The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Don’t Underestimate Steven Bannon

First, I told you not to underestimate Trump (well, I’ve told you repeatedly), now I’m going to tell you not to underestimate Bannon, his chief strategist, rewarded for supporting him through everything from Breitbart.

Here’s Bannon:

“The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get fucked over. If we deliver we’ll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we’ll govern for 50 years. That’s what the Democrats missed. They were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It’s not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about.”

Pretty much. Now, it was not necessary to gut the American working class to create a middle class in Asia, there were win/win ways to alleviate poverty outside the developed world without fucking working class Europeans, Americans, and anyone else over. But those methods were not possible under neoliberalism.

That point is important, but irrelevant to what Bannon is saying. The way the world economy was run completely fucked a lot of people in America, the EU, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere and Bannon is right that if the Trump White House can deliver for enough people, they will get to rule DC and America for 50 years, like the Dems did from 1932 to 1980 (yeah, there were Republicans, but they governed as Democrats).

Bannon’s problem is simple enough: Trump doesn’t really believe. Oh, he doesn’t not believe either, Trump doesn’t have firm beliefs of most any sort, except that Trump is the best and that he wants people to adore and cheer him. Trump’s picks for the cabinet are the same old, same old–Goldman Sachs for Treasury, etc., and his tax cut program, whether Bannon understands it or not, will undercut any long-term prosperity for the working and middle class. If his health secretary gets to end Medicare, that will also be a disaster.

Doing that stuff will deny Bannon his 50 years.

But it won’t deny Trump his eight years, because all that’s really required in the US (or Europe) for what feels sort of like prosperity for a while, is to simply stop insane austerity policies and for the muscle in both areas to insist on jobs. You can cut worker’s rights at the same time, and it’ll work for a while. Hitler wasn’t an economic genius, and he gutted workers rights. But he did end idiot austerity and most workers were better off for a time. It’s a wasting strategy (Hitler needed war for his economy), but it works for a time.

In more immediate terms, Bannon, for all he is decried as a racist, is the person you want to win most of the Trump White House fights, at least if you care about ordinary people, because he’s the guy who wants ordinary Americans to do well, and he knows he needs Hispanics and Blacks to get jobs too. Contrary to what mainstream economists (over 90 percent of whom, I remind you, did not notice the housing bubble) say, Trump can use tariffs to bring a lot of jobs back. The manufacturer of iPhones (FoxConn) has already said, sure, they’re willing to build them in the US. They aren’t going to kiss a market like that goodbye.

But Trump’s tax cutting instincts work against this. Cutting taxes for corporations isn’t as effective as tariffs, because corporations already pay very low taxes, and multinationals pay damn near none, since they play various jurisdictions off against each other.

Bannon will also need easy money from the Fed, and need to direct that money to where he wants. Trump will get to replace most Fed governors, fairly soon, so he can certainly have a compliant Federal Reserve. Bear in mind that the Fed gave away trillions of dollars, and was giving away tens of billions a month for years. That money is an available slush fund for anyone smart enough to use it to do more than bail out bankers.

Bannon, I suspect, is smart enough. 80 billion a month can buy a lot of jobs if you use it effectively, which Obama’s Fed never did.

So Bannon is a key man in the White House. If you’re a partisan Democrat first and don’t give a fuck about the working class and middle class, especially in flyover country, then Bannon needs to lose his fights, because if he wins them, Trump gets elected again (though, as I note, I don’t think Bannon gets his 50 years, unless he’s far more clever even than he’s so far indicated (not impossible)).

This is going to be a very interesting White House and administration, simply because Trump does not have definitive views on many issues. Who wins these internal fights will determine the entire course of Trump’s presidency, and may well determine America’s (and the world’s) future for decades.

Place your bets and don’t underestimate these people.

If you enjoyed this article, and want me to write more, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


Maybe It Is Time to Stop Underestimating Trump?


Reagan and George W. Bush Changed the World More than Bill Clinton or Obama


  1. Will


    This is exactly what I see. The way people see themselves and the categories they inhabit is fluid. Given a chance I see a whole lot of people who would make the jump from “the [insert skin color here] working class” to simply “working class”. A man who recognizes this and actually serves up something concrete for these folks… well he could form a coalition that would last a long, long, long time.

    Trump brought in a whole lot of new blood. And simply put, there aren’t enough seats at the table for everyone. There are some coalitions that will need to be severed for the new coalition to form. Who will it be? The people jumping ship from the Republican Party may or may not be a long term trend. But it was interesting wasn’t it to see Bill Kristol and so many of his ilk allied with the Identitarian wing of the Democratic Party.

    FDR probably could have used a barf bag in his coffin.


  2. Long term is the short term when viewed from the correct angle.

    So long as the consequences do not connect to the short-term actions, everything will be fine.

    Then Katrina will hit, and people will realize that the short-term somehow has given way to the long-term.

  3. markfromireland

    You’re on a roll.

    Required viewing:

    Steve Bannon speech to Liberty Restoration Foundation

  4. Jeff Wegerson

    So the Democrats get 1930 to 1980 with some Democratic Republicans thrown in. Then didn’t the 50 year clock for Republicans with Republican Democrats thrown in start in 1980? That’s only 14 more years if I under-estimate it right.

  5. Will

    That’s true Jeff. If you believe in that kind of thing.

    But here’s the kicker: If Trump/Bannon are actually successful at this coalition formation then the Republican Party won’t look anything like it does now. It would be very analagous to what happened to the Democratic Party in the mid-60s when a whole section of the party packed up and left over the civil rights legislation.

    IF, and that’s a big if, Trump can bring in working class and middle class voters over class divisions then there isn’t room for guys like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, etc, etc, etc. Nor for a lot of the other parasites that have found a home in the red side of the aisle.


  6. V. Arnold

    Well Ian, with this post of yours; it’s clear; I understand nothing about the present politic and the players in today’s U.S..
    Thanks for being willing to dive so deep and lay it out.
    I no longer feel I have a valid opinion, any more, forever…

  7. V. Arnold

    I no longer feel I have a valid opinion, any more, forever…
    Regarding the U.S. political machine. Well above my pay grade…

  8. Ron Showalter

    Yup, Bannon since he told everyone that he don’t think darkies should vote, is really the guy we want “winning the WH fights”, huh?

    Have you lost your freaking mind, white boy?

    Yes, the white boy fake-left has lost it’s freaking collective mind.

    BTW, would getting pissed off KNOWING what a piece of garbage and his minions really and truly are be construed as “underestimating” them, white boy?

    Or are the white boy fake-left normalizing musings you spew in the face of facts what those most affected by Trump and his coteries of trash should be doing to not “over-estimate” him?

    You OBVIOUSLY have ZERO skin – in every sense of the word – in the game and don’t give a rat’s ass about those who do.

    Wow. I bet the shark looks mighty small from up there!

  9. Ron Showalter

    And why don’t people – Ian included – quote the first part of Bannon’s words:

    “Darkness is good,” says Bannon, who amid the suits surrounding him at Trump Tower, looks like a graduate student in his T-shirt, open button-down and tatty blue blazer — albeit a 62-year-old graduate student. “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they” — I believe by “they” he means liberals and the media, already promoting calls for his ouster — “get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”

    Yeah, let’s hope Team Cheney/Satan win those WH fights, huh?

    Man, that shark is TINY!!!

  10. V. Arnold

    Ron Showalter
    December 1, 2016

    Well, you jackass; just who the fuck are you addressing?
    You’re the walking, talking, piece of white trash spouting your garbage here time, after time, after time.
    You are a boor, and stupid to boot.
    Kindly walk into that dark night…
    Trolls like yourself make me tired all over…

  11. someofparts

    You forgot to mention unleashing the evangelicals on women.

    I don’t know if repealing Roe will lead to denial of birth control in general. Nor do I know if those measures, if taken, will lead to pushing women out of the workforce. Before the class action suits of 1969, women were simply not allowed to do any work that wasn’t menial, or, if we did we still got menial wages for it. While such things may not happen, it is easy to see how they could.

    If I look at it from an economic point of view, one quick way to produce good-paying jobs for the guys is to take them from women … and it is hard to imagine most of their voters minding enough to object.

    Also, besides gutting workers’ rights in the long run, they hope to be successful in wiping out public education in who-knows-how-many states. The long-term consequences of that leave me well and truly frightened. Easier, in my experience, to communicate effectively with a reasonably bright dog than an ill-educated human.

  12. someofparts

    “FDR probably could have used a barf bag in his coffin.”

    None of these shenanigans would have surprised our boy Franklin. He understood these fuckers through and through.

  13. Almost literally, Trump doesn’t matter except as an entertainment figure a la Berlusconi, a Capo di Buffoono Capo. Who controls the machinery of American conservative politics, and (as Ian notes) sets the details of major policy directives is a more important story.

    But no matter what Bannon’s idea of ‘delivering’ is (e.g., breaking the New Deal, replacing its social contract with some Federalist wet dream of “state’s rights” and finance sector privatization), and no matter how real its effects will be on Americans — no matter what the Right or the Left ‘deliver’ — in America or anywhere else — the same underlying economic systems, assumptions, and beneficiaries remain in place. That’s the real story.

  14. Some Guy

    The point Ian is making is simple. If you make people’s lives horrible, then they will support a horrible person if that makes their lives less horrible. They will even support someone who recognizes their lives have been made horrible and promises to make their lives less horrible, even it is just a scam. But if it turns out not to be a scam, even if just for the short term, then they will support almost anything that person proposes, no matter how horrible. You can fall to the fainting couch like Ron, but it won’t change human nature.

    Where I differ slightly, Ian, is that you clearly believe that the making lives horrible part is down to deliberate decision making from the neo-lib/con set and that if they can be overcome, we can return to shared prosperity. Part of me thinks this is true (clearly it is true to at least some extent), but part of me wonders if we are just seeing an inevitable process of social/economic/ecological decline that can’t be stopped by any group, policy or movement.

    Likely, the former view is more conducive to the sort of action that might lead to better outcomes, regardless of the truth of the situation, but I can’t help trying to understand what the underlying reality actually is.

  15. someofparts

    “Then Katrina will hit, and people will realize that the short-term somehow has given way to the long-term.”

  16. ks

    C’mon now, how much longer are “we” going to cherrypick the kernels of rhetoric we like from Bannon, trump et al while downplaying or ignoring the piles of crap surrounding it?

    Bannon, Trump and company aren’t some sort of “telling it like it is” outsiders to the system. They are the embodiment of the system and are openly using the resentment against it to gain power and line their pockets.

    It’s long past time to stop trying to tease some sort of big meaning out of what they are saying (or selling) at any given minute and look at what they have done and are doing. Their working class hero words have not matched their deeds. They are rich old men who have behaved the same way all of their lives and the notion that they are suddenly going to do anything for the “working class”, after not having done anything for them ever and in fact screwing them over, borders on delusion.

  17. ks

    So, as the vote tallies are getting finalized, it looks like Trump EC margin is down to +79 thousand while the popular vote is Hillary +2.5 million and counting. Out of 135 million votes cast, I think that 79 thousand is approx 0.06% of the vote. With a margin that narrow, big picture posturing is even more iffy.

  18. XFR

    The Asian middle classes were created by mass education, not by corporate America. That’s just more “JOB CREATORS!!” nonsense. Bosses don’t magically sprinkle productivity on their employees like pixie dust.

    Outsourcing was about preventing the emerging Asian middle classes from throwing up a crop of billionaires capable of challenging the supremacy of the American billionaire class. Profit wasn’t the primary motivation (it yielded surprisingly little) nor was breaking the unions (though that was a welcome side benefit). It was all-out economic warfare to preserve white supremacy in the world of the country club, using the Western middle classes as cannon fodder. (However–while nearly the entire West was press-ganged into the project, the impetus seems to mostly have come from the U.S., which presently seems to have the most beligerently racist ownership class of the lot.)

    That state of affairs is economically unnatural, though, and so requires increasingly horrible measures to hold it in place–the end of class mobility, for obvious reasons; followed by the end of meaningful liberal democracy, to contain the anger generated by the disappearance of class mobility.

    Nonetheless, things do seem to be hitting some sort of breaking point. I find the way that the corporate minion class piously proclaims the present economic hardship to be some sort of karmic punishment hilarious–it was America’s black community that was nearly annihilated by the outsourcing of manufacturing, after all…are they being punished for their history of racism? Is the properous German middle class being rewarded for its country’s sterling history of fostering racial equality and harmony? Give me a break.

    What the corporate world calls globalism, is, behind all its glossy Benneton PR, mostly just racism pure and simple. It always was, and I think everyone basically ****ing knew it all along, Tom Friedman’s imaginary cab drivers nonwithstanding.

  19. ks


    Very well said overall. In particular, I had overlooked that the first part of Bannon’s quote which seems to imply that Asians didn’t have agency and were “gifted” a middle class by the “globalists” (which is a code word for Jewish bankers).

  20. Tom_b

    “They [Democrats] were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people.” As if Republicans, post- “Citizens United” do not suck at the teat of the CEO class; more so, I would say, based on the numbers.

    But, Bannon (and others) do make a good point about trade, especially with Asia, a point that should be obvious to all: trade is largely disadvantageous to the United States. Sure it is necessary, to a point, for raw materials and the like. Sure it brings down prices for consumer goods somewhat. But, the bulk of the economic benefit of trade goes to the “1%”. Trade is just another symptom of the sickness excessively uneven distribution of wealth brings to a society.

    And Trump/Bannon are absolutely the wrong people to “save the middle class”. The Trump tax plan, highly regressive, will further loot the lower and middle classes. The Ryan attack on Government will likely leave people without medical care, or paying more for less, at best.

    Trump embraces mostly the usual Republican nonsense with a new frosting of overt, rather than implied racism. Not an “innovation” to be proud of.

  21. someofparts

    I thought this writer made some helpful suggestions.

  22. XFR

    Very well said overall. In particular, I had overlooked that the first part of Bannon’s quote which seems to imply that Asians didn’t have agency and were “gifted” a middle class by the “globalists” (which is a code word for Jewish bankers).

    Don’t forget that neoliberal Democrats use the very same disingenuous “gifting” rhetoric that Gannon does, they simply put the opposite spin on it. And even erstwhile leftists use the thoroughly heinous “shipping jobs overseas”. (Remember the 1980s and early 1990s, when Americans felt such an abiding warmth and gratitude toward Japan for shipping them so many wonderful jobs? Yeah, I don’t either.)

    BTW, please take heed of the words of Scott Alexander


    ps. I’ve responded to your comment on “Trump on his transition”.

  23. sglover

    @ks — well said. Welsh is getting loopy in his evident desire to seem unconventional or prescient.

  24. realitychecker

    @ sglover

    IMO, Ian is trying to do a real analysis, not an ideological one, and has been doing a pretty good job at that.

  25. ks


    True in terms of the specific discussion but overall I think the “both sides/they are all the same” argument should have died with Bush vs Gore though if that obvious failure didn’t kill it nothing will.

    No, I’m not buying most of the extremely long winded Scott Alexander arguments. In the case we are talking about, you have to call things what they are no matter how many times you have to do it. The notion that you will lose credibility by doing so because of the butthurt of others and if they go off the deep end, it’s your fault too is kind of ridiculous.

  26. ks

    Meanwhile, Trump is doing what Trump does though it was amusing hearing him go on about air conditioners when that Carrier plant makes furnaces. The breakdown of the deal is as follows – Carrier is getting $7 million in tax breaks while shipping approx 1000 jobs to Mexico and keeping 850 jobs in Indiana. So much for that tariff threat campaign promise from Trump.

    This is a classic Trump “deal”. Get good publicity for a bad deal using Other Peoples Money. It’s all about headlines and optics. He looks great and someone else holds the bag. This will probably happen whenever he needs a diversion and maybe even his fans will catch on at some point though that’s not likely. Guy’s a con man and that tiger ain’t changing his stripes.

  27. Dhusk

    Yet I look at the Conservative Economic ‘paradises’ of Kansas and Wisconsin where conservative economic policies are enacted without restraint and see almost completely flat economic and job growth for years now. Trump will ride on Obama’s financial tail for a year or two, but as soon as the neo-Bushites have the full force of their economic policies enacted, the middle class can kiss the mild recovery they were making under Obama good-bye.

  28. ks


    Ian’s a good egg though he has definitely gone off the rails this time. I suspect we are in for a few more “Don’t Underestimate….” until he regains his footing.

  29. Steeleweed

    For an another view of Bannon, my favorite philosopher:

  30. “That money is an available slush fund for anyone smart enough to use it to do more than bail out bankers.”

    But doesn’t this address people like Trump and wouldn’t he be prone to accommodate them, thinking, ‘you scratch my back later if I scratch yours now’.

  31. Steve

    I completely agree that we want Bannon to set the Trump agenda. I’m all for economic nationalism, but we’re off to a bad start.

    More tax cuts for offshoring companies is more of the same. We need punitive measures to stop it from happening, an outright ideological assault.

    It’s a complete misconception that Trump destroyed the Republican establishment – they still run the DC village! Trump effectively destroyed the Clintonites, and now the Democratic Party has the chance for new leadership. The GOP has so much power now, but I see no signs of their big business agenda changing in any fundamental way.

  32. Ian Welsh

    I already wrote an article saying Bannon was not a good guy, ok? But if you are unable to recognize the virtues of your enemies (and remember, not all virtues are morally good—courage, for example is neutral) then you will keep getting your ass handed to you.

    Bannon is dangerous because he is not a complete caricature of a bad guy. He has real insights, he is very competent, he has a vision and he has people he is trying to make better off. Yeah, he’s got a bunch of bad shit going too, but that’s not the point.

    I was thinking about writing a post on the virtues of Genghis Khan, I may well do so, to try and drive the point home that you don’t have to be “good” or “nice” to be very effective. (And, actually, the Mongols did some actual good stuff along with all the genocide.) Refusal to look at one’s enemies as a piece, to see them as they are, matters.

    You get fed shit about how evil Trump and Bannon and all of these guys are all day. You also get told, repeatedly, that they are keystone cops.

    If that is all you see, again, they will keep handing you your asses.

    I could live to be 10,000 and there would still be people who mistake explanation for excuse; or who don’t get that you can praise one thing in a man while despising the rest.

    Genghis Khan did not prosecute religious followers. He was nearly unique in this, of great leaders of his time. He made travel truly safe “virgin with a pot of gold”. His heirs deliberately caused huge cultural exchanges, including in in medicine, which made the world a better place.

    He and his heirs also slaughtered the population of entire cities.

    If you can’t hold all of this in your head at once, you’re worthless, and people like Bannon will eat you alive.

    Remember how stupid Bush was? Well, he changed the world more than either Clinton or Obama.

  33. ks

    I’m sorry Ian but I don’t know about that. Just because people disagree with you doesn’t mean that they don’t see Bannon, Trump et al as a piece or as they are. They simply disagree with your assessment of them especially the notion that they “underestimated” them. As the numbers keep trickling in this was a razor close election which is getting closer except on the popular vote side. Nobody got eaten alive or their asses kicked.

    Granted, as evidenced by your Castro post, sometimes folks don’t take the whole into consideration but I don’t thank that’s the case here. It seems apparent that while we might not like Bannon, Trump et al we are fully aware of who they are. Right now Trump is on TV making an ass of himself and playing his usual game but that’s just cover for his appointments and to keep people from focusing on the details of the Carrier deal though he risks pushing it too far. Every good showman knows when to exit the stage.

  34. Ché Pasa

    Trump, Bannon, and the rest of the new bosses all have flacks to flack for them, and their flacks are doing a very good job, judging by how much “good news” about them is pouring out of the media hour by hour, day by day. Today, for example, the “news” is practically orgasmic about Trump’s glory and wonder because of the Carrier deal.

    The question is why anyone else would feel the need to defend or flack for them when there are so many professionals working hard to normalize and fluff them and curry favor for them among the public.


  35. Ron Showalter

    So, what happens to everyone’s burnishing of Trump once we know – like I’ve stated from election night on – that this election was stolen?

    Trump is lawyering up trying to block MI’s recount, there’s a hearing tomorrow.

    WI’s recount went from estimated costs of $1M to nearly $4M w/ MI then following suit jacking their estimates from $1M to $4M+.

    In PA, DJT just lost 25K votes.

    His electoral lead is ~60k right now combined in WI, MI and PA.

    If FL were in play – not certified – the MATHEMATICAL IMPOSSIBILITY that DJT was able to overcome HRC’s early voting lead would also see the light of day.

    So, not only will the alt-left come down on the side of regressive fascists but it appears that they will also be on the side of electoral fraud as well. I repeat myself.

    Should the alt-left just keep talking about how great his transition team will be echoing the normalizers in the MSM who don’t want us to see that not only did he lose by 2.5M+ votes but that he also lost the EC as well?

  36. Tom


    I understand why you are pro-choice, but it implicitly negates the rights of the father who also had a part in the baby, and runs counter to the interests of society. Therefore I can’t support abortion except for health of the mother and the baby is not viable. If a mother doesn’t want the unplanned for baby and the father is unwilling, then there are plenty of infertile couples who will take the baby. It also goes without saying, if you don’t want to get pregnant practice safe sex or no sex.

  37. Tony Wikrent

    Just fucking amazing: There is a recced diary on DailyKos right now praising the comments of an economist from the American Enterprise Institute who is extremely critical of Trump’s announced deal to keep the Carrier jobs in Indiana.

    The fucking American Enterprise Institute is now the go-to source for Democrats to oppose the Trump regime?!?

    What this contortion of reality shows me is the immense power of ideas. In this case, the Democrats clinging to neoliberal economic ideas are going to be ground into the mud by the Trump juggernaut. Without a positive vision of how to get the economy to full employment — such as a $100 trillion world program to build new industry, energy, and transportation systems that do not use fossil fuels – the Democrats have NOTHING to offer. And now they are going to oppose saving jobs by agreeing with the fucking American Enterprise Institute? We. Are. So. Fucked.

  38. Horatio Parker

    It’s still early, but so far I haven’t seen one indication that Trump, Bannon, and especially not the GOP Congress are going to do anything substantial for the working class. In fact, they are going to punish same by raising their costs through deregulation. The public private partnership deals will also impose more rents.

    What it looks like at this point is that they’ve said what they needed to say to get elected, and are now turning to the tired old GOP trickle down playbook.

    They probably will get punished in the midterms, and only when reelection nears will they turn to fiscal policy to stimulate demand. Of course that depends on the Dems accurately assessing where they went wrong, which is not a foregone conclusion.

    But Trump may not even want a second term. If his business picks up sufficiently, he may decide being Pres is a pita.

  39. Socal Rhino

    I don’t see any burnishing of Trump here. The point is, don’t count on him self destructing and don’t rely on attacking him as a bafoon. He has seized the office, and if he can deliver short term relief to financially troubled masses, it won’t be a squeaker in four years. The opposition needs to be prepared to up their game.

  40. markfromireland

    @Tom December 2, 2016

    it implicitly negates the rights of the father who also had a part in the baby

    Far more importantly it negates the human rights of the baby by negating the most important right of all the right to life.

  41. Anon

    You have lost your mind, Ian.

  42. BlizzardOfOz

    @Tony Wikrent,

    “If we prevent thousands of jobs from moving to Mexico, will that end racism?

    If we bring back well-paying manufacturing jobs, will that end discrimination against the LGBTBBQ community?

  43. Tony Wikrent

    “You have lost your mind, Ian.”

    Sadly, we are going to see comments like this quite often. There are too many people who are not willing to accept that their ideology of political economy has utterly failed, and needs to be replaced. This refusal to change thinking will be manifested in people attacking those who dare to speak the truth. “A prophet is without honor….”

    Anyone who read a bit of military history would recognize the critical danger of refusing to accept the truth because they refuse to leave the comfort of their assumptions. “They will never attack at night.” “They will never venture that far from their base of supplies.” “This line is impregnable.” “The can’t hold out that long.”

  44. Tony Wikrent

    BlizzardOfOz: Good economic policies which promote the general welfare of all citizens will not end racism. But, they do make it much more difficult for demagogues like Hitler or Trump to attract followers and put them in the street.

    And it can get even worse: if a demagogue like Hitler or Trump actually succeeds in improving the economic situation of most citizens, it will make it more difficult for fighters for social justice to oppose the demagogue, and the demagogue will become entrenched in power. Which is exactly what Ian is warning about.

    Blizz, seriously, tell us: are you willing to sacrifice the general welfare of all citizens so long as racism and discrimination is the nation’s primary concern? Do you even think it is possible to have racism and discrimination as the nation’s primary concern while 90 percent of the population is undergoing worsening economic conditions? How do you think that scenario will play out?

    Rev. Dr. Barber‏@RevDrBarber

    You cannot address America’s economic issues without addressing racism and you cannot address racism without addressing economics.

  45. Bannon has compared himself to Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII. I think he may be right about that — he’ll end up like Cromwell, losing his head due to internal rivalries and a fickle boss who has no ideological, professional, or personal loyalties. Trump will throw anyone under the bus. Bannon’s turn will come.

  46. Pearl

    @ commenter someofparts.

    I am equally compelled as you by the essay written by Masha Gessen in the New York Review of Books. I came across her (this) essay the week of the election, and I now plan on following her writings from now on.

    At the very least, please scroll down and read her six-points that warn that we just me have elected an autocrat, per Masha Gessen:

    Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says.

    Rule #2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.

    Rule #3: Institutions will not save you. (It took Putin a year to take over the Russian media and four years to dismantle its electoral system; the judiciary collapsed unnoticed.)

    Rule #4: Be outraged.( If you follow Rule #1 and believe what the autocrat-elect is saying, you will not be surprised. But in the face of the impulse to normalize, it is essential to maintain one’s capacity for shock.)

    Rule #5: Don’t make compromises.( Like Ted Cruz, who made the journey from calling Trump “utterly amoral” and a “pathological liar” to endorsing him in late September to praising his win as an “amazing victory for the American worker,”)

    Rule #6: Remember the future.(Nothing lasts forever. Donald Trump certainly will not, and Trumpism, to the extent that it is centered on Trump’s persona, will not either. Failure to imagine the future may have lost the Democrats this election.)

    To reiterate, the link provided by commenter “someofparts” is:

    Very well-worth the read!

  47. Anon

    I would never underestimate the mendacity of someone like Bannon. However, you seem to be overestimating his ability to do something which he is not qualified to do, which is help lead a nation as complex as this one. Bannon is a pathological liar and he’s made some money by being lucky and timely with his investments. He ran a propaganda website. That’s it. And I should trust this man? Why? Based on what? Some of you would have been great help at Jonestown.

  48. Foppe

    Ron: when, during the past 16 years have the Ds fought to end felony disfranchisement (esp. relevant given their own belief in ‘demography = destiny’)? When did they fight to prevent a recurrence of 2000? Where was their mass effort to help voters register? (And that still ignores the fact that Hillary lost because her campaign had nothing to offer to voters other than the strength of her character — recall the 7% lower turnout rate; 8% among PoC — and not because of fraud, Crosscheck, voter deregistration (which also happened in nyc), etc. Policy-wise, there was no carrot; and the only was “if you vote trump, we’ll call you racists/sexists/etc.)

  49. MojaveWolf

    Sorry Ian, I know this is off-topic but since other people are bringing it up I don’t want someofparts or any other woman reading this thread to think we’re all or most of us anti-choice or anti-personal autonomy or opposed to the whole concept of reproductive freedom or what have you.

    @Tom — There simply are no father’s rights or anyone else’s rights to what happens inside a woman’s body. It’s her body, and if we don’t have autonomy over how to take care of our own bodies then we have no rights at all. Father’s don’t have to carry around something inside of them that completely alters many things about their body for nine months and makes them miserable a great deal of the time and can potentially kill them if things go wrong, or lead to all sorts of rather nasty things like perineal tears that most people simply aren’t informed about.

    @MFI — First, I think you’d find a lot of people questioning (or, like me, simply flat out disagreeing) that fetus = baby. As the fetus develops, you can make arguments that it’s getting closer, and this is where the whole trimester concept comes in, but even if you wanted to just flat state that another living person just took up residence in someone’s womb, there’s still a basic self-defense right here. I have control over my own body. As someone said in another thread, if people don’t have the right to control what happens in their own body, they are little more than slaves. Personal autonomy is a big deal for some of us.

    I am male but this isn’t a difficult concept. If something starts growing inside of me and I want to take it out, I can take it out. If you try to stop me I’d be quite willing to fight to the death over this.

    The rights of the actual current human outweigh the rights of the potential future human. The right of a woman to control her own body and her own life outweighs the right of any outsider.

  50. MojaveWolf

    Otherwise, re: Bannon or whatever — for the short-term good of the nation, we should hope people like Bannon triump over people like Pence. With everything bad I have said about her, I would have seriously considered voting for Hillary if Pence or Cruz had been the Republican nominee (Pence sounded as desperate to start war w/Russia as Hillary, in fact seemed to be trying to outdo her–he has most of her flaws plus lots of worse ones).

    Also, we might want Bannon to succeed because the Democrats seemed to have learned nothing from the last election and apparently wish to run Cory Booker or some other neoliberal next time. One such list on the Washington post actually managed to leave out Castro on the grounds, long considered a neoliberal fave, that he wasn’t going to be in office and thus it would be hard to promote his candidacy, which shows such a stunning lack of imagination one wonders how this group of thinkers ever won anything Ok, the opposition puts up people like Pence and Cruz; that explains it. I hate neolibs but if I had to choose between Booker and one of those two as dictator for life, give me Booker (I don’t mean to imply Booker is worse than the other neolib party establishment candidates; I’m singling him out because he’s the most likely of that group to win, imo, other than Castro or maybe one of the female candidates).

    Options besides the neolibs if Trump tanks the economy?

    If the party establishment had any sense they would back Warren as a compromise candidate and hope the Sanders supporters would swallow her after the Massachusetts refusal-to-take sides, but they apparently really don’t want her.

    Of the people who are either on the left or backed by the left wing of the party, Tulsi has by far the best profile and is who I’m hoping for. (before going further — the high-profile people who have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt they have the courage to buck the establishment and the spine not to get rolled are Tulsi, Nina Turner, Grayson, Feingold. The latter two just lost, due almost entirely to DNC ineptitude and sabatoge. This shouldn’t be insurmountable, but again with the lack of imagination on the part of Democrats (also why I’m ruling out–for now–people I really like such as Canova and Flores–I like Grijalva, he has the profile and I certainly would be happy to support him based on what little I know at this point, but I also haven’t seen him going tooth and nail with the party establishment). I love a lot of things about Nina Turner, but she doesn’t have the stellar electoral success so far, and again with Democrats not displaying massive imagination.

    So, Tulsi. She has the proven winning track record, she has the charisma, and unlike practically everyone else in the Democratic party, she has the guts.

    There are legitimate questions about Tulsi’s economic policies that still remain to be answered, but she seems to be moving steadily leftward as she gets older and assuming those policies are something the Bernie contingent finds workable, some on the left are already trying to rule her out simply because she held on to some of her father’s anti-gay beliefs into her late teens/early 20’s. You can already see where the establishment is going to go after her if she runs. To quote my response to this in an online discussion with a friend who brought it up:
    Had Tulsi been older when she was anti-gay marriage, or if she seemed less straightforward in general, I would agree that her past stance was cause for concern, but I really don’t care what someone thought in their late teens/early 20’s, especially if it was essentially a reflection of their parents. I grew up in a conservative household and was a baby Republican myself when I started college (a pro-choice, environmentalist conservative, but a conservative). I did not dislike gays at all but would also have opposed gay marriage on religious principle at that time, and thought my lack of dislike actually indicated something wrong with me. People change. (she was elected to state legislature at age 21, I think, so had to evolve more in the public eye than most peope) And she had a much more aggressively conservative father than either of my grandparents were (mine were dogmatically conservative on what they believed to be biblical principles but had no actual malice and were actually friends with the local gay florist; but some of my friends growing up were, at least in the face they presented to others, actually hostile to gays; many of them completely changed in later life. The younger you are, the more a product of your environment you are; I think it’s to her credit that she evaluated and improved her beliefs as she grew older.

    Heck, Hugo Black was in the friggin KKK while he was a state senator (obviously, different era) but became one of the most famously pro-civil rights justices on the supreme court, and was part of the majority in the landmark Brown v Board of Education ruling (I am not saying that I endorse all of his supreme court tenure; he was a very mixed bag; one of my favorite justices in many ways and awful in others). The justices on the wrong side of BvBoE had much more respectable early pasts.

    Going to be an interesting next few years.

    @the people thinking Ian is endorsing Bannon–no, clearly he isn’t. Neither am I. I do think we’d all better hope he at least partly

  51. MojaveWolf

    accidentally hit “send” — “at least partly counters the Pence faction over the next four years” was how that was spose to end.

  52. Ché Pasa

    The left in this country — as opposed to the “left” — is largely not directly involved in politics. There are many historical and contemporary reasons for it, one being the rigorous exclusion of real leftists and their ideas from the political sphere. Bernie — an avowed Democratic Socialist — ran as an FDR/LBJ New Deal/Great Society Democrat. Not as a leftist of the Democratic Socialist or any other variety.

    The actual left rather than a milder form of rightist, neoLibCon, consensus political player (cf: Democrats), largely operate from outside the gates of the palace, rousing the rabble, rallying opposition, raising a ruckus, examining and explaining what’s really going on and vigorously criticizing the consensus players and their false ideologies. See WSWS for daily examples.

    These people, for the most part, are not in the fray to take power. They don’t play that game. The Revolution came but it wasn’t what anyone thought it would be. It was the very sort of rightist coup some of us predicted. It’s now institutionalized. Both main political parties subscribe to it.

    The Democrats are not going to overthrow it. They are part of it; a shrinking part, but still.

    Leftists outside the gates will make as much noise as they can about the catastrophe our political class is intent on precipitating, and — maybe — someone on the inside will listen and some of the madness might be mitigated for a while. But their ability to fundamentally change the situation is slight. What they can do and are doing is helping to prepare and demonstrate political and economic alternatives to the disaster in the making.

    Some of them are making common cause with their long-time rivals and enemies, though that’s always a fraughtful engagement. You never know when it will blow up.

    At any rate, the conflation of the Democrats with the left has never made any sense. It’s simply wrong. Call them what they are: rightist, authoritarian, and anachronistic. Not much different when it comes down to it than their supposed opponents in office.

  53. XFR

    With everything bad I have said about her, I would have seriously considered voting for Hillary if Pence or Cruz had been the Republican nominee (Pence sounded as desperate to start war w/Russia as Hillary, in fact seemed to be trying to outdo her–he has most of her flaws plus lots of worse ones).

    Over at DKult I’m seeing scores of people saying that the EC should hand the presidency over to Pence, thereby “saving” America from Trump.

    It certainly throws into relief which aspects of Trump they truly find “threatening”. Doesn’t reflect well on them…

  54. MojaveWolf

    @XFR & Tony Wikrent — I never liked Kos and haven’t gone to them regularly for years, or given them a single hit since this election cycle got under way, but sounds like they’ve gone full scale “yay status quo! ANY status quo!”

    Aren’t people like Pence why Markos LEFT the Republican party?

    Advantages of Pence over Trump from the perspective of anyone not a hardcore conservative . . .
    . . .
    . . .
    . . .
    . . .

    And that about sums it up.

    Re: Carrier & American Enterprise Institute: Obviously what Trump did is nothing to celebrate (temporarily saving less than half the jobs in return for essentially give the company a bribe?), but this is on Obama too. And all our political establishment. Carrier has federal contracts. Billions worth. They don’t get to outsource. They move the jobs without a VERY good reason (increasing profit margin by paying less and avoiding labor & environmental standards is NOT an adequate reason) those contracts should be elsewhere. Carrier wants to keep the federal contracts? They should keep the jobs in the US.

  55. ks

    @ Ron Showalter,

    While most of the folks here are going on with their usual musings, once again Trump is doing what Trump does…

    “The Financial Times, citing three sources, reports that Trump called Tsai Ying-wen, the president of Taiwan, on Friday. The call is a symbolic breach of the United States’ “One China” policy, which recognizes Beijing as the only government, that has been in place since 1972.”

    They didn’t even tell the WH they made the call and the likely reason for this was to follow-up on new business opportunities in Taiwan that the Trump organization inquired about in September. Apparently, Eric Trump is supposed to do the follow-up in person later. They are clearly continuing to work hard for the (white) working class.

  56. Thomas

    In RE the mongols and genocide: genocide is a twentieth century innovation. You are better than retrojection. Otherwise, carry on.

  57. Kim Kaufman

    One thing that is interesting to me to see how it plays out is that Bannon and Trump are of the Alex Jones anti-one world order plan of the Davos, Bilderberg, CFR folks. I mean, isnt’ the TPP the ultimate one world order type of treaty? Where three corporate lawyers decide everything in favor of a few multi-national corporations? Trump has never been to Davos and possibly never will. He may be rich but he’s still a gauche striver from Queens selling glorified bottled water with his name on it.

    The good news, if there is any, is that had Hillary won, people would have gone back to sleep. Now a lot more people are engaged and ready to fight or do something.

  58. Kim Kaufman

    Oh, and for the guy who thinks father’s rights trump [no pun intended] a woman’s right over her own body: go fuck yourself and bring your unwanted baby to term.

  59. Pelham

    Generally agreed, but I’m not so sure about your point on tax cuts. When you consider that multinational corporations write their own insanely complex tax code and get it rubber-stamped by Congress, you have to ask why the nominal rate is as high as it is.

    The reason is that the multinationals write their own exclusive loopholes into the code, leaving lesser companies without similar clout and resources to pay the higher rate, thus protecting the multinationals from effective competition. So a lower overall rate if it simplifies the code and eliminates the loopholes (a big “if”) could be a good thing.

    For different reasons, any tax cut for ordinary schmoes like me is also a good thing. Basically, if it ends up growing the budget deficit and national debt, it just doesn’t matter. Money at the sovereign level is only a lubricant to get an economy moving, nothing more.

    This is the fundamental reason that austerity never works and can only prolong a downturn. It’s like depriving an internal combustion engine of oil. Look at Japan with its quarter-century of ballooning national debt far beyond anything we’ve seen here and yet, try as they might, they just can’t generate any degree of inflation (a certain level of which, say around 4%, is highly desirable).

  60. jwalters

    “There simply are no father’s rights or anyone else’s rights to what happens inside a woman’s body.”

    There are simply no father’s responsibilities for anything that comes out of a woman’s body. Including children. Women have all the rights and all the responsibilities. People who try to get fathers to raise children are just promoting patriarchy.

  61. A world wide crash is overdue and coming,
    Let us hope that TRUMP and BANNON do not take the blame
    from voters with short memories.

  62. Sell stocks

    Sell gold

  63. Rocketman

    What you suggesting in a perfect world might work, but your forgetting a few things. Like thanks to Obama the U.S. economy is just about ready to fall off a frackin cliff. And who do you think that the news “media” is going to blame for this? Hillary, Obama? No it will be Trump, the 45th president of the U.S. By the time that election time in late 2020 comes around they will convince the majority of the people that Trump is responsible for all this mess.

  64. Charles

    It’s so difficult to read an intelligent argument which uses the disgusting F-word in every paragraph. You should clean up your way of expressing yourself so your readers don’t think you’re a real jerk and take your points seriously.

  65. realitychecker

    @ Charles

    Another fucking snowflake heard from.

    No matter which political parasites you support, I guaran-fucking-tee you that they also use the “disgusting F-word” very liberally.

    Grow the fuck up. A word is just a word.

    You’re the one who looks like a jerk for making that comment. Try focusing on the substance, you might learn something.

  66. different clue

    If the coming Free Trade Depression blows up during the Trump Administration and Trump gets blamed for it, that is entirely fair. Presidents always get blamed for a depression which erupts during their term, even if it was all engineered into place before they became President.

    If the next great depression erupts during Trump and if Trump gets blamed, he’ll just have to be a big boy about it. He knew the job was dangerous when he took it.

    About stolen election . . . the Rs have spent the last few years purging voters from the voter rolls by hook and by crook . . . mostly potential Dvoters so as to pre-shape the election battlespace in the Rs favor. But the Rs did not expect to get Trump. I suspect the various election system engineers have spent the last few months reversing the shaped battlespace in Clinton’s favor as much as they felt they could and not be caught. I suspect the Clintonite Shitobamacrats know all about that which is why they have stayed so very silent through Stein’s preening publicity-hound “demands” for a “recount”. The Clintonite Shitobamacrats don’t want the extent of their own election hacking and theft-attempting to be revealed. Nor does the International Free Trade Davos Bilderberg establishment want it revealed either. They may well have instructed their Clintonite Shitobamacrats to keep their bought-and-paid-for mouths shut on the subject.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén