The political scene: Links & comments 8/20/2020

What kind of a President would Joe Biden be?

Andrew Bacevich, a political scientist and retired career Army officer, outlined what Biden could do to turn the country around in a constructive way.  Bacevich’s article would be a good benchmark with which to measure Biden’s actual policies—assuming he is elected, that is, which is far from certain.

Biden Wins, Then What? by Andrew Bacevich for TomDispatch.

It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Biden would do what Bacevich recommends, or at least some of it, but I would be surprised if he did. Maybe Bacevich would, too.  Unlikely isn’t the same as impossible, but I think the pessimistic view of David Sirota, editor-at-large of Jacobin magazine, is more realistic.

He says the Democrats’ choice of Biden over Bernie Sanders is an explicit endorsement of the pre-Trump status quo over progressive change.  It means that, no matter who wins, we Americans will not have Presidential leadership equal to the coming crisis.

Did Americans Want a Revolution? by David Sirota for Too Much Information.

When Donald Trump ran in 2016, he expressed reservations about the U.S. forever wars, but did not do anything concrete to end them.  Even so, both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden have attacked him as an appeaser.

The continuing wars at best will spread more pointless death, destruction and misery through the world, and at worst will create military confrontations leading to use of nuclear weapons.  For the next four years, the only hope of winding down the wars is in Congress.

A Bold Foreign Policy Platform for the New Wave of Left Lawmakers by Phyllis Bennis for In These Times.

Thomas Frank’s new book, The People, No, is about the history of populism and the anti-democracy backlash against it. He gave a good interview with Lewis Lapham, in which he discussed some material not in the book.  Matt Taibbi wrote a good review of the book.

The World in Time: Thomas Frank, a broadcast interview for Lapham’s Quarterly.

The People, No, a review on Reporting by Matt Taibbi.


2 Responses to “The political scene: Links & comments 8/20/2020”

  1. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    At least the preTrump status quo is better than having a President who is explicitly intent on maximizing polarization.


  2. philebersole Says:

    The pre-Trump status quo produced Trump. Restoring the pre-Trump status quo will almost certainly produce another Trump—someone who stands for the same things and uses the same methods as he does, but is more purposeful and less self-destructive.


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