A Blog on Politics, Principles, and Uncovering the Narrative

Month: January 2021

Democrats’ Winning Will Be Huge, But Not Absolute

So, Warnock is in and it looks extremely likely that Ossof will win. If that happens, Democrats will take control of the Senate. However, be warned: they will get far from everything they want, as the cornucopia will come with limitations and caveats. Democrats will not pass Medicare for All. They will not pack the courts. They will not even eliminate the filibuster, at least not yet. Still, there are major victories here.

What will Democrats win? First of all, appointments. With McConnell in charge, most of Biden’s executive appointments would be challenged and some would be refused—making a huge difference in who Biden might choose as the Attorney General. If Democrats control the Senate, then Biden will have pretty much no problem with all or almost all of his appointees. (AG Sally Yates?)

The big win, however, will be in judicial nominees; McConnell would have blocked every single one, but with Democrats in control, probably none will be blocked, save for anyone with a scandal erupting just as they’re nominated. 

Committees will be the next big win: Democrats will have control of all the committees, including the power to investigate and issue subpoenas. In the post-Trump years, that will count for a lot. It will also stifle republicans convening massive investigations every time Biden blows his nose.

However, what will Democrats not get? Well, the filibuster is the main thing. Manchin (D-WV) and at least one or two other Democrats have voiced opposition to getting rid of it—which means that republicans can still filibuster nearly everything, and be greatly obstructionist.

This, however, may not be as great a disadvantage for Democrats as it may seem. First, on the bright side, a Democratic-controlled Senate would actually call all these bills up for votes, as opposed to McConnell’s habit of just killing them off as they arrive. No more “Legislative Graveyard,” no more “Grim Reaper.” This is a big deal because it means that individual republican senators will be the uncomfortable position of voting to kill specific legislation in the spotlight. They can be far more easily blamed for ending popular bills (like the $2000 stimulus). This means that there will be legislation that passes, at least more than otherwise, and all other votes will weigh heavily on incumbent republicans.

Why does that matter? Because of 2022. Far more red seats are up for grabs than blue seats, and Democrats could conceivably pick up 2, 3, or maybe even 4 seats. If they can take Stacey Abrams’ campaign to the 2022 races, maybe even more. This means that a lot of republicans will be a lot more cautious about how they vote over the next two years. Maybe McConnell will herd the GOP senators capably and allow the ones up for re-election in closer races to get “hall passes” and use the remainder to filibuster. But in any case, things will be a lot tougher for republicans now.

The next question is, will the filibuster eventually get nixed? Will Manchin change his mind? Will maybe enough republicans switch sides? It is hard to say.

But if the filibuster does get scrapped, then don’t expect a progressive wish list to suddenly get passed. Manchin is not the only blue-dog Democrat. Medicare for All will still be incredibly unlikely, though a public option could possibly pass muster. On the other hand, a new Voting Rights Act might just get through (McConnell will absolutely filibuster that to death).

One last thing: blame.

Right now, the GOP is kind of devolving into a circular firing squad, and after Georgia and Trump’s expected shitstorm tomorrow, followed by his inevitable departure from D.C., republicans will be pointing fingers all over within their own ranks.

Trump’s role in Georgia will be especially hot: with the margins being so close, it seems pretty undeniable that Trump’s attacks on Georgia republicans and his minions’ calls for republicans not to vote will have made enough of a difference that at least Ossof’s race will have been lost due to Trump. Probably Warnock’s, too.

Which, naturally, Trump will deny. He’ll undoubtedly blame it on Kemp, Raffensperger, and probably McConnell himself, as well as anyone who didn’t help him out. Remember, he campaigned for a GOP win in Georgia… but only just enough to say that he helped, and not nearly enough to take responsibility for a loss. He definitely gave far less than 100% in the race, and both he and his followers did more than enough damage to offset any help that Trump provided. One might even be forgiven if one thinks that Trump wanted Georgia to elect the Democrats. It would have the effect of diminishing Trump’s greatest rival for control of the GOP, Mitch McConnell. It would also mean that Trump could point to more Democratic victories in firing up his base for 2024.

The big question will be, will Trump blame republicans more than he’ll blame election fraud. He’s got motives to blame both. Right now, he’s pointing at election fraud in his Twitter feed, which feeds his own narrative about losing the presidency. After the Senate counts the votes for Biden, and Trump has nothing left to realistically fall back on, who he blames will be a strong signal as to Trump’s intent moving forward. If he blames McConnell and the GOP members who did not strongly support him, then we’ll know that he’s doing it to retain strong control over the GOP.

In the meantime… this would be a gigantic victory for Democrats, and a fantastic recovery for Biden as he steps into office.

Not to mention, we get to see all those old white racist, misogynistic senate republicans get hammered down as a black woman overrides their asses.

Trump’s Real Enemy, Trump’s Real Target

Trump seems to be almost intentionally throwing the Georgia run-off elections. He has to know that he’s hurting their chances, and that could help Democrats. So, why is he doing it? I do not believe that he is blind to what he is doing.

I think you have to consider the timing and the motives. If Georgia goes to the Democrats, then Mitch McConnell is screwed. And I’m beginning to think that this is exactly what Trump wants, as part of a larger plan to gain complete control over republican politics.

You may be reading more and more stories about republicans attacking republicans. Actually, that’s been going on at a steady frequency for the past four years with Trump attacking anyone his fails to toe his line. He demands utter loyalty, and punishes anyone who steps out of line.

As for the current state of affairs, consider an indicator that is being a bit disregarded: the conspiracy theory rumor mill. This has always been Trump’s tool of choice to motivate the masses—look at what Q-Anon alone has done. Trump does not ignore this or stand back from it; instead, he instigates and guides it. He chooses the messaging he wants to thrive, and he retweets it and repeats it. If you’re paying attention to it, you’ll see that a lot of the newer theories seem to be more about attacking conservatives. In part, this mirrors Trump’s recent messaging, but it might seem a bit extreme or misplaced. People are talking about “circular firing squads” amongst republicans.

The thing is, this all makes sense—and demonstrates that Trump knows full well that he’s going to be out of power soon.

This is not Trump resenting those who did not support his attempted coup. I don’t think Trump is simply mad at people who won’t help him overthrow the government. I think Trump knows the coup cannot possibly work. His aim is not to punish those who faled to make his plan work. This is more specific. This is political in-fighting.

This is a purity purge. 

Which means that Trump’s actions are pointed in a different direction than you might think: Trump is working hard to consolidate his control over the republican party. He’s not aiming at Biden or liberals. He is using the “Overturn the Election” campaign to draw a line, and is blasting any conservative stepping on the wrong side of it.

And McConnell is on the wrong side of that line.

McConnell, in fact, is Trump’s chief enemy. Trump knows that while McConnell has worked in Trump’s favor most of the time, he deeply resents Trump, and would like little more than have Trump wither and vanish so that McConnell can get things back on track the way he wants to. McConnell and Trump will not work together. It must be one or the other.

So Trump is trying damned hard to kick McConnell in the balls. Hard.

If Georgia goes to the Democrats, it actually helps Trump. First, it will eviscerate McConnell, making him far less relevant, far less powerful. But it will also enable Democrats, and allow them to have a lot of victories they would not otherwise have.

You might wonder, how does this help Trump?

Simple: it will outrage Trump’s base, and that will empower Trump. He will claim that Democratic victories are destroying America, and it only happened because he was robbed of the election.

If McConnell retains control of the Senate, this will hurt Trump, as it will return most of the focus on McConnell as the driving force behind republican politics, and Trump will be less relevant and will be considered less necessary. His base might begin returning to the traditional republican fold.

Trump doesn’t want this. And that actually might be good news. He is splitting the party down lines that could rob it of much of its power. Trump doesn’t mind that. He could give a rat’s ass about republican politics and power. He is only interested in his own.

In the aftermath of the election, we have internecine warfare within the republican community.

Get out your popcorn and enjoy it.


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