GOP makes government dysfunctional

If government failed to deliver for the vast majority over the past three decades, it is a mistake to simply attribute it to the rise of neoliberaliam and globalism. It is also the result of a conscious and systematic policy of the Republican right to make the federal government dysfunctional for the many, while bending over backwards to lend a helping hand to the corporate few. It was. in effect, a political as well as an economic strategy to secure their dominance.

I can hear someone replying with more than a hint of criticism that both parties fastened on to neoliberalism. OK. But not in exactly the same way by a long shot. The GOP prosecuted (and still does) a particularly nasty, virulent, racist, misogynist, anti-poor, anti-government brand. But it is precisely this fact that is obscured by such broad generalities that make invisible the policy differences between the two parties.
Perhaps at the level of theory this doesn’t matter much, but if you are on the receiving end of the policies of the extreme right, or lack thereof, it matters big time.


It was by design

As my as my swimming partner insisted early this morning, Trump’s racially charged comment at yesterday ceremony honoring Navajo WW II veterans, along with his paternalistic disrespect for the honorees and the conspicuous portrait of the genocidal Jackson just behind him, had to be by design. Things like this don’t just happen. I guess Trump and his team figure that such outrageous and unapologetic displays of racism on his part can only help him with his base, whose support he needs in the face of growing challenges from all sides to his presidency.

Hochschild on KKK

Haven’t read Adam Hochschild’s review of two new books on Ku Klux Klan yet, but will. Hochschild, author of some outstanding histories — WW!, King Leopold’s Congo, Stalin and his legacy, recently Spanish Civil War — is always interesting to read.


Voter suppression and racism

A New York Times’ article reveals once again that voter suppression is a necessary staple of right wing extremist rule in this era when politics and demographic trends are moving against the right’s political project. On its face, its patently anti-democratic aims should earn it no broad backing, but because of its billionaire supporters, clever packaging billing it as protecting the “integrity” of the election process, Republican control of a majority of state capitals, federal courts that are increasingly filled by conservative judges, and support from a substantial layer of the white electorate, that isn’t the case. In fact. it’s a clear and present danger, and thus should figure high on the agenda of the progressive movement. If I stopped here, however, I would leave out what is foundational to this anti-American assault.

It’s, of course, no mystery. It’s racism that animates its sponsors and gives it legitimacy in the minds of many people. Just as racism forcibly denied rights, opportunities, and equality to millions of people of color, scarred the political and social consciousness of white people, and severely limited the country’s progressive trajectory in the past, it does much the same today — in this instance and generally.

Indeed, unless vigorously resisted by a majoritarian, multi-racial coalition that locates the struggle against racism at the core of the “Battle for Democracy” in its many manifestations, a future that many of us would have thought unimaginable not too long ago could be starring us in the face.


Trump and the rise of the right

In tweeting support for Roy Moore, while at the same time, expressing contempt for NFL football players who supposedly disrespect the flag, Trump is revealing once again how deeply steeped his core being, values, politics, and mass constituency are in the toxic brew of racism and misogyny. In these circumstances, it is easy to think that he is “one of a kind,” and, actually, he is in some ways. But to leave it at that would be mistaken. He’s also the progeny of the extreme right that began its rise roughly forty years ago and climbed to an ascendant position in national politics in large measure because of its readiness to traffic in racist and and patriarchal ideas and practices.

Share This