Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The Pandemic and the Democratic Party

The Democratic party should be screaming at the TOP OF THEIR LUNGS against Trump's and Republican governors' mismanagement of the pandemic response. They should be proposing bills, even if the Republican legislators block them and executives veto them. They should be filing lawsuits in every available court. They should be aggressively organizing whatever protests can be safely conducted during the pandemic. They should be in the news media EVERY DAY with op-eds and articles saying that this or that must be done and must be done right fucking NOW to control the pandemic.

And, as a major political party, they should have the organizational ability to do all of the above.

The Democratic Party should do all of the above because it is their patriotic duty to do so. I'm not a big fan of patriotism, but if anyone has a patriotic obligation, a major political party that (supposedly) wants to govern is at the top of the list.

More importantly, the Democratic Party should do all of the above because it would be incredibly politically successful. They could, if they chose, completely destroy the Republican Party, and secure decades of Democratic Party governance. Machiavelli is spinning in his grave at the Democrats' basic political ineffectuality.

(All of the above applies also to the mounting protests against egregious police violence.)

It's not like I'm some great political genius, and it's not like the Democratic Party employs only exceptionally stupid people to enact its political agenda. This is not rocket science or brain surgery.

Instead, the Democratic party has decided to just let Trump and the Republicans do their thing and kibbutz from the sidelines, letting the Republicans twist in the wind. Unfortunately, it leaves hundreds of millions of Americans twisting in the wind.

This strategy might just win them the Presidency in 2020, even with all of Biden's handicaps. But it won't win them a veto- or filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and it won't destroy the Republican party. Instead, it will leave the Republicans strong enough to resist the Democratic party agenda in the 20s.

It might be that the Democratic party really is that incompetent or stupid: Hanlon's razor, n'est ce pas? Or it might be that part of the Democratic party's goals is the preservation of the Republican party, because the Democrats' ideology and policy considerably overlaps the Republicans: the Democrats cannot destroy the Republican party without abandoning the overlap. Either way, stupidity or malice, the Democratic party refuses to aggressively further the interests of the majority of the American people.

But I think it is malice: the Democratic and Republican parties both actively endorse the power of the billionaires.

The billionaires at best do not care about — and at worst approve of — the deaths of millions of working Americans and the permanent damage tens of millions more have and will suffer.

Therefore, the Democratic party does not care about these deaths and suffering, except that they make Trump look bad.

If Biden wins, he will at best have a narrow majority in the Senate. The pandemic will still be raging in the U.S., and the economic effects will start spiraling out of control.

I predict that the Biden administration will undertake a few token and largely ineffectual measures to address both the health and economic effects of the pandemic, not out of any real concern for American workers, but to establish a trivial differentiation from the Republican regime. Otherwise, the Biden administration — like the Obama administration — will continue to transfer wealth and political power to the billionaires. A continuing pandemic helps that effort, so the Biden administration will not take effective measures against it.

Regardless of who wins, the next four years are going to be a real shitshow.

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