At least Leonard Cohen died before he could record another batch of songs commenting obliquely on the times. The rest of us gotta settle for last month’s prophetic hymns. As reporters carry the basket of deplorables whom the Trump transition team has suggested may join his Cabinet and Paul Ryan forgets to remember his tiff with the president-elect when reducing Medicare to the size of a McDonald’s gift certificate is on both their agendas, “Morning” Joe and “Mika” Brzezinski coo over a Donald J. Trump who may surprise the world with his magnanimity, which is why the women and Muslims and Mexicans better shut up and unite behind their president-elect. On Wednesday morning a student said, “Professor, you don’t understand. I’m Mexican. My family and I are citizens. But Trump called us rapists and murderers.”
The redoubtable Adam Serwer mourns the coming white-identity politics through which Democratic leaders, whoever they are, must maneuver and as history suggests is filled with peril:
Democrats now face a renewed white-identity politics whose appeal will be immensely difficult to neutralize, and the notion that a more vigorous, left wing economics will return the white working class to the Democratic fold is likely a fantasy. The last Democrat to come close to winning the white vote was Bill Clinton, who combined his economic populism with promises to “end welfare as we know it” and advertised his willingness to use state violence against black Americans, turning the execution of Ricky Ray Rector to his political advantage.
Yet get a load of this: 27 percent of white voters want the president-elect to pursue policies more liberal than Barack Obama’s, according to a CBS News exit poll. How those voters will respond to Attorney General Gingrich and Wall Street returning to predatory lending habits I’m sure we’ll learn when the NYT sends a reporter to write another three-thousand-word story no one will read except after midterms 2018.
As for the Obama legacy, it…doesn’t look solid at the moment. Back to Serwer:
Early historians of Reconstruction depicted it not as the terrible demise of interracial government, but as an era when corrupt Republicans violated the South’s natural order by “forcing” self-government on primitive blacks who were unprepared for the responsibility. “To the bulk of the white South,” Foner wrote, “it had become axiomatic that Reconstruction had been a time of ‘savage tyranny’” that “accomplished not one useful result, and left behind it, not one pleasant recollection.” Prepare for the Obama era to be framed in similar terms.
If you drink, do so tonight. Happy Friday.