Tuesday, June 12, 2018

May 7: The Final Step into Fascism

It was May 7th that Attorney General Jefferson Beauregarde Sessions III announced the policy of separating the children of refugees from their families.

Since that day we have had a drumbeat of authoritarian decisions from the Trump Administration. He has alienated long-time allies and given concessions to Kim Jong-Un, one of the most brutal dictators. Again they promulgate the fascist policy of culling the unfit by withdrawing medical care. Now they talk of establishing concentration camps for the children taken from their parents.

And you who thought that a Trump Administration would not be so bad: you have cursed yourselves. You who are participating: you have cursed yourselves. Do not think now that you will now escape judgement.

Perhaps he had always known, somewhere in the deepest recesses of his mind, that he would indeed eventually take that last step into Satanism, but if so, he had very successfully suppressed it. – James Blish, The Day After Judgement

Tweets to an anti-semitic African-American

No-way Jews own the banks. No-way Jews own Hollywood. Jeez, this is public information, it's easy to check. Jews have done OK in the USA, but the superrich are still largely WASP.
Time was, Jews were lynched in the South.
Every Jew in the USA is the child or grandchild of refugees. Every single one of them.
Jews hoped, for a long time, they could be accepted in the civilized countries of Western Europe, the most civilized of which was … Germany. When the Jews of Europe direly needed refugee, the United States turned them away. Jews can pass, Jews can act like they fit in, but when the chips were down and the jackboots march, Jews will die.
After the Holocaust how can you even write this?

The Rothchilds are one superrich family – there are dozens of those. They don't run the world banking system.
You don't say because Beyonce is rich and successful that black women run the music biz.
Most of the people who talk about the Rothchilds running the world – they're white. In fact they're white supremacists. Some are outright Nazis. Please, do yourself a favor and don't give credence to your enemies.
He blocked me.

We are evolving in reverse.

Democrats, Centrists, and the Resistance: In Which I Offend Everyone

From a series of tweets directed to Clintonbots:
I think Bernie is getting a bum rap, and Hillary Clinton got a pass on some pretty awful things. And, regardless of all this we've got to come together and fight the fascists. This means that, on the one side, the left has to swallow its objections to the center, and on the other side, the Democratic leadership has to stop trying to push the left out. It's a lot easier to get people to turn out for you when you haven't pushed them away. 
The Democratic leadership is still acting as though a meaningful compromise with the Republicans is possible, and that is a chimera. And here is Sanders out there saying it. Good. I don't see how he could win the Presidency, but he's good in the Senate and I hope he stays there and keeps fighting the good fight. Meantime, lets do as much as we can to turn out the vote this year. 
I am thinking that Kamala Harris may be the best choice for the Democratic Presidential candidate in 2020.
There was no response.

Democratic Party centrists are turning into fascist sympathizers.

I think there's a good chance the Resistance will loose the next two elections. The Democratic leadership, as far as I can tell, does not recognize an existential threat. It is still trying to shoot the party of its left wing at a time when Democrats need all the support they can get. The left wing is discouraged after 20 years of attacks from from the Democratic leadership. They're not going to turn into fascists, but they are going to be unenthusiastic supporters of the Democratic Party, and isn't that how we got into this mess?

How do resurgent feminists, energized African-Americans, and young anti-fascists fit into this picture? Probably we get more women in Congress, possibly the next President will be a woman – but a lot of the women in Congress are centrists, and are maintaining the split in the resistance. African-Americans, hard to say. They're an energized group, partly because state terrorism is deployed against them, but will the Democratic Party offer them enough to win their support? And what will they do with that energy if they do not get significant support? Young anti-fascists are the people who have grown up in schools subject to the stochastic terrorism of the right wing. The Parkland survivors are their voice. Again, a lot of energy there, but what is their political program beyond firearms regulation? And what will they do if they do not get anything significant from the Democratic leadership?

Turning Out the Left

(Remarks on Jim Wright's Hunting the Unicorn to Extinction.)

Duty motives you, and me, and many of the people who comment at Stonekettle. Unfortunately, as your Twitter responses showed, we are not a majority. If we want people to show up, I think it is our job to make the case, in terms that persuade people for whom duty is not a sufficient motivation.

The Democratic leadership is an obstacle.  Some Democratic candidates might as well be Republicans. Most of them are rich and insulated by their wealth from the hardness of most people's lives. (As David Dayen reminded us recently, every single bank deregulation bill of the past 30-40 years was bipartisan.) The Senate Democratic leader voted to confirm a torturer for Director of the CIA. And so on, and on.

If the goal is to build a Democratic coalition that defeats the fascists of the Republican Party, it will take strong leadership and careful planning to  both satisfy the liberals and keep the more conservative factions in the Party. At this time, I see no interest in building such a coalition in the  Democratic Party leadership.  With the Democratic leadership opposed and no major leftist leader within the party, I do not see how the left is to be brought to enthusiastically support the Democratic Party in the next four years.

Trump Didn't Start a Nuclear War

In other words, he did something not completely insane.

Am I supposed to be grateful?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Law is the Loser, part n: DOJ Opposition to the Affordable Care Act

Andy Slavitt, on Twitter, writes about an exceptionally egregious example of the contempt for the law on the part of the Trump administration.
The DOJ, responsible for upholding the rule of law, is not defending the people in a frivolous lawsuit to say that without the mandate, the rest of the ACA can’t be enforced. – https://twitter.com/ASlavitt/status/1004897703401312256
This is, for many reasons, disgusting, and three Department of Justice lawyers have already quit over it. But I want to draw attention to the contempt for the law on the part of the highest law enforcement official in the USA shows. This is what happens when you put a  racist southern prosecutor in charge of the Department of Justice. Lawyer Nicholas Bagley comments:
I’m frightened for what this says about the rule of law. […] The Trump administration has just announced that it doesn’t care that a law was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. All that matters if that it hates the law and has a (laughable) argument for casting it aside. That’s not a rule of law I recognize. That’s a rule by whim. And it scares me.
The rule of law will be decades recovering from the damage the Roberts Court and the Trump administration has done to it.

Black Socialists and Bernie Sanders

“The whole world is under obligation to the Negro, and that the white heel is still upon the black neck is simply proof that the world is not yet civilized.” – Eugene V. Debs

It occurs to me that the claims the Bernie Sanders cares only about class issues and not at all about racism and sexism erases generations of African-American socialism, a long and proud intellectual history to which Sanders himself, though Martin Luther King, Jr., is heir.

Here's a few names and faces, from the Democratic Socialists of America.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

"Surely there must be an exception."

No. There isn't.

"The Shirley Exception is a bit of mental sleight of hand that allows people to support a policy they profess to disagree with. It's called the Shirley Exception because … well, I mean, *surely* there must be exceptions, right?" – Alexandra Erin (@alexandraerin) on Twitter.