Tag Archives: Berners

For too many, their main problem with Bernie Sanders remains that he is white

Updated below (on Monday, November 12, 2018)

Bernie Sanders and Andrew Gillum.

Associated Press photo

Bernie Sanders campaigned relentlessly for Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, but for too many, Bernie remains unacceptable as a Democratic Party presidential nominee because he is a white man, whether they’ll come out and say that or not.

The 2020 Democratic Party primary fight has begun, because already it’s being declared yet once again that Bernie Sanders isn’t good enough on black issues.

Before I delve into that, let me make a point: We’ve never had a Latino U.S. president (and Latinos comprise the largest non-white racial group in the United States). Or a Native American president. Or an Asian president. Or an openly non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming president. Or, for fuck’s sake, even a biologically female president. We haven’t even had an openly non-“Christian” U.S. president; claiming to be a Christian, as even Pussygrabber has, always has been a prerequisite to sit in the Oval Office.

Yet many so-called Democratic voters, if the next Democratic Party presidential nominee isn’t black, are going to scoop up their marbles and go home. (Not that that is racist or black supremacist or anything…)

So the latest “controversy” that “proves” that Bernie Sanders actually is a crypto-white supremacist is a recent remark attributed to him by The Daily Beast, which reported three days ago:

Democratic officials woke Wednesday morning searching for answers as to why the party was unable to win several marquee Senate and gubernatorial races the night before.

But for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the explanation was simple. The candidates who under-performed weren’t progressive enough; those who didn’t shy away from progressivism were undone, in part, by “racist” attacks.

“I think you know there are a lot of white folks out there who are not necessarily racist who felt uncomfortable for the first time in their lives about whether or not they wanted to vote for an African-American,” Sanders told The Daily Beast, referencing the close contests involving Andrew Gillum in Florida and Stacey Abrams in Georgia and ads run against the two. “I think next time around, by the way, it will be a lot easier for them to do that.”

Sanders wasn’t speaking as a mere observer but, rather, as someone who had invested time and reputation on many of the midterm contests. The Vermonter, who is potentially considering another bid for the presidency in 2020, mounted an aggressive campaign travel schedule over the past few months and endorsed both Abrams and Gillum. He also has a personal political investment in the notion that unapologetic, authentic progressive populism can be sold throughout the country and not just in states and districts that lean left.

Surveying the victories and the carnage of Tuesday’s results, Sanders framed it as a vindication of that vision. The candidates who performed well even though they lost, he said, offered positive progressive views for the future of their states, including Gillum, Abrams, and Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke. Those who were heavily defeated, Sanders said, didn’t galvanize young voters, people of color, and typically non-active voters.

“I think you got to contrast that to the votes of conservative Democrats who did not generate a great deal of excitement within the Democratic Party,” Sanders said, alluding to a host of Senate Democrats who lost re-election on Tuesday night. “[They] did not bring the kind of new people, new energy that they needed and ended up doing quite poorly. In admittedly difficult states. Missouri and Indiana are not easy states, but neither is Florida or Georgia or Texas.” …

Sanders … credited Abrams with a “brilliant campaign” for her efforts to bring non-active Democratic voters into the electoral process. He marveled at O’Rourke’s fundraising prowess, which allowed the Texas Democrat to raise $38 million in the third quarter of this year — the largest of any Senate candidate in history — and earn more than 48 percent of the vote against incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). And he noted that Gillum helped generate turnout that led to the successful passing of Amendment 4, which will restore voting rights to 1.5 million convicted felons in Florida. [This is great news that would warrant a blog post on its own, but I can do only so much…]

“I think he’s a fantastic politician in the best sense of the word,” Sanders said of Gillum. “He stuck to his guns in terms of a progressive agenda. I think he ran a great campaign. And he had to take on some of the most blatant and ugly racism that we have seen in many, many years. And yet he came within a whisker of winning.” …

Of course the anti-Berners ignore the second paragraph (and, well, every other paragraph as well) and focus like a laser on the third, which contains the juicy quote, “I think you know there are a lot of white folks out there who are not necessarily racist who felt uncomfortable for the first time in their lives about whether or not they wanted to vote for an African-American.”

On the bare face of that, of course I disagree with it. If you are a white voter who feels uncomfortable voting for a candidate primarily or solely because the candidate is not white, then you are racist, whether you’re fully conscious of it or not. Even just an “innocent” belief that elected officials “should” be white because that’s what you are accustomed to is, of course, deeply rooted in racism.

But I don’t know exactly what Bernie meant by his statement, and therefore I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Did Bernie mean that some white Democratic primary voters, knowing how racist their states are, hesitated to vote for black candidates because they figured that they’d only lose in the general election because of the racism in their states? Not wanting to lose an election because of racism doesn’t make you racist yourself, and it seems to me that there is a good chance that this is what Bernie was trying to say, albeit woefully inartfully.

What about white voters in Georgia and Florida who didn’t vote for either Abrams or Gillum primarily because they believe that Abrams and Gillum are “socialist” and they won’t vote for a “socialist”? Or primarily because their political tribalism precludes them from voting for anyone outside of the Repugnican Party (even if they wouldn’t brand Abrams or Gillum a “socialist,” although they probably would)?

“Socialist” Bernie Sanders campaigned for Abrams and Gillum relentlessly, not just in person, but in many, many e-mails (including, of course, fundraising e-mails for them) that I received myself over the course of months. Wouldn’t that be enough to brand Abrams and Gillum “socialist” at least by association?

Is it always simply about race? Always?

It’s also possible, it seems to me, that Bernie Sanders, if he was quoted accurately by The Daily Beast, was trying to be overly diplomatic in trying to win over some white voters who tend to vote only for whites by giving them an out on the charge that they are racist — believing that if you label them as racists, of course they’ll never consider voting for you.

That’s certainly not a tack that I would take, but if that’s what Bernie was trying to do (not likely but not impossible, from what I can tell), was it unforgivable? No. I’d call it rather stupid and inadvisable, as well as unnecessary (I don’t believe in coddling racists, or that it’s politically necessary to do so), but not evil. 

Full disclosure: I am a gay white male progressive and I have given both Abrams and Gillum campaign contributions ($30 each, if you must know; how much did you give to either of them?), and I hope that they ultimately win; Florida started a recount of its gubernatorial, U.S. Senate and some other races yesterday, and in Georgia, if the finalized vote count puts Abrams’ despicable Repugnican opponent below 50.0 percent, then there will be a runoff election early next month.

I gave to Abrams and Gillum in part because they’re black in that I believe in a truly representative democracy. How soul-crushing it must be to live in Georgia, for instance, which is about a third black, and never see yourself represented in the governor’s mansion or in the U.S. Senate for your state. That’s some fucked-up shit.

But I wouldn’t have given a penny to Gillum or Abrams if they were Repugnicans (I judge you by the company that you keep!) or if they didn’t espouse progressivism but instead espoused the stand-for-nothing, do-nothing, pro-corporate centrism that the likes of DINO Claire McCaskill still espouses even though her sorry arse just got tossed from the U.S. Senate for being a worthless, milquetoast piece of shit.

I have supported Abrams and Gillum primarily because they are progressive; that they have stood a chance of making our democracy (what’s left of it, anyway) more representative of all of the people has been the icing on the cake, but not the cake itself.

That’s why I find it disturbing that so many so-called Democrats don’t care how progressive a (so-called) Democratic candidate is or is not; all that they care about is that he or she is black and calls him- or herself a Democrat.

I don’t support Kamala Harris for the White House for 2020 because as attorney general of California she was rather unremarkable and because she hasn’t been in the U.S. Senate for even two full years yet. Her getting cheeky in some Senate hearings, while laudable (and at least somewhat entertaining or at least gratifying if not entertaining), is not enough to vote for her for president in 2020.

And Cory “I Am Spartacus” Booker is just another corporate whore. As one black commentator put it early last year:

… The Democrats leading the charge against Trump must meet exacting qualifications. They have to be loyal servants of the one-percenters, of banksters, hedge funds, charter school sugar daddies and privatizers of all kinds. They must be dependable supporters of apartheid Israel, of military contractors, drone warfare and U.S. military interventions of all kinds around the world.

To boost their party’s fortunes in this new era, Democratic party spokespeople need to be gifted hypocrites willing to pose as advocates of immigrants and champions of civil liberties going forward, even though they unflinchingly supported the biggest deportation and mass surveillance regimes in history implemented by the Democrat who just left the White House. They must focus narrowly on the handful of issues on which corporate Dems actually disagree with Republicans like abortion rights, and not stray to areas which might indict their own party along with Republicans.

And they must absolve their party of responsibility for running an incompetent campaign by blaming the Russians. Hillary is history, but her big stinking tent is still there, and Democrats are crying for a “united front” against Trump, led by spokespeople who can stick to the corporate script.

Cory Booker is a great fit. …

Yup. We were punk’d by Barack Obama, who barely lifted a finger to push through a progressive agenda and who accomplished little outside of some spiffy speeches. He was dignified, sure, but he actually did next to nothing. Shame on us if we’re punk’d again by an Obama 2.0, such as Cory Booker and probably such as Kamala Harris.

On that note, The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake is out with his quasi-quarterly rankings of the competitors for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidates. Here are his top five now, from one to five: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden and Cory Booker.

I find Harris’ spot at No. 3 inexplicable. She hasn’t even been well known here in my home state of California, so how she could win a presidential election eludes me entirely. I did vote in November 2016 to send her to the U.S. Senate, but she hasn’t proven herself there, as it hasn’t even been two fucking years yet.

Obama had been in the U.S. Senate for only four years of his first six-year term before he ascended to the White House (his naivete of the “Game of Thrones”-like workings of D.C. was glaring) and that was a huge mistake, one in which I won’t participate again.

For a long time, if not always, Aaron Blake had put Bernie Sanders at No. 1, so Bernie’s slippage to No. 2 on Blake’s rankings to me indicates that perhaps Warren is seen by the Beltway establishment as the perfect fusion/hybrid of an establishment candidate like Billary Clinton and a populist candidate like Bernie Sanders; she’s to be a parting gift for us Berners. But that’s the coward’s way out.

I can support Warren if she fairly and democratically emerges as the presidential nominee, as she is my second choice behind Bernie, but I still have serious concerns about her ability to win a presidential election. I’ve said it a million times before, but I’ll say it again: I would expect her to get labeled as just another weak egghead from Massachusetts; I would expect her to get Michael Dukakis’d or John Kerry’d. (You heard it here, perhaps first.)

In the meantime, I expect Bernie Sanders to continue to be attacked as not good enough for blacks, even though as president the black front runners Kamala Harris and Cory Booker probably would do no more for black Americans than Obama did, but would be, like Obama was, mostly just symbolic — and even though it would be great, if we must apply affirmative action to our electoral politics, that we don’t demand only a white or a black president and continue to shut out all of the other groups that never have been represented in the White House.

And I expect Bernie’s continued support for black progressives like Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum to be dismissed cynically as just Bernie’s dishonest attempt to shore up his pro-black bona fides — this from actual racists and racial supremacists whose main problem with Bernie Sanders, today as it was the case in 2016, is that he is white (and of Jewish heritage).

These hypocrites must continue to call Bernie Sanders a racist in order to try to obscure their own racism and racial supremacism and their own rank, racist political motivations.

P.S. This is interesting: The Washington Post reports that just more than 2,000 voters (Democrats, Repugnicans and independents) in 69 battleground U.S. House districts were polled on November 5 and 6, and that those who reported that they supported a Democratic candidate (33 percent of the total number of those polled) were asked to give their preferences for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee.

The poll found that Joe Biden was their No. 1 choice, with 35 percent; Bernie Sanders was at No. 2, with 15 percent; Kamala Harris at No. 3, with 12 percent; Elizabeth Warren at No. 4, with 10 percent; and Cory Booker at No. 5, with 7 percent.

I don’t see Cory Booker winning (the vice presidential slot maybe), that’s for sure, and while I think that Aaron Blake probably accurately captured the top five candidates, I don’t agree with the order in which he ranked them.

For instance, while he put Warren at No. 1, the poll put her at No. 4.

Also, while Biden looks strong in the poll, what really matters to me, it seems, is which candidate, Biden or Bernie, if both of them run, inherits most of the support of the other candidates who drop out over time. For instance, if Warren were to drop out while Bernie and Biden were still in the running, I do believe that Bernie would inherit most of her supporters.

Also, of course, if Biden doesn’t run and Bernie does, I have to wonder how much of Biden’s support Bernie would get. (My best guess is that most of Biden’s support would go to the other much more establishmentarian candidates rather than to Bernie.)

All of that said, I’m not sure if polling voters in certain battleground districts is reflective of the field of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters as a whole, but, again, I do believe that with a high degree of accuracy, we can state that the top five contenders for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination (alphabetically) are Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

I am a little tempted by such dark-horse candidates as California U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell or lawyer Michael Avenatti, but if you haven’t been at least a governor or a U.S. senator, you’re probably never going to make it to the White House. I can’t say that I want to support a presidential candidate who has little to no chance of winning.

Bernie Sanders, as long as he runs, of course, remains and probably will remain my No. 1 choice until the final nominee emerges.

And yes, while I could not bring myself to vote for Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton in 2016, I’m most likely to vote for the Democratic nominee, even if it is not Bernie, over Pussygrabber in November 2020.

P.P.S. OK, I just stumbled upon a CNN poll taken early last month. The poll of Dems and Dem leaners put Biden at 33 percent, Bernie at 13 percent, and Harris at 9 percent. (Warren comes in just behind Harris, with 8 percent, and behind Warren comes Cory Booker, tied with John Kerry at 5 percent.)

I’m thinking that it’s probably safe to say that the top three are Biden, Bernie and Harris.

Biden, methinks, would represent the old-guard/establishmentarian vote (as well as a good chunk of the Obama-by-association/black vote, from which Billary benefited in 2016), Bernie would represent the progressive-regardless-of-race-or-sex vote, and Harris mostly would represent the non-white/identity-politics vote, and it might also help her that she’s a woman (speaking of identity politics, as taboo as that might be [rank tribalism over ideology in electoral politics is a fact]).

I don’t put Warren in the top three. In the top five, yes, but not in the top three. I think that the Beltway pundits overestimate her popularity among actual Dems and Dem leaners, many of whom, myself included, like her enough as an individual but just don’t see her beating Pussygrabber in 2020.

Update (Monday, November 12, 2018): I don’t want to do another P.S., so here’s some more discussion on this topic:

CNN inexplicably puts Kamala Harris at the front-runner for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, as though Beltway wishful thinking were fact (maybe there is something to that “fake news” charge…).

Seriously, though, here is CNN’s Beltway-wishful-thinking-filled ranking, in this order: Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar(!), Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders (at No. 6!), et. al.

Right.

The polls — you know, surveys of the voters who actually will decide this thing (not CNN’s “analysts”) — show something quite different. Another poll, this one from Politico/Morning Consult of 733 Dem and Dem-leaning registered voters taken from Wednesday through Friday, shows Joe Biden with 26 percent, Bernie with 19 percent, Beto O’Rourke with 8 percent, Elizabeth Warren with 5 percent, Kamala Harris with only 4 percent, and Cory Booker with only 3 percent.

So while CNN dreams of Kamala Harris — its “analysts” fantasize that the “2018 election convinced us that Harris seems to be exactly what Democratic voters are telling the party and its politicians they want representing them going forward,” Politico reports something else:

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) enter the 2020 election cycle as the leaders for the Democratic presidential nomination to take on President Donald Trump, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted in the immediate aftermath of last week’s midterms.

More than a quarter of Democratic voters, 26 percent, say Biden is their first choice to be the Democratic nominee. Another one-in-five, 19 percent, would pick Sanders, the runner-up for the nomination in 2016.

The two septuagenarians — Biden will be 77 on Election Day, 2020, and Sanders will be 79 — are the only two prospective candidates to garner double-digit support. The third-place candidate is Rep. Beto O’Rourke (R-Texas), who built national name-recognition through his losing Senate bid last week, with 8 percent. …

I surmise that O’Rourke will flame out as a presidential contender for 2020, and that he came in at third place in the poll only because of the immediacy of the midterm election (and he did do well for Texas), but all (or at least almost all) of the reputable recent nationwide polls consistently put Biden at No. 1 and Bernie at No. 2.

Because CNN puts Bernie at a laughable No. 6, I surmise that we can expect CNN to attack Bernie throughout the entire process, because CNN’s “woke” “analysts” don’t want Bernie to win. 

Don’t get me wrong; I certainly right now don’t count Kamala Harris out (I pretty much count Booker out, and I’m on the verge of counting Warren out if her polling doesn’t improve), but, again, the polls of Dem and Dem-leaning voters thus far show that the top two front-runners are Biden and Bernie, whether the identity politicians like it or not.

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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.

Getty Images photo

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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No, Billary Clinton does NOT have the support of 85 percent of us Berners

2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

The actual number of those of us who voted for Bernie Sanders who plan to vote for Billary Clinton in November is probably around 60 percent. Indeed, a CNN poll taken last month showed that only 57 percent of us Berners would support Billary in November, while 18 percent of us would support Green Party candidate Jill Stein (pictured above), 13 percent would support Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, and 8 percent would support Donald Trump. The widely quoted Pew poll that showed that 85 percent of Berners would support Billary did not give the respondents the explicit choices of Stein or Johnson, wildly skewing its results.

How many of those who voted for Bernie Sanders in a primary election or caucus plan to vote for Billary Clinton in November?

The poll numbers have varied widely.

A Bloomberg poll taken a month ago found that only 55 percent of Berners would vote for Billary, while 22 percent would vote for Donald Trump and 18 percent would vote for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson. Very apparently and very revealingly, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, the natural candidate for Berners who can’t bring themselves to support Billary, wasn’t even among the Bloomberg poll respondents’ choices.

The Bloomberg poll is, methinks, bullshit, and, by omitting Stein, among other things, quite intentionally skews to the right; no, I don’t see a bit more than a full fifth of Berners actually voting for Donald Trump (I don’t see any Berner voting for Trump, really, unless it’s a Fuck-it!-Bring-on-Armageddon-already! vote).

And the Libertarians are mostly wingnuts, and certainly aren’t diverse, but are mostly white dudes; the Libertarians aren’t a natural fit for Berners, either (although I’m sure that the misandrists who use the defamatory [but thankfully-also-self-defeating] term “Bernie bro”* disagree).

Further, a pillar of the Libertarian Party is “the abolition of the welfare state,” whereas a pillar — actually, the pillar — of Bernie Sanders’ campaign was the strengthening of the welfare state.

Wikipedia defines the “welfare state” as “a concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the social and economic well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life.”

I am a staunch proponent of the welfare state — no, not as defined by the wingnuts (whose definition is something like this: a bunch of lazy people mooching off of the gubmint and our tax dollars), but as defined in the paragraph above.

So no, this Berner isn’t going to vote for Trumpence or for Gary Johnson, but most likely will vote for Jill Stein, in large if not most part because she supports the welfare state as defined above. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein subscribes to my belief that the federal government should exist primarily to improve the life of every common American — not to further enrich and to further empower the already rich and the already powerful, which is what the right-wing Repugnicans and the right-wing Libertarians very apparently believe is the main role of the federal government.**

Another, much-more-bandied-about-because-it’s-good-for-Billary poll is a Pew poll taken earlier this month that found that a rather whopping 85 percent of Berners will vote for Billary and that 9 percent plan to vote for Trump in November.

But, tellingly, Stein and even Johnson weren’t explicitly listed as possible responses in the widely quoted Pew poll, demonstrating amply that exactly how a poll question is worded already loads the dice.

Indeed, The Atlantic noted late last month:

… A CNN poll released Tuesday [June 21] shows that 74 percent of Sanders supporters would vote for Clinton in a choice between her and Trump in the general election.

Yet support for Clinton dropped when other options besides Trump were included in the poll. 

When asked to choose between Clinton, Trump, the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, and the Green Party candidate Jill Stein, only 57 percent of Sanders supporters said they would back Clinton. Eight percent said they would vote for Trump; 13 percent picked Johnson; and 18 percent went for Stein. … [Emphasis mine.]

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but the corporately owned and controlled mainstream media, a la George Orwell’s 1984, want us proles to support only corporately owned and controlled presidential candidates, so when they poll us proles, they won’t even ask us about third-party or independent presidential candidates.

The CNN poll’s results — with all four candidates included — are, I think, the closest to the truth.

Yes, give Berners a choice in your little poll of only Billary or Trump, and anywhere from around 75 percent to 85 percent of them might pick Billary, but give them the choices that they’ll actually have on their November ballots, and the result is quite different.

My best guesstimate as to the percentage of Berners who truly plan to vote for Billary Clinton in November as I type this sentence is around 60 percent (in line with CNN’s finding), maybe as high as around 65 percent, but certainly not as high as 85 percent.

Note that when CNN included in its poll of Berners the choices of Billary, Trump, Stein and Johnson, Stein garnered the largest amount of support outside of Billary, with 18 percent. Again, Stein is the most natural inheritor of the support of Berners (like yours truly) who can’t bring themselves to vote for the center-right Billary in November.

It’s quite possible, of course, that that percentage of Berners who plan to take an anti-emetic, hold their noses and actually vote for Billary will creep up over the coming months as the full horror of a Trumpence White House becomes clearer and clearer. A lot can happen between now and Election Day.

In the end, Billary might actually capture in November something like 85 percent of those who voted for Bernie. But I don’t believe that she has that level of support today.

And given how close polls have her with Trump, she will need it.

Real Clear Politics’ average of recent polls right now puts Billary at only 4.5 percent ahead of Trump nationally in a four-way race and only 3.2 percent ahead of Trump nationally in a two-way race. The Huffington Post’s average of recent polls right now similarly puts Billary at only 3.5 percent ahead of Trump nationally in a two-way race.

I’m sure that it’s comforting to the Billarybots to believe that 85 percent of us Berners already are in the bag for Billary, but the polls indicate that the Billarybots easily could be in for a big November surprise.

*Glenn Greenwald has written of the term “Bernie bro”:

The concoction of the “Bernie Bro” narrative by pro-[Billary] Clinton journalists has been a potent political tactic — and a journalistic disgrace.

It’s intended to imply two equally false claims: (1) a refusal to march enthusiastically behind the Wall Street-enriched, multiple-war-advocating, despot-embracing Hillary Clinton is explainable not by ideology or political conviction, but largely if not exclusively by sexism: demonstrated by the fact that men, not women, support Sanders (his supporters are “bros”); and (2) Sanders supporters are uniquely abusive and misogynistic in their online behavior.

Needless to say, a crucial tactical prong of this innuendo is that any attempt to refute it is itself proof of insensitivity to sexism if not sexism itself (as the accusatory reactions to this article will instantly illustrate). …

My best guess is that the Billarybots’ invention of the term “Bernie bro” at least in part was meant to shame the “Bernie bros” into supporting Billary (lest they be called sexist and misogynist), but methinks that this tactic for the most part has had the opposite effect.

I mean, I, for one, never was going to support Repugnican Lite, DINO Billary Clinton anyway, but then to be called sexist and misogynist for refusing to support the self-serving, center-right, sellout Billary (whom I’m “supposed” to support only because she is [as far as we know] a biological female and because she calls herself a Democrat) — that only reinforced my repudiation of Billary and her ironically sexist and misandrist bots.

**To be more precise, the Repugnicans want the federal government to actively aid and abet the rich and powerful in their continued war on us commoners. This is, to the Repugnicans, the only real legitimate use of the federal government: to continue their class warfare, using our commoners’ own tax dollars in their war upon us.

The Libertarians, on the other hand, want a dog-eat-dog nation in which the federal government (which has been shrunk as much as possible if not eliminated altogether) just sits back (if it still even exists at all) and lets the canine cannibalism happen.

In either case, the rich and powerful right-wing white men continue to run the show and those who historically have suffered the most in the nation continue to suffer the most.

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Billarybots want Liz Warren to be a spoonful of sugar to sweeten the ordeal

Senator Elizabeth Warren listened to testimony during a Senate committee hearing in 2013.

Getty Images photo

The call of many Billarybots for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to be Billary Clinton’s running mate at least is an admission of how weak a presidential candidate Billary is. But while such a team-up would benefit Billary, how would it benefit Warren and her future political career to be a probably-invisible vice president with probably little to no influence within the second center-right Clinton administration?

There is chatter among the Billarybots now that Queen Billary making Elizabeth Warren her running mate would be the spoonful of sugar that would help the rest of us choke down the bitter horse pill that is Billary.

Billary booster Michelle Goldberg of Slate.com, for instance (although she’s not nearly the Billary booster that Salon.com’s mega-Billarybot Amanda Marcotte is), recently wrote this (links are Goldberg’s):

On Thursday we learned, via Politico, that had Joe Biden run for president, he would have asked Elizabeth Warren to be his running mate. According to reporters Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni, Biden has “recently told associates that Warren would be an equally smart pick for Hillary Clinton.” The Huffington Post reported that several people in the Clinton campaign are also pushing for Warren.

They are right. Choosing Warren would be an uncharacteristically bold and thrilling move for the cautious Clinton, one that would help unite Sanders supporters behind her candidacy while throwing its feminist promise into high relief. Clinton is already playing the woman card; now, to belabor a metaphor, she should double down.

One of the many dispiriting things about this primary season is the degree to which Clinton’s baggage has dampened excitement over the prospect of our first female president. She’s been near the center of power for so long that her possible presidency seems less like a breakthrough than a wearying inevitability.

Further, in order to get close to power, she’s consistently subsumed idealism to realpolitik; her career is littered with grim compromises, from reluctantly backing welfare reform to voting to authorize war in Iraq. Thus some progressive women who enthusiastically support Clinton feel like they have to apologize for it.

Other progressive women who’d like to vote for a female president feel like they can’t enthusiastically support Clinton. Obama’s campaign created an incandescent sense that America was on the cusp of history. That magic is missing from Clinton’s long slog.

If you haven’t said it yourself, you’ve surely heard it: “Of course I want to see a woman in the White House, but…” Warren on the ticket would annihilate many of those “buts.” She would help to neutralize some of Clinton’s very real flaws; it would be harder to accuse Clinton of doing the bidding of big banks while running with Warren, the scourge of Wall Street.

Warren’s presence would give disappointed supporters of Bernie Sanders a reason to rally to the Democratic banner. And by Clinton’s side, she would make it blazingly clear what an epochal moment this is for American women. She’s a choice who could electrify both Clinton’s fiercest progressive critics and her most devoted acolytes.

Of course, an all-woman ticket carries real risk — that’s the flip side of its audacity. Already, Clinton is likely to face misogynist headwinds, and Warren would make them stronger. People sometimes claim that the deep, widespread antipathy to Clinton, particularly among men, is unique to her and has little to do with her gender.

Warren’s political career shows us that this is not the case. When she ran for Senate in Massachusetts four years ago, she was regularly disparaged as both a liar and a crone; the Boston Herald referred to her as “Granny.” We were constantly reminded that while people admired her competence, they weren’t sure they liked her. (One poll found that even Democrats found her opponent, Scott Brown, more likable.) Warren won thanks to a large gender gap: According to a CNN exit poll, Brown won 53 percent of the male vote, but Warren carried 59 percent of the female vote, and women were the majority of the electorate.

It’s possible, then, that Warren could exacerbate rather than ameliorate some people’s — particularly some men’s — resistance to Clinton. As T. A. Frank points out in Vanity Fair, social science research shows that when minorities team up to form a duo, they are judged in more stereotypical terms than they are individually. “If this is a reliable dynamic, then it means that Clinton is seen by voters first and foremost as a Democratic presidential candidate, and not simply a female,” Frank writes. “But if she were to pick Warren as a running mate, gender could start to color many people’s views much more.” …

[Clinton] is not going to win this race by persuading white men who are uncomfortable with women in power. She will do it by turning out the Obama coalition, probably adding more married white women to it. Warren can help her do that. She’s shown that she’s eager to, leaping into the Twitter fray against [Donald] Trump.

If a vice presidential candidate’s job is to attack, Warren is ready. Watching her go after the short-fingered orange chauvinist from now until November will be a pleasure. The fight for the first female president should be a joyful feminist crusade, one that progressives can join without reservation. Warren can make it one.

I agree with some of what Goldberg has to say, and it’s refreshing to witness a Billary supporter actually publicly acknowledging that Billary is not an exciting candidate. Billary’s being an uninspiring candidate — demonstrated by the fact that thus far democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has won 19 states and has won 1,437 pledged delegates to Billary’s 1,717 (45.6 percent to 54.4 percent, a gap of only 8.8 percent) — long has been the elephant in the donkeys’ room.

What is disappointing about Goldberg’s piece is that she apparently primarily attributes the lack of enthusiasm for Billary to the fact that Billary has been around so long (well, if Goldberg’s primary attribution isn’t actually supposed misogyny, that is; charges of misogyny are peppered, predictably, throughout her piece). But Billary Fatigue is only one piece of the puzzle.

Hell, I’ll even ignore the piece of the puzzle that I could label the “Clinton Scandal Fatigue” piece. A much larger piece of the puzzle than how long she has been around on the national stage is Billary’s long history of political opportunism and flip-flopping, such as how she publicly called herself “moderate and center” just back in September 2015, but now calls herself a “progressive” since she’s running against the actually progressive Bernie Sanders, who has done quite well for a “fringe” candidate.

(A more concrete example of Billary’s famous flip-flopping is her miraculous embrace of a $15-an-hour minimum wage only after both New York and California adopted a phased-in $15-an-hour state minimum wage when her current presidential campaign always has supported only a $12-an-hour federal minimum wage — and still does on its website.)

Billary’s being a multi-millionaire who certainly wouldn’t want to even try to try to try to live on $12 an hour herself and who demands hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech and her having been part, with her hubby, of the now-thank-Goddess-defunct Democratic Leadership Council, which turned the Democratic Party from the people’s party to the corporate weasels’ party, are other huge pieces of the puzzle as to why so many of us who lean left of center don’t like and don’t trust Billary.

Billary has said that Bernie isn’t a real Democrat when she really should look into the magical mirror that she surely possesses like a Disney villainess. (Actually, I’m sure that she has, and when she asked the mirror, “Who is the most Democratic of them all?” the mirror answered, “Bernie Sanders,” which no doubt sent her into a flying-on-her-broomstick rage.)

But the Billarybots don’t like to discuss these inconvenient truths.

Instead, they frame quite-legitimate opposition to Billary as misogyny, which apparently does a lot to relieve their cognitive dissonance that their “heroine” actually is just yet another self-serving political asshole, but which harms the cause of feminism because the so-called “feminists” defend abject slimebags like Billary Clinton, whose center-right socioeconomic politics harms women and families here at home and whose right-wing war hawkishness harms women and families abroad — yeah, that’s really feminist!

Indeed, the “lean-in” “feminism” of today is “feminism” that has become twisted into women demonstrating that they can be just as big as assholes as can men; they can be just as selfish and ruthless, just as financially and politically corrupt, and they can kill just as many innocent people in military actions in a show of “strength.” Woo hoo! “Feminism”!

Since liberalism became warped as “neo-liberalism,” which actually is just conservatism masked as something good, we can call today’s “feminism” “neo-feminism.”

And dragged into this stinking mess should not be Elizabeth Warren, whom I consider to be a true feminist, not a neo-feminist.

Sure, Warren could help Billary greatly in the likability and progressive credibility departments, but what would Warren and her future political career get out of it?

Most of us Berners — and again, thus far 45.6 percent of us who have participated in the Democratic Party presidential primary elections and caucuses have chosen Bernie over Billary — would be disappointed, I surmise, were he to become Billary’s running mate (something that I don’t see happening, as I really don’t see Billary asking him, and I rather doubt that he’d accept even if she actually did ask him).

Most of us Berners would, I surmise, view Bernie’s agreeing to Billary’s running mate as his selling out — big time — on his progressive principles and promises.

Why, then, would we feel much, if any, differently about progressive Elizabeth Warren joining Billary on the ballot?

Leave it to a neo-feminist to see it (a Billary-Warren ticket) as an issue of matching biological sex rather than of matching political philosophy; Warren should join Billary because they’re both women, you see.

And this also gets to how much power the vice president of the United States of America actually has, which is not much; the vice president pretty much sits back and either hopes or dreads that the president dies or otherwise no longer can serve in the capacity.

It gets to the public visibility of the vice president, too. We’ve seen little of Joe Biden over the past seven-plus years. He wonderfully wiped the floor with Pretty Boy Paul Ryan’s limp body in the vice presidential debate of October 2012 and he vowed to take on cancer in his last year in office after his son died of brain cancer a year ago this month at age 46, but other than that, how much influence Biden has had on the Obama presidency has not been very clear. If he’s had significant influence on Obama, it’s been behind the scenes, for the very most part.

There is no reason to believe than any vice president to a President Billary would have the power to induce her to run a progressive presidential administration, given Billary’s center-right record, given how power-driven and stubborn she is (except, of course, when political expediency induces her to flip-flop, but of course, no matter what she says, she always acts within the center-right, and given how not even a year ago she proudly publicly proclaimed herself to be “moderate and center.”

Given all of that and the historical weakness and the historical invisibility of the vice president, no, for this Berner, Billary picking Liz Warren as her running mate would not “be a reason to rally to the Democratic banner,” as Goldberg conveniently and magically believes.

It’s not that simple, and we Berners are not that simple and stupid. That Team Billary would believe that adding Elizabeth Warren to the ticket would be the magic bullet only further demonstrates the contempt and the condescension that the Billarybots have for us Berners — who are progressives before we’re Berners and who reject Billary Clinton for very good reasons, paramount among them the fact that she’s not even an actual (that is, progressive) Democrat, but is a Repugnican in sheep’s clothing.

To be clear, I have no problem with two women, even two white women, on the ballot for president and vice president. One, I care primarily about a candidate’s politics; his or her demographics are secondary or tertiary or even further down than that on my list. And two: Fuck, the Obama administration marks the first time in our nation’s history that both the president and the vice president were not white men. (When I voted for Obama in November 2008, it felt good to be part of that history, even though Obama turned out to be only a Caretaker in Chief, the one thing that Sarah Palin actually has been right about: that he’s been President Hopey-Changey.)

If two white men on the presidential and vice presidential ticket were OK for more than 225 years of our nation’s history, then I’m fine with two women and even two white women on the ticket, even though the conventional wisdom as of late is that you mix up your demographics; in 2008 John McCainosaurus picked a woman as his running mate and Barack Obama picked a white man, for instance. (Mittens Romney for 2012 reverted to the historical pattern of two white men, of course; my guess is that his patriarchal and historically white supremacist Mormonism was the largest factor in that retrograde choice.)

In a nutshell, again, my primary problems with a Billary-Warren ticket are that Vice President Warren wouldn’t have nearly enough influence to ameliorate President Billary’s deep neo-liberal tendencies and that Warren would harm her reputation and credibility as a progressive by agreeing to be the center-right Billary’s running mate.

Better for Warren to run in 2020 or 2024 or 2028, methinks, at the top of the ticket, than to run with Billary now.

I’d be fine with Elizabeth Warren being Bernie Sanders’ running mate. (Well, probably more like “ecstatic” than just “fine.”) Their genitalia don’t match, but their political philosophies do. Not only would President Sanders allow Vice President Warren much more of a voice and visibility than the vice president ever gets (exempting grand puppet master Dick Cheney, of course), I surmise, but she’d be his natural successor.

Billary would just use Warren to get into the White House, and then, after that, do you really think that Queen Billary ever would allow Princess Warren even the opportunity to step on her regal cape? No, Billary would treat Warren like Cinderella; she’d keep her tucked away from public view as much as possible.

Unfortunately, we apparently are quite unlikely to see a Bernie Sanders-Elizabeth Warren ticket, because the blind, self-serving Democratic Party hacks are poised to incredibly stupidly make Billary Clinton the party’s presidential nominee, even though presidential match-up polls show Bernie doing twice as better against Donald Trump as does Billary.

Real Clear Politics’ average of the presidential match-up polls right now has Billary at only 5.7 percent ahead of Trump, with Bernie 13 percent ahead of Trump. The Huffington Post’s average of presidential match-up polls right now similarly puts Bernie at 13.4 percent ahead of Trump and Billary at only 5.8 percent ahead of Trump.

If beating presumptive 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee Donald Trump in November is the goal, then Bernie Sanders has a compelling argument for the super-delegates to pick him over Billary during the party’s convention in late July.

Unfortunately, I fully expect the lemming-like super-delegates to follow Queen Billary right off of the cliff at the convention. She is, after all, the rodents’ Pied Piper.

And also after all, Queen Billary never really can lose. If nothing else, we always can ascribe her predictable loss in November entirely to “misogyny.”*

P.S. It’s worth nothing that Elizabeth Warren is the only Democratic woman in the U.S. Senate who hasn’t endorsed Billary Clinton. One writer argues that this is why Team Billary wouldn’t pick Warren, but I disagree; if Team Billary viewed Warren on the ticket as being beneficial enough, they’d ask her.

The real question is whether Warren, if asked, would say yes or no. Hopefully, she would have her wits about her, realize that Team Billary only wants to use her, and say no. Even Oh, hell no!

P.P.S. Jeff Greenfield, writing for Politico, points out that whoever would be President Billary’s vice president would be “the most marginalized vice president in a generation.” (Ditto for President Trump’s veep, he writes.)

“Neither Trump nor Clinton is likely to allow his or her vice president anywhere near the center of power,” Greenfield posits, adding:

… The challenge is different for a prospective Clinton running mate — and one that no past veep has ever faced. Yes, past vice presidents have found themselves in a battle for the ear of POTUS with key White House aides and Cabinet members.

But they’ve never had the challenge of competing with a presidential spouse who also happens to be a former two-term president.

Indeed, in many ways, Bill Clinton would be a near-perfect choice to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate. His political skills are unmatched; he knows the dangers that confront any White House as no one else possibly can; he’s even got a track record of working with an opposition Congress — something that neither of his successors can match.

Yes, there’s a pesky issue of whether the 22nd Amendment bars a two-term president from running for veep, and one of the Clintons would have to move back to Arkansas to avoid risking the loss of New York’s electors (constitutionally, electors can vote for only one of the two national candidates from their own state).

But the point is that Bill’s credentials — even as first spouse — make him a formidable power source that would confront any real-life vice president. …

The issue isn’t Billy Boy’s supposed greatness (and speculation of him being Billary’s veep is ridiculous, although he very well might end up as her de facto veep) as much as it is how much he would let Billary’s actual veep have any power. And that is not much.

Elizabeth Warren would want to stay far, far away from this fucked-up drama.

*A post-mortem “analysis” of a Billary loss in November also, of course, quite predictably would put blame on Bernie Sanders for having “weakened” Billary when she’s obviously inherently weak. The neo-feminists would continue to ignore Billary’s glaring weaknesses and blame “misogyny” instead.

And most of the neo-feminists’ attacks on Bernie Sanders and on us “Bernie bros” is, ironically, flat-out misandry — it’s just the flip-side of misogyny. How dare a man run against Queen Billary? How dare he criticize her at all, even though that’s what you do in a competitive political campaign? How dare any man — or especially any woman — support a male presidential candidate over the female candidate? (That was a rhetorical question, but I’ll answer it anyway: For pretty much the same reason that a man or a woman rejected Sarah Palin.)

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Bernie stands above the hate fest of Billary and Trump supporters

Of the three presidential candidates still standing, only Bernie Sanders’ nationwide favorability ratings are positive rather than negative — both Donald Trump and Billary Clinton are disliked more than they are liked by the American electorate by double digits — and Bernie does the best of the three in presidential-election match-up polls: Billary beats Trump by around 6 percent to 7 percent, whereas Bernie beats Trump by around 12 percent to 13 percent. This past week a poll showed that about half of Billary’s supporters primarily just want her to block Trump’s election and about half of Trump’s supporters primarily just want him to block Billary’s. (See the graph below.) Sanders is the strongest remaining presidential candidate, hands down, and I support him and only him to the end.

I’m still a Berner. From the house gathering for him that I attended in my California neighborhood in late July of last year on a sweltering summer day to Bernie’s rally that I plan to attend in my area tomorrow evening to the vote that I will cast for him on my ballot that I should receive in the mail this coming week, I support Bernie and no other candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination and for the White House.

No, even the specter of President Donald Trump isn’t enough to induce me to flush my conscience down the toilet and support Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton in any way whatsofuckingever.

Der Fuehrer Trump is a fascist piece of shit, but a President Trump would be exactly what Americans deserve for our long-standing dereliction of civic duty, just as we deserved George W. Bush. (When Gee Dubya & Co. blatantly stole the 2000 presidential election we, the people, should have rioted in the streets, but we did not, so we got such things as 9/11, the Vietraq War, Hurricane Katrina [its preventable deaths of between 1,000 and 2,000 people, disproportionately black and poor, I mean] and another nationwide economic collapse under a George Bush.)

The 2016 presidential race on the Repugnican Tea Party side is settled, but on the Democratic side, at least on paper, it remains unsettled.

With nine more states (including the biggest state, California, my home state) and the District of Columbia to go, right now Billary’s lead in estimated pledged delegates (delegates earned in the primary elections and caucuses) is 291 over Bernie, 1,708 to 1,417. That’s 45.3 percent of the pledged delegates for Bernie and 54.7 percent of them for Billary. (The so-called super-delegates can’t vote until the party’s convention in late July; it takes 2,383 delegates to win the nomination, and Billary is about 675 delegates away from that.)

That there is only a 9 percent difference in the number of pledged delegates between Bernie and Billary demonstrates how weak Billary is within her own party. If there were overwhelming love for Billary within her own fucking party, she’d be doing much better than 9 percent against Bernie right now.

And outside of the Democratic Party — and the Billarybots forget or ignore that there is a world outside of their own center-right/pro-plutocratic/anti-populist/sellout bubble — Billary is much less popular.

Every poll of Americans nationwide taken within the past several months shows that more dislike Billary than like her, usually by double digits. Indeed, the Huffington Post’s average of favorability polls of Billary has her at 54 percent unfavorable to 42 percent favorable, putting her underwater by 12 percentage points.

Trump’s nationwide popularity is even lower than is Billary’s — HuffPo’s average of favorability polls of Trump has him at 60 percent unfavorable to only 36 percent favorable, leaving him 24 percentage points in the hole — but Billary still doesn’t do well enough against Trump in presidential match-up polls.

Real Clear Politics’ average of match-up polls has Billary beating Trump by only 6.5 percent, and HuffPo’s average similarly has Billary beating Trump by only 6.7 percent.

There is a lot of time between now and November, I hear the chorus of Billarybots whine-sing, but both Billary and Trump are well known, having been on the national scene for decades. I don’t see room for a lot of change in the current polling numbers, and Billary’s lead over Trump of only 6 percent to 7 percent is too close for comfort.

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has polled more favorably than unfavorably in every poll taken this year, and HuffPo’s average of favorability polls of Bernie has him at 53 percent favorable to 40 percent unfavorable — he’s 13 percent in the black to Billary’s being 12 percent in the red, and her being negative 12 and his being positive 13 puts him at 25 percentage points ahead of her in the likability/favorability department.

Bernie Sanders hands down is the nationwide electorate’s most liked of the three presidential candidates left standing.

That’s a compelling reason for him to stay in the race through the late-July Democratic Party convention, as are his poll numbers against Trump: Real Clear Politics’ average of match-up polls has Bernie beating Trump by 13.4 percent and HuffPo’s average has Bernie beating Trump by 11.5 percent — he does about twice as better against Trump as does Billary.

So unpopular are both Billary and Trump, in fact, that this past week it was reported that about half of those who plan to vote for Billary just want to stop Trump, and about half of those who plan to vote for Trump just want to stop Billary.*

This is called the “anti-vote” and “negative partisanship,” of which Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, recently remarked, “If we were trying to maximize the effect [of negative partisanship], we couldn’t have found better nominees than Trump and Clinton.”

Along with the “anti-vote” and “negative partisanship,” we have the lesser-of-two-evils-ism that has gripped our presidential politics for some time now.

We can do and we should do much better than this. Supporting Billary because she’s the lesser of the two evils only perpetuates the problem; it doesn’t resolve it.

And again, Donald Trump is just the natural karmic result of our dereliction of civic duty — as is Repugnican Lite/Democrat in name only Billary Clinton — and when we have only one presidential candidate still standing who is favored by more Americans than he is disfavored by them, if we don’t put him into the White House but allow Trump or the not-lesser-enough evil Billary into the White House, again, we will get, as we did with George W. Bush, exactly what we deserve.

*Reports Reuters:

… About 47 percent of Trump supporters said [in a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Thursday] they backed him primarily because they don’t want Clinton to win. Another 43 percent said their primary motivation was a liking for Trump’s political positions, while 6 percent said they liked him personally.

Similar responses prevailed among Clinton supporters.

About 46 percent said they would vote for her mostly because they don’t want to see a Trump presidency, while 40 percent said they agreed with her political positions, and 11 percent said they liked her personally.

The April 29-May 5 poll included 469 likely Trump voters and 599 likely Clinton voters. It has a credibility interval of 5 percentage points. (For results, click tmsnrt.rs/1TLCbqX) …

Look at that — only 11 percent of Clinton voters say they’ll vote for her because they actually like her, while a whopping 46 percent say they plan to vote for her primarily to stop Trump.

This is what the Democratic Party (and, to be fair, our national politics) has come to.

Finally, while Bernie Sanders’ supporters have not, to my knowledge, similarly been polled as to why they support him, I’m confident that if they were, you’d see results that are quite different from the similar results that Billary and Trump received.

I surmise that Bernie’s political positions and likability would come in at the top two reasons (in either order) and that blocking another candidate from winning the White House would come in third.

For me it would be his policy positions at No. 1, his likability at No. 2, and blocking either Billary or The Donald from winning the White House at No. 3 (although No. 3 might come in close behind No. 2 for me).

I confidently can say that I support Bernie primarily for Bernie and for what he stands for (and does not stand for) — and that I primarily support him not just to block another candidate, as is the case with about half of Billary’s and Trump’s supporters, who appear to be driven as much by hatred and fear of the opponent than by any fondness for their own candidate.

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Latest polls: Billary not even 3 percent ahead of Bernie, barely beats Ted Cruz

Current presidential match-up polls show Bernie Sanders beating Donald Trump by a rather whopping 16.5 percent and beating Ted Cruz by 10.1 percent — but the widely despised Billary Clinton beats Trump by only a still-too-close-for-comfort margin of 10.6 percent and Cruz by a frighteningly close margin of only 2.5 percent. Billary doesn’t do nearly as well with independent voters as Bernie does, and you must have the independent voters in order to win the White House; there aren’t enough Democratic Party hacks/Billarybots to win it alone. Quite unfortunately, although Bernie does significantly better against the enemy than does Billary, Billary might win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

I acknowledge that it might be too late for Bernie Sanders to still win this thing, but nationwide polling between Bernie and Billary Clinton has incredibly tightened to the point that it’s safe to assert that it has just taken longer for Bernie to catch fire, and that the more the Democratic and Democratic leaning voters get to know Billary the less that they like her, while the reverse is true for Bernie.*

Admittedly, it perhaps is too late for Bernie to still win the number of delegates necessary to win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination — time will tell — but should he manage to win the majority of the pledged/democratically-earned-in-primary-elections-and-caucuses delegates, and if he is leading Billary significantly in the nationwide polls at the time of the party convention in late July, again, that will put a considerable amount of pressure on the “super-delegates” (especially those who will be up for re-election) to vote with the people instead of with the calcified, anti-democratic party establishment that has supported Queen Billary from Day One.

The Huffington Post’s average of recent nationwide polls of Democratic and Democratically leaning Americans puts only 2.5 percent between Bernie and Billary right now. Real Clear Politics as I type this sentence puts Billary at only a staggering 1 percent ahead of Bernie. 

Folks, this is the tightest that the two candidates ever have been nationwide.

Billarybots who still call Bernie a “fringe” candidate are insulting and alienating almost fully half of those of us who are Dems or Dem leaners — not a good strategy for November, should Her Highness Billary actually win the nomination.

We male supporters of Bernie still widely are called “Bernie bros” (we are “misogynists,” you see [um, we rejected Sarah Palin, too]); war criminal Madeleine Albright says that female Bernie supporters are going to hell (she’ll meet them there!); and all of us Berners widely and routinely are called insane and/or naive and/or worse by the Billarybots.

How dare we Berners not obediently, bleatingly get on board with Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton, even though it’s crystal clear to us that to do so would be against our own best interests and even threaten the future of the planet itself? 

Given our treatment by Billary’s supporters and her campaign, it can be no wonder that at least one in four of us Berners (myself included) has no intention of supporting Billary in November should she make it that far: The Billarybots for months now have belittled us, slandered us, tried to guilt-trip us, and have been calling for us to Surrender, Dorothy! Settle for Billary!

Bernie pulls in far more independent voters than Billary does — and pulling in independent voters in significant amounts is a feat that is necessary to win the White House these days (there aren’t enough Democratic Party hacks alone to win a presidential election) — yet Queen Billary and her Billarybots ignore this simple fact of reality and instead say that Bernie isn’t a Democrat!

On paper he hasn’t been a Democrat until fairly recently; that’s true. But in spirit he always has been a true Democrat, a progressive, whereas the reverse is true of the corrupt, self-serving, center-right and incompetent — and yes, where it really matters, unqualifiedmulti-millionaire Billary: She always has been a Democrat on paper only.

Even black Americans, who have been instrumental in Billary’s winning the South (which is nothing to brag about, to win the reddest states, the most backasswards, most right-wing states that never elect Democratic presidents anyway), recently have gotten yet another bitter taste of The Clinton Treatment (first pander to you for your vote [and your money] and then sell you down the river) when Billy Boy schooled Black Lives Matter activists who dared to criticize his 1990s contribution to the widespread mistreatment (including the over-incarceration) of black Americans.

Despite Billary’s glaring flaws, including her deep unlikeability and her unfitness for the White House, I acknowledge that she might win the nomination. It’s her second run for it and she’s had the party machine behind her the whole time. She started off way ahead of Bernie, who has done remarkably well, given the mountain that he has had to climb.

But because it’s an uphill battle doesn’t mean that we Berners just stop fighting. We Berners haven’t stopped fighting, and the nationwide polls reflect that fact. (Here is The Huffington Post’s graphic of the nationwide polls of Dems and Dem leaners right now:

Yup. Again, the difference between Bernie and Billary is just 2.5 percent, per HuffPo.)

The presidential match-up polls also reflect the strength of us Berners and the weakness of Billary. Real Clear Politics’ average of recent presidential match-up polls right now puts Billary Clinton at 10.6 percentage points ahead of Der Fuehrer Donald Trump (still too close for comfort for me, anyway) — and frighteningly, only 2.5 percent ahead of Ted Cruz.

Bernie Sanders, however, beats Ted Cruz by 10.1 percent and beats Donald Trump by a much more comfortable margin of 16.5 percent.** (Again, Bernie does much better with the independent voters than does Billary, and you can’t win the White House without the support of enough independents.)

If your true objective is to keep the White House in Democratic hands come January 2017, the clear choice is Bernie Sanders.

If you want to lose the White House to the Repugnican Tea Party in November, Billarybots, keep on alienating us Berners; it’s a fairly sure path to Billary’s defeat in November, should she win the nomination.

I surmise that it’s more like one in three of us Berners who could not in good conscience vote for Billary in November — and even that estimate might be too low to capture our sentiment.

*Indeed, recent polls (that is, polls taken within the last three months or so) of Bernie’s and Billary’s favorability still show Bernie favored/liked more than unfavored/disliked by single or even by double digits, whereas Billary is disliked/unfavored more than she is liked/favored by double digits in all of the polls.

**Billary Clinton loses to John Kasich by 6.6 percent and Bernie beats Kasich by only 2.7 percent, but I’d be very shocked if Kasich were to emerge as the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee.

Note that Bernie beats all three of the top three Repugnican Tea Party presidential contenders while Billary beats two of the three, and that Bernie does better against all three of them than does Billary.

It is we Berners who supposedly live in La-La Land, yet the Billarybots remain conspicuously silent on the facts that Billary’s favorability numbers among the American electorate for a long time now have been in the sewer and that Bernie for a long time now has outperformed her in the match-ups against the Repugnican Tea Party presidential contenders.

Somehow, a candidate whom a clear majority of Americans dislike is going to win the White House, according to the Billarybots, who have the monopoly on reality, you see.

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Live-blogging the fourth Dem debate

FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2015, file photo, Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, right, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speak during the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas. Taunted by Republicans to declare war on “radical Islamic terrorism,” Democrats are turning to an unlikely ally: George W. Bush. President Barack Obama, under pressure to be more aggressive on terrorism, regularly cites his predecessor’s refusal to demonize Muslims or play into the notion of a clash between Islam and the West. As Clinton put it, “George W. Bush was right.” And, Sanders visited a mosque this month in a show of solidarity that evoked Bush’s visit to a Muslim center just days after 9/11. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Associated Press photo

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and former U.S. Secretary of State Billary Clinton spar during the first Democratic Party presidential debate in October. Polls right now have Billary with only a 4-point lead over Bernie in Iowa, which caucuses on February 1, and Bernie with a 6-point lead over Billary in New Hampshire, whose presidential primary election is on February 9.

The fourth Democratic Party presidential debate of this cycle is scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, via NBC. The debate takes place in South Carolina, which is friendly ground for Billary, who is big in the South, since she isn’t a progressive but is a Repugnican Lite.

I’ll be live-blogging tonight’s debate, using California (Pacific) time (we’re three hours ahead of Eastern Time).

This is the final Dem debate before the Iowa caucuses on February 1, which are 15 days from today.

Right now, Real Clear Politics’ average of polls has Billary Clinton’s national lead at 12.7 percent over Bernie Sanders’, and the Huffington Post’s average of polls has Billary up by 16 percent nationally.

However, the nation won’t vote on one day, but states will vote over the course of several weeks; and the earlier states’ results will affect the subsequent states’ results in a domino effect.

On that note, RCP’s average of Iowa polling right now has Billary at only 4 percent ahead of Bernie. Ditto for HuffPo. Team Billary must be panicking, and I’m expecting Billary to act desperately tonight, because she has to be desperate, and when she’s desperate, as she was against Barack Obama in 2008, she incredibly stupidly attacks her primary opponent from the right, apparently not understanding the Democratic Party primary voter (and caucus-goer).

Also, as Rachel Maddow recently put it when she had Billary on her show, Team Billary as of late has been attacking Bernie, who “doesn’t have an enemy in the world in the Democratic Party.” (Kudos to Maddow for not kowtowing to and cowering before Billary’s Being A Woman!; every legitimate criticism of Billary that a male dares to utter immediately is branded by the Billarybots as “sexism” or “misogyny” or “mansplaining” or the like.)

Recent polls (which I’ll define as reputable nationwide polls taken within the past month) unanimously show that Billary is disliked by more people than she is liked, whereas the opposite is true for Bernie, so yeah, a candidate whose favorability already is upside down attacking his or her opponent whose favorability already is right-side up probably is making a mistake.

But I digress. (That said, I hope that Billary is a raging harpy tonight; it will only harm her further.)

In New Hampshire, RCP right now has Bernie beating Billary by 6.2 percent, and HuffPo has Bernie beating her by 6 percent, so I’d be surprised if Bernie doesn’t win New Hampshire, regardless of the outcome of Iowa.

Again, I rather doubt that Billary could survive losing both Iowa and New Hampshire to Bernie.

If Bernie accomplishes that, we will see a nationwide phenomenon in which weak Billary supporters (and there are, I surmise, millions of them) seriously and significantly will reevaluate their choice of Democratic Party presidential candidate.

And, again, if Bernie wins both of the first two states, Billary no doubt will act in ways which will only make even more people dislike her. (Seriously, she’ll act much like Ellie Driver does when she loses her remaining eyeball. That isn’t attractive.)

5:45 p.m. (again, I’m using Pacific Time): The debate is scheduled to begin in 15 minutes.

5:56 p.m.: The talking heads of NBC (including Chuck Todd, whom I’ve never liked) are blathering about Bernie Sanders’ “electability” (specifically, his supposed lack thereof) even though the polls have shown for some time now that Bernie does better overall against the top three Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes (Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio) in hypothetical match-up polls than does Billary Clinton.

Facts won’t topple the corporately owned and controlled media’s conventional “wisdom.” (And shockingly, the corporately owned and controlled media wouldn’t want a president who calls himself a “democratic socialist.”)

6:02 p.m.: The candidates are on stage now. Billary already has had some water. She must be nervous

6:04 p.m.: The opening statements are largely an obligatory tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. (due to tomorrow being MLK Day and due to the setting of the debate; I prefer spontaneously heartfelt statements to politically obligatory ones…). Bernie kind of went too quickly from MLK to his standard stump speech yet once again. (At least he’s consistent.) The maudlin Martin O’Malley reminds us of the massacre that happened in Charleston in June.

6:07 p.m.: Bernie gives “healthcare for every man, woman and child as a human right,” a $15 minimum wage, and fixing our crumbling infrastructure as the top three priorities of his White House administration were he to be elected.

Billary says she’d make pay parity between men and women one of her top three priorities, as well as renewable energy and infrastructure improvement, and says she’d improve/build on “Obamacare,” but doesn’t go nearly as far as does Sanders on that issue.

O’Malley lists strengthening labor unions among his three top priorities. I like to hear that, but he won’t win. He’s still mired in low single digits.

6:11 p.m.: Bernie reminds us that the National Rifle Association has given him a rating of “D-” for his support of its priorities, and he basically (correctly) calls Billary a liar for claiming otherwise.

6:13 p.m.: Billary retorts that Bernie has voted in favor of the NRA many times. Whether that’s true or not, as this is an awfully new-found “concern” of human weather vane on crack Billary’s, I can’t see it as anything more than politics. People have died from guns so that Billary could use their deaths to try to win the White House. Craven.

Martin O’Malley says both Bernie and Billary have been “inconsistent” on gun legislation.

Gun control is low on my list of priorities. It’s not unimportant, but we have bigger fish to fry, and I see its being raised as a big issue as an attempt by the Democratic establishment and the Billary campaign (which are the same thing, pretty much) to crowd out the more important topic of income inequality, which kills far more people than do guns (just less dramatically).

6:16 p.m.: Now the topic is white cops killing black males. The moderator brought up Walter Scott, who was shot in the back by a white cop in South Carolina as he was fleeing the cop.

Billary says one out of three black men end up incarcerated, and asks us to consider how we’d feel if one out of three white men ended up behind bars.

Bernie echoes this, stating that we disproportionately have black and Latino men behind bars, and that only China has more individuals incarcerated than does the United States.

6:19 p.m.: The moderator (Lester Holt) asks Bernie how he can win when Billary has minority support that bests him by two to one. Bernie says that when the members of the black community become more familiar with him, just as with the general population, his support among them will increase. (I concur, although I acknowledge that there are some who aren’t smart enough to vote in their own best interests, and so they’ll buy Billary’s bullshit that she’d be better for minorities than would Bernie. Never mind her husband’s “welfare reform,” NAFTA, “criminal justice” “reform,” etc., all of which have harmed minorities and which she would continue as president.)

6:23 p.m.: Bernie says that the death of anyone in police custody automatically should be investigated by the federal government. I concur. He also calls for the demilitarization of our police forces and says that the composition of our law-enforcement agencies must reflect the composition of the communities that they serve. Yup.

6:25 p.m.: Discussion on opioid overdoses and the “war on drugs” now. Bernie adds that the pharmaceutical industry shares responsibility for widespread addiction to opioids and adds that we need to improve mental health care services.

6:31 p.m.: Billary says she is committed to universal health care. She calls Obamacare a “path to universal health care.” She again says we need to “defend,” “improve” and “build on” “Obamacare.”

6:32 p.m.: Bernie again asserts that health care is a right to every human being. Twenty-nine million Americans still have no health insurance, he says, adding that the United States pays more per person for health care than does any other nation. (Yeah, that would be because of the profiteering that we see in wealth care — er, health care — here in the United States.)

6:34 p.m.: Billary again defends “Obamacare” and accuses Bernie of recently changing his plan for health care for all. “To tear it up and start over again” is “the wrong direction,” Billary proclaims of “Obamacare.” This is getting heated.

Bernie adds that not only are 29 million Americans not insured, but that many are under-insured and can’t afford their co-pays. Yup. Bernie says he has no plan to “tear up” “Obamacare.”

6:36 p.m.: Billary keeps repeating that Bernie wants us to start all over again on health care, and that we can’t do that. Sure, we can. How inspiring is Billary’s mantra, however, that we can’t. Bernie says we need to have “the guts to stand up” to the private health-care insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry. Yup.

6:39 p.m.: Billary keeps saying we have to beef up “Obamacare.” She rejects Bernie’s plan for “Medicare for all,” saying that we couldn’t achieve that under Barack Obama, so we can’t achieve it now. Bullshit.

6:41 p.m.: Bernie says that the Democrats and Repugnicans can’t get along in Congress is a red herring for the fact that Big Money prevents most of the members of Congress from voting in the people’s best interests. Yup.

6:44 p.m.: The maudlin O’Malley is parroting the canard that we all really can hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.” We can’t. We shouldn’t. And we won’t. There are irreconcilable differences between the right and the left. There is no middle ground, for instance, on such issues as same-sex marriage (which is a constitutional right) and women’s constitutional right to control their own reproductive organs. And a “middle ground” on such a universal issue as climate change, which needs action, not even more foot-dragging in the name of “moderation,” will result in misery and death for millions if not billions of human beings around the globe (as well as the continued extinction of species and irreversible adverse planetary changes).

6:47 p.m.: When asked why Bernie has the support of young people by two to one over her, Billary stated that she’ll do her best to appeal to Bernie’s supporters. I’m one of Bernie’s many, many supporters who won’t cast a vote for or give a penny to Billary, no matter what — and that’s because while Obama said “Yes, we can,” she says “No, we can’t.” (She apparently says this for the benefit of her huge campaign contributors.) And, of course, I cannot and will not support her because she’s no progressive. She’s a pro-corporate, pro-plutocratic, centrist sellout.

6:48 p.m.: On break now. Twice O’Malley has tried to break in, but moderator Lester Holt won’t let him. Hee hee. I still wish that O’Malley would drop out already, but I don’t expect him to; he needs a job, apparently, and he apparently still is angling for veep.

6:52 p.m.: The topic is Wall Street and the big banks now. Bernie reminds us that he doesn’t take money from the big banks and doesn’t take speaking fees from Goldman Sachs. Bernie says we have to “break up these huge financial institutions” and bring back the Glass-Steagall Act.

6:53 p.m.: Billary now says that Bernie Sanders’ criticism of her having taken money from Wall Street actually impugns Barack Obama, since Obama also has taken money from Wall Street. (The “argument” there, I suppose, is that if someone else has committed the same wrong that you did, then you did not commit a wrong after all.) This is more bullshit Clintonian triangulation. This is classic Billary.

6:55 p.m.: Billary continues her line that Bernie has attacked Obama. Billary is so unpopular herself that she must try to damage Bernie by alleging that Bernie has attacked the much more popular Barack Obama. Pathetic.

6:57 p.m.: O’Malley says that Billary’s proclamation that she’d be tough on Wall Street is “not true.” He says that like Bernie and unlike Billary, he supports the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, and he totally calls her out on trying to use Barack Obama as a human political shield, just like how in a previous debate she actually tried to use 9/11 as her justification for her coziness with the Wall Street weasels. Wonderful.

7:00 p.m.: Billary tries to deflect from her Wall-Street-boosting corruption yet once again, stating that we should look at the Repugnicans and how they are supporting the Wall Street weasels. Jesus fuck, this woman’s character is abysmal.

7:02 p.m.: Bernie says he has documented how we would pay for his ambitious agenda, including making Wall Street pay its fair share. Billary vows that as president she would not raise taxes on the middle class and also says that she has detailed how she would pay for all of her proposals.

7:04 p.m.: Bernie says that Billary’s criticism of his “Medicare-for-all, single-payer program” is a “Republican” criticism. Well, yeah, she’s a Repugnican (Lite)… Bernie says his health care plan would give Americans a significant net savings by lowering their cost for private health care. Yup. You can pay more in taxes for health care and pay much less (or even zero) for private health care and end up ahead. It’s called math.

7:08 p.m.: Climate change now. Bernie says climate change is settled. Agreed. It’s called science. For future generations we must switch from fossil fuels to sustainable energy, Bernie says.

O’Malley says we can achieve sustainable energy by 2050. Billary attempted to chime in on this important issue but just got cut off… Break now.

I’m still torn on O’Malley’s continued presence at these debates. It’s great when he calls Billary out, such as for her latest pathetic kick of trying to triangulate among her, Bernie and Obama, since she apparently feels that she has to piggyback on Obama’s popularity, but O’Malley doesn’t poll at even 3 percent nationally.

7:17 p.m.: Iran now. Bernie calls for “normalized relations with Iran.” He states that the agreement that prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is a good one, and that we need to move in the direction of better relations with Iran.

Billary says we have to continue to watch Iran, that we have to watch Iran for a longer period of time before we can normalize relations with Iran.

Now Syria. Billary says she opposes American ground forces in Syria. She says she supports supporting existing militaries in the Middle East in combating the problems in Syria and in combating ISIS.

Bernie says he opposes “perpetual warfare” in the Middle East. “As president I would do everything in my power to avoid” such a(n increased) quagmire, he says.

O’Malley says, as Bernie has said, that overall he supports Obama’s current strategy in the Middle East. And he had to get maudlin again, saying that we never should refer to a soldier as “boots on the ground.” Seriously, who advises Martin the Maudlin?

7:24 p.m.: Bernie says the wealthy nations in the Middle East, like Qatar, need to do more in the Middle East to oppose ISIS and other terrorists.

7:26 p.m.: Billary is bragging about her foreign-affairs chops (she was, after all, secretary of state, and spent a lot of time advising the more popular Barack Obama in the Situation Room!).

Bernie says our first priority in the Middle East must be to destroy ISIS, and then to focus on Syria’s dictator.

7:29 p.m.: Lester Holt apparently more or less blamed the annexation of Crimea by Russia on Billary’s having been secretary of state. Meh. I don’t want Billary in the Oval Office, but I’ve always viewed Crimea as belonging to Russia, not to Ukraine. Billary has called Vladimir Putin a “bully” whom always must be stood up to.

7:32 p.m.: O’Malley is speaking in favor of privacy rights as guaranteed to us by the Constitution. Yup. O’Malley says the government must obtain a warrant to violate our privacy, and that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a privacy violation from the “front door” (that is, a more old-school privacy violation) or from the “back door,” such as via our increasingly more technologically advanced electronic devices. Yup. Yup. Yup.

Bernie says that our public policy hasn’t caught up with our technology, and I agree. We don’t give up our constitutional rights solely because we do things electronically these days. Fucktards who don’t respect others’ constitutional rights have refused to recognize this, so our laws must be updated to fully protect us from those who would violate our constitutional rights.

Billary is cut off again for the break. It does seem to me that all three candidates should have the opportunity to respond to every question, but the NBC moderators are not allowing this.

7:39 p.m.: Billary is given is a chance to address the question, but doesn’t speak in favor of our privacy rights. Hmm…

7:40 p.m.: O’Malley has attacked Donald Trump’s vilification of Muslim Americans, kind of out of nowhere. One of O’Malley’s debating tactics apparently is to try to link anecdotes to issues, but it comes off as more amateurish than anything else.

7:42 p.m.: Billary is asked how much of a role Bill Clinton would have in her economic agenda. She claims that she is undecided, but says she would use him as a “goodwill emissary” around the nation to boost her economic agenda.

7:43 p.m.: Bernie says a White House stacked with Wall Street weasels won’t accomplish much for the nation’s economy. Yup. Bernie says that his Treasury secretary wouldn’t come from Goldman Sachs. Ouch. And yup.

Bernie was baited into talking about Bill Clinton’s sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky. Bernie called Bill Clinton’s behavior in that “deplorable,” but emphasized that he didn’t want the discussion to be about Bill Clinton’s sexual behavior. Yup. (Billary, unsurprisingly, agrees…)

The corporately owned and controlled media embarrass themselves, the way that they patently pander to the lowest common denominator.

7:50 p.m.: As the debate draws to a close and the candidates are asked if there are any statements they’d like to make that they haven’t yet made, O’Malley remarks that the debate hasn’t tackled such important issues as immigration reform and the treatment of Puerto Rico by the financial weasels. He now launches into his anodyne closing statement.

Billary says she is “outraged by what’s happening in Flint, Michigan.” She points out that the city’s population, disproportionately poor and black, has been drinking contaminated water, whereas rich denizens of a city would not.

Bernie says the Repugnican Tea Party governor of Michigan should resign.

Bernie says that nothing will improve in the United States of America until Citizens United is reversed, super-PACs are abolished, and there is meaningful campaign-finance reform. Yup. Agreed: The hands of the members of Congress are tied by their Big-Money donors.

Another President Clinton would do little to nothing to solve this overarching problem. It would be more of the same: More promises, yet nothing in our lives actually improves.

7:57 p.m.: The debate is over. Like the previous three debates, I don’t see this debate changing a whole lot. That is, if you were a Billarybot before this debate, I’m sure that you’re still a Billarybot, and if you were a Berner before this debate, I’m sure that you’re still a Berner. If I had to declare a winner of this debate, I’d say that it was Bernie, but of course I’ve supported him for months, so take that for what it is.

The NBC commentators are discussing right now how Billary wrapped herself in Obama tonight. Yup. This might come back to haunt her.

Not only was it classic Clintonian triangulation, but Bernie Sanders’ supporters largely if not mostly are those of us who never forgot — and never abandoned — Barack Obama’s ubiquitous but undelivered-upon promises of “hope” and “change.”

We haven’t seen the much-promised change (not enough of it, anyway),  but we haven’t lost all hope; we still believe, after several years of disappointment, that Yes, we can. But here is Billary saying No, we can’t.

I’m not saying that she’s entirely wrong about what is and what is not achievable in D.C., but I do know that if we start off with the motto of No, we can’t, then we probably can’t (or at least we probably won’t).

Which is exactly what Billary Clinton’s Big-Money campaign contributors want us to believe: that no, we can’t. They want us to believe that so that we won’t even try.

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