Rust Party Rises
From the Blue Clown Fashion Show, some notes on Dino-Debate 2.1
Like the last round, I’ll wait to offer my full post-game on this until the second round is done. You know how important a sense of fair-play and thoughtful commentary is to me here on the Side. But I will offer a few quick notes from my quick-notes-book about last night’s somewhat farcical Fashion Show….
…CNN plays up the sports-like lead-in even more than MSNBC did for the previous round. There’s a more aggressive sense of competition here, martial music, a loud announcer. Get re-e-e-eady to ru-umble!!
Wow, from the outset this much is clear. The Rust Party is Rising. It’s conservatives vs. progressives in the Democratic Clown Primaries. The Democratic establishment is fighting with all they have to prevent progressives from gaining the nomination, and CNN seems to be working with them. The moderators (interesting word, now that I think about it…) from CNN are setting up the debate as a showdown between Progressives and Conservatives. And framing it in the false assumption that the Democrats are moving “too far left” to win the election. This is all a bunch of fookin’ bull shite! From the Side it looks like the exact opposite is true, and it’s the movement to the middle that is alienating progressive independents and young undecided voters, risking handing another election to Trump. A progressive populist Democratic candidate— an Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders— would sweep the election with ease.
It’s the moneyed establishment— DNC and Pelosi-ish Dinosaurs— fighting against progress inside the Democratic party. Not to win elections but to preserve their own interests. And, sadly, history suggests they will succeed.
Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, Williamson all sounded strong. The rest? Holy Rust Party, Batman! Who knew that half the Democrats would run on their qualification of being Republican at heart? Best line of the night might go to Williamson for “I don’t know why some of you all are Democrats.” Me, neither.
Buttigieg got points for emphasizing the climate crisis, though in sound bite style. Now he needs to learn the actual facts of the science, and, god forbid, develop an actual plan. Warren got strong points all night. Sanders was stronger than the last debate– dude came within an inch of saying “Ecocide”, when he labeled the actions of fossil fuel corporations as a crime. Yeah, Bernie! Williamson slipped and stumbled at first, but then she channeled that voice from her closing remarks in the previous debate. Something powerful comes through her, all right. It’s hard to say what she will end up doing, but she’s sure fun to have on stage.
The climate crisis got a specific question from the moderators who mentioned that it was top of the list of issues for their audience. And the issue got some lip service from the candidates. Elizabeth Warren used the buzz-phrase “existential threat” to describe the climate situation. That’s correct, in my view. But the words don’t say to most people what they really mean, and she didn’t seem to take seriously what she had said. I’ve written about this before. It’s not wonkish, like some might imply. Existential is not a French school of solipsistic philosophy. “Existential threat” means if we don’t do something we’re gonna fookin’ die! I wish that phrase would disappear from the lexicon entirely, and instead people would say things like “Saving our civilization” or “our asses are gonna fry!!” —with the appropriate number of exclamations points— instead. Still, kudos to Warren for saying it at all.
Warren has a plan for climate, but not much experience. Fine, Liz, but research only?
Compare that to Jay Inslee’s “get it done” Evergreen plan, which includes research but also contains real and immediate action.
The all-white candidates made a lot of strong statements against racism, the biggest theme of the night. But only Williamson called, with force, for slavery reparations. And you know something very strange. She— along with a few other discussions I’ve had— has switched my position on this issue. I now think there must be a way to do reparations effectively, and Williamson’s ideas are a starting point for a commission or something to get this done. It could be a “healing” process for a still wounded nation, as she says.
From the Side, I often pay attention to what isn’t there, rather than what is. What’s not being said can matter more than what is. In Lit Crit they might say “significant lacunae” or something. Two main gaps in the discussion last night stood out like gaping holes in the blue backdrop behind the debaters.
Number one, there were few direct attacks on Trump himself. Fookin’ missed opportunity, if you ask me, though I know, I know, no one asked me, really. Free opinion here, for the candidates. Since it matters who can beat Trump, show us what you got up there on the runway. Strut it a bit, and reveal the talking points you are going to use against the Orange Tyrannosaurus Trumpus. This night was weak on clear, strong attacks against the real opponent.
Number two, the fookin “I-Word”!! The word “impeachment” was not spoken once during a two-hour “debate”. It wasn’t mentioned, wasn’t even hinted at. CNN seems to be working for the conservative wing of the Democratic Party, or at least in collusion with the DNC. And even the progressives are going along. Talk about fookin’ impeachment, for god’s sake. People will respond.
Oh, sad times are on us. Beside me, Cassandra’s weeping hard right now. Hang in, Cassie. Tonight might be better.
I caught a little of the CNN post game, too.
Van Jones sort of rocks. He’s the only one who explains the progressive position with any intelligence.
Klobuchar and Buttegieg get a little one on one time on CNN. Hmm? An awful lot of push for the middle from CNN. Then Cooper has a talk with Williamson and gets himself hypnotized and moved to actual tears, “because I’m grieving,” he says, not willing to admit that she’s actually right about a lot of stuff.
All right, enough rant for now. A few news links for you.
Not quite as close, but…
Huge wildfires in Siberia.
Fukushima waste into the ocean?
Hey, here’s a weird idea. Instead of building huge fookin’ machines to do it, let’s let nature draw carbon out of the atmosphere.
A very cranky Rebecca Solnit lays into white male bias.
Let’s hope tonight brings us a little better show on CNN. With Jay Inslee and the Climate Crisis in center stage.
I’ll be tuning in tonight, and I’ll have a report from the Side tomorrow. When the morning comes.