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Utopia Talk / Politics / Be Alarmed
Wed Nov 11 11:53:16

Be Alarmed

Things are probably going to work out okay. But complacency in the defense of democracy is not a virtue.

by William Kristol
November 9, 2020
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I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is, even now, something of ill-omen amongst us.

— Abraham Lincoln, Lyceum Address, January 27, 1838


I know, I know. Donald Trump is a petulant child, and congressional Republicans are just humoring him. The Four Seasons Total Landscaping fiasco is an appropriate symbol of his shambolic efforts to contest the election results. The firing of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is a spiteful but basically insignificant gesture on the president’s way out the door.

And Donald Trump can’t steal the election. He’d have to convince state or federal courts of ridiculous arguments. He’d have to flip not one, but three states. And state legislative leaders have shown no interest in the faux-originalist argument that they can ignore the voters of their states (and the laws of their states) and appoint their own slate of electors.

So it’s all annoying; it’s even reprehensible. But it’s not really threatening.

I think that view is probably correct.



But what if the demagoguery about election fraud and the sophistry about the prerogatives of state legislatures is repeated over and over for four weeks by Trump and his surrogates, and isn’t refuted by many, if any, prominent conservatives and Republicans?

And what do we make of Mitch McConnell refusing to acknowledge the election results today? And of the two Georgia Republican senators attacking their (Republican) secretary of state, with no basis in fact? And of the Republican governor of Georgia echoing those attacks? And of Attorney General Bill Barr announcing a Justice Department willingness to investigate if there are “allegations” (even, apparently, if no evidence) of election irregularities?

Are we 100 percent certain this doesn’t soften the ground enough so that what seems almost unthinkable now becomes thinkable? Are we 100 percent certain the state legislature in, say, Georgia, won’t start considering things that now seem outside the realm of the possible? And if the unthinkable actually happens in Georgia, are we certain that it could not then happen in Wisconsin? And Pennsylvania?


And are we 100 percent certain that the firing of Defense Secretary Esper is just a matter of spite?

Esper is most notable for having come out and said that the military would not intervene in domestic affairs at the behest of the president. Perhaps the new acting secretary of defense might take a different view.

And maybe there will be more firings. Perhaps CIA Director Gina Haspel and FBI Director Chris Wray will be pushed out.

You could talk yourself around to dismissing such moves, too. You could tell yourself they wouldn’t really mean much.

But is it totally outside the realm of the possible that, with more compliant figures in charge of these parts of the government, “information” might be revealed or plots “discovered” that help legitimize not allowing the process to move forward to an Electoral College vote that would yield power to Joe Biden?

It’s probably outside the realm of the possible. Probably 99 percent outside.

But not 100 percent.

If none of this happens—and again, it’s likely not to—those of us who are willing to entertain such concerns will be mocked for alarmism.

Fine. No one will be happier than me if this all proves a false alarm. If it’s just the Keystone Trumps firing up the base and causing mayhem on their way to launching Trump TV—great.

But we need not stand around speculating about alarms and alarm systems. We have agency. If prominent Republicans and influential conservatives take the threat seriously, and speak and act against it, they can harden our institutional and civic defenses against any such threat.

A little alarmism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

Complacency in the defense of democracy is no virtue.
renzo marQuez
Wed Nov 11 12:00:26
Member Wed Nov 11 11:53:16
"by William Kristol"

LOL. I am alarmed that retards are still reading articles from Iraq war cheerleader Bill Kristol in the current year. Wow just wow. I can't even.
Wed Nov 11 12:01:45
I immediately took note of " William" and disregarded it.
Average Ameriacn
Wed Nov 11 12:03:56
Hu? You favored Saddam?
Wed Nov 11 12:06:09
Imagine being a former tweaker who feels justified in dismissing other people based on their past.

The lack of self-awareness is stunning.

It's also OT, however.
the wanderer
Wed Nov 11 12:30:14
i agree w/ OP

although the 1% chance of disaster isn't the only concern

the other 99% chance still leads to a horde of cultists convinced the election stolen & everything aspect of gov't corrupt (as Trump still amongst all this tweeting about 'they spied on my campaign' & wanting arrests there)

& that will continue into future elections even w/o Trump yelling mass fraud (although he probably still will be)

(this scenario is -completely- unlike w/ Hillary, for habebe, not that he will see it)

so all the R's allegedly just humoring him are helping destroy the nation... good work, assholes
the wanderer
Wed Nov 11 12:31:47
...also, the alleged humoring is increasing it well beyond 1% in my opinion
Wed Nov 11 12:54:29
Imagine thunking that taking drugs that probably 1/3 of college students have makes you a "tweaker"

And that because someone got high or gets high even disregards them from rational thought.

Weed? used to love it.
Shrooms? favorite
Adderall/Speed- its been a few years except for a couple 10mgs a few months ago, but in moderation still good.
the wanderer
Wed Nov 11 12:57:15
aren't you an admitted thief too?
Wed Nov 11 13:05:03
"Esper is most notable for having come out and said that the military would not intervene in domestic affairs at the behest of the president. Perhaps the new acting secretary of defense might take a different view."

Regardless of potential ulterior motive, this is worthy of demanding a resignation.
Wed Nov 11 13:07:44
Thief? I've mever stolen from people. Have I on occasion had fun with self checkout? perhaps.

But its not like I was running around robbing people to go shoot dope.
the wanderer
Wed Nov 11 13:11:15
Esper was against employing the Insurrection Act

so maybe Trump will get another chance w/ it to put down Biden/America supporters when he seizes power
Wed Nov 11 13:15:26
Im still betting on scorched earth. Make Bidens job as difficult as possible.

HRC had a scorched earth policy to Trump. The difference is that she conceded early, other than that she has actively pursued Trump and his administration with constant attacks, some valid, some not. Pretty much throw it all at the wall and see what sticks.

Biden should get to appoint at least 1 if not 2 SC justices. Now without the Senate as D they will have to compromise though.
renzo marQuez
Wed Nov 11 13:45:35

It's happening.
Wed Nov 11 14:16:21

It doesn't matter how stupid Trump is. What matters is how cowardly the people around him are, and whether the people with the guns follow his orders or not.
renzo marQuez
Wed Nov 11 14:17:24
murder, the people with guns are standing back and standing by.
Wed Nov 11 14:24:46

I'm not talking about the white nationalists.
Wed Nov 11 15:28:26
Lol. William krystol unapologetically caused a few thousand american deaths. Caused 10s of thousands of American wounded. More Iraqi deaths. And tw backs him because now he is saying what tw wants to hear.

Facists are everyone you disagree with, right tw?
the wanderer
Wed Nov 11 16:11:46
i read the words & considered them
Wed Nov 11 16:27:55
"Esper was against employing the Insurrection Act"

Good for him. E-3's are against daily PT.

Follow the chain of command. If it becomes an issue then deal with it.

Discussing hypotheticals to cater to a biased media and throw your superior under the bus is a good way to find a new job.
the wanderer
Wed Nov 11 16:39:20
in what way did he throw Trump under the bus?

Trump isn't shy about his desire to crush dissenters under the military's boot

(& Trump belongs under buses... & also not in any chains of command)
Wed Nov 11 18:57:41
Preemptively stating a hypothetical response to his superior, to the media; he knew how it would be taken.

No other individual in the DoD would be dumb enough to do that.
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