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    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – September 26, 2021
      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – September 26, 2021 by Tony Wikrent Strategic Political Economy “Rich People Are Leading the Anti-Vaccine Movement — and Experts Have a Theory Why” [Money, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 9-20-21] From 2019, still germane: “Disease experts say the parents least likely to vaccinate their kids live in some of the most afflu […]
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This is why we wear masks.

India’s healthcare system has collapsed. A small tank of oxygen is now selling for $1000 when it used to sell at $80. The number of infections is skyrocketing as are the number of deaths. It’s beginning to look like something out of the 14th century:

We do live in the richest, most successful country in the history of the world. That’s why we were able to sign contracts for hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine. And elections have consequences. Once the Biden admin was able to get its hands on the mechanisms of government, the wheels started turning again. I shudder to think what might have happened if Annoying Orange had been re-elected. After all, there was no real distribution plan for all that vaccine. Who knows where it might have ended up?

Modi followed Orange’s playbook. He has been pitting Hindus against Muslims and caused all kinds of disunity. He has had political rallies, scoffed at social distancing and masks, allowed for Hindu holidays to go on with no regulation.

This is the result.

But we really are all in this together. We are stuck on this earth. We do not have another one to escape to. And with new infections cooking in hundreds of millions of Indians, it’s absurd to think Covid will respect any borders.

We can only watch helplessly as the bodies line up at the crematories.

Political backlash may be coming to India.

The Liz Cheney Factor

I read some speculation this morning that Liz Cheney wants to run for President. People have to speculate about something, of course. But what would happen if she did?

She would have to run as a Republican. There simply are not nearly enough sane Republicans to make a new third party out of them. And let’s not overly adulate her for simply stating that the election of 2020 was fair, that Biden won, and that the assault on the capitol building was a dreadful thing. But in this time, it is notable, and commendable, for any Republican to even go that far.

Even so, I would certainly never want her to be President. Of course, I cannot think of one Republican officeholder whom I would want to be. Mitt Romney would be the closest, only because he is reasonably competent, though his pro-wealthy capitalist policies would predominate. But he would be one person who might not destroy the country if elected The rest probably would. Liz Cheney is to the right of Romney.

I don’t think she would have a chance of winning enough Republican primary votes to be nominated. But if she ran, she would get some votes, because she would offer sanity, as against the insanity of Hawley, Cruz, Rubio, Pompeo, Pence, and of course Trump, who I don’t think will run, but who can tell for sure? She would give some Republican voters a haven. Being a woman would help in terms of coverage, although we may well see Haley and Konst running as well.

I almost have a bit of fondness for Cheney, because she stands up to the QAnon Republicans, who live in a frightening word of lies and insane delusions. She is the kind of Republican we faced back in the Bush era, and of course her father was one of the most hard-line, “conventional” Republicans we ever saw. But he was not insane, which is about the only positive thing one can say about one now. Nor is Liz.

It does bring up the question as to whether we will ever have a viable Third Party. Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post, who was always so irritating as a champion of GW Bush policies, has actually evolved into someone who hates the Trump Republicans, and supports Biden. And as she was always intelligent, it is very good to have her on our side. But she is still probably a Republican, and so she wrote something today which suggests a hope that Liz Cheney can do what Lincoln did, and start a new party. It was pointed out to her that John C. Fremont, “The Pathfinder,” was actually the first Republican candidate for president in 1856, but it doesn’t invalidate Rubin’s point.

Just about all of the “Never Trump” Republican writers and pundits like David Frum, BIll Kristol, Amanda Carpenter, Sarah Longwell, Rick Wilson, Charlie Sykes, Tim Miller, remain Republicans, at least from what I can glean from what they write. They seem to hope that if the Trumpists are resoundingly defeated, there will still be a salvageable Republican Party.

I do not think so; I think that the Republican Party, never admirable, past Lincoln, and then some of the East Coast “Brahmin Republicans” of the 1950’s and then later with the occasional decent person in it, has descended, from Nixon, to the Gingrich wing, to the Tea Party, now to the Trumpists, and the QAnon people. They are not only wrong on all the issues, they want to institute some kind of fascist/religious totalitarian state where they win every election, with their boots perennially stomping on the faces of everyone else, to use O’Brien’s image from the novel “!984.”

Those people are anathema to any concept of democracy. They cannot be allowed to win; but they control the Republican Party at every level. “Rational Republicans,” however few those are, will not be strong enough to wrest control from them.

A third party is possible, but of course any such party carved out of the remnants of the Republican Party, would just split the two, letting Democrats win most of the elections. That would be good, but the billionaire power people are not in there for causes, they want to see their money work, and get them more money. So they would never support it. I don’t think that a third party is viable in America, unless it were a phony party designed to take away from the Democratic vote.

It is wishful thinking on the part of lifetime Republicans that their party can be saved, and brought back to its 1950’s iteration, or even that of the 1980’s. The social darwinist and QAnon Republicans are either going to take over the country, or they are going to be a minority party. That is what they are playing for, and they think they hold enough levers of power to take over everything. Our task is to stop them, and not worry about how to salvage them. I think that the Never Trumpers should support Biden and the Democrats, because it is the only feasible alternative to the takeover of the literally crazy, psychopathic and vicious people who control the Republican Party.