Another Reading Recommendation

Here’s another long read from the guy I linked yesterday on the collapse of the Republican Party.

I knew this story already but I’d never seen it so cogently and clearly explained.

39 thoughts on “Another Reading Recommendation

  1. Aaaaand … the Web site is getting hammered.

    Web sites aren’t new, so why do so many of them suck so badly when they’re under load?

    BTW, if anyone bothered to respond to this Crackpot, I haven’t the time to check that out.

    We’re dealing with Internet terrorists right now, which of course means there’s some new insurgency who thinks they’re the latest cool kids on the CIDR block.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I found the article extremely irritating and stopped reading partway through. The idea that the Republicans have to collapse for a one party system to emerge is absurd, since a one party system practically already exists with two franchises – one called the Democrats, and the other called the Republicans.

    I have been up close when parties like the Republicans collapse, and know first hand that they don’t. Instead of being allowed to actually fail, they are rescued by their supposed enemies, because both sides are petrified of populists taking over either party and ignoring decades worth of past crooked deals plus decades more of planned ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @ Just George
      You’re so right! And the same holds for many other party systems elsewhere in Europe: it doesn’t matter what party is in power, it’s always the same old shite under a different name. The people who count are nameless and faceless even if almost everybody with a grain of salt knows who they are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My experience matches what you are saying. Where I live, the equivalent of the Republican Party was wiped out. The number of politicians elected from that party was so low that there were more independent politicians, Green party politicians, and politicians from minor parties in government at that time than the total number of Republican equivalent politicians.

        Under our system, by convention, the political opposition is appointed by the sitting government, which meant that the wiped out Republican equivalent party could not be appointed. There simply weren’t enough of them.

        Since there were more independents, Green politicians etc it meant that the mantle of opposition had to be given to that motley group, along with office space, a budget to hire necessary staff etc.

        Instead, the ruling party appointed the wiped out Republican equivalent party to be opposition, arbitrarily and outside of convention.

        The reason for that, of course, was because the Republican equivalent politicians could be counted on to remain silent for the entire term so that the ruling party could engage in wholesale corruption, while also denying the independents, Green politicians etc the opportunity to build themselves into anything more formidable.

        At the same time, large and lucrative contracts were awarded to the same companies that would have received them had the Republican equivalent party won the election.

        What happened wasn’t the action of a rogue government. Everything that happened was known about and facilitated all the way up to the federal government.

        I was reasonably close to all of this while it was happening and so to me, the idea that the mega institution called the Republican Party of none other than the USA, that itself is supported by many giant institutions that represent tens of millions of people and trillions of dollars could collapse is laughable. That isn’t how this scam works at all.

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      1. “Once Republicans get over Trump”

        And go back to there core message of mass immigration, corporate tax cuts and deregulation that everyone is so enchanted with now?

        AFAICT De Santis is their best bet but does the party machine realize this or are they looking to dust off ¡Jeb! again?

        fun fact – jeb- in Polish (pronounced yeb) is the root meaning ‘fuck’ and watching the Polish media trying to deal with that would have been the funniest thing ever (for me) had he won….

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        1. “AFAICT De Santis is their best bet but does the party machine realize this or are they looking to dust off ¡Jeb! again?”

          You’re talking as if the party machine is rational.

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        2. There is a clear appetite for more conservative trends among important Hispanic and Asian groups. Trump won on restricting immigration and overall just stop with this crazy woke ideology. There is huge potential there.

          Unfortunately, Republicans care more about banning abortion and claiming fraud, than actual tryng to cultivate this group of underrepresented people. Trump squandered an incredible opportunity and Republicans continue to squander it by appealing exclusively to a dying demography.

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          1. The idea that Hispanics (outside of a highly selective Cuban diaspora) will ever vote for anything but the most leftwing party on offer is not serious. Hispanics (and I include Spain, of course) exist between a military dictatorship and a left-wing guerrilla. It’s just what there is.

            Children and grandchildren of Hispanics are even more leftwing than the extremely leftwing parents because they have no identity, no generational wealth, and often no language that’s fully native. Believe me, I do this for a living, it’s a lost cause.

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          2. “Republicans care more about banning abortion”

            At the national level Republicans do not want to ban abortion. They absolutely took pains to make sure that RvW was never close to being overturned…

            The culture war issues are what the republican machine had instead of issues that most people care about (like working infrastructure, a reasonable social safety net and restricted immigration).

            Why do people keep falling for the ‘republicans want to ban abortions’ calumny?

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            1. “Why do people keep falling for the ‘republicans want to ban abortions’ calumny?”

              Because the Democrat party now serves the interests of upper-middle-class white women, primarily. And nothing riles up the troops like making them feel like abortion rights are threatened.

              This makes me extremely curious to see the breakdown on what percentage of women who currently belong to the PMC have had abortions during their college years, or their career building years. Like, do they see Republicans as an existential threat because they all had abortions in order to finish college (without being social pariahs), or get their careers on track without having to be single? Or is it actually a small minority of them who’ve availed themselves of that service, but since they’ve all had a pregnancy scare here and there, they feel personally threatened because “what if I’d needed that?”

              Genuinely curious, because I have never been PMC, and don’t have a lot of direct contact with it.

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              1. To women who have had their bodily integrity compromised – through rape, molestation, invasive medical procedures, pushy, careless, vaguely pedo parents, etc – a threat to abortion rights (even if they’d never personally consider aborting) feels like having that experience inflicted on them again and again. I’m speaking from my own experience and many conversations I’ve had with others. I’d never consider aborting. But the idea that I don’t have control over my body brings me right back to the situation in my past when I didn’t have control. You just feel like you are an insect, not a human. That’s why the subject has such an effect. And always will because women who have had their physical boundaries breached will never be in short supply.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. I think this is more of a cultural war issue for the upper-middle class women in the Democratic party than a personal one.

                For example, if the parents of a pregnant young woman were also in the PMC class, then the legality of abortion in the USA would be irrelevant.

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              3. Clarissa: That makes some sense, then. As dysfunctional as my childhood was, that particular problem was never part of it, and for that I can be grateful.

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  3. Yeah, this article is just silly ranting. The author obviously thinks he’s being clever with all the non-stop hysterically exaggerated descriptions of Republican “self-immolation,” “epic demolition.” etc., but the endless repetition gets boring very quickly.

    It’s also laughably false. Note that the article was written in November 2019, a full year before the Democrats came back into power with Biden — and now it’s the Democratic Party that’s tripping all over itself, and seems headed for clear defeat next year.

    NEITHER party in the U.S. is dying, or is in any danger of extinction in the foreseeable future. As other commenters have noted above, American politics goes through an endless cycle in which one of the major parties seems doomed (think Republicans after Goldwater, Democrats after McGovern), only to be recused by, among other factors, the stupidity of the other party as it tries to press its temporary advantage.

    I’ve seen this pattern many times over the past half century, and what’s going on now is nothing new. So just relax, the End Times haven’t arrived just yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it true that Republicans have zero hope ever again of having any presence in California?

      Then what is preventing every state from becoming California? If it happened there so fast, why won’t it happen everywhere else? Those 1,5 million people who crossed into Texas this year, who do you think they will be voting for the second they get naturalized?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Isn’t it true that Republicans have zero hope ever again of having any presence in California?”

        “Ever” means “until the end of time” — I don’t think current California politics are that set in stone. Remember Governors Reagan and Schwarzenegger?

        Newsom was probably always going to beat the recall attempt. But the reason he won with such a high margin was because Elder made the mistake of running on a hard Trump platform. Unfortunately, Trump is going to be a drag on the Republican Party for at least the near future, through the 2022 and 2024 elections. He’ll eventually go away, and the Republican Party will continue on its way.

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        1. Have you noticed any kind of change in California since Reagan? A change that Reagan himself brought about and that puts not just the governorship but the overwhelming majority of elected offices in CA firmly in Democrat hands?

          This is precisely what the linked author is talking about. People are looking at what happened in California and somehow not managing to notice the glaringly obvious.

          A friend moved to CA last year to a very very pricey town. Says nobody plays with her kids. Because they are white and nobody else is. Want to guess who the parents of the kids in that town vote for?

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  4. Maybe this is why John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    We have a lot of CINO’s (Christian’s in name only) running around the government. They make me SICK.

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  5. Thanks for the link! I started reading this guy obsessively and find him very entertaining.

    The author is very emotional and so obviously loves or hates certain people. But I’ve also learned a few things. I completely agree about e-Verify.

    I’m too cynical for my age, so I generally see things similarly to how Dreidel does. It’s all about the money. Almost all politicians end up upholding the status quo for the rich and making sure that the very rich get richer.

    At the same time, if a right-wing populist government were to come to power, I would be strung up for being a condescending, immoral elite. It doesn’t matter whether I’m actually condescending; it’s just a matter of class. Reading Mark Cromer makes me think of the fate of the intelligentsia after the Bolshevik Revolution, during the dictatorship of the proletariat.

    I’m completely immoral. I haven’t brought any (white) children into the world and don’t believe in any kind of higher power. My husband and I don’t have a traditional marriage (no, that doesn’t mean lots of sex with other people – only a few times).

    I don’t mean to be prurient. I’m just trying to explain my philosophy. I’m not one of the people who keeps going on and on about these things on social media, but I exist, and my values matter to me.

    Now a bit about values and the constant connection of morality to religion people make. This bothers me a lot. I have been concerned with questions of morality for as long as I can remember. I have always been fascinated with religion, apologetics, the problem of evil, etc. If I were born in an earlier time, without access to so much information, I might have ended up in a nunnery or a very religious person.

    Anyway, I kept reading, and searching for answers, and eventually it became impossible to see religion as anything but a very human creation. There are tons of psychological and societal benefits to it; it has inspired compassion and charity. Most religions have some version of the golden rule, and there are some excellent teachings in the New Testament. At the same time, most of the ancient scriptures also contain atrocities, and have been used by people to justify great evil. The God of the Old Testament is a petty, abusive parent. Would you demand that your child, who had no say over being brought into this world, worship you for that? Like I said, religion is very human. Most of the ancient books were written by men, who had power over women, and made sure to justify that in the texts.

    I won’t go into more detail. Many of us know many of these arguments. I was thinking about Margaret’s comments, actually. We are very different people, but I feel that what we have in common is feeling strongly about morality, what is right, and how to treat others.

    Here is what I believe. I believe that we have to be kind to each other precisely because there is no God. All we have is this one life and each other. Someone who is suffering in this life will not be consoled by God in the eternal life – it’s up to us to relieve that suffering. When people say that we are all God’s children, this is what it means to me.

    And in light of this, I am constantly being told by society that I need to be Christian to be good, that I need the fear of eternal punishment and the promise of a reward to not commit immoral acts. This tends to wear on you over time. I don’t talk about this much on the internet, but I will vote for my values whenever I can. And the more I keep being hit over the head with Christians demanding exceptions because of their religious freedom, the more inspired I feel to make sure Islam is accorded at least as much respect and Muslims are allowed at least as many exceptions as Christians are.

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    1. This is a beautiful comment. Thank you for sharing.

      Just one thing I want to recommend. I always tell my students that I’d rather they used the word “fuck” in academic writing than “society.” It’s like a passive voice construction, helps one to avoid specifics. The moment when one feels the need to use it is precisely when one’s argument dissolves in vagueness.

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      1. On the subject of eVerify. Everybody is in favor. There are few measures as reasonable and universally popular across the political spectrum. But it’s impossible to pass. On either side.

        DeSantis signed e-verify into existence in Florida. But it’s a total joke. The agricultural industry is exempt. Small and medium size businesses are exempt. Most private businesses are exempt. The state can’t hire illegal immigrants but the state doesn’t do it anyway. It’s a total joke. Not even DeSantis! Trump did absolutely fuck-all about it in spite of promising it in the first campaign.

        We should forget the fake issues that aim to divide us and concentrate on this: why can’t e-verify happen if it’s mega-popular? Let’s demand e-verify to protect workers from exploitation. But a real e-verify. No exemptions for interest groups.

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        1. I’m guessing it’s not happening because there would be some negative short-term effects (e.g. price increases), and those would be weaponized against the politician(s) who passed e-Verify to vote them out of office. More specifically, people with power who benefit from the status quo, will make sure that consumers feel as much pain as possible in the short-term, if e-Verify is implemented.

          What is your take on why no politician has passed e-Verify?

          I already wrote an essay in my previous comment and don’t want to take over your blog. Sure, the godless, immoral, elite parts of society don’t judge me for not being a Christian. But the religious people who are the loudest – not the liberal denominations – do. The word “Christian” is used as a synonym for “good” or “moral”. If that were the case, you’d expect the most religious countries to have the lowest levels of crime. Instead, it’s the country’s income that is the most strongly correlated to low crime and low corruption.

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          1. This is one part of the leftist mentality that I never understood, even when I was on the Left. Why do you, folks, care so much that there are people who disapprove of your lifestyle and “judge” you? Not that “Christians” even do it. I’m at church every Sunday and I promise that judgments of anybody’s sexual or other morality appeared exactly zero times. The sermons are not about that at all. But that doesn’t even matter. Who cares if people do get together to discuss how immoral your or mine or somebody else’s lifestyle is? Why is there such a need to have everybody approve? Why does anybody need to “validate” one’s life choices? I’ve made and do make a lot of life choices that people around me condemn. So what? I’m completely unbothered by that as long as they don’t try to force a needle up my arm, if you know what I mean. So what of somebody thinks you are immoral for not going to communion? Are you about to get fired for not doing it? Jailed? Places under house arrest? No? Then whatevs. Nobody can control other people’s thoughts outside of a totalitarian regime. Some people think I’m a dick. Good for them. Who knows, they might even be right.

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  6. I don’t care about the religious people who disapprove of me and judge me if they don’t have power over me. I’m not talking about you and your church. I went to a Catholic high school in Canada. I had attended an Orthodox Ukrainian church for some period of time. I didn’t have a problem with them. I like the idea of people gathering together once a week to try to talk about being better people, and help each other and so on. I should try going to a Unitarian Universalist church.

    I’m afraid of the needle being forced up my arm. The Republican politicians who are the most vocal about their faith are the ones who run on demonizing people like me. The liberal Christian politicians who are happy to work together with people of other faiths or no faith are ignored in the public discourse on the role of faith in politics and public life.

    Show me a single statement by a Christian Republican politician acknowledging that atheists can be good people and talking about working with them on common goals. When they talk about their faith in the context of politics (politics, to me, ultimately being about power, who has it, and what they do with it), it’s always about us against them. I’m afraid of what they will do if they gain more power.

    Look, I agree with you that the modern Left has gone overboard with identity politics, and the hyper-focus on the rights of transgender people – and that behind the scenes, while people are fighting culture wars, the corporations are making more money, and automating more jobs, and effectively making it harder and harder for people with average abilities who weren’t born into wealth to lead good lives.

    I’m sorry to see the effect this has had on good people, you among them.

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    1. Can you show me a single statement by a politician acknowledging that Jews can be good people? Or Swedes? Or redheads? Nobody makes such statements because they say the exact opposite. “I don’t mind your existence” means “I really do.”

      The fantasy about scary Christian fanatics coming to power is just that, fantasy. It’s a deflection from serious issues. And by the way, it’s the guy you voted for who has been going on and on about how religious he is. My candidate was a dissolute, highly promiscuous, unapologetic boor with zero interest in religion. It’s your side that keeps making arguments about open borders on religious grounds and (mis)quoting Jesus to support this argument. Trump was the most openly irreligious candidate in this country’s history. So let’s drop this fake concern about the looming Christian theocracy and concentrate on something more real.

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      1. Looking at Trump / Biden, you have all the proof you need that an unrepentant Babylon whore can be more moral than a church-going monogamous person. Whose children from different wives are perfectly fine? And whose is lying in a puddle of his own piss with a needle up his arm? So who’s more moral?

        If you really cared about this issue, you’d be pro-Trump. But you don’t. It’s all a fake concern.

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        1. To me, being moral means not hurting other people and not condoning evil for personal gain.

          Hunter Biden taking money from Ukrainian oligarchs that was stolen from Ukrainian people was the immoral act. Trump and his children have been doing similar deals with Russian oligarchs for years.

          Hunter Biden’s drug use and sex tapes hurt primarily his family, especially his five children. I’m deeply touched by your concern for them. The immoral aspect of the drug use was that it supports the cartels and the drug trade.

          Like others have said in comments, you can see someone’s true character in how they treat those who have little power. Over the course of his career, Trump didn’t pay numerous individual employees and small to medium-size businesses. Are all the reports of that lies? Every single one, just made up by the liberal media? Trump himself bragged about stiffing contractors, as evidence of him being a smart businessman. What about the numerous lawsuits from those hard-working Americans – thousands of them?

          This article from USA Today has a summary: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/09/donald-trump-unpaid-bills-republican-president-laswuits/85297274/

          Back when Trump was running for president, I read some of the court documents from the Trump University case. The hard sales tactics stayed with me. They convinced desperate people to go into credit card debt to pay for the worthless courses. Here’s a link to the court documents: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/05/31/480214102/trump-university-playbooks-released-by-court-advise-being-courteous-to-media

          Part 2 goes into sales tactics in detail.

          Trump’s children haven’t publicly embarrassed him. This is what this is about. Not about actual evil.

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          1. The truth about who we are is written on the faces of our adult children, as someone said. People like Hunter are children of abuse. Parents who produce them are bad people by definition.

            Trump’s children, in the meantime, are well-adjusted, normal, and healthy. That’s your answer right there. Somebody who can hurt his own son like Biden hurt his – and reject his own grandbaby because she’s not prestigious enough – is a horrible person who’ll do worse to strangers. Seriously we need to discuss the quality of education at Trump university in this context?

            Sales tactics, come on. Hunter Biden is getting hundreds of thousands of dollars for “paintings” from people who need access to the president of the US. That’s a sales tactic that really stands out.

            My university also, by the way, traps students who will never graduate because they can’t read into taking on debt. Welcome to education.

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            1. We clearly disagree about several core principles. For example, you believe that only bad people’s children ever fuck up. I don’t.

              Do you not see a difference between taking money from someone who has lots of it – with that person knowing exactly what they’re buying – and conning a desperate, poor person into going into credit card debt?

              You cannot talk about quality of education at Trump “university”. There was no education. People got no value from it. It wasn’t a university. It used the word fraudulently.

              We don’t need to speculate. We have realms of evidence on how Trump has hurt strangers. Disregarding that because he hasn’t mistreated his own children is morally bankrupt.

              Of course your university does that! I know how higher education works. And you are complicit in it! You’re part of the system. At least have the moral courage to acknowledge that.

              I’m complicit in the system as well. I’m part of the upper-middle class who will make sure to protect our property values at any cost. I’m a landlady and am wonderful to my tenants, but they are people with money, by definition. I rent out my property at market value, and the rent I charge has gone up a lot over the past decade. At least I’ve only increased rent between tenants.

              Upper-middle class parenting consists of investing all your resources and energy into making sure your child has every possible advantage over others. If working-class families, which are statistically more likely to be dysfunctional, start moving into your neighborhood and sending their children from their broken families into your child’s school, you will pay whatever money’s necessary to get away from them. You have literally referenced that on this blog. And this is exactly how things become unaffordable for the middle and working classes.

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              1. Being a lifelong addict is not “fucking up.” And yes, that severe of an addiction that the most abundant of resources can’t cure doesn’t happen to happy children of good parents. Parenting is a process with a result. If the result is lying in a puddle of piss, strung out on crack, then something must have been deeply wrong with the process, wouldn’t you agree?

                As for the rest, the conversation somehow veered off into “complicity with the system.” Which system hasn’t been specified. Capitalism? I never had a problem with capitalism. I have a problem with one of its particular mutations that is neoliberalism. Capitalism always mutates and then sometimes self-corrects. I’m all for capitalism and I’m hoping it will self-correct this time, too.

                In what concerns schools, you are wrong. I very purposefully put Klara into a school with kids from a different educational and income bracket and avoided the school where other professors, lawyers and doctors put their kids. I wouldn’t live in a neighborhood with drunks and drug addicts but my neighbor across the street is a steel worker. The woman two doors down is a cashier at the grocery store. And I spent this morning babysitting for a friend in the service industry who has a Saturday shift. These are all decent, respectable, clean-living people. My closest friend in town never graduated high school. But she has a good marriage, great kids. She’s an interesting person. That’s what I care about, not how much money she makes.

                I don’t feel comfortable around fancy people. I have no manners, I speak loudly, I have a goofy sense of humor, I chew with my mouth open.

                For a kid, the only advantages that matter are physical and psychological health. I’m willing to go to any length to give that to my kid. But a child’s mental health hinges on having a happy mommy and this mommy won’t be happy around fancy people who put their 5-year-olds into 4 paid activities to boost their college credentials.

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              2. In all honesty, my other close friend here is very fancy. I can’t bring the two friends together because they have opposing political beliefs and both are VERY opinionated but I love them both.

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  7. In other news, the Republican Arizona election audit shows Joe Biden won the election. Still boggles my mind that people would believe there was massive fraud in southern states where Republicans and Trump supporters controlled government.

    You’ve been had.

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      1. “everybody who doesn’t think Putin wins his elections fairly”

        Was reading a pro-Putin blogger the other day who absolutely accepts that there was fraud involved in the recent elections there, trying to calculate the degree (maybe about 15%).

        He’s even feeling a little self-righteous after the 2020 shut-down-the-vote-and-wait-for-‘mail’-in-ballots debacle… the 2020 election gave the Putinites “А у вас негров линчуют”* fuel to last as long as they want, not that they needed it but they’re feeling pretty cocky about it now…

        *https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_you_are_lynching_Negroes

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  8. Clarissa, I’m sorry about some of the things I said. They were unkind.

    Biden’s two other kids were/seem pretty happy. And Trump’s children were mostly raised by their mothers!

    But enough on that. I’m sorry about my comment on the school. While that sort of gentrification happens thanks to the upper-middle class in general, you are merely raising a happy child. And I agree with your philosophy for doing so.

    So why, do you think, has no politician fully implemented e-Verify?

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    1. That’s ok, I’m not upset, or anything.

      Republican politicians won’t implement e-verify because donors love cheap, terrified, exploitable labor. Democrats won’t implement it for the same reason plus because it’s their entire strategy for becoming the only political party that can win elections. It already worked in California, so why not?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And by the way, one “bad” kid and the rest are “good” kids is a classic strategy of abuse called triangulation or familial scapegoating. The bad kid becomes the family’s negative shadow onto which everybody offloads their dysfunction and he acts it out for the rest of them.

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