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Tue Mar 31, 2015 at 10:17 AM PDT

Schadenfreude as Republicans Squirm

by Seth Cagin

Hell, yes, it feels good to watch the Republicans squirm over whether or not they discriminate, or want to discriminate, against gays. As if there was really the slightest doubt about it.

Why can't we just stand back and let them squirm themselves deep into a corner where somehow they are affirming equal rights for all? And why is Nicholas Kristof trying to spoil the fun by apologizing for evangelicals and chastising liberals?

A response to Kristof and David Brooks, who similarly but less surprisingly oozes sympathy for the bigots, after the jump.

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NYT Page 1, Nov 2, 2014
This is, admittedly, only on the website this morning, and may reflect the judgment of only a single web editor, but it says so about the state of our world...

What does it say?  

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It is not hard to predict what will happen if, indeed, as many of us hope, close polls are narrowly wrong and Democrats sweep the tossups to keep the Senate.  Seems to me that it has happened before: that all the close races can fall to one side or the other instead of what you might expect, a split of the tossups.

It won't be pretty.


Overall, the weekend before the midterms my mood is...

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I live in a blue oasis in a red sea and am often affronted by Fox News on televisions in public spaces, such as hotel lobbies and airports.  For obvious reasons, I feel this is inappropriate and I try to ask if the channel can be changed.

Change it, please, to a less brazenly partisan news channel (CNN?), or to weather, or sports, or cartoons, or anything, frankly, but Fox News.  As a customer in these places, it seems to me that I am well within bounds to notify the management that I object to being subjected to right wing propaganda.  

If all of us started doing this, maybe these commercial establishments would think twice about their unspoken assumption that their customers share their politics.


Have you ever asked someone in a public setting to change the channel away from Fox?

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Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 09:50 AM PDT

Which Party Is Doomed?

by Seth Cagin

So which is it:  Republicans are doomed by demographics and their own batshit insanity and overt racism?  Or Democrats are doomed by the possibility of losing the Senate in 2014 and having virtually no chance of winning the House until after the next redistricting, if we are lucky?  

So even if Hillary waltzes to the White House in 2016 she would face unending obstruction from a wingnut-dominated Congress. We are seeing how well that is working now for the liberal agenda.  And how likely is it that Hillary will actually be coronated?  We know it won't really be that easy in our post Citizen's United world for her to be elected... President Paul isn't really all that unthinkable.

These seem to be the warring bits of conventional liberal wisdom of the moment, pitting our hopes against our fears as Obama struggles to defend his one major achievement, health care reform, which in the final analysis was really just a half-measure.  A likely explanation is that near-term Republicans have some advantages, but long-term Dems do.  Maybe this is true, but if so, it's not terribly encouraging because the pressing issues of our time can't wait a decade to be addressed.  

Surely most of us who read Daily Kos would agree as to which those issues are:  Climate Change and Income Inequality.  Yes?  What other issue comes within a light year to either of those?

If neither of these overriding problems are addressed in the next decade, what chance will progressives have to advance any other plank in our "platform"?  Because a warming world and increasing inequality will trump everything else and make progress all but impossible.



Tue May 28, 2013 at 06:04 AM PDT


by Seth Cagin

Finally some fighting partisanship out of Obama.

WASHINGTON — President Obama will soon accelerate his efforts to put a lasting imprint on the country’s judiciary by simultaneously nominating three judges to an important federal court, a move that is certain to unleash fierce Republican opposition and could rekindle a broader partisan struggle over Senate rules.
This is the best news out of Obama in a long time.  Does anyone doubt if the roles were reversed that Senate Republicans would have ended the Democratic ability to filibuster long ago?  Or that they will do so the minute they have the Senate majority and a Dem minority in the Senate tries to filibuster a Republican president?

The result of the next midterms is unknown, but the Dems could lose the Senate.  If that happens, Obama will lose any ability to put reasonable judges on any court.  His last opportunity to have an impact on the courts could be now, before the next midterms.  

For decades, Republican Presidents have had no compunction whatsoever about packing the courts with troglodytes.  (Scalia? Thomas? Anyone?)  Dems, by comparison, have been characterisically timid... appointing moderates over liberals, to the point that moderates on the Supreme Court are now mistakenly described in the mainstream media as liberals.

Is it too much to hope that the Dems now will show some spine and will use the leverage they've got to appoint some more moderates -- assuming it's wishful thinking to hope for any real liberals?

Here's to hoping!


Even after we decisively win a presidential election, even when winning that election cost so much more than just a little sweat and tears, why does it always feel like Progressives lose? The relief and even the joy of Obama's re-election -- America, at least, did not endorse sheer political insanity -- is now crashing hard on the realities of an intransigent political opposition that despite wishful thinking is not fading away combined with a lack of backbone from Democrats, starting with Obama.

Our problems are too grave to address with this pathetic incrementalism.  No, not the debt.... a bogus issue.  There are two issues that will destroy us if not addressed aggressively... Climate change is, of course, the overriding issue, but income inequality is not far behind, because if we can't drastically reduce the power of the plutocrats and start to reempower everyone else our democracy will never function well enough to even begin to address climate change.

Now comes this pathetic excuse of a compromise on the "fiscal cliff," which only means another cliff a few months on when Dems will have less leverage.  Nor is there any reason to think Obama will find his cojones.  He may sound better than he did in the first term, but the actions are no different.  

If liberals give all we've got to the reelection of Obama and he fails like this even before his second inauguration, what hope is there that income inequality and climate change will ever be seriously addressed?  And if they remain unaddressed, what hope is there? Would America ever elect anyone a shade more liberal than Obama?

Yes, Obama is immeasurably less bad than the insanity of the sanest Republican.  But immeasurably less bad just won't cut it anymore.


A thought experiment.  Most (not all) rampage shooters are young white males, probably for reasons that are not all that hard to speculate about correctly.  

But what if the shooters were all black?  Or Muslim?  Of what if just the Newtown shooter was black AND Muslim.  Can we imagine the national "conversation" then?  All too easily.

Perhaps the NRA would propose disarming all blacks?  Or arming all whites?  

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