Despair


We had another mass shooting in a school in Michigan. It was carried out with premeditation by a dumb kid with gun nut parents; he got his gun from his father. This keeps happening, again and again.

There isn’t a plan by politicians to change our gun laws. This one isn’t even on the radar.

Meanwhile, the Republicans have learned an important lesson from the last election: cheat more. They’re gerrymandering districts aggressively. In Wisconsin, for instance, they’re working hard to finagle the next vote in advance to lock them into guaranteed victories.

All is quiet in the Democratic party while they watch themselves get maneuvered into extinction. Some Democrats are just trying to gerrymander their own districts.

Meanwhile, our disgraced ex-president, the criminal and con man, is getting ready to run for the presidency in 2024. The coup isn’t over, it’s just getting started.

Hey, why isn’t the traitor who fomented an insurrection at least indicted, if not held in jail? I don’t know. There’s a strange lack of urgency or concern in the halls of power.

Meanwhile, the Republican plan to pack the courts is paying off. The Supreme Court was stuffed with right wing ideologues by the aforementioned criminal president, and now they’re poised to overthrow Roe v. Wade. Remember when there were all those hearings to review their appointment to the court, and they were all asked if they were planning to tear down a woman’s right to choose, and they all said “No sir, I’d never do that”? They lied.

The court shouldn’t have even heard that Mississippi case; that they did tells us all we need to know about their intent. What are the Democrats going to do? Nothing. The senate rules are stacked against them, but they’ll do nothing to change those rules.

This is all an awful, terrible trend, a slow-motion destruction of the country engineered by conservatives backed by billionaires. It’s being carried out in the absence of any significant, principled opposition by the other party. It’s the Senate Democrats who filled me with the most despair, though, with this insipid tweet:

Yeah? We did. What did you accomplish? Why should we vote for you again when you do so little?

There’s a point where being slightly less toxic than the other party is not good enough, and the Democrats seem to be happy enough to ride that line.

Comments

  1. Allison says

    I’m imagining a Black person or a Native American saying, with some sense of Schadenfreude:

       Welcome to my world.

  2. Akira MacKenzie says

    Liberals suffer from a terminal disease called “naivety.” They assume that once some milestone of progress is reached, that’s it, the matter is done and settle, They imagine whatever change they’ve achieved is all part of that cosmically mandated “arc of history” bullshit MLK was rambling about and assume that it will be permanent. They can’t seem capable of imaging for a second that the reactionary forces that opposed them will want to drag it all back. They wallow in the belief that human beings are inherently good and rational and want what is best for each other rather than accept what are species is: A bunch of filthy, greedy, bigoted, superstitious apes who can’t be trust to wipe their own assholes after taking a shit, much less create a just and compassionate society. They don’t realize that the universe isn’t capable of caring give a damn about human rights and human suffering, and that the “better world” is not some inevitability.

    You want a better world? You must literally fight for it and you must be constantly ready to fight to keep it. I’m not talking about waving signs in the streets or electoralism. Those don’t impress the right and as we’ve seen on Jan 6, while Democrats wring their hands while muttering “the end never justifies the means, the right is more than willing to use whatever means to accomplish their ends.

    That’s why the right is winning. A Democrat wins an election, the Republicans respond with an armed riot and nearly topple the government. A Republican governor takes away the right to abortion, the liberals write a strongly worded letter as women are reduced to sexual chattle.

  3. says

    Quite depressing. The problem is the conservative minority is well organized and fanatical while the left is fragmented and apathetic. Until a specific issue actually impacts them (conservatives) they won’t change their mind.

  4. tmartin says

    Spot on. Joe Biden’s ONLY enduring legacy will be as the last democratically elected president.

  5. says

    We didn’t elect enough Democratic senators. There’s a huge difference between 51-49 and 50-50.

    What exactly is Schumer suppose to do when Manchin can bolt and utterly kneecap everything?

    I’m seriously asking. How would you solve the Manchin problem?

  6. says

    Kneecap him first. Why does Manchin have any committee memberships left? Why isn’t he being told there will be no campaign funds or endorsements coming from Democrats?

  7. says

    @Professor Myers

    If you pull committee assignments at 9am, Manchin is caucusing with the GOP at 10am and McConnell is back in charge; Manchin is back on committees at 11am.

    You could probably get away with telling him that funds are going to more competitive seats through…Schumer should be doing that.

  8. KG says

    PZM@7,
    In that case, what’s to stop Manchin simply going over to the Republicans? I assume he hasn’t done that because he has more power and can grift better in his current position, but if that changed, why wouldn’t he?

  9. TGAP Dad says

    I find it unfortunate, and a wee bit misinformed, that you segue from a mass shooting in Michigan to Rethuglican’s response of gerrymandering. Michiganders, which include me, passed two constitutional amendments in the 2018 midterms which, among other things, handed redistricting off to an independent citizens’ redistricting board (see the documentary Slay the Dragon!). it also enshrined automatic voter registration, no-excuse absentee voting, same-day registration, etc. Michigan does have its insanity caucus (remember the original militia organization, in the early 90s, was known as the “Michigan militia”), but we, as a state are making progress.

  10. says

    It was depressing to watch people trying to convince themselves that Biden was a progressive, and that Merrick Garland was going to clean house and bail the water out of the ship. What’s really annoying is that the country’s new rulers will probably still bother with the election every 4 years rigamarole, and we’ll have the endless begging for money from the democrat (‘official opposition party’)

    I used to think that after the last election the republicans would go “all in” on the cheating and gerrymandering but I finally realized that they always have been and I had just bought into the lie. You can endlessly manipulate your enemy as long as they still have hope and you control their apparent way out. I don’t think there was ever any hope. Well, climate change.

  11. AussieMike says

    Watching from Australia. This just seems like every other country that descends into failure or authoritarian control. It’s not just the Republicans will to control, or the Democrats lack of will to push back. I’m sorry to say, and maybe I’m wrong, but from an external viewpoint none of you are doing anything. Nothing. Writing about it is fine. Blogging and YouTubing and Twittering is fine. But articles or soap box speeches never really changed anything. Isn’t this how things lead to the final end from past experience. Everyone wants to talk about it, to try political or diplomatic solutions and this keeps happening and one day Hitler is in power and you’re all fucked. You’re trying a rational approach with people who are not rational. You are fighting against people with deep psychological narcissism and sociopathic patterns. Policy is just the front of choice that THEY set and you fight them on policy so they determine the battle ground for you. You can’t ever reason with them. And if the institutional systems can’t remove them then they need to be removed another way. If you don’t, they will destroy the country. Then the only thing left is to flight violently (civil war) because the ones who end up with total control leave you no choice. Power satiates them, not policy debates. Every time I see Trumps face I want to puke. Same for Rand and any of the usual suspects in the Republican party. Yet there they are controlling the talking points and taking you deeper into collapse. It’s not the Democrats (party) who are failing, it’s all of you. They way things seem to pan out historically is if you don’t rise up now and kick the fuckers all the way to proverbial hell, they WILL WIN and you’ll be starting from nothing. Is waiting for it all to be totally fucked so a violent rising up is now a ‘just’ response’ like WWII was supposed to be a ‘just’ war the best response. It makes everyone feel better to wait until the failure is complete so then the uprising sits more comfortable with the repressed citizens. The inertia to do unspeakable things takes time I guess. At least that’s what happens everywhere else and in your own Civil War as well. It always gets left too late. People will die (and are dying) before anyone is willing to fight and die to set things right. If you believe the things written here and in other places are real and failure is coming, another blog post or whatever isn’t doing anything. Maybe it’s just time to fight.

  12. says

    Is waiting for it all to be totally fucked so a violent rising up is now a ‘just’ response’ like WWII was supposed to be a ‘just’ war the best response.

    Its going to come down to which side the military chooses. The military chose correctly on Jan 6, but the rank and file weren’t asked. US military is so powerful but insurgency is not what it’s made for – it’ll decide rather than fragment.

  13. says

    Is waiting for it all to be totally fucked so a violent rising up is now a ‘just’ response’ like WWII was supposed to be a ‘just’ war the best response.

    Its going to come down to which side the military chooses. The military chose correctly on Jan 6, but the rank and file weren’t asked. US military is so powerful but insurgency is not what it’s made for – it’ll decide rather than fragment.

  14. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 14

    I’m sorry to say, and maybe I’m wrong, but from an external viewpoint none of you are doing anything. Nothing. Writing about it is fine. Blogging and YouTubing and Twittering is fine. But articles or soap box speeches never really changed anything.

    That’s the trouble. Liberalism has created this myth (lookin’ at YOU, Aaron Sorkin) that conflict and physical violence is not just morally unjustifiable but unnecessary. All the defenders of democracy need to do is present the facts in a clear conscious way or come back with a snappy retort to put the fascists and theocrats in their place. That thinking breeds complacency.

    In fact, if I were a authoritarian, it’s precisely the sort of ethos I’d want to my enemies to embrace. It’d make crushing civilization so much easier when your opponents of hamstrung with morals that you don’t adhere to.

  15. James Fehlinger says

    Liberalism has created this myth (lookin’ at YOU, Aaron Sorkin) that
    conflict and physical violence is not just morally unjustifiable but unnecessary.
    All the defenders of democracy need to do is present the facts in a
    clear conscious way or come back with a snappy retort to put the fascists
    and theocrats in their place. That thinking breeds complacency.

    http://yanko.lib.ru/books/cinema/ScreenplayManhattanbyWoodyAllen_sl.htm
    ++++
    IKE: Ha-has anybody read that the Nazis are gonna march in New Jersey, you know?
    (Helen and Polly shake their heads no)
    I read this in the newspaper. (Waving his fist) We should go down there,
    get some guys together, you know, get some bricks and baseball bats
    and really explain things to ’em.

    JERRY: There was this devastating satirical piece on that on the Op-Ed page
    of the Times . It was devastating.

    IKE: W-e-e-ell, a satirical piece in the Times is one thing,
    but bricks and baseball bats really gets right to the point down there.

    HELEN: (Overlapping) Oh, but really biting satire is always better
    than physical force.

    IKE: But true physical force is always better with Nazis, uh … because
    it’s hard to satirize a guy with, uh, shiny boots on.
    ++++

  16. Dennis K says

    Look at us, making history. The death throes of the United States. With a trickle-down effect to be felt round the world. Practice your redneck drawl, y’all, and git yerself a gun.

    The times they are a-changin’.

  17. iiandyiiii says

    Manchin literally has all the power. The other 49 Senators could agree on everything, and Manchin could still shut it all down. Pull his committees? Then Manchin turns Republican, and McConnell is in charge. That’s the way our system is. Manchin sucks, but he’s still better than any other possible WV Senator.

    The problem is not the Democrats. The problem is two-fold — the system and the voters. The system means that small states like WV, WY, etc., have inordinate power far beyond their populations, in the Senate and the EC. And nearly half the voters want Trump and Trump-style government, which can be enough to win elections in this shitty system.

    The only thing the Democrats can do is to try and encourage more Democratic voters to vote. I’m kind of sick of blaming the Democrats in office — they’re literally doing all they possibly can with the power they have legislatively. Pelosi works miracles with the limited power she has. The problem is the American system and us (the American people). This is what we get with this system, and this group of voters. Hopefully this will change in the future, but I’m not terribly optimistic.

  18. rrutis1 says

    @2
    I think naivety is a bit strong. It seems more like liberals are exhausted…the fight rages for years, a law is changed, things are better for a blip in time. Then the powers that be throw all the money in the world at subverting the new change and the fight starts again except now it is on many fronts for each of the original fights. It’s infuriating and it fires me/us up but you can only maintain that anger, righteous or not, for so long before your worn out.

  19. bcw bcw says

    One tragic thing is that after the civil war the Dakotas were seeking Statehood and the Lincoln Republicans settled on making a region with almost no population into 3 states to provide an anti-slavery bulwark against the South as traitor states were readmitted. Now, having given that area disproportionate power may destroy our democracy.

  20. drew says

    Don’t blame the playa; blame the game. Frankly, the fact that Democrats tend not to Gerrymander means they don’t want to get more Dems elected.

    Gerrymandering is not cheating. It’s playing by the rules. And winning. To make it more fair, change the rules.

  21. =8)-DX says

    There’s a point to be made that sometimes you have to move past rhetoric to violence. But I don’t see how you can look at the US and say the information game is unimportant. All the fascists, the totalitarian states of the 20th C were built on broad public propaganda (backed by violence) and fought/dismantled using both.

    A blogpost or a tweet won’t change the world, but to get action, you need information and organisation. The antivax / anticovid science movement today for example are something with direct material consequences caused by rightwing political propaganda, but also horribly lax social media disinformation networks. YouTubers pivotting to antivax for clicks and donations, facebook being utterly irresponsible for gains, that was action through information.

    You can talk about direct action, violent responses to injustice, but something like a general strike needs to be very deliberately organised for YEARs, past that just getting people on the same page is crucial.
    =8)-DX

  22. beholder says

    @6 Mike Smith

    We didn’t elect enough Democratic senators. There’s a huge difference between 51-49 and 50-50.

    What exactly is Schumer suppose to do when Manchin can bolt and utterly kneecap everything?

    I’m seriously asking. How would you solve the Manchin problem?

    Manchin is playing a role laid out for him by the party. If it weren’t him, at least twelve other Democratic senators would represent the wealthy elite and obstruct any progress in his place. What’s the point of electing more Manchins?

    @20 iiandyiiii

    The problem is not the Democrats. … I’m kind of sick of blaming the Democrats in office

    Democrats are doing exactly what they want to be doing while in power. You seem to be fine with that, but you should look in the mirror and ask yourself why your party cannot make any popular appeal to voters. Democrats are going to get shredded in ’22 and ’24 because of their anti-populism, and they’ll blame everyone except themselves.

  23. idontknowwhyibother says

    Those calling for violent action against today’s neo-Nazis should remember how well that worked out against the original Nazis in the 1920s and 1930s.

    Perhaps more importantly, think about how the justice system works. I recently read a review of the Dutch edition of “Vom Frühling und von der Einsamkeit: Reportagen aus den Gerichten” by Gabriele Tergit, that discusses how the Weimar courts worked to find any reason to punish the left while leaving the right a free hand, as conservative judges viewed the Nazis as allies in their fight against the left.

  24. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 26

    I’m sure the Republicans appreciate your capitulation commitment to non-violence.

    Fucking quisling.

  25. unclefrogy says

    Democrats are doing exactly what they want to be doing while in power.

    what power are you referring to? The parity in the senate is not the power to do very much unilaterally. The white house can not force anything on anybody.
    face it it is the state of the country that nothing is getting done because of the way the electorate is divided and persuaded.
    Sure thew public has been systematically and relentlessly lied to for years and years, manipulated and cheated and misdirected until they just can not see the lie any more if they ever could. Most people just want to ear regular sleep indoors and have a little fun. They do not want all the hassle and work of following all the policy debates nor the implications of the actions of the politicians . That is how we end up in this situation and why we never get very far from the brink of disasters of one kind or another.
    keep in mind that the electorate has changed and will continue to change it is not the same when Barry Goldwater ran nor when Clinton won either. I wish I knew what will happen but I do not know. The coming midterm election may make things clearer I hope so
    I don’t sleep all that well these days and would like to have things return to some kind of benign stability but that does not look likely neither short term nor long term.

  26. Hairhead, Still Learning at 59 says

    The problem is that the current Democrats are not ruthless political players. Just look at the ‘sixties, when racism was MUCH worse than it is today — how the fuck did President Johnson get the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act passed?

    Johnson got them passed because he was a bare-knuckle political fighter who would do anything short of assassination to get his agenda passed. So for today? Manchin is VERY vulnerable. Look at his daughter, screwing people by vastly inflating the price of the Epi-Pen. Johnson would have called Manchin into the White House and told him, while Johnson was sitting on the toilet, that he was going to vote for the Voting Rights Act and for Build Back Better, or his daughter would go to the pokey for a ten-year stretch — and that was just for starters. Both Sinema and Manchin are wholly compromised, and a ruthless politician with the White House, the DOJ, the FBI, and House of Representatives, plus the bully pulpit of the Presidency could bring them around. If that (or those) policians were willing.

    The Democrats are bringing a soft-boiled noodle to the political fight, while the Republicans answers with brain-addled shock troops with AR-15’s.

  27. vucodlak says

    @ idontknowwhyibother, #26

    Those calling for violent action against today’s neo-Nazis should remember how well that worked out against the original Nazis in the 1920s and 1930s.

    “…but please stop there, because my argument falls apart if you consider anything after 1939.”

    By the way, you could say the exact same thing about non-violent methods of resistance. Neither street brawls nor peaceful protest stopped the rise of the Nazis. Nor did they create the Nazis- contrary to what today’s Nazis desperately want the rest of us to believe, the Nazis didn’t become one of the most brutal genocidal dictatorships in human history because they were driven to it.

    Genocide was always the Nazi endgame back then, and it’s the inevitable endpoint of today’s neo-Nazi/Republican rhetoric. They’ve hated themselves into a corner, and the only way the Republican party of today can hope to escape becoming victims of fascist mob they’ve wound up is to keep ramping up the violence against vulnerable populations.

    Something else to think about:
    The Rittenhouse verdict gave today’s Nazis carte blanche to slaughter peaceful protestors. All they have to do is show up armed, then claim self-defense after they mow them down.

  28. beholder says

    @31 timgueguen

    @beholder what do you advocate the Democrats doing?

    I would like to see the Democratic party reduced to irrelevance on the national stage, so that a proper leftist party (communist or socialist) would oppose the Republicans in its place.
    If you would like to reform the party from the inside, I would say don’t bother, but start with my observation that the Democrats are incapable of making any popular appeal to the masses.

  29. DanDare says

    Undirected violence will make thinngs worse.
    Thde current system and culture enable the problem so fighting for the status quo only keeps the problem boiling.
    It seems you need to have a new system and culture in mind and then bring as many people on board as you can and fight for that in every way possible.

  30. says

    @#6, Mike Smith:

    We didn’t elect enough Democratic senators. There’s a huge difference between 51-49 and 50-50.

    Yeah, as we saw during the Obama years, the difference is how many Democratic Senators suddenly discover, à la Joe Manchin now or Joe Biden when he was a Senator, that they have some kind of pro-Republican scruple which means they will refuse to implement anything the base wants. When it’s 51-49, there are two of them. When there are 50-50, there’s one. When it’s 60-40, there are 11. Voting in more of them won’t change a damned thing, because this is all theater and they are going to prevent anything worthwhile from passing no matter what it takes. And people like you will wring your hands and blame the voters for not giving them more seats, rather than blaming them for being ridiculous traitors.

    @#20, iiandyiiii:

    Manchin literally has all the power. The other 49 Senators could agree on everything, and Manchin could still shut it all down. Pull his committees? Then Manchin turns Republican, and McConnell is in charge. That’s the way our system is. Manchin sucks, but he’s still better than any other possible WV Senator.

    Thing is: Manchin has always sucked. From the moment he got into Congress, he’s been a blood-sucking traitor. Back in the Obama years, when the Democrats had some more margin, the people who are now saying “oh, but we can’t take any punitive measures because he might turn Republican” were saying “oh, but we can’t take any punitive measures because he’s the only Democrat who can win in that state and it’s an important symbolic victory”. I hate to break it to you, Chuckles, but enabling folks like Manchin was one of the reasons people didn’t bother to turn out and support Democrats in 2016 and beyond. You either have to actually fight, which involves occasionally taking a “symbolic” hit, or you’ll just keep losing more and more. Running away from the issues the public actually cares about and preemptively declaring defeat on them because Manchin might change parties just convinces everybody that nobody in the party actually cares about those issues. Right now, even though he has not accomplished anything more than the Democrats have, Sanders is polling with nearly twice the approval rating of any of the major Democrats, and it’s because he’s still visibly fighting over this stuff instead of just shrugging and saying “give Manchin what he wants”.

    Good thing we gave Biden the nomination. It would have been terrible to have somebody in office who actually wanted to improve anything.

    @#26, idontknowwhyibother:

    Those calling for violent action against today’s neo-Nazis should remember how well that worked out against the original Nazis in the 1920s and 1930s.

    Really? The one European nation where the Nazis were met with complete and severe violence was England. There were very famous riots, and the press was as anti-left-riot there as it is today, here. It was the one nation where the Nazis never established a “respectable” party. In all the others, where the violence was restricted, the Nazis managed to establish some sort of official presence.

    But don’t take my word for it — Hitler himself said:

    Only one danger could have jeopardised this development — if our adversaries had understood its principle, established a clear understanding of our ideas, and not offered any resistance. Or, alternatively, if they had from the first day annihilated with the utmost brutality the nucleus of our new movement.

    Neither was done. The times were such that our adversaries were no longer capable of accomplishing our annihilation, nor did they have the nerve. Arguably, they furthermore lacked the understanding to assume a wholly appropriate attitude. Instead, they began to tyrannise our young movement by bourgeois means, and, by doing so, they assisted the process of natural selection in a very fortunate manner. From there on, it was only a question of time until the leadership of the nation would fall to our hardened human material.

    @#29, Hairhead, Still Learning at 59:

    The Democrats are bringing a soft-boiled noodle to the political fight, while the Republicans answers with brain-addled shock troops with AR-15’s.

    You are assuming that the Democrats actually want to oppose the Republicans. I suggest you look at Joe Biden’s legislative history: rabid anti-abortion rhetoric, actually to Ronald Reagan’s right on crime and drugs, a tool of the police unions and the credit card companies who made a career out of doing what Manchin is currently doing and literally turned student loan debt from a problem into a crisis. (Before Biden’s bankruptcy bill, you could discharge student loan debt. Now you can’t escape it except by dying.) He was a member of a group explicitly trying to force the party to abandon populism and embrace corporate money — look up the Democratic Leadership Council.

    Wise up: the whole “seriously, I’m much more liberal now, I’ve given up on all that” act he pulled during the campaign wasn’t even convincing then, and his actions — and those of his administration — since the election only make sense if you assume he’s still the asshole right-winger he always was, and he, like the rest of the leadership of the party, sabotages their professed goals on purpose by feigning incompetence. The Clintons were the same. That’s why his legal team is defending Trump and dragging their heels on indicting him, it’s why we have more “kids in cages” than we ever did, why we’re increasing the Pentagon’s budget even as we withdraw from Afghanistan, why the Dakota Access Pipeline is continuing construction, why nobody fights Manchin effectively.

    We had a chance, twice, to bring in an outsider who wasn’t part of the Neoliberal Brigade, and the usual idiots said that that was too radical and first gave us the most-hated figure in the party and then the least-liked candidate on the stage as candidates, and told us it was our fault that nobody wanted to vote for them. And now we’re supposed to get angry at the Republicans because the Democrats who have spent the last 20 years demonstrating that they don’t want to fix anything… won’t fix anything.

  31. John Morales says

    Cheer up, Vicarish dude.

    Had you gotten your way, Trump would still be President, and all these worries would have been moot.

  32. says

    At least The Vicar’s “Bernie’s magic would have solved everything” is a bit more believable than beholder’s “A full blown socialist party will emerge from someplace” idea. Sanders actually exists, and would have had support from whatever Democrats got elected.

  33. Hairhead, Still Learning at 59 says

    Vicar, I agree with you. The soft-boiled noodle is a CHOICE of the Democrats. I have loathed Biden since he was caught plagiarizing during his first run at the Presidency — and loathed him through abortion, crime, credit cards, student loans, etc.

  34. John Morales says

    Hairhead:

    The soft-boiled noodle is a CHOICE of the Democrats.

    Ah, I see. Not the voters themselves. The Democrats.

    (Talking about noodles, I’d rather have a soft-boiled one than a reeking rotten one… but, clearly, opinions vary)

  35. unclefrogy says

    #39
    that is how I see it as well. the voters wanted what they voted for that is ideal and clearly there has not arisen anything like a consensus in the population yet though with more of the population participating by things voting among other things like demonstrating. this time they vote for republicans and the next time they vote for a democrat.
    even taking in the crass manipulation of the districts there it just keeps flipping back and forth you might come to the conclusion that the majority want some place in the middle some where and keep pushing one this time and that way the next.
    I like my noodles with olive oil, garlic basil and a few anchovy fillets and little sriracha sauce

  36. unclefrogy says

    who wrote that? hope you can figure out what was meant I am not going to rewrite it its too late for that and I am too tired.

  37. Akira MacKenzie says

    How many times does it have to be explained to you all?

    THE SYSTEM DOES NOT WORK! THE PROCESS WILL NOT SAVE US! THE CONSTITUTION IS A FAILED DOCUMENT THAT IS BEYOND REPAIR! IF THE RIGHT WING HAS NO INTEREST IN OBEYING THEM, THEN NEITHER SHOULD WHAT PASSES FOR THE LEFT IN THIS SHITHOLE COUNTRY!

  38. Kagehi says

    @37 timgueguen

    Yeah, they seem to ignore/fail to comprehend, that there are already states which banned such parties (though, as has been said many times, they also don’t understand the difference between communist and socialist). So the idea that such a party would form, and not be immediately banned, by law, from actually being on a ballot… is naïve at best.

    I do think there needs to be a new party, to appose the Democrats, who have proven to be utterly useless, and sometimes just as corrupt (which is almost as bad a combination as fanatical and almost all corrupt, i.e. the Republicans), but for it to succeed in suspect its first step would have to be the biggest word game/bait and switch/rebranding of necessary ideas in the history of the world, to convince people, and keep convincing them, that they are not going to institute communist rule, ban religion, or “take away people’s {insert vague scary thing someone might lose here}”. And, that will be the single hardest damn thing they would have to do, just to get the flipping foot in the door – after that they would have to actually DO SOMETHING,

  39. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’d love to “DO SOMETHING,” but the only permanent solutions to the right-wing involves meanie, meanie violence and icky, icky guns, and we all know American liberals don’t like those.

  40. davidc1 says

    @26 I take it you mean Germany ,where the only ones fighting the Nazis on the streets were
    the Communists .Both groups hated the Weimar Republic ,and wanted to over throw it .
    Anyway ,at the end of the 1920’s the Nazi party support was on the wane ,they were losing votes
    and running out of money .
    Then came the Wall St crash of 1929 ,and put new life into them .
    It was all due to bastards like von papen who who put pressure on that senile old fart of a president
    von hindenburg to offer adolf the Chancellorship .

    @45 On the other hand ,them dems ,could pour money ,lots of money into the American education system ,so at least the great American voting public could make an informed choice as to who to vote for .

    But on the other hand ,if your granny had balls ,she would have been your granddad .

  41. idontknowwhyibother says

    @27 Akira MacKenzie, my stance is not a “commitment to non-violence” (I am not fond of violence, but am not a pacifist), but a commitment to actions that will achieve the goals I desire.

    So far as i can see, “punching nazis”, or “anarchists” fighting with Proud Boys in the street is not likely to achieve progressive success.

    @30 jrkrideau I don’t think the 43 Group is particularly relevant in this case, primarily because they were operating in the immediate aftermath of WWII, and conditions were very different (among others a Labour government with a sizeable majority).

    More relevant, I think are the actions around what is known as “the Battle of Cable Street”, I think referred to by @35 The Vicar. But even then, the relevance to any current actions seems limited, if only due to the numbers. Estimates are that 100,000 (or more) people came out to block Mosley’s blackshirts. If someone could organize that many people, then maybe they could get somewhere – but I haven’t seen any evidence that the “nazi punchers” are anywhere near that.

    @32 vucodiak, yes the argument no longer applies “if you consider anything after 1939”, because a world war with an invasion of the USA by a collection of foreign nations (which would be something like what happened “after 1939”) is not remotely equivalent to “punching nazis” or even mass violence against them. If that is what you mean by “violence against nazis”, then you ought to be clear that your goal is the destruction of the country.

    Also, my comment had nothing to do with Nazi policies, but on the effectiveness of violent action in suppressing them.

    @35 The Vicar, yes, the rise of the Nazis might have been blocked if their leadership had been “annihilated” in the early 1920s. If you are talking about assassinating the leadership of the various far-right groups (and I don’t know how broadly you would define those), then that might be an option, but that is also something quite different than street violence.

    And more generally, one needs to think about goals and how one’s actions will serve those goals. From what I can see (and I may be misinformed, not being in the USA), the largest part of the population does not support violence (against right-wing organizations, at least), nor will the police, the courts, and the media. Thus, the overwhelmingly most likely result of such violence would be hard crackdowns by the police and the judiciary, along nwith a non-stop media war against the “anarchists” (or whatever other term gets chosen).

    What is the supposed endgame, here?

  42. unclefrogy says

    violence will get us no where fast.
    I know off now country where violence has resulted in a popular democratic self-governing country but I can clearly and easily find dictatorships of various kinds that have developed as the result of such political violence.
    after the disaster of WWI and the great depression Germany slid from one of the leading countries in economic power and scientific and technological power into an even worse disaster on the Nazi regime and WWII to come out by the 60″s to regain there former status and establish a functioning self-governing democratic state. We do not have the amount of time to blow the whole thing to bits and try and start over from scratch. The cost resulting in terms of property and the economy on top of the lose of lives are unknown but if the history of such violent upheavals world wide are too dark to calculate.
    Why should we tear ourselves to pieces when we already have a system that approaches the ideal and could work to get us to a more stable functioning self-governing state that is desired. Unless the argument for violence in the name of freedom and democracy is just a front for another authoritarian power grab.

  43. canadiansteve says

    48 unclefrogy

    Why should we tear ourselves to pieces when we already have a system that approaches the ideal …

    Bwahahahaha!!!! ROTFL. I sincerely hope you are joking.
    While the American system had a decent run it has many proven flaws which have led to a system teetering on total collapse. It’s a long way from over at this point but on its current trajectory it won’t take long till the country blows apart in some kind of messy divorce, hopefully not a civil war. Most parliamentary systems function better and most countries have stronger safeguards against corporate and authoritarian takeovers. It will be interesting to see what happens down there if the democratic candidate for president wins the electoral college, but the state machinery in a few republican states refuses to certify. This is looking like a fairly probable scenario at the moment.
    The most obvious (and ultimately the root of many of the other problems) is the blatant corruption in your system. If you could get the money out of the system you might have a chance. But instead, you can’t even get items with 75-80% public support passed because they are against corporate interests (negotiate drug prices). It’s a complete joke.
    True, there are many worse systems out there, but the only way that the US government is approaching ideal is the same way a ship passing Hawaii is approaching Sydney Austraila.

  44. unclefrogy says

    it is not the government that is approaching the idea that is not what i was trying to say. i was trying to say that the system set up those many years is a system that has the possibility to approach the ideal in a realistic practical way given the nature of human beings and their ability to agree on anything with their fellows. I see absolute no reason to expect that any kind of violent confrontation would lead to any thing better at least with out in the end all parties sitting down and agreeing on some things hard negotiations are in the end going to have to happen that is what the system was set up to do. to manage the discussion the hashing out of agreements and avoid all the bloodshed and destruction. They did that not from so high moral pinnacle but from the practical realization that if they indeed wanted to remain “free” they would have to set up some kind of unified stronger government because there were nations that were at the time in no way as democratic as they could accept and were decidedly hostile toward a bunch of wayward colonists ripe for the picking
    My reaction is to those who in their frustration seem to be advocating some kind of new violent revolution. i just do not want to live under any new militant (military) style government until we can reintroduce one based on law that is democratically determined. I am too old to live through all of that and I do not think the climates instability in the interim will allow us the time.

  45. John Morales says

    My reaction is to those who in their frustration seem to be advocating some kind of new violent revolution.

    Bleating and babbling we fell on his neck with a scream
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers
    March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream

    Have you heard the news?
    The dogs are dead
    You better stay home
    And do as you’re told
    Get out of the road if you want to grow old

  46. unclefrogy says

    John I am not sure what meaning you take from that quote nor what you think I think.
    I admire MLK and Gandhi but If you bite this old dog you will find that this old dog will bite back.
    you will find that I am not alone in that either.

  47. stroppy says

    Is it just me or is John being uncharacteristically coy?

    No matter.

    Two tiers. One is how to handle the trend of rightwing violence at demonstrations, now. The other is the collapsing of democracy over the long term, which is a slow massive process. In either case, you don’t want unstable hotheads leading the way and trying to form circular firing squads.

  48. logicalcat says

    A while lotta authoritarian leftists in this thread? Question: considering some of you idiots have accused Biden and his voters of being fascists what assurance do we Biden supporters have that we wont get caught up in your authoritarianism?

    You guys are pathetic. You know whats funny? With the infrastructure bill and Biden cutting childhood poverty in half with a quasi UBI this centrists is more successful progressive than so called “progressives” who havent amounted to shit other than fantasies of a left dictatorship and conspiracy theories. Because at the end of the day progressives in this country are incapable of self reflecting and acknowledging that they themselves are why the country is how it is. Because instead of changing incrementaly you adhere to this ridiculous fantasy of armed revolution.

    You aint doing shit. Proud boys actually train and run drills, radical leftists only train their twitter fingers.

    Deng Xiaoping captured the communist part and reformed it out of disasterous communist economic policies by reforming it from within. Hundreds of thousands were killed or incarcerated to accomplished this and it worked despite real oppression from an authoritarian one party state.

    Meanwhile American leftists think they cant accomplish this with even less resistance? Lmao pathetic. The reality is that you dont want the country to get better. This all for show. Such radical politics is the priveleged position. Would be funny if it werent so harmful because it makes a lot of us apathetic to real change.

    @PZ

    Funny, it was leftists not voting that got us in this mess to begin with wasnt it? They didnt vote for Sanders and they voted even less the second time around and they didnt vote for Clinton. Now we have a right wing supreme court. Grats. Dont even get me started with how bad the leftists fucked up the Warren situation.

    Our failure to self reflect on our well, failures, is why nothing gets done. That and ignoreong the local level where the real fight is where its at.

    The right wing party changes leadershit every decade meanwhile leftists think nothing is capable of change.

  49. logicalcat says

    Whenever you guys are done blaming democrats for your ineptitude then by all meams join the fight. The rest ofnus will be here trying mitigate your disaster while also getting things done.

    Shit even AOC noticed progressives are useless since she had to moderate yourself to get anything done.

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