DeMarco: McKissick Puts Party Over Country

The Op-Ed Page

Drew McKissick

By Paul V. DeMarco
Guest Columnist

I appreciate Drew McKissick, the Chair of the South Carolina Republican Party, responding to my Florence Morning News column of May 25thDemocrats, Let’s Elect Tom Rice” with one in the June 3rd edition entitled “Democrats, stay out of GOP primary.”

I’ve been writing monthly columns for not quite a year now. After they are published I email them out to a small group of friends under the heading “Civil Discourse.” Here’s my first chance to practice what I preach with a prominent Republican.

Before we get to what is contained in McKissick’s response, let’s discuss what’s not there: no insinuation that I’m evil, crazy, deluded, or that I hate America and want to destroy it. He provides reasonable arguments why his position is better than mine. The tone is a little snarky here and there, but in my book, McKissick gets an “A” for the form of his rebuttal.

Now to the substance, which I wholeheartedly dispute. The core of his argument is “Why should a lifelong and current Democrat have the opportunity to meddle in another party’s candidate selection process and encourage others to do so as well? In short, he shouldn’t.”

First of all, I would never describe myself as a “lifelong Democrat.” I have always been suspicious of political parties (as were some of the Founding Fathers) and more today than ever. Since I doubt parties will disappear, my solution is to encourage more of them. Third parties have had a rough go in American politics, but I am following Andrew Yang’s latest attempt, the Freedom Party, with some interest.

Second, he assumes that party affiliation is like binary computer coding, 0 = Republican, 1 = Democrat. In his view, voters are either with you or against you and should be completely impervious to the ideas of the other party. While that may work in the virtual world, in the real world, few people agree completely with either party’s platform. Most of us have some beliefs that align with each party and vote based on which of those beliefs are most important to us at the time of the election. A gun owner who believes assault weapons should be banned might support Biden; a pro-choice voter who wants stricter border controls might support Trump.

McKissick assumes that because I generally vote for Democrats I must wish his party ill. He is mistaken. I want both parties to be strong. I reject the extremism of both sides, as do most of my fellow countrymen and women. That McKissick can’t fathom the idea that I might want what’s best for his party is revealing.

It is, of course, true that some voters play politics as a team sport. These voters choose a candidate simply because of the “R” or “D” behind the name. But there are many independent-minded voters who reject that way of thinking.

My goal is to highlight to my Republican friends that Trump is dangerous and anti-democratic. His advocacy of overturning an election involving 155 million votes by subterfuge and violence is the closest America has ever come to authoritarian rule. Trump is exactly the kind of demagogue of whom our Founding Fathers were afraid. In George Washington’s Farewell Address, he warned against the rise of “cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men” who “subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards” democracy itself.

Another disturbing part of McKissick’s argument is that he is so willing to reject my participation in the primary. What makes someone a Republican? Fealty to Trump? Devotion to the platform? How does he know that any of the voters on June 14th meet his litmus test? Republicans have struggled for decades to expand the tent. They have no luxury to pick and choose.

His desire to have a closed primary has some historical precedent. Up until 1948, the Democratic party, then the party of white conservatives, had an all-white primary. After the US Supreme Court struck down segregated primaries in 1944, the South Carolina Legislature revolted. Rather than accept the ruling, it abolished all state statutes related to the party in an effort to claim it was a “private club,” a gambit that was also rejected by the courts. McKissick seems interested in a return to those days when only certain people were allowed to vote in a primary.

McKissick is paid to be a partisan. Therefore, he advocates for party over country. I don’t get a paycheck from either political party. My highest obligation as a citizen is to vote, one I never shirk. This election I am heeding Washington’s admonition, also from his Farewell Address, that political parties “gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.”

Tom Rice understands history and the threat Trump and his ilk pose. He recognizes that sometimes parties can be antithetical to democracy and was not afraid to vote for his country over his party. We must keep men and women like him in Congress.

McKissick is a savvy professional political operative. But he lets his guard down in his concluding remark “So, to our liberal friends we say, “Keep out.”

Telling people they are forbidden to do something they have every right to do only increases the chance they will do it. So thank you, Mr. McKissick. Your southern inhospitality may be the thing that gets Tom Rice elected.

Paul DeMarco is a physician who resides in Marion, SC. Reach him at

82 thoughts on “DeMarco: McKissick Puts Party Over Country

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    I appreciate this addendum to your previous piece, Paul.

    Of course, this is the kind of nonsense one tends to get from party people.

    Worse, the Republicans have this mock “referendum” on their primary ballots: “Should people have the right to register with the political party of their choice when they register to vote?”

    Which is another reason to choose a GOP ballot on June 14, so you can vote against closed primaries. It’s interesting, though. It’s worded in a way to encourage people to vote to keep primaries open. Huh.

    Finally, why did you send me a picture of Ricky Gervais with this post? Are you sure that’s Drew McKissick?…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oops. I misread that.

      That’s about party registration, not primaries. (I read it as though it said, “Should people have the right to choose the primary ballot of the political party of their choice when they vote?” But it didn’t say that. “Register” should have been a clue. “when they register to vote” should have been a bigger one…)

      Of course, the object is the same — to try to force people into ones-and-zeroes boxes, or bar them from voting…

      Here’s a column from Cindi on the subject. She reads things more carefully than I do. But then, she still gets paid to do so…

  2. bud

    Paul, I greatly respect your point of view but your appeal to a strong Republican Party is, to say it mildly, problematic. It’s as though you wrote this in 1992. Brad also talks about the 1s and 0s problem. Which is a good argument for many, many issues faced by our country. But the CURRENT version of the GOP really is a zero. It has no redeeming qualities. None. We do need a strong 2 (or more) party system but that cannot include a dangerous, reckless party. Granted the Democratic Party is not a “one” to be regarded as perfect in every sense. But they are all we have. If we don’t get a handle on the party of Trump, and that is what the GOP is now, the we risk losing our Democracy and way of life as we know it. Nobody wants a return to the relative normality of the 90s anymore than me. A time when George Bush sr quit the NRA. Or we were arguing over the capital gains tax or how large our naval fleet should be. Or a hundred other issues. Heck I even sided with the Republicans at times; free trade for instance. But today we can’t pretend the GOP is somehow a responsible party. They’re actively plotting to steal the next election. So vote for Tom Rice out of necessity in the primary. But under no circumstances should Rice be supported come November. Yes it may be a hopeless cause but if enough people vote for some opposition candidate then maybe we can build some momentum for the future.

  3. Doug Ross

    “His advocacy of overturning an election involving 155 million votes by subterfuge and violence is the closest America has ever come to authoritarian rule.”

    The entire piece is based on the belief that the above sentence is 100% true — and anyone who questions it is beyond redemption.

    January 6 wasn’t an insurrection. It wasn’t a coup. It was a protest that got out of hand for a few hours and ended with a fizzle. There was never (I repeat NEVER) any doubt that Trump would leave office. Does Trump (and many Republicans) believe there was some election fraud that cost him the election? Sure. Probably the same number of people who STILL think Putin got Trump elected (a.k.a. lunatics).

    It seems that Dr. DeMarco’s solution for the Republican Party is to make them more like Democrats. I’d be interested in hearing which Republican issues he aligns himself with and which Democrat party planks he disagrees with. That would be the true test of a non-partisan.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Doug, I think maybe you need to go to some GOP political events and talk to some of these folks. Choose the people in the red hats…

      Also, you might want to go chat with these security people with their guns drawn while the mob was pounding on the doors of the House chamber. Explain to them that this was just a protest, like so many that have involved breaking into the U.S. Capitol and hunting for the vice president, whom the president had urged them to hang. I’m sure they’ll chuckle and agree with you…

      1. Doug Ross

        At what point was this insurrection close to succeeding? Who is the highest ranking member of government who has been indicted 16 months later?

        It was a protest that turned into a riot for less time than the average BLM “rally”.. and it ended with one protestor shot, a few out of shape protestors who died of heart attacks.. and a policeman who died of a stroke a day later. The vote that was delayed was held shortly after the protesters who wandered around the building escorted by police.

        If the Capitol police had done their jobs, it would have been even less of a problem. They didn’t protect the building.

        1. Doug Ross

          If it was an insurrection, please identify who organized it, who coordinated it, and what their ultimate objective was. Under what circumstances would Trump have remained President? Give me the scenario that held the future of the country in the balance.

          Hint: you can’t

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Ask the people who tried to overthrow the government. Because what matters here is what they tried to do, and thought they could do…

          2. bud

            Watch the hearings tomorrow night and you’ll see a very plausible scenario that could have led to a successful Trump coup.

          3. Barry

            John Eastman’s made up legal theories, and the Republican Senators that still think he was correct ruin your argument.

            It was an attempt that failed but it was very close to succeeding. A VP named Tom Cotton, instead of a Mike Pence, would have quite likely caused a lot more deaths on January 6th.

            You give away your right wing loyalties and Trump fealty by downplaying hundreds of people violently breaking into the capitol to try to stop the counting of votes.

            If that had been Biden supporters, your position would be the exact opposite. But we already know that.

            1. Bill

              When I see,John Eastman,legal theories and Republican Senators in a row like that I tilt like a pinball machine..

        2. Doug Ross

          And I’ll say it again – anyone who think Trump stole the election in 2016 is as delusional as those who think Trump really won in 2020. Democrats try to play dumb that they weren’t as crazy in November 2016 as the losers who rioted at the the Capitol. They actually BELIEVED that some Facebook memes flipped the election… oh yeah, and the release of actual emails that showed just how unethical the Hillary campaign staff were. The truth hurt Hillary as much as her lazy campaign did.

            1. Doug Ross

              Yes, and the facts support my belief. If you have factual evidence that Trump stole the 2016 election, please provide it. Show us the evidence on which voters chose to vote for Trump based on Facebook memes in a large enough number to flip the election.

              There are many hoaxes that Trump Derangement sufferers still believe.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Good Lord, Doug. Who is it here that you think believes that what happened in 2016 can be summed up simply as “Trump stole the election, and nothing else was a factor except Facebook posts.”

                Who is it you’re arguing with so vehemently? I have no idea. I haven’t seen where anyone said that.

                That would be as absurd as saying, “Russian social media hacks had ZERO impact on the 2016 election.”

                Surely that’s not what you’re saying — is it?

                1. Doug Ross

                  Russian social media hacks had ZERO impact on Trump being elected President. Prove me wrong.

                  If it is true, why was Trump inaugurated? Obama’s justice department, CIA, NSA, and FBI had months to prove that to be true and didn’t. All we heard about for YEARS was the Trump was Putin’s puppet. If true, that happened on Obama’s watch. It happened via a primary process across the country that saw Trump win the nomination (did Russians rig that too?)

                  Are you suggesting there isn’t as large a group of Americans who think Trump’s victory was “stolen” as those who think Biden’s was?

                  Here’s Jimmy Carter in 2019:
                  “Former President Jimmy Carter questioned the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency on Thursday, saying he would likely not be in the White House if the Russians did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election.”

                  Well, if that happened, where is the evidence YEARS later?

                  Biden won. Trump won. Biden won because enough people were tired of Trump’s antics and COVID. Biden won because he wasn’t Trump (his only verifiable positive trait). Trump beat Hillary because she ran a terrible campaign and the country as a whole didn’t like her. Trump came on the scene at the perfect time. He never would have beat Obama. And he won’t be on the ballot in 2024.

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    You just go on and on about this, don’t you? And you say these mystifying things, such as “Russian social media hacks had ZERO impact on Trump being elected President. Prove me wrong.”

                    Prove it wrong how, exactly?

                    Let me ask the audience: When have you proved Doug wrong — to his satisfaction — on anything?

              2. Barry

                Doug is beating the absolute hell out of that straw man

                How weak a position is to argue that the losing candidate in 2016 -that conceded on election night -and the loser of the 2020 election who was still whining like an infant today 6/10/22- about how he really won are the same thing is pathetic.

        3. Brad Warthen Post author

          Out of all that, we can agree on the last point. I mean, we agree that the building wasn’t protected. It still would have been a HUGE problem that for the first time in our country’s history, the loyal supporters of a sitting president attacked and tried to seize control of our seat of government in order to reverse the results of an election — and did so at his urging.

          Not an everyday thing. It was something that never even came close to happening at any other point in all these years since 1789…

          1. Doug Ross

            Except they didn’t try to “sieze control”. If they did, why did they just wander around the building and walk out?

            It’s beyond comprehension to think that band of losers had any capability to do anything more than protest.

            It ended in a couple hours. It only took that long because the police were inept.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              “Except they didn’t try to ‘sieze control’. If they did, why did they just wander around the building and walk out?”

              Because they were a gang of inept idiots… In case you doubt that, go look again. These people actually believed the election had been stolen from Trump…

              1. Bart

                Yes, “these people” believed the election had been stolen. In 2016, there were riots in DC, and the rioters believed the election had been stolen from Clinton. There were anomalies in both elections that cast doubt on the outcomes. When I finally went to bed after the 2020 election count ended and Trump was in a commanding lead, I understood that the vast number of uncounted absentee ballots would give Biden the lead. I also viewed the outcome as an outlier based on past elections since all of the states that were not decided at the end of the day were swing states but not enough to change the outcome.

                As for the claim that democracy was in danger due to the riot, if our democracy is so perilous to be subject to an overthrow by a crowd invading the Capitol Building, then it is subject to overthrow by either side gaining absolute control of the reins of government and passing legislation giving total power to one party or the other.

                I agree with Doug in that the band of losers couldn’t do any more than protest, break windows, sit in the House speaker’s chair, and other acts of vandalism. The country was not in any danger of becoming a dictatorship under Trump or any other politician.

                The other point to be considered is that Pelosi and the mayor were offered up to 20,000 NG troops before the confirmation of the election which did take place two hours after the rioters were cleared from the building and grounds. Both rejected the offer and relied on the Capitol police force of 1,500 and DC police force of approximately 4,000 to keep the protesters under control. Based on the information available from various sources, Pelosi and the mayor had been warned of potential trouble from the Trump rally in more than enough time to prepare.

                I do not agree with the actions by the protest that turned into a riot on January 6th, but it needs to be put into some sensible perspective, not the hyperbolic rhetoric that the nation was in danger of having our government overthrown by a gang of unorganized idiots and agitators taking advantage of the situation. Painting everyone there as seditionists and insurrectionists? Another attempt to use extremes to change the description of the actions from to a misdemeanor to a capital offense for political gain.

                The crap show coming to ABC is just that, a political event to help Democrats try to change the narrative that is now heavily in favor of Republicans taking control of Congress in November. Even the NYT admits this is the primary reason for airing the staged political event.

                And if it is not a staged event, then why hire the former President of ABC News to advise and coordinate it and then air it on ABC? It leads one to ask the question, “considering the number of hearings conducted by politicians, why do they now need a professional to advise them on how to conduct this one?”

                Considering inflation rising every day, shortages, supply chain issues, a very likely recession coming, and a host of other issues that are actually discussed at the “kitchen table”, the importance of showcasing Democrats with two rabidly anti-Trump Republicans conducting another attempt to go after Trump on primetime national television is absolutely ridiculous and asinine.

                It reminds me of the attempt to impeach Clinton for his affair with an intern by Republicans and making a big issue out of something that was basically none of their business. But it was the hatred for Clinton by a few Republicans spurring the movement that blew up in their faces. His only real crime was lying under oath and that should have resulted in a slap on the wrist if that.

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  “As for the claim that democracy was in danger due to the riot…”

                  I don’t claim that. I claim — I know — that our republic is in danger because of the forces that caused the riot to happen.

                  Let me recommend this David Brooks piece from today, headlined “The Jan. 6 Committee Has Already Blown It.” His point is that the committee’s focus is far too limited. Well, that’s one of his points. Another is that it’s wrong to think the problems can be fixed with a Watergate-style committee. Because back then, we were a country that would pay attention, and clean up the mess. We’re not that country any more.

                  An excerpt:

                  The core problem here is not the minutiae of who texted what to chief of staff Mark Meadows on Jan. 6 last year. The core problem is that there are millions of Americans who have three convictions: that the election was stolen, that violence is justified in order to rectify it and that the rules and norms that hold our society together don’t matter.

                  Those millions of Americans are out there right now. I care more about their present and future activities than about their past. Many of them are running for local office to be in a position to disrupt future elections. I’d like the committee to describe who they are, what motivates them and how much power they already have.

                  This is a movement, not a conspiracy. We don’t need a criminal-type investigation looking for planners or masterminds as much as we need historians and scholars and journalists to help us understand why the American Republican Party, like the Polish Law and Justice party, or the Turkish Justice and Development Party, has become a predatory semi-democratic faction….

                  Amen to that.

                  Oh, you and I also disagree about Bill Clinton. He needed to be impeached. And if he’d had as much integrity as Nixon (something we used to think was a very low bar), he’d have resigned. But of course, he didn’t. And that fact, combined with the willingness of millions of Democrats to support him, was one of many steps that led to our current madness….

                  1. Ken

                    “our republic is in danger because of the forces that caused the riot to happen.”

                    Was and Is in danger.

                    Was, because the forces behind the attempted coup, not just the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, included the then-president of the United States, together with his enablers both inside and outside of government.

                    Is, because that same former president continues to have a significant role in our politics — AND because of the larger movement that Brooks describes. The two operate together and do indeed constitute an ongoing threat to American democracy. Including by continuing to foment doubt about the outcome of the 2020 election.

                  2. bud

                    But of course, he didn’t. And that fact, combined with the willingness of millions of Democrats to support him, was one of many steps that led to our current madness….

                    I won’t read or hear anything more utterly ridiculous than this total piece of [edited] if I live to be a thousand. You are actually suggesting that Democrats are part of the problem that has led to to current madness of the REPUBLICAN party???? Really? Clinton absolutely should not have resigned. He was hounded relentlessly by an out of control Republican Party that has only grown more brazen with each passing day. If had given in then then the Republican Party would have even more power now.

                    1. Brad Warthen Post author

                      Yes, he absolutely should have resigned. It was the only decent and honorable thing to do.

                      Nixon resigned rather than be impeached. He spared the nation that ordeal. Clinton did not.

                      And really, bud, you should calm down and look around. If I say Republicans are 90 percent responsible for our problems and Democrats to blame for 10 percent, you nearly have a stroke and get on your “false equivalence” high horse. Of course, I wouldn’t say that, because I’m not a numbers guy and it’s ridiculous to try to assign numbers to something this complicated. But if you read the words I write, and have written over the last few decades, you’ll see that I’m saying something like that.

                      But since you think Democrats are perfect, you are blinded not only to the reality in the world, but to what I’m saying about it…

                    2. but

                      I’m quite sure I’ve never suggested the Democrats are perfect. Hardly. Chuck Schumer’s “released the whirlwind” comment was inarticulate. And boy has the GOP latched onto it even though it was spoken 2 years ago. I’m certainly disappointed in their lack of focus on a variety of issues including healthcare and election integrity. I think you posted a survey awhile back that asked to grade the 2 major parties. The Republicans cannot get anything but a zero. They offer nothing but bad policies and worse politics. They really are just a criminal enterprise complete with a mafia “Don”. The trend shows them heading our country toward Kleptocracy. David Brooks is correct to fear for the future. As for the Democrats. They. Are. All. We. Have. That’s why I defend them so fiercely. Heck I’ve even resorted to defending Joe Biden, a truly mediocre figure. But. He’s. All. We. Have. So I will be generous and give the Dems a 60. At least they are a party that respects the Constitution and is trying to move the country in the right direction. And I will not back down from defending our last bastion of American greatness.

                    3. Brad Warthen Post author

                      We are in agreement, in a way. It’s true that Democrats offer the only hope, in the electoral sense, since in our system you have to run in one party or the other to have a chance of being elected.

                      We are at a point in our history when we badly need another party to emerge, as the Republicans did in the 1850s. But that is nowhere near happening (despite all my efforts with the UnParty, the Energy Party and the Grownup Party :)), so right now we’re stuck with the Democrats, since Republicans have run off howling into the wilderness.

                      Beyond that, we part company. Perhaps a more hopeful way to put it is that our views complement each other. Joe Biden embodies the ONLY hope that the Democratic Party has to offer us right now. The rest of the party would join the Republicans in tearing the country apart — or simply running off howling into the wilderness…

                    4. Brad Warthen Post author

                      I just fixed that. Initially, I had typed “we party company” at the start of that last graf.

                      Perhaps, subconsciously, I was thinking that the only hope for the country lies in Howard the Duck’s “All-Night Party”…

                      I hope that’s not what I meant…

                    5. Ken

                      “The rest of the party would join the Republicans in tearing the country apart — or simply running off howling into the wilderness…”

                      If you’re going to make blanket assertions that all Democrats other than Biden will tear the country apart, you have to provide at least a minimum of evidence to back that up. Point to actual proposals and policies that support that assertion. Otherwise it’s just empty rhetoric – unhelpful at best, and, at worst, fear mongering.
                      Besides that, you’re not even consistent. On the one hand, you lay 90% of the blame for out political dysfunction on Republicans, and 10% on Democrats. But then you claim that all Democrats except Biden would leads us into a howling wilderness. That doesn’t even make sense mathematically.

                    6. Brad Warthen Post author

                      But if I WERE a numbers guy, with a compulsion to quantify things…

                      My vote counts for about .0000004 percent (calculated roughly as a percentage of the turnout in 2020) of the vote in South Carolina — a bit more in a year such as this, but still an infinitesimal portion.

                      But I still feel a huge responsibility, as tiny as my effect is.

                      So if the Democrats are 10 percent of the problem, I’d like to see them accept 10 percent of the responsibility.

                      But they find it hard to do that, since society today is trained to think in binary terms — my side being all good, the other side being all bad…

                    7. Ken

                      “I’d like to see them accept 10 percent of the responsibility.”

                      And just what form would that particular mea culpa (or is it mea ultima culpa?) take?

                    8. Brad Warthen Post author

                      I dunno. We could start with ashes and sackcloth.

                      That would be good. It would immediately show them to be better people — because you know the Republicans ain’t gonna do that…

                    9. Ken

                      Rather Old Testament.

                      And it would only work if they were first made aware of exactly what sin(s) they were (symbolically) repenting.

                  3. bud

                    So what exactly are these historians, scholars and journalists supposed to do? I would suggest that many journalists are a major part of the problem by subscribing to this asinine false equivalency nonsense. Let’s stop blaming both major parties, as Brad just inexplicably did, and focus on the real culprits, the Republicans. We get nowhere blaming Bill Clinton for the Jan6 insurrection. And let’s also not pretend the Jan6 committee can do all this grandiose stuff that Brooks wants (whatever it is exactly he wants is unclear but oh well). Yes we have to worry going forward. The best place to start is to get behind Democrats in the election cycle. Under no circumstances put a Republican yard sign up. We may as well just give up if we continue down that counterproductive path.

                    1. Brad Warthen Post author

                      Oh, Good Lord, here we go again.

                      Bud, why don’t you find someone who is actually “blaming Bill Clinton for the Jan 6 insurrection” and yell at him, and let me have a break?…

                    2. Ken

                      After listening to Brooks describe on Friday’s NewsHour what he would prefer to see the committee address, it seems to me that:

                      His concerns are far too broadly drawn for any congressional committee to properly examine. Such bodies are simply not equipped to usefully investigate the sort of globe-spanning developments that Brooks would like to see them look into. That’s a job for social scientists, not congressional committees. So his suggestion is not productive.

                2. Barry

                  bart once again offering up excuses and very weakly comparing 2016 and 2020.

                  The part that Trumpers [edited] leave out every time is what some of these Trumpers have been saying in court

                  That they were doing what they thought trump wanted them to do

                  And that they got overheated with trump’s irresponsible rhetoric about the election being “stolen”

                  That they were trying to stop the counting of votes because they felt if they could stop it or pause it, trump and his band of idiots could figure out a way to stay in office.

                  We don’t have to rely on Bart and Doug’s deflecting. We can simply read what a number of these people have said in court.

                  1. Bart

                    The actual act of deflecting is at the hands of Democrats and two rabid anti-Trump Republicans putting on a show that is supposed to change the narrative of the upcoming elections in favor of Democrats. Problem is, the deflection of the professionally produced committee proceedings specifically for television is not doing one damn thing to help the economy, fuel prices, supply chain issues, inflation, and the upcoming recession.

                    I guess another deflection is the fact that today, we are officially in a Bear market and simply waiting for the official declaration of a recession.

                    How about using some deflection on the citizens of this country who live paycheck to paycheck and have no way to account for the reduction in the purchasing power of the income they earn or the ones on a fixed income. Of course, they will feel much better knowing the “deflection” will take their minds off of the absolutely screwed up situation brought to us by the Biden administration.

                    The televised proceedings are only driving more and more voters to Republicans and denial of that fact is the true deflection going on. When reruns of Young Sheldon beat the viewership of the proceedings, that should tell everyone something. The citizens who are adversely affected by inflation and soon to be declared, recession, could care less about watching a staged event.

                    You may not be affected by the loss of purchasing power and if so, then you are blessed but there are millions of others who are severely and adversely affected.

                    James Carville’s comment in 1992 still rings true today in politics.

                    “It’s the economy, stupid.”

                    1. Bryan Caskey

                      Here are some key final-demand figures for year-on-year inflation:

                      Foods: 13.0%
                      Energy: 45.3%
                      Capital investment equipment: 9.3%
                      Capital investment equipment, manufacturing: 12.5%
                      Goods for export, less food and energy: 10.9%
                      Trade services: 13.6%
                      Transportation and warehousing: 23.9%
                      Construction: 19.0%
                      Personal consumption goods: 19.4%

                    2. Brad Warthen Post author

                      You don’t remember, for instance, President Ford’s “Whip Inflation Now” campaign.

                      In case you’re in suspense to know, it didn’t help much. As Wikipedia points out, “The campaign was later described as ‘one of the biggest government public relations blunders ever.'”

                      It really, really didn’t catch on. Which made me feel kind of bad for the president, because I always thought he was a decent guy, and he was so earnest about it.

                      I only remember running into it once in the real world. This was when I was still in college, and I didn’t have a regular doctor or anything, and I caught a bug or something and went to see some doctor I’d never met before. All I remember about him was that he had a “WIN” button on his lab coat. That was the only time I ever saw anybody wear one…

                    3. Barry


                      I realize inflation is a global issue and isn’t the fault of Joe Biden (or even Donald Trump) – though both share in a small amount of blame (along with both parties in Congress) because they both advocated for big spending without any regard for how to pay for it.

                      The committee hearings are interesting but I think everyone truly knows Trump is a corrupt fool.

                      I am in favor of anything that keeps him out of power.

                    4. Ken

                      Inflation certainly affects my purchasing power. But [that would not] make me want to vote for Republicans. Because I know they would/could do nothing to change that circumstance. And those who decide to vote Republican because of the Jan 6th hearings are acting bizarrely. They certainly do not give one whit about this country.

                      [note the editing above]

                    5. Brad Warthen Post author

                      I hated it when Carville said that. I hate it when anybody says it.

                      It’s another way of saying, “Remember, Americans are a greedy bunch…”

                    6. Barry

                      The Post is reporting that Donald Trump Jr’s fiancé/mistress, Kimberly Guilfoyle, the former Fox News on air employee, was paid $60,000 to appear very briefly at the Jan 6 tally to introduce Trump Jr to the cult members at the rally.

                      It was always just a money making effort by this trash heap garbage family. .

                    7. Bart

                      “No one cares about deficits- Per Trump’s Chief of Staff.


                      Reaching back to 2019 for a rebuttal from one of the worst members of Trump’s cabinet?

                      WOW! Guess that makes the situation today irrelevant.

                    8. Barry

                      “Reaching back to 2019 for a rebuttal from one of the worst members of Trump’s cabinet?”

                      It’s simply a reminder that when the pretend deficit hawks of 2022 had their team in place in the White House just 2-3 years ago, they didn’t care about the deficits (nor did the people they put in office.

                      You will look overlook the lack of credibility those folks have on any such topic.

    2. bud

      “It was a protest that got out of hand”

      Some more revisionism:

      Pearl Harbor was a training exercise that went too far.
      Lee Harvey Oswald thought he had blanks in his gun.
      The German uboat commander who sank the Lusitania only meant to scare the ship away.
      Slaves were treated with dignity and respect.
      Women generally enjoy sexual assault.
      Jeff Bezos lives in poverty.

      Really Doug, do you actually believe (stuff) like this or do you merely relish the role of contrarian.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I changed one word in that.

        Also, bud — we know that, blanks or not, only a delusional person would think Oswald had any chance of hitting such a small, moving target as JFK’s head from such a distance, with or without Marine training. Anyone would be crazy to believe otherwise…

      2. Doug Ross

        I guess bud’s comment falls under the new civility guidelines. Funny how those work for anonymous people unwilling to put their actual name on their comments when Brad agrees with the targeting of people who hold opinions he doesn’t like. Fact free attack on me from a troll. That’s the level of discourse Brad is shooting for apparently. Maybe if I was on the “friends” list I’d get better treatment.

        Let’s see if this gets by the censor:

        Bud is one of those people who thinks 1/6 was worse than 9/11.

    3. Mark Stewart

      “Never any doubt Trump would leave office.” it is amazing the things you obtusely believe, despite all evidence to the contrary.

      The only thing that saved our nation from an authoritarian Trump is that he is a stupid man. What their acquiesce says about his apologists is far more disturbing. Drew McKissick has much to answer for – as do too many others

      1. Barry

        “ Never any doubt Trump would leave office.” it is amazing the things you obtusely believe, despite all evidence to the contrary.”

        Especially since we know he had legal people like Right wing nut job John Eastman there inventing made up legal garbage that would allow him to stay in office.

        1. Doug Ross

          At what point was it even 50/50 that Trump would remain in office? When was there specifically a time that there was a legal path for that to happen? It didn’t happen because it couldn’t happen.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Run back and check the numbers, Barry, quick!

            I think that about 1:03 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, it momentarily hit 53.47. Go get the record on that and show it to Doug!

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      OK, this is weird.

      You know how if you watch a clip on YouTube, and you leave it running, it will play another video based on its preference algorithm?

      Well, here’s the one it played after the vid that Bill posted here:

  4. Doug Ross

    I wonder what Dr. DeMarco thinks of the Los Angeles mayor’s race where a billionaire former Republican decided to run as a Democrat this year and looks to have a good shot of winning. His message is centered mainly around cleaning up the homeless issue in L.A. and it appears to be one that Democrats and Republicans are rallying around.

    Interesting to see that the Democrat district attorney in San Francisco was recalled last night for his failure to handle the homeless / crime issues in that city. I’ve been to S.F. many times in the past decade and the homeless are worse than any other place I’ve been (and I’ve been to every state in the U.S.). It is driving off tourism, conventions, business, etc. The D.A. stopped prosecuting thefts and the looting of stores became epidemic.

    Both of these elections are canaries in the coal mine for what is coming in November. It’s going to be a wipeout for Democrats because of their inability to provide solutions to real problems while focusing instead on inside the beltway/coastal elite wokism. The pendulum is swinging back.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Frisco’s been that way since the mid-60s. Or at least, the Haight-Ashbury district has.

      I say that just to have an excuse to urge y’all to read Joan Didion’s “Slouching Towards Bethlehem.” You don’t have to read the whole book, just that one essay.

      It’s very, very good. And it’s also a reminder that we’re wrong to see the world in terms of two options (ones and zeroes), and only two options, between which a “pendulum” swings. The world is way more complicated than that.

      I don’t know if y’all read any of that coverage, but do you remember how everyone debated whether Didion was a lefty or a righty after she died? I think the consensus was that she was on the right at one point, but on the left at another. (Because, you know, you have to be one or the other.) Which she might have found amusing; I don’t know…

      1. Doug Ross

        When was the last time you were there on the streets? I’ve been there right before the pandemic multiple times. The company I formerly worked for (a very large tech company) stopped doing their yearly conference at the Moscone Center in 2019 (typically 40-50K attendees) due to the homeless problem in the area. It wasn’t safe to walk 1/2 mile from the conference center to the hotels. They moved it to Vegas. What do you think the impact is when 50 thousand visitors don’t visit a city for 305 days? Tens of millions of dollars removed from the local economy.

        I’ve been going to San Francisco for work since the mid-90s. It’s never been worse, never close.. and that includes the old days when the hookers would roam the streets in front of the hotels at night.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          1970. It was June, and it was cold. So I never had the urge to go back.

          Oh, wait. I think when we left Hawaii in 1971, we stopped to pick up our car in the Bay Area, before driving to Memphis. But I don’t remember anything about it from that time.

          Then, I was in San Jose for several days sometime in the 2000-2010 decade. I forget exactly when… I was kind of ticked to have to be there, which only happened because Knight Ridder had moved its HQ there from Miami. I’d much rather go there…

          1. Doug Ross

            Yeah, so maybe your opinion on the homeless situation in San Francisco might not be very relevant. This isn’t peace and love hippies buying a dime bag chillin to Dylan and the Dead. It’s homeless people crapping in the middle of the sidewalk, gangs of thugs looting stores, and Fentanyl freaks staggering around like zombies.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              So you’re saying they’re using different drugs now? Got it…

              When you get around to reading Didion’s piece — which I’m sure you will do before presuming again to pass judgment on my right to have an opinion — you’ll find that it includes such things as 5-year-olds on acid, and a 3-year-old who likes to chew on electrical cords and who starts a fire when the adults are stoned.

              I’d just as soon have people “crapping in the middle of the sidewalk.” Or looting stores, for that matter. Just different forms of social decay…

        2. bud

          The homeless problem. That’s a favorite of the right. Plenty of homeless everywhere. Just walk through Finley Park some time. At least CA is trying to do something about it. As far as crime goes, SC has far more violent crime than CA. In fact San Francisco is not among the top 50 highest crime cities in the USA. But according to this Columbia is. So moving your conference TO San Francisco would make sense if you wanted to avoid crime.

          1. Bill

            In the city, in the hot middle
            A homeless man says, “Buy me a Big Mac”
            What’ll I do with you, you do with me
            (What’ll I do with you, you do with me)

            He says “party”, and throws a fist
            Like a winner

            It’s all the same
            I mean the winner and the sinner, all arm in arm
            Raise a drink to a planet rich in symbols
            What’ll I do with you, you do with me
            What’ll I do with you, you do with me

            It’s all a game and I’m the sinner
            He’s the winner, we’re arm in arm
            No salute to a marcher’s boot
            That’s for beginners
            What’ll I do with you, you do with me
            (What’ll I do with you, you do with me)

            And legends of the untamed
            American west

            It’s the dance of gurus
            Collapsed in laughter
            We’ve had our followers and friends
            And the homeless man says
            “Yeah, I’m headed home!”

          2. Barry

            Homelessness in conservative bastion Greenville, SC is out of control and has been a big problem for years.

            Odd how conservatives just ignore it though. Doug certainly doesn’t want to discuss it.

            I thought all those conservative christians and their churches solved the problem.

            Guess not. No surprise. They are all talk anyway. Always have been. Too busy pointing fingers.

              1. Barry

                Greenville is one of those places that tries to send their homeless anywhere.

                But Greenville has plenty of homeless- and homeless under bridges, etc. I am from the upstate. It’s been an issue for years. Greenville does a big PR job trying to hide it though.

                Can’t have all those churches every 50 feet, and those “good conservative Christians” everywhere with homeless problems near them.

                Doesn’t fit the Fox News, and right wing media focus on big city homeless in “liberal” cities.

                1. Doug Ross

                  Yes, Greenville is the same as San Francisco. Totally equivalent.

                  Barry thinks every problem is due to Fox News and Republicans.

    2. Barry

      Report out Friday in the WSJ detailing the rampant crime increase in RURAL America in 2020, on Trump’s watch.

      Odd how you don’t talk about that. Neither does Fox News. Hmm…………

        1. Doug Ross

          47 shot, 9 killed over Memorial Day weekend in Chicago. They have very strict gun laws. Why don’t laws work? Hmm .. maybe it’s not a gun problem.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            So let me make sure I’m understanding you — with 400 guns in private hands in the country, you think loads of them don’t get into Chicago because of local ordinances?

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