Republican corruption: The ACLU of Georgia revealed that as recently as 2019 the state had purged nearly 200,000 citizens for moving from the addresses on their voter registration applications – none of whom had actually moved. Mitch McConnell quietly rammed through several more extreme right-wingers to lifetime federal judgeships — people who will oversee future elections. And in the topsy-turvy drama of Florida ex-felons, A federal appeals court ruled that they must pay all fines and legal fees before they can regain their right to vote. The fix – in the form of a revived poll tax – was back in.
But despite the massive evidence of GOP plans to steal the election, wrote Fairness and Accuracy in Media, the usual mainstream giants (New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, etc) were still very reluctant “to straightforwardly report the fact that Trump is trying to do so.” A rare exception is Greg Sargent, who writes, “Trump isn’t trying to win…He’s trying to get within cheating distance.”
The corruption of the Democrats (and a liberal writer): Bob Woodward is a very rich and influential man. He doesn’t need either the income or the fame that another book may bring him. His new one revealed that Trumpus knew about the consequences of the coronavirus in February and deliberately chose not to speak publicly about it. Liberals, of course, were shocked, but few seemed concerned that Woodward waited six months “…to be sure that Trump’s private comments…were accurate.” That decision most certainly contributed to the deaths of tens of thousands. We expect nothing less from Trumpus. But, wrote William Pitt:
By trading people’s lives for a larger payday, by waiting months to divulge vital information that could have forced a COVID course correction out of this administration, the man who helped take down Richard Nixon a half-century ago chose in this instance to afflict the afflicted and comfort the comfortable.
Well over a week after the news broke that Woodward had waited so long to release the audio, everyone’s favorite liberal, Stephen Colbert, had him on his show for a very lengthy interview. At that point, the only newsworthy question was “Why did you wait?” But Colbert, who works for CBS, never asked it. Instead, they wallowed in the usual stuff: Trumpus is bad. Shocking.
Yes, we hope for a Biden victory. But in terms of on-going narratives, the career bureaucrats, lobbyists, superdelegates and officials in safe districts who make up the inner circles of the DNC have created a win-win dynamic in their ongoing attempt to marginalize progressives, including significant efforts to keep Green Party candidates off the ballot in several states. (Nothing illegal here, just hardball politics – outside of the Democratic insistence on the evils of voter suppression).
Sanders supporters will receive no credit for helping a Biden victory and all the blame if he loses, writes Keaton Weiss:
If they win in November, they’ll be sure to cite their appeals to senior citizens and college-educated whites, two traditionally conservative constituencies, as their reason for victory. In this version of events, they will tout their strategy of reaching out to the “Biden Republicans,” as Rahm Emanuel gleefully termed them, and shunning the left flank of their party…
But here’s the true evil genius of their plan: if they lose, they’ll pretend that they couldn’t successfully distance themselves from Leftists in all of the ways they actually did…they’ll no doubt blame Black Lives Matter for scaring away the affluent suburbanites…They’ll say that progressives were too loudmouthed in their advocacy for Medicare for All and the Green New Deal…They’ll say that calls to defund the police alienated center-left city dwellers…They’ll say that Bernie Sanders’ and AOC’s rise to prominence made it impossible for Democrats to shake the socialist label…they will surely be able to scapegoat progressives and push them out of their coalition; and that’s their paramount goal. So even in this version of events, they still get the sundae (crushing the Left), just without the cherry on top (defeating Trump).
Liberal innocence: This is no reason to remain disengaged. Of course, Trumpus must be removed. But Liberals must also remove something – their innocence about the American empire and America’s good intentions in the world, and their colossal ignorance about how the military budget is the unspoken basis of all discussions about government funding priorities. Whenever you hear Biden ask, Yes, but how are we going to pay for it?, know that both he and his media questioner are colluding in a very deadly game, one that will likely destroy his chances for election.
The Military-Industrial Complex appears to be enjoying this food fight between two gangs within the ruling class. Caitlin Johnstone writes:
In a recent interview…Biden said that it’s likely that America’s bloated military budget will not only remain at its current size but may actually increase under his presidency… (He) has been consistently out-hawking Trump on foreign policy by attacking him for insufficient aggression toward Venezuela, China, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, and of course Russia…The Wall Street Journal’s Walter Russell Mead writes, “Democrats haven’t been this hawkish on Russia since the Kennedy administration.”
Indeed if wars are planned it seems entirely likely that they will happen regardless of what oligarchic puppet happens to be sitting in the Oval Office after January 20th, just like the escalations that were scheduled to begin against Russia under Hillary Clinton ended up getting rolled out anyway under Trump despite his vocal opposition to them…US presidents reliably campaign as doves and govern as hawks; Trump did it, Obama did it, even Bush did it…Still it’s hard to look at all the sabre rattling Biden and his team of ventriloquists have been doing on the campaign trail without getting the distinct impression that some major international escalations are being planned.
The stunningly incomprehensible decision to ignore Latinx Democrats: The headline “Donald Trump says Ted Cruz is on his list of potential second-term Supreme Court picks” (yes, that “Lyin’ Ted”) provoked guffaws among liberals, but they should have seen it as a warning.
In a related development, it was reported that the Democrats have been missing yet another big chance to increase turnout. Eleanor Eagan writes:
At U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a complete failure, or perhaps unwillingness, to adapt to changing conditions during the pandemic slowed new naturalizations such that hundreds of thousands who may have otherwise been able to vote this year will not be able to…For more than 70 days, it did not offer naturalization ceremonies or visa and asylum interviews…each day without naturalization ceremonies translated into “2,100 potential new voters” being disenfranchised…House Democrats’ response can only be described as muted…at no point was it clear that this was a top priority around which they were organizing a serious opposition effort.
And there have been plenty of other warnings:
By the way, I must continually remind you that when we factor in voter suppression and computer fraud (which, as usual, none of these writers are doing), if the polls say a race is “close,” it really won’t be. “Close” means Trumpus wins easily. There is no universe in which Biden can afford “close.”
This issue is such an absolute scandal of completely avoidable and apparently deliberate stupidity that in political terms, we can only make sense of it by reference to the win-win dynamic I just mentioned. In psychological terms, it slides right into “Boy psychology.”
Boy psychology: do either of these candidates really want to be President? Why, at age 79, does Biden still work his ass off to become President but not take his foot off the emergency brake? And was Trumpus just flat out daring Bob Woodward way back in February to out him as an unrepentant, serial liar with no vestige of human empathy and not even any concern for the implications of the pandemic and the economic depression on his own chances for re-election?
How do we resolve the obvious contradiction between the obvious Republican plans to steal the election and my speculations about Trumpus’ equally obvious desire to be caught and punished? In practical terms it hardly matters, but I insist that what may be true on one level of consciousness is often balanced by its opposite on a more unconscious level.
But also again, I have to say that in terms of practical results, there is no equivalence here. Regardless of his unconscious preferences, Trumpus doesn’t have to do anything to win. Biden must act. He must wholeheartedly embrace the Green New deal, the Latino voting block, and most especially, Medicare For All, or he – and we – will lose.