So the way it stands now, McConnell and Schumer have maneuvered the country into a place where we wake up early Friday morning with "no government." And a few weeks after that their mess is going to cost taxpayers billions of dollars for... well, for nothing-- just for these two supremely evil assholes' egos. (Yeah, yeah... I know... McConnell's worse.) Yesterday the game-playing resulted in 2 failed votes: Schumer's attempt to fund the government until early December while also extending the debt limit until Dec. 2022, and McConnell's attempt to fund the government until December without the debt limit.
So what now? Schumer pretty much has no choice-- other than the U.S. defaulting and the government shutting down to the extent that people don't get their Social Security checks and military families not getting paid and hospitals shutting their doors in the middle of a pandemic... you know, stuff like that. He is forced to be out-played by McConnell again and pass a short-term stopgap without the debt limit attached leaving the Democrats to pass the debt limit bullshit through reconciliation. The way to make that actually popular would be to abolish the entire nonsensical idea of a debt limit. But Schumer doesn't have either the guts not even the imagination to do that. It's either pass the debt limit through reconciliation or... chaos. And Trump loves that chaos; it's a big part of his brand.
Jonathan Last, writing for Bulwark yesterday noted that it isn't just Trump, that chaos is now the strategy for the whole Republican Party. He wrote that "On the surface, the Democrats appear to have a number of strategic advantages. They’ve won the popular vote in every election but one since 1992. (A string of dominance not seen since the aftermath of the Civil War.) They command a clear national majority. Their electoral base is strongest in the states which have the most dynamic economies. They are strongest in the urban and suburban centers—which is where we see America’s population growth. Their support is dispersed widely among different racial and ethnic groups. They hold an overwhelming advantage with young voters. Compared with Democrats, the Republican party is closer to a rump. A minoritarian party composed of the old and the lesser-educated and concentrated in parts of the country whose populations are shrinking."
Whether by accident or design, Donald Trump intuited the same lesson that Vladimir Putin hit upon as he looked to leverage Russia’s strengths against the West’s weaknesses.
What Trump showed Republicans is that:
While the GOP coalition is smaller, it’s much more internally cohesive than the Democrats’. It is the party of rural, white Christians.
While Democrats have specific legislative goals their coalition wants to achieve through governing, the Republican coalition has no governing agenda (aside from appointing judges).
The geographic dispersion of voters means that Republicans do not need to create a majority in order to hold power, while Democrats require not just a majority, but a sizable majority.
And the obvious lesson for Republicans, then, is that chaos is their friend.
Disruption is more likely to help Republicans. Their coalition is more resistant to adverse outcomes. They need fewer votes to hold power.
Democrats require a large coalition in order to attain power. Their coalition is broad and therefore diverse, which makes it both harder to manage and more easily splintered. They need to both (a) achieve tangible legislative goals and (b) keep the ship of state moving steadily and without turbulence. In short: They need to govern effectively and with a minimum of drama.
That’s hard to do in the best of times.
It may be impossible when the former president, the other political party, and 40 percent of the country are strategically committed to stoking chaos.
Anti-Vaxx Is Pro-Chaos
If the percentage of vaccinated Americans continues to lag, then cases of COVID will continue to be large, the burden and expense of treating the infected will continue to stress the system, and the return to a completely normal life (and economy) will continue to keep slipping just over the horizon. Anti-vaxx is pro-chaos.
So how are we doing in America?
Cambodia. The U.S. is behind Cambodia, which has a per capita GDP of less than $2,000.
How are things going toward the top of that list?
Pretty cool. Sounds nice.
But of course, in Denmark, you do not have one of the two major political parties committed to undermining vaccination as a matter of politics and policy.
The pandemic creates chaos. For Republicans, that’s part of the strategy.
I'm certain Lucian Truscott IV doesn't read DWT. One of the themes of the blog for the last 2 months, as I'm sure you've noticed, is that morons who voted for Trump are the exact same morons who don't get vaccinated. Few days have gone by when there hasn't been list of counties showing Trump landslide and pitiful vaccination rates. There was one dedicated to Tennessee counties last night, one gettin' down in Wyoming yesterday morning and a very solid national one a couple days ago. Look at this: Slope County, North Dakota is just 9% vaccinated-- and gave 89% of its vote to Señor Trumpanzee. 95% of the voters in King County, Texas supported Trump-- but just 15% are vaccinated.
I've been doing these lists for months but yesterday the illustrious Truscott IV, wrote that "If we ever had any doubt that Republicans and Democrats are producing markedly different COVID numbers, that doubt has been put to rest. Today the New York Times reported that 'the political divide over vaccinations is so large that almost every reliably blue state now has a higher vaccination rate than almost every reliably red state... Covid deaths are also showing a partisan pattern,' The Times reported. 'Covid is still a national crisis, but the worst forms of it are increasingly concentrated in red America...In counties where Donald Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote, the virus has killed about 47 out of every 100,000 people since the end of June. In counties where Trump won less than 32 percent of the vote, the number is about 10 out of 100,000.' ... Over the last seven days, an average of 70 people died every day in Tennessee. In Texas, an average of 300 a day died. Alabama averaged 116 COVID deaths a day. Florida averaged 335 deaths each day. In blue states, the numbers were much, much lower: Maryland averaged 17 COVID deaths per day; New Jersey, 20; Connecticut, 8. Even blue states with large populations all averaged under 100 deaths a day, with New York at 41, Illinois at 38, and even California, the bluest and largest state of them all, with nearly 39 million residents, averaged only 93 deaths from COVID each day."
He concluded that "The Republican Party and the aforementioned governors who are out there speaking at rallies and riling up the loons to scream at school boards and passing bans on mask and vaccine mandates so they can get the people they have identified as Trump’s base to vote for them, and for him if he runs in 2024, which to a Republican Party member they seem to have assumed he will. This shit isn’t just a race to the bottom, it’s not even a race to the basement. It’s a race to the grave. And according to them, it’s all the libs’ fault. Well, this lib is happy to take the blame, because I’m finished with them. I’m sick and tired of their anger, I’m sick and tired of their ignorance, and if they want to ride their 'freedom' and 'liberty' right into the ground and shovel dirt in on top of themselves, I’ve got a shovel, and I’m ready to help."
Yeah, me too, me too.