Some people have extramarital affairs. Generally, the cheating spouse(s) tries (try) to keep such an affair secret. Why? Well, the adjective cheating explains their motivation. Regardless of the outward cultural trends, most of us still have a core view of marriage as a monogamous partnership, and we still have moral qualms about one partner treating the other unfairly. That moral unease also attaches to the third party whether or not he or she is also cheating on his or her spouse as well. But that’s not exactly the issue I’m trying to address in this post.
Joan Walsh has a piece over at The Nation titled Kamala Harris Deserves Better Than Sexist Criticism About Her Personal Life. It’s tagged with the line
The 2020 presidential candidate has faced down creepy gossip about a past relationship for 20 years. It should stop—now.
I have no particular interest in any politician’s sex life per se. However, any information about a person’s behavior can have relevance on his fitness for a given job. Someone who has risen the ranks because of demonstrated competence is probably a better candidate for hiring or promotion than someone who advanced through unearned favoritism.
The Left’s neomarxism posits that all politics (indeed, all of life) is a struggle for power between opposing groups and that hierarchies use the false measures of competence as a means of oppression. Of course, most Leftists don’t really live their lives that way. For example they generally prefer to have their surgeries performed by successful graduates of medical schools. When push comes to shove, most people prefer competence.
The issue that Kamala Harris has placed before us is whether she is the best, most competent, candidate for President in 2020. All of her life, certainly all of her public life, should now be open for inspection and evaluation. Did she rise through the Bay Area and California political systems on her own competence? Or did she receive an unearned boost because she was someone’s “girlfriend”? If she purposefully engaged in such an affair to boost her career, how is that morally different from the corrupt predatory behavior exposed by the #MeToo movement? Does her career, taken as a whole, display competence or corruption?
Those are nontrivial questions, and a public discussion of them is now in order because of her candidacy.
Neo has a post up titled Something’s going on in Europe which quotes several European source about populist movements on the other side of the Atlantic.
France and Britan—
Technically, our globalised economic model performs well. It produces a lot of wealth. But it doesn’t need the majority of the population to function. It has no real need for the manual workers, labourers and even small-business owners outside of the big cities. Paris creates enough wealth for the whole of France, and London does the same in Britain. But you cannot build a society around this. The gilets jaunes is a revolt of the working classes who live in these places…
America isn’t the only Western country in which too much power accrues to self-seeking bureaucrats and lobbyists who don’t give a damn what ordinary citizens think or want or need. America’s not alone in being run by politicians who, preoccupied with short-term personal gains and political prospects at the expense of the long-term national interest, pursue disastrous policies that threaten to bring down Western civilization. And America isn’t the only country whose mainstream news media spread “fake news” about all the above, whitewashing dangerous alien cultures while showing insufficient concern for our own.
The cities themselves have become very unequal, too. The Parisian economy needs executives and qualified professionals. It also needs workers, predominantly immigrants, for the construction industry and catering et cetera. Business relies on this very specific demographic mix. The problem is that ‘the people’ outside of this still exist. In fact, ‘Peripheral France’ actually encompasses the majority of French people.
I believe that there’s a lesson to be drawn from history about the long-term viability of a society that focuses on an urban elite at the expense of the plebes in flyover country. It is the history of Rome. Eventually, the political balance that maintains the elite in their commanding positions will fail as their internal conflicts weaken them. We may be seeing such a struggle on the Left here in the U. S.
Trump, Brexit, and les gilet jaunes are the vanguard of flyover country’s opposition to the current order. Bernie Sanders and ¡Ocasio! She Guevara appear to represent people who want to be part of the elite, but who feel that they have been cheated by a corrupt hierarchy. There are only so many slots available for executive, managerial, and professional workers, and many young inner party wannabes are finding that they have six-figure student loans and a working-class job or no job at all. They haven’t even been able to move into the outer party.
Free stuff—tuition, medical care, whatever—will ease the current burden on the elite wannabes, but many of the elite’s policies run counter to their real world interests. The internal fights on the Left are about to get interesting.
Neither of Maryland’s Senators are up for reelection in 2020, but all of our Congresscritters will be. If I were going to run against one of the seven Democrats, I’d make an issue of their party’s willingness to hold the paychecks of the 28,000+ non-essential federal employees in Maryland hostage to the fight over funding the border wall.
Now that the 2020 silly season is gearing up, it looks as if the Democrats’ presidential primary field could be as crowded as the Republicans’ was in 2016. Steven Teles has a piece over at The New Republic that examines how a Democrat might win that party’s nomination using a strategy similar to the one pursued by Donald Trump in 2016—let the broad field of candidates divide the vote of the mainstream while he went after an sizable niche that was larger than anyone else’s share of the divided larger pie.
A recent survey by More in Common, a bipartisan think tank, identified a section of voters it called “progressive activists.” These people account for a disproportionate percentage of voters in Democratic primaries. But they are, More in Common found, just 8 percent of the American electorate as a whole. In other words, many more potential primary voters may be out there who would be open to a different kind of ideological mix than the one offered by the major Democratic candidates. And because no one is fighting for (and splitting) their share of the vote, they could end up deciding the Democratic primary.
In 1995, the writer Michael Lind argued that the center in American politics was divided between a “moderate middle” of people who are fiscally conservative but socially liberal (they’d probably vote for Michael Bloomberg) and what Lind called a “radical center” of people who are economically more left-wing—angry about the powerful moneyed interests who, they believe, have rigged the economy in their favor—but more traditional on questions of social order and skeptical of the nation’s governing elites. New America’s Lee Drutman recently found that these kinds of voters make up 29 percent of the entire American electorate. They are, essentially, the people politicians fight over in the battleground states in the general election every four years. But they are also important in the nominating contests. If a Democratic candidate could convince a sizable portion to participate in the primary, she might win the nomination.
Read the whole thing.
One thing that stands out to me in this theory is that the potential group of Democrats identified is economically radical but socially conservative, meaning that they’re likely put off by the social policies of ¡Ocasio! She Guevara and her ilk.
Things are about to get interesting. I’d better check the popcorn inventory.
As someone who has retired twice and is back at work again, it would not surprise me if outgoing SecDef Mattis stayed active in politics and statecraft. Indeed, there will probably be several attempts to recruit him as a political candidate. Mad Dog 2020 memes already are circulating on the Interwebz.
Now that sentencing memos for Flynn and Cohen are floating around in public, the Left and the press, but I repeat myself, are having a good time explaining how those memos show that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the evidence to take down President Trump. One of the sanest summaries I’ve read was by Max Bergman and Sam Berger at The Daily Beast. As much as I dislike Donald Trump and wish a different person were President, I find the evidence of collusion presented thus far to be sketchy. Most of it doesn’t even qualify as circumstantial. A good deal of it doesn’t past the laugh test. I mean, who would think that Putin would accept a penthouse in a Trump building when he already has equal or better housing with much better security?
It may be that there is some there there, but those memos don’t make a good case for it.
One of the advantages the Democrat safe districts offer for Republicans is the high likelihood of an extremist wacko holding such a seat. She Guevara’s election to Congress from such a safe seat in New York is a strategic victory for Republican that is already paying dividends even before she takes office. Politico has a report up about her threatening to primary other Democrats who don’t get in line with her agenda.
“All Americans know money in politics is a huge problem, but unfortunately the way that we fix it is by demanding that our incumbents give it up or by running fierce campaigns ourselves,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “That’s really what we need to do to save this country. That’s just what it is.”
The incoming congresswoman’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, a co-founder of Justice Democrats, was blunter.
“We need new leaders, period,” he said on the call. “We gotta primary folks.”
Read the whole thing. Contemplate how well her scheme will go over with her new colleagues.