An interesting article from Daily Kos. I know the author of this piece, who is generally friendly to ATS.
By Alex Shepard
he election of 2020 is approaching us fast, and the primary season will be here before we know it. Already, the 2020 democratic field has a few challengers. The darling of the establishment, Elizabeth Warren, has announced. From the insurgency ranks, outside of the establishment, is Hawaii congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard.
Tulsi Gabbard, on nearly all sensible and progressive policies gets a perfect score. She supports the reinstitution of the Glass Steagall act. She supports raising the minimum wage. She also has vocally opposed and taken part in protests against the monstrosity called the Keystone Pipeline. She has continuously called for Climate change to be taken seriously and for America to embark on a pragmatic shift away from fossil fuels to efficient alternative energy. She has supported civil rights for all individual Americans, including our Latino, LGBT, African-American, disabled and Muslim citizens. So therefore, it appears she should be an ideal candidate for all left-leaning individuals, mainly those who supported Sanders in the 2016 primary. She also was one of the few Democrat Party officials to endorse Bernie Sanders during his presidential race in 2016, with considerable risk to her political career. She freely resigned from her high ranking post as vice chair of the DNC in order to follow her conscience and endorse Sanders, much to the chagrin of the DNC’s operators.
Most importantly, and speaking from the personal perspective as a PHD candidate in the field of Middle Eastern Studies, she has a spotless foreign policy. Hers is the kind needed for a successful and functional American relationship with not only the Middle East, but the rest of the world as well. She has rightly condemned the illegal war of aggression against Syria. At great risk to her person, and her own political career, she undertook a fact-finding mission in the war-torn nation of Syria. She has since taken it upon herself, much to the ire of the Democratic Party establishment, to tell Americans the truth about where their tax-dollars are going. They are being funneled at the behest of the Military Industry Complex, Saudi Arabia, and Israel to aid the wrong side of a conflict that is of no interest to the United States. Mainly, the American government is actively using American money to assist those who have killed Americans in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. She also repeatedly called for the suspension of aid and weapon sales to the atrocious and genocidal regime in Saudi Arabia, which has been in the process of starving the Yemeni population to death. She also condemned Obama’s illegal war of aggression against Libya, which our former commander in chief admitted was a tragic mistake.
This is a pretty good discussion of Gabbard. From what I can tell, she’s basically just a moderate who trends liberal on social issues, who is pro-military, pro-Israel, and pro-terror war but who merely thinks the neocon/neoliberal foreign policy paradigm is insane (which it is), largely from her experience of actually having been in the military in Iraq. She apparently has a soft spot for India, which is obviously due to her own Hinduism. The worst thing that I have ever heard about her is her friendship with Sheldon Adelson.
US President Donald Trump says hush payments to women he allegedly had affairs with before the 2016 presidential election were legal. Trump said the payments were personal transactions and denied they were a violation of US campaign financing laws. Earlier, federal prosecutors in New York demanded a “substantial” jail sentence for the US president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen. Cohen pleaded guilty in August to bank fraud and campaign finance violations. Democrats say Trump himself could face impeachment and imprisonment if the transactions are proven to be campaign finance violations.
My discussion of the Trump/Russia investigation with Press TV.
I generally hold to the obviously heterodox view that, contextually speaking, Donald Trump is the most liberal president the USA has ever had (though Barack Obama was more liberal on some social issues like the environment and transgender rights, and Jimmy Carter was more liberal on some foreign policy issues like international human rights). It is therefore interesting that his biggest supporters would be some of the furthest right sectors of US society, such as the religious right and the racialist right. Imagine Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt running for president in the 1960s, 1970s, or 1980s with followers of George Wallace, Jerry Falwell, or Pat Robertson as their biggest backers., and you have a rough analogy to the present situation. This article by a neocon evangelical and former member of the Bush administration explains why. During the George W. Bush era, I said that Dubya did not govern any further to the right than LBJ, and Trump is much further to the left.
By Michael Gerson
ne of the most extraordinary things about our current politics—really, one of the most extraordinary developments of recent political history—is the loyal adherence of religious conservatives to Donald Trump. The president won four-fifths of the votes of white evangelical Christians. This was a higher level of support than either Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, an outspoken evangelical himself, ever received.
I find it fascinating that Donald Trump, a man who personifies the perfect hybrid of 1960s/70s hedonism and 1980s/90s greed and materialism, would emerge as a conservative hero, with the religious right and social conservatives being his biggest backers. If there are any snowflakes left who still think some right-wing Christian theocracy is on the horizon, they need not worry. Trumpism represents the Latin Americanization of US politics (a high stratified class system where open corruption is the norm in politics) rather than “A Handmaid’s Tale.”
By Rod Dreher
The American Conservative
Ross Douthat has a good column today, about how Trump’s grift has been paradoxically cleansing. He argues that Trump’s claim that he would go to Washington and “drain the swamp,” while only ever plausible to those eager to be a mark, is now impossible for anyone to take seriously:
Some interesting commentary from Tim Pool.
Social Justice And The Far Left Are Doomed To Collapse due to internal inconsistency within itself. They advocate for the rights of groups at odds with each other and for positions that can’t be brought together. You can’t advocate for Abrahamic fundamentalists while also advocating for the rights of women and other marginalized groups. You can’t support health care for all but also open borders as resources are finite Social justice groups and feminists constantly fight among themselves over issues yet still try to bring in more groups and ideologies. We are left wondering which is the real feminists? Second wave feminism? Third wave? Fourth?
Ann Coulter, as everyone knows, is a staunch conservative and immigration hawk. But she correctly perceives that Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric is largely a ruse intended as raw meat to be thrown to his base. Coulter’s examination of electoral politics correctly perceives that the future belongs to the ascending forces represented by the alliance of the techno-oligarchs and the new clerisy (as I have been saying for almost 20 years). By any reasonable standard, Trump is one of the most liberal presidents, if not the most liberal, that America has ever had. Anarchists, libertarians, anti-statists and anti-authoritarians need to get over the “rightwingophobia” that is common in our circles, and start focusing on who the enemy will be in the future.
Every day that Trump does not keep his promises on immigration, thousands of immigrants turn 18 and start block voting for the Democrats, while thousands of traditional Americans die off. Florida and Texas are about five years away from turning solid blue. Trump was our last chance. After this, the country is never going to elect a Republican president again.
Yep. As I am not a conservative, I am not at all unhappy about the prospect of never electing a Republican President again.
In case anyone is nostalgic for Obama, let’s not forget what a douche the guy was underneath the articulate, polished exterior.
I highly recommend the video commentaries of Styxhexenhammer666. He offers a refreshingly non-partisan, independent, relatively centrist, somewhat libertarian perspective.
An interesting critique AOC from Tim Pool.
I agree with this analysis. The Democrats were the primary winners in this election by a significant margin. They flipped the House, multiple governorships, and multiple state legislatures. Votes on referendums like weed legalization and felon voting rights generally went liberal (although abortion related issues in some red states were an exception). The diversity count increased as well with the number of female Congress people increasing, record numbers of ethnic minorities, women, gays, Muslims, the youngest ever Congressperson, etc. all being elected. The Senate has always been one of the more conservative institutions, and that’s true today because the “red zones” get a sum total greater amount representation there. The left/liberal/progressive/whatever side is definitely winning as a far as the big picture is concerned.
Plus, I see Trump as far more liberal than his predecessors. He was a Democrat for most of his life, married a former Playboy model, bangs porn stars, seems to have no problem with legalizing weed or gay marriage, pardoned some black drug offenders, hangs out with rappers and Hollywood celebrities,etc. If he had been the President 20 years ago the religious right types would be going ape shit insane over his lack of morals and character. His actual instincts on a lot of foreign policy and economic issues seem more “liberal” than the normal Republicans and many Democrats. His stance on immigration was “normal” 20 years ago. He’s no stricter on “law and order” than Bill Clinton was. Nowadays, liberals don’t seem to appreciate just how good they’ve got it.
In a Special Report, Ari Melber breaks down how Democrats had a decisive victory in the 2018 midterm elections, winning more House seats than they have in 40 years. Melber examines the myth of divided Government and shows how Americans have not been going back-and-forth in deciding which party should win the White House, but have in fact, by popular vote, preferred a Democrat for President in 6 of the last 7 Presidential races.
Another discussion of the mid-terms featuring yours truly.
My discussion of the mid-term elections with Press TV.
By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
Like any twilight empire, America has some strange and perverse rituals that are generally excepted as normal by our unblinking masses. There’s the fascist war prayer of the National Anthem, which you can lose your livelihood for betraying with a knee. There’s the Kidz Bop chant version known as the Pledge of Allegiance, my own childhood protest of which had my archdiocese contacting the nearest exorcist. Then of coarse there’s the incessant soldier worship which mandates us all to repeatedly thank everyone who has ever served in our colossal armed services for preserving our “freedoms”, regardless of whether they launched drone strikes from Las Vegas cubicles or shot Cuban gardeners on golf courses in Grenada. But all of that jingle brained jingoism pales in comparison to the peer-pressure-palooza that is the right to vote.
A leading Marxist philosopher says what I have been saying for (at least) 20 years. Interesting.
By Stephen Johnson
I’m inclined to say “I’ll believe it when I see it” but is this a case of the system actually working?
By Jennifer Gonnerman
The New Yorker
Krasner asked his young prosecutors, “Who here has read Michelle Alexander?”
Photograph by Jeff Brown for The New Yorker
Until Larry Krasner entered the race for District Attorney of Philadelphia last year, he had never prosecuted a case. He began his career as a public defender, and spent three decades as a defense attorney. In the legal world, there is an image, however cartoonish, of prosecutors as conservative and unsparing, and of defense attorneys as righteous and perpetually outraged. Krasner, who had a long ponytail until he was forty, seemed to fit the mold. As he and his colleagues engaged in daily combat with the D.A.’s office, they routinely complained about prosecutors who, they believed, withheld evidence that they were legally required to give to the defense; about police who lied under oath on the witness stand; and about the D.A. Lynne Abraham, a Democrat whose successful prosecutions, over nearly twenty years, sent more people to death row than those of any other D.A. in modern Philadelphia history.
This research more or less confirms the findings of the “Hidden Tribes” researchers with some slight variations.
By Carl M. Cannon
Real Clear Politics
“Every difference of opinion,” Thomas Jefferson warned in his first inaugural address, “is not a difference of principle.” Speaking to his countrymen after an election every bit as bitter as the one that put Donald J. Trump in the White House, Jefferson was trying to soothe the reigning animosity between the nation’s two dominant political parties. “We are all Republicans,” he added. “We are all Federalists.”
Not anymore. In 21st century America, any notion that election results end the argument, however temporarily, is an anachronism. So, too, is the conceit that a nation this large and diverse is divided neatly along “50-50” lines, with half of America’s 253 million adults supporting Democrats, and the other half backing Republicans.
Today, slightly more than one-fourth of registered voters in the United States have political views and social attitudes placing them in the camp of the “Resistance” — to President Trump and the Trump-era Republican Party.
This is one of the five American “tribes” identified in a sweeping new public opinion survey conducted by RealClear Opinion Research, a new service offered by RealClearPolitics. The survey of 2,463 registered voters, conducted Sept. 18-28, was overseen by John Della Volpe, co-founder of SocialSphere Inc., a public opinion and analytics firm based in Cambridge, Mass.
The research that is cited in this article, along with the “Hidden Tribes” report that came out recently, seems to confirm what I have long suspected, i.e. that “political correctness” is the ideology of the mostly white, educated, affluent, left-wing of the upper middle class. This is probably one of the more interesting parts of this article:
“In fact, white liberals are well to the left of the black electorate on some racial issues.
Take the issue of discrimination as a factor holding back African-American advancement. White liberals are to the left of black Democrats, placing a much stronger emphasis than African-Americans on the role of discrimination and much less emphasis on the importance of individual effort.
Among white liberals, according to Pew survey data collected in 2017, 79.2 percent agreed that “racial discrimination is the main reason why many black people can’t get ahead these days.” 18.8 percent agreed that “blacks who can’t get ahead in this country are mostly responsible for their own condition,” a 60.4 point difference, according to a detailed analysis of the Pew data provided the Times by Zach Goldberg, a doctoral candidate in political science at Georgia State University.
Among blacks, 59.9 percent identified discrimination as the main deterrent to upward mobility for African-Americans, and 32.0 percent said blacks were responsible for their condition — in other words, blacks are more conservative than white liberals on this issue.?”
By Thomas B. Edsall
New York Times
The recently released study indicating the deep unpopularity of political correctness, as well as the marginal nature of both PC partisans and the hard right, carries certain implications for the ATS strategy and program. First, there is no need whatsoever to capitulate or kowtow to PC, and that the strategy that I have been pursing for years now of bashing PC to the max is a winning strategy (in fact, it’s probably brought me a larger audience than anything else I have ever done). However, a second implication is that the far left and far right are only peripheral and unpopular elements that are soundly rejected by most Americans. But the catch is that the rival ruling class factions attempt to build a loyal base for themselves by pandering to far left and far right extremists. Therefore, those of use who are committed to an authentically revolutionary perspective must necessarily position ourselves as a radical center that not only rejects the ruling class in its entirety, but also rejects the marginal right and marginal left with equal fervor. When it comes to the Antifa, “anarcho”-Marxists, neo-Commies, PC progressives, Alt-Right/Lite, WN/NS, neo-fascists, or religious theocrats, our attitude should simply be, “Fuck ’em. We don’t ’em.” Instead, our target audience should be the “exhausted majority” who are tired of both ruling class malfeasance, and the crap on the margins.
Kyle Kulinski offers a good critique of why right-wing critics of the Left typically fail, but regrettably Kyle merely wants to steer the conversation toward his own Berniebro/neo-Rooseveltian perspective.
These Tucker Carlson-types are pretty good at criticizing the Left. But they regrettably use their critique to steer their audience toward the Republican-oriented right-wing. It’s possible to hate Bolsheviks without wanting to preserve the Tsar.