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Bernie’s social democracy has a libertarian feel, not only because Sanders himself is a stout civil libertarian, but because for lots of reasons (good and bad) the US doesn’t have the same overarching officialdom (Josie Appleton’s “busybody state”) that has taken over many of the European welfare states, even as they implement austerity. (My brother and his wife have horror stories of the layers of bureaucracy sewn into everyday life when they lived in England.) Bernie’s plans play to the good parts of that as they are universal, easy to understand (Medicare for all paid for by a progressive payroll tax), and not only don’t infringe on personal freedoms they substantially increase them. 
It’s often the Vox inspired liberal, the one who fetishizes means testing and builds policies based on nudge theory, who wants to enshrine officialdom into our lives. (The Obamacare disaster is a key example.) This is mayor Pete’s, and even Elizabeth Warren’s, constituency. They represent the public/pr…
Trevor Noah has this bit (on The Daily Show) about Trump being shunned by the “cool kids” at the recent NATO gala. Don’t get me wrong, Trump is a teetotalling blowhard (the worst kind) who I love to see ostracized, but who are the “cool kids” in this scenario? Macron? He’s about as well liked as the US Congress. He was elected on the platform of being slightly more agreeable than an open fascist and his major accomplishment is furthering France’s descent into a full-on police state. Trudeau? He is the ultimate cynical politician. He’ll march for the climate in the morning and sign an oil deal in the afternoon. He’s an image of his father, though that imagine is in a wavy piss puddle. No, forget that. The best thing Trudeau has going for him is that persistent rumor that he’s Fidel Castro’s bastard son. I’m not even going to say anything about Boris Johnson because he’s already Boris Johnson for Christ’s sake. 
Also, NATO is an unnecessary organization that is a danger to world peace.
As the fickle centrists continue to fold in the Democratic primaries, we are starting to see the usual suspects talk about how the system actually does work if you just get the right people involved and the executive branch doesn’t have much power anyway so getting Congress is really the more important battle.

These, of course, are the same people who after Clinton’s loss claimed the system was absolutely broken (the electoral college was supposed to prevent a demagogue like Trump!) and the White House was in the hands of a dictator and the very fabric of our democracy was being destroyed! They continued to be incredibly wrong about Russiagate, to an embarrassing extent, and now they are clueless when it comes to how the general public feels about the impeachment inquiry.

Yet they just keep talking.

Revenge of the Bureaucrats

I understand polls can sometimes be about as helpful as chatting with a soothsayer, but at some level, amongst other sources, they can help discern the general mood of the country. The latest Emerson college national poll has support for Sanders up (tied with Biden for first) and support for impeachment (the hearings of which apparently nobody is watching) down. This corresponds with the anti-establishment sentiment that is pretty obvious to anyone who cares to pay attention. 

My point in bringing this up is the Democratic leadership, with a floundering Biden and a Buttigieg who simply isn’t popular outside a small obsessive clique, have now taken to try and make heroes out of career bureaucrats in the permanent state as a way to rid us of Trump. I have no particular dislike of those who pull the levers behind the scenes, indeed if you know your history they are often the most impressive people around. But they’re simply the wrong people at the wrong time, assuming you want electoral s…

Vote for Bernie!

For what it’s worth, which admittedly isn’t much, I decided to write down why I support Bernie Sanders:
People sorting out their politics right now could be forgiven for viewing the global corporation as a source for social justice and the state an extension of Donald Trump’s toxic personality. This helps create this somewhat strange situation where there’s hostility towards corporations coming from the right (with a small section even critiquing markets) and a large swath of the liberal/left coming to terms with a globalized capitalism that shares many of their cultural values. 
This situation, it is important to say, is within the context of a growing wealth inequality we haven’t seen since the 1920s. (The richest 400 Americans own more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans.) 
The sectarian left is useless, only worth mentioning to point that out, and the mainstream of the Democratic Party sees the progressive corporation as the best possible ally to have. Many within the profes…

Against Empire

It seems like no one outside of the “American Conservative” is thinking about the US as a declining empire. Contrary to what some thought, Trump has no interest in scaling back the US to a “normal” country. That wasn’t what MAGA meant. Quite the opposite, Trump and his goons think the post war international order isn’t US-centric enough. This is where Trump and the neoconservatives find common ground. 

What’s more interesting to me is the Democratic Party, and the liberal/left in general. The Dems are historically the war party, and they have renewed that patriotic passion in the Trump era. The shameful treatment of Ilhan Omar is a good example. This charge of her being “anti-Semitic” for questioning Israel’s influence in US foreign policy is disingenuous and disgraceful. (People are acting like we didn’t already go through this silly “debate” when Walt and Mearsheimer’s book came out over a decade ago. It’s infuriating. These are also the same people who can’t go a half an hour witho…

The Best a Man Can Get

Paralleling the socially conscious corporation is the conservative critique of capitalism. Tucker Carlson, an odious character to be sure, has gone as far as saying family values are being “crushed” by market forces. How is the left going to explain this, let alone fight it, when to your average person the left is indiscernible from a massive corporation like Gillette? The right has already taken a chunk of what it means to be transgressive, particularly in England as they pretty well own the counter-culture, now they are set to become the new anti-capitalists while we cheer on advertisements. This is going to be a rough year.