Open Thread Dec. 13: Night of the Long Forks

Filed in National by on December 13, 2017

And you thought Democrats were good at circular firing squads. The results weren’t all in before every Republican who ever thought this was a bad idea — which means most of them — started apportioning blame for screwing the unscrewable pooch.

Their prime target was disheveled svengali Steve Bannon, who just 24 hours earlier was being hailed as a magician (David Cop-a-feel, maybe?) for engineering the greatest comeback since Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Now, Mitch McConnell’s allies are crowing that Bannon is dead, which I’ll believe only when I see the remains of his broomstick. Bannon crony Sean Hannity blames McConnell. It’s a party full of people who crave credit without accepting responsibility.

It wasn’t easy for the Republicans to screw up the Alabama special election. In fact, as Alex Burns of the New York Times pointed out in this election day tweet storm, it required an entire series of poor responses to circumstances on the ground, starting with the choice of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General.

More from Twitter: Check out the results of these special elections in the Trump era and see if you notice a trend. The deplorables win only when the deplorers stay home.

All this winning has Democrats fired up — so fired up that they found candidates to run in all 36 Congressional districts in Texas. In 2016, eight Republicans ran unopposed.

On a non-election note, here’s an example of the high cost of homelessness to the rest of us: One of the wildfires in the Los Angeles area has been traced to a homeless camp where people were, in officials’ words, “illegally cooking.”

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  1. mouse says:

    I’m looking for the best SNL episode ever

  2. bamboozer says:

    10 points for David Cop-A-Feel, but even better is the Republicans are not done trashing themselves and Moore is clinging to the rim of the bowl and demanding a recall. Suspect he will be flushed, and with gusto.

  3. jason330 says:

    Steve Bannon is a shit mess. How that corrupt, depraved human canker sore ever gathered a following is a testament to the gullibility of 30% of our fellow citizens.

    PS. David Cop-a-feel is my favorite.

  4. Alby says:

    He’s Poppy Bush’s favorite, too.

  5. mouse says:

    The susceptibility of hucksterism in our culture is appalling. No wonder the conservatives so hate and fear education

  6. That Texas news is, well, as big as Texas. And these are grassroots candidacies, not some cigar-chompin’ boss putting up his allies.

    BTW, I see no reason why Beto O’Rourke can’t knock off Ted Cruz, either. It’s far less daunting a task than winning a Senate race in Alabama.

  7. Paul says:

    “mouse says: The susceptibility of hucksterism in our culture is appalling.” Aren’t we the land of “patent medicine”? We seem to have a long history of bad decisions. Some of these involve faith based beliefs. Faith based opinions serve our interests sometimes, as in “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” -MLK. But most of the time these ideas are regressive, negative, punitive and just plain against all common sense. In other words, stupid. “I’ll vote for Roy Moore because he’s against abortion”, period. Idiot. That said, 30% of Americans seem forever to be tied to this paranoid, delusional way of doing mental business. SMH.

  8. Dave says:

    ““I’ll vote for Roy Moore because he’s against abortion”, ”

    If either side had a lick of sense, they would have moved beyond this simplistic argument years ago. Terminating a pregnancy is a valid medical procedure that has become the cause célèbre and litmus test for both the right and left. Neither side is apparently smart enough to eliminate this single overriding issue simply by reducing unwanted pregnancies so that abortion could return to it’s proper role as a medical procedure that has legitimate medical purpose and necessity.

    The right has the greater difficulty because the path of reduction requires greater use of contraceptives. So they have to depend on people not doing what comes naturally. The left has no such excuse, except to maintain their litmus test and fuel for their outrage machine.

  9. mouse says:

    Why is it just mainly abortion and sexual issues? If “life” is that sacred, why no protest with the same obsessive zeal against war, gun violence, infant mortality, child malnutrition and the death penalty ? Something is missing.

  10. Alby says:

    Dave, you have outlined the problem, perhaps without realizing it.

    Abortion is a moral issue. Morals, I’m pretty sure, cannot be compromised. That is why it should never be thrust into the political sphere. The issue is no more or less than forced birth if pregnancy occurs.

    Politics deals only in legal rights. Under our Constitution, the mother is a citizen and has all the rights of one. The forced-birth movement seeks rights not merely for fetuses, a front on which they have made ground (ultra-constitutionally, I would argue), but for zygotes. Indeed, the “life begins at conception” argument would literally extend rights to just-fertilized ova that had not yet implanted in the uterine wall, which is medically speaking when pregnancy begins.

    Even if they were to somehow force this religiously inspired preference — not a single one of them I’ve ever heard of posits restrictions on abortion rights without appeal to a Supreme Being — it would then pit the rights of the mother against those of the zygote.

    The absurdity of this should be obvious at this point. There is no thought-out strategy on the part of the Forced Birthers except arguing whatever is necessary to make obtaining an abortion as expensive and inconvenient as possible. They know it will not end abortion, but they also know it will limit it, so they carry out these strategies regardless of whom it hurts. This, again obviously, is the strategy of the terrorist who targets civilians.

    The fight over abortion is a moral one, not a political one, but it will pretend to be a political one as long as grifters — virtually all of them on the right, preying on the religiously credulous — can profit thereby.

  11. Delawarelefty says:

    I have been watching the Rethug Congress attacking the FBI over their handling of the Russian investigation. Instead of damning Russia’s interference in our election process, they are damning the FBI. Something does not smell right. Is this simply about protecting the orange stain, or is Russia’s influence and money spread throughout the Rethug party? I am getting the popcorn ready.

  12. Alby says:

    @lefty: I think they’re acting for an audience of one, if you get my drift.

  13. It pays to have friends in high places. Missed this nugget from last Friday’s news dump by DNREC:

    Yep, that’s Kristin Barnekov-Short as in Bryon Short’s wife. While she’s qualified, she’s spent the last 20 years or so running the family gift shop business. I’m sure family connections had nothing to do with this hire. The Delaware Way strikes again.

  14. Dave says:

    “Abortion is a moral issue. ”

    Oh I definitely agree that it’s a moral issue and probability of everyone getting on the same moral (or immoral, whatever) page is slim and none. However, while it is a legitimate, legal medical practice it, many legitimate legal medical practices can and are overused or have gone far beyond their traditional medical purpose. Even so, what I would propose is to take the wind out of the sails of “Abortion is murder” by responding “Let’s reduce unwanted pregnancy” If they are really moral, they would agree to pursuing that goal because it is a means to an end. If they refuse, then (or propose the ridiculous, abstinence then you can accuse of them of not being serious and take them to task for that.

    Look, the simple fact is abortion affects elections. If you can’t change hearts and minds you are always faced with the big A on every election. Bottom line is, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. Alabama was never going to be a cake walk but it would not have been a slog except for abortion. I wish the Ds would do more messaging and policy about reducing unwanted pregnancy which ultimately is a consequence of irresponsible behavior (not the sex, but the sex without contraception).

  15. mouse says:

    Don’t forget the meteor shower tonight. I’ll be at Tower Road at dark