CSotD: No faith to lose

I always hesitate before using Mo because it only comes out once a week and you really should be giving it clicks yourself. Still, at a time when I feel like we should all be panicking, her muted disappointment in the world echoes my own.


By contrast, Jeff Stahler drops some for-real cynicism in today’s Moderately Confused. It’s not that I disagree, but it seems less deep into the bone.

Stahler’s character assumes there has been more dishonesty from the White House, but it’s very specific to Trump and his self-serving cabal.

Mo takes her disappointment and applies it to all of humanity, and I tend to agree.


John Cole reflects that old saying about a lie being halfway around the world while truth is still putting on its shoes.

It would be nice and comforting to simply declare Trump followers a gang of slack-jawed idiots, but that’s both unfair and untrue.

Rather, people believe in a world they want to believe in, and there are all sorts of perfectly intelligent people who don’t let the facts get in the way of how they need to see things.

And it works both ways: There are people who, as seen here, refuse to apply logic to things that should be logical, but there are also plenty of people who insist on applying logic to things that don’t call for it.

Such as human nature, which is easier to understand by observation than by logic, and not easy even then.


The result is, for example, this Prickly City, which assumes an unfairness in the system.

And, certainly, yes, our system should presume innocence until guilt has been proven, and that’s true for Lee Harvey Oswald, whom nobody saw fire any shots, and Jack Ruby, whom everyone watched pull the trigger on television.

Take a stroll through Dealey Plaza sometime and talk to the folks there and you’ll come away with a much better sense of how people construct a reality that fits their needs.

Some of it is logical and wrong, some of it bounces off the walls, some of it actually fits the facts, all of it is perfectly sincere.


It’s also all perfectly exploitable, and Steve Kelley leads off the demonization of Elizabeth Warren in case she becomes the Democratic nominee.

Now, first of all, this isn’t a one-way street and we’ve all got our unexamined arguments: People on social media were pleased with how Nancy Pelosi took on that roomful of old white men without contemplating the fact that she’s not only plainly white herself but, at 79, may have been the oldest person in the room.

The other factor, however, is that, if Warren were to outline her plan in detail, she’d be, like Al Gore, like Howard Dean, dismissed as a wonk, while, if she admitted it includes a tax increase, she’d go down like Walter Mondale, who famously — and accurately — said that both he and Reagan would increase taxes, but only he was willing to admit it.

And the late night comics and political cartoonists who declared Bob Dole too old and Al Gore a liar will joke about Warren’s medical coverage plans no matter whether she explains them or remains silent.

(By the way, this disclosure: She’s not my first choice.)


Her refusal to step into a trap makes her vulnerable to the charge Mike Thompson makes, of being both vague and boring, which may be perfectly accurate.

I’m not sure she needs to point out, as Sanders has, that raising taxes to pay for medical coverage would result in lower withholding on your paycheck, no co-pays and thus an overall increase in your spendable income.

But her website should have a link to a clearly spelled out plan, and, if it’s too long and boring for people to wade through, at least it would be there. However, if it is there, I couldn’t find it.

Which doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. By contrast, when Tulsi Gabbard appeared on New Hampshire Public Radio, she wasn’t at all vague: She replied to a stunning percentage of the host’s questions with “I’ll have to look into that.”

There’s one helluva difference between not showing your cards and not having any.


And, by the way, this Real Life Adventures brings to mind the difficulty of estimated the cost of “Medicare for All.”

The healthy people who stay outside the system probably won’t put a burden on it if they are brought in, except, as they do now, when one of them gets cancer or puts their car into a bridge abutment and we all get to pick up the slack.

Meanwhile, those already in Medicare and Medicaid are likely heavier users, given their age on the one hand and likely avoidance of visits until all hell has broken loose on the other.

My suspicion is that attempting to use their experience to predict what happens when fit, healthy people are added to the mix is an exercise in pin-the-tail-on-the-cost-analysis.

And, by the way, “How will you pay for it?” should have been asked when we were enacting a trillion-dollar tax cut for billionaires.

But you won’t sell that logic anywhere, either.


Meanwhile, as Jack Ohman points out, the plan Warren needs right now is how to survive having been the front runner in the run-up to the election.

This crabs-in-a-bucket approach feels as if the DNC had said, “Oh, you felt we were too controlling in 2016? Let’s see how you feel about there being no control at all!”

The answer to which is that I’m starting to feel like we could just pull up Herblock’s cartoon that ran just after the Democratic Convention of 1968 and just before the American people chose Nixon.


6 thoughts on “CSotD: No faith to lose

  1. Today’s Election Day in Canada (what? No mention of that?), and we seem to have one Trump going up against an Obama and a few Bernies. But our Trump has — to no one’s surprise — indicated that he plans on slashing our national healthcare system to pay down the horrendous debt left by the previous wannabeTrump, which will force more and more Canadians into your absurd American “insurance” system.

    I’m hoping saner heads here will prevail, but the Conservatives are neck and neck with the Liberals, which simply says to me, anyway, that a lot of Canadians dont seem to think that paying out a lot of money for absolutely nothing whatsoever is an issue. And I wonder how we got as stupid about this as you Americans did.

  2. Or as Oliver Hardy said in Sons of the Desert, “that’s my story and I’m stuck with it”.

    ” she’d go down like Warren Mondale, who famously — and accurately — said that both he and Reagan would increase taxes, but only he was willing to admit it.”

    Sure it is not supposed to be “Walter”?

  3. As for the Canadian election and our pernicious hegemony, nobody told you to build your major cities within range of our television stations.

    I think you secretly wanted to be Yanks.

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