Primary Notes from a Shit-Hole Superpower: Crashing the Party from the Top Down

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

12 noon: Just to be clear, the Dem establishment will gladly enable a second fascistic and ecocidal Trump term before it will get behind a progressive Dem/Sanders nomination. The neoilberal Dem masters will do everything they can, including sabotage of Sanders, to sustain the party’s status as a thoroughgoing ruling class institutional asset. They are the ones with ideological purity tests, and they are loudly and clearly announcing their preference for Trump over Sanders in 2020 as in 2016.

You will not get a popular revolution through electoral politics under the U.S. party and elections system. Sorry if that makes me sound “negative.” Always start with the truth.

1:17 pm: I glanced at “liberal” MSNBC host Stephanie Class-Ruhle (SCR) this morning. Her theme: voters will not support a democratic socialist. What else? This woman, a former leading global derivatives trader who lives in luxury in East Central Park, is obsessed with demeaning and defeating Bernie Sanders. She regularly invites on experts from Third Way and a bunch of non-Trump Republicans like Jeb Bush’s former 2016 campaign director. SCR is just a caricature of herself at this point. She would never admit it, but she wants Trump back for a second term. Demented Orange is very profitable for right-wing fake progressive MSDNC and CNN chattering skulls like SCR.

2:18 pm: Go to 3:15 of this CNN clip and look at how insanely ORANGE this fascistic dip-shit Trump’s head is compared to all the other whites up on the stage. How bizarre. As someone wrote me, he looks like he broke out of a mental hospital and locked himself in a make-up room.

2:49 pm: No surprise here: “Superdelegates ‘Willing to Risk Intraparty Damage’ to Block Sanders at Contested Democratic Convention.” I keep saying it here and to anyone who will listen: the Democratic Party’s corporate-imperialist establishment would rather lose to the right-wing capitalist party, even to an increasingly apocalyptic and fascistic right, than to the progressive, moderately social-democratic and environmentalist left wing of its own party. That was the basic story of 2016 – a tragedy the bourgeois Democratic Party leadership is trying to re-enact in 2020.

3:37 pm: The two most remarkable things I’ve seen in the last 24 hours: : (1) the New York Times report on how the Dem super-delegates will be perfectly happy to throw the election to Trump by screwing over Sanders at the Democratic National Convention; (2) footage of Malignant Orange trying to blame the Coronavirus-caused stock market drop on the “radical Left Democrats.”

6:20 pm: Demented Orange is muzzling govt. scientists on c-virus, making them clear statements with Christian Fascist Pence. He’s such an Antichrist.

7:31 pm: Many of us on the Left have been trying the crash the Democratic Party for a long time. It looks like super-rich oligarchs like Bernard “Stop Sanders” Schwartz may do it for us.

Just Shoot Me

9:18 pm: So neoliberal globalist guru Thomas Friedman just went on CNN to call for a post-Trump “government of national unity” ala “Team of Rivals.” Friedman then proceeded to trash the shit out of Bernie Sanders, the front-running progressive Dem presidential candidate adored by tens of millions. As was clear from his conversation with Chris Cuomo. Friedman sees the Coronavirus as a great opportunity for his friend Mikey Moneybags Bloomberg to emerge as the leader of this coming “national unity” state. Friedman thinks Bloomberg will arise as the “crisis manager” we the people need. You can’t make shit like this up. Well, you can, but I didn’t.

9:50 pm: Thomas Friedman and Steve Bannon are both stuck five feet apart in the middle of a busy street with an out of control bus bearing down on them. You have been ordered by a man with a gun to run out and save just one of them by knocking the one you choose out of the bus’s way (hopefully keeping yourself clear from the bus). The man with the gun will shoot you in your left leg if you don’t try to save one and just one of them. So do you: (a) let them both die and take the bullet; (b) save Friedman and let Bannon go under the bus; (c) save Bannon and let Friedman go under the bus?

My answer is (a): just shoot me

10: 15 pm: Corn Pop-a-bin-Biden bin clown’n and ly’n agin: “Joe Biden Admits He Did Not Get Arrested Trying to Visit Nelson Mandel During Apartheid.”

What Would it Take?

February 28

9:15 am: In a surprise announcement this morning, Donald Trump cited concerns that “the Coranavirus will return next November due to cold weather” after it “magically disappears this April due to warm weather. It goes away but then it comes back. Because of this disease, developed by China and the do-nothing Radical Left Democrats, the 2020 presidential election will have to be cancelled until further notice.” Trump added that “the spring and summer of 2021 are looking very chilly from what my weather people are telling me. They are unbelievably good at what they do and according to them the whole year, maybe the whole decade, is looking like sub-zero. So we’ll just have to see.” (I made this up, but the scary thing is it almost sounds believable.)

10:53 am: U.S.-Americans, your ruling class pushes the envelope a little bit more each day: “what can we get away with before you’ll get off your asses and take to the streets?” So far, so good for them. What in the name of God (or whatever) would it take? Is there ANYTHING that would do the trick? Please let me know so I can decide whether or not to try to flee this shit-hole Superpower — not that you can ever completely escape the long dark shadow of Uncle Sam.

12:13 pm: Like the noxious and practically illiterate and innumerate predator Trump or not, many in the upper bourgeoisie are contributing to his record-setting re-election campaign finance war-chest ($253 million raised by January 31st of this year, more than half from large donors). If the Lords of Capital were seriously offended by or worried about his fascistic and ecocidal conduct and policies, they could easily end his presidency with weapons they would certainly use against a Bernie Sanders presidency: capital strike and a constant propaganda war on how the administration was crippling prosperity. Expressing sentiments common across the commanding heights investor class, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, a lifelong Democrat, has voiced preference for the neofascist Trump over the Democratic Party’s presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders, a moderate social democrat advancing policies that qualify as centrist in capitalist western and northern Europe. The corporate-captive Democratic Party’s openly authoritarian, anti-democratic Wall Street-friendly “super-delegates” are ready to hand Trump a second term by super-voting to deny Sanders their party’s nomination even if he comes to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) with a large plurality of primary delegates. Deep-sixing the highly popular progressive Senator at the DNC will likely wreck the party, crippling it for the general election – a risk that the super-delegates are perfectly willing to take. So what if Trump is a malignant hyper-narcissist and an at least instinctual fascist, racist, sexist and eco-exterminist who the world’s leading intellectual (Noam Chomsky) reasonably describes as “the most dangerous criminal in human history”? And so what if another corporate-Democratic presidency of the kind some of Trump’s ruling class detractors would prefer would be likely to give rise to a 2025 Republican presidency even more horrific than Trump’s? The oligarchs don’t care.

Read the Times Between the Lines

12:39 pm:  Is there a problem with a Marxist or left anarchist intellectual reading the New York Times and citing it? Only in Idiot World. The Times is tasked with providing accurate information on what’s actually going on in the world to business and professional-class elites who the system needs to be reasonably informed. It has astonishing resources and covers a broad swath of developments and events often in great detail. Its own class-and Empire-slanted coverage and commentary is itself part of the story of how the ruling class and its Empire rule. Of course, one must control for its bourgeois and imperial filters and, as Lenin used to say, “read between the lines.” Of course, one must supplement, correct, and criticize its ideologically slanted coverage and commentary. Bit its’ moronic to denounce a lefty for reading and citing the NYT or for that matter the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post or CNN, etc.

Fascism Treadmills On

2:07 pm: Not often am I transfixed by the talking heads on CNBC: “Dow Slides 350 points As Wall Street Caps Worst Week Since 2008.” I pray for capitalism’s collapse daily, in the name of Mother Earth.

2:10 pm: Please tell anyone you know in South Carolina that they have to be a complete moron to vote for Joe Biden. Please email/FB/tweet/smoke-signal/passenger pigeon these pieces (in this post and in my first 3 or 4 comments) into South Carolina. Joe Biden is a ridiculous LIAR, PLAGIARIST, CORPORATIST, IMPERIALIST, RACIST, SEXIST, BUFFOON, and sadly, a dementia victim. I have written a number of pieces about this: here’s just one among many.

5:06 pm: See corporate bootlicker James E. Clyburn’s top campaign contributors here.

6:33 pm: Fascist Hate Rally happening now in Charleston, SC. Tangerine Antichrist whipping his demented Amerikaner Trumpenvolk into a frenzy after the stock market’s worst week since the Great Recession —- this while the nation stands on the verge of a major public health crisis that he says will disappear like “magic.” The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse await the nod from the fascist Antichrist. Coronavirus Czar Mike Pence prepares for Rapture.

Putting Mike Pence in charge of the federal Coronavirus response is like making Richard Speck a live in Sorority Dad.

8:49 pm: My FOX News-White Male survey at the X-Sport Fitness gym in the 800 block of South State St. in Chicago’s South Loop is now at 31 for 31. I am not joking. Since I started paying attention last week sometime, I have seen FOX News on active treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals 31 different times. In each and every case, the person using the machine is a white male. Now bear in mind, this gym’s users are half female and at least 2/3rds nonwhite. All kinds of folks watch the televisions when they work out. But nobody other than a white male ever watches FOX News. 31 for 31. Just because the city is blue doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a nice big chunk of racist-sexist-fascist white male FOX News watchers. Of course it does.

10:09 pm: So, Chicago police shot a guy for moving between cars on the L today. Here’s something amazing: the victim wasn’t Black.

Learn Where They Live

Assignment: Find the home and work addresses and phone numbers and emails of each one of these people…..the DNC “superdelegates.” These agents of abject authoritarianism, primed to subvert the will of the people, are going to need to know that we know where they live and work.

Wash Your Hands

February 29, 2020

11 am: Is this for real (I’m guessing yes): “FOX News is showcasing coronavirus analysis from a guy who said he hadn’t washed his hands in years and doesn’t believe in germs”? So, he’s one of those guys who walks straight out of the public toilet stalls without a stop at the bathroom sink and then goes and shakes your hand at the conference right before you reach for a croissant?

11:45 am: Sanders is way ahead of Elizabeth “Capitalist to my Bones” Warren in Massachusetts. What a richly deserved humiliation that will be for her after she joined Beavis, I mean Buttigieg, in accusing Sanders of valuing ideological purity over “getting things done” (the standard neoliberal insult against anyone left of the Center for American Progress).

12:52 pm: Going to make a point of grabbing some lunch in Chinatown today. Coronavirus is being used to feed anti-Asian nativism and fucking over Chinatown(s).

1:30 pm: Demented Orange Antichrist wants Americans to know that “Starbucks is open again in China.” And he’s “looking at closing off the southern border.” Pence is scary nuts: look at his vapid star. He’s dreaming about the apocalypse. The Trump-Pence regime has to be forced out now, not next January.

3:57: Trump is signing an Executive Order telling California it has been refused admission to the Electoral College for the fall semester of 2020. He says it can “re-apply in the spring if it sweeps its forest floors and makes its people wash their hands after touching railings.”

Unconventional Surplus Extraction

4:41 pm: Just found this while researching a piece I’m doing on Trump and the ruling class: “a Mercer associate was quoted as saying [hedge-fund billionaire and big 2016 Trump backer] ‘Bob [Mercer] thinks the less government the better. He’s happy if people don’t trust the government. And if the president’s a bozo? He’s fine with that. He wants it all to fall down.’” And this in an undated Canadian (?) report on Mercer: “’The ultra-wealthy of today differ from the ultra-wealthy in past eras in that they have, a lot of them, no stake in the infrastructure of society,’ [a former top Mercer associate] said. He’s seen that their wealth does not depend on the health and stability of the country. In fact, they get rich on volatility and instability.’”

“Money from algorithms created to identify patterns in financial market chaos,” Terry Thomas writes: “These guys are not involved in conventional surplus extraction, so it’s just numbers that produce money, a sort of capitalist nihilism. And Mercer wants to keep it that way: spends millions buying politicians to implement his extreme right-wing agenda. Jane Mayer in her frightening book Dark Money has Mercer right up there with the Koch boys in terms of buying the political system in order to implement Hobbesian dystopia. They like the current administration.”

Indeed. These hedgers need no functional societal infrastructure or at least they need it far, far less than old-fashioned capital. Hence their attraction to Bannon’s dream of “the deconstruction of the administrative state.” I remember Chomsky some many years some many years ago talking about how the U.S. was “a developing society” (the pioneering New Left historian Marty Sklar used to use that phrase in connection with corporatizing America I seem to recall) maybe through the 1970s. Since the onset of neoliberalism, it has been getting de-developed from the top down.  Of course, they don’t really want to tear down the police state…as it shreds the left and regulatory hands of the state, the ruling class relies more and more on the right and repressive hand of the state to control the population.

Soul Brothers

5:44 pm: The above-the-law rapist Donald Trump on his good friend and arch-pedophile/pimp Jeffrey Epstein in 2002: “I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.

Tangerine Beelzebub was a soul brother with Epstein. (Here’s where a comrade on the Left needs to tell me that Bill Clinton was too……10, 9, 8, 7, 6…bingo, there it is. Thanks, I already know.)

South Clyburnia

7:42. pm: Has Biden won South Clyburnia yet? Indeed he has. James Clyburn is on television talking about studying and teaching history. He should be ashamed of himself, sheep-herding Black voters into marking ballots for the racist corporate imperialist Joe “Never Called Me Boy” Biden — giving that ridiculous right wing clown a sense of life. Disgraceful.

Resignations, Please

March 1

9 am: Slimy Pete had better think about picking his moment to sell out to Bloomberg, if he hasn’t already. As I’m sure Buttigieg knows, Mike can make him very rich. But the moment can pass and may soon.

11:08 am: MSDNC is trying to make the news it hopes to “objectively” report as if it had nothing to do with it: the defeat of Sanders. I’m not saying it will succeed, but it could, and it couldn’t be more transparent about what it’s trying to do. They don’t even hide it, really. I think if Sanders wins the nomination (which is going to be very tough to pull off without a majority of delegates pre-Milwaukee), people should demand mass resignations: the ridiculous Stephanie Class-Ruhle, Moan’n Joe and Mika, Williams, Reid, O’Donnell, Matthews of course. Nicole Wallace, others. I don’t need Chris Hayes or Steve Kornecki axed, personally. Maddow can stay to do fact-checking in a cubicle off camera. Sanders gets more love on FOX News than he does at MSDNC.

Correction: demand the resignations no matter what.

“The Most Dangerous Criminal in Human History”

11:26 am: I am as strung out on electoral shit-shows as anyone and I think it would be shall I say useful and instructive for the Sanders thing to go as far it can, but I must hasten to add: (1) we are insane not to be in the streets in large numbers right now under the presidency of a ruling class/ruling class-backed monster that Noam Chomsky rightly calls “the most dangerous criminal in human history;” (2) anyone who thinks we’re going to get the big and revolutionary change we need through major party electoral politics (culminating in 2 minutes in a voting booth once every 1,460 days) and without millions in the streets and staying there is just plain high. Enjoy the high but get real when the crash comes. We will have no choice but to make an actual revolution and not just a political one.

It’s a little depressing that Noam (for whom I have undying and deep respect) could say that about Trump (accurately by my estimation) but not couple it with a call for mass action in the streets, going instead with the notion that the Sanders phenomenon isn’t just electoral but is also a great popular movement. I’m afraid the Sanders thing is about 96% electoral (that could change and needs to). When the world’s most powerful office is occupied by “the most dangerous criminal in human history” (yes), we just wait around for our two atomized minutes in a voting booth (okay four minutes if you add the primary) once every 1,460 days!. For what it’s worth, the coronavirus does not care about the strictly and savagely time-staggered dates of the endless election cycle.

1:30 pm: Big money super-PACS – America First Action, Future 45, Great America PAC, Rebuild America Now, and the Committee to Defend the President – function as vehicles for super-wealthy donors to funnel money to keeping “the most dangerous criminal in human history” in the planet’s most lethal job.

Talk’n Down My Generation

3 pm: How about that super-progressive and left Baby Boomer generation? Sanders’ lowest popularity is with seniors. Well, you know who seniors are now? A big chunk of them, those between 55 and 75 are Boomers, Big swaths of the Democratic Boomer demographic prefer right-wing imperial corporatists like Biden, Buttigieg, Klobocop, and Bloomberg over the moderately social-democratic Sanders. All hail the progressive-liberal Dem boomers!

I don’t usually go generational, which is silly and stupid, but sometimes I can’t resist. I’m a late-to-the-party boomer (1958) — a literal child of the 1960s — who has always been darkly amused by the selling out and rightward drift of folks who lived in their late-teens and early adult years through the Civil Rights and anti-“Vietnam War” movements. (I think of folks like Sean Willentz, a once promising Marxian labor historian who “grew up” to become a Clintonite. As a young man, Willentz did excellent work on the making of New York City’s 19th Century working-class and the class relations of the antebellum era. Then he ascended in so-called higher education and sickeningly affixed his lips to the giant, deeply conservative and neoliberal ass of the Clintons. Only in America: imagine a young E.P. Thompson turning later into a Tony Blair fan.

I am naturally aware that many people in my generation did not cash in, like most of the kids who lived on the wrong side of the Midway (south) and 47th Street (north) and Greenwood (west) in the Chicago neighborhoods (Hyde Park and Kenwood) where I grew up. The justifiably angry ghetto kids who chased me all over Hyde Park trying to steal my bike and UNICEF money (which never made it to Africa, just Woodlawn!) — often succeeding — were Baby Boomers too.

No Ideology Here

7 pm: So Buttigieg is done: Is there a nice at a think-tank (Center for American Progress? Brookings? Council on Foreign Relations? American Enterprise Institute?) in the works for this young gay lion of globalist “get things done” neoliberalism”? Money promised from Bloomberg? Both? Maybe Alfred E. Wine Cave, aka Wall Street Pete, can get in some last militantly ideological neoliberal-capitalist shots against Sanders, socialism and so-called “ideological purity.” He’s competing with Zion Williamson and LeBron James for my attention right now, but I just heard him say he wants the Dems to run a campaign against “division,” for “unity” and beyond “ideology.” Because Pete doesn’t have an ideology, a divisive ideology – a ruling class neoliberal ideology. No, no “ideology” for Buttigieg, the naughtily neoliberal son of a recently deceased Marxian Gramsci scholar.

So now failing Joe Biden? How absurd: he was a terrible politician even before the dementia kicked in.

8:15 pm: Just 10,000?: Kenneth Peres, “Here Are 10,000 Words Detailing Why Mike Bloomberg Embodies Everything Wrong With the US Plutocratic Political System.”


March 2, 2020

9:15 am: At “left” MSDNC, Moan’n Joe and Mika and Stephanie Class-Ruhle were practically in tears over the death of the rapacious capitalist and former GE CEO Jack “Chainsaw” Welch, a malevolent bastard who took delight in amassing vast personal wealth and ruining other peoples’ lives. Mika referred to Welch and his wife as close friends.

Former leading global derivatives trader Class-Ruhle then tried to tell the top Sanders campaign spokesperson Nina Turner that Bernie really needs to release his medical records. Turner, a brilliant force of nature, told Class-Ruhle that Sanders has released everything he needs to and then called little miss MSDNC “cold-blooded.” (“That’s cold-blooded, Stephanie.” Damn straight).


Ms. Class Ruhle brought on the openly ridiculous Anthony Scarmucci on to say that “Sanders will lose a general election against Trump because Trump will call Sanders a communist.” Ruhle said that Sanders is a “socialist, not a communist” (true) but “the Mooch” was ready for her: “that’s right but it’s marketing,” he said.

Marketing. Well, that – and neo-McCarthyism.

Marketing rules: it’s what candidate contests are really all about, as Neal Postman tried to tell us in his classic Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business.

10:00 am: Okay, we’ve gotten rid of Butthead, now what about Beavis-Biden and Bloomberg?

Trumpenproletarian Mythology

11:15 am: Just sent off a piece eviscerating the shockingly widespread and false notion of Trump’s base as the white proletariat and detailing different ways in which the real base that matter for malignant president —- yes, “the most dangerous criminal in human history” —- is the American ruling class.

Stephen Blobaum writes from Des Moines: “The average household wealth and income of a Drumpf voter was $76,000 ‘meriKKKan. The gated white suburbs of Central Iowa by far had the most Trump/Pence 2016 banners displayed on all their redwood privacy fences. I saw few if any Trump/Pence 2016 yard-signs in the poor and working-class neighborhoods.”

Indeed. I saw lots of Trump signs on big Southeastern Iowa farms on the way down to fight the “long black snake” (the Dakota Access Pipeline) in the fall of 2016. Some of those farmers have bitched about Trump’s tariff games but white supremacism, anti-cosmopolitanism, sexism, and federal payoffs have helped keep them on board against those Marxist-Leninist Democrats like Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Put Her on the Board

12:11 pm: Stock market jumping back a bit. So I guess everything’s okay. “Awesome,” John Crisman writes: “My boss will be able to take that extra week vacation after all.”

12: 26 pm. Amy Klobocop, meet Black Lives Matter. You gonna stick around?

12: 50 pm: Nope: she gone, put her on the board (to paraphrase Ken Harrelson). Amy, we hardly knew ye. (What did she get in departure negotiations?) It’s the three Bs (Biden, Bloomberg, and Bernie) and Liz Warren now. Does Warren have a plan for leaving the stage after an epic humiliation in her home state?

1 pm: So what time does the Super Bowl kick off tomorrow? I’ve got to shop for the party. Bloomberg should have some good commercials. Everyone loves the Super Bowl commercials.

Tell the Berners: Man-Up

1:20 pm: Just found this: Sanders would have done much better against Trump than Hillary in 2016…. Sanders was “the better bet” (NBC News). Vivek Jain writes me: “Sanders made a choice to declare that he was going to support the party nominee. That’s on him.” Indeed. And he’s already announced it for 2020, of course. Imagine Bernie trying to rally his backers for the billionaire Bloomberg! Big mistake.

Someone please tell Bernie Sanders: promising in advance to back a mega-billionaire oligarch like Bloomberg or a right-wing corporate-captive clown like Biden is (a) shameful and (b) unilateral pre-emptive self-disarmament. Capitalist media and politicos are perfectly happy to advance-pronounce Sanders “un-electable,” making it clear that they will f*#k him over in the general election. They are announcing their determination to make Bernie’s non-election a self-fulfilling prophecy, okay? This is capitalist mafia shit. Capiche? So, are Berners going to bring a knife or a napkin to a knife fight? Say it’s Bernie or Bust and that Bloomberg and Biden are un-electable because you say so, Berners: that’s right, because you fucking say so. Whooooh: what a concept: “You run either one of those right-wing assholes and we are out, period.” Not complicated.

Not to get too hyper-masculinist about things, but some of these Sanders need to man-up.


Paul Street’s latest book is This Happened Here: Amerikaners, Neoliberals, and the Trumping of America (London: Routledge, 2022).