Break Glass - 2020 USA Elections

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  • Yeah. Is Gabbard pitching to anti-establishment voters in case Bernie pulls out?

    This was posted to a Facebook group called Progressive Views and from there to a Facebook group to which I belong, called Planet America. I don't know how to link from Facebook, so this is a copy paste of the text:
    RANDOM AUDIENCE MEMBER ASKS ELIZABETH WARREN A QUESTION ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS AT THE #EquailtyTownHall

    BUT WE LEARNED HE'S THE CHAIR OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN AND LONG TIME DONOR TO WARREN! WHAT ARE THE CHANCES???????

    Meet Morgan W. Cox III, a real estate developer at the Marquis Group, board member of the Human Rights Campaign, and long time donor to Elizabeth Warren.

    What are the chances this viral moment was pitched to Warren's campaign in advance?

    I react to this by going huh? What's the problem? My Bernie-Bro facebook mate seems to think it adds to an air of falseness around Warren. I think that's crazy, but I wonder particularly how American shipmates react?
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    This was posted to a Facebook group called Progressive Views and from there to a Facebook group to which I belong, called Planet America. I don't know how to link from Facebook, so this is a copy paste of the text:
    RANDOM AUDIENCE MEMBER ASKS ELIZABETH WARREN A QUESTION ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS AT THE #EquailtyTownHall

    BUT WE LEARNED HE'S THE CHAIR OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN AND LONG TIME DONOR TO WARREN! WHAT ARE THE CHANCES???????

    Meet Morgan W. Cox III, a real estate developer at the Marquis Group, board member of the Human Rights Campaign, and long time donor to Elizabeth Warren.

    What are the chances this viral moment was pitched to Warren's campaign in advance?

    I react to this by going huh? What's the problem? My Bernie-Bro facebook mate seems to think it adds to an air of falseness around Warren. I think that's crazy, but I wonder particularly how American shipmates react?

    Taking the questions in order: What are the odds that a prominent gay rights activist is able to get admission to an LGBTQ political event? Pretty good, I'd say. The fact that he'd be allowed to ask a question is also pretty good, and nowhere near as contrived as piping in Grover Norquist via streaming video to an event that was supposed to give ordinary voters a chance to ask questions of the candidates, as happened in a 2007 Republican debate.

    For those who are unfamiliar with the question and answer here's a quick video clip. The CNN chyron identifies Mr. Cox and his affiliation, though I don't know if that was done live during the event or added after the fact.

    As for the possibility of collusion between Mr. Cox and the Warren campaign, it seems unlikely, and unnecessary to postulate. Any candidate who didn't have a ready-to-go answer to a question about same-sex marriage going in to the Equality Town Hall would be guilty of gross political malpractice. A question along those lines was, if not certain to come up, at least a hugely likely probability. This reminds me of the 'scandal' during the 2016 campaign where it was alleged that Donna Brazile had let the Clinton campaign know that an upcoming event in Flint, MI was likely to involve a question about . . . water quality. In case you didn't click that link, the possibility of a Democratic debate in Flint, MI not involving a question about water quality was pretty close to zero in 2016.
  • Cheers. I thought so.
  • Something funny:

    Joe Biden is on Colbert's "Late Show" right now. I tuned in, briefly. (Not a big fan of Biden, at the moment.) He was saying (approximately) "...Ku Klux Klan...There's always been a part of American society that's on the dark side..."

    The idea of the *white supremacist* KKK being *dark*...
    ROTFL.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Something funny:

    Joe Biden is on Colbert's "Late Show" right now. I tuned in, briefly. (Not a big fan of Biden, at the moment.) He was saying (approximately) "...Ku Klux Klan...There's always been a part of American society that's on the dark side..."

    The idea of the *white supremacist* KKK being *dark*...
    ROTFL.

    [Tangent alert] This reminds me of a book I just read, entitled Dear Church. The author was criticizing the church for this kind of imagery. White = Good/Black = Bad. He pointed to the use of white albs as a way of stating we are washed clean of our sin; but the use of the black cassock as a way of saying we are poor miserable sinners. [/Tangent]
  • That seems like way overthinking it. Fear of darkness and love of light is primal, universally human stuff.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    [Tangent alert] This reminds me of a book I just read, entitled Dear Church. The author was criticizing the church for this kind of imagery. White = Good/Black = Bad. He pointed to the use of white albs as a way of stating we are washed clean of our sin; but the use of the black cassock as a way of saying we are poor miserable sinners. [/Tangent]
    That seems like way overthinking it. Fear of darkness and love of light is primal, universally human stuff.

    But light isn't universally white, and conflating black colored things with the absence of light seems like a false equivalence. Still, it seems highly problematic to, for example, teach small children that God loves white things and hates black things.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    But light isn't universally white, and conflating black colored things with the absence of light seems like a false equivalence.
    At that level, Europeans aren't universally white as snow and Africans aren't universally black as night.
    (Physically, although maybe not phenomenologically, black colouration is an absence of light.)

  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Maybe we should just quit referring to ourselves as "black" and "white," especially since nobody actually is. Seems calculated to encourage us seeing each other as opposites. In the US, we often use terms like African American, Native American, Euro-American, etc. which at least references something we have in common. What happens in other countries? Does France use African-French, or Germans refer to Asian Deutschlander, etc.?
  • In Australia we mostly follow the American way when we are trying to be polite to each other.
  • I've tried, on and off, to figure out alternate terms for the "dark vs. light" symbolism. I want to find out what symbolism is used in Africa. (Broad brush, I know.) It would make a ton of sense if their version is just the opposite. God knows they've got reason to view white as evil.

    I haven't come across an answer. (Admittedly, this was from occasional Web searches.) Does anyone know?

    If this is something people want to discuss, I'll be happy to transfer it to a new thread.

    Thx.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited October 19
    Ohher wrote: »
    Maybe we should just quit referring to ourselves as "black" and "white," especially since nobody actually is. Seems calculated to encourage us seeing each other as opposites. In the US, we often use terms like African American, Native American, Euro-American, etc. which at least references something we have in common. What happens in other countries? Does France use African-French, or Germans refer to Asian Deutschlander, etc.?
    There is not the same history to do so. Jesse Jackson popularised the term African-American in the 1980's* in order to give black people the same cultural identity that white people had. White people were Italian-American, Irish-American, etc. Jackson said black described the colour of one's skin or the part of town in which one lived. But African-American restored a sense of cultural connection that slavery had taken.
    In the UK, most black people have a more direct sense of their own history, Jamaican, Nigerian, etc., and the connection to that is typically direct or only a generation or two away.


    *Though, the first documented usage was in 1782. And there are similar terms scattered in the historical record.

  • So Saudi/Qatar/Boeing/Goldman Sachs asset Clinton is accusing combat veteran congresswoman Gabbard of being a Russian asset. Peak McCarthyism.
  • So Saudi/Qatar/Boeing/Goldman Sachs asset Clinton is accusing combat veteran congresswoman Gabbard of being a Russian asset. Peak McCarthyism.

    Well, technically speaking she only actually called Jill Stein a 'Russian asset'.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    In this context "McCarthyism" means acknowledging that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election and seem ready to interfere in the 2020 presidential election. It should also be noted that Hillary Clinton never mentioned Rep. Gabbard by name; Tulsi decided to pipe up with "she must be talking about me!" (Clinton's full interview can be heard here, for those with an hour to spare. Those without an hour to spare here's a quick summary.)

    Truly assad day for the Gabbard campaign.
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited October 19
    Crœsos wrote: »
    In this context "McCarthyism" means acknowledging that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election and seem ready to interfere in the 2020 presidential election. It should also be noted that Hillary Clinton never mentioned Rep. Gabbard by name; Tulsi decided to pipe up with "she must be talking about me!" (Clinton's full interview can be heard here, for those with an hour to spare. Those without an hour to spare here's a quick summary.)

    Truly assad day for the Gabbard campaign.

    The interviewer drew the same conclusion and Clinton did not contradict them.

    It’s a smear, plain and simple.

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Sorry, forgot to paste the Plouffe podcast in my last post.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Ohher wrote: »
    Maybe we should just quit referring to ourselves as "black" and "white," especially since nobody actually is. Seems calculated to encourage us seeing each other as opposites. In the US, we often use terms like African American, Native American, Euro-American, etc. which at least references something we have in common. What happens in other countries? Does France use African-French, or Germans refer to Asian Deutschlander, etc.?
    There is not the same history to do so.

    ?? There is not the same history to do what, exactly? While recognizing that most early African immigration to the US was coerced rather than chosen, it still consisted of moving people from their countries of origin to another country. France had colonies in Africa; people from Africa (colonials or not) have been known to migrate to France. While Germany's colonial role in Africa was smaller and briefer, it existed. Anyway, Im not sure what you mean here.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Jesse Jackson popularised the term African-American in the 1980's* in order to give black people the same cultural identity that white people had. White people were Italian-American, Irish-American, etc. Jackson said black described the colour of one's skin or the part of town in which one lived. But African-American restored a sense of cultural connection that slavery had taken.

    The term African American was in current use as far back as the '60s, long before I volunteered for one of Jackson's presidential campaigns registering voters. I was then active in various civil rights efforts, and we activists were already regularly using the term. Jackson seized on this already-in-use terminology as a way to try to change attitudes among those resisting our efforts. I broke with the Jackson movement over his racism toward Jews.

    As a side note, may I respectfully request that you not try to "teach" me my own history? While it's perfectly true that I don't know everything (who does?) relevant to this discussion, I have some personal knowledge of 20th-century civil rights struggles. I was there. I lived through these. I have the arrest record to prove it.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    In the UK, most black people have a more direct sense of their own history, Jamaican, Nigerian, etc., and the connection to that is typically direct or only a generation or two away.

    First, I note your use of the term "black." Is this the term you prefer for yourself, rather than, say African British? Second, I don't grasp what you're trying to say here. What on earth is a "direct sense" of one's "history?" Are you claiming that the contemporary African American whose family has been living in the US for several centuries is somehow missing something in having "only" her several generations of home-grown American oppression at the hands of those in power to draw on for self-identity? Didn't native colonials of European nations often come in for similar treatment (but absent the slavery aspect)?

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited October 19
    Ohher wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Ohher wrote: »
    Maybe we should just quit referring to ourselves as "black" and "white," especially since nobody actually is. Seems calculated to encourage us seeing each other as opposites. In the US, we often use terms like African American, Native American, Euro-American, etc. which at least references something we have in common. What happens in other countries? Does France use African-French, or Germans refer to Asian Deutschlander, etc.?
    There is not the same history to do so.

    ?? There is not the same history to do what, exactly? While recognizing that most early African immigration to the US was coerced rather than chosen, it still consisted of moving people from their countries of origin to another country. France had colonies in Africa; people from Africa (colonials or not) have been known to migrate to France. While Germany's colonial role in Africa was smaller and briefer, it existed. Anyway, Im not sure what you mean here.
    It is fairly simple. Other American groups had an ancestral cultural identity¹ besides American, black people whose ancestors were brought as slaves did not. That was severed in the middle passage or soon after.
    The vast majority of black people in Europe migrated voluntarily² (or their parents, grandparents, etc), so have a cultural connection to past generations.

    ¹The vast majority
    ²Economic and political pressures notwithstanding
    Ohher wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Jesse Jackson popularised the term African-American in the 1980's* in order to give black people the same cultural identity that white people had. White people were Italian-American, Irish-American, etc. Jackson said black described the colour of one's skin or the part of town in which one lived. But African-American restored a sense of cultural connection that slavery had taken.

    The term African American was in current use as far back as the '60s, long before I volunteered for one of Jackson's presidential campaigns registering voters. I was then active in various civil rights efforts, and we activists were already regularly using the term. Jackson seized on this already-in-use terminology as a way to try to change attitudes among those resisting our efforts.
    That isn't substantively different to what I said. Though you do add more context.
    Ohher wrote: »
    As a side note, may I respectfully request that you not try to "teach" me my own history? While it's perfectly true that I don't know everything (who does?) relevant to this discussion, I have some personal knowledge of 20th-century civil rights struggles. I was there. I lived through these. I have the arrest record to prove it.
    I was quoting American sources,³ so not teaching you "your" history, but referencing theirs.

    ³Albeit off the top of my head.
    Ohher wrote: »
    First, I note your use of the term "black." Is this the term you prefer for yourself, rather than, say African British?
    Never hear that term, save as a joke. Black is the common term, if colour is referenced. British if nationality is referenced. Africa is a continent. So British-country or country-British⁴ (i.e. British Jamaican, Jamaican British) But I've never hear anyone self refer that way. That is typically for answering the question:"No, but where are you really from?"

    ⁴Where one's parent's, grandparents, etc. were born
    Ohher wrote: »
    Second, I don't grasp what you're trying to say here. What on earth is a "direct sense" of one's "history?" Are you claiming that the contemporary African American whose family has been living in the US for several centuries is somehow missing something in having "only" her several generations of home-grown American oppression at the hands of those in power to draw on for self-identity? Didn't native colonials of European nations often come in for similar treatment (but absent the slavery aspect)?
    My response following this sentence is informed by reading histories and talking to black Americans, especially older ones.
    Black people in America were never allowed to be American. They were always treated as other, so denied the connection to their native land and had no connection to their ancestral cultures. Identity is a varied thing. And yes, recent generations are part of that. But the forced disconnection and subsequent treatment left many black Americans feeling disenfranchised in their own country. Again, garnered from actual black Americans.
    From an article discussing Jackson's promoting the word African-American:
    The term has already shown up in the newest grade-school textbooks, been adopted by several black-run radio stations and newspapers around the country and appeared in the titles of popular books and in the conversations of many blacks as they warm to the idea and speak of visiting Africa one day.

    For many, the issue is already settled, not only in their minds but in their hearts. ''Whenever I go to Africa,'' said Roger Wilkins,⁵ a senior fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, ''I feel like a person with a legitimate place to stand on this earth. This is the name for all the feelings I've had all these years.''
    From Wilkin's autobiography:
    I was a man living in a never-never land somewhere far beyond the constraints my grandparents had known but far short of true freedom,” he wrote in his 1982 autobiography, “A Man’s Life.” “I knew no black people — young or old, rich or poor — who didn’t feel injured by the experience of being black in America.”


    ⁵American, Black, Civil Rights leader

    Corrected, I hope, quoting attribution. BroJames Purgatory Host
  • Ohher wrote:
    The term African American was in current use as far back as the '60s, long before I volunteered for one of Jackson's presidential campaigns registering voters. I was then active in various civil rights efforts, and we activists were already regularly using the term. Jackson seized on this already-in-use terminology as a way to try to change attitudes among those resisting our efforts. I broke with the Jackson movement over his racism toward Jews.

    I had you down for being in the Freedom Rides until I thought for two seconds and realised this activism was in the 80's. I was going to gush all over you as a national treasure. Still, I am going to say thankyou for being involved in those groundbreaking campaigns. What were the civil rights issues to the fore in the USA in the 80's? My guess is AIDS and LGBTIQ rights were important, as well as issues around the civil liberties of minorities which are still being fought today. I remember Rodney King well, one of the first instances of police brutality caught on tape. Anyway, thankyou for your activism.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    I was active in civil rights efforts from 1962 onward. I am grateful to have been present on the Mall in Washington for Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech. These days my activism is sadly reduced as I age. I don't need gushing over; I'm no national treasure. I know what I did and also what I failed to do, and more than both, I know the daunting work which still lies ahead and which I will probably not live long enough to see completed.
  • I admit that I do like gushing over people and need no excuse, but as an admittedly post-gush justification I reckon it is good to laud the achievement of being there, or showing up, as a socially praiseworthy thing. It might encourage others to show up when their time comes. So consider yourself treasured-up Ohher :)
  • Journalist Matt Taibbi gives some good background on press attempts to smear Gabbard and other candidates here.
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited October 20
    Not a fan of any of them, but to their credit Beto, Yang, and *sigh* Williamson have come out against Clinton’s poisonous smear. Harris and Castro, when asked about it, basically gave no comment. Bernie’s campaign co-chair Nina Turner defended Gabbard but nothing from Bernie himself yet- this is a serious test of his and all candidates’ integrity.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    I fear that Clinton is struggling to somehow remain relevant. IMO, she'd do better either to shut up and sit on the sidelines or to switch her attention to something outside politics.

    I personally think what happened to her in 2016 was criminally unfair. Like many others, I could never "warm up" to her as a person, but that's not something I need in a president. Given the chance she'd have run a far better administration than Current Occupant. That said, we can't undo the past, and it's time she accepted that, hard as it is to surrender all that power. Jimmy Carter seems to have managed it.

    I don't know enough about Gabbard to evaluate the Clinton claims, but for pity's sake -- Gabbard as about as much chance of actually becoming the 2020 Dem nominee as I have, so what's the point of vilifying her?
  • Gabbard quitting the DNC, calling out its corruption, and endorsing Sanders is a crime they will never forgive her for. But it also seems to me the target isn’t just Gabbard herself but anyone who deviates from the centrist Dem consensus. Similar smears have been made against Sanders, albeit not directly from the Dem elites as in this case. Throughout the Syria war anyone who pointed out that the Syrian rebels were not the lovely democrats they were made out to be, was smeared as “Assadist,” repeating “Russian talking points”, etc. Now that those same rebels are spearheading the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds a lot of their prior apologists are suddenly crying crocodile tears hoping no one notices their sudden reversal.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 20
    That seems like way overthinking it. Fear of darkness and love of light is primal, universally human stuff.

    The Nation Of Islam, pretty much the polar opposite of a white-supremacist group, use the word "darkness" to mean something like "generally undesirable stuff".

  • I don't know why Clinton said what she said about Gabbard, but Gabbard has disavowed any intention of running as an independent.
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    edited October 20
    Might I just point out that, although she denounced it, Gabbard was endorsed by David Duke. Irregardless of anything else, I think that's a mark against her right there.
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited October 20
    And that justifies a baseless smear against her, how?

    David Duke also endorses Ilhan Omar, and that has no bearings on the fact that Ilhan Omar simply kicks ass.

    (Also, you said “irregardless”)
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    I didn't say it justified anything. I said it was a mark against her.
  • Unless she actually sought or welcomed his endorsement, no, it’s not. Do I need to explain the fallacy of that thinking?
  • Unless she actually sought or welcomed his endorsement, no, it’s not. Do I need to explain the fallacy of that thinking?
    How about we talk about why duke, as well as other hate mongers as well as non-democrats endorse her.
    One, She is willing to criticise Israel. Whilst one can do so without being anti-Semitic, there is a popular perception that they are one and the same. It is not a legitimate connection, but it is one often made.
    Another is that she has libertarian leanings and isolationist political leanings, which fit in with their leanings. This is a legitimate issue.
    As is her courting of the right-wing.
    As for Ilhan Omar, her criticism of Israel is enough. But the cynical part of my thinks both endorsements could well serve the secondary purpose of trying to weaken the candidates.
  • Well, yes, all kinds of creepy people sometimes endorse excellent people for various creepy or even nonsensical reasons.

    There are plenty of legitimate criticisms of Gabbard. These can all be made without offering an evidence-free assertion that she is being groomed by the Kremlin.
  • Clinton is not in the habit of saying stuff off the cuff. She is careful, deliberate and consultative within a trusted circle. I therefore believe she spoke against Gabbard with deliberate intent. Unlike Gabbard, I am not prone to conspiracy theories, and I am a fan of Hillary. I always assume that she acts in the interests of her country and her party as she sees it.

    I wonder what prompted her to throw a spotlight on Gabbard in the way she did? Gabbard is going nowhere in the Primaries. She won't be the nominee, and I doubt she would get a job in a Democratic Cabinet. Wouldn't it be better just to let Gabbard sink back into relative obscurity? Maybe Clinton and her trusted circle really do think Gabbard was thinking about running as an independent and she wanted to spike that possibility. Maybe she has access to classified information as a former Secretary that Gabbard really is being groomed.

    It is an unusual episode, and I think it is foolish to dismiss Clinton as self serving or bitter, as Gabbard has done.
  • I skimmed the CNN summary to which Croesos linked. Not sure what I think.

    First question: Was what Hillary said true? That's probably the most important thing. I have no idea.

    Second question: Was Hillary meddling, grabbing back center stage, etc.? I doubt it.

    Last week, she and her daughter Chelsea were on Colbert's show in a rerun from 9/30/19 (YouTube, 11:27 min.). They were great. Hillary laughed a lot, in a healthy way. She showed some grit. She also supported having women running for office this time around. There didn't seem to be any "Boy, do I have a secret!" statements or subtext. She seemed balanced and happy.

    BTW, Hillary and Chelsea have a book coming out: "The Book Of Gutsy Women".
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Gabbard doesn't need to be on board with the Russians in order for her candidacy to be useful to them. It's entirely possible that Russian bots are promoting her candidacy without her cooperation.
  • Ruth wrote: »
    Gabbard doesn't need to be on board with the Russians in order for her candidacy to be useful to them. It's entirely possible that Russian bots are promoting her candidacy without her cooperation.

    Hence the deliberately open-ended character of the word “asset”. Anyone who can be framed as “useful” to X can be construed as an “asset” of X. “Asset” is therefore a political weasel word of the highest order.

    Take a moment to consider some interesting logical conclusions of this.

    In 2003 Vladimir Putin said the US invasion of Iraq was a bad idea. So did Barack Obama. Coincidence?

    Or consider that the greatest beneficiaries of said invasion were... Iran. Could it be that Bush and Cheney were Iranian assets?

    Going back in history, this reminds me of the behavior of Stalinist propagandists during the Spanish Civil War. On the Republican side were several leftist factions who had principled disagreements with the Spanish Communist Party and their Soviet masters. The response by the latter was to label the dissident leftists as crypto-fascists. It was beautiful because they didn’t need to be consciously working for the fascists- the fact that they weren’t going along with the Stalinist program meant that they were hampering the anti-fascist cause. They were fascist assets and could be tortured, murdered, disappeared at will.

    This is a fairly useless way of conducting any kind of political analysis. It’s also a pretty slimy way of attempting to justify a straight-up smear that a disliked politician is being groomed as a “Russian asset.”

  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    Clinton is not in the habit of saying stuff off the cuff. She is careful, deliberate and consultative within a trusted circle. I therefore believe she spoke against Gabbard with deliberate intent.

    “We came, we saw, he died!” *laughter* For those who don’t remember, Gaddafi was sodomized with a bayonet while in the custody of US-backed rebels. Libya collapsed into a failed state run by warlords and jihadists, where the slave trade has been resurrected.

    You might be right- maybe she didn’t say this off the cuff. Maybe she really is as ghoulish and malevolent as the comment indicates. She certainly picks her friends accordingly.
    I wonder what prompted her to throw a spotlight on Gabbard in the way she did? Gabbard is going nowhere in the Primaries. She won't be the nominee, and I doubt she would get a job in a Democratic Cabinet. Wouldn't it be better just to let Gabbard sink back into relative obscurity? Maybe Clinton and her trusted circle really do think Gabbard was thinking about running as an independent and she wanted to spike that possibility. Maybe she has access to classified information as a former Secretary that Gabbard really is being groomed.

    More likely she is just riffing off of several smear articles that appeared in the New York Times, the Daily Beast, etc. As I said, this isn’t just about Gabbard. This is intended to have a chilling effect on anyone who deviates from centrist Democratic orthodoxy.
  • ...Sir Palomides, that argument might hold more water if all of the last 4 years of US politics hadn't happened, with the reported Russian involvement.
  • So now that we have this reported Russian involvement, we have license to accuse anyone we see fit of being a Russian asset.
  • Sir Palomides--

    {BTW: Previously, I was responding to your response to Ruth.}

    No, but it shouldn't be rejected out of hand, either.

    Oh, and re Qaddafi : While I didn't know about the incident you mentioned, I did feel sorry for him. There was news video of him from seconds before he was killed, and he looked terrified.
    (:votive:)
  • But people are deviating from centrist Democratic orthodoxy all over the place, including two of the three leading contenders for the Democratic nomination. If this is right, Clinton has waited until the horse has bolted.
  • Golden Key wrote: »
    No, but it shouldn't be rejected out of hand, either.

    I don't think insisting that such claims should be accompanied by evidence is an outrageous demand.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Current Iowa state polls show Biden at 18%, Warren at 17% with Buttigieg at 13%. Sanders is at 9% Caucas is on 3 Feb 2020. It is a horse race.
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited October 21
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    But people are deviating from centrist Democratic orthodoxy all over the place, including two of the three leading contenders for the Democratic nomination. If this is right, Clinton has waited until the horse has bolted.

    The Dem machine has been smearing Sanders for years, and given credibility to crazy people likeLouise Mensch. I think it is easier to directly attack Gabbard though, because she is less popular and less influential. But if the smear against Gabbard is allowed to stand, then I have no doubt it will be used more frequently and more openly against other candidates.

    That Tulsi Gabbard quit the DNC and called it out for corruption caused serious annoyance for the Dem machine for which they have not forgiven her. And, more than any other politician, and from earlier on, she questioned the US decision to arm the Al-Qaeda spinoffs being marketed and armed as "moderate rebels" in Syria. For this and for meeting with the sovereign leader of the country the US was destroying, she was labeled an "Assadist" even though now mainstream voices are coming round to the basic point she made long ago- the US has no credible alternatives to the Assad government. To his credit, Sanders has made similar points against the destructive, irrational, and self-defeating regime change agenda, but not as forcefully and consistently as Gabbard.

    What's more, one could object or critique each one of these things she's done, without making a fallacious assertion that it makes her a Russian agent.
  • To reiterate, the open-ended term "asset" allows people to be labeled as "Russian assets" on very flimsy grounds, such as the following:

    Putin supports X, N also supports X, therefore N is allied with Putin.

    Putin says X, N also says X, therefore N repeats Russian talking points and is allied with Putin.

    Russian media speaks favorably of N, therefore N must be aligned with Russian interests, therefore N is a Russian asset.

    In other contexts, people immediately recognize this reasoning as childish nonsense. At just about every presidential election some bonehead Republican will try to make something of the fact that Communist Party USA leaders routinely endorse Democratic candidates.Then everyone promptly ignores this argument because it's stupid as hell.

    "But," some might object, "the CPUSA has no real influence; the Russian government does." The argument doesn't get any less stupid here, especially considering liberals were routinely labeled "useful idiots" by Republicans throughout the Cold War. The validity of a given policy position does not hinge on how it maps onto some Manichaean politics where everything Putin (or Trump) supports is bad, and everything he opposes is good. Trump, Steve Bannon, and Pelosi all agree that the Hong Kong protesters are cool. Does that mean Pelosi is a Trump supporter or alt-right? Would anyone take that argument seriously?

    But this is kind of nonsense that gets thrown at Gabbard from allegedly respectable corners.
  • @SirPalomides
    You used the word sodomised. That is an unfortunately choice of words, as it is one designed to smear homosexuality. I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are not homophobic and that you used the word in the descriptive sense rather than the pejorative.

    Whilst I think the in-fighting is playing into Russian hands, it is a normal thing to evaluate how candidates positions. If Gabbard is isolationist, that is something that would be beneficial to Uncle Vlad.
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited October 21
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    @SirPalomides
    You used the word sodomised. That is an unfortunately choice of words, as it is one designed to smear homosexuality. I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are not homophobic and that you used the word in the descriptive sense rather than the pejorative.

    Would "buggered" be more to your liking? Is there a nice way of describing a bayonet being forced up someone's rear end? Is this something you actually think
    Whilst I think the in-fighting is playing into Russian hands, it is a normal thing to evaluate how candidates positions. If Gabbard is isolationist, that is something that would be beneficial to Uncle Vlad.

    That might be a "normal" way of evaluating positions but it is not a meaningful, honest, or coherent one. A lot of things can be beneficial to the Kremlin which are also beneficial to a lot of other people. A lot of things can be detrimental to the Kremlin which are detrimental to a lot of other people. It's ridiculous that this very simple reality has to be spelled out.

    In Gabbard's case her position "beneficial to Uncle Vlad" was that pouring money and weapons into the hands of vicious sectarian militias was not a good idea. That's also a position that is beneficial to people living in Syria, including former US allies the Kurds who are now defending themselves from the "moderate rebels" the US armed. It's also beneficial to anyone who doesn't want to worry about terrorism committed by jihadists making use of the training and support they got in Syria.

    In the Cold War people who, for instance, opposed the American war in Vietnam were labeled useful idiots, pinkos, Soviet fifth columnists. And, truth be told, pulling American troops out of Vietnam did help the communists. It was also the right thing to do. Likewise people who opposed the Iraq War were smeared as Saddam appeasers or even Al Qaeda sympathizers.

    Take your own statement: "I think the in-fighting is playing into Russian hands." Does that mean, when Clinton gave her interview, creating a completely needless beef between herself and a relatively minor 2020 candidate, she was acting as a Russian asset? That's a pretty stupid argument, right? So why employ the same fallacy against Gabbard?

    It's a non-argument, a contemptible smear.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    @SirPalomides
    You used the word sodomised. That is an unfortunately choice of words, as it is one designed to smear homosexuality. I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are not homophobic and that you used the word in the descriptive sense rather than the pejorative.

    Would "buggered" be more to your liking? Is there a nice way of describing a bayonet being forced up someone's rear end?
    That word has the same meaning. There is no description of having a bayonet forced into one's rectum that is nice. There are ones that are not homophobic. That you do not appear to see that point is not encouraging.
    Anally raped is one that is simple, descriptive and not homophobic.
    The point was that a non-homophobic person could use a homophobic term without intended malice. And therefore extend that to other words in other contexts.
    Is this something you actually think
    Again with the insult rather than actual discussion.
    Whilst I think the in-fighting is playing into Russian hands, it is a normal thing to evaluate how candidates positions. If Gabbard is isolationist, that is something that would be beneficial to Uncle Vlad.
    That might be a "normal" way of evaluating positions but it is not a meaningful, honest, or coherent one. A lot of things can be beneficial to the Kremlin which are also beneficial to a lot of other people. A lot of things can be detrimental to the Kremlin which are detrimental to a lot of other people. It's ridiculous that this very simple reality has to be spelled out.
    OK, I'll spell it out. US isolationism is a great boon to Russia and a detriment to the US. Simple enough for you?

    I'm not defending Clinton. Or indeed negative politics.

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