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Showing posts with label Republican. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Republican. Show all posts

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Five More Years…Really, Is that what you Really Want - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

Five More Years…Really, Is that what you Really Want?

I would love to hear this question get put to republican lawmakers every single day:

Do you really want another five years of Donald Trump?

Do you really want to have to answer to this lunatic, to answer for his corruption, to answer for his crimes every single day for the next five years, five months, five days?

Do you think it is good for America?

Does it make you look like a rational actor, a reasonable person, a good policy maker to have to defend all of Donald Trump’s lies, his self-aggrandizement, his profiteering from his office?

How can this be what you want for yourself, your constituents, your party or the country?

How can it be?

Do you think it will get better or worse if by some miracle he gets reelected, and at the same time the voters do not hold you accountable for your failure to uphold your oath?

Donald Trump, with the help of the Russians cheated and therefore stole the election in 2016, In your heart you know this is true.

He is trying to do the same thing again, this time he is trying to do it in lain sight.

You do not have to let him.

Trust me, if you take the time now to exercise some political courage, you will be rewarded. As much as I disagree with your right-wing agenda, your agenda will be better served. More importantly, the country will be better served…right now we should all e able to come together and agree that this is the most important thing.

Impeach Donald Trump, remove him from office, and bar him from seeking office ever again.

Do it now, find your courage, there is no time to waste.  

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Moscow Mitch - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

Moscow Mitch

I have said it before and I’ll say it again; the senior senator from Kentucky, the Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, that man hates America.

Mitch McConnell just like T-Rump, loathes representative democracy and abhors the rule of law. He hates the men and women of this country; our wounded veterans, the victims and survivors of 9/11, coal minors from his own state, you name it he hates them.

That man is single-handedly trying to tear our country apart, applying a ridiculous argument in order to refuse to hold hearing on a Supreme Court Justice nominated by President Obama, and suggesting that he would abandon that argument in a Kentucky second, to appoint justices for the Fake President, Donald Trump.

Mitch McConnell refused to sign on to a bi-partisan warning that Russia was attacking the American electoral system in 2017, and is refusing to allow a bill to go to floor of the United States Senate for election security the upcoming and all future elections.

Mitch McConnell hates America, he hates democracy, he has sold out the country to Russia and Vladimir Putin’s stoogies in the White House, Donald J. Trump and family.

You can draw no-other conclusion.

Mitch McConnell the Moscow Mule has to go, vote him out Kentucky.

Vote him out America.

Vote like the future of our democracy and the American Dream depended on it, because they do.

Vote Blue!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Plans and Policies, Policies and Plans - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion


Plans and Policies, Policies and Plans

I do not have any problem calling myself a Democrat.

I believe in party politics because we are weaker when we are separated from one another, united we stand…or so the story goes, as house divided against itself cannot stand.

My people on the liberal and progressive side of the political divide are about to start choosing sides, and in so doing they will put all of their hopes for social justice, a new economy, dignity in the workplace, they will put it all on the table for a gaggle of robber-barons to steal from them.

We are about to start demanding policies and plans, we are going to scrutinize each candidates record, and try to make some determination of whether or not they are worthy of our vote.

Maybe a candidate will emerge who is sensitive enough to our social concerns, and if they have a blemished record, maybe they will be cogent enough to apologize, make amends, declare the wrongness of their former positions, and bright enough to move forward.

Maybe we, the voters, will be patient enough to let them.

Maybe not.

We the voters, seem to be in more of a mood to separate the wheat from chaff, set the latter on fore, at the risk of burning the party down.

Some of my friends would never condescend to even think of themselves as democrats, they lie to themselves and anyone who will listen, pretending that there is no difference between the Republicans and Democrats. They base this on the right observation that all politicians are corrupt, all politicians lie and all politicians compromise.

Because of their astute observations they tear at the base of progressivism and liberalism, by refusing to participate and encouraging other to do the same. They are small minded and they should be shamed.

Many many more of us are going to begin to take sides and choose candidates that they believe best articulate plans and policies for the way forward.

Policies and plans will not win us this election, they never have and they never will win anything. Even if the candidate with the best plans wins, those policies will not survive to become law, not in the way they were promised, not in the way they were conceived.

As Democrats, as progressives, as liberal thinkers know this, we have to stop demanding that people apologize for the past, and we have to stop pretending that a good policy initiative will win the day.

We have to put the best speaker, the most charismatic leader into the driver’s seat, and that person does not need to do much more than promise to beat trump, to unseat Mc Connel, to send Lindsay Graham home, to keep the house of representatives, to win back the senate and to control the redistricting process coming out of the next census.

We need a leader, people believe in leaders. Nothing less than a leader will win us the election, promises of health care reform will not win us the election, promises of student loan reform will not win us the election, promises of immigration reform will not win us the election, promises of criminal justice reform will not win us the election.

People want those things, I want those things, but we vote for people, not plans and policies.

Let’ put our energy behind the strongest person, and not tear the others down. Let’s keep the whole team in the game, and move the party forward to an electoral victory.

Anything short of that will be a disaster.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Cognitive Dissonance, A Reprisal - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

Cognitive Dissonance, A Reprisal

Politics is a nasty business, and a foolish one.

My Democratic Party is poised to enter another cycle of self-destruction, another cycle of finger pointing and purity tests, of driving ideological wedges between constituencies, and internecine conflict.

One month after a solid victory in the House of Representatives, in state houses and gubernatorial seats across the nation, the first straw polls for the 2020 presidential election are coming in and the camps are dividing.

A friend of mine posted an article published by the Guardian, to his Facebook page, the article digs into the voting record of Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, calling out his history of voting for Republican legislation, and asking the question; “Does he deserve our support?”

I trust the Guardian, it is a reputable news service. I don’t have an issue with the article, I do have an issue with the divisive headline.

Other reporters are sharing the news that, as Beto O’Rourke makes strong appearances in these early polls, the political machinery of the so-called progressive caucus, the “Bernie Bros” and others, are seeking to tarnish his luster.

They want to bring him down.

It is politics and I know that. It is the same old self-serving non-sense that drove deep wedges into the Democratic constituency in the last cycle. It is as if we did not learn anything.

The same gang of supposed super-liberals have already spent a lot of energy tearing down Corey Booker for some votes he took supporting pharmaceutical companies.

Duvall Patrick, of Massachusetts won’t even get into the race on account of his connections to Wall Street and private equity firms.

If these super idealogues have paid any attention to the reporting on the havoc Russia caused in the 2016 election, they would stop with the nonsense, and let the field sort itself out.

The Democratic Party needs a galvanizing candidate, someone capable of turning out the vote, of exciting the masses, we do not need to live through the tired old passion play of the Bernie Sanders acolytes, the Elizabeth Warren fanatics, the Joe Biden fans.

We don’t need a repeat of the Jill Stein betrayal, and that is exactly what these articles by the Guardian, the posting and the sharing and the sensationalizing of them is meant to do.

Let me be clear, I am not coming out for Beto O’Rourke, not at this stage in the game, but shame on anyone who is trying to tear him down this early in the process.

I would like to see what Jerry Brown plans to do in the 2020 race, and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and I want to hear more from Kamala Harris too.

My hope is this; wherever you fall on the spectrum of left wing politics; whether you are a wing nut or a corrupt-corporate-centrist, you are prepared to tell the world that anyone of our candidates, no matter how flawed they might be (and they are all deeply flawed individuals or they would not be in politics in the first place), no matter what their ideological issues are, they are better than that criminal currently occupying the Oval Office, as better than that white haired imp serving as Vice President, and better than anyone else the right wing could ever put on their ticket.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Conscience - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion


It is time for all people of good conscience to abandon this president, if you ever supported him for any reason, or even just hoped that he would bring something new and different to the politics of our country, you must admit that you were wrong, give up those hopes and abandon him.

It is time for all people of conscience to abandon their support for the party that Donald Trump represents, for the party that supports him. If you call yourself a Republican, if you have voted for the republicans in the past, you must in good conscience disavow your support for that institution.

If you are an office holder with an R next to your name, it is time to put an end to your feelings of shame, change that R in for an I, go Independent and reclaim your dignity. Donald Trump does not deserve your support, he is a disgrace. No one is asking you to give up your values, but it is time that you allow control of congress to shift to the party out of power, so that this corrupt and criminal regime may be subject to fair and judicious oversight.

Do it now.

Have some courage.

Do not wait for mid-terms.

Let the wave begin, it may just help you save your seat.

Let your conscience be your guide.

If you have ever sworn an oath, to uphold and defend the United States of America, our constitution and our way of life, if you are a person of good conscience you will do this now.

All of our Veterans, of which I am one, every single office holder, and every person of has ever sworn the pledge of allegiance has a moral and ethical obligation to live up to their oath, and work to undo the harm that traitorous Trump, that Trump the treasonous is doing to our country.

Act now.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Primaries are Here - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

The Primaries are Here

I guess I’ll vote in the primaries on Tuesday.

It is not something that I normally do, but there is a lot on the line this time, both nationally and here at home.

We have the Governor’s race to think of, the Senate, a new member of congress for my district. I voted for Martin Sabo, and I voted for Keith Ellison, and now there is choice…whatever choice we make we will likely be locking it in for a generation; Attorney General, Hennepin County Sheriff…this is a big deal.

I am not exactly a “dyed in the wool,” though for the most part I do vote DFL, straight down the party line. I do vote for Republicans from time to time; have on the right side of the isle for President, Senate, and Governor too, on the rare occasion when I just could not tolerate the candidate my Democratic Party has put up.

Idealistically I am about as far left as left can go, but anyone who has read my political commentary can tell you that I do not think politics and idealism mix well.

Politics is about pragmatism, it is about holding the line against bad policy, while incrementally advancing the good. Only occasionally is politics about making a stand for something come “hell or high water,” and that is because political choices are being made long after the crises which prompt us to get up and make stand have faded away, and the choices that end up getting made are always about building consensus, deal making, and compromise.

If we brought back the good old days of earmarking bills, and pork barrel spending, we would have a much more functioning government…of course that is why the leadership in congress did away with it, too many rank and file members were in the habit of cutting deals across the isle, talking to one another, funding each other’s projects.

I think its okay to vote for Richard Painter over Tina Smith, for the DFL nomination for Senate even though he spent his whole life as a Republican, worked in the Bush white house and before he took up the fight against the current President, he and I would probably not have agreed on much.

But he has divorced himself from the Republican party, he has promised to caucus with the Democrats if nominated, but he has not promised to toe the party line. I think there is some risk in that, but I also think it is okay, because he is one of T-Rumps staunchest opponents and his the rhetorical chops to take the fight to him.

Tina Smith…I don’t know, I see her commercials and they are telling me nothing about her, nothing at all, just a Minnesota nice lady with a Minnesota nice smile. I think she thinks she can just walk away with the NOD, not showing up in public forums to engage her rivals. She is taking the seat she was appointed to for granted, and that is never cool.

Keith Ellison has my vote for Attorney General.

Lori Swanson’s people are all coming out against her, telling us that she is corrupt. There is no way she can sit in the Governor’s Chair, its going to have to Walz, I will miss Mark Dayton when he is gone, I hope the next person who holds that office has the same grit as him.

Ihlan Omar, its your turn.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Voting for Hillary - Part V

Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

Voting for Hillary - Part V

In three days I will be casting my vote for President of the United States, I will be voting as a nearly always have, for the nominee of the Democratic Party, Hillary Rodham Clinton; former Secretary of State, Former Senator from the State of New York, Former First Lady of the United States, Former First Lady of Arkansas. 

I have been an active partisan for her candidacy this entire campaign season, as I was in 2008 when she ran against our sitting President Barrack Obama. When she lost the nomination in that year, I turned became an ardent supporter of Obama. I did not hesitate, because eight years of Republican governance got us involved in two major wars, the near destruction of our economy, the housing collapse, Federal budget surpluses transformed into skyrocketing deficit spending, the collapse of the housing market, years of record high gas prices, a further coarsening of public discourse, a retreat into; anti-science, anti-intellectual fundamentalism, an expanded role for private religion in public policy, deep harm done to the reputation of the United States abroad; an abrogation of our duties under the Geneva Convention, the denial of constitutional rights and due process to people held under the aegis of American authority, an embrace of torture, murder, war profiteering, outing intelligence officer who threaten to expose lies being used to support a rationale for war, and the use of overseas/offshore prisons in order to carry out war crimes.

That is what we got with the last Republican administration.

The last Republican administration, the George W. Bush administration was comprised of people who believed, at least a little bit, in the institutions of government; that public policy can make a difference in the lives of citizens, that if you are “caught” committing crimes you need to be held accountable, that there is such a thing as due process, that freedom of religion is as important to our democracy as the right to bear arms, that freedom of speech and freedom of the press must be preserved, that America is a melting pot and a nation of immigrants.

The current Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, does not believe in any of things, apparently. He may not believe in anything at all. He appears to most observers to be a classic narcissist, a megalomaniac, a nihilist, for whom winning is the only thing that matters. He has surrounded himself with the unwise and the unscrupulous, with “yes people”, he buys his own press and he would, if he could, deny the right of others to criticize him.

Hillary Clinton, has her flaws, but they are the ordinary flaws of all politicians. Her flaws may be slightly more magnified in her, or it may be that we are more aware of them because of the intense scrutiny she has endured over the past twenty-five years of her public life. Despite her flaws she is known to be a tireless worker, a dedicated public servant, a close observer of public policy, hyper intelligent, realistic, unflinching. A woman of resolve.

If we are fortunate enough to have her as our president we will have succeeded in electing the first woman to our highest office only a few years short of one hundred, since we gave women the right to vote.  

Hillary is not perfect. Nobody is perfect. She is not dangerous, Donald is.

Donald has been endorsed by the KKK, the American Nazi Party, and every other white supremacist, right wing hate group in the country. They show up at his rallies, they fly confederate flags, they are not “officially encouraged,” but they are not censured. They are not disavowed. They are in fact, a vital part of his constituency, with leaders from that wing of American political deeply embedded in his campaign, in the highest positions of leadership.

I am voting for Hillary because I know that she will be levelheaded, fair minded, and a competent manager of the federal government. The Clintons and their team already presided over one of the most successful administrations of modern times, and they will be joined by veterans of the current administration who are even handed and adept at what they do. That is what we need right now.

A Hillary Clinton administration is what we need right now. She will not advance the most progressive policies that have been proposed, but she will advance the progressive policies that she able to. Her administration will continue the track record of stability that President Obama has managed to engender. Her administration will be a continuance of that steady and calm leadership. In that place, verses a place of chaos and uncertainty, self-aggrandizement and profiteering, we will come away with the best deal possible.

Vote for Hillary if you have not already. Get out there and vote for the first woman to be president. 

Vote against the spiteful, erratic, mean spirited Donald Trump. Vote for clear headed, thoughtful, progressive policies. Vote against, the KKK, the American Nazi Party, do not give them the candidate they desire. Vote for the party that wants to expand the franchise, making it easier to vote. Do not vote for the party seeking to obstruct it. Vote for women’s rights, the freedom of choice, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech. Vote against those who seek to suppress those freedoms at the point of violence.

The election is in our hands, and we will get what we deserve.

Vote Hillary Rodham Clinton for President!

Bury Trump in a landslide!  

Saturday, October 29, 2016

May You Live in Interesting Times ~ Ancient Curse (Part Ten)

Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

May You Live in Interesting Times ~ Ancient Curse

Part Ten

There has been a lot of talk throughout the month of October, about the so-called October surprise; the piece of breaking news that will slip into the consciousness of the electorate and throw the election one way or another.

For Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s nominee for President, there were no surprises, there was just a steady stream of revelations regarding his character, and conduct toward women; revelations that were not surprising at all, because they were consistent with a decades long history of public statements he has made, and actions he has taken that show him in the light of a serial abuser of women, some in his employ, some merely seeking work, other merely sitting next to him at a nightclub, or on an airplane.

T-Rump strikes again, and again in a long stand pattern, or habit of sexual assault.

For the Democratic Party’s nominee for President, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the surprise came in the form of a statement from the director of the FBI; James Comey. A man whose office was charged with investigating thousands of e-mails; either sent to, or sent by Hillary Clinton, through a private server at her estate in New York.

Throughout the political season, until July of 2016, Hillary Clinton’s campaign had been operating under a cloud of suspicion, the suspicion that she may have broken the law, by revealing or sharing classified intelligence materials through her private system. Other prominent public officials had recently been charged with crimes, found guilty, faced imprisonment, and heavy fines for such violations.

However, in July, after an intensive investigation, and after hours of testimony given by Hillary, to the FBI, and to Congressional committees; it was the judgement of the investigators that no crimes had been committed by Hillary. She had, perhaps been careless, but no there was no evidence of a crime they felt they could prosecute, or prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Comey, the FBI director; he has been serving the Obama administration throughout Obama’s two terms. He was appointed to the ten-year post by President George W. Bush. He is a republican, and he had previously held partisan political posts, nevertheless he is the director of the FBI.
When he issued the statement in July, that Hillary would not be prosecuted for any crimes related to her e-mails, he did so in such a way as to level serious criticism against her. He accused her of incompetence, carelessness, and malfeasance to a level just shy of being criminal.

His political friends cried foul, while at the same time making as much hay out of his statement as they possibly could. His political friends wanted Hillary prosecutes, regardless of the fact that there was no evidence of any crime.

Now, two and half months later, with just eleven days to go before the election; Comey announces that he has reopened the investigation into Hillary’s e-mails, based on some evidence they found in an unrelated case.

He gave no other information, except to say that the new evidence may not be significant at all; the FBI was merely investigating it, and Hillary’s critics pounced.

The FBI director did this; contrary to a long standing protocol of the justice department, to not issues statements about investigations or any political matter within sixty days of an election. He violated justice department protocols in order to aid his republican allies in the current election cycle.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

May You Live in Interesting Times ~ Ancient Curse (Part Nine)

Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

We are in the last three weeks of the campaign for President of the United States.

Last week marked the end of the presidential debates between the Democratic Party’s nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and the Republican Party’s nominee, television personality Donald Trump, the T-Rump. The two of them wrapped up the third and final debate, in what was the most substantive of their contests, in which both candidates performed better than they had in the previous two debates, even though T-Rump continued to talk fact-free, to fidget, to sniffle, to cast insults, call names, and at the end suggested that he would not concede the race if he lost.

This would be a first in American politics, it is a threat to cyclical, peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next that has been the hallmark of our Republic.

This is not new for T-Rump. During the primaries, while he eventually promised to support the Republican nominee, if it should turn out to not be him; after that promise was extracted from him, he began to cast doubt on it by suggesting that he would not support the nominee if he lost in a contest that he deemed to be unfair.

T-Rump knows he losing, but he cannot entertain the thought, his mental illness is such that he can only admit to losing if the conditions were not fair; in which case he did not lose at all, but he was cheated.

His rhetoric three weeks before the election has encouraged people in the crowds at his rallies to suggest that if T-Rump loses there will be an armed revolution, that Hillary should be forcibly removed from office, and the government should be overthrown.

T-Rump has not called for the violent overthrow of the government. But he has not condemned the people in his crowds who are speaking this way. And he has told Hillary that if by some miracle he should win, he would lock her up, put her in jail; despite the fact that she has never been charged with a crime.

I believe that Donald Trump is a threat to our Democracy. While he promotes himself as a defender of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution; an appeal to his armed and radical followers, whom he has asked to provide “2nd Amendment remedies” on his behalf should he lose; at the same time he threatens to lock up journalists, deny the freedom of the press, approve standards of religious persecution, commit torture, deny people due process and etc…

Vote…Bury Donald Trump in a landslide! 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

May You Live in Interesting Times ~ Ancient Curse (Part Six)

Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

May You Live in Interesting Times ~ Ancient Curse

Part Six

Donald Trump is running for President of the United States.

He has no experience in government. He is a television personality.

He has a history of failed business ventures going back decades; multiple bankruptcies, and thousands of lawsuits filed against him.

He is currently the subject of a class action lawsuit alleging that he committed fraud on thousands of people across the country; Trump University.

It is likely that he bribed the attorney general of Florida so that she would not have her office participate in that suit. He paid her off with a campaign contribution, the check was written to her by his charitable foundation. That was illegal, his foundation is not allowed to make political contributions. He paid a small fine when he was caught.

He has not given to his own foundation for nearly a decade. He deposits other people’s money in its coffers. On several occasions he has used those monies for his own enrichment and benefit; paying out legal settlements, buying football memorabilia, etc…

He is currently named as a defendant in a civil suit in California, alleging that he sexually assaulted a twelve-year-old girl.

More than one of his campaign advisers has ties to the Russia, and the Kremlin.

He owes various Russian oligarchs hundreds of millions of dollars.

He will not release his tax returns.

He claims to be a billionaire, but his debts may exceed his assets.

He is nominee of the Republican Party for President.

He is a liar, a fraud, and cheat.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

May You Live in Interesting Times ~ Ancient Curse

Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion


May You Live in Interesting Times ~ Ancient Curse

Part One

Interesting times; I am not exactly sure if the times we are living in are “interesting,” or merely absurd. Absurd is a fitting description for what is happening in our national life, but if I were to use words like sad or disturbing, bewildering or troubled, I would also be on good ground.

We are entering in to the final months of the presidential election, and nominee of the Republican party gets on television every day; standing in front of crowds, at large rallies, and enters into the most bizarre diatribe I have ever witnessed in our political life.

Bizarre, troubling, bewildering, disturbing, sad; these words only describe some of the feelings that I experience when I listen to this person speak. I do not find him interesting, but every speech he gives tears at the fabric of public discourse, and is destructive of the conventions every person must adhere to, if are going to live in a civil society.

Our way of life requires honesty, truth telling, agreement on the meanings of the simplest of things touching on our shared experience. Donald Trump, the T-rump, stands up every day and works to destroy those conventions. This week, over the course of several days, he stood in front of crowds, he got on television; declaring that our sitting President is the “founder” of the terrorist organization ISIS, with we are engaged in armed conflict. He stated that his opponent in the presidential election to be the co-founder of this organization. He stuck to these claims, repeating them, discussing his rationale (if you could call it a rationale) for these claims. Many of his allies tried to help him change this narrative, he refused their help. Several days passed before he finally succumbed to the public pressure he was facing. Early in the morning he sent out a message that he didn’t mean it, it was “sarcasm,” and then he hedged, “mostly sarcasm” he said, “mostly.”

The I didn’t mean it defense has been used by T-rump, repeatedly. The campaign cycle is littered with his bizarre exclamations, covered over by his even more bizarre explanations.

Now all politicians lie, bend the truth, spin the narrative, but the Republican candidate appears to live in a land of make believe, one that is completely divorced from the truth. He lies about his business acumen, his net worth, his charitable giving, his banking partners (foreign governments), his aliases, his manufacturing practices, the taxes he pays, his wife’s immigration records, her education and credentials, his draft deferments…He lies. He cons. He scams. He does not pay his bills. He engages in fraud, and this person has a very realistic chance of becoming the next President of the United States.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Republican National Convention – A Grand Old Party - Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion


The Republican National Convention – A Grand Old Party

I do not know how the people who attended the Republican National Convention felt about their part. Apart from the drinking, and revelry, which are always enjoyable distractions; the mood seemed grim, angry, and untethered from reality.

As a member of the television audience I was disturbed by many things:

The absence of any credible policy discussion regarding how they plan to achieve their goals for the country, not to mention the fact that their goals; T-Rump’s wall, religious testing of travelers, “law and order”, freedom to discriminate, extreme interpretations of the second amendment…and so on, are representative of social fantasies that would endanger all American’s, and the entire world.

Melania Trump’s plagiarism, and the cover up.

Name calling of Hillary Clinton; liar, traitor, treasonous, friend of Lucifer.

The notion that Donald T-Rump. And T-Rump alone, has the ability to solve our nation’s problems, and that without his singular, and unique skills (such as they are imagined to be), our entire society, our way of life is doomed.

The most disturbing thing of all was the constant refrain, to “lock Hillary up.” They put forward a spectacle of theatre, in which Governor Chris Christie put her on trial, in which the entire convention became a kangaroo court, and they shouted “guilty, guilty, guilty…” We have entered a new phase of our democracy where the legitimacy of the winner of the presidential election will be undermined by their opponents. In a country that is divided by party, roughly 50/50, this is a concerning development. Far supporting the laws and order of our society, it threatens them. It is dangerous.

This is a new thing. We should not lose sight of that. It is a brand new thing, and it is reminiscent of what takes place in countries without democratic institutions. It is new, but not nascent. It is a new level of discord that the Republicans have struck. The tried to impeach and destroy the presidency of Bill Clinton, they circulated rumors about President Obama, that he was not a natural born citizens and eligible to hold the office (granted that was always a fringe movement), but now they are set to destroy the potential presidency of Hillary Clinton, trying to kill it in the crib with Rhetoric that suggests her only hope is to win, or go to prison. This does not make for good politics.

I will grant for the sake of balance that there were voices on the left that spoke out against the legitimacy of George Bush’s presidency. It is true they did, and while I myself saw his presidency as legitimate and legal, I empathized with my sisters and brothers on the left because the facts were that George Bush’s presidency was handed to him by a divided Supreme Court, in the first place, and in the second he won, while at the same time losing the popular vote, meaning that his won the game by governed without the consent of the majority.

Democratic leadership did not investigate the numerous crimes, war crimes, intelligence breaches, campaign irregularities. They let it go. Many of their supporters were angry about this, but they let it go.

It is Sad Old Party, at the Republican Convention

A bunch of SOP’s I would say.  

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Voting for Hillary Part III – HRC v BS II - Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion


Voting for Hillary Part III – HRC v BS II

A couple of days ago I made a comment on the Face Book page of a friend of mine. I said something to the effect of this:

“If Senator Sanders wins the Presidency (and I think he could do it if he wins the nomination of the Democratic Party), it will set back the progressive agenda by a generation.”

This may seem counterintuitive to most people who read it, because Senator Sanders (BS) is clearly the most ardent, and idealistic spokesperson for the progressive agenda in our public life at this time (with the possible exception of Senator Elizabeth Warren).

Why is that the case, why would the torch-bearer of the progressive movement, be the biggest threat to the cause of progressivism?  

This is complicated, and I ask you to allow the whole argument play out in order to arrive at its conclusion.

Therefore, let us talk about the candidates, and what they would bring to the table if they were President. What are the expectations attaching to each of them

I think I think Secretary Clinton (HRC) will be a least as effective as President Obama in advancing the progressive agenda. Many idealistic progressives will scoff at this; many of the most active liberals I know think that President Obama has accomplished very little in terms of genuine progressivism, and so this claim is not convincing to them. Those people complain that the Affordable Care Act was a giveaway to the insurance agencies, that our armed forces are still far too involved in conflicts around the world, they complain about the rate at which immigrants are being deported, they complain about the sequester, and so on. While they complain the apologists for 

President Obama, of which I am one, will tell you that he got what he was able to get while negotiating with Congress; Congress which actually controls the legislative agenda.
President Obama barely passed the Affordable Care Act, at a time when his party controlled both chambers of congress, when he had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. At the same time President Obama could not even close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, which he ran on as a first order of business for his administration. Why was it so difficult to get the one thing done, and impossible to do the other? It is because every little thing that the president wants to do are reduced to negotiating points to be made with hostile actors; hostile Republicans and intractable Democrats alike. A president cannot even rely on members of their own party to support their agenda; if those members discern even a tiny bit of political peril in it for them.

In the current political climate, while Republicans control both chambers of Congress, making some advances on the progressive agenda would be great, even small ones, but holding the line on what has been achieved over the past eight years is even more important. No backsliding!

When we Democratic voters, we liberal progressives are dreaming about raising the minimum wage, universal health care, strengthening unions, breaking up big banks, overturning Citizens United, subsidizing college tuition, major increases in domestic spending, protecting voting rights; we must bear in mind, that roughly half of the electorate will be voting for the other side. The other side already controls the Senate, already controls the House of Representatives, controls the majority of state legislative assemblies, and the majority of gubernatorial chairs throughout the country. The other side wants no minimum wage, no regulation of banking, health care provided through the free market, no right to organize unions, Citizens United affirmed, and the rights of corporations expanded, no support for higher education, and all domestic infrastructure spending made piecemeal through block grants, given to the sates and along to the private sector, they want all of that and the sharp curtailment of voting rights. Throw into the mix their long standing desire to privatize social security, to keep burning fossil fuels, and to ramp up the war footing of the Nation.  

Holding the line will, if that is all we are able to do, that will be a victory for the next President. I believe HRC can do that, and I believe she can do more. I believe she can build on the legacy of President Obama. HRC will able to hold the line precisely because her rhetoric is not calling for revolution. While some may criticize her for setting the bar too low, I believe she is setting the bar realistically. This is vital, because the most important thing about keeping the agenda moving forward is too not lose the support of the base. If you promise what you cannot deliver, they will become disillusioned and fall away. This happened to President Obama, people have written books about how he has “betrayed” the progressive agenda, and it happened to President Jimmy Carter, whose legacy should be a cautionary note for how we can view a possible BS administration.

Because the agenda that HRC has put forward is as tempered as it is, ordinary people on both sides of the political spectrum, everyone in the much maligned-muddy-middle, all of those supposed moderates, they can understand it, and because they understand it, they won’t feel threatened by it, they can support it, even in the face of opposition. Some people on the left might want more progressivism, some on the right might want more conservativism, but when one side or the other wins an election they get the mandate to expand their cause. The majority of Americans understand this, but they do not want, and they do not expect to gyrate wildly from poll to poll, they expect a moderate expansion of the franchise from the margins at the middle.

The majority knows who to hold at fault when the government gets shut down, if one side is being moderate, and the other side is acting from the demands of their ideals. If a BS administration threatens to veto a budget because it lacks some provision he has demanded from the furthest reaches of his idealism, BS will get the blame, and not congress.

Listen to me; progress is progress, even if it is gradual, and incremental.

This is not exciting. I realize that, but it is the truth, and I hope you can realize this too.

This is exactly how we would view it if the conservative side gets a victory. If the republicans win and decide to try and implement a legislative agenda that looks like the most ideal version of their conservative torch-bearers; deport eleven million people, build a giant wall on the border with Mexico, go to war again in Iraq, and in Syria, ban Muslims from entering the country, undermine the separation of church and state etc, etc, etc…we would expect our democrats to muster whatever power they had to block everything. That is what will happen if progressives try to do the same, they will block everything (only the conservatives hold more cards right now).

Here is what will happen in a BS administration. He will either compromise severely, thereby disillusioning his voters (I don't think this is likely), causing them to fall away. Or he will stick to his idealism, and he won't even get democrats to work with him. A BS administration will be a laughing stock either way, and it will ruin the cause of progressivism for at least a couple of decades; ala Jimmy Carter.

I have not heard BS say this himself, but I have heard Tad Devine, his campaign manager say it. He has admitted that the endeavor the BS campaign is engaged in is going to take a generation to develop. He is an experienced operator, and it is obviously true. They know that they have not only to win the presidency, and hold it, but that they also have to win a majority in congress, and keep it for at least one or two cycles. If liberal progressives are going to have a lasting chance, and the BS revolution succeed, they need to control congress in 2020 when the entire legislative map is up for redistricting. Unless they can do that; liberal progressives will continue to be at a significant disadvantage, and the BS revolution, even if he wins the presidency, will never materialize.

BS does not talk this way on the stump, but his more candid spokespeople do. They are talking behind the scenes about the realities of gradualism, the necessity of incrementalism, in this way they are indistinguishable from HRC. There is a difference however; HRC is leveling with people, and BS is trying to get people caught up in his romantic revolution.

HRC’s approach asks people up-front to sign on for the long haul, wherein progress (no matter how small) will be hailed for what it is progress. BS is asking people to “Feel the Bern,” to light the match, but as we all know the flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.

What will happen to all of that passion when the cold water gets thrown on it. Will people be writing books about how BS betrayed the progressive movement? I don’t think so, BS is not the type to compromise, at least not on the big things. He will stand his ground, and the ground will fall out from under him, progressives may not blame him for standing his ground while giving voice to their ideals, but as the ground falls out from under him; because he is unable to compromise, it will fall out from under the progressive movement as well; creating the opportunity for a nearly completely discredited conservative movement to come roaring back

Remember Jimmy Carter; arguably one of the smartest, most rationale, most authentic, and most sincere of our modern presidents. He did not lack for good ideas, he behaved like a leader and put those ideas forward, but his inability to accomplish those goals turned his legacy into a subject of ridicule. I am not saying that his administration deserves the ridicule, but they suffered under it anyway, and continue to suffer from that ridicule thirty-six years later. The failures of the Carter administration set the stage for the so-called Reagan Revolution. A BS administration threatens to set that stage again.  

It was under President Reagan that the nation began to move to the rightwing in a way that has been; anti-intellectual, anti-science, religiously fundamental, ahistorical and absolutely irrational. We risk that happening again, unless we are able to demonstrate in an irrefutable way that the leadership of Democratic presidents, championing liberal ideal, while implementing progressive policies is the key stability for the nation; and that will set the stage for economic growth, economic justice, and prosperity for all.

I believe that HRC can do this, and I have no faith that BS can. I believe this because Hillary speaks directly, and honestly to these points, while Bernie continues to dream the revolutionary dream.

More to follow…