14 May 2019

Some more brief political observations

1)  On trade, the rival Trump and Xi gangster-regimes are engaged in a typical competition of primate intimidation displays, like rival male monkeys trying to scare each other into backing down -- screeching, baring fangs, stomping, and so forth.  Since the Chinese side will likely target its retaliatory moves squarely at red America, one can hope that we in blue America will remain relatively unscathed.  Still, inevitably innocent bystanders will get hit by some of the flung poo.  Even Europe's stock markets are down.

o o o o o

2)  We've been expecting to spend the next year in a highly competitive Democratic primary contest among our numerous candidates -- but what if the nominee has already emerged?  Every poll now shows Biden with a huge lead over all his competitors, and that lead seems to have increased since he announced.  And no, it probably isn't merely name recognition.  And he seems especially well favored by black voters -- remember, we'd have a hard time winning the general election with a candidate who hasn't been ratified by this critical part of our base.

True, the "inevitable" candidate doesn't always win the nomination -- Hillary in 2008 and Jeb Bush in 2016 were shunted aside by unexpected upstarts.  But Jeb never was all that inevitable -- Trump had been leading in the polls all along, and it merely took a long time for Republican leaders and pundits to recognize the clear preference their base was expressing.  It could well be that the Democratic activists and blogosphere of today, disdaining Biden as so many of them do, are equally out of touch with the rank-and-file of our own party.  Even in 2008, when Obama came from behind, he spent most of the race as Hillary's only serious rival -- he didn't need to break out of a whole pack of challengers.

Nothing is certain yet.  Biden could falter for any of several reasons, and another candidate could surge.  But be prepared for the possibility that what we see now is what we'll actually get.

o o o o o

3)  The Christo-fascist assault on abortion rights is now strongly under way, with Georgia's vicious new law, and others as bad or worse being prepared in other red states.  And the ghastly real-world consequences of such laws are already manifesting themselves.  The enemy, it seems, is now emboldened enough by McConnell's theft of the Supreme Court to hope that a head-on challenge to Roe v Wade can succeed.  They, and establishment Republicans, should be careful what they wish for.  The constituency for what banning abortion would be like in reality is a lot smaller than that which supports the idea in the abstract.

o o o o o

4)  We're seeing a sudden barrage of apparent pretexts for war with Iran -- mysterious sabotage of two Saudi oil tankers which could be blamed on Iran, a possible escalation of US military presence nearby, claims of an increased threat from Iranian-backed groups against our personnel in Iraq.  There's no way of knowing whether that last is real or just typical Trumpian ex posteriori extractatum hot air, but one close ally is already suggesting it's the latter.  To me it all seems very contrived and by-the-numbers.  I can think of no reason why Iran would choose to escalate tensions with the US at the exact moment when Trump wants a distraction from the House Democrats' growing onslaught of subpoenas and investigations.

o o o o o

5)  On a lighter note, Hackwhackers blog is soliciting ideas for a nickname for Trump.  Go on, see what you can come up with.


Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Alabama is the first step for the wingnuts to start their all out war on Roe vs Wade. I’m flabbergasted.
But that’s why so many evangelicals support Cheeto.


15 May, 2019 02:13  
Blogger bluzdude said...

When you see the Republicans unleashing these Draconian anti-abortion laws without lifting a finger to reduce the need for abortion in the first place, they're showing their hand.

It obviously has nothing to do with the "sanctity of life," and everything to do with controlling women.

15 May, 2019 04:18  
Blogger Nan said...

Re: Iran ... distraction works. Or haven't you noticed?

15 May, 2019 11:30  
Blogger Martha said...

Oh my gosh, the story about the eleven-year-old child (yes, a child!) that may be forced to carry a baby that was conceived by rape is horrifying. Why???

15 May, 2019 17:21  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Sixpence: Yes, that's the Evangelical dream -- being able to force everyone else to abide by their taboos. That's what they mean by "religious freedom".

Bluzdude: Yes, that's exactly what it is.

Nan: Well, it works when they're a little less blatant and contrived about it. Plus, we have the experience of Bush/Iraq now as a warning. There's less excuse for people to be fooled.

Martha: That's the kind of thing that happens when we let religion decide what "morality" is.

15 May, 2019 18:15  
Blogger Unknown said...

"Since the Chinese side will likely target its retaliatory moves squarely at red America, one can hope that we in blue America will remain relatively unscathed. Still, inevitably innocent bystanders will get hit by some of the flung poo. Even Europe's stock markets are down."

Yeah... Let's hope. But in this inter-connected World I think that is highly unlikely. Trump is simply spoiling for a fight because as far as I can see Huawei are doing nothing Google et. al. are. And taking on Iran at the same time! Now I am no fan of the Islamic Republic of Iran but these "attacks" do seem a bit fishy and quite frankly if Iran and Saudi want a fight then leave 'em to it.

16 May, 2019 07:23  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Unk: Yes, some harm is inevitable. Frankly I'm amazed that the Obama recovery was vigorous enough to last through more than two years of Republican malfeasance. They're so incompetent they can't even screw things up properly. But eventually Trump's stupid blundering is going to do some real damage.

16 May, 2019 19:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deadbeat Donald

16 May, 2019 19:54  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

This country is fast becoming as backward and abusive to it's women as strict Muslim countries are. Just like countries where religion is forced and religious radicalism is taught in schools like our Charter Schools, who are now receiving our public education money. Instead of fighting for our freedom against dictatorship and totalitarian government we are allowing it to happen without a fight. The "New Republican Party" has given up fiscal responsibility, the Constitution and all other checks and balances to support their new one party rules authority. They have been infiltrating our courts, our security agencies and every national program they allow to stand.

17 May, 2019 13:29  
Blogger Jerry Shepherd said...

McConnell has not only stolen the Supreme Court, he has stolen the Senate as well. The Senate is at a standstill with nothing being done and he's keeping it that way.

A Trump/Bolton invasion of Iran will give Putin exactly what he wants; a free hand to do whatever he wants in the Baltic states. If we get involved in a full blown out war with Iran, the Russians can and will annex Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Maybe even the rest of the Ukraine.

17 May, 2019 16:08  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Anon: Certainly accurate.

Shaw: Fanatical religious conservatism looks pretty much the same regardless of which religion it is. But it's certainly not happening without a fight. Democrats, especially in the House, are fi9ghting back in many ways.

Jerry: Indeed, and we must take it back next year. It will be difficult but doable.

Trump seems to be turning against a war with Iran, but even if it happened, Ukraine would be a tough nut to crack. Its population is one-third the size of Russia's and just as tough. As for the Baltic states, they're members of NATO now, and the US isn't the only NATO country with nukes and a strong military. I doubt Putin would take such risks for a fairly small return.

18 May, 2019 15:40  

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