23 May 2018

Commentary on a current affair

Norms, a even actual rules, dropping like flies. If forcing the DOJ to produce the Dep AG and FBI director to talk to Congresscreatures about an ongoing investigation weren't bad enough, they are exclusing any representatives of the opposing party. Even in the worst days of pre-Civil War and Reconstruction corrupt politics, there was at least a SHOW of bipartisanship and fair dealing. Now, it's raw-power Putinesque Fake Democracy all the way down. I think we're seeing what Jefferson was trembling about when he contemplated that "God is just, and his justice can't be deferred forever...." except it's karma, not God.

22 May 2018

"What the Hell are They Thinking?" Dept.

Let's take it as a given that Bolton is simply a lunatic, whose rationality is worse than dubious. But Pompeo, albeit a Tea Party ideologue, at least seems, or seemed, to have at least some pragmatic political savvy. It is very hard to understand what he can possibly think will inure to his advantage if he manages to help Bolton drag us into a war with Iran. ANY rational person with even a modicum of knowledge of recent Middle East history and the status of the US in the geopolitical arena at present would be able to see that while that might be a good bluff, it can't possibly be a practical foreign policy. Indeed, all foreseeable outcomes would be strongly negative for US interests. As for Trump, I think nearly everyone now recognizes that he has no strong beliefs at all, only kneejerk responses and ingrained reactions. But he has shown time and again that he will jettison almost any course of action if he perceives that it's a threat to him, either politically or financially. And at some point even he's going to see that a massive, tremendously expensive, economically catastrophic war will be tremendously unpopular with most of the American population, and will be very, very bad for him and his political future. (Notwithstanding the distraction from the probes into his corruption and influence peddling, and even though it will have to overcome the usual "war fever" effect). I think it's more than obvious that one of the very last things most Americans want right now is a massive and very costly war.



10 May 2018

Democrats need to start REALLY fighting back

​​I completely agree with David Faris, author of It's Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics. More people every election vote for Democrats for House, Senate and the presidency, but the way our system is organized a president can be elected with as little as 25% of the vote, and the House can be majority Republican with only about 35-40% of the voters voting Republican. Moreover, with the Merrick Garland theft of the Supreme Court seat, the Republicans have made clear that they will respect no norms of American politics not absolutely guaranteed by law and the Constitution (and not even some of those). Therefore, we Democrats must use every legal means to ensure that our majority actually rules once we have the means to wield power to ensure that. This should include: DC and Puerto Rico statehood, not approving any justice a Republican president nominates (following their playbook), changing the terms of judges and justices and increasing the numbers of judges and justices at all levels including the Supreme Court to ensure that Democratic presidents can appoint their fair share in this generation; passing the National Popular Vote Compact in enough states to ensure that the winner of the popular vote always becomes president; outlawing all forms of gerrymandering; passing a comprehensive new 21st Century Voting Rights Act which will make voter suppression illegal and make sure every citizen has the right to vote... and more. The judicial changes are vital for one simple reason (among others) Citizens United.

Think about this. Even without splitting one or two of the biggest blue states to create more senate seats (he says California should be five or six states!), JUST by adding DC and Puerto Rico, George W. Bush and Donald Trump would never have become president. The National Popular Vote Compact would have ensured the same thing, all by itself. We do not have a real functioning democracy in this country. They, the perennially minority party, fight dirty. We don't even need to: just by taking purely legal actions to make sure we truly have majority rule insofar as the Constitution allows, we can ensure that we no longer have special interest oligarchy in this country for generations to come. I ask: WHAT THE HELL ARE WE WAITING FOR? How many minority, special interest dominated administrations and congresses must we put up with before we get mad enough to make our own party leaders take these perfectly possible actions!?