Mood. / TMAB2003
The Baffler,  November 9

Daily Bafflements

Election roundup edition

Mood. / TMAB2003


There’s an Onion piece from 2002 entitled “Man Blames Hangover On Everything But How Much He Drank.” You don’t even need to read it; we’ve all been there. One has to wonder if the Democratic elite is going to pull the equivalent schtick in the aftermath of yesterday’s election. Or, to put it another way: “Party Blames Loss On Everything But Its Candidate.”

In the Guardian, Baffler founding editor Tom Frank advances one option going forward. “Maybe it’s time to consider whether there’s something about shrill self-righteousness, shouted from a position of high social status, that turns people away,” he writes. Maybe donning Vineyard Vines duds while preaching from secluded New England estates didn’t help either.

Over at Slate, former Baffler columnist Jim Newell eviscerates the Democratic Party and its egregious failures. Boy, did our technocratic elite fuck this one up. Now, Newell explains, “Republicans don’t have a slight edge over Democrats in a decaying political system. Republicans are ascendant. Trump has given them a mission. The country is now theirs.”

There was another failure, too: we didn’t learn anything from the last populist explosion that no one saw coming—Brexit. It (and now “Trump,” too) “is the name of a precipice. A fake-polite racism too easily beckoned into public from its half-hidden place.” Much like our friends across the pond, we should have seen this coming sooner.

And there’s only one thing that terrifying fact could possibly mean: we need to rethink it—all of it. “This is a new era that requires a new type of politics—one that speaks to people’s pressing needs and hopes, rather than to their fears,” explain the editors of Jacobin. “Elite liberalism, it turns out, cannot defeat right-wing populism.”

That means those of you checking out housing prices in Montreal? Cut it out, and take Jessa Crispin’s advice: don’t flee—fight! After all, do you really want to stand by while Trumpism pushes our country to the brink

Then again, maybe the orange monster will surprise us.

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Further Reading

 April 17

Or, put it this way: Paul Ryan went out onto the tightrope. The crowd, so long adoring their golden child, cheered. But a jester got the best of Ryan.