At The Economist : a comment on ‘A manifesto for renewing liberalism’ by Almost Marx

In celebration of its 175th anniversary The Economist, its Oxbridger editors, write about a  defense of the Liberal tradition that no longer exists, but remains the touchstone of Free Marketeers, who supplanted that tradition with the nihilism of the Neo-Liberal Swindle. The  headline and sub-headline offers what?

Headline:A manifesto for renewing liberalism

Sub-headline: Success turned liberals into a complacent elite. They need to rekindle their desire for radicalism

In the dismal tenth year marking the of Depression of 2008, and the failure  to appear of one of the central myths of the Neo-Liberal Theology of ‘The Self-Correcting Market’ this unconvincing propaganda intervention is aimed at a readership of plutocrats, oligarchs and their hangers on. When have ‘Liberals’ ever had a ‘desire for radicalism‘? Preposterous if not simply delusional! When all else fails appeal to the delusions of your readers!

The first two paragraphs open with a frontal attack on The Left, that perpetual threat to the 1%!

LIBERALISM made the modern world, but the modern world is turning against it. Europe and America are in the throes of a popular rebellion against liberal elites, who are seen as self-serving and unable, or unwilling, to solve the problems of ordinary people. Elsewhere a 25-year shift towards freedom and open markets has gone into reverse, even as China, soon to be the world’s largest economy, shows that dictatorships can thrive.

For The Economist this is profoundly worrying. We were created 175 years ago to campaign for liberalism—not the leftish “progressivism” of American university campuses or the rightish “ultraliberalism” conjured up by the French commentariat, but a universal commitment to individual dignity, open markets, limited government and a faith in human progress brought about by debate and reform.

How does this argued commitment to this ‘universal commitment to individual dignity, open markets, limited government and a faith in human progress brought about by debate and reform.’ manifest itself in Britain of the present day ?

Headline:Number of children in poverty surges by 100,000 in a year, figures show

Sub-headline: Government statistics show 4.1 million children now living in relative poverty compared with four million the previous year, accounting for more than 30 per cent of children

The number of children in poverty across the UK has surged by 100,000 in a year, new figures show, prompting calls for ministers to urgently review cuts to child welfare.

Government statistics published on Thursday show 4.1 million children are now living in relative poverty after household costs, compared with four million the previous year, accounting for more than 30 per cent of children in the country.

Compared to the overall population, children remained the most likely to be in relative poverty, at almost one in three compared with 21 per cent of working age adults and 16 per cent of pensioners.

The figures will fuel concerns that benefit cuts and tax credits under the Tory Government are seeing children hardest hit, with around one and a half million more under-18s forecasted to live in households below the relative poverty line by 2022.

Relative child poverty is measured as children living in homes where the income is 60 per cent of the median household income in the UK, adjusted for family size and after housing costs.

Separate government statistics published on Thursday show the number of households in temporary accommodation has surged 64 per cent since the Tories came to power in 2010, of which more than 2,000 had children.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/child-poverty-increase-children-family-benefit-households-a8268191.html

Given the above, where might the reader place this claim of the Economist’s editors?

The share of people living below the threshold of extreme poverty has fallen from about 80% to 8% and the absolute number has halved, even as the total living above it has increased from about 100m to over 6.5bn.

The World perspective, as compared to the statistics of the country they live in, escapes the attention of the apologists, not for ‘Liberalism’, but for their championed Neo-Liberalism!

True liberals contend that societies can change gradually for the better and from the bottom up. They differ from revolutionaries because they reject the idea that individuals should be coerced into accepting someone else’s beliefs. They differ from conservatives because they assert that aristocracy and hierarchy, indeed all concentrations of power, tend to become sources of oppression.

Liberalism thus began as a restless, agitating world view. Yet over the past few decades liberals have become too comfortable with power. As a result, they have lost their hunger for reform. The ruling liberal elite tell themselves that they preside over a healthy meritocracy and that they have earned their privileges. The reality is not so clear-cut.

The Age of Democratic Revolution chronicled by R.R. Palmer was long neglected and the rise of Thatcher and Reagan, along with the complete surrender of New Labour in Britain led by Tony Blair,  and the New Democrats in America by headed by Bill Clinton was the ignominious end of ‘Liberalism’. This truth is avoided at all costs, by the Oxbridger editors of The Economist.

Quoting from both Freedom House, an American Government funded NGO, and the  notorious war mongering Neo-Conservative Robert Kagan, and its dull-witted swipe at Jeremy Corbyn, can’t emancipate this political genre from its obsolescence.  Who, in this day and age, thinks that a Manifesto has anything resembling cogency, its an antique idea if not practice . The perfect form for 1843! And the Oxbridger editors of this newspaper pay a maladroit homage to this anachronism.

The last three paragraphs of this essay amounts to more self-congratulation about the hoped for re-invigoration of ‘Liberalism’.

The best liberals have always been pragmatic and adaptable. Before the first world war Theodore Roosevelt took on the robber barons who ran America’s great monopolies. Although many early liberals feared mob rule, they embraced democracy. After the Depression in the 1930s they acknowledged that government has a limited role in managing the economy. Partly in order to see off fascism and communism after the second world war, liberals designed the welfare state.

Liberals should approach today’s challenges with equal vigour. If they prevail, it will be because their ideas are unmatched for their ability to spread freedom and prosperity. Liberals should embrace criticism and welcome debate as a source of the new thinking that will rekindle their movement. They should be bold and impatient for reform. Young people, especially, have a world to claim.

When The Economist was founded 175 years ago our first editor, James Wilson, promised “a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.” We renew our pledge to that contest. And we ask liberals everywhere to join us.

An ersatz history made to measure is parsimoniously applied to the whole of this propaganda intervention.

Almost Marx

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/09/13/a-manifesto-for-renewing-liberalism

 


 

A. Androsin, thank you for your comment. I have not posted a comment here in quite a while, so I was reluctant to post a link to my entire comment, as it was quite long. My full comment is here:
https://stephenkmacksd.com/2018/09/16/at-the-economist-a-comment-on-a-manifesto-for-renewing-liberalism-by-almost-marx/

On question one)
China is an example that renders null the idea that Capitalism must have a democratic base in order to succeed?

Question two)
‘Creation of wealth’ is and of itself a value? Or is the flourishing of all the citizens of the polity a more egalitarian notion?

Question three)
The premise of your question is that ‘Identity Politics’ the spectre that haunts respectable bourgeois pundits is first about a ‘politics’ that these authors don’t like . And that history tells us can unite i.e. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition!
It’s Timothy McVeigh. Not to worry the Republicans and the New Democrats were/are the midwives of Trump an absolute egoist and nihilist!

Question four)

Maxine Waters is as utterly corrupt as Speaker Pelosi, who is worth, as of 2014, 24 million!  Waters will not get her hands on nuclear weapons, the political nihilist/opportunist Trump is the one to worry about!

Regards,

StephenKMackSD

https://www.economist.com/comment/3587034#comment-3587034

 

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Andy Divine presents himself as the voice of Political Centrism & Political Rationalism awash in Self-Congratulation. American Writer comments

Andy wastes no time presenting himself as the voice of reason and political rationalism in the first paragraph of his essay of dated September 14,2018. This essay is awash in  self-congratulation , not to speak of outbreaks of rhetorical purple. The first paragraph is revelatory of Mr. Divine’s amour propre.

Headline: America Desperately Needs a Healthy Conservatism

‘In these fetid times, it’s easy to know what you’re against. And I’ve spent many diaries assailing the dueling Trump and “social justice” cults on the illiberal right and left these past several months. But what am I for?’

That’s a harder question but a useful one to ask yourself from time to time. You don’t defeat something with nothing. So I thought I’d take a brief detour from the tribal abyss, and go back to some first principles. I remain a conservative, pretty much where I’ve always been, with the exception of foreign policy where I’ve seen the folly of interventionism in the wake of Iraq. By conservative, I do not mean Republican. To my mind, the Republican Party has become — and not just recently — a cancer on this particular strain of Western thought. To those who believe that this is a cop-out, or a version of the “all true conservatives” gambit, I offer a new book, which sure buoyed my spirits, and helped me regain my bearings. Reading it, for me, was like feeling an unexpectedly cool, dry breeze on a stiflingly humid day.

Andy is not an original thinker , these thinkers/writers are the rarest of creatures,  but Andy has found his touchstone in Roger Scruton’s new book ‘Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition’. But first read Scruton’s explanation of the why of his Conservatism from his Wikipedia Page :

In 1967 he began studying for his PhD at Jesus, then became a research fellow at Peterhouse, Cambridge (1969–1971), where he lived with Laffitte when she was not in France.[22] It was while visiting her during the May 1968 student protests in France that Scruton first embraced conservatism. He was in the Latin Quarter in Paris, watching students overturn cars, smash windows and tear up cobblestones, and for the first time in his life “felt a surge of political anger”:[23]

‘I suddenly realised I was on the other side. What I saw was an unruly mob of self-indulgent middle-class hooligans. When I asked my friends what they wanted, what were they trying to achieve, all I got back was this ludicrous Marxist gobbledegook. I was disgusted by it, and thought there must be a way back to the defence of western civilization against these things. That’s when I became a conservative. I knew I wanted to conserve things rather than pull them down.[9]’ ‘

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Scruton

Scruton and Andy Divine share a contempt for the hooligans of the Left. Of the ‘Right‘, Scruton experience and its subsequent contempt for the Marxist of Paris 1968, does not address the ‘Right’ as representative of nihilism, it plays no part at all! Except that some of those ’68’s became a part of the Nouvelle Droite:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nouvelle_Droite

And The New Philosophers:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Philosophers

An historical inconvenience for Scruton. So is this part of his Wikipedia page that puts his status of Conservative paragon into the realm of political wishful thinking!:

Tobacco company funding

Scruton was criticized in 2002 for having written articles about smoking without disclosing that he was receiving a regular fee from Japan Tobacco International (JTI) (formerly R. J. Reynolds).[66] In 1999 he and his wife—as part of their consultancy work for Horshells Farm Enterprises[59][67]—began producing a quarterly briefing paper, The Risk of Freedom Briefing (1999–2007), about the state’s control of risk.[68] Distributed to journalists, the paper included discussions about drugs, alcohol and tobacco, and was sponsored by JTI.[67][69][70] Scruton wrote several articles in defence of smoking around this time, including one for The Times,[71] three for The Wall Street Journal,[72] one for City Journal,[73] and a 65-page pamphlet for the Institute of Economic Affairs, WHO, What, and Why: Trans-national Government, Legitimacy and the World Health Organisation (2000). The latter criticized the World Health Organization‘s campaign against smoking, arguing that transnational bodies should not seek to influence domestic legislation because they are not answerable to the electorate.[74]

The Guardian reported in 2002 that Scruton had been writing about these issues while failing to disclose that he was receiving £54,000 a year from JTI.[66] The payments came to light when a September 2001 email from the Scrutons to JTI was leaked to The Guardian. Signed by Scruton’s wife, it asked the company to increase their £4,500 monthly fee to £5,500, in exchange for which Scruton would “aim to place an article every two months” in The Wall Street Journal, Times, Telegraph, Spectator, Financial Times, Economist, Independent or New Statesman.[75][76][66] Scruton, who said the email had been stolen, replied that he had never concealed his connection with JTI.[67] In response to The Guardian article, The Financial Times ended his contract as a columnist,[77] The Wall Street Journal suspended his contributions,[78] and the Institute for Economic Affairs said it would introduce an author-declaration policy.[79] Chatto & Windus withdrew from negotiations for a book, and Birkbeck removed his visiting-professor privileges.[69]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Scruton

Mr. Divine’s view of the political extremes is attuned to the American present and the danger of both ‘Left’ and ‘Right‘ as the expression of nihilism. In sum, the reader is given a book review of Scruton’s conception of ‘Conservatism’, embellished with Mr. Divine’s interpretations. But Andy pulls out all the stops in one of his near penultimate paragraphs, of this part of his usual tripartite essays:

I despise it because I am a conservative. I don’t believe that conservatism can be revived on the right (it has been thankfully sustained, by default, by the Democrats in recent decades) until this hateful philistine would-be despot and his know-nothing cult is gone. And by revived, I do not mean a return to neoconservatism abroad or supply side crack-pottery at home. The 1980s and 1990s are over. I mean a conservatism that can tackle soaring social and economic inequality as a way to save capitalism, restore the financial sector as an aid to free markets and not their corrupting parasite, a conservatism that will end our unending wars, rid the criminal justice system of its racial blind spots, defend liberal education and high culture against the barbarians of postmodernism and the well-intentioned toxins of affirmative action, pay down the debt, reform the corruption of religious faith, protect our physical landscape, invest in non-carbon energy, and begin at the local level to rebuild community and the spirit of American civil association. 

All that is missing from this list of what a re-imagined  Conservatism can accomplish is the fact that Conservatives care not one whit about the concerns of Mr. Divine’s Utopian Vision of Conservatism. Scruton does not represent that Conservatism, that Mr. Divine pines for in The Age of Trump, but a completely corrupt opportunism. That shopworn cliche ‘actions speak louder than words’ offers the reader a usable explanatory frame, by which to judge Scruton’s opportunism.

Mr. Divine practices, with abandon, his moralizing politics , to remind the reader of his status as an American Cassandra, or better yet a Tiresias! Who has placed his wager on the utterly corrupt Scruton,  as his political touchstone. Mr Divine is a superficial propagandist, fueled by his narcissism and by the absence of anything resembling judgement, in any of its iterations.

American Writer

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/09/gop-destroying-conservatism.html

 

   

 

 

 

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Political Gossip Sheet ‘Politico’ publishes ( @WonkVJ ) Van Jackson’s self-advertisement. Old Socialist comments

How utterly surprising that Van Jackson couches his attack on the ‘Left’ and its seeming lack of a Foreign Policy, via the route of an active, not just defense of Neo-Liberalism, but celebration of this failed and failing politic/economic/ethical ideology! Wendy Brown in her ‘Undoing the Demos’ is just one of the polemics against this failed ‘Free Market Revolution’ and its trio of false prophets Hayek,Mises and Friedman

In three turgid paragraphs, that could have been better spent, with the usual Party Line of ‘The Post-War Liberal Order’ which in the double-speak of the Foreign Policy technocrat is equal to American Hegemony.   Yet he quite cunningly uses speculation and wan questioning  as his rhetorical strategy.
The Wisdom of the Market is antithetical to an actual Left rather than a Right Wing Social Democrat posing as a Leftist. Is the ‘Left’ in America defined by the inept Neo-Liberal Barack Obama?

Here is Mr. Jackson’s brief biography supplied by The Wilson Center:

Bio

Dr. Van Jackson is an American political scientist, strategist, and media commentator specializing in Asian security and defense affairs.  He is a senior lecturer in international relations at Victoria University of Wellington, as well as the Defence & Strategy Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies in Wellington, New Zealand. Van’s first book was Rival Reputations: Coercion and Credibility in US-North Korea Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2016).  His latest book is On the Brink: Trump, Kim and the Threat of Nuclear War (Cambridge University Press, 2018).  Van has testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, and is a frequent commentator in popular media and policy outlets.  He was previously a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow (2014-15).  From 2009 to 2014, Van held positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) as a strategist and policy adviser focused on the Asia-Pacific, senior country director for Korea, and working group chair of the U.S.–Republic of Korea Extended Deterrence Policy Committee. He is the recipient of multiple awards in OSD, including the Exceptional Civilian Service Medal.”

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/person/van-jackson

That Mr. Jackson is a well connected part of America’s National Security State  apparatus and its technocracy of ‘experts in waiting’ should not surprise. Neither is his being a member of The Wilson Center headed by Neo-Con in all but name Jane Harmon!

Mr. Jackson’s maladroit attack on The Left begins in earnest with this revelatory paragraph:

No Theory of Security
There’s a second problem with progressive foreign policy preferences to the extent we can draw them out: None of it amounts to a statement about the hard choices involved in national security affairs. Put another way, the most identifiable tropes of leftist foreign policy tell us little about the kinds of foreign policy decisions the United States needs to make in order to secure itself in a tumultuous world.

What follows is a list of the ‘imperatives’ that these Leftist must make a part of their Foreign Policy  imperatives , from a member in good standing of an utterly failed Foreign Policy technocracy:

On nuclear disarmament, On international order,On authoritarianism and democracy

The final three paragraphs lapse into what the policy technocrat- its pioneer Herman Kahn would have dismissed as an irrelevant a resort to modified use of a moral argument, instead of a realism based in an amoral frame .  Jejune moralizing equaling the Court of Last Resort.  Mr. Jackson doses enliven and garnish his muted hectoring tone with a more readable style, yet the Party Line of the Policy Technocrat is always the same: We are indispensable! 

The mythology of Wilson’s Progressivism is framed by The Palmer Raids, The Espionage Act of 1917 .The Sedition Act of 1918  and the segregation of the city of Washington D.C.  Wilsonian Progressivism was awash in an exploitable political/racial hysteria. History, how inconvenient for both Ms. Harmon and her hireling Mr. Jackson!

Old Socialist

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/09/11/left-national-security-foreign-policy-donald-trump-219744

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My reply to NN @FT

@NN,

Thank you for your comment, is the italicized (by me) what you are referring to in your comment? Mr. Luce’s status as former speech writer for Larry Summers places him firmly in the Neo-Liberal apologist category, not to speak of his advocacy in the pages of The Financial Times. What does this have to do with Luce’s review of these books?

Those who refuse to co-operate tend to come off worse.

This report from The Sutton Trust via The Guardian offers some valuable clues as to the ‘why’ of Mr. Luce’s doubt: a ‘Posh Boy’ must never be taken in by anyone, it is against the ‘code’ of the sons of privilege.

Headline: Most leading journalists went to private schools, says study

Sub-headline: · Report reveals increase in disparity over last 10 years
· Only 14% of top 100 attended comprehensives
See the full list (pdf)

Sun editor Rebekah Wade, Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow and Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman all did, but Today presenter John Humphrys, News of the World editor Andy Coulson and BBC Ten O’Clock News presenter Fiona Bruce did not. More than half of Britain’s top 100 journalists were educated at private schools, a proportion that has increased over the past two decades, according to research.

The figures suggest the profession is increasingly dominated by a privately-schooled, Oxbridge-educated elite and demonstrate it is becoming difficult for those from other backgrounds to get a foothold, according to the educational charity that carried out the survey.

The survey showed that 54% of the top 100 newspaper editors, columnists, broadcasters and executives were educated privately, despite fee-paying schools catering for 7% of the school population. That figure has increased from 49% in 1986, when the research was last carried out. Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, said the study confirmed a pattern evident among top lawyers and politicians. “This is another example of the predominance of those who are privately educated in influential positions in society,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2006/jun/15/pressandpublishing.publicschools

This report is, to say the least offers valuable evidence that the ‘Journalists’ like Mr. Luce, unmentioned in this report, but this part of his Wikipedia entry proves that he is part of ‘The Posh Boys‘ generation, or well within its range:

Edward Luce (born 1 June 1968) is an English journalist and the Financial Times chief US commentator and columnist based in Washington, D.C. Before that he was the Financial Times‘ Washington bureau chief, and South Asia bureau chief based in New Delhi.[1]

Luce is the son of conservative politician Richard Luce; his first cousin is actress Miranda Hart. He completed his secondary education at various boarding schools around Sussex, graduated with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from New College, Oxford in 1990, and received a post-graduate diploma in newspaper journalism from City University, London.[2][1]

His first job was as a correspondent for The Guardian in Geneva, Switzerland.[3][4] He joined the Financial Times in 1995 and initially reported from the Philippines,[1] after which he took a one-year sabbatical working in Washington, D.C. as speech writer for Lawrence Summers, then US treasury secretary (1999–2001) during the Clinton administration.[1][5]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Luce

Regards,

StephenKMackSD

https://on.ft.com/2oZ8VVj

 

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@EdwardGLuce ‏on the Chronicler’s of Trump: Wolff, Omarosa, Woodward: Almost Marx comments

In the current crop of Palace Gossip about the Know-Nothing Trump Mr. Luce places his bet on the respectable bourgeois Saint Simon, Bob Woodward.  Luce places his ‘faith’ in the Woodward ‘brand’ : the vocabulary of Neo-Liberalism is the toxic incantation uttered here at The Financial Times as part of its catechism.

It is a misfortune of Bob Woodward’s timing that his book is packed with shocking material that by this point fails to shock. Woodward’s advantage is his brand. He has written numerous books since he made his name as the Washington Post’s investigative reporter who with his colleague Carl Bernstein uncovered Watergate. Some of them, such as State of Denial, Bush at War, enriched our view of a presidency. Others, such as Maestro, his paean to Alan Greenspan, do not stand the test of time. Woodward’s other advantage is his method. He persuades insiders to talk to him out of fear that other insiders will shape the narrative to their disadvantage. It is a tried and tested method. Those who refuse to co-operate tend to come off worse.

Mr.Luce presents Woodward here as the victim of both Wolff,  Omarosa and their exercise of their political opportunism, that translates to  ‘bad faith’ a long forgotten expression that describes the self-serving interventions of the pretenders to the role of truth teller.  Aren’t all these books destined for the Best- seller list, not to speak of the remainder table, the pulping machine or a landfill?

Woodward’s Palace Gossip relies on a kind of respectable political blackmail :

He persuades insiders to talk to him out of fear that other insiders will shape the narrative to their disadvantage. It is a tried and tested method. Those who refuse to co-operate tend to come off worse.

As in the swift justice of the Revered Market, there are the winners and then there are the rest! The ‘shaping of the narrative’ is in sum propaganda, a form of the endlessly usable self-exculpatory method, employed by lawyers in and out of judicial robes.

Mr. Luce provides  a narration of the unfolding political melodrama, to enliven breakfast table conversation, or for the commuter to while away the time it takes to arrive at work. The cast of characters is large, and all have their moments in the Luce Narrative of Heroes and Villains, or more pointedly in the  world view of Posh Boys British Protestantism of Saints and Sinners. But his bit of unintentional comedy is too good to escape mention:

Others who seemed to have co-operated extensively include Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist and self-appointed Lenin of the Alt-Right,  …

Mr. Bannon is in fact the latest incarnation of the political operatives like Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. Lenin was a pretentious intellectual and nihilist, that made a revolution that became not Communism but a reactionary State Capitalism, controlled by a corrupt elite. Both Lenin and Trotsky destroyed the workers councils, one of the founding principals of Communism.  Luce as usual repeats the Party line on Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg and her coterie are Marxist arcana unworthy of the attention of the bourgeois political chatterer.

Mr. Luce wallows in every tawdry detail in his lengthy essay,  and the “devil’s workshop” as presented by Priebus is used by the headline writes of The Financial Times.

Almost Marx

https://www.ft.com/content/a4b4058c-b507-11e8-bbc3-ccd7de085ffe

 

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Matt.Lewis@thedailybeast.com on Corey Booker & Kamala Harris. Old Socialist comments

‘Free Minds, Free Markets‘ ideologue Matt Lewis latest @DailyBeast essay starts out with a well deserved attack on former California AG Kamala Harris and Ambulance Chaser Corey Booker.
First, here are two characterizations of Trump, by Lewis that need to be repeated:

…Trump’s norm-breaking style.

The predictable “take” from the chattering classes will be about norm erosion. Donald Trump has lowered the bar, and henceforth, everyone will break the rules and behave in an uncivil manner.

Mr. Lewis won’t face the bitter truth that Trump is the triumph of the political Know-Nothing, in the Age of the collapse of his cherished delusion of ‘The Free Market’! But he , ever the courtier of bourgeois political respectability, becomes, for the moment, a High School Guidance Counselor, who offers these two provisional appraisals of Booker and Harris :

…but Booker strikes me as a fundamentally nice and moderate guy.

Harris cultivated a moderate law-and-order reputation when she was a prosecutor. High profile interrogations help them earn resistance cred.

Harris might be more naturally combative, but it still looks like she’s trying too hard.

Harris cultivated a moderate law-and-order reputation when she was a prosecutor.

Booker has Wall Street ties, supported charter schools and defended Bain Capital in 2012.

High profile interrogations help them earn resistance cred.

First both Harris and Booker are auditioning for the seat of Diane Feinstein on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who at 86, and can’t even secure the support of the California Democratic Party, packed with ‘bitter’ Bernie Bros.  And faces political insurgent Kevin de León, a Democrat, in the November election!

Then, Mr. Lewis presents this dubious analysis , that High School Guidance Counselor mode discarded in favor of the vulgar ‘phony politicians’. The political motives of both Harris and Booker, as compared to the reasons for the triumph of Trump are explored:

They’re both auditioning of course, but are they auditioning well? In attempting to learn the lessons of Trump’s victory, Democrats are missing some key ingredients. Trump’s appeal wasn’t (solely) about his status as a fighter. It also had to do with the fact that he was (a) authentic and (b) an outsider. Harris and Booker, conversely, are demonstrating the exact opposite attributes. Simply put, they look like phony politicians. (Another thing about Trump is that he is utterly shameless. You can’t fake that, either.)

What Mr. Lewis misses is that these hearings are first about the perpetual self-congratulation of America’s most eminent political class, and its due deference practiced, as if they were courtiers to each other. And the fact that both Booker and Harris are practicing the political art of holding up political/legal reactionaries to a concerted campaign of  public ridicule. Something the Republicans have engaged in with equal tenacity. Not to mention the outright obstruction of Obama’s attempt to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Scalia by the Republicans!

https://www.thedailybeast.com/liberals-are-now-in-love-with-cory-booker-and-kamala-harris-thats-whats-wrong-with-liberalism

 

 

 

 

 

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My reply to @EllipticCurve @DS_Analyst.

@EllipticCurve @DS_Analyst

This from the BBC:

Headline: Labour adopts full anti-Semitism definition

Sub-headline : The UK Labour Party’s ruling body has agreed to adopt in full an international definition of anti-Semitism, after months of rows.

‘It will incorporate all the 11 examples of anti-Semitism cited by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance into its code of conduct.

But Jewish groups have attacked an accompanying statement agreed by the NEC aimed at protecting free speech.

One warned it risked giving “racists a get-out-of-jail card”.

After a three hour meeting in London, Labour said its National Executive Committee had adopted all of the IHRA examples of anti-Semitism, including four it left out in July, alongside a statement ensuring “this will not in any way undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-45414656

To riff on Shakespeare: ‘Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of Civil War’! Corbyn will either denounce this travesty, or he will betray the whole of his political career! The very pressing question of this moment!

StephenKMackSD

https://on.ft.com/2NhtWIO

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