A Radical Right Revolution Unfolds & We Are Clueless
Posted on January 31, 2017
Trump’s drumbeat of blows against both formal and informal Constitutional order will keep falling, and no one one in a position of social leadership knows what to do–not the press, nor the Democratic Party leadership nor the labor unions nor the mainstream churches. If there is hope, it will have to come from the streets. (And it must be nonviolent, or it will surely fail.)
Some notes on the disarray:
1. The biggest news from the immigration crackdown appears to be the scattered reports of customs and border officials defying the federal injunction. As such, this is the most direct attack on Constitutional checks and balances we have seen. There is as yet no smoking gun showing that this defiance was planned or encouraged centrally, but the fact that it occurred in several locations suggests it was. And yet the New York Times and the Washington Post have not seen fit to cover this story, preferring to focus on lesser distractions.
2. Some Senate Democrats are voting on Trump appointments with an eye to mollifying the Trumpist majority of voters in their states—as if an election 2 or more years away matters more than the coup taking place before our eyes.
3. Some moderates are arguing that Democrats should not filibuster the next Supreme Court nomination, on grounds that Republicans will abolish the filibuster, which we should preserve for future use. These idiots actually believe there is any possibility in Hell that the filibuster will survive this radical right Congress as a force Democrats can make use of. And what occasion could possibly be more important than a SCOTUS appointment to dramatize Right wing tyranny?
4. The Republican masses are firming up in support of Trump, even as Trump’s popularity among every one else falls to historic lows, especially for a new President. And yet no concerted Republican establishment or leadership opposition to Trump has emerged. Very soon it will be too late, and decent Republicans will simply have to leave the Party. Because candidates have to survive their primary, we can now anticipate that essentially every national Republican candidate in 2018 will be a Trumpist. If there is any hope, it is that 3 decent Republican Senators will bolt their party and establish a dominate centrist caucus.
Then there’s this: as the resistance to Trumpism firms up how do we agree on the facts needed to articulate that opposition. It’s increasingly important to have an agreed body of facts. Here is the criterion I use:
1. If a claimed fact is reported in a signed article in a large circulation print newspaper, then it should ordinarily be presumed true (absent strong disconfirming evidence.) Of course the mainstream press is biased, but I believe bias mostly extends to coverage, not to outright untruths.
2. Lots of true facts never appear in the mainstream press. In those cases we will need to develop a few trusted Internet media which can be relied on to accept factual corrections.
3. Those who reject mainstream press reports as such are, in my view, conspiracy mythologists. Conversation with them will not be fruitful.
4. It is also possible that advanced stages of a radical right revolution could thoroughly corrupt the mainstream press, but we will know it when it happens.