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TygrBright

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 17,532

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Dear GOPpie Solons: DON'T Go There. You WILL Regret It.

A person who spends more time delving into commentary and coverage of The Levers Of Power than I do gave me this warning:

"Trump hides his very real vulnerabilities by flaunting his "Teflon" bits. You can't get him for being a bigot or a misogynist or a lousy businessman or an ignoramus-- those are things he's proud of, things that appeal to his 'base,' part of his ego-inflating mechanism. They all come with 'justifications':

Bigotry and misogyny are justified because "those people" deserve it.

Those bankruptcies and business failures are all part of his Master Plan to game "the system" that's rigged against "real people" and make tons of bucks anyway.

It's not "ignorance" it's "common sense" like all the "regular guys" who know the same stuff I know.

The problem is, Trump also has very real vulnerabilities. As in, the kind of dirt swept under the rug that Congress and the Courts could use to bring him down hard, including taking away his money and power, and even sending him to Club Fed for a nice, long, time.

And the GOPpie Solons know which rugs to lift. They're not doing it now, because they're mulling over a strategy of maneuvering him into a General Election win, and then bridling him, shoving the bit into his mouth, and riding him for the next four years. IOW, 'play nice, Mister President or it won't just be impeachment, it'll be five-to-nine behind bars and confiscation of every asset.'

Some of them think this might work."


I don't know if this is true. But knowing our GOPpie Solons, it makes a creepy kind of Realpolitik sense. It's right up your alley, isn't it, guys? (And yes, you're almost 100% guys, so I use the term advisedly.)

I'm hoping that one or more of your helots charged with Oppo Monitoring/Research is reading this and might pass it along, because, guys, you need to hear this:

This is not a good strategy for you.

It will not end well. For you, or for anyone.

Because, unlike all the "GAWD TOLE ME TO RUN!" morans who've already stumbled into the chute, what you're looking at with Mr. Trump is an actual Biblical re-enactment.

Donald Trump is Samson, guys.

He is bugfuck crazy, and completely uncontrollable.

And you might, indeed, manage to Delilah him into the White House. But read the Book of Judges, Chapter 16, for how well that'll end.

You might chain him between the pillars of Impeachment and Prosecution, but he WILL bring down the temple, on you and all your minions.

He doesn't care about reason, or "best interests," or financial self-preservation, or even avoiding prosecution and public scandal and the rest of it. He genuinely believes he can overcome ALL of it, with the help of the Massive Ego that is his Higher Power. And if you attempt to load him down with the shackles of Realpolitik, or even reality itself, he will pull everything over in a mighty heave.

And you will NOT benefit therefrom.

So, guys, if this IS a strategy in serious consideration, for your own sake, do not go there. Lift those rugs NOW, while there is still time. Save what you can (the Senate, maybe? Well, the House, at least- you still have a good shot there-) for now, and reassess your Long Game for 2024.

I don't wish you well, you know that. But on the other hand, we're all in this together, and the blast zone of this particular error would engulf a lot of good people as well as y'all, standing at Ground Zero. This is a bunker-buster, guys. You would NOT survive it.

So think, please.

grimly,
Bright

General Election: The Looming Choice Between Oligarchy and Kakistocracy

As much as I'd like to revive the fading embers of the democratic republic, that does not appear to be among our choices. On November 8th, we may be forced to decide between oligarchy and kakistocracy. The pros and cons of each are unappetizing, but it's best to have at least a fall-back strategy for unpleasant realities.

Oligarchs tend to maintain a minimal awareness of the necessity to keep up the appearance of a functional, if grotesquely corrupt, governing capacity. This occasionally creates cracks, where the desirability of appearing to appease popular sentiment becomes necessary. An oligarchy, if the oligarchs support a moderately competent executive, can preserve some level of civil order, maintain some level of infrastructure, and enable sufficient economic activity to engage their helots and support the services and appearance of normality from which the oligarchs themselves benefit.

They keep the wheels on, in other words. If they delegate competent executives and maintain some awareness of the need to balance repressive authoritarian responses to challenges to their authority against 'keeping up appearances,' they generally avoid wholesale slaughter, bloodshed, displacement, and genocide.

The downside to this side of the choice is that in maintaining a minimal comfort level for their helots and sustaining the appearance of "normalcy," it can take longer and be more difficult to ultimately destabilize, overthrow, and replace oligarchs with more democratic government.

This should be balanced against the awareness that our oligarchy is large and very complex, and there are some opportunities to create divisions among them, play off factions within the oligarchy against one another, and accelerate destabilization that way.

A kakistocracy's one "pro" is usually the speed of devolution, and the shattering chain reactions of upheaval as incompetence produces unrest which is met with authoritarian repression, undermined by further incompetence to produce further unrest and the wheels come off fairly quickly.

The cons to that side of the equation are the human costs of bloodshed, civil disorder, pogrom, repression, disease, massive environmental catastrophe, and chaos, in the process of the kakistocracy's failure and ultimate replacement. In such environments it can be difficult for democratic revolutions to maintain equilibrium. Catastrophic failure of a kakistocracy usually results in a series of further devolutionary regimes such as competent authoritarian dictatorships, repressive totalitarianism, and other forms of backlash, before democratic government can be re-established.

So, if the General Election choice comes down to Oligarchy versus Kakistocracy, I shall reluctantly choose the former.

Your mileage, of course, may vary.

pragmatically,

Bright

Thought exercise: Let's stipulate we lose the "Democratic Republic" choice

It seems fairly likely that Bernie is not going to be allowed to take a popular majority into the partisan electoral process, at this point.

Thus, we will be left with the choice on November 8th:

Oligarchy

vs.

Kakistocracy

As much as I'd like to revive the fading embers of the democratic republic, that does not appear to be among our choices. We may be forced to decide between oligarchy and kakistocracy. The pros and cons of each are unappetizing, but it's best to be realistic.

Oligarchs tend to maintain a minimal awareness of the necessity to keep up the appearance of a functional, if grotesquely corrupt, governing capacity. This occasionally creates cracks, where the desirability of appearing to appease popular sentiment becomes necessary. An oligarchy, if the oligarchs support a moderately competent executive, can preserve some level of civil order, maintain some level of infrastructure, and enable sufficient economic activity to engage their helots and support the services and appearance of normality from which the oligarchs themselves benefit.

They keep the wheels on, in other words. If they delegate competent executives and maintain some awareness of the need to balance repressive authoritarian responses to challenges to their authority against 'keeping up appearances,' they generally avoid wholesale slaughter, bloodshed, displacement, and genocide.

The downside to this side of the choice is that in maintaining a minimal comfort level for their helots and sustaining the appearance of "normalcy," it can take longer and be more difficult to ultimately destabilize, overthrow, and replace oligarchs with more democratic government.

This should be balanced against the awareness that our oligarchy is large and very complex, and there are some opportunities to create divisions among them, play off factions within the oligarchy against one another, and accelerate destabilization that way.

A kakistocracy's one "pro" is usually the speed of devolution, and the shattering chain reactions of upheaval as incompetence produces unrest which is met with authoritarian repression, undermined by further incompetence to produce further unrest and the wheels come off fairly quickly.

The cons to that side of the equation are the human costs of bloodshed, civil disorder, pogrom, repression, disease, massive environmental catastrophe, and chaos, in the process of the kakistocracy's failure and ultimate replacement. In such environments it can be difficult for democratic revolutions to maintain equilibrium. Catastrophic failure of a kakistocracy usually results in a series of further devolutionary regimes such as competent authoritarian dictatorships, repressive totalitarianism, and other forms of backlash, before democratic government can be re-established.

So, if the choice DOES come down to Oligarchy versus Kakistocracy, I shall reluctantly choose the former.

Your mileage, of course, may vary.

wearily,
Bright

Intervention: Can America Stop Enabling the GOP?

It's gotten pretty bad. This family, the America family, have finally decided to seek help for one of their family members. Three other family members are meeting with a professional interventionist.

Interventionist: So, tell me about the problem with your... family member, is it?

Centindie America: (The others have agreed she'll more or less be the spokesperson for now.) Yeah, I guess. Well, yes. I mean, right now, I'm really tempted to say, "annoying stranger I want outta my life", but the reality is, it's all in the family, yep.

Interventionist: I get it. Times, you want to disown them, but they do still matter. They're related to us. We can remember the good times. And it wouldn't work, anyway. So, tell me about... 'G', is it?

Centindie: Yeah, his name's actually Repli, but he used to call himself "Goppie" as a baby, and so it's been 'GOP' or 'G' all along. Everyone calls him that, it's not just a family nickname.

Interventionist: I'll remember. So, why do you think this is the time for an intervention?

Prog America: Long past time, we shoulda done this years ago!

Democ America: Hush, we agreed we'd let Centindie tell it.

Prog: (rolling eyes) Yeah, yeah... (mutters) You're such a cop-out, Dem. (Democ glares at him.)

Interventionist: It'll be important to hear from everyone, but let's take it in order, for now.

Centindie: Well, some of us have been concerned for quite a while, but others just wrote that off as, you know, old grudges, the usual family fights, that kind of thing. We've always been a (grins ruefully) contentious bunch. Dinner-table debates a specialty, you know? (Interventionist nods.) But lately, G's behavior's gotten pretty, ummm, well, difficult to take. For most of us. It's really far over the line, now. He's hurting himself, too. We... we're really worried about him.

(Prog snorts, Democ elbows him, Centindie gives them both an exasperated look.)

Interventionist: So, you all agree G's behavior is risking serious harm to himself, as well as others, and you're all agreed it needs to change? (Looks at each in turn, and gets nods.) Okay, that's a good start. Let me explain a little bit about how intervention works: First, we evaluate. That includes gathering facts about G's problem, and evidence of how it's damaging G and others. Then, we decide who should be part of the intervention team- people whose participation will carry some weight of influence with G. Then we present our evidence and ask G to consider changing, and answer his objections-- and there'll be plenty of those. Then we offer to help G change, and, finally and most importantly, we apply leverage. If we do our preparation right, there's usually a good chance G will commit to change, and make a start.

Centindie: (Looks at the others, there's a brief unspoken dialog with some eye-rolling, head-nodding, etc.) Okay, we can do that. I think the problem's pretty clear. G's really lost his way. He's always been pretty conservative-- maybe too conservative for some of us-- (glances at Prog)-- but there were some good things that went with that. Important things. Certainly things I valued. But lately, it's like, he's not even 'conservative' any more in the sense of trying to be wise and careful with family resources. It's crazy, he's just... grabbing everything for himself and a few friends. He's doing stuff he use to say was bad-- you know, stuff like overspending-- but now that's only bad when it's something someone else wants. He goes on these crazy weapons-buying, war-starting sprees and blows through bank accounts like toilet paper.

Democ: Yeah, and it's making us all look bad. I mean, I went along with him on a few things-- after all, we DO have a responsibility to keep the neighbors safe-- but G isn't doing that anymore. He's just making things worse. We're in over our heads, we have to keep fighting these stupid wars just to protect our own interests, now.

Prog: (Very emphatically) NO, we don't. You're just as bad as G, Dem. What we need to do is just STOP, all of it, NOW.

Interventionist: I can see this is a sore spot, but can I ask, Prog, would it be a good start, if we could get G to change?

Prog: (Catches a glance from Centindie, nods grudgingly.) Yes, but I honestly don't think we can do it. G's not listening to anyone right now, not even Centi.

Democ: That's for sure. Used to be, G cared a lot what people thought of him. Kinda stuffy about it, actually. Now, it's like, hell with the rest of you, I'm the only one who knows anything so go uh.. eff yourselves.

Centindie: (nodding) Yeah, and then he goes and hangs out with these horrible friends... and gets in stupid fights-- in public! He used to be the one the neighbors thought was the cool head, but they're actually scared of him, now. And doesn't listen to anyone.

Prog: Except maybe the voices in his head. (Democ snickers.)

Centindie: (Glares at Prog, then shrugs helplessly.) Yeah, maybe. (She sniffles a bit.) I'm worried about him, dammit!

Interventionist: It does sound very worrisome. But I think we've made a good start on the assessment. Let's talk about who should be part of the intervention team. People who matter to G, either because he values their opinion, or needs their support, or because they have some other kind of leverage they can apply. Especially, anyone who's been enabling him, and who's really committed to stopping that.

Prog: Well, I'm the only one who doesn't enable him, but he doesn't give a rat's ass about my opinion.

Democ: I do NOT enable him! I never have, for heaven's sake, we're ALWAYS on opposite sides.

Prog: Unless it's about bank regulation, or starting wars, or bailing your mutual buddies out of trouble, or... (Dem seethes, glowers, starts to speak)

Centindie: (Interrupts) Okay, I admit it. I probably DO enable him. But unlike SOME of us (she glares at Prog) I care about this whole family, and I have faith that G is an important part of it. We all need him well, even if we don't always agree. And I don't want him to hurt himself. Not least, because if he destroys the place, we're ALL in the soup.

Prog: Then you could try STOPPING him, rather than SUPPORTING him.

Centindie: (getting heated) Not ALL his ideas were bad ones. And anyway, you don't make people change by screaming at them, Prog! You always want to go too far, and I think you just make him WORSE.

Democ: Centi, if you'd just listen to me, sometimes, I'm sure a united front between the two of us would convince G to change!

Prog: (rolling eyes, throwing up hands) Oh, sure, like that's not how we got into this mess in the first place, you two pussyfooting around trying to be nice to G and letting him get away with EVERYTHING.

Interventionist: Okay, okay... I'm seeing a challenge here, for sure. We might not have an effective team to make this intervention work. Do any of you think you have the influence to get G to consider change?

(Silence- the Americas all exchange glances, Centindie starts to sniffle again.)

Centindie: But he's going to hurt himself. REALLY hurt himself...

Dem: And us.

Prog: (muttering, a little shamefacedly) Maybe good riddance...

Interventionist: Okay, let's try another tack. Let's imagine that we went to wherever G is, right this minute. We all stood in front of him, and asked him to change. What would he say?

All three Americas: (in nearly perfect unison, in a marked Queens accent) "You're all LOSERS!" (They glance at each other, startled, and then at the interventionist.)

Interventionist: Okay, well, that's pretty clear. An intervention probably won't succeed until G's experienced some really tough consequences, I'm afraid. But that's pretty much inevitable, if you can just refrain from enabling him.

(Centindie starts sobbing. Prog, unexpectedly, puts an arm around her shoulders, and she leans in.)

Democ: (grimly) So we're all in for some rough stuff, while G keeps imploding.

Interventionist: I'm afraid so. The best thing you can do is support one another. Try to find your own common ground, be kind to one another, and build your support system among the rest of the family.

Centindie: (In tears) But... but G! Oh, my little GOPpie... I was SO proud of him in the Civil War... the Roosevelt trust-busting... That incredible Eisenhower "military industrial complex" speech... The gravitas... the moral compass... Won't he ever get any of it back? Is it gone forever...? Is he gonna DIE?

Interventionist: Well, no one can answer that, now. But I can tell you this, from lots of experience. I've seen a lot of people hit bottom. Experience shattering, terrible consequences that seemed like the worst possible thing that could ever happen. But you know what?

If they live through those consequences, and learn anything from it, many of them DO finally commit to change. And when they do, they don't necessarily become the person they used to be. But sometimes they find a new, recovering life, instead. And reconnect with their families, and their communities, and live important, wonderful lives.

So, don't give up hope.

But for now... buckle up.

metaphorically,
Bright
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