“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” – Confucius
“On March 26, 2020, the people of the United States desperately needed a leader (for the Covid-19 Pandemic). Instead they got Donald Trump and Sean Hannity.” – Brian Stelter, HOAX: Donald Trump, FOX News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth, 2020
“Too many of us Democrats bought into the right-wing notion that government is synonymous with failure. At a time when Americans are being encouraged to lose faith in the ability of their government to do good, we shied away from explaining how the government could play a legitimate role in reform. Our reluctance to do this made it easier–not harder–for the bad buys to misrepresent the plan.”– James Carville, We’re Right, They’re Wrong, 1996
“Ronald Reagan embodies that generation which was familiar with penury and privation when its members were children and has known very little except comfort and abundance when its members were adults…(His politics) is a politics of myth, which so transcends reality, that when quite real persons are suddenly cast into his epics, they are chagrined to discover themselves rendered more mythic than they wish.” – Murray Kempton, 1979
“Blowback – a term the CIA invented to describe the likelihood that our covert operations in other people’s countries would result in retaliations against Americans, civilian and military, at home and abroad.” – Chalmers Johnson, Blowback, The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, 2000
“Instead of demobilizing after the Cold War, the United States imprudently committed itself to maintaining a global empire…The American people may not know what is done in their name, but those on the receiving end surely do–In a broader sense, blowback is another way of saying that a nation reaps what it sows. Although individuals usually know what they have sown, they rarely have the same knowledge on a national level, especially since so much of what the managers of the American empire have sown has been kept secret.” – Chalmers Johnson, “Introduction: After 9/11,” Blowback, 2nd Edition, 2004
“Come Senators, Congressmen please heed the call; Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall; For he who gets hurt will be he who has stalled. There’s a battle outside and it’s ragin’, It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls; For the times they are a changin’;
Come mothers and fathers throughout the land; And don’t criticize what you can’t understand; Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command; Your old road is rapidly agin’, Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand; For the times they are a changin’.” – Bob Dylan, 1964(2020?)
As citizens of North Dakota ignore the common sense of their Governor, and South Dakotans obey the idiocy of theirs, they hit bars, restaurants, street fairs, and bike rallies without masks to implement Donald Trump’s “herd immunity” with their unique “herd mentality,” in loyalty to Trump’s bizarre, destructive anti-science. It’s clear that November 3rd, 2020 is “D Day” for American democracy in many, many ways. Election day this year is also “D Day” for corporate empires bleeding American taxpayers’ wallets and consciences so dry that we lack funds and, even the will, to protect ourselves as well as we could under sane and sober leadership. From private prisons that torture would be immigrants answering the beacon of the Statue of Liberty, to “guns for hire,” first in Iraq, then in “open carry” madhouses domestically, our basic security, as well as our freedoms are under mortal attack by people who claim to be law abiding citizens.
Of all frauds (even crimes) perpetrated by the Republican Party and so-called “Conservatives” on this world, the worst have been attacks on science and the environment. Republican failures, with some Democrats, to respect dangers of climate change, have enhanced bottom lines of fossil fuel billionaires, but put the lives of every person on the planet in danger. Republican threats to our freedoms, as well, are recognizable from Joe McCarthy onwards, all bent on making the American flag, a Republicans’ only flag. Covid-19 is not a hoax. Trump’s Republican Party is. Only my KGB animal friends could make any sense of the Alice in Wonderland world of today.
High Plains Reader: Is Donald Trump the Blowback that the CIA feared, rather than 9/11?
Putin: Real blowback against overweening corporate power in U.S. history can be violent, but its nonviolent aspect is often more effective. It is signaled by third party movements, whose reforms or reactions are usually coopted or frustrated by one or both of the two parties and the “old order establishment” in Washington, D.C. — as referred to by Bob Woodward (Rage).
Rasputin: New Deal, Square Deal and Great Society reforms of Social Security, Labor Union empowerment, expansion of immigration quotas, minority and female empowerment, Medicare, Medicaid, conservation and concern for the environment came about when blowback from the governed was voted into power, and actually carried out by elected officials, despite intense lobbying against such reforms by the rich and powerful of the “old order.”
Torquemada: “Packing” the Judiciary with reactionary judges slowed down, but did not ultimately defeat changes demanded by critical majority numbers of American voters. Only state organized or sanctioned mayhem and violence can do that to a democracy. There was plenty of that kind of horror in the pre-Nuclear Age, just like today – because, sadly, it works.
Lena: World War II finished the job of destroying the old order of world domination centered in Europe begun by World War I, and it brought prosperity for average Americans. But, it also gave a new lease on life for the “old order” in Washington, D.C. and a corporate world, un-chastened by disasters of the “old orders” in Europe and Asia.
Kim Dog Un: On the “good” side, Cold War burdens against the Soviet Union and Maoist China were masked by post World War II prosperity, but, on the “bad and ugly” side, unfinished business of racial and gender injustice remained. The “military-industrial-complex,” (Pentagon, Congress, Armaments Industry) as described by President Eisenhower, continued to seek world Empire, using up savings and sanity – manpower and will power of the American taxpayer.
Madame Inspector Chen: Costs of American Empire in SE Asia were challenged in the 1960s: at colleges, in the streets, and in unfriendly confines of the Democratic Party, but the “old order” that ran Washington, D.C. in 1968, didn’t get that message. President Nixon’s liberal domestic agenda (black small business, Native American empowerment, “Earth Day”) was clouded by his contempt for the “regular order of the American Constitution,” and (Secretary of State) Henry Kissinger’s determination to crush resistance to American Empire in the MidEast, Latin America & Asia. Détente with China and Russia did not yield a prosperity dividend for Middle America.
Putin: A short, unhappy, one term Presidency of Jimmy Carter, 1977-1981, produced progress in the appointment of black Federal Judges, but the “old order” brought in Ronald Reagan, with near treasonous methods to hold political power, exhibited by Oliver North and “Iran-Contra.”
Mr. Crying Wolf: President Reagan engaged in a spending spree that transferred wide swaths of government operations to the private sector, with costs being borne by present and future American taxpayers. While railing against “Government as the Problem,” Reagan made it so. It was a brilliant strategy — as long as one truly hated government “for the people.”
Rasputin: The Soviet Empire had been crumbling well before the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, but Soviet propaganda and espionage, what Russian oligarchs do best, had concealed it from the West. Reagan’s boastful, expensive “build up” of nuclear weapons was a waste, just as the “Nuclear Freeze Movement,” led by Cold Warrior, George Kennan, said it was.
Chicago Dog: What was needed in 1990, was an audit of waste in the Pentagon Budget: price gouging; redundant machines for each military branch, that made money for a few, but no sense for the rest of the U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Congress lacked the will to make good on his “read my lips” promise of no new taxes through fiscal restraint or he might have had a 2nd term. Bush I was done in by more blowback of the voters in 1992, one third voting for 3rd Party candidate, Ross Perot; the winning third going to Democratic Party Candidate, Bill Clinton.
Señor Perro: President Clinton had brains, but not guts, to take on D.C.’s old order. To appease fiscal hawks he ended welfare — without a jobs plan – for Green Energy, Medicare For All, or big infrastructure repair–nada. Clinton stayed out of truly disastrous escalations in the Balkans, but views of sensible “Minimalist” Generals like Michael Hayden (USAF, NSA, CIA) found their advice ignored by policy makers in the thrall of Dick Cheney, John Bolton and other “Neo-Conservative” warmongers in policy think tanks, media, Congress and the Pentagon.
Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: Clinton’s personal failings, exploited by the extra constitutional shenanigans of a right wing prosecutor, Ken Starr, became the focus of attention for the Republican Party and the nation, instead of a healthy debate on just how to turn a “Peace Dividend” from the Cold War into long term investment in middle class empowerment in the U.S. and for the rest the world our “leaders” claimed to care about.
Corporal Kangaroo: In disgust, American voters turned again to “Third Party” alternatives in 2000; Bill Bradley’s challenge to Al Gore in the Democratic Primary, John McCain’s challenge to George W. Bush in the Republican Primary; Ralph Nader’s challenge to both parties in the General Election. The “old order” won again; this time with agency of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Omar Khayyam: On September 11, 2001, a “Third Party” challenge came in the form of real terrorism from Al Qaida; not fancied terrorists of Reagan’s Pat Buchanan among disgruntled Puerto Rican Americans in New York and Chicago in the 1980s or Trump’s William Barr in 2020, among disgruntled “blue wave” voters across the nation and peaceful protesters against murderous cops that Attorneys General like Barr have traditionally refused to prosecute.
Chicago Dog: After 9/11, only Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) had the guts to stand up for the civil liberties being voted away by Congress, along with American’s financial security and hope for decent health care. Republicans and Wall Street soon ran Democrat’s surpluses into the red.
Schickelgruber: Bush the First at least had had enough brains to get allies to help fight Saddam Hussein in the first Iraq war to protect Western oil interests and Empire in the Middle East. Bush the Second didn’t, and so endless war continued “over there,” while at home, Bush II proved that his government couldn’t protect New Orleans from hurricanes, and wouldn’t protect us from climate change. Blowback this time produced a black President, Barack Obama.
Rasputin: Once again the “old order” played race cards: Tea Party rhetoric, and attacks on voting rights for people of color. A critical mass of Obama voters turned in displaced and understandable, though perhaps naïve, anger, to non-voting, 3rd Party candidates, or to Donald Trump. With help from racist and misogynist, Vladimir Putin, and unwitting social media Tsars, William Barr was presented with his opportunity to overthrow pesky notions of democracy with a Trump/Pence oligarchic dynasty. If Trump were sane, it might have been easy.
Prudence Possum: But Trump is not sane. He is a “sick man,” as described by his niece, Mary Trump, a trained psychologist. Things have gotten sticky for “Badass Bill” and the old order.
Agatha Alligator: The D.C. swamp has overheard Trump’s Barracuda Barrister complaining to Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mindless Mark Meadows (a refugee from the soggy residue of the Tea Party), that Trump is defeating their best plans to save the “old order American Empire” from liberal democracy with his tiny attention span, limited brain power, massive ego and big mouth.
B-6th-power: My God Mark! How many Blue State Governors and Mayors do I have to indict before we can declare martial law? Can’t right wing media hounds find Antifa “terrorists,” more than 20% can believe in? Are Republicans really that terrified of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s ghost?
Mindless Meadows: You should know Bill, that Trump’s rage accurately reflects the mood of much of his base with genuine grievances against most all of us in D.C. While they may not vote Democrat, they might turn on any Republican who questions the sole outlet for their frustrations. Moscow Mitch and Republicans up for election on November 3rd, are terrified. Even replacing (deceased Supreme Court Justice) Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a female Neanderthal as out of step with democracy as they are, will save them from voters’ wrath, if they get crosswise with Trump.
B-6th power: Of course. But will Mitch back us if we turn to martial law re: Election Day? Joe Biden isn’t just another old white guy who will go along with the American Empire we know and love, like the old days. He now leads a whole “gang” of women and minorities who are going to turn “our kind” out of power. Do you have any idea what Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is going to do to Wall Street if she gets her hands on the Chairmanship of the Banking Committee?
Mindless Meadows: I do. I have nightmares about the Four Horsewomen of the Democratic Party Apocalypse: Fairness, Equity, Justice, and Jail Time for Republican scam artists, like us.
B-6th Power: The blood sport of American politics includes indictment of political opponents. I might be next, if Speaker Pelosi gets her way. In the old days, you expected your enemies to be as crooked as you were, but House and Senate Democrats are different now. There are too many straight arrows among them, and they don’t have much to lose. Worse. They know the law.
Mindless Meadows: Moscow Mitch has his own bailout plan with multinational Empires if he loses control of the Senate. He will ram another “Supreme” through if he has the votes, but he won’t back our preference for a Civil War over the loss of white male privilege and American Empire, without a guaranteed strategy. There might be too many Lincolns and Grants lurking in the States, Civil Service, regular military and law enforcement to pull off a coup d’état, Bill.
B-6th Power: True. With Trump there’s no strategy, just tactics of a rat caught in a trap. I hope I can fake “crime in the streets” enough to cover our crimes in the polling place, but I doubt it.
Mindless Meadows: You’ll fake things enough for Trump to believe it’s possible, but if we win?
B-6th Power: At this point, like Hamlet, I couldn’t tell you which scenario will be worse!
Prudence Possum: Being a poet, as well as barrister, Bill Barr left his thoughts to the swamp:
Barr’s Soliloquy………………………………………………B-6th Power (Headless Horseman)
To win or not to win, is oft’ the case
In politics, or war. That is the choice;
But only for ones with the pow’r to voice
Their will to dominate that lonely race.
I love the ‘game of thrones’ pursued by law,
That in the modern world can leave no wake;
Unless you count the souls that we should break
Enacting our agenda in the raw.
The problem with a King in all but name
Will come if he is mad, like Don the First.
But with a ‘Vice’ like Mike ‘The Pence’ we could
Arrange a ‘coup’ to suit our needs. The same
Pursuit of oligarchs of old. The worst?
We fail, and buy a safer neighborhood.