Some thoughts on Andy Divine & Janan Ganesh. Old Socialist comments

Among the topics raised in his usual political free association, of October 12, 2018 titled The Danger of Trump’s Political Accomplishments , Andy Divine was surprised at what McConnell and Ryan were able to pass in Congress, controlled by Republicans in both houses:

Now put this in the broader context of Trump’s sole legislative achievement: his massive, budget-busting tax cut. For many mainstream Republicans, this is what they live for. It will be hard to reverse. Which is to say it’s a further justification for the GOP’s going along with populist authoritarianism. No, the tax cut hasn’t proved an electoral godsend, unless you factor in its positive, short-term impact on economic growth. But it sure has helped reconcile the old GOP to the new one.

The desperate hacks of Neo-Liberal Press, on both side of the Atlantic, were fulsome in their praise of  the McConnell ‘Leadership’ , Janan Ganesh at The Financial Times among them:

Headline: Democrats need their own Mitch McConnell

Sub-headline: The left must learn from the Republican majority leader’s tactical successes

Mitch McConnell’s ever-startled face could have been drawn by the cartoonist Tex Avery. The majority leader of the US Senate also does a vivid line in Southernisms: his support for Brett Kavanaugh, whom he navigated on to the Supreme Court, was as “strong as mule piss”.

And there, his outwardly interesting characteristics end. Grey of hair and persona, the distinguished side of 70, Mr McConnell blends into the collage of Republican life so well that you wonder if a country club is missing its chair of governors. His indistinctiveness allows the craftiest politician in the land to work in relative stealth.

And to nation-changing effect. With a one-seat margin in the Senate, he has populated the judiciary with conservatives, secured the highest court for the right and passed an improbable tax cut. He fleeced Barack Obama of his last Supreme Court nominee and changed the rules to install Donald Trump’s first by a bare rather than super majority. He survived the Tea Party’s cull of mainstream Republicans, as well as low approval ratings in his own Kentucky. His passage from state-level moderate to operational arm of Trumpism has been bourbon-smooth. This summer he became the Senate’s longest-serving Republican leader.

That the Pundits are surprised that a Republican Party, now in thrall to the Know-Noting Trump, and the fellow travelers of the Tea Party,  Dixiecrat McConnell and Re-Closeted Randian Ryan, can unite to pass its frontal attacks on what is left of The New Deal and The Great Society: this is not just an expression of the astounding historical/political ignorance, it is cultivated! but part of a self-apologetic, for the perpetual absent exercise of ‘good judgement’ of a coterie of Corporatist hirelings.

In Andy Divine’s essay of November 2, 2018 titled Can the Republic Strike Back? he proves that the Trump’s Strategy of keeping his allies and opponents in a condition of exploitable disequilibrium, is a highly effective tool of his moral/political nihilism, expressed in vulgar terms as an expression of toxic egotism. While Trump stokes the fires of racial/ethnic/political animus, that are the inheritance of Huntington’s ‘Clash’ and ‘Who Are We?  While Bolton proclaims ‘Troika of Tyranny’ of  Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua .  

There are few historical guides. It is hard to think of a precedent for a president who endorses violence against political foes, sees the Justice Department as his own personal prosecutor, calls the press “the enemy of the people,” tears children from parents, brags of multiple sexual assaults, threatens to lock up his opponents, enthuses about war crimes, “falls in love” with the foulest dictator on the planet, refuses to divest of personal holdings in office, lambastes allies, treats the Treasury as a casino, actively endorses the poisoning of the environment, destabilizes NATO, baits minorities, lies incessantly, and oversees a resurgence of the white nationalist right. Any single gesture in any one of these areas would have been political death for most previous presidents. But we live in a time when we have come to expect that all this can now empower and even reward an American politician, rather than ruin him.

Andy Divine is part of a coterie that can be aptly called  The Midwives of Trump. The collapse of the Neo-Liberal Swindle and America’s endless Wars of Empire , called ‘The War on Terror’, provide the essential background to the victory of Trump. For the record of Andy’s support for the War in Iraq see his own 136 page PDF here:

Click to access andrew-sullivan-i-was-wrong.pdf

Such is the toxic  egotism of Andy ,that he publishes the record of his -folly is too trivial a concept to encompass the extent of his moral/political culpability – support for this crime! Sack Cloth and Ashes of the penitent are not Andy’s style, he prefers the Public Confessional, awash in melodrama expressed through a low level hysteria,  in which he is the center of attention.

Old Socialist





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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