Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Writing at CounterPunch, Paul Street asks (and answers): "Is it the (fascist) apocalypse yet"? The litany of Trump's crimes is discouragingly familiar. But I was much more interested in the conclusion of the essay, where Street writes about what it will take to prevent Trump from continuing into a second term. He says that "I've never found near-term history less predictable". But aside from the wildcard of the possibility that Trump could still have a covid-19 relapse, really there doesn't seem to be anything at all unpredictable about the scenario that is now unfolding.

Barring a total Biden sweep in both the popular vote and the absurdly anti-democratic Electoral College, it seems likely that a massive and consistent popular presence in the streets (and elsewhere) will be required to have a decent and “fair” vote, insofar as such a thing is even possible under the highly flawed, reactionary, and money-soaked U.S. party and elections system. ...
Will Democrats be willing to call masses into the streets, rejecting the pathetic path of surrender taken by the Gore-Lieberman Democrats in 2000-2001? Perhaps, but the signs are not good.
Of course the Democrats won't organize any mass protests. The military is not going to intervene either. This isn't going to be an election, or a civil war either. It's looking like Trump's rampage cannot be stopped.
 

Charles Watkins

Active Member
Of course the Democrats won't organize any mass protests. The military is not going to intervene either. This isn't going to be an election, or a civil war either. It's looking like Trump's rampage cannot be stopped.
When it hits the fan, the first question will be how to resolve the electoral dispute and this will fall to the Supreme Court. The issue will be whether to allow the judicial process regarding claims of voting fraud to play out or to shortcut the process to meet Constitutional requirements. That will be up to the Chief Justice.

So, I'm starting to think our last great hope may turn out to be John Roberts. So far, he has shown signs of valuing the integrity of the Court over blind partisanship, such as his ruling on Obamacare. If the Trumpies bring him a basket of ludicrous voting fraud claims, he could take that as an insult and lock down a Biden win, looking ahead to the status of the Court after Trump is gone. Could he be the Court's Thomas Becket?
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
The WSWS this morning is saying that with the confirmation of ACB to the Supreme Court, the Democrats have presented a "picture of utter spinelessness" towards Trump's coup plans. Patrick Martin wrote:

With only a narrow 53-47 Republican majority in the Senate, the Democrats nonetheless claimed they could do nothing to stop the speedy confirmation of Barrett, only five weeks after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg created a vacancy.
These claims are so ridiculous they barely require a refutation. The Senate is well known for its innumerable arcane procedures that allow a determined minority to delay and even defeat actions if they are willing to fight. If the circumstances had been reversed, there is not the slightest possibility that a Democratic president with a narrow Democratic majority in the Senate could push through a Supreme Court nomination on the eve of a presidential election. The Democrats would not even try.
An article at the Jacobin gave some more concrete ideas about what the Democrats could have done. They suggested that Democrats could have objected to each and every consent agreement for routine business in the Senate, creating many small delays. They could have enforced committee rules restricting hours of business. Or, more radically, they could have scheduled impeachment hearings for Attorney General Barr.

But none of that happened. Instead, the Democrats let the Republican nomination proceed like clockwork. While the WSWS chalks this up to cowardice and ineptitude, how can one avoid the suspicion that the Democratic party leadership is fully complicit?

I'm starting to think our last great hope may turn out to be John Roberts.
I hope so, but I'm not sure how this would work. Supreme Court procedures say that when the court is asked to consider a case, it is advanced for review by a vote of at least four of nine justices. The Chief Justice sets the agenda at the meeting where the cases are considered, but any justice can add a case to the agenda. (Doctrinal and Strategic Influences of the Chief Justice, Cross & Lindquist, 2006, p. 1671.)
 

Charles Watkins

Active Member
Roberts does not want to be pushed into the position where the Court decides the election and he does not want the Democrats to pack the Court against him. His ideal situation is a 5-4 Court with himself as the swing vote and the Democrats would probably accept that. The solution is for Clarence Thomas to resign under Biden.

If he decides to throw the election to Trump, Roberts will have to go through a slew of cockamamie lawsuits raised by the Republicans and try to find some with enough merit to even be considered and enough disputable votes to sway the results. Given the quality of Republican litigation, that may not work.

A peculiar thread in this is Trump's insistence that the winner be determined on election night. This is the so-called "red mirage" where election night returns favor Trump but uncounted mail-in ballots swing the election to Biden. This has been parroted by Hannity and the rightwing media, but we have also heard from Roberts that prolonging the process would be bad for the country. Some think that if Trump gets a lead, he will try to proclaim himself the winner and order further vote counting to stop. This sets up another Bush vs Gore scenario. Back then, Roberts was an advisor to Jeb Bush, so I suspect that is where his true loyalties lie.

Of course, all that happens on election night is that the media makes a "call" on the winner. At that point, past losers have graciously conceded, but what are the chances of that with Trump? Who gets the "call" may depend on whether the networks are willing to include projected mail-in ballots in their decisions.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Roberts does not want to be pushed into the position where the Court decides the election...
But the Court already seems to be willing to decide the election.

Again from wsws:

On Monday, the US Supreme Court ruled that the battleground state of Wisconsin cannot count mail-in ballots sent before election day but received after November 3....
It is a nakedly political ruling with no real basis in law. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled in regard to Wisconsin’s primary elections that the state could accept late ballots postmarked by election day—the opposite of yesterday’s ruling, the only difference being that suppressing the vote now helps Trump.
The article goes on to explain that in 2016, there were 80,000 votes in Wisconsin that would not have been counted under the new rule, and Trump won the state by 20,000 votes.

Of course, all that happens on election night is that the media makes a "call" on the winner.
Fortune is talking about a 342-electoral vote landslide for Biden, even if the polls now are just as wrong as those leading into the 2016 election. Rupert Murdoch reportedly might be expecting the same.

The ugliest possible scenario is a landslide victory for Biden, followed by a Trump coup.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Back in Post #1044 of this thread, in April 2019, I wrote:

Greenwald's position supporting the Mueller investigations of both Russiagate and 9/11, makes sense considering that he works for Peter Omidyar at The Intercept. Omidyar has well-known connections to the NSA and CIA. And unlike Assange, The Intercept is in the business of suppressing leaks, rather than publishing them. After sitting on the vast majority Snowden's archive of NSA documents for five years, trickling out just a few documents from time to time, The Intercept has just announced that they don't have enough funding to publish so much as one more document. This in spite of having had enough funds to pay Glenn Greenwald the sum of $1.6 million from 2014 to 2017. See:

https://www.mintpressnews.com/intercept-snowden-archive/256772/

https://www.fort-russ.com/2019/03/huge-former-intercept-writer-steps-forward-is-the-intercept-an-intelligence-operation/
So now, a few days before the election, Greenwald finally "sees the light" and has renounced his connection with the Intercept.

https://greenwald.substack.com/p/my-resignation-from-the-intercept

My Resignation From The Intercept
The same trends of repression, censorship and ideological homogeneity plaguing the national press generally have engulfed the media outlet I co-founded, culminating in censorship of my own articles. ...
When I left the Guardian at the height of the Snowden reporting in 2013 in order to create a new media outlet, I did not do so, needless to say, in order to impose upon myself more constraints and restrictions on my journalistic independence. The exact opposite was true: the intended core innovation of The Intercept, above all else, was to create a new media outlets where all talented, responsible journalists would enjoy the same right of editorial freedom I had always insisted upon for myself. ...
The current iteration of The Intercept is completely unrecognizable when compared to that original vision. Rather than offering a venue for airing dissent, marginalized voices and unheard perspectives, it is rapidly becoming just another media outlet with mandated ideological and partisan loyalties, a rigid and narrow range of permitted viewpoints (ranging from establishment liberalism to soft leftism, but always anchored in ultimate support for the Democratic Party), a deep fear of offending hegemonic cultural liberalism and center-left Twitter luminaries, and an overarching need to secure the approval and admiration of the very mainstream media outlets we created The Intercept to oppose, critique and subvert.
This sudden need for independence is because Greenwald wants to use the Intercept platform to attack Joe Biden. I agree completely with the sentiment, but the timing seems disingenuous. Why is Greenwald suddenly realizing that the Democratic Party establishment is a corrupt corporate tool? Surely most Biden voters realize that it is a matter of choosing a profoundly evil candidate, who nevertheless is preferable to the psychopathic tyrant currently in the White House.
 
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