Political tribalism is leading us toward a civil war. I know from conversations with the staff here at NobodyisFlyingthePlane that many of us would go to war with other Americans over our beliefs. There is no way “we” are going to let “them” define the values which govern “our” world. We need to get “ourselves” off this path.
In essence, we’ve moved from “partisanship,” which still allowed for political compromises in the end, “to tribalism,” which does not, explained political scientist Norman Ornstein, co-author, with Thomas Mann, of the book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism.” In a tribal world it’s rule or die, compromise is a sin, enemies must be crushed and power must be held at all costs.
It would be easy to blame both sides equally for this shift, noted Ornstein, but it is just not true. After the end of the Cold War, he said, “tribal politics were introduced by Newt Gingrich when he came to Congress 40 years ago,” and then perfected by Mitch McConnell during the Barack Obama presidency, when McConnell declared his intention to use his G.O.P. Senate caucus to make Obama fail as a strategy for getting Republicans back in power. They did this even though that meant scuttling Obama’s health care plan, which was based on Republican ideas, and even though that meant scuttling long-held G.O.P. principles — like fiscal discipline, a strong Atlantic alliance, distrust of Russian intentions and a balanced approach to immigration — to attract Trump’s base.
The shift in the G.O.P. to tribalism culminated with McConnell denying Obama his constitutional right to appoint a Supreme Court justice with almost a year left in Obama’s term. As NPR reported:“Supreme Court picks have often been controversial. There have been contentious hearings and floor debates and contested votes. But to ignore the nominee entirely, as if no vacancy existed? There was no precedent for such an action since the period around the Civil War.”
In a speech in August 2016, McConnell boasted: “One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, ‘Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.’”
That was a turning point. That was cheating. What McConnell did broke something very big. Now Democrats will surely be tempted to do the same when they get the power to do so, and that is how a great system of government, built on constitutional checks and balances, strong institutions and basic norms of decency, unravels.
Hypocrisy thy name is politics, and more specifically Republicans, and even more specifically Fox Nuts.
Either Lumpy and his friends are lying about being bothered by thin-skinned, authoritarian, less-than-Christian readers-of-prompter being president. Or they don’t care, as long as it’s their thin-skinned prompter-authoritarian-tyrant-narcissist. You just want that person to give you your country back. Because you feel that you’re this country’s rightful owners. There’s only one problem with that. This country isn’t yours. You don’t own it. It never was. There is no real America. You don’t own it. You don’t own patriotism. You don’t own Christianity. You sure as hell don’t own respect for the bravery and sacrifice of military, police and firefighters.
Jon Stewart, Back on ‘Late Show,’ Lets Loose on Fox News and More http://nyti.ms/2aep978
Zika vurus, brought to you by Conservatives everywhere.
Allowing the crusade against Planned Parenthood to get in the way of protecting the public is inexcusable.
Congress’s Failure to Fund Zika Response http://nyti.ms/29bBlGM
Finally, woman are finding ways around the unscrupulous and devious barriers the right wing nuts put between women and the freedom to manage their own health.
Anything that helps women and families (and men) plan their pregnancies is a good thing for society over all. We just don’t need any additional unwanted children.
Unfortunately 37% of all pregnancies are unplanned (not the same as unwanted, but close enough). Worse is that the number hasn’t moved much at all in the last 40 years.
With nearly 40 percent of all pregnancies in the United States unintended, birth control is a critical public health issue. Experts increasingly encourage long-acting contraceptive methods, like intrauterine devices, but usage, while growing, remains low.
Birth Control via App Finds Footing Under Political Radar http://nyti.ms/2001Der
A fascinating look at how @MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain broke the Media and side stepped it’s typical gatekeepers.
Time and time again the staff here at NobodyisFlyingthePlane sees hints of the good that can come from this election cycle madness we’re witnessing. Feel the Bern is shaking the left and Trumpapalooza is breaking the right. But its just as the writer says; a controlled burn intended to clear out dead wood can burn neighborhoods. Each bit of good news has a potential dark side.
The breakdown of the Media’s ability to control info comes with the loss of importance of fact checking and truth becomes a purchaseable commodity. The possible implosion of the two party system creates the potential for third party candidates to syphon votes from one side only. The ability to run without corporate funding means that the most likely candidates to do so are obscenely wealthy to begin with.
Adventures in the Trump Twittersphere http://nyti.ms/233Qc7B
We already know that NobodyisFlyingthePlane. We should know by now that the plane is broken. Congress has confirmed that.
Why not paint it with the Trump colors of hatred, bigotry, misogyny, stupidity and religious fascism that represent too many of our ignorant and vile countrymen if it will crash the plane and allow us to launch a new one. We can even paint a swastika on the tail if it will get Cliven Bundy and his ilk to board.
“To support Trump is to support a bigot,” wrote Stevens, the former Romney strategist. “It’s really that simple.”
Wrong. To support Trump is to BE a bigot. This country is filled with bigots (and worse). That’s nothing new. We can’t act surprised about that.
How about we let one who seems to be their perfect leader lead for a minute if it will break the Republican Party and hopefully the whole political system.
This could be a good thing. Trump could be a good thing for this country. Especially if he finally brings this dysfunctional two party plane in for a landing.
The Beast Is Us http://nyti.ms/1TXqUVp
Both parties have taken obstructionist stances in the past, but the Conservative party has finally gone over the cliff.
The larger issue here is obstructionism.
[The GOP’s] aim is less to govern than to cause gridlock. That’s not true of everyone — the House speaker, Paul Ryan, seems to have genuine aspirations to legislate. But to be a Republican lawmaker today is too often to seek to block appointments, obstruct programs and shut down government. Politics becomes less about building things up than about burning them down.
The party of Lincoln is now the party of “No,” refusing even to invite the president’s budget director to testify on an Obama budget, as is customary. Congress is expected to accomplish next to nothing this year.
I love the author’s recommendation:
Just as we have work requirements for some welfare recipients, maybe it’s time to consider work requirements for senators.
The Party of ‘No Way!’ http://nyti.ms/20WtDio