Daily Politics Thread

The Leftorium Forms The Oprah for America Exploratory Committee

Happy Tuesday, Avocados, and welcome to the 7th weekly installment of The Leftorium – the Avocado’s dedicated space for in-depth discussion of leftist views and politics in the US and worldwide.

Of interest this week:

– The searing tell-all that is sure to bring down the Trump administration by tying his businesses to last year’s doomed Fyre Festival was released last week and has since been making the rounds. I speak of course of Fyre and Fury: the new account from Michael Wolff about rampart incompetence in the white house and a President categorically unfit to run the country. I’m being told this is the first we’ve actually heard of these allegations so definitely a game-changer. In interviews given since the book’s release, Wolff has had to defend some of the more bombastic claims in his book against accusations of inaccuracy and one of the standouts among his responses was telling MSNBC’s Katy Tur that “if it rings true, it is true.”

Glenn Greenwald has pointed out the eerie resemblance of this to the term “truthiness” coined by Stephen Colbert in the mid aughts. All this to say that the reasonable reader would do well to take everything posited in the book with a grain of salt.

– Oprah gave a speech at Sunday’s golden globes ceremony and is suddenly being touted as a presidential candidate in 2020. Luckily it seems the people most enamored with this idea have so far tended to be twitter liberals entirely divorced from reality. Oprah Winfrey is part of the billionaire class and the pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps chorus of the nouveau-rich and it will take an astronomical amount of empathy and goodwill for her to ever truly be considered a champion of any struggle. Just as the Clintons were known to be chummy with Trump before his decision to run in 2015, Oprah has in the past counted herself as a friend and Trump still seems to speak highly of her. This is what happens when you have enough money to bankroll the day-to-day operations of a minor nation. Gradually, all your beliefs are toppled by the singular view that capitalism across the political spectrum is actually good and its practitioners can’t be all that bad. There have been many takes and think-pieces I’m sure but I’ve mostly avoided them because I’d just rather not entertain the thought of the person responsible for takes like this being presented by the democrats as an answer to Trump:

“I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools [in America] that I just stopped going. The sense that you need to learn just isn’t there,” she said. “If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa, they don’t ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school.”

– In local Texas news, Beto O’Rourke who is running to unseat Ted Cruz has stepped in a bit of dogshit with a bill he’s introducing in congress to make national service compulsory for all young people and seeking bipartisan support for it. Some are arguing that this equates to bringing back the draft while others have taken the view that the bill, if passed, might actually open people’s eyes to the evils of American Imperialism. Whichever side you fall, it is becoming evident that O’Rourke isn’t as progressive as he claims and this is just the latest sign. He doesn’t support M4A, College for All, or raising the minimum wage for example.

For someone more progressive, Sema Hernandez is the better choice and hopefully her profile only rises as O’Rourke’s policies fall under more scrutiny.

– Dennis Kucinich has filed to run for the office of Governor in Ohio. Kucinich is probably best remembered for his 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns and probably his hot wife most of all. In all seriousness, with his opposition to the Iraq war and his reputation for being pro-LGBT and pro-union, Kucinich has been at the vanguard of progressive politics in America for a long time.

Also, reminder that our liberal faves from the Bush years thought Kucinich was a nut-job for championing trans-rights as far back as 2003. (TW for transphobia):

What else has struck your fancy this week, local or international?