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Post By
Late Great Donald Blake 

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,563
In Reply To

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Subj: Again, I'll respond later,
Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2022 at 02:55:17 pm EDT (Viewed 188 times)
Reply Subj: Re: I'll respond to this in length later, but don't take this so personally.
Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2022 at 02:02:55 pm EDT (Viewed 187 times)

Previous Post

    You spend SO much time in this bemoaning how I'm not taking precisely as you like.   If you focused on the substance of the disagreement we actually might get somewhere.  If you think I mischarectizing you, just characterize yourself the way you want.  You're not running for mayor of the board.  My disagreeing with you about your post isn't my arguing in bad faith.

I didn’t say your disagreement with me is arguing in bad faith, which, ironically, is another misrepresentation of what I said. Your constant misrepresenting of what I say is what constitutes arguing in bad faith.

So let’s talk about one substantive part of our disagreement – my answer to the subject header you inserted – “So if you agree the Dems aren't doing enough, how is glowing approval going to encourage them to do better?” You and I disagree on this, but saying Democrats have done some good does not equate to a disincentive for them to do even better the next time any more than getting a B on a report card is a disincentive to strive for an A. You already listed good Democratic proposals that were strongly considered but did not make the final bill, and remember Biden himself proposed part of this bill that was initially many times larger than this one. And yes, Democrats are solely responsible for this diminished final bill, but most of all, Democrats in red states West Virginia and Arizona were responsible for that. That doesn’t mean MOST Democrats did not want to do better, but it was either compromise with Manchin and Sinema or not get anything at all, and you yourself said that this is better than the latter alternative. And it’s easy to say Manchin and Sinema (and certainly others) are cancers on the party. They are. But it’s not easy to solve them. Without them, Democrats wouldn’t even have control of Congress to pass any legislation. You seem to think it wouldn’t be hard to just replace Manchin with a socialist.

And here is another disagreement that may be counterintuitive to you: it’s important to keep Democrats in power to enable them to do better. The more Republicans are in power, the more Democrats have to act like Republicans to get back or stay in power. Republicans in power lead to Supreme Court nominees that adjudicate money = speech, corporations = people, and unlimited cash going into elections. Republicans being in power leads to extreme gerrymandering of districts that their Supreme Court nominees conveniently find to be out of their scope. The more Republicans are in power, the more they make both themselves and Democrats dependent on big money and gerrymandering. If Democrats also engage in gerrymandering to keep their seats safe as opposed to passing legislation their constituents want, they have even less incentive to change. That is counter to everything you want. On the other hand, many (not all) Democrats do want to limit money in elections and ask for independent, impartial panels to draw up districts. However imperfectly, at least Democrats are somewhat going in the right direction on this. I know whatever they do will never be sufficient for you and everything they do short of the New Deal and the Great Society is always just slightly better than nothing to you. We will just have to agree to disagree on that. I mean you didn’t seem to think expanding healthcare (Medicaid specifically) to 20 million more people was a big deal for Obamacare. 20 million poor people with healthcare they didn’t have before. Even though this latest bill is not “sufficient” to solve the problem of climate change, it is by far the biggest bill to mitigate climate change in history. You can choose to emphasize how inadequate it is compared to the perfect ideal, but it is nevertheless an important achievement in the context of what has come before. Independent evaluation say it’s expected to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 2005 levels by 2030 or about 10% more than without the bill. That’s still significant.

It seems like the belief that you have to hold on to above all others is that Democrats are very, very nearly as bad as Republicans and so every instance where Democrats make that distinction clear, the more you have to cling to or emphasize whatever elements of Democratic legislation that are inadequate or are compromises. It’s not like Democrats don’t know it. Again, most Democrats were aiming for more in every one of these bills but compromised with the center-right of their own party or with Republicans, so it’s not like Democrats don’t know that their legislation is not everything they wanted. Is your saying how similar the two parties are every chance you get part of some Marxist fantasy uprising will come that will overturn everything? That's not going to happen. It instead comes across as cynicism that only makes people not want to vote. I already stated my version of a fix in that long post:

The time to force the differentiation has to come much earlier in the process: grassroots work to install the candidates you would like to have in the lower rungs of government where they can work their way up and become the presidential nominee you wish you had but don’t. But even this mostly doesn’t work because the system is corrupt and it corrupts the people within. It’s a little more complicated than this, but to get ahead, you have to make one compromise after another (and spend the majority of your time fundraising) until that’s all you’re doing. So the biggest fix is changing the system, and there’s no easy or quick way to do that. But among the quickest ways, by which I mean about two decades of work, is get a Supreme Court that gets rid of allowing unlimited money into elections, stops saying money = speech, stops equating corporations to people, and ends gerrymandering.

Our flawed system of government does not give us anything but two realistic choices. A protest vote is too late by that point. Bush “beat” Gore by about 500 votes in Florida. Ralph Nader got a little over 90,000 votes in Florida. If 1% of that Nader vote had gone to Gore, he would have been president. Gore would have picked a Supreme Court nominee other than John Roberts and that terrible, terrible Citizen United decision that made our political system even worse would never have been made.

And beyond keeping the system from worsening, Democrats being in power means less time for Republicans to wreak even more havoc – more control of the Supreme Court and Federal courts of appeals for decades to come, more tax cuts for the rich, more environmental rollbacks, more restrictions of rights for immigrants and LGBTQ. You don’t see much of a difference there, but I do.

But I don't care if you think I'm arguing in bad or good faith. Lol   You can either participate in the argument or not.  I got that you think me not representing you the way you'd approve of is bad faith.  And I'd say that's a pretty ludicrous standard for debate.   I'm not your biographer.  I'm not here to rearticilate your claims to you in a way you prefer.   I'm debating your position.  I'm not attributing to you anything you didn't say.  But you and I are going to disagree about what is implied with one another's positions.  Again.  That's not a strawman.

--- the late great Donald Blake 

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