Monday, April 17, 2017


Last summer's failed coup no doubt paved the way for Erdogan's narrow win in a referendum that moves Turkey from a parliamentary system where the president was a ceremonial position to a system where the president is the "Maximum Leader." Without the purges and jailing of political opponents, not to mention a hot war being waged against the Kurdish population in the country's southeast, Erdogan's Justice and Development Party would not have won the turnout game. Repression works.

One big election down, and  a couple more to go in the next seven days.

Jon Ossoff, a young Democrat running in Newt Gingrich's old congressional district, Georgia's 6th CD, has been designated the avatar of #Resist. If Ossoff is able to win outright tomorrow by garnering 50%-plus-1 of the vote, he will be on the front page of The New York Times. The GOP will definitely be in trouble. The problem for Ossoff is that most polls show him in the mid-40s, while the numerous Republican candidates add up to over 50%. So if Ossoff cannot wrap things up tomorrow, chances are good that he will lose in the runoff.

What's interesting about the race is the extent to which Trump's 180 of the last two weeks has an impact. The anti-Trump protests on Saturday were larger than I expected. Trump's wholesale abandonment of his campaign pledges will erode the motivation of his most committed supporters. That will have an impact.

The most hopeful prospect is the continuing surge of Jean-Luc Mélenchon in France's presidential election, which takes place Sunday. The most motivated voters are clearly Le Pen's and Mélenchon's. The French elite are beginning to show their concern, as Adam Nossiter reports in "Left-Wing Politician Shakes Up France’s Presidential Race":
“Mélenchon: The Insane Program of the French Chávez,” the right-leaning newspaper Figaro blared in a front-page headline last week. The candidate was delighted by this jittery jab.
“What is the liberty of the employee who is fired for not working on Sunday?” he asked the crowd, delivering repeated thrusts at capitalism. “What is the liberty of 120,000 families whose water is cut off because they can’t pay the bill?” His advisers depict him as a kind of French Bernie Sanders. Unlike Mr. Sanders, though, he has no vigorous party establishment to block his way.
“Masters of the earth, you have good reason to be uneasy!” Mr. Mélenchon yelled at the festive, youthful crowd on Sunday, some wearing revolutionary Phrygian caps, as he stabbed the air with his fist and paced back and forth on the stage. “Give it up! Give it up!” the crowd yelled, a message clearly intended for Mr. Mélenchon’s opponents.
“There must be decent salaries,” Mr. Mélenchon shouted into the microphone. “That’s why the minimum wage will have to go up!”
The youth vote was supposed to have gone to the youthful Macron. Mélenchon's rise in the polls is the worst possible news for the neoliberals.

No comments:

Post a Comment