"WashPo Blames Capitol Protest On Economic Despair"
The Jimmy Dore Show (February 12, 2021)
[12:04] Max Blumenthal: "The issue is that many of the people who came to the capitol came from de-industrialized regions and areas and places where the economy is just gone to crap. And they're angry at the system and they've been led astray and hoodwinked and bamboozled by a right-wing demagogue as they have for decades."
"Tom Frank's book What's The Matter With Kansas? is the best book on this phenomenon, where he goes around Kansas, his home state -- I mean, he's from Lawrence, I think, which is a college town -- but he goes around Kansas and tries to understand why this state abandoned its sort-of radical tradition and why the liberal Republican wing got destroyed and why far-right figures like Sam Brownback who really fueled, they were like the predecessor to the MAGA movement, the Christian Right, why did the Christian Right get so strong in Kansas? And he showed that as people's economic conditions declined and the factories went away and their jobs were outsourced, instead of turning to the classic heartland populism that defined Kansas politics for hundreds of year, they turned to the Christian Right and got into anti-abortion politics. And these wedge issues were funded by -- who were Kansas's most prolific oligarchs? -- the Koch brothers. The billionaire class was funding wedge issues. And they funded white nationalism as well, to distract people."
"[13:35] "So you can imagine all the anger I saw on display, to just directly take cops down, to storm into the capitol. If that anger was not misdirected, mindless, directionless, agenda-free insanity about a stolen election and was about, actually gaining something in terms of material change from their government, that that would have been revolutionary. And many people from the Left would have joined them. It wouldn't have been what it was. But that's not what's happening, that's not what's happening in this country. That's not the mentality on display from the liberals heaping scorn on this article.
[14:20] "I think the proper response to this article is that, yes, these are people who are experiencing economic pain simply because they're Americans. And where I live, I live in a black neighborhood in Washington, D.C. that's being gentrified out of existence. I grew up in this city. And everybody's experiencing the same economic pain here. But their politics are completely different. Everybody's in debt. The repo man is showing up down the street and towing people's cars away. People's furniture, you see it out on the street. They're being evicted. I mean, imagine if they could get together with people who participated in this idiotic Stop the Steal over this common issue of being driven into debt by a capitalist system, it would be truly revolutionary. And that's the issue as I see it."
[15:07] "And just one more point about what I saw on display at that rally, this fake social rebellion at the capitol driven by a billionaire oligarch, Donald Trump. Anti-communisim was in the air. More than racial resentment. More than people using racial terms of abuse, I would hear them call the cops 'communists' who sought to get in their way. That was the first thing that people would say: 'You Commie!' Or they would say 'You're under the control of the Chinese CCP. China controls you.' Anti-Chinese hysteria. Just like the Russiagate hysteria I heard from Democrats in 2017, I heard there. And that's also very useful. Anti-Communism is like the American National Religion, and it is designed to lead people away from true revolutionary solutions and movements that aim to change their material conditions. And we haven't seen this level of anti-communism in my generation because the Soviet Union fell in 1991.
[16:16] "But why did we have a New Deal in the 1930s? It was because Franklin Roosevelt was afraid of a Communist revolution and the threat of a good example of the Soviet Union actually giving workers things. So he said we have to have a social democracy. We have to give people things. Truman doing the infrastructure projects. LBJ doing the Great Society and creating community colleges. It all started to end as the Soviet Union and the threat of communism began to collapse and then when did all the jobs go awasy in the heartland? When did it become de-industrialized? When did our billionaire-millionaire class begin outsourcing everyone immediately? in the 1990s at the so-called End of History, after the Soviet Union collapsed. Well, 'We're in a Unipolar world. We can do whatever we want. The capitalist technocracy will take over.'"
[17:00] "But now the American Empire is beginning to recede. It's in a state of decline. And there is a country that is rising and that threatens to be the greatest threat to American hegemony since the height of the Cold War. And that country is China. And for all you hear about China in the media, all the human rights deceptions, China has an anti-poverty, a poverty-alleviation program which has been extremely successful. And under Xi, China has wiped out extreme poverty. It has been wiped out.
[17:37] "So PBS actually produced a documentary about China's poverty-alleviation program. An American reporter and China expert went over and showed how villages that were just mired in poverty for years were being transformed and people were being moved for free into free housing and into jobs and given vocational training. And PBS, under pressure from right-wing media was forced to pull that documentary. You can't find it anywhere now. And it's just -- That's the threat that China poses. So beware of anyone who is spouting anti-China propaganda because they're playing into this dynamic. And I think that the international situation that is taking shape here poses a great threat to the American oligarchy because of the threat of another economic model challenging this failed American one."
[18:36] Jimmy Dore: "Yeah, so that, I mean, that's why we immediately overthrew any socialist government in our hemisphere, because we can't have a good example of how socialism actually works for everybody. So we've got to get rid of that, have the capitalists come in and exploit everything, create a two-tiered society, and then call it a failure. . . ."
[19:01 ] Jimmy Dore: "So, I didn't see, I haven't been on social media, I've been trying to stay off social media on the recommendation of my therapist. I actually took the Twitter off my home page and I put it into another thing on my phone so I can't see it when I look at my phone. So, anyway, I didn't know that. I just thought everyone ws going to read this [Washington Post] article and go: 'Of course.' And you were talking about David Cross from Mr Show, tht David Cross? That guy's funny."
Max Blumenthal: "Yeah. I think so. Unless it was another David Cross. His response came up."
Jimmy Dore: "I thought David Cross was like a Bernie Bro. I thought he was like a Lefty, a Bernie Sanders supporter. But everybody gets sucked into that Russiagate stuff, Max. That's what. Even guys like that, they get sucked in. Look at all of them. At Conan, Colbert, Andy Richter. They're all fucking Russia-gaters, right?"
[20:07] Max Blumenthal: "Yeah. If you're a comedian and you are on the side of the establishment, you're not funny anymore. You're just not funny. And those guys, they don't realize that the only reason they have these shows and these jobs is because they are manufacturing consent behind the guise of comedy. And they're just running on fumes and the echoes of the jokes they once told, back when, like, Andy Richter and Conan were doing [sings] 'In the year two thousand.' But it's the year 2021 and this guy is like just this condescending bore. Or Colbert crying on January 6th. I mean, that event was so filled with comedy. There were so many things that could have been said about it."
"Have you ever watched Trevor Noah? I watched it, I suffered through it, I was feeling masochistic. It's like the most unfunny, like, how is this not career suicide? He's one of the highest paid comedians in the country."
[21:03] Jimmy Dore: "It's as if comedy was being produced by the government. That's what it seems like. When I watch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, it's literally as if the DNC was producing was producing a comedy show."
Max Blumenthal:"They're literal court jesters. Or eminem. I mean what the hell happened to this guy? I thought he was like the new Lenny Bruce. And then he comes out during the BET awards and does this freestyle that might have been written by James Carville and a bunch of DNC consultants. And it's like the first words of it are -- I mean, besides that and then your comedy gets bad if you start to embrace this mentality, your rhymes get really bad, too -- the first lines were:
"That's an awfully hot coffee pot"
"Should I drop it on Donald Trump? Probably not."
Max Blumenthal: "Like, what happened to eminem? I mean, just quit."
[22:05] Jimmy Dore: "It really ruined a lot of people, a lot of comedians, that Donald Trump ruined a lot of newspeople, ruined a lot of comedians. It broke late night television. I mean, late night television is a joke. I mean, Stephen Colbert weeping about Donald Trump saying something about the election. It was just ... and then a week later he's with Barack Obama, and he's like 'I just want to drink you in.' Oh, my God. He's a war criminal. He had a kill list. You know that Barack Obama had a kill list? literally. And he killed a sixteen-year-old kid on purpose. And then he joked about it. You know this, right?
[22:44] Max Blumenthal: "Larry Wilmore actually had a good joke about that. What was it? Remember that?
Jimmy Dore: "No"
Max Blumenthal: "He said Barack Obama is like Steph Curry, he likes dropping bombs from long range, or something. It was at the last White House Press Correspondents dinner with Obama. And Obama was not happy with that joke. I mean, Larry Wilmore's show wasn't that good, but we never heard from him again."
[23:08] Jimmy Dore: "Oh, you think he pissed him off with that joke?"
Max Blumenthal: "Look at Obama's expression. Watch. Larry Wilmore took it to Obama. It was good."
[23:15] Jimmy Dore: "Good for Larry Wilmore. I didn't see that. How did I miss that? Good for Larry Wilmore. OK. I didn't know that. That's right. He's gone. I haven't seen hide nor hair of him since then."
Max Blumenthal: "I mean, can you imagine what would happen if anyone made a joke about Michelle Obama like any one of these comedians? They'd be disappeared. This is like royalty you cannot touch."