Tag Archives: California

Gavin Newsom leads again

Getty Images photo

Gavin Newsom, then still mayor of San Francisco, is pictured above marrying lesbian activists Del Martin (left) and Phyllis Lyon (right) at San Francisco City Hall when same-sex marriage briefly was legal in California in 2008 (after a California Supreme Court ruling) before being shot down again by California Proposition H8 (and before being made legal again by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015). Martin, who had been with Lyon for more than 50 years before they were married in San Francisco in 2004 before having that marriage declared null and void, died two months after the photo above was taken. Then, as he is now, Newsom was ahead of his time.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’

“But I tell you, don’t resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

— Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:38 and 5:39

Oh, to be surrounded by so many “Christians”!

These “Christians” (and some ignorant, hateful others) are pissed off that recently elected California Gov. Gavin Newsom this past week announced that as long as he’s governor — he just started his first four-year term and probably will get another term — no one on California’s death row (there are more than 700 of them) will be executed.

He doesn’t have the power to eliminate the death penalty in the state altogether, but as governor he does have the power to suspend executions.

I expect that the death penalty will be in abolished in California before Newsom is out of office.

Why?

Let’s back up a little bit: It’s much reported that Newsom has suspended state executions against the will of California voters. That’s pretty much bullshit.

California voters last weighed in on the death penalty in November 2016, but the statewide ballot measure that would have repealed the death penalty that the voters shot down didn’t lose overwhelmingly. It was 53 percent don’t repeal to 47 percent repeal.

Another death-penalty-related ballot measure on the same ballot, a really mean-spirited one, sped up the process in which the state should commit executions (because When the penalty is your life, hey, let’s get this over with already! What could go wrong?), but that one passed by only 51 percent to 49 percent.

Newsom isn’t up for re-election until November 2022. By then, I’m confident, the needle will have moved to majority opposition to the death penalty in the state of California.

And Newsom — who moved the needle on same-sex marriage when, as mayor of San Francisco, he declared same-sex marriage legal in his jurisdiction in 2004* — is moving that needle.

Newsom was elected governor over his Repugnican opponent in November 2018 by 62 percent to 38 percent, and in this solidly blue state he has the political capital with which to move the needle.

Those who have been iffy on the death penalty but who support Newsom and the Democratic Party are going to find their support for Newsom and the Democratic Party to be more important than any tepid support that they might have had for the death penalty.

And sure, let’s talk about the will of the California voters. Again, only a slim majority of them backed the death penalty — more than two years ago. A super-majority of them voted for Newsom about four months ago.

The bloodthirsty California wingnuts (a minority in the state, thank Goddess), as usual, don’t even make any fucking sense on this issue. The last person executed in California was way back in 2006, under then-Gov. Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger (a Repugnican, of course), and the executed was a legally blind and diabetic 76-year-old man in a wheelchair. (Woo hoo! “Justice”!)

For the past 13 years there have been no executions in California, but now it’s “important” that we crank up the lethal injection machine?

It’s not that I don’t have sympathy for the survivors of those who have been murdered by stone-cold killers (the term that the wingnuts love to use). If a loved one of mine were murdered, no, of course I wouldn’t be happy. I might come to a place of forgiveness for the murderer, but probably not initially, during the shock of the event.

But the prime objective is to prevent the convicted murderer from ever murdering again, and keeping him or her in prison for life accomplishes that objective.

For the state to say, “Killing is wrong, so we’re going to kill you because you killed” not only is anti-Christian (see Jesus Christ’s straightforward rejection of revenge above), but it defies logic and reason. Acting as much as the animal as the animal is not civilized.

Even if you are indifferent to whether a convicted murderer is executed or is imprisoned for life, know that the costs to the taxpayer surrounding the death penalty are significantly higher than simply allowing the convicted murderer to die in prison, which itself is a pretty fucking harsh penalty.

And don’t get me wrong on Gavin Newsom. His style always has rubbed me the wrong way; he’s too slick for my tastes. (And I am disappointed that he has endorsed fellow Californian Kamala Harris, a “progressive” come lately, for president, which was premature at best.)

I did vote for Newsom in November, but that largely was because in California’s top-two system, I wanted the Democratic gubernatorial candidate to have every possible vote over his God-awful (redundant) Repugnican candidate. (And I am registered not as a Democrat, but as an independent — because I’m pretty left of center and that’s not where nearly enough so-called “Democrats” are.)

But while he’s not my style, Newsom is a leader, and I’ve long defined a leader as someone who doesn’t just follow along where the majority already is, but who pushes the majority to where they need to go.

By that measure, Gavin Newsom is a leader.**

He led on same-sex marriage, and he’s leading on the abolition of the death penalty, not just in California, but nationally.

P.S. I just saw this paragraph in a Politico story:

Mark Baldassare, head of the Public Policy Institute of California, says that his organization’s polling over the years has consistently shown that around 55 percent of Californians back the idea of life imprisonment over the death penalty. But “that can change’’ during high-profile ballot campaigns, when voters are often reminded of specific heinous crimes, boosting their support of the death penalty, he warns.

Indeed, the people of California apparently already are with Newsom on this, but yes, it’s easy to exploit the issue by appealing to fear and emotion over logic and reason.

*As mayor Newsom did not have the authority to declare same-sex marriage legal in his jurisdiction, and the California Supreme Court later shot him (and those marriages) down.

But, of course, with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling same-sex marriage the law of the land in 2015, history has absolved Newsom, who was ahead of history.

**As is Bernie Sanders, who has redefined the positions that a Democrat (or a Democrat in name only…) must take if he or she wants the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination. Sanders has moved the party to the left quite significantly (something that even one of his detractors had to admit).

Of course, as I’ve written before, I prefer the one who moved the ideas into the mainstream, not anyone who only has followed along and who, if elected, probably wouldn’t actually try very hard to enact these ideas, since he or she didn’t generate them in the first fucking place.

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Farewell, Jerry

The modernist official gubernatorial portrait of Jerry Brown was painted by Don Bachardy in 1984 after Brown’s first stint as California governor from 1975 to 1983. Brown was re-elected to two more terms in 2010 and 2014.*

Times flies.

I recall 2010, when I saw Jerry Brown at a couple of public campaign events, excited that he most likely would be elected California’s governor again. (His opponent in 2010 was self-funded billionaire Nutmeg Whitman, who wanted to be governor because as a brat she never got that pony, I joked at the time.)

For the past eight years Brown wasn’t a particularly exciting, but he was a very competent and stable, governor of the nation’s most populous state.

To name just one of his accomplishments, despite the fact that the wingnuts, who always are fact-free, still claim that California is in a deep state budget deficit because of that liberal tax-and-spend thing, dontcha know, Brown turned the $26 billion budget deficit that he inherited from Repugnican Arnold Baby Daddy Schwarzenegger in January 2011 into a current $14 billion surplus. (Brown erased the budget deficit within a few years of taking over the governorship again.)

This is the pattern — Repugnicans dig us into holes and Democrats get us out of them, even though the wingtards claim that the exact opposite is the case.

Probably Brown’s No. 1 cause in his second round as governor has been climate change, against which he made some notable progress, although he was hamstrung by a fairly do-nothing Obama administration and a climate-change-denying Pussygrabber administration.

If it weren’t for his age (he’s 80), I think that Brown would be a great presidential candidate. (And it’s not so much that he isn’t functioning well enough at eight decades, but that the public perception is that he’s too old to be president, and in politics, public perception, no matter how misguided, is as good as reality.)

I wish Jerry Brown the best in his remaining days (years, hopefully), and I hope that incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is inaugurated on Monday, keeps the gains that Brown brought to the nation’s greatest state.

*Brown was able to run for governor again in 2010 because the two-term limit for California’s governor became effective only after he’d already been governor in the 1970s and 1980s.

If Brown could have run for a third term and decided to do so, he would have won it, I’m sure.

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We are at the beginning of the end of our long national nightmare

Updated below (on Wednesday, November 7, 2018)

As I type this sentence, Politico reports that the Democrats are projected to take back the U.S. House of Representatives.

That is the one and only thing that I really, really wanted to happen in today’s elections, if nothing else good happened.

If a Democratic U.S. House and a Repugnican U.S. Senate results in gridlock for at least the next two years, then so fucking be it. The Repugnicans stymied President Barack Obama when they took back the House in November 2010 and held it for the rest of his presidency. (Not that Obama was an ambitious progressive anyway, but still…) Payback is a bitch.

Just as the unelected, illegitimate “President” Pussygrabber ramps up his fascism, including sending troops to the southern border to “protect” us from impoverished, desperate human beings (just like Jesus would do!), talking about shooting any rock-throwing immigrants (er, “illegals”), and talking about unilaterally altering the U.S. Constitution by executive order, it’s time to rein in his sorry, orange, tinpot-dictator ass.

The American system works. It takes time, but it works.

We are on a course correction, and we are at the beginning of the end of our long national nightmare.

Update (Wednesday, November 7, 2018): Other good news from last night includes Democrat Tony Evers’ victory over piece-of-shit Repugnican (redundant) Scott Walker for the governorship of Wisconsin. Woo hoo!

Also, I’m delighted that Democrat Jacky Rosen beat incumbent Repugnican Dean Heller for the U.S. Senate seat in Nevada, the state in which I plan to retire. Also, the Democratic candidate also won the state’s governorship, so as of January, Nevada will, like California, have two Democratic U.S. senators and a Democratic governor. I hope that Nevada keeps getting bluer before I finally move there.

And in neighboring Arizona, the race between Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Repugnican Martha McSally for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Flake is too close to call, The Arizona Republic’s website reports right now.

Arizona is still pretty fucking red, but I hope that it, too, becomes more and more blue over the years, and I’m thinking that Democratic powerhouse California is having a blue-ing effect on its neighbors.

My biggest disappointment from yesterday’s election is that actual Democrat Kevin de León did not beat DINO Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein for the U.S. Senate seat for my great state of California, but thus far in the initial returns, De León has done better than the polls had suggested he would. Polls had Cryptkeeper ahead by double digits, but as I type this sentence, Cryptkeeper is ahead of De León by 8.8 percentage points, 54.4 percent to 45.6 percent.

A lot of Californians obviously want progressive change, but I don’t expect the crusty Cryptkeeper to be humbled by the fact that for an very-long-term incumbent she didn’t do nearly as well as she should have.

I’m also disappointed that Andrew Gillum didn’t win the governorship of Florida, but it was damned close (49.7 percent to 49 percent as of right now, per The New York Times).

I’m thinking and hoping that those progressives who did well but didn’t win yesterday, such as Gillum and De León — and such as gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, to whom I also gave a donation (but it’s Georgia) — will run again and will win next time.

P.S. Oops. Apparently Stacey Abrams still might pull out a win, despite the fact that her Repugnican opponent, Brian Kemp, is Georgia’s chief elections official who won’t recuse himself from overseeing the election in which he’s the Repugnican candidate for governor.

The votes in Georgia have yet to be finalized, and should Kemp’s final total fall below 50.0 percent, a runoff would be required in December, as for the governorship in Georgia, the winner must garner at least a simple majority, not just a plurality.

I hope that a runoff happens.

Finally, The Arizona Republic right now reports that the race between Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally still is too close to call and might take days or longer to be settled. Shit, for red Arizona, it’s good news even that the race is too close to call.

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Cryptkeeper won’t debate Kevin de León (or at least not more than once)

Times of San Diego photo

Supporters of new blood Kevin de León and the crusty Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein appear at the California Democratic Party convention in San Diego in February, where De León fell just short of winning the state party’s endorsement over Cryptkeeper, beating her 54 percent to 37 percent (a super-majority of 60 percent was necessary for the endorsement). De León later finally won the state party’s endorsement last month, beating Cryptkeeper by a vote of 65 percent to 7 percent. It should be more than enough that the state party wants to boot the incumbent Cryptkeeper, but California’s voters haven’t realized that they’ve even had another choice for the past 25 years. 

California state Sen. Kevin de León has challenged the crusty U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has held on to “her” U.S. Senate seat since 1992, to a series of three televised debates ahead of the November election, but we, the peasants of California, will be lucky if Queen Cryptkeeper deigns to “allow” us to have one.

As De León pointed out, the last time that Cryptkeeper was on a debate stage for “her” U.S. Senate seat was on “Oct. 27, 2000 … and we haven’t seen her there since.’’

Yup. Back then, Cryptkeeper faced only Repugnican challengers, and she apparently politically calculated, apparently correctly, that in a deep-blue state she could afford to refuse to participate in any debates.

Times have changed, however. Now, under California’s “top-two” or “jungle” primary system, the top two vote-getters in the primary face off in the November general election, and this time Cryptkeeper’s opponent is another Democrat, not a Repugnican.*

Thus far, Cryptkeeper’s pathetic, laughable excuse for having avoided committing to any debates with De León is that she’ll be too busy in D.C. trying to prevent Brett Kavanaugh from becoming the next U.S. Supreme Court “justice,” something that she’ll probably fail miserably to do anyway, given not only the D.C. Democrats’ failures in a whole host of battles, but also given that the Repugnicans last year cravenly reduced the vote threshold for U.S. Supreme Court confirmation in the U.S. Senate from 60 votes to only a bare majority vote.

The fact is that the addled 85-year-old Cryptkeeper and her handlers know fully well that her ever appearing on a debate stage with the 51-year-old, nimble De León offers more risks than potential rewards.

I’m confident that Cryptkeeper will agree to no debates or only one at the most, perhaps calculating that one debate couldn’t be that damaging (and maybe even calculating that refusing to participate in any debates at all could be damaging).

What might give De León at least a bit of a boost, in addition to Cryptkeeper’s refusal to debate at all or to do poorly in a debate, is that he’s listed first in the statewide voter information guide that will be mailed to every voting household in California, and that the first sentence of his candidate statement is, “I am honored to be the California Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate for the U.S. Senate.”

Yup. Sleepwalking voters inclined automatically to vote for Cryptkeeper again should ask themselves why the state Democratic Party didn’t endorse Cryptkeeper for another six-year term, but instead endorsed De León.

De León is quite correct when he says that “Here in California, we hold elections — not coronations” and that “it’s profoundly disrespectful not to debate before the voters of California,” as Cryptkeeper has done for almost two decades now.

Indeed, the anti-democratic, anti-Democratic and entitled DINO Cryptkeeper reminds me much of the miserably failed DINO Billary “Coronate Me Already” Clinton, who had committed to debate Bernie Sanders (and any other Democratic challengers) 10 times but then casually reneged to debate a final time, as she had promised to do, because she politically calculated that she could get away with it.

I certainly hope that that brazenly broken promise contributed to Billary’s loss. She fucking deserved it.**

And I hope that come November, DINO Cryptkeeper will go the way of DINO Billary: consigned to the dustbin of history, where she belonged many years ago.

*Before California’s voters voted in the “top-two” primary system (known as 2010’s Proposition 14), which was championed by then-Repugnican Gov. Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger, the Repugnicans were guaranteed a spot on the California ballot for the U.S. Senate. No more.

(I’m sure that many don’t remember the history of this and stupidly mistakenly believe that the Democrats engineered shutting Repugnicans from the general-election ballot, when, in fact, it was Repugnican Baby Daddy who pushed for the change.)

**I wouldn’t have voted for or given a penny to DINO Billary anyway, but I believe in holding politicians accountable (call me old-fashioned!), and in my book, reneging on a debate that a candidate already had committed to is a direct reflection of his or her character, and is reason enough not to vote for him or her.

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California Democratic Party endorses Kevin de León, snubs Cryptkeeper

Reuters photo

Hopefully, come January 2019, these will be the two U.S. senators for the great state of California, the vanguard of national change that scares the unholy living shit out of the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, MAGA-cap-wearing teatards among us.

Wow.

Last night the leaders of the California Democratic Party “took a step to the left, endorsing liberal state lawmaker Kevin de León for [U.S.] Senate in a stinging rebuke of Democratic [U.S.] Sen. Dianne Feinstein,” reports The Los Angeles Times.

The L.A. Times continues:

… The endorsement was an embarrassment for Feinstein, who is running for a fifth full [six-year] term, and indicates that Democratic activists in California have soured on her reputation for pragmatism and deference to bipartisanship as [“President” Pussygrabber] and a Republican-led Congress are attacking Democratic priorities on immigration, healthcare and environmental protections.

De León, a former state Senate leader from Los Angeles, received 65 percent of the vote of about 330 members of the state party’s executive board — more than the 60 percent needed to secure the endorsement. Feinstein, who pleaded with party leaders meeting in Oakland this weekend not to endorse any candidate, received 7 percent, and 28 percent voted for “no endorsement.” …

The fact that Cryptkeeper Feinstein had lobbied the state party to make no endorsement at all — because she was fearful of losing it (recall that in February, De León came just short of winning the state party’s endorsement) — speaks volumes of her rotten and rotting character. I’m sure that if she had thought she would win the endorsement, she would have had no problem with the endorsement vote at all, because she is a corrupt, craven, self-serving, anti-democratic (and, ironically, anti-Democratic) old bat.

The Times news article continues:

… “We have presented Californians with the first real alternative to the worn-out Washington playbook in a quarter-century,” De León said in a statement shortly after the endorsement was announced.

It’s not clear that the endorsement will have a significant effect on the general election. Feinstein crushed De León in the June primary, winning every county and finishing in first place with 44 percent of the overall vote. De León finished far behind with 12 percent, which was enough for a second-place finish and a ticket to the November election under the state’s top-two primary system.

The endorsement can come with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money, which the De León campaign will have to help raise, as well as party volunteers and political organizing assistance. De León needs that support to increase his odds of victory in November. Feinstein had $7 million in campaign cash socked away as of May, 10 times what De León had. …

It is true that in the June 5 California primary election, Cryptkeeper, with her superior name recognition, garnered 44.2 percent of the vote and De León garnered 12.1 percent, but there were more than 30 candidates for U.S. Senate on the ballot, at least 15 of whom garnered around 1 percent or more of the vote.

We will see how the votes for these many other candidates who were on the June 5 ballot resettle in November.

It’s true that Cryptkeeper has an advantage. She’s been around since dirt, so she’s well-known in California, and she is a multi-millionaire, so money is no object for her.

And, because she’s Repugnican Lite — among other things, she voted for the Vietraq War and believes that it’s A-OK for the federal government to perpetrate mass spying upon its own citizens, contrary to the U.S. Constitution; actually wanted to make flag-burning a crime, contrary to the U.S. Constitution; just this year for some reason flipped her position on the death penalty; and in the Senate she votes with “President” Pussygrabber’s agenda 26 percent of the time* — she might win in November if she garners enough of the center-right vote.

California’s Repugnican voters might see Cryptkeeper, quite correctly, as the more Repugnican of their two choices. That said, Cryptkeeper’s political centerpiece always has been gun control — after all, the 1978 assassinations of Harvey Milk and George Moscone launched her political career — and I think that it would be difficult for many if not most of California’s Repugnicans to cast a vote for her, knowing how much they want to keep their home arsenals for “protection” against the supposed endless parades of freedom-hating bogeymen who are out to get them.

Kevin de León made it into the top two after the June 5 primary — and that’s all that he had to do in that election to make it to November’s election — and now that he has the formal support of the California Democratic Party, De León has a real shot at unseating Cryptkeeper, who can’t count on any help from the state party, to my knowledge.

Even if Cryptkeeper ekes out another win, she will be politically weaker than she ever has been, and no doubt she’ll get no more than one more term, not just because of her advanced age (she’s 85 years old) but also because of her rapidly declining political capital here in California. (If she were so fucking beloved here, she would have garnered a lot more than 44.2 percent in the June 5 primary — after all, she has been a U.S. senator “for” California since 1992.)

I’m proud that the California Democratic Party endorsed Kevin de León last night. It’s a step in the right direction for a state that in June 2016 voted for Billary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, 53.1 percent to 46 percent (still pretty close for someone who was supposed to have been as beloved as was Billary!).

Thing is, political change is a long, hard slog. Corrupt, craven, self-serving sellouts like Cryptkeeper Feinstein and Billary Clinton don’t just give up their power. We, the people, have to take it from them, have to relieve them of their self-imposed pressure to act like Repugnicans for their own (real and/or perceived) personal and political gain.

Often, we don’t win the first time.

Case in point: Bernie Sanders started running for office in the 1970s, running for governor of Vermont and for the U.S. Senate for Vermont — and losing badly — and he didn’t win an election until he lowered his sights and became mayor of Burlington, Vermont, by a mere 10 votes in 1981.

Bernie finally made it to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, and then made it to the U.S. Senate in 2006. And then, as I’ve noted many times, he came impressively close to Billary “Crown Me Already” Clinton in 2016 when he ran for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, and had it been a fair process, he probably would have won the nomination.

Bernie’s electoral history suggests that he persists and that eventually he wins.

That’s what all of us progressives must do.

Even if Kevin de León doesn’t win in November — at this point, now that he has the state party’s endorsement, I give him at least about a 40-60 chance of winning — he has accomplished something significant, something to build upon.

P.S. I support Kevin de León primarily because he’s progressive (he’s not perfect, but he’s progressive), but it’s an added bonus that if he were elected in November, the largest racial/ethnic group in California, Latinos, who outnumber whites in the state, finally would be represented in the U.S. Senate.

Latinos have been underrepresented in California and elsewhere for years and years.

 

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Bernie Sanders is still No. 1, and ‘Democratic’ ‘superdelegates’ are an endangered species

Image result for bernie sanders superdelegates

The Democratic National Committee is about to vote on seriously reducing the anti-democratic power of the so-called “superdelegates,” power that even the Repugnican Party’s equivalents do not have. Of course many of the over-privileged “Democratic” “superdelegates” are crying foul.

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake periodically updates his top-15 list for the most likely 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee.

Bernie Sanders still tops that list, which Blake last updated on July 6.

Bernie still gives the self-serving, sellout DINO members of the dying Democratic Party establishment heartburn, of course, because his continued popularity and influence threaten their continued abuse of power that always has been at our expense.

A big thing that Bernie has been working on changing, for a great example, is reining in the so-called “superdelegates.”

Remember them? “Superdelegates” are so fucking evil that even the Repugnican Party did away with them a long time ago — that is, because Repugnican “superdelegates” must vote the way that the voters of their states voted, they’re basically, at most, just window dressing, as they should be.

So ironically anti-democratic and craven is the “Democratic” Party establishment, however, that many if not most of the party’s “superdelegates” are fighting to preserve their unfair power to vote against how the people of their states have voted.*

Yup. A recent Politico article quotes several “Democratic” “superdelegates” whining like the petulant, over-privileged children that they are that proposed party rules changes for the 2020 presidential election cycle — the changes wouldn’t allow the “superdelegates” to vote in the first round of voting at the party convention — would make them (much like their Repugnican counterparts) irrelevant.

Um, they have been irrelevant for years. We never needed them, don’t need them, and never will need them, and their insistence on maintaining, against the will of the voters, their undue power and influence is harming, not helping, the party.

(Indeed, because of how the Democratic Party establishment fucked over Bernie and simply coronated Queen Billary, I re-registered as an independent voter about two years ago, and I never, ever give a penny to the Democratic Party or to any of its arms tentacles, but only to Democratic candidates who strike me as actually progressive [that is, more or less actual Democrats].)

Remember how 2016 went down? (It’s etched in my mind.) We were reminded, constantly, even before a single ordinary person had cast a vote at a presidential primary election or at a caucus, that Billary Clinton already had x number of “superdelegates” in her pocket.

Indeed, even before we Californians got to weigh in on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, the date of our presidential primary election, the media were reporting that Billary already was “the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee” because between 500 and 600 “superdelegates” reportedly already had promised to vote for Billary at the convention (no matter how the voters of their states already had voted or later would vote).

“My problem is that the process today has allowed Secretary Clinton to get the support of over 400 superdelegates before any other Democratic candidate [even] was in the race,” Bernie Sanders stated at the time, adding, “It’s like an anointment.”

“Like”? Indeed, the constant reportage of how many more “superdelegates” Billary had than Bernie did very apparently was meant to give her the image of the winner — and thus the momentum — and Bernie the image of the loser, even though “superdelegates” are just over-privileged party insiders.

Back to The Washington Post’s top-15 list: Bernie has topped the list for some time now. The top 10 are:

  1. Bernie Sanders (he was at No. 1 last time)
  2. Elizabeth Warren (she was at No. 2 last time)
  3. Kamala Harris (was at No. 4 last time)
  4. Joe Biden (was at No. 3 last time)
  5. Cory Booker (was at No. 5 last time)
  6. Kirsten Gillibrand (was at No. 6 last time)
  7. Deval Patrick (was at No. 9 last time)
  8. Terry McCauliffe (was at No. 8 last time)
  9. Eric Holder (was at No. 12 last time)
  10. Michael Bloomberg (his first time on the list)

There’s no reason to regurgitate all 15, because pretty much only the top five listed above have a chance, methinks.

And the further down in the rankings you are, you’re probably vice-presidential material, if even that.

Perhaps ironically, to me the most troubling race would be Bernie vs. Elizabeth. For progressives it could be a difficult choice. Both Bernie and Elizabeth are progressives, but a critical distinction between the two of them, to me, is that Bernie has been willing to take on the Democratic Party establishment weasels — just having dared to run against Billary “Crown Me Already” Clinton was very brave of Bernie — whereas Elizabeth hasn’t wanted to rock the boat, but always has played it safe.

The boat needs rocking, much more rocking, so Bernie remains my top choice for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination. A leader is willing to ruffle some feathers, and Elizabeth has been too cautious. Way too cautious.

That said, I could accept her as Bernie Sanders’ running mate, although that probably won’t happen, since they are senators from neighboring states (indeed, the two states share a border).

A better pairing probably would be Kamala Harris as Bernie’s running mate.

I’m fine with Harris as vice president (and maybe, after that, president). But just as it was a mistake to send Barack Obama to the White House after he’d been in the U.S. Senate for only four years, it would be a mistake to send Harris to the White House after only four years in the Senate. She needs to learn D.C. a lot more before she takes the top job there; Jesus fucking Christ.

Indeed, I have to surmise that it was because Obama had been in D.C. for only four years before he became president — because of his naiveté and his hubris — that he squandered 2009 and 2010 trying to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress, who obviously never were going to work with him in the first fucking place, and therefore the Democrats lost the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2010 and then the U.S. Senate in November 2014.

Indeed, for at least six of his eight years in the White House, Obama was crippled, and his crippling was of his own doing. Again, he didn’t own and use the political capital that he’d earned in November 2008, but instead squandered it spectacularly in 2009 and 2010.

Harris as the 2020 Democratic Party vice presidential candidate would be a nice geographical placement (a president from Vermont and a vice president from California), and as there appear to be two broad wings of the Democratic Party — progressives (those who focus first and foremost on socioeconomic issues) and identity politicians (those who focus first and foremost on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, etc.) — the pairing should bring the party together as much as it’s possible to bring the party together.**

Personally, while I like Elizabeth Warren, despite her disconcerting lack of courage, I see Team Pussygrabber taking her down rather easily in November 2020, painting her as the weak egghead (the whole “Pocahontas” bullshit entirely aside), so I hope to hell that she doesn’t win the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

I’m just being honest about that. I’d very probably vote for her should she actually win the nomination, but I wouldn’t expect her to win the White House. I’d expect her to get Dukakised.

Joe Biden remains a has-been. He’s too aligned with both Billary Clinton and with Barack Obama, and that brand of the Democratic Party — the do-nothing center-right — is dying to the new Democratic Party that is struggling to be born. I cannot and will not and would not support Joe Biden. It would be going backwards.

Cory Booker is a corporate whore and an empty suit who only cynically and superficially would be trying to be the next Barack Obama. I cannot and will not and would not support Cory Booker. I wouldn’t even want him as a vice-presidential candidate.

There’s no reason to even discuss Nos. 6 through 10 because none of them is going to win the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, unless Nos. 1 through 5 die unexpectedly.

Although it’s discussed as though it’s a wide-open field, really, it’s not. I agree with Aaron Blake’s assessment that the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee probably is going to be Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris — maybe Joe Biden, if he runs and if he gets lucky, if he can eke out a win via the dying Democratic Party establishment’s bullying, anti-democratic bullshit. (Even Billary couldn’t do it, so I doubt that Biden could.)

Bernie has run for president before, giving him a big leg up, and not only that, but he won 22 states and 46 percent of the pledged — the actually democratically won — delegates to Billary’s comparatively paltry 54 percent, which was a very strong showing for someone who had pretty much come from nowhere to challenge Queen Billary Herself.

Indeed, had it not been for the rigged, anti-democratic system of “superdelegates” (among other pro-Billary riggings within the Democratic National Committee), it might be Bernie Sanders instead of “President” Pussygrabber sitting in the Oval Office right now.

The Billarybots never will tell you this, but Bernie always polled a lot better against Pussygrabber than Billary ever did (see here and here), and even one of Pussygrabber’s own pollsters said that Bernie would have beaten Pussygrabber had he been the Democratic Party’s nominee.

If you want to blame anyone for “President” Pussygrabber, blame the anti-democratic, self-serving, center-right Democratic Party establishment hacks who still are trying to suppress the will of the people in order to preserve their own undeserved power and over-privilege.

We’re still stuck with “President” Pussygrabber for the time being, but at least you’ll be right — instead of a buffoonish sellout who deserves only derision from those of us who actually live in reality.

P.S. Some more great editorial cartoons about the “Democratic” Party “superdelegates” from 2016:

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*As CNN reported in early July 2016, when they and other media coronated Billary (The Associated Press was most at fault), “They [superdelegates] make up 15 percent of the total delegate universe, which makes it nearly impossible for any Democratic candidate for president to secure the nomination without the support of both pledged delegates and superdelegates.”

**To be clear, the Democratic Party must address both socioeconomic issues and issues of equal human and civil rights, but to me, if we must rank the two, socioeconomic justice is more important for two reasons: One, it affects more people, regardless of their demographics, and two, if you want to win a national election these days, you must make socioeconomic justice your centerpiece, for fuck’s sake.

If you are, for example, a toxic “feminist” (you know, the kind who tosses around terms like “Bernie bro” and “brogressive” [because you’re actually just a misandrist]) or a race hustler who demands that every Democratic president from here on out must be black (because Obama!), then you are going to lose huge swaths of the electorate who (gee!) for some reason don’t share your bitter hatred of them. Case in point: November 2016.

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Cryptkeeper’s support low for an incumbent in new statewide poll

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Could 85-year-old “Democratic” U.S. Sen. Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein finally be forced into a long-past-due retirement? She polls at only 36 percent among the state’s electorate, with a whopping 46 percent of the voters still undecided, and only she and actual Democrat Kevin de León will appear on the November ballot, due to California’s “top-two” primary system.

This is interesting: Back in February, only 37 percent of the delegates to the California state Democratic Party’s annual convention endorsed Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein, who has been a U.S. senator “for” California since 1992 and who seeks yet another term now even though she just turned 85 years old.*

The state-party delegates much preferred Cryptkeeper’s challenger, state Sen. Kevin de León, who recently completed a stint as the president of the state Senate; the delegates voted for him by 54 percent. (Unfortunately, to nab the state party’s endorsement, De León would have had to have garnered 60 percent of the vote, too high a bar, in my opinion.)

The establishmentarian/Repugnican-Lite set claimed at the time that De León’s win over Cryptkeeper (at least percentage-wise) at the convention was among only party nerds who skew to the left and that Cryptkeeper’s paltry 37 percent would be much higher among the general, not-all-Democratic state electorate.

Yet a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll taken from June 6 through June 17 shows that only 36 percent of the state’s voters right now intend to vote for Cryptkeeper in November, while 18 percent prefer De León, and a huge chunk of them, 46 percent, are undecided.

It seems to me that the delegates to the state party convention had their pulse on the mood of the state’s electorate far more than they were given credit for.

Thus far in the vote count for the June 5 California primary election (the election won’t be certified until July 13), Cryptkeeper has garnered 44.2 percent of the vote to De León’s 12 percent, indicating that Crytkeeper was more popular among those who voted in the primary than she is among the state’s electorate overall, and that the opposite is true for De León.

Yes, polling at 18 percent, De León still has a long way to go against a candidate who has millions more dollars than he does and who has the advantage of much greater name recognition, having been in office significantly longer than newly minted 18-year-old voters even have been alive.

But as The Los Angeles Times reported, “Though Feinstein is ahead [of De León] by nearly 20 points, it’s a low level of support for such a long-serving incumbent, said GOP strategist Mike Murphy, an analyst for the poll.”

Yup. The state’s voters aren’t enthusiastic about Cryptkeeper anymore, and methinks that that is because for years and years now, the state’s voters simply have been resigned to having no other choice. Cryptkeeper is a lot like Billary Clinton: the center-right “Democratic” candidate (both of them voted for the Vietraq War, by the way) who should have hung it up years ago but who refuses to go the fuck away and whom the Democratic Party establishment is going to shove down our throats anyway.

Don’t get me wrong; I hope but I don’t predict that De León will win in November, but with 46 percent of the voters still undecided, he still has a shot. Again, with Cryptkeeper having held on to “her” Senate seat with a bony death grip since 1992, her measly 36 percent in the recent USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll should have her shitting her Depends.**

What will be interesting will be to see if Cryptkeeper actually faces De León or if she does what she does best: runs and hides. The Sacramento Bee notes that the last time that Cryptkeeper agreed to debate an opponent was in 2000, almost two fucking decades ago, so I don’t expect to see Cryptkeeper actually deign to debate De León even once.

Such a move should be fatal for her (recall that Billary Clinton cravenly backed out of a final debate that she’d already agreed to have with Bernie Sanders — again, if it weren’t for their age difference, I’d surmise that these two Repugnican Lites were separated at birth); but Cryptkeeper hasn’t been held accountable for the past several elections now, so we’ll see if she can continue her cakewalk that her overabundance of privilege always had made possible for her — thus far.

P.S. I’ll note, for some reason, that his past week I passed by Kevin de León on my way home from work (I work near the state Capitol and thus I sometimes see state politicos). It was the first time that I’d ever seen him in person.

Not knowing what else to say, and not wanting to interrupt his schedule (he was walking with someone else and presumably had a destination and a purpose), I simply ejected, “I hope you win!” “Thank you,” he replied, and I kept walking, again, not wanting to detain him.

He strikes me as a genuinely nice guy.

You’d never see Her Highness the Cryptkeeper walking about in public, vulnerable to the rabble.

*Fuck you; no, I’m not “ageist.” (I do, after all, still support Bernie Sanders for president, and he’s 76.) Even though to me Cryptkeeper often has appeared to be addled on camera because of her advanced age, even if she has no severe age-related cognitive issues (I can give her the benefit of that doubt), she was born in 1933, for fuck’s sake, and that fact, coupled with the fact that she’s a multi-millionaire, has meant that she has been quite removed from the vast majority of her constituents.

She could only guess as to what our commoners’ lives are like, but that’s an exercise in empathy that she probably avoids as much as possible.

**Yeah, that probably is ageist, but it was spontaneous and I found it at least mildly funny, so I’m keeping it…

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