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Name: Mister Rea
Gender: Male
Hometown: Houston
Home country: Moon
Current location: afk
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 47,435

About Me

mostly harmless

Journal Archives

People calling for Trump's impeachment remind me of Miguel Hidalgo

People calling for Trump's immediate impeachment and removal, confident that 20 Republican Senators will go along with it once they read Mueller's report, remind me of Miguel Hidalgo

When he started the Mexican War of Independence, Father Hidalgo was convinced that the righteousness of his cause would carry the day. And so he proceeded to go directly after his enemies with direct attacks, getting thousands of his followers slaughtered and himself arrested, tried by the Spanish Inquisition, and then executed.

Eventually, tactically savvy conservatives slowly took over the war for independence and established a monarchy and dictatorship in the wake of the chaos. Mexico had to wait another hundred years before it got a real Revolution

All because Miguel Hidalgo thought the righteousness of his cause meant he didn't have to use smart tactics to win. Or possibly, a lifetime reading Rousseau, Locke, and Montesquieu didn't leave him prepared for how to go about fighting a war.

The war for protecting the American Constitution is a war I want to wage non-violently, of course. But there are two tactical alternatives facing the resistance against Trump's fascism. One way is to dash toward immediate impeachment and hope we can get to a senate removal vote (based on evidence from the Mueller probe and public pressure from a perfectly informed and irate electorate).

This direct attack is like how Hidalgo would swarm the peones against the battlements, hoping that he had more peasants than the Spanish Army had bullets. It was not an effective strategy.

The other way takes more time. We have to win back our democracy democratically. We have to knock on doors, stir up votes, support progressive legislation in Congress, work for politics that improves people's lives, and earned the respect and support of the public we wish to serve.

Just as Miguel Hidalgo thought righteousness and a benevolent God would rescue his poorly armed peones from defeat, there are those of us who think a Congress from on high will come down, deus ex machina, and impeach away our troubles, thus saving the Republic.

I don't think we get off that easy. Our long march to Bataan will need to run through every voting precinct in every red, blue, and purple district of the country. We did good last Tuesday. We need to keep on keeping on, you keep on putting in the sweat, and do better in 2020.

Our children are counting on us

We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion

Oh look, Susan Collins is pretending to be on the fence about another crazy RW court nominee

She sure knows how to milk a lot of attention and concessions out of the GOP by posing as a "sane moderate Republican" every time they need her vote to do something terrible to the country.

While we get upset about Trump's words, they're going after Medicaid and Social Security

...and putting the fix in on the 2020 Census.

Trump isn't the "useful idiot." Republican voters are.

Trump is the magician's left hand and you reacting to the latest Twitter feud or Fox News interview of his are the glitter the magician throws to distract us from what the right hand is doing.

"Interested in the job in the White House?"


That's right, the Trump Administration is so desperate for employees, they are recruiting at job fairs now.

As staffers stream out of the White House like water through a sieve, the small contingent remaining is getting desperate.

According to a Wednesday Politico report, flyers are circulating emblazoned with “interested in a job at the White House?” encouraging conservatives to apply at a Friday job fair on Capitol Hill.

It advertises the presence of Trump administration officials eager to meet with interested parties “of every experience level.”

Along with the White House, the flyer lists openings in agencies like NASA, the Department of Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services.

Really? tff!!

I took an Ambien last night. I woke up wearing the sheets.

I'm unimpressed by the *idea* of royalty. But QE2 has done an impressive job.

I reluctantly concede that there is some utility to having an aristocracy with a vested interest in maintaining a facade of civic virtue and celebrating important social justice causes like environmentalism and public healthcare, as the British royals do.

In comparison, most of our upper class tends to just self-indulge in their youth and then gleefully exploit the working class once daddy dies and leaves them the corporations to run. So they got that on us.

Sarcasm is the language of the powerless. It trains our thinking to embrace powerlessness.

I was reading this article:

The Day I Ditched Sarcasm

“It’s not helpful right now to get sarcastic,” she said, and then continued, “You’re better than that, Natalie, more clever and kind.” I had been blindsided, completely unaware I was even being sarcastic. It had been a habit, a well-worn pattern for me when tension was high.

In the moment of our conflict, I felt threatened and afraid. But rather than acknowledge the fear (which requires way more vulnerability, thank you!) I chose a more dominating route: I picked up my sword and lashed out before my fear turned to helplessness. Obviously, this was not the first time I made this move.

Flashes of childhood moments when I felt powerless came to mind. Sarcasm was not foreign to me. I was drawn to this cunning form of combat – an effective way of protecting myself and demonstrating superiority at the same time. So, in the instant with my friend, I reached for what I knew and had used in order to survive. I rolled my eyes in disgust and secured myself, as if to say, “I’m above you and I refuse to be hurt by you.”

Words are powerful. They're important. They don't just express what we're thinking, but also shape how we think. The fancy word I'm looking for is paradigm, my frame of understanding. But too much of a frame becomes a box. And if I box in my thinking, I limit myself. I limit my power and I limit my room for growth.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE sarcasm. It's great for popping balloons, for accepting my helplessness and sharing the moment with a fellow oppressee. It's economical, which as a writer I adore. I think of the Spartan warrior who was threatened by an invading army with the boast, "Greek, our archers are so many that when we rain our arrows down upon you, they will black out the sun." The Spartan laconically responded, "Then we shall fight in the shade."

It was a brilliant response. But then all the Spartans died. In such a small dose, it sweetens a bitter moment. It can offer a little smirk in the face of death. But the soul of sarcasm is, like the plucky Greeks, embracing defeat. It's a surrender of hope for a better situation. It's not the dark side of humor; it's the lighter side of despair. So I like sarcasm in tiny doses. It can give perspective in tiny doses. But I loathe defeatism.

Sarcasm is a linguistic sugar, a syrupy sweet that rots the teeth if overconsumed. And yet it gives a certain rush of energy. But like sugar it weakens the muscles. Overused, it saps our natural anger at injustice. It too quickly festers into resentment and diverts our will to change. It turns off optimism, which I've always found to be the soul of the Democratic party. Our best moments come from when we as a party have inspired hope and progress.

I think of FDR and the New Deal, laughing at fear of starvation while 25% of the workforce was unemployed. Kennedy pointing at the moon and saying "Go there" when our totalitarian adversaries were already circling the Earth overhead. Johnson defying a generation of Jim Crow centered in his own backyard (and personal past) and proclaiming "We shall overcome."

Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama grounded their winning campaigns on the simple message "HOPE" against smarmy Republican tactics of division and distraction. And sure, these were all imperfect administrations. Government spanning across a wealthy vast continent is always going to be messy and imperfect; it will have pockets of terrible abuses of power. From Roosevelt's internment policy to Obama's drones program relabeling every dead civilian a terrorist. From Johnson's Vietnam to just about every one of them supporting some pretty rotten human rights abusers around the globe.

But that only means the work of progressives isn't done. We need the fire of anger at injustice and we need the real muscle of determination to fix what's not yet right. Anger, if not balanced by hope and moral rectitude, can easily fester into hatred, as today corrupts so many conservatives. Or it can crust over into a resigned sarcasm, as unfortunately plagues too many embittered progressives.

I suggest to yall that sarcasm, if overindulged, becomes a self-weakening habit of mind. It's a sugar fix when your political body is craving protein and veggies. We need a good cause. We need clear and shared goals. Hell, we have great things to accomplish right before us if we can only find the way to see them and plot a steady path.

Democracy is a messy business. We're going to have to argue with each other a lot as we fumble our way toward a righteous cause. But I ask that we all belay the sarcasm--particularly if it points at our fellow pilgrims. But even temper it when it comes to those who stand in the way of a better country. I don't find the work "Rethuglican" to be any more obnoxious than what the Republican Party has come to represent. I don't tarnish Trump more by calling him names. I find the name "Trump" to be enough of a term of derision.

Okay, "Don the Con" is kind of funny. But I'm gonna need to practice the rhetorical habits of civil debate in coming months. I want this website to be a place to practice. DU is a great resource for arguments. But I need the wheels of my arguments to not be so caked over with sarcasm and scorn that I can't maneuver when it comes time to reach out to swing voters. As Michelle Obama reminded us, "When they go low; we should go high." That's not just about legalizing marijuana arguments (sorry) but good advice when the time comes to play to our core strength as a party this fall and in the spring and fall of 2020. Let us uplift. Let us inspire. Let us win over those who despair under Republican misdirection and hate-mongering.

Let us be Hope.

Kansas cops bust a man for having tree pollen on his car


Can you guess the skin color of the man with "suspicious vegetation" on the outside of his car?

Quit saying "white people"

It's "people of white." Or perhaps "person of whiteness" in more formal settings. Out of a sense of human dignity, the personhood should always come first.
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