Saturday, March 5, 2016

Return to Basics

This protest in Idlib Province is one of dozens that sprang up all over the country on Friday led by pro-democracy activists taking advantage of the ceasefire. The activists have returned to basics. So, depending on your point of view, the ceasefire is either working, or terribly failing.

DDGD March 5, 2016

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Today’s Post is brought to you by…  The Syrian Pro-Democracy Movement: Give us a decent chance, even if in the form of a fragile ceasefire, and we won’t just bring hope back, we’ll bring the Dodo bird back.

The Delirica

What happened to Syria is a great tragedy; I cannot say anything in face of this sorrow and sadness. Who am I to address these people who saw death and tragedy? This picture will be enough to speak by itself, let the look of my eyes deliver what I have to say.” - Muna Wassef (Actress)

Mom. I never wanted to see this look in your eyes, because I know what's really behind it. I miss you. My problem, Mom, is that words are failing me, too, but my eyes aren’t that expressive. You have to feel for both of us now, I am totally numb.

We all live in a leaky submarine: The GOP’s only way out of its current Trumpmire is to expel Donald Trump from the Party, thus forcing him to run as independent. Even though the move would, in practical terms, amount to handing the elections to the Democrats; on the longer run, it could work in favor of GOP’s leadership who, by taking the high moral ground, would be well positioned to work on reconstituting the Party and reconnecting with the base over the next 4-8 years. What other options do they really have?

Trump: Fuck you too!

A brokered convention that will choose Marco Rubio over Donny Boy is bound to backfire and produce the same results: a Democrat victory, all while further discrediting the GOP and its leadership in the eyes of their base. Alternatively, and after making so much noise, it might just be too late at this stage to reverse course and rally behind Trump. Not because Trump has been too bruised to win the general elections, but because a Trump victory in the general elections might empower him just enough to seal the fate of the traditional GOP structure, leadership and philosophy, irrespective of how he will conduct himself as President.

Republican leaders seem to have little choice at this stage but to reclaim their party and focusing on putting their house in order first. By disassociating themselves from Trump and disavowing him completely, and by trying to reconnect with their base, perhaps by holding a series of town-hall meetings and local party elections over the next few years, GOP leadership might be practically conceding the coming general election, but they might just win their party back. AS conceding the coming elections, well, this would be but a small price to pay for all those years spent fear-mongering, race-baiting and shamelessly brown-nosing the rich and powerful. The Republicans cannot regain the trust of their base without undertaking a serious change and finding alternative methods for promoting their conservative ideals. And while I personally may not be a believer in these ideals, many of my closest friends are, and they are too decent to be represented by this sad little bunch currently on display. I also know that a healthy democracy should offer its electorates more than a choice between anarchism and fascism.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are facing their own problems and cannot afford to rest on their laurels. Bernmania might be revolutionizing the base in connection to domestic politics, and Sanders himself seems like an honest figure, but without Congressional support most of his domestic ideas will never see the light. As for his views on foreign policy, they certainly should never see the light of day. As for Hillary, the ongoing investigation into her emails scandal looms like a time bomb that could blow up at any giving moment. Should this happen in the next few weeks, it could indeed derail her entire campaign, irrespective of delegates count. Even if she wins the Democratic nomination, this issue could still dog her later undermining her chances at getting to the White House, or her presidency afterwards. Be that as it may, I am with her.

Hillary: I am with her.

Still, I don’t know why, but I do have a feeling that we might end up with a four-way or more in this particular race for the White House, with Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Clinton and perhaps even Sanders vying for the top post.

And if some Republicans are proposing the return of Mitt Romney as a possible fallback position, why not propose a similar scenario for the democrats with Jo Biden as a possibility?

Well, fantasy aside, I can see the four-way happening, because, should Trump win the nomination, there will still be many Republicans who are discontented but not enough to vote for Clinton or Sanders. So, by encouraging Cruz or Rubio, or both, to run as independents, Trump’s position could be undermined enough to allow for a victory by the Democrats.

Still, a man like Trump is too savvy to let go of what’s becoming a movement, even if he ended up losing the elections. He will either reinvent the Republican Party or form his own. He might have mismanaged many of his businesses, but, populist politics have a way of rewarding failure. And a person like Trump who long made himself into a brand, despite his many failures and failings, could capitalize on a loss, especially one coming as a result of political shenanigans, as easily as on a win to keep himself and his brand relevant. Treating him as a transient phenomenon, therefore, could be very misguided.

Cartoons: The Cauldron

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