Would-Be Dictator Shows Strain of Losing Momentum; Trump Cannot Conceptualize Himself As Statesman, Leading to Serious Blunders: Defends His Arrested Campaign Manager Lewandowsky, Justifies His Own Insults to Cruz’s Wife, Won’t Promise to Back GOP Nominee and Says He Doesn’t Want Rivals’ Support – but if Trump Gets Nomination, He Will Need Cruz; Trump Wants Massive Influx of Foreign Low-Wage Workers Rubberstamped As Legal; His Idol Is Racist Warmonger and Morgan Tool Theodore Roosevelt; Cruz Leads Trump in April 5 Wisconsin Primary
#Trump on #CNN-Will would-be dictator double down on his #StormTrooper tactics at rallies, defend his good campaign manager #Lewandowsly?
#Trump is a fool-An intelligent demagogue would drop #Lewandowsky right away as damage control-But #Megalomaniac has to be infallible-Dummy
#Lewandowky is a monkey trap for cretin #Trump-He won’t let go, has to be always right-A great vulnerability intelligent foes will hit
#Trump can’t control temper-Furious over #Lewandowsky arrest-After #Brussels he should have played the statesman-Instead attacked #Heidi
#Trump even says smart move would be to fire #Lewandowsky and he says so but like the monkey with his fist in the bottle he can’t let go
#Trump promises yet another triumph of his will & charisma over problems c #Pakistan-He wants to dominate world based on fear-Incompetent
#Trump recycles so much standard verbiage-Nationwide #TrumpFatigue is setting in as bombastic act gets older & older-#Wisconsin will show it
#Trump is slightly behind in published polls-But he always underperforms the polls while #Cruz overperforms so it may be grim for Trump-#WI
#Trump enraged & compulsive-Can’t stop babbling his self-justification-Far too angry to be presidential-#Anderson right-He acts like 5yr old
#Trump is easy to pull off message or else he has no message-His only program is his #Fuehrerprinzip-He is as nervous as #Hitler in bunker
As seen at #WaPo editorial board #Trump never gives the questioner a straight answer-He was asked about #Sikhs but raves his race theories
Just like the #Nazi #CarlSchmitt personal lawyer #Trump divides world into Friends that he likes and Foes that he doesn’t-#Racist Motormouth
#Trump backer reports #Trump is not seen as successful businessman-Trump hot under collar, tries to minimize his #SilverSpoon inheritance
#Trump just lost #Brooklyn & #Queens by claiming there was not much money in those boroughs when his dad #FredTrump (#KKK activist) retired
#Trump repeats his plans to wipe out state regulation of #insurance, promote race to bottom despite his claims of states’ rights-
#Trump always tells stories of how he is being offered huge sums by fellow billionaires-But these would be illegal as campaign contributions
#Trump’s world revolves around #Terror-He thinks very much like #Neocons in terms of contempt for other countries-He would blunder into #WW3
#Trump’s abortive meddling could easily generate #WorldWar3 by #Miscalculation & flight forward to fill the strategic void he would create
Changes in strategic deployments must be done carefully gradually with mutually agreed on safeguards-Not abruptly & compulsively a la #Trump
#CNN’s #AndersonCooper ex #CIA trainee & #Vanderbilt heir needs to confront #Trump on fact his views and #Fascism are virtually identical
#Wisconsin primary may show that #Trump wave has crested too soon-It was always an obsession of his precursor #Nixon-
#Trump makes another impulsive blunder by repudiating his own solemn pledge to support #GOP nominee while releasing #Cruz and others
#Trump always brags he has brought millions of new #GOP voters-But his average is only 39% of primary votes, never 50%-Weakest since #Ford
#Trump releases #Cruz, doesn’t want his support-A strategic blunder generated in a fit of #Pique-#Hitler shows relying on intuition is risky
#Trump claims he is flexible-But as #Megalomaniac he qualifies as clinical #Psychotic meaning absolute #Rigidity of repeated obsessions-
#Trump is too little a man to ever #apologize for anything-Just as he has never had to ask #God’s #forgiveness for sins-A #Megalomaniac
#Trump repeats his #Caesarist decree that no more #GOP debates should occur-He shows utter #Contempt for states and regional issues-Esp west
#Trump commiserates with low-wage farmer & #California grape growers who want cheap #Mexican labor-Trump will label them as legal, cut wages
Softball question from deferential woman in awe of #Trump’s bloody sons but still manages to ask him to be less #Reactionary-Without knowing
#Trump says grandson is named after mentally unstable racist #Anglophile #TheodoreRoosevelt a liberal #Republican warmonger, #Morgan tool
US president Theodore Roosevelt, the ego ideal of the Donald Trump and extended family: The British Ambassador wrote back to London that TR had the mental age of a small boy. Racist and anglophile, TR hated Asians and Latin Americans, and engaged in an admiring correspondence with the evil King Edward VII of England. TR also wanted the US to enter World War I much earlier than actually happened.
#Trump turns compliments for his family into advertisements for his #Megalomaniac self-They show they are wonderful by backing him for Prez!
#GOPTownHall -#Trump says @EricTrump full of compassion for people. But apparently zero for animals #Africa Hunt #Zim
#GOPTownHall #Trump brags he has brought millions of new #GOP voters-His average is only 39% of primary votes, never 50%-Weakest since #Ford
#GOPTownHall #Trump tells stories of how he is being offered huge sums by billionaires-But these would be illegal as campaign contributions
#GOPTownHall #Trump repeats his plans to wipe out state regulation of #insurance, promote race to bottom despite his claims of states’rights
#Kasich a prize fool-Attacks #Cuban #Baseball, lauds #Netanyahu, covers up for #Erdogan’s guilt in #Brussels #Belgium massacre-Not qualified
The Trial of John Peter Zenger, publisher of the New York Weekly Journal
in 1734 in New York City: Zenger was accused of libeling the British royal governor in his publication. Zenger and his lawyer successfully argued that his criticisms of the governor were true, and therefore could not be prosecuted. Zenger was acquitted and been a hero for American freedom of the press ever since. The bully Trump wants to roll back this great tradition and replace it with his own caprice.
Last week Trump met with the editorial board of the Washington Post. During his rally in Texas, Trump had specifically threatened to sue this newspaper because of political reporting that he did not like. Such lawsuits are virtually unheard of in presidential campaigns. Part of the discussion revolved around the fascist billionaire’s plan to destroy the free speech provision of the First Amendment by an escalation of the libel laws, permitting lawsuits to bankrupt and muzzle Trump’s critics. Note the fragmented and dissociated character of Trump’s self-expression, which is often incoherent to the point of being unintelligible. His idea is that he wants to suppress free speech if he considers the content is “wrong,” meaning unfair to him personally, or simply “bad.” Trump claims: “ I’m just doing my thing – I’m, you know, running, I want to do something that’s good.” In reality all he wants is life and death power over the entire American population and billions more around the world – but he is just doing his own thing. He is ignorant of many aspects of current law. His mental capacity and stability are very much open to question.
Political writers of all stripes depend on First Amendment protection. But today, even self-styled libertarians are supporting Trump as he moves to gag free speech. Are they bribed, or just insane?
Here are two excerpts from the discussion:
FREDERICK RYAN JR., WASHINGTON POST PUBLISHER: Mr. Trump, you’ve mentioned many times during the campaign, in fact including this morning, instances you feel where the press has been biased or unfair or outright false in their reporting, and you’ve mentioned that you want to “open up” the libel laws. You’ve said that several times.
TRUMP: I might not have to, based on Gawker. Right?
TRUMP: That was an amazing—
RYAN: My question is not so much why you feel they should be open but how. What presidential powers and executive actions would you take to open up the libel laws?
TRUMP: Okay, look, I’ve had stories written about me – by your newspaper and by others – that are so false, that are written with such hatred – I’m not a bad person. I’m just doing my thing – I’m, you know, running, I want to do something that’s good. It’s not an easy thing to do. I had a nice life until I did this, you know. This is a very difficult thing to do. In fact I’ve always heard that if you’re a very successful person you can’t run for office. And I can understand that. You’ll do a hundred deals, and you’ll do one bad one or two bad ones — that’s all they read about are the bad ones. They don’t read about the one hundred and fifty great ones that you had. And even some of the ones they write that are good, they make them sound bad. You know, so I’ve always heard that. I’ve heard that if you’re successful – very successful – you just can’t run for—
RYAN: But how would you fix that? You’ve said that you would open up the libel laws.
TRUMP: What I would do, what I would do is I’d – well right now the libel laws, I mean I must tell you that the Hulk Hogan thing was a tremendous shock to me because – not only the amount and the fact that he had the victory — because for the most part I think libel laws almost don’t exist in this country, you know, based on, based on everything I’ve seen and watched and everything else, and I just think that if a paper writes something wrong — media, when I say paper I’m talking about media. I think that they can do a retraction if they’re wrong. They should at least try to get it right. And if they don’t do a retraction, they should, they should you know have a form of a trial. I don’t want to impede free press, by the way. The last thing I would want to do is that. But I mean I can only speak for – I probably get more – do I, I mean, you would know, do I get more publicity than any human being on the earth? Okay? I mean, [Editor’s note: Trump points at Ruth Marcus] she kills me, this one – that’s okay, nice woman.
RYAN: Would you expand, for example, prior restraints against publications?
TRUMP: No, I would just say this. All I want is fairness. So unfair. I have stories and you have no recourse, you have no recourse whatsoever because the laws are really impotent.
MARCUS: So in a better world would you be able to sue me?
TRUMP: In a better world — no — in a better world I would be able to get a retraction or a correction. Not even a retraction, a correction.
RYAN: Well, now, you’ve been a plaintiff in libel suits so you know a little bit of the elements …
TRUMP: I had one basic big libel suit, it was a very bad system, it was New Jersey. I had a great judge, the first one, and I was going to win it. And then I had another good judge, the second one, and then they kept switching judges. And the third one was a bad judge. That’s what happened. But, uh…
RYAN: But there’s standards like malice is required. Would you weaken that? Would you require less than malice for news organizations?
TRUMP: I would make it so that when someone writes incorrectly, yeah, I think I would get a little bit away from malice without having to get too totally away. Look, I think many of the stories about me are written badly. I don’t know if it’s malice because the people don’t know me. When Charles writes about me or when Ruth writes about me, you know, we’ve never really met. And I get these stories and they’re so angry and I actually say, I actually say, “How could they write?” – and many stories I must tell you, many stories are written that with a brief phone call could be corrected before they’re written. Nobody calls me.
STEPHEN STROMBERG, EDITORIAL WRITER: How are you defining “incorrect?” It seems like you’re defining it as fairness or your view of fairness rather than accuracy.
TRUMP: Fairness, fairness is, you know, part of the word. But you know, I’ve had stories that are written that are absolutely incorrect. I’ll tell you now and the word “intent”, as you know, is an important word, as you know, in libel.
HIATT: But just – given the Supreme Court rulings on libel — Sullivan v. New York Times — how would you change the law?
TRUMP: I would just loosen them up.
RUTH MARCUS: What does that mean?
TRUMP: I’d have to get my lawyers in to tell you, but I would loosen them up. I would loosen them up. If The Washington Post writes badly about me – and they do, they don’t write good – I mean, I don’t think I get – I read some of the stories coming up here, and I said to my staff, I said, “Why are we even wasting our time? The hatred is so enormous.” I don’t know why. I mean, I do a good job. I have thousands of employees. I work hard.
I’m not looking for bad for our country. I’m a very rational person, I’m a very sane person. I’m not looking for bad. But I read articles by you, and others. And, you know, we’ve never – we don’t know each other, and the level of hatred is so incredible, I actually said, “Why am I – why am I doing this? Why am I even here?” And I don’t expect anything to happen–
RYAN: Would that be the standard then? If there is an article that you feel has hatred, or is bad, would that be the basis for libel?
TRUMP: No, if it’s wrong. If it’s wrong.
RYAN: Wrong whether there’s malice or not?
TRUMP: I mean, The Washington Post never calls me. I never had a call, “Why – why did you do this?” or “Why did you do that?” It’s just, you know, like I’m this horrible human being. And I’m not. You know, the one thing we have in common I think we all love the country. Now, maybe we come at it from different sides, but nobody ever calls me. I mean, Bob Costa calls about a political story – he called because we’re meeting senators in a little while and congressmen, supporters – but nobody ever calls.
RYAN: The reason I keep asking this is because you’ve said three times you’ve said we are going to open up the libel laws and when we ask you what you mean you say hatred, or bad–
TRUMP: I want to make it more fair from the side where I am, because things are said that are libelous, things are said about me that are so egregious and so wrong, and right now according to the libel laws I can do almost nothing about it because I’m a well-known person you know, etc., etc.
France in the 1930s: Anti-Immigrant Agitation Was Key to the Growth of a Large Fascist Movement; Premier Daladier, Who Cracked Down Mercilessly on Immigrants, Later Pushed France into the Infamous Munich Sellout to Hitler of September 1938
French Prime Minister Daladier carried out a draconian anti-immigration policy in France at the end of the 1930’s which was strikingly similar to the demands of Trump today. It was no coincidence that the xenophobic Daladier led France into the catastrophic Munich sellout to Hitler in September 1938. We see Daladier above with Nazi Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop.
Trump’s strategy of advancing a fascist transformation of the United States through his demagogic use of the immigration issue is not new. In France during the 1920s and 1930s, there was a large influx of immigrants from central Europe, including many from Poland. French fascist groups like the Croix de Feu [The Burning Cross] of Colonel de la Roque and similar formations used anti-immigrant agitation to advance fund-raising and recruiting. An alliance of fascist groups attempted to storm the French National Assembly (parliament) in February 1934, and they almost succeeded. French society and the French officer corps were so weakened by fascist sympathies that they could not successfully resist the German invasion of May 1940, which conquered the country in six weeks. Here is a comment from historian Robert Soucy:
‘Adding to the crisis [the economic depression] was the flood of immigrants that began pouring into France in the late thirties, including Jews fleeing from Nazi Germany. As [historians] Paula Hyman, David Weinberg, Robert Paxton, and Michael Marrus have shown, anti-immigration feelings were widespread in France in the 1930s, even in some Jewish and liberal circles. Immigration also became a major issue for French fascists, who, while denying that they were racists, protested the arrival of left-wing Jews.’1
Xenophobia and other factors contributed to a considerable fascist presence in France. In terms of their total numbers, the membership of the French fascist organizations was proportionally comparable to the size of the Hitler movement in Germany, although these groups lacked unity:
‘The onset of the Depression in France in 1931 and electoral victory of a new Cartel des Gauches [Left-wing coalition] in 1932 led to the emergence of the second wave of French fascism, and after 1936 middle-class hostility to the Popular Front [Socialist-Communist coalition] caused it to swell.
Although the second wave of French fascism consisted of several rival fascist movements, some much smaller than others, its combined strength was considerable. When Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933 the total membership of the NSDAP [Nazis] was about 850,000 (if one includes Hitler Youth, 950,000), that is about 1.5 percent of a national population of sixty million. In 1937 the CF [Croix de Feu] alone had nearly a million members in a population of forty million. France was not as allergic to fascism as some scholars have claimed.’2
French Xenophobia and the 1930s “Era of Hatred”
Historian Michael Marrus offers a chilling portrait of French society sliding towards fascism under the influence of unscrupulous reactionary demagogues. The elements of pessimism, despair, and xenophobia are uncannily similar to what we see today here in the United States.
Behind these restrictions [Reductions in immigration by the French government] lay a serious crisis in French society. Particularly after 1932, when a government of the center-left took power, many French people were persuaded that the Republic was on the verge of disintegration [See the GOP propaganda of today.] Sharp-tongued critics on the far right delighted in exposing the worthlessness of France’s liberal heritage and the ruin of society by humanitarian ideals. Meanwhile, unemployment invigorated protest from the semi-fascist leagues and helped poison the public atmosphere. Under these conditions, those who championed refugees were put on the defensive. Opposition to the French policy of asylum merged with a wider current of xenophobia, antisemitism, and a deep distaste for liberal democracy. Hopeless refugees were variously accused of stealing the jobs of Frenchmen, undermining France’s cultural purity, or trying to embroil France with Hitler. The country had entered what the historian Claude Fohlen would later call “the era of hatred.”3
A mass strike in France in June 1936 failed to take power, but employers were forced to grant wide-ranging concessions in wages, working conditions, vacations, and other benefits. But in April 1938 the left Socialist Premier Leon Blum was toppled from power by the French banking elite, and he was replaced by the right-wing Radical Daladier, who would stay in office until just before the Fall of France to the Nazis in the spring of 1940. Daladier rolled back the gains made by workers in 1936. Marrus shows that Daladier had many of the repressive anti-immigrant policies associated today with Trump. Daladier was also the French leader who joined Britain’s Sir Neville Chamberlain in delivering Czechoslovakia into the hands of Hitler at the infamous Munich appeasement conference of September 1938:
‘Under Edouard Daladier in 1938, the French government moved as sharply against the Popular Front liberalism on refugee issues as it moved against the forty-hour week or used emergency powers against trade unionists. Concerned mainly with defense and foreign affairs, Daladier had for many years judged the refugees a serious security problem, a kind of Trojan horse that would some day spill spies and subversives into French society. As the flood of refugees mounted, notably after the German Anschluss [unification] with Austria in March 1938, the French government tightened procedures for entering France. A decree-law of May 1938 made it more difficult for refugees to obtain temporary residence permits and allowed low-level frontier officials to turn them back summarily. “Repatriation, resettlement and internment were what the prime minister had in mind,” concludes one historian, “not assimilation and economic assistance.” In addition to the tighter immigration rules and the new round of expulsions, the government armed itself with the means to denationalize immigrants who had obtained French citizenship and to intern undesirables in special camps. Officially, France proclaimed to the world that she was “saturated” with refugees — the word used by Henry Bérenger, France’s representative on the Inter-Governmental Committee set up to assist German and Austrian refugees in 1938.’4
The lesson is clear: anti-immigrant hysteria in France in the 1930s was closely correlated with fascism and the support of fascism via appeasement. This is highly relevant to the issue of Trumpism. In those days, Jews were slandered as dangerous because they were accused as being agents of Stalin. Today, it is the Moslems who are accused of being terrorists in the service of ISIS. Fear and ignorance were and are the basis for both these campaigns of defamation.
For the full transcript see https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/03/21/a-trans…
- Robert Soucy, French Fascism: the Second Wave, 1933-1939, (Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 1995), Ch.1, pp. 26-27.
- Ibid., Ch.1, p. 36.
- Michael R. Marrus, The Unwanted: European Refugees in The Twentieth Century, (Oxford University Press, New York, 1985), Ch.3, p. 147.
- Ibid., Ch.3, pp.148-149.
He Had Threatened Belgium with Terror Assault in March 18 Speech Protesting Pro-Kurdish Demonstration in Belgian Capital; “The Snakes You Are Sleeping with Can Bite You Any Time,” Raved Erdogan to Belgian Government; Turkish Strong Man Also Implicated in November 13 Paris Massacre; Trump-Cruz Feuds Continue Mutually Assured Destruction of GOP; Row Shows It’s Easy to Get Trump’s Goat; Trump’s Vote Percentage in GOP Primaries and Caucuses Still Below 40%; More Republicans Brand Him As Fascist
World Crisis Radio
With a Report from Thierry Meyssan in Damascus, Syria
March 26, 2016
On the morning of the Brussels bombings of March 22, 2016,
The Star (a Turkish newspaper which functions as the semi-official news organ of the Turkish dictator) headline with the accusation: “Belgium A Terrorist State” Pictures showed Kurdish flags with accusations that Belgium was supporting what The Star called Kurdish terrorism.
On March 23, a special edition of Erdogan’s semiofficial newspaper The Star reports the bombings in Brussels by gloating: “Belgium has been bitten by the snake she was feeding in her breast.” The reference is to Erdogan’s earlier speech of March 18, where he developed the snake metaphor as a clear threat to Belgium.
Thierry Meyssan reports from Damascus that Turkish President Erdogan is now widely regarded as the prime suspect in the March 22 terrorist bombing of Brussels, Belgium and its nearby airport. Meyssan also points to emerging evidence that would implicate Erdogan in the Paris massacre of last November 13.
According to Meyssan, the chain of events leading to these tragic events goes back to 2011, when the French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé entered into a secret accord with then Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu for the purpose of carving a new and artificial state, out of northern Syria. This meeting occurred during the first year of the Syrian war, when Erdogan and Davutoglu were still counting on an early disintegration of the government of President Assad.
The new artificial state was to be called “Kurdistan,” but it was to be located on Syrian territory stolen from that country. To populate this new state, the Turkish government was preparing an enormous campaign of ethnic cleansing, deportations, and expulsions designed to expel virtually all Kurds from its territory. The original agreement reached in the talks between Juppé and Davutoglu was reportedly confirmed at a subsequent higher-level conference with the participation of French President Hollande, the then Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, and a renegade Kurdish leader – specifically Salih Muslim Muhammad, co-chairman of the Democratic Union Party, a political formation among the Syrian Kurds.
One of the groups most disadvantaged by this arrangement was the Syrian Kurds, but they were able to fight back by defeating the ISIS terrorists during the siege of Kobane, a Syrian Kurdish town on the Turkish border. The during late 2014 and early 2015, the Kobane Kurds, with some US air support, administered one of the first defeats which the ISIS butchers had experienced. Because the YPG Kurds have proven effective, the US decided to back them as a proxy against ISIS. France, seeing the new US attitude, decided to delay the implementation of the earlier “Kurdistan” plan, and maintain alignment with Washington.
It is now clear to many observers that the November 13, 2015 Paris massacres represented the response of the Erdogan clique to these developments. Erdogan had originally intended to use the Paris massacres as a pretext for scapegoating the Kurds and beginning their expulsion from Turkish territory. But, starting in October 2015, and with the deployment of the Russian Air Force to Syrian bases, Erdogan once again was forced to delay his “Kurdistan” scenario. Almost as soon as the Russian planes arrived, the Turkish MIT secret intelligence agency was widely blamed for the destruction of a Russian commercial airliner over the Sinai district of Egypt. Then there was the Turkish downing of a Russian Sukhoi jet fighter. Erdogan was unable to see the initiative.
Now, during March 2016, Russian President Putin has announced the beginning of a gradual drawdown of Russian forces in Syria. But at the same time, there is an understanding between Obama’s White House and Putin’s Kremlin that everyone must be ousted as the president of Turkey.
Meyssan confirmed last week’s reports that Russian and US weapons are now flowing into the hands of the YPG Syrian Kurds, the victors of Kobane and other recent actions. Some of these weapons are being passed on by the YPG into the hands of the PKK, a Kurdish group, which operates inside Turkey, and which Ankara insists on defining as terrorist.
In the meantime, Erdogan’s blackmail of the European Union over the issue of refugees fleeing from the Syrian war zone has proven successful in the form of an EU commitment to pay €3 billion per year to Erdogan. The money is allegedly to be used to defray the expenses of housing large numbers of Syrian refugees in Anatolia, but it is an open secret that this money will be used by Erdogan to finance the continuation of ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria.
Terrorist attacks took place inside Turkey, on March 13 in Ankara and on March 19 in Istanbul.
March 18, if the Turkish President delivered a special address for the 101st anniversary of the Anglo-French operation against Gallipoli during World War I. Here Erdogan made a public show of indignation about a recent demonstration by pro-Kurdish groups in Brussels, Belgium, during last week’s EU-Turkish refugee summit there, an action which sought to focus public attention on Turkish human rights abuses.
Accusing the European Union, and especially Belgium of supporting the PKK, Erdogan claimed that the EU and Belgium were themselves terrorists
“There is no reason why the bomb that exploded in Ankara cannot explode in Brussels, in any other European city,” raved Erdogan; “The snakes you are sleeping with can bite you any time.”
Note that this represented a direct threat of terrorist violence against Brussels and Belgium just four days before the actual Brussels bombing. On this basis alone, Erdogan would have to be considered the prime suspect.
The during the days after the Brussels terror bombing, Turkish newspapers controlled by the Erdogan faction is celebrated what they called the “punishment” of Belgium up by the very terror groups, which had been harbored there.
European leaders remain willfully blind to the real activities of Erdogan and his supporters. The Turkish President is reported to regard the Turks as a master race destined to rule the world. That is his idea of the Caliphate.
Western police and intelligence agencies need to direct special scrutiny towards the Millî Görüs (National Vision) organization, which is especially active among the Turkish diaspora. Erdogan is thought to direct many of the activities of this group.
Erdogan also controls Hizb ut Tahrir (Party of Liberation), an international Pan-Islamist group dedicated to the reconstitution of the Caliphate under Sharia Law and the subsequent conquest of the entire world.
These groups, together with the Moslem Brotherhood (Ikhwan) itself can all be mobilized by Erdogan as a terrorist trifecta for his projects of jihad, intimidation, and aggression.
In another disturbing development, the Turkish dictator is identifying himself more and more with figures from the history of Central Asia like Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan.
Political libertarianism and the libertarian political movement were once considered (along with holy rollers, neocon warmongers, and the legions of greed) as one of the four indispensable components of the Republican Party. But now, as the Republican Party begins breaking up over the issue of Trump, the libertarians face an existential crisis. The Ron Paul-Rand Paul Dynasty, which has provided the central focus of libertarian political activism, is in big trouble. Ron Paul has retired from politics, and spends his time as the stock salesman, urging gullible retirees to put their money under the control of his new employers. Rand Paul, despite a robust and sustained campaign of media hype (including a Time Magazine cover story announcing that he was the most interesting politician of the age), has failed as a presidential candidate and has now retreated to Kentucky, where he still hopes to hold onto his Senate seat.
The above photos show that the Scottish Rite Freemasonry is a massive and sinister social reality in the United States. Libertarianism is an arm of this institution.
At the same time, a significant array of libertarian broadcasters and bloggers who functioned as satellites of the Paul family axis (and doubtless of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite Freemasons) are now in the process of crudely jettisoning their ideological baggage of the past 20 years, tossing overboard most of their alleged principles about limited government, opposition to centralized tyranny, and a backward Jeffersonian reading of the US Constitution.
In a maneuver of shocking cynicism, these libertarian media are marching direct into the fascist-authoritarian camp of the aspiring dictator, Donald Trump. This suggests strongly that the Austrian or libertarian ideology was never sincere and simply represented a smokescreen for austerity, union busting, and above all for the ambition and greed of the unprincipled libertarian practitioners.
Ron Paul had started out as a rather obscure Texas Congressman who vacillated between the lunatic fringe of the GOP and the Libertarian ticket. Ron Paul’s most successful original scam was to pretend that he was interested in further investigation of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This was a mendacious bait and switch, as Ron Paul later confessed. His method was to hint that he was an opponent of the official account of these events, and that he needed more money and support to get anything accomplished. Paul successfully carried out this scam in his presidential campaigns of 2008 and 2012, when he assembled a formidable fundraising network among those he had duped into believing he was a truther.
In both 2008 and 2012, Paul was asked in the course of national Republican presidential debates if he had any objections to the government story about 9/11. In both cases, he vigorously denied any truth or tendencies, except to the extent that he never gave credence to government reports or publications. Paul was extremely lucky that his followers were so dense that they could not understand the plain language of these denials. This is the same tendency exhibited by the libertarian dupes of Trump, who cannot understand the dictatorial and tyrannical plans he outlines in plain English.
In late 2011, Ron Paul, very unwisely published a proposed budget for his first year in office, which called for the elimination of $1 trillion of federal government spending. This would have been one of the most brutal and indeed genocidal austerity campaigns ever experienced by any modern nation. Instead of taxing Wall Street speculators, Paul attacked the weakest and most defenseless in our society. With 50 million Americans depending on Food Stamps for their day-to-day survival, Ron Paul wanted to cut the average benefit by just short of two thirds, meaning that the food stamp allowance would immediately decline from $1.50 per person per meal to about $.50 per person per meal, a guarantee of vitamin deficiency diseases, cognitive impairment, and other tragically, unnecessary suffering. And for all of Paul’s incessant babbling about the military budget, his own spending plan did not cut Pentagon spending by one penny more than the reductions that were already baked in the cake by the bipartisan budget sequester, and by Obama’s additional proposals to cut outlays.
If we look for the roots of the Trump phenomenon, and in particular of the savage immorality of a candidate whose supporters applaud when he calls for expanding the use and severity of torture, mass deportations and mass killings of the families of his targets, we should not forget the tremendous degradation introduced by a figure like Ron Paul. Paul wanted to abolish all US emergency food aid, meaning that about 60% of the emergency nourishment usually available worldwide in a given year would have disappeared, leading once again to genocide.
Ron Paul’s ideas about abolishing all trade unions and eliminating the minimum wage would in previous decades have been met with cries of “Nazi Go Home!” Alternatively, Paul might have been considered a danger to himself and others, fitted out with the straitjacket, and consigned to a padded cell.
Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign represented a transparent attempt to accumulate enough delegates to be able to barter them against a place on the ticket for his mediocre, racist son Rand as vice presidential candidate. Ron Paul also functioned as the right wing man for Romney, making sure that candidates to his right – essentially Santorum as it turned out – could never get enough traction to pose a serious threat to Mitt. (For a detailed account of this, see Webster G Tarpley, Just Too Weird.)
The Ron Paul-Rand Paul clan was noted primarily for its nepotism, with dozens of family members and close relatives on the payroll. This finally blew up over a case involving the bribery of an Iowa State Senator who had been working before the Bachmann campaign. The bribery was done by part of this nepotistic apparatus. Even here, we can see that the intended beneficiary was most likely Romney, who had to fear Congresswoman Bachmann as the only native daughter of the state where the first caucuses were to be held.
Now, little Rand Paul will be lucky if he hangs on to his Senate seat. It is the libertarian broadcasters and bloggers who deserve some more attention.
The institution of the talk show host who was also a right-wing extremist began in the late 1980s , following the model of Rush Limbaugh, who was himself a creature of William F Buckley, a figure in the orbit of the right wing CIA. During the 1990s, as the world of libertarian extremist broadcasting was coming into existence, the principal fare being dished up often included alternative accounts of profoundly tragic events like the Waco massacre. There was also coverage of the scandals of the Clinton administration, but these often veered into the realms of right-wing fantasy. At the same time, the libertarians ignored the really big crimes of Clinton like the total deregulation of toxic derivatives and the NAFTA free trade sellout.
During the 1990s, libertarian propaganda was relatively marginalized compared to what it is today. It operated to a significant degree as a conduit for this information used to advance the cause of partisan reactionary Republicans. Typical themes included why the mere governor Bill Clinton needed to be blamed for Iran contra due to the role played by the airport in Mena, Arkansas, despite the fact that the entire operation had been directed by Reagan’s covert action czar, George H. W. Bush. Arcane theories of how the Clinton White House had orchestrated the deaths of presidential aide Vince Foster were a staple offering, despite the fact that killing Vince Foster was far more likely to have been an effort by Wall Street financier forces to discipline the new administration, coming as it did as part of a pattern of acts of violence.
In the spring of 2001, Ron Paul gave a speech to the House where he reassured his colleagues that: “There is nothing to fear from globalism, free trade, and a single world-wide currency.” Only if the single currency is a fiat currency could there occur a collapse followed by protectionism managed by resurgent nationalism. Some people might see in that statement a foreshadowing of Trump, except for the fact that Trump is no nationalist at all, but rather a doughface nativist and fascist. Trump wants to attack forty percent of the United States population and cause chaos. This is not nationalism.
Wherever Paul might have been going with that speech, the libertarian bloggers and broadcasters were saved from it by the events of September 11, 2001. It was 9/11, which set the stage for the most positive phase of activity by these libertarians.
Continue reading How Dying Libertarianism Has Become the Entrance to Trump’s Fascism »
Hillary Clinton (shown below with former Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, a major malefactor in his own right) is at the center of numerous corruption scandals, some of them involving the dubious activities of the Clinton Foundation, one of whose principals is Chelsea Clinton Mezvinsky (right).
A Call for Bernie Sanders to Adopt a More Aggressive Strategy in the Campaign Against Hillary Clinton and Her Wall Street Ties
Bernie Brown – TWSP San Francisco, CA Local – March 23, 2016 – In the Democratic debates, Hillary Clinton has presented herself as a fighter against the financial industry’s (i.e. Wall Street) influence in the United States. She even claims her fight would extend to the so-called “shadow banking” system (i.e. hedge funds, private equity firms, insurance companies, etc.) However, the evidence says otherwise.
While Hillary Clinton was New York Senator, four out of the top five largest contributors to her campaign were financial industry related entities (actual ranking shown below):
- Citigroup – $824,402
- Goldman Sachs – 760,740
- JPMorgan Chase & Co – $696,456
- Morgan Stanley – $636,564
The influence of Wall Street on Hillary Clinton extends to her immediate family.
Her daughter Chelsea is married to a co-founder of the Eaglevale Partners LP hedge fund, Marc Mezvinsky. Donald Trump attended their wedding. This is the same hedge fund which since its inception in 2012, has struggled to turn a profit for its investors, including a massive 48 percent loss in one of its funds betting on a Greek “recovery” – (i.e. deeper austerity).
How many times has this company gone to the Federal Reserve discount window, using their worthless securities as Federal Reserve collateral. This credit should have gone to Main Street at 0% interest for infrastructure rebuilding (i.e., roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, water systems, sewer systems, electrical grid) or refinancing student loans.
Chelsea herself was once employed with the hedge fund Avenue Capital Group, starting in 2006.
Bernie Sanders must also point out that he himself denounced the massive bailout of domestic and international financial institutions by the US Federal Reserve to the tune of (at least) $16 TRILLION DOLLARS (some reports say it was high as $29 TRILLION), in the years 2008-2010.
Here are some questions Bernie Sanders and his campaign must force Hillary Clinton to answer:
- Would you, Hillary Clinton, demand that your son-in-law’s company, Eaglevale Partners, pay a 1% transaction tax (i.e. Wall Street Sales Tax) on all their trading in stocks, bonds, and derivatives?
- Would you, Hillary Clinton, demand 100% margin requirements in commodity markets?
- Would you, Hillary Clinton, demand a restoration of federal/state anti-usury laws, a maximum interest rate of 10% on all credit cards/payday loans, and a ban on adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs)?
- Would you, Hillary Clinton, demand a 15% reserve requirement on all OTC derivatives (i.e. over the counter, not traded on exchanges)?
- Would you, Hillary Clinton, demand a ban on credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations, structured investment vehicles, and commodity index swaps?
To a perceptive voter, Hillary’s ties with Wall Street would make her campaign extremely vulnerable to a candidate who explicitly points out the issues/questions presented in this article and would result in her either dropping these Wall Street connections or dropping out of the 2016 Presidential Race.
Trump’s Perversion of American Values
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is currently facing a lawsuit for having manhandled a woman reporter working for Breitbart News. He may also face charges for grabbing the collar of a demonstrator at one of Trump’s rallies. In any other campaign, Lewandowski would long since have been fired. Where is the hew and cry from the working press demanding the ouster of this thug?
Trump’s barbarism, tyranny, racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and authoritarianism are on display daily. The following is a partial list of the publicized altercations at Trump rallies over recent months. For years, there have been reports of psychotic outbursts by Trump. These have escalated since Trump began his election campaign last summer. In the coming days, the Tax Wall Street Party will bring you comprehensive exposes on the group of foreign policy and other advisors whom Trump named this week. In the meantime here is a small sampling of his violent excesses:
- Aug. 12, 2015 – In reaction to Bernie Sanders walking off stage when protesters took his microphone, Trump threatens physical altercations if protesters try to take over a microphone at a rally where he is speaking.
- Sept. 3, 2015, New York, NY – A Trump guard forcibly grabs a Mexican protester’s sign and is involved in an altercation with a man who attempted to retrieve the sign.
- Oct. 14, 2015, Richmond, Virginia – A fight breaks out between supporters and hecklers as Trump spoke about his wall along US-Mexican border, a high level of aggression by crowd toward protesters is observed.
- November 21, 2015, Birmingham, Alabama – Black Lives Matter protester is roughed up. Trump suggests white attendees may have reacted appropriately by shoving, punching, kicking and tackling the man, Trump also encourages his supporters to “get him out of here.”
- Dec. 5, 2015, Raleigh, N.C. – After Trump anti-immigrant statement a protester is booed, shoved, grabbed and struck by Trump supporters; protesters are forcibly removed; Trump calls for security to get the protesters out.
- Dec. 14, 2015, Las Vegas, Nevada – Hecklers from Black Lives Matter are met with racial epithets and threats of violence by Trump supporters; some shouts of ‘Sieg Heil’ are reported; Trump refuses to comment.
- Jan. 8, 2016, Rock Hill, South Carolina – A Muslim woman is forced out of Trump rally after simply standing up during his speech without speaking, there is booing and shouting of, “Get out” and “You have a bomb.”
- Jan. 10, 2016, Pittsfield, New Hampshire – Two men are assaulted by a local well-known boxer after they interrupt Trump’s speech by shouting “Fascist!”
- Of further note may be the composition of his campaign staff. His campaign manager is Corey Lewandowski. Lewandowski and Trump’s New Hampshire State Director were both associated with a group called Americans for Prosperity. Prominent names with ties to this group include various Tea Party organizations, David H. Koch, Sheldon Adelson, Paul Ryan, 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, the Federal Reserve Bank, Scott Walker, J. Arthur Pope (North Carolina politician), and individuals/organizations who actively opposed Obamacare.
- According to a New York Daily News report: “Trump has long faced allegations of connections to the mob, but his relationship with Felix Sater — who pleaded guilty in 1998 to racketeering in a fraud scheme involving the Genovese and Bonanno crime families — represents a more direct link between the presidential candidate and organized crime.” 1
Recent Progress in Fusion Energy
Poughkeepsie, NY – March 23, 2016 – The following are reports of the recent (Feb. 5, 2016) successful breakthrough in Chinese fusion energy research. Note that the superconducting Tokamak used by the Chinese was invented by Russian scientists (Soviet at the time of invention).
The EAST, after being completed in 2007, has been undergoing trial runs to check its capabilities. The Chinese new generation experimental Tokamak fusion device has successfully implemented the world’s longest (102 seconds) plasma discharge by the electronic temperature of 50 million degrees Celsius in January 2016, according to the Hefei Institute of Physical Sciences, a branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said on Feb. 4, 2016. 1
Chinese engineers have managed to create hydrogen gas that is three times hotter than the sun. The team was able to maintain 50 million degrees Celsius for 102 seconds – a breakthrough that could someday make fusion power a reality. It follows news that Germany used 2 megawatts of microwave radiation to heat hydrogen gas to 80 million degrees Celsius for a quarter of a second. 2
- www.news.cn http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2016-02/05/c_135076727.htm
Today’s intervention by the Tax Wall Street Party at the AIPAC annual meeting in Washington DC in protest against the presence of megalomaniac Donald Trump provided the most powerful political statement among the protesters, and soon became the center of attention for the public and the media. Numerous participants and passers-by asked to be photographed in front of our distinctive “TRUMP = NAZI” poster, which dominated the entire scene. TWSP spokespersons including Chairwoman Daniela G. Walls, Webster G. Tarpley, and Matt Hoel gave upwards of a dozen media interviews. These included the Washington Examiner, WTOP news radio of Washington, Press TV of Iran in English and Spanish, the Ruptly video service of Russia Today, an independent documentary filmmaker, and several others.
WTOP listeners during their late afternoon commute heard TWSP Chairwoman Daniela Walls stating in an interview that there is “evidence of fascism” on the part of Trump. For many DC insiders, this may be the first strong dose of truth about the imminent fascist danger coming from the Republican frontrunner.
The protest demonstration was marked by many individuals and small groups who had come spontaneously and specifically to warn about Trump’s fascism. One woman had come from Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley with a poster warning that “Trump is a Monster, A Hitler Wanna-Be.” Another woman from suburban Maryland came with a placard reading: “Jews Against Trump – Because We’ve Seen This Before” – a reference to the fascist era. Two members of Showing Up For Racial Justice paraphrased the famous meditation by Pastor Martin Niemöller: “First He Came for the Muslims…Then They Came For Me …And By That Time There was No One Left to Speak for Me.” After the demonstration at TWSP activists walking by the White House were virtually mobbed by visiting high school classes in town for their senior trip who wanted to be photographed with this historic poster.
Here is a brief photo essay showcasing these events:
Erdogan Not Immune to Coup d’Etat; Obama’s Blunt Interview with The Atlantic Containing Sharp Critique of Erdogan, Saudis, Cameron, Sarkozy, Hollande, Valls, Viewed in Middle East As Threat to Expose Connivance with ISIS Terrorists by Saudis, Turks, and Anglo-French; Obama’s View of Putin More Positive; Hillary Clinton Exposed Once Again As Incorrigible Warmonger; Obama’s Supreme Court Nomination Not Astute; GOP Faces Breakup Whether or Not Trump Gets to 1,237 Convention Delegates; Trump Faces More Protests at March 21 AIPAC Meeting in Washington; Trump in Tradition of Albert Gallatin, Calhoun, Huey Long, George Wallace – Figures Who Sought to Turn Back the Clock; Parallels to August 1991 Soviet GKChP
Tax Wall Street Party urges you to join us at anti-Trump protest in Washington, DC
Monday, March 21st 4pm – 7pm at Verizon Center, 601 F St, NW
World Crisis Radio
With a Report from Thierry Meyssan in Damascus, Syria
March 19, 2016
His days are numbered: Turkish President Erdogan. Obama and Putin agree that he must be ousted this spring. If successful, this plan will end the Syrian war.
Today’s broadcast features a report from Thierry Meyssan in Damascus, Syria, which can be summarized as follows:
The press of Europe and the United States is attempting to spread the idea that the withdrawal of part of the contingent of Russian military aircraft which had been assigned to bombing terrorist targets in Syria somehow came as a surprise, including to the Assad government in Damascus. In reality, there was no surprise whatsoever. It had been assumed that the Russian bombing campaign against the Syrian terrorist rebels was scheduled to end in the first week of January, at about the time of the Orthodox Christmas. At that time, President Assad visited Moscow and it was decided to extend the bombing campaign until mid March. This plan was confirmed for the Syrian government by the Russian Foreign Ministry as of March 1. Russian troops inside Syria were well aware of their departure date. Large Antonov military transports were used to move some equipment back to Russia, and flight plans for these aircraft were given four days in advance to the competent authorities. This is confirmed by Defense News, which quotes the Jordanian chief of staff saying that he was informed by Moscow and by the Syrian government. So there was no precipitate withdrawal, but rather a carefully planned and executed redeployment.
Especially important is the agreement reached by Presidents Obama and Putin about two or three weeks ago that the continued tenure of Turkish President Erdogan is intolerable, and that he should be removed from office before he can start a wider war. Russian and US weapons are currently flowing into Turkey for the purpose of speeding the departure of the dictator. Contacts are also being made with the Turkish political parties, the top generals of the Turkish military, and others to help bring down the dictator. The Turkish nationalists are turning against Erdogan. The PKK will also mobilize. Erdogan’s presidency is illegitimate because his most recent election victory was carried out with massive vote fraud.
Fighting inside Turkey on the level of a civil war is expected to begin during April. The beginning of the end for Erdogan will transform the entire Middle East situation.
Most of the larger cities in Syria will soon be free of terrorist rebels. This is likely to include Aleppo, Palmyra, and Idlib. ISIS/Daesh will only be able to maintain their presence in Raqqa in far northeast Syria, as well as in some parts of Iraq. It is expected that heavy fighting inside Turkey will tend to disrupt the logistics pipeline for the terrorist rebels inside Syria.
This hard line of Moscow and Washington towards Erdogan contrasts most sharply with the policy of the European Union (including Britain and France), which is offering tribute of €3 billion per year to Erdogan over the foreseeable future to get the Turkish president to house more Syrian refugees and to prevent them from crossing into Greece. Naturally, since Erdogan functions as the de facto commander of ISIS/Daesh, he could at any time order the total cessation of combat operations, and remove the main factor which is impelling civilians to flee from the terrorists in the combat zones. But he prefers to cash in, obtaining concessions like visa-free travel for Turks in the EU.
Obama’s interview to the Atlantic Monthly is remarkable since it reads like the memoirs of a president who has already left office, and thus feels free to frankly speak his mind. His comments about King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Sarkozy, Cameron, and Erdogan are devastating. The message seems to be that these figures are being told to cooperate, or else they will be exposed for their machinations of recent years, and thus destabilized.
Prince Turki of Saudi Arabia, who sometimes acts as a spokesman for the Royal family, has issued a weak defense (see below) claiming that the Saudis do not support terrorism, and are loyal allies.
Obama has been quoted as saying that the Saudi royals are the worst in the world. The situation is complicated by the distinct possibility that the Saudis have obtained nuclear weapons from Pakistan.
Obama’s Atlantic interview portrays Hillary Clinton as a relentless warmonger – Democratic primary voters should take note. The Washington think tanks and experts are frequently bought and paid for by the Sunni Arab states.
Here are some excerpts from Obama’s interview, which appears in Jeffrey Goldberg, “The Obama Doctrine: The U.S. president talks through his hardest decisions about America’s role in the world,” Atlantic Monthly, April 2016:
Over the past year, John Kerry has visited the White House regularly to ask Obama to violate Syria’s sovereignty. On several occasions, Kerry has asked Obama to launch missiles at specific regime targets, under cover of night, to “send a message” to the regime. The goal, Kerry has said, is not to overthrow Assad but to encourage him, and Iran and Russia, to negotiate peace….Obama has steadfastly resisted Kerry’s requests, and seems to have grown impatient with his lobbying. In recent National Security Council meetings, Obama’s strategy was occasionally referred to as the “Tom Sawyer approach.” Obama’s view was that if Putin wanted to expend his regime’s resources by painting the fence in Syria, the U.S. should let him. By late winter, though, when it appeared that Russia was making advances in its campaign to solidify Assad’s rule, the White House began discussing ways to deepen support for the rebels, though the president’s ambivalence about more-extensive engagement remained.
Obama would say privately that the first task of an American president in the post-Bush international arena was “Don’t do stupid shit.” Obama’s reticence frustrated [Samantha] Power and others on his national-security team who had a preference for action. Hillary Clinton, when she was Obama’s secretary of state, argued for an early and assertive response to Assad’s violence. In 2014, after she left office, Clinton told me that “the failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad … left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.” When The Atlantic published this statement, and also published Clinton’s assessment that “great nations need organizing principles, and?‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” Obama became “rip-shit angry,” according to one of his senior advisers. The president did not understand how “Don’t do stupid shit” could be considered a controversial slogan. Ben Rhodes recalls that “the questions we were asking in the White House were ‘Who exactly is in the stupid-shit caucus? Who is pro–stupid shit?’?” The Iraq invasion, Obama believed, should have taught Democratic interventionists like Clinton, who had voted for its authorization, the dangers of doing stupid shit. (Clinton quickly apologized to Obama for her comments, and a Clinton spokesman announced that the two would “hug it out” on Martha’s Vineyard when they crossed paths there later.).
‘Friday, August 30, 2013[:] ….While the Pentagon and the White House’s national-security apparatuses were still moving toward war (John Kerry told me he was expecting a strike the day after his speech), the president had come to believe that he was walking into a trap—one laid both by allies and by adversaries, and by conventional expectations of what an American president is supposed to do. In Situation Room meetings that followed the attack on Ghouta, only the White House chief of staff, Denis McDonough, cautioned explicitly about the perils of intervention. John Kerry argued vociferously for action.”
[Samantha] Power sometimes argued with Obama in front of other National Security Council officials, to the point where he could no longer conceal his frustration. “Samantha, enough, I’ve already read your book,” he once snapped. …Biden, who ordinarily shared Obama’s worries about American overreach, argued passionately that “big nations don’t bluff.”
[Cameron of the UK and Saudi Ambassador Jubeir demanded an attack. But Germany’s Merkel was opposed and refused to take part. When the British House of Commons also refused to go along, Obama paused.]
Obama also shared with McDonough a long-standing resentment: He was tired of watching Washington unthinkingly drift toward war in Muslim countries. Four years earlier, the president believed, the Pentagon had “jammed” him on a troop surge for Afghanistan. Now, on Syria, he was beginning to feel jammed again.
The prime minister of France, Manuel Valls, told me that his government was already worried about the consequences of earlier inaction in Syria when word came of the stand-down. “By not intervening early, we have created a monster,” Valls told me. “We were absolutely certain that the U.S. administration would say yes. Working with the Americans, we had already seen the targets. It was a great surprise. If we had bombed as was planned, I think things would be different today.” The crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who was already upset with Obama for “abandoning” Hosni Mubarak, the former president of Egypt, fumed to American visitors that the U.S. was led by an “untrustworthy” president. The king of Jordan, Abdullah II—already dismayed by what he saw as Obama’s illogical desire to distance the U.S. from its traditional Sunni Arab allies and create a new alliance with Iran, Assad’s Shia sponsor—complained privately, “I think I believe in American power more than Obama does.” The Saudis, too, were infuriated. They had never trusted Obama—he had, long before he became president, referred to them as a “so-called ally” of the U.S. “Iran is the new great power of the Middle East, and the U.S. is the old,” Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador in Washington, told his superiors in Riyadh.
Amid the confusion, a deus ex machina appeared in the form of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. At the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, which was held the week after the Syria reversal, Obama pulled Putin aside, he recalled to me, and told the Russian president “that if he forced Assad to get rid of the chemical weapons, that that would eliminate the need for us taking a military strike.” Within weeks, Kerry, working with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, would engineer the removal of most of Syria’s chemical-weapons arsenal—a program whose existence Assad until then had refused to even acknowledge.
This was the moment the president believes he finally broke with what he calls, derisively, the “Washington playbook.” I have come to believe that, in Obama’s mind, August 30, 2013, was his liberation day, the day he defied not only the foreign-policy establishment and its cruise-missile playbook, but also the demands of America’s frustrating, high-maintenance allies in the Middle East—countries, he complains privately to friends and advisers, that seek to exploit American “muscle” for their own narrow and sectarian ends. By 2013, Obama’s resentments were well developed. He resented military leaders who believed they could fix any problem if the commander in chief would simply give them what they wanted, and he resented the foreign-policy think-tank complex. A widely held sentiment inside the White House is that many of the most prominent foreign-policy think tanks in Washington are doing the bidding of their Arab and pro-Israel funders. I’ve heard one administration official refer to Massachusetts Avenue, the home of many of these think tanks, as “Arab-occupied territory.” [Leon Panetta was another hawk.]
He described a relationship with Putin that doesn’t quite conform to common perceptions. I had been under the impression that Obama viewed Putin as nasty, brutish, and short. But, Obama told me, Putin is not particularly nasty. “The truth is, actually, Putin, in all of our meetings, is scrupulously polite, very frank. Our meetings are very businesslike. He never keeps me waiting two hours like he does a bunch of these other folks.” Obama said that Putin believes his relationship with the U.S. is more important than Americans tend to think. “He’s constantly interested in being seen as our peer and as working with us, because he’s not completely stupid. He understands that Russia’s overall position in the world is significantly diminished. Obama’s theory here is simple: Ukraine is a core Russian interest but not an American one, so Russia will always be able to maintain escalatory dominance there.
Right after Obama’s reversal, Hillary Clinton said privately, “If you say you’re going to strike, you have to strike. There’s no choice.”
Here is Prince Turki’s attempted defense of the Kingdom:
‘A top Saudi Arabian intelligence chief said on Monday that President Barack Obama failed to appreciate all that the kingdom has done to stabilize the Middle East, fight terrorism and support American priorities, hitting back after the president called Middle Eastern governments “free riders” on US initiatives. “You accuse us of fomenting sectarian strife in Syria, Yemen and Iraq,” Turki al-Faisal, a Saudi prince and former ambassador to the United States and Britain, wrote in an open letter published Monday in the English-language Arab News. “You add insult to injury by telling us to share our world with Iran, a country that you describe as a supporter of terrorism.” Al-Faisal’s letter was a response to comments Obama made in a much-discussed interview with The Atlantic magazine in which Obama referred to the Saudis and other allies as “free riders” who push the United States to act but contribute little themselves. Obama has long been cooler toward the Saudis and other Arab allies than his predecessor, but his willingness to forcefully criticize them stunned many in Washington’s foreign policy establishment.’
- See http://www.voltairenet.org/article190785.html for more details.
- Jeffrey Goldberg, “The Obama Doctrine: The U.S. president talks through his hardest decisions about America’s role in the world,” Atlantic Monthly, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/4… emphasis added.
- Prince Turki al Feisal, We are not ‘free riders’: Saudi prince Turki al-Faisal to Barack Obama,” Economic Times of India, March 15, 2016, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/51407805.cms?utm_source=…
What is left of the Republican Party is now being torn apart by internecine feuds, cabals, and intrigues. The pro-Trump and anti-Trump forces, each pursuing their own selfish interest, are nevertheless combining to advance the overarching social goal of sending the GOP antisocial and dysfunctional political congeries once and for all into the abyss.
The Republican Party was frequently compared to a four-legged stool, with four distinct ideological currents. First were the country club Republicans, representing the oak paneled boardrooms, from the local corporations all the way up to the Wall Street zombie banks themselves. These were often called the legions of greed. At the other extreme were the modest churchgoing folk, the evangelical Christians and hot button social issues conservatives, nevertheless given over to bigotry against certain ethnic groups and sexual minorities. The neocon warmongers were not a numerous component, but nevertheless could be counted on to orchestrate periodic wars, which the evangelicals, despite Christian teaching, could generally be relied upon to support. Then there were the Libertarians and stoners, mainly interested in narcotics, but also mobilizable for austerity ghoul campaigns launched by the legions of greed to tear up the social safety net and put everyone at the absolute mercy of the fetishized and mythologized free market. As of now, each of these factions is thankfully at war with the others. This in turn is a harbinger of doom for the GOP as a national party.
Because of the lifeboat ethics now operating inside the ruling class, the overall concessions pie in the federal budget has now shrunk to the point where the survival of all of these components can no longer be guaranteed. Hence the acrimony and partisanship of the political struggle, since it is clear that those who do not find a place at the table when the music stops may be consigned to the outer darkness.
For many, the big question seems to be whether Trump will be able to accumulate 1,237 delegates by the time of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in mid July. By now, the real question is rather whether the Republican nomination will be worth anything by the time Trump gets it, assuming he does.
Two scenarios immediately appear. One is that Trump falls short of the 1237 delegate absolute majority, which is required to receive the nomination. If Trump falls short, many of his delegates will be freed up to vote their consciences (or rather their bribery) on the second ballot. Since many of these delegates are party hacks and wheel horses who are loyal to themselves rather than to Trump, the entire Trump faction may collapse between the first and the second ballots. At that point, the megalomaniac Trump would feel free to declare that he had not been treated fairly, and that he was launching a third-party of authoritarians and personality cultists in his own image. This would mean the breakup of the Republican Party into at least two components.
The other scenario is that Trump indeed succeeds to get his famous 1237 delegates and wins the nomination on the first ballot. At that point, various groups will either walk out of the convention to the edification of the assembled television cameras, and will form a third party based on pure reactionary principles, which Trump really does not care about. This would also produce a Republican Party permanently split into two separate entities. Both of these scenarios would appear to guarantee the defeat of the old GOP, and quite possibly its permanent extinction. Therefore, however unsavory the intrigues on both sides, their positive role in the evolution of world history should be clearly recognized.
The reactionary austerity ghoul and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who will be the chairman of the RNC has announced in public that he will now be studying various scenarios of open or contested conventions, signaling that he is not happy with the prospect of Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has formally warned Trump that he must distance himself from any and all violence, no matter who starts it, or pay a terrible political price.
Then we have the intriguers, intensely private or flamboyantly public as they may be. Obscure committees of multi-billionaires are meeting around the clock to avoid going over the precipice towards which Trump insists on dragging them. Other groups include political operatives, talk show hosts, and reactionary publishers and ideologues. Some will want to use the convention machinery to block Trump’s path. Others are more interested in preparing third-party alternatives, should Trump actually obtain the GOP nomination. One well-publicized clique has gathered around Erick Erickson, the founder of the reactionary Red State blog:
‘Three influential leaders of the conservative movement have summoned other top conservatives for a closed-door meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C., to talk about how to stop Donald Trump and, should he become the Republican nominee, how to run a third-party “true conservative” challenger in the fall. The organizers of the meeting include Bill Wichterman, who was President George W. Bush’s liaison to the conservative movement; Bob Fischer, a South Dakota businessman and longtime conservative convener; and Erick Erickson, the outspoken Trump opponent and conservative activist who founded RedState.com.’
After conferring for two days, this group issued a statement making plain that they intend to use any and all means to bar the door to the personality cultist Trump:
‘We call for a unity ticket that unites the Republican Party. If that unity ticket is unable to get 1,237 delegates prior to the convention, we recognize that it took Abraham Lincoln three ballots at the Republican convention in 1860 to become the party’s nominee and if it is good enough for Lincoln, that process should be good enough for all the candidates without threats of riots. We encourage all former Republican candidates not currently supporting Trump to unite against him and encourage all candidates to hold their delegates on the first ballot.’
Clerical fascist Ted Cruz, by contrast, is still demanding that the convention be kept closed and that it be delivered to him, since he claims the supernatural powers necessary to get enough delegates to win on the first ballot. But Cruz has also started pointing to the results of his own opposition research against Trump, hinting that the billionaire speculator is in fact a mafioso, with many organized crime skeletons in his closet. Cruz is complaining that the mainstream media also have this information, but that they are hoarding it until the post-convention fall campaign, when it can be unleashed to destroy Trump to the benefit of Hillary Clinton, and it will be too late for the Republicans to choose an alternative candidate. As Cruz stated:
‘”I suspect Donald will continue to run and hide and bask in the protection from the network media that is trying to do everything they can to make him the nominee, because they know he’s the one candidate on the face of the planet that Hillary Clinton can beat in the general election,” Cruz theorized. Cruz also accused the media – who he called “suits in the suites” – of conspiring in a “cover up” of Trump’s history because they have not focused on the Republican frontrunner’s tax returns and his possible relations with “the mob.” “The media is doing everything they can to cover up his background,” Cruz said. “You’ve seen no reporting on his multiple business interaction with members of the mob. If he’s the nominee, every bit of that, September, October, November, every station they’ll cover all of that aspect. That’s how they give the presidency to Hillary Clinton.” “Well, the media has given him the equivalent of about $2 billion in free media. If you turn on the television at any moment, there are wall-to-wall infomercials.’
Part of the strategy of mass manipulation being used by the Trump campaign can be seen in the activities of a certain Roger Stone, a dubious and discredited Republican operative whose nefarious activities go back to Richard Nixon and his CREEP, the Committee to Reelect the President of Watergate infamy. Stone, appears to have been given the assignment of communicating crude fables of disinformation to various talk show hosts and journalists of significant gullibility.
The hollowness of the Republican nomination under these circumstances compels comparison with the capture of Moscow in 1812 by Trump’s fellow megalomaniac, Napoleon Bonaparte, who was often known as the Man of Destiny. Here is a quick sketch of that story, as told by the historian R.R. Palmer:
‘In June 1812, Napoleon led the Grand Army into Russia…. On September 14, 1812, the French Emperor entered Moscow. Almost immediately the city broke into flames. [These were fires which had been set by the retreating Russian forces.] Napoleon found himself camping in a ruin, with troops strewn along a long line all the way back to Poland, and with a hostile army maneuvering stealthily near at hand. [The third party.] Baffled, he tried to negotiate with Tsar Alexander I, who refused all overtures. After five weeks, not knowing what to do, and fearful of remaining isolated in Moscow over the winter, Napoleon ordered a retreat. Prevented by the Russians from taking a more southerly route, the Grand Army retired by the same way it had come. The cold weather set in early, and was unusually severe. For a century after 1812, the retreat from Moscow remained the last word in military horror. Men froze and starved, horses slipped and died, vehicles could not be moved, and equipment was abandoned. Discipline broke down near the end; the army dissolved into a horde of individual fugitives, speaking a Babel of languages…. (R.R. Palmer and Joel Colton, A History of the Modern World (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1961), pp. 409-410.
We can expect that the retreat of Trump from Cleveland in the second half of July will tend to resemble the rout of the megalomaniac Napoleon and his forces. This may come through Trump’s outright failure to take the GOP nomination, or it may come through massive defections and the launching of a third party, calling itself conservative and determined to compete with Trump. In either case, riots in the streets are highly likely. Each of these outcomes will in its own way be extremely negative for Donald Trump.
President Richard Nixon (right) with South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond (left), the leader of the Southern Segregationists or Dixiecrats who left the Democratic Party in protest against the civil rights legislation of the 1960’s. At the Republican National Convention in Miami in 1968, Nixon and Thurmond agreed that the Republican Party would jettison its historic support of civil rights and would welcome segregationists into its ranks. The resulting combination dominated U.S. politics from 1968 to 2008, and exercises powerful influence down to the present time. This is the carcass to which Trump has lashed himself.
In yesterday’s briefing, we briefly examined the party systems, watershed elections, and party extinctions which have marked the course of American history under the current constitution. To understand the ongoing breakup of the Republican Party as it descends into the maelstrom with Trump like a new Captain Ahab at the helm, we must examine the unprincipled political swindle which has provided the internal structure for the Republican Party since the tragic breakup of the FDR New Deal coalition during the time of the Vietnam War in 1968. Once we have identified this dastardly political sellout of American values, we will be able to see far more clearly the deeper and darker currents in the American psyche towards which a superficial rabble-rouser like Trump is opportunistically orienting his campaign.
The FDR New Deal coalition was composed of big-city Democratic machines like New York’s Tammany Hall or the Chicago Daley machine, the mass base of the trade union movement, blacks and other ethnic minorities, the Democratic Solid South which had been voting Democratic since the Civil War, plus some farm states and many intellectuals.
Lyndon B. Johnson, in an act of incomparable political vandalism and stupidity, did severe damage to this coalition by embarking on the adventure of the Vietnam War. Far more serious in electoral terms was the support for modern civil rights legislation coming from JFK and LBJ. It was the widespread feeling in the southern states that they had been betrayed by LBJ (fellow Southerner though he was) in their central racist obsession.
It was during the 1960s and 1970s that the political machines in the former Confederate States of America ceased to identify themselves as Democratic, and began to consider themselves as Republicans. It is worth remembering that, just a few years earlier, JFK had limited success with the black voters of northern states because of the continuing tradition in those communities of voting for the Republicans, the party of Abraham Lincoln.
It was during the 1960s that a role reversal was completed, with the Republicans becoming the racists, and the Democrats embracing the cause of civil rights, to pick up black votes in the northern inner cities.
This meant that in virtually every election, the Republicans started off with 100 or more electoral votes, representing the southern anti-integrationist bloc. Since the Democrats, now in the service of Wall Street and of their various identity politics groups, could seldom win everything outside of the South, the deck was stacked in favor of candidates like Nixon, Reagan, and the Bushes. Even Democratic candidates had to be Southerners, like Carter or Clinton.
Under the southern strategy, the Republicans could often count on the support of white men, residents of states below the Mason Dixon line, evangelical Christians, militarists, the plutocrats of the country club set, and policy elites such as the warmonger neocons and Wall Street itself. In this way, the reactionary minority which had turned out for Barry Goldwater in 1964 became a landslide in favor of Nixon in 1972, and then for Reagan just a few years later.
We should notice that the Republican coalition represented an attempt to focus everything on race, and to ignore economic and social class. But this was necessary since the party was trying to unite super-rich Wall Street speculators with dirt poor Southern, rural, and Intermountain Western persons of the most modest means. This also meant that the Republicans had to introduce sweeping elements of irrationality, mysticism, and obfuscation to camouflage the explosive class contradictions within their own ranks.
According to one historian of the modern Republican Party:
‘In 1968, Nixon captured Goldwater voters by adopting the Southern Strategy to assure white southerners that the days of federal enforcement of civil rights were ending. In 1980, Reagan began his general election campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers had been murdered during Freedom Summer, and told the crowd, “I believe in states’ rights.” The message was unmistakable. He also used the image of the “Welfare Queen,” a black woman who stole tax dollars by making fraudulent welfare claims, in winning the presidency…With a Movement Conservative in the White House, the faction’s leaders tied the Republican Party to tax cuts, the deregulation of business, and the end of social welfare policies. Then, when even racism did not produce enough popular support for their economic policies, leaders welcomed evangelical voters into their movement, promising them conservative social legislation in exchange for their votes.’
The horror, consternation, and curiosity generated by the Trump candidacy has also revived interest in how the Republicans have been scamming lower class white voters of all types for lo these many decades. William Greider, basing himself in part on research by Scott Lilly, has also attempted recently to analyze these events in an article in The Nation entitled ‘Why Today’s GOP Crackup Is the Final Unraveling of Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy; Tea Party rebels are exposing the deep rifts between country-club elites and social-issue hard-liners.”
As Greider writes, the issue now is also whether the Republican Party will become extinct:
‘Fresh chatter among Washington insiders is not about whether the Republican Party will win in 2016 but whether it will survive. Donald Trump — the fear that he might actually become the GOP nominee — is the ultimate nightmare.’
Following Lilly, Greider sees the GOP as having become so addicted to a successful electoral racket that it had become blind to the deeper demographic trends and ideological evolution of American society. Vindictive elderly white men have become proportionally fewer, while various varieties of immigrants have shown themselves to be far more prolific. In addition, the depression of 2008 has focused more attention on the GOP’s tendency to sacrifice its poorer constituents in favor of big money interests like the Koch brothers:
‘After five decades of shrewd strategy, the Republican coalition Richard Nixon put together in 1968 — welcoming the segregationist white South into the Party of Lincoln — is now devouring itself in ugly, spiteful recriminations. To grasp the GOP’s dilemma, it helps to understand that the modern Republican Party was founded on some basic contradictions. It has been an odd-couple coalition that unites the East Coast Republican establishment with the hardscrabble segregationists of the white South. Richard Nixon brokered the deal with Dixiecrat leader Strom Thurmond at the ’68 convention in Miami, wherein states of the old slave-holding Confederacy would join the Party of Lincoln. It took two election cycles to convert the “Solid South,” but Nixon and GOP apparatchiks made it clear with private assurances that Republicans would discreetly retire their historic commitment to civil rights.’
The fateful meetings between Nixon and Strom Thurmond at the 1968 Republican national convention in Miami were evoked at the time by author Norman Mailer in his lively narrative, Miami and the Siege of Chicago. The Dixiecrats led by Thurmond would have been anxious to climb aboard the Ronald Reagan bandwagon, since Reagan was already known to be a closet racist, but Thurmond realized that only Nixon, armed with the full panoply of powers of the presidency, was already in a position to shut down most civil rights and voting rights enforcement by the Department of Justice and by the United States government in general. Mailer quotes Thurmond as telling his supporters something like: “It breaks my heart that we can’t get behind a fine man like Governor Reagan, but Mr. Nixon is deserving of our support, and he shall have it.” Mailer makes clear that behind this verbiage was an important deal. The United States has been paying the price ever since for this cynical nihilism of Nixon. The Supreme Court jurisprudence of the late Antonin Scalia was, of course, 1000% within the logic of this despicable bargain.
But how could Wall Street City Slickers dupe Southern, Western, and rural evangelicals into voting for a party platform pledged to sacrifice the interests of the poor country folk in the name of the Mammon-worshippers of lower Manhattan? The answer is cultural populism, primarily meaning that rural resentments had to be directed against the elite politicians of the Democratic Party, and their social mores, as well as against a few token ultra-left billionaires like George Soros. In the spirit of cultural populism, party planks about abortion, guns, God, gays, school prayer, and other low-cost issues were added to the Republican platform. The operative term here is rube bait.
It has taken the white lower middle class – never the swiftest – almost 50 years to realize that they have been duped, but many have still not figured out that it is their tendency towards racism which has made them such easy marks. After the 2008 depression, the diverging of economic interests has become very obvious:
‘Nixon’s reconfiguration brought together “polar opposites among White Americans,” Lilly noted. The traditional wing of the party—“country club” Republicans, who include corporate leaders, financiers and investors—became partners with poor, rural, church-going voters, among them the Southern “segs” who had previously always voted for Democrats. Black Southerners didn’t count in the equation, since they were still mostly being blocked from voting. After Congress enacted the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Lyndon Johnson confided to a White House aide, “I think we just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come.” Nixon’s new Republicans became a formidable national party, Lilly explained, but they always straddled the tension between rich and poor. “The problem,” Lilly said, “is that this latter group has almost nothing in common with the country club wing.… The country clubbers don’t care about prayer in the public schools, gun rights, stopping birth control, abortion and immigration.” On the other hand, common folks don’t worry over marginal tax rates, capital formation, or subsidies for major corporations. “If they ever fully understood that their more prosperous party brethren were contemplating deep cuts in Medicare and Medicaid to pay for those policies, they would be in open rebellion,” Lilly observed.’
Of course, Trump has repeatedly blurted out that he thinks wages are too high, that he considers the minimum wage to be illegitimate, that he does not want to increase social security benefits – not even to make up for the losses in IRAs and 401(k)s caused by Wall Street’s Lehman Brothers banking panic and stock market crash. Trump has made no secret of his hostility to unions, nor of his eagerness to use the Taft-Hartley Law to prevent any further organizing for collective bargaining purposes.
The Republicans have long used the so-called dog whistles to communicate with their racist political base in a way that many average Americans were not able to understand:
‘In 1980, Ronald Reagan opened his presidential campaign at the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi — a few miles from where three civil-rights workers had been murdered in the 1960s. Reagan announced his intention “to restore to the states and local communities functions which properly belong there.” That is Dixie’s euphemism for opposing racial integration. In 1988, George H.W. Bush smeared Michael Dukakis with his notoriously racist “Willie Horton” ads. In 1990 in North Carolina, Senator Jesse Helms ran for reelection against Harvey Gantt, a black former mayor of Charlotte, with a provocative ad attacking affirmative action.’
With Trump, the racist dog whistle has become a racist foghorn or a racist air raid siren.
In 1970, Nixon and his Secretary of Labor George Shultz mobilized hard-hat construction workers in lower Manhattan to beat up peace demonstrators. Then, to show their gratitude, Nixon and Schultz turned around and played groups of black unemployed against these very same white construction workers. This was called the Philadelphia Plan:
‘During Nixon’s first term, Shultz revived the so-called Philadelphia Plan, a system of racial quotas for hiring in the then largely white construction trades which had been developed by Labor Secretary Willard Wirtz of the Johnson administration. John Ehrlichman of Nixon’s palace guard later commented that Tricky Dick “thought that Secretary of Labor George Shultz had shown great style constructing a political dilemma for the labor union leaders and civil rights groups….Before long, the AFL-CIO and the NAACP were locked in combat over the passionate issues of the day.” [Ehrlichman, 228-229] Later, the McGovern group in the Democratic Party would inscribe racial and gender quotas on their own banner so prominently that Nixon in 1972 could get away with attacking McGovern as “the quota candidate.”’ (Tarpley, Surviving the Cataclysm, 1999)
To call Trump a racist surely qualifies as a limited hangout. Trump’s racism is real enough, but is subsumed within the broader and more dangerous category of fascism. Now that Trump is threatening riots if he is denied a coronation at the Republican convention in the Cleveland this July, this fact should be obvious to all.
- William Greider, “Why Today’s GOP Crackup Is the Final Unraveling of Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy’: Tea Party rebels are exposing the deep rifts between country-club elites and social-issue hard-liners,” The Nation, October 12, 2015.
Trump Takes Home State of Florida, Illinois, North Carolina; Trump Demands Corporate Welfare for $2 Trillion in Illegal Overseas Cash Hoarded by U.S. Predators; Tough Guy Whines about Negative Advertising; Asks for Solidarity of Rich in Effort to Start Winning Again; Sanders Salvages Missouri; Rubio Drops Out; Obama Chides “Republican Crackup”; Zombie Candidate Trump Guarantees GOP Breakup; His Weak Plurality Candidacy May Never Obtain Required 1,237 Convention Delegates; Extinction of GOP Will Continue American Tradition of Party Realignments
The Tax Wall Street Party perspective has always consisted of the extinction of the Republican Party as a national force, followed by the split of the Democratic Party into pro-Wall Street and anti-Wall Street factions, is rooted in an examination of the recurring patterns of American history. Here we see a succession of political systems or political climates characterized by a majority party and a minority party, along with other typical features, with each of these systems lasting 32, 36, or 40 years. The dividing lines between these political systems are represented by the so-called watershed elections, and sometimes involve the collapse and extinction of one or even two major political parties.
The most recent of these watershed elections will probably turn out to have been the defeat of McCain by Obama in 2008. After 2008, the demographic trends among the major voting and constituency groups in this country are tending to give an advantage to the Democratic Party, while also tending to consign the reactionary Republicans to a sort of demographic doom. But, for reasons ranging from the world depression of 2008 to the personal timidity and risk-aversity of Obama, the decline of the Republicans has been far slower than might have been expected.
Now, we are experiencing the candidacy of a fascist named Trump who is taking advantage of this delay. Trump is a figure who takes many of the ideological lunacies and absurdities of the Republican Party and escalates them into their most extreme form. He is the abortive paroxysm and re-assertion of the wedge issues of the 1968-2008 reactionary order called the Southern Strategy.
Moscow, August 1991: GKChP Wanted to Make USSR Great Again
At the end of an era, when institutions are moribund and old ideologies are discredited and widely rejected, these figures recapitulate and reassert the mistakes of recent decades, and try to reimpose them through sheer force of will and imagination. In other words, all the ideological garbage, racism, political swindles, corruption and other abuses of the Republican Party of 1968 and the present is now concentrated in the gesticulating figure of Trump, where it is amplified by several orders of magnitude. On the international level, we also see historical figures who briefly seize control of center stage when their hour is in reality long past.
Students of philosophy may recall Hegel’s Owl of Minerva, a figure which sought to express the idea that true wisdom about a civilization is most likely to be obtained when that civilization is in the process of final breakdown. According to Hegel, the Owl of Minerva takes flight in the gathering dusk. What we have in Trump is the exact opposite. Trump concentrates all the folly, the cowardice, the corruption, and the cruelty of the old order precisely at the time when that old order is in crisis. We might call Trump the Owl of Priapus. He does not represent any wisdom, he represents the obsessive attempt to put the old formulas together and force them down the throats of the people.
We might compare Trump to the pro-monarchist Kapp Putsch attacking the Weimar Republic in Germany in 1920. He also has something of Louis XVIII of France, who represented the rickety restoration of the Bourbon line after Napoleon and foreign occupation. These are people who showed up when the form of society they represented was ending.
In August 1991, a group of top Soviet officials announced that they were ousting Soviet President Gorbachev and assuming state power. Their statements asserted that they wanted to Make the Soviet Union Great Again. When certain political systems are crumbling, there is a tendency to bring forth militant but backward-looking political figures. Donald Trump is the leading example so far of this tendency in the United States.
In our own time, an excellent comparison for Trump is the August 19-21, 1991 coup d’etat in Moscow by the GKChP or State Committee on the State of Emergency. They wanted to make the Soviet Union great again. Their statement read: “”the honor and dignity of the Soviet man must be restored.”
They too wanted to prevent the end of a phase of Soviet imperialism which could no longer be maintained. Trump represents the same mood of fear, anger, pessimism and desperation which grips his followers as they see the Bush-neocon form of US foreign interference inexorably slip away, and realize that US elites are about as corrupt as the Soviet apparatchiki were.
To gain an adequate understanding of party realignments, watershed elections, and the processes by which parties become extinct, it is indispensable to have an overview of how these phenomena have played out in American history. Here is a quick summary, which will be the basis of our future coverage of the GOP breakup and the Trump campaign.
Critical Watershed Elections Thus Far 1828, 1860, 1896, 1932, 1968, 2008
The phenomenon of critical or watershed elections extraordinary elections which revamped and reorganized the basic power relations among the parties was explicitly raised by the political scientist V. O. Key in 1955. In the following decades, this idea was developed by writers like E. E. Schattschneider, James L. Sundquist, and Walter Dean Burnham. By the 1990s, realignment studies had declined, partly because of conceptual inability to face the fact that the 1968 election had marked the beginning of a reactionary cycle. An exception was Kevin Phillips’ The Emerging Republican Majority (1969), which both recognized and welcomed the reactionary turn. Rare references to realignment in 2000 had become rarer by the mid-oughties, despite abundant empirical evidence that a realignment was due and was actually happening.
Realignment elections are marked by high levels of voter concern and participation. A new dominant voter cleavage over basic issues tends to supplant the older one, thus reshuffling the political deck. There is frequently ideological polarization, often urged on by the minority electorate. Races in the House of Representatives tend to be dominated by great national issues, as distinct from local, regional or wedge issues which often prevail in routine elections. Parties that benefit from presidential realignments are also likely to capture both houses of Congress, as Roosevelt did in 1932. In realignment elections, American voters tend to be less manipulated and more able to recognize their own vital interests than in routine elections.
[Obama’s defeat of McCain the 2008 election should have put an end to the GOP’s odious Southern Strategy of the post-1968 period, and there is reason to hope we are now in a transition to a party system in which the Republicans have been largely eliminated as a presidential party, and in which the Democrats have split into a pro-Wall Street and a New Deal/economic populist/pro-labor/progressive competing entities. But this process has been painfully slow, in part because of Obama’s feckless response to the 2008 depression, which could easily have been used to cut the power of Wall Street down to size. Because of Obama’s passivity and fear of conflict, a window has been left open for the demagogue Trump.
Like Trump, arch-traitors Aaron Burr (left) and Jefferson Davis (right) attempted to seize power in times of national upheaval and crisis. Jefferson Davis resembles Trump closely in that both of them emerged during the disorder of party realignments.
In this analysis, Trump can be compared to figures (and scoundrels) like Aaron Burr, Jefferson Davis, Huey Long, or George Wallace, each appearing to contend for power during the transitional periods when the re-alignment is still being consolidated. Thankfully, such figures have up to now in American history enjoyed limited success.
With these ideas in mind, let us briefly review the party systems which have prevailed in this country between the ratification of the present federal Constitution (1788) and today.
1788: Hamiltonians and Jeffersonians, Genius vs Sabotage
The first party system started with three terms for the Washington-Hamilton Federalists. But the cycle was to be dominated by the Jeffersonians, who incorporated backward anti-Federalist sentiment and later called themselves the Republicans not to be confused with the Lincoln Republicans later on. After Jefferson’s victory in 1800, no more Federalists became president; the Federalist Party itself collapsed and disappeared because of its flirtation with nullification and New England secession in protest over the War of 1812 at the unsavory Hartford Convention of 1814. The last phase of this cycle, marked by virtual one-party rule, is called the “era of good feelings.” The last election of this cycle, that of 1824, was decided by the House.
1828: The Jacksonian Era: Depression and a Slide into Civil War
The second party system begins in 1828 with Andrew Jackson’s victory over National Republican John Quincy Adams. 1828 marks the emergence of the Democratic Party. The Whig Party, an incoherent anti-Jacksonian congeries, emerged to express opposition to King Andrew. This second system is characterized by increasingly tragic failure: after Jackson destroyed the Hamilton-Henry Clay Second Bank of the United States, the Panic of 1837 bankrupted many states and put the nation on a track of economic crisis which helped to bring on secession and civil war. Democratic presidents during this phase are weak one-termers like the mentally unstable Franklin Pierce (the ancestor of Barbara Pierce Bush and thus of the current tenant of the White House) and James Buchanan, the quintessential doughface (or northern politician with pro-slavery principles). The exceptions are two Whig war-hero generals, William Henry “Tippecanoe” Harrison, and Zachary Taylor, both of whom died shortly after taking office. The Whigs collapsed and disappeared in the early 1850s, partly because of their failure to deal with the rising sectional issues, and partly because of Winfield Scott’s bid for the Irish vote. The anti-immigration Knownothing Party rose and quickly disappeared during the 1850s.
||(US Federal Constitution ratified, 1787-88)
||Jeffersonians (anti-Federalists, Republicans)
||Washington as war hero, Adams
||Federalists collapse after 1814 due to New England secessionism
||Andrew Jackson, 1828
||Harrison and Taylor, war heroes
||Whigs collapse after 1852
||Abraham Lincoln, 1860
||2 terms of Grover Cleveland
||Democrats as party of rum, Romanism, rebellion
||McKinley defeats W.J. Bryan, 1896
||Pro-gold standard Republicans
||2 terms of Wilson after T. Roosevelt splits GOP, 1912
||Democrats absorb Populists but stay minority because of hatred for Cleveland
||F.D. Roosevelt defeats Hoover, 1932
||New Deal Democrats
||2 terms of Eisenhower as war hero
||FDR national coalition with support of unions; GOP marginalized for 20 years
||Nixon defeats Humphrey, 1968
||Southern strategy Republicans
||Sectarian McGovern Democrats, DLC “New” Democrats, lifestyle movements
||Carter after Watergate, 2 terms of Clinton after Bush 41 disaster
||New Deal coalition wrecked by LBJ Vietnam policy, southern racist response to 1964 Civil Rights Act
||Obama defeats McCain, 2008
||Democrats; post-2016 anti-Wall Street Democrats
||Trump racist-xenophobic Republicans
||Too soon to tell
||Too soon to tell
1860: Lincoln and the Republicans
The main feature of the third party system is the rise of the Lincoln-Seward Republicans in 1860, when the Democrats split into a northern wing under Douglas and a southern wing under Breckenridge. The basis of the Republicans was the rejection of slavery in the territories and the “slave power conspiracy,” as Seward phrased it. After the Civil War, Republicans routinely won elections by waving the bloody shirt of the Union dead, while the ex-Confederates voted Democratic to spite the victors. During the 36 years of this cycle, the two separate terms of Grover Cleveland were the only Democratic victories. But Cleveland failed miserably in the face of the Panic of 1893, when he turned control over the US public debt to Morgan and the City of London, while telling ordinary Americans that the free market dictated their starvation. Hatred of Cleveland was expressed in the term “Cleveland cafes,” which referred to the depression breadlines and Hoovervilles of the time. Cleveland’s refusal to alleviate the misery of average Americans would stack the deck against the Democrats in 1896, guaranteeing the decisive defeat of William Jennings Bryan and with it another 36-year Republican cycle.
1896: McKinley Defeats Bryan
The fourth system is the system inaugurated in 1896 by the victory of Republican William McKinley over the Democrat-Populist Bryan. Here the issue was inflationary silver coinage vs. the deflationary gold standard, with the McKinley Republicans embracing big business and gold. Many traditionally Republican farm states supported the Democrat Bryan, but the great plains, the intermountain west and the south were not enough to defeat the pro-GOP northeast, the Midwest, and most of the Pacific coast. The two exceptions during this cycle are the two terms of Woodrow Wilson, who won thanks to Theodore Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party splitoff from the Taft Republicans in 1912 a split promoted by J.P. Morgan. This era brought the Federal Reserve, the FBI, the income tax, and World War I. By the 1920s, the Republicans were run by an oligarchy of Senators operating in smoke-filled rooms (like the one that chose Harding in 1920), while the Democrats were controlled by a different Wall Street faction around Raskob. The Democratic tickets of 1924 (Davis, a Morgan partner) and 1928 (Al Smith, a disciple of Grover Cleveland) were the most right-wing fielded by that party until Gore-Lieberman in 2000. As a result, the LaFollette Progressives broke away from the Democrats in 1924, somewhat along the lines of Ralph Nader in 2000.
1932: Roosevelt and the New Deal
The most celebrated critical watershed election in American history is Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1932 landslide victory over Herbert Hoover, the failed Republican who presided over the Great Depression, and who failed to use federal power for the benefit of the masses. FDR assembled a national coalition of big city Democratic machines, the solid south, labor, racial and ethnic minorities, women, and some farmers. The financier elite, by contrast, hated Roosevelt and accused him of class treason. FDR’s unprecedented four terms inaugurated an epoch of a middle class majority, rising real wages and living standards, rising levels of trade union organization, social progress, dignity, scientific discovery and strong defense. Instead of a regime composed of the federal government plus Wall Street, as under the Republicans in the 1920s, the New Deal was based on a broker state which mediated between Wall Street on the one hand, and the new mass trade union organizations on the other. The New Deal state unlocked the secrets of the atom and put humanity on the moon, while holding off Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. The exceptions during this phase are the two terms of Dwight Eisenhower, which resulted from the willingness of Harry Truman, a puppet of oligarchs, to attack the New Deal labor base, plus Truman’s failure to end the Korean War.
1968: Vietnam Destroys the Democrats’ New Deal Coalition
The end of the New Deal and the onset of the sixth party system was provoked by in 1968 by Lyndon B. Johnson, who allowed the Bundy brothers, Harriman, McNamara and other oligarchs to embroil the US in the Vietnam War after the 1963 Kennedy assassination and the fake 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, a variant of Operation Northwoods. The shattering of the Democratic Party on the Vietnam issue was symbolized by the lawless police riot against peace demonstrators at the Democratic convention in Chicago in August 1968, which represented a major crisis inside the Democratic Party. In addition, the old south was gripped by a wave of reaction against racial desegregation and the provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which was opposed that year by George H. W. Bush. This caused the old south to begin to switch its loyalty from Democratic to Republican. As the old Democratic Solid South went for the GOP, formerly rock-ribbed Republican New England and environs inclined to the Democrats. Working-class voters left the Democrats to join Nixon’s chauvinistic silent majority, and later the cultural populist Reagan Democrats. Wedge issues, starting with race and including abortion, gun control, school prayer, homosexuality, etc., were used to divide the electorate. These were demagogic and manipulative issues which made little difference in the daily lives of most people, but they were seized on by vocal minorities to polarize and dupe the electorate, chipping away at the FDR national coalition. The theory of wedge issues was developed by the vicious Lee Atwater, a Bush 41 election adviser, who learned the practice from the southern racist Strom Thurmond, who needed wedge issues to get elected in Democratic South Carolina, where Thurmond had become one of the first southern Republicans to protest civil rights and desegregation. Real wages and living standards fell, especially after Nixon demolished Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Bretton Woods world monetary system in 1971-73; the US standard of living has now fallen by about 50% since the time of JFK, if the decline in average weekly earnings, the increased cost of insurance, education, and medical care, plus the lengthening of the work week and commuter time are all taken into account. Percentages of union membership in the workforce are in freefall since Reagan’s union-busting attack on the Air Traffic Controllers, and total industrial employment has now fallen below 10 million for the first time since the nineteenth century. The US has a merchandise trade deficit of around $500 billion and a real federal budget deficit of about $750 billion for 2004-2005. The country is bogged down in unwinnable wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as a result of the warmongering agitation of the neocons, a tiny ideological cabal with no mass base. This phase has been marked by the growing influence and escalating machinations of a secret government based in part in the CIA and FBI, as reflected in the JFK, RFK, and Martin Luther King assassinations, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, Watergate, Iran-contra, and the 9/11 terror attacks, among other incidents.
The Demise of Republican Ideology Under Bush
The Republican Party used to have an ideology. This ideology was based on limited government, isolationist foreign policy, favoritism for the white middle class, and fiscal responsibility. G. W. Bush has, by his actions while in office, destroyed every tenet of this ideology. Were the Republicans the party of fiscal responsibility? Bush, with a federal budget deficit of almost $500 billion (in reality much more) has beaten his own father’s record of $290 billion. Were the Republicans leery of nation-building, and anxious to accommodate isolationists? Bush has invaded two countries, sent troops to dozens more, and talks of a fantastic neocon plan to democratize the Middle east and the world, while demanded some $250 billion from the taxpayers to fund it. Were the Republicans the party of limited government? Bush’s prescription drug plan does little for senior citizens, but does provide hundreds of billions of dollars to the pharmaceutical cartel. Did the Republicans pose as the defenders of the native white middle class? In service to financiers and sweatshop owners, Bush is now ready to bring in multitudes of super-exploited Mexican and other guest workers on a revolving door program that will send them home when they are used up, all the while driving down domestic wages. Were the Republicans the party of the free market? No free market to import cheaper drugs from Canada, says Tommy Thompson, even though NAFTA is supposed to have removed those trade barriers. These examples could be multiplied, but the pattern is clear: not a single point of the GOP creed has survived the Bush tenure of the White House.
GOP Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska is deeply concerned about the future of his party. Professor Andrew Levine of the Institute for Policy Studies agreed in a C-SPAN seminar at the end of August that the GOP might face collapse. How could this come about? The glue that holds the country club, board room, libertarian, rural and Bible-thumping constituencies together is not a defunct ideology, but Bush personally, the exercise of power, and above all the GOP’s ability to loot the federal budget. The gravy train goes from Enron and Halliburton to KBR to a myriad of faith-based boondoggles and corporate welfare. If the GOP were to lose the White House, Senate, and House, it is not clear that it could survive in the opposition. The party might break up, or it might be reduced to a small minority, as after 1932.
2008: Obama Defeats McCain, but the Party Realignment Is Still Stuck in the Mud
Obama’s defeat of McCain should have triggered a re-alignment which by now should have been successfully completed. But Obama has proven too weak and unable to brush aside the sabotage of the moribund Republican Party, and the nation has paid the price with a GOP-controlled House in 2010 and a GOP Senate in 2014. By 2016, Republicans controlled 30 out of 50 governorships, and had added about 1,000 members of state legislatures. But many of these officials at all levels were reactionary crackpots, turbulent, irrational, recalcitrant and rebellious. The greedy GOP party bosses may have gorged and surfeited on votes from the depression-crazed petty bourgeoisie (or middle class) to the point where they will become ill and die. In the House, Majority Leader and heir apparent Eric Cantor was ousted in a primary in 2014, and Speaker John Boehner was driven from office in the fall of 2015.
All of which brings us to the chaos candidate and personality cultist Donald Trump, the most recent in a series of scavengers and predators who have sought to feed off the inevitable confusion of a party realignment. Trump joins the series that includes adventurers like Aaron Burr, Jefferson Davis, Huey Long, and George Wallace.
TO BE CONTINUED