Saturday, October 20, 2018

To African Americans and Latin@s in Uniform

If you are in the military, you are now effectively serving as muscle for a white supremacist government that is days away from trying to consolidate white supremacy in the US for the long term.

You salute a flag that was designed for a slaveholding nation, you stand for an anthem that has explicitly racist lyrics, you allow yourselves to be the servants of a crackpot cult leader named Donald Trump. Meanwhile, your government is deporting your friends and relatives, scrubbing them from voting rolls, and imprisoning them at astronomical rates for a bunch of bullshit.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Honduras, just so you know

Honduras. In 2009, the Obama Administration supported a coup d'etat in Honduras, which was papered over by the administration and a servile media as "a constitutional crisis." Even Wikipedia calls it that. President Zelaya was kidnapped from his own home, with his family, at gunpoint, in his underwear, and spirited to Costa Rica via the US Sotocano Air Base in Comayagua. Zelaya was popular for his reforms that aimed to assist the poor and give them greater political agency. This was anathema to the Honduran ruling class, a collection of thuggish families from around the world, and to the US neoliberal estsblishment, as well as John McCain's favorite sponsor, AT&T, for years now eying Hoduran telecommunications for a juicy privatization.

Hillary Clinton, then the Secretary of State, hired the fascistic gusano John Negroponte as her Deputy for this hit job. Negroponte already had an impressive body count as a violent Cold Warrior in Latin America, including a stint under Reagan as Ambassador to Honduras. Google or Duck-Duck it: "negroponte" "death squads," and you'll get almost 39,000 hits. He loved them, and they loved him, and anybody who wasn't careful could find herself at dawn laid out on some central plaza with her head chopped off.

Behind ther scenes, the Honduran ruling class unleashed a wave of terror to consolidate their post-coup grip on power. Mostly, it went unseen to the rest of the world, because for a time, Honduras became the most dangerous country in the world to be a journalist. Not Afghanistan. Not Colombia. Not Yemen. Honduras.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

DSA, Democrats, and Sectarian Fabulism

Nothing but the avalanche!

The Democratic Party of the United States has around 44.7 million members. The Green Party has 248,000, or one half of one percent of the membership of the Democratic Party. The Working Families Party has about 53,000. In 2016, 137.5 million Americans voted in the General Election.

One of the Green Party candidates in my state is running this year with 9-11 conspiracy-mongering (calling it a “false flag” operation) right in his campaign literature. And some on the left continue to embosom this sectarian, self-marginalizing party as The Alternative to the Democrats.

In a recent article by Carl Boggs in Counterpunch called “The Democrats and ‘Socialism’,” he says the following: 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Pocahontas: Blood quantum rant

Elizabeth Warren has apparently had her DNA tested to “prove” she has “Indian blood.” Which has naught to do with being representative of any actual First Nations people, culture, or experience.

Awhile back, my maternal first cousin had one of those DNA tests done, and it showed we had markers not just for First Nations, but more specifically people now called Salt River Pima Maricopa, neighbors of the Apaches. Arizona Indians.

This was a surprise, because our Great Grandma, Minervia Isom, had become Cherokee-maybe-Choctaw in the family’s informal oral history. She’d married my Great Grandpa, a white man, in Mississippi . . . and it probably wasn’t talked about a great deal. Which may be how Grandma Minervia got switched from being one of those Mexico Indians into being one of those Black Belt Indians. There were Cherokee and Choctaw down that way . . . but as the story goes, Minervia was a res-jumper who had been in Oklahoma before she stole a team of horses and ran off to Mississippi and her future family.

I’d not known it until after Cousin Anne decided it was time to get nekkid with the family DNA, but Arizona Indians were shipped off to Oklahoma, too. So, there you have it. I’m sure the real story is different. I might be 1/8 Salt River Pima Maricopa.

But I’m not saddling up to attend powwows or appropriate my Great Gran by sitting with other white dudes in mythopoetic sweat lodges because I have a “blood quantum” of 1/8 or whatever that is—Minervia may not have been “full blood.”

First Nations are a history and a people constituted by a specific experience, an experience in relation to other peoples, and to power. DNA has jackshit to do with that if the bearer of that DNA—mwa mem—has lived his entire life as an Anglophone white guy.

I know the “real story” of the sly Elizabeth Warren—whose devotion to her First Nations “heritage” hasn’t compelled her to stand up for Palestinians, whose treatment is so similar to that we meted out to effect our Westward expansion. The "real story" making the rounds is the Bad Orange President (the real story every damn day, Lord have mercy!) derided her claim to “Indian blood” (I wonder if Great-Gran had A-negative like me) by calling her Pocahontas and challenging her to take a DNA test. Cool, she did it, there was something, Agent Orange owes $1 million, but the asshole never pays his debts and lies about it. So . . . back to DNA.

I find DNA testing to be exceptionally creepy in many respects, so it triggered me to rant about the thing concealed in our great and justified desire to be rid of Trump, which is how DNA can get conflated with some kind of “authenticity.” Lived experience. Full stop.

Rant over.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

How the left lost the women

I was a Communist for a couple of years, a member of the very conservative leftist CPUSA. We parted ways over gender, mainly. When I cited bell hooks to Jarvis Tyner, he dismissively called her an “ultra-feminist.” When two of the guys came down to Raleigh from New York, I heard them speculate derisively about which of the women didn’t shave their legs. When I wrote an article that emphasized the dynamics of gender I’d seen in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, I was called onto the carpet to demand repentance for putting “the woman question” before the “primary contradiction,” which is of course economic class. One of the more astute fellow travelers at the time, Gerald Horne, who was teaching at UNC then, was more internationalist in perspective, and he claimed at a meeting once that “US imperialism is the primary contradiction in the world.”

Ferrets, Electioneers, DA’s, Scavengers, Grubstakers, Maroons, Barristers, Civilians, Attachés

 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
-Matthew 10:16

“Asymmetric struggle presupposes an epistemic break.”
-Jake the Snake

So now all three branches of the US Federal Government are in the hands of reactionaries, who have backstopped themselves for around thirty years in the high court.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Dear Baby Boomer White Guys,

I am one of you. I was born in 1951. And because it gives me unearned cred with your bitter, indoctrinated asses, I am a veteran—retired from the Army in fact—which is relevant only because I went through the same indoctrination you did, which has trained us like organ monkeys to genuflect before all things military. If you are one of those weird outliers for whom the shoe fails to fit here, move along or share with one of your dumbass acquaintances or relatives.

I empathize. I get it. You look at the span of your cramped little lives, and you see Death holding the carriage door open for you not far enough up the road. And things didn’t turn out the way you’d fantasized. I know those fantasies, too. I was raised on the same TV Westerns during the same Cold War, when white people didn’t have to think much about anyone but white people, because we were the universally acknowledged norm. Every planet revolved around the White Male Sun. The fantasy was that we would somehow prevail in heroism (against what, it doesn’t matter, it’s the prevailing that is probative of our masculinity), then have an adoring woman who fucks obediently, keeps the house  spotless, and watches our adorable children who also worship us.

The measure of our general disappointment is the distance of those fantasies from our actual reality—remembering our pills, dealing with wives embittered themselves by years of our stupidity, posturing, control-freakery, and neglect, children who have absorbed just enough of our self-centered meanness to keep us at arm’s length for the rest of our lives, soaking up stupidity from the television, and sharing our bitter disappointment with other old white guys via a scapegoat mechanism that identifies the disruptors of our dreams as dark people . . . and women. You are so disappointed with the distance between fantasy and reality that you can’t even see what a pathetic, dependent, overfed, and pampered existence you really have, and there is nothing that pisses you off more than someone pointing that out . . . that you are privileged, entitled assholes. And, of course, the proper male reaction to that is to dig in deeper, to cherish your own stupidity, and to flaunt that stupidity like petulant four-year-olds.

Not surprising really, because we are the first fruits of the post-WWII consumer bacchanalia. We did stamped out jobs, lived in stamped out houses, and bought stamped out age-appropriate toys, as the most infantilized generation in history. We called it Progress, and we built an idol for it that was a big ivory phallus, and we gazed at it adoringly.

We never matured in the way that was once thought about, when Mine-More-Now wasn’t an ethos, but an indication of immaturity. The captains of the business class are our leaders, and we are their obedient kiddies drinking the Kool-aid. And wow, did you all drink down great draughts of it with that shit stained, combed over, carnival barking jackass, Donald Trump. In your fit of collective pique, and in your terminal refusal to grow your asses up, you demonstrated to the world and posterity that you still don’t understand, or accept, the fundamental fact that actions have consequences. And you don’t give a damn that others will bear the brunt of it.

If you give a child a bulldozer, the child will run over things. But that’s what you wanted to do anyway, because this is a tantrum. You look old, like I look old, but your mentality accords with someone not far out of diapers . . . and may I remind you all, we’ll be back in diapers soon enough.

Vulnerability is part of our existence as humans, and the basis of morality. And every human being is vulnerable at some point. It’s how we respond to vulnerability that determines our characters.

But in that psycho-bubble of probative masculinity, vulnerability is Bad. Toughness is Good. And so every shred of morality must be driven out to protect a pure masculine essence the light of which we chase like bewildered cats pursuing the red dot from a pointer. This is how you’ve fallen into the trap of cruelty and its celebration.

So now, in ten years when you are shitting into your Depends and talking to dead Aunt Jenny between lucid intervals, you will take your turn at human vulnerability, and it will be too late. Your Medicare gone, your Social Security gone, you’ll go through the inevitable devolution that awaits any of us who hang around long enough and watch your family go broke trying to keep up with the demands of the same predatory institutions that have run your lives since birth.

Hey, at least we showed those black people, those immigrants, those women a thing or two. Mess with White Men, mess with our entitled masculinity, and we’ll tear everything down.

At the center of the center of your creepy little universe is your hatred of women, because that is what you’ve spent your whole lives trying not to be. Compassion is for pussies. And from that, we can now unfold a whole architecture of vandalizing stupidity—a world that is burning around the cries of billions—a damaged, impoverished future for those we will leave behind soon enough. But you don’t care about them either.

Which more morally attuned people, then, will be by your beds as your bodily systems crash, showing you the empathy you withheld from others? Will you still be entitled? It’s coming.

Here is the good news. Grace is a door held open indefinitely. In Greek, the word repent means turn around. You can still turn around. It is never too late for contrition. One way or another, I’ll see you in that carriage.

Your friend,


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Semiosphere of backyard birding

We have surrounded the house—thankfully surrounded by mature sugar maple, elm, mulberry, fir, birch, and Norway spruce trees—with bird houses and bird feeders; the latter of which, as any bird feeder knows, is also seconded to the squirrels, lots of fox squirrels and a few red squirrels. I spent the money last year to get one big feeder equipped with a squirrel baffle, which works very well, but we came to a kind of truce, the squirrels and us, in that they feed around a few obstacles and occasionally suffer the harassment of passing dogs and we buy extra (sunflower) oil seed, the only thing we use in the feeders, except suet—which keeps the four different kinds of woodpecker (downy, hairy, red-breasted, and flicker) happy. Chipmunks, like the doves who are too fat to perch on the feeders, feed on what falls to the ground. We get seasonal birds—always looking for that passing rose-breasted grosbeak, always associating the arrival of juncos that summer in the Upper Peninsula with the arrival of frost and snow.


This year I joined the Democratic Party.

It was easy. I gave up ten dollars and filled out a little form. I did so for a reason. In Michigan, there are two Democratic Primaries. One is the regular primary, the other is the State Endorsement Convention, where those who show up with Democratic Party ID in hand can vote. The latter        is far less Democratic, but it is also how the MDP selects its nominees for Secretary of State, Attorney General, and the State Supreme Court. So it’s an event that required getting as many people as possible to Detroit (this year) to cast a ballot. In this case, Our Revolution, the loose formation of activists coat-tailing the Sanders challenge in 2016, who recruited me for this as well, had also joined the party across the state, and were intent on nominating Dana Nessel, a social democratic outlier and former defense attorney. That was easy, too. Here in my little county, OR essentially joined, outnumbered, and took over the local Democratic Party. And it worked. The Democratic nominee for Michigan Attorney General is Ms. Nessel, who beat out Pat Miles, the Democratic establishment candidate. Now labor, environmentalists, African Americans, immigrants, and women in general have a candidate who, if elected, will actually represent their interests for four to eight years.

The perennial crabs of the uberleft, philosophical idealists posing as historical materialists, have turned categorical opposition to any “cooperation” with Democrats or the Democratic Party into a kind of purity code. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of these particular folks are men, and a goodly number of them are—like me—on or approaching the geriatric end of the age spectrum. As Mary Douglas and Paul Rozin have shown, pollution in purity-pollution codes is dose insensitive . . . meaning even the tiniest contact results in wholesale contamination. Everything, then, that constitutes pollution must elicit a disgust reaction as a kind of prophylaxis against that contamination—stay away!—because a single scratch can turn into gangrene. (People who haven’t studied disgust psychology, an actual and valuable thing, are missing out.) Democrats! Ick!

These folks stood on the sidelines and threw polemical stones at those (mostly young) people who managed to nominate Dana Nessel; and I’m quite sure they were proclaiming the superiority of their standpoint throughout the country where similar insurgencies broke through. I have been guilty of this approach often enough myself to know, this is born of decades of frustration and despair, hardening serial disappointments into a defensive and impermeable scar.

It is also born of uncorrected errors, because the left (until recently, with the infusion of youth energy) has been hamstrung by the failure to adapt its various political schemae to emerging realities. I myself scoffed at the Sanders campaign when I saw it meeting with twenty people on someone’s lawn; but within three months, Sanders was pulling in standing room only crowds. I was depending on my past experience; but in the meantime, something that had not been visible—some shift in the public mood—had occurred, “out of sight” for those of us whose windows on the world were otherwise restricted, that found its expression during the elections, where breakaway candidates in both parties suddenly came to the fore—in the case of Republicans, seizing the nomination for POTUS.

Sanders, as many Democratic establishment folks will remind us, wasn’t even a Democrat. And now I am a member of the Democratic Party—me, a pacifist Christian socialist and an anti-imperialist. I’ll be working a table this Friday during a small town street party to promote Proposition 2, to reverse Michigan’s Republican gerrymandering that has essentially absorbed and neutralized the African American vote in places all over the state.

What is an American political party?

We can look up the answer on Wikipedia or something, but how should we see it from the left? Here is where I want to challenge uberleft thinking, not only as a former uberlefter but as a former career soldier.

The Democratic Party is not a “vehicle” or a “building” or a “person” possessed of its own agency. As a former “operations” guy in the Army, someone who collected intelligence, analyzed intelligence, and wrote operations orders, I see this cumbersome old institution—which is both structure that resists change and membership that invariably changes—as terrain. And terrain is a key component of tactical planning. (Those who are interested in the distinctions between tactics and strategy go here.)

Terrain can be simultaneously what we want to gain and hold and what we need to occupy to conduct further operations. In analyzing terrain, we used an acronym OCOKA (now changed to OACOK): observation and fields of fire, avenues of approach, cover and concealment, obstacles, and key terrain. Terrain analysis is essential, because terrain is something upon which operations are waged.

My contention is that the Democratic Party must be seen as one of several terrains upon which political struggle is unfolding. We are not within the Democratic Party, but upon it. Taking that analogy a step further, when you make gains on one piece of terrain, you don’t abandon the battle after the first skirmish, and cede that terrain back. This is giving me flashbacks, but the old basic tactical intelligence formats I memorized to construct operations orders in the army keep popping up in front of me.

Acronym METT-T: Mission, Enemy, Terrain and Weather, Troops Available, and Time.

The “enemy” is not a party, it is a class that is spread across both parties, but which is now making a play through one party to consolidate a mailed fist and depending on the other party to catch the ratchet if that fails then establish the new more neoconservative (Clintonite) normal. When you see the DP as one of several protean institutional webworks of relations that we can analogize as terrain, as part of the landscape upon which we fight. That landscape, or fortress, or whatever analogy you like, has been shaped by the ruling class, but it is not the ruling class.
Terrain is incorporated into the larger intelligence summary: Mission, Actually Existing Capacity, stuff like that. And Time. Strategy tries to reduce time to space. Tactical agility makes an ally of both. (Again, see Strategy and Tactics.)

Enemy Situation (another intel category) includes Strength, Composition, Disposition (matched to terrain), Capabilities and Limitations, and Probable Course of (opposition) Action.
You can begin to get hold of that tactical mindset, and it becomes apparent that regarding the terrain itself as the enemy is a form of self-delusion that underwrites failure after failure.

I have to go take mushrooms or something now to get all this Army crap out of my head again.

That is all.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Rocket Fuel—2018, US Referendum on Patriarchy

“Sex is the rocket fuel of the political psyche.”

Lordy, I’ve heard it all. The silly call-out culture of postmodernity that can say in a cyberblink all the sins left unaddressed by this or that . . . guilty of it myself at times, I expect . . . “Taking this action will not address questions (a), (b), or (c).” On the question of elections, this can get even sillier with an array of guilt by association arguments and scarecrows to ritually denounce and tear up.

There are some things that elections are, and there are some things elections are not. That is true ontologically, but it is also true personally, and the last time I checked, the actual act of voting in an election—while certainly a strange and highly complex public ritual—is accomplished by actual persons. The claim or implication that participation (for those persons) is (include declarative statement here . . . like, “an endorsement of an evil process,” e.g.) is false on its face, unless someone can convince me that the perennial curmudgeons who market this stuff have learned to read minds.

Ever so often, however, history conspires to make a thing—like an election—drift into a unique position where it ramifies through whole societies. It is still all the things elections are and aren’t, but it suddenly connects in such a way that it pivots history a bit, throws it onto a different azimuth. I think 2018 is that way, just as 2016 was in a different way.

One of those interactive phenomena are social movements, and even in naming this, we open up some controversies about what social movements are and aren’t. Not here. The re-ignition of sex as the subject of feminist grievance and analysis defines 2018 in much the same way that the re-ignition of a nascent political left marked the 2016 bifurcation. In many ways, this is far deeper, because sex is the rocket fuel of the political psyche. We observe Donald’s agitated, defensive displays of hypermasculinity again and again, only occasionally noting how driven they are by gender norms that associate women with weakness and taint and men with hard-heartedness and violence.

Donald Trump was arguably elected by perceived threats to (white) masculinity. If someone takes the time, I bet s/he could prove that. Seems pretty glaringly obvious from here. White male victimhood is the central narrative, the opening scene of which is male victimization; the concluding fantasy scene is the teleological restoration of order through the restoration of the national masculinity. It was the heartbeat of the campaign. People don’t get that because they keep listening to what these people say—which is a dim and distorted reflection of the terror-stunned insecurity that writhes in them like gutworms of the soul. Sexual identity expressed as masculinity is deeper in many men than their dimmest memory, more sacred than any spiritual practice or confession of faith.

These flashes of authoritarian white male rage that have saturated the media in the past few days have seriously triggered a lot of women I know, most of whom have had one or more brush with Man-the Sexual Predator. And that is where I’m looking right now: at the reactions of women.

Believe me, this is more than about Republicans, even if at this conjuncture—this trick of history—defeating Republicans has become more than defeating Republicans and coincidentally—for the next few weeks—the most important thing in the world we can do together.

The Democratic establishment—housing more than its share of Man-the Sexual Predator—is milking it now for the same elections, as is to be expected. Fly’s gonna fly. Wolf’s gonna wolf. Tree’s gonna tree. I was more active in the antiwar movement (younger, for one thing), and I remember the oceans of Democrats, led by their civil society entrepreneurial class, joining us in demanding an end to Bush’s war. We needed them, but when Obama was sworn in, the war continued, and we became radioactive to them. Be warned.

But an election is not about “I vote Dem, therefore I endorse the institution (and all that is in it).” An election is an event with consequences over which we do still exercise an element of control . . . though we are approaching a period where failure to use that limited power might result in losing it all. Moreover, an election has the power to mobilize and aggrandize social movements, just as it did in 2016 with the Sanders challenge.

Elections are tactical. I know plenty of people who knew how utterly awful Hillary Clinton was, based on her fundamentally neoconservative world view, and who voted for her nonetheless, because they were afraid of Trump. They’ve been vindicated, but there we are. Now we have Trump . . . and Kavanaugh . . . and the double whammy of the powerful consciousness-raising and solidarity-building #metoo and #whyididntreport suddenly energizing women and women’s allies to use that energy as a test, perhaps a display, of the newfound power of that movement, in a tangible, even quantifiable, way.

What is at stake is not just a chance to rebuke the power of Trump by demolishing his party in the elections, it is—as these old white men have been pretty clear—patriarchy that is under threat when the subject becomes sexual harassment, sexual humiliation, sexual domination, sexual assault, and rape.

If women continue to mobilize and deliver a decisive blow to the Republican Party, they can turn 2018 into a referendum on patriarchy. That kind of power cannot be ignored, and it will not only slash at the psychic foundations of the Right, it will serve as a reminder to all others . . . get your houses in order. You could be next.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Three-steps to 'gender' fascism (gender being a verb)

<<Fascism is a revolutionary species of political modernism originating in the early twentieth century whose mission is to combat the allegedly degenerative forces of contemporary history (decadence) by bringing about an alternative modernity and temporality (a ‘new order’ and a ‘new era’) based on the rebirth, or palingenesis, of the nation. Fascists conceive the nation as an organism shaped by historic, cultural, and in some cases, ethnic and hereditary factors, a mythic construct incompatible with liberal, conservative, and communist theories of society. The health of this organism they see undermined as much by the principles of institutional and cultural pluralism, individualism, and globalized consumerism promoted by liberalism as by the global regime of social justice and human equality identified by socialism in theory as the ultimate goal of history, or by the conservative defence of ‘tradition’.>>
Roger Griffin
Gendered psychoanalytically
<<The crucial element of fascism is its explicit sexual language, what Theweleit calls “the conscious coding” or the “over-explicitness of the fascist language of symbol.” This fascist symbolization creates a particular kind of psychic economy which places sexuality in the service of destruction. Despite its sexually charged politics, fascism is an anti-eros, “the core of all fascist propaganda is a battle against everything that constitutes enjoyment and pleasure.” … He shows that in this world of war the repudiation of one’s own body, of femininity, becomes a psychic compulsion which associates masculinity with hardness, destruction, and self-denial.>>
Jessica Benjamin and Anson Rabinbach
Gendered by political masculinity
<<In gender terms, fascism was the naked reassertion of male supremacy in societies that had been moving toward equality for women. To accomplish this, fascism promoted new images of hegemonic masculinity, glorifying irrationality (“the triumph of the will”, thinking with “the blood”) and the unrestrained violence of the frontline soldier.>>
R.W. Connell

Election Reflection on “Interference”

Outrage is a commodity, one that gets hotter with the increasing polarization of metropolitan politics in our faltering neoliberal epoch. Somewhere between those poles lies MSNBC as a neoliberal bastion now cobbling together the neocons of the Weekly Standard (their arch enemies when they supported Republican Bush II) with the neoliberals of the Democratic Party establishment. I want to rename them MSNeoBC; and I find myself watching them several times a day now, like a soap opera junkie, in a psychic state somewhere between weird fascination and slapstick mirth. I am convinced they are issued cocaine before each broadcast to maintain the machinegun pace of their chatter. “Russia,” they say, “Russia, Russia, Russia.”

Robert Mueller plods through witness after witness, Russian “electoral interference” as the ostensible goal of that investigation, we see every day more clearly that the Russian government has taken a page from the US playbook on electoral interference. Will it stick? Who knows? It’s like a clown show, but the clowns are all drunk. What will get Agent Orange in the end? Maybe something as pedestrian as money laundering or (It’s a trap!) obstruction of justice. If the blue tsunami fails to emerge in the midterms, all bets are off, and the vandalism continues. If the wave materializes, Donnie is in very deep shit.

Few American voters know anything about the ways the US fixes foreign elections, because we are so insecure, overworked, busy, and distracted by a semiosphere bubbling in bullshit that we are left at the end of the day with only the hope of sleep and the attention span of a grass fly. And as Chomsky pointed out recently, the settler state of Israel interferes in US elections so effectively that very justifiable anti-Zionism is almost a third rail. The emerging social democratic left in the US has a problem with this that it needs to solve, but that’s only an intermediate point here.

In a recent New Yorker article, Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money, breathlessly acclaimed on MSNeoBC, that the issue is essentially settled—whether or not “the Russians” exercised enough influence on the 2016 General Election to swing it into Trump’s column. Settled because Communications Professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson said so. Jamieson’s hagiography in Mayer’s article, subtly entitled “How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump,” takes many paragraphs in a blatant appeal to authority. Jamieson proves, says Mayer, that Russia’s meddling (no one denies there was some element of this, but as a veteran of US foreign policy in Latin America, what surprised me was how surprised anyone else was) was decisive in a close election where the tactical accumulation of states trumped (irresistible pun) the popular vote.

And again, duh. But more than duh, because this inferential case cobbled together using indirect data is architecturally unstable, built as it is on the sand of complex cause-and-effect. I can dip out a bucket of water from the mouth of a river, and there are certainly upstream origins for each molecule of that water, but I challenge anyone to figure them out. Everything that contributed—seen and unseen—to the outcome of the 2016 election was decisive in the larger scheme of things. The preoccupation with this one thing—Russian interference—is an ideological and tactical choice already aimed at one thing: taking down Donald Trump. I approve of that goal wholeheartedly, but selective “honesty” now for tactical advantage will likely come back to bite us in the ass later.

So we’ll see this thing through, the blue tsunami (let it be so, God!) seems our last best hope for the time being of at least slowing the bleeding, so yeah . . . get everyone you know to the polls. And bring on that outrage.

But what about the left? What’s next?

If the Mueller investigation yields results (let’s hope it’s half as decisive as MSNeoBC think it will be for the election), then we are left with a teaching opportunity about US electoral interference abroad, as well as dealing with AIPAC, BDS, and the intentionally convoluted issue of Zionism, and agents of the Israeli government with full time jobs trying to sway US elections, that still holds sway within a sector of the emergent social democratic left. There is work to do to persuade more and more people. Make that hay while the sun shines.

That’s all I have to say for now. I’m going to watch the “Bobby and Donnie Show” on MSNBC.