At the time of publication of this piece, we will be 90 days away from casting the 2020 ballot for president.
The operative question about the outcome of the election is still for me defined by a) who will be allowed to vote and b) whether the key battleground states will be stolen for Trump.
There have been some interesting developments within the ruling elite echelon worth consideration.
Donald Loses An Oligarch
On July 24, David Levinthal reported for Business Insider “Trump’s Most Important 2016 Donor is Sitting Out 2020.” Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah make up the leadership of a secretive hedge fund empire that underwrote the Citizens United nonprofit in the 2010s (yes, that Citizens United), the white nationalist Breitbart website, Cambridge Analytica, and finally a sputtering, self-combusting Trump 2016 campaign the saw its second wind catalyze the victorious sprint into the White House after a key injection of Mercer-linked staffers and capital. (The Mercers were previously profiled in this spooky news segment from The Real News that remains essential viewing.)
Mercer represents a section of the ultra-rich whose politics are not merely conservative but downright medieval. The Ayn Rand-inclined oligarch is so infamously secretive that the only publicly-available recording ever made of his voice is from a pedantic, boring 2014 computer science lecture when receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Association for Computational Linguistics. People who know him paint an image of an anti-social introvert with a preference for cats over human engagement who claims “that African-Americans were better off economically before the civil-rights movement” and “that there are no white racists in America today, only black racists,” to quote Jane Mayer’s 2017 reporting in a profile for The New Yorker. He has been the sugar daddy behind some of the most blatantly white nationalist formations within the GOP base as a reaction to the ascendancy of Barack Obama from 2006-10, eventually congealing as the Tea Party. He also has previously supported Ted Cruz and given six donations of $500,000, or a total of $3 million, to John Bolton’s Super PAC (we’ll get back to that in a minute).
Is Mercer sitting this one out because of rumblings from his hedge fund investors and other corporate constituents that either a) have been understandably repulsed by the Trump administration, or b) (less admirably and more likely) have seen their profits drop as a result of the Donald’s scorched-earth siege of our grey economy of undocumented laborers that help keep domestic production costs low?
Could he have seen an unexpected level of social shunning in the yuppie enclave of Head of Harbor, Suffolk County on Long Island that the Mercers reside in? In the 2016 election, Mercer’s district was barely won by Trump, decided by less than 50,000 votes, and it would not be shocking to imagine liberals at their yacht club giving them the #Resistance stink eye.
One has to wonder furthermore if the recent publication of John Bolton’s White House memoir The Room Where It Happened was a project quietly funded by Mercer. Someone who has given a lunatic war criminal that much money almost certainly has a certain level of bibliographical control there…
But what will this mean for the rabid denizens of the Trumpkin patch?
News emerged that Chris Dodd is part of the Vice Presidential selection team for the Biden campaign this week. A July 27 Politico story by Natasha Korecki, Christopher Cadelago and Marc Caputo revealing that Sen. Kamala Harris is far from a shoe-in for Veep (because she was mean to Joe during the primaries, natch) included these rather astonishing lines:
When former Sen. Chris Dodd, a member of Joe Biden’s vice presidential search committee, recently asked Kamala Harris about her ambush on Biden in the first Democratic debate, Dodd was stunned by her response. “She laughed and said, ‘that’s politics.’ She had no remorse,” Dodd told a longtime Biden supporter and donor, who relayed the exchange to POLITICO on condition of anonymity… “Dodd felt it was a gimmick, that it was cheap,” the donor said. The person added that Dodd’s concerns about Harris were so deep that he’s helped elevate California Rep. Karen Bass during the vetting process, urging Biden to pick her because “she’s a loyal No. 2. And that’s what Biden really wants.”
As Jeffrey St. Clair pointed out, Dodd, who hails from Connecticut, was once labeled “The Senator from Aetna” by Ralph Nader. Writing further, the longtime consumer advocate said in a July 1996 column for The Nation “It is one thing for progressive Democrats to be shunted aside on issue after issue by the Dodd-Clintonites; it is more deeply disturbing to realize that these corporate Democrats have lost control of Congress and their chief hope in getting it back rests on how extremist their opponents become.” (Gee, doesn’t that sound awfully familiar…)
In other words, Dodd’s key role in the Biden campaign’s leadership should demonstrate exactly how progressive the Democratic nominee plans to be, not an encouraging sign whilst Homeland Security rolls out its federal Schutzstaffel brigades in major Democratic urban centers.
Furthermore, one cannot forget Dodd’s rather infamous escapades with the late Teddy Kennedy, euphemistically called “the waitress sandwich” episode. Apparently in 1985 the Lion of the Senate and the Line-Item of Big Pharma sexually accosted the service staff at the swanky La Brasserie restaurant, located at Massachusetts Avenue Northeast in DC until its closure in 2005.
Which of course further demonstrates the farce of Biden’s virtue-signalling corporate feminist posturing. The Vice Presidency is already “not worth a bucket of warm piss” (quoth FDR’s first VP John Nance Garner) and, with Dodd in the mix, it will remain that way.
By Any Means Necessary!
A July 24 NBC story headlined ‘From Black Lives To ‘White Spectacle,’ Portland Protests Have Lost Focus, Civil Rights Leaders Say,‘ authored by Alicia Victoria Lozano, gives one pause for serious consideration. Portland NAACP President Rev. E.D. Mondainé has denounced elements of the protests in Portland, writing in an opinion column for the Washington Post “Unfortunately, ‘spectacle’ is now the best way to describe Portland’s protests. Vandalizing government buildings and hurling projectiles at law enforcement draw attention — but how do these actions stop police from killing black people? What are antifa and other leftist agitators achieving for the cause of black equality?”
Dr. Ajamu Baraka, lead organizer for the Black Alliance for Peace and the 2016 Green Party vice presidential nominee, offered this critique via his Facebook Page:
Expect the enemy to start pulling Negro misleaders out to denounce resistance to the state. What are these creeps talking about when they say “losing focus? What is the focus for these Negros, begging white folks for something called justice? You see this is what I mean when I say what was progressive two weeks ago can be reactionary today because of how things are unfolding.
Black lives are starting to be used a weapon by the state to depoliticize and deradicalize in the midst of this capitalist crisis. The focus? The focus should be on the state and the racist capitalist system. Are these Negros twisting up their mouths to utter the word capitalism?
Hundreds of Africans are dying everyday because of capitalist oppression from coronavirus. People are facing evictions, don’t have healthcare, are being forced to work without PPE, scared to send their kids to school even though their kids are barely eating because they are missing those school meals, and these Uncle Tom, Democrat Party slave, pro-American Black hustlers got the nerve to talk about white spectacle. I have nothing but admiration for the Black leaders providing leadership in Portland and the white folks putting it on the line against the neofascist moves being made in that city.
Look, I respect the mission and purpose of the NAACP, not to mention its grassroots membership. I also have enough personal witness to whiteness in and around organizing spaces to understand that the libs and quite a few progressives can be unbearable doofuses. It is always important to center BIPOC community leader voices in these protests.
But, in the grand spectrum of African American politics, the NAACP actually has been quite centrist for more than seven decades. As Dr. Gerald Horne outlined first in his important monograph Black and Red: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Afro-American Response to the Cold War, 1944-1963 and later elaborated upon in this interview segment titled “The Price of NAACP Compromise Was Too High,” the Association made a Faustian pact by embracing Cold War liberalism after World War II, which in the long run has been a detriment to its base constituencies. They expelled from their ranks radicals like Dr. Du Bois, endorsed the Red Scare, and have become deeply enmeshed within the Democratic Party.
The corporate media works in tandem alongside these Democratic auxiliaries with the intention of smothering popular revolts and homogenizing their politics into moderated, tempered calls for reforms to be implemented via the Democratic Party. Following Malcolm X’s maxim, they will do it “by any means necessary,” including invoking some of the most divisive methods of liberal identity politics.
Regardless of peripheral diversity initiatives, NBC is still one of the mega-monopolistic media conglomerates with a white supremacist mission and orientation. Reporters and their interview subjects will not shift the balance of power within a television network whose leadership never once has apologized for elevating Donald Trump into the realm of being a serious GOP contender in 2015-16 via the so-called “Pied Piper strategy.” The hypocrisy could not be more appalling.