Blame last night’s debate debacle on Nancy Pelosi

Bread and circuses ….

Democracy is a ringside seat to the power struggle between factions fighting for control over public capital and the mechanisms for carrying out law and order.  Last night’s gladiator match between the candidates for the Democratic nomination did not shed any light on what should be the two most important questions for anyone following politics: “How can I create political power?” “How can I leverage political power?”

If you are intrigued by the football aspect of the debates, it is fair to say that each candidate came out either very bloodied or ignored.  Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, made it their point to cast all billionaires in America, including their billionaire opponent on stage, Michael Bloomberg, as the scourges of democracy who are willing to buy the entire election.

Senator Warren also attacked former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg for his acceptance of money from forty plus billionaires while the once emerging but seemingly stalling on the debate stage Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, attacked Mr Buttigieg on his lack of experience.

The “You Go Girl” alliance apparently took a hit as Senator Warren attacked the brevity of Senator Klobuchar’s healthcare plan, which amounts, according to Senator Warren, to two paragraphs.  While Senator Klobuchar handled the jab with a little grace and a steel jaw, it was becoming clear that Senator Warren wanted to push the Minnesota senator further down the steps while pulling on Mayor Buttigieg’s feet in order to trip him up and clear a path to a possible third place finish in the Nevada caucuses this coming Saturday.

Kudos to Senator Klobuchar for not offering any handshakes after the debate, an indicator of how nasty the campaign has become.  To paraphrase that infamous line from the movie “Tombstone”, one’s hypocrisy can go only so far…

A lack of focus flowing from impeachment …

For three years, the Democrats have focused their political capital on impeaching President Donald Trump.  Almost every candidate has opened their campaign spiel with pleas for impeaching the President, making it clear the number one mission of the party and the campaign was, to use Senator Sanders’ words, “To defeat the most dangerous president in America’s history.”

But with impeachment in the rear window and the President’s job approval rating actually getting a bump upwards post impeachment, the Democrats now have only themselves to feed on at least between now and their convention this July in Chicago.  Last night was just a taste.  As one commentator put it on Twitter last night, “This is the Red Wedding of the debates.”  I believe there is more feasting to come.

The Virgin Islands today cannot be compared to America’s 13 colonies…

The issue: Do Virgin Islanders have anything in common with the Original 13 colonies?

Back in October of 2019, Delegate Stacey Plaskett, Democrat of the Virgin Islands, made the following statement in support of vacating the Insular Cases:

“Our territorial status is eerily similar to the status of the original 13 colonies to the British government. Today, the unequal footing of the territories in voting power, proximity to the mainland, funding formulas and resources of our country continue to keep the Virgin Islands from becoming all that we can be much as it kept colonial America from realizing its full potential. How can we herald the actions of our Founding Fathers while simultaneously depriving fellow Americans of the same rights those Founding Fathers fought so hard to achieve? Just as the colonists, we are subjected to the laws of an un-representational government. But just as the colonists, we will not stop fighting for the same representation that every other great American enjoys. A people who have made great contributions to this country — including Alexander Hamilton, Denmark Vessey, and Tim Duncan — still do not have equal citizenship. Democracy is not complete.” — Stacey Plaskett

Delegate Plaskett’s statement is driven by the struggle the Virgin Islands of the United States has been in for over a century over its status as an unincorporated territory of the United States.  The statement also captures the emotional conflict within many Virgin Islanders; the conflict between embracing what we really are and the delusion we wish to hold on to.

The majority of Virgin Islanders are not descended from colonists …

According to the CIA World Factbook, approximately 76% of Virgin Islanders are black, likely descendants of slaves imported from Africa between the 17th and 19th centuries.  They did not come to the West Indies with a charter from a monarch promising them land and religious freedom in exchange for their willingness and ability to extract resources and ship them back to their mother lands.  This distinction is important because it helps us assess the mindsets of Virgin Islanders; a mindset not seeped in reality and continuously fed by a flawed “unrepresented colonist” model.

The unrepresented colonist model assumes that black Virgin Islanders in particular have some economic skin in the game i.e. ownership of the process and/or entities that allow for extraction and packaging of natural resources that are sent back to the metropole, in this case the United States.  People of European descent are the major stakeholders in the Virgin Islands’ prime commercial industry, tourism.  Given little to no ownership stake in this industry, black Virgin Islanders have no say in how this product is “packaged” and exported.

America’s “founding fathers” are not our founding fathers …

Virgin Islanders have such a need for belonging that they incorporate a narrative totally alien to their history and lineage into their view of themselves.  To be American is to give short shrift to Virgin Islands or Caribbean history while immersing ones self in another’s history.  Proximity to the U.S. mainland, tourism, and the infiltration of news and entertainment media have Virgin Islanders believing the United States is the best and only game in town, even though some surrounding independent island nations are doing better economically than the Virgin Islands.

There is an irony that Virgin Islanders would seek continued allegiance to a society that, won’t allow its administrative state and judiciary to vacate the Insular Cases race-based decisions to not extend full constitutional rights to the unincorporated territory that is the Virgin Islands of the United States.  What type of “father” would do that to his children?

Conclusion: Persuade them or lead them …

What is often overlooked in US history is that the majority of American colonists were either indifferent or opposed to independence from Great Britain.  In the last Virgin Islands referendum on status held in 1993, approximately 4.93% of voters supported independent status for the territory with the vast majority supporting the status quo i.e. unincorporated territorial status.  As University of the Virgin Islands professor Malik Sekou noted in a paper written after the 1993 referendum on status, “The vast majority of the population has been staunchly pro-American, and any discussions that have involved losing or questioning U.S. citizenship have not been very fruitful.”

A political strategy that moves Virgin Islanders off of their staunch status quo position will have to involve major, unique, nuanced work on the mind.

 

Race is a lie …

I know I am beautiful and love my phenotype and genotype.   I love the skin I was born in.  It makes me unique.  I honor my lineage, appreciating my parents, grandparents, and great grand-parents.  I try my best to maintain my household, to keep my son safe and hopefully teach him the things necessary for him to survive this Matrix.  I don’t run away from my Caribbean culture and am always ready to embrace someone whose own lineage parallels mine.

I am not, however, a race.  The notion that people are permanently lumped together based on the color of their skin runs counter to human behavior.  Humans are always touted as tribal, social.  Academics will tell me that genetics meeting environment spawns various racial groups and the desire to create collectives for security and economic purposes.  I beg to differ.

Similar looking people who develop language and customs do so for temporary strategic reasons.  Maintaining and expanding my household today as well as 140 years ago in the Caribbean and 500 years ago in Africa required entering into security agreements with neighbors to ensure a prosperous hunt.  Maintaining order required agreement as to how disagreements would be settled.  But no household wanted to be blindly allied with an association of households based on skin color where the well-being of the household would be negatively affected.

This notion of a mass collective, of a nation-state, is derived from a few individuals wishing to use masses of people, whose lineages run closely together, as a platform for expanding their own vision.  The masses when successfully programmed to abide by rules, mores, and values published by a visionary few are enabled to bear the brunt of the cost of the visionary’s programs of expansion including the execution of war and trade.

Race is but one of the collective creation mechanisms used to help expand the wants and desires of the visionary few.  For example, as Europeans expanded into the western hemisphere, it was the construction and deployment of the race mechanism that facilitated the recruitment of people needed to colonize the Americas.  The masses paid the taxes, mined the gold mines, planted the tobacco plantations, and cleared the land of inhabitants generating benefits that flowed mostly to political, military, government, and commercial elites.  In exchange the masses took as payment access to credit and land upon which to settle.

Collectives, races are organized for a purpose.  Masses of Europeans were organized to conquer a land.  What are masses of African descendants in America organized to do?

In the American political economy today, “blacks” are organized to help extend the political visions of the leaders of America’s political parties.  Aiding in the organization are America’s black political elite who yearn for the prestige, power, and pensions the political industry offers.  The black political elite mines the black vote and brings masses of black voters to the polling places.  In exchange for their votes, “blacks” hope to receive programs that grant access to credit, employment opportunities, educational opportunities, and affordable housing.

The model is basically the same mass exploitative model used on those earlier masses of Europeans that colonized the Americas.  The difference is that while those Europeans, as a collective, were granted access to wealth creating/capital accumulation opportunities, Africans, as a collective, have been offered what I term “renewable wardship”, where the safety nets negotiated by the black political elite are only as good as the legislation that renews the availability every budget season of these social safety nets.  In other words, the European or white exploitative model offered access to liberty after an indentured period while the African or black exploitative model has offered offered continuous wage slavery where today masses of blacks are still relying on the benevolence of government.

The exploitative model, where blacks are massed and seduced for their votes in return for political packages that offer no capital return, does nothing for the uplift of the individual.  He or she is kept in constant beggar mode, petitioning government to pursue policies such as “closing the digital divide” or “closing the wealth gap” or “raising the minimum wage”; policies that government was not designed to implement.

The visionaries, the black political elite, are doing well off of this model where race is manipulated and operationalized to facilitate that black political elite’s ability to offer up masses as coal for America’s political engine, having no concern for the erosion it brings to self-determination and consciousness.

Race is a tool.  Race is a plantation that limits and enslaves.  Race is a lie ….

Can Blacks hold Democrats in Maryland hostage in November 2020? They should try …

Black Maryland’s numerical clout …

Approximately 3,954,027 voters are registered to vote in Maryland. With a black population hovering around 30% of the Free State, if we used that percentage to determine the number of black registered voters in Maryland, we come up with approximately 1,186,208.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton received approximately 740,000 more votes in Maryland than Donald Trump picking up ten electoral college votes in the process.  If black Maryland voters, 90% of whom vote Democratic, had decided to either stay home or vote “down ballot” on other issues, Mr Trump might have left Maryland with ten extra electors.

More importantly, the black community in Maryland may have been in a position in the 2018 midterms to bargain for more political packages, whether in the form of grants, contracts, or social services.  Putting the fear into Democratic leadership about the extent to which black votes mattered may have resulted in a better benefit exchange for the vote.

But is the political will there?

This type of button-holing may be tough to sell to black voters.  There may be the fear that Democrats, whether in the state house or the Congress, may harbor resentment against that type of bold behavior and punish blacks in the process by cutting or eliminating programs.  Not a politically cool place to be in.

On the other hand a less cool place to be in is where blacks are incurring the ravages of gentrification.  For example, The Baltimore Fishbowl, citing data from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, reported that the city of Baltimore experienced the fifth highest rate of gentrification, falling behind New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia.

Gentrification goes beyond just seeing new white faces in a predominantly black neighborhood.  The higher rents and increased property taxes while easily absorbed by new white neighbors may only serve to increase the burden of living experienced by incumbent residents.

In addition to black residents being forced to leave their homes or neighborhoods due to increased rents or property taxes, those who stay in neighborhoods not yet touched by gentrification may be living in deplorable conditions due to a failure of the city to provide adequate services.  Reporter turned candidate for Congress, Kimberly Klacik, raised these issues in her reporting on Baltimore and has successfully turned her reporting into a platform for a run against former congressman Kweisi Mfume.

Changing the electoral mindset …

It is time for blacks in Maryland and nationwide to reverse this mindset.  Fear of political reprisal from the Democratic elite needs to be replaced by a boldness to demand a redirection of public capital and resources into black communities, including black owned banks and businesses.  Holding back the vote during primary season and focusing on down ballot local issues may send Congressional Democrats the message that ignoring the black community by failing to meet its capital needs can be very costly.

Tell your sons and daughters not to have kids for your grandchildren are out of luck: The art, physics, and calculus of the future political economy ….

During the 2024 election, Democrats will be blaming Donald Trump for the slump in the economy. What Democrats will not tell you is the slump will be due to the falling prices of assets as Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, who have been deemed as useless and/or unemployable, will be forced to sell off assets on the cheap to make up for lost and non-replaceable income. As prices for bonds fall because of their increased availability in the market, interest rates will rise causing increased difficulty in long term, credit based purchasing and education. Those who started hoarding cash after the last so called great recession will be able to buy these assets on the cheap while enjoying the income derived from increased interest rates paid on the hoarded cash and cheap assets purchased.

Whoa onto the man or woman running for office during this period. They will not be able to use the old, “It was the last administration, stupid” argument. By this time the current growing frustration with “democracy”, on the rise now for the better part of the last decade, will reach its breaking point as market-driven democracies find themselves unable to deliver. Elected officials will have to make hard decisions as their tax bases shrink due to falling incomes and the ability of people with excess capital to build moats around themselves by replacing traditional police and community services once provided by government with the same services provided by private contractors and artificial intelligence.

As government finds it more difficult to implement effective public policy for alleviating the burdens of increased prices, it may seek more draconian approaches to reining in monetary practices while implementing more burdensome fiscal policy. Government only knows how to tax and inflict violent police action. I “pray” for the unborn and curse the current mentality that just because they have a car, a job, and can take a vacation that life is good. That delusion will have to be paid for and very soon.

My response to those who feel Sanders supporters should stick with the Democrats …

Hostage takers don’t hang around with the police and have coffee if the cops foil the hostage takers’ attempts at collecting ransom….What we are seeing is an emerging willingness to let the system burn if things don’t go your way. Why would Sanders supporters acquiesce to a system that they believe is failing them just because their candidate comes up short in an election?

The best move for them would be to go “off grid” and determine alternative solutions to their political problems should Sanders lose. It is high time that Americans get brave enough to realize that the “lesser of two evils” concept is bullshit.  If I am a Sanders supporter, and he loses the nomination, why would I support the other bastard? That means entertaining the farcical notion that “anyone but Trump” is a viable result.

I don’t think Barack Obama has a lot of time left before he endorses a candidate

Biden’s in trouble in New Hampshire …

If the polling holds out, former U.S. vice-president Joe Biden will not win the New Hampshire primary.  According to Real Clear Politics, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, is polling at 26.4% while former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg is polling at 22.2%.  Mr Biden has 12.2% of likely New Hampshire primary voters considering pulling the lever for him.

Over at the political betting markets, PredictIt has a “yes” vote selling at $.73 for Mr Sanders while a “yes” vote for Mr Buttigieg is going for $.28.  Mr Biden may not even be worth using as a hedge as his “yes” vote is priced at two cents.

I suspect the New Hampshire projections are no surprise to Mr Biden.  Hell.  He reads the same data we do and reportedly he does not have that much of a ground game in the Granite State.  But even if he does lose this Tuesday, he can likely make up ground after Nevada and South Carolina.  Mr Biden appears in command in Nevada where he leads in the polls at 21%, with Bernie Sanders trailing at 17.5%.  In South Carolina, Mr Biden polls at 31% with his nearest competitor, Tom Steyer, polling at 18%.

Both states allocate delegates proportionally.  Right now the delegate count coming out of Iowa stands at 13 for Mr Buttigieg; 12 for Mr Sanders; 8 for Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; six for Mr Biden; and one for Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

The Bloomberg Factor ….

While I expect Messrs Buttigieg and Sanders to pick up delegates between now and through the end of Super Tuesday, the Mike Bloomberg factor is still out there to contend with.  The former mayor of New York is focusing on the target rich environment that 3 March will provide. Also, Mrs Warren will still be a contender after Super Tuesday’s completion with an expected big win in her home state of Massachusetts.  Because Mr Biden is starting from behind, he has lessened his ability to be the one voice around which the Democrats galvanize going into the fall.

Obama rises …. Obama falls?

Super Tuesday is in less than four weeks. Fifteen states and jurisdictions with no one candidate dominating the primaries will be in play. I believe this will be the time to start galvanizing the party around one candidate.  To do this, I expect Barack Obama to issue an endorsement by 24 March in order to help center the Democratic Party around one voice going into the convention.

If Mr Obama places his bet on the eventual winner this fall, his political capital will increase and he will secure his position as an elder statesman in the party.

But if Mr Obama places his bet on the wrong candidate, his political capital evaporates. A few blacks will still be fond of him, but he will lose his leadership status in the party.

At least he has a Netflix deal.

Conclusion: Time is running out …

Time is running out? Are you serious, you may ask. Yes, it is.  In my opinion, Democrats wasted time on the low value impeachment initiative.  That initiative ended up being censure on steroids and censure is an act that sinks to the level of a footnote very quickly.  The meaninglessness of the act has also contributed to further annoyance with the Democratic Party, a party increasingly seen as a do nothing party; one that should be walked away from.

The “walk away” wing is not necessarily conservative although its more vocal leaders are of a conservative bent.  The other faction in the “walk away” wing tends to pursue independence; to live off-grid; to be more “libertarian.”

Strategy wise, whether traditional conservative or libertarian, the “walk away” wing of the black electorate will keep away from Mr Obama.  His centrist approach to politics adds to the annoyance a growing number of blacks experience with him and with Democrats overall.  Mr Obama’s desire to preserve his political capital, to preserve his legacy will see him endorse a moderate candidate.  I expect that candidate to be Joe Biden.

I also expect more blacks to stay home this election, in part because of the endorsement I expect Mr Biden to receive from the former president and in part because the Democrats have not demonstrated the boldness necessary for making real investments into the black community.  To galvanize the party around a more moderate voice will outweigh any desire on Mr Obama’s part to appease the walk away wing.

An endorsement will have to come by end of next month for the sake of efficient management of a campaign against Donald Trump, but the group Democrats hope to galvanize will be smaller and weaker than those groups of Democrats from past elections.