SHUT IT DOWN!

Yes, these human beings are worth fighting for.

In just a little more than three hours from now, as I type this sentence, the U.S. government might be shut down.

GOOD.

The “Dreamers” — those covered by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — are worth fighting for.

There are upwards of a million of them, and we need their talents and abilities.

DACA was instituted under former President Barack Obama in June 2012 and mean-spiritedly was rescinded by the far-right, fascist, racist, unelected Pussygrabber regime in September.

Wikipedia notes of DACA that

Research shows that DACA increased the wages and labor force participation of DACA-eligible immigrants, and reduced the number of unauthorized immigrant households living in poverty. Studies have shown that DACA increased the mental health outcomes for DACA-eligible immigrants and their children.

There are no known major adverse impacts from DACA on native-born workers’ employment, while most economists say that DACA benefits the U.S. economy.

To be eligible for the program, recipients may not have felonies or serious misdemeanors on their records. There is no evidence that DACA-eligible individuals are more likely to commit crimes than any other person within the United States.

DACA is win-win.

It is fittingly karmic that “President” Pussygrabber started his campaign for the White House by bashing those from Mexico — when those from Latin America for the very most part are hard-working, law-abiding people of good character, which we cannot say about Pussygrabber & Co., with their treasonous and illegal business dealings and collusion with foreign actors — and that now, the U.S. government faces shutdown over DACA.

The wingnuts keep crowing about how a shutdown would affect the U.S. military, when the bloated-beyond-belief military has gobbled up the lion’s share of our tax dollars for generations now. It’s long past time to put the U.S. military on a starvation diet and to put our tax dollars to use for the benefit of human beings and the planet.

Hopefully, a federal government shutdown will be the beginning of that return to sanity and basic decency, and it strikes me that a shutdown will benefit the Democratic Party more than the Repugnican Party.

After all, it would show that the Democratic Party might be getting its spine back, and that probably would energize the base.

And when people vote, they tend to vote for Democrats, which is why the Repugnicans are doing everything in their power to prevent people from voting — and why they want to keep immigrants out of the United States of America: because most of these future voters, voting in their own best interests, won’t vote for the treasonous Repugnicans.

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Focusing on racism, real and contrived, will ensure that ‘shitholes’ remain so

image

Image from trumphole.tumblr.com

“President” Pussygrabber on Thursday told a group of U.S. senators and representatives that he doesn’t want people from “shithole countries” immigrating to the United States. I always thought of a “shithole” as that hole in the “president’s” face that continuously spews out shit, but whatever…

The definition of a “shithole” is “an extremely dirty, shabby or otherwise unpleasant place.”

In comparison to standard (that is, at-least-middle-class) U.S. living conditions, there are many “shitholes” outside of the United States and, of course, within the U.S.

Haiti, for instance, would be a “shithole” as defined above. There’s no calling Haiti a fucking paradise, methinks. And most of the world’s most impoverished nations indeed are in Africa.

However, there is a difference between you or I using the term “shithole” and the “president” using the term, and there is a difference between (fairly objectively, once we have defined the term) calling a place a “shithole” — and then thereby deeming its inhabitants to be inherently inferior (which pretty much is the definition of “racism”).

“President” Pussygrabber’s mere use of the term “shithole” obviously is not presidential (but nothing about him is presidential), but it’s not necessarily racist in and of itself. Again, if an impoverished region or nation accurately can be called a “shithole,” then, indeed, “shitholes” abound.

That said, Pussygrabber’s professed preferences among the world’s nations from which he believes we should accept immigrants absolutely reeks of racism.

The Washington Post yesterday indicated that during a meeting with lawmakers in the Oval Office on Thursday, Pussygrabber referred to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “shitholes” from which he wants no immigrants and proclaimed that he prefers immigrants from nations like Norway.*

I don’t know how else to translate that except that Pussygrabber, like his supporters and most of the members of the Repugnican Party, prefers white immigrants (especially those with money**) to non-white immigrants, especially brown-skinned immigrants (and especially those without money).

The United States is supposed to be a welcoming nation. At the Statue of Liberty is this plaque of Emma Lazarus’ poem “The New Colossus”:

File:Emma Lazarus plaque.jpg

The poem goes:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The second stanza is the most-quoted, but the first stanza is important, too: “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land” is an anti-imperialist and anti-militarist sentiment, a sentiment that has been largely to mostly lost; for many if not even most American citizens, the U.S. is and always should remain the conquering colossus, not the “mother of exiles.”

And “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” sounds pretty fucking anti-aristocratic to me. Yet “President” Pussygrabber blatantly proclaims that he much prefers “your storied pomp” to “your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” Don’t send these! he repeatedly proclaims.

But ironically, the standard of living that most Americans enjoy largely to even mostly comes at the expense of those from poorer, exploited nations whose inhabitants Pussygrabber and his supporters want to keep out.

Indeed, the United States is not the “mother of exiles,” but is that conquering colossus that helps to create exiles. Many if not most — probably most — of us U.S. citizens, in order to deny our role in poverty here and abroad, tell ourselves and each other that poverty primarily is caused by individual laziness and stupidity (and perhaps also by racial inferiority).

To further exculpate ourselves, we callously ignore major factors in global poverty, including the brutal effects of European colonialism that still grip billions of people today, including brutal global capitalism and the insane income inequality that it creates, climate change (caused, of course, by capitalism) and other environmental devastation (caused, of course, by capitalism) and otherwise harsh environments that make it difficult to impossible for human beings to thrive.

Indeed, many to most (probably most) U.S. citizens are perfectly fine with insane income inequality from capitalist exploitation and with environmental devastation from capitalist exploitation — as long as they are not among the worst victims of these wrongs.

Our moral duty as U.S. citizens is to try to help those around the globe — by living more sustainably and more responsibly and less selfishly ourselves, if nothing else — not to shut out those who aren’t as materially successful as we are and who aren’t as materially successful as we are in no tiny part because of us.

In our current environment of toxic identity politics, though — which is aided and abetted by many if not most who call themselves “Democrats” — all that we want to see is racism (and/or sexism/misogyny), real and even fabricated, because focusing only on identity politics, which keeps capitalist exploitation perfectly intact, allows us to continue to blithely ignore the socioeconomic devastation that plagues billions of human beings around the globe for our own selfish benefit.

We’ll say that we oppose racism, that you shouldn’t be judged based upon the color of your skin, but we’ll still gladly allow you to die en masse because of the excessive lifestyle that we refuse to relinquish.

“Mother of exiles”? Hell, no! We’re the motherfucking U. S. of A., the conquering colossus!

P.S. Race and class are indeed closely intertwined. There very apparently is a close correlation between race and income level in the United States, for example. Per Wikipedia, in 2015 the median household income for Asians in the U.S. was $74,245; for whites, $59,698; and for blacks, $36,544, the lowest median household income for all races.

As I have noted many times before, it rankles me that while we American commoners are too busy discussing race, often fighting among ourselves over it, our plutocratic overlords continue to increase income inequality, which harms people of all races.

That said, we have to walk and chew gum at the same time; we have to fight both racism and income inequality at the same time. Thing is, you can’t legislate a racist becoming a non-racist.*** You can, however, pass legislation (eliminate tax loopholes for corporations, raise taxes on the super-rich, keep raising the minimum wage, etc.) to reduce income inequality.

Finally, because race and class are so closely intertwined, in the case of “President” Pussygrabber, who was born into wealth (apparently he inherited his family’s real-estate business), to me it’s difficult to tell how classist he is vs. how racist he is.

For example, is his main problem with Haitans that most of them are black — or that most of them are poor?

Despite the fact that he was born with a platinum spoon in his mouth, Pussygrabber apparently equates being poor with being a loser, and, perhaps because of his German background, he sees the poor as being weak and thus undesirable, and he always has shown a Nazi Germanic obsession with strength as he defines it.

After all, Pussygrabber advocates that immigrants to the U.S. already be rich, very apparently missing the fact that for many if not most of these already-rich immigrants, coming to the U.S. would be a step down.

*Pussygrabber is OK with some Asian immigrants, WaPo quotes the White House, since Asians tend to have and to make money. Pussygrabber apparently really has it out for the Haitians, probably because they’re the most impoverished nation that’s closest to the United States (as well as because of their race, of course), but, to be fair, U.S. immigration policy long has been rough on Haitians, including the historical preference for Cuban immigrants over Haitian immigrants, even though the island nations are neighbors.

**Why the fuck would white immigrants who live in nations whose governments actually believe in taking care of their inhabitants and their environment want to come to the United States, only to be thrown, like chum, to the corporations for their shark-like, treasonous profiteering? (Western nations whose per-capita wealth is higher than that of the United States include Norway, Ireland and Switzerland.)

***That said, anti-discrimination laws and hate-crime laws are critically important; perhaps you cannot change a racist’s mind, but you have to punish a racist’s crimes against others.

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Just say Noprah!

Barack Obama in large part started out like this: He gave a speech at the 2004 Democratic Party National Convention that a lot of people liked, and in no tiny part because of that single speech, he was made president of the United States of America after he hadn’t even completed a full six-year term in the U.S. Senate.

Now, billionaire celebrity Oprah Winfrey makes a speech that a lot of people like, and there is clamor for her to be president.

Just: No.

You’d think that by now we’d have learned our lesson about how smart it is to put a billionaire TV celebrity who’s never held any elected office into the White House, but Americans never fucking learn.

Of course Winfrey very probably would do a better job than “President” Pussygrabber is doing. But who wouldn’t?

You wouldn’t want your surgeon or even your veterinarian or even your car mechanic to have had no prior experience for the job, so why the fuck would you not demand that the person holding the most powerful job not only in the nation, but probably also in the world, have had some previous experience navigating Washington, D.C.?

What the fucking fuck?

Remember “President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho” from the movie “Idiocracy”? He was a wrestler and porn star before he ascended to the Oval office. Here he is at a State of the Union address:

We’re already terrifyingly close to that with “President” Pussygrabber, but we have time to reverse course.

One fucking touching speech does not make a good president of the United States of America. Barack “Hope and Change” Obama, who unnecessarily lost the House of Representatives in November 2010 because he squandered his shitload of political capital in 2009 and 2010 and who thus was hamstrung for the final six fucking years of his eight-year presidency, is proof enough of that.

A boring-ass person who is progressive and who knows D.C. — like this guy:

— makes a good president.

I cast no aspersions on Oprah Winfrey’s intelligence or her leadership abilities. And I’m fine with a black woman being president — if she is qualified for the job.

But I went in blind when I voted for Obama in 2008 — yes, I more or less bought the viral “hope” and “change” bullshit, and I regret it — and right now we have a billionaire TV celebrity in the Oval Office, and every fucking day he makes it crystal fucking clear how important previous experience in elected governance at the federal level is to be POTUS. (Obama’s previous experience in D.C. of only four years was not enough experience, I believe his milquetoast-at-best presidency amply proved.)

I hope that President Oprah fever subsides quickly. I can’t vote for her, and should she actually emerge as the 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate, I’ll remain an independent.

I want to return my party registration to the Democratic Party, but I can do so only when and if the party earns my loyalty and respect, and looking to billionaire TV celebrities instead of to experienced elected officials to fill the presidency isn’t the pathway there.

The United States of America is at the precipice on many fronts, and we cannot afford to take another chance on yet another unknown quantity occupying the Oval Office.

Just say Noprah.

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2017: Bye, Felicia! And greetings, 2018!

This past year has been what we’d known (or at least should have known) that it would be: a lost year, a year in which the unelected* Pussygrabber regime focused on three things: further enriching Pussygrabber’s already-filthy-rich cronies via tax cuts and deregulation and other forms of welfare for the plutocratic oligarchs; reversing anything and everything with Barack Obama’s name on it; and bullying the politically weakest among us, including immigrants (mostly brown-skinned people from Spanish-speaking nations) and transgender individuals.

The bad news is that two years (2017 and 2018) is enough time for the unelected Pussygrabber regime to cause plenty of damage that will take plenty of time to reverse once the Repugnican “tea party” traitors are out of power again.

And, unfortunately, when a shitty (= Repugnican) “president” is “elected” and both houses of Congress are controlled by his** party, usually the best that we can hope to do is to take back one or both houses of Congress in the next midterm election.

Thankfully, fivethirtyeight.com’s Harry Enten wrote recently, “the Democratic advantage in the FiveThirtyEight generic [congressional] ballot aggregate is up to about 12 points, 49.6 percent to 37.4 percent. That average … shows Republicans in worse shape right now than any other majority party at this point in the midterm cycle since at least the 1938 [midterm] election.” (As I type this sentence, fivethirtyeight.com now shows the Dems at 12.9 percent ahead of the Repugs on the generic congressional ballot, 49.9 percent to 37 percent.)

Enten concludes that the “Democrats are probably favorites to win the House. Their current advantage is larger than the lead Republicans had at this point in the 1994 cycle, the lead Democrats held at this point in the 2006 cycle or the lead Republicans had at this point in the 2010 cycle. Those were all years when the minority party won control of the House.

“And a 12-percentage-point Democratic advantage in the national House vote come next November would likely be more than enough for the House to flip again. I’ve previously calculated that the Democrats need to win the national House vote by 5.5 to 8 points to win the House. …”

I expect the Dems to take back the House in November 2018, neutering Pussygrabber for his remaining time in the Oval Office, just as the Repugnican “tea party” traitors neutered Obama for his remaining time in office when they took the House in November 2010 (and they have held onto it to this day).

Despite the lost year that was 2017, I must admit that I’m still happy that Billary Clinton didn’t become president. Why? Her win of the White House in November 2016 would have been parlayed as vindication for her brand of center-right, sellout, pro-corporate, Repugnican-Lite “Democratic” politics. Her (and Obama’s) brand of sellout, Democrat-in-name-only politics had to die, even if it meant “President” Pussygrabber in power for two years. To make an omelet you have to crack some eggs.

Further along that track, I’m actually glad that Bernie Sanders didn’t win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. Why? Because had he actually lost to Pussygrabber (which I don’t think was likely to happen, but which of course could have happened), the Democrats in name only would have parlayed that as “proof” that left-wing Democratic politics don’t work. They would have lumped Bernie in with other progressive presidential candidates who lost, including George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.

But even if Bernie had won the White House, he probably would have faced a Repugnican Congress (at least one of the two houses in Repugnican hands, anyway) that would have done its best to prevent him from having any progressive accomplishment — and again, the Democrats in name only would have parlayed that as “proof” that left-wing Democratic politics don’t work. (And they probably would have compared Bernie to Jimmy Carter.)

The best-case scenario is that the Dems take back the House in 2018 — and maybe the Senate, too, but that’s less likely — and that the Dems take back the Senate in November 2020 if they don’t do it in November 2018. Then, President Sanders will have both houses of Congress in his party’s control, and I wouldn’t expect him to utterly squander that rare alignment of the stars like Barack Obama did in 2009 and 2010. I would expect President Sanders to push his progressive agenda through, not to try to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” with the intractably incorrigible Repugnican “tea party” traitors, like Obama did.

Oh, and if you think that Bernie Sanders can’t win the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, know that the experts disagree with you.

A recent Washington Post ranking of the most likely 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate put Bernie at No. 1, former veep Joe Biden at No. 2, Sen. Elizabeth Warren at No. 3, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand at No. 4 and Sen. Kamala Harris at No. 5.

Biden ran for the Democratic Party presidential nomination twice before — in 1988 and in 2008 — and the voters rejected him. I’m not much worried about Biden and his outdated Clintonian-Obamanian “Democratic” politics. He is obsolete, and like with Billary, it very apparently isn’t in the stars for him ever to be POTUS.

Liz Warren is acceptable to me, but I still expect her to face actual misogyny and sexism should she run for president. (Billary faced a little misogyny and sexism, I surmise, but for the most part, methinks, people just hate her corrupt, despicable guts, and her biological sex certainly has not been her No. 1 problem, although when you are contemptible and corrupt, it’s certainly convenient to claim that you’re the victim of sexism and misogyny.)

Liz would be attacked not only for being a woman, but also for being progressive (“Communist,” to the Repugnican “tea party” traitors).

It isn’t fair to blame Liz for the predictable, unfair attacks upon her by right-wing scumbags should she run for president, but if the idea is to actually win the White House, then you go with the candidate who is most likely to do that. It certainly wasn’t the widely despised Billary Clinton in November 2016 (obviously), and it probably isn’t Liz Warren in November 2020. I say that as much as I love her.

Kirsten Gillibrand isn’t known well enough at all to win the 2020 Dem prez nomination, and pretty much ditto for Kamala Harris, who hasn’t been in the U.S. Senate for even one full year yet.

Harris most likely will be the candidate foisted upon us by the Only Black Lives Matter set (and she checks off two identity-politics boxes [female and half-black]), but The Washington Post puts her at No. 5 for a reason: because her chance of winning the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination is not high.

I am not even sure if I can support Harris (whom I did vote for in November 2016) as the 2020 Democratic Party vice-presidential candidate, given her dearth of experience in Washington, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when I come to it.

(The other milquetoast-to-corrupt candidate most likely to be foisted upon us by Only Black Lives Matter slacktivists, Sen. Cory Booker, ranks with WaPo at No. 6. Indeed, OBLM’s message to the rest of us very apparently is that after Obama, every Democratic president from here on out must be black or half-black, and that’s the only criterion. [Not that that’s black supremacist and racist or anything!])

I probably am OK with Liz Warren as the 2020 Dem vice-presidential candidate, even though a Sanders-Warren ticket of course would be savaged by the right. But the Colonels Sanders of the nation always have riled the stupid chickens up against the animal-rights activists. That’s perennial, predictable and probably unpreventable.

So, again, 2017 was a dead year, as I knew it would be, and that’s why, I’m sure, the frequency of my blogging dropped off. What can you do with the likes of “President” Pussygrabber but do your best to ride it out until order and balance finally are restored?

But 2018 gives us something to look forward to: the retaking of the House, which at least is a near-certainty, and perhaps also of the Senate, but if not in 2018, then probably in 2020 — setting up a great scenario for President Sanders come January 2021.

P.S. The Hill also recently named Bernie Sanders as most likely to win the 2020 Dem Party presidential nomination, with Joe Biden at No. 2 and Elizabeth Warren at No. 3. The Hill put Kamala Harris at No. 4.

*Pussygrabber lost the popular vote by almost 3 fucking million. He is, therefore, in my book, unelected. The anti-democratic (and anti-Democratic) Electoral College should have been abolished long ago.

If we actually believe in democracy, then the candidate who wins the most votes actually takes office. Fucking duh.

**As soon as we have a female president, I’ll write “his or her” or “her or his.” I promise you. (I don’t do “their.” “Their” is for two or more people, not for “his or her” or for a “non-binary” designation.)

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No, you actually don’t get a medal for voting in your own best interests

Roy Moore

Reuters news photo

Democrat Doug Jones, pictured above at his victory celebration, will represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate after yesterday’s special election in the deep-red state. Black Alabama voters are being praised for their high turnout, but they’re supposed to vote in their own best interests anyway, and I easily could argue that because black American voters supported the widely despised Billary Clinton over the much more popular Bernie Sanders by a margin of three to one, they were instrumental in putting “President” Pussygrabber into the White House — so the meme that black voters are saving the nation needs to stop right about right now…

I was happy to learn last night that Democratic candidate Doug Jones (to whom I gave $20…) beat Repugnican candidate Roy Moore in the special election for the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by Nazi elf Jeff Sessions when he became U.S. attorney general.

For a left-wing Californian like me, Doug Jones is pretty centrist, but I get it: He ran in Alabama. And the alternative was “Christo”fascist Roy “Moses” Moore.

But I was disturbed today to hear the meme that this narrow victory (Jones reportedly won by around 1.5 percentage points) was brought to us by black voters.

Let’s unpack that:

About 27 percent of Alabamans are black (whereas nationally, blacks are about 13 percent of the population).

I would hope that the voters of Alabama of all races would vote in their own best fucking interests, and it was not in their own best interests to vote for backasswards sex criminal and far-right piece of shit and nut job Roy Moore.

Is the message that white Americans sure should be thankful that black Americans voted for Doug Jones — even though he is white? Are the black voters of Alabama to be praised for not being black supremacists?

I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and I didn’t expect a fucking Brownie button for having done so because I’m white; I perceived Obama as the most progressive yet still viable candidate, and therefore I voted for him.

Obama’s being biracial wasn’t high on my list of reasons for having voted for him (and it wasn’t at all on my list of reasons for being unable to vote for him again in 2012; it was how he lost the House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections by having spectacularly squandered his political capital in 2009 and 2010 that prevented me from being able to vote for him again*).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it over and over and over again: I vote for the most progressive yet still viable candidate; that is, I vote in my own best interests, at least as how I perceive them. I don’t give a rat’s ass about a candidate’s race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

Perhaps what I find most disturbing about the heaps of praise for the black voters of Alabama for simply having wisely voted in their own best interests is that it probably is going to be parlayed as a race-based quid pro quo: We black voters voted in white man Doug Jones, so now the Democratic Party had better make, say, Sen. Kamala Harris or Sen. Cory Booker its 2020 presidential candidate; if not, we black voters will bolt from the Democratic Party! You can’t win without us!

To that I say: OK, go ahead and bolt. I won’t be your fucking political hostage. Because the Democratic Party is not actually supposed to be the vehicle through which only 13 percent of the U.S. population gains political control over the entire fucking nation. That’s not democracy. That’s a race-based takeover of the entire fucking nation by a minority of Americans.

Should a black candidate be the most progressive yet still viable Democratic Party presidential candidate for 2020, he or she will have my full support. But it won’t be because he or she is black; it will be because he or she is the most progressive yet still viable candidate.

Thus far I don’t see Kamala Harris or Cory Booker as presidential material. Harris hasn’t done anything thus far — she hasn’t even been in the Senate for one full year yet, and anyway, as long as the Repugnicans control the Senate, what could she do? — and Booker is a fakey-fake, a self-serving corporate whore and a pathetic knock-off of the “Kumbaya”-singing Obama whom I find unacceptable.

(Deval Patrick, another black American whose name is bandied about as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, works for Mittens Romney’s Bain Capital; I’ll very probably pass on him, too. I rejected Billary Clinton in no tiny part because of her coziness with Wall Street, and I love Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in large part for their distaste of Wall Street and their refusal to be Clintonian corporate whores.)

Black Alabamans, I am glad that you voted en force to prevent Roy Moore from being your new U.S. senator (even though Alabama makes it as difficult as it can for you to be able to vote; you probably do deserve credit for your perseverance). But you did your civic duty, I think I’d argue. You are, after all, between a fourth and a third of the population of your state. Methinks that you probably don’t get special props for doing your civic duty and for voting in your own best interests.

I’ve voted consistently since I turned 18 — one could argue, I suppose, that voting is pointless, but I vote religiously because I know that the religious and the other assorted wingnuts vote religiously — and I expect no thanks or praise for doing what I should do anyway. (Yes, in fairness, California doesn’t put up as many roadblocks as possible to prevent Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters [or any voters] from being able to vote.)

It is sweet that Alabama’s new U.S. senator is a Democrat, but the bigger picture is that if the Democratic Party hasn’t learned what a losing game toxic identity politics is over the long run, then it will continue to — and it will deserve to — keep losing.**

Billary Clinton lost in November 2016 in no tiny part because she and her supporters basically told voters that if they didn’t vote for her, they’re sexist pieces of shit. Not only was this toxic-identity-politics message related to us “Bernie bros” relentlessly, but Team Billary even trotted out crone Madeleine Albright, a war criminal, to tell women that if they didn’t vote for Billary, they’d find themselves in “a special place in hell,” to which Billary gave one of her grating cackles.

Calling Democratic voters “racist” for rejecting a black presidential candidate who, like Billary, is a center-right Democrat in name only, will result in yet another instance of the Democratic Party snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. You can’t win a national election by catering to 13 percent of the national population. That’s just called math.

*While I didn’t vote for Obama again in 2012 because I don’t believe in rewarding an elected official who has violated his or her campaign promises by voting for him or her again, let me be clear that it was safe for me to decline to vote for Obama in 2012 because I live in California, and it was a foregone conclusion that Obama would win California and all of its electoral votes in 2012 as he did in 2008. So shut the fuck up and educate yourself about the Electoral College.

**Largely because of toxic identity politics, a while ago I switched my voter registration from Democratic to independent. I approach 50 years old and it’s the first time in my life that I’ve been registered as an independent (I’d only ever been registered with the Democratic Party and with the Green Party before I switched to independent).

After the pro-corporate, anti-populist, center-right Democratic Party establishment royally fucked over Bernie Sanders, I left the Democratic Party and I won’t ever return to it until and unless it earns my support by ceasing and desisting with the Clintonian bullshit, which includes pushing identity politics while ignoring our grave socioeconomic problems, since our corporate overlords and campaign contributors don’t much care about identity politics but sure the fuck don’t want the socioeconomic status quo to be threatened.

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The years of the woman have begun

TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2017 is a group of persons, “the silence breakers,” the women (and the men, too, although no men are included in the cover photo [yes, that’s Taylor Swift at the right and Ashley Judd at the left]) who have broken their silence about having been sexually harassed to sexually assaulted.*

Interestingly, the first runner-up for TIME’s “Person of the Year” is The Pussygrabber in Chief, who remains in the Oval Office even while in other news today, six female Democratic U.S. senators have called for Democratic Sen. Al Franken to resign.

So much to unpack here…

OK, so when I first wrote about Al Franken, only one woman had said that he had sexually harassed to sexually assaulted her, and she publicly stated that she didn’t believe that he should step down over it.

Since then, however, other women have given similar accounts, and while I believe in due process, I can’t be mad at calls for Franken’s resignation at this point.

That said, it still strikes me that it ultimately is up to the voters of Minnesota to decide Franken’s fate should he steadfastly refuse to heed the calls for his resignation. That and Franken already is being investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee.

That said, at this point he probably is politically tarnished forever, whether that is fair or not. (Um, I think it’s safe to say that he’ll never be president.) He could have survived one allegation of sexual impropriety — perhaps especially since his alleged victim has said that she has forgiven him — but not many of them (a total of seven of them thus far, to my understanding).

As U.S. Rep. John Conyers recently learned, even if you say initially that you’re not going to resign because of allegations of sexual impropriety, if you don’t have the political support of your colleagues in Congress, you’re fighting a losing battle to try to stay if they want you to go.

(And Conyers saying that he wants his son to succeed him reeks of corruption. What the fuck? I lost all remaining respect for Conyers after I learned of that. We are to be a democracy, not a collection of little dynasties, which is one of the many reasons that I could not support Billary Clinton.)

I’m fine with TIME’s “Person of the Year” choice (although I’m disappointed to see that “the DREAMers” weren’t even among the six runners-up) because women — and men — have the right to a non-hostile workplace environment, which among other things means not being sexually harassed to sexually assaulted. That’s indisputable.

And I hope that the focus on the problem leads to drastically fewer cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault. I hope that it makes all of us more aware of how we use and abuse our personal power, and I hope that it makes the victims of the abuse of personal power less afraid to speak out.

And I tend to believe an accuser, especially when there are many accusers against one alleged perpetrator.

At least six women had accused Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger of sexual improprieties before he became California governor in a bullshit gubernatorial recall election in 2003, for example. Team Schwarzenegger, including his then-wife Maria Shriver, directly or indirectly called all of the women liars. (Shriver would go on to split from the Gropinator the year after he left office, after it was made public that their housekeeper had borne him a son.)

As I wrote recently, I want to see women gain the representative power that they deserve — as I wrote, it’s long overdue — but it’s too bad that this is coming under the dark, ugly cloud of allegations, most of them probably true, of men abusing their power (sexually and otherwise). I’d much rather see women come into the power that they deserve via much more positive vehicles, but this is what it is.

What I hope we don’t see is a war on men, probably especially on white men. Of course not all white men are evil, and a war on the members of about a third of the U.S. population probably isn’t a good idea, politically or practically (Hello, Team Billary, from this “Bernie bro”!).

At its extreme, the hatred of white men becomes something like the black female nurse of Indiana who recently lost her job after having proclaimed that white male babies should be killed before they grow up to be monsters.

“Every white woman raises a detriment to society when they raise a son. Someone with the HIGHEST propensity to be a terrorist, rapist, racist, killer, and domestic violence all star. Historically every son you had should be sacrificed to the wolves Bitch,” read the lovely tweet from the grammar- and punctuation-challenged nurse, who obviously shouldn’t be allowed in the vicinity of any white male patients.

Locally and recently, three young black men have been accused of having killed an 87-year-old woman whom they pushed over while they were fleeing a pharmacy that they had just robbed (of narcotics, I assume).

That’s just one of many possible crime stories involving black male perpetrators, but I have yet to call for a King-Herod-like slaughter of all black male babies, but in this current, toxic political environment, apparently in many quarters it’s fine to go so far as to call for the slaughter of all white male babies. Nip it in the bud, you know!

Further injustices perpetrated against the innocent of the present don’t correct the injustices of the past, and I’m on your side until and unless you start advocating that injustices be done to the innocent of the present to satiate your own sick thirst for revenge. No, I’m not on board with your wholesale war against white men, whoever you are.

My point is that the culture and the morality — and the collective intellect — of the United States of America are far too debased and degraded for us to collectively be able to make overdue changes, corrections and improvements without a good number of us also wanting to punish the innocent of the present — based simply upon how they were born (the worst being born a white male, of course) — for the wrongdoings done by others in the past, most of them long dead.

This is revenge posing as “justice,” and it’s not even real revenge when it’s taken out upon those who never even did anything wrong themselves. Revenge is something that is taken upon the actual wrongdoers. Fucking duh. (Again: We are a rather stupid nation.)

So: Let’s continue to fight for equality for women (and for girls, of course) and for non-whites. Let’s continue to make it a more perfect union.

But in that process, let’s not become just like those whom we condemn. 

Update: That was fast. Since I first posted this, the list of Democratic U.S. senators who have called for Al Franken’s resignation has grown to more than 20, including male senators as well as female senators.

Franken is, methinks, toast, and reportedly he is going to make a statement tomorrow — he will announce his resignation, I’m thinking.

Again, you can’t function in Congress when too many of your colleagues are calling for your resignation, whether fairly or unfairly…

All of this said, the number of accusers against “President” Pussygrabber now stands at more than a dozen.

Are only Democratic elected officials expected to resign over allegations of sexual impropriety?

And don’t even get me started on serial sex criminal Repugnican Roy Moore, whom the inbred mouth-breathers in Alabama are poised to elect to the U.S. Senate next week.

*It’s important to define our terms. I define “sexual harassment” as sexual impropriety that falls short of actual unwanted physical contact, such as showing another pornographic images that she or he does not wish to see and making unwanted lewd comments to another.

Wikipedia defines “sexual assault” as “a sexual act in which a person is coerced or physically forced to engage against [her or his] will, or non-consensual sexual touching of a person,” noting that such acts as groping, rape and sexual torture fall under the umbrella of “sexual assault.”

I long have thought of such things as groping and rape as “sexual battery,” but I’ll accept Wikipedia’s definition of “sexual assault” for my purposes here.

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Bring on the PROGRESSIVE women

The ‘Big Four’ women leaders often touted as potential 2020 Democratic presidential nominees. Clockwise, starting in the upper left: Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.

Associated Press photos via Politico

Politico names sitting U.S. senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar (pictured clockwise, starting at the upper left) as the “‘Big Four’ women leaders often touted as potential 2020 Democratic presidential nominees.” I can see Warren and Harris running with some success, but methinks that Gillibrand and Klobuchar don’t have enough recognition nationwide to have a successful presidential bid this early.

There has been talk of both election years 2018 and 2020 being another “Year of the Woman” (a reference to 1992, in which four women were elected to the U.S. Senate after the Anita Hill debacle of 1991).

I’m fine with that — as long as we’re talking about progressive women.

Earlier this month, California U.S. Sen. Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein (who ascended to the Senate in the “Year of the Woman” 25 years ago) told the party faithful (apparently of the 2018 mid-term elections), “I predict based on what I see out there [she apparently was referring to the ongoing sexual harassment-palooza] that we are going to have another Year of the Woman.”

Again, that’s fine with me — women long have been underrepresented at every level of government — but multi-millionaire, center-right sellouts like Cryptkeeper Feinstein aren’t OK with me.

I refuse to vote for a candidate primarily or solely because the candidate is a woman. That is, in my book, just another form of sexism. (Ditto for voting for a candidate primarily or solely because of the candidate’s race — that’s just another form of racism.)

I refuse to vote for Cryptkeeper in California’s June 2018 primary election because of her record (see here and here) — which includes having voted for the Vietraq War from which her also-filthy-rich husband war profiteered, her opposition to single-payer health care (she’s a multi-millionaire, so what’s the problem with health care?), her consistent support of unconstitutional government spying on citizens, and even her support of an unconstitutional ban on burning the U.S. flag — and because her insane wealth and her age (84) make her quite out of touch with her electorate.

If there were a more progressive yet still viable female candidate in the June 2018 primary election for the Senate seat that Cryptkeeper occupies with a death grip by her old, cold, mouldy dead hands of the past, then I’d vote for her, but thus far the only more progressive yet still viable candidate for the seat is Kevin de León, the current leader of the California Senate, so he has my support.

(That and Latinos also are underrepresented at most if not even all levels of government. Here in California, for a while now there have been more Latinos than individuals of any other race. It’s long past time for the octogenarian Cryptkeeper to release her death grip on power and allow California’s Latinos to be represented in the U.S. Senate.)

For 2016 I could not support Billary Clinton for president because she’s a center-right sellout in the vein of Cryptkeeper, replete with a vote for the Vietraq War (post-9/11 she’d calculated that it would benefit her politically; she miscalculated) and personal wealth in the tens of millions of dollars. No, she’s not just like the rest of us.

I refused to support Billary just because I was told that I was “supposed” to — that it was “her turn,” that we needed to elect our first female president (even if we had to hold our noses and take an anti-emetic to do it), etc. — and relentlessly being called a “Bernie bro” for having supported the most progressive candidate in the race, Bernie Sanders, didn’t at all shame me into voting for Billary, but only turned me off even more from supporting her, as I am confident was the case for the millions of us progressive males who misandristically were smeared as “Bernie bros.”

Team Billary and the legions of Billarybots either figured that they could vote-shame us progressive men (wrong!) or that they could do without the progressive male vote (wrong!). Inaccurately and unfairly — and quite hypocritically — calling us progressive men sexist and misogynist only made it worse for them.

And now we look to 2020, and Politico proclaims in an article titled “Why 2020 Will Be the Year of the Woman” that “In this post-Weinstein moment, Democrats are pining for the karmic justice of defeating Trump with shards from a glass ceiling.”

Again, women long have been seriously underrepresented in government. We have only six sitting female governors. Six. That’s it. That’s a paltry 12 percent of the governorships. Only 21 of our sitting U.S. senators are women (that’s 21 percent, of course), and only 104 of our sitting U.S. representatives are women (that’s 24 percent).

Such sad and pathetic figures as these alone should induce more women to run for office — not Harvey Fucking Weinstein. Fair representation — not revenge — should be the motivation.

I guarantee you that in every race, I’m going to support the most progressive yet still viable candidate, at least in the primary election.* If that candidate is a woman, then I am more than happy to support her, because not only is she the most progressive candidate, but her winning office would help gain women the increased representation in government that they have lacked forever now.

So, for 2020, thus far I support Bernie Sanders should he run again, which I think he probably will.

He was the only one with the guts to oppose the slimy Billary “Crown Me Already” Clinton, and, as I never tire of mentioning, in the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary season Bernie Sanders won 22 states and won 46 percent of the pledged (actually democratically earned) delegates in the primary elections and caucuses, a remarkably strong showing for someone who had entered the race largely if not mostly unknown against someone who was running for the White House a second time.

Last year was not Queen Billary’s turn, but 2020 is Bernie Sanders’ turn. He fucking earned it — he campaigned his heart out and he still champions progressive causes — and a more progressive yet still viable presidential candidate for 2020 is highly unlikely to emerge.

On that note, if Bernie doesn’t run for 2020 but Elizabeth Warren does, then she most likely is my candidate for 2020. I love Liz, but, alas, I can’t forget that she essentially sat 2016 out, apparently not wanting to step on Queen Billary’s cape. Not only did she not dare to run herself, but she refused to publicly take a side when it could have helped Bernie.

Those were her choices to make, but our choices have consequences.

Many will want to push newbie California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris for president for 2020, as though she were the female Barack Obama. Not only are both Harris and Obama half-black, but, if she actually runs for president in 2020, Harris also will have in common with Obama the fact that both had served in the U.S. Senate for only four years — not even one full (six-year) Senate term — before having run for the White House.

Harris’ supporters will be supporting her much more for her race and/or her sex — good old identity politics — than for her unimpressive-thus-far record. Just sayin’: Her record at this point is awfully thin — I can tell you that as a California statewide elected official (attorney general) she always played it safe — and just as it was a mistake to send the inexperienced and accomplishment-free Obama to the White House in 2008**, methinks that it also would be a mistake to send the inexperienced and accomplishment-free Harris to the White House in 2020.

If Harris proves herself to be a progressive champion in the Senate (which, from what I know of her, is not super-likely but is not impossible), then yes, I’ll consider her for presidential races beyond 2020. But right now, I can’t say for sure that I’d even want her to be the vice-presidential candidate for 2020, as low as Sarah Palin lowered the bar.

My litmus test — which, again, is that I support the most progressive yet still viable candidate — is fairly fair. It’s based mostly on how progressive the candidate is or is not. It’s not based on sex or on race.***

It’s also not based on age, as long as the person, if younger, is mature and has enough life experience, or, if older, still can function well and (still) is in touch with the electorate (as Bernie Sanders is and Cryptkeeper Feinstein is not).

It’s not even based on religion, although I never could support a candidate who tried to shove his or her God bullshit down the electorate’s throats. (I prefer an agnostic or atheist candidate or at least one who, like Bernie Sanders, who I suspect is agnostic or atheist, doesn’t fucking proselytize.)

And, of course, if you’re not fully on board with equal rights for homosexual, non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals, then you’re not at all a progressive — and your supposedly left-wing identity politics are just the other side of the coin that has stupid, right-wing white men on it — and fuck you.

So, progressive women: Step up to the plate as candidates for political office. I want to support you.

But I won’t support you only or even primarily because you’re a woman.

*I did vote for Ralph Nader for president in 2000, and for Jill Stein for president in 2012 and in 2016, knowing fully well at the time that the Democratic presidential candidates (Al Gore, Barack Obama and Billary Clinton, respectively) were going to win my state of California and all of its electoral votes no matter how I fucking voted.

It’s funny how people say that if you don’t vote for the Democratic/Democratic-in-name-only presidential candidate, you help the Repugnican presidential candidate win, but that would be true only if we elected our presidents on the popular vote or if you voted in a true swing state. California is not a swing state, and Americans sorely need to educate themselves on the Electoral College (and then do away with it).

**Recall that the arrogant, overconfident Obama, drunk on “bipartisanship” Kool-Aid, wasted his shitload of political capital in 2009 and 2010 trying to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican traitors in Congress while they were organizing their “tea party” and took back the House of Representatives in November 2010, severely crippling him for the remainder of his presidency, and then took back the U.S. Senate in 2014, further crippling him.

***My terms “most progressive yet still viable” might rankle some. You might argue, and perhaps if not probably correctly, that women, non-whites, non-heterosexuals, non-gender-conforming individuals and others struggle to be viable candidates in a heterosexual white man’s world and that if they’re not viable, it’s society’s fault, not theirs.

But I usually can’t bring myself to donate to a political candidate who has a snowball’s chance in hell, and at least in primary elections, I don’t want to feel that I have wasted my vote on a candidate who has a snowball’s chance in hell.

(That said, again, in a presidential general election, under the Electoral College and living in the very blue California, my vote for president essentially doesn’t count, as it’s a foregone conclusion, in every presidential election, that the Democratic/“Democratic” presidential candidate is going to win California and all of its electoral votes, the most of any state in the nation.

Speaking of California, did you know that California is the first state in the nation to have had two female U.S. Senators at the same time? That happened with the election of 1992, the “Year of the Woman.”

That’s pretty cool, but it’s still time for Cryptkeeper to go. She no longer represents her electorate well, if she ever really did. [She didn’t.])

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