CHARLIE BROWN AND THE FOOTBALL

Watching someone make the same mistake over and over again is difficult. First, you're alarmed. Then you pity them. Then you get angry. And finally, you grow to hate them. People proceed through these stages at different speeds. Really compassionate people linger in the first two stages for a long time. Most people get to the latter stages pretty rapidly.

The first time a family member comes to you and says, "I blew every penny I have on (let's say, Beanie Babies, just to keep it from getting too real)," it's natural to think, "Gosh, he really needs my help! How awful!" So you lend him money. Then he comes back a second time and think, hmm, that's odd. The third time, and the fourth time, and the fifth time, it begins to sink in that no matter how much you try to help, this problem will recur because the poor guy has a problem he can't beat. "Poor guy" is what you're still calling him at this point, anyway. So the next few times you give him the money, but without any expectation that 1) he will repay it, or 2) he will not return shortly asking again. This is pure pity. Eventually "poor guy" transitions to "idiot" or worse. You've sympathized with the fact that he has a problem, but what is he doing about it? Is he even trying to fix it or does he plan to let Beanie Babies ruin his life forever? The conversations get increasingly testy now; you still help him, but with stern lectures that, honestly, this is the last. time. and you better straighten up. When this runs its course, you stop taking his calls. You hate him for being weak, even though you know that's cruel and, on some level, wrong. You hate him for ruining his own life and trying to pull you down with him. You hate him for lying – to you and to himself – about trying to fix the problem. The part of you that feels badly for him is subsumed by the part that can't believe what kind of f'n moron would make the same mistake so many times.

Some of you read that and think, "No, my compassion is without limits." You're wrong. You, like me, are just lucky enough not to have experienced this first-hand to discover what that limit is.

At this point, I don't see how anyone is still in the shock or pity phase with the 2000s-era Democratic Party in Congress. It is impossible – or is possible for people who are of kinder heart than I – to do anything but hate them for their weakness. The way they make the same predictable mistakes over and over, the way the congressional Republicans openly bully them, and then mock them for rolling over every single time, was sad for a couple years. Maybe back during the W Bush era. Maybe it was still kind of pitiable to watch them all bow to hyperjingoism and decide to trust W on the Iraq War, even though anyone with half a brain – which includes most of them – knew that was going to go over like a lead balloon. But now it is long past being a sad sight. At this point, they know better. They've been through this process of getting boned dozens upon dozens of times. They "play nice" and act real Bipartisan-y and the GOP smiles and laughs and can't believe its luck, and then when the tables are turned the GOP response to literally everything is a middle finger extended in the face. There is no reason to expect it to turn out differently, ever. The sample size is large enough after nearly 20 years of this to conclude with confidence that, no, they have no interest in doing anything but using every last available tactic – hook or crook – to prevent a Democratic president or chamber majority from being able to get anything it wants.

They don't budge, ever. They are never going to. Had Hillary Clinton won, they would have refused to vote on her Supreme Court nominee indefinitely. For years, if necessary. Because that's how they operate, and anyone who does not understand that by now is not sad or pitiable. Anyone who does not get it by now is contemptible. Watch Lucy yank the football away from Charlie Brown once and it might seem funny. Then it's sad. Then you can't feel anything because you're too busy wondering why in god's name he keeps doing it over and over again and expecting a different result.

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53 Responses to “CHARLIE BROWN AND THE FOOTBALL”

  1. Rory W Says:

    Emotionally, I agree completely with you. I'm sick and tired of "getting boned dozens upon dozens of times" by the GOP.

    But, then, I think, "Well, if we lower ourselves to the GOP's tactics, we're no better than they are."

    Except that the GOP has absolutely no compunction about "going nuclear" – witness the Senate Finance Committee suspending its rules to get Price and Mnuchin through and the by-now-almost-for-certain abolishment of the filibuster to get Gorsuch confirmed.

    I can't take it any more. Even at our obstructionist worst we won't be as bad as the GOP. I'm all in to get some real Progressives into Congress so they can take over the Dem Party the same way the Tea Partiers hollowed out the GOP and took it over. 'Cause, frankly, the Tea Party (or whatever the hell Trump is) is winning.

  2. Benny Lava Says:

    And looking at the majority in the house, senate, and state governments I'd say it worked too. The Democrats strategy obviously has not. Sad!

  3. Matt - Portland, OR Says:

    My theory is that the Democrats keep thinking that Republicans will finally do something that their supporters will find reprehensible. [pause for laughter]

    I don't know how this election, in which the Republican candidate pretty much defined the word 'reprehensible,' wasn't definitive evidence that GOP lawmakers will stomp their own grandmas into the ground for more money and power, and Republican voters will cheer and say, "Okay, now borrow more money so rich people can have a tax cut!"

  4. Fledermaus Says:

    But I was told repeatedly in the Obama years it takes 60 votes to get anything passed in the senate. Are you saying this wasn't true??!? /snark

    Really I am just tired on the endless excuses by democratic pols Yes, things may seem stacked against them but at some point they are going to have to address those issues or create advantages of their own. But instead they join the GOP to defund acorn, drop union card check voting like a hot potato, sit by impotently while GOP states crush unions and impose voter restriction for reliable dem voters, let them close polling places in cities so people are waiting 2-3 hours to vote.

    The excuses and whining about how unfair it all is have to stop. I am sick of hearing it. Do something. Anything but more of the same.

  5. Kevin Dowd Says:

    I must be a quick study, or more likely empathy deficient because I have hated Republicans ever since Ronald Reagan told me trees cause pollution. And being from NYC I have heard every sob story so if you've blown your money on Beanie Babies my first reaction is to laugh at you, buy you a drink or buy you dinner but you're a moron and I ain't gonna give you more money…

    Dems are out of control. Weak, tone deaf, venal, dumpy frumpy and boring.. dog I wish the smart ones had guts and and empathy.

  6. MS Says:

    Democratic politician: Votes "yes" on 90% of Trump program, makes token intentionally-ineffective opposition to other 10%.

    Democratic politician: "Vote for me, or Trump will get his way, and we don't want that!"

  7. Well.....Mostly Says:

    Not to get all insightful and shit, but the Dems really betray a misunderstanding of the current political game. The proof? Three million more troops on the battlefield and you still lose your ass. Could it be any clearer? Contemptible is a strong word, well chosen though. We're about three weeks away from the despicable option. A viper will bite you every time. Not just sometimes. Every time. There is no go high with a viper, no offense to vipers. Stronger measures are called for. That doesn't mean go low. That's the wrong language, the wrong idea. Could we protect our family against harm using outrage, indignation, and shame? Maybe beanbags? Has anyone in the D leadership read Malcolm X, ever? Lately?
    The morality setting the R's use doesn't show up on the D's equipment. Can't get there from here. The proof? In their world it's not the Grandmas getting stomped on – it's the Grandmas doing the stomping.

  8. democommie Says:

    The democrats have not had an effective/veto proof majority in the last 30+ years. I hate their tactics and I will vote for any pol, in any race that they have a chance of winning v voting my conscience or casting a "fuck you vote" because my feelings are hurt.

    The democrats lost this election for the same reasons that Humphrey and McGovern were beaten by Nixon, Carter and Mondale were beaten by Reagan, Dukakis was beaten by Bush I and Gore and Kerry were beaten by BuCheney (or Chenush, your choice).

    The democrats natural constituency–the people that have historically gained by democratic majorities in the Congress and democratic presidents–everybody who isn't fucking rich, white, KKKristian and hateful either sit home or vote for the people who want to stomp a mudhole in their ass. You can't fix "stupid" or "self-entitled".

    My compassion for people that through indignorance or willful hatefulness vote against their interest is roughly equal to that I feel for Trumpligula and his minions.

  9. Derek Scott Says:

    Going for it and withholding consent will help overall, but it won't put off the Gorsuch nomination. And forget the filibuster. There is no filibuster until Democrats can present a credible threat to regain the majority. The nuclear option is essentially predeployed. They might as well use it, sure — it won't lose them anything — but it won't get them anything either.

    In that light I think they should steer into it. Right now there are several situations that set up for savage lines of questioning. Making him answer for the obstruction that saved him his nomination: Republican obstruction of Merrick Garland established a de facto ideological litmus test for reaching the Supreme Court. Do you approve? How long is such obstruction acceptable? If you didn't approve, why are you even here?

    There are other similar setups. Gorsuch will not comment on matters that figure to come before the court, but he's taking the job from a guy who figures to show up there. And so he will have to choose between trying to answer without throwing the President under the bus or declining and implicitly acknowledging the elephant in the room. So ask him about emoluments. Ask him about the constitutional crisis with the EO court orders and DHS refusal to cooperate. Ask him about Bannon and the NSC. And when he wavers – pounce. He accepted the nomination under that shadow and clearly knows it. How does he justify it? And having justified it, how can we trust him to rule impartially on the President?

    If Senate Dems can't leverage this situation into a bona fide tiger trap for Gorsuch, Trump, and McConnell, then every last one of them needs to resign. Usually it wouldn't matter. Usually no matter how badly the nominee embarrassed himself it would be over the next day. But Trump will be watching every last second of it. And he will lose his mind. Warren and anybody else who's ever gotten under Trump's skin should be on television roughly 27 hours a day that week, keeping it stirred up about the evasive nominee covering for his corrupt master. The best thing Gorsuch has going for him is his aura of extreme qualification, but he can't take the job without getting this shitshow on him. Maybe he won't mind wearing it. Let the people see that. Maybe he won't like it, and then we'd get to see him, the Republicans, and Trump all scraping it off on each other.

  10. Ann Hydrous Says:

    I've been watching the dems roll over and play dead since Reagan. And then every dem president who came after a criminal republican (Carter, Clinton, Obama) just moved forward and didn't want to look back. Would Trump be enthusiastic about torture if Bush/Cheney were at the Hague right now?
    The dems want to be adults, they want to govern, they want to show up to a gun fight with a banana.

  11. Net Denizen Says:

    Matt from Portland has it right: the Democratic strategy since 2000 has been "we'll let them fuck up so bad people can't help but vote for us instead". I'm reminded of the scene in King of the Hill when Bobby is at bat and watches a couple strikes go by just standing there. Hank asks him "Bobby, why aren't you swinging the bat?" and he says "Well, the pitcher could walk me"

    The next two quotes from Hank are exactly where we are IMHO:
    "Don't play lawyer ball, son!"
    and
    "That boy ain't right!"

  12. mago Says:

    ". . .he keeps doing it over and over again and expecting a different result."

    One definition of stupidity.

    Another? When actions and intentions go in opposite directions.

  13. bughunter Says:

    It's the same old Kabuki theatre: GOP pushes right, and the Dems pretend to push left, but in the end, the Overton window moves right. And in the last two weeks, that window has been forced widdershins bigly.

  14. NickT Says:

    The sad truth is that the Democratic party's rank and file are just as confused, incompetent and foolish as the politicians they elect. Look around the web and you'll find die-hard Clintonites wanting to go after Sanders and his people – exactly when the first and only order of business is to fight Trump and his fascist rabble with everything we've got. We get the leaders our lazy, fractious, self-pitying party of idiots and incompetents deserves.

  15. geoff Says:

    Yes, and frankly Obama (or at least Rahm) should have known all this and really gone for it (say single payer and a big bank breakup) eight years ago when they had majorities in both houses. That they did NOT leads me to the inevitable (and blindingly obvious) conclusion that they (Dems) no longer work for the people who vote for them, but instead for those who finance their campaigns and hire them as lobbyists once their "government service" is complete. I'm surprised Chuck Schumer hasn't retired and cashed in already– who needs that shit anyway?

  16. Droppy Says:

    How much is the weakness of the party and how much it is a badly designed system? It seems that most forms of government depend on politicians behaving with some minimal integrity, just as society generally can't function if a majority of citizens break laws. We have a system that allows a rump party willing to destroy the system if it doesn't get its way to get a foothold, then use that to consolidate its power through undemocratic means, then to steer closer and closet to fascism. Not sure its fixable without a revolution of some kind.

  17. Fiddlin Bill Says:

    It strikes me that, with the heartening appellate decisions against the Muslim Ban, the Dems might realize that a 4-4 Supreme Court works in the favor of humanity at the moment. Senate Dems should all vote against the nominee for that tactical reason, as well as (of course) making the righteous point that the Republicans stole the seat. Make the Rs get rid of the filibuster. That could also work in the favor of Democrats. And all that poor Gorsuch stuff ignores the plan fact that it was Trump and the Republican strategy that put the nice white boy scout into the cross hairs.

  18. Emerson Dameron Says:

    @democommie

    Still giggling at "indignorance" I'm going to call you Natalie Portmanteau.

  19. J Says:

    Sounds like we need a new breed of candidate. Ed, you're exactly the type of human we need. Your voice is fresh, you know what facts are, you're not a career politician yet have relevant knowledge, and you already have a group of dedicated followers.

    You'd get my vote and some of my money. Seriously. Someone has to do it. Why not you?

  20. J Says:

    And most importantly, you're not afraid to extend your middle finger.

  21. Monty Says:

    But but but if the Dems ever show even the barest hint of having a spine, the press will scream about unreasonable, nasty and mean they are.

  22. mothra Says:

    What Derek Scott said and also Monty–and I can offer a perfect example: this morning on Nice Polite Republicans they did a piece about Democrats trying to find their way in this "new" political climate. The lead-in to the piece, I shit you not, was the reporter saying "Republicans changed the rules yesterday to force through votes on Trump nominees Price and Mnuchin because Democrats were delaying the votes. This is a very bold move for Democrats." NO fucking mention of the fact that the Republicans changed the goddamn rules to ram through nominees–oh, no the focus is all on the Dems. Also, anytime anyone brings up that nominees for Cabinet positions cannot be filibustered, the media blames the Democrats. Conveniently omits the fact that they were pushed into the corner by obstructionist Republicans.

    No, the Democrats need to be complete obstructionist assholes from now on. Because there is also the fact that if they cooperate on anything with the Republicans and it goes south, it will be the Dems the Repubs stick with the blame.

  23. Periscope Says:

    Michelle O's quotable "When they go low, we go high" captures the unwritten rule of the dems, dripping with sentimentality and decency, but a prescription for political loss. If the progressives are going to get a foothold in legislature we may need to borrow from the tea party play book. Where is the Progressive equivalent of a Grover Nordquist – demanding that all incoming freshmen sign a pledge to oppose corporate influence and vote against every bill that favors corporate advancement at the expense of working people? Where is the Progressive equivalent of Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell wanting to shut down the government when they don't get their way, who will threaten to walk out of committees to hold up bills due to lack of quorum? If both sides are equally nasty, maybe we will have the equivalent of MAD (mutual assured destruction) in nuclear warfare, where political stalemate and economic chaos forces negotiation. Yoda: 'clusterfucked we are'.

  24. jcdenton Says:

    At this point the Dems need to stop listening to the press and just do heir damn jobs. If they can't they need to get primaried out.

  25. Aero Says:

    Derek Scott: Please don't give me hope, man. That's the most perfect, textbook example of how to run this game and play it right. There would be parades in the streets if the Dems took even a quarter of their cues from that idea. But you and I both know they're just going to flop around like fish on the deck, worry-warting about image and fracturing what should be an iron bloc vote because "he's actually qualified, unlike the other goobers we already let through contentiously. I might look like an asshole if I don't give him the benefit of the doubt."

  26. Joe Jonas Says:

    Democrats need to puff out their chests and just act like they're fucking awesome instead of running away from their policies. See how worried people are about Obamacare being repealed? Had Democrats talked up the policy instead of hiding like little bitches whenever Republicans brought it up, they could have nipped this whole "Tea Party" thing in the bud. Instead, they ceded the whole debate to Republicans who beat them over the head with it for six years, even though there's a lot to like in Obamacare, especially for poor or under-employed people.

  27. Mo Says:

    My kindle versions of The Deep State and Democracy for Realists are now so highlighted and bookmarked from my desperate search for clues that each page now looks psychedelic from the different highlight colors.

    Meanwhile, I watch our Alaskan voters all a-twitter because Murkowski says she'll vote "No" on DeVos – a safe vote, because I'm wagering there's no way in hell any other Republican senator will up the tally to the required 3 votes. Nonetheless local Facebook is awash with requests to thank Murkowski, and keep calling her office to buck her up. [takes brief break to vomit breakfast]

    Let's face it, folks – 62 million American voters hate "Libruls", want to destroy our democracy so they can enjoy swanking around feeling as if they, personally, are in power in the new fascist state. Hoping these authoritarian wankers will feel remorse when they die impoverished and sick is carrion comfort.

  28. Gerald McGrew Says:

    I see three main, fundamental problems with the DNC.

    First, they still have a sense of fair play and bipartisanship. They operate, as evidenced by the Obama admin, under a model of how things are supposed to work. The ACA is a great example. Rather than go straight for a progressive plan and negotiate from there, Obama borrowed a conservative plan thinking it would bring Republicans on board and they could all sell it to the public together. Then Obama could use it to tell the public that he met his campaign promises to reach across the aisle. Of course we all know what happened…..

    Second, Republicans have Fox News, which in addition to being the most watched news network, will absolutely not hesitate to distort and go after everything any Democrat does or says (and will do so with the most extreme rhetoric). Democrats have nothing like that. So they know if they end up being talked about on Hannity, O'Reilly, or any other FNC segment, it'll likely find its way into the mainstream press cycle. The "liberal media" (e.g., WaPo, NYT, MSNBC) also operates under a play fair framework, where they value accuracy and objectivity over unwavering loyalty to the party. You can throw in the saturation of airwaves with right-wing talk radio too.

    Finally, the biggest issue I see with today's DNC is that their base is comprised of a coalition of low-turnout voters. Young people, blacks, and Latinos…..well, to be blunt, just don't show up enough. They have to have a historically inspirational candidate to show up in Presidential elections, and…..well, I have no idea what would make them show up for midterms. The Trump thing might do it. In the past Democrats were able to make up for the low-turnout groups with union households. But with the demise of unions, those days appear to be gone.

  29. Mo Says:

    Gerald – voters want "change." That's about it.

    We cannot comprehend policy issues, react to totally irrelevant things happening in the few months prior to an election.

    Worse, once a party has been selected to join because it seems to contain "people like me," voters will stick with their party because it has become part of their identity.

    The good new is, there were about 3 million more voters for Hillary.
    So someone is turning out. Dems need not despair, just need to get radical. Which seems to be happening, judging from the resurgence of mass protests?

  30. Ann Hydrous Says:

    I'm fine with the dems giving Gorsuch a full hearing. I want them to ask him question after question: "Is it really any of your business who people marry? why do you think you should have a say in family planning decisions? Who are you to tell people they need to stay alive and suffering to the bitter end? Should only wealthy white property owning men be allowed to vote?" (he is an "originalist" after all).
    After he has been raked over the coals (there were some great questions suggested by a commenter here, maybe a day or two ago), VOTE NO. Every democrat (except Joe Manchin of course) VOTE NO. Grow some ovaries, guys, and VOTE NO.

  31. Scout Says:

    Ann Hydrous – YES. Exactly that. Make that fucker squirm under the harsh glare of interrogation and then every single Dem needs to vote NO. Hell, if everything is a done deal anyway, why not go down with both middle fingers extended? Sack up, Dems. THEY changed the rules to Hunger Games and you're still playing hopscotch.

  32. mothra Says:

    First, they still have a sense of fair play and bipartisanship. They operate, as evidenced by the Obama admin, under a model of how things are supposed to work.

    I think that is what Ed is calling the Dem's Beanie Baby problem.

    One thought does occur to me:
    When Trump gets rid of net neutrality and also lets cable companies go apeshit with their fees charged, it is going to get really hard for most right wingnuts to access their fake news. As I understand it, Fox News is supported by its entertainment division and also gets a free ride on basic cable. When people can't afford even basic cable, buh bye Fox News. Also, wingnutters aren't going to pony up the extra money required to access the internet when net neutrality is gone–so buh bye Facebook.

    I find it hard to believe I'm saying this, but I am thinking this won't be a bad thing.

  33. Katydid Says:

    @Periscope–as a woman, and as a minority, Michelle Obama would have been lynched had she never *not* gone high when they went low. For 8 years now, that educated, accomplished woman had to deal with the mouth-breathers, racists, and Rill Murkkkuns shrieking that she was ugly, that she was a man, that she was an ape, that she was a man who stole her ugly, misbehaved, stupid daughters from some other family…the hits never stopped coming. Then there were the patriots who considered her First Lady project (health and nutrition) to be the worst persecution since Jesus was hung on the cross–because planting a garden and talking about families going for a walk after dinner was the equivalent.

    To top it all off, the rightwing media and other Authorized Wingnut Talking Point sources all loved to crow that she was an Angry Black Woman. I mean, after dealing with all that shit, who wouldn't be angry?

  34. April Says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/uber-ceo-travis-kalanick-resign-trump-council_us_5893a883e4b09bd304ba71a5?5l71124d3iu1eb3xr&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/chaffetz-bill-public-land_us_5893920ae4b040613135d189?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

    Take heart – the resistance is working!

  35. democommie Says:

    "Second, Republicans have Fox News, which in addition to being the most watched news network,"

    It's not "news", never was, never will be. The rest of your comment is fine.

    "Yes, and frankly Obama (or at least Rahm) should have known all this and really gone for it (say single payer and a big bank breakup) eight years ago when they had majorities in both houses."

    Re-read my comment. Neither Clinton, nor Obama EVER had a majority that would vote in lockstep–never, ever. Blue dogs, 2nd Amendmentophile or (more likely) 2nd Amendmentophile-o-phobic and various other democrat pols with a tenuous hold on their seats fucked their president to hold onto their jobs. That they were never as craven, or as willing to fuck the country, to help enrich the .001%, is of course lost in the fog of politics.

  36. Mo Says:

    Thanks, Katydid. I still find Michele's dictum inspiring – because otherwise a person would go insane.

    Or get arrested for assault. I don't have a balaclava and can't sprint worth a damn.

  37. vegymper Says:

    Isn't it a case of bullies vs. nerds?

  38. JJ Says:

    We constantly complain about the Dem's actions without understanding of WHY they are doing this. Not a single Democratic voter wants the Dems to behave this way, not one. So why do they do it? Any thoughts? I have some theories but I'd like to hear yours, Ed.

  39. Katydid Says:

    @Mo: as a woman, and a Black woman at that, Michelle Obama has known all her life that the deplorable behavior the right so applauds in others simply would not be tolerated from her. There are too many white men who believe anything other than complete deference from women and minorities, and are quick to deploy their perceived Second Amendment rights to retaliate against any hint of perceived "disrespect".

    On a timely note, think about the character of Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore show. She was clearly the brains in the outfit, the one who kept everything running, the one who had the answers–yet she had to kowtow to her male colleagues and put up with hot mess from her boss–and the only outlet for her frustration could be a silly "Oh, MR. GRAAAANT" because "Knock it off, you two-bit, alcoholic jerk" would have gotten her fired in a second. The men in the office called out Ted all the time for being a know-nothing idiot; Mary Richards could not have gotten away with it.

    So, "When they go low, we go high" is a survival skill in an unequal power dynamic. It's inspirational and in character, but is it successful? Hmmm, it's better than being lynched for being uppity.

  40. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© Says:

    The Dems are the Washington Generals of politics.

    They get paid to lose.
    ~

  41. Periscope Says:

    @ Katydid. I meant no disrespect for Michelle Obama. I adore the person and I am down with everything you said. My point is that as a political strategy, 'going high' is not a sufficient way to counteract the obstructionism and militant ignorance of the republicans. Sometimes you have to take up the sword (sorry Jesus, they ripped off both cheeks) and fight like they do.

  42. democommie Says:

    @ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©:

    Wow, I've not seen that blognomen in a while.

    Yeah, I don't think that they are paid to lose but it has been very difficult to win as a dem without becoming their opponents.

    The Fairness Doctrine–FUCK YOU FOREVER, Ronnie Raygunz, enables FuckTheNew'sCorpse and talk radio to avoid any semblance of even-handedness at no risk to their profits–and, let's face it, in Post-RACIAL MurKKKa nothing sells like race-baiting.

  43. geoff Says:

    @DemoCommie, point taken about "folks" like Max Baucus et al. I HIGHLY doubt Dem. savior Chuck Schumer (D-Wall St.) would have gone along with any serious re-regulation of the financial sector even in the immediate aftermath of the Crash of 2008, so yeah.

    I'm sure I'm not the first to point this out, but when on a national level people's choices amount to "right" or "very far right" no wonder a lot of 'em don't bother turning out to vote. WAR and MASS SURVEILLANCE and abortion rights are better than WAR and MASS SURVEILLANCE and The Handmaid's Tale, but you're gonna get 2 of 3 no matter what.

  44. Katydid Says:

    @Periscope; no worries–you and I both agree. Women and minorities are in a Catch-22 where their only option is to "go high", but in this environment, anyone who does is mowed down low. There's no winning.

  45. Mo Says:

    Great analysis as usual, Katydid.

    And "don't sink to their level" is all too often extremely patronizing "advice" from those panicked by the spectre of angry conflict, whether verbal or physical.

    One of the things I still haven't figured out is when to punch, when to run, and when to confront – the odds of success are only 1 out of 3. If that.

  46. Katydid Says:

    @Mo; Thank you. Also, for the most part "Don't sink to their level" also sends the message, "Be a doormat! Be a punching bag! Otherwise I might have to take action and I'm a coward." Me, I subscribe to the Klingon saying, "If you bite, bite deep."

    As a woman in IT who's been programming computers since the original War Games was a hot new movie (in other words, I was god's babysitter when he was a boy), I still find myself having to assert myself against men who think women can't possibly know anything about computers. Not long ago, I was in a meeting where a 20-something coworker was briefing something utterly ridiculous, I corrected him, and was actually told to "be nice!" I said "You first". I've also had to kill cron jobs that were bringing down the system daily because the pointy-headed boss was too stupid to 1) write clean code, and 2) diagnose the problem he caused, but the man now hides from me because I verbally tore him a new one. I know full well the only reason I'm not out on my ear is that my far-northern-European genes render me ghostly white. I've had many discussions with non-white fellow employees which have sensitized me to notice they could never get away with any sort of "disrespect" toward the white male management.

  47. April Says:

    @Katydid…watched "Hidden Figures" last night with my daughter. Obviously racism, but we women of a certain age – however blessedly pale – will also recognize the institutional sexism that was taken for granted during those years.

  48. Katydid Says:

    @April, wasn't that a great movie? Even though I knew the astronauts made it home safely, it was still an edge-of-the-seat movie. Remember the bit about permissable jewelry being a pearl necklace? I had that pearl necklace into the 1990s. While my male coworkers were in Dockers and polo shirts and sometimes ripped jeans, I was one of the women taking the hits for wearing flats (not heels) in the office. In 1994, I was actually written up and nearly fired for "unprofessional attire"–a women's outfit consisting of a fitted suit jacket, blouse, tailored *slacks*, and 2-inch heels. The slacks were the issue–and no, they weren't casual; they were the slacks that came with the women's 3-piece-suit (jacket, skirt, slacks) sets that were so popular in women's career-wear in the early 1990s.

  49. The Palace Cat Says:

    Principled Democrats believe that government can and should make peoples' lives better. Obstruction forever is not good government, so it is fundamentally opposed to Democratic ideals. Republicans believe either that government is the problem, or that it is a tool for achieving narrow personal goals (the Taft branch of the GOP). Obstruction Forever is baked into this ideology.
    It's a relief that Democrats have trouble embracing obstructionism, but in this current peculiar situation it's time for them to get their Party of No on.

  50. CHARLIE BROWN AND THE FOOTBALL - Independent news and blog Says:

    […] Original Article […]

  51. quixote Says:

    I haven't read all the comments, so maybe this has been said already.

    The Dems may just be more dishonest than the Repubs. R's funding and speeches line up, more or less. The Ds have to get their money from similar corporate sources, but they have to talk like they care about equality and the middle class.

    They're all serving their paymasters. The Dems just have to pretend more that they aren't. They're not spineless or fooled so much as they're lying.

    But they're dishonest not because they're particularly horrible. They have to be, given the way our political system is funded.

    As to how you change a system where all the politicians who can vote on it are beholden to corporations, I have no idea. My pessimistic take is it'll all burn to the ground first.

  52. wpa Says:

    fuck the democrats. they've made it clear that they're the enemy almost as much as the republicans are. any future mass movement that truly wants change will have to take on the spineless liberal centrist turds that have a stranglehold on what passes for the "left" in mainstream discourse.

  53. Fiona Gski Says:

    Not for the first time, but really? I'm 60 and I'm getting so tired of having to keep fighting the same battles over and over again. Just like Charlie Brown, we hope for a different outcome…sigh.