Tag Archives: Billary

Wake me up on November 9

Updated below (on Tuesday, August 9, 2016)

As I have written, once Bernie Sanders no longer was in the race (after the June 7 primaries, in which he lost California and New Jersey [but especially after he lost California]), I’ve had no horse in it — and thus little interest in it.

Although I’m still being bombarded by the ignorant and fear-based claims that all of us must vote for Billary Clinton in order to prevent lesser evil Donald Trump from sitting in the Oval Office, I still plan to vote for Jill Stein on November 8.

I mean, there still is the little thing called the Electoral College, and Billary Clinton is guaranteed all of my state of California’s 55 electoral votes in the winner-takes-all Electoral College (no, we do not pick our president by the popular vote). I’ve covered this fact right out of Civics 101 many times before, but the ignorance-and-fear-based You-must-vote-for-Billary! cacophony continues, so I must repeat myself.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, of course, is coming under harsher attack now that her numbers have gone up (she apparently has inherited a lot of Bernie-or-busters like myself), even though she’ll very most likely never break out of low single digits when the final votes for president are tallied.

(Right now Real Clear Politics gives Stein 4 percent in the average of recent nationwide polls in a four-way race of Trump, Billary, Stein and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson, and right now RCP gives Billary a 6.5 percent lead over Trump in such a four-way.)

Jill Stein never will be president of the United States of America. I’m confident of that. But I refuse to vote for the supposed lesser of two evils, so I’m voting for Stein, both as a protest vote and because the Green Party much more closely matches my values and beliefs than does the Democratic Party, which under the likes of the center-right, Repugnican Lite Clintons became a pro-corporate, pro-plutocratic, anti-populist party no later than in the 1990s.

The biggest criticism that I’ve most often seen hurled at Stein (mostly by dutiful Billarybots) is that she has sided with the anti-vaccination nut jobs, which is a shocking! stance for a physician! to take, but from what I can tell from the facts, Stein, indeed a graduate of Harvard Medical School, is pro-vaccination but is overly concerned about not offending the anti-vaxxers and so she apparently has parsed her words when discussing vaccination so as not to offend either camp.

I’m firmly in the pro-vaccination camp (vaccinate your fucking kids, especially if they are around the rest of us!), but this isn’t a huge issue for me. It’s not a deal breaker, especially since from what I can discern Stein never actually has been anti-vaccination. (She has been suspect of the mega-corporations that profit from vaccines, which is reasonable and quite understandable; very often the craven profit motive clouds or even destroys the science.)

After Billary Clinton’s apparently inevitable Democratic coronation — already we have forgotten those WikiLeaked anti-Bernie Democratic National Committee e-mails from upon high that were No Big Deal, even though not only DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but also three other DNC officials, have resigned because of them — I signed up on Billary’s e-mail list to see what her messaging is, and my God (I don’t want to be accused by the DNC weasels of being — gasp! — an atheist!) are Billary’s e-mails to her supporters incredibly dull, uber-pedestrian and utterly uninspiring.

Here is today’s typical Billary fundraising e-mail:

Friend —

This week, we learned that Donald Trump and the Republicans raised more than $82 million in the month of July.

This is the same man who mocked a disabled reporter and has called women “fat pigs.” The same man who took the stage at the Republican National Convention and told the world that his vision is to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, deport millions of immigrants, and repeal the Affordable Care Act, leaving countless Americans without health care.

He’s unqualified and unfit to lead our country but the unfortunate reality we must confront is that he still might be able to win if he spends enough to convince voters otherwise.

This team has what it takes to defeat him I know that. But I need to know you’re with me right now. Will you chip in to get your Team Hillary sticker and make sure that we win in November and build a future for our country that we can be proud of?

This is classic Clintonian triangulation. Rather than tell you anything remotely substantively what Billary actually has done or will do for you, she’ll instead attack Donald Trump, which is like shooting fish in a barrel, a really hard accomplishment.

And, of course, as the Democratic Party has done for many years now, it’s all about the fundraising race, all about money.

And what’s further funny is that there is a big red button right under the e-mail language above that says “Donate $1.” Of course, when you click on “Donate $1,” you then are taken to a fundraising page that starts at $5 and ends at $500. (To be fair, if you truly want to give only that $1 — and I won’t give Billary Clinton one fucking cent — you can click on “Other Amount,” apparently, and donate just that $1, but it’s funny that you’re baited with $1 and then apparently are pressured into giving at least $5. It’s a dick move that The Donald might make, except I see that when you visit his website’s home page, his starting asking price is $10.)

So this is all that Billary has to offer us: lazy, self-evident critiques of Donald Trump and money begs. This is just one notch (maybe two) above the rank fascism that Der Fuhrer Trump is offering the nation.

It’s true that Bernie Sanders has asked his supporters to vote for Billary, such as with a commentary he wrote for The Los Angeles Times a few days ago. It reads, in part:

The conventions are over and the general election has officially begun. In the primaries, I received 1,846 pledged delegates, 46 percent of the total. Hillary Clinton received 2,205 pledged delegates, 54 percent. She received 602 super-delegates. I received 48 super-delegates. Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee and I will vigorously support her. [Wow. What a stirring endorsement! Billary won the math, so go, Billary!]

Donald Trump would be a disaster and an embarrassment for our country if he were elected president. His campaign is not based on anything of substance — improving the economy, our education system, healthcare or the environment. It is based on bigotry. He is attempting to win this election by fomenting hatred against Mexicans and Muslims. He has crudely insulted women. And as a leader of the “birther movement,” he tried to undermine the legitimacy of our first African-American president. That is not just my point of view. That’s the perspective of a number of conservative Republicans.

In these difficult times, we need a president who will bring our nation together, not someone who will divide us by race or religion, not someone who lacks an understanding of what our Constitution is about.

On virtually every major issue facing this country and the needs of working families, Clinton’s positions are far superior to Trump’s. Our campaigns worked together to produce the most progressive platform in the history of American politics. Trump’s campaign wrote one of the most reactionary documents.

Clinton understands that Citizens United has undermined our democracy. She will nominate justices who are prepared to overturn that Supreme Court decision, which made it possible for billionaires to buy elections. Her court appointees also would protect a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants and the government’s ability to protect the environment.

Trump, on the other hand, has made it clear that his Supreme Court appointees would preserve the court’s right-wing majority. …

Don’t get me wrong; of course Donald Trump would be a worse president than would Billary. That is saying exactly almost zero. But both Billary and Trump are self-serving, corrupt baby boomers (I know, redundant), and neither is acceptable for the presidency. It’s just that one is worse than the other.

Billary pays lip service to women and their rights, to non-whites, to the LGBT “community,” to immigrants, to Muslims, et. al. — indeed, having jettisoned actual populism (that is, actual concern for the socioeconomic well-being of the American commoner) many years ago, the Democratic Party has become reduced pretty much only to identity politics — but what Billary and Trump both have in common is their fealty to our plutocratic overlords and to the socioeconomic status quo that benefits our plutocratic overlords at our commoners’ continued expense.

(Billionaires for Billary, by the way, include Michael Bloomberg, Mark Cuban, Sheryl Sandberg, Warren Buffet, and, of course, George Soros, and perhaps Jeff Bezos.)

Billary’s rhetoric is nicer than Trump’s, but under President Billary you’d find that your lot in life has improved no more than it did under eight years of President Hopey-Changey, and that’s because it’s all a fucking ruse. The Repugnican Party and the Democratic Party for decades now have just played good cop/bad cop, and their common enemy is we commoners. We’re fucked either way, by the bad cop or by the “good” cop, but usually by both working in tandem, as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party do against us commoners.

The Coke Party and the Pepsi Party will continue their good cop/bad cop campaign against the American populace as long as they still are able to.

Participating in their bullshit will only perpetuate their bullshit, and so while I understand that politically Bernie Sanders more or less has had to quasi-endorse Billary (I mean, I understand that he intends to remain in the U.S. Senate for a while and would prefer not to be a total pariah there), yes, I’m disappointed that he has joined the chorus singing hymns in defense of the supposed lesser of two evils.

Not to sound too much like Ted Cruz (who is the second coming of Joseph McCarthy), but I still entreaty you to vote your conscience on November 8. (And it’s interesting that the advice to actually vote your conscience sends the Democratic Party hacks into an apoplectic fit as much as it sends the Repugnican Tea Party hacks into an apoplectic fit.)

As I wrote in June: If (like I do) you live in a solidly blue or a solidly red state and it’s already clear that Billary or Trump will win your state and thus all of its electoral votes, and you vote for Billary even though you don’t really want to, hell has a special spot waiting for you.

Because the supposed-lesser-of-two-evils-ism bullshit has to stop, I’m hoping that the polling for Jill Stein and for Gary Johnson (the latter of whom, per RCP, right now has the support of 8.4 percent of poll respondents) not only holds but increases, as the partisan duopoly of the Repugnican Party and the Democratic Party should have been broken up years ago.

And it’s funny that although Johnson right now is drawing about twice the support that Stein is drawing, and surely is siphoning at least some of the support that otherwise would go to Billary, Johnson to my knowledge hasn’t come under any serious attack for exercising his constitutional right to run for president, but Stein has; indeed, the Democrats (or at least the Billarybots, who aren’t actual Democrats but who are DINOs) hate actual democracy.

Which is just one more reason why I won’t vote for Billary on November 8, but instead will vote for Jill Stein.

Update (Tuesday, August 9, 2016): The Billary Clinton campaign e-mail creepiness continues. Yesterday I received an e-mail that reads:

Friend —

We noticed you recently started to make a donation on HillaryClinton.com, but didn’t complete the transaction.

You can complete your donation here. [I have disabled the links in this e-mail.]

Your Supporter Record
Donor Level: Online Supporter
Most Recent Contribution Date: today?!
Total Contributed: $0.00
Suggested Contribution: $1.00

Please complete your donation and join more than 2 million grassroots donors powering this campaign:

Complete my donation

Thanks,

HFA Donations

As I blogged, I never intended to donate even one cent, but just wanted to see what would happen after I hit the “Donate $1” button, and, as I’d suspected would be the case, the starting asking donation was not $1, but was more. But because I didn’t give any money, I got a follow-up e-mail. Cheesy.

And today I received another Billary campaign e-mail that begins like this:

Friend —

You did it! By signing up to volunteer, you just took the first step to help bring home a win for Hillary. I know the team in California is going to be pumped to have you on board. …

Except that I never “[signed] up to volunteer” for the Billary campaign. I only signed up to receive the campaign’s e-mails in order to see its messaging and its tactics.

Another e-mail that I received from the Billary campaign today reads, in full (link disabled):

Friend —

Donald Trump said this at a rally in North Carolina today:

“If she gets to pick her judges, [there’s] nothing you can do folks. Although, the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”

This is not normal or acceptable talk from a presidential candidate.

But when decent people stay silent at moments like this, we let it become normal. We all need to stand up right now and show that we don’t tolerate this kind of politics in America — before future candidates get the impression that they would benefit from running this kind of campaign.

Say you oppose Donald Trump and the politics he stands for — chip in $1 right now, get your free official Team Hillary sticker, and let’s stop him:

Thanks,

Christina

Christina Reynolds
Deputy Communications Director
Hillary for America

Tell me if I’m missing something here: The e-mail states that, a la “tea party” whackadoodle Sharron Angle circa 2010, Donald Trump publicly has suggested, to paraphrase Angle, that Second-Amendment remedies might be necessary in dealing with Billary Clinton. The New York Times apparently shares my interpretation, as it reported today:

Wilmington, N.C. — Donald J. Trump [today] appeared to raise the possibility that gun rights supporters could take matters into their own hands if Hillary Clinton is elected president and appoints judges who favor stricter gun control measures to the bench.

At a rally here, Mr. Trump warned that it would be “a horrible day” if Mrs. Clinton were elected and got to appoint a tie-breaking Supreme Court justice.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Mr. Trump said, as the crowd began to boo. He quickly added: “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

The Trump campaign released a statement insisting opaquely that Mr. Trump had been referring to the “power of unification.”

“Second Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power,” said Mr. Trump’s spokesman, Jason Miller. “And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump.”

… Reacting to Mr. Trump’s statement on Twitter, aides to Mrs. Clinton expressed immediate horror, suggesting that even by Mr. Trump’s standards, the comments were jarring.

“This is simple,” Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said in an e-mail. “What Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way.”

Even those in Mr. Trump’s audience appeared caught by surprise. Video of the rally showed a man seated just over Mr. Trump’s shoulder go slack-jawed and turn to his companion, apparently in disbelief, when Mr. Trump made the remark. …

Yes, it was a serious remark. It was bad enough when crazy cat lady Sharron Angle, running for the U.S. Senate, spoke of “Second-Amendment remedies” (she refused to say exactly what those “remedies” would be, so of course she was talking about the use of gun violence to achieve one’s political goals — which is the dictionary definition of terrorism) but here we have the Repugnican Tea Party’s presidential nominee doing that.

The gravity of fascist Trump’s fascist comment, however, certainly is undercut by blithely and cynically following it with “chip in $1 right now” and “get your free official Team Hillary sticker,” don’t you think?

Our idiocracy — replete with “Second Amendment people” (when cognition goes, so does language, as the two inextricably are bound together) and those who casually cynically try to raise campaign cash from the public utterance of disturbingly fascist statements — is fully in place now, and I sorely miss Bernie Sanders’ campaign e-mails.

P.S. Yes, the “Donate $1” button still takes you to a webpage whose asking starting donation is $5

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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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Billary is inevitable? So was Dean! (And Bernie Sanders is NOT Ron Paul)

Associated Press photo

Howard Dean has an emotional moment, including the “Dean scream,” in Iowa in January 2004, after he devastatingly came in at third place in the Iowa caucuses (behind John Kerry and John Edwards), the first contest of the presidential primary season. Howard Dean widely was considered the inevitable victor of the contest for the 2004 Democratic Party presidential nomination, but once individuals actually started participating in the caucuses and primary elections, it was clear that they had dated Dean but decided to marry Kerry. Billary Clinton, like Howard Dean did, came in at third place in the Iowa caucuses in 2008 (behind Barack Obama and John Edwards). And like Dean in 2004, Billary in 2008 never recovered from her stumble in Iowa. Billary is a stunningly weak candidate, yet the lemmings have lined up behind her, just as they did for Howard Dean.

I certainly hope that Slate.com writer Jamelle Bouie was not “inspired” by “Democratic” U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri when he recently sloppily compared presidential aspirant U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont to former Repugnican/Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Democrat in name only McCaskill, who is on Team Billary, recently bloviated that Sanders “is too liberal to gather enough votes in this country to become president” and dismissed the large crowds that Sanders attracts at his campaign events by stating that Ron Paul “got the same-size crowds. [Former Repugnican Party presidential aspirant] Pat Buchanan got massive crowds. It’s not unusual for someone who has an extreme message to have a following.”

As many have noted (such as this writer for Salon.com), a majority of Americans actually quite agree with Sanders’ so-called “extreme” message. Democracy sure sucks when it doesn’t go your way, when your center-right claptrap (like McCaskill’s) actually isn’t in line with the majority.

And leave it to a member of the pro-dynastic, anti-populist, Democratic-in-name-only Team Billary to try to make your popularity with the people into a bad thing.

I get it that McCaskill lives in what I’d certainly classify as a red state: Mittens Romney won Missouri in 2012. (The last “Democratic” presidential candidate who won Missouri was Bill Clinton in 1996.) Missouri has a Democratic governor and one “Democratic” U.S. senator (McClaskill), but both houses of its state legislature overwhelmingly are Repugnican, and its delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives is six Repugnicans to two Democrats.

So to survive politically in a state as red as is Missouri, McClaskill has to pander to the right and the center-right. I get that.

But is the entire Democratic Party to shift even further right so as to further please DINOs like McClaskill in the red states, as former “Democratic” Louisiana U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (good riddance!) expected it to?

What about those of us in California, for instance? We’re the most populous state in the nation. Our governor and both houses of our state legislature are in Democratic control, both of our U.S. senators are Democrats (well, plutocrat Dianne Feinstein is a DINO), the majority of our U.S. representatives are Democrats, and a Repugnican presidential candidate hasn’t won California since 1988.

But we’re to stifle our values and ourselves for the likes of Landrieu and McCaskill? I have a much better solution: red-state DINOs (like McClaskill) just call themselves Repugnicans already and be done with it. They need to join the party with which their political philosophy and worldview is most aligned instead of trying to get the rest of us actual Democrats/progressives to convert to their version of what the Democratic Party “should” be.

Their tent is just way too damned fucking big. When you stand for everything, you ultimately stand for nothing.

Even Slate.com’s Jamelle Bouie, most of whose writing I find insightful and wise, even though he acknowledges that “At 10,000 people, [Sanders’] crowd [in Madison, Wisconsin, last week] was the largest* of any candidate in the presidential race so far,” joins the conventional-“wisdom” herd and proclaims that “visibility isn’t viability, and there’s almost no chance Sanders will become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, even if he sustains his momentum into next year.”

Bouie adds: “Sanders is a fascinating candidate with a vital, underrepresented message in American politics. But the same qualities that make him unique — relative independence from the Democratic Party, a foundational critique of American politics — make him unsuited for a major party nomination, much less the Democratic one.”

Bouie concludes his unfortunate screed on Sanders:

Sanders won’t be the Democratic nominee. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be important. Here, it’s useful to think of Ron Paul, the former Republican representative who ran for the GOP nomination in 2008 and 2012. Paul drew large crowds and raised huge sums for his campaign but couldn’t translate that success into votes. Nonetheless, his splash mattered. He helped bridge the divide between libertarians and the Republican right, and he inspired a new group of conservative and libertarian activists who have made a mark in the GOP through Paul’s son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

If Sanders can sustain and capture the left-wing enthusiasm for his campaign, he could do the same for progressives. He could bring their issues onto a presidential debate stage and into the Democratic mainstream, and bring them into the process itself. No, Democrats won’t change overnight, but with time and effort, the Sanders revolution could bear real fruit.

Hey, I have an extremely radical idea, perhaps even more extreme and radical than any idea that even Bernie Sanders has put forth: How about we, the people, actually get to vote in the primaries and participate in the caucuses in order to determine who ultimately emerges as the 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate?

How about we allow Bernie Sanders to run his campaign for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominationthe first caucus and the first primary election aren’t until February, seven months from now – instead of declaring Billary Clinton the winner now and giving Sanders the lovely parting gift (like Rice-A-Roni) of the warmth of knowing that his candidacy helped to melt the cold, right-wing hearts of those who call themselves Democrats but who actually are a bunch of Repugnican Lites?

Crazy, huh?

But seriously: How about we, the people, and not DINOs like Claire McClaskill and not media pundits who are steeped in the conventional “wisdom” of wolf-pack “journalism,” decide, through actually participating in the actual democratic process, whether or not we deem Bernie Sanders to be an acceptable presidential candidate to put forth in November 2016?

Jamelle Bouie educates us silly Sanders supporters:

Despite the polls and the voting, presidential primaries aren’t popularity contests. Instead, they’re closer to negotiations, where interests and individuals work to choose a leader and representative for the entire group. That person has to appeal to everyone, from ideological factions and political power centers to wealthy donors and ordinary voters and activists. The candidate also has to show that he or she can do the work of a national campaign, from winning debates to raising money.

Oh, I agree, for the most part, probably. But then Bouie continues: “Clinton has done this. She came close to winning the 2008 nomination and spent the next seven years — right up to the present — building her stature in Democratic politics. …”

Yeah, 2008 was close but no cigar, and Bouie apparently essentially advocates that because Billary has been working at this since 2008, we should acknowledge that and coronate her as the 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate already; Bouie’s conventional “wisdom” apparently can be reduced to telling us Sanders supporters: “Surrender, Dorothy!”

But I recall clearly that this was what the “Deaniacs” essentially were saying to the rest of us Democrats and progressives in 2004: That former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean was So Self-Evidently Inevitable that everyone should just accept that fact and get on board with Team Dean already. (I still recall that one of my favorite fellow leftists, Ted Rall, at the time a Deaniac, even went so far as to write a blatantly anti-democratic column in which he suggested in all seriousness that the Democratic primaries and caucuses just be canceled in order to save money, since Dean’s victory was assured anyway.)

I supported John Kerry as the 2004 Democratic Party presidential candidate from the get-go (as I saw him as the candidate who best could unseat the incumbent “President” George W. Bush), but I was told then by the Deaniacs: “Surrender, Dorothy!”

Except that in early 2004, when the voters actually had their say at the primaries and caucuses – which is all that actually counts, in the end – Howard Dean imploded spectacularly, and John Kerry spectacularly rose from the dead and won the 2004 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Interestingly, campaign adviser Tad Devine, who was instrumental in Kerry’s spectacular rise from the dead like Lazarus on crack, right now is a senior adviser for Bernie Sanders.

So yeah, those who smugly write Bernie Sanders off (those would be Billary supporters, mostly), methinks, could be in for a big shock in early 2016, much as the smug Deaniacs were in early 2004 when underdog John Kerry, who had been left for dead, and not Howard Dean The Inevitable, won the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Not only does Bernie have John Kerry resurrector Tad Devine on his team, but what does it say of Billary that she lost to Barack Obama in 2008? She had been first lady for eight years in the 1990s and a (carpetbagging) U.S. senator for New York for eight years, yet upstart Obama, who had been in the U.S. Senate for only four years, not even a full term, beat Billary, which wasn’t “supposed” to happen.

Billary is significantly flawed – or she wouldn’t have lost to Obama, who came from nowhere in 2008 to snatch – democratically – the crown away from her.

And let’s face it: The uber-scandalous, slimy Billary is just one leaked e-mail or one leaked secretly-recorded video away from implosion.

Do we want Billary’s implosion to happen before the 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate is actually elected by the primary-election voters and the caucus-goers, or do we want to risk that Billary’s implosion happens after we stupidly just allow the high-risk Billary to have the party’s presidential nomination (you know, because she wants it so badly and because she has been “working” for it for so long now!) but before the November 2016 presidential election?

I, for one, not only cannot in good conscience support DINO Billary Clinton – whose vote for the Vietraq War in October 2002 when she was in the U.S. Senate (Bernie Sanders voted against it when he was in the U.S. House of Representatives) alone makes her unfit for the Oval Office** – but I wouldn’t take the risk of gambling everything away in November 2016 with her, with such a flawed, risky candidate.

I wisely resisted running with the Lemmings for Dean in 2004; I similarly am resisting running with the Lemmings for Billary in 2016.

For me, it’s Bernie or bust.***

*Bouie further notes:

Hillary Clinton drew 5,500 people to her [formal announcement] speech on Roosevelt Island in New York City, while Jeb Bush drew just 3,000 people to his announcement event at Miami Dade College in Florida. (Sen. Ted Cruz spoke to 11,000 students at Liberty University, but they had to be there — Cruz announced at the school’s convocation, which is mandatory for students living on campus.) Before Madison, Sanders spoke to a packed auditorium of 700 people in Iowa, and before that, he spoke to 5,000 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

**Gee, I wonder if Billary felt any pang of guilt or even remorse when, on this past Fourth of July during a parade in Podunk, New Hampshire (at which Queen Billary’s henchpeople employed ropes to keep the rabble safely at bay), she told a 40-year-old man whom the Vietraq War — the war for which as U.S. senator she voted — put into a wheelchair, “Thank you for your sacrifice.”

I mean, it’s not that common that the results of a soulless, self-serving politician’s wrongdoing so starkly stare him or her in the face.

***On that note, if we are going to compare Bernie to anyone on the right, in the end, when all is said and done, history just might record him to be much more like the late arch-conservative Barry Goldwater than like Ron Paul.

Not only is there the fact that in modern history members of the House of Representatives (like former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul) never go straight from the House to the White House, but must have been a U.S. senator or a governor first (Bernie meets that qualification but Ron Paul never did), but I can see Bernie winning the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination but unfortunately losing the 2016 presidential election, as Repugnican U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona lost the presidential election of 1964.

However, while Goldwater lost in 1964 (badly), he is widely credited with having fathered the “Reagan revolution” and the success of the right that we’ve seen for the past several decades. (The right’s success is evidenced not only by the worsening income inequality of the past several decades, but also by how far to the right it has spooked the Democratic Party into moving, especially under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.)

I could see Bernie Sanders doing for the left what Barry Goldwater did for the right. But the comparison of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders to the much more fringy former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul is lazy and sloppy at best.

So I agree with Bouie that “with time and effort, the Sanders revolution could bear real fruit,” but Bouie and I don’t get to that point of agreement by the same route.

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

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

Reuters photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instead, I’m on board with Bernie Sanders.

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

Great job, WaPo!

**Reuters reports today:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bernie Sanders for President 2016 (thus far, anyway)

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., center, joined by Congressional Democrats, and others, speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, calling for an amendment to the Constitution aimed at curbing special interests' financial clout in elections. From left are, Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, Margery F. Baker, executive vice president for policy and program at People for the American Way, Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., Sanders, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives return to Capitol Hill today after a five-week vacation. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Associated Press photo

Progressive U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, probable 2016 presidential candidate, speaks at a news conference in Washington, D.C., earlier this month geared toward overturning the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision, which declared that corporations are people and as such have the “First-Amendment” right to spend lavishly on political candidates who will do their bidding.

Independent/democratic socialist U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is the sole individual on the planet who thus far has raised the prospect of running as an actually progressive presidential candidate against pseudo-progressive/Democrat in name only Billary Clinton. (It’s not about Billary, he has claimed, but oh, methinks, ’tis.)

“A, I don’t know if Hillary Clinton is running, and B, I don’t know what she is running on,” Sanders said on “Meet the Press” yesterday. “But this is what I do know: I know the middle class in this country is collapsing. I know the gap between the very, very rich and everybody else is growing wider. I know there is profound anger at the greed on Wall Street, anger at corporate America, anger at the political establishment — and anger, by the way, at the media establishment. The American people want real change, and I’ve been taking on the big-money interests and special interests all of my political life.

“The issue,” Sanders added, “is not Hillary Clinton.” But since Sanders’ actually progressive agenda is antithetical to Billary’s actual agenda – whether she’ll cop to possessing her actual center-right, pro-plutocratic, pro-corporate, pro-Wall-Street-weasel, pro-military-industrial-complex agenda or not – it is about Billary.

I’m fine with having our first female president, but I don’t want just any female president, just so that we can say that we finally have had our first female president. We’ve been there, done that with our first black president, haven’t we?

I want a progressive president. The other demographics – skin tone, the possession of ovaries or testes, age, religion, etc. – I don’t much give a flying fuck about. I’m a gay man, and sure, from a purely selfish, tribalistic standpoint I suppose that it would be great to have our first openly gay male president (and if he is married, perhaps our first First Husband in the White House, too), but if he were a wingnut or even a so-called “centrist” or “moderate” (translation: sellout), no thanks; give me the actually progressive heterosexual president instead, hands down.

I’d be fine with Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Masschusetts as our first female president, but although she put a book out not long ago, she seems unlikely, to me, to run against Billary in 2016.

That’s because the unspoken but very understood rule within the Democratic Party establishment is that you don’t run against Billary, even though she has zero charisma, zero accomplishments, and her unlikeability (under which falls her apparent inability to generate an iota of actual human warmth) means that she’d be a risky candidate to put up against the Repugnican Tea Party not only in 2016, but in any presidential election year. (Besides, as I have noted, Billary acts like a Repugnican Lite, and why would the voters choose Repugnican Lite when they can vote for an actual, full-bodied Repugnican?)

After seeing Barack Obama’s ubiquitous promises of “hope” and “change” crash and burn, my bet is that the voters are hungry, starving, for an actually progressive Democratic — that is, real Democratic — presidential candidate right about now.

For millions of actual progressives like me, if we’re going to just coronate Queen Billary already, there is no reason whatsoever for me to pay attention or to become involved in the 2016 presidential race in any way (except, of course, to blog about how awful Billary is). That “At least Billary isn’t a Repugnican!” isn’t an effective talking point for the Democrats anymore, because she essentially is a Repugnican. She ran to the right of Obama in 2008 and she’s running to the right of him again — and he’s already right of center.

And I truly want a truly progressive candidate to win the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. No, I don’t just want Billary to be forced by a progressive/actually Democratic challenger, during the upcoming presidential primary season, to pretend to be the populist that she never has been and never will be, only to go on to the White House to govern like her husband did or like Obama has: as a Democrat in name only, driving yet another nail in the coffin of the Democratic Party. I want Billary “Crown Me Already!” Clinton to be denied the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2016 just as she was in 2008. I want her pathetic, sorry, right-wing, self-serving, pro-plutocratic ass to be defeated once again. (Again, though, should she emerge as the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, I can see the Repugnican candidate beating her.)

Bernie Sanders stated yesterday that he’s still considering which course of action would be better for him, should he decide to run for president for 2016 (and it sounds to me like he already has decided that he will): to run on the Democratic Party ticket (although he isn’t a Democrat, as an independent/democratic socialist he always has caucused with the Democrats in D.C. [what other choice has he really had?]) or to run on an independent ticket, a la Ralph Nader.

Given the uphill battle of running as an independent presidential candidate in all 50 states, it seems to me that Sanders would run as a Democrat.

Either way, if it comes down to Bernie or Billary, I’m going with Bernie.

No way in hell am I going to hold my nose and suppress my gag reflex while I cast a vote for Billary Clinton. I want to feel good (not guilty and dirty) about my vote, and I would feel great voting for Bernie Sanders — hell, if for no other reason than that for a long time now, it has looked as though no one else left of center would have the cajones to challenge Queen Billary in 2016, with the conventional thinking being that because she came in at second place in 2008, 2016 automatically is rightfully all hers.

A run for the White House by Sanders — especially as a Democrat, but again, I would support him as an independent — would represent to me a glimmer of hope, the possibility that the teeny-tiny ember that is all that is left of what the Democratic Party used to be still, even at this late hour, even after what Bill Clinton (with Billary) and what Barack Obama have done to the party, can be stoked to its once-flaming glory.

P.S. A Bernie Sanders-Elizabeth Warren or Warren-Sanders ticket would, I think, be my dream ticket for 2016. And I’d still entertain a return to the presidential arena by Howard Dean, although that seems unlikely.

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Move along; no teatard tsunami to see here

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., listens at right as House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Cantor faces a challenge from a political newcomer backed by the tea party as Virginia voters go to the polls Tuesday for three congressional primaries. Cantor was once popular in the tea party but has now become its target.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Associated Press photo

One primary election in which only about 65,000 people voted probably isn’t indicative of an impending “tea-party” takeover of the United States of America. That said, I certainly won’t miss prick Eric Cantor, whose political career appears to be over.

If I were an editorial cartoonist – or if I at least could draw well – I would draw an editorial cartoon of Repugnican U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor’s prone (or, I suppose, supine) body with a Gadsden flag draped over itAnother victim of the “tea party”!

(What? Too soon? Well, OK, anyway, I got that out of the way and out of my system.)

Seriously, though, soon-to-be-former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s first-time-in-the-nation’s-history primaried ouster from the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday has virtually no nationwide significance.

(And it’s awfully interesting how the rare actually-progressive-Democratic-Party win over a Democratic-Party-establishment/DINO incumbent almost never is touted as a Big Blue Tidal Wave that’s imminently sweeping over the nation, whereas impending right-wing deluges [Big Red Tides?] are predicted every time any “tea-party” candidate anywhere wins virtually any election. So much for the “left-wing bias” in the “lamestream media.”)

From what I’ve read of Eric Cantor’s campaign, he and his campaign staff took his re-election for granted – a big mistake. If you get too complacent in your campaign, you can find yourself in for a significant surprise after the polls close. (Not too horribly dissimilar to Cantor’s apparent complacency, to me, was Billary Clinton’s having taken her win of the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination for granted. She was like the cocky hare in the parable of the tortoise and the hare.)

It is notable that the “tea party” has achieved no other upsets of this magnitude in this election cycle. Repugnican U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham — either of whose scalp I would have loved to see — both safely won their primaries, for example (of course, it’s harder to unseat a sitting U.S. senator than it is a sitting member of the House).

It strikes me that Cantor’s loss yesterday was due to factors that apply mostly only to that particular contest (including, apparently, the actor who once played “Cooter” encouraging Democratic [and other] voters to vote for Cantor’s “tea party” opponent in the open primary in order to unseat Cantor and also a low voter turnout of only around 65,000).

Because of The Fall of the House of Cantor (Cantorgeddon?) are we now witnessing a nationwide “tea party” resurgence?

Puuuhlease. Some facts:

A nationwide ABC News/Washington Post poll taken less than two weeks ago showed that only 39 percent of Americans “strongly support” or “somewhat support” the “tea party” – while 46 percent “strongly oppose” or “somewhat oppose” the teatards. While only 11 percent in the poll “strongly support” the fascists, 24 percent “strongly oppose them.” (Fifteen percent, for some reason, were “unsure.”)

In late April, a nationwide NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll asked respondents, “Do you consider yourself a supporter of the Tea Party Movement?” Only 24 percent responded “yes,” while 66 percent responded “no” (with 10 percent being “unsure” or stating that it “depends”).

Just about three months ago, in March, a nationwide Bloomberg poll asked, “In your view, is the Tea Party today a mostly positive or mostly negative force in American politics?” Only 29 percent responded “mostly positive,” while 53 percent responded “mostly negative.”

Going back to December (to demonstrate the pattern here), a nationwide CBS News/New York Times poll asked, “Do you consider yourself to be a supporter of the Tea Party movement, or not?” Only 23 percent said yes; 63 percent said no.

The “tea party” cannot maintain even a solid 30 percent of strong support in most nationwide polls, but we should be quaking in our boots over the fucktards in the tricorne hats because Eric Cantor went down in flames yesterday? Really?

The percentage of Americans who are lost-cause, going-to-take-it-with-them-to-their-graves wingnuts seems to have been steady for some years now, and for years now I have put that percentage around 25 percent (but no more than 30 percent).

These would be, for the very most part, the very same right-wing nut jobs who still approved of the job that former “President” George W. Bush was doing in late 2008 and early 2009, even as our nation’s economy was crumbling all around us.

These are your die-hard, dyed-in-the-wool wingnuts. Today, they call themselves the “tea party,” but they were with us long before they started calling themselves that; they were instrumental in the blatant theft of the White House in 2000 and in the partisan impeachment of Bill Clinton in the 1990s, and they were with us long before then.

There are enough teatards – about 25 percent, maybe 30 percent of Americans – to throw Repugnican Party primary elections, in which the ultra-right-wingers participate religiously (literally and figuratively), but in general elections, the teatards don’t do nearly as well, especially in blue and in purple states and in the nation as a whole.

That said, I do give the teatards credit for continuing to drag their party further and further to the right. I mean, to a large degree they have been achieving their evil political aims (so much so that I usually refer to their party as the Repugnican Tea Party), whereas the establishmentarian Democratic Party, as one commentator has pointed out, routinely just ignores its progressive/left-wing base and continues also to drift further and further to the right, seeking not to please its base, but to please those of the center-right (and even those who are pretty far right, which is infuckingsane, since those people aren’t going to convert [look at how well the “Kumbaya” bullshit worked for Barack Obama!] and since it only erodes the base, for fuck’s sake).

While it seems to me that too much widespread (and most likely only short-term) Repugnican Tea Party success could spell the end of the “tea party” and perhaps even the end of the Repugnican Party (after the nation had overdosed on the far-right-wing ideology that at least approaches if it doesn’t achieve [or hell, even surpass] fascism), the fact that the establishmentarian Democrats (the DINOs) also keep tacking to the right (at the very least on economic [if not on social/“cultural”] issues) tends to give the American populace (perhaps especially the “undecideds”) the idea that going further and further to the right is the way to go.

In this regard, the DINOs are aiding and abetting the teatards in the teatards’ agenda to drag the nation further and further to the right. (Gee, thanks, “Democrats”!)

Yeah,won’t be supporting DINO Billary Clinton, who as of late has been making comments very apparently meant to position her to the right of Barack Obama (who already is center-right), just as she did as she grew increasingly desperate in the overlong, dragged-out 2008 Democratic presidential primary election season. (Here’s a nice little commentary on this very topic.)

I couldn’t support Billary in 2008 because of her right-wing stances and her crass political opportunism (the very same political opportunism that led her to vote for the unelected Bush regime’s bogus and thus treasonous Vietraq War in October 2002), and I can’t support her now – or ever, very most likely.

But don’t blame me. Blame the post-Jimmy-Carter, Clintonian Democratic Party, which shits and pisses on its base with regularity, something that even the Repugnicans, as stupid as they are, don’t dare to do, and which to this point hasn’t given us any viable 2016 presidential candidates who are more inspiring than the uber-uninspiring Billary Fucking Clinton. (I could support Elizabeth Warren, Howard Dean or Al Gore, to name three, but will anyone who is viable dare get in Queen Billary’s way?)

And don’t fear a “tea-party” tsunami in and of itself. The teatards don’t have the numbers and their insane and evil ideology, whenever put into nationwide practice, soon enough collapses upon itself. (We saw this with the eight-year reign of the unelected, treasonous Bush regime.)

Fear instead a sold-out, ever-right-lurching Democratic Party that doesn’t fucking know what the fuck an opposition party is and that year by year allows the seawall that would protect us from any actual “tea-party” tsunami to continue to crumble from neglect.

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Ted Rall is no racist; the Obamabots, on the other hand…

Updated below

Progressive writer and editorial cartoonist Ted Rall has been labeled — and libeled — as a “racist” over at Obamabot Central — er, at the Daily Kos.

It’s sad and pathetic.

I don’t know Rall personally, but I’ve been following his work for more than a decade now, and I can say that he’s no racist.* I have most of his books (I’ve read at least a few of them from cover to cover) and have read many if not most of his columns and editorial cartoons over the past decade-plus, and if I’d ever had a whiff of a hint that he harbors racist beliefs/views, I would have stopped reading his work a long time ago.

The “evidence” of Rall’s “racism”? He draws Barack Obama — poorly! (Um, he draws everyone poorly — I like Rall’s writing more than I like his cartoons, the concepts of which I like better than their artistic execution.) And Rall colors Obama a shade of tan or brown! 

Horrors!

“President” George W. Bush got no better treatment from Rall, who often if not usually portrayed Bush unshaven and in a military dictator’s outfit and with snot (the result of cocaine use, I presume) coming out of his nose:

Rall often drew Bush in what one might deem to be a simian fashion, as Rall has been accused of depicting Obama. (Since we’re all primates, since we all resemble our simian cousins to some degree, charges of the intentional simian-ization of another really need to be grounded. [Depicting one with a tail or with a banana or swinging from a tree, for instance, would be such grounds…])

Anyway, the way that Rall has depicted both George W. Bush and Barack Obama has not been exactly flattering. But Rall is an editorial cartoonist. It’s not his job to flatter, perhaps especially not his job to flatter the most powerful politician in the world, the president of the United States, whoever it is at the time.

I could argue, easily, that President Barack Obama has been even worse than “President” Bush was. I mean, at least with Bush, we knew what we were getting; we knew what to expect. Bush started off by stealing the presidential election of 2000. How, exactly, was it going to get better from there?

President Hopey-Changey, however, started off by winning a presidential election, fairly and squarely — through his ubiquitous, relentless promises of “hope” and “change.”

We progressives weren’t sure what to expect. Might this new political rock star actually deliver?

We took the chance on Obama, and alas, he has not delivered — he hasn’t even substantially tried to deliver — on his campaign promises, and who knows how many young Americans Obama fired up over the political process in 2008 but turned off from politics after his incredibly unremarkable, lackluster-at-best presidency? (The Occupy movement certainly wasn’t about what Obama was doing, but was about what he’d promised to do if he were sent to the White House but once actually was in the White House refused to do.)

How do you gain back that trust? Can you? Ever?

That might be, in the end, Obama’s largest sin: causing the political disengagement of an entire generation of Americans to whom he very apparently fucking lied, repeatedly and over a long time, in order to gain the highest elected office of the land.

Is anyone, perhaps especially if he or she is white — like I am — who actually holds an elected official accountable to his or her own fucking campaign promises — who actually does that before-and-after comparison — a “racist” if he or she points out that the elected official has not fulfilled his or her own campaign promises if that elected official is not white? Is that it?

What is the difference between hating everything that emanates from Obama largely or even primarily because he’s part African and loving everything that emanates from Obama (or, at the very least, excusing everything that emanates from Obama, including not only his inexcusable, utter inaction on such progressive priorities as fighting poverty, reducing the bloated-beyond-belief military-corporate complex and its colossal budget, and stopping environmental degradation, but also even illegal and unconstitutional secret governmental spying upon the masses and slaughter by killer drones) largely or even primarily because he’s part African?

Aren’t both stances steeped in racism? Don’t both stances make Obama’s racial composition the thing about him that matters the most?

Wouldn’t it be racist to expect less of Obama than we would expect of a white president who had campaigned as a progressive? (On that note, as I have rhetorically asked before, wouldn’t an actually progressive white president, perversely ironically, have been much better for black Americans, as a whole, than the do-nothing, center-right Obama has been?)

Ted Rall has been critical of Obama because of Obama’s wrongdoings and Obama’s refusal to be the progressive president that he relentlessly promised the nation he would be — and that he could have been, the Obamabots’ myriad of poor excuses and pathetic apologies notwithstanding.

Rall has not been critical of Obama because of Obama’s race.

Those so-called Democrats or liberals who pillory actual progressives like Ted Rall don’t do themselves or their “cause” any favors.

Obama lost votes from 2008 to 2012, not only in terms of the percentage of the popular vote, but in terms of actual number of votes.** His approval ratings right now hover only in the upper 30s to low 40s.

Had Obama been the president he had promised he would be, he could have, I think, done even better in 2012 than he did in 2008, and his approval ratings would be much better than they are.

Where does the Democratic Party stand right now?

Well, let’s just say that I can see the faux centrist Chris Christie, if he can make it out of the Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary season alive, fairly easily beating Billary Clinton’s uncharismatic, centrist, pro-corporate ass in November 2016, given how much Obama — and (ironically) Bill Clinton before him — have damaged the Democratic Party by alienating the party’s traditionally progressive base (let me repeat: the party’s base) by dragging the party further and further to the right.

The Democratic Party hacks are fools if (well, they are fools, no ifs, ands or buts) they believe that they can put the wooden, boring Billary in the White House without the support of the party’s traditionally progressive base — and we, the base, aren’t remotely fired up over the center-right Billary Clinton.

The Democratic Party establishment could use all of the support that it can get right now, and calling everyone who dares to criticize President Hopey-Changey (especially while white) a “racist” not only is slimily defamatory, but alienates the support of white progressives that the Democratic Party cannot afford to lose if it wants to remain viable.

*My definition of “racism” — and I think it’s important that we define our terms in our discussions of race and racism — is something like this: the ingrained belief that any one race (usually one’s own) is superior to another race, and the practice of judging others (and perhaps also behaving toward others) based upon this belief.

Some (perhaps especially academics) have posited that it’s impossible for a member of a historically racially discriminated-against minority group to be racist toward a member of a historically oppressive, politically stronger racial group, but I wholeheartedly disagree.

To me, the heart and soul of the definition of “racism” isn’t the race of the individual we are talking about (duh), but is about the individual’s beliefs regarding others of another race (and sometimes the individual’s resultant behaviors toward others of another race).

We cannot maintain both that race shouldn’t matter, but that only principles should matter, and that only white people can be racist because the definition of a racist depends upon the individual’s race.

In a nutshell, if you see an individual’s race before you see another individual, another human being, then you are, in my book, probably racist to at least some degree.

**Obama won more than 3.5 million fewer votes in 2012 than he did in 2008, and while he won 52.9 percent of the popular vote in 2008, he was down to 51.1 percent in 2012.

As I have noted here before, while I voted for Obama in 2008 (when I walked into my polling place, I had it down to Obama or Ralph Nader, and blackened in the oval next to Obama’s name at rather the last second), I could not, in good conscience, vote for Obama again in 2012; in 2012 I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

The question for Billary should she run for the White House in 2016, I think, is whether or not she can stem the hemorrhaging of the progressive support of the Democratic Party. I can’t see how she can, given that she and Obama are two center-right peas in a pod (indeed, they’re both pod people…).

Update: Lest you believe that Barack Obama’s lackluster-at-best presidency hasn’t harmed his party, you should read this Reuters news article that I just read. An excerpt:

Young Americans are unhappy with virtually every major thing President Barack Obama has done since he was re-elected, but they would still vote for him today, according to the results of a Harvard University survey released [today].

The national poll by Harvard’s Institute of Politics of more than 2,000 people aged 18 through 29 is intended to provide insight into the political views of the youngest U.S. voters. This increasingly influential demographic known as the “millennial generation” has been a traditional base of Obama’s support.

More than 50 percent of respondents in the survey, taken between October 30 and November 11, said they disapproved of how the Democratic president handled key issues in his second term, including Syria, Iran, the economy, healthcare and the federal budget deficit.

Most cited the economy as their top concern.

Still, disapproval ratings were higher for both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. And a plurality of respondents, 46 percent, said they would still vote for Obama for president if they could recast their 2012 ballots, compared with 35 percent who said they would vote for the then-Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.

Some 55 percent of the survey respondents who reported casting ballots in the 2012 presidential election said they had voted for Obama, compared with 33 percent for Romney.

Institute of Politics Director Trey Grayson said the poll revealed cracks forming in Obama’s base.

“This isn’t a problem for Obama because he’s not coming up for election again,” Grayson said in a conference call with reporters. “But it is a potential problem for any Democratic candidate seeking to mobilize young Americans.” …

I recommend the entire article, which is here.

Note that apparently the youthful poll respondents were asked only whether they would vote for Obama or for Mittens Romney if they could vote again. They apparently were not asked whether they would vote for Obama or for an actually progressive candidate (instead of a center-right sellout) if they had that choice.

It’s telling that almost 10 percent of the respondents indicated that just a year after his re-election, they already regret having voted for Obama last year.

Can the Democrats really afford to lose almost 10 percent of the youthful vote? Or a similarly large chunk of the white progressive vote by calling Obama’s detractors who happen to be white “racist”?

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