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Trump’s Plan To Bar Muslim Immigration Widely Condemned, But It’s Unlikely To Hurt Him

donald-trump-microphone

Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslim immigration to the United States has, not surprisingly largely taken over the news cycle and will probably do so for at least the next couple days to come. If nothing else, President Obama should be thankful for this given the fact that, until Trump released this “plan,” most of the talk had been about the President’s speech on Sunday night, which was getting largely bad reviews. Now, the news is largely about all Donald Trump all the time, and Trump’s fellow Republican candidates aren’t exactly lining up to defend him:

White House can­did­ates from both parties quickly tore in­to Don­ald Trump Monday after the GOP front-run­ner said there should be a “total and com­plete shut­down of Muslims en­ter­ing the United States un­til our coun­try’s rep­res­ent­at­ives can fig­ure out what is go­ing on.”

But it re­mains un­clear if Trump’s na­kedly anti-Muslim com­ments will be­come a polit­ic­al li­ab­il­ity in the race for the GOP nod, which has pre­vi­ously seen Trump thrive after mak­ing re­marks tar­get­ing Mex­ic­ans and oth­er con­tro­ver­sies.

Ben Car­son dis­tanced him­self from Trump but en­dorsed do­mest­ic sur­veil­lance of vis­it­ors to the U.S. “Every­one vis­it­ing our coun­try should re­gister and be mon­itored dur­ing their stay, as is done in many coun­tries. I do not and would not ad­voc­ate be­ing se­lect­ive on one’s re­li­gion,” Car­son said through a spokes­wo­man.

Marco Ru­bio bashed Trump for pro­pos­ing to bar Muslims from en­ter­ing the coun­try. “His habit of making offensive and outlandish statements will not bring Amer­ic­ans to­geth­er,” the sen­at­or from Flor­ida said on Twit­ter.

Jeb Bush said on Twit­ter that Trump is “un­hinged” and that “[h]is ‘policy’ pro­pos­als are not ser­i­ous.” A spokes­man for Ohio Gov. John Kasich was some­what more ex­pans­ive, telling Na­tion­al Journ­al: “This is just more of the out­rageous di­vis­ive­ness that char­ac­ter­izes his every breath and an­oth­er reas­on why he is en­tirely un­suited to lead the United States.” Ac­cord­ing to wide­spread re­ports on Twit­ter, New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie told talk-ra­dio host Mi­chael Med­ved that it’s a “ri­dicu­lous po­s­i­tion.”

The cam­paign of Ted Cruz de­clined to dir­ectly cri­ti­cize Trump. In­stead, a spokes­man poin­ted to Cruz’s pro­pos­al to block entry of refugees from na­tions, in­clud­ing Syr­ia and Ir­aq, that have “ter­ror­ist-con­trolled” ter­rit­ory. However, in a snip­pet of a taped NBC in­ter­view provided by the Cruz campaign, the sen­at­or from Texas said that bar­ring Muslims “is not my policy.”

Cruz, who a new poll shows ahead of Trump in Iowa, said the fo­cus should be on “rad­ic­al Is­lam­ic ter­ror­ism, and we need to be dir­ectly fo­cused on threats to the United States.” Sen. Lind­sey Gra­ham, in con­trast, took on Trump dir­ectly, say­ing on Twit­ter, “Every can­did­ate for pres­id­ent needs to do the right thing and con­demn” the com­ments.

(…)

Hil­lary Clin­ton said via Twit­ter that Trump’s state­ment was “rep­re­hens­ible, pre­ju­diced and di­vis­ive,” adding, “you don’t get it. This makes us less safe.”

Demo­crat­ic White House hope­fuls Bernie Sanders and Mar­tin O’Mal­ley both at­tacked Trump’s com­ments too. “The U.S. is a strong na­tion when we stand to­geth­er. We are weak when we al­low ra­cism and xeno­pho­bia to di­vide us,” Sanders said on Twit­ter, while O’Mal­ley took more dir­ect aim at Trump, tweet­ing that he is run­ning for pres­id­ent as a “fas­cist dem­agogue.”

Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors re­turn­ing to Wash­ing­ton were greeted with im­me­di­ate ques­tions about the com­ments by Trump as he vies to lead their party.

Ma­jor­ity Whip John Cornyn pushed back against Trump. “I just think it’s wrong to ste­reo­type people,” Cornyn told re­port­ers in the Cap­it­ol. Sen. John Mc­Cain called the state­ment “fool­ish.” Asked if it would hurt Trump’s pres­id­en­tial pro­spects, Mc­Cain replied, “I have no idea. I thought long ago that the things that he said would hurt his pro­spects, and he con­tin­ues to go up.”

Much like Ted Cruz, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul stood out in declining to fully condemn Trump’s proposal, instead responding to questions about it by pointing to a proposal he made earlier this month to ban immigration from nations with a known history of harboring “radical elements,” whatever that might mean. Beyond Cruz and Paul, though, the response to Trump’s proposal from his fellow candidates and from top Republican officials both at the national level and in early primary states such as South Carolina and New Hampshire, as well as elsewhere, has been overwhelmingly. Even former Vice-President Dick Cheney, hardly someone who can be called a lightweight when it comes to fighting Islamist/Jihadist terrorism, has spoken out against Trump’s proposal, saying that it “goes against everything we stand for and believe in,” and that banning people from immigrating to the United States based on religion goes against the core of American history itself, which began with the arrival of Puritans and Pilgrims seeking refuge to practice their religious beliefs after persecution in England and elsewhere from established, government-backed, churches and government officials. In Florida, Republican Congressman David Jolly, who is now a candidate for the Republican nomination to succeed Marco Rubio in the Senate, blasted Trump’s comments and called on his to drop out of the race. And, just this morning, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan condemned Trump’s remarks:

Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday condemned presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, according to a source in the room at a closed-door GOP meeting.

“This is not who we are as a party or a country,” Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, told his House GOP colleagues during a meeting at the Capitol Hill Club. Ryan’s remarks were met with applause

Ryan said Trump’s proposal violates at least two amendments: the First Amendment protecting the freedom of religion, and the 14th forbidding guaranteeing due process of law and citizenship to all persons “born or naturalized” in the U.S.

Despite all of this criticism, Trump is not backing away from his controversial proposal. Last night, he held a rally in South Carolina at which he formally announced the plan that had at that point only taken the form of a press release to the public, and was wildly applauded by those in attendance. This morning, during appearances by phone on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America, CNN’s ‘New Day’, and MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,” which included a testy exchange with co-hosts Mika Brezenski and Joe Scarborough that led Scarborough to cut Trump off before returning from commercial to continue the interview,Trump continued to defend his proposal. To be fair, there were were some signs that Trump was backing away at least in some degree to the extent on the issue of whether or not the policy would apply to Americans citizens that happen to be Muslim and saying in several of the interviews that the ban would only be for a “limited” period of time. Trump didn’t specify in response to questioning, especially from the panelists on ‘Morning Joe’ exactly how he would propose to determine if someone really is a Muslim, how he night differentiate between Muslim-American citizens, or what exactly he meant by a “limited period of time.” Perhaps not surprisingly, when pressed on his plan Trump cited as support for his plan actions that President Franklin Roosevelt took in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and specifically seemed to say that he very well might have supported that part of Roosevelt’s action that included the internment of Japanese-Americans during the war, an action that is now universally recognized as an egregious violation of the civil liberties of innocent Americans and a national embarrassment.

As I said last night, Trump’s latest outrageous statement is seems unlikely to harm him politically notwithstanding the near universal condemnation that his proposal is receiving:

Polling indicates Trump’s suspicion of Muslims will appeal to many Republican voters. A study by the Public Religion Research Institute released last month found 76 percent of Republicans say Islam is “at odds with American values and way of life,” compared to 43 percent of Democrats. A survey by the Pew Research Center last year found Republicans rate Muslims more negatively than any other religious group, giving them an average of 33 on a scale of 100, compared to 71 for evangelical Christians, 67 for Jews, and 66 for Catholics.

In a Bloomberg Politics national poll conducted last month, 32 percent of Republicans said Islamic is “an inherently violent religion” that leads its followers to violence.

“As much as anyone may disagree with his policies (and I do), Trump is not hurting himself with GOP voters with his negativity toward Muslims,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior adviser to 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, on Twitter.

Trump has led nearly every national Republican poll for five months, cruising past 30 percent in some surveys while rivals in the historically crowded field struggle to approach that threshold.

“I think he will still pull about 25 to 30 percent (in the polls),” e-mailed Republican lobbyist and longtime strategist John Feehery. “There’s not a lot of love for Muslims right now,” he added, extending beyond news events including the San Bernardino and Paris attacks to pop culture. “You have the television series Homeland that portrays them all like a bunch of terrorists.”

“While he could lose a little support, the people that are supporting Trump will most likely agree with his viewpoints because they only see the violent actions committed by Islamic jihadists on cable news,” said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean. “These voters are angry at what’s happening in America and most agree with even some of the most outrageous comments he makes.”

FiveThirtyEight’s Ben Casselman and Harry Enten reach much the same conclusion:

2014 Pew Research Center poll asked Americans to rate various religious groups on a 0 to 100 scale, with a higher score indicating more positive feelings. Republicans (including people who lean Republican) gave Muslims a rating of 33, on average — one point lower than atheists and far lower than any other religious group. Democrats had more positive feelings toward Muslims, but were still chilly; they gave Muslims an average rating of 47, slightly above atheists and Mormons and below other religious groups.

Republicans are also more worried than Democrats about Islamic extremism. A separate Pew survey last year found that 82 percent of Republicans were “very concerned” about the rise of Islamic extremism in the world, compared with 60 percent of political independents and 51 percent of Democrats. And Republicans were much more likely than Democrats to report believing that Islam is “more likely to encourage violence among its believers” than other religions.

Trump supporters may have even more negative views of Muslims. According to a Public Religion Research Institute poll conducted earlier this year, 77 percent of Trump supporters believe “the values of Islam are at odds with American values and way of life,” versus 72 percent of other Republicans (43 percent of Democrats said the same). Class and education make a big difference too: Two-thirds of white working-class Americans said Islam was incompatible with American values, compared to about half of white Americans with a college degree.

\
And last night Public Policy Polling shared some early numbers from a North Carolina poll to be released later today that shows that Trump knows his supporters quite well:

So, while Donald Trump is being widely condemned for his bigotry, and rightfully so, the likelihood is that he will end up gaining in the polls and that Republicans will continue to sit back in largely shocked amazement at what their party has turned into.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    Had he said we should block immigration from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq rather than using the word “Muslim” there’d have been far less uproar. And obviously the stuff about not allowing American citizens back in was insane and clearly unconstitutional. But two points:

    1) We have a perfect right to decide who does or does not enter the United States. We always have had that right. And we have applied both religious and ideological filters at times.

    2) I tried to get you people worked up over his actual fascist plan, you know the one that would involve using police forces to round up 11 million undocumented workers, your neighbors, your friends, and you universally trashed me for suggesting it was ethnic cleansing. I was overreacting, I was getting hysterical, blah blah blah.

    So, the actual, genuine, no-questions about it, police state fascism and ethnic cleansing plan that would have torn families apart, the one he’s been talking about for months, you pooh-pooh, only to freak out on behalf of foreigners.

    If I were a Mexican I’d be wondering WTF.

    Kick in doors, drag children away from their parents and their friends and their schools? Well, yeah, that’d be kinda bad, Michael, but you’re a moron for calling it ethnic cleansing.

    But reject a visa application from a foreigner? My God, apocalypse!

    11 million people evicted forcibly, vs. a handful of people told they can’t come to America. Panic in the streets! Good grief.

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  2. C. Clavin says:

    Republicans will continue to sit back in largely shocked amazement at what their party has turned into.

    Heavens to Mergatroid…Republicans didn’t just all of a sudden become xenophobic. But before it was whispered…you used code words. 47%. Welfare. States Rights. Inner City. Sharia Law. Hard Work. Dad’s are important. Job Creators.
    Now…Trump is out and he is letting the Republican freak flag fly.
    I don’t believe it has turned into anything…I truly believe that all we are seeing is the scab pulled off. What the Republican Party establishment is truly afraid of is the rest of the world finally realizing what the Republican party is and always has been all about.
    Will this level of bigotry and racism fly in the general election? We are going to see…because the Trump and the rest of the Republican candidates have maneuvered themselves so far out there that they will never be able to pivot back and maintain any credibility whatsoever..

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  3. Dave Schuler says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And we have applied both religious and ideological filters at times.

    We apply religious and ethnic filters right now. It’s required by present law. How else would refugee or asylum visas work?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    Ooops…I forgot thug. Robert Dear, a white man armed with duffel bags full of guns who killed three people in a domestic terrorist attack, is a troubled man with mental illness. Trayvon Martin, a black kid armed with skittles, is a thug.
    No Doug…this is nothing new. stop pretending it is.

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  5. Scott says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Republican party is and always has been all about.

    No, it hasn’t always been about what is happening now. This is the Tea Party which is just the rebadged George Wallace Democrats that Nixon siphoned off. Unfortunately, the republican Party is now under control of the xenophobic, racist right wing that Wallace represented.

    The trouble is, is that the money interests (and evangelicals) are still supporting the Republicans. There is a close analogy to the rise of the working class right wing in 30s Germany. The German oligarchs and the Lutheran Establishment went along with the National Socialist and the rest was history.

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  6. Pch101 says:

    Republicans will continue to sit back in largely shocked amazement at what their party has turned into.

    Trump is merely deploying a less subtle, more internet-friendly version of the Southern Strategy. Nobody should be surprised.

    The rest of the GOP with its feigned outrage isn’t any better, with its immigrant bashing, voter suppression and the rest. The real reasons that the GOP establishment doesn’t like Trump are because of his populist position on free trade and his lack of support of tax cuts for the higher income brackets. Trump’s race rhetoric is largely consistent with the party ethos.

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  7. C. Clavin says:

    @Scott:

    No, it hasn’t always been about what is happening now. This is the Tea Party which is just the rebadged George Wallace Democrats that Nixon siphoned off. Unfortunately, the republican Party is now under control of the xenophobic, racist right wing that Wallace represented.

    And then Reagan ran with his Southern Strategy. Romney ran against the 47%.
    That’s pretty much my life span. All riddled with Republican bigotry. So yes…it has always been about this.

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  8. CSK says:

    Does it alarm anyone that Trump can simply offhandedly rewrite history incorrectly and a huge majority of poll respondents swallow his version of non-events?

    Sixty-two percent now believe that thousands of Muslims celebrated in New Jersey?

    My God.

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  9. C. Clavin says:

    @CSK:

    Does it alarm anyone that Trump can simply offhandedly rewrite history incorrectly and a huge majority of poll respondents swallow his version of non-events?

    Have you never read a JKB, Guarneri, or Jenos comment?

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  10. Modulo Myself says:

    It’s not all racism and fear. The GOP base really wants to believe that when a guy named Abdul crosses the radar of the FBI and it’s discovered that he has been contacting radical imans in Yemen and been posting about jihad they give him a pass. By and large, they are people who feel excluded from the establishment, and instead of grasping why this is, or asking if there is in fact a meaningful establishment and elite, they’ve invented a laughably stupid one to compensate, one which needs just a few simple prods (Muslim = bad, American = good) because they’re such idiots.

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  11. Guarneri says:

    Were all people of faith outraged when Obama mocked them for clinging to their guns and religion?

    Were commenters here outraged?

    You guys were saying something about Depends…….

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  12. Modulo Myself says:

    @Guarneri:

    As per usual, whatever it is you are attempting to convey dwells where the woodbine twineth.

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  13. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I tried to get you people worked up over his actual fascist plan,

    Once again the genius goes unrecognized…

    (Most people were onto Trump’s immigration nonsense without your help. It’s true, they may not have been as full of piss and vinegar as you were, but this does not distinguish you in the way you think it does.)

    So, the actual, genuine, no-questions about it, police state fascism and ethnic cleansing plan that would have torn families apart, the one he’s been talking about for months, you pooh-pooh, only to freak out on behalf of foreigners.

    If I were a Mexican I’d be wondering WTF.

    Are Mexicans not foreigners?

    At any rate, man, it’s hard to see your comment as anything other than “I’m right, and you are all fools –fools I say– for not recognizing it!” There is, though, a little bit of substance that should be addressed:

    Had he said we should block immigration from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq rather than using the word “Muslim” there’d have been far less uproar.

    No. The uproar is not over word choice. It’s about the significant departure from Constitutional values that Trump’s ideas represent.

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  14. al-Ameda says:

    @Guarneri:

    Were all people of faith outraged when Obama mocked them for clinging to their guns and religion?
    Were commenters here outraged?
    You guys were saying something about Depends…….

    But really, how about that Trump!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    If I were a Mexican I’d be wondering WTF.Kick in doors, drag children away from their parents and their friends and their schools? Well, yeah, that’d be kinda bad, Michael, but you’re a moron for calling it ethnic cleansing. But reject a visa application from a foreigner?

    Um, Mexicans are also foreigners when in the US, Michael. If you say, as you did above

    We have a perfect right to decide who does or does not enter the United States.

    then we also have a perfect right to deport anyone who enters the United States in contravention of our laws, right?

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  16. James Pearce says:

    @Guarneri:

    Were all people of faith outraged when Obama mocked them for clinging to their guns and religion?

    If you were a Browns fan, you’d be talking about Lebron James.

    Such a peculiar idea, that everything must be equally outrageous, or nothing is. Where were you, Guarneri, when Sarah Palin was talking about “real Americans?” Where was your outrage?

    Rhetorical question. The answer is who gives a shit.

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  17. Pete S says:

    I think this does hurt him. No, his support won’t drop, his racist moron base is not going to abandon him now. But the ceiling on his support has to be getting cemented into place a little more firmly. What person with any brain cells firing at all could watch the last few months, then after yesterday’s comments say to themselves “I’ve changed my mind, I really do want him to be president.”? Yes the people at his rally yesterday were cheering. But they were already going to vote for him, that’s why they were at the rally.

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  18. cian says:

    I tried to get you people worked up over his actual fascist plan,

    Not sure which is more important to Michael at the moment, the crazy turn the country is taking or proving that we’re all some kind of limp wristed, latte drinking, kale loving lefties. Personally speaking, I’ve been concerned right from the beginning at the direction Trump was taking the republican base, deeper and deeper in the fever swamps, and the bullhorn he used to attack immigrants was the same bullhorn he used to mercilessly traduce the Syrian refugees and the same bullhorn he is now using to endanger the lives of law abiding Muslim citizens of the United Sates. I know many of us parted ways with Michael over his position on the refugees, a reasonable and well-argued position even if I thought it was wrong on every conceivable level, but it seems we are too late, our lack of passionate agreement with his take on things has lost us his respect.

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  19. Pch101 says:

    @cian:

    Not sure which is more important to Michael at the moment, the crazy turn the country is taking or proving that we’re all some kind of limp wristed, latte drinking, kale loving lefties.

    His main agenda is to get you to recognize that he is a brilliant thinker with remarkable foresight. He’s convinced that he is, so why aren’t you?

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  20. grumpy realist says:

    @cian: Yes, I’m still not sure what he’s screaming about. Either he wants the Democratic party to out-crazy the Republican party on this topic because he’s terrified that Trump will otherwise become POTUS, or he really is scared of those brown-skinned furriners from Syria.

    I look at what is going on, look at US history about 110 years ago, and sigh. It’s the SOS all over again, except now with “Muslims” swapped in for “anarchists”

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  21. Modulo Myself says:

    @Pete S:

    If he somehow wins the GOP primary, these Republicans are going to have to make the choice between Trump and Hillary Clinton.

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  22. gVOR08 says:

    @cian: Agree completely except that I don’t think Trump is

    taking the Republican base, deeper and deeper in the fever swamps…

    He found them there.

    Murdoch, Limbaugh, and the thousand other RW radio talkers and writers and weird fringe websites took them there. With the active participation of elected Republicans and the Republican Establishment. There was a spontaneous element, but basically Koch Bros money created the Tea Party.

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  23. Kylopod says:

    an action that is now universally recognized as an egregious violation of the civil liberties of innocent Americans and a national embarrassment.

    “Universally recognized” is a bit of an exaggeration. Fox News’ Michelle Malkin came out with her book In Defense of Internment more than a decade ago. Over the years, I’ve encountered many right-wingers who support this basic position. Trump is hardly the first.

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  24. Pch101 says:

    @Kylopod:

    Fox News’ Michelle Malkin came out with her book In Defense of Internment more than a decade ago. Over the years, I’ve encountered many right-wingers who support this basic position.

    And unfortunately, Korematsu has never been overturned, so one can make a constitutionally valid argument in favor of internment, in spite of what may otherwise appear to be an obvious disregard for the Bill of Rights. (Not that Trump himself is willing or able to offer such an argument.)

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  25. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Trump is related to American values as ISIS is related to Islamic values. Perversion

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  26. michael reynolds says:

    1) Good grief, Republicans are not upset over this. You think Dick Cheney, torturer, is upset over the human rights issues? He’s in bed with the Saudis, always has been, and he is also establishment Republican and they’re desperate to get rid of Trump.

    2) As I’ve been saying for literally years now, yes, the Republican party is increasingly fascistic. It’s not about Trump or Cruz, it’s about the voters. The voters came before Trump. And they arose because a large percentage of Americans are worried that they are losing their country. Losing it to Mexicans and Muslims but mostly losing it to people like me, to gay-friendly atheists. Our collective reaction to those voters has been to ridicule them. We’ve made no real effort to talk to those people, we’ve just pushed them away with our usual insufferable smugness, (and mea culpa on that) and now they’re at Trump rallies. Big surprise. They didn’t die off quite fast enough.

    3) The Right thinks we are at war. The Left does not. ISIS agrees with the Right. The Left has convinced itself that if we just pretend hard enough the war won’t be real. This is magical thinking. It is denial. Meanwhile ISIS is celebrating Paris and San Bernardino and straining their last nerve to find ways to hurt us. But surely if we’re nice enough they’ll stop, right? We just need to be nicer and the bad men will leave us alone. Because that always works.

    So at a time when most Americans think we are at war with ISIS, when most Americans want us to make serious war in return, (just look at the polls) when we have seen ISIS-inspired Muslim-Americans, and ISIS-inspired Muslim immigrants murder people, and when we know ISIS is desperate to hurt us, Democrats are talking about climate change and refugees, and the POTUS is going on TV looking peeved that we dare to question him.

    We (on the Left) look weak and irrelevant. And when we are weak, someone comes along to offer strength. That is the way of the world, immutable. The weak lose to the strong. What’s embarrassing is that we’re losing ground to a phony wanna-be Mussolini. Or is it not yet okay to make that comparison as my right-thinking liberal friends used to tell me just weeks ago? Can we say Mussolini now? Oh, wait, you’ve already jumped ahead to Hitler? Yeah, that’s wrong too, but I’m sure you’ll all accidentally lurch into the truth in a year or so.

    We need to get off the refugees, get off the kumbaya, get off the climate, and act like we are serious about this latest round of Islam vs. The West (a long-running series that started in the 7th and 8th centuries) and then try to find some way to get back to our pathetic but superficially-attractive economic plans. Look at the numbers: there are not enough Hispanic voters to compensate for further erosion in the white working class vote. Trump or more likely Cruz, could actually win. We are in an existential battle for American democracy here. This is serious. This is real. This is dangerous. We’re not going to win with self-congratulatory hashtags and narcissistic platitudes.

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  27. michael reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:

    Explain to me how “Constitutional values” apply to a guy in a Jordanian refugee camp. You do know it’s our constitution, not the world’s, right?

    What’s really at stake here is the special status of religion as something distinct from ideology. We have to respect their crazy religion in order to rationalize our crazy religion. We talk about Islam being a religion of peace because we want to believe the same about Christianity. Because as we sit here on land we stole by murder and the threat of murder, land we have no intention of giving back, it’s self-flattering to talk nonsense about religions of peace.

    Every religion that holds significant territory on the globe today is a religion that came into possession of that territory by slaughter. You want a religion of peace? The Bahai. They actually are a religion of peace. And they control f-ck all.

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  28. Stan says:

    I’m not into demonizing people I disagree with unless I think they’re bigots or apologists for the rich, and Michael Reynolds doesn’t fit into either category. But I do think he’s profoundly mistaken. Alienating America’s Moslem population would be a horrible blunder. It would deprive our security services of sources of information within the Moslem community and it would encourage more attacks like the one in San Bernardino. Enacting panicky measures like the ones Trump is suggesting would be a self-inflicted wound ranking right up there with the second Iraq War. President Obama is too calm and too rational for many people. But I think his approach is the right one, and I hope that the US has enough patience and self-confidence to follow it.

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  29. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    But surely if we’re nice enough they’ll stop, right? We just need to be nicer and the bad men will leave us alone.

    Literally no one on who comments here, or anyone in the US government or the Democratic Party, has advocated “being nice” to Daesh, and to pretend otherwise is stunningly dishonest and/or crazy. Everyone agrees on the need to destroy them, the argument is just about the best and smartest way to do so.

    Once again, you’re scoring stunning victories in your own mind against a horde of mighty strawmen.

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  30. Mikey says:

    @Stan:

    Alienating America’s Moslem population would be a horrible blunder. It would deprive our security services of sources of information within the Moslem community and it would encourage more attacks like the one in San Bernardino. Enacting panicky measures like the ones Trump is suggesting would be a self-inflicted wound ranking right up there with the second Iraq War.

    But it would look like we’re doing something significant and if there’s one thing we’ve learned since 9/11 it’s that looking like we’re doing something is what matters, regardless of the actual effects and consequences. (This message brought to you by the Transportation Security Administration.)

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  31. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    We’ve made no real effort to talk to those people, we’ve just pushed them away with our usual insufferable smugness,

    Yes, we do have a problem recognizing our own insufferable smugness, don’t we….?

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  32. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And when we are weak, someone comes along to offer strength. That is the way of the world, immutable. The weak lose to the strong.

    And that, children, is the story of how Barack Obama lost the 2008 election to John McCain and Sarah Palin…..

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  33. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:

    But surely if we’re nice enough they’ll stop, right? We just need to be nicer and the bad men will leave us alone. Because that always works.

    Jesus Christ, man…you’re starting to sound just like JKB, Jenos, Guarneri, and the like.
    When are you going to tell us you have have an MBA, a la James P?

    The Right thinks we are at war. The Left does not. ISIS agrees with the Right

    That’s because ISIS wants nothing more to be at war with us….a clash of civilizations. It feeds into their apocalypse ideology…which they share with many Republicans. The dumbest thing we can do is to take the bait.
    What is wrong with you? Seriously?

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  34. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: Yes, Michael. I’m absolutely sure that the way for us to defeat the enemy is to do exactly what they want us to do, which is demonize Muslims, call them Evil, and start discriminating against them.

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  35. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The Right thinks we are at war. The Left does not. ISIS agrees with the Right.

    Well, by all means, let’s agree with ISIS, then. That doesn’t at all sound like a stupid or self-defeating thing to do.

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  36. michael reynolds says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Rafer, December 7, 1941:

    Well, by all means, let’s agree with the Japanese, then. That doesn’t sound like a stupid or self-defeating thing to do.

    No, you’re right. The thing to do when someone wants to kill you is pretend that they don’t.

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  37. Pch101 says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    What we have here is a failure to communicate.

    Liberal supporters of the bombing attacks against ISIS see this as a battle against a terrorist group. It’s a military-political conflict that can and should be defined by those terms.

    The right wing populists and neo-conservatives want something much more than that: They want a culture war against the entirety of the Islamic faith, and they aren’t going to stop whining until they get it. A war of bombs isn’t enough for them — they want a war of words because they want a holy war.

    Smart people know that having a 21st century of the Crusades is bad policy because they realize that declaring war on the entire Muslim world will simply cause some of them to respond by defending themselves, making the problem worse. But a lot of folks aren’t very smart.

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  38. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Comparing ISIS to Japan is retarded. And you know it. C’mon, man. Snap out of it.

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  39. WR says:

    @michael reynolds: ” I tried to get you people worked up over his actual fascist plan, you know the one that would involve using police forces to round up 11 million undocumented workers, your neighbors, your friends, and you universally trashed me for suggesting it was ethnic cleansing. I was overreacting, I was getting hysterical, blah blah blah.”

    Have you been living in some alternate universe where you were the only one screaming about Trump’s plan to round up undocumented workers? Because this bears absolutely no relation to reality.

    You are seriously acting like Jenos here. My sincere hope is that the real Michael Reynolds has been off on a book tour and not checking in here, while some right wing troll borrowed his picture and started posting under his name. Or at the very least the real Michael is doing an elaborate bit of trolling to amuse himself. Because this is beyond a shift in politics — this is beginning to look like a psychotic break.

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  40. WR says:

    @michael reynolds: “We’ve made no real effort to talk to those people, we’ve just pushed them away with our usual insufferable smugness, (and mea culpa on that) ”

    And your way of making amends is to push everyone else away with your usual insufferable smugness? Good plan.

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  41. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Well, by all means, let’s agree with the Japanese, then. That doesn’t sound like a stupid or self-defeating thing to do.

    At the time of Pearl Harbor, which was designed to cripple the US Pacific Fleet, the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces had taken all of Korea and half of China, and were on their way to conquering present-day Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea.

    Daesh controls some empty desert.

    Once again, this is not WWII. WWII analogies do not work here. Daesh is not very powerful. It is not capable of conquering half of Asia or Europe. The strategy that worked against an industrial expansionist empire like Japan is not the strategy that will work against a guerrilla / terrorist group.

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  42. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The thing to do when someone wants to kill you is pretend that they don’t.

    Once again you lie: no one here, in the Democratic Party, or in the US government has pretended that Daesh doesn’t want to kill us. (But we recognize that what they want to do and what they can do are very different things).

    Here’s a hint: if you have to lie about your opponents’ position in order to bolster your own, then you’ve got a very weak case.

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  43. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Daesh controls some empty desert.

    Which, IIRC, was Michael’s mantra just about 3 months ago. Now they are the Huns at the Gate, Imperial Japan, and the Mongols rolled into one. And if we don’t treat them at such, our democracy is destroyed.

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  44. MikeSJ says:

    Trump is just expressing the viewpoints of the Red State, Talk Radio crowd. This is normal everyday discourse for them: Muslims blow stuff up and shoot people – They now have enclaves in Europe that are no- go zones for non-Muslim’s – 97.6% want to impose Sharia and kill Christians…

    It’s self evident to a large % of the population that they shouldn’t be allowed into the country. Trump is the only one with the courage to tell the truth…

    See how easy that is? You get 25% of the Republican base and lead in the polls just by saying things like that.

    My concern is what will happen if we have even a couple “small bore” terrorists attacks occur, which are impossible to prevent. Say two Saudi’s with student visa’s go to a mall at Christmas and kill 50 people? Then another Muslim shoots up a school killing 20?

    Fox News would run this 24-7 and every old person in the country would be scared out of their wits. Islamic Jihadists at their front door in 3-2-1…

    The press has utterly abdicated their responsibility in calling out lies and nonsense and the Republican party lost control of their Frankenstein. Trump or Cruz channeling “Il Duce’ could win an election.

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  45. Tillman says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I tried to get you people worked up over his actual fascist plan, you know the one that would involve using police forces to round up 11 million undocumented workers, your neighbors, your friends, and you universally trashed me for suggesting it was ethnic cleansing. I was overreacting, I was getting hysterical, blah blah blah.

    Read it here, folks. Reynolds was “universally trashed” with 30-and-above upvotes on multiple posts for saying Trump was going to ethnically cleanse America. Literally the only people “trashing” him were Pinky (with his glorious hogging of all the downvotes) and myself (with my usual showing).

    @C. Clavin:

    When are you going to tell us you have have an MBA, a la James P?

    He has a high IQ plus a lot of experience. Credentials are for the weak. He has also removed self-imposed lenses of ethics and communitarian values. Again, such things are weakness.

    I don’t really get why people keep protesting. The dude’s obviously correct about everything, I don’t know why you continue to resist the truth.

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  46. Neil Hudelson says:

    @MikeSJ:

    Could win the nomination. I’m still not convinced can win the election. Trump’s antics can chip at segment of working class whites, and can motivate the old/Evangelical/racist segment of his base (so, the Tea Party).

    On the flip side, he’s not chipping away at any of the Democratic coalition (except for working class whites–and they, like all segments, are not monolithic), and most likely motivating Millenials and minority segments. Does an activated racist white working class segment outweigh an activated millenial/minority segment? I have no idea. But I doubt that if it does, it’s by a large margin.

    Trump is a fascist. Three months ago he was at 20 – 25% (going by memory) support of one of the major political parties, and well written articles calling him a fascist started appearing. None of us were panicked because Hillary was beating Trump in head to head polls, the electoral wall still exists, Republicans were busy tearing themselves apart, etc., etc.

    Now Trump is at 30 – 35% support of one of the major political parties and is more overtly fascist, and more well written articles are calling him such. Hillary is still beating him in head to heads, the electoral wall still exists, and Republicans are still tearing themselves apart, only this time more targeting Trump than each other. Very little has changed.

    Of course Trump is worrisome. He should be. He makes us all ashamed as Americans. But Jesus Tapdancing Christ, the sky is not falling.

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  47. Cian says:

    Michael, OK, let’s take a breath here and try and understand each other. The vast majority of commentators here agree, and have done so for a very long time, as long as you have, that the place we, as a country, now find ourselves in is extremely dangerous. What we disagree on his how to deal with this. Your position is that as democrats we are getting our asses whipped because, unlike the republicans, we are conflicted. We recognise the danger the west, not just America, faces in the war against ISIS, a death cult that wants everyone, including Muslims, to either submit to their law or die. Against this we also understand that one of the ways they intent to win is to have us abandon our values, jettison the laws we hold dearest, thus proving that they were nothing to start with. To you, this dilemma is poppycock, elitist self indulgence. The war is not our way of life vs theirs, the real war, you seem to be saying, is between ourselves and who is prepared to do the dirty but necessary work a small number of white US citizens deem essential to defeating the enemy, an enemy that includes, for Trump supporters anyway, anyone not like them. aBandoning Syrian refugees to their faith at the hands of ISIS just makes no sense strategically or morally; following the republicans down the path of endangering the lives of American citizens who happen to be Muslim will not make Demorcrats more electable. aSk any general and they’ll tell you, to win, first know your enemy. It’s what ISIS want Michael, it’s how they believe they will win.

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  48. michael reynolds says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    No, Neil, now they have changed tactics and apparently strategy. When the enemy changes you change to meet the new threat. No? Or shall we just keep pretending that Paris and San Bernardino didn’t happen?

    ISIS in situ is not the same as ISIS going international terrorist. One set of problems involves containing a threat to Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. The other set of problems involves basically a new iteration of Al Qaeda. They are not the same thing, even though we call them both ISIS.

    Every time we get hit, we will be driven further right. Look at Marine LePen and Donald Trump. Ask yourself whether you think anyone in Congress is going to give two sh-ts now whether the NSA starts tapping phones. Ask yourself if we are closer to a major ground war in Syria and Iraq. Ask yourself whether we can get voters to focus on child care and climate change if there’s another, better-executed San Bernardino.

    Every single thing we progressives supposedly care about is in jeopardy. Because no one will listen and no will care about climate change, equal pay for women, gay rights or fairness for undocumented workers if we keep getting hit. Terrorism is the trump card (heh) it can always steal focus.

    Liberals are obsessing over the rights of Muslims in a Turkish or Jordanian camp when the whole country is thinking, war! And when they’re not thinking war they’re thinking economic and cultural malaise.

    America: Terrorists, economic stasis.

    Liberals: Muslim rights, climate change.

    The only reason this isn’t already a disaster for the Left is that we are not in the general election yet. Job One is always, always, always national security. If you add fear of terror to nativism to simmering economic discontent you get brown shirts. Have you not noticed that those bad, bad Americans who don’t worry sufficiently about Muslim rights and climate change all own guns? Do you think you’re going to subdue them with scorn?

    The Left is failing to step up, failing to lead, and as batshit crazy as the Right is, they will profit if we continue to trivialize what are legitimate concerns.

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  49. MikeSJ says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Numerically, via the electoral college there should be no way a Trump beats a Hillary.

    My worry is over what I call the “Ebola Effect”

    That’s the American public soiling themselves in abject fear. Common sense, prudence, a willingness to act based on facts and science goes out the window, replaced by hysteria.

    This is aided by the media and our politicians who fully promote the fear and hysteria. (I haven’t forgotten that George Will stated Ebola was an airborne virus. What a disgusting lying hack)

    I hope I’m wrong about this.

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  50. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Explain to me how “Constitutional values” apply to a guy in a Jordanian refugee camp. You do know it’s our constitution, not the world’s, right?

    Explain to me how the guy in the Jordanian refugee camp came to represent the Muslims of the world. There’s almost 2 billion of them, dude.

    If the policy cannot distinguish between a Jordanian refugee, a telecom executive from Abu Dhabi, a terrorist from Syria, or a surgeon from Malaysia, then what good is it?

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  51. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds:

    No, Neil, now they have changed tactics and apparently strategy. When the enemy changes you change to meet the new threat. No? Or shall we just keep pretending that Paris and San Bernardino didn’t happen?

    Paris and San Bernardino are not changes of anything for IS. If you read what they put out–it’s available online, although I’d recommend not being squeamish since they just love pictures of corpses–you will see several issues ago in their (disturbingly well-done) online magazine Dabiq they talked about doing such operations. And their objective is to elicit the very set of reactions Trump and the GOP are presently advocating.

    We ALL AGREE on the problem. Nobody is saying “treat them nice.” Nobody is advocating singing songs around the campfire and passing little cups of tea. We ALL know the bastards have to die. Disagreement on the means and methods is not synonymous with advocating inaction. Choosing the well-thought-out long-term complex solution over the flashy, immediate, simple blunder is not a failure to lead.

    It can take time for Americans to realize the value of the better solution but we generally do. All is not lost and I think a few months from now you’ll see a different picture.

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  52. michael reynolds says:

    @Cian:

    I am going to scream if I hear one more stupid repetition of “this is what ISIS wants.”

    Yeah, it is. They want a war. Like the South wanted a war at Ft. Sumter and Japan wanted a war at Pearl Harbor and Germany wanted a war when they rolled into Poland and the Mongols wanted a war and the Huns wanted a war and the Moors wanted a war, ad infinitum.

    That’s the thing about wars: it only takes one side to start them.

    This is not kindergarten. These are not toddlers throwing a tantrum and they’ll stop if we ignore them. (Which also doesn’t work on toddlers.) And your great solution is, what? Let them keep murdering us? Convince them that we’re sweethearts who don’t deserve to be killed because look how nice we are about importing more potential terrorists?

    You people are idiots. I mean, really. Idiots. Have any of you ever even been in a fistfight? How did it work out for you when you just pretended you weren’t being punched?

    No, really, I really, really want one of you wimps good people to explain to me how you have dealt in the past with actual threats of real violence against you or your family. Because I’m guessing 90% have never been in the same room as a real threat of serious violence, so this is all make believe for you.

    No war, no restrictions on refugees or immigrants from dangerous places, no surveillance. Nothing.

    We are the Folk Song Army.
    Everyone of us cares.
    We all hate poverty, war, and injustice,
    Unlike the rest of you squares.

    If you feel dissatisfaction,
    Strum your frustrations away.
    Some people may prefer action,
    But give me a folk song any old day.

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  53. BrooklynDave says:

    @michael reynolds: You keep saying we’re at war. Well, we can take them out anytime we want if we use ground troops. Is that what you are proposing? If so, then what government do you suggest replacing them with? I mean the governments we set up in Afghanistan and Iraq have worked so well. Are you proposing bombing them? We’re doing that already so maybe you want more and bigger bombing? Just what military action do you want in this war you keep talking about.

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  54. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds:

    No, really, I really, really want one of you wimps good people to explain to me how you have dealt in the past with actual threats of real violence against you or your family.

    I’ve been in combat. Does that count? I mean, my family wasn’t there, it was just me and the guys in my unit. And the enemy, of course, can’t have combat without those assholes.

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  55. David M says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You disliking the fact that an over-reaction can only help ISIS doesn’t mean it’s not true. It just means the situation is more complicated than you would like it to be, and the solutions are more difficult.

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  56. Neil Hudelson says:

    Because I’m guessing 90% have never been in the same room as a real threat of serious violence, so this is all make believe for you.

    When two 13’s tried to rape one of my canvassers when we were on the south side of Houston, my manager and I had to beat them down. Ex-boxer, that manager. Could’ve gone pro if a car wreck didn’t f*ck up his spine. Always taught me that the guy yelling about how tough he is will be the first one to piss his pants in a fight.

    Anyway, I believe you were calling us all wimps. Please continue.

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  57. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Because no one will listen and no will care about climate change, equal pay for women, gay rights or fairness for undocumented workers if we keep getting hit.

    No, YOU won’t. Not everyone is as panicky as you. Many people are actually able to perform rational risk analysis. Gay people and their friends and relatives will still demand their rights, women will still want to get paid the same money for the same work, illegal aliens will still find themselves in the same position. People will still go on living their lives.

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  58. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I am going to scream if I hear one more stupid repetition of “this is what ISIS wants.”

    Scream away, buddy. Scream away.

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  59. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Because I’m guessing 90% have never been in the same room as a real threat of serious violence, so this is all make believe for you.

    Piffle. Been in IRA bombings in London, had an assault rifle put to my face in Belfast, had kidnap threats issued against me in Latin America and had to travel with an armed bodyguard, had a knife pulled on me in Indonesia, went to Somalia, taught martial arts for years, and for certain have been in more street fights than you.

    And yet again, I’m not running around hysterical. Only you are.

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  60. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You people are idiots. I mean, really. Idiots.

    Dude, just stop already.

    We get it. You’re where David Mamet was in 08: A liberal taking a right-ward turn, and kind of being a dick about it.

    These are not toddlers throwing a tantrum and they’ll stop if we ignore them. (Which also doesn’t work on toddlers.)

    Would it work on you, I wonder? The constant name-calling is getting really #@%$^ old.

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  61. Cian says:

    Michael, I guess when you say “you people are idiots” you are referring to me, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong, but I’m still not clear about what it is you are proposing other than, you know, useless stuff, like going after American citizens and banning refugees from countries where bad shit is happening to Muslims (sorry, I’m not sure what your position is, if you have one, on Cristian’s entering from countries where bad shit is happening to Muslims). I do know we are at war, like everyone else here, and that it will be a long one, and will be fought on many different battlefields, one of which is on the battlefield of ideas. France understands this, as does the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Norway, Denmark, and all the other Western European countries, which is why all are refusing to roll back on their commitments to take in Sryian refugees despite many of their citizens strongly disagreeing with them. It’s bad strategy, it’s counter productive. It hands the enemy a victory. Idiots.

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  62. JohnMcC says:

    @BrooklynDave: I will also accept that honor. And in my early teens was a fist-fightin’ terror at school bus stops. Have also seen the results of B52’s dropping tons of ordinance; I don’t know if that’s ‘carpet bombing’ but it leaves a lot of overturned soil.

    Nothing I experienced above seems to me to have a single connection to wise policy regarding Daesh or Putin or NATO or terrorism or anything we are attempting to discuss here. Any connection exists only in the lizard-brain of people who don’t realize that the war you fight today is likely to be the cause of the war you fight tomorrow. And conversely the war you avoid (or avoid maximizing) today is one you will not be waging 10 years hence.

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  63. Tony W says:

    @michael reynolds: Michael – you are correct. The Left is focused on the wrong things.

    I actually don’t think it will cost the Democrats the election – but I also don’t think that matters much. The war is bigger than a silly presidential election. As you mentioned above, it’s been going on for 1200+ years. These people have long memories, do you remember GHW Bush’s vague mention of the crusades? ISIS does.

    I am going to be in the minority here, but as a proud liberal I agree with Michael that we need to show that we have security and muscle and weaponry *and* compassion. And we need to show that compassion matters.

    Compassion is an area where liberals have a wedge opportunity with evangelicals and other religious folks. If we can show that both sides are tough and will take the war to the enemy, but only the Democrats are compassionate and care about the working class (vs. the 1%-focused Republicans) that’s a compelling story that can win elections.

    Obama is an amazing strategist, one of the best speech writers we’ve had as President and he is also a terrible communicator. He does not get angry enough (and I know what would happen if he did – he’s in a tough spot). We’ve allowed the Karl Rove Republicans to control the conversation for too long, it’s time for Democrats to grow a pair and get out there with anger and passion and our own flavor of Nationalism.

    People want to be on the winning team.

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  64. Lounsbury says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Amusing your pretensious ranting at the others.

    Primo, you pretty much show f-all as actual understanding of my lovely region of focus (I seem to recall you had DAESH rolling into KSA mere months ago in your last chicken little iteration).

    Secundo, yes DEASH ex-Syria and Iraq is simply rebranded al-Qaeda factions and new hangers-on, only with less organizational discipline and more adolescent vim & vigour.

    This is, in fact, less of a real problem than a slow state-building DAESH of 2014-early 2015. As the more disciplined al-Qaeda trajectory has already shown.

    Blithering on about being at war really is nothing more than empty ranting – and the usual ridiculous American analogies to WWII (really you people need to stop fetishizing WWII as your lens-of-analysis. Bad as the Putin faction Russians) – well it really only shows someone in full out freak-out mode.

    DAESH is a policing issue on the order of Al-Qaeda c. 2000. It can hurt, but it can not succeed. Not really substantively different than the hard-Left anarcho-Lefty/Bolshy terror movements in Europe in the 1970s, only a bit more bloody minded and enabled rather more by technology.

    Going on about being at war really is only playing their game the way they want to play, rather than playing the intelligence and security / policing operation that is really needed.

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  65. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Lounsbury:

    Great words

    ..but have you been in a fight?

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  66. Rafer Janders says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    ..but have you been in a fight?

    The more blunt force head trauma you’ve endured, the clearer you think. Stands to reason.

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  67. C. Clavin says:

    @Lounsbury:
    THIS.
    Remember back in the days after 9.11 Cheney openly ridiculed the “policing” approach and, obviously, argued for full on invasion and occupation…which he predicted would only cost $1.95 and be over before lunch.
    13 years later we should finally understand that this is primarily a policing operation. Only policing would have stopped Paris, not carpet bombing Syria. And nothing would have stopped the self-radicalized jihadist wannabes in California or Robert Dear. Well…doing away with religion would go a long way towards that…but is probably a non-starter.
    There are basically two choices in this: either we go to “war”, as Republicans and MR would have us do, which could very well fail (see: Russia/Afghanistan circa 1980’s) and would most likely backfire catastrophically (see: Iraq circa 2000’s) or we can do the smart thing and do our best to manage and minimize the threat through policing…knowing that some number of attacks, whether from ISIS or white evangelical christians, are inevitable in today’s world.

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  68. James Pearce says:

    @Tony W:

    I am going to be in the minority here, but as a proud liberal I agree with Michael that we need to show that we have security and muscle and weaponry *and* compassion.

    Tony, no offense, but that’s not the argument Michael has been making.

    His argument, in a nutshell: I’m right, you’re wrong, oh, and by the way, you’re all idiots. (The first bit is a paraphrase. The second bit is a direct quote.)

    We’ve allowed the Karl Rove Republicans to control the conversation for too long, it’s time for Democrats to grow a pair and get out there with anger and passion and our own flavor of Nationalism.

    Sure, but me….rather than these vague, immeasurable steps, I’d rather if Congress just gave the president the AUMF he’s been asking for.

    Then we can do this right. Who on Fox News is calling for that ? No one. They’re too busy calling the president a pussy.

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  69. michael reynolds says:

    @Lounsbury:

    One uses the analogies one expects the audience to understand. Americans know nothing about history. In fact they know nothing about WW2, but they think they do, so that’s why you see the analogy. We have a short history, and we have never really been to war in the sense that Europeans (Or Chinese, Japanese, etc…) know it, with the possible exception of the Civil War, about which Americans know still less while imagining that they know more.

    I am not remotely panicked. As I’ve said before, the cigar in my mouth is more likely to kill me than a terrorist. This summer I’ll be in France, Belgium and Germany, with my family, which I’d be rather unlikely to do if I were in full panic.

    In fact, I’ll be in a France currently surveilling its Muslim citizens and closing mosques; a Belgium that put their whole country on lockdown for the better part of a week while they kicked down doors in Muslim neighborhoods; and I’ll be in Germany which has just decided this sh-t is serious enough that they will get militarily involved, albeit in a support role.

    But thanks for regurgitating the same idiot talking point I’ve already heard a million times.

    You are by the way a businessman with a profit motive in all this, no? And you’re careful not to offend your middle-eastern hosts, I’ve noticed.

    By the way, how many Syrian refugees has Saudi Arabia taken in? How about the Emirates? Egypt? Not their problem, I guess, Europe’s problem and ours.

    Going on about being at war really is only playing their game the way they want to play, rather than playing the intelligence and security / policing operation that is really needed.

    1) Our intelligence is crap, always has been. We spent billions building an intelligence industry whose main function for decades was staring hard at the Soviet Union. Staring right at ’em. . . and missed the collapse entirely. The same intelligence agencies missed 9-11, 7-7, Paris and San Bernardino. So spare me the CIA’s protection. (A protection which my liberal friends have been desperate to weaken until, . . . oops.)

    2) As for policing, how, pray tell, are we to police what happened in San Bernardino? Lay out your three point plan for “policing” radicalized domestic Muslims. Make sure it’s Constitutional.

    3) And as for playing it their way, you’ve never read Uncle Remus, have you? People claim to want total war until they actually get total war. Their taunts rest on an assumption that they’ve seen our worst and survived it. But of course they haven’t seen our worst as you and I both know.

    How about this, Lounsbury. We sit down to dinner some evening and we both order the steak. Before you cut into yours, I take your plate and start to eat your food. Your possible reactions with results:

    a) You ignore me because you think I just want attention. Result: I eat your steak.
    b) You form a coalition of diners to loudly condemn me. I ignore them. Result: I eat your steak.
    c) You decide tit-for-tat, you’ll steal my steak. I stab you in the hand. Result: I eat your steak.
    d) You stab me in the neck, take your steak back, and mine as well. Result: I go hungry, you eat steak.

    My liberal friends like answer “a.” Is that your answer as well?

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  70. michael reynolds says:

    Here’s some non WW2 history, come to think of it. Masada. Beautiful natural fortress, almost impregnable.

    Radical Jews, the Siccari, occupied it and defied Rome. Come on Rome, we dare ya. Come and get us, we got Jehovah!

    The Romans, being Romans, foolishly took the bait and gave the Siccari “what they wanted.” And boy did those Siccari Jews ever teach Rome a lesson. They killed themselves, their people watched Jerusalem be destroyed, and a large number were sold off as slaves, (when not executed) beginning the diaspora that resulted in Jews losing their homeland for 1900 years, give or take. Take that, Rome.

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  71. David M says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You’re not even kind of making sense anymore. It’s Iraq war cheerleader level idiocy. Just like them, you’re demanding we take action against Iraq “not-ISIS”, in order to show how tough we are to al-Qaeda ISIS. Why on earth should anyone take that remotely seriously?

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  72. Tillman says:

    @michael reynolds:

    One uses the analogies one expects the audience to understand.

    So, for enigmatic reasons, you’ve decided to respond to charges by various commenters over nearly a month now questioning your grasp of history by doubling down on the crappy analogies? Instead of, say, displaying your historical erudition when you met resistance?

    Horseshit.

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  73. Kylopod says:

    @Tony W:

    He [Obama] does not get angry enough (and I know what would happen if he did – he’s in a tough spot).

    I’m not sure what you had in mind, but I know what would happen: they’d depict him as an Angry Black Man. Of course the right already does that, but I’ve long felt that one of the keys to why Obama made it to the White House was that he projected a cool, stoic demeanor that cut against stereotypes that the press had about black politicians. I truly believe one of the reasons it took so long for there to be a black president was that the press had a tendency to preemptively write off black candidates as being radicals outside the mainstream. This was a perception that Obama had to work hard to fight against in 2007 and 2008.

    Of course even white politicians face this danger to some degree. It’s part of what did in Howard Dean in 2004–the so-called “Dean Scream” controversy was moronically superficial, but it played into a narrative of Dean as unhinged and radical.

    Republicans have the opposite problem: they benefit from seeming emotional and confrontational, and they typically lose if they’re perceived as overly calm and cool. Think about when the older President Bush got snippy at a reporter in order to combat perceptions of him as a wimp. And you can definitely see this at work when you look at the candidates who do well in the GOP primaries and those who simply fade away (Fred Thompson, Tim Pawlenty, etc.).

    So in sum, I don’t think Obama has anything to gain from acting “angry,” and he probably would never have gotten to where he is now with that persona.

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  74. Grewgills says:

    @michael reynolds:

    One uses the analogies one expects the audience to understand. Americans know nothing about history. In fact they know nothing about WW2, but they think they do, so that’s why you see the analogy.

    That’s not your audience here, so you have no excuse for the incredibly weak WWII analogies. You know this. I can only assume you continue to do so because using more apt analogies like Vietnam or better Afghanistan or Iraq don’t support the point you are trying to make.

    I am not remotely panicked.

    You may not personally be panicked, but your prescription is to pander to those who are either panicked or just angry and xenophobic.

    But thanks for regurgitating the same idiot talking point I’ve already heard a million times.

    Yup, everyone here is an idiot except you… and Jenos, and Bill, Guarneri, LeFreak, etc. Y’all are the rational actors and everyone else are dolts.

    As for policing, how, pray tell, are we to police what happened in San Bernardino?

    How does your nuke the ME and bar sunnis from entering the US prevent what happened in San Bernadino or Colorado?

    And as for playing it their way, you’ve never read Uncle Remus, have you?

    The argument about doing what they want doesn’t rest on just doing the opposite of what Daesh wants. The argument is that we need to combat Daesh and their allies in a rational and productive manner. Your prescriptions have not been either rational or productive.
    Nuking cities in the ME will not make us safe.
    A ban on muslim or sunni muslim entry into the US will not make us safe.
    Again, I’ll ask the questions you’ve been studiously avoiding so that you have more time to call anyone who disagrees with you idiots.
    How do you think ending muslim or sunni muslim entry to the US will effect our relationships with allies?
    What effect do you think that policy would have on American muslims?
    What effect do you think your preferred policy would have on radicalizing more muslims both in the US and abroad?

    We sit down to dinner some evening and we both order the steak…

    a) only costs him a steak and he doesn’t have to deal with you again
    b) costs him the steak and gets you 86ed from the restaurant . He can return and eat steak whenever he chooses and you can pound sand.
    c) ends with you in jail
    d) presumably your preferred choice ends with him in prison for attempted murder
    It’s a ridiculous analogy and your choice would be the most idiotic of the bunch.

    You need to take a break and think about all of the implications of the policies you are advocating. Either that or you can repeat your BS analogies again, tell us all about how being a fiction writer means you understand the world and the people in it better than anyone else, and call us all idiots again.
    I know the whole Dunning Kruger is overused, but Jesus, has anyone seen a better example of it?

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  75. Grewgills says:

    @michael reynolds:
    For a professional writer you really are terrible at analogies.

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  76. Bookdragon says:

    @michael reynolds: Faced danger? Does fighting off a rapist count?

    What I did: Nearly broke his neck. Called police. Went back to my regular routine.

    What I didn’t do: Arm myself to the teeth and shoot at any male who came within a foot of me from that day forward.

    I guess by your definition that makes me a wimp since you seem to be advocating that our national strategy should resemble the later.

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  77. Tony W says:

    @Kylopod: You nailed my point. The angry black man is such a vicious stereotype, and the president is keenly aware of his place in history – a place bigger than any policy win he might get by getting angry and showing real passion.

    We need fiery passion and we’re not going to get it from Hillary Clinton.

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  78. Lounsbury says:

    @michael reynolds:
    I am not impressed in any way, really.
    San Bernandino is not different than the past anarchists or other ad hoc terror groups. Policing, intelligence long games, and not Hollywood Action Movie 90 minute resolutions.

    Not new problems, despite your baroque attempts at bad WWII analogies.

    @Tony W:
    Fiery passion is about the worst thing you idiots need, lest you walk further down the path to incompetent failed empires.

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  79. Lit3Bolt says:

    Guys, Michael’s just frustrated about Islamic terrorism.

    He knows we can’t police our way out of this.

    We can’t intelligence our way out of it.

    And deep down, MIchael knows our inept military won’t do any better in Syria even if we mass mobilized and drafted every 18-35 year old man in the country and sent them to the Middle East.

    But there’s one thing he can do!

    Punch hippies.

    God damn flower-chewing, Pentagon-levitating hippies! How dare you not want to kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out?! How dare you not want to make common cause with fascists and sympathize with their viewpoint?! How dare you not demagogue and discriminate against all Sunni Muslims on the planet for the actions of a tiny minority? How dare you point out my solutions are unworkable at best and counter-productive at worst? Don’t you realize we’re at WAR?!?

    And war means killing! Lots of it! We must kill Muslims…lots of them, somewhere! I don’t care if some of them are refugees and/or our allies! Just kill them! Who cares if it creates more terrorists! I want to feel safe NOW, and these stupid hippies are being too calm! Muslims are eating our steaks everywhere, and we’re not stabbing them in the neck fast enough!

    By the way, I don’t see any Aztecs around! The Spanish knew how to burn their ships behind them and FIGHT! All the good soldiers are dead, I say. *puffs chest*

    Look, you kale-munching, Frozen-singing, stereotype-rejecting, logical-thinking, don’t-want-to-get-into-needless-religious-war-with-every-Muslim-on-the-planet swishes! REAL(tm) America wants to feel safe. They want a Daddy Master. If Democrats don’t start being Daddy Masters and start hating Muslims fast enough, America could vote for a Daddy Master! And that would be bad because Muslims will be discriminated against even though I’m calling for the discrimination of Muslims–shut up!! You’re confusing me with your logic!

    As I see it, our options are:

    a) Die.
    b) Die like men!
    c) Something something bad analogy and still die.
    d) Engage in a weird, auto-erotic, action-movie, violent fantasy of always getting your way every single time through excessive violent action with no real world consequences.

    The answer of course is d. But stupid liberals will always choose a, because they care more about wages and healthcare and the environment than TERRORISM, the most defining issue in all of our lives forever, because even though I’m statistically more likely to die choking on my own vomit, needs us to DO SOMETHING! LIke invade the wrong country! Get involved deeper in a Muslim civil war! Anything!

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  80. Lit3Bolt says:

    Guys, Michael’s just frustrated about Islamic terrorism.

    He knows we can’t police our way out of this.

    We can’t intelligence our way out of it.

    And deep down, MIchael knows our inept military won’t do any better in Syria even if we mass mobilized and drafted every 18-35 year old man in the country and sent them to the Middle East.

    But there’s one thing he can do!

    Punch hippies.

    God damn flower-chewing, Pentagon-levitating hippies! How dare you not want to kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out?! How dare you not want to make common cause with fascists and sympathize with their viewpoint?! How dare you not demagogue and discriminate against all Sunni Muslims on the planet for the actions of a tiny minority? How dare you point out my solutions are unworkable at best and counter-productive at worst? Don’t you realize we’re at WAR?!?

    And war means killing! Lots of it! We must kill Muslims…lots of them, somewhere! I don’t care if some of them are refugees and/or our allies! Just kill them! Who cares if it creates more terrorists! I want to feel safe NOW, and these stupid hippies are being too calm! Muslims are eating our steaks everywhere, and we’re not stabbing them in the neck fast enough!

    By the way, I don’t see any Aztecs around! The Spanish knew how to burn their ships behind them and FIGHT! All the good soldiers are dead, I say. *puffs chest*

    Look, you kale-munching, Frozen-singing, stereotype-rejecting, logical-thinking, don’t-want-to-get-into-needless-religious-war-with-every-Muslim-on-the-planet swishes! REAL(tm) America wants to feel safe. They want a Daddy Master. If Democrats don’t start being Daddy Masters and start hating Muslims fast enough, America could vote for a Daddy Master! And that would be bad because Muslims will be discriminated against even though I’m calling for the discrimination of Muslims–shut up!! You’re confusing me with your logic!

    As I see it, our options are:

    a) Die.
    b) Die like men!
    c) Something something bad analogy and still die.
    d) Engage in a weird, auto-erotic, action-movie, violent fantasy of always getting your way every single time through excessive violent action with no real world consequences.

    The answer of course is d. But stupid liberals will always choose a, because they care more about wages and healthcare and the environment than TERRORISM, the most defining issue in all of our lives forever, because even though I’m statistically more likely to die choking on my own vomit, we need to DO SOMETHING! LIke invade the wrong country that caused this in the first place! Get deeply involved in a Muslim civil war! Anything!

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  81. An Interested Party says:

    One of the most interesting things about all of this is how it will affect the GOP…I noticed on NRO’s The Corner that there was a post about Charles Krauthammer talking about how Trump is ridiculous and offensive and most of the commenters reacted to that by trashing Krauthammer and praising Trump…hmm, I’m reminded of this when I think of Trump and the GOP…

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  82. Rafer Janders says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    The answer of course is d. But stupid liberals will always choose a, because they care more about wages and healthcare and the environment than TERRORISM, the most defining issue in all of our lives forever, because even though I’m statistically more likely to die choking on my own vomit, we need to DO SOMETHING! LIke invade the wrong country that caused this in the first place! Get deeply involved in a Muslim civil war! Anything!

    Michael? Michael Reynolds? Is that you, Michael?

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  83. gVOR08 says:

    @An Interested Party: Trump’s followers are bashing Krauthammer? Damn it’s embarrassing to have them do something I agree with.

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  84. Monala says:

    @michael reynolds:

    ou universally trashed me for suggesting it was ethnic cleansing.

    Oh, bullsh*t, Michael. The poeple who trashed you for that were the usual right-wing suspects among the commenters, not the liberals who are now taking you to task for your ideas regarding Muslim refugees and immigrants.

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  85. Monala says:

    @Guarneri: no, because Obama didn’t mock them. He was (albeit clumsily) trying to empathize with them. He was asking how he could help people who felt like they’d been abandoned by elites, whose jobs had been outsourced, and thus felt like all they had left was to cling to guns and religion.

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  86. Monala says:

    @Monala: I went back and looked at some of the old posts. A few of the more liberal commenters thought Michael was exaggerating. But the only person trashing him was Pinky.

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  87. Andre Kenji says:

    It´s easier to win the lottery than to be killed in a terrorist incident.

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  88. Pch101 says:

    It’s funny how paranoia and whining go so well together.

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  89. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I know, it’s actually kind of hard to parody him, he’s so over the top.

    Maybe he’s simply doing a Hitchens-style turn to start fleecing the Islamophobic rubes. It’s a pretty nice sinecure for some writers and “thinkers.”

    Something something Muslims bad. Something something the lily-white West good. Now where’s my paycheck?

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  90. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    By the way, how many Syrian refugees has Saudi Arabia taken in? How about the Emirates? Egypt? Not their problem, I guess, Europe’s problem and ours.

    Um, who’s going to benefit from all the hard work and dedication and patriotism and love for the place that took them in from the Syrian refugees? Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Egypt…or Europe and us? Twenty years from now, when the next groundbreaking company founded by a Syrian immigrant takes its place among the S&P 500, will that company have been founded in Qatar or in Los Angeles?

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  91. Pch101 says:

    Arguing that Saudi Arabia should be used to benchmark US immigration standards is pure comedy. No one could possibly argue with a straight face that a country that lives under sharia law should inspire American policy.

    At this point, I would suggest shipping the Statue of Liberty back to France, except Marine Le Pen and those Front Nationale bastards have no business being within 1,000 miles of it.

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  92. Stonetools says:

    Honestly? I think Michael needs to take a break, rethink and come back. He’s pretty much into “old man yells at clouds” territory now. Is he really asking ” Has anybody here been in a fight?” That’s one step away from arguing “Well my d1cks better than yours, so there”.
    Michael has a tiny point, in saying that liberals must be seen as serious about fighting ISIS. But everything he has suggested is wrong. You don’t seem serious by triangulating with far right, Trump type policies but by actually executing the right strategy and being true to your values. This is what Obama is doing. It may not look exciting enough for conservatives and scared liberals but it is what will work in the long run.

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  93. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Stonetools:

    He sounds like those I know who have fallen off the wagon. Rage, fear, depression, and a newly weakened will. I don’t think (hope) that’s the case here, but his writing has gone off the deep end. MR from early-2015 would’ve torn apart the banal writing and poorly thought out ideas that MR of late-2015 is producing.

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  94. Pinky says:

    Michael’s been sliding downhill for about a year, but you guys didn’t notice it because he was agreeing with you. It’s the same blather, the same caricaturing, the same assertions without support as it’s always been. He’s just dropped one assumption: that everything has steadily improved since 2009. Otherwise, it’s Michael being Michael. He’s never thought things out well; he’s told stories with heroic heroes and nefarious bad guys, all of whose motives he could identify at a glance. Old Michael wouldn’t have torn apart New Michael. If they disagreed on anything, Old Michael would have made ungrounded assertions that agreed with the site’s zeitgeist, and he would have been upvoted.

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  95. WR says:

    @Pinky: Well, it’s nice to see that at least you haven’t changed a bit, Pinky.

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