The Smoke Clears — Not?

David Finkel

November 10, 2022

As the smoke clears — or more accurately, thickens — over the midterm election results, one outcome emerges clearly: the polarization and crisis of U.S. politics continues. And in the next two years at least, political gridlock means that any positive steps on fundamental issues facing the society are vanishingly unlikely — whether on access to health care, on inequality and child poverty, on racial injustice at every level, on a looming stagflation recession, and above all on the ever-escalating climate catastrophe.

Another sure thing: the seventeen billion dollar expenditure on this election sets an all-time high, which will last all the way until the next one. Campaign spending records in U.S. politics fall faster than home-run marks during baseball’s steroid era. That’s both a symptom and a cause of dysfunction.

What follows are only first responses to what’s emerging after the vote. The immediate prospect of an explosion of post-election violence has apparently receded — and even if the Republicans take control of Congress, it’s now highly unlikely that they’d be so stupid as to try to pass a national abortion ban, or force a crisis over the debt ceiling. But the institutions of “stability” in this country are still fraying.

It’s impossible here to take in the full scope of the already-settled and still-pending races, but voters’ response to the unhinged Supreme Court overturn of Roe v. Wade obviously stands out. In every state with abortion rights referenda on the ballot, women’s right to choose won. The outraged response of women, and of decent people in general, energized a voter turnout that blunted what was expected to be a wave of Republican victories…

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Giselle Gerolami
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The overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court on June 24, 2022 triggered into effect a 1931 law against abortion in Michigan, as was the case for other old anti-abortion laws in many states. Many prosecutors in the state declared that they would not prosecute, There were also lawsuits brought by the Governor, Gretchen Whitmer and by Planned Parenthood to seek the establishment of the right to abortion. Enforcement of the 1931 anti-abortion law was blocked by a permanent injunction by Judge...

Mike McCallister
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The tentative agreement (TA) brokered by Joe Biden and his Labor Secretary, Marty Walsh, to keep freight moving on the rails and keeping the supply chain humming, is facing substantial resistance from rank-and-file rail workers.

The TA negotiated between the employers’ National...

Suzi Weissman
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I have lost a dear friend of nearly 50 years, Mike Davis, and the world has lost a voice like no other.

An avalanche of remembrances and articles are already appearing, a testament to Mike’s powerful and distinctive influence, his many books and articles, his generosity, his tireless life as a fighter against everything that diminishes human dignity and ravages the planet.

Bob and I visited Mike a week ago and knew this day was coming. He had been bravely battling a triple whammy of cancers and had...

Interview with Catherine Z. Sameh
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Johanna Brenner (JB): As protests in Iran, sparked by the morality police’s murder of Mahsa (Jhina) Amini, a Kurdish Iranian woman arrested for “improper hijab,” enter their fourth week, many of us stand in awe of the courage of the protestors who continue to come out into the streets, despite a violent police crackdown that has included killing, maiming, arrest and torture. How do you understand this in some ways unprecedented moment?

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Kay Mann
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Washington, D.C.
Dianne Feeley

I was one of the several thousand who rallied at Folger Park’s Capitol Hill district and marched to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on Saturday, October 8 on a sunny but brisk fall day. Although the November elections were just one month away, the one-hour rally didn’t feature politicians but rather representatives from organizations including SEIU, Planned Parenthood and Harriet’s Wildest Dreams, a Black-led mutual aid organization.

Organized by the Women’s...

Peter Drucker
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Breaking the Impasse
Electoral Politics, Mass Action, and the New Socialist Movement in the United States

By Kim Moody
Haymarket Books, Chicago, 2022, 250 pages, $19.95 paperback.

The past six years have seen the greatest expansion of the US socialist movement in almost eight decades. Surprisingly to many, the expansion has come through an organisation that had long seemed stagnant, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Bernie Sanders’ groundbreaking campaign...

Kay Mann
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This is the third of a series of presentations to a February 22, 2022 Solidarity webinar on current struggles in higher education. See Current Struggles in Higher Education for the first article and Fighting Cuts and Rightwing Attacks on Education in Tennessee for the second article in the series.

I am a member of the National Committee of Solidarity and the Milwaukee branch. I also work in higher education as faculty. 

I'm going to begin with a few introductory remarks that are designed...

Posle Editorial collective
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Posle on mobilization: what to expect and what is to be done

On September 21, Vladimir Putin announced the beginning of a “partial” mobilization. This step came as a clear sign of the complete failure of Putin’s “special operation”: the army in its current state is unable to retain the occupied Ukrainian territory, and further offensive operations are out of the question. Only nuclear blackmail and an attempt to reverse the situation on the fronts by outnumbering the Ukrainian...

Farooq Tariq
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Cancel the debt, or let the Bretton Woods group profit from climate disaster, writes Farooq Tariq.

At the time of writing, more than one-third of Pakistan is under water. Flash floods, generated by abnormal monsoon rains have so far claimed the lives of  1350 people . One million residential buildings are totally or partially damaged, leaving more than  50...

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