Thursday, June 22, 2017

The most harmful element in the Republican Party

Wow. Talk about a water-carrier:

Geez, Trump loyalists are so angry! It must be all the “winning.”
The chairman of Iowa’s GOP, Jeff Kaufmann was set to introduce Trump at his rally in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday night. As he took the podium, instead of just saying, “Trump is so super-cool, MAGA!” or whatever it is that people still stuck in the trance-like campaign mode of Trumpism are saying these days to deny reality, Kaufmann chose to go after a fellow Republican, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse.
Sasse was firmly against a Trump candidacy, before the election, but has since taken a more pragmatic turn. While I don’t think anyone is calling him a fan, neither is he in full flame mode, in regards to the president.
Apparently, that’s not good enough.
From Politico:
Stepping to the podium inside U.S. Cellular Arena as a warm-up act for the president, a visibly chafed Kaufmann announced that he needed to get some things off his chest and proceeded to spend most of his time berating the president’s critics in the media and on the left. It was in a brief rebuke of the so-called Never-Trumpers, however, that the Iowa GOP chairman singled out Sasse.
“We had Sen. Ben Sasse from Nebraska, he crosses the Missouri River, and in that sanctimonious tone talks about what he doesn’t like about Donald Trump,” Kaufmann said. “You know what, Sen. Sasse? I really don’t care what you like. We love Donald Trump. And if you don’t love him, I suggest you stay on your side of the Missouri River.”
Wow, buddy. I’m going to suggest decaf and deprogramming therapy. The election is over. Let it rest.
This could be uncomfortable, as Sasse is scheduled to appear in Iowa in two weeks, as keynote speaker for a local GOP dinner.
In an interview after Trump’s speech, Kaufmann acknowledged that his anger with Sasse had been bottled up since the pre-caucus period last year and said the senator had done nothing specific recently to aggravate him. That said, Kaufmann repeatedly cited Sasse’s “tone”—that of an intellectually superior Republican, he said, who treats Trump voters with “condescension”—as the source of his animus toward the senator.
“He’s an arrogant academic,” Kaufmann said of Sasse, a former college president. “He’s sanctimonious. His statements are geared toward what can help him. He’s arrogant. And he’s not a team player, when in reality the only reason he’s got any clout at all in the Senate is because the Republican Party has the majority.”
A water-carrier and a bonehead to boot. This is the kind of all-caps mentality one sees in the comment threads under pieces by Jonah Goldberg and Kevin Williamson. I recall a couple of comments under a piece by Michael Barone about a week ago - a piece having to do with the current ratcheted-up level of violence coming from the Left, in which he mentions in passing that Trump has "repeatedly transgressed longstanding political etiquette" (and does indeed show once again that maybe he's not the astute tea-leaf-reader that makes for his reputation, saying that the then-still-to-be-held Georgia 6th district race could go the Dem way due to Trump's demeanor; of course that didn't happen). For that, he was called a doormat, and more to the point, a leftist. A leftist! In reaction to a piece calling out the left for its violence!

This Kaufmann character in Iowa obviously knows nothing of Sasse beyond Sasse's position on Trump. For that matter, he obviously has never given a microsecond of thought to the three pillars of conservatism. He might spend an evening soon with Sasse's new book on how to make an adult.

But this is what you get from slavish Squirrel-Hair devotees.

And nearly as harmful are the talk-radio barkers and third-tier columnists who put down those of us who take the full measure of Squirrel-Hair, using the derisive term "muh principles."

No, thanks. I'm not interested in an American politics driven by raw tribalism.


  1. How provincial. Trump is the most harmful element in this nation and the entire world.

  2. This is your big chance to rethink that morsel of hyperbole. Don't you think North Korea,Iran, ISIS and al-Qaeda, for starters, have him beat? Plus, while he himself is problematic in the extreme, he has obviously been getting some great advice on a lot of things: Gorsuch, pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, moving forward with Keystone & Dakota pipelines, DeVos at Education, Haley as UN ambassador. . .

  3. Norkor, ISIS, China, Russia et al were all here before the 120 days of Trump. Trump has managed to shake it up in this country and all over the world already. With that portrait of that serial killer/genocidal maniac Andrew Jackson in his office, we've only just begun. To kill and die. Nope, I stick by it. He is the most dangerous man this country and the world has ever seen at the absolute worst time, unless you're going to be raptured soon. And no, I've no time today to provide any more commentary on this, leaving it up to you to present your firmly grounded principles which you are ready to spout in a moment's notice. I'm tellin' you, Donald Trump is wrecking everything. Gorsuch is not his man, he's our man if he rules meticulously and studiously on the law as I expect him t. Pulling out of the Paris Accords is a horrid PR move in a world that badly needs issues to cooperate over. Pipelines are really not needed other than to keep the prices down and they might indeed be serious threats to the environment some day. DeVos is a joke at education. Haley is OK at the UN but you hate the UN and want out, in favor of what peacekeeping and peacemaking body I know not what. And if you think generals who think they are going to make quick mince meat out of China and Russia, you got, as the song says, another thing comin'. So sit on the edge of your chair and cheer the troops on and party hardy like it's 1929 because the market is also gonna crash big time and then what?

  4. Oh, man where to start?

    1.) The Jackson portrait is indeed bad symbolism, but it hardly rises to the level of the harmfulness of the threats I enumerated.

    2.) Yes, Gorsuch is everybody's, but do you think he'd be a SCOTUS justice if Clinton ir even Jeb Bush were president?

    3.) Who gives a shit about the PR of the Paris Accord? It is perhaps the most economically damaging document ever drafted. 2.7 million US jobs would be lost by 2025. Plus, it gives away American sovereignty.

    4.) "Pipelines are really not needed other than to keep the prices down." Dude, that's the main reason for any energy-sector project. Keeping prices down is a basic motivation in any economic activity.

    5.) In what sense is DeVos a joke? She is all about parents having maximum choice in how their kids are educated.

    6.) Sure, I hate the UN. I suspect Haley does, too, which is why she's perfect in that job.

    7.) Where are you getting the idea that I think generals are going to make quick mincemeat out of China and Russia?

    8.) Can you steer me to the sources that lead you to believe a market crash is a certainty?

  5. The twitter habit is definitely a harmful thing, but it doesn't, either as an isolated phenomenon or as part of the entire array of reasons Trump is ill-suited to his job, make him the most harmful person on the planet.

  6. Hah, you thought you'd get a chance to lambaste me on facebook. That's why I blog here. It's safe here because hardly anyone goes here and if they do, half or more of the time it is because I recruited them. IF your numbers are high here, why don't people post? It would be safer for them too to be able to write and therefore sort out their positions. Look, it's a close call here in this country. I don't call your side the enemy and I am all for reasonable gentlemen and ladies, they built this country. And I have responses for each and every one of your rebuttals, but no time now, so don't go going off claiming you got me now because I cant come up with an answer. As to the loss of jobs, that is coming and coming soon anyhow because of AI and robotics. I keep up on that stuff. And you are amongst the most bellicose people I have ever come across. I asked a question over on face about what is different now about China being the reason we do not kick ass over there from when Ike in all his obvious experience and wisdom from coming out of the most horrid war (and senseless, as are all wars) the planet has ever known pulled us out of it, despite campaigning for escalation, soon after he got elected. China. What's different today? As for Norkor's nukes, sorry Charlie, we opened that frigging can of worms 70 yrs ago and the whole goddam world knows it. Every country that ever developed nukes got them. You want to dissolve the UN because things don't go your way there anymore and you are more a damned Zionists than an American anyhow. Donald Trump has the most power on this planet and he is the biggest whacko bird to ever become Commander in Chief, beyond my and many others' wildest nightmares and I am telling you he is the most goddam dangerous man the world has ever known with his power.

  7. To be continued for sure. I just don't have time to rip into all your rebuttals right now. Have a nice day and/or week-end.

  8. The portrait of Jackson, his hero,tells a whole lot. Since he does not read, what does he really know about Jackson? Since he does not exercise, I'm not so sure he can last out this term, and I really expect that, with his ego, he will snarl and tell the nation in about 3 years that he will not seek reelection like Ronnie did and others ran the country while he slipped into his dotage.

  9. Who cares who opened what can of worms re: North Korean nukes? They're now just about ready to put one on an ICBM and fre it at Tokyo, Guam or Hawaii, if not Los Angeles.

  10. We have a 66 year old Armistice. Let's go another 66 years if we have to. I want to know what is different now from 66 years ago. A world war MUST not happen. Get that> MUST NOT HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  11. "Things not going my way" at the UN: IS that anything like

    - Secretary General Gutierrez sending Bashar al-Assad a cape of congratulations on the occasion of Syria's independence day ("warmest congratulations")?

    - such past heads of the General Assembly as Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninist Miguel D'Escoto and or Ghaddafi-era Libyan career diplomat Ali Treki?

    - Former Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon using the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day to say that "Palestinians are losing hope"?

    - General Assembly attempts to declare Israeli development in Judea and Samaria "illegal"?

    - the Human Rights Commission's Goldstone Report, that tried to make Operation Cast Lead, which went out of its way to avoid civilian casualties, into some kind of unprovoked atrocity

    - Former UN Relief & Works Administration Commissioner Peter Hansen saying on record that "I am sure there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll . . . I don't see this as a crime."?

    - Iran as vice-chair of the Disarmament Commission?

    - Zimbabwe on the Human Settlements Governing Council?

  12. We have to deal with China on all that, as always. Are they weaker than 66 years ago? We also need our international coalitions. Have you seen a successful war we have waged in our lifetime? You are always quick to blame why not, and the hubris is that you think we can get er done with the right people.

  13. Armistice isn't going to work anymore. The Kim regime's program is gathering momentum like never before. They are also actively working on an EMP, which would take out the entire North American power grid.

  14. Yeah, and why? And why should I believe you when the past has shown the hawks and the MI lies about this crap. Marxist-Leninism, scare me. Israel does not belong in the disputed territory, so cry me a river there too. The jews are largely atheists and hugely materialist and clannish. I weep me not for them. There is a reason they have been detested throughout history. You've been griping about the UN for decades now. You used to send these weird letters to the editor in our little town about accelerating everything down in Central America. After war should come peace. We have fucked up every damned incursion in my lifetime. What makes this time different? You damn science, higher education, public education, the press, public broadcasting, want to return to the fifties and earlier on homosexuality and are now thumping your Bible. And you and your ilk are far less than half of America. You lose.

  15. You investigated the crap out of everything Hillie and Bill ever did and you never got the goods on them. Your Republican president trashed her ass in an internationally viewed debate and now we're supposed to feel badly for him and let go and let him unite us? You tried to get rid of Obamacare which was passed without a single Republican vote and are now turning around and doing the same damned thing by trying to cram an unknown bill up our posteriors. Trump is playing you like he plays the fundies making you think he has made all these great choices to run the government. As rich as he was born he's tried to come off as a salesman but I don't buy a friggin' bit of what he says or does. He knows how to work lawyers who are as bad or worse than he is working for that coinage. But I don't think the Russian thing is going anywhere any further or faster than your eight years of trashing everything Obama did and your idiotic claims that Hillary Clinton did something illegal and anti-American in Benghazi. I know you will rant and rave and call me clueless but that is my take on it. As for the Paris thing, it never was binding. And statecraft is give and take on everything and everything is subject to change and renegotiation. I hear America has broken every treaty they ever entered into. Is that true? I know this is rambling, unparagraphed, even inconsistent. Over half the country did not vote for Trump 6 months ago and I am sure over half the country would not vote for him now. He might still win the electoral vote today but I am certain all this craziness and ill will would not be occurring under anyone else. Yes, in 4 short months he has wrecked everything. Playing to his base. And your recalcitrant ilk who just love his choices. His son-in-law was a goddam liberal up until the time his rich father in law decided to run for president. How does that stick in your craw? You know all that, of course, and about his daughter too. Super Trump and his 3rd wife and 4th or 5th child by another mutha. I don't care if he chooses the Pope to run something, this man is bad for the world!

  16. And how are you going to deal with China this time around? You might have trouble building a standing army after you go through all the volunteers. Because this war will be started by US.

  17. As for the coming market crash, google it, like I do. I ain't no market prognoscateer, in fact the whole subject bores the crap out of me. I hear people all the time wrapped up in the market and buying and selling shit, their materialism, keeping up with the Joneses, all that are signs that they are hypnotized by consumerism. Boom/bust, I know it must. Gold rushes, killing for land, all that, not my bag, but I may have been hypnotized by Jesus and even monasticism and as I grew to read and reflect more, zen. Just google it. I binged it here. I have no faith in the market. You can if you want.

  18. I cannot trust a market run like Vegas casinos. I know I have money invested but I don't trust it. I make my own way. And if I did not have a nickel I'd find a way to get one. And hopefully to share at least something, if only my time, love and assistance. Whatsoever you do to the least of his brethren.....

  19. How is Trump playing me? You read this blog. It's quite clear I think it's unfortunate that he's president.

  20. Re: "got the goods" on Madame BleachBit and Billy Jeff the Zipper: Well, they were never convicted of anything - although BJ was impeached - but the books by the likes of Edward Klein and Peter Scweitzer make plain their criminality and utter lack of humanity.

  21. Would you care to spell out what this reason is that Jews have been detested throughout humanity?

    Re: most of them being atheists: Then let's pray for them to return to the God who chose them.

  22. Yes, I sent letters to the editor about Central America in the 1980s. The hard left - including "peace fellowships" - was trying to obscure what was really going on - namely, that the FSLN and the FMLN were hard-core marxist-Leninist organizations.

    1. Hard left kinda won-out, did they not?

  23. Glad to see you admit your position is inconsistent.

  24. my position is very consistent with the current Pope and I am so grateful that the reforms of Vatican II back in 63 are finally being implemented. The conservatives still want to hold on to their old pharisaic ways. And there is something to be said about consistency, but I'm not sure it is the way of the universe. Unless you want to be sure your oxygen supply works that way.

  25. I'm really not convinced I am inconsistent, so please outline where I am in conflict with loving God and loving my neighbor as myself. Are there any more commandments?

  26. "I know this is rambling, unparagraphed and inconsistent."

  27. I know, but I just need more help recognizing my inconsistencies so I can work on them. Remind me again how I can be against abortion and war and for universal health care, public education (especially including higher public education, also including free college tuition along the lines of the GI Bill for All), the total legalization of marijuana, amnesty for illegal immigrants, Title IV, the IU Hoosiers, FSU Seminoles, NASA, the Jews out of the occupied territories, the UN, NATO, Cheerios, Cheetos & Oreos and still be a ZenCatholic?

  28. I'm afraid I can't help you untangle a mess like that.


    A road has been opened up for a Catholic understanding of Zen by men like Heinrich Dumoulin, H.M. Enomiya LaSalle, William Johnson and Thomas Merton. Where does it lead? Where does it go once we see that Catholics can appreciate and practice Zen? What will happen when Catholics begin to attain enlightenment? It is then that it will be crucial for us to understand as clearly as possible the differences between Zen enlightenment and the ultimate goal of Christian life, and the different inner horizons that distinguish the Catholic from the Zen Buddhist.

    For the Catholic, enlightenment is an absolute only in a particular order. It is not an absolute absolutely, which is reserved for union with God through love. But if Catholics begin to advance on the way of enlightenment under the guidance of Zen Buddhists, then it is possible that they will feel a tension between these two different ways of looking at enlightenment. Having gone through the gateless gate, how readily can they come forth and understand this experience, not in the traditional categories of Zen Buddhism, but within the perspectives of faith? How transparent will enlightenment be to divine union? How much will it capture the Catholic by its deep actuality and bedazzle him so he will have great difficulty in reflecting on this experience in a Christian way, especially since Christian reflection on Zen enlightenment has just begun?

    The more a Catholic penetrates deeply in Zen the more will he have to ponder these questions, be aware of their potential dangers and strive to overcome them in order that the riches of Zen will flow into Catholic life.

  30. Here is an example of a Catholic Bishop who needs to be more consistent in his hate and spurning sin replete with denial of sacraments such as the Eucharist & Extreme Unction (last rites):

    "If bishops ban members of same-sex marriages from receiving a Catholic funeral, they also have to be consistent. They must also ban divorced and remarried Catholics who have not received annulments, women who has or man who fathers a child out of wedlock, members of straight couples who are living together before marriage, and anyone using birth control. For those are all against church teaching as well."

  31. That bishop's position is not what is at issue in religious-freedom situations. Obviously, he is in the wrong denying them last rites, since none of us are without sin.

    Re: Zen: there can be no "enlightenment" until the individual human being says in utter sincerity to the Most High, "I am sorry, and thank you for the redeeming blood of your son."