janan.ganesh@ft.com in three (two) keys? Part I. Old Socialist comments

Mr. Ganesh’s essay of November 7, 2018 on the American Mid-Terms must be named as an exercise in the unimaginative political generic, with bit of statistical gloss.

Headline; US midterm elections: Democrats must not overplay their hand

Sub-headline: Activists want pressure on Trump, but new voters might quail at two years of process
…Beyond an oblique pledge to restore the “constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration”, Nancy Pelosi, who is poised to lead the House for the second time this decade, tellingly majored on substance in her victory speech.


I’m writing this on Saturday November 10, 2018 and its looks like putative Speaker Pelosi  will face opposition in her own Party :

Headline: After leading her party to House majority, Nancy Pelosi faces battle for speaker’s gavel…

About three dozen Democratic candidates in competitive races came out against Pelosi to varying degrees, according to surveys of news reports, but the vast majority of them are not expected to win their elections.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 11 had won. An additional six are in races that haven’t been called. There are also a handful of sitting members who have voiced opposition to Pelosi’s speakership, including Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio, Kathleen Rice of New York and Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania.

Moves to topple Pelosi are nothing new but rose dramatically in recent years, and especially as Democrats’ opportunity to take the House emerged. Critics have long pushed for new leadership, but Pelosi’s effectiveness and fundraising prowess have typically allowed her to beat back challengers.

During the campaign, Pelosi insisted that Democratic candidates in competitive House districts were free to distance themselves from her if needed. Winning the seat, she said, was the top priority.



Headline: Why Nancy Pelosi Isn’t Guaranteed The Speakership

The Democrats have won the House, and Republicans will have to hand over the speaker’s gavel in January. But it’s not totally clear whom that gavel will go to.

The long-running drama over the fate of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is entering a new phase. It has been clear for months that Pelosi might not have enough Democrats behind her to become speaker. Some incumbent House Democrats oppose the California Democrat because they believe it’s time for a new figure to lead the party, which Pelosi has done since 2003. And dozens of Democratic candidates, facing a barrage of attacks from Republicans linking them to Pelosi, pledged during their campaigns not to support her in a speaker vote. Of course, many of Pelosi’s critics were running in very red districts — so they lost.

But Pelosi still has some work to do if she wants a second tenure as House speaker. With almost all the 435 House races decided, we did a whip count of the newly elected or re-elected Democrats. Here’s what we found: Pelosi does not appear to have 218 votes to become speaker, unless some Democrats backtrack from previous comments suggesting that they will not support her.


Pelosi is about the Old Guard, in sum , the New Democrats led by the Clintons. In the Age of  Trump, this millionaire  represents an entrenched Oligarchy, and her allies like Debby Wasserman -Schultz. Pelosi will eventually be supplanted,  even with all her accumulated power, she is the New Democratic past!  The women elected in 2018 will bring into the open the ebbing power of this sclerotic New Democrat! Its the beginning of the end of Pelosi, to employ and apt cliche,

Mr. Ganesh  then explains the course the Democrats might pursue, the political  possibilities are laid out, except that the only thing considered, in this paragraph,  is  ‘RussiaGate’ and notorious New Democrat and New Cold War political hysteric Adam Schiff. Mr. Ganesh cautions the New Democrats:

It is not Tuesday’s results, but their consequences, that promise to be otherwise. With committee control and subpoena powers, Democrats can now investigate Mr Trump on several fronts: the Russian role in his 2016 win, his alleged elision of the presidential and the commercial. Adam Schiff, the probable new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, could not fail to be tougher on the president than Devin Nunes has been.

The question is how far to push it. The Democrats should take caution. It is hard to read into the midterm results a mandate for a March-to-the-Sea offensive.


On the question of ‘caution’ question look to this Politico essay:

Headline: Democrats Want to Investigate Trump. Here’s Why They Should Be Careful.

Sub-headline: The new House will have to proceed strategically in selecting both the topics and the tools of inquiry.

Some have even suggested that congressional investigations will suffice to address any legally questionable moves by the present administration. But such optimism should be tempered: The new House will have to proceed strategically in selecting both the topics and the tools of inquiry. Missteps will not only undermine proper oversight and generate partisan blowback. They might also sap the long-term prospects for maintaining an executive branch constrained by the rule of law—something both liberals and conservatives should fear.


We are witnessing the evolving Party Line of respectable bourgeois Reportorial/Pundit class.

Mr. Ganesh ends his essay that features the notion of a ‘highly controlled midterm campaign’ .  That studiously ignores the fact that the victories in this mid-term were not, for the most part, old guard New Democrats, but represent the evolution of the New Deal Democrats in a contemporary iteration. Once identified by the New Democrats as ‘The Bernie Bros’, that served as a not so surreptitious propaganda tool , while it nurtured a vigorous Feminist cadre. The reader can ignore the last two sentences ,of this essay, as a kind of flaccid cosmic self-congratulation.

Democrats seemed to intuit as much in their highly controlled midterm campaign. The trick is to keep the discipline over the next two years, as candidates woo activists for the presidential nomination. An important race ended on Tuesday. A seismic one began.

Old Socialist

Added November 10,2018, 2:54 PM ST

Mr. Ganesh’s second essay was about Football, a subject in which I have no interest:


The third entry is a video in which various FT writers discuss the American Mid-Terms, Mr. Ganesh being the last.


The point of propaganda is to repeat its message, as often as possible, so this  5:44 second video is to drive the points home by repetition. The Party Line on these elections is repeated, with the aid of a visual image of writers talking directly to the viewer. The video image repeats what viewers experience when watching television .



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.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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