The Widdershins

Activist Monday: The Consent of the Governed

Posted on: June 19, 2017

Good Monday, all! For those who are dads, I hope you had a really nice day yesterday.

Throughout his entire life, Donald Trump has had the ability to get whatever he wants by ordering people around. He was born rich, managed to stay rich through corruption and the kind of reptilian charisma that plays well on teevee, and ran his own company with a small, mostly familial and familial-adjacent staff. He has never, ever had to work for anyone else.

And now he does. And we, the people, his employers, are not happy with his job performance.

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight has Drumpf’s approval rating at 38.7%. In his first few, horrifying months as Resident, Der Drumpfenfuhrer has spawned a surprisingly durable and peaceful resistance movement. The Women’s March was so overwhelmingly huge and widespread throughout America, that people realized they do have power in this country. And they’ve started voting in a way that doesn’t bode well for Republicans.

Since Jan. 20, Democrats have won 12 special legislative elections, and Republicans have won 11.3 But because so many special elections take place in safe districts, win-loss records can only tell you so much. Instead, you’re better off comparing their final results to the district’s baseline partisanship, which FiveThirtyEight measures using a weighted average of the last two presidential election results4 as calculated by Daily Kos.5 And in the 15 special legislative elections to pit at least one Democrat against at least one Republican,6 12 have seen a net swing toward the Democrats.

I’m writing this before Georgia’s special election, and I don’t know if Jon Ossoff will win or not. I will say this, though, for him to even come close would be a great result in that district. And the fact that the Republicans are spending soooooooo much money to keep the seat means that even seats they used to think were safe, aren’t any more.

But it’s not just voting that’s showing that the governed aren’t consenting. It’s the state governors and federal judges, resisting against the Muslim ban (no, it’s not a travel ban, folks, it’s a religious ban targeted at travelers) and the cruel “sanctuary city” defunding, and the monumental stupidity of trying to “re-negotiate” the Paris Accords and not acknowledging climate change. It’s Joe and Jane America, coming to town halls they never cared about before this year, and speaking out against the Republican agenda, which has never been more unpopular. And according to Rebecca Solnit of The Guardian, the power lies with us. I urge you to read the whole thing; here is an inspiring excerpt.

…This activism needs to be sustained, and it needs to be strategic. It needs to address voting rights, and midterm elections, and it needs to remember all the powers and possibilities that lie in activism beyond electoral politics as well. So far so good.

Greenpeace USA executive director Annie Leonard told me that they don’t have to try to recruit or inform people anymore, that they can’t “answer the phones fast enough”; that people are showing up ready to try to change the world. She said everything groups like hers have been doing for decades “was all practice for this moment”.

People like to predict the future, often a dismal future, but the future is not written. It is ours to write. In this moment of utter turmoil, civil society must be the counter to a rogue administration, one whose victory is a surprise equaled by its myriad defeats ever since.

A crisis, says one dictionary, is “the point in the progress of a disease when a change takes place which is decisive of recovery or death; also, any marked or sudden change of symptoms, etc.” This crisis could be the death or the recovery of a more democratic, more inclusive, more generous America. Where we go from here is up to us.

I choose Option B.

This is an open thread.




85 Responses to "Activist Monday: The Consent of the Governed"

The Mango Meerkat is hemorrhaging Republican base support. I’m sure McConnell is paying close attention.

Sorry haven’t read the post yet. But I know ya’ll have been dying to hear Kushner’s voice. I know I have. It’s disappointing.

A British scientist who connected Litvinenko’s murder by polonium to the Kremlin committed suicide by repeatedly stabbing himself with two knives. A likely story, right?

He talks exactly like he looks.

@4 Sweet Sue> That’s exactly what I thought! First word that came into my mind when I heard him was: “Of course.”

Great post MB, and loved the title, “Der Drumpfenfuhrer” – perfect!

Also that Greenpeace said they have prepared for this type of an administration for decades and the phones are ringing off the hook.

Love to see so many folks are not going to put up with this bs.

Also found that Hillary is still exciting people:

Hillary Clinton was spotted at a Broadway musical and everyone freaked out

But I know ya’ll have been dying to hear Kushner’s voice. I know I have. It’s disappointing.

——- Haha, I can’t believe that Ivanka would fall for this little prince…what a dud. I guess he is at lease opposite of her father in some ways.

4 Sweet Sue
A big yup to that!

Fingers crossed on this one:

The Supreme Court just made a major decision without actually issuing a decision. On Monday morning, the justices announced that they would take up a case out of Wisconsin that could result in a ruling on the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering.

Democrats should be cautiously very happy with this.

No, it doesn’t mean that the Supreme Court will suddenly strike down the practice altogether, but it does mean that the court could deliver what would be basically an unprecedented rebuke of a practice that has, according to a recent study, prevented Democrats from controlling the U.S. House for potentially four of the past six years.

MB, from your fingers to God’s ears, the energy and enthusiasm is with the Resistance. With that said, the Ossoff election seems to have been hyped beyond reasonable bounds by the media. Fifty Million in a congressional race is onerous by any standards and could result in “teevee screen burnout” of Ossoff. I hope not.

I’m so saddened by young Warmbier’s death. Calling him Otto makes him seem old to me. He was just a kid who played a silly, stupid kid’s prank and the brutish North Koreans killed him. So young and so, so sad.

DYB, that British scientist, sounds like we’re right back to the days of “Worst case of suicide I ever saw.”

Mueller team lawyer brings witness-flipping expertise to Trump probes

The prosecutor he’s bringing to the team is someone who is adept at corporate fraud and finance. He helped prosecute the Enron case.

Lovely post, MB! The Guardian piece is very uplifting.

@11, Prolix, well said. I am also extremely sad at this senseless waste of young life. My Greek half wants revenge. I wish I understood why Western people go to North Korea. The four days I spent in South Korea were uncomfortable and bizarre. I am never going back. Seriously, so many wonderful places to visit, why NK?

@3, re: the murdered scientist, that’s really terrifying.

@13, that sounds hopeful.

The Senate Dems are holding a talk-a-thon on the Repub health care plan and it’s live on Cspan2 right now.

So do you all think the health plan will pass? It seems insane that it would, but insane things have happened…

The GA election is tomorrow…. Oy.

That British scientist – I mean it’s crazy! And Scotland Yard insists it was suicide. I mean, is that really possible to kill yourself that way???

My Tigers have run into a buzz saw in Oregon State and are down 11-zip in the 7th.

Of course Oregon State is ranked #1 and the Tigers will get another chance to play on Wed.

@18: Who knows? All it will take to fail is for 3 Repubs to vote no. I sent a letter to one of my Senators, Frankencassidy which his office in Baton Rouge got today. He is also a physician so maybe he’ll have that “do no harm” thing in mind.

If any of you have a Republican Senator, call them or write one of their local offices. If you write the DC offices, the mail still goes to a remote facility to be tested first which causes delays in getting it to the actual offices.

(Commented a while back, but maybe stuck in spam? No big deal. It was just re how awful the news is.)

Love the “take your kids to work” cartoon on the side, Fredster!

Yeah, she went to Jared. I wonder if Ivanka ever regrets it? He really is such a mean, prissy little boy. Just like Daddy, only with 10% more brains.

This is the guy who announced against the Anime-eyed Granny-starver. Powerful, if you have a couple of minutes, it is well worth the watch.


@21: Don’t see anything in there quixote.

@22: I forgot where I stole that from. LOL!

I surely don’t mean to blame the victim, but I can’t keep wondering what Otto Warmbuler was doing in North Korea? Who besides Dennis Rodman goes to North Korea? I really don’t get it.

@23: Very moving ad (and great music also).

@26: I found this online:

Warmbier, a University of Virginia undergraduate, was taken into custody Jan. 2 at Pyongyang Sunan International Airport while waiting to board a plane after exploring North Korea as part of a five-day tour with China-based budget tour operator Young Pioneer Tours. He was charged with subversion and committing a “hostile act” against the state for attempting to steal a propaganda poster from Pyongyang’s Yanggakdo International Hotel.


Fredster, why North Korea? It’s so fishy. CIA in training or what??


29: Sue, I have no idea except what the two articles had about it.

@29, it seems to be extreme adventure tours. Something like mark North Korea off your bucket list. Most of these tour companies cater to Chinese students, but they market heavily in the U.S. There has been a move to ban these tours.

@29, agree. I was also wondering if CIA in training or maybe missionary?

Jim Acosta asks a good question about the new White House Press Briefings formats:

“I don’t know why everybody is going along with this.”

Prolix 23
Powerful, if you have a couple of minutes, it is well worth the watch.

Now that’s an add that most of us can relate to…way beyond WI. Great!!

30 Prolix


Sing Flynn, sign loud and clear to the FBI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great links at 34 and 35, Fredster.

@18, possible if you have a Russian or two to help you. Or someone slipped you a psychosis-inducing drug.

Off topic –

Nazi medical equipment, knives covered in Swastikas and busts of Hitler: Argentina’s largest ever trove of Third Reich artifacts is found hidden inside a house’s secret room

@2, OK, I finally gave in and clicked through to listen. How boring! Plus he looks like he’s giving a report in grade school and hoping for a prize.

Then I started listening to the content. “…..most of these Federal data centers could be migrated to the cloud…” rather than be federally run centers. Uh-huh. “The cloud” is banks and banks of servers humming away somewhere else. What could possibly happen to that data outsourced to Kushner knows who?


OMG, I sure Flynn doesn’t use sign language.

*Sing* loud and clear!

I don’t care if Spicer goes, but I would hate to see SNL’s Spicey go.

Some good news, though who knows if Putin will listen.

European court strikes down Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law

A European court on Tuesday declared a Russian law banning expressions of “gay propaganda” to be discriminatory, ordering Moscow to pay out compensation to three gay rights activists and setting the stage for further conflicts with Europe over Russia’s treatment of gays and lesbians.

In a statement, the European Court of Human Rights said that Russia’s adoption of the 2013 law “had reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia, which was incompatible with the values of a democratic society.”

The law, according to the court, violated articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, of which Russia is a signatory, providing for freedom of expression and a prohibition on discrimination.

This, and the Russian fighter “5 feet away” from one of our military planes. Not good.

@23> Yes that ad is fantastic!

On North Korea – I also do not understand why someone would want to go there unless that is really something you are studying. Remember some years ago there were Americans who went hiking on border between Iraq and Iran, and crossed over and were arrested by Iran? I mean – who goes hiking in Iraq/Iran?!

@43 Luna> Alexandra Petri at WaPo is hilarious! I love her columns!

But Maggie, oh Maggie… The last few days have been the usual Maggie. First she went after a former Clinton staffer who made an off-handed remark that Trump keeps waging the 2016 campaign; Haberman responded: “He’s not the only one.”

Then today she did another whataboutism comparing Trump shitshow with e-mails. And then she did another comment about Obama also not being transparent – meanwhile, Trump isn’t even holding press briefings anymore.

Why does anyone think she’s a good journalist? I also think it’s a terrible idea for journalists to tweet personal opinions. Just file your column, leave it at that.

That’s funny.
Enjoyed thinking of how they digitally altered the photo.

“5 feet away”

Is Rump waiting for them to hit our planes before he remembers, ‘America first’?

@38: Thank you Shadow!

@42: Exactly! There’s hardware sitting somewhere that makes up “the cloud”.

That’s like when I see these blurbs of “back up your info and files to the cloud”. Uh, no. I will back up my info and files to my external hard drive or to a handy flash drive thank you very much.

The Ossoff election is gonna be close; nobody is calling it.

@49, DYB, right! I almost didn’t click through because I did a “Not her!” take on seeing the Haberman name, (I don’t follow her) but it was retweeted by IIRC David Fahrenthold, so I figured it could be OK.

It looks like Ossoff is going to lose…

Rachel has it right now as Ossoff 51/ Handle 49

Wow, he’s ahead by about 4000 votes! Her lead was in the 100s. Oh please Goddess, we need some hope!

Ah crap. Now she’s winning. I guess we’re going to be watching for a while longer.

Isn’t going to happen for Ossoff. I feel like we needed this bad. I can see the Resistance movement has fizzled a bit here.

Come on Ossoff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darn, not looking good at all for Ossoff

Al Giordano pointed out that the absentee ballots, which take a long time to completely tabulate, will probably tip strongly in Ossoff’s favor. Hope so.

Yeah I think we’re not getting a win tonight. It’s very sad, but not totally unexpected. I remember when he won the runoff, a lot of pundits were saying he didn’t have a chance in the general, and it would have been better if he could have won outright. I heard that 40,000 AA registered voters were mysteriously “disappeared” from the rolls. Just like with the national election, gerrymandering and fraud overcame.

Where is Obama again? I thought this was going to be his big cause.

If this was the other way around, Repugs would be holding marathon hearings on the DNC iniquities. But since this is Rs, …crickets…. Also: cloud security!

A Republican contractor’s database of nearly every voter was left exposed on the Internet for 12 days, researcher says

Detailed information on nearly every U.S. voter — including in some cases their ethnicity, religion and views on political issues — was left exposed online for two weeks by a political consultancy that works for the Republican National Committee and other GOP clients.

The data offered a strikingly complete picture of the voting histories and political leanings of the American electorate laid out in an easily downloadable format, said cybersecurity researcher Chris Vickery. He discovered the unprotected files of 198 million voters in a routine scan of the Internet last week and alerted law enforcement officials.

…malicious hackers routinely conduct such scans of the Internet looking for unprotected files they can exploit. And to those who may have found them, the files painted a detailed portrait of virtually all of America’s roughly 200 million voters — revealing their names, addresses, birth dates and phone numbers. The information was being stored by Amazon Web Services.

Indeed, it was going to be tough for Ossoff and while he got a lot of party support… it looks like it won’t be enough. GA is deep red and there is a lot of gerrymandering.

It would have been a big morale boost to have him win, but I hope in the long run Resistance realizes this was a near impossible battle and there are many more battles to come!

Lawrence focused on how this is a concern for Repugs – the GA 6 and the SC seat should both be very safe seats that they don’t have to worry about. Now they do.

Several outlets are calling a win for Handel.

@68 contrask> That’s true. It’s just hard to accept those things in the short term. It’s demoralizing.

I feel dumb. I figured now that Agent Orange had done his revolting thing over and over, of course Ossoff would win in a landslide.

Who ARE these people who keep voting for sewage? I mean, I get it, they want more money for them and they want Norman Rockwell’s nonexistent USA. But even if that’s what they hoped for however many moons ago, it’s now totally 100% no question obvious that Rethugs are not working on that for anyone. The con game is fully exposed. But they keep voting for it. What’s the deal?

quixote> Those are all great questions! My understanding is the district in question is a well-off place, so it skews heavily towards Dump. This was an uphill battle and Handel outspent Ossoff 2.5 to 1. For Republicans to have to spend that kind of money (most expensive House race ever) in essentially hand-picked by Trump places (these are to replace people he picked for his cabinet) is a big deal.

I’m with you on not getting it, Quixote. Progressive vs Regressive. How can they keep voting Regressive??? No, I don’t get Trump or Trumpanzees. It’s demoralizing for Dems for sure. Wish I had a bottle of wine.

@Luna, Oh yes that Southern Strategy has yielded rich rewards for the Republicans.

@65, I read about the mysteriously not registered should-have-been-new-voters. Of course, they were black, because of course. And as for actual voting, there is no verifiable paper trail on GA’s e-voting.

What a sad day. That horrible woman winning GA 6th (don’t you think she looks mean?), and they had the video of that poor man getting blown away by that horrible cop on the news. And now the hacking news that Luna linked to. It’s going to be a long hard slog.

I heard that there was terrible rain in GA today, and also saw something when I glanced at twitter on my lunch break, that some voters were turned away.

@74, yes it certainly did.

@75, No paper trail. Of course.

This is sweet:

Oh thank God!

@80, Compete everywhere, 50-state strategy. Yessss!

@81, Whew.

79 Loved to see the two adults save their baby.


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June 2017
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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

So similar

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
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Wise Words from Paul Ryan

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