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gulliver's Journal
gulliver's Journal
December 11, 2021

The media and Republicans should be called on the "Afghanistan exit" whining

Which historical exit from an "endless war" was painless and orderly? Frankly, I can't think of an exit that went better than the Afghanistan exit. Syria? Vietnam? Tens of thousands of Afghani friends of the United States were safely evacuated. America is out of a war we were stuck in for twenty years. There's nothing good in that?

Seems to me that if we ask how we get stuck in twenty-year wars in the first place, we now have at least a partial answer. The media and Republicans can't seem to emotionally and intellectually process a successful exit from a war as such exits happen in earthly reality.

November 26, 2021

Fight Republican ideas from a Republican framing

Otherwise, you're just preaching to the choir. Think of it, in a way, as making the sale to both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde if it helps.

For example, climate change isn't just bad because it hurts polar bears, melts pretty glaciers, and causes poor people to suffer disproportionately. That's a liberal framing, and liberals are already on board. That sale is made. It doesn't mean those things shouldn't stay front and center, of course. Just don't forget the other half of the argument.

With Republican types, you need a Republican framing. Climate change will cause job losses; not fighting climate change will make Americans miss out on the jobs and wealth bonanza in clean energy conversion; expensive real estate on beachfronts will lose all its value and the poorer nearby neighborhoods will gain that value; your landscaping and HVAC will suffer, making you have to do more work and pay for more maintenance...that sort of thing.

November 25, 2021

Raging about gerrymandering sells it, despite its downsides

When Dems get bent out of shape about Republican racial and partisan gerrymandering, it only makes Republicans want to do it more. They think they're onto something if it makes us unhappy. We should focus more on the downsides to gerrymandering. Here are a couple.

First, a red light doesn't stop cars; brakes stop cars. If everyone thought that a traffic signal in their neighborhood was cheatingly designed to make the commute faster for one of the two intersecting roads, everyone would ignore the traffic signal. You couldn't count on people stopping for red lights anymore. And it wouldn't be safe to drive through green lights. Gerrymandering gives seats to people who don't deserve them, and the laws they make won't be respected.

Second, gerrymandering distorts geographic location, destabilizing its role in defining communities, townships, neighborhoods, and real estate values. It's like rezoning on steroids. You put down roots, but, because both the left and right can legally gerrymander, you can't count on stability. Your district can move away from you, then move back, then be dissolved. Your home, business, and voice in government fluctuates on the whim of politicians.

We need Republicans to realize that winning seats by gerrymandering isn't winning. To do that, they need to be focused on something other than liberal tears, which they like. They need to see reasons for both sides to eliminate gerrymandering.

November 13, 2021

Saying some group X is "disproportionately affected" by bad thing B is a two-edged sword

While it may be true that bad thing B disproportionately affects group X, it might not necessarily be a good idea to wield that fact in arguments intended to benefit group X and/or oppose bad thing B. Justice and fairness aside, other groups, like less proportionally affected group Z, might decide that bad thing B isn't so bad after all, if it doesn't affect group Z as much. And group Z might also disproportionately consist of jerks who either don't care or actively root for bad things like B to happen to group X.

To defeat bad thing B and benefit any group X, Y, or Z, therefore, the best bet may sometimes be to focus on B's badness to all three groups.

November 13, 2021

Trump was a disaster, and we're succeeding like no one's ever seen before.

We shouldn't forget to say that. Always be closing. Our product is great; theirs is garbage.

Keep the "dignified mode" criticism with its facts and decorum. Sure. Refer to Fred Trump's brat as "the former president" or his harem of political concubines as "the former administration or Republican Party leaders." But don't forget on occasion to sum up what a worthless schlub he is, what a bunch of sneaky, lying dogs his salespeople are, and how great we're doing.

November 11, 2021

What's the left doing for the right lately?

Love the American Rescue Plan...love the infrastructure bill...love vaccinations being mandated...love us getting out of Afghanistan. But to read the news, those things all sound like things that were done "for the left" and done badly. We need to surprise the media and change their dumb script. We need to do a Tootsie on them.

The left could be using our successes (and they are great successes!) to crow about how we've been doing things for the right just as much as for the left. If we don't, the right will just keep thinking the left is doing power grabs and the valiant Republicans are holding back the hordes.

On the left, we often "reach out" (horrible phrase), by saying things like "the bills passed with bipartisan support," or treacly pablum like "all Americans want good paying jobs to provide for their families while they're sitting at the kitchen table talking about a future for their children." The idea, I guess, is that people who think of themselves as being on the right will subtly pick up on our hint that their leaders went along with us on certain things (bipartisan!) and that, hey, we've got a lot in common like liking doggies and kids playing on merry-go-rounds.

Too subtle imo. Just say, "Republicans, we got out of Afghanistan because you wanted it. We wanted it and you wanted it. We did it for you just as much as us. Now about your leaders...um, what have they done for you besides stir you up and neglect Social Security?"

November 11, 2021

Street protests are like a skinny-dipping party in a pond full of leeches

You can do it, but...leeches.

The Internet has ruined street protests, imo. Your AR-15ers and anger-holics and got-no-lifers and criminals now see them as someplace they want to be. The Internet spreads the scent, and those types just home in. Pretty soon it's just another cluster, an own goal, lossage for whatever good it might have had.

October 31, 2021

"Owning" Trump and his imitators

Defeating Trump and his dummy copycats involves "owning them." It's subtle, but there's a big difference between, say, getting your way in court against Trump and owning him. We need to do both.

October 30, 2021

It's a big shame we don't seem to use a common word for "non-breakthrough" infections.

We hear about "breakthrough infections" all the time, but there seems to be no category-identifying word in common use for the non-breakthrough kind. That's a terrible situation, imo. It fails to provide people with the two contrasting categories they need for side-by-side comparison.

I'd suggest settling on something like "unvaccinated infection" as a fair term for infections that aren't breaking through a vaccination. Then people can be asked which they'd rather have, an unvaccinated infection or a breakthrough vaccinated infection. To me that's a no-brainer.

Or what's the scientific term? I'd argue that "singling out" breakthrough infections from general infections is actually bad for public health. It fuels misinformation arguments.

October 22, 2021

Are we failing to note that Trump and Bannon are yellow?

Just asking. I mean, they've got these precious, "complicated" reasons they can't let the facts out or, in Bannon's case, face Congressional testimony. Hillary Clinton managed it, but Trump and Bannon know they can't equal her. Sure, they've got their reasons. It's complicated. They're not hiding behind their "mamas," the lawyers, and the media. That's just how it looks.

What a joke these two specimens are. I don't think "tough guys" (as they portray themselves) would cower and flee at the prospect of facing Congress. They'd stand up tall and walk right in. Trump and Bannon, therefore, aren't tough to anyone with the first clue about what tough is. They're nothing but over-mouthy, chickenshit wimps when you see them for what they really are. When push comes to shove and it's time to stand up for themselves, these two just scamper to their respective hidey holes and let others do their fighting for them.

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