Monday, February 24, 2020

It’s (Not) The End of the World

The wisdom of John Cole at Balloon Juice:

Not really, though. I don’t like a lot of what I am seeing out there, with people predicting the end of the world if Sanders wins. First off, the primaries are FAR from over, and anything can happen. And I am not saying that in a “miracles happen Bernie can be defeated” way, but in a “we don’t know shit yet because this is soo early in the game.”

Second, this is what being in a coalition means. My preferred candidate is Warren, but should she lose and not become the nominee, I am still going to support the Democratic nominee, because Trump is a monster and Ruth Bader Ginsburg ain’t getting any younger.

So calm down. I think a lot of people are working themselves into a lather and painting themselves rhetorically into a corner. Anyone we nominate will be better than Trump. Literally anyone. The bar is that low. Mike Bloomberg is a billionaire autocrat and a fascist who oversaw some pretty fucking outright racist policies as Mayor, but EVEN HE is better than Trump, and by a wide fucking margin.

So buck up. Just keep supporting the person you like, work on getting out the vote, and do what you can to take our country back.

I am old enough to remember the landslide of 1964 when Lyndon Johnson, running in place of the murdered John F. Kennedy, swept away the divisive and war-mongering Barry Goldwater, who was supported by what proved to be a minority in the country who would seek vengeance through other means.  Four years later they gave us Richard Nixon by exploiting the fear of Others after LBJ hammered through the civil rights acts of 1964 and 1965.  Thus was born the Southern Strategy that helped elect Ronald Reagan in 1980 even after we thought the GOP was doomed after Watergate.  I remember 1972 when Democrats went with George McGovern, the Watergate break-in was that year’s version of “fake news,” and we re-elected Nixon in a landslide surrounded, as William Manchester noted, by happy felons.  And I remember 1984 when we thought we had Reagan on the ropes with the symptoms of old-fogyism creeping in to his speech and actions, only to be swept away when Walter Mondale couldn’t even win his home state of Minnesota.

In all three cases there was a huge reality gap between who the backers of certain candidates thought should win and who actually won.  Barry Goldwater never stood a chance; neither did McGovern or Mondale.  And while every election is different, it is helpful to remember that even as Mr. Cole points out we are up against the worst and most dangerous opponent of this or any lifetime in the history of the country, he has a very good shot at winning.  We must choose wisely because as much as we believe the Republican Party has tainted and self-destructed by following this tinpot valour-covered narcissist over the edge to the rocks below, the same can be said for the Democrats if they don’t choose someone who can see beyond November 2020.  Both history and the actuarial tables have taught us valuable lessons.

8 barks and woofs on “It’s (Not) The End of the World

  1. So not really on topic but I remember when I was working on the Hill and Goldwater took me for a ride in his customized blue AMX – he had covered the dashboard with special gauges, and kept remarking “my wife hates this car.”

  2. I well remember the election of 1972- my first chance to vote for president. McGovern had a passionate, excited following, and together we were going to change this country! Well, the Republican smear machine tore into McGovern and he was humiliated in a 49-1 massacre. I fear this coming election the same thing would happen to Sanders. And yet if another Democrat were to somehow prevail and win the nomination the Sanders supporters would pout and refuse to vote for him/her, and Trump wins anyway. So basically we’ve painted ourselves into a corner and the most miserable president ever gets re-elected with a “mandate” that allows him to really pull out all the stops. You thought his first term was evil- wait until his second term.
    I need a hug.

    • And he was only kidding – he said – when he suggested he just might not relinquish his hold on the White House if he’s not reelected. Will the National Guard come to the door and carry him out? Not on your sweet patootie. If you voted for this monster are you regretting it now? Or are you part of the scary followers who are armed and ready to go to war with the rest of us? This is truly a scary time in the history of America.

      • There is an article in The Atlantic this month which discusses this very scenario — what happens if Prima Donald refuses to leave after two terms. The Constitution is very explicit on this point — a president CANNOT serve more than two terms. In order to change that, he would need to repeal the 22nd Amendment (which would be extremely difficult even for a popular president, and he’s not one) or dissolve Congress and declare the Constitution null and void which would inevitably catapult the nation into civil war. I could be wrong but I don’t believe Congressional Republicans would want the latter scenario because it would remove them from power and potentially put them in physical jeopardy from citizens enraged by their betrayal of the country — or even from the president himself. As a result, I find it difficult to believe that they would countenance a such a flagrant violation of the Constitution — especially since allowing him to get away with that would essentially put the entire Constitution at risk. Neither the Republican Party nor any other party can put him on the ballot for 2024 meaning that the only way for him to win would be as a write-in candidate (which although not impossible is unlikely and which would create a Constitutionsl crisis).

        The article in The Atlantic points out that whomever was elected president in 2024, all powers BY LAW automatically transfer to the new president in January and he or she then becomes fully entitled to remove Prima Donald from the White House by force if it should be necessary. Prima Donald might not want to relinquish power but it really doesn’t matter what he wants because he can’t prevent it from being taken from him without overturning the entire government and inciting civil war. The situation would probably be tense to say the least and potentially might even become messy at worst — and it wouldn’t necessarily be enough to stop potential violent reprisals from his supporters — but regardless of what he might like to believe, his mouth is writing checks he can’t cash.

        • Yes, Trump is an ongoing horror show but not leaving if not reelected or after two terms is a very overblown concern.

          Although if something horrible happens and Trump declares martial law (or anything similar) and therefore he has to stay (not sure that is a thing) I think the Republican Senate would do nothing.

          • Or an edit feature. Or a repeat of the name of the commenter you are replying to. The above comment was a reply to Bill from Texas.

  3. Mondale won only his home state of Minnesota plus D.C. McGovern did not win his home state of South Dakota! Two decent men obviously never had achance !

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