Russiagate: Both rape drug and act of rape
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Seeing the grave existential and political fix we're now in , some gallows humor--a sophomoric old joke highly pertinent to my title theme--seems as good a way to start as any.
Q: What's the difference between a virgin and a light bulb?
A: You can unscrew a light bulb.
the virgin of this admittedly sick joke (relic of more patriarchal times), the
climate movement has been truly and royally screwed by Democrats. Given what's
at stake, a more appropriately inflammatory term is
To be clear, by "Democrats" in this piece I mean the Clintonite Schumer-Pelosi establishment that actually controls the party, as well as their media mouthpieces at the New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, CNN, and NPR. I do not mean Democrats' voting base (much of it more progressive than the party establishment) or the relatively powerless progressive insurgency led by politicians like Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and the four brave women of "the Squad." In speaking of the Democratic Party as an agent in US politics, it's natural to call "Democrat" behavior the results those who control the party and its media discourse intend and actually get. My usage isn't meant to "diss" the nascent progressive element in the party; rather, it's meant to underline--and lament--its powerlessness.
Well-merited rape metaphors aside, Democrats (as just defined) have literally wasted two and a half precious, never-recoverable years fixating public attention on a Russiagate conspiracy largely of their own concoction instead of an ever-worsening climate crisis. In the process, they have aggravated a nuclear arms race incompatible by its sheer cost alone with addressing humanity's climate emergency, to say nothing of steeply eroding trust with a Russian petrostate whose close cooperation will be needed in phasing out fossil fuels. And nuclear arms aside, recklessly increasing tensions with Russia (with little rational justification) inevitably increases spending on conventional militarism when the US military is already the world's leading institutional consumer of oil.
Grievous as the harms just named are, they're hardly the worst ways in which Democrats have raped the climate movement. If we wish to talk seriously about conspiracy and collusion, we should be discussing nothing Russia did, but rather how Democrats have silently aided and abetted Climate-Criminal-in-Chief Donald Trump in committing an unprecedented act of climate genocide--and racist climate genocide to boot. Much as the Michael Klare piece just linked to focuses on the obscene consequences (above all, for poor people of color) of climate inaction, Trump's aggressive worsening of the climate emergency--as if climate science were his most hated personal enemy--is far more criminally insane than mere inaction.
Yet Democrats--in both a self-serving and politically suicidal way--have unconscionably placed nearly all their Trump "resistance" eggs in the forever-fraying (see here and here) Russiagate basket, meanwhile scarcely breathing a syllable about Trump's egregious, unprecedented climate crime against humanity. By callously sacrificing voter concerns--including Trump's racist, genocidal climate policy--to Russiagate, Democrats have handed Trump and Republicans a huge electoral gift , likely giving climate's most destructive, obstinate enemies four more years in charge of the climate emergency. They've also likely put a megalomaniac tyrant's impeachment--for even his most destructive policies--in such partisan disrepute that it's forever off the table.
Nothing could have done more lasting, irreparable harm to the climate movement.
The Damage Done: Even Staunch Progressives Are Silent
Sadly, even staunch progressives have begun to echo Democrats' climate policy silence. In an insightful essay highlighting the folly of impeaching Trump over "obstruction of justice," Jim Kavanagh cites numerous legitimate policy reason for which Democrats (setting impeachment aside) could have and should have conducted a "frontal political assault" on Trump. Kavanagh cites Trump as "vulnerable for increasing inequality, social insecurity, and foreign aggression." Shockingly, he does not mention Trump's relentless, unconscionable assault on climate and environment. That so unquestionably solid a progressive as Kavanagh, while rightly lambasting Democrats' Russiagate/Mueller obsession, doesn't even think Trump's most insane, dangerous policy worth naming as replacement attack grounds, should prove to climate activists how irreparably Democrats' Russiagate rape has damaged our cause. What needs to be the lead issue of the 2020 presidential campaign is so deeply buried that not even staunch progressives mention it as grounds for voter grievance with Trump!
My point here is not to impugn Kavanagh's motives (which I assume are honorable), but to give climate activists a desperately needed wake-up call. My best guess is that Kavanagh, sincerely and legitimately hell-bent on defeating Trump in 2020, simply didn't think climate criminality would register with voters as much as the grievances he mentioned. He may well be right, but that's a serious problem--one only a united climate movement can hope by its own efforts to solve. Climate is a desperate, short-timetable emergency that can't afford to be put on the back burner next to anything; the climate movement's only hope for saving humanity is to raise the public profile of that truth.
If I cited marginal presidential candidate Jay Inslee's New York Times op-ed in favor of the view that climate action must be our top priority, I did so for a crucial strategic reason. See, it's hardly as if Inslee is completely right and Kavanagh is completely wrong. Far from it. Inslee is totally right that climate action must be our government's top priority, but he's crazily wrong in thinking it's the public opinion winner he takes it to be. There's a genuine, crucial question of truth to be split between Inslee and Kavanagh, and the best evidence of the important truth on Kavanagh's side lies in Inslee's own pathetic polling numbers.
Clearly, presidential hopeful Inslee has made the climate issue his hill to die on. Obviously, a candidate's choice of main issue isn't the sole, or even chief, determinant of that candidate's polling success; clearly, factors such as name recognition, media support, political organization strength, perceived prospects of winning, and debate performance play huge roles. But Inslee has so thoroughly identified himself with the climate issue that if climate were the automatic winning issue Inslee claims, his numbers in many of the aggregated polls just linked to would surely exceed a Lilliputian 1%! Quite plausibly, Inslee would be polling much better--and would probably be defining much of the Democratic debate agenda--if Democrats had ever responsibly emphasized the criminal insanity of Trump's and Republicans' climate policy.
chief concern here is to make the politically comatose climate movement aware
of how royally, irreparably it's been screwed--yes,
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