Playing the long game

You have to hand it to Republicans, they are really good at playing the long game. They think months, years, even decades down the road. We’ve gotten a rare peek into that with the “citizenship question” emails, but really, it’s in everything they do.

Take “the wall” for instance. You think any Republican but Trump really cares about that wall? The wall is just a fight to them, and nothing sounds like war drums to their base more than a good fight with Democrats.

Think about this. If the wall was so damned important, why didn’t they do it on day 1? Day 100? Day 600? They didn’t even start working on it until after Democrats took office in the House after winning in the 2018 elections. They had 2 years where they could go hog wild with their wildest dreams. Yet they did only one thing, tax cuts for their corporate overlords. Because corporate interests are their only real priority. Everything else is just smoke and mirrors.

I believe, and this is me speculating, that they purposely waited to bring up the wall, something Trump had promised and was whining about now and then that first 2 years, until after there were enough Democrats to block it. Why would they do that? Because every church needs a devil to fight against. They might actually be winning abortion soon. There goes that link between Democrats and demonkind. So they needed a “spare fight” they could rely on to scare people into voting for them. And it never hurts to get a second group of single-issue-voters too angry and ignorant to know or care what the man behind the curtain is doing as long as he’s fighting that fight which is important to them.

But I’m pretty sure these fights aren’t actually intended to be won. They’re intended to be fought for as long as people care about them. They don’t care if a woman they don’t know is getting an abortion. And they certainly want the option for when their mistresses get knocked up. They don’t want anti-abortion Supreme Court justices, they want conservative Supreme Court justices because they don’t care about Roe v Wade, what they’re really after is Citizens United. But Roe v Wade is the fight that gets them to the Citizens United victory. That fight can deliver for them their true agenda, appeasing their corporate masters and the rich people who run those corporations, who may very well be their employers after their “formal” political careers end. But that doesn’t mean they get out of politics. They still have resources within the system and strings they can pull for their masters, which is why they get paid the big bucks (quite literally).

Whatever Republicans do or don’t do we need to be looking at why and what it will mean, maybe as much as 10 or 20 years from now. Because Republicans really do play the long game. They aren’t thinking about the next election, they’re thinking about the next 3 or more.

I believe that those old standby controversies are utilized politically as you say to rile up and motivate partisan constituencies.

In addition to that, however, the Trumpublicans (formerly known as Repugs) have an entire repertoire of typical, and atypical dirty cheating tricks. And, on top of that, with their invigorated propaganda spreading expertise (possibly coached by Putin?) the Trumpublicans are a formidable political force (as well as farce).

And I agree that we should have long ago adopted a long term view of accomplishing a progressive agenda. We needed to believe and act on that message, 10 years ago. But we didn’t. Gee, thanks Obama! (Just kidding. I love Obama. He didn’t recognize it as a key priority to act on, but what Dem did 10 years ago? Some, no doubt, but probably they were veritable voices in the wilderness.




Sometime I w0nder if Obama wasn’t part of that long plan, considering the massive blowback Republican were able to orchestrate out of him. How about that Birth Certificate. Have we ever seen Trump’s?

I wonder why no mention of the extremist Right Wing judges the Moscow Mitch is ramrodding through the Senate?

Also what about that Evangelical Prosperity Doctrine thing and that the entire insanity of actually believing that you can know God and “God’s Will.” I keep thinking back on what happened to John Lennon, because of his silly Jesus comparison remark. That would have been a good time to start pushing back against Christian absolutism

which was destined to evolve into Totalitarian tendencies given half a change. Then we allowed Trump to get elected. Now lookie.


Although there was one bright spot on the news front that I could see:

An editorial published Thursday by Christianity Today, a magazine founded by the late Rev. Billy Graham, called for President Trump’s removal from office in the wake of his impeachment, deeming him “grossly immoral.”

“We have reserved judgment on Mr. Trump for years now. Some have criticized us for our reserve. But when it comes to condemning the behavior of another, patient charity must come first. … To use an old cliché, it’s time to call a spade a spade, to say that no matter how many hands we win in this political poker game, we are playing with a stacked deck of gross immorality and ethical incompetence.”
Why it matters: Christianity Today is an influential mainstream magazine for evangelicals, with 4.3 million monthly visitors on its site and hundreds of thousands of print subscribers. President Trump won 81% of the evangelical vote in 2016, a group that makes up about 25% of the electorate, according to the Pew Research Center.

Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, is an ardent supporter of President Trump. He told “Axios on HBO” in November that he supports the president because he “defends the faith.” …


Here is a quote from someone in the evangelical community who actually shows some integrity.

“Trump Should Be Removed from Office” that “the facts in this instance are unambiguous: the president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents… That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral…” Editor of Christianity Today.

Sorry, CC, I see you were ahead of me in the Christianity Today story. Anyway, I added something he actually said. Of course, evangelicals in general had a hissy fit about it.

The more the merrier Tim, I keep wondering where’s everyone else.

Oh, and I thought I did, but obvious didn’t distinguish it - formatting and spacing does matter. :slight_smile:

“We have reserved judgment on Mr. Trump for years now. Some have criticized us for our reserve.

But when it comes to condemning the behavior of another, patient charity must come first. …

To use an old cliché, it’s time to call a spade a spade,

to say that no matter how many hands we win in this political poker game,

we are playing with a stacked deck of gross immorality and ethical incompetence.” …

Since we’re talking Long Game here, a little history might be in order. After all one thing leads to another.

Womens Health Issues. 1993 Fall;3(3):127-31.

“The politics of abortion: a historical perspective.”

McKeegan M1.

Author information, Six Rivers Planned Parenthood, Eureka, CA.


An analysis of the capture of the Republican party and the national agenda from the late 1970s into the 1990s by a coalition of political and religious conservatives.


Paradoxically, as Americans became increasingly pro-choice, 2 anti-abortion Presidents were elected to serve for 12 years and pro-life forces captured the domestic agenda by overhauling the traditionally libertarian Republican party.

This occurred because Republican analysts saw that the Democratic New Deal coalition was cracking, the traditionally conservative south and west began to control more seats in the House of Representatives, and Americans were becoming more affluent and, thus, more interested in taxes and inflation.

Efforts were made to bring social conservatives, especially pro-lifers, into the Republican party with scare tactics used in the wording of direct mailings. In the late 1970s, fundamentalist Christians became outraged by Supreme Court decisions banning school prayer and legalizing abortion and by Jimmy Carter’s decision to withdraw tax-exempt status from segregated church schools.

This group was mobilized by radio and television preachers, especially televangelist Jerry Falwell who also used scare tactics to promote his Moral Majority. The new right also tried to reach the nation’s 50 million Roman Catholics through the right-to-life movement. …

In the late 1970s, fundamentalist Christians became outraged by Supreme Court decisions banning school prayer...
And we take the blame for that and Bible reading being banned to this day, even though, in both cases combined, there was exactly ONE atheist and a WHOLE BUNCH of religious people as the plaintiffs. Hell, one of the cases didn't even have a single atheist represented.

Came across this article and couldn’t resist sharing. Gotta run, good day all.

After All the Handwringing We’re Now Seeing Exactly Why Conservative Christians Supported Trump May 23, 2019, 1:53pm | Hollis Phelps & L. Benjamin Rolsky

Many have argued that Trump is little more than a “scam artist” who has duped evangelicals into following him. But it’s the other way around: Trump didn’t use the religious right to win the presidency; the religious right used Trump to get what it wanted. …

If we get through this with a democracy intact, one that has the power to dismantle at least some of the oligarchy, the evangelicals will have lost the high ground. If the high ground is truly the moral high ground, they’ve already lost it. But they still have it in a symbolic sense, in the sense that they can say “Jesus” and think it means something. But they are more like the Christian armies of the 5th century now. They are no longer any kind of spiritual leaders.

When I was a full time church going born-again adolescent Christian, there was an infamous and publicly despised atheist named Madeline Murray O’Hare. I recall how she seemed to me to be universally hated. But I never listened to her message. I seem to recall that she died violently, tho not assassinated by Christians as one might have expected.

That’s not particularly related to this thread. It’s just an elicited thought. I guess I just wanted to highlight the capacity of hatred that Christians can have for atheists.

The evangelicals have abandoned clinging to persons of moral character. They rationalize by claiming that God chooses imperfect persons to do his will. So T rump becomes the likes of King David. David, who sent a loyal soldier to his certain death, so that he (David) could get the soldier’s wife, Bathsheba. Now that’s abuse of power. But all part of God’s plan, apparently.

She was the one atheist involved in one of the two cases which got either school prayer or Bible reading banned from schools. I don’t remember the history off the top of my head, but I think she was represented in the second one, after the first ban had already happened. Several court cases were combined. Being an atheist and, thus, pretty much universally hated as being “evil” at the time she became kind of an “evil poster child” for getting both banned in schools, even though she (and atheists altogether) had nothing to do with one of the court cases and most of the plaintiffs even in the case she was involved in were of various religions. These religions included Jews, but also included some Christian groups. Catholics didn’t want a protestant teacher telling their kids that mommy and daddy worshiped idols and that’s why there were “graven images” of Mary everywhere. Protestants didn’t want Catholic teachers reading from I Maccabees.

But it all gets blamed on atheists to this day and her name is still cursed as satanic by Christians who know just a tiny bit about her. As I recall she was very “outspoken: (read “kind of a dick”)” and that didn’t help people like her.

But all part of God’s plan, apparently.
I was going to start a new post with this fire survival lesson, but in a way, that's the perfect opening right there.

Thank You God for making people so gluttonous and self-servingly blind. As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

December 21, 2019 Fires - follow your plan but expect the unexpected

The fires across Australia this year are horrific. Because the smoke is inundating the biggest capital city (not good), people are taking notice (which is good). The fires this season are probably vying for the worst ever experienced in this country. There will be worse to come with more global warming, so it’s important to be prepared.

I expect there are a lot of people who’ve never had an up close and personal experience with fires or smoke, so I figured I’d put some thoughts down from my own experience. I’m not a fire expert but I’ve been through a few huge fires in my time, including three big ones this century. (If you’ve got better or different advice, based on your knowledge and experience, don’t hesitate to say in the comments below.) …

I’ve had a few tastes of wildfires and found her narrative and advice gripping and accurate.