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Dr. Jack

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Member since: Fri Jan 20, 2017, 02:43 PM
Number of posts: 610

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I wonder if the Democrats are planning something big

I keep hearing complaints from people that Biden and the Dems aren't being aggressive enough at just steamrolling the Republicans and doing what they want. However, I am starting to wonder if they aren't building up to nuking the filibuster and just ramming their agenda through. My theory is that after 4 years of Trump, then the refusal to accept the election results, and then after January 6th that the Dems very much realize how fucked things are and how quickly they need to fix things. There are massive chances that are needed aand safeguards in place to prevent a more successful Trump.

I wonder after January 6th if people like McCarthy and McConnell maybe gave assurances to the Dems that they could get their insane party under control. However, when they clearly failed and clearly gave up that caused the Dems are going to plan B. However, they can't just nuke the filibuster. There's too much resistance from people like Manchin who don't quite grasp the seriousness of the situation as other Dems do and if they move too quickly, it could be a PR disaster thanks to the Republicans screaming about liberal power grabs. So now, in order to really force Manchin too open his eyes that his demands for "bipartisanship" will never work in the current environment and the neuter Republican attacks as much as possible, the Dems are trying to get votes on important and popular bills. They are playing the "bipartisanship" angle by having negotiations and trying to pass popular legislation, even very important legislation like the January 6th Commission but are failing. They are failing because the Republicans are too broken to work with and that's the point. They are showing the majority of the country who are still listening( but who over time could lose interest or worse turn to the dark side) and key Senators like Manchin and maybe even some still sane Republicans in the Senate, that the filibuster has to go.

The filibuster has been abused by the Republicans to the point that it's ruining the country and making essential, nation preserving change possible. I think the Dems are gearing up to nuke the filibuster. Then they will ram through legislation that needs to be passed and quickly. These would be things like a new voting rights act to stamp out the desperate Republican voter suppression laws, but also to get popular laws like mass infrastructure and maybe even student loan forgiveness through. That would keep people from losing faith in the country. In other words showing that the traditional way of doing things can still get shit done. It would also keep people like Sanders Millennials and Gen Z voters engaged in the long term.

That's my theory. I believe the Dems has a massive plan in the works and their current laid back, moving slow, not taking things seriously enough demeanor is a bluff .

I heard a great nickname for Marjorie Taylor Greene

I saw this buried in comments on reddit but it's apt that I thought I would share. Someone said she is a perfect example of the rot at the center of the Republican Party and another person responded that she is "Gangreene". Not only is she part of said rot in the GOP but also she is part of the gang that tried to overthrow the government. I had never heard that and a search on Google didn't turn up anything, so I had to run over here and share. Anyway, that's all I got. See you all later

Were old conservatives right?

Like many Americans I have been perplexed by what has happened to the Republican Party and why so many in the "boomer" generation, the GOPs largest pool of voters, seems so....out of touch with reality. And I have one hypothesis that has been slowly developing in my brain that I am trying to make sense of and I figured you fine folks might have some insight or opinions on what's been rattling around in my head for awhile.

I had a bit of an epiphany on this while actually watching an episode of Mystery Science Theater, of all things. It was actually one of their short films that they would sometimes watch before an actual movie. It was an educational movie from 1950 called "Are You Ready for Marriage?". Stick with me here. Sure it was low budget and cheesey but the information was actually pretty spot on from a relationship counseling point of view. A bit antiquated in some ways but shockingly the core information actually holds up 70 years later.

However, what dawned on me is that the characters on MST3K making fun of this educational video were attacking it from the angle of "look at this crusty old nonsense. What does a government funded video know about relationships?! This is just quasi fascist propaganda!". The entire thing was dismissed because this is the nonsense their parents were taught in school. Really, what could "experts" in the 1950s know about relationships love? The film was probably just written as a way to indoctrinate kids to follow whatever the rich and powerful wanted them to follow. Just conformist nonsense!

I mention Mystery Science Theater because the people who were on the show and wrote for the show in the 1990s were part of that boomer generation and a lot of their criticisms of the period before the counterculture of the 1960s does come down to , and this is me paraphrasing, "look at all of these 1950s sheep in lockstep and not thinking for themselves! They were oppressed and didn't even know it". What's interesting about the people who made that show in the 1990s is that they by and large hardcore Republicans today. It seems odd that 25 years ago they were saying "our parents generation were just a bunch of conformists" but today being "conservatives" in a political party that could be argued has some pretty overt fascist beliefs.

Now of course I'm not basing anything I'm about to say on a single show from the 1990s but instead a trend I've been slowly recognizing has been around in this country certainly for my entire life (I'm in my mid 30s). And that trend is, being very skeptical of or even hostile toward authority. What if that is the reason why we have so many problems in this country today? I'll admit I've had the same beliefs in the past. Why should I trust politicans? They are all corrupt and they are all lying criminals. Why should I trust economic "experts"? They don't know how things are in the real world. Why should I trust the BLS when they say the unemployment rate is at whatever percent? They are probably lying. Why should I trust a pharmaceutical company when they say a drug is safe and effective? They are only out for money and profits. A few years back, I would have said the attitudes of liberals in the 1960s were 100% correct and the stuffy old ways of doing things were wrong.

That does make me wonder, what if the older people in the 1960s and 70s who were uneasy about the changes in attitudes amoung young people at the time (the boomer generation) were at least party right? Now of course I'm not saying the civil rights movement was bad or feminism in the 60s and 70s went too far. But what if other aspects of the counter culture were infact dangerous for the United States? Especially as older Americans would have said back then, a disrespect for authority?

Just look at the Republican Party today. It's filled with those people who 40-50 years ago grew up in a counterculture movement that said authority needs to always be questioned, don't trust anyone with power, fuck the system, etc. Now they are paranoid lunitics. They think the entire government is out to get them, that big pharma is putting mind control microchips in vaccines , that elections are being stolen all over the country, and that sinister shadowy forces are controlling the world. They live in a reality where it makes more sense that fake ballots were flown in from China and that a long dead central American dictator meddling in our election is the reason Biden won and not simply that Trump legitimately lost. Or where a global pandemic that has killed millions was all just part of a plan to make Republicans look bad. Could this be the end result of a generation that took a counter culture against the way things were done in the United States too far, as was warned about by older conservative people in the 50's, 60's, and 70's? Maybe they were right to worry about where the country was headed because it seems like we have ended up in a pretty bad place.

Biden should tell red states to send their vaccines back so he can ship them abroad

I have an idea on how to get Republicans on board with getting vaccinated. Biden should simply tell red states and other conservative areas of the country (towns, counties, etc) to send their doses back so he can ship them abroad to other countries. Even threaten that federal agents will seize the doses from Republican areas that arent using them if they arent shipped back immediately. Nothing will get Republicans to cooperate faster than by having the federal government threaten to take away their doses of the vaccine, especially to be used on "foreigners". Imagine the outrage on Fox that a Democrat wants to steal doses of the vaccine from conservatives so that they can be shipped to far off countries.

Don't treat Republicans like adults. Treat them like the loud, uncooperative children that they are. A little reverse psychology will go a long way.

We need an Independent Republican Party

I had a thought, although I'm aware it will never actually happen, about what sane Republicans in the House and Senate should do in their current predicament. There are people like Kinzinger, Cheney, Romney, Murkowski, Upton, and really anyone who was sane enough to see that Trump and the MAGA crowd are incredibly dangerous. They are obviously getting hammered by the rest of the GOP for daring to oppose a fascist coup attempt. They are obviously in the minority within the current Republican Party and the prospects that this group will change the GOP into some more sane is very unlikely. At least not for many many years. All the while they have a (hopefully) metaphorical target on their backs. Instead of trying to change the Republican Party right now or waiting for their inevitable purging from the party, why don't they form their own party? Or at the very least their own caucus in the House and Senate. People like Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney are never going to switch parties and become Democrats. While I certainly respect elected Republicans who stood up to Trump and the MAGA crowd, to some extent, I think we can all agree we don't want them in the Democratic Party and I'm sure they don't want that either. But there is a third option between Republican and Democrat...well, a third party of sorts. If they banded together became "Independent Republicans" they could be as conservative as they want but make it far, far harder for the Republican Party to become the majority party in the House or Senate. On the 2nd impeachment, there are 10 Republicans who voted in favor in the House and 7 in the Senate. Instead of being relegated to pariahs in the minority party, they could have a significant impact on policy and legislation, and could prevent the broader Republican Party from being the majority party until they stop acting so batshit.

I think a temporary "Independent Republican Party" could actually solve quite a few big problems that we are dealing with right now in this country.

McConnell is a massive failure

While I was perusing the latest news this morning an article stuck out to me. It was from The Hill with the headline "McConnell says every GOP senator will vote against Biden's infrastructure plan". That sounds pretty par for the course for McConnell and the Republicans. I thought to myself "well if they want to vote against an incredibly popular bill then that's their problem". However, it then dawned on me, McConnell is telling his caucus to vote against yet another incredibly popular bill. That seems really dumb, politically speaking. If this was the ACA all over again, where a small majority of the country was starting off opposed or unsure then that might make sense to declare outright opposition. If a bill with only 45% support dies or is passed after a long, bitter battle, then sure that would help the Republicans. But much of what Biden has been proposing is supported by upwards of 3/4ths of Americans. That is a very different beast than fighting Obama on The Affordable Care Act in 2009. What could McConnell possibly be thinking or even have planned to sabotage the Democrats? What is his grand strategy? And that is when I realized, he doesn't have one. He is in fact a massive failure that has lead the GOP to the brink of total ruin.

After McConnell became the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, they won in 2010, then 2014, and then 2016. For many years there, I thought he was a shrewd strategist. For a time, all of his devious plans seemed to work. But in fact all he has accomplished is trading short term gains for impossible to solve long term problems for his party. After the Democrats won big in 2006 and 2008, I think Republicans could see that their ranks were dwindling. Their base was aging and the reliable voters from the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s were old. They weren't going to be around forever and we could see that in the election results from the late 2000s. Instead of innovating or changing to appeal to the rapidly evolving electorate, McConnell did what would end up benefiting the GOP for a few years but couldn't see the long term consequences.

He moved forward with a strategy that has lead the Republicans to a place where they are hopelessly paralyzed and are unable to capitalize on opportunities. Specifically, McConnell went hardcore into obstruction and filled out the GOP's decimated base with conspiracy theorists and white supremacists. Sure, the Republicans have been flirting with such tactics for decades but the bigwigs in the party always kept it in check. Instead, McConnell decided to crank that strategy into overdrive and for a little while it worked. It caught the Democrats off guard and they made some gains electorally. However, what he didn't see coming is that his embrace of
"never work with the Democrats, only play to the base" has been a self perpetuating cycle that has made the Republicans more and more out of touch and extremely inflexible.

Thanks to McConnell's moves in the early 2010's, the Republican Party cannot support even the most popular legislation proposed. They find themselves forced to take positions that are abhorrent to a good majority of Americans simply because they want to oppose whatever the Democrats support. Their base will not let them work with the Democrats. After all, the GOP has told their voters for years that the Democrats are evil, baby eating, Satan worshipping, communist pedophiles. You can't work with those people, no matter how popular what they are proposing might be. And the white supremacists and nut jobs that now make up about half of the party's voters will make absolutely sure Republicans stand firm against the "enemies of America" like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi.

The Republican Party today, thanks to McConnell has become radicalized to the point where it can barely even function. The once efficient and lockstep GOP has descended into chaos. They are forced to run counter to what most voters want, to the point where they are opposing laws that have 75% support while standing by paranoid morons who think the Jews are attacking the planet with lasers from space.

In the end, McConnell is not a brilliant strategist. He didn't lead the party to victory or help it evolve after the Goldwater/Reaganism philosophy began losing steam. Instead he traded the long term viability of the GOP for short term gains. He trapped the Republicans in a no-win situation. They stand for nothing, their base is shrinking by the day, and the establishment are being led by a nearly 80 year old Senator with no future direction for the GOP beyond "just say no to everything in perpetuity and pretend you don't hear what the white supremist keep saying". In the end, for the Republicans, McConnell's time as the leader of the party, has been a massive failure.
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