With the close of the 2016 election — what John Oliver called “Oh, I Get It: We All Died, and This Is Hell, and Satan Has Cursed Us to Live Out This Nightmare for All Eternity 2016” — the obsession with the GOP’s identity crisis faded, and observers turned their intellectual energy to dissecting the Democratic Party’s failure.
Some attribute Hillary Clinton’s surprise loss to the breakdown of the party’s strategy, built on marrying neoliberal economics with the politics of social inclusion. Bernie Sanders has loudly reaffirmed his commitment to making class politics the Democrats’ defining feature in hopes of turning Trump voters attracted to a message of economic populism, as well as the many more Americans who did not vote at all, into a new political movement. In response, Sanders has had to contend with accusations that he’s endorsing Trump’s white nationalism and that his criticism of certain forms of identity politics amounts to white supremacy.
This, of course, isn’t the first time Sanders has faced this controversy. During the primaries, Hillary Clinton rhetorically asked, “If we broke up the big banks tomorrow, would that end racism? Would that end sexism?” And in the October 2015 debate, when Sanders proclaimed that “we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people,” she reminded Americans that “we are not Denmark.” Implicit in her comment was the long-standing myth that the Nordic states can provide such a robust welfare state only because of their racial and ethnic homogeneity.
Though those states have their limits, it’s easy to see why many Bernie supporters look to them to as models for achieving broad economic prosperity and equality. The Trump years mean that it’s more important than ever to grapple with how to build a new class coalition while rejecting the white nationalism attached to Trump’s campaign. We can do this by looking to the history of the Nordic welfare states to understand how they were constructed. Though eroded by rounds of austerity and increasingly embattled by right populism, they remain one of the best examples we have of class organizing that yields lasting results.
“Universal Welfare ≠ Homogeneity”
I mean, Denmark, Sweden and Norway are not these mythical post-racial utopias though?
I don’t care how progressive you are or how oppressed you are yourself:
If your comments about Jews echo anti-Jewish white supremacist talking points or disregard the targeting of Jewish people by neo-Nazis, then you are upholding white supremacy and your activism is meaningless, and you should be ashamed.
from @philsandifer, the weightiest political declaration that could possibly happen on 20th january 2017
I paused JEREMY IRONS to watch this.
I regret nothing. Oh, Eric. Still the best.
Old Doctor Who had some wonderful set design
I used to watch shows like Last Week Tonight, the Daily Show, Full Frontal, and the political bits on Colbert and Meyer. I can’t do it anymore. Since the election, politics just aren’t funny and entertaining anymore. They’re horrifying. I’ve stopped really looking at Twitter or Facebook, stopped checking the news. I can’t deal with it.
And yes, part of the problem is that the American system is inherently undemocratic. The Electoral College gives extra power to rural states, which is why in very close elections the conservatives win (E.g. 2000, 2016). The Senate gives extra power to rural states by giving every state two votes regardless of size. The House is gerrymandered beyond all reason. The system is tilted in favor of conservatism. And changing any of that would require amendments to the Constitution that simply will not happen because those with power will never vote to give it up.
None of that explains how so many ostensibly rational adults voted for someone who’s basically a psychopath for president. And I’ve read the think pieces. I know about the reaction of the rust belt, the manifold weaknesses of Hillary as a candidate, the swiftboating of Hillary, the suffering of the working class in the developed world, the rise of racism and sexism in reaction to the progressive movement of national culture, how Trump’s celebrity and non-stop attention from the media powered him to become the standard bearer of the unwashed masses, how social media has become an echo chamber where people only hear what reinforces what they already believe.
And if someone like John Kasich or Marco Rubio had been elected on the basis of those things, I would say fine. This is terrible but at least it makes sense. If a different celebrity had been elected on that basis, like Schwartzenegger or Jesse Ventura, I would say ok, I get it.
None of it makes sense of Trump to me. He is so plainly awful, so clearly morally bankrupt, so obviously a cartoon Bond villain.
And so I’m stepping back. I’m not watching media coverage of politics. I’m rarely checking Facebook or Twitter. I’m not watching political comedy.
I just can’t cope with it.
“Peña Nieto’s administration recently announced it is seizing a privately managed railroad system that’s a key part of a network of cargo lines that has funneled hundreds of thousands of Central Americans through Mexico and into the US. Dubbed “La Bestia,” or “the Beast” due to the brutality of the journey atop it, the train has served as a cheap mode of transport for poor northbound travelers with no other option than climbing on the roof of freight wagons and hoping not to fall—or worse, be thrown off by the armed gangs that control access to the train. It’s a white-knuckle journey that can last days or weeks of fending off thirst, overhead tree limbs, and robbers.” Sometimes reality out-does post-apocalyptic fiction.
Sometimes reality out-does post-apocalyptic fiction.
I like this guy a lot
This gets funnier the longer I think about it.
What the cat thinks of my comic artwork
First page of comic art pencils in many, many years. (The panel on the right is a background that goes beneath panel 3 and panel 5.) Now to ink!
I’d prefer Michelle 2020, to be honest.
Oh good. Just straight back to a Monarchy for America. I like the conceit of a group of different Imperial Families, but really if you’re going to spend the next 24 years doubling down, you should make it explicit. America is going to need a new crown.
That’s. Not quite how monarchy works?
I mean, didn’t the U.S. have multiple Adamses and Roosevelts?
The Roosevelts were distant relations (fifth cousins). John and John Quincy Adams were, prior to the Bushes, the only direct relatives to both be President, although the Kennedys made a go at it.
So there is something a bit unsettling about the fact that Clinton will probably make it two such quasi-dynastic successions in fairly rapid succession. It was the main reason I supported Obama over Clinton in 2008, in fact - I was really disturbed by the prospect of the country spending more than a quarter-century with only two families controlling the Presidency.
So we’re all just ignoring the Bushes then?
Um. I literally talk about them in the second sentence.
To be pedantic, Benjamin Harrison was the grandson of William Henry Harrison. But otherwise, yes.
Working on some comics…
“I’m not a fucking genius. I work my ass off. Hamilton could have written what I wrote in about three weeks. That’s genius. It took me a very long time to wrestle this onto the stage, to even be able to understand the worldviews of the characters that inhabit my show, and then be able to distill that.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda
“Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have lies in this; when I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it. Then the effort that I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.” — Alexander Hamilton
IT GOT BETTER