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Showing posts from July, 2024

France and Britain Just Gave the Finger to Fascism

There is now ample evidence that people with democratic systems of government actually like them, and would just as soon keep them, flaws and all. There seems to be a strong backlash occurring in several European countries, a trend toward shoring up democracies threatened by toxic authoritarian forces. In Poland last year, then in France and Britain last week, actual voters — as opposed to deeply compromised opinion polls — gave a big middle finger to the fascists in their midst. I don’t pretend to understand the electoral systems of these countries — let alone their political currents — but I’m struck by the apparent connections between different elections in different countries, and what they might be saying to us. I’ve spoken before of Poland , where ten years of vicious minority rule was overturned at the ballot box. A ban on abortion was the galvanizing issue — sound familiar? — and it brought an overwhelming number of voters to the polls, many for the fir

The Trouble With “Going High”

  Michelle Obama famously said of Republicans, “When they go low, we go high.” While I applaud the sentiment, she may not have fully understood just how low Republicans might go, given enough time and money. I assume she and her husband have since adjusted that equation. Both are surely on Trump’s lengthy enemies list, and no amount of going high will count for much if he takes over. It's time for Democrats to rethink that approach. Being on the side of right and good doesn’t seem to be cutting it right now. I’m hearing a lot of hand-wringing about the fanatical low-ness of the fanatical right, but not much   about practical ways to deal with it. Our imagination has failed us. We never imagined people so vile. We knew such people existed, but felt surely they were only on “the fringes.” We ignored the warning signs. Now, the Supreme Court is finished with warning signs. If there were any questions remaining about the unacceptable direction they want to take

Democrats, Step Away from the Ledge

  Anxiety comes easily to Democrats. We’re highly practiced at perceiving a crisis, wanting to fix it immediately, and being consistently frustrated when we can’t. Democrats understand consequences, which is why we always have plenty to worry about. Republicans don’t give a rat’s ass about consequences — which is, let’s face it, their superpower. I wasn’t intending to write about last Thursday’s debate, mostly because I post on Tuesdays, and this could be old news by the time it gets to you. But then the New York Times weighed in with a wildly disingenuous editorial calling for Joe Biden to drop out of the race, and the rest of the mainstream media piled on. In the Times' not-so-humble opinion, Biden needs to consider “the good of the country,” something their own paper has repeatedly failed to do for almost a decade. And since this is now the crisis du jour for virtually every Democrat who watched that shitshow, I thought I might at l