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Was Amtrak Joe derailed?

By 2353NM

Prior to becoming President, Joe Biden was a US Senator for around 36 years. He is known as Amtrak Joe as he routinely took the daily 90 minute each way train trip (on the USA’s national passenger train network – Amtrak) from his home in Delaware to Washington DC to represent his state. If you listened to the predictions of Donald Trump and his allies, the ‘great red wave’ would ensure Biden was going to be derailed after the election with a reinvigorated Republican controlled Congress pursuing an agenda that is only partly based on reality.

Chalk one up for reality. As The New Yorker reported

There had been no red wave, never mind Donald Trump’s promised “great red wave.” Was it a red ripple or merely a red drizzle? A blue escape? Purple rain? Even Fox News decreed the results to be no more than a pro-Republican “trickle.” Whatever it was called, President Biden and his Democrats, by limiting their losses in the House to less than the average for such elections and likely keeping the Senate as well, scored an against-the-odds political upset that suggests the country remains deeply skeptical of handing too much national power to the Trumpified Republican Party.

However, The Guardian suggests we should

Expect the Republican majority to launch an array of congressional investigations ranging from the reasonable (Biden’s botched withdrawal to Afghanistan) to the grandstanding (Anthony Fauci’s coronavirus pandemic measures and Biden’s son Hunter’s laptop).

Expect a battle over lifting the limit on US debt with the potential to cause havoc in the economy. Expect a possible attempt by the Maga wing of the party to impeach Biden on spurious grounds, effectively as payback for Democrats having twice hit Trump with the ultimate sanction.

The New Yorker also suggests that Biden will have some problems in the next couple of years.

The biggest immediate problem for Biden and the Democrats, however, is that a win for the Republicans, even if it’s not a wave, is still a win. A one-vote margin in the House would still give subpoena power to Jim Jordan as the chair of the House Judiciary Committee. It would still mean the difference between Biden being able to advance his legislative agenda with a Democratic Speaker or the impossibility of doing so with a Republican one. A narrow Republican majority in the House might even further empower the crazies in the chamber, making a Speaker Kevin McCarthy beholden to the Trumpian extremists’ every whim if he does not want to be deposed by them – if, that is, McCarthy is even able to win the Speakership.

So yes, there’s a real risk of irrational exuberance from the folks who insisted in 2021 that Biden, governing with a fifty-fifty Senate and a single-digit majority in the House, could somehow legislate his way into the progressive pantheon with the likes of F.D.R. and L.B.J.

If a train is derailed, it has come off the track and can’t move. Usually it takes quite a lot of time, effort and machinery to put the train back on the track, only to be taken slowly back to the maintenance depot and inspected prior to being condemned or returned to regular service after a long and costly repair process. Joe Biden and his Presidency has certainly not been derailed as he still has a Presidential veto which can only be overruled by a two thirds majority of the House. Unlike Australia where voting against your party’s wishes is at best frowned upon and at worst a sackable offence, the Members and Senators can and frequently do vote with the opposition party if they think they should, there is a real probability that some Republican’s will vote with Biden’s Democrats during the next two years. Biden’s train seems to be still on the tracks, but it’s certainly hit an obstacle and the driver is out of the cab inspecting the damage.

Trump and his allies also have lost the momentum for a Presidential run in 2024 that a ‘red wave’ in the mid-terms would have given. There are various reports that Trump was furious with the result, especially the apparent popularity of the Governor of Florida, Ron De Santis, a former Trump acolyte and now potentially feared competitor in the Presidential Primaries. Nevertheless, he chose to make an announcement that he was running for President in 2024, regardless of the damage the Trump sideshow could do to the Republicans’ chances in a Senate runoff in Georgia early December.

The New Yorker’s final paragraph is telling

What we learned once again on Tuesday night is that America’s divisions are still America’s divisions. Democrats avoided a wipeout. But there was no knockout punch that would finally prove the folly of the Republicans’ Trumpian turn. Which means that democracy, as Biden would put it, is still very much on the line.

Which should be a concern for all of us on this side of the Pacific as well.

What do you think?

 

This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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15 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    What do I think? Well, any country that has America as an ally has no need for any other enemies.

    The ”Poland rocket strike” was deliberate misinformation from an American security officer to a journalist who failed to check their sources.
    .
    Remember the Yangtze Incident that was used to start the Vietnam War? The alleged Vietnamese firing upon the intrusive US destroyer that later soond analysis of the signal showed were false. Same strategy.
    .
    Remember the WMDs that the CIA reported to congress were threatening Western Europe ….. that turned out to be ”Words of Mass Deception” from those same CIA agents, as recognised by Shrubya Bush AFTER the imperialist invasion of Iraq, to gain control of the massive Iraqi oil reserves, and Afghanistan, to provide huge on-going profits for the American NE military industrial complex manufacturing weapon systems to inflict on the Afghan people.

    Australian politicians should be wary of their imperialistic desires. Canberra is closer to Darwin than Shanghai or Beijing and even the Americans can follow a compass bearing.

  2. Clakka

    America is a beautiful place, inhabited by many wonderful friendly people – on the face of it. Since WWII, it has suffered at its own hand by three phenomena: mass immigration from diverse cultures with very different experiences of polity, a massive industrial war machine built in the first half of the 20th century, and nominating as “the world’s policeman”.

    The hope of a new “paradise” guarded by the new “policeman” facilitated a massive injection of capital into urban development and transportation, and infrastructure for the “policemen” and their various institutions and political masters. The industrialists and agriculturalists burgeoned and kept priming until they had consumed each other’s wriggle room. And then, big tech and bling, big it up, dig it up, build it up, what the heck, hubris is divine. And as for the rest, tell ’em, “Fck ’em”, or maybe don’t tell ’em, “Fck ’em”. Vacuum the world, export the dirty work and get more bigged-up.

    Oh dang! All bled dry, all bigged-up, they’ve got the number and there’s nowhere left to go! With hubris spread and fantasy succumbing to fear, confusion reigns on that shouty broken road to nowhere.

    There’s many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip. But with the cup run dry there’s just cracked lips flapping in the breeze. One ought think twice and again before getting too close for fear of contagion.

  3. Michael Taylor

    NEC, last Monday’s Media Watch is a must see. It gets to the bottom of the rocket hitting Poland.

    I too thought it was definitely Russia who fired the missile and scoffed at the ‘conspiracy theory’ that it came from Ukraine.

    I now have egg on my face.

  4. Phil Pryor

    The “Poland rocket” was thought, early on by accurate reporting, to have been a Ukraine faulty imported ground to air defence missile, gone well astray. Biden was apparently so informed, early.

  5. Michael Taylor

    Phil, indeed, as pointed out on Media Watch.

    I hadn’t read anything about it, but just saw headlines that Russia was behind it.

    I guess, indirectly, that they were: if they hadn’t have fired missiles at Ukraine, then the Ukrainian anti-missile thingy wouldn’t have landed in Poland.

    PS: “accurate reporting” is a rarity these days.

  6. Phil Pryor

    M T, the hints of Belorus territory in this was mentioned, with resentments. And, some of this missile equipment appears to have been cobbled up long ago for involvement, cheaply, in Syria and has been traded around. Missiles with USA arms components, U K navigation bits, German motors, bodies?? …hard to run, aim or maintain.., unreliable?

  7. A Commentator

    Yes, it seems that Russia is firing missiles indiscriminately into civilian areas and targetting civilian infrastructure.
    Ukraine seeks to fend this off, and a part of their anti missile defensive system strikes Poland.
    Let’s blame Ukraine and the US/NATO

  8. Phil Pryor

    Don’t you love obtusity? Onesidedness? Actually, Russia and thus Putin and his command chain of gross aggressive action, probably involving Belorus personnel and territory, is highly reprehensible. And, Ukraine’s usage of whatever it can get in weaponry, cheap or dodgy, is understandable in defending territory. Now, comment on brokering peace by diplomacy and negotiation, the only but unlikely way. Overstretched Putin is “gone” and many behind him are ready…

  9. Michael Taylor

    Phil, nothing should distract from the fact that Putin is a murderous thug, which you no doubt will agree with. The USA also has a history of thuggery, but this is one war they didn’t start.

  10. Michael Taylor

    Damn, I’ve done it now.

    By mentioning Putin and Russia I await the attack on this site from the Russian bots.

    There’s my day gone. ☹️

  11. Phil Pryor

    It is so horrible for the innocent involved. War crimes trials will surely occur. Much evil is yet to follow. Only negotiated and diplomatic efforts can solve some of this. Putin, (who is “finished” behind and out here) fights for Russians in Donbas, and feels he is “right”. Zelenskyy fights for border integrity and feels he is “right”. The smell of old disputes about Polish Corridors, Sudeten lands, Alsace Lorraine, Falklands, Quebec, these haunt the imagination and historical perceptions. ( I lost a whole draft by fumbling editing fingers) Some old murderous thugs didn’t personally carry weapons (Alan Dulles, Kissinger, even Winston)

  12. LambsFry Simplex.

    Crappintg on him because he uses a train?

    I never weary of millenialism.

  13. 2353NM

    Lambs.Fry – no, not at all. Rather suggesting that Biden wasn’t derailed as promised by those claiming there would be a ‘red wave’ (that wasn’t). In fact Biden did pretty well in the mid-terms. However while there is still the MAGA influence in the USA, there are still fundamental divisions that certainly aren’t helping the USA generally.

    IF only Australia had any sort of national passenger rail system (I can remember when we used to).

  14. Jack sprat

    New England Cocky
    Another one to add to you list ,USA ‘s false claim that the Spanish sank their battleship the USS Maine in Cuba which launched them into the Spanish American war and the land grap of the Philippines and Cuba , only Theodore Roosevelt was honest about the reasons for the war when he replied to the the question of “why are we going to war with Spain ” replied because “because we can “

  15. LambsFry Simplex.

    Last couple, a smile.

    2353N, little doubt a sophistcated inclusion as to Biden’s next couple of years. earlier in the thread.

    But playing this game as badly the Australian Opposition has done, for instance, will indeed turn this advantage to become a club to be beat obstructionists on the head.The job the Repugs have is to somehow turn the instinct for change that these election demonstrated again. Thepublic there as with here, wants the 20th century to finally let go and communities can move on, now that many rightist absurdities have been unmasked as self-serving and illogical.

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