Unbending Opposition

apsabuildingstreetview1  Unbent? Not bent or twisted. The New York Times headlines are getting more creative with the paper’s 2020 report out.  Despite all the white faces on the front page above the fold, and the fact that there may soon be more tenured or tenure-track political-science professors than staff journalists (who are being halved again after already being halved 10 years ago, though their ranks are more diverse than political science, by far).  Alas, the white men in power with Trump are white men . . . now even the one white woman went down for plagiarism . . . and now all others are relegated to victimhood as they face us above the fold.

What really gets me, though, is the New York Times‘s and the Washington Post‘s nostalgia. Really? I supposedly drank the Obama Kool-Aid in not supporting HRC, but rather Barack first — in 2008, and certainly got Hillaried/Romneyed for it.

At least as we hit rock bottom, or will see the Faces at the Bottom of the Well, we will be getting great comedy, and real progressivism, or — dare I say it? — even leftism. And who knows, maybe all the SLAMs will admit that women can be funny, (or not,) as there will be no women to parody in this administration. But at least there might be a few women to grope — or I guess we have to wait until those pics start floating in clouds that come down to earth. Time will tell. And even then, it’s rather unseemly to do a pile-on parody of them.  Or should it be: Wars tell all — eventually — even domestic ones.

Let’s Look at It as Presidents in Mirror-Opposite Conversation

th Putting aside the Democrats’ reassessment — or the irony that it’s not the GOP that has to open its tent — and putting aside that we’re no longer a polarized nation . . . and that a realignment of sorts occurred — a more dramatic realignment than most, since it sweeps into power the GOP on every level, the most important one arguably being their clean sweep in the states, as well as the municipalities . . . federalism organized under one party has not been so powerful since the Civil War.  Bracketing all that — another way to look at the polarization/realignment/Democrats as donkeys now all braying is — in conversation, or as a binary.

As President Barack Obama’s politics and identity politics — or the universality of his identity-less politics — put him in the position of being betrayed by many American people, or should I say demonized — denigrated — as the Antichrist, as a boy, as an illegitimate president given the Birther controversy — it’s only fitting that Donald J. Trump (DT) was in conversation and was given Obama’s warm seat.

DT not only participated in the Birther movement, and led it to some extent; he embodies the exact opposite of our sitting lame-duck president, Barack Hussein Obama.  As one friend noted, 9/11 has now been replaced by 11/9 — the day DJT got proclaimed president(-elect).

 

 

Debating the Obama Presidency (preorder)

9781442261242

Preorder here

Edited by Steven E. Schier

Contributions by Alan I. Abramowitz, Emory University; Andrew E. Busch, Claremont McKenna College; Peter Juul, Center for American Progress; Lawrence Korb, Center for American Progress; William G. Mayer, Northeastern University; Ruth O’Brien, City University of New York Graduate Center; John J. Pitney Jr.. Claremont McKenna College; Danielle Pletka, American Enterprise Institute; Daniel E. Ponder, Drury University; Steven E. Schier, Carleton College; Raymond Tatalovich, Loyola University Chicago; and John Kenneth White, Catholic University of America. « less

 This is the first book to present both the arguments for and against Barack Obama’s presidency and its policies. In it, prominent political scientists and Washington think tank scholars address Obama’s domestic, economic and foreign policies and his political legacy. Contrasting perspectives assess the consequences of the large aspirations of the Obama presidency and the political and policy challenges Obama encountered in the pursuit of those aspirations. Barack Obama’s project in the White House involved installing lasting changes in national policy and politics. Institutionally, the Obama administration sought to preserve control of Congress through maintenance of reliable partisan Democratic majorities, and enhance influence over the federal courts through a steady stream of liberal judicial appointees. The administration sought increased autonomy over the executive branch by a reorganizations spawned by a national economic crisis and an ambitious domestic policy agenda. Politically, the Obama administration sought the entrenchment of consistent Democratic electoral majorities. Such large ambitions have generated enduring controversies surrounding his presidency, controversies that receive a full airing and debate in this volume.

 

 

State-Sanctioned Murder and Hollow Politicians’ Words

440px-Tompkins_square_riot_1874 The police kill citizens in the United States.  The bodies speak for themselves.  And we should not turn them into mere body counts; we should know their names.  Even so, some type of blinking counting calculator, like the one that tracks the national debt, would help place this state-sanctioned violence into perspective.

The horror is that the very people who are supposed to protect you can kill you. This undermines, overturns, overthrows all that we believe in as Americans.  When the blue line gets defensive — and, before the dust settles, asks for justice for their families, though they did not speak in the same language about the families of the people that their officers just shot — it rings hollow. The gap between citizens and their protectors turns into a ringing noise that echoes through a Death Valley, or a Grand Canyon, bouncing off cliffs in unexpected ways.

As Norman Stamper, Seattle’s police chief during the 1999 anti-globalism uprising, said, we don’t want to be civilians — we are citizens.  And we don’t want our 18,000 police precincts to be militarized, making us all just what — collateral damage?

The ringing noise indicates how great this crisis of legitimacy is in the United States — including not just the sitting government, the presumed elected government, or the hopeful government.  It’s a crisis on both sides of American politics — the political process (elections), and what the election achieves (governance).  Police brutality betrays the most basic relationship — that between the citizen and the state.

The national election is not legitimate when Republicans nominate someone like Donald Trump — who scares the whole world, not just Democrats or “Feel the Bern Democrats.”  Even Republicans who get poked by Trump refuse to back down and won’t support him.  Even the Koch brothers refuse to give him any of their $898 million.

This is not to say you can relax.  No.  No.  No.  The Republican money is going darker, it’s getting shoved into little dark holes — that is, smaller races. Think of this like rats — nesting, gnawing, biting babies or the elderly in the deep caverns of government — municipal elections where no one participates, where corruption runs rampant from Minnesota to Texas, from New York and New Jersey to Louisiana, and from Nevada to Montana, then down to Arizona, and back up to Oregon.

It is the politicians from these races that cause the most harm — kill the most people they were democratically elected to serve.  Balanced as they were President Obama’s words can not console the nation enough.  Meanwhile, Democratic contender Hillary Clinton is out of step in referencing President Lincoln‘s words.  They do not resonate — at least this the July convention month. #

 

Let’s Face It, Where’s Barack?

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A tragedy for us all, though we are not all equal in tragedy.

How does one explain this graphic murder to anyone? Can we hope to stop the killing of our fellow American citizens by state actors hired and funded (in part) by the sovereign American nation-state? This is a question for one national leader — who I used to think did not lead from behind.

 

New Rules & Paycheck Reparations

Gold_Bars  The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) is so dull that even professors in American Political Development took years to publish a book on the origins of this statistics-collecting agency formed in 1906.

But information is power, and President Barack Obama will exercise his executive power to force medium and large firms to “report to the federal government what they pay employees by race, gender and ethnicity . . . to crack down on firms that pay women less for doing the same work as men.” Wowsa. Hillary Clinton just scored an executive power worth following if she’s elected.

If American businesses start reporting what women, Latinos, African-Americans, LGBTQers, persons with disabilities, and (best of all) any employees — including white men — who are over 39 years old (and thus protected under age discrimination) are paid, we can all count on getting a pay raise, no? All of us but white men who are under 40 and older than 18 years old — many of whom make up Trump’s voting base — will have the data reported for potential lawsuits.  In other words, less than 20% of the American workforce is not protected, or 80% can sue for discrimination.

The Lilly Ledbetter Law, the first law Obama signed, has had little to no effect. The neotribal Roberts Court (religious, anti-woman, anti-union . . .) undermined class-action suits as a means of helping those who were discriminated against to get paid fairly, so Obama found another way — new rules that capitalize on the reparations movement re-energized by Ta-Nehisi Coates.  African-American women, historically paid the least, should be the first in line for raises.