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Voltaire's Viceroy

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joined 2022 September 05 02:32:36 UTC


User ID: 373


Voltaire's Viceroy

1 follower   follows 1 user   joined 2022 September 05 02:32:36 UTC


No bio...


User ID: 373

Good post. It's crazy to me how disorganized and fragmented France can be sometimes. On the one hand this could be the sign of a healthy democracy, on the other hand this level of fragmentation is part of what led France to being shattered so easily by the Germans in WW2.

Leon Blum that instituted paid leave, the 40h work week and led France into its WW2 capitulation.

Small correction, it was Reynaud that led France at the time of its capitulation.

Control of the executive has swapped between the two parties with nearly metronomic frequency across all of American history. If Republicans don't win in this election then they'd win in the not too distant future, at which point they'll wish they had passed the bill.

I feel like you were arrogant and just need to take the “L” here.

This is a pretty goofy response when I explicitly addressed this scenario before it even happened, and is almost certain to go exactly as I said it would have. This article has some good quotes:

The new policy could also soon be blocked in court. In a court filing in Washington on Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union led a lawsuit with several immigration organizations against the Biden administration seeking to end the executive action.

The lead attorney for the lawsuit, Lee Gelernt, said Biden’s policy is “near identical” to one enacted by Trump that the ACLU was successful in blocking.

“We’re filing this lawsuit because this ban is patently illegal. The Trump administration enacted a near identical asylum ban. We sued over that. We won. We hope to win again,” Gelernt said.

A bill is just a piece of paper but who is going to enforce it? Paper plus Biden without an election hanging off his head was and is worthless. No paper plus Trump solved a lot of the issue. A good bill plus Trump would be amazing.

A bill would at least pave the way for Trump to take tougher action. No bill + Trump was no better than Obama. The chances of Trump actually passing a more stringent bill are quite low (although not zero).

I have no idea if you sincerely hold your beliefs or just fell for the lefts trap.

In the entire previous thread nobody could say how it was a "trap" other than vaguely sneering at their outgroup.

I already addressed this in the post actually. Here's the relevant bit:

The issue with this idea is that even if Biden were to reimplement all of Trump’s executive orders, they still amounted to little more than a bandaid on a bullet hole. Critics of the bill are technically correct in pointing out that there was less blood before Biden ripped off the bandaid, but it’s ludicrous to then assume that the bandaid was all that was ever needed. US immigration law and border enforcement is fundamentally broken in a number of ways, and this bill would have gone a long way in addressing the worst problems. Recall that Trump himself tried to go after asylum laws directly, but his efforts mostly fizzled in the courts.

I doubt Biden will reimplement all the things Trump tried to do with EO's, and even some of the more moderate stuff he does will likely get gummed up in the courts. Better "something" than "nothing", though, I guess. Still, it really would have been better to just pass the dang bill. Even if Biden refused to implement it, it would have cleared the way for Trump to not get his EO's mangled by the courts if he becomes president.

Why is NATO so obsessed with the 2% of GDP figure? Never in human history has a country lost a war to an abstract ratio. They lose to brigades, warships and aircraft.

Army counts and number of warships/aircraft, etc. can all be gamed quite easily. It's harder to game total investment numbers. It can sort of be gamed through inflated pensions qualifying as "military investment", but there's another bit in the NATO records about a certain % being devoted to procurement, which takes care of that. On the issue of overinvestment, the 1% to 1.5% most NATO countries were at prior to the invasion would have been enough to have a basic territorial defense, but it wouldn't have been enough for a serious expeditionary force if Russia tried to do a fait accompli invasion of the Baltics. Germany's military in particular was just in a disastrous state before the war that it would have been more of a liability than an asset.

Given modern satellite surveillance they should be able to foresee a Russian invasion of the Baltics and move forces there to defend them.

We had this yet most people (barring the US government) missed the invasion of Ukraine. Also, there would be a lot of pushback to moving a bunch of troops close to Russia from domestic far right + far left who are obsessed with not "provoking" Russia.

Why does Ukraine fighting Russia advance European interests?

For the same reason that the UK + France guaranteed Poland in 1939. Russia's history has been dominated with a desire to push west as far as possible. Putin has only reaffirmed that.

Trump's underlings lying to him to avoid implementing orders they didn't like is a clear example of insubordination, but the comment I quoted was specifically about the US government lying to the American people.

We can go to two decades if you like, but I don't think it changes much. It became clear within a few years that Bush's claims of Iraqi WMDs were BS. Nothing since really comes close to that.

I'm not sure what parts of the Afghan pullout would be classified as lies. It was handled about as well is it could have been, with 2 exceptions: 1) the Pentagon predicted it would take months for the Afghan government to fall instead of days, and 2) that one suicide bombing that occurred. #1 was pretty clearly not a lie since it's quite hard to gauge peoples' willingness to fight. The Pentagon overestimated it Afghanistan, and then underestimated it in Ukraine a few months later. Putin also misjudged it in that case. It's a tough thing to get right. Importantly, nothing about the big picture in Afghanistan was ever really hidden from the public. Some officials or generals would come out from time to time and make statements claiming "it's getting better, trust us", but anyone could look at the evidence and see it clearly wasn't. The NYT and other news organizations had a slow but steady drumbeat explaining how bad things were.

This is a pretty long, thought out comment. Thank you for engaging.

I'm familiar with Mearsheimer's work. I've argued against the man's perception of "Russia invading Ukraine is entirely the USA's fault" and was exposed by proxy to his stuff on lying.

Conflating "lying" with "spinning" is a big old motte and bailey. When you accuse someone (or an institution) of lying, that's a quite aggressive claim of something that's clearly wrong. Like 1984's "we've always been at war with Eastasia" sort of thing. Bush and Powell lying about Iraqi WMD's was a good example here, as it became clear after the fact that they were pulling stuff out of their asses, and it served as a major part of plunging us into a pointless war. Spinning, by contrast, is something that everyone does all the time. You can accuse the government of spinning facts all you want, and you'd be 100% correct, but you didn't do that, likely because you knew it lacked the same punch as an accusation of "lying".

Your examples given in the last two decades amount to very little. The link on Biden came in the runup to the Ukraine war, when a lot of people thought the US was needlessly saber-rattling by saying Russia would invade. Of course, Russia did invade a few weeks after that article was published. Other than that, it gives an example of a US strike in Afghanistan which it claimed was legitimate until the NYT wrote some articles, and then it said "oh, maybe not". The examples on Trump are likewise lacking. Yeah, he presented himself as a peace president while actively throwing a bit of gasoline on some international fires, but again that's pretty mild. The stuff on Obama is just some spinning of the benefits of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Again, calling it "spin" is fine, but I wouldn't call any of those "lies".

Fair enough.

Hot take: There's a very good chance this ends up mostly as a nothingburger. Trump will of course appeal the decision, kicking any possible imprisonment beyond November. Even then, he might not get actual jail time.

As I've stated several times before, the right won't rise up in some great rebellion over this (or almost anything else).

This is like the mirror inverse of "this will be the end of Trump's campaign, says increasingly nervous man for the seventh time this year".

"Now, this time it's no more mr. nice guy!" Yeah, uh huh. Sure thing.

The only way that would actually work is if the right had a leader who had a clear vision for seizing power and was able to issue clear marching orders. J6 showed Trump really doesn't know what he's doing on that front. He wants something to happen, but he lacks the institutional capacity to do much more than simply lash out at random.

I don't get it is Sachs claiming he was first hand knowledge of this stuff or is he just talking his ass off like all of us here?

You're correct: He's shitposting like anyone on this forum is, yet he has a PhD (in an unrelated discipline) so he gets to act like a public intellectual.

I agree with Sachs general sentiment that the US government has lied to the people far too much with disastrous consequences.

When has the US government lied about foreign policy in the last decade or so? The last major incident I can think of was the runup to the Iraq war, but that was an exception that proves the rule.

Are you just using "lying" here as a stand-in for "position I disagree with" or "unrealistically rosy assessment"?

Are there any estimates from relatively unbiased sources that give a much higher number?

As to whether or not the package is a trap, I can't see any reason the Democrats would support this unless it furthered their objective of increasing migration.

This is your brain on relentless negative partisanship. "The enemy is agreeing with me!?! It must be a trap!!!"

Remember when the Democrats agreed to tough-on-crime policies in the 90s, despite formerly being the party that wanted to lessen crime penalties? Many issues aren't black and white, where one party supports 0 and the other party supports infinity. If both sides support some finite number, with one side's number simply being less than the other side's, then there's no contradiction if the status quo's number is far higher than what both would prefer, that both sides would agree to bring it down. For a more pessimistic take, it's possible that the side supporting a higher amount realizes that the status quo is too high and is thus costing them politically. In other words, they might prefer the status quo if they could have it for free, but they judge that the ongoing cost isn't worthwhile. That's what was going on back in February with the compromise deal. It's how the Democrats got to supporting much more stringent immigration restrictions without supporting any sort of amnesty, which had been a feature of basically every immigration compromise prior.

The resurrected bill could be another attempt by Democrats to defray the costs, or it could simply be grandstanding if they know Republicans will shoot it down again. Then they can say they tried to crack down on the border multiple times but Republicans (Trump) wouldn't let them.

Thank you for being the only person in this thread who actually agrees with me. It's nice to have at least one person who agrees to make sure I'm not going crazy.

I agree with all the points you wrote.

Then why don't you reply to what is written? I still don't think you want to get immigration under control any more than someone in the 'Alt Right'. In fact, considering your second paragraph, bringing up the 'Alt Right' makes very little sense outside of the context of you trying to frame your views in a positive light with regards to "mainstream media morality".

I'm really not sure what you want me to reply to. You bolded the Alt Right for a reason that's not clear to me, then you again accuse me of "framing my views in regards to mainstream media morality". I must not understand what you're meaning here.

Well there's nothing for me to really argue against here, just "I'm right and you're wrong", an ad-hominem, then "landslide for Trump in 2024!"

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

You really seem to want to catch me with supposed double-binds and contradictions instead of actually addressing important points.

If the contradictions are true, then fair enough. Like earlier when you mentioned "hey you say Trump's restrictions didn't do much, but then say that illegal immigration exploded when Biden removed them". I could certainly see why someone would think that was a bit weird so a clarification was justified, and even with that clarification I probably wasn't giving Trump enough credit to what might have happened if he didn't do his EO's.

But this is just a nothingburger. I feel like I'm reading the following: "first you said 'immigration', then fell back to 'illegal immigration'. Aha! A concession! Then you said Trump had bad PR because of saying stuff like 'shithole countries', but he didn't say that in a televised address, meaning it wasn't public, yet PR has the word 'public' in it. A contradiction!"

To the object-level claim here, if Trump says something inflammatory to a group who all then promptly leak it to the press, then yes, that's a PR problem. The two options Trump has are either 1) get his leaky ship in order, or 2) think it but don't say it, or at least say it in ways that aren't so clearly controversial. Every time you hear the media complaining about "dogwhistling", it's just Republicans doing this. But Trump never seem to get the memo, which is why he keeps shooting himself and the cause of immigration restrictions in the foot.

  • -11

The 'Alt Right' hadn't cheered for Trump on immigration since he caved on the Government shutdown in 2018.

You're probably using a more concrete definition of the Alt Right than I am. I'm aware that people like Richard Spencer drifted away from Trump around 2018, but much of the rest of the far right remained loyal to him, including many people who ostensibly wanted to prioritize immigration reform. There's no credible right wing groups that are angry with Trump over his flimsiness on immigration, at least none large enough to be relevant.

I don't think you want to get immigration under control any more than someone in the 'Alt Right'. What you do want is to appear like a concerned and reasonable person as judged by 'the respectable people' representing the mainstream media morality.

Well this is just dead wrong. I absolutely want to crack down on illegal immigration, but even beyond that I want to lower legal immigration as well, which is why I classified the 50K increase per year for 5 years as a "concession", albeit a small one. I reckon many people on the right agree with me on limiting legal immigration, but they know it's highly controversial so they instead pretend they only care about illegal immigration because it's breaking the law or cutting the line. I'm more open with my concerns, in ways that I doubt the "mainstream media morality" would side with.

You are not being honest when you say Trump tanked the bill.

If you're going to accuse me of lying, please don't strawman me. I never claimed there was no opposition to the bill before Trump came out against it. But whatever prospects the bill had, died when he did.

It’s far better to expose the immigration issue and pass a clean bill after the election.

This is just the double-or-nothing idea I mentioned in my post. Throwing away the biggest win on immigration in a generation, and instead banking on winning the Presidency AND the Senate AND the House AND hoping Trump actually cares about the issue enough to pass actual legislation instead of just trying EOs. Surely the last time he had a trifecta and passed no major legislation on immigration was just a fluke, right? Surely he won't be distracted by settling scores and getting revenge on his perceived enemies, right? And even if all that happens, hoping that Trump is tactful enough to actually do a (supposedly) extreme immigration bill without the Democrats freaking out and repealing it the minute they come into power.

Sure, the additional restrictions you mentioned do exist, but remember the priors here. The Border Emergency Authority is a draconian measures meant to be used sparingly for emergencies, not a "you must meet these criteria to even start deporting illegals" that Trump, Gaetz, and others painted it as. You could strip out the entire Border Emergency Authority and it would still be quite a conservative bill, adding funds for normal enforcement and closing the asylum loophole among other beneficial things. The biggest issue with the BEA is that it sunsets after 3 years so it's only really meant to be used for the current surge, but opponents of the bill keep neglecting to mention that since it screws with their narrative that the BEA is a permanent bad thing.

Despite those restrictions, under the current numbers Biden would be required to use the authority. This would have been a win-win for those who want enforcement. Either he uses the authority and gets illegal immigration under control, which would be good, or he wriggles out of using it, providing fodder for Republicans to say we need an even more draconian measure to stop illegal immigration.

The bill was basically a tactical retreat in a losing war.

Surely you mean a tactical victory in a losing war?

The correct play was to put the election on immigration as a major issue and try to get support to change the entire system.

How would not passing the bill come closer to that goal?

I can already see it now:

Trump: Biden has been terrible for the border!

Biden: What do you mean, I tried to fix the border but you wouldn't let me!

The result: Nobody's mind is changed. Then maybe Trump wins, he tries more executive orders, but they keep getting mutilated by the courts as they did in his first term.

PR doesn't end with just public facing statements. For example, if an organization is established to help the poor but all the workers openly hate poor people, that's a PR issue since news organizations or even just the poor people themselves would eventually realize how much the organization loathed them.

And again, Trump's loathing of illegal immigrants has never been a secret by any means.

  • -12

How to square this with something like @gattsuru’s recent post (and follow-up)? He starts from the assumption that Republicans are, in fact, no longer interested in compromise

I agree, they're obviously not interested in compromise, and in some cases it's for good reasons. That said, even if this bill just added the text about amending asylum rules to the official US laws, this bill would have been worth it. Dealing with asylum stuff is something Trump struggled against for his entire presidency, and he kept failing due to the courts ruling that EO's couldn't override rules of Congress. Had this bill passed, then at least any EO's Trump would enact in his next potential administration would carry much more weight.

When you add in the rest of the bill and compare it to the paltry concessions given to Democrats, the choice to pass it should have been obvious even if the Democrats tried to stonewall it in some (or many) ways.

I suspect that relying on Trump’s branding is a strategic blunder. No, it’s relying on one man in general.

Couldn't agree more. Candidates should be avatars of the people to enact desired policies. Trump was plausibly this sort of person in 2016 which is why I voted for him then, but he's since proven that he's really not up to the task. The Republican base should have dumped him for Desantis or some other candidate in the 2020 primary. Sure, all candidates have problems, but if they didn't do what was wanted then they should have been dumped too, and the base should have kept dumping candidates until somebody actually enacted policies. Instead, the Republican party has effectively turned into a cult of personality since many Republicans' only barometer of candidate quality is "how much he makes leftists seethe".

I think the Trump strategy is to gamble everything on a big win in the upcoming elections.

I addressed this in my paragraph before the last section. Not only does Trump need to win, he'd almost certainly need a trifecta. The odds of this are somewhere between 20-50% based on prediction markets, and any bill they'd be able to clinch would likely only be 10-20% more conservative in the best plausible outcomes. Then, it'd have to pass the final hurdle of Trump actually caring enough to do it. He didn't accomplish any major legislation on the issue even when he had a trifecta and instead focused on other priorities and only did EO's on immigration.

In terms of getting an enduring compromise, it'd almost certainly be easier if they started with this bill, and then just extended it, possibly adding to it slightly if possible. "Hey, remember that bipartisan immigration bill that fixed the border crisis? Let's just extend that" is a pretty easy sell. Even if Trump gets his trifecta and wanted to pass immigration reform, if history is any guide then Trump would screw it up in the long term by doing something like calling it the Subhuman Infestation Removal Act, Democrats would freak out, and they'd revoke it the next time they're in power.

You call his decision self-serving, but from a game theory perspective that's the whole point.

Sure, I understand why Trump is doing it. What I don't like is that the Republican base is just going along with it. They're so enamored with Trump's vibes that they're willing to sacrifice easy, concrete policy wins.