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AfterBern redux

Sanders' campaign accused of retaliating against union activities

That’s about how I feel.

Bernie Sanders is a bit of a sad figure to me these days.

I still get his long e-mails about what a piece of shit the “president” is (no, he’d never use that kind of language, of course, but the meaning is the same) and all of the steep challenges that face us (it’s not always, um, uplifting to read his e-mails).

Thing is, Bernie is fairly political powerless, at least in terms of presidential politics. I give him credit for still doing what he can, but he ran for president twice and I don’t see him running a third time. (Hidin’ Joe Biden ran three times, but he put a lot of years in between his runs: 1988, 2008 and 2020.)

Bernie is, I think, too nice, too conciliatory. I don’t think that that works in today’s political environment, perhaps especially given how craven the so-called Democratic Party has become.

No, Bernie never had to be an asshole like “President” Pussygrabber, but he could have stood his ground more forcefully. Yes, Billary Clinton’s illegal shadow e-mail set-up was something, was not nothing — and although he gave her a pass, the Billary-led Democratic National Committee fucked Bernie over anyway and Bernie also was way too nice to Joe Biden, and the result of that was that right before Super Tuesday, Biden & Co., center-right corporate-whore assholes all, suddenly closed ranks in order to tank Bernie’s campaign; no way could these sellout turncoats allow an actual progressive to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

In politics, probably especially presidential politics, politeness does not pay.

I get it that after the 2016 and 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary contests, Bernie has had to return to the U.S. Senate, so he couldn’t annihilate his bridges in his quest for the Oval Office. But he has been too damned nice, and in today’s presidential politics that is perceived as weak.

You can be strong without being an asshole — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an example of that. She takes a lot of heat from the wingnuts but she gives it right back — better than it was thrown at her.

I don’t regret that I supported Bernie Sanders in 2016 and 2020, including having donated hundreds of dollars to him and having voted for him in the presidential primary elections. I believe that Bernie has laid the groundwork for a progressive takeover of the corporate-whore Democratic Party.

Sometimes you have to look at the big picture. Wingnut Barry Goldwater lost big-time in 1964, but few who are knowledgeable disagree that he laid the groundwork for the “Reagan revolution” of the 1980s (which began the downfall of the United States of America).

It’s possible, if not probable, that what’s going to be required for the Democratic Party to ever become progressive again is that all of the center-right old fucks who call themselves Democrats (most of them baby boomers, of course) will have to die off, and year after year they’ll be replaced by younger Americans who subscribe to progressivism.

Indeed, the United States’ youth and young adults, having been set up to fail at birth, and realizing very personally how very fucked up it is to screw over the generations that are following yours, might save the nation that the baby boomers and those older than the boomers have destroyed out of their bottomless selfishness and greed and incredible short-sightedness. From the ashes might rise a United States truly made great again.

And while Bernie Sanders probably won’t live to see that promised land, if it materializes, he was instrumental in its creation. He will have been a founding father of the new nation.

In the meantime, while I still respect Bernie, he is not my boss.

I get Bernie’s e-mails encouraging me to vote for Hidin’ Joe Biden. I will not vote for Biden.

Again, I live in California, one of the bluest states there is; there is no question that Biden will win California and all of its 55 electoral votes.*

Again, if you live in one of the swing states — Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin* — then I encourage you to vote your conscience, but I have the luxury of not having to worry about helping Pussygrabber get a second term, since it’s a foregone conclusion that Biden will win my state and all of its electoral votes.

(No, I don’t give a fuck about the popular vote, since it doesn’t determine who becomes president. It should, but it doesn’t. Bragging rights about having won the popular vote don’t give you the presidency and the political power that comes with that. Ask Billary Clinton.)

If I had to put money on it, I’d say that Biden will beat Pussygrabber in November, for several reasons, but primarily because of COVID-19 and its socioeconomic effects. The economy tends to be the No. 1 factor in a president’s re-election (“re”-election, in this case), and I don’t see the train wreck that is the United States improving nearly enough between now and Election Day for Pussygrabber to pull out a win, even just an Electoral College win, as he did in 2016.

Also, lucky Biden is benefitting from being able to use COVID-19 as an excuse, valid or not (mostly valid, probably), to not have to run a traditional presidential campaign. Less campaigning means fewer of Biden’s, um, senior moments. Less campaigning means that voters largely will be voting for the Joe Biden of yesterday, not of today.

What would I expect a Biden presidency to look like? Much like the Obama presidency looked like: nice words, little substance, negligible improvement in the average American’s life.

Barack Obama for the most part was a caretaker president, and after the Repugnicans won back the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm election (and kept the House until the 2018 midterm election), there was no way that they were going to allow Obama to have any progressive victories. You don’t even try to negotiate with terrorists like the Repugnicans, but the naive and probably arrogant Obama did so right out of the gate — probably the No. 1 mistake of his presidency — and the rest is history.

I expect a Biden administration to make the same mistakes that the Obama administration did. (After all, stuck-in-the-past Biden thinks that parents still routinely use record players for their children.)

If the Democrats win back the White House, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House in November, which is quite possible, I expect them, “led” by Biden, to squander their political capital with their bipartisan “Kumbaya” bullshit, just as Obama did when, in the first two years of his presidency, the Dems controlled the White House, the Senate and the House — and utterly wasted all of that political capital when the stars don’t align like that (having control of the White House, the Senate and the House) very often.

Indeed, last week’s sad Democratic National Convention, in which much more love was shown to moderate Repugnicans than to progressive/actual Democrats, doesn’t bode well for a progressive agenda being passed through should the Dems once again win the White House, the Senate and the House.

Were I to vote for Biden, to me it would mean that I supported the continuation of a center-right, Repugnican-Lite, corporate-whoring Democratic Party — when I didn’t even have to, since I live in deep-blue California.

And I’m still not sure which would be the better longer-term outcome: Pussygrabber gets a second term, perhaps demonstrating amply, for once and for all, that the center-right, sellout campaigns of the likes of Billary Clinton and Hidin’ Joe Biden don’t work anymore, inducing the Democratic Party to, at long last, return to its progressive roots; or that Biden wins, and that this center-right, sellout bullshit under the banner of the Democratic Party continues indefinitely. “President Harris” gives me nightmares.**

In the meantime, it’s hard to describe the feeling that I have whenever I get one of Bernie’s e-mails or see him in the news. I still respect him — he is not dead to me, as self-serving, pseudo-progressive snake Elizabeth Warren is — but today Bernie makes me feel like a deflated convention balloon.

And I look to our younger generations to get us out of this abyss. They shouldn’t have to, but it has been forced upon them to, and they just might prove to be our next greatest generation.

*One of the most helpful graphics that I’ve seen is fivethirtyeight.com’s “snake chart,” which you can see here. The extreme two ends of the “snake” represent the states that are going to go to Biden or to Pussygrabber without doubt. As we progress toward the center of the “snake,” we see which states are less solidly blue or red, and which states appear to be the swing states. The 10 states that I’ve listed above as swing states are the 10 states that make up the middle area of the “snake,” which is the 270 electoral votes that must be won in order to win the White House.

**If Kamala Harris were a progressive, instead of just another centrist corporate whore who takes whatever political positions she deems most likely to help her political ambitions right now, a la Billary Clinton, I’d be happy to have her as president. That she’s a woman of color would be the icing on the cake. But there has to be some fucking cake.

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Something wonderful just might rise from the ashes of the United States

Antifa in USA

“President” Pussygrabber opposes the people who oppose neo-Nazism because he’s a fucking neo-Nazi himself. Our fascist overlords are paper tigers, however; because they are parasites on the rest of us, all that we have to do is rise up, refuse to allow them continue to suck our lifeblood, and they’ll fall like the house of cards that they are. They know this, and it terrifies the shit out of them that the game might, this time, finally, be up.

The looting and vandalism that has taken place in numerous Americans cities over the past several days — including my own — at first blush probably looks to many if not even most Americans as pretty senseless.

It would appear, superficially at least, that there is no logical line from the cruel, slow murder by cop of George Floyd in Minneapolis last Monday to the looting and vandalism of (mostly) small and larger businesses throughout the nation, but the line is there.

You just have to flush out all of the dust from your eyes that the capitalists put there with years and years and years of their profits-and-property-over- people propaganda, aided and abetted not only by the corporately owned and controlled “news” media doing the bidding of the corporations and of the corporatocrats, but also by our corporately owned and controlled elected (and “elected”) officials, from the local level all the way up to the White House.

Looting and vandalism seem like desperate acts, but the cruel, unjust, dog-eat-dog American socioeconomic system naturally, inevitably produces an awful lot of desperate people.

History suggests that a majority of Americans won’t learn a fucking thing from what’s going on now — the ongoing nationwide novel coronavirus pandemic as well as the nationwide unrest caused by a bad white cop who didn’t cause all of this, but who definitely lit the fuse — and that the American impulse will be to try to sweep all of this unpleasantness under the national rug and pretend that none of this ugliness had ever happened.

I mean, fuck, the coronavirus is still doing its killing, but after not even a full three months of a nationwide shutdown (it’s been more like a slowdown than a complete shutdown, but still), already a huge chunk, if not the majority, of Americans want to pretend that the coronavirus thing is all over already and open up the nation again — which is going to have quite predictable results.

Property destruction in the wake of another murder by cop seems appropriate to me. Maybe in the past I’d have questioned the logic of it, but it is clear to me now.

Why? Because the upper classes constantly give the message to the lower classes* that the property of the former is far more valuable than are the very lives of the latter.

No, the upper crust don’t come out and say that that is their belief, but their words and actions, repeated year after year after year, make it clear that that is their belief nonetheless.

So, if our lives are so expendable and “your” property (which our labor and our common natural resources have made possible in the first place!) is all that you care about, then we’ll go after “your” property, the message of the looting and the vandalism is, whether we are willing to acknowledge that or not.

All of this — the nationwide coronavirus pandemic, the protests that are roiling the nation right now — are identifying for us, starkly, our long-standing national problems, and the solutions are just one step behind our identification of and acknowledgment of the problems.

Ironically, actually solving even our entrenched problems probably isn’t the biggest hurdle — it’s acknowledging them in the first fucking place that is the biggest hurdle, because with such genuine, widespread acknowledgment would follow a radical reordering of the socioeconomic order that those at the top have been doing their best to stave off for generations. They even put a considerable chunk of their fortunes — I say “their” fortunes, but, again, since they stole “their” fortunes from the rest of us, they’re our fortunes — toward maintaining their unfair socioeconomic and political advantage.

(These plutocrats and oligarchs pour billions of dollars into pro-corporate propaganda that’s pumped to us masses en masse every fucking day, and they give billions of dollars to corrupt elected officials who are supposed to do the bidding of the people but who instead do the bidding of their highest corporate bidders.

And, of course, the plutocrats and the oligarchs spend quite a lot of money [again, our money, since they stole it from us by reaping the benefits of our labor while we try to survive from paycheck to paycheck] on personal security [including having the “people’s” cops and the “people’s” military in their own rich, right-wing pockets] and ensuring that in their day-to-day activities they have as absolutely little actual contact with us dalits as possible.)

You know that the recent nationwide protests are working, because “President” Pussygrabber, the Looter in Chief, now proclaims that he is deeming antifa a “terrorist organization.”**

Clearly, this would be just the first step in the unhinged, fascist “president” declaring all of his political detractors to be “terrorists” when he and his right-wing, fascist ilk, of course, are the actual terrorists, just as they are the actual looters.

And, of course, our “president” opposes an anti-fascist group only because he’s a fucking fascist himself.

Hitler and his supporters did all that they could do eliminate their domestic political opposition, too, before they expanded their reign of terror.

We’ve seen this playbook before.

It’s up to us to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself this time. American fascism must be stopped in its tracks.

It probably will get ugly, but what emerges from the ashes just might be wonderful.

That’s why I still say: Let it burn.

P.S. I would be remiss if I did not note that the pro-corporate Democratic Party establishment is guilty as sin, too, of course.

The people — you know, we dalits — had hope in actual Democrat (that is, the actually progressive) Bernie Sanders actually becoming president and helping to turn the Titanic around, but the pro-corporate Democratic Party establishment hacks, always only ever looking out for themselves like the fucking traitors that they are, made damn sure that they torpedoed Bernie (by coalescing right before Super Tuesday) — and they gave us, in Bernie’s stead, the utterly uninspiring corporate whore Joe Biden, who barely can speak a coherent sentence (but who at least by now, hopefully, finally at least has learned to keep his nasty hands to himself).

We, the people, were just supposed to sit down and shut up about the fact that the party that is supposed to stand for the people fucked us, the people, over yet once again, like Lucy with the football on crack.

This time, we, the people, are not just sitting down and shutting up like the good little sheep that we’re supposed to be.

*To be clear, by “class” here I mean strictly income level and the level of possession of wealth, not the level of one’s character.

Most wealthy Americans are of low character — it disturbs them not that their excess comes at the expense of those who don’t have the basic necessities of life — and many if not most Americans who are struggling to get by are of high character (because if nothing else, they — we — should have brought out the guillotines a long, long time ago, but we have yet to do so).

**As with most of the vile things that “our” vile “president” threatens to do, he does not have the legal authority to unilaterally designate entire swaths of American citizens as “terrorists.” Politico notes today:

President Donald Trump tweeted [today] that the U.S. government would be “designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.”

There were just two problems with that. First, he doesn’t appear to have the legal authority to do so. And second, it’s by no means clear the loosely defined group of radical activists is an organization at all.

The Trump administration’s push to crack down on antifa — short for “anti-fascist” — comes as large and small businesses in a host of American cities were looted and vandalized as people protested the death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis.

The president and his top officials, including Attorney General Bill Barr and national security adviser Robert O’Brien, have blamed antifa for violence and property damage. In an on-camera statement Saturday, Barr said the Justice Department wouldn’t hesitate to prosecute people who crossed state lines to participate in violence, citing his authorities under anti-riot legislation.

Barr did not invoke laws against terrorism, which do not let the U.S. government designate purely homegrown groups as terrorist organizations.

Under current law, the State Department can designate foreign organizations as terrorist groups. But the U.S. has no domestic terrorism statute, and the FBI uses other legal authorities to prosecute domestic terrorism here. … [Emphasis mine.]

This is why you don’t “elect” as “president” an abject fucking retard who has not held high office before, at least as the governor of a state, as a U.S. senator or as vice president.

Pussygrabber clearly has no idea of — and certainly has no respect for — what the U.S. Constitution allows and disallows him to do. Had he had any experience in high elected office before, he might fucking know something about the constitutionally instituted limitations on the power of any U.S. official, including, and probably especially, the president.

Instead, Pussygrabber has treated the presidency as just an extension of his corporate kingdom, over which he is the undisputed and absolute monarch.

The United States of America is not a fucking monarchy and we’ll never allow it to become one.

If Mad King Pussygrabber knew his very basic U.S. history, he would know that much.

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The inevitable impeachment is great news — and no, Bernie isn’t Jeremy

No, Bernie Sanders does not equal Jeremy Corbyn. For starters, while Corbyn is much more unpopular in the United Kingdom than is Boris Johnson, Bernie Sanders is much more popular in the United States than is “President” Pussygrabber.

I’ve long supported the impeachment of “President” Pussygrabber. He’s not our president; not only was he not elected by the most voters, but he is a mob boss. He simply has continued his life-long criminality into the White House, and to his long list of crimes we can add treason. Plenty of treason.*

That said, I’ve also always known that the Repugnican traitors (redundant) in the U.S. Senate never would remove a member of their own wingnutty party, pretty much no matter what he’d done.

Still, impeachment is necessary if we give a flying fuck about such trifles as the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law.

I’ve only sporadically listened to the live coverage of the House impeachment hearings via NPR. I never felt that I needed to attend to every detail, as Pussygrabber is, of course, as guilty as sinthe transcript of his infamous, treasonous, quid-pro-quo July phone call with the Ukrainian president that the White House itself publicly released amply shows that, and that’s only one of his many crimes — and as the Repugnican-controlled Senate won’t remove him, no matter what.

Listening to Pussygrabber’s Repugnican buttboys (perhaps most prominently Sens. Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell and Reps. Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz) lie for him like pathological liars on crack, however, has been interesting. It’s been a veritable gaslighting marathon: What you have seen with your own eyes and what you have heard with your own ears? You’re wrong! Let us tell you what you have seen and heard!

The Repugnicans will get their short-term “victory” — Pussygrabber won’t be removed from the Oval Office before January 2021, when, very hopefully, the American voters will have done the job — but one does have to wonder what the Repugnican Party’s pathological lying in pursuit of defending a treasonous, uber-corrupt “president” will do for it in the long term.

And of course when Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party did not win the UK election this past week, U.S. “pundits” were quick to say that of course this means that no progressive (that is, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren) possibly could win the U.S. presidency in November 2020.

Except that this isn’t the UK.

There are philosophical and political parallels between the Labour Party and the Democratic Party and the Conservative Party and the Repugnican Party, of course, but we’re talking about two separate nations with different histories that are separated by a wide fucking ocean.

The United States is not in the midst of anything like a “Brexit,” and while Jeremy Corbyn is pretty fucking unpopular — Boris Johnson has a negative favorability rating in most polls, but Corbyn’s negative favorability rating in most polls is much higher** — comparing him to Bernie (or to Warren) is incredibly sloppy at best.

There has been socialism in Europe, but never has there been socialism in the United States (with the exception, perhaps, of some Native American societies). The historical contexts of the two nations are quite different; Americans cannot point to socialism ever actually having failed in the United States because we’ve never actually even had socialism.

And Bernie Sanders — and all of the top-tier candidates for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination — are significantly more popular than is Pussygrabber. Here is a graph from a fivethirtyeight.com piece from just yesterday:

“Trump remains really unpopular — far more than any of the leading Democratic presidential candidates,” notes fivethirtyeight.com, adding:

But Democrats’ net favorability ratings have taken a hit. As you can see in the chart above, even though Biden, Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg are nowhere near as unpopular as Trump, their net favorability ratings have trended downward recently.

This isn’t totally surprising, though, as my colleague Geoffrey Skelley noted a few weeks ago: Many presidential candidates’ net favorability ratings have been negative or close to zero since at least 2008, a sign, perhaps, of the polarized times we live in.

Of course, there is still time for public perception to change (in either direction) between now and November. But if the polls are any indication, opinions of the Democratic candidates seem much more likely to shift than opinions of Trump. That might be because people’s opinions of the Democratic candidates aren’t nearly as entrenched. …

Again, Corbyn is much more unpopular than is Johnson. As elections still so often amount to popularity contests rather than contests of ideas, that is no tiny detail. (Thankfully, Corbyn is stepping down as the leader of the Labour Party.***)

In the U.S., it is the opposite: the top four Democratic presidential candidates all have significantly higher favorability ratings than does Pussygrabber.

And, again, not only has the post-colonial U.S. never been socialist, but a President Sanders (I love the sound of that!) of course very probably could not usher in a socialist utopia.

If he had both houses of Congress in his party’s control, President Sanders could make some significant improvements in the average American’s life — our Americans’ biggest enemies, after all, are not each other or other nations, but are the treasonous corporations that attack us from within — but within the next few decades we are likely to see, at best and at most, a hybrid of capitalism and socialism, in which basic human needs (medical care, food, water, shelter, education, etc.) are covered by a socialist system while capitalism continues its dominance over pretty much everything else.

But, of course, those who protect the status quo — because they personally benefit from the pro-corporate, anti-individual socioeconomic status quo or because they’re just sheeple who think the way that Faux “News” tells them to think (even if that makes them just like chickens that support Colonel Sanders [no relation to Bernie!]) — want us progressives to give up before the game has even begun.

And one of their “arguments” is that Jeremy Corbyn = Bernie Sanders. Except that that’s complete and utter bullshit.

Where Corbyn failed in the UK, we progressives can prevail here in the United States. We just can’t lie down and allow our enemies to keep walking all over us in perpetuity, as they want us to do.

*My definition of “treason” is broad, such as dictionary.com’s No. 2 and No. 3 definitions: “a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state” and “the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.”

**This fact does remind me of the November 2016 U.S. presidential election, in which both Billary Clinton and Pussygrabber were underwater in their favorability ratings. Our “choice” of president was bad (Billary) or even worse (Pussygrabber).

***I haven’t studied Corbyn nearly enough to have a super-informed opinion of him, but clearly, it’s indisputable that he is poison at the ballot box.

And at least we can’t call the ethnically Jewish Bernie Sanders anti-Semitic, as Corbyn has been called, whether he is or not. (Again, I haven’t studied Corbyn much, but the charge of anti-Semitism, whether it is accurate or not, often is bandied about in order to damage one’s political opponent.)

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Why AOC & Co.’s endorsements matter

Bernie Sanders will be endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during his campaign rally in Queens on Saturday, according to a source.

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appear together at a campaign rally in July 2018. AOC has endorsed Bernie as the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee. (Washington Post news photo)

Bernie Sanders needed a comeback. He’s been at No. 3 in nationwide and early-state polling* for a little while now, and that heart attack of earlier this month appeared like it just might doom his second presidential campaign.

But perhaps when everything is at stake is when your supporters really step up.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive rock star, and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, also a lightning rod for the neo-Nazis who comprise the Repugnican Party because she challenges the status quo (that is, right-wing white-male supremacy), this week endorsed Bernie, as did Michael Moore. (A full list of Bernie’s endorsers is here.)

Michael Moore’s popularity has been, I think, slipping over the years, so his endorsement, while certainly yet another indicator that Bernie is the real and the most dependable progressive in the race, isn’t the prize that is AOC’s endorsement. I mean, AOC has been in Congress for not even one full year yet and already we’re referring to her by her initials.

Why do AOC’s and Omar’s endorsements of Bernie matter? Again, they demonstrate that Bernie is the true-blue progressive. They demonstrate that just as the young members of “The Squad” represent the future, so does Bernie, even though he’s 78 years young.

And, of course, prominent progressive women of color endorsing Bernie blows away the DINOs’ bullshit “Bernie bros” myth; Bernie is just fine on women’s issues and on the issues of non-whites, even though according to the Billarybots, who unfortunately are still with us, he’s “just another” white man.

It’s obvious to anyone who has two brain cells to rub together that Repugnican Lite Joe Biden would be a milquetoast president at best — if he could even win the November 2020 election, which he probably could not (Hi, Billary!) — and it’s also becoming clearer that Elizabeth Warren is a cheap knock-off of Bernie.

Warren has demonstrated brains — plans upon plans upon plans, including, I’m sure, plans for more plans, and lots of political calculation — but she hasn’t demonstrated much heart. Former Repugnican Warren wouldn’t dare to run against Billary in 2016 because she is a cowardly party hack, and now she challenges Bernie, who, in my estimation, deserves the nomination alone for his central role is relegating Clintonism to the dustbin of history, where it belongs, and who recognizes, entirely unlike Warren, that capitalism must go before it kills all of us.

Why does Bernie appeal to so many of us while Warren doesn’t? Because, again, Warren is a political calculator, eerily like Billary Clinton, except that Warren has been smarter than Billary and has realized that she at least needed to co-opt Bernie’s message from the get-go if she wanted to win. (As I’ve noted, Billary co-opted Bernie’s message, but way too late in the campaign, whereas Warren slyly co-opted it before the campaign began.)

It’s true that progressive rock stars like AOC and Michael Moore may not appeal that much to the entire general November 2020 electorate, but, as Nate Silver recently noted, “Sanders’s objective for now is to win the nomination, not the general election.”

Indeed, you win the party’s presidential nomination by exciting and inspiring the base, something that Joe Biden’s woefully outdated Clintonism and Warren’s cold calculations don’t do.

Unfortunately, it will take at least several days to see how Bernie’s good performance in this past week’s fourth debate and his recent endorsements help him in the polls.

But methinks that it’s inarguable that while it looked like he was in danger of slipping off of the mountain, he’s climbing right up it again.

*Don’t get me wrong — Bernie’s many competitors who can’t even hit the double digits would love to be in Bernie’s place, with double digits in the polls and with the best fundraising numbers of any other Democratic presidential candidate, but third place in the polls isn’t optimal.

That said, I think it’s entirely likely that Biden will implode soon enough, as he did when he ran for the nomination in 1988 and in 2008, and that this race essentially will be between establishmentarian Warren and actual progressive Bernie.

If it gets ugly, like 2016 got ugly, so be it. The future of the nation and the world is far more important than is any one individual and his or her feelings and those of his or her supporters.

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Will Bernie break our hearts?

Image result for Bernie leaves hospital

In the video grab above, Bernie Sanders leaves a Las Vegas hospital yesterday after what first was reported on Tuesday as “chest discomfort” during a campaign event and then later was confirmed to have been a heart attack. This bad news came after it was reported that Bernie had raised more money than did any other Democratic presidential candidate in the third quarter. Bernie’s campaign says that he is doing well and that he intends to participate in the next primary debate, which will be on October 15.

News of the apparent heart attack that Bernie Sanders had on Tuesday while campaigning his heart out in Nevada predictably raised the question of his age (he is 78 years old now, and if elected, would enter the Oval Office at age 79, making him the oldest president we’ve had).

Two stents were placed in one of Bernie’s coronary arteries, he was released from the hospital yesterday, and his campaign says that he intends to participate in the October 15 debate in Ohio.

Will this sink Bernie?

I don’t think so. It gives those who weren’t supporting him anyway a(nother) “reason” to justify their self-defeating snubbing of the most consistently progressive presidential candidate that we have, but those of us who steadfastly have stood by Bernie will continue to do so.

As long as Bernie does well in his public appearances and has no more significant medical incidents, I expect this to blow over. It’s early October, after all, and the first voting isn’t until February 3, when the Iowa caucuses take place — and this is the United States of Amnesia.

And I think it’s fair to ask the question if it’s OK to stigmatize someone for having had a medical event after which one can, with medical attention, live normally and capably for many years. I know that if I had a heart attack but most likely still had several decent years of life left, I wouldn’t want to be written off.

Good news for Bernie from this past week is that in the third fundraising quarter of this year, he raised more money than did any other Democratic presidential contender — $25.3 million.

Close behind him was Elizabeth Warren, with $24.6 million, and poor Uncle Joe Biden raised only $15.2 million — he was eclipsed even by Boy Scout Pete Buttigieg, who raised $19.1 million. (Unlike Bernie and Warren, the center-right Buttigieg [like Biden] takes contributions from Big Money, though, so don’t take that fundraising figure as grassroots support for him that doesn’t actually exist.)

If fundraising is a measure of excitement for your campaign — and I think that it is for those few who, like Bernie, don’t take money from corporations and lobbyists and other power players — then Biden should be shitting his Depends. (Ah, c’mon; I had to go there…)

On that note, Biden continues to drop in the polls. Right now his nationwide polling average is around 27 percent, and Warren is nipping at his heels, with an average of almost 24 percent.

Bernie is at third place, with 16 percent, and after Bernie, at a rather distant fourth place, is Buttigieg, with around 6 percent. (Poor charisma-free Kamala Harris, who yet has to make a compelling case as to why she should be president, is at fifth place, with around only 5 percent.)

As I’ve noted about a million times before, I expect Biden to tank, as he did when he ran for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1988 and in 2008, and, as long as Bernie’s health holds up, I expect 2020 to be a race between Bernie and Warren.

It can’t be a direct comparison to the 2016 Bernie-vs.-Billary race, because while Billary only “found” progressivism rather late in the game during the 2016 cycle, this time around, from the get-go, Warren deftly has mimicked Bernie’s progressive angle while at the same time not pissing off the Democratic Party establishment hacks.

Warren, it seems to me, has a very good chance of winning this thing (the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, I mean).

Unfortunately, Warren also has a good chance of losing in November 2020 — I still believe that Warren’s No. 1 weakness is that she so easily can be painted by the Repugnicans as just another clueless, weak egghead from Massachusetts, as was Michael Dukakis in 1988 and John Kerry in 2004.

Perhaps only the increasingly obvious and absolutely undeniable mega-corruption of the unelected Pussygrabber regime (including a copious amount of treason) can overcome this “swiftboating” tactic that has worked pretty well for the Repugnicans in the past.

P.S. With his hectic campaign schedule and his famously impassioned speeches, one might wonder why it took this long for Bernie to have a heart attack. Just sayin’…

I’m thinking that Bernie might want to slow down. He has, I think, built up enough political capital that he can relax just a little, at least for a little while.

Biden should tank, so Bernie probably doesn’t have to worry about Biden, and Team Bernie should, I think, emphasize the fact that he was an avowed progressive decades before Elizabeth Warren, who was a Repugnican as late as the 1990s, decided to join the club.

It’s a fair criticism — it is true, and it is, to me, anyway, at least a bit concerning.

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Long past due: IMPEACH THE TRAITOR IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Protesters demand Trump’s impeachment

Associated Press news photo

People protest at the White House in 2018. “President” Pussygrabber has avoided impeachment proceedings thus far, but that officially changed today.

Finally we get to the point where the Democrats decide to do their fucking job to protect the republic, its constitution and the rule of law, and its people.

I’ll paraphrase Winston Churchill: The Democrats always do the right thing — after they have run out of all other options. (That quotation apparently is apocryphal, but I love it anyway…)

Of course, the presidential impeachment inquiry formally announced by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi today is in its infancy, and the Democrats still have plenty of time and opportunity to find a way to fuck it up.

Yes, it’s true that as long as the U.S. Senate is controlled by his fellow Repugnican traitors (redundant), “President” Pussygrabber won’t be removed from office because of his treason and other serious crimes. As Pussygrabber might tell you himself, he could eat a newborn baby alive on live television — bite right into its little head like a large, juicy apple — and his Repugnican co-conspirators wouldn’t make a peep.

But regardless of what the slimy, spineless Repugnicans in the U.S. Senate do, the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are mandated by the U.S. Constitution to do their job of investigating the U.S. president for serious crimes of his that come to light. (No, lying about having received a blowjob in the Oral — er, Oval — Office would not rise to the level of a serious crime. Pressuring a foreign government to sink your potential rival in the next election that would.)

Nor is it a consideration as to whether or not impeaching Pussygrabber might actually help him politically.*

When Bill Clinton was impeached (but not removed from office) in late 1998 and early 1999, it politically helped him and his party — but that was because the impeachment, because it was over a “crime” that didn’t amount to treason or anything else that serious, clearly was a purely partisan, vindictive exercise and a waste of the nation’s time and attention (and taxpayers’ dollars). The case of Pussygrabber is quite different. He’s guilty of treason and other high crimes and he must go.

Pussygrabber apparently was so emboldened by the fact that thus far he’s gotten away with his collusion with Russia to help him “win” the 2016 presidential election that he decided to try to induce a foreign actor to fix the 2020 presidential election for him, too.

This level of presidential malfeasance cannot, must not, be allowed to pass if we, the people, wish to keep the republic that was formed 243 years ago. Otherwise, we turn into just another failed, backwater banana republic (if we’re not already there).

The likes of Pussygrabber doesn’t learn, is not humbled by his mistakes. Pussygrabber is a shameless fucking sociopath, and when he gets away with something, it only makes him want to commit even more high crimes.

Worse for the Democrats than any possibility of an impeachment proceeding actually helping Pussygrabber would be giving Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters the strong message that the Democrats won’t fucking fight for us, the people. Why the fuck should anyone vote Democratic in November 2020 if the Democratic Party refuses to confront one of the greatest evils that ever occupied the White House?

“President” Pussygrabber must be impeached. The U.S. House of Representatives can and must do so.

If the U.S. Senate refuses to do its constitutional duty and remove the traitor in the Oval Office, then we must do our best to get these treasonous co-conspirators out of fucking office as well as take back the presidency — the presidency that never legitimately was Pussygrabber’s in the first place.

*With an approval rating still averaging no more than in the low 40s, and with the polarized political environment, methinks that Pussygrabber already has all of the support that he’s going to have for November 2020.

I don’t see backlash from an impeachment proceeding helping Pussygrabber nearly enough to help him “win” “re”-election. (Um, if you didn’t win the popular vote, you’re not the legitimate president, in my eyes.)

I do see an impeachment proceeding firing up Democratic voters perhaps like they haven’t been fired up in a long time — not out of partisan acrimony, but out of the sheer ecstasy of the Democratic Party finally living up to its supposed principles in our lifetime.

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Marianne Williamson is my guilty pleasure (OK, so I don’t feel guilty)

Internet memes like this one aren’t accurate or fair, but in the age of Pussygrabber are to be expected, I suppose...

Marianne Williamson is not crazy.

Few books can I finish from cover to cover, but in the 1990s I ate up three of her books: A Woman’s Worth, A Return to Love and The Healing of America.

Williamson’s unabashed language only feels somewhat stilted and unicorn-and-rainbow-ish in an age in which we pee-ons have become as savage and loveless as are our overlords.

The word “love” need not be a hokey, gauzy concept that we ridicule. “Love” can be defined easily in quite straightforward, even logical and rational terms. To love is to consider everyone and everything as oneness, as a whole, to abandon the widespread (even “common-sense”) concept of rampant separation that puts us as individuals (and as groups of individuals) at perpetual war with everyone and with everything else.

To realize that we’re all connected — not greeting-card-sentiment connected, but even scientifically (biologically, ecologically, sociologically, etc.) connected — means that we stop to consider how our words and actions (and how our dereliction of our duty) affects other people, other life forms and the planet itself.

The opposite of all of this, the opposite of love, would be the likes of “President” Pussygrabber. Pussygrabber is all about himself. He is the exact opposite of love.*

Those millions of Americans who also have not a loving atom in their bodies thus resonate with Pussygrabber and think that he’s the greatest “president” ever. After all, does his hateful, loveless existence not somehow validate theirs?

Even if I’ve swayed you to some degree that love is not insane, but ultimately is sanity itself, you probably don’t think that Crazy Hippie Lady Marianne Williamson (really, has Pussygrabber not called her that yet in one of his tweets?**) could function at all as president.

I wholly disagree.

To me, an effective leader starts with an effective, sane — and yes, loving — worldview and vision. Lacking that, true leadership is impossible. (See: “President” Pussygrabber.)

The president sets the tone and provides the broad strokes of how the nation should proceed. It’s up to the rest of us who have voted for this tone and these broad strokes (except, of course, in cases where the loser of the popular vote actually becomes “president”), to help bring this vision to fruition.

If the president is wise, he or she will surround him- or herself with bright, eminently qualified advisers (entirely unlike “Pussygrabber’s” ever-changing Cabinet of grifters), and the nation’s business not only will get done, but the nation will improve and move forward, and the world will be better for it.

After the likes of George W. Bush and Pussygrabber (both who lost the popular vote and thus who never should have sat behind the big desk in the Oval Office), it’s easy to think that we never could have an enlightened president again, but yes, we can. It’s up to us.

One thing not to do is to fall into the we-can’t-do-that camp. As Elizabeth Warren quite correctly said of the center-right sellouts badgering her and her fellow progressive Bernie Sanders in last night’s Democratic presidential debate, “I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.”

So you are running for president but have announced that you have put up the white flag before the fight has even begun — and I’m supposed to fucking trust you to fight for me? Um, yeah, fuck you.

Those who tell us that we can’t do anything at least are revealing themselves to us, which I suppose is nice. They’re telling us, loudly and clearly, that they only want the colossal ego trip of being president, but that they have no desire to truly fight for the people. (Hi, Barack! Hi, Hillary! Hi, Joe!)

My No. 1 choice for president remains Bernie Sanders. The fact that his progressive message doesn’t change, unlike that of the likes of Billary Clinton and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (and yes, also Pete Buttigieg), who change their positions as they deem politically necessary, indicates to me that as president Bernie would fight to realize his vision, which is based upon rock, not upon shifting sands.

And that Bernie has been in D.C. since the early 1990s is a boon, I think. If you want the top job in D.C., it helps to actually know D.C. (Hi, Pussygrabber!)

My No. 2 choice for president remains Elizabeth Warren. I perpetually cringed at the idea of Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton being our first female president, but a President Warren would make us proud.

And my No. 3 choice is, yes, Marianne Williamson. She is a rare case of a D.C. outsider actually being good for D.C. (Hi again, Pussygrabber!)

Williamson starts with strong leadership qualities and with a sane — and yes, loving — vision. The rest can be built on top of that.

I’m not naive about Williamson’s chances of being even No. 2 on the 2020 Democratic Party presidential ticket, but her voice in the presidential debates and in the national discussion is an important one, and therefore I hope that her presidential campaign continues.

You can help that happen by giving her even a small donation here.

P.S. I am aware of things that Williamson has stated over the past many years that range from unscientific to fairly legitimately kooky-sounding. That said, it seems to me that she often speaks metaphorically, not always literally, and if she stated something many years ago, might she not have changed her mind on that since?

And while science is incredibly important, if Western scientific advancements were the be-all and end-all, then why are so many Westerners still so fucking miserable? Is something in the Western worldview and mindset not lacking?

Also, when Williamson is discussed, sexism, misogyny and patriarchy so often rear their ugly heads. We’re not allowed to talk about love, feelings, interconnectedness, relationships, etc. — especially if we are running for president! I mean, those are girly things!

I’d argue that feminism, the yin of things, not only is at least half of the picture — yet so often we are to ignore it altogether — but I’d argue that ultimately it is indeed, as they say, the better half.

*As comedian Ramy Youssef hilariously notes in his HBO stand-up special “Feelings,” some people have posited that we can’t have a female president because of what she might yet do when she is on her period, yet with Pussygrabber, “we elected a period.”

Well, Pussygrabber wasn’t elected, of course, but, indeed, he is a period, a never-ending period.

**If Pussygrabber hasn’t savaged Williamson via Twitter yet (I don’t know, since I don’t follow anyone on Twitter, and certainly wouldn’t follow him if I did), it would be only because he hasn’t gotten to it yet and/or because he doesn’t perceive her to pose any sort of threat to his “re”-“election.”

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There is not, and there should not be, affirmative action for elections

Kamala Harris
Getty Images photo

Your race and your biological sex aren’t qualifications for elected office, whether you were born a white male or a non-white female (or non-white male).

The identity politicians are apoplectic that white men are the front-runners for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Indeed, most nationwide polls of Democratic presidential preference taken over the past two weeks or so show Joe Biden at No. 1, Bernie Sanders at No. 2 and Pete Buttigieg at No. 3.

Kamala Harris, a two-fer for the identity politicians, had been in third place for a long time before she was bumped (perhaps only temporarily — who knows?) by Buttigieg.

Politico reported a few days ago:

Houston — The women of color who packed into a university auditorium here Wednesday for a first-of-its-kind presidential forum delighted in the rhetoric of candidates who vowed to make Donald Trump a one-term president.

But their frustration was just as palpable — over the heavy media attention being paid to white male candidates in the early days of the Democratic primary, and over polling they contended is feeding a misleading narrative that only a white man can defeat Trump.

“With all due respect to the vice president, he hasn’t even announced yet but he’s the front-runner?” Leah Daughtry, a political operative and former Democratic National Committee official who helped organize the “She the People” event, said of Joe Biden [who would go on to officially announce the next day].

“Racism and sexism are part of the fabric and the fiber and the founding of our country,” she added, “and the way that the [Democratic] candidates are being treated, it just reminds you of that. We’re not past it.” …

Thing is, it seems that the identity politicians’ belief is that we, the people (on the Democratic side, anyway), must support, preferably, a non-white female candidate for president (if it must be a male, he must be non-white).

But electoral politics don’t work that way. The people support and vote for whomever they support and vote for (even when they support and vote for appallingly awful candidates such as George W. Bush and Pussygrabber).

There isn’t, and there cannot be, affirmative action in democratic politics, because democratic politics is all about choice — not about having candidates of certain demographics rammed down the throats of the populace.

I understand the frustration and disappointment over the fact that female and non-white candidates are campaigning but aren’t gaining traction. Kamala Harris as of late can’t make it to even 10 percent in most nationwide polls, and Elizabeth Warren can’t do as well as even Harris, and Cory Booker is behind both Harris and Warren.

Beto O’Rourke is polling right around where Warren is — proof, methinks, that merely being a white man isn’t enough.

Harris, Warren, Booker and O’Rourke all, in my book, lack substance and/or charisma. Harris doesn’t have much of either, Warren has a lot of substance but not a lot of charisma, Booker has neither and ditto for O’Rourke, whose laughably contrived “charisma” isn’t charisma at all, because you can’t fake charisma; you have it or you don’t.

Obviously, because every U.S. president except for Barack Obama has been a white male (and Obama is half-white), within the collective American psyche, apparently, is the belief, if even subconscious, that the president should be a white man. Many, many women even hold this belief, even consciously (most of them are Repugnicans, but still…).

Obama overcame this challenge because of his charisma — and also because, as he acknowledged himself, “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” (Indeed, upon that blank screen I projected — because of his campaign’s relentless, ubiquitous promises of “hope” and “change” — that Obama would be a progressive president. Boy, was I punk’d!)

Obama, an astute political opportunist, struck while the iron was hot; his window of political opportunity was rare and unique and it was brief. For Harris or Booker to believe that she or he easily could replicate Obama’s success simply because of his or her race not only is cynical and shallow and superficial, but quite obviously dead wrong.

I support Bernie Sanders not because he’s an old white guy — I loathe “President” Pussygrabber, but not because he’s an old white guy, but because he’s a fascist, treasonous criminal who wasn’t even actually elected — but I support Bernie because of those candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination in the top three tiers (which I define as consistently polling at 3 percent or more in nationwide polls), he has the most experience in D.C. and is the most progressive, entirely unlike Creepy Uncle Joe, who is an obsolete Clintonian sellout.

I easily could argue that Bernie is the only true Democrat in the race, which is ironic, given how often he is criticized for not actually being a Democrat.

My second choice probably would be Warren, even though her campaigning has been tone deaf and even though it does bother me at least a bit that as recently as the 1990s she was a Repugnican.

The reason I’m not giving Warren money or otherwise actively supporting her is because the polls of those within her own party clearly show that she isn’t exciting them, and I don’t and won’t squander my money, time, energy and emotional investment on a candidate who can’t excite even his or her own base.

My third choice probably would be Buttigieg, but I’m still gun shy from Obama. Even though Obama was an unknown, I put my support behind him, hoping for that change, and I was bitterly disappointed to see that we didn’t get change, but for the most part got only more of the same. Obama was a caretaker president at best.

So I can’t dive in and blindly support Buttigieg, as I did Obama.

Plus, Buttigieg isn’t ready to be president. He’s precocious and ambitious, to be sure, but I don’t think that it’s time to turn over the Oval Office to him. I’d love him to run for governor or for the U.S. Senate — and win (and then do a good job in the office) — first.

And, unlike how the craven identity politicians would support (probably exclusively) only someone who shares their own demographics, I’m not going to support Buttigieg primarily or even solely because he’s a gay white man like I am. It’s not enough that he and I both happen to white, male, and not heterosexual. This isn’t junior fucking high school.

Again, if it’s indeed the case that most American voters believe that the president should or even must be a white man, that’s sad, but, in a democracy, in which the voters are free to elect whomever they wish to elect, whether you or I agree with their choices or not, what, exactly, can be done about that?

That was a rhetorical question, but I’ll answer it anyway: qualified candidates who aren’t male and who aren’t white should continue to run for office, from local office to the presidency. Over time, their candidacies, successful or not, will change the national psyche. I know of no other democratic way.

Finally, it also should be pointed out that Biden and Bernie have run for president before, which is a huge reason that they are at No 1 and No. 2. On the national political stage they are fairly known quantities, unlike the likes of Harris and O’Rourke and Buttigieg. (Sadly, the problem with candidates such as Booker and Warren apparently is that they are known quantities…)

Ironically, at least for now, anyway, it seems to be Buttigieg who is filling the “hope” and “change” spot — that is, he is the bright and shiny newcomer on whom many voters seem willing to take the chance. (It had looked like that spot would be filled be O’Rourke, but he has turned out to be the flash in the pan that it was pretty clear he was going to be.)

And I’m sure that many black Americans, who tend to be homophobic, are pretty incensed that a gay white man apparently has displaced Kamala Harris, who “deserves” the presidential nomination because she’s a black woman, you see; the way that she was born are her “qualifications,” which is ironic, given that we’ve established that merely having been born a white male aren’t qualifications.

What I’m hoping is that young progressive politicians now, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Katie Porter and Rashida Tlaib (and Buttigieg!), get more and more electoral and governance experience under their belts and give us the diverse bench of qualified presidential candidates that we don’t really have now.

That, to me, seems to be the best solution — not to piss and moan ad infinitum that the American people apparently still prefer presidential candidates who are white men.

Whining incessantly about “sexism” and “misogyny” — while ignoring her glaring flaws and shortcomings as a president candidate — didn’t help Billary Clinton the last go-around.

Further such whining isn’t ever going to work in the future.

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Bernie now No. 1 in WaPo’s ranking

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake’s quasi-quarterly ranking of the 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidates has Bernie Sanders topping the list of 15.

(Blake notes that “this list is in order of likeliness to be the Democratic nominee” and also notes that “The field is also largely set now, with just a few big question marks outstanding,” with which I pretty much agree.

The Post notes that Bernie returns to No. 1, but I don’t remember that he ever made No. 1 before — that spot usually was reserved for establishmentarian candidates who weren’t actually No. 1, like Kamala Harris.)

In ranking him at No. 1, Blake too-briefly notes of Sanders: “Sanders’s $18.2 million raised in the first quarter tops in the field. Now we’ll see if he can rekindle some of the magic of 2016, which I’m not sure we’ve really seen just yet. It would sure help if he can get past this tax-return unforced error.”

Even while calling him No. 1, the establishmentarian, corporately owned and controlled media can’t resist taking a shot at Bernie.

Bernie’s “tax-return unforced error,” I guess, is that although he’s been railing against millionaires and billionaires (or millionayahhhs and billionayahhhs) for years now, he has become a millionaire himself from book sales. (Bernie has promised to release 10 years of his tax returns no later than tomorrow.)

If you’re already a Bernie hater, then you ignorantly, smugly, disingenuously scoff at his financial success — a millionaire democratic socialist! — but how you earn your money fucking matters.

Bernie wrote books that people chose to buy, including his best-selling Our Revolution; he didn’t obtain his money by paying a bunch of overworked employees a non-living wage and/or by outrageously overcharging someone for a live-saving pharmaceutical and/or by contributing to the destruction of the planet in order to get his million. He earned it fairly and squarely. Therefore, I have no problem with his financial success — which, compared to the income of the titans of capitalism, is a fucking pittance anyway.

And why would it be a shock that someone with Bernie’s national renown — he did quite well against Billary Clinton in 2016, and because of his 2016 run he starts out in a much stronger position this election cycle — should have some money?

And as fucked up as it is, we do still live in a capitalist system — in which anyone, if he or she writes a best-selling book, for example, can get some moolah.

But I digress.

In his current ranking of 15, Blake drops Joe Biden all the way down to No. 6, noting:

Whatever you think about the complaints women made against Biden alleging inappropriate physical contact, Biden’s handling of it — deciding to turn it into a joke — was a reminder how quickly things can go awry with the freewheeling Biden.

I’ve been arguing for a while that his stock is too high, and this episode has helped affirm it. He’s got a front-runner’s poll numbers but needs to actually show he’s a much better candidate than he was in 1988 and 2008.

I agree wholeheartedly that Biden’s “stock is too high” and that he “needs to actually show he’s a much better candidate than he was in 1988 and 2008,” and not only do I very much not want the uninspiring, centrist, corporate-friendly Biden as the nominee (again, to me he is Billary 2.0), but I don’t think that he’ll emerge as the nominee, not in the current political climate, in which the party’s nominee won’t be decided by the national electorate (which for the sake of argument we’ll say is centrist), but will be decided mostly by party animals, who these days lean to the left.

But as much as I’m not a fan of Biden, I think that putting him at No. 6 is too low; I think that he still probably still belongs in the top three, as we never should underestimate the power of Democrats to pick (or just sit back and allow…) a shitty candidate to become the presidential nominee. I mean, they just did that in 2016 with Billary.

Blake ranks Kamala Harris as No. 2 (still too high, probably, given her single-digit nationwide polling numbers), Elizabeth Warren as No. 3 (probably too high, given that her polling numbers are even lower than Harris’), Cory Booker at No. 4 (way too high, as he can’t even get 5 percent in most polls), Beto O’Rourke at No. 5 (I believe that the ideas-free O’Rourke stands almost no chance, although he polls closely to Harris), and Pete Buttigieg at No. 7, behind Biden.

Buttigieg actually has a better chance than many if not most might believe, I think.

He has polled in the top three in at least two polls of Iowa voters taken over the past month, and polled in the top three in at least one poll of New Hampshire voters taken this month.

We shouldn’t forget the case of John Kerry, whose presidential campaign was on life support until he came back, Lazarus style, when he won the Iowa caucuses (which Howard Dean was “supposed” to win [he came in third]) and then won the New Hampshire primary — and then went on to win five of the seven states in the next contest, dubbed “Mini Tuesday.”

After that, the nomination was all Kerry’s.

Thus far I’ve focused on the nationwide presidential preference polls and have neglected to talk about the slingshot effect that winning Iowa and/or New Hampshire usually has on a presidential race. (The Iowa caucuses are the first contest of the presidential primary season, followed quickly by the New Hampshire primary.) Win one or both of those two states, and you are in good shape.

(The only Democratic presidential nominee who hadn’t won Iowa or New Hampshire in my lifetime was Bill Clinton, who came in at second place in New Hampshire but still eked out a win of the nomination.

In case you were wondering, in 2016 Billary “won” Iowa by 49.8 percent to Bernie’s 49.6 percent — yes, it was that close in the midst of talk about cheating by Team Billary — and Bernie blew Billary out of the water in New Hampshire, 60.1 percent to 37.7 percent.)

I think it’s unlikely that Pete Buttigieg will pull a surprise win like John Kerry did in 2004 — I mean, Kerry had been a U.S. senator at that time, whereas Buttigieg has been only the mayor of a not-huge city — but it’s not impossible.

As the voters on the Repugnican side chose outsider Pussygrabber in 2016, it’s not impossible that the Democratic voters in 2020 will want a fresh, young face, and that would be Buttigieg’s.

Still, though, if I had to put my money on it, I’d say that Bernie Sanders is going to be the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee — not just because he’s the candidate I want to become the nominee, but because he came surprisingly close to Billary in 2016 and because the party today is more Bernie’s than it is the Billarybots’, as evidenced by how most of the contenders for the 2020 nomination have adopted Bernie’s key positions.

You don’t mimic a loser. You mimic a winner.

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Beto O’Verrated

My thoughts on Beto O’Rourke haven’t changed since I posted the piece below on December 15, so I’m simply running the piece again here (it’s below).

O’Rourke hasn’t been able to reach even double digits in the nationwide polling of 2020 Democratic Party presidential preference, and for a while now, along with Elizabeth Warren, he generally has been around fourth (or fifth) place, behind Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris (in that order), all three of whom poll in the double digits. (See here and here.)

I expect O’Rourke’s formal announcement of today to give him a bump of a few points in the nationwide polling (maybe five points), but I don’t expect that to stick, since he is a substance-free candidate.

Not only does he lack substance, but I don’t find his slacker-hipster style to be interesting (much more endearing) at all. I find it to be annoying.

O’Rourke needs to grow the fuck up already. We already have a man-child in the White House and we don’t need another.

P.S. I do hope that for however long he is in it, O’Rourke serves to further split the vote, only helping Bernie. My guess is that Joe Biden stands to lose the most from O’Rourke’s candidacy, as both Biden and O’Rourke stand for the same thing: nothing.

Robert's Virtual Soapbox

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 whatthe fuck, if anything, he stands for.Reports Politico:

Asked if he…

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