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

Josh Hawley Moves to Become Trump’s Heir Presumptive

It’s traditional on New Year to either do a retrospective or a look forward. Let’s look forward to 2024.

Since the election, it has become conventional wisdom that Trump is defeated, and the “next” Trump will be more dangerous. I have been pointing this out from 2016 on, repeatedly: Even if Trump wanted to do all the things his critics feared, he was too incompetent to pull them off.

The person who isn’t Trump who is the most likely heir presumptive and the “actually dangerous” one is Josh Hawley.

First there is the fact that, along with Bernie Sanders, he was the primary person other than Trump pushing for a $2,000 check. His name was on that, all through the news. Trump’s final attempt to help the American people, and he was the champion.

Second, there is his move to force debate on whether to certify the election results.

You can think that this is bullshit, and still recognize that it is smart politics. About three-quarters of Republicans think that there was significant voter fraud

Hawley has now positioned himself as the champion of ordinary Americans and the only Senator willing to fight Trump’s doomed last stand.

He is the heir presumptive, and, at least at this point, it seems likely the only person who could beat in him the 2024 Republican primaries would be Trump himself.

As for the general, it seems most likely right now that Biden will fumble the economy, leaving a huge opening for another right-wing populist run.

Remember, until Covid, the economy was doing well. Trumponomics, as I noted in 2017, more-or-less worked. The UI payment increases and extensions were — and are — incredibly popular, and credited to Trump. If Biden’s economy isn’t as good as Trump’s before Covid, he (or Harris) is in for a world of hurt.

And in the tweet above, Hawley is running against Walmart. This is sheerest hypocrisy given he opposed a minimum wage increase in Missouri (which passed anyway), but it doesn’t matter; that won’t be remembered and this tweet will, especially if he says “I was wrong”, which he will.

AOC is Bernie’s heir, and Hawley seems to be moving into the position of Trump’s.

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Plus c’est la même chose


Open Thread


  1. GlassHammer

    Hawley isn’t that we’ll known (not really a household name at this point in time), he doesn’t work crowds like Trump, he isn’t going to fit the role of political outsider, and he uses a light touch when it comes to right-wing identity politics (others embraced Trumpism well before he did).

    All that is to say he is beatable from the right, very beatable.

    Typically those that see Hawley as heir to Trump underestimate how important the outsider archetype is, the importance of charisma (Trump definitely had it), and the importance of not only embodying right-wing identity politics but pushing it further.

    My two cents is another media personality takes the spot Trump solidified and the next archetype on the right will be a conspiracy theorist. The conspiracy theorist archetype already reached Congress so it won’t take long before it hits the Whitehouse.

  2. GlassHammer

    When I say “media personality” I don’t mean pundit.

    Right now the “media personality” marked as Trump’s heir apparent isn’t Tucker Carlson it’s Eric Trump.

  3. Ian: This is sort of what I was getting at in my previous post. It could be that Hawley is “the dangerous one”. But the entire theory you posit is based on a connection between politics and material needs that may have proven to be a little too direct.

  4. edwin

    Disenfranchisement (think green party), gerrymandering, dark money…

    I know what you are saying, but there was significant fraud.

    Difficulties getting on the ballot, legal hurdles that are required, citizen’s united… The US electoral system is systematically fraudulent.

    Voter fraud is a very slightly different kettle of fish, though we have the amusing situation of a Trump supporter believing in fraud because they had done so, and been convicted of doing so.
    Given the nature of the system if there wasn’t voter fraud, then that’s just about the only part of the system that runs fairly. I have no particular reason to think that voter fraud is a problem. But there are more problems with the US, and more and more other countries electoral system.

    As Stalin did not say, “The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the vote decide everything.” Computerized voting is the forefront of possibilities potentially rendering all other forms of fraud obsolete.

    Given the nature of the US electoral system it is not surprising that people have no faith in it – even as they manage to support the worst aspects of it. It is amusing that the only aspect of the US electoral system that appears to be fair is the part that is attacked.

    Least we get too complacent, historically voter fraud has been a thing too. Chicago, and mayor Daley is a thing, especially in the election of Kennedy. Belief in voter fraud is not entirely made from whole cloth.

  5. GlassHammer

    “the entire theory you posit is based on a connection between politics and material needs”
    – Mandos


    If your start point is identity politics and media presence you would never land on Hawley.
    You would only pick Hawley if you believe Material Interest are paramount and based on the last election I would say they are not. (Just look at the dumpster fire that is our economy, clearly Material Interest wasn’t the main thing moving the electorate.)

    Another way to put this is that propaganda, grand stories, and tribalism are effective.

    And it’s weird that although we know these things work we pretend they don’t. This is because its comforting to think Material Interest are dominant. If Material Interest are dominant then we aren’t as easily manipulated. That and the fact that most analyst are far better at explaining the details of Material Interest (lots of readily available data for it helps) but have a hard time with human psychology which is always harder to measure.

  6. Stirling S Newberry

    Trump meant that, eventually, certain untrue things will be disallowed from political discourse. They are wrong but easy to be believed by some. This is not going to solve problems however will take certain courses of the table.

    It also means that low-level corruption must be eliminated to a strong degree.

  7. anon

    Josh Hawley is in a great position to lead the Republican Party. I first heard of him during the ACB confirmation hearings. I knew that we would be hearing from him again. On a superficial level, like AOC, Hawley is young, attractive, and well-spoken. I looked him up after seeing him ask ACB questions and saw that he went to Yale Law School. The guy is smart and will be a lot better at everyday DC politicking than Trump was.

    If AOC runs for president, barring a more effective progressive challenger, I will vote for her. However, I have not been happy with what I have seen from her so far. Much like Sanders, AOC isn’t willing to really challenge the Democratic Party. I actually have more trust in Sanders than AOC even though he has disappointed me as well.

    Glenn Greenwald has made some valid critiques of AOC being all talk and no action. A lot of her campaign promises have turned out to be wishful thinking. She has shown she will not go against “Mama Bear” Pelosi. My fear is that AOC will be bought by wealth and power, if she hasn’t already been already, and will be comfortable in the Democratic Party establishment. Her being a celebrity on Twitter means nothing to me. It’s very performative for her fans who will continue to gobble up her woke Tweets, but will she really do anything to challenge the status quo? That remains to be seen.

    My gut feeling is that Hawley will be more effective for the Republican base than AOC is for progressives. My money is on Hawley having a better chance at winning the presidency than AOC in the next 4-12 years.

  8. S Brennan

    Let’s see, most here thought the neoD’s election officials cheated Bernie Sanders in both 2016 and 2020…but none of those people thinks it’s plausible that those same election officials would cheat in the general election? Strange that.

    This from a neoD party, who’s “leadership” is in their very late 70’s and 80’s, often incorrectly referred to here as baby-boomers but, in reality, are the 1935-50 generation who came to power almost 50 years ago and have ruthlessly held their power and uprooted FDRism from what is now neoD party, that cadre are, if this blog is to be believed, incapable of deception?

    And then folks here are worried that “the “next” Trump will be more dangerous”. I am almost laughing at the thought process. After the massive damage done by Clinton/Bush/Obama; instead of worrying about the damage that will be caused with absolute certainty by returning to Clinton/Bush/Obama policies good neoD’s will assert their virtue by fretting over somebody who is NOT in a position powerful enough to have any effect on a very popular measure.

  9. Larster

    Hawley came across as gutless yesterday by not being on the McConnell conference call. The GOP will not forgive him for putting them in a no win position by forcing a vote. With Hawley in the Senate he will have to participate, as opposed to Trump who was on the outside. The long knives will be out and it will not be pretty for little Josh. You have to pick your spots and he failed big time with this decision IMHO. Four years is several lifetimes in politics and his premature ejaculation here will leave people dissatisfied.

  10. Again, the mistake here is thinking that Trump can be replicated without being, well, Trump. Hawley is as much a part of the machine as is AOC and subject to the same pressures. If responding to that pressure is disqualifying, he will disqualify himself.

  11. rw95

    Hawley is, quite frankly, too nerdy to be a contender for 2024. He’ll definitely run, but he won’t win. Watch him speak. Zero charisma whatsoever. He kind of reminds me of a younger Ted Cruz, someone else who will never be president. As things stand, the 2024 nominee will either be Trump again, one of his sons, Ron De Santis or Kristi Noem. Loud, crude and stupid. That’s what Republican voters want now. Hawley doesn’t fit the mark.

  12. Eric Anderson

    Palin 2024.

    Drops mike …

  13. Four years out of law school Associate Professors of Law are Associate Professors of Law because they haven’t found gainful employment in the practice of the Law. The dude has no real world experience, is as Ivory Tower as other prominent people in the news today. George aWol Bush had more experience without a law degree; much as I hate to admit it Trump has more experience without any.

    I’m also wondering if Missouri’s freshman senator is aware that when visually augmenting an op-ed, in particular one alleging parody it’s a good idea to be aware of heartland idiosyncrazies that might detract or distract, if not leaving those such as I rolling on the floor in laughter, from the purported message.

    I don’t know about Missouri – the show me state, aeh, east ar-kansas – but throughout the inter-mountain west, from Texas to Alaska and all points between, not just cattle but sheep country: anywhere where there is barbed-wire and gates, an upside down boot on the gate-post indicates no one is home. If that’s the message – nobody’s home – then ok then.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if he were forgotten by this time next year.

  14. Thomas B Golladay

    All of this depends on Pence. He must make a choice. He can either put the final knife in Trump’s back, force a Contingent Election and leave his hands clean while Mitch and Romney put the knife in Trump’s back, count the alternate slate of electors to give himself and Trump another term, or throw the gavel to Chuck Grassley and flee the Senate and skip town.

  15. Eric Anderson

    And lest anyone think the Palin prediction is just a joke, here is the simple explanation why it’s not.

    Three words, in my mind, sum up the depth of the average conservatives political ideology: Own the libtards. Electing trump was the biggest libtard own possible, and they absolutely reveled in it for 4 years.

    Now ask yourself … who fits that bill?

    Sarah Palin will be our first woman president.

  16. bruce wilder

    We are entering a period of very rapid generational change at the top of politics among the Democrats. The Democrats are the weaker Party in many ways now, their electoral base shrinking geographically and ethnically, compounding its poor grip on institutional bases.

  17. Willy

    Cult conservatives need as repulsive a character as possible who also at the very same time, is willing to do photo ops with prosperity preachers and then publicly attack satanic/socialist/dark skinned/mass media/scientific enemies afterwards. While also appearing to be the tallest guy in the room. Is Hawley up for all that?

    In addition, Hawley will need to fool more leftists and independents than Trump ever could. This might be done with a common enemy. But what possible common enemy could they all have in common? He’s gonna have to find more than just Walmart.

  18. S Brennan

    And speaking of addressing issues that are actually germane to peoples lives, to current politics as they are, I’d like to commend SomeofParts for trying to start a discussion about how Democrats just helped Mitch McConnell undercut Bernie Sanders:

    ” the sheer scale of Wednesday’s Democratic surrender was truly a sight to behold. And it probably ended the chance for more immediate aid to millions of Americans facing eviction, starvation and bankruptcy.

    The day began with Sen. Bernie Sanders following through on his promise to deny unanimous consent for the Senate to advance a $740 billion defense authorization bill, until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allows an up-or-down vote on legislation that would send $2,000 survival checks to individuals making less than $75,000.

    Sanders’ move forced McConnell to ask the Senate to pass a formal motion to proceed on the defense bill, which would let Republicans move forward on the Pentagon priority without a vote on the $2,000 checks. The motion created the moment in which Democrats could have stood their ground and cornered the GOP leader.

    Instead, 41 Democrats obediently voted with McConnell, allowing him to move the defense bill forward without a vote on the checks. That included “yes” votes from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and vice-president elect Kamala Harris, the lead sponsor on a bill to give Americans monthly $2,000 checks during the pandemic. One day before her vote to help McConnell, Harris had called on the Republican leader to hold a vote on her legislation.

    Only six members of the Senate Democratic Caucus mustered the courage to vote against McConnell’s maneuver Democratic senators in fact provided the majority of the votes for the measure that lets the defense bill proceed without a vote on the $2,000 checks.

    It was a motion demanding Democrats concede — and they instantly obliged. Had most Senate Democrats voted against that motion, they might have had a chance to deny McConnell and stall the process.

    5 Republicans also voted against the measure, including Missouri’s Josh Hawley [Ian’s “more dangerous Trump”], who has pushed the survival checks with Sanders.

    Republican president Donald Trump has called for Congress to pass the $2,000 checks, but Georgia’s Republican senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue — who only this week started pretending they support the direct aid — were nowhere to be found. They skipped the vote”

    And they could “skip the vote” because, in part of the strong support shown here for the neoD’s “Trump=Hitler => Biden, TINA” campaign of 2020

  19. Eric Anderson

    Who do you think you’re addressing here that’s a democrat, Brennan?
    I know they are the same party — the party of the rich. Which is why I’m a democratic socialist and wrote in Bernie.

    You talking to Mandos?

  20. different clue


    Do you think that Alex Jones might give office-seeker politics a try?

  21. Hugh

    Remember until the Titanic hit the iceberg it was doing well, –for some definition of well. For most Americans, the recession that preceded the 2008 meltdown never ended. Trumpism is a reaction to that and the much longer 40-50 year war against the lower 80% of Americans. Trumpism is about anger and rage from people many of whom have a lot to be angry about. Does Trump deliver to his followers? No, he passed a tax cut for the rich, not them. He has not repatriated even one job offshored to China. Well, at least he has made America great again. If by great you mean our allies don’t trust us and the world’s dictators think Trump is an easily manipulated fool. Covid gave Trump a chance to show real leadership. Instead he gave a master class in anti-leadership and shirking responsibility. But for many of his followers, none of this matters. It is Trump as symbol that counts. Symbols don’t have to tell the truth or deliver. Their believers read into them what they want.

    It is hard to see any of this as transferable. It is hard to see a damaged personality like Trump accepting an heir or passing the spotlight on to anyone else. Indeed it is really easy seeing him treat any prospective heir as a traitor and someone to be attacked. I mean look how many times this has happened to those in his inner circle already. At some point, he will turn on, trash, and dump anyone who he thinks is getting to close to the spotlight or doesn’t jump to do whatever impossible, illegal thing that comes into his head.

    The problem with Trumpism reminds me of Hannah Arendt when she revisited the leader principle in totalitarianism. The system seldom survives its leader. What happens to Trumpism without Trump? The anger and rage that spawned it will still be there, but I don’t see anyone around who can take over and focus that energy. A lot of wannabes but no real contenders, at least, for a year or two.

  22. Eric Anderson

    Google “Sarah Palin 2024.”

    It’s already beginning. The merch is out and a bunch of conservative talking heads are already looking at her.
    She’s the only one with the natural charismatic chops and the crazy to feed trumps base.

    “You know what you never see in Alaska … a momma bear wearing a mask” to stadium filled thunderous applause.

    Sorry, we’ve yet to even begin to plumb the depths of American idiocracy.

  23. GlassHammer

    “Do you think that Alex Jones might give office-seeker politics a try?” – different clue

    No, I don’t think he will.

    I think the archetype he would fit, the one currently being prepared, will be filled by someone who is an unknown at this point in time.

    Also, it’s entirely possible that the conspiracy theorist archetype will be filled by a former lefty.

  24. Ché Pasa

    Another way to put this is that propaganda, grand stories, and tribalism are effective.


    I would only modify “grand stories” into “narratives.” Or even “sales pitches,” but that’s little more than a quibble.

    We’ve been living in a cesspool of propaganda for generations, and it doesn’t get any less so as time goes by. Propaganda is the currency of control, and yes, it works. Like a charm. Until it doesn’t. We’re on the cusp of one of those times. But there’s nothing truthful to take the place of the failing propaganda.

    Tribes are by their nature small and insular. A small and insular tribe can seize and hold power over heterogeneous nations — and have done so many times through history, no less so in the United States.

    And how does Josh fit into this picture? Heir to Trump? Nah. A member of the Tribe Trump? Nah. This is a tribe that could not hold power and runs the risk of being wiped out by the many more powerful, richer and devious tribes that constitute our ruling class. Is Josh part of any of those? Nah.

    Right now, it looks like there are no real heirs to the personalities who have captivated politics in the USA. We’re in the midst of a paradigm shift that is transforming the concept of politics. Trump, I think, is the last gasp of the Ancien Régime. What comes after?

    We haven’t seen it yet.

  25. gnokgnoh

    @Eric Anderson, no. For all of her charisma, Sarah Palin lacks Trump’s instinctual and practiced ability to grift and to generate controversy that draws the media like a moth to a flame. As important, while Trump’s bankruptcies are seized on as exploitation of the system, Americans are very unforgiving of electoral failure, with Biden being the obvious notable exception for different reasons.

    Simply put, she’s not nearly as competent as Trump at using the media to her advantage; it’s Alaska v. New York City and all the advantages that come with being an oligarch insider. It bought him four years of indulgences.

  26. Ten Bears

    I think it could be argued Palin was the precursor, the cusp, that led to Trump.

    When you look at the history of it, to my memory every pResident since Nixon has been a puppet, the distraction from the goings-on in the background. Palin was the rude and crude that was just rude and crude enough to make even more rude and crude, Trump, acceptable.

    Fascism sneaks in the back door It is by small steps of incremental meanness and viciousness that we lose our humanity. The Nazis, in the end, embodied the ascension of utter demonic inhumanity, but they didn’t get that way overnight. They got that way through, day after day, attacking and demonizing and urging the elimination of those they deemed their enemies.

    And this is what has been happening to America – in particular, to the conservative movement and the Republican Party – for a very long time. Donald Trump represents the apotheosis of this, the culmination of a very long-growing trend that really began in the 1990s.”

    Things’d be different were Palin prosecuted for putting crosshairs on a congresswoman.

  27. someofparts

    The same two things that stood out for Ian got my attention too. Standing with Bernie and then challenging the election would have given me whiplash if the strategic point had not been so obvious.

    I actually liked it that he didn’t show up for the call with McConnell. The picture of McConnell talking to a phone in an empty office makes me laugh. Far from being a mistake, I bet his donations spiked. I figure dumping on hated establishment figures to thrill the base and spike donations is a move he learned from Trump.

    The part that surprised me is that Hawley is moving this fast, even before Biden takes office. Still, it’s probably smart to play the hand he is holding today given the uncertainties ahead.

    Hawley may be a nerd, but he is doubling down on mastering rhetoric and he is very good at it. I went to his Twitter feed to listen to the speech he gave supporting Bernie’s stand for 2k and it got to me, even though I know better. He may have figured out how to weaponize being a nerd.

    He has been on my radar for a while because he is a regular guest on Rising. Sagar sees libertarians and zombie-Reaganists as his foes in the Republican party and Hawley seems to be part of the same group who feel that way. I’m interested but cautious.

    Matt Stoller did a substack post on all of it here:

    I have the impression that Hawley is religious. I assume he expects to lock down the religious vote. That’s another voting bloc that is loyal and activist, if you can win them, just like Trump people or Bernie’s crowd.

    That might mean that the outlook for womens’ rights or government free of theocracy would dim under a Hawley administration. It would not be out of character for this country to slide into a Christian version of Saudi theocracy, including restraints on civic latitude for women. We already did it in the 50s. Given the popularity of mid-century modern style these days, mid-century theocratic, patriarchal cultural norms will feel right at home if they come back.

    I do worry about just what kind of religious background Hawley comes from. The U.S. does not seem to have many defenses against organized, determined incursions on it’s power from religious quarters. I’m probably worried over nothing, but I am going to be interested in which church powers line up with him.

  28. Hugh

    Hawley is pedigreed. Father a banker. Expensive Catholic high school. On to Stanford, then Yale Law School where he edited the law review and was president of the Federalist chapter there. Some clerking including for John Roberts at SCOTUS. Married another of Roberts’ clerks. A little law work and law school teaching back in Missouri, jump to state attorney general, then Senator. And he’s 41.

    I don’t have much use for pedigreed idiots, but you can see his current posturing as a branding exercise, setting himself up to be a player and ready to move up as far and as fast as he can go.

  29. Eric Anderson

    “I went to his Twitter feed to listen to the speech he gave supporting Bernie’s stand for 2k and it got to me …” — someofparts

    Yes, it got to ‘you.’
    Which is why he’s immediately disqualified from Trump’s base.
    Would Trump have got to ‘you’? Or, Palin?
    Or, hmmmm …. Allan West? (shudder).

  30. Mark Pontin

    Ten Bears wrote: “Four years out of law school Associate Professors of Law are Associate Professors of Law because they haven’t found gainful employment in the practice of the Law. The dude has no real world experience, is as Ivory Tower as other prominent people in the news today.”

    Eh. Hawley clerked for John Roberts at the Supreme Court, so he knows exactly how the sausage gets made in Washington. He could just be lucky, but his career has the looks of a smart guy working to a plan. Probably more so than Obama, also a law professor — and for a lot longer — till his political career got going.

    Thomas P. Golladay wrote: “All of this depends on Pence. He must make a choice.”

    Pence will make whatever choice Charles Koch thinks he should make.

    V. Lenin wrote: “There are weeks when nothing happens; there are weeks when decades happen.”

    This above all. Although this is New Year’s Day and it’s customary to make predictions, not only don’t we know what unprecedented factors might appear in the next four years, but also people here are assuming that Hawley’s future chances are predicated on factors which were relevant in the past but are irrelevant now.

    The central relevant factor now is that the vast mass of Americans will be increasingly faced with the truth: they live in a shithole kleptocracy under a ruling class of grifters that not only doesn’t care about how they live and, indeed, whether they live or die, but that’s also largely incompetent to do anything much about it — this part hasn’t really sunk in yet — if it were to care.

    Under those circumstances,, the mass of Americans will be increasingly desperate, and anyone in DC with any appearance at all of changing things for them will attract followers. Under those circumstances, ‘Trumpism’ doesn’t need Trump. Ann Coulter was enthusing on right-wing media about the recent election results precisely because of that: the Republicans advanced while, she said, getting rid of “the eight-year-old” (her words) in the White House.

    V. Lenin wrote: “Power was lying in the streets. We picked it up.”

    It might be Hawley. It might not be. But eventually someone _will_ be along.

    Happy New year.

  31. GlassHammer

    “I think it could be argued Palin was the precursor, the cusp, that led to Trump.” – Ten Bears

    In the most recent cycle yes but that type of politician really is an extension of the Jeffersonian ideal. (The self made man with the “no one is my king, I am the king” attitude.)

    Hell the neo

  32. GlassHammer

    “Hell the neoliberals are an extension of the Whigs.”

    Is what I meant to say.

  33. Eric Anderson

    Given you points Mark, maybe we just need to project the temperature of the populace after two years of being governed by a Delaware Corporation.

    More idpol friendly great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money, I expect. Throw in 10 giant global weirding catastrophe’s and a couple of near miss nuclear incidents, together with several splashes of white police on PoC murder, a touch of water wars and famine, and a double shot of russian and chinese hacking and political aggression. Shake vigorously.

    Pour over 300 million narcissists and light while waiting for the profits to rise to the top.

    Terrifying. The U.S. is going to go for another old white father figure with a propensity for spinning reassuring homilies with his right hand and lifting your wallet with his left.

  34. Hugh

    Ronald Reagan was the first post-FDR empty suit President. Spiro Agnew, the first empty suit VP. Since then the suits have just gotten emptier.

    Josh Hawley is just another crook on the make, exempt from the effects of the positions he takes.

  35. anon

    someofparts – I agree with everything you’ve stated about Hawley.

  36. Purple Library Guy

    I dunno if this Josh Hawley is in a position for this or that. I think really it’s pretty early for this kind of speculation; gonna be a lot of news cycles between now and the next primaries.
    But if he pulls it off, that could be bad news for the centrist Democrats. He doesn’t strike me as obviously evil enough to strike fear into the hearts of Sandersish progressives and force them to hold their noses. Like who’s really gonna care whether the next Clinton/Obama/Biden/Harris wins an election or if it’s Josh Hawley? For a leftie, might as well vote Green or whatever, or stay home.

  37. S Brennan


    My comments are now considered so offensive on this blog as to require a full review on every posting…no big deal, it’s 2020/21 and we know Assange faces far worse censorship so, I’m not complaining except; on the few occasions that people read up-thread 5-8 comments to my posted but buried comments and reply it can be confusing, consequently, can you be specific in your reply question as I am not clear on which remark of mine you replied to?


    “Who do you think you’re addressing here that’s a democrat, Brennan?”

    Dunno, I have been commenting here for well over a decade and I think I know some of the commenters political views reasonably well…but clearly, you mean to set me straight..please proceed.

    Now Eric, Based on the national election results, I missed the large voter turnout for Bernie referenced by you as the key districts in question turned out for Biden in far bigger numbers than they did for Obama in his 2008-12 landslides. I did not know there was a large turnout in the 2020 general election for Bernie…news to me..please enlighten me?

  38. Eric Anderson


    Well, that was a cute sea lion act.

    Only big D sounding Democrat I ever see commenting on a regular basis around here is Mandos — and he’s a brit I believe.

  39. different clue

    @ Purple Library Guy,

    That ” not scary-enough a Republican” to make me vote PKKK Democrat was what motivated me to invade the Republican primary in 2012 and vote for Romney. My feeling was if Romney got nominated I could tolerate a Romney Presidency enough to where I could vote against Obama, and I did. I voted for Rocky Anderson, ” the Other White Mormon”.

    If Hawley is “not that scary” to make bitter berners vote for Kamalabama Harris, then maybe the bitter berners should all invade their various states’ Republican primaries and vote for Hawley. If Hawley got nominated, then all the bitter berners would be free to vote against Kamalabama one way or another.

  40. anon

    If Hawley runs on a populist message he has a good shot at beating either Biden or Harris in 2024. He’s off to a good start by siding with Sanders for $2000 checks for Americans. I have also seen him on The Hill Rising show touching on all the right talking points about making the Republican Party the party of working class Americans by dealing with the power and corruption in Big Tech and Wall Street. I am skeptical whether he is truly genuine about what he says but he’s a good talker. He could carry the populist vote and the religious right vote. From the ACB hearing, I could tell he is a religious conservative and pro-life. His Wiki states that he was raised Methodist, but he and his family now attend an Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and he identifies as an Evangelical.

  41. Willy

    To be a true populist these days, you have to promise to build a great wall, drain the swamp, replace Obamacare with something way better, lock her up, employ only the best, and make America great again… while doing exactly none of those things. At least this is “populist” as modern conservatives define it, provided there’s also a ridiculously lame coup attempt in the mix, I suppose. Plus completely fucking up during a pandemic.

    As for how modern independents and leftists define populist, I dunno. Hawley may realize that those kinds are very different from the cult zombies he’s used to. They don’t usually like being fooled twice.

  42. Ten Bears

    Funny how the cons are always surprised at the conned’s awakened anger.

    It wasn’t your average Joe tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.

    This is all premature. Pretentiously premature.

    “over a decade” – Bull Shit

  43. someofparts

    something just for fun
    Southpark Monty Python tribute (if it plays):

    Apologies for the ads. I don’t pay to use the app without them.

  44. edmondo

    Josh Hawley will be working on his secong Inaugural Address while AOC is trying to decide if she should vote for Nancy as speaker for the 12th time. There is no one on the left who isruthless enough to win anything. I am going to go with the fascists who offer me bread in the middle of a depression. You guys can stay here an hope that AOC is a “media personality”

  45. bruce wilder

    I was trying to come up with a way to ask for clarification about exactly how and in what sense Josh Hawley will be “worse”.

    I do not know who he is beyond the most superficial bio. I do not think he has written a Mein Kampf, or at least one that has frightening content. Is he going to rescue the economy by forcing trans people to use the wrong bathroom? What is the deal?

    Worse than Biden? How?

    Ian’s premise is that Biden will be bad so people will turn to Hawley for relief.

    I get that Hawley will promise to care and go right on serving plutocracy, just as Biden will serve plutocracy. I am looking for the ” worse” part.

  46. I’m a Canadian living in the continental EU.

    As for whether I’m a “big D sounding Democrat”, in literal terms obviously not, in ideological terms my policy preferences closely track Ian’s. What I seem to differ with most commenters here is on two issues:

    1. how to get from A to B, as it were.

    2. identity and cultural issues as “first-class” political objects, as opposed to things that are straightforwardly reducible to economic class issues.

    Many commenters here implicitly tie (1) to the policy preferences themselves. i.e., it is almost as if, if you don’t agree with a particular way to achieve power, you must also disagree with what to do with that power. I’ve noticed that trying to sever this connection provokes in some people an extremely negative reaction.

  47. The likelihood that Hawley is going to offer anyone bread by the time he gets to being a contender in the Republican primary is no higher than any other Republican politician.

  48. OK, if you think you’re really an outsider political movement denied power to give stuff to your supporters by the system, then the correct answer is to do something like what Erdoğan and his movement did in Turkey — create or attach to an alternate “counter-elite” consisting of the politically excluded, ready to do a half-assed job of the business of governance and commerce such that most people either experience material continuity or improvement.

    In fact Erdoğan’s rising star has risen less slowly since he booted out the Gülenists who were the core of that governance-ready counter-elite. This is something that Trump did not have, he had sycophants from the same elite.

    Even he manages to maintain consistent populist rhetoric, Hawley does not look like he has attached to or helped build that counter-elite. And neither, so far, has AOC — or has she? Has anyone?

  49. bruce wilder

    If the idea is that Hawley will promise some bread, and then lead a frightened, needful country into a more authoritarian configuration, one rationalized in part by evangelical Christian imperatives (no abortion), that seems plausible to me.

    Is that too “indirect” a connection between material needs and other aspects of politics?

    Trump’s base was among the upper middle class who are doing well economically but are distressed by the decline they see around them not because they feel empathy for the homeless but because they feel it would not be happening in a more Christian or more disciplined society — one without the secret welfare! They see the poor and resent them.

  50. bruce wilder

    Bush in occupying Iraq drew from a Christian evangelical strata to staff the reconstruction.

    They were comically incompetent true believers and there were a lot of them.

  51. Bruce: See my blog post previous to this one for my response to this scenario. Yes, it is possible. Is it the only possibility? Not clear that Hawley can deliver the “goods,” these types of predictions have been suspiciously too easy to make and have not borne out so far.

  52. Christian evangelicals have long been co-opted into the “core” US elite. In Turkey, anti-laicists could be jailed if they raised their heads too high above the parapets.

  53. bruce wilder

    The U.S. economy is predominantly predatory and the administrative strata is hiding from their role in maintaining the grinding machinery. Who populates that strata varies a lot geographically. Hawley only has to deliver a plausible rationale for why they are good and just as they are, while reducing the vote among their victims or drawing off enough votes from the victims who got nothing from Biden and are willing to take a flyer.

  54. bruce wilder

    Christian dominionists among American elites are a shadowy presence. If they assert themselves, it may well feel revolutionary to secular majorities on the urban coasts.

  55. This is the “competent Trump” strategy since that’s what people hallucinated into Trump. As I mentioned in my most recent blog post, my suspicion is that it may be a while before the memory of Trump fades enough to allow for that strategy.

    On the other hand, Hawley has the male spokesmodel look going for him. It seems surprisingly effective at reaching a certain level in US politics. Who knows.

  56. Bruce: like I said, it is possible, but my view is that the number of dominionists who aren’t somewhat “compromised” and have sufficient resources such that they could rule in a totalitarian manner over a recalcitrant coastal majority is still too small for that scenario.

  57. But again, a lot of this line of thinking overvalues the role of “bread” in US politics.

  58. js

    If “bread” doesn’t motivate and I don’t think it does that much, it is because people have lost all hope of EVER getting bread. Let that sink in.

  59. Eric Anderson

    Not buying it. Had Obama used his majorities to enact legislation that really and truly gave the working class some “concrete material benefits,” to borrow Lambert’s term, instead of the joke that is the ACA, we’d be living in a Rooseveltian world right now.

    I mean, look at the ‘loyalty’ bestowed upon Obama for the shite show that was the ACA.

    No. I come back to learned helplessness to explain what’s going on. You can only exert your agency so many times, while getting punished instead of rewarded, before you simply cower in the corner and bear the shock instead of trying to avoid it.

    IF, the American left ever has the opportunity to put some concrete material benefits in front of people, and succeed, they will dominate politics for a generation like Roosevelt did.

    Why do you think the elite are so dead set against the 2k? Against M4A? This is basic political psychology.

    This is why people who know better detest the great dissembler that is Obama. His two faces speak with one forked tongue.

  60. Eric Anderson


    Shoot, read your post right after I hit submit.

    But yes, that is exactly what’s going on, and Mandos just gave me the hook I’ve so long been looking for to write a post on learned helplessness.

    Thanks Mandos.

  61. Eric Anderson

    And Mandos, like John Emerson, it seems your flabby examination just winds up carrying water the elite by seeking to blur what is a very clear line for the left.

    Concrete. Material. Benefits.

  62. anon

    edmondo PERMALINK
    January 2, 2021
    Josh Hawley will be working on his secong Inaugural Address while AOC is trying to decide if she should vote for Nancy as speaker for the 12th time. There is no one on the left who isruthless enough to win anything. I am going to go with the fascists who offer me bread in the middle of a depression. You guys can stay here an hope that AOC is a “media personality”

    You’re so right, edmondo. It’s true that the left has no spine. They think that they can change the Democratic Party from within by being good soldiers. The reality is that the rot is too great and progressives should be taking any chance given to them to throw out corrupt members like Pelosi. Instead, we will have to wait until Pelosi leaves on her own accord or dies.

    Progressives should have also handled Biden early on in the primaries in the same way Gabbard owned Harris early on in the debates. If we had seen more of that from Bernie and the Squad, Biden could have been destroyed before Super Tuesday. Instead, we kept hearing from Bernie about how his “good friend” Biden would make an excellent president.

    Hawley is being more outspoken than the Squad on populist issues because he is ambitious and strongly believes that he will be the best choice as president in four years. I can’t hate him for having his eyes on the prize and saying what he needs to in order to get what he wants. Four years from now, AOC will still be arguing on Twitter and having brunch with Mama Bear Pelosi while Hawley says and does what it takes to win the presidency.

  63. Eric Anderson

    “You can only exert your agency so many times, while getting punished instead of rewarded, before you simply cower in the corner and bear the shock instead of trying to avoid it.”

    This is especially true when the people who are supposed to be on the same team as you are the ones punishing instead of rewarding you. Add then, to learned helplessness, a profound loss of trust.

    Again, this is the reason for the unpredictable schizophrenic motives of voters whipsawing back and forth between polarities in this country.

  64. NR

    About Hawley offering “bread:” He will no doubt follow the playbook from the many other right-wing authoritarians of the last several decades, which is to offer some left-wing fiscal programs while swinging as hard right as possible on cultural issues, and then after getting elected, take away the left-wing fiscal programs later when no one is paying attention.

  65. Eric:

    Not buying it.

    TBH I am always a bit confused about what you’re buying or not buying, because it often sounds like the thing you’re arguing with is not the thing I’m saying — or that you’re making inferences and presumptions about what I’m saying that I didn’t intend. (Surely it is “on me” for not being sufficiently specific, but you demanded from me recently that I be more concise, and I’m not good enough as a writer to balance these two requirements as well as you.)

    IF, the American left ever has the opportunity to put some concrete material benefits in front of people, and succeed, they will dominate politics for a generation like Roosevelt did.

    emphasis mine! “Ay, there’s the rub.” — “…ever has the opportunity…”

  66. And Mandos, like John Emerson, it seems your flabby examination just winds up carrying water the elite by seeking to blur what is a very clear line for the left.

    One thing I noticed (and remarked extensively on) during the ACA debate way back when now, was that it was obvious how the elite used the “flabby” nature of most people’s political consciousness to create the messages that allowed them to “have the opportunity” to set things up the way they want. The economic left, on the other hand, viewed this with a self-disarming contempt, demanding “show me the money” without having any power, material or cognitive, to make anyone show anything.

    If you want to call it “flabby”, so be it. It works.

  67. Eric Anderson

    Right, Mandos.

    I’m almost tempted to think you write in this intentionally obfuscatory manner just so you can always hedge.

    Please point to the thesis statement in your post Mandos.
    Is this it, buried clear down in the 4th paragraph?

    “It is the implied determinism that we should view with at least a little bit of suspicion.”

    I’m not sure.
    Can anyone help me out here?

    Feels to me like it was all more of a poorly disguised victory lap about why leftist are too dumb to just suck democratic establishment teat and take the faux incremental approach the EDs keep lying to us about.

  68. Ché Pasa

    This need for heroes and saviours, tho. If it’s not Obama, (and boy, it wasn’t) then it’s Bernie; if it’s not Bernie (and it’s not), then it’s Trump; if it’s not Trump (and it isn’t), then it’s Josh. No, it’s really AOC! (if only she could decouple from Nancy).

    No. It’s none of them.

    What will emerge post-Trump/post-Biden/post-Gerontocracy isn’t known, but our politics has essentially collapsed. There hasn’t been any there there for a good long time, but it’s too obvious to ignore now. The Dem consultant class is at wits end, the electeds are essentially useless except for their donor class, and even then…, so the jockeying for post-Apocalypse position is meaningless. On the R side, there’s little but money, cruelty and hypocrisy. Is that enough for you all? Really? I guess for some, yes, but I can’t fathom it.

    Because a pol says something we want to hear, we should give that pol our support regardless of anything else? Horsefeathers. If so, it means that our elections are no more meaningful than Roman elections under the Empire. Oh. Silly me, that’s true, isn’t it? And those meaningless elections carried on long after the Gibbons’ supposed “Fall”.

    The Revolution isn’t coming (it’s already been here and gone; we lost). The ruling class has made very clear that for the most part, “we” are simply in the way. They very successfully pit us against one another, over and over again, fighting over scraps or nothing at all, while pandemics rage, climate catastrophe becomes irreversible, and homelessness and starvation become accepted norms (again.)

    Salvation? Not from above.

  69. Ten Bears

    Speaking of bread is certainly appropriate as all around us are circuses.

    Not necessarily “football” (american), or feeding lions to the christians.

    And then there’s this thing about “heros”, substituting beer for bread.

    Ain’t nobody gonna’ rescue us.

    We don’t have much time.

  70. Hugh

    Josh Hawley is just another snake oil salesman. Unlike Trump, he can speak in complete sentences. While Trump wouldn’t know a church if he was in one, he and the congregation would have no problem exploiting each other. It’s one of the few times where Trump isn’t the biggest hypocrite in the room. Hawley doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state as long as it is his church calling the shots.

    Hawley also doesn’t have any use for American elections either. He wants to contest the election on Jan. 6. He won’t succeed but the message he is sending is that elections aren’t legitimate and don’t count if his side loses. The take home is that Hawley may be a Senator but he is no defender of the Constitution. He will deep-six it whenever it gets in his way.

    And it will get in his way, because as much as some will hmm and haa about it, American national elections, especially the Senate and Presidency, are already rigged. It’s just that the rigging favors the Republican party. Think about it, the Republicans have won the popular vote for President only once (in 2004) for President in the last 8 national elections. And they only won in 2004 after having stolen the election via the electoral college in 2000 with Bush v. Gore. At the Presidential level in the popular vote, that’s small d- democracy that we are all supposedly for, the Republicans have won the popular vote only once in the last 28 years, and that once was based on a previous cheat. They are a minority party and have been for a generation. Hawley in this environment is unremarkable. The Republicans aren’t competitive in Presidential elections unless they cheat and/or keep in place the anti-democratic electoral college.

    As for the Senate, it’s not that it’s unrepresentative. It’s that it is wildly unrepresentative. You could have a working majority in the Senate (26 states, 52 Senators) from states containing just over 17.5% of the population of the 50 states.

    Republicans may be evil but they aren’t stupid. Mitch McConnell knows his group of thieves aren’t going to be able to hold on to power even with all the rigging they have used up to now. That’s why Mitch is doing everything he can to stack the least democratic, least accountable branch of government left: the judiciary.

    I don’t know how deluded Hawley is but there is no come back for this for Republicans. There is no return to a majority. It’s just a minority trying to hold on to power for as long as it can.

    None of this is to say the Democrats are good. It’s just to point out that the numbers are on their side, and have been.

  71. None of this is to say the Democrats are good. It’s just to point out that the numbers are on their side, and have been.

    I mean I too made fun of the book, but who knew Ruy Texeira or whatever his name was would turn out to be right?

  72. Willy

    if you don’t agree with a particular way to achieve power, you must also disagree with what to do with that power Mandos

    I once had a conservative evangelical tell me about how the Bolsheviks who were using torture and terror, were tolerated by elite Russian liberals of the day because the liberals ‘understood’ their cause. Her point was that leftism is always evil because it’s always a result of needing to force ones own disgruntled will onto others, and this always leads to evil.

    Of course I saw it differently. I see that anybody who uses torture and terror to achieve their ends when they’re powerless, are going to double down on the torture and terror after they’ve achieved total power, regardless of their “politics”. A benevolent dictator will behave quite differently from a malignant narcissist.

    IOW, we must start with the degree of sociopathy which the PTB demonstrates. Even after my careful explanation, the conservative evangelical continues to believe that it was “leftist forces” which stole the 2020 election because their reasoning is wrapped around the “needing to force ones own disgruntled will onto others” bit.

    I really didn’t think that I was being too subtle for her. Past behavior is an accurate predictor of future results, and these behaviors are going to multiply as power increases and checks against said power decreases. I even quoted them Matthew 7:16, to no avail. IMHO, for any leftist revolution to succeed this very basic idea must be understood at the common cultural level, including those pesky evangelicals.

  73. Hugh

    I looked up Ruy Teixeira. He wrote The Emerging Democratic Majority in 2002 predicting a Democratic majority in the early 21t century. I’m saying that shift took place in the 1990s, but being the majority and wielding power are two different things. there is a lot of cheating, obstruction, and anti-democratic rigging to overcome.

    Today Ted Cruz and ten other Republican Senators want to delay the Jan. 6 tally of electors until they can conduct a ten day audit and force through new slates of electors. That they waited until now to become sooo concerned is another sign that this is theater. These people don’t care about elections. What they care about is staying in power in spite of elections.

  74. n

    I was surprised to read you here about your identification with the left. I simply don’t understand much of what you write. For example:

    One thing I noticed (and remarked extensively on) during the ACA debate way back when now, was that it was obvious how the elite used the “flabby” nature of most people’s political consciousness to create the messages that allowed them to “have the opportunity” to set things up the way they want. The economic left, on the other hand, viewed this with a self-disarming contempt, demanding “show me the money” without having any power, material or cognitive, to make anyone show anything.

    If you want to call it “flabby”, so be it. It works.

    I don’t know what you mean by “elites”. I regard them as the top couple of percent of wealthy people with heavy interests in the medical industry, the financial sector, and the media among other assets. They largely control Congress. Yes, they created messages. The economic left as you note lack material and cognitive power. In that contest, those with control of the media and of Congress will virtually always win the propaganda battle. That’s why we’re set up as a propaganda state. You seem to argue that we should join the elites and that somehow that will bring us more of what we want. That somehow just escapes me.

    Over and over again, you’ve seemed to argue that success (“it works”) is the goal. I think good policy is the goal. As Debs said, “I’d rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don’t want, and get it.”

  75. nihil obstet

    The n comment above is mine.

  76. NL

    American badly needs a benevolent leader like this. From wiki about:
    “Genghis Khan introduced many innovative ways of organizing his army … forbade the selling of women, theft, fighting among the Mongols, and the hunting of animals during the breeding season.[23]

    He appointed his adopted brother Shigi-Khuthugh as supreme judge (jarughachi), ordering him to keep records of the empire. In addition to laws regarding family, food, and the army, Genghis also decreed religious freedom and supported domestic and international trade. He exempted the poor and the clergy from taxation.[24] He also encouraged literacy, adopting the Uyghur script, which would form the Uyghur-Mongolian script of the empire…”

  77. Eric Anderson

    Agreed nihil. It’s just word salad.

  78. bruce wilder

    Mandos trolling my wishful thinking and resentment at my irrelevance and powerlessness is not so terrible. If he gives me something to think about, I feel compensated.

    I think “bread” matters in politics, but its importance in popular electoral politics depends delicately on the extent to which people have an understanding of how policy relates to “bread”. Mostly Americans are completely ignorant of policy or agnostic concerning policy’s consequences. People have bizarre notions — the Federal deficit is a threat to their grandchildren’s prosperity or the stock market’s index is an indicator of the economy’s health. You could see who makes them ignorant everytime a teevee journalist asked Sanders how much more M4all would cost.

    The worldview of Christian evangelicals on the economy is on display in movies on my Amazon Prime: sunny, optimistic fairy tales of the meaning of life as found by lucky, pretty people thru hardship overcome and encounters with wise ol’ codgers.

    I do not expect the precariat to rebel, though it is fun to see Pelosi and McConnell have their houses vandalized. Nor do I really expect “collapse” to happen in a way that would rescue my political desiderata from oblivion. But, (further) collapse is coming — it is built into the way the economy has been run for 30+ years.

  79. someofparts

    Here’s a cold cup of coffee. The passage is from Fault Line, by Barry Eisler.

    “[Treven] thought about hate. America was hated overseas, true, but was pretty well understood, too … Americans thought of themselves as a benevolent, peace-loving people. But benevolent, peace-loving peoples don’t cross oceans to new continents, exterminate the natives, expel the other foreign powers, conquer sovereign territory, win world wars, and less than two centuries after their birth stand astride the planet … It was the combination of the gentle self-image and the brutal truth that made Americans so dangerous. Because if you aggressed against such a people, who could see themselves only as innocent… they would react not just with anger, but with Old Testament-style moral wrath. Anyone depraved enough to attack such angels forfeited claims to adjudication, proportionality, even elemental mercy itself. Yeah, foreigners hated that American hypocrisy. That was okay, as long as they also feared it.”

  80. Ché Pasa

    The Hawley Gambit just might work.

    At this point, the consultant class of both parties (but particularly the Dems) is terrified and bewildered, never having encountered or imagined anything like this and prayerful that process and procedure will save the day.

    Uh, maybe not.

    Hawley is the media It-Boy for the moment, and clearly he is smart as a whip, as they say, and he seems to actually have a plan. From appearances, it is not to keep Trump in office. It’s to so bollox the works that the apparatus grinds to a halt and the presidency, for all intents and purposes is vacated. No one is inaugurated on the 20th. Clever, no?

    For its part, Congress has already irrelevated itself in the eyes of much of the public, particularly by failing to address the survival needs of the Lower Orders. This is a bipartisan failure. And it’s devastating.

    The courts don’t want to get involved for obvious reasons.

    When taking to the streets is the only other option, we have to understand that street protest can work, though most of the time it’s ignored. It works when protest shuts down the ability of the governing class to govern, or when credible threats of bloodshed and violence come to the forefront.

    Nice, polite protest will fail every time.

    I have little doubt that we will see violence and bloodshed in connection with the protests scheduled for Jan 6 and onward, and in some places, we are likely to see government basically shut down due to protest. Police will refuse to fight the protesters. There’s likely to be a standoff/paralysis in DC with electeds retreating to their bunkers for the duration.

    If he’s as smart and clever as the media seems to think he is, Hawley will take full advantage of the chaos and get on the tube constantly. He might try to play a kind of Guaido role without claiming to be president himself. The Dominionists will coalesce behind him or someone else to serve as Interim Leader.

    And there we are. There will be no further Trump regime; there will be no Biden regime. There will be an Interim, during which the factions of the Overclass will set aside their differences sufficiently to agree on an authoritarian way forward that assures their prosperous future and tamps down the restive masses.

    Most Americans will express their gratitude.

  81. bruce wilder

    As Debs said, “I’d rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don’t want, and get it.”

    Acknowledging of course, that it doesn’t matter what you think you are voting for, you get what “they” want.

  82. gnokgnoh

    Che, good grief, 83+ million people dropped a protest vote on Biden. If Biden is not inaugurated on January 20, the reaction will not be gratitude. We keep getting told to be gentle and tolerant of the other 73 million idiots. That ends, if this BS doesn’t stop. The talk about sedition and a coup was a willful, conscious attempt to stop this in its tracks, to call it what it is. Y’all think that only the right or hardcore left have balls. Hawley will not be president, not this time around.

  83. S Brennan


    Your comment above that you’re being “gentle and tolerant of the other 73 million idiots. That ends” is pure projection. All the political violence of 2019/2020 belongs to the neoD manufactured “resistance”.. All of it tacitly supported by this blog, none of the violence belongs to the right, pure projection.

    And as for using this blog to threaten whole groups of people with collective punishment, well, that’s why the 2nd amendment was put into the bill of rights, the writers of the constitution were well aware of government being seized and forced to do violence upon the population.

    And the funny part of your threat to engage collective political violence, [Willey was doing the same the other day], is, “leftist”/”liberals”/neoD’s are always arguing that their political strongholds be devoid of firearms, except for hardcore criminals.

    To make matters worse, should “leftist”/”liberals”/neoD’s begin a political violence campaign against people who don’t vote D no matter who the DNC runs…”leftist”/”liberals”/neoD’s don’t serve in the Army/Marines and would be woefully outgunned and out maneuvered should they ever leave their enclaves and venture out their urban areas….all which could be easily laid siege to if it came to that. Which it won’t. Why? Because liberal enclaves need what rural areas produce, energy, food, timber, electricity…rural areas do not need urbanites “high value” software, their financial/insurance services, governmental bureaucracy.

    No Gnokgnoh, like many here, you have violent fantasies about imposing your will on how the people of the world should think, just as Pol Pot did, but, like all the fantasy writers here, [and the Propaganda Broadcast Networks] who operate in a similar vein, you lack a basic understanding of human nature.

    But hey, don’t let me stop you, lead your fantasy army out in to the countryside to violently subdue the non-neoD voters.

  84. different clue

    There were a few acts of right-wing violence. That car-murder at the Charlottesville rally. That young man who came up to Minnesota from Wisconsin ( as I remember) to pleasure-murder a couple of people.

    I also wonder how much of the “antifa” violence was really conducted by secret police in antifa disguise . . . . and/or by Trump supporters in antifa disguise. And of course some of the violence was started by police using tear gas and etc. to turn non-violent marches into violent outbreaks. On purpose, in order to be able to accuse marchers of violence.

    That said, 73 million Trump voters do vastly outgun 83 million Biden voters. If 83 million Biden voters really think they can get successfully violent on 73 million Trump voters who outgun the Biden voter community by hundreds of times, then the Bidenists will experience a “Darwin moment”.

    So perhaps the Bidenists should think of some other way to express and apply their displeasure, should Hawley be able create a “Kerensky transition” to something or other.

  85. NR

    All the political violence of 2019/2020 belongs to the neoD manufactured “resistance”.

    S Brennan,

    Sorry, but you’re full of shit.

  86. NR

    The fact that people here seem to believe that a modern American civil war would be some romantic blue vs. grey nonsense and not Syria is certainly something.

  87. S Brennan

    DC, while conceding there were acts perpetrated singular individuals [who were then promptly punished fully]. The organized violence has been for some time solely the providence of ”leftist”/”liberals”/neoD’s.

    As for the most violent elements being state sponsored or, as you conjecture…Trump sponsored makes little sense, as the violence was used as a political cudgel against Trump and Police.

    Your conjecture relies on a political actor purposely working against their own interests to advance the interests of those who oppose them and that goes against all of human history and with the exception of psychotic individuals, human nature. But as I said in response to Gnokgnoh calling for neoD violence against non-neoD voters many…

    “…have violent fantasies about imposing [their] will on how the people of the world should think…lack a basic understanding of human nature.”

    Just because a dehumanizing narrative/stereotype of half the population is regularly broadcast, without rebuttal and as such, has become a universally accepted doctrine of…to use a currently popular phrase, “thought leaders” doesn’t make it, a) True, b) Workable.

    The neoD’s have stripped the party of all FDRism, [save the rhetoric] and rural people who once voted enthusiastically for FDRist won’t vote for neoD’s who sell gilded-age, [sans mercantilism], neoliberalism nor will they, since Bush [the 2nd], accept the neoD’s incessant promotion of neocolonialism, both of these horrible policies are the very columns upon which the modern post-FDR neoD party rests.

  88. different clue

    Of course Trump and the Republicans would want violence. They would want the kind of violence which makes good TV and good campaign ads. This would give them lots of TV crime footage to run tough on.

    FDRism would have to find or create a new party to express itself through. Right now, every little dissident group would want to have or be its own party. The best thing is for all of them to give it a try, and let Darwin pick the winners. Perhaps some New Deal Revivalists could call themselves Real Democrats and start a party called the Real Democrat Party. Let the Democratic Party sue them in court. It would generate more publicity.

    They could make the FDR-face the emblem of their party. Let the Democrats sue over that, too. Their mission could be to “bring back the New Deal”. They would have to spend years on patient education first. Thousands of little Teach Ins all over the country on what the New Deal even was and what-all was done during those times. And then all about how the Upper Classes spent decades working to abolish the New Deal step by step. And then suggestions about how to restore the New Deal step by step, and also adapt the concept to current times and conditions.

    Ian Welsh has written that people wanting improvement have to have a convincing theory and story about that . . . out there and ready to go for when large numbers of people start searching for one. The New Deal itself is a very convincing theory ( proved and tested) and a good story to re-publicise.

  89. S Brennan

    This conjecture, “Of course Trump and the Republicans would want violence….” like all good deceptive statements has an element of truth to it.

    …and if it were 2016 and not 2020 there might even be merit to such an unsubstantiated accusation but it’s not 2016, it’s 2020 and Trump was Prez for 4 years…when you are the INCUMBENT PRESIDENT you are blamed for what happens, just look at Hugh/Willey/10-fluffy-feathers blame Trump for each and every covid death. Covid was the perfect political weapon to go after Trump with…it means a few hundred extra dead but hey, it got Biden elected when nothing else would…neoDs can rejoice.

    No DC, street violence always works against the incumbent, if it didn’t, blue mayors would have cracked down on it like they did the with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests during Obama.

  90. different clue

    And lets don’t forget about CREEP’s actions on behalf of Nixon in 1972. The disciples of Segretti and Stone are still out there, and they too would want telegenic violence for Trump to run tough-on-crime with.

    It all fits right in with the TrumpCo antifa narrative.

    Blue mayors cracked down on OWS because OWS targetted the Biggest Money OverClass Overlords specifically. And Obama led the crackdown by co-ordinating all the on-the-spot crackdown with the mayors. As part of earning the big tubmans he planned to earn after leaving office.

    And of course the police violence against marchers to turn them on purpose with malice aforethought into rioters should also be remembered. Demonstrators and marchers themselves should remember it. As well as have their own security and suppression people throughout the demonstration and march to savagely beat down the first people they see picking up a brick or a rock in order to head off such secret police provocations.

    Perhaps every single antifa who shows up at an event should be shot. That way, if some of them are secret police or secret Republicans, they won’t get away with it. ” Kill them all. Jedgar Hoover will know his own.”

  91. Eric Anderson

    “Mostly Americans are completely ignorant of policy or agnostic concerning policy’s consequences.”

    Which is why it’s imperative to show them the “Concrete Material Benefits.”

  92. S Brennan


    “violence always works against the incumbent, if it didn’t, blue mayors would have cracked down on it like they did the with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests during Obama.”

    Should have been:

    “violence always works against the incumbent, if it didn’t, blue mayors would[n’t] have cracked down on it like they did the with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests during [the] Obama [regime].

    To the rest of your reply DC? Hey, when you guarantee that you’ll vote neoD no matter how unappealing the neoD’s shit-sandwich… are not in a position to articulate an alternative as you have already said TINA!

    There is only one non-violent* path to reform that I see and that is to vote strategically, something neither party [or anybody who posts here] wants you to consider.

    *And unlike Ian, I do not think violence within the American Body Politic will yield a result superior to the inexorable decline I have been forced to witness over the course of my lifetime. Indeed, Ian indicate that he longs for the complete dissolution of the USA, perhaps he is right, on the other hand I think that the folks hoping for a better life in 395 AD were a little disappointed to find out that it took 1,500 years to make good on the promises bandied about during Rome’s undoing.

  93. different clue

    In regards to my most recent comment above, perhaps also every Proud Boy who shows up at any protest march should also be shot, just in case some of them might be Trump agents or secret policemen.

    Or even double-plus secret antifas in Proud Boy disguise infiltrated into the Proud Boys to really get the party going.

    Kill them all. Richard Nixon’s ghost will know his own.

  94. different clue

    @ S Brennan,

    Strategic/tactical voting makes good sense. That is why I invaded the Republican primary in 2012 to vote for Romney . . . . so that if Romney got nominated, I would feel free to vote against Obama, which I did.

    In 2016 I was out of state so I couldn’t vote for Sanders in the primary. If the primary had been all neoLibDs, I would have voted for Trump in the R primary. In the election I voted for Trump in order to try and defeat the Evil Clinton. This time around I voted for Simple Joe Malarkey and Kamalabama Harris because the TrumpAdmin was doing too much damage to the Bureaus and Agencies for them to absorb any more. We need an EPA which proTECTS the environment, more or less. 4 more years of “deconstruct the Administrative State” would leave us without one. And we need to restore a reality-based awareness of the fact that mass carbon skyflooding leads to certain predicted problems, just as they were predicted.

    So sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t give the neoDs my guarantee.

    Next primary I plan to invade the R primaries to try getting an R nominated that I could live with as President. That will set me free again to vote some third party, just like I did in 2012.

  95. Eric Anderson

    Brennan, you best put some links where your mouth is in regard to Ian’s position on violent political upheaval.

  96. S Brennan

    DC, what you describe here:

    “That is why I invaded the Republican primary in 2012 to vote for Romney . . . . so that if Romney got nominated, I would feel free to vote against Obama, which I did.”

    is tactical voting, albeit far more sophisticated thinking than 99% of the “blue no matter who” crowd.

    To the rest of your comment; with the very real possibility of 12 years of neoD dominance, [2 Biden / 10 Kamala]. I think you should have looked to what would happen to the neoD’s if they had been out of power for 4 more years, 2024 would have been a possible reform year; now, the first opportunity will probably be, 2036 assuming a one term R president at the end of the 12 year reign. The DNC’s power needs constant FEDERAL renewal, the neoD’s neolibralism/neocolonialism has precluded them from many state offices they NEED the Presidency much more than the R’s do. And in all likelihood the neoD’s of the DNC will now have the oval office for 12 years and that may be enough for them to do to the federal government what they did to the party of FDR.

    Biden supported Obama’s effort to “grand bargain” away Social Security and they almost made it happen, I look for him to attempt to one up Obama and make a deal with McConnell to do away with it. And that will be all she wrote, once Wall Street controls all retirement funds…you can kiss any hope of restraining big business goodbye..including any environmental concern.


    Eric, Ian’s not the pussy you imply in your comment, he’s a big boy, he can [and does] speak for himself. If Ian’s got a problem, he’s got my email & he’s got my phone number and having known him and commented here for about twelve years I am pretty sure he can use his position without you brown-nosing his ass, now take your haughty verbal bullshit and stuff it where the sun don’t shine.

  97. different clue

    Here’s an interesting comment from off the NaCap offering another idea about how to approach elective politics.

    January 3, 2021 at 3:10 pm
    In the most radical sense, the electorate could start witholding votes. Given the two headed one body nature of the parties, it would make more sense to say to the dems or rs “we will withhold our votes en masse” unless they push through policies. Its easier to get people to stay home and not vote than to change their vote to a different candidate and party. Plus it’s a lot cheaper.

    Outside of forming another party or mass general strikes, that’s a pretty effective way to get the message across that we will not participate in the system at all until there is representation.”

    targeted voter strikes. worth discussing or even thinking about?

  98. nihil obstet

    Few things would make the elites happier than mass withholding of votes. You notice that they throw up obstacles to voting at every opportunity? They want to get rid of the pesky underlings.

  99. S Brennan

    Nihil, has a point when he says:

    “You notice that they throw up obstacles to voting at every opportunity”

    The most effective being…wait for it…the candidates themselves.

    That said, of today’s political groups, only “lefties”/ “liberals” seem to enthusiastically vote party line [neoD] even when you couldn’t slide a piece a paper between the neoDs and the Rs. I would/have argued that Trump is the most left the R’s have allowed to slide through since Gerald Ford. Which could have been a great lever for genuine lefties & liberals

    Hence the neoDs need to Hitlerize Trump…had he remained, he would have continued to flank the neoD’s left which would have force the neoD’s left…as well as deprive them of oxygen…he was the neoliberal-neocolonial-Ds worst nightmare. NeoDs whole shtick is to govern hard right while talking, [but never doing] left. To be to the right of “Hitler” shows how fraudulent the neoDs are, how far away from FDR the DNC has dragged the country. Oh those big bad Republican forced us…look over there[!]…there’s Mitch McConnell…ignore the 48 neoD senators behind the curtain that just helped Mitch avoid a vote on the $2,000.00 stimulus.

    Too bad 2024 could have been another opportunity like 2008 was…if ordinary D voters could learn to do candidate research BEFORE the primary…of course, now I sound like the dreamer, “lefties”& “liberals” are the easiest group to bamboozle..they don’t do the research, just say a few nice sounding phrases, sprinkle in a little identity politics with just a touch of “free this, free that” and they’ll follow whatever Pied Piper MediaCorp throws at ’em.

    And no Alexandria Cortez is not an FDR, not a JFK, not even a trace of LBJ’s good side, she’s kinda got Stevenson’s weakness but without moral conviction, as Ian says, a fitting successor to Bernie and by that I mean a cheap lawn chair that will fold in the first gust of wind…in fact…she already has folded to Pelosi on numerous occasions, already walked away from campaign pledges and yet, still she holds her audience with a few nice sounding phrases, a little sprinkle of identity politics with just a touch of “free this, free that”.

  100. Willy

    “lefties”& “liberals” are the easiest group to bamboozle.

    Yeah right. Conservative evangelicals calling for totalitarianism to eliminate “radical liberal socialism” at the behest of kleptocratic overlorss, are more enlightened.

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