The ‘insights’ of : a collection of quotes and commentary on his London Review of Books essay ‘American Breakdown’. Part One? By Political Observer (Revised)

Mr. Bromwich manages to avoid the current political hysteria ,or simply to mute it, therefore making it more palatable to the reader, than the Corporate Media hysterics.He even manages to shame these political actors, yet at the same moment to exercise a kind of restrained iteration of the current Party Line.

Much of the damage to US politics over the last two years has been done by the anti-Trump media themselves, with their mood of perpetual panic and their lack of imagination. But the uncanny gift of Trump is an infectious vulgarity, and with it comes the power to make his enemies act with nearly as little self-restraint as he does.

Mr. Bromwich’s Bill of Attainder includes Trump’s appointment of Scott Pruitt to the EPA, and his successor Andrew Wheeler both products of an utterly corrupt American Corporatism. Next in order of consideration is Iran, and the Wars of Empire: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, all fully endorsed by the New Democrats, led by ‘tougher than any man in the room’ Mrs. Clinton. An utter inconvenience to Mr. Bromwich’s reserved indictment.

But the patient, indeed, doubtful reader of this writer’s judgement is taken aback by this deviation from the Party Line:

Russia remains the obsessional concern. Not wanting to restart the Cold War might seem one of the few good ideas attributable to Trump, no matter how he came by it, but the pride of the Democrats is invested in pushing him towards renewed conflict: stiffer sanctions, cyber implants, enhanced deployments and joint military exercises with Nato – nothing (it is said) should be ‘off the table’. American commentators lack even a minimal awareness of the circumstances of the eastward push of Nato after 1990. President George H.W. Bush, in return for a united Germany, had promised that Nato would expand ‘not one inch eastward’; and the evacuation of this pledge in the years that followed, under Clinton, the younger Bush and Obama, has rightly been considered a betrayal by every Russian leader from Gorbachev to Putin.

History intrudes itself into a subject not mentioned, but the constant sub-text of the Anti-Trump coterie’s agitprop : The New Cold War fomented by Mrs. Clinton, her minions, and the perpetually bloodthirsty Neo-Conservatives, who have a continuing political romance with her jingoism, expressed by the notion of her ‘toughness’. History is again utterly inconvenient, Mr. Bromwich should be congratulated for this moment of clarifying honesty. A long quote from the virtuous martyred American political saint Lincoln adds more historical depth.

Next in order of appearance are political hysterics Senator Joe McCarthy and Congressman Adam Schiff. Then to Patrick Buchanan and his :

‘Many Putin actions we condemn were reactions to what we did. Russia annexed Crimea bloodlessly. But did not the US bomb Serbia for 78 days to force Belgrade to surrender her cradle province of Kosovo? How was that more moral than what Putin did in Crimea?’

By this quotation from Mr. Buchanan, identifies Mr. Bromwich as an Apostate to the current New Cold War Mythology!

Next in line are considerations of the Republican Party’s ‘collaboration’ with Trump and the utterly preposterous , but  self-congratulatory notion of the ‘Resistance’. Recall  the quote from Goya: ‘The sleep of reason brings forth monsters’ !

Mr. Bromwich then opines that:

Police, for the most part, haven’t yet shown a pro-Trump disposition, and Democrats should want to keep things that way. Among officers of law enforcement at all levels, Trump’s role as an instigator of popular disorders is the strongest point against him.

The years 2016 and 2017 have escaped the political memory of Mr. Bromwich, in which 2600, mostly black people, were murdered by police in America, without one conviction in a court of law. The Police have already rendered a verdict. The ‘Broken Widows Policy’ of the Manhattan Institute,  has evolved into a siege mentality- the domestic corollary of the War on Terror. A  bourgeois pundit like Mr. Bromwich dare not go that far in his Apostasy.

The first part of Mr. Bromwich’s ends with the ‘Democrats’ and the feckless dullard Comey, playing a new role as FBI Hero, straight out of the manufactured lore of  movies,radio and television propaganda, spanning generations. The scandal of the FBI Crime Laboratory remains unmentioned in Mr. Bromwich commentary:

See John F. Kelly author of Tainting Evidence : Behind the Scandals at the FBI Crime Lab on C-Span address here of July 10, 1998:

And read this Atlantic news story on the same issue here:

Headline: CSI Is a Lie

Comey shares in J.Edgar Hoover’s political paranoia about ‘The Left’ as the embodiment of the political evil, as opposed to the virtues of American Centrism.  His handling of the Clinton e mails demonstrates his political maladroitness, but confirms his faith in his sense of duty to Truth, no matter the political costs. For the lazy, but entitled, Mrs. Clinton and her allies in the National Security Sate apparatus, Brennan and Clapper it was a betrayal that could not be countenanced. But adds  to the gloss of Mrs. Clinton as victim, of the scheming of Trump and his Russian Overlord Putin.

Political Observer



August 17, 2018

I have decided not to write a Part Two on Mr. Bromwich’s essay. But I feel I must comment on one  part of the remainder of his polemic, in which he lauds James Comey as FBI Hero:

Comey’s memoir has now surpassed the combined sales of Michael Wolff’s portrait of the Trump White House, Fire and Fury, and Hillary Clintons’s election elegy What Happened. The book, written in an idiom identical to the one he uses in interviews and press briefings, is clearly the work of an un-ghosted author, and it contains passages most unusual for an official memoir:

There is a place I have visited on the coast of North Carolina where two barrier islands come close together. In the narrow passageway between them, the waters of the Atlantic Ocean meet the waters of the huge and shallow sound that lies behind the islands. There is turbulence in that place and waves appear to break even though no land is visible. I imagine that the leaders of the Department of Justice stand at that spot, between the turbulent waters of the political world and the placid waters of the apolitical sound. Their job is to respond to the political imperatives of the president and the voters who elected him, while also protecting the apolitical work of the thousands of agents, prosecutors, and staff who make up the bulk of the institution. So long as the leaders understand the turbulence, they can find their footing. If they stumble, the ocean water overruns the sound and the department has become just another political organ. Its independent role in American life has been lost and the guardians of justice have drowned.

This depth of formal piety cannot be faked; the passage shows the burden (as Comey sees it) of maintaining constitutional and legal restraints on Donald Trump.

There is nothing new here, Mr. Bromwich follows the Party Line, on this whole scandal, except that the tone is more measured, a bit less dominated by hysteria. But absent is the elegant rhetorical framing to add a certain depth, in sum, he descends into the demotic.    Bromwich  expresses faith in Comey based on an excerpt from his book. ‘This depth of formal piety cannot be faked; ‘ call this dubious!  A selection of Mr. Comey’s tweets leaves no doubt, that he is the natural successor to  J. Edgar Hoover’s Anti-Left hysteria mongering , not to speak of his historically verifiable record of active persecution of Leftists !




Political Observer




About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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