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Political surprises in 2018 December 28, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Good podcast from the IT last week which considered political surprises – one was the fact SF ran a Presidential election candidate, another was the lack of an election, another was the remarkable majority on the 8th. Any others people can think of?

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1. Joe - December 28, 2018

The remarkable majority on the 8th. Unbelievable.
Showed how totally out of touch with Irish society I am!

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2. Pasionario - December 28, 2018

The bursting of the Macron bubble surprised me by how quickly it happened. From great white hope of Western civilization to arrogant busted flush and record unpopularity in just over a year doesn’t bode well for the political fortunes of the “extreme centre”.

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GW - December 28, 2018

That surprised me too. And the reasons for it. See signs of hope.

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Pasionario - December 29, 2018

The Macron bust has also shown up the delusion of what you might call post-party, start-up politics. Politicians not backed by a reservoir of popular support and a loyal party base turn out to be very weak because they have nothing to fall back on when the going gets tough. Something similar happened to Obama and the Democrats in the US, where the Democratic organization was in disarray by 2016 and no longer had the discipline or muscle to stop Trump.

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CL - December 29, 2018

The political parties in the U.S seem to be merely vehicles for electing presidents. A lot depends on how much money one can raise. Bernie Sanders challenge was financed largely by small donations. A break-through of sorts, although Howard Dean had done something similar in 2004

‘I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.’-Will Rogers.

Mike Bloomberg twice won (bought) the mayoralty of NYC as a Republican, and once as an independent. Now he is thinking or running for president,-as a Democrat. He definitely has the money. But money alone is not enough.

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Pasionario - January 1, 2019

They’re not just vehicles for electing presidents, but nor are they mass parties on the traditional European model.

There are, after all, tens of thousands of local office holders. The Democrats’ links with the unions and civil society used to be crucial too. Macron has none of that.

My point is that a lot of that infrastructure had withered by 2016 in the US — the Democrats lost thousands of local offices throughout the Obama presidency. And Obama did absolutely nothing to halt the decline in union membership and power.

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CL - January 1, 2019

Yes, but the parties are so very loosely structured one wonders if the word ‘party’ is even applicable. Bernie Sanders came close to winning the Democratic party nomination for president without ever formally joining the party. And Trump a non-politician easily took over the Republican party.
Macron’s dilemma, and its a dilemma for liberals generally, is that he believes that by doubling down on neoliberal policies, he can defeat the right-wing reaction,-a reaction engendered by neoliberalism in the first place.

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3. GW - December 29, 2018

The skill with which the Dept of Foreign Affairs and the FG government got the Irish Backstop as an intrinsic and indispensable aspect of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, and that they succeeded in keeping the EU unanimous on this.

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EWI - January 1, 2019

The skill with which the Dept of Foreign Affairs and the FG government got the Irish Backstop as an intrinsic and indispensable aspect of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, and that they succeeded in keeping the EU unanimous on this.

This. And not only what you describe, but thwarted Perfidious Albion’s repeated attempts to go around the EU to national governments and fracture support for the Irish position.

I have zero time for Varadkar and FG, but they’ve played a blinder on this against the British. Maybe there’s something to be said for a lack of psychological cringe towards the British among second-generation immigrants? (De Valera and now Varadkar)

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4. GW - December 29, 2018

That the US’s vaunted ‘checks and balances’ have been largely so ineffective against Trump and that popular support for him remains so high.

That’s certainly been disillusioning in the positive sense.

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CL - December 29, 2018

The Democrats now have a majority in the House.

The Supreme Court has two Trump appointees. So a conservative majority, although Roberts may vote with the 4 liberals on some issues. Trump has also appointed many rightwingers to the lower Federal courts.

In the Senate, as we see from the shut down, 60 votes are needed for funding. So there are some checks and balances.

But does it matter?
The Democrats voted overwhelmingly for the massive military budget, giving Trump even more than he asked for.

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EWI - January 1, 2019

The Democrats voted overwhelmingly for the massive military budget, giving Trump even more than he asked for.

On the other hand, subpoena power. The Trumpists cannot possibly run every single one up to the SC to delay… can they?

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CL - January 1, 2019

Will Individual 1 be subpoenaed. or has he already? That is the question.

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EWI - January 1, 2019

Avenatti clearly believes he has.

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CL - January 1, 2019

So its probably untrue.

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