nothing’s going to change right now

From the interview with Bassem Youssef by Justin Monticello in the lastest issue of the libertarian magazine, Reason.  Youssef being “Egypt’s Jon Stewart”, and was essentially exiled out of the country to stateside under the new military government, spotting one Trump victory as not being deadly but one backed up by a mid-term result, perhaps…


JM:  Over the course of the Egyptian revolution and the Arab Spring, the heroes have become the villains.  So the Islamists come to power and they’re aligned with the military, and then the military takes them out and everybody switches places.  Do you see a similar thing happening here, where America’s political parties don’t have a real ideology behind them and it’s just tribal warfare?

BY:  It is tribal warfare.  Truth doesn’t matter anymore.  It’s like:  I’m voting for this guy because I hate the other guy.  There is absolutely no reason for people to vote for Trump other than they just hate the liberals.

JM:  Is it on both sides of the aisle, or do you think the Republicans are more susceptible?

BY:  I might sound biased, but at the end of the day, it is the right wing who are waging a war against minorities, against people’s orientation, against people’s right to choose what to do with their bodies.  They constrict people’s access to information.  They interfere with the education system.  They’re taking away health care.  So, yes, maybe there are also authoritarian tendencies on the left, but… maybe the difference is they are more liberal with people’s personal liberties, which I think is most important.

JM:  The Democrats are more focused on the civil liberties.

BY:  Yes.  I mean, both of them bomb the Middle East very effectively, so there’s no difference there.

JM:  Obama was a great Middle East bomber.  It’s on his resume.  Do you think that Donald Trump represents a unique authoritarian threat in this country?

BY:  It’s a threat if the system doesn’t hold him back.  If the midterms come and there is no tangible change in the Congress and the Senate, that’s a problem.  He will just do whatever he wants, unchecked.


The problem with that last line… as the Democratic look up from a vantage point of being in electorally the worst spot they’ve been in since 1929…

First of all, the five special elections that just passed in the House where the Democratic challenger went down to defeat, picking up ground against the Republican but coming right up against the heavily Republican voting pool, with aid of a commercial here or there tying the candidate into first Nancy Pelosi and then anarchists breaking Starbucks windows to stop them short of victory…

Does not bode well to do much more than win a handful of House seats moving from Republican to Democrat.

Then the Senate.  Coming out of 2012, coming out of 2006… and... there’s a reason West Virginia’s once Democratic governor just switched parties to Republican, so…  Joe Manchin just might be felled out of Trump’s coat-tails and the vaguely aligned “cultural” concerns.
I have an unsettling thought that a likely outcome is the same 52 – 48 split, with at the very least one Republican moving from whatever brand of conservative you can call Luther Strange to the brand of Roy Moore… and ditto to the retired Bob Corker.  (Can Robert Wicker in Mississippi survive a challenge from the “Bannon Machine”?  Probably.  All Wicker’s done wrong is not yell a lot.)

I suppose in this scenario, the “Center” — represented by Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski becomes ever more frayed against the ever more right ward (of a sort) shift of the Republican caucus.

Meaning… if that’s the formulation of Bassem Youssef.  Any major shift in the national government is not in the cards.  So you’d have to watch or wait elsewhere.

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