Joe Manchin is a big problem for the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats, and if anybody has to be part of the solution to his obstructionist role, it is the people of WV. Meanwhile, the rest of us can turn our attention to midterm elections and elect Democrats to the Senate.

Much depends on the success of the Biden administration

I’m not sure that everyone on the democratic, progressive, and left side of politics believes that their future is tied to the political and legislative success of the Biden administration. But I do.

If the administration is successful in moving its agenda – an agenda that is progressive in nearly every respect aside from its foreign policies – the ground will be set for further progressive legislation, Democratic pickups in the mid-term elections next year and 2 years later, and, not least, the extension and consolidation of a progressive, social democratic coalition for the longer haul.
If, on the other hand, the administration’s agenda is stymied and sees an erosion in its support, the stage will be set for a comeback for Trump and his retrograde coalition and all the perils to democracy and social progress that such an outcome would entail.

Or to put if differently, it is hard to exaggerate the dangers to our democracy and any progressive, let alone socialist, future if Biden fails. In that event, initiative would shift, but not to the left, (don’t kid yourself) but to the clear advantage of the Trumpists.

Moreover, thinking that this could be their “last chance” to secure their political dominance and “way of life,” there is little doubt that they would use their regained political power to do whatever it takes to secure their long term dominance, including the destruction of any expression of democratic opposition and the evisceration of democratic institutions and rights.

Mundane tasks

I heard Joe Scarborough say that the Republican Party is no more than a party of “grievance and gesture” now. It is that, but it is much more too.

Much like the Southern Redeemers in the 1870’s who, with gun cocked and hangman’s noose in hand, imposed a white supremacist minority regime on the South for nearly a century, Trump’s Republican Party has become the enemy of democracy, democratic institutions, and majority rule. By its actions on January 6 – another day that will live in infamy – it has demonstrated that is has absolutely no hesitation to combine the propaganda of the Big Lie (rigged elections) with the propaganda of weapons to overturn a free and fair election and install an unelected, illegitimate government.

Over the full length of the 20th century, the danger of a fascist takeover was never a serious threat. But as we enter the 3rd decade of the 21st century, thanks to the evolution of the Republican Party in an extremist direction, a sharply polarized electorate, a systematic assault on truth and reality, and the formation of a mass base that has drank the Kool Aid of white supremacy and other noxious ideologies, it has become much more palpable, no longer a subject for academic or parlor discussion.

In this hyper charged political environment, the challenge facing the democratic majority isn’t what you might think — the drama of clashes in the street with Trump’s hooligans — but quite the opposite — the seemingly mundane tasks of assisting the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats in their/our efforts to expand voting rights, address (in a big way) the interlocking crises that grip the country, and isolate with compelling arguments Trump and the political bloc who with barely a blink of an eye will lay waste to our democracy and everything we hold dear.

Chadwick Boseman

I wasn’t surprised that Chadwick Boseman won the Golden Globe Best Actor. I’m no expert, but his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” was so powerful, so compelling, so authentic. He is (and will be) missed. Too young to die.

It’s never a good year when death commands so much attention in our lives. But here too Boseman gave us a command performance, not on stage, but in life. When diagnosed with cancer, he didn’t retreat or fall into despair, but dove into living and gave us remarkable performances, while fighting a terminal disease.

If every day I can find a little bit of Chadwick Boseman in myself, I have to believe that these challenging times won’t be quite as daunting and soul sapping.

Marx will strike them dead

Some on the left believe that they can’t say anything positive about the Biden administration without one or another qualification. An example is the reaction of some to Biden’s statement on twitter where he says that he supports the unionization of Amazon workers and workers generally. They welcome it, but then feel compelled to take Biden down a notch or two. It’s almost as if they think Marx will strike them dead if they allow his statement to stand alone.

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