Never distract your enemy

When he is busy destroying himself.

24 thoughts on “Never distract your enemy

  1. The three commentators aren’t destroying themselves, they are already destroyed. They seem to think of themselves as superior to their ideological adversaries, even though their preferred candidates lost. The contrast between objective failure and subjective snobbery could not be more stark or more disturbing.

    I think the Virginia election turned out to be an effective protest against Democrats of every stripe. It remains to be seen how deep Democrat denial will go, but I’m expecting full-blown psychosis given the daily embarrassments that Stumble Joe and Kacklin’ Kam churn out. Plus inflation.


  2. Enjoy your victory but be careful not to read quite so much into it. The Democrats remain the majority party in this country and the programs and policies which they promote and which Republicans block remain very popular.

    So what happened? In a word turnout. The kind of people motivated by a hodgepodge of culture war issues are always highly motivated and always turnout. Democrats – not so much. Compare this year’s election with the 2020 Presidential election to understand what really happened. The Republican vote did NOT go up as you would expect If your theories of a major repudiation of the Democrats was accurate. In fact it went down. The Democrats lost because their vote decreased by a lot more. The result was a marginal victory for Youngkin. 2 points vs 10 points for Biden.

    So what lessons should the Democrats learn? IMHO they need to learn from Bernie Sanders and make ours a real progressive party. It is not surprising that in a contest between a corporate Republican and a corporate Democrat ordinary people just did not care much.

    And what about the Republicans? What should they learn? Do what Youngkin did – Distance themselves from Trumpism at the earliest possible moment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, I certainly hope the Democrats take your advice and just do the same things harder.

      Turnout, and the lack of it, certainly made the difference, but not showing up is a vote too. Particularly, young Democrats sat this out, and that tells you that the Democrats didn’t provide a candidate or message they could support.

      But I do agree that Republicans have lessons to learn too. The GOP must establish its brand as the party of parents and workers. They need to be vocal about the superiority of liberty and free markets in providing what we want and need. Too often we let people take the benefits of freedom for granted.

      It takes careful messaging to promote the advantages of just getting out of the way over ‘doing something.’


      1. RE: “They [GOP] need to be vocal about the superiority of liberty and free markets in providing what we want and need.”

        That works for me. Of the two, liberty is probably the easier sell.


      2. “Turnout, and the lack of it, certainly made the difference, but not showing up is a vote too.”

        Yes, but a vote for what? My take it is that it was a vote for a Democratic Party that champions and succeeds with a truly progressive agenda. McAuliffe simply had no bona fides as such a champion.

        “The party of parents?” You think you can build a party around a single gaffe by an out-of-touch old man? What parents really want are things that the Republicans fight against. IMHO.

        You need to be realistic about the root of the GOP victory. It was the parents/ schooling gaffe and it was the “threat” of CRT. Those kept the GOP base highly motivated. It had almost nothing to do with “Liberty” or “free markets.” Neither of which are threatend by Democrats. If you really think your “heartland” people are with you on those “issues”, try getting them to give up farm subsidies.


        1. I can’t wait to see just how these parental ‘geniuses’ do regarding library books, etc. and what’s being taught in school. Personally, I turned out just great and I read every trashy page of every book that made it to my hands while I was in 6th grade thru graduation. I loved them all and thanked the people that shared them with me. Did the stuff in ANY book make me do anything or try anything I might not have already tried? I think not. The letter (by Joseph Bass) in today’s PILOT says it best . . . to paraphrase it pretty much says: If you’re going to get rid of the books you find offensive, whether it be sexual, racial or whatever – you better have the guts to rip every device out of your students’ hands that they now have access to. Over at least 25 years ago I innocently typed in “Honey Dripping Times”, looking for a Neil Diamond monthly news letter that supposedly came out. Someone had told me it was online. WOW! I’ll leave it. I never saw that coming.

          The parents of today have no more business telling schools what to teach than my mother and father had back in the days I was in school. The kids will find what they want, and anyone who thinks otherwise is just being naive.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I tend to agree that keeping kids away from ‘adult content’ is largely a hopeless task, and carefully written books can help lift the stigma attached to sexual minorities. At the appropriate age, exposure to such things can help push back the walls of ignorance and prejudice,

            But still it is not the place of the schools to legitimize that by overruling the parents or determining when that appropriate age is.

            Schools must recognize the parent’s authority even in no one else does.


          2. “Schools must recognize the parent’s authority even in no one else does.”

            Given all the kooks out there, that sounds good but is unworkable in practice. Parents’ exercise their authority at the ballot box and not by marching into schools to oversee curriculum decisions.


          3. Still, it’s the parents who have to deal with the consequences so they should have control of what the school sanctions.

            But it is true it is impractical to have parents directly dictating curriculum.

            Perhaps a rating system would work. Rate the works by degree of explicitness and let the parents authorize a level for their child each year. Give them a “library card” for their allowed level.

            Not a perfect solution but it’s one way to do it,


          4. “Not a perfect solution but it’s one way to do it . . .”

            Sure, and I think in areas of sex education such opt in or opt out provisions are common. But there are other areas where “conservatives” are not happy with what is being taught and they cannot be allowed to directly intervene. Science is full of such areas. And so is history.


          5. No, there is no place in science where skeptical thought should be excluded. Skepticism is the soul of science and children should learn to question from the beginning.

            History is tricky, the truth, absent slant in any direction would be the ideal.


          6. So, if a parent is “skeptical” about the Theory of Evolution they should be allowed to block its teaching in a high school biology course?” Or, if a parent is “skeptical” about the efficacy of vaccines they should be allowed to block a high school health teacher from promoting their benefits? What if a parent believes the world stands on the back of a giant turtle, should they be allowed to require that this “fact” be included in science class? And on and on.

            History is NOT just the learning of dates and events. It involves understanding the forces that shape events.


          7. Quite the opposite.

            I am not suggesting skeptical parents block any view on science. I am suggesting that education be OPEN to skepticism.

            Currently, questioning of the extreme alarmist views on climate change is non-existent, for example. Vigorous debate on such issues is the best way to teach science.

            Any science teacher who can’t win the argument for evolution should be doing something else.


          8. “. . . education be OPEN to skepticism.”

            Well, we are in agreement then. The processes of science should be realistically portrayed and actual disputes based on evidence would be instructive. For example, AP Biology could cover not just the Theory of Evolution but also debunked challenges to it such as Soviet-era Lysenkoism or even Intelligent Design. It is good to learn how evidence matters in science.


      3. “ The GOP must establish its brand as the party of parents and workers.”

        Affordable healthcare, education, daycare subsidies, family leave are all worker friendly policies that bolster the workforce. Or is the object to keep families dependent upon multiple low wage jobs?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Workers have traditionally gotten those things by negotiating with their employer, either as individuals or through a union.

          Interestingly, it is government which killed the unions in the US by mandating much of what they were able to offer through collective bargaining. Mandates made those available without a union and the unions became obsolete.

          Right now, we have a labor shortage, so there is no better time to negotiate.


          1. Your “drunk history” of why unions have lost the ability to negotiate effectively is laughable. It is union busting legislation pushed by big business through their control of the GOP that is the primal cause.

            You seem to think that working people have gotten everything they want and deserve by government mandate. Making unions obsolete. Think again. For example, what is the government mandate for paid vacation? Pension contributions? Tuition reimbursement? Quality of Medical insurance? Child care? Rates of pay at levels above minimum wage? Union representation in corporate governance.

            Compare the role of unions (and workers benefits) in, say, Germany versus this country to understand how far off the mark you are.


          2. Non-union workers have paid vacation and pensions.

            But what union busting legislation do you refer to? It looks to me like the government has its thumb on the scale on the unuons’ side.


          3. “Non-union workers have paid vacation and pensions.”

            Deliberately missing the point?

            You are saying unions are obsolete because everything employees might want is already there by government mandate. It isn’t. Americans typically “enjoy” 1 or 2 weeks of paid vacation. Pensions are a thing of the past. Some modern employers may match 401K contributions, but that is far from universal. The legal minimum paid vacation in Germany is 5 weeks. Good pensions, family leave, etc. are similar. There is MUCH left for unions to bargain for.

            One of the principle families of union busting laws are “right-to-work” laws. Generally, these laws require that unions cannot bargain for pay and benefits that go only to their members. Non-union members at the same firm must be included. Though these state laws are sold on the basis of next making union membership compulsory, that is not what they do. They give union benefits to those who have not bargained for and sometimes sacrificed for them. The unfairness and union crippling effects of such laws are obvious.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. If I recall correctly, in Right to Work states, non-members can be charges for their share of representation, but not political activity or strike funds.

            What largely killed unions is their success in non-right to work states. They priced their employers out of the international market.


          5. Still want to pretend that Right-to-work laws are not for union busting? Passed by the finest legislatures that money can buy. Knock yourself out.

            Blaming unions for the competitive failure of American companies is a dog that will not hunt. Management runs our corporations. Not the workers. For example, the work forces at the Japanese and German companies that upended the American auto industry enjoyed compensation that Americans could only dream of. While American companies were still foisting gas guzzling cars laced with planned obsolescence those foreigners sold high quality and relatively efficient alternatives.

            Liked by 1 person

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