For the time being the Dems and their Big Tech and MSM proxies are riding high, seeking to consolidate their gains from Big Steal and the aftermath of Trumps rally-gone-wrong. To that end, the Big Tech/Media wing is tightening their iron grip over the public forum, while the political wing in Congress is howling for Trump's head on an impeachment platter. Their operative assumption--so common in all human affairs--is that nothing will change for the worse. That's not necessarily so.
Starting from the impeachment angle, it's not a sure thing that another fake impeachment can be pulled off. Aside from the difficulty in framing a charge of "high crimes and misdemeanors" that would withstand public scrutiny as opinion begins to cool off, there's also the question of whether it would be constitutional to try a president who had left office. Legal opinion is divided. In any event, the fallout from this lynch mob mentality would likely overshadow all else in a Biden Inc. administration already struggling to establish a semblance of legitimacy.
The drive of Big Tech to push all non-Prog voice from the public forum is also hitting some speed bumps. Among other things, the rest of the world is watching, appalled, at the blatant censorship being instituted by the combination of an ascendant prog tech sector and a seemingly ascendant prog political sector. Thomas Lifson relates the beginnings of public criticism by foreign leaders: 3 overseas leaders who know how repression and tyranny work speak out on censorship of Trump and election skepticism. As we've already noted--Is It Reasonable To Doubt The Integrity Of US Elections?--many Americans may naively assume that our elections rate high on the integrity scale, but much of the rest of the world knows better. The spectacle of political and Big Tech forces combining to silence all questioning of a patently stolen election is raising serious doubts about America's standing in the world and its trustworthiness. Particularly noteworthy is that the Mexican president, who has much to gain or lose from relations with the incoming Biden Inc. administration, felt compelled to forthrightly criticize the Prog power play:
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador [AMLO, as he is called – TL] condemned social media companies for censoring President Donald Trump this week, saying that he does not “accept” the move as being okay.
“I don’t like anybody being censored or taking away from the the right to post a message on Twitter or Face(book). I don’t agree with that, I don’t accept that,” López Obrador said.
“How can you censor someone: ‘Let’s see, I, as the judge of the Holy Inquisition, will punish you because I think what you’re saying is harmful,’” he continued. “Where is the law, where is the regulation, what are the norms? This is an issue of government, this is not an issue for private companies.”
The details of López Obrador's critique aren't as important as the fact that he felt compelled to make this statement at all. Nothing quite says banana republic like a putative Mexican anti-corruption crusader criticizing an American political party for censoring its opponents.
Beyond these more or less political considerations, however, is the question of what the economy may hold in store for Biden Inc. This morning commenter Cassander pointed out the rocky road ahead in these terms:
... we have not yet seen or paid the full cost of the lockdowns and economic devastation of the pandemic. The Blue Cities are facing economic devastation as tax receipts disappear, restaurants and retail stores close, jobs are lost, rents crash, mortgages head for default, and thousands move out. Sooner than later the Blue Cities will be coming to Congress asking for billions of dollars to rescue them. These funds will ultimately come (if they do) in significant measure from solvent and productive taxpayers in Red States. What is Congress' plan to deal with this enormously divisive issue? Will the Democrat government simply use its majority power raise billions of dollars of taxes on taxpayers in the Red States?
To which I would add that it's by no means a given that even Dem politicians outside narrowly urban districts will feel able to get on board with such a program.
How bad this is looking was chronicled yesterday at Zerohedge: Another Nail In The Coffin Of Big Cities. Without getting into the details--Cassander tracks them--I'll simply quote the final paragraphs. Having noted the "breath-taking downward spiral" in rents in several major markets, the author concludes:
The financial implications of the emptying of big cities are immense. The list of cities and states that were already lurching towards bankruptcy via their wildly underfunded public sector pensions was already growing. And a federal bailout was already looking imminent before the chaos of 2020.
Now it’s a lock that in 2021 we’ll be faced with the choice of multiple municipal bankruptcies — which would threaten a national second Great Depression — or a multi-trillion-dollar federal bailout that threatens a currency crisis.
The next few weeks of relative peace are looking like a very temporary reprieve.
Some examples from the major metro area I'm most familiar with, Chicago, may help illustrate what lies ahead.
For those not familiar with Chicago, the major commercial center--including high rent residential and luxury shopping areas--can be divided in two: North of the Chicago River and South of the River. South of the river includes the traditional Downtown, the Loop, formerly anchored by a string of major department stores along State Street, and also including the municipal, state, and federal government buildings. It's a shadow of its former self.
North of the river is the "Magnificent Mile"--North Michigan Avenue--anchored by the Tribune Tower at the river and extending north to the Water Tower Place and the John Hancock Building. In between Michigan Avenue was lined with high end retail stores, but the crown jewel in terms of retail was the Water Tower Place with Macy's. This was what remained of the former glory of Chicago's retail center. And this is what the Dems who control the city allowed to be looted and sacked--caravans of luxury vehicles arriving to cart away the contents of the stores several times during the past year. The police stood by, as ordered. The merchants were not amused. Nor, no doubt, were insurance companies amused when the mayor of Chicago urged them to pay out without questioning the circumstances. She literally begged retailers to stay.
Now, Macy's has announced it will be vacating Water Tower Place. That really will be a nail--or more like an entire row of nails--in the coffin that contains Chicago as a viable major city. Chicago already epitomizes major metro maladies: out of control public sector unions, rampant crime, schools shut down. And now, with retailers pulling out, residents in the high rent high rises will not be far behind. The shopping and dining amenities that attracted them in the first place are leaving, and life under threat of the next crime wave holds little attraction for these people.
All these problems are coming to a head--greatly exacerbated by the Covid hoax that crushed public education as well as retail. Chicago will be a bankrupt shell of its former self--it already is--and DC political theater in pursuit of the Orange Man will lose its appeal. The economy is probably headed for a very rocky stretch, which may be made worse by major changes in the oil market.
We all know that Trump's economy was fueled by shale oil. That is coming to an end, and Tom Luongo is pointing at Russia's strong new position: Russia Turns Attention To US After Winning Oil War With Saudi Arabia. A resurgent Russia will certainly complicate foreign policy for what Luongo terms the "Obama Restoration". However, the forecast upward pressure on oil prices will also complicate the domestic economy, already staggering under the Dems' self inflicted Covid wounds.
All these factors will likely dampen the enthusiasm of all but the most hard core Left portions of the American populace. It will also likely force the Dems--now in full control thanks to the NeverTrumps of the GOPe--to foresake political theater for an attempt at actual governance. And that's something they've never been terribly good at. I look for a short to non-existent honeymoon for the illegitimate Obama Restoration.