Wednesday, April 17, 2019

I predict disaster and doom

I do not expect that the redacted report will offer us many shocks, although I do think that we will be unpleasantly unsurprised by the number of redactions. Barr will slash out anything which concerns ongoing legal proceedings, and that means we may not see one word about Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. There is also a case against Stone pal Andrew Miller, plus an indictment against a whole slew of Russian hackers.

Absent that information, we don't really have a report, do we? How can there be a proper report on Russian hacking if Barr can snip out anything having to do with Russian hackers?

Mueller handed a number of cases off to the DOJ for prosecution by the US Attorney's Office in DC. This move effectively allows Barr to take over those prosecutions. Right now, that office is headed by Jessie Liu, who had a role on the Trump transition. Liu will soon become an Associate AG at DOJ; she will be replaced by someone who will make sure that none of the Mueller-initiated cases does any damage to Donald Trump.

In other words, we're screwed.

Roger Stone now says that he has not spoken to Trump in over two years. Believe that if you are so inclined; I have my doubts. I cannot imagine a universe in which Trump ignores Stone while talking to Alex Jones, and in January of 2018, Alex Jones announced that Trump had called him three times during the past month. Jones says that he missed the calls because Trump insists on phoning early in the morning.

(Does Donnie ever sleep? Texas is an hour behind DC!)

In December of last year, Stone specified that he had not spoken with Trump "about a pardon," but did not say that he and Trump had not talked at all.

Again: We're screwed. I don't think that tomorrow's release will end the controversy over Russiagate one way or the other, although the right will declare victory regardless. We may see very subtle signs that countries other than Russia played a role in electing Trump -- and by "other countries," I mean Saudi Arabia and Israel. One may also point out that Cambridge Analytica is basically an arm of the UK's secret state.

Be warned: The Republicans are damned serious about turning the Mueller probe into a probe of the Democrats. Frankly, I think that this effort will succeed, at least in the sense that Benghazi mania and Whitewater helped the GOP. They weren't able to indict the Clintons, but the propaganda blitz was incredibly effective. With Trump in ever-increasing control of the courts -- well, who knows?

We were wrong to place so much hope in Mueller. Frankly, I've been pretty lukewarm on Mueller from the get-go; all indications are that he planned his strategy without taking the power of the pardon into account. This kind of investigation required a younger person capable of more radical thinking.

Nevertheless, all hope is not gone: We do have the House (until 2020) and there is some possibility that the state of New York will take the kind of action we need. Even my pessimism has limits.

Predictions. If NY can't give us a Trump-killing revelation, my current predictions are that Bernie will win the nomination and will go on to a historic, McGovern-esque defeat. The coming Trump sweep may well put the GOP back in control of the House.

This unparalleled disaster will, I hope, force the Dems to come to their senses. They must give up on their insane insistence on squeaking out a narrow win based on endless GOTV efforts directed at women, blacks and Latinos. If the Ds lose big, they will belatedly realize that they have to win back working class voters, even if those voters have unfashionably pale skin.

Every time a prog calls a working class white person "privileged" (even if he's homeless!), a Republican gets a vote. This country was in much better shape when the word "privileged" was defined in purely economic terms.

Democrats must explicitly denounce identity politics, socialism, progressive purity, and the insane, man-hating version of feminism which has commandeered so much of our national discourse. I'm talking about the kind of feminism now taught in gender studies courses at universities across the land.

Most Americans (including most female Americans) share my position: In overwhelming numbers, they favor gender equality but they have learned to despise feminism, or at least what feminism has become. The word has taken on unsavory connotations because the movement has been commandeered by a bunch of postmodernist nutcases who view males the way Hitler viewed Jews.

Political correctness, "victimhood chic," feminism and identity politics are all unpopular. Unfortunately, all of these concepts have become associated with the Democratic party.

Identity politics is really just another form of racism -- anti-white racism. Why should white people (particularly white males) vote for a party that considers them subhuman and inherently bestial?

On campus, the whack-jobs teaching identity politics (the ones who love to use the new buzz word "intersectional") force students to see all social phenomena in race-vision. Long gone are the days when "colorblind" was considered the ideal attitude. Now, students are taught to judge people by the color of their skin, not by the content of their character. Tribalism rules; one must never discuss the individual as an individual.

And for God's sake, one must never discuss issues. Issues are boring. Race is all. The only thing that matters is the ethnic (or sexual) group assigned to you by an accident of genetic destiny.

Naturally, this insistent focus on racial and gender identity has led to a hideous (and very predictable) backlash: Trump is in office, bigotry is on the rise, fascism has gained new muscles, and the number of KKK chapters has risen nationally from 72 to 190. Meanwhile, a woman's right to obtain an abortion is in far more danger now than it was in the "bad old days" of Bill Clinton -- the days before feminists went intersectionally insane.

In short: Identity politics has had the opposite of the desired effect. It turns out white people won't sympathize with your cause if you keep telling them that they are monsters. Democracy is a popularity contest; if you keep telling white working people that they are all born evil, your favored candidate won't be popular and won't get elected. You can't get anything done.

Unfortunately, the imbecilic apostles of identity politics simply do not care if their rhetoric empowers the far right. The concept of effectiveness does not matter to these pseudo-progressive crackpots. All they care about is blaming all of their personal failures on the Great White Male Conspiracy, just as Hitler's followers blamed all of their problems on the Great Jewish Conspiracy.

As for socialism: All polls indicate that Americans don't like the concept, or at least they don't like the word.
In a Fox News survey of registered voters, 25% had a favorable view of socialism. A new Zogby Analytics online poll found a similar result: 29% of likely voters had a positive view.
And that's why Trump loves the idea of turning 2020 into a referendum on socialism

Neither AOC nor Bernie have come to grips with an ironclad rule of American politics: The only way to implement the kind of changes that an Ayn Randroid would describe as "socialistic" is to pursue those policies while insisting that you are not a socialist. That's how FDR did it. Nowadays, many people speak of him as a "kind of, sort of" American socialist, but in his own day, leftists considered him a tool of the capitalist class. The prog purists of the 1930s viewed Roosevelt the way the Bernie Bros view the Clintons. They hated him and continually worked to undermine him.

Imagine how awful the world would be if FDR had not held power...!

("But young people don't have these hang-ups about socialism!" Oh, fuck you. Are young people the only ones who are going to vote?)

Elizabeth Warren has the right idea. She advocates Medicare-for-all while calling herself a "capitalist to the core." A contradiction? Perhaps, though only if you insist on a very rigid definition of "capitalist." At any rate, the nature of the American electorate demands such a stance. The important thing is to win.

A final word about Buttigieg: I like the guy. Of course, that estimation may shift -- remember, I used to like Bernie. What I don't like are the kind of people who like Buttigieg -- college-educated progs earning more than $100,000 a year. The brie-and-chablis crowd, as we used to say.

That kind of appeal is not how we win back the working class.

Is it permissible, in this cycle, to speak in terms of winning back the working class? Many progs sneer at that goal, and that sneer is the reason why I predict a big Dem disaster in 2020. Liberals cannot win while disdaining the votes of those who struggle to make ends meet. And I'm talking about all the strugglers, including the ones with pale complexions who live in rural areas.

I don't care about a candidate's gender or race, and I don't give a damn about what people do with their wee-wees. All I care about is this: The Dems must choose a candidate who can win the vote of the poor schlub who works behind the counter at a 7-Eleven in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Can Buttigieg do that? 


gadfly said...

Nope, Pete may be able to work some miracles, even in Wisconsin, but he will never get the vote from an Arab working in a 7 Eleven in the Circus City - Baraboo - simply because there is no 7 Eleven and only one Arab in this community of 18,000,

There are only 16 stores in the Badger State.
Brookfield (1)
Franklin (1)
Kenosha (1)
Madison (5)
Milwaukee (3)
New Berlin (1)
Oak Creek (1)
Oconomowoc (1)
Pewaukee (1)
Sussex (1)

Joseph Cannon said...

My sincerest apology for mis-typing the name Baraboo! It's actually one of my favorite place names in the US. In a previous post, I talked about the legend of the ghost elephants said to roam the forests outside of Baraboo.

And I am shocked to learn that there are so few 7-Elevens in WI. I've traveled across this country several times, and these journeys convinced me that the 7-Eleven is a national constant. I did not mean to imply that a convenience store clerk in that town would be Arab. Where I live, the people holding such positions tend to be white or black. Or brown, at the local small Hispanic market where I do most of my shopping.

Working class is working class is working class. The Dems must focus once again on the working class. THAT was my point.

OTE admin said...

Cut the crap out about feminism. You sound like an MRA. You don't even know what feminism is, and it shows in your posts.

You don't know the difference between sex and gender. They are not synonymous. Until you know that difference don't comment on feminism anymore.

Joseph Cannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph Cannon said...

Remember what I said about effectiveness? Effectively, OTE, you have forced me to double down on feminism. I'll be publishing a lot about it in the future. For a preview, Google the name "Helen Pluckrose," my newest candidate for the position of Best Person in the World.

I allowed your comment to appear here because I've been looking for an opportunity to make an observation about the words "sex" and "gender." When I was young, I read a piece by Anthony Burgess in which he insisted that "gender" should only be used when speaking of male and female nouns in non-English languages. In college, I constantly annoyed my friends by insisting on this point. It's a wonder they didn't smash my teeth in.

Eventually, I realized that there is no way to stop the application of the word "gender" to human beings. In more recent years, I ran into people who posited a more subtle difference: "Sex" (we are now told) refers to a biological distinction between male and female, while "gender" refers to a sociological distinction.

It should be understood that this redefinition is NEW. There's no use pretending that society has made this distinction since time immemorial, because such is not the case. And there's no use trying to get your way by insulting and caterwauling and screaming and holding your breath until your face turns blue. Don't try those tactics with me, because they won't work: You should know by now that I'm an obstinate bastard.

No matter what you say or do, you cannot escape the fact that you are insisting on a NEW way to define ancient terminology. Sorry, but I simply don't much care for that kind of thing. I tend to have rather conservative ideas about the English language.

(That said, I've given in on various points over the years. One example: "Hopefully." As you may recall, a new use of that word gave rise to a huge controversy in the 1970s. My resistance to the new definition of "hopefully" was another point of contention which caused my college friends to consider making me eat my own teeth.)

In popular parlance, "gender" and "sex" are regarded as synonyms. Simple as that. At this stage, I've decided that the popular idea is the right idea.

My main reason for coming to this conclusion is that our society makes the word "sex" do too much work: It serves as both a nice way to say "fucking" and as a way to categorize living creatures as "male" and "female." As a result, "sex" is overused in many sentences. If ever a word needed a synonym, "sex" is the word.

Thus, years ago, I decided to follow the popular will; I now use "sex" and "gender" interchangeably. If you dislike that decision -- well, sorry, but I will not change my course, no matter what sort of insults you lob my way.

Perhaps you could consider my usage of "gender" a personal quirk, similar to Bernard Shaw's idiosyncratic insistence on using "shew" instead of "show." (He also preferred "labor" to "labour," which seemed odd to his British readers.)

Unknown said...

Thank you, Joseph, for writing about the American working class. as a former union activist, collective bargaining is one of the greatest tools we have in both the private & public sectors. I hope to see more articles over time like the one below as people wake up to the power we have to bring about real change.

Alessandro Machi said...

I'm not sure feminism is the prime issue. I think Ageism is a bigger issue. The Dems are doubling down on doing whatever it takes to defeat the "old racists", even if it means lowering the voting age to 16. Core issues that I think Democrat Politicians are discovering through their focus groups is Democrat Politicians need to credit Donald Trump for winning the 2016 Presidency, and for being right about a Border Wall.

Democrats refuse to take away Trump's power base because they loathe him so much. Democrats have put loathing Donald Trump over helping the Heartland and that is what may propel Donald Trump to a second Term.

b said...

Trump called Jones early in the morning? It's typical for dictators to get up very late and then if they want to meet someone to snap their fingers at 3am and tell the person to come and see them.

Mr Mike said...

Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi flapping pie holes singing the Impeachment Shuffle duet. They just lost the White House and probably their House majority.