Tag Archives: Barry Goldwater

Bernie Sanders soars under the radar

Updated below (on Saturday, December 12, 2015)

FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2015, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a concert hosted by his campaign in Davenport, Iowa. For Sanders, victory in Iowa’s kickoff presidential caucuses hinges on a simple proposition: that his message of political revolution will inspire people who typically stay home on that deep-winter night. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Associated Press photo

Bernie Sanders addresses a crowd in Davenport, Iowa, in October. Despite the myth that Sanders is “unelectable,” he is doing better against the top Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidates in match-up polling than is Billary Clinton. As I type this sentence, Real Clear Politics’ averages of match-up polling show Billary beating Donald Trump by 3.3 percent, whereas Sanders beats Trump by 8 percent. Sanders beats Ted Cruz by 5.6 percent, whereas Billary bests Cruz by only 2.5 percent. Neither Sanders nor Clinton beats Marco Rubio — who is, as I have said, the Repugnican Tea Party candidate to take down (Trump is just an incredibly loud distraction) — but while Rubio beats Bernie by only 0.7 percent, he beats Billary by 1.6 percent. Billary Clinton is so disliked by the electorate as a whole that the comparatively unknown Bernie Sanders does better than she does against the top-tier Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes.

A few items encouraging to us Bernie Sanders supporters have caught my eye over the past few days.

There are plenty of naysaying pieces on Sanders on the Internet that amount to screaming to us Sanders supporters, “Surrender, Dorothy! But in reality, we have no reason to give up.

First, as I’ve noted, Bernie Sanders is polling significantly better than is Billary Clinton against the top three Repugnican Tea Party presidential contenders (Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz) in match-up polling. (Again, I’m quite confident that Ben Carson will not emerge as the Repugnican Tea Party’s presidential nominee.)

As El Trumpo himself might say, that’s yuuuuuge. It annihilates the “argument,” the conventional “wisdom,” that only Billary can win the White House. In Reality Land, there is a good chance that she cannot.

But then there’s also this (from refinery29.com):

Though there’s no way to know exactly how Americans will vote in the 2016 elections, one university has a perfect record when it comes to predicting presidential outcomes.

Western Illinois University has correctly prognosticated each president since 1975, and it’s got some ideas about next year’s contest, too. According to the university’s mock election, the 45th president of the United States will be Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who’s running as a Democrat in 2016. The university also predicted that former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will be Sanders’ vice president.

So how did the university reach its conclusion about Sanders? While his main opponent in the Democratic field, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, is leading in many polls, Sanders has managed to raise support from small donors at an unprecedented pace. The senator has supporters from a variety of demographics, explains Liberal America, which makes him a highly electable candidate. And a recent Quinnipiac poll found that Sanders is polling better than all of the GOP’s 2016 presidential candidates, including Donald Trump.

In WIU’s mock presidential election, Sanders garnered more than 400 Electoral College votes. A proposed Jeb Bush/Marco Rubio ticket, meanwhile, earned just 114 Electoral College votes in the mock election. As for the popular vote in WIU’s mock election, Sanders beat Clinton in 22 out of 26 primary states there, too.

Thousands of students at the university simulated the election process, including Iowa caucuses, state primaries, nominating conventions, and the Electoral College vote, from October 20 to November 2, in order to determine the results.

I find it interesting and encouraging that the university that correctly has predicted the next U.S. president since 1975 has predicted that Bernie Sanders will be our next president. (I’m not wild about Martin O’Malley as Bernie’s running mate, but O’Malley is better than is Billary, who wouldn’t deign to be Sanders’ running mate. But Sanders shouldn’t ask her, as her center-right political record and philosophy are contradictory to his left-of-center record and philosophy.)

There’s this, too, from Matthew Yglesias for Vox.com (emphases in bold are mine):

Donald Trump, as you have probably heard, is dominating national polls of Republicans who want to lead their party in the 2016 presidential election. As you have likewise probably heard, Hillary Clinton is currently crushing left-wing challenger Bernie Sanders in national polls of Democrats.

What you have probably not heard as much about is that Trump and Sanders have approximately equal levels of public support. …

Trump right now is a few percentage points ahead of Sanders in terms of the number of Republicans backing him versus the number of Democrats backing Sanders. But because there are more Democrats than Republicans in America, Philip Bump of the Washington Post reckons that there are actually slightly more Sanders supporters in America than Trump supporters.

Nonetheless, Trump has dominated media coverage of the 2016 campaign while Sanders has largely been a non-factor in coverage since Clinton started handing in solid debate performances.

The reasons for this are not exactly mysterious – Trump is ahead in the polls and might win the GOP nomination, while Sanders is losing badly and clearly won’t be the Democratic candidate.

But while the media’s priorities are comprehensible, the horse race fact that mainstream Democrats have consolidated around a single champion while the non-Trump Republicans remain badly divided is creating a distorted picture of the real state of the country. Wall-to-wall Trump coverage is, for example, helping boost morale at white supremacist groups, which are now benefiting from a newfound sense of momentum.

But while there is clearly significance in the fact that a large minority of Republicans are willing to flock to Trump’s banner and the cause of ethnic chauvinism, the reality that an equal number of people are flocking to Sanders’s banner and the vision of an expansive Nordic welfare state is equally significant.

Indeed, in terms of analyzing broad trends in American life, the Sanders phenomenon is probably more significant than Trumpism. Trump’s supporters, after all, are older than the average Republican, while Sanders’s are younger than the average Democrat. The Trump movement is benefiting from an exceptionally chaotic situation among mainstream Republicans, while Sanders is up against the strongest non-incumbent frontrunner in American political history.

In the short term, that all means that Trump is more relevant to 2016. But the values that Sanders reflects are likely to grow stronger in future cycles, while Trumpism is likely to grow weaker.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ll take the word of the students of Western Illinois University over Yglesias’ where it comes to Bernie Sanders’ chances of winning the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination (and then the White House). But I like (and agree with) Yglesias’ conclusion that the future belongs to us Sandersistas, not to the Trumpites.

And, as I’ve noted before, if Sanders’ 2016 run ends up like Barry Goldwater’s run in 1964 – if in retrospect it’s clear that Sanders rescued the Democratic Party from the death grip of the center-right Clintons – then we can count Sanders’ 2016 run as a win, whether he becomes our next president or not.

Speaking of which, it’s true that Billary’s lead in nationwide polls have her far ahead of Bernie – 55.4 percent to 30.8 percent, per Real Clear Politics’ average of polls, and 55 percent to 31 percent, per the Huffington Post’s average of polls. So it seems safe to conclude that right now, nationwide, Billary does beat Bernie by more than 20 percentage points in the polls.

But the nation won’t be voting and caucusing for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee as a whole on one day, but states will be voting and caucusing over the course of many weeks. And wins in early states often (if not usually) snowball into wins in successive states.

First to vote (caucus) will be Iowa, on February 1.

Yes, Billary is leading Bernie by double digits in Iowa polling right now – by about 14 percentage points, per RCP, and by 19 percent, per HuffPo – but, as prognosticator god Nate Silver pointed out recently, since 2004, “In Iowa, on average, only 35 percent of voters had come to a final decision before the final month of the campaign. And in New Hampshire, only 29 percent had.”

That leaves plenty of room for Bernie to win Iowa, as we have more than a month and a half before Iowans caucus.

And Bernie Sanders leads Billary in New Hampshire, which votes on February 9. RCP has him 4 percent ahead of Billary there, while HuffPo has him 1 percent ahead of her there.

Should Sanders pull out a first-place finish in Iowa – which we were taught is not an impossibility when, in 2004, the “inevitable” Howard Dean came in at third place in Iowa after the moribund John Kerry came back from the dead like Lazarus on crack and came in at No. 1 in Iowa and then went on to win the nomination (due to the aforementioned snowball effect) – Sanders no doubt would win New Hampshire, too.

And I don’t see Billary recovering from Sanders winning both Iowa and New Hampshire.

It’s true that Donald Trump has been sucking most of the oxygen from the room, and that the pundits (like Yglesias) have coronated Billary Clinton as the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee already.

But the pundits and the corporately owned and controlled media whores won’t be caucusing and voting in Iowa and New Hampshire (well, the vast majority of them don’t live in those two states, anyway).

I suspect that in February we will see, rather jarringly, that there are two parallel “realities” in the United States of America: (1) our corporately mediated “reality” that pumps up center-right, pro-corporate political candidates like Trump and Billary and, at best, mostly ignores truly populist candidates like Bernie Sanders, since truly populist candidates like Sanders aren’t great for the corporations and the plutocracy; and (2) actual reality, which consists of individuals voting and caucusing the way that they want to, not the way that they’re told to by our corporate/plutocratic overlords.

I suspect that for some time now, Bernie Sanders, in actual reality, has been soaring under the radar of our corporately mediated “reality.”

While we might compare Sanders to the tortoise in the parable of the tortoise and the hare, I think that I’d rather liken him to the bald eagle that had to put Donald Trump in his place.

P.S. I get it that way too many “superdelegates” have jumped the gun, voicing their support for Billlary before we, the people, have weighed in on our choice between Billary and Bernie, but how would these “superdelegates” proceed if Bernie pummels Billary in the caucuses and primary elections?

Many if not most of these “superdelegates” are, after all, accountable to the voters. And they aren’t bound to supporting Billary; they may flip their support to Bernie instead.

Update (Saturday, December 12, 2015): I find it interesting that within 24 hours of my having written that there exists a “corporately mediated ‘reality’ that pumps up center-right, pro-corporate political candidates like [Donald] Trump and Billary [Clinton] and, at best, mostly ignores truly populist candidates like Bernie Sanders,” the Sanders campaign put out an e-mail that reads:

I’ve always been interested in media and have always been concerned that corporate media doesn’t really educate people in this country. They refuse to talk about the serious issues facing our country.

That’s why I wasn’t surprised yesterday when I saw this headline: “Report: ABC World News Tonight Has Devoted 81 Minutes to Trump, One Minute to Sanders.”

It’s no shock to me that big networks, which are controlled by a handful of large corporations, have barely discussed our campaign and the important issues we are bringing up. They’re just too busy covering Donald Trump.

We can’t allow the corporate media to set the agenda. We have got to get the real issues out there. And that’s why I’m asking you to join me in a major petition to the big networks.

Add your name to our petition to tell ABC, NBC and CBS to cover our campaign — and more importantly to cover the issues we are bringing up.

This is what the corporate media is all about: more Americans support our campaign than Trump’s according to recent polls, but still ABC’s news program has spent 81 minutes on Trump and only 20 seconds talking about us. NBC Nightly News only spent 2.9 minutes covering our campaign. CBS? They spent six minutes.

The point is: our political revolution certainly will not be televised. It’s more important than ever for us to hold the large corporations that control the media accountable.

Please sign our petition to tell the big networks to put aside their corporate interests and allow for a free and fair debate in this presidential campaign.

I know we can win this fight if we all work to get the message out there.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

I encourage you to sign the petition.

The corporately owned and controlled mass media give more time not only to Donald Trump over Bernie Sanders, but also to the many Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes, like Jeb! Bush, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina and even Lindsey Graham, who aren’t polling at even 4 percent within their own party and who don’t have nearly the chance of securing their party’s presidential nomination that Bernie Sanders does of securing his.

As Matthew Yglesias points out in his piece above, “Sanders is up against the strongest non-incumbent frontrunner in American political history.” Given that fact, Bernie Sanders is, again, soaring — albeit under the radar of the corporately mediated “reality” in which we live.

P.S. Sanders’ e-mail correctly notes, as I noted yesterday, that Donald Trump is sucking all of the oxygen from the room, but the media are covering El Trumpo not only because he is, as he has been called, a carnival barker (on crack, I would add), but also because the plutocrats who own and control our corporate media would much rather that their media outlets cover The Donald’s latest “gaffe” than cover issues that might actually threaten treasonous corporate/plutocratic profiteering, such as:

Income inequality (including, of course, the need to pay every worker a living wage, the necessity of forcing the rich and the super-rich to pay their fair share of taxes, and the need to whack the Wall Street weasels), climate change (our No. 1 problem, even though it might not be evident to us on an everyday basis, because it’s a slow, ongoing progressive problem), the unaffordability of health care (including, of course, treasonously priced pharmaceuticals) and of higher education (student loans have got to go — we must foster our youth, not treat them as cash cows), our crumbling-from-neglect infrastructure, and the waste of billions and billions and billions of our tax dollars on the treasonous war profiteering of the military-corporate complex.

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More post-debate thoughts: We all lose when Billary Clinton ‘wins by not losing’

Photo from The Washington Post

Billary Clinton has become Rudy Guiliani in drag. Billary walks, talks and acts like a Repugnican, which means that should she become the “Democratic” presidential candidate in November 2016, a majority of voters probably will just go ahead and vote for the real Repugnican presidential candidate (perhaps especially if that candidate is Marco “Bootstraps” Rubio).

In its post-Democratic-debate analysis, Vox.com (typical of the conventional “wisdom” of the mass media) proclaims of Billary Clinton, “To some degree, Clinton wins by not losing,” adding, “And while she hardly had a perfect night, she definitely didn’t lose.” Vox.com proclaims of Bernie Sanders:

To be somewhat tautological about it, Sanders lost by not winning. The one, narrow path he has to the nomination comes through a surprise win or close loss in Iowa, followed by a big win in New Hampshire — trusting that the momentum from winning early will carry him, much as it did for John Kerry in 2004. Given that Sanders is losing Iowa quite badly at the moment, and he has less than three months to go before the caucuses, he needed something big to happen to get his Iowa numbers rising again.

But while he didn’t do a bad job in the debate, per se, he didn’t have any real marquee moments that would make Iowa caucus-goers stand up and take notice. …

Despite acknowledging that Billary’s “most serious error of the night was implying that she received support from Wall Street, and took Wall Street-friendly policies as senator from New York, because the financial industry was targeted in the September 11 attacks,” adding, “It was a bizarre moment,” Vox.com nonetheless proclaims Billary the “winner.”

(Actually, Vox.com was quite generous in its report of what Billary actually said. This is what she actually said, from CBS’ own transcript:

Oh, wait a minute, senator. (LAUGH) You know, not only do I have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small, I am very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60 percent. (APPLAUSE) So I — I represented New York. And I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked.

Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy. And it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country. (APPLAUSE)

Again, note Billary’s knee-jerk reversion to playing the feminist/“sexism”/“misogyny” card when she is under attack, even quite legitimately, in this case for her history of taking loads of campaign cash from the weasels of Wall Street.* But claiming that her self-serving, obedient support of Wall Street — which harmed almost all Americans when the economy resultantly cratered in 2007 and 2008 — “was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country” is incredibly craven, even for someone of Billary’s character.

No, it’s not that Billary is just another corrupt politician who’s on the take; no, by giving the Wall Street weasels everything that they wanted, she wanted to “rebuke the terrorists”! [As Joe Biden once put it: A noun, a verb and 9/11!])

This bias — to the point of proclaiming that Billary “won” the debate last night even though she uttered the most cringe-worthy lines (including, yes, her refusal to support more than a $12/hour federal minimum wage while everyone else is calling for a $15/hour federal minimum wage) — demonstrates what Bernie Sanders has been up against.

Bernie has been laboring in D.C. even longer than Billary has — he became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in November 1990, while Billary didn’t become first lady until a couple of years later — but he hasn’t had the fame (or, luckily, the notoriety) that Billary has.

As I’ve stated, Billary has been running for president at least since her 2000 run for the U.S. Senate, and since she ran for the White House in 2008 but lost, she widely is considered by the limousine-liberal intelligentsia (such as the folks at Vox.com) as “having earned it,” as “it’s her turn.”

Therefore, all that Billary has to do to “win” a debate is not have an emotional breakdown or an episode of Tourette’s on stage, apparently. (And even then, were you to dare to say anything about it, it would be cast by the Billarybots that you hate women!)

Martin O’Malley during the debate last night referred to Billary and/or one of her policy prescriptions as “weak tea.” Yup. As I wrote last night as I live-blogged the debate, she would prescribe only a lukewarm glass of water for a raging house fire. On almost every issue, be it raising the minimum wage to a living wage, reining in the gross abuses of the Wall Street weasels, the legalization of marijuana, and even “her” “signature” issue of health-care reform, she proposes doing as little as is humanly possible.

When you start off asking for/demanding so little, in the negotiating process in D.C. you’ll end up with even less.

During last night’s debate Billary surreally praised Barack Obama’s “record” of “accomplishment” (my words, not hers), which is telling, since the hopey-changey President Obama has done little to nothing. I, for one, can’t say that I’m much better off in year seven of Obama’s presidency than I was when George W. Bush was still president, and that’s because Obama has barely touched the status quo; he’s been barely a caretaker president, much more a leader. If he’s Billary’s role model, we know that with President Billary we’d get four more years of the same.

Despite Billary’s staunch refusal to stand up for the common American instead of for her millionaire and billionaire campaign contributors — and for the older, more right-wing voters to whom she appeals — she does, alas, lead in the polls.

Vox.com is correct: Bernie lags by double digits in Iowa, the state that goes first when it caucuses on February 1. On February 9 it’s the New Hampshire primary, where, according to Real Clear Politics’ polling average, Billary is ahead of Bernie by three percentage points, but where, according to Huffington Post’s polling average, Bernie is ahead of Billary by eight percentage points.

I agree with Vox.com’s analysis that if Bernie loses Iowa, it needs to be close; he needs to come in at a close No. 2 if he can’t pull out a first-place win. (And then, he really needs to win New Hampshire; he can’t afford even a close second there, I believe. If he doesn’t come in at No. 1 at least in Iowa or in New Hampshire, I don’t see him recovering from that.)

All of that said, before we write Bernie Sanders off it’s important to remember that John Kerry came back from the dead to beat Howard Dean in Iowa in January 2004. Wikipedia notes of the 2004 Iowa caucuses:

The Iowa caucuses revived the once moribund campaign of Kerry, who proceeded to the New Hampshire primary as one of the front runners, and [he] ultimately captured the Democratic nomination. …

The results were a blow to Dean, who had for weeks been expected to win the caucuses. He planned afterward to quickly move to New Hampshire, where he expected to do well and regain momentum. At the time, he had far more money than any other candidate and did not spend much of it in Iowa. Dean’s aggressive post-caucus speech to his supporters, culminating with a hoarse scream that came to be known as the “Dean Scream,” was widely shown and mocked on television, although the effect on his campaign was unclear. …

What do John Kerry and Bernie Sanders have in common? Tad Devine as a senior adviser.

Could Bernie Sanders pull a John Kerry in Iowa?

Yes, I think so, which is why I refuse to write Bernie Sanders’ political obituary, even though, as Vox.com points out, Sanders has not even three full months before Iowa.

I wouldn’t call Sanders’ campaign thus far to be “moribund,” either. It’s true that in nationwide polls he lags by double digits — 33.5 percent to Billary’s 54.5 percent, per RCP, and 33.2 percent to Billary’s 56.5 percent, per HuffPo — but put into perspective, Bernie’s not doing badly for a relative unknown, a dark horse, who fairly came from nowhere to challenge the “inevitable” coronation of Billary Clinton.

And, as I’ve noted before, the entire nation isn’t voting on the same day, but over the course of several months (even though the race is likely to be wrapped up over the course of several weeks [I don’t expect the race to go past the end of March, by which time more than 30 states will have weighed in).

Therefore, if Bernie scores early wins, it could give him the momentum that it gave the once-“moribund” Kerry campaign. (The once-“moribund” Kerry went on to win all but a handful of states.) This snowball effect makes the nationwide polling a poor predictor of the final outcome of a presidential primary race — because, again, the entire nation doesn’t vote on one day.

I’ve never supported Bernie Sanders merely to push Billary Clinton to the left. This line of thought presumes that Billary was going to be coronated from the get-go, and that any opponent to her would be only for show.

I recognize, of course, that Bernie Sanders might not win the primary race; it remains an uphill battle. (As Bernie tells us repeatedly, unlike Billary Clinton and the other Repugnican presidential candidates [yes, to me Billary might as well be running as a Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate, as a “moderate” Repugnican], he’s not funded by the billionaires). But once it was clear that Elizabeth Warren was sitting this one out, I’ve always seen Sanders as the candidate best suited to be president.

Nor do I have any confidence — none whatsofuckingever — that merely pushing Billary’s campaign rhetoric to the left during the primary race actually would result in any actual progressive action on her part should she actually become president.

Billary’s history is one of lying, of switching her political positions like a human weather vane on crack. We can’t trust any of her promises. Barack Obama, at least, was an unknown; when he relentlessly promised “hope” and “change” in advance of November 2008, I thought that he might actually at least try to deliver on these campaign promises. With Billary, I know that she won’t.

Billary also clearly wants to be president only for her rapacious baby-boomer cohort. It’s clear that she wants to keep things just as they are, until after the baby boomers all finally die off, and leave us Gen X’ers, Millennials and those who follow us X’ers and Millennials holding the bag, with not even the short end of the stick, but no stick left at all. (Clintonista Paul Begala once called the baby boomers “a plague of locusts, devouring everything in their path and leaving but a wasteland.” Yup.)

Leadership is about vision and having an eye to the future. Bernie Sanders has shown that vision, that far-sighted wisdom. Billary, like her Wall Street buddies, views only what she can get in this quarter.

As I’ve stated before, Bernie Sanders might be like Barry Goldwater was in 1964: Goldwater didn’t become president, but he is credited with having started the “Reagan revolution” that came after him.

Similarly, probably especially if Billary Clinton wins the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination but then loses in November 2016 to, say, Marco Rubio (since she’s using his and other Repugnican Tea Party talking points, why wouldn’t the voters go ahead and vote for him or for another Repugnican Tea Party candidate?) and Billary’s losing in November 2016 easily could happen, given that the majority of Americans do not like her — perhaps the Democratic Party finally will wake the fuck up and rid itself of the virulent center-right stain that the self-serving Clintons put on it in the 1990s. (I just now thought of that infamously stained blue dress, but that wasn’t actually meant as a pun…)

Even if Bernie doesn’t win, at the minimum he is breaking ground for another actually progressive candidate, such as Elizabeth Warren, to not only win the White House but to finally take back the Democratic Party, to return it to its rightful progressive roots.

And that would be a huge win.

In that event, you might even say that Bernie won even while “losing.”

*Rolling Stone notes:

Over the course of her career, four of [Clinton’s] top five donors have been Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. Someone has to be the moron, and if it’s not the rich guys whose jobs are buying things that advance their self-interest, then it’s the people at home buying a new regulatory zeal from someone who’s never much evinced an inclination toward it before.

It gets better. Much like I have noted, Rolling Stone’s Jeb Lund continues:

Clinton’s response took the form of a vaporous appeal to identity politics, followed by an invocation of September 11 crass enough to make Rudy Giuliani’s cheeks redden in either shame or envy. Addressing Sanders’ comments above, as well as the number of small donors to his campaign, Clinton said:

“You know, not only do I have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small, and I’m very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60 percent… I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.”

This rancid bucket of word scrofula does a lot of coldly profitable hand-waving and at best only creates more questions than it answers. Clinton’s disclosure forms reveal reams of high-dollar Wall Street contributors, so what does a majority of women donors signify that obviates the former in any material way? Would significant Wall Street backing disappear as an issue for a gay candidate who said, “60 percent of my donors are gay”? Does all of Cory Booker’s “love money” from hedge fund ghouls get less problematic if he hits a threshold of black donors?

And, after 14 years of every opportunist creep in a blue suit and red tie exhuming the corpses of the World Trade Center dead to festoon themselves with sanctified victimhood, it’s amazing that there are still new ways to be forced to ask the question What the fuck does September 11 have to do with any of this shit, asshole? Would Hillary Clinton become a card-carrying Communist if the CPUSA headquarters had been hit by a plane? Would her donor lists be full of members of Supertramp, Fairport Convention and Oingo Boingo if Al Qaeda had attacked the A&M Records building? What possible causal relationship exists here? And how does attending to Wall Street’s fortunes rebuke the terrorists? …

Lund does proclaim that “despite flogging the nation’s honored dead for the billionth beshitted time this century, Hillary Clinton won the debate handily,” by which I take it that he means, from that link (which is his, not mine) that most Democrats think that Clinton won the debate handily.

Sure; I buy that. As I’ve recently noted, most self-proclaimed Democrats seem poised to go right over that cliff with Billary on November 8, 2016. That doesn’t mean that Billary actually “won” the debate — not if we define winning a debate as actually being truthful in the debate and not resorting to such sleazy, slimy, weaselly tactics as exploiting identity politics and using a noun + a verb + 9/11.

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And then there were three…

Democratic presidential candidates Sanders, Clinton and O'Malley react to the crowd before the start of the first official Democratic candidates debate of the 2016 presidential campaign in Las Vegas

Reuters photo

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, former U.S. Secretary of State Billary Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (pictured above at last week’s first primary-season debate) are the three remaining candidates for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. While the Democratic presidential field has narrowed, the Repugnican Tea Party presidential field remains a train wreck in which neither of the top-two candidates ever has held elected office. 

So the field of Democratic presidential aspirants has shrunk dramatically since last week’s first Democratic Party presidential primary-season debate.

Out of the running are Jim Webb (he dropped out on Tuesday) and Lincoln Chafee (he dropped out today), who, I easily had predicted while I live-blogged the debate, would drop out soon. And, of course, non-candidate Joe Biden announced the day before yesterday that he indeed is a non-candidate.

As I’ve written, Martin O’Malley appears to intend to hold on for a while longer, to, perhaps, at least get a vice-presidential bid out of it.

So we won’t have Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee to kick around at the second Dem debate, which is on Saturday, November 14, in Des Moines, Iowa. (The full Dem debate schedule is here.)

Billary Clinton’s performance yesterday before her “Benghazigate” inquisitors has been widely portrayed by the media as a win for her. I don’t know that that will increase her poll numbers, however; in fact, I doubt that it will.

As I’ve noted, it seems to me that the vast majority of voters know Billary well already and thus know already whether or not they support her. Therefore, I could have seen her performance yesterday harming her in the polls had she made any great stumble or stumbles, but, as others have noted, all that she really needed to do was not erupt like a volcano. This was the case probably especially in the wake of dipshit Repugnican Tea Party Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s on-air admission that the whole thing is a Repugnican Tea Party political witch hunt in the first place, which we’d all known all along anyway (well, those of us who have a grasp on reality have known all along, anyway).

So, again, I don’t see Billary having survived yesterday’s hearing giving her a significant increase in her polling, as well before yesterday most voters already knew whether or not they’re supporting her.

Again, what I’m waiting for now is to see how the polls shake out in the coming weeks with only Bernie Sanders, Billary Clinton and Martin O’Malley left in the running. Mostly, I’m interested in seeing how Joe Biden no longer being listed as a polling choice affects the polling between top-two contenders Bernie and Billary.

As I’ve noted, for some time now Biden consistently has come in at third place in nationwide presidential preference polls of Democrats and Democratic leaners (and in polls of Iowans and New Hampshirites). While he didn’t have a shot at winning the nomination – which is why, I’m confident, he ultimately decided not to run – at third place he’d been polling around 17 percent nationally (and also around 17 percent in Iowa and around 12 percent in New Hampshire), most of which now will be divvied between Bernie and Billary.

While the Democratic presidential race has settled to two main candidates, the Repugnican Tea Party presidential race remains a train wreck.

Donald Trump, who wasn’t supposed to last this long (he was supposed to be just a summertime fling – remember?), still leads the nationwide presidential-preference polling for his chosen party. Real Clear Politics (as I type this sentence) shows him around 27 percent among Repugnicans and Repugnican leaners, with Ben Carson in second place at 21.4 percent, Marco Rubio a distant third with 9.2 percent, and Ted Cruz at fourth with 7.8 percent.

Jeb! Bush is in fifth place nationally, with 7.2 percent (and reportedly, Jeb! today ordered his campaign to “cut payroll costs by 40 percent, downsize its Miami headquarters by more than 50 percent, reduce travel costs by 20 percent and cut 45 percent of spending on things other than media and voter contact”).

The members of the Repugnican Party establishment must be shitting their pants, with the presidentially unelectable Trump and Carson, who never have held any elected office before, having held on to the top two spots in the nationwide, Iowa and New Hampshire polls for a while now. (Carson now tops Trump in Iowa polling by four points, and Trump trumps Carson by 12 points in New Hampshire.)

Iowans caucus on February 1, and the New Hampshire primary is on February 9, so there are only about 14 weeks left before Iowa weighs in. Can the struggling campaigns of Jeb! Bush and Ted Cruz hold on that long? Maybe Cruz’s campaign can – I understand that he’s doing OK on money – but can Jeb!’s?

My money still is on Marco Rubio emerging as the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate – a candidate who is acceptable enough to both the establishmentarian Repugnicans and the “tea-party” nut jobs – but again, we have only 14 weeks to go, and Rubio’s nationwide polling – and his polling in Iowa and in New Hampshire – aren’t even at double digits, and Trump and Carson show no signs of slipping from their top-two perches. So if it’s going to be Rubio, the party’s establishmentarians have a lot of work to do over the next three months.

In the meantime, I still support Bernie Sanders, as I believe he’d be the best (that is, the most progressive) president of all of the viable presidential candidates.

The prediction markets favor Billary, the corporate punditry’s choice, over Bernie, but I stand behind Bernie, win or lose.

Minimally, Bernie’s candidacy has shifted the Democratic Party to the left, where it belongs.

Not that that would last all that long at all with a President Billary.

It was just on September 10 that Billary declared while campaigning in Ohio: “You know, I get accused of being kind of moderate and center. I plead guilty.”

During the October 13 Democratic debate, Billary claimed, “I’m a progressive who likes to get things done.”

I have little doubt that as far to the left Bernie could push Billary’s current campaign rhetoric, as president she’d actually deliver to us the same old corporate-ass-kissing, center-right bullshit that her husband did in the 1990s.

If Billary wins the White House – which, yes, I could see her losing to Marco Rubio (current polling match-ups have Clinton leading Rubio by not even two percentage points) – the best that we could say of Bernie Sanders’ candidacy, hopefully (even if he wins the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination but loses the White House), would be that he was to the Democratic Party in 2016 what Barry Goldwater was to the Republican Party in 1964: He set the stage for his party’s later resurgence.

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Obama’s failure on NAFTA-like TPP spells potential doom for Billary

Hillary Clinton is joined onstage by her husband former President Clinton after delivering her

Reuters photo

Democrat in name only Billary Clinton is joined onstage by her DINO husband during her official presidential campaign kick-off in New York City yesterday. Billary refuses to say whether she supports the NAFTA-like, anti-middle-and-anti-working-class, pro-plutocratic Trans-Pacific Partnership, because of course she supports it, just as her husband brought us the North American Free Trade Agreement, but such treasonous support is unpopular with actual Democrats. DINO President Barack Obama’s lame-duck failure to get the TPP passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday indicates that the Clinton-Obama brand of politician — the DINO — is headed for long-overdue extinction. Actual progressive Bernie Sanders, who opposes the TPP, has my full support for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

The United States of America has been looking past President Barack Obama for some time now, with talk of who the next president will be having been going on for many months now. Obama is not just a lame duck; he’s a zombie duck.

This (the lame-duck syndrome) is not unique to Obama, of course, and so I am not picking only on Obama; in 2007 and 2008, those of us who are sane were looking far past the unelected and thus illegitimate “President” George W. Bush (to whom I must give credit for being my main inspiration to start blogging way back in 2002).

But one suspects that while even Gee Dubya at least dimly understood that he was a lame duck in his last two disastrous years in the White House, the perhaps-more-arrogant Obama hasn’t yet received the memo.

Obama’s delightfully stunning loss on the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Friday demonstrates that all of us, Democrats and non-Democrats alike, are looking past him. As TIME.com puts it:

President Obama suffered a stunning defeat Friday when fellow Democrats in the House hobbled his push for a legacy-defining Pacific Rim trade deal.

House Democrats used a tactical maneuver to deny Obama the fast-track negotiating authority he needs to finalize that pact, sinking a worker assistance program that’s become a precondition for Democratic support of such agreements. The vote was 126-302.

The path forward for Obama’s trade agenda, his top legislative priority, is hardly clear. “I don’t think anybody knows,” Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), a member of House Democratic leadership, said after the vote. …

It’s heart-warming that DINO Obama’s parting gift to us all was going to be another NAFTA-like, Clintonesque “trade” “deal” that further would decimate the working class and middle class. That Obama was depending on the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to help him push his pro-plutocratic, pro-corporate, anti-populist fast-track “trade” “deal” through the U.S. House of Representatives shines a blindingly bright spotlight on Obama’s dark heart and very apparently reveals, sickeningly, where his allegiances always have been.

But further shitting and pissing on the middle class and working class is not very popular right about now, which is why a President Billary would do that were she to win the Oval Office, I have no doubt, but is why she is promising, like Obama did in his first presidential campaign, hope and change.

Billary isn’t using the actual words “hope” and “change” — since it’s obvious to all of us how that turned out — but she’s essentially giving the same Obama-2008 bullshit message. As Reuters reports:

New York — Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promised [yesterday] to fight for a fairer society for ordinary Americans, staking out a place on the left to cut off any budding challenge for the Democratic nomination.

In the first major rally of her campaign for the November 2016 presidential election, Clinton touched on many of the issues that energize liberal Democrats. She highlighted her support for gay marriage, women’s rights, income equality, clean energy and regulating Wall Street.

Speaking on New York’s Roosevelt Island, with Manhattan’s skyscrapers as a backdrop, Clinton promised to “make the economy work for everyday Americans, not just those at the top” if elected president. …

By far the front-runner to win the Democratic nomination for president, Clinton nevertheless faces some competition from the left, especially from liberal Bernie Sanders.

The independent senator from Vermont has drawn relatively large crowds at recent campaign events in Iowa, the state that kicks off the party’s nominating contests early next year. …

Well, yeah.

Anyone who has been paying even the slightest attention to Billary’s career of holding titles (first lady, U.S. senator, U.S. secretary of state, etc.) but having pretty much zero accomplishments knows that her sudden, new-found populism is compete and utter bullshit. Her presidency would be a continuation of the lackluster-at-best, center-right Obama administration — at best.

Was it long ago enough that we heard promises of “hope” and “change” to be able to believe Billary Clinton today?

I don’t think so, which might explain why a recent poll conducted by the Washington Post, ABC News and Quinnipiac University found that Bernie Sanders is regarded more favorably than unfavorably by Americans, but that Americans regard both Obama and Billary more unfavorably than favorably.*

I don’t know that Sanders can win the White House; wise men almost never do.

I have been a supporter of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who not only is progressive — an actual Democrat — but is tough and tenacious (a real pit bull with lipstick) and who would fit the bill of being both our first female president and a probably-great and an actually progressive president.

But Warren isn’t running for the White House for 2016, and the closest that we actual progressives have to Warren is Bernie Sanders, to whom I’ve been giving all of the support that I would be giving to Billary Clinton if she were an actual Democrat instead of a Repugnican Lite (and maybe not even Lite).

Again, I don’t know that Sanders could win the White House — it wasn’t nearly long ago enough that Americans allowed the likes of George W. Bush to steal the White House (Al Gore beat Bush by more than a half-million votes in November 2000) — but I am confident that Sanders might beat Billary for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, especially if he wins in one or more of the earliest voting states.

When Sanders talks about standing up for the middle class and working class, he has his entire political career as a self-identified democratic socialist to back him up on that. (As there is no national socialist party in the United States, unfortunately, I don’t expect the “socialist” thing to be the problem for Sanders that so many say it would be, and socialism is looking better and better to millions of Americans right about now, especially for younger Americans, whose collective future treasonously runaway capitalism has severely jeopardized and for whom the Red Scare is just what it is: a pro-plutocratic, anti-populist propagandist relic of the paranoid, jingoistic 1950s.)

Billary Clinton’s background, by deep contrast, includes having been a “Goldwater girl” — yes, in her youth she supported wingnut Barry Goldwater (the “Goldwater girls” “got to wear cowboy hats,” Billary has said, perhaps while giggling. “We had a sash that said, you know, ‘I voted AUH2O.’ I mean, it was really a lot of fun”) — and having helped, with her husband and the now-thank-Goddess-defunct Democratic Leadership Council, to drag the Democratic Party so far to the right that year after year it becomes more and more indistinguishable from the pro-plutocratic, pro-corporate Repugnican Party to the point that I think of the two duopolistic parties as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party.

I know my history, which is why I can’t, in anything remotely approaching good conscience, support Billary Clinton — who, of course, hasn’t made her stance on the Trans-Pacific Partership public** because of course she personally supports it (everything in her political history points to that fact) but knows that it’s politically unpopular (rightfully so) to come out in favor of it. Bernie Sanders, of course, publicly opposes the TPP.**

(Billary Clinton is nothing if not a human weather vane on crack; when she coldly calculated in the toxic, post-9/11 atmosphere that voting for the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War in October 2002 would benefit her politically, she did so when she was in the U.S. Senate. [Bernie Sanders was in the U.S. House of Representatives at the time, and he wisely voted against the Vietraq War, as did 21 Democratic U.S. senators, so let’s not revise history to claim that Billary really had no choice; she did.]

When Billary coldly calculated that publicly supporting same-sex marriage would harm her politically, she did not publicly support it, and publicly supported it only after she had calculated that it was safe to do soshe waited until March 2013, for fuck’s sake.

This is a pattern of political behavior that amply demonstrates Billary’s character and that is plain to see once one gets past her bullshit use and co-option of the “Democratic” label.)

I was punk’d by Obama in 2008, when I truly believed that he might actually do his best to enact an actually progressive agenda.***

I wasn’t punk’d by DINO Obama again in 2012 — I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein instead — and I won’t be punk’d by DINO Billary Clinton in 2016.

Instead, I’m on board with Bernie Sanders.

*The Washington Post thought that it was awfully cute to throw in another, online poll conducted by Google Consumer Surveys to add fictional movie villains to the poll, but not only was movie-villain poll an unscientific Internet poll, but the individuals who were polled on presidential wannabes obviously were not the same individuals who were polled online by Google on movie villains, so by smashing the two poll results together into one bogus poll, Washington Post shit and pissed not only all over journalism, but also on the art and science of polling, and further dumbed down public discourse by melding politics with entertainment.

Great job, WaPo!

**Reuters reports today:

Bernie Sanders, the outspoken progressive U.S. senator challenging Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, urged her [today] to take a stand on a big trade deal that has divided the Democratic Party.

Clinton aides appearing on Sunday television news shows said she would not weigh in until negotiations were complete.

Sanders, a vocal critic of free trade, called on Clinton to join labor unions, environmentalists and other opponents of the trade package before it is brought up for another vote this week. Clinton is the front-runner among candidates to be the Democratic Party nominee for the November 2016 election.

“Corporate America and Wall Street are going to bring that bill back,” Sanders said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “If she joins us, we could stop this disastrous deal once and for all.”

Democrats in Congress dealt a blow to President Barack Obama on Friday when they rejected related trade legislation that would have cleared the way for a sweeping Pacific Rim trade deal, despite his personal plea that it was crucial to bolstering ties with Asia.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is shaping up to be a significant test for Clinton as her party has grown more suspicious of the merits of free trade since her husband, Bill Clinton, signed the North American Free Trade Agreement into law as president in 1993.

Clinton has expressed reservations about free trade deals in the past, but she played a central role in trade talks with the 11 countries involved in the TPP as Obama’s secretary of state.

Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said she would render a judgment when the deal is final.

Gotta love that last sentence (the emphasis is mine, of course): Billary won’t lead on this important issue now, but will wait so see how it shakes out politically, and then, apparently, retroactively will announce that all along she had supported whichever position apparently emerges as the political victor.

And Queen Billary can’t even be bothered to tell us commoners this herself, but has her surrogates tell us this.

***When I walked into my polling place in November 2008, I still hadn’t decided whether I would vote for Barack Obama or for independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, for whom I’d voted in 2000. At rather the last minute, I cast my vote for Obama, knowing that he was going to win all of California’s electoral votes anyway, and feeling at least a little good about having voted for the nation’s first non-white president.

In 2009 and 2010, while I watched Obama jaw-droppingly squander his political capital by trying to sing “Kumbaya” with the treasonous Repugnicans in Congress — instead of enacting the actually progressive agenda that he’d promised to enact, and which he could have enacted, given that his party controlled both houses of Congress in 2009 and 2010 — I knew that my November 2008 vote for Obama had been a regrettable mistake.

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Is Cindy sincere or is she just a poser?

You know, as a gay man and as a Generation X’er, I really don’t want to be used as a cause by baby boomers who are trying to make themselves appear to be young and hip again.

So when I read that baby boomer Cindy McCain has signed on to the “NOH8” project — which The Huffington Post describes as “a photo project in which subjects are photographed wearing white, against a white background, with their mouths taped shut and ‘NOH8’ [a pun on the hateful, anti-gay Californian Proposition 8] painted on their faces” — I was (and still am) skeptical. (And why duct tape? How about ball gags? Just a little suggestion…)

The “NOH8” image of Cindy McCain alone —

— looks heavily airbrushed. She was born in 1954, which puts her in her mid-50s. Why, then, at her age, is she trying to look like Britney Fucking Spears?

Does she care more about equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals or about appearing to be as young and hip as her daughter Meghan, who earlier posed for “NOH8”?:

3

And if Cindy cares so much about being on the side of good instead of on the side of evil, then why in the hell is she still married to John McCainosaurus, who, according to Yahoo! News, “despite the opinions of his wife and daughter … remains firmly in favor of Prop 8”?

I could never partner with a racist; how can Cindy McCain be so easily partnered with a homophobe? A hater is a hater.

Speaking of haters, I have been rather unkind to Cindy McCain in the past. When in February 2008 she insinuated that she is more patriotic than is Michelle Obama, I proclaimed that she “looks like a petrified Barbie doll.” Almost two years later, I still have to stand behind that observation…

Cindy, divorce the old man and divorce the Repugnican Party, and then I’ll believe that you’re sincere about doing the right thing.

Finally, a historical note for those who find it so shocking! that Cindy McCain! has come out in support! of same-sex marriage!: John McCainosaurus has modeled himself more after the late Arizonan political icon Barry Goldwater than probably anyone else, and Goldwater, before he died, came out in support of gay rights. (It probably didn’t hurt that his grandson is gay. Nancy Reagan, after all, came out in support of stem-cell research because Ronnie had Alzheimer’s, which stem-cell research might cure one day.)

The Goldwater Repugnicans tend to be warhawkish and are fiscally conservative, but believe, unlike the BushCheneyCorp Repugnicans, that the government should keep out of people’s private lives.

I can tolerate the Goldwater Repugnicans (and their cousins, the Libertarians) more than I can tolerate the socially conservative Repugs (whom I think of as the “American Taliban”). Unfortunately, the latter grossly outnumber the former…

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