Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Ceterum autem censeo GOP delendam esse

Well, there you have it.

All I can say at this point is that if all those idiots who bayed about "Second Amendment Solutions" aren't storming Capitol Hill right now then they can just STFU forever after. THIS is what "tyranny" looks like; the imposition of a legislative agenda desired by less than a third of the citizens subjects.

In a true democracy this would result in pitchforks and torches and the Swiss Guard dead at the gates of the Tuileries.

Which is another way of saying that those of us not in the donor class that has commanded this to happen must either utterly destroy the GOP or bow before our New Plutocratic Masters. We will not do the former, so, inevitably, we must do the latter.


  1. There are two positive things about this:

    1) The major donor power over policy is U.S.-specific and simply non-existent in most Western OECD countries. Influencers have to be much more subtle and behind-the-scenes in Germany, for example. I can't recall a single billionnaire ever making a political statement in Germany other than Maschmeyer who was friend with Schröder.

    2) This turd may be the dropping of a man hanging himself. Remember Flake's words: "...we're toast!"

    1. Sadly, we here in the colonies have never really gotten over our peasant deference to the squire and his buddies. Outside of a brief period of rage against the plutocrats in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries we tend to tug our forelocks dutifully when the Masters of the Universe speak.

      I wish I thought that this would ignite an incandescent rage among the U.S. public; I mean, it's not just punitive, it's a crass and arrogant piece of daylight robbery done with a smirking contempt of We the People. It's a ginormous "fuck you" to anyone not stupid enough to believe the lies the GOP and its' Pravdas are telling about it.

      But, hell...I can't even get a minyan of the bar staff here to agree about the naked unabashed greed and stupidity of this. There's me and mike and basil and sheerah. Al must be raging in Valhalla over it, but he's gone from us now. Publius and Seydlitz have withdrawn from the lists, it seems. PF Khans called me "meanspirited" when I pointed it out last year. Jim and Lisa have retreated to RAW and pulled up the drawbridge.

      I am sick at heart thinking that this brassfaced chicanery will succeed. But I cannot see the sort of coalition that defeated the oligarchs between the Progressive Era and the New Deal emerging today.

  2. I'm of the mind that the end result will resolve the issue of the GOP's shenanigans...they done shot themselves, and I really do hope the Democrat's let them bleed in the street.


  3. I have never understood American politics. However, populism (on both left and right) is far stronger now than a very long time. Classic main street media don't control the message anymore.

    Watch Mark Blyth give a good rundown on things (and he gives some sage advise later in the talk).

  4. I thnk the problem, guys, is that 1) "populism" has never amounted to jack shit in the U.S. other than occasionally gathering 2) populist crowds (that then) tend to be used for political gain by unscrupulous demagogues.

    The perfect example is "Occupy Wall Street". That was 21st Century leftism populism; random, chaotic, and eventually pointless, a leaderless and directionless gaggle that sat around until the oligarchs got bored and chased them away.

    Right wing "populism"...well, it tends to be more vicious. "Trumpism" is our modern form, but it's always been nativist and racist. And while it tends to "get more done" than lefty populism the things it gets done are vile.

    The problem I see is that the U.S. has had only one really effective period of progressive "populism" (or something like it) and that was between the rise of the "Progressives" in the 1890s through the New Deal of the 1930s (with a nasty interlude in the 1920s when the Red Scares of WW1 brought the thugs and the KKK and the 1% back). The conditions then are significantly different from conditions now, including:

    1. A genuine hard Left. While they were often vilified as "reds" the American version of social democrats and reformers could point to REAL reds as a cautionary tale. The 1% had seen the bodies on lampposts in Moscow and knew that if the proles in the U.S. imitated their Russian comrades that American rope would work fine to stretch American necks, too.

    2. A vital and energized labor movement.

    3. A roaring, genuinely angry popular press, including "muckraking" journalists and openly lefty news sheets espousing socialism and communism.

    4. A "progressive" elite of the Roosevelt breed, who had a noblesse oblige sort of solidarity with the proles.

    All four of those elements are lacking, in particular the press. The current "news" conglomerates are worse than useless, continually reporting the most ridiculous Republican lies as "Some say the earth is flat..." sorts of "disagreements" rather than leading off the evening news with "Trump lies again about..." or "Ryan's grotesque lies about..."

    And even telling America the truth might not help. There's a good 25-35% of the country that has cut itself off from anything approaching genuine economic and social populism in favor of "clinging to their God and their guns" and clicking their heels together in hopes that they'll wake up back in a Kansas that has no negroes or Meskins or lib'ruls or any of those other annoying non-Christian-non-white-non-fascists.

    I mean...the arc of the GOP has been visible since Reagan, and these rats have never paid an electoral price. Why should they fear one now? As I detailed; the sort of coalition that stopped them in 1932 has fallen apart, and I don't see where a new one gains any ground.

    Doesn't mean we stop fighting. But it sure makes the fight look ugly from here.

  5. FDC-

    PFKhans, was reacting to your tone, not your words, IIRC.

    1. And that was the problem, mike, the problem that helped give us Trump.
      The GOP has been the party of oligarchy since Reagan and a theocratic, plutocratic shitshow since Gingrich. If, like PF and Lisa and jim, you were grumpy that I was running around here like my hair was on fire screaming that in rude terms, laying out that reality in blunt words, warning that being anything but insanely anti-GOP and anti-Trump was putting the America of the New Deal in danger, well...was I wrong?

      No, Hilary wasn't a great option. Yes, Trump and his GOP snuggle-buddies are a thousand-thousand times worse.

      If you couldn't see that you helped the vandals.

      And that's why I fear for my nation. In 1910 the labor unions and the muckraking journos may have seen Teddy Roosevelt as a rich poseur and a class enemy. But they also saw that the people he was fighting were THE enemy, so they swallowed their distaste and concentrated on defeating that enemy.

      We can't even agree here that to be anything but utterly and remorselessly anti-GOP is to cut our own throats. In the face of a relentless oligarchic kakistocracy even here we can't even stop quibbling about tone.

      So, as I said; we either hang together or the GOP will hang us separately, and you can see where we're going.

    2. I think at times like this the issues are black and white, and tone is irrelevant when it comes to whether an outcome is good for everyone or bad for everyone...and when it's constantly bad...yeah, something is going to give.

      Granted, in calmer moments where disagreement over how to achieve a commonly desired outcome would warrant a more patient stand, reason debate, and rational discussion might generate amusing banter to lighten the seriousness...but we're not there.

      Where we're at is one Political Party, currently, the GOP refusing to negotiate on future directions of the Nation, refusing to compromise on legislative issues that are beneficial for everyone, and sole focus is enriching themselves at the expense of others, enriching their benefactors at the expense of the nation, and securing their future on said benefactor's company boards so they can play golf and roll in the cash once or twice a year because they are really that shitty of a human being.

      So...yeah, at this point, shit-is-hitting-the-fan in this Nation...and one major problem I see is that the Democrats can't get themselves round the ol'camp fire or on the same log, much less present a united front...the only times they stand shoulder to shoulder is when the GOP is looking to strap them over the grease barrel., I'm not holding out much hope that *if* the Democrats do sweep the House and Senate that they'll torch this "Redistribution of Wealth to the Wealthy" Tax reform, burn it right before Ryan's and McConnels, and all their Rich donor's eyes, and push through a equitable tax reform that, just for spite, shoves an extra tax increase up the Koch's, Mercer's, Coor's, and any of those other Rich donors who felt that five billion dollars isn't enough for them.

      Because...if American Political History has taught me anything is that the Democrats don't undo the shit the Republicans do, they just work with it...and this is why I think the Democrats are always viewed as the Republican Party's jail-house laundry bitch.

      Which is why I want to be surprised this time, I genuinely want to be surprised by the Democrats.
      I really do, I want them to surprise me by coming out of their minority and launch into a legislative bitch-slapping of the GOP like it was Moses going ballistic on everyone who was kow-towing to the golden calf at the foot of Mt. Zion...or whatever mtn it was.

      Surprise me, Democrats, surprise me.

      Because right now I'm not holding my breath.


    3. The Democrats get their way in many areas, but typically so on minority issues like gay marriage.
      AFAIK they don't succeed in regard to empowering the middle class or even the poor through labour unions again, they don't boost the income taxrate for income millionnaires back to the 1960's level and save for the half-hearted and reasily sabotaged ACA they didn't achieve much since the Great Society projects of LBJ.
      Republican progressive accomplishments post-LBJ: EPA
      Democratic progressive accomplishments post-LBJ: ACA, gay marriage

      It's a kinda weak resume.

    4. And the "Republican" EPA was passed by a massively Democratic Congress and signed by Nixon because he knew they'd override him after the toxic pollution scandals of the Sixties and Seventies like Love Canal.

      The reality of the U.S. electoral system is that it was designed to empower wealthy, largely rural (slaveowning) white guys. It still works that way, not as well as it used to, but it still empowers the hell out of the Trumpanzees. So it's not entirely surprising that once the gomers figured out how to game the system and stopped giving a shit about governing that it would be difficult to impossible short of a thorough fumigation of the U.S. electoral system to change anything.

      Which isn't to say that the results are acceptable. Just that they're not surprising.

  6. FDC -

    I've never been grumpy with your words. I respect your dishback of the even ruder right-wing-whacko talking points. I think you deserve a bigger forum. But you won't get that here talking to a circle jerk of a few like minded citizens.

    IMHO you should dust off some of your finer political essays, edit out the latrine language, and submit, submit, submit until a national blog with a bigger readership takes note. I see you as a 21st century Jack London. But you will never get there jawjacking with us yokels at this neighborhood pub.

    1. Thing is, mike, what can I add that guys like Steve Gilliard and Driftglass and Digby haven't said and have been saying for years, decades? They already HAVE a bigger forum, and...what? Who's got the seat on Meet the Press? Who's in the anchor chair at Today? Who's the news director of the local news here in Portland that will give me a microphone when he won't even bother reporting accurately on the shenanigans of our one Republican Congressman who's a sleazy Trumper and greedy Republican (but I repeat myself).

      I'm not saying I can't and won't try to shout louder and elsewhere. But I have this little platform, too, and I'm gonna use it to try and keep the fire alarm ringing...

  7. FDC -

    "what can I add"

    Your military background gives you street creds that Gilliard, Digby, driftglass, and a hundred others could only dream about.

    1. Got to agree with Mike, Chief, you got cred in spades.

      And more so, you do know what you are talking about...

      And...though it may seem like I'm blowing sunshine up your ass, I'm not...this is a dispassionate observation...

      You've got a thorough working knowledge of also have a hands-on experience working with great people, okay people, mediocre people, kind-of-shady people, and down-right shitty people.

      You also know what is right, you know what is good, you know that what you don't know, you'll recognize quick as a weakness, and correct it through advice or research.

      Yeah, you're salty, but at this point in time...I think this shitty national soup being made needs a lot of salt.

      Just say'n.

  8. Permainan menarik bisa anda temui di B*O*L*A*V*I*T*A* DAFTARKAN DIRI ANDA SEKARANG JUGA

  9. Bandar Judi Terpercaya dan Teraman di Indonesia. BOLAVITA