Oops - your Trump presidency discussion thread.

Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
edited February 28 in Purgatory
Here is a link to the thread on the old site. Feel free to continue the discussion here.

We made several official posts on the legacy thread that we don't want to have to repeat. They all ultimately were reminders that Purgatory is for serious discussion.

Don't just link to articles without comment. Articles behind paywalls are very difficult for everyone to discuss.

If the only response you can manage is to rant, name-call, swear and throw things then post in Hell, find a local political rally, anything except post that on this thread.
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Comments

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    Originally posted by Soror Magna on the old site:
    Originally posted by Barnabas62:
    Ah, the effect of postmodernism on manners. "This is my truth, tell me yours".
    ...
    I think it's been around longer than that, at least in the USA, and I think it comes more from the fallacy that if all men are created equal, then everyone's knowledge or opinions are also equal.
    (Note - you can copy and quote from the old site, but you don't need QB and /QB)
    I think this is a very valuable insight. Equality of worth is not identity of ability. A truth which has major implications.

    I'm going to reflect on this a bit more, then post again.
  • I'll probably lose a lot of respect when I say this, but I'm one of the people who voted for Trump, and I stand by my choice. My primary reason is that I absolutely despise the Clintons, and wanted to make absolutely sure they did not get access to the reins of the government again.

    And I seriously doubt we would have seen the whole #MeToo movement if Hillary had won. The focus would all be on how wonderful it is to finally have a woman in the Oval Office, with good ol' Bill standing by looking adorable as the First Gentleman (and secretly checking the "New Interns" list).
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    edited February 28
    windsofchange

    I can understand the reason for your choice. Now that Donald Trump has got his hands on the reins of government, what do you think about how well he is using that control? Not compared to the hypothetical question of how Hillary might have used that control. Simply by reference to the usual constitutional standards of the oath of office.
    "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

  • I'll probably lose a lot of respect when I say this, but I'm one of the people who voted for Trump, and I stand by my choice. My primary reason is that I absolutely despise the Clintons, and wanted to make absolutely sure they did not get access to the reins of the government again.
    I have always suspected that quite a few Republicans voted for Trump specifically because they saw it as their one big chance to get the Clintons. I don't know if it was enough to tip the election, but I'm sure that there were quite a few voters who were ready to sit it out after the Access Hollywood video dropped, but got drawn back in by the re-opening of the email investigation. There was blood in the water, and a lot of people jumped in to feed.
    And I seriously doubt we would have seen the whole #MeToo movement if Hillary had won. The focus would all be on how wonderful it is to finally have a woman in the Oval Office, with good ol' Bill standing by looking adorable as the First Gentleman (and secretly checking the "New Interns" list).
    I have appreciated that Bill Clinton is getting a second look due to #MeToo. I always thought that there was an undeniable power imbalance in the Lewinsky tryst that got ignored because of the huge political show it became. And I also agree that the result of the election had a lot to do with #MeToo taking off, although I would give a slightly different read. My wife has always said that, if women as a group feel that their rights are being threatened, there will be either figurative or literal blood in the streets. And in her view, that's a bit of why people are finally coming forward with the truth about awful things that have happened to them.


  • And I seriously doubt we would have seen the whole #MeToo movement if Hillary had won. The focus would all be on how wonderful it is to finally have a woman in the Oval Office, with good ol' Bill standing by looking adorable as the First Gentleman (and secretly checking the "New Interns" list).

    You're quite right-- we wouldn't have had the "me too" movement if Hilary were elected. Because a huge part of the impetus for the movement was the fact that the country elected a known predator-- one who bragged about preying on women-- as president. I hope that the accusers of Weinstein and the other jerks would still have come forward-- but, no, I would agree, it wouldn't have become a solidarity movement-- because there would have been no need for such.

    I do salute your courage in admitting you're a Trump voter/supporter (seriously). They are rare in these threads, even those of us state-side tend to be in our own liberal bubbles, so it's very helpful for us to hear what is driving those who don't share our views. I will try to be kind (while admitting I'm not good at it when it comes to this issue).

  • I always thought that there was an undeniable power imbalance in the Lewinsky tryst that got ignored because of the huge political show it became.

    I always felt that about Anita Hill. If they would have just backed off that angle and pressed the fact that he was grossly unqualified for the job, things might have turned out better.
  • I do salute your courage in admitting you're a Trump voter/supporter (seriously). They are rare in these threads, even those of us state-side tend to be in our own liberal bubbles, so it's very helpful for us to hear what is driving those who don't share our views. I will try to be kind (while admitting I'm not good at it when it comes to this issue).

    Thanks! And you don't have to be kind. Just don't be mean. ;-)

  • BrendaCloughBrendaClough Shipmate
    edited February 28
    Yes, it was the pussygrabbing that I, at least, found utterly unforgivable. The Dirty Old Man admitted, on tape! He wasn't even ashamed! Bill Clinton may have been a hypocrite, but hypocrisy is the toll that vice pays to virtue. He was embarrassed and ashamed. There was some scrap of decency down there, that 666 Fifth Avenue would not recognize if it bit him on the finger.
    And, winds, you are content and comfortable with your vote? You feel that everything goes well, that America is on the right track? The Stain of New York is gearing up his 2020 election team; you're on board for a second term?
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited February 28
    And I seriously doubt we would have seen the whole #MeToo movement if Hillary had won. The focus would all be on how wonderful it is to finally have a woman in the Oval Office . . .

    Yeah, remember how after Obama was elected everyone was so focused on "how wonderful it is to finally have a black man in the Oval Office" that no one ever complained about racial inequality ever again?

    Yeah, me neither. #BLM
    I always thought that there was an undeniable power imbalance in the Lewinsky tryst that got ignored because of the huge political show it became.

    Despite the popular portrayal as "a White House intern" at the time of the affair Lewinsky had a paid position in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. (Yes, the name begs several dozen jokes.) If Ken Starr's chronology is to be believed there may have been a seven day overlap between the start of the affair and Lewinsky's previous position as an intern in Leon Panetta's office, but the characterization is largely inaccurate.

    I suppose you could argue that as head of the Executive Branch the president is technically the boss of all executive branch employees, but this comes close to the argument that people should not have romantic relationships with anyone outside their own caste.
  • hosting/
    The Dirty Old Man (...) The Stain of New York
    @BrendaClough your attention is drawn to the host post at the top of this thread, and specifically this part:
    If the only response you can manage is to rant, name-call, swear and throw things then post in Hell, find a local political rally, anything except post that on this thread

    This applies to everyone posting here, and that includes you.

    We are not going to tolerate systematic name-calling of anyone on this thread. Nobody (here) is asking you to love your enemies, but if you can't bring yourself to engage in a bare minimum of civility in interacting with those of other opinions, you are going to find yourself in trouble sooner rather than later.

    /hosting

  • edited February 28
    @ Croesos

    New Ship, same disputes. You and I will probably never see eye to eye on this one.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Still, I think we can all agree that the intense media focus on e-mail server best practices as the key issue of the 2016 presidential election has certainly insured a much higher standard of information security in the new administration. CNN is credited with breaking that story but they were actually scooped by The Onion a couple of hours earlier, as seems only appropriate for this administration.

    Yes, I can see why some would have considered Hillary Clinton a disaster on those grounds alone. (I miss my eye-rolling smiley.)
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Since time immemorial voters have had to choose between the "lesser of two evils." Surely Mrs. Clinton is no china doll, but she is Mother Theresa herself compared to the despicable excuse for a human being that we ended up with. I trust that those who voted for him "just to spite the Clintons" are happy with the cesspool that the country is quickly sinking into under his "guidance."
  • Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree. FWIW a major issue for me was also the abortion/pro-life issues. You may not agree with me on that one either, but it's a priority for me, so when push comes to shove, I vote for the candidate who professes at least a modicum of support for pro-life issues. The email server issue? Totally didn't care.
    (And FWIW I don't think the country is sinking into a "cesspool" any more quickly than it was before.)
  • windsofchangewindsofchange Shipmate
    edited March 1
    Bill Clinton may have been a hypocrite, but hypocrisy is the toll that vice pays to virtue. He was embarrassed and ashamed.

    Hmm ... I never saw that, not once. I'll grant that you that he *said* all the right things when confronted, but "embarrassed and ashamed"? I doubt it.

    As for the Dirty Old Man, yeah, I'll also grant you that. But whatever Trump did re: pussy grabbing, he did before his election in his private life ("it's just sex," remember?). Clinton did his pussy grabbing in the Oval Office, on the taxpayers' dime. From a purely pragmatic standpoint, that's the difference, IMHO.

    And Mrs. Clinton smeared and degraded the women who tried to speak out about what he did to them, so she's not clean in any of this either.

    Let's face it. Virtually every politician who makes it to the Presidential ticket these days has a ton of dirt in their background. I'm at the point where I ignore the personal stuff and look at the issues, and I think a lot of voters feel the same way. Part of the reason Bernie Sanders was so popular on the Democrat side, as well, at least for a while.

  • And btw I probably won't post any more about this. Not because I don't have opinions, but because I get too wound up about it! I've said my piece and now I'll leave you in peace. ;-)
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    edited March 1
    That would be a pity. Iron sharpens iron. This website believes in the value of unrest. We don't want to be left in peace!
  • BrendaCloughBrendaClough Shipmate
    edited March 1
    Sorry, Eutychus. Tell me what term you would prefer. You don't like the supervillain epithets. For my own mental stability I will not use his name, except when clarity is absolutely called for or I am quoting someone else. Is there a middle ground? Will you accept simply Voldemort, or perhaps The Dark Lord of the Sith? I believe Darth Vader is not on the boards and therefore won't complain.

  • Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree. FWIW a major issue for me was also the abortion/pro-life issues. You may not agree with me on that one either, but it's a priority for me, so when push comes to shove, I vote for the candidate who professes at least a modicum of support for pro-life issues.

    As a passionately pro-life evangelical pastor, I am very sympathetic to your perspective. But (predictably) I have a couple of problems with translating "pro-life" into "pro-Trump" or even "pro-GOP". Here's my concerns:

    1. I can't quite swallow Trump as a pro-life defender of the unborn. In the past, he pressured his mistress (Marla) trying to get her to abort their love child. Nothing he has said or done since then suggests he's had a change of heart. He himself has said he has "nothing to repent for"-- so I'm hard-pressed to know what the "modicum" of support he has for pro-life issues.

    2. I'm also not buying the GOP as pro-life, despite their having it on their platform for decades-- and that's precisely why. They've had decades to do something about abortion, including periods of time when (like now) they've controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress. They've done nothing. Not only have they done nothing-- they've attempted nothing. No great, pro-life legislation that was scuttled by the evil libs. Nope, they've done nothing (on the federal level that is). Nada. Of course, the DNC is famously (or infamously) pro-choice. But the fact of the matter is, both parties are very invested in the status quo (i.e. abortion legal but threatened)-- it suits both of them to keep abortion the driving, overriding wedge issue it is. Actions speak more clearly than words-- the GOP doesn't want abortion illegal-- the minute it is, they lose millions of voters.

    3. Meanwhile, we (pro-life evangelicals) have lost the battle on the ground where it's really fought-- the hearts and minds of women in problematic pregnancies. Our harsh approach on legislative matters has abandoned what we do best (or used to do best)-- preaching the gospel message of the sanctity of every human life, and living it out by sacrificially taking on the burden of listening, caring for women who are making the real life decisions. It is worth noting that abortions go down under Democratic administrations, up under GOP ones. Every time. Significantly. Abortions under the "evil Obama" were the lowest rate they have been since Roe. Because, regardless of the stated platform of either party, progressive economic policies do give women a real choice. And, given a real choice, most women are going to choose life. Women choose abortions because they feel (rightly or wrongly) they have no other option. When you give them an alternative-- thru things like health care, jobs, WIC, education-- they will take it. So, given that the pro-life party is clearly (after 50 years) not interested in ending abortions, vote for the party that will reduce them.

    4. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is more to being pro-life than just opposing abortion. Our (evangelical) pro-life position is based on our firm conviction that every life is sacred. That absolutely applies to unborn lives-- every unborn life. But it also applies to each and every born life. Every life. Black lives. Gay lives. Muslim lives. Every life. Most notably perhaps, immigrant lives. The policies of this administration have been anything but "pro-life". Threatening the health care of millions of children by putting CHIP on the bargaining table is not pro-life-- my infant granddaughter's very life was saved by CHIP. Health care for all IS the definition of a pro-life issue. Deporting thousands of law-abiding immigrants (including friends and acquaintances of mine, several of my fellow evangelical pastors), breaking up families, and sending immigrants into harm's way-- that's not pro-life. Shutting the doors to (vigorously vetted) refugees who are fleeing imminent death in Syria and other places (I head my church's refugee resettlement program)-- that's not pro-life.

    So yes, let's embrace the evangelical witness of the sanctity of every human life. Which is precisely why I could not vote for Trump.

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Did you know the Greeks had 16 different words for slave or servant? The word for the lowest slave was doulos, which meant toilet cleaner and/or foot washer. With Jared Kushner's security clearance being reduced to "Secret," that means he has the same status as the person who cleans Mr. Orange One's bathroom. Just let that sink in a bit
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Thank you, cliffdweller; I can't add too much to that, except to say that I truly do not understand how anyone claiming the identity of a Christian could support Mr. Trump.

    As you say, he's not really pro-life. There's the "grab 'em by the pussy" thing, and all the years of other vile comments and credible allegations of sexual assault. He's a terrible businessman who uses bankruptcy as an essential tool and cheats his suppliers. He encouraged violence at his campaign rallies. He seems incapable of telling the truth. He has constantly, consistently lowered the tone of political discourse. His behavior gives evidence of narcissism. The list goes on and on and on.

    I understand disliking Mrs. Clinton (to say nothing of her husband); I'm not a fan, although I did hold my nose and vote for her, given the alternative. But to me, part of living my faith as a Christian is to vote my principles to the extent possible, and to avoid voting for truly bad people. I believe that character really is important, and Mr. Trump's character does not measure up. (Understatement alert!)

    How does a Christian vote for a Donald Trump?

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    It's a long story, Rossweisse! The marriage between the GOP and conservative evangelicalism has IMO damaged both. Christian morality got narrowed down to hot button issues. So folks lost the moral connection between the sacredness of unborn life and the sacredness of all life, as cliffdweller pointed out so beautifully.

    Trump supports the hot button issues. So that's what matters most in the minds of many who voted for him. Even if his support is motivated by politics, not conscience. The wider issues of Christian morality get shelved, pragmatically. And that's the logic at work.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    @ Brenda

    You need to take that discussion to the Styx. That's where arguments about a Hostly ruling belong.

    B62, Purg Host
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    That would be a pity. Iron sharpens iron. This website believes in the value of unrest. We don't want to be left in peace!

    Heh, well, I don't think you need to worry about that - looks like I didn't bring peace, but a sword! But seriously, my messianic pretensions aside, I do have to remind myself that it's Lent, and I'm not supposed to get into big, uncharitable arguments with people (no matter how wrong they may be ;-) ). So my apologies for any ruffled feathers!
  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    Thank you, cliffdweller; I can't add too much to that, except to say that I truly do not understand how anyone claiming the identity of a Christian could support Mr. Trump.

    Well, I am a Christian, and I voted for him. And I don't agree with your assessment of the Clintons as being more pro-life than Trump. I understand your reasoning about pro-life being about more than abortion, but for me, it's not LESS than about abortion, and it's kind of a non-negotiable for me. So that's how this Christian wound up voting for Donnie.

    Again, while you may not think so, I am a Christian, in the sense that I do my best, in my very flawed, human way, to follow my understanding of Christ's will for my life. I probably make a ton of mistakes, like everyone else, but it doesn't mean I'm not a Christian. Maybe not a good one, but one nevertheless.

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    windsofchange

    That's kind. But no apology necessary. I'm a Host so I can't give up SoF for Lent. Currently I'm trying to give up grumbling!
  • I understand your reasoning about pro-life being about more than abortion, but for me, it's not LESS than about abortion, and it's kind of a non-negotiable for me. So that's how this Christian wound up voting for Donnie.
    From my perspective, I think abortion is indeed the bottom line for those Christians who voted for Trump.

    A bit like gun-lovers who feel the Second Amendment to be some kind of inherent article of faith of their very identity, there are those who feel abortion is the issue besides which every other issue, and I mean every other issue, pales into irrelevancy, or is rationalised (confusingly, these two groups often overlap, but that's another story).

    The evangelical rationale for electing Trump appears to be the aim of getting a conservative majority on the SCOTUS and doing so with the aim of overturning Roe v Wade. Certainly that can be understood from Pence's recent declaration that abortion in the US could be "abolished in our time". (It's worth noting that right now, an unscheduled departure of Trump would probably make that more, not less likely).

    This is not the place to start debating abortion (that would be in Dead Horses), but as I've said before, if one starts from the assumption that this issue is more important than all the others combined, everything else about the Christian vote for Trump follows. Every misstep and blunder is rationalised as collateral damage in pursuit of that prize.

    If there's a "hearts and minds" debate to be had here, it needs to factor in the reality that for some people, this starting issue is so fundamental as to be instinctive. That makes it very difficult to argue against. But looking at the "collateral damage" and other, less visible threats to life (such as, for this European, a retreat from universal health coverage) might be a place to start.

    (It's also worth noting that all of us - not just rabid Trump voters - have such instinctive, "limbic system" positions in various areas. Identifying them in oneself can be hard work).

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    windsofchange

    I would like to continue a discussion of abortion in our Dead Horses forum. So far as this thread is concerned I would only add that any of us can be anti-abortion as a matter of conscience, yet still not want to see that become the law of the land. The short hand is that it is possible to be pro life and pro choice.

    Which kind of invalidates the overturning of Roe v Wade.

    To give a non-Dead Horses illustration. Many Christians believe strongly that marriage is indissoluble. But I hear no great clamour to make that the law of the land in the USA.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    edited March 1
    windsofchange

    Here is a link to a Dead Horses thread which contains some 20 pages of posts re discussion on abortion matters

    The link is towards the end of the discussion, but if you have the time, it might be worth looking at it all.

    You'll see the discussion started in 2003(!). It contains a variety of views.

    If you would like to discuss abortion in further detail here, feel free to post a new post on the legacy thread and we'll take it from there.

  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    Thank you, cliffdweller; I can't add too much to that, except to say that I truly do not understand how anyone claiming the identity of a Christian could support Mr. Trump.

    Well, I am a Christian, and I voted for him. And I don't agree with your assessment of the Clintons as being more pro-life than Trump. I understand your reasoning about pro-life being about more than abortion, but for me, it's not LESS than about abortion, and it's kind of a non-negotiable for me. So that's how this Christian wound up voting for Donnie.

    Again, while you may not think so, I am a Christian, in the sense that I do my best, in my very flawed, human way, to follow my understanding of Christ's will for my life. I probably make a ton of mistakes, like everyone else, but it doesn't mean I'm not a Christian. Maybe not a good one, but one nevertheless.

    Winds of Change, I would love to hear your response to my post in addition to the secondary comments-- although as Barnabus and Rossweise suggest, perhaps dead horses is the appropriate venue. You and I appear to be in the same camp (pro life evangelicals) even though we've come to very different conclusions, so would have a common starting point

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree. FWIW a major issue for me was also the abortion/pro-life issues. You may not agree with me on that one either, but it's a priority for me, so when push comes to shove, I vote for the candidate who professes at least a modicum of support for pro-life issues.

    2. I'm also not buying the GOP as pro-life, despite their having it on their platform for decades-- and that's precisely why. They've had decades to do something about abortion, including periods of time when (like now) they've controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress. They've done nothing. Not only have they done nothing-- they've attempted nothing. No great, pro-life legislation that was scuttled by the evil libs.

    I think you're mis-understanding what "pro-life*" means at a the presidential political level. It mostly means appointing pro-corporate, anti-worker judges. The fact that this happens every time is a pretty good indication that this is by design rather than accident. For all that pro-life* voters go on about how much they want to criminalize abortion, they don't ever seem disappointed when what they get instead is legal rulings to bust unions or overturn workplace safety regulations.
    3. Meanwhile, we (pro-life evangelicals) have lost the battle on the ground where it's really fought-- the hearts and minds of women in problematic pregnancies. Our harsh approach on legislative matters has abandoned what we do best (or used to do best)-- preaching the gospel message of the sanctity of every human life, and living it out by sacrificially taking on the burden of listening, caring for women who are making the real life decisions.

    This is revisionist bullshit. Pro-life* evangelicalism is the ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal. What evangelicals "used to do best" back in Ye Olden Days (i.e. the 1970s or earlier) was to bag on Catholics for being so mediæval about reproductive health issues.
    It is worth noting that abortions go down under Democratic administrations, up under GOP ones. Every time. Significantly. Abortions under the "evil Obama" were the lowest rate they have been since Roe. Because, regardless of the stated platform of either party, progressive economic policies do give women a real choice.

    The most effective ways to prevent abortions is comprehensive sex education and low cost access to contraceptives. It's worth noting that one of Trump's biggest campaign issues was repealing the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. "Obamacare") which requires health insurance to cover prescription contraceptives with no additional copay, as well as copay-free pre-natal care. The fact that ostensibly pro-life* voters enthusiastically support a policy designed to increase the number of actual abortions indicates that they're much more interested in criminalizing abortions than actually preventing them. They also seem at best indifferent to whether or not their fellow citizens can access the health care system in any kind of affordable manner, which kind of undercuts their claims about "pro-life* being about more than abortion". Whatever that "more" is, it obviously doesn't include potentially life-saving medical treatment.

    *Offer expires at birth.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    For what it's worth (and from the other side of the Pond) it always looked like each candidate's best asset was the other candidate. Trump's additional advantages were that he wasn't, and still isn't, part of the Washington machine, he talks tough against immigrants and that he was not taken seriously by Clinton and the Democrats. It helped him immensely that the Russian links didn't come out earlier. We have Brexit, you have Trump, and they have a number of common factors.
  • Heh ... well, I'd actually rather NOT wade into that morass, if you don't mind. And I have seen it. I've actually been a member here for a long time; my membership just got lost during the forum change.

    I'm not going to apologize for my pro-life stance. I'm a Catholic, so being opposed to abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment are all non-negotiables for me.

    I'm also not going to rag on anyone else for disagreeing with me, or accuse them of not being real Christians for doing so. I have my opinion, you have yours. That's what makes the world go round.


    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    windsofchange

    Here is a link to a Dead Horses thread which contains some 20 pages of posts re discussion on abortion matters

    The link is towards the end of the discussion, but if you have the time, it might be worth looking at it all.

    You'll see the discussion started in 2003(!). It contains a variety of views.

    If you would like to discuss abortion in further detail here, feel free to post a new post on the legacy thread and we'll take it from there.

  • You and I appear to be in the same camp (pro life evangelicals) even though we've come to very different conclusions, so would have a common starting point

    Well, Cliff, actually I'm a pro-life Catholic, so we may have very different starting points. Though I appreciate you trying to find common ground. I'm sure we agree on a lot more than we disagree on.

    However, as I said in my response to Barnabas62 above, as a Catholic, the "life" issues are kind of non-negotiable for me when it comes to voting. And I realized other Catholics don't agree with me. Again, that's fine. Catholics - and Christians - and people of good will and with the best of intentions can have very different ideas. That's not necessarily a bad thing.
  • And now, folks, because I really, really do not want to get sucked into a long discussion which will almost certainly not change anyone's mind (trust me, these things rarely do), and because out here on the West Coast there's a big storm heading our way this afternoon, I'm going to walk out of this thread, out the front door, and into the fine, brisk pre-spring weather, for a long, meditative hike. Hope you all enjoy your day as well!
  • I'm out of here as well. Let me know when the great abortion storm has blown over.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited March 1
    sionisais wrote: »
    It helped him immensely that the Russian links didn't come out earlier.

    I'm not sure what you mean by that. It was publicly known before the election that Russia had hacked the DNC and DCCC and was distributing their e-mails in a way designed to help the Trump campaign. Trump even publicly encouraged Russian data crimes against his political rival.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Apparently Robert Mueller has now reached the "what did the president know and when did he know it?" stage of his investigation.
    Special counsel Robert Mueller's team is asking witnesses pointed questions about whether Donald Trump was aware that Democratic emails had been stolen before that was publicly known, and whether he was involved in their strategic release, according to multiple people familiar with the probe.

    Mueller's investigators have asked witnesses whether Trump was aware of plans for WikiLeaks to publish the emails. They have also asked about the relationship between GOP operative Roger Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and why Trump took policy positions favorable to Russia.

    The line of questioning suggests the special counsel, who is tasked with examining whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, is looking into possible coordination between WikiLeaks and Trump associates in disseminating the emails, which U.S. intelligence officials say were stolen by Russia.

    As noted, this is only according to anonymous "multiple people familiar with the probe", so we can't assess the credibility of those making this assertion, but interesting if true.

    Historical reference.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    Catholic votes for Trump and Clinton were pretty equally divided, which means for example that the abortion issue was by no means a decisive issue for Catholics.

    Personally I don't think that having a firm fixed opinion, even a dogmatically obedient position on any matter is a bar to looking at the views of those who see things differently. But then I'm a nonconformist.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    edited March 1
    @ Croesos

    Thanks.

    I think the President's moves to obstruct justice are very well evidenced by now. Whether that evidence is sufficient for a criminal charge of obstruction of justice, rather than an allowable exercise of his wide Presidential powers is a question that Mueller is trying to answer.

    But of course the question 'why' is the key. Why was he meddling? What did he know? When did he know it? And what did he do, or order to be done?

    It looks as though Mueller is pursuing these questions patiently and relentlessly.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    So apparently Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are now leaking the private communications of the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. That's from the New York Times, which will only allow non-subscribers to access five articles per calendar month.
    The Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee were behind the leak of private text messages between the Senate panel’s top Democrat and a Russian-connected lawyer, according to two congressional officials briefed on the matter.

    Senator Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, the committee’s Republican chairman, and Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat, were so perturbed by the leak that they demanded a rare meeting with Speaker Paul D. Ryan last month to inform him of their findings. They used the meeting with Mr. Ryan to raise broader concerns about the direction of the House Intelligence Committee under its chairman, Representative Devin Nunes of California, the officials said.

    To the senators, who are overseeing what is effectively the last bipartisan investigation on Capitol Hill into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, the leak was a serious breach of protocol and a partisan attack by one intelligence committee against the other.

    I'm not sure exactly why it's the job of the House Intelligence Committee to kneecap their counterparts across the Rotunda, but apparently they think it's their job. It does seem apparent that the House Intelligence Committee sees their most important job as protecting Trump and undercutting anyone conducting an actual investigation.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    The polarisation in the House is just dreadful and it is Paul Ryan's duty to do something about it. Nunes should resign or be replaced. But of course that won't happen because Trump says he is a hero.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Catholic votes for Trump and Clinton were pretty equally divided, which means for example that the abortion issue was by no means a decisive issue for Catholics.

    (Trying to tiptoe round the DH here. Although a DH topic is the example that has arisen in this thread, the discussion is not so much about abortion per se, but about the philosophy of voting, and of choosing between imperfect choices. I could construct an artificial example that didn't touch on any of the DH topics, but I think that would just be confusing.)

    It seems to me that if you take Catholic doctrine as red lines in terms of voting, you haven't been able to vote for any of the mainstream parties for several decades at least.

    But not participating in a meaningful way in national politics is also something of a problem, so you're drawn into the murk of "least bad option".

    Everyone who has a vote owns the consequences of their vote (or their choice to not vote). You are free to say that you voted for candidate X because of policies A, B, and C; but you don't like policies D, E, and F. You are not free to say "don't blame me, I'm an A voter" when someone points out that you have been enabling horrible policy D.

    windsofchange says that she has decided that she will vote for whichever of the two viable candidates is the most anti-abortion, to the exclusion of any other considerations. She is entitled to make that choice, but she owns the consequences. One of those consequences is that the rate of abortion will go up. She owns that, too.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    The polarisation in the House is just dreadful and it is Paul Ryan's duty to do something about it. Nunes should resign or be replaced. But of course that won't happen because Trump says he is a hero.

    He could do…something. But then, he wouldn’t be Paul Ryan, would he?
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    I always thought that there was an undeniable power imbalance in the Lewinsky tryst that got ignored because of the huge political show it became.

    I suppose you could argue that as head of the Executive Branch the president is technically the boss of all executive branch employees, but this comes close to the argument that people should not have romantic relationships with anyone outside their own caste.

    And yet Lewinsky herself would agree with Og http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-43218355:
    "Ms Lewinsky says she had "limited understanding of the consequences" at the time, and regrets the affair daily.

    "The dictionary definition of "consent"? To give permission for something to happen," she wrote.

    "And yet what did the 'something' mean in this instance, given the power dynamics, his position, and my age?...He was my boss. He was the most powerful man on the planet. He was 27 years my senior, with enough life experience to know better.""

    Now you may profoundly disagree with her on this - but she deserves at the very least to be taken seriously, as do all of the other women who made accusations about Clinton at the time - certainly their accusations would have been handled very differently these days (at the very least they wouldn't have been roundly trashed as they were at the time), and we are all the better for that.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    ... Again, while you may not think so, I am a Christian, in the sense that I do my best, in my very flawed, human way, to follow my understanding of Christ's will for my life. I probably make a ton of mistakes, like everyone else, but it doesn't mean I'm not a Christian. Maybe not a good one, but one nevertheless.

    Windsofchange, I did not mean to suggest that you're not a Christian. But Mr. Trump was not anti-abortion until quite recently, and who knows if he really is now? He is not the most consistent thinker in the world.

    I'm not in favor of no-holds-barred abortion; I have found gray areas. (This means that neither side likes me.) I do believe that there are other issues which are also of importance. For me, a bigot who cheats, lies, gropes, and bullies was a non-starter - and my faith was a big part of the reason why.


  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    My apologies to the Hosts, et al - In trying to respond to this, I have stumbled into the muck of deceased equines. It won't happen again!

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    You are forgiven. I have also been a stumbler!
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    But Mr. Trump was not anti-abortion until quite recently, and who knows if he really is now? He is not the most consistent thinker in the world.

    I don't think that matters. For certain voters like windsofchange it only mattered that Trump "professes at least a modicum of support for pro-life issues". Sincere belief in using the criminal justice system to punish abortion is not required, nor is effectiveness in actually doing so. Performative virtue signaling on this one issue is both necessary and sufficient for a candidate to receive the votes of this constituency. Consider the example of Roy Moore, a credibly accused pedophile who was nonetheless considered a better potential Senator than Doug Jones by many Alabamians largely because Moore wanted to use the criminal justice system to punish abortion while Jones used the criminal justice system to prosecute domestic terrorists. As long as a candidate "professes" the right position on this one issue, nothing else really matters.

    There's a similar dynamic with Second Amendment voters, except they usually expect results, not just professing support.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited March 1
    And that's the last I'll say here about this particular voting pattern, since there's now a Dead Horse's thread on this subject.
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