1. I find much of the negative criticism from our side of the political divide of the unsigned oped letter in the NYT blasting Trump to be gratuitous, self serving, and in many cases wrongheaded.
The letter isn’t a game changer and it would have been probably better if the author identified himself. But to write it took a lot of guts. And while it won’t bring the House of Trump down, it is nonetheless another exposure — in this instance an unvarnished critique of Trump from an insider no less — in a series of exposures of Trump over the past month or two that have cumulatively and increasingly weakened Trump and the Republican Party in the eyes of a growing majority of voters.
2. The election of Ayanna Pressley is historic and surely exciting. And that it happened in Boston where the Democratic Party keepers of the gate have considerable clout and where racism has been such a negative and persistent force makes it all the more so.
But, at the same time, Pressley’s election wasn’t something out of the blue; something that no one saw coming. In fact, my guess is that a lot of people in Boston saw it coming and continues, moreover, a trend of electing candidates in primaries across the country who are far more socially diverse, representative, and progressive, if not left in their politics.
And while this trend probably causes some strains and tensions in the Democratic Party, it hasn’t triggered a “Civil War” within it, as some in the media have suggested. Indeed, it strikes me that the Democratic Party is heading into the final months of this election year united by and large.
Of course, the words and actions of Trump and his Republican co-conspirators have had a big hand in creating this broad and unified opposition, not to mention political shift. But, as important as Trump and Trumpism is in any explanation for the rise of this trend, it doesn’t account for it entirely. Other factors have to be considered as well, some near term, others of longer standing.
A few thoughts about that later, but right now Yogi is insisting that we go walking.
3. The new book by Bob Woodward is generating lots of commentary. Some people like it; others not so much. Still others question Woodward’s motives. All this is interesting, but what matters most is how it resonates with millions who will probably neither read the book nor the commentary. But they will come across its juiciest excerpts in the next week, while watching tv or listening to the radio or skimming a newspaper or doing facebook. To the degree that happens, my guess is that the book will become one more strike against Trump among the anti-Trump majority.
4. An unfit Republican Party will never be a check on a very unfit president. Vote and get others to vote this fall. It’s not the only issue in the elections, but it should figure prominently.
5. The notion that all the political and social ugliness that we see here and across Europe is simply belched up and explained by the contradictions of the capitalist economy is one sided at best and misleading at worst.
6. In thinking further about the criticism of the anonymous letter in the NYT, I’m reminded that we shouldn’t insist that everyone dance to the same beat. Indeed, anyone who wants to dance should be given space to do so, even if they are a bit out of tune and step, provided they are ready to pay the admission fee — opposition to Trump in some form or manner. Wasn’t it Sly Stone who sang, “Different strokes for different folks?”