"2000s figures" stumbling in the age of you-know-who

Comments on Naked Capitalism:

July 20, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Trump’s Budget Shows How He Is Building a Police State
Trump is aiming to turn the federal government into a much more militaristic and paramilitary policing organization.
[link to David Cay Johnson story]

Lambert Strether
July 20, 2017 at 3:10 pm

There aren’t a lot of specific domestic programs mentioned in the post, which is what I expected (since a “police state” is by definition directed at the citizens of that state). One tendency liberal Democrats have is to point to some bad (undeniably bad) thing Trump is doing, while ignoring how Obama (and the now rehabilitated George W. Bush) either did the same thing or created the conditions for what Trump is doing. It’s like they built the car, assumed they’d always have the keys, and then scream because they don’t like the direction Trump is driving it). Uncharacteristic lack of focus by Johnston.

Tom Moody
July 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Yes, many blogs I read complain about [ongoing political evil] and stick “in the age of Trump” into the headline. Juan Cole is especially bad at this.

Swamp Yankee
July 20, 2017 at 8:25 pm

Agreed on Cole, Tom. He has not been at his best lately; Trump seems very difficult for him to get his head around. In general I’d say he is far more perceptive about the Middle East than America (I think this is related to his having been raised in large part as an American abroad). In general, I think figures from the 2000s like Cole’s time, in the sense of when they were most influential and insightful and central to world-historical events, has passed (see also Colbert, Stephen, Stewart, Jon, etc). The focus is back on the US, and off the Middle East.

I say all this with great admiration for Cole, I actually know him in real life and found him to be a very decent sort.

Tom Moody
July 22, 2017 at 7:07 am

I still read him for the Middle East coverage. Unfortunately every other headline is something like today’s “How our Intel Agencies Screwed us by Letting Sessions, Trumpies get away with Russia Scheme.” Immediately after the election Cole was skeptical of any “scheme.” Now he’s fully on board with the Clinton talking points.

Tom Moody
July 22, 2017 at 7:32 am

OK, I deleted his feed from my RSS reader — will scan his front page occasionally for Mideast analysis. I also had to delete Corrente a while back (sorry Lambert). They had a *daily* series going called “Trump therapy” which was like agony to read if you believe Clinton is no better. I made a skeptical comment which never left moderation, then deleted the RSS. Joe Conason’s blog remains in the queue for its reading of the current Clintonite thinking and because he posts infrequently. Swamp Yankee, you are right about those “figures from the 2000s.” Many of them seem out of touch with the reasons for popular anger.