Monday, May 6, 2019

The Old Political Order is Just Old - Tom Luongo

“Look at how old you’ve become…”
–Kylo Ren

Today is Star Wars Day, right? May the 4th and all that. Maybe I’m a little old to be celebrating a movie, but whatever.
As I reviewed the events of the past week it reminded me that Star Wars, at its core, is about the pivotal moments in history and the changing from one political order to another.
Be it the fall of the Old Republic in the prequel films to the end of the Empire and Palpatine’s rule in the Original Trilogy. We even open The Force Awakens with Kylo Ren wiping out the last group of people who still revere the Jedi to begin his quest to consolidate power amidst the chaos.
Star Wars has always functioned as a mirror to our current political drama. Films emerge every generation to reflect where we’re headed as a society. Maybe that’s why the new films aren’t as well loved by a part of the fan base, they are telling us things we don’t want to hear.
So maybe it is fitting that this week’s events were all so indicative of what is happening in our world today.
The post WWII institutional order and political elite are old.
And the old institutional order is failing.
The outdated and old enmities between the U.S. and Russia led to a series of disastrous decisions by men and women who are obsessed with overcoming their thwarted expectations of enhanced power and prestige.
There was Operation Bay of Fat Pigs, coup-attempt which unfolded in real time in Caracas on Tuesday. John Bolton was “snookered” (H/T to Moon of Alabama for excellent reporting on this) by Venezuelan officials into thinking they had the military and supreme court on their side.
When Juan “Random Fall Guy” Guaido made his move and no one else did, the U.S. was caught televising live their own ineptitude. And then laughably tried to blame the Russians for it.
While it is clear that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had outwitted him, Bolton apparently continues to rail on U.S. Southern Command leadership and President Trump to invade.
Why? Because John Bolton is old, inflexible and well past his use-by date for coherent foreign policy decisions.
Lindsay Graham wandered in out of the bathhouse to wonder where our aircraft carriers were and why weren’t they sending a clear message to those pesky Russians?
And everyone else around the world is wondering what the hell are people in D.C. smoking?
If that wasn’t enough for you, how about the ridiculous spectacle of Democratic senators venting their desperation and vitriol at Attorney General William Barr for raining on their impeachment parade.
From Cory “Spartacus” Booker to Maisie “Respect Me, Dammit!” Hirono all we saw from them was desperation and histrionics at also being outwitted by both Donald Trump and his legal team.
Mueller, his staff of hatchetmen, the Obama administration and the rest of the corrupt old-guard in D.C. fully expected to be allowed free rein to convict Trump politically of Obstruction of Justice based on an interpretation of Federal Statutes that could only be justified in the world of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report.
When that didn’t happen they are now looking at potential blowback from a vain and vindictive man occupying the supposedly most powerful office in the world.
But is that really the case anymore? It seems John Bolton has been more president than Trump recently.
The Federal Reserve revealed they have no answers to the rapidly brewing dollar liquidity problem they created and can’t extricate themselves from. Dropping Interest on Excess Reserves was pure window dressing on a problem far deeper than they can publicly admit to.
Crossing the pond we have the insistence of Theresa “Baghdad Bob” May that she’s still working towards a real Brexit after the complete wipeout of her Tory party in local council elections across the whole of England.
Then there’s the latest scandal with May firing adolescent Defense Minister Gavin Williamson for leaking her cabinet’s corrupt relationship with Chinese mobile technology leader Huawei.
If May’s goal is to destroy the British government in preparation for selling the country lock, stock and two smoking barrels to the European Union, then she may be the only truly competent politician left in the West.
They all just look so old and like a bunch of sorry has-beens getting together for a Love Boat 30th anniversary special instead of serious people with serious policy solutions.
The DNC is in the midst of a coup attempt of its own by Cenk Uygur and the Justice Democrats. Their only choice is to rally around Pedo Joe Biden who is fully implicated in the RussiaGate mess with his deep ties to Ukraine where so many of the lies about Trump originated.
Biden is 78. Bernie Sanders is is about to be.
The European Union is staring at the worst kind of blowback to its brutal strategy to deny Brexit. The latest polling has Nigel Farage’s Brexit party pulling from all parts of the British electorate to become the dominant party heading into the polls in three weeks.
If this keeps up he’ll completely change the face of British politics and all of this EU inevitability will dissipate like a fart in a hurricane of populist anger.
Lastly, don’t think that Trump will not put as much pressure as he can on these people. Barr has already begun the process going after Nellie Ohr. There is a possibility we’ll see Trump actually get a few scalps here.
And that may include telling Sheldon Adelson to get stuffed and begin reversing course on the insane levels of aggression emanating from the White House.
There comes a point when you look around and realize something isn’t working. None of the people I’ve talked about here can or will admit that they’ve failed. They are politicians, they can’t show weakness.
Trump has the opportunity here to use all of this to his egregious advantage. While the Democrats lose their collective minds Trump took a long phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin and immediately made it public.
Embarrassing him and the U.S. the way John Bolton and Mike Pompeo did this week with Operation Bay of Fat Pigs will not sit well with Trump. He’s been asked to sell a policy it doesn’t look like he believes in.
Trump is in re-election mode now. And Venezuelan regime change is not a winning strategy, neither is letting RussiaGate go. The key for him now is to undo a lot of the damage that’s been done by his staff, disloyal cabinet members and recalcitrant bureaucracy who are all wedded deeply to the old way things are done.
Those old ways aren’t working anymore. And if any of these people want to remain in power and pass it along to the next generation they better start acting like the humanitarians they purport to be. That means giving the people what they want — Hillary Clinton’s head on a pike, Brexit, and an end to the creeping technocratic totalitarianism outsourced to Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple to get around the Constitution.
Houses divided into as many factions as we see all across the west will not stand. They not only invite the crises on our horizon they accelerate them.