For those who believe in the rule of law and aspire to a vibrant democracy in the United States, the political situation in America seems at times almost hopeless.
One has the sense that one is being borne down a river toward a waterfall by immutable forces, as if on a steamboat which has lost its power and missed an important turn into a tributary, and is now drifting downstream silently and inexorably toward the waterfall.
The Republicans seem to be assured of winning both the House and the Senate in the upcoming elections in November.
With strong leadership, the Democrats might have a chance of pulling it out, with a campaign focused sharply on the right to an abortion, the absolute necessity of gun legislation which includes a ban on assault rifles, and robust opposition to Donald Trump and the pro-Russian elements of the Republican Party.
But there is no strong leadership in sight, either at the congressional or at the presidential level.
It is pure folly for the Democrats to be supporting pro-Trump candidates in the illusory belief that such action will make it easier for them to win seats in November.
The unprincipled Machiavellianism of this approach is utterly despicable, and also likely to be self-defeating. This can occur whether by helping extreme Trumpist candidates win despite Democratic calculations, or by disillusioning Democratic voters through the unprincipled methods endorsed by the Democratic leadership, for example, by Nancy Pelosi’s PAC.
Sophia Cai, “Democrats play with fire in GOP primaries,” AXIOS, June 13, 2022.
If the Democrats don’t stand for principles, how are they any different from the Republicans who they criticize for being unprincipled?
If the Democrats don’t stand for principles, what do they stand for?
This action alone demonstrates that it is time for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to step aside.
As for presidential leadership, we are well past the point where recommendations to Joe Biden that he take stronger action against Donald Trump and his supporters make any sense.
Biden is stubborn and will not change unless forced to.
Biden has decided not to indict Trump and his collaborators, as has Attorney General Merrick Garland. Anything Garland might do now, following the revelations in the January 6 Committee hearings, will come too late to have any effect on the November elections.
The January 6 Committee hearings are a well-intentioned effort to pierce the propaganda bubble of Trump and his supporters, most of whom seem to have tuned out from the hearings. Fox News, their default news channel, is not even carrying the hearings.
The real battle must be to collapse the alternate universe of lies and misrepresentation in which Trump and his supporters continue to thrive.
What the Democrats need is a billion dollar campaign to run political ads on Fox News where they highlight the extraordinary revelations that have surfaced in the January 6 hearings and explain why they are important. Every day.
But there are no signs of this happening.
Biden’s failures now appear irreversible. Let us cite only three of them.
First, he has failed to modify the Senate filibuster and pass legislation to protect voting rights and the integrity of election processes at the state level.
Second, he has failed to pass federal legislation protecting the right to an abortion.
Third, he has failed to ramp up the war production of armaments, to expand the manufacture of arms to support Ukrainian defense forces for the next five years and to replace equipment and arms sent to Ukraine by drawing down on American arms stocks.
The list could go on. With approval ratings in the upper 30’s, it is clear that Biden could not win reelection even if he were to be the choice of the Democratic Party. As was the case in 2020, Kamala Harris is unlikely to make it past the first Democratic primaries.
Biden and Harris need to get out of the way so that candidates with a better shot at the presidency can openly compete and build their followings.
But the personal ambitions of both Biden and Harris make this seem highly unlikely.
If only they could see beyond their own ambitions and act for the good of the country!
How are things going in American politics?
The octogenarians in the Democratic party maintain their death grip on the future of the party and of the country.
This is bad news for Ukraine. Things are not going well on the American Front in the war to defend Ukraine and our civilization against Russian aggression.
The Trenchant Observer