Monday, February 20, 2017

Fighting Trump by fighting the RMP

Sunday, February 19, 2017

More on RMP = Rich Man's Party

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Charles Blow at the Times

I sent the following letter to Charles Blow, columnist at the N. Y. Times.

Dear Mr. Blow,

Thank you for your relentless and right-on voice against Trump and his enabling Republicans. Here are some further comments.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Quote of the week

After losing the Appeals Court decision 3 - 0, Trump said (Tweeted): "See you in court, the security of our nation is at stake."

Washington state had challenged Trump's executive order; its  Gov. Jay Inslee replied to Trump: "We already saw you in court, you lost."

If we really had an activist national Democratic party, they would be playing this up in national ads, especially the "you lost" part. They are still sitting on their hands though. Probably waiting for the Supreme Court to weigh in, when things have moved on, at which point they will, as before, do nothing. It's a good thing we citizens don't depend on the national Dems for very much: all they do is ask for contributions, which they'll save until... uh... until...


Sunday, February 5, 2017

There is no opposition party.

Several weeks ago there was one of the largest protest marches ever in (a) Washington, (b) Los Angeles, (c) Boston,  (d) San Francisco, and ... dozens of other cities who never had marches this large. Since that time, cities, universities churches etc. have joined in opposing Trump's illegal immigration orders by declaring themselves immigrant-friendly "sanctuaries", ready to resist these executive orders by all legal means. The entertainment industry and the software industry have publicly excoriated Trump and his minions. Everywhere pledges of resistance have sprung up.

Well, everywhere except in the national Democratic Party. We've seen and heard nothing from them official except promises to stop Trump's cabinet picks -- empty promises so far. We all know -- in spite of hoping-against-hope -- that the national Democrats (I'll call them Dems for short) will eventually cave, as they always manage to do. They'll tell us they're united against Trump -- except for a "threatened" Dem here and there (Heidi Heitkamp in N.D., Joe Manchin W.V): just enough to break their resistance. They're afraid that if they use the filibuster on Gorsuch that it will simply make the Republicans angry enough to eliminate it. So they won't use it since it will just prevent them from using it. Wow: those are fighting words.

OK, maybe they're really up against it. What they might do is, for example, help the rest of us who are marching and setting up Sanctuaries. But no: they're simply asking us to send them more money for their "future" campaigns. I hear from the DSCC nearly everyday -- sometimes twice a day. We've been doing the work, being militant, supporting the ACLU and Planned Parenthood etc, and they want us to send them more money. 

Are the Dems creating and using national TV ads attacking and ridiculing Trump and Bannon and Gorsuch the way the Republicans and the Tea Party have been attacking us for decades ("leftists", "commies", "big government",  "crooked Hillary")? They should use the money we send them for something. Where is the propaganda machine that we need now, to prepare for the elections less than 2 years away. Are they vetting new candidates? Are they framing the issues: Trump's a con man, Bannon's a neo-Nazi, Trump's draining the swamps and using the sediment he digs up to stock his cabinet? We know that the Dems are old and serious and uncreative, but couldn't they at least hire some younger, witty and creative people from Saturday Night Live? What do they do with our money? The only exciting candidate they have produced, Bernie Sanders, should be on paid political spots right now. But no. The Dems are going to wait until just before the next elections so that they can be sucker punched in state assemblies which do the redistricting, and in the gerrymandered congressional districts. The Democratic base has energized itself with a lot of local work and activity since Trump took office, but the national Democrats have not done anything except send an occasional speaker to our rallies and ask for more money to stiffen their (meh) resistance.

We need the equivalent of a Tea Party, maybe, to prod lazy Dems in primaries. Heitkamp and Manchin don't do us any good except to sap our energy: they lose by not fighting and yet we are told we have to protect them. Look, if it walks like a Blue Dog and talks like a Blue Dog, then it is a Blue Dog (Democrat). It's better to fight and lose than not fight and still lose.

We have a chance at doing some real damage to the Republicans next election -- 2018. For a change we have the press somewhat on our side (after it's been insulted by the Trumpists every day), we have outrage and anger and energy on our side. The courts have been doing yeoman duty recently. Maybe need some help organizing and bringing forth determined leaders. Above all , we need a propaganda machine to frame and ridicule the Trumpists and the whole unprincipled Republican Party. We just won the popular vote by a large margin in a national election, and lost the key electoral states by a narrow margin. If we are unified and continue our anger and outrage, and don't have Clintons to drag us down, we can play lots of powerful cards and maybe hobble the Trumpists by some meaningful victories in (less than) 2 years.

Oh, and one more thing. Let's stop calling the Republicans the "GOP"; there's nothing "Grand" about that party anymore. Let's rebrand them: They are the Party for The Rich (PTR) or maybe the  RMP (Rich Man's Party: looks like Trump and rump). 

Listen up, national Dems: We want some value for the money we send you. We don't want a "close loss": we want a victory.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Krugman on the illegitimate election

This is worth reading: Krugman on Trump'e illigitamate election victory.

But there needs to be more concrete suggestions. I have some ideas, but I'd like to hear yours.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Masha Gessen on Putin and Trump

Masha Gessen is a journalist who has specialized in writing about Russia and Vladimir Putin. She has a very interesting podcast (brought to my attention by S.B), which can be found here:

 This podcast contains this little gem:

"I'm going to borrow a metaphor from Garry Kasparov, the chess champion, who when he first quit chess and went into politics, he was explaining to people that going up against Putin was like playing chess against somebody who keeps knocking the figures off the board. It's like he's not playing chess.
I think that what the papers failed to do was write the big story of the fact that Donald Trump wasn't playing chess. It's like the endless fact checking was a little bit like reporting on a chess match by saying, "Okay, well, she opened E2 to E4 and he knocked all the figures off the chess board. He knocked the bishop off the chess board and he knocked the knight off the chess board." Well, just say it! Just say he was not playing chess!
I think that it would have been a story about how Donald Trump was running for autocrat. I think at that point there should have been a big journalistic break with American exceptionalism and that's where we would have gone to other countries to look at what has happened to other countries when politicians have run in democratic elections for autocrat. It's happened many times and it's succeeded many times."

S.B. also writes: 
"Gessen had an earlier short essay in the NY Review that I also found very powerful:
I think she moved back to the US recently -- before that she was one of those journalists who was surely on Putin's hitlist. Scary stuff."