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Trump Part 11

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Gaius, Oct 24, 2017.

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  1. droodzilla

    droodzilla pfm Member

    Here, as promised, is my (partial) reply.

    There are several reason progressives might wish to dismiss Mueller's investigation, or to diminish its importance. I think the three main ones are rooted in fear of (or anxiety about): 1. anti-climax; 2. distraction; and 3. collusion (with the "deep state"). I'll talk about each in turn.

    1. Fear of Anti-Climax:

    The anxiety here is that Mueller's investigation has been overhyped: what if Mueller's crime soufflé fall flat as soon as it's taken out of the oven? There has been so much speculation about what Mueller *might* find that anything less than the "greatest conspiracy in US history" will result in nothing more than shrugs from the American public. This point hasn't been raised here for a while but - if the reaction of The View panel to Flynn's indictment is anything to go by - it's the one that concerns me the most.

    Even if Mueller can only prove Trump had dodgy business connections in Russia and that this is distorted his foreign policy, that in itself is a major issue. I wouldn't wish to see its significance downplayed because it wasn't the grand conspiracy some people have speculated about based on what's already in the public domain. This is why, in my posts about the Mueller investigation, I tend to adopt a cautious "wait and see" position. In any case, it's the only one with a measure of intellectual integrity.

    2. Fear of Distraction:

    This is the argument that the Mueller investigation is distracting us from all the other bad things Trump is doing and is "sucking the air" out of political debate. I think this is empircally false.

    To take an example that's close to hand, look at the contents of this thread. Discussion of the Mueller investigation tends to peak when a new development is announced, which is only natural. But the thread has highlighted just about every bad thing Trump has done I can think of from the Britain First retweets to the Jerusalem announcement, through the Tax Bill, attempted repeal of Obamacare, withdrawal from the Paris agreement on climate change, Charlottesville... Also, you add to the Mueller mania as much as anyone, every time you post the latest episode of Jimmy Dore snark about it.

    All of these other stories have been reported extensively on BBC News too. In recent days, the aftershock of Trump's Jerusalem announcement has taken centre stage with many reports of increased unrest in Palestine and the negative reaction of other world leaders. I was surprised to see Emily Maitlis give Regev a pretty hard time on Newsnight last week as she's usually quite lightweight as an interviewer. I'm sure similar remarks apply to other news outlets - Mueller coverage will peak with each fresh development and then subside to make way for other stories, some of which will be about bad stuff Trump's doing.

    Likewise in the real world, I see no evidence that protest and resistance to Trump has been choked out by Mueller's investigation. It began with the massive protests by women shortly after Trump's inauguration and has continued ever since, most recently with Native American leaders vowing to see Trump in court over his decision to hugely reduce the area of two national parks, and with Muslims praying outside the White House.

    Are the Democrats fixated on the Mueller investigation? Quite possibly, but this is understandable given they're outnumbered in both houses and Trump's in the White House. I don't keep tabs on the day to day nitty-gritty of US politics but I assume the Democrats are trying to impede Trump’s agenda in other ways but that’s hard given the numbers and the increasingly partisan nature of US politics. They’re also probably a bit sh*t and lacking in political imagination, but that’s another matter.

    So, I don’t agree that the Mueller investigation is sucking the air out of political debate. It’s empirically weak and intrinsically implausible. A stronger argument is that the focus on *Trump* to the exclusion of almost everything else is sucking the air out of political debate. The idea is that Trump isn’t the real problem but a symptom of deeper underlying issues: essentially that the political and economic system has failed the many, and that radical change is needed. I have a lot more sympathy with this argument but the fact remains that Trump has been able to capitalise on the underlying discontent of the masses in ways that are profoundly destructive and liable to have far-reaching negative consequences. So it’s important to keep informed about and to keep resisting what Trump is doing, even while we keep in mind the larger context and the need for a political shift.

    I’ll pause there for now and continue with the third point later or tomorrow...
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
    NeilR and vuk like this.
  2. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    It's collective punishment, a tactic of despots and fascists. Congratulations.
    Still likes this.
  3. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" Edmund Burke (probably)

    Edit: It was supposed to quote both Merlin and Tony together but something was lost in the I.T.....

    My point though is that things are getting so ****ed up that there must be something beyond talking about how terrible it is we should/could/may be starting to do about it.....

    I don't have the answer, but Merlin's stance may be what it takes to start a turn around. I don't know.
  4. merlin

    merlin Avatar changed - Town names deemed offensive.

    Septics should learn about collective responsibilty rather than trying to abdicate it - yourself included.

    Please don’t lecture me on morals. It just makes me laugh at the irony.
  5. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    This reminds me of the old line from Yes Minister: 'Something must be done. This is something. Therefore we must do it.' Also of the H L Mencken quote: 'For every complex problem, there is an answer that is simple, straightforward, and wrong'.

    merlin's stance is actually part of the problem rather than any sort of solution. It is blaming a whole nation for the actions of some individuals, and morally no different from someone refusing to serve any Muslims unless they apologise for the actions of some other Muslims.
    Still and droodzilla like this.
  6. droodzilla

    droodzilla pfm Member

    I haven't heard the Yes Minister line before but it's brilliant.
  7. DonQuixote99

    DonQuixote99 pfm Member

    Isn't it just! :D
  8. merlin

    merlin Avatar changed - Town names deemed offensive.

    It is showing a whole nation ( those not too thick who actually travel) just what their government is doing to their nation and at the same time, how they are treating an entire global religion.

    if you can advise of another way of doing this I that gets reported to them via their media then I'm all ears Joe. we are IMO past the point of subtle messages so I would dispute that it is part of the problem.

    Next you will all be telling me the boycott of all things Nazi was wrong in the 1930's and part of the problem.
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    To better understand how fundamentally dumb your argument just flip it on its head. How would you respond if people in the UK starting boycotting Asians and Muslims because of Westminster Bridge, Manchester arena, the head-chopping morons of ISIS etc? Surely you would describe such a response as meat-headed racism and bigotry?*

    Your actions may also have negative repercussions as many folk, myself included, would not be prepared to drink in such an obviously racist or bigoted bar.

    *Thankfully we have race hate legislation in the UK which would make such business behaviour illegal, but you get my point.
  10. DonQuixote99

    DonQuixote99 pfm Member

    No point in arguing with any hope of convincing Merlin at this point. Were he capable of being abashed by opposition it would have happened already. He's now in the space where criticism only reinforces his commitment.

    The worthwhile thing now is to point out the general futility of acting out of hate. Hostility only engenders return hostility. The direction and outcome of the feedback loop is obvious. But it can work the opposite way.

    In any case, it''s interesting and fun to ponder the parallels and differences of Merlin's watering hole, and the cinematic model of another hotbed of resistance to fascism, the now-ironicly-named 'Rick's Cafe American.'
  11. maxflinn

    maxflinn pfm Member

    Drood I'll respond later. I was busy studying last night for my certificate of professional competence and class C HGV driving licence.

    I got both this morning :cool::p
  12. maxflinn

    maxflinn pfm Member

  13. merlin

    merlin Avatar changed - Town names deemed offensive.

    Yes i would be on the streets protesting and calling for the government to resign. I would take on the law enforcement and take the ruling party to court if possible.

    I would bot be sat on my fat arse watching it reported on Fox or CNN whining.

    As for negative reaction in the Muslim world, i think decades of persecution, murder, invasion and support for Israeli crimes would make any US citizen feel uncomfortable in most Muslim countries.

    On top of that there will soon be a travel ban instigated by the US.

    I think you are mixed up about this Tony. You clearly think i am. C’est la vie. We are not doing anything illegal, or indeed overly unusual over here. The joy of cultural diversity.
  14. DonQuixote99

    DonQuixote99 pfm Member

    Read some. For a 'noted journalist,' Greenwald has gotten quite breathless and hyperbolic. Has to do with the media market he now works in, and his position at the top of his own organization.

    He makes much conspiracy sauce out of 'several sources' all making the same error (or purposeful lie). My guess is that the story, and the error/lie, all are ultimately sourced in a single investigator, and so there is just one source of the error/lie.
  15. kendo

    kendo Prussian bot

    How was your hazard perception?
    maxflinn likes this.
  16. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Hear hear!

    I can hardly believe the prevailing attitude on here which seems to be roughly "whatever evil or injustice happens in the world, do nothing, lest someone, somewhere, be offended by your actions". I suppose then we should not have resisted Hitler... lest it offended good non fascist Germans?
  17. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    Taking what you’re doing to its logical extreme you’d have refused entry to fleeing Jews because they were Germans and therefore representing their government.
    Still likes this.
  18. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    Indeed. When faced with the prospect of ones home country being dragged out of the EU and turned into a low wage low tax money launderers' paradise it's important that we all ...... run away to Thailand and open a bar.
  19. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    No one is saying that, all I suggest is intelligent targeting such as StopFundingHate. No one needs to be as blunt and dumb these days as we were pre-information age.

    To put it another way Merlin’s/your argument is along the lines of “We don’t agree with Brexit, therfore we are boycotting Arkless Electronics and all UK businesses”. The fact you don’t agree with Brexit either is of no consequence, you will be judged solely on your race and location. It is so far beyond dumb I have no idea where to start to be honest. Certainly far more stupid than I am happy to host on my business site!
  20. vuk

    vuk \o/ choose anarchy


    that's just one part of this. i've watched what happened and the CNN "correction" is so misleading and awful, that it's orders of magnitude worse than any hyperbole you wish to assign greenwald. also, you seem to be attacking the honest journalist and saying little of the corrupt ones. this story is hardly just about how many false sources there were.
    maxflinn likes this.
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