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A New Spirit of Compromise

(BNN, Washington)

In what many are calling a "New Spirit of Compromise," President Donald Trump reached an agreement with Republicans in the Senate and House on the Trump Wall.

"The era of gridlock has ended," announced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. "The United States Congress and the President of the United States have created a new spirit of compromise. We now have a president who understands what compromise means."

Details of the revised legislation emerged over the past three days as Congressional Republicans worked long hours to craft the agreement with President Trump's team. Trump officials confirmed that the wall height in the legislation will be fixed at 12 feet for the entire 40-mile length of the wall.

"The new wall will be beautiful," announced a jubilant Trump via Twitter. "It's bigger and longer than the Great Wall of China. And Mexico is paying for it." BNN has not been able to confirm that the planned wall will in fact be bigger and longer than the Great Wall of China, although the claim raised some skepticism among Democrats. Reached for comment, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi alleged that the wall in China was actually "a lot bigger than that, you idiots."

In a statement to the press, a spokesman for Mexican President Enrique Peņa Nieto confirmed that Mexico has agreed to pay for the wall. "What can we say, Trump voters? You win. Mexico will pay for the wall with new bonds. Your President Trump truly drives a hard bargain. Your American Social Security Administration is getting a great deal on the bonds."

Man-on-the-street interviews with Trump supporters found them supportive of the compromise. "With Obama in power, this never would have happened," said Arnold "Arnie" Arnold. "Never. We finally have a government in Washington that knows how to work together to give the American people what they deserve."

Scarborough Fair (update for the American voter)

Are you goin' to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
They once were a leader of mine

Tell him to lead us to better healthcare
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
With everyone happy on the way there
Then he'll be a leader of mine

Tell her to manage the Wall Street crowd
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
And never say "capitalism" out loud
Then she'll be a leader of mine

Tell her to fight like a female Conan
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
But funny, authentic, and not like a man
Then she'll be a leader of mine

Tell him to bring all Earth's people together
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
With us right behind him (barring bad weather)
Then he'll be a leader of mine

Are you goin' to Scarborough Fair
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
They once were a leader of mine


You can't be resilient if every little thing tailspins you into emotional oblivion. What Donald Trump has shown (and what George W. Bush showed before Trump) is resiliency. Nothing destroys a person or position that has it. No matter how many times George W. Bush made himself look like a complete idiot on live TV, he simply bounced back and acted like it didn't matter. By doing that, he made it not matter. Trump did and does the same thing constantly.

People on the left are going to make mistakes, even mistakes that make them look "dishonest" or "two-faced" or "traitors to the cause" or "stupid" to one person or another. We need to just accept the fact that everybody is a little dishonest, a little two-faced, a little judgmental, a little selfish, a little sneaky, a little dumb, a little stuck up. None of those things should surprise us. None of them should shake loyalty or self-acceptance at all. We need to stop being so damned emotionally lightweight and easy to turn.

Part of the double standard treatment Hillary and all Democrats get is our own double standard. We need to be the good guys, not the saints. It's easy to be the good guy, nearly impossible to be a saint. We need to wear our dirt proudly. Then when someone tosses more dirt at us, it won't be noticeable.

Dem "political power systems" need to adopt a less hackable architecture.

Our political architecture is vulnerable to dedicated adversaries. If you think of Dem political power as a system, we have numerous system vulnerabilities. These have been demonstrated in the most convincing way possible, by exploitation. Someone needs to hit the whiteboard. We need a security upgrade.

Since the Dems tend to be the brains of the outfit when it comes to American politics, our vulnerabilities translate into American vulnerabilities. We owe it to the country to not be so incompetent when it comes to security, not just computer security but the overall robustness of our entire system. That includes institutions like the DNC, processes like the primary system, and computer systems. We have more fence holes in all of those than fence.

The Republican system is much more robust than ours. It isn't vulnerable to rationality, empathy, or ethics at anything near the level we are, for example. They don't play by the same rules we do. Even a cataclysm like the George W. Bush presidency wasn't enough to destroy the Republican Party. They learned from it. We didn't.

We didn't sell.

We had by far the better product, both in our candidate and our platform. We lost because we thought we were in an idealized election when we were, in fact, in a cutthroat competitive sale.

In an idealized election, a group of informed, rational, fair, well-meaning, virtuous adults meet to vote on what is better for the future of the country, themselves, and their fellow Americans. So, yeah, someday we should strive to have an election like that. In the meantime, we should learn to sell.

What we were in was a cutthroat sales competition. It was, in fact, more of a sales mugging. The reasons we lost narrowly when we should have had a landslide are many. I'll try to list them. If you don't like them, fine. None of them have anything to do with coalitions of Steinbeckian working class sweeties being let down by corporatist plants. That would make a profitable (but not a good) movie, of course.

Republican abuse of power. The Benghazi Committee was an act of political criminality.

ISIS got what they wanted. They did for Muslims what "Jaws" did for sharks. Republicans assisted ISIS in the same way their leadership example George W. Bush assisted Al Qaeda, by fanning hysteria.

Putin got what he wanted, assisted by WikiLeaks. Republicans also assisted. Hackers weren't bad guys.

Colin Kaepernick created and starred in Republican "Willie Horton" ads which he broadcast during NFL games. Many other athletes at all levels did their own Republican ads, following Kaepernick's lead.

Clinton blew it with the "deplorables" comment, although it started out promising. She shouldn't have said it, but once she said it, she should have used it to get a bunch of free air time. Kellyanne Conway got that game; Clinton didn't.

Clinton kept saying things to try to get an angry country into some kind of group hug. That's great for the people who want to do a group hug. But you have to account for people who don't want to hug the other people on the team but still want to play for the team. A white, working class, rural worker with a family to feed would agree with a black, working class, urban BLMer with a family to feed on a $12 minimum wage or health insurance. They may not want to hug in many cases. Don't try to make them.

Trump is an effective salesman. He would obviously lose a traditional election, so he turned the election into something he could win, a sale. Lying is bad in an election. In a sale, it's standard practice. At least in a Trump sale.

Sanders divided the team. He started out strong, but he drifted into evil. His innuendo on Clinton's Wall Street speeches validated the Republicans' preposterous comic book portrayal of Clinton as corrupt. His portrayal of the Democratic primary process as rigged played into Trump's hands.

Republicans successfully suppressed the Democratic vote by eliminating polling places, purging voter roles, and pushing voter ID.

Democratic voters successfully suppressed the Democratic vote through apathy, laziness, unawareness of the stakes, and capitulation to discouragement and depression. Voting is not something one needs to be persuaded to do. Voting is the default. The burden of persuasion is on the non-voting argument. Having this backwards is the main reason we have so many Republicans, including Trump in offices they aren't fit to hold.
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