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

Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – September 27, 2020

by Tony Wikrent

Slouching toward denouement

Capitulation Will Not Halt Trump’s Coup
David Sirota, September 24, 2020

An important review of political events last week. Yoy may not agree with Sirota’s interpretation, but his analyses has proven correct repeatedly. Remember that Sirota accurately outlined the future course of American politics in his 2008 book, The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington.

After Democrats spent the weekend signaling surrender on the Supreme Court vacancy and suggesting they have no appetite to fight over the judiciary or threaten to expand the court, Trump on Wednesday declared that he may not agree to a peaceful transfer of power, and he openly admitted that he is trying to rush through a judicial nominee so that the court can give him a second term. He suggested that he will “get rid of the ballots” and “there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.”

….Amid this onslaught, Democrats are behaving as if you can stop a coup merely by telling people to vote in an election where their ballots might get thrown out.  But the lesson here is the converse: Democrats’ culture of learned helplessness is no match for authoritarianism.

If opposition party [Democratic Party] lawmakers don’t stop imagining a return to normalcy and brunch — and if millions of Democratic voters don’t start immediately demanding that their party’s leaders begin fighting to stop Trump’s court pick right now — then whatever is left of American democracy is probably finished….

The Crescendo Of The GOP’s War On Democracy
What we see in this sequence of events is the simultaneous and horrifying culmination of the different kinds of “by any means necessary” pathologies that define each party. On the Republican side, this pathology is a relentless amoral quest for power that originally led the party into the realm of voter suppression and that now has resulted in a GOP president openly working to end democracy.

There is no pretense. There is no deception. This is a right-out-in-the-open attempt to destroy the system that lets voters choose their governmental leaders — and that initiative is happening not only in Washington, but in the states.

“According to sources in the Republican Party at the state and national levels, the Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority,” The Atlantic reported yesterday….

The Democrats’ Learned Helplessness
This pathology has been long in the making. For years now, Democratic politicians have come to know that a generation of liberals raised on The West Wing and MSNBC roundtables has been inculcated to not merely tolerate selling out — but to laud it as an act of political savvy. If abandoning, say, pledges to support unions and helping the GOP grind workers into the dust theoretically helps a Democrat outmaneuver a Republican in a swing-state election, the Democratic voter is led to believe that this move must be Good, Smart and worthy of applause. Respect for institutions, bipartisanship and manners is more important than outcomes.

Ironically, this capitulation-lauding mindset that prioritizes winning hasn’t actually won much — it has corresponded with some of the largest Democratic electoral losses in modern history, allowing the rise of the Republican fascism that now threatens to destroy our country.

David Sirota, September 20, 2020

‘Everyone sees the train wreck coming’: Trump reveals his November endgame
[Politico, via Naked Capitalism 9-25-20]

Steve Bannon Says War Begins on Nov. 3rd – a podcast with Col. Lawrence Wilkerson
Paul Jay, September 21, 2020 [ podcast]

Steve Bannon says only in-person voting should be counted on Nov. 3rd, and there will be a “war” to “stop Biden from stealing” the election. Larry Wilkerson says Trump’s forces are creating conditions for violence in the streets if he is defeated. AOC calls on people to get organized to defeat Trump as part of a larger battle.

Op-Ed: Democrats have a secret weapon to thwart a rapid Ginsburg replacement. They should use it  Erwin Chemerinsky [via Naked Capitalism 9-20-20]
Chemerinsky is touted as the most prolific and most cited liberal scholar of the Constitution.

[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism 9-20-20] 

Matt Stoller
The biggest obstacle we will face in addressing the court problem isn’t Mitch McConnell, it’ll be @neal_katyal and elite lawyers. It’s the legal liberal elites who are trained to worship the Supreme Court and disdain Congress.
11:42 AM · Sep 19, 2020

Matt Stoller
Sep 19
There’s a reason Supreme Court clerks get $400,000 signing bonuses when they go to #biglaw firms. It’s outrageous but fixable. The issue is populists are up against a religion of the elites, which is what the fetish for judges is about.

How Abraham Lincoln Fought the Supreme Court
[Jacobin, via Naked Capitalism 9-20-20]

Above all, the [Lincoln] Republican assault struck at the fundamental power of the judiciary. The Supreme Court, they argued, had the authority to decide particular cases, but not to settle larger political disputes over the meaning of the Constitution.

Today, we call this power “judicial review,” but as scholars like Keith Whittington have argued, it really amounts to something much more like to “judicial supremacy,” and its roots are not legal or constitutional but themselves political. After Dred Scott, Republicans mounted a direct challenge to this power — perhaps the most aggressive popular attack on judicial supremacy in US history. “A Court makes a decision,” argued one New York legislator, “but does not make the law.”

Socialists Have Long Fought to Disempower the Supreme Court. That’s More Urgent Than Ever Now.

[The New Republic, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 9-23-20]

“[There has been] a growing obsession with celebrity among Democrats, as if celebrity itself could somehow transcend the grubby business of politics. With figures like Ginsburg and Barack Obama, this thinking went, the party could win the day on the back of its leading lights. Those pleading for Ginsburg to retire were brushed off, or branded as sexists. Meanwhile, the conservative machine installed a bunch of young jurists to the Supreme Court who might not be famous but will be determining the fate of this country for years to come.”

Lambert Strether observes: “Installed with the help of Democrats, one might add. Remember when Schumer waved through a bunch of Trump’s judges so the Senate could go on vacation?”

The Pandemic
How did Vietnam bring the spread of coronavirus to a halt — again?

[ABC Australia, via Naked Capitalism 9-24-20]

Strategic Political Economy

In a US-China war, whose side is Southeast Asia on? Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia ponder the unthinkable
[SCMP, via Naked Capitalism 9-20-20]

“American Gentry” 
[Patrick Wyman, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 9-21-20]

“Ownership of the real, core assets is where the region’s wealth comes from, and it doesn’t extend down the social hierarchy… This class of people exists all over the United States, not just in Yakima. So do mid-sized metropolitan areas, the places where huge numbers of Americans live but which don’t figure prominently in the country’s popular imagination or its political narratives: San Luis Obispo, California; Odessa, Texas; Bloomington, Illinois; Medford, Oregon; Hilo, Dothan, Alabama; Green Bay, Wisconsin. … This kind of elite’s wealth derives not from their salary – this is what separates them from even extremely prosperous members of the professional-managerial class, like doctors and lawyers – but from their ownership of assets. Those assets vary depending on where in the country we’re talking about; they could be a bunch of McDonald’s franchises in Jackson, Mississippi, a beef-processing plant in Lubbock, Texas, a construction company in Billings, Montana, commercial properties in Portland, Maine, or a car dealership in western North Carolina. Even the less prosperous parts of the United States generate enough surplus to produce a class of wealthy people. Depending on the political culture and institutions of a locality or region, this elite class might wield more or less political power. In some places, they have an effective stranglehold over what gets done; in others, they’re important but not all-powerful. Wherever they live, their wealth and connections make them influential forces within local society. In the aggregate, through their political donations and positions within their localities and regions, they wield a great deal of political influence. They’re the local gentry of the United States.”


Predatory Finance

FinCEN Files Show Criminals Moved Billions As Banks Watched
[Buzzfeed, via Naked Capitalism 9-22-20]

A huge trove of secret government documents reveals for the first time how the giants of Western banking move trillions of dollars in suspicious transactions, enriching themselves and their shareholders while facilitating the work of terrorists, kleptocrats, and drug kingpins. And the US government, despite its vast powers, fails to stop it.

Today, the FinCEN Files — thousands of “suspicious activity reports” and other US government documents — offer an unprecedented view of global financial corruption, the banks enabling it, and the government agencies that watch as it flourishes. BuzzFeed News has shared these reports with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and more than 100 news organizations in 88 countries.

These documents, compiled by banks, shared with the government, but kept from public view, expose the hollowness of banking safeguards, and the ease with which criminals have exploited them. Profits from deadly drug wars, fortunes embezzled from developing countries, and hard-earned savings stolen in a Ponzi scheme were all allowed to flow into and out of these financial institutions, despite warnings from the banks’ own employees….

But the FinCEN Files investigation shows that even after they were prosecuted or fined for financial misconduct, banks such as JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of New York Mellon continued to move money for suspected criminals.

3-Count Felon, JPMorgan Chase, Caught Laundering More Dirty Money
Pam Martens and Russ Martens, September 21, 2020 [Wall Street on Parade]

ICIJ dropped a bombshell investigative report yesterday about money laundering for criminals at some of the biggest banks on Wall Street, but you won’t find a peep about it on the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal or New York Times’ print editions. In fact, the New York Times, as of 6:44 a.m. this morning, hasn’t reported the story at all. The Wall Street Journal carries an innocuous headline, “HSBC Stock Hits 25-Year Low,” putting the focus on the British bank, HSBC, when its focus should be on the largest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase, a serial felon.

There’s a Pattern of Corporate Media Censoring News About Wall Street Banks’ Crimes
Pam Martens and Russ Martens, September 22, 2020 [Wall Street on Parade]

Wall Street On Parade has repeatedly written about critical reports showing serial corruption at these banks that have been censored by those Pulitzer prize winning media outlets. Yesterday provided another example: the New York Times refused to cover the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ stunning report on how five of the biggest banks on Wall Street have continued to launder dirty money for fugitives and suspected criminals. The Wall Street Journal, whose name suggests that perhaps its focus should be Wall Street, failed to put the story on its front page, opting instead to bury it under an innocuous headline about HSBC’s stock hitting a new low.

The same news blackout occurred last year when the public interest group, Better Markets, published an in-depth report on “Wall Street’s Six Biggest Bailed-Out Banks: Their RAP Sheets & Their Ongoing Crime Spree.” Three days after the report came out, major news outlets were still refusing to cover the report.

Note that none of these reports on the filthy money of modern finance capitalism mention what I consider perhaps the most important point: these financial institutions are directed top-down by the highest elites of the Anglo-American establishment, including the “intelligence community.”  As I wrote in February 2015, HSBC’s board of directors included: 

Jonathan Evans, Lord Evans of Weardale, former Director-General of the British Security Service [MI5], the United Kingdom’s domestic security and counter-intelligence service. You really think this guy does not know what HSBC is doing under his very nose while he’s a director? Evans’ presence on the board points to the intimate links between intelligence, drugs, and dirty banking that you’re not supposed to talk about openly.

Even Matt Taibbi, Revenge of the Money Launderers, September 25, 2020, does mention this angle.  The connection between the illegal narcotics trade, the illegal arms, “respectable” financial institutions, and powerful intelligence agencies has been well documented in books by Celerino Castillo III and Dave Harmon; Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair; Michael Ruppert; Gary Webb, and others, but any mention of this criminality by ruling elites is very rarely mentioned or discussed.

The Carnage of Establishment Neoliberal Economics

Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan’s PAC Are Financially Supporting Mitch McConnell’s Reelection Bid
Pam Martens and Russ Martens, September 23, 2020 [Wall Street on Parade]

Nonetheless, Jamie Dimon’s public records at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show that he has contributed $2800 to McConnell’s political campaign for this election cycle; another $2800 to WinRed, a political committee supporting Republicans; $5,000 to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s PAC, which has, in turn, provided $5,000 to the McConnell Senate Committee, $30,000 combined to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Last year CEOs pledged to serve stakeholders, not shareholders: You were right not to buy it

[Los Angeles Times, via The Big Picture 9-22-20]

In the year since the Roundtable statement, there have been few signs that major corporations have taken real steps to serve nonshareholders that they wouldn’t have taken without outside pressure, whether from public opinion or government regulation.

[New York Times, via The Big Picture 9-22-20]

The pandemic and the movement for racial justice have tested corporate pledges to elevate social concerns alongside shareholder interests. A new study finds companies are failing to follow through.

[Barrons, via The Big Picture 9-21-20]

A half-century of promoting small government, efficiency, and corresponding “free” markets above all else hasn’t even succeeded on its own, far too narrow, terms. It has failed to generate higher growth or dynamism.

What Happened to Milwaukee’s Black Middle Class?

[The American Prospect, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 9-25-20]

“The story we tell ourselves about the decline of American cities, especially in the Rust Belt, places the blame on deindustrialization and globalization. Yet, says Michael Rosen, retired Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) economics professor and former president of MATC’s faculty union, Milwaukee’s decline—and that of many cities across the country—was hardly inevitable. Business, he says ‘[broke] the social contract’ between management and labor and began a strategy of both union avoidance and outright union busting. ‘Capital declared war on labor in this town,’ he says, and it ‘decimated the Black community.’ Racist redlining kept Black families segregated, while many jobs moved into the suburbs—where public transit was not designed to reach.” • Surely globalization and breaking the social contract are both parts of capital having declared war on labor, and redlining is another tool in the war?

[Vice, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 9-25-20]

 “An Amazon Web Services employee emailed a series of internal Amazon listservs and told them that their communications were being monitored for labor organizing efforts and processed in a data farming project by the company’s Global Security Operations, according to an internal email obtained by Motherboard. The emails were sent—at least—to the employee listservs “” and “,” and mentioned a handful of other listservs the employee believed were being watched…. The Amazon Web Services employee notes that this data was being used to track “Whole Foods Market Activism/Unionization Efforts, Internal Communications-Social Listening, Presence of Local Union Chapters and Alt Labor Groups, Presence of Community Organizations, Union Officials and Social Influencers.” Motherboard was unable to specifically verify this.”

Why Do Americans Give Away So Much Control to Corporations? Counterpunch. ,

Ralph Nader [via Naked Capitalism 9-21-20]

Economic Armageddon: The COVID Collapsed Economy

Nearly 9 million people didn’t get stimulus payments. A GAO report asks why the IRS isn’t doing more to help.

WaPo, via Naked Capitalism 9-23-20]

Unsanitized: How the Muni Bond Market Is Preventing Economic Recovery
David Dayen, September 25, 2020 [American Prospect]

More important, if the Fed filled the gap, that $500 billion would be out of the muni markets, meaning those financiers would be denied the fees that go along with them. And this mentality has carried through to the government, through former muni traders now placed there.\

That includes Kent Hiteshew, who is running the MLF for the Fed. Prior to his stints at the Fed and at the Treasury Department he had a “30-year career in public finance on Wall Street,” another way of saying muni trader. The announcement of the Fed hiring described Hiteshew as a “veteran muni banker.” (while at Treasury, he also worked on the junta, the financial oversight commission, in Puerto Rico.)

Hiteshew, in testimony before the COC last week, said that the MLF must not “replace private capital” and that the success of the MLF is based on “the condition of the municipal securities market.” During questioning, Hiteshew noted that his phone was ringing off the hook for the first time, alluding to his pals in the muni market. It was a moment where the mask slipped, and top officials revealed the influence peddling at work to deny the public sector needed relief.

“It’s a very clubby sector of the financial services industry, they have a kind of oligopoly status,” said Hockett. “That in turn stays with people who leave to go to work in government.”

Restoring balance to the economy

Public Banking Institute Youtube: The Fed vs. the States with Prof. Robert Hockett, Michael Brennan, and Ellen Brown

In the wake of COVID-19, a mere 5% of the nearly $3 trillion CARES relief package was allocated to the 50 states, which remain desperately short of funds. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve money helicopter flew directly to Wall Street and hovered. Banks can now borrow money virtually interest-free with no strings attached. States, on the other hand, can access the Fed only by selling bonds to it at more expensive market rates, plus penalty fees. What is behind this discrimination? What does it mean for the people? PBI Chair Ellen Brown talks with Cornell Prof. Robert Hockett and Michael Brennan, Democratizing Capital Policy Organizer for the Democracy Policy Network.


Health Care Crisis

[Bored Panda, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 9-22-20]

Creating new economic potential – science and technology

The story of cheaper batteries, from smartphones to Teslas

[Ars Technica, via The Big Picture 9-23-20]

In 2010, a lithium-ion battery pack with 1 kWh of capacity—enough to power an electric car for three or four miles—cost more than $1,000. By 2019, the figure had fallen to $156. The average cost of a kilowatt-hour of lithium-ion battery capacity should fall below $100 by the mid-2020s.

Eating “only” half a bowl of shit

You’ll notice that Democratic vote-shamers rarely complain the other way. Typically, they lament progressive pressure, but don’t lament big donors constantly demanding ideological fealty to an incrementalist corporate agenda that makes sure nothing fundamentally changes — which inevitably leads to voter disillusionment.

They celebrate efforts to policy pander to affluent conservatives, but scoff at the notion of having to do any work to secure support from disaffected lower income Americans who might consider sitting the election out or voting third party because they are so completely disgusted with both parties.

In this world view, Democrats promising tax breaks to wealthy suburbanites is seen as laudable pragmatism and shrewd politics to attract affluent Republicans. By contrast, the idea of having to promise a Green New Deal to young people who see a lifetime of climate dystopia and think about voting third party — that’s seen as uncouth behavior and detestable pandering to petulant serfs who supposedly don’t deserve even minimal respect or attention. The political class tells us to pay them no mind — they are the electoral arena’s “no real person involved.”

As an election strategy, this attitude presumes that Chuck Schumer was right in 2016 when he insisted that “for every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”

Of course, that theory has been electorally shellacked for a decade. And yet, these Democratic elites adhere to it — and vote-shame anyone who questions it — not because it has been successful and is the best strategy to win back Congress, expand health care or save the planet from climate change. They cling to the hypothesis because it at least provides a rationale — however absurd — to continue running campaigns whose number one directive is comforting the donor class.

LA Progressive, September 25, 2020

What are progressives to make of this truly dire situation—and, most importantly, what are we to do? Right now. At this potentially cataclysmic moment, I haven’t seen better answers anywhere than on the new website, where a basic precept is laid out in big letters on the first screen: “We’ve got our own reasons to vote for Biden, and Joe ain’t one.”

The next words are from Cornel West: “A vote for Joe Biden is . . . a way of preserving the condition for the possibility of any kind of democratic practice in the United States.”
The “Not Him Us” site goes on to ask a central question: “We wanted a political revolution. Now what?” The answers begin by reframing the current realities to include not just clear and present dangers but also great possibilities:

  • “It might not feel like it right now, but our movements are starting to win. In the streets: one of the most massive uprisings in our nation’s history is unfolding, demanding racial justice and systemic change. And in the halls of power: from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, to Jamaal Bowman and Cori Bush, more and more people’s champions are challenging a failed status quo — and winning.”
  • “To continue to gain ground, we need to keep building our movements and elect more people’s candidates. But right now our forward trajectory depends on stopping Trump in his tracks. Our organizations, movements, and people’s candidates are engaged in an incredibly consequential contest for the future. If history is any guide, we cannot allow an authoritarian demagogue like Trump to continue to consolidate power.”

….Tweeting in support of the Not Him Us project last week, Naomi Klein wrote: “Vote for a more favorable terrain. Our struggle goes way beyond elections. We’re in the streets. We’re talking to our neighbors and co-workers. But who controls the presidency changes what’s politically possible for our struggles.”

In response to the launch of #NotHimUs, former Bernie Sanders senior advisor and speechwriter David Sirota tweeted: “This is good. This is the right message. It’s honest. It doesn’t try to pretend Biden is awesome. It doesn’t insult voters’ intelligence. It doesn’t try to insult or vote shame people into voting to defeat Trump. It makes a positive case.

Even the New Deal had to be forced on Roosevelt, Sam Pizzigatti explains in his great 2012 book, The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph Over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class, 1900-1970. It is a mistake to focus only on the presidency. The ground work to provide a foundation for real change has always been at the state and Congressional level, and has always involved radicals winning seats in local and state governments, and in Congress. As I wrote in December 2013

….hoping to elevate one good progressive to the White House is a dangerous diversion from the job we need to do. The federal structure of government designed by the Founders – with political power diffused at the local, state, and national levels, overlaid with an institutional superstructure of three branches of government intended to check and balance each other – offers fissures and pressure points in the political system in which dominance by the rich is not complete and total. This reality is what progressives need to understand thoroughly, and use ruthlessly, to leverage political power where it can do the most good.

The Dark Side

“The Onion’s Guide To QAnon”
[The Onion, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 9-22-20]
“Q: What is QAnon? A: A conspiracy theory that posits world leaders are secretly evil rather than openly so.”

“Biden has raised $156,584 from individuals at Goldman Sachs (GS), according to OpenSecrets. With just $11,943 in contributions, Trump ranks a staggering 45th among federal campaign recipients — well behind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, US Senator Lindsey Graham, Graham’s opponent Jaime Harrison and Andrew Yang, a CNN political commentator who has called for universal basic income. But it’s not just Goldman Sachs, whose employees have historically supported Democrats. (Former Goldman Sachs CEO Jon Corzine later served as the Democratic governor and US senator from New Jersey.) At Citigroup (C), Trump has been outraised by Biden as well as Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Yang, vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and US Senator Doug Jones. Trump has raised just $86,083 from JPMorgan Chase (JPM), the largest US bank. At $379,057, Biden has raised three times as much as Trump from JPMorgan. Trump was also behind Buttigieg and Sanders at JPMorgan.

Biden has raised more than twice as much ($257,821) from Morgan Stanley (MS) as Trump has ($96,010), according to OpenSecrets.”

“Trump vows to reverse ‘blue-collar carnage’ in Ohio” 

[Washington Examiner, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 9-24-20]

“In a speech in Dayton on “Fighting for the American Worker,” his first of two events in Ohio on Monday, Trump accused Biden of being ‘a die-hard globalist’ who inflicted ‘terrible damage’ on Ohio’s economy during his years in Washington…. The North American Free Trade Agreement, which Biden supported when it was approved in 1993, caused the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the Dayton area, Trump said. Biden, he added, ‘should be begging for your forgiveness.’ Trump pointed to China’s entry into the World Trade Organization as ‘a total catastrophe.’ ‘That’s when China started going up like a rocket,’ he added.”

As Lamber Strether noted: “And he’s not wrong, is he? Turns out that “I alone can fix it” was a little off….” Once again, the Democrats’ remain mesmerized by the neoliberalism of the donor class, while Trump outlanks on the economic left. 


Open Thread


“Behave” By Robert Sapolsky


  1. Hugh

    Trump blames others for what he is planning to do himself. So when he talks about a rigged election, he’s not lying about the rigging, just who will do it (him). You have to understand that this fits into his narcissist pathology. His narcissism tells him that he must win. So anything (the election) or anyone (the voters) who contradicts this view must be illegitimate. Trump is not a narcissist some days and not others. He is a narcissist 24/7. He is his narcissism. Trump the narcissist trying to cheat and fix the election could be seen for miles.

  2. Ian Welsh

    Glad to see it, hope you got your editing issues fixed.

  3. Hugh

    “Socialists Have Long Fought to Disempower the Supreme Court. That’s More Urgent Than Ever Now.” As I have pointed out before, the Supreme Court been has been throughout its history an unelected instrument of the haves against the rest of us. It’s one of the reasons that the religious mumbo jumbo surrounding the Court and the hagiographies of its departed members is so mystifying.

    “Trump vows to reverse ‘blue-collar carnage’ in Ohio.” Gee, if only Trump had been President for the last 4 years.

    “We’ve Got Reasons to Elect Joe — He Isn’t One of Them” Ding.

    Oh, and banks launder money for just about anyone: people, corps, the rich, drug dealers, oligarchs. It’s nothing personal. It’s just business.

  4. StewartM

    Dead-right about many if not most MSM Democrats whistling in the dark while Trump plots to make 2020 the last free election in the US. On DKos, there was a poster who keeps complaining loudly that bringing this up would “make people think their votes don’t count and depress turnout”. HUH?

    That’s incredibly delusional. No one, but no one, is excited about the prospect of a Sleepy Joe presidency. The only thing that unites his coalition is the fear of Trump; I very much doubt it will survive if he wins. As Sirota and Klein say, his best message is: “Don’t think of it as voting for Joe, think of it as voting for continued free elections”.

    And yes, this war on democracy is part and parcel of movement conservatism which predates Trump. CSpan (which does seem to be tilted right, not balanced) always portrays American movement conservatism as a standalone thing, unconnected to its European antecedents. No doubt that’s because that European conservatism was always hostile to democracy and republican governments (not the ‘rule by the elites’ they favored), was always hostile to science and reason, always embraced a state religion–and, most importantly–during the Age of Fascism in the 1920s and 30s always was willing to embrace alliances with fascists to maintain power.

    Trumpism, for its part, was birthed not by Trump himself but by conservatives in California, who recognized political and demographic trends and saw that the US would eventually become like their state, with them shut out of power. Their solution was not to broaden their appeal, but to double-down and devise ever-more ways to allow for minority rule, and, outright authoritarian government, if need be. Even before Reagan, conservatives like Paul Weyrich were saying “I don’t want to see everyone vote” and these efforts have simply multiplied since. The never-Trumpers who still say they proudly voted for Reagan and Bush just are deluded about or lying about their responsibility in creating Trump.

  5. bruce wilder

    denouement deɪ.nuˈmɑnt or’ ment


    it puzzles me

  6. bruce wilder

    the nomination of Biden-Harris was the end of democracy and electing them will just confirm that

  7. S Brennan

    David Sirota citing that NBC innuendo piece using 2-3 word quotes as proof was too funny…I remember when the USA hand a genuine press corp. The sad state of US media looms as a far greater threat to our democracy than anything Trump has done.

  8. Hugh

    I agree with StewartM. Modern conservatism is about increasingly torturous ways of maintaining and enforcing their minority rule. What is so attractive to them about the judiciary is that it is completely anti-democratic: no elections and lifetime appointments.

  9. Hugh

    Oh, and dénouement is of French origin . A noue is a knot. So dénouer is untying or unknotting. It referred to the untying of the plot knots at the end of a play or novel.

  10. maintaining and enforcing minority rule

    There’s an amendment for that, for the tyranny of a minority imposed upon the majority. If this goes on the white-trash will have their little civil war, their war of treason, and they’re not gonna’ know what hit them. Should probably book a flight to Ufuckifuckistan now.

  11. Willy

    Modern conservatism is also about so surreptitiously mindfucking ‘the other team’, to where they believe that the only possible strategy for winning is to bring modern conservatives over to their side. Since modern conservatives are all that matters. And of course, learned-helplessing any and all other players into a confused irrelevance.

  12. different clue

    @Ten Bears,

    ” If this goes on the white-trash will have their little civil war, their war of treason, and they’re not gonna’ know what hit them.”

    Wouldn’t it be pretty to think so?

    Which side has the most guns and ammo, and the most knowledge of their use? Which side has the police departments? Which side will have the enlisted combat-arms soldiers if the armed forces break down to that level? Which side will have the various National Guards?

    Should “the rest of us” really welcome the prospect of a civil war? Which side would be more likely to win it?

  13. different clue

    In one of the Wikrent-cited pieces above, someone wrote . . . “Ironically, this capitulation-lauding mindset that prioritizes winning hasn’t actually won much — it has corresponded with some of the largest Democratic electoral losses in modern history, allowing the rise of the Republican fascism that now threatens to destroy our country.”

    The Catfood Clintonite Bidenobamacrat Party does not care about winning or losing elections.
    The Catfood Democrats in office and in party positions care about more money and power for themselves at the inside topside of a “political party”. They view their little “party” as a vehicle for enriching themselves, especially after they leave their respective offices. Their consultants view their little “party” as an ongoing meal-ticket working the “fighting for you” rackets. Their funders view their little “party” as delaying and denying the emergence of a New Deal Revival Party or some such.

    Fascism is perfectly all right with the Catfood Democrats, thank you very much.

  14. nihil obstet

    When I look at both the legislative and the policing oppression of protest during the last two Democratic administrations, I do not find that the Trump administration is of a different order. He’s vulgar, crass, and vociferously dishonest. Obama was elitist, cool, and quietly dishonest. Even at the level of Biden is “a way of preserving the condition for the possibility of any kind of democratic practice in the United States,” it’s just not born out by history.

  15. different clue

    @nihil obstet,

    Your comment has caused some thoughts to crystallize and precipitate out of my super-saturated mind.

    The Catfood ClintoBiden-Obamacrats are co-involved in the fascistification of America. They have spent years collaborating with the Fascistublicans to digitize crucial aspects of American vote-casting. Many states now have inherently fraudulent digi-ballot casting systems. Was part of the reason for this in order to be seen to be digi-fraudulent and sour the public on voting in digi-fraudulent elections?

    More recently, the Catfood Dems have been working with the MSM and the Intel Community to entrench in the public mind the concept that election 2016 was stolen by Putin. They are further working to entrench even deeper the PermaMeme that our electioning process is being hacked and frauded at many levels by Russia, China, Iran, etc.

    Why are/were they doing all this? Was it merely to cover up the humiliation resulting from the Catfood Democrat Party coronating its Biggest Loser to be its nominee? I no longer think so. I think the Catfood Democrats are working with the MSM, the IntelCom, etc. to prepare the American public to accept the permanent elimination of vote-casting elections and electioning, on the grounds that the whole process is fraudulated by various foreign bad actors and etc. anyway. So why have elections any more?

    So if we think self-government is a worthy process to retain and preserve, we will have to accept that the Catfood Clintonite Shitobamacrats and the Fascistublicans are deliberate co-conspirators in the ongoing plot to destroy it in this country. And we will have to work out what to do about that in the teeth of unified sedition from the whole Elite layer of society.

  16. different clue

    Not to forget about how the DNC conspiracy against the Sanders nomination push two times in a row reveals the basically fascist orientation of the DNC.

  17. Hugh

    The two highlights from the Trump tax returns is that he did not pay any federal income tax in 10 of 14 years. And he paid about $750 each year in both 2016 and 2017.

    I get not liking the Democrats, but Trump is the one who actually cheerleads fascists, white nationalists, evangelicals, and racists. Beating up on Democrats should not give Trump a pass on any of this.

  18. Hugh

    Apologies, the NYT story says he paid no taxes in 11 of 18 years.

  19. different clue

    It is true that Trump actually cheerleads fascists, white nationalists , evangelicals and racists.
    Whereas the Catfood Clintobidenites have merely secretly enabled them from the dark shadows of unseen obscurity, while pretending to oppose them openly.

    For what was the ClintoBiden Crime Bill if not an undercover attempt to deepen the racism of law enforcement and slave-gang more Black people into the PrisonDustrial Complex? And there may be enough Black voters who will finally admit that fact to themselves . . . . about the PrisonDustrial Complex ClintoBidenites who put a whole generation-and-counting of young Black people in prison . . . and not vote for Catfood Joe . . . . that the election will swing to Trump by default.

  20. bruce wilder

    beating up on Trump — however much he deserves it — should not give the Dems a pass either, but that is all too often the way the argument against Trump is pitched.

    the idea that Trump is nothing but a racist and a fascist and nobody needs to pay any attention to anything else about his appeal is just another excuse to pay no attention to the complicity of Democrats in the way the country has been run for the last generation: the perpetual wars, the pass on criminal liability for banksters, the obscene rate of incarceration, the opioid epidemic and associated epidemic of despair, the increasing precarity of the 70%, student debt peonage and on and on.

    the evidence of establishment Dem commitment to electoral integrity is extremely thin, so thin that it borders on delusional to rely on it, after the 2016 and 2020 primaries, the search for faithless electors in 2016, and two plus years of Russiagate.

  21. bruce wilder

    Sanders: “You know what, Joe Biden will become the most progressive president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

    McKibben: “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris haven’t pledged to move that quickly, but their climate plan is the farthest-reaching of any presidential ticket in history. More to the point, we can pressure them to go farther and faster.”

    This kind of hyperbole on behalf of politicians who — without the comparison to Trump — would be simply horrifying on their own demerits is moving the bar ever lower.

    The idea anyone is going to pressure Biden to act as President — assuming he is alive and sentient on inauguration day — when they cannot get him to make a decent promise of anything that would discomfort his donors, even when he needs votes more than campaign contributions — that is not even wishful thinking.

  22. different clue

    Ooooh! Ooooh! Another thought comes to mind.

    If the DNC really wanted more of the poor and obscure to vote ( which the DNC does NOT want), then the DNC would have spent more time and money trying to get them registered and in those states with ID-based voter disenfranchisement . . . spending the time and money to get all the targeted potential voters all ID’d-up. Which they haven’t. And which they won’t.

    How much money has the DNC and its feltrav symps spent on lawsuits to strip the Green Party off of various state ballots? How many Voter Registration Drives could all that money have supported instead? If the Catfood Democrats were REALLLy soooOOOooo . . . conCERRRRNED . . . with helping the poor and obscure citizens to vote?

  23. Zachary Smith

    If the DNC really wanted more of the poor and obscure to vote ( which the DNC does NOT want), then the DNC would have spent more time and money trying to get them registered and in those states with ID-based voter disenfranchisement . . . spending the time and money to get all the targeted potential voters all ID’d-up. Which they haven’t. And which they won’t.

    Excellent remark!

  24. S Brennan

    Mr Wilder, is this a real quote, over the top sarcasm or, Brennan bait?

    “Joe Biden will become the most progressive president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

    Either way, it made me laugh/wanna-puke. I have despised Joe Biden since the late 70’s when he was known as draft-dodging plagiarist who groped children/women as a perverted exhibitionist.

    There is nothing..NOTHING about Joe Biden that reminds me of FDR.

  25. Hugh

    So the consensus is to mitigate or ignore whatever Trump does and obsess instead about the Democrats. Got it. Tribalism über alles is OK when progressives do it.

  26. Hugh

    BTW Brad Parscale who led Trump’s digital efforts in 2016 and was his campaign manager for about 6 months this year was involuntarily hospitalized today for having a gun and threatening himself with it. Must have been a Democratic deep state plot.

  27. bruce wilder

    I am not going to vote at all. In my view, when Obama pressed every other candidate in the primaries to bail and endorse Biden, the correct response from Sanders, AOC, McKibben and others on the “left” (as opposed to the centrist liberals) would have been, “are you serious? can you be serious?” followed by an emphatic, “hell, no” explained by a recitation of Biden’s record and observation of his age and approaching senility.
    I think if you tell the truth about Biden, about his record, his family corruption, and his apparent fitness for office, you are not going to be endorsing him, period.
    It is really bad politics to do what Sanders did, what McKibben did. Biden is not that guy. And our progressive leaders showed they are not going to draw any lines, place any limits on their alliance with deeply corrupt centrist Democrats. They let themselves be owned.
    As long as the preferred policies of corrupt centrists are the only policies progressives can enact, as long as the “progressive alternative” to Trump is Hillary or Sleepy Joe, corrupt centrism is what progressive politics represents to American voters. Perpetual war, medical bankruptcy, immunity to prosecution for banksters, job creation in China, budget austerity — this is progressive policy as long as Biden and Harris are your candidates for office. (And, do not kid yourself, with very few excrptions it is worse downballot with Congress critters.)

    Trump is a very bad President. But, the Dems have proposed billionaire-fellating corrupt centrists, which is just another form of very bad President. Obama, as far as I am concerned, was a very bad President (and a very bad Democrat). The failure to prosecute banksters in the aftermath of a GFC caused by frauds damaged the country as much as W’s Iraq War.

    People took a flyer on Trump in 2016, because Clinton was a known quantity to everyone except apparently the progressive voters who thought she was a champion of women and children who would never be influenced by the mere $675,000 Goldman Sachs paid her for her wise remarks.

    I do not believe for one second that Biden would be a progressive President. Do you?

    If not, what is the point? If the corrupt centrists are so damned offended by Trump’s stupidity and vulgarity then let them find a serious candidate.

  28. different clue


    Up to a few-couple weeks ago you were stating over and over and over again that the choice between Trump and Biden amounted to the choice between a shit sandwich and a shit sandwich.
    It would appear that something has suddenly made you decide that there is indeed a difference.
    And not only a difference, but the kind of difference that MAKES a difference.

    If you care to explain in detail what has changed your mind about there being no real difference, I will read your comment. Others may well read it as well.

    So this is your big chance to tell us why you think we should vote for the one you think we should vote for.

  29. Ten Bears

    The desperation is deep here. Flailing.

    There’s nothing more difficult than admitting you had one pulled over on you, that you were scammed, bamboozled, the wool pulled over your eyes, and those who warned you, the people you’ve chosen to hate, he was a con man pulling one over on you were right all along.

    One of America’s great national pastimes, pulling one over …

    Get over it, move on.

  30. Ché Pasa

    Often attributed to Emma Goldman (a victim of the 1917-20 Red Scare):

    If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal…”

    Regardless of who coined the phrase, it’s a truism that too many people still can’t wrap their minds around. After all, isn’t every election existential? Isn’t every candidate put up by Them, the opposition, the Others — a threat to life and liberty? Isn’t the very fate of the Earth and its people in the balance every time we vote? No? Then what’s it all about, anyway?

    We shouldn’t make the mistake of believing that voting doesn’t matter at all — though we’re actually getting closer to that point with each election. Nor should we think that fundamental political change can be accomplished solely or mainly through voting. It’s not meant to do that. Just the opposite, in fact.

    It’s primarily to preserve a fiction of “rule by the people” (majority rules, minorities protected, blah, blah, blah; everyone gets their say) that voting is allowed at all, when actually only a relative handful of people’s votes matter, and only a tiny group of them actually rule. The People have some say in the matter, but very little. Those who know how to work the levers of power and have the will to, and those who know best how to squeeze the teats of the system are the ones who actually rule, regardless of the will of the People.

    We should know that by now.

    Rs and Ds have developed a co-dependent relationship, unhealthy, unwise, but where the parties are, and as both are ruled by wealthy genontocracies, they aren’t going to change their ways. Both are using more and more physical force and terror on the populace to get their way in all things. They fuss with one another over the details, and they try to get their partisans to fight one another to keep the eye off what’s really going on, but in the end, the course of events doesn’t change — it just goes faster or slower, more or less bloodthirsty and death-dealing depending on which of the co-dependent parties holds the reins.

    The D leadership has signaled they are prepared (as always) to yield to the overt power plays of the Rs in almost all things. The removal of Trump is a common goal (supposedly), but other than that, nothing is expected from this year’s election to fundamentally change anything.

    We’ll continue to be mired in crises: pandemic, economic collapse, environmental chaos, among many others. Little or nothing will be done about any of them — at least so far as the People are concerned. As has been pointed out many times, there are too many of Us in the view of our betters, and quickly or slowly, they will ensure that the surplus are disposed of come what may.

    Our rulers don’t care. They can’t be made to care.

    So what do you do? Vote by all means, but know that your vote means little. Learn not to be a fan of politicians of any stripe, because they aren’t working for you and won’t. Hold those in power responsible for their own and their cronies actions — when they are in power. Don’t obsess over what the previous power-holders did or didn’t do. You can’t undo the past. You can, potentially, influence the present and future. Voting isn’t enough, though.

    As I’ve said many times, if you want real change, you have to make it impossible for those in power to govern. You have to make their rule meaningless and inoperable. There are many ways to do that including riots, revolution and so forth. No one thing answers for everything.

    At this point, I don’t see any coherent people’s revolutionary strategy anywhere. Such revolutionary energy as there is is all rightist and fascist, and it’s been that way for decades. Those who believe in and know how to use hard power tend to win these contests for rule, and so if there is a coming revolution against those in power now, expect it to be even more rightist/fascist, not less.

    As Ian would say, Figure out how to survive under the circumstances, because nobody is going to save us from what’s coming.

  31. Hugh

    Progressives discredit themselves when they do exactly what they accuse their opponents of. They apply one set of standards to those they dislike and another to everyone else. I get a little tired of seeing 6 paragraphs on the evils of the Democrats who have not controlled the Senate or Presidency for the last 4 years and one short sentence or none on Trump and the Republicans.

    Same thing in foreign affairs. Progressives wave their magic wand and suddenly Putin ceases to be a thug and dictator and becomes the statesman of the age. Beyond lame.

  32. Willy

    Should we be exploring more why punishing mommy to get daddy to quit being so bad is a good strategy? What if mommy is also kinda bad (but not as bad because she’s weaker, drinks a little less, lies a little less and is abusive a little less)? So what’s mommy gonna do about daddy when she goes on the wagon?

  33. js

    I read the articles on the evils of the Dems not fighting the supreme court nomination. So the Dems could try stalling tactics and make a big spectacle and maybe make life tough going forward, but the Reps ultimately have the power to override this and get their nominee so long as they have the Senate and are willing to ram it through. This we know. That there is an actual difference between actually holding power and merely using whatever power may exist in a subordinate position. It doesn’t mean that subordinate power shouldn’t be used and Dems are generally pretty useless, but some young progressives out there, seem to have gotten so confused that they don’t even understand that yes Reps actually have all the official power.

    If I wanted a half plausible reason to vote for Trump, I’d ask a conservative of the not completely insane somewhat well informed variety and maybe get one. Some of which only make sense in the conservative ideology (like the tax cuts). And some of which do not in my mind in any way outweight the trainwreck of the Trump administration but which minor points I might even concede. But if I wanted pure blustering often ill informed lunacy I’d ask a “progressive” Trump apologist why I should vote for Trump (punish mommy party and make Dems progressive – this is unfalsifiable, that it hasn’t worked so far never refutes it as the revolution is always just around the corner, raw rage, burn it down, Trump is a peacemaker, punish the deep state, etc.). Well ok then.

  34. different clue


    Everyone sees what you did there. You think you can dodge the question I asked and I would not notice that you have dodged the question I asked?

    I will ask it again. Maybe I will be the only one watching to see if you dodge it again. Or maybe every reader here will be watching.

    So here, again, is the question:

    different clue PERMALINK
    “September 28, 2020

    Up to a few-couple weeks ago you were stating over and over and over again that the choice between Trump and Biden amounted to the choice between a shit sandwich and a shit sandwich.
    It would appear that something has suddenly made you decide that there is indeed a difference.
    And not only a difference, but the kind of difference that MAKES a difference.

    If you care to explain in detail what has changed your mind about there being no real difference, I will read your comment. Others may well read it as well.

    So this is your big chance to tell us why you think we should vote for the one you think we should vote for.”

    If you dodge it again, I will just ask it again. And each time you dodge it yet again, I will ask it yet again. With all the readers watching.

  35. Plague Species

    So what’s mommy gonna do about daddy when she goes on the wagon?

    Mommy ain’t never goin’ on the wagon. Let’s make that clear up front. What will mommy do when she gets a hold of the checkbook and the car keys, if she does? She’ll make daddy a celebrity again. She’ll help him get a booking on Dancing With The Stars. She’ll encourage him to jump start his Reality TV career again. She’ll say we all must look forward and not back, that what’s done is done and we must forgive and let the healing process proceed. And as she says this and does it, the next daddy slouches towards Bethlehem to be born anew more powerful and destructive by ten than the last daddy. In the meantime, at least we’ll save preexisting conditions. That’s something, right?

  36. Plague Species

    What does Trump say about his taxes? He told Hillary Clinton in the 2016 debate. He doesn’t pay taxes because he’s smart. Taxes are for suckers, according to Trump. Soldiers are losers and suckers too, according to Trump. In Trump World, either you’re a grifter or you’re the grifted. Lions & Lambs. Only suckers and losers pay taxes and only suckers and losers fight wars and serve in the military. Therefore, Trump’s 45% unwavering base are suckers and losers by his own philosophy and they vote for him emphatically with glee. The Art of the Deal is to get these losers and suckers to support you. In this regard, Trump truly is an artist. A scientist too just like Jim Jones. Make it grape, please.

    Conservatives kill me. They really do. More so that “progressives.” Trump received tax credits totaling $72 million dollars from the federal government. This means the federal government actually gave him $72 million dollars. For what? For being wealthy, that’s for what. It’s socialism for the wealthy where the federal government is their benefactor and revolving credit center and their muscle too.

    Perhaps the conservatives can riddle us this. If it’s smart to not pay taxes and everyone does as they do, who pays the trillion dollar or more military price tag? China? Russia? Israel? Or does America just continue to add digital dollars via the Fed and pretend no one notices?

    I’ll say this. At least Joe Biden pays his taxes. One year he paid $3.7 million in taxes. That’s a lot of taxes. So, Trump labels Biden a socialist yet Trump received $72 million in welfare from the federal government whereas Biden gave $3.7 million of his wealth to the federal government. Who’s the socialist, I ask? The answer is obvious on the face of it. Talk about welfare queens. Trump is the Welfare Queen In Chief.

    The hypocrisy and the contradictions are so stark, it’s truly a world upside down. Logic is dead. As dead as god. A big middle finger to the Greeks. Take your logic and shove it, is the new reality.

  37. Hugh

    Biden is no prize, but Trump is a national disaster. It’s like comparing a firecracker to a nuclear bomb. Just consider how turned around you have to be to see no difference between the two.

  38. Plague Species

    Hugh, what Biden is, what he represents is, the unwashed, collectively, hanging on by our fingertips on the edge of a cliff. Trump represents a free fall from that cliff to the rocky valley bottom a thousand feet below. Obama, when he was elected, represented the collective unwashed as hanging on not by our fingertips, but by our upper chest and our arms but we were, and still are, slipping precipitously. In otherwords, Biden, and Obama before him, although they pretend they’ll pull us back up and keep us from falling to the rocky valley bottom below, are actually only slowing the time to our inevitable free fall if we rely on them entirely to honor their false promise to pull us up from the cliff and prevent us entirely from falling. Biden will keep us collective unwashed hanging by our fingertips, but then, after that, there’s nothing or anyone who can help us because we clearly cannot help ourselves. Then we’re done. Toast. Game over. It’s almost here.

  39. different clue


    You offer some un-supported assertions and an insult in response to my question. But that is not the same as an answer. So I will go ahead and ask it again and see if you will offer an actual answer to the actual question.

    different clue PERMALINK
    “September 28, 2020

    Up to a few-couple weeks ago you were stating over and over and over again that the choice between Trump and Biden amounted to the choice between a shit sandwich and a shit sandwich.
    It would appear that something has suddenly made you decide that there is indeed a difference.
    And not only a difference, but the kind of difference that MAKES a difference.

    If you care to explain in detail what has changed your mind about there being no real difference, I will read your comment. Others may well read it as well.

    So this is your big chance to tell us why you think we should vote for the one you think we should vote for.”

    If you dodge it again, I will just ask it again. And each time you dodge it yet again, I will ask it yet again. With all the readers watching.

  40. Hvd


    He answered you. Trump is a disastrously foul shit sandwich. Biden is just a shit sandwich. What isn’t clear about that?

  41. different clue


    Till a few weeks ago, Hugh said the two were shit sandwhiches. He didn’t say either one was a worse shit sandwhich.

    Just recently he has changed his stance to ” one of these shit sandwhiches is worse”. Just lateliest , he says ” Trump is the worse shit sandwhich”.

    But he still carefully neglects to say what has made him say so, and your attempt to cover for his refusal to say why and how fails to offer the answer. So let your example-free assertion stand with his ongoing dodge of the question.

    If other readers decide to support Hugh’s dodging of the question, and decide to support your support of that dodge, then we will see a demonstration of how the ClintoBidenites hide their no-case-to-make behind a screen of diversionary diversions and implied insults to try hiding their essential lack of a presentable case on-the-specifics. And if that points to a wider analytical weakness within the ClintoBidenite rank and file, that will not bode well for a Joemala victory in the election.

    But if other readers decide to dogpile me in support of dodges and excuses, then I will give up and just let my question silently hang there, without any further re-askings of the question.

  42. js

    It strikes me that very little of it could be proven to anyone’s satisfaction because most of it can’t be proven as such, either way. So who enjoys engaging in futility that much.

    One can say the Trump administration did a bad job in the pandemic and it is likely a Dem administration would have done better, and the former is hard to argue with, and the latter is a perfectly reasonable conjecture. But you can’t actually *prove* a counterfactual of exactly how things would have unfolded under a Dem administration. You can only point to all the flaws in Trump’s response including potential dismantling of agencies.

    One can say that Trump is worse on the environment, and the truth is both parties are BAD on the environment, but Trump has even rolled back existing Obama era rules on emissions for plants and vehicles and other regulations. However one can not prove that Biden will not govern even further to the right than Obama and it strikes me as not unreasonable to suspect he will.

    One can certainly show that Trump is worse in rhetoric on the issues of stoking racism, encouraging vigilante violence, attempts to subvert such democracy as we have. That doesn’t even seem debatable. And that very aspects of Trump’s character such as his tendency toward magical thinking, make him dangerous even beyond his and Biden’s both terrible politics.

  43. different clue


    Thank you for offering a genuine answer when others could not or WOULD not. I have been thinking along the same lines and for that reason will not be voting for Trump this time.

    I’m tired of the Trump Show. I want to change the channel. Does that mean I will vote for Joemala Barris? I may be driven to that extremity. Or that may in the end be a river of sewage too wide to swim across. I am not yet sure.

  44. Plague Species

    Chris Wallace is doing an excellent job. It’s been an incredibly intelligent, productive and professional debate thus far. Of course, I expected nothing less.

  45. bruce wilder

    c’mon, dc Hugh explained everything: Putin is a thug.

    i can see that most of the differences — beyond differences in aesthetics — are not quantifiable differences at all. The claim that the Democrats circa 2020 are any less corrupt, more competent, less war mongering, or even passably decent human beings is objectively dubious.

    The capital fact of American politics is that the political system, including both Parties, is completely unresponsive to the interests, needs or welfare of the 70% Politics is dominated by the very rich and giant business corporations. Debating the differences between Biden and Trump (or Harris and Pence) distracts from this capital fact. If you want an end to perpetual war, socialized medicine, radical financial repression, and a proportionate response to climate change and ecological collapse, you have no one to vote for nationally and probably, locally. It does no good to pretend that Biden is not on record as being commited to the wrong sides of each of those issues.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén