Dems in disarray, part MCMXII

I took this screenshot last Saturday before it disappeared — a “moment’s monument,” to quote Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who knew about masochism and hurling himself into graves but not the potency of the Washington political press. As for the news itself, well, I wanted the infrastructure and social spending bills passed together. Progressives are pessimistic,Continue reading “Dems in disarray, part MCMXII”

The DC press as Mouths of Sauron

Watching Joe Biden’s address to the American public on Monday and the subsequent reaction, I realized that Two Americas encompassed every aspect of political life. The president, approval rating hit notwithstanding, had a suspicion about who would rend their garments about the withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan. Paul Campos summarizes. I omitted the first point:Continue reading “The DC press as Mouths of Sauron”

Worry about 2022 (and 2024)

Seven months after elections whose mail-in and in-person components worked with a precision expected of the *World’s Greatest Representative Democracy, the supplicants and toadies clambering at the feet of the former president work like Santa’s elves in state legislatures to ensure that the Democratic Party’s victories in 2020 are short-lived. Corey Robin defines conservative traditionContinue reading “Worry about 2022 (and 2024)”

‘We got beat on this one’

Pobrecitos: None of the attack lines seemed to resonate with voters, who began receiving stimulus checks as early as last weekend and appear overwhelmingly supportive of the law. A CBS-YouGov survey released on Sunday showed 71 percent of adults believe the American Rescue Plan will benefit the middle class more than wealthy Americans. The bill’sContinue reading “‘We got beat on this one’”

The buncombe of ‘bipartisanship’

For certain bluebloods in the Beltway commentariat, a government should be as coherent, organized, and commonsensical as a Sunday column. Hence the appeal of bipartisanship. W.H. Auden, as we say, had their number. “A society which was really like a good poem, embodying the aesthetic virtues of beauty, order, economy and subordination of detail toContinue reading “The buncombe of ‘bipartisanship’”

American Rescue Plan: ‘There is nothing to fear but fear of deficits itself’

Look, count me among the leftists disappointed if not angered at the casualness with which Joe and the Manchins swatted away the $15 minimum wage from the American Rescue Plan. Even a “compromise” at eleven bucks an hour does little to nothing for a languishing service sector, to quote that ubiquitous COVID-era martial metaphor, “onContinue reading “American Rescue Plan: ‘There is nothing to fear but fear of deficits itself’”

On the perils of aspirationalism

The trouble with political aspirationalism: if you are, say, Joe Biden, you’ve spent decades climbing ever closer to the center of power. You have little incentive to question much less dismantle this ladder. You accept the assumptions because without those assumptions your ascension wouldn’t have happened. This phenomenon works doubly so for minorities.

‘There is no time to delay’

About damn time: Addressing reporters in the Oval Office alongside newly confirmed Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Friday, Biden emphasized the urgency of taking sweeping action. “There is no time to delay,” he said. “We have learned from past crises that the risk is not doing too much. The risk is not doing enough.” Later,Continue reading “‘There is no time to delay’”

A break in the clouds: Inauguration Day 2021

When the president-elect announced his candidacy two years ago, I wrote: He not only voted to authorize the Iraq War, he spent hours on green room sofas in 2006 parsing the nuances of partitioning Iraq into three states as if he were Mark Sykes. Most importantly for our contemporary purposes, Biden presided over a SenateContinue reading “A break in the clouds: Inauguration Day 2021”