1. A “chaired” Professor:
Only an assumption that academics like this never do anything would justify not expecting this guy’s delusionary politics and hatred for the ignorant rabble to not result in him getting involved in some conspiratorial attempt to impose a more “democratic” dictatorship by force.
That assumption is reasonable. During the George W Bush administration and Iraq war, the fringe Democrat blogosphere (closely allied with the paleocon opposition to the war) was full of more “insurrectionary” talk, although less inclined to openly blame the people as their delusions were about them leading the people, rather than the intelligence agencies to rise up and overthrow the government. They were merely expressing their impotence and their open threats against democracy never needed to be treated seriously.
An academic like this probably doesn’t even have delusions of being taken seriously. But its noticeable that he is being published in “The Conversation” which aims to have academics taken more seriously than the popular media.
2. Perceptive article on Democrat dilemma:
Try as they might, Democrats will find it impossible to stick to an economics-only script ahead of the 2018 midterm and 2020 general elections. It would be foolish even to try.
The analysis of current contest for Virginia makes. Sense. The final conclusion I have highlighted is perplexing as there is no clear call for a split from the Democrats.
Perhaps it just reflects ruling class inclination in favour of stirring up both sides of “culture wars” to keep people from uniting against them.
3. Bloomberg analysis of Republican 2020 primary challenge to Trump
Not thinking in terms of a split following mid-terms.
Not mentioned that owner Bloomberg himself could be a potential GOP globalist candidate if Democrats go anti-globalist.
4. More on Virginia race from Bloomberg:
If they win (as usual in Virginia) it will help entrench this approach of trying to out shout their opponents and help them lose elsewhere. If they unexpectedly lose I doubt that they will learn any more than they did from Clinton loss. Would reinforce their despair and hostility to the “deplorables” that won’t vote for them.
[Update, as expected Democrats won]
5. Bloombert on why Netanyahu imitates Trump
Remains puzzled about it because thinks Netanyahu is a “master strategist” and Trump is not. Both are skilled ruling class populist demagogues in a situation where mainstream politics has demonstratively failed.
6. Bloomberg explanation that the GOP style features in current tax bill that are unpopular (and hence also Democrat focus) are likely to be dropped. That is also my assumption. Just part of the pretense that they aren’t approving a massively increased deficit which is in fact what Trump wants and needs. When they are taken out you get less GOP incumbent support, more GOP donor hostility, less public hostility and a better economic climate for Trump and Trumpists to win in.
8. Remarkably silly analysis of Putin’s international situation from Bloomberg:
Starts off right that there is a vastly exaggerated impression of Russian strength despite actual weakness.
But analysis of Syria assumes Putin wanted and wants to stay there rather than helping end it.
And analysis of Crimea/Ukraine forgets that the actual reality was a massive detachment of the Ukraine from close relations with Russia to become part of the West and a relatively minor disruption to that by the (inevitable) recovery of Crimea by Russia and the damaging support for separatism in Russian minority regions of Ukraine. The latter has indeed been popular domestically and is indeed overall damaging in long term. But omitting the context of a massive defeat rather than aggressive advance into Ukraine reflects the very exaggeration of Russian strength that the article starts off pointing out.
9. Bizarre analysis of Mueller indictments:
All it takes is some mouthing off against Mueller by raving lunatic entertainer Alex Jones of Infowars and some milder shouting in same direction from Fox news Trumpists to convince this “analyst” that Mueller is going to save them from Trump despite NO actual evidence of this.
Expect more intense fireworks from Trumpist side to keep them distracted if the hope fades and they show any signs of slackening their obsession about Russia and actually thinking about American politics. At some point Alex Jones et al may not be enough to keep them fired up and Trump himself may need to step in with something they can really get their teeth into. An unannounced secret meeting between Trump and Putin would probably be enough to tip them over the edge. Follow up with a hamburger dinner for Kim Jong-il.
10. At last a rallying cry that Democrats can really get behind and lose even the mid-terms with:
“What do we want, more regulations! When do we want them, now! Defend the Federal Bureaucracy!”
11. Wow! Some readers of The Atlantic actually tried to engage with a writer there about his Trump obsession and he actually tried to respond seriously…
(If this starts happening more widely there should end up being widespread agreement that a very different political system is badly needed as the current “politics” makes no sense whatever.)
12. Satire from New Yorker. Not bad sendup of liberal fantasies. Not brilliant, but not bad enough that it could be aimed elsewhere. But in the New Yorker? How can they send themselves up while also continuing …
13. Excellent article from Taibbi in Rolling Stone:
Division does make money, but beyond that, it’s highly political. It’s an ancient technique of elites, dividing populations into frightened and furious camps so as to more easily control them. When people are scared enough and full enough of hate, they will surrender their rights more quickly.
It’s not an accident that as the right-left divide has grown in this country, we’ve gradually given up on almost every principle that used to define us, collectively, as Americans. We surrendered our rights to privacy, failed to protest vast expansions of federal power (including to classify the inner workings of our own government – our government), stopped requiring due process to jail people and closed our eyes to torture and assassination and all sorts of other atrocities.
This was made easier first because conservatives were convinced liberals were in league with terrorists, and more lately because progressives have been told Trump and his like are in league with Russians. Mutual hatred and fear has made us much more easily disenfranchised.
14. Despite total focus on getting rid of Trump opponents in GOP it is still possible Democrats could actually remain a minority party in the House after mid-terms.
15. Guardian just bleating that election was rigged. Not even pretending to have a plan beyond bleating:
16. CNN A year out from the election, Trump remains unpopular, as do the Democrats, the Republicans and Congress.
17. I’m confused by a response to Notes 11:
Arthur I do think that I try to analyse what is going on and what is going on is that Republicans get elected only if they are advantaged by crooked electoral systems and politicians in the US generally only get elected if they align themselves with wealthy vested interests, that’s why most people want tax reform but they will get a tax rip off, that’s why most people want decent health reform but they get at best Obama care, that’s why most people want more restrictive gun control reform but they get, no reform, none, zip, nada. The Virginian Gubernatorial election was widely seen as a referendum on Trump and Trump backed Gillespie and Gillespie backed Trump (eventually) and Gillespie lost by almost 9% and this was an essentially democratic process. In 2013 the Republican candidate for Governor lost by 3% now with President Trumps help and riding the Trump wave that margin has blown out to 9%
This follows my reply apparently quoting my “[Update, as expected Democrats won]” in para 4 above.
I thought this whole draft post was still unpublished and therefore invisible so am not sure what is going on.
Anyway I have trashed the comment from Notes 11 and quoted it here in current post instead although I still don’t see any attempt at analysis worth responding to.
18. This looks like confirmation of my analysis that Democrats sweeping victories likely to make them even more inclined to their present strategy:
(Which could result in them stuck with a House majority committed to impeachment with no hope of success in Senate and faced with a completely Trumpist GOP mobilizing for 2020 with the same anger that got Dems turning out for these quarter terms and a completely plausible account that the only to unblock Washington is to remove obstructionist Democrats now that obstructionist GOP has already been dealt with.)
19. CNN analysis that Trump won’t even face a serious challenge at 2020 primaries.
If they mean that any challenge will fail, that is plausible.
But I would expect there will be a VERY serious challenge intended to split and establish a new GOP that would throw the 2020 election to the Democrats.
The never Trumpist Republicans aren’t going to join either wing of the Democrats with their present outlooks and aren’t going to stay in Trump’s GOP or just quit politics. So I think they have to split and run a candidate just aiming to defeat Trump. (Assuming the Democrats don’t run a candidate they cannot even prefer to Trump again).
But if I am wrong and CNN is right then a united angry Trumpist GOP running against split Democrats demoralized after having got nowhere with a House majority for 2 years seems an easy win on turnout for Trump in 2020.
20. More on Democrat celebrations and inclinations to just keep going the same way they have been:
21. Even celebrating the fact that Trump’s opponents in GOP are likely to retire from politics making it easier to swing their seats to Democrat in mid-terms (and easier for a Trumpist to take it back in 2020).
Looks like above draft with doubled paras 7 and 9 got published and emailed accidentally at 11.49 with nothing after 2nd para 9. Above is full version including Steve’s comment from wrong thread.
Omitted link for para 19 above: