Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


Pinback's Journal
Pinback's Journal
February 27, 2020

Great interview with Stacey Abrams

Noah Feldman has an enlightening conversation with the electrifying Georgia activist, politician, and author on his podcast “Deep Background” — well worth a half hour of your time:

Or find it on your favorite podcast app.

February 26, 2020

The library offers serendipities not available on the Internet.

One of my favorite library activities is just wandering around to see what interests me. I've also made many worthwhile discoveries grazing through the unshelved books carts.

The other crucial thing about the library is that the collections are curated. Some expert, or group of experts, has assembled a smorgasbord of fascinating materials that fit into a coherent pattern, and I'm sure to find many things of interest every time I go. And each book or periodical is professionally edited, so it's had to go through some vetting and review process. Joe Blow's blog or YouTube channel, not so much.

It's also much easier to focus in the library, when I'm not pulled in 20 directions at once by all the joys and temptations of the computer and the Internet.

Another important aspect of the building itself is that the library is a crossroads of people from various socioeconomic groups and generations, one that's not replicated many other places.

I hope this wonderful place, and many more like it, will always be available. The prospect of the library's obsolescence is deeply distressing to me.

February 11, 2020

Trump's latest rally stunts are designed to get you to surrender

(Washington Post)
By Greg Sargent, Opinion writer -- Feb. 11, 2020

In the end, many of President Trump’s ugliest degradations — the nonstop lying, the constant efforts to undermine faith in our political system, the relentless delegitimization of the opposition — often seem to converge in some sense on a single, overarching goal:

To get you to give up.

To give up on what, exactly? On the prospects for accountability for Trump, via mediating institutions such as the media, or via other branches of government, or even via the next election, and more broadly, on the very notion that our political system is capable of rendering outcomes that have not been thoroughly corrupted to their core.

Trump displayed all these pathologies at his rally in New Hampshire on Monday night:
  • Trump predicted that “a lot” of Republicans will cast crossover ballots (which GOP-leaning independents could do in this state), for the “weakest” of the Democrats in Tuesday’s primary. Trump didn’t merely encourage this; he said it will happen, which seems designed to sow doubts among Democrats about the outcome, and to get them to fear Republicans’ ability to tamper with it.

  • Trump again shouted the monumental falsehood that he lost the state in 2016 only because of enormous numbers of illegal voters. This doesn’t merely prep Trump’s voters to see a 2020 loss as illegitimate. It also lets Democrats know that Trump has prepped Trump Nation not to accept a loss, and thus to lose faith in the likelihood of a peaceful transfer of power even if Trump is legitimately defeated.

Trump is a weak candidate, as demonstrated by the Democrats' stunning margin of victory in the 2018 mid-term election. Now is sure as hell not the time to give up.

More from the article:
None of this is to concede magical powers to Trump. He remains vulnerable for reelection. And we don’t have to succumb to any of this. As Jurecic says, the impeachment asserted that the Constitution matters in the face of nihilism.

What’s more, the enormous fact record produced by impeachment and the special counsel’s investigation has tremendous inherent value — not just as statements in the face of such nihilism that presidential corruption, accountability and facts themselves matter, but also as road maps for further revelations.

Similarly, the success of House Democrats in assembling this fact record under tremendous duress — and the parade of patriotic witnesses who smuggled out the truth at grave risk of retribution, which Trump openly advertised truth tellers will face — reminds us that public service matters, as well.

Whether by instinct or design, Trump and his propagandists plainly see their successful sowing of doubt in the integrity of our political system — their sowing of a kind of sneaking dread that Trump is successfully corrupting everything in sight — as being in some basic sense a positive for him.

But we don’t have to succumb to any of it.

- more at link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/11/trumps-latest-rally-stunts-are-designed-get-you-surrender/

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: GA
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 12,082

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»Pinback's Journal