Tag Archives: centrists

Beto O’Verrated

To those who found Barack Obama’s generic — and ultimately unfulfilled — campaign slogans of “hope” and “change” to be appealing, Beto O’Rourke’s “sometimes saccharine call to summon the nation’s better angels” (per The New York Times) appeals. Let’s smother this one in the crib, for God’s sake.

Jesus fucking Christ, I hope that Betomania doesn’t last long.

Indeed, Beto O’Rourke is the white Barack Obama, the candidate with the initials B. O. who is whatever you want him to be, just a blank, white wall upon which you project your probably-futile dreams of hope and change.

“Will a soon-to-be-former congressman, with an unremarkable legislative record and a [U.S.] Senate campaign loss, upend [the Democrats’] best-laid plans?” asks The New York Times, acknowledging that O’Rourke is quite substance-free.

Even O’Rourke himself apparently doesn’t know what the fuck, if anything, he stands for. Reports Politico:

Asked if he is a progressive Democrat, O’Rourke told reporters, “I don’t know. I’m just, as you may have seen and heard over the course of the campaign, I’m not big on labels. I don’t get all fired up about party or classifying or defining people based on a label or a group. I’m for everyone.”

If you’re for everyone and everything, then you are for no one and you stand for nothing.

I get it: O’Rourke campaigned in Texas, where if you’re one millimeter left of center you must deny it at all costs, claiming against credibility that you’re entirely non-ideological.

So O’Rourke is a left-leaning coward in a red state or he truly has no moral compass other than saying whatever he thinks he should say to win your vote — even if that means that, as he has done so far, he really says nothing at all.

We’ve been here, done this, with Barack Obama. (The New York Times reports, unsurprisingly, that “veterans of former President Barack Obama’s political operation (and Mr. Obama himself) [are offering] their counsel [to O’Rourke] and hampering would-be rivals who are scrambling to lock down influential supporters and strategists as future campaign staff.”)

I, for one, won’t be punk’d again. (I voted for empty suit Obama in 2008, but not in 2012, after he turned out to be, at best, a centrist caretaker, not a bold and progressive leader.)

O’Rourke has pulled only single digits in the nationwide polls of Democratic Party presidential preference taken over the past two months, with the exception of one poll, which put him at 15 percent, but in all of these polls he has come behind Bernie Sanders, who in all of these polls has come behind Joe Biden.

It’s safe to say that for right now, anyway, according to the reputable nationwide polls, it’s Biden at No. 1, Bernie at No. 2 and O’Rourke depressingly at No. 3, with everyone else in single digits.

(The MoveOn poll referenced in the editorial cartoon above that recently put O’Rourke at No. 1 was, to my knowledge, an entirely unscientific online poll that easily could have been rigged by the Betomaniacs, but even the MoveOn poll has Biden, Bernie and O’Rourke all in the top three.)

Worse, reportedly there is chatter within Team Biden about a desperate, twice-run-and-twice-lost Joe Biden making O’Rourke his running mate, as though one unappealing candidate plus one unappealing candidate somehow equals two appealing candidates.

Also, of course, even though I’ve railed against identity politics many times, I think that it would be a big mistake for the Democratic Party to run two white guys on its 2020 presidential ticket. (Only about one in three Americans is a white male.)

I’m for Bernie Sanders, who, ironically, is an actual Democrat, plus a non-white-guy vice-presidential candidate, perhaps Elizabeth Warren or even perhaps Kamala Harris, who, although she’s an empty slate much like O’Rourke is, at least won her election to the U.S. Senate.

As Matt Taibbi recently correctly pointed out, the corporate media hacks are busy trying to destroy Elizabeth Warren, trying to orchestrate her demise and then pretend that it was a naturally occurring event and not an event that they actively caused (perhaps probably to protect the corporations from which they draw their paychecks).

That said, Bernie would benefit should Warren not run or drop out (as he would, I’m sure, inherit most of her supporters), and it always has bothered me that while Bernie had the balls to run against Queen Billary in 2016, Warren sat it out — hardly courageous of her.

While the corporate media are unfairly savaging Warren, in the end it might mean a President Sanders — a wholly unintended consequence, I’m sure.

In the meantime, again, I very much hope that the ill-conceived love affair with Beto O’Rourke flames out as quickly as it flamed up.

P.S. I saw this on CNN, after I posted the above:

Former Vice President Joe Biden holds the pole position in the first CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll among likely 2020 Democratic [Iowa] caucus-goers, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke joining him as the only possible candidates in the field with double-digit support.

The new Iowa Poll finds 32 percent of likely caucus-goers saying they back Biden as their first choice, 19 percent Sanders, 11 percent O’Rourke, 8 percent Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 5 percent California Sen. Kamala Harris, [and] the rest of the 20-person field testing below 5 percent support.

The top three candidates in Iowa, including O’Rourke’s third-place ranking, match the top three in a national CNN poll released Friday. Early results nationally are often driven by name recognition, but in Iowa, the campaign is already underway, with several of the tested candidates having made multiple visits to the state, and at least one having already visited all 99 of the state’s counties.

The field will, I believe, shrink soon enough, as the second- and third-tier candidates realize that they can’t possibly compete with the top-tier candidates.

There will, methinks, be jockeying for the veep slot, though, mostly among the second-tier candidates, including Harris, Cory Booker and maybe Warren.

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Pelosi probably should go. She won’t.

Photo caption: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. holds a news conference followin...

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks at a press conference the day after the Democrats won back the U.S. House of Representatives. Pelosi seeks to be speaker of the House again, a gig that she had from January 2007 to January 2011, and depressingly, she’ll probably succeed.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Nancy Pelosi. She never has struck me as progressive, having focused not on advancing a progressive agenda but having focused instead on fundraising, which might be a necessary evil but which certainly isn’t inspiring. (Bernie Sanders has managed to raise a lot of money and be inspiring, so it’s possible to do both.)

And Team Pelosi’s recently cravenly having taken a page from the Billary Clinton playbook and claimed that anyone who wants to see Pelosi replaced is sexist/misogynist is just another reason why Pelosi should go. (I’d say that craven identity politics is the last refuge of the scoundrel, but, alas, these days it’s the first refuge of the scoundrel.)

Pelosi has had the job of leading the House Democrats since 2002, when she became House minority leader, and then in January 2007 she made history when she became the nation’s first female speaker of the House.

That was an accomplishment, but Pelosi has been the Democrats’ boss in the House since 2002. It’s time to let someone else do the job, for fuck’s sake.

I won’t make an issue of Pelosi’s age (she is 78). After all, I support Bernie Sanders as our next president, and he is 77. But as president even he would be limited to eight years, for fuck’s sake; Pelosi has had about 16 years.

On that note, some say that Pelosi should stay on because the Democrats have just taken back the House, for which she should be given the credit. OK, but the Dems have controlled the House for only four years of her 16-year reign; what about the other 12 years when the House Dems were in the wilderness under her “leadership”?

Past generations used to step aside and allow new blood to take over. Not baby boomers* like Pelosi, though. In their narcissistic minds, they’re the only one on the planet who can do the job.

Even “President” Pussygrabber apparently seriously is rooting for Pelosi, claiming that if necessary he can get her Repugnican House votes to get her to the 218-vote threshold to be elected House speaker, probably because of her long record of supporting the socioeconomic status quo.

My guess is that Pussygrabber and his ilk would rather have to deal with the devil that they know, the centrist Pelosi, than perhaps an actual progressive fighter.

All of that said, I’ve heard the “argument” that Pelosi should go because the Repugnicans have savaged her for years. Um, fuck the Repugnicans. They’re going to savage whoever the Democratic leader in the House might be, and since when was it the Democratic House leader’s job to keep the Repugnicans happy? And when did the Repugnicans ever worry about keeping Democrats happy?

No, Pelosi should go because she’s had the job long enough and because she should step aside and let a fighter (not a mere fundraiser) take the job.

But she won’t. 

Because she’s Nancy Pelosi.

*I agree with Bruce Cannon Gibney, author of A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America that the baby boom generation began earlier than usually claimed, that it began in 1940. Pelosi was born in 1940.

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Billary blew it with ‘safe’ Tim Kaine

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia greet the crowd during a campaign event on July 14 in Annandale, Va.

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Billary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine campaign in Virginia last week. Today Billary announced a Clinton-Kaine ticket.  Wake me up when this snoozefest is finally over. Zzzzzzzzz…

Queen Billary Clinton’s No. 1 requirement in a running mate, I am confident, was that he or she must not overshadow Her Highness. 

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, her pick, certainly fits that bill.

An adjective often used to describe him is “boring.” (He even calls himself “boring.”Yahoo! News notes that Billary’s selection of Kaine is “a safe, centrist choice that will likely disappoint some in the progressive wing of her party.”

“Some”?

The No. 2 requirement in Billary’s running mate had to be that he or she is a centrist, that is, a fellow Democrat in name only — certainly no Bernie Sanders, and not even an Elizabeth Warren.

Billary’s pick of a moderate Democrat/Repugican Lite from the South is wholly in line with her and her husband’s political start in Arkansas — and their long history of giving the party’s left-of-center base the middle finger.

In having picked Tim Kaine, Billary in effect picked herself — as a man who is a decade younger.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t hate Tim Kaine. Indeed, I (and millions of others) know little of him, pretty much only that he personally opposes abortion, given his Roman Catholic background, and that he has been supportive of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which even Der Fuhrer Donald Trump opposes.

But Tim Kaine (whom I might come to hate in the future, as I learn more about him) is wholly uninspiring. His political philosophy, like Billary’s, appears to be stuck in the 1990s.

I’m glad that Billary didn’t pick as her running mate New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; he’s an empty suit, a Barack Obama wannabe.

And while we’re long past due for our first Latino or Latina president or vice president, neither U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez nor U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro has the experience to be only a heartbeat away from the presidency. Perez’s only elected office was a seat on a Maryland county council, and Castro’s only elected offices were a member of San Antonio’s city council and then the city’s mayor.

In my book, if you want to be president you had better have been a governor or a U.S. senator, and if you want to be vice president you had better have been a governor or a U.S. senator, since as vice president you might end up as president.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, like Kaine, was a governor, so he has vice-presidential chops, but, like Kaine, Vilsack isn’t an exciting or an inspiring person, so I’m glad that Billary didn’t pick him.

Billary should have picked as her running mate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Why?

Billary, I believe, with her choice of running mate sorely needed to excite her party’s base more than she needed to try to assuage any fears of the voters of the flyover states — states that are going to go for The Donald anyway — that white men are losing their grip on positions of power to women and to non-whites.

(This was, methinks, Billary’s No. 3 requirement in a running mate: that she pick a white man in order not to spook too many centrist, center-right and even right-wing voters, to whom she always has shown more allegiance than she has shown to the Democratic Party base.

I mean, these are fragile voters, and after we’ve had our first non-white president, we can’t have a two-woman ticket or a ticket of a white woman and a non-white person!)

Even Donald Trump picked yet another milquetoast white man to be his running mate. Billary couldn’t do better?

Had Billary picked Liz Warren, she would have excited the hell out of her base. She would have excited progressives and women.

Instead, Billary picked Tim Kaine. Yawn.

To be fair, maybe Billary asked Liz and Liz said no. (If Liz were smart, and she is smart, she would have said Oh, hell no! to playing third fiddle in the Clinton White House 2.0.) I don’t know.

I do know that the addition of “safe” and centrist Tim Kaine to the ticket gives me and millions of other progressives (most of us Berners — and Bernie won 45.6 percent of the pledged Democratic delegates, let me remind you) zero reason to vote for Billary.

I mean, I’d had no intention to vote for her anyway — I still most likely will vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein — but the addition of an actual progressive to the ticket was the only thing that, coupled with the looming fascism of Der Fuhrer Donald, perhaps could have induced me to vote for Billary.*

And a two-woman ticket wouldn’t have been a bad idea; it would have been a brilliant idea, after having had nothing but two-man tickets throughout our nation’s history.

But instead of making a bold, visionary — even revolutionary — move, the utterly uninspiring, charisma-free Billary played it “safe.”

We’ll see what and where “safe” gets her on November 8.

*Queen Billary is going to win my state of California and all 55 of its electoral votes anyway, so it doesn’t really matter for whom I vote for president or whether I even vote for president at all, but I will vote for president.

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Obama worship out O’ hand, but presidential pessimism premature

Yesterday, it was the “limited edition” “official Obama [coffee] mug” that barackobama.com was hawking for a donation of $15 or more. Today it was the “limited edition” “official Obama calendar,” yours for a donation of only $35 or more. (I’m on the website’s e-mail list and so I received these great offers via e-mail…)

Um, is this a democracy or Home Shopping Network?

That “Saturday Night Live” skit in which John McCainosaurus (the real one) appeared with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin-Quayle on QVC: it doesn’t seem like it’s far from reality.

I just want a president who does a decent job.

I don’t want or need a president to worship, and Obama worship has gotten out of hand. His face and surname (and that damned stylized “O”) are emblazoned everywhere and on everything, and far from bringing me hope for change, it just gives me the creeps. (Leftist columnist and editorial cartoonist Ted Rall calls all of those damned stylistic Obama signs “Soviet-inspired propaganda posters.” I wish that I could disagree.)

Does the United States of America come down to and depend upon just one person? I hope not.

Maybe President-elect Barack Obama will do a kick-ass job. Maybe. I hope so.

But the man hasn’t even taken office and already he’s being compared to Abraham F. Lincoln, replete with his so-called “team of rivals.”

It’s also too early to declare Obama a failure, as some are doing:

Tr081201

I love Rall, but again, Obama hasn’t even taken the oath of office yet. Obama can’t do all that much about the nation’s ills right now, and even after he is inaugurated it still will take a considerable amount of time to turn the Titanic back around.

Has Obama sold out the left-wingers who put him office, as they have been yelping?

It’s too early to tell. 

Are Obama’s “centrist” picks for his administration posts a sign of wussiness or a stroke of political genius?

It’s too early to tell.

I’m assuming — or maybe hoping is more accurate — that Obama will be in charge, and that even if he has “centrists” in his administration posts, they will (more or less) carry out his wishes. “Centrists” in Obama’s posts carrying out a progressive agenda that trickles down from the top might be able to accomplish more than (perceived) leftists in those posts could. Is what I might call “stealth leftism” possible?

We’ll see.

I’m not ready to compare Obama to Abe Lincoln or to Billary Clinton just yet.

I’ll wait at least until Inauguration Day.

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