Trump: Words vs. Action and the GOP

He’s right that words do constrain (modestly), but wrong that this is a middle course.

When you have a president who regularly engages in treasonous behavior, challenges fundamental democratic norms, tears down the post-World-War II global order by embracing Russia (our enemy) and attacking our friends (Western Europe), consistently endorses dictators and essentially promotes himself as one of them, views the press as the “enemy of the people,” implements an economic policy (tariffs) that helped to cause the Great Depression, tears children from their parents, and affirms white supremacists and neo-Nazis and other extremist haters, then this is not a normal time.

Words do not suffice at such moments any more than at other historic moments of crisis in the U.S. or globally. Words here are just that: words. Action is required at moments like this, and most Republicans have totally failed to oppose an executive course of behavior that threatens the our historic values, the Constitution, our standing in the world, our way of life, the underpinnings of our economy, and the global order.

Conservatives don’t have to oppose Kavanaugh or hold up tax reductions (both of which I strongly oppose, but I get it that they’re conservatives–though I do think that Kavanaugh has bigger confirmation problems than some people realize). They should, however, support Mueller, condemn Trump when appropriate, support our intelligence services (not undermine them), vigorously (not meekly) oppose treason, and stand up for the security of our electoral system.

History will deride these Republican leaders as bystanders and weaklings in a time when leadership and strength was required. And they will deserve that harsh judgement.

“GOP Criticism of Trump is All Talk but it Still Matters”

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Birthright Israel and Zionism

This reflects views found among many American Jewish millennials. One-sided? Yes. Incomplete? Yes. Too sympathetic to Palestinians and hostile to Israelis? Yes. Naive and a little silly? Yes. Part of an anti-Israel, anti-Zionist political movement? Possibly.  Anti-Israel propaganda? Yes. But no less one-sided or propaganda than Birthright or other tours led by mainstream Jewish organization. The American Jewish community had better get its act together if it wants its Jewish youth to continue as Zionists.

(“Why I Walked Off My Birthright Israel Trip,” Huffington Post)


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Evangelical Leaders Abandon God


The group sponsoring the National Prayer Breakfast is ominously called “The Family,” and this story about Maria Butina makes them look really bad. Where exactly is God with all this political machinating among Evangelical Christian leaders?

Now, effectively, the leading preachers of “God is dead” theology are the majority of Christian evangelical leaders.

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We are intersecting fields of eternal becoming.

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Political Revolution in the Air

I don’t buy the argument of Coons and Bennett at all (or Collins). The Rs would have just waited to gut the filibuster until now. Coons and those who agree with him are suckers. They’re like Charlie Brown with the football, so blissfully unaware what’s really going on. The Rs move the ball every time, and some Ds just whine. This is political war, not a tea and crumpets party. The Ds have to stand for something, not cower before the big, bad meanies–who don’t cower one whit before them.

The filibuster is in trouble anyway; it’s a tradition, not in the Constitution. I expect the Ds to gut it further when they get power again with a Democratic prez. Whether that’s a good idea is another matter (I’m not sure it is), but it’s likely what going to happen down the road. And then we might have 15 SCOTUS judges and lots of extra others at the appellate levels. Or we might put term limits on federal judges through a constitutional change. The Democratic base will not accept anything less, and they will eventually outvote the Republican base.

Our political system is crashing, and we are probably going to have to rebuild it. The old political order is crumbling, and something new will emerge in its place. Revolution is in the air; reform’s time has passed. The Constitution will remain, but we will have to establish new traditions that work for a different era.

America will have to reinvent itself–as it did after the American Revolution, the Civil War, the great depression, and World War II. So will the old western order which has forgotten what most working people have to deal with in their lives. That’s the one good thing that Donald Trump has shown us in the U.S. and the world: the old ways are dying because they no longer work and have left working people in the dust. We will either collapse or transform ourselves. This is our time of reckoning in so many ways. Given the human instinct for survival, I always bet on transformation. But it will not be easy or painless. This is why those of us who resist are here. This is our moment when we can actually do something and help co-create the world we see faintly outlined in the darkness.

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