Time to Burn those MAGA Caps

Speaking ex cathedra, Joe Scarborough infallibly predicts that Trump’s followers will follow Trump, not the blowhards fulminating over DACA. Many others beg to differ.

Who is right? The results of the upcoming Republican Senate runoff in Alabama—heretofore known as Trump’s Kingdom—are likely to be very instructive. Trump has endorsed the Republican establishment candidate, the aptly yclept Luther Strange. (If Charles Dickins were writing a novel about Alabama politics, he would nave named this character Luther Strange. Am I right, or am I right?)

The establishment’s panicked push for Strange has allowed his even stranger opponent, Roy Moore to make these points. (These verbatim quotes give a good sense of the lay of the land.)

Roy Moore is endorsed by Dr. James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family; Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty; Chuck Norris of Walker, Texas Ranger; former Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and former US Senate candidate Trip Pittman – Luther Strange is endorsed and bank-rolled by Mitch McConnell, the one insider who has single-handedly sunk the Trump agenda to repeal Obamacare and pass meaningful tax reform.

Judge Moore is an outsider loyal only to his God and fellow Alabamians – Luther is bought and paid for by Washington insiders and elites.

Roy Moore is a proven voice for the values and people of Alabama – Luther Strange is a proven yes-man for Mitch McConnell.

Yes, there is a clear choice for Alabama. It is Roy Moore.

Either because of the fact, or in spite of the fact—you choose which—that the stranger candidate is polling ahead of Strange, Trump has at long last yielded to the cries of panic from the Washington swamp monsters, and has scheduled a rally for Strange in Huntsville.

Will Trump actually visit his kingdom in support of Strange? Will his voice be full throated, or will he hedge?

Will Trump’s Alabama subjects once again be led by the nose? Or will they absorb the message that Trump’s DACA reversal shows him to be a fraud, a turncoat, and just another critter from the Washington swamp? Will they finally understand that they have been the victims of a giant con?

Decades ago, the folks who have been Trump’s Alabama subjects were Aardvark’s people. But I left Alabama—in more ways than one—so I cannot say with any great authority what these folks are now thinking.

But here’s my sense of it.

Alabama’s white voters have indeed loved Trump, but they have loved him because he gave voice to their overwhelming sense of cultural and racial victimhood.

You have to be pretty mean to want to kick the Dreamers out of this country. I think that in Alabama, a lot of folks are that mean. (And for that, I pity them.)

I wasn’t able to find Alabama-specific polling on DACA, but there are clues. One is that Alabama’s attorney general was one of those who threatened suit to force Trump to revoke DACA. Another is that it was long time Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions who announced Trump’s decision to give in to legal pressure and revoke Obama’s DACA program.

Yet another clue is that, when Sessions made that announcement, all the elected Republicans expressed support: surely, they thought that their anti-DACA stance would please their constituents.

Do Alabama’s white voters love Trump, or do they love their litany of grievances and fear of outsiders? I think I know the answer.

Mean though they may be, I don’t think Alabama voters are stupid. I think they always knew that Trump was a jerk–they just believed he was THEIR jerk. But now, strong and loud voices from the extreme right are telling them that Trump is a con man.

Time to burn those MAGA hats.

Strange and Stranger

Luther

Or, as Martin Luther Put It, “Hic Sto”

In a welcome development, all around nutjob Congressman Mo Brooks, recognizing a fellow spirit, has endorsed bigger nutjob Roy Moore for Alabama Senator. In Mo’s own words,

“Elections are about choices. In this Senate race, the choice is Luther Strange or Roy Moore. Martha, my wife, and I have made our choice.” Congressman Brooks said holding up his absentee ballot. “We didn’t wait until Sept 26th, we have already voted absentee for ROY MOORE!” he added.

He continued, “This Senate race is down to this: we are in an epic battle between the people of Alabama who put America First and the Washington Swamp that hopes to buy Alabama’s Senate seat and put America Second! All of America is watching Alabama to see who wins. I can’t speak for anyone else, but, as for me, I stand with America! I have voted for Roy Moore because Roy Moore not only stands with America, he will fight for America! I urge you to join that fight. Defend Roy Moore’s reputation and character from the nonstop, malicious lie of the Strange/McConnell forces. On September 26th, vote for Roy Moore….and make sure your friends and family members do, too. Do it because America’s future depends on it!”

Throughout the civilized world, those favoring the utter humiliation and destruction of the Republican establishment cried, “Huzzah! Huzzah!” We have money to flood Alabama with bumper stickers saying,

MOORE FOR SENATOR! HE’S STRANGER THAN STRANGE!

 

 

A Song for the Climate Change Deniers

It is Sunday morning, September 10. Hurricane Exxon has just made landfall in the Keys. It will barrel through Florida, and then veer into Alabama.

Aardvark weeps.

I take no joy whatsoever in saying this, but it sure looks like the storms are taking direct aim at the gullible climate deniers and Trump voters.

The Still Small Voice

Still small voice

It is Friday morning, September 8. I hear tell there has been some weather down in Texas.

Down Mexico way, the earthquake of the century.

In a day or so, Hurricane Irma is going to turn Mar-a-Lago into little tiny matchsticks.

Sometime next week Irma will bear down on Happy Acres.

* * *

And behold, a great and strong wind has rent the island of St. Martin, but the LORD was not in the wind.

And after the wind, an earthquake in Mexico, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.

And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.

And after the fire a still small voice.

And the voice said,

“Yo, numbnuts! Cut the carbon already!”

The Coup Clutz Clowns—and an Alternative View of Dr. Rorschach’s Ink Blob

CCC

Aardvark is not a professional blogger, so he gets to blog unprofessionally. Accordingly, this brief post deals with two unrelated topics. (On second thought, maybe the two are related after all; you be the judge.)

Firstly, I would like to thank Freda Foxy here at Happy Acres for comparing Aardvark’s style of humor to that of the Coup Clutz Clowns, pictured above. I am flattered by the comparison. And, while I’m at it, here’s a Sara Palin shoutout to Freda and all the other progressive grandmothers here at Happy Acres who are getting themselves organized to do some serious lobbyin’, educatin’, and demonstratin’.

On a second—and (superficially, at least) unrelated matter—I’d like to call your attention to Martin Longman’s article, wherein he discloses What Really Happened at the White House Yesterday. Contrary to what  you may have thought, and what you may have been told by other commentators, Trump did not in fact make an inexplicable lurch toward the left, leaving McConnell and Ryan unhappily holding the bag. Instead, in Longman’s telling, what happened was the inevitable, and highly scripted, consequence of the predicament that all parties were in.

Aardvark presents this analysis for his readers’ edification, but does not necessarily endorse it. The simpler explanation—the one Occam would find more appealing—is that Trump was just screwing around once again. And McConnell and Ryan were crying the tears of a clown.

Stranger than Strange

shit sandwich

Only a few days ago Charles Blow rightly described Trump as the King of Alabama:

This is the man we have: one who doesn’t want to lead a country but wants to rule a tribe.

Most of the people who support him are just fine with his approach and behavior. These people baffle the throngs who see a man unfit for office and possibly inching closer to diagnosable insanity.

But I think that if people want to understand what is happening here, to understand why Trump’s support is so strong in some quarters, we need to broaden the scope of inquiry beyond just the Rust Belt states that he won by razor-thin margins and beyond border states where the wall would have great impact.

We also need to look at Southern states that he carried by enormous margins. We have to look at states like Alabama.

In doing so, we have to examine the history of Alabama and see how white supremacy tracks across time and culminates with Trump.

Well, not exactly “culminates.” Because, nutty and racist as Trump is, it could be even worse. You see, the problem is, if you’re the kind of person who likes shit sandwiches, once you’ve tasted the real thing, you’re no longer satisfied with hamburger avec un soupçon de merde.

And so, down in Alabama, it’s looking like Plutocrats, 0; Nutjobs, 10.

Today, reporting from Trump’s southerly Kingdom, Politico says,

Conservatives led by Breitbart News are waging an all-out campaign to stop a candidate backed by Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell in the Alabama Senate special election — putting growing pressure on the president to step away from his endorsement.

With just over three weeks until the runoff, far-right forces are starting to close ranks around former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, an evangelical bomb-thrower who famously defied a federal order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from a state building. …

With several recent polls showing Moore with a lead over Strange, Trump must decide whether to spend precious political capital on the senator’s behalf. Prior to the primary, Trump repeatedly tweeted his support for the incumbent and cut a robo-call for him.

But he has said little about the contest since then, other than a post-election tweet congratulating “Roy Moore and Luther Strange for being the final two and heading into a September runoff in Alabama.

“Exciting race!” Trump added. …

“It would be wise for Trump to not meddle in our affairs,” said state Rep. Ed Henry, a Moore supporter who co-chaired Trump’s Alabama campaign. “He needs to understand that we know best. We were savvy enough to pick him. Trust us to pick someone who will make America great again.”

The “wedge” between the rubes and the plutocrats gets bigger and bigger. The Republican “center” cannot hold. And the unspeakable Roy Moore creeps toward Bethlehem to be born.

Driving a Wedge, or, DACA and the Coming Three-Party System

wedgie

This morning David Atkins asks a good question:

In the ninth month of his presidency, it seems clear that Donald Trump is motivated by little more than bigotry, narcissism, dominance posturing, and the desire to anger anyone with a sense of basic decency. Today’s reported decision to end the DACA program with only a six-month delay fits all of those criteria. But at what point does a policy of vindictive, malignant belligerence sow the seeds of its own destruction?

As I said, it’s a good rhetorical question, but it has an answer: at the point where the policy of malignant belligerence finally drives a wedge between the plutocrats and the rubes they have been deceiving for so many decades.

The deplorables—the rubes and the bigots—make up about one quarter to one third of the electorate. It is said that many of them are growing tired of Trump’s act. If that is so, it’s about damn time.

But, regrettably, having grown tired of Trump’s act, the rubes and the bigots will nevertheless remain rubes and bigots. With or without Trump, they will need their own political party, and they will surely have their own political party. And that’s good: better that they have their own political party than that they should riot in the streets.

But what of the country club Republicans and the Wall Street globalist Republicans? Methinks their long game of deceiving the rubes with shiny objects has at least played out. Trump’s  DACA decision should advance the ball by creating new and painful dilemmas for the party of the plutocrats. Atkins writes,

Rather than simply end DACA outright or continue it outright, [Trump] is giving a six-month window to end it. This functionally means kicking the can to Congress, which will be forced to decide the issue of DACA’s renewal. This will not please Republicans in the House and Senate, most of whom know that the party’s post-Trump future with Hispanic voters depends on them distancing themselves from the barbaric cruelty of Trump and his red state attorneys general, but who also cannot afford to upset Trump’s white nationalist base. Congressional Republicans will also be dealing with a full scale revolt not just from the expected left-leaning advocacy groups and mass protests, but from corporate America as well. Just today Apple CEO Tim Cook made it clear that his company stands with the Dreamers. Expect most of the rest of corporate America to follow suit in the coming months.

But it’s even worse than that. Trump’s calculus is likely to use DACA kids as a hostage, a bargaining chip to hold against Congress in exchange for Trump’s other unpopular priorities including his border wall and tax cuts for the rich. This puts Republicans in Congress in a double bind: either support funding for a pointless and unpopular wall, or take the blame from the President and from Democrats for killing DACA.

It is an untenable position. As the song says, something’s gotta give.

The corporatist/globalist/plutocrats need their own political party, and I think they will soon be forced to create it. Deprived of their beloved strategy of dangling shiny objects in front of poor white people, the plutocratic party will have to look for support in the other direction—from the kind of people who love Chuck Shumer, the kind of people who don’t see anything exceptional when Hillary or Bill gives a half million speech to Goldman Sachs.

And that will leave a new, or newly invigorated, progressive party on the left.

And we will all be in a much happier place.

 

The Aardvarks Are Back!

What a wonderful vacation on Guam!

And it’s good to know that very little of importance happened here in America while we were gone.

Actually, though our vacation was almost perfect, it was slightly marred by the tenfold increase in tourism that Trump predicted, as a result of his threats to North Korea and North Korea’s threats to Guam.

Trump was right! As always, the wisdom and perspicacity of that man amaze me.

As a result of the influx of tourists, the people were so thick on the beaches that it was tough to get a good tan. And there were so many folks crowded around the bars that it was a challenge to get soused enough to forget the craziness back in America.

But there were compensations. In the evening Dr. Aardvark and I would order a pitcher of maitais, sit on the balcony of our beach hotel, and watch the beautiful North Korean missiles whizzing overhead. Well worth the trip. Far better than Fourth of July fireworks.

Our only regret is that the vacation ended and had to leave. Guam, Take Me Back!