The Senate impeachment trial continued yesterday and if you missed it, you missed Lawyer Alan Dershowitz further soiling his reputation by pushing shockingly inane, illogical, and ridiculous arguments. For example, he essentially adopted Richard Nixon’s argument that “if the president does it, it can’t be illegal” or impeachable–especially if the president thinks it’s in the national interest. Ridiculous. And fellow Americans knew it, scorching Dersh last night on cable TV and social media. My favorite was @AhmedBaba_ on Senate Republicans and Dershowitz:
“They’ve really gone from “he did nothing wrong” to “the President is a king bruh, get over it and bend the knee.”
The odds are about 99% that Trump will not be removed by the Senate so it’s going to be up to us to remove him in November. To create the best chance of winning what will certainly be a very tough contest–no matter who the Democrats nominate–there were two important articles in recent weeks that are worthy of our consideration.
First, the Washington Post published an article by John B. Judis on the parallels between the Trump era and the Nixon era entitled “A Warning From The ’60s Generation” that tries to help us avoid the mistakes made back then. His makes this claim:
To win a political majority, contemporary young leftists — who are primarily college educated and work, live and study in high-tech metro areas and college towns — will need to win significant support for their politics from the rest of the working class, many of whom have not graduated from college, live in small or midsize towns, and work in or around manufacturing and mining. The left of the ’60s faced a similar challenge and fell woefully short. (…) today’s left has become fond of a political strategy that discounts the importance altogether of winning over the white working class.
This viewpoint is similar to the argument made by Ezra Klein in yesterday’s blog. We can’t win the presidency solely with the far-left. We have to keep centrist, non-college educated Democrats in the tent. He also raises other concerns, including:
The left is again dividing into identity groups, each of which feels justified in elevating its concerns above others.
If these elevated concerns produce unrealistic purity tests, they risk splintering our party into factions and alienating certain voters from the polls at the very moment we need total unity. I’m sure many readers will bristle at some of the observations Judis makes, but those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. Here’s a link to the article:
Another extremely concerning article hit the stands yesterday in the New York Times by editorialist Thomas B Edsell, entitled “Trump’s Digital Advantage is Freaking Out Democratic Strategists.” Edsell reported on the data mining Trump’s team is doing, in particular at his (insane, hate-driven) rallies–and the anecdotes reported were shocking and dispiriting. He focused on Trump’s digital director Brad Parscale:
Those are scary numbers. I’m sure some type of data-mining is taking place with the Democrats, but apparently not nearly as sophisticated nor robust. And it will be a fragmented effort until a nominee is chosen. Here’s a link to the article:
More fundamentally, Trump’s data mining isn’t happening in isolation. It’s was developed in 2015 and enhanced ever since then with untold millions in help from plutocrats like the Mercer Family, whose Cambridge Analytica got team Trump’s digital ball rolling, and others like the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson.
Citizens United brought this multi-headed money monster into being and it may be the end of our Democracy for this reason: liberal billionaires tend to use their money to fight disease, correct inequality, promote education, and combat climate change, while conservative billionaires, multi-national corporations, and wealthy CEOs build media and digital enterprises committed to propaganda, lies, and disinformation in service of perpetuating their wealth while keeping harmful and exploitative industries outside the control or regulation of government.
Big Oil and Big Pharma and Big Finance and Big Ag all have a huge incentive to put greed above country, but there is no similar countervailing force. The hundreds of millions these giants spend on propaganda (and lobbyists and legislation and access) are not remotely offset by millions spent by Big Equality or Big Air or Big Rights. Any countervailing force has to come from individual activists with few resources. Until liberal billionaires get in the fight and fund their own Cambridge Analytica it’s going to be an uphill battle to beat Republicans even though they are in the minority.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”