Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Sat Dec 12, 2020 3:33 pm

Trump's effort to overthrow democracy dead ends at Supreme Court but the damage is lasting

(CNN)President Donald Trump's effort to unravel democracy hit a dead end at the Supreme Court Friday night, capping five weeks in which he dragged the country along on his narcissistic quest to stay in power after President-elect Joe Biden overwhelmingly won the election.

In the end, the guardrails of democracy stayed in place. Trump lost -- for the second time at the Supreme Court this week. But instead of helping the effort to curb a deadly pandemic that has claimed nearly 300,000 American lives by easing the transition for his successor, he is already scheming about his next political moves. Before the high court rejected his bid Friday, his campaign announced a cable ad buy to further his fraudulent claims about the election, and he clearly intends to try and meddle in Congress' counting of the Electoral College results in January.
More broadly, the damage he has done to Americans' faith and trust in democratic institutions will last long after he packs his bags and ends what will go down as one of the worst presidencies in history.

<snip>

Trump "put a huge stress test on our democracy," GOP election lawyer Ben Ginsberg said, reflecting on the destruction that the commander-in-chief has wrought by undermining US election processes and jeopardizing the safety of countless election workers as he pursued frivolous lawsuits that were scorned even by judges he appointed.
"It's five weeks after Election Day, and the institutions of our democracy held against this onslaught, and so we should be really proud of that," Ginsberg said to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" Friday evening. "At the same time, the Republicans who did follow Donald Trump really have an obligation now to make the country strong again, to heal the chinks that Donald Trump tried to put in the foundation and the democracy."
But there are few signs that Trump loyalists are taking that moment of reflection in a deeply fractured Republican Party. When Trump joined Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's lawsuit, which was also joined by 19 GOP attorneys general and was attempting to invalidate the votes of millions of voters in Biden-won states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin, more than 125 GOP House lawmakers also signed on, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

<snip>

"The Supreme Court really let us down. No wisdom, No Courage!" Trump tweeted shortly before midnight.
But the Supreme Court's order once again affirmed that the President's legal efforts have been a total waste of time for the country at a moment when there were lives to be saved.
Despite the court's solid conservative majority -- and the fact that Trump named three of the justices seated on the court -- there were no noted dissents to the court's order, which essentially said that Texas has no grounds to challenge how other states conduct their elections.

<snip>

Trump tries to subvert science

<snip>

"I promised that we would produce a vaccine in record time before the end of the year," Trump said. "They said it couldn't be done, but with today's announcement, we have now achieved that goal."
He called the vaccine "verifiably safe and effective," but hours earlier he smashed through the time-honored tradition in the United States of separating politics from science by trying to interfere in the FDA's authorization process.
Frustrated by the fact that other countries like the United Kingdom began vaccinating their citizens first, the President appeared to lean on the FDA to accelerate their review -- which could increase the skittishness of Americans who are already wary of taking the vaccine because of fears it was rushed. A Gallup poll released this week showed that 63% of Americans now say they are willing to be immunized against Covid-19.
On Twitter Friday, Trump called the FDA "a big, old, slow turtle."
"Get the dam vaccines out NOW, Dr. Hahn @SteveFDA," Trump tweeted at Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, misspelling the word "damn." "Stop playing games and start saving lives!!!"
At the time of his pressure campaign, sources told CNN the FDA had been expected to grant emergency use authorization either Friday or Saturday, so it was unclear why Trump felt the need to weigh in on a decision that would come within hours.
CNN's White House team reported that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Hahn during a call on Friday morning that he needed to grant an emergency use authorization for Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine by the end of the day or he should resign.

(more...)

https://us.cnn.com/2020/12/12/politics/ ... index.html
Getting caught up in Trump hysteria serves us poorly. Just as the party duopoly disguises ruling class dominance so Trump the Devil misdirects us from the fact that he is the over-ripe fruit of capitalism and that most of what he has done or tried to do is out of US capital's playbook. The exceptions being his continually stymied attempts to withdraw troops from the ME and his counter-productive tariff war against China. He says he relies on his 'gut feelings' and the resulting flatulence confirms that he is indeed the avatar of his class. At a time when his peers would tamp down visible racism to get a respite from protests and incipient radicalization he doubles down on dividing the workers. An instinctive 'back to basics' approach, the hallmark of any sort of conservative. The more sophisticated approach to 'crowd control' espoused by liberals, platitudes, bribery and assimilation meet the current and short term needs of capital and while not the slippery slope which conservatives decry do take a dime or two out of the booj's pockets and might encourage further demands, which is of course part of our game plan.

The damage done to public confidence cannot be underestimated. It was never that great, the chump wouldn't have won in '16 otherwise. The performance of the state in meeting the expectations of the masses is one reason, it's been bait & switch every time as what is purported to benefit all only results in substantial benefits for the wealthy few. Compounding this knavery is the libertarian truism that private enterprise is always superior to government, as self-serving a lie as has ever been uttered. But it chimes well with the distorted 'individualism' that the panegyrists of privilege purvay.

The validity of elections from here on in will be subject to suspicion if not outright hostility and not just by the MAGA crowd, anybody can play that game and it has cred on the popular level.

Any old fart(like myself) who reads the pages of warnings that come with their meds might be more than a little suspicious of the super-rushed & politically expedient output of US Pharma. I am not in a hurry to get their vaccine until a few million of my fellow Amerikans are guinea pigs but would jump at a Cuban or Chinese product.

Bourgeois democracy has been the ruling class's plow horse since the beginning of this racket, it's old and getting slow and the prez has kicked it when it fell.. How much further it can drag their plow remains to be seen.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:20 pm

In a new attempt to maximize his fading influence, Trump issued a video Tuesday expressing his disapproval of the Covid rescue bill for not including larger one-time stimulus payments and leaving open the question of whether he will sign the bill.

<snip>

Trump's apparent threat to veto the package just passed by Congress could further deepen the country's dire economic circumstances.
The President's new demand for payments of $2,000 for each American will strike a chord among many people who viewed the stimulus checks folded into the bill as miserly.
What's Our Boy up to? Is he throwing a monkey wrench out of spite? Probably. Is he making a blatant attempt to bolster his fading popularity through bribery? Certainly. Is he right in that the people and the economy desperately need a more serious cash injection. Absolutely. That his motivation is utterly base and self-serving matters not a whit.

A tricky bit of business for the ruling class consensus: if they cave Trump's popularity, especially with his Republican Party base, is renewed and invigorated, something that party's grandees who are ready to 'move on' don't want. And the same goes for the Dems, except for their always ignored 'left' wing. If it is shot down, as I expect, Trump can say "I tried", which will still be good for his cred while the 'consensus' look like the cold blooded scum that they are. Either way a parting shot at Bourgeois Democracy.
Biden also issued an unusually strong condemnation of an outgoing President by a President-elect over Trump's absolution of Russia for a massive cyberattack on US federal servers that his government has blamed on the Kremlin.
"This assault happened on Donald Trump's watch, when he wasn't watching," Biden said of a presidential response that has only deepened the mystery over Trump's bizarre deference to President Vladimir Putin.
https://us.cnn.com/2020/12/23/politics/ ... index.html
What happened with this? 'Biggest hack ever', gotta be the Russians because.....because it's just gotta be. To hell with verifiable evidence. Yet other than JB's mention it cannot be found on the 'front page' today. How is that? Perhaps because it is about to croak for lack of evidence and outside corroboration? We'll see... (I've never figured the prez's relationship with Putin/Russia tho it must somehow involved Trump's personal profit. it's just how he rolls.) Russia/Putin saw an opportunity to get the hostility that the Obama regime was increasing dialed back and were very deferential for the first couple years until it became undeniably clear the imperial apparatus wouldn't stand for it. Imperial interests and the Dem's partisan interests: a perfect marriage of policy and politics.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:02 pm

After President Donald Trump signed a COVID-19 stimulus package into law on Sunday night, lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle immediately pressed for a new vote to get $2,000 checks to Americans amid the worsening pandemic.

<snip>

The president said Republicans have agreed to a new vote on $2,000 stimulus checks. "On Monday, the House will vote to increase payments to individuals from $600 to $2,000," he wrote in a statement announcing his decision. "Therefore, a family of four would receive $5,200."

<snip>

Most Republican senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mitch McConnell, have remained silent on Trump's sudden demand to fatten the checks. Democrats and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent, urged Trump to convince Republicans to back the measure on Sunday.

"Finally. Now, Trump must get Mitch McConnell and his Republican friends in the Senate to pass legislation to provide $2,000 in direct payments to the working class," Sanders tweeted.

Progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez echoed Sanders' remark. "Great, now he can sign @RashidaTlaib and I's amendment to bring the $600 checks to $2k," she tweeted.

https://www.newsweek.com/2000-stimulus- ... te-1557486
And so the House of Lords, I mean Senate, is the guarantee of ruling class desire, as it is designed to be. Because they don't want that money going to the unwashed, they're done giving, except to themselves and friends. But the old turtle head is in a sticky wicket, failing to act on 'presidential largesse' will further polarize his party at a time when they hoped Trumpian divisiveness might fade.Do it and ya boost Trump's cred and defy your paymasters. Don't do it and be the bad guy not only to the MAGAs but the working class in general. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy...
Biden ally Larry Summers, a former treasury secretary, said $2,000 stimulus checks would be a 'serious mistake' that could overheat the economy

Larry Summers, the former US treasury secretary who has reportedly advised President-elect Joe Biden, thinks $2,000 stimulus checks would be a "pretty serious mistake" that could overheat the US economy.

Congress approved a $2.3 trillion funding package containing $600 checks for struggling Americans on Monday. On Thursday, US President Donald Trump called for $2,000 checks instead, and he has refused to sign the bill. Democrats support these larger checks, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to hold a vote on them Monday.

Summers, who was treasury secretary at the end of Bill Clinton's presidency and director of the National Economic Council at the start of Barack Obama's administration, told Bloomberg it'd be better to have stimulus than not — but that promoting consumer spending through individual checks was the wrong way to keep the economy moving.

He said he was "not even sure I'm so enthusiastic about the $600 checks," let alone $2,000 ones.
https://www.businessinsider.com/2000-st ... rs-2020-12
Good old Larry, can always depend upon him to keep his priorities straight. Trillions for the banks and investors, diddly squat for the peons.
President-elect Joe Biden has said he will push for Congress to pass a third round of stimulus checks and federal coronavirus relief next year, but did not say how big the stimulus checks would need to be.

<snip>

Asked whether his plan would include a third round of direct stimulus checks, Biden confirmed that it would. But when he was pressed on the size of the checks, the president-elect said that detail was a "negotiating issue" for lawmakers.
https://www.newsweek.com/what-joe-biden ... ck-1556872
Playing his cards close to the vest, a real pro. Probably another puny fig leaf down the road. Biden and McConnell are of one mind on this and in similar quandaries, both risk fracturing their parties on a purely class divide. Political gamesmanship or class obligation?

The Bourgeois empire of Amerika has been creaking and showing cracks for a while but it's own inadequacies let a wrecking ball into the house. What with the appearance of de-legitimised elections this drama ain't helping bourgeois democracy one bit. Don't know if "off his rocker" is the best description of the prez, but what do you call the inevitable result of class privilege?
As far as US capitalism: the presence of a head of state who is completely off his rocker really says a lot about the class whose interests he’s supposed to represent. It is symptomatic of the degeneration of the class as a whole and the system which they command.
https://oaklandsocialist.com/2020/12/25 ... ies-ahead/
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:04 pm

"Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2,000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!" Trump said on Twitter shortly after McConnell blocked consideration of the more generous House proposal Democrats sent him.

https://us.cnn.com/2020/12/30/politics/ ... index.html

****************************

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation Tuesday to combine two additional demands from President Donald Trump to an expansion of direct stimulus payments as part of the Covid-19 relief package, raising Democratic concern the pathway for expanded stimulus payments would soon be short-circuited.

The Kentucky Republican, shortly before adjourning the Senate on Tuesday afternoon, introduced a bill that would combine increased direct payments with a repeal of the online liability protections known as Section 230 and the establishment of a commission to study voter fraud. The latter two issues have been significant drivers of Trump's ire in the wake of his general election loss -- the latter of which with zero evidence presented to this point.
While the move doesn't guarantee McConnell will bring the bill up for a vote, it provides a substantive option should time -- and the political winds -- press the chamber in that direction. It's also one that would be all but certain to fail to garner the votes for passage.

https://us.cnn.com/2020/12/29/politics/ ... index.html
"There are no good alternatives" is Mitch's problem, not Donald's. He couldn't give a damn, win/win from his solipsist view, either the checks go out and he takes credit(and the will of his peers denied) or the Republican party fractures, calving a Trump party. If this happens the demise of the Democratic party, without a monolithic monster to scare the children , cannot be far behind.

To all those wishing for a 'return to normalcy' in 2021 all I can say is 'bwahaha'.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:04 am

Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class,

Trump: OK, thank you very much. Hello Brad and Ryan and everybody. We appreciate the time and the call. So we’ve spent a lot of time on this and if we could just go over some of the numbers, I think it’s pretty clear that we won. We won very substantially in Georgia. You even see it by rally size, frankly. We’d be getting 25-30,000 people a rally and the competition would get less than 100 people. And it never made sense.

******************

And you are going to find that they are — which is totally illegal, it is more illegal for you than it is for them because, you know what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense. And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer. And that’s a big risk. But they are shredding ballots, in my opinion, based on what I’ve heard. And they are removing machinery and they’re moving it as fast as they can, both of which are criminal finds. And you can’t let it happen and you are letting it happen. You know, I mean, I’m notifying you that you’re letting it happen. So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.

***********************

Oh, I don’t know, look Brad. I got to get … I have to find 12,000 votes and I have them times a lot. And therefore, I won the state. That’s before we go to the next step, which is in the process of right now. You know, and I watched you this morning and you said, uh, well, there was no criminality.

But I mean, all of this stuff is very dangerous stuff. When you talk about no criminality, I think it’s very dangerous for you to say that.

************************

So what are we going to do here folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break. You know, we have that in spades already. Or we can keep it going but that’s not fair to the voters of Georgia because they’re going to see what happened and they’re going to see what happened. I mean, I’ll, I’ll take on to anybody you want with regard to [name] and her lovely daughter, a very lovely young lady, I’m sure. But, but [name] … I will take on anybody you want. And the minimum, there were 18,000 ballots but they used them three times. So that’s, you know, a lot of votes. … And they were all to Biden, by the way, that’s the other thing we didn’t say. You know, [name] , the one thing I forgot to say which was the most important. You know that every single ballot she did went to Biden. You know that, right? Do you know that, by the way, Brad?

****************************

Trump: No, they were 100 percent for Biden. 100 percent. There wasn’t a Trump vote in the whole group. Why don’t you want to find this, Ryan? What’s wrong with you? I heard your lawyer is very difficult, actually, but I’m sure you’re a good lawyer. You have a nice last name.

But, but I’m just curious why wouldn’t, why do you keep fighting this thing? It just doesn’t make sense. We’re way over the 17,779, right? We’re way over that number and just if you took just [name] , we’re over that number by five, five or six times when you multiply that times three.

And every single ballot went to Biden, and you didn’t know that, but, now you know it. So tell me, Brad, what are we going to do? We won the election and it’s not fair to take it away from us like this. And it’s going to be very costly in many ways. And I think you have to say that you’re going to reexamine it and you can reexamine it, but reexamine it with people that want to find answers, not people that don’t want to find answers. For instance, I’m hearing Ryan that he’s probably, I’m sure a great lawyer and everything. But he’s making statements about those ballots that he doesn’t know. But he’s making them with such — he did make them with surety. But now I think he’s less sure because the answer is they all went to Biden and that alone wins us the election by a lot. You know, so.

*******************************

Trump: Well, you have to. Well, under the law you’re not allowed to give faulty election results, OK? You’re not allowed to do that. And that’s what you done. This is a faulty election result. And honestly, this should go very fast. You should meet tomorrow because you have a big election coming up and because of what you’ve done to the president — you know, the people of Georgia know that this was a scam. Because of what you’ve done to the president, a lot of people aren’t going out to vote and a lot of Republicans are going to vote negative because they hate what you did to the president. Okay? They hate it. And they’re going to vote. And you would be respected. Really respected, if this thing could be straightened out before the election. You have a big election coming up on Tuesday. And I think that it is really is important that you meet tomorrow and work out on these numbers. Because I know Brad that if you think we’re right, I think you’re going to say, and I’m not looking to blame anybody. I’m just saying you know, and, you know, under new counts, and under uh, new views, of the election results, we won the election. You know? It’s is very simple. We won the election. As the governors of major states and the surrounding states said, there is no way you lost Georgia, as the Georgia politicians say, there is no way, you lost Georgia. Nobody. Everyone knows I won it by hundreds of thousands of votes. But I’ll tell you it’s going to have a big impact on Tuesday if you guys don’t get this thing straightened out fast.

************************

Trump: Well why don’t my lawyers show you where you got the information. It will show the secretary of state, and you don’t even have to look at any names. We know want names. We don’t care. But we got that information from you. And Stacey Abrams is laughing about you. She’s going around saying these guys are dumber than a rock. What she’s done to this party is unbelievable, I tell ya. And I only ran against her once. And that was with a guy named Brian Kemp and I beat her. And if I didn’t run, Brian wouldn’t have had even a shot, either in the general or in the primary. He was dead, dead as a doornail. He never thought he had a shot at either one of them. What a schmuck I was. But that’s the way it is. That’s the way it is. I would like you … for the attorneys … I’d like you to perhaps meet with Ryan ideally tomorrow, because I think we should come to a resolution of this before the election. Otherwise you’re going to have people just not voting. They don’t want to vote. They hate the state, they hate the governor and they hate the secretary of state. I will tell you that right now. The only people like you are people that will never vote for you. You know that Brad, right? They like you know, they like you. They can’t believe what they found. They want people like you. So, look, can you get together tomorrow? And Brad. We just want the truth. It’s simple.

And everyone’s going to look very good if the truth comes out. It’s OK. It takes a little while but let the truth come out. And the real truth is I won by 400,000 votes. At least. That’s the real truth. But we don’t need 400,000. We need less than 2,000 votes. And are you guys able to meet tomorrow Ryan?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... story.html

And there it is, every boss there ever was, the overripe fruit of privilege, the arrogance of power, the barely concealed thuggery. Damn Donald, what could go wrong?
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Thu Jan 07, 2021 3:18 pm

Pence should consider invoking 25th Amendment to remove Trump, business ally of the president says
Nathan Bomey
USA TODAY


One of President Donald Trump's major business supporters is calling on Vice President Mike Pence to consider launching a constitutional process that could result in the president's removal from office.

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons said Pence should "seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy."

His comments came as pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., clashing with police, breaking windows and making their way into the Senate chambers.

“This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous. This is sedition and should be treated as such," Timmons said in a statement. "The outgoing president incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy. Anyone indulging conspiracy theories to raise campaign dollars is complicit."

National Association of Manufacturers CEO Jay Timmons appears with Vice President Mike Pence at The Phoenician, in Scottsdale, Arizona, in March 2019.
The 25th Amendment outlines procedures for ousting the president from office when the vice president and a majority of the president's executive officers or another body designated by Congress can take steps to declare the commander-in-chief unable to serve.

“This is not the vision of America that manufacturers believe in and work so hard to defend," Timmons said.

https://www.usatoday.com/money/
Bolding added.

"There must be Order!"
The Business Roundtable, an association of chief executives of some of America’s biggest companies, said that “the chaos unfolding in the nation’s capital is the result of unlawful efforts to overturn the legitimate results of a democratic election.”

***************************************

Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook said “those responsible for this insurrection should be held to account, and we must complete the transition to President-elect Biden’s administration.”

JPMorgan Chase Chairman and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said: “Our elected leaders have a responsibility to call for an end to the violence, accept the results, and, as our democracy has for hundreds of years, support the peaceful transition of power. Now is the time to come together to strengthen our exceptional union.”

Blackstone Group Chief Executive Steve Schwarzman, a Trump ally, said in a statement: “The insurrection that followed the President’s remarks today is appalling and an affront to the democratic values we hold dear as Americans. I am shocked and horrified by this mob’s attempt to undermine our constitution.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKBN29B2WR
I hope this will settle the contention that Trump has been the active agent of his class's consensus. He was not wanted, was tolerated because of the desire and necessity for 'Order!'. Sure they enjoyed his largesse, took with both hands, but it never created the loyalty intended. 'Loyalty' in those circles is different, more sophisticated, as is the capitalism of the USA as compared to that of Russia. But the prez has been and is rather simpleminded.

We also see various references to Trump's 'desire for power'. He never really knew(or cared) what to do with it other than reward his friends and punish his enemies.No ideology, no vision, just the self-aggrandizement of a Mafia don. That 'power' was only the icing on the cake for the prez, what he really wants is to be recognised as a 'winner', mebbe the 'greatest most beautiful ' winner in history.

Attributing a 'lust for power' is usually applied to popular leaders disliked by our ruling class because they somehow cross their desires. Just as the appellation 'tyrant' throughout history is applied to popular leaders(though not only them but ruling class factions too & sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.) who usurp and maybe persecute the class formerly in charge.

He was a dumb-ass all along, and now he's in the soup, this will not be forgiven by his peers. There must be Order!

The far right will be demonized for the season so we might 'enjoy' Order. This affair was a premature ejaculation and it will take a while to recover from the lame mastabatory let down. The screws will be applied generally but we know the left will be targeted disproportionally, just because, it is too convenient to pass up. Order and Austerity become synonymous and furthered by pandemic control measures. The end of 'Trumpism' is only the beginning of hard times in a rotting bourgeois democratic empire.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:48 pm

Riot on the Hill
MIKE DAVIS
07 JANUARY 2021

Yesterday’s ‘sacrileges’ in our temple of democracy – oh, poor defiled city on the hill, etc. – constituted an ‘insurrection’ only in the sense of dark comedy. What was essentially a big biker gang dressed as circus performers and war-surplus barbarians – including the guy with a painted face posing as horned bison in a fur coat – stormed the ultimate country club, squatted on Pence’s throne, chased Senators into the sewers, casually picked their noses and rifled files and, above all, shot endless selfies to send to the dudes back home. Otherwise they didn’t have a clue. (The aesthetic was pure Buñuel and Dali: ‘Our only rule was very simple: no idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted.’)

But something unexpectedly profound happened: a deus ex machina that lifted the curse of Trump from the careers of conservative war hawks and right-wing young lions, whose ambitions until yesterday had been fettered by the presidential cult. Today was the signal for a long-awaited prison break. The word ‘surreal’ has been thrown around a lot, but it accurately characterizes last night’s bipartisan orgy, with half of the Senate election-denialists channeling Biden’s call for a ‘return to decency’ and vomiting up vast amounts of noxious piety.

Let me be clear: the Republican Party has just undergone an irreparable split. By the White House’s Fuhrerprinzip standards, Pence, Tom Cotton, Chuck Grassley, Mike Lee, Ben Sasse, Jim Lankford even Kelly Loeffler are now traitors beyond the pale. This ironically enables them to become viable presidential contenders in a still far-right but post-Trump party. Since the election and behind the scenes, big business and many mega-Republican donors have been burning their bridges to the White House, most sensationally in the case of that uber-Republican institution, the National Association of Manufacturers, which yesterday called for Pence to use the 25th Amendment to depose Trump. Of course, they were happy enough in the first three years of the regime with the colossal tax cuts, comprehensive rollbacks of environmental and labor regulation, and a meth-fed stock-market. But the last year has brought the unavoidable recognition that the White House was incapable of managing major national crises or ensuring basic economic and political stability.

The goal is a realignment of power within the Party with more traditional capitalist interest groups like NAM and the Business Roundtable as well as with the Koch family, long uncomfortable with Trump. There should be no illusion that ‘moderate Republicans’ have suddenly been raised from the grave; the emerging project will preserve the core alliance between Christian evangelicals and economic conservatives and presumably defend most of the Trump-era legislation. Institutionally, Senate Republicans, with a strong roster of young talents, will rule the post-Trump camp and, via vicious darwinian competition – above all, the battle to replace McConnell – bring about a generational succession, probably before the Democrats’ octogenarian oligarchy has left the scene. (The major internal battle on the post-Trump side in the next few years will probably center on foreign policy and the new cold war with China.)

That’s one side of the split. The other is more dramatic: the True Trumpists have become a de facto third party, bunkered down heavily in the House of Representatives. As Trump embalms himself in bitter revenge fantasies, reconciliation between the two camps will probably become impossible, although individual defections may occur. Mar-a-Lago will become base camp for the Trump death cult which will continue to mobilize his hardcore followers to terrorize Republican primaries and ensure the preservation of a large die-hard contingent in the House as well as in red-state legislatures. (Republicans in the Senate, accessing huge corporation donations, are far less vulnerable to such challenges.)

Tomorrow liberal pundits may reassure us that the Republicans have committed suicide, that the age of Trump is over, and that Democrats are on the verge of reclaiming hegemony. Similar declarations, of course, were made during vicious Republican primaries in 2015. They seemed very convincing at the time. But an open civil war amongst Republicans may only provide short-term advantages to Democrats, whose own divisions have been rubbed raw by Biden’s refusal to share power with progressives. Freed from Trump’s electronic fatwas, moreover, some of the younger Republican senators may prove to be much more formidable competitors for the white college-educated suburban vote than centrist Democrats realize. In any event, the only future that we can reliably foresee – a continuation of extreme socio-economic turbulence – renders political crystal balls useless.

https://newleftreview.org/sidecar/posts ... n-the-hill

Better than you'd expect from the source. Not in full agreement as to the particulars but a good overview.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:45 pm

Capitol riots a chapter in US' legacy of violence
By Ian Goodrum | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-01-12 15:17

Image
Supporters of US President Donald Trump cover their faces to protect from tear gas during a clash with police officers in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, Jan 6, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

I don't need to tell you what happened at the US Capitol last week.

Videos and pictures do a good enough job of that. We all saw the angry crowds massing in support of US President Donald Trump in Washington, DC. We saw them break into the halls of Congress to overturn the certification of last November's election, and we saw them ransacking offices to their hearts' content. Though five were killed in the melee, we also saw most of them getting politely escorted out by Capitol Police.

That lax level of security was a far cry from the militarized phalanxes present during the Black Lives Matter protests in the city last summer, raising a heap of questions about why one of the most secure buildings in the world was supposedly taken by surprise. Since the details of this were in the planning for months, these questions are well worth asking. For my part, it isn't too difficult to connect the dots — especially after it was revealed how many of the rioters were off-duty police and military.

Nonetheless, many breathed a sigh of relief when the vandals were vacated. No doubt some will consider the inauguration of Joe Biden on Jan 20 the end of a protracted national crisis.

But that's a dangerously simple outlook. This didn't begin with Trump, and it won't end with him either. Too easily we forget the US is a country built on slavery, with land forcibly taken from indigenous populations. The first draft of the US Constitution —right below high-minded passages about "a more perfect union" — deemed Africans property, three-fifths of a whole human being. That's not a legacy that can be shaken off easily, and near-impossible when so many in power deny its significance.

This might seem an odd tangent, but what happened on Capitol Hill makes broader context even more essential. After a traumatic moment like this, there's an understandable desire to return to normalcy — but that's a risky thing to do. Any doctor will tell you it's pointless to treat symptoms without curing the underlying condition.

I'm tired of the oft-repeated refrain of "this is not who we are" from Americans in denial of their own country's history. The hordes who attacked Congress are the people who jeered students attending integrated schools. They're the people who formed lynch mobs. MAGA and QAnon are just the John Birchers and Klansmen of yesteryear. Make no mistake: This is an old, abiding hatred with a fresh coat of paint.

But I also want to correct another irritating myth that's been making the rounds. For too long the US media has portrayed Trump's most militant and unhinged advocates as members of an aggrieved working class, or rural people "left behind" by globalization. While there are certainly pockets of support in those communities, the data shows by and large they opt out of elections completely — and after multiple administrations and little material benefit to show for it, who would be shocked?

No, the majority of Trump's base is financially comfortable enough to care about the phony culture war propagated on news outlets and social platforms; they could, after all, take time off to come to Washington, book hotel rooms and deck themselves out in high-priced weaponry and tactical gear. Safe to say someone working low-paying jobs with no benefits — now risking their lives every time they leave the house, thanks to the US' criminally negligent pandemic response — has more important things to worry about.

So while Trump's base has, for the most part, a greater degree of security than the wage laborers they look down on, it's still not the ironclad stability the truly powerful enjoy. They make enough to feel invested in the system through property ownership and some expensive baubles, but not where they have any say in their own futures. Due to this "in-between" status, they identify strongly with their exploiters while blaming those below for hampering their success.


That manifests itself in furious resistance to any hint of social progress. To them, life is a zero-sum game, where if someone else wins they must by definition lose. Any concessions granted to an "other" — like, say, Black Americans who want their basic rights — is territory lost on an imagined battlefield.

Though scapegoating is a longstanding US practice, recent trends have accelerated the process. This reactionary rot, festering as it has for countless decades, was inflamed by the consolidation of capital and the monopolistic control of information through enormous tech companies. With users' worst impulses aggravated by an infinite-growth model of engagement at any cost, insulated, self-selecting fiefdoms formed. The more outlandish and incendiary the posts, the better the numbers — and the greater the algorithmic rewards.

This goes double for the corporate media, the self-styled purveyors of "real news". For years they regarded Trump as a curiosity, a surefire source for ratings. They invited him on late night talk shows and hung on his every word, and their bottom lines soared. The bonanza paid such fat dividends that not even the 2016 election gave them pause. Instead of much-needed soul-searching, they engaged in the bankrupt practice of "both-sidesism", which treats monstrous political views as identical to their exact opposite.

Even more offensive was the language they used to describe the attack. Everywhere you looked, you'd see some newscaster or commentator throw around terms like "Third World" or "banana republic" when talking about the violence. The implication is clear: This sort of thing can only happen in faraway, uncivilized places. Putting aside the racist connotations of such remarks, brutal force has been administered on workers and oppressed minorities for centuries, whether by mobs or the state itself. Think of the Tulsa and Colfax massacres. Wounded Knee. The Haymarket affair. Kent State. And that's only a small sampling. Pretending this wasn't a homegrown phenomenon is an act of shameful denial.

It's particularly ironic to use "banana republic" to deflect, because the term comes from US-backed corporate coups! The "banana republics" had their governments overthrown by conglomerates like the United Fruit Company to maximize profits and maintain a sphere of influence. In their rush to deny US culpability in this insurrection — and, by extension, their own — media outlets invoke violence it perpetrated.

That's hardly coincidental. For decades, the US has fomented insurgencies across the world to achieve its political and economic aims, planting the seeds of color revolution to punish anyone who didn't toe the line. Invasions and bombing campaigns were just the tip of the iceberg; even if outright regime change efforts didn't work, endorsing and funding turmoil across the globe would at least destabilize any dissenters. Well, the chickens have come home to roost. The Contras are at the door.

By cultivating a base of paranoiacs and providing wink-wink nudge-nudge approval for their conspiracies, the right wing and their corporate backers laid the groundwork for this attack. They throw up their hands and ask for peace — but only now, when their personal safety is under threat. Up to that point, they were perfectly happy to stoke the flames of hatred and resentment to further their own agendas.

So if they want to know who's responsible for this sad state of affairs, they don't need an FBI investigation.

They need a mirror.

The author is a US writer with China Daily. The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.

http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/20210 ... a2132.html

Bolding added.

Ian Goodrum was one of the few consistently good commentators when I was on twitter. As per the Trump fans I think saying their 'in-between status' is close enough to their fear of and/or anger over being de-classed. Otherwise this analysis agrees with my observations irl. It is liberals and their
middle class prejudiced view of the working class(just suddenly discovered to be "essential", ho ho...) which has perpetuated that dirty lie. (Tho it is true that many of that set portray themselves as 'workers' to differentiate themselves from the lazy bums who they pay as little as possible . Dunno how many times I've heard "Nobody wants to work anymore."...)
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:20 pm

Image
The taking of the Capitol triggered the new trial against Trump (Photo: AFP / Getty Images)

NEW IMPEACHMENT OF TRUMP AND EVOLUTION OF THE AMERICAN CRISIS
13 Jan 2021 , 8:42 pm .

Undoubtedly, the violent seizure of the Capitol in the United States by supporters of Donald Trump recently is an unprecedented event that shows the political crisis that is deepening in the North American country, a crisis that has been increasing since the race for the presidency last year.

The performance offered on January 6 indicated a new milestone; the November election process that was to conclude that day with the certification of the victory of Democrat Joe Biden was suspended due to the violent irruption in the precinct, which left that chapter open and with multiple interpretations.

Now, Donald Trump has made history, or rather, they have made it history and perhaps it will not absolve him. He has been the only American president with two political trials in tow.

The United States House of Representatives voted Wednesday in favor of an article to impeach President Donald Trump, the so-called impeachment, for "inciting insurrection" for his role in the riots last Wednesday, when his supporters attacked the Capitol, notes the RT news site .

The initiative was supported by 232 members of the Chamber, while 197 showed their rejection. 10 of the votes in favor of the 'impeachment' belong to members of the Republican Party: a record number of congressmen who voted against the president belonging to their own party.

However, not everything is said about the approval of the Upper House of the impeachment of the president. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Majority Leader in the US Senate, said that a decision on Trump's impeachment will not be reached in the upper house of Congress by January 20, the day of Joe Biden's inauguration.

"Given the Senate rules, procedures and precedents governing presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial can conclude until President-elect Biden is sworn in next week," McConnell said. in a statement, adding that the Senate has held 3 political trials that lasted 83, 37 and 21 days, respectively.

Without being able to predict the outcome of this crisis, the truth is that the escalation of the American political conflict again reached the political authorities as instruments of judicialization. Beyond politics in the open scene, clearly dangerous elements have emerged outside the institutional framework. The United States is not emerging unscathed from the Trump presidency.

The taking of the Capitol as a symbolic element

The epic of Trumpism had its climax in the images of the Capitol and they have been endorsed after the arrests of those who participated in it. Obviously, the counteroffensive of the American state that now aims to prosecute, is not exclusive against Trump, because now they teach a sector, a segment of the American political imaginary that appeared triumphant and furious among the symbols and pictures of the founding fathers in the halls of parliamentary session.

Image

The taking of the Capitol has symbolic value for emerging as a postcard of a new empire of chaos, polarization and conflict, unprecedented in the United States since the federal war, now as an antecedent and historical element of the worsening of the current internal crisis.

The taking of the Capitol had Trump as the main agitator. “Unbelievable what we have to go through, and have to make your people fight. If they don't fight, we have to eliminate those who don't fight, ”Trump told thousands of his supporters who gathered at the Washington Monument with the promise that he would walk with them until Congress, but then he returned to the White House .

That day he not only lashed out at the Democrats, he also lashed out at the "weak and pathetic" Republicans who did not support him to stop the certification of the new president in Congress. He also went against his vice president Pence and showed his mistrust of whoever was responsible for directing the event, reports the BBC .

"I know that everyone present will soon march towards the Capitol building to make their voices heard in a peaceful and patriotic way," he stressed, but the result was different and the consequences were five deaths , including a woman who was shot by security forces.

These events, but especially the postcards of cuckold men and supremacists taking the ultimate symbol of American power, encouraged impeachment against Trump and jail time for the Thomists. The "rule of law" has now gone deep into that country.

Fragility of the State?

After the images that toured the world of the assault on the Capitol, numerous political figures condemned the events and dissociated themselves from Trump and immediately began to demand that a political trial be established against him.

In this race, the idea was to continue showing the robustness of the State in the face of events that could make it stagger. For this, it was necessary to group all the elements that give it shape and sustain the figure. Obviously, all interests were at stake in the event of a possible fracture of the empire. The media giants joined this company to defend the stability of the country.

The social media platforms that at some point projected the leadership of the president magnate, and through which the protests were called, now went on to silence him. That day the true power of the media corporations and the role they occupy in imposing matrices was demonstrated.

The advent of "digital government"

The same night of the assault, the Twitter company blocked Donald Trump's account with more than 88 million followers. Likewise, the 35 million subscribers on Facebook were isolated from the speaker of the president tycoon.

After the blocking of the aforementioned magnate's accounts, he migrated to Parler , a well-known social network through which his followers communicated. Two days later this application was deactivated from the Google PlayStore virtual store, to "avoid incitement to violence." Apple also removed Parler from its download catalog and, like Google, pointed out that Parler did not properly filter the hate messages that proliferate on that network, although it was evident that said measure had little to do with network management, that was a political decision to bring Trump closer.

In the shadow of the US crisis a “de facto” digital government emerged. The governance of digital "truth" is in fact an exact point of the exercise of power by the rich, through the politically convenient administration of what is duly said and consequently disclosed.

With all these elements at stake, the events of the Capitol, the rescue of the figure of the State, the incorporation of the multinationals of communication and social networks, in addition to the demonized image of Trump, the way remained open to establish the mechanisms to avoid the recurrence of these events.

That is why the idea of ​​the trial against Trump began to have resonance and thus remove him from office as president, even though there are a few days until Joe Biden assumes the presidency of the North American country.

No one against the Establishment

To finish taking the figure of Trump and what he represents out of the game, the Establishment had two apparent avenues. On the one hand, applying the Impeachment to it , which would be the first time in 221 years of Republican history that it was applied. And this is likely to flourish as both Democratic and Republican lawmakers rally for the cause.

On the other hand, there is Amendment 25, which disqualifies the president due to his inability to hold office. This move, also unprecedented, is led by Nancy Pelosi, president of the House of Representatives. The central argument for carrying out this unprecedented action is " incitement to insurrection " by Trump. Although Pence has already marked a distance from the application of Amendment 25 since it is not designed to "punish" anyone, the truth is that Trump has already been prosecuted.

Last Monday, the State Department website indicated that Trump's tenure as president had already ended, despite the fact that Amendment 25 was not applied and there are several days before his term expires. Detail that according to the correspondent of RT in Washington, Helena Villar, violates the country's own "democratic" rules.

Seven days after the new administration takes office, what is clear is that you cannot go against the established power. This union of factual powers behind the bureaucratic scaffolding, what it seeks is to stop the implosion of the United States in its institutional instances, but the process is already underway and is accelerated beyond the instances of power by the deep social and economic crisis that gates outside the capitol.

Like Trump or not, he will be chastened in the long run, and his executioners in the US establishment are as diverse as that very scaffolding. The most salient phrase came from the "most left" Senator in that country, Bernie Sanders. Through his official account of the social network Twitter he expressed : “Some people ask: Why would you accuse and condemn a president who only has a few days in office? The answer: precedent. It should be clear that no president, now or in the future, can lead an insurrection against the United States government.

The annihilation of Trump points to the long term and also to his alleged search for re-election in just 4 years. For a section of American society, their hopes of being reflected in the Oval Office are now being mutilated. As in every contradiction and internal struggle in the bowels of a country, there is always a losing side.

Sanders has given meaning to the words of Biden, who called the events of the taking of Capitol Hill "insurrection". He said it against the current of many media that called this "protest" and "vandalism." Biden imposed a narrative that has now become bureaucratic.

The serious problem in understanding this political confrontation in that country from abroad is the lack of analysis on the underlying factors that generate it, and it is none other than the conflict of elites. Black Lives Matters, supremacists, Trump's machismo, Hillary Clinton's "progressive" feminism, and a host of other elements are actually superficial factors.

Trump is prosecuted and evidently, they point to the dismantling of a political, symbolic and subjective fraction of the country, which could push the United States to new thresholds of institutional delegitimization and political confrontation. But this does not mean that this conflict does not evolve into new variants and that the enraged sectors that have accompanied Trump will soon disappear from the scene. Nor does it imply the disappearance of the other side of the conflict coin, since these will continue to accentuate the contradictions.

https://misionverdad.com/globalistan/nu ... dounidense

Google Translator

"Thomists"? Wtf is that?

Tho·mism (tō′mĭz′əm) n. The theological and philosophical system of Saint Thomas Aquinas, a system that dominated scholasticism.

OK, if we were talking about philosophy or the history thereof I' have gotten it. As best as I can gather the author is describing Trump's biggest fans as religious fanatics, which is at least partially literally true and largely figuratively true.
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Re: Donald Trump, Avatar of his Class, Capitalism & the Decline and Fall of Bourgeois Democracy

Post by blindpig » Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:05 pm

The Washington Post and ABC Friday published a poll in which 9 out of 10 U.S. citizens repudiate the January 6 assault on Congress and 57 percent believe President Donald Trump is responsible for that event.

The degree of repudiation varies according to the respondents' political affiliation, with 98 percent among Democrats, 80 percent among Republicans, and 89 percent among independent voters.

Repudiation is as high as 98 percent among Latinos, 94 percent among Black people, and 87 percent among whites.

In this survey, which was conducted among 1,002 adults on January 10 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points, 62 percent of respondents said there is no solid evidence of widespread voter fraud. However, 31 percent of respondents still believe that Trump was defeated due to a conspiracy.

more...

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Nin ... -0009.html

How is it that 62% say there was no fraud yet 31% say there was a 'conspiracy'. The article is unclear on this but let me take a shot at it.

I strongly suspect the conspiracy referred to is the MSM overwhelming (except for Fox and even they got 'soft')anti-Trump posture, continually evident except when he bombed another country. And then the Tech Boys piled on to put a point on the contention. Is that conspiracy? These are private corporations, owned by billionaires. They publish what they see fit, they literally 'own it'. And is there any doubt that they, taken as a whole and allowing for a little variation, reflect the consensus of their class? So yeah, "'they' were out to get him." But 'they' were his wealthy peers, not people of other color or sexuality, not communists. Sure, the Dems, the bureaucracy of imperialism, but they're servants of the ruling class. As are the Republicans, but having sacrificed ruling class interests for short term political gain they are due a spanking, which will be largely manifest as a withholding of campaign contributions. The more obstreperous will be seriously primaried. Because the ruling class insist upon normalcy and Order.

All the best 'conspiracies' are right out in the open, hardly conspiracy at all, business as usual.
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