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If Barry Goldwater Had Won In 1964, We Wouldn’t Have Had Any of These Problems

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Zaid Jilani’s commentary on domestic politics overwhelmingly consists of two things: 1)a consuming hatred of the Democratic Party and 2)a genuinely pathetic belief that, against all evidence, real left-wing transformation will come from the white nationalist death cult that currently controls Congress and the White House and is still desperately trying to strip health insurance from 20-32 million people to pay for an upper-class tax cut.  I can’t say that the latest iteration is self-parody — the argument is self-paradoic by definition — but something about him laundering his bullshit through a 91-year-old leaves an additionally sour taste:

Shortly after Trump won the nomination to be the Republican Party’s presidential contender, Fine wrote to his campaign to offer him a plan to expand Medicare. “Start with Medicare for children and all military vets (half are already under Medicare because they are over 65), then 60-65, etc. etc,” Fine said he advised. “An important conservative result: the VA hospital system would became available to all, for services and for badly-need additional training hospitals for young doctors.”

After the death of the Senate healthcare bill yesterday, The Intercept reached out to Fine for comment about where Congress should go next. “Single payer is the only real answer and some day I believe the Republicans will leap ahead of the Democrats and lead in its enactment,” he speculated, “just as did Bismarck in Germany and David Lloyd George and Churchill in the UK.”

Otto Von Bismarck, a conservative German leader known as one of the fathers of the welfare state — the Social Security Administration even maintains a webpage honoring him for establishing the first public retirement program in the world — helped establish the foundations of the modern German health insurance system in 1883.

David Lloyd George was a member of the British Liberal Party (the successors to the Whigs, not to be confused with the Labour Party) who was inspired by Von Bismarck’s work in Germany. He spearheaded the passage of the National Insurance Act of 1911, which created a system of health insurance to cover industrial workers.

And although Winston Churchill was not the driving force behind the establishment of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, he both supported it in theory and later prevented his fellow Tories from strangling it during his 1951 to 1955 tenure as prime minister.

All three are examples of conservative politicians coming to terms with popular demands for the government to act to prevent their citizens from being financially destroyed by sickness and injury. It remains to be seen whether the GOP will learn the same lesson.

Oh, I think we’ve seen quite enough.

So, sure, the American welfare state is almost entirely the product of Democratic Congresses, including the most recent Democratic House, which enacted a historic expansion of Medicaid (a law which nonetheless sucks because it was enacted by the Democrat Party.)* Still, despite the fact that the Republican conference consists almost entirely of right-wing fanatics, they might totally enact single-payer.  And the relevant supporting evidence consists of two European politicians, steeped in completely different traditions of conservatism than the American one, who supported programs the most recent of which passed in 1911. And to make the case a little deeper, Jilani looks for a way to give Winston Churchill the credit for a policy passed by Labour. If President Gillibrand signs a bill creating a Medicare buy-in in 2021, I look forward to Jilani’s piece giving Paul Ryan the credit for it.

I also look forward to his next piece, “one day, the Supreme Court will rule the death penalty categorically  unconstitutional, and I believe Neil Gorsuch and Sam Alito will leap ahead of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to provide the decisive votes.”

*You also have to love the follow-up tweet:

I concede the point — if reactionary ideologues weren’t reactionary ideologues, they would be more likely to pass left-wing policies they’ve dedicated their careers to opposing. Hard to see any holes in that logic!

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  • Hogan

    Oh, MAX Fine. I could have sworn it was Larry.

  • JDM

    Well, the rightwing in the USA is composed of people so incredibly stupid it’s possible they could implement single-payer by accident.

    But no, I don’t think waiting for them to do that is an effective leftwing strategy.

    • Well, the rightwing in the USA is composed of people so incredibly
      stupid it’s possible they could implement single-payer by accident.

      You’ve heard of “stochastic terrorism”. Now, meet—Stochastic Legislation!!!

      But no, I don’t think waiting for them to do that is an effective leftwing strategy.

      I think that cosmologists have abandoned the notion of the heat death of the universe. So, maybe we do have time to wait!

      • mattmcirvin

        At some point through a random confluence of events there will arise a Boltzmann Brain that imagines it is experiencing the Republicans passing universal health insurance.

    • The only way single payer happens “by accident” is if they somehow destroy the health insurance industry and the government has to take over health care funding on an emergency basis. Probably not even then.

      • JDM

        No. What could happen is they take their latest bill – the one titled “Death to all my enemies” – to the copy store and drop the folder, spilling the contents and mixing it up with the Canadian ambassador’s stuff. The Canadians, of course, notice this later so they don’t suffer any adverse consequences, but the Republicans, being stupid, never look at the bill they’ve now got in the folder. And they, true to form, don’t let anyone of their congress critters read it, and their congress critters don’t insist on reading what they’re voting on because they’re so stupid. They vote overwhelmingly for the bill, and find that only the last page, which contained an unprecedented “this can’t be repealed” clause) is from the original bill. The rest is the Canadian Medicare system.

        Hilarity ensues.

        • Bizarro Mike

          This is the most plausible path to universal health care happening in the next four years.

        • rm_rm_rm

          I am pinning my hopes on this, as it seems like the most likely path to a decent future. The best part will be watching them try to figure out what the French half of the text is about.

    • Gareth

      It would have been quite possible for Trump to end up supporting single-payer by accident. He rambles on about preserving Medicare at a campaign rally. He says something like “I’ll be so tremendous at defending Medicare, even more people will get it!” This gets huge cheers from the crowd, so he keeps repeating variations of it. Eventually he ends up promising that everyone will get Medicare. Conservatives furiously attack him, but he can’t stand to look weak, so he confirms it in interviews. Universal Medicare is now Trump policy.

      • Scott Lemieux

        Despite what you might have read on Salon in 2106, the president cannot unilaterally pass statues.

        • Deborah Bender

          He can, but he has to evade his Secret Service escort.

          • rm_rm_rm

            That’s harder in 2106, since they will be cyborgs with enhanced senses and reflexes. The agents, not the statues, I mean.

        • Gareth

          Yes, but all the Democrats would support it, and he’d try to bully the Republicans into voting for it. Could go either way.

          • ColBatGuano

            The Republicans would just wait until someone on their side meets with and convinces him to disavow it. So, like 10 minutes later.

        • Justin Runia

          Salon in 2106 consists entirely of auto-playing videos on top of an Outbrain Sponsored Stories block.

        • Matt C Colgan

          Salon in 2106 means we survive until 2106 and Salon still exists, which is a contradiction.

      • so-in-so

        Really, it isn’t like he hasn’t said totally contradictory things before. Sometimes in back-to-back tweets!

        I’d believe that the OP accidentally creates a single payer bill while trying to abolish the 13th amendment first.

        • Breadbaker

          And when it comes time to implement one of the contradictory things, I can’t recall an instance where the result was more amenable to Bernie Sanders than Paul Ryan.

        • Hogan

          IIRC, he has said in the last three days that the Senate should repeal and replace, that the Senate should just repeal, and that the Senate should do nothing and “let Obamacare fail.” And apparently he has said all those things from the start.

          • N__B

            To quote part of the Whitman parody I wrote in high school, “I am vast; I contain multitudes; I am completely full of shit.”

  • Murc

    An important conservative result: the VA hospital system would became available to all

    I… what?

    This is not a conservative result. The VA hospital system is abhorrent to conservative ideology; it’s state-run all the way to the top and all the way to the bottom. It’s actual nationalized not-for-profit medical care. That’s not conservative.

    I also like the swipe at ideologues. Zaid Jilani is an ideologue. So am I. So, I would hazard, are most people reading this. Politics requires ideology! Policy requires ideology! Deciding whether or not a political system warrants your participation in it it an ideological choice, as is deciding what policy outcomes you’d like that system to produce.

    Jilani is saying either “GOP policymakers have been lying to their constituents about what they believe for years; they actually love socialized medicine” or “if the GOP didn’t believe what it believes, they’d believe in something different.” The first is unlikely, the second true but meaningless.

    • McAllen

      Jilani is reading conservatives’ professed respect for the troops as sincere, rather than an excuse for bashing people who want to get into slightly fewer stupid wars.

    • everyone knows that “small government” conservatives would love to wipe out a $1T/yr industry and replace it with a government program.

    • Brien Jackson

      “Conservatism wouldn’t exist without money in politics” isn’t that uncommon of a premise here. Chait had a piece on Sanders saying the same thing about climate change, IIRC.

      • Murc

        “Conservatism wouldn’t exist without money in politics” isn’t that uncommon of a premise here.

        I don’t think this is true, for certain values of conservatism. The UK has considerably less money in politics than we do and their conservative political tradition is still gong gangbusters.

        I mean, if the statement is “you need actually ZERO money in politics, period, and that includes independent media organs effectively functioning as in-king propaganda outfits” then yes, it might be true that conservatism wouldn’t exist, but if we want to talk about that universe I’d like both a pony and a robot best friend and a girlfriend who is also a sorceress.

        That said, when it comes to more specific issues this can be more true. There are a number of things where I think we can plausibly say “if it weren’t for a small cadre of very rich dudes nobody would care about this thing.”

        • Brien Jackson

          I think you misunderstood what I was saying: I’m saying it’s pretty common for people like Jilani to argue from the premise that without billionaire donors Republicans would vote like progressives.

          • Rob in CT

            I mean, it would help us, but not *that* much.

          • stepped pyramids

            See also: liberals who assume that moderate/centrist Democrats are only that way because they’re being paid off or because of cowardice.

            • Brien Jackson

              Or the “paid Clinton shill/troll” thing that kept getting tossed out in summer/fall 2015.

          • Murc

            I did indeed misunderstand you! When you said “here” I thought you meant HERE, as in, LGM.

          • Lurking Canadian

            I think a reasonable argument could be made that without billionaire donors, Republicans would get elected way less frequently.

            In fact, I think that is the basic argument of the Powell Memo.

      • Scott Lemieux

        How does this explain why the GOP is still trying to pass a bill every vested interest strongly opposes?

        • Brien Jackson

          WTF man, you’re asking me to sit here and try to work out Zaid Jilani’s thought process and then explain it?!?! I thought we were friends!

        • Not quite every vested interest. I believe the Billionaires for Personal Prosperity are awful keen on those sweet, sweet tax cuts for them and greater personal responsibility for everyone else.

    • Deborah Bender

      Maybe Burkean conservative. The VA is an institution that has been around for awhile, as has Medicare. They are embedded in our institutions of government, and the existence of the VA is an expression of widely held moral values. Abolishing or privatizing the VA would not be conservative in the Burkean sense; it would be radical. Expanding its clientele would be the kind of thing the Tories have occasionally done in the past.

      • FlipYrWhig

        Conservatives don’t much like the VA that actually exists but they love the _concept_ of a VA because it maps well to their notions of rewarding the deserving. Veterans earn special treatment with work and suffering. Expand the VA to people who haven’t worked or suffered comparably and it just becomes welfare to them.

        • Hogan

          Veterans earn special treatment with work and suffering.

          Unless they have PTSD, in which case they should stop whining and walk it off.

          • so-in-so

            Or didn’t “win”. Only WWII vets are REALLY deserving, maybe Gulf War 1. The rest; they like vets that WIN wars.

          • MikeG

            Or they speak against Republican imperial adventures, in which case they get swiftboated by the Tox News propaganda machine

      • Murc

        Maybe Burkean conservative.

        So like, five dudes, one of whom is Andrew Sullivan.

    • Lurking Canadian

      I will never forget the Time magazine article I read in the late 90s that characterized Alan Greenspan (aka Alan Greenspan the Objectivist who learned his catechism at the feet of Rand herself) as a “non-ideological pragmatist”.

      What’s that joke? I use common sense, you’re a ideologue, he’s a fanatic?

  • Tom in BK

    The Intercept Staff: “We are leftists.”

    Everything Else in the World: “How’s that?”

    The Intercept Staff: “We support right-wing policies and politicians, with a few exceptions.”

    Everything Else in the World: “Horseshoe theory is dumb, please stop doing this.”

    The Intercept Staff: “One of us has won a Pulitzer.”

    Everything Else in the World: “Maureen Dowd won a Pulitzer.”

    The Intercept Staff: “Also! An Oscar! Ha!”

    Everything Else in the World: “Crash won an Oscar.”

    :: endless thinking face emojis ::

    • Tom Riker

      Endless lines of happy liberals clapping loudly, like me right now. Thanks!

  • wjts

    Look, Scott, only the GOP can settle the Irish Home Rule Question or check Napoleon III’s European ambitions.

    • nick056

      Well, since Napoleon I designed Paris, Napoleon the III needs something to be remembered for.

      • wjts

        As I understand it, before 1804 Paris was nothing but six or seven holes dug in the muddy banks of the Seine by a gaggle of illiterate cannibals who worshiped the carcass of a dead goose and burst into tears of terror the first time they saw someone wearing shoes.

        • The Gauls have historically been a horde of bellicose, malodorous horndogs. Just like the Klingons.

          • wjts

            I blame the Druids.

        • FlipYrWhig

          I think David Brooks took one of them to lunch the other day.

        • Hogan

          Did he do a hell of a job on Notre Dame de Paris or what?

  • Needz moar [garbled].

  • nick056

    GOP: we hate taxes on rich people, we hate healthcare subsidies, we hate quality, access, and cost regulations, and we hate the people who say the ACA saved their lives.

    Jelani: The GOP loves Medicare.

  • Brien Jackson

    I am so legitimately bemused that these people think they have any chance of “winning” anything with their mix of political strategies. I think collectively they might be less intelligent than Trump. Seriously.

    • Rob in CT

      This Jilani person makes the “Reformicons” look smart.

    • SatanicPanic

      Seriously, what are they going for here? What is the point? I just don’t get it.

      • Dems are bad.

        • SatanicPanic

          You have a knack for getting to the point Mr. Cleek

      • The Great God Pan

        Politics is religion to them. And the Democratic Party is Satan. The “point,” such as it is, is to demonstrate your faith in the correct way. They don’t care about actual results. Or, rather, they think actual results will be brought about magically through strongly-demonstrated faith. If we all Believe hard enough and hate Satan’s Party enough, a popular socialist revolution will occur in the US!

        • Rob in CT

          Say rather that they see themselves as Martin Luthers and the Democrats are the corrupt Catholic Church he protested.

      • SamR

        I think the saying “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” helps explain it, along with people’s own emotional need to justify their choices.

        Start with the premise that the Dems are not leftist. They are now the enemy.

        As the Dems are the enemy, the Repubs are the enemy of your enemy, and you support them.

        Since you are supporting the Republicans, that must be defensible, because you are a good person and would not support bad people. So the Republicans are the good guys, the True Leftists, even if they’re a bit confused.

      • Brien Jackson

        How do you think that’s going to help you? is a question I must ask about the “leftists” I encounter online at least half a dozen times a day. And at least twice that much when I end up in another pissing round over single payer. It’s really bizarre, but they actually seem to not realize that things like “we will pretend that people don’t actually hate the tax increases that will go with single payer” is an obstacle towards ever enacting their agenda. Which, of course, is also part of the reason why they’re always mad at THE DEMOCRATIC ESTABLISHMENT for doing the job for them.

        • SatanicPanic

          I’m with you. I plead with people- guys, some people actually did prefer Hillary, how can we come together and get things done? It’s slow going. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they really want to change things but it would help if they’d give some indication they understand.

          • Brien Jackson

            Even simpler than that. I had some bro badgering me about how single payer is and I showed him a poll finding that support for CA’s bill was only 42% when you asked people if they support it *with tax increases to pay for it.* His answer basically amounted to “I don’t believe that single payer is massively popular.” And it’s like…how do you actually think you’re ever going to pass a single payer bill if all you do is ignore and deny the political obstacles that you have to change along the way? How the fuck do you think this is going to work for you?

            • SatanicPanic

              The revolution comes and it’s imposed on everyone? I don’t think most people would say it that nakedly, but I imagine the thought’s floating around in their head.

              • Brien Jackson

                Nah, I think it’s just laziness. If single payer is really popular than not only were they right all along, but all they need to do is yell at those nefarious Democrats until existing legislators pass it. Bing bang done. But if a *real* single payer bill only has like 25-40% popularity once people see what’s in it, then that means you’ve got A LOT of work to do convincing people that they want higher taxes, more cost controls in healthcare, central budgeting, etc. and that’s a ton of very hard work, and that’s the last thing a bunch of lazy, arrogant bros are going to go out and do.

    • SamR

      Trump is currently implementing some of his preferred policies & will likely implement more.

      On that basis, and taking this group at their word about their preferred policies…seems like!

  • Many health care activists are now pushing to adopt what is called a
    “single payer” health care system, where one public health insurance
    program would cover everyone. The U.S. currently has one federal program
    like that: Medicare. Expanding it polls very well.

    and the GOP is trying to kill it, you fucking numbskull. they’d kill it tomorrow if they thought their voters would let them.

  • NeonTrotsky

    Things that conservative politicians in Europe did over a century ago because they were scared shitless of a socialist revolution and wanted to preempt support for the left more generally, doesn’t strike me as a good basis for making interpolations about the direction that the Republican party is headed in.

    • The literal conclusion seems to be that we should applaud efforts by conservatives to stave off the revolution, but reject efforts by the center-left to work through the political process to enact reforms. Which, of course, was what revolutionary socialists hated about social democrats. That all ended well, Just ask interwar Germany,

    • JamesWimberley

      Medical care was very cheap in 1883 because it didn’t do much. The early days of the welfare state were all about pensions and unemployment insurance.

      • so-in-so

        “Don’t get sick; and it you do, die quickly.” was state of the art!

      • N__B

        Hell, the leeches reproduce all by themselves.

  • McAllen

    It seems like a lot of Both Sides Do It leftyism is motivated by the belief that Republicans can’t possibly be as terrible as they seem to be. Of course Republicans don’t really want to destroy the healthcare sytem, it’s just those darn lobbyists!

    • their philosophy is deep and nuanced, like libertarianism:

      1. assume a perfectly rational citizenry that…
      2. elects perfectly rational representatives who then…
      3. craft perfectly rational laws for the benefit of all.

      where “perfectly rational” means “agrees with me”.

      • Yestobesure

        4. When world fails to conform with my visions, blame the fecklessness, cowardice, or impure intentions of those generally on my side.

      • N__B

        You omitted “frictionless,” “massless,” and “spherical.”

  • sleepyirv

    Conservatives, of course, do not necessarily have to be hostile to single-payer healthcare. Alas, American conservatives ARE hostile to single-payer healthcare, as is obvious to all with three working brain cells.

    And how the hell did David Lloyd George become conservative in this comparison?

    • wjts

      In contrast to the then explicitly socialist Labour Party, I think.

      • Hogan

        Except that he wants to take credit for NHS away from the Labour Party and give it to Churchill.

        • wjts

          Ah, but by the 1950s, Labour had abandoned its socialist roots and sold out to the Blairites. So it was the Tories who were the real leftists.

          • Hogan

            Touche.

  • StrokeCityFC

    The Intercept is not worth the bandwidth it sits on. It deserves no clicks. Glenn-Ratfucking-Greenwald and his both-sides-ism is a major reason we are starting to circle the drain. So, it’s no surprise this latest article on his shit website is yet another turd.

    Zaid Jilani and Glenn Greenwald can both get fucked in their stupid, stupid asses.

    • Scopedog

      Zaid Jilani and Glenn Greenwald can both get fucked in their stupid, stupid asses.

      With a McColluch chainsaw, for good measure.

  • Aaron Morrow

    Jilani looks for a way to give Winston Churchill the credit for a policy passed by Labour.

    Giving conservative executives credit for liberal legislature policies without mentioning Nixon or Romney! Impressive by any standard.

  • fatvalkilmer

    My favorite episodes of Zaid Misses the Point involve rightly decrying the racist systems that punish Palestinians, but calling cries of racism in America “tribalism.” His weirdly high esteem for the (secretly Socialist) Republicans comes in a close second, though.

    • fatvalkilmer

      Plus, he called me a self-hating racist when I said that white people in America enjoyed certain structural advantages. Truly a friend to all oppressed peoples.

      • StrokeCityFC

        Wow. Link?

        • fatvalkilmer
          • Murc

            I’ve said it before and I will again: being on twitter is like being drunk. It exposes the ugliest parts of your true self.

            • Tom in BK

              I hate Twitter, and it’s only since last July or so that I’ve really used it. I have like 50 followers and half of those are bots.

              But I hate Twitter more than I hate my drinking problem because people are ridiculous. And then you follow the reporters at the Times and you’re like, “These people are really not bright,” but who cares because look at the goddamn President?

              Anyway, my drinking problem hasn’t gotten any better since I’ve been on Twitter.

              • N__B

                Isn’t Step 14 “Abandon the use of social media”?

            • fatvalkilmer

              I just came back to it this spring, and I’m still astonished every day by the dumbass, petty stuff that journalists do on Twitter. Particularly to each other.

          • StrokeCityFC

            Wow. What a jerk. (Him, not you.

          • Anna in PDX

            Jesus what an asshole.

          • FWIW, Jeet wrote for TNR last year on how racism – especially against blacks – is often a shortcut for assimilation among th South Asian diaspora.

            • Deborah Bender

              As for big city Irish in the nineteenth century.

          • So Zaid here admits to enjoying being a racist…

      • Deborah Bender

        comment removed for logical incoherence

        • fatvalkilmer

          If the 2016 campaign taught me anything, it’s that the preferred nomenclature for white people like me is “race traitor.”

          • Bri2k

            Watch this be the only kind of treason anyone gets prosecuted for. Ugh.

  • Charles Pierce

    Any day when we’re taking our cues from David Lloyd George is a bad day to stop doing ‘shrooms.

    • JamesWimberley

      The Cabinet table must have been uncomfortable for the predatees . But it makes a hell of a story. Lloyd George was a crook as well as a satyr, but Trump would not have lasted five minutes in a political fight with him.

    • Kevin

      …are you the real Charlies Pierce of Esquire?

  • Nathan Goldwag

    Ok, but the thing about Bismarck is that he created the basis of the modern welfare state SPECIFICALLY in reaction to the rapidly growing power of the German Social Democratic Party in an effort to head off Revolution by improving worker’s living conditions.

    What’s amazing about that is that it shows that the 19th Century German Monarchist Right was able to tell the difference between “the state provides a measure of support and security for people so they don’t all die” and “COMMUNISM”, something well beyond the means of most modern Republicans. Talk about intellectual backsliding!

    • Murc

      Ok, but the thing about Bismarck is that he created the basis of the
      modern welfare state SPECIFICALLY in reaction to the rapidly growing
      power of the German Social Democratic Party in an effort to head off
      Revolution by improving worker’s living conditions.

      Indeed, this is why FDR and the Democrats created the New Deal.

      I mean. I’m pretty sure FDR was broadly in favor of making peoples lives better. While not perfect, he seems a decent man, certainly better than many who have occupied the office of the president.

      But history seems pretty clear that the New Deal was created specifically to defend capitalism from its own excesses and to stave off anything crazy like a full-scale uprising here in the US.

      • humanoidpanda

        Worth pointing out that what the New Dealers were concerned about was fascism or caudilism, not Communism.

        • BigHank53

          When the mob drags you out of your comfortable upper-class domicile and hangs you from the nearest lamp post, it scarcely matters what -ism they subscribe to. Heading the mob off seems a wise use of state resources, doesn’t it?

        • Bri2k

          This doesn’t sound right to me. The only fascist regime that’d been around for any length of time the beginning of the New Deal was Mussolini’s Italy. The Spanish Civil War didn’t start until 1936 and the Spanish Fascist Party (Falange) wasn’t formed until late October, 1933. However, the Red Scare, and Sacco & Vanzetti were still fairly fresh memories at the time. I think fear of Communism and anarchy would be greater factors.

          • humanoidpanda

            Ira Katznelson disagrees, and I take my cues from him :-)

            • so-in-so

              I don’t know, the business owners in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany seemed to make out alright, as long as they cooperated and weren’t Jewish.

            • Bri2k

              Those cues were unfortunately misguided. Now if Ira wants to argue that Franco was a factor that started the U.K. and France on the path to appeasement, that I can get behind. Here’s some background you might find interesting.

              The U.S. in this era was very parochial in its thinking and while there was some negative PR about Mussolini, for the most part he was viewed favorably (if he was thought of at all). The high point was probably Balbo’s flight to the 1933 Chicago Century of Progress Exposition. You can still see the column Italy gave Chicago to commemorate this event in Burnham Park today.

              • MidwestVillager

                There’s still a street named after Balbo which seems really strange. Wouldn’t having a street named after an Italian Fascist have become unpopular when the Italian Fasists were killing American troops during the war?

        • Bruce Baugh

          Fear of fascism as another look of the same hydra as communism grew in the later ’30s, basically.

      • SamR

        One socialist was asked if FDR had carried out the socialist platform and replied “on a stretcher.”

        I’ve never seen if the guy was saying FDR killed socialism or merely left it in a coma.

      • btfjd

        Even individual’s motives are complex, and those of an entire party are even more so. Certainly FDR was motivated by a genuine desire to help people who needed it. But there was a lot of desperation in the country in 1933. There’s a political cartoon showing Uncle Sam handing FDR a sword labeled “dictatorship,” advocating he be given emergency dictatorial powers to address the Depression. Walter Huston starred in a 1933 film, “Gabriel over the White House,” in which a President blessed from above actually has those who oppose his policies to help people executed!

        So not only were New Deal policies designed to defend capitalism against socialism/ Communism, they were also designed to defend democracy against totalitarianism. FDR deserves more credit than he’s given for resisting the temptations of dictatorship. If he had proposed an Enabling Act in March, 1933, I feel sure he’d have been givens powers similar to those the Reichstag gave Hitler at about the same time.

    • humanoidpanda

      It’s also worth noting that German conservatism (and European conservatism generally) evolved from a totally different conceptual framework than American conservatism. Methodological individualism, the alpha and omega of American conservatism, is utterly alien to European conservatism.

      • stepped pyramids

        Thank you, this is a great point. The Christian Democratic parties in Germany and elsewhere seem to be the modern inheritors of this position. They seem to value order, stability, and maintaining traditional hierarchy over anything else. If the best way to keep the peace is to pay off the underclasses, that’s what they’ll do.

  • humanoidpanda

    In a similar territory, did people catch the epicly stupid twitter brouaha about the slogan Democrats alelgedly decided on? The reporter who tweeted deleted it quietly after an hour, saying he misunderstood his source. It’s almost as though the bad aftereffects of the primary are being kept alive by professional shit-strirers.

    • To be fair, Tom Scocca’s alternate proposal is much better: https://mobile.twitter.com/tomscocca/status/888102375201886209

      More to the point: You caught the reaction to Jeet on Chapo?

      • humanoidpanda

        I actually like “a better deal.” Big fan of historical allusions (though Scoca’s does sound better).

        As for Chapo House: I might be a masochistic underemployed political junkie, but I am neither masochistic, underemployed, or political junkie enough to follow anyone who likes Chapo House on twitter.

        • Tom in BK

          I tried to get Pareene to reply to his inane defense of them yesterday, to no avail. And I gave the podcast, like, a minute and half before I closed that tab.

          If I wanted to listen to edgy teenagers discuss politics, I’d still have a blog.

          • Kevin

            I don’t follow Pareene, and I’m guessing it’s good I don’t. I know him and Taibbi are starting their own Chapo-style podcast. I look forward to never listening to it.

        • The dirtbag anger over an analysis that was basically “more flies with honey” displays a Trumpian lack of self-awareness – basically running dick-first into an open iron maiden

          • humanoidpanda

            The thing is that everyone seems to agree that you can’t get WWC people by screaming at them they are misogynyst, racist, etc! But why do those guys think that people who didn’t vote Bernie: minorities and well-off moderate liberals, are going to do so if you scream at them hard enough that they are sellouts? Like, what is the plan?

            • humanoidpanda

              As far as I can tell, the plan is:
              1. Get rid of well-off people who vote Democratic.
              2. Get non-well off people who vote Republican to switch parties.
              3. Presume that minorities are morons who will vote Democratic regadless.
              4. Socialism!

              • FlipYrWhig

                And as usual it relies on the idea that there is a deep kinship waiting to be activated between rednecks and hipster/grad student/creative class people, predicated on the shared belief in [$IDEA]. They’ll work it out. I think the leading $IDEA so far is either “banks are bad” or “beards are good.”

                • humanoidpanda

                  Amazingl, I support both ideas in theory, but have practical issues with both.

                • reattmore

                  “Banks are bad” is like saying “ladders are bad”. Banks are a tool.

                  Beards are, however, objectively good.

            • I see Chapo as something of a spiritual successor to eXiled Online. I read it regularly through middle school regularly, until I realized that, for the most part, I fucking hated these people. There’s always a place for anger in politics, but the vibe I got from them wasn’t “righteous indignation,” but “these guys have huge reserves of free-floating anger & hatred that just happens to have right-wingers as a target,” and it was all very emotionally draining.

              • humanoidpanda

                True story: I once had a student who was the son of a Missisipi clansman who spent some time in prison and than had an awakening, went back to school, became a left winger and is now pursuing a PhD. I usually don’t connect to students on social media, but when he connected to me on FB I made an exception, because he was close to my age. I just couldn’t deal with the omnidirectional anger of his feed, and had to quietly unfollow him.

            • Brien Jackson

              You assume that winning and actually enacting policy is their goal, and that screaming at everyone and making money off of their brand isn’t the whole point!

          • so-in-so

            If Dump heard the word “maiden” he might well run into it dick-first…

        • AlexSaltzberg

          “A Better Deal” works enough and is a perfectly acceptable out-party slogan. And as the Democrats easily discovered, it’s a great way to introduce specific things such as — A Better Deal: More Jobs – Here’s a plan.

          • stepped pyramids

            My working theory has been for some time that the best result you can expect from a slogan is to cause no harm. The most effective Democratic branding strategy is the one that nobody notices.

            • humanoidpanda

              It depends really. “Hope and Change” really was a great slogan, as was “it’s the economy stupid.” But presidential races are different.

              • stepped pyramids

                In another comment I agreed with this, but I think it’s a multiplier. I think a good slogan can be useful for an otherwise good candidate, but I also think a good candidate will eventually get a popular slogan even if they don’t actually come up with it themselves. I also don’t think candidates have full control over what slogan people focus on — a lot of people think Clinton’s campaign slogan was “I’m With Her”, even though every podium she ever stood at said “Stronger Together”.

                • humanoidpanda

                  And “stronger together” would have been seen as a great encapsulation of her successful campaign message, had she gotten 100,000 more votes in the right places.

                • Bri2k

                  For all we know, she did and then some.

              • FlipYrWhig

                IIRC “it’s the economy, stupid” wasn’t a slogan, it was a sign in the campaign war room.

          • mongolia

            i personally think worrying about slogans is about the dumbest thing one can do as the out party, but i think this one is actually pretty good. super short and allows you to frame as both positive and negative – see, here are our better alternatives for (insert issue here), and also here is how our opponents ideas are bad

            the crazy part is that it’s not like dems are going to be running on a single unified message, so honestly who gives a fuck about this? the candidate and message to win in GA-06 is going to be different than ME-02 or NE-02 or or IA-01 or CA-49 or CA-10. why are we pretending that national messaging will matter – aside from making sure they don’t actively harm the local races by making stupid shit matter?

            • stepped pyramids

              Yeah, it’s not like Republicans have a brilliant national messaging operation. The national GOP was basically a nonentity in 2010 and yet they took back the House. These days they mostly just lean on cleaned-up versions of Facebook memes. The last time they really ran on an explicit national message was 1994.

            • FlipYrWhig

              “To win we really need a great slogan. Like ‘Yes We Can’ or that famous one we used in 2006 or that other one that Bill Clinton probably used, I think about a bridge?”

              • stepped pyramids

                I think presidential campaigns are basically the only context in which a slogan might actually have a positive effect, but we’re talking a small multiplier here. A charismatic candidate like Obama will benefit from a memorable slogan like “Yes We Can” because people will want to openly associate with him. “Make America Great Again” isn’t an inherently great slogan — Reagan used it, and it’s not the one people remember from him — but it helped amplify Trump’s (apparent, inexplicable) personal charisma.

                But consider that some of the most popular rallying calls of Trump supporters were based on things Clinton had said. And Trump had plenty of slogans that went nowhere.

                • so-in-so

                  I think “Lock her up” was the GOP’s version of a winning slogan in 2016.

            • humanoidpanda

              I do wonder (but don;’t have any idea) if something like a contract with America is a good idea. On some level of abstraction, there are things people in GA-06 and ME-02 should be able to run on.

    • mongolia

      at this point, this should just be considered jeff steins MO.

      remember there was a brouhaha around an out of context quote from pelosi after AHCA passed, and about how dem senators weren’t going to fight BCRA because they wanted senate to vote on russian sanctions.

      he appears to relish riling up the bernie dead-enders. any sort of quote like this that comes from his should be read through that lens

    • Kevin

      Even if that was the slogan…why does left twitter care so much? This slogan was bland and inoffensive, and the vitriol makes you think it was insulting and awful.

      No matter what the slogan is…IT WON’T MATTER, IT’S A FUCKING SLOGAN!

      • mongolia

        left twitter cares because they thing it was messaging that lost the election for clinton, and that bernie with his lefty messaging would have won. essentially, the problem hillary had in competing with wwc voters is that she wasn’t economically populist enough, and that those voters wouldn’t have moved to trump if she had be more progressive economically – and if sanders were the nom, these voters would have stayed in the dem fold because of his populism

        basically, it’s a way of avoiding race-, gender-, and russia-based analysis of the 2016 election

        • FlipYrWhig

          Well observed, and I would just add how weird it is to say that Clinton’s problem was not having a zippy slogan but that Sanders would have won… with nary a zippy slogan to be found anywhere in the Sanders campaign.

          • mongolia

            FEEL THE BERN
            NOT ME, US

            or my favorite, from r/bernieforpresident the week before the MS primary

            #mississippiberning

            • FlipYrWhig

              I’m not a fan of the man himself, but “Feel the Bern” isn’t bad. But was it crafted by the Sanders campaign? I thought it just came from the grassroots. In which case it’s not a match for the sloganeering efforts we’re talking about, I wouldn’t say. (I don’t remember hearing “Not Me, Us” at all.)

              • The actual campaign slogan was “change you can believe in”

                • FlipYrWhig

                  “Change We Can Believe In” doesn’t strike me as a particularly compelling slogan TBH.

            • Brian J.

              And people wonder why Mississippi was his worst primary state. (He barely cleared the 15% threshold required for delegates statewide, and failed in two of the state’s four CDs.)

            • Don’t forget the other favorite of the Sandernistas, “BERN IT DOWN”. Where “it” is usually implied to be the entire Constitutional system.

        • Brien Jackson

          No, they care because the very fact that messaging is so abstract and ultimately not all that important that it’s always something you can bitch about without worrying about getting proved wrong. Also they’ve never gotten over THE CONSULTANT CLASS!!!! nonsense.

          • Hogan

            Amateurs talk about messaging; professionals talk about mobilization.

            • Brien Jackson

              On another level in the age old Netroots obsession, the upper deck coaches think campaigning is about messaging and strategy, when really it’s about management. Your slogan isn’t that important, but if you’re going to run for President you need to have campaign staff who actually knows how to MAKE an ad buy, manage cash flow, do campaign finance accounting, etc.

      • I can see the argument that “better skills” unintentionally faults workers for their misfortunes in life, but bad slogans are symptomatic of larger intraparty issues at worst (and if this thing keeps going on, such pearl-clutching will be entirely meaningless.)

        • Kevin

          Even then, i really think you have to stretch to say it’s faulting workers. And I don’t see many workers reading that anodyne slogan and taking offense. “Better skills…how dare you!”

          • humanoidpanda

            A lot of this is that twitter left is mostly well educated, young people who don’t have money. While people who work for the Democratic party are well-educated, young people who do have money.

    • Steve LaBonne

      Atrios was all over it too. He has really jumped the shark.

      • humanoidpanda

        Nothing says “we are hard-headed realist leftists not like the overpaid hipsters who work as democratic strategists” like going nuclear over a slogan.

        • stepped pyramids

          That’s what gets me. Remember all those guys thrashing and moaning about some bumper sticker slogans in a fundraising email? Even Loomis wrote a mopey piece about those.

      • FlipYrWhig

        Atrios has been horrific for 10, 15 if not 20 years.

        • FlipYrWhig

          I mean, imagine what faces you’d’ve gotten if you had said in 2002 or so that Atrios would be a tired joke but Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, and Kevin Drum would be worth reading.

        • Deborah Bender

          Atrios got a powderpuff interview on The 11th Hour last night.

          • FlipYrWhig

            Glad I switched it off. Brian Williams is terrible.

    • stepped pyramids

      No, what was it? I try not to follow idiots on Twitter.

      • liberalrob

        “Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages”

        I’ll take useless 80’s slogans for $1000, Alex…

        • stepped pyramids

          It’s not exactly “Yes We Can”, but shouldn’t the fact that it’s a message that focuses on employment and wages be encouraging to the people who have been complaining about the Dems not focusing on economic issues?

          • ColBatGuano

            Nothing the DNC does will satisfy certain segments of the left.

  • “Otto von Bismarck supported a welfare state in late 19th century Germany to forestall the Social Democrats, so surely Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will…hold on, I’ll come in again”

    “Uh, OK. Sure, he opposed the NHS in 1948, but Winston Churchill signed off on the Beveridge Report during WWII and in the early ’50s realized it would be electoral suicide to kill the NHS, and he was a Conservative, so surely Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will be the ones to bring us our very own NHS…hold on, I’ll come in again.”

    “Aha! David Lloyd George, the noted Liberal Prime Minister, author of the People’s Budget, was a conservative politician really, so…”

    • N__B

      “Hold on, I’ll come in again.

      “Hammurabi promoted a code based on fairness…”

      • Hogan

        Animals without backbones hid from each other, or fell down. Clamosaurs and oysterettes appeared as appetizers. Then came the sponges, which sucked up about 10% of all life. Hundreds of years later, in the Late Devouring Period, fish became obnoxious. Trailerbikes, chiggerbites, and miskweetoes collided aimlessly in the dense gas. Finally, tiny, edible plants sprang up in rows, giving birth to generations of insecticides and other small dying creatures.

  • stepped pyramids

    Jilani consistently strikes me as the dumbest figure in the broader alt-left axis (TYT/Chapo/elements of Jacobin/elements of Intercept). Some of these people are defined by their amoral careerism, others by their overweening ego, others by malice, others (I suspect) by being paid right-wing ratfuckers.

    I would suspect Jilani of being the last of these, except he makes such obviously dumb, lazy arguments that I can’t imagine anyone being willing to pay him. He’s the Jonah Goldberg of the alt-left.

    • Erik Loomis

      I would personally go with Rania Khalek here, but she seems to have mostly disappeared since a very embarrassing 2016. Jilani on the other hand, oh no.

      • stepped pyramids

        Oh, good call.

        (For those reading, here’s a sample of said embarrassing year. It’s a great post.)

        • Kevin

          You are both forgetting Louise Mensch. I’m not sure she counts as “Left”, but a lot seem to follow her…and she’s basically an escaped mental patient.

          • stepped pyramids

            She’s definitely not in the group I’m talking about, because one of the unifying principles of that group is that Russia is fake news/overblown/just the Dems trying to distract from their failure to win the white working class by promising FULL COMMUNISM/etc. That said, I don’t think she believes anything she’s saying. She’s a right-winger who’s taking advantage of people’s fear and gullibility to make a profit (but I repeat myself).

            • Kevin

              Fair enough. I’ll still keep her in my ranking of dumbest person on the internet though.

            • humanoidpanda

              I think that at this point, the more plausible assumption is that she has some mental issues.

              • stepped pyramids

                To be fair, I haven’t been following her for the last few months. But last time I checked it seemed like she was doing pretty good business.

          • John F

            You mean Fox News is not under FBI investigation? (For “coordinating with the Kremlin”).

            Or my favorite is when she responds to posting on TASS where Russia threatens retaliation if Russian property is not returned with, “You and whose army?

            Yeah. That’s what I thought.”

            Well Louise, “”You and whose army?” is not a good or well played response the SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY HAS A FREAKING ARMY- or armies, armies of hackers, flying internet monkeys/trolls, etc etc.

            • Kevin

              Her best came just this week – a secret court is debating executing Trump and Bannon! That cannot be topped.

              • N__B

                So she’s saying that someone has been appointed Judge, Judy, and Executioner?

                • Hogan

                  And has she got a little list?

                • N__B

                  I hate having peppermint puffed in my face.

        • You also neglect Lee Fang, James Carden, Patrick Lawrence Smith…

          • stepped pyramids

            Fang is in the amoral careerist camp, from what I’ve seen.

            • Fair enough.

              James Carden (who was caught completely off guard by Trump’s Syria campaign) and Patrick Lawrence Smith are still top competitors, though.

              • stepped pyramids

                I admit I don’t know who those two dudes are. You really gotta get some better reading material.

                • They both write for The Nation. Keep in mind that this is where Patrick ended up after being fired from Salon last July, where (as Patrick L. Smith) his shtick was being Alexander Cockburn for fucking idiots.

      • Justin Runia

        She’s up on firedoglake Shadowproof, which is circling the bowl, as far as I can tell.

    • what about michael tracey tho

      Both of them would be a perfect fit at Counterpunch or Global Research

      • stepped pyramids

        He’s who I was thinking of when I wrote “amoral careerism”. He also has a bloated ego and is fairly stupid, but mostly he just wants to be a famous hard-nosed journalist man.

        • He reminds me of nobody so much as the (probably even worse) fallen-the-fuck-off rap blogger Byron Crawford.

    • Scopedog

      I’m guessing he’s competing with H.A. Goodman…

  • Kevin

    I don’t know if I’ve read anything dumber than Jilani’s piece this year.

    Earlier today I spent time reading Donald Trump’s interview.

    • Kevin

      Or, to use a popular Twitter meme:

      Internet: “That Trump interview is the dumbest thing I’ve read today”
      Jilan: “Hold my beer…”

  • Dr. Waffle

    The pro-Trump left is going to confuse the hell out of future historians.

    • Kevin

      “we’re not pro-Trump, we are just anti-anti-Trump!”

      • “If there’s anything we hate more than the Romans, it’s the fucking Judean People’s Front…splitters!”

      • Scopedog

        “we’re not pro-Trump, we are just anti-anti-Trump!”

        Paging H.A. Goodman…

      • Sly

        “Don’t blame me, I wrote in Frémont for President!”

    • Rob in CT

      “Well, you see, the Democrats sucked, so…”

    • Deborah Bender

      Future? Historians?

    • sigaba

      Ernst Thallman didn’t confuse them.

    • Scopedog

      They’ve been confusing everyone since 2016.

    • MidwestVillager

      Some of us look at the Nazi-Soviet pact and think that was a terrible idea with horrible consequences. Others look at it and think it was great idea because much of Eastern and Central Europe ended up under Communist rule for forty years and we should be constantly looking for an opportunity to imitate it.

    • PressSecretaryCaptainHowdy

      Formerly the anti-Obama left, always taking marching orders from the far right.

  • AlexSaltzberg

    If GOP had ability to function without getting greenlights from lobbyists or ideologues they’d just say we love Medicare. Here’s more of it

    It feels close to “Republicans have no agency” but still assigns it to lobbyists or ideologues.

    • Brien Jackson

      It’s not really “Republicans have no agency,” it’s “I and my compatriots are so obviously right about everything that no one could possibly honestly disagree with us, therefore any disagreement is proof of corruption/perfidy.” This is extremely common thinking within this circle of progressives, up to and including Bernie himself.

  • “It remains to be seen whether the GOP will learn the same lesson”.

    Decrying the Democrats’ attempts at social reform while hoping that Republicans’ unrelenting hostility to those attempts is merely a sign that they are open to being persuaded to back more progressive social reform is…impressive by any standard.

    • Scopedog

      Yeah, it is impressive–if you were a fucking lunatic.

  • jlk7e

    Lloyd George in 1911 – not a conservative! You can perhaps tell that from his being a Liberal.

  • Brian J.

    And this differs from anyone else on the left… how exactly?

    Face it: most Sanders supporters would gladly wear MAGA hats if they could convince themselves that the government benefits they want were not actually government benefits but their right as sons of the White Christ.

    • I can say that of the group of leftists (including Sanders supporters) that include myself and all other people I know personally who I consider to be left-wing, approximately NONE of us would “gladly wear MAGA hats if we could convince themselves that the
      government benefits we want were not actually government benefits but
      our right as sons of the White Christ”. In part, this is because many of us are not Caucasian, many others are not Christian, others would not consider themselves to be “sons”, and the rest do not buy into misogynist white nationalist bullshit.

      So kindly cut it out.

      • Brian J.

        I’ll cut it out when I see any reason to believe it’s not true. So far, I’m not even slightly convinced by the followers of a man who did everything he knew how to do to deliver us to this parlous state and seeks to be remembered as the only hero of the resistance.

        If you don’t like being regarded as a Bernie Bro, don’t keep associating with them against Democrats.

        • I’m not associating against Democrats. I supported Clinton in the general election, as did the majority of those who supported Sanders in the primary. But you would know the latter already if you were not bent on believing otherwise. Because of this, I do not believe you will ever see any reason to believe it’s not true, evidence be damned.

          I will only say this, then. You are as much a part of the problem as the Bernie Bros. It was the same during the election campaign. There were, I believe, people paid to pose as nasty Hillary supporters online as well as Berniebots to keep driving a wedge between the two factions. There were others on both sides who might as well have been paid to cause trouble but obligingly did it free of charge. What good value for money they were for those who paid the others! Which group are you in?

          • Brian J.

            I’m a Democrat. I certainly have seen no evidence that Sanders supporters are, as in the health-care fight Sanders continued to run down Democrats and the ACA… right up until his wife’s FBI investigation became public, at which point he meekly changed sides.

            Your belief is all too typical of the projection of Bernie Trump supporters. A thief believes that everyone steals.

            • “as in the health-care fight Sanders continued to run down Democrats and the ACA.”

              So, you start off with a bald-faced lie. That is not a good start in convincing anyone that my suspicion that you are being a troll is mere “projection”

              I would go on but frankly I have reached my conclusion: you are indeed being a troll here, just as trollish as the most irritating Berniebot. I know of what I speak, for I have tangled with my share of Berniebots with their inane reasoning, both on this blog and elsewhere. Oh, you may snort in disbelief behind your keyboard because that does not fit into your monochromatic view of politics, but guess what? I will provide as much evidence for that claim as you have for any of yours so far. Zilch. I owe you precisely that much.

              Goodnight.

              • Brian J.

                Fine. But I’ll leave you with this parting note:

                You will never get any of your left-wing goals through the American political system. Not if you live to be two hundred years old. You and your ilk have shown the only party that has even occasionally listened to people like you that doing so is downright suicidal.

                • “People like you”, LOL.. I’m not sure what me and my “ilk” have shown, exactly, but you have shown that what you know about me could fit into the eye of a needle.

                  As for the future, what do you know? Who predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall? People strive to change things for the better even when told things can never change.

                  So much for your predictions, then. I will hazard one of my own, though. You claim to be a staunch Democrat rather than a saboteur. Fine. Consider, then, that united and mobilized Democrat-leaning and Democratic and left-leaning independents are a winning electoral coalition. Divided, they are impotent and demobilized fragments. If your attitude were to be predominant in the Democratic Party, the result would be years of Republican political hegemony and all the horrors that would entail. Your choice, mate. I’ve made mine.

    • stepped pyramids

      Horseshit.

  • Kevin

    another of his tweets:

    https://twitter.com/ZaidJilani/status/839186549858271232

    This is just bad fan fiction

    • stepped pyramids

      I don’t believe he’s using “ether” correctly.

    • Hey, injecting hip-hop references is my job!

      Although “Ether” probably wouldn’t have been necessary to revive his career if he hadn’t restarted Nastradamus from scratch.

      • Kevin

        It’s also a weird comparison. I mean, Ether may have “won” that round, but in this comparison…

        GOP = Nas
        Democrats = Jay Z

        Hmmmmmm….who would you want to be a year from Ether? 5 years? 18 years? Yeah, I think i’ll take Hov.

        • As a statement on artistic merit…no. Nas has never been as popular, but has consistently been a better artist, is arguably the better label head, and is still a reasonably successful businessman. (4:44 was pretty good, but before its release the last important Jay-Z release was 10 years ago for solo and 7 for a collabo. Nas’ was six years ago and at least as good as either album).

          • Kevin

            I’m talking strictly career wise. After Ether, Jay Z went on to basically dominate career wise, with the Blueprint and Black Album being considered two of the great hip hop albums. And he’s become a hugely successful businessman. His net worth is pegged at over 800M (excluding his wife’s money).

            So if that is what getting “ethered” is…I think the Democrats will take it.

            (haha, this digression is fun, but let’s be real, Jilani’s point here is absurd! That we can agree on. Also, Watch the Throne was underrated!)

            • Correct on both counts. I will add that, for all his strengths (re: top 5, at least 10, dead or alive) , Nas is a uniquely terrible pop musician; almost all his attempts at a pop sound post-I Am overshoot the mark into self-parody, and his songs For The Ladies sound like they were written by a pod person who thinks people reproduce from spores.

              Additionally, I’d say the beef with Jay-Z is a teachable moment in adversity separating the classics from the solids/greats. Prodigy (R.I.P. to the God) was also infamously targeted in Takeover & Summer Jam ’01; however, where Nas was able to rebound, wound Jay-Z and re-establish himself as an artistic “underground” alternative, the same beef significantly dented Prodigy’s pen game for over a decade – being consistently good with the Alchemist and a crapshoot otherwise.

  • david spikes

    If the Democratic Party could just somehow stop being, obviously all democrats would then become true progressives and maybe even Burlington Carpet Factory Socialists so all that stands between us and the millennium is the DNC clinging pathetically to life and then of course there wouldn’t be anybody left to make the poor Repubs irritable and therefore they would become the true party of the international, also too.

    • PressSecretaryCaptainHowdy

      The Second International or the Third International?

  • Michael

    I recognize this is frustrating to read as a fellow commentator, but as a social scientist, you should be far more offended at this totally absurd “study” Jilani promoted: https://theintercept.com/2017/07/10/study-finds-relationship-between-high-military-casualties-and-votes-for-trump-over-clinton/

    • stepped pyramids

      So just right off the bat I see this:

      Recall that Trump campaigned as a somewhat antiwar candidate who would break with bipartisan pro-war consensus

      and chuckle and remember “bomb the shit out of ’em”, etc., and I follow the link on [campaigned]. It links to an article:

      DONALD TRUMP CALLS HILLARY CLINTON “TRIGGER HAPPY” AS SHE COURTS NEOCONS
      Rania Khalek
      May 12 2016, 8:02 a.m.

      Eyes roll into the back of my head…


      “On foreign policy, Hillary is trigger happy,” Trump told the crowd. “She is, she’s trigger happy. She’s got a bad temperament,” he said. “Her decisions in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya have cost trillions of dollars, thousands of lives and have totally unleashed ISIS.”

      So this kind of stuff is what people always cited as Trump running to the “left” of Clinton on military issues, and it’s always been nonsense. Trump’s position was always that these wars (and the non-war in Syria) were poorly executed because “we’ve got losers in charge”, not that we need to practice more restraint in the use of the military. He promised to go to war with ISIS, and we’ve already killed thousands of civilians since his inauguration.

      Anyway, these people are like a rat king of hot takes. Every new questionable interpretation is based on a background of “facts” which themselves are based on questionable interpretations.

  • Of course it’s completely absurd. How can anyone of any intelligence make such an argument?

    Socialist (goes to the Democratic party): Hi, I have this splendid idea for single-payer health care: we nationalize the whole health care industry and create a National Health service that will run all the hospitals, clinics and practices. Splendid, isn’t it?

    Democratic Party official: Oh yes, very interesting. Thank you.

    Socialist: So I can count on you Democrats to implement it immediately?

    Official: Well, it’s a very interesting proposal, but there are a number of practical problems of getting it passed…

    Socialist: I want to speak to your manager.

    Official: Very well. Please wait a moment.

    (A minute later).

    Manager: What seems to be the trouble?

    Socialist: I came in with this wonderful health care proposal for nationalizing the whole system and she said your party can’t implement it immediately! Who do you think pay your salaries…oh right, it’s the health insurance companies, isn’t it? I mean, I want to do business with you, but….

    Manager: Unfortunately there aren’t 60 votes to get your plan through the Senate. There are only 60 Democrats in the Senate, and getting all of them to agree to even modest reforms is a challenge. And as for the Republicans, they are dead set against any more government involvement at all.

    Socialist: What good are you then, if you won’t even try? I shall take my business elsewhere!

    Manager: What, to the Republicans? They’ll laugh at you.

    Socialist: I shall go with a boutique brand, like the Greens. They’ll listen to me!

    Manager: But if people do that, the Republicans will win and there will be no health care reform at all.

    Socialist: So you’re saying I have no choice but to do business with you? What good is the free market anyway if I don’t get choice? Not that I believe in the free market, unlike you neo-liberals. No! It can’t be! Anyway, what’s so good about your health care reform, if it’s not my proposal? We might as well have nothing! And I don’t believe the Republicans can be as bad as you say! Anything short of socialism is terrible anyway, so what’s the difference, and anyway, didn’t Nixon go to China?

    Manager: Suit yourself. You’ll learn.

    Socialist: Oh no I won’t! Never never never!

  • Bloix

    “If GOP had ability to function without getting greenlights from lobbyists or ideologues they’d just say we love Medicare.”
    Az di bobe volt gehat beytsim volt zi geven mayn zeyde.

  • Kevin
    • liberalrob

      Oh gods no, please nobody tell him he can pardon himself.

  • Proud to say little Zaid blocked me on Twitter a few years back.

  • The Republicans have already envisioned a single payer system. The difference is that in their system, the single payer is you.

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