Vote As If Your Life Depends on It, Because It Does

I’m sure many of you saw this video of Trump dismissing science yesterday:

Joe Biden responded:

I believe several nightly news programs juxtaposed these very videos.

Joe Biden got off to a slow start on climate change plans during the primary season, but since then he’s pumped it up quite a bit, and I feel a lot better about his climate proposals now. See Biden’s climate plan won praise from progressives at CNN and this article with a misleading headline at the Sydney Morning Herald. I take it Biden has been listening to some smart people about what needs to be done, which is a good thing.

On the issue of climate change alone, there cannot be a more stark and extreme contrast between these candidates. Which brings me to David Sirota. I’ve linked to a lot of Sirota’s reporting over the years and subscribed to his newsletter. But lately, Sirota has been in Bash Joe Biden mode, all day, every day. This morning’s Sirota newsletter complained that Biden is “suppressing” the progressive vote and is in danger of throwing the election to Trump because progressives just aren’t enthusiastic enough about Biden.

I unsubscribed. This is getting ridiculous. Especially on a day when the western U.S. is burning up and the southern Gulf coastal states are flooding, don’t talk to me about enthusiasm. If your hair isn’t on fire, so to speak, what’s wrong with you?

See also Scientific American Endorses Joe Biden.

The next issue is that between Trump and Mitch McConnell, President Biden is going to have a historic mess on his hands. Paul Krugman writes that Republicans are governing as if there will be no next year. “And this means that if Biden does win, he will have to govern in the face of what amounts to nonstop policy sabotage from his political opponents,” Krugman says.

… the most striking demonstration of Republican refusal to think ahead is the fact that nothing has been done to alleviate either the suffering of unemployed Americans — who lost much of the benefits that were sustaining them at the end of July — or the looming fiscal crisis of state and local governments.

Chances are that by January we’ll still be dealing with both an out-of-control pandemic and an economy that at best will be tottering on the brink of a major depression, if not fallen into it. And the climate will still be warming.  Krugman continues,

Traditionally, departing administrations try to smooth the path for their successors. If you think that’s going to happen this time, I have miles of new border wall, paid for by Mexico, that you might want to buy.

What’s actually going to happen, at best, is nothing: no actions to limit the spread of the coronavirus, no financial relief for families and local governments in crisis. And does anyone want to bet against the possibility of deliberate actions to make things worse?

So if Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20, he’ll be the second Democratic president in a row to inherit a nation in crisis, but this time one much worse than the one facing Barack Obama.

And the troubles won’t end on Inauguration Day. If Republicans still hold the Senate, they’ll do everything they can to sabotage the new Biden administration.

That last part terrifies me. There’s no time left to undo Trump’s dismantling of environmental policies and put genuinely robust policies into place to save the planet. There’s no time left for debate or to wait for another election cycle to get the obstructionists out. We are out of time. It has to be now.

We’re also likely to see an upsurge in right-wing terrorism in this country after Trump loses. 2021 is likely to be a mess, at best. And I’m sure we’re all exhausted already; I know I am.

Joe Biden, obviously, is working to put together a big-tent coalition to counter Trump’s rabidly wackjob base, because the truth is that there aren’t enough progressives in the U.S. to elect a president. That’s safe to assume, given that there weren’t enough progressive voters to win primaries. Progressives need to appreciate that they are part of a coalition, and coalitions only work when they actually coalesce.

On the plus side, the extreme problems we will be facing in January should put an end to Clintonian complacency. Anyone arguing for tweaks and baby steps and incrementalism must be hooted out of the stadium. But if we don’t dump Trump and re-take the Senate, I fear all is lost. Including our planet.

NASA

7 thoughts on “Vote As If Your Life Depends on It, Because It Does

  1. Trump isn't doing any of the things he needs to do to attract voters in those factions he needs in order to have a chance.  He's going back to rallies – if they become super-spreader events documented for the medical consequences in time for the last debate, it will be the last straw.

    There is such a thing as negative coattails. If Trump goes down big, the Senate turns blue. MY question is whether there's enough backbone in that narrow majority to chuck the filibuster. I hope they act on something sweeping in late January, like the federal government stepping up on the cost of testing, buck up hospitals, pay cities to not lay off workers and make the GOP filibuster – ONE TIME. Then change the rule because the country can't wait. Pass it – let Biden sign it and govern. (Bills passing both the House and Senate, signed into law by the POTUS. 

    Invite Republicans to participate, but not obstruct. 

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  2. 538 gives Trump a 1 in 4 chance, but I can't  find  any  data on the Senate. 

    The skies  in  SoCal have been REALLY hazy even though the fires are hundreds of miles away. If it's  any consolation, the climate change denialist trolls scurried away, hiding under their rocks, several years ago, during the last  big  fire  season. It really feels  like an apocalypse is occurring about a thousand  miles  up the 5 freeway. 

  3. The planet will be fine, maha – but it may already be too late to save "our" climate.

    And by "our," I mean that while the planet itself will be continue to spin merrily on its axis, the narrow gaps between too dry v. too wet, and too hot v. too cold, that allow for humans to not just survive but to thrive, are disappearing.  And it's in those gaps that we evolved from apes, to hominids, to Homo Sapiens.

    Parts of the world are already getting more extremes in their weather.  Dry areas are being deluged, and wetlands are drying up.

    America's election is not only literally politically existential for us as a country, but also environmentally existential for us as a species.

    So, a vote for Biden isn't just a vote to keep our form of representative democracy long enough to try to fix it, it's also a vote to try to keep our planet habitable for the most amount of people.

    • Agreed. The planet will survive warming and cooling. It's modern civilization that may be unable to adapt to the stress. Mankind survived pre-industrial-revolution in Alaska and the Sahara. The problem is it's brutal without electricity, transportation, global distribution, information. The question is if we'll sink into a second version of the Dark Ages where science and information are hunted down for destruction.

  4. https://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/scientific-american-backs-biden-with-its-first-presidential-endorsement-in-history-91852357547

    Here's a very accurate summation of just how much of a bag of shit Trump is. Sometimes it's hard trying to figure out whether Trump is as stupid as he shows himself to be or whether he's just pandering to America's intellectual bottom feeders. It's clear that whatever Trump is doing, he's doing it like we are the end of the line. He had no concerns about preservation or conservation for the generations of American's that will come behind us. It's an I got mine, fuck the rest of you, attitude. It is typical psychopathic behavior.. To leave somebody else holding the bag.

     I did it my way? Even if his way leaves a trail of carnage in his wake. He's a bag of shit!

  5. It is a sad day that an honorable magazine of science finds it necessary to wax political.  It is also a sad day when the report on Boing shows both internal malfeasance and governmental regulatory inadequacy led to lethal mistakes with the Max.  

    Truth is becoming subservient to greed.  Immediate gratification dominates prudent judgement and long term survival. 

    This will be quite the test for democracy.  Can common people chose the proper leaders.  Can the majority rid themselves of a con artist and a liar and chart a path to a promising future.  We will see.  Way to many seem to be willing to keep playing: Follow the Shiny Idiot.  That in itself is sad.  

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