Saturday, April 29, 2017

Feminists and Progressives: The Split in the Resistance

(Copied from elsenet, with permission. This is very rough and could have have used another editorial pass, but I want to get it out while it might change a few minds.)

Somehow, Bernard Sanders is being blasted for being anti-choice and anti-feminist, for supporting a formerly anti-choice Democratic candidate supported by the national Democratic Party. Only Sanders gets the blasting, though what he is doing is supporting a Democratic candidate supported by the party. And my mind went back to the election…

Bernard Sanders: "I happen to believe that it is wrong for the government to be telling a woman what to be doing with her own body."

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, went on record as supporting "late-pregnancy regulation that would have exceptions for the life and health of the mother."

Somehow I don't see many women attacking Clinton for this stand.

The Wall Street Dems who are pushing this so hard, they are such good feminists, right? Sure they are. Right until women's rights bump into the profits of the people who fund their campaign. Or just until a woman wants to be a CEO.

People, people. Sanders has been a strong supporter of women's rights for his entire political career. The two strongest resistance factions have now been brought into bitter conflict. How the fascists must be toasting their victory!

It seems to me that Sanders is being attacked because he is an inconvenient critic of the conservative faction of the Democrats, who very badly want to go on allowing the banks, insurance companies, and the rest of finance to rip off the rest of us. Once they have gotten Sanders out of the way, they can go back to losing elections, I suppose.

There is much and deserved talk of how Trump is not acting in the interests of his supporters, who stick with him anyway. But there seems to me not enough talk of how the conservative Democratic leaders are also not acting in the interests of their supporters, who stick with the Democratic Party regardless of how it fails them.

Why should Trump supporters have all the fun?


Bob Dreyfuss, writing at ThePopulist.Buzz, quoting Guttenplan of Nebraska:

All of the women I spoke with here [in Omaha] were well acquainted with Mello’s personal opposition to abortion. But they also knew that while remaining true to his beliefs, and his Catholic faith, he has been a public defender of Planned Parenthood, one who has shifted his efforts from blocking abortion to helping women avoid unwanted pregnancies by supporting comprehensive sex education and access to contraception—the same path travelled by politicians from Bill Clinton to Joe Biden to Tim Kaine.

Myriam Renaud, writing at The Atlantic:

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton has repeatedly spoken out in support of the right to abortion. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards has praised Clinton for treating reproductive issues as “more than just a sound bite” and the pro-choice organizations Emily’s List and NARAL Pro-Choice America have endorsed her. However, Clinton’s views on abortion are more nuanced and reflect her religious commitments to a greater degree than partisans on either side of the issue may realize.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

On Opposing Fascists

(This is a reaction to a discussion of the French elections over on Crooked Timber.)

This discussion is so much a reprise of the arguments that led up to a Trump victory. “He can’t possibly win,” “He isn’t so bad,” “They’re both the same.” etc., etc., etc.

And then he did, he is, and they are not.

Fight the fascists. Fight them with all your heart and mind and soul. Remember that what is at stake is the peace of Europe and the world itself.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Collaboration with the Trump Regime

So now we have the New York Times hiring Bret Stephens, a climate change denier, as an op-ed columnist. We have CNN hiring Trump supporters as commentators.

Yup, getting with the program. After whatever disasters Trump and the Republicans visit upon the USA I'm sure that the New York Times and CNN will write about the failure, but never once admit to their part in creating it.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Trump Administration: Making War on Americans

Digby commenting on Attorney General Sessions, over at Salon:
It sounds as if he believes he’s a real general, running a real war. And the enemy is not just the “terrorist” gangbangers; it’s millions of undocumented immigrants who’ve been designated as criminals for infractions as minor as driving without a license. And now the administration has even got media “embeds” with the troops, reporting from the front.

I knew Trump was very likely to start a war. It’s just not in his character to resist the temptation to flex his muscle and prove his manhood. But I assumed he would fight the hated foreign hordes overseas on their own turf. Unfortunately, whatever happens with our various foreign policy crises, it’s looking more and more every day like we’re also going fight a war right here, on the streets of American cities.

But isn't that what the whole administration and the whole movement that supports it is about? The "Freedom" Caucus wants to withdraw health care from 24 million people. The right-wing Christian extremists want to rule everyone who isn't an extremist, especially women. (I wonder to what extent the intense misogyny of the Christian right is driven by men who want to control their wives.) The white supremacists want to rule over people of color, and will be happy to fight among themselves for the privilege of ruling white people as well. It's the war of the fascists against their own country, it seems.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The best thing the USA could do in Syria and Yemen…

President Trump Will Get His War

Syria and North Korea. Trump rattles his saber and expects his opponents to back down.

That trick never works. The only way to win a war is to fight it; posturing does not lead to victory.

But it can start wars. Diplomats answer threats with threats and the verbal conflicts escalate until, finally, all parties can see no other choices but to fight. Add to that the brutal treatment of immigrants and refugees under the Trump administration, the trade policies of the Trump administration, and the diplomatic incompetence of the Trump administration. The USA is making many enemies. So I think some of the talk will eventually turn to action. It may be in some place we don't expect; Yemen is a festering conflict, Ukraine is very much at risk. (Not at all coincidentally, both centers of the global fossil energy business.)

It seems likely to me that President Trump will get his war.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Donald Trump, terrorist

And now we have a bombing. It seems to have had no strategic value. Its sole purpose was to threaten. That is terrorism. In this bombing this USA has committed a vast act of terrorism.

Meantime, we have the media guys going on about how Presidential this was.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

And so, minority parties now have no power in the US Federal legislature

The Republicans must believe they will never be out of power again.

How can this system last? Single-party rule is inherently undemocratic.