Again: Plenty of time for the Dems to lose another winnable prez election

Fivethirtyeight.com recently gave Joe Biden a 69-in-100 chance of winning the November 3 presidential election, to “President” Pussygrabber’s 30-in-100 chance of winning “re”-election. (Today, as I type this sentence, fivethirtyeight.com puts it at 69 in 100 for Biden and 31 in 100 for Pussygrabber.) The graphic below, also from fivethirtyeight.com, shows which states Biden must win to reach 270 electoral votes in the Electoral College.

“Republicans Run Toward Their Base. Democrats Run Away From Theirs,” correctly observes the website of Jacobin magazine.

Indeed, the Democratic National Convention gave Hidin’ Joe Biden no post-convention bounce in the polls, whereas apparently the Repugnican National Convention apparently has given “President” Pussygrabber a bounce.

Biden still leads Pussygrabber in the average of nationwide polls, but while Biden was ahead of Pussygrabber nationally by around 10 percentage points in June, he’s now ahead of Pussygrabber nationally by around 7 percentage points.

More critically, though, Biden has lost ground in the polls in the swing states, those states most likely to determine the winner of the Electoral College.

In July, Biden led Pussygrabber in six swing states (Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) by an average of around 6 percentage points; today, that’s down to a lead of only about 3 percentage points.

Luckily, there are swing states that Biden doesn’t have to win in order to win the magical 270 electoral votes. If he wins enough other states, he doesn’t have to win Arizona, he doesn’t have to win North Carolina, and he doesn’t even have to win Florida to still win the Electoral College.

But he does need to win the three critical states that Billary Clinton lost in 2016: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

But right now, Real Clear Politics’ average of the polls in those three states don’t show Biden leading enough for comfort; right now RCP has Biden’s average polling in Michigan at only 2.6 percent ahead of Pussygrabber, Biden’s average polling in Pennsylvania at 4.7 percent ahead of Pussygrabber, and Biden’s average polling in Wisconsin at 3.5 percent ahead of Pussygrabber.

What has happened that Biden has slid in the polls while Pussygrabber has done better in the polls since the duopolistic parties’ conventions?

Well, once again, the Democratic Party establishment has pretty much apologized for being Democratic by featuring more Repugnicans in its convention than featuring progressives, that is, actual Democrats. The take-away message is that the Democratic Party establishment is embarrassed by and wishes to distance itself from its own fucking base. That’s hardly the way to excite voters to vote for you.

Meanwhile, the Repugnicans, as usual, are doubling down on the bloody red meat that they’re tossing to their rabid base of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, MAGA-cap-wearing, assault-rifle-toting fucktards. And it’s working for them.

And history has shown, over and over again, that when faced with the “choice” of the Repugnican Party or the Democratic Party acting like the Repugnican Lite Party, voters, probably especially the critical swing voters, tend to vote for the full-on Repugnican Party. Who the fuck wants to vote for a party that is ashamed of itself and virtually apologizes for its own existence?

As long as the Democrats in name only keep making the same mistakes — including shitting and pissing on the party’s own fucking base — the Democrats can expect to continue to lose otherwise winnable presidential elections, even if, as in 2000 and in 2016, they win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College.

Seriously, though, actual Democrat Bernie Sanders won 26.6 percent of the popular vote in the Democratic Party primary contests to Biden’s 51.5 percent. And that is with Bernie having suspended his campaign on April 8 while there were remaining primary elections and caucuses in April, May, June, July and this month, too. Bernie won the nation’s most populous state, California — which, dare I say, is the heart of the Democratic Party — for fuck’s sake.

But the center-right, pro-corporate, sellout Bidenbots — who put South Carolina’s voters far above California’s voters, even though a Democratic presidential candidate hasn’t won South Carolina since Jimmy Carter in 1976 — are perfectly happy pretending as though Bernie Sanders had never even existed.

Thing is, those of us who supported Bernie haven’t forgotten that Bernie existed, and many of us aren’t going to vote for Biden, no matter how much vote-shaming is thrown our way by the deplorable DINOs.

November 2020 could end up a lot like November 2016 — and again, the DINOs would spin yet another wholly preventably lost presidential election as not being their fault for having shit and pissed all over the party’s base, but as being the fault of us progressives — us actual Democrats — for not having gotten on board with the Democratic Party establishment’s Repugnican-Lite agenda — even though we had made it abundantly clear in 2016 that enough of us would not fucking do that.

The DINOs think that they can win nationwide elections without progressives. They persist in this delusion even when history amply shows them that they cannot.

When push comes to shove, I guess that my advice to progressives would be that if they live in one of the three especially critical battleground states — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin (the states that Billary should have won but did not, because she was a shitty, shitty candidate) — that if they really don’t want another four years of Pussygrabber, then they really must hold their noses, take an antiemetic, and vote for Hidin’ Joe Biden. 

And it wouldn’t hurt for those who live in the next-critical three battleground states, Arizona, Florida and North Carolina, to vote for Biden if they don’t want another four years of Pussygrabber. And to that list I could, and will, add Minnesota, Nevada and New Hampshire as well.

However, I couldn’t be mad at anyone who is left of center for not voting for Biden. After all, I refuse to vote for Biden (but again, I live in California, which Biden is going to win anyway, so I don’t have to vote for him and worry that this at all will help Pussygrabber; I have that luxury, given the vagaries of the obsolete, antiquated Electoral College, which should have been scrapped by now for the popular vote).

If another four years of “President” Pussygrabber meant the sure death of the corporate-whore DINOs and a return of the Democratic Party to its progressive roots, then I’d be the first to shout from the rooftops: “Four more years!”

However, I’m not confident that the nation could survive another four years of a blatantly fascist “president,” and yet it’s also clear that the the DINOs never, ever will admit that they were wrong all of this time. They could lose presidential election after presidential election after presidential election and still insist that being a center-right corporate whore is the only way to go.

As a nation, we are reaching the end of our rope.

I can see the nation devolving into full-blown fascism, which offers “easy” “answers” and “solutions” to our biggest problems — or, as a reaction to this fascism, finally evolving into the progressive nation that it always could have been, but has only been for brief windows of time, such as during the Progressive Era and the New Deal coalition.

It seems to me that we progressives might win it all — or lose it all. And that this fate could be decided only 65 days from today, on November 3.

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We need to stop this race war that has been playing out in our streets

Jacob Blake is shown in a video grab advancing toward the driver’s-side door of a vehicle instead of obeying a law-enforcement command to get down on the ground. A quick moment later, he is shot multiple times. All of this was entirely preventable.

Another day, another police shooting of an unarmed black man (this time yesterday in Kenosha, Wisconsin).

But it’s not entirely that simple, that cut and dry.

First: If a law-enforcement officer gives you a directive, fucking follow it unless it’s an outrageous directive (such as one that might put you in harm’s way or one that’s clearly meant only to demean you [note that your feeling demeaned does not necessarily mean that there was the nefarious intent to demean you]).

The law actually does not say that it’s optional to follow the reasonable directives of law-enforcement officers. (Reasonable directives include showing your driver’s license and/or vehicle registration when asked to do so, stepping out of the vehicle when instructed to do so, and even getting on the ground with your hands behind your back. Your personal definition of “reasonable” might exclude these things, but the law’s definition of “reasonable” does not.)

Nor is an encounter with a law-enforcement officer an invitation to start an impromptu debate about race, including racial profiling; if you believe that your civil rights have been violated, report the incident after the interaction with the officer(s) is over. Get a lawyer if you want to and if you can, and/or reach out to an organization that has dealt with this kind of issue.

Even with my supposed white privilege, never in my lifetime have I ever believed that a law-enforcement officer’s (again, reasonable) directive to me is just a mere suggestion, a tip or a hint.

If we’re all equal, then all of us equally must obey the law when it’s reasonable that we do so; if all of us do so, we can prevent a lot of injury and death and other unfortunate outcomes.

Secondly, before you accuse me of false equivalence, law-enforcement entities really, really, really need to find a way to subdue an uncooperative/non-compliant individual (especially one they believe might do something dangerous) that is not lethal. Pumping someone full of bullets, as we see happen way too often, is beyond bullshit.

From the video of the police shooting that I saw, the black man, whose name is Jacob Blake and who reportedly miraculously is still alive after having been shot way too many times (and who shouldn’t have been shot at all, but who, again, should have been dealt with in a non-lethal manner), could have made the law-enforcement officer(s) fear that he was going for a weapon inside of the vehicle. That, I’m confident, is what the law-enforcement officer(s) will claim was the justification for the shooting.

The law enforcement officer(s) reportedly did not give Blake the directive to open the driver’s-side door of the vehicle, but gave him the directive to get down on the ground.

Why Blake instead opened the driver’s-side door instead eludes me, as does why protesters would then commit the looting, arson and vandalism of property owned by people who had had nothing to do with the shooting. That’s just opportunist criminality. That’s not justice.

I am a progressive and I don’t have great love for law-enforcement officers — the whole “blue lives matter” thing nauseates me, as it’s fucking racist and fascist (and a direct, mostly white-supremacist response to Black Lives Matter), and the “thin blue line” flag reminds me way too much of the Confederate flag; it’s a symbol of right-wing, white-supremacist hostility and hatred (redundant) — but these days we’re seeing extremes: individuals who think that everything and anything that law-enforcement officers do somehow is justifiable, and individuals who think that cooperating with law-enforcement officers at all always is entirely optional, especially if you are black.

Both views are whack.

And, while centrism generally makes me sick (and almost never makes for a good blog post), in this case, centrism might be what’s called for so that there are fewer deaths that were wholly preventable.

We have enough problems already, such as with climate change, the novel coronavirus pandemic and socioeconomic collapse; we don’t need to continue the fucking race war in our streets between non-white civilians and mostly white law-enforcement officers, the latter of whom have the power of the state behind them, which is what gives them that fascist flavor.

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AfterBern redux

Sanders' campaign accused of retaliating against union activities

That’s about how I feel.

Bernie Sanders is a bit of a sad figure to me these days.

I still get his long e-mails about what a piece of shit the “president” is (no, he’d never use that kind of language, of course, but the meaning is the same) and all of the steep challenges that face us (it’s not always, um, uplifting to read his e-mails).

Thing is, Bernie is fairly political powerless, at least in terms of presidential politics. I give him credit for still doing what he can, but he ran for president twice and I don’t see him running a third time. (Hidin’ Joe Biden ran three times, but he put a lot of years in between his runs: 1988, 2008 and 2020.)

Bernie is, I think, too nice, too conciliatory. I don’t think that that works in today’s political environment, perhaps especially given how craven the so-called Democratic Party has become.

No, Bernie never had to be an asshole like “President” Pussygrabber, but he could have stood his ground more forcefully. Yes, Billary Clinton’s illegal shadow e-mail set-up was something, was not nothing — and although he gave her a pass, the Billary-led Democratic National Committee fucked Bernie over anyway and Bernie also was way too nice to Joe Biden, and the result of that was that right before Super Tuesday, Biden & Co., center-right corporate-whore assholes all, suddenly closed ranks in order to tank Bernie’s campaign; no way could these sellout turncoats allow an actual progressive to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

In politics, probably especially presidential politics, politeness does not pay.

I get it that after the 2016 and 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary contests, Bernie has had to return to the U.S. Senate, so he couldn’t annihilate his bridges in his quest for the Oval Office. But he has been too damned nice, and in today’s presidential politics that is perceived as weak.

You can be strong without being an asshole — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an example of that. She takes a lot of heat from the wingnuts but she gives it right back — better than it was thrown at her.

I don’t regret that I supported Bernie Sanders in 2016 and 2020, including having donated hundreds of dollars to him and having voted for him in the presidential primary elections. I believe that Bernie has laid the groundwork for a progressive takeover of the corporate-whore Democratic Party.

Sometimes you have to look at the big picture. Wingnut Barry Goldwater lost big-time in 1964, but few who are knowledgeable disagree that he laid the groundwork for the “Reagan revolution” of the 1980s (which began the downfall of the United States of America).

It’s possible, if not probable, that what’s going to be required for the Democratic Party to ever become progressive again is that all of the center-right old fucks who call themselves Democrats (most of them baby boomers, of course) will have to die off, and year after year they’ll be replaced by younger Americans who subscribe to progressivism.

Indeed, the United States’ youth and young adults, having been set up to fail at birth, and realizing very personally how very fucked up it is to screw over the generations that are following yours, might save the nation that the baby boomers and those older than the boomers have destroyed out of their bottomless selfishness and greed and incredible short-sightedness. From the ashes might rise a United States truly made great again.

And while Bernie Sanders probably won’t live to see that promised land, if it materializes, he was instrumental in its creation. He will have been a founding father of the new nation.

In the meantime, while I still respect Bernie, he is not my boss.

I get Bernie’s e-mails encouraging me to vote for Hidin’ Joe Biden. I will not vote for Biden.

Again, I live in California, one of the bluest states there is; there is no question that Biden will win California and all of its 55 electoral votes.*

Again, if you live in one of the swing states — Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin* — then I encourage you to vote your conscience, but I have the luxury of not having to worry about helping Pussygrabber get a second term, since it’s a foregone conclusion that Biden will win my state and all of its electoral votes.

(No, I don’t give a fuck about the popular vote, since it doesn’t determine who becomes president. It should, but it doesn’t. Bragging rights about having won the popular vote don’t give you the presidency and the political power that comes with that. Ask Billary Clinton.)

If I had to put money on it, I’d say that Biden will beat Pussygrabber in November, for several reasons, but primarily because of COVID-19 and its socioeconomic effects. The economy tends to be the No. 1 factor in a president’s re-election (“re”-election, in this case), and I don’t see the train wreck that is the United States improving nearly enough between now and Election Day for Pussygrabber to pull out a win, even just an Electoral College win, as he did in 2016.

Also, lucky Biden is benefitting from being able to use COVID-19 as an excuse, valid or not (mostly valid, probably), to not have to run a traditional presidential campaign. Less campaigning means fewer of Biden’s, um, senior moments. Less campaigning means that voters largely will be voting for the Joe Biden of yesterday, not of today.

What would I expect a Biden presidency to look like? Much like the Obama presidency looked like: nice words, little substance, negligible improvement in the average American’s life.

Barack Obama for the most part was a caretaker president, and after the Repugnicans won back the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm election (and kept the House until the 2018 midterm election), there was no way that they were going to allow Obama to have any progressive victories. You don’t even try to negotiate with terrorists like the Repugnicans, but the naive and probably arrogant Obama did so right out of the gate — probably the No. 1 mistake of his presidency — and the rest is history.

I expect a Biden administration to make the same mistakes that the Obama administration did. (After all, stuck-in-the-past Biden thinks that parents still routinely use record players for their children.)

If the Democrats win back the White House, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House in November, which is quite possible, I expect them, “led” by Biden, to squander their political capital with their bipartisan “Kumbaya” bullshit, just as Obama did when, in the first two years of his presidency, the Dems controlled the White House, the Senate and the House — and utterly wasted all of that political capital when the stars don’t align like that (having control of the White House, the Senate and the House) very often.

Indeed, last week’s sad Democratic National Convention, in which much more love was shown to moderate Repugnicans than to progressive/actual Democrats, doesn’t bode well for a progressive agenda being passed through should the Dems once again win the White House, the Senate and the House.

Were I to vote for Biden, to me it would mean that I supported the continuation of a center-right, Repugnican-Lite, corporate-whoring Democratic Party — when I didn’t even have to, since I live in deep-blue California.

And I’m still not sure which would be the better longer-term outcome: Pussygrabber gets a second term, perhaps demonstrating amply, for once and for all, that the center-right, sellout campaigns of the likes of Billary Clinton and Hidin’ Joe Biden don’t work anymore, inducing the Democratic Party to, at long last, return to its progressive roots; or that Biden wins, and that this center-right, sellout bullshit under the banner of the Democratic Party continues indefinitely. “President Harris” gives me nightmares.**

In the meantime, it’s hard to describe the feeling that I have whenever I get one of Bernie’s e-mails or see him in the news. I still respect him — he is not dead to me, as self-serving, pseudo-progressive snake Elizabeth Warren is — but today Bernie makes me feel like a deflated convention balloon.

And I look to our younger generations to get us out of this abyss. They shouldn’t have to, but it has been forced upon them to, and they just might prove to be our next greatest generation.

*One of the most helpful graphics that I’ve seen is fivethirtyeight.com’s “snake chart,” which you can see here. The extreme two ends of the “snake” represent the states that are going to go to Biden or to Pussygrabber without doubt. As we progress toward the center of the “snake,” we see which states are less solidly blue or red, and which states appear to be the swing states. The 10 states that I’ve listed above as swing states are the 10 states that make up the middle area of the “snake,” which is the 270 electoral votes that must be won in order to win the White House.

**If Kamala Harris were a progressive, instead of just another centrist corporate whore who takes whatever political positions she deems most likely to help her political ambitions right now, a la Billary Clinton, I’d be happy to have her as president. That she’s a woman of color would be the icing on the cake. But there has to be some fucking cake.

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The so-called Democrats still have plenty of time to blow it again

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the best part of the 2020 Democratic National Convention — and one of the only few actual Democrats who was featured. Indeed, the convention bosses gave Repugnicans more airtime than they gave to actual Democrats.*

Admittedly, I couldn’t watch the vast majority of the virtual Democratic National Convention this past week. Watching a bunch of center-right party hacks masturbate each other isn’t my thing. Marianne Williamson nailed it when she compared the convention to “binge-watching a Marriott commercial.”

I tried to watch all of Hidin’ Joe Biden’s acceptance speech, but thus far have been able to watch only the first few minutes of it. His empty, substance-free, feel-good rhetoric about a battle between light and dark sounds like he cribbed it from Yoda (or from Marianne Williamson…).

I did watch the whole three seconds that the Democratic Party hacks could enable themselves to give to actual Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and it was the only video from the entire convention that I watched that struck me as both sincere and inspirational.

Speaking of having given Repugnicans a lot more airtime than AOC, the Democratic Party is making some huge mistakes — again.

The only group that the party wants to cater to — well, pander to — is black Americans. Black Americans inarguably historically have been shit and pissed upon, and they continue to be, and of course they deserve their due.

But it’s a mistake to focus like a laser on a group of Americans who comprise only 13.4 percent of the population when your goal is to win a nationwide election. (And no, having had Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren join in on a discussion of Native Americans’ interests was not the way to include another racial group.)

The largest group of non-white Americans is Latinos — 18.5 percent of the American population, and growing rapidly (along with Asian Americans) — yet Latinos (and Asian Americans and Native Americans) don’t get much attention from the Democratic Party establishment.

And while it’s en vogue within the Democratic Party to bash or to at least wholly ignore white Americans, white Americans still comprise just more than 60 percent of the American population. Might not want to alienate too many of them if you want to win a nationwide election.

So good luck, Dems, sewing up the American vote indefinitely when you vaunt only 13.4 percent of the population, and good luck sewing up the American vote indefinitely when the last thing that you want to talk about is socioeconomic justice, because that pisses off your corporate sugar daddies.

No, instead, you’d much rather continue to talk only about identity politics and practice your smug and empty virtue signaling — because your corporate funders don’t view that as a threat to their obscene profiteering.

Seriously tackling the grotesque income inequality that plagues far more Americans than does racism or sexism or homophobia is what most American voters want, but the Democratic Party establishment won’t — can’t — give us that, because the Democratic Party establishment is comprised of almost nothing but corporate fucking whores. That’s why the vast majority of the rhetoric spewed during the Democratic convention this past week has been substance-free, feel-good drivel.

And this bodes ill for the future: A recent poll has shown us what we’ve already known: that 58 percent of those who plan to vote for Hidin’ Joe Biden (I am not among them) say that they are voting against “President” Pussygrabber, not for Biden.

The Democrats might be able to eke out a win in November — based upon the appropriate widespread hatred for the unelected, fascist Pussygrabber (and the fact that Biden is not nearly as despised as was and is Billary Clinton) — but it’s far from assured, and as the corporate-whore Dems won’t have Pussygrabber to run against in future presidential elections, it’s a political “strategy” with a very short shelf life.

If you’re not a black American, then the Democrats haven’t shown you much love (and even then, again, for the most part they’re just pandering to you; socioeconomically, as a black American you never get ahead, even as you didn’t during the reign of Barack Obama, which was much more symbolic than it ever was substantive). If you are a poor or working-class or otherwise socioeconomically marginalized American, the Democrats haven’t shown you much love. If you are a progressive — an actual Democrat — the Democrats haven’t shown you much love.

The Democratic Party establishment’s “plan” now is that you hate the Repugnicans more than you love the Democrats, and that this hate-voting will keep you voting for Democrats in perpetuity.

We shall see.

*I saw a great meme on Facebook. It read something like, “If you missed the Republican convention, don’t worry, they’ll have it again next week.”

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Veepstakes, big test of Biden’s judgment, down to the wire

Getty Images photo

Susan Rice, pictured with Joe Biden in the Oval Office in April 2015, remains my pick for Biden’s running mate, but he’ll probably stupidly cave in to the inexplicable-except-for-toxic-identity-politics pressure to pick the wholly unremarkable Kamala Harris, who has zero record of accomplishment and whose “presidential” “campaign” was laughable and rejected by the voters to the point that she dropped out even before the Iowa caucuses.

Hidin’ Joe Biden is set to announce his running mate in the coming week; the Democratic National Convention runs from August 17 through August 20.

My preference remains Susan Rice, even though since I endorsed her I found out that she’s a multimillionaire with at least past, if not current, ties to the corporation trying to bring us the Keystone Pipeline XL. (I sure had done my homework, eh?)

Thing is, Joe Biden is a centrist, corporate “Democrat”; he is a Repugnican Lite, as evidenced by the fact that the actual Repugnican Lites who comprise The Lincoln Project have endorsed him.

It’s not at all like Biden ever was going to choose a true progressive as his running mate; Rice is my top pick among what is politically possible with the likes of Biden.

(Elizabeth Warren is not a true progressive; she folds like a lawn chair at the drop of a hat if she perceives personal and political advantage in doing so, and I don’t rule out that Biden announced in March that his running mate would be a woman at least in part to exclude Bernie Sanders as his running mate, even though the progressive populist Bernie, for the second Democratic Party presidential primary election season in a row, came in at No. 2.)

So of those apparently still in the running for veep, let me quickly say who I’d find acceptable and not acceptable — and part of my calculus is who apparently could work well with Biden, given his flaws and whatever strengths he might have left (if you can think of any, let me know*). Also, of course, another part of my calculus is who could serve as president immediately should something happen to Biden, who is now 77 years old.

Acceptable (at least minimally): Susan Rice; Gretchen Whitmer (she’d take shit from the totally-non-racist-themselves, toxic identity politicians for having been born into the “wrong” race, however); Michelle Lujan Grisham (the only Latina still making the possible veep list); Karen Bass (she’s been blasted as a supposed Commie, but of course almost every Democrat is blasted by the fascist, treasonous Repugnicans as a “Commie”); and the two Tammys, Tammy Baldwin and Tammy Duckworth.

Not acceptable: Kamala Harris (for reasons that I’ve enumerated many times, but all that you have to do is look at her own awful, failed campaign for the presidency for reason enough); Elizabeth Warren (a pseudo-progressive snake in the grass whose failed bid for the presidential nomination also is a testament against her being veep); Stacey Abrams (unknown and untested on the national stage); Keisha Lance Bottoms (ditto); and Val Demings (ditto).

The toxic identity politics of the so-called Democratic Party continues to turn me off from the party — I’ve been registered as an independent since the Democratic Party first fucked over Bernie Sanders in 2016 — and it is evidenced by such ongoing bullshit as Maxine Waters’ recent, totally-non-self-serving, totally-non-black-supremacist declaration that “We know that we’re going to have a black woman who is going to be the vice president.”

Again: There aren’t only two races in the United States, black and white (and no, I don’t capitalize either of those words, because I’m sane and because I prefer not to cave into pressure from the identity-politics terrorists); Latinos — not blacks — are the largest non-white racial/ethnic group within the United States; and we have yet to have a Latinx, an Asian, a Native American or another non-white and non-black individual as president or vice president, so it’s beyond appalling and offensive that so many black Americans (like Maxine Waters and Jim Clyburn) would cravenly selfishly and tribalistically deny a member of any other non-white race the opportunity to serve at the highest levels of the federal government. And it reeks of black supremacism, which I reject along with white supremacism; racism is racism.

All of this said, to tell the truth, I don’t think that there is enough lipstick on the planet to put on the pig that is Joe Biden, and in light of that, his veep pick only really matters in that she might end up being president.

As Biden is going to win all of my state’s (California’s) electoral votes anyway, it doesn’t matter whether I vote for him or not, so I most likely will not, regardless of who his running mate is. (If it is Harris or Warren, I definitely won’t vote for Biden.)

My vote should mean something, and I can’t complain about never having actually progressive Democratic Party presidential candidates to vote for if I nonetheless support the centrist sellouts like Hidin’ Joe Biden (and, to include the past, Billary Clinton and Barack Obama), like I’m “supposed” to shut the fuck up and do.

All of this said, of course I want “President” Pussygrabber out; I’ve even given some money to The Lincoln Project, not because I loves me some moderate Repugnicans, but because, sadly, The Lincoln Project has done a much, much better job of taking shots at Pussygrabber than has the beyond-pathetic, scared-of-its-own-fucking-shadow, sellout Democratic Party.

So while I safely can choose not to vote for Joe Biden without affecting the outcome of the Electoral College, if you live in one of the true swing states — minimally, if you live in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin (to that list I could add Maine, Minnesota and Nevada and any of the other swing states) — I encourage you to vote for Biden if it wouldn’t totally violate your personal principles, because these are the states most likely to result in Pussygrabber’s ouster in January should he lose them.**

*About the only “compliment” that I could pay to Biden is that it looks like he’s on track to win at least a few centrist or even center-right states that Bernie Sanders probably could not win had Sanders been the nominee. And, of course, because Biden always has been a corporate whore (like his probable running mate Harris), the “Commie” label is much harder to pin to Biden than to Bernie.

**It’s sad how many Americans still believe that the U.S. president is determined by the popular vote instead of by the awful Electoral College, which they know nothing about. I don’t know what good it is to have a so-called democracy of whose basic functions its own citizens are so largely if not even mostly wholly ignorant.

If most Americans understood the Electoral College at all, they wouldn’t ignorantly, self-embarrassingly claim that not voting for Biden is a vote for Pussygrabber if you live in one of the majority of the states whose outcome in the Electoral College already is a foregone fucking conclusion.

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Susan Rice for vice president

File:Susan Rice official photo.jpg

Susan Rice would be my pick for vice president. Presumptive 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden already pledged in March that his vice-presidential pick will be a woman, and he is expected to announce his pick for running mate soon.

I noted back in May that, if we’re going to go with identity politics*, my No. 1 pick for Hidin’ Joe Biden’s running mate would be U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate.

Too many of us act as though race were binary, literally only black or white, but while we’ve already had a black U.S. president, we’ve yet to have a Latino or Latina president or vice president — while Latinos comprise the largest non-white racial/ethnic group in the United States.

Cortez Masto removed herself from the running since I endorsed her in May, however, and of those candidates most discussed for Biden’s veep now, my favorite is Susan Rice, who first was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama and then was Obama’s national security adviser.

As others have noted, for President Biden, Vice President Rice ably could handle foreign affairs while Biden focused on domestic issues, and boy, do our domestic issues need some attention after the wrecking ball that has been the unelected Pussygrabber regime.

Rice has gravitas that her apparent chief rival for the No. 2 spot on the ticket, Kamala Harris, lacks. I can see Rice becoming president and doing a good job if something happened to the 77-year-old Biden; I cannot see Harris as president, probably not ever.

Rice was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and knows the nation’s capital’s politics like the back of her hand.

Harris, by contrast, has been a U.S. senator since only January 2017 — she hasn’t been in D.C. for even four years yet. Harris might want to learn how to do her current job — hell, I’ll go out on a limb and say that it sure would be nice if she’d finish even one, six-year term as U.S. senator — before seeking to climb to the highest rung on the ladder.

Indeed, so focused only on advancing up the pecking order, as a presidential candidate Harris never clearly and convincingly articulated why she and no one else should be president. (She had one job…) The primary voters rejected Harris for good reason.

Nor do I want to see Elizabeth Warren as vice president — not because she isn’t a person of color (again, if we’re going to play identity politics*), but because of the way that she conducted herself during the primary contest.

Warren revealed herself to be a real fucking snake; when push comes to shove, she’ll toss truth and ethics and principle right out of the fucking window as she deems politically convenient and advantageous. She lost my trust and my respect and she’ll probably never regain it.

Susan Rice accompanying Joe Biden on the ballot would make me feel a little bit better about Biden being at the top of the ticket.

If Rice is selected and does a kick-ass job as a vice presidential candidate, as I think she would, I might even hold my nose and vote for the milquetoast centrist and corporatist Biden, even though he’s going to win my state of California and all of its 55 electoral votes no matter how I vote.**

We’ll see.

*Don’t get me wrong; while identity politics can get toxic (by “identity politics” I pretty much mean “toxic identity politics”), I believe in representative government, which means that demographic groups actually are represented.

So I’m fine with Biden’s decision to pick a woman as his running mate, as, of course, we’ve yet to have a woman as U.S. president or vice president.

I reject the common assertion that Biden’s running mate must be a black woman.

Again, other racial groups (Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, et. al.) have yet to be represented in the presidency or vice presidency, and black Americans shame themselves when they selfishly and tribalistically would disallow members of other races representation in our so-called democracy.

I like Susan Rice overall, as a human being, and my choice of her is not due to her race. That she’s a person of color just sweetens the deal.

**I can’t see myself voting for Biden if Harris or Warren is his running mate.

Again, Biden is 77 years old. There’s a good chance he wouldn’t/couldn’t run for a second term (or even finish his first term), and I wouldn’t want to see Harris or Warren automatically ascend to the presidency as vice president or even have a leg up on a 2024 or 2028 presidential run as the sitting vice president.

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100 days to stop fascism here at home

Bad Hombres cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

This 2016 cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz is spot-on. It’s imperative that Americans, especially those in the states* that will determine the winner of the Electoral College, vote on November 3 (or beforehand, preferably, by mail or by voting early in person).

Yesterday via Netflix I watched the 2018 documentary “The Silence of Others,” about the victims and the relatives of victims of the fascist Franco dictatorship in Spain seeking justice today, and of course I was struck by what could come to pass here in the United States if we continue this anti-democratic, fascist trajectory under the unelected tinpot despot Donald J. Trump.

I have interest in the Spanish Civil War because of the political parallels between Spain (and other nations) and the United States. The dynamics between the left and the right of different nations and of different decades often are strikingly similar.

The run-up to the Spanish Civil War, which was fought between 1936 and 1939, was long and messy, but in a nutshell, right-wing members of the nation’s military (redundant) opposed the left being in charge of the nation’s government after a still-disputed 1936 election, and the fascist General Francisco Franco rose to power after a military coup.

Military coups are a lot easier to pull off when there is pre-existing chaos, so why not create some chaos if necessary, such as by, oh, say, sending unmarked stormtroopers to Portland and other left-leaning cities to attack civilians?

Indeed, The New York Times reports today that “Weeks of violent clashes between federal agents and protesters in Portland, Ore., galvanized thousands of people to march through the streets of American cities [yesterday], injecting new life into protests that had largely waned in recent weeks.”

The “law-and-order” fascist dictator Franco, made from the same mold as Hitler and Mussolini (who wholeheartedly supported him), autocratically ruled Spain from 1936 to 1975, killing an estimated 15,000 to 50,000 of his political detractors in his first decade of anti-democratic rule in addition to the 175,000 estimated to have died in the civil war trying to fend off the anti-democratic, right-wing coup.

For the four decades of Franco’s autocratic, fascist rule, Spanish citizens on the wrong side of Franco’s political ideology were, among other things, arrested, incarcerated, tortured, killed and “disappeared”; watching “The Silence of Others” made me think of the stormtroopers illegally grabbing citizens off of the streets in Portland, which is just a dry run for what “President” Pussygrabber would do if he could get away with it — if we let him.

Indeed, Pussygrabber already repeatedly has “joked” about being “president for life,” a la Franco.

A reason that so many Americans aren’t familiar with the Spanish Civil War is that Spain itself has tried, institutionally, and with much success, to bury it, just like Franco’s many, many victims; Wikipedia notes that

The Pact of Forgetting (Spanish: Pacto del olvido) is the Spanish political decision (by both the leftist and rightist parties) to avoid dealing with the legacy of Francoism after the 1975 death of Francisco Franco, who had remained in power since the Spanish Civil War in 1936-1939. The Pact of Forgetting was an attempt to put the past behind them and concentrate on the future of Spain. …

Spain also incredibly stupidly passed the Spanish 1977 Amnesty Law, which, per Wikipedia

… is a law promulgated by the Parliament of Spain in 1977, two years after [dictator] Francisco Franco’s death. The law freed political prisoners and permitted those exiled to return to Spain, but guaranteed impunity for those who participated in crimes under the Civil War and Francoist Spain. The law is still in force, and has been used as a reason for not investigating and prosecuting Francoist human rights violations. …

This is appalling, as “The Silence of Others” makes clear. War crimes and crimes against humanity (committed by those on the right or on the left, although the vast majority are committed by the right, and I’d argue that if you are committing such crimes, you are not actually on the left) never should be forgiven, and are so grave that should any nation like Spain refuse to prosecute them, a world court system should do so and do so aggressively.** Universal human rights mean nothing if any nation has the option of simply ignoring them.

And history, no matter how ugly, never should be forgotten, as is the official policy of Spain.

When we forget history, history repeats itself.

It doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to see the Francoist-like Trumpists do all in their power to provoke violent backlash in our cities, such as by sending in stormtrooper-thugs against the wishes of the duly, democratically elected governments of the states, and then blame the wholly predictable backlash on the “inherent,” “unprovoked” violence of those who oppose the unelected Pussygrabber regime — and proclaim that “law and order” now must be restored; you start the fire and then you proclaim yourself to be a “hero” for fighting to put it out.

This is the very stuff of which civil wars are made.

Just ask the Spanish (even though their official policy is to forget).

*Wikipedia notes that

… If current trends from the 2012 and 2016 elections continue, the closest results in 2020 will occur in Arizona, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska’s second congressional district, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, with Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin constituting the “Big Four” most likely to decide the electoral college.

Other potential swing states include Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia, all of which came within a 10-point margin of victory in the 2016 Election. …

I’d say that if you live in any of the states listed above, you really, really need to vote in the November presidential election.

Thankfully, right now Hidin’ Joe Biden is polling significantly better than is Pussygrabber in the “Big Four” states of Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — Biden right now is polling ahead of Pussygrabber by six or more percentage points in each of those four states — but we can’t take a Biden victory for granted, not when we fully can expect Pussygrabber to abuse his office however he deems necessary in order to “win” “re”-election.

**No, I of course I don’t exempt the United States; for example, George W. Bush and the others who prosecuted his illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked war on the nation of Iraq in 2003 and in the years that followed should be tried as the war criminals that they are. They don’t deserve to remain free among us, and I don’t rule out the death penalty in the most egregious cases of war crimes and other crimes against humanity.

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Long live The Lincoln Project

A video ad released by The Lincoln Project in late May features red, white and blue body bags making up a mosaic of the U.S. flag, which, when shown completely, looks like this:

Note that the U.S. body count from the novel coronavirus pandemic is now almost 133,000.

Is the enemy of my enemy my friend? And is the Democratic Party more anti-democratic than even the Repugnican Party?

The existence of The Lincoln Project — and its video ads, some of which are pretty fucking good and probably at least somewhat devastating to “President” Pussygrabber’s “re”-election chances, at least among independents and soft Repugnicans — makes me ask these questions.

The Lincoln Project, per Wikipedia, “is an American political action committee formed in late 2019 by several prominent Republicans and former Republicans. The goal of the committee is to prevent the reelection of Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. In April 2020, the committee announced their endorsement of Joe Biden, a Democrat, after Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee.”

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not giddy that any Repugnican Lite (that is, moderate Repugnican) should support Repugnican Lite Hidin’ Joe Biden. That this is the case only demonstrates that Biden is far from being a progressive, but is another fucking DINO; indeed, if you’re as acceptable to so many Repugnicans as Biden is, you’re no fucking Democrat if by “Democrat” we’re talking about someone who actually is left of center.

I won’t be voting for Biden in November, although he’ll win all 55 of my state’s electoral votes anyway.

What I find surprising about The Lincoln Project is that here on the supposed left, it’s fairly verboten to criticize Biden, even though Biden is pretty fucking conservative and frequently publicly states his love for the Repugnicans.

We progressives are supposed to sit down and shut the fuck up unless we want another four years of Pussygrabber, you see. The Democratic Party — the center-right, sellout version of the party that we’ve seen at least since Bill Clinton was president — often isn’t democratic. And moreover, it’s often incredibly shitty at taking on its so-called Repugnican opponents.

By contrast, here is The Lincoln Project, a group of moderate Repugnicans, brazenly attacking the sitting Repugnican “president.” Take a look at some of The Lincoln Project’s video ads on YouTube here. (I could describe some of them, but you should see for yourself.)

As of right now, over the past six months, The Lincoln Project has produced more than 50 anti-Pussygrabber and anti-Repugnican-Party video ads. Seriously, The Lincoln Project is doing a much better job of taking down Pussygrabber and his fascist enablers (if you’re complicit in fascism, you’re still a fascist, in my book) than is the pathetic, afraid-of-its-own-fucking-shadow Democratic Party, “led” by Hidin’ Joe Biden. (Indeed, Biden’s “leadership” is so fucking great that the entire fucking party is as invisible as he is these days.)

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not about to become a moderate Repugnican, even though I’ve given The Lincoln Project a small donation because I love their work and certainly don’t mind helping the Repugnican snakes (redundant) to eat their own tails. Infighting among the Repugnicans is great fun, and I meant it when I just stated that thus far The Lincoln Project is doing a much better job of trying to take down Pussygrabber than is the beyond-pathetic Democratic Party. (I wouldn’t give the Democratic Party a fucking penny, by the way. Political donations must be actually earned.)

Politico recently ran a worthwhile piece on The Lincoln Project that includes this money shot:

… How has one renegade super PAC managed to trigger Trump and his allies so thoroughly? Part of it is surely frustration that a group of Republicans would issue a full-throated endorsement of Joe Biden. Part of it is skill: The Lincoln Project ads are slick, quick and filled with damning quotes and unflattering photos. But part of it might just be that Republicans are better at this than Democrats. Trump may sense that these ads are especially dangerous because they pack an emotional punch, using imagery designed to provoke anxiety, anger and fear — aimed at the very voters who were driven to him by those same feelings in 2016. And history, even science, suggests that might in fact be the case — that Republicans have a knack for scaring the hell out of people, and that makes for some potent ads. …

Yup. The Repugnicans indeed are much better at this — I’d say that the Democrats are too “nice,” but really, they’re just too clueless and testicle-free (and center-right themselves, just like so many Repugnicans) — so when that weapon of the Repugnicans is turned on one of the Repugnicans’ own (ostensibly, anyway), look out.

P.S. I didn’t really drive this point home, so I’ll do that now: Look at how freely The Lincoln Project goes against the incumbent “president” of its own fucking party (as well as other prominent members of its own party).

I do believe that The Lincoln Project has more freedom to do this than would any group that was equally critical of a sitting Democratic president and/or the Democratic Party as a whole.

So which party is more democratic? Which party allows dissent more than the other?

Not that I’ll ever become a Repugnican, but I’ll most likely never be a registered Democrat again, either.

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Goodbye, Columbus, et. al. (and good riddance!)

r/Sacramento - With the statue of Christopher Columbus being removed from the state Capitol, I think it’s a good time to start a discussion about removing Junipero Serra from Capitol park. Thoughts?

This photo of a statue of Junipero Serra located at Capitol Park in Sacramento accompanies a Reddit discussion started four days ago as to whether the statue should remain. Protesters didn’t wait for a committee to decide the statue’s fate, however, and brought it down themselves last night.

I had passed that infernal statue a million times — the statue of Spanish Roman Catholic Priest Junipero Serra, who in the latter half of the 1700s was instrumental in colonizing for Spain what is now California — in Capitol Park, the grounds that surround the California Capitol in Sacramento.

The monument to Serra and the Spanish mission system had a statue of Serra lording over a map of the state of California and its Spanish missions that Serra helped establish. The statue and its accompanying map of the missions clearly was a monument to the European colonization of the “new” world.

While to European colonizers the Spanish missions were a great thing, to the Native Americans who languished under the Spanish mission system — and who died from the diseases that the Spanish and other European colonizers brought with them, decimating their populations — the Spanish missions were something else.

I found the continued existence of the Serra statue and monument in Capitol Park — which was erected in 1965 — to be offensive, and I’m a white man.

So I was delighted to read today that the statue was toppled by protesters last night. (Had I known how easy it apparently was to topple the fucking thing, I might have given it a few kicks myself…)

I guess that this local act was part of what “President” Pussygrabber on the eve of the Fourth of July called “a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.”

That fascist rhetoric is just meant to cover up the actual dynamics at work here, which include the fact that the baby boomers, of which the “president” is one, failed miserably to bring about the fair and just society that, as flower children, they had said they would.

No, instead, the baby boomers, as a generation, have brought nothing new to the American table. Indeed, they’re just parasites. They simply adopted, with little to no question, the “patriotic,” white nationalist claptrap handed down to them by their parents, “the greatest generation” — even if that meant venerating the obviously evil colonization of other peoples by white Europeans. (This was “God’s will” or something like that, you see.)

The boomers always have been nothing but sponges; first they sponged off of the supposed greatness of the generation before them, and now they sponge off of the generations that follow them, ensuring that they wipe out the nation’s wealth (largely if not mostly simply handed down to them by their parents) on such frivolities as cruises, McMansions and plastic surgeries instead of passing the nation’s wealth down to the next generations.

Because the baby boomers didn’t correct the wrongs of the past — in no small part because, as most of the baby boomers are white, they have benefitted richly from the United States’ long and ugly history of colonization — today’s younger people have picked up the mantle and are doing that work. More power to them.

By toppling statues of colonizers and fascists, no one is trying to “wipe out our history.” You don’t see statues of Adolf Hitler in American public spaces, yet Hitler hardly has been lost to history. We don’t need statues of and monuments for evil people in public places in order to preserve history. We have a plethora of books, films, recordings, documents, museums, libraries, universities, etc. in which history is being well preserved.

When “President” Pussygrabber says that our youthful protesters are “defaming our heroes,” which “heroes” are those, exactly? Are Confederate leaders “heroes”? They were pro-slavery and they blatantly committed treason after the abolitionist President Abraham Lincoln was duly elected by seceding from the Union before Lincoln was even inaugurated. Are those who abused, exploited, enslaved, raped and murdered — and, again, decimated — Native Americans, such as Junipero Serra and Christopher Columbus, “heroes”?

When our youthful protesters seek to “erase our values,” which values, exactly, are those? Do we still value the colonization of other peoples? How would we modern Americans like to be taken over by a more powerful group of people, told by our colonizers that it’s for our own benefit when clearly it is only for the benefit of our colonizers? Is Pussygrabber talking about the “value” of preserving slavery? Should that “value” be preserved by preserving statues, monuments and other public displays that venerate the Confederacy?

And let’s please talk about “indoctrinating our children.” Funny how the fascists among us — and fascists by definition are right-wing; there is no such fucking thing as “far-left fascism,” as Pussygrabber recently declared in front of Mount Rushmore, on which his fat fascist face never will be carved — act as though they have no wish to indoctrinate our children.

Oh, please. The school textbook wars alone demonstrate that the right wing very much is interested in indoctrinating our children — in their evil. Among other things, they want to shove backasswards fundamental “Christianity,” wage-slave capitalism, anti-intellectualism (which includes antipathy to science and to environmentalism), white supremacy and heterosexism down our children’s throats. These “Christo”fascists don’t want our children to even know that there is any alternative to the hellish worldview that they present to them as their only option.

True, it’s at least arguably better to remove offensive statues, monuments and other public displays in a manner that follows the so-called democratic system.

For example, a white marble statue of Christopher Columbus that inexplicably has been in the California Capitol for more than a century is going to be removed, Democratic state lawmakers — whose power was invested in them by a majority of the state’s voters — have decided.

I have seen that statue a million times, too, and always fucking wondered why a statue of Columbus, who never set foot in what is now California, is venerated in the state Capitol, unless we’re to venerate the brutal colonization of the continent that he helped start for the benefit of the monarchy of Spain. (Indeed, Junipero Serra and many others like him continued Columbus’ “work.”)

It’s nice that the statue of Columbus in the state Capitol is being removed by the system. But the system doesn’t always work. No doubt the Catholic church, for instance, would have opposed the removal of the Serra monument in Capitol Park.

After all, as Wikipedia notes, “Amid denunciations from Native American tribes who accused Serra of presiding over a brutal colonial enslavement, Pope Francis canonized Serra on September 23, 2015, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., during his first visit to the United States.”

If the Catholics think that patently evil men like Junipero Serra are so fucking great, they can keep the statues of them in the fucking Vatican.

Members of the American public, meanwhile, shouldn’t be assaulted by this right-wing propaganda — and blatant evil — which is given validity when it is enshrined in statues, monuments and other public displays.

P.S. Here is what the monument to Junipero Serra in Capitol Park looks like now:

true
Sacramento Bee news photo

Yes, according to the photo’s caption, apparently that’s a deluded, brainwashed Catholic (redundant) mourning the “loss” of the monument to “Saint” Serra, apparently wholly disregarding the evil that he and those like him perpetrated upon others.

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Why this statue of Lincoln should go

Associated Press photo

The Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C., portrays President Abraham Lincoln, holding his Emancipation Proclamation, with a freshly freed slave at his feet. The statue was erected in 1876 — and certainly is a product of its time.

We have bigger fish to fry than to worry about our public statues, I hear you whine.

You probably maybe are right. COVID-19 continues to ravage the nation because we are a nation of adolescents and thus couldn’t remain locked down for even three full months and so we reopened way prematurely, just collectively pretending that it was all clear; unemployment due to the novel coronavirus pandemic remains a huge problem; the cops, most of them white, keep killing black Americans (men, mostly) when a non- or less-lethal response was possible; and our long-standing problems, such as climate change, insane income inequality and the over-militarization of our nation, of course remain untouched under the “leadership” of the unelected and thus illegitimate “President” Pussygrabber.

But statues are part of the American culture, and it’s not only that Americans create the national culture, but that the national culture also forms Americans.

Generally speaking, a public statue is erected because someone and/or some event is not only to be commemorated, but is to be venerated. Most statues are not, of course, neutral, but are statements of that society’s highest values.

Therefore, it’s entirely appropriate that all public commemorations of the fucking Confederacy, including statues, be removed from public view. Treason, white-supremacist racism and slavery are not to be venerated.

I don’t maintain that all of the offensive and oppressive statues have to be destroyed, but they should be removed from public view. I’m OK with them being warehoused or placed in museums if they’re part of the history that the museum is telling.

But they don’t belong in the public square. All of us have the right to be out and about in public without our senses, our psyches and our souls being assaulted by symbols of tyranny, ignorance and hatred.

True, we could go pretty far with this exercise. George Washington owned slaves. So did Thomas Jefferson. So did even Benjamin Franklin. Ditto for John Hancock and Patrick Henry. I’m not advocating that we raze the Washington Monument or the Jefferson Memorial. Indeed, these monuments were not raised in praise of slavery, but some of the background history there nonetheless is pretty fucking ugly.

Abraham Lincoln, my favorite president, of course never owned a slave, but then again, he also grew up in poverty, and I’d like to think that he’d never have been a slave holder even if he had grown up in wealth and if his formative years had been spent in a slave state instead of mostly in Indiana and Illinois. (He was born in Kentucky, but his family moved to Indiana when he was a young boy and then to Illinois when he was a young man.)

And while Lincoln opposed slavery, he did not believe that whites and blacks were social equals (almost no white person in his day and age did) — something about Lincoln that we don’t routinely teach our young children in school.

Still, looking at Lincoln’s presidency, I think that on balance, given the steep challenges that faced him and how he fared with them, he is the best president that we’ve had.

(For the most part I agree with Wikipedia’s rather glowing assessment of Lincoln that he “led the nation through its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis in the American Civil War. He preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy.”)

But that doesn’t mean that I have to like every statue or other public depiction of Lincoln, and the statue of Lincoln at the Emancipation Memorial (pictured above) — which, unshockingly, was paid for by donations from former slaves but was designed and sculpted by one or more white people — is problematic.

First and foremost, it portrays a white man as the slaves’ savior. Apparently, the white man never can lose; even though he enslaved abducted Africans in the first fucking place, he is to get kudos, too, for finally having set them free. Just: No.

I have a black co-worker who once blithely opined that Barack Obama was a great president because, among other things, she claimed, he “gave us gay marriage.”

No, not true. Not only was it the U.S. Supreme Court, not Obama, that ruled five years ago yesterday that same-sex marriage legally cannot be prohibited anywhere on U.S. soil, but even the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t “give” us non-heterosexuals equal marriage rights.

Those equal human rights already always were there; they were just being denied to us LGBT individuals by an oppressive, heterosexist majority. Ditto for the slaves, of course: Their right to be free always had existed; it was just being denied to them by the tyrannical white majority.

In Obergefell vs. Hodges, the Supreme Court simply acknowledged where the majority of the American people already were — that it was past the time to stop shitting and pissing upon LGBT individuals — and codified it.

Before and behind that was generations of fighting for equality by non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals, who often were brutalized and murdered.

Ditto in the case of Abraham Lincoln. Many, many others, obviously blacks as well as whites (and others), fought for — and died for — the abolition of slavery. That fight culminated in the Emancipation Proclamation, but to act as though the Emancipation Proclamation came out of thin air — or even from one person — is to ignore blatantly the actual history.

(Yet another parallel: Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but did he “give” black Americans equal human and civil rights that even the Emancipation Proclamation hadn’t gained them? No. Again, many, many people had fought for — and died for — civil-rights advancements before Johnson signed any legislation. And these rights weren’t created, as they always already had existed.)

The statue at the Emancipation Memorial keeps the white man above the black man — figuratively as well as literally. The spirit of it is that the white man freed the black man — as though an act of nature, instead of white people, had created slavery — and the shadow aspect of that is that because the white man retains the upper hand over the black man, he could reverse himself and reinstitute the slavery of the black man at any time.

Note that Frederick Douglass, who justifiably had some issues with Lincoln, disliked the statue at the Emancipation Memorial, and note that, of course, since the statue commemorated the 11th anniversary of Lincoln’s death, we have no way of knowing what he himself would have thought of such a depiction of himself. (My best guess is that Lincoln would have thought the statue to be gauche, even for 1876.)

I surmise that the statue at the Emancipation Memorial will remain there for a time to come, as the issue of its continued existence is hashed out, but I’m perfectly OK with its removal. (It’s now being protected by a barrier because activists have targeted it to be removed.)

A statue that’s in the public square should represent the better angels of our nature.

I think that’s what Lincoln would have wanted.

P.S. This is a wonderful recent Washington Post news photo of the usual suspect arguing for the Emancipation Memorial to remain intact while an activist who supports its removal has to suffer his presence:

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