Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Trumpanzee's Winter Blunderland-- And What Comes Next


House phones ring
Are you listening
Folks are mad
But Ryan’s insisting
Another tax fight!
No funding bill in sight
Walking in a winter blunderland

Gone away is Obama
Here to stay is constant drama
We try to stay strong
As Trump tweets along
Walking in a winter blunderland

In the darkness they can pass a tax plan
And pretend that workers will be fine
We say work together, they say no man!
We don’t need your vote while we’re in town

Later on, they’ll conspire
To cut programs we require
Who needs Medicaid
When donors get paid
Walking in a winter blunderland

In the Congress we will keep on fighting
Maybe we can find some common ground
How ‘bout funding CHIP and fixing DACA
Before we take those jet planes out of town
Trump’s first year, it’s been chilling
The New Year’s near, ain’t it thrilling
It’ll be a new day, 2018’s not far away
Walking in a winter blunderland

Different views, let’s pursue
No matter if red or blue
Let’s keep taking a stand
Let’s work hand-in-hand
Till we’re back walking in a winter wonderland
Walking in a winter wonderland.
That little ditty was from Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. Nice. She feels confident the Democrats will take back Congress in 2018, which means "it'll be a new day in 2019," which is actually pretty far away... and with lots of time for lots of damage on lots of fronts, even existentially. I've been pointing out for 6 or 7 months that being anti-Trump doesn't make anyone progressive or even remotely good on policy. I often use my own congressman, Adam Schiff, as an example. It doesn't take inordinate political courage in our L.A. district, where Trump only managed to get 22% of the vote, to be anti-Trump and, in fact, Schiff, who has no serious opponents to his reelection bid has been raising humongous amounts of money from his frequent Rachel Maddow appearances-- and not just in our district. It's almost as if he finishes a Maddow appearance and runs to San Diego or somewhere else for a fundraiser. As of September 30, his last FEC report showed him having raised $1,667,276 this cycle. At that point he had $2,995,548 cash on hand. None of his 4 "opponents" has even raised the $5,000 that would trigger an FEC report. It's almost as if Schiff knows DiFi won't really be running for her Senate seat and he needs the money for that. (And his top political operative is working diligently to get a vicious whispering campaign going against Kevin De León, DiFi's progressive opponent.) Schiff is a Blue Dog/New Dem who would be another awful California congressmember, just like DiFi, maybe worse! Anyway, long story short-- my theory of this is that anti-Trumpism has nothing to do with being a progressive. Controversial journalist and author Caitlin Johnstone wrote an essay last week that goes much further: Anti-Trumpism Is Anti-Progressivism In Disguise. She explains that when she says "anti-Trumpism" she means "the blinkered, frenzied 'ZOMG LITERALLY HITLER' cult which prioritizes impeachment of the sitting president above all else and at any cost."
The campaign against Roy Moore was simply a microcosm of this general “vote for us because we’re not that scary boogieman” good cop/bad cop game both parties have been extorting the American public with for generations. Like Trump, Moore was a scandal-saturated slob who represented some of the most pernicious aspects of the GOP, and, though his opponent Doug Jones campaigned as a centrist who would work with Republicans, he was still viewed as better than Moore by enough people to win an election. This extortion scheme forced the people of Alabama to choose between a senator who would help move US politics far to the right and someone who would help move US politics only somewhat to the right, and they voted in self-defense, not because they liked Jones but because they feared Moore.

This is a perfect illustration of how anti-Trumpism is being used on a much larger scale. By constantly masturbating the absurd narrative that Donald Trump is simultaneously (A) crazy, (B) stupid, (C) a secret Nazi and (D) a treasonous Kremlin agent, the Democratic party is able to herd the political left into supporting pro-war, pro-oligarchy candidates and agendas. In the same way they used “But Roy Moore!” to win support for an imperialist corporate whore, they will use “But Trump!” to win support for their neoliberal neoconservative extortion scheme at every turn.

Whenever I point this out I get a bunch of Democratic party loyalists telling me “We can walk and chew gum at the same time! We can work to impeach Trump while advancing progressive causes!” No you can’t. You can’t and you don’t. When it came time to fight the DNC’s illicit, charter-violating installation of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders they “But Trump!”ed you into conforming. When it came time to support a third party they “But Trump!”ed you into conforming. When it came time to demand a massive overhaul of the DNC they “But Trump!”ed you into conforming. When it came time to demand a full investigation and restitution for the Democratic party’s misdeeds and manipulations exposed by WikiLeaks they “But Trump!”ed you into conforming. Every meaningful movement toward economic justice has been muted and marginalized since the election by “But Trump! But Trump! But Trump!” while the Republicans march the country further into corporatist oligarchy, and this scheme will continue for as long as it continues to work.

As long as the American left allows fear of Trump to determine the way it thinks and votes, the American left will be completely neutered. When this boogieman is out of office, they’ll simply elevate another one just like they did with Trump, probably one that’s even scarier since the last one was so effective. If they can’t beat that one they’ll use him to herd the left into the center, just like they’re doing now.

There’s a pipe dream in the DemEnter school of thought that progressives will be able to stage a takeover of the Democratic party beginning in 2018, but as long as the cult of anti-Trumpism, impeachment and Russiagate continues to dominate the way Democrats think and vote, this simply will not happen. 2018 will not be a year in which Berniecrats shore up influence over the Democratic party, it will be a year in which Democrats are “But Trump!”ed into supporting the so-called “center”, which only gets to call itself that because its massive corporate funds and media influence have enabled it to become a mainstream force.

You cannot have your impeachment/Russiagate crusade and also move US politics to the left, progressives. You cannot. What you are trying to do isn’t like walking and chewing gum at the same time, it’s like trying to walk in one direction while taking a jet plane in the other direction at the same time. Keep supporting the impeachment/Russiagate narrative and you’re just handing the ranchers an easy day’s work as you march yourselves all straight into the slaughterhouse. They will “But Trump!” you into conformity until you stop letting fear and corporate narratives rule your minds and start pushing for what you truly want for yourselves instead.
Perhaps I should mention at this point that every poll I've seen backs up my contention that, at the very least, the Democrats will net the two dozen seats they need to win back the House. It's more likely that the Democrats will win 4 dozen seats or more than just 2 dozen seats. And the Senate is actually in play-- although if you think Doug Jones is bad, wait 'til you get to know Schumer's pick for the Arizona Senate seat, literally the worst Democrat in Congress, Blue Dog Kyrsten Sinema. And Schumer and Reid's pick for the Nevada seat, Jacky Rosen, isn't much better. Early yesterday Señor Trumpanzee tweeted that "Republicans will do very well in 2018, very well!" They won't-- and that's largely because of him-- including his Regime's astounding corruption and Paul Ryan's audacious and highly unpopular Republican overreach.

American Gothic Revisited by Nancy Ohanian

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At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am seriously dismayed by Debbie Dingbat's political naïveté. Republicans manage to crush and destroy decades of effort in a matter of months, and it will take decades of effort to restore a mere fraction of these programs even with the necessary veto-proof DINO-Whig majorities to do so.

But that's OK. She can express her poetic muse while Detroit crumbles and Flint corrodes. It's not like anyone cares about either place anymore.

At 6:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how wonderful. The democraps may retake the house only a decade after they had both chambers plus the wh and did... absolutely nothing useful with it. I am SO looking forward to how they will dismiss and excuse their refusals/betrayals this time.

Just imagine the democrats had passed FDR's test in 2009 by jailing banksters and torturers, passing MFA, raising taxes on the rich, disengaging from wars, invoking Sherman, rebuilding infrastructure, launching a manhattan project to replace fossil fuels with renewables, renegotiated or repudiated all the FTAs...

We are where we are because the democraps are corrupt and feckless AND because 65 million voters on the left (all that still vote) are too fucking stupid to realize this.

We are here because of 4 decades of lesser evilism.

If you want to see how much lower we can go, keep following the lesser evilism escalator down.

At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

horseshit! As we saw in 2009, even when the democraps had 60 in the senate, they were still in the minority since they never got anything passed cloture and never allowed anything useful to be passed.

I'm still waiting for DWT, VG, HONE or anyone at all to 'splain to everyone how retaking even both chambers in '18 or '20 will make any difference at all.

Take your time, all. We got nuthin but time. Well, until we don't.

At 5:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, horseshit! In 2009 when obamanation refused to do shit about any of the systemic cancers in the usa, there wasn't any "but trump ism". How did they herd the imbeciles back then?

but McCain, but palin, then but Romney. policy and mandate betrayals? but republicans (note: there were 60 fucking democraps in the senate and they STILL wouldn't outvote the Rs.)

Until the left "but democraps" and finds a new party, we'll ALWAYS have "but something/someone" as the excuse for refusal/failure and the escalator will continue carrying us/US into the void below.


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