Culturally informed by Roman Catholicism's expectation that regret must prompt an apology as well as penance, Western European tradition calls for a rhetorical journey by politicians who claim to have changed course. A chastened leader should explain why and how he came to his previous belief, explain the circumstances that changed his mind and make the case for his new, different policy. He must expend political capital in order to get changes enacted.
Commentary by Ted Rall
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Few things are more terrifying than the unknown, as we are discovering as we struggle to navigate, avoid and (if we fail to avoid) survive a mysterious new virus. That goes double when reliable information is hard to come by; it is unquantifiably worse without credible leadership.
I shouted the text of my latest story about the invasion from a Palm Pilot into a balky Iridium satellite phone. It was at least my third attempt, and the battery was dying. A Village Voice employee assigned to take dictation on the other side of the world interrupted me.
"I don't understand," she said, irritated. "Why don't you just go to Kinko's and email it to us?"
The coronavirus pandemic has laid bare two fundamental flaws in the American health care system.
Did Joe Biden finger-rape Tara Reade in the Capitol in 1993? No one knows but the two of them. (Given the former vice president's obviously fragile mental state, he might not remember.)
We can save the economy.
We have to throw the landlords under the bus to do it.
There is no room for progressives in the Democratic Party.
No matter how many votes he or she gets, no progressive will be permitted to be the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party.
Bernie Sanders is out of the race, and with him goes the last chance for progressivism to take over the Democratic Party for a generation.
It's the end of the world as we know it, and the banks and airlines feel fine because even in the midst of economic collapse, CEOs can sleep soundly at night, secure in the knowledge that the American taxpayer will bail them out. Again.
You Democrats ought to be ashamed of yourselves.
You spent the last four years criticizing President Donald Trump in no small part for his mental state, and rightly so. The Founding Fathers included an impeachment provision in the Constitution in large part as a contingency to remove a president exactly like him, whose temperament and personality and mental state are incompatible with the requirements of the highest elected office in the land.
You've heard it so often that you may well believe it's true: President Donald Trump's second term would be a disaster, for the Democratic Party, for the United States, for democracy itself. "The reelection of Donald Trump," warns Nancy Pelosi, "would do irreparable damage to the United States."
Watching panicky corporate-owned Democrats twist on the devil's fork of Bernie Sanders' "political revolution" is almost as much fun as it must have been for my mom and her fellow villagers to watch Vichy collaborators and Nazi sympathizers being executed by the resistance at the end of World War II. (That, Chris Matthews, is how you do a Nazi-to-2020 metaphor.)
Bernie Sanders is currently the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. He and everyone else knows exactly how the Republicans will attack him if and when he becomes the nominee: old-fashioned redbaiting.
"Many Democrats fear that Trump may be laying an impeachment trap," Stephen Collins wrote for CNN last May. "It's possible that the wider political divides get, the more Trump benefits. The spectacle would help him charge up the political base he needs to turn out in droves in 2020 with claims their 2016 votes were being stolen by political elites."
On Jan. 19, The New York Times oddly co-endorsed Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar for the Democratic presidential nomination. Two days later, a poll on the key New Hampshire primary showed Warren down 4 points. Bernie Sanders' surge continued. What happened?
Let's say you owned a house and needed extra cash to make ends meet, so you decided to rent two of your bedrooms. Would you agree to lease those rooms to two people under the condition that you could only run a credit check on and meet one of them? Would you allow an anonymous rando to move into your second room, no questions asked, not even what their name is?
Russia -- OK, not the actual Russian government but a private troll farm company located in Russia -- bought $100,000 worth of political ads on Facebook designed to change the outcome of the 2016 election. Except that only a small fraction of those ads were political. Also except that the small fraction was divvied up between pro-Hillary Clinton and pro-Donald Trump ads. And especially except that $100,000 in Facebook ads can't affect the outcome of a $6.8 billion election.
People born in the 1960s may be the last human beings who will get to live out their full actuarial life expectancies.
"Climate change now represents a near- to mid-term existential threat" to humanity, warns a recent policy paper by an Australian think tank. Civilization, scientists say, could collapse by 2050. Some people may survive. Not many.
How you respond to an attack defines you. Keep your cool, remain civil, and others will respect the way you handle yourself, even if they disagree with you. Lower yourself to your assailant's level and -- at best -- spectators will dismiss your dispute as a he-said-she-said between two jerks.
The US Government Lied About the Afghanistan War; They Couldn't Have Done It Without Lapdogs Like The Washington Post By Ted Rall
"In ten years or so, we'll leak the truth," the Dead Kennedys sang. "But by then it's only so much paper."