Friday, April 7, 2017

Chomsky on Trump on Russia

Once again a hero of the alt-left has criticized the Democratic Party while praising President Donald Trump. This time Noam Chomsky, no Tea Party Patriot he, asserts that the Democrats are making a seriously mistake attacking Trump on one issue where he is doing the right thing. In that Chomsky joins several other liberals, led by Stephen Cohen, a Russia expert who writes for The Nation.

On the agonizing question of interfering in elections—point raised yesterday by none other than Hillary Clinton—Chomsky finds it amusing:

The United States doesn’t just interfere in elections. It overthrows governments it doesn’t like, institutes military dictatorships. Simply in the case of Russia alone—it’s the least of it—the U.S. government, under Clinton, intervened quite blatantly and openly, then tried to conceal it, to get their man Yeltsin in, in all sorts of ways. So, this, as I say, it’s considered—it’s turning the United States, again, into a laughingstock in the world.

No fan of American foreign policy, Chomsky is arguing that the holier-than-thou attitude manifested by liberals and progressives is hypocritical.

As for dealing with Russia, Chomsky supports the Trump administration:

That’s—the tensions on the Russian border are extremely serious. They could escalate to a major terminal war. Efforts to try to reduce them should be welcomed. Just a couple of days ago, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jack Matlock, came out and said he just can’t believe that so much attention is being paid to apparent efforts by the incoming administration to establish connections with Russia. He said, “Sure, that’s just what they ought to be doing.”

So, meanwhile, this one topic is the primary locus of concern and critique, while, meanwhile, the policies are proceeding step by step, which are extremely destructive and harmful. So, you know, yeah, maybe the Russians tried to interfere in the election. That’s not a major issue. Maybe the people in the Trump campaign were talking to the Russians. Well, OK, not a major point, certainly less than is being done constantly. And it is a kind of a paradox, I think, that the one issue that seems to inflame the Democratic opposition is the one thing that has some justification and reasonable aspects to it.

It does tell you that Congressional Democrats are clinging to this issue because they have nothing else to cling to. And they seem to have nothing else to offer.


Ares Olympus said...

Chomsky's assertion of our foreign interference is one of shame not pride.

Democrats and Republicans alike should be ashamed of our past behavior at many levels, but of course hypocrisy means only the Democrats are enflamed now, while if Clinton had won in the same circumstance, the Republicans would be the cry babies.

And we know Trump was repeatly saying the elections would be rigged against him, and even after the election he claimed millions of illegals voted for Clinton without any proof. Fortunately apparently they all of them lived in sanctuary California so their votes were wasted.

And we recall in 2012, when Obama was declared the winner, but the votes were still being counted, and Romney was temporarily ahead in the national popular vote, that it was an outrage.
Trump: "He [Obama] lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. We should have a revolution in this country!" said Trump in a tweet that was later deleted. "More votes equals a loss … revolution!" he said in another.

Chomsky could have reminded us of this quote from Clinton:
In the recording Clinton, who is speaking to the Jewish Press about the January 25, 2006, election for the second Palestinian Legislative Council (the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority), weighed in about the result, which was a resounding victory for Hamas (74 seats) over the U.S.-preferred Fatah (45 seats).

“I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake,” said Sen. Clinton. “And if we were going to push for an election, then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win.”

I've not heard anything from Clinton about this statement. Does she believe the U.S. should influence elections in other countries if we're worried someone we don't want to win might win?

And her statements were rational - the election allowed terrrorist organization Hamas to win a majority and yet, that's what the people wanted.

And Trump was right too, it is a corruption of democracy than the popular vote doesn't determine the presidency (although a majority vote would still be better). We are the laughing stock of the world. And yet if California leaves the Union and takes its democrat supermajority with it, suddenly we know Republicans will be demanding the popular vote over the Electoral college.

It's all so predictable.

Sam L. said...

Is it possible that the "only" fair way for the popular vote to succeed would be to make all the states of equal population? The Electoral College is in place because the states are unequal in area and in population, and in interests. To get equal (approximately, give or take a few 100,000s), we'd have to redraw state lines every ten years. I don't believe anyone can sell THAT to the states.

Ares Olympus said...

Sam L. said... Is it possible that the "only" fair way for the popular vote to succeed would be to make all the states of equal population?

I've never heard such a suggestion. Currently the advantage to small states already exists in the Senate, and transfers to the presidency via the electoral college where all the small states get at least 2 votes.

There's lots of possible adjustments systems, including:
1. Replace the electoral college with a national popular vote. (requires a constitutional amendment)
2. Keep the electoral college:
2a. States allocate electors in proportion to the popular vote by state.
2b. States allocate state popular winner the 2 senate electors, and the rest to each congressional district winner. (Maine and Nebraska use this)
2c. States allocate electors to the popular vote within a multistate compact.

The last one is actually being proposed and doesn't need a change to the constitution.

It's not a bad solution if you can trust all the states to follow through, but with partisanship these days, you never know. And it seems clear that Minnesota many in minnesota would prefer Civil war to president Trump, although we might need a state war first since Trump did get way too many rural votes. (Minnesota would have given 5 to Clinton and 5 to Trump in 2a!)

Sometimes I think flipping a coin might be cheaper as well. Perhaps we could pick the 16 most capable statemen or women in the country, and have a 4 coin-flip head-to-head elimination, and whomever wins all 4 flips is president for 4 years. (And we can have a recall election to decide if they deserve a second term.)

At least there's be no belief in a "mandate" and hopefully they'd keep their loyalty to country over party.

And if our top statemen list includes Trump, I think we're back to civil war regardless. Even a 8.5% chance of Trump winning is way too high.

Or maybe the selection process should include party veto votes (like trial lawyers have on juries), and then we'd never have to decide between another Clinton, or Bush or Trump. It is curious who would survive a supermajority approval to make the cut?