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.
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.)
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.”)
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Last week illegitimate U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III had the fucking gall to come to my city of Sacramento and proclaim that California may not “secede,” actually comparing California’s intent and desire to protect the most vulnerable among us to the South’s attempt to preserve the slavery of black people. (In his hateful little lecture-speech to California, the most populous state of the nation by a margin of more than 10 million people over the next-most-populous state, the Nazi elf brought up the pro-slavery John C. Calhoun but for some reason didn’t remind us that his first and middle names have very special meaning in the South.)
My regular readers (there are at least a handful of them) will have noticed that during the illegitimate reign of the unelected Pussygrabber regime* my blogging has dropped off considerably.
It’s that I can’t blog on every outrage. There are far too many of them these days (and weeks and months).
(Specifically, Sessions proclaimed that “There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is the supreme law of the land. I would invite any doubters to go to Gettysburg or to the tombstones of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln. This matter has been settled.” Yes, he went there.)
Yet when California wishes to protect human rights, human dignity and human well-being, Jeff Fucking Sessions, a treasonous piss-ant piece of shit, has the fucking gallto actually liken California to the slave-owning Southern states that had their asses handed to them on a silver platter by us slave-liberating Northerners. (Yes, of course, California was a Union state, unlike Jeffy’s backasswards, treasonous state of Alabama.)
Here’s the deal on “sanctuary cities” in California (and the fact that by state law the entire state is a “sanctuary state”): One, these “sanctuary” jurisdictions have been around in California for decades now and so aren’t new. And two, no California elected official, whether on the city, county, state or any other level, wants to just allow violently felonious“illegals” (a.k.a. “bad hombres”) to murder and rape fine white California citizens on his or her watch. That’s what you call bad politics.
Therefore, no, “sanctuary” jurisdictions do not protect violent felons who are in the country illegally. (As the Los Angeles Times notes, “The [“sanctuary state”] law prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from using personnel or funds to hold or question people, or share information about them with federal immigration agents, unless they have been convicted of one or more offenses from a list of 800 crimes.”[Emphasis mine.])
No, the idea of “sanctuary” jurisdictions is that law-abiding residents (those who haven’t committed serious crimes, anyway; almost all of us in the U.S., citizen or not, have committed at least misdemeanors during our lifetimes, whether we’re ever charged with those misdemeanors or not), whether they are here legally or not, don’t have to feel terrorized by storm troopers from ICE — a bunch of mostly right-wing, authoritarian, hypocritical white men with fascist tendencies if they’re not already full-blown fascists who get off on terrorizing others even for nonviolent legal infractions (such as merely existing where they’re “not supposed to” exist). This makes their fucking fascist day, you see.
And the idea of “sanctuary” jurisdictions also is that no resident in California, whether here legally or not, is too afraid to report a crime committed against him or her and/or against others because of his or her and/or the others’ citizenship status. Or is too afraid to testify or otherwise appear in a court of law. Or too afraid to seek medical care for himself or herself or another because of his or her citizenship status. Or to even to just go to school or to just take his or her child or children to school.
And the idea of “sanctuary” jurisdictions is that families (chosen families as well as biological families, in my book) aren’t ripped apart. It’s in society’s interests that that doesn’t happen. (The Repugnican Party is supposed to be all about the family, but of course that’s only white, Repugnican-voting families.)
Still, even being a “sanctuary state,” as Vox.com notes, “California, like any other ‘sanctuary’ jurisdiction, isn’t stopping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from being able to arrest, detain, or deport immigrants. In fact, ICE has already responded to the 2017 laws in its own way — by escalating raids in California and claiming that the state’s sanctuary laws force ICE to get more aggressive in its tactics.”
Indeed, the unelected and thus illegitimate Pussygrabber regime’s acting head of ICE, Thomas Homan — of course yet another stupid, fascist white man — in January proclaimed (of course) on Faux “News”/state television, “California better hold on tight. They are about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers.”
This moronic fascist who heads ICE demonstrates the need for California to protect its most politically vulnerable residents. And I’d gladly trade one stupid white man like Homan for 1,000 “illegals,” the vast majority of whom are hard-working and law-abiding.
(Indeed, non-citizens are less likely to commit crimes in the U.S. than are U.S. citizens. This isn’t shocking, as the vast majority of those who are not here legally quite obviously don’t have the strong desire to draw negative attention to themselves, be that by voting illegally or murdering and raping and pillaging and plundering, although it’s awfully interesting that the traitors on the right proclaim that the “illegals” are interested in both murdering and raping and in voting, because, you know, our prisons are filled with felons — bad hombres — who put voting illegally at the top of their lists of their favorite crimes to commit. [“You just raped and murdered a beautiful young white woman! What are you going to do now?” “I’m going to go vote!”])
Since Nazi elf Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III went there first, I’ll say it again: The North acted to stop the South’s terrorizing of brown-skinned human beings there. Now, the South thinks that it’s going to invade the North to terrorize the brown-skinned human beings here.
A second fight with California and the rest of the North** is not a fight that the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, MAGA-cap-wearing, Confederate-flag-waving fascists want to pick.
But, alas, as much as I often think that Abraham Lincoln’s No. 1 mistake is that he didn’t destroy the South entirely, but let waytoo many of the inbred traitors there live only to continue to drag down the entire nation to today, it most likely won’t come to that.
What’s more likely to happen is that the Repugnican traitors lose the U.S. House of Representatives in November. Then, “President” Pussygrabber is neutered. (True, expect him and his band of fellow traitors and criminals to do as much damage as they possibly can until then and even afterwards.)
Then, after November 2020, ideally we’ll have both houses of Congress controlled by the Democratic Party, as woefully imperfect as the Democratic Party is, and we’ll have President Bernie Sanders in the Oval Office.***
Maybe the red states will try to secede again between Bernie’s election and his inauguration, and they’ll get that rematch of the Civil War that they — and many of us on the other side — are itching for.
*Again, to me, if you did not win the popular vote, then you are not legitimately the president, as the majority of the American people did not select you. This is the case with “President” Pussygrabber as it was the case with “President” George W. Bush (whose “re”-“election” also was bullshit, since you can’t legitimately be elected again if you never were elected legitimately in the first fucking place).
**By “North” and “South” and “Northern” and “Southern,” I sometimes refer not (only) to the regions (the blue states and the red states), but (also) to the fascist/anti-democratic/treasonous and non-fascist/democratic/patriotic mindsets of the South and the North respectively; of course a person could be in the North but be a Southerner at heart and vice-versa.
***PredictIt.org, as I type this sentence, has the Democrats more likely to take over the White House in November 2020 than Pussygrabber is likely to keep his job, and has Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden tied for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.
I am not at all on Team Biden. I see him as a male Billary Clinton, a Democrat in name only (well, maybe he’s a little to the left of Billary, but she’s so far to the right that it’s a pretty insignificant distinction), and I don’t think that has-been, faux-progressive populist Biden will be able to overcome the enthusiasm that Bernie, a genuine progressive populist, generates.
Hopefully the changes that supposedly are being made within the Democratic National Committee after the fucking fiasco that was 2016 will mean that Biden won’t simply be coronated, like Queen Billary was.
Should anything like what happened to Bernie Sanders in 2016 repeat itself in 2020, what’s left of the Democratic Party can count the number of days that it has left; the Democratic Party already is on life support right now.
What support the party has now comes more from fear and loathing of the fascists who comprise the Repugnican Party than from real love and respect for the Dem Party, which lost its spine and veered away from progressivism no later than in the 1990s.
The highest that “President” Pussygrabber ever garnered in Gallup’s regular presidential-approval polling was 46 percent — a high that he hit shortly after his inauguration and that he never matched again.
In December, Vox.com reported that Pussygrabber’s December approval rating in the mid-30s was the worst presidential approval rating at that point in a president’s administration since long before I was born:
(Keep in mind that Gee Dubya’s December 2001 approval rating was so high only because of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Americans rallied behind him because they were scared and because they wanted revenge for 9/11.)
I might be more fearful of Pussygrabber’s fascism if his level of popular support weren’t so low. I don’t see Pussygrabber becoming Hitler 2.0 when he is lucky to hit even 40 percent in a nationwide approval poll (in no small part because Pussygrabber is an incredibly bumbling Hitler wannabe).
That said, this nation has serious problems and we couldn’t afford yet another lost year, but that’s what 2017 was, and the only thing that will prevent 2018 from being even yet another lost year entirely is numerous electoral victories this coming November; minimally, we need to take back the U.S. House of Representatives.
Finally, as it’s President’s Day, it’s appropriate to note that the 2018 Presidents and Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey (a survey “based on responses from 170 current and recent members of the Presidents and Executive Politics section of the American Political Science Association,” per Politico), which appropriately was released today, lists “President” Pussygrabber dead last among all 44 presidents.***
The “presidential greatness” survey puts Abraham Lincoln at No. 1, George Washington at No. 2, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt at No. 3. (I put Lincoln and FDR in the top three, to be sure, but I’m not sure on Washington; I have the feeling that it largely if not mostly was because he was the first president that he’s so well-regarded.)
In case you were wondering, Barack Obama came in at No. 8 in the survey; he skyrocketed 10 points since the survey was done last, in 2014, when he came in at No. 18. He now sits at one spot above Ronald Reagan, who is at No. 9. (That’s gotta hurt the wingnuts…)
I long have surmised that because Obama was sandwiched between the two worst “presidents” of my lifetime (neither of whom even won the fucking popular vote), Obama, by comparison, would look significantly better than he actually was, at least in the short term.
We’ll see how Obama is regarded in the long term (my prediction is that he’ll drop in the presidential rankings over the coming many years), and yes, to be fair, Pussygrabber has had only one full year in office on which to be evaluated, but no sane person could believe that it’s going to get any significantly better.
Despite his shortcomings, however, Obama at least won the popular vote in 2008 and in 2012. George W. Bush lost it in 2000 and thus could not legitimately have been “re”-elected in 2004, and, of course, “President” Pussygrabber lost the popular vote — bigly — in 2016, and therefore he could not legitimately be “re”-elected either, since he never legitimately was elected in the first place (even all of that help from Russia aside).
Compared to Pussygrabber, Obama indeed was the second coming of Abraham Lincoln, as he pretty much had portrayed himself to be when he announced his 2008 campaign for president in Springfield, Ill.
It seems to me that the view of Obama having been a great president comes at least as much from how abysmally bad Pussygrabber has been as it comes from whatever actual greatness Obama as president possessed.
**My best guess is that Pussygrabber will decline to run for “re”-election (especially if impeachment actually looks possible right around that time).
I surmise that Pussygrabber had thought that the office would bring him much more adulation than it actually has, and also, I surmise that because he was quite used to being the infallible, unchallengeable boy-emperor of The Trump Organization, he has been deeply disappointed that he couldn’t simply replicate that model as “president” of the United States.
Why serve in heaven when you can reign in hell? Again, I’d be surprised if Pussygrabber truly even wanted a second term.
***Grover Cleveland was president twice in non-consecutive terms. So there have been a total of 45 presidential terms, but a total of 44 individuals have been president.
(No, “President” Pussygrabber is not included in the presidential rankings, since his “presidency,” unfortunately, isn’t over yet, and one president, Glover Cleveland, was president twice, and so usually is called the 22nd and the 24th president, but, of course, up to and including Obama, only 43 men have been U.S. president. [And yes, we need that streak of men to stop, but no, Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton wasn’t the woman to break that streak.])
So, which 16 past presidents are ranked above Obama? They are, in this order: Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Harry S. Truman, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Andrew Jackson, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Lyndon B. Johnson, James Madison, John Adams, James K. Polk and James Monroe.
(I agree with the top two, anyway, and no, I wouldn’t have Reagan in there, and Jackson, Pussygrabber’s idol, was a prick who caused harm to many, many people, too.)
And the five ranked below Obama, to round out the top half of all of the past presidents, are Bill Clinton, William McKinley, Cleveland, John Quincy Adams and George H.W. Bush. (George W. Bush, in case you were wondering, ranks at No. 36, which is too high, in my book. [And again, Pussygrabber isn’t ranked because it’s too early.])
So Obama ranks in the top half, which is better than ranking in the bottom half, but still, historians and political scientists overall give him a fairly middling ranking, at toward the bottom of the top half.
What has benefited Obama the most, methinks, is that he was sandwiched between two of our worst presidents ever, Gee Dubya and Pussygrabber.
But historians and political scientists, taking a longer view and a more dispassionate view than most of us commoners do, rightfully don’t rank Obama up there with Lincoln, and I surmise that as the years pass, Obama’s ranking won’t improve, but probably will drop, although probably not dramatically; I suspect that he’s at No. 17 in large part because his presidency is still so fresh and because even academics, being human beings, can’t help but to some degree compare him to Gee Dubya and to Pussygrabber.
I don’t allege that Obama was a bad president, just that he wasn’t a great one. He was, as I have noted before, a caretaker in chief more than he was anything else. With Obama it was refreshing to have a president actually win the popular vote — twice — and while Obama committed no huge blunder like Gee Dubya started the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War (after he apparently had just allowed 9/11 to happen), just allowed Hurricane Katrina to kill almost 2,000 Americans, and tanked the U.S. economy, Obama had had a shitload of political capital at his disposal when he first took office in 2009, and he squandered it on “Obamacare,” which requires Americans to buy for-profit “health-care” insurance, which has been called “progressive.”
Another FDR Barack Obama was not. Let’s get that historical fact straight.
But the widespread but incorrect belief that Obama was a great president apparently has given rise to the widespread — if (mostly) publicly unspoken — belief that the next Democratic president must be black, too.
(And, I further surmise, Gee Dubya and Pussygrabber have given the widespread impression among many of those who call themselves Democrats that all white presidents are bad, and therefore, we never should have another one. This is incorrect thinking that is blinded by recent history [as well as by anti-white sentiment], and it lacks historical perspective.)
If Politico’s report is true, it’s proof that the Democratic Party establishment has learned nothing — no thing: It’s A-OK to front a total corporate whore as the next Democratic Party presidential candidate, as long as this corporate whore isn’t a white man, because the Democratic Party establishment still wants to play identity politics as cover for the fact that it still wants to lick corporate and plutocratic ass while still calling itself “populist.”
Here is my deal: I won’t support another corporate whore. I refused to support corporate whore Billary Clinton. I refused to vote for Obama a second time after it was clear from his first term that, whether we fairly can call him a corporate whore or not (we probably can), he had had no intention of enacting a boldly progressive agenda. (Yes, I’m old-fashioned; I believe in actually holding an elected official to his or her fucking campaign promises.)
I don’t give a flying fuck that, very predictably, the selfish, narrow-minded, black-supremacist Only Black Lives Matter crowd will call those of us who won’t support a black corporate whore like Cory Booker or Deval Patrick “racist.”
I don’t give a flying fuck about that any more than I did about the sellout Billarybots calling us men who have supported Bernie Sanders because he was the only real Democrat in the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination “sexist” and “misogynist.”
Such lame identity-politics terrorism doesn’t work on me; instead, it makes me support my chosen actually progressive candidate only even more so; it only strengthens my resolve to work against the sellouts and craven identity politicians who call themselves “Democrats.”
That and, unlike the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging Pussygrabber supporters, I know how to vote in my own best fucking interests, and supporting just another corporate whore who calls himself or herself a “Democrat” while furiously sucking corporate cock is not in my own best fucking interests.
Of the top three potential black Democratic/“Democratic” presidential candidates widely spoken about thus far for 2020, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of my state of California is the one I can support the most, but she just became a U.S. senator in January, for fuck’s sake.
I’m not at all yet sold on Harris being presidential material. It was a big mistake to put Obama in the White House after he had been in the U.S. Senate for only four years, not even a full Senate term — Obama pretty much ran only on his gauzy and ubiquitous (and, ultimately, bullshit) campaign promises of “hope” and “change” — and it would be a mistake to do the same with Harris.
For 2020 I’m still supporting either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, should one of the two of them run. Why? No, not because they are white and I am white, but because they are the least beholden to corporate interests and are the most progressive.
If both of them were to run, it would be a shitty choice to have to make since I respect and admire both of them, but, as I have noted, Bernie’s nationwide approval ratings long have been significantly higher than have Warren’s, and I still surmise that while Billary did not face actual sexism and misogyny — Americans just fucking hate her because she’s a despicable “human being,” regardless of her sex (indeed, in general she still polls no better than does Pussygrabber) — Warren would face actual sexism and misogyny, I surmise.
No, I don’t want to give in to the sexists and misogynists, but I also want to deny Pussygrabber a second term, and overall, Bernie Sanders to me appears to be better able to do that than does Warren, who would, I think, be depicted (probably successfully) as another Michael Dukakis (and thus probably would go the way of Dukakis).
And that’s because although the “Democratic” sellouts say that Bernie isn’t even a Democrat, ironically, he is so popular because he is a real Democrat — one of only a few real Democrats in D.C.
Really, I need say no more.
P.S. You know that I can’t shut up, though.
One (probably) final thought: Yes, undoubtedly, Obama had the style of being U.S. president down pat, but he woefully lacked substance. His was a rather hollow presidency. And he wasn’t playing the U.S. president on TV; he was the actual president, and we sorely needed more than style from him, especially after what Gee Dubya (“w” for “wrecking ball”) had done to the nation.
True, Pussygrabber woefully lacks both style and substance, but is a chaotic, incoherent colossal mess, and even Gee Dubya, compared to Pussygrabber, had the style thing down a lot better.
But for me, substance is going to win out over style every time, and I’d love a president with some fucking substance for once.
That wouldn’t be a President Patrick, a President Booker or, probably, a President Harris, who as California’s attorney general was competent enough but who safely went along the established Democratic Party lines and never did anything especially courageous that I can think of.
The world of finance! There’s nothing inherently wrong with it. People need banks so they can buy houses and cars, and need to invest their money for retirement and whatnot. Some of my closest friends work in finance, and I enjoy being invited to their beautiful country homes, where I drink their pink lemonade and lounge on their fine divans.
And yet … do I think that any of these friends of mine should run for president in 2020 on the ticket of America’s liberal party during an era of unprecedented wealth inequality and consolidated corporate power?
No! And neither should Deval Patrick, the ex–Massachusetts governor who now works for Bain Capital and is for some reason the subject of a Tuesday Politico story with this headline: “Obama’s Inner Circle Is Urging Deval Patrick to Run.”
You may remember Bain Capital as the private-equity company co-founded by Mitt Romney — as in, the Mitt Romney who Barack Obama (a Democrat) effectively attacked for enriching himself through mass layoffs during a 2012 election that many “Obama insiders” should have at least a passing familiarity with.
As it happens, many Obama voters — including those in, to name three states at random, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan — would go on to vote four years later not for the Democratic candidate whose insider connections and high-priced speeches to Goldman Sachs became a major campaign issue, but for the Republican candidate who made repeated and energetic (albeit totally dishonest) promises to stick it to the rich and powerful.
Apparently Obama insiders do not have a passing familiarity with that election, but it was bad. It was a problem.
This is not merely a matter of “optics” or electoral strategy, though. It’s also a matter of principle. Individuals whose main day-in, day-out concern is the well-being of financial service executives and corporate shareholders naturally tend to advocate policy goals friendly to the interests of financial services executives and corporate shareholders.
Those interests sometimes, but do not always, overlap with the interests of potential Democratic voters, as this comparison of corporate profits to inflation-adjusted household income during the 21st century indicates:
Corporate profits: way up! Income for normal people: eh.
Is a finance executive who conducted his Politico interview at “Bain headquarters in Boston” really the ideal messenger for this sales pitch?
The Politico article acknowledges this practical reality, sort of, writing that “Bernie Sanderized Democrats … are suspicious of finance types to begin with, and were taught by Obama’s 2012 brutal campaign attacks on Mitt Romney to think of Bain as a curse word.” (Again, though, the group that swung the 2016 election was not “Bernie-addled coastal leftist elites,” it was former Obama voters in the Midwest.)
The piece then suggests that Democratic voters in 2020 might rally around the idea of “taking on Trump’s management shortcomings” and “calling for a different way of merging government and business experience.”
And, well, I suppose anything can happen in three years, but if the 2020 Democratic primary turns on an angry base’s passionate demand for “a different way of merging government and business experience,” I will eat a hard copy of the Mitt Romney “47 percent” video. …
Indeed, Billary’s ties to the weasels of Wall Street hurt her more than the Billarybots ever will admit. I just ordered OR Books’ copy of this* —
Judging by the stance of the leadership of the Democratic Party and much of the media, Hillary Clinton’s devastating loss in the presidential election of November 2016 was all the fault of pernicious Russian leaks, unwarranted FBI investigations and a skewed electoral college.
Rarely blamed was the party’s decision to run a deeply unpopular candidate on an uninspiring platform.
At a time of widespread dissatisfaction with business-as-usual politics, the Democrats chose to field a quintessential insider. Her campaign dwelt little on policies, focusing overwhelmingly on the personality of her opponent.
That this strategy was a failure is an understatement. Losing an election to someone with as little competence or support from his own party as Donald Trump marked an extraordinary fiasco.
The refusal of the Democratic leadership to identify the real reasons for their defeat is not just a problem of history. If Democrats persevere with a politics that prioritizes well-off professionals rather than ordinary Americans, they will leave the field open to right-wing populism for many years to come. [Emphasis mine.]
Drawing on the WikiLeaks releases of Clinton’s talks at Goldman Sachs and the e-mails of her campaign chief John Podesta, as well as key passages from her public speeches, How I Lost By Hillary Clinton also includes extensive commentary by award-winning journalist Joe Lauria, and a foreword by Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.
It provides, in the words of the Democratic candidate and her close associates, a riveting, unsparing picture of the disastrous campaign that delivered America to President Trump, and a stark warning of a mistake that must not be repeated.
Fully expect the Democratic Party establishment to try to repeat that mistake, however. It’s up to us to stop them.
Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln talks strategy in regards to passing the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in Steven Spielberg’s fairly wonky and occasionally sappy but worthwhile “Lincoln.”
Steven Spielberg’s grand, sweeping, gimme-some-Oscars-already epic “Lincoln” starts with a schmaltzy scene and ends with a rather yawn-inducing, anti-climactic one, but between these two disappointing bookends is a film that’s worth watching despite its flaws.
Even though history no doubt has sainted him, or at least sanitized him, Abraham Lincoln probably was our most important president, and Spielberg’s and playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner’s Lincoln steps off of the pedestal now and then to get his hands dirty in the business of politics, and even utters the word “shit.”
Mostly, though, Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln delivers biblical-sounding language that, I surmise, your typical American moviegoer (who has some degree of poverty of language) often won’t even bother to try to comprehend.
Still, the anecdotes and parables that Day-Lewis’ Lincoln frequently tells, even during times of high crisis, are spellbinding, and Day-Lewis (whose win for Best Actor virtually is assured) nails it perhaps especially in these scenes.
Sally Field does a competent enough if not wholly convincing job as Mary Todd Lincoln, whose speech, strangely, sounds like today’s modern American English while her husband’s speech sounds literary.
I didn’t find the back-and-forth, woe-is-me dynamic of a misery competition between Mary Todd and her husband to be very interesting or insightful, but to be mostly repetitive, but the scene in which Field’s Mary Todd lets some congressmen who are visiting her home (the White House, of course) know who’s boss is one the film’s best and most memorable scenes.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt — who, as I have noted, I love — is a bit dull and therefore wasted as Robert Todd Lincoln, Mary Todd’s and Abraham’s eldest son, who comes off as a one-trick pony, primarily only whining about how much he wants to join the army and fight for the North.
Tommy Lee Jones steals the show as U.S. Rep. Thaddeus Stevens, portrayed as a “radical,” fervent abolitionist. (The last, pleasantly surprising scene with Jones in the privacy of his home probably should have been the last scene of the film.)
The floor fights in the U.S. House of Representatives over the proposed passage of the Thirteen Amendment (prohibiting slavery everywhere in the nation) provide most of the film’s drama, and if they are at all historically accurate, they make one long for the days when there was a lot more passion (and a lot less money to both parties from the same donors) in the House.
The Southerners (and their sympathizers) in “Lincoln” aren’t portrayed flatteringly, which probably will mean that the film won’t appeal to the “tea-party” dipshits, since the slavery- and treason-loving Southerners depicted in “Lincoln” are their true founding fathers, but perhaps “Lincoln’s” No. 1 flaw is the creepy feeling that one gets while watching it that the overriding spirit of the film is a bunch of whites repeatedly patting themselves on the back, repeatedly reminding us, “See!?!? We ended slavery!”
Indeed, the evil of slavery itself is barely portrayed in “Lincoln” — sure, Spielberg portrayed it in his 1997 film “Amistad,” but that’s a different film — and blacks are only supporting (and mostly subservient) characters in “Lincoln,” which gives the viewer of “Lincoln” the unfortunate impression that perhaps the film is asserting that slavery was more of a burden for liberal whites than it was for the actual slaves.
Unless Spielberg and Kushner meant that to be a commentary on today’s Democratic Party and its relationship to the suffering masses of today — and I don’t think that they did — that is, in my book, enough of a flaw in “Lincoln” (coupled with its dismal opening and closing scenes) to knock it outside of the realm of an “A.”
I had hoped that Spielberg’s “Lincoln” would be “War Horse” meets Abraham Lincoln — I thought (and still think) that Spielberg’s 2011 film “War Horse” got screwed at the Oscars — but alas, it was not to be.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (which is chock full o’ guilty white liberals), however, most likely handsomely will reward “Lincoln” nonetheless.
So Vice President Joe Biden today on “Meet the Press” said that he supports same-sex marriage.
When host David Gregory asked Biden, “You’re comfortable with same-sex marriage now?”, Biden replied: “Look, I am vice president of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual [men and women marrying] are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. …”
That to me sure sounds like an endorsement of legalized same-sex marriage — full marriage equality for same-sex couples — in all 50 states, but the White House was quick to back-pedal and say that no,Biden actually still is “evolving” on the issue of same-sex marriage just as President Barack Obama is.
Whether Biden’s nationally televised endorsement of same-sex marriage is just a calculated political game of good cop-bad cop, or whether Biden was, at least in the Obama White House’s opinion, just shooting his mouth off again, I’m not sure, but in either case, I am not moved, perhaps especially in light of this fact:
MSNBC quotes a White House “aide” as having stated: “The vice president was saying what the president has said previously — that committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans, and that we oppose any effort to roll back those rights. That’s why we stopped defending the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in legal challenges and support legislation to repeal it. Beyond that, the vice president was expressing that he too is evolving on the issue, after meeting so many committed couples and families in this country.”
Um, no, Biden did not say that “he too is evolving on the issue” of same-sex marriage. He said, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual [men and women marrying] are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.” He said “men marrying men” and “women marrying women.” He did not say, “Committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans.” He did not use such mealy-mouthed language that public-relations hacks love to employ, believing that they are word-magicians who are bamboozling all of us with their ingenius hocus-pocus. He was not talking about the separate-and-unequal, second-class, unconstitutional substitutions for marriage, such as civil unions and domestic partnerships. He was talking about same-sex marriage.
Obama’s pussy, trying-to-have-it-both-ways public political stance is that each state reserves the right to determine whether or not to institute legalized same-sex marriage, and he very apparently sees no problem with forcing non-heterosexual Americans to drink from different drinking fountains by offering them only cheap imitiations of marriage, such as domestic partnerships or civil unions, which he supports. Publicly, at least, he very apparently thinks that these unconstitutionally separate-and-unequal substitutions for marriage are A-OK. (He used to teach constitutional law, too. He truly must have sucked ass at that as much as he sucks ass at being president of the United States of America.)
This “states’ rights” “argument” is the fucking coward’s way out, and if President Abraham Lincoln had adhered to such cowardice as the “states’ rights” “argument,” slavery probably would have lasted a lot longer than it did. (Funny that Obama’s official kick-off of his 2008 presidential campaign in February 2007 had him mimicking Abraham Lincoln at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois:
Associated Press photo
Barack Obama is no fucking Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln had balls. Big balls.)
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not nearly enough that Joe Biden supports same-sex marriage. He’s just the vice president. I and millions of other non-heterosexual Americans are to hope for Barack Obama to die or to otherwise become incapacitated, so that President Biden can fight for our equal human and civil rights, since President Obama refuses to do so? Is that it? Is that the kind of change that we are to hope for?
No, fuck Barack Obama.
Nothing short of his full endorsement of same-sex marriage in all 50 states could induce me to give him my vote in November or to give him a fucking penny toward his re-election.
Obama also has been a dismal disappointment as far as labor rights are concerned. Early next month, Wisconsinites will decide in a recall election whether or not to allow Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker to keep his job for his decision to try to destroy the state’s labor unions, a project that he apparently started immediately after his election in November 2009 (if not even beforehand).
(Walker claimed that the labor unions were making the state go broke, but he had had no problem giving the state’s plutocrats tax cuts. In bad economic times, you see, it’s the working class and the middle class who are to suffer even more — not the plutocratic elite, who, like on the Titanic, are the ones who get the lifeboats while the rest of us are to drown in the icy sea.)
In November 2007 at a campaign rally in South Carolina, Barack Obama said this: “And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself; I will walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America, because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.” (Here is video of that promise.)
Yet when Wisconsin became a battleground for the life of its labor unions in early 2010, when national media attention was focused on the state’s capital, where the fuck was President Barack Obama? He couldn’t find a comfortable pair of shoes? Despite his clear promise to stand up for — in person — “American workers [who] are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain,” Obama showed his face not once in Wisconsin. Not once.
Yet despite his colossal failures of leadership — and these are just three of them — the sweet-talking Barack Obama, who is as slick as the millions of barrels of crude oil that have filled the Gulf of Mexico, wants, even apparently expects, the money and the votes of gay men and lesbians (and other non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming Americans who want equal human and civil rights right now — none of this “evolving” bullshit), the money and the votes of the members of labor unions, and the money and the votes of environmentalists.
Barack Obama does not deserve this money or these votes. He makes promises and he breaks them. He asks you to put him or to keep him in power, yet once you do, he does not deliver for you, but tells you that in the future, in the future, in the future, he will use his public office for the public good.
You have absofuckinglutely no reason to believe that Barack Obama the sweet-talking and self-interested two-faced coward will be any more effective in a second term than he has been thus far. None.
(On a related note, when “Meet the Press'” Gregory asked Biden if the Obama administration would come out for same-sex marriage in a second term, Biden replied, “I don’t know the answer to that,” adding, “This is evolving.”)
You know, at least with Mittens Romney we would know what we were getting. The enemy clearly would be the enemy.
Which is worse:
Someone like Mittens, who at least is fairly up front about the fact that as president he wouldn’t lift a fucking finger to help non-heterosexuals achieve equal human and civil rights, that as president he would help further destroy what’s left of our labor unions and our middle class in order to further enrich the filthy fucking rich, and that as president of course he would side with Big Oil and other corporations over the environment — or — someone like Barack Obama, who explicitly or implicitly promises us progressives that he’s on our side, but then, once we’ve put him in office, fucks us over anyway?
Racist Mark Williams, right-wing talk-radio host and a leader of the “Tea Party Express” (photographed above in Salt Lake City in March), had his “tea party” group ousted from the “National Tea Party Federation” because of blatantly racist “satire” that he posted on his blog.
We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Right-wingers are soooo very funny!
The “Tea Party Express” refused to rebuke Williams for his “satire,” and so it was expelled from the “National Tea Party Federation,” reports MSNBC.
Williams and his fucktarded ilk apparently are fixated on the pulled-from-their-ass “idea” that the NAACP is “racist” because “NAACP” stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the word “colored,” they proclaim, is “racist.”
Uh, I know that the wingnuts don’t know shit from shinola or U.S. history from their assholes (although that certainly doesn’t stop them from pulling all of those whitewashed “U.S. history” books from their assholes), but the NAACP was founded in1909 — yes, inNineteen Oh Fucking Nine –when “colored” was the common term used for blacks at that time.
If the NAACP wants to keep “colored” as part of its name, that’s NAACP’s fucking prerogative, and it’s not “racist” if a black person wishes to refer to him- or herself as “colored.” Antiquated, perhaps, but not “racist.” (In my book, it’s not even racist if a black person wishes to refer to him- or herself as a “nigger”; it’s racist if a racist refers to a black person as a “nigger.”)
If I want to refer to myself as a “queer” or a “faggot” or even a “pole-smoker” or a “fudge-packer,” that doesn’t make mehomophobic. As a gay man, I may use whatever fucking label for myself that I please.
I only regret that words such as “cracker” or “honky” or even “fucking prick” don’t even begin to capture how despicable and worthless such white supremacist fucktards as Mark Williams and his “tea-partying” ilk are.
And Joe Biden really needs to get his head out of his elitist ass and fucking stop proclaiming that blatantly obvious racists aren’t racists.
Barack Obama, shown above during his Lincolnesque formal kick-off of his candidacy for president in February 2007 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, now finally concedes that with the Repugnican Party, “The day has passed when I expected this to be a full partnership.” Yup. Attempting bipartisanship with Repugnicans, who respect the results of the democratic process only when those results go their way, is bullshit and it’s time to open a can of blue-state whup-ass, because that’s all that the fucktarded red states can understand.
They say that the Civil War even pitted family member against family member.
Yeah, I can see that.
My mother and I today exchanged some pointed e-mails about Arizona’s handling of its “illegal immigrants.” She still lives in Arizona, where I was born and raised and from where I escaped in 1998 to my new home state of California.
I haven’t set foot back in Arizona since I left it, and I don’t plan to any day soon.
In fact, today I saw Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson (himself also a former resident of Phoenix; he used to play for the Phoenix Suns) eating lunch outdoors here in Sacramento. I almost stopped and attempted to speak to him, but I didn’t want to disturb his lunch (he was eating with some other people). Instead I e-mailed him later that I support the boycott, even though he already leans toward it.
My mother, on the other hand, apparently has imbibed the right wing’s Kool Aid that the nation’s ills have been caused primarily by the poor and powerless brown-skinned peoples from south of the border.
Gee, I didn’t know that the “illegals” were responsible for the nation’s economic meltdown. I’d thought that it was the mostly white white-collar crooks, such as the crew of Goldman Sachs, who did that.
Of course, the reason that the right wing pushes hatred of the “illegals” is not only because the “illegals” are powerless and poor, and can’t fight back, but because it’s a great diversion from the nation’s real enemies: the white-collar criminals, most of whom are Repugnicans and whom the Repugnican Party aids and abets.
I mean, for instance, who’s responsible for the oil that continues to fill the Gulf of Mexico? The Mexicans?
I’m beyond sick and fucking tired of the red-state bullshit. We have Alaska’s Repugnican Sarah “Drill, Baby, Drill!” Palin-Quayle now saying that President Barack Obama is too chummy with Big Oil; we have Arizona’s Borg Queen governor, Jan Brewer, Sen. John McCainosaurus, and McCainosaurus’ primary election opponent, J.D. Hayworth, all Repugnicans, of course, all trying to out-hate each other where it comes to the “illegals” for their personal political gain; and we have Kentucky’s Rand Paul saying that he disagrees with at least some of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and that criticism of British Petroleum is “un-American.”
While my mother is pontificating in her e-mails to me about how much the “illegals” are costing us, it’s funny, because not only do the billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded bailouts go to the corporatocrats, and not only do we, the people, also always end up paying for shit like the Vietraq War and the British Petroleum debacles — both of which Dick Cheney’s Halliburton has had an oily hand in — but Arizona itself is a welfare state.
As I noted in April 2009, Arizona gets back from the federal government about $1.20 for every dollar that it puts into the federal government.
My home state of California gets less than 80 cents for every $1 that it puts into the fed.
Palin-Quayle’s Alaska approaches two dollars back for every dollar that it contributes, and Rand Paul’s Kentucky gets about a buck and a half from the fed for every buck that it puts into the fed.
And they hate our president, too, primarily because he’s black.
Well, fuck off, red-staters, because 53 percent of Americans voted for Barack Obama, more than who ever voted for your precious George W. Bush in 2000 (less than a full 48 percent) or in 2004 (less than a full 51 percent).
I’ve had it with the right wing and the red states, and I’m ready for a second civil war.
Of course, the red states can prevent that and secede, and we blue states should fucking let them. They only drag us down anyway.
Speaking of whom, since Obama has compared himself to Abraham Lincoln — he formally announced his candidacy for president in Lincoln’s Springfield, Illinois, and he even was sworn in on the same Bible that Lincoln used (I saw the Bible when it was on display here in Sacramento as part of a Lincoln museum exhibit) — Obama could preside over the Second Civil War, if it comes to that. It would be fitting that the nation’s first black president should finish the red-state ass-kicking that Lincoln should have finished but did not.
If the secession of the racist red states won’t happen, I’m fine with another civil war.
I love the Internet. I still believe that the Internet is the best way for the average citizen to get his or her voice heard. True, the sheer volume of citizen content on the Internet — and, of course, the huge corporate presence on the Internet — make it incredibly difficult for any one citizen to get a large audience, but the alternative to the Internet is the way that it used to be: mostly corporately owned and controlled mass/mainstream media putting out virtually all media content, most of it in the one-way communication form of television.
If nothing else, citizen media force the mass/mainstream media to address those issues that the citizens — rather than only the mass/mainstream media’s corporate overlords — want addressed.
In their infancy, blogs were mostly ignored by the mass/mainstream media, as blogs weren’t considered a threat, but no more. Anything that grows legs and takes off in the blogosphere is going to make it into the mass/mainstream media, and these days, sooner rather than later.
And once blogs proved to be successful, of course the capitalist swine decided to jump on board and co-opt blogging. Recently at a major chain bookstore I saw a book on blogging for business purposes and I wanted to barf, since I’ve always believed that blogs were meant to topple the man,not to be used by the man in his ongoing conquest of us wage slaves in the capitalist slavery system that so many of us slaves, being thoroughly brainwashed, actually call “freedom.”
But opening up the forum to anyone — anyone — has its problems.
On one hand is the common but misguided belief that a blogger should allow anyone to leave anything on his or her blog’s comments section — and that to do otherwise is “censorship.”
The legal definition of censorship, actually, is when a governmental entity puts controls on speech. There is noright to leave anything on anyone’s blog — indeed, a blogger may turn off the comments function altogether at any time. But few would call that censorship, and those who would are just dipshits.
I have three main types of comments trolls, and the older and crankier that I get, the more I’m just prone to delete their comments, which don’t add whatsoever to the enlightenment of the subject matter at hand. Their predictable protests of “censorship” don’t deter me. I can’t simply hit a button to delete them, but I can simply hit a button to delete their bullshit.
First there is the Common Troll. This person is just miserable and leaves what I call “drive-by” comments on blogs. He or she (it’s almost always a he, though) probably doesn’t have very many people to shit and piss upon in his life, so he shits and pisses upon people online, because it’s anonymous and thus safe. He probably never would have the balls to treat people like this in person. Because in reality he’s just a fucking coward.
The Common Troll usually leaves no more than a sentence or two, and, because the Common Troll is not bright, often his comment doesn’t even make any fucking sense. And usually his comments are rife with misspellings. (Ted Rall had it right when he once commented that the future belongs to those who can spell.)
On Open Salon, strangely, the Common Trolls usually are stupid white men of baby-boomer age or older (you can tell by their avatars, which are photos of themselves, and they virtually never are attractive). These old Common Trolls, having nothing better to do, jump online with the youngsters to “prove” that they’re still “youthful” too, and they leave comments that are in the spirit of “You damned kids get off of my lawn!”
It’s unfortunate that medical science has enabled people to live longer and longer, with an emphasis on the quantity of people’s lifespans instead of on the quality of people.
Seriously — it’s fine if someone doesn’t like a post of mine, but to leave a juvenile personal attack that doesn’t contribute whatsoever to the topic at hand? I don’t get that. I can’t imagine just trolling blogs and leaving personal attacks. I have much better things to do with my time. (If I am going to engage in anything like a personal attack, I at least also am going to address the topic at hand; there will be somesubstance in my comment.)
Then there are the Proselytizer Trolls. They apparently think that if they go around and around with you just enough, they’re going to convert you to their fucked-up belief system (or, at the very least, “prove” you “wrong”). Either they’re going to convert you to their wingnuttery or they’re going to convert you to their “Christo”fascism (or both, since the two are so intertwined).
The Proselytizer Trolls are “nice” at first, but gradually, when it’s clear to them that what they believe are just brilliant “arguments” in support of their “cause” aren’t going to move you an inch,then they usually get verbally abusive, showing their true colors.
For whatever reason(s), I get most of my Proselytizer Trolls on my WordPress and AlterNet blogs. The way I usually handle Proselytizer Trolls is to tell them, after we have gone around and around to no avail, that I am ending the discussion, as it is going nowhere and as they’ve had more than their fair say, and that any further comments of theirs on the post I will delete. And then I follow through on that promise.
If I didn’t do it that way, I can see these losers going pointlessly back and forth with me infuckingdefinitely.
Then there are the Spam Trolls. I refer not to the apparently automatically generated spam that we bloggers get in our comments sections on occasion (hopefully filtered out, such as WordPress does), but to those who leave comments on blogs primarily in order to promote their own gig, usually their own blog. They’ll give a passing mention of the post on which they’re commenting, usually, and then go right into promoting their own gig/blog.
Most bloggers figured out long ago that this is a major breech of “blogiquette,” and so Spam Trolls (as I have defined them) are rare.
Wouldn’t Jesus relates have washed the blood off, you’re an idiot running at the mouth. Abrasion and lacerations, such the extent Jesus suffered would be open wounds that would still secret blood.
This guy calls me an “idiot,” yet writes “Jesus” instead of the possessive “Jesus'”; spells “relatives” as “relates”; uses a run-on sentence right off; misuses the comma in his second sentence; and spells “secrete” as “secret.” Really, if you don’t have a grasp of your mother tongue, how can you have any credibility?
But forgiving his illiteracy, if you look at the photo that I referred to and that he was commenting on —
— that clearly appears to be surface blood that just wasn’t washed off, not blood that would “secret” later. I blame it on the artist/artists just not having paid attention to realistic detail.
So, as is common for a troll, this Combo Troll not only can’t write correct English, but his “argument” is whack.
Now, WordPress is set up so that a first-time comment is not automatically posted. Only after at least one comment has been approved by the blogger can a person leave more comments on a WordPress blog without those comments first having to be screened by the blogger.
Now, I’m at the Internet too much, probably, but I’m not at it 24/7, so it can take some time before I screen a first-time comment on my WordPress blog. But this dipshit Combo Troll apparently believed that I have it set up so that his dipshit first-time comment wouldn’t immediately be posted to my blog, because his second attempted comment was this one:
Awaiting moderation, just like a loud mouth liberal to want to censor opinions.
So here he is, calling (in another run-on sentence, and it’s “loud-mouthed liberal”) what is beyond my control — the fact that the WordPress program automatically subjects all first-time comments to the blogger’s moderation — my “censorship.” Oh, and it’s not just my “censorship.” It’s “liberal” “censorship.” (You know, vast left-wing conspiracy, socialism, tyranny, blah blah blah…)
So of course I approved neither of his comments. I spammed them instead, because spam essentially is what they are (were…).
The first comment I probably would have approved and responded to, had he not then immediately and incorrectly accused me of “censorship” because his ignorant comment didn’t show up on my blog immediately and because he is ignorant of how WordPress works.
I just don’t owe anything to assholes like this Combo Troll, who gives his e-mail address as firstname.lastname@example.org, by the way.
Let’s talk about “liberal” “censorship,” though.
Fact is, the right wing has engaged in censorship, unabashedly, forever. And most of the right wing’s censorship is fucking structural, in that because the corporations own and control most of the mass media outlets, there’s no fucking way that their plutocratic owners and controllers are going to allow anti-corporate messages to get out there. No, it’s quite the status quo, baby, because the status quo has been pretty fucking good for the plutocrats.
Even censorship as it is commonly conceived (structural censorship is quite real, but because it’s structural, most Americans don’t notice it any more than fish notice the water that engulfs them) isn’t a problem when the right-wingers do it, but should the left do anything that has even a whiff of a hint of “censorship,” the wingnuts are the first to cry “censorship” foul.
But the truth is, the more that the left and the right become polarized, and the more hell-bent on Armageddon the wingnuts become — to the point that they seriously would consider handing over the Big Red Button to Sarah Palin-Quayle — the friendlier to the censorship of the right wing I’m getting.
The right wing in the United States of America and its corporately owned and controlled media propaganda machine helped George W. Bush steal the White House in late 2000 and were complicit in the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjustified launch of its Vietraq War by acting as cheerleaders for the “shock and awe” instead of as journalists. (Yes, an “embedded” reporter is in bed with someone, and it’s not in bed with us common citizens who need unbiased, critical, accurate information in order to make our democracy — or what we call a democracy, anyway — function.)
FOX “News” and several individuals on the far right, including Sarah “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” Palin-Quayle and Glenn Beck, have incited death threats against and the hurling of epithets, spittle and bricks at Democratic lawmakers who voted for a “socialist!” health-care overhaul.
At what point does an individual or group of individuals pass from legally protected free speech to illegal incitement of violence? And cannot free speech meant to promote freedom and democracy be perverted and abused in order to establish right-wing fascism, such as in the case of FOX “News”?*
And a central if not the central idea behind opposition to “censorship” seems to be the woefully misguided belief that all opinions and ideas are of equal merit and quality. Under this thinking, an opinion is an opinion and an idea is an idea, and the opinion or idea of a highly intelligent, educated individual is no better than the opinion or idea of an uneducated dimwit.
That absolutely is untrue.
Take the recent media coverage of Palin-Quayle’s criticism of President Barack Obama’s handling of nuclear arms policy.
OK, first off, Sarah Fucking Palin-Quayle doesn’t understand how the system works. She and John McCainosaurus lost the election in November 2008. Lost it. Lost it by seven percentage points — a significant margin.
Fifty-three percent of Americans voting in November 2008 chose Barack Obama to be in charge of the nation’s nuclear arms policy. Fifty-three percent of the popular vote is higher than George W. Bush got in 2000 or in 2004 (election fraud committed by the Repugnicans in both of those presidential elections aside).
Sarah Palin-Quayle is a fucking loser. She fucking lost. But to hear her tell it, she fucking won. Indeed, Emmy-Award-winning Tina Fey’s recent impersonation of Palin-Quayle on “Saturday Night Live” — in which Fey-as-Palin-Quayle identifies herself as having “won the silver medal in last year’s vice-presidential election” — seems to be an accurate statement of how Palin-Quayle views herself.
When Palin-Quayle criticized Obama’s nuclear arms policy — comparing nuclear arms brinkmanship to a schoolyard fight, which is so fucking clever, except, of course, that aschoolyard fight never ends up in the nuclear annihilation of the entire fucking planet (but I guess that we have to forgive the simple-minded Palin-Quayle for having to make complicated things simple for her simple-minded followers) — she remarked that a “community organizer” doesn’t know anything about nuclear arms policy.
Of course, Palin-Quayle conveniently left out the fact that before 53 percent of the American voters elected Obama as president of the United States, more than who ever “elected” George W. Bush, Obama not only was a U.S. senator but he also was a professor of law at the University of Chicago for 12 years (and please tell me what, exactly, is “wrong” with having been a “community organizer,” because I still don’t know) — and that while Obama was an evil “community organizer,” she was a Miss Alaska beauty pageant contestant. (Um, I am guessing that shedidn’tdote on “world peace” during her beauty pageants…)
So let me rephrase the question this way: Would you prefer a former University of Chicago law professor or a former Alaska state beauty pageant contestant to be in charge of the Big Red Button?
Not all opinions and ideas — and not all politicians — are equal. Some are superior to others, some are inferior to others.
And it’s the inferior ones that can completely destroy our nation, and if I had to choose between the total ruination of the nation at the hands of the right wing and the “censorship” of the right wing in order to prevent that ruination from coming to fruition, I’d pick the latter, hands down.
As Abraham Lincoln knew during the nation’s first civil war, and as is becoming clearer as the nation’s second civil war approaches, desperate times call for desperate measures.
*This happened in Venezuela in April 2002 — the right-wing media there used the airwaves to lie about President Hugo Chavez having stepped down when, in fact, he had not stepped down but had been the victim of a short-lived right-wing coup — and it can happen here in the United States too, and, as I have written recently, I don’t fully blame President Chavez for having clamped down on the right-wingers in his nation, because they gladly would try another fascistic takeover if they could get away with it.
Yesterday, it was the “limited edition” “official Obama [coffee] mug” that barackobama.com was hawking for a donation of $15 or more. Today it was the “limited edition” “official Obama calendar,” yours for a donation of only $35 or more. (I’m on the website’s e-mail list and so I received these great offers via e-mail…)
Um, is this a democracy or Home Shopping Network?
That “Saturday Night Live” skit in which John McCainosaurus (the real one) appeared with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin-Quayle on QVC: it doesn’t seem like it’s far from reality.
I just want a president who does a decent job.
I don’t want or need a president to worship, and Obama worship has gotten out of hand. His face and surname (and that damned stylized “O”) are emblazoned everywhere and on everything, and far from bringing me hope for change, it just gives me the creeps. (Leftist columnist and editorial cartoonist Ted Rall calls all of those damned stylistic Obama signs “Soviet-inspired propaganda posters.” I wish that I could disagree.)
Does the United States of America come down to and depend upon just one person? I hope not.
Maybe President-elect Barack Obama will do a kick-ass job. Maybe. I hope so.
But the man hasn’t even taken office and already he’s being compared to Abraham F. Lincoln, replete with his so-called “team of rivals.”
It’s also too early to declare Obama a failure, as some are doing:
I love Rall, but again, Obama hasn’t even taken the oath of office yet. Obama can’t do all that much about the nation’s ills right now, and even after he is inaugurated it still will take a considerable amount of time to turn the Titanic back around.
Has Obama sold out the left-wingers who put him office, as they have been yelping?
It’s too early to tell.
Are Obama’s “centrist” picks for his administration posts a sign of wussiness or a stroke of political genius?
It’s too early to tell.
I’m assuming — or maybe hoping is more accurate — that Obama will be in charge, and that even if he has “centrists” in his administration posts, they will (more or less) carry out his wishes. “Centrists” in Obama’s posts carrying out a progressive agenda that trickles down from the top might be able to accomplish more than (perceived) leftists in those posts could. Is what I might call “stealth leftism” possible?
I’m not ready to compare Obama to Abe Lincoln or to Billary Clinton just yet.