Category Archives: Politics/Law/Government

Here’s Why These Protests Are Different

George-Floyd-Houston-protests

I’ve heard people the past few days saying these protests feel different to them. Like, maybe this time we’ll get results? Like George Floyd’s murder was the straw that broke the camel’s back? Like this is the tipping point and justice will no longer be denied?

I’m long past betting that protesters can stay in for the long haul. America is a soft culture, pampered and affluent, with no history whatsoever of sacrifice. (Talking about the white folks here – Black America gets it, but real change is going to require allies willing to go the distance with them.) Bread? Circuses? We’re good. Traditionally we’ll raise hell a few days then give up. We treat civil disobedience like we might a music festival. Coachella. Bonnaroo. Cops-Murdered-a-Black-Guy-Palooza.

Nor is there any hope at all the establishment will change its mind in the absence of dire coercion.

But the protests outlasted the weekend and it’s absolutely not business as usual. So yes: maybe this time is different. Probably not, but maybe. If it is, here’s the why.

Cops killing black people for no reason isn’t new. Protests against such killing isn’t new. The rage keeps growing, but why would this case be the one? The video of Derek Chauvin calmly murdering George Floyd is certainly harrowing, and no doubt that’s a part of it (just like the Ray Rice video put the NFL in a spot where it could no longer hem and haw its way around its domestic violence problem). We saw what we saw.

I think the bigger reason is Coronavirus.

Consider:

  • For starters, America has a serious case of cabin fever. Quarantining – can’t see friends, can’t go out, and it isn’t just about being spoiled. The isolation has ramped up mental health problems in tangible ways, we’re learning. Isolation is perfect for roiling up frustration.
  • Yes, the anger has been building for some time, but now add to the fire the effect of seeing white privilege not only on parade as Karen and Chad demand haircuts, but also the surreal scenes of armed militias storming a state house. And getting away with it. And seeing these “very fine people” whipped into a lather by the President. It’s all been memed and documented and the juxtapositions are mortifying. This is all happening when we’re trapped inside and have fewer things to take our minds off it.
  • Past protests – even #Occupy – have all petered out. It takes energy to sustain the rage. Also, lots of protesters have to go to work. But thanks to COVID-19, lots of us are out of work. Dwindling cash. No prospects for it getting better anytime soon, if ever. So anxiety is high, and all of a sudden millions of people with severe, existential grievances don’t necessarily have any particular place they need to be tomorrow morning. In other words, the bread supply is in jeopardy.
  • With all the sports shut down there are fewer circuses, too. This is probably a much smaller issue, but functioning societies have release valves for the pressure that inherently builds up over the routine stresses of day-to-day life. And right now the powers that be could do with some playoffs.
  • The COVID crisis is occurring in a context where normal is dead, the rules are changing (and we don’t know what they are), and there’s more fear than hope about the coming “new normal,” which is certainly going to be a lot more new than normal. In other words, there’s less to lose in the now and absolutely no promise for the future.
  • There’s always been a general linkage between progressive issues, and as the heat rises the connections coalesce. It’s about George Floyd, it’s about the police, it’s about income inequality and neo-Feudal economics and poverty, it’s about climate, it’s about healthcare, it’s now about all of it.

George Floyd iceberg

This is what I think is happening on the people’s side. Some of the same kinds of dynamics may well be at work with the police – it’s a stressful time for everyone, one way or another. If so, what we have in the streets is a keg of dynamite with a gasoline-soaked fuse.

If, on top of it all, we start seeing record high temperatures (and a nasty COVID second wave)… Well, may the gods help us all.

Who Are The “Protesters” in Black?

Watch this video now.

Whoever these people are, they are not protesters.

The optics are bad shooting up peaceful gatherings so it’s important for authority to establish at least the illusion of justification. By whatever means necessary. So if the protesters won’t loot and burn, then maybe somebody masquerading as a protester has to do it.

The real protesters confronting the guy bashing in windows at the AutoZone suspect he’s a cop. That’s my first guess, too. Hopefully proof of his identity will emerge. If it’s not a cop it’s an unusually well-dressed white supremacist militia yahoo.

In any case, somebody is looking for an excuse to start shooting. Any excuse.

Heads up out there.

Video credit to In the Now. Follow them on Facebook.

How Many Dollars Is a Life Worth (and Why Did We Choose This)?

COVID-second-wave

Our desperation is no accident. Desperation is good for business.

Colorado reopened for business yesterday. There were precautions galore, like these posted on the website of one of our favorite local restaurants:

    • You must wear a mask or face covering until drinks and food arrive and  while you are moving about the restaurant and bar
    • Practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from other patrons
    • Limit your party size to eight people or less
    • Make reservations if possible
    • Check in with the host and provide your full name, phone number, and email address
    • After checking in, please wait outside weather permitting, for your table
    • Please practice patience with our staff as we are doing our best to accommodate you within our new restaurant dine-in guidelines

We reserve the right to deny service to anyone(s) not following the safety protocols from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment 

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE OF THE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS WE ARE PUTTING IN PLACE TO
PROVIDE YOU WITH THE SAFEST AND BEST DINING EXPERIENCE POSSIBLE

    • Our team members are all wearing face coverings and are increasing their handwashing practices
    • All team members go through symptom monitoring when arriving at work
    • We are disinfecting all shared surfaces such as menus, tables, and chairs after every use and/or applying sanitation to food contact areas between seatings
    • Menus are available online to view from your mobile device if you prefer – let the host know if this is your preference
    • High touch areas are being disinfected every 30 minutes
    • We have a reduced occupancy capacity and are practicing social distancing of 6 feet
    • We are offering our full menus for take out, delivery, & curbside pickup

My guess is these guidelines are pretty standard around the state, and no doubt health inspectors will be out in force looking for skulls to crack and examples to make.

I have friends working in a couple of these restaurants and it goes without saying I hope all goes well for them.

That said, reopening is as bad a decision as has ever been made by a Colorado governor (and that’s saying something). From the standpoint of public health, this is malfeasance in the first degree. Gov. Jared Polis just killed people.

Let me say that again just so we’re clear:

Gov. Jared Polis just killed people.

How many we don’t know yet, but you can be forgiven for expecting the worst.

Of course, this wasn’t a public health decision. It was an economic decision. How do we know? Well, when you need an extended laundry list of shalts and shalt-nots like the one above so you can eat dinner without killing the neighborhood, that’s maybe a hint.

And as infuriating as it is contemplating how many dollars a life is worth, we understand how this morbid calculus works, don’t we?

Billionaires can’t become multi-billionaires if the doors are shut (okay, okay – yes, one mega-multi-billionaire is in the process of becoming a trillionaire – so maybe there’s an angle after all).

Billionaires are powerfully motivating for our elected officials, many of whom hope to be elected again someday. Most of us regular types don’t worry so much about the rich, though. They’ll manage. But we still support reopening. Why are we on the same side of the issue as those who literally don’t care if we die?

Duh. We care about the small businesses in our communities. We care about workers at the bottom of the food chain – waiters, bartenders, retail clerks, delivery drivers – all those “essential” folks on the frontlines. We know these people. We patronize their establishments. We know the workers. They’re our friends, our relatives. And we know the straits they’re in.

Which means that while we’re not happy about it, reopening is necessary, right?

Oh hell no.

That proposition requires me to accept a deeply flawed assumption: that Capitalism, and our particular brand of feral dog Capitalism in particular, is natural and necessary. It isn’t. That we have no safety net isn’t inevitable, it’s a choice we made. That losing your job, through no fault of your own, means losing your healthcare insurance isn’t just how the world is. It’s how Capital wants it and we’ve acquiesced.

When push comes to shove, the people who shape our economic reality have no obligation to their neighbors or their communities. They answer only to shareholder value – and that didn’t come down the mountain with Moses on a stone tablet.

We could have chosen differently. We can still choose differently, and each day we don’t allows our wealthy elite to consolidate their power just a little more.

Colorado opened its economy because it’s the only way to alleviate our desperation. Way too many of us already live one or two bad months from utter disaster, and thanks to a pandemic that those at the top of the food chain ignored disaster is no longer two months away. It’s clawing at the door.

Our desperation is no accident. Desperation is good for business. It keeps labor costs down and deters people from seeking employment somewhere less exploitative (which keeps turnover down, and turnover is hellishly costly for companies). This is especially true if the employer provides health insurance for the worker and – this is key – the worker’s family.

Desperation means a frightening number of Americans don’t have jobs, they have hostage situations. (And if we had single-payer healthcare like other developed nations, that means employers would have a bit less leverage, doesn’t it?)

Don’t let anyone arguing to “reopen the economy” get away with “we have to let people work to stay alive.” That’s a rhetorical trick aimed at suckering you into accepting their toxic worldview. The real question is this: how did the richest nation in the world get into a mess like this in the first place? Why do regular citizens have to choose between the plague and homelessness?

What if we don’t assume predatory Capitalism, but we make its adherents justify it?

I Don’t Want to “Heal America’s Divisions”

American Exceptionalism

My friend Mario Nicolais, who writes for the excellent Colorado Sun, this morning recommended an Atlantic article to his Facebook friends: “Jonathan Haidt Is Trying to Heal America’s Divisions.” It’s a worthy read and I hope Mario will take it up in a forthcoming Sun column.

I’m trying to frame my own response to Haidt’s hopefulness and I’m having trouble. I think you reach a point where hope is harder and harder to come by. Try your best, do your best, but the forces tightening around you leave little promise for anything but conflict.

I try to hang on to hope, but I pay less attention to possibilities than I do probabilities.

I’m exhausted by people who believe our “divisions” are the problem. That’s like believing the problem is all the blood on the floor. No, the problem is the sucking chest wound the blood is coming from. Divisions are the effect, not the cause.

The problem is the assortment of pathologies defining the coalition on our political “right.” Racism. Misogyny. Willful, enthusiastic ignorance. Greed and obscene economic inequity. Jingoism. Narrow, spiteful “faith” and religious bullying. The psychosexual fetishization of guns and violence as a first-resort response to anything and everything. Homophobia. Braying dishonesty. The refusal to accept or empathize with those who are demographically other.

The problem is our neglect and abuse of those unable to fend for themselves and our general willingness to tolerate incalculable misery. The problem is hypocrisy on a scale we’ve never even imagined, let alone seen in the wild.

The Democrats are appalling in their own right, but the GOP has become the Party of the Seven Deadly Sins. They’re the malevolent repudiation of every word Jesus is believed to have spoken.

Conservatives sometimes say “Liberals” are “trying to destroy their way of life.” They’re right. The things they believe, the ideologies and ignorance they cling to, these are anti-human and anti-social. They’re the values upon which you build a primitive tribe, not a modern society. Those beliefs are an anchor around the neck of our shared future and they must be eradicated.

This is where we are. This is where I am:

I’m not going to “reach out.”

I don’t want to “come together.”

I have no interest in “finding common ground” where there is none.

I don’t want to “understand the perspectives” of those who care only for their own. I know those perspectives and understand them plenty already.

I’m sure as hell not interested in “compromise.” I don’t compromise with fascists, feudalists, or terrorists.

No. I don’t want to “heal our divisions.” I want to destroy the ignorance, ideologies, and institutions that cause and sustain those divisions.

I stand for equality of opportunity. I stand for empathy. I stand for justice and a code of law that doesn’t care about the color of your skin or the size of your daddy’s wallet. I believe in universal education and I believe in the “greatest country on Earth” no one should want for healthcare, shelter, or food.

I believe there is zero correlation between a person’s essential value and his or her material wealth.

None of this – not one syllable – is negotiable.

For COVID-19, America is Home

As any number of Facebook posts and memes have pointed out in recent weeks, we don’t wear masks to protect ourselves, we wear them to protect others. Our homemade cloth masks don’t do a great job of keeping the virus out, but they’re fairly effective at keeping it in.

In other words, minimizing the spread of Coronavirus depends on concern for others.

But America was founded on the idea that somehow individualism adds up to utopia for everyone. The best society happens when I get mine. The root of this ideology is economic, but it has, over several centuries, become generalized to all spheres of life. We have recently seen the results in pictures from malls, restaurants, and, remarkably, state capitols.

Being forced to wear a mask violates my freedom. Rules requiring me to distance from other citizens violate my freedom. Closing restaurants and bars violates my freedom.

We have apparently reached the point in our social evolution where I have the freedom to kill you. If the government does anything to prevent me from killing you, that’s communism.

Individualism is no longer an ideology of freedom (if it ever really was). It’s an existential pathology.

my car my choice drunk driving is a rightI’ve written before about the French statesman Alexis de Toqueville, whose tour of the US in the early 19th century gave us Democracy in America, still regarded by many as the most insightful look at our national character ever written. For me, the center of his thesis rested on the phrase “self-interest rightly understood.”

Their socially and civically viable vision of self-interest was working well in 1835, when Alexis d’Toqueville wrote “How the Americans Combat Individualism by the Principle of Interest Rightly Understood.” The idea and word “individualism” were newly minted and Tocqueville marveled that “an enlightened regard for themselves constantly prompts [Americans] to assist each other, and…willingly to sacrifice…[for] the welfare of the state.”

This variety of self-interest knows it needs a thriving community and doesn’t seek to gain at the expense of it. Weakening what you depend on, slowly weakens your more enlightened self-interest (it’s a win-now-lose-later strategy). Similar logic animates Pericles’ funeral oration: “It does not matter whether a man prospers as an individual: If his country is destroyed, he is lost along with it.” Even Ayn Rand, the high priestess of selfishness, distinguished between what she called rational and irrational forms.

What would de Tocqueville have made of the display in Lansing a couple of weeks ago?

Granted, much has changed. The America of 1831 (when he arrived) was comparatively homogenous – which is another way of saying the slaves hadn’t been freed and, as such, the particular forms of racism that have driven both social evolution and public policy since Gettysburg (and especially since the Civil Rights Act) didn’t yet exist. People are more likely to take care of theirs, and it’s always a mistake to romanticize their concern for yours.

In short, America c.2020 is perhaps the ideal host for Coronavirus. Its ability to spread is dramatically hindered where the population actively works to protect others. A society that has fetishized and institutionalized feral-dog-Darwinism, on the other hand, is the best incubator imaginable.

COVID-19 wasn’t born in America, but rest assured, America is its home.

Dear America: It’s Time to Decide

french-revolution-guillotine

How many times a day do we hear “reopen the economy”? And who’s saying it?

The speaker is usually either a “business-friendly” politician or one of the billionaires they all report to. The message is, in and of itself, the sort of thing that ought to make every thinking American stop, sit up and ponder how exactly we got here.

It’s okay if some old people die.

If you don’t get back to work we’re going to fire you and cancel your health insurance.

If the business is open and you don’t show up that makes you ineligible for unemployment.

Once upon a time I’d have gone on and on about what sociopaths these people are. Not today. You know it as well as I do. If you don’t, you’re the problem. You and that venereal shitwagonload of clown jerky you people worship.

The thing is, I do care about reopening the economy. I’m worried about young people, the working poor, waiters and bartenders and retail workers, the frontline, public contact types who are out of work right now. I care about my friends. I care about our families.

I worry about people whose choices are being reduced to which way would you rather die?

I’m keenly aware we live in a pathological let-them-eat-cake-ocracy where our leaders, who have more money than a moral human could spend in 100 lifetimes, think $1,200 will tide us over until whenever. And I’ve read history, which provides us with zero examples of such people surrendering their power, wealth, and privilege without coercion.

Those who come out the other side alive have a decision to make about how we should respond to the class war being waged against us.

One path involves working toward incremental reform within a rigged system. The other involves marching, civil unrest, potentially heroic sacrifice, and perhaps the occasional torch, pitchfork, and head being paraded around on a pike.

If the truth weren’t self-evident before, it is now.

Decide.

Democratic Socialism, Social Democracy, and Bernie’s Big Mistake

Sanders-democratic-socialism

In 2016 Bernie Sanders declared himself a Democratic Socialist, and in doing so assured he’d never be president. The issue, then as now, was the “S-word.” Why would you label yourself a Socialist if you want to run for office in America?

Especially – and this part is key – if you aren’t one?

There are two terms to understand here: Democratic Socialism and Social Democracy. They use the same root terms and they do, in fact, have much in common. But they aren’t the same thing. In brief, Social Democracy (SD) is “a political, social and economic philosophy that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist-oriented mixed economy.” Democratic Socialism (DS), on the other hand, is “a political philosophy supporting political democracy within a socially owned economy, with a particular emphasis on workers’ self-management and democratic control of economic institutions within a market socialist economy or some form of a decentralised planned socialist economy.”

That is, both believe in Democracy. But SD believes in Capitalism and DS does not. In our present context, we might view SD as reformist and DS as revolutionary.

If you’re scratching your head, don’t feel bad. Even the Democratic Socialists of America seem confused. (For more on Social Democracy, I highly recommend Sheri Berman’s analysis at ForeignPolicy.com.)

So, which is Bernie? From where I sit he’s pretty obviously a Social Democrat (unless he called for nationalizing the oil industry and I somehow missed it). If he’d been running in 1972 he’s have been regarded as your basic, garden-variety Democrat. He’s very much in the political tradition of FDR, whose New Deal was more or less archetypal Social Democracy. I’d call him an SD, then.

Annalisa Merelli, writing at Quartz, agrees.

While it might not sound as dramatic, what Sanders is isn’t a socialist—democratic or otherwise—it’s a social democrat. Social democracy is a reformist approach that doesn’t do away with capitalism in its entirety (as, instead, socialism eventually suggests) but instead regulates it, providing public services and substantial welfare within the frame of an essentially market-led economy. Other leftist politicians such as Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also fall into this camp.

The platform Sanders is running on is reformist, and what he is proposing is a US that looks much more like Canada, or Europe—which certainly are not socialist nations. Whether he believes that the end goal is beyond what Europe has achieved (and the history of his political beliefs suggests so), he still isn’t proposing an actual revolution (not within his lifetime, at least) and should just label himself accordingly.

There was certainly nothing unreasonable about his message. His Facebook feed gave us a steady dose of basic humanity:

It’s not radical to suggest that in the richest country on Earth our doctors and nurses shouldn’t be forced to wear bandanas, scarves and trash bags because they don’t have enough masks, gloves and gowns.

Now, more than ever we must ensure that every single American receives the health care they need, regardless of their income of the color of their skin.

Millions of Americans are going to continue to lose their jobs and their health care through no fault of their own. The gross deficiencies in our employer-based private health care system are more obvious in this crisis than ever.

Thank you to the sanitation workers who continue to work everyday during this crisis to provide essential public services. Our job is to fight to ensure that they receive the hazard pay, child care, health care and safe working conditions that they deserve.

We must ensure we are getting food to the most vulnerable in our communities and guarantee no person goes hungry during this crisis.

Walmart, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Marriott are all multibillion-dollar corporations that make obscene profits every single year. They can damn well afford to guarantee all of their workers paid sick leave.

Who can say what he was thinking as he tattooed the S-word on his forehead? Maybe, as Merelli suggests, he wanted to shock us – and we’re certainly a nation that could do with a little shocking. And given the practical concerns of reforming the American system it mattered not whether he called himself a Social Democrat, a Democratic Socialist or an ambisexual Martian. But from the perspective of winning, though…

In c. 2016 it would have been challenging enough to win by drawing a line to your candidacy from the New Deal, but it would have been considerably easier than dealing with the line your opponents were going to draw from Stalin. This is ‘Merica and labels matter a lot more than realities, more than policies, more than voting records, and Sanders had to know this.

For the love of Roosevelt, man, just call yourself a Social Democrat!

I was baffled in 2016 and still am, and despite my support for his candidacies I have to admit to a healthy dose of frustration. Sanders is a smart guy, so why would he do something so patently self-defeating? Is he playing eight-dimensional chess and I just don’t get it? Did he want to reframe the agenda and saw a Quixotean run at the White House as the best way of doing it? To be sure, much, if not most of what defined this cycle’s Democratic campaign revolved around issues he put on the table.

But … did he ever really want to be president?

I don’t have answers, but I suspect he did more damage to his bids than his opponents did.

I very much hope the younger cohort of SDs, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have been paying attention and learning. It’s time to rebrand.

A New Symbol for Progressive Democracy

Social Democracy is not Socialism, but a mixed economic approach that balances the strengths of capitalism with a deep commitment to social justice.

I’ve been flying the flag of the Weimar Republic’s Iron Front a lot lately. If you don’t know who they were, here’s a brief intro:

iron frontThe Iron Front was a German paramilitary organization in the Weimar Republic that consisted of social democrats, trade unionists, and liberals. Its main goal was to defend liberal democracy against totalitarian ideologies on the right and left, and it chiefly opposed the Nazi Party with their Sturmabteilung wing and the Communist Party of Germany with their Antifaschistische Aktion wing.

Formally independent, it was intimately associated with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The Three Arrows, originally conceived for the Iron Front, became a well known social democrat symbol representing resistance against Nazism, Communism and reactionary conservatism during the parliamentary elections in 1932, and was adopted by the SPD itself.

Many Americans who don’t know the symbol’s history nonetheless have seen it – the three arrows are widely used by the Antifa movement.

Antifa

Also, the symbol is used by the Portland Timbers supporters, who enthusiastically back Antifa.

timbers army antifa

I’ve been thinking about the symbol a lot lately, specifically its modern use and context. As noted above, the three arrows signify opposition to Communism, Nazism, and reactionary conservatism (often in the form of monarchists). These days only one of those three is a salient concern – the racist, authoritarian right that’s all-too-often connected to the Republican Party in the US and various resurgent neo-Fascist factions around the world.

Three_Arrows_election_poster_of_the_Social_Democratic_Party_of_Germany,_1932_-_Gegen_Papen,_Hitler,_ThälmannGerman citizens in the early ’30s knew what the SDP stood for, but here in 2020 that knowledge and context is missing. Worse, establishment and right-wing entities seize on every chance to paint Antifa as anti-American, anti-freedom, anarchist radicals whose only goal is to destroy America.

That’s propaganda, not fact, of course, but it might help if we all stood beneath a banner than was explicitly for something, too.

So what is this Social Democracy the Iron Front supported?

Social democracy is a political, social and economic philosophy that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist-oriented mixed economy. The protocols and norms used to accomplish this involve a commitment to representative and participatory democracy, measures for income redistribution, regulation of the economy in the general interest and social welfare provisions. Due to longstanding governance by social democratic parties during the post-war consensus and their influence on socioeconomic policy in the Nordic countries, social democracy has become associated with the Nordic model and Keynesianism within political circles in the late 20th century. It has also been seen by some political commentators as a synonym for modern socialism and as overlapping with democratic socialism.

While having socialism as a long-term goal, social democracy aims to create the conditions for capitalism to lead to greater democratic, egalitarian and solidaristic outcomes. It is characterized by a commitment to policies aimed at curbing inequality, eliminating oppression of underprivileged groups and eradicating poverty as well as support for universally accessible public services like care for the elderly, child care, education, health care and workers’ compensation. It often has strong connections with the labour movement and trade unions, being supportive of collective bargaining rights for workers and measures to extend decision-making beyond politics into the economic sphere in the form of co-determination for employees and stakeholders.

To be clear, not Socialism, but a mixed economic approach that balances the strengths of capitalism with a deep commitment to social justice. (We can debate “having socialism as a long-term goal” when the long term arrives – the SD road from here to there I suspect will change what our ideas of both Socialism and Capitalism are in ways that render the whole conversation moot.)

I feel like Social Democracy does a pretty good job describing my beliefs (although I’d welcome a truly forward-looking iteration that accounted for the economic dislocations of automation and AI and embedded the certain necessity of guaranteed universal income), and coupled with a disgust for the hate-fueled neo-feudalism many of us face I suspect it encapsulates the sentiments of, at minimum, a solid plurality of America’s voting-age citizens.

So I’ve revised the Iron Front logo into something that more distinctly reflects who and where we are today.

Iron-Front-2020

  • The design retains the downward arrow for anti-Fascism
  • The other arrow represents Social Democracy
  • The SD arrow points both up and to the right – onward and upward
  • The colors remain black and white to reinforce the idea that we’re in a state of distress

I’ll see what I can do about getting t-shirts. Meanwhile, you’ll notice that row of icons in my new banner on the home page. They signify the things the Pit is concerned with: Arts and Literature, Photography, Politics, Sports and Life/Leisure. This emblem occupies the Politics spot.

Let me know what you think. And also if you have ideas what to call it…

Joe Can’t Win! Really? Let’s Review….

The Biden Can’t Beat Trump meme is powerful these days, and it’s an opinion held by some people I have a lot of respect for.

But.

Look, I hate Biden for all the reasons every sensible progressive does. But it’s like we’ve all forgotten what actually happened in 2016. Trump didn’t romp because he hate this irresistible tidal wave of hate behind him. There was no landslide.

Clinton beat him in the popular vote by 3M and if her dumb ass hadn’t inexplicably decided that Michigan and Wiscy were in the bag she’d likely have won. Trump barely beat the worst idea the Dems have had in years on the Electoral College technicality.

All of which is to say, he didn’t win the election, she lost it.

Biden is a clown, yes. He’s either drunk or showing signs of senility. He’s Wall Street’s best little buddy. He has a clear record of siding with the GOP against Social Security, Medicare, and the well-being of the people generally.

Biden-Cuomo

But he has fewer perceived negatives among “moderate” voters than Hillary did and Obama will go all-in on him. At this stage I imagine he’s looking hard at Cuomo, whose COVID performance has even my progressive friends who ought to know better saying nice things about him. Right now Cuomo on the ticket might be a winner with the lefter wing of the party.

The recent bounce in Trump’s COVID approval is delusional and it won’t withstand what’s coming. So from where I sit it’s going to take a miracle for Trump to win. Doesn’t mean he won’t declare the Reich and try a coup, but …

If I’m right the ensuing four years will be wonderful compared to the last four, because that bar is so low even Uncle Joe can clear it. We just have to do what we can then to keep the DNC from further consolidating power.

We can have that talk later, but in the meantime I don’t share the Joe Can’t Win thinking at all.

« Older Entries Recent Entries »