Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fascist and Antifa or "Not Both Sides…"

The fascists of the alt-right advocate the ethnic cleansing of their political opponents and if they gain power, and they are close to it, they will put it to that use. That's not the case of the antifa groups. Many of them are near-Gandhian pacifists. The man who was shot in Seattle was one of these. Others want to use violence in self-defense and are ready to rumble. Fascism and the opposition to fascism, even the violent opposition to fascism, are not equivalent.

Part of what seems to have gone wrong in Charlottesville – though, as Jim Wright says, you usually don't have reliable data until a week after the events – is that the local police went easy on the fascists, allowing lesser – though still potentially lethal – acts of violence. Another part is that Donald Trump and some of his administration (Bannon, Gorka, Sessions) are supporters of the fascists. The fascists, with some reason, believe they are likely to get away with acts of violence. President Trump has yet to condemn the white supremacist ideology of various alt-right factions involved.

We are now looking at, I think, the worst act of far-right domestic terrorism since the Oklahoma City bombing. I fear a crackdown, which, given this administration's direction, is more likely to fall on the opposition to the fascists than the fascists.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Health Care: And then the Democrats give in again

“This committee will hold hearings beginning the week of September 4th on the actions Congress should take to stabilize and strengthen the individual health insurance market,” the panel’s chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and ranking member Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said in a statement. – via TPM
Last time I remember Sen. Murray making a bipartisan deal, on unemployment insurance with Rand Paul, thousands lost their unemployment insurance. I wonder how many millions will lose health care under this compromise?

It is not only Republican moderates that always cave to Republican extremists; Democratic centrists always make concessions, too.

To be fair, better the Republic survives. But some of its citizens will not.

Afterthought: single-payer and a public option will at least be on the table; that will help in the negotiations. But I don't see how any remotely decent plan can make it through the House, or be signed into law by President Trump.