Another Unfocused Resistance Movement Ready to be Plundered?

by William Skink

If the “resistance” can avoid outrage fatigue, there is going to be another problem to figure out: what do they stand for?

Moving nearly as fast as the waves of surging anger, the co-opters quickly position themselves to redirect this emotional currency into the political graveyard where the anti-war movement and equality camps of the 99% are buried.

So what do you stand for? Will you stand for Cory Booker sucking up some oxygen for the resistance?

Leave it to Cory Booker to find a way to anger both liberals and conservatives within just a few hours.

The New Jersey senator’s unprecedented decision to testify against attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions earlier this month infuriated the right. That evening, it was the left’s turn to rip him after he joined mostly Republicans to vote down a symbolic amendment aimed at importing prescription drugs.

To Booker’s critics, the high-wire moves are all part of his positioning for 2020, when there’s likely to be a crowded Democratic primary. His emergence as a face of the Democratic resistance to Donald Trump while the party is desperately searching for new leadership is not lost on his fellow senators, party strategists or Washington’s chattering classes, even if Booker himself insists he’s not itching to take on Trump in 2020.

If the resistance doesn’t define itself, others will. Do you stand for letting politicians like Cory Booker and Jon Tester send their little signals of fealty to Big Pharma?

Resistance to the hatchet Trump is aiming at the ACA is another problematic area. I’ve been reading a lot about what losing insurance will mean, lots of personal stories tugging at your heart strings. And while these are important stories, it’s not the whole story.

The ACA is failing, but stories highlighting this reality are politically inconvenient for Democrats. It’s not perfect, they’ll say, but THOUSANDS WILL DIE BECAUSE TRUMP!!!

Medicaid in Montana is a perfect example. Democrats worked hard to get Medicaid expanded in Montana, and it’s had a positive impact for thousands who gained access. So what is there to complain about?

I’ve been learning a lot recently about Medicaid, and what I’ve learned is this: if you’re not poor enough to be eligible, the desperate need to become eligible for Medicaid will make you poor, fast. This reality is impacting older Montanans significantly every day.

Here’s the deal: Medicare doesn’t pay for long-term, in-home services that keep people living in their home instead of throwing in the towel and entering a nursing home. If a person can’t afford to pay out of pocket, then Medicaid is one of the few options available.

And here’s the problem: if you make more than around $640 dollars a month, and/or have more than 2,000 in savings, you aren’t eligible for Medicaid. To become eligible, you must do what’s called a Medicaid “spend down” which essentially means making yourself poor enough to qualify.

What does the resistance have to say about this? I hear murmurs of Medicare for all, but it’s not loud enough to keep the Cory Bookers and Jon Testers from acting like Pharma dollars are more important than American victims of the legal drug cartel paying these corrupt politicians off.

Finally, the wars. What does the resistance have to say about the wars? About drone strikes? Of course The Intercept isn’t going to be shy about pointing out that Trump has taken on Obama’s legacy of murdering the children of a US citizen also executed without due process, but I don’t consider The Intercept part of the resistance.

The wars are a big blind spot for the resistance because there is no way for them to swim through the dark sea of cognitive dissonance to the realization that if Hillary had been elected, wars wouldn’t be that big of an issue (until we all died from the third and final installment). It will be, of course, an immense issue when Trump’s Twitter tirades spark trade wars and probably a hot war or three.

Will anti-war resistance resurrect itself from the graveyard? Or will inconvenient Democrat complicity in a war machine that works overtime to make obscene profits and lots of refugees keep the issue of war largely off the table of resistance-worthy outrages?

I know, it’s a lot to absorb. Might as well just wait for the next Trump tweet to dominate the next 24hr news cycle.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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6 Responses to Another Unfocused Resistance Movement Ready to be Plundered?

  1. JC says:

    The masses have been numbed to perpetual low-intensity war (“normalization”). 15 years and counting, not including Bill Clinton’s warmup in central europe and Iraq. It’s like the boiling frog — place a frog in a pot of water and slowly turn up the heat, and by the time the frog finally realizes it’s going to get boiled it’s too late to escape. While the time is ripe for revolution, it appears that the momentum has been captured by the populists bent on taking the country back to the 50s. Pat Buchanan just said that we have finally become two nations. While I seldom agree with Pat, he is pretty right on with this one. How that division plays out is anyone’s best guess.

    And about the ACA and medicaid, while I sympathize with all the stories of losing ACA coverage (myself included most likely), when you remind people of the 10’s of millions who have no meaningful access to health care (or… insurance), you just get this blank look like they don’t even exist. It is easier to paint a pity party about someone losing something just gained, than to raise any empathy for those who have perpetually gone without. And the spend down is just another symptom of a society that thrives on the parasitic austerity of capitalism run amok.

  2. JC says:

    Rant of the week by Raul Ilargi Meijer at The Automatic Earth. Much more in the article well worth reading:

    Unrest Is The Only Growth Industry Left

    …I get why you’re protesting the Trump ban, but I don’t get why that’s your prime focus. I am guessing that most of the protesters would not have voted Trump in the first place, and would have been much happier -to put it mildly- for Hillary to be president right now. But if you would have paid attention in history class, you would know that it was Hillary who brought the refugees to your welcome mats to begin with.

    Take it a step further, like to the January 21 women’s march, and you would realize that the vast majority of the refugees would have much preferred to stay where they grew up, where the women in their families, their sisters and aunts and daughters used to live. Most of whom are gone now, they’re either dead or diaspora-ed to Jordan, Turkey, Alberta, Sweden, Greece. All on account of Obama and his crew. Who of course blamed it on Assad and Putin. “I killed 1000 children, but I had to because those guys are so dangerous….”

    This generation of refugees, of the huddled masses that the Statue of Liberty is supposed to teach you about, didn’t come to America because it’s the promised land; they came because America turned their homeland into a giant pile of rubble surrounded by garbage heaps and minefields. …

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