Have you had enough yet? Five questions about our future


I’ve gotten so jaded with all the unseemly revelations from our federal administration that I kind of ignored the latest horror story. Besides, everyone was saying it was based on “anonymous” tips, so his base was just going to call it “fake news” and ignore it. But now I learn the source was 45 himself, that he’d sat down and let himself be recorded on video saying it all.

Jesus. Did he learn nothing from Nixon? He outright gave an interview to Bob Woodward spilling the beans. There he is in February, declaring that he knew the coronavirus was going to be serious, that it was not just the flu, that it was going to kill a lot of people, and he didn’t act. That little video kills a lot of the excuses that people are using even now to minimize their response to the pandemic.

(It also makes me wonder about Bob Woodward’s ethics, since he sat on such serious information for 6 months while the disease ramped up.)

Now I have questions for everyone, though.

  1. On a scale of A to Z, where A is “do nothing, business as usual” and Z is “set their hair on fire, run around screeching, submit articles of impeachment every day, dispatch cops to arrest the motherfucker, and throw the whole damn corrupt family into jail to sort out the crimes”, what should the American people and the Democrats do?
    My answer is a fervent Z.
  2. On a scale of A to Z, what will the Democrat leadership do?
    My answer is A. Definitely A.
  3. The election is less than two months away. Do you think the asshole will get voted out of office?
    My answer is a tentative probably. I’d like to think we’ve had enough, but I also think the result will be closer than we’d like — the deplorables have been emboldened in this country — and it’s also clear that the Republican party is ready and willing to steal the election.
  4. What will you do if 45 gets re-elected?
    I can’t think about that possibility without feeling a deep despair. The United States of America would be dead. More death, more incompetence, more looting of the public, more racist discrimination, more inequality. I don’t know what I’d do. I’m getting old, and might just fold inward and resign myself to fading away in a dying state. I’d probably encourage my kids to emigrate, though — it’s not too late for them, personally.
  5. What will you do if 45 is defeated?
    In that case, there’s a feeble glow of hope, but it’s only going to grow if we fan it ferociously. I have no confidence that Biden will lead in a way that would produce the substantial structural change we need, so at that point we all have to work ten times harder to get the Democratic party off its lazy butt. We’ve got to get rid of the electoral college, overly influential lobbyists, and the deadwood of the party; we have to get a government that is sane about working for the people, rather than billionaires.
    Either outcome in the election ought to leave us terrified.

But look on the bright side: 45 has so thoroughly wrecked confidence in the country and killed so many people with neglect, ignorance, and corruption, that maybe your choices don’t matter at all anymore! Just sit back and enjoy your ride into history as part of the Fall of the American Republic! People of the future will be surprised at how quickly it all disintegrated, and we’ll be featured in many pseudo-historical romances and adventure stories and melodramas. Usually as the villain, of course, but the villains always get the tastiest roles.

Comments

  1. mathman85 says

    In answer to the questions listed above:

    1. Z.

    2. B. I don’t think they’ll do nothing, but I do think they’ll do nothing substantive.

    3. In the sense that he will definitely receive fewer votes than his opponent, yes. In the sense that he will receive fewer electoral votes than his opponent, who the fuck knows?

    4. Leave. To where, I’m not sure.

    5. Constantly pressure the nascent administration to promulgate and to implement policies that will actually do good for people who aren’t megadonors, and to prosecute every single person affiliated with the then-erstwhile maladministration to the fullest extent of the law.

  2. garnetstar says

    Trump also confessed to obstruction of justice to Lester Holt on live TV, and his son just tweeted out written evidence of their meeting to get dirt on Clinton with the Russians. So, why not confess to, well, almost mass murder, to Woodward?

    I just don’t know what I’d do if he “wins” (he won’t win the vote or the EC, but he might successfully cheat his way into them). I also would really have to think about leaving, but it’s so difficult.

    The democrats will take this up and add it to their hammering away at him in the campaign. Their only hope, at this point, is to try to win as bigly (!) as possible. There isn’t anything else they can do.

  3. kome says

    The saddest part is the cult of conservatism doesn’t care. Trump really could shoot someone on 5th avenue and his supporters would still love him. He could shoot one of THEM and they’d still love him. That’s how anti-globalization, racist/anti-Semitic cults operate. The dear charismatic leader can do no wrong. The Republican party has become so much like Al Qaeda or Aum Sinrikyo or the Nazi party that things are pretty fucking bleak in terms of getting people out after they’ve been in for so long.

    Z
    A.
    No, sadly. Biden does not excite centrists in swing states to vote for him. Compromise candidates never win in US presidential elections because they’re not motivating to the people in the middle. Progressives will fall in line, like they always do, out of fear, but the centrist part of the Democratic Party, the segment that croons on and on about “pragmatism” will not vote in 2020, just like they didn’t vote in 2016. But, it won’t matter because the progressives will still be blamed anyway because they’ve been cast as making the perfect the enemy of the good, despite merely calling attention to the fact that the DNC didn’t even put up minimally good when they have multiple good options on the table. So, the DNC is setting themselves up to lose with a built-in excuse for why they will that allows them to learn nothing from losing.
    Leave as soon as I finish off my doctoral studies.
    Leave as soon as I finish off my doctoral studies. Biden winning validates the strategy the DNC’s employed since adopting third-way neoliberalism and helping to usher in the conditions that gave us Trump in the first place. Biden winning gives the DNC more reason to ignore progressive policy ideals and shout down progressives, and I’m tired of being in such an abusive relationship with the DNC.

  4. blf says

    Quibble: What video? There is only audio, which is not surprising as the interview(s) with Mr Woodward were held over the ‘phone.

    (The following is an edited and reconstructed cross-post from Did You Notice? : There’s more than just the headline at Intransitive here at FtB…)

    On Mr Woodward’s “sitting” on hair furor’s comments, from the Grauniad’s current States pandemic & politics live blog (quoted in full):

    If you’ll excuse me a slight navel-gazing industry indulgence here, there will be plenty of journalists yesterday both envious of Bob Woodward for getting his scoop on tape, and also somewhat bewildered that he then sat on the information for months, watching how the president [sic] spoke in public about the coronavirus pandemic in a very different fashion.

    Media columnist Margaret Sullivan has addressed that in a piece for the Washington Post this morning. She writes:

    In fairness, it wasn’t just journalists raising concerns. A reader wrote to me arguing that Woodward’s revelation “could have been helpful in the spring, both explaining the seriousness of the disease to the public, showing the Trump administration’s bungled and inept response, and pushing the Trump administration to do more.” He added, with a touch of cynicism, that he hoped the author’s advance fee made the delay worthwhile.

    She’s spoken to Woodward about this, and his response was:

    First, he didn’t know what the source of Trump’s information was. It wasn’t until months later — in May — that Woodward learned it came from a high-level intelligence briefing. In February, what Trump told Woodward seemed hard to make sense of — back then, Woodward said, there was no panic over the virus; even toward the final days of that month, Anthony S Fauci was publicly assuring Americans there was no need to change their daily habits.

    Second, Woodward said, “the biggest problem I had, which is always a problem with Trump, is I didn’t know if it was true.”

    Read it here: Washington Post — Margaret Sullivan — Should Bob Woodward have reported Trump’s virus revelations sooner? Here’s how he defends his decision.

    Mr Woodward is one of the two journalists who investigated Watergate. During that investigation, he and Mr Bernstein (and their editor) had two imperatives: “Verify verify verify”, and “Follow the money”. As he points out, hair furor is not known for speaking truthfully, so without verification — at the time (February) a fair amount of what is now known was (informed) speculation — a premature release could easily be “spun” by the falsehood-prone hair furor dalekocrazy. There wouldn’t be anything concrete which with to counter the lying spin.

    None of that is to say Mr Woodward (and / or his publishers) handled the situation in the most ideal fashion. It has since become clear hair furor and his dalekocrazy are not only lying and delusional about the pandemic, but actively engaging in unhelpful counter-measures. An earlier (call it a “teaser”) release, of the by-then-verified claim, might have had an effect (other than increasing the interest in Mr Woodward’s book). […]

  5. garnetstar says

    As to the democrats doing nothing: there is nothing they can accomplish, with the republican senate and Barr obstructing. Nothing they attempt can succeed, and will be seen as useless noise and teeth-gnashing.

    And, they have a more important goal to accomplish: their first responsibility is to win the election. There is no other hope for the country. So, they must do, not what’s just by Trump, or even reasonable by him, but only what will help them win, even in the face of all the cheating that will be done. As I say, as bigly as possible, since that will minimize (nothing will actually prevent) violent uprisings by the armed Trumpies.

    Their next responsibility is to win the senate, so that there is even some chance of repairing the Trump damage. Without that, it’ll be very slow and uphill.

    Trump’s handling (if you can call it that) of the epidemic has been shown to be the single biggest factor in turning former Trump voters and democratic centrists against him. So, the democrats must pound this home, they must emphasize it in every swing state and even light red states. They must make it the most talked-of issue in every senate race.

    While one wants them to do Z, they cannot accomplish it, nor is it the most important thing to accomplish. Only by winning, and winning bigly, can they save this nation. So, they must turn this development to that end, and nothing else.

  6. tacitus says

    As a British expat who’s lived in the USA for over 25 years, the prospect of a Trump second term is the first time I have seriously considered returning to the UK permanently.

    The only problem with my escape plan is my place of refuge is likely to be Tory dominated, post hard/broken-deal Brexit Covid ravaged Britain.

    Still considerably better than this Trumpian dystopia, sadly.

  7. raven says

    People of the future will be surprised at how quickly it all disintegrated,…

    Maybe not.
    We know from first hand experience that superpowers can fall apart quite quickly.

    Remember the old USSR?
    The other superpower and our 70 year long Cold War adversary.
    I grew up during the duck and cover days of the 1950’s when the Soviet nuclear weapons could drop on us at any time.

    Then it all fell apart and fast.
    The captive satellite nations all made their escape from Soviet domination.
    The USSR itself broke up as the Soviet Republics went their own way.
    For a while, Russia was so broke and struggling that average lifespans dropped sharply.

  8. raven says

    3. The election is less than two months away. Do you think the asshole will get voted out of office?
    My answer is a tentative probably. I’d like to think we’ve had enough, but I also think the result will be closer than we’d like

    He might get reelected.
    Trump has a lot of rabid support and absolutely nothing has made a dent in it.
    It’s not that he could shoot someone on 5th avenue and no one would care.
    He’s already killed hundreds of thousands and his supporters just don’t care.
    The fact that he isn’t polling in the 20% range is a bad sign already.

    4. What will you do if 45 gets re-elected?

    What could an aging Boomer do?
    If a nation of 329 million people wants to commit suicide, I might just keep an eye on the chaos, and buy a lot more white wine.

  9. says

    If I were to leave the country, top of my list would be Canada, New Zealand, Iceland, and Norway. The problem is that none of those countries would want me, an American. I can’t blame them.

  10. says

    From mathman85:
    “2. B. I don’t think they’ll do nothing, but I do think they’ll do nothing substantive.”

    Exactly! The equivalent of a strongly worded email. “Nacy Pelosi expressed her disappointment at the President’s lack of transparency and failure to respond appropriately to the COVID-19 crisis. In other news….”

  11. Just an Organic Regular Expression says

    In regard to #4, “I’d probably encourage my kids to emigrate, though”, I would like to share the essence of what I learned when, after the 2016 election, I did serious research on the options for taking permanent residence in another country.

    Bottom line: if you are between 25 and 50 years old, and have a degree a/o professional work experience, you may be welcomed as a permanent resident in several very desirable nations. My choice would have been New Zealand, with the Irish Republic and the big urban centers of Australia second. All have lists of occupations that are welcomed: nurses, teachers, programmers, “come on down!” I highly recommend this course even in normal political times: I and my wife spent two years working in the UK when we were in that age range and it was a wonderful experience.

    However if you are approaching or over retirement age, or if you have no work experience on the country’s want-list, it is much, much harder to be a permanent resident in the EU or the Commonwealth. Basically you have to buy your way in, for example by investing a large amount (as in, $1M and up) in that country.

    The only bright spot for retirees is that some countries in Central America, for example Panama, actually welcome U.S. retirees. If you have adequate Spanish, this could be an option. A wild-card choice that turned up in my research was Uruguay. Read its wikipedia entry to see why.

  12. says

    I’m afraid part of the first question is unconstitutional. The prohibition on bills of attainder (Art. I, § 9, cl. 3) prevents “the Democrats” from taking action against “the whole damned corrupt family”; it would require, at minimum, the cooperation of the (allegedly) nonpartisan career employees at Justice to do so. And other common law too voluminous to discuss makes clear that both biblically and legally, the sins of the father shall not be visited upon the sons — that is, there has to be individual proof of wrongdoing, one cannot take action against “the whole damned corrupt family.” (Given its sexist basis, though, I think we’re free to visit those sins upon the daughters… I’ve got one in mind.)

    Which is not to say that they don’t deserve it. But they don’t deserve it more (or at least not that much more) than any other prominent American family that scrambled its way to the top through robber-barony, regardless of party. I lived in and near Chicago long enough to see that!

  13. Brian says

    and it’s also clear that the Republican party is ready and willing to steal the election.

    Ready, willing, and able. Given the potential consequences if they lose, I don’t see any earthly reason why they wouldn’t steal the election — even if they were going to win anyway. What’s stopping them? Not the Democrats, and certainly not their own ethical standards.

  14. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    1) Literally 244 years and possibly our lives are at stake.
    2) It depends more on what happens with the Senate than what happens with the Presidency. If progressives have a strong voice in the Senate, Biden will go with what he can get passed.
    3) Too close to call–basically, Biden has to be ahead >7 points nationally to have a high probability of winning (per Fivethirtyeight), and that doesn’t take into account voter suppression and other fuckery.
    4) If he gets back in, I’m gone. I cannot live in a country that would re-elect a shitstain on the Constitution.
    5) Dance deliriously and start preparing to make a pilgrimage to piss on his grave.

  15. fossboxer says

    #4 – Leave? I don’t have a PhD. I don’t have a ton of money. I’m a programmer by trade, but I’m old. I don’t think any other country would want me.

    This “I’m outta here, fuck the rest of youse” attitude that otherwise decent people have is just another form of American privilege. No different from the billionaire preppers smirking at the shit they’ve wrought as they set sail to their bunker cottages in New Zealand. Not everyone has the “quals” to emigrate — so I guess those folks can just suck it up as helpless baton/AR-15 fodder. Or, there’s always the “bottle of JD and a revolver” option.

  16. Marissa van Eck says

    I warned people it would come to this. I warned them in 2016 that Trump’s election was the end, that if he were elected the country is effectively over bar a decade or two of screaming, bleeding, and needless suffering, most of it borne as usual by poor people, PoC, and poor PoC. And now we’re here.

    On a scale of A to Z, where A is “do nothing, business as usual” and Z is “set their hair on fire, run around screeching, submit articles of impeachment every day, dispatch cops to arrest the motherfucker, and throw the whole damn corrupt family into jail to sort out the crimes”, what should the American people and the Democrats do?

    There’s no “feed the lot of them feet-first through a woodchipper on international TV” option, so let’s go with Z++.

    On a scale of A to Z, what will the Democrat leadership do?

    A–, i.e., “jack, squat, and jack diddly squat.” Most of the Democrat party is the GOP. The dynastic politicians, the Clintons and the Bidens and the Pelosis et. al, are basically Republicans who realize that Armageddon is bad for business and maybe don’t hate gay people quite so much. Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, and a few other anonymous centrists stand in sharp contrast to what are essentially Reaganites with a (D) at the end of their names.

    The Democrat party is embroiled in a quiet, hidden civil war. In a country with a parliamentary system, Sanders and company would not be in the same party as Biden. The DNC faction, which makes up most of the party and controls nearly all of it, has more in common with the GOP than with the Ocasio-Cortez wing. Mitt Romney is basically a Democrat by this definition, not because he’s moved toward the center but because the entire country has shifted the Overton Window so far to the right you can’t SEE the center from there.

    The election is less than two months away. Do you think the asshole will get voted out of office?

    No. I think he’ll lose the popular vote…eventually…after every single one is tracked down and counted. Or would, were it not for the massive ratfucking he and his buddies have pulled. It’s going to take months, and will likely go to the SCOTUS, where just as happened 20 years ago the partisan court will hand the GOP the presidency.

    What will you do if 45 gets re-elected?

    Leave. If at all possible, leave. I’ve moved to a place with a land border with Canada and am doing my level best to get hired at a hospital, which will give me some nice professional history and make it easier to be hired in Fort Erie, Hamilton, etc. I anticipate being here until about this time or October next year, and will start throwing applications cross-border in midsummer 2021.

    What will you do if 45 is defeated?

    Same as above. See, this country’s over; no nation can take this kind of damage and survive. If 45 loses, all it means is I may, may, have a little more time to get out before it collapses around my head.

    So many of my friends have suffered, disappeared, or died. Plenty of them did during the Obama administration. This country is dead, it’s been dying for ages, and I watched it take too many good and innocent people away from me, devouring them alive in its mouths of greed and hatred and selfishness. I’ve had enough. This place is a graveyard for too many people I cared about and I want out.

  17. consciousness razor says

    1) Probably somewhere in the range from J to Q. This scale is weird. Self-immolation is not on my list of recommendations. However, business as usual in this country is more like setting another person’s hair on fire, rather than not setting anyone’s hair on fire. Not a big fan of that either…. On my own scale from alpha to omega, I’d probably go with omicron or rho or something of that nature.

    2) F, for failure. However, they’ll suggest to some that it was A+ and others that it was W, while officially their stance will still be that learning the alphabet is bad for the party.

    3) The asshole will lose a particular swing state, which will cost them the election and give it to the asshole. In a dramatic turn of events, the asshole will contest the suspicious results, but before the clock runs out, the assholes will figure out something that works for them and for all assholekind.

    4) & 5) Business as usual, I guess.

  18. Akira MacKenzie says

    What do you mean there are no letters after “Z?”
    What do you mean there are no letters before “A?”
    I want to say “no,” but then I remember how stupid, greedy, and bigoted my fellow Americans are–especially in my lily white neighborhood festooned with Trump 2020 regalia–and then I despair.
    Since I can’t afford to emigrate, I’m currently debating between two options: I‘ll go the creepy loner route and move into a mountain-side tar-paper shack filled with guns, ammo, Jim Baker food buckets, and reams of paper to write unhinged manifestos, or I’ll just kill myself.
    Prepare for the coming hordes of angry right-wingers out to “take America back,” because I don’t believe these dangerous kooks to take defeat gracefully. Considering I live with a Trump cultist (my father), I’m going to have to watch my back and make my own meals for a while.

  19. numerobis says

    The people writing about the Roman Empire after it had locally fallen typically wrote nice things about it and wanted to claim to be its successor — for centuries.

    I suspect we’ll see that to some extent.

  20. mnb0 says

    “we all have to work ten times harder to get the Democratic party off its lazy butt”
    I sincerily wish you all the success that’s needed, but I’m pretty sure you’re deluding yourself. At the moment I’m not going to look up a source, but this is how American non-democracry works: if the majority of the American people want A and the 1% prefers B in the vast majority of case it’s going to be B. So a better strategy probably is to work 100 times harder to get corporate America off its lazy butt.

  21. raven says

    This place is a graveyard for too many people I cared about and I want out.

    I know the feeling.
    The GOP has cost me quite a lot.

    .1. Thanks to Bush II, two of my friends are dead, killed in Iraq.
    .2. Thanks to Trump, one of my old friends is now dead, killed by Covid-19 virus.
    Another close friend caught the virus in March.
    It’s now September, and she still isn’t OK.
    Likely to be some permanent damage here.

    And I spend every day, trying not to catch the virus myself.
    As a Boomer with some risk factors, it’s unlikely that I would just get it and get over it.

  22. anxionnat says

    Another Boomer (68) here, plus poor, only an MS degree, and lots of health problems. So, though I’d like to take the Z option if Orange Mussolini “wins” (or, rather, successfully steals) in November, my realistic alternatives are probably to die on the streets with, or without, my severely disabled brother. He’d probably last 48 hours without care; I’d maybe last a week. I sincerely doubt any other country would accept either of us. I also sincerely doubt we would be the only people who would end up like this. Sorry to be a downer.

  23. fossboxer says

    @27 – I’m not convinced this fantastical mass exodus of disenfranchised citizens to some Scandanavian paradise or Canada would be tolerated by the new fascist American government anyway.

  24. says

    • 1. About an “L”, I think. I’m not very good at picking my battles, so I have to restrain myself until I see an opportunity.
    • 2. “D” for “Dems”. The current Democratic leadership came to the fore when the Party was in the minority, and they are accustomed to being ineffective. But new blood stirs in the Party, in the Squad and other recently elected progressives, so I’m open to the possibility that something unexpected may happen.
    • 3. At this point I believe the Tangerine Nightmare will lose decisively.
    • 4. Provide support at anti-Trump demonstrations; learn first aid to treat the wounded.
    • 5. Push Biden to follow through on the best parts of his platform, and protest the worst parts.

  25. F.O. says

    Bush killed 1 000 000 of people, Americans on the left were threatening to emigrate…
    Have you forgotten already Katrina? “Hail to the thief”!?

    Then nothing happened and he has now been thoroughly rehabilitated.

    Why should it be any different with Trump?

  26. PaulBC says

    F.O.@30 I don’t think Bush has been rehabilitated. Even if he’s chummy with Michelle Obama, she gets some pushback. But I agree it is pretty disgusting that someone who did so much damage is covered in his dotage as an amateur oil painter.

    I also suspect that Trump will fare much worse because he violates “norms” and has really made a lot of enemies. Time will tell I suppose.

  27. says

    It is really hard to say, but at this moment I think no.
    There is an old saying, “the spear is a weapon of nobles that have poor guy on each end”.
    Today you have culture instead of spear, so liberal and conservative voters fight each other, while donor class buys politicians and fucks majority of americans over.
    You had 1 candidate who wanted to be president because he wanted to revert this, few who wanted to be president and were willing to pretend to want to help normal americans and yet boomers have chosen senile alleged rapists who was openly a big money lackey his entire career, promised Wall Street “nothing will fundamentally change” and “all this progresssive points in the platform is just to make warren people shut up” and who will defy M4A during pandemic and increase police funding during anti police riots.
    So you are stuck now with the guy who is extremely passive and his only hope is Trump will screw enough and at the same time they have nothing to offer working class to convince them to move their ass on the election day.
    Start learning chinese
    Send my children to learn chinese. American empire will crumble a bit slower, enough that I will not need chinese. But my children will.

  28. says

    …That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…

    But how does one translate something that idealistic into a practical plan? Fucked if I know.

  29. unclefrogy says

    I am too old to go any where or for any place to take in. I have noticed that refugees are not doing so well any where around the world I am not brown but I ain’t got much money so I ain’t going any where and I would bet that agent orange and the rethugs would find a way to not make SSA payments to retirees who are out of the country. I also think that in a very short time the USA will be broke and begin to default on debt it is what this guy does. He is not going to do anything effective to recover from the economic collapse that is happening pandemic or no. The powerful business class know this tax breaks and anti-regulations are all fine a good but they understand how the market works at least better the agent orange and the rethugs do they pay the bills and expect dillivery.
    The other thing in all this to take note of is in the midst of this pandemic with all the real restrictions and the real fears and precautions taken by the people there are still very large multiracial demonstrations all over the country. The people are stirring more then they have in years more then under shrub the painter. It does not look like they will just fade away after the election either and certainly not after a vaccine is found they also do not appear to be strictly a DNC loyal party type movement either.
    I am staying to watch to bare witness and contribute what I can this is where I was born and where the struggle is I am not going to be driven away!
    uncle frogy

  30. says

    Bush killed 1 000 000 of people, Americans on the left were threatening to emigrate…
    Have you forgotten already Katrina? “Hail to the thief”!?

    Then nothing happened and he has now been thoroughly rehabilitated.

    Am I wrong to remember that there was a significant uptick in American emigration under Bush? My google-fu is failing me.

  31. nomdeplume says

    What will you do if he wins? Well, I’d say you would be most welcome in Australia PZ, but we have our own fool of a leader, and a governing party that has been taking lessons from the Republicans, and a university and research system, once one of the best in the world, now ruined as a result of 25 years of attacks and defunding from the Right. Perhaps New Zealand?

  32. blf says

    @35, “Am I wrong to remember that there was a significant uptick in American emigration under Bush?”

    No idea. Emigration from the States is notoriously hard to measure. As just one example, no-one seems to have any idea how many USAlien non-military citizens live outside the States. Estimates seem to usually range from 3–9 million. (I am one of that quite modest number.) Very few hard numbers are known, at least publicly.

    I know there were reports of people saying they would leave if Bush ][ got (re-)elected — ditto Obama — but how many actually followed through is not known to me (nor my Generalisimo Google-fu). (For the record, I am not one of those, having lived outside the States for the entirety of both administrations.)

  33. PaulBC says

    Pros: I have financial means and a dual citizenship acquired just because I could. Cons: I like where I live and my kids will be starting college soon.

    I should probably be better prepared for the contingency that Trump holds onto power (including but not limited to “winning” the election). In reality, I am not taking it as seriously as I know I should.

  34. garnetstar says

    New Zealand is getting crowded, it’s everyone’s first choice.
    I think that Biden’s administration, should he get one and should the democrats get the senate, might be more progressive than Biden’s 50 years in corporate-centered politics would expect one to believe.

    The reason being, there is no way out of the utter chaos except by progressive policies. If Biden wants to pull it together and win (or have Kamala win) a second term, he’s got to achieve some success in stabilizing the country. The only way to do that, since things are so desperate, is something approaching Medicare for All, more unemployment and help for the economy, getting some of the 145 (or so?) bills that the house has passed that are now sitting on McConnell’s desk (including the John Lewis Voting Right Act) into law. Restoring and strengthening the EPA, passing DACA, getting all those prisoners out of our concentration camps.

    This would have to include reining in the power of the corporate overlords so that the vast majority of people, now without income, food, or housing, can regain some stability and working rights and dcent wages and work protections. Sweeping anti-corruption laws to close all the loopholes Trump and Barr have exploited, maybe even addressing campaign finance corruption (although, let’s not get too overboard here).

    Since Biden must address the current chaos in at least some successful way, and more socialistic policies are the only way, he might end up doing some of those. As a notorious schemer once said “Chaos is a ladder.”

  35. says

    Nowhere is more than slightly safer from the right wing menace. Nowhere. If the pandemic doesn’t get you, the mobs or the fires will. You might as well stay home and rant from the illusory safety of your bed covers.

  36. PaulBC says

    @40 Yeah, but staying in the SF Bay Area, which I love, I wonder if I’ll be in the crosshairs. So much of this place seems largely unaffected by Trump that I feel it’ll be the first to go once things really heat up. This is not like in 2004 where I was disgusted and might have wanted to leave “in protest” of George W. Bush. It’s more like, given what Trump has already gotten away with, if he’s still in office next February, people are going to start dropping out of helicopters. I would never leave in protest, but I might find myself leaving as a refugee.

    It’s true that ultimately there is nowhere to run, but I think some places are sleepier than others. Sadly, the sleepy parts of the US are more likely to support Donald Trump, so a sleepy place abroad sounds like the ticket.

  37. kwc20 says

    1. Z
    2. A, although I’m sure “stern warnings” will be issued by Nancy & Chuck.
    3. It’s 50-50 at this point. Recall that almost no one thought he would be elected in the first place. Bush started two wars with more deaths than COVID 19 (so far), and got back in fairly easily.
    4. Be happy to be Canadian, although we may have our own election this fall, with Erin the Tool standing a good chance of becoming PM.
    5. Prepare for the inevitable disappointment that will be a Democratic administration.

    It also makes me wonder about Bob Woodward’s ethics, since he sat on such serious information for 6 months while the disease ramped up.

    Well, can you blame him? He has a book to sell. Who has time for trivialities like ethics and pandemics?

    I cannot live in a country that would re-elect a shitstain on the Constitution.

    Why not? You’re currently living in a country that elected him, and his dumbassery was entirely predictable to anyone who was paying attention in the 1980s, never mind 2016.

  38. says

    @#6, garnetstar

    As to the democrats doing nothing: there is nothing they can accomplish, with the republican senate and Barr obstructing. Nothing they attempt can succeed, and will be seen as useless noise and teeth-gnashing.

    That’s only if you believe that the only people who really matter in the election are Republican voters, which has admittedly been the Democratic point of view for the last 3 decades. In reality, it would make a huge difference if the Democrats were visibly fighting, rather than just throwing up their hands. Non-voters outnumber the number of voters in either party, most non-voters lean left on the issues, and the most common reason given in polls by non-voters for not bothering to vote is that they don’t believe the parties actually want to do anything. So actually keeping up a sustained, a highly-public campaign of action would actually be likely to attract people to the polls, particularly with Trump having demonstrated how awful he is. But the only voters Democrats intend to attract, as in 2016, are people who already vote, but vote Republican.

    It would also do a lot of good to fire up the base. It takes a huge toll on the enthusiasm of the people who do the legwork for campaigns that their leadership is apparently moribund — and it shackles them when talking to prospective voters. “How would things be different if your party had been in charge?” is a lot harder to answer when your party visibly does nothing to oppose the Republicans. Particularly after the Obama years, when the party had a majority in Congress and did nothing but make excuses for why they weren’t introducing bills. (Oh, they need a supermajority in the Senate? Is that why the Republicans have been able to pass bill after bill after bill under Trump without one? Seriously, the supermajority excuse is a blatant lie, and anybody who spouts it at this point deserves to be kicked in the head, hard.)

    Centrists like to claim that they know how to win elections, but remember that for the last 40 years the only Democratic candidate to get into the White House with both a majority of the popular vote and the Electoral College — Barack Obama — ran on a platform of reform and action and progressive politics, and for the last 20 years every explicitly centrist candidate has lost. Centrists don’t understand a damned thing about what the public actually wants. Even with Donald Trump as the alternative, they managed to lose on a technicality because they ran the least-popular person in the party as opposition.

    @#31, PaulBC:

    Bush is de facto rehabilitated. Instead of pushing for punishment, the Democratic Party is now pushing him as a cuddly, smiling superior to Trump. Hell, we had Colin Powell, a man now best-known for telling a bunch of bold-faced lies to get a million people killed, speaking at the Democratic Convention. And that’s not surprising, because practically all of the leadership agreed with Bush on everything in practice — this is the second fucking time the party is running somebody who supported the Iraq war, the PATRIOT Act, the creation of DHS and ICE, and all the rest of the protofascist crap he pulled. You can’t seriously support Biden, with his history, and think that Bush was seriously harmful.

    The Democrats are no longer Republican Lite™, they are actual Republicans. The takeover which began with the formation of the Democratic Leadership Council is complete.

    @#39, garnetstar

    I think that Biden’s administration, should he get one and should the democrats get the senate, might be more progressive than Biden’s 50 years in corporate-centered politics would expect one to believe.
    The reason being, there is no way out of the utter chaos except by progressive policies. If Biden wants to pull it together and win (or have Kamala win) a second term, he’s got to achieve some success in stabilizing the country. The only way to do that, since things are so desperate, is something approaching Medicare for All, more unemployment and help for the economy, getting some of the 145 (or so?) bills that the house has passed that are now sitting on McConnell’s desk (including the John Lewis Voting Right Act) into law. Restoring and strengthening the EPA, passing DACA, getting all those prisoners out of our concentration camps.

    You are assuming that Biden is both interested in helping the people of the US, and that he is intelligent. Any honest assessment of his history will show that neither is true. Biden has always been both an imbecile and a servant of the 1%. He is going to go back to the plan which all “third-way” politicians have adopted: give the 1% almost everything they want, and throw a media blitz over a tiny handful of breadcrumbs tossed to everybody else. He has already announced that he wants to give the police more money, that he will veto single-payer if it gets through Congress, and that he thinks anarchists (who have been helping organize and support BLM protests) should be arrested for being anarchists. This is not somebody who is going to solve any problems at all — but I’m sure he will stay off of Twitter and be somewhat less tacky than Trump, so Democrats will get the only thing that apparently matters to them.

  39. logicalcat says

    No wonder the left cant get anywhere if this thread is any indication most of us are useless downers who cant muster up the courage or willpower to enact change. It feels like no one here actually wants a progressive party. Why is it that only the bad people are capable of transforming a political party to fit their wills and ideals?

    Whatever. Here’s my contribution here: From a scale of A to Z, what will leftists do?
    Answer: Fucking A.

    What should leftists do?
    Answer: Vote heavily and invest in the primaries and local elections and make it your mission to transform the democratic party. Oops I mean, Z. Definitely Z.

    @Kome

    The DNC didn’t put up anything. Biden won because people voted for him. That’s it. You are not exactly selling the point you were trying to make about progressives being unfairly blamed for 2016 when you twist facts and reality like that.

  40. logicalcat says

    @Kome

    Forgot to add, that in the last primary leftists literally made Warren out to be a backstabbing snake. Making the perfect the enemy of the good. And failure to consolidate the progressive vote cost us dearly. We had one ally and we burned that bridge. Sanders would have won or at the least would have been way more competitive. Leftists have a problem with self reflection. It happens when we think of ourselves as superior to the opposition and we fail to turn that critical eye on ourselves.

  41. Saad says

    I don’t see what the big deal is. Trump is only doing what the law, Congress, and the American people are allowing him to do.

  42. rpjohnston says

    I’ll say “Z” and leave it at that.
    C or D or so, which will be as effective as A. Need at least a Q or so to be at all meaningful
    If the vote hasn’t been fixed anyway I think there’ll be a good chance of him “losing”. scare quotes because he’ll go Jefferson Davis and move his capital to Mar a Lago and 100m will sing hail to the chief to him, so “losing” isn’t a thing that can happen except in the trivial game theory sense
    Look for whoever takes up George Washington’s mantle and ask them what a mostly able-bodied, early middle-aged male-presenting person can do to help, and if they offer training
    Look for whoever takes up Abraham Lincoln’s mantle (It sure as hell ain’t gonna be Biden) and do the same

  43. PaulBC says

    @46 Yes. And that’s the best argument for leaving even if Trump is somehow wrested from the White House next January.

  44. robert79 says

    Now, I luckily don’t live in the US anymore, so my voice doesn’t really count, but:

    1.) L
    – set their hair on fire : nope
    – run around screeching : nope
    – submit articles of impeachment every day : every week will work fine too
    – dispatch cops to arrest the motherfucker : problem, I’d first throw all the cops in jail
    – throw the whole damn corrupt family into jail to sort out the crimes : sure
    2.) B (nothing, except for some yelling)
    3.) I think it’s about 50/50, but it won’t matter. He’ll either steal the election, or contest the vote if he loses.
    4.) I suspect the rest of the world will all realise that dealing with the US is fruitless, and welcome their new Chinese overlords. The US will become isolated, and eventually devolve into a Mad Max type of wasteland.
    5.) Cheer. Then hunker down for the impending civil war. Best case outcome is probably if the US splits up into North East, West Coast, and Nutcasistan. Hopefully the sane people end up with the nukes.

  45. wzrd1 says

    A couple apparently have announced that they get their news from a Russian search engine, which of course isn’t exactly a fount of good information. But, they’re so down the rabbit hole that they stated outright, should Biden win, they’ll either try to leave the country or, if that fails, put themselves and their children inside of the car in a sealed garage and start the engine.
    Hopefully, someone recognizes who they are and notifies the authorities, before they harm their children.

  46. wzrd1 says

    Found their child protective services contact, sent an e-mail to the director of the threat against the lives of minor children.

  47. jakestakwako says

    I realize it’s two weeks past this blog post, but that two weeks has piled the Rump’s bullshit four feet deeper.I have really been struggling with the possibility of a Rump steal. My wife and I both are on disability (scraps, thanks GOP!) and, thus, pretty much trapped here. If Biden wins, the insanity may eventually stop, but I do expect Rump supporters (the Diaper Booooys). to start a shooting war on libs and minorities. Frankly, I expect the same if Rump wins.

    As for what the dems are going to do, I expect very little at this point unless McCornhole and other Nazis lose “bigly”. They will remain neutered.

    As for what we’re gonna do? We’re not in shape to go join the revolution, but if the RedHat Nazis bring it our way, they’re gonna lose a few “morans” before they kill us. Sad we have to think that way. If Rump wins, suicide is probably the best option for us. We’ve already been sick from ‘Rona for over 6 months, it’s aged us both 25 years. A life under Nazi States of Amerikkka isn’t worth continuing.

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