, please.

      • Mark R.
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, we’re definitely not in the “midst of a fascist government”. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to say we’re heading there. Especially if you dwell on Trump’s fascistic traits and tactics: hyper-nationalism, trade policies that are economic nationalism, heightened militarism, leader-cult/strong-man traits, lost golden-age syndrome, theatricality. I could see some black swan event like another 9/11 type attack, or a world-war plunging America into a fascist state. A long shot to be sure, but never say never.

        • BJ
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          Oh, I can definitely see scenarios of it happening over time.

          • Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

            So can I. One part of such a scenario has Republican governors declaring an election as invalid for spurious reasons. Another has the “conservative” Supreme Court making more wacky decisions like Citizens United or the 2000 election fiasco.

            We all once thought that the checks and balances would prevent a takeover though I for one did see that so much of our government rests solely on the goodwill of its citizens and elected officials. The Constitution should have a clause that prevents a narcissistic habitual liar from running for President but it doesn’t.

  20. Richard
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Given the highly litigious nature of American society, would not the harassed Republicans simply be able to sue the asses off the harassers?

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Maxine Waters called for harassment. Harassment is a crime, so she publicly incited other to commission of a crime.

      Properly, Congress should censure her. Pragmatically, the GOP will give Waters enough rope, as she is their best campaigner right now.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        You sound just like Permit Patty, who recently called the police on a black girl selling water on a hot day, or Barbecue Becky, who called the cops a few weeks ago on a group of black people barbecuing with charcoal because they were in a “no charcoal.” She trolled them for a very long time; then when the police came, she began blubbering and crying that she was the one who’d been harassed.

        If Trump had his way, Waters would be indicted for treason, and Permit Patty and Barbecue Becky would be given medals of distinguished service.

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          In a “no charcoal” zone. I guess gas grills okay there.

        • Posted June 28, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          Those two anecdotes bear no resemblance whatsoever to an elected official inciting the mob to harass other members of the government with whom she disagrees.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Care to share with us a citation to the penal statute you think Rep. Waters’s statement violated?

        • Posted June 28, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          I confused — do you doubt that harassment is a crime, or that what Waters incited others to do constitutes harassment?

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 28, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

            No need for confusion; just cite the specific law you believe her speech violated.

            Doesn’t seem too much to ask of someone advocating that she be subject to congressional censure.

  21. Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    She’s made her case and Americans will respond, first be eliminating Dems in office, later by eliminating their core constituencies in the streets and in their homes. As for Mad Maxine, when it’s time, she’ll just be strange fruit and America will be the greater for it.

    • tomh
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      “later by eliminating their core constituencies in the streets and in their homes.”

      Lovely sentiment.

    • Marta
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      “She’ll be strange fruit”.

      I’m sure Jerry’s readers don’t need to be reminded that “strange fruit” refers to black bodies hanging from trees because they were lynched?

      “and America will be greater for it”

      You seem nice.

      • Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        But–thi sis exactly the sort of white supremacism that is being appealed to. Of course–this person could be a Russian bot–its hard to tell these days. In any case–feeding it is probably not advisable.

    • Robert Bray
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      This is nasty and hateful, intended only to provoke. I hope you notice how uncharacteristic it is for this site. When someone stoops to allude to ‘strange fruit’ in the context of an African-American–-basically predicting a lynching for Maxine Waters, I suggest that this someone is not ready to be part of a civilized conversation.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        “Strange fruit”

        [ puzzlement ]
        [ looks up “strange “fruit” ]
        [ Re-reads comments ]

        why… I mean … what would…

        [ finds something better to do ]

        • Laurance
          Posted June 28, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

          I’m puzzled. I’m trying to post a link to Billie Holiday singing “Strange Fruit” which would address your puzzlement.

          But WordPress refuses to allow me to do so. I’ve tried different versions of this song, but WordPress won’t let me share with you.

          So go to Youtube and ask for Strange Fruit, and you’ll find out what is significant about this song.

          Billie Holiday got plenty of harassment for this.

          It’s worth taking some three minutes to listen to this tune.

          (But why does WordPress object to me posting a link? There are other links to other videos.)

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted June 28, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

            I did “Look Up” on iOS

            I found that song.

            I read about it.

            I know I can find a recording somewhere

            Not necessary to post a link

            I understand there’s funny business on WEIT with links. Not to mention this ABYSMAL performance of backspacing on iOS WTH…

            The upshot : I learned about an important B. Holiday recording.

            Thanks! Let’s hear it for the chain reaction mechanism of No Free Will!

            • Laurance
              Posted June 28, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

              I hope you were able to go to YouTube and hear the song. Billie Holiday is famous for it. The first time I heard it was when people from Oklahoma gave me a record that they didn’t care for and didn’t want. It was Josh White’s album, and Strange Fruit was the first song on the record. You can find Josh White singing it, as well as several other singers. But it’s Billie Holiday who is really associated with it.

      • Marta
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Ugly language meant to sneak a profoundly racist concept right under the noses of readers.

        Because using the “n” word would have been uncivil.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Yes, suggesting, however indirectly (and your remarks aren’t very indirect)that America would be better if Maxine Waters were lynched is loathsome, despicable racist hatred. If you’re attempting sarcasm, it doesn’t work; and if you believe what you imply, you’re nothing but a gutless tube worm, since you hide behind implication.

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          And a spineless cestode

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      This comment has no place here or anywhere with any shred of decency.

    • nicky
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      That last sentence is a hateful, racist and uncivil comment. Shame on you!

      • nicky
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        You sound worse than Ms Waters herself, way, way worse. Despicable.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      You sir are a race baiting troll. I suspect that you will not last long in here…

      • Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        I wouldn’t expect to “last long” on this blog. It is, after all, just an anti-American, anti-White echo chamber filled with people operating under the delusion that I’m somehow worse than they are.

        I doubt anyone here would tolerate my honesty and my acceptance that the Dems and their minority sharecroppers have brought us to the point of war. Equally, you and the rest here will vilify me for understanding that, as a primary target for your side, I’m more than willing to proactively defend myself no matter the extent of damage that cause your side.

        Face it, not one of you is really morally offended by Mad Maxine’s jabbering for violence. You’re just afraid of the consequences, of which I’ll likely be one in the months to come.

        • Marta
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

          a) it isn’t a blog. It’s a website.

          2) Oh, my, yes, you are worse than they are. By a county mile.

          3) “minority sharecroppers?” Your teachers must be so proud.

          • Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

            WEIT is a blog which, of course, means it is also a website.

            • GBJames
              Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

              Except it doesn’t work that way per Da Roolz.

              • Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

                Please explain. Is it a rule here not to call it a blog?

              • GBJames
                Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

                Go see for yourself.

              • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

                Ok. Seems kind of arbitrary. What’s the bad connotation of “blog” that we’re trying to avoid? Is it that some blogs are more like online diaries and don’t cover substantial issues like WEIT does? That might have had some validity shortly after blogs were invented but not any more. As a computer guy, I think of “blog” as describing a content delivery mechanism that is neutral with respect to the content it delivers. I monitor around 100 blogs and only one is a personal blog.

              • GBJames
                Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

                Don’t argue with me about it.

              • Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

                I am not arguing with you about it. It’s pretty much a moot point as I see little need to use “blog” here. Still, what about free speech? LOL

              • Diane G
                Posted June 30, 2018 at 3:31 am | Permalink

                “Still, what about free speech? LOL”

                Paul, it’s what one might call a humorous personal quirk on the part of the management here. Jerry simply hates the sound of the word. Note that that distaste began a decade or so ago and I’m sure that by now, even Jerry has become pretty inured to it. Nonetheless the commentariat here do all they can to humor our distinguished host. Plus, doing so indicates you’re a member of the in crowd. 😉

                (I’m a bit conflicted about bringing that up in a discussion as serious as this one, though. No offense, Marta.)

        • nicky
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          Maybe you did not notice, but most of the posters here strongly disapprove of Ms Waters’ ‘tactics’, our host not the least of them.
          That does not absolve you from your despicable comment about ‘strange fruit’, are you really not ashamed of yourself?

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          Your honesty? What a laugh. You’re gone because you’re rude and most likely a racist. Anti-white echo chamber? LOL! Time for you to open a bag of Doritos, pop a can of Mountain Dew, and go post on 4chan.


          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

            I’m rather keen on the description given this type by Republican strategist Rick Wilson: “childless single men who masturbate to anime.”

        • BJ
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Jesus, talk about a victim complex! And I’m sure you’re exactly the kind of person who bemoans people constantly thinking of themselves as victims.

          And talk about a Dunning-Kruger effect! Can you even read? Where have you seen this anti-white material on this site? Have you seen the many posts criticizing Democrats that actually do exist right here on this site, and in this very thread? Oh, maybe none of those matter. After all, your honesty glows with the light of one thousand suns, and outshines all evidence that is contrary to your narrative of yourself and the world around that so oppresses you, the put-upon intellectual, the brilliant ubermensch, trying desperately to wage the losing battle of enlightening the masses.

          The only problem with trying to enlighten everyone is that most of the people here are smarter than you, and you have nothing enlightening to say, and have either failed to read almost all of the comments that prove your impressions of the commenters here to be utter hogwash, or you have ignored them because your mind is caught in a web of self-righteousness, victimized thinking, and a god complex.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          Jonolan, you need counselling. And this is from a person regarded by some as a white supremacist.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink


          • Liz
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

            Counseling is the magic fix.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      You’re gone, jonolan. I just saw this comment, and I have no doubt that you know what “strange fruit” refers to: it is a lynched African American, a term made famous in the Billie Holiday song of the same name.

      This is one of the most offensive comments I’ve seen in a long time, and you’ll never post here again.

  22. Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Harassment, intimidation, refusal of service and rioting is not the way to go if anything is to be accomplished.

    • Marta
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink


      You’re kinda pulling a fast one there, ain’t ya?

      This is like an SAT question, i.e.,which one of those is not like the other?

      • Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        They are all equally bad. Not sure which one you think would be acceptable.

    • Mark R.
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Harassment and intimidation worked well for Act Up to make people and politicians aware of the AIDS epidemic. Thousands protested at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1989, disrupting mass, hell they put an entire condom over the home of Jesse Helms. When the stakes are as high as they are right now, harassment and intimidation are pretty much all we have left. Again, harassment and intimidation doesn’t mean it’s violent; and violence should never be used.

      No one, including Waters said anything about rioting.

      Did you know that Paul Ryan did a rally with a baker who refused to sell bread to Joe Biden? I know it’s whataboutism, but hypocrisy is hypocrisy.

      • Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        If all you have left is harassment and intimidation you better go home and give it up, or go back to school and learn other tools that you can use.

        • GBJames
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          As one old guy to another, that’s a false choice. “Harassment and intimidation” in one context doesn’t mean you don’t have innumerable other tools for use in others.

  23. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Democrats don’t have a rosy future …

    Mebbe so; Maxine’s gone off the chain some, that’s for sure, though she’s got the heart of a lion and it’s in the right place.

    Still, if we’re taking a long position on political party futures, gimme the Dems over the GOP, which is now the wholly owned party of Donald J. Trump, lock, stock, and still-smoking barrel.

    Under Trump, the White House — the People’s House! — has become the cynosure of incivility. But the problems there go way beyond mere civility. The Republican Party under Trump has abandoned any semblance of conservative principle in favor of white nationalism, which is why principled conservatives have been in the “never Trump” camp from the get-go. And now those never-Trumpers are abandoning the GOP itself, as George Will has done and as Mitt Romney’s former campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, announced he was doing a couple days ago (and as David Brooks discussed at some length in his NYT piece the day before yesterday).

    Donald Trump is going down, between the special counsel investigation and the impending indictment of his “fixer,” Michael Cohen. When he does, he will cleave what remains of the GOP in two — those with enough self-interest to want to live on to fight another day in a post-Trump world, and the dead-end deplorables who hitched their wagons to him early and irreversibly, like the “Freedom Caucus” and the alt-right clowns Trump brought into the Party with him from the risible “birther” movement. Prepare for the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth when those two camps turn on each other.

    Right now, Trump is a lit stick of TNT dropped down the outhouse shitter. When he goes off he’s gonna get more stank on those around him than they’ll ever be able to live down.

    • tomh
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      But the damage will live on, witness the Supreme Court. Yesterday immigration, today unions, tomorrow who knows?

    • Historian
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Schmidt was McCain’s campaign manager in 2008. I don’t think he held that position for Romney in 2012.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        You’re right. Don’t know how I managed to mix that up after Game Change.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Trump is not going down, ever, period, full stop.

      Even if Mueller presents Congress with incontrovertible proof of Trump shooting somebody dead on Fifth Avenue at noon on live TV, there are still not 67 votes in the Senate to convict. Nor will there be after the midterms, even if every race breaks in the best possible way for the Democrats.

      Of that much you can be certain. Congress has had more than ample opportunity to demonstrate otherwise, and has been overwhelmingly consistent in reaffirming its support for Trump.

      Hell, Ryan won’t even go near a bill until he has full confidence that Trump will sign it for fear of even hinting at the possibility of embarrassing Trump. He views his job as to pre-rubber-stamp Trump’s desires, not as (as the Constitution makes plain) the principal counterbalance to executive authority.

      I still stand by my prediction: Trump will spend the rest of his life as President. Actuarially, especially given his current health and lifestyle, that’s not all that long…but still could potentially be as much as a quarter century.



      • nicky
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        I do not (yet) share your pessimism. Mr Trump will go down, if the ‘blue tsunami’ materialises. Let us wait for November 6.
        The Mueller report will be sooo damaging (I can’t imagine it being not, with all the details we already know), I mean, he clearly is a Russian shill, House and Senate will have to impeach him. The only problem is that you will have a president Pence then, an equally disastrous prospect.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          Even the bluiest and waviest of Great Blue Waves won’t get 67 votes for conviction in the Senate. Hell, the Democrats could pick up a dozen seats in the Senate and there’d still be enough solid Trumpists to block conviction.

          You — along with most of the rest of the Resistance — are continuing to operate under the illusion that Trump is the Alpha and Omega of the problem, that he’s an aberration, that all you have to do is shout loudly enough about how he’s naked, and then all these reasonable people will come to their senses and evict Trump. Were that the case, he’d never have gotten the Republican nomination in the first place, and certainly wouldn’t have survived the Access Hollywood tapes.

          The actual problem is that Republicans really, truly, sincerely do love the guy. Sure, he burps and farts a lot — but that’s actually a good thing, since everybody loves a good fart joke, right?

          Trump is just the symptom, the odd-looking mole that’s actually fully-metastasized carcinoma. You could scratch off the mole with your fingernail, sure, but what good is that going to do you?



          • nicky
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

            Well, in my defense, I stated a bit earlier that Mr Trump did not do his damage alone. I’m very well aware of that. And I blamed Mr Mc Connell more than once. (And yes, it is not just Mr McConnell either).
            And I even stated that Mr Pence is an equally disastrous prospect.
            I disagree though that a ‘blue tsunami’ will have no effect. Estimating Mr Trump, he might even turn (return in fact) Democrat, if that were opportune. 🙂
            No, I do not really believe that, he’s in the pocket of his Russian bosses and the Mueller report is likely to show that. I guess and hope that there are still enough ‘real republicans’ left not completely under the spell of the Trump-cult (if the signs are on the wall, and the hypothetical ‘blue tsunami’ would be such a sign) to read that report and act accordingly.

          • Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            Yes. Trump simply ripped the mask of civility from the ugly face of the modern day Republican party.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        I’m willing to wager good green money that Trump will no longer be living in the White House come January 21, 2021. If the Dems take the House in the Fall (and, even better, if take the Senate too), the nation will be treated to daily televised public hearings airing out all Donald Trump’s dirty, nefarious dealings. That hasn’t happened yet because the Mueller investigation has been leak-proof and congressional Republicans refuse to fulfill their constitutional duty.

        Once the truth about Trump is laid bare, I’ve enough faith in the American people and its institutions to believe the tide will turn. Congressional Republicans have no personal loyalty or affection for Donald Trump; they know as well as anyone that he’s a buffoon and a national disgrace. Not one of the sitting US senators endorsed him during the 2016 GOP primaries. The only thing binding congressional Republicans to Trump is their fear of his aroused white-nationalist base. Once they’re convinced they have more to fear from the American general electorate than they do from Trump — if they lose in the Fall and foresee worse loses ahead as things turn even further against Trump — they will drop him like a hot poker, and he may be forced to resign or be impeached.

        If, on the other hand, the Republicans hold congress in the Fall, and continue down their perfidious path behind Trump, then he may well limp though the remaining two years of his term. Either way, however, Trump will not survive past that. He “won” in 2016 in the biggest fluke in this nation’s 57-presidential-election history. His popularity dropped thereafter, and he’s done absolutely nothing to increase his chances since assuming office. Come January 2021, it’ll be finita la commedia.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          I get the feeling (admittedly based on little evidence) that congressional Republicans mostly loathe and fear Trump but can’t been seen to as Trump has taken over the Party. IOW, it may not take much for the whole Trumpista regime to collapse. Give them a reason and a path out and many Republicans will abandon Trump.

          Unfortunately for all of us it will depend greatly on the Democrats. That is hugely depressing in itself and is ultimately, I’m afraid, hopeless.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          See, that’s just it.

          The truth has already been laid bare.

          There’s no mystery about Trump. I mean, sure, there’re still secrets, and it’s a damned safe bet that those secrets are even more damning than what’s already out in the open.

          But if the taken-for-granted common knowledge facts nobody, not even Fox News prime time pundits, disputes aren’t enough to sour people on Trump…what makes you think that even shooting somebody on Fifth Avenue would be a bridge too far for them?



          • nicky
            Posted June 28, 2018 at 1:48 am | Permalink

            Didn’t someone (Mr Giuliani?) say that he would get away with shooting Mr Comey?

    • jellen
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Steve Schmidt was John McCain’s campaign manager, not Mitt Romney’s. Moreover, he persuaded McCain to name Sarah Palin as his running mate. I would hardly cite him as an example of enlightenment.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Christ, compared to the benighted Trump-people, Steve Schmidt is the John Locke of political enlightenment. He knew Palin was a mistake early on, and he’s apologized profusely for his role in picking her. Hell, another never-Trumper from the McCain campaign staff, the lovely and talented Nicolle Wallace, declined even to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket out of concern for Palin’s unfitness for office.

  24. Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Are Trumpists the new Nazis?

    That seems to me to be the first pertinent question.

    If they’re merely boorish political opponents, then joining them on the low road might feel good but will only play into their hands. Wrestle with a pig and not only do you come away with it much the worse for wear, but the pig actually likes it.

    But if they are the new Nazis…do you really think that shouting obscenities at them is going to a damned bit of good? Who sincerely believes that spitting on a Gestapo officer would have even remotely done anything to save Jewish (etc.) lives?

    There’s another dimension to this. What do you do if your neighbor is a Nazi? You can’t just shoot your neighbor — assuming, of course, that it hasn’t yet come to the point of gas chambers and tanks in the streets.

    Note well, too, that Trumpists sincerely suspect Never-Trumpists of being Nazis. They really mean it when they say that Nancy and Chuck want to funnel guns to MS-13 so they can lead a Deep State revolution against Christandom. And let’s not forget the ongoing abortion holocaust! Whatever arguments you find compelling for how you should treat your Trumpist neighbors are going to resonate just as well with them for how they should treat you.

    I do not know how this will end. But I’m confident that our odds — everybody’s odds, on all sides — are significantly improved with every person who acts as an adult, and are diminished with every person who acts as a boor.

    No, I don’t give a damn that it’s not fair that they get to be boors and you have to be an adult in response. I don’t care who started it. Running around the campfire with squirt guns filled with gasoline is insanely bad for everybody. We’re already getting burned, we already know that this is not going to end well and that it’s going to get worse before it gets better…but why on Earth should you want to make it even worse than it’s already getting?


    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Ben said: “But if they are the new Nazis…do you really think that shouting obscenities at them is going to a damned bit of good? Who sincerely believes that spitting on a Gestapo officer would have even remotely done anything to save Jewish (etc.) lives?”

      Probably not, but images of it all over the news and internet (if such things existed then) might have helped Germans who thought things were just fine wake up to the horrible things happening in Nazi Germany.

      And it’s not that we can change people like Huckabee-Sanders, but we might shame them into quitting (which can unsettle the administration, essentially our own type of filibuster against Trump’s damaging policies).

  25. Barney
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    If you think the Democrats don’t have a future, and the Republicans have clearly been far more extreme than this for years (dozens of lunatics far worse than one Representative saying “protest the administration members wherever you see them” – and the head of the Republicans is one of them), then which political parties do you think will arise to replace these two?

  26. Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    As “Cracked” have pointed out, this story has precedent
    Leni Riefenstahl (characterised as “Hitler’s girlfriend” at the time, which wasnt strictly true, “fangirl” would have been more accurate) was refused service in a Hollywood nightclub in 1938.
    Intriguingly, there were contemporary NYT op eds about how Jews should be kinder to Nazis running at the time

    I’m not sure whether this historical perspective helps, but its a reminder that there is nothing new under the sun.
    In the UK the British fascist, Oswald Mosley tended to be met with rather…let’s call it “robust” debate when he went on tour. This is a famous picture of a particularly firm rebuttal to one of his more trenchant political claims
    (Never let it be said that I’m advocating such behavior–just interested watching history repeat itself)

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      I find this valuable information and very interesting in a historical as well as a contemporary context.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      I think it doesn’t help. There are numerous counter-examples, e.g. Jews of that time forbidden to shop from certain places or in certain hours. Another commenter compared Maxine Waters’ appeal to a call for a Kristallnacht.

  27. Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    While I agree with your call against personal attacks, I worry that we are not doing enough to fight the menace that Trump, GOP, and followers represent. Too many times have Dems stood by civilly while the opposition bulldozed them. A great example is the Supreme Court nomination that should have gone to Obama. That should have been fought all the way to the Supreme Court.

    You say “we should be attacking ideas rather than people” but clearly Trump and his followers attack people all the time. Perhaps we should be taking the high ground on this but failing to fight does not win the war.

    I really believe that one of the most potent weapons we have against Trump and company is satire for which he is a huge source of material. Hillary Clinton would have done better if she had used ridicule and outrage more. But there’s a fine line between making fun of a political figure and personal attacks. Confronting Trump’s cabinet where they dine or live is just dumb and plays directly into there agenda. It gives them ammunition for a “there’s incivility on both sides” argument.

    Maxine Waters is an embarrassment.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Civility and firmness properly go hand-in-hand. The Democrats could and should have ensured Merrick Garland got the nomination, all while remaining firmly civil. And, having screwed the pooch on that one, they could just as well have firmly but civilly kept the Court at eight seats once Trump assumed the Presidency.

      Their failure on both counts had nothing to do with civility, and everything to do with an embarrasing excess of political ineptitude and a profound lack of intestitnal fortitude.


      • Historian
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        There was no way that the Democrats could have ensured that Garland got the Supreme Court seat since they did not have a majority in the Senate. Blame Mitch McConnell.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps “ensure” is too strong but there were measures that could have been taken, as outlined here:

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

          Oh, they could have.

          Had they told Mitch that the Senate would not do anything at all until Garland got an up-or-down vote, not even rename a post office, that probably would have done it — and they certainly had the power to filibuster all Senate business.

          And if that wasn’t enough, had they told him that, the next time they had the majority in the Senate, they’d put twenty Democrats on the bench in response, that would have done the trick, too.

          Basically, Mitch put a loaded revolver to their head and threatened to pull the trigger. Why they didn’t pull the pin out of an hand grenade in response would be beyond me, save that they have repeatedly demonstrated both spinelessness and incompetence.

          …which, of course, is yet more reason why Trump will never be impeached — and certainly not convicted.



          • Historian
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

            Mitch would have loved the Democrats shutting down the Senate from doing any actual work. That was his goal for the entire Obama years. He supported multitudes of filibusters. And now, he would have the Democrats to blame.

            • Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

              Not “any actual work.” Anything and everything.

              When Social Security checks stop coming and military aircraft are grounded for lack of fuel, all because Chuck refuses to faithfully execute his Constitutional responsibility, he wouldn’t have loved it nearly so much.

              Mitch single-handedly usurped unprecedented power to himself and his party that the Constitution was explicitly designed to prevent him from having. That was and existential crisis for our government, and the Democrats were complicit in their failure to act accordingly.

              Or, as usual, they brought a bull whip to a tank battle.



  28. Jon Gallant
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    “Or do only Leftists have the right to harass people with whom they disagree?” The all too familiar pop-Left tactic of blocking traffic comes to mind. This involves harassing, not the authorities or political opponents, but EVERYBODY in a particular locale.

    In 1999, for one example. demonstrators in Seattle paralyzed downtown and all bus routes that went through downtown—because of their opposition to the World Trade Organization daring to hold a meeting in Seattle. Those who depended on the buses, such as people who are actually poor or disabled, were screwed for that entire afternoon. The protesters presumably believed that God was as fanatic about the WTO as they were.

    19 years later, Donald Trump is apparently in the process of destroying the WTO. Maybe God and the pop-Left worked together to make him President. Perhaps God and Maxine Waters are conducting a similar collaboration for 2020.

    • Historian
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Yes, civil disobedience is such an evil concept. Those civil rights activists who sat-in at lunch counters in the South during the 1950s and 1960s were terrible people. After all, they prevented all the good white folk from enjoying their meals. And let’s not forget the millions who protested the Vietnam War, many who got arrested. Jail was not good enough for them. They should have been immediately drafted and sent to the paddy fields. Damn protestors. They ain’t Americans!

      • Jon Gallant
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Sitting-in at Southern lunch counters protested denial of civil rights to black citizens, and did not deprive other lunch counter customers of any service. The 1999 WTO protests were against WTO delegates daring to walk on public streets to their meetings—and the protests’ paralysis of bus lines deprived clients of Seattle’s NW Center for the Retarded of the ability to get home that afternoon, an effect I knew personally. The two “protest” phenomena seem different enough to be obvious.

        • Historian
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

          Civil disobedience is the peaceful disruption of the normal rhythm of life with the willingness to accept the consequences of such actions, which usually includes arrest and a fine or jail time, for the purpose of making a political point. You may not agree with what the protestors did, but to the extent they were practicing civil disobedience, they were faithful to a great American tradition. If any of the protestors practiced violence or tried to evade the consequences of their actions then for them we have a different story.

        • Lynn Wilhelm
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          Of course sit-ins at lunch counters deprived white customers of services, they couldn’t use those seats! And I’ll bet there were some customers who refused to sit and eat in the same room as the protesters.

          I’m sure some people at the time thought that it would be better to protest more vigorously, perhaps actually blocking the entrance to those restaurants, maybe even blocking the entire street to traffic. However the lack of privilege the sit-in participants held would likely make a more demonstrative protest a danger to protesters lives.

          It’s always interesting that the “old” tactics of civil rights protesters, reviled in the 60’s, are now praised as OK and newer forms of protest have become reviled. Those sit-ins were shocking at the time, just like the WTO protests were in 1999.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          You realize, don’t you, that Southern Bürgermeisters and gentry raised the exact same objections to the boycotts in Montgomery, to the marches and sit-ins in Birmingham, to the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and to the sanitation strike in Memphis — and voiced similar complaints that the whole civil-rights mobrmrny had been inspired by outside agitators (like A. Philip Rudolph) from the CPUSA (which, I guess, would qualify as the “pop-Left” of its day)?

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink


  29. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Bob Dylan’s 1963 song “With God on Our Side” remains a pretty good riposte to being overconfident about having God on one’s side.

    Full lyrics here:

    However, while I am against harassing politicians in public places or their homes, I would nonetheless evict Sarah Sanders from my restaurant. This is a declaration that she is not welcome in my space.

    The issue has moved beyond partisan politics, and into common decency and morality. John McCain and Mitt Romney are welcome in my (hypothetical) restaurant.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      I thought Oliver Stone made pretty good use of that tune by Bob over the closing credits of W.

  30. mirandaga
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    As I read these posts, I’m troubled to see the debate reduced to whether or not abusing, harassing, and demonizing fellow human beings is politically productive. What should concern us is that, productive or not, it is self-corrupting.

    • Marta
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Abusing, harassing and demonizing are not okay.

      Shame, ridicule, mockery and ostracism, however, are.

      These are not the same thing.

      • Lynn Wilhelm
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        + 1,000,000

  31. mirandaga
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Well, there’s no question that Trump thinks “shame, ridicule, mockery and ostracism” are OK ways to treat other human beings. Problem is, if we have to become Trump to regain the White House, then we’ll still end up with Trump in the White House.

    • nicky
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink


  32. Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Personally I try to avoid the uninvolved, so no loud demonstrations at places of residence. But …

  33. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Justice Kennedy is retiring end of July. So cry me a river.

    • nicky
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      He should, according to Mr McConnell’s ideas, wait until November?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        To be sporting and consistent, the Senate should wait at least until the new Congress is seated next January before holding confirmation hearings — you know, to “let the voters have a say” (the same opportunity Mitch McConnell explained they’d be getting with the 2016 election).

        SCOTUS will be lurching rightward, especially if the Dems fail to get to 51 in the Senate this Fall. CJ Roberts will become the new “centrist” swing vote, if you can imagine. Hope all the folks who couldn’t bring themselves to hold their nose and vote for Hillary are happy now.

  34. XCellKen
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    “God is on our side. On the side of the children.”

    Only the obedient children.

    He would want the disobedient children stoned to death

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      There was an episode in the Old Testament about children being eaten by bears after mocking some prophet’s body mass index.

  35. Lynn Wilhelm
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I was watching this clip from Trevor Noah on The Daily Show just as I read your last paragraph about civility.
    He says, “…as a government official, people protesting your policies, is part of the job.”
    The people supporting Trump as part of their jobs can quit or refuse to carry out his policies if they disagree with them. Their choice to support him makes them targets for our ire. And that may include making them feel a little uncomfortable at times.

  36. Kurtis Rader
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    This article at Vox on the topic of civility in light of what recently happened to Ms. Sanders and other members of the Trump administration is worth a read.

  37. Posted June 27, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    “I think we are in the middle of a sort of coup wherein our basic governing structures are being undermined by the Republican takeover of the federal government.”

    A coup? The President and the rest of the Republicans in government are there by virtue of legitimate elections. The President’s opponents, on the other hand, have appointed a special counsel who is now on a fishing expedition in a desperate attempt to come up with some contrived “high crime or misdemeanor” so they can pull off a genuine coup, but one that is “nice and legal.” We are certainly seeing subversion of our Constitutional form of government, but not by the President. Rather his enemies are going about it brazenly and openly.

    “From there, might wanna look at a president who’s undermined the integrity and independence of the United States Department of Justice…”

    Like the “integrity” revealed in the texts between Strzok and his girlfriend? The “integrity” of the FBI whitewash of Hillary’s felonious use of a personal email server? The “integrity” of an FBI deputy director’s leaks to the press? The “integrity” of using the Steele dossier, bought and paid for by the Clinton campaign, to justify extensive spying on her opponent? Don’t make me laugh.

    “…who gutted the State Department”

    In what sense has Trump “gutted the State Department?” He is the Constitutional head of the executive branch of our government. He has the same limited right to hire and fire in pursuit of the policy goals set forth in his campaign as every other President has enjoyed before him. Compared to the total number of people employed at State, the number fired by Trump is minimal. Why does that constitute “gutting” of the Department? Because “Newsweek” says so?

    “…who violates the Emoluments Clause with nearly every breath he and his misbegotten progeny take.”

    What a ludicrous red herring. It’s obvious if you just bother to read the Emoluments Clause. If that’s not enough, in 1850 the Supreme Court defined emolument as “embracing every species of compensation or pecuniary profit derived from a discharge of the duties of the office.” A foreign diplomat buying a steak dinner at a Trump restaurant has nothing to do with a bribe, and cooking it isn’t exactly the same thing as “a discharge of the duties of the office” of President. Beyond that, Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe all owned plantations and sold their products to buyers in Europe, including foreign governments. It never occurred to even their most bitter opponents to claim that they were violating the Emoluments Clause, even though the authors and ratifiers of the Constitution were still around.

    In short, there are arguments on the other side that are at least worthy of discussion. In spite of that, some of the commenters here seem inspired by a furious hatred of Trump that is only rational if one assumes they represent some objective good, and Trump and his supporters wake up every day determined to do deeds that are objectively evil. How on earth can anyone who describes himself as an atheist believe such nonsense? Where in the universe are these objective goods and evils located? By what magical process to they acquire their legitimacy? What are they made of? In fact, these “goods” and “evils” have no objective existence. They are figments of the imagination, existing because they are inspired by innate emotions that exist by virtue of natural selection. As such, they have no purpose or function. They exist merely because they happened to increase the odds that particular genes would survive in an environment radically different from the one we live in now.

    In other words, “atheist” Trump haters believe in the imaginary spirits and ghosts of good and evil as surely as any evangelical Christian believes in his imaginary God. As we can see by looking through these comments, they respond to them blindly and unthinkingly, all the time imagining that they are fighting for the “good.” They hate with all the fury of any racist, the only difference being that their outgroup is defined by ideology instead of race. Is their bigotry somehow justified by that difference? Pray tell, how is it that this “good” you imagine acquires the right to jump out of your skull, onto my neck, and dictate to me what I “ought” and “ought not” to do?

    You can only justify your noble battle for this “good” you imagine by claiming that it serves some greater “good,” and that greater “good” serves some even greater and nobler “good,” “for the welfare of all mankind.” Can you tell me which one of these “goods” exists as an object? Let me tell you. None of them! They are all ghosts that you firmly believe are real, good “atheist” that you are.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      So you actually support Trump?

      • Posted June 27, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I actually support Trump and I voted for him. Tell me, does that make me “objectively immoral?” If so, please explain how you justify that claim.

        • Robert Bray
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          No, it doesn’t make you ‘objectively immoral’ for voting for/supporting someone who is indeed ‘objectively immoral.’ Rather, it demonstrates your poor judgment.

        • Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

          Your words, not mine. You have to live with yourself.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Your last sentence does a huge disservice to any point that you wanted to make.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Wow. Just….wow.

    • Posted June 27, 2018 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Well, you made some worthwhile points at the start, although most of it is whataboutery. But you went off the rails at the end. What has atheism to do with it? And who thinks political opinion is objective? Of course, political opinion should be based on objective facts, which does not seem to be the case for the Trump admin.

      • Posted June 28, 2018 at 4:52 am | Permalink

        The opinions of people who are furious at their opponents because they imagine they are immoral are not based on facts. They are based on blind response to moral emotions. As Hume pointed out long ago, it’s impossible for morality to be based on pure reason. A philosopher named Francis Hutcheson did an even better job of making that point. Another philosopher, Edvard Westermarck, agreed with Darwin about the evolutionary origins of moral emotions, and noted that they tend to create the illusion that good and evil are real, objective things. They are not real, objective things. They are subjective mirages generated in the minds of individuals. That’s where atheism comes in. I don’t believe in God for the reasons cited in “Faith vs. Fact” and “The God Delusion,” namely, because there is no evidence for his existence and no plausible reason to assume he exists. There is also no evidence for, nor is it plausible to assume, that Good and Evil exist as real, objective things. Anyone who disagrees is welcome to bring me an example of one, nicely mounted on a board, if you please. If you don’t believe that Good and Evil are real, objective things, how is it that you justify speaking of them as if they were, and manipulating moral emotions to satisfy what amounts to nothing but self interest? That’s not really what’s happening here, though. Many of the commenters on this thread actually suffer from the illusion that they are noble fighters for objective Good against the Evil forces of Trump. That delusion is no more rational than the “God Delusion.” It amounts to a blind belief in things that don’t exist.

        • Posted June 28, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

          Alternatively, no.

        • Posted June 28, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          You haven’t been around this site much if you think people here think good and evil are objective things that are “out there.” Of course they are human constructs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about right and wrong. If enough people think it is wrong or evil to forcibly separate babies from their mothers, then it is socially immoral, end of story. You sound like a nihilist, so I’m not surprised you see nothing wrong about Trump.

          • Posted June 28, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            In fact it is perfectly clear from your comment that you believe that good and evil are objective things that are “out there.” You say we can still “talk about right and wrong,” but if you don’t believe that right and wrong are objective things, that comment makes no sense. What you are saying is that we can talk about things that don’t exist. Then you say that “if enough people think it is wrong or evil to forcibly separate babies from their mothers, then it is socially immoral, end of story.” Unless you believe in objective good and evil, why would that claim be true? You don’t even believe it yourself. Do you think slavery was moral and good in the context of the old South because most of the population believed it was moral and good? Do you think Hitler was moral and good in the context of Nazi Germany in 1939 because the overwhelming majority of Germans thought he was moral and good at the time? Would it be moral and good to torture babies for fun, to paraphrase a paper I read recently, if “enough people think it is right and good?” Would it then become “socially moral” to torture babies for fun?

            Supposing what you say is true, and something really does become “socially immoral” when “enough people think it is wrong or evil.” What detectable thing actually happens to make it “socially immoral” once some threshold of positive opinion on the matter is reached. Are we speaking of something like the Marxist law of transformation of quantity into quality? How can one detect this “quality?” If, in fact, there is no secret sauce that transforms things that are “really moral” into things that are “really immoral” in this way, then the only alternative explanation is that you are claiming that you have a right as an individual to make up rules as you go along, and I, as another individual, had better obey those rules or else, period. That’s a great prescription for civil war.

            No, I am not a nihilist. In fact I am a moral absolutist, because most human beings will imagine that good and evil are real objects whether I like it or not. It is their nature. The question is, how do we accommodate that nature with an “absolute” morality that maximizes social harmony and minimizes the danger that moral emotions pose to all of us. We should certainly go about this task with our eyes wide open about what morality actually is. In fact, it is a manifestation of emotions, or more exactly, innate predispositions, that exist because they evolved. Furthermore, these predispositions evolved at a time radically different from the present. What you are saying is that we should simply allow people to blindly consult their moral emotions, and then go with whatever the majority come up with. I don’t think that’s a very good plan. There is certainly no guarantee that they would accomplish the same thing in the radically different environment we now live in as they did at the time they evolved. In fact, assuming that they will is downright dangerous.

            One of the main reasons it’s dangerous is the dual nature of human morality. We apply different rules to ingroups and outgroups. Outgroups are ubiquitous. We all have them, and it is our tendency to hate and despise those who belong to our outgroup. We have attempted to respond to this obvious danger, not by recognizing the underlying innate behavior, but by playing a game of “whack a mole,” if you will. As each new form of outgroup identification has caused mayhem in our societies, we have tried to eliminate it by giving it a bad name, such as racism, anti-Semitism, religious bigotry, xenophobia, etc., etc. It’s easy to recognize the form of outgroup identification represented in many of the comments on this thread, not least of all because it’s so typical of atheists. Atheists are usually on the left of the ideological spectrum, and leftists love to imagine they are morally superior, and that they occupy the moral high ground. Their ingroup is defined, not by race, nationality, or one of the other types of moles that have already been whacked. Instead, their ingroup is defined by ideological shibboleths. They hate and despise anyone who disagrees with those shibboleths in the old familiar way that humans have always hated outgroups. If anything, atheists hate more furiously than other, garden varieties of ingroups, because they have not yet been seriously called out for their idiosyncratic form of bigotry. However, the fact that that bigotry exists is obvious from the irrational, furious hatred expressed in some of the comments here.

            In short, I think your suggestion for nailing things down as “socially immoral, end of story,” Is ill-advised and dangerous. I think it plausible that we can find a better way to construct an “absolute morality” that most of us would find more convenient than the chaos we have now.

            • Posted June 28, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

              We can talk about red and green, but in fact there is no color in the universe. Color is just a subjective sensation in our visual cortex caused by different frequencies of light impacting on the cones of our retinas. Somewhat amazingly, providing one is not color blind, we can all agree that an apple is red. I suppose it is because we are all constructed the same way. My point is we can share subjective feelings of right and wrong without right and wrong being objective things.

              • Posted June 29, 2018 at 4:58 am | Permalink

                That’s quite true. Of course, it begs the question of how your perception of green can jump out of your skull onto my back and dictate to me that I must see green just the way you do as well.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Yours is the most ridiculous comment I’ve come across here.

      How in the world do private, pillow-talk texts expressing a political preference by a simple FBI agent — an agent whose political preferences mirrored those of the sentient 55% of US voters, an agent whose political views (as an exhaustive investigation by the USDJ Inspector General found) had no impact whatever on any official action or decision, an agent dismissed from the special counsel’s investigation as soon as his texts were discovered — how do they in any way justify the president of the United States attempting to wring a promise of personal loyalty from the FBI director, or justify the president’s firing that FBI director in order to obstruct the Russia investigation (as he admitted to doing to two Russian diplomat/spies the following day in the Oval Office), or justify that president’s wielding his influence with the DoJ antitrust division or the US post office to punish the owners of media companies for publishing news unfavorable to him?

      Donald Trump has gutted the State Department by failing to fill dozens of key positions, including ambassadorships. This, along with his withdrawal from TPP, his withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, his withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, and his undermining of the NATO alliance has eroded American soft power across the globe and ceded huge swaths international influence to China and Russia.

      We have now in office a president with unprecedented conflicts of interest (some of which violate the Emoluments Clause as spelled out in the lawsuit brought by the attorneys general for several states) — our first president in modern times who has refused to divest himself of his ubiquitous and sketchy personal business interests while in office, a president who is using his office for personal enrichment. This is a president who has appointed as his primary international adviser his abjectly unqualified son-in-law, who has in turn used his own position of influence to endeavor to coerce foreign investors into funding the white elephant his family owns on Fifth Avenue.

      Donald Trump is an arrant ignoramus when it comes to government and public policy, domestic and foreign. He has never before held public office, and as a private citizen never took any interest at all in the major issues of his day, never performed any public service, has never done anything that didn’t directly benefit Donald J. Trump, either his financial bottom line or his unslakeable thirst for personal aggrandizement. To fulfill his selfish ends, he latches onto any expedient lie, however preposterous, to justify whatever fleeting grasping impulse actually motivates him.

      The man is grotesquely ill-suited — by experience and education, by training and by temperament — to be president of these United States, much less leader of the free world.

      Yet you, sir, nevertheless voted for this buffoon — a decision that should bring you nothing but shame.

      • Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        KK, may I quote this marvelous comment on FB or other media?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          Be my guest, Douglas.

      • Posted June 29, 2018 at 1:17 am | Permalink

        Well put.

      • Diane G
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 4:06 am | Permalink


  38. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Next up, the old US tradition of civil violence.

    And of course it will cement the Republicans in their seats for another period…

  39. Posted June 27, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    In my view Water’s call was perfectly legitimate.

    She stated “…if you see members of Cabinet” etc at gas stations etc … then speak out and push back.

    This is quite different from seeking out and targeting people for harassment in their homes or work places.

    How often does the average person come across a law maker or administration official of high standing. The answer is seldom, if ever.

    If I ever chance across a NZ member of Parliament who holds viewpoints I find odious I will certainly make my position clear and as loudly as possible.

    If you see them, speak up. Loudly.

  40. Bruce Swanney
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    I too decry Ms Waters’ call. But this is the America we now live in. Trump has dragged most of the political establishment down with him into the sewer. The low road led to the WH in 2016 and I see no evidence that it will not in 2020.

  41. Posted June 28, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Wait a minute Jerry, that’s disparaging of Doritos and Mountain Dew! I went to Jonalon’s web sites, and you pretty much hit the mark on his perspectives, although he claims to be far to the right on some issues and far to the left on others.

  42. gemit2000
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    one passionate comment one day that targets this dangerous buffoonish administration that has put our democracy under attack vs. the daily stream of toxic, bullying, threatening rhetoric coming from the President… and OMG boy oh boy are the Democrats off the rails; boy oh boy the Democrats just blew it. I know half our population has lost their collective sanity but give me a f’n break, nothing can compare to the derangement syndrome we’ve been forced to experience by Trump and his Quislings.

    • Diane G
      Posted July 1, 2018 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      Very good point!

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