The series finale of the TV show Billions just dropped today. Its Metacritic score started at 69 in S1, peaked at 87 in S4, then ended at 62 in S7. I’ve enjoyed it especially as “competence porn” where I get to admire people who are very good at what they do.
Re: "no limits to what they’d do to tank a US presidential candidate they didn’t like"
I've always wondered if eroding norms of conduct are a one-way slide. For example the norms around filling empty US Supreme Court positions were altered by Republicans in 2016 and again in 2020, and one imagines this is likely a permanent change. (I can't imagine the Democrats will behave differently when the roles are reversed.) And a lot of the country now seems ok with sidestepping the democratic process on the basis of "it was rigged." Another norm broken, or at least weakened.
Is it possible that norms ever rebuild? Or is it like entropy, where they grind down inexorably until the system collapses and something new replaces it?
Under what circumstances do you think all the candidates for US president would consider a nuclear first strike? A nuclear first strike plausibly could escalate into a global thermonuclear war, which is one of the plausible ways that our entire civilization could end. What circumstances would be worth risking that?
Additionally, even if global thermonuclear war does not result, a nuke is indiscriminate and will kill millions of innocent civilians, and a willingness to do that speaks very poorly for the candidate's character.
Has any current candidate for US president *said* they would consider a nuclear first strike?
That was an awful lot of words to say "You're right, Garrett, the Democrats really did start the fight over the judicial filibuster."
The rest is you being outraged over the fact that the party that controls the senate has a veto over who gets to be on the Supreme Court. Republicans controlled the senate when Garland was nominated, which means they got to say no, and Republicans control the senate when Barrett was nominated, which means they got to say yes. If the Democrats wanted the president's judicial nominations to receive more deference, they probably should not have turned Bork into a verb.
> The sad message I see here is that some cultural elites are eager to make it very clear that there are basically no limits to what they’d do to tank a US presidential candidate they didn’t like
Isn't that what we should have always expected?
This isn't an anti-elite stance on my part, just a..."well yes, that's human beings for you"-stance.
Interesting use of this phrase: admirable competent usually-selfish characters. What compelled you to use these adjectives when watching the show?