Thursday, January 04, 2018

The Story of 2017 (Part 1)


by Gaius Publius

2017 has been an such unusual year in so many ways that its unusuality has masked the ways in which it has been a very usual year, a very more-of-the-same series of months.

For one thing, "The Resistance" has gone from being a meaningful idea to something almost seems like it could be added to anything to indicate added value — "Dove soap, now with #Resistance." I've seen "resistance" claims from those who fought to keep the oligarchy in check during the primary, and from those who fight today to enhance the oligarchy's grip after it (I could mention some fervently pro-corporate Democrats I get incessant mailings from).

Almost like the phrase "fake news," which was immediately so overused it became meaningless less than four days after it was created, "The Resistance" hides a disturbing fact — that while we may be witnessing an enhanced and crueler version of your daddy's Republicans, we are not witnessing an enlightened, more "woke" set of mainstream Democrats.

The only thing that's "woke" about those who (still) hold power in the Party ... is the new coat of branding that asks you to think they are.

Trump may himself be new, in that he took the election by running as Bernie Sanders — a candidate the entire Democratic Party seemed united to destroy during the primary. But the only thing new about the response to Trump, to these eyes, is the unified ad campaign — by the Democratic Party establishment, the national security establishment, and the press — to (a) unseat Trump; and (b) restore an acceptable Establishment candidate to power.

That "acceptable Establishment candidate," by the way, may well be Mike Pence, at least in the eyes of two of the three establishments listed above. Sorry Democrats. Letting the CIA bed you doesn't guarantee you girlfriend status in the morning. Nice try, though.

The Story of 2017

All of this is intro to the following list of my favorite "GP" posts of 2017, my sideways view of the melange of battles we witnessed during the year, including:

     • The mainstream Democratic Party's only occasional "resistance," and their attempt to restore their own worst elements to power while pretending to have "woke."

     • The Republican Party's attempt to use the Trump presidency to "win absolutely," end the New Deal forever, destroy all government-mandated environmentalism and dismantle entirely the Roosevelt regulatory state. In short, their hard and constant push to deliver the wettest of wet dreams to the billionaire octogenarians they serve.

     • The national security establishment's increasingly obvious attempt to rid itself of the occasionally heterodox ("Who needs NATO?") elected president it pretends to serve and report to.

     • The country's (so far failed) attempt to say to its ruling establishments, "Please please please, won't someone serve our needs?" A cry so far unheard.

     • The maybe-fatal implications of all the above.

     • Oh ... and the almost certain, easily witnessable birth of the New Old Stone Age thanks to the can both parties are kicking down the road, if not crushing under foot as they resolutely march toward the cliff. I mean, of course, a real response to the coming, almost certain, easily witnessable worldwide climate disaster.

The List that Tells the Story (Part 1)

So, without further ado, part one of the story of 2017, at least as witnessed by the writer in the chair by the window. (Part two will appear next time.)

January 5 — What Democrats Failed to Do on January 3

What they failed to do, of course, is to use the power they briefly had to undo Merrick Garland's Supreme Court appointment. Yes, they could have done it. Do you wonder why they didn't?

January 11 — Obama's Other Legacy: "The Greatest Disintegration of Black Wealth in Recent Memory" 

The Party considers Obama a saint and a savior. It's the greatest triumph of branding since Bill Clinton. Clinton's brand seems to be teetering though. Will Obama's similarly wobble, or will he enter his own sunset years un-reexamined?

January 12 — Who’s Blackmailing the President & Why Aren't  Democrats Upset About It?

Our first look at Trump and his adventures with the national security state he ostensibly leads. Not our last look though. That story continues. 

January 25 — Mike Pompeo, Torture and the Future of the Democratic Party

The Party's second chance, a blown one of course, to make a new first impression. And we're not out of January yet.

February 27 — Obama and the Perez Election — Are the Democrats Trying to Fail?

Yet another chance for mainstream Democrats, let by Obama himself, to show where they stand, to choose between controlling the Party or serving the nation. Do they think the nation's independent voters aren't watching? (Yes, they do think that.)

March 23 — The State of the Climate in 2017: "Truly Uncharted Territory"

A starting point for a theme we came back to. This political generation thinks it can kick the climate can down to the next one, then die with a feeling of righteousness. It can't. It will die in defiance or shame, watching the mess that it itself made unfold around it.

April 6 — The Chevron Decision, the Regulatory State and "Consent of the Governed"

An examination of one of the ways those who control the Republican Party are trying to "win absolutely" — by dismantling absolutely the U.S. regulatory state. This looks at the Supreme Court rulings it wants to overturn, and why.

Thanks to the Democratic Party's unwillingness to unseat Merrick Garland on January 3, the Republicans may well succeed. What can any reasonable person think the outcome of that will be?

May 8 — About the Next Great Crash

A first look at another theme we returned to several more times — the relationship between money creation, private debt, and government enslavement to the financial sector. Because of that combination, most Americans have seen no recovery almost a decade after the last crash. This almost guarantees the next one — and the messy civil war that may well follow.

If you're counting, this will be the second cause of the "rolling civil war" we're already starting to see. I can think of three more we haven't gotten to yet. 

At the heart of this particular problem lies a key: Government creates money and gives it to billionaires whenever it wants to (think of the Iraq War as a $3 trillion gift of newly created dollars to the owners of the corporate military state). If it wanted to, it could create money for other, better purposes — mortgage and student debt relief, free colleges, Medicare for All. If it wanted to.

Making sure you don't see that as a choice is their goal. Making sure you do see that as a choice is ours. This is our first foray of the year in that direction, and not the last. 

May 11 — A Nation in Crisis, Again

A few of my guesses were wrong — a prosecutor was indeed appointed, though no one knows if he will be allowed to remain. But the conclusion is certainly valid:
"This country has had a constitutional crisis every 70 years, after which the government restructured itself. In effect, we have been ruled by three Constitutions, not just one, each producing, in practice, very different governments and societies. We're rapidly producing a crisis that will produce a fourth."
This is also true:
"Whatever happens next, whether Trump is impeached or not, I think we've already been changed as a nation forever by what's already led us to this moment. After all, in 2016 the nation wanted someone like Sanders to be president, wanted an agent of change, and look what it got. This is in fact our second failed attempt this century at change that makes our lives better.

"I don't think that point's been lost on anyone. We're in transition no matter what happens to Trump. Transition to what, we'll have to find out later."
This is an appropriate place to end for now, with a look at where the failed citizen's revolt of 2016 leaves us going forward. The rest of our story of 2017 next time.


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At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A nice post-mortem.

"After all, in 2016 the nation wanted someone like Sanders to be president, wanted an agent of change, and look what it got. This is in fact our second failed attempt this century at change that makes our lives better.

I don't think that point's been lost on anyone. We're in transition no matter what happens to Trump. Transition to what, we'll have to find out later."

It is somewhat presumptuous to say the nation wanted a Sanders. It's true that independents did not have the opportunity to affirm Sanders in enough primaries. But it is also true that when Sanders turtled, $hillbillary did win the election by 3 million. Like Hitler, trump did not get a majority of voters. But he only lost by .5%. So... who DID the nation "want"?

Our second "change" election this century? Actually it's our 5th if you count both cheneys, obamanations and this pos. Yet you must acknowledge that each "change" election resulted in a continuation and more degradation than before with normalization of the shit that came before. Yet voters RE-elected cheney and obamanation. And if not for the amendment, they'd probably have RE-elected obamanation again in '16. So to say it's NOT lost on folks is clearly not correct.

If anything, voters prove dumber and more evil every cycle. There is no objective reason that either cheney or obamanation deserved a second admin, yet they both got them.

ARE we in a transition? I maintain, based on evidence and the historical performance of parties, media and voters, we are NOT. And if we are, it's a steady transition down the escalator toward naziism, which we've been on for almost 40 years.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Thomas Ten Bears said...

So, the democrats, in spite of tens of millions of voices yelling from the tops of their lungs DON’T DO IT!, chose to run a candidate because “it’s her turn”, that couldn’t beat the friend of the family who was actively campaigning to get her elected. That about right?

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2017 was entirely predictable given the 37-year downward vector the money has us all on. If it hadn't happened in '17, it would have in '19.

The money wanted it, orchestrated it, funded it and is enforcing it. The money's paid façade of democracy (republicans and democraps) guarantee fidelity to the money's plan.

And, most importantly, voters have NEVER demanded change. No, not even in '16. 94.3% of them voted for the money's charade. Only 5.7% did not vote for them. This is more than triple the number that voted "other" in 2012, but still nowhere near enough to get excited about. 10:33 is correct.

At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Like Hitler, trump did not get a majority of voters. But he only lost by .5%. So... who DID the nation "want"? "

Let's get something straight here, 10:30. Hitler himself never won an election. He was APPOINTED Chancellor by Hindenberg under pressure from the "conservatives" of Germany who believed that by giving that swine responsibility that he'd tone down the hostile rhetoric. How'd that work out again?

There is also a lot of "forgetting" about the thousands of voters of Detroit and Milwaukee who were denied their rights to vote, or whose votes were stuffed into a hiding place where they wouldn't be counted. From what I've read, there were enough of these in both states to have swung things to HER!. Ohio has long been a hotbed of electoral fraud (see: John Kerry 2004), so it is reasonable that many Cleveland voters suffered the same fate as their neighbors in Detroit. And, lastly no one had anything good to say about Pennsylvania elections for a couple of decades now.

As much as I am not thrilled by the prospect, it is reasonable to assume that Hillary actually won the election. It's on HER! for stopping any recount efforts by anyone else, especially Jill Stein. Was that to keep the FBI from investigating the Foundation and all of the shady money that went into it? With recent reports that the FBI is NOW looking into the Foundation, I'd love to ask HER! if trusting tRump and the GOP was worth it. tRump WILL throw HER! under the bus to save his own sorry and worthless ass.

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's another DEM revelation (from a DEM $ocialist) : 'David Hildebrand for U.S. Senate " 95% of Corporate-Free candidates with progressive platforms are running as Dems in 2018." ' And my reality check to DEM ($ocialist, 0R Not) :


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