Second Civil War

Blogging friend Brosephus doesn’t speak often, but when he does, his words have meaning. Today, he asks a relevant question: When does democracy begin to defend itself? Some food for thought here, folks …

The Mind of Brosephus

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the second American Civil War. If you haven’t already realized it, we’ve been living through a war since December 2008. War has not been officially declared, however I’ll suggest that the moment the GOP decided to go full obstruction as opposed to actually governing in the best interest of America was the day the war began.

I can already hear the questions and see the puzzled looks. “What war?” you ask. “Isn’t war supposed to be violent and deadly?” Well, the Cold War between the US and Russia was fought for decades without direct battle. Likewise, the second civil war thus far has not been fought as a traditional war.

This is a war against the Constitution itself, and the fight became visible on January 6, 2021. Since that time, we’ve had numerous people convicted for their actions that day on charges that include seditious…

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Who do you trust?

Here we are, exactly two weeks from election day. Have you cast your ballot yet? The girls and I mailed ours on Saturday. We usually use a drop box, but in today’s violent political climate I thought the U.S. Postal Service to be the safer, more reliable venue, even despite Louis DeJoy.

Our friend Brosephus responds to a recent ABC News poll and asks the question: “Who in the hell are they polling?” Let’s have a look at what he has to say …

The Mind of Brosephus

Here we are, less than 16 days away from election day, and a major news outlet is putting out information like this.

My initial response is, “Who in the hell are they polling?” I also want to know in which alternative universe the polling responders reside.

Why would anyone outside of the wealthiest Americans trust the GOP with the economy? They’ve already said they’re going to cut Social Security among other programs. They’re threatening to default on the debt limit again to extract concessions from Biden. Now ask yourself, if these financial endeavors were so damned important, then why didn’t they do them when Trump was in office and they controlled Congress?

Face it America, if your net worth doesn’t include at least three commas in front of the decimal point, the GOP doesn’t care about you or your families. All they want from you is a vote to give…

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What’s Your Top Priority?

Charles Blow’s column in yesterday’s New York Times is both a thoughtful and thought-provoking take on the midterms and what is most prevalent in the minds of voters as they head to the polls.

The Battle Between Pocketbooks and Principles

By Charles M. Blow

19 October 2022

You are never in the voting booth alone.

You bring with you your hopes and fears, your expectations and your disappointments. Your choice is made through a maze of considerations, but it hinges primarily on how the candidates — their principles and their party — line up with your worldview. Would they, if elected, represent and promote the kind of community and country you want to live in? Are they on your side, fighting for you and people like you?

Often, the things that are top of mind as you consider those questions are urgent and imminent, rather than ambient and situational. Issues like the economy, for instance, will almost always take top billing, since they affect the most people most directly.

Anger over abortion can also be potent, and in some races, it may determine the outcome, but it is a narrower issue. First, no person assigned male at birth will ever have to personally wrestle with a choice to receive an abortion or deal with health complications from a pregnancy that might necessitate an abortion. So, for half the electorate, the issue is a matter of principle rather than one of their own bodily autonomy.

Furthermore, at the moment, abortion is still legal in most states. Yes, clinics have disappeared completely in 13 of the 50 states, according to the latest data from the Guttmacher Institute, but for millions of American women living in blue states, abortion access hasn’t changed since the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Dobbs.

That is not to diminish the outrage people do and should feel about this right being taken away from them. It doesn’t diminish my personal outrage, nor does it assume that abortion rights are safe in the states that have yet to outlaw the practice.

But I mention it as a way to understand something I’ve seen over and over in the electorate: Incandescent rage, however brightly it burns at the start, has a tendency to dim. People can’t maintain anger for extended periods. It tends to wear on the mind and the body, as everyday issues like gas and rent and inflation push to get back into primary consideration.

I have seen repeatedly how people abandon their principles — whether they be voting rights, transgender issues, gun control, police reform, civil rights, climate change or the protection of our democracy itself — when their pocketbooks suffer. There is a core group of people who will feel singularly passionate about each of these problems, but the rest of the public adjusts itself to the outrage and the trauma, shuffling each issue back into the deck. They still care about these problems as issues in the world, but they don’t necessarily see them as urgent or imminent.

In a New York Times/Siena College poll released this week, voters were asked “What do you think is the MOST important problem facing the country today?”

A plurality, 26 percent, said the economy, and 18 percent said inflation or the cost of living. Just seven percent said the state of democracy, and four percent said abortion.

After the Supreme Court struck down Roe, Democrats saw a measurable shift in their direction, as voters began to say that they were leaning toward the Democrats in the midterm elections. The anger among many voters was palpable; the offense was fresh. But now, that momentum has stalled, and some see a swing back toward Republicans as we get further out from the ruling and worrisome economic news retakes the headlines.

I still believe that anger over abortion will be felt in the midterms. I believe that taking away such a fundamental right feels like a betrayal that must be avenged. I believe that many parents of daughters are incensed at the idea of those girls inheriting an America where they will have less say over their bodies than their mothers had.

But I also know that energy attrition in the electorate is real. I know that historical trends are on the side of Republicans going into the midterms, and even a minor stalling of momentum and erosion of energy could make the already slim chance that Democrats would hold the House of Representatives an impossibly long shot.

In the closing days of this campaign cycle, Republicans are driving home perennial issues: the economy and crime. Democrats are arguing big issues of policy: abortion and protecting democracy. In this battle of pocketbooks and principles, which will win out?

For those with any sense of political vision and history, the policy side must take precedence. Economic issues are cyclical. They’ll always present themselves. But grand issues like bodily autonomy can define generations. And protecting democracy can define empires.

What is the point of a cheaper tank of gas, if it must be had in a failed democracy that polices people’s most intimate choices about their own bodies?

Mini-Snippets — Snarkies — Or Snarklets!

Well, folks, just 19 days until the big day … November 8th Election Day!  I wish I could say I’m excited, but I’m more concerned than anything.  Concerned about not only the election results, but the aftermath, since a fairly large number of candidates claim they will not accept any results other than their own win.  As happens sometimes, I’m not focused on just one thing today, but have small snippets floating about in my head, so it must be time for Mini-Snippets!!!

We have been ripped off!!!

I’m sure you’ve all heard the latest, that Trump has far overcharged the Secret Service agents assigned to his protection detail at his hotels.  In fact, it is reported that the Agency has been charged up to six times the going rate, as much as $1,185 per room per night!  No hotel room on the planet is worth that much!!! These are the men and women whose job it is to protect Donald Trump’s sorry life, We the Taxpayers are paying for not only his protection, but that of his family as well, and he is ripping us off!  If you’re not incensed over this, you should be!  But, my question is … why did it take this long to find out about it?  Why didn’t someone in the Secret Service, the Office of Management and Budget, or the Treasury Department sound the alarm?  If nothing else, where were the whistleblowers?  How could this have gone on for so long … and more to the point, will it continue?  Personally, I’d suggest he and his family are undeserving of protection paid for by We the People – halt his Secret Service protection and let him pay for his own security guards, since he claims to be so wealthy!

Short-sightedness rules the day

While recent polls show that some 71% of the people in the nation believe democracy is under threat, a far smaller percentage … some 19% … believe it is the most important issue facing voters in November.  What, instead, are voters concerned with?  Their own pocketbooks.  Yep, my friends, rather than democracy on the chopping block, or the environment that is on course to bring about the extinction of all life on Planet Earth, or women’s rights that are also on the chopping block, Americans are more worried about what they pay for a gallon of fuel or a stalk of celery. Live for today and to hell with tomorrow seems to be the motto.  One woman even said, “I’m shifting more towards Republican because I feel like they’re more geared towards business.” Seriously???  With all the life-threatening issues on the docket, people care more about business and their short-term economic woes?

Women’s rights anyone?  Not in this church!

It shouldn’t really have come as a surprise, but admittedly my jaw dropped to the floor when I read that the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, unanimously approved a resolution encouraging the seminary’s administration to continue theologically training both men and women, “but with men alone reserved for the office and function, and thereby title of pastor.”  Say WHAT???

Once again, let the women do the work and the men get the glory, eh?  Bigotry in all its fine forms is obviously alive and well in this particular cult!

Weaponized bees???

A 55-year-old woman in Massachusetts is facing multiple assault charges for unleashing a swarm of bees on county deputies who were attempting to serve an eviction notice!  The woman, Rorie Susan Woods, pulled into the driveway of the house where deputies were serving an eviction notice, and immediately went to the beehives being towed by her SUV, and tried to open the lids to unleash the bees. Woods then smashed the lid and flipped a hive off the flatbed, which made the bees very aggressive.

The bees stung several officers and bystanders who were watching nearby. Woods put on a professional beekeeper suit to protect herself, then carried a tower of bees near the front door of the home to try and stop the eviction.  Poor bees … but at least they weren’t arrested!

And I’ll end my mini-snarks with a meme and a few cartoons I’ve gathered over the past few days … I especially like the last one!

Post-democracy politics

I had not planned another post today … I typically like to stick to my schedule of two posts plus a music post … but then I came across this post from Brosephus and … every word struck a chord. He is 100% spot on with all he says here and I hope everyone realizes it. Many thanks, Bro!

The Mind of Brosephus

Creator: | Credit: Ben Gray Copyright: Ben Gray

Today starts the early voting period here in Georgia. We’ll hear the usual, “this is the most important election in our lifetime” speech over and over until November. While it gets old, this election is truly important and not just for the residents of Georgia.

Across the country, there are many candidates for office who are election deniers. The majority of GOP candidates on the ballot for November espouse the belief that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. Think of the cognitive dissonance required to believe that Trump lost on the same election where hundreds of Republicans won.

Yet, here we are in 2022 staring at the ballot and there’s a chance that many elections in 2024 will be run by people who believe that very thing. Democracy itself is officially on the ballot and maybe even on life support. Welcome to the world…

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