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Kavanaugh Confirmation is American Version of Brezhnev 1979 Speech

October 6, 2018 14 comments

Regular readers of this blog will be aware of my two recent posts about why the nomination and attempt to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court were incredibly bad ideas with huge potential for future disasters due to second/third order effects. To be clear, I have always seen that court as a regressive institution whose primay function is the maintenance of status quo for the wealthy and corporations, at the expense of everyone else. I also wrote that confirming him would be the best surprise gift for establishment Democrats since Trump’s 2016 electoral victory.

Putting an entitled effeminate man credibly accused of multiple sexual assaults and a poor liar, like Kavanaugh, to the Court does wonders for the ability of otherwise moribund establishment Democrats to motivate voters as well as collect donations. And yes.. it does matters a lot how Kavanaugh appears to most women of reproductive age, and not just due to of his stance on abortion. As I keep on saying, he is a living breathing embodiment of the mental image most women have of that rich but unattractive asshole who tried to sexually assault them.

Let us be honest about it, a guy who had to corner women in a room or stick his penis in front of their face was not making them wet in the first place. Sadly, there are more than a few retarded men who want to believe that all CONservative women will steadfastly support that loser because they came across a few photos of a minuscule number of attention-whoring barbie CONservatives pretending to do just that on Twitter. First of all, most CONservative women are post-menopausal, tending towards senility and on their way out. More importantly, most of their daughters don’t share their belief system and never will.

And do not, for one moment, assume that there will be no future revelations about Kavanaugh. On the contrary, we are going to see and hear a lot more about the misadventures of Brett and his friends at Georgetown Prep and Yale. And ya.. establishment Democrats will keep hammering away at him- largely because it increases voter turnout and nets them more donor cash. If you don’t believe me, just look at what they have built out of the ludicrous accusation that Trump is a Russian puppet. This is going to be a long.. long road.

But what does any of this have to do with Leonid Brezhnev‘s now infamous televised address from December 1979? Also who was this guy? For those of you born after mid-1980s, Leonid Brezhnev was the leader of the erstwhile- USSR from 1964 to 1982. In other words, his political career began and ended before many of us were born or old enough to understand things. But as you will soon see, all of this is very relevant to the USA of 2018.

So here is a quick historic primer about the actors and context to this event. Leonid Brezhnev came into power in 1964 after Nikita Khrushchev was deposed by an internal coup. It is fair to say that he was chosen because he was seen as least likely to rock the boat, especially since his predecessor was well.. kinda impulsive and often did things without carefully thinking through the consequences. This is not to say that Khrushchev wasn’t an effective leader. It is just that other people near the top preferred somebody more predictable and boring.

Initially, it looked like a good choice. As some of you know, USSR experienced massive real growth and improvement in living standards for its people from 1946 to the early 1970s. Did I mention that this occurred in spite of the chronic stupidity and short-sightedness of its political elite. Long story short, the first few years of Brezhnev’s “leadership” were good for most people. Then the consequences of previous bad choices and attempts to copy the most disastrous aspects of western capitalism caused economic stagnation.

The later years of his “leadership” were also characterized by a general social and intellectual malaise throughout the country, partially caused by regressive social CONservativism. By the late 1970s, many Russians had started to express serious doubt (in their private circles) about the direction and future of their country. But this being USSR, those doubts were almost never aired in forums larger than your close family and intimate friends. While Gulags were a thing of the past, nobody wanted to risk job promotions or attract extra scrutiny from the security apparatus.

Back to Brezhnev.. as we now know, his health declined a lot in later years to the point where, by 1979, he was a mere shadow of his former self. Of course, he never expressed a serious desire to resign (that we know of) and the other people at top were not especially interested in replacing him before his death. For some years, they were able to hide the extent of his physical deterioration from the public. However, towards the end- it was very obvious. And then he decided to record that televised address in December 1979.

By now, some of you must be wondering.. “what is exact connection between the recent farce of Kavanaugh’s confirmation and some televised address made by an old and sick leader of USSR in 1979”? Well.. both are pivotal moments for the loss of public confidence in existing systems of governance. Confused? Let me explain.

In the very late 1990s to early 2000s period, I performed research at a couple of places alongside many immigrants from the eastern block, including Russia. Almost every one of them was about 10-20 years older than me. We often used to talk about non-research related stuff including how things went south in USSR after 1980. During the course of these discussions I noticed something peculiar. While each one of them reached their moment of epiphany about the future of USSR through an often unique set of circumstances, a majority made at least passing mention of the speeches and public appearances made by Brezhnev from 1979 till his death.

But why would people remember a few routine speeches made during that time period? More importantly, why did they connect them to the final collapse of USSR in 1991? At that time, internet video sites such as YouTube did not exist, and my options for further investigating such stuff on the internet was restricted to reading transcripts, archived newspaper articles etc. A few years later (around 2004 or 2005) I came across a highly edited clip of one such speech while watching some TLC/A&E/History channel documentary about USSR in the 1980s. And yes, it looked like he was not doing too well.

But I still could not understand why people who grew up during time remembered the ambiance of those speeches. A few more years later, I finally came across a YouTube clip of one such speech. It was then that I started to realize why people who were around when that speech was first broadcast associated it with the beginning of end for USSR. Long story short, if you watch the speech, a few things quickly becomes obvious. Firstly, Brezhnev was in pretty bad shape and not just physically. Secondly he seemed unaware of, or did not care about, the severity of his medical problems. Nobody around him was trying to help him beyond doing perfunctory stuff.

To summarize, those speeches (including the one linked below) mass-validated the worst fears people in that country harbored about the system but were afraid to discuss with anyone outside of their close social circle. It was now obvious to almost everyone that those in charge were seriously disconnected from reality and were not even trying to put on a proper dog-and-pony show. It also revealed that almost everyone at the top was looking out for themselves, and nobody else. And don’t forget that this came at the end of almost a decade of economic and social stagnation. Even people who had some real faith in ability of that system to solve problems could no longer believe that was likely. It was all just too hard to ignore and look past.

The Kavanaugh confirmation is the contemporary american version of Brezhnev’s televised speeches from 1979. You cannot look at that shitshow and pretend it was anything but a shitshow. You cannot look at that guy, his bad acting, constant lying and still pretend that he was a good person. You cannot make a plausible case that the guy is anything beyond a sadly mediocre, but born rich, asshole who had sex with unconscious women when he was in high school. But most importantly, you cannot ignore that the system to confirm such an atrocious person to the Supreme Court worked just as it was intended.

FYI- only the edited version of Brezhnev’s speech in this clip was eventually televised. But even it was full of obviously slurred words and odd body language.

What do you think? Comments?