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Barack Obama needs to STFU

Getty Images photo

He needs to take his own advice right about now.

By chiming in to the 2020 Democratic Party presidential race now, former President Barack Obama apparently is trying to do two things: retroactively justify his own centrist, milquetoast presidency and encourage the voters now to choose his hand-picked do-nothing successor, Deval Patrick.

Among other things, Obama recently proclaimed — to an audience of Democratic donors, of course — that “The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it,” and that “We also have to be rooted in reality and the fact that voters, including the Democratic voters and certainly persuadable independents or even moderate Republicans, are not driven by the same views that are reflected on certain, you know, left-leaning Twitter feeds. Or the activist wing of our party.” 

So although the Repugnicans never walk on eggshells or apologize for their very existence, but just ram their right-wing agenda through as much as they can, Obama and his milquetoast ilk advise Democrats to (continue to) be pussies — and thereby lose elections because the voters clearly see that they’re pussies who won’t take anything remotely like bold action to improve their lives.

Obama sorely needs to shut the fuck up.

I took a leap of faith on that ubiquitous “hope” and “change” bullshit and voted for Obama in 2008. I fucking regretted it. After it became clear during his first term that he was more interested in trying to please the Repugnicans than trying to please his base by even trying to pass a progressive agenda while he still had both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives in his own party’s control in 2009 and 2010 — once the House was lost to the Repugs in November 2010 for the remainder of Obama’s presidency, there was no way that he was going to have any significant progressive achievement — there was no way that I could vote for Obama again in 2012, and so I did not; I believe in actually holding an elected official to his or her campaign promises. (Call me old-fashioned!)

Now, after eight years of an unremarkable presidency — indeed, presidential scholars rank Obama at the bottom of only the second quartile of all U.S. presidents* — Obama is encouraging us to go with his clone. And we need to say resoundingly: Oh, hell no!

It was no secret that when Deval Patrick first considered running for president no later than in 2017, he had Obama’s backing. It can be no coinky-dink, then, that now that Patrick tardily has entered the race in a disrespectful, egomaniacal manner, Obama is piping up now in praise of the do-nothing Democrat who doesn’t scare many to even most Repugnicans — and most importantly, doesn’t scare big-money donors to Democrats.

This bullshit didn’t work when Obama was president; indeed, the Obama presidency led us to the Pussygrabber presidency. Had Obama presided progressively — had he used the power of the office to better Americans’ lives (no, Obamacare, which required people to buy health insurance from for-profit insurance companies, is not progressive) — the Democrats would have won in November 2020.

But now, Obama encourages us to repeat his own failures.

And by doing that, and by trying to put his finger on the scale for Deval Patrick, Obama only further taints his own legacy. Obama did us no favors when he was president, and he is doing us no favors now from the presidential peanut gallery.

*In other words, Obama is just one notch above having been ranked in the bottom half of all U.S. presidents. See for yourself. (In the table, hit the sorting icon at the top of the last column, “Most frequent quartile,” and then look at where Obama lands.)

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Give the egomaniacal late-comers the cold shoulder that they deserve

Associated Press photos

Deval Patrick, left, and Michael Bloomberg, right, actually think that we want them now, with less than three months before the Iowa caucuses.

As I have noted, the 2020 Democratic Party presidential field already is too large, yet now we have billionaire Michael Bloomberg and corporate whore Deval Patrick entering the race when the Iowa caucuses are less than three months away, each apparently believing that he has That Special Something possessed by none of the other candidates who already have been campaigning their hearts out for months.

With Julian Castro’s impending implosion — he didn’t qualify for this month’s debate, so say sayonara to him* — and now the entry of Bloomberg and Patrick, we have taken one step forward and two steps back.

Why Bloomberg believes that the billionaire lane is untaken when his fellow billionaire Tom Steyer is languishing in the polls (he’s at 1 percent nationwide) eludes me (except, I suppose, that Bloomberg has held elected office [well, he bought it, but nevermind…]).

Why Patrick is running is, I think, fairly obvious: I think he didn’t run initially because he’d thought that the black lane, already occupied by Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, was too crowded.

But because Harris and Booker are languishing in the polls (at about 5 percent and 2 percent nationally, respectively), I surmise, Patrick believes that he could have done — and still could do — better than either of those two.

I disagree. The Democratic presidential caucus and primary voters actually aren’t hankering for yet another corporate whore trying to leverage identity politics to get into the Oval Office. (Yes, as I’ve noted, after Patrick left his job as governor of Massachusetts in January 2015, he joined Repugnican Mittens Romney’s Bain Capital, where he was employed until yesterday.)

And the percentage of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters polled nationwide who remain undecided is only around 8 percent, per Real Clear Politics, so no, it’s not like the voters are very unhappy with their current choices; most of them have found a candidate they like.

I don’t see Patrick or Bloomberg qualifying for any of the debates that will be held between now and the Iowa caucuses, and, as others have pointed out, the lion’s share of talented consultants and staffers of course already have been employed by the campaigns that have been going on for months.

And while Bloomberg has plenty of his own money, as he demonstrated when he bought the mayorship of New York City, what about Patrick? The New York Times notes that “He will start with zero campaign cash.”

And both Patrick and Bloomberg initially were going to run, then decided not to run, and now have decided to run after all. If decisiveness is something that we want in our president, as well as the possession of good timing, then neither Bloomberg nor Patrick is our candidate.

I personally am put off by someone thinking that he or she is so fucking great that he or she is entering the race now. It shows, I think, a huge amount of egomania and utter disrespect for the process (which is that you actually fucking campaign).

The voters should give these egomaniacal late-comers the cold shoulder that they so deserve.

*The 10 who are scheduled to appear on Wednesday’s debate stage in Atlanta are Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.

Beto O’Rourke and Castro are the only two who appeared in last month’s debate who won’t appear in this month’s, O’Rourke because he dropped out (knowing that he wouldn’t qualify for this month’s debate, apparently) and Castro because he didn’t meet the polling and fundraising benchmarks for this month’s debate.

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More should follow Beto’s example and get the hell out of the way already

Updated below (on Sunday, November 3, 2019)

We’ve got a lot more culling to do…

Beto O’Rourke lasted longer than I’d probably thought that he would — way back in December of last year I wrote that I hoped that his presidential campaign would fail — but he finally dropped out of the 2020 Democratic Party presidential race yesterday.

Politico reported yesterday:

Des Moines — Beto O’Rourke, running out of money and flat-lining in public opinion polls, abandoned his presidential campaign [today], exiting the contest just as a crush of better-funded, higher-polling candidates arrived here for an Iowa Democratic Party event.

Speaking to a group of tearful supporters on a lawn across from the convention center where O’Rourke had originally been scheduled to appear, O’Rourke pointed to the campaign’s inability to raise sufficient money in recent months.

“This is a campaign that has prided itself on seeing things clearly, on speaking honestly and on acting decisively,” O’Rourke said. “We have to clearly see at this point that we do not have the means to pursue this campaign successfully.” …

A campaign adviser said O’Rourke will not run for [the U.S.] Senate next year, despite persistent prodding. Leaving the gathering, O’Rourke declined to answer several questions about his departure from the race. But he said he will do “whatever I can for this country, no longer as a candidate, but with my fellow Americans.” …

Before his exit yesterday, O’Rourke had been polling, on average, at only 2 percent in nationwide polls.

But also still polling at no more than 2 percent on average in nationwide polls is Amy Klobuchar, who also should take a fucking hint already.

And Andrew Yang, polling only around 3 percent nationwide on average, also should drop out, but he’s become a bit of a cult candidate, so I don’t expect him to drop out until he at least fizzles out in Iowa on February 3.

I have no special animosity toward Yang, whom I’ve never had the desire to research since he’ll never be president anyway, but, like O’Rourke was and like Klobuchar still is, he is taking up oxygen from the room when he has no long-term chance for survival.

When you absolutely cannot win, then your continued presidential candidacy is just your little vanity project, and I’d say that solidifying support for one candidate (or, OK, for right now, anyway, for up to no more than two or three candidates) to take on “President” Pussygrabber is far more important than is any one individual’s little vanity project.

On that note, several candidates are even below 2 percent in nationwide polling averages yet they still plague us with their “candidacies”; among these bottom-bottom feeders are Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer and Julian Castro.

All of them should drop out now.

Most of them probably won’t, so hopefully the increasingly higher requirements for the subsequent Democratic Party presidential primary debates will shut them out of the debates, and their campaigns will die the natural deaths that they deserve.

Indeed, The New York Times recently reported that thus far, only four candidates have met the significantly stiffer entry requirements for the December debate: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

That’s not surprising, since those four are the top four nationwide-polling candidates.

I’m not on Team Buttigieg — that he’s a fellow gay white man isn’t nearly enough for me; I find his Clintonian centrism to be way off-putting — but right now his national polling average is around 8 percent, putting him at No. 4.

Because Boy Scout Pete is doing this well, I can’t really say that he should drop out right now.

But Kamala Harris is the black female version of Beto O’Rourke: Why, exactly, we’re supposed to support her message-free, inspiration-free candidacy remains a fucking mystery.

(Well, maybe not such a mystery: Like with Cory Booker, I’ve always believed that Harris’ “tactic” all along was her stupid belief that, because of toxic identity politics, it would be a cakewalk for her to be Obama 2.0 — even though [like Booker], unlike Obama, she has zero charisma. [I mean, Booker tries for “charisma,” I guess, but it comes off as what it is: insincere, complete and utter goody-goody-two-shoes bullshit that is far more nauseating than it is anything remotely like heart-warming.])

The news yesterday that Harris’ campaign, apparently in panic mode, is putting most of its resources into Iowa now indicates that she’s desperate.

She’s doing poorly even in Iowa — she’s now at sixth place there, with only 3 percent — and even though she supposedly was going to do great in South Carolina because of her race and identity politics, she’s at only fourth place there, with only 7 percent.

And losing your own home state is never a good thing, so how is Harris doing here in California? Oh, she’s in fourth place, with only 8 percent.

Stick a fork in Harris because she’s done, but she’s probably still hoping for an undeserved No. 2 spot on the 2020 Democratic Party presidential ticket — I mean, the top four candidates all are white — and so I expect Harris to linger for a while longer, at least through Iowa.

How is my man Bernie doing? As I’ve said about a billion times before, as long as he remains in the top three and in the double digits in the nationwide polling averages — and he does — I’m fine with his chances of becoming the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee.

Now what we need is further culling of the herd.

O’Rourke was a nice start; hopefully, the others who have a snowball’s chance will follow his lead and relieve us of their bafflingly continued vanity projects.*

Update (Sunday, November 3, 2019): Politico reports today that Kamala Harris has made the December debate, keeping her campaign alive. (Well, “keeping her campaign alive” is my analysis, not necessarily Politico’s…)

So thus far that’s five candidates who have qualified for the December debate, in order of their nationwide polling: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Harris.

If the December debate consisted of no more than six or seven candidates, that would be swell. (If it were only five, that would be even sweller.)

*The New York Times also recently reported that nine candidates have made it to this month’s Democratic Party presidential primary debate: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.

Again, in my book, Booker, Klobuchar, Steyer and Yang don’t belong on that debate stage because of their tiny level of support, but I don’t expect more than one or two of them to drop out before this month’s debate, and, indeed, none of them might drop out before then.

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The! Incels! Will! Not! Replace! Us!

Images of and related to the Repugnican U.S. representatives “storming” a hearing room that they had no right to enter yesterday in order to try to protect their precious orange fuehrer — like this one:

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, surrounded by Repugnican colleagues, all of them stupid white men, pontificates about how Repugnican representatives who aren’t even on certain committees may not sit in on those committees’ hearings. The travesty! Except that this is the way that the House operated when the Repugnicans were last in charge of it, and that dozens of Repugnican House members do sit on the committees and thus may attend the hearings. (Getty Images news photo)

— remind me of other images, such as these two:

White supremacists carry fucking tiki torches at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, when one of their own killed a young woman with his car — you know, for the “cause”! (USA TODAY news photo)
Washington Post news photo

That last photo is of the “Brooks Brothers riot,” which occurred in Florida in November 2000 when Repugnican operatives, pretending to be just ordinary angry citizens, tried to interfere with the ballot recount in the hotly contested presidential election.

Wikipedia notes of the incident: “Hundreds of paid GOP operatives descended upon South Florida to protest the state’s recounts, with at least half a dozen of the demonstrators at Miami-Dade paid by George W. Bush’s recount committee. Several of these protesters were identified as Republican staffers and a number later went on to jobs in the Bush administration.”

The angry mob threatening to use violence to get the political outcome that it wants — oh, this is called terrorism, by the way — so often is comprised of right-wing white men. Who knew?

So yesterday’s sad stunt at the House of Representatives is the spiritual twin of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 and in Florida in November 2000. We’ve seen this page from the Repugnican playbook before. The only thing that has changed is that over time, these incels pretending to be bad-ass thugs look even more and more ridiculous in their bullshit macho posturing.

Desperate, pathetic right-wing white men, incensed that right-wing white men, while they still have much more power than they deserve, don’t have as much power as they used to have, believe that if they huff and puff and pound their chests — and raise their tiki torches — then the rest of us are going to cave in to them, ushering back in the good old days, when we women, non-whites, non-heterosexual, non-gender-conforming, non-Christian, non-capitalist and non-right-wing individuals knew our place.

The Democrats actually handled yesterday’s incident well. They didn’t have the traitors arrested because they knew that the traitors would then use the images of their arrest as “proof” of their “oppression.” (The poor martyrs for the “cause”!)

Also, the Democrats didn’t budge. The Repugnican traitors (redundant) delayed but did not prevent the closed-door testimony related to the impending impeachment of “President” Pussygrabber from taking place. And no, the traitors did not get to attend a hearing that they were ineligible to attend.

Thing is, far-right-wing white men are a vanishingly small percentage of the population of the United States of America. Whites are only about 60 percent of the U.S. population, which means that all white males are only about 30 percent of the U.S. population — and only some white males are far-right-wing; many of us, including yours truly, are democratic socialists. Conservatives are only about 35 percent of the U.S. population. So when you are done slicing up the American pie, far-right-wing white men are only a sliver.

The stupid white men just don’t have the numbers that they used to.

Nonetheless, yesterday the Repugnican traitors in D.C. were testing the waters. (They wanted to obstruct justice in order to demonstrate that the Repugnicans never obstruct justice!) They failed this time.

We, the people, must make sure that they fail every time that they try — until they finally meet that extinction to which they are headed.

P.S. Related:

Political cartoon
Political cartoon

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Why AOC & Co.’s endorsements matter

Bernie Sanders will be endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during his campaign rally in Queens on Saturday, according to a source.

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appear together at a campaign rally in July 2018. AOC has endorsed Bernie as the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee. (Washington Post news photo)

Bernie Sanders needed a comeback. He’s been at No. 3 in nationwide and early-state polling* for a little while now, and that heart attack of earlier this month appeared like it just might doom his second presidential campaign.

But perhaps when everything is at stake is when your supporters really step up.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive rock star, and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, also a lightning rod for the neo-Nazis who comprise the Repugnican Party because she challenges the status quo (that is, right-wing white-male supremacy), this week endorsed Bernie, as did Michael Moore. (A full list of Bernie’s endorsers is here.)

Michael Moore’s popularity has been, I think, slipping over the years, so his endorsement, while certainly yet another indicator that Bernie is the real and the most dependable progressive in the race, isn’t the prize that is AOC’s endorsement. I mean, AOC has been in Congress for not even one full year yet and already we’re referring to her by her initials.

Why do AOC’s and Omar’s endorsements of Bernie matter? Again, they demonstrate that Bernie is the true-blue progressive. They demonstrate that just as the young members of “The Squad” represent the future, so does Bernie, even though he’s 78 years young.

And, of course, prominent progressive women of color endorsing Bernie blows away the DINOs’ bullshit “Bernie bros” myth; Bernie is just fine on women’s issues and on the issues of non-whites, even though according to the Billarybots, who unfortunately are still with us, he’s “just another” white man.

It’s obvious to anyone who has two brain cells to rub together that Repugnican Lite Joe Biden would be a milquetoast president at best — if he could even win the November 2020 election, which he probably could not (Hi, Billary!) — and it’s also becoming clearer that Elizabeth Warren is a cheap knock-off of Bernie.

Warren has demonstrated brains — plans upon plans upon plans, including, I’m sure, plans for more plans, and lots of political calculation — but she hasn’t demonstrated much heart. Former Repugnican Warren wouldn’t dare to run against Billary in 2016 because she is a cowardly party hack, and now she challenges Bernie, who, in my estimation, deserves the nomination alone for his central role is relegating Clintonism to the dustbin of history, where it belongs, and who recognizes, entirely unlike Warren, that capitalism must go before it kills all of us.

Why does Bernie appeal to so many of us while Warren doesn’t? Because, again, Warren is a political calculator, eerily like Billary Clinton, except that Warren has been smarter than Billary and has realized that she at least needed to co-opt Bernie’s message from the get-go if she wanted to win. (As I’ve noted, Billary co-opted Bernie’s message, but way too late in the campaign, whereas Warren slyly co-opted it before the campaign began.)

It’s true that progressive rock stars like AOC and Michael Moore may not appeal that much to the entire general November 2020 electorate, but, as Nate Silver recently noted, “Sanders’s objective for now is to win the nomination, not the general election.”

Indeed, you win the party’s presidential nomination by exciting and inspiring the base, something that Joe Biden’s woefully outdated Clintonism and Warren’s cold calculations don’t do.

Unfortunately, it will take at least several days to see how Bernie’s good performance in this past week’s fourth debate and his recent endorsements help him in the polls.

But methinks that it’s inarguable that while it looked like he was in danger of slipping off of the mountain, he’s climbing right up it again.

*Don’t get me wrong — Bernie’s many competitors who can’t even hit the double digits would love to be in Bernie’s place, with double digits in the polls and with the best fundraising numbers of any other Democratic presidential candidate, but third place in the polls isn’t optimal.

That said, I think it’s entirely likely that Biden will implode soon enough, as he did when he ran for the nomination in 1988 and in 2008, and that this race essentially will be between establishmentarian Warren and actual progressive Bernie.

If it gets ugly, like 2016 got ugly, so be it. The future of the nation and the world is far more important than is any one individual and his or her feelings and those of his or her supporters.

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Bernie is hanging tough

This recent campaign video inspires me, and I am not easy to inspire.

Bernie Sanders still remains in the top three in the contest to become the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee. Bernie, along with Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, are the only contenders who poll in the double digits in the averages of nationwide polling.

Bernie’s current average nationwide polling of 15 percent is where he has been before in this presidential primary cycle, so it’s difficult to say how much his heart attack earlier this month might have put a dent in his polling.

My feeling is that we die-hard Berners are sticking with him as long as he’s able to walk and talk, whereas those who have abandoned him over a treatable — and treated — medical event had had only soft support for him anyway.

That Bernie’s next-closest competitor, Boy Scout Pete Buttigieg, is a full 10 percentage points away from Bernie, polling nationally at only at 5 percent on average, demonstrates to me that Bernie remains in the top tier.

I remember when my chosen candidate, John Kerry, rose from the dead in early 2004 when he quite unexpectedly won the Iowa caucuses — the polls had left him for dead — and then he kept on winning, wrapping the whole thing up not long after he won the New Hampshire primary. (Pseudo-progressive Howard Dean had been doing the best in the polling and was widely expected to win the nomination, but instead, he infamously imploded in the snows of Iowa.)

True, Kerry was and is much more establishmentarian than is Bernie, but still, Kerry’s come-from-behind win is an example of how a presidential primary race can change radically, beginning with the Iowa caucuses. Anything can happen, which can delight you or deject you.

Could I vote for Joe Biden in November 2020? No, I could not vote for a Repugnican Lite, and I wouldn’t have to — I live in California, where it is a foregone conclusion that the Democratic Party presidential candidate, whoever it is, will win the most votes in the state and thus will take all of California’s 55 electoral votes, the highest electoral prize in the nation.

We progressives who don’t vote for a DINO hack for president are lectured to by morons who don’t know Civics 101 and apparently believe that the president is elected by the popular vote, in which, indeed, you can argue that every vote matters. The Electoral College is way too complicated for these smug, ignorant finger-waggers to understand.

(In a nutshell: If you live in a deep-blue state, as I do, your vote for president pretty much doesn’t matter; the Democratic presidential candidate very probably is going to win your entire state in the only presidential contest that counts, the Electoral College. Ditto if you live in a deep-red state — the Repugnican presidential candidate very probably is going to win your entire state and thus all of its electoral votes. If you live in a light-blue, light-red [pink] or purple state, then your vote for president matters more in terms of the actual outcome.)

Could I vote for Elizabeth Warren in 2020? Maybe. I’m not sure yet. I lean toward not being able to vote for her, because I easily can see her doing The Obama Maneuver — campaign as a progressive but then govern as a status-quo-preserving centrist — but we’ll see.

I am troubled that Warren has shown such fealty to the party establishment, and it blows my mind that she apparently believes that capitalism can be reformed (she is terrified of the “socialist” label, just as she was too terrified to challenge Billary Clinton in 2016), and, as I have noted a million times, she was a Repugnican as late as the 1990s, so I don’t think that it’s unfair to point out that she’s relatively new to the whole progressivism thing, which Bernie has been with his entire fucking life.

On that note, should Bernie go “negative” against Warren? No, if “negative” means mean and nasty (which isn’t his style anyway) — but it’s entirely fair game for Bernie to point out Warren’s weaknesses and the differences between them, such as I just mentioned in the last paragraph. If Warren is going to co-opt Bernie’s message, as she has, then it’s fine for Bernie to point out that compared to him, Warren is some weak tea.

Tuesday’s fourth Democratic Party presidential debate in Ohio might be a turning point for Bernie, post-heart attack. Because 12 candidates have qualified for the debate and the debate won’t be split over two nights, as were the June and July debates — even the Repugnicans’ largest primary debate in the 2016 cycle, widely known as a “clown-car” debate, had “only” 11 candidates — probably all that Bernie will have time to do is demonstrate that his health is OK, that he still has many miles left on his odometer.

In the worst-case scenario, at what point should Bernie drop out of the race if he’s tanking? I don’t think that he’ll tank — probably only a severe, seriously debilitating medical event could derail his campaign entirely — but I think that given his strong, committed base of supporters, he most likely will remain in the double digits in the nationwide polling, and, off of the top of my head, I’d say that as long as he were among the top three winners in Iowa and among the top three winners in New Hampshire in early February, he should continue to campaign at least through Super Tuesday on March 3.

But hopefully, Bernie will pull a Kerry — win Iowa, and thus watch the majority of the rest of the states fall to him like dominoes.

We’ll see.

P.S. The conflict-mongering corporately owned and controlled “news” media of course are going to call any actual campaigning that Bernie does — you know, distinguishing himself from his rivals — as “negative” “attacks,” but that’s how the corporate whores of the media have treated Bernie all along anyway. As president he might threaten their privileged positions, so they must do their best to make sure that he doesn’t become president.

On that note, I love this viral video, which interposes corporate media whores’ smug and glib, self-serving lies about how Bernie appears in pubic with actual footage of how Bernie actually appears in public:

True, “President” Pussygrabber whines incessantly about being “mistreated” by the media, and he’s full of shit — if anything, the media is way too kind to him, given his high crimes against the nation and its Constitution — but not all whining about media mistreatment is unfounded, especially realizing that our mass media are corporately owned and controlled, and thus of course are quite unlikely to tolerate an anti-corporatist who wants to be president of the United States of America.

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Will Bernie break our hearts?

Image result for Bernie leaves hospital

In the video grab above, Bernie Sanders leaves a Las Vegas hospital yesterday after what first was reported on Tuesday as “chest discomfort” during a campaign event and then later was confirmed to have been a heart attack. This bad news came after it was reported that Bernie had raised more money than did any other Democratic presidential candidate in the third quarter. Bernie’s campaign says that he is doing well and that he intends to participate in the next primary debate, which will be on October 15.

News of the apparent heart attack that Bernie Sanders had on Tuesday while campaigning his heart out in Nevada predictably raised the question of his age (he is 78 years old now, and if elected, would enter the Oval Office at age 79, making him the oldest president we’ve had).

Two stents were placed in one of Bernie’s coronary arteries, he was released from the hospital yesterday, and his campaign says that he intends to participate in the October 15 debate in Ohio.

Will this sink Bernie?

I don’t think so. It gives those who weren’t supporting him anyway a(nother) “reason” to justify their self-defeating snubbing of the most consistently progressive presidential candidate that we have, but those of us who steadfastly have stood by Bernie will continue to do so.

As long as Bernie does well in his public appearances and has no more significant medical incidents, I expect this to blow over. It’s early October, after all, and the first voting isn’t until February 3, when the Iowa caucuses take place — and this is the United States of Amnesia.

And I think it’s fair to ask the question if it’s OK to stigmatize someone for having had a medical event after which one can, with medical attention, live normally and capably for many years. I know that if I had a heart attack but most likely still had several decent years of life left, I wouldn’t want to be written off.

Good news for Bernie from this past week is that in the third fundraising quarter of this year, he raised more money than did any other Democratic presidential contender — $25.3 million.

Close behind him was Elizabeth Warren, with $24.6 million, and poor Uncle Joe Biden raised only $15.2 million — he was eclipsed even by Boy Scout Pete Buttigieg, who raised $19.1 million. (Unlike Bernie and Warren, the center-right Buttigieg [like Biden] takes contributions from Big Money, though, so don’t take that fundraising figure as grassroots support for him that doesn’t actually exist.)

If fundraising is a measure of excitement for your campaign — and I think that it is for those few who, like Bernie, don’t take money from corporations and lobbyists and other power players — then Biden should be shitting his Depends. (Ah, c’mon; I had to go there…)

On that note, Biden continues to drop in the polls. Right now his nationwide polling average is around 27 percent, and Warren is nipping at his heels, with an average of almost 24 percent.

Bernie is at third place, with 16 percent, and after Bernie, at a rather distant fourth place, is Buttigieg, with around 6 percent. (Poor charisma-free Kamala Harris, who yet has to make a compelling case as to why she should be president, is at fifth place, with around only 5 percent.)

As I’ve noted about a million times before, I expect Biden to tank, as he did when he ran for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1988 and in 2008, and, as long as Bernie’s health holds up, I expect 2020 to be a race between Bernie and Warren.

It can’t be a direct comparison to the 2016 Bernie-vs.-Billary race, because while Billary only “found” progressivism rather late in the game during the 2016 cycle, this time around, from the get-go, Warren deftly has mimicked Bernie’s progressive angle while at the same time not pissing off the Democratic Party establishment hacks.

Warren, it seems to me, has a very good chance of winning this thing (the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, I mean).

Unfortunately, Warren also has a good chance of losing in November 2020 — I still believe that Warren’s No. 1 weakness is that she so easily can be painted by the Repugnicans as just another clueless, weak egghead from Massachusetts, as was Michael Dukakis in 1988 and John Kerry in 2004.

Perhaps only the increasingly obvious and absolutely undeniable mega-corruption of the unelected Pussygrabber regime (including a copious amount of treason) can overcome this “swiftboating” tactic that has worked pretty well for the Repugnicans in the past.

P.S. With his hectic campaign schedule and his famously impassioned speeches, one might wonder why it took this long for Bernie to have a heart attack. Just sayin’…

I’m thinking that Bernie might want to slow down. He has, I think, built up enough political capital that he can relax just a little, at least for a little while.

Biden should tank, so Bernie probably doesn’t have to worry about Biden, and Team Bernie should, I think, emphasize the fact that he was an avowed progressive decades before Elizabeth Warren, who was a Repugnican as late as the 1990s, decided to join the club.

It’s a fair criticism — it is true, and it is, to me, anyway, at least a bit concerning.

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