dominionism revisited

A suggestion has been made to provide links to the series on Dominionism which ran here back in the summer of 2011.

Fair enough;

June 27, 2011;  Dominionism, the groundwork.

June 28, 2011; Dominionism, growth.

June 30, 2011; Dominionism, agendas.

July 2, 2011; Dominionism, law.

July 6, 2011; Dominionism, zion.

There are additional posts which address the dominionism phenomenon in varying ways as and when specific events seemed to me to warrant it. Search for the term using the onboard search function and they’ll pop up.

There is also at least one article noting the fact that the MSM seemed, later that same summer of 2011,  to be waking up. There were some fairly detailed pieces by CNN and a few rather good pieces over at The Daily Beast by a writer whose name escapes me at the moment. There was also a flurry of attention paid to the New Apostolic Reformation and its association with Governor Goodhair back before he imploded as a presidential candidate.

Ah, remember those days, when a simple misstep or two could completely scupper a presidential candidacy?  A single episode of canoodling on a yacht (named “Monkey Business” no less!) with a women not your wife could, and did, do the trick.

Why recent developments—including the blatant theocratic tendencies of Pence, along with the spectacularly aggressively theocratic assertions of people like Roy Moore—have failed to refocus media attention upon these assholes is a good and lovely question.

It’s not as if they’ve gone anywhere, after all.

Indeed, a strong argument can be made for the assertion that they are substantially closer to their objectives in some very important ways right now than at any previous time in modern history.

96 Responses to dominionism revisited

  1. NatashaFatale says:

    Bluth,

    Fair enough. Of course that 85% will drop, if only because numbers like that can’t last. But what it won’t do is plummet: it will erode, and it won’t erode fast enough to end large-scale GOP voter resistance to impeachment. If Trump is impeached, he’ll be impeached by Democrats and the minority of Republicans who feel themselves reasonably invulnerable to a Tea Challenge.

    I think the impeachment of Trump will have to play out in two phases, and that the first phase has to be public hearings. Remember Watergate: Nixon was beaten because those months-long public hearings ground him down. He may not have been sitting pretty when they started but he wasn’t close to being impeached. It was that slow drip drip drip that did him in, and the revelations that everyone remembers now came only toward the end of it.

    Only public hearings will give GOP congresspeople the cover they’ll need to turn on Trump. Until they happen, not only favoring impeachment but just admitting to believing anything at all that Mueller uncovers will appear to be an act of faith – an act bad faith in the eyes of the base. Public hearings will allow those congresspeople to slowly become just as bothered and then horrified as the GOP public at large. Then they’ll have the two excuses they’ll need: the excuse for keeping the faith until we all learned what we’ll learn, and the excuse for doing the right thing once we’ve all learned it. (Expect that same metamorphosis from Fox. They will not be forfeiting the enormous TV audience those hearings will generate.)

    We won’t see public hearings until the Democrats are strong enough to make them happen. The Democrats won’t be strong enough to make them happen unless they take at least one chamber in 2018. Period. That’s what it comes down to.

    Unless. Unless Trump does something so horrifying – horrifying to much of that 85% – that it becomes safe to turn on him. Merely firing Mueller won’t do that, but there are ways he could shoot off his mouth while firing him that might. War could do it – war on a big enough scale, I mean. Or some other kind of blatantly scary and irrational act. He certainly has it in him, but no one can claim to know that he’ll do it for sure.

  2. NatashaFatale says:

    Re Ryan and the certainly-leaked-by-him rumors of his impending retirement.

    Kevin is not wrong about the part that trepidation about 2018 plays in this. He’s not they type to relish the prospect of being Minority Leader and, anyway, his own reelection is no sure thing. (Janesville has been a ghost town since the Chevy Suburban plant closed in ’09 – one of the saddest places I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been to Bakersfield – and it’s the kind of place where his obsessive benefit killing is bound to catch up with him.) So yeah, 2018.

    But just as important is the fact that he wants to run for president someday. Whether his prospects are realistic – Ayn Rand on the campaign trail? Really? – his run in some future primary is a dead solid lock. Now it is, but not if he hangs around. He’s already presided over accomplishments no Republican Speaker since the civil war can claim. He’s delivered on the money grab, and his future donors won’t ever forget that. (A two-trillion dollar heist? In plain sight? Who has ever done that before?) For a while it looked like he had lost on the healthcare thing, but he’s pulled that off too – pulled it off without even pretending to replace the now-moribund ACA. He’ll have most of next year to go after Medicare and Medicaid and WIC and all that, and he’s bound to inflict some serious damage there, too. He won’t come close to his lifelong dream of killing social security, but I don’t think anybody who matters is going to blame him for that: that would just be so ungrateful.

    Who would trade a resume like that for a couple of years of relative futility?

  3. bluthner says:

    Nat,

    I agree that without some rash(er) act on Trump’s part, or some completely damning video or tape recording (we know he doesn’t write anything down except tweets, but the video of Trump and the Russian prostitutes may well still be out there), then there is going to have to be a public hearing of some kind or other, and it is going to have to be run by someone who intends to get to the truth rather than blow smoke and obfuscate. So that means it is going to have to be a democrat or someone who caucauses with the Dems.

    Someone like Sam Ervin. Who I remember seeing night after night on the news. Who seemed as close to Atticus Finch -minus the good looks- as we were ever going to come across in American public life.

    Who will be Ervin for us now? From Wikipedia:

    Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield chose Ervin because it was unlikely Ervin was going to run for re-election in 1974 (and in fact did not), because he had no aspirations beyond his office, because of his knowledge of the law and the Constitution, and because he was an even-keeled, conservative, independent-minded Democrat. President Nixon thought at first that Ervin might potentially be partial to him, but that turned out to not be the case.

    Angus King might do.

  4. bluthner says:

    Nat,

    Not just a few years of relative futility. He’ll go on the speech circuit, and collect bigly fees as part-payoff for the tax cut he delivered. I expect he’s got some kind of agent already pencilling in dates as I type. And that’s not campaign money, that’s personal income, and it will quickly heap up into the millions. Not bad for an orphan who never would have gone anywhere without a lot of government benefits, aye?

  5. KevinNevada says:

    I don’t think that Trump will (try to) fire Mueller over the holidays. He’ll be basking in this juicy big heist they just pulled off, with the active support of every sitting GOP Senator, even Collins, Flake, Corker who is supposed to be a ‘fiscal conservative’ . . . every fucking one of them voted Yea today.

    Except McCain, who is slowly dying, and they didn’t need his vote.

    So I think the sociopath will be feeling safe and cozy over this holiday break. Everything is all about him, and if he’s feeling safe, he will lay low for a couple of weeks. He is also a coward, like most bullies, as he has demonstrated with China’s Xi on several occasions.

    I also think the Mueller will drop the next phase of indictments and confessions, with Congress back in session, in early January. Things will then become lively.

    As for impeachment hearings, that panel won’t even convene until January 2019. Ryan will simply refuse to allow that, and will then run for President on the credibility of that stand. It will help a lot in the necessary fundraising. And yes, in the meantime he’ll become quite wealthy.

    **
    I still think that once the pressure gets intense, one possible outcome is a medical escape for us all. The hairball isn’t young, he’s overweight, angry all the time, doesn’t sleep enough.

    **
    As for our precious Republican voting base, remember that a solid majority of them still think that Nixon was framed, and never should have resigned.

    **
    The fear factor for Republican pols will only kick in after their primary elections, when they have to focus on how much they have lost everyone else. Because by then, most people will have figured out that this great tax cut is Phase One of the destruction of Social Security. That tsunami is still approaching the beach.

    (Plus, if anyone is going to supply fresh outrages it’s our hairball. One thing you really can rely on, is that he and his gang will fuck up. They always do, somehow.)

    One lesson of 2016 is that the people are now ahead of the pundits, in ways both good and bad. This is the Information Age.

    In 2016 that screwed the Democrats. In 2018 it will screw the party in power, at both state and federal levels.

    Just some thoughts over morning coffee.

  6. NatashaFatale says:

    Kev,

    You’re telling me Ryan will challenge Pence in 2020? I don’t see it but lay it on me, please.

  7. KevinNevada says:

    Ryan would do anything to become President.

    Remember that he comes from the Libertarian, Koch-brothers-kissup faction of the party.

    Pence cannot win a general election anyway. That god-bothering gang can win some districts and many states – but not nearly enough to win the White House on his own.

  8. NatashaFatale says:

    You’re right that his ambition is boundless, but he’s not without his deep beliefs. Especially in Ayn Rand. He sincerely believes that to accumulate wealth is to accumulate virtue and that, morally, you can never go wrong by attaching yourself to the richest people you can find and catering to their every whim. This makes him a bit different than his fellow Koch head, Scott Walker, who is little more than a Koch employee with ideas above his station.

    I don’t see him challenging Pence unless the big money wants him to, and I don’t see them wanting him to unless Pence looks a sure loser. The one thing I can’t ever see him doing is bucking them in any way. He’s young, and they will come calling on him someday.

  9. KevinNevada says:

    NF:

    Pence is a sure loser as the head of a ticket. That will be especially true in the post-Trump backlash era.

    So the big money on the dark side will favor someone like Ryan.

    Remember, the Koch Brothers did NOT support Trump. So far as I know they still don’t.

  10. bluthner says:

    Kev,

    I’m trying to understand under what circumstances Pence is a sure loser as the head of a ticket, but at the same time Ryan is a more likely winner.

    Okay Ryan is younger and fitter and doesn’t call his wife ‘mother’ and doesn’t seem to be screaming “I’m not a closet gay no way am I a closet gay!” But he’s plenty weird enough, and cold as codfish frozen into the middle of a five mile iceberg.

  11. NatashaFatale says:

    Of course, Pence himself could turn out to have a Mueller problem dating from his time on the transition team – like, for instance, if he was in the meeting where Jared blurted out that the vigorish on the Miami property stops if we let Assad win. Stranger things have happened, but you can’t count on them. If Trump is out by 2020 you’ll have so many slick, well-spoken Trump 2.0s cluttering up the field that Pence may be the Huntsman/Kasich figure by then.
    ,

  12. KevinNevada says:

    Bluthner:

    You are, I think, over-simplifying the fractured nature of the Republican coalition, as it now stands. Ryan can appeal to several of those factions. Cover his faults with competent marketing, and he can be ‘sold’ to swing voters.

    Pence, OTOH, only to the religious nuts. He is Dominionist to the core.

    So between those two, as a direct comparison, I think the smart right-wing money goes to Ryan far ahead of Pence. He is far more electable in the general election.

    And in any case, Pence has a legal problem pending. Natasha, forget stupid remarks by Jared. He was probably in on at least one of the meetings where firing Comey was discussed – including discussion of the pressing reason, which was a certain FBI investigation. If the hairball is soon facing obstruction-of-justice findings from Mueller, which is one thing that only the House can deal with (via impeachment), then Pence may well be roped into a parallel impeachment.

  13. bluthner says:

    Kev,

    You seem to be approaching the possible choice of Ryan from a 180 degrees different perspective. For me it matters not how fractured or not the GOP is, that’s irrelevant. All that I’m thinking about is how the fuck would anyone, anywhere, think Ryan could win a general. (For the record I don’t think Pence could either.)

    Ryan is a cold fish. There is nothing he can do to change that. There is nothing ‘competent marketing’ can do to change that. Americans never, ever, if given the choice between a cold fish and a warm one (however flawed) choose the cold fish. It’s never happened in my lifetime and I’d lay good money it never will.

    Yes Ryan might be margainally more electable than Pence, but that’s like saying cold canned whale meat tastes better than cold canned pig brains in milk. (I’ve tasted both, btw, and I assure you it’s a comparison you won’t want to have to make.)

    So it’s just possible that I’m actually taking a position more optimistic than you! In the sense that I think the Dems could beat either Pence or Ryan by a wide margin if they only have the sense to run a human being (preferrably, in this climate, a white male human being).

    Surely the GOP could and will run someone far more dangerous than Pence or Ryan. Why would the crew of upcoming Trump 2.0’s wait for 2024? Assuming Trump is finished before 2020- and I do so assume- the field for them will be wide open. One of them- I have no idea who- will likely wipe the primary floor with Pence’s fat ass and Ryan’s gristly one.

  14. bluthner says:

    Plus of course the possibility, that you point out, that Pence may already be stained too deeply by Trump’s dirt. But if Pence goes down with Trump before 2020, then we get the speaker of the House, and if the House is Dem after 2018…..

  15. NatashaFatale says:

    Well, sure. If Pence is impeached, he won’t be running again. And if he and Trump go down together next summer we have president Ryan, and if they go down together next December we have president Pelosi. Sure we do. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen. I’m saying it most likely won’t.

    I’m also (still) saying that if we go into 2020 with Pence sitting in the White House, the GOP will mostly circle the wagons around him. Of course there will be primary challengers – I don’t think Ted could resist – but I think they’ll be seen by most of the donor class as threatening the GOP’s hold on the executive branch (an unforgivable sin). I’d expect to see a whole lot of “Let Mike Finish the Job!” bumper stickers.

    Then there’s the fact that if Trump is impeached, come August of 2020 the Democrats will be looking good: good, if not unbeatable. Why on earth would Ryan want to be the tethered goat? With the future he’ll have lined up? There will be plenty of high-profile, time-biding jobs open to him; his friends will make damn sure of it.

    Finally there’s the religion thing. It’s one thing to note that the religious right probably won’t be strong enough to name the candidate in an even race. It’s quite another thing to argue that if Pence is already president, the Republicans will turn on him because of his religion and his public religiosity. No. They won’t do that.

  16. bluthner says:

    I’m not placing any bets on President Pelosi either. Or President Ryan next year.

    And I agree the big money would circle their wagons around a President Ryan in 2020. But Trump was outside that wagon circle in the primaries and look what happened. If Trump goes down before 2020 someone can come along and promise to pick up the Tiki Torch he dropped and promise it with all the bug-eyed fervor, and all the fantatical promises, that once and future Trump believers can eat.

    Getting Trump out of the white house has to be the first order of business, the same way puttting out a fire in a bomb factory has to be the first order of business, but it sure as hell ain’t gonna make us safe. Just less unsafe.

  17. NatashaFatale says:

    Bluth,

    I agree that Ryan’s personality can’t stand a whole lot of public exposure. (Neither can his brain, but – alas – I doubt that that will matter much.) I’m pretty confident that he can’t be elected president, and I think he’ll have a hard time getting nominated. But I’m certain that someday will see him make a hugely well-financed run in the primaries.

    I agree that Pence could be too stained to run for reelection but I don’t think that’s a sure thing. I think that a moderately sickening stain can be managed (“Mike is guilty of the crime of loyalty. But I say loyalty is good when it’s loyalty to the will of the voters, even if the Democrats will never understand that…”)

  18. NatashaFatale says:

    Bluth,

    And I agree that Trump was outside the wagons and rode over them like a band of Comanches. But that was when Obama was in the White House and Hillary was due up next, and thus the GOP base was howling for a lynching. They’ll be just as pissed off this time: they elected their guy fair and square and the establishment changed the rules and overthrew him. So yes, a challenge by Trump 2.0 would be looking good. Unless Pence has already become Trump 2.0 and is already sitting in the White House.

    Does Pence have it in him to pull it off? I suspect that he does. I don’t think he’d have to do much of the heavy lifting Trump had to do. I think all he’d have to do is talk about respecting the electoral verdict of 2016 and finishing the job he was elected to help Trump do. And call the Democrats and the Republicans who sided with them a pack of establishment jackals who think they can still overturn the Will of the People any time they like. “And are we going to let them do that? I say, No we’re not! I say, With the help of God, the People took their country back, and with the help of God, the People will keep it!”

    I think he’s just smart enough to do that, and if he does I don’t think he’d be all that vulnerable to any upstart Trump 2.0.

  19. KevinNevada says:

    Oohh, once more, “What Might Happen”. We should invent a board game for this.

    If the Hairball goes down over Obstruction of Justice (specification, the Comey firing, possibly also a failed attempt to fire Mueller), then Pence will probably go down with him.

    And if that is going to happen, the GOP Establishment will make sure it happens when Ryan is still Speaker, IOW during 2018. Because no serious money can be bet on Ryan still being Speaker in January 2019. That tsunami is loud, now.

    As their assault on Social Security becomes obvious, that tsunami will only grow.
    And Phase One of that assault is now law, the tax bill, due to be signed after New Years so they can pretend they didn’t ALSO just screw with Medicare and Medicaid, which they did.

    But this is the Information Age, and AARP is very stirred up about it. If there is any organized group in the US whom you don’t want stirred up in a mid-term election, it’s the AARP.

    Another factor to consider: the social media campaign run by the Russians to help elect Trump probably will not work ever again. Their screw-with-all-enemies operation worked, to pass Brexit, and stirred the shit nicely in Catalonia, but everyone has woken up to this threat now. (Well, not the Brits, they are still NOT doing the one appropriate thing they really should do . . . more on that below. I digress.)

    The Russian meddling failed in France and the Netherlands in 2017, and although it worked some mischief in Germany, it was not enough to oust Angela Merkel.

    2016 in the USA was one weird fucking year, but we should not assume that the same gambits and propaganda and social media manipulations will work again. That sort of thing tends to work once and then gradually lose its punch.

    The populace will still be angry, but the Party In Power is now the Republicans, in both elected branches. So they will pay any price to be paid to populist outrage, in 2018.

    As for Ryan and Pence . . . it does not matter, really. After Trump, no Republican can feasibly win the White House in 2020. The backlash against this extremist regime is building in ALL STATES. Including, Alabama FFS. Just look at the voting results in all levels last month.

    By winning-with-Trump, the Republicans have initiated a sequence of events, and are provoking reactions by their own acts, that will bury them for a decade.

    They are going to hand a slew of state governments back to the Democrats just in time for the 2021 redistricting. The timing on this really sucks for them. They have clung to power throughout this decade by gerrymandering, which acted to postpone their long-term demographic problem.

    But Trump is only making those demographic ills worse. Racism is a loser in this country now. Hell, it didn’t even fly in Alabama!

    The Millennials are deeply hostile now to the entire Republican message.

    So Bluthner, your cold-fish Ryan may be President, running for a term on his own, in 2020 but he won’t win.

    And the House will be in Democratic hands throughout the 2020’s. Probably also, the Senate, and a majority of the states, too.

    Our 40 miles of bad road will end. We have a ways still to travel, and it won’t be nice, but it will end.

    **
    PS about Brexit: the only appropriate response to the Russian meddling, that helped to sell that stupid idea by just 52 percent, would be to re-vote the matter with a better informed electorate.

    PM May isn’t even considering this. That failure will destroy her.

  20. bluthner says:

    Kev,

    Then we agree that Ryan would never ever stand a chance of winning a general if he’s running against even a mildly warm human being?

    if that is going to happen, the GOP Establishment will make sure it happens when Ryan is still Speaker

    Except the timing isn’t really in the hands of the GOP establishment. So long as Mueller remains in his position, the timing is in his hands. If he delivers in the run up to the midterms, which seems likely, there will be no time for the GOP establishment to get Trump out. In theory they could, but in practice it just won’t happen that quickly.

    So yes, it all gets curiouser and curiouser.

    On a different note: extreme weather events are no longer just being exacerbated by global heating, but global heating is causing them. According to solid science. I think we’ve all expected that was true for quite some time, but now the science is backing up what we all supposed was likely. Will the deniers poo-poo it? Dunno: will next summer be the hottest on record so far, again?

  21. KevinNevada says:

    One more thought. Then I’ll be off the rest of this good day, working. (!!)

    The dominant political and social wave at this time is MeToo. The women are rising. And it’s happening in some form all over the world. (They are finally DRIVING CARS in Saudi!!)

    This is NOT good news for: Dominionism, religious nuts anywhere (take that, Pence old boy) . . . nor for pussy-grabbing thugs like Donald J. Trump.

    And a movement based on social conservatism, which ALWAYS turns out to be about controlling the women, is not going to prosper in the face of this other tsunami.

    It’s a major component of the political tsunami now gathering strength all over the US.

  22. bluthner says:

    Kev,

    Re Brexit: of course the only appropriate response is a second referendum. And of course May has considered it. But she can’t possibly suggest one. She’d be chucked out of number 10 within an hour of doing so. That’s the problem: she is held captive by her Brexit looney wing, and Labour is held captive by all the Labour voters who swung to UKIP. Neither party dares say the completely obvious. So we are marching blindfold towards the cliff edge.

    Parliament may, at the last moment, vote to recind the article 50 trigger (when they are presented with the really bad deal that May will inevitably come back from Europe with). And then it depends on the 27 Euro states: if they agree to let bygones be bygones, which they might, then it would be as if nothing had happened. Except we gutted or economy for three or four years and split the country down the middle for a generation, and wasted billions, but hey, them’s the breaks.

  23. NatashaFatale says:

    Kev,

    I sort of agree with what you say, but in a timorous, squishy sort of way. For example, all the MeToo in the world won’t make Republican and Republican-leaning women vote for Harris or Warren. For another, “the House will be in Democratic hands throughout the 2020’s” – uh, that’s a big jump. If the Democrats do sweep everything in 2020, they become the target. If I could count the “this devastating defeat dooms the X party for decades” election nights I’ve lived through…

  24. KevinNevada says:

    NF:

    My prediction about the House rests on a simple fact: the only way the GOP has controlled the House throughout this decade was gerrymandering in 5 to 10 of the states.

    If they lose that gerrymandering, then their long-term demographic problem finally kicks them in the ass in a major way. And they will probably spend the 2020’s in the desert, at least in the House.

    They will eventually recover, of course, but they will be a different party by then, a different coalition.

    Both parties are overdue for a reshuffling of their coalitions. I think it’s happening for the Democrats right now.

  25. NatashaFatale says:

    Kev,

    I buy the logic for the Democratic house takeover in 2022. I just don’t think it can last until 2032 because that would mean that the GOP is content to keep on losing and refuses to undertake that reshuffling. Which means that Capital is willing to finance a losing cause forever and watch, helplessly, as their present gains are slowly rolled back. That’s not the Capital I know.

    I think the Tea Heads will get the gate and the reshuffling will be on. The GOP has a relatively easy way to reshuffle: there is an enormous population of conservative-ish independents out there, the people who once were the Republican middle and left until they were booted out. They’ve been yearning to come home for decades, and there are scads of success-driven Millennials out there who would love to join them. About all the GOP needs to do to snag them is to become color-blind and not crazy. Especially if the Democrats reshuffle to the left, as I fervently hope they will. If they do, that means they’ll be trying to drag returns on investment back down toward the rate of growth. If they do that, they’ll shed their own right wing and drag that Overton window behind them and the Republicans can enbiggen their tent just by shuffling into the territory the Democrats abandon.

    It’s a two-party system: it wants to be in balance, just like Newton’s apples want to fall to the ground. The only reason it isn’t in balance today is that Capital has wholly captured one party and half-captured the other one. This kind of unnatural distortion is not stable. It can be made to fracture, and when it does no one will be able to run against the GOP of 2017 anymore. Because it will be history.

    That is, if there’s still a semi-functioning country left in 2020.

  26. bluthner says:

    all the GOP needs to do to snag them is to become color-blind and not crazy.

    Which in practical terms means a vast number of the actual humans involved in running the operation need to be replaced with new humans.

    I completely agree with you, Nat, about bringing return on capital back into parity with growth: that ought to be the aim of ANY party that wants to capture the middle and hold power for a generation. Of course the Dems will say it the other way round: their aim is to raise growth in real wages to the level of return on capital. (In truth of course that means dragging wages up and dragging return on capital down until they meet in the middle). Why the Tories here have never figured that out I can’t understand. I know a guy who makes policy for May, when I talk to him about this he not only understands but agrees, says he knows there is no other way forward, not to mention just and fair and likely to bring back real stable government, but he can’t make any headway. Capital really has captured not just the public statements and policy of the Tories, but their actual minds. They can’t even talk about balancing wage growth with capital return. It do not compute.

    I assume the same goes for the GOP, except the entire edifice seems so tainted and corrupted by salafist religious nuttery that untwisting capture by capital from capture by religious fervour makes the knot that needs unravelling ten thousand times more complex.

    I wonder if we don’t have to wait for generational die off to rebalance politics, in the U.S. and in the U.K. Of course there’s not time for that. If only humans could think more than they feel, but then we wouldn’t be humans, and there wouldn’t be any fucking Trump, or Brexit.

  27. NatashaFatale says:

    “If only humans could think more than they feel…” Jung, who can be useful, speaks in terms of “feeling functions” and “thinking functions”, which he believes are more or less in balance in happy, well-functioning people. When the thinking function dominates, you get one kind of neurosis (my kind, by the way), and when the feeling function dominates you get another kind that tends to be quite a bit more obvious to others. (Incidentally, this is bizarrely in tune with much of William James, which is a trip since they sure don’t start from the same place.)

    Calling our current political culture exceptionally feeling-dominated seems right to me. The whole Trump phenomenon is the apotheosis of thoughtless feeling-dominance, and I suppose I’d say the same about Brexit if I’d seen it myself. They’re both as free of ideas as it’s possible to be, and the feelings they wear on their sleeves are impossible to miss: hell, they wear them on their sleeves because that’s how they can communicate in an almost complete vacuum of ideas.

    But if they’re not thinking, their representatives’ paymasters certainly are, and very clearly, too. Whenever r accelerates way beyond g, someone’s got their hand on the throttle and is yanking it hard. That’s one of the few things history has proven to always be true.

    ***

    “…a vast number of the actual humans involved in running the operation need to be replaced with new humans.” Yes. But that’s exactly what happens when parties “reshuffle” – i.e. are invaded and captured by outsiders. It’s what the Pat Robertson clones and then the Tea People did to the Republicans, it’s what the New Dealers and then the McGovernites (briefly) and finally the bankers did to the Democrats, and you can see it happening in history all the way back to the Peloponnesian War. No doubt there are many fine examples in the old testament, if only we knew how to read it right. (It’s certainly what Elizabeth did to English Protestantism – you want to be a preacher? Then here’s the line you toe.)

  28. KevinNevada says:

    NF and Bluthner:

    all good and valid points.

    However, regarding the Republicans, they grew their current coalition by welcoming both the racists who felt betrayed by Johnson in the 60’s, and left the Democrats, and by recruiting the religious nuts who were outside of active politics before the 1980’s. The Southern Strategy is a real ‘thing’.

    One takeaway from the Dec. 12 fiasco in Alabama is that even the South is ready to move beyond being pandered to by racists and religious nuts. Both are bad for business.

    Those racists and religious nuts aren’t just in the South, of course. So, the GOP are stuck with both these elements for the time being. And that will keep the Millennials from joining them in any significant numbers. The downfall of Trump will be followed not by a cleansing but by a fervent search for Trump 2.0. They will have to fall well behind, before they can throw out the two nasty elements, and recover the moderate conservatives.

    NF, I think that process will take much of the 2020’s to work itself out.
    They are deep in this hole and still shoveling.

    It will be easier for the Democrats to become – at least for a while – once more the party of the middle class and working poor. I think it’s already happening. And the Democrats are the only party that will benefit from the new wave of pissed-off, fed-up feminism, that is ready to kick ass and take names. And then get elected! The MeToo revolution is more important than either of you think it is. And the Republicans are the party of greedy and angry white guys – just look at the faces they elect. Very few women, very few non-white faces at all.

    The other weak spot for the conservatives is how hostile they now are to science. It’s a direct consequence of their religious-nut recruitment. But the planet isn’t being patient with these fools. 2017 was the year that climate change became so fucking obvious, and the price rose high enough, that it cannot be debated about any more.

    The world is moving on, and so are important US states, on their own, and the corporate world is ready. Science is good for business, and religious battiness isn’t. Period.

    But if you go on right-wing threads, for example on Faux News or in Trump-loving sites, the consensus hasn’t shifted an iota.

    There too, they are still deep in a hole, and still shoveling.

  29. NatashaFatale says:

    Kev,

    A couple of points. I think I fully understand what MeToo means to the Democrats – hell, I’m already declaring Harris and Warren the early front-runners for 2020, and I think they can only be beaten by another woman or a truly (and obviously) exceptional man. But it’s effect on Republican and Republican-leaning women will be different. They really, really, really do not want to jump to the Democrats – they’re genuinely conservative no matter how much they don’t want to be abused and kicked aside – and they will not get the kind of voice inside the GOP that other women can insist upon from the Democrats. They will have to dig, persistently and for a long time.

    As for Fox, they’re pros, they can change in a heartbeat – and if they manage to keep track of the dominant GOP mood of the moment, they won’t lose many viewers at all. Meanwhile the newly (when it happens) disrespected far right will find its own home. There will be plenty of Limbaughs and Bannons ready to welcome them.

    For the GOP, the whole point will be Where does the money want to take them, and when does it want them to start? Because the money hates to lose and once the writing is on the wall for Plan A, a very well-funded Plan B will emerge overnight.

    But you’re right of us going through a period of Trump 2.0 first. And don’t tell me that the right Trump 2.0 can’t beat the wrong Harris or Warren in 2020. This country is a long, long way from being cured of that particular nonsense.

  30. KevinNevada says:

    NF:

    We differ on your last point. I think they will certainly run Trump 2.0, in 2020.

    (Trump 1.0 will be out, long before then, or dead, the medical escape for us all is far from unlikely.)

    But the particular conditions of 2016 won’t repeat. The Russians can only hurt ‘their guy’ the next time, a schtick like theirs cannot be played for long. The Europeans are already wising up and so are Americans. The angry populism is being channeled in healthier ways, as the Democrats are gradually integrating the BernieCrats.

    No, the backlash to Trump and the ongoing MeToo movement, will bury the Republican’s current program for two elections, I think both 2018 and 2020.

    And then, redistricting will remove their gerrymandered control of the House and of a slew of state chambers, too. And THAT effect will persist for a decade. They really do have a serious demographic problem. They will cure it. But not as quickly as you think.

    As above, the timing on all this really sucks, for them.

  31. NatashaFatale says:

    Kev,

    “But not as quickly as you think.” Depends on which sense of “quickly” you mean. I think it will happen damn quickly when it happens, but it won’t happen till they’re well and truly buried and the money knows they are. And the fact that the Democrats could bury them in 2020 doesn’t mean that they will. The same old crew is still hanging on and they’ve got plenty of fuckups left in them.

  32. NatashaFatale says:

    Meanwhile, we get this, and there’s no end of it still to come. Absolutely on time and on message:

    Y’all still miserable out there? Your lives still sucky? Well brighten up cuz here’s how we’re planning to make some of

    them even more wretched than you!

    This has nowhere nearly run its course yet.

  33. NatashaFatale says:

    Nicely formatted, Natasha…

  34. KevinNevada says:

    NF:

    The Southern Strategy and the coalition it spawned, and the chasing-away of conservatives who felt unwelcome around the nutters and racists, took all the time since Nixon to build, to where it could take over for a Trump.

    It will be more persistent than you think, NF.

    Remember that 2016 was an electoral fluke on the Presidential vote. Greater Democratic turnout in four counties in two states and we would be discussing President Clinton’s shortcomings. It was that close. 4 Counties – in just 2 states.

    The demographic problem is really terrible for the Republicans and they are actively digging that hole deeper, right now.

    **
    I’ll be out the rest of this good day. Happily, for reasons that garner money.

    If I miss you all, have a wonderful holiday weekend. Be safe. Be happy.

  35. KevinNevada says:

    PS – Yes, I saw that too, about separating families at the border.
    It’s a new and special level of cruel.

    So how do you think that plays with the Latino voters?
    The Millennials?
    Women, who are already fed up?

    Shoveling away, is what they are doing.

    Bye.

  36. NatashaFatale says:

    And happy whatever it is to you too. But I don’t understand why you think I’m too optimistic all of a sudden. I still think we’re up to our necks in a cesspool and the shit is still rising fast.

  37. bluthner says:

    Hey all, I’m really enjoying this thread, and happy merry midwinter, but I’m going off the grid for a while: family stuff, of the not merry kind.

  38. NatashaFatale says:

    Kev,

    Help me out a little. I’m really not sure whether I’m arguing with you or agreeing with you wholeheartedly.

    If you’re saying that the southern strategy will still be the GOP’s election strategy after Trump, then I mostly agree. That strategy not only has to lose but lose spectacularly before the money decrees that it be replaced. After all, two solid but not overwhelming Obama wins only resulted in the over the top escalation of the southern strategy that brought us Trump. In the face of the results that move got, I’d be a fool to call the strategy moribund.

    My position is that if the Democratic sweep you predict for 2020 comes to pass – a possible and oh so desirable but very much not certain outcome, I think – the money will demand a change to broadens the GOP base and appease the independents. And I also believe that what the money wants, the money gets. Still further, I don’t think the money is or ever has been the least bit stupid. If, after 50 years of success, the southern strategy finally becomes a loser, the money will see it as soon as the rest of us do.

    The money will not wait a decade while the Democrats rebuild the functions of government and incrementally undo that two-trillion-dollar gift. It will move as soon as it needs to cut that turnabout short. Sure, new blood will displease a lot of the current base – but if that Democratic hegemony seems likely, that will mean that the current base can no longer do its job. And we all know what happens to people who can no longer serve the money as the money needs to be served.

    Is that clearer? And if you disagree with some of it, can you tell me which parts those are?

  39. KevinNevada says:

    Natasha:

    I disagree that the turnaround will be as easy as you say it will.

    One lesson of 2016 is that the establishment money in the Republican side no long controls what happens. Trump and his army, the ugly fruits of 40 years (!) of the Southern Strategy, steamrolled that establishment. They weren’t even polite about it, either. And they can do it again. A monster has been hatched.

    I agree that the Republicans will eventually clean house, shed the racists and religious nut-jobs and once more become a party that a respectable person can join. But they took 40 years to get themselves into their current condition. Go on any comment thread under a Fox News political story, and see the results.

    A fast pivot out of that condition just is NOT feasible. It cannot even begin until after 2019, as Trump goes down in a slow and ugly manner. So 2020 will be another backlash year, another year for Republicans to get swept out of more offices.

    And then in 2021 their demographic problems become acute, when redistricting happens in a year they’ve just lost their power to gerrymander. So the 2020’s will be played on a differently marked playing field.

    It will take years after that to recruit new segments back, and to chase off the noxious elements. And they will be doing that in the face of Democratic dominance of the national and most state’s governments. Ambitious young folks with a taste for the political life will opt for the winning side. They always do.

    No fast pivots, Natasha. It will take well into the 2020’s to invent a new GOP.

  40. KevinNevada says:

    Natasha:

    a PS to the above.

    “MeToo” will continue to play out well into 2019/2020. There is still so much for that movement to do. And the Republicans are very much the Party of Men. Angry men. White men.

    It won’t be easy for them to change that, either.

  41. NatashaFatale says:

    Kev,

    This is interesting: so many variables! So much “If this and this happen but that doesn’t…” Which equals, I think, scads of assumptions – and somewhere in those assumptions is the explanation for our different predictions.

    Let’s look at two of those assumptions: the effect of MeToo, and what will happen legislatively in 2018.

    ***

    MeToo. I think MeToo will knock quite a few Democratic names off their perches, and because of and even beyond that, will increase the number of Democratic women who become candidates. (And who will set a certain kind of voter’s teeth on edge simply by being women – but I don’t think that many of those will have been likely Democratic voters anyway.)

    But I don’t think MeToo will have much of an effect on the Republicans. Certainly a certain number of names will leave the scene in disgrace, but I expect them to be replaced by their ideological brethren (and, occasionally, by their even more conservative sisters). But except if the rare Moore-scenario comes along (a guy is nailed but somehow hangs on anyway), I don’t expect this to change one Republican woman’s vote. Or any Republican-leaning independent woman’s, either, so long as the GOP candidate is not personally tainted. My reason for thinking this is twofold: first, voting for any Democrat is anathema to these people; second, MeToo will have the effect of moving Democratic candidates toward the perceived cultural left (“cultural left”, if you will, to distinguish it from any real left). And that will make those candidates even more toxic to conservatives.

    You clearly don’t agree. It sounds like you expect that MeToo will make the Republican brand toxic (“the Party of Men. Angry men. White men.”) to women who up to now have bought it. Can you tell me just who you expect these women to be? And what form you expect their rebellion to take?

    ***

    Legislation in 2018. Ryan has already announced that 2018 will be the year entitlements are reformed (“reformed” as in “formed again” – formed again out of pure, 24K nothingness). Various entitlements will have to be abolished differently. Unemployment insurance, CHIP, WIC, and so on can simply be cut into irrelevance. Medicaid is trickier, and some vestige of it will probably have to hang on for a while. But the payoff is Medicare and Social Security. Especially Social Security, because abolishing it has been the business/rentier/hard-right-libertarian holy grail since the ’30s – and Ryan is 100% of that ilk, a holy warrior for that cause and for no other.

    Now the details of abolishing Medicare and Social Security will be a bit complicated, mainly because the abolition will have to be sold to the public. Considering Social Security only, I’d expect Ryan to proceed like this. Current recipients and those who will be recipients within, say, five years will continue under the current program (too many GOP voters now get or count on future Social Security for it to be otherwise). Everyone else will get their contributions back, perhaps with some very moderate interest – provided that the money (or just the promise of it) is invested in a new and ultra-safe kind of private retirement fund that you, Mr and Mrs Taxpayer, will own and control yourselves!

    This would be the largest governmental shedding of assets in the history of…well, in the history of history. The Dow would hit maybe 45,000 overnight as demand for every conceivable investment vehicle skyrockets (and as every business in the country starts pocketing the payroll taxes it used to pay). And the groundwork for that feeding frenzy has already been prepared: just about every consumer protection that prevents brokers and institutions from looting private investments has been abolished in just the last few weeks. There is now absolutely nothing but the individual investor’s own legal savvy to prevent the apprentice real estate agent down the street from pushing the Platinum Bitcoin American Patriot’s Bonanza Retirement Plan and paying himself a 98.7% commission on every sale.

    But most of all there’s this: once that cash is in private hands, nothing any future congress or future administration can do will ever claw it back again. No conceivable tax increase could get it back. Not even a 100% tax on those Social Security replacement plans would do it, because most of that money will be gone – it will have migrated in the blink of an eye to those truly deserving of it.

    This, then, is the dream. Will it come true? I don’t think it will quite make it. I do think it will make it through the house (and, in fairness, a lot of smart people think it won’t), but I don’t believe the senate will fall for it. True, that tax bill was almost as blatant a theft, but the optics are different when it comes to Social Security (never mind Medicare).

    So, whether it likes it or not, The Money will have to come back for its full payoff in 2019. And that alone will keep the Southern Strategy alive and kicking in 2018 and maybe 2020: The Money can’t even think about stopping now that it is this close. That bet is off if Ryan’s dream ignores my predictions and somehow makes it through the senate next year. And it’s off as soon as the Southern Strategy demonstrably stops working (which you put in 2018 and I put just a little later).

    What will it mean when The Money abandons the Southern Strategy? It won’t mean that the current GOP base stops voting for white male dominance, because those minds were made up in 1958. We’re in total agreement there. But it will mean that national GOP candidates can stop pandering to that base, that they’ll be free to go after independents of all races and genders and religions (including none) and still get funded. All that will be required of those candidates will be an inclination to serve The Money when the chips are on the line. Because that’s all it takes to keep the status quo, whatever it may be at any given time, in place – we’ve certainly proven that, haven’t we? – and that’s all The Money will need once it has walked away with everything it can think of pilfering today.

  42. KevinNevada says:

    NF:

    Christmas Eve now and I’ll be away from this forum for a few days.

    The problem with your scenario is, they simply don’t have the cash in hand to enact that refunds-to-the-Millennials part of that Social Security phaseout. And the tax cuts just enacted, mean they won’t have the cash in hand any time soon.

    They could just print the money – and trigger an inflationary round in the middle of a recession, Nixon’s Stagflation with a vengeance. That would be suicidal, come November. They already have a nasty guy in the top office with an approval rating in the 30 percents. They are already facing a tsunami. And that recession is overdue, should be appearing by spring or summer.

    And, the Teepers are still around and would rebel over the deficits. They may revolt anyway, once the details of that tax-bill-atrocity they just enacted get fully analyzed. The coal industry just figured out that it screws them, other surprises will erupt for the next month.

    Ryan talks a big game about SS and Medicare. But he will be playing defense all winter.

    No, it’s too late in this cycle for more grand moves. The politics of an election year are about to erupt. And it’s already set to be a very ugly year for the Republicans, at all levels.

    MeToo will affect the Republicans more, because it puts powerful men on the defense everywhere. The only political party that is ready to benefit in any manner from that is the Democrats. The net effect just adds to the other ills, for Team Trump.

    Plus, as always, Trump and his gang will fuck up regularly. He always does, cannot change.

    I will leave you with that cheerful thought. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all.

  43. NatashaFatale says:

    Well, Kev, I think he’s got to try. It’s his life’s work – he’s said so any number of times – and he’ll never have a better chance.

    He can’t cut off the current recipients or the just-on-the-verge-of-becoming recipients because they’re his base, and they won’t stand for it.

    I’m betting that he can try a couple of things. The payouts the government won’t be making begin after two years. At some point – thirty years off? Forty years off? – those payouts not made will match and then (increasingly forever!) exceed the one-time payout he’ll be making to the financial industry – er, I mean to We The People. Given an actuarial certainty like that, I’m confident he can find any number of hitherto cautious experts who will declare it to be the wisest and most prudent investment in the entire history of wise and prudent investments.

    And he can float the notion of converting the current recipients and almost-recipients to the Approved Retirement Freedom Account of their choice after, say, five years. By then those funds will be paying out such massive returns that the government will only have to kick in, say, a third of what it would be paying in the cash to the recipients themselves. I feel certain that he’s got it in him to promise that. I’m banking (clever pun, no?) that a public that won’t blink at an initial theft of a couple of trillion will be more then willing to accept a few trillion more so long as it seems to be landing in their own pockets. We are dealing after all with people who think that by reducing government revenues to zero, they will magically grow to infinity.

    As I said, I don’t expect the senate to buy it. But I think he has to try. It’s his destiny.

    Yes, Trump will continue to fuck up. Yes he will. But that, for the moment at least, is not Ryan’s story.

  44. KevinNevada says:

    NF:

    OK, it’s Boxing Day and I have one more response to your points.

    I agree that few committed Republican women, especially the churchy sort, will pay the slightest attention to MeToo. They demonstrated in Alabama that they will swill up any nonsense from the Approved and Authorized Sources, like Franklin Graham to name one.

    It’s a sickening spectacle, for sure.

    But it’s the swing voters who decide elections, and when they swing en masse as they are about to do throughout 2018, they can ruin either party’s chances for that year.

    Every poll and every actual vote in 2017, from mid-summer on, showed that the Trump movement has lost almost all of those swing voters. And MeToo will only add to that, in the new year, and we’ll see a boatload more female candidates get elected in all states, all levels.

  45. NatashaFatale says:

    I see that I have not acknowledged that my Ryan prediction is both outlandish and improbable. It is both. It can’t possibly happen outside of a perfect political storm, and no one will try to make it happen unless they think that storm is at least possibly upon us. I don’t think that particular storm is here yet (though, in fairness, I’ve spent most of my assuming that it will never be here). One reason it isn’t here yet is that Trump doesn’t seem to care and the voters who are most loyal to him depend on government entitlements even more than the mythical average citizen. A second reason is that too many Republican senators depend on the votes of people who will think that the project is way too radical. Reelect me and I will impoverish you as no state outside the old Confederacy has ever been impoverished before: it’s a line that needs a lot of work, isn’t it?

    But I still think that this particular speaker of the house is dreaming of pulling it off, and knows that he will never have a better chance. More than any other truly successful politician in living memory, this has been his holy grail since he got to about chapter five of Atlas Shrugged. It’s a prize that the truly big money, the Koch and Koch-level money, has never – not once, not for a moment – lost sight of. Fairly recently – the fifties, the sixties – it was conservative orthodoxy. Buckley and his followers preached it relentlessly. But it was not an idea that could thrive once Wallace and Nixon turned conservatism into a popular movement, and it has never caught on (to say the least) in the many mutations that popular conservatism has gone through since then. Socialism is still a bad word but few voters, conservative or otherwise, remember what it used to mean. (Which is why so few of Bernie Sanders’ supporters, never mind his opponents, know what he means when he calls himself a social democrat.) Nowadays being against socialism, while still de rigeur, just means being against those aspects of government that don’t appear to benefit me directly. The idea that a genuine anti-socialist must perforce favor the abolition of social security and medicare no longer comes naturally to most conservative voters.

    But Ryan is not a creature of popular conservatism. He’s perfectly willing to sail on that tide when he can but in truth he’s the old fashioned kind of extreme and extremely pure economic conservative, and the truly big money knows it every bit as well as he does. He is not a lonely misfit atop his ungovernable rabble of misfits. He is not lonely at all. He knows who he serves and he knows why he serves them, and they know the same about him – and believe me, they talk.

    And when they talk they do not talk stupidly. They can read the tea leaves of 2018 and 2020 and beyond as well as we can. They can hope to keep the Trump-storm going but they know that it’s far from a sure thing The only real sure thing they can see is that next year, with a big majority in one chamber and the skinniest possible majority in the other one and a president who will sign (and take credit for) any bill they put before him, they have an outside chance of doing what they may not be able to do again for another whole century.

    They simply have to go for it. That’s my case, and that’s all of it.

  46. NatashaFatale says:

    Kev,

    And happy boxes to you too.

    Oh yes – 2018 will be a different year for the swing voters, and if MeToo changes one percent of their votes, that alone could result in 20 or 30 seats in the house. As I said (or tried to), that’s one reason I expect the pre-election looting to accelerate as never before.

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