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Cry of the Clintonistas: ‘Surrender, Dorothy!’

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Billary’s ‘inevitability’ is not inevitable

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	U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responds forcefully to intense questioniing on the September attacks on U.S. diplomatic sites in Benghazi, Libya, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington January 23, 2013.  

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Billary Clinton appears to be going through the last four of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ stages of grief as she answers the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ bullshit charges on Benghazi in Washington, D.C., in January — charges that the traitors (including Mittens Romney) couldn’t make stick to President Barack Obama but sure the fuck are trying to make stick to Billary, even though war criminals George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, et. al. remain free. I, for one, don’t want to hear even more Benghazi bullshit for months and months to come, and would much rather see another, actually progressive Democrat win the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, male or female. (Go, Elizabeth Warren!) I reject Billary’s “inevitability,” and I hope that she has to go through Kubler-Ross’ stages of grief where the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination is concerned.

Too many people were bored over the long holiday weekend, because the “buzz” was over Billary Clinton: Will Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren run in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary?

A writer for the New Republic says yes (or, at least, says probably); the smug, center-right political columnist for Slate.com David Weigel, in response, among other things has proclaimed that “The professional left [an apparent insult, since progressives, myself included, were quite insulted when a mouthpiece of the Obama regime dismissively referred to us as “the professional left,” when the more correct term for us would be “the Democratic Party’s base”] doesn’t know how to win” and asks (rhetorically?) of “the professional left”: “if the Obama experience hasn’t taught them that a dreamy presidential candidate won’t bring about paradise, what will?”

Weigel could have summarized his inevitability-of-Billary screed in two words: Surrender, Dorothy!

It’s fun to pick on “the professional left,” I’m sure. And it’s fun to knock down an argument that your (presumed) opponent never even fucking made. I mean, I know of no progressive who ever has described Elizabeth Warren as a “dreamy” candidate who will usher in “paradise.”

I do believe, in fact, that “the Obama experience” has taught us progressives an important lesson. (If nothing else, Obama has utterly ruined the words “hope” and “change” for all Democratic campaigns to come.) But Weigel, who apparently doesn’t actually associate with any of the progressives whom he so smugly disdains, wouldn’t know that; if he knew that, he wouldn’t need to ask, rhetorically or not.

Weigel’s assertion — not to pick only on Weigel, although he can be a real asshole — essentially seems to be that because “Billary Clinton is more popular than ever,” we might as well just skip the 2016 Democratic primary season and declare her the victor already.

I remember when the Deaniacs were basically, sometimes even literally, saying the same thing about Howard Dean during the 2004 presidential election cycle. Even progressive columnist and political cartoonist Ted Rall, with whom I agree more than 90 percent of the time, once actually wrote a column suggesting that states save money by skipping the caucuses and primaries altogether, since Howard Dean undoubtedly was going to win the nomination anyway.

Of course, when people actually voted in the primaries and attended the caucuses that Rall had recommended be scrapped, it turned out very differently: The candidate whom I’d supported all along, John Kerry, like Lazarus, arose from the dead and got the nomination. (Kerry, admittedly, has been a shitty, or at least a disappointing, secretary of state, but I still believe that he did much better against George W. Bush in 2004 than Howard Dean would have done had he won the nomination.)

So I reject similar assertions of Billary Clinton’s inevitability. Will she run for president again in 2016? Very most likely, as she is widely seen, as Mittens Romney apparently was seen in 2012, as her party’s heir apparent for 2016.

But is her primary-season win inevitable?

No. No more so than was Howard Dean’s.

Sure, polls right now show Billary as the undisputed leader for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, but doesn’t the fact that the likes of David Weigel basically are telling Americans that Billary Is Inevitable lead a great number of them to believe that Billary is their only real choice?

Elizabeth Warren shows in the top three in the 2016 Democratic presidential field in the latest polling, which suggests to me that she has a real shot.

I’d support Elizabeth Warren or another actually progressive Democratic candidate (female or male) hands down over Billary. I’m fine with a woman as our next president; I’m not fine with that woman being the center-right Billary Clinton.

I require more than the mere possession of the XX chromosomes in a presidential candidate. I wouldn’t want Sarah Palin to be president (or even vice president), either.

Ted Rall, in his forthcoming column on Billary Clinton and how she never should be president, among other things, notes:

… Hillary’s admirers have conflated her impressive list of jobs with actually having gotten things done. When you scratch the surface, however, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the woman has done little more than warm a series of comfy leather desk chairs. How has this career politician changed Americans’ lives? Not in the least.

No doubt, Hillary knows her way around the corridors of power: first lady, senator from New York, presidential candidate, secretary of state. Nice resume, but what did she do with all her jobs? Not much. …

Rall reminds us of Billary’s years in the U.S. Senate:

… After sleazing her way into the Capitol as an out-of-state carpetbagger — New Yorkers still remember — Senator Clinton wiled away the early 2000s as a slacker senator. This, remember, was while Bush was pushing through his radical right agenda: the Patriot Act, wars, coups, drones, torture, renditions and so on.

While Bush was running roughshod, Hillary was meek and acquiescent. …

[Update: Rall’s full column is here.]

Indeed, Obama also accomplished little to nothing during his (four) years in the U.S. Senate. Indeed, perhaps progressives have learned that you look beyond a candidate’s campaign rhetoric and instead look at that candidate’s record, and Billary’s record of accomplishment is no more impressive than was Obama’s when he won the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

“Since 2009 we’ve seen what happens when we elect a president with charisma but minus a resume,” Rall notes. But Billary doesn’t even have the charisma.

And, as Rall notes, “At least with Obama, 2008 voters saw potential. Hillary has had 20 years to shine. If she hasn’t gotten anything accomplished in all that time, with all that power, why should we think she’ll make a great president?”

Yup.

Elizabeth Warren at least has consistently stood up to Wall Street — Warren at least shows potential — while the Clinton machine has made Wall Street its engine.

Would Warren use the hopey-changey bait and switch that Obama did? I doubt it. It wouldn’t be impossible, but I find it unlikely. And it would be difficult to find a lazier president than Obama has been. Recall that when he had both houses of Congress in his party’s control in 2009 and in 2010, he squandered his political capital, something that even the fucktarded George W. Bush never did.

In his column, Rall also correctly points out that although “A woman president is two centuries overdue,” by having ridden her husband’s coattails, Billary is “a terrible role model for women,” and that Billary royally fucked up in October 2002 when, in “the most important vote of her life,” as a U.S. senator she voted to allow the unelected Bush regime to launch its Vietraq War.

While I don’t know that I agree with Rall’s assertion that Billary lost to Obama in 2008 “primarily due to that vote,” it was a significant factor. (The charisma factor was larger, though, I surmise.) I, for one, still hold it against my U.S. senator, the nauseating DINO Dianne Feinstein, for having voted for the Vietraq War in October 2002 (the traitor nonetheless keeps getting re-elected here in California, though; that she’s a millionaire helps, I guess), and I still like my other, for-the-most-part-actually Democratic U.S. senator, Barbara Boxer, in no small part because she voted against it.

But John Kerry also had stupidly voted for the Vietraq War in October 2002 yet still won the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination.

True, the Vietraq War still raged then, and we didn’t have the hindsight on it that we did when Billary ran in 2008, but here in the United States of Amnesia, I can’t see her vote for the Vietraq War hurting Billary much in a 2016 campaign.

Still, though, her vote for the Vietraq War demonstrates that if she isn’t a self-serving coward who will do what’s politically expedient over what is right, she exhibited, in Rall’s words, breathtakingly “poor political calculus,” which makes her “kind of dumb.” (“Kind of” is generous.)

I’ll offer yet another, perhaps selfish reason to reject the “inevitability” of Billary Clinton: I really, really, really don’t want to keep hearing, for months on end, about Benghazi from the very same right-wing traitors who have had no problem whatsofuckingever with the pointless deaths of more than 4,000 of our troops in the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked, unjust and thus bogus — and thus treasonous — Vietraq War, but who claim to care sooo much about four Americans who died in the Middle East last year.

But then again, perhaps with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors so fucking focused on trying to take down Billary with the Benghazi bullshit, they wouldn’t see someone like Elizabeth Warren coming…

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Dean for 2016!

Des Moines Register photo

Howard Dean, photographed at a speaking engagement in Iowa today, today reportedly refused to rule out a run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

Disclaimer: I did not support Howard Dean’s 2004 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. And in 2003 and 2004 I found the “Deaniacs” to be, well, more creepily cult-like than to be inspiring.

When Dean imploded in the snows of Iowa in January 2004 — when he came in at No. 3, behind John Kerry and John Edwards, after the Deaniacs already had painted Dean as all but coronated as the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate — I was pleased, I must admit.

Dean had had his hordes of zombie-like followers converging upon and canvassing all over Iowa in their tacky orange knit hats (their no-doubt-annoying-to-Iowans ubiquity probably harmed Dean a lot more than it helped him, I surmised then and still surmise today), and Dean’s followers struck me as pretty fucking smug, and so it was great to see Team Dean knocked down some pegs.

The “Dean scream” thing, I can say at least in retrospect, was overblown and probably unfair, but at the time I didn’t care, truth be told; I just wanted Dean knocked out of the race, and if that was what it took, so be it.

But don’t get me wrong. I didn’t necessarily feel in 2004 that Howard Dean never should be the Democratic presidential candidate. I just didn’t believe — and still don’t believe — that he was the best Democratic presidential candidate for 2004, when the goal was to boot the unelected George W. Bush from the White House, and when the post-9/11 “war on terror” and militarism still were big (or big-enough, anyway) issues.

I couldn’t see the peacenik Dean (that was the perception of him, anyway) beating the chickenhawk Bush, who quite effectively had used the specter of “terrorism” for political gain, who had milked the fall of the World Trade Center like Adolf Hitler had milked the Reichstag fire.

I, along with millions of others, desperately wanted to deny Bush a second term, and in my eyes it was Vietnam vet John Kerry (contrasted to the Vietnam War-evading cowards Bush and Cheney) whose resume was best matched to accomplishing that.

I supported Kerry from early on, but I figured that his campaign was dead, or at least on life support, no later than in the late fall of 2003, when it sure looked like he was a goner. Then, like Lazarus, Kerry came back from the dead and kicked Dean’s ass in Iowa, the first contest of the presidential primary season. Kerry’s momentum from Iowa quickly made him the front-runner; Dean dropped out of the primary race after he again placed third, this time in Wisconsin, in February 2004.

That Kerry ultimately lost to Bush does not make me believe, in retrospect, that Dean would have been the better candidate. Bush had the incumbent’s advantage, and while I won’t claim that the Kerry campaign made no missteps, I posit that Kerry did significantly better against Bush than Dean would have.

With Dean, I saw an embarrassing, Walter Mondale- or Michael Dukakis-level loss, frankly. At least with Kerry it was close (251 electoral votes to 286 electoral votes, and 48.3 percent of the popular vote to 50.7 percent).

But the political environment of 2016 is shaping up to be quite different from that of 2004. 9/11 occurred almost 12 years ago, for starters.

Let’s face it: Barack Obama in 2008 fairly simply coasted to the White House on the wave that Howard Dean had created.* Obama, whose only “accomplishment” had been a nice, touchy-feely speech that he gave at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (before he had even been elected to the U.S. Senate), is an opportunist who saw his opportunity and took it.

Although I didn’t support Dean in 2004 primarily for strategic reasons, he’s the right candidate for 2016.

Billary Clinton does not deserve to be coronated (any more than Dean did in 2004), and if Obama gave her a run for her money in 2008 — and he did, obviously (while Dean flamed out after only a month in the presidential primary fight, recall that Obama and Billary duked it out for five looong months) — then I don’t see why Dean couldn’t do so in 2016, especially when Obama in 2008 pretty much had only pretended to be the second coming of Howard Dean.

I would support Dean over Billary for 2016, hands down. I’m more than ready for our first female president, but she would need to be one who is actually progressive, not one who rubber-stamped the unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War, helped her husband pimp the Democratic Party out to corporate weasels and drag the Democratic Party to right, and who has coasted and capitalized on her husband’s name rather than having actually achieved anything on her own.

Thankfully, there is talk that Howard Dean might be considering a 2016 run. He was in Iowa today (visit Iowa while being a politician, and tongues will wag), and The Des Moines Register reports:

Another presidential campaign is not an immediate goal for Democrat Howard Dean, who came to Iowa today to rake Republicans as either radicals or cowards who are too afraid to stand up to the extreme right.

“At this point, I’m supporting Hillary Clinton,” Dean, a former Vermont governor and 2004 presidential candidate, told The Des Moines Register in a brief interview in Iowa today.

Asked if he’s definitively ruling out a White House bid, Dean climbed into a waiting car and said with a grin, “Ahhgh, we’re done here. Thank you.”

Dean, the founder of a political action committee called Democracy for America, was the keynote speaker at the 57th annual Iowa Federation of Labor Convention at a conference center at Prairie Meadows in Altoona this morning.

Earlier this year, Dean had said he wasn’t ruling out running for president in 2016. He came in third place in the Democratic Iowa caucuses a decade ago, after John Kerry and John Edwards. …

I could support Al Gore for 2016, too, but I haven’t heard that Gore has had any interesting in running for the White House again, and, truth be told, I surmise that Gore is widely viewed as already having lost a presidential election (even though, of course, he actually won it), whereas Dean does not, it seems to me, carry that level of baggage.

And, as I noted, Barack Obama would not be where he is had he not coasted along the path to the White House that Dean already had paved for him. Obama in 2008 undeservedly fairly automatically picked up the energy, the money and the support of the Deaniacs, which propelled him into the Oval Office.

It’s time, it seems to me, for Howard Dean to finally be sitting in the chair in the Oval Office, the chair that Obama fairly effortlessly slipped into but that Dean actually deserves.

*Wikipedia notes of Howard Dean, “Although his [2004] presidential campaign was unsuccessful, Dean is regarded as a pioneer in raising the profile of Internet-based fundraising and grassroots organizing” and: 

Dean formed the [progressive political action committee] Democracy for America [in 2004] and later was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee in February 2005. As chairman of the [Democratic Party], Dean created and employed the “50-state strategy” that attempted to make Democrats competitive in normally conservative states often dismissed in the past as “solid red.”

The success of the strategy became apparent after the 2006 midterm elections, where Democrats took back the House and picked up seats in the Senate from normally Republican states such as Missouri and Montana. In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama used the “50-state strategy” as the backbone of his candidacy.

Wikipedia further notes that although Dean has not held elected office since he wrapped up his chairmanship of the Democratic Party in 2009, “In June 2013, Dean expressed interest in possibly running for the presidency in 2016.”

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‘W’ still is for ‘Worst’

US Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush,shake hands at the dedication for the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Texas

Reuters photo

The two George Bushes yuk it up at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which contains a library and a museum, in Dallas today.

It’s interesting that we supposedly now are “re-evaluating” the unelected reign of George W. Bush in the White House on the occasion of the impending (May 1) public opening of his library and museum in Dallas — which, I’m guessing, consists of coloring books, connect-the-dot books, and, of course, many copies of The Pet Goat, and maybe such relics as aluminum tubes and that vial of white powder that were used to justify the Vietraq War, and maybe that dog leash that was on that Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib. (The original plans for World Trade Center: The Ride and the Hurricane-Katrina-themed water park next door to the library and museum were nixed for maybe sending the wrong messages.)

Will any of Gee Dubya’s amateurish paintings be put on display at his museum? It’s funny — Adolf Hitler was a bad artist before he became a fascistic dictator, and Gee Dubya pulled a Reverse Adolf, first becoming a fascistic dictator and then becoming an awful artist.

Seriously — what to say about a presidency that began with a blatantly stolen presidential election (replete with George W. Bush’s brother Jeb in the role of the governor of the pivotal state of Florida and Florida’s chief elections officer, Katherine Harris, making damn sure that Gee Dubya “won” the state) and that ended with our national economic collapse (including a federal budget surplus turned into a record federal budget deficit)?

Between those two lovely bookends were 9/11 (despite the August 6, 2001 presidential daily brief titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” [which, in Bush’s defense, he might not even have skimmed, since he was on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, at the time]); the launch of the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War in March 2003, using 9/11 as the pretext; all that came with the Vietraq War, such as the thousands upon thousands of Iraqi civilians and American military personnel slaughtered for nothing except for Dick Cheney’s Halliburton’s war profiteering, such as the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors, and such as the bogus war’s massive drain on the U.S. Treasury; and Hurricane Katrina, which struck Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states on August 29, 2005 (the same day that Bush was sharing birthday cake with John McCainosaurus in Arizona), and killed around 2,000 Americans, most of whom were black and so who were expendable.

(If you want a more exhaustive list of George W. Bush’s Greatest Hits, see AlterNet.org’s “50 Reasons You Despised George W. Bush’s Presidency: A Reminder on the Day of His Presidential Library Dedication.”)

The eight, very long George W. Bush years to me were like a series of national rapes. Never before had a president who had lost the popular vote nonetheless been coronated president by the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court that ruled that it was most expedient to stop recounting the ballots in Florida and just declare a “victor” already.

So raped did I feel over this, the largest blow to democracy in my lifetime, that I attended a “Not My President Day” protest rally on Presidents’ Day in early 2001 at the California State Capitol. Not long enough after that, I attended another protest rally at the state Capitol, this one over the impending launch of the obviously bogus Vietraq War in March 2003.

That is the only good/“good” thing that I can say about the George W. Bush years: That the unelected Bush regime’s stunning incompetence and its criminal and treasonous acts and failures to act made me more political than I’d ever been before — indeed, to the point that shortly before the Bush regime launched its Vietraq War, I started to blog in the fall of 2002, and I was more involved in the 2004 presidential election than I’d ever been involved in any presidential election before or since.

I get it that there are certain individuals out there who, because they identify so much with the Repugnican Tea Party, never will admit the colossal failure that was the George W. Bush presidency.

That’s fine. They can, and will, remain in their delusion and lies.

The rest of us, however, know and never will forget that there isn’t enough lipstick on the planet to put on the pig that was the unelected, treasonous reign of our own former mass-murdering dictator*, George W. Bush.

*A dictator, by my definition, is someone who did not receive the majority of the votes but who takes office through intimidation or even physical force anyway.

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