Friday, February 28, 2020

Suppose it were Friday clxxv: I do late, pretty well

The Democratic Party's rites of selection for the Presidential nomination have now run long enough for all of the surviving contenders to have made at least one appearance which would not have to be described as hideously inept. I shouldn't think this wat-ershed will seem very important to many, even so, given how assidu-ously ineptitude is pursued by the incumbent. Yet, it is important to me, as one of the few perquisites granted to the morally marginal, to be careful. Now that we're told, it's all come down to Mr Sanders or Mr Biden, there's nothing to complicate the natural choice of Elizabeth Warren.

In this lugubrious fog, where she is deemed no longer a threat to an inferior selection, Elizabeth Warren insinuates herself into one's sensibility in an almost sisterly way, as if something in me had been reluctant to see another campaign of rigorously tested perceptions and policies appear to be discredited, simply by losing to the habits of our erratic electorate. She was drawn to politics by a resistance to losing, not by pangs of any appetite for approval; but the President has shown how approval of the self is the most powerful motive and impregnable shield against defeat in a culture devoted, as this one is, to gratification at the public expense. What would be the cost to policy, in a defeat of Mrs Warren which would be bound to be sharply, and as evasively as possible, ad hominem? 

Had I, moreover, of no noticeable suffering under the injustices so zealously maintained by our government, any right to expose the vulnerable to its manifest lust for reprisal? With its courts corrupted, with its pulpits putrefying lustily every Sunday, with its captive Confederacy quivering for every redundant injustice, with its debauched bankers incapable of shaving their oversold returns, and with its Babbits unacquainted ever with a single honest page, would a candidacy of Mrs Warren penetrate this superstructure of sadistic ad-dictions, to be met with any vestige of rationality?

Yet the question which has been framed for us is not, if so likely to meet resistance, why bother; it is the aggravating factor, on the one hand, of the profuse and pious hostilities of a Sanders candidacy, menacing the Party's positions in the legislative branch and in the State houses, and a Biden candidacy, anesthetizing the Party into a swooning torpor on a diet of nostalgia, stunning hallucination, and dazed malapropism. Even the morally challenged may choose not to be humiliated.

But I stray. It can't be a recommendation for Mrs Warren, that this set of alternatives is unacceptable. What does recommend her is the quality condemned by the Senate Majority Leader, that she persists. For decades in public life she has held to principles not merely heroically, but effectively in the labyrinths of legislation in the public interest. Noticing the charisma of her intellect, a small-city mayor has been inspired to project a candidacy on what he takes to be competitive terms, without substantiating achievement or the tenacity of holding ground. Noticing the valor of her endurance of misogyny, a gutsy Midwestern Senator has offered to stand in her place, minus its principles. Noticing the directness of her appeal to them, everyone stipulates to her authenticity, despite autobiographical confusion.

In the past few days, just since one had "leaned Klobuchar," Sanders has insufferably championed a brutal neo-Leninist statesmen and waved aside his indefensible support for the domestic gun lobby as a phase in our past. Simultaneously, Biden has pretended to have been arrested in South Africa for a pilgrimage to meet Mandela in prison, a stupid yet chronic example of compulsive fabrication. Between Sanders' incurable contempt and Biden's career-long self-inflation, I don't discern a material moral distinction.

If, then, it is already late to choose a candidate, there is even less foundation for getting it wrong. Elizabeth Warren is my candidate for the Party's nomination because she undeniably does represent its core traditions more eloquently than anyone else in the field, and equally undeniably does perceive the policy implications of its obligations, with the least inhibition or exaggeration. She has the stature to deflect the excessive demands of the novices, and to exemplify and dignify the inclusive reach of democratic liberalism. 

Equally to the point, she disorients the opposition as no one can, who does not also reach their conscience. That is the field of this year's campaign. Elizabeth Warren reaches people's minds by sustained, concise relevancy, constantly exhibiting the inherent connection between the rational and the merciful, constantly exposing ostensibly irreconcilable confusions of the hour as products of vicious political cynicism. She is the most exciting, inspiring, and legitimate candid-ate for the Presidency since 2012. She is the balsam of clarity in a vessel of healing passion, and how we do want to be in that number.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A most peculiar fallout

Almost as if outrage and anxiety,
goaded by virulent, unrelenting
cynicism and savagery, had ex-
tinguished all hope of resort to
reason in recovering the nation,
the call of Mr Sanders and a few
novices in Congress for "revolu-
tion" has seemed to precipitate
a most peculiar inference, that
extreme emotion is a substitute
for political feasibility. Yet,
for all the depredations of the
present government, its experi-
ence has only confirmed the op-
posite, at almost every turn. 

The damage that can be done in
the misuse of language is sel-
dom any match for the thrill of
taking one's turn with mocking
fact and reason. Now it is un-
derstood, that language is the
enemy against which every hyper-
heated "issue" is arrayed, for
which it must pay the price of
the extinction of definition.

Mr Sanders and his clique are
converts to what they oppose.
In every thrust of his disor-
derliness, he has turned the
word, justice, into the blunt-
est, crudest, least coherent
of all the epithets of politics,
rivaling greatness in villainy.

Sandro Botticelli
Portrait of a young man
Pitti Palace
ca 1470