I try to avoid these terms like “fascism,” but it has become clear that Donald J. Trump actively seeks to become an at least authoritarian leader of the US, indeed openly arguing that the Constitution’s limit of only two terms should not hold for him. We face a clear danger of a contested election that may end up in the Supreme Court. If Trump can put a flunky into the court before the election we may have them putting him in despite a situation where he has clearly lost. And given his recent behavior, backed by a friendly SCOTUS, he would be in position to impose a fascist dictatorship in this nation.
I also note that she died on Rosh Hashanah, and in the Jewish tradition this is a portentous time to die, with one doing so being especially blessed. I do not know how all this will turn out, and I can think of scenarios where her death at this time may lead to a more progressive future, but she was a very great woman deserving of the most profound respect and admiration, who should rest in the greatest of peace.
Clearly, Mitch McConnell hypocritically seeks to impose a Trump appointee before the election, or if not then, during the following lame-duck session. So far Romney (R-UT) and Murkowski (R-AK) have said they will not go along with this, but two more GOP Sens must step forward to block this. That may happen. But if it does not, then the Dem senators must simply shut the Senate down, which I think is about the only thing they can do, given that the filibuster was abolished (by Dems)for judicial appointments. But I think they can simply bring the whole place to a halt, and it may come to that.
The filibuster for appointees was changed by the GOP.
Your concern for fascism is accurate. Biden must win by a landslide to stop it.. Made worse that the appellate courts in WI, MI, PA and FL have Rep appointed majorities.
Mitch, here is how it is: RBG was adored, you are despised. Adored as in admired and beloved, despised as in found to be despicable, unlikable in every way. RBG exhibited the finest of human qualities, all those things that you are completely without.
Time was when Mitch’s control of the kitty would have been enough to pull any recalcitrant up short. This time, poor Susan is caught between a rock and a hard place, Liza may feel she’s better off without the smell of the money he controls, Mitt doesn’t need it, too late for Cory, McSally’s going down, Lindsey’s a washed up corpse without credibility, …
The most complicated election in modern history is coming
— soon. Are we prepared?
via @BostonGlobe – September 20
A TEST FOR DEMOCRACY
Experts worry about a nightmare election during a pandemic marred by disenfranchisement and chaos, followed by an acrimonious legal and political dispute over the results that would test the nation’s democratic resolve. …
(A lengthy article, in six parts.)
Chapter 1 – A history of disenfranchisement
Chapter 2 – Fear and mistrust
Chapter 3 – Running elections amid COVID-19
Chapter 4 – Legal battles
Chapter 5 – Disinformation and cybersecurity
Chapter 6 – Mail-in voting
Democrats See a Glimmer of Hope Over Supreme Court Fight in Arizona’s Senate Race
NY Times – September 19
TUCSON, Ariz. — Democrats have almost no power to stop a pre-election vote on President Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, but they see a glimmer of hope in a bank-shot scenario if they capture a Senate seat in Arizona in the November election.
If Mark Kelly, the Democratic nominee, wins, he could be seated in the Senate as early as Nov. 30, six weeks before the other winners are sworn in, according to elections experts from both parties. Mr. Kelly currently leads Senator Martha McSally, a Republican, in the polls.
There are many ifs: If the Arizona results can be rapidly certified, and if Senate Republicans hold a confirmation vote in the postelection lame-duck session and if three Republicans defect, Mr. Kelly could cast the deciding vote to defeat Mr. Trump’s as-yet unnamed pick to the high court.
Such a scenario is possible (if not probable) because Ms. McSally, who was sworn in in 2019, was appointed, not elected. The Arizona Senate race this year is a special election, and under state law the winner can be seated pending a final review of the election results, known as a canvass, completed at the end of November. …
Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham,
Rand Paul et al, following their Glorious Leader…
‘History repeats, first time as
tragedy, 2nd time as farce.’ – K Marx
They are rerunning the War Between the States.
Well I still have faith that there are limits to political power in the US. Certainly liberals are very competitive, but they do not have a lock on political miscalculation. Donnie’s Republican Party caught a lucky break on an easy shot. The GOP has no executable grand plan, just lax competition at winning elections. The Democratic Party’s strength has been in losing elections, then letting the GOP screw things up often enough for the D’s to remain viable.
I do not believe that they have approved a new debt ceiling or something to do with funding the government. As I understand it, the negotiations had been proceeding smoothly and a “ clean “ bill was expected. Could Pelosi negotiate a no appointment until January 21, 2021? I do not know and The MIC would scream bloody murder but I suspect several GOP members of the Senate would heave a sigh of relief and if the MIC’s base really believes they represent America they should welcome the opportunity to re-elect the MIC and get the new justice they want in 2021. I just do not know whether Pelosi would take the chance when all signs indicate Biden is winning and the Dems are slightly favored to take the Senate. I do not see a new impeachment having any effect—Moscow Mitch will just ignore. If the vote is put off until after the election AND Biden wins AND the Dems take the Senate, then I think there will be several GOP Senators who will back off because Schumer’s threat to pack the court will be very persuasive. If Biden does not win or the Dems do not take the Senate, then it is a done deal—-RBG was an amazing person but her hubris in not retiring while Obama was President may mean that everything she stood for will be wiped out within two years. As to the Court doing something to sway the election ala 2000, I do not see that happening. If there is no clear winner it goes to the House where each
State gets a vote. Because there are way more states with a majority of Representatives who are Republicans, it will be a landslide for the MIC.Roberts is no Rehnquist and will not want to further diminish the standing of SCOTUS by getting involved when the Constitution clearly spells out that the MIC wins if the states can not certify their electors and no one has 270 votes. Roberts has a safe conservative majority and will keep it regardless of who fills RBG’s seat and I am sure he is much more concerned that the MIC and Moscow Mitch will do something that will cause the Dems to pack the court—if they can. Karma can be a real bitch sometimes.
I see very little chance of any such deal in funding the government in return for no SC justice until next term.
Why in the world would Pelosi trust McConnell to meet any agreement?
Meanwhile, absolutely horrible idea to shut down the government during a pandemic and an election.
EMichael, Only if the GOP does not blink but I agree a shutdown is not a good idea—-I do think it is one of the arrows in the quiver Pelosi described and IMHO would better get Moscow Mitch’s attention than another impeachment. As to keeping their word I assume they would extend it month by month—tedious yes, but I have yet to hear of any better plan other than to make threats about packing the court and the hope that more than two GOP Senators have any sense of shame.
Fwiw, the SC is overrated. Ignore them and watch. Sheet, bible thumping dominion states have been violating “Roe” for years.
Teach morons to stop bringing up the SC as a political branch.
I have no idea what “MIC” you refer to is.
As for Ginsburg having “hubris” for not resigning, already by early 2016 it was too late as McConnell was blocking new appointments (see Merrick Garlans), and most thought Hillary was going to win, and if Comey had not come out with his October surprise on emails, she would have.
But now we have numerous Trump admin people doing what she did, including members of the Trump family in the admin, and nobody cares.
As to Bert, you are flying off the wall again. No, it is not about Zionism, and yes, the SCOTUS is important, very important.
We probably need to distinguish between fascism and neo-fascism. Those are two different social models.
Fascism proper name is “national socialism.” It is different from “national neoliberalism” as advocated by Trump. In many ways, Classic Fascism strongly correlates with the mental state of nation which is attacked by strong enemy, the enemy which has supporters inside the country. It was also a revolt against financial oligarchy while masking it with the particular national identity, due to historical for Europe over-representation of Jews in financial industry. The distinct feature of fascism is its strong aversion to the excessive financialization of economy and banking, which fascists consider evil.
Often it is also connected with the attempt of modernization of the country “from above.”
The classic fascism involve charismatic leader, unhinged militarism, cult of the army, unhinged nationalism and cult of personal scarifies in the name of the country, violence against opponents and the rejection of parliamentary democracy.
National socialism model of the state was the first which emphasized the key role on intelligence agencies in suppressing of the dissent and as a tool of infiltration into opposition. Surveillance of the population became vital state function. It was fascism that invented the role of intelligence agencies as the major part of oppressive apparatus of the state. It re-invented “political police” on a new level in the form of Gestapo.
For the most part (and that’s why many researchers do not consider Franco regime as a proper fascist state) t also was defined by openly proclaimed goal of external expansion. In this sense it is not unlike neoliberal states with the only difference in tools — direct army occupation vs. indirect occupation via financial capital penetration and subjugation of nation via debt and the control of its elite (debt slave mechanism)
Scapegoated ethnic minorities was typical only for selected national variants and first of all for the German variant, (where it were Jews and Gypsies.)
BTW the formal program of NSDAP (not that they intended to implement it) was to the left of the current Democratic Party Platform
Neo-fascism is something very different and less defined. It is unclear if Trump’s “national neoliberalism” can be classified as neo-fascism (which in a very simplified meaning is fascism within the bounds of parliamentary democracy) . I am not an expert on the topic. But clearly several things simply do not match. First of all is should strives, at least on the level of program, to raise the standard of living of lower 80% of population. This is not the case with Trump.
Barkley, MIC is my shorthand for “ moron in chief”. I figure that is more accurate than Tillison’s “ F***ing moron” or “ Lysol man” either of which also work. Even my sister—a dyed in the wool Republican —said we do not need the clown leading the circus anymore. Trump is a pathetic joke who belongs in prison with his family—in an earlier time Ivanka would be lead to the gallows— but Moscow Mitch and the GOP have given up on the country and are hell bent on turning it into an oligarchy where they can take all the graft available. I could care less about Roe v Wade—decided 7-2 with 4 Republican appointees including the author—or gay marriage. I do care about rolling back civil rights not the least because my grandsons will be the minority long before they are my age. Mostly, I am concerned that SCOTUS will become a rubber stamp for the oligarchs and it will let democracy die while “ protecting” gun rights and “ Christian white people’s freedom to worship( and discriminate) until it no longer suits the oligarchs. I do not know whether it is fascism, neither whatever or just the “ law of the jungle”, but it is bad. The first clause we were taught in Con Law I was the commerce clause—the Bill of Rights was an afterthought. My son in law pointed out that Pelosi took shutting down the government off the table. I am not a politician but as a lay person it seems to me she just gave up the game. Hope I am wrong but glad my wife is still a Canadian citizen.
Classical Fascism is just socialism, with violent tribalism. Soviet Russia went into this as well by 1928, became known as social fascism as they starved nonrussian areas of the Soviet to industrialize rapidly in roughly 10 years.
What’s stupidly called neofascism now is just zionist/conservative authoritarianism. Progressive authoritarianism is from Millsian liberalism, which many people do not get.
Was That Ride on the Trump Train Worth It?
NY Times – September 21
Lurching through his presidency with equal parts venality and incompetence, Donald Trump gives little thought to the chaos he leaves in his wake. Little wonder that his tenure has proved hazardous not only for his adversaries and the hapless masses subject to his feeble leadership, but for his allies and enablers as well.
From Paul Manafort’s prison sentence to Jerry Falwell Jr.’s fall from grace, from Jeff Sessions’s shattered career to the Republican Party’s wounded relationship with suburban white women, the price of cuddling with the president — or simply hovering on the fringes of Trumpworld — has proved steep. As voters ponder whether to grant Mr. Trump another four years, it seems appropriate to attempt at least a partial accounting of the devastation he has wrought upon his own team thus far.
Some of the most obvious casualties are those who got tangled in the special counsel’s Russia investigation and ended up with criminal records or facing charges. These include not only people like Michael Cohen and George Papadopoulos, who had no meaningful profile beyond Trumpworld, but also veteran establishment players such as Mr. Manafort, the lobbyist and former Trump campaign chairman; his business partner Rick Gates, a former Trump deputy campaign manager; Roger Stone, a longtime Trump crony and campaign adviser; and Gen. Michael Flynn, the president’s first national security adviser.
Moving from criminality to more mundane rot, Mr. Trump’s administration has been distinguished by a dazzling array of toadies, many of whom have left under clouds of scandal. Scott Pruitt, the former Environmental Protection Agency administrator, may be the most pathetic, having resigned after a blizzard of tacky misbehavior that ranged from using taxpayer money to buy himself a $43,000 phone booth to dispatching an aide to shop for his favorite skin cream.
Still, it would be unfair to single him out. Ryan Zinke stepped down as interior secretary after racking up at least 15 ethics inquiries, including allegations of misusing taxpayer funds and violating the Hatch Act. Brock Long, who resigned as head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, got in trouble for misusing government vehicles.
Tom Price left his position as secretary of Health and Human Services after reports of his fondness for private jet travel. David Shulkin, the former secretary of veterans affairs, was called out by his department’s inspector general for wasting taxpayer money during an official trip to Europe and inappropriately accepting tickets to Wimbledon.
The drama grinds on. The postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, a Republican fund-raiser, stands accused of working to destroy the Postal Service to aid Mr. Trump’s re-election. He’s also facing allegations of violating campaign finance law repeatedly over the past decade.
Mr. Sessions was ousted as attorney general after months of Mr. Trump railing about his failure to shield the president from the Russia inquiry. When he tried to win back his old Senate seat in Alabama this year, Mr. Sessions found that Republican voters had soured on him, leading to a thumping in the primary.
Alexander Acosta resigned as secretary of labor after controversy erupted over an old plea deal he cut with Jeffrey Epstein, the sexual predator who also happened to be chummy with Mr. Trump.
Paul Ryan, the former House speaker, had his dash up the career ladder disrupted. Under Mr. Trump, Mr. Ryan oversaw an explosion of the national debt, ruining his image as a fiscally disciplined wonderwonk. He was also constantly beaten up by Mr. Trump, even as he indulged the president’s worst impulses. Rather than wait around for his party to get trounced in the midterms, Mr. Ryan announced in April 2018 that he would not run again.
The carnage stretches beyond the government. The National Rifle Association and its longtime frontman, Wayne LaPierre, spent truckloads of cash getting Mr. Trump elected in 2016. In return? The group has spent the Trump era rent by infighting and plagued by possibly existential legal and financial troubles. …
In a few days there will be a nominee which will be a significant change in this controversy. Chances are the pick will be very popular among Republicans and a genuinely respected person among most voters. Republican Senators are going to want to vote for this person. Not sure any Republican will oppose. Collins and Murkowski are saying they don’t want a tough vote, but if they can’t avoid one, I would not write them firmly as “no” yet. Certainly not Collins who is up for re-election. Voting “no” and defeating the nominee ends her Senate career more surely than voting to confirm. Her last significant public act won’t be denying a Republican woman judge confirmation here.
As to the compressed calendar, frankly this is RBG’s doing. You can like it as another tactical element, but I see it as irresponsible. With that diagnosis and probably the country’s finest oncologist, she knew she would not live for the 20/21 term. They told her what to expect. Very likely Roberts, as head of federal judiciary branch gave her advice to retire as no longer in good enough health for the job. The arguments about filling or not would have been identical in July. It’s happening in late September because RBG unwisely held on to a position with no prospect of being able to serve. She was very sick and sometimes hard to think clearly, but that is an example of her unfitness.
‘Classical Fascism is just socialism, with violent tribalism.’
Fascism, as instituted by Benito Mussolini,
is certainly NOT ‘just socialism’.
Wikipedia: Italian Fascism (Italian: fascismo italiano), also known as Classical Fascism or simply Fascism, is the original fascist ideology
as developed in Italy by Giovanni Gentile and Benito Mussolini. The
ideology is associated with a series of two political parties led by Benito
THX. Perhaps Nationalist Socialist was taken too literally there. In practice, Fascism was actually devoutly anti=socialist.
Also, congrats on your Boston Globe post given a thread.
“Was That Ride on the Trump Train Worth It?”
[Hey, let’s hope that things are going as bad for the Republicans as this article indicates. The Democratic Party can create enough political polarization all on its own. We don’t need any Republicans. Without Republicans then there would be no credible reason not to complete all the great stuff on Joe Biden’s 2020 political platform.]
Your last post can only be described as:
“what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”
You make Billy Madison sound like a genius. Christ.
Yes, if was designed and supported as a tool of suppression of socialist movement. As an instrument of suppression of socialist ideas. Still it borrowed, at least on program level, some elements of the programs of socialist parties. Wikipedia:
But simultaneously it tried to attract some socialists into his ranks. BTW Mussolini was the editor-in-chief of Avante, so he was the leading figure in Italian socialist movement before his metamorphose into a fascist.
Trump really should be voted out, for any number
of reasons, not the least of which is: to see
if he will actually vacate the office.
Trump zeroes in on Midwestern Catholic judge as likely Supreme Court pick, sources say
Bloomberg via @BostonGlobe – September 22
Donald Trump is moving toward nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, according to people familiar with the matter, despite the president saying Monday he’s considering as many as five candidates.
Barrett met with Trump and separately with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone on Monday, said people familiar with the discussions. She is a favorite of antiabortion rights advocates, who are heavily lobbying the White House and Trump personally to nominate her. She’s preferred by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., according to people close to him.
And her supporters have pointed out to the White House that as a Midwestern Catholic, Barrett may help the president secure votes for his reelection in vital Rust Belt and Great Lakes states where he currently trails Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Trump told an audience in Dayton, Ohio, on Monday that he’ll pick a woman. Earlier, he told reporters at the White House he is looking at “five women” to fill the vacancy but has “one or two” of them in mind as finalists. The president said Barrett is among those under consideration.
Asked if he would meet with all five of his candidates in person, Trump said: “I don’t know, I doubt it. We’ll meet with a few, probably.” A White House spokesman declined to comment on the president’s Supreme Court candidate meetings.
Within the White House, the only candidate for Ginsburg’s seat currently attracting serious interest other than Barrett is Appeals Court Judge Barbara Lagoa. She is a Cuban-American from Florida, as Trump has repeatedly noted, which might help him in that must-win state.
But Lagoa is at the moment a distant second to Barrett, a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals based in Chicago. The president has expressed some skepticism about her conservative credentials because Lagoa drew the votes of 27 Democrats when she was confirmed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, people familiar with the matter said. Still, the process has been fast moving and the president could change his mind before an announcement is made.
Asked if he will meet with Lagoa later this week when he travels to Florida, Trump said he “may.”
Trump is set to light off a furious political battle over the Supreme Court seat vacated by Ginsburg’s death on Friday only six weeks before he stands for reelection. The prospect that he’ll replace the liberal icon with a conservative jurist has outraged Democrats, who responded by pouring more than $120 million into the party’s fundraising platform ActBlue over the weekend. …
(Barbara Lagoa is a Columbia Law alumna, as was RBG.
No reason to put yet another Ivy Leaguer on the Court.
It’ll be Harvard 4, Yale 4, Notre Dame 1.)
Cuban descent on SC could effect FL election.
Both of them are ideological driven misfits in the US today. But Logoa’s incredible support of a poll tax is one of the worst things I have ever seen a Judge do. She actually read newpaper op-eds into the record to support her point of view.
She’s a horror.
Is it fascism yet?
via @BostonGlobe – September 22
Concerned that schoolchildren are being indoctrinated with the truth about this nation’s racist origins, President Trump wants to indoctrinate them with “patriotic education.”
Meanwhile, Attorney General William Barr — Bonnie to Trump’s Clyde — has designated three American cities — as “anarchist jurisdictions” for “permitting violence and destruction of property.”
And with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Trump will soon name a nominee who, if confirmed, will help shove the Supreme Court as far right as it’s been in more than 50 years.
Is it fascism yet?
Democracy in America isn’t dying. It’s being strangled before our eyes by an administration determined to maintain power at any cost. Trump isn’t just playing to his base. Every move he makes is designed to destabilize the nation, to bring its citizens to heel with threats, intimidation, and violence.
In the 2015 book “Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad,” M.T. Anderson writes that Russian dictator Joseph Stalin “was not merely trying to remove political enemies. He was not merely trying to terrorize the country into submission. He was trying to break down all social structure that did not emanate from him, and to create a new people, no longer Homo sapiens, but Homo sovieticus, the New Man of Communism.”
To bend Democratic-led cities to his will, Trump is threatening to withhold federal funding to New York, Seattle, and Portland, Ore., for not “protecting their own citizens,” as Barr said in a statement branding them as “anarchist jurisdictions.” This is yet another presidential flex in Trump’s law-and-order series meant to discourage protests against racial injustice and prove to his base his commitment to protecting white supremacy.
That’s also the motivation around Trump’s desire to create a “1776 Commission” to revive “patriotic education to our schools,” which sounds like a lot of words for racist propaganda. This, of course, is his scared white man answer to “The 1619 Project,” New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones’s exemplary Pulitzer Prize-winning examination of how this nation’s origins and chattel slavery are inextricably bound, with ever-present reverberations in every aspect of American life.
Trump has no authority to dictate school curriculum, but like the dictator he sees when he looks in the mirror, when has that stopped him? “Our youth will be taught to love America,” Trump said last week. He forgot to add, “Or else.”
Historians will probably point to what happened in Washington D.C.’s Lafayette Square in June as a defining moment in Trump’s embrace of authoritarianism. That’s when Barr had throngs of peaceful protesters violently dispersed by riot police. People protesting against police violence after the police killing of George Floyd became victims of police violence ordered by a photo-op-seeking president. …
The liberal criticism of the Nazi gun control argument is even more lame the the NRA’s abuse of the argument against any and all gun control measures.
The US has a bigger population of guns than it does people although gun ownership is distributed over less than half of households and less than a quarter of individuals. Then the majority of gun owners are more likely than not to be cowards in the face of a proximate of an SS or Gestapo lead government takeover of political freedom. So, there would not be a citizens’ army of resistance against a rogue military force, but rather a covert resistance by armed civilians. Hand guns and assault rifles are close combat weapons, but high-powered rifles with sniper scopes are the ticket for citizens resistance.
Guns are tools. I was taught to shoot before I could hold up a rifle offhand. I leaned against a tree for support shooting a .22 by age 7. I was taught about gun safety for years before I had my own gun.
The best weapon for home defense is not a handgun (which might shoot through a wall), but rather a pump shot gun loaded with standard load bird-shot in a full magazine that has had the plug removed. If you are outnumbered and outgunned then shooting from a hidden nest with a sniper rifle will get it done. It is important to have the right tool for the job and be an expert with that tool.
It is not necessary for both sides to be the same in order for both sides to be stupid.
The ‘well-regulated militia’ is the National Guard.
If you love guns, join up today!
You’ll be glad you did.