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Thread: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

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    Default Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    *This thread is a seed. Please share similar currents in politics which have a positive influence on our lives.

    Georgie boo did something commendable the other day. He did not "own" anyone or speak for the sake of causing outrage. Mr. Bush talked to the world in a way that gave us options. You can think for yourself, even hold true your opinions out loud with respect to others held beliefs. Common politics is a sport not doubt about it and it is also a very serious play to gain your thoughts.
    I offer this not to denigrate Politicals. This is how conversations are created which lead to better outcomes.


    George W. Bush reminds us that Republicans once believed in democracy
    https://wapo.st/3zcpEpX << The first 10 readers get it for free after that paywall yo.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...ump-democracy/ << subscribers
    https://www.c-span.org/video/?c49765...e-pennsylvania << full speech no paywall
    WaPo excerpted:
    In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson forecast that the young nation would “unite in common efforts for the common good” after the bitter election of 1800.
    “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle,” he said in the new Senate chamber. “We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.”
    Americans have, at our best, upheld that creed over two centuries. We are all republicans. We are all democrats.
    George W. Bush reminded us of those sacred ties in his magnificent speech Saturday
    Last edited by Too Tall; 09-15-2021 at 11:38 AM.

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    Not meaning to put somebody's panties in a wad cut/pasting but here's an Opinion piece on ya boi in the NYT

    George W. Bush 2021, Meet George W. Bush 2001

    You can draw a straight line from the “war on terror” to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, from the state of exception that gave us mass surveillance, indefinite detention, extraordinary rendition and “enhanced interrogation” to the insurrectionist conviction that the only way to save America is to subvert it.

    Or, as the journalist Spencer Ackerman writes in “Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump,” “A war that never defined its enemy became an opportunity for the so-called MAGA coalition of white Americans to merge their grievances in an atmosphere of righteous emergency.” That impulse, he continues, “unlocked a panoply of authoritarian possibilities that extended far beyond the War on Terror, from stealing children to inciting a violent mob that attempted to overturn a presidential election.”

    The “war on terror” eroded the institutions of American democracy and fed our most reactionary impulses. It set the stage for a new political movement with an old idea: that some Americans belong and some don’t; that some are “real” and some are not; that the people who are entitled to rule are a narrow, exclusive group.

    It is with all of this in mind that I found it galling to watch George W. Bush speak on Saturday.

    The former president helped commemorate the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 with a speech in Shanksville, Pa., at a memorial service for the victims of Flight 93. He eulogized the dead, praised the heroism of the passengers and crew, and hailed the unity of the American people in the weeks and months after the attacks. He also spoke to recent events, condemning extremists and extremism at home and abroad.

    “We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within,” Bush said. “There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.”

    From there, Bush voiced his dismay at the stark polarization and rigid partisanship of modern American politics. “A malign force seems at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument, and every argument into a clash of cultures,” he said. “So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear and resentment. That leaves us worried about our nation and our future together.”

    Bush spoke as if he were just an observer, a concerned elder statesman who fears for the future of his country. But that’s nonsense. Bush was an active participant in the politics he now bemoans.

    In 2002, Bush said that the Senate, then controlled by Democrats, was “not interested in the security of the American people.” In 2004, he made his opposition to same-sex marriage a centerpiece of his campaign, weaponizing anti-gay prejudice to mobilize his conservative supporters. Ahead of the 2006 midterm elections, he denounced the Democratic Party as “soft” on terrorism and unable to defend the United States.

    And this is to say nothing of his allies in the conservative media, who treated disagreement over his wars and counterterrorism policies as tantamount to treason. Nor did his Republican Party hesitate to smear critics as disloyal or worse. “Some people are now attacking the president for attacking the terrorists,” stated the Republican National Committee’s first ad of the 2004 presidential election.

    Bush was noteworthy for the partisanship of his White House and the ruthlessness of his political tactics, for using the politics of fear to pound his opponents into submission. For turning, as he put it on Saturday, “every disagreement into an argument, and every argument into a clash of cultures.”

    Bush won some praise on Saturday. A typical response came from Michael Beschloss, a presidential historian and frequent fixture of cable news, who said it was an “important speech.”

    It is frankly maddening to see anyone treat the former president as if he has the moral authority to speak on extremism, division and the crises facing our democracy. His critique of the Trump movement is not wrong, but it is fatally undermined by his own conduct in office.

    In his eight years as president, George W. Bush launched two destructive wars (including one on the basis of outright lies), embraced torture, radically expanded the power of the national security state and defended all of it by dividing the public into two camps. You were either with him or you were against him.

    As much as he has been rehabilitated in the eyes of many Americans — as much as his defenders might want to separate him and his administration from Donald Trump — the truth is that Bush is one of the leading architects of our present crisis. We may not be able to hold him accountable, but we certainly shouldn’t forget his starring role in making this country more damaged and dysfunctional than it ought to be.

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    Meanwhile, Dan Quayle, has earned sobriquet "Defender of the Republic"

    VP Pence called former VP Quayle to help him figure out what to do last Jan 6th.

    From Rolling Stone...

    During their conversation, Quayle said Pence had no wiggle room and told him to certify the election results. “Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away,” Quayle told him.

    “I know, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell Trump,” Pence responded. “But he really thinks he can. And there are other guys in there saying I’ve got this power.”

    Pence then brought up Trump’s allegations of voter fraud and the lawsuits filed by Trump supporters in Arizona attempting to decertify Biden as the winner in the state. “Well, there’s some stuff out in Arizona,” Pence said to Quayle, who immediately shot him down.

    “Mike, I live in Arizona,” Quayle said. “There’s nothing out here.”

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    If we do dissociate the words from the past actions of the individual (which I agree with others is quite the labor to ask) the root problem can be found in again recalling the words of Jefferson and peers for guidance. The Nation* was founded on the tallest wave of the enlightenment; with the strongest underpinning being Jefferson's and peers belief that even in cases of disagreement white, landowning, educated men would be bound by the laws of nature to be rational and act in the overall greatest interest of the country and humanity**.

    Much like Liszt and friends toiling under the shadow of Beethoven's bust on the piano, American leadership seems to continue to be crushed under the long shadow of the enlightenment. An era which ended 150 years ago. For me the culmination was watching Obama do his best impression of Hamlet--knowing the truth, seeing the walls close in and running around not actually *doing* anything but hoping enough people would notice and that the spirit of the enlightenment would compel fellow leaders to be rational and just. Hamlet is dead, so is the false king, and our constitutional republic appears to be on life support.

    We live in an age of existentialism, of angst, dread, and despair. Our systems, loosely defined and expected to operate rationally by default have clearly shown humanity to not be primarily rational; happy to sell your tomorrow for personal pennies today. I don't think all hope is lost... but I do think we must stop looking for a renewal of a human condition we now know not to be true.



    *using American exceptionalist language for emphasis
    **again for assorted definitions of humanity


    ***Edit. That felt too heavy for a bike forum. For an interlude, the best video on the categorical imperative in existence:

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    George was always good at the soaring, folksy rhetoric.

    But let's not let time diminish what was, until recently, an extremely ugly period in American political history, with a man who actively sought to oppose gay marriage, and who's ugliest campaign attack against his opponent in the 2004 election was to question the honesty and candor of a genuine war hero.

    He's also a war criminal that needs to be in The Hague with Cheney and Rumsfeld. Instead he paints watercolors in Texas.

    I'll give George and his speechwriters a tip of the hat. Always made good words. Compassionate conservatism was a great line. But deeds, not words.

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    This is a tough assignment. I imagine that most of us are too busy to research a topic, post it, and defend it. In my perfect dreamworld, not the one where I have my own Mig-21, a person could present what they believe to a positive political story having researched the topic, and include references. In our busy world, we tend to find an opinion piece that best represents our personal views. I've never quite grasped the method of using an opinion to support an opinion. I like supported facts, not declared facts.

    Our sixth President, John Quincy Adams was by all accounts a good president, but in his unselfish devotion to country, he served in The House after his time as president. Adams vehemently opposed the annexation of Texas as a slave state, fearing it would shift the balance of power to the agricultural, slave driven economy of the South. Adams' resolution in 1843:

    Resolved, That by the constitution of the United States no
    power is delegated to their congress, or to any department or
    departments of their government, to affix to this union any
    foreign state, or the people thereof. Resolved, That any at-
    tempt of the government of the United States, by an act of
    congress or by treaty, to annex to this union the republic of
    Texas, or the people thereof, would be a violation of the constitution of the United States, null and void, and to which the
    free states of this union and their people ought not to submit.

    Adams could have retired to a quiet country life, but he put country first.

    https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/cgi/...ontext=concomm
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    My wife almost divorced me when I agreed with others that GW would be fun to have a beer with after a bike ride. I was physically assaulted when I suggested that it didn't matter for most of the world if Trump won. I still think that way. If we just leave it at that, there will be more to unite us against actual threats to the way of life we imagine.

    (I just learned that C.J. Hopkins can speak for me on whatever non-bike issues.)
    Jeff Hazeltine

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    Sometimes a beer is just a beer?

    I've put myself into situations on purpose with people who are not right with the world (purposely vague description of really bad schmoes) because I am not afraid of talking.

    When you ride bicycles with nearly anyone, nothing else matter except the ride.

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    I've put myself into situations on purpose with people who are not right with the world (purposely vague description of really bad schmoes) because I am not afraid of talking.
    I've gotten in the habit of telling folks; "if you think I'm wrong, I'd like to know why." The removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond is a good example.
    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/...rate-monuments
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    It is not necessary to like or dislike George will to appreciate his summation of the value critical observation has in a political environment. G.W. both acknowleges the worst and best of us without labeling things like what is a "zero sum game", rather he describes it's consequences which I find far more important than pointing it out.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...-of-happiness/ < I'm not sure if this is paywalled however this link will work for most...by George ;) https://wapo.st/3nLGie4

    *Do you read political columnists? G.W. use of challenging descriptions makes me think harder about the subject than listening to a news story on cable for instance.

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    I think political columnists - opinion writers, even good ones - are nearly always a waste of time. They fill in a void in a lot of reporting that should instead be occupied by analysis of the presented factual information derived by diligent reporting. But few newspapers will devote the financial resources to the time required to produce that factual-based analysis. Instead, too many articles are a string of available facts that create a holding pattern until somehow a few more pieces fall out of the sky - which just leaves readers asking "What does this mean?" So newspapers plug in the opinion writers to answer that question, create a brand of opinion that readers can pick from and buy like a demographically focused pasta sauce. There is plenty of high quality, succinct analysis that can be done within the presentation of discovered facts that does not render the article an act of subjective opinion. But opinion writers bring a better readership bang for the buck. They aren't reportage though, nor a proper substitute for it.

    How many times have you heard someone ask, "Did you read Krugman this morning?" Or tell someone about an article that you read and get asked "Who wrote that?"

    It makes politics the sports game that everyone seems to think it is and detaches journalism from the task at hand - the scrutiny of those attracted too easily to the lamplight of power over the daylight of good governance.

    Here's an example of a newspaper, the Indianapolis Star, taking a chance, spending the money and getting a (very important) story right: https://www.washingtonpost.com/media...anapolis-star/
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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    So Jorn, Bob Woodward?

    *Full disclosure he was my HS graduation speaker.

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    I think political columnists - opinion writers, even good ones - are nearly always a waste of time. They fill in a void in a lot of reporting that should instead be occupied by analysis of the presented factual information derived by diligent reporting.
    I largely agree with this. I subscribe to the online version of the NYT. Far too much hot air emits from their columnists, who are just spewing opinions that many like to read to confirm what they already believe. It's no different than folks who watch the commentators on TV networks like Fox News or MSNBC.

    The NYT is a valuable paper and I will keep subscribing but I don't generally read the opinion columns unless I can actually learn something new. For the purpose of learning new things I prefer regular reporting stories, etc.



    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    So Jorn, Bob Woodward?

    *Full disclosure he was my HS graduation speaker.
    Unless I'm mistaken, he's more of a reporter/investigative journalist than an opinion columnist.

    Obviously, writers and journalists of his stature are important to a free society but we, as critical thinkers, need to be aware of just reading stuff that simply confirms our existing biases.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    Been thinking about this more toots, and here’s a subtle one for you. A kind of throwaway interview with a celebrity/entertainment show.



    I think there’s a lot of interesting stuff in there. At the time, he had just replaced Trump on celebrity apprentice and is clearly trying to hold onto some old relationships both on the entertainment side and in his (now former) political party. He addresses the right way to do things, but doesn’t really directly address if they are right. He specifically calls out the harm to us as a country by cutting our figurative noses off.

    But most of all, he’s reflective on good governance and why he largely failed. I clashed with his office more than a few times on education policy. I wish he was more effective with his good policies, like structuring and funding extended school/after school programs for all kids. He didn’t understand shit about governance when he won the office, and I hear regret that he kind of got the lesson too late.

    Of course, he now speaks eloquently about how his former party very much resemble fascists he remembers from his youth… so this bridging the divide thing may yet be past history.

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    Good example Spope. He could re-write the book One Minute Manager ;) Politicians in general are the worst. Parsing actual meaning from direct question answered most often circuitously without ever offering a quotable criticism is their superpower.

    How do we talk about good Governance in ways which make it a campaign bulwark? I think the tail wags the dog. It starts with grassroots organizing at community level where bread and butter items are consequential which leads to "how do we get this done?".

    The pink hat rally immediately apres vous the prior election, I was there, had this distinct watermark. Nearly every speaker talked about base level politics, organized labor etc. etc.

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Good example Spope. He could re-write the book One Minute Manager ;) Politicians in general are the worst. Parsing actual meaning from direct question answered most often circuitously without ever offering a quotable criticism is their superpower.

    How do we talk about good Governance in ways which make it a campaign bulwark? I think the tail wags the dog. It starts with grassroots organizing at community level where bread and butter items are consequential which leads to "how do we get this done?".

    The pink hat rally immediately apres vous the prior election, I was there, had this distinct watermark. Nearly every speaker talked about base level politics, organized labor etc. etc.
    And the GOP is way better at grassroots organizing than the Democratic Party. They get their voters out at the local level at every election for school board and dog catcher.

    Want to make a difference? Never miss an election.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    And the GOP is way better at grassroots organizing than the Democratic Party. They get their voters out at the local level at every election for school board and dog catcher.

    Want to make a difference? Never miss an election.
    How does the GOP do that so much better than the DEMs?

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    How does the GOP do that so much better than the DEMs?
    It’s only possible to speculate but I think they’ve been able to cultivate a loyalty to party by framing things in more absolute terms than other parties, which in the US essentially only means the Democrats. They’ve also been very effective with the message that loyalty to party = loyalty to country and loyalty to the others is disloyalty to country. In fact, I’ve heard the word “enemy” used to reference those not in lockstep.

    I will paraphrase, but the president referenced spoke, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” in the hours and days after 9/11. Their favorite for-profit TV network has done their bidding for the past 20+ years as well. Or vice versa.

    In fairness, MSNBC isn’t any better in terms of rhetoric and idiocy.

    But yeah, I think the GOP is better at getting their base to the polls for every election. Why? It’s not dogmatic or ideological. It’s based on them vs us. At least that’s how I see it.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    How do we talk about good Governance in ways which make it a campaign bulwark? I think the tail wags the dog. It starts with grassroots organizing at community level where bread and butter items are consequential which leads to "how do we get this done?".
    Aye, there’s the rub*.

    One of the worst thing to happen to school boards in my area was AOC winning her seat. After the Trump election we had a bunch of young firebrand progressives win seats on school boards. Which is good… as much as it’s a cliche to begin a career in politics on the local school board it’s actually a great start. In California the CSBA does a wonderful job with on boarding and supporting new members to learn how the sausage actually gets made. But when AOC won all these folks saw someone their age or slightly younger with everything they ever wanted and started to emulate her possessing only a fraction of AOC’s charisma and skill. All that work done to learn how to ask questions and when, how to build consensus in public, how to keep the work moving with a million different things pulling on it and the restrictions of transparency and accountability laws… undone by aspirations to own people on Twitter and be recognized as the smartest person in the room.

    I’ll note that AOC today is not the same person publicly as her first 2 years. I don’t have any inside info outside of a few conversations with rep Speier’s** office, but it seems eventually everyone needs lessons on governance.


    *I promise no more hamlet mentions
    **who is a real gem, and really gets it. I was so worried about her during the jan 6 insurrection. Hell of a thing to go through with her history.

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    Default Re: Pure Politics: A thread about a better way in Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    How does the GOP do that so much better than the DEMs?
    Foundationally:

    First and foremost, theirs is a vastly simpler social/cultural/economic message and they haven't had one foot in the progressive camp and one in the conservative (for decades).

    They've been working their campaign effectively, from small potatoes to large, for a very long time: https://www.npr.org/2017/06/18/53192...libertarianism

    They also had an unconstrained Newt who fully recognized the potential of wedge issues; that frames everything now.
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