The streets of London were filled this weekend with protesters opposing the Brexit deal that parliament is fiercely debating now. Brexit was always problematic because the right wing was (and still is) at the head of the Leave movement. It — not the left —provides the talking points, including xenophobia and racism, and defines the exit terms. In engaging in any struggle, one has to be mindful of which political bloc/coalition occupies the high ground and frames the nature and terms of the struggle.
It is magical thinking to believe that the ground for bipartisanship will be different after the elections than it is now. And yet some of the Democratic Party presidential aspirants are assiduously selling us that bill of fraudulent goods. The Republican right will not turn tail in the event of a Democratic Party win next year anymore than it did in the wake of President Obama’s victory in 2008.
There is a tension in voter dynamics among people who oppose Trump. Some, politically and emotionally exhausted by Trump, hope that his defeat will lead to a return to normalcy; others are banking on substantive change in the wake of his ouster at the ballot box. Whoever among the Democratic presidential aspirants negotiates this tension in the most skillful way will have a leg up in the presidential primary. Here is where messaging and story telling become as much an art as a science.
Elijah Cummings: a man who combined unusual grace and generosity of spirit with fierce commitment to democracy. His presence and voice will be missed in these trying times..
The danger of the present moment is that Trump is without any political anchorage other than what goes on in his unstable, narcissistic, and impulsive head. To claim that he is a representative of the capitalist class or the voice of the most reactionary section of finance capital or bound by the strictures of the Republican Party seem inadequate in the moment. Whatever guardrails that might have restrained his behavior in the past seem to have disappeared. Marxism’s concept of “relative autonomy” of the executive branch of government is either finding confirmation or being severely tested. Or both!