Apologia: I’m Sorry. I’m Sorry That The Left Is Behaving So Unethically, And I’m REALLY Sorry I Have to Keep Writing About It.

Ethics Alarms is intended to be a pan-ethics colloquy on our efforts to set ethical standards in our society, using, for the most part, current events and controversies to apply ethics analysis to dilemmas, conflicts and gray areas as they arise. Silly me: I really thought that once the election was over, I could shove political ethics back into the pack, and get back to more balanced and diverse commentary. I did not expect the Left—is there a better word for progressives, Democrats, Hollywood, academia, artists and the mainstream media?—to behave so abominably and irresponsibly for such an extended period.

Because I believe with all my heart  that this mob-tantrum is doing far more damage to the nation and society than unethical IKEA ads, incompetent judges and even sexual predator 6th grade teachers, I have to chronicle this awful national ethics phenomenon at the expense of other topics. I am thoroughly sick of it. I feel like Keith Olbermann, who quit his first non-sports news commentary job because couldn’t stand reporting on the Monica Lewinsky scandal every night. And believe me, I don’t like feeling like Keith Olbermann.

This is the major ethics story of the month, the year, and maybe the decade. A coalition of ideologically inflexible groups are deliberately seeking to undermine a duly elected President of the United States, and to destabilize the United States government, because their candidate—and a terrible, corrupt, incompetent candidate she was—somehow managed to lose. They are doing this in full knowledge that their actions directly contradict their leaders’ statements before the election. You know, like this one…

pelosi-tweet

They are doing it despite the fact that they are violating the established norms of politics and democracy that have kept the United States peaceful, prosperous and strong (except when we had a civil war, killing more Americans than in any foreign conflict and inflicting cultural scars that have still not healed completely), because…

Rationalization #31. The Troublesome Luxury: “Ethics is a luxury we can’t afford right now.”

Of course, if you care about ethics, and most of these reckless partisans don’t, you know that is wrong…

…Ethics is never “a luxury.” It is slyly effective to describe it as such, however, and those who do so usually believe it—which means you should sleep with one eye open when they are around, watch your wallet, and never turn your back. Saying ethics is a luxury simply means that the speaker believes that one should be good and fair when it is easy and benefits him or her, but when problems loom and crises have to be faced, ethics are optional. This attitude is another calling card of Oliver Wendell Holmes’ “Bad Man,” the law-abiding citizen who will cut your throat for his own benefit if he finds a legal loophole. In a true crisis, ethical values are often the only thing standing between us and catastrophic misconduct in the throes of desperation and panic; they aren’t luxuries, they are life-lines. When you hear yourself saying, “I’ll do anything to fix this! Anything!” it is a warning, and the ethics alarm needs to start ringing hard. Grab those ethical values, and hold on to them. They are the last thing you can afford to be without at such times.

I have no illusions. This is a small blog, and ethics is an unpopular topic. I know Ethics Alarms isn’t likely to have any real impact, or even pull my increasingly deranged Facebook friends back from the brink of madness if I link to the blog there, which I usually don’t.  I could just fill the blog with posts on legal ethics, and the ethics of driverless cars, and whether art should prevail over rules in student painting contests, and the impact on the culture would be no different.

The problem is that I care about the nation, its government, democracy and especially the U.S. Presidency much more than I care about those issues. I’m also philosophically in agreement with William Saroyan, who said that if one human being sings your song, you have not lived in vain. If a single reader here is given assistance in confronting their misguided friends, kids, fellow workers and neighbors who are applauding the effort to divide the nation and undermine its elected government, and convincing them that they are choosing emotion and chaos over rationality and responsible citizenship, then I’m satisfied.  You never know. If there is one thing the Ethics Alarms experience has taught me, it is that moral luck will sometimes transform this tiny trumpet into a clarion call, and that it can have impact.

What would be my wish? My wish would be that a single, influential, responsible leadership figure on the Left would call for this all to stop. Somebody. Carter. Either Clinton. Sanders. Warren. Obama, of course. Instead we are getting this, from a former Democratic governor and a candidate for the nomination:

omalley-tweetNice.

Yesterday, a blind opera singer withdrew from performing at the Trump Inauguration because he received death threats. Death threats. Death threats for daring to participate in a ceremony and tradition that is as old as the nation, and that symbolizes our democracy. These vicious, totalitarian bullies are your responsibility, Democrats. If and when there is violence on January 20, it is your hypocrisy, hate, fear-mongering and irresponsible rhetoric that will have created it.

Yesterday also, numerous Democratic House members revealed that they would not endorse this ritual, and would boycott the event to show disrespect for the elected President. There will be more. Here is the current list, with some smoking-gun quotes:

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.)  (“I cannot go to [the] inauguration of a man who’s going to appoint people to the Supreme Court and turn back the clock on women and turn back the clock on immigrants and the safety and freedom that we fought for them.” This is ignorant and dishonest, and essentially a statement that he does not regard any non-Democratic leader as worthy of support. These are the seeds of totalitarianism.;  Rep. John Conyers (Mich.); Rep. Katherine Clark (Mass.) (“I had hoped the President-elect would use the transition period and his appointments to change course and fulfill his promise to be a President for all Americans; however, this has not been the case. After discussions with hundreds of my constituents, I do not feel that I can contribute to the normalization of the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the Inauguration.” But any lawful policy or  decisions by the President are  by definition “normal.” Only hard ideologues otherize lawful acts that they disagree with as “abnormal.” She will combat divisive rhetoric by her divisive actions. Brilliant.); Rep. Jared Huffman (Calif.) (“However, there is nothing ordinary about this inauguration or the man that will be sworn-in as our next President. I do accept the election results and support the peaceful transfer of power, but it is abundantly clear to me that with Donald Trump as our President, the United States is entering a dark and very dangerous political chapter.” See Rationalization #31, above.) Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.) “Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party. On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance.” Res ipsa loquitur, for one of the worst race-baiting Democrats alive.)

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.)  “My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy. But as an individual act, yes, of defiance, at the disrespect shown to millions and millions of Americans by this incoming administration and by the actions we are taking in this Congress.” Translation: ‘I am not doing what I am doing.’);  Rep. John Lewis (Ga.)  (“You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right.” Lewis is an embarrassment, and has been for a long, long time.); Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (Calif.) (DeSaulnier has said that  Trump will be in violation of the Constitution due to conflicts of interest, proving that he is an ignorant hack.); Rep. Lacy Clay (Mo.); Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.); Rep. Kurt Schrader (Ore.) (“I’m just not a big Trump fan. I’ve met the guy and never been impressed with him. I’ll do my best to work with him when I think he’s doing the right thing for the country. But he hasn’t proved himself to me at all yet, so I respectfully decline to freeze my ass out there in the cold for this particular ceremony.” Funny, no GOP House members boycotted Clinton’s second inauguration because they weren’t “fans.” Has anyone explained to Kurt that Inauguration Day isn’t a Fan Club meeting, unless it’s “fans of the United States”? Or that the forecast is that it will be 60 degrees outside?) Rep. José E. Serrano (N.Y.)  “[I] cannot celebrate the inauguration of a man who has no regard for my constituents.” Interesting. All of his constituents are illegal aliens?)…

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (N.Y.); Rep. Mark Takano (Calif.) (“I stand with @repjohnlewis and I will not be attending the inauguration,” he tweeted, including a photo of Lewis with  Martin Luther King Jr. Because participation in a righteous movement 50 years ago provides a lifelong pass to be a hyper-partisan, divisive demagogue…); Rep. Ted Lieu (Calif.) (“Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis.” Translation: ‘I deem divisive party politics, more important than unity and respect for the. United States of America.’); Rep. Yvette Clarke (N.Y.);  Rep. Judy Chu (Calif.). “After much thought, I have decided to #StandWithJohnLewis and not attend the inauguration.” More of the same: the priority is to support a divisive and misbehaving colleague rather than to respect the office of the President and the nation she was elected to serve. Got it.

It is two months since the election, and the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck has not slowed as predicted. It is accelerating. It is doing so because progressives, Democrats and the news media are stoking the engine.  There are only three possible results of this that I can see, all of them bad.

The first is that the Democrats will so infuriate conservatives and moderates that it will marginalize itself, and become weaker, more frustrated, more irresponsible and more violent. The second is that this primal partisan scream will successfully create a dysfunctional Presidency, at a time when there are critical, festering problems that cannot wait another four years.

The third is that the nation will literally be torn apart.

So again, I’m sorry. This is wrong, however, and dangerous.  Professionally and personally, I have to cover it, and keep explaining why.

 

64 Comments

Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, U.S. Society

64 responses to “Apologia: I’m Sorry. I’m Sorry That The Left Is Behaving So Unethically, And I’m REALLY Sorry I Have to Keep Writing About It.

  1. Chris Marschner

    So much for their promise to support and uphold the U.S. Constitution.

    I guess what they meant was I will do so when I get my way to tell the American people what is right for them.

    If Russians provided factual information about HRC albeit from unethical means how do they reconcile the use of the tape from NBC to cast aspersions on Trump. Truthful statements of fact may be embarrassing but are not propoganda.

    PS Jack you are helping me sing your song.

  2. Rick M.

    The idea of loyal opposition is utterly passé in the now rapidly evolving political climate. The opposition has been supplanted by enemy – you have the demarcation lines drawn with no conciliation even possible at this point. A Cold War mentality has seeped into our politics.

    The reaction from the Democrats and all their various sub-sets certainly surprised me. The outbursts have been rather volatile both physically and verbally – a die has been cast for future elections and disappointments.

    In 2020 you may again have a change in administrations where Booker, Clinton, Sanders or other is elected – another close election. This time it will not be overturned cars, street blockage, insufferable dialogue on social media and media, but armed resistance. I fully expect the process to totally break down and it will be welcome to central/South American politics.

    My view on gun control is probably well known on this site. I would be restrictive to the nth degree. Total disarmament, but now the recent upheavals have caused me to reflect out of survival. I may actually seek out instruction and a permit for my own self-protection as I can be sinister enough to expect a political apocalypse.

    • Rick,

      Why should you be trusted with a gun? Those of your ilk assert that the average citizen cannot be trusted to responsibly bear arms (despite the statistics proving otherwise), no matter their reason for wishing to do so.

      Progressives seem to always excuse themselves from living under the rules they attempt to impose on others. Amazing how the 2nd Amendment is perfectly fine when you think you need it.

      The coming Civil War (if it does come) will be a lot harder if more progressives act like you. Then again, if more progressives learned about guns, they would see gun control for the farce it really is.

      So welcome to responsible gun ownership. Please get training and practice.

      • Especially since it seems most mass shooters seem to have a Left-oriented world view. It seems guns are more likely to be used for bad purposes in the hands of Left wingers than in the hands of right wingers.

        • Rick M.

          Do left wingers shoot with their left hand and right wingers with their right? I have some reliable evidence. One son and his wife are Trump supporters and both carry – both are right-handed. A left-handed son is slightly left of center and he shoots as a lefty would. Ditto for another lefty in the family – wait – he’s a Libertarian – that is like belonging to a Unitarian Church and claiming you are religious.

        • Chris

          I would like to see some evidence of this.

          • It’s phenomenal that you can leave untouched over a half-dozen substantive comments that seriously undermine your arguments, but you’ll dive on an obvious tongue-in-cheek snark jab like it’s a gotcha moment…

            Phenomenal.

            • Chris

              It wasn’t obvious to me that you were being “tongue-in-cheek” when you said mass shooters are more likely to be left-wingers, but I’ll take your word for it that you didn’t really mean it.

      • Rick M.

        Ilk? Progressive? Hmmmm….seems to be a judgemental factor on your part based on just one item in my personal philosopical tool bag. Trsut me – I have been called both a wingnut and moonbat and sometimes with the same post.

        I would not trust myself with a gun nor would I trust anyone else – Rick’s life matters! (Tee shirts available soon – check Amazon). I may get five gallon drums of mace as an alternative.

        • Rick,

          Get a gun, GET TRAINING, and practice. Welcome to the fold.

          I am curious as to how you justify the exception in YOUR case, seeing as how you support total confiscation/banning for the rest of us, but do not let that stop you from arming yourself.

          • Rick M

            Opinions change as facts change. I have a dystopian view after the last six weeks. Expect the next round in 2020 to be Banana Republic time.

  3. Bob Madison

    Simply one of your finest posts.

  4. Steve-O-in-NJ

    I had thought of asking for the day and going down to photograph the parade. I scrapped the idea when it looked like I would be on trial. I am glad I decided not to go. I have the utmost respect for the Department of Homeland Security, the National Guard, the various police departments, and the 8th and I USMC garrison (hopefully we don’t need to call on them), and I have faith in their ability to do their job, which is to keep the capital safe, no matter who is in charge. I find it telling, though, that four days after the election we had to honor our veterans in NYC with four policemen on every block and Homeland Security on every corner with long arms.

    I don’t have complete faith in the people of this country, or at least a large segment of the people, to respect these uniformed services or the authority they represent. This last election was not about policies, nor was it even about ideas. It was about passion, passion to continue Obama’s legacy, passion to put a woman in office, passion for Bernie Sanders’ promises, though they were all ideas that were tried and failed 4 decades ago, passionate hate of Donald Trump above all.

    Passions don’t get put aside like policies, and their embers smolder on long after the flame is out. What is more, they tend to make people foolish, to not think things through, and to not care about the consequences of their actions. I don’t doubt that most of the people who are going to hit the streets of DC Friday are peaceful people who just want to make their voices heard. I also have no doubt that a few of them are other than peaceful, whatever their motivation.

    Some of the things they are talking about, like active interference, like blockades, etc, are inherently unsafe even if done peacefully. One misplaced shove, one shout that sounds like an order, one sound like a gunshot, and things could turn violent. One violent spark, and it could spread very quickly into a riot that would make Ferguson and Baltimore look like nothing.

    I hope they don’t hesitate to do what’s necessary if push comes to shove.

  5. Other Bill

    “It’s not interesting, it’s just not interesting,” California Rep. Maxine Waters answered when asked why she wasn’t attending.

    House Democratic Assistant Leader Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said for him, it depends on the weather.

    “Anything that affects my sinuses, I won’t go,” Clyburn said.

  6. Laurent Canup

    Jack,

    It may be a small blog but it’s a wonderful blog.

  7. Excerpts from Clinton campaign email/memo to the DNC, dated April 7, 2015 (ten weeks before Trump announced his candidacy):

    “Our hope is that the goal of a potential HRC campaign and the DNC would be one-in-the-same: to make WHOMEVER the Republicans nominate unpalatable to the majority of the electorate. ” (CAPS added)

    “Force ALL Republican candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election.” (“all” underlined in original)

    “The variety of candidates is a positive here, and many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right. In this scenario, we don’t want to marginalize the candidates, but make them more ‘Pied Piper’ candidates who actually represent the mainstream Republican Party. Pied Piper candidates include, but aren’t limited to:

    Ted Cruz
    DONALD TRUMP
    Ben Carson

    WE NEED TO BE ELEVATING THE PIED PIPER CANDIDATES SO THAT THEY ARE LEADERS OF THE PACK AND TELL THE PRESS TO [TAKE] THEM SERIOUSLY.” (CAPS UNDERLINED)

    Obviously, eveything up to Election Day went according to plan precisely. I guess the lesson right now is that there hasn’t been significant rethinking. Otherwise, the DNC would have been gutted by now.

  8. Wayne

    Why apologize? You told the truth. These progressive “never trumpers” are crypto Nazis.

  9. Patrice

    If I were in politics and if I didn’t have a phobia about crowds, I would attend. I hold with the proverb, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” If you don’t participate, you can’t gripe. If you don’t like something, the best way to change it is from within, and if you don’t show up you’re not in the system and can change nothing. Hmm. I guess that means I should become a Republican. (Oh my aching head.)

  10. Chris

    I will not defend the progressives who have targeted the performers at the inauguration (this is a matter of personal conscience; I wouldn’t do it, but I can see why someone would in the interest of healing the nation), nor the ludicrous statement that Trump is an “illegitimate president” (he will be an abysmal one, but not an illegitimate one) or any of the more destructive positions taken by some Democrats.

    I will ask, though, how much responsibility you believe Trump himself hasfor our national division, given that you previously have argued that President Obama “sets the tone” for our nation and bears most of the responsibility for our crumbling race relations.

    • I will not defend the progressives who have targeted the performers at the inauguration (this is a matter of personal conscience; I wouldn’t do it, but I can see why someone would in the interest of healing the nation),

      How does trying to undermine the inauguration “heal the nation” by any formula?

      nor the ludicrous statement that Trump is an “illegitimate president” (he will be an abysmal one, but not an illegitimate one) or any of the more destructive positions taken by some Democrats.

      You do not know that he will be “an absysmal one.” I have never in my life begun with that assumption about any President, and never will. History says we just can’t tell. I agree that the odds are in your favor.

      “I will ask, though, how much responsibility you believe Trump himself has for our national division, given that you previously have argued that President Obama “sets the tone” for our nation and bears most of the responsibility for our crumbling race relations.”

      Trump has a HUGE amount of responsibility for it. His cruel comments and off-hand statements about women, Mexicans, veterans, Muslims and others were stupid and divisive. TRUMP was begging to be hated, and he is estopped from complaining about how he is being treated. If he weren’t a narcissist jerk, he would understand that.

      But two wrongs still don’t make a right. You can’t say, “Trump campaigned like an asshole, so we’re going to tear the country apart to teach him a lesson.” Democrats and progressive are really saying that Trump gave them a pass to behave as bad as he has. He didn’t. It’s my country too. I need it to work, and that means a functioning leader.

      Yup. He asked for it. No argument. But “he asked for it” is still a rationalization.

      I will ask, though, how much responsibility you believe Trump himself hasfor our national division, given that you previously have argued that President Obama “sets the tone” for our nation and bears most of the responsibility for our crumbling race relations.

      • Chris

        I will not defend the progressives who have targeted the performers at the inauguration (this is a matter of personal conscience; I wouldn’t do it, but I can see why someone would in the interest of healing the nation),

        How does trying to undermine the inauguration “heal the nation” by any formula?

        My statement was unclear. What I should have written was “I wouldn’t participate in the inauguration, but I can see why someone would in the interest of healing the nation.” I see that in my original comment it seemed like “do it” modified “targeted the performers at the inauguration.” Obviously doing so could not possibly help heal anything.

        You do not know that he will be “an absysmal one.”

        You knew he would be an abysmal president all through the campaign, and I can pull up quote after quote from you where you express this belief. Nothing has changed except that now he has won. His character and behavior hasn’t magically changed since he was elected, and it won’t magically change when he is inaugurated. Bad people with power don’t become better when given even more power. Yes, anything is possible, but Trump–a man you have described as stupid, authoritarian, narcissistic, sexist, and boorish–being an abysmal president is about as much of a certainty as anything else in this world.

        Trump has a HUGE amount of responsibility for it. His cruel comments and off-hand statements about women, Mexicans, veterans, Muslims and others were stupid and divisive. TRUMP was begging to be hated, and he is estopped from complaining about how he is being treated. If he weren’t a narcissist jerk, he would understand that.

        Glad we can agree here.

        But two wrongs still don’t make a right. You can’t say, “Trump campaigned like an asshole, so we’re going to tear the country apart to teach him a lesson.” Democrats and progressive are really saying that Trump gave them a pass to behave as bad as he has. He didn’t. It’s my country too. I need it to work, and that means a functioning leader.

        Yup. He asked for it. No argument. But “he asked for it” is still a rationalization.

        Fair.

  11. I thought you might take a modicum of comfort in knowing that my fellow countrymen are still trying hard to win the prize for unethical behavior (at least I would say so on the part of my Prime Minister), and bad journalism, all rolled into one (or maybe the Prime Minister should just own them both). I’ll let you judge after you see the excerpts from this news article which deals with yet another hold-out from President-elect Trump’s Inauguration.

    “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won’t be attending the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Jan. 20, deciding instead to “re-engage” with Canadians…” and later in the same article,

    “A cabinet shuffle by Prime Minister Trudeau is viewed as a bid to improve relations with incoming U.S. President Donald Trump…”

    Call me old-fashioned, and maybe even naive, but I thought he might improve those relations a lot easier with Mr.Trump simply by attending the Ball, since you are our closest neighbor, largest trading partner, and ally. You might also find this one particular cabinet-shuffle (also designed to improve those relations) of interest,

    “Chrystia Freeland, who speaks fluent Russian after being a journalist in Russia for four years, replaces Stephane Dion as Foreign Affairs Minister, with responsibility for Canada-U.S. relations.”

  12. Well, you certainly don’t have to apologize to me. Imagine this. I just finished reading my morning papers; Santa Cruz Sentinel, Wall Street Journal (Week-end Edition) and the San Francisco Chronicle. I feel compelled to subscribe to the Chronicle so I can get a liberal slant on everything, as though the MSM on the telly doesn’t provide it.

    Today I had to treat the entire Chronicle as though it were the Comic Section. It was worse than usual, maybe because we’re getting close to the inaugural activities. But instead of being really pissed about EVERY article, I had to laugh out loud, totally amused that anyone could possibly read this publication and not see the absolute bias on every page.

    So please, Jack Marshall, continue to put true ethics out there for all to read. And, even though I sometimes don’t agree with you, yours is possibly the one sane blog I can count on to always be objective, thoughtful and truthful.

  13. Will the real Jack Marshall please stand up (again)

    Poisoning the well (The Left? )
    False moderation (voice of reason Olberman)
    Speculation on a moot matter as fact (Clinton description is opinion not fact)
    Guilt by association (blind singer)
    Tu quoque (democrats must reject unethical behavior before critcising unethical behavior?)

    The rest is their constitutional right to protest. Which you want hem to concede in order that, what? Donald Trump can take the oath? That he can enjoy an extended honeymoon period? That he can ram through legislation making voter-suppression legal?

    The election result has never been challenged or opposed. And everyone should protest the rest.

    The Jack Marshall I knew 3 years ago could never have produced an argument that bad or frankly that rotten. I hope he comes back soon. I miss the guy.

    • MollyG

      @ Bruce Bartup: “The election result has never been challenged or opposed.”

      Seriously?

      Days and days of NOT MY PRESIDENT (including marches involving schoolchildren)

      John Lewis claiming that Donald Trump will not be a legitimate president

      What are you talking about?

      • Bruce doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

        • Chris Marschner

          The Democrat’s claim that Russian hacking of the DNC was designed to undermine our democratic process has succeeded by the behavior of the Democrats attempting to delegitimize the president elect. They have become the useful idiots necessary to destabilize a duly elected government. Unless the Democratic leadership can demonstrate how the Russians caused people to vote against HRC I cannot accept their conclusions.

          When we take the embarrasing tweet by Martin O’ Malley urging people to fight or Congressman Lewis’ s claim that DJT’s win was manipulated by Russian operatives making the election essentionally a fraud – otherwise DJT would be legitimately elected – it seems to me that the only people attempting to destabilize the incoming administration is the Democratic leadership.

          There is no logical reason based on policy that the Russians would want anyone but a Democrat in the Whitehouse. HRC is against fracking which is pushing down petrochemical revenues world wide. Russian GDP relies on high oil prices. Russia has been able to intervene in Syria and Crimea without any rebuke of significance from the prior administration of which HRC was part. Why if Trump is a maniac with the nuclear codes would any adversary want that.

          Based on the behavior I am witnessing from the Democratic leadership I cannot see me voting a split ticket anymore. I no longer see any substantive critical thinking among many. I might change my mind if more of them began acting like Senator Manchin of WV. Former Governor O’ Malley’s comments are an embarrassment to my state of Maryland.

      • Saying ‘I don’t accept your leadership’ is allowed. As is involvement of children.
        Saying that a leader isn’t behaving as a leader should, or that an elected leader made use of foreign assistance and dirty tricks is allowed.

        Saying as part of legal proceedings that the Trump Presidency is illegal might be interpreted as opposition. Violent as a matter of policy certainly would be.

        Peaceful transfers of power do not suspend the constitution. People can SAY whatever they want about Government any time, any place. It’s kind of a big deal y’know?

    • Will the real Jack Marshall please stand up (again)
      Your condescension is obnoxious, though it would be less so if you had a single valid point. You don’t

      Poisoning the well (The Left? )

      What? Do I have to enumerate every individual member? Yes, this is an organized partisan/ideological freakout, and you, as with the many who misuse “Ad Hominem: “Poisoning te Well is saying the conduct is wrong because of the nature of the actor. This is wrongful conduct, and would be wrongful by the Right, Center or Middle.

      False moderation (voice of reason Olberman)

      Idiotic. I used Olberman’s fatigue with a single long-running story as an accurate example of what I feel like. That’s no fallacy. That fact.

      Speculation on a moot matter as fact (Clinton description is opinion not fact)

      I read over the post twice. There is no “Clinton description”—what are you talking about? A boycott isn’t one unless its announced as such. No GOP House member announced that he or she would be avoiding the Clinton Inaugural as a boycott or protest.

      Guilt by association (blind singer)

      Boy, you REALLY don’t know what you are talking about. The Left’s attempt to frame the Inauguration as an illegitimate endorsement of monster and his alleged policies is pervasive, and the threatening of performers to diminish the event is part of it. Bullying a blind performer is exactly what THE LEFT gratuitously attacked Trump for at the Golden Globes. It is, in fact, a level down from bullying a non-handicapped performer: the blind ones can’t defend themselves. Where you get “guilt by association” out of that, I can’t imagine.

      Tu quoque (democrats must reject unethical behavior before criticising unethical behavior?)

      The perfect end to a dumb comment. Democrats must condemn unethical conduct in their name. Attempting to legitimize a duly elected President is unethical conduct. Sating that a Democratic leader needs to step up and call out the wrongdoing is not “tu quoque.”

      Check the new comment policies, BB: attacking mu integrity is not permitted, lazy and foolish comments are not favored, and condescension to me gets one banned. If you can’t do better take off. This was an insulting comment with no value at all. A single correct example of a fallacy would have sufficed.

      “The election result has never been challenged or opposed.”

      What does “Not My President” mean to you? What do you think Lewis was saying? What was the point of the recount? What was the idea behind arguing that the electors had a duty to violate their pledge and law and vote against Trump? What is the intent behind the “fake news” that Russia “hacked the election?”

      The rest is their constitutional right to protest. Which you want hem to concede in order that, what? Donald Trump can take the oath? That he can enjoy an extended honeymoon period? That he can ram through legislation making voter-suppression legal?

      The election result has never been challenged or opposed. And everyone should protest the rest.

      The Jack Marshall I knew 3 years ago could never have produced an argument that bad or frankly that rotten. I hope he comes back soon. I miss the guy.

      • Now this is exactly what I meant in a post a day or so ago that you should take note of Schopenhauer’s introduction to his essay regarding strategems. And said a day or two before that about my rules for engaging in discussion. Emotions and the relationship have to come first before discussing very hot topics where passions burn brightly.

        I can’t even recall a happier time without it being misunderstood as aggression. I did not condescend, i recognised a friend in trouble.

        I doubt that it will make any difference but here goes anyway:
        1. ‘The Left’ : is a pejorative term and as you include mainstream media quite inaccurate (The New York Times Jack?). The conduct is talking about democracy, The Actor is ‘The Left’ – Boo Hiss. Poisoning the Well
        2. You compared uncontroversial though very important matters with extreme views (Olberman,) compared your self with Olberman, then put distance between yourself and Olberman, thus logically your views are less extreme than Olbermans. I don’t say that’s what you aimed for – but you did write it, To my eyes anyway.
        3.”because their candidate—and a terrible, corrupt, incompetent candidate she was—somehow managed to lose”.Now I’m perfectly sure you checked that statement just as you said – but you couldn’t see it. Jack I have to say – confirmation bias. And that’s not an allegation, that’s a recommendation to really take a breather and think this whole matter through, calmly.
        4. Guilt by association: “These vicious, totalitarian bullies are your responsibility, Democrats” My apologies that is an unfounded and ridiculous acccusation, not an association as such.
        5 Tu Quoque : you also are guilty. Democrats can criticise Trump. Trump is not less guilty of their heavy crimes they claim in criticisms even if they commit those same crimes (allegedly) themselves.
        “They are doing it despite the fact that they are violating the established norms of politics and democracy . . .” That is what they allege – violating the norms.
        “Check the new comment policies, BB: attacking mu integrity is not permitted, lazy and foolish comments are not favored, and condescension to me gets one banned. If you can’t do better take off. This was an insulting comment with no value at all. A single correct example of a fallacy would have sufficed”
        (I did check the policies, I cannot see any attack on your integrity. Foolish comment I hope have been explained. Condescension is a new crime? Sorry I mean transgression of he policy. (NB I m not using sarcasm there it just struck me as I wrote it that it would have to have a disclaimer of sarcasm because it could possibly be interpreted that way, though it was in fact just a mistake). I’m truly sorry if you feel insulted. My uses of the fallacy seem not to be obvious to you. That’s a pity.)

        The fact that Russia did hack the election justifies most of the noise. But that it did not affect the result is still opinion.

        Jack when I say fact – it s backed up by all intelligence agencies. When you claimed fact at one point you used emboldening to make the claim firm. I put it to you as a friend. Something has changed. not in a good way. All the best

        • zoebrain

          Seconded. We might both be wrong of course. I hope that knowing that not just one commenter holds these views might give Jack pause for introspection.

          I have faith in him. Not that he’ll change his conclusions, none are self evidently unreasonable, but that he’ll step back and reconsider. View what he’s said in the past. Evaluate to what extent he’s a boiled frog.

          • Bruce is banned. “The Russian hacked the election” was the last straw, but his condescension and false use of fallacies had him going anyway.

            • zoebrain

              Regretfully, I must take my leave, and wish you well.

              I appreciate you not banning me, for if you banned Bruce, you must have been sorely tempted to, but feel I have worn out my welcome, so should do the polite thing and depart voluntarily.

              Many thanks for past posts, and please continue to emphasise the need for ethical considerations to be paramount in life.

              Yes, I suck at flouncing. Sorry. Best wishes.

              • Oh quit being melodramatic. If you can’t see the obvious ways Bruce combined irrationalism with dishonest arguments with condescension in his long series of posts … well I know you can. I’d wager Jack wouldn’t have banned him if he’d only had one of those qualities. He may not have even banned him for two of them. I bet he wouldn’t have banned him for one comment. But this gish gallop?

              • Patrice

                Please don’t leave, zoebrain. Your posts give me hope.

              • Chris

                Please don’t leave.

                • I have written to Zoe off site.

                  She’s a generous and rational soul, but Bruce is not quitting over. Bruce’s manner was insulting, his logic was bizarre, and if I’m going to engage with readers, they can’t make it consistently unpleasant. He had two obnoxious posts in a row, and the “Hack the election” bit was the last straw, but only because he was hanging by a thread already.

            • Michael Ejercito

              The Russians “hacked” the election in the same sense that NBC tried to “hack” this election, the way Candy Crowley “hacked” the 2012 election, and the way Dan Rather “hacked” the 2004 election.

              • No! Those others were deliberate misinformation.

              • Chris

                Except in this case there actually was a hack. Technically, it was a hack on the DNC in order to influence the election, and I can see why some would read “hack the election” as “hack the voting machines,” and unfortunately an alarming number of Democrats believe that’s what happened.

                That said, I think when most people say “hack the election” they mean “hack the DNC to influence the election,” and I would have extended Bruce the benefit of the doubt. (I also think he may not be a native English speaker.)

                • If that was the only thing wrong with his comment, it wouldn’t have been the last straw. But there were too many other straws. And the condescension was too much. You have to be awfully sharp for me to accept condescension here.

          • You’re a special case, of course, but it is not surprising that a relentless effort to terrify those already prone to detest Donald Trump would lead some rational people to endorse the delegitimization tactics of the Left, as hypocritical, dangerous and unfair as they are.

        • 1. ‘The Left’ : is a pejorative term and as you include mainstream media quite inaccurate (The New York Times Jack?). The conduct is talking about democracy, The Actor is ‘The Left’ – Boo Hiss. Poisoning the Well

          Wrong. The Left and The Right are not pejorative, and merely describe placing on the political spectrum. I even asked for a better name. Many its a slur where you live: not here. The term was regularly used in every political science course I ever took. Verdict: Nonsense.

          2. You compared uncontroversial though very important matters with extreme views (Olberman,) compared your self with Olberman, then put distance between yourself and Olberman, thus logically your views are less extreme than Olbermans. I don’t say that’s what you aimed for – but you did write it, To my eyes anyway.

          That’s not what I did, and no fair reader could think so. I used Olbermann because he was the individual who quit a job because he was sick of a long-running story. Period.

          3.”because their candidate—and a terrible, corrupt, incompetent candidate she was—somehow managed to lose”.Now I’m perfectly sure you checked that statement just as you said – but you couldn’t see it. Jack I have to say – confirmation bias. And that’s not an allegation, that’s a recommendation to really take a breather and think this whole matter through, calmly.

          Condescend to me one more time, BB< and I'm banning you, so I hope the rest of this post is clear. That Clinton was a terrible and incompetent candidate is not open to debate. There is no bias. She lost to Donald Trump. She said stupid things. She lied when she didn't have to lie. Search for Hillary Clinton on the blog. The case is irrefutable. I wrote and documented thousands and thousands of words regarding her corruption—how dare you, you pompous ass, after all that work, without reading it, shrug it off as bias?

          4. Guilt by association: “These vicious, totalitarian bullies are your responsibility, Democrats” My apologies that is an unfounded and ridiculous accusation, not an association as such.

          I fear you are an idiot, Bruce, so I’m going to finish rebutting this offensive and stupid comment, and then ban you. Democrats have been demonizing the President Elect as Hitler, a monster, a racist, a xenophobe, from the moment the election was over, and yet you tell me that this is NOT the reason entertainers are being threatened for agreeing to sing at the Inaugural! If the Democratic Party had acted like every other defeated party, accepted the results, been gracious, not encouraged Electors to flip, not held comfort sessions for traumatized students in colleges, this would still be happening?

          You’ve triggered the idiot ban, my friend. Your position has no integrity, or common sense, and you waste my time. I’m not going to have a straight line analysis insulted as ridiculous accusation without a damn sharp argument, and you aren’t capable of one.

          5 Tu Quoque : you also are guilty. Democrats can criticise Trump. Trump is not less guilty of their heavy crimes they claim in criticisms even if they commit those same crimes (allegedly) themselves.
          “They are doing it despite the fact that they are violating the established norms of politics and democracy . . .” That is what they allege – violating the norms.

          Also idiotic. They ARE violating the norms. Trump hasn’t violated anything. He was elected. He IS. He can’t, post election, violate norms, because the election ratified him. Democrats are violating their own norms, as they defined them.

          “The fact that Russia did hack the election justifies most of the noise. But that it did not affect the result is still opinion.”

          And that’s it. The final stupid straw. Russia did NOT “hack the election” That is “fake news,: a lie, false, partisan disinformation.

          Bye. I don’t know if you have decided to be a partisan troll, or are just not very bright, and I don’t care.

          Jack when I say fact – it s backed up by all intelligence agencies. When you claimed fact at one point you used emboldening to make the claim firm. I put it to you as a friend. Something has changed. not in a good way. All the best

  14. Rick M.

    “Have you no sense of decency?” Those were the famous words utter by Joseph Welsh and directed towards one of the most despicable politicians ever to hold office – Joseph McCarthy. The quote was during the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954 and sounded the beginning of the end for “Tail gunner Joe.”

    McCarthy was the end result of a series of witch hunts directed towards Communist infiltration of our government and social structure. The excesses were profound and much of it was in the wheelhouse of Republicans who offered themselves up as all things American. Richard Nixon made a career out of it.

    One thing stood out from the ten-year post-WWII era and that was blacklists – entertainers, writers, and various others who were the bastions of culture. Some had left leanings and some had dabbled into the politics of the fractionalize 1930s. They eventually suffered disastrous consequences during the witch hunt era. Many never recovered professionally or emotionally.

    Opposition to Trump is understandable if you find his politics appalling, but placing pressure on performers to withdraw from the inauguration is reminiscent of two items – the first is an obvious resurrection of the witch hunt. The message is quite clear that support of Trump can have professional consequences even for those who just wish to enjoy the honor of performing at such a noted event.

    The second is a resurfacing of the casino issue that plagued our community for several years. As with the politics of today the lines were clearly drawn – pro or anti. One item that surfaced was an effort by some – on both sides – to restrict doing business with those who were known to hold an opposing view. The witch hunt mentality.

  15. Glenn Logan

    The first is that the Democrats will so infuriate conservatives and moderates that it will marginalize itself, and become weaker, more frustrated, more irresponsible and more violent. The second is that this primal partisan scream will successfully create a dysfunctional Presidency, at a time when there are critical, festering problems that cannot wait another four years.

    At this point, I am beyond being infuriated. Instead, I’m just a bit sad to see a once-proud and viable party, the party of JFK (whom, rightly or wrongly, I grew up idolizing) destroy itself by allowing the most radical among them define them. I am giving much benefit of the doubt here, namely that most of the people claiming to be Democrats are not really as horrible as they have been made to appear. I confess, it’s possible I’m wrong about that (with respect to the “most”) but I know I’m right about at least some. It’s hard to see how the Democratic Party hasn’t already marginalized itself to some degree, and a lot more marginalization could be in the offing.

    To your second possibility, I’m not sure it’s fair to say this “primal scream will create a dysfunctional presidency.” It could, to be sure, but fairness demands that we consider that it’s pretty likely it would be dysfunctional even without the left’s freakout. Trump is an emotionally immature and ethically repugnant person, proven over and over ad infinitum. It’s hard to imagine a non-dysfunctional Trump presidency despite our joint determination to hope for it and give him a chance to create one.

    The third is that the nation will literally be torn apart.

    I have come to view this as the high probability, although to what degree, it’s hard to say. If there is sufficient violence on Friday, as (backhandedly) promised by some and feared by many more, we could be facing Kent State all over again, only more broadly and with considerably more loss of life.

    On the other hand, we could have an orgy of destruction isolated in DC that burns itself out quickly, a sort of dystopian orgasm after all the foreplay in the interregnum between the election and inauguration.

    Finally, we could have a slightly more significant version of the Ferguson riots that are quickly put down with minimum loss of life and destruction of property.

    I pray my view is wrong.

    • Wayne

      Don’t worry. There will be plenty of paddy wagons around to give the violent protesters a free ride to the D.C. jail and probably the National Guard will be waiting in the wings.

  16. Michael Ejercito

    Because I believe with all my heart that this mob-tantrum is doing far more damage to the nation and society than unethical IKEA ads, incompetent judges and even sexual predator 6th grade teachers

    The Washington post reported on a case of a sexual predator teacher, and I read quite a few comments defending the teacher;’s conduct. It is so infuriating. No wonder Trump (and Clinton) won their primaries.

    As to the statements by some Democrats about refusing to support the inauguration, none were from the national leadership, so it should not be imputed on the Democratic Party as a whole (not that partisan Republican spokesmen would not try to impute it thus) . Of those you quoted, the only one in any sort of leadership position is Martin O’Malley, so his words can be imputed onto the Maryland state Democratic Party.

    • Joe Fowler

      Your point about none of the Democratic leadership refusing to support the inauguration led me to begin formulating a reply. I could not do so because I don’t know who that is, at this point.
      Who is the Democratic Party national leadership? Outgoing President Obama? Failed candidate Hilary? National Party (Interim) Chair Donna Brazile? The powerful Democratic Governors Association (18 members strong!)? Superannuated old warhorses like Pelosi, Reid, Dean or Lewis? The editorial board of the NYT? George Soros? Cher? I really can’t see anyone with power and a platform to take seriously. Obama just barely has the position to help, but only for the next few minutes, and, let’s face it, he ain’t the guy to help glue a country together, even if he wanted to.

  17. Andrew Wakeling

    The situation is truly awful and mere despair seems inadequate: FBI, Russia, tax returns, nepotism, conflicts of interest, fraudulent promises, reckless abandonment of diplomatic norms, fantasy economics, impossible arrogance, bullying etc etc. It would be good if Donald Trump could be welcomed to the Presidency with a mutual ‘love in’ with his detractors and declaration of a ‘clean slate’. But it isn’t going to happen. It really isn’t the fault of Meryl Streep and ‘the Left’. She and her ilk are a mere irritation. The analysis I’m looking for is the one that asks how the choice could have come down to two such divisive figures (Trump and Clinton)? And how this can be avoided in future? What are the lessons for the future ……. and what chance of them being learned?

  18. Patrice

    And another thing…

    I wish to reiterate an observation which went relatively unnoticed months ago. One of the reasons that I regularly consider unfollowing this blog is the fact that those of us who are not Republican, not Conservative, not Right Wing, not whatever, mostly continue to write and comment in civil language with regard to those who don’t agree with us, and yet we continue to be denigrated and called names BECAUSE we don’t agree and BECAUSE we hold opinions which commenters — and sometimes Jack — find risible. I understand that you folks feel entitled to insult us because some of us (mostly myself) don’t have enough facts and logic to counter the endless haranguing. But the name-calling and insults do become tiresome.

    • I’d love some examples. Obviously that is unfair. I’d also love to have guidance as to how to write about wide-based, group misconduct. For example, the efforts to legitimatize Trump is a widespread phenomenon engineered by Democrats and progressives. Not all participate or agree. Does this mean that labeling it a Democratic/progressive effort that reflects badly on both groups is unfair? As for those who disagree—how bad does conduct in a group that you continue to identify with have to be before you share responsibility for it?

      • The question is whether these acts can be imputed on Democrats or progressives as a whole.

      • Andrew Wakeling

        Not so ‘obviously’ unfair Jack. But I’d prefer you kept writing as you do …… honestly saying what you think. I read your posts and others generally to try to establish why I disagree with you, and to glimpse and question my biases. That is what is useful and thankyou for it. As far as your post here is concerned I really can’t yet work out why you see the supposed attempts by the Left to delegitamise Trump as so serious a threat. – but clearly you do. I prefer Paul Krugman in today’s NYT : ‘With All Disrespect – The Patriotic Case for frankness about a tainted election’.

      • Chris

        For example, the efforts to legitimatize Trump is a widespread phenomenon engineered by Democrats and progressives. Not all participate or agree. Does this mean that labeling it a Democratic/progressive effort that reflects badly on both groups is unfair?

        I don’t think so, nor do I think “the Left” is a slur or even an unfair generalization in this case.

        But then, I don’t see efforts to delegitimize Trump as entirely a bad thing, so I don’t mind being tarred as part of the group doing this.

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