Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, May 29, 2017

Always Another Barrel

Every time we hit the bottom of the barrel we find another barrel.  This week has led to much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments.  Predictably, the strong showing of a Democrat in a losing effort in Montana has made the usual suspects fret that the Democratic party is doomed.  This is good clickbait but bad political science, though Taibbi is right that Democrats have to limit their losses among rural voters, which is not the same thing as winning those voters.

We had Mango Mussolini blow up NATO for shits and giggles, while genuflecting before the Saudi terror sponsors and glad handing Netanyahu's ethnic cleansing in the West Bank.  Trump is full of praise for the Saudi monarchy, the Turkish dictator and the Filipino madman.  He seems to hate actual democratically elected leaders.

Oh, and he's going to pull us out of the Paris Accords.

And maybe destroy health care.

All of this comes with an unhealthy denial of objective reality, praising goons like Greg Gianforte and creating tears within the very fabric of American civil life.

This sucks.  And I don't know if anything less than a complete and catastrophic collapse of the economy and America's standing in the world can truly reverse this.

I'm reading a biography of FDR by HW Brands.  In the 1920s, as FDR recovered from polio, he shrewdly refrained from allowing himself to be dragged into the race for president in 1924 and 1928, because he knew those would be Republican years.  He only reluctantly allowed himself to be drafted to run for governor of New York in 1928, because Al Smith asked him to.

Yet, by 1932, Democrats would control both the House from 1932-1994 with only a two year break.  They controlled the Senate for almost as long and held the White House from 1932-1968, with only the anomalous Eisenhower years to intervene.

The problem is that it took the Great Depression to create this Democratic majority.  I fret it will require something as ominous to loosen the grip of the GOP on certain segments of the voting public.

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