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WorkingClass • 1 year ago

There are a certain number of conservatives who are just fed up with
crap like this, and can’t stand the thought of four more years of it.

So vote Biden. Sarah Palin said "We have two parties. Pick one."

Amicus Brevis • 1 year ago

Whoever I vote for at the top, I am going to split my vote. I don't trust either party with both chambers and the Presidency.

RomanCandle • 1 year ago

Democrats haven't given Trump-skeptical Republicans any reason to vote for them, especially considering a Biden presidency would likely be a regency ruled by a far-left veep and technocratic advisors.

We have two parties, but more than two choices. Principled non-voting is a thing.

RATM • 1 year ago

There is no far-left in American politics today, or at least not in the major parties. Like a lot of people, you don't seem to know what that means.

William Anderson • 1 year ago

Rod, there is one thing you left out of the article: Democrats have made it absolutely clear that they hate white evangelicals and their campaign rhetoric will be quite incendiary on any issues of Christianity and society. At best, they will tell evangelicals that they should be more like the so-called Religious Left (Sojourners, Natalie Bolz-Weber, etc.) and at worst, they will sound like Beto O'Rourke when he called for taxing churches that did not change their theology to welcome homosexuality and transgenderism.

Biden already has declared that transgender rights are "today's civil rights issue," and I expect him to double down on his commitment there. Furthermore, given his tendency to say outrageous things, you can bet he will be going right up to the line to where he declares the Bible to be hate speech, and he is going to outright threaten evangelicals. He will go radical on abortion rights and let it be known that churches that do not support open-ended abortions to the time of birth (paid for by taxpayers) are going to face the wrath of his administration.

Does anyone believe Biden will be silent on these issues or be anything but in-your-face incendiary? Now, Donald Trump will not respond very well, since Trump doesn't respond very well on anything and he almost surely will say and do things that will partially neutralize this advantage that Biden will drop into his lap. Nonetheless, Joe Biden will be absolutely clear that he hates evangelicals and means to do them harm if he is elected. Given that much of secular America feels the same way, it probably will get him votes on the left.

JonF311 • 1 year ago

I don't think Biden "hates" evangelicals. They're not his constituency so he may not care much about them, but "hate" is a strong word here.

Old West • 1 year ago

I agree that he doesn't care one way or another. But a significant part of his base hates evangelicals, and he will certainly respond to their preferences. The administration will be filled with functionaries hostile to evangelicals, and he will do nothing to restrain their worst impulses. Traditional Christians would be crazy to do anything but vote for Trump if they have a desire for self-preservation.

Janice Fahy • 1 year ago

Biden doesn’t hate white Evangelicals. That’s cheap rhetoric. Cheap rhetoric that RD spreads too often, imho.

nikto • 1 year ago

Of course.

There are legitimate criticisms of Biden, policywise, but hatred of white evangelicals is definitely NOT one of them.

That idea comes from a paranoid and sinister place in peoples' souls.
It was PUT THERE by evil people.

Too bad that some folks' souls are such fertile ground for
lies of that magnitude.

Amicus Brevis • 1 year ago

You are using the standard tactic of extremist debate. You find the most extreme statements you can find from the other side, claim that statement reflects official policy of that side and use it to support the claim that the other side has the most extreme plans in mind if they capture the Presidency. There are always such statements a plenty. There are even publications like Slate and National Online Review that scour the country looking for such extremist statements and write headlines shouting, "See what the Republicans/Democrats really believe!" And then exhort readers to ignore all the statements that do not fall in line with extreme position as partisan dissembling - but of course the extreme statements are not. When publications like these are not considered part of fringe wings of their sides, what hope do we have as a country? After making zero national traction, Beto went crazier and crazier until even his former supporters we calling him crazy. He never mounted a credible national campaign. He does not speak for any significant section of the Democratic Party. His early exit from the race for the Presidential nomination proves it. The enthusiasm he generated in the Texas Senate race was mainly anti-Cruz hysteria. And the only reason some people spoke of him in national terms is that they sensed even then that Bernie couldn't win - despite the breathless claims that he would.

brendanyc • 1 year ago

jeez, paranoid much? I am a New Yorker in the land of non-evangelicalism (no, not a word, i just made it up it think). I don't hear people 'hating' evangelicals. There is strong disagreement on things like access to abortion, and a pretty strong suspicion that all the fuss about 'religious freedom' is really a play for religious domination, but 'hatred'? no. It just ain't so. Stop confusing strong disagreement with personal animosity. That's the kind of thinking that gets us all into trouble.

Guest • 1 year ago
massappeal • 1 year ago

Thanks for your comment. Just curious: what measurements are you using to compare Trump to his predecessors?

jon_marcus • 1 year ago

Trump is better in measures of prosperity? Seriously? By what metric? Did you stop reading economic news in February?

Peace I'll grant you. I'd raise some anti-Trump points there (e.g. we withdrew from locations in Syria to help Russia & Turkey. Trump's attempted coup in Venezuela has been ignored because it was so risible.) But that's quibbling.

And security? How do you define security? Nearly 100,000 US citizens have died. Easily 1/4 of those could have been prevented by better federal policies. Or does Trump get a gimme on ten 9/11's worth of dead Americans? (NB, I'm only laying the easily preventable deaths at his feet.)

RomanCandle • 1 year ago
Nearly 100,000 US citizens have died. Easily 1/4 of those could have been prevented by better federal policies. Or does Trump get a gimme on ten 9/11's worth of dead Americans

Trump doesn't get a pass on this, but if you want moderates and Trump-skeptical Republicans to vote Biden, then the burden is on you to present a credible alternative. And I don't think liberals have done that.

For example, the progressive obsession with "openness" has resulted in most Democrats initially rejecting some of the most successful measures against this disease: travel bans, restricting public transportation, and allowing nursing homes to turn back patients who haven't been tested. When you ignore the media spin and kooky right-wing protesters spouting conspiracy theories, it's quite clear that Brian Kemp, Greg Abbott, and Ron DeSantis have had better answers to this crisis than Andrew Cuomo, Tom Wolf, and Gretchen Whitmer.

So while it's fair to hammer Trump for his poor handing of the pandemic, it's hard for me to believe that a Democratic administration would have been any better. Especially considering Biden's reaction to Trump's one good initial policy (the China travel ban) was to attack him for his xenophobia.

Eric Thompson III • 1 year ago

But democrats don’t need Trump skeptical Republicans to win in a landslide. The vast majority of republicans who voted, ended up voting for McCain after Bush. Democrats just need to convince independents to win and win handily.

Barry_II • 1 year ago

"Trump is better in measures of prosperity? Seriously? By what metric? Did you stop reading economic news in February?"

Or earlier. I've seen the graphs; the 'Trump Boom' is the continuation of trends started under President "Don't Do Stupid Things" Obama.

Deoxy • 1 year ago

"Or earlier. I've seen the graphs; the 'Trump Boom' is the continuation
of trends started under President "Don't Do Stupid Things" Obama."

Every bad thing under Obama was because of Bush. Every good thing under Trump is because of Obama. Got it.

How many "recovery summers" did we have under Obama? The "great recession" would have been called the Second Great Depression if there was an R after his name... and it would have been correct!

Do the same kinds of stupid things the government did to drag out the Great Depression, get more dragged out, worst-"recovery"-in-modern-US-history economics, just like they did.

Trump didn't have to do anything amazing to help the economy, really. I think he did manage to do some good things, but really, the only thing he *had* to do was say, "Hey, the government will stop screwing you over now. You are free to work!" and the market would boom. That's what happens when you keep the economy down with really stupid policies and behaviours for a few years.

Siarlys Jenkins • 1 year ago

Assumes facts not in evidence. But keep telling yourself that if it makes you happy.

Elijah • 1 year ago

You frequently say this as if it's some kind of rebuttal. It isn't.

Siarlys Jenkins • 1 year ago

Sure it is. When someone makes a flat statement, dripping with implications of factual knowledge, but provides none, I challenge them to do so. On its face, their statement isn't worth more than that. If they provide some substance, I will respond at greater length to the substance. If they respond, as TISO has done, with an "I am rubber, you are glue" kind of retort, then I know they had no substance in the first place, can't offer any, and are throwing a Trump-style hissy fit.

LarryNelson2014Captain • 1 year ago

"Can we risk four more years of this chaos and craziness and overall incompetence, especially not knowing what’s ahead on the virus and the economy? Is that prospect scarier than a Democratic president and Democratic Senate naming and confirming judges?"

I'm thinking....I'm thinking...

Siarlys Jenkins • 1 year ago

Could we have a "None of the above" option? If that draws a plurality of the vote, a caretaker administration is appointed run by a committee of the wives of the last three presidents before the current incumbent, and another election with new candidates is held within three months.

Beowulf • 1 year ago

In political years, five months is like a few generations these days. Trump is not anyone's idea of an effective president but I think it is way too early to see how corona affects him. I suspect most of his supporters think this is a hoax anyway and the people really freaked out by corona weren't voting for Trump in the first place.

As to Trump's performance on corona, how is that going to be assessed? I'd assume by lives lost and economic damage. But corona has hit a lot of countries. If Trump's bumblings actually had an effect, how would we know except by comparison? In the good 'ol moneyball stats there is a
metric called "value over replacement player" (VORP) where you compare the performance your player in question to the performance you would get from the average replacement. Just because you are disappointed in the performance of your player doesn't mean you can expect to get much
better from replacing him. It could turn out he's close to the average.

So if we are looking at stats to assess Trump, we are gonna have to moneyball it. Which leader are we going to compare Trump to? Which country "did things right"? What's our baseline? Our average replacement player? I don't think any of us can say right now which countries did things right. It is too early, we don't know enough about corona and we don't know the ways in which the decisions of leaders have affected the outcome or failed to affect it. In terms of deaths per million, U.S. seems pretty average. Plenty of countries in Europe with leaders who "listen to experts" have far higher deaths per million at the moment. Belgium, Sweden, Netherlands, UK, Italy, France, Spain all look worse than us.

None of this is to attribute any real skill to Trump, but in a situation where there is no prospective
criteria by which to identify who has the wisdom to navigate the situation (only retrospective analysis of the data of countries that all tried different things) you might rather be lucky than good.

Barry_II • 1 year ago

Germany and South Korea.

You may now proceed with the 'those are totally different' BS.

Beowulf • 1 year ago

Thank you for telling me who did it right, can you elaborate on what they did that was the correct move?

Feral Finster • 1 year ago

In spite of low population density, the US has come out poorly compared with numerous countries.

What countries that have been more successful in fighting the COVID is not a secret. In fact, such information is freely available to those who look. I suggest you try Google.

kenofken • 1 year ago

They took it seriously, and had grownups in charge.

Heroic Fool • 1 year ago

I'm genuinely puzzled as to where you and Politico are coming to this conclusion based on the evidence presented. Looking at the data used in the article, it appears that Trump's approval rating among certain groups felt a bump around the time when the main COVID panic started, and then, a month later decreased to....where it was at the beginning of the year. His overall approval/disapproval rating is still more or less the same as it had been throughout his presidency, and more interestingly, Trump's approval among his "core base" has increased significantly compared to 2017, not to mention 2015.

The other key fact embedded in the data is that Trump's approval among certain groups was still considerably low during November 2016, much lower than it is today for example. This speaks to the simple truth that the majority of people who vote for Trump aren't necessarily that fond of the man, but they still pulled the lever for him. Until there is hard evidence that the number of people who absolutely will not vote for Trump increases, we can't make any conclusions as to how more or less likely Trump's chances are in November.

One last item to note is that the worst cases by far occurred in heavily Democratic districts, and, as the reports explained, were the main areas where this loss of support among Christians was reported. On the one hand, it's very likely that these people, to be blunt, wouldn't have had much chance at pushing their districts to the Republican side anyway and thus their support is not nearly as important as those in swing states. On the other hand, to be a bit cheeky, given how poorly Democrat-run areas have fared in this crisis, why on earth would you want another Democrat in the highest executive office?

Old West • 1 year ago

I would definitely give low approval ratings to Trump if asked by a pollster, and I voted for him and will do so again.

brendanyc • 1 year ago

It is depressing but no doubt true that there are millions more like you.

Deoxy • 1 year ago

This is like what happened in 2004 with Bush/Kerry - the media ran stories for several weeks, completely mystified... Bush's approval was down, but Kerry wasn't up in response! They just couldn't figure it out.

Well, duh - if what you don't like about Bush is that he's too much like the Democrats, a guy *more* like the Democrats isn't going to get your vote instead!

Trump is much the same. The things people don't like about him (short of the shallow, surface stuff), well, the Democrats are at least as bad (and usually worse).

"The least bad" is still bad, after all, even if it's "least bad" by a lot.

Thomas Hobbes • 1 year ago

The open-the-churches call from Trump today is just rhetorical. The president doesn’t have the power to re-open them; state governments do. The president is trying to send a signal that he is on the side of churchgoers.

I suspect it is more that he is trying to lure the Democrats into saying something dumb that he can point to later to say they are anti-Christian.

See what I mean? What is the point of doing this to Jeff Sessions, except spite?

I would really like to link to a comment I made 3 years ago, but I can't seem to find the pre-disqus comments despite the fact that google can find them.

MichaelGC • 1 year ago

As with many incumbents, this election is Trump’s to lose. It looks like he is doing exactly that, tweeting himself out of office. A dash of humility and some circumspection would certainly go a long ways with him but oh no, he just keeps on blurting it out, becoming all-too familiar, wearing people out with his presence and his larger than life flaws.

Siarlys Jenkins • 1 year ago

A dash of humility and some circumspection would have gone a long ways toward giving a productive start to his presidency. Earlier, it might have garnered him a modest majority of the popular vote. But no, he just doesn't have it in him.

Deoxy • 1 year ago

"A dash of humility and some circumspection would have gone a long ways toward giving a productive start to his presidency."

On the contrary, lack of those things is what propelled him to the Presidency - he wouldn't back down, etc,etc. That it has served him poorly after he gained the Presidency doesn't change who he is.

He's like a guy who was chosen for his great height... for a job that involves fitting in many differently-sized places. Shorter, but willing to stand on a box when necessary, would work much better for the job, but the selection process (for inexplicable reasons) selects for being tall.

Megan S • 1 year ago

I thought we'd seen into Trump's soul over the past five years, but the way he's revealing himself now is astounding. The man is just unraveling, all his spitefulness and sociopathies bubbling to the surface. There's nothing left to him now but his impotent rage. Maybe the people who didn't want to see the truth of the man can't help but see now.

Siarlys Jenkins • 1 year ago

He's a failure, on a world stage, and his self-image is that he's a genius whose wise leadership will bring us all peace, contentment and prosperity. Naturally, he's throwing a temper tantrum and lashing out in all directions.

MacCheerful • 1 year ago

I think you underestimate the power of fear and self-delusion. Nearly all Republicans have been convinced that all Democrats are nearly satanic. For the next week conservative media will dwell relentlessly and obsessively on Biden's recent stupid statement while ignoring whatever additional nonsense comes out of the White House. (Did you know there's a recent study showing that widespread use of hydroxychloroquine (sp?) is probably bad? You wouldn't if you read conservative media) It's strange to live in a country where a substantial number of people can no longer see the good in other citizens, but here we are.

Rod Dreher • 1 year ago

Do you not see that most Democrats regard Republicans in the same way? This has been documented.

MacCheerful • 1 year ago

Oh absolutely. Speaking for myself only, I regard Republican leadership, people like Mitch McConnell, Pompeo, and of course our president as various mixtures of stupid and evil, and their more devoted followers as pretty close to the same. The people who vote Republican because they always vote Republican and don't pay much attention to politics, like members of my family, I regard simply as incurious, but as family I still love them.

But I still think Democrats are a lot more justified in their disdain, as implied by Kevin Drum in a recent post:


Did you know the candidate for the U.S. Senate in Oregon is a Q follower? And that when the National Review advised Republicans to abandon her the majority of the comments on the page retorted that Democrats are worse and more deluded and more crazy than Q?

Rod Dreher • 1 year ago

You mean QAnon. I would never, ever vote for a QAnon follower -- and would almost certainly vote against such a person.

SirMagpieDeCrow1 • 1 year ago

QAnon is hot garbage.
Even for elaborate conspiracy theories it's a mess of idiocy and illogic.

That whole culmination of that movement is the prophesied synchronized event called "The Storm". This finale move against the cannibalistic pedo-elitists (how am I not laughing right now?) is in my opinion a virtual carbon copy of the "Day of the Rope" musings from the far-right militia/racist true believers of the 90's.

The "Day of the Rope" is a sequence of events from the white supremacist novel "The Turner Diaries" which consequently inspired the mass murderer behind the Oklahoma City Bombing.

The “Day of the Rope” is a white supremacist concept taken from The Turner Diaries, a fictionalized blueprint for a white supremacist revolution written in 1978 by neo-Nazi leader William Pierce (under the pseudonym “Andrew Macdonald”). The novel influenced many violent right-wing extremists from the 1980s through the 2010s, including Timothy McVeigh.

In the novel, white supremacist rebels, having taken control of California, engage in mass lynchings of purported “race traitors” such as journalists, politicians, and women in relationships with non-white men. All these enemies will be lynched and their bodies will be hung by lamp posts, to send a message to the rest of society of the fully emerged new order. These murders, which take place on the same day, are referred to in the novel as the “Day of the Rope.”

So QAnon as a bug brained far-right fantasy isn't even original.
When I first read about this "conspiracy" I thought it was something created by some kind of jokey meme generator on a satire website. If we were only so lucky.

No, I'm with Rod...voting for any of these clowns in office is completely verboten.
National problems can't be solved by people who are fully untethered from reality.

Rod Dreher • 1 year ago

They didn't get it from the Turner Diaries. Many apocalyptic millenarian cults have this Day of Reckoning idea, in which the Good would have a violent clash with the Evildoers, and vanquish them. Even the Bolsheviks had their version of this.

Old West • 1 year ago

In one party states, it is pretty common for goofballs to get nominations in unwinnable races. It happens in both parties.

Siarlys Jenkins • 1 year ago

If nearly all Republicans vote for Trump, and everyone else votes for Biden, Trump will lose.

Guest • 1 year ago
Siarlys Jenkins • 1 year ago

I only state tautologies when someone has made a statement which presumes or implies the opposite. But I'm glad we have found something to agree on.

Kit Stolz • 1 year ago

The final question answers itself. You ask.

"Can we risk four more years of this chaos and craziness and overall
incompetence, especially not knowing what’s ahead on the virus and the
economy?" No! Clearly not. I try to understand all your points but think this ultimately is the central question and I think you answer it yourself.

kenofken • 1 year ago

"Can we risk four more years of this chaos and craziness and overall incompetence, especially not knowing what’s ahead on the virus and the economy? Is that prospect scarier than a Democratic president and Democratic Senate naming and confirming judges?"

The fact that anyone can seriously ask that at this point shows that we're pretty much done as a nation and a people.