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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Silence of the purists

Dissing mainstream Dems is the national sport. Both the left and the right loves to indulge in that pastime. But right now, the Democrats -- not all of them, but some of them -- are the only ones talking impeachment.

The "purist" left? Not so much.

Bernie Sanders cautions Democrats not to jump the gun on impeachment. By comparison, there were three efforts to impeach Nixon before the Watergate scandal hit big; two were registered during the first term, and one of them was initiated by John Conyers. (I fear that history may remember how that fine man's career ended while forgetting the great things he did in 1972, and at many other times.)

The "premature anti-Nixonites" never had any reason to feel ashamed of what they then did. They had and have every reason to feel proud of their foresight.

Now go here:
Comrade Jill Stein and the Green Party have been very quiet about impeachment. Often cited progressive critics of the Democratic party like Cornel West and Susan Sarandon are mum about impeaching Trump choosing instead to continue to attack Democrats by name-calling them as neo-liberals even though Democrats are out of power in DC. Finally, even Bernie Sanders, who often rails against Trump's corruption is trying to tamp down impeachment talk.

Indeed, many of the groups that are supposedly to the left of mainstream Democrats have been pretty quiet about impeaching Trump despite the lawlessness and obvious corruption of the Trump administration.
Trump's recent tweets against the FBI are obvious examples of obstruction of justice. Sanders and his fellow progressive purists should require no further "evidence" for impeachment. They would certainly ask for no further evidence if anyone named Clinton did the same thing. If Hillary were president, and if Hillary took any steps to obstruct an FBI probe directed against her, Sanders and Stein would demand her head on a spear's point now now now.

In his attacks on the American justice system, Trump has cited no concern for any case except his own. He is not attacking systemic corruption at the DOJ and the FBI.

Clearly, he wants those organs of the government to overlook his own crimes and to function as attack dogs directed at his enemies. Cognate institutions in Russia function as Putin's pit bulls. Trump and his GOP cronies hope to replicate that system here.

That's not enough grounds for impeachment, Bernie? You want more?

Again: If any Democratic president had done what Trump has done, Sanders would scream like a banshee for impeachment.

This is not a time for purity. It's time to preserve what we have.

The GOP deliberately blew up the deficit in order to bring about their goal of ending Social Security and Medicare. Of Paul Ryan:
Rising debt, in fact, strengthens his zeal for his preferred deficit-reduction policy. That policy is to reduce spending by shrinking the size and scope of government that Democratic political initiatives have built.

In particular, Ryan wants to curb spending on the giant "entitlement" programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. "How you tackle the debt and the deficit," the speaker declared recently, is by "entitlement reform."

The right way is the Clinton way: Get the country out of the red, get us on a clear (and surprisingly painless) path to complete eradication of the deficit, and preserve Social Security and Medicare as sacred institutions, overwhelmingly popular with the vast majority of Americans.

That's what Bill Clinton did. Don't let our ill-schooled youth forget it. Don't let the GOP propagandists and the faux-left history-twisters teach young people (and their forgetful elders) a false account of what actually happened.

By the way: During the election, Hillary Clinton was the only one who pointed out that Social Security could be preserved for the foreseeable future through the simple expedient of raising the cap. 

The relationship between fascism and libertarianism. Personally, I think that many Alt Rightists know full well that unfettered Ayn Randism will destroy this country. That's the point. A crisis will create a power void, into which the neo-Nazis hope to march.

The Nazis took over in Germany in 1933 because the system had failed. That system provided only "classical" economic solutions to the Depression. The leaders of the Weimar Republic could see no possible course of action other than a path that Milton Friedman would have chosen. Heinrich BrĂ¼ning and Franz von Papen were hardly socialists.

That history provides the template for replication.

In the present day, the imaginations of people who think like Richard Spencer are not ignited by an economic ideology. The Spencerites, the Bannonites, all of those "nationalist" freaks who think that Julius Evola was a genius: These people do not think the way Paul Ryan thinks. If you visit the far right sites, you'll see that they often view Ryan with disdain.

Nevertheless, they would like Ryanism/Randism to prevail for a short time, though not because they think that Ryanism/Randism is sound. In fact, they know that such a system is doomed to fail. People will learn to value the social safety net once they lose it. Middle-aged people trying to survive in a society without a minimum wage will resent having to take care of their grandparents.

Consider Russia in the 1990s. A failed libertarian experiment quickly resulted in outrageous corruption, the rise of the oligarchs, the power of the mafiya, massive poverty, institutionalized theft, hideous wealth inequality -- and ultimately, falling life expectancy. All of these things paved the way for Putin. Libertarianism is the necessary predecessor to dictatorship. First BrĂ¼ning, then Hitler; first Yeltsin, then Putin.

Libertarianism will fail. It always has failed and it always will fail. That failure will result in revolution. As I keep telling progressives: The only revolution likely to occur in this country is one that the left will not want to see. Such a revolution will allow the Nazis to seize power in the United States of America.
I myself always blamed the KGB for the failure of the socialist experiment more than cold war(CIA). They destroyed it from the inside deliberately. That's why the attachment the left have to Putin never seizes to amaze me. Shouldn't they hate him more than anyone else?
Support Tom Steyer.
Big fans of Libertarianism are the UK think tanks the Henry Jackson Society and the Legatum Institute. Both of them are prominent Russian regime change groups traveling under the guise of "democracy as 'free markets'."

Legatum has a membership which includes JP Morgan, the US Defense Department and Radio Free Europe (a US government propaganda unit calling incessantly for Russian regime change). It was founded by a private investment firm headquartered in Dubai which runs a charity fund to "help abolish modern-day slavery". (Nice touch). They're libertarians, of course.

Legatum was founded by brothers Christopher and Richard Chandler, the largest foreign investors in Russia throughout the Yeltsin years rip off years, guys who Putin kicked out, guys who have every reason to see Putin defeated.

William Inboden served as Senior Vice President of the Legatum Institute between 2007 - 2010. Previously he worked as Senior Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Council at the White House.

From 2011 to 2014, Jeffrey Gedmin was President and CEO of Legatum. Prior to that he served for four years as President and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He is also listed as one of the Policy Council Members of the Henry Jackson Society.

The former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, launched the Legatum Institute's "Prosperity for All" manifesto, so they have influence.

Legatum and HJS also seek to ride the "civil liberties" bandwagon, specifically backing Pussy Riot in Russia. Get the rubes riled up about gay rights in Russia, smother it in a sauce of 'free markets' palaver, and then sit back and enjoy the destruction of the nation state.

Whether it's Putin's mafia or Western libertarians the goal is always the same: the destruction of the State in pursuit of private interest.
Corby, Yes, Steyer looks better by the day.
Have little to add to this trenchant post except that I see the emergency coming from war with North Korea.

Also, at some point, could you get into how the alt-right wrecks the Jonah Goldberg thesis that the Nazis were really leftists? That idea gave the right cover for its lurch to fascism in the past decade.
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