Tag Archives: Bernie

Nate Silver, Matthew Yglesias: 2020 Dem front-runner is Bernie Sanders

I wholeheartedly agree with Salon.com writer D. Watkins that the United States of America “is on pause.” 

He wrote recently:

Donald Trump supporters made their big cultural statement in 2016 by electing to the presidency a white-collar executive who’s never seen a day of hard work yet presents himself as the champion of blue-collar people. Now, as a result, America is on pause.

We have now been under the rule of Donald Trump for more than 170 days and nothing of substance has happened — other than multiple attempts to undo everything that had been accomplished by the previous administration, like Barack Obama’s special immigration program for foreign entrepreneurs, providing heating aid for some of our most vulnerable citizens, the defrosting of relations with Cuba and, of course, the GOP’s constant obsession — Obamacare.

Anything Obama touched in his eight years in office, from Planned Parenthood to climate change, has to go, apparently. What’s worse, many of these Obama undos are being under-reported overall, because Trump’s crass tweets and his campaign’s collection of Russia scandals makes for better TV. …

Agreed that while we’re all focused on Russia and “President” Pussygrabber’s latest outrageous tweet, the unelected Pussygrabber regime is dismantling everything good and, like a virus, is altering the main function of the federal government to that of making the rich even richer and the poor even poorer.

But it’s not like Obama was a progressive champion; he was not. He was a moderate, a centrist who far preferred working with the status quo than trying anything even remotely approaching radically progressive. Even his “signature” “achievement,” Obamacare, kept health care a for-profit enterprise (indeed, if you didn’t buy health insurance, you were — well, are — penalized).

As I have noted many times, Obama had an opportunity, in 2009 and 2010, when he still had a shitload of political capital behind him and before the House of Representatives reverted to the Repugnicans in November 2010, to push through a boldly progressive agenda. But he spectacularly squandered that one and only opportunity during his eight years in the White House.

I am happy that toward the end of his time in office Obama moved to open relations between the United States and Cuba — with the caveat that I really, really hope that Cuba doesn’t become the capitalist playground that capitalist exploiters had made it before the Castro revolution — but all in all, the Obama years were eight years that were mostly squandered, and after the eight disastrous years under “President” George W. Bush (and the many disastrous years before his, going back at least to Ronald Reagan), we couldn’t afford to squander yet another eight years.

And we can’t afford to squander these years that we are squandering under Pussygrabber (and under Mike Pence, if he ends up completing Pussygrabber’s term) — and it’s much worse than squandering, actually. To squander something is to fail to take good advantage of it; again, what Pussygrabber & Co. are doing now is dismantling everything that doesn’t immediately profit themselves and their super-rich cronies and converting it into a profiteering machine for themselves.

Enter, methinks, Bernie Sanders.

The Democratic Party establishment has shown little leadership during the Pussygrabber regime thus far because the establishment Democrats are funded by many if not most of the very same corporations that fund the Repugnicans. And these corporate funders are paying for an extension of the sociopoliticoeconomic status quo (which is the most that they will allow).

The Democratic establishment will try to front an Obama-esque fresh face for 2020, will try to punk us again. It could be corporate whore Cory Booker or it could be newbie Kamala Harris, who has been in the U.S. Senate for such a short period of time that I have to wonder if she has had time to discover where the women’s restroom is yet.

I voted for Harris, both for California’s U.S. senator to replace the retiring Barbara Boxer and when she was California’s attorney general, but it’s way too soon to be talking about President Harris. Let’s let her accomplish something before we give her that huge promotion.

True, Obama was in the U.S. Senate for only four years — not even for one full (six-year) term — before he ran for president, but that’s my point; we don’t need, in Kamala Harris, a female Barack Obama (who hadn’t accomplished anything in the Senate before he became president).

We need a bold progressive.

Thus far, for 2020 I’m staunchly supporting Bernie Sanders. Vox.com’s Matthew Yglesias wrote earlier this month (emphasis in bold is mine):

Amid a swirl of speculation about Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, and practically everyone else under the sun as potential Democratic presidential contenders, most of the political class is ignoring the elephant in the room.

Bernie Sanders is, by some measures the most popular politician in America, by far Democrats’ most in-demand public speaker, and the most prolific grassroots fundraiser in American history.

If he were 10 or 20 years younger, his absence from a 2020 cattle call held by the Center for American Progress back in May would have been glaring. As things stood, the whisper among everyone in the halls was simply that he’s too old and obviously won’t run.

But make no mistake: Sanders is the real 2020 Democratic front-runner.

He’s doing exactly what a candidate who fell short needs to do to run a second time. He’s established a national political organization, he’s improved his ties with colleagues on Capitol Hill, he’s maintained a heavy presence in national media, and he’s traveling the country talking about issues.

In subtle ways he’s shifted his policy commitments to the center, making himself a more broadly acceptable figure in the party. At the same time, he’s held on to a couple of signature issues — Medicare-for-all and tuition-free public college — that give him exactly the kind of clear-cut and broadly accessible agenda that mainstream Democrats lack.

Of course, if he were to run and win, he’d be 78 years old, the oldest president on record by some margin. And maybe he won’t run. But his recent moves suggest that he is both interested in the nomination and very much the candidate to beat for it. …

Yup. It’s fine if the Democratic establishment wishes to ignore Bernie (who, I surmise, hasn’t moved to the center nearly as much as he has moved the center point further to his side). We, the people, are the ones who will participate in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary elections and caucuses. And it will be significantly harder for the Democratic National Committee to fuck over Bernie this time because we’re all well aware of how the Billarybots of the DNC fucked Bernie over last time.

Will the voters who were stoked over Bernie in 2016 — he won 46 percent of the pledged delegates (the delegates that actually had to be democratically won in the primary elections and the caucuses) to Billary’s paltry-for-her 54 percent — accept an Obama-esque empty shell like Cory Booker, all lame political platitudes but nothing to back them up?

I don’t think that they’ll be punk’d like that again.

Yes, it’s possible that Bernie won’t run in 2020, but he has been pretty active for someone who has ruled out a 2020 run. As I noted in April:

Bernie Sanders is, I think, going to run for the presidency again in 2020.

He hasn’t ruled it out, and he has remained in the public eye since the preventably disastrous November 2016 presidential election.

He put a book out in November (and his progressive comrade Elizabeth Warren has another book due out later this month), and while the establishment Democrats’ “plan” remains to just sit back and watch the Repugnican Tea Party, under the “leadership” of “President” Pussygrabber, implode (or explode, I suppose), Bernie is out there advocating for a progressive agenda that would improve millions of lives (as is Elizabeth).

Bernie will introduce legislation for single-payer health care, totally bypassing the bogus argument of corporate-friendly Obamacare vs. corporate-friendly Trumpcare (and necessarily so), and he and Warren have introduced legislation for free in-state community college and public four-year college tuition. …

Matthew Yglesias’ piece inspired Nate Silver and crew over at fivethirtyeight.com to weigh in on whether or not Bernie is actually the 2020 Democratic Party presidential front-runner.

In the rather meandering discussion, Silver (whose opinion at fivethirtyeight.com that I value the most) proclaims, “I say YES.”

Silver qualifies: “A ‘front-runner’ is the horse that jumps out to the front of the pack and dictates the action behind him.” He adds: “Bernie got 13 million votes in 2016. Isn’t he next in line for the Democratic nomination?”

Um, yes, he garnered 13.2 million popular votes to Billary’s 16.9 million, and he won 22 states, plus the Democrats abroad.

That would, if the Democratic Party establishment still weren’t anti-democratic, pro-corporate and anti-populist and corrupt, of course mean that he’s next in line.

As I’ve noted before, I can support Elizabeth Warren if Bernie doesn’t run again, but I prefer Bernie to her for 2020 for several reasons.

Not only are his favorability numbers among all American voters significantly higher than are hers, so it would be much less of an uphill battle for him than it would be for her, but he has run a presidential campaign already and thus has a lot of infrastructure and supporters already in place. Warren, of course, does not.

And on that note, while Warren declined to run in 2016 — I still surmise that she was too cowardly to step on Queen Billary’s royal cape — Bernie went ahead and ran against Billary instead of allowing her to coast to a coronation, as did all of the cowards who comprise the Democratic Party establishment.

I admire that Bernie fucking did that. It showed leadership and it showed gigantic balls. He knew what he was up against — the corrupt, anti-democratic and anti-Democratic Billary juggernaut — but he did it anyway.

And in the admittedly very early polls of 2020 Democratic Party presidential preference, Bernie is leading, inspiring Nate Silver to proclaim, “Sanders is really well liked among Democrats. He was second last time. He’s leading in the polls now. Isn’t it obvious that he’s the front-runner?”

To me it is. And I’m in good company with Silver and Yglesias.

Will his age (75) harm Bernie? I don’t think so. As long as he remains active and alert on the campaign trail, as he did in 2015 and 2016, he should be fine. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California is 84 years old and is expected to run for re-election in 2018 — and is expected win handily (unfortunately; she really needs to go). And to me she has shown a lot more signs of advanced age than has Bernie, including mental fogginess.

Feinstein is the oldest member of the U.S. Senate, followed by six other current senators who are at least 80 years old, including the fossil John McCainosaurus.

So no, age isn’t necessarily a campaign killer.

Will the drummed-up “scandal” regarding Bernie’s wife and the funding of Burlington College — a “scandal” drummed up by “President” Pussygrabber’s campaign chairman for Vermont — be a problem for Bernie?

No.

Only those who never would have supported democratic socialist Bernie anyway will give the “scandal” any credence, and at any rate, the “scandal” doesn’t involve Bernie (he hasn’t been shown to have done anything illegal or even unethical), and anyone with two brain cells to rub together will consider the source: “President” Pussygrabber’s campaign chairman for Vermont.

Um, yeah. It’s an obvious smear campaign, and I might argue that the smear campaign is a good sign, because you don’t smear those who are weak, but those who pose a threat.

The 2020 cycle is better for Bernie than was 2016 in many ways. Queen Billary is out of the picture (finally), and in the wake of Billary’s loss in November 2016, the brand of “Democratic” Party that the center-right, sellout Clintons started and that Obama perpetuated is weakened.

As I’ve noted before, not only did Bernie win 46 percent of the pledged delegates to Billary’s 54 percent, but in February we saw that familiar 46-54 split in the election of the new chair of the Democratic National Committee, with Clinton-Obama establishmentarian Democrat (“Democrat”?) Tom Perez garnering 54 percent of the vote to Bernie-backed progressive Keith Ellison’s 46 percent.

We progressives — we true Democrats — are within striking distance of taking over the party. It’s clear that the “Democratic” Party establishment under Perez, et. al. still doesn’t have a clue or a plan (other than, as I noted in April, watching the “Pussygrabber” regime destroy itself).

Not being Pussygrabber won’t be enough for the Dems in 2018 or in 2020.

And had Bernie become president in November 2016, he probably would have faced a Repugnican-controlled Senate and a Repugnican-controlled House in January 2017. He would have been able to get nothing done, very most likely, and this Repugnican obstructionism unfairly and untruthfully would have been attributed to the inherent failure of his brand of politics.

Bernie’s chance of having at least one of the two houses of Congress controlled by the Democrats in January 2021 is pretty good, given that colossal failure “President” Pussygrabber in most polls can’t maintain an approval rating of even 40 percent, and if both houses were controlled by the Dems in 2021 under a President Sanders, you can be sure that President Sanders wouldn’t waste his political capital trying to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” with the treasonous Repugnicans in Congress, as President Obama incredibly stupidly did in 2009 and 2010, when both houses of Congress last were held by the Dems.

We indeed are a nation on pause — at best — and to make up for that lost precious time, we need someone who is boldly progressive, someone who very actively will make up for that lost time by pushing through a sane, unabashedly progressive agenda — someone who will do what Obama failed to do in 2009 and in 2010 — and that someone is Bernie Sanders.

P.S. Matthew Yglesias mentioned Joe Biden and Kirsten Gillibrand as potential 2020 presidential candidates.

Yeah, um, no way in hell can I support has-been Joe Biden, who is too aligned with the Clinton-Obama brand of the party. Plus, if he were so fucking popular, why didn’t Biden become president by now? (Or at least the Democratic Party presidential candidate in a general presidential election by now?)

And Gillibrand — what is her appeal, other than her XX chromosomes? I have nothing particularly against her, as for the most part I know very little about her, but what’s so special about her, other than that she was elected to Billary’s U.S. Senate seat for New York after Billary became Obama’s secretary of state? Is she supposed to be Billary’s mini-me? (That was rhetorical, but the answer is yes.)

Biden, Gillibrand, Booker, Harris — all are candidates for those who have no vision and no imagination, but who think that the bullshit of the past is going to work in the future. They have learned nothing from Billary’s failure in November.

P.P.S. I just saw this on Slate.com:

A Bloomberg poll released [today] shows that eight months after November’s election and nearly half a year into the new administration, Hillary Clinton is a touch less popular than Donald Trump. From Bloomberg:

Trump’s 2016 Democratic rival is viewed favorably by just 39 percent of Americans in the latest Bloomberg National Poll, two points lower than the president. It’s the second-lowest score for Clinton since the poll started tracking her in September 2009.

The former secretary of state has always been a polarizing figure, but this survey shows she’s even lost popularity among those who voted for her in November.

According to Bloomberg, more than a fifth of Clinton voters now say they view her unfavorably compared with only 8 percent of likely Clinton voters saying the same in Bloomberg’s last poll before the election.

Bloomberg’s John McCormick writes that interviews with some of those polled suggest that the decline has less to do with Clinton losing than it does with the Democratic Party’s identity crisis.

“Many said they wished Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont had won the Democratic nomination,” he writes, “or that they never liked Clinton and only voted for her because she was the lesser of two bad choices.” [Emphasis mine.]

This is (more) vindication, not only of the fact that even those who voted for Billary in November didn’t like her, but also of the fact that it was a colossal fuck-up for the Dems to have allowed Billary & Co. to steal the nomination from the much more popular and much more liked Bernie.

It is also more evidence of the fact that Clintonism is done and that we can stick a big ol’ fork in it.

(Lest you think that the Bloomberg poll is wrong, know that the Huffington Post’s Pollster [a poll aggregator] right now has Billary’s favorability rating at only 40.3 percent — which is very close to the 40.1 percent approval rating that HuffPo Pollster now gives Pussygrabber.

Pussygrabber and Billary both are despised now just like they were on Election Day in November, while HuffPo Pollster puts Bernie Sanders’ favorability rating at 57 percent.

Hindsight indeed is 2020.)

 

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Don’t blame me; I voted for Bernie! (redux) And: DINOs are Bernie blind

Image result for Bernie Sanders crowd

Despite the huge crowds that true populist Bernie Sanders garnered in his campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination (the photo above is from Bernie’s rally in Portland, Oregon, in August 2015) — and despite the fact that Bernie remains the most popular politician on the U.S. national stage today — the Billarybots and the limousine liberals just can’t think of who could or should take on “President” Pussygrabber (or “President” Pence…) in 2020. No fucking wonder the Billarybots and limo libbies, with their political acumen, cost us the election in November.

“If you look at the numbers, Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in America – and it’s not even close,” writes The Guardian’s Trevor Timm. “Yet bizarrely, the Democratic party — out of power across the country and increasingly irrelevant — still refuses to embrace him and his message. It’s increasingly clear they do so at their own peril.”

Indeed.

Timm continues (links are Timm’s; my comments are in brackets):

A new Fox News [!] poll out this week shows Sanders has a +28 [percent] net favorability rating among the U.S. population [61 percent in the poll favor Bernie, while only 32 percent disfavor him, so actually, Sanders’ net favorability rating is 29 percentage points], dwarfing all other elected politicians on both ends of the political spectrum. And he’s even more popular among the vaunted “independents,” where he is at a mind-boggling +41 [percent].

This poll is not just an aberration. Look at this Huffington Post chart that has tracked Sanders’ favorability rating over time, ever since he gained national prominence in 2015 when he started running for the Democratic nomination. The more people got to know him, they more they liked him – the exact opposite of what his critics said would happen when he was running against Clinton.

One would think with numbers like that, Democratic politicians would be falling all over themselves to be associated with Sanders, especially considering the party as a whole is more unpopular than the Republicans and even Donald Trump right now. [Emphasis mine.]

Yet instead of embracing his message, the establishment wing of the party continues to resist him at almost every turn, and they seem insistent that they don’t have to change their ways to gain back the support of huge swaths of the country. …

Well, indeed, for most members of the Democratic Party establishment, they’ve been using the party not to benefit the highest number of other human beings that’s possible (which is the credo and the modus operandi of true progressivism), but to benefit themselves. They’re addicted to that self-serving power, and they’re not going to give it up any year soon.

The solution?

In a recent column, leftist Ted Rall posits that the Democratic Party could split into two parties — into actual Democrats, that is, those of us who actually are progressive, and the remnants of the center-right, sellout, corporate-ass-licking, Repugnican-Lite, Clinton-Obama Democratic Party.

Rall even suggests a name for us actual Democrats who split off from the current Democratic/Repugnican Lite establishment: the Progressive Party or the New Progressive Party.

Rall notes that of course in the short term, the split of the Democratic Party into two different parties probably would benefit the Repugnican Tea Party. But of course over time the (New) Progressive Party, actually representing the best interests of the majority of the American people for fucking once, probably would siphon off enough support from the Old Democratic Party that the Old Democratic Party over time would wither, dry up and blow away, as things that are irrelevant and obsolete tend to do.

Indeed, my response to the current Democratic/Repugican Lite establishment that tells us actual progressives that we have nowhere else to go is something like this: Fuuuuuck you! We can leave you and form our own party, and then if you want to win any elections, you’ll have to join us, bitches! You’ll have nowhere else to go!

The Democratic Party establishment hates Bernie Sanders because he’s the real deal. He’s not self-serving and he’s not corrupt. He means what he says and he does what he says (thus, he polls better than does any other U.S. politician on the national stage), which is something that the Democratic Party establishment stopped doing decades ago.

Bernie, because he is so beloved by the American electorate, is an existential threat to the continuation of the Democratic establishment’s continued power. Of course they shun him.

Of course it’s not just about Bernie, but it’s about what he represents: actual populism, not the bullshit Pussygrabber “populism,” which, with “President” Pussygrabber’s cabinet of billionaires and insane proposed federal budget that benefits only the war profiteers, makes the poor even poorer and the filthy rich even filthy richer. That’s not populism; that’s the status fucking quo (which, under a President Billary, wouldn’t have budged any more than it did under Barack Obama).

I still feel about “President” Pussygrabber now as I did when he “won” the election in November: It’s too bad that he “won,” but he “won” because the Democratic Party establishment (including the slimy members of the “neutral” Democratic National Committee, including then-DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who resigned in disgrace after their anti-Bernie e-mails were publicly released) fucked over the more popular and the more viable candidate — Bernie Sanders, who all along polled better against Pussygrabber than Billary Clinton did (see more on this fact here and here) — and instead backed the unlikable, corrupt Billary, who is so unlikable that in 2008, Barack Obama, who at that point in time had been in the U.S. Senate for only four years, beat her for the Democratic Party presidential nomination even though she’d been on the national political scene since the early 1990s.

Abject, intractable Democratic establishment stupidity and stubbornness were at least as much a factor in Pussygrabber’s “win” as were white racism or Russia’s interference, I am confident.

But of course I don’t expect the prideful Billarybots ever to admit that they, with their stubborn, mind-blowing stupidity in making an individual whose favorability ratings all along were in the negative* their presidential candidate, were instrumental in bringing us “President” Pussygrabber.

That’s why I’m fully on board with Ted Rall’s idea of the Democratic Party splitting into two and letting survival of the political fittest take its course.

At this point I’m thinking that that’s probably the only way to drive a stake through the cold hearts of the DINOs for once and for all.

Not that it would be easy.

To give just one example, limousine liberal Bill Maher and his limousine liberal guests on his show this past Friday night (Andrew Sullivan and the even worse Barney Frank, who is a huge DINO sellout) all claimed that they just couldn’t think of someone who could take on “President” Pussygrabber in 2020 (assuming that he’s still there, of course).

Shall we call these mindlessly obedient Billarybots Bernie blind?

In the 2016 presidential contest Bernie kicked ass, with higher favorability ratings than both Billary and Pussygrabber ever garnered during the campaign — both Billary and Pussygrabber were historically disliked presidential candidates in 2016 — and Bernie remains the most liked politician on the national stage right now, yet the limousine liberals and other Billarybots just can’t think of who could or should run for president in 2020.

All signs point to the probability that the limo libbies and the Billarybots don’t want actual progressivism in the United States of America, because it would threaten their privileged status, their status in which they pay lip service to progressivism but actually live their over-privileged lives in an entirely other way.

We true progressives face a war on two fronts: against the Repugnican Tea Party traitors and the DINO traitors who want to continue their center-right, self-serving, sellout bullshit — which no longer wins elections because we commoners are on to them — in perpetuity.

If we progressives want to win the war, me must dissociate ourselves from the DINOs, who only want to take us down with them.

P.S. In case you are wondering how Billary Clinton’s favorability rating is doing these days, well, they’re not polling much on her since she lost/“lost” the presidential election, but a recent Suffolk University poll has her still significantly under water — 35 percent approval to 55 percent disapproval, a hole of -20.

Billary apparently never got a post-election sympathy boost.

In the Suffolk University poll, Pussygrabber, Mike Pence and the Repugnican Tea Party as a whole all fare better than both Billary and the Democratic Party as a whole. (Bernie Sanders was not in the poll.)

*Billary Clinton’s net unfavorable/negative ratings began in April 2015 and persisted all the way through the November 2016 presidential election. See her favorability timeline here.

As Trevor Timm eluded to, it was very different for Bernie Sanders; the more people got to know him, the more they liked him. Bernie Sanders saw nothing but growing net favorable/positive ratings from July 2015, when people were starting to get to know him, all the way through the November 2016 presidential election. See his favorability timeline here.

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Don’t blame me — I voted for Bernie!

While I’d thought that Bernie Sanders would be blamed for Billary Clinton’s loss to Der Fuhrer Donald Trump for having had the audacity to challenge her for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, instead Bernie apparently is indeed the face of the Democratic Party that is emerging from the still-smoldering ashes. His new book, Our Revolution, comes out next week and already is on amazon.com’s list of top-100 best-selling titles as I type this sentence.

If I were to make a bumper sticker, that’s what it would say: Don’t blame me — I voted for Bernie!*

No, I’m not retroactively changing my stance in the wake of Billary Clinton’s stunning loss to a fascist demagogue who, for the first time in my lifetime, became U.S. president without previously having held some other elected office to help prepare him for the job.

On July 24, I posted a piece titled “To Win Election and Save Party, Super-Delegates Should Pick Bernie Sanders*.” The asterisked continuation of that was “*But They Won’t, So They’re Going to Lose the November Election, and the Party as It Exists Today Is Doomed.”

The Democratic Party establishment did indeed lose the presidential election, and the party as it exists today indeed is doomed. It’s in tiny little pieces, and it’s wholly discredited. First, slimebag Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (and other sleazy higher-ups within the DNC) had to resign in disgrace due to leaked e-mails showing that they had it in the bag for Billary and were against Bernie, and now even interim DNC head Donna Brazile, yet another mindlessly obedient and self-serving Billarybot, is embattled for having sleazily leaked debate questions to Billary in advance.

Ding, dong! The Democratic Party as we have known it is dead!

And on May 28, I noted:

… But if we just don’t mention how weak Billary is, then everything will be OK! Magically, her weakness only exists if someone who is left of center dares to utter something about it! Loose lips sink ships!

And when Billary loses to Donald Trump in November, we won’t blame her, but we’ll blame Bernie Sanders. That’s The Way of the Democratic Party Hack/Billarybot. …

and:

… If we progressives don’t take the Democratic Party back with Bernie Sanders, we’ll take it back with someone else — with Elizabeth Warren and/or with whomever else emerges in a leadership position or positions.

We are patient. …

and:

… Finally, it strikes me that we — all of us, Democrat and Repugnican (and everything else) — don’t deserve a President Sanders but fully deserve a President Trump. …

I still believe that, by the way: That Bernie Sanders is too good for the United States of America. He’s too smart, too honest, too moral. And Americans amply have demonstrated their depravity by allowing Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton and her “Democratic” henchweasels to steal the Democratic Party presidential nomination and by allowing President Pussygrabber to sit in the Oval Office come January.

That said, I did follow the presidential-election polling closely — I especially followed fivethirtyeight.com, which for weeks and weeks had put Der Fuhrer Trump’s White House win at a significant improbability — and so yes, I had come to expect Billary most likely to win, and so for a little while I was in a bit of a state of shock and awe (awe of the bad kind).

But it didn’t last long. Life goes on, shit must still get done, and the political pendulum always swings back your way, in time.

In retrospect Billary’s loss was quite foreseeable — I wrote about it here months ago — and it’s good that the Democratic Party establishment has been smashed to pieces. Because from those pieces, those ashes, needs to rise a new, actually progressive party.

And Bernie Sanders still is leading the way; fuck, next week he has a book out about his experiences on the presidential campaign trail and about the future of progressivism.

If Sanders runs against President Pussygrabber in 2020 (if President Pussygrabber is still in office, that is), I’m there.

After all, while Real Clear Politics stopped tracking Sanders vs. Trump polls in June, Sanders always polled better against Donald J. Trump than Billary did. When RCP stopped tracking Sanders vs. Trump polls, Sanders was 10.4 percent ahead of Trump — and that was the average of polling of all Americans nationwide, not just Democrats and Democratic leaners. (At the time that RCP stopped tracking Sanders vs. Trump polls in June, Billary was averaging only around 5 percentage points ahead of Trump — and going into Tuesday’s election, her lead was even lower than that.)

Happily, I apparently was wrong about my prediction that Bernie Sanders would be blamed for Billary’s loss by the Billarybots. Tellingly, it’s been largely radio silence from Billary and the Billarybots, and the early signs are that third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein might be blamed by the Democratic Party hacks for Billary’s loss, much how Ralph Nader was blamed by the Dem Party hacks for Al Gore’s lackluster presidential campaign in 2000.

I’d thought that Bernie would be blamed for Billary’s loss, but the No. 1 thing that thus far I’ve seen blamed, way too conveniently, for Billary’s loss is white racism/white supremacism.

While that was a significant factor in Billary’s loss, no doubt, that wasn’t at all all that there was to it, and the Democratic Party never will recover if its adherents refuse to look beyond that.

Billary was an incredibly weak candidate. Fuck, Bernie Sanders, a relative unknown and not even a Democrat (that’s a good thing!) but an independent, a democratic socialist, won 46 percent of the pledged (democratically earned) delegates in the Democratic Party presidential primary fight — that’s how unpopular Billary has been within her own fucking party.

Billary has a mountain of baggage and no one fucking likes her. The electorate did not want a blast from the past, a return to the Clinton era of the 1990s. The electorate did not want another Clinton or another Bush in the White House (which is why the Billarybots within and without the Democratic National Committee had to do their best to sink Bernie and to boost Billary; the product that they were pushing down our throats is fatally flawed, and so they had to cheat mightily).

And over the past few decades, first under Bill Clinton and then continued under Barack Obama, the Democratic Party stopped being a truly populist party. It stopped caring about the working class and the remnants of the middle class, to whom it only paid lip service at election time. It abandoned labor unions (except for asking labor union members for campaign cash and and to be campaign workers) and it welcomed the limousine liberal — the rich person who wants to avoid angry mobs coming after him or her and his or her money with torches and pitchforks by having gone on record with the right stances on certain sociopolitical issues. 

Yes, over the past many years the Democratic Party became much more about identity politics than about socioeconomic politics, and that’s a huge reason why we’re about to have President Pussygrabber in the White House.

Another huge reason for that potentially devastating development is the Democrats’ refusal to face up to the party’s weaknesses. The Democratic lemming-bots have refused to acknowledge not only Billary’s massive shortcomings, but they have refused to acknowledge that President Obama over these past eight years hasn’t delivered his ubiquitously promised “hope” and “change” but for the most part has given us only more of the same, that he hasn’t been anything remotely resembling a strong, progressive leader, but has been only a caretaker in chief (at best).

That’s another huge reason that Billary lost: Americans looked at the past eight years and recognized, correctly, that another four (or eight) years under Billary Clinton would be just like a third (or third and fourth) Obama term: a continuation of the anesthetizing, centrist slog that the past eight years have been.

Obama in 2008 didn’t campaign on just trying to keep one’s head above water — because that’s not exactly inspirational — but that’s exactly what it has been like for most Americans under his presidency.

Yes, racism, misogyny, patriarchy, homophobia, xenophobia, jingoism, etc. — the entire Big Basket of Deplorableness — must continue to be addressed and must be continued to be opposed by the Democratic Party and those of us who are left of center, but that can’t continue to be the party’s whole fucking show, or the show is fucking over.

Indeed, methinks that the toxic identity politics that has gripped the Democratic Party in large part is what helped to sink Bernie, who was widely view by the toxic identity politicians as just another old white man (and thus unacceptable as the party’s presidential candidate), even though he’s infinitely more progressive and much more liked than Billary Clinton ever has been or ever will be — indeed, even though he very probably would have beat Trump on Tuesday.

It was supposed to be enough that Billary is a woman, you see.

Obviously, it wasn’t enough, and if the Democratic Party doesn’t learn its lessons — the central lesson of which is to ease off of the toxic identity politics and get back to the bread-and-butter issues that it has abandoned — it could be a long, long time before it’s back in power again, if it ever comes to power again.

P.S. Further in terms of toxic identity politics, white, non-Latino Americans still make up more than 60 percent of all Americans, and 49.2 percent of Americans are male, per the U.S. Census Bureau.

This is important to remember if one thinks that white-bashing and/or man-bashing is going to win one a national election.

*I am quite proud of the fact that I never have cast a vote for the corrupt, center-right, Democratic-in-name-only/Repugnican-Lite Billary Clinton, not once, and that I never have given her even one fucking penny.

Not only did I vote for Bernie Sanders in the California Democratic Party presidential primary in June, but I gave his campaign more than $1,000 over time. I still consider it to have been a good investment in the future — not just mine, but everyone’s and future generations’.

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‘Unelectable’ Bernie slightly beats Billary against Trump, Bush in polls

The Billarybots (among others) are pushing the myth that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is not electable as president of the United States of America. The polls demonstrate, however, that Bernie is at least as strong against the entire Repugnican Tea Party presidential field as is Billary Clinton.

As commentator Brent Budowsky of The Hill has pointed out, recent polls show that the “unelectable” Bernie Sanders consistently has done slightly better in general-election match-ups against Donald Trump and Jeb! Bush than has Billary Clinton.

Real Clear Politics’ polling averages right now give Billary 4.4 percent over Trump and just 1 percent over Jeb! (Frighteningly, RCP’s polling average right now gives pathological liar and theocratic nut job Ben Carson 4 percentage points over Billary.* RCP’s polling average has Billary beating Marco Rubio by not even one full percentage point.)

RCP’s polling averages have Bernie Sanders beating Donald Trump by 4.7 percent and Jeb! Bush by 2 percent. RCP’s polling averages unfortunately don’t match Sanders up against anyone other than Trump and Bush, but the “unelectable” Sanders does slightly better against both Bush and Trump than does Billary in RCP’s polling averages.

Trump and Bush are decent samples, too, as Trump represents the “outsider” Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate and Jeb! represents the “insider” Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate.

In the latest match-up polling, Sanders did very well — in a McClatchy-Marist poll taken from October 29 through November 4, Sanders beat Jeb! by 10 percent (and Billary beat Jeb! by 8 percent) and Sanders beat Trump by 12 percent (and Billary beat The Donald by 15 percent). (As Budowsky pointed out, it’s too soon to know if these latest polling numbers are outliers or are the new normal.)

Don’t trust just Real Clear Politics’ numbers. Over at the Huffington Post’s roundup of polling averages, Donald Trump right now holds 44 percent to Bernie Sanders’ 48 percent and to Billary’s 47 percent. (Unfortunately, El Trumpo is the only Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate against whom HuffPo gives polling averages for both Bernie and Billary.)

My point is not to try to be predictive; Iowa doesn’t caucus until February 1, New Hampshire’s primary isn’t until February 9, “Super Tuesday” isn’t until March 1, and the presidential general election is almost a full year away.**

My point is that while the conventional “wisdom” long has been that Bernie Sanders just can’t compete against the Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes like Billary Clinton can, the polls demonstrate that that is utter bullshit. Bernie Sanders is at least as competitive against the entire Repugnican Tea Party presidential field as is Billary Clinton.***

The polls that I refer to here are polls of people who probably will cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election. These aren’t polls of the pundits who are trapped within their establishmentarian bubble, in which Queen Billary’s “inevitability” is taken as Gospel, regardless of the what the people are saying themselves via many polls.

The bottom line is that Bernie Sanders can win the White House.

Perhaps his only obstacle to the Oval Office is the myth that he’s unelectable — a myth that gladly is pushed not only by the corporations and those who love them, but also by the center-right Billarybots, who are legion.

I agree with Budowsky’s conclusion, and so I will conclude with that:

… For today, there are two issues these polls present. First, the national reporting of the presidential campaign completely fails to reflect Sanders’s strength in a general election, especially against Trump, and against Bush as well.

Second, and perhaps more important, Sanders’s strength in general election polling gives credence to the argument I have been making in recent years, that American voters favor progressive populist positions which, if taken by Democrats in the general election, would lead to a progressive populist Democratic president and far greater Democratic strength in Congress.

It is a fallacy argued by conservatives and, in my view, inaccurately parroted by the mainstream media, that Sanders and other liberals take positions that are far too “left.” The polling shows, issue by issue, and increasingly in general election match-ups of Republicans running against Sanders, that it is the left, not the right, which has the upper hand with American voters.

P.S. Speaking of the Billarybots, if you haven’t read Slate.com’s William Saletan’s pieces on how Team Billary shamelessly has tried to slander Sanders as both a sexist and a racist, you should.

I take these slimy attacks, which are sooo characteristic of Billary and her brand of politics, as good signs, though; it’s how she reacted when Barack Obama was beating her sorry DINO ass in 2008.

*To be fair even to Billary, I noted that the McClatchy-Marist poll has even Bernie Sanders losing to Ben Carson by 2 percent, 45 percent to Carson’s 47 percent. Carson is, in fact, the only Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate in the McClatchy-Marist poll whom Sanders doesn’t beat by at least 3 percent.

In the McClatchy-Marist poll Billary beats every Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate, but Ben Carson does the best against her, with 48 percent to her 50 percent.

So at least in the McClatchy-Marist poll, Ben Carson did better against Bernie and Billary than did any other Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate, but of course that poll wrapped up on November 4, before revelations about Carson’s serial pathological lies — or, to be charitable, at the very least, his very apparently pathologically intentional distortions — of his biography came out.

And yes, Ben Carson is fair game for scrutiny. Not only has he been in the top two in the polling of his party’s presidential preferences for some time now, but he has put out books, which can be fact-checked.

Ben Carson wants to be president — the most politically powerful person of the planet’s most politically powerful nation. That he can’t handle the vetting process demonstrates how pathetically unqualified he is to hold such incredible power. (Because he’s never held any elected governmental office in his life, he won’t hold that kind of power.)

**That said, again, never in my lifetime of more than four decades has any U.S. president not first been a U.S. senator or the governor of a state, so I think it’s quite safe to conclude that neither Donald Trump nor Ben Carson ever will sit behind the big desk in the Oval Office.

My money is still on Marco Rubio emerging as the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee. Yes, the Repugnican Tea Party wants to front a Latino, or will want to front a Latino in November 2016, I believe, and no, it won’t be Ted Cruz, because he’s too obviously insane and too many members of his own party fucking hate him because he is incredibly obnoxious.

Also, because Rubio is 44 years old, he is a twofer; he not only is a Latino (although he’s a light-skinned, right-wing Cuban American, the kind of Latino the Repugnican Tea Party loves the most, and Cuban Americans are only around 3.5 percent of Latinos in the United States, 63 percent of whom are of more-left-wing Mexican heritage), but he has that Obama-esque aura of youth about him, even though his “bootstraps” worldview comes from no later than the 1950s.

***With the margins of error taken into consideration, I can’t see that anyone correctly and definitively can state that either Billary or Bernie is a significantly stronger general-election presidential candidate than is the other. With the margins of error taken into consideration, they are very much neck-and-neck.

And this fact might be much more indicative of our national partisan polarization than it is indicative of much of anything about the candidates themselves as individuals.

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No, Bernie wasn’t trying to save Billary

Bernie Sanders Does Not Care About 'Your Damn Emails,' Hillary Clinton

The sleazy Billary Clinton was only too happy to believe (mistakenly) that Bernie Sanders was dismissing her e-mail scandal altogether — he wasn’t; he was only trying to put it into universal perspective — and Sanders, immersed in the shallow, rapid-fire, infotaining, sound-bite-frenzied environment, apparently was unable to prevent his intent from immediately being twisted into something that it never was. It was, however, his first live-televised debate on the national stage, and she’s a veteran slime-weasel.

The American people’s attention deficit disorder is worse than I’d thought. The buzz after last night’s Democratic Party presidential debate is that Bernie Sanders was defending Billary Clinton in E-mailgate. He wasn’t. Clearly.

It’s that CNN and the rest of the establishment weasels are so quick to bow down before Queen Billary that Sanders’ rather obvious actual point got lost. Immediately. This is the transcript of the exchange (from the Washington Post’s full transcript of the debate):

CLINTON: … But tonight, I want to talk not about my e-mails, but about what the American people want from the next president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: Let me say this.

(APPLAUSE)

Let me say — let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.

(APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: Thank you. Me, too. Me, too.

SANDERS: You know? The middle class — Anderson, and let me say something about the media, as well. I go around the country, [I] talk to a whole lot of people. [The] middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.

(APPLAUSE) …

Why were Sanders’ words interpreted as a save for Billary Clinton? For a few reasons. One, given her prematurely enthusiastic response, obviously she welcomed such a “save”; when Billary immediately but incorrectly interpreted Bernie’s words as a more or less full pardon for E-mailgate from her strongest rival, she was downright giddy.

Pretty much every time that a fair criticism of her was brought up in the debate, Billary uttered some attempted deflection like, “But tonight, I want to talk not about my e-mails, but about what the American people want from the next president of the United States.” (Something that this American person wants in the next POTUS is that he or she does not run a home-brewed e-mail server from his or her home basement. Um, yeah.)

Other such deflections by Billary from one of her other top flaws — that she voted for the unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War in 2002 — were that she’d already covered this topic in the 2008 primary debates and that Barack Obama had chosen her as his secretary of state, so how poor could her judgment be? (Um, she was chosen as SOS primarily for political reasons, I’m confident. I mean, I’ve had a problem with Obama’s past apparent comparisons of himself to Abraham Lincoln, but Lincoln did apparently believe in keeping his enemies/frenemies close.)

So Billary needed and wanted a save from E-mailgate, and when Bernie prefaced his point with “let me say something that may not be great politics,” the desperate Billary, as did pretty much the entire punditry and the rest of the nation, took it as Bernie throwing her a life preserver.

Bernie then said, turning to Billary, “I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.”

I’m pretty sure that Billary orgasmed at that moment, and that moment immediately was interpreted, quite incorrectly, as Bernie having dismissed E-mailgate altogether. But that fairly obviously not only was not what he actually said, but was not his point, because he then immediately followed that with:

You know? The middle class — Anderson [Cooper, the moderator], and let me say something about the media, as well. I go around the country, [I] talk to a whole lot of people. [The] middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.

But Americans don’t want to talk about the real issues. The real issues are boring. They require research. And thought. And once we’re fully aware of a big problem, we then have the moral obligation to try to solve it. And that’s work. And work is hard. And usually not fun.

Bernie wasn’t saying that E-mailgate is not a problem whatsoever. He was putting it into perspective: “[The] middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.”

After the debate, Bernie was interviewed live by CNN at the locale of the debate and he stated that his one (or largest, anyway) regret about the debate is that the topic of income inequality didn’t get enough play.

Bernie apparently is just sick and tired that relatively minor issues like Billary’s e-mail habits are discussed instead of much bigger problems, such as climate change and the income inequality that has only grown since the Reagan years.

However, because Americans, including, of course, the punditry class (who personally benefit from continued income inequality), don’t want to talk about these huge problems, the narrative became that Bernie saved Billary from her e-mail scandal. Even my fellow leftist Ted Rall, with whom I usually agree, wrote of last night’s debate:

… It’s fun to watch rivals making nice. Party unity is swell. Who knows, maybe Bernie really does think Emailgate is no big deal. But I think it was a mistake.

First and foremost, the investigation has just begun. It isn’t wise to defend someone before all the facts are in, especially when that person’s resume is punctuated by multiple scandals.

Also, I take offense at the argument that, because the American people don’t care about an issue, that it ought not to be discussed (assuming that it is true that voters are tiring of the coverage, which may or may not be the case). Americans don’t care much about drones, the NSA, or turning Libya into a failed state (which Hillary helped do), or Guantánamo. Should we ignore those issues? Leadership is in large part about pointing to a problem and convincing people why they should care and what we should do to fix it.

For me, and I suspect many other non-Republicans, Emailgate points to a problem with Hillary Clinton’s ability to make judgment calls. She knew, in 2009 when she began as secretary of state, that she would soon run for president. Given that the GOP always targets her, it’s crazy that she didn’t play everything by the book. Examined along with her vote in favor of invading Iraq — another bad political decision since it was obvious to everyone intelligent that the war would go badly for the U.S. — it raises serious questions about Clinton’s fitness for the presidency and, as such, should not have prompted a full-throated defense from her chief rival.

Again, Bernie never stated that “E-mailgate is no big deal.” He only tried to put it into perspective — a bit inartfully. He had started to talk about the media, and had he fleshed that thought out, he’d have pointed out that the media love to report on juicy scandals, such as home-brewed e-mail servers, especially when they involve someone like perpetual scandal magnet Queen Billary Clinton, and that reportage on this partisan bickering (such as with E-mailgate and “Benghazigate”) eclipses our much larger problems, such as climate change and income inequality, both of which continue to worsen even as I type this sentence.

I agree wholeheartedly with Rall that “Emailgate points to a problem with Hillary Clinton’s ability to make judgment calls” and that “Examined along with her vote in favor of invading Iraq — another bad political decision since it was obvious to everyone intelligent that the war would go badly for the U.S. — it raises serious questions about Clinton’s fitness for the presidency.”

But for Rall to characterize Sanders’ words as “a full-throated defense” of Billary’s e-mail habits contradicts the words that Bernie actually spoke.

It’s that at a forum that was very deferential to Queen Billary (as Jim Webb complained, she was allowed to speak far more than was anyone else), a forum sponsored by the Clinton-friendly CNN before a largely Clinton-friendly live audience, and in a fast-moving, fairly shallow discussion meant much more to evoke more sound bites for an insatiably starving, zombified corporately owned and controlled mass media than to evoke anything remotely resembling actual thought, Bernie’s intent immediately got lost in the shuffle and then conveniently was corporately repackaged into something that it apparently never was intended to be: “a full-throated defense” of Billary against E-mailgate.

Rall notes that Sanders “clearly was off balance,” and it’s true that Sanders didn’t bring up everything that he could and should have in the debate, as Rall notes in his thoughtful-as-usual commentary. If I had helped Bernie prep for the debate, for instance, in response to Billary’s predictable criticism of him not being good enough on gun control, I’d have encouraged him to point out that his home state of Vermont, which he has represented in Congress since the early 1990s, has fewer gun murders per capita than does any other state except New Hampshire. (Vermont has 1.1 gun murders per 100,000 residents. New Hampshire has 1 per 100,000 residents.)

So when Bernie asserted during the debate last night that gun control is more of an issue for urban areas than for largely rural areas like Vermont, he was correct. Billary was, in her criticism of him, quite wrong, as she so often is on topics that matter.

I’d say that Bernie was a little off balance last night. He made no huge, Prick-Perry-level debate blunder, but he did make a few minor stumbles. But, um, it was his very first nationally televised debate. Billary Clinton is a highly polished liar. She’s been lying, minimizing, deflecting, flip-flopping, triangulating (like her hubby), blaming others, playing the feminism card, playing the victim card, etc., etc., on the national stage at least since the early 1990s. She’s a mega-ultra-slimebag/weasel, whereas Bernie Sanders is a bit of a wonky nerd.*

And Bernie can try to save us from ourselves, but in the end, we have to want to save ourselves.

That Bernie’s admonishment that we pay so much attention to things such as E-mailgate at the expense of larger issues such as “massive wealth and income inequality” and “whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United” fell flat because we’d much rather talk about how “Bernie saved Billary last night at the debate” isn’t Bernie’s fault. It’s ours.**

P.S. In the end, although Bernie prefaced his remarks by saying that they “may not be great politics,” I don’t think that it hurt Bernie, politically, to demonstrate that he wasn’t going to pile upon Billary, which is what I believe he meant to say that so many believe is “great politics.”

Not only could Bernie use a chunk of Billary’s supporters to switch to his team — which he won’t accomplish by alienating them too much — but Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee (and, to a lesser extent, Jim Webb) did plenty of piling upon Billary, which was wholly deserved, but which also made them look desperate because they’re losing (because they are — look at their polling) and which made them look like typical — not visionary — politicians.

I have questioned Bernie’s tactic of remaining above typically dirty politics, but it has gotten him this far, and he never was supposed to have gotten this far.

*I agree with Sanders wholeheartedly that the United States can match the level of socioeconomic success that some European nations have, and that it’s only a capitalism that has eaten itself that has prevented the U.S. from matching those nations’ success, but Team Bernie perhaps does need to think about how it comes off for him to so often rattle off such phrases as “countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway,” as he did last night.

Both moderator Anderson Cooper and Billary Clinton (like snarky junior-high-school students) quickly criticized Sanders’ mention of Denmark — as Stephen Colbert did during a chat with Sanders not long ago (Colbert was much funnier when he did it, but I still found his joke to be a bit disappointing, coming from him) — and while Sanders is correct on this issue, in politics (if you want to win elections) you sometimes have to bow to political realities, such as that Americans are xenophobic and jingoistic and anti-intellectual, and so they don’t want to hear about Denmark…

If Sanders insists on continuing to bring up Denmark — and I suspect that he does and that he will — that won’t sway me away from him one iota, but again, for the most part he’s not dealing with his intellectual equals, and that’s the political reality that he needs to work with.

**We can blame the media only so much. After all, not only do we allow the corporately owned and controlled media weasels to do as they please, but we don’t even fight the problem of corporately owned and controlled media having a monopoly on so-called “free” speech.

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