Thursday, May 16, 2019

Last Call For Trump's Race To The Bottom, Con't

As Charles Blow reminds us, Donald Trump is the politician of white men, for white men, in an America where increasingly only white men have full rights.

The white male racist patriarchy will not be denied. It is having a moment. It has its own president.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of race/ethnicity and sex among validated voters in the 2016 presidential election, white men were the only group in which a majority voted for Donald Trump — 62 percent — although a plurality of white women did also — 47 percent.

We are living through a flagrant display of a white male exertion of power, authority and privilege, a demonstration meant to underscore that they will forcefully fight any momentum toward demographic displacement, no matter how inevitable the math.

The fear of white male displacement is a powerful psychological motivator and keeps Trump’s base animated and active.

It keeps farmers holding out hope and making excuses for him, even as his trade war devastates their operations. It keeps coal country loyal, even as the promises of a revitalized coal industry ring hollow. It keeps white voters in the rust belt on the edge of their seats, waiting for the day that he will magically bring back manufacturing. It keeps white voters in the South heated over the issue of immigration and an “invasion” or “infestation” of Latin Americans.

Trump’s central promise as a politician has been the elevation, protection and promotion of whiteness, particularly white men who fear demographic changes and loss of status and privilege.

As Vox reported in 2017, white people of all ideologies, including liberals, become more conservative when confronted with the reality that a rising minority population means a loss of white dominance.

As the psychologist Jonathan Haidt recently told Vox:

“As multiculturalism is emphasized more and more, there emerges a reaction against it on the right, which is attractive to the authoritarian mind and also appeals to other conservatives. And this, I think, is what has happened, this is what Trump is about — not entirely, of course, but certainly this is a big factor.”

It is about stacking the courts, controlling the bodies of women (look no further than the raft of state abortion restrictions recently passed, including the outrageous new abortion law in Alabama), fighting the redefinition of gender as personified by the advances in liberty among people who are transgender, restricting the voting of nonwhite, less conservative groups, and controlling the flow of migrants into the country who do not bolster the white population.

But the stacking of the courts may well be the thing that makes all the others possible.
While much of the country tries to contend with the unending stream of outrages in the White House, the Senate majority leader is pushing through a steady stream of Trump’s far-right federal judges, often breaking precedent and allowing for their confirmations over their home state’s senators’ objection.

The recent confirmation of Joseph Bianco to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, based in New York, was Trump’s 38th confirmed circuit court judge, HuffPost reported last week, adding:

“That’s more circuit judges than any president has gotten by this point in a first term, and means that one in every six seats on the nation’s circuit courts is now filled by a Trump nominee.”
These are lifetime appointments. Even if demographics change over one’s lifetime, these judges will not. 

And that's where we are.  Even if Trump was forced out of office tomorrow by impeachment, the circuit court, appellate court, and Supreme Court appointments by Trump will control America's destiny for a generation.   The plan isn't to alter the math of demographics, the plan is to reverse demographics.  America's days as a multi-cultural beacon to the planet are over, possibly for good.

History tells us there's a lot more that black folk, women, Asians, Latinos, and everyone who isn't a white male can lose.

And we will pay that price for the rest of my lifetime, at the minimum.

The Reach To Impeach, Con't

As Greg Sargent points out, Nancy Pelosi has effectively killed impeachment, and California billionaire and Democratic  activist Tom Steyer has had enough.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has succeeded in stifling impeachment talk. The Post reports that the speaker privately told Democrats to stick to policy and forget about an impeachment inquiry, and not a single Democrat uttered a word in protest.

This is meant to illustrate the iron grip that Pelosi often successfully maintains on her caucus. But, whether you support an impeachment inquiry right now, there’s no way to describe the broader strategy that Democrats have adopted on the impeachment question as a success. It’s been a muddled mess.

A new ad that impeachment proponent Tom Steyer is set to launch illustrates this well. Notably, rather than merely making the case for an inquiry, the ad trains its fire at Democrats for failing to initiate one.

The ad — a $1 million buy on national cable and in Iowa and New Hampshire — takes aim at what might be called the Democrats’ “Wait For Mueller” strategy, referring to the investigation conducted by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Stringing together quotes from ordinary Americans, it says:

This is a message for leaders of the Democratic Party. For over two years, this president has broken the law, and nothing happened. You told us to wait for the Mueller investigation. And when he showed obstruction of justice, nothing happened.

Numerous Democrats did claim there was no need to decide on an impeachment inquiry until we saw Mueller’s findings.

In retrospect, this was a serious strategic failure. If it was intended as a stalling tactic — a way to delay the moment at which Democrats would reveal their real intention not to act — it only created a situation in which Mueller’s extraordinarily serious revelations made it more difficult to definitively close the door on it.

If it was sincere — i.e., Democrats really wanted Mueller’s findings before making the call — then they were not prepared for the possibility that those revelations would be severe enough to overwhelmingly warrant an inquiry, setting them up to look feckless and weak at a moment of extraordinary challenge to the country.

Whichever it was, the result has been that Democrats have been forced by the seriousness of the revelations not to close the door on impeachment, but rather to again defer the decision, by claiming that they must first do more fact-finding.

And Sargent is correct.

Nancy Pelosi won't save us.

Robert Mueller won't save us.

Tom Steyer won't save us.

We have to save ourselves.

Another Hat Lands In The Ring, Con't

Despite absolutely nobody believing he can win or even that he should be in the race, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is making his 2020 bid for the White House.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will declare his bid for the presidency on Thursday, a campaign spokesperson said Wednesday, joining the almost two dozen other candidates already competing for the Democratic nomination.

De Blasio will make the formal announcement Thursday morning and then travel to Iowa and South Carolina for multiple stops over four days. His wife, Chirlane McCray, who has been a highly visible presence and close adviser during his six years at City Hall, will join him for part of the trip.

A Facebook post from the Woodbury County Democratic Party in Iowa announcing that de Blasio would appear at an event Thursday as the first stop on his presidential tour let the cat out of the bag early before his formal declaration. The post was later deleted.

The mayor plans to highlight his record of liberal accomplishments in the nation’s largest city, including enacting universal pre-kindergarten, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and overseeing a drop in crime to an all-time low.

De Blasio is not particularly popular back home, nor in early surveys of Iowa and New Hampshire, which vote first in the primary process. His popular predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, opted out of a 2020 run.

But allies of de Blasio, who was easily re-elected in 2017 despite a testy relationship with the local press corps and an FBI investigationthat eventually cleared him, argue he has as much or more executive experience as any candidate in the 2020 field and a record of actually doing things other candidates have only talked about.

"Because he has such a present press corps in a tabloid city, we've seen him up close and in an aggressive and unflattering light, but if you look at his actual record of achievement, it's quite lengthy,” said Rebecca Katz, a Democratic strategist and former top de Blasio aide. "Yes, there's an argument to be made about whether he should be running for president or not, but he is certainly qualified."

With an estimated 8.6 million residents, New York City has a bigger population than 38 states, including Washington, Colorado and Montana, whose governors or former governors are also running for president.

De Blasio isn't a bad guy, there's just no reason why he should be president.  He doesn't bring anything new or useful to the table.  Yes, the Big Apple press certainly tries to make him look like a buffoon every chance they get, but a lot of that is de Blasio himself constantly giving them the opportunity to dunk on him.

Besides, I don't think he can handle the pressure.  He's notoriously thin-skinned and we have enough of that in the current jackass in the Oval Office.

Hard Pass, Bill.  Get your public transportation and schools in order first, then get back to me.


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