The Return of the Jedi

Regular members of this friendly forum will recall that I predicted something after the Nov. 8 disaster:  that in the long run this “Trump Victory” will hurt the conservatives, and generally the Republicans, far far worse than the Democrats.  They will lose in the middle of an apparent victory.

I’m sometimes wrong with predictions.  But not, I think, about this.

The extremists always screw themselves up, they push their notions too far and too fast and far beyond any trace of a popular mandate.  That is happening again and this time their Great New Leader is an outstanding ass.  And a majority of the voters know it.

The response is already happening.  A host of new people are stepping up to get involved and a lot of them are women.  Some will be conservative but after the upcoming antics of the extreme regime, as it’s taking shape, most of them who will get elected will NOT be conservatives.

The G just published a great story about what is already happening.

Check it out.

Yes, we are in for 40 miles of bad road, first.  Beyond that is something better.

 

Trump 2.0

Or maybe 3.0, given that she isn’t eligible to run for president for another 11 years or so: Tomi Lahren.  Slim, blonde, telegenic, can speak coherently, down on Muslims, liberals, feminists, Black Lives Matter, taxes, collective life, etc. Probably up on guns, I can’t stomach her long enough to find out. Could her face be the face of the first female POTUS?  Hers or one like hers.

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Hasta La Victoria . . .

fidel

So, he’s dead. Of old age. After all  those assassination attempts and (non-exploding) cigars too. And his beard never did fall out. I shall smoke my last remaining real Cuban cigar tonight in his memory and wear my genuine-from-Cuba Che Guevara T-shirt.

“I’ll be 90 soon. Soon I’ll be like all the others. The time will come for all of us, but the ideas of the Cuban Communists will remain as proof that on this planet, if one works with fervour and dignity, they can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need and that need to be fought for without ever giving up.” [Speech at the Party Congress April this year.]

I remember a Channel 4 documentary about those assassination attempts; there were two of Fidel’s old secret service guys totting them up. After they’d piled up all the papers, one said: “I make it 613,  how about you?” “I thought it was 642.” “Oh. Do you think we could have counted some twice?”

(Numbers are approximate.)

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Trump tweets: “Great news! Trumpery Casino and Trumpery Presidential Suite to open bigly in Havana soon! Yuuge Ivanka Trump Cuban cigars only $148 each! Buy now!”

(I do hope this post won’t get all 9000 feet into trouble later. Red Squirrels already notified to be on lookout for black helicopters with ‘TRUMP CIA’ on them in big letters.)

the chair

I want to move on—past whose fault this train wreck is—toward whatever strategies might make sense for people of goodwill to pursue.

Obviously, or at least it seems obvious to me, the only potential source of effective resistance to the designs of  the little carnival barker who’s promised to make the trains run on time (and who will surely follow the historic precedent of fulfilling that promise by making it illegal to talk about the trains running late), is the Democratic party.

Candidate #1; Keith Ellison

But clearly a Dem party under the continued leadership of the appalling muppets currently holding court therein won’t be, is incapable of being, a source of that resistance, so changes in the party leadership must happen.

The Democratic National Committee is the governing body of the party, so the Chair of that committee is a big deal. For most of the time since 2011 that position was occupied by the odious Debbie Wassermann Schulz, who juggled her responsibilities with being a congresscritter from Florida where among other things she did whatever she could to smooth the path for the predatory “paycheck” lending industry.

Schultz was not elected to the DNC chair, she was appointed by Barack Obama.

Candidate #2; Howard Dean

Candidate #2; Howard Dean

The current interim chair is Donna Brazile, who has her own troubles with corruption accusations but who has made it clear she’s just the interim chair and is not running as a candidate for election to the post, so there’s no real point to dwelling on any of that.

Current declared candidates are former Vermont governor and DNC chair Howard Dean, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison and South Carolina Democratic Party chair Jaime Harrison.

Ellison’s candidacy has been endorsed by party luminaries like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid, and up until now he has been reported as “the front runner”

Dean is fairly well known as the architect of the “50 state strategy” when he held the DNC chair from 2005 – 2009, and is already mustering  no small amount of online support on the back of that track record, since the 50 state strategy was seen as successful in terms of winning elections.

Dean was an early supporter (an instantaneous supporter, the very minute Sanders declared his candidacy, according to 9thousandfeet’s Vermont correspondents) of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The third declared candidate is Jaime Harrison, who in 2013 became the first African American to chair the South Carolina Democratic Party. He has not held any elected office so far, and it’s probably realistic to think of his candidacy here as having at best an outside chance.

The date of the actual election is not as yet nailed down but will be “on or before” March 31, 2017.

It’s not unlikely that additional candidates may emerge, and there is another variable to consider as well;

Candidate #3; Jaime Harrison

Candidate #3; Jaime Harrison

Article V, Section Four of the DNC charter reads; “The National Chairperson shall serve full-time and shall receive such compensation as may be determined by agreement between the Chairperson and the Democratic National Committee.”

It’s the “full-time” provision which may be invoked by Dean supporters (and possibly others, going forward). The argument that the responsibilities of the DNC chair, especially now, are so important and so labor-intensive that the position should  be a full-time job is compelling.

Ellison is a congressman and so already has duties which, if executed properly, should  themselves add up to a full-time job, so his holding elected office could become a vulnerability.

There is of course plenty of precedent for the occupant of the DNC chair holding elected office simultaneously, so the rule has been overlooked before (cf Schultz, most recently), but I expect Dean to run a campaign for the post which presses this not insignificant point.

This election,  entirely internal to the Democratic Party, with the votes cast only by DNC members (most of them so-called “superdelegates”), is a very “inside baseball” kind of thing but it is going to matter enormously. Somebody competent and persuasive could really help organize resistance to Brother Benito’s agenda.

Somebody ineffective, or worse, somebody effective but dedicated to preserving the existing party establishment’s hold on power, would be calamitous.

So I’d like this piece to be a starting point for discussion of this issue.  Comments which continue the discussion about who fucked up the worst in bringing us all to this ugly situation can continue in previous threads, where I may myself be tempted to continue participation.

But we have to move forward eventually.  I’d like to start here.

the face of change

This might become a series of posts with photographic representations of the sinister drones who are now being installed at the levers of power.

So,  since I’ve been chatting recently about shitting on the couch, let’s start with Steve Bannon.

Stephen Bannon, newly appointed senior advisor to President-elect Donald Trump

Stephen Bannon, newly appointed senior advisor to President-elect Donald Trump

It takes a long time and a lot of practice to acquire a facial expression like that.

If he were a woman, of course, Trump would be dismissing him as “ugly” and a “fat pig”, but he’s not and so different rules apply, although we’re expected to pretend that’s not true.

where are we?

I’m not at all sure that we won’t see a veritable deluge of drainage, from congress outward. I think of the whole country as the waiting flood plain.

To switch metaphors, I see congress as a capacitor or a storage battery that has been building up a huge charge for decades and will now have a chance to discharge it in a single governmental instant. This is not a wholly unified charge but rather an amalgam of distinct agendas: these, in no particular order, may be called the Social Conservative Agenda, the Drowning It In A Bathtub Agenda, the Unleashing The Creative Power Of Free Enterprise Agenda, and The Symbolic Clearing Away Of Impurities Agenda.

You wanted change? You got it.

You wanted change? Ask, and thou shalt receive.

The Social Conservative Agenda can never be fully realized, but two of its dominant concerns can be addressed at once. (1) Ending all access to legal abortion can be achieved as a practical matter long before the supreme court officially announces its legal end. (2) The return to traditional social values can be got underway by (a) reversing all laws and executive orders that specifically benefit gay and trans people, (b) establishing a national public school curriculum that overturns the disgraceful secularist attack on religion and historical truth, and (c) issuing a mix of new laws and executive orders guaranteeing the individual’s right to freedom from compulsion to participate in acts that conflict with the dictates of his conscience and religious beliefs.

The Drowning It In A Bathtub Agenda can be started on its way by (1) reducing taxes (need I tell you on whom?) to the level required to support only essential services (need I tell you what those are?) and (2) abolishing useless and counterproductive organs of government (the EPA, OSHA, the DOE, for starters) and cutting all – all, with only a couple of obvious exceptions – other agency staffs by a healthy 50% (95% for the new Department of Fees and Excises, which will replace the IRS). (3) Reform of Social Security may take some time but steps toward the auction of the social security trust fund and the conversion of existing benefits to shares in the eventual Social Security Investment Fund may be taken at once.

The Unleashing The Creative Power Of Free Enterprise Agenda can be begun by (1) immediate repeal of the ACA, (2) removing all impediments to True Energy Independence and abolishing all regressive taxes that hobble the Producers of Energy in their selfless goal of delivering oil and coal wherever Demand dictates it should go, (3) an immediate end to all governmental repression of Essential Industries (as designated by the secretary of Commerce), (4) a national Right To Work Act forbidding (in Article XXVII, aka The Anti-business Sabotage Suppression Clause) all interference with the decisions of company management not initiated by shareholders.

The Symbolic Clearing Away Of Impurities Agenda can be almost wholly achieved through executive orders, requiring (1) prominent display of “In God We Trust” on all public buildings, (2) ending all federal interference with the several States’ sovereign right to

The guy is going to have plenty of help, never fear. Here's Pence, withvarious mullahs, signing Indiana's restrictive LGBT law.

The guy is going to have plenty of help, never fear. Here’s Pence, with various mullahs, signing Indiana’s restrictive LGBT law.

apportion voting privileges among qualified adults, (3) countermanding all existing orders aimed at privileging officially favored segments of society the expense of others in matters of employment, education, and housing, (4) immediate enforcement of all laws concerning immigration and naturalization (including revocation of the so-called birthright citizenship of all so-called citizens whose birth in the US was enabled by prior violations of immigration law), and (5) compassionate issuance to genuinely disabled people of Certificates of Exemption from the requirement to stand whenever (a) the Pledge of Allegiance is recited and (b) the National Anthem is played (but only when said recital and said playing is initiated in strict accordance with the National Mutual Respect Act), provided that such people sit quietly with their hands (if such they have) over their hearts during the Spontaneous Ceremony of Mutual Respect.

All of this can be achieved within a matter of weeks, provided only that congress and the administration act in concert and according to their Mandate – for such is the irrevocably declared will of We The People.

now what?

I just have let this out of my head; I don’t have a complete picture of what the hell happened, and I have no reason to suppose that, like just about anything else, the answers to that question are not many and interrelated and complex.

But some components seem clearly identifiable, not least of which is precisely the one which I was so uneasy about when I wrote expressing my trepidations about it back in February of this year, before the odious little carnival barker was even nominated;

…Then consider that there is a gale-force wind blowing against any and all establishment candidates, not just in the thickets of wingnuttistan but howling across the entire political prairie.

Add in the indisputable fact that HRC is the very quintessence of an establishment candidate, and that the Democrat party establishment (here’s looking at you Wasserman Schultz) is, as usual, arrogantly assuming that all the bitterly disappointed Bernie progressives will be driven back into compliance by the LOTE argument—she’s the Lesser Of Two Evils—and the appalling prospects of at least one and possibly even two or three SCOTUS justices being replaced by the next president.

time for some serious thinking, innit?

time for some serious thinking, innit?

Stir all that together with the alarmingly high negatives which continue to bedevil HRC, and you have a formula for an electoral train wreck for the Dems the like of which they’ve not seen before ever, and of which they appear to be blissfully unaware.

So, to all those muppets in comment threads across the intertoobs who are busily and condescendingly characterizing the potential nomination of Trump as “the greatest gift to the Democrats”, stop and minute, lift up your heads and sniff the wind.

Of course all that came on the heels of another Democrat, a very skillful and inspiring speechifier whose campaign in ’08, and again in ’12, resembled the populist messaging of a Bernie Sanders as much as anyone else but who, upon being elected, began immediately fellating the likes of Larry Summers, and then,  like the “Big Dawg”— that triangulating piece of shit fetish doll of Dem Party folklore before him—began to systematically throw us under the bus.

So, they got us our train wreck didn’t they?  Boy did they ever.

So now what happens, and what’s to be done?

 

Donald Trump, I’m betting, is no less surprised to find himself President-Elect than we are, but there he is, and it’s not unreasonable to suppose that he’s no more likely to embrace adult and thoughtful characteristics now than he was after he was nominated and would need to pivot, the sages insisted,  from the primary battles to the general election.

Well guess what, he didn’t pivot, and it clearly didn’t hurt him one damn bit. So, Trump being Trump is a winning formula, at least so far as the narrative inside Trump’s head is concerned, and always has been, so the task of persuading him that he needs, now, to pivot yet again into becoming a careful and responsible and thoughtful adult is probably a lost cause.

Trump is not someone who surrounds himself with clever people who will challenge him. He doesn’t like opposition or criticism, that’s clear enough, and has certainly never lived a life which required him to adjust to such things, and the empirical evidence suggests his appetite for vengeance is almost insatiable.

There are names now being floated for who Trump is considering as cabinet appointments. OK sure, these are rumors, but there are people who expect to be rewarded, who must be rewarded, for tirelessly carrying water for him for the last year or so and Trump is certainly canny enough to understand that principle. What’s a guy to do with list of muppets which includes beauties like Rudy Guliani, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, Jeff Sessions, John Bolton, Bob Corker and many others including our old friend Ben “evolution is bunk” Carson?

As always we cannot know the future for sure. But it’s not outlandish to suggest that the very whitebread Trump/Alt-Right/AynRand/authoritarian/theocratic nexus to whom the American people have just basically written a blank check is not going have much opposition going forward, since the GOP is knee-deep in ideologues who share many of their views and they now control all branches of government except SCOTUS, and that’s on their to-do list without a doubt.

What can be done about any of this now, I don’t know.

We might have a couple of years to deploy the democratic process to change the balance of power in the Senate and/or House, but they’ll also have the same two years to move the goalposts so that democratic shenanigans like that can be stymied evermore.

Some footrace, huh?

Can the Dems (and it has to be them, right, ‘cos nobody else has the political infrastructure to mount an effective opposition in that kind of time window, do they?) get it together and, as Amy likes to say, drain their own swamp, see and acknowledge where they lost the plot and then re-tool for this fight?

Can we help that process along?

I don’t know, so I’m asking.

What is the primary task at hand now for people of goodwill who are unwilling to be governed by people who have already shown an appetite for belittling, even persecuting, their fellow humans by reason of gender or race or sexual orientation, and what should be the strategy?

a fuckup for the ages…

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We welcome our new Overlords.

Not official yet, as of 10:30 pm Mountain Time, but this is what it’s looking like. Right now HRC need PA, MI and WI and is down in all three.

If this holds, which now seems more likely than not, it’s the biggest fuckup—from any and every aspect and by several orders of magnitude—in any of our lifetimes, and the beginning of a transformation of this Republic into Something Else Entirely.  The racists and the theocrats and the Ayn Rand fetishists will have the bit between their teeth now, and with a GOP majority in both houses of Congress there’s gonna be nobody to haul effectively back on the reins at all.

I’m going to go do something else for a while, I’m too disgusted to talk about this any further tonight.  If I wake up tomorrow and discover I put up the wrong picture and my fears are misplaced, I won’t complain.