Saturday, October 6, 2018


Brett Kavanaugh is the new justice on the Supreme Court. Trump has let, yet again, another icon of the American system fall prey to his creepy agenda. Kavanaugh certainly has the intellectual and professional qualifications for one of the highest functions in the land, nobody disputes that. However, he lacks gravitas and character. Instead of filling a vacancy, he will further undermine one of the pillars of the American democracy. The former Alistair Cook epic saga regarding America is now definitively a thing of the past. True, he was an Englishman, hence an "immigrant", unfit for the current Zeitgeist.

Trump gambled and won,  turning the tables and altering the discourse, hijacking the topic and replacing it by an ersatz. His base followed suit, sacrificing truth for another cultural take-over. Women in general got a black eye, while Melania was sent to Africa (in Tintin/Indiana Jones gear) and Ivanka was under house arrest. 

In Trump-land the insubstantial rules. More seriously, this Supreme Court might have to deliberate on very existential issues at a time when the independence of the judges--both Democrats and Republicans--is in doubt. Presidents George W. Bush and Johnson tried to fill vacancies on the Court with some very dubious personalities. President Obama made sure that more liberal--albeit highly qualified--judges were considered. Here, a judge morphed into a partisan hack in real time.

Trump's strategy works in this American Gotterdammerung. The relentless war against "the other", in and outside, accelerates, with the support of alliances built on quick gains or partisan agendas.

Former groupings built on principle give way to moves rooted in whims. At the current pace the world might be a total different universe after six (?) more years of Trump. Part of America is in denial because of the positive economic data, but the country nevertheless often looks like some old radio found in the garbage bin. The numbers do not translate in new A.I., infrastructure, environment, salaries or health care. This structural gap between numbers and facts will bite some day, with a vengeance. The Trump base (the "white blue collar worker") will find out, too late, that coal sucks, that pollution kills, that a Neanderthal slogan only leads to the consolidation of alienation.

In theory it should not be difficult to predict the outcome of the mid-term elections in November. The Democrats should win and retake control of the House (if not of the Senate), but Trump is a good poker player and a formidable campaigner. His vocabulary might be limited, his facts false, but his arsenal of chosen taunts is deadly.  However it remains doubtful that many Republican women will rally around Kavanaugh's beer and puke performance, so wholeheartedly embraced by the cultural warrior-in-chief.

Democrats had better get back into attack mode and return to the only issue wherein they might have the upper-hand: the Russia connection. Republicans will resort to any trick and alternative to distract from an issue which is potentially deadly for Trump & Co. The major scandal of the nexus between a corrupt gang of too many and the shadow of Putin cannot be relegated to a second tier. The press will not allow this to happen, but the Democrats may yet again choose the wrong battle!


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