Is the US headed for another civil war?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by James R, Feb 11, 2022.

  1. foghorn Valued Senior Member

    Isn't that a question of education? Religious schools come to mind and the Trump use of the religious mindset. That may be over simplifying abit.
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  3. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Except that a very biased, very politically influential group of owners has a lock on vast areas of the the country and spreading propaganda unopposed. Particularly unopposed since they have already persuaded their listeners of the unreliability of all other sources of information -- especially the 'radical left-wing elitist' public broadcast media - which each successive Republican administration strips of more public funding.
    That would be nice....
    However, the confrontations are about to intensify even further with the geographic shift following the political topography.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    The thing is, you don't seem to have a firm grasp on the subtleties of political views, James. Per an American context, you buy into equivocation far too easily; in our Sciforums context, you have trouble distinguishing between views and behavior. And, sure, it's not like you're the only one, and, true, this sort of problem contributes to American noise about free speech and suppression, but, really, James: "Most of you Americans seem to make quite a big fuss about that," is actually a pretty useless line.

    No, really, James, you've been at it for years. When racists bring racism, and others get annoyed at it, your sympathies are with the racists, James. Tell me, why do we need to show supremacism such extraordinary deference, James? And, really, if we go back and look through the last several years, are you going to pretend to be confused, or change the subject, or will you actually deal with reality?

    The reliability of law enforcement is part of that discussion. Meanwhile, no, James, not everything is so easily dismissed as bugbear; perhaps you should try not changing context and subject so much. You split a paragraph up into pieces and pretend you're not capable of understanding what those pieces mean when read collectively; sure, at this point you don't need to convince me you're not pretending.

    Our Sciforums experience is not really so different from living experience at large. That is, the American experience isn't entirely an abstraction to someone from another country, who could easily witness and even participate in similar behavior, here.

    No, James, you missed it, entirely. That sense of apathy is entirely neurotic; what happens is that people don't want to acknowledge their own prejudices, and recent years have shown just how far some will take it. Indeed, what I was referring to was not a sense of apathy but, rather, a pretense of indignance you would be familiar with if you weren't so busy putting on fronts. Indeed, it's not entirely separate from your own justifications for dubious behavior, arguments, and outcomes.

    Yes, James, it's actually pretty obvious from the context that I am referring to Sciforums. But no, that idea of sudden focus is entirely your own invention and distraction.

    Well, let's see, there was the paragraph about "the general circumstance in law enforcement … going on for quite some time", and particular expectations of tolerance allowing things to get to that point; that's about American society. The subsequent paragraphs comparing our Sciforums experience to real-world discourse help illustrate more partiuclarly how such outcomes can happen.

    In re policing, yes, James, it's like I said: Yeah, imagine that

    On the question of a civil war in general, revisiting a point feels a bit useless, all things considered, but still:

    • They're doing it to themselves; they're setting themselves up for a revolt … In other words, if we look at the politicians and other advocates warning of insurrection, it is their followers who will revolt. They are not so much warning the rest of us that some sort of revolt will materialize; they are threatening to revolt. (2015↗)

    • But there is a sector in the conservative market that desperately wants some manner of revolt. (2015↗)

    • Remember that the hardliners start to make sense if we apply the presupposition that they are looking for an excuse to revolt. (2016↗)

    • And that's what this is about; we're in the process of shedding a number of our supremacist traditions, and the supremacists are furious, armed, and itching for violence. We saw it as the tinfoil bloc prepared to have a revolt forced on them by the evil government because President Obama was going to "invade Texas" on behalf of Walmart and McDonald's. But they've been talking like this for years; they want open bloodshed, but they're patriotic Americans so they have to invent a reason to claim evil liberals forced them to. (2016↗)

    • I think we're probably reasonably aware of my general sketch of a thesis that these people want some manner of violence and revolt … they have been agitating for a "necessary", "we had no choice", "y'all forced us to do this by making us defend ourselves" revolt pretty much from the outset. (2016↗)

    • It is my personal thesis we're dealing with a bloc that wants violence, which in turn would raise its own interesting question of whether or not any of these who have spent the last seven years bawling their way toward revolt would ever have bothered using the phrase ["responsible gun owner"]. (2016↗)

    • The whole point is that traditional supremacy is over, these people are disenchanted, and now they want out, but they're patriots, so their revolt must be forced on them by everyone else. (2016↗)

    • These people want flaming chaos. They want insurrection. But they pretend patriotism, so they need to imagine their revolt against ’Mer’kuh was forced on them by evil tyranny. (2017↗)

    • I don't recall how many times I actually came right out and said that it seemed conservatives really, really wanted an armed revolt but couldn't bring themselves to do it, because, you know, they're patriots and all that, so they spent a lot of time trying to imagine ways to revolt while bawling they had no choice. I don't know, a few times, at least. (2017↗)​

    Anyway, yeah, imagine that.

    So, there was the time I actually came right out and said, "since rational discourse itself is anathema as a result of your policy prerogatives", and who knows, maybe you were just glossing some other part of what you quoted, but you do appear to have agreed↗.

    That disdain you show rational discourse and good faith is part of what we have disagreed about for years; to pretend it doesn't exist is bullshit, James. It's one thing to take what you say seriously, but you don't seem to, so where does that leave us? Remember, we're not enforcing any standards of rational discourse or expectation of good faith in order to accommodate your desire to avoid suppressing unenumerated political views that apparently require such cover. And insofar as there isn't really any question of what ideas, arguments, and behaviors benefit from that outcome, neither is that so different from how it goes in the world at large.

    The more proximal details of our particular community are not somehow utterly separate from more general circumstances in the world at large. And, really, when we get right down to the granular components of dispute, there is even some value in analyzing your behavior.


    ¹ The question does eventually arise, wondering if maybe the problem is that you don't know what the phrase means. Generally speaking, "Yeah, imagine that," means a general context of agreement dosed with some manner of sarcasm.

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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    That's entirely up to those who would revolt. Even our disagreements about religion, James, can help illustrate: Compared to what I think of your approach to them, what pitch will actually work on those obsessive Christians covered in Jesus' blood? That's a hard question. Similarly, look, what appeal will bring supremacists around? When I make a point about rational discourse and the function of someone's words, think about it: The way to justify pretty much anything is to abandon the standard against which justification is compared. Free speech is not absolute and ubiquitous, James. Once upon a time, for instance, we had in this community some pretensions about rational discourse, and we have since abandoned that notion. So, for you, people's behavior, such as raising irrational, unanswerable arguments in order to disrupt and provoke, might seem a simple manner of speech; the thing is, they behave that way because they have no rational argument to support the outcome they desire.

    Okay, so: Imagine that you are part of a faction that generally asserts that violence is wrong m'kay, and it's better to talk through things.² Now consider the question of how to engage with people who intend to disrupt engagement.³ So let's talk about talking, then, because things get messy and difficult if one side of a dispute is obliged to facts, honesty, and general decency, while others in the discussion are not. In American politics, I can show you various iterations of this circumstance; here at Sciforums, I can show you various iterations of this circumstance; more to the point, it's not an uncommon circumstance.

    So, what do you do, then, if you're part of the faction that prefers nonviolence, truth, and integrity? There is an argument that one is foolish in a marketplace setting to not utilize all available tools; the flip-side, of course, is any number of complaints reminding the obligations of being the proverbial good guys. Inasmuch as there is an actual goodness in play⁴, the side of the dualism that tends to pursue it most directly seems to answer an implicit higher standard approaching perfection. And while expectations of integrity are, for the proverbial good guys, kind of an obvious duh, there is some mystery about whether the other side consider themselves proverbial good guys, because they so consistently behave as villains and there comes a point when nobody is surprised, but we are somehow obliged to let it go on, anyway.

    At the point where one might consider whether or not to play fast with rhetoric in order to meet the other on ethically loose ground, sure, the moral question seems pretty duh, but there will always be the counterpoint asking whether one could have fought harder, utilized other tools: By some tellings, if you don't lie and grift you did not use every market tool available to you.

    This inclination is so deeply seeded in the American outlook that that it becomes the sort of mystery in which the question itself is occulted. You're familiar with it James, like when you go on about paternalism and condescension driving people to behave so poorly: How hard do the proverbial good guys play? At some point, some others are simply determined to obligate the one. How often, when one complains that "both sides" do something, do they also complain when one of the sides doesn't?

    But we're also talking about civil war. Think about curbstomping a Nazi. Maybe you would never, and if you wonder whether I would, that's the thing, I don't really know the threshold. The basic quandary is pretty straightforward: It should never come to that. Okay, but curbstomping? Well, it's not like I go around packing heat. Should I? I honestly don't think it should come to that, speak nothing of actually finding reason to shoot at someone. And if my bootheel is what I happen to have at hand when a Nazi crosses that threshold, then ... wait, what threshold?

    Well, that's the thing: In the moment when the rightists start shooting, what are you—... well, right. But if the options are to flee, beg, appease, or otherwise hope they don't shoot you, there is also a question of fighting back.

    It's kind of hard to imagine the circumstance in which I might end the life of a political opponent; the flip-side, James, is that we already have an idea of how far some of these people will go. Well before the Wednesday Putsch, they were attacking law enforcement. Yes, really, Boogaloos killed a federal security contractor in Oakland, and a week later hit police in California, killing one and injuring several. And if white supremacists have for decades been anticipating a holy war, it's true Americans made all sorts of familiar excuses to mitigate and minimize rahowa talk.⁵

    Still, though: A civil war.


    We already know from a generation of rhetorical escalation that it is impossible to concede enough to these people; outright Appeasement doesn't even work. That is to say, it really does seem there are a lot of people who apparently really do want to have it out that way, and the only real question is how many. Do they have enough to bring it? Then they will. To the other, they've kind of been at it for a while. We're Americans, so we won't call it a civil war.

    It's not a matter of throwing up one's hands. Rather, it's about being realistic. If right-wingers want a war so badly, they can create a circumstance so dangerous that the least worst alternative is to kill them quickly. That is to say, the question of a civil war is left to whoever starts shooting.

    Actually, James, a trolling question was handed up the ladder to avoid self-interest, and then you staged on a mob trial of sorts under false pretenses in order to be seen getting dragged kicking and wailing into issuing an infraction you didn't really want to.

    Go back and look at the record; the actual offense referred to you was trolling, not the shitshow you put on about white supremacism.⁶

    So, yes, James. The seemingly dire circumstance in American law enforcement? Yeah, well, imagine that. Bad faith and supremacist tropes in order to disrupt a discussion of white supremacism in law enforcement? Yeah, well, imagine that. James R popping off for false pretenses? Yeah, well, imagine that.


    ² Having described yourself in the past, alternately, as more liberal on social issues, liberal, and even leftist, you are already familiar with real-world application of such pretenses.

    ³ It comes up from time to time, e.g. 2018↗ and 2019↗, in re K. T. Nelson, 2017↱, asking, "How do you engage with someone who doesn't just not care if their aggressive political stances upset you, but wants you to get upset—someone for whom 'this makes people upset' is actually the whole reason to have that stance in the first place?"

    ⁴ Remember, even the swindler will appeal to various virtues, and especially when cornered. While it is difficult to explicitly enumerate the range of what is good compared to evil, or morally right compared to wrong, there is a theoretic range of virtue generally appealed to.

    i.e., infantilizing, giving room to blow off steam (see #16↑ above; "I Think of All Those Republicans …" #5 (2021)↗ gives further context).

    ⁶ See Report #4936 and tell me I'm wrong. It's the one that opens, "James R: You should probably issue the infraction against Seattle for trolling, here. As a matter of self-interest, I should not." And how did you respond? You stated publicly↗, "I'm grappling with an issue concerning moderation right now and thought it might be worth airing the issue in the public forums … whether Seattle should be subject to some kind of moderation sanction for advancing 'supremacist' views in this thread." More recently, James, you observed↗: "You're accusing me of being dishonest, or else stupid"," and, well, yeah. "That is a bad habit you have," you admonished, "making such accusations but failing to support them." And, well, here we have an easy example.​

  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Claremont Bloodlust and the Conservative Counterrevolutionary Temper Tantrum

    Thomas Zimmer↱, for The Guardian:

    Surveys have consistently indicated that a clear majority, probably about two-thirds, of Republicans consider Biden an illegitimate president. It's highly likely that many of them are well aware that some of the specific conspiratorial claims emanating from the right – fake ballots? Lost ballots? "Illegals" voting? – are bogus. But they don't seem to care about the specifics. They just believe Biden shouldn't be president.

    What is most alarming is the underlying ideology that leads so many on the right to consider Democratic victories invalid – even if they concede there was nothing technically wrong with how the election was conducted. It has become a core tenet of the Republican worldview to consider the Democratic party as not simply a political opponent, but an enemy pursuing an "un-American" project of turning what is supposed to be a white Christian patriarchal nation into a land of godless multiracial pluralism. Conversely, Republicans see themselves as the sole proponents of "real" America, defending the country from the forces of radical leftism, liberalism and wokeism ....

    .... In March 2021, the magazine American Mind published a particularly instructive essay by Glenn Ellmers, entitled "'Conservatism' is No Longer Enough". American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a rightwing thinktank in California that has become home to some of the most outrightly pro-Trumpian intellectuals. It is notable that Ellmers makes no claim that the 2020 election was "stolen" – he doesn't allege manipulation, voter fraud, or conspiracy, and in fact explicitly acknowledges that more people voted for Biden than for Trump. He does not peddle conspiracy theories. Yet Ellmers maintains that the outcome of the 2020 election is illegitimate and must not be accepted.

    According to Ellmers, Biden's presidency represents an "un-American" idea of multiracial pluralism – something that is fundamentally in conflict with what he refers to as "authentic America". In his view, everyone who voted for Joe Biden and his "progressive project of narcotizing the American people and turning us into a nation of slaves" is also "un-American" and therefore not worthy of inclusion in the body politic. Ellmers declares that "most people living in the United States – certainly more than half – are not Americans in any meaningful sense of the term". Only "authentic Americans" are allowed in Glenn Ellmers' United States – a racialized idea of "the people," most clearly represented by "the vast numbers of heartland voters".

    On the other side are "un-American" enemies, not coincidentally characterized by their blind admiration for a young Black artist: "If you are a zombie or a human rodent who wants a shadow-life of timid conformity, then put away this essay and go memorize the poetry of Amanda Gorman." Ellmers' racist, anti-pluralistic vision is remarkably radical: he wants to redraw the boundaries of citizenship and exclude over half the population.

    Ellmers is outraged precisely because he accepts the fact that a majority voted for Biden, that "authentic Americans" have become the minority in a country which they are supposedly entitled to dominate. Here we have a striking glimpse of the depth of despair underlying the pervasive siege mentality on the right. What's scandalous about the 2020 election, in this interpretation, is not that it was "stolen", but that "un-American" forces straightforwardly won.

    The irony is powerful, of course: Accusations of being un-American are most notoriously enshrined in the history of the House Un-American Activites Committee, known most widely for "McCarthyism", including a Hollywood blacklist, and its Yellow Report supporting internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. By contrast, when the idea arose to investigate the KKK, the Committee instead chose to re-investigate the Federal Theatre Project; eight years prior, Rep. Joe Starnes (D-AL) had inquired whether a sixteenth-century English playwright was a member of the Communist Party, and accused Euripides of preaching class warfare.

    Still, it's not a joke; Ellmers, a Claremont post-Straussian Jaffa acolyte, is not a lightweight crackpot, and Zimmer's summary might actually be slightly understated. Metaphor is what it is, but Ellmers would propose the "United States has become two nations occupying the same country", and would have conservatives:

    … accept that most people living in the United States today—certainly more than half—are not Americans in any meaningful sense of the term.

    I don't just mean the millions of illegal immigrants. Obviously, those foreigners who have bypassed the regular process for entering our country, and probably will never assimilate to our language and culture, are—politically as well as legally—aliens. I'm really referring to the many native-born people—some of whose families have been here since the Mayflower—who may technically be citizens of the United States but are no longer (if they ever were) Americans. They do not believe in, live by, or even like the principles, traditions, and ideals that until recently defined America as a nation and as a people. It is not obvious what we should call these citizen-aliens, these non-American Americans; but they are something else.

    Again, as Zimmer put it, "Ellmers' racist, anti-pluralistic vision is remarkably radical: he wants to redraw the boundaries of citizenship and exclude over half the population."

    And in a lifetime's worth of people reminding what they told each other, at what point would any American liberal accusing that attitude of Amerian conservatives have not drawn scorn for being so rude and presumptuous? But right-wing neighbors like Ellmers, who we are supposed to take seriously, are straight-out telling us:

    This recognition that the original America is more or less gone sets the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy apart from almost everyone else on the Right. Paradoxically, the organization that has been uniquely devoted to understanding and teaching the principles of the American founding now sees with special clarity why "conserving" that legacy is a dead end. Overturning the existing post-American order, and re-establishing America's ancient principles in practice, is a sort of counter-revolution, and the only road forward.

    Remember: A post-Straussian argument for overturning the nation and "re-establishing" imaginary "ancient principles". After all, what we really need, Ellmers tells us, "is a statesman who understands both the disease afflicting the nation, and the revolutionary medicine required for the cure". And toward that we might observe part of "the good life" requires being able to "participate in public affairs without being treated as insolent upstarts in their own country". It almost sounds like the complaint against cancel culture declaring the fundamental right to speak one's mind without being shamed.¹

    If Zimmer suggests—

    Trump's incessant lies represent a vulgar, clumsy, narcissistic strand of conspiratorial thinking; those lies are shared by some, opportunistically used by many, and widely accepted on the right because they adhere to a "higher truth": "we" are entitled to rule in America. That's what is behind the widespread support for, or willingness to accept, any kind of suspicion, regardless of whether or not there is any shred of empirical evidence. If an election doesn't result in "us" being in power, it must be illegitimate, as we are "real America"; if it puts "them" in charge, it cannot be accepted, as they are out to destroy the nation.

    —then we might consider the basic idea that it somehow comes to this. The dualism is, and always has been, conservative and traditionalist. And if the question at hand is whether the U.S. is headed for another civil war, the answer↑ remains that it is up to those who would revolt; and if we recall the proposition↑ that they're doing it to themselves, setting themselves up for a revolt, and want open bloodshed but are patriotic so they have to invent a reason to claim evil liberals forced them to because their revolt must be forced on them by everyone else, because, you know, they're patriots and all, so they spent a lot of time trying to imagine ways to revolt while bawling they had no choice, well, right, we might hold ourselves reminded yet again.


    ¹ Zimmer has a few things to say↱ about that, too.​

    Ellmers, Glenn. "'Conservatism' is no Longer Enough". The American Mind. 24 March 2021. 25 March 2021.

    Zimmer, Thomas. "The NYT editorial board thinks 'America Has a Free Speech Problem' – and presents a purely mythical idea of what 'free speech' is …". Twitter. 18 March 2022. 25 March 2022.

    —————. "The real – and far scarier – reason Republicans think Biden is illegitimate". The Guardian. 21 March 2022. 21 March 2022.
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  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Follow the Bouncing Ball

    An exercise in equivocation and what seems an obvious danger:

    • Former federal prosecutor and current liberal pundit Ron Filipowski↱ tweets video segment from conservative group, explains, "Woman at Trump rally explains why she believes Princess Diana and Jackie O are still alive."

    • Television host Joy Reid↱ suggests, "Behold… the Republican base. Yeah… put these folks in charge… everything will be just fine…"

    • Literal British guy and American-conservative activist Ian Haworth↱ retorts, "I hate this nonsense. I can go to any Leftist rally and find one idiot who believes a ridiculous conspiracy theory, and paint them as the Democratic Party base."​

    And there is your equivocation. Reid, of course, isn't having it, responding with a brief thread↱ that opens by challenging Haworth, "Show your work. Pick any Democratic politician's event."

    • Reid observes↱, "ONE QUARTER of Republicans believe in the Q-anon cult stuff. That's one in four, for the non-mathy. This isn't one weirdo. It's the party. It's a LOT of the GOP caucus".

    Also↱, that "MOST Republicans believe the Big Lie that Trump activity somehow won the 2020 election. Not some… MOST."

    • And notes↱, "Nearly FOUR IN TEN Republicans support VIOLENCE for the purpose of installing their candidates of choice 'to save America.' Find me the equivalent among Democrats, please. That's a pretty big 'just this one lunatic…'"​

    Some people apparently need it spelled out like that, except an obvious question arises: Do they really need the explanation? It is hard to believe that ostensibly intelligent and professional people cannot discern such basic differences, but American conservative rhetoric has slinked through on this sort of cheap sleight for so long, it is at least arguable they have no reason to not believe themselves.

    It's kind of like last week's brouhaha about celebrity and doxxing. Never mind; if you missed it, such are the blessings of luck.

    The thing is, sometimes when we look at a dispute, it might stand out if one side relies on confusion, uncertainty, and equivocation. For some conservatives, their status quo is so deeply steeped in epstemically sealed illogic they really aren't capable of figuring it out without some manner of extraordinary help. It's not just the idea of no longer being able to recognize that two plus two does not actually equal five; rather, it is more akin to two plus two equals five but only some of the time but that doesn't mean it ever actually changes, and now they really can't discern the difference between four and five. If it seems hard to grasp, in that example, the idea that 「sometimes it equals four and sometimes it equals five but only a liberal elitist would lie and accuse that of being a variable outcome」, welcome to the last thirty years of trying very hard to understand what our conservative neighbors are telling us.

    Still, though, if the preceding paragraph seems a mess, right, sometimes life provides better examples than any figurative explanation. The British guy with Young America Foundation and Turning Point USA credentials presents the sort of argument that would respond to data on asymmetric polarization by pretending it's a both-sides problem. What Reid describes in response are examples of that asymmetry.

    Nor is this a new problem. Over the course of years, for instance, we might criticize the fundamental dishonesty of American conservative politics, but in the moment we really do need to take a moment to consider the implications of what it would mean to be so wrong, and conservatives for whatever reason really cannot help themselves, and are somehow pathologically or otherwise so definitively precluded from honest conduct.

    It's one thing if thirty-nine percent of Republicans would justify civil war, but Haworth's sort of equivocation is a staple of rightist sustenance. It's part of how conservatives do it to themselves↑, and woven into the prospect↑ that the question of civil war is entirely up to those who would revolt.

    (sigh) The works-cited for this one is just silly.


    @ighaworth. "I hate this nonsense. I can go to any Leftist rally and find one idiot who believes a ridiculous conspiracy theory, and paint them as the Democratic Party base." Twitter. 24 April 2022. 24 April 2022.

    @JoyAnnReid. "Behold… the Republican base. Yeah… put these folks in charge… everything will be just fine…". Twitter. 24 April 2022. 24 April 2022.

    —————. "Oh, and ONE QUARTER of Republicans believe in the Q-anon cult stuff. That's one in four, for the non-mathy. This isn't one weirdo. It's the party. It's a LOT of the GOP caucus. The Kevins and Mitches just delude themselves thinking they can 'lead' them." Twitter. 24 April 2022. 24 April 2022.

    —————. "MOST Republicans believe the Big Lie that Trump activity somehow won the 2020 election. Not some… MOST." Twitter. 24 April 2022. 24 April 2022.

    —————. "Nearly FOUR IN TEN Republicans support VIOLENCE for the purpose of installing their candidates of choice 'to save America.' Find me the equivalent among Democrats, please. That’s a pretty big 'just this one lunatic…'". Twitter. 24 April 2022. 24 April 2022.

    —————. "Show your work. Pick any Democratic politician's event." Twitter. 24 April 2022. 24 April 2022.

    @RonFilipkowski. "Woman at Trump rally explains why she believes Princess Diana and Jackie O are still alive." Twitter. 23 April 2022. 24 April 2022.
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    The question of a civil war, I said↑, is entirely up to those who would revolt, left to whoever starts shooting.

    American rightists pitched fits as word emerged that the FBI had served a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago. Per NBC News↱:

    Some users on pro-Trump internet forums told users to “lock and load,” agitated for civil war and urged protesters to head to Mar-a-Lago in the hours after news broke that the FBI searched former President Donald Trump’s Florida compound on Monday.

    At least one Wednesday Putsch defendant was identified amid the chatter and buzz, and if we might observe↗ it won't help him during sentencing, Collins and Reilly fill out that tale in their report:

    One user posting about the “civil war” shortly after the search was Tyler Welsh Slaeker, a Washington state man awaiting sentencing for storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to previous research and statements posted online. A report in December by Advance Democracy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative group, found that Slaeker posted to the pro-Trump internet forum TheDonald under the username “bananaguard62.”

    On Monday night, the username “bananaguard62” posted the top reply to the “lock and load” post.

    “Are we not in a cold civil war at this point?” the account asked. Another user responded, “several points ago.” Another top reply to Slaeker quoted a notorious antisemitic Nazi rallying cry ....

    .... Later on in the night, Slaeker clarified in a reply that he could not be more specific about his civil war post.

    “I am awaiting sentencing for trespassing into the Capitol,” he wrote. “I am only being careful with my words.”

    That pretty much answers the obvious inquiry about calling it a cold civil war after he has already escalated to a hot conflict. But it also makes the point: The question of a civil war is entirely up to those who would revolt; we have an answer from American rightists, who are quite apparently already at war.


    Collins, Ben and Ryan J. Reilly. "After Mar-a-Lago search, users on pro-Trump forums agitate for 'civil war' — including a Jan. 6 rioter". NBC News. 9 August 2022. 9 August 2022.
  11. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Several years ago, my beloved spouse and I decided to try and make tax time a little less stressful.
    so we went to H & R Block(heads)
    (don't do that)
    They screwed up everything that could be screwed up.
    The woman in charge thought that because I had had a negative year in my business that I was a tax cheat.
    Her attitude made things worse.
    Anyway we found ourselves at the post office just before the tax return deadline(a first for us).
    And, as I was watching the parade of last minute filers, it dawned on me that the anti-government militia types were either idiots or risk adverse chickenshits.
    Every year---thousands of late minute filers line up at post offices to drop off their tax returns.
    Many post offices provide a postal employee to go out to the street with a cart that looks like it could hold laundry and collect the returns.
    If these anti-government crazies had an ounce of sense and some brass balls, they could provide a person with a cart and collect hundreds of tax returns. Then dump them into a van and take them out to the country and have a bonfire. Soon, hundreds of citizens would find themselves in a dispute with the IRS and become anti-government.
    What a lost opportunity.
    So, if anyone would lead a second civil war---the aforementioned loonies would not be able.
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Eventually they are all going to end up dead or in jail (including Trump) and sanity will prevail.
  13. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    not likely
  14. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    How about relative sanity will prevail?
  15. O. W. Grant Registered Senior Member

    Sir Humphrey Appleby on the Proper Function of Government
  16. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Now the US has a former president who might be facing charges of treason, and a (matching!) orange jumpsuit.

    How will this stir the true believers? He's being framed, they planted all the evidence, whatabout . . . Hillary Clinton . . . ?
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    There is presently chatter about an earlier subpoena for Mar-a-Lago security video, with the gist being something about who was where when which documents were in what condition, and the implication having to do with who Trump was giving access to.

    And, sure, around now that two billion for the Kushners starts to sound mighty interesting, but, really, when it comes to the waiting and seeing part, this could end up being much stranger than even that.

    Here, try this: We'll find out the Saudis processed a bunch of dead Mexican migrants into soylent for mercenaries dispatched to Yemen as a test run for a Chinese Uyghur solution supplying Russian k-rations in Ukraine.

    And then remember that truth is stranger than fiction.
  18. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Nah, most of the 74 million boneheads who voted for Trump will never go to war much less even riot in the streets, as Lindsay Graham recently threatened. They're all, for the most part, law abiding citizens who have more interest in paying their bills. Sure, there'll be some groups of far right white nationalist fanatics who might cause some violence, but many of their leaders are now in prison.

    Republicans are loud mouth posers and cowards.
  19. geordief Valued Senior Member

    I think it was Chomsky who advised the protesters at the time of the BLM events (and the provocations from the groups on the far right) to "stay close to the police".

    Maybe the Maga crowd need to follow that advice if they want to hold onto the support(or acquiescence) they have.
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    All the talk about Republicans and Democrats is misguided and analogous to taking your eye off the ball. It's all noise.

    Most Americans are centrists. There's not a lot of difference between a moderate Democrat and a moderate Republican. It's true that a moderate Republican can't get elected at the moment but that's still where the majority of the population lies.

    Those people however largely just tune-out the government. They take care of themselves, aren't looking for the government to do anything for them and actually prefer a grid-locked government that does nothing.

    With a government that usually just makes matters worse, doing nothing is preferable.

    The disaffected therefore tend to be those on the extremes on both sides. That's why it appears that the country is so divided. It's just those extremists that are divided.

    The bigger problem is that many people don't see that government intervention frequently just makes the problem worse a few years later, especially government guarantees. A few years later come the bail-outs.

    The same people who are talking about how affordable education was for the Boomers were those, at the time, who didn't like that system and wanted government intervention in the form of loan guarantees so that "everyone" could go to college.

    Tuition went up, of course, some still couldn't pay and everyone complained about the loans. Had the government done nothing, we would still have affordable education.

    Those same people complained that "everyone" should be able to buy a house. Again, the government guaranteed the sub-prime mortgage mess. Eventually that resulted in a bail-out. Had the government done nothing, we would be much better off.

    We have the most expensive health care system in the world and yet it still doesn't cover everyone. It's a mixture of private and government money, insurance, regulations and guarantees. It's the worst of both worlds rather than the other way around.

    There's a pattern here and yet we keep doing the same thing over and over. Government isn't the solution no matter how much we get distracted and argue about Republicans and Democrats. They are just parties and neither has a good track record of efficiently administering the state.
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    They may not have the best of track records, but when you rely on Democrats to raise the stature of Republicans by averaging out that way, you're relying on Democrats to make Republicans look better. "They are just parties"? Yes, that is about as meaningful as the other iterations we've long heard from conservatives trying to distance themselves from Republicans in order to pitch rightward talking points. No wonder you equivocate, and so desperately at that.
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    As usual, you haven't addressed any points...

    No need to let reality get in the way of a rant though. "Talking point", "conservatives", "desperate".

    What is your political philosophy? Bloggism?
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2022
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    I might agree that your claim, "They are just parties", was pointless, but that probably isn't what you meant.

    If we take this to have a point, it's filed under the stopped-clock rule. Yes, it's all noise, but if we compare the noise to reality, the effect of the noise is to help conservatives through equivocation of history and constriction of acceptable discourse. Most of the noise is a marketplace effect that benefits those invested in uncertainty.

    The conservative abandonment of verity has been going on pretty much my whole life; the point that it is all noise can be established as true, as such, but it is also in that reality, that marketplace circumstance, the fact of that noise has significant implications that defy equivocation.

    The thing about centrism is kind of like I said five years ago↑: One of the things to remember about political terms like liberal and conservative is that centrism is how we find ourselves, as an American society, condoning rape culture, torture, mass murder of civilians abroad, systemic domestic genocide, or the economic necessity of hunger and malnutrition, just to name a few. Short form: The American middle ground is atrocious. Or, all of a couple weeks ago↗, the comfort of familiarity includes the sins of the traditional corpus. The more complicated version is that the traditions of our prevailing narrative will have much to say about why our American centrism is what it is.

    That's an extraordinary description of a "majority of the population".

    To what degree does this perspective account for those whose mission is that government should make matters worse, i.e., Republicans and conservatives?

    As I told you last week↑, for nigh on forty years, the conservative thesis on governance has been to wreck government. In any other job interview, if the candidate says, "I think this company is wrong and should only be allowed to exist if it is so weak and precarious that I can destroy it on a whim," we would not hire them. For conservatives, however, it's requisite.

    You have no idea what you're talking about. Centrism currently holds left-side theses such as food security and universal housing is too radical, but conservatives are actually empowering supremacist, authoritarian governance. Both sides, left and right, have their rhetorical and behavioral extremes, but conservatives are empowering theirs, and centrism plays along.

    We might wonder how many of those were of such centrist inclination as to demand liberals compromise with conservatives by agreeing to fail.

    Loan guarantees, like Obamacare, are a compromise with failure, a manner of forestalling universal access.

    That "nothing" would include not cutting education budgets or deliberately hamstringing schools over the course of decades. It's unclear what would have worked if centrism did not require compromise with failure.

    That's just make-believe. The subprime mess is a result of compromising with failure. It's not so much that "'everyone' should be able to buy a house", but that everyone should be able to have housing. And remember, compared to impossible loans, housing guarantees are considered too radical and extreme.

    That's what we get for compromising with Republicans.

    Yes, it's called compromising with conservatives.

    Compromising with Republicans.

    Compromising with failure.

    It's actually kind of unclear which parts of history you're overlooking, since it actually kind of looks like you're missing pretty much all of it.

    Said like a true conservative.

    Well, Republicans seek to injure the administration of the state; Democrats are obliged to compromise with Republican demands for the failure of government. We might wonder what the centrists you describe, the "majority of the population", actually expect. "A government that usually just makes matters worse" would actually seem to be what they demand.

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