Saturday, October 10, 2020

In 3 Weeks We Have The Chance To Get Even With Politicians Who Have Screwed Us Over-- Let's Use It



"Don't Let It Dominate Your Life" by Nancy Ohanian

Trump, possibly dying from COVID, cancelled his Ambridge, Pennsylvania (Beaver County, 16 miles northwest of Pittsburgh) rally early yesterday morning but promised he would be doing a rally in Florida today or tomorrow. He spent his time yesterday chit-chatting on the phone with Rush Limbaugh-- threatening his (internal) enemies-- and on Fox Business where he said he's "back because I’m a perfect physical specimen, and I’m extremely young. And so I am lucky that way." He then cancelled his Sunday rally in a Florida secret location that only ever existed in his fevered mind. Earlier, Ted Cruz, on CNBC's Squawk Box was bitterly facing up to the fact that the GOP is about to experience what he called "a bloodbath of Watergate proportions." (Pathetically, he blamed Schumer and Pelosi for the Republicans' problems.)

Conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan wrote yesterday that he's dreaming of a Biden landslide. Notice that Trump-hating Republicans like Sullivan seem far more excited about Biden than thoughtful Democrats do. I've had no doubt since 2018 that there would be a giant anti-Trump/anti-Republican tsunami. Poll after poll, though, has shown not a trace of a "Biden landslide." A Biden landslide is preposterous. He is clearly the lesser of two evils and my fear is that he'll interpret a landslide (against Trump) into some kind of validation for himself and proceed to be the worst Democratic president since James Buchanan. My biggest fear, of course, is that he'll fulfill his career-long dream of making a grand bargain with the GOP that will kill off Social Security and/or Medicare.

Sullivan, a #NeverTrumper, wrote he knows "it’s tempting fate to mention the idea, foolish to entertain it, mad to expect it, but the possibility of a landslide is now real." He should get out more. It's been baked into the cake for quite some time. "A Biden win," he wrote, "would be a reprieve for the country; a Biden landslide would be an American miracle. Unlike anything else, it would cauterize the wound of Trump, preventing further infection. It would say to posterity: we made this hideous mistake, for understandable reasons, but after four years, we saw what we did and decisively changed course. It would turn the Trump era of nihilism, tribalism and cruelty into a cautionary tale of extremism, illiberalism and, above all, failure. It would suggest, especially if older whites come round some more, that the future need not be one of spiraling racial polarization, but of multiracial support for liberal democracy, its norms, and practices. What you learn from studying the decline and collapse of republics is that illiberal precedents become the new baseline if they are not instantly repudiated and punished. A landslide loss for Trump would mitigate, if not remove, the deep damage he has done."

He's smoking dope or something. But Republicans want that big Biden win, probably because he knows Biden is the best route back to the status quo ante where conservatives have thrived and will thrive again. Biden sure ain't Bernie and, in his own words, nothing will fundamentally change.
A landslide would also do something important for an incoming Biden administration: it would present a real opportunity to pursue a policy of national reconciliation around Covid19 recovery and economic stimulus. It would buttress Biden’s hopes for bipartisan support, even if of a limited kind, in a genuine emergency. His Gettysburg speech last week reiterated his opposition to left-tribalism, as did Harris’ surprising brag about support from Republicans and Independents in the debate. As David Brooks noticed this morning, this has been a very centrist campaign from Biden-Harris. Biden is offering himself, in Noah Millman’s rough analogy, as a kind of Adenauer figure, a bridge from past to future rooted in a stable center. Here’s the money quote from Gettysburg:
Instead of treating each other’s party as the opposition, we treat them as the enemy. This must end. We need to revive the spirit of bipartisanship in this country. A spirit of being able to work with one another. When I say that, and I’ve been saying it for two years now, I’m accused of being naive. I’m told, “Maybe that’s the way things used to work, Joe, but they can’t work that way anymore.” Well, I’m here to tell you they can, and they must if we’re going to get anything done.
And such an atmosphere could help usher in an immediate stimulus package which, as Matt Yglesias explains here, is close to oven-ready. Using Reconciliation to pass a series of redistributive measures alongside Covid19 relief-- a new child allowance, green infrastructure investment, Obamacare expansion, phased-in tax hikes on the wealthy-- side-steps the filibuster question (you don’t need 60 Senate votes to pass a Reconciliation bill) and sets Biden up for a big initial win, with the momentum that provides.

A landslide matters because it gives Biden a much bigger mandate to govern from the center; it matters because it would add more non-leftist Democrats to the House, weakening the extreme left; it matters because if former Republicans and Independents give Biden a hefty margin of victory, Congressional Republicans might feel some small pressure, in the wake of their party’s collapse, to acquiesce for a while at least. That didn’t happen in 2009, of course. But the gyre has widened since then, and the full, terrifying consequences of a house so deeply divided are much clearer now.

And a landslide is the only thing that can possibly, finally break the far right fever that has destroyed the GOP as a legitimate right-of-center political party, and turned it into a paranoid, media-driven, fact-free festival of fear and animus. It does not and cannot mean a return to the Bush era. The Republican move toward defending the unskilled, protecting working families, guarding entitlements, resisting urban wokeness, checking free trade absolutism, restraining overseas intervention, and curtailing mass immigration is one that need not be abandoned. Its time has come. But what the GOP has to grasp is that although Trump rose to power on these currents, and brilliantly exploited them, he also proved to be far too narcissistic and confrontational to harness them.

In fact, Trump severely hurt the cause for stronger immigration controls, because of his racial crassness, jaw-dropping cruelty, and terrible skills at deal-making. He has given the critical race theorists a living breathing caricature of right-racism, discrediting and demoralizing a liberal defense of color-blindness and equality. He has tainted a sane, necessary entrenchment of America’s global reach with support for dictatorships and contempt for our allies. He has worsened social and economic inequality, when a reformist conservatism would seek to “level up” a society wracked by hyper-global capitalism. A thumping defeat of the president, a serious shellacking, could help remove the tarnished toxicity of Trump from an agenda that, under younger leadership, could spawn a new, multicultural right-of-center majority.

You can see the kindling for it: in the growing success of Latinos in America and their desire to join the mainstream as generations of immigrants have done before them; in the dogged defense of meritocracy and hard work among Asian-Americans, as they fight left-racism in the school and college system; in the concern about crime that separates many sane black voters from white, wealthy liberals; in the staggeringly successful integration of gays and lesbians, a community as diverse as any in America, who are open, if they are not shunned, to a dialogue that focuses on more than the “systemic oppression” of the past.

I didn’t expect this sudden hopeful twist of fate. Who could? And I don’t mean to deny the depth of tribalism in our culture, the remaining acute dangers of the election season, the huge gambles an unhinged president could make to save his skin, or yet another melodrama in this exhausting story. But the psychotic unraveling of Trump for all to see, the overwhelming fact of his failure on the core issue of the election, Covid19, and the appalling chaos and madness of a campaign in free-fall have given us something quite rare these past few years. There is an inkling of possibility on the horizon. After the worst of all possible worlds, we have a taste of a better one.
Goal ThermometerThere is one aspect of an anti-Trump landslide I like. Depending on how big it is, we will see "safe" red congressional seats flip blue, including-- unlike Biden-- for real reformers, like Mike Siegel, Julie Oliver, Kara Eastman, Audrey Denney, Liam O'Mara, Adam Christensen, Nate McMurray, J.D. Scholten and other candidates the DCCC refused to take seriously but who could help balance the over-abundance of conservative recruits from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, worthless New Dems and Blue Dogs. None of them are worse than Republicans but none of them are worth supporting. But please do support the progressives running for House seats by clicking on the ActBlue 2020 congressional thermometer on the right. All of these candidates are working their asses off to finish strong with Get Out The Vote efforts in their districts, efforts that will pay off not just for themselves, but for Biden and in state legislative races to boot. Voters who Adam Christensen turns out could help flip the Florida state Senate. Voters who Mike Siegel and Julie Oliver turn out could help flip the Texas state House. Let's all do what we can to get this done.

Labels: , , , , ,


At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Joy we can "get even", yet never get something, like M4ALL. There must be 50 ways to get nothing from your politicians.

At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such victory -the restoration of "sane" corporate control over the nation- and we are completely undone. Our corporatist "allies" will exploit our passive capitulation to vote for their faction who opposes everything we seek -because TRUMP- and negate any value in their triumph. Either choice, we still lose.

We'll have plenty of time during the corporatist Depression over the next several years to think about what might have been had Bernie been a fighter and not a palooka. we'll have little else which actually benefits us to occupy our time.

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whoever wrote this is on that brown acid from Woodstock.

the democraps have been loathe to use reconciliation for anything at all. they have been far more terrified of losing a single former republican voter they got from trump (or cheney/w) than excited about attracting 40 million more non-nazi voters by doing good stuff (that the corporations don't want).

good sheepdogging, though. you do know just how stupid and gullible your voters truly are. I'll give you that.

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:12- It must be painful to you on those few times that you can't find something nasty to say.

At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something 5:38 never worries about since he's such a useless putz.

At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MOS is not 'getting even' with the nazis and fascists who never pay any electoral price for evil. What it is is affirmation.

which is why neither party ever gets better, only worse. which is why the shithole never gets better, only worse.

I am one of about 1% of voters, who vote, who does all we can do to 'get even' with the nazis and democraps who have ratfucked *ALL* of us for almost 5 decades.

until that number gets to 51%, neither party will care.

At 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of these revenge dreams require that honest elections are held and that correct ballot counts aren't made impossible. Neither is likely this year.


Post a Comment

<< Home