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      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – March 26, 2023 by Tony Wikrent   “U.S. Announces Plans To Reclassify Everyone’s Race Based On Net Worth” [The Onion, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 3-25-2023] “‘It is resolved by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that any American whose wealth exceeds $1 million shall be white,’ read the bipartisan legislatio […]
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Republicans Cannot be Allowed to Win Another National Election

I really believe that, and that is what is so unsettling. I do not believe that this country will survive as a democracy if any Republican is elected President, in 2024, 2028, or any year following. That is almost impossible, but it has to happen, somehow.

It is a different country. It was always very upsetting to have a Republican win the presidency, but we thought we would survive. Democrats controlled the Congress for most of the years from 1960 on, so that was some safeguard. And as bad as Reagan and GHW Bush were, there were some constraints and safeguards. But the Republican candidates and presidents got worse and worse.

The Bush Administration left us with an economic catastrophe (maybe not all their fault, but most of it was), and a greatly increased deficit. Trump lied about the pandemic, did everything he could to force people back to work; vastly increased the deficit; did what Russia wanted him to do; tried to turn the government into a totalitarian state; and then planned and incited a violent insurrection which was intended to end our democracy.

And the Supreme Court turned Right under Bush, and became Authoritarian Right under Trump. There hasn’t been a Right-Wing Justice replaced by a more liberal one, in a long time. We gave in, over and over. Maybe we had to. on occasion; maybe not. Maybe we just conceded, with the urging of the Right-Wing-enabling media. We should have fought harder.

Does anyone think that another four years of Trump would not end the democracy completely? We try not to think about it. The odds are that Trump will not be President again. But look at the other possibilities.

I have never seen a Governor creep so close to total fascism in his state, as if wanting to show the country and the world what he plans to do, as Ron DeSantis. The latest is that he has intimidated teachers and administrators all over Florida into removing books from. or closing, their school libraries, to avoid being charged and no doubt imprisoned for committing felonies. He’s gotten the schools to require parents of girls to submit their child’s menstrual chart, undoubtedly to attempt to learn if any of them might be pregnant.

This is not a warning of fascism, it is actual fascism, and just the start. This is America’s worst internal nightmare: a combination of the Puritan witch trials, the McCarthy hearings, and every dystopian book, movie, or television show ever made. Extrapolate from this to four or more years of DeSantis being president, with a totally corrupt and Far Right Supreme Court majority to back him, and it is enough to make everyone want to look for another country to live in.

I am pretty sure that the Republican nominee will be DeSantis or Trump. If somehow not, are the other choices any better? Youngkin? Cruz? Haley? Christie? Only by a very small amount, if at all. Maybe they are not all pure evil, but they are very close; and of course there is Fox News, Breitbart and all the MAGA fanatics to goad them on. And Russia and its agents, including Elon Musk, to corrupt the social media, and control the narratives.

It doesn’t have to happen, if we win. But one win will not be enough. Trump unraveled most of our democracy, including our law enforcement, Intelligence agencies, and courts. Many could not believe that he could to this in four years, but he did, and he was far from done. You can’t get rid of fascism by voting it out, history has shown. Trump and his fascists had no intention of leaving office. And of course they are setting up more barriers to voting, more ways to thwart the will of the voters in the next electtion.

It’s one thing to say, ”This is the most important election in our history.” I thought that 2016 was, and then 2020 became the last stand. But now we have to win the next election, and the ones after that. Will there someday come a time where we really want to win, but do not think that losing will be the end? We used to feel that way. Politics goes up and down in democracies, you win some and lose some. But it isn’t like that anymore. We have to win, and win, and win. Somehow, some way.

Demographics may be on our side, but it has to pay off immediately, we can’t wait for to slowly turn the tide. Wee can’t let them cheat, and say, well, the arc turns toward justice, or something like that. Circles of Hell for the evil people, cosmic justice, karma, those are not going to be enough to imagine or even count on.

I think that the people running the Democratic Party are slowly learning that conciliation; or patience, or goodwill, is not going to work; that every single battle has to be fought with unyielding intensity; no retreat, no surrender. But such slogans and fight songs are of course not sufficient in themselves. I don’t know if we will win, or lose, but we have to realize what we are fighting against, and that the people who say, “Oh, it won’t be so bad,” are either liars or fools.


8 Responses

  1. We gave in, over and over. Maybe we had to. on occasion; maybe not. Maybe we just conceded, with the urging of the Right-Wing-enabling media. We should have fought harder.

    Yes, and in my opinion this can be laid at the feet of the corporate democrats, who not only concede to the GOP when they don’t have to, they actively attempt to prevent anyone who is progressive from even getting elected. Why? Citizens United.

    I think that the people running the Democratic Party are slowly learning that conciliation; or patience, or goodwill, is not going to work

    I wish I saw the evidence of this that you see. But what I see is Biden saying he will negotiate on the debt ceiling. It’s Biden, Pelosi, Feinstein, Clyburn, etc. (see a pattern here) that think that they still have friends on the Republican side of the aisle… They are either willfully blind, or senile.

  2. On Thursday, February 2nd, 328 members of the House of Representatives, including 109 Democrats, voted to pass a resolution “denouncing the horrors of socialism”. (That is 75% of the House.) Many of the House Democrats who voted for the resolution are part of the ‘New Democratic Coalition’.

    In praise of the resolution, House Budget Chairman Jodey Arrington said, “Socialism, like the Devil, does not appear with horns and a pitchfork. He masquerades as an Angel of Light with promises of human flourishing, all failed, all broken. Socialism isn’t empty words, it isn’t a speech, it’s a series of actions that rob people of their freedom and concentrate power in the hands of a few in their central government.” 109 House Democrats agreed with him. (86 House Democrats voted against the resolution, while 14 House Democrats demonstrated their immense courage by voting ‘Present’.) There were no similarly dire warnings of capitalism run amok, with its own dangers, including the increasing concentration of corporate power in the hands of a few extremely wealthy men.

    Well, one can say, this vote on a House resolution has no power to affect policy. But is that true? What government policies and programs can now be labeled as ‘socialism’ and thus more easily attacked? Social Security? Medicare? Medicaid? Public education? Public health measures? Clean air and water acts? Workplace protection and labor laws in general? Corporate liability? (Corporations are people, too, my friends, and thus must have their freedom.) Gun control? Reproductive choice?

    Indeed, how far do the “horrors of socialism” reach and what must be done to destroy it? And how many ‘New Democrats’ in Congress will acquiesce?

    • This vote, especially the one cast by Susan Wild, really pissed me off. This might not mean anything in terms of legislation, but these Corporate Democrats play right into the hands of the Republicans when they do stuff like this. This is a perfect example of why Citizens United has to go before things get better. This was a vote to prove to bid donors that these people can be bought.

      • I think the real problem is Buckley v. Valeo, not Citizens United.

        • Thanks… I agree

          In this complicated case, the Court arrived at two important conclusions. First, it held that restrictions on individual contributions to political campaigns and candidates did not violate the First Amendment since the limitations of the FECA enhance the “integrity of our system of representative democracy” by guarding against unscrupulous practices.

          Second, the Court found that governmental restriction of independent expenditures in campaigns, the limitation on expenditures by candidates from their own personal or family resources, and the limitation on total campaign expenditures did violate the First Amendment. Since these practices do not necessarily enhance the potential for corruption that individual contributions to candidates do, the Court found that restricting them did not serve a government interest great enough to warrant a curtailment on free speech and association.

          WOW… In 1976 I did not pay that much attention to Supreme Court decisions… but I am pretty sure lobbyists were out in force then, just not as bad as they are now, and it seems to me that the finding is based on the weasel words “do not necessarily enhance”. Were politicians just so much more pure in those days? I don’t think so, I mean this is post Nixon, so corruption existed for sure. To me this is akin to putting a nice filet mignon in front of a steak lover and saying the will not necessarily eat it. Public financing of campaigns is the only way we will ever get rid of bought politicians. I almost voted for Obama, when he was saying he would only accept public financing, but then he showed his true stripes. Money in politics ensures corruption.

    • i did not know about this resolution, but it was one of many stunts that Republicans will pull, with the only goal being to win elections. They figure that any Democrat who voted against it can then be called a socialist. Next they might put up something praising Jesus, and dare Democrats to vote against that.

      You are right that the term “socialist” has been used beyond all reason, and as a convenient substitute for “communist.” And of course socialism by definition, is not evil at all; it is an economic theory which puts the government, not big business, in charge of major means of production like oil. Much of Europe, notably Scandinavia, and England to some extent, uses that model. The Communist Party in America hated the Socialist Party, charging them with substituting worker-friendly legislation for the revolution they wanted,,which of course in the real world turned into Communist tyranny.

      This “resolution’ is something out of a Radical Right church sermon. But I don’t think that even in the days of the Scopes trial, and then later McCarthy’s witch hunts, was such a resolution put to a vote in Congress. The Democrats who voted for it were afraid of being voted out of office if they did not. Republicanism today is an unholy alliance between extremely wealthy people who want even more wealth, and religious zealots. who would give them all their money, if they thought they could force people to do what they wanted. They are totalitarians, and thus have no qualms about supporting and taking money from Russian oligarchs trying to turn this country into that one, the ultimate bitter irony, but not so unpredictable, as tyranny always is attracted to its counterpart..

  3. It’s long past time for Democrats to stand up against the Republican Party.

    House Democrats voting for a Far Right resolution because they “were afraid of being voted out of office” shows a total lack of moral and political courage.

    The road to fascism is paved with cowards.

  4. Marjorie Bowen might have liked today’s Wordle word.

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