There is talk at the CPAC conference going on now in Florida to change its name to TPAC: changing the C for Conservative to T for Trump. I agree that is a GOOD idea as it rids the true republicans from the RINO Trumpians. Perhaps the real Republicans can finally break away from those phonies who live in fantasy land along with the Qanon fellow travelers and other nut cases.
Month: February 2021
The Democrats need to understand one fundamental thing about politics in the USA today. Immigration (with its racist overtones) is a big factor in the division in the country. The Republicans keep harping on the Democrats as the party of “open boarders” even though no one in the Democratic party believes in open boarders. So a clear statement of what the Dems DO believe is necessary as it is imperative to kill this false impression as soon as possible.
The point should be 1. NO, absolutely we do NOT believe in open boarders. That’s why we have boarder police and controls on the boarder, and at airport entry points. 2. We DO believe in immigration at reasonable levels which are akin to what Republicans and Democrats both have agreed upon in the past. 3. We DO believe Mexico needs to do more to prevent caravans crossing from Central America to the USA and we are ready to help. 4. We DO believe that one way to stem immigration on the Southern Boarder is to help make life more secure in Central America so people do not have to travel North to the USA. If we can pump billions into Afghanistan and Iraq why cant we do the same for Central America? 5. We do NOT object to “the wall” and believe it is useful in some places but believe there are also better ways to deal with the problem. 6. Many American companies NEED foreign workers to be competitive or to do tough jobs most Americans don’t want to do (like temporary farm workers) so we need effective laws to allow for such workers. 7. Finally, we need once and for all to deal with the issue of the 11 million or so undocumented people already in the US who have been here for many years, paid their taxes, have dreamer kids, and are not going anywhere nor can we realistically deport so many people without huge damage to the American economy.
IN SHORT, we need an EFFECTIVE immigration policy that works for America on all levels. The Trump policy of simply build a wall, keep people out and bury your head in the sand about the millions here already not only did not work it was bad policy for the future of America.
The most scary thing I am hearing on the news here -both from traditional right wing commentators as well as the Democrats is the growing acceptance on the right of an autocratic approach to government. The argument is that indeed the idea of democracy really IS being undermined. AND it is coming from people who are thinking they are the true patriots and are just saving the country from a perceived “socialist” disaster. Underneath all of this is a very real fear from whites that the minorities and minority interests are taking over. Add gender issues, abortion, homosexuality issues and you have emotional issues to use as clubs to advance those autocratic issues.
To add to the scary scenario is the realization that given the media landscape, the internet, fake news, etc, the genie is already out of the bottle and there is little we can do about it. You cant have a free press AND control it at the same time. That means bad ideas can gain just as much currency as good ideas. Meanwhile in a world where “if it bleeds it leads” and the outrageous gets more coverage than everyday good news AND people can now tune into what they WANT to hear and never hear countervailing arguments means it is hard to corral people back to thinking in terms approaching the Truth. Indeed “truth” now depends on what “side” you are on.
The final ingredient to pulling off an autocratic take over is a “champion” that people can follow who will push for the issues they most care about while they are willing to put up with the things about the champion that they don’t like. As long as they THINK he is pushing for those issues it doesn’t really matter if the champion does not really care one way or another. Hitler had many supporters early on that he later turned on the more powerful he got. He also lied and lied and lied along the route to greater power. Those around him as well as the general public rationalized and rationalized and rationalized as well to the point that they ended up putting up with outrageous things that eventually led the entire country to disaster. Historically speaking, the Trump experience has shown us how easy it is to move a country towards what happened in Germany in the 1930s. The problem is – for US democracy – we are not out of the woods yet.
One can argue points of the Iran Nuclear deal but the end result is the point to keep an eye on.1. Did the deal negotiated during the Obama term stop further advancement of an Iran nuclear program – even if for only ten years? Yes. Did Trump pulling out of the deal do anything to stop the Iran nuclear program? No. In fact during the Trump term Iran more than doubled its capability so the Trump action was unquestionably a stupid move.
Meanwhile we know now that Donald Trump never knew the terms of the Iran deal and only said it was terrible because that was to him “good politics”. His interest was getting elected and looking good to his base and going on the attack worked for him. It’s interesting to see Fox “news” criticize President Biden for being open to rejoin the nuclear deal but of course do not mention the abject failure of the Trump policy. Iran is closer today towards building nuclear capability then they were at the end of the Obama Presidency. And it is all due to Trump.
Wind turbines making electricity work fine in the freezing north of Norway, Finland, Sweden BECAUSE they are made to withstand bad weather. The blades are heated and made to let ice and snow slip off. The ones Texas bought were the cheap ones that work fine in above freezing weather conditions but NOT in weather Texas is experiencing now. So it is NOT the fault of wind turbines as Fox commentators like to say (in their usual anti green energy rants) but the fault of buying cheap. Meanwhile natural gas and all other modes of making electricity failed in Texas, In a state where only 7 percent of the energy is renewable, it is hard to blame the “Green energy” supporters for the problem.
The other thing about the Texas energy fiasco is an unintended consequence of deregulation. The power companies in an effort to compete kept lowering their fees to the point that they could no longer afford repairs and purchasing items they thought they might not need (like heated turbine blades).
The result was an underfunded grid. It was not an issue if everything went well and was normal. But the freezing cold spell that hit was NOT normal (though it might be in the future) so the system failed. Motto? be careful what you wish for. Lower electricity and heating bills? Now there are major blackouts – no electricity and no heating.
Marjorie Taylor Greene’s crazy conspiracy theories and support of silly QAnon posts are not the really dangerous aspect of her acceptance into the Republican Party ranks. Those ideas will been for just what they are – crazy and silly and anyone who believes them is confirming stupidity. Even she has now stated the ideas are false. The real danger is her claim that the Republican Party is Trump’s party. More like idol worship of ‘Dear Leader”. NO party should be the party of one man. I hope Democrats never claim that the Democratic party is Biden’s party. What MTG is contending is that the Republican party is NOT a party at all – it is a cult of one man. Hardly a democratic sentiment. In fact she is confirming our fears that what Trump really represents is a new acceptance for autocracy. Let’s remember the truism: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.