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Nov 08 2020

The Breakfast Club (Limousine Liberal Brunch)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club!

AP’s Today in History for November 8th

Adolf Hitler makes his first attempt to seize power in Germany; Democrat John F. Kennedy wins the presidency; Ronald Reagan is elected governor of California; Bonnie Raitt is born; Led Zeppelin releases the album ”Led Zeppelin Four.”.

Normally I post a Banjo Tune, but I couldn’t find this Ek favorite on banjo. Maybe I’ll have to learn it.

Revolution

Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

Obama Wants Us to Go Back to Brunch After Trump Is Out. That Would Be A Disaster.
DAVID SIROTA & ANDREW PEREZ, JACOBIN MAGAZINE 11-2-20

In the closing hours of the 2020 election, Donald Trump is dishonestly casting his reelection bid as a crusade against the corrupt swamp that he helped expand and profited from, while Democrats are promising that if Trump is defeated, voters will finally be able to go back to brunch as the Washington establishment returns itself to power.

The former’s message is laughably dishonest, the latter’s message is profoundly cynical and potentially dangerous.

To state the obvious: Trump pretending to be an anti-establishment populist is patently absurd, and everyone knows it. He built his own private swamp in the middle of the corrupt marshland that is Washington, DC. He has used the presidency to enrich himself, his family, and his donors, while grossly mismanaging the response to a lethal pandemic.

…he has done almost nothing to help millions of people being pulverized by skyrocketing costs for health care, housing, and other basic necessities of life. Instead of triaging the economic and public health crises, he and his party have focused on packing the court with right-wing extremists and making it harder for Americans to vote him out of office.

In the process, they have transformed unethical voter suppression from a stealth scheme into a very public campaign tactic, normalizing anti-democratic fascism as just another accepted election strategy. And he is now all but threatening to stage a coup …

To counter Trump’s assault, the Democratic campaign this weekend returned to Flint, Michigan — the place the Obama administration left to suffer through a horrific toxic water crisis, exacerbated by Michigan’s then-Republican governor (who has since endorsed Biden).

During the event, Biden declared that during his last tour of duty as vice president, we “went through eight years without one single trace of scandal. Not one single trace of scandal. It’s going to be nice to return to that.”

Biden was joined in Flint by former president Barack Obama, who touted incremental change and preemptively downplayed expectations of economic transformation.

…He also promised that if Biden and Kamala Harris win the White House, “You’re not going to have to think about them every day. You’re not going to have to argue with your family about them every day. It won’t be so exhausting.”

This was the party’s flaccid message in the nation’s poorest city, a former General Motors manufacturing hub destroyed by deindustrialization and offshoring.

The same message was promoted this weekend in the Washington Post by corporate consultant Hillary Rosen, whose firm works for Biden. Rosen told the newspaper that Biden “is not somebody who is coming in to disrupt Washington. He’s coming in to heal Washington.”

This is a shrewdly concocted mix of revisionism and expectation management — and if Biden (hopefully) defeats Trump, it sets the stage for a repeat of the events that got us to this horrible moment in the first place.

…Obama helmed a presidency bankrolled by Wall Street donors that refused to prosecute a single banker who engineered a financial crisis that destroyed millions of lives.

He turned promises of significant health care reform into legislation that included a few positive consumer protections, but also enriched and strengthened the power of private insurance companies and dropped a promised public option.

He acknowledged the threat of climate change, but then publicly demanded credit from the fossil fuel industry for helping boost oil production during a climate apocalypse.

He pledged to walk picket lines if workers’ union rights were under attack, but then he promptly walked away from promised labor law reform.

And yes, Obama’s administration slow-walked the response to the environmental catastrophe in Flint, Michigan.

These kinds of scandals sowed deep disappointment, disaffection, and economic dislocation, which helped fuel the backlash energy that powered the Tea Party and eventually Trump’s presidential candidacy. And they happened because of the kind of disengagement Obama envisioned when he promised that if Biden and Harris win, “you’re not going to have to think about them every day.” In this vision, the new White House lets us all just go back to brunch.

…Obama’s Flint speech went further. Echoing a previous refrain from Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, it was a call to resurrect Brunch Liberalism whereby large swaths of the American left disengage and defer in much the same way it did during the Obama administration, to disastrous effect.

Though it is now forgotten history, the history is clear: After years of mass protest and activism against the George W. Bush administration, many liberal activists, voters, and advocacy groups went to brunch after the 2008 election, fell in line and refused to pressure the new administration to do much of anything. Those that dared to speak out were often berated and shamed.

In touting a presidency we don’t have to think much about, Obama conjures the notion of a Democratic administration once again insulated from pressure from an electorate whose poorer populations are too busy trying to survive, and whose affluent liberals are thrilled to be back at Sunday morning brunch after watching an MSNBC host reassure them that everything is All Good.

…Democrats were originally thrown out of power in Washington and in state capitals, in part, because too many of them spent eight years protecting the gentry while promoting a “let them eat cake” message to a public that was opportunistically radicalized by false right-wing populists.

While planning a new administration from holdover sinecures in Washington, Democrats’ royal-court-in-exile should not now interpret a counterrevolution against Republicans’ mad king as some sort of mandate for stasis. They also should not interpret a Trump loss as popular pining for a return to corporate Democrats’ slightly kinder, gentler version of feudalism.

Yes, the mad king needs to go, but stasis is what brought him to power in the first place, and status quo politics is what would conjure an even more destructive mad king in the future.

…As we head into what is likely to be a tumultuous week, scholars and historians are right now warning that democracy all over the world is on the brink — and the only way to rescue it from autocracy is by generating more activism and civic engagement, not by telling everyone we will soon be able to run off to a mid-afternoon meal.

In America, the best way to prevent a new, more dangerous Trump is to refuse to see this election as an end point. It has to be the beginning of longer-term, fearless engagement that makes concrete demands of every public official — even those we like.

So no matter what happens — whether Trump wins or Biden wins — we should all be able to make one post-election commitment: we’re never going back to brunch, because if we do, our future is doomed. If we don’t, a better world may still be possible.

Something to think about over coffee prozac

‘Every. Single. One.’: Ocasio-Cortez Notes Every Democrat Who Backed Medicare for All Won Reelection in 2020
The same cannot be said for those more centrist lawmakers who continue to defend the nation’s increasingly unpopular for-profit healthcare system.
Jon Queally, Common Dreams 11-7-20

Highlighting an interesting—and to many, instructive—electoral trend that others have spotted in the days since 2020 voting ended earlier this week, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Saturday—just as jubilation spread nationwide among Democrats and progressives upon news that Joe Biden will be the next U.S. President—pointed out that every single congressional member this year who ran for reelection while supporting Medicare for All won (or was on their way to winning) their respective race.

The tweet emerged as many across the corporate media landscape, including pundits and former high-level Democratic officials like Rahm Emanuel, unabashedly pushed a narrative that progressives calling for policies like a single-payer universal healthcare system or the Green New Deal are somehow a hindrance to electoral success. Ocasio-Cortez was not standing for it:

As Common Dreams reported Friday, while corporate-friendly Democrats have continued to go to bat for the for-profit healthcare system that lavishes billions of dollars each year on insurance companies, for-profit hospitals, and pharmaceutical giants, a new poll this week—put out by Fox News no less—shows that 72% of all U.S. voters would prefer a “government-run healthcare plan.” And the poll is far from an outlier, with numerous surveys in recent years showing this trend.

“Polls consistently show a majority of the U.S. electorate [is] considerably to the left of both party leaderships… on issue after issue—the environment, electoral reform, [and] Medicare for All,” said Jacobin’s Luke Savage in response that poll.

Despite what “corporate front groups and lazy pundits always say,” tweeted journalist Andrew Perez, “people absolutely do not like their private health insurance.”

When it comes to the 2020 election—even though Biden himself ran against Medicare for All—the following illustration, which includes Democratic incumbents and challengers, made the connection very clear when it came to races in the U.S. House of Representatives this cycle:

As astute political observers have been pointing out for years, the United States electorate remains very supportive of universal programs and other progressive policy ideas that their elected representatives—both Democrats and Republicans—have refused to embrace.

With an increasing focus on the need for radical and far-reaching changes to the world’s economic and energy systems in order to address the existential crisis of the climate emergency, voters across the political spectrum have showed—in poll after poll after poll—their support for such action to be taken.

And as Ocasio-Cortez added to her tweet about Medicare for All on Saturday: “We’re running numbers on [the Green New Deal]” next.