Author Topic: What's your limit for supporting Trump? Firing Mueller? Pardoning himself?  (Read 20121 times)

Greg Davidson

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This is the first President in US history ever to include in his campaign remarks that he could shoot someone in the street and his supporters would still support him.

Well, there has already been textbook perjury committed by Jeff Sessions in his confirmation hearing and by Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner in his first two false submissions of an SF-86. President Trump has removed from office the three government officials driving investigations of his ties to Russia, the last one being James Comey who based on prior actions is no ally to Democrats. What if Trump fires Mueller - a second Republican, who has always enjoyed strong bipartisan support and respect?

How about pardons? If Trump starts pardoning current and former members of his team, members of his family, and even himself, will you still support him?

Or does it have to be him shooting someone in the street?

ScottF

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I've heard a number of people say that Comey was investigating Trump's ties to Russia despite Comey himself saying he told Trump he explicitly wasn't under investigation. Was Comey lying when he said that? Assuming he wasn't lying, why do you state the opposite of what he said, under oath, as fact?

Pete at Home

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What hardcore supporters of Trump are you speaking to here, Greg?  IIRC there's only Crunch and Cherry.

While I don't support Trump, I think that if you stop gaslighting the whole "emails issue" and walk through the information that was disclosed in the emails, you might come to grips with why Trump could be shooting people in the streets and half the country still think him more sinned against than sinning.

The DNC chokehold on the mainstream media approaches that of Stalin or Hitler.  Here we have proof that the DNC cheated in the election, committing mass fraud, and what's the big story?  How Russia villainously interfered with our free elections?  That's some chutzpah, Greg.

Greg Davidson

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ScottF,

Comey gave a very straightforward statement, which was at that time Trump was not a subject of the investigation. You really have to squeeze reality hard to assume that a statement of status in March ruled out ever finding anything further that would make the President a subject of the investigation.

They started the investigation with some evidence about other members of the Trump campaign, and at the times when Trump asked the question I am sure that there was not yet evidence making Trump a target of the investigation. We still don't that the investigation has made progress in a direction that Trump is now under investigation, but the President has taken multiple actions that sure look guilty as hell.

Greg Davidson

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Pete,

If the DNC had a Stalin/Hitler choke-hold on the media, why would the New York Times the week before the election give multiple headlines insinuating that the emails on Weiner's laptop were a major new find (when they weren't) and simultaneously publishing a front page article that there was no substance behind the Trump-Russia stories (which as we can see from multiple sources, including the recently uncovered "Clinton - Russia - Confidential" email from the Trump campaign, was also seriously wrong in a direction that favored Donald Trump)? Nate Silver attributed about a 3% shift in the polls due to the media coverage in the last week - so the DNC chokehold didn't seem to be working very well.


 

TheDeamon

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What hardcore supporters of Trump are you speaking to here, Greg?  IIRC there's only Crunch and Cherry.

Pretty much this. I said he was a terrible Presidential candidate, he's a terrible president. The only one worse is Hillary, who incidentally, seems to currently hold a lower approval rating than Trump does? Go figure.

But as my support for Trump specifically was 0 to start with, I guess we're talking about a "divide by zero error" or alternately infinite support, depending on how you want to approach it.

That isn't to say that some or even many of the interests that Trump claims to support won't align with my own interests. Or that regardless of how much I may or may not care for the person himself, I am concerned about setting dangerous precedents about handling future Presidents if people act rashly in an effort to shove Trump out the door before the next election.

yossarian22c

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I think firing Mueller is the first action that Trump will have taken that makes me believe he actually committed a crime. I chalked the previous fires up to his ego getting in the way of better judgement. However the steps he would have to go through the fire Mueller go beyond that. I think there is a real chance that the crimes may not have to do with Russia. At the start of his presidency I would have put actual collaboration between his campaign and the Russian's extremely low, Trump's actions around the investigation have me revising that likelihood up.

Where the crimes may exist could be more financial in nature. I thought this idea from David Brooks was interesting:
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...
Donald Trump, give him credit, he’s completely transparent. He basically said in that interview, my corruption can be found in my tax returns. If you look into my tax returns, I will fire you.

He transmits everything that he’s thinking out in public in an incredibly transparent way. So we’re looking at a fact where Bob Mueller will probably go to the tax returns. Donald Trump will probably fire Bob Mueller. And then we will be in some sort of constitutional crisis. And it’s all telegraphed right there out in the open.
...
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/shields-brooks-spicer-stepping-gop-health-care-bill-fumble/


yossarian22c

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...
While I don't support Trump, I think that if you stop gaslighting the whole "emails issue" and walk through the information that was disclosed in the emails, you might come to grips with why Trump could be shooting people in the streets and half the country still think him more sinned against than sinning.
...

To my knowledge the most damaging things to come out of the DNC email hack was basically the fact that the DNC (as they appeared to be, despite their claims of neutrality) was clearly in camp Hilary and mildly hostile to Bernie. This wasn't exactly shocking to anyone who has been paying attention to politics in this country for the past 20 years. Bernie was an independent before running and is so again now. Clinton's are the perennial political insiders. As to the fact that they were able to ghost write a few stories that got published I think it is entirely unethical, I doubt that it is anything all that uncommon with media budgets today. Was there something I missed there?

Oddly I think Trump did more to harm Bernie than anything else that happened in the race. He sucked up all the media attention so that Bernie didn't get enough attention early enough to really swing things his way when it could have changed the outcome. If the two races had gotten equal coverage I think Bernie would have taken off sooner and the media narrative would have changed to be "another Clinton collapse" instead of the latest antics of Trump. Once the "Clinton collapse" narrative caught on in the broader media it wouldn't have mattered that the DNC has a few journalist who will submit stories ghost written for them or that she had access to some of the debate questions (its not all that hard to have a good idea what is going to be asked about anyway). The train would have left the station and IMO Bernie would have gotten the nomination. The other way Trump really hurt Bernie was in the comparison between the two, both were somewhat populist in nature but Bernie was almost all about policy and Trump was almost entirely about ego. The stories comparing the two because they both could be called populists was almost slanderous to Bernie.

Crunch

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This is the first President in US history ever to include in his campaign remarks that he could shoot someone in the street and his supporters would still support him.

Well, there has already been textbook perjury committed by Jeff Sessions in his confirmation hearing and by Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner in his first two false submissions of an SF-86. President Trump has removed from office the three government officials driving investigations of his ties to Russia, the last one being James Comey who based on prior actions is no ally to Democrats. What if Trump fires Mueller - a second Republican, who has always enjoyed strong bipartisan support and respect?

How about pardons? If Trump starts pardoning current and former members of his team, members of his family, and even himself, will you still support him?

Or does it have to be him shooting someone in the street?
This is a weird thing to be saying. We've got a litany of anti-Trump activists in the media, celebrities, political leaders, etc, promoting violence and really the only people shooting others in the street -literally shooting - are democrats and their supporters. What's thr limit for supporting Trump? Jesus Christ, what's the limit for supporting democrats?!?

Gaoics79

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I think that we have an interesting problem here. Almost no one among the intellectual classes defends or even likes Trump. The issue though is a catch 22 - the other side essentially proposes that they are blameless, that Trump's supporters are racists and idiots, that they have nothing to learn from Hillary's defeat. They essentially say (implicitly) you are morons, your concerns are invalid and you should admit your error and surrender.

Well of course nobody is opening the City gate if the army surrounding it is promising to rape and pillage when it's let in. The people in the city may not approve of Trump but they aren't about to throw him over the side of the wall until they see evidence that anyone would care about their interests.

What people need to realize is if you declare total war on Trump you are essentially declaring it on his supporters. And if you don't offer them a carrot they literally can't support you. If Trump needs to go, then you have to have something to replace him other than total surrender for his support base. In other words you need a better candidate, a better Democratic Party. Pick another Hillary and it will be 2016 all over again in 2020.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 06:04:40 PM by jasonr »

Greg Davidson

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Crunch,

I disagree with your assertion "We've got a litany of anti-Trump activists in the media, celebrities, political leaders, etc, promoting violence". It is politically useful for the right-wing to emphasize idiots like Kathy Griffin or hyperventilate over a production of Julius Caesar done as Trump without recognizing that idiots like Ted Nugent spent the entire Obama Administration acting as Griffin did, or that there were multiple Julius Caesar productions that used an Obama theme. Integrity means that you judge with equal severity the actions by who you see as your side.

But more importantly, this is a distraction. Members of the Trump Administration have already acknowledged that they have performed acts that are criminal.  They are arguing that it's now not a big deal when you go through a very serious security process and sign a document saying you understand you can go to jail for five years if you lie, and then you make false statements. 

And Trump supporters use a double standard to forgive behaviors far worse than those they hyperventilated over when they were accusing Hillary Clinton (or Barack Obama). Classified information leakage - how about Trump revealing that there is an Israeli spy at the heart of ISIS? Corruption - not merely violation of the Constitution, but just wait until the investigations under Mueller (or at least state legal proceedings in case Trump shuts down the federal investigations) - it will be far more severe than Hillary Clinton meeting with people who gave money to a charitable foundation from which she derived no income.

So Crunch, what's your standard that you would apply to a Democratic or Republican President. What's your limit?

 

Seriati

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Well, there has already been textbook perjury committed by Jeff Sessions in his confirmation hearing...

I think you need a new textbook.  I've been over this transcript multiple times and you couldn't win a perjury claim on it.  In the context of the question and his answer its a true statement, pulled out of context it requires further clarification.

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..and by Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner in his first two false submissions of an SF-86.

Again, not perjury unless there was an intent to lie on the form.  Nothing I've seen, and certainly nothing you've demonstrated shows any intent to deceive by Mr. Kushner. 

By the way, it's not uncommon that people correct their form SF-86's if they remember additional information, or realize that they misinterpreted how to answer a question.  That's really a different issue, with a form that complex.

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President Trump has removed from office the three government officials driving investigations of his ties to Russia,...

Has he?  Who was primarily involved in that?  All I see is he fired an acting AG who refused to do her job, and fired a head of the FBI who was actively plotting against his administration ala J. Edgar Hoover.  Meanwhile, he has not touched how many people actively involved in that "investigation"?  Dozens, hundreds?  You have no idea.

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...the last one being James Comey who based on prior actions is no ally to Democrats.

Not sure I buy that.  Comey's actions, taking it upon himself to publicaly clear Clinton for her crimes are in my book incredibly friendly to the Democrats.  He articulated a false standard of the law and prejudiced any attempt to actually apply the law as its written and has been applied to everyone not named Clinton by creating a "story" that it would be a partisan prosecution.  Certainly the way he acted towards Trump after the election was very much as an ally to the Democrats.

The only reason you really can even say this, is because of his bizarre behavior with Wiener's emails.  I'm guessing, that he realized if he didn't say anything and it came out that they were material he'd be going to jail himself and panicked.  Bet you if he had it to do over again, he never reveals the Wiener emails publically.

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What if Trump fires Mueller - a second Republican, who has always enjoyed strong bipartisan support and respect?

The Special Prosecutor should never have been appointed on these facts.  Flat out you're a hypocrite if you never a saw a need for a special prosecutor in the last administration with either Holder or Lynch routinely burying investigations where the White House had conflicts, but think this one is justifiable. 

If they can't produce some evidence of the "crime" they were appointed to prosecute, my patience with this is close to an end.

That said, I do agree that firing Mueller, even with his appointment being illegitimate, may not be possible.

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How about pardons? If Trump starts pardoning current and former members of his team, members of his family, and even himself, will you still support him?

Depends on what he pardons them for.  Have you ever stopped supporting a President over the exercise of their pardon power?

You have to prove your case, which you can't, that there was a crime connected to the election by the Trump admin and then he starts pardoning for me to be concerned.  If after wasting all this money investigation a fake allegation, it turns out that we see prosecutions - not for anything related to Russian interference - but for bizarre technicalities that no one else ever gets prosecuted for, then I'd be happy if he pardons people left right and center.

Seriati

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Pete,

If the DNC had a Stalin/Hitler choke-hold on the media, why would the New York Times the week before the election...

Because they had no choice.  Manipulation of the media can't prevent a story from breaking, when there are other sources that have it.  NYT's did it's level best to spin the stories as less than they were when they impacted Dems and more when they impacted Reps.

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...give multiple headlines insinuating that the emails on Weiner's laptop were a major new find (when they weren't)...

Nice hindsight analysis there.  The emails were a major news find, period, end of story.  If we lived in an era where the media only reported on verified facts and not speculation you might have a case about these stories, but then your whole Russian story line would completely disappear since its nothing but speculation at this point.

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...and simultaneously publishing a front page article that there was no substance behind the Trump-Russia stories (which as we can see from multiple sources, including the recently uncovered "Clinton - Russia - Confidential" email from the Trump campaign, was also seriously wrong in a direction that favored Donald Trump)?

Because, again, at that time, the Trump Russia stories were based on a provably false set of manufactured documents.  What choice did they have?

You seem to have an odd recollection of history.

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Nate Silver attributed about a 3% shift in the polls due to the media coverage in the last week - so the DNC chokehold didn't seem to be working very well.

Yep, Clinton was too damaged a candidate to survive the truth coming out - which is what actually hurt her, notwithstanding your claims to the contrary.

She had her damaging releases on Trump all tee'd up to go, but she couldn't overcome the public's demand and choice about which information they wanted to see.  Remember, the media is a supplier and they can taint everything they sell, but if the populace smells the Red Meat the Tofu burgers are gone sit there no matter how hard you push.

Seriati

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Crunch,

I disagree with your assertion "We've got a litany of anti-Trump activists in the media, celebrities, political leaders, etc, promoting violence".   It is politically useful for the right-wing to emphasize idiots like Kathy Griffin or hyperventilate over a production of Julius Caesar done as Trump without recognizing that idiots like Ted Nugent spent the entire Obama Administration acting as Griffin did, or that there were multiple Julius Caesar productions that used an Obama theme. Integrity means that you judge with equal severity the actions by who you see as your side.

This what you used to say on this.

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This is what political violence egged on by propaganda is like. It's not keeping score for two "teams" over a hundred years, it's holding any major political figure accountable for extremist rhetoric, right or left. It's about disavowing all of them, and their statements. The reason the criticism is particularly valid against Republican leaders today is because they are the ones committing the most acts of extremist speech. Go back in the past and there have been crazy leftists as well (Ford had two crazy would-be assassins who were more left wing than right's all stop itwing).

Be consistent with yourself, you repeatedly blamed Republicans for their rhetoric and it's consequences, you have multiple quotes on this topic, and none of their language rose to the level that Democrats are commonly using currently.

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But more importantly, this is a distraction. Members of the Trump Administration have already acknowledged that they have performed acts that are criminal.

Who's done that?  You're not misrepresenting the law again are you?

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They are arguing that it's now not a big deal when you go through a very serious security process and sign a document saying you understand you can go to jail for five years if you lie, and then you make false statements.

Ahh... yes you are.  Intent to deceive is for this to be a criminal act.  I assume you can prove the intent since you are stating these as facts and not a speculation.

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And Trump supporters use a double standard to forgive behaviors far worse than those they hyperventilated over when they were accusing Hillary Clinton (or Barack Obama).

I'm gonna walk through your examples below.  But this is just a flat lie.  There's no double standard, cause there's no reasonable basis for your claims that worse behaviors are being forgiven.

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Classified information leakage - how about Trump revealing that there is an Israeli spy at the heart of ISIS?

The actual leak of this information was to the NYTs who published it.  The disclosure to the Russians, was by all accounts of those actually present not a leak of classified information (both as a factual matter because the President is actually empowered to disclose confidential information on
his own authority, and because what he was said to actually have shared was not inconsistent with what is typically shared in security cooperation arrangements).  It's a false meme the way you are using it, that actually ignores those who did breach security to make a political claim you want to be true.

Presumably, you think having a security conversation on one point, is somehow equivalent to actually violated the law on protection of confidential information - for no purpose other than to frustrate open records laws, which is another reason its hypocritical to ignore it.

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Corruption - not merely violation of the Constitution,

What corruption would that be?  Do you have some actual proof, or is another case of the left asserts what they want to be true but don't have to show?  There was proven corruption during the last election, between the DNC and CNN but that doesn't bother you.

And what Constitutional violation occurred?  Again, put your proof out there or quit just throwing propaganda statements against the wall hoping something sticks.

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...but just wait until the investigations under Mueller (or at least state legal proceedings in case Trump shuts down the federal investigations)...

Lol.  So you have no proof or even any convincing evidence, but you are banking on a criminal prosecution anyway?  Didn't realize you liked banana republic justice.

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- it will be far more severe than Hillary Clinton meeting with people who gave money to a charitable foundation from which she derived no income.

Lol.  This says everything anyone needs to know about how little you actually care about corruption.  Take a look at the pay to play laws, or heck any anti-bribery statute, and maybe rethink how blindly you are supporting this issue.

There is enough evidence that contributions to the Clinton foundation resulted in State Department access and even results, that if this structure had been run in a foreign country there would be criminal charges for US companies involved.  But hey, she's on your side, so "nothing to see here."

rightleft22

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And so as the thread unravels you have your answer Greg

As a collective Trump base is all in.
At a individual level I suspect that abandoning support for Trump will take something affecting them at a personal level... i.e. the person he "kills in the street" is a relative.... first, maybe second degree relative  :)

Fenring

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It is politically useful for the right-wing to emphasize idiots like Kathy Griffin or hyperventilate over a production of Julius Caesar done as Trump without recognizing that idiots like Ted Nugent spent the entire Obama Administration acting as Griffin did, or that there were multiple Julius Caesar productions that used an Obama theme. Integrity means that you judge with equal severity the actions by who you see as your side.

Greg, the difference this time is that it isn't just loudmouth celebrities like Ted Nugent or Kathy Griffin who go over the line. In fact, in a way Griffin and other leftists are really just following suit in response to the general reaction of the general public. Griffin may have gone too far, but she's the kind of comic (like Late Night hosts and other stand-up comedians) that tends to piggyback on something that's already a meme and take it up a notch because that's her gimmick. There have always been loudmouths who will take it up a notch, just as you say. But what's different is that the meme she picked up on is more of a zeitgeist than a random splash hitting the news that will be gone in a week or two (like most material daily show comedy milks for its ratings). She did what she did knowing full well that vast amounts of liberal Americans were passing along and posting 'trending' material on FB and Twitter that pretty well amounts to hate propaganda. It's not just a fad, but has become a cultural phenomenon. Why do you think CNN has unwittingly admitted to a singular strategy of "don't deviate from Trump coverage no matter what?"

The complaint about the Caesar production and Kathy Griffin isn't that two screwballs went too far. It's that they did what they did knowing they were appealing to popular sentiment, and it's that sentiment that is a brand new thing. It's not comparable to any other time when you can point to the other side having done the same thing in the past; I've never, ever seen anything like this. Most of my friends/contacts verge from centrist to leftist, and I still see a constant barrage of anti-Trump material being posted and commented on. I've never before seen statements on Facebook such as "Anyone who supports this dictator unfriend me immediately" written in all caps, where you know there's actual rage behind the words. The scary thing about joking about violence towards the President is that I bet a lot of people covertly would like to see that for real.

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Classified information leakage - how about Trump revealing that there is an Israeli spy at the heart of ISIS?

Don't want to address the other points since it's aggravating to have to be on the side defending Trump in any instance, and in fact part of the anti-Trump bandwagon kind of rides on the ever-present double dare towards anyone with the gall to defend Trump on one point when they 'should' be hating him universally on every point, never minding the details.

But you might want to re-assess how much conviction can justifiably be put into the various points of certainty you've outlined. Take this one for example, which we've already covered here, and which we know to be false. Israeli intelligence had no spy, and the rhetoric about Trump putting people in danger was a lie. It was a hacking operation, and Israel wanted to keep it a secret. Trump may have screwed them over in some way by telling Putin, which is a potential diplomatic error (or at any rate, a choice), but he didn't (and cannot, by definition) breach any rules about classified information, and didn't put any spy in danger because there was no spy. This wasn't an issue about classified leakage, or about damaging anyone's safety. If anything it was about helping Russia with their safety, although I can't assess whether this materially helped Russia in any actual way. It seemed funny to me from the word go that this story was spun as Trump damaging Israeli security when really it was about the controversial choice to help Russia with theirs and to go against an Israeli request for how to handle the information.

JoshCrow

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I've never, ever seen anything like this. Most of my friends/contacts verge from centrist to leftist, and I still see a constant barrage of anti-Trump material being posted and commented on. I've never before seen statements on Facebook such as "Anyone who supports this dictator unfriend me immediately" written in all caps, where you know there's actual rage behind the words.

I'll just point out the obvious and note that you don't have right-wing friends and that's probably why you didn't grok the level of anti-Obama contempt in your feeds. It was out there and it was grotesque, just like the current level of vitriol. The primary difference is just who is doing it, and that mainstream media outlets and indeed I would dare say "the educated" (including conservative intellectuals) are now on the "opposition" side of things.

Fenring

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I'll just point out the obvious and note that you don't have right-wing friends and that's probably why you didn't grok the level of anti-Obama contempt in your feeds. It was out there and it was grotesque, just like the current level of vitriol. The primary difference is just who is doing it, and that mainstream media outlets and indeed I would dare say "the educated" (including conservative intellectuals) are now on the "opposition" side of things.

I didn't say I didn't have any, just that the majority are center/left. If I had to put a number to it maybe it's 80/20 or 85/15. What would be fair to say, though, is that since I've always lived in the Northeast even my right-wing friends/acquaintances are of a certain strain. I don't have personal friends who are Southern evangelicals, so your point is taken that I can't say I've known a full cross-section of what we might call right-wingers. But I had known people who are avid hunters, religious people (albeit not Evangelicals), ex-military people, and fiscal as well as social conservatives. So that's still a decent chunk of types of people, even though you're surely right that I don't have contacts from certain parts of the country (mostly I know very few people from the South).

That being said, I'm highly skeptical that there was the same backlash against Obama as there is now towards Trump. I guess I can't prove that, but are you telling me you were aware of Republicans back in 2008 cutting all ties to anyone they knew who voted for Obama, calling for Obama to be locked up on a daily basis, and calling him a disgusting pig who was a disgrace to the country? And if you say this, did you perceive that it was mainstream? If so, then maybe I missed it. I never picked up on anything like that at all, notwithstanding all the usual invective that I did hear about him using the executive dictatorially and wanting to make the U.S. into a socialist paradise.

TheDeamon

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Well of course nobody is opening the City gate if the army surrounding it is promising to rape and pillage when it's let in. The people in the city may not approve of Trump but they aren't about to throw him over the side of the wall until they see evidence that anyone would care about their interests.

What people need to realize is if you declare total war on Trump you are essentially declaring it on his supporters. And if you don't offer them a carrot they literally can't support you. If Trump needs to go, then you have to have something to replace him other than total surrender for his support base. In other words you need a better candidate, a better Democratic Party. Pick another Hillary and it will be 2016 all over again in 2020.

This goes back to my refrain of "They don't get it"

TheDeamon

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That being said, I'm highly skeptical that there was the same backlash against Obama as there is now towards Trump. I guess I can't prove that, but are you telling me you were aware of Republicans back in 2008 cutting all ties to anyone they knew who voted for Obama, calling for Obama to be locked up on a daily basis, and calling him a disgusting pig who was a disgrace to the country? And if you say this, did you perceive that it was mainstream? If so, then maybe I missed it. I never picked up on anything like that at all, notwithstanding all the usual invective that I did hear about him using the executive dictatorially and wanting to make the U.S. into a socialist paradise.

I know quite a few people who thought Obama was potentially either a closeted Communist groomed for the task of undermining and destroying the American Government from within. (Ironically, now the Democrats are making comparable, only more forceful claims indirectly comparable to that in regards to Trump and Russia--which used to be a Communist nation) Or that he was a closeted Muslim hell bent on destroying America's "Christian institutions and traditions." (Whereas I could see a Communist wanting to do the same, because well, they're atheists, and undermining such things makes things easier for them going forward) There also was a small number, of which I have to acknowledge some passing curiosity on this matter as well(although I deemed it highly unlikely, with the hedge of knowing that's also supposed to be one of his hallmarks--being it without people realizing it until "its too late"), who were undecided as to whether or not Obama might be the Anti-Christ himself.

That said, I don't recall anyone campaigning either for his death, or his removal from office by any (legal) means necessary.  Although I did see some of the obligatory efforts that seem to happen with every President where people come up with imagined or sometimes plausible grounds under which they felt he should be impeached, but I don't recall it being taken very seriously(sometimes even by the ones pushing it). Which is not the sense I'm getting from the Anti-Trump scene.

Of course, I guess some of that also may be because I most of my social circles are more about the letter/spirit in which the law was written, rather than how they personally feel about what the law should be, so if there wasn't a legal basis or other social precedent for it. Then that's that.

Seriati

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I didn't say I didn't have any, just that the majority are center/left. If I had to put a number to it maybe it's 80/20 or 85/15. What would be fair to say, though, is that since I've always lived in the Northeast even my right-wing friends/acquaintances are of a certain strain. I don't have personal friends who are Southern evangelicals, so your point is taken that I can't say I've known a full cross-section of what we might call right-wingers.

You were right with your first point.  There was no where near the same level of rhetoric from the right as what you see from the left today.  My own contacts are closer to 50/50, and do include people from the South as well as the North.

TheDeamon is right that many on the right thought Obama was a bad guy, some even thought he might be the antiChrist, but what they didn't do is treat his voters with this level of personal animosity.  Pretty much the idea was that Obama voters were freeloaders or not too bright, but not something to hate.  That's what's different with the left, they can't even accept Trump supporters are humans.  They back total war against them.

Greg Davidson

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Seriati,

You do appear to have a lot of time on your hands, but you still don't come clean when you are wrong. Still waiting for your answer when you predicted that Democrats would go crazy over destroyed emails, and then didn't respond to the fact that they didn't.

Fenring,

You have interesting standards for what is unusual. You have anecdotal evidence of Facebook friends saying
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"Anyone who supports this dictator unfriend me immediately" written in all caps, where you know there's actual rage behind the words.
Do you recognize that Donald Trump has made multiple statements that are pretty close to what dictators say with respect to the degree that they are constrained by the law. Just this week he was claiming that he could pardon himself for any crime. Can you identify any prior President in US who made similar comments?
 

There is polling data where half of Republican voters said they believed that Obama was Muslim (implied meaning = friendly with terrorists), half said that he was not an American citizen (and thus ineligible to be President), and a quarter of them said that they believed he could be the anti-Christ.

Greg Davidson

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Be consistent with yourself, you repeatedly blamed Republicans for their rhetoric and it's consequences, you have multiple quotes on this topic, and none of their language rose to the level that Democrats are commonly using currently.

I am consistent. Kathy Griffin was a two-bit comic, and she was widely condemned by Democrats after those stupid remarks.  President Trump invited Ted Nugent to the White House.   

Greg Davidson

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Seriati,

Thanks for your opinion on a SF-86. Have you ever signed one? It is a BFD, and this rule that you can lie on it shows how deeply radical extremism has a home among today's Republican Party.

Now, it is possible that there might be some foreign person who you met in some non-professional context who you did not name. But when you are a leader in a campaign for the Presidency and you hold a meeting with a Russian lawyer and her translator a few months ago, that's no accident. And when the topic is advertised in an email in advance as a foreign power actively moving to interfere in US elections, that's another flaming red line. And then when you go to the Russian Embassy to try to establish a secret communications channel that cannot be heard by the US government, that's another flaming red line.  And then when you sign a document after you have certified that any false reporting or omissions are punishable by up to five years in jail, that's another blindingly obvious line that honest people have no difficulty acknowledging. 

Pete at Home

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SF-86. Have you ever signed one? It is a BFD, and this rule that you can lie on it shows how deeply radical extremism has a home among today's Republican Party

While in your opinion, the remedy for someone lying on an SF-69 or whatever is massive unanimous public outrage?

Because that sounds to me more a matter for the federal courts than for a lynch mob. 

Seriati

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Seriati,

You do appear to have a lot of time on your hands, but you still don't come clean when you are wrong. Still waiting for your answer when you predicted that Democrats would go crazy over destroyed emails, and then didn't respond to the fact that they didn't.

You don't show a situation where there were deliberately destroyed emails.  The outrage would have been far less if Clinton was the innocent victim of a document retention policy, and had done everything in her power to get copies of the emails.

So to be quite frank, I stand by what I said.  There is no circumstance where Trump could deliberately delete emails and only turn over what he deems responsive where the left would not go over the top crazy.

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Thanks for your opinion on a SF-86. Have you ever signed one? It is a BFD, and this rule that you can lie on it shows how deeply radical extremism has a home among today's Republican Party.

We might find it easier to communicate if you didn't misrepresent me and lie about what I said.

Show any place where I said he could lie on the form or retract your statement.

Fenring

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Do you recognize that Donald Trump has made multiple statements that are pretty close to what dictators say with respect to the degree that they are constrained by the law. Just this week he was claiming that he could pardon himself for any crime.

I didn't read specifically about that claim so I can't comment about it. In general, no, I do not recognize that his general remarks sound like those of a dictator. They do, however, often resemble those of a boss or CEO who has a lot of unilateral power. Since I guess that's what people elected him to be it's reasonable in a funny way that his comportment matches what they voted for. The President doesn't actually have the same powers as a CEO but certainly Trump speaks as if he did. We might even suppose that the way he openly speaks of what he can do is a reflection on what the Presidency has evolved to become anyhow; he just openly says what is only generally supposed about a President but not admitted openly. And I have no problem agreeing that the apparent powers of the President have been extended too far, so if Trump is the catalyst to make some people realize the role should be reigned in then maybe he's done everyone a favor.

I'm still reading de Tocqueville (and likely will be for months because I'm a slow reader) and he speaks about how weak the powers of the President were in his time, and that this feature somewhat neutralizes the extent to which a bad choice can harm the people. If that is no longer the case then perhaps we should conclude that the office itself has become autocratic and that Trump is merely being vulgar about something is has been true for a while.
 
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There is polling data where half of Republican voters said they believed that Obama was Muslim (implied meaning = friendly with terrorists), half said that he was not an American citizen (and thus ineligible to be President), and a quarter of them said that they believed he could be the anti-Christ.

I am more than happy to rubber stamp any proposition suggesting that the media has been poisoning public awareness for some time. And I was aware of significant anti-Obama sentiment at the time, but what I'm discussing is hatred towards the supporters of a President as well as vulgar and offensive language about the President. Maybe you experienced people calling Obama dirty names, but in my limited experience I never heard that. Oh, I heard people state very negative things about him, and I have no problem with anyone who does the same about Trump. It's the name-calling, the mocking, the rabid jeering, that feels new; and for all of this to be directed against Trump supporters equally with the man himself, I think that's new too.

If you wanted to do a comparison of tone I think a closer bet would be to look at Republican sentiment towards Hillary quite a while back, even before she was SecState. Boy, did they hate her. I daresay more so than they ever hated Obama. I used to literally see random signs up in conservative towns denouncing Hillary while she was a senator - maybe even before that. But even then the animosity seemed aimed solely at her rather than at one's own friends who may have been supporters of her.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 10:17:09 AM by Fenring »

Greg Davidson

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While in your opinion, the remedy for someone lying on an SF-69 or whatever is massive unanimous public outrage?

Jared Kushner's legal liability is totally a matter for the courts. My original post spoke about what would have to happen for supporters of Trump to lose their support, and it was going beyond a hypothetical time when there were convictions to the pardons phase.

And based on this very narrow sample, I don't yet see a threshold.

Greg Davidson

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Seriati:
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Show any place where I said he could lie on the form or retract your statement.

My position is that any reasonable person hearing the following general statement about a senior campaign and White House official would conclude that the official had been lying:
  • Didn't mention contacts with agents of a foreign government in a private meeting held a few months earlier where the foreign agent was literally going to provide enemy intel to affect American politics
  • Didn't mention going to the embassy of that foreign country to try to establish a line of communications that would be protected from US oversight
  • Submits an SF-86 that does not include this information

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Again, not perjury unless there was an intent to lie on the form.  Nothing I've seen, and certainly nothing you've demonstrated shows any intent to deceive by Mr. Kushner. 

When you sign the form, you state that you literally have to acknowledge that falsehoods or omissions are subject of a penalty of up to 5 years. What is the meaning of having anything like that statement on documents, if anyone can omit stuff and then when caught they are allowed to avoid all liability by stating that they forgot?

Seriati

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I think, it's probably a lower threshhold than it takes for anti-Trumpers to give up on claims of Russian collusion without proof.  What's that a year without any evidence, and they're still doubling down?  Lol.

I give up on Trump when he stops trying to do the things he was elected to do, or actually betrays the country or the voters (and not just in the minds of the left, in reality). 

I should also point out that the premise is flawed.  No one should "support" a President in all things.  There are plenty of things that he and his administration are doing that I don't support, just far less on balance than his opponent would have done.  For example, the re-imposition of civil forfeiture.  That's a direct violation of the Constitution and an abomination. 

I'm not a fan of executive authority generally.  However, I don't mind Trump undoing regulatory excesses of his predecessors at all.  If it leads to a backlash even better, then I get rid of the original abuses and limit future abuses.

What exactly, do you think should cause someone to not support Trump?  What would cause you to support him?  Not in everything of course, but just in the way that we can generally support a President of the other party in the belief that he (or she) means well but is misguided.  Cause what I've seen, so far, is that there is no action - no matter what it is - that those on the left will get behind, even when its in their interests.  It's the epitome of irrationality.

Seriati

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Seriati:
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Show any place where I said he could lie on the form or retract your statement.

My position is that any reasonable person hearing the following general statement about a senior campaign and White House official would conclude that the official had been lying:

Nice back track.  I asked you to prove he was lying before, instead you accused me of lying.  However, your argument here is garbage.

He didn't list over one hundred foreign contacts on his form.  He informed the government the next day that it was incomplete and had been submitted in error.  He corrected and supplemented over the next few months.

The form itself tells you that you can supplement and update it.  The guidance that is out there makes it clear that an error is not a punishable offense, an inadvertant omission is not a punishable offense.   A misunderstanding of a question is not a punishable offense.

In fact, its common for people to make updates and corrections during the in person interview that happens after they submit the form and even after that point.

But lol, we should apply a different set of rules here than we would with anyone else.  Guess I shouldn't be surprised you also advocate a different set of rules for anyone name Clinton.

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]Didn't mention contacts with agents of a foreign government in a private meeting held a few months earlier where the foreign agent was literally going to provide enemy intel to affect American politics

No evidence that she was an agent of a foreign government, or that they were aware she was.  No implication or evidence that she was providing "enemy intel" which is a double lie, since (a) Russia is not now or then a declared enemy of the US by our own account, and (b) it was not "intel" or intelligence, which implies state secrets that were to be offered, it by the email was records of a criminal investigation.

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Didn't mention going to the embassy of that foreign country to try to establish a line of communications that would be protected from US oversight

Because it literally didn't occur.  What conspiracy site are you looking at?  What embassy  do you think was visited and what's your source?

In fact, its very common for foreign governments to reach out to transition teams and establish direct communications, they did it with every other transition team as well, you just didn't notice or care.

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Submits an SF-86 that does not include this information

Asked, answered and explained.  I feel like your deliberately avoiding information that is contrary to your preconceived notions.

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Again, not perjury unless there was an intent to lie on the form.  Nothing I've seen, and certainly nothing you've demonstrated shows any intent to deceive by Mr. Kushner. 

When you sign the form, you state that you literally have to acknowledge that falsehoods or omissions are subject of a penalty of up to 5 years. What is the meaning of having anything like that statement on documents, if anyone can omit stuff and then when caught they are allowed to avoid all liability by stating that they forgot?

Lol.  Whether you think its reasonable or not, we live in a country were people don't go to jail for specific intent crimes unless the government can prove that intent.  It's not perfect proof, which confused you guys when we discussed Benghazi and we couldn't find Obama's sworn testimony that his administration lied, but they do have to have some evidence of intent to establish.  A fact pattern, where they are immediately notified that the form is incomplete and will be supplemented is pretty much the literal opposite of a case for perjury.

Not to mention, in many cases people who have lied, then admitted the lie, have not been prosecuted and have in fact been granted security clearances.

You'd do well to remember that justice is supposed to be blind.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 11:00:09 AM by Seriati »

D.W.

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He didn't list over one hundred foreign contacts on his form.  He informed the government the next day that it was incomplete and had been submitted in error.  He corrected and supplemented over the next few months.

The form itself tells you that you can supplement and update it.  The guidance that is out there makes it clear that an error is not a punishable offense, an inadvertant omission is not a punishable offense.   A misunderstanding of a question is not a punishable offense.

In fact, its common for people to make updates and corrections during the in person interview that happens after they submit the form and even after that point.

But lol, we should apply a different set of rules here than we would with anyone else.  Guess I shouldn't be surprised you also advocate a different set of rules for anyone name Clinton.
I got to ask.  What do you believe this form / process exists for?  I don’t mean to question any of the above.  It makes sense to allow people to make corrections without fear of being locked up for an “honest mistake”.  But if this loophole, which is large enough to drive a truck through, means, in your mind (and perhaps in most minds?) it is a toothless document / process entirely; then what’s the point?

Also, I want to point out that while it makes for good click bait and riling up both sides of the fringes, there are a lot of us out there who want this investigated so that we can see what did and did not happen.  An updated civics lesson on what IS and IS NOT permitted under current law.  A discussion about how and where our laws should be updated when the “honor system” or “tradition” or “ethic standards” have been used in place of actual laws because nobody believed anyone would be boorish enough to just ignore those things. 
I believe the Russian government wanted Trump to win.  I’ve explained previously how this is a win/win for them.  I believe that Trump is willing to do anything he can get away with to personally benefit.  I also believe that Trump is not an idiot.  And while he will be willing to sacrifice people, manipulate people with blatant lies and distract his tiny Grinch heart out; he’s not an idiot.  I, unlike many on my side of the political divide, don’t believe he will cross any legal line that has serious consequences for him.  Nothing he can’t “take back” and claim ignorance or victimhood on. 
This is not about a yes or no answer on Russian collusion.  While it’s important to answer that, it seems like anyone hoping for a “yes” result is in for some serious disappointment.  That doesn’t mean this is all a witch hunt, or a smokescreen or political theater, or obstructionism by means of distraction by Trump’s opponents.

Many of us here have complained about the expansive (and expanding) power of the executive.  Trump is showing us, and delighting in every moment of our “education”, how frail our safeguards are from keeping an inexperienced egomaniac demagogue from making a mess of our nation.  The man is so repellant to huge swaths of this country that this is hardly a matter of politics at this point.  People (most even) HATE Trump.  They only dislike or worry about Republican policy goals.  That “Trump’s supporters” are seen as disciples of the man, not supporters of their party/politics’ representative, is driving force behind the animosity against them by the left.

I will say that it’s unfair.  The smugly pointed to popularity numbers even among Republicans even shows this is unfair.  Yet this image, in the minds of the left persists.  Mostly because the media delights in showing fringe right “Trump supporters”.  Not loyal Republicans defending their “Well at least we stopped Hillary” and the implied, any person capable of placing a signature to paper is “good enough”, vote.  Never forget (or at least I’ll never forget) how badly we pooped the bed by nominating Hillary Clinton as our candidate.  Scandals aside, she was reviled by the right, and by the end, a poor consolation prize by a big faction of the left.

D.W.

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P.S.  Formatting in Word looked (slightly) less of a mess.  Still didn't proofread that well enough.   :-\

Fenring

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Just saw a FB post trending around, consisting of a statement: "Dear Senator McCain, I am so glad that I do not have to hate you."

There is a lot to say about a statement like this being passed around, and presumably endorsed by those posting it. There is the word "hate" in there, mentioned as if it's the duty of liberals to hate people who oppose them; and maybe also lumped in the notion that hatred is the proper weapon to be employed in order to cow people into falling in line. Then there's the idea that any time a person votes against something you care about they are evil and should be hated. And even beyond that there's the curious idea that a man can vote any way he likes for years, pursue any agenda he wants, and in one instant when he votes according to the agenda of a hot topic the crusaders can embrace him as being ok.

So why am I making a big deal about this s***post? When considering the question of how far people will go in "supporting Trump", as others have mentioned the issue isn't supporting him, but rather what kind of people one would be inviting in by not supporting whatever candidate the GOP had running. The fact that it's Trump is almost irrelevant in this context, it just means that many people no doubt had to 'support' him through gritted teeth. Not that I'm saying that this extreme quote somehow represents the majority of Democrats out there. But when sentiments like this become popular enough that they get significant support from vocal activists and some measure of online 'press', can we really wonder why many conservatives or Republicans couldn't imagine how to ever find common cause with these kinds of people?

Greg Davidson

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Fenring, I disagree that you can impute how a group believes based on some social media postings - if you did that, for the past few years there has been a greater volume of more hostile social media posts in favor of the belief system on the right rather than the left (in part due to concerted action of those wanting to promote pro-Republican beliefs, a group that our intelligence agencies agrees includes the Russian government).   

I do think it is bogus to make decisions on hatred on a single vote, even something that from the perspective of the Democrats (and epidemiologists using peer reviewed scientific research) is that this vote determines whether thousands of Americans live or die each year.

But you then go to question how "conservatives or Republicans couldn't imagine how to ever find common cause with these kinds of people".  That's a crazy standard, particularly based on anecdotal evidence that I recognize you may really feel, but may reflect less than a few percent of Democrats.

Imagine if we applied that standard consistently, and instead people on Side A hating someone because of an action they took, people on Side B asserted that the President from your party was foreign-born (and thus not a legitimate President of the US), Muslim, and may be the anti-Christ? Because arguably all of those in this context are the same or worse than "hate", and more than 50% of Republicans asserted the first two hateful claims, and more than 25% asserted the third.

That's not a few social media posts or a few percent - that's a majority of Republicans who had those beliefs during the Obama Administration. So by your rules, how should Democrats feel about Republicans who make common cause with that other half of their party?

cherrypoptart

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The honest answer is the point at which I would stop supporting Trump is if he stops deporting illegals. Obama allowing the invasion of America was a greater betrayal than anything that Democrats have ever fantasized Trump doing. If that's all Trump does is secure the border and keep up the deportations then nothing else he does short of nuclear war will do more harm than the good he does by saving America from the devastating effects of open borders.

Gaoics79

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Imagine if we applied that standard consistently, and instead people on Side A hating someone because of an action they took, people on Side B asserted that the President from your party was foreign-born (and thus not a legitimate President of the US), Muslim, and may be the anti-Christ? Because arguably all of those in this context are the same or worse than "hate", and more than 50% of Republicans asserted the first two hateful claims, and more than 25% asserted the third.

That's not a few social media posts or a few percent - that's a majority of Republicans who had those beliefs during the Obama Administration. So by your rules, how should Democrats feel about Republicans who make common cause with that other half of their party?

Greg, there's a key distinction you're not perceiving. Yes, many of the people who hate Obama because he's a secret Muslim (or whatnot) are also the kinds of people that conservatives (like myself) might find distasteful, even appalling in some circumstances.

Yet, the fact remains that these people are on the losing side of a culture war that's been going on for decades. Their influence in the media is practically nil, culturally they are losing most of their power. Rural, religious, socially conservative - these are dying values.

I know you are probably skeptical of that latter comment, but I do believe I'm right and I'm not the only one. As Michael Moore (someone whose views carry alot of weight with me these days): "The left won the culture war". PERIOD.

This is about culture. One type of culture is ascendant, one is fading away. The people who think Obama is a secret muslim? They're being swept away. The people who think anyone who supported Trump should be hated? They're ascendant. Trump's election provokes such an extreme reaction in them for the exact reason that they're so used to winning every war they have fought, getting virtually everything they ever wanted (although never realizing it), that when someone came to power who was truly contemptuous of their values, it was the biggest shock of ice water to their faces most of them had likely experienced in their lives. For them it must have been like somebody showing up on CNN advocating for the return of slavery.

So yes, there is hate on both sides, but one side is fading, decaying and impotent, while the other side - well they're the next generation. They will shape the policies of the future. Trump is a last gasp of a spent force - a fluke caused by the Democrats selection of a woefully inadequate / tone deaf candidate and a catastrophically botched campaign. And even then it was neck and neck.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 07:57:09 AM by jasonr »

TheDeamon

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Imagine if we applied that standard consistently, and instead people on Side A hating someone because of an action they took, people on Side B asserted that the President from your party was foreign-born (and thus not a legitimate President of the US), Muslim, and may be the anti-Christ? Because arguably all of those in this context are the same or worse than "hate", and more than 50% of Republicans asserted the first two hateful claims, and more than 25% asserted the third.

That's not a few social media posts or a few percent - that's a majority of Republicans who had those beliefs during the Obama Administration. So by your rules, how should Democrats feel about Republicans who make common cause with that other half of their party?

Greg, there's a key distinction you're not perceiving. Yes, many of the people who hate Obama because he's a secret Muslim (or whatnot) are also the kinds of people that conservatives (like myself) might find distasteful, even appalling in some circumstances.

Woah there, better slow down a bit. "Hate" in regards to Obama is perhaps too strong of a term to use. Dislike, distrust, and disapprove sure. But (unthinking) hate? That's a no go.

At least based on my own experience with people who suspected it was likely that Obama was any of the above(or alternately some flavor of "secret Communist"). Largely because I sat on the edge of that camp myself, in that I viewed those options as possible, but not very probable over time(although some of those options were ranked at 50/50 for a time). Generally, my experience with people in those camps was they viewed most of the people backing Obama as being deceived either willingly or unwillingly. Which is a stark contrast to the "typical liberal response" being seen in regards to Trump's win.

That isn't to say there wasn't a subset of people within those anti-Obama camps that simply went to unthinking, unrelenting, reflexive hate in regards to anything Obama was up to. But you're probably still only taking a single percentage point out of a fraction of a fraction of the population. And those types are distasteful in general, but don't painting significant pluralities with that brush.
 
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This is about culture. One type of culture is ascendant, one is fading away. The people who think Obama is a secret muslim? They're being swept away.

Well, that and Obama is functionally irrelevant at this time, not that he isn't trying to change that. So long as he remains irrelevant, most of that stuff doesn't matter much, and the "birther issue" should have ended with his Presidency, anyone still pursuing it at this point is either a historian, a nutcase, a scam artist, or someone with "a patron" that is one of the above.

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The people who think anyone who supported Trump should be hated? They're ascendant. Trump's election provokes such an extreme reaction in them for the exact reason that they're so used to winning every war they have fought, getting virtually everything they ever wanted (although never realizing it), that when someone came to power who was truly contemptuous of their values, it was the biggest shock of ice water to their faces most of them had likely experienced in their lives. For them it must have been like somebody showing up on CNN advocating for the return of slavery.

Largely agreed.

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So yes, there is hate on both sides, but one side is fading, decaying and impotent, while the other side - well they're the next generation. They will shape the policies of the future. Trump is a last gasp of a spent force - a fluke caused by the Democrats selection of a woefully inadequate / tone deaf candidate and a catastrophically botched campaign. And even then it was neck and neck.

Trump is the culmination of well over a decade of "tone-deaf politics" on the part of both sides. While he wasn't actually a Tea-Party candidate, if anything he was an anti-Tea-party candidate, he just also wasn't pro-establishment. He basically was, as I was saying over a year ago, "the Tea Parties revenge" during the Primaries(perhaps the better name would have been "The dis-affected conservative voters revenge"), which caught him the Republican nomination. Which then put him in position during the general election to then pick off a large number of "dis-affected democratic voters" that Clinton generated during her own tone-deaf campaign(and 8 years of being largely ignored by Obama and the DNC). Clinton just further compounded it by failing to connect with other "key parts of the Democratic base" which caused voter turnout in districts that could have helped her to drop.

The mid-terms will be interesting to watch, in particular many of the Republican Primaries, but I still expect the General Election is going to be a complete zoo, and result in an underwhelming outcome for the Dems. Because they're not getting it.

Of course, I guess its possible that a Trump presidency may result in some districts seeing some slightly better than usual candidates step up in traditionally Republican districts, but I think pressure from the national campaign organizations(both for and against them) will still net the result of "they don't get it" because of the tone-deaf national platforms... Advantage goes to the Incumbents.

Greg Davidson

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The honest answer is the point at which I would stop supporting Trump is if he stops deporting illegals. Obama allowing the invasion of America was a greater betrayal than anything that Democrats have ever fantasized Trump doing.

Cherry, if that's really your fundamental point, how would you compare President George W Bush to President Obama? Because illegal immigration into the United States grew by many millions under Bush, while Obama increased the level of deportations and the number of illegal immigrants in the US declined.   

So if your principles are really about illegal immigration rather than hating on Democrats, you should be able to say that Obama was far better than Bush on your most fundamental concern. But of course you won't do that, just creating more evidence that you care less about policy outcomes and more about partisanship.

Greg Davidson

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jasonr,

There are cultural elements that have gone strongly in the Democrats direction in recent years, particularly with respect to treatment of those formerly subject to legally sanctioned prejudice, and some aspects of healthcare (not just Obamacare, but even going back to Reagan signing the bill that emergency rooms could not reject patients who could not pay). At the same time, there are cultural elements that have gone far in the other direction - gun culture has pushed mainstream policy to a place that is far to the right of even what the NRA was advocating for back in the 1960's.  And cultural attitudes towards the very wealthy have enabled the highest pay gap between CEOs and average workers in about a century.

The thought that those one the left are used to winning every battle we have ever fought is different from my experience.  Jimmy Carter was the most conservative Democrat running in 1976, so much so that he and Ford were about the same on policy (and I favored Ford -although I was too young to vote). Then came two terms of Reagan, followed by Bush, followed by Bill Clinton who again was more to the right than left of the Democrats.  Then came George W Bush, the cutting of the capital gains tax in half, gutting regulation, cutting sweet deals for corporations (they gave back the multi-billion settlement against tobacco companies for lying about smoking and cancer), and the Iraq War (where they won Congress by superimposing the face of Osama bin Laden on the faces of Democratic candidates).  And let's not even go into the level of opposition against President Obama, because there's a long list of extraordinary behavior by Republicans that were unfortunately rewarded by political success.

Greg Davidson

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TheDeamon,

I was contrasting the difference between some anecdotal evidence that some on the left were using "hate" to describe Republicans, and polling data showing a majority of Republicans were willing to believe absolutely crazy stuff about President Obama, including that he was not eligible to be President, a secret Muslim (read: ally of terrorists), etc. I'd say that's both more people and a substantially stronger negative sentiment held by those larger amount of people.

So if the principle is that opposition to a group may be justified/explained because some in that group hold distasteful views, wouldn't that imply that Democrats should have a far more difficult time getting along withe Republicans rather than the reverse? (And note, I am disagreeing with that principle, because it would lead to no one ever getting along with anyone else)

Gaoics79

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Greg you are confusing left wing culture with a left wing political establishment. On Bush's watch, for example, gay marriage became universal. His positions didn't move the needle at all. He made 0 difference in gay rights, immigration, abortion, and pretty much any position the right cares about. Pretending he shifted the culture rightward (or indeed any Republican did since Reagan) is fantasy.

Where the argument gets murky is on gun rights and corporate dominance. The former is an issue tbat straddles right and left and isn't entirely clear like abortion for example. The latter is one area that is also murky and seems to straddle both political parties. But the left won the culture war. Note I say won, not winning. It's over.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 12:07:43 PM by jasonr »

Fenring

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Fenring, I disagree that you can impute how a group believes based on some social media postings - if you did that, for the past few years there has been a greater volume of more hostile social media posts in favor of the belief system on the right rather than the left (in part due to concerted action of those wanting to promote pro-Republican beliefs, a group that our intelligence agencies agrees includes the Russian government).

If you think you're seeing more hostile right-wing social media posts at the moment compared to what I'm seeing from the left, I shouldn't be surprised that you would want to delete your accounts. I've never seen anything like what I've been seeing recently. If you're seeing something even worse why punish yourself?

But yes, I do think the extremist slogans one sees are telling, even of the more mainstream elements. You can tell which way the wind is blowing by how far extremism will be generally accepted without any blowback or answer. When a comment is posted that I would consider radical in essence and multiple people who I know are not lunatics "like" it or make generally positive replies, while that doesn't mean the majority agrees it does mean that it's coming to the point where it's passing as acceptable or even agreeable.

One thing I have distinctly noticed about social media posts on 'SJW' topics is that those posting them are definitely *not* looking for discussion or debate. I used to reply to posts like that sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing, or sometimes just questioning the premise without opposing it outright, but in almost all cases such posts were met with blatant hostility, even from people who are mild-mannered in life. Maybe you've observed the same from right-wing posts, and if so I guess I'm not surprised. But since any kind of dissent isn't tolerated in some social media settings it's certainly possible that there are those who oppose the posts but are cowed into saying nothing about it. That's a reasonable assumption, but then again if the opposition is cowed doesn't that mean that the extremists have de facto won the debate and taken front and center in the visible public sphere?

It is therefore not necessarily relevant to even try to impute group sentiment from disparate social media posts. A minority can still control the conversation if they're the only ones speaking. That is a problem in American culture right now, that there is no significant public voice for the moderate center.

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But you then go to question how "conservatives or Republicans couldn't imagine how to ever find common cause with these kinds of people".  That's a crazy standard, particularly based on anecdotal evidence that I recognize you may really feel, but may reflect less than a few percent of Democrats.

It's not a crazy standard if the voice of 'these kinds of people' become the de facto voice of the left due to lack of competition. One of the chief problems in politics right now isn't that no one has anything in common, but that the lines of communication have been reduced to the extreme elements of each side yelling at each other. The middle has been effectively silenced or pushed to each side by default. That doesn't mean there *is no* middle, but it does mean that - if you think of cultural wars as being a list of checkboxes where you tick off your position - the only options being offered as legitimate positions are on the extreme edges.

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That's not a few social media posts or a few percent - that's a majority of Republicans who had those beliefs during the Obama Administration. So by your rules, how should Democrats feel about Republicans who make common cause with that other half of their party?

The way the conversation is structured right now it's been engineered for this exact thing to be the result - that no one can see anything in common with their fellow man. I'm not surprised, it's just that there is an additional level of hypocrisy when the exact same people who argue that it's wrong to hate someone for being different openly advocate for hating people who...are different.

TheDeamon

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The honest answer is the point at which I would stop supporting Trump is if he stops deporting illegals. Obama allowing the invasion of America was a greater betrayal than anything that Democrats have ever fantasized Trump doing.

Cherry, if that's really your fundamental point, how would you compare President George W Bush to President Obama? Because illegal immigration into the United States grew by many millions under Bush, while Obama increased the level of deportations and the number of illegal immigrants in the US declined.

First, on the illegal immigration and Bush(43) pursuing an amnesty. That cost him a LOT of conservative support, and played a major role in undermining the support base of the Republican Party from the conservative quarter in the latter half of the Bush Administration, as they essentially viewed him as being little different from the Democrats. Which translated into their either staying at home, or voting third party in protest, which in turn helped the Democrats gain seats. McCain likewise paid the price for that in 2008 as IIRC, he kept the amnesty option open, among a few other issues. Which for the conservative voter made him little different from Obama, so many conservative voters remained at home in 2008. Of course, the second term for Bush was complicated for reasons other than immigration alone. The fiscal conservatives didn't like the runaway deficit(even Obama campaigned on curbing it!), as well as push back on No Child Left Behind, which turned out to only be a warm-up for Common Core under Obama.  As well as a number of other issues that have been lost to the haze of time.

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So if your principles are really about illegal immigration rather than hating on Democrats, you should be able to say that Obama was far better than Bush on your most fundamental concern. But of course you won't do that, just creating more evidence that you care less about policy outcomes and more about partisanship.

Except that there is a difference between prior admins and the Obama Admin

A quick Google come up with: (Keep in mind, they rate the stated claim false, but also admit that the numbers indicate only a slight increase in total. Just how they're reported and tracked has changed)

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/jul/15/lou-dobbs/lou-dobbs-obama-administration-manipulated-deporta/
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In federal government lingo, official judicial or administrative orders to leave the country are called "removals," and they can happen right at the border or anywhere else on American soil. A removal is what most people would consider a deportation.

But for people caught illegally crossing the border and simply turned around, there’s another term: "return."

Unlike removals, a return does not bar someone from legally entering the country someday, though that is hard for most because they do not have a family or employment connection necessary to get in line for citizenship, said David Martin, a University of Virginia School of Law professor.

. . .

Whereas many immigrants previously caught at the border simply were bused back to Mexico, they now are returned with official deportation orders, prosecuted, or moved to different parts of the border so they cannot reconnect with their smuggler, Martin said.

In short, these people previously would have been classified as a "return," but the policy has been to put them through removal proceedings. As such, they are classified as a "removal."

. . .

What he’s getting at: Obama is boosting his "removal" statistics by including people who used to be on the "return" list.

To check the numbers, we turned to two different sources, though each has its problems.

. . .

The chart shows the total number of removals is up, and the share of removals from the border has been increasing since 2008. By 2013, 64 percent of the year’s 369,000 ICE removals were people who crossed the border and put through a formal process before leaving the country, a jump of 28 percentage points from 2008. The number of people deported from within the country fell accordingly, from 64 percent in 2008 to 36 percent in 2013.

. . .

The second set of data from the Department of Homeland Security’s Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, which measures removals and returns separately for each fiscal year (Oct. 1-Sept. 30). It includes data from ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which houses the Border Patrol. The most recent data is through 2012.

According to Homeland Security data, removals have indeed climbed over recent years, starting in 2006 and continuing under Obama.

But returns, which don’t carry formal consequences, have gone down.

The recession and increased border resources are partially credited for the decline in returns, as is the shift in policy.

"To me, the thing that really stands out with the lower number of returns is fewer number of people are getting apprehended at the border in the first place," said Matt Graham, a Bipartisan Policy Center immigration analyst. "(Obama) has fewer opportunities to return people."

Removals are highest on an annual basis under Obama, says Theresa Brown, Bipartisan Policy Center director of immigration policy. But if you factor in returns, Bush indeed outpaces Obama.

"If you want to say that he’s removed more people than any other administration, then that’s true," Brown said. "If you want to say he hasn’t actually expelled more people than any other president, that might also be true."

People should be more precise so we know exactly what they mean by "deportation," Brown said. "It’s the difference between getting off with a warning and going to court."

TheDeamon

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One thing I have distinctly noticed about social media posts on 'SJW' topics is that those posting them are definitely *not* looking for discussion or debate. I used to reply to posts like that sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing, or sometimes just questioning the premise without opposing it outright, but in almost all cases such posts were met with blatant hostility, even from people who are mild-mannered in life. Maybe you've observed the same from right-wing posts, and if so I guess I'm not surprised. But since any kind of dissent isn't tolerated in some social media settings it's certainly possible that there are those who oppose the posts but are cowed into saying nothing about it. That's a reasonable assumption, but then again if the opposition is cowed doesn't that mean that the extremists have de facto won the debate and taken front and center in the visible public sphere?

It is therefore not necessarily relevant to even try to impute group sentiment from disparate social media posts. A minority can still control the conversation if they're the only ones speaking. That is a problem in American culture right now, that there is no significant public voice for the moderate center.

Agreed. Of course, the "anti-SJW" crowd is often as venomous as the SJW's themselves are. But it still generally stands, on the topic of the SJW's, there is little ground left for most people to be able claim a middle ground on. They'll get roasted from at least one side at best, and both at worst. In that kind of environment, most people learn to simply keep their heads down and try to steer clear of those topics, or move discussion away from them so they don't need to stake out a for or against position on the topic at hand. The only real option left for a moderate is to remain silent on the matter at this time.

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But you then go to question how "conservatives or Republicans couldn't imagine how to ever find common cause with these kinds of people".  That's a crazy standard, particularly based on anecdotal evidence that I recognize you may really feel, but may reflect less than a few percent of Democrats.

It's not a crazy standard if the voice of 'these kinds of people' become the de facto voice of the left due to lack of competition. One of the chief problems in politics right now isn't that no one has anything in common, but that the lines of communication have been reduced to the extreme elements of each side yelling at each other. The middle has been effectively silenced or pushed to each side by default. That doesn't mean there *is no* middle, but it does mean that - if you think of cultural wars as being a list of checkboxes where you tick off your position - the only options being offered as legitimate positions are on the extreme edges.

Which goes back to the "they don't get it" refrain in particular in regards to "the Left" they're setting themselves up for someone not much unlike Reagan(but a moderate, rather than conservative) to come along and play to the "moral majority" that lies somewhere in the center of this quagmire, the challenge such a person has at present is finding a platform to run such a campaign from. Because the extremes on both sides are working to ensure that moderates cannot function in the political arena.

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That's not a few social media posts or a few percent - that's a majority of Republicans who had those beliefs during the Obama Administration. So by your rules, how should Democrats feel about Republicans who make common cause with that other half of their party?

The way the conversation is structured right now it's been engineered for this exact thing to be the result - that no one can see anything in common with their fellow man. I'm not surprised, it's just that there is an additional level of hypocrisy when the exact same people who argue that it's wrong to hate someone for being different openly advocate for hating people who...are different.

Which isn't to mention they're ignoring the "hate the sin, not the sinner" which is something a lot of the Conservatives and even Moderates attempt to abide by. It was also part of my earlier comment on "anti-Obama believers in ____" group largely believing that most of the people supporting Obama and company were being mislead and were misinformed or misguided. That isn't HATE.

Compare that with the Left wing archetype of "the Republican Supporter" which is basically a caricature of a person, loves their guns more than life itself, hates gays or anybody else who might be "different" from them, can't be bothered to give  a rat's a-- about the welfare of the fellow man, so on and so forth. 

I mean hell, most conservatives wouldn't want to have much to do with THAT caricature, but that is a large part of backlash and sentiment coming from the left on social media. "If you support(ed) Trump, or the Republican Party please unfriend/unfollow me, as I don't want anything to do with someone who supports eating black babies." There isn't really any kind of parallel I'm aware of from "the right" when it came to people who supported ObamaCare, Obama in general, or anything of the like.

Of course, the other thing that's being conveyed in this thread from Greg and a few others is underlying loss of ability to disagree with someone in a respectful manner. The mental trap all too many Left-wingers is falling into these days is the fallacious assertion that people who merely disagree with them are haters, and that they're not presenting a position from anything approaching logic from their own respective point of view. They're being disagreeable with them because they hate them.

cherrypoptart

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As was pointed out, Bush was also a failure on border security. I don't buy that bit about Obama being tougher and deporting more because Obama changed the definition of a deportation to everyone turned around at the border. So someone tries to get in five times and is caught at the border four times and turned around but makes it on the fifth try then that counts as four deportations when in reality it is one extra undocumented immigrant. I don't remember Bush's push for amnesty but I take TheDeamon's word for it. Certainly his brother lost the primary because of his support for amnesty and open borders and saying coming to America was an act of love by undocumented immigrants. Well I do agree it is an act of love for many of them who just want the best opportunity for themselves and their children; there just aren't enough resources to let everyone in who wants to come. Europe is finding that out the hard way right now too.I wouldn't mind more legal immigrants but they have to be background checked, health checked, and able to support themselves and their families without becoming public charges, and the people and resources it takes to do all that checking limits how many we can take in at a time. There are many reasons why border security is the most important issue. National security. Demographics and their effect on elections. Culture and assimilation. Law and order. Trump was the only candidate who had the right position and he's doing a great job on fulfilling his promise. I support him on a host of other issues, and disagree with him on a few, but if immigration was the only thing he did right and I disagreed with him on everything else I'd still support him. You can't have a country at all if you don't have a border.

The whole Russia thing is pretty ridiculous as just about every Trump supporter knows Russia had nothing to do with why they voted for Trump unless Putin was whispering into Trump's ear that he'd better secure the border. Mueller should be fired for not recusing himself since he was the mentor of leaker Comey so has a conflict of interest and he is stacking his staff with Democrats. But one good thing about letting him stay on is if even he can't find anything on illegal Russian collusion then that will be quite telling.

TheDeamon

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I don't remember Bush's push for amnesty but I take TheDeamon's word for it.

Don't need to take mine, a quick google search turns this up:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2004/01/08/bush-amnesty-plan-raises-immigration-concerns.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprehensive_Immigration_Reform_Act_of_2007

Of which this one is somewhat relevant to 2008's General Election:

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The bill was a compromise based largely on three previous failed immigration reform bills:
The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act (S. 1033), a bill proposed in May 2005 by Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain, sometimes referred to as the "McCain-Kennedy or McKennedy Bill."
The Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Reform Act of 2005 (S. 1438), a bill proposed in July 2005 by Senators John Cornyn and Jon Kyl, sometimes referred to as the "Cornyn-Kyl Bill."
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 (S. 2611), sponsored by Senator Arlen Specter, which was passed in the Senate in May 2006 but never passed in the House.
The bill's sole sponsor in the Senate was Majority Leader Harry Reid, though it was crafted in large part as a result of efforts by Senators Kennedy, McCain and Kyl, along with Senator Lindsey Graham, and input from President George W. Bush, who strongly supported the bill.

Greg Davidson

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Which isn't to mention they're ignoring the "hate the sin, not the sinner" which is something a lot of the Conservatives and even Moderates attempt to abide by. It was also part of my earlier comment on "anti-Obama believers in ____" group largely believing that most of the people supporting Obama and company were being mislead and were misinformed or misguided. That isn't HATE.

Compare that with the Left wing archetype of "the Republican Supporter" which is basically a caricature of a person, loves their guns more than life itself, hates gays or anybody else who might be "different" from them, can't be bothered to give  a rat's a-- about the welfare of the fellow man, so on and so forth.

Except you don't have any evidence that Republicans are more gentle and kindly in their opposition - you just feel that to be true. But your feelings are inconsistent with actual polling data. Polls have shown that a majority of Republicans actually held those grotesque, false, and incredibly negative views about President Obama as the foreign, Muslim, and yes even potential anti-Christ that I referred to. A smaller subset got into the really racist stuff (just last week someone I have known for years referred to him as the "zebra Hitler") and that might be analogous to the anecdotal negatives from some on the Left being ascribed as representative of all those on the Left.

Greg Davidson

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But yes, I do think the extremist slogans one sees are telling, even of the more mainstream elements. You can tell which way the wind is blowing by how far extremism will be generally accepted without any blowback or answer.

Fenring, I think we are in agreement here - but that's a question that runs through this whole topic: how much the extraordinary extremism of the Republican Party and the Trump Administration is being normalized. Let's take some major structural things that have become normalized within the Republican Party:
  • The new rule is that either (a) Donald Trump only can name Supreme Court Justices thru December 31st, 2019, or (b) it's perfectly acceptable for a majority in the Senate to prevent a President of the opposite party from nominating a Supreme Court Justice ever again
  • The emoluments clause of the Constitution shall no longer be enforced, and it is acceptable for President's to accept financial payments "of any kind" from foreign governments with no accountability violating the Constitution or even for reporting the payments
  • From now on, it is perfectly okay if Presidential campaigns meet in secret with foreign agents to collaborate on efforts to win an election


Gaoics79

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Greg are the three items listed supposed to be examples of Republicans hating those on the opposition? I thought that was the topic... But assuming you're just airing grievances against the Trump admin, would those be your top 3? Because if so, now I know why I just tuned out the anti Trump fanatics - weak weak weak sauce.