Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 08/11/20

My Fellow Americans...

(Well, if you can claim limitless extraterritoriality for your political, legal and military establishments to kidnap, torture, extradite, overthrow and be generally shitty on a global basis, then I can claim the right to freedom of expression and freedom from religion enshrined in your Constitution and Bill of Rights - you know, the ones you've let the last three administrations wipe their expansive asses on?)

So, you've had another of them there 'election' thingies, huh? Neat. Well done. Congratulations on allowing Wall Street to regain total control over your country's government (or what, increasingly, merely passes for one).

Because that's all you've done, y'know; don't think that because you've managed - at least in theory, if not at the moment with any certainty in practice - managed to remove Dolt 45, aka President Tribblehead, aka The Stable Genius (that's 'stable' as in 'full of horseshit', of course) then A Change Is Gonna Come.

For all you've done is, in essence, to restore the ancien régime (although it only took you four years rather than the twenty-five it took the French - they were having a leisurely lunch which they were loth to leave - and the eleven years it took the English, who were too busy complaining in the pages of the Daily Mail about 'the Nanny State').

You have merely placed back in control of your lives the same triangulators, the same corporate fluffers, the same bankers' bitches who in no small part created the conditions against which so many of your fellow citizens were rebelling when - in an act of understandable desperation - they voted that egocentric moron into power in 2016. If you think that Biden, Harris and the apparatchiki they will surround themselves with - almost certain to be a combination of Obama retreads and Republicans who have seen the personal advantages of appearing to move leftwards (a sort of 'reverse Lieberman' manoeuvre) - will be any more 'progressive' on economic and social issues or any less bellicose on international affairs, then you didn't bother to read the ingredients on the labels before you emptied them into the saucepan.

Consider Biden: on race, he called school integration, "the most racist concept you can come up with"; he presided over the passing of Clinton's Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act (1994), which not only massively increased the incarceration rate in what was already planet Earth's biggest prison complex, but which meted out disproportionate punishments to non-white people convicted of crimes in comparison to their white counterparts; he stated that African-American felons were, "predators too sociopathic to rehabilitate"; and he counted white-supremacists such as Strom Thurmond as his friends and allies. He appears never to have resiled publicly from any of these words, deeds or positions. So, if you're a black kid sitting in a disease-ridden privately-owned prison doing 10 to 20 for possession of a couple of grams of crack, while your white contemporary who got busted for having fifty grams of powder coke gets probation, Jailer Joe ain't gonna be no friend to yo' ass.

On the economy, there is little for Joe Schmoe and his imminently homeless family to take comfort in. Biden - more even than Hillary Clinton (who might as well have gone around in 2016 with a sign around her neck saying, "I will take Goldman Sachs up my ass for cash") - is a tool of the hyper-rich individuals and corporations who long ago bought the entire political and legal processes of the Untried Stoats. Even as early as last December - when his candidacy prospects looked more than a little ropey - Biden had gained donations from no fewer than sixty billionaires (most prominently from the ranks of high finance, property and tech). So, if you live in Butthurt, Pennsylvania and your pension has just been pissed away by your employer, or your mortgage has just been foreclosed upon, or if you can't get your internet speeds up to the equivalent of those to be found in sub-Saharan Africa, then don't expect any help from Junketing Joe.

On the environment, Biden clearly and unambiguously stated during the later stages of the campaign that he was not under any circumstances going to ban fracking. That, and his lip-service to a so-called 'Green New Deal', the possibility of which was effectively sidelined by the machinations of the Democratic National Committee when it again conspired to fix its nomination process against Bernie Sanders, would - even if remotely sincere - founder on the fact that he has a hostile Senate, an insufficient majority in the House, and a Supreme Court which (thanks in no small measure to the rank cowardice of the Congressional Democrats) will be stacked against his party for the next thirty years. So, if your home in Kansas has just done its best Wizard Of Oz impression in one of the increasingly frequent and increasingly violent derechos which sweep across the midwest, or your entire condo has just moved several metres to the left, to the right or straight down because of mining subsidence, put not your faith in Jolting Joe.

On foreign policy, it must be said in Agent Orange's favour that in four years he never started a war which wasn't in full swing before he got to the Oval Office, although he was no better than his predecessors at actually ending any of them to any noticeable degree. Given that most of the wars that the US has indulged in - either directly or by proxy - in the last eighty years have started or escalated under Democrat presidents, we must assume that here too there will be a reversion to pre-2016 attitudes. For Biden served for years as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and was Obama's go-to for his policy direction on international affairs (when Barry wasn't being pussy-whipped by Hillary, of course).

In the few hours since he assumed the mantle of President-elect, Biden has stated that he wishes to restore the US to its self-assumed 'rightful' place at the head of the table, and a return to the 'freedom' and 'democracy' rhetoric which would almost certainly include the 'humanitarian interventions' which were so successful in Iraq...and Afghanistan...and Libya. Expect too no let up in the sabre-rattling against the enemy du jour, irrespective of the credibility of any claims made against them. This is particularly true in the case of the self-styled People's Republic of China, which Washington - not without justification - sees as angling to replace them as the world's main power; although Biden's statement in a stump speech last July that the US (and, by implication, all of its patsies in the soi-disant 'free world') needed to 'get tough' with Beijing may just have been the same old vaunting heard from Democratic candidates who wish to be seen as out-cock-waving the Republicans, the prospect of open conflict with China is not one for anyone, anywhere in the world, to relish. So if your kid is in the military ("Thank you for your service. No we don't give a shit if you're suffering from PTSD and are homeless") and gets sent off to fight, kill, die, maim or be maimed against imaginary or confected 'enemies' in order to counter the latest manufactured 'threat' to the Glorious Homeland™, you can thank Joustin' Joe.

A more than brief word now about Biden's veep. It has to be more than brief in this case, because although the rôle of Vice-President is usually given to a total non-entity in order to 'balance the ticket', there have been times when the VP has been either a convenient diversion from the President's 'mis-steps' and 'mis-speakings' (e.g. Agnew), or a down-home 'just plain folks' figure to soothe the rubes (Biden himself), or a plotting, string-pulling eminence grise behind a plausibly dim front man (Cheney).

This time, however, we have something new; a Veep who - on actuarial grounds alone - faces a high likelihood of having to step up to The Big Job at any time in the next four years. Consider, please, that by the time he is inaugurated, Joseph R. Biden will be 78 years of age. Bear in mind also that, from his public performances during the campaign (which have at times made even Dubya sound as inspiring and coherent as JFK), it may well be mental incapacity rather than the guy with the scythe which removes him from office. That puts Kamala Harris in the frame.

So what do we know about Harris and her policy positions?

Well, her record as a prosecutor, District Attorney and Attorney General in California will not, for example, give any relief to that black kid I referred to earlier; her first run for the job of San Fransisco DA saw her - backed by the familiar combination of big money, endorsement by the local chapter of FONK (the Fraternal Order of Nigger-Killers) and fearmongering saw her displace a genuinely progressive DA. She went on to defend even the most egregious examples of prosecutorial misconduct, fought to the limit to uphold wrongful convictions obtained through that same misconduct which kept many innocent people in prison for years, defend her state's use of judicially-sanctioned murder, sought to stymie increased investigation of fatal police shootings, and oversaw the prosecution and imprisonment of thousands of people - most of them non-white - for marijuana-related offences. A 'progressive' she certainly ain't.

And yet, in the official narrative (especially from self-claimed 'liberals'), this rebarbative and regressive record has been, if not airbrushed from history, then certainly obscured by a dense fog of wokeist candyfloss. All that matters to those people in these 'intersectional' days where 'identity politics' has displaced any talk about the power relationships between politics, commerce and the media, is that she is a) a woman, b) half-Jamaican and half-Indian, and so can be protected permanently from even the most justified criticism on the grounds that to do so - with whatever good reason there may be - would be 'sexist' and 'racist'.

Beyond that, the positions she has adopted since reaching the US Senate in 2016 appear to be more 'progressive' (however that may be defined, and bearing in mind that being 'progressive' in Congress is merely to be able to clear a bar set so low that limbo dancers would have to be from Flatland to get under it). How this will survive contact with the machinations of Biden's policy wonks and the topmost echelons of DC power remains, of course, to be seen, but given that Harris has always adjusted her positions with an eye to her career arc, we may guess that she will be whatever will get her closer to the the top job itself should Biden reach the end of four years in any sort of shape to know whether he is in DC or KC.

So, Mr, Mrs and Ms America, all you've done is turn the clock back to November 2008. And we all know what happened just after that, don't we?

And don't think that the germs which have proliferated in your public affairs over the last four years are going magically to vanish any time soon. Not only have those contagions been injected deeply into the body politic, the pathogens themselves are still massing for a further attack. The hardline Trumpets - many of whom have treated their man as little less than a religious icon since 2016 - will be deeply pissed off, and they will be preparing even as we speak to seek to undermine (or even overthrow) that last semblence of democracy which you have; perhaps even egged on by the Hyperego himself. There will be unrest. There will be terrorist acts from the hard right, augmented by more and more out-of-control cops openly taking sides with the forces of yer actual Fascism in city after city.

And you will have no-one to protect you other than that small kernel of courageous and principled people left in your society; especially after Biden and Harris manoeuvre to the 'center' (that is to say, the right) in order to save their majority in the House.

(That Biden's accession has been warmly welcomed by that empty suit called Keir Starmer is surely indicative of how utterly unchallenging to established political, economic and media power the new régime will be).

Good luck; you're sure as hell gonna need it.

Postscript: I would like to recommend this wonderful sequence of satirical Tweets from the Kenyan journalist Patrick Gathara, in which the standard media tropes on troubled elections in developing nations are turned back at their perpetrators.