Cognitive Psychology

The Four Parts of an Apology that ALL Trump Supporter needs to Fulfill to be Forgiven


The Trump-era is rapidly coming to a close. As of this writing there are 22 days until Inauguration Day. Once Trump exits crank-right from our political center stage, we have to decide how best to proceed with several classes of people: (1) Trump and his immediate circle of supporters and co-conspirators, (2) the professional political class that aspires to or has attained elective or appointed office who enabled him by actively supporting policies that have undermined our democracy, sovereignty, and safety; and (3) the rank-and-vile supporter and voter.

We all know that there is a deep partisan divide in our country. We all know that there is a deep distrust between the factions on either side of that divide. And, we all know that if we are to move forward as a country, we need to bridge that divide. The question is, how do we proceed? How do we work together with the conservative faction after the damage inflicted on the country in big ways and small by the Ol’ Pussy Grabber, his professional enablers, and the rank-and-vile supporters?

I think there are two things that must happen: (1) List the ways that Trump et al. have damaged us. We have to be clear about what happened and how we’ve been harmed by it. And (2) they have to apologize for it, but it can’t be the Oh, sorry that you feel what I did was insulting, that you might get from the typical politician apology. It should be more like what you find in restorative justice.

The Damage of Trump

The damage done by the Ol’ Pussy Grabber and his ilk are massive, and I cannot list them all here. I can, however, categorize them into their most meaningful groupings: (1) Undermining our democracy and democratic institutions and norms; (2) The needless deaths and misery caused by the #COVID19 pandemic; (3) Damaging our national security by degrading our intelligence community and our alliances; and (4) Furthering climate change by deliberately cancelling environmental regulations and protections and allowing harmful exploitative industrial activities. I’d love to hear the ways that you think Trump and friends have harmed the US in the comments.

There has been a theme ricocheting around the liberal media bubble concerning what to do with Trump and his co-conspirators after he leaves office. Ideas range from some type of crime commission a la Glenn Kirschner to letting the nation “heal” a la Carter post-Nixon and Obama post-W. I would love to hear your thoughts on how we should handle the overwhelming corruption both infecting and eroding our nation after the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is removed from the White House. Please take a moment to comment.

The Four-Part Apology

Putting aside the issue of prosecuting criminal behavior, how should we deal with the legion of supporters and enablers among both the professional political class and the rank-and-vile voter? Should we forgive them and accept them back into polite company? Should we shun them? We have options, but the question is what should we require to welcome them back into our midst, provided they want to be in our company. Whatever we do, it is clear to me that we should start with an apology from those Trump supporters who wish to reconcile. This idea begs the question of what constitutes an apology.

In the psychological world there is a clear consensus that an apology should have several elements to be considered sincere and “healing” or effective. Typically, they range from three to six parts. We’ll split the difference and list four:

  1. Accept responsibility: For an apology to be sincere, the person doing the apology must acknowledge two things: (a) What they did. They must be able to explain to you what happened. We don’t need excuses or reasons why. We need to know that by refusing to wear a masks and socially distance during the #COVID19 pandemic, we caused hundreds of thousands of needless deaths. If you can’t do that, you can’t be forgiven. And (b) it was injurious to you. Those needless deaths were needless and excessive and have removed far too many productive contributing members from our society, and we are worse off for it. Too many families have been going through intense grief causing them further hardship during a pandemic. This is a big fucking deal. Before you can be forgiven for causing big fucking harms to us as a nation, we gotta know that you accept responsibility for it.
  2. Sincere remorse: Once you’ve acknowledged your responsibility for causing serious damage, you’ve got to be sincerely remorseful. Only psychopaths and sadists wouldn’t be remorseful for playing any role in the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans or destroying our democracy. It’s long past time for the Repube politicians and the rank and vile to sober up and own up. If they don’t, they are authoritarians and really do hate America for its freedoms to use a cliche.
  3. A commitment to avoid doing it again: It isn’t enough to be sincerely remorseful for having done whatever it is you’re apologizing for, you have to commit to not doing it again. If it was bad in 2020 to needless kill 350,000+ real live dead dead dead Americans. If you aren’t outraged by that, then you really are a sadistic psychopath.If you can’t commit to never doing that again, you aren’t welcome in polite society. Ditto for destroying our democracy, endangering our national security, or supporting rampant corruption. These are no brainers unless you are actual authoritarians.
  4. And making it up to you: You fuckers owe America for the past four years of crap and this year of absolute misery. The least you can do is pass #COVID19 relief and stimulus checks of $2,000.00. They’ve got a lot to make up for. It would be enough not to play politics with sorting the lawless corruption out and the damage done to our national security.

As the Ol’ Pussy Grabber blunders through the exit being completely oblivious to the ruined and lost lives in his wake, his enablers, co-conspirators, and rank-and-vile supporters need to take the necessary steps to be welcomed back into mainstream American culture. Somehow, I can’t see it happening. If you were willing to vote for four more years of the same or weren’t willing to risk re-election by opposing the Ol’ Pussy Grabber, then you don’t deserve to be welcome among the average American. Just like with an unruly child, you’ve got to set the bar higher and expect them to rise to it.

The #silverlining of the #COVID19 pandemic is that we have a clear litmus test: if you aren’t outraged by the lack of federal leadership and support that caused such massive unnecessary suffering, then you are not welcome. You need to be shunned, but that is another blog post all together.

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Image Attribution

“Begging” by Nicolò Paternoster is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

103 replies »

  1. Oh, and as for

    How do we work together with the conservative faction

    Remember that thing that bursts out of John Hurt’s chest and then spends four movies chasing Sigourney Weaver around badly-lit spaceships? When you figure out how to “work together” with that, you’ll know how to “work together” with Fox-addled Trumpanzees. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Infidel!

      I think the key to our political transformation and survival is changing the low-information Trump voter into a high-information voter. It won’t be easy. I don’t know how, either. But, the better educated you are about issues and policies the less likely you are to be influenced by demagogues.

      The truly scary thing is that those very radical militarized elements of conservative side are just waiting for someone to organize them and lead them into a violent harrowing future a la ISIS and their caliphate. Luckily, Trump had no idea how to do that. He can throw chum into the waters to agitate the circling sharks, but he can’t actually do anything else. He’s just hoping that someone will do something and it results in the election being overturned.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

  2. I read a few rank-and-vile (good one) Trumpanzee blogs. They are not waiting for us to forgive them and allow them back into polite society. They are wallowing in graphic fantasies about shooting us and hanging us from lampposts and blowing up trains and sabotaging city water supplies and things like that. They regard us as traitors to America and as collaborators in Biden’s stealing the election from Hair Furor Agolf Twitler. They are just getting crazier and crazier since the election.

    Your list isn’t a bad start, though covid-19 is only one aspect of the evils they’ve inflicted on the country. One further item I would suggest — resigning from the Republican party. That party has now been so blatantly malignant since, well, quite a while before Trump took it over, that I don’t accept that any person who remains a member of it can be considered a decent human being.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Infidel!

      I would like to see the Project Lincoln folks start a conservative political party. If the Dems were smart, they’d find ways of supporting such a move. It could easily siphon off enough conservative votes in the rural spaces of the country to swing some elections to the Dems and make 2022 an easier mid-term for them.

      Such is the strength of cognitive dissonance that the people involved in and supporting the horrific damage that they’ve done to other human beings like family separation and the caging of children don’t necessarily realize what they’ve done. Breaking that cognitive dissonance is going to be tough when you have such strong social support for maintaining it.

      The folks who are advocating for all out war and committing crimes against humanity have been radicalized. This was Trump’s “genius,” if you will, he has radicalized the racist misogynist elements of our society. Now that this radical ideology is out there, we should worry about what believers will do with it. But, we shouldn’t give up on deradicalization. The idea of the four-part apology is a good place to start when the cognitive dissonance that allows these beliefs and behaviors to exist finally bursts.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Silver!

      I ain’t holding my breath, that’s for sure. I fully expect a lot of politicians to say they’re sorry that we feel the way we do about the dead and the misery. But, that’s about it.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

  3. I think that another class of damage needs to be sorted out, the destruction of the very concept of a shared reality, of a single set of significant facts. Facts like: Climate Change is real and burning fossil fuels is the primary cause, and it is an existential threat to at least our civilization if not our species (among most others). The COVID-19 pandemic is not a hoax, and not a plot by the Chinese, Bill Gates, The Illuminati, George Soros, The Elders Of Zion, or anybody else. Q is an impostor who is messing with your head and spewing nonsense. Structural racism is real and bad. Vaccines do not cause Autism and do not contain microchips. Facts like those.

    Those who have been profiting financially, politically, or otherwise by spreading harmful lies and nonsense (especially those who know it is nonsense and false) have damage to pay for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      That used to be the role filled by the mainstream media, but as part of Fox News’ business model, they blew it up. I’ve been thinking that we need a truth in politics type law where telling political lies becomes more like hate speech. Much like Trump’s accusations of election fraud fell flat in a court of law when they tried to present their “evidence,” these lies can have hefty penalties if presented in a court of law.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course, the rise of Fox “News” was enabled by the end of the Fairness Doctrine, which was an aid to high information voting. e do have laws about truth in advertising for tooth paste and breakfast cereals and such, but not politics. It is a toxic oversight.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        While the demise of the Fairness Doctrine was a long time in coming, it is another thing that we can lay at the feet of Ronald Reagan. He destroyed unions, the economy, and Fairness Doctrine all pillars of our society. Not to mention putting Nixon’s Southern strategy on steroids. Our decline has been steady and steep since then.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • And part of that process has been the blurring and finally the broad removal of the line between factual reporting and opinion to the point that many, likely a majority, of voters can no longer tell the difference.

        I continue at times to be amazed at how some, for example the coal miners of Appalachia can support Republicans, that they can be so forgetful of the history their grandfathers fought for and sang about.

        “They say in Harlan County
        There are no neutrals there.
        You’ll either be a union man
        Or a thug for J. H. Blair.”
        — “Which Side Are You On?” — Florence Reece

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        My fathers family is from the Great Smokies in Tennessee. His father died of black lung in the late thirties. As a result, my grandmother all but worshiped FDR because it was only because of the survivor benefits that he provided that she was able to raise their five sons. They were poor, but they survived, and she voted Democrat her whole life.

        I remember that she had three pictures on her wall. In the center was Jesus. To the left was FDR and the right was JFK. I thought RFK’s assassination would kill her. It was such a blow for both of those Kennedy boys to have been assassinated in their prime.

        She was also grateful to LBJ for Medicare and Medicaid. Growing up, we knew where these benefits came from and how much she needed them. I don’t know how they got ambiguated in the recipient’s minds.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think the ambiguization came in the form of the GOP using the Southern Strategy and the combination of the Civil Rights movement and the rise of the Hippies in the 60s to sell the image of outsiders and socialists who were going to “destroy their way of life”. You even have people who will say they don’t want the government messing with their Medicare by passing the ACA. As far as coal country is concerned, that business has been in trouble for at least 40 years, and all the more so since fracking made gas cheap and people began seriously talking about climate change and fossil fuels. Some of those folks are ready to believe anything is you tell them you will bring those jobs back.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        And once again we are staring in awe and wonder at the power of cognitive dissonance to defy reality. If those folks knew how badly the GOP has screwed them over by selling them like so much cheap coal.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • It demonstrates the deep truth in a saying from AA; “Never underestimate the power of denial.” In a way, there is a great similarity, probably a neurological one, between what happens to people’s thinking (or, not-thinking) under that influence and addiction. Those crowds of MAGA-Hatters at Trump’s rallies are certainly under the influence of some major doses of brain chemicals not unlike alcohol, opiates, cocaine, and amphetamines. And they come back for more every chance they get.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        When I was doing social work, we were taught not to challenge denial unless it was putting the client or others at risk. If someone is in denial and you try to convince them otherwise, it just goes over their heads. You don’t get anywhere, and that, I’m sure, is what the AA saying is referring to.

        MAGAs are awash in dopamine and opioids in the wanting and liking systems. That’s one reason Trump is constantly in the news cycle, it feeds their addiction. It keeps them in that high. So, when Trump passes from the 24/7 news cycle and is relegated to OANN and Breitbart and the like, they’ll struggle a bit and more will peel off of the core support.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Like

      • In the case of the addiction to Trump there is a strong feedback loop because he is as addicted to their attention and adulation as they are to him. He will continue to look for ways to stay in the news cycle, most particularly in maintaining the myth of the stolen election and agitating about it, making it a litmus test for candidates in 2022 and 2024 (which is the main reason so many GOP MOCs and Senators are going through the show of objecting to the vote count). One good outcome of his leaving office will be he loss of special privilege on social media and more blocking and labeling of his content, even (since he will not comply with “community standards”) possible banning. For Donald Trump, obscurity is tantamount to death by narcissistic starvation. He is likely to become more desperate, unhinged, and outrageous, even to the point of legally actionable utterances, as the attention of the journalistic world turns to the words and doings of a different President.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        Since the phone call, the desperation seems to have reached new heights. I’m hoping that once all the Republicans who care to have checked the box of having objected to the vote and agitated against democracy can stop doing so and that the remaining two weeks will end with a whimper. But, who knows.

        Trump is going to try to disrupt the GOP and Biden same as he did Obama. I don’t know how effective he’ll be from Mar-A-Lago, especially with the legal issues he’ll be facing. That said, Q-Anon and MAGA aren’t going to quit him that easily. Of course, they’re looking for inspiration and a leader and all they’ve got is a grifter, so, maybe they’ll tire of his BS eventually.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • The question I came up with is: Will the GOP purge itself of Trump, or will Trump purge the GOP of the “disloyal” and insufficiently enthusiastic (2022 primary challenges), or will Trump fire the GOP for having failed to give him the election and go independent taking his base with him? I tend to lean slightly toward the third of those. Too many Republican office holders at the Federal and state levels simply did not understand that their job was to do whatever it took to keep him President. They failed. They let him down. And, in his narcissism he can easily believe that he doesn’t need a party, that he is the whole show and the inevitable winner with or without a formal party organization.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        Last Tuesday I started writing an answer and got put off by the election returns. I thought I’d finish on Wednesday, but, well, Trump’s insurrection riot shot that plan all to hell. The funny thing was that I had started by saying what does his narcissism predict that he’d do, and I laid out four things, which I forget at the moment. Suffice to say, this was slightly more violence than I thought would happen, but about the type that I thought could happen by which I mean sort of unorganized and unfocused. The majority of the breachers of the capitol building seemed to have the reaction of, “We’ve made it inside! Now, what?” And, other than killing a few people that is exactly what they accomplished. It is the extent of Trump’s ability to organize an insurrection: “Y’all go over there and do something!”

        However, there did seem to be some people who were more organized and had more of a purpose. I doubt they were acting with Trump’s knowledge or at his direction. There were people with zip ties and flammables and Molotov cocktails. One side of the building, the capitol police let them inside, the other, they didn’t. The Air Force retiree that was shot dead was entering a window along the only exit that they could use to evacuate the House chamber. They warned her off, but she persisted. Probably, she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It does seem that there was a small group that wanted to do serious harm.

        That said, I do think he meant to menace Pence with the mob. He wanted to intimidate Pence into doing his bidding.

        Trump had decapitated the Department of Defense. No doubt it was in setting up for this moment. Undoubtedly, someone else suggested that he do it.

        Even though Trump has pledged a peaceful transfer of power, he doesn’t have the sincerity or veracity or executive functioning to resist the impulse to do it again if the opportunity presents itself. He really needs to be removed from office.

        The #SilverLining is that both Hawley and Cruz may have tarnished themselves beyond redemption.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is clear that some in the crowd did imagine that they were going to be able to not only take hostages, but string up the “traitors” en mass. My bet is that they were likely Boogaloo Boyz or similar believers in the Great Revolution and Race War, not run of the mill MAGAs who really were clueless what to do when they got inside and the legislators had escaped.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        I just read that at least three insurrectionists were talking about hanging Pence from a tree in the Capitol grounds. I think there were elements among the crowd who had specific plans and maybe not known to each other kind of like the scene in “Life of Brian” when the revolutionaries show up to kidnap the Pontius Pilate character and run into another group doing the same thing and a third comes in just after. I’m sure they were using the demonstration as cover. Most of the MAGAs didn’t have any idea. They were just doing whatever in the moment. Also, the announcement by Pence that he wouldn’t be overturning the election came as they were marching on the Capitol and really angered the crowd.

        When the building was breached, the Congress was evacuated ruining their plans. There were some Representatives trapped in the gallery, but apparently the protesters weren’t interested in them.

        Wow! I just heard on Joy Reid’s show a tape of insurrectionists chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!”

        And, now Twitter has banned Trump. A new narcissistic wound for Trump which will make him worse. It will help, though, by cutting off a communication avenue.

        All kinds of news is breaking today.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        https://www.yahoo.com/news/reuters-photographer-says-overheard-pro-162359323.html

        Liked by 1 person

      • There was also talk of hanging all the Democrats. Twitter probably would be wise to ban the Trump kids too. They can very well do the “Daddy said …” route.

        There is word of more resignations from the Cabinet and other administration positions. I’ve lost track of who all, but some in intelligence and nat security, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        You know it will be a narcissistic wound for Trump to tweet via Don-Don’s twitter account. He won’t do it, and probably result in Don-Don being banned, too, since the only thing he’ll post is more insurrection.

        The Cabinet needs to find its balls and 25th Amendment him. He’s proven himself to be the madman that we all feared he was. Those people are despicable, so it’s not surprising that they’d rather resign than do their duty.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Like

      • Twitter has already banned Flynn and others (Rabid Rudy?), so the little Trumps can’t be far behind. Trump has apparently now fired Pompeo, so it is getting hard to tell how much of a Cabinet is left or exactly who is in it from one day to the next. I think Pence has used up his nerve resisting Trump in the certification process. He will not act unless Trump does something more and worse.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        Pence had no choice in counting the electoral votes. When he was confronted with a choice between supporting Trump or being center-stage full spotlight following the law, he had to chose the law. The same with McConnell. Everyone else could grandstand and posture about defying the Constitution and the law, which every court would have overturned had they done it. Pence’s defiance of Trump’s wishes wasn’t exactly a profile in courage. I doubt Pence has it in him to do anything to deter Trump unless he’s forced to, which just shows his lack of political chops — he was fine in lily white extremely conservative Indiana, but out of his depth on the national stage — to realize that the mob chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!” means that MAGA Nation will never support him. He can’t see the writing on the wall and forge a different path. That is pathetic.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • He certainly does not seem to have grasped the fact that there were people in that mob, organized and equipped people, who clear intention was to get their hands on him, bind him, perp march him out of the Capital, and hang him. Mitch also seems not to have grasped that the same was true for him.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, there were some in the mob interviewed who did sincerely believe that there were there to witness and participate in mass executions, starting with Mike Pence. If they had gotten their hands on the “traitors”, somewhat more moderate heads might have prevailed, but the literal dream was there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        As the reporting of what happened during the riot continues to roll out, it sounds like there were plenty carried away on the fervor of moment and few that were not. Although, more than one person (cops and reporters) were saved from death or seriousious harm by members of the insurrection.

        God only knows what would’ve happened had any of the officers there lost their heads and opened fire or if the rioters had reached a room that Pence was in — it was close as in a literal minute — because the SS would’ve had to begin shooting people to protect him and move him to safety.

        It was planned, but it wasn’t planned. There were people there with an idea of what they wanted to do and how they were going to do it — that includes manipulating the rank and vile rioters into smashing the building open — but they didn’t have an end game.

        It is clear that (a) they attacked our government and (b) there was no way they could’ve succeeded in overthrowing the government. In that sense, it was just a pointless exercise in destruction. Or maybe the point was to learn how to do certain things and probing for weaknesses. I don’t know any more.

        While I fear for state legislators, governors, and state officials between now and 20 January, I don’t think they can succeed in doing anything other than causing mayhem and turning the vast majority of people against them.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’ve hit on the great weakness in the thinking of the insurrectionists and the majority of the “lone wolf” attackers like Tim McV and the Charleston church shooter. They all imagine that their action will be the trigger of the great uprising that will change everything. They just can’t believe that the vast majority are not waiting for a sign. It is the Myth Of The Silent Majority (or Moral Majority, or whatever).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        One of the things that have saved us is our strong democratic norms. Americans believe in electing governments. We didn’t revolt in ’29 at the start of the Great Depression. And, we’re not revolting or fighting now. We do not believe in political violence in spite of the plethora of guns in our society. That and the diffusion of responsibility. No one is going to make the first move. They’re going to have to be a lot larger and a lot better organized than they are now to get even a small portion of Americans to rise up.

        The deluded souls who are now complaining loudly in the press that they were just acting on presidential orders and don’t deserve real hard jail time is almost comical. I doubt a presidential pardon is coming for the rank and vile since they didn’t achieve Trump’s goal of getting him another term. Failure to meet Trump’s needs gets you seen to the door in Trumpland.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Reportedly, Trump is refusing to pay Rudy, who failed in multiple courts to get the election thrown out. Any lawyers who would work for Trump in the coming legal troubles would be well advised to get cash in advance. He does not forgive failure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        I read today that Rudy was selling pardons for $2 million. Maybe Giuliani isn’t worried about not being paid, but he is a loose cannon rolling around the deck. Both are creatures of chaos, confusion, and obfuscation. And, losing their position on center stage will go a long way to neutering them both.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • The only choice of legal representative before the Senate for Trump I can think of (other than himself) worse than Rudy is that woman that Dominion software is suing.

        I wonder, if Trump isn’t paying Rudy, might Rudy throw the fight? If he insists on trying to sell the stolen election story as defense, we wouldn’t be able to tell.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        I heard on MSNBC today that Rudy has excused himself since he might be called as a witness. What’s her name, Pollack? She has left the campaign and Trump and won’t be “helping” any more. There is some speculation that he won’t offer any defense at all. We’ll see.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • His not offering a defense is possible since he rejects that the process has any legitimacy. He can just continue to complain about the Witch Hunt and claim to be the real President.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        Now, McConnell wants to use the lack of preparation as an excuse to delay the trial. I don’t think the Dems should trust McConnell. On the other hand, not allowing for a seemingly fair trial works against them. Set a date. If Trump isn’t ready, then carry on anyway.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Trusting McConnell is not generally a great idea for the Dems, but they can trust him to know the vote count in his caucus. I think he has plenty of reasons to want Trump convicted, not least, that he wants his party back.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        I think McConnell’s goals and strategy shift day-by-day. He wants a majority in the Senate so he can continue destroying democracy. He has a fundamentally flawed view of what democracy is. He thinks as long as people vote, we have a democracy. He thinks that using the rules to manipulate the vote is democracy, especially if it means disenfranchising voters that will vote against him. If he thinks Trump will be more use than not, he’ll back him. I think that calculus changes a bit every day.

        Deep down inside, I think McConnell despises Trump and would love to have rid of him, but he is the quintessential Republican hiding from the Trump base voter. He wants his cake and to eat it, too. We’ll see if he likes his cake, though, once he gets it.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • For whatever advantages Mitch has found in Trump, the Donald has been a royal (or, at least would-be royal) pain in the ass for him too, especially when it came to stepping in at the last moment to screw up painfully negotiated deals after not saying what he would sign for weeks or months. McConnell never wants to bring a bill up for a vote, or even debate, unless he has already counted the votes and knows it will pass and be signed by the President.

        The Trump base may be grateful to McConnell for the judges, but they will not forgive him for failing to support the myth of the stolen election. He may well face a challenge for the Leader position.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        Way back in September 2016, I wrote a post called, “Trump’s Negotiating Strategy: Cheating Defector,” using game theory and the prisoner’s dilemma to explain Trump’s “negotiation” strategy of being uncompromising and unpredictable. Essentially, it means no one will deal with you, you know, like US banks quit dealing with him.

        Essentially, Trump sells his allies out for his own immediate personal gain. We’ve seen it happen over and over again in Congressional legislative negotiations. Trump comes in at the last minute and sides with the Democrats and scuttles the deal. No wonder McConnell has given up on making law, as he says. It just doesn’t pay when your partner is Trump.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        Sounds like Trump is playing his version of that game to, only his gun is pointed squarely at the GOP. Apparently, Georgia Governor Kemp is the top of his hit list followed by Rep. Cheney and Gov Ducey of Arizona. Mitch isn’t far down the list, either, I’m sure.

        The other real problem is that the GOP has no legislative agenda other than they want to hold office and are willing to do whatever it takes to rig the system in their favor. They’ll return to muttering platitudes and issuing conservative boilerplate, but they have no legislation that they want to pass and no policies that they want to implement.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • True, but the Repubs have suddenly rediscovered Fiscal Responsibility (I keep forgetting that didn’t apply to the monster tax cut because it was going to pay for itself.). That is not a legislative plan, just a blocking move. Of course, the Texas AG is already filing suits against everything Biden does.

        Liked by 1 person

      • One more thing, I’ve heard reporting that Pence’s wife and daughter were with him in the safe room. And, that Trump didn’t call him during the ordeal and hasn’t spoken to him since. Why Pence would remain loyal to someone who had knowingly and willfully put not only him, but his family, at risk, I don’t know. I wouldn’t be.

        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • And, it is inconceivable to me that Pence could still imagine that he has a political future which includes the MAGAs. Perhaps, like many Republicans being interviewed or making statements, he hopes that Trump will resign (fat chance), or just quietly sit out the next 9 days and go away. They haven’t been listening to the people who actually believe that Trump won and is still President and the rightful President going forward. Trump is unlikely in the extreme to ever disabuse them of that notion.

        Another way to see Pence’s inaction is as the learned helplessness response of a victim in an abusive relationship. He’s paralyzed. And, probably thinking that if the mob isn’t newly stirred up no new horrors will happen, to which it is only possible to say, “Dude, they are already planned.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        Learned helplessness is a good insight into Pence’s reaction to Trump. At this point, I think he’s burned all of his bridges. MAGAs won’t have him. Never Trumpers won’t have him. Moderate Republicans won’t have him. I don’t know where he goes from here.

        But, it is also clear that anyone not denouncing the Big Lie of the election having been stolen and that #BidenHarris are anything less than the rightful winners of the election is contributing to sedition.

        If anyone is serious about promoting national unity, it starts by denouncing the Big Lie and promoting the truth about the election.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Speaking of Seditious Conspiracy, On The Media on NPR is on it – monitoring Zelo traffic on 1/6 and before [https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/episodes/on-the-media-you-missed-a-spot].

        Indeed, Pence is toast, a man without a party. Mitch might save himself IF he can lead the purge of Trump and Trumpism from the GOP. When the Senate trial starts, he will know the vote count. That is something he is very good at. The current delay is probably evidence that he doesn’t have a reliable count yet.

        Anybody who continues to promote The Big Lie needs to be purged from politics and social media.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        One thing Mitch has always been good at is achieving his priorities and covering his own ass. He’s just been biding his time to take Trump out. In the meantime, he used him for the judiciary. Luckily, this is Mitch’s last term. My prediction is that he’s dead in a year or two if not sooner, though. I just think the man is not well and he’s covering it up.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        I do find that to be one of the more interesting aspects of all of this: the absolute rejection of the insurrection faction of the GOP by the donor class. It won’t last, but they’re going to go through some things. And with Sheldon Anderson dying, they are down one billionaire to help make up for the loss. Hopefully, corporate America will continue supporting BLM and continue rejecting the insurrection caucus of the Congress and state legislatures.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Big Business community can tolerate a lot of rhetoric and noise, but actual violence, particularly in the midst of a pandemic and recession, is bad for the bottom line. Also, they need the system of courts and legislation that brings trust to the making and execution of contracts, and the insurrectionists threaten that trust.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        Business likes profits. They see the way the wind blows. Brands are made and broken by the actions of those they associate themselves with. This ain’t no brand no one wants to be associated with except a few cynical Republican politicians.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • As for the Republicans, time will, I suppose, tell which are True Believers and which are pandering but know it is BS. The former might be pitied, but the latter need to pay a heavy price.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        Now that we’re in #BidenHarris + 1 day, I think time is telling which Republicans are going to be obstructionists. The usual suspects are making the usual complaints. This doesn’t sound like it’s going to be anything less than hand-to-hand combat in the Senate. I was hoping that there might be some agreement on fighting #COVID19 at the very least once Trump was out of office.

        The Dems have given them an off-ramp from Trump, but it doesn’t sound like they want to take it… or they want the Dems to get rid of Trump and they want to stab them in the back with it.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think some do want to take it, but want it to appear they had no choice. The GOP primaries in 2022 are going to be a bar room brawl with blood and barff on the floor with the sawdust and spilled beer. Any in that party who think otherwise are dreaming.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        Hopefully, Trump will find someone to start his Patriot Party for him — sounds like the Kelli Ward, Arizona Republican Party state chair is more than willing — and run candidates splitting the conservative vote. The funny thing is, it won’t matter whether Trump starts the party or not or whether Republicans vote for removal or not. He’s going to hurt the Republicans worse than he’ll ever hurt the Dems just to be a contrarian and out of spite. But, I think the Senate GOP is happy to let the Dems do the heavy lifting on removal and then will happily bludgeon them with it.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, the AZ GOP is going full Trumpist. A report today (NPR/KJZZ) was that on the day after the insurrection (got to keep using that word, it was not just a riot) 4.000 voters in AZ changed their registration from Republican to either Independent or Democrat. The GOP national leadership (Mitch) will try to paper over, obfuscate, and minimize the Corporate v. Trumpist split in the party, but I don’t see the Trumpists willing to let them get away with that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        When listening to The Rachel Maddow Show today, she rattled off several gonzo positions various state Republican parties have taken. For example, the Oregon State Republican Party issued a resolution that stated there was growing evidence — growing evidence??!? Jesus! — that the insurrection riot was a false flag operation like the Nazis used in the Reichstag fire. The states are where the real crazies are. The Hawai’i Republican Party — there’s a Hawai’i Republican Party? — excused QAnon’ers as misguided patriots. The Arizona party censured Gov. Ducey and now he’s not going to run against Mark Kelly in 2022 for the Senate. He would’ve lost anyway; Kelly is amazingly popular and gets a huge sympathy vote because of Gabby Gifford. Allen West, the new head of the Texas GOP — Allen West? God help them — adopted the phrase, “We are the storm,” but denied it referred to QAnon. Okay. If you say so, I guess.

        Hopefully, they’ll help drive their states away from Republican representation and towards saner more moderate Democratic candidates. Between the donors abandoning the party and the push from the fringe, institutionalist or party Republicans may become pretty rare after 2022.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • If the Democrats can get the critically needed things done that actually help people (and local government functionality) and make sure the voters know who did it, they can begin to but the lie in that famous Reagan quote. Then they can make 2022 a contrast between real, helpful executive and legislative functioning, and loony incompetence.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        While I was listening to reporting about Biden’s competence at press conferences and rebutting Putin in his first phone call, I began to wonder whether Biden’s consistency, normalcy, and reassurance would begin to win the undecideds over just by shere competence and accomplishment.

        Most of it will turn on whether he can get the pandemic under some semblance of control, of course. Which means that the GOP will put every impediment that they can to getting the pandemic under control and relief to families and people who need it. If it costs another 500,000 or 1,000,000 lives to win back control of Congress then it is just the price that has to be paid to keep them in office. After all, nothing is more important than having Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and all the rest in office and their personal ambitions furthered. Certainly, nothing as trivial as actual lives of the citizens of the country.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Like

      • In regard to GOP obstruction, Mitch McConnell has been clearly warned that if he abuses the filibuster, it is gone. Will he push that limit, whatever it is, too far? He probably will. He is facing a President and a party who know they have to get things done if they hope to keep their majorities. They have to show The People that they are not expendable, not acceptable casualties, and that their real needs (not just dog whistle distractions like abortions or immigrants) are being addressed seriously, competently, and effectively.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        The GOP will or is filibustering Biden’s nominee to head DHS, Alejandro Mayorkas. I don’t know why. From what I’ve heard from Dem Senators there is not much tolerance for GOP reindeer games like this. They will be using budget reconciliation to get the #COVID19 stimulus package passed, for example. They may have learned from Obama’s attempts to compromise after all.

        A bigger concern, though, is that the more McConnell and the GOP render Congress irrelevant and ineffective, the more it forces the President to act as an autocrat. That in and of itself undermines our government, system, and democracy. Hopefully, Biden and the Congressional Dems can deliver using executive orders and parliamentary rules to skirt any obstruction that the GOP throws at them.

        Huzzah!
        Jon

        Liked by 1 person

      • If you are, like much of the Conservative Movement, at base Authoritarian, if you can use legislative dysfunction to compel the executive of whichever party to behave as an autocrat, you normalize autocracy for you next turn in the power seat. You also get to complain that the executive of the other party is being a tyrant.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Of course, they would not describe it that way. They would, and do, say they are trying to save it from Socialism. Whatever the BS rhetoric, the essence is that winning has trumped (possible pun) governing, and at the root is white supremacy and the continuing struggle to save The Lost Cause.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        Which brings us back to the Civil War never really ended. We are still struggling with the paranoid delusion that Pilgrims and Calvinists had about persecution and the only way to be safe from it was to do the persecuting. One aspect of conservatives is that they view the world as inherently dangerous. It is no wonder that conservatives are ensnared by white supremacy and Christian supremacy. It is the only way to protect themselves from being discriminated against.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yep. Also, the authoritarianism runs deep. If one believes in a fundamentally monarchical model of the universe, then “As above, so below.” makes intuitive (deep presupposition) sense. Democracy is a threat in that context, and even heretical.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It also helps when they believe they are right and everybody else is wrong, and need to be “saved” whether they like it or not. Being afraid of becoming contaminated by other beliefs is another part, or, worse, that their children will be.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s no where clearer than in our new interpretation of religious freedom: I get to discriminate against people that offend my religious sensibilities. Today it is the LGBTQ+ community and fornicating women, tomorrow it will be those sporting the mark of Cain and heathens.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Religious fanatics and bigots have always sought to breach the wall of separation between church and state. The Founders of the US knew well the history of what happens when the two combine. Their fathers or grandfathers were involved in the English Civil War, and they had studied the wars of the Reformation and Counter Reformation. The general antipathy some of them (Jefferson and Adams in particular) expressed to organized religion had roots in that history. When religion gains political, authoritarian power, the allowed range of permitted piety contracts and that of persecuted heresy expands.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        There is a curious divide between the Founding Fathers and the Pilgrims and Calvinist settlers in the US. Most of the Founding Fathers had explicitly rejected those religions and embraced the Enlightenment religion of Deism, but they were still influenced by the deep culture that Pilgrims had helped establish. I think that is one of my biggest points here is that none of us can completely escape that influence. It dictates that being poor is a character flaw and justifies any ill treatment that we chose to mete out. And, of course, being a PoC signifies that you are not among god’s elect and deserve whatever discrimination comes your way. They didn’t explicitly embrace the righteousness of the Pilgrims, but they enacted some of their most insidious beliefs.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Like

      • I just realized how far back the idea of The Elect goes. In the mythologies of most, if not all, of the polytheisms, there are mortal characters who are rewarded with membership among the immortals for (usually military, but not always – exceptions being Quan Yin and Virgin Mary, both in intercessionary roles ) notable achievements. Part of how the doctrine of the Elect got secularized was clearly its association with commerce and property holding. Then, there is the permanent argument over whether salvation is found through predestination, piety, or works.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        I’m sure there are scholarly works out there on this subject, but that promise of being able to join the “heavenly” choir eternal must be motivating to some degree. It would give people something to aspire to if they lived a proper life.

        Religion has long been viewed as a way of managing our baser more destructive impulses. I wonder if their is a correlation in development of a society with predestination, piety, or works being the determinant for advancing in the afterlife. It is an interesting question that I will pursue through serendipity and sychronicity or just hoping something on it will pop up in my other pursuits.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        Maybe it is similar to the subtle effect that being multilingual has on thinking. Multilingual people have a tendency to think more creatively and be open to new ideas. Perhaps polytheistic adherents are also more open to new ideas and ways of thinking.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think so. At least the polytheist can pray to whichever god may suit their need or mood at the moment. The Romans, for example also tolerated and even encouraged cults of foreign gods as a way of managing their empire and conquered peoples. The Church Of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox both substituted a multitude of Saints serving similar purposes. But, they were limited by getting co-opted into being an arm of the imperial state at the Council of Nicaea and having to define heresy, and adopt a strictly hierarchical structure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        The Revolutionary Catholic priests of Central and South America of the ’70’s and ’80’s also adapted and adopted some of the indigenous needs of their people into their religion much to the dismay and discomfort of the Church. They also integrated local beliefs when they were colonizing the area as well. It was gratifying to see that one of the revolutionary priests rise to be Pope, though.

        I’m also reminded of the success of the Mongol Empire and how they allowed conquered peoples to retain their culture and religions. When Genghis Khan threatened to overrun Europe, the Pope wrote to him and promised that if they didn’t invade Europe, he would Baptise him a Catholic. Genghis Khan answered that after he took Europe, he would allow the Pope to remain a Catholic. Fortunately for the Pope and Europe, the Mongols turned to the Middle East and got bogged down there. But, one of my more favorite historical anecdotes.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Genghis was fond of making sure everybody knew who was The Boss. Another interesting observation of his policy was how he dealt with Afghanistan. He did not try to control it, but made clear that if the Afghans messed with his messengers or caravans, their village would cease to exist and be erased from memory. Alexander, on the other hand managed going through the place by recruiting fighters as he went for his planned conquest of India.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        Genghis Khan and the Mongols had a nasty habit of razing cities and villages to discourage resistance. There was a nice chapter of “When Asia was the World,” a personal favorite, describing the sacking of city by the Mongol hordes.

        I don’t think any of the Khans ever apologized for it, either.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • No, they never apologized. I don’t recall the source, but it was said that when they razed a city, it was possible afterward to ride a horse at full gallop blindfolded safely.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Interestingly, when they did destroy a town or city they to some care to spare notable scholars, artisans, and artists whom they sent back to their capitol to serve the Khan. I don’t have a good track on how that practice played out culturally in China over time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!

        The Mongols more absorbed cultures and accommodated them in the empire. It allowed a freer trade of people, ideas, and things in Asia. There was a lot more tolerance for the various peoples, religions, languages, and ways of doing things. China used what they could get from neighboring states, but, ultimately, closed out the world except for the old city of Guangzhou, modern Canton.

        Whereas European powers were all about for king and country and everything was an extension of politics. They didn’t come in to take, they came in to dominate, displace, and desecrate, which Asians couldn’t understand. But, European technology advanced so rapidly in the Renaissance that they were able to dominate Asia.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • I often wonder what would have happened if the Chinese Treasure Fleets of the 15th Century had showed up in European ports, and how the European Age Of Exploration and conquest would have gone if China had not stopped sending out the fleets. Some of those Chinese ships were as far beyond anything the Europeans had as a 747 compared to a DC3. Part of the European opportunity was the Chinese turn inward.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        I agree and it is a fascinating turn of events in history, the Chinese turn inward and withdrawal from the world. The Europeans had three advantages that the Chinese did not have, though. First they had this strange notion of king and country that was connected to their trade. Traders were representatives of the state, not independent of the state. Before the Europeans showed up in Asia, there were ethnic sectors in all of the major cities where traders lived and made their base of business there. They were allowed to police themselves as they saw fit unless a “serious” incident occurred that the host country had to respond to, another fascinating chapter in “When Asia was the World.” Europeans mixed trade and diplomacy and militarism.

        Another advantage that the Europeans had was the development of banks and, specifically, bank drafts or checks. It freed them from needing to carry their wealth with them on board their ships or from needing to deal with a money lender with a connection to their home country to front them money. It was a more secure system that, as time went by, the greater the advantage they had.

        And third, their weapons and naval ships. Their ships were floating fortresses with far more massive and accurate cannon than Asian ships could carry and use. And, because they mixed trade, government, and military, they were willing to use them to force trade and take and hold territory.

        These things all surprised the Asians and they had no answer for them.

        If the Chinese ships had arrived in Europe — there was a book published twenty years ago that suggested they had, but I never read it or really accepted it — it would have brought these encounters into the European backyard and not in the Asian cities. The Chinese might have been able to better manage trade with Europe and contain them to a degree. And, when the Europeans did make it to Asia, perhaps using Chinese-design ships that could not handle the size of cannon that they would develop, they might not have had the technological advantages. Without those, they would’ve had to trade on Asian terms and not on their own.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Alternative history is one of the most fascinating branches of speculative fiction. I just connected the consequences of the Chinese turn inward, the vulnerability that came from not being aware of what was going on outside, with the danger inherent in Trump’s isolationism and ignoring or denying intelligence briefings.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        That is danger of a powerful state turning away from the world, not knowing what is happening that will have a significant impact on it. It is a good argument for staying engaged with the world.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • And one of their wise men warned them:
        “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
        ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been pondering a question; How to kill a myth? I’m thinking of the myth behind the myth of the stolen election, the myth of “Donald Trump, the man who never loses, the inevitable winner of every contest.” The only answer I can see is that he must be seen to lose repeatedly, consistently, and decisively in a succession of criminal and civil cases, every defense defeated, and him demonstrated to be a fraud and his success an illusion. That would require prosecutors (Federal and State) to bring every charge they can win, no matter how large or small, from jay walking to treason, and the probably large number of pit bull lawyers licking their chops for a chance to get a bite of him to go for it. If enough losses publicly pile up, at least some of the believers of the Big Lie will come to question it. His enablers would also become embroiled and implicated.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Howdy Bob!
        Yep, truth is the slayer of myth, but it has to overwhelm myth since our capacity for cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias is so tremendous. One of the things that will drive people from Trump is his removal from office. Just simply having lost no matter the pathetic excuse will cause many supporters to leave. He’ll left with his core of super fans and they will dwindle over time as he flails in the wilderness and screams into the void. He may morph into an Alex Jones type hawking elixirs on cable TV and fear mongering, but it will only be a sliver of his 74 million tuning in.

        Also, that is if he survives the on rushing storm of litigation and prosecution that is about to be unleashed on him. We’ll see how that all plays out over the next two years.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • There is also developing a willingness, forced by the invasion of the Capital, on the part of prosecutors at all levels to take the intentions and violence of his followers and fellow travelers (the old line anti-govt militia groups) seriously. We hear the cognitive dissonance of some when they are arrested when they say, “But the President sent us.” And then, from some the sense of being betrayed by him when he (in that lame walk-back) called for a peaceful transition and told them to go home. He probably would like to pardon them, but that would be taking too much responsibility for what happened, and he is likely being told it would guarantee a conviction in the Senate. Many will take his failure to pardon them as a further betrayal. If they had watching him instead of listen to him for the past few years, they would not be surprised to be thrown under the bus.

        Liked by 1 person

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