Author Topic: US Politics 2021  (Read 215 times)

Jubal

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US Politics 2021
« on: January 07, 2021, 06:27:27 PM »
Well, we start the new thread a few days into 2021 with the news that Democrats have gained control of the Senate by winning two seats in a state that's been red for decades, on the same day that a mob of fascist rioters broke into the Capitol building and forced both houses of Congress out of session as they were attempting to tabulate and confirm the election results. Just in case you thought that 2020 hadn't been busy enough from a political perspective!



He reminded me of what Penty said late in 2020...
Quote
TBH part of me would welcome some attempt at armed revolt by these "militia" groups, I imagine the reality of fighting against the world's most well funded military would probably cool their ardour rather swiftly. But I do hope these lunatics keep their tin foil hats on and stick to just playing soldiers.

Apparently he spoke too soon :(

Dear god yesterday was surreal. Not perhaps wholly surprising, but surreal. And I think it will be consequential if not in the way it was intended: it, along with the Georgia results, have totally upended any kind of Republican rhetorical strategy for disengaging from the Trump presidency and effect. A solid block of Republicans will now feel emboldedned in blaming Trump for the fact they're now out of office in all three branches of government, having held all of them in 2016. But the Trumpist block is still visibly there and hasn't gone away, and the total incompatibility of the viewpoints "we lost because dumbass conspiracist fascism isn't enough to win elections" and "we have to keep doubling down on the conspiracist fascism to stop the Trump base leaving the GOP" I think might really bite the party very hard in the next few years. (And honestly, devolving into factionalism couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of people).

The Georgia result was heartening though. It's been a really Republican state all my life pretty much (and at the deeply racist end of Democrat ones before that), and having it put a black pastor and a young Jewish guy in its two Senate seats is genuinely nice to see.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

dubsartur

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Re: US Politics 2021
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2021, 11:40:09 PM »
When asked for parallels in US history, the r/AskHistorians folks had to reach for things like the pogrom against the black population of Wilmington, NC and gunpoint removal of its government by a Red Shirt mob in 1898.  They could not find anything in the 20th century US.  Its also worth saying that this happened simultaneously in many different states and territories although the events at the Capitol got the most attention.

For the timidity and stupidity of our enemies may we be truly thankful.  Political violence is a strong tradition in the United States.  But I do not know if the United States can go anywhere good from here.  The killing did not stop after Tiberius Gracchus' body was hauled out of the Forum.

Edit: To be tactical and journalistic (thinking about the next two weeks not two decades) the resignation of several US cabinet ministers makes it less likely that a majority will invoke section 4 of the 25th amendment.  I think that cabinet ministers are the "the principal officers of the executive departments" in the text of the amendment.

Edit: The gang with the beards, the bullet-resistant helmets, the black tactical gear and the bundles of temporary handcuffs look like someone I knew in Alberta.  Jordan Guy MacDonald Goudreau, the wannabe conquerer of Venuzuela last May, was from Calgary.

Edit: I am also seeing allegations that at least six state legislators were in the mob which stormed the Capitol

If you are new to this world, David Neiwert, who has been studying the radical right in the United States for 20 or 30 years, has a new book Red Pill, Blue Pill: How to Counteract the Conspiracy Theories That Are Killing Us (Prometheus, 2020) Amazon.   
« Last Edit: January 08, 2021, 08:07:48 AM by dubsartur »

Jubal

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Re: US Politics 2021
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2021, 12:19:52 PM »
The man with the zip ties and very scary military looking uniform has been identified, largely because he went to the riot with his mother who was not wearing any sort of face covering.

The big thing at the moment still seems to be the threat of further violence mixed with the social media crackdown on US fascists (a term which I think, at this point, is eminently suitable). I am relieved the latter has finally happened, though I agree with those who think that in the medium run we do need better systems than the panic of big tech executives for dealing with fascist propaganda on social media. There's certainly an irony in seeing two of the graven idols of Republican politics - untrammelled power for big companies, including big companies who are in traditionally state roles like running marketplaces, and an increasingly extremist identarian white nationalism - finally smashing on the rocks against one another. Conversely to a lot of people hand-wringing over the social media blocks of Trump, though, I think the measure of the problem here is more that Trump wasn't reined in sooner on his propaganda outlets.

I've also seen a lot of concern being shared about collusion with Trump among security forces, which I think worries me far more than the rioters themselves.

I think the hope for the US going somewhere better from here is that the coming year or two essentially breaks the Republican party electorally for a cycle or two until there is a fundamental realignment in US politics to make it functional again, whilst equally hoping that the fascists don't destabilise things too much. I can see a very plausible path for that to happen, with bitter primary fights in the GOP basically shredding their ability to win elections for the next few years until there's a generational change towards less fascist-tainted candidates, but other paths definitely exist.
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Pentagathusosaurus rex

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Re: US Politics 2021
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2021, 04:46:18 PM »
The man with the zip ties and very scary military looking uniform has been identified, largely because he went to the riot with his mother who was not wearing any sort of face covering.
See I know this was a very serious situation but I'm still finding it hard to take it seriously because of just how comically stupid these people seem to be.




I am actually going to pay attention to the news for a while though, it's genuinely a worrying time.

dubsartur

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Re: US Politics 2021
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2021, 02:21:08 AM »
Conversely to a lot of people hand-wringing over the social media blocks of Trump, though, I think the measure of the problem here is more that Trump wasn't reined in sooner on his propaganda outlets.
Remember that of all the voices he helped to silence, the one which made the CEO of Cloudflare cry "it is wrong for one company to have so much power to ban speech!" in 2017 was the Daily Stormer?

I think we are hearing the yelps of people who thought the purpose of corporate social media was to silence and impoverish women and foreigners and sex workers but not white men with money.  But fortune's wheel always turns and the revolution always eats its children.  Meanwhile 45 is welcome to send emails and texts and letters and to put anything he wants on his own web server (and to go on whatever TV or radio will have him).  If he is not yet in jail when the pandemic clears up, he could even pick a spot in Hyde Park!

US-Americans who get paid to share their opinions about politics love the phrase "rule of law."  What else but rule of law is a **** website banning a user for ToS violations who happens to hold public office, or refusing to be an accessory to incitement to riot?

I am hearing that metal detectors have been set up in the US Capitol and some representatives are calling this an atrocity.  Ladies and gentlemen, many children in their country have to pass through a metal detector just to go to school.  But those children tend to be poor, black, or immigrants and immigrants' children.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 03:55:39 PM by dubsartur »