Note how often the loss of climate-related provisions in the infrastructure bill is framed as a "blow to climate activists," as though climate action is some boutique favor for a leftie special interest. This way of thinking is SO deeply rooted in the political press.
Imagine some giant foreign army were sailing toward the US & Congress passed a defense bill without any provisions to prepare for the attack.

"Prevent-the-US-from-being-invaded-and-conquered activists frustrated by loss of war provisions in Defense Bill"
Another common bit of framing: a bipartisan infrastructure deal is at hand, but petulant progressives are standing in the way because their precious climate stuff wasn't included.

In reality -- & I can't stress this enough -- there is no bipartisan infrastructure deal.
The point of this whole exercise -- as in 2009-2010 -- is:
a) drag things out, allowing RW media time to polarize it;
b) get D leadership to state for the record what they're willing to sacrifice, thus causing
c) infighting on the left over who's betraying who, & then
d) bail.
Everyone who follows US politics knows these bipartisan negotiations are an empty ritual. Both parties, for their own reasons, need to be seen trying, or at least acting like they're trying. Rs want to spin the press on the idea that they tried, but Ds won't compromise. Ds ...
... need to put on a theater production for Manchin & Sinema, to give them psycho-political justification to use reconciliation. Neither party really thinks Rs will allow a bipartisan bill to pass. The press ought to tell the public the truth about that instead of playing along.

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More from @drvolts

11 Jun
A core assumption of US political elites, especially journalists & pundits: For Dems, doing stuff is dangerous. The more they do, the more they risk; the less they do, the safer they are. It rarely gets stated outright, but it lurks behind almost every analysis.
You can see it all over the discussion of infrastructure. Dem "moderates," it is assumed (always assumed, never demonstrated) should push Biden to do less, because doing more = more risk & purple-state Dems have the smallest margins. But ...
... it's not hard to see the flaws in this logic. Blue-state Dems are probably safe regardless, whether Biden does a lot or not. But purple-state Dems need every single Dem vote in their states. They need Dems to be enthusiastic! You get that by doing more, not less.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
Lots of ugly suburban housing, but this style is the absolute worst. What is the feng shui here? What does it communicate? "Welcome, cars, to your luxurious new accommodations! (Meat sacks, please proceed to small side service entrance.)"
Welcome to our car box!
What these designs (and even many of the comments) reveal is that suburbs -- despite the protests of suburb enthusiasts -- are fundamentally anti-social. You leave in the car, you come back in the car, you live inside. A least front porches were an effort to pretend ...
Read 8 tweets
6 Jun
I get mocked for this -- fairly, given how on-the-nose it is for my demographic -- but Obama remains the only national politician I would genuinely want to hang out with, just to talk.…
I think what I like about Obama is precisely what fueled cons' hatred of him: there's a sense of remove, like there's a person in there, Barack, somewhat amusedly observing all the pomp & ridiculousness of politics around him. He can comment on it from an ironic distance.
Intellectually, it's a virtue (IMO). A person like that has convictions but never completely identifies his self with them -- holds them separate, as defeasible, contingent, & open to revision. Ideologues & fundamentalists recognize that, even if only subconsciously, as a threat.
Read 8 tweets
3 Jun
IMO we need to stop thinking these moves are either ridiculous fundraising gimmicks or genuine threats. The thing about reactionary insurgencies is that they can be -- & usually are -- both. They are ridiculous right up until the moment they're not, at which point it's too late.
The whole game for reactionaries is to push, push, push on the bounds of the acceptable, the legal, the decent. The first one that pushes beyond some previously firm barrier looks absurd, like a radical outlier, but it makes it easier for the next one. It's a ratchet effect.
All incentives on the right point in this direction now: push, push, push. The way to get attention & status is to say something even more outrageous, to propose something even more radical, to make insults & contempt toward libs even more florid. People respond to incentives.
Read 10 tweets
2 Jun
The history of white people in America is one of unremitting violence, brutality, & suppression -- and alongside it all, relentless delusion & self-mythology.…
People ask sometimes why the US never had a reckoning with slavery & the Civil War the way, say, Germany had with nazism. The very simple answer is that reactionary whites aren't sorry & have not abandoned the goals & philosophy of the confederacy.
They fought a war to defend slavery. After they lost, they basically re-imposed slavery through racial terror. They fought voting rights, they fought desegregation, & they are still fighting to suppress minority votes. There's been no reckoning because they're *still at it*.
Read 4 tweets
1 Jun
I hope people understand by now that the significance & impact of Trump saying he's going to be reinstated have nothing to do with whether he actually has a mechanism to accomplish it.
It's all about refusing to accept the legitimacy of Democratic power, even after elections have been called. It won't be long until they're defying laws passed by Dems.…
This is how these things start on the right. One wingnut says it, gets called out, denies saying it, denies he meant what he meant ... & then another wingnut says it, & another, & before you know it, it's bog standard opinion in the RW bubble.…
Read 5 tweets

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