Monday, January 27, 2020

Young Voters Want To Vote-- But Not For Warmongers-- Of Either Party... Watch Out Josh Gottheimer, Anthony Brindisi And Kendra Horn


Writing for the American Independent on Friday, Dan Martin reported that Political activism skyrocketing among high schoolers. Martin wrote that "Since the 2016 election, high schools around the country have seen an explosion of activism by young people... [and that] most of the excitement is on the progressive side, with the membership in the High School Democrats of America doubling over the past year... In the 2018 midterm election, voter participation by voters aged 18 to 29 increased in all 42 states where data is available [and] young voters preferred Democratic House candidates by a 35-point margin, a gap the group says helped Democrats win back the House majority." The issues motivating them are the issues Bernie and the candidates running on his platform are talking about: the Green New Deal, a more equitable distribution of wealth, general reform-- from campaign finance and government ethics to gun safety and more government ethics, the social safety net and, of course, peace.

Over the weekend, New Republic editor, Chris Lehmann, sent the magazine's subscribers a note ("The Neocons Strike Back") with this photo of Republican politicians and GOP fellow-travelers, some familiar Concast-TV characters as #NeverTrumpers:

Lehmann noted that "Trump's drone strike on Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani shocked much of the world when it happened, but at least one group greeted it as the welcome return of a familiar and beloved policy outlook: D.C.’s influential corps of neoconservative thinkers and global strategists. As New Republic writer Jacob Heilbrunn notes, the neocons-- long viewed as a bulwark of anguished Never Trump dissent in the reconfigured alignments of right-wing power-- were abruptly jolted into a familiar, pleasing sense of their own realpolitik wisdom and policy clout:
Neoconservatism as a foreign policy ideology has been badly discredited over the last two decades, thanks to the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan. But in the blinding flash of one drone strike, neoconservatism was easily able to reinsert itself in the national conversation. It now appears that Trump intends to make Soleimani’s killing-- which has nearly drawn the U.S. into yet another conflict in the Middle East and, in typical neoconservative fashion, ended up backfiring and undercutting American goals in the region-- a central part of his 2020 reelection bid.

And the neoconservative establishment is forever poised to retake its role in the sanctums of interventionism, Heilbrunn writes: Thanks to their well-documented organizational prowess and political savvy, neoconservative policy gurus always function as a sort of floating government-in-waiting, keenly attuned to the moment when unilateral military action pivots the D.C. consensus-sphere back onto a war footing. The movement’s “hawkish tendencies remain widely prevalent not only in the Republican Party but also in the media, the think-tank universe, and the liberal-hawk precincts of the Democratic Party,” Heilbrunn observes. Neoconservatives have been able to trade on the movement’s warrior prestige ever since the fall of communism and gathered momentum with the 1991 Iraq invasion, alongside philosophic rationales for American interventionism under the rubric of democracy promotion produced by neoconservative intellectuals such as Jeane Kirkpatrick and Francis Fukuyama.

The disastrous and ongoing military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, launched in the early aughts, appeared to put the movement into a provisional state of disfavor—and Donald Trump’s election in 2016, on at least a partially isolationist “America First” platform, seemed to further secure the neoconservatives’ state of near-permanent policy exile.

But appearances are deceiving-- and not simply because Trump’s foreign policy views, like all his positions not devoted exclusively to the promotion of his own ego, are stunningly incoherent. In reality, plenty of Trump’s inner circle is tightly aligned with neocon doctrine, from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Special Representative to Iran Brian Hook to Lindsey Graham and Rudy Giuliani. And a subfaction of what Stephen Wertheim has dubbed “anti-globalist neocons” furnish a conceptual bridge from the president’s occasional posture of guarded nationalism on the global stage to the bellicose, where-do-we-invade-next worldview forever in favor on the neocon right. The resulting, chilling synthesis can of course be glimpsed on Trump’s Twitter account. In one recent tweet, Heilbrunn writes, Trump “dismissed his national security adviser... Robert O’Brien, for declaring that the strike against Soleimani would force Iran to negotiate: ‘Actually, I couldn’t care less if they negotiate,’ he said. ‘Will be totally up to them, but no nuclear weapons and don’t kill your protestors.’”

In other words, behold the 2020 model of the neoconservative world order-- one in which intellectual consistency, and indeed coherent leadership, is an entirely disposable commodity. “Whether the neoconservatives themselves are occupying top positions in the Trump administration is almost irrelevant,” Heilbrunn argues. “The ideology itself has reemerged to a degree that even Trump himself seems hard-pressed to resist it—even if he wanted to.” After three chaotic, scandal-plagued years in power, Donald Trump has finally stumbled into a corner of Washington where he can be made to seem to belong.

No one is going to argue about the inclusion of war-mongers likJohn Bolton, Lindsey Graham, Robert O’Brien, Bill Kristol, Mike Pompeo, Brian Hook, David Frum, Mark Dubowitz, David Wurmser, Tom Cotton. But considering that the vote was just a couple of weeks ago, they might have mentioned that when the House brought up the War Powers Resolution on January 9, there were 8 Democrats who refused to vote for it:
Anthony Brindisi (Blue Dog-NY)
Joe Cunningham (Blue Dog-SC)
Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ)
Kendra Horn (Blue Dog-OK)
Elaine Luria (New Dem-VA)
Ben McAdams (Blue Dog-UT)
Stephanie Murphy (Blue Dog-FL)
Max Rose (Blue Dog-NY)
You like activism among idealistic young people manifesting itself at the polls? Then don't keep nominating fake Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- the Blue Dogs and New Dems-- to muddy the Democratic Party brand. Because if young people get riled up enough-- and find the Democratic Party as distasteful as the Republican Party-- there are other options. These people are not, after all, beholden to party bosses.

Saturday Walter Shapiro wrote, also for the New Republic, that "Biden is drawing significantly smaller Iowa crowds than Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren. In fact, Biden may have played to more packed rooms in the run-up to the 2008 caucuses in which he limped home with an embarrassingly weak fifth-place finish." No one-- particularly people under 60-- want to come see him or his pathetic cast of conservative surrogates who often seem downright prehistoric with their ancient Republican-like ideas. (And by the way, I haven't seen a single poll showing Status Quo Joe breaking into double digits when people under 30 are asked which Democratic nominee they prefer. Do you think they're going to even bother voting in great numbers if Biden somehow gets the nomination, especially if that nomination is viewed as having been obtained illegitimately through the kinds of shenanigans the DNC pulled to hand it to Hillary in 2016?)

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At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if it's overt warmongering, you conspicuously omitted biden. if it's neoliberalism, you conspicuously omitted pete, biden, klobuchar and Elizabeth-the-capitalist. I'd also include the single-digiters but why bother?

young voters want pretty much Bernie, AOC and the "squad". Few others qualify.

Unfortunately, even young voters tend to be dumber than shit in that they fail to realize that those are all democraps... and the democraps still answer to Pelosi, scummer, hoyer and a very long list of neoliberals sworn to defend the money's rule uber alles.

keep democraps? nothing changes. if you don't believe me... keep doing what you've been doing for the past 40 years. you'll deserve the consequences.

At 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived long enough to attest to the observation that voting for Democrats only results in more power gained by the Republicans. So it's not that nothing changes. It's that it changes for the worse.

At 5:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

agreed. when I say 'nothing changes', I really mean that the downward vector does not change its slope. Thank you for the clarity I lacked.


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