top of page

Random Reflections While Watching The Titanic Navigate The Ice Fields

"Lobbyists" by Nancy Ohanian

-by Patrick Toomey

It presumably is difficult for most of us to get our arms around the concept that a twice-impeached, four times-indicted Insurrectionist who proposed ingesting bleach while tens of thousands were dying in a pandemic that he totally bungled is now a slight plurality favorite in presidential prediction markets.

Some recent commentary offers us perspective in that difficult effort, starting with this observation from the always estimable Ian Welsh:

If you want to have influence on policy, you must have enough voters/money/volunteers who will only make that difference if they get what they want and who will absolutely work against you if they don’t. Doesn’t matter if it’s single payer or “don’t genocide”. If enough people won’t say “you don’t get what you want from me if I don’t get what I want from you” then you have no power. None.
The right has power because they will absolutely vote against and work against people who cross them and are loyal to those who do what they want. Say what you want about Trump and the right: he gave them the abortion ban they’ve been wanting for generations. He did that. They got what they wanted from him, the single most important thing they wanted.
“Progressives”? No principles. They believe in nothing. There is no red line they will not cross, no slight or betrayal they will not forgive if it is wrapped in a smarmy right wing Democrat’s lying lips.

The political investors who dominate our politics understand those basic precepts all too keenly. At this moment, they’re making it clear that being the Davos-Friendly Donkey doesn’t get reciprocated by Davosites.

Another U.S. bank CEO privately expressed annoyance with media exaggeration of the threat of a Trump presidency, stressing he’s “all bark and no bite.” The bank chief also dismissed Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election as bloviation.

“He’s going to win the presidency,” the CEO predicted. “Many of his policies were right.”

Jamie Dimon, who Barack Obama’s hailed as a “savvy businessman” in 2010, echoed those sentiments in the same piece:

“Just take a step back, and be honest. He was kind of right about NATO. He was kind of right about immigration, he grew the economy quite well. Trade. Tax reform worked. He was right about some of China,” said Dimon. “I don’t like how he said things about Mexico, but he wasn’t wrong about some of these critical issues. And that’s why they’re voting for him.”

For at least the past 32 years, the Dems’ underlying premise is that doing the bidding of corporate power and telling labor, environmentalists, and other traditional constituencies that they have nowhere else to go is a winning meme. Back in 2009, Obama told a group of bankers: “My administration… is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”


It apparently never occurred to Obama or any other neoliberal Dem that, someday, the bankers might willingly embrace the pitchforks in exchange for tax cuts. Or, as the Caucus 99 site notes:

Once again: if the Powers That Be really believed ANYTHING they have said publicly about Donald Trump, they wouldn't be running Joe Biden against him. They are not, then, afraid of a Trump presidency. We can be afraid of a Trump presidency, that's fine, but keep in mind that they, the collective origin of the scary stories, are not afraid.


In closing, as David Sirota recently put it: "[I] remain absolutely in awe of an America that has made the willful decision to fully eliminate any discussion of the population's economic immiseration from its political discourse."


While I remain in something of a state of shock that we could soon have a president who publicly seeks dictatorial powers (but only for 1 day), these clips offer some perspective on what should be an unthinkable development. The tiny handful who hold the actual power in this country are apparently Down With The Donald, and there are no countervailing structures to offer serious pushback. A lot could happen between now and November— Trump could actually have to face a jury of his peers, his physical and/or his mental health could derail his ambitions, the Democrats could give people a reason to actually vote FOR them. There is no question at this moment, however, that we will all have to start learning to think about the unthinkable.



Jan 21

Nice to see that jamie dimon, who should still be serving a prison sentence for TRILLIONS in fraud that led to the 2008 crash, is now an influential political voice shilling for a nazi reich.

But nobody mention that your pussy democrap hero, obamamanation, and his corrupt pussy AG, holder, REFUSED to do their jobs and PUT that pos in prison. And if you look up how much that guy and his lobby lathered up democraps with... you'd understand why they refused.

note: That's gratitude for you. After refusing to prosecute him... he's now shilling for the others!

Well, that's what happens when you refuse to do your fucking job and allow an evil pos to remain in his position…


Jan 21

the hate just has to spew. fine. that's what america is all about isn't it?

Yes, the shithole has been getting shittier for decades. Interesting observation coming from you.

However, based on what is posted here AND the vast majority of responses, VERY FEW of the readers here know or even care. What I see is the same psy-ops (in reverse) employed by the nazis (of every generation): foment hate of "them", parlay that hate into votes for "us".

Votes for "us", however, being democraps and all... is totally unproductive vis-a-vis making the shithole less shitty. And if anything is relentlessy ignored by those who read here, THAT IS IT.

So you see, dear hater (and fans), THAT is why…


The country has been going to hell in a hand basket for decades and it's very likely that anyone who is attracted to Down With Tyranny and what its writers write has known that most of their lives. It's so sad that guestcrapper can only see what others see in a context of his thinking he's the only one with the intelligence to have seen it, a need to convince us he was the first to see it, and wanting recognition and praise for it too. He constantly raises his hand to remind us that he sees it. He does this almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day. The kind of narcissism and megalomania it takes to do that…


Do you have a crystal ball or something? Pessimism at its worst. It hadn’t happened yet and may well not.

Jan 21
Replying to

You don't need a crystal ball. all you need is a few functioning synapses and a modicum of knowledge of history. while pessimism absent any clue how to remedy anything is... pessimism, optimism absent any foundation in reality is delusion.

you idiots are rubber-stamping demented joe fucking biden fer fuckssakes!!! defend THAT!

when shit is this dire, expect the worst. you'll very likely get it.


Jan 21

Well Mr. Toomey, you have finally realized and articulated quite well what I noticed 50 years ago. At 44 years ago, there was no longer any doubt.

' “Progressives”? No principles. They believe in nothing. There is no red line they will not cross, no slight or betrayal they will not forgive if it is wrapped in a smarmy right wing Democrat’s lying lips. ' -- Ian Welsh

FUCKIN 'A BUBBAH!!! What I been sayin for 50 years now!

It isn't that progressives have no principles. It's that they have NEVER VOTED FOR THEM. So... the net result is... no principles that mean anything. Every time they vote for the hapless worthless feckless lying CORRUPT NEOLIBERAL fascist pussy democrap par…

bottom of page