Too Close to Call!

W.J. Astore

Who knew that choosing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, two pro-business, pro-establishment, anti-progressive tools with limited charisma, would result in an election that is currently too close to call?

Meanwhile, Trump has made his own call. He won! Here’s what he had to say earlier this morning:

Trump falsely declared himself the winner around 2:30 a.m. Eastern. He said he would call on the Supreme Court to stop counting ballots in states where he led, while urging more counting in states where he was behind. He claimed “fraud” (for which there is no evidence) and he called the election an “embarrassment to the country.”

My wife and I had a good if grim laugh at this. Trump is like that ten-year-old bully in a class election who says: “Let’s count the vote until I’m winning, then we’ll stop.” Every kid would shout that that’s unfair and wrong, until the bully threatened to slug them.

It’s truly astounding that so many Americans think Trump is a competent and desirable president. Again, though, it didn’t help matters when the DNC tilted the table in Biden’s favor, then picked Kamala Harris as his running mate, another establishment tool who faded fast after her fifteen minutes of post-debate, that-little-girl-was-me, fame.

Of course, Biden/Harris may yet prevail, assuming Americans can muster some patience and that the Trump-leaning Supreme Court doesn’t intervene. But if they lose, the loss is truly on them and the DNC operatives who went all-in on them.

100 thoughts on “Too Close to Call!

  1. The plan for that action was wandering around the White House for weeks and picked up on by an Axios reporter a few days ago (or maybe a bit longer). In any case, this is straight out of the Roy Cohn playbook. Pure mobster.
    In the meantime you can see Joe doing what I call “word averaging” to come up with something to say. If he understood what the issues were from a direct-dealing perspective (call it managing from the ground level) he wouldn’t have to average other’s words to come up with themes, which still sound as though the words are tiptoeing through everyone else’s something-to-say.
    Kamala, it is a poor excuse to think that I was hoping she might be a hope. As smart as she is, I’d like to think she could make out some degree of direct and knowledgeable involvement in the issues and actions needed to pull the country out of the current situation and begin to run it for “the people” (a rarity, I am all too aware of).

    Like

  2. I’m blaming the results on Russian interference, or more precisely, Soviet interference. The real Russian interference.
    Sergei Eisenstein and the montage. Almost a hundred years ago Eisenstein gave us the montage and boy or boy, was it used to ugly, very ugly effect again and again this season in smear ads on television, mostly from Republicans but also Democratic. About the only differences were that Demo montages were almost all from PACs, and, as my partner Nicole noted, the Democratic attack montages were at least cited with some magazine or newspaper, etcetera reference.
    So, go back a century (about) and you can find that pesky Russian. Or, (old guy remembering here) the Roooskies always, they said, in-wented it first. (combining a little Slim Pickens in “Strangelove” with a little Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekhov in Star Trek (original).

    Like

    1. MIKESTRONG33–Interesting thoughts, though we should remember that even the remarkable S. Eisenstein eventually fell from grace with J. Stalin. But here’s the real fundamental issue: all the disinformation spread on social media would be just empty noise if not for the audience all too willing, indeed eager, to swallow it!! A “QAnon” adherent has been elected to the US Congress (in Georgia, I think). No further comment needed on that phenomenon.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If Trump ends up winning — perhaps prevailing would be better — one might say a genuine bad trumps a fake good (pun intended).

    Hillary and Joe are fake “goods.” Sure, they’re not crazily incompetent like Trump. But they’re dishonest, and so is the way the DNC presented them to the public.

    Trump, whatever else he is, is “genuine.” I’d say genuinely bad, but his supporters obviously think differently. They know (they think) who Trump is, and this knowledge resonates with and motivates them.

    If the Democrats end up losing yet again, in 2024 they might try to find a candidate who’s genuine (Jimmy Carter) or who’s really good at faking it (Bill Clinton; Barack Obama).

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, MSM are reporting that the Dem. Party leadership is pretty deflated about the closeness of POTUS race and poor (under-)performance in Congress. Biden, “too radical”?? I think it should be obvious that that is not the issue. The issue is the strength of Trump’s base. I have not felt a shred of pride in being a citizen of this country in a long, long time, and the support for this vilest, most unqualified incumbent POTUS, needless to say, is no comfort to me.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Revealing segment on the JImmy Dore show on what the American people really want, including Medicare for all, and what they think are serious problems in America: racism, climate change, and the like.

    But of course Joe Biden (and Donald Trump) are against Medicare for all … and the Dems are always trying to avoid or shoot down progressive policies that hurt their donors and owners

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As Jimmy says in this video, when you want people to vote for you, promise to give them something. If Fox News can do a poll that shows overwhelming support for health care for all, wouldn’t you think a Democrat could promise this, especially during a pandemic?

      Yet Joe Biden vowed to veto Medicare for all, even if Congress approved it. Talk about giving us nothing!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I can’t get my head around these Fox News figures, in terms of how they relate to the election results so far. If 60-70% of CONSERVATIVE Fox watchers think that way, how in holy hell can there have been that many votes for the Dumpster, when he’s openly, unabashedly against everything these viewers support? Where’s the disconnect?

      Like

      1. In part, I think it depends on how it’s presented. Do you favor medicare? Most would say “yes.” Do you want the government telling you what to do with socialized medicine? Most would say “no.” But it’s the same thing.

        It’s like people favoring the ACA but being against Obamacare. Same thing!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree that polls are constantly worded to produce desired outcomes, and statistics lie all the time, but you’d think that anything Fox produces would be specifically designed to favor Orange/GOP talking points. If they’d referenced socialized medicine or something similar, the verbiage you hear from right-wingers, there wouldn’t have been a 70%+ “yes” response.

          Like

        2. Biden’s approach, dictated I suppose by DNC, was to stress again and again that he wanted people happy with their health insurance to be able to retain it. (I think in the Dem. initial “debates” among the wannabes, someone–Cory Booker?–asked rhetorically “Who’s happy with their plan?!” Because, after all, premiums only go in one direction and they weren’t “cheap” to begin with. If you’re a corporate exec [or Member of Congress] with a “Cadillac level plan,” sure, you’re happy as the proverbial “pig in shit.” But that’s a minority, surely.) This very pragmatic approach may have quite bloody well failed to sway those leaning toward Trump.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Denise, I think there is a very strong element of “first, kill the lawyers” Trump’s people are full of resentment and feel disrespected. They want to smash things up and looking at it that way, Trump has had a great run. Every time he goes into a tirade against this or that expert/professional, his fans’ hearts start to race and a smile of satisfaction breaks out. YES! GIVE IT TO THEM Mr. President! All this BLM stuff while we out here in rural America are seeing out towns dying, our jobs leaving, our neighbors on opioids.

        Trump fans feel helpless, hence the rush for guns: by merely brandishing an object all argument (and all reason) is silenced. Guns stand as icons of pure physical power, but of course are really ineffective if they are used because they destroy the lives of the shooters as well as the targets…but that reasoning is the last thing being thought about when frustration boils over as we see it is.

        Of course, Trump is actually offering zip beyond emotional release, but that makes for excitement outside the cities and if you look here (click on the “size of lead” mini-map just below the tip of Texas) you sure do see the urban/rural divide.

        Like

        1. I think you have something there, Clif. Just looking at the states that went red, you see that most of them are largely rural.

          If many people are supporting the incumbent for the sole reason of his wreaking mayhem, inciting violence, and propagating racism, we’re in for a world of hurt, no matter who carries the day.

          Like

          1. Oh, there’s no doubt that “Trumpism” will remain after its chieftain departs. They’ve gained great momentum, with new hate groups springing up and spreading their venom on social media. The threats against the governor of Michigan may prove to have been “mild” in retrospect farther down this ugly road the nation is on.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. In the Errol Morris interview with Steve Bannon I referenced the other day, I recall that Morris asked if his interview subject was simply interested in destruction. If I recall correctly, Bannon gave a weasel answer. Now I see CNN online reports Facebook has banned Bannon–hey, that’s got a nice ring to it!–for some post that mentioned BEHEADING. I didn’t pursue the sordid details. Meanwhile, at 12:05 AM 6 November Eastern Time…the wait for “final” election outcome continues!!

          Liked by 1 person

    3. At this point it appears that Americans who want better healthcare, issues of racism and climate addressed, etc., are NOT the Americans who actually voted yesterday!! Last night, I only perused election coverage lightly, knowing it would be a prolonged mess. So I streamed a two-hour movie. When I returned to CNN online afterward, I found that (per CNN projections) Biden had gained 15 EC votes while Trump had picked up 100!! “Oh, shit!” was about all I could say to myself.

      Like

  5. Random thoughts:

    Americans are a conundrum on one hand they seem be saying “turn the bums out”. Yet “my bum” who has been re elected multiple times is OK.

    Obama’s election in 2008 may at least for the for see-able future represent the high water mark for the Democratic Party on a national basis. Maybe it was that Hope and Change many thought a young man would deliver vs the old GOP guard of McCain.

    The Democrats certainly the partisans of the Democratic Party have with the regularity of the rising sun predicted The Trumpet’s and the GOP’s demise.

    The Democratic partisans since even before The Trumpet was elected hyped up The Trumpet’s numerous character flaws. Hillary attacked his base as “deplorable”. This had no effect and of course back fired big time.

    The Mueller Report was supposedly going to be the big artillery barrage that would severely damage The Trumpet. The shells were duds. The Democratic partisans rode the Mueller Report into the fog. This had no effect positively for the Democratic partisans.

    Caravans from Mexico and Central America on the way to breach our border defenses. Latinos rounded up and put into camps – children in cages. A collective big yawn from the American people – No damage to the Trump Brand, except he delivered for his base – Mr Tough Guy.

    Then we had what was another gigantic miss-calculation by the Democratic Party partisans – The impeachment. Surely, this would finally be the Silver Bullet as days of hearings droned on, putting the American people into a coma. The Senate as expected voted in The Trumpet’s favor. Once again the artillery barrage was a big dud.

    The DNC made certain there would be no Bernie or Elizabeth Warren to challenge Trump. The DNC selected an average old sore arm relief pitcher from the roster of approved corporate candidates – Joe Biden. It was now necessary to add some triangulation to the ticket with Harris.

    Biden may still win this – If so do not expect any change McConnell will make certain that does not happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In retrospect, 2008 and Obama’s election represented a huge betrayal of progressive/populist causes, setting the scene for Trump’s triumph in 2016, helped along by the singularly bad candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

      Biden may yet eke out a victory, but to think it was ever this close to begin with, after Trump’s murderous incompetence with Covid-19 …

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You bring up something I was mulling over yesterday. Only one person among my acquaintance has ever openly expressed disappointment about Obama, and that group includes some genius-I.Q. people. Perhaps it’s just that those people aren’t representative of the overall population, although they’re all worker bees living from paycheck to paycheck, as so many of us do.

        The point I’m so laboriously trying to make is that the 2016 election outcome is very frequently blamed on Hillary. I would never have voted for her, simply because I know what she is. But supposedly, her policies would have continued those of Obama. Meaning that, despite the way Obama has been held up as a shining example of statesmanship and rectitude, there must have been a fundamental, widespread feeling of discontent with his Presidency. Otherwise, as bad as Hillary was (and she was truly abysmal as a csndidate) the Obama legacy should still have assured her election. The Orange Menace shouldn’t have had a chance. Therefore, either the Obama glow was entirely a fiction generated by the DNC and its minions, and never actually existed for Joe Average when it came to the voting booth, or the hatred and viciousness that the Orange One represents was much more pervasive than much of the country realized. It’s been repeatedly said that it was Hillary’s election to lose, but her off-putting persona can’t be the only explanation for the Dumpster’s rise. No matter how much public praise Obama receives, he can’t have gained that much approval from the masses. In other words, he’s merely a mythical hero.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Given that Trump put forth the ugliest face possible, starting in 2015 with the “Mexican rapists” rant, his win in 2016 was already a referendum on US, the citizenry. BIG FAIL! Bigotry won the day for the GOP. Imagine, some fools in this country were suggesting during the Obama years that we’d entered “a post-racial age”!! I knew at the time that that was sheer nonsense, and now it’s even loonier to look back on.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. I’ve said previously this election is a referendum on Trump. Will the country (or at least a simple majority of those voting) approve of the incumbent’s disastrous performance to date? If the ultimate answer proves to be “Yes!” then this election will prove to have been a referendum on We, the People. If Trump wins, USA LOSES.

        Like

    2. McConnell was a cinch to remain in office, and right now the Dems appear unable to gain a majority in Senate. Thus, it appears Mitch’s desk will continue to be the graveyard of any legislation with the least aroma of “progressive” about it. We may be facing GOP rule for the indefinite future. If I had the money to relocate to another part of the world, I would do so without hesitation or remorse.

      Like

  6. I called this for Trump on this forum a few days ago but I’m now changing my mind: Biden/Harris will get the 270 to win. NV, AZ, MI and WI will stay in their column. R’s will take the senate and Joe will give Joe an excuse to make good on his promise to the donor class: nothing will change when he’s the president.

    He can though start some new wars to re-establish America’s place in the world. So I guess that’s something.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think we Bracing Views stalwarts have settled once and for all the issue of Joe Biden’s less-than-stellar appeal and the DNC’s remarkable track record of late. HOWEVER! I’ve been mulling over what the results would likely have been with Bernie, Tulsi, O’Rourke (remember him? I thought he was fairly decent), Cory Booker, you name another potential candidate…if Trump indeed emerges triumphant by dint of painting every Dem with the broad brush of “Liberal! Socialist! Radical! Cop-hater!” then who the hell could have defeated Trump??? There were enough morons* in USA to have not merely elected, but RE-elected, Nixon, Reagan and Dubya (though the latter still merits an asterisk for 2000, when he was appointed POTUS by a one-vote SCOTUS majority). Thus, I declare the problem is in neither our stars nor the DNC, but in us.
    *I’ll not be deterred from using this term no matter how loudly the “PC” crowd may protest that it’s demeaning to the intellectually challenged. You wanna see the intellectually challenged, America? Look in the nearest mirror!!

    Like

    1. Of course, we’ll never know, Greg.

      I admit to being a Tulsi Gabbard supporter. If Trump had called her a socialist or radical etc., Tulsi could easily have answered with her resume, her life, her record. She would have campaigned hard against Trump, rather than staying mainly in her basement. Her cool, calm, collected nature and her youth would have been a stunning contrast to Trump.

      But of course she was smeared by NBC and by Hillary as a Russian asset and went nowhere due to an almost complete media blackout.

      One example: The MSM loved to say Harris is a woman of color. So too is Tulsi! But this was rarely mentioned. And she’s a serving Army National Guard major to boot! Who enlisted after 9/11.

      Her story would have been a stark contrast to Heel-spurs Trump. But Tulsi supported Bernie in 2016 and resigned from the DNC due to its unabashed favoritism toward Hillary, so the fix was in and Tulsi was smeared and sidelined.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I don’t think Biden was a shrinking violet (bet you haven’t encountered that expression in a while!) in warding off the accusation of favoring “Socialism.” And his campaign’s choice to be cautious about the risk of virus infection was the sensible approach. Common sense, however, doesn’t show much mettle in today’s USA. If Biden loses PA, thanks to the rural and semi-rural areas, where he spent so much campaign time, that will be a dandy irony. Let’s play the “What if?” game briefly. What if Tulsi Gabbard had been able to sustain momentum and gained the top or VP slot. What if she campaigned strongly against the Pentagon’s obscene budget and aggressive wars abroad? Can you imagine the GOP response? She would’ve been burned in effigy in every state of the union, by red-blooded “patriots”!! I have to think Trump would have positively trounced her in the general election! So, perhaps the REAL problem is not the wretchedness of the DNC but the wretchedness of the state of this society. Hmmm.

        Like

        1. The wretchedness of the DNC is a function of the wretchedness of the country in general. If Gabbard had offered M4A, sound environmental policies, a stimulus plan, and a strategy for combating the pandemic, that’s all she would have needed for a platform and, I’d guess, a win.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. To bolster my theory about the likely chances of a Progressive Predidential win, I’d cite the victories of The Squad on Tuesday, all by significant margins. Of course, MA, NY, and MN (Pressley, AOC, and Omar, respectively) are all reliably blue. MI, though, is not. Biden just squeaked by there, whereas Orange Man took the state by a narrow margin in 2016. Therefore, Tlaib’s win there theoretically should have been a close one, but it wasn’t. My point being that if genuinely Progressive candidates are allowed to run, they tend to do well. Also, the DNC has taken a dim view of AOC, for instance; imagine how big her win would be with enthusiastic support from her party.

            The DNC can no longer longer honestly contend that candidates who promote progressive policies—i.e., those that most of the country wants—will cost the party elections. The DNC will still say that, but it will drive even more voters away.

            Like

          2. Denise: I also think voters like candidates with strong clear views. That’s partly why some Trump supporters like him. I might know that Trump is a weather vane, but his supporters see consistency, e.g. anti-immigrant, pro-wall. They like that Trump isn’t afraid to offend. And I think something similar works for AOC and the rest of the Squad.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. I agree. Not just strong stances but solid ones upheld by facts and motivated by the desire to help others.

            Generally, strong and wrong (Trump) beats weak and not as wrong (Biden), though Trump is so wrong that Biden probably will eke out the narrowest of victories.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. However much I wish we had a decent alternative, I have to say I hope you’re right, Professor Astore, about Biden’s win, however narrow. Just for the sake of the few positive signs thus far, such as his declaration that the U.S. would rejoin the Paris Accords. If (granted, it’s a big “if”) Bernie gets Labor and Elizabeth gets Treasury, there may be a bit more light in this benighted nation.

            Like

          5. I heard on “The Hill,” I think, the prediction that Bernie and Warren will get nothing. The DNC will say it’s because they’re senators and every senator is important to the cause and thus must remain in the Senate. Of course, it’s really because they want no progressive voice in the Cabinet. Indeed, I don’t think they’ll put a prominent progressive in any powerful post.

            Like

          6. Summers, Geithner, and Hillary redux, huh? Not surprising. Although it’s true that progressive firepower is essential in the Senate, Bernie and Elizabeth could accomplish more in the Cabinet. Which, as you say, means that the DNC won’t allow them to be there…..

            Like

          7. The most important attribute a member of a (putative still, at this point!) Biden Cabinet is to NOT be Trumpian! Just for one of the most obvious examples, a Sec’t’y of Education NOT involved in the business world in promotion of privatized school systems. Duh, huh?!

            Like

          8. That sounds about right, that no real progressive will be offered a Cabinet post under Biden. Eliz. Warren I don’t think is particularly progressive on the whole. She made consumer protection her “thing,” which is important of course. It looks like the Dems have managed to fail to attain the majority in US Senate (way to go, Team Blue!). If Warren’s Senate seat became open, a Dem. successor is NOT a sure thing. MA has elected several GOP Governors in recent decades, including one Willard Romney (originally, and now again, of Utah), and a particularly rightwing chap named Silber (John, I think?). The latter I don’t think succeeded in doing too much damage to the Commonwealth. But Mr. Astore should have a better picture of that, as a resident.

            Like

          9. Denise, re your comment about Michigan…if you look at the district Tlaib is in, it is very blue and it’s one of the few places in the entire country that has a large Arab/Palestinian/Muslim population. In other words, like the other Squad districts, it’s an outlier. The four Squad members are sure things on election days, I’m glad to say.

            Like

          10. Thanks for the information, Clif. That puts a different spin on things, puts Tlaib in a different perspective. We can be supremely grateful that her community believes in her!

            Like

          11. Agreed, “the Squad” are (is?) aberrational. They make the Dem. Establishment very uptight, but then again, at least they held their seats on behalf of Team Blue while other Dem. House Members apparently are biting the dust!

            Liked by 1 person

    2. I can’t dispute your characterization of much of the country. However, should the outcome be the unthinkable, I don’t believe it will be because Biden was branded as a radical socialist. Rather, it will be because he didn’t represent enough of a contrast. As in 2016, it was predicted this past spring that Bernie would have won fairly easily. If the Fox polls Jimmy Dore just cited (link provided by Prof. Astore) are any indication, Bernie’s platform of universal healthcare and a Green New Deal would have carried the day.

      Like

      1. I definitely can’t buy the notion of Sanders winning in 2016. We see again and again how opinion polls can prove to be way, way off the mark.

        Like

        1. Greg, my argument for Bernie in 2016 is that he did not suffer from the animus directed at all the standard bearers of the DP by Red America. He had voters blue and red who could see his legitimacy, his independence and his honest concern for the common American suffering at the hands of Big Business.

          In contrast to Trump playing to blind rage, Bernie was a genuine representative of we the people, a policy wonk from decades of working in the boiler room to whom money and power meant little, in contrast to Hillary, the archetype professional politician, making millions giving addresses to the powerful. Being the real thing, a threat to established power, the DP had to take Bernie out. Not being a professional pol, he didn’t have it in him to go to war against it, though many including me would have followed him if he had.

          Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s easy to blame Trump voters — but I’d argue they pretty much know what they’re getting.

    Biden/Harris: Sorry, I’m not a fan. There’s a phoniness to them.

    Faced with the devil you know and the shape-shifters you don’t know, many voters opted for the devil. Others stayed home. And some, to cite Mick Jagger, have sympathy for the devil. “A man of wealth and taste,” indeed.

    Like

    1. But Trump’s wealth is a mirage, and his taste?? Gimme a break! In due time we should have the statistics on what percentage of eligible voters participated this year. I knew all along that the rush of early voting should NOT be viewed as promising for the Dems. Trump’s base, as you yourself have stressed, is far more enthusiastic than the Dems’ collectively.

      Like

  9. I guess I don’t share this boards disdain for the Obama years. I thought there was a lot of progress in those 8 years even with a republican controlled congress for most of his term, as well as GOP majority statehouses. I don’t see any way Gabbard or Warren or Sanders or Yang or any other overt liberal would even break 40%. I think Clinton lost (electoral college) largely because she is a woman. The racists, religion industry, and bigots are still a powerful voting block. And while people profess to wanting programs like Medicare or ACA or other social programs, they have no desire to be taxed for them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Precisely as I was trying to explain earlier today. If the “Liberal! Socialist!” baiting of Biden/Harris proves to bring Trump a second term, imagine how much greater his success would have been against Bernie (who actually self-identifies as “a democratic socialist”) or anyone seen as at all similar. Now, someone could counter this with “But…but…the masses would have turned out at the polls enthusiastically enuf to knock Trump down!” Really? If enuf “right thinking” people couldn’t be motivated to turn out and give Trump the pink slip he’s deserved all along simply because of his revolting racism/sexism, etc., plus bungling of Covid-19, I don’t picture them turning out to oust someone like Trump at all! And there goes our country, deeper and deeper into the cesspool.

      Like

      1. Greg: I’m not sure I completely agree with this pithy statement by Caitlin Johnstone, but it’s telling nonetheless:

        “There’s no point telling the Democratic establishment that Bernie would have won. They know Bernie would have won. That’s why they stopped him.”

        I’d say they stopped him because he’d upset their gravy train … even worse, he might actually have won.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Trump is a desperate, small, dour, sour, old man who will do anything to cling to power. He is grasping at straws as we speak…! He’s lost the popular Vote again (no big surprize) I was playing Scrabble during most of the Count coverage last nite. Needed a distraction. But the bigger thing is his incompetence cost him this Election that was eminently winnable. And.., that is a good thing for at least 1/2 of the country because Trump was the wrong man for the Job from day one.

    Like

    1. As of c. 11 PM Wed. Eastern US Time I’m looking at Trump as having a very strong chance of victory. He has strength in all the states CNN et al. haven’t felt able to call yet. CNN pegs the Electoral College situation at 253 for Biden, 213 for Trump. A lousy 17 is all Biden needs, but these figures aren’t budging, hour after hour. We would be fools if we said “Oh, how can Trump grab 57 more this late in the game?” Trust me, it’s liable to happen, even if things are basically on the level. (That said, Team Trump is, of course, frantically trying to have counting halted and/or as many potential Biden votes as possible discarded.)

      Like

      1. The results I’m seeing from the Associated Press show 264 EC votes for Biden (he took MI and WI) and 214 for the other guy. All the close races would have to go red for the Orange One to get to 270. All Biden needs is NV, and he’s still leading there. Word is that if the mail-in ballots keep the blue trend they’ve shown so far, Biden will carry the state. And I thought it was unbearably tense in 2004….

        Like

  11. It has been my good fortune to not only travel around and live in different parts of the USA, but to venture to other continents and reside in other countries without the attached stigma of being either a combatant or an occupier.
    Many years ago, shortly before my first passport received its initial “Visitor” visa stamp, one of my Uncles pointed out how fortunate I was to be getting out in the world. Doing so would allow me to learn about other cultures and how they viewed the world and, more importantly, I would be able to see the USA from a distance, away from the many factions competing for my vote, my money, my thoughts, and my allegiance.
    Eight years ago, I began touring Europe regularly (I’m a musician) and in April 2019, became a legal resident of The Netherlands. I have, however, maintained my US citizenship. I’ve never made a secret of this though, being only an occasional contributor to this comments section, many of you may have missed those references. Unlike Bruce Springsteen and his ilk, I didn’t call a press conference or arrange a high-profile interview to announce what I just might do if people didn’t vote the way I thought they should. When I realized I no longer felt comfortable in the land of my birth either politically or culturally, I made the necessary arrangements and said “later.” And lest anyone assume I must have the big bucks, here’s the story there: due to the ongoing viral unpleasantness, I haven’t performed onstage since March 1. My sole source of income has been and will likely continue to be my Social Security. And I live quite comfortably. So, by all means, if you’re really unhappy with the state of affairs in the US and see no hope for change due to “the system,” then get your act together and haul ass.

    Much energy and typeface has been expended the past two years referring to Trump by what amounts to (maybe) junior high-level insults and nicknames. What will you do should Biden win? If you voted for him but don’t support him, then you’re a hypocrite for not voting in accordance with your conscience. To say “I didn’t vote for him, I voted against Trump” is specious and intellectually bankrupt. Will you spend the next four years pissing and moaning about how Biden’s not a progressive? About how the DNC is arrayed against Progressives? That’s like blaming the Sun for a sunburn. There are two choices: either seize control of the party or start a separate, Progressive Party. There is no third option. There is no “resistance” only the naive hope that someone will rise and make it all right.
    To use a rallying cry from the 60s, you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. Yes, it is that simple.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve been thinking about your post today, Butsudanbill, and correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that one of your premises is that voting for a candidate, by definition, means one abdicates one’s right to criticize that candidate post-election. That is, if, say, I voted for Biden, I can’t complain about what he does or doesn’t do. I can’t agree. For instance, I voted for Barack Obama mostly on the strength of his adamant, unswerving promise to get single-payer implemented. When he quickly reneged on that promise in a back-room deal, in the process browbeating into silence the leading Congressional proponent of single-payer, Dennis Kucinich, I most vehemently, and, I believe, justifiably, cracked on Obama for the rest of his tenure. Ditto his promise to bring the troops home from the Middle East and Afghanistan. Indeed, I’d posit that the Orange One’s supporters have abdicated their responsibility as citizens for failing to call the incumbent on his failure to make good on his promise to help the working people of this country. His enormous tax-cut package did nothing for the middle class. And so on. No….I believe that if one casts one’s vote because of a candidate’s positions on certain issues, one has every right to criticize when he or she falls short.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. It shouldn’t be put up and shut up. And I don’t think anyone who votes wastes their vote by selecting someone other than the two approved major party “choices.”

        There are so many ways to participate in politics. My main way is writing and advocating for a new approach that actually responds to what regular people want and need. Also, what’s so wrong about peace, love, and understanding? One of these days, maybe I’ll get a chance to vote for a candidate that embraces those tenets, instead of war, hate, and misunderstanding …

        One can dream …

        Like

        1. As a matter of fact, a very dear friend supported the candidacy of Marianne Williamson four years ago. You can’t get more “peace, love, and understanding” than that. But, as with Kucinich and his Department of Peace, I guess the country just wasn’t ready for her in a leadership position. Or….the DNC wasn’t.

          Like

          1. Ms. Williamson was about as far “off the charts” as an attempted politician as Trump was and is!! I actually warmed up to her as she continued to be invited to the “debates,” but then poof! She was disinvited. Surprise, surprise!

            Like

          2. [Pardon a slight digression.] I just read NYT’s (formerly with Slate, which I never followed) columnist Jamelle Bouie’s comments on the election. We knew the ex-Cubans and ex-Venezuelans in Florida would go with (stick with) Trump, but Mr. Bouie reports Trump got more Hispanic votes in Texas this time than 2016. What?! Despite Trump’s vile language about Mexicans, etc.? My own analysis: I have to believe that the Hispanics closest to being able to pass for white–yes, let’s tell it like it is in this thoroughly racist society of ours–are identifying with Trump’s white supremacy pitch. Add a big dose of “I’ve got mine in this country, let’s keep those damned ‘wetbacks’ from coming across the border and ruining everything for me!” Marco Rubio for POTUS 2024??

            Like

          3. Likewise, Charles M. Blow (NYT) reports that a larger percentage of Blacks voted Orange this time than in 2016, especially males. He calls it “standing with their oppressor.” I can’t fathom the reasoning there, especially after the incumbent’s vicious reaction to this summer’s protests.

            Like

          4. Mr. Blow didn’t offer an explanation of the possible thinking behind Black support of the incumbent, but I’d be really interested, from a psychological perspective, to see the logic parsed out.

            As a woman, I can’t emotionally understand how any other members of my sex would vote for the Misogynist-in-Chief, but from my reading, I’ve deduced that some females are drawn to his other overarching values, those being anti-immigrant, racist, and anti-abortion. That last boggles my mind, as I could never, ever, figure out why any woman would want to be told what to do with her body, but the evangelicals are OK with it, apparently.

            However, those overarching values would not appeal to Black males, as far as I know, unless there are sub-categories of racism, under which some Blacks will put up with discrimination against them as long as, say, Hispanics get the same or worse treatment. Hard to discern unless one is of the same race and sex.

            Like

          5. Hey, it must be because Donald J. Trump has done more for black folks than any POTUS since Lincoln, right?? And his open support for White Supremacists?? Oh, forgot about that for a moment, huh? See what using social media has done to the already endangered American’s attention span, huh?

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Good luck with the “Peace, Love and Understanding” thing! In contradistinction to the “two approved major parties,” I learned today that Kanye West had achieved Official Write-in Candidate status here in CT! Thus, he will show up in final tally with at least 206 votes! There’s a “minor” problem with Mr. West from my perspective: he MAY be more deranged than the incumbent POTUS!! Bill Astore, will your write-in vote for Tulsi show up in MA tally?

          Like

      2. With apologies for not being as clear as I might. You can always criticize, but there is a difference between criticizing and complaining. To criticize for failing to deliver or simply backing out of stated positions is one thing, and is certainly justified. But there are those who – again, should Biden win – will complain about his not being in any way progressive, even though he has never given any indication of having any sympathy for the issues progressives value. So criticism is healthy and necessary and I have no problem with it.
        I don’t think any vote is wasted – a tiny voice is still a voice.

        But since a leopard can’t change his spots, you need to find another leopard. The DNC – as we have seen – will not consider or tolerate any attempt to move forward and face the needs of the people.
        We are taught one of the great things about the American form of democracy is its two-party system. As a result, we’ve come to believe there can only be two parties. Recent elections, however, have shown neither party – at its core – is all that much different than the other. There is no valid reason a viable third party can’t be formed. It takes time, commitment, and certainly money. “Working within the party structure” only works for those truly within the party. Again: it’s time to find another leopard.
        (Thank you, Denise, for the thoughtful criticism and input.)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Here comes ‘Debbie Downer’ (cue the trombone!) again to opine: I honestly can’t picture a successful progressive independent party forming and able to attain the presidency BEFORE this whole house of cards collapses in upon itself. Lincoln: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Trump (to himself): “Should I re-tweet this video of dudes chanting ‘White Power!’? Sure, why not?!” I think we should all be disgusted that a POTUS who does stuff like that has won so g-d many votes in 2020. But gee, Steve Bannon says the neo-Nazis would’ve remained invisible and totally inconsequential if “the liberal media” hadn’t given them all that attention. Yeah, okay, Steve. Inshallah.

          Like

        2. I will expect Uncle Joe to fulfill his promises to lower the eligibility age for Medicare to 60, and to put the U.S. on track to be carbon-neutral by 2050. I’ll yell loud and long if he doesn’t do those things. Otherwise, I’ll have no expectations of him. I’ll save my most scathing comments for the party that put him where he is.

          Like

        3. Yes. We need a third party. Call it the Sanity Party. And let’s not make insane choices like endless war, even more nuclear weapons, the denial of climate change, of saying that money equals speech and that corporations are citizens …

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Didn’t Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart call their “fake” political party some years ago something like The Sanity Party? BTW, would the founding documents of such a party include a Sanity Clause? Groucho for president? It appears some other dead guy (an incumbent, I think) won a state or local level election this time.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. BUTSUDANBILL–As I have stated publicly for some time now, I would not hesitate to put the USA in my rearview mirror…if only I had the finances to effect the move!! It has appeared to me over the decades that the Dutch are among the most humane and enlightened people. When they moved to approve euthanasia for the terminally ill, that got my attention, as this is a very big issue for me. Imagine a USA under a President Mike Pence. Oops, forget about access to abortion or euthanasia!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Caitlin Johnstone makes an important point here:

    “All the hours of post-electoral analysis you’re about to hear are just mental gymnastics to avoid confronting one very simple fact: that the way the Democratic Party has been securing funding is incompatible with securing votes. That’s the only correct answer to the question of what went wrong for the Democrats this year. They court wealthy donors who in exchange demand policies which hurt ordinary Americans. Ignore all answers besides this one.

    It’s not because of inadequate outreach to this or that demographic. It’s not because of racism. It’s not because of being too “woke”. It’s not because of the Electoral College or gerrymandering. It’s because Democratic donors advance interests which hurt the Democratic base, which naturally makes the base disinclined to vote for them.

    People simply are not going to support a party which does not advance their interests. If the Democratic Party were obtaining material benefits for people, they would dominate the US government. But that would mean taking things away from the donor class, so it’s been a no-go.”

    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/11/05/electoral-musings-notes-from-the-edge-of-the-narrative-matrix/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I disagree with Ms. Johnstone. RACISM put Trump into his first term. Helped along, of course, by the Dem. candidate turning so many people off. What, GOP candidates aren’t funded by corporate interests?!? Perhaps Ms. Johnstone should move to USA to get a better handle on our situation. Trump’s strength this election, despite all the ugliness of his “soul” on display for five years now–remember, he started campaigning in 2015–is all the proof I need to see that RACISM is still the chief card he plays.

      Like

      1. JPA–Not so hard to get a handle on this. They are gullible people who fall for demagogy, who swallow the BS that the Chinese tip-toed on their petite feet into the USA in the dead of night and stole all our manufacturing jobs, etc., etc. They’re happy to gripe against their own bosses–if they’re lucky enuf to still have jobs–but will vote against unionization in most cases. Again, because they can’t think independently and are susceptible to BS. Independent thinking, I reckon, must be the LEAST valued ability in the US labor force.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Watching CNN International here in Taiwan, and judging by comments made by CNN commentators Wolf Blitzer, Van Jones, and a woman anchor whose name I don’t recall, the Democrats — should their “anybody other than Trump” candidate squeak out a “win” for POTUS — the “lesson” they will claim to have “learned” will involve defeating the nefarious schemes of Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, Iranians, and other “adversaries” of the US. Nothing about barely beating a real-estate con-man and former cable-tv game show host because they failed to offer Americans in distress assistance that might cost Wall Street stock speculators and some ticket-punching careerist generals a tiny slice of their lavish government subsidies.

    Hysterically focusing all their money and efforts on Trump’s obnoxious (to them) personality and evidence-free allegations of “collusion” with “the Russians” never made a credible impression on a few independent-minded “leftists,” not to mention millions of his religious cult followers who absolutely and loyally revere him, as evidenced by the number of Republicans who won election to both the Senate and House riding on Trump’s coat-tails even though his coat didn’t even cover all of him.

    The Democrats may have gotten a temporary reprieve from Trump — at least until 2024 — but the Republican party will tread very lightly indeed around any criticism of him, his policies, or personality. How long the Democrats will celebrate “defeating” the odious Vladimir Putin and his “puppet” Trump ought to prove revealing . . . of pretty much nothing. But the ghosts of Tricky Dick Nixon and Tailgunner Joe McCarthy will smile at all the ref-baiting imitation: the sincerest form of flattery.

    Like

    1. Yes. We don’t need Russians to discourage or disrupt voting or to spread disinformation. Americans are already expert at it and could indeed teach the Russians a trick or two.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It now appears that Biden will win. But let’s not forget who he is:

    “This is the same Joe Biden after all who is so hawkish that he not only supported the unforgivable Iraq invasion but played a leading role in actively making it happen. Who passed the notorious 1994 crime bill which helped explode the US prison population to levels unseen anywhere else in the world. Who made a career out of attacking Republicans for being insufficiently tough on drug use and crime. Who takes credit for authoring the words of the Orwellian Patriot Act years before it was passed when he tried to pass the same measures back when everyone else found such authoritarian oversteps horrifying. Who called WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a “high-tech terrorist”. Who has shamelessly exploited racism at any time it could be used to advance his political career.”

    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/11/06/dont-fool-yourself-your-biden-vote-was-not-a-vote-against-fascism/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Caitlin Johnstone, blah, blah, blah. Is Bracing Views now permanently dedicated to bashing Biden? Looks like it. The overriding, crucially important fact is that a Biden win is a pink slip for Donald John Trump. Period. That’s what matters for the moment. BTW, I am not convinced, at 3:30 PM Eastern Time on 6 November, that Biden is actually triumphant.

      Like

      1. Just a reminder that we all can’t “go back to brunch” just because Biden/Harris have apparently won. If people like us relax our vigilance, Biden/Harris will simply do the bidding of the donors. They’ll probably do that anyway, but at least we can raise a ruckus … no quiet brunch for us!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My turn to share a link to an “outside” op-ed piece. I had never read anything by NYT columnist Roxane Gay, but the title of this piece caught my attention. I certainly didn’t share her enthusiasm for Clinton in 2016, but what she says about racism here is important.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. From Matt Taibbi, who’s noticed how the Democrats are losing the support of workers:

    “The 2020 election showed that the Democrats’ imperious smart-set arrogance, open belief in the idea that minorities owe them their votes, and basically undisguised hostility toward the ordinary small-town person who hasn’t “learned to code,” finally began competing with Republican tone-deafness on race as a negative factor to be weighed by working class voters, of all races.

    Unless they stop lying to themselves about this, and embrace a politics that pays more than lip service to the working person, they will become what the Republicans used to be: an arm of the patrician rich, sneering at the unwashed majority and crossing fingers every election season. It’s not that Trump deserved those votes more. But he at least asked for them, and that was almost enough.”

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/which-is-the-real-working-class-party

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t “follow” Taibbi’s work, but in the past I’ve found him pretty decent at blowing the whistle on governmental BS. However, I see at least two errors just in what is excerpted here: 1.) he seems to be signing off on the GOP’s intentional distortion of Hillary’s “basket of deplorables,” to wit that she was characterizing the white working class on the whole rather than specifically Trump’s hardcore base; 2.) Mr. Taibbi seems a tad slow on the uptake if he perceives the Dems only NOW becoming a tool of “the 1%”! Harkening back to my first point, the closeness of this POTUS contest only underlines the racism that is clearly rampant in those white voters who participate in the electoral process. Really, folks, you have NO PROBLEM with Trump cheering on Nazis??? Give him another four years? Stop the country, I wanna get off!!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s