Thursday, February 23, 2017

Will Trump Last the Year?

I run into people -- in the laundry room of my apartment building, at the side entrance to the building where I work -- and the sense I get is that there is an impression forming among Democrats that Trump will not last the year.

Flynn is out and deep state favorite H.R. McMaster is in. Bannon is now in the cross hairs. And Dems are reprising the Tea Party performance of yesteryear.

But how broad and intense is the movement if a Waterloo comes and goes with barely a whimper? The resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline capitulated without a fight.

This was a fight that had to be waged. The enemy was well defined -- oilmen, big money, a culture that perceives Native Americans as not wholly human, climate change. As early as the end of last year there was an enormous outpouring of support for the Standing Rock Sioux, support so robust it prompted the Obama administration to call for a halt to construction.

But in the end, as with Occupy Wall Street, it is hard to maintain a spontaneous, organic mobilization, particularly when you're dealing with the reality of camping out in a North Dakota winter. Also, and no doubt critically, tribal leadership was opposed to a pitched battle. Dave Archambault II, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, has been telling protesters for months to go home.

So the radical progressive left is flaky, scattered and unprepared to fight a long, disciplined fight. It doesn't bode well for's fight to halt the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Maybe MoveOn, Organizing for Action and Indivisible will have better luck with their various Tea Party simulacra, like Resistance Recess. It is hard to lodge much hope here though. These efforts have the feel of a color revolution. Even if they are successful, all we will end up with is more neoliberal centrists. A lot of energy in the prestige press is being put into making sure Emmanuel Macron makes it to the second round of the French presidential election, and knives are forever being sharpened for Labour's Jeremy Corbyn. It's the old saying, "Money doesn't sleep."

Trump has a fail safe. He tacks to the deep state center, which he is doing now, and he buys himself time. This might create problems with the vanguard of his base, but those are problems Trump can likely manage.

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