Close Run

I took a day off blogging yesterday, something that only happens once every couple of years, as you’ve probably noticed. I was definitely hoping we’d have a bit more certainty today about the outcome of the US presidential election. I think I’d be more confident Joe Biden had won if it weren’t for my long history of being disappointed by democracy, and the incumbent’s strange twilight fascistic urges. “Not even a proper fascist,” somebody said, which is somewhat true, but it’s not for want of trying.

My first encounter with an election was when I was tiny and my mum said she was going voting and I thought she said “boating” and I wanted to come too.

“No,” she said, “voting.”

“Yes,” I said, “boating. I want to come too.”

This exchange was repeated a few times and I ended up accompanying her to a church hall where she did something boring in a booth and then we went home.

“When are we going boating?” I complained.

“I told you, it’s not boating, it’s voting.”

“That’s what I said. Boating.”

It hasn’t really improved since then — I can recall feeling good when Tony Blair got in — the first time a UK result favoured my side since I was old enough to take part — and Blair of course proved a colossal disappointment (the signs were already there but at least he wasn’t a Tory) and Obama was a relief but also subsequently disappointing in many ways but at the very least at least he paused the deterioration.

So I’ve become a pessimist about these things which is against my normally sunny nature. And here we need a clear result or else Trump seems likely to cause trouble, and Nevada is driving me crazy right now. You can’t find the resources to keep counting?

I don’t want to make anyone complacent but it is possible that Trump’s noises thus far are largely for his own benefit, I suppose. We know he has a fragile (maybe unformed?) ego and so maybe he has to tell himself he won, just for self-preservation? Will he actually attempt to seize the election? Legal challenges are to be expected, including baseless ones, unless the outcome is super-positive and even then, he’ll probably try. I’m just hoping there are no extra-legal challenges and no violence.

Is that too much to ask?

21 Responses to “Close Run”

  1. David Ehrenstein Says:

    Elections are depressing. Especially this one. But Orangina is losing.

    Monty Python Explains it All To You

  2. Putin must have ghosted his orange friend (according to an obsessive-compulsive Liberal logic, which censored Glenn Greenwald, that Kremlin stooge). Forgive me if I bow to the superior cunning of Democrat Fascism.

  3. Biden’s going to be disappointing, especially with a potentially Republican House, but I feel prepared for that, just now at least. Was not prepared for four more years of Trump. Still nervous about what Twitler’s going to do.

  4. Trump has lost, and the people showing up for his “legal challenges” are of the caliber of Rudy G. and Eric Trump. This in contrast to 2000, where the Bush family could deploy its aristocratic assets, including a brace of sharp lawyers. And that was for a recount; stopping the count is still a bridge too far. The GOP is abandoning Trump; Twitter resounds with yelps of betrayal. It’s sweet. Pain behind us and pain in front of us, but for now: seconds of pleasure.

    There’s a slim chance that the Dems will take the Senate, since both Georgia races are now going to a runoff. Usually Democrats are at a disadvantage in special elections, but maybe “usual” is passe. It will be an interesting test of how the turnout and anti-suppression machine that’s been built in that state will fare against a Trumpless GOP. (He’ll still be in office, but fuming against his own party — and most importantly, not on the ballot.)

  5. One among many casualties of this race: single-payer healthcare, whose main spokesman has explicitly and publicly relinquished that dear, sweet idea in the name of “Unity”. After four years of gameshow Trump, Russiagate, impeachment, the 24/7 obsession with his every tweet, wall-to-wall anti-Trump coverage, Obama’s intelligence apparatus trashing his every move, the sexist, racist, inarticulate buffoon who reads from a used-car salesman script…and it’s a nailbiter. A nailbiter. The Democrats are dead, whether they ultimately win or lose. Permanent lame-duck status. They could flip over and support labor, healthcare from cradle to grave, jobs programs and increased taxes on the rich to fund the social commons. But they won’t.

  6. David Ehrenstein Says:

    Glennzilla is also gay — making him Roy Cohn 2.0

  7. But he’s the one being accused of stooging for the Kremlin by neo-McCarthyites in the Democratic Party. Not sure how your analogy is supposed to work.

  8. Russian collusion as neo-McCarthyism is a sobering comparison. But my feeling is that America has been under a kleptocracy and Trump has been selling American foreign policy to the highest bidder. Which is in character for him, right? We saw this in the Ukraine-related impeachment. We saw it openly with China. And I don’t believe Trump would balk at Russia. It’s not bad because it’s Russia, specifically: it’s bad because American foreign policy has been used for things not in the interest of America or its allies, just in the interests of Trump.

    Did you see Jeff Sessions talking about his pre-election meeting with the Russian ambassador? “How long did you meet?” “Maybe ten minutes.” “What did you discuss?” “I don’t remember.” The meeting is suspicious, was ill-advised, but doesn’t prove anything. The fact that he was obviously lying about it is highly suggestive, though.

  9. Sure, it’s TOTALLY not suspicious that when he met with Putin for hours, Trump refused to have any American present other than a translator, and then told the translator to destroy her notes.

    Just because Russians (not Soviets!) are involved doesn’t mean that accusations of collusion are “McCarhtyism.”

    Russia’s “government” is in fact Putin’s crime family. There are others — so Putin’s stepping aside from power risks his ending up like the recently deceased “sausage king,” shot by a crossbow in a sauna. My sense is that this year’s bargain-basement Hunter Biden farce was a matter of leftover shit being shopped around by lesser mafiosi looking to make a profit, reap some favors, etc.

    Trump’s affinity with this mobster world is incontrovertible and very longstanding; becoming President just stepped it up a notch. World leaders, whether elected or not, who turn public trust into private business are doing what he understands. They’re “smart.” Hence his relationships with Erdogan, the Gulf State oil-ocrats, Netanyahu. Oh, but don’t throw Putin in there — he’s RUSSIAN. McCarthyism!

    As for David E’s comparison of Greenwald with Roy Cohn — well, a gay man with far-right affinities? That’s what Greenwald has always been, and now he’s swirling down the fascist toilet with his bestie Tucker Carlson. I doubt that he’s as personally vicious or corrupt as Cohn, though. I started reading his stuff in the early noughts, I think, and one thing that quickly became clear, even when I was agreeing with him, is that he’s not that bright.

  10. Imagining Glenn Greenwald on the political right is, of course, capital “D” Delusional, capital “R” Risible — though in no way surprising. That particular cliche fulfulls an even more cliched ideological need to eradicate (especially in the realm of ideas) a legitimate Left. Liberals think that’s where they stand: on the left… You guyz iz kookoo bananas and have spent years internalizing Joe McCarthy. The election results say more than I ever could about the Democratic Party’s commitment to dismantling the New Deal. “Glass-Steagall… Wazzat?” Perhaps you dislike Greenwald for exposing your party’s genocidal agenda in Gaza, its expansion of Bush wars and internal surveillance here at home, so and etcetera? You are conservative technocrats with no poiltical viability. I’ll leave you to sputter.

  11. Daniel enjoys his trolling, but is no sincere in his defence of Greenwald and disgust at the Democratic Party. But the fact that he doesn’t address any of the points Katya raises suggests he’s not sure of his footing on the factual basis of Russiagate, and I don’t believe Greenwald, or Matt Taibbi, know much about it either. But they’ve sunk their journalistic credibility into a dismissive approach to it and can’t afford to back down, or learn too much.

  12. The Baffling Malignity of American Politics
    Dems point boney, sawed-off digits at Greenwald #4,321

    It is a miracle of absurd misdirection, Liberal QAnon theory, mirroring yokel fantasies a little *too* well for my taste — I would frankly not have believed such beyond-the-pale symmetries possible. And I pause before writing this, dear hearts… Liberals posit Glenn Greenwald as a “right-winger” (yes, ethical noodge and comrade on the Hard Left — THAT Glenn Greenwald!).

    They dare compare him, on the basis of his status as a gay man, to Roy Cohn — Joe McCarthy’s lawyer. Skipping over the fetid homophobia of this Liberal analogy, I’ll ask: Doesn’t the mind of a Neo-McCarthyite, screaming “RUSSIA!” for four years, rebel under its own imagined scenario…HE’S the McCarthyite?!

    Phooey and Oy Gevalt, Ladies and Gentlemen.

    As for my footing, David: What ARE the charges against Greenwald — the ones you imagine I’m avoiding here? And do you support the Intercept’s censoring him? I ain’t heard a peep on that score, because Liberals dote on censorship. Is Noam Chomsky in on this conspiracy you posit without evidence? He dismisses Russiagate in the same terms Greenwald does.

    Admit that you are “arguing the world” from the flimsiest ethical ground: Party Loyalty, which puts you on the side of slow-motion genocide, endless war… You avoided MY charges… Why? Call me a “troll” again and I’ll come to Scotland, rip off your thatched roof and scream: “YOU ARE POOR — STOP SIDING WITH U.S. IMPERIUM, DOPE!”

    PS — those films Rosenbaum sent me? You gotta chisel em.

  13. Serendipity: Dovzhenko’s KGB-connected widow made the most visually nuanced films ever commited to celluloid! AND(!!) she starred in that filmic tribute to intergalactic solidarity: AELITA, QUEEN OF MARS. Only in the movies (and Liberal QAnon Theory!), huh? Ehrenstien… EVER SEE THEM???????

  14. Don’t take my trolling seriously as I address my (purely imaginary) liberal interlocutor: Straw man shit, ok? YOU are the reason that collusion doesn’t matter. YOU habitually and systemically excuse, endorse and cheer for it. The U.S. assassinates democratically elected leaders who threaten the corporate bottom line. Your ilk SUPPORTS THAT. But, magically, Trump’s cliched collusion shocks (SHOCKS!) you — sure, on the basis of opprtunism and “Trumpist” branding, certainly not principle. You cannot prove that Russia’s piddling interference had any impact on the election results. So maybe CNN and NPR would shut the fuck up for five seconds? America successfully installed Yeltsin. No tears from Rachel Maddow’s echo chamber… America is at war with 8 (fucking world- war numbers, you liuberal lunatic!) countries on the basis of “collusion”, your favorite OCD locution. Shall I list the political assassinations, wars, genocides for you — the ones that liberals yawn to, vote for and applaud? And now you wonder “Gee, how could the election be so close?” YOUR PARTY DOES NOTHING BUT SHIT ON WORKING-CLASS AND POOR PEOPLE, WHILE PERFORMING HYPOCRITICAL VICTORIAN MORALS — THAT’S HOW, DUMBASS! Again, no offense intended.

  15. Again, nobody on the left I’m aware of ever argued that Russia got Trump elected: that’s not the charge. So left and right are talking about totally different things, and Greenwald’s position situates him on the right *on this particular topic*, no matter where he stands on other issues.

    What Greenwald and Taibbi refuse to admit, in a way that is telling, is that whether collusion existed/exists is a question of fact, uninfluenced by politics. It’s not like Schroedinger’s cat. It either happened or it didn’t, and your beliefs can’t change that, so looking at the facts is genuinely useful here.

    Greenwald getting “censored” for telling lies is like Trump getting warnings on Twitter. A piddling affair. The Intercept was perfectly happy for Greenwald to be a Russiagate denier for four years, but drew the line at him stating provable untruths.

    Daniel, you called yourself a troll in emails to me multiple times, so I was just helping readers parse your ranting and understand that it doesn’t mean we can’t be friends…

  16. Facts can be less important than posture (“Heaven forfend,” say the empiricists). Take, for instance, wall-to-wall media coverage across an entire presidential term blasting readers, listeners and viewers alike with such shrill and, frankly, dangerous rhetoric that facts themselves were buried, nuclear war foolishly stoked. Despite fruitless expenditures (would that Flint had received that money instead), the project to oust Trump never proved that Russian interference changed our 2016 election results by one jot, tittle or speck. Of course, the Dems’ nifty little shriek-fest also helped strengthen Trump politically. And what about that fancy-sounding word “collusion”, often repeated minus any reasonable attempt at definition legal or otherwise, context (i.e., the routine nature of US interference, which successfully installed Boris Yeltsin and left countless other freely elected leaders out of a job or dead). It’s natural to wonder, given such willed ignorance and lack of sane priorities, if liberals were literally driven mad by their ignominious and spectacular electoral defeat. Yes, facts can matter less than the political wastrels and suicidal ideologues who often wield them.

  17. The Mueller probe made a profit (all those confiscated Manafort ill-gotten gains). And it’s purpose was not to show that Russia got Trump elected, but to find whether the Trump campaign was in cahoots (or “collusion”) with Russia’s IRA — this it failed to do, though it noted that this was because Trumpists lied, destroyed evidence and refused to give interviews. It did uncover much wrongdoing and a bunch of people went to jail.

    The Dems argued their case and explained the evidence very badly, even choosing the charges in the impeachment in a ridiculous manner (it was a clear case of soliciting bribes, and had that been stated the public would at least have understood the issue).

    I would basically agree with you that all this corruption is a side-issue, insignificant compared to the environment or social justice or the mishandling of the pandemic. But was there bribery? Was US policy for sale? Is Trump corrupt? Knowing that he saw foreign policy as an opportunity to enrich himself helps us understand his approach to Covid-19 and much else.

  18. “But was there bribery?” You mean “was the eternal principle of US foreign and domestic policy playing out as ever”? Um, sure? “Was US policy for sale?” The vast bulk of our national history fits the bill, but I’ll humor you. It would seem that even you, a Liberal, can’t help seeing this four-year collective spasm for what it was. And here, I’ll take your admission that Trump’s “collusion” is a side-issue and call it a day.

  19. The Democrat Establishment could not blame Russia this time around. So it pursued the same McCarthy logic by lambasting progressives like AOC for its own losses. The stanard ethical breach of “blame others, never look within” is worth mentioning, I suppose. But I’m more interested in the now total absorption this party has undergone — remember when Liberals hated on Elia Kazan for naming names? Ha!

    They’ve painted Glenn Greenwald a Kremlin Stooge and twitchily look to their political Left for treachery and deceit… when… “Mirror mirror on the wall…” AOC is correct: every one of the single-payer Democrats won a Congressional seat. Yup, ideology is to blame for Joe Biden’s narrow, still-unofficial escape from defeat — and for the Dems’ stunningly poor showing across the board. But we should recognize said crimson ideology written across Pelosi’s forehead in blood. Which leads me to HOPE! CHANGE! SO AND ETCETERA!

    “Vampire Capitalism”casts no reflection.

    And yet, it’s losing in the polls drop by drop.

  20. I’m being sincere when I say that AOC will be my new Goddess if she follows through on her vague (PLEASE, ATHENA, LET HER MEAN IT) and beautiful threat to leave politics. She speaks of support for prgressive ideas in the populace (YUP!) and hostility toward “anything that even smells progressive” within her party. AOC could do what Bernie Sanders has thus far refused to do: start a movement beyond electoral options and 100% INDEPENDENT of corporate shills. I hereby paraphrase my Goddess-elect: “Elections blow chunks on our impoverished heads — the streets, mooks — the STREETS are our permanent headquarters.”

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