The author is a prominent American social critic, blogger, and podcaster, and one of our all-time favorite pessimists. We carry his articles regularly on RI. His writing on Russia-gate has been highly entertaining.
He is one of the better-known thinkers The New Yorker has dubbed 'The Dystopians' in an excellent 2009 profile, along with the brilliant Dmitry Orlov, another regular contributor to RI (archive). These theorists believe that modern society is headed for a jarring and painful crack-up.
You can find his popular fiction and novels on this subject, here. To get a sense of how entertaining he is, watch this 2004 TED talk about the cruel misery of American urban design - it is one of the most-viewed on TED. Here is a recent audio interview with him which gives a good overview of his work.
“Impeachment is too good for him,” Nancy Pelosi declared of the president on Thursday after “his lapdog” — as she styled Attorney General William Barr — refused to be whipped by grandstanding Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee. What did Madam Speaker have in mind then? Dragging Mr. Trump behind a Chevy Tahoe over four miles of broken light bulbs? Staking him onto a nest of fire ants? How about a beheading at the capable hands of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)?
Mr. Barr’s stolid demeanor during the Wednesday session was a refreshing reminder of what it means to be not insane in the long-running lunatic degeneration of national politics. Of course, the reason for the continued hysteria among Democrats is that the two-year solemn inquiry by the august former FBI Director, Mr. Mueller, is being revealed daily as a mendacious fraud with criminal overtones running clear through Democratic ranks beyond even the wicked Hillary Clinton to the sainted former president Obama, who may have supervised his party’s collusion with foreign officials to interfere in the 2016 election.
Mr. Barr’s hints that he intends to tip this dumpster of political subterfuge, to find out what was at the bottom of it, is being taken as a death threat to the Democratic Party, as well it should be. A lot of familiar names and faces will be rolling out of that dumpster into the grand juries and federal courtrooms just as the big pack of White House aspirants jets around the primary states as though 2020 might be anything like a normal election.
In short and in effect, the Democratic Party itself is headed to trial on a vector that takes it straight into November next year. How do you imagine it will look to voters when Mr. Obama’s CIA chief, John Brennan, his NSA Director James Clapper, a baker’s dozen of former Obama top FBI and DOJ officials, including former AG Loretta Lynch, and sundry additional players in the great game of RussiaGate Gotcha end up ‘splainin’ their guts out to a whole different cast of federal prosecutors? It’s hardly out of the question that Barack Obama himself and Mrs. Clinton may face charges in all this mischief and depravity.
It’s surely true that the public is sick of the RussiaGate spectacle. (I know readers of this blog complain about it.) But it’s no exaggeration to say that this is the worst and most tangled scandal that the US government has ever seen, and that failing to resolve it successfully really is an existential threat to the project of being a republic. I was a young newspaper reporter during Watergate and that was like a game of animal lotto compared to this garbage barge of malfeasance.
It’s a further irony of the moment that the suddenly leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, is neck-deep in that spilled garbage, the story unspooling even as I write that then-Veep Uncle Joe strong-armed the Ukraine government to fire its equivalent of Attorney General to quash an investigation of his son, Hunter, who received large sums of money from the Ukrainian gas company, Burisma, which had mystifyingly appointed the young American to its board of directors after the US-sponsored overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych.
That nasty bit of business comes immediately on top of information that the Hillary campaign was using its connections in Ukraine — from her years at the State Department — to traffic in political dirt on Mr. Trump, plus an additional intrigue that included payments to the Clinton Foundation of $25 million by Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk. That was on top of contributions of $150 million that the Clinton Foundation had received earlier from Russian oligarchs around 2012.
Did they suppose that no one would ever notice? Or is it just a symptom of the desperation that has gripped the Democratic Party since the stunning election loss of 2016 made it impossible to suppress this titanic, bubbling vessel of fermented misdeeds? It seems more than merely possible that the entire Mueller Investigation was a ruse from the start to conceal all this nefarious activity. It is even more astounding to see exactly what a lame document the Mueller Report turned out to be. It was such a dud that even the Democratic senators and congresspersons who are complaining the loudest have not bothered to visit the special parlor set up at the Department of Justice for their convenience to read a much more lightly redacted edition of the report.
The mills of justice grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine. The wheels are in motion now and it’s unlikely they will be stopped by mere tantrums. But the next move by the desperate Resistance may be to create so much political disorder in the system that they manage to delegitimize the 2020 election before it is even held, and plunge the nation deeper into unnecessary crisis just to try and save their asses.