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January 12, 2016

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Kunstler's been making pretty much the same dire predictions for years now, going back to the Y2K folderol.

But man, is he spot-on about the meds and eds rackets.

Now days are dragon-ridden. The nightmare rides upon sleep.
WB Yeats

There are two interwoven fantasies. The one from the right imagines an anti-Establishment Republican who finally gets rid of brown-skinned immigrants, political correctness, and America's emerging demographic reality. The one from the left imagines a different America, say like Denmark, midwifed by the election of a socialist from Vermont. What they have in common is a problem called reality. There is no emerging majority for either program. What there is a chronic bad mood where political paralysis results from dueling demonologies.

So, what if it's Bernie vs Der Donald? My prediction is that Trump would win. An aging Jewish (if atheistic) socialist is a bridge too far. Obama won because he massaged this jittery nation with his pledge to post-partisan hope and change. It was atmospheric, to be sure, not so challenging that we had to consider difficult changes. Compromise would prevail. Republicans, sensing the danger, undertook to scuttle that enterprise and succeeded all-too well. Now, base Republicans want their racist and xenophobic preoccupations validated. Into this vacuum rides Trump on his very white horse.

Imagine for a moment the election of a president backed by the American Nazi Party and the KKK. It can happen here, and I suspect will, if the stars continue to align in this toxic pattern. Trump, by all measures, should be unelectable. But if the contest is between a reactionary and a socialist, reaction will win. We are not Canada. We are America, warts and more. We consider the idea of "sharing" with blacks and Latinos with revulsion. We, the good Americans, work hard. "They", on the other hand, are "takers". "They want to raise YOUR taxes so those people can get more free stuff!" Republicans will work this ugliness with verve and find a majority with it.

Maybe this scenario will not transpire. Maybe Hillary will tough it out, win the nomination, and lose the election anyway because the purists on the left will cede yet another winnable election to the hard right. Maybe not! Still, it's not a calming thought. I'm not in the mood for wishful thinking, however. Tell me how our better angels win in this nightmare we call our nation. I probably won't believe you but I'll welcome your effort.

"[A] Democratic defeat in 2016 would bring Republicans to total power and disaster, paving the way for a real progressive revolution in 2020."

Sounds like chemotherapy.

Soleri we don't win this nightmare. Move to Uruguay or maybe Belize. The Republicans win and we nuke Iran. We sell all western public lands to the boys in Salt Lake and they charge admission to Disney Grand Canyon. So vote for Bernie and you will sleep better in your hammock on the beach in Uruguay.

HOWEVER my predictions are the Republican attempt to fix voting machines fail and Bernie is elected President. Texas and the South restore the confederacy and prepare for war.
Cal moves to a tent in Organ Pipe near Why Arizona and visits with the ghost of Ed Abbey.
Hasta luego

I said quite awhile back that whoever won the primary on the democrat side would face Trump in the general. I said that because I grew up around working class white "rednecks," and I know what drives them. They don't hide their opinions from me, the way they do-or used to do until Trump came along and freed them from the chains of civility- because I'm not a "suit." I also knew that Obama would get as much racist pushback as he has (but, who didn't?) What they're responding to is a kind of "frontier anxiety," which is what humans always do in the face of what they perceive to be diminishing resources (what if blacks or immigrants get stuff before I can?). They don't want to talk about inclusivity and diversity, because that only increases their anxiety and resentment. They don't want to hear Obama saying "We have to make sure everyone has a shot at the dream," because they don't think there's enough to go around in the first place.
As to whether Clinton or Sanders would better be able to push their agenda in Congress, neither will, unless and until the stupid fever breaks and the "freedom" caucus is back home in Hooterville scamming the yokels. And sorry, but if you accept that this permanently butthurt segment of society who supports Trump is big enough to influence the general election, you should know that none of them-zero- will vote for Clinton, even if Trump somehow loses the primary. Sanders, though? He'd peel off a few votes from Cruz or rubio, because he's talking about things that actually affect them. They don't give a shit about the Middle East, or the Ukraine, they want action right here at home, right now.

I still choose to believe Trump is unelectable and I continue to hope at some point his supporters move on to more realistic, less frightening candidates. Maybe I'm overreacting but I fear that Trump's ultra-confrontational, egotistical, don't you dare cross me personal style might embroil us in war, international political crises, or who knows what other catastrophes.

I still think there are too many conservatives like myself who are dismayed by Trump and many of his statements and lack of decorum, and therefore that he will fall in the end.

Hillary is the ultimate status quo candidate and therefore I still think she has a good shot at winning.

Ultimately the real question is can Hillary mobilize irregular voters like Obama did. If "no one votes" the Republicans will likely win ... if turnout is huge, that will bode well for her.

So far there are no sane Republican cadidates.

Mr. T:

Remember THE importance of the 2010 election. Off year, but all the states' redistricting was bossed by the GOP after their home runs in that year's elections at state levels. 2020 is another major important off year election. A downHILLiary win in 2016 sets up another mega off year win sweep for the GOP and thus, another decade of control. If I was Rovian, I'd get some chump to lose this year and go for the 2020 gold baby.

I would care more if I wasn't about to win the Powerball tonight. See you in New Zealand on my new farm.

YT. Good advise.
Fortunate, a farm in New Zealand! Maybe a place in the manger for Soleri?
What's the desert like?

Is Nikki Haley possibly a better Republican than the current nut jobs?

I know that's an illogical question.

Well, the Koch's have responded to Mayer's allegation with facts and access to detailed information that she could not possibly have had access to. Pretty good read here:

http://kochnews.com/articles/2015/false-and-inaccurate-claims-about-koch


Of course, it doesn't have the "sizzle" that someone like Mayer needs to sell books (Koch's in bed with Hitler!!), but detailed, factual responses rarely do.

Predictions? Hillary voted twice for the Patriot Act, for the Iraq war resolution, for escalation in Afghanistan, and she was against the surge in Iraq. So, she'll be a swell Commander in Chief.

She'll probably win. But none of that's the point.

World economy continues to slide. Government budgets are going to continue to get pressed and someday everyone's going to stop buying everyone else's soverign debt.

Then what?

The difference is that if Bernie is able to surpass Hillary, it will be due to the emergence of a movement.
Absent that movement, it cannot happen.
In the presence of that movement, Congress could be retaken, in defiance of all prevailing wisdom.
Claims about the likelihood of that movement manifesting are not only premature but also pointless: it does, or does not.
But why not put in the work to see if it can?
Argue for your limits, and sure enough, they're yours...

What Joe said.

Speaking of a Sanders presidency with the expectation of a hobbling Congress is premature. What he is demanding is a revolutionary level of participation by the people - and it is easy to imagine that includes exhorting the people to pound on their representatives in the two Houses.

If Bernie has the resolve to do that or die (and he seems to be of that character,) then let's not prematurely write off the potential vitality of his presidency.

This is not an invitation for soleri to posture and counterpoint me for the general audience. Not that anything I say will stop him. :)

Hillary attacks on Sanders and having her daughter being her attack dog certainly have been counter productive moves.


soleri [quotes Yeats, comments at length, a tragedy]

Wins the intertubes for today.

a tip o' me hat

Cal Lash writes:

there are no sane Republican cadidates.

Kasich is sane, but he's a sane SOB.
Among the R clown candidates, only Kasich could competently run a very right-wing government that governed a bit to the left of Generalissimo Francisco Franco.
The rest are incompetent, so might actually do less harm.

Mark in Scottsdale writes :

Trump's ultra-confrontational, egotistical, don't you dare cross me personal style

There's a word for this.

It starts with f, and originally denotes a bundle of staves

Rogue -- and anyone else, I would be interested to hear what you think Clinton would be able to accomplish that Bernie wouldn't. Republican hatred of Clinton is so strong, i can only imagine them employing the same strategy they have used with Obama or would use with Bernie, a complete refusal to work across the aisle. They're goal would be to make her a one term president, again. Putting electability aside, Clinton is a hawk Bernie isn't. Can she be trusted to hold Wall Street in check? Bernie would also be a bulwark to progressive ideas, would he not?

Amen Tim.

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