Monday, November 21, 2022

Hot Planet, Warmed-Over Trump

The post-midterms punditry about Donald Trump falls into two basic categories:

1) Trump is finished. He has no more friends, no more Rupert Murdoch media empire. no more megadonors. Plus, his presidential announcement sounded weak and whiney.

2) Trump is still so all-powerful that he will effectively run the House of Representatives.

And even if you put your full faith and credit in Door #1, there's still a chance to both have your Trump-fear and eat it too. That is because monsters are at their most vicious when they are weak and when they are cornered. 

As I wrote in a (rejected) New York Times comment on Maureen Dowd's latest Sunday column detailing the latest act in this deliberately drawn-out psychodrama (the naming of a Very Special Prosecutor):

 It's so much easier for the media to alternately ridicule Trump as a powerless weakling in one breath and still swear that he is the satanic destroyer of democracy in the next. Maybe he wouldn't have gotten those 70 million votes in 2016 had not the for-profit cable channels and news outlets forced him down our throats 24/7.

And the media mavens are still at it. You just can't quit him, for the basic reason that continuing to talk about him absolves you from the responsibility of examining the conditions that elected him in the first place. They include, but are not limited to, the mass offshoring of jobs to low-wage countries, the endless military adventures abroad while austerity was imposed at home, and the corporate capture of both legacy parties and their media partners, thus making the US a de facto oligarchy. Those 70 million votes are at least in part a giant middle finger to the ruling class, or as they are also referred to, "The Blob." And here I was, so looking forward to an ode to her good pal Nancy Pelosi from our esteemed columnist. Let me quote comic Michelle Wolf in this regard: "You guys are obsessed with Trump. Did you used to date him? You act like you hate him, but I think you really love him. You helped create this monster, and now you’re profiting off of him.”

Speaking of Nancy Pelosi, does anyone really believe that she won't still be pulling most if not all the strings of the House minority? The first possible clue might be her scoring some luxe physical office space as befits the status of Queen Emeritus. Even though no longer second in line to the presidential throne come January, this tenacious faux-feminist will cling to her power and prestige, or what she herself euphemizes as "influence" as a supposedly humble rank-and-filer still privy to the inside-trading dope that made her so wealthy. At the very least she will be a regular star on all the Sunday talk shows, the venue where official policies and discourse are set and finessed by "guests" who never disclose the corporations and weapons dealers that are financing them. Why would they? They are elites talking to other elites. The audience, such as it is, be damned. 

In other news that might sound good on the surface, the US hegemon was so chagrined at beating both Russia and China in the Colossal Fossil contest for worst polluter in the world that it has reversed course at the UN COP27 summit, and agreed in principle to join a global fund to compensate the developing countries which have borne the brunt of US-based pollution. And here we were being told that Trump was the only reason that America had lost its alleged superior standing in the world! Of course, the agreement is purely aspirational, not to mention being a very thinly-disguised propaganda gimmick. 

The loss and damage agreement hammered out in this Red Sea resort town makes clear that payments are not to be seen as an admission of liability. The deal calls for a committee with representatives from 24 countries to work over the next year to figure out exactly what form the fund should take, which mcountries and financial institutions should contribute, and where the money should go. Many of the other details are still to be determined.

It's hard enough for the pundits champing at the bit for a Biden-Trump rematch in 2024 to gloss over Uncle Joe's own journey in fossil-hood, having now completed 80 years on earth. For despite being very unpopular, Biden did eke out one win and one near-win in the mid-terms. A fossil doing battle against a whimpering zombie with a combover is just the theatrical trick to keep the proles distracted from boring existential stuff like the climate catastrophe.  The debate will once again pit a climate believer against a climate denier, with ideology substituting for any solutions that might put a damper on predatory capitalism.

The world drowns and burns, and meanwhile all that these alleged COP27 experts can come up with is choosing a committee to study the problem. Therefore you are directed to aim all your angst at the 2024 horserace. 

 They hope we won't notice when Exxon-Mobil, Duke Energy and other Colossal Fossils are named to the UN Climate Study committee in the interest of balance and fairness. These, and not the victims of pollution themselves, are grotesquely still considered to be valuable "stakeholders" whose money-fueled emissions deserve to be heard and respected even as people choke on them.

At the end of the day and at the end of the world, they are the only ones who really matter in this de facto oligarchy we live in. Why else would Joe Biden insanely grant blanket immunity to the Saudi oil despot who ordered the grisly murder of a US journalist?  



Mark Thomason said...

The Boogeyman is too useful to Democrats. He allows them to avoid offering real solutions to real problems, and allows them to go Republican-Lite in service of donors and The Blob instead.

He won't be seen to have gone away as long as his enemies can use him. Even if he died, MAGA would continue to be the same target.

Anonymous said...

I think that photo says it all. Ugh-ly!

Thank you for another well written description of the ugly mess we face and how "corporations rule the world". Nothing will change for the better until public pressure forces it. I'm ready to march for social security, medicare (and other social safety net programs) while my legs are still functional.

Anonymous said...

I have a policy of not opening ANY articles about Trump, his kids or his supporters.

It's just my way of fighting back against the very real "forcing him down our throats" for profit (and that goes for the so-called non-profits as well).

Now and then I take a quick count, for instance of the number of Trump-related stories on the homepage. Typically of 60 or so headlines, 27 to 38 are about Trump. This site claims to be "Progressive. Raw Story is an investigative news website focused on the issues that matter and bringing under-reported news to light."

However, like way too many of the "left press" sites, they are obsessed with the ongoing outrages of the rightists. This is not coverage of the peoples' struggles, therefore I do not consider them to be left or progressive. They are using the same market building playbook as the mainstream press and it betrays their self-serving approach.

A good source of grass roots organizing and struggle that I have discovered recently in searching for alternatives to the Trump/right wingnut coverage is the militant journalism section of Liberation News
It's a refreshing acknowledgement that the real news is gathered on the sidewalk.

Erik Roth said...

"Ralph Nader explains why Democrats lost the House —
After losing the House to Republicans, Democrats have no one to blame but themselves for the two years of gridlock ahead."

November 25, 2022 ~ by Chris Hedges

"The midterm elections are over, and two more years of Congressional gridlock are likely in store. Republicans have taken a narrow majority in the House, while Democrats have held the Senate. What do we make of the current political landscape, where rhetoric runs so hot but so little gets done? And what can we expect from the 2024 presidential elections? Ralph Nader joins The Chris Hedges Report for a postmortem on the 2022 midterm elections, and to discuss how the people can retake Congress from corporate influence."

VLT said...

Nancy Pelosi is really just a comic book character. I detest her and Biden in the same way I detest the lunatic Trump. There really is no Lesser of Two Evils between Trump and Biden. Like the entire Western World, we are leaderless in the U.S. with Republicans openly selling out the working and middle classes and the Democrats selling them out under the table while claiming to have their interests at heart.

Karen, it is a crime the NYT rejects any of your reader comments, and I mean that sincerely. Take heart in knowing - as we do - that it isn't the quality of your words but the fact that they don't match the propaganda narrative put out by the Left's biggest mouthpiece.