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Moving Forward

May 20, 2019 9:12 a.m.

TPM Reader LS reported last week from her Indivisible Book Club …

I’m off to attend my Indivisible book club today.. I’m close to dropping out. Last time, the eye rolls descended upon me for agreeing that there might be a right-wing conspiracy. But this club is Joe Biden territory, consisting of older voters, would-have-been Republicans, and naive observers.

Today’s topic is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Actually, the book was The Notorious R.B.G., but one of the members discovered it was illustrated and refused to consider it a suitable choice. Our peace-seeking coordinator added two more books, a standard biography and selected writings by RBG and then video options too.

Last time, we had a spirited discussion about James Comey featuring his book A Higher Loyalty. I led the skeptical viewpoint about his actions and his character, focusing on the difference between his treatment of Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016, which looks even worse after the Mueller report.

In this group, I keep seeing Democratic echoes of Trump’s 2016 campaign, a real longing for the past. But like the Trump supporters, this past never existed. It’s a mishmash of a 1980s Congress which worked together with the President to pass laws, a imaginary balanced fair Supreme Court, and a kindly genial president who gets along with everybody. Cue Biden.

The reality I see is a further fracturing, Civil War-style, clearest in the churches. The religious organizations are sorting into pro-Trump and anti-Trump, and I also see the continued growth of the nones, no church affiliation.

I have a Cassandra role in the book club, knowledgeable but not comforting. I’m choosing my battles these days and I may pass on this one. The book club members’ longing for the comity of previous days irritates me like a burr under the cushion.

I’m with Elizabeth Warren, AOC, Rashida Tlaib, and all those others who want to move the country forward into a better place, not just back to the old not-so-great comfortable lounger.

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