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Fundamental Political Precepts For 2024


"Under The Hood" by Nancy Ohanian

-by Patrick Toomey


1) Like it or not (I definitely don’t), the ship may have sailed on our legal system dealing with Donald Trump prior to this November’s election. It is possible that Teflon Don will finally face justice before a criminal jury this year.  It is equally possible that his attorneys can delay each of his 4 pending criminal matters long enough to prevent that from happening. The GOP Convention will take place on July 15-18. Assuming that he is nominated then, it will be difficult to commence a criminal trial against a major party nominee. Trial likely must be well under way prior to that date. There are any number of ways that the current March federal trial date in DC can be postponed, and I have little confidence that Trump’s current May federal trial date in Ft. Pierce, Florida will stand.

  

2) As David Axelrod recently asserted, the political climate for using the 14th Amendment to keep Trump off 2024 ballots is not favorable. By the summer of 1974, there was a broad consensus that Richard Nixon had dangerously abused his power as president. There is nothing close to such a similar consensus as to Trump’s far more egregious abuse of power on 1/6/21.

 

3) Morally, putting the entire Congress (and his VP) at risk of physical harm from mob violence and inciting an attack on our seat of government in an effort to stop the certification of electoral votes should bar Trump from ever seeking ANY public office again. Legally, Sec. 3 of the 14th Amendment provides sufficient authority to bar him from doing so. Practically, the odds of doing so are extremely low in the current climate. Addressing the multiple potential causes of this systemic failure is beyond the scope of this essay. In a functioning democracy, there should have been a broad consensus months ago that Trump constituted a clear danger. That consensus has never developed, and it’s unlikely to develop at this stage.


4) Anyone who is not scared to death about the prospects of a second Trump term isn’t paying attention. When someone who has previously displayed multiple dictatorial tendencies openly states that he only wants to be a dictator “on day one”, it’s fair to expect that he won’t suddenly abandon those tendencies on day 2 (and during the ensuing 4 years). As bad as Trump I was, Trump II would be infinitely worse.


5) Our currently constituted system currently leaves the Democratic nominee as the only one with a viable chance of defeating Trump at the polls. Barring a health crisis or some other currently unforeseeable contingency, Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee this year. No viable opponent has ever publicly indicated that he/she might mount a challenge. Even if one had done so, it’s too late for a viable opponent to mount a challenge at this point. In theory, Biden himself could decide to withdraw, or circumstances could require him to do so. There’s no longer much point in addressing such theories unless new facts emerge.


6) Biden’s approval ratings went underwater in September 2021, and they haven’t re-emerged since. His current 538 rating is a net of -16.2%. He wasn’t exactly a vigorous public campaigner in 2020, and all indications are that he will be even less vigorous this time. Assuming that he and Trump end up debating this fall, each side’s main concern will likely be that their candidate does nothing to visibly harm his candidacy.

 

7) Biden’s status quo candidacy that will not materially deviate from Democratic Pary neoliberalism. 538 founder Nate Silver recently said the quiet part out loud about neoliberalism’s underlying Social Darwinism: “Capitalism works because it reflects human nature as selected for through thousands of generations of evolution.”


8) Silver’s views are fundamentally consistent with those of most any Democratic Party mandarin. His views are entirely consistent with the governing approaches of both the Clinton and Obama administrations. That viewpoint is consistent with much of Biden’s first term, most notably his letting the contemporary application of basic New Deal economics to the Covid emergency lapse once the near-term crisis faded. It’s also consistent with the monetary policies pursued by Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who was re-nominated for another term by Biden.


9) Viewing capitalism as the apex of human evolutionary development over the millennia is NOT a popular viewpoint with traditional Democratic labor, environmental, minority, and other constituencies. It has created a visible tension between the interests of the party elders (and those who invest in them) and the voters for whom the elders are presumably elected to serve. It also limits potential lines of attack against Donald Trump. There is a certain irony in Trump (who rose to fame as the ultimate uber-capitalist) at least verbally challenging some aspects of this reigning economic approach (e.g., “free trade” dogma) while the Democrats remain largely wedded to defending it.


10) Were it not for the profound political backlash generated by the Dobbs decision and for the virulent antipathy of Democratic voters towards Trump, the donkey would face tough sledding this year. Whether those 2 factors will be enough to allow Biden to ultimately stagger across the finish line in Battle of the Addled, II is anyone’s guess.


In conclusion, we all must hope that this famous line of Bismarck’s comes to pass this year:

 

"There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America."

 

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7 Comments


Guest
Jan 07

You wanna know what's different?


The "crash" of 1929 was at the beginning of a new Republican admin (Hoover). Economic policy was almost totally lassaiz faire and had been pretty much bipartisan since the end of WWI. As the stock bubble (a ponzi scheme, really) kept inflating... nobody much paid attention. But once it burst on 10-24-1929...

Hoover reacted cluelessly, did far too little and was summarily sacked (as shantytowns of homeless across the nation were called "Hoovervilles") for FDR and a big Democratic majority.

So, what did they do as people were, literally, starving to death?

FDR went on the radio to talk to people. He told them what was wrong and what his government was doing about it…


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Guest
Jan 07
Replying to

So, Democrats in 1932-1965 were willing to do the right thing for the people. All of that was rewarded by voters.


Today, democraps do nothing yet are still rewarded, every so often, by voters.


I wonder if voters in 1933 would have sacked the Democrats had THEY done nothing at all about the Great Depression, as the democraps of 2009 did about the crash of 2008.

Or would they have stayed loyal to a party who didn't do shit even then.


Were voters of 1932 as stupid as voters since 1966... but just got lucky?

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Guest
Jan 07

Another fine offering of observations. No solutions offered. And even the observations are gilded to undersell the democraps' culpability.


"(his own actions) should bar Trump from ever seeking ANY public office again. Legally, Sec. 3 of the 14th Amendment provides sufficient authority to bar him from doing so. Practically, the odds of doing so are extremely low in the current climate. Addressing the multiple potential causes of this systemic failure is beyond the scope of this essay."


So I'll address some of them here.

The odds of him being barred by the plain language in S. 3 of the 14th are ZERO!! And the reason is simple: democraps are pussies. the democraps have a very long list of past coward…


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A followup point:


As jaded as I was by then, it never occurred to me on 1/6/21 that Trump conceivably might be a viable presidential candidate on 1/6/24. The idea that he would hold a commanding lead for the GOP nomination and he would be basically in a dead heat with Biden in general election polling would've been even more unthinkable. The fact that the once unthinkable has occurred reflects a profound failure of our legal/political system.

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Guest
Jan 07
Replying to

If by "legal/political system" you mean dumber than shit voters, then I agree. See, our "system" has been a product of dumber than shit voters for over 50 years now. Better voters would have meant a better "system", n'est ce pas?

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