Amy Coney Barrett

What Should Have Happened at the Amy Coney Barrett Hearings

"This is probably not about persuading each other unless something really dramatic happens," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.)


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On October 16, the Senate Judiciary Committee wrapped up its confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee and current federal judge Amy Coney Barrett. The questioning, which lasted for nearly 20 hours, probably had no impact on the outcome of the committee vote, which is set for this Thursday.

"This is probably not about persuading each other unless something really dramatic happens," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), who chairs the committee. "All Republicans will vote 'yes' and all Democrats will vote 'no.'"

Here's what we would like to have seen during the hearings.

Starring Andrew Heaton and Austin Bragg; written and shot by Heaton, Bragg, and Meredith Bragg; edited by Austin Bragg.

NEXT: 'Where Would the Black Lives Matter Movement Be Without the Right to Free Speech?'

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  4. Well that was certainly more interesting than the actual hearings — and more entertaining as well.

    1. And shorter too, although these guys could add more and I’d still be watching.

      1. Yeah, their videos are always too short.

  5. And not one word from Amy Coney Barrett – sounds about right.

    1. I didn’t see the hearings. Maybe she managed to avoid making a complete fool of herself? I don’t know.

      1. She did a Ginsburg and refused to answer, which is appropriate given that Democrats were electioneering and outright batshit crazy. Republicans were just riffing to fill up the time.

        Hopefully she will cement a conservative majority for a generation.

        1. Why, what do you get out of that?

          1. For starters, it will help secure our first, second, and tenth amendment rights from leftists.

            1. Not to mention fourth…

              1. Highly doubtful.

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            2. That doesn’t mean anything. Those rights will exist barring a constitutional amendment. Not sure what you think the 10th amendment gives you, but I’m sure you’ve studied the matter very deeply.

              1. The left abhors those rights and they will whittle away at them as much as possible. A conservative court will at least slow the process down.

                1. I think the 2nd amendment is an obsolete abomination, as are many of the sops to slave states that we had to choke down to get it passed.

                  1. So you’d rather die with a phone in your hand than live with a gun in your hand. But we already knew that.

                    1. I’d rather guns not be required for any interaction in which I might find myself. I don’t relish the thought of blowing someone’s head off like so many Americans apparently do.

                    2. I’m with you there. But you can’t get the guns out of the hands of criminals. That’s a Pandora’s Box that cannot be shut. When seconds count the cops are minutes away. That’s why I am armed. Not because I want to kill someone, but because I don’t want to be killed by a criminal with a gun.

                    3. You don’t like criminals with guns so you support a regime of maximum gun proliferation. Thanks. Real nice job there increasing safety and security.

                    4. Tony, I accept the reality that there are millions of guns in this country and that isn’t going to change. I accept the reality that the war on drugs has done little to reduce the supply of drugs, and a prohibition of firearms would be just as ineffective. I accept the reality that criminals, who by definition don’t follow the law, will not disarm. I accept the reality that cops generally don’t give a fuck about you, and they certainly won’t put themselves in danger because officer safety is number one. Put all that together and the only way for the average Joe to protect himself from an armed criminal is to be armed himself.

                    5. So if there were empirical evidence that programs can and do exist that decrease gun proliferation, you’d support those?

                    6. Tony, it doesn’t pass the logic test. I’ve got to get back to work. Later.

                    7. Well put Sarc!

                  2. We know you do. You’re a proud communist state slave.

                    1. I’m not a communist for the same reason I’m not a Republican. I don’t think employing violence to achieve my political ends is something to strive for.

                    2. Yet you support people who do.

                    3. I’m sorry, who is calling for militia members to intimidate voters?

                  3. FEED COMMENTERS STARVE TROLLS [like this one]

                  4. Maybe you want this to be a paradise like China or Syria, where we’re all defenseless subjects. When I hear a total piece of garbage human like Robert Reich talk about having a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, I know the last thing we should be doing is laying down our defenses.

                    1. Oh my god you think Charlie Kirk is someone worth listening to.

                      A truth and reconciliation commission just like Soviet Russia!

                      *psst, Charlie, it was South Africa

                      Oh fuck Charlie Kirk is the dumbest human alive!

              2. We’re not worried about those rights continuing to exist. Rights will always continue to exist.

                What we are worried about is the government thinking it can violate those rights or even that it no longer needs to protect them.

                1. This government is violating your rights. Have you stopped thinking in slogans long enough to notice?

          2. Peace, harmony and common sense?

            1. You get to tell your grandchildren you supported orange Hitler for peace and harmony.

              1. You get to tell your grandchildren…….. oh wait.

                Never mind. Have fun at the the bath house.

                1. At least there’s soap there, which I’m not sure can be said about the cavernous snatches of Trump supporters.

                  1. the cavernous snatches

                    Good band name.

                    1. Indeed. At least Tony is good for something.

                    2. Haha

                  2. On balance, it’s typically the dirty hippie chicks hat don’t wash their nether bits.

              2. Tony the only 2 people arguing for nationalist socialism were Warren and sanders

              3. Nobody’s going to have grandchildren once your ilk seize power, Tony.

            2. You gotta give Tony credit. He has never asked a question that he hadn’t already decided to answer ingenuously. His is a mind completely closed by prejudice.

              1. And severely limited cognition.

        2. I don’t know that the coming 15-6 Scotus constitutes a conservative majority.

  6. Sure as hell beats the real hearings kabuki theater bullshit.

  7. There should have not been any hearing. Republicans should have simply held a Senate floor vote.

    Barrett would have already been on the SCOTUS and blown Roberts shitty 4-4 PA ballot extension decision out of the water.

    Roberts is really going to hate Barrett on the court messing up his Democrat-loving decisions.

    1. GW Bush and his neo-con team campaigning for Quid Pro Joe.

      Roberts — a GW Bush appointee. Do they ‘have’ something on Roberts?

      1. No, they don’t have anything on Roberts. He’s always been a squishy wishy-washy judge. Dude wants harmony more than he wants good decisions.

    2. I bet there is not a single reason you support Republicans that has anything to do with what Republicans actually do.

      1. Yes, because we all love Trump as a person. We’d all like to be best friends with him and have him get to know our families.

        1. I was hoping that if I vote for Trump, one day he would let my grandson sit on his knee and tell him stories about all the hookers and blow in the 80s.

        2. If you’re voting for an insane fascist for whatever pragmatic reasons, you need to examine those reasons and at the very least decide whether they are really important enough to take the risk.

          1. As you support Biden, when do you intend to do that for yourself?

            1. Biden is neither insane nor a fascist.


                1. Fuck da comments police.

                  1. Tony isn’t a troll, just a twit.

                    1. A twoll?

                  2. Biden has been a blood-drenched warmonger for his entire public career. He has supported all the war atrocities of the Bush/Clinton/Obama regimes and wishes that TrumpO was more of an interventionist. Biden besides has been a corrupt public parasite who used his sons as bag-men. He is only getting grief now because his crackhead deadbeat dad of a son couldn’t keep it together.

                    Biden is supported by the arsonist rapists and pedophiles of WhiteAntifa, the Stalinist ex-torture master of the CIA John Brennan, Dick Cheney and the rest of the Bush-era neo-con demons, the ghost of John McCain, Hitlery Clinton and the rest of the surveillance/war deep state.

                    Rape, a burning black community, war, surveillance,

                    1. So now who’s soulless Nazi? For the path to death-camps and gulags, give me a BIDEN. Just ask sellout Bernie Sanders or a Sanders groupie.

                      All of Trump’s faults do not make him morally inferior to any of the Biden-supporting monsters.

                    2. They just make him more dangerous. He doesn’t have to be president. There are literally billions of people who could do the job better. Unfortunately we only have Biden.

                    3. Holding one’s nose and voting for Biden doesn’t pass the smell test.

                  3. Ice Cube is voting for Trump

              2. I’m not convinced Trump is either of those things either. “Fascism” doesn’t just mean “stuff lefties don’t like”. It has a pretty specific meaning that comes a lot closer to progressive Democrat policy preferences.

                1. Fascism is Thanksgiving in California.

              3. Technically true, as Biden is not nationalistic. He does however check every single other box in the fascist list. As for Trump, neither insane nor a fascist.

              4. He’s both. He suffers from dementia and favors a fascistic set of policies. It’s sad you’re unable and unwilling to understand that.

          2. You are aware that Kamal ordered DAs under her to falsify evidence and confessions in order to get guilty verdicts.

      2. I don’t support the Republicans on the Court because of anything they’ll do for me. I support them because they provide the only hope of stopping what I know your side will do to me.

        You’ve made perfectly clear here, time and time again, that you and your political side favor aggressive, authoritarian, punitive progressivism. You’ve made clear, even on this very thread, that you’re not only willing, but eager, to infringe on others rights and liberties. And, while I don’t have particularly high expectations for Justice Barrett, if her elevation to the Court makes your side’s realization of its agenda just a little less likely, I’m 100% for it.

        1. When you learn about what my supposed agenda is, do you get those facts from progressives, or do you get them from rightwing media talking about progressives?

          1. No, I get it from you directly – “I think the 2nd amendment is an obsolete abomination, as are many of the sops to slave states that we had to choke down to get it passed.”

            1. Tony has no real self awareness. He’s also fairly stupid.

            2. I can’t help it that there is a very vocal political minority obsessed with a right to blow people’s heads off, but that sounds like your problem not mine.

              1. What do you think of Mr. Dolloff?

                1. It’s unfortunate when a leftists kills a Trumper because I’ll never hear the end of it, no matter how many Trumpers kill people or plot to kidnap governors and behave like terrorists.

                  1. That was not responsive to my question.

                  2. That’s pretty much the extent of my thoughts on the matter.

                    1. He blew a guys head off.

                      Do you agree with that choice?

                    2. Murder is bad.

                    3. FEED COMMENTERS STARVE TROLLS

                    4. “Murder is bad.”

                      You believe Dolloff committed murder?

                    5. He’s been charged with it, at least, right?

                    6. Do **you** believe he committed murder?

                    7. Sure seems like it.

                    8. It is a “yes” or “no” question.

                    9. For the jury, sure.

                  3. Um, the “plot” to kidnap a governor was by people who hate Trump.

                    1. Fair enough. Rightwing militias who can’t accept support from the highest levels of power when it’s offered. Silly.

              2. How do you think rights are protected then?

                1. Government power, ultimately. That’s why you want a government that’s responsive to the will of the people.

                  1. And if the will of the people is to enslave some other people … what then?

                    1. What has stopped them before? A piece of paper?

                2. Rights are not protected, they are conferred by your betters. Try and keep up, clingers.

              3. I agree. Antifa is a bigger problem for me than you.

          2. “I think the 2nd amendment is an obsolete abomination, as are many of the sops to slave states that we had to choke down to get it passed.”

            That was you.

    3. The Pennsylvania decision was a ruling based on the state constitution. Not reviewable by SCOTUS unless a federal issue is presented.

  8. So good.

  9. Why would all the Democrats vote no, if the nominee is well qualified and inclined to follow the Constitution?

    1. Because the Constitution places constraints on government, and Democrats don’t like that.

      1. What about Republicans lately convinces you that they belong in the same sentence with the word “restraint”?

        1. Republicans at least mouth words supporting a limited government that follows the Constitution. Democrats are openly hostile to the idea.

          1. You’re a cheap date. They say things. Oh, great.

            I’m not sure what about fascism is compatible with limited government to you, but I’m sure many supporters of fascism thought it was a good idea at the time.

            1. Do you even know what fascism means?

              1. Yep. It comes in orange now.

                1. Um, no. It doesn’t mean “I don’t like him, he must be a fascist!”

                  It means private ownership of the means of production, but you make what the government tells you to make. It’s just a step above socialism where the government also owns the means of production. While there are plenty of reasons to be critical of the president, fascism isn’t one of them.

                  1. The economic system that accompanies it is kind of arbitrary compared to the nationalism, authoritarianism, racism, and jackbooted thuggery.

                    1. The economic system that accompanies it is kind of arbitrary….

                      Because the economic system that accompanies it is just about verbatim what progressives advocated. It was proven years, no, decades, ago that such an economic system inevitably descends into authoritarianism and jackbooted thuggery.

                    2. nationalism, authoritarianism, racism, and jackbooted thuggery

                      You mean like the Soviet Union, China, and Venezuela?

                    3. Yes, authoritarianism is bad.

                    4. Yes, authoritarianism is bad.

                      Then why do you oppose a limited government that protects liberty and doesn’t force its will into every aspect of our daily life?

                    5. I do support that, but I’m clever enough to realize that Republicans are offering the exact opposite of it.

                    6. That’s why I’m a libertarian, not a Republican.

                    7. And I’m a Sagittarius but I’m not the one supporting judges who want to impose oligarchy and theocracy.

                    8. Whatever dude. I’ve got to get back to work. Thank you for having a disagreement without childish name calling, unlike the majority of conservatives on this board.

                    9. It really isn’t. But you’re fairly stupid. Also, everything you just described are hallmarks of the people you want to put in charge.

                    10. I want normal everyday liberal technocrats in charge, but only because that’s what all the decent places to live have. If you can convince me that an insane rightwing fat man agitating the stupid results in better outcomes for human well-being, I’m all ears.

                    11. No, dude. The economic system is central and essential to what Fascism is. Talking about Fascism, like Mussolini’s thing, not Nazism.

                    12. Tony
                      October.20.2020 at 12:49 pm

                      Yes, authoritarianism is bad.

                      October.20.2020 at 1:11 pm

                      I want normal everyday liberal technocrats in charge

                    13. Sorry, I forget that democracy isn’t automatically implied anymore since you guys have decided to be hostile to it.

                    14. The things you say Trump supports are all things the democrats will inflict on us. Except it will be times a thousand.

                    15. You only think that because you consume news like a fat kid consumes food. It has no value and is bad for you. Pull yourself together man, aren’t things bad enough without you being hysterical?

                  2. Yeoman work, Square. It’s entertaining reading your showing of how Tony keeps contradicting himself.

                    1. Being a progressive means simultaneously supporting two arguments that contradict each other. It’s the cornerstone of their entire worldview.

              2. “Stuff I don’t like.”

          2. Unfortunately, Republicans haven’t been small government since 1964 with Barry Goldwater. Any movement that survived that period was murdered off by the neocons.

  10. ACB wants to read the constitution as written and apply it. And she is not going to use the confirmation hearings as a Roe V Wade or whatever other favorite court decision the Dems want to litigate.

    So the hearings were good

  11. So-called originalism is thought about as a restrictive method of constitutional interpretation, but it’s actually the most expansive. You can take whatever Federalist paper or Founder seance you want and just say it means what you want it to mean. The actual spectrum of restrictiveness has to do with precedent. The Heritage Foundation pod people are grown for the purpose of inventing excuses to overturn precedent. ACB is clear about that even as she thinks a hearing into her qualifications requires her not to say anything about anything.

    The thing about this is that everyone knows she’s there to deliver certain outcomes, nobody is really pretending otherwise except when rhetorically convenient. She exists to be a judicial activist, and originalism exists to be the rhetorical grease of judicial activism. You all know that and you’re happy about it.

    1. Cry more.

      1. How does it really feel to spend your life lying about what you believe and relying on those lies to win power for people and institutions that have nothing to do with you except to the extent that they can get your lizard brain worked up over some bit of nonsense or other?

        Oh no I have to be polite to trans people. The world is literally ending. Quick, cut some pollution regulation!

        1. You just described yourself. The rest of us here want to be free, and not ruled by people who want to micromanage our lives and speech and thoughts. Trump won’t do that. The people who manage Biden will.

          1. I’m not sure what policies you’re referring to.

            1. Nearly all of them? Just look at Obama’s policies. Unconstitutional authoritarian shit like Operation Chokepoint, Obamacare, Cardcheck, numerous EPA policies, propagandist education mandates, etc..

              Biden will continue on with all of that, except on steroids. He plans to end the petroleum industry and push the ‘Green New Deal’ FFS. Yet you pretend like he’s some kind of benevolent centrist

              Are you really this disingenuous? Or are you really stupid enough to believe the garbage you write?

              1. Let me guess, you think climate change is a hoax.

                1. Please try to stay on topic for at least three consecutive comments. Is that too much to ask?

    2. Do you know what judicial activism means?

      1. It’s like small government or political correctness. Orwellian buzzwords.

        Small government = maximum cop.
        PC = I get to enforce political norms and you don’t.
        Judicial activism = overturn precedent for policy outcomes, but only when you’re doing it.

        1. Nope. It is the job of the court to overturn precedent when the precedent is wrong. That’s what the courts are for.

          Judicial activism has the effect of creating legislation, like Qualified Immunity for example, or the PenalTax. But overturning precedent or striking down legislation? That’s just their job.

          1. I see you’ve bought right into the framing. Heller in no way related to anything in the text, original thought about the constitution, or certainly centuries of case law. It was a new policy invented by the court out of thin air. Courts make policy, we agree on that. You just give your courts a free pass when they do it for reasons you like.

            1. “Heller in no way related to anything in the text”

              You did not read Heller.

            2. No Tony. This is the part that you for years have failed to understand. I hold to principles, even if I don’t like the outcomes. While your principles are malleable depending on what it takes to achieve the outcome that you like. End justifies the means and all that. Not everyone is like you.

              1. Not only are rightwing “originalists” more willing to overturn precedent for their ends, which was my argument in the first place, they’re willing to lie about it. Ends often justify means, but if someone needs to examining whether his means are actually among those that are justified, it’s you and your judges.

                1. Overturning precedent usually means less government power and more freedom. Yet you say authoritarianism is bad. Do you see the inconsistency?

                  1. Why on earth does it mean that? The big one they want to overturn would have legislators sticking their paws into women’s reproductive systems.

                    1. I highly doubt that’s going to happen. And even if it does, it only puts the question to the states. California and New York will never outlaw the killing of unborn children. So you have nothing to worry about.

                    2. Laws against fucking children is an example of legislators sticking their paws into everybody’s reproductive systems.

                      Would you not agree?

                    3. It’s your small government philosophy not mine.

                    4. sarcasmic
                      October.20.2020 at 12:52 pm

                      Yes, authoritarianism is bad.

                      Then why do you oppose a limited government that protects liberty and doesn’t force its will into every aspect of our daily life?

                      October.20.2020 at 12:56 pm

                      I do support that, but I’m clever enough to realize that Republicans are offering the exact opposite of it.

                      * * *

                      October.20.2020 at 1:04 pm

                      It’s your small government philosophy not mine.

                    5. I thought I made it clear that I found your small-government philosophy to be an Orwellian sham, and my small-government philosophy to be good and true.

                      I will concede that you probably legitimately want government to take up less GDP than I do. Healthcare is expensive.

                    6. New York has legalized the murder of born babies now.

                    7. Man you’re getting the real jank shit aren’t you. The Breitbart shit.

                      Everything you believe is a lie.

                2. Segregation was precedent.

                  1. Yep. Every once in a great while the Supreme Court does something useful.

                    1. Yea …. but it was precedent …. so, it was wrong to overturn it. Pure activism.

                      You should be denouncing the decision.

                    2. You should be denouncing the decision.

                      That would mean Tony having principles other than “might makes right” and “the end justifies the means.”

                      But he doesn’t.

                    3. I didn’t say it was always bad to overturn precedent. I said it’s bad to do it regularly for bad reasons.

                    4. “I said it’s bad to do it regularly for bad reasons.”


                      What you actually said was:

                      “The Heritage Foundation pod people are grown for the purpose of inventing excuses to overturn precedent.”


                      “Courts make policy, we agree on that. You just give your courts a free pass when they do it for reasons you like.”

                    5. What I’m getting at is the curious acceptance of constant, oppressive deception by the right as long as you get your way. Democrats only rarely do this. You’d think that if your ideas were so good, you could convince people to want them on their merits, not because you’ve spun some horseshit about freedom and dead founders.

                    6. “What I’m getting at is the curious acceptance of constant, oppressive deception by the right as long as you get your way.”

                      Give me one example.

                    7. The silly nonsense of originalism, what I’ve been talking about. Somehow this translates to an unbroken record of Republican-affiliated interests winning at the Supreme Court. I struggle to see how a license to pollute the atmosphere is even addressed in the federalist papers.

                    8. I asked for an example.

                    9. “Covid is just like the flu.”

                    10. Kind of late in the month not to be past your 10 free articles.

                    11. ““Covid is just like the flu.””

                      This has nothing to do with Supreme Court precedent. Stop dodging.

            3. ‘Courts make policy’

              No they don’t. And you wonder why you’re such an easy object of ridicule here.

              1. Courts tell legislatures what they can and can’t do all the time. It’s the whole thing rightwingers bitch about constantly when it doesn’t go their way.

                1. That is not at all the same as “making policy.” Do you understand what “making policy” means?

                  1. It’s now policy that people have a right to own a gun for self defense and it wasn’t policy before the Supreme Court said so.

                    1. So, the answer is you do not understand what policy is.

                    2. It is also clear that you never once read Heller, despite pontificating about it.

                    3. It’s always been ok to own a gun for self defense. Gun control is a modern invention. Largely the result of a Jim Crow laws meant to keep blacks disarmed so they couldn’t stand up to the Klan.

                  2. He doesn’t.

    3. >>she’s there to deliver certain outcomes

      they rarely deliver certain outcomes.

    4. That’s why textualism is better. The laws are what the words say. If the people wanted it to mean something else, they should have written it differently.
      Now, words are also subject to interpretation, but at least it provides some bounds on interpretation.

      1. Textualism without at least a bit of originalism gives us ideas like the 2A allows for regulation of the militia in the progressive sense, not in the original intended meaning of the words “well-regulated.” Textualism needs some context as well.

        1. This is exactly the problem.

          Textualism without originalism is no different than the activist notion that words do not have fixed meanings and, indeed, can have meanings and definitions that did not exist when a particular law was written.

        2. It’s not perfect, but I still thing it is the right way to approach things. You do need to consider the context in which the text was created and what words were commonly understood to mean at the time.

          1. A novel by Mark Twain comes to mind.

  12. This is the sarcasmic I’ve long appreciated! Thoughtful, intelligent, on topic, principled, gets to the heart of the matter, makes his points very simple and easy to understand. Definitely my favorite poster on these boards when he’s on point. Sincere thanks for posting, I enjoy your views when you’re actively and civilly engaging in discussions.

    1. Are there two of them? I vaguely recall a version who was much more inflammatory.

      1. I was losing some faith in him but he’s flashing some of that old greatness today.

      2. Yet I have no recall of a Tony who showed any real intelligence.

        1. I just have to be more intelligent than Trumpers and Ayn Rand fanboys. Grunt work, really.

          1. Tony, credit where credit is due, I have read thousands of commenters and you are by far the stupidest and most dishonest I’ve ever encountered. Congratulations.

            1. *golf clap*

          2. Tony, intellectually you’re an insect among gods here.

        2. I agree 100%. Tony often displays education, but rarely shows intelligence. His reliance on straw man arguments and shifting goalposts reeks of social science academia. He never answers the question he is asked and asks questions only after he has already formulated his response to whatever anyone might answer.

          He is the perfect Progressive. His mind is already made up about everything.

          1. I dearly wish we could be in a place where we were debating meaningful ideas in a rigorous way, but for now I’m stuck trying to fend off obviously bad ideas that are preventing those conversations from taking place.

            1. I think the 2nd amendment is an obsolete abomination, as are many of the sops to slave states that we had to choke down to get it passed.

              This facepalm-inducing statement of yours just reeks of historical ignorance, some parroted talking point from an article or comment whose broader scope you couldn’t quite grasp. It’s the epitome of what you claim to be fighting against.

              1. What do you think militias were there to protect us from? The Chinese?

                1. People who think like you do. That you can inflict any bad idea you might have. Whether they are foreign and domestic. Which makes sense given what the founders went through to get rid of the British.

                  1. Nope, that’s not it. They didn’t let women vote, but they at least were pretty clear that I’m allowed to have different ideas than you.

          2. Tony looks at things from a different point of view. Instead of equality of opportunity he wants equality of outcome. Instead of working from principles regardless of the outcome, his principles are malleable in order to achieve the desired outcome. Instead of wanting people to be free to live their own lives as they see fit, he wants educated technocrats to tell people how to live their lives. Instead of freedom with responsibility he wants freedom from responsibility.

            He’s the polar opposite of a libertarian. Doesn’t make him stupid. Just means he despises liberty and loves control. Plenty of intelligent people support that philosophy. Doesn’t mean they’re stupid. Though they are most definitely wrong.

            1. Yeah, it’s a big mistake to think that people who are wrong are stupid. Or that people only disagree because they are stupid or dishonest. Many extremely smart people are disastrously wrong about all kinds of things with no ulterior motive.

              1. If you’re constantly wrong, you’re stupid.

                It’s kind of the definition of stupid.

                1. Not really. You could be starting from faulty premises.

                  The definition I would put forward for stupid is the inability to think well. If your premises are bad, then you can be brilliant, but come to wrong conclusions. Especially if you look back in history, you can find many very smart people who got things very wrong.

                  1. And I would also contend that smart people are often better at deluding themselves than stupid people. Stupid people may uncritically accept wrong facts sometimes, but smart people will convince themselves that they have reasoned through things and are more likely to have great confidence in the wrong things they believe.

                    1. I’ve been listening to the Jordan Peterson Maps of Meaning lectures.

                      The salient point is that bias comes in even before interpretation. At the level of perception we’re already discarding things we see as irrelevant or inconsequential.
                      Two people could physically see the same event and actually *perceive* different things. Ex: Kyle Rittenhouse, Nick Sandman

            2. Actually I just want a functioning modern government instead of a banana Republican shithole. Libertarians have never produced a functioning modern society, so I’m rightly skeptical of their aims. I value all the same liberties you do, plus about a zillion other liberties you don’t give a crap about, not least is the liberty that comes from not starving to death or dying of cancer for no reason.

              1. Functioning? You mean like Venezuela? That’s your kind of government right there.

              2. Being a Libertarian doesnt mean there are no safety nets.

                It just means less government where it intelligently makes sense to do so. In many respects it might even mean more money channeled to the free market for very focused efforts like cancer, starvation or poverty after we reduce the ridiculous pork and barrel spending in areas like the industrial war complex, the war on drugs or paying down the national debt. You cant possibly look at the government today and think there are not a lot of areas that can be improved with a hell of a lot LESS government.

                Speaking of a banana republic: Warrantless wiretaps, mass surveillance of citizens, perpetual war, preemptive war, undeclared war, world police, mass incarceration, eminent domain, torture, suspension of Posse Comitatus and Habeas Corpus whenever the fuck the president feels like it is not the kind of things I want a government to be doing. These third world shithole endeavors were brought to you not by libertarians, but by democrats and republicans.

                1. I would say those are characteristics of a sophisticated empire, not the shithole kleptocracy Trump is accelerating, but we can both agree they are bad.

                  If libertarians are OK with targeted public spending then maybe they should stop calling us pedophile Marxists and we can accomplish something together.

    2. Yes, much better sarcasmic here

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  14. There have been plenty of references to The Handmaid’s Tale since the ACB nomination. Having actually read the book, I can tell you that the vicious repression by the government outlined in the book starts in response to a takeover following a viral epidemic. The restrictions on women who can bear children are put in place for the good of the republic and the survival of the species.

    Remind me which candidate and party are gung-ho for forced social measures to combat the repercussions of a virus again? A virus that is not even remotely an existential threat.

    1. Does it have to be existential before it matters?

      People still defending Trump after nearly a quarter million deaths, economic collapse, and the largest debts and deficits in history. There’s rarely been a failure so existential.

      What the fuck are you supporting? Is this all about your deep burning need to a right to be an asshole to trans people on Twitter?

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