Thursday, November 9, 2017

Trumpiversary Follies

Democrats swept the state houses of Virginia and New Jersey Tuesday while scoring dozens of victories in smaller races. This, according to mainstream liberal pundits, is both a slap in the face to Donald Trump and all the proof you'll ever need that the "monied burbs" that Barack Obama once owned have now returned to their pre-Trumpian state of sanity.

Self-congratulations are echoing throughout the Land of the Upper Ten Percent.

"Whoever said that identity politics is dead is brain-dead" they crow in unison. Now, they enthuse, let's get down to the hard work of wooing back the rest of the wealthy conservative turncoats to join us in common cause with all that the Democratic Party has to offer: transgender bathroom rights, ladders of opportunity, an ostentatious display of exotic diversity, and hatred of all things Russia and Donald Trump.

Oh, and forget about angry voters - especially non-credentialed angry white male voters. If you're mad as hell at anything except the permissible Donald Trump, you obviously are not college-educated and moderate enough for the New Democratic Party. As chronically overwrought New York Times columnist Charles Blow writes about his party's favorite deplorably nasty straw men:
We can’t warp liberalism into some sort of big-tent utopia where the lion can lie down with the lamb. We should stop trying to placate those who chafe at the very values that liberalism espouses. We don’t bend; we become a beacon.
We slough off this silly, racial romance dream of chasing chimerical, oppressed, forgotten, aggrieved, angry white men. Stop trying to convince us that their American dream is now a pipe dream. Stop trying to tell us that they alone should be the focus of our pity and the subject of our weeping.
 At this rate, Donald Trump might not even reach it to the Terrible Twos stage.  Only one year into his presidency, and still barely able to toddle and babble, he's already been sent to the Naughty Chair. Meanwhile, the hapless parental figures in the Democratic pundit class can't seem to make up their minds whether to brag, or to keep complaining about their defeat at the hands of a tantrum-throwing bully.

Katha Pollitt manages to outdo Charles Blow in the hand-wringing, hair-tearing follies department as she describes how her previously serene life has changed in the past year.
But the main difference is that I hate people now. Well, not all people, of course. Just people who voted for Trump. People who do their own “research” on the Internet and discover there that President Obama is a Muslim and Michelle Obama is a man. People who use the n-word and can’t even spell it right, because—have you noticed?—Trump supporters can’t spell. Well-off people who only care about lowering their taxes. People who said they couldn’t vote for Hillary because of her emails. Excuse me, sir or madam, can you explain to me what an email server even is? People who didn’t believe Trump would bring back coal or build the wall or Make America Great Again, but just wanted to blow things up. Congratulations! We are all living in the minefield you have made....
Actually, Trump voters are not the only people I hate. I also hate Jill Stein voters and Gary Johnson voters and Bernie deadenders with their ridiculous delegates math and people with consciences so delicate they could not bring themselves to pull the lever for Hillary so they didn’t vote at all. I hate everyone who thought there was no “real” difference between the candidates because Hillary was a neoliberal and a faux feminist and Trump was not so bad. I hate people who spent the whole election season bashing Hillary in books and articles and Facebook posts and tweets, and then painfully, reluctantly dragged themselves out to vote for her, as if their one little, last-minute ballot cancelled out all the discouraging and dissuading they’d spent six months inflicting on people. I especially hate everyone who thought that electing a reactionary monster would be okay because it would—or could, or might, who can tell?—bring on the revolution. Looking at you, Susan Sarandon and Slavoj Zizek! You are idiots and my heart seethes with wrath against you.
So much for "It's the Economic Inequality, Stupid!" as a "woke" Democratic rallying cry. It's all about the #Resistance of the affluent professional class against the Basket of Deplorables. It's all about keeping elite anti-democratic resentment alive as a substitute for social and economic justice for all. The New York Times gushed,
The American suburbs appear to be in revolt against President Trump after a muscular coalition of college-educated voters and racial and ethnic minorities dealt the Republican Party a thumping rejection on Tuesday and propelled a diverse class of Democrats into office.
From the tax-obsessed suburbs of New York City to high-tech neighborhoods outside Seattle to the sprawling, polyglot developments of Fairfax and Prince William County, Va., voters shunned Republicans up and down the ballot in off-year elections. Leaders in both parties said the elections were an unmistakable alarm bell for Republicans ahead of the 2018 campaign, when the party’s grip on the House of Representatives may hinge on the socially moderate, multiethnic communities near major cities....
 The Democrats’ gains signaled deep alienation from the Republican Party among the sort of upscale moderates who were once central to their coalition.
Democrats not only swept Virginia’s statewide races but neared a majority in the House of Delegates, a legislative chamber that was gerrymandered to make the Republican majority virtually unassailable. They seized county executive offices in Westchester and Nassau Counties, N.Y., and carried bellwether mayoral elections in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Manchester, N.H., all races that appeared to favor Republicans only months ago.
 The self-congratulators have somehow failed to notice that not all Democrats who won office this week are representative of the Monied Burbs. Many are actually of the socialist variety, or at least of the democratic-socialist variety. Not a few of the winning candidates were  even shunned by the same Democratic National Committee fundraising apparatus now patting itself on the back for winning back a handful of the hundreds of state seats lost to Republicans during the eight years of Obama.

In all, at least 15 Democratic Socialists were victorious nationwide on Election Day. This represents a 75 percent increase in seats won by members of Democratic Socialists of America in just the past year. One of them, Lee Carter, won his Virginia state legislative seat in the monied burb of Manassas. Something tells me he didn't run on a platform of tax breaks for the rich, with just a smidgen of trickle-down for transgendered residents and the requisite narrow number of minorities who've shown more than your average bootstrapping ability.

To the contrary: Carter was ignored by the centrist Democratic machine because he espouses Medicare for All and openly opposed construction of a gas  pipeline through residential neighborhoods which was supported by "moderate" state Democrats. In keeping with the party's red-baiting agenda, they trashed him as a "Stalinist."  Nevertheless, he beat the arch-conservative GOP incumbent by eight points.

The mainstream media is celebrating newly-elected Knoxville (Tennessee) City Council member Seema Singh Perez mainly on grounds of her gender and ethnic diversity while even the local newspaper skated past the equally important fact that she is a socialist.

Up in rural Cheektowaga, New York, where Trump yard signs dotted the landscape only a year ago, Democratic Socialist Brian Nowak won a seat on the Town Council. And in deep-red Pleasant Hill, Iowa, which is about as far away from the monied burbs as you can get,  Democratic Socialist Ross Grooters won his own municipal board seat. The list goes on and on.

There haven't been this many socialist victories in the United States since the Eugene Debs era. But you wouldn't know it from reading the wealth-serving New York Times and other mainstream outlets.

Neoliberalism will not go down without a fight. So stayed tuned as billions of dollars' worth of oligarch-funded political speech go soggily circling down the drain. Money still burbles in the burbs, of course, but not quite as loudly as the New York Times seems to think it does.


I almost forgot about this. Back on Monday, when polls showed that Virginia looked very dicey for the centrist gubernatorial candidate, and centrist Dems were in a frenzy of hand-wringing over the Donna Brazile revelations, the aforementioned Charles Blow attempted to somewhat distance himself from the party by writing that a little extra-party discourse might not be such a bad thing after all. Because whether from within or without the party, what's more important to desperate people than #RussiaGate and impeaching Trump? Certainly not economic and social justice for the bottom 90 percent. It's all about winning power and holding on to it at any cost.

He wrote, "Liberalism has leapt over the Democratic Party. Liberalism has its eye on a new beginning, while the mainstream party is stuck looking backward and bickering. The Resistance isn’t part of the old Democratic Party; The Resistance is the new Democratic Party, or at least its future."

Hmm... I guess he means the New New Democrats as distinguished from the Clintons' failed New Democrat coalition of "Third Way" neoliberals.

My published response: 
Wow, already a whole year since Trump "won" thanks to the miracle of the archaic Electoral College. Time has both flown by and oozed like rancid molasses. Every time I see his face on TV I feel like I'm watching a surreal pastiche of 1984 and Groundhog Day.

CNN broke into its coverage of the latest mass shooting Sunday in order to air his grotesque boilerplate jive from Japan. At two points. the transmission feed froze. The first image caught him in a snarling rictus, but with his words flowing on in distorted slow-mo. The second time, his mouth just gaped open with nothing coming out of it at all. Bingo!

And is it me, or do massacres seem to be occurring more frequently since Trump blustered his way into the highest office in the land? Before he came along, I like to think that people who leaned in that direction had at least partially internalized social taboos against acting out their violent fantasies. Now, not so much. Trump has made it safe to be a fascist again.

And this brings me to the Democrats. It's really getting kind of stale, blaming everything on RussiaRussiaRussia, especially because it was the $5 billion in free coverage gifted to Trump by the US media that made it impossible for anyone to avoid him. As Les Moonves chortled, "Trump may not be good for America, but he's damned good for CBS!"

And lighting a fire under the DNC's withered posterior may not feel good to the party elders, but it can and it must and it will be damned good for America.


Mad Max said...

I can only say to Katha Politt, "You hate on, Girl!!' I"m sure all of NYC is listening to you, even if the REST of the country has tuned your primal screams out. BFD.

Jungle screams won't do a damned bit of good, though.

Trump's still President for the next three years, and Hillary's a proven criminal. Which is why she never should have been elected President in the first place. Get used to it.


Anne said...

I'm surprised the Clintonistas haven't claimed the elections were a referendum on Hillary and SHE WON!

Mad Max said...


You know, of course, that Hillary is claiming that SHE won the Virginia--and probably--New Jersey elections:

Behold, the power of tweets!