Sunday, February 19, 2017

12.9 - Why the resistance cannot be limited to targeting GOPpers

Why the resistance cannot be limited to targeting GOPpers

Oh, but then there are those who say "don't point out every lie because then saying 'lie' won't have an impact." They are wrong, as wrong as those who say we should stay off the streets. Not only because it means that you willingly allow most of the lies to pass unchallenged, but the fact is you want it to get to the point where "TheRump lied" or "the White House gangsters lied" is the default position, as evidence shows it should be. You want people to simply assume - as they should - that whatever comes out of the mouths of Spicer or Conartist or Miller or Bannon or TheRump himself or any of the rest of that collection of buffoons, bigots, and bozos is a lie or at minimum cannot be trusted.

One of the weapons against a tyrannical regime - which I do fear this could become, with senior advisors saying the powers of the president "will not be questioned" - is a realization by the mass of people that you can't trust any official word. So it should be here.

But even so, always, always, always, we have people afraid to challenge, afraid to protest or resist, not because they are afraid of personal consequences, but who are fearful of doing anything because "this could happen" or "what if that happens," that is, those who, because everything by the very nature of reality has a potential downside, analyze themselves into paralysis, incapable of resisting because every action could maybe, possibly, hypothetically, be a mistake or counterproductive or at least not achieve what you want. So they do nothing, at least nothing of consequence. They “resist” only up to the point where they must choose.

Thus we have even stalwart liberal icons like Elizabeth Warren voting to approve the notoriously unqualified Ben Carson to head the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development for fear that his replacement, should he be rejected, would be worse and yes she justified her vote in so many words.

And I guarantee you, I guarantee you, we will have Democrats refusing to filibuster Neil Gorsuch, even justifying a vote for him, on exactly that basis. "Omigod, the next one could be worse."

So we have to defy not only TheRump, not only the Rump-kissers, but also the Democrats, both those who will passively accept the installation of what can fairly be called an extreme right-wing regime for fear of the more extreme right-wing regime of their imaginations as well as those who delude themselves into thinking we should treat what is happening as normal, as the normal ebb and flow of politics, who refuse to face up to what is before us.

I've talked before - several times, in fact - about the Dems refusal to face their failings; last month I described how they were, to quote myself, "so determined to put the blame for their embarrassing failure in losing to the most unpopular major-party presidential candidate in US history on someone else that they would rather ignite a new cold war than look in the mirror."

I'm going to go off on something of a tangent here, but this is related and it's important.

In reporting last week on leaks about TheRump's phone conversation with Vladimir Putin, the Washington Post quotes foreign policy analysts as saying that while the Russian government is "enthusiastic" about some parts of TheRump's foreign policy, other parts are "non-starters" in Moscow and there is concern about his mercurial style.

The article quotes Alexey Makarkin, deputy director at the Center for Political Technologies in Moscow, as saying TheRump's unpredictability and even more his unilateralism are worrying to the Putin gang, and that the Kremlin has had those concerns about him since before the election.

A month ago, in the face of all the claims that during the campaign the Russians were all-out to elect TheRump, claims that became central to the Democrat-lead reemergence of the Cold War, we told you about analysis that said no, they weren't trying to help him win, they never expected him to win, rather, they were trying to make Clinton into a damaged and weakened president. What's more, they likely didn't want TheRump to win because what leaders of great powers want in their international affairs more than anything else is predictability - which is something TheRump does not offer.

Now that he is president, the Kremlin of course will try to take best advantage of that, but that has nothing to do with their original intent or desire.

The central tenet of the Democrats' cold-war chants is not that the Russians hacked the DNC and probably other places, which they certainly may well have done, but that they did it for the specific purpose of electing Donald TheRump either because (moderate version) he would be friendly to them or (extreme version) they could control him like a puppet, the latter a claim you are seeing on lefty sites, particularly those that claim to be progressive but actually are just maybe slightly more liberal Democratic Party stalwarts. That central tenet of the claims about why the Russians acted as they did simply does not stand up to analysis. It is pure assumption, based on nothing but faith.

Why that is important is because it is being used to make "Russian meddling in the election" a catch-all excuse to avoid any self-analysis within the institutional Democratic Party, which means within institutional liberalism while at the same time it is enabling the right wing which has long desired a return to the bad old days of being able to label every foe, foreign and often enough domestic, as part of a monolithic worldwide communist conspiracy.

That is an attitude, it seems, not entirely limited to the right: Just before I prepared this week's show I read a post on a lefty site frothing with anger over the revelations that some of TheRump's campaign aides had frequent contact with Russian intelligence officials during the campaign, a post which described those aides as, I'm quoting, "checking in with their KGB handlers," a statement made, as best as I can tell, quite seriously. The attitude is the same, only the politics of those being smeared varies.

But here's the real point I wanted to make in bringing up that post: How did the author propose we should respond to these revelations? By giving money to Democrats.

The anger expressed in the post is legitimate, even though this is not an area in which the US can claim any innocence, but saying the answer is "support Democrats" is stupid. Because if the Democratic Party does not take a good look at itself, if it does not reform itself, if it continues to hide behind "the Russian threat," if it does not embrace the kind of progressive ideas and energy that will not only excite the base but win back those who have been tricked by right-wing lies and misdirection, it will lose in 2018 and 2020 and beyond in exactly the same way and for exactly the same reasons it lost so badly in 2016.

So yes, demand investigations - demand independent investigations - of all the ethical scandals increasingly swirling around the White House. Yes, demand investigations of the contacts between TheRump aides and Russian intelligence, contacts which may have been criminal.

But do not for one minute, do not for one second, imagine that "vote for Democrats," as if this was just a passing phase that can be corrected next election, do not for one single instant think that is enough; because thinking it is, thinking what we now face can be corrected without an on-going in the streets, in the jails, in the trenches effort is delusional.

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