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Posts Tagged ‘establishment’

Some Thoughts on Mueller Report and Trump Derangement Syndrome

April 21, 2019 7 comments

Over past couple of days, I managed to read some more of the Mueller Report and to be honest.. it isn’t that exciting, otherwise would have finished it by now. Having said that, it doesn’t contain any evidence of “collusion” or conspiracy between the Orange Buffoon or members of his 2016 campaign team with ‘Russia’ or Putin’. The contents of that report, if anything, further validates my belief of Trump being the real-life version of the George Bluth Sr. character from Arrested Development. Similarities between many members of fictional Bluth family and Trump clan have been pointed out by others in the past. Also, building a wall between Mexico and USA was one of the central story arcs in the 4th season of that show in 2013.

The report merely confirms Trump being somebody with street-smarts but otherwise incapable of thinking strategically or systematically. And this makes him like almost every other rich guy who got there through some combination of having rich parents and being at the right place at right time. The very idea that such an intellectually mediocre but egotistical lecher could participate in any complex conspiracy is as absurd as somebody with serious brain damage caused by playing american football going on to become a famous mathematician. That he actually took the Mueller investigation and RussiaGate seriously enough to utter “This is the end of my presidency, I’m fucked” to people around him (in spite of being innocent) tells you far more about his state of mind than his ability to do anything beyond pay hush money to his mistresses.

Some of you might say that Trump is too stupid to understand that he is being manipulated by ‘Putin’ or ‘Russia’. Fair enough.. now tell me which of his actions towards Russia are irrefutable proof of him being a ‘Puppet of Putin’? In case you can find a few minor ones, do also tell me how you reconcile all those other major hostile actions taken by his administration against Russia with Trump being a ‘Russian Stooge’. While you are at it, also tell me how Trump’s behavior towards Kim Jong-un is a sign of the later having “kompromat” on the former. My point is that there is no evidence for Trump’s policy towards Russia being any less hawkish than that of his predecessor. To put it another way, Trump is basically a boilerplate republican president with poor impulse control and especially brazen, stupid and incompetent advisers.

Which brings me to the topic of Trump Derangement Syndrome, also know as Orange Man Bad. As I have noted in a few previous posts, hating Trump is a very popular form of performance art among celebrities, corporate media types, establishment democrats, other deep state types and basically anyone who wants to be recognized as “woke”. Of course, they will never explain why they used to be super chummy with Trump before he ran for the presidency in 2015. Or.. why exactly Trump’s policies are so much worse than those of Obama44 or Bush43? Then again, I do not expect such delusional and incompetent losers to have the mental ability to answer such introspective questions. So let me help you understand the real reason behind their irrational hatred for Trump aka Trump Derangement Syndrome aka Orange Man Bad.

In an older post, I pointed out that Trump’s approval numbers (which were always low) have not suffered from the 24/7 barrage of negative news against him unleashed by the corporate media and establishment. Why not and what does it have to do with Trump Derangement Syndrome. Even the gain of legislative seats in the 2018 elections by democrats was largely due to popular anger directed at Trump’s missteps on healthcare and inability to stop outsourcing rather than his persona. So what is happening? Why has the near constant assault by establishment types and their media flunkies on his personality had basically no effect on his approval ratings? part of the answer to that question lies in the nature of contemporary american elites and how they are perceived by the rest of society- especially after 2008.

As I have mentioned in numerous prior posts, the elites of most societies throughout human history have risen to power via some combination of blind luck and parasitism. In other words, they are not actually competent at fulfilling the duties of the societal positions they occupy. Under conditions of economic growth and general societal well-being, it is possible for cover their gross inadequacies, largely because they don’t have to do anything beyond acting competent- the key word being ‘acting’. That is why a lot of the declared 2020 democratic candidates resemble used-car salesmen and D-list actors. This however stops working and becomes counterproductive when the society in question goes into prolonged or terminal socio-economic decline. USA as a nation has been in obvious terminal decline since 2008- at least for the 99%.

Trump winning the presidency is a very visible reminder to the establishment elite that the old status quo is fragile and likely over. Sure.. the guy is a piece of shit, but let us not pretend that he is a bigger disaster than his predecessors such as Bush43 and Obama44. If you don’t believe me, just look at how easily establishment democarts were to forgive Bush43 for his role in the failed and incredibly expensive occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan- not to mention all the other shit that went on during his presidency. Or look at how they celebrate Obama44 for everything he promised voters but did not deliver- from ending foreign wars, passing something approaching universal healthcare, holding financial institutions accountable, slowing down job outsourcing, improving racial relations and a whole host of other things he could have done.

Those who display Trump Derangement Syndrome are like those idiots who want to return to some mythical golden era or period- you know, the one which never existed. To make maters worse, condemning Trump and publicly wanting his presidency to end in some shameful way has become part of the sacrament for anybody who wants to maintain their relevance among the elites or hope to join their ranks. That is why people as diverse as Rachel Maddow, Laurence Tribe, almost every Hollywood or Music celebrity, rich voters living in certain coastal zip codes and establishment Democrats (and Republicans) in addition to many “national security officials” were (and still are) so invested in the Mueller Report. It is also why they are now busy spinning the lackluster findings and moving the goal posts- with almost every single passing hour.

See.. the thing is, western elites lack the reality-based ruling mandate of their Chinese or Russian counterparts. For the past 30-40 years, their claim to rule has been largely based on looking good, competent, intelligent, sophisticated and clever. This is why establishment democrats still worship Clinton42 and Obama44 and their republican counterparts have made a cult out of professing reverence for Reagan40. That is why they push candidates such as Kamala Harris, Beta O’Rourke and that Pete Buttguy. Trump’s election in 2016 was a massive public relation disaster for them because it showed that even an egotistical lecher with the attentions span of a mildly-retarded dog could still perform the “most important job in the world”. The Trump Derangement Syndrome is therefore largely driven by their hate for him after he inadvertently exposed their incompetence, impotency and rapidly declining relevance.

What do you think? Comments?

Interesting YouTube Clips about how Democrats will Screw Up in 2018

May 5, 2018 1 comment

Here are two interesting and recent clips from the Jimmy Dore Show channel on YT. While each is about a seemingly different topic, both address the issue of how Democrats are likely to screw up and lose the 2018 election- inspite of the golden opportunity provided to them by Trump’s record unpopularity. Of course, this has been the case for at least a couple of decades. Also, check out some of the other recent video clips on his channel.

The first clip is about how disenchantment with Obama, in the black community, is now too strong for democrats to confidently expect the kind of voter turnout they enjoyed among that electoral group in 2008 and 2012. As some of you might remember, I wrote a three-part series on that very topic a few months ago. While democrats could certainly motivate potential voters by promising and implementing populist policies to help their most loyal voters, you can bet that they won’t do anything like that.

The second clip is part of a long interview with Glenn Greenwald, in which he talks about how establishment democrat obsession with “Russia” and “Putin” has attained the level of a sacrament within that party. He also talks about how this establishment obsession is blocking their ability to talk about issues which most voters actually care about, thus alienating them even further. As many of you might also recall, I have written more than a few posts on this topic (link 1, link 2, link 3 and link 4).

What do you think? Comments?

The Single Biggest Mistake Trump Has Made Since His Inauguration

April 10, 2018 8 comments

Regular readers of this blog might remember that, almost a year ago, I had written a short series about the likelihood of Trump completing his term as President. Some might also remember an even older series about my thoughts on the likely trajectory of a Trump presidency. To make a long story short, I predicted that the Trump presidency would become a giant shit-show because of his excessive and continued dependence on establishment republicans and an obsession with portrayal by corporate media. As some of you might have noticed, many of these predictions came true. Trump, so far, has “governed” like a moderately retarded establishment republican.

The inability of democratic party to translate the general lack of enthusiasm about Trump and Republicans into anything beyond a few electoral successes says volumes about their incompetence and general lack of vision. Then again, they are a bunch of intellectually bankrupt wankers, who cannot talk about anything beyond “Russia”, “Putin” and “Collusion”. These idiots seem to believe that the majority of people in USA who today live in a constantly precarious financial situation actually give a shit about their amateurish theatrical productions.. I mean “investigations”. Ironically, their stupid “investigations” have done more to make Trump look sympathetic to his support base and many others than was otherwise possible.

Having said that, it is now obvious to even his main support base that Trump has screwed up royally. For starters, he been unable to keep any of his major campaign promises (reasonable or ludicrous) to any worthwhile extent. Then there is the whole other issue of how everything he has “achieved” till now is restricted to pro-corporate establishment republican bullshit that many of his strongest supporters hate with a passion. Some of you might say that this turn of events was to be expected since Trump was always a scam artist- and that is partially correct. However, that does not address a far bigger issue- namely, his future.

His single biggest mistake and failure, so far, has been his inability to govern as a successful usurper.

Let me explain that in a bit more detail. Trump, you see, fits into a category of leaders known as Usurpers. While that term is often used to de-legitimize the person targeted with that label, the reality is that usurpers are typically people who start as outsiders or peripheral members of the ruling elite. They then go on attain political power through some combination of dumb luck, political intrigue and general dissatisfaction with status quo. Well known examples of such people through history include Julius Caesar, Augustus, Genghis Khan, Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon, Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler and Mao.

Less well-known examples of usurpers include Caligula, Cesare Borgia, Catherine the Great, Hong Xiuquan and Chiang Kai-shek. So why do some usurpers end up as successful and famous, while others as examples of failure and mockery. The short answer is that it comes down to two things. Firstly, their ability to increase their support base among general population and secondly, their handling of leftover elites and power structures of the previous regime. Every successful, or almost successful, usurper in history was able to extend his or her support base beyond the one which brought them to power. Even people such as Hitler and Stalin had high levels of genuine public support when they were in power.

So how did these successful usurpers increase their levels of public support once they assumed power? The short answer is, by presiding over populist reforms and redistribution of wealth. Perhaps you have heard how Julius Cesar was able to extend his power and increase his popularity by promulgating and implementing a host of populist economic reforms after he first became dictator. Or how Augustus spend a lot of money on construction of public buildings and other stuff that was useful to the non-elites in population as well as creating jobs. Even less savory characters such as Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin and Mao made considerable effort to employ more people and redistribute wealth away from the previous group of elites.

And this brings us the second defining characteristic of all successful usurpers- they destroyed the previous elite class and replaced them with a new one. Of course, not everybody pulled a Stalin and summarily jailed, exiled or killed the previous elites or anybody associated with them. Some like Caesar, Augustus and Hitler gradually pushed all previous elites who did not agree with them out of positions where they could cause problems. Others like Napoleon had the advantage of starting with a clean slate because of preceding events. But make no mistake, every single usurper who succeeded and lived to tell the tale spent a lot of their energies destroying every member of the previous elite class who they did not trust.

Which brings us to Trump or, more precisely, how he has failed so far. To make a long story short, Trump has been unable to do the two most important things any usurper must do in order to succeed in the long-term. As many of you know, Trump has been unable or unwilling to implement genuine populist reforms which would extend this support base. To that end, everything he has done so far has enriched the already wealthy previous group of elites (who hate him anyway) while increasing the impoverishment of his supporters. But it gets worse.. Successful usurpers end up as successful because they do manage to change the status quo in a manner which makes them more popular.

So far, Trump has rubber-stamped every establishment policy and idea- however boneheaded it might have been. I would go so far as to say that most decisions made by him in office are almost identical to those made by Bush43 and Obama44. His most fatal mistake, however, has been his reluctance or inability to get rid of the previous elite class from positions of power. In spite of a higher than usual turnover in senior posts, he has been unable to replace enough rank-and-file type junior elites to actually consolidate his grip on power. It does not help that he has filled his administration with establishment republican types who hate him or people who are so unpopular and out of touch with reality that their unpopularity rubs onto him.

In conclusion, I think that there is very high chance that Trump will be remembered as an unsuccessful and incompetent usurper. The next one, might however, be far more competent.

What do you think? Comments?

On the Connection Between ‘Hollywood’ and Establishment Democrats

November 8, 2017 7 comments

One interesting feature of the so-called “#resistance” formed in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s 2016 electoral victory concerns its highly skewed membership composition. Most readers might have noticed that almost every single person associated with that useless hashtag is from either the entertainment industry and mainstream media or is a political consultant of some sort.

While it is easy to figure out why opportunistic cocksuckers.. I mean political consultants.. have jumped on the “#resistance” bandwagon, the extensive support for such useless “activism” within the ranks of the entertainment industry and mainstream media is a bit harder to understand- especially since their fortunes have not been negatively affected by Trump’s election.

And yet, not a day (or hour) goes by without some “celebrity” from one of those two industries making some negative or controversial statement about Trump which is then widely circulated on Twitter, FaceBook and other social media platforms. This is followed by another “celebrity” doing something similar resulting in another wave of worthless online activism, seemingly ad infinitum.

To be clear, Donald Trump is a shitty president. However his actions and decisions to date have not been significantly different from his equally shitty predecessors such as Clinton42, Bush43 and Obama44, to name a few. He has yet to pass sweeping neoliberal “reforms” like Clinton42, start large disastrous wars like Bush43 or enable systemic abuses of the 99% by the 1% like Obama44.

So what is the real source of the profound hatred towards Trump from members of the entertainment industry and mainstream media? Why are they so anti-Trump? Also, why are they still pro-HRC and supportive of democratic party establishment? And why were so few of them pro-Bernie during the democratic party primaries or even after Trump defeated their anointed candidate aka HRC.

Now, it is well-known that the entertainment industry aka ‘Hollywood’ has always been a strong supporter of the post-1940s democratic party. But why is that the case? And has the nature of that support changed over time? Conventional explanations for this phenomena have ranged from percentage of Jewish people in that sector, the high degree of unionization within some parts of that industry to the republican party supporting socially regressive causes since 1968.

While there is some truth to all those common explanations, they cannot explain the incredibly high levels of support for the democratic party establishment (especially the establishment) within that industry. This level of support is especially apparent once you start looking at the amount of money contributed by people within that sector to the democratic party establishment. So why is that industry so eager and willing to support the democratic establishment?

In my opinion, a comprehensive explanation for this phenomena can be divided into two components. So let us begin with the first and easier component of the answer, namely why the industry favors the democratic party over its republican counterpart. The answer to that question is fairly easily and comes down to the profile of those who vote for republicans and the type of people they elect.

Simply put, average republican voters (despite what they might themselves believe) are not the sharpest tool in the shed. Almost nobody who works in an industry that is highly image conscious wants to be associated with fat, bland and mediocre white working class types or suburbanites. This is doubly so if the group in question also openly professes to belief in traditional religion, white supremacy and other retrograde beliefs.

The people elected by republican voters are no better. Have a look at both elected establishment republicans and tea-party types. Would anybody possessing even a moderate degree of image consciousness want to hang out with them? And what would you talk about with them, anyway? How about crowd pleasers such “jesus wants to ban abortion” or “let people die on the street because medical care is a privilege, rather than a right (as it is in every other developed country)”.

My point is that associating with republican voters or elected representatives is bad for your image especially in a sector as heavily dependent on image projection and public personas as the entertainment industry. So that explains why the entertainment industry does not spend much time trying to appeal to republicans. But why are they so willing to support the democratic party establishment?

One of the more amusing features of the 2016 presidential election was the degree to which “celebrities” supported the stale and unpopular neoliberal aka HRC over the democratic socialist aka Bernie Sanders. While it is true that a few celebrities did support Sanders the bulk of such endorsements and more importantly fundraising by Hollywood-types was directed towards the spectacular failure of the HRC campaign. But why did that occur? What did so many Hollywood types see in an unpopular neoliberal politician?

Alternatively, why were Hollywood types still so eager to promote the presidencies of Clinton42 and Obama44? Why did HRC have no problems raising tons of money from the entertainment industry? Why were so many Hollywood-types despondent after she lost on Nov 8, 2016? As I have pointed out in previous posts, the policies and actions of neoliberal democrats have not significantly better than their republican counterparts. Why the love for establishment democrats?

Well.. it comes down the fact that the entertainment industry aka ‘Hollywood’ was always a fair neoliberal place and has become more so in the previous two decades. The structure of that industry- from a few powerful gatekeepers, their flunkies, good unions for a small percentage of people in that industry on top of a large and poorly paid workforce which does most of the real work is a microcosm of neoliberal society.

The entertainment industry also promotes the false ideology of meritocracy, when in fact sucking the cock of somebody like Harvey Weinstein is what really makes your career. The neoliberal ideology of democratic party establishment is, therefore, a perfect mental fit for people who run ‘Hollywood’. Their mutual association allows for many cross promotion opportunities and allow both to feel important, current and popular. Because, let us face it, both groups are into promoting and celebrating neofeudalism which is a little less socially regressive than their competition.

What do you think? Comments?

The Obama Presidency was a Disaster for Establishment Democrats: 2

September 9, 2017 19 comments

In the previous post of this series, I pointed out that Barack Obama’s two terms as president was one of major non-systemic reason for the repeated and sustained electoral losses suffered by the democratic party. While the general public disdain about decisions and policies during his term are often attributed to racism, it is also true that he won both the popular vote and electoral college in 2008 and 2012. So clearly, something else is at work. I mean.. he did win many mid-western states with a pretty high percentage of whites in both 2008 and 2012.

In my opinion, public disdain of Obama’s two terms was largely due to the fact that he turned out to be just another empty suit whose decisions and policies helped the rich and corporations at the expense of everybody else. In fact, he was reelected in 2012 only because Mitt Romney was a bigger corporate shill than him. Obama’s popular vote margin did decrease from 10 million in 2008 to 5 million in 2012, as did his margin in electoral college from 365-173 in 2008 to 332-206 in 2012. Having said that, he won fair and square on both occasions- which is what matters in the end.

But that still leaves us with the question as to how Obama got reelected in 2012, after the dismal performance of democrats in 2010 midterm. Also, why he remained somewhat “popular” even though the democratic party suffered further losses in 2012 and 2014. Part of his “popularity” might be due to the fact that few wanted to call out the first black president for being an empty suit shilling for corporations. But the other part of his “popularity” is largely due to the fact that he was not Bush43. As many of you know, Bush43’s second term was such an unmitigated disaster that Obama could look competent just by not repeating any of the large screw-ups of his predecessor.

Accordingly, he was able to restrain himself from overtly invading other countries in the middle-east and making extremely poor personel choices (remember “brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”) and being generally free of serious scandals and charges of overt corruption. Now you might say that this is a very low bar for somebody elected to the office of president. Then again, just look at the guy before him (Bush43) and the one after him (Trump45). Obama remained somewhat popular by simply following the neoliberal script- which is to appear erudite and competent, not make too many big short-term mistakes and cultivate rich elites and lapdog media types who will sing his praises.

The generic neoliberal script did not, however, work for the democratic party for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is much easier for one nominally powerful person at the national level like the president to cultivate his public image and elites. Presidential elections are usually about who is the lesser and more presentable crook to assume the post of chief executive of USA. Most people do not expect the president to be involved in the day-to-day running of the city, town or state of residence. Therefore, public expectations about him (or her) are very different from those of lower level elected representatives.

Elections at the level of representatives for national or state legislatures, in contrast, are often driven by partisan voters who believe that their choice will validate their beliefs. Since the majority of people correctly assume that electing democrats or republicans will not make their lives any better, it comes down to people who vote to validate their beliefs. That is why elections in USA tend to be driven by bullshit issues such as access to abortion, war on drugs, war on crime, welfare for non-white etc. That is also why “culture issues” dominated american politics and elections from mid-1980s to 2008.

But what does any of this have to with neoliberalism not working for democrats? Weren’t they able to win in states like West Virginia a couple of decades ago? Well.. they were able to win such “red” states as late as the early 2000s, but not because of espousing neoliberal ideas. Democrats, you see, were able to win all those so-called “red” states as long as their candidates promoted populist causes- specifically of the economic variety. As many of you know, establishment democrats became republican-lite by the early-1990s and their candidates either stopped being economic populists or were replaced by more corporate friendly figureheads.

It is therefore not surprising that those who voted in many parts of the country most hurt by all those “free trade” agreements and other neoliberal policies were increasingly of the type driven by “cultural issues”. To make a long story short, democrats abandoned people in ‘flyover’ states and those people then stopped supporting that party. At the same time, ranks of establishment democrats were increasingly filled with credentialed professional types who could care less about people who were not like them.

But what does any of this have to do with why the Obama presidency was so disastrous to democrats?

The short answer is that it was similar to the captain of the Titanic not altering course or reducing speed in a known iceberg field. The somewhat longer answer is that the ability of Obama to get elected, and the reelected, convinced establishment democrats that identity-driven neoliberal politics was sufficient to win against republican candidates. The two terms of Obama convinced them that they could sell a neoliberal turd covered by a thin layer of social justice issues and identity politics.

It is therefore not surprising that a lot of the so-called rising stars of the democratic party (Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Joaquim Castro, Gavin Newsom etc) are poor clones of Obama. They are all “properly educated”, photogenic, “properly pedigreed”, “media-savvy” people with handlers who feed them the right sound and media bites and who can deliver empty carefully-lawyered speeches with lots of fake conviction. While that strategy sorta worked for Obama in 2008 and even 2012, it is doubtful if it would work today.

You see, until 2008 many people in USA believed that their economic situation would keep on getting better, regardless of occasional and temporary setbacks. A number of events and structural shifts within the previous 8-9 years have totally changed that, especially for people under the age of 40-45. Today, most people (especially young) in USA simply do not believe in the system and its various “credentialed experts”. That is why somebody like Bernie Sanders got so much support among younger voters. Obama and his poor clones belong to the pre-2008 era.

Now this does not mean that they cannot win election in any state. Indeed, Obama clones can (and do win) elections in certain coastal states like California, Massachusetts and New York. However, it is also clear that such creatures are incapable of winning elections against even mediocre republican candidates in non-coastal states. But why? Well.. it comes down to the fact that Obama clones are unable to motivate voters who sit out elections because they correctly believe that democrats are basically republican-lite. In contrast, republican candidates can motivate their core ideology-based voters by spouting nonsense about “cultural issues”.

But what does any of this have to do with Obama’s position on “illegal immigration” and “free trade”? As it turns out, a lot..

While establishment democrats are busy expressing outrage about Trump’s plans to deport millions of “illegal immigrants” and “build that wall” between Mexico and USA, they forget that the policies of the Obama administration were responsible for more deportations (often under pretty atrocious circumstances) than Trump has manged to in an equivalent period of time. That is correct, Barack Obama’s administration started the current mass deportation machine with its private prisons, arbitrary powers and flagrant abuses of power. Is it any wonder that many citizens of Hispanic descent were not particularly enthusiastic about voting for a third Obama term under HRC?

Some of you might wonder why ivy-league educated “policy wonks”, such as those employed by the HRC campaign, could not figure out that many “illegal immigrants” frequently had relatives in USA who had become citizens- through naturalization or birth. Did they not realize that pissing upon voter groups who might otherwise be very sympathetic to your cause was a bad idea. Did they not realize that Obama’s deportation crusades had already put the democratic party on pretty shaky ground with Hispanics in USA- most of whom are Mexicans. Here is what I think.. establishment democrats did not care about what Hispanic voters thought because they believed that they had no option. While it is true that most Hispanics who voted still voted for democrats- a large number who could have simply chose not to vote for either party.

Let us now turn our attention to how the Obama administration’s support for various “free trade” policies and treaties as well as increased levels of job outsourcing hurt the democratic party. While Obama was not the first american president to pimp “free trade” and outsourcing, it is notable that a majority of job losses in sectors of economy with previously well-paying and stable jobs occurred during the 2nd term of Bush43 and two terms of Obama44. While the events which started that process occurred in the 1990s and early-2000s, it is noteworthy that Obama was far more vocal about his support for “free trade” agreements and outsourcing. Perhaps more problematically, many democratic candidates for national and state legislatures kept on repeating official party positions about “free trade”, education, skills, retraining and other assorted neoliberal lies even after it was obvious that most voters could see their bullshit.

It is therefore not surprising that many working-class people did not bother voting for them- as evidenced by low turnout levels in the 2010 and 2014 (and to a lesser extent in 2012) elections. In 2016, more than a few of them voted for Trump. It is important to realize that the democratic establishment willfully ignored the needs of the working class just like it did for Black and Hispanic voters. I should also point out that most Black and Hispanic voters are part of the working class. To make a long story short, establishment democrats took the support of their core voter constituencies for granted and then proceeded to ignore and humiliate them. While this behavior has been part of establishment democrat behavior for over two decades now- the two terms of Obama in combination their hubris led them to greatly speed up the process of alienating their key voter constituencies.

In the upcoming part of this series, I will talk about how the rise of “identity politics”, “culture wars 2.0” and SJW-ism during the two terms of Obama44 further doomed electoral prospects of the democratic party.

What do you think? Comments?

The Obama Presidency was a Disaster for Establishment Democrats: 1

September 6, 2017 28 comments

One of the more peculiar fact about contemporary american politics is that approval numbers for the democratic party are still slightly worse than for Trump. Let me rephrase that.. one of the two main political parties in USA has lower approval ratings than a rich asshole turned reality star who has flipped on almost every single electoral promise he made to this supporters. To be fair, the other political party (aka the republicans) is not doing any better and we seem to living in a very partisan era. But that still does not help explain why the democratic party has not been able to capitalize on the insane levels of incompetence and corruption displayed by the Trump administration since it took office in late January 2017.

So, how can the main (and only) opposition party in USA not gain any extra public support at a time when the ruling party and its titular leader are busy screwing themselves in public? Why is widespread public disgust towards Trump and republicans not translating into increased support for the democratic party? Why are so many voters, especially those from non-white communities, just not that enthusiastic about the democratic party? And why is the only generally popular national level politician a 75-year-old Jewish guy from Vermont who joined the democratic party about two years ago?

I have explored some of the many interconnected reasons for this failure in a previous series of posts. The main points I made in that series were as follows: a] democratic party establishment has become too incestuous, sclerotic and generally resistant to any type of change. b] It is almost completely funded, controlled and run by neoliberal corporate interests who try to hide their economically regressive policies behind token identity politics. c] The party bureaucracy and primary system is almost completely dominated by a bunch of corrupt assholes and hyperpartisan idiots. Also, there is no accountability for repeated failures. d] The major financiers, supporters and top-level cadre of the democratic party is almost exclusively derived from the rich and professional class- two groups with little, if any, real connection to the rest of the population.

There are of course other related reasons for the shockingly low approval ratings of democrats. The desire of coastal elite within that party to push gun control has not helped its cause in non-coastal states. Similarly, ad nauseam repeating of the “russian interference in our elections” trope since Trump got elected in Nov 2016 has not helped their overall public credibility. The point I am trying to make the democratic party establishment has done an incredibly good job of sabotaging its own electoral prospects. It is almost as if they are intentionally and systematically trying to lose public relevance. Even their new crop of leaders are full of photogenic, insipid and obvious fakes such as Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and Joaquim Castro. I can go on about the many other structural reasons that the democratic party, in its current form, is doomed- but that is best left for future posts.

Instead I will focus of one of non-systematic reasons behind the failure of democrats as a party. I am certainly not the first to point out that Barack Obama’s two terms as president have seen a considerable diminution of the power of the democratic party on both the national and state level. His tenure as president has seen the democratic party lose control of the house, senate, over 1000 seats in state legislatures, multiple state governorships to the point where republican are the ruling party in almost 2/3rd of the states. The establishment democrat response to these massive electoral setbacks have mostly consisted of them saying that all those setbacks occurred happened because majority of the american electorate is irremediably racist. Of course, that does not explain how Obama got elected in 2008 and then re-elected in 2012.

I have a better theory to explain why the rise of Obama and his two terms as president have contributed to the ongoing collapse of the democratic party. My theory is largely based in how that rise shaped the democratic party- specifically its institutions and strategy. This is not to say that other factors such as increasing use of internet and social media by general public were without effect in that process. However, the more we look at all the facts over a longer time span, the more it becomes obvious that the rise of Obama and his style of politics was extremely damaging to the electoral prospects of the democratic party. But before we do that, we have to first understand Obama’s style of politics and its ideological underpinnings.

Barack Obama, for the lack of a better description, is a Reagan-era Republican. There.. I said it and you knew it too! The problem with his politics and its ideological underpinnings is that it is basically 1980-1990 era republican with a veneer of coolness and “inclusivity”. Also, since he is black, few people dare to say it aloud on any corporate mainstream media outlet- even Fox news. While he may not talk and act like a republican, almost every single policy decision (domestic and foreign) made by him is almost identical to what your average 1980s-1990s era republican would make. But don’t just believe my assertion without considering the evidence..

1] For a person who made his pre-political career as a “community organizer” in the black community of Chicago, it is remarkable how little Obama did to combat racism (overt or systemic) when he became president. As I pointed out in a previous post, it was smartphones with HD cameras and social media platforms which created public awareness about murders by police and other legalized atrocities against black people. Even the two biggest achievements of the Obama administration in that area (overview of some police departments and stopping police from getting military grade equipment) were insipid and in response to massive public outcry and demonstrations against murders by police and other flagrant violations of laws. To put it bluntly, Barack Obama did not care about black people.

We cannot also forget the harmful effect of deliberately rigged foreclosure assistance programs, created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, on the black community. While these banker-friendly programs hurt homeowners of many ethnicities, the black community was (as often is the case) disproportionately hurt by them. We can only imagine the effect that this had on the lives of many hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of black people who were the subject for sneaky and unfairly foreclosure on their homes. It is no wonder that HRC, running for the 3rd term of Obama, had such a lukewarm response among the younger members of the black community. Simply put, Obama’s two terms were quite disappointing for the black community and has affected their enthusiasm for the democratic party.

2] The supposedly most important legacy of the Obama administration, aka “Obamacare”, was a massive public disappointment. While it did provide some improvement over the previous patchwork of rules and laws, it has not been able to tackle the issue of rising costs or provide universal health coverage. We can spend hours discussing how Obama killed the ‘public option’ in Obamacare and basically rejected universal healthcare coverage for a frankenstein which appealed to all the corporate interest donating to his election and re-election campaigns. Obama’s greatest achievement, then, is pushing out a ‘healthcare’ program modeled on the beliefs of some conservative think tank from 1993. If you call that an achievement, well.. perhaps your standards are really low.

It also did not help that the rollout of “Obamacare” was an epic public relations disaster. While the law is popular enough for republicans to be unable to repeal it today, its appeal mainly lies in being not as shitty as the alternatives- which is a very low bar. The point I am trying to make is that “Obamacare” is a microcosm of what is unpopular with the Obama school of neoliberal policies and its ideological underpinnings. It contains, within it, an example of every problematic aspect of his policies- from supporting corporate oligopolies and monopolies over public interest, unnecessarily complicated regulations meant to confuse and rob its users, broken promises about something as important as health care coverage, “credentialed experts” and other assorted conmen (and conwomen) padding their already fat paychecks to neglecting public concerns about the system.

In the upcoming part of this series, I will talk about how the Obama administration policies of immigration and deportation dis not help democrats increase enthusiasm among Hispanics for their party. I will also talk about the enthusiastic promotion of various “free trade” agreements and other secret corporate backed “trade agreements” by Obama over his two terms hurt the democratic party.

What do you think? Comments?

Continued Inability of USA to Stop N.Korean Nuclear Missile Program

September 3, 2017 9 comments

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about the main reasons behind inability of USA to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile program. The main points made were as follows: a] The technology for nuclear weapons is pretty old and not especially complicated, regardless of what old white men with degrees from ivy league schools say; b] China had no interest in stopping North Korea’s nuclear program since the pros of that country possessing its own nukes outweighed the cons of that outcome; c] The North Korean regime was very pragmatic and their desire to posses nuclear weapons and missiles was about self-preservation than any future imperial ambitions.

Since then, I have written posts on developments in that area- from the self-delusions of USA being able to “hack” NK missile launches to the role played by racism and magical thinking in response of USA to North Korea nuclear and missile program. As all of you know by now- NK conducted their sixth, and to date most powerful, underground nuclear test yesterday. While we are still in the zone of incomplete, and often contradictory, information- its is reasonable to assume that yesterdays test, which registered as an earthquake of Richter 6.3 is at least 10 times more powerful than their previous test at Richter 5.2-5.3. In other words, the output of yesterday’s device was at least 150-200 kt.

You might also have seen a series of photos, released a few hours before that test, of Kim Jong-un inspecting a peanut shaped device which looks like the exterior of a thermonuclear device suitable for delivery by a missile. While many “credentialed western experts” are still trying to push the idea that device on display was not similar to the one detonated later that day, I think otherwise. Why should you believe “western experts” who have not been able to make correct, let alone accurate, predictions about the North Korean nuclear and missile program? In my opinion, it is reasonable to assume that NK possess multiple 100-300 kt ‘two-stage’ thermonuclear warheads as well as road-mobile ICBMs with a range sufficient to target large metropolitan areas on the west coast of USA, at the very least.

To put it another way, any attempt by USA to launch an attack (however limited) on North Korea is now as likely to end badly for people living in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco metro areas as it will for people living in Seoul and Tokyo metro areas. Of course, Trump and other american keyboard warriors can still attack North Korea and Kim Jong-un on Twitter by posting ‘spicy’ memes. The reality, however, is that North Korea has now exposed the hollowness of american bluffing about being able to attack it and ‘win’ any subsequent war. As it stands today, any serious war between the two sides will include many tens of millions of dead South Koreans, Japanese and Americans. Regardless of the outcome for North Korea, it is no longer possible for USA to ‘win’ a war against that country.

So will this new reality change the approach of USA in regards to North Korea? Well.. I am not sure that will happen any time soon. Here is why..

1] The vast majority of people occupying executive and administrative positions in the american government are racists who live in a make-believe world. They actually believe that they are an omnipotent and indispensable superpower, regardless of mountains of accumulating evidence to the contrary. It is very likely that they will find it hard to accept that North Korean nuclear warheads and ICBMs are real. Consequently, I expect the american administration to keep on acting as if all those nuclear and missile tests never occurred. We have seen other manifestations of this behavior in response to a number of severe setbacks such as the inevitability of defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the past- Vietnam. Maybe, they will never accept the new reality until a North Korean nuke goes off above one, or more, of their large cities.

2] As many, including myself, have repeatedly pointed out- ‘elites’ in USA retain their positions despite repeated and very public failures. Consequently, a host of amazingly stupid ideas and policies keep on getting implemented and promoted as gospel. In the case of North Korea, we have seen this manifested in the form of repeated and endless talk about “more sanctions”, repeated appeals to China and other assorted ritual behavior. I mean.. if something has not worked for many decades, what makes you think it will work now? But why do all the “serious people” and “credentialed experts” keep on repeating the same talking points? Well.. it comes down to lack of imagination and ideological conformity- with a big dash of racism. The elite in USA, you see, are incapable of imagining a situation where they have to accept the reality of North Korea being a full-fledged nuclear power and negotiating with as an equal nation state.

3] You might have noticed that North Korea has stomped on every single ‘red line’ drawn by successive american administrations. It does not take a genius to figure out that this has not escaped notice by rest of the world. The inability of USA to contain North Korea as well as its defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan merely confirm what many people outside USA have noticed for over a decade now- which is that the USA is somewhere in between an old champion boxer and paper tiger. The inability of USA to slow, let alone stop, the North Korean nuclear weapon and ICBM program makes it look sclerotic and impotent (which it kinda is) to the rest of the world. While this might not be a big problem for other large countries, it is a big one for the USA since a lot of american global influence is based on others believing all the hype, bullshit and lies about american ‘power’ and ‘capabilities’.

4] On another note, it is highly unlikely that China or Russia are going to help USA in containing the NKorean nuclear and ICBM programs. As far as China is concerned, the Nkorean program are a safe and inexpensive way to keep the USA off-balance in that region. It also allows them to constantly humiliate South Korea and Japan by showing their vulnerability to such weapons in spite of american assurances of protection. Furthermore, the Chinese government fully understands that USA will not keep its end of any bargain or deal made to stop the NKorean programs. As far as Russia is concerned, the NKorean programs provide yet another way to publicly humiliate the american establishment. As many of you know, the american ‘deep state’ is itching for a conflict with Russia and had provoked it on numerous occasions in recent past. As far as Russia is concerned, a nuclear ICBM armed NKorea is another tool to make american government look stupid and impotent. While both countries might make some polite noises about containing NKorea, you can be assured that they have no interest in helping the USA.

Will probably write more about this topic in the future..

What do you think? Comments?