Something There Is That Doesn’t Love a Wall


Matthew Yglesias makes an interesting, and possibly valid, point. It is captured in the headline and subheading: The shutdown is intractable because Trump’s wall is ridiculous and Republicans know it: Conservatives won’t trade the wall for anything good because they know it’s a bad idea.

But, of course, these folks who “know” the wall is a bad idea are not the same as the 25 percent or so of American adults who have joined the Cult of Trump.

Over at Politico, they’re treating the Trump border shutdown tweets, discussed in my last post,  as unserious venting. A cooped-up Trump’s threats fail to break budget deadlock: The president is consumed by the shutdown, according to people close to him, and has been throwing out escalating Twitter ultimatums — to no avail.

I don’t know how the shutdown mess will be resolved. I don’t know whether he will try to “shut down the border.” I don’t know whether he will try to fire the head of the Federal Reserve. I don’t know whether he will restage the Saturday Night Massacre.

But we all know her is taking concrete steps to blow up our international military alliances.

And you might ask the Syrian Kurds whether it’s a good idea to bet your life on the hope  that Trump doesn’t mean the crazy things he says.

A Big Wet Kiss from Donald J. Trump

the kiss

Here are some fun facts from the Brookings Institutution. Trump endorsed 75 candidates. Of those 75, 21 won.

Also, Trump actively campaigned for 35 House and Senate candidates. Of those, 20 won.

And before I go, please let me direct your attention to Matthew Yglesias, Trump voters stood by Trump in the midterms—but there just aren’t enough of them. Yglesias’s views are broadly similar to mine, as set forth in the immediately preceding post.

It’s not rocket science, folks. When you start out with a minority of the electorate, alienate some of those, and alienate everyone else, this is not a formula for winning elections.

The Slough of Despond


This afternoon Dr. Aardvark was down in slough of despond, she was down inthe inner city, registering  voters. That’s what we need to be doing.

At dinner, she and I ate with a couple of progressives suffering from deep despair. I do not share that despair, not only because despair is not an emotion in which we have the luxury to indulge, but also, I think, for logical reasons as well.

Progressives Need to Place More Reliance on Political Activism, Less Reliance on Judges

For many of us, when we think of the Court, the first thing that probably comes to mind is Roe v. Wade, and the second thing that probably comes to mind is gay marriage. Obviously, very important stuff. But Matthew Yglesias gives enormously important perspective in a post this evening titled Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation will delegitimize the Supreme Court — and that’s good: It’s time America woke up to the radical right that’s run the Court for years.

I don’t have the mental energy this evening to summarize it or selectively quote from it. But I highly recommend it.

There are other reasons not to wallow in the slough of despond this evening, but I’ll close with one of them.

They Didn’t Remember the Ladies

Abagail Adams

If you energize the most extreme elements of your tribe, you risk splitting the tribe by alienating the ones with good sense. The Democratic tribe is quite a bit larger than the Republican tribe. We could alienate some of our ilk and still be larger in numbers than the Republicans. But when Republicans practice the politics of subtraction on their own tribe, they risk shrinking themselves right into political irrelevance.

Except, of course, in deep red states where Republican tribal feeling runs high. There are Senate races this year in several such states.

That is presumably why Machiavelli McConnell and Doofus Donald didn’t just pull Kavanaugh and insert an equally conservative, less inclined to commit assault before he drinks himself under the table.

But, in their machinations, they forgot the Republican ladies.

We must make sure that the Republican ladies never forget them.

Oh, Now I Get It

hush money

In essence, the exculpatory story is that the president hands out hush money so readily that his attorney has carte blanche to cut six-figure payoff checks on his behalf without checking with the client. Indeed, in this case we’re supposed to believe that the president was so willing to part with his money … that the woman with dirt on him didn’t even need to be telling the truth to be worth paying $130,000.

Matthew Yglesias, Trump’s Stormy Daniels tweets show how easy he is to blackmail

Aardvark did not have sex with Donald Trump.

Aardvark wants his $130,000 check.