Saturday, November 12, 2016
What To Do Now
Gee Dan. Miss ya Dude. Hope the party Up There never ends... (Dan Hicks, 1941-2016, "I Scare Myself")
As the protests continue to grow and spread, this election debacle is getting uglier and uglier, as could have been predicted when Trump unleashed the violent id of his many cult followers, and those opposed to his elevation to the Presidency take up the cudgel.
I think all the garment rending and teeth gnashing over the "violence" in the streets is just silly, because there is never -- ever -- any whining or even notice taken of the Official Violence used against protest in this country if someone breaks a window, overturns a news rack, or sets a dumpster fire (in other words, the usual vandalism and disruption that accompanies urban unrest called a "riot.") Woe betide anyone who gets in the way of traffic. OMG! nothing worse than inconveniencing a commuter! Nothing! It's absurd. But that's how the game is played in this country.
You inconvenience anyone, break a window, start a trash fire, or damn your eyes, fail to obey a police order, and you are guilty! guilty! guilty! and deserve whatever horrible fate Authority has in store for you. You Monster, you!
The Usual Suspects are contributing to the usual mayhem in the usual places and those on the sidelines are having their usual vapors over it. Gah.
In the meantime, Hillary's popular vote lead grows and grows. I saw one estimate yesterday that it will probably top out at about 1.5 million more than Trump, and I'd say that's a good estimate except that over 5 million votes are yet to be counted in California alone. As California went massively for Clinton over Trump, her popular vote margin could reach spectacular numbers never seen before.
The petitions to overturn the usual Electoral College rubber stamping have garnered many millions of signatures -- 3 or maybe 4 million between them by now and probably more by the time the EC meets on December 19.
Things are moving fast and it is scary because there is going to be a reaction from the Trump brownshirts and militias, guaranteed.
And there has been a little bit -- just a little bit -- of probing of the curious results from those key states that provided just enough votes to flip the outcome to Trump. Just enough.
He he he.
Of course there are plenty of rationalizations for it. The media was ready with their answers -- white women, hidden rural voters, failure of the vaunted Hillary Ground Game, blah blah blah, the day after the election. They knew, they knew for certain what had happened, and it didn't occur to even one of them that the results might have been jiggered and vote suppression might have been more effective than previously believed. No, it was all on white women, rural voters that had never been seen before and Hillary's failure to get out the vote, not even considering that the margins are so small in these key states -- and only these states -- that it would take no effort at all to flip the results. As if it's never happened before....
Of course as I flog this notion around the intertubes it's shot down right quick. CT! CT! CT! But come on, it's all but obvious.
As Trump falls ever farther behind in the popular vote -- were those results flipped to Clinton somehow? -- and the streets fill with angry, fearful protests (just get over the anarchist allies who are breaking windows and starting dumpster fires) something will have to be done.
The question is what.
So far, most of the protesters appear to be young and white, and they are allied with their brothers and sisters who happen not to be white or properly oriented and gendered and who are terrified by the unleashing of a racist, violent alt-Right authoritarian cum fascist sector of the population under a quasi-Fascist Caudillo who wasn't even chosen by the People of the United States, but is only elevated to the Presidency by an antiquated and deeply anti-democratic provision of our troublesome constitution.
Them's the facts.
Installing Trump in the Presidency (King-Emperor? God?) actually doesn't have to happen under the antiquated and troublesome Constitution, but it probably will. The EC is actually free to choose anyone, but they won't.
The wind Trump has sown will reap a whirlwind such as we haven't seen since the nation split apart in 1860. How that will be resolved, I don't know. There is already some talk of secession by California -- which might be joined by Oregon and Washington. I doubt it will happen, but conceivably it could. That leaves Colorado and New Mexico to consider their own secession. Then there are the Northeastern states that will have to consider their own distancing from the Capital, perhaps secession, perhaps autonomy or some other arrangement.
The brownshirts and militias, for their part, would probably be just as happy to see these Librul Backwaters go, and go quickly.
But the alternative, to quickly show that the vote was jiggered in just those states it needed to be for a Trump EC victory -- bugger the popular vote elsewhere -- is my preferred course. Prevent his elevation, and while it may trigger a violent reaction from his brownshirts and militias, they would probably be put down or accommodated (the likely course) sufficiently to calm their fevered disappointment (Awww. Poor babies.)
Accommodation would include greater autonomy for those parts of the country where their kind are dominant. That could be arranged in many ways, the problem being protection for those who would suffer under their rule. (Viz: North Carolina where the Bathroom Crisis was raised to an extreme level by an out of control R state government that will not back down, No way, no how.)
The only resolution I can think of, and maybe I'm just not thinking creatively about it, is to move the likely victims of the Brownshirts to other areas of the country where they'd be welcome. I know, I know, that's like the Partition of India and Pakistan, but what else are you going to do when the other side will not yield even an inch and every effort to make peace is met with greater levels of hostility and hatred? What do you do? I say get the people who will be harmed out of harm's way.
Is there another solution?
And then the question is who would be President if the elevation of Trump is invalidated? Hillary? Not necessarily. The problem is simple enough. Neither candidate got a majority of the popular vote, at least not so far. Hillary might wind up with a majority if all the votes yet to be counted are heavily in her favor but except in California, I doubt that will happen. So. With neither candidate having a majority in the popular vote, the actual choice would have to be some sort of neutral candidate (as if there were such) to serve in an interim capacity until there could be new elections -- say in a year or 18 months.
OMG. Really? Well, ya know, the problem has been building for many years -- at least since the lawless intervention and usurpation of 2000 -- and it has so destabilized the electoral process that something drastic is necessary. My solution is a way to address it in a way that at least gives a nod to the problem as well as the preservation of at least some semblance of a democratic process.
In my view, the critical factor is to prevent Trump from ascending to the Presidency. First. The rest can follow, but first order of business is to make sure he does not become President.
What about the Congress? What a mess there, too..
The continued Republican dominance in both houses is an existential threat to many Americans if Trump is President. Another Republican might or might not be such a threat. The risk is great, however, no matter who is installed in the Presidency -- even a Democrat or an Independent -- because the Republican Congress, feeling its oats, is eager to slash and burn, caring not a whit who they harm in the process. Wisdom and compassion they have none. They are champing at the bit to prove it, too.
What do you do?
The Republican House is a product of gerrymandering instituted in Republican controlled states after the Democratic electoral collapse of 2010. To my way of looking at it, that collapse was deliberate. An controlled implosion, shall we say, in order to enable a Republican revival after their collapse in 2008. Our parties can and do work together to ensure a certain "balance" if you like. That balance is always-- always-- in favor of the right, and in favor of the preservation of power elites.
Trump has sort of disrupted this long maintained balance, but it looks like he's been trying to wrap his mind around it and be an accommodating figure. You can never tell with him, though, and worse, the balance is shattered and a full-on rightist (indeed, fascist in all but name) and deeply cruel regime would be the result were he to be installed, even under tight wrap.
The Senate's continued R majority is not due to gerrymandering, but it is due -- in part -- to deliberate sabotage of their own candidates by Democratic Pooh-Bahs. Look at Finegold in Wisconsin for a nearly perfect example. There are others. Murphy in Florida is another. Because Hillary was expected to win the Presidency, the calculation was that an R congress -- with or without a D majority in the Senate was OK. Therefore, fully supporting Dem Senate or House candidates, or even mounting candidates who could win as opposed to place-hold, wasn't necessary. I am sick to death of Democratic Party cleverness in these matters. They know how to win elections, but they often deliberately don't. And they are almost as bad at voter suppression as their Friends on the other side.
I really hate this aspect of the Democratic Party, and I'm with a lot of others who want to see the whole system blown to smitereens.
It's a big part of why we're in this crisis now. Damn their eyes!!
But what do you do until the system rights itself? (as if it will. Ha!)
I think the best course is to let the Rs be what they want to be, but have some mechanism-- again -- to prevent the harm they wish to impose on the most vulnerable. That means, first of all, Trump cannot be President. He relishes harming the vulnerable. But if not him, who?
The choice may come down to Hillary for various reasons, but I'd rather it not.
I don't know. But there has to be a brake on the extremes Congress wishes to impose. The courts are incapable of being that brake, and a President Trump would make sure that's true for all time to come. I'm not kidding. That's what they are eager to do. And there would be no way to stop them were they allowed that kind of power.
It would not only be the End of the Republic, it might well be the end of any pretense of a Republic.
Our Rulers, I think, know what dangers this situation represents. Whether they are convinced it's time to overthrow any pretense of a Republic, I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me if they really are that craven. I'm sure they understand that the current situation is unsustainable whether or not Trump is installed in the Presidency. It just can't go on like this.
Consequently, I imagine there's a lot of scrambling going on among the High and the Mighty to find a resolution and compromise before December 19. They may not succeed, but then again they might.
But something has to be done.
That's for certain.