Tuesday, June 2, 2020

America: The Broken, 2020 Edition

Who could have predicted, except for hundreds and thousands of commentators, many of them women and/or POC.

Here's me, writing 3 years ago, at Shakesville, for instance:
"Donald Trump is the inevitable Republican politician for a rotten-to-the-core Republican Party that has condoned the use of any means necessary to win. To enact their regressive, cruel agenda, they have enabled a man to become President who is not only temperamentally-unsuited and unqualified for the office he holds, but whose very presence there is a daily, stark reminder of their contempt for both democracy and the people of this nation.

America: we are broken."
The George B. Bush years were bad. Very bad. The Trump years are exponentially worse.

If you'd have asked me the day after the 2016 election if in a few years it would feel like we would be living through some of the worst moments of the 1930s, 40s, and 60s, but also with Twitter, Facebook, a pandemic, and a fascist president who was brought to us by the reality TV-ification of US politics, I'd say, "Yep, Sure. Sounds about right."

Every time I think we've hit rock bottom, things somehow get worse.

And, if anything, the COVID pandemic should be telling everyone in the US, even the most privileged, how drastically our lives can change, pretty much overnight, and not in a good way. I think many white people mean well when they post the memes about their #whiteprivilege and how "safe" they are relative to Black people, and that is true to an extent, but white people also would do well to stop acting like they/we are entirely objective observers of history, rather than people who can also be killed, uprooted, and oppressed by the Trump regime. Especially now.

I wish I could find it now, but when I was perusing the Twitter recently, someone noted that one of the condescending errors of the post-2016-election "safety pin" thing, where white people would wear safety pins to surreptitiously signal to people of color that they/we are "allies," was the simple-minded assumption that we would be entirely untouched, ourselves, by the horrors of the Trump regime. 

I also understand that people need hope, and I refuse to give up hope. Still.

But, a lot of people seem to think that the current protests around the country mean we're on the cusp of the leftist, socialist, utopian revolution, rather than on the cusp of a violent, authoritarian dictatorship fully backed by one of our two major political parties, roughly half of US voters, about 2/3rds branches of the US government, and a federal military force commanded by the political right.

The 2016 election was, perhaps even more than 2000, the most pivotal election of most of our lifetimes, and what's done is done.

The US government has never acted with the consent of the majority of those within its borders. The majority of voters, by millions, can and did reject a man like Trump and that still, still was not enough to keep him from power. 

The protests we are seeing from city to city in response to the police killing of George Floyd are, first and foremost the result of police violence inflicted upon Black people, and more generally seem to be a release valve for the unrest that results from the reality that the United States was designed to be an unjust, oppressive state that privileges the rights, safety, and well-being of a subset of citizens, and that this fact has been self-evident to millions of oppressed people throughout the history of this nation despite mass efforts to gaslight us into thinking otherwise.

Many people now seem to be making catastrophic miscalculations about the current state of affairs, miscalculations akin to the wishful thinking that Comey or Mueller or Fauci or whoever-the-fuck-white-male-savior would somehow swoop in and save us from the madman.

Please stay safe friends and longtime readers, however you can. I know that's not super useful advice, but the only advice I can muster now is that the time for thinking about politics in soundbite is over so try not to let the memes be your guide.

Oh, and happy fuckin' pride month.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Femslash ___Day: VillanEve

What day is it? What time is it? What along decade it's been, huh?

I recently realized, only half-jokingly, that I measure time now by when it's time to watch Killing Eve again, and then I realized it's been fully 10 million years since we've had a Femslash Friday in Fannie's Room.

So, why not bring it back pandemic-time's sake?

I can't explain why I like Killing Eve so much, as it's a show I would be extremely not into if either of the two main characters were men.

I just started Season 3. So, I will need to digest the series more before I have anything more intelligent to say than the obvious fact that I, uh, appreciate the Sapphic subtext. And, maybe I will find time to write longform again when we're not in the middle of a fucking pandemic.

On that note, smell you later, and enjoy today's Villanelle/Eve fan vid.

In other news, I love how the Navy has basically confirmed the existence of UFOs and things are so awful right now that nobody even really cares.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Kyrie

Many years ago in college I read Ellen Bryant Voigt's book of poems, Kyrie, which is set during the influenza pandemic of 1918. I've thought of it on and off since then, particularly during the swine flu pandemic of 2009 and, of course, now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I found my copy of the book in my bookshelves the other day and read through it again. Each poem is written from the perspective of different, recurring people, dealing with the pandemic and/or World War I, in their own ways. The title, Kyrie ("Lord, have mercy") is referenced throughout, with poems alluding to the various characters' feelings of abandonment by their God, (naive?) optimism in the beginning ("Surely He shall deliver us from the snare"), and eventual hopelessness ("Oh yes I used to pray").

Another recurring theme is that of animals, both their ability to sense when something is off and the inescapable fact that humans are embodied animals and a part of nature, ourselves, despite our modern amenities.

In an early poem, foreshadowing the pandemic, she writes:

"Dogs, all kind of dogs - signals
are their job, they cock their heads,
their backs bristle, even house dogs
wake up and circle the wool rug
Outside, the vacant yard: then,
within minutes something eats the sun."

Life is inescapably different, and dark.

In another, she writes:

"Before the weather goes, you slaughter hogs
unless you want to find them on their sides, 
rheumy eyes, running snout.

It's simple enough arithmetic, 
so don't you think the Kaiser knew?
Get one hog sick, you get them all."

Looking at our present situation, a pandemic would be frightening even if we had trustworthy, competent, mature leadership at the federal level.

What is more clear than ever is that the 2016 election was a catastrophic failure in the history of our nation, as what is making this pandemic exponentially worse for the USA is that Donald Trump is in charge of the federal government.

I don't think he cares about Americans (or anyone) dying, and in fact he probably wants us to if we are Democrats, living in major (Democratic-voting) cities, and/or live in states with Democratic governors.

I think he's a sociopathic narcissist who only cares about the economy, rather than human beings, recovering. (Likewise, I think many of the journalists who covered Trump in 2016, and who continue to do so, are also sociopathic narcissists who are still somewhat entertained by Trump and everything that is happening right now, and that anyone lauding Trump's "change in tone as of late" should be deeply ashamed and resign immediately for incompetence.)

I think Trump will try to use the pandemic as an excuse to try cancel, delay, and/or rig the 2020 election, or to severely suppress turnout.

I think we have to rely more than ever on state, local, and private efforts for relief.

Officials are saying we have a very rough week or weeks ahead of us. I know a lot of people are having a hard time, for all kinds of reasons. So, mostly, I just wanted to drop a note to say hi and give people space to vent, be mad, be sad, be scared, whatever.

But I also want to say this: Rudy Giuliani is a creepy-ass dillrod who looks/acts like one of the Gentlemen from the episode "Hush" of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Thoughts on Social Isolation and 2020

Whew!

The past month or so has been a lot, yeah?  It appears that Joe Biden is on track to the Democratic nominee for president. And, fine. Whatever. He wasn't my top choice at all, but the COVID-19 pandemic, and Trump's massive failures around managing it, is one of many issues that highlights the urgency of defeating Trump in 2020.

It's a low bar, but Biden would be exponentially better than Trump. And, if Bernie Sanders were to pull off a surprise win, he would be as well. Whoever the nominee is just needs to be smart enough to name a progressive woman as vice president.

Anyway, it appears many of us will be stuck indoors, at home, isolating ourselves from others during this pandemic. Also, shoutout to those providing essential services right now who cannot do so, including health workers, firefighters, caregivers, law enforcement, delivery people, and more.

During this time, I've been thinking of doing a Xena rewatch (and possibly recaps, but not sure what I will have time for, given my other responsibilities).

Anyway, I mostly just wanted to check in. Please stay safe and healthy (and at home, if you are able!). How are others occupying themselves during this time?




Tuesday, February 18, 2020

William H. Harrison's Ball

In my ongoing quest to read a biography or memoir of every US president, I have finally arrived at William Henry Harrison, whose tenure lasted just 31 days before he became the first president to die in office.

As with previous presidential biographies, the Harrison biography I read, Gail Collins' slender William Henry Harrison, serves as a reminder that, as much as early era of our nation is romanticized in some circles, the early political system was not super democratic. Nominating conventions were run by party elites who handpicked candidates, and even in 1840 only certain classes of white men could vote, with some variation in specific eligibility rules by state.

But, similar to now, presidential campaigns built mythological narratives around their candidate, such as the notion that Harrison was a simple "Log Cabin" sort of guy even though the reality is that he was raised on a plantation and was the relative of a Founding Father.

And also, at times, campaigning could get really fucking weird:
"The average American voter in this new era [of Jacksonian political campaigning] lived on a farm, where he and his family worked incessantly, spending their nights in small, dimly lit houses in relative silence. There were no sports and few public entertainments. So the chance to sing, parade, or lift a flagpole for a presidential candidate was a marvelous diversion. People would turn out for almost anything that offered a break from their usual routing, even if was just to cheer the arrival of an oversized ball being rolled from town to town in honor of their party's nominee. (The balls were generally made of paper and covered with political slogans. The Whigs in Cleveland constructed one of tin, twelve feet wide, and pushed it all the way to Columbus in Harrison's honor....)."
What.


Monday, February 10, 2020

On White Daddy and Electability, Again

When you think about it, a white male Democrat hasn't won a US presidential election since Bill Clinton did in 1996, a quarter century ago.

At the same time, polling data from the past year or so consistently have white men - specifically Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders - as performing better against Trump in 2020 general election matchups than do the candidates who are women and/or people of color. Here's one sample poll from early February 2020, for instance, from Real Clear Politics:

General Election Poll vs. Trump, 2/2/20: Biden +6, Sanders +4, Warren +3, Buttigieg +1
Interestingly, the numbers for Trump tend to stay about the same no matter who he's matched up against. It's voters for the Democratic candidate who tend to peel away the further away from "cishet white man" the Democratic candidate is. Some polls, for instance, even show billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who entered the race relatively recently, doing about the same as Joe Biden.

Another data point is that historical polling data from February 2016 shows that Hillary Clinton was polling at about where Joe Biden currently is polling versus Trump. In fact - unlike Biden or any other 2020 candidate - she regularly had a double-digit advantage on Trump at around this point in the campaign. Current numbers, of course, are also before Trump and the Republicans really start going after the nominee. Although I'm sure their efforts to cause chaos and in-fighting are already well underway, we can expect such things to amp up after the Democratic National Convention when they can really solidify around different narratives and attacks on the nominee.

All of these factoids together concern me for our 2020 prospects.

Hillary Clinton bested Trump in the 2016 popular vote by literal millions of votes, of course, and Trump squeaked out an electoral college win in swing states after a, to put it mildly, clusterfucked cascade of colliding factors worked against her. The thinking this time around is that Bernie or Biden or, I guess, Bloomberg would be able to win at least some of the swing states that Clinton lost, a premise that seems to rest largely on the usually-unstated assumption that these men would win because they are white men.

Yes, I know other reasons are put forth as to why these men would win, and they usually involve some variation on the narrative that, unlike the fine specimens of politicians that these white men are, Hillary Clinton was History's Worst Candidate Ever.  As white male politicians such as Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and even Martin O'Malley (yes really) looked around the post-2016-election aftermath and thought the world needed their gloat-bragging that they could have done what "the woman" didn't do, they helped write into existence the pervasive narrative that the USA was in dire need of White Daddy to come to the rescue.

Now, I don't think it's even necessarily sexist to point out that much of the electorate has bought into the sexist hype around the dire need for a white male candidate "because of everyone else's bigotry." What was largely lost in the national discourse, if one can call it that, around whether Bernie Sanders actually told Elizabeth Warren that he thought a woman couldn't win the presidency, is that a presidential contest is not like a one-on-one chess game. It's a popularity context, the results of which are an expression of millions of voters' prejudices, hopes, dreams, fears, and countless factors outside of the control of the candidates themselves.

That supposed frontrunner Joe Biden, who would perform catastrophically in a debate against Trump anyway, is treating the match-up like a boxing match and, like most 2020 candidates, has yet to acknowledge everything Clinton was up against, demonstrates primarily that he is not anywhere near equipped to face the challenges of the general election that are yet to come.

Trump is unquestionably so terrible that I think many people and institutional powers are circularly settling for mediocre candidates who don't, actually, have a great chance at beating Trump because they "reason" that "everyone else" is settling for these candidates because these are the only candidates who can win.

Or, they felt deeply threatened by Clinton's near-win in 2016 and so are implicitly or explicitly demanding consolidation around certain white male candidates. We are, I believe, still experiencing the fallout of a 2016 election cycle that was deeply misogynistic across the political spectrum and in which, in true American form, many people demanded everyone immediately stop "relitigating" (ie, processing, analyzing, writing about).

And so, here we are, with many of the same issues cropping up. That one of the major players in the 2016 Democratic Primary decided to run again while the other was largely told to go knit in the woods for the rest of her days hasn't helped the situation.

But, such is life, here in the backlash.

On the Bernie front, I think hardcore Bernie supporters, many of whom operate in a rhetorical environment as though Republicans simply don't exist, are in serious denial about how he would fare against Trump/Republican attacks against him and "radical socialism." In the recent Iowa Caucus, Bernie halved his support in the state after 5+ years of campaigning for president and ended up essentially tied with the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana that no one had heard of a year ago.

My strategy for 2020 is therefore to vote for the candidate whose policies I most agree with and who I think would be most effective as president. For me, that person is Elizabeth Warren. If that person, for you, is Biden or Bernie, more power to you. But, if you're only supporting certain candidates because you think a white man is the "safer" candidate against Trump, I think that's questionable logic.

No candidate is a safe one in this age of propaganda, disinformation, and foreign collusion. Certain candidates have been granted a huge assist from the hype about white male electability, but none of that has accounted for all of the additional noise that exists in our current political landscape.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Thoughts on Atwood's The Testaments

One of the books I've read so far this new decade is Margaret Atwood's sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, The Testaments.

It was interesting to revisit this universe, and its characters, 10 years after I initially read The Handmaid's Tale (and wrote about it here, at this very web-log), and I understand (or think I do) why Atwood herself would want to publish a sequel in this particular political moment, 34 years after she published the original.

[Note: this discussion contains plot spoilers]

The events in the sequel occur 15 or so years after the events in the original and lead up to the fall of Gilead. Two of the main characters are the two daughters of June (aka, "Offred"), one of whom was raised in Canada and one of whom, Agnes, was raised in Gilead. Another main character, whose account we read in the first person, is Aunt Lydia, a villain character in the original, which I'll discuss shortly.

My first thought about the sequel pertains to Agnes. With her, and her young female peers in Gilead, we saw how it took just one generation for previous cultural knowledge and female empowerment to be virtually eliminated. Consistent with fundamentalist Christian doctrine in Gilead, young girls were not taught to read, were taught to be subservient, and were taught that their prime duty in life was to become wives and mothers.

Cut off from wider knowledge and other cultures, that was their normal. They had no other ways of living to compare their own to.

To me that speaks to the reality, as I've said before, that liberation is something that every generation will have to contend with and fight for. We can help light the way, just as others before us have done for us, but it really is a constant struggle. Progress can absolutely be wiped out and reversed.

My second thought is about Aunt Lydia. In The Handmaid's Tale, we saw that the role of the Aunts was instrumental in maintaining order among, and indoctrinating, young girls and women into their proper roles in Gilead. I saw the Aunts, upon my first reading of the original, as unambiguous villains. They were, to me, obvious conservative gender traitors who were politically aligned with the male supremacists running the show.

In The Testaments, Atwood provides flashbacks into the Gilead "revolution" from the perspective of Aunt Lydia. In short, before the revolution, she had been a family law judge, and afterwards, was broken down through violence, imprisonment, solitary confinement, torture, and threats of death. Her options were to either become an Aunt in this new society, or to be killed. So, she cast her lot with the oppressors.

Yet, in a twist, we learn that Aunt Lydia is instrumental in the plot to take down Gilead. When recounting her conversion to Aunt, and the objective detachment she felt when she was being beaten by the Gileadeans, she writes:
"This kicking and tasing procedure was repeated two more times. Three is a magic number. Did I weep? Yes: tears came out of my two visible eyes, my moist weeping human eyes. But I had a third eye, in the middle of my forehead. I could feel it: it was cold, like a stone. It did not weep: it saw. And behind it someone was thinking: I will get you back for this. I don't care how long it takes or how much shit I have to eat in the meantime, but I will do it."
Aunt Lydia did terrible things to women and girls as an Aunt, after the Gilead revolution. She was also playing a long game, born from her lived experience of her own oppression.

A truly putrid thing about patriarchal rape culture is how it stains everyone who lives in it by virtue of it, simply, being our all-pervasive environment. Aunt Lydia's is an extreme example, sure, but many of the choices we make in such a society are bad ones because, for any given problem, all of the choices we have available to us are bad ones.

The other lesson with respect to Aunt Lydia is that forcing people to "bend the knee" for one's political revolution is rarely a viable political strategy for the long-term, given that it mostly leads to a long-festering rage that will ultimately lead to vengeance.

Lastly, and on a more minor note, whenever I read Atwood, I remember how much I appreciate her sardonic wit, even in the smaller details of the worlds she builds. For instance, Gilead places the responsibility for executing various "criminals" onto the Handmaids, order which they carry out as a group. Atwood calls these events "Particicutions."

It seems like a word that could be repurposed to describe what often happens on Twitter nowadays, when hiveminds of bots and bad faith actors pile on users in the most dehumanizing ways imaginable.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Quote of the Day: "We Knew This Already"

Even as the outcome seems a foregone conclusion and I haven't been talking about it much, I've been following the Trump impeachment proceedings.

Daliah Lithwick, at Slate, captures the zeitgeist of what it means to live in a nation with two major political parties, only one of which is remotely interested in democracy, truth, fairness, and justice, and a mainstream media ecosystem that repeatedly offers "false balance" when so many of Trump's misdeeds have been done openly, in plain sight:
"Seeking, over and over, evidence of that which has already been proved sets the bar higher than it need be. And it also blunts us to how horrifying those very first disturbing facts—from the original lies on the campaign trail to the corruption of the inauguration—really were. Or as Paul Waldman puts it, the primary mantra of the Trump Era has become 'we knew this already.' As I’ve suggested in the past, this is not about persuasion, or even about TV ratings, but about a messaging war, in which one side is overcommitted to truth-seeking while the other is overcommitted to shit-seeking.'"
The Republicans repeatedly shit-stir false allegation after false allegation, thus giving the 40% of or so of the American voting populace a pretext to continue supporting an authoritarian bigot because "Democrats are just as corrupt, if not moreso."

I think often about the vast political, opinion, and reality chasm between the population that remains committed to Trump, no matter what, and those who do not.

As we live through another Democratic Primary season, I continue to wonder if part of why those on the moderate-to-left side of the political spectrum are so hard on each other is because it so often feels completely hopeless to engage those on the political right.

Adding to this tension is that the very real urgency of defeating Trump and the Republicans is coupled with the reality that legitimate divides exist among the anti-Trump crowd, divides that need to be hashed out, rather than swept under the rug in that oh-so-American-way for some people's comfort and perceived "unity."

Resolving this tension has always been one of the main tasks in our post-2016 election environment, an environment in which, instead, mainstream voices almost immediately told everyone opposed to Trump - especially the marginalized, the silenced, and the abused - to shut the fuck up, stop talking about identity politics/political correctness, and unite, and maybe just maybe some of those Trump supporters will join our side and we can win in 2020.

That narrative rested on the premise of "if they only knew Trump was bad, they wouldn't support him," which in the era of Fox News and Mitch McConnell has turned out to be faulty. We knew Trump was bad already. Everybody did. For a lot of people, that's precisely the point. And, telling the marginalized to remain silent about their pain, for the sake of perceived unity, mostly just adds cruelty on top of cruelty.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

"From this moment forward, as in days past"

I've read five books so far this (new) decade and I've been pretty pleased with them all.

These include:
  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (Atul Gawande)
  • The Great Believers (Rebecca Makkai)
  • A Wild and Precious Life: A Memoir (Edie Windsor)
  • The Testaments (Margaret Atwood)
  • Blowout (Rachel Maddow). 
Today, I want to talk about Windsor's memoir, primarily because I cried about a million times during it, but also because parts of it were pretty hilarious. Also, if the name sounds familiar, Edie is the Windsor from the US Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor, which overturned part of the anti-equality Defense of Marriage Act.

In the book, Windsor recounts a lot of anecdotes about her life as a young lesbian in the pre-Stonewall era, like the following from circa 1950, about being attracted to a woman named Renee and somehow "intuiting" that Renee felt the same way during their flirty tennis matches, where they had a habit of  repeatedly and "accidentally" bumping into each other on the court.
"...[O]ne afternoon when Renee knocked me particularly hard on the elbow and flashed her customary apologetic-yet-flirty grin, I leaned in and said under my breath, 'Do that again, and I'll kiss you on the mouth.'
She looked a little startled and a little shocked, but after class, she came up to me and asked, 'Did you mean it?'
'Yes,' I said, feeling impossibly bold.
'Where can we do that?'"
Windsor then proceeded to clock two Women's Army Corp vets as being a couple and immediately began renting apartment space from them from her hookups with Renee.

Circa 1950! 

Anyway, after 40+ years of being together, Windsor was finally able to legally marry her partner Thea Spyer in Canada in 2007, when Spyer had advanced multiple sclerosis. During their ceremony, their vows included the lines, "With this ring, I thee wed.... from this moment forward, as in days past," acknowledging that they had spent virtually a lifetime together before their relationship and commitment were acknowledgement by a government (even if not their own, yet).

Spyer died in 2009, and shortly thereafter Windsor was hospitalized for stress cardiomyopathy, or what is sometimes called "broken heart syndrome."  Windsor later became more active in the LGBT rights movement and eventually passed away in 2017. I'm glad she lived long enough to experience the win in US v. Windsor, which was a highlight in her life, as it was for so many of us, as well.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Clinton on Sanders: It's the Culture Around Him

Zero fucks Hillary Clinton is the best Hillary Clinton.

In an interview with Hollywood Reporter about the upcoming series about her, here she is on Bernie Sanders:
"I will say, however, that [the problem is] not only him, it's the culture around him. It's his leadership team. It's his prominent supporters. It's his online Bernie Bros and their relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women. And I really hope people are paying attention to that because it should be worrisome that he has permitted this culture — not only permitted, [he] seems to really be very much supporting it. And I don't think we want to go down that road again where you campaign by insult and attack and maybe you try to get some distance from it, but you either don't know what your campaign and supporters are doing or you're just giving them a wink and you want them to go after Kamala [Harris] or after Elizabeth [Warren]. I think that that's a pattern that people should take into account when they make their decisions."
I appreciate Clinton bringing gender to the forefront in the 2020 election, because gender has oddly not been, despite a primary that started with record numbers of women running.

Of course, last week's conversation, if one can call it that, about whether or not Bernie Sanders told Elizabeth Warren he didn't think a woman could win the presidency, after which Warren was viciously attacked online by influential Bernie supporters and surrogates, demonstrates why female candidates might choose not to foreground gender, and misogyny, in their campaign.

There is absolutely a toxic left misogyny culture around Bernie Sanders, a culture that he has let fester.

Observe, for instance, my reaction last week to well-known Bernie supporter Michael Moore's attack on Elizabeth Warren, which he tweeted out to his 6 million followers:


This type of vitriol from influential Bernie supporters isn't even rare. Shaun King, who has over 1 million followers, was also repeatedly tweeting attacks on Warren, claiming to have inside knowledge about how Warren is dishonest.

It's also hard to overstate how the festering of this culture is made so much easier on social media, particularly Twitter. For instance, on Twitter, once a high-follower, pro-Bernie account tweets a general soundbite about another candidate, bots and Bernie supporters begin swarming with riffs on that soundbite, targeting that candidate and the ordinary people who support that candidate.

Bernie could de-escalate a lot of what we see, online, from his hard-core supporters, but too often, we see that, through his silence, he lets the abuse and misogyny work in his favor. Historically, to "address" the abuse, he has just given a general statement saying he doesn't want his supporters to attack people, and they continue to do so anyway.

Interestingly, though, when one of Bernie's surrogates attacked Joe Biden in a piece at The Guardian, Bernie just recently outright apologized to Biden, in public.

It's a notable distinction to how he treats his female/POC opponents.

[1/23/20 - UPDATE: Conspicuously proving Hillary Clinton's point about the culture that permeates Bernie's campaign, with his endorsement, today Bernie Sanders approvingly tweeted a clip of Joe Rogan speaking well of Bernie and saying he's probably going to vote for him. As Sady Doyle notes, Joe Rogan is, uh, pretty problematic for a host of reasons.]

Friday, January 3, 2020

US Attacks Iran

Almost two year ago to the day, I wrote:
"If Trump remains in office for a full term, I think it is very likely that he will manufacture a war or crisis in order to bump up his approval ratings and pressure Congress to stop investigating his ties to Russia."
After having just been impeached, and with the 2020 presidential election looming, Trump appears to be doing just that with the recent US strikes that killed a top Iranian General.

Republicans in Congress will back Trump in going to war (or him just attacking states without declaring war), and he can also count on the support of many within the mainstream media to cajole the citizenry and Democrats into dropping this impeachment business and rallying behind "the President" similar to how they did with George W. Bush's immoral wars, for the sake of "patriotism," thus helping to ensure a second term in office.