Monday, November 20, 2017

Not doing it.

I thought I'd revisit this post from a year ago, in which I noted that:
"...the GOP in it's present incarnation really offers only two policy "things":

1. Working for open oligarchy, and
2. Comfort for white nationalism, Christian theocracy, and fear of the "others" (whether those others are gay, or brown, or Muslim)

I know that sounds harsh, but...that's really it, isn't it? It's all tax cuts and privatize and deregulate and unshackle Wall Street and shove the homos back in the closet and no abortion and open carry everywhere. "Small government"? Sure...unless you count the DoD. Or the NSA.

There's no GOP vision of a future United States that doesn't really come down to a return to the Gilded Age, is there?"
For which I was castigated as "...unpersuasive and mean spirited."


Now that we've had a year of open corruption on a scale that would have made U.S. Grant pale with disbelief and Warren Harding green with envy, a year of fire and fury, blowhard tweets and idiotic name-calling, a year of selling off the national patrimony to crony capitalists, of trying to yank medical insurance away from poor people, a year that included a tax measure that prohibits you from deducting your home mortgage, medical expenses, state taxes, and what your kid's teacher spends on crayons but lets me deduct the cost of my private jet, a year dominated by a federal government run by people who seem to have carefully watched the vile doings of every cartoon villain ever scripted and then turned to Skeletor and announced "Here. Hold my beer."

Is there really anyone who still thinks I was "unpersuasive and meanspirited"?

Jesus wept. Yeah, in one sense I WAS unpersuasive. I honestly didn't think these people could be this appalling. Yep. I didn't see that coming. I didn't think that it was possible for a grown human with a functioning hindbrain to WANT to act like a fucking cartoon movie villain.

And here's the thing.

It's pretty damn easy to destroy a social contract. And that's what's going on right now.

For about fifty years we lived with the social contract hammered out by the New Deal. The wealthy would give up a little of their wealth, the middle class a little less, and in return we'd get labor and social peace. Since the old and sick didn't have to fear dying penniless they could stop fighting the ownership class' greed. So our country still had very few rich and many poor, it just wasn't quite so vicious about it. The sort of riots and strikes and radicalism that tore the country in the 1880s and 1890s and Teens and Twenties. The sort of thing that produced the Russian Revolution and then Italian fascism and then the Spanish Republicans.

And that's going away now, folks, if the people who run things in D.C. have any say about it.

You and I are going back to the future, to a New Gilded Age where the rich do what they can and the poor suffer what they must.

And you know what's so infuriating about that?

It's that that's not even good for the idiot plutocrats that are pushing it.

You think "regulations" are the problem? Try going back to the time before the Clean Air and Water Acts, when you could dump anything and everything into the air and water and not give a shit who it poisoned.

You think financial regulations are a problem? Try going back to financial "panics" every other decade, as used to slam the nation in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

I'm here to warn you. I'm here to be MORE unpersuasive and meanspirited. Dammit, people, this isn't just a political disagreement. The Trumpkins and their allies have turned out to be far worse than anyone every thought they could be. They are demolishing the very society built on the social contract of the New Deal. They're doing the goddamn best to return the U.S. to the social, economic, and political environment of 1890.

And if that happens, assuming that rising seas and violent storms don't do the job first, we're going back to a time that almost none of us can conceive and no living American remembers.

But for those of us not in the two-yacht family I can tell you - it was NOT a good time for us.

I wish I had faith that We the People would recognize this and band together to defeat and destroy it. But then I see that damn near two-fifths of my "fellow citizens" think that the Tangerine Toddler, Crock-o-bile Dumm-ee, is doing a heckuva job and I despair.

As we used to say about Dubya's Great Mess-o-Potamia:

Unless We the People, unless you and me and him and her get together and kick these damn Trumpkins dead square in the ass, we are all so, so, SO fucked.


  1. All true.

    And from my poor vantage point, the #resistance would rather talk about how it is all the evil Rooshians fault. And Google is now *engineering* its algorithms to down rate Rooshian propaganda organs. i.e. censor what people see.

    1. Wait'll the Trumpkins get their grubby paws on "Net Neutrality", my friend. It'll make Google seem like Lady Liberty herownself. Not surprising, given the Trumpkin in charge of the FCC is a former Crimecast bossman, but, still...

  2. The good thing about Trump is his comical, unbelievable incompetence.
    I seriously expected him to turn into Mussolini V.2, but he's way too incompetent for that. All loudmouth, no substance whatsoever - not even in business or negotiations.

    1. Alas, I fear that while he may be personally incompetent, he is doing great damage to the bureaucracy. A modern state absolutely requires a competent and motivated set of civil servants to run things. Trump is leaving many sections leaderless and those that are being appointed seem to have only two personal goals: 1) enrich themselves and 2) destroy their institution so it can't get in the way of like minded cronies from enriching themselves as well.

    2. It's not Trump. Trump is the id, the loudmouthed, bone-stupid, racist white supremacist inside the white people who love him. This is the GOP, the same damn thing that the Party of Personal Responsibility has been hammering away on since they ate the trickle-down economics and white-supremacist monkeybrains in Reagan's time.

      Trump makes it harder by being so visibly loathsome. But the GOP apparatchiks in Congress are the ones driving this DeLorean and have been since 1932. The "malefactors of great wealth" want their country back and won't stop (shoveling cash at the GOP) until they get it.

      Like I said in the earlier post; the Democrats are no treasure. But the Sanders movement shows that they can, at least, be moved back towards the New Deal society (which is what Sanders is, really; an old-school New Dealer. It's pretty sad when that is characterized as a "socialist", FFS). The GOP is all red-meat, white-supremacist, voodoo-economics, xenophobic Christopaths all the way down. If there ARE any Rockefeller Republicans left they have about as much influence in the current GOP as the Green Party has at the federal level.

  3. I think...somewhere, some how...we're all going to have to accept that this is the America that we are...divided right down the middle between those who thought there is hope for the future if we just work and hope a bit more...

    And those who said, "fuck it! I want mine, I want it now, and the rest of you can go pound salt!"

    It looks like it's the long salt road for us.


  4. I looked on a brighter side this Thanksgiving and am toasting some potential game changers.

    First for the Alabama Ayatollah and his fetish for the pubescent. He keeps dropping in the polls. I notice he has started wearing a Viet-Nam Vet ball cap instead of his Stetson. It is emblazoned with his Military Police unit. As an MP Company Commander the Tu Do street Mama-Sans probably gave him his choice of the teenage hookers to keep him from putting there establishments off limits. Too bad he brought that nasty habit home with him. But if he loses the election because of it, I'll drink a tanother toast to the Mama-San that turned him on to this perversion.

    Next for the GOP's own version of Anthony Wiener. Joe Barton AKA Shut-Up Joe, or sometimes Jack-Off Joe is claiming victimhood. But some of his own party are asking him to resign. Probably won't be replaced by anybody but another Waco conservative. But anything that puts a dent in the faith of the believers is OK in my book. Too bad though that his sex life will take him down instead of his corruption. He has been named one of the most corrupt members of congress. He has bought undervalued assets from oil industry moguls that strangely quadrupled in value. Plus had his wife, daughter and mother on payroll. That alone should have taken him down. But I guess a crook is better than a libtard in some parts of Texas.

    Third for Trump's dropping poll numbers. And maybe, just maybe, his mishandling of Hurricane Maria's devastation of Puerto Rico will change the demographics of Florida and turn it blue. Am I asking too much? Keep your eye on Tallahassee, they may well decide to nip that problem in the bud by passing some new Juan-Crow voter suppression laws. But in any case, 'Salud' to Alcalde Carmen Yulín Cruz!

    Last for the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act). Yes, too expensive. ut I for one am glad to see that the Langevin Amendment survived. Congress says: "Climate change is a direct threat to National Security" despite what Trump claims. Some Republican congress critters (40 plus) joined with the Left to keep the the climate change language in the NDAA. So I'll toast those 40 plus GOP votes. I'm sure that Jack-Off Joe was not one of them, he's bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry. I'm just hoping Senator Inhofe does not pull a flimflam and redline it out.

    1. The thing that I find ridiculously, painfully frustrating, Mike, is 1) the degree to which the GOP has given up even pretending to give a shit about the public weal, and 2) the reality that they do not and will not pay for that at the polls. The people attempting to preserve the 20th Century are reduced to scrambling for scraps such as this Langevin Amendment while the GOP rams moron-grade budgets tossing idiot cash at the DoD while raping the domestic welfare agencies and strips the federal government down to the studs.

      In a sane polity a party that did that would be cast into electoral darkness as the GOP was in '32. It's a tribute to the hard work of Fox and Limbaugh and company that the U.S. public is a bigger ass than it's been in four generations.

      I think we're pretty much doomed.

  5. FDChief -

    Yes, the Langevin Amendment is a miniscule crumb within the NDAA budget. But that small scrap is also a slap in the face to Trump, a long deserved dope slap to the climate-denier-in-chief. I agree that the great majority of the hundreds of billions we spend on the military should instead go to healthcare, schools, and bridges.

    But am glad to see the climate change issue included. It is not much. It requires DoD to review “the increase in the frequency of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions” and any impacts on “theater campaign plans, contingency plans, and global posture of the combatant commanders.” It also asks for “a report on the vulnerabilities to military installations and combatant commander requirements resulting from climate change over the next 20 years.” It requires DoD to list ten military bases within each of the services that are most vulnerable, and to evaluate potential alleviation methods.

    I am hoping and DoD does not gaff this off by staffing it with the unqualified and the unwilling. But am also hoping it gives the Koch Brothers a severe case of hives, and/or gastric heartburn; or something more like the toads/flies/locusts of ancient Egypt. Better yet, let their oil leases and coal deposits turn to blood. And let us not forget their enablers and front-men: Inhofe, Coburn, Barrasso et al.

    Too bad though that the Rand Paul Amendment for ending the AUMF did not make it into the final bill.

  6. I revisited a 2010 or 2011 erticle here which was about NATO and its utility. It was interesting to see how no-one else seemed to be able to expect that USA and EU could oppose each other if they don't feel allied any more. I had written that the bond of NATO keeps us allied instead of rivals.

    Well, after a couple months of Trump it's painfully obvious that USA and EU hardly cooperate on the political level any more. The bureaucracies keep working together, but a joint initiative on the cabinet level about something (climate change? Syria? Near East peace? Ukraine? trade?) looks practically impossible.

    I was wrong in my opinion that NATO would prevent this; a U.S. president who disrespects NATO unhinged my assumption.

  7. Well. Now that the Congressional GOP has formally voted to repeal the bulk of the post-1932 United States in hopes of restoring 1929 I can't wait for the explanation of how I got this all wrong last year and it was all about economic anxiety and her emails.

    I think the most important takeaway from this appalling "tax reform" bill is that it's reliably polling below 25% - and that's with a massive, intense GOP lie campaign to hide the real content of this thing that is reported as "some people say..." the way the MSM always reports GOP lies...meaning that some predictable portion of that 25% would also hate it if they understood how plutocratic it is.

    Remember the single biggest grievance the colonists had with the mother country was "taxation without representation". If the passage of legislation that is desired by a quarter - and probably less - of the citizens isn't unrepresentative I can't think of what is.

    Ben Franklin is supposed to have told a questioner that the Framers had designed her "A republic, if you can keep it."

    I would opine that this blatant fucktardry makes very clear whether we have kept it, or not.