Tag Archives: Arkansas

Billary blew it with ‘safe’ Tim Kaine

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia greet the crowd during a campaign event on July 14 in Annandale, Va.

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Billary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine campaign in Virginia last week. Today Billary announced a Clinton-Kaine ticket.  Wake me up when this snoozefest is finally over. Zzzzzzzzz…

Queen Billary Clinton’s No. 1 requirement in a running mate, I am confident, was that he or she must not overshadow Her Highness. 

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, her pick, certainly fits that bill.

An adjective often used to describe him is “boring.” (He even calls himself “boring.”Yahoo! News notes that Billary’s selection of Kaine is “a safe, centrist choice that will likely disappoint some in the progressive wing of her party.”

“Some”?

The No. 2 requirement in Billary’s running mate had to be that he or she is a centrist, that is, a fellow Democrat in name only — certainly no Bernie Sanders, and not even an Elizabeth Warren.

Billary’s pick of a moderate Democrat/Repugican Lite from the South is wholly in line with her and her husband’s political start in Arkansas — and their long history of giving the party’s left-of-center base the middle finger.

In having picked Tim Kaine, Billary in effect picked herself — as a man who is a decade younger.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t hate Tim Kaine. Indeed, I (and millions of others) know little of him, pretty much only that he personally opposes abortion, given his Roman Catholic background, and that he has been supportive of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which even Der Fuhrer Donald Trump opposes.

But Tim Kaine (whom I might come to hate in the future, as I learn more about him) is wholly uninspiring. His political philosophy, like Billary’s, appears to be stuck in the 1990s.

I’m glad that Billary didn’t pick as her running mate New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; he’s an empty suit, a Barack Obama wannabe.

And while we’re long past due for our first Latino or Latina president or vice president, neither U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez nor U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro has the experience to be only a heartbeat away from the presidency. Perez’s only elected office was a seat on a Maryland county council, and Castro’s only elected offices were a member of San Antonio’s city council and then the city’s mayor.

In my book, if you want to be president you had better have been a governor or a U.S. senator, and if you want to be vice president you had better have been a governor or a U.S. senator, since as vice president you might end up as president.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, like Kaine, was a governor, so he has vice-presidential chops, but, like Kaine, Vilsack isn’t an exciting or an inspiring person, so I’m glad that Billary didn’t pick him.

Billary should have picked as her running mate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Why?

Billary, I believe, with her choice of running mate sorely needed to excite her party’s base more than she needed to try to assuage any fears of the voters of the flyover states — states that are going to go for The Donald anyway — that white men are losing their grip on positions of power to women and to non-whites.

(This was, methinks, Billary’s No. 3 requirement in a running mate: that she pick a white man in order not to spook too many centrist, center-right and even right-wing voters, to whom she always has shown more allegiance than she has shown to the Democratic Party base.

I mean, these are fragile voters, and after we’ve had our first non-white president, we can’t have a two-woman ticket or a ticket of a white woman and a non-white person!)

Even Donald Trump picked yet another milquetoast white man to be his running mate. Billary couldn’t do better?

Had Billary picked Liz Warren, she would have excited the hell out of her base. She would have excited progressives and women.

Instead, Billary picked Tim Kaine. Yawn.

To be fair, maybe Billary asked Liz and Liz said no. (If Liz were smart, and she is smart, she would have said Oh, hell no! to playing third fiddle in the Clinton White House 2.0.) I don’t know.

I do know that the addition of “safe” and centrist Tim Kaine to the ticket gives me and millions of other progressives (most of us Berners — and Bernie won 45.6 percent of the pledged Democratic delegates, let me remind you) zero reason to vote for Billary.

I mean, I’d had no intention to vote for her anyway — I still most likely will vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein — but the addition of an actual progressive to the ticket was the only thing that, coupled with the looming fascism of Der Fuhrer Donald, perhaps could have induced me to vote for Billary.*

And a two-woman ticket wouldn’t have been a bad idea; it would have been a brilliant idea, after having had nothing but two-man tickets throughout our nation’s history.

But instead of making a bold, visionary — even revolutionary — move, the utterly uninspiring, charisma-free Billary played it “safe.”

We’ll see what and where “safe” gets her on November 8.

*Queen Billary is going to win my state of California and all 55 of its electoral votes anyway, so it doesn’t really matter for whom I vote for president or whether I even vote for president at all, but I will vote for president.

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The pink-triangle bullshit continues

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. arrives to pose for photographers in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. The rookie Republican senator leading the effort to torpedo an agreement with Iran is an Army veteran with a Harvard law degree who has a full record of tough rhetoric against President Barack Obama's foreign policy.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Associated Press photo

Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas (he looks like such a nice guy, doesn’t he?) recently took time out from his important task of treasonously sending letters to the leaders of other nations meant to undercut the foreign policy of the twice-democratically-elected U.S. President Barack Obama to essentially tell us non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming Americans that we should sit down and shut the fuck up already and just be grateful that we aren’t executed, like non-heterosexuals are in Iran, and that speaking of which, A nuclear-armed Iran! is all that we Americans should be thinking about anyway! After all, we need to get our priorities in order!

Same-sex marriage now is the law in 36 states and in other jurisdictions, covering more than 70 percent of the American population. Not that same-sex marriage is the be-all and end-all for equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, but it’s not a bad start.

So, of course, the heterosexist and homophobic “Christo”fascists are agog and apoplectic.

Losing the battle of same-sex marriage — for which I expect the U.S. Supreme Court to rule for all 50 states this summer (arguments in the matter of the constitutionality of denying same-sex marriage are to begin in the court late this month) — the wingnutty haters now are focused on trying to legally allow businesses that serve the public to deny service to non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming individuals on the basis that the business owners’ religious belief is, in a nutshell, that God hates fags. And surely the most important right that we Americans possess is the right to hate and to discriminate against certain groups of people. It’s apple pie, man!

I’m not a lawyer (I probably should have been), but, as I have noted, my reading of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that businesses serving the general public legally may not refuse to serve customers based upon those customers’ race, color, religion or national origin, is that the act does not expressly prohibit discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender expression, because those minority statuses are not listed in the act as protected classes. (Indeed, in 1964, which was more than 50 years ago, non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals were considered so lowly, so subhuman, that their protection by the Civil Rights Act was not even a possibility.)

While it’s beyond pathetic that an historically oppressed minority group should have to be listed expressly on a do-not-discriminate list in order to be treated with dignity, respect and equality — you know, as Jesus Christ taught that we should treat everyone else — federal law does need to be updated in order to add non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals to the list of protected classes. (That won’t happen as long as the Repugnican Tea Party traitors control both houses of Congress, but they won’t be in control forever.)

The “Christo”fascists also are losing the battle (at least in the court of national public opinion, if not in the courts of law) to enable businesses serving the general public to discriminate against non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, but never fear, “Christo”fascists! We have Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas on the front lines of the battle!

Apparently the new “argument” against equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals in the United States of America is that everything up to the point of their execution for their “crime” of not being heterosexual and gender-conforming should be tolerated.*

After all, Tom Cotton, a U.S. senator, defending states’ “right” to enact “religious-freedom” laws that are meant to allow business owners to discriminate against non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, proclaimed on CNN on Wednesday:

“I think it’s important that we have a sense of perspective about our priorities. In Iran, they hang you for the crime of being gay. They’re currently imprisoning an American preacher for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ in Iran. We should focus on the most important priorities that our country faces right now.”

Cotton went on to say that “a nuclear-armed Iran” is “the most important thing that we be focused on.”

There is a lot in there, so let’s unpack it:

We Americans have priorities, and we have to have a sense of perspective about our priorities. Equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals — equal human and civil rights for all Americans, which are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution — is not one of our priorities. (Duh!) We have to have perspective!

After all, it’s a crime to be non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming, and in Iran, they hang you for that crime! Non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming Americans should sit down and shut the fuck up already, and just be thankful that here in the U.S., we’re not executing them for their crime of being non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming (yet)!

Besides, an American preacher is imprisoned in Iran, and his rights are far more important than are the “rights” of all of the millions of sodomites in the United States of America combined! (We have, after all, established that they are criminals!)

And besides all of that, a nuclear-armed Iran is all that we really should be focused on anyway! For the love of God, why are you just sitting there, reading this? Why aren’t you doing something right now to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran?

That is, more or less, the propagandistic spirit of Cotton’s remarks. What a fucking neo-Nazi Tom Cotton is. (Recall that the Nazis put tens of thousands of gay men into their concentration camps.)

The attitude that an historically oppressed minority group’s equal human and civil rights aren’t at all one of our national “priorities” is the slippery slope that leads to slapping inverted pink triangles (or the yellow Star of David) on us and putting us into concentration camps. And even executing us, because it’s well-established fact that God hates fags (as well as Jews).

When Cotton referred to “the crime of being gay” on CNN, I don’t believe that he was referring only to the Iranian perspective that being non-heterosexual is a crime. I believe that Tom Cotton and his ilk — being as theofascist as any Iranian could be — also hold that being non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming is a crime (indeed, for years and years it wasyou know, in the good old days), and I’d call Cotton’s wording on CNN a dog whistle to his fellow “Christo”fascists except that every mammal could hear his message loudly and clearly.

Besides trying to advance the “Christo”fascist agenda, which includes the persecution of non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals (because that’s what God wants), Tom Cotton, whose letter to Iranian leaders of last month already has demonstrated that he is an anti-democratic traitor (the majority of the American people twice elected Barack Obama, not Tom Cotton, to represent us and our interests on the world stage), also is trying to advance the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party’s tactic of having Americans so terrified over Iran that the Repugnican Tea Party can do whatever it wishes, just like the good old days when the unelected, treasonous regime of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney used 9/11 and Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” (replete with the “threat” of “mushroom clouds” here at home) as political cover with which to ram their treasonous, right-wing agenda down distracted, terrified Americans’ throats.

It’s classic George Orwell: The fascistic oligarchy always has an enemy nation with which to terrify and distract the masses. The designated enemy nation sure changes a lot over time (such as, here in the U.S., first Russia, then Iraq, now Iran), but that’s not the point; the point is that there perpetually is an enemy nation that (we, the masses, are told by the oligarchs) threatens the very existence of our home nation. This is critical to the oligarchic fascists’ grip on power.

And it’s funny that the likes of Tom Cotton (who, pathetically, very well might be a closet case himself) should try to spook us Americans with the bogeymen of the Iranians, when Cotton and his Repugnican Tea Party ilk are just jealous that they can’t get away with executing non-heterosexuals for the “crime” of being non-heterosexual.

Iran? No, I’m much more concerned about the enemies here at home, such as the “Christo”fascists who comprise the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party. They’re a far bigger threat to our national security than those evil Iranians ever could dream of being.

*Not to pick on just Tom Cotton, of course, it’s important to note that the intention of the proponent of the widely-reported-upon “Sodomite Suppression Act” of California, on which I blogged here, also might have been (at least in part) to raise the specter of the mass execution of non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals because once that specter has been injected into the public consciousness, then anything else short of execution that is done to non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals will seem, by comparison, to be no big deal at all. (After all, we have to have our priorities!)

And I want to provide this update on the “Sodomite Suppression Act”:

Last month California Attorney General Kamala Harris asked a superior court to kill the “Sodomite Suppression Act” by relieving her of the obligation to issue it a title and summary, after which the proponent of the “act,” a right-wing, bat-shit insane and evil lawyer who should be disbarred, could begin to gather the signatures of registered California voters who want the proposition to appear on the ballot. (I rather doubt that the proponent ever has had any actual intention to significantly try to gather the required amount of signatures [365,880 of them], by the way.)

In a March 25 press release, Harris proclaimed:

“As Attorney General of California, it is my sworn duty to uphold the California and United States Constitutions and to protect the rights of all Californians. This proposal not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society. Today, I am filing an action for declaratory relief with the Court seeking judicial authorization for relief from the duty to prepare and issue the title and summary for the ‘Sodomite Suppression Act.’ If the Court does not grant this relief, my office will be forced to issue a title and summary for a proposal that seeks to legalize discrimination and vigilantism.”

On that note, I neglected to note in my original piece on the “Sodomite Suppression Act” that one of its lovely provisions does indeed call for vigilantism. It reads that:

The state has an affirmative duty to defend and enforce this law as written, and every member of the public has standing to seek its enforcement and obtain reimbursement for all costs and attorney’s fees in so doing, and further, should the state persist in inaction over 1 year after due notice, the general public is empowered and deputized to execute all the provisions hereunder extra-judicially, immune from any charge and indemnified by the state against any and all liability.

I know of no other way to interpret that language other than that should the “Sodomite Suppression Act” be passed by the voters (it would not be, even if it actually makes it to the statewide ballot), and the state of California does not start executing non-heterosexuals as the “act” requires, after one year Californians may take it into their own hands to execute non-heterosexuals on their own (the “act” calls for non-heterosexuals to “be put to death [by the state of California] by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method”) — with impunity.

Again, the lawyer who explicitly wrote in a ballot proposition that the extrajudicial execution of an already oppressed group of persons in California should be allowed should be disbarred. Not only has the lawyer, a Matthew McLaughlin, advocated for the patently unconstitutional and thus patently illegal (and, indeed, reprehensible) execution of a whole class of persons, but he has advocated for extrajudicial actions (a.k.a. vigilantism), demonstrating his contempt for the legal system of California and of the nation. (Yes, the U.S. Constitution prohibits vigilantism/extrajudicial “remedies.”)

McLaughlin has demonstrated that he has no place within the legal system of the state of California — or, indeed, of any state in the nation. He doesn’t get to hide behind “free speech.” Lawyers are admitted to the bar only on the condition that they uphold the respectability of the legal profession as well as the state constitution and federal constitution under which they practice law.

You can, and if you haven’t yet you should, sign the petition to the California State Bar to disbar McLaughlin here.

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NO ONE actually is shoving bacon-wrapped shrimp down your throat

Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee compares the legalization of same-sex marriage to forcing Jewish delis to serve bacon-wrapped shrimp, but a more apt comparison would be a bacon-wrapped shrimp restaurant refusing to serve non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals because the owners hate non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals…

Weren’t the Repugnican Tea Partiers going to be kinder and gentler after Mittens Romney lost to Barack Obama in November 2012?

When it comes to non-heterosexuals and the non-gender-conforming, the Repugnican Tea Partiers are demonstrating amply that they don’t care whether they still can win presidential elections or not.

Repugnican Tea Party Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (whose surname always has struck me as a bit, um, Brokeback…) recently reinstated allowable discrimination against non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming state employees (such discrimination had been outlawed in 2007 by his Democratic predecessor). There was no reason to do this (in Brokeback – er, Brownback’s – fifth year into his governorship) except for hatred, bigotry, mean-spiritedness and spite.

Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee (former governor of the wonderful state of Arkansas [cue the banjo; the lynching is about to begin!]) recently declared that expecting “Christo”fascists to accept others’ same-sex marriages is like forcing Jews to serve “bacon-wrapped shrimp” in their delis.

Wow.

How does ordained Southern Baptist minister Mike Huckabee know about the gay sex act that we faggots call wrapping the shrimp in bacon?

Anyway, Huckabee, of course, compares apples to oranges.

Same-sex marriages aren’t literally being forced upon others. If your own backasswards religious belief is that same-sex marriage is contrary to God’s wishes, then don’t marry someone of your sex (which, of course, no one is forcing you to do). It’s pretty fucking simple.

However, you don’t get to fucking force your fucktarded, backasswards, Dark-Ages-era religious beliefs upon others, and you don’t get to claim that others exercising their constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, such as the freedom to marry whom they wish to marry, because such an exercise of such a freedom is offensive to you, somehow violates your rights.

I find “Christo”fascists to be dangerous. I see little difference between these theofascists here at home and the theofascists of ISIS. The only difference between American theofascists and the theofascists of ISIS is that the theofascists of ISIS are doing what the “Christo”fascists would do here at home if they could.

I find “Christo”fascists to be incredibly offensive, but do I get to claim that because I find their very existence to be deeply offensive to me, they lose their First-Amendment right of the freedom to be religious fucktards?

No, I don’t. And it works both ways.

As far as businesses serving the diverse members of the public goes I bring this up because of the same-sex-wedding-cake “controversy” and Huckabee’s having brought up a Jewish place of business, the deli – it long has been established (by Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) that businesses serving the general public legally may not refuse to serve customers based upon those customers’ race, color, religion or national origin. (Yes, sexual orientation needs to be added to that list of protected classes, and so should gender and gender expression. [That said, if you refuse to treat others as you would want to be treated because they’re not on the list of protected classes, you’re not much of a Christian, are you?])

If you hate Jews or Mormons or atheists, if you find their beliefs to be offensive to your own religious beliefs, you may not legally refuse to serve them in your place of business if it’s open to the public because of their beliefs. Does this prohibition against discrimination violate your First-Amendment rights? The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which has not been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court as unconsitutional, says that it doesn’t.

As a gay man, I’d never hire a (known-to-me) homophobe to make my wedding cake (the Old Testament has no prohibition against the serving or the eating of wedding cake, I’ll add), but what does it harm a wedding-cake business to make any wedding cake for anyone? You’re not forcing the wedding-cake business owner or employee to make a cake for his or her own forced same-sex marriage, are you? The wedding-cake business gets to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples and be homophobic at the same time. The wedding-cake business’ precious homophobia is not threatened at all; it gets to remain intact.

And in Alabama (cue the banjo again), which is just a hop, a skip and a jump from Huckabee’s Arkansas, state Supreme Court Chief “Justice” Ray Moore claims that Alabama does not have to follow a federal court’s recent ruling that the U.S. Constitution mandates that the state must allow same-sex marriages.

Wow.

Every state in the Union must follow the federal judiciary’s rulings. That’s how our constitutional government is set up. For a lesser jurisdiction to refuse to follow the federal judiciary is tantamount to treason. While I doubt that we’ll end up sending in the troops to Alabama, as we’ve had to do before* when an elected official (a stupid white man, of course) defied a federal court’s civil-rights-related order, Alabama does not get to remain in the Union and defy the orders of the federal judiciary. (And if we need to send in the troops again, in Alabama or in any other treasonous state, we should.)

Roy Moore needs to be removed from his post – again. (Yes, he was removed from the bench before, in 2003, for refusing, as state Supreme Court chief “justice,” to follow a federal court’s order to remove an illegal/unconstitutional monument of the Ten Commandments – a monument that he commissioned – from the grounds of the Alabama Judicial Building, which contains the state’s Supreme Court and other courts. He never should have been allowed back on the bench.**)

And, again, because it’s worth repeating: No one is forcing anyone to serve or to eat bacon-wrapped shrimp. If you don’t want to serve or to eat bacon or shrimp or bacon-wrapped shrimp, whether because you believe that a non-existent, Zeus-like deity prohibits it, whether because you are a vegetarian or whether because you just don’t like these food items, then by all means, don’t.

But those of us who want to indulge in bacon-wrapped shrimp have the freedom and the right to indulge in bacon-wrapped shrimp whether our indulgence offends you or not. You don’t have to indulge – you remain perfectly free not to – but nor may you discriminate against us because we do.

That is the issue here, and until and unless the Repugnican Tea Party fucktards get a grip, they’ll continue to lose presidential elections.

P.S. As to why the “Christo”fascists remain so opposed to non-heterosexuality and non-gender-conformity, I think these are the reasons:

  • Haters always have to have at least one group of people to hate, and non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals are the last class of people who do not have widespread federal legal protections against widespread discrimination.
  • The “Christo”fascists are terrified that once you start pulling on a thread (such as the thread of homophobia) of the tattered tapestry that is their bullshit belief system, the entire tapestry will come unraveled (because it will – but then again, it already has).
  • In a patriarchy, the male is valued and the female is devalued, and for a society’s males to be (or to be considered to be) feminine thus makes them devalued, and also “weakens” the patriarchal society because the patriarchal society needs a critical mass of he-men to survive. (We no longer exactly live in tribal groups that need a critical mass of warriors, and the patriarchy has been killing this nation slowly, but that’s another blog post.)

P.P.S. Since we’re on the topic of bacon-wrapped shrimp, I will comment further that I believe former Barack Obama adviser David Axelrod’s assertion, in his new book, that Obama had fully supported same-sex marriage when he was elected president in 2008 and only pretended that he had “evolved” on the issue to the point that he finally publicly came out in support of same-sex marriage in May 2012.

“Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church,” Axelrod reportedly wrote in his book, “and as [Obama] ran for higher office, he grudgingly accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage.”

This is entirely believable. As I’ve noted here, in 1996, when Obama was running for the senate of the state of Illinois, he responded to a questionnaire, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” And about 60 percent to 70 percent of black voters in California reportedly voted against same-sex marriage in 2008 (with Proposition Hate). And California is a blue state. So rampant homophobia within the black community has been a very real phenomenon. (Black homophobia apparently has eased up some since Obama’s May 2012 pro-same-sex-marriage announcement, but at the same time, bigotry dies hard, and it’s hard to know to what degree Obama’s pronouncement actually changed hearts and minds within the black community and to what degree his pronouncement just decreased public homophobic pronouncements from the black community.)

At least Axelrod very apparently takes responsibility for his share of the blame for the very apparent lie about Obama’s “evolution” on the issue of bacon-wrapped shrimp.

*As a writer for the Christian Science Monitor put it:

… At this point, there is no difference between what Roy Moore is advocating here and what George Wallace did when he stood before a doorway at the University of Alabama in an effort to prevent African-Americans from enrolling in the school notwithstanding a federal court order that this must happen. In both cases, we have a politician – and make no mistake about it, Roy Moore is acting far more like a politician than a jurist here [Alabama’s Supreme Court “justices” are elected, not appointed] – who is appealing to outright bigotry and openly defying a federal court order.

Ultimately, the Supremacy Clause [of the U.S. Constitution] tells us that the federal courts will win this dispute, but it’s rather obvious that Moore and others like him will exploit this matter as much as they can before it’s over. Meanwhile, though, at least some of Alabama ’s gay and lesbian citizens are able to take advantage of the equality under the law they are entitled to. Let’s hope it isn’t too long before that expands to the rest of the state.

If same-sex marriage doesn’t expand to the entire state of Alabama quite soon, I say: Bring in the troops. Just like we (probably) should bring in the troops against ISIS. Theofascists must never be allowed to prevail in their oppression of others.

** Moore should have been disbarred in the state of Alabama for life, in my estimation. Such disbarment would have prevented his re-election to the Alabama Supreme Court in 2012 after his 2003 removal from the post by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

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Adieu, Landrieu; it’s long past time for Democrats to stop kissing red-state ass

Hillary Rodham Clinton campaigns with Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., in New Orleans. (Gerald Herbert, AP)

Associated Press photo

Gee, maybe her very own country-Western song would have saved “Democratic” U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana from being denied a fourth term in the Deep-South state. A campaign appearance by Billary Clinton (who does have her very own country-Western song) apparently wasn’t enough.

“Dems, It’s Time to Dump Dixie,” proclaims the headline of a column by a Michael Tomasky (whom I’d never heard of until today) that will be interpreted as fairly sound advice for the Democratic Party or, perhaps, as a false-flag attempt to give Dems poor advice meant to harm them (the column does appear, after all, on the center-right website The Daily Beast). But probably, it’s more of the former than of the latter.

The occasion of the column is the double-digit defeat of Democrat-in-name-only U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana to her Repugnican Tea Party opponent this past weekend. Landrieu was the last remaining “Democratic” U.S. senator of the Deep South. (Wikipedia defines the “Deep South” as Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina – and sometimes at least portions of Texas and Florida, too. These seven states, Wikipedia notes, were the first to secede from the Union.)

The advice that Tomasky gives to the Democratic Party – to “dump Dixie” – seems to be the advice that the party perhaps already has taken to heart; well before this past weekend’s election in Louisiana, the national party wisely decided to stop funneling campaign cash to Landrieu and to let her languish, dry up and blow away.

Tomasky concludes his column by proclaiming that “the Democratic Party shouldn’t bother trying [to win congressional seats in the Deep South ]. If they [the Dems] get no votes from the region, they will in turn owe it nothing, and in time the South, which is the biggest welfare moocher in the world in terms of the largesse it gets from the more advanced and innovative states, will be on its own, which is what Southerners always say they want anyway.” (The link there is my own, of course, not Tomasky’s.)

Absolutely.

The likes of Repugnican Lite Landrieu – whose last-ditch, self-serving, desperate attempt to shove the Keystone XL oil pipeline down Americans’ throats for the deep pockets of the fat cats of Big Oil in order to save her Senate seat was incredibly pathetic (as was her defense of Big Oil even as British Petroleum was filling the Gulf of Mexico with millions of gallons of crude oil) – have only harmed, not helped, the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party’s lurch to the right, which started no later than during Bill Clinton’s reign (Wikipedia also notes that the Clintons’ home state of Arkansas sometimes also is included in the list of the states that make up the Deep South) and has continued during Barack Obama’s, doesn’t capture nearly as many Repugnican-leaning voters (who most often simply vote Repugnican instead of Repugnican Lite) as it turns off the Democratic Party’s base. And a party that stands for everything, that tries to please all people, in the end, stands for nothing.

Obama squandered too much of his presidency trying to sing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in D.C. He tried to negotiate with these terrorists, but you don’t negotiate with terrorists. Obama instead should have taken care of his base and not given a flying fuck what the enemy thought, since politically, he didn’t really have to. Had he done that, I surmise, he wouldn’t be spending his last two years in the Oval Office with both houses of Congress controlled by the enemy. Obama started off in 2009 with both houses of Congress controlled by his own party, and, had he played his cards right – instead of having wasted his political capital in trying to placate the implacable wingnuts – he could have maintained that political advantage to this day.

It’s long past time for the Democratic Party to start tending to its base. Obama’s failed experiment of “bipartisanship”* should have made this abundantly clear by now, but waiting in the wings, of course, is Billary Clinton, whose jaw-droppingly awful proxy country-Western music video on You Tube titled “Stand with Hillary” makes you wonder whether Billary approves of the video or not.

The New York Times’ Frank Bruni notes that “The video wasn’t produced by Clinton or her aides. But the people who did put it together [a “super-PAC” called, of course, “Stand with Hillary”] clearly followed the cues that they felt they were getting, and they read her intentions right.” I more or less concur, from what we know of Billary and the way she rolls.

I mean, the country-Western style of the video definitely seems to be geared toward the same shit-kicking voters to whom Billary apparently was trying to appeal when, as her 2008 effort to best Obama for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination grew more and more desperate, Billary (right along with the John McCainosaurus campaign) denounced Obama as “elitist and out of touch with the values and the lives of millions of Americans” for having accurately described the mindset of rednecks (who, Obama correctly had asserted, “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations”**).

Because Billary wants to be Queen of the Rednecks, you see. But the majority of the rednecks don’t and won’t buy that a Democrat – especially one of the caliber of Billary Clinton – is truly One of Them (replete with her own country-Western anthem!), and true Democrats are put off by those who (like Billary) call themselves Democrats but who court rednecks more than they court the members of the traditional Democratic Party base (who simply are taken for granted, year after year after year).

I should note that the guy in cowboy garb in the “Stand with Hillary” video, who was lip-synching someone else’s vocals, calls himself apolitical and says that the video was just another paying gig, that he may or may not vote for Billary for president should she be on the ballot in November 2016.

Is it that Team Billary could find only someone who would be pro-Billary for pay? At any rate, that the guy in the video is a fake cowboy, a fake country-Western singer and a fake Billary supporter speaks volumes about Team Billary, methinks, including how insubstantial the candidate is herself.

I don’t assert that the 2016 Democratic presidential campaign should not be populist. Of course it should be. The party hasn’t done nearly enough for what remains of the middle class and the working class for many years now and desperately needs to return to its roots of socioeconomic equality and justice. Therefore, I’d love to see the likes of Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. But wasting resources trying to convert those who never are going to support you anyway (as the desperate Billary tried to do in the spring of 2008, as the White House was slipping from her talons) is – well, a waste of limited resources.

The cultural stuff – such as country-Western music (for fuck’s sake), God, guns and gays – can, and should, take a back seat this next Democratic presidential cycle, in which populism should be the centerpiece, but should be limited to the discussion of socioeconomic issues that affect the common American, regardless of where he or she lives (and regardless of whether he or she likes country-western music or supports same-sex marriage).

If Billary indeed is on a trajectory to act, once again, like she’s Queen of the Rednecks, and the Democrats actually let this pass and allow her to become the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, then, it will be, I think, just as Harry S. Truman warned us: “If it’s a choice between a genuine Republican, and a Republican in Democratic clothing, the people will choose the genuine article, every time.”

We just saw the wisdom of Truman’s words in action this past weekend in Louisiana. We don’t have to see the truth of his words again in November 2016.

*In the speech that made Obama a political rock star at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Obama proclaimed that “The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. … We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”

Really? One people? Even those who say that he shouldn’t be allowed to give the State of the Union address?

I mean, does Obama, six years into his presidency, still believe his feel-good, fluffy words from 2004?

**To be fair, this infamous comment of Obama’s should be taken within its larger context of his preceding remarks, which you can find here.

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Mitt Romney: The next Bob Dole

In honor of Mitt Romney officially announcing his 2012 presidential bid today, I am reposting the following piece, which I originally posted on March 6.

I have little to add — and the poll numbers remain pretty much the same — except that it’s clear that Romney, especially in comparison to such whackjobs as Michele Bachmann, is going to emerge as the most electable (that is, the most inoffensive) candidate to the old school Repugnican Party establishment, which pretty much means that the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party nomination is all his.

Romney will bore the voters to death (like wooden Repugnican presidential candidate Bob Dole did in 1996), and Barack Obama will win re-election. You have to be pretty fucking boring to make Barack Obama seem exciting again.

(I would love for Obama to have a strong primary challenge — and by “strong” I don’t mean just giving him a little scare, but making his loss of the nomination a very real possibility — but the old school Democratic Party establishment will turn anyone who dares to oppose Obama [who more and more resembles the wizard of Oz, all talk and no substance, and never mind what’s behind that curtain over there!] into a political pariah, so I don’t expect a strong primary challenge to Obama. I expect nothing of the Democratic Party these days except continual cave-ins to the Repugnican Tea Party in the name of “compromise” and “bipartisanship.”)  

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

Associated Press photos

Above: Repugnican Mitt Romney pontificates at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., [in February]. Below: Failed 1996 Repugnican presidential candidate Bob Dole appears at a rally for Repugnican Tea Party nutjob Sarah Palin in Raleigh, N.C., in November 2008.

Bob Dole - Sarah Palin Campaigns In Raleigh Three Days Before Election

Getty Images

Repugnican Mitt Romney will be the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate. And he will lose to Barack Obama in November 2012.

Romney consistently appears in the top three favorites of Repugnican Tea Party members for the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination in recent nationwide polls. He usually ranks under Mike Huckabee but above Sarah Palin.

A Feb. 24-Feb. 28 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, for instance, put Huckabee at 25 percent, Romney at 21 percent, has-been Newt Gingrich at 13 percent, and Palin at a measly 12 percent.

A Feb. 19-Feb. 20 Gallup poll put Huckabee at 18 percent, Romney at 16 percent, Palin also at 16 percent, and Gingrich at 9 percent.

Finally, a Feb. 12-Feb. 15 Newsweek/Daily Beast poll put Romney at 19 percent, Huckabee at 18 percent, and Palin at 10 percent.

It’s a safe bet, I think, to write off Palin and Gingrich (and anyone else) and to narrow it down to Romney and Huckabee.

Huckabee is doing only slightly better than is Romney in most polls, and the closer that we get to November 2012, the more the crotchety Huckabee will remind Repugnican Tea Party voters of 2008 presidential loser John McCainosaurus, I believe. Their angry, bitter, old white guy lost in November 2008 to the much younger (gasp!) black guy by 7 percent of the popular vote, and they don’t want a repeat of that, I’m sure.*

Huckabee’s latest trips are asserting falsely that Barack Obama grew up in his father’s homeland of Kenya (Obama actually grew up in Hawaii and in Indonesia [mostly in Hawaii] – doesn’t Huckabee pay attention to the birthers?) and that recent best-actress winner Natalie Portman is awful for being an unwed pregnant woman, quite reminiscent of Repugnican retard (that’s redundant…) Dan Quayle’s remark way back in 1992 that the fictitious television character of Murphy Brown, who on the TV show had had a child out of wedlock, was a horrible example for others.

Huckabee, a former Southern Baptist minister, is living in the distant past. The majority of Americans no longer give a shit whether a woman chooses to have a baby inside or outside of marriage. The majority of Americans correctly believe it to be the woman’s business and no one fucking else’s. (And they know that Barack Obama was not raised in Kenya.)

Romney, on the other hand, is expected to avoid social/culture-war issues in his quest for the White House and to emphasize the nation’s economic woes. After all, for him to emphasize social/culture-war issues would only emphasize the fact that he is a Mormon, which is troublesome not only for anti-theocratic progressives like me (I’m a gay progressive, so there’s no way in hell that I’d ever vote for an active Mormon), but for Huckabee’s base of non-Mormon “Christo”fascists, the majority of whom believe that Mormonism isn’t Christian.

Already Romney has coined his “Obama Misery Index,” which is predicated on convincing the majority of the American voters that we went right from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama – that the eight, long, nightmarish years of rule by the unelected BushCheneyCorp regime never fucking happened. (George W. Bush inherited a federal budget surplus from Bill Clinton but ended his two unelected terms with a record federal budget deficit.)

Romney also is parroting Repugnican icon Ronald Reagan’s “trickle-down” economics (even more tax breaks for the corporations will result in more jobs for Americans, Romney is lying), which never worked and which never will.

While Romney is launching a campaign of blatant fucking lies that the national economy was just fine until Barack Obama came along and that Romney has the solutions for our nation’s economic ills, Romney at least is focusing on what the majority of the 2012 voters care about: their pocketbooks (and not, say, Natalie Portman’s Murphy-Brown-like pregnancy).

And let’s face it: Romney is a lot more telegenic than is the wall-eyed Huckabee, too. In presidential (hell, in almost all) politics today, how you look matters. It should not, but it does.

Further, Romney inexplicably became governor of the blue state of Massachusetts (for one four-year term from 2003 to 2007), so he presumedly has more experience appealing to “swing voters” than does Huckabee, who was governor of the red state of Arkansas for more than two four-year terms (as the state’s lieutenant governor he had assumed a portion of the previous governor’s term in 1996 and then was elected as the state’s governor in 1998 and re-elected in 2002).

Huckabee, unlike Romney, never has had to play to an audience of voters who actually have two brain cells to rub together, and what plays well in Arkansas (cue the banjo) doesn’t play well nationwide, which Huckabee is going to discover.

There are other factors in Romney’s presidential loss in 2012 as well, such as the fact that it’s unlikely for an incumbent president running for re-election to lose his bid. Jimmy Carter’s loss in his re-election bid to Ronald Reagan in 1980, and George H.W. Bush’s loss in his 1992 re-election bid to Bill Clinton were some exceptions, not the rule. Even George W. Bush eked out a second term in 2004, with 50.7 percent of the popular vote. (Had Hurricane Katrina happened before the 2004 election, instead of the following year, I have no doubt that Gee Dubya would have been only a one-term president.)

Losing a presidential election much more often than not is the end of a politician’s presidential aspirations. Richard Nixon lost in 1960 to John F. Kennedy but then won the White House in 1968, but in my lifetime (I was born in 1968), this was the rare exception, not the rule. Since 1964, presidential election losers Barry Goldwater, Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry and John McCainosaurus did not, have not or (probably) never will run for president again.

So you would think that members of the Repugnican (Tea) Party would prefer to sit 2012 out, given the uphill battle, but Romney and Huckabee have been out of elected office for a while now, and they probably don’t want to risk becoming more obscure over the course of another four more years, only to possibly be replaced in popularity in 2016 by an upstart (say, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Ohio Gov. John Kasich or Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels or maybe even Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal – and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is termed out in 2012).

And, I suppose, the lure of the White House is just too appealing to too many egomaniacs, even if it’s a quixotic quest — even if, as in Mitt Romney’s case, rather than being the next Ronald Reagan (a title already claimed by Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker), he’s much more likely to end up like the stiff and yawn-inducing Bob Dole did in 1996, losing to Bill Clinton by 8.5 percent of the popular vote.**

*While Romney is a deceptively youthful-looking [64 years old] and Huckabee actually is younger than Romney, at 55 years old, to me and to most other people, I surmise, Romney appears to be the younger of the two.

**Although, to be fair and balanced, I think it’s possible that Romney will lose to Obama in 2012 by a smaller margin than McCainosaurus did in 2008.

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Mitt Romney: The next Bob Dole

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

Associated Press photos

Above: Repugnican Mitt Romney pontificates at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., last month. Below: Failed 1996 Repugnican presidential candidate Bob Dole appears at a rally for Repugnican Tea Party nutjob Sarah Palin in Raleigh, N.C., in November 2008.

Bob Dole - Sarah Palin Campaigns In Raleigh Three Days Before Election

Getty Images

Repugnican Mitt Romney will be the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate. And he will lose to Barack Obama in November 2012.

Romney consistently appears in the top three favorites of Repugnican Tea Party members for the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination in recent nationwide polls. He usually ranks under Mike Huckabee but above Sarah Palin.

A Feb. 24-Feb. 28 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, for instance, put Huckabee at 25 percent, Romney at 21 percent, has-been Newt Gingrich at 13 percent, and Palin at a measly 12 percent.

A Feb. 19-Feb. 20 Gallup poll put Huckabee at 18 percent, Romney at 16 percent, Palin also at 16 percent, and Gingrich at 9 percent.

Finally, a Feb. 12-Feb. 15 Newsweek/Daily Beast poll put Romney at 19 percent, Huckabee at 18 percent, and Palin at 10 percent.

It’s a safe bet, I think, to write off Palin and Gingrich (and anyone else) and to narrow it down to Romney and Huckabee.

Huckabee is doing only slightly better than is Romney in most polls, and the closer that we get to November 2012, the more the crotchety Huckabee will remind Repugnican Tea Party voters of 2008 presidential loser John McCainosaurus, I believe. Their angry, bitter, old white guy lost in November 2008 to the much younger (gasp!) black guy by 7 percent of the popular vote, and they don’t want a repeat of that, I’m sure.*

Huckabee’s latest trips are asserting falsely that Barack Obama grew up in his father’s homeland of Kenya (Obama actually grew up in Hawaii and in Indonesia [mostly in Hawaii] — doesn’t Huckabee pay attention to the birthers?) and that recent best-actress winner Natalie Portman is awful for being an unwed pregnant woman, quite reminiscent of Repugnican retard (that’s redundant…) Dan Quayle’s remark way back in 1992 that the fictitious television character of Murphy Brown, who on the TV show had had a child out of wedlock, was a horrible example for others.

Huckabee, a former Southern Baptist minister, is living in the distant past. The majority of Americans no longer give a shit whether a woman chooses to have a baby inside or outside of marriage. The majority of Americans correctly believe it to be the woman’s business and no one fucking else’s. (And they know that Barack Obama was not raised in Kenya.)

Romney, on the other hand, is expected to avoid social/culture-war issues in his quest for the White House and to emphasize the nation’s economic woes. After all, for him to emphasize social/culture-war issues would only emphasize the fact that he is a Mormon, which is troublesome not only for anti-theocratic progressives like me (I’m a gay progressive, so there’s no way in hell that I’d ever vote for an active Mormon), but for Huckabee’s base of non-Mormon “Christo”fascists, the majority of whom believe that Mormonism isn’t Christian.

Already Romney has coined his “Obama Misery Index,” which is predicated on convincing the majority of the American voters that we went right from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama — that the eight, long, nightmarish years of rule by the unelected BushCheneyCorp regime never fucking happened. (George W. Bush inherited a federal budget surplus from Bill Clinton but ended his two unelected terms with a record federal budget deficit.)

Romney also is parroting Repugnican icon Ronald Reagan’s “trickle-down” economics (even more tax breaks for the corporations will result in more jobs for Americans, Romney is lying), which never worked and which never will.

While Romney is launching a campaign of blatant fucking lies that the national economy was just fine until Barack Obama came along and that Romney has the solutions for our nation’s economic ills, Romney at least is focusing on what the majority of the 2012 voters care about: their pocketbooks (and not, say, Natalie Portman’s Murphy-Brown-like pregnancy).

And let’s face it: Romney is a lot more telegenic than is the wall-eyed Huckabee, too. In presidential (hell, in almost all) politics today, how you look matters. It should not, but it does.

Further, Romney inexplicably became governor of the blue state of Massachusetts (for one four-year term from 2003 to 2007), so he presumedly has more experience appealing to “swing voters” than does Huckabee, who was governor of the red state of Arkansas for more than two four-year terms (as the state’s lieutenant governor he had assumed a portion of the previous governor’s term in 1996 and then was elected as the state’s governor in 1998 and re-elected in 2002).  

Huckabee, unlike Romney, never has had to play to an audience of voters who actually have two brain cells to rub together, and what plays well in Arkansas (cue the banjo) doesn’t play well nationwide, which Huckabee is going to discover.

There are other factors in Romney’s presidential loss in 2012 as well, such as the fact that it’s unlikely for an incumbent president running for re-election to lose his bid. Jimmy Carter’s loss in his re-election bid to Ronald Reagan in 1980, and George H.W. Bush’s loss in his 1992 re-election bid to Bill Clinton were some exceptions, not the rule. Even George W. Bush eked out a second term in 2004, with 50.7 percent of the popular vote. (Had Hurricane Katrina happened before the 2004 election, instead of the following year, I have no doubt that Gee Dubya would have been only a one-term president.)

Losing a presidential election much more often than not is the end of a politician’s presidential aspirations. Richard Nixon lost in 1960 to John F. Kennedy but then won the White House in 1968, but in my lifetime (I was born in 1968), this was the rare exception, not the rule. Since 1964, presidential election losers Barry Goldwater, Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry and John McCainosaurus did not, have not or (probably) never will run for president again.

So you would think that members of the Repugnican (Tea) Party would prefer to sit 2012 out, given the uphill battle, but Romney and Huckabee have been out of elected office for a while now, and they probably don’t want to risk becoming more obscure over the course of another four more years, only to possibly be replaced in popularity in 2016 by an upstart (say, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Ohio Gov. John Kasich or Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels or maybe even Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal** — and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is termed out in 2012). 

And, I suppose, the lure of the White House is just too appealing to too many egomaniacs, even if it’s a quixotic quest — even if, as in Mitt Romney’s case, rather than being the next Ronald Reagan (a title already claimed by Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker), he’s much more likely to end up like the stiff and yawn-inducing Bob Dole did in 1996, losing to Bill Clinton by 8.5 percent of the popular vote.***

*While Romney is a deceptively youthful-looking 63 years old (and turns 64 in less than a week) and Huckabee actually is younger than Romney, at 55 years old, to me and to most other people, I surmise, Romney appears to be the younger of the two.

**While the Egypt-like battle in his state is ongoing, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s political future is, I believe, toast.

***Although, to be fair and balanced, I think it’s possible that Romney will lose to Obama in 2012 by a smaller margin than McCainosaurus did in 2008.

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I fucking HATE Billary Clinton

Blanche Lincoln, Bill Clinton

Associated Press photo

Former Arkansas Gov. Billary Clinton pals around with DINO U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln in Little Rock today. Billary hates the democratic process, as evidenced by the fact that he believes that progressive candidates shouldn’t run for office when he doesn’t want them to run against centrist asswipes like Lincoln. Billy Boy has outlived any usefulness and he really, really needs to get himself a hobby. And/or maybe some Viagra, because he has way too much time on his hands.

When people learn that I fucking hate the fucking Repugnicans, they assume that I’m a Democrat (I’m registered with the Green Party) and that I must like Billary (Bill and/or Hillary) Clinton.

I fucking hate Billary Clinton.

Today in the news is the report that Mr. Bill himself tried to urge Rep. Joe Sestak from running against Democrat-come-lately Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary race for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.

How deeply anti-democratic it is to try to strong-arm anyone from running for office. If it isn’t illegal, it certainly is sleazy.

Despite Billary Clinton’s sleazeball attempt to keep Sestak down, Sestak ran in the primary anyway and beat the fossilized Specter’s ass.

It’s called DEMOCRACY, Billary.

Get over it.

And get over yourself.

Billary also today slammed those on the left who have been trying to unseat DINO (Democrat in name only) U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Billary’s home state of Arkansas.

Voters in Arkansas recently gave Lincoln’s Democratic primary opponent Bill Halter, the state’s lieutenant governor, enough votes to force Lincoln and Halter into a run-off on June 8.

Politico reports that during an appearance for Lincoln today, Billy Boy

…pounded the podium with Lincoln at his side, warning that national liberal and labor groups wanted to make her a “poster child” in the June 8 Senate run-off to send a message about what happens to Democrats who don’t toe the party line.

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