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gulliver

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Gender: Male
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 12,564

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I tend to disapprove of such judgmental "litmus tests"

The existence of the test is, in part, a rhetorical assertion of a set of hidden premises. I.e., it's in a category that includes push polls and other such backhanded ways of persuasion and advocacy. A particularly unfortunate unstated implication of this particular test (I would say) is, "Pass this test or you're a homophobe." (Others are free to dispute that that is an implication, of course.)

Making such an implication would be immoral (probably unintentionally) on at least two grounds, in my opinion: 1) It asserts one's authority to stand in judgment of others and, 2) The implication attempts to persuade by striking fear. The former puts one in danger of evincing a form of authoritarianism. The latter is the destructive irony that accompanies any argument made for a good cause that is made less than well, thus damaging the cause.

His heart and mind are both in the right place

His admirers aren't into his personality so much as his very evident ability to accomplish great things. I have yet to hear a good argument against him. Most of the arguments against him I've heard come across as arguments for him. They're so seemingly ill-considered and superficial that they backfire.

Musk is not the only area where we sometimes hear loud arguments from voices whose logical backup, reasoning, and effective morality (not "intended morality," effective morality) argue for their being more on the listening side than the talking side.

Musk's goal is a sustainable world of abundance for all. And he's someone who accomplishes what he sets out to accomplish.

I'd say mainly attack Republican "owners" and their mouth parts

The regular Joe's and Jane's among the Republicans need to realize they're now officially sleeping with dogs. They need to look at the Dems and ask, are my Dem neighbors and co-workers really pedophiles or have I just been listening to dogs and guzzling doggy hooch?

And who grouped Joe and Jane Normal Republican with a smelly, stupid mob of addled dogs anyway? I mean, they did it to themselves of course. They chose their company. But who helped pull the levers that let the riffraff, not just into the show, but let them literally take the show over?

Rupert Murdoch and his troop of Murdoch Players come to mind. Trump, Carlson, Cruz and the rest are just mouth parts. "Get in there with the dogs, Joe and Jane Republican!" they commanded, laughing to themselves. "That buffalo guy and the guy who shits on furniture? Consider them your masters. You're the dogs!"

Voting against a Trump Republican owns Putin

I'm not seeing this message out there much. Just looking for something powerful and true to drown out the Republican Hunter/CRT lie thrumming.

If you're voting against a Trump Republican, you're owning Putin. Every vote for a Trump Republican makes Putin happy. Louder and louder. Repeat and repeat.

It's wrong to look down on dumb

Notice I didn't say, "It's dumb to look down on dumb." That's like the Cretans paradox. A lot of our problems on both sides are caused by failing to break out of the spiral of that paradox, IMO. Tolerance, counting to ten, etc., can break the cycle.

They can't bully if they lose, but they can if they win.

I essentially agree with every point you make. And I do agree that "now we have this fight going." My point is that we should win the fight.

Labeling, judging, and name calling can be very effective. Don't get me wrong. It definitely (perhaps unfortunately) has a place, but we definitely don't do it well. The Republicans in this case have created a framing where our name calling with names like "bully" or "bigot" is to our disadvantage. That's what "witch hunt" politics are all about, creating an indisputable enemy in people's imaginations. Our best bet is to demolish that framing, not break our swords ("bully" and "bigot" labeling) on a rock.

Still use those words. By all means. Just don't forget to be against "the witch," while calling out that it's a scare tactic used by cynical, Putin dupe, spit-on-the-flag Republican career politicians to draw suckers who should know better.

And, of course, I'm fully behind all the legal battling being done by our team. I'd just like to see us win all the battles.

Taking the bait and failing to counter-punch on the Texas transgender kid wedge issue

The Republican "witch hunt" for what must be a miniscule number of botched gender-affirming health care cases is, of course, a disgusting, dirty political strategy. It's a standard wedge issue for them, just like "bathroom choice" or "partial birth abortion" or "Terri Schiavo." A tiny handful of extreme cases are weaponized for political war against Dems.

How many times are we going to take that bait?

I don't think the best response is to accuse Republicans of "bullying" transgender kids, their parents, and their health care providers. That's punching them in the fist with our faces. It's what they want us to do. It's arguably immoral for us to do that, really, because it weakens us in our pursuit of other Dem and progressive priorities. Moreover, it encourages the Republicans to bully even more people. We need a better answer.

Doctors are not gods, nor are they even pure-hearted, altruistic, ultimate authorities. They're people who need to make a living, just like the rest of us hacks. It's easy for me to imagine a few hack doctors mongering grotesquely incompetent and damaging "gender-affirming health care services." I don't think Dem politics should rely on that type of doctor not existing in nature.

So, a suggestion is that we Dems affirm the rights of parents and children to health care treatment by trained experts for gender-related problems. Then we, perhaps, champion regulations on the health care industry to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of children in those and other cases. We attack the Republicans for being against our regulations.

You'd think Republicans would want to steer clear of the word "weakness."

What was it Republicans in both houses of Congress showed when they let Trump off the hook in two impeachments? Weakness. They knew he did something wrong, but they looked the other way to save their own skins. Now we need to ask, "Would Putin have invaded Ukraine if those Republican cowards had shown courage?"

People really need to call Republicans on their use of the word "weakness." Too often, some hear a Trump-shy, cowardly Republican say Biden somehow showed weakness and, in the spirit of debate, the unfortunate hearer might reflexively wonder to themselves, "Hmm. Did Biden show weakness?" It's nuts how that works. It's sleight of hand. The mind focuses on the word "weakness" and not on the coward who is using the word.

I, for one, don't do that. I hear a cowardly Republican say weakness and I think, "You mean what you showed, and Biden hasn't?"

Dems own all the issues

Democrats are better than Republicans on liberal and progressive issues, obviously. But we're better than Republicans on essentially all issues. We shouldn't cede them an inch of ground on patriotism, family values, religious observance, honest work, honesty, social responsibility, law and order, capitalism, liberty...anything. Our attitude should be that our party is a far better party than theirs in every way.

"What weakness in liberalism are its enemies exploiting?"

Just asking the question is a great service to liberalism. Every liberal should be asking that same question of themselves as a mantra. I like the article a lot, and I always tend to learn from Brooks. I think he might have taken the scenic route in response to the question. That and subject-verb disagreement are my main quibbles.

There is no reason our ideas shouldn't plain dominate if we go by the quality of the ideas themselves. Equality, opportunity, sustainability, justice...no problem. Our problem is mainly an image problem. If one person says, for example, "defund the police" or "tear down that Lincoln statue," all of the rest of us liberals pay for that foolishness. The media hand the mic to anyone. It's their paycheck.

I don't know how to solve the problem of "self-elected, Dunning Krueger effect voices" getting handed mics. Maybe we can firewall the Democratic Party from fools if not all of liberalism. The Democratic Party, unlike liberalism, has an official institution, the DNC. If some self-elected rhetorical maladroit says something dumb and a meme takes off, perhaps DNC arbitration boards can check the statement against the current platform. That would result in an immediate, authoritative response.

For example, someone says, "defund the police." The DNC arbitration board system could very quickly check the platform and note that the platform doesn't in any way support that idea. Biden, Pelosi, and Clyburn don't have to worry and "unsay" what the fool said. The DNC can just "rule on it" and say, "The Democratic Party arbitration board reviewed this idea. The Democratic Party platform firmly opposes defunding the police. Those who support defunding the police do not speak for us."

Then, take it from there and use the "official ruling" to explain to the audience what our position really is.
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