Comments of the Week: On the Meaning of Brexit
Somewhere amid Sunday’s Politicon and other special events, our regularly scheduled Comments of the Week feature was temporarily disrupted. But we’re back with a belated installment that includes reader insights from the week ending Monday.
And what a week it was. Thursday’s stunning Brexit vote was one of the biggest stories of the century thus far. But it wasn’t the only topic on commenters’ minds.
We’ll kick off with a response from DachshundUberAlles about Brexit, posted under Chris Hedges’ column, “2008 All Over Again”:
Chris Hedges depresses the heck out of me, but I know it stems from the fact that he is spot on with his assessments. Makes me glad that I’m up in years and have a chance of being “departed” before the worst of it all descends upon this world. I have always enjoyed my Trotter, Lippmann, and Bernays books, but now they just make me angry, knowing how easily a mass of people are manipulated and corralled into such foolish behavior despite all the warnings they are given at every step along the path.
DachshundUberAlles is not the first to give this kind of feedback about Hedges’ work.
Shifting gears, here’s ProgressiveDog’s take on this story about Hillary Clinton’s possible vice presidential picks, which, regardless of individual preferences and politics, picks up on what Democratic operatives may well be thinking right about now:
Hillary will pick Kaine. First, he has the best resume of the three. Mayor, Lt. Governor, Governor, DNC Chairman, and Senator. He’s on the Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees. Hillary’s biggest selling point is her experience. Both in 2008 and 2016, she’s been telling us how she has the experience to be President. Personally, I think her record shows she has experience, but lousy judgment. But if you’re going to play the experience card, you can’t undermine it by picking a running mate with little experience. That’s why I’m amazed Castro is even on her list. I suspect if he weren’t Latino, none of us would be talking about him. As for Warren, she too doesn’t have a lot of experience, though I would still love to see her on the ticket. But it’s clear that the only reason Hillary is even considering her is to appease the progressives who supported Bernie. I don’t know if picking Warren will be enough to win the Bernie supporters. And judging by Trump’s numbers, Hillary may conclude that she doesn’t need progressives in order to win. Kaine helps her appeal to the center, he’s probably favored by the party establishment, and he doesn’t cost the Democrats a Senate seat. I also think the party is looking ahead 8 years. They have an exceedingly weak bench right now thanks to the leadership of Debbie Wasserman Schultz. If Warren is the VP, then she becomes the presumptive favorite for President in 2024, something I don’t think the corporatist Democrats want. Plus she’ll be in her 70s by then. But Kaine will be in his 60s and by that point, he’ll have the best resume of any candidate. Mayor, Lt. Governor, Governor, DNC Chairman, Senator, and VP. He’s not charismatic and doesn’t generate excitement. But I think the party would prefer to have him as their default option if another Obama doesn’t come along.
Calling this next one a loaded issue is at once a pun and a fact. Although attempts were made in both chambers of Congress to push for progress on gun control, we now know what michaelnola suspected in this jokey (sort of) comment posted June 20 about the circumstances that would spur legislators:
No one hold your breath until the mass shooting that involves large numbers of elected officials and lobbyists.
Back to Brexit. Marian Griffith offered a useful history lesson stretching back 85 years to help contextualize the U.K. paradigm shift and its consequences:
I don’t know how this will play out either in the UK or in Europe. However, I don’t have high hopes that the people who voted for the Brexit (and those who in other countries would vote to leave the EU too) will in any way or form profit from it. The international banks, the vulture capitalists and the 0.001 percent have rigged the system to shat regardless what happens, they come out ahead. They profited greatly from the biggest economic collapse since 1929, losing less ground, percentage-wise, than any other demographic, and ensuring that almost all of the recovery went the way of their offshore bank accounts, turning the recession they caused in the biggest transfer of wealth from the many to the aristocracy in the history of humanity. They’re going to their advantage the UK turning from being part of world’s largest economic block into a bit player. Should the EU implode, as so many here express their hope, I have no doubt at all that they will wast no time manipulating the relatively powerless governments into more massive transfers of wealth. Remember that the international banks already have put legislation in place that allows them to confiscate private savings accounts to make up the losses on their own reckless gambling addiction.
Last on this brief roundup comes theghostofjh, who made a succinct and successful suggestion for making presidential elections, and the debates that help frame them, expand beyond the two-party dog and pony shows they’ve become:
15% is a ridiculous hurdle to be included in the debates. This must be attacked hard by all truly independent and/or unaffiliated voters, all Sanders supporters, and all existing 3rd party memberships in a collaborative and concerted effort to open the gates to a more inclusive politics in this country. The people deserve to hear other voices, and to truly and freely engage alternative options in the pursuit of optimizing their representation. No taxation without true representation!
That gets our vote. Back again on Sunday.
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