Killing Progressivism In The Crib
March 29, 2019 10:06 AM   Subscribe

“All that time with McConnell did give Homans one special insight: McConnell hasn’t just “broken” the Senate by smashing its norms, or by making it dysfunctional. He’s essentially worked to make it irrelevant. For the foreseeable future, America’s regulatory policy will be written by the judiciary. Its ability to prosecute white-collar crime and bribery, to levy taxes, and create social welfare programs—all of these powers will be stripped from the Senate and put in the hands of the men (it’s almost all men) McConnell has placed on the courts. But he’ll probably go to his grave chuckling that Harry Reid started it, and get his name on that damn building too. America doesn’t really remember why it hated its political villains for very long, especially when they win.” Nihilist In Chief: The Banal, Evil, All-Destructive Reign Of Mitch McConnell posted by The Whelk (62 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
 
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
posted by Fizz at 10:26 AM on March 29 [19 favorites]


So, uh. What’s the plan, then.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:30 AM on March 29 [19 favorites]


If you sweep into power with the legislature and presidency, isn’t the solution to this sort of problem to just add an equivalent or greater number of judicial positions and fill them?

And if you have sufficient control of the legislature you just begin summarily impeaching.
posted by delicious-luncheon at 10:42 AM on March 29 [5 favorites]


Trump's nominees and Gorsuch in particular are working to kill Chevron deference, which will give courts the ability to impose their own ideas on federal agencies' interpretations of ambiguous laws, which will open an enormous can of worms as federal agencies have, in lieu of Congress, made an awful lot of regulations.
posted by BungaDunga at 10:43 AM on March 29 [6 favorites]


Let’s not start this thread with a massive detail that’s totally ignorant about the way the American Congress, and particularly the Senate, works.

The answer is no. The Constitution mandates two Senators per state, which grossly over-represents states with low population (but who depend greatly on federal dollars) — so, Republicans. The Senate now controls, essentially, judicial appointments.

Democrats have maybe one chance left to take back the Senate — maybe — and then add a bunch of new states, and even then, time is not on our side.

It is a structural, constitutional problem. That’s why I asked about a plan.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:46 AM on March 29 [19 favorites]


"If the US has someone whom historians will look back on as the gravedigger of American democracy, it is Mitch McConnell. He stoked the hyperpolarization of American politics to make the Obama presidency as dysfunctional and paralyzed as he possibly could. As with parliamentary gridlock in Weimar, congressional gridlock in the US has diminished respect for democratic norms, allowing McConnell to trample them even more."

From an essay in The New York Review of Books that looks at why the current state of America resembles Germany in the early 1930s.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 10:48 AM on March 29 [20 favorites]


I think a (somewhat, barely) easier plan than reform of the Senate would be an Amendment that requires 2/3 votes to pass any laws during a lame duck session. At all levels of government.

Even better would be to eliminate lame duck sessions entirely since, aside from the need for Presidential transition (the duration of which seems reasonable), we do not need more than 2 months to assemble a Congress. We should be able to assemble a Congress in 2 weeks.
posted by tclark at 10:52 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


We should be able to assemble a Congress in 2 weeks.

So, how long did it take you to get started at your job? Not to mention that between election and swearing in, Representatives need to hire staff, secure housing in DC, prepare their offices, etc.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:05 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


So, how long did it take you to get started at your job? Not to mention that between election and swearing in, Representatives need to hire staff, secure housing in DC, prepare their offices, etc.

Getting rid of the lame duck session only means that there would not be session days between the election and the swearing-in. I'm not 100% sold on the idea, but it certainly doesn't prohibit incoming electeds from signing leases or hiring staffers.
posted by gauche at 11:09 AM on March 29 [5 favorites]


Not to mention that getting rid of the lame duck session has no effect whatsoever on the incoming electeds, as they are not the ones eligible to vote in a lame duck anyway. It's outgoing and returning legislators who can vote on bills called to a vote during a lame duck session.
posted by gauche at 11:13 AM on March 29


For as much as conservatives say they love the text of the constitution, they love what it doesn’t say even more. They will absolutely fight any change to the constitution barring a constitutional convention and even then only if they can control the agenda.

Folks, the problem isn’t the constitution, it’s that conservatives care about results and liberals care about process. It’s time to stop fantasizing about better processes and working towards some concrete results.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 11:35 AM on March 29 [36 favorites]


So, uh. What’s the plan, then.

previously

...

No, seriously, just read every post that The Whelk has made in reverse chronological order. The blueprint is right there. (This is intentionally tongue-in-cheek since I know you've read 'em all already, schadenfrau. :) )

My take (such as it is) is that you should immediately spend all the time you can building and empowering your local community, whether it be through electoralism, dual-power, agricultural resiliency, etc.

(You know, that whole "get busy living, or get busy dying" thing.)

The system is falling apart. (Not going to fall apart. Falling apart already.) Take steps to protect yourself and those around you and have as much a say in rebuilding as you can.

(And if you need someplace to whine, you're always welcome at the unofficial PoliticsFilter Slack where we've recently been talking about this very phenomenon at length... Is something in the air? People seem unusually broken down this week, myself included.)
posted by ragtag at 11:53 AM on March 29 [26 favorites]


"and then add a bunch of new states" Don't we only have like two, though?
posted by Selena777 at 11:54 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


It is a structural, constitutional problem. That’s why I asked about a plan.

There isn't an electoral plan. There will never be a plan at the legislative level so long as Schumer and his ilk are in charge and are focused on not rocking the boat with donors and maybe reactivating the coalition that beat Bob Dole in '96. Honestly though, even if you replaced tomorrow all of the professional fundraisers in Democratic leadership with people that actually did want to take power and use it to advance their supposed policy goals, I don't see a lot of good outcomes of the decision tree at the governmental level at this late stage.

I mean, you can, what, have a constitutional convention and replace the 1789 Constitution completely, but the two most likely outcomes of that are either a civil war or a constitutionally-enabled outright fash dictatorship. Or you can try to tinker around at the margins with the kind of individual amendments that fix specific procedural problems that are being discussed above, which would never pass, and would not be enough to undo the damage being done even if they did.

You could try to fix things legislatively, and get bogged down in the judiciary until the clock runs out and we lock in 6°C+ warming. You also need to account for the fact that, if you do start getting traction down any of these paths, the fash are going to start escalating their stochastic terror attacks into assassinations of effective political leaders.

At this point, there's not a lot left but some long shot way of changing the game we're playing completely. My opinion is that the best bet is to start laying the groundwork for some kind of People Power type movement and a general strike, ideally across multiple fully developed countries at once. I will fully admit this is not a strategy with a high likelihood of a good outcome either, but I think it's at least non-zero, which is more than can be said for either electoralism or armed struggle.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 12:05 PM on March 29 [8 favorites]


"and then add a bunch of new states" Don't we only have like two, though?

We have a district (of Columbia) and several territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa), each of which already has a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives.

Additionally, there are several states that may be amenable to division.
posted by Etrigan at 12:10 PM on March 29 [4 favorites]


This, of course, does not qualify as a plan, but what I've been imagining will happen is that once Democrats get an upper hand they'll try their own formerly-extreme measures like court packing to obtain advantage, then Republicans will get on top again and do the same, then everything will continue see-sawing back and forth until the whole thing flies apart.

But I keep thinking that there must be many times and places in which the court system in a society broke down, which we could look at to anticipate what problems we'll encounter.

Spelunking through Wikipedia last year I came across the Judicates of Sardinia: a period of history in which the remnants of Byzantine administrative hierarchy broke down into four kingdoms ruled by unelected/non-inherited kings/Judges.

So maybe we should shoot for that but with really egalitarian law handed down by philosopher-queen-judges. Like, everyone in charge is Tina Turner from Mad Max times RBG divided by Contrapoints.
posted by XMLicious at 12:13 PM on March 29 [5 favorites]


What's going to happen is that the United States is going to de facto fracture into rich states that are relatively well governed and poor, right-wing states that are pure oligarchies. You can already see this happening. And the rich states themselves will often be fragmented between well-governed areas and fiefdoms of the oligarchs, although this will happen for slightly different reasons than at the state level - wealth will not track as closely to good government.

This will happen not in spite of but because of dual power, etc. What will happen/is happening is that in states and cities where there is room for popular organizing, things are not quite as shitty. In states and cities that are already impoverished and corrupt, it is far, far harder for popular movements to come together and make gains because of lack of physical and social infrastructure and because of heightened repression.

States and cities that are relatively well-governed will not be totally dependent on a crooked judiciary - there will be many mechanisms for resolving social problems rather than just running everything into a right-wing court to get the oligarchy validated.

So yes, local organizing is the only solution, but it's a very partial solution.
posted by Frowner at 12:37 PM on March 29 [27 favorites]


> So, uh. What’s the plan, then.

does (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ count as a plan?
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 12:45 PM on March 29 [11 favorites]


I've asked this before, but maybe in this thread someone will be able to explain. I literally don't understand – and by that, I mean not exclamatory WTF, but actual non-comprehension – what lets McConnell, for example, say, as one person, that something can't come up for a vote when large numbers of Senators say they want to vote on it.

Like when the government was shut down and he'd block resolutions to re-open. Or recently, with McConnell blocking the resolution on the Trump report being released.

What – literally – laws, regulations, Senate rules, etc. are in place that let him do that?
posted by WCityMike at 12:46 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


My understanding, WCityMike, is that the President of the Senate is the person who decides what the Senate gets to vote on. The Sentate has enormous leeway when it comes to setting its internal rules of operation and that's what they did.

The House's legislative agenda is set by the Speaker of the House (currently that's Pelosi).
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 12:53 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


The way the Senate works, you can get around the usual scheduling procedures and bring something to a vote by "unanimous consent" -- i.e. by having every Senator agree that yes, we're doing this now. A single objection is enough to defeat unanimous consent, so the party that wants to block it will designate a single person to object. It's not that just one person who opposes the UC motion, it's that any one person who opposes the motion can block it. So the headlines say "Senator X blocks motion Y" but really it's the Republican Party as a whole, via a single designated objector, because it only takes one.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:12 PM on March 29 [6 favorites]


The House's legislative agenda is set by the Speaker of the House (currently that's Pelosi).

The House does have more ways to get something to the floor without the Speaker's consent: discharge petitions. But they don't exist in the Senate. But by and large I believe Pelosi has very similar powers to McConnell in deciding what gets to be voted on.
posted by BungaDunga at 1:29 PM on March 29


What – literally – laws, regulations, Senate rules, etc. are in place that let him do that?

Here is a pretty good summary of Senate precedent.

The short answer is that there is no official rule in the Senate giving any senator any more power than another. They are all equal. Where the power lies is merely in custom or precedent. That's just the way they've always done it.

The primary custom that gives the Senate Majority Leader the most power is "the right of first recognition." This means that the Leader always has priority to speak first if multiple senators seek recognition for the floor. That means the Leader has priority in proposing any bill, amendment or motion. And once the Leader does that, no other senator can change the agenda until that business is finished. Effectively, since the Leader always gets to speak first, this means that the Leader controls the entire schedule and agenda of the Senate.

As McConnell says, no bill goes to the floor without his approval. This is by custom or precedent, not by formal rule.
posted by JackFlash at 1:40 PM on March 29 [4 favorites]



I've asked this before, but maybe in this thread someone will be able to explain. I literally don't understand – and by that, I mean not exclamatory WTF, but actual non-comprehension – what lets McConnell, for example, say, as one person, that something can't come up for a vote when large numbers of Senators say they want to vote on it.


He's the majority leader. The Republican senators could quite literally remove him at any time with no notice at all and replace him with someone that will call a vote. Make no mistake, he is doing the will of his party. Senators who say they want to vote and McConnell prevents them are just using him as a scapegoat for their own political cowardice. He is presumably fine with this because only old white people vote in Kentucky and also he has no soul.

He can't chuckle off to his grave soon enough.
posted by fshgrl at 1:48 PM on March 29 [28 favorites]


I came away from the article actually revising my previous opinion that McConnell is uniquely ruthless. Nah. He is ruthless but there is nothing particularly notable or brilliant or special about him- the only thing is he knows how to use power and is willing to use it. He has an agenda and is willing to go to the mat for it. That is his superpower, but it’s not like he’s a brilliant legislator or jurist or diplomat or something. His own Wikipedia page doesn’t have signature legislative achievements at the top. Pelosi is famous for the ACA, McConnell is famous for Garland.

Also, regarding all these articles that are like “what is the mystery of Mitch’s motivations? Such a blank slate” all I can think is... (Image of McConnell holding up a massive confederate flag)
posted by cricketcello at 2:37 PM on March 29 [14 favorites]


So, uh. What’s the plan, then.

All of the judges will have to be removed. They're all agents of an enemy power that wants to destroy the US, and they're not there legitimately anyway. There is no legal method for doing this, as far as I'm aware, but it will have to be done nonetheless. "Can we do this within the rules?" is a question we're going to have to stop asking ourselves if we still want to have a country at the end of our lifetimes.
posted by IAmUnaware at 3:25 PM on March 29 [11 favorites]


He's the most banal super villain in history. I don't even know that he really believes in anything, like a toddler he just says "no!".
posted by fshgrl at 3:26 PM on March 29 [6 favorites]


I'm sure he has very strongly held beliefs, chief among them that people like him must continue to have the power to make things better for themselves in order to prevent people unlike himself from doing the same.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:57 PM on March 29 [11 favorites]


"Can we do this within the rules?" is a question we're going to have to stop asking ourselves if we still want to have a country at the end of our lifetimes.

So it's necessary to destroy the town in order to save it?
posted by JeffL at 5:30 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


Evil is typically banal. Villains with vision are an exception to the rule, we just tend to focus on them because they're fascinating. The more typical type is just someone who is self-interested to a fault. And I think that's McConnell to a T.

If you asked him in an unguarded moment, I suspect he'd probably laugh and say that he only exercises the power that the system lets him have. Which is true, to a point; he's a product of the system, and honestly not very unique. If you went back in time and dropped him on his head a few times as an infant, then came back to the present, it'd probably be exactly the same situation only with some other name on his Wikipedia page.

He's basically a living vulnerability exploit.
posted by Kadin2048 at 5:38 PM on March 29 [22 favorites]


"Can we do this within the rules?" is a question we're going to have to stop asking ourselves if we still want to have a country at the end of our lifetimes.

Of course, the problem with doing this with respect to constitutional law and the transfer of power is that it in and of itself erodes trust and faith in an already crumbling democratic system. That loss of faith is one large plank that has brought us here, and of course McConnell himself has done more than any other living person to erode it.

Not that I know what the hell to do with that, except interrupt people when they start happily mouthing the same old comfortable platitudes about bipartisanship and firmly, confidently, and without pause for politeness explain where they can get off. But it's not as simple as just wholesale overthrowing the products of an illegitimate government--because one of the things that such governments do is corrode the very concept of legitimacy, and that legitimacy helps the whole thing go.

Christ.

And our feckless fucking Democratic politicians are throwing away shots Senate seats that might, might pan out in favor of a crowded and overrun party of presidential candidates. Who will, against McConnell's Senate, do dick fuck all to fix this nation's problems.

(This is me being furious with both Julian Castro and Beto O' Rourke, don't mind me.)
posted by sciatrix at 6:26 PM on March 29 [9 favorites]


>> "Can we do this within the rules?" is a question we're going to have to stop asking ourselves if we still want to have a country at the end of our lifetimes.

> So it's necessary to destroy the town in order to save it?


Rules aren't towns.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:55 PM on March 29 [8 favorites]


"He's basically a living vulnerability exploit."

Exactly. And like McConnell himself says in the article, has no grand agenda. He's just using his power to "...get as right-of-center an outcome as possible" in every possible situation. And just like a mindless line of code, he'll work with anyone who wants to use him.
posted by Kevin Street at 7:05 PM on March 29 [2 favorites]


We have a district (of Columbia) and several territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa), each of which already has a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives.

I am 100% behind pushing for DC & Puerto Rico. The former has more people than Wyoming and Vermont living in it -- the latter has a bigger population than a baker's dozen of other states do. It's right on strategy, but more importantly it is stone cold absolutely right on principle.

The case gets harder with the Pacific Islands, since their populations are much smaller. It feels a bit unprincipled to make each a state (maybe one PI state would make more sense) but then again, Republicans are always going on about how important and wise it is that regions have representation as well as people, so....

Additionally, there are several states that may be amenable to division.

This plan, though... it's not clear to me this ends well for Democrats or democracy. Republicans have decades of head start and waaaay more to gain in playing up the rural urban divide and gerrymandering opposition.
posted by wildblueyonder at 7:10 PM on March 29 [7 favorites]


I know very little about Kentucky politics so I am honestly unsure if McConnell stays in power because he's broken the machinery of politics to a point where it's hard to mount a challenge against him, or if the people of the bluegrass state are voting him into office every six years because they love what he's doing for the country.

If it's the former -- and I suspect it is -- I'm vastly curious as to why and how the Democrat leadership has not seen fit to strategize about how to unseat them. I don't get why he's not in the crosshairs. Make him own this mess.
posted by sobell at 7:12 PM on March 29 [6 favorites]


You can look up every state at Project Vote. This is Kentucky: pdf link to report.
posted by fshgrl at 7:25 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


McConnell's place in history – with some help from Trump – will be as the one who finally exposed the weaknesses in the US constitution.

As far as I know, he did all his wrecking legally, mostly by simply ignoring precedent and convention, and having no sense of shame whatsoever.

That's the shitty lesson here: The constitution needs a major overhaul. It relies too much on the presumed competence and decency of the political class.

Good luck with that, given how profitable exploiting its weaknesses has been for the Repub machine and their clients and backers, though not their voters.
posted by Pouteria at 7:46 PM on March 29 [8 favorites]


I think now's probably a good time for everyone to get a refresher on the Roman Civil Wars and the Fall of the Republic. Especially anyone advocating extreme measures. Also, c.f. French Revolution, Reign of Terror.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 7:54 PM on March 29 [9 favorites]


Puerto Rico could be admitted as 4 states, each far more populous than Wyoming and each almost as populous as Delaware.
posted by Jpfed at 8:13 PM on March 29 [7 favorites]


The Democrats missed the opportunity of the crisis.
But Trump and his various overseas friends are creating a new one. I think a combination of The Green New Deal, GOTV and 50 states all the way down to dog catcher will give results in 2020. I'm optimistic this morning. The majority of all people in the world see climate change as a huge threat, and they know that the reason things aren't getting done are the billionaires and oligarchs who have bought politicians like McConnell.
posted by mumimor at 2:02 AM on March 30


judicial positions and fill them? And if you have sufficient control of the legislature you just begin summarily impeaching.

State laws are on the books to charge judges with crimes in office, but if you are not in a state like CA or TX which allow citizens to the Grand Jury you are out of luck when:

The chief judge for the county won't grant you access to a case file to be able to report to the public on how the chief judge used the power of the court calander to run the clock out on a crime the DA chose to not charge.

A judge hears the lawyer argue a case can't have a counterclaim because it effects the lawyers insurance and the judge then says 'for the reasons given, no counterclaim exists'.

It is unreasonable to expect that a DA is going to take up the mantle of charging the Judges and the same applies to a Judgel signing a criminal complaint VS another Judge.


As for the ammendment option - AFAIK none have gotten to states to vote for 30 years. Climate change might be the most important thing facing humanity and that can't get people motivated enough to get the process going so not seeing that as a workable option.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:18 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


No, seriously, just read every post that The Whelk has made in reverse chronological order. The blueprint is right there.

Communist revolution? Is that the only option?
posted by acb at 5:50 AM on March 30


Let’s not start this thread with a massive derail that’s totally ignorant about the way the American Congress, and particularly the Senate, works.

I'm aware of how the Congress and Senate work, thanks. The options I listed are ones available if you control the presidency and legislature but not the courts.

If dangling summary judicial impeachment was upsetting because you don't think you can get the 2/3's necessary in the senate, then fine. But the first option I listed only requires bare majorities. It works something like this:

1. Gain presidency -> Seems possible.

2. Gain at least a bare majority in the Senate -> You would need to hold what you have, and gain at least two seats to take control. There are currently 3 toss-up states. So this is not impossible.

3. Remove the filibuster -> This requires only a bare majority in the Senate. The Republicans already did the heavy lifting for you on judicial appointments. They got rid of the filibuster for judicial appointments way back in 2013 and they got rid of it for Supreme Court appointments to get Gorsuch on the court. But you'll need to go full nuclear to do the next step.

4. Pass laws to increase the number of federal judges and Supreme Court justices -> The number of justices in the federal judiciary is set by law and so is the number of Supreme Court justices. If you control the presidency and the legislature with a bare majority and there is no filibuster to stop you, then you can pass a law increasing both with bare majorities in the house and senate and get the president to sign off on that law.

5. Appoint justices to fill the new open positions -> If you control the presidency and you have a majority in the senate and there is no filibuster in the senate on judicial nominations, then your president can send a giant list of appointments, and the senate can approve them.

6. Maybe use some of these ideas of adding states to try to cement Senate control.

This isn't perfect because the federal judiciary will still contain a bunch of Republican appointees that you can't get rid of, but they will be out numbered by less crazy judges...and if you control the Supreme Court then that provides a backstop. Though, Roberts, being the Chief Justice can probably be a bit of a problem by carefully selecting cases to reject. But you go to war with the army you've got, etc.

This plan relies on Democrats doing a lot of tough things, which they seem to have a hard time doing, and it potentially seems like it's possible for Republicans to do a tit-for-tat play if they regain power. But as a non-lawyer lay person, it seems about the only thing within the bounds of the law that could potentially work given the hand that's been dealt to the Democrats.
posted by delicious-luncheon at 5:55 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


removing the artificial cap on house reps would also be nice and pretty easy.
posted by The Whelk at 7:06 AM on March 30 [6 favorites]


Though, Roberts, being the Chief Justice can probably be a bit of a problem by carefully selecting cases to reject.

Roberts has no special power to accept or reject cases for review. The only way a case goes before the Supreme Court is if four justices vote to accept it, and if a case gets four votes then nobody from the other five can block it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:24 AM on March 30 [3 favorites]


This plan, though... it's not clear to me this ends well for Democrats or democracy. Republicans have decades of head start and waaaay more to gain in playing up the rural urban divide and gerrymandering opposition.

What more do they have to gain? Putting a moron demagogue in the White House? Gaining control of both houses of Congress? Muscling their way into the judiciary for a generation? You’re telling a boxer in between rounds that if he starts punching the other guy back, it ain’t gonna end well.
posted by Etrigan at 7:58 AM on March 30 [5 favorites]


Communist revolution? Is that the only option?

Again, my take (such as it is): I think there are actually three options, each corresponding to the three major factions in American politics:
  1. The tribalists (e.g. white supremacists, "alt right", Christian nationalists, etc.) want to institute fascism and commit genocide on those they don't like (preferably directly).
  2. The neoliberals (e.g. "moderate" Republicans, the Democratic party broadly, etc.) want to give all political power to the 1% (corporations, the financial sector, etc.). This is the status quo oligarchy/plutocracy solution. While I don't think genocide is a direct goal of the rich, thanks to climate change it's certainly a convenient byproduct.
  3. The left. "Communist revolution."
Like you, I think that the latter is a long shot and not especially likely to succeed (or, if it does succeed, shake out the way we want). But if (like me) you're opposed to genocide in any form, you don't exactly have a lot of options.

(As the parent post discusses, I think McConnell is acting in service to [2] but has been inadvertently handing a substantial amount of power to [1] because of the structural issues that the comments have been discussing.)
posted by ragtag at 8:17 AM on March 30 [6 favorites]


Genocide, oligarchy, or communist revolution is a reductive view of politics, to say the least.
posted by schroedinger at 11:39 AM on March 30 [16 favorites]


But it does map pretty well onto Frase’s The Four Futures
posted by The Whelk at 12:14 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


And that makes it less reductive and hysterical because . . .?
posted by schroedinger at 12:43 PM on March 30 [4 favorites]


Every single Trump appointee is crooked. Find out how and impeach.
posted by maxsparber at 1:54 PM on March 30 [9 favorites]


I could go for just two futures, personally: I think we're in an extended interregnum in history and our perceptions of everything and permanence of phenomena and teleological gradual progress are distorted by living in the passing eye of a hurricane.

Either the future will have the characteristics that almost the entirety of the past had or there must be a foundations-shaking revolution of some sort which leads to a stable state unlike what has come before, far messier and more strange than anything dreamt of by Communism.

I don't know if there's anything we can do to positively bring about the more preferable outcome though. We and our recent forebears' squandering of the pax Americana leaves us in the position of mostly just trying to prevent genocide like ragtag says and the worst orgiastic excesses of human exploitation from becoming widespread again.

And, like, preventing nuclear war and stuff, because of course we had to sink all of our resources into just about everything except pax. Aaaaaand I ended up with three futures anyways, damn it. Nuclear hellscape wouldn't be much like the past.
posted by XMLicious at 2:06 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


Genocide, oligarchy, or communist revolution is a reductive view of politics, to say the least.

In one sense, it’s actually not reductive enough, in that it draws a false dichotomy between oligarchy and genocide, which are really the left and right hands of the same phenomenon. The oligarchs create the material conditions for the genocidaires to thrive, now as ever. In another sense, I don’t know that the revolutionary alternative is going to be specifically Leninist, so communist may be a little reductive.

We don’t call people or their ideas “hysterical” anymore.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 6:10 PM on March 30 [9 favorites]


The genocidaires can do just fine with communism as well. Not just the mass slaughter, but environmental destruction. As an example, the Aral sea.
posted by tavella at 8:59 AM on March 31 [5 favorites]


We don’t call people or their ideas “hysterical” anymore.

How about "delirious"?
posted by schroedinger at 11:48 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]


We don’t call people or their ideas “hysterical” anymore.
And look where it's got us...
posted by Hal Mumkin at 12:10 PM on April 1


Why do people keep proposing remedies that suppose stable Democratic or other leftwards control of the Senate?

I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:07 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Because the other remedies require armed revolution.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:49 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


Why is "Merrick Garland" trending on Twitter right now?

It's almost like we do not forgive and we do not forget. Like you should expect us or something. We're all onymous.
posted by Arson Lupine at 3:45 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]




They can all still be impeached when they refuse to follow the rest of the country leftward.
posted by rhizome at 3:44 PM on April 3


I've been savoring my distaste for Mitch McConnell and trying to come up with a positive action I can take that would both distress and distract him.
If we can raise $4 million to fund Susan Collins' future opponent, surely we can raise even more for Mitch's future opponent?
I don't know about you, but I was about 20 bucks into the idea of funding Susan Collins' future opponent. For Mitch? I'm good for a hundred. Considering how little money I have to spare that's an alarming commitment for me, but I am seriously tired of Mitch. I suspect many people are. One of them might be in Kentucky. Let's help that person! :D
Kentucky mefites: Who would you like to see running against Mitch?
posted by ButteryMales at 3:12 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]


« Older I'm playing the right game finally   |   Agnès Varda (1928-2019) Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments