Tag Archives: Democratic Party

Waiting for President Bernie Sanders (and/or a rematch of the Civil War…)

New York Times news photo

Last week illegitimate U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III had the fucking gall to come to my city of Sacramento and proclaim that California may not “secede,” actually comparing California’s intent and desire to protect the most vulnerable among us to the South’s attempt to preserve the slavery of black people. (In his hateful little lecture-speech to California, the most populous state of the nation by a margin of more than 10 million people over the next-most-populous state, the Nazi elf brought up the pro-slavery John C. Calhoun but for some reason didn’t remind us that his first and middle names have very special meaning in the South.)

My regular readers (there are at least a handful of them) will have noticed that during the illegitimate reign of the unelected Pussygrabber regime* my blogging has dropped off considerably.

It’s that I can’t blog on every outrage. There are far too many of them these days (and weeks and months).

I will comment on one recent outrage, however: the Pussygrabber Department of “Justice” suing my state of California over its being, by state law since January 1, a “sanctuary state” and Pussygrabber regime Attorney General Jeff Sessions proclaiming that California may not “secede.”

(Specifically, Sessions proclaimed that “There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is the supreme law of the land. I would invite any doubters to go to Gettysburg or to the tombstones of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln. This matter has been settled.” Yes, he went there.)

Funny: Nazi elf Sessions’ Southern ilk wanted to secede — and did secede, even before President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated after his first election, for fuck’s sake — in order to be able to continue to mistreat human beings abhorrently (indeed, the pro-slavery white Southerners didn’t consider the black slaves to even be human beings).

Yet when California wishes to protect human rights, human dignity and human well-being, Jeff Fucking Sessions, a treasonous piss-ant piece of shit, has the fucking gall to actually liken California to the slave-owning Southern states that had their asses handed to them on a silver platter by us slave-liberating Northerners. (Yes, of course, California was a Union state, unlike Jeffy’s backasswards, treasonous state of Alabama.)

Here’s the deal on “sanctuary cities” in California (and the fact that by state law the entire state is a “sanctuary state”): One, these “sanctuary” jurisdictions have been around in California for decades now and so aren’t new. And two, no California elected official, whether on the city, county, state or any other level, wants to just allow violently felonious “illegals” (a.k.a. “bad hombres”) to murder and rape fine white California citizens on his or her watch. That’s what you call bad politics.

Therefore, no, “sanctuary” jurisdictions do not protect violent felons who are in the country illegally. (As the Los Angeles Times notes, “The [“sanctuary state”] law prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from using personnel or funds to hold or question people, or share information about them with federal immigration agents, unless they have been convicted of one or more offenses from a list of 800 crimes.” [Emphasis mine.])

No, the idea of “sanctuary” jurisdictions is that law-abiding residents (those who haven’t committed serious crimes, anyway; almost all of us in the U.S., citizen or not, have committed at least misdemeanors during our lifetimes, whether we’re ever charged with those misdemeanors or not), whether they are here legally or not, don’t have to feel terrorized by storm troopers from ICE — a bunch of mostly right-wing, authoritarian, hypocritical white men with fascist tendencies if they’re not already full-blown fascists who get off on terrorizing others even for nonviolent legal infractions (such as merely existing where they’re “not supposed to” exist). This makes their fucking fascist day, you see.

And the idea of “sanctuary” jurisdictions also is that no resident in California, whether here legally or not, is too afraid to report a crime committed against him or her and/or against others because of his or her and/or the others’ citizenship status. Or is too afraid to testify or otherwise appear in a court of law. Or too afraid to seek medical care for himself or herself or another because of his or her citizenship status. Or to even to just go to school or to just take his or her child or children to school.

And the idea of “sanctuary” jurisdictions is that families (chosen families as well as biological families, in my book) aren’t ripped apart. It’s in society’s interests that that doesn’t happen. (The Repugnican Party is supposed to be all about the family, but of course that’s only white, Repugnican-voting families.)

Still, even being a “sanctuary state,” as Vox.com notes, “California, like any other ‘sanctuary’ jurisdiction, isn’t stopping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from being able to arrest, detain, or deport immigrants. In fact, ICE has already responded to the 2017 laws in its own way — by escalating raids in California and claiming that the state’s sanctuary laws force ICE to get more aggressive in its tactics.”

Indeed, the unelected and thus illegitimate Pussygrabber regime’s acting head of ICE, Thomas Homan — of course yet another stupid, fascist white man — in January proclaimed (of course) on Faux “News”/state television, “California better hold on tight. They are about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers.”

This moronic fascist who heads ICE demonstrates the need for California to protect its most politically vulnerable residents. And I’d gladly trade one stupid white man like Homan for 1,000 “illegals,” the vast majority of whom are hard-working and law-abiding.

(Indeed, non-citizens are less likely to commit crimes in the U.S. than are U.S. citizens. This isn’t shocking, as the vast majority of those who are not here legally quite obviously don’t have the strong desire to draw negative attention to themselves, be that by voting illegally or murdering and raping and pillaging and plundering, although it’s awfully interesting that the traitors on the right proclaim that the “illegals” are interested in both murdering and raping and in voting, because, you know, our prisons are filled with felons — bad hombres — who put voting illegally at the top of their lists of their favorite crimes to commit. [“You just raped and murdered a beautiful young white woman! What are you going to do now?” “I’m going to go vote!”])

Since Nazi elf Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III went there first, I’ll say it again: The North acted to stop the South’s terrorizing of brown-skinned human beings there. Now, the South thinks that it’s going to invade the North to terrorize the brown-skinned human beings here.

A second fight with California and the rest of the North** is not a fight that the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, MAGA-cap-wearing, Confederate-flag-waving fascists want to pick.

But, alas, as much as I often think that Abraham Lincoln’s No. 1 mistake is that he didn’t destroy the South entirely, but let way too many of the inbred traitors there live only to continue to drag down the entire nation to today, it most likely won’t come to that.

What’s more likely to happen is that the Repugnican traitors lose the U.S. House of Representatives in November. Then, “President” Pussygrabber is neutered. (True, expect him and his band of fellow traitors and criminals to do as much damage as they possibly can until then and even afterwards.)

Then, after November 2020, ideally we’ll have both houses of Congress controlled by the Democratic Party, as woefully imperfect as the Democratic Party is, and we’ll have President Bernie Sanders in the Oval Office.***

Maybe the red states will try to secede again between Bernie’s election and his inauguration, and they’ll get that rematch of the Civil War that they — and many of us on the other side — are itching for.

*Again, to me, if you did not win the popular vote, then you are not legitimately the president, as the majority of the American people did not select you. This is the case with “President” Pussygrabber as it was the case with “President” George W. Bush (whose “re”-“election” also was bullshit, since you can’t legitimately be elected again if you never were elected legitimately in the first fucking place). 

**By “North” and “South” and “Northern” and “Southern,” I sometimes refer not (only) to the regions (the blue states and the red states), but (also) to the fascist/anti-democratic/treasonous and non-fascist/democratic/patriotic mindsets of the South and the North respectively; of course a person could be in the North but be a Southerner at heart and vice-versa.

***PredictIt.org, as I type this sentence, has the Democrats more likely to take over the White House in November 2020 than Pussygrabber is likely to keep his job, and has Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden tied for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

I am not at all on Team Biden. I see him as a male Billary Clinton, a Democrat in name only (well, maybe he’s a little to the left of Billary, but she’s so far to the right that it’s a pretty insignificant distinction), and I don’t think that has-been, faux-progressive populist Biden will be able to overcome the enthusiasm that Bernie, a genuine progressive populist, generates.

Biden has, after all, run for the White House twice already. His plagiarism scandal of 1987 (which apparently wasn’t an isolated incident of plagiarism) speaks to his character, methinks, as does his mistreatment of Anita Hill in 1991.

Hopefully the changes that supposedly are being made within the Democratic National Committee after the fucking fiasco that was 2016 will mean that Biden won’t simply be coronated, like Queen Billary was.

Should anything like what happened to Bernie Sanders in 2016 repeat itself in 2020, what’s left of the Democratic Party can count the number of days that it has left; the Democratic Party already is on life support right now.

What support the party has now comes more from fear and loathing of the fascists who comprise the Repugnican Party than from real love and respect for the Dem Party, which lost its spine and veered away from progressivism no later than in the 1990s.

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Kevin de León denies Sen. Cryptkeeper state Democratic Party endorsement

Image result for Kevin De Leon Dianne Feinstein

California State Sen. President Kevin de León (pictured above left) yesterday won 54 percent of the vote of the delegates at the annual state Democratic Party convention in San Diego, a crushing blow to Sen. Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein (above right), whose name depressingly and oppressively has been on the ballot for the past 25 years. Cryptkeeper won only 37 percent of the delegates’ votes — 485 fewer votes than de León won.

Wow. For a little while I was a little worried about Kevin de León’s bravely insurgent campaign for the U.S. Senate seat for California that the ancient, Democrat-in-name-only Dianne Feinstein — whom I lovingly think of as “Cryptkeeper” — has held with a death grip since 1992.

No more.

Not only did de León recently win the endorsement of the nation’s largest state’s largest public-sector union, the Service Employees International Union (for once the Billary-Clinton-loving union to which I belong got a political endorsement right), but yesterday at the annual state Democratic Party convention, de León handily denied Cryptkeeper the state party’s endorsement.

It’s a high bar to win the state party’s endorsement — a vote of at least 60 percent of the delegates to the convention — but not only did de León deny Cryptkeeper that 60 percent, but he blew her out of the water: De León won 54 percent of the delegates’ votes to Cryptkeeper’s 37 percent.

Again: Wow.

The Los Angeles Times calls it “an embarrassing rebuke of” Cryptkeeper and notes that “Though de León did not get the endorsement, his success in blocking Feinstein from receiving it shows that his calls for generational change and a more aggressively liberal path have resonated with some of the party’s most passionate activists.”

Of course multi-millionaire Cryptkeeper, one of the wealthiest U.S. senators, has more campaign cash in the bank (including at least a cool $5 million that she gave herself) than does de León, and of course because of her name recognition (she has been around longer than has God), Cryptkeeper is polling better right now than is the much-less-known de León, but de León’s big wins — such as winning the majority of the state party delegates’ votes and winning not only SEIU’s endorsement but also the California Nurses Association’s — demonstrate that not only is de León a serious contender, but that plenty of Californians have had it with the plutocratic Cryptkeeper’s center-right bullshit and wish her gone.

I expect de León’s coffers to fill soon, and I expect his poll numbers to climb the more that Californians realize what a winner he is. And I expect more labor unions to endorse him, and without labor unions’ help, I can’t see Cryptkeeper winning. Her big money alone won’t be enough; she’ll have to actually earn enough votes.

The 84-year-old Cryptkeeper could have saved herself this embarrassment and stepped down, but she’s been tone-deaf to her constituency, who is to the left of her on many if not most issues, for years. The only reason that they’ve been re-electing her is that this is the first time that a viable alternative has emerged.

Cryptkeeper is no longer inevitable, and that’s great news not only for the people of California, but for all Americans who are affected by Cryptkeeper’s center-right votes in the U.S. Senate.

P.S. Also yesterday, California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom (who also has been endorsed by SEIU) garnered more votes for a state party endorsement than did any other candidate, with 39 percent.

While DINO Antonio Villaraigosa and Newsom have been in the top two in polling, yesterday Villaraigosa came in at fourth place in the endorsement vote, garnering only 9 percent. (The second-place winner garnered 30 percent and the third-place winner garnered 20 percent, and because there are so many Democratic gubernatorial candidates, it wasn’t expected that any one of them would reach the 60-percent mark necessary for an endorsement from the state party.)

I expect Newsom, who is my imperfect-but-preferred candidate, to become California’s next governor.

Some are saying that these votes for state party endorsements reflect only the wishes of party insiders, but these so-called party insiders are dispersed throughout the state and they are opinion leaders. These state party endorsement votes aren’t meaningless, even though both de León and Newsom fell short of 60 percent (which, in my opinion, should be reduced to anything above 50 percent).

P.P.S. I should note that under California’s top-two primary system, the top-two vote-getters (regardless of party) in the state’s June 5 primary will move on to the November general election, and I expect the top two to be Kevin de León and Cryptkeeper. (In 2016, there were only two Democrats on the ballot for U.S. Senator for California, Kamala Harris and a nut job who didn’t stand a chance against Harris.)

Some have posited that because Cryptkeeper is center-right — that is, Repugnican Lite — the state’s Repugnicans will vote for her, figuring (correctly) that she’s closer to their political orientation than is de León.

But I don’t know about that. I’d have to see a poll or polls of registered Repugnicans that asks whether or not in a de León-vs.-Cryptkeeper race they’d vote for Cryptkeeper or not vote at all. I surmise that most of the state’s Repugs wouldn’t vote for a Dem, not even DINO Cryptkeeper.

In any event, for de León to win, it’s going to take grassroots support. He doesn’t need as much money as Cryptkeeper does, but he does need those of us who are left of center to vote.

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2017: Bye, Felicia! And greetings, 2018!

This past year has been what we’d known (or at least should have known) that it would be: a lost year, a year in which the unelected* Pussygrabber regime focused on three things: further enriching Pussygrabber’s already-filthy-rich cronies via tax cuts and deregulation and other forms of welfare for the plutocratic oligarchs; reversing anything and everything with Barack Obama’s name on it; and bullying the politically weakest among us, including immigrants (mostly brown-skinned people from Spanish-speaking nations) and transgender individuals.

The bad news is that two years (2017 and 2018) is enough time for the unelected Pussygrabber regime to cause plenty of damage that will take plenty of time to reverse once the Repugnican “tea party” traitors are out of power again.

And, unfortunately, when a shitty (= Repugnican) “president” is “elected” and both houses of Congress are controlled by his** party, usually the best that we can hope to do is to take back one or both houses of Congress in the next midterm election.

Thankfully, fivethirtyeight.com’s Harry Enten wrote recently, “the Democratic advantage in the FiveThirtyEight generic [congressional] ballot aggregate is up to about 12 points, 49.6 percent to 37.4 percent. That average … shows Republicans in worse shape right now than any other majority party at this point in the midterm cycle since at least the 1938 [midterm] election.” (As I type this sentence, fivethirtyeight.com now shows the Dems at 12.9 percent ahead of the Repugs on the generic congressional ballot, 49.9 percent to 37 percent.)

Enten concludes that the “Democrats are probably favorites to win the House. Their current advantage is larger than the lead Republicans had at this point in the 1994 cycle, the lead Democrats held at this point in the 2006 cycle or the lead Republicans had at this point in the 2010 cycle. Those were all years when the minority party won control of the House.

“And a 12-percentage-point Democratic advantage in the national House vote come next November would likely be more than enough for the House to flip again. I’ve previously calculated that the Democrats need to win the national House vote by 5.5 to 8 points to win the House. …”

I expect the Dems to take back the House in November 2018, neutering Pussygrabber for his remaining time in the Oval Office, just as the Repugnican “tea party” traitors neutered Obama for his remaining time in office when they took the House in November 2010 (and they have held onto it to this day).

Despite the lost year that was 2017, I must admit that I’m still happy that Billary Clinton didn’t become president. Why? Her win of the White House in November 2016 would have been parlayed as vindication for her brand of center-right, sellout, pro-corporate, Repugnican-Lite “Democratic” politics. Her (and Obama’s) brand of sellout, Democrat-in-name-only politics had to die, even if it meant “President” Pussygrabber in power for two years. To make an omelet you have to crack some eggs.

Further along that track, I’m actually glad that Bernie Sanders didn’t win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. Why? Because had he actually lost to Pussygrabber (which I don’t think was likely to happen, but which of course could have happened), the Democrats in name only would have parlayed that as “proof” that left-wing Democratic politics don’t work. They would have lumped Bernie in with other progressive presidential candidates who lost, including George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.

But even if Bernie had won the White House, he probably would have faced a Repugnican Congress (at least one of the two houses in Repugnican hands, anyway) that would have done its best to prevent him from having any progressive accomplishment — and again, the Democrats in name only would have parlayed that as “proof” that left-wing Democratic politics don’t work. (And they probably would have compared Bernie to Jimmy Carter.)

The best-case scenario is that the Dems take back the House in 2018 — and maybe the Senate, too, but that’s less likely — and that the Dems take back the Senate in November 2020 if they don’t do it in November 2018. Then, President Sanders will have both houses of Congress in his party’s control, and I wouldn’t expect him to utterly squander that rare alignment of the stars like Barack Obama did in 2009 and 2010. I would expect President Sanders to push his progressive agenda through, not to try to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” with the intractably incorrigible Repugnican “tea party” traitors, like Obama did.

Oh, and if you think that Bernie Sanders can’t win the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, know that the experts disagree with you.

A recent Washington Post ranking of the most likely 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate put Bernie at No. 1, former veep Joe Biden at No. 2, Sen. Elizabeth Warren at No. 3, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand at No. 4 and Sen. Kamala Harris at No. 5.

Biden ran for the Democratic Party presidential nomination twice before — in 1988 and in 2008 — and the voters rejected him. I’m not much worried about Biden and his outdated Clintonian-Obamanian “Democratic” politics. He is obsolete, and like with Billary, it very apparently isn’t in the stars for him ever to be POTUS.

Liz Warren is acceptable to me, but I still expect her to face actual misogyny and sexism should she run for president. (Billary faced a little misogyny and sexism, I surmise, but for the most part, methinks, people just hate her corrupt, despicable guts, and her biological sex certainly has not been her No. 1 problem, although when you are contemptible and corrupt, it’s certainly convenient to claim that you’re the victim of sexism and misogyny.)

Liz would be attacked not only for being a woman, but also for being progressive (“Communist,” to the Repugnican “tea party” traitors).

It isn’t fair to blame Liz for the predictable, unfair attacks upon her by right-wing scumbags should she run for president, but if the idea is to actually win the White House, then you go with the candidate who is most likely to do that. It certainly wasn’t the widely despised Billary Clinton in November 2016 (obviously), and it probably isn’t Liz Warren in November 2020. I say that as much as I love her.

Kirsten Gillibrand isn’t known well enough at all to win the 2020 Dem prez nomination, and pretty much ditto for Kamala Harris, who hasn’t been in the U.S. Senate for even one full year yet.

Harris most likely will be the candidate foisted upon us by the Only Black Lives Matter set (and she checks off two identity-politics boxes [female and half-black]), but The Washington Post puts her at No. 5 for a reason: because her chance of winning the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination is not high.

I am not even sure if I can support Harris (whom I did vote for in November 2016) as the 2020 Democratic Party vice-presidential candidate, given her dearth of experience in Washington, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when I come to it.

(The other milquetoast-to-corrupt candidate most likely to be foisted upon us by Only Black Lives Matter slacktivists, Sen. Cory Booker, ranks with WaPo at No. 6. Indeed, OBLM’s message to the rest of us very apparently is that after Obama, every Democratic president from here on out must be black or half-black, and that’s the only criterion. [Not that that’s black supremacist and racist or anything!])

I probably am OK with Liz Warren as the 2020 Dem vice-presidential candidate, even though a Sanders-Warren ticket of course would be savaged by the right. But the Colonels Sanders of the nation always have riled the stupid chickens up against the animal-rights activists. That’s perennial, predictable and probably unpreventable.

So, again, 2017 was a dead year, as I knew it would be, and that’s why, I’m sure, the frequency of my blogging dropped off. What can you do with the likes of “President” Pussygrabber but do your best to ride it out until order and balance finally are restored?

But 2018 gives us something to look forward to: the retaking of the House, which at least is a near-certainty, and perhaps also of the Senate, but if not in 2018, then probably in 2020 — setting up a great scenario for President Sanders come January 2021.

P.S. The Hill also recently named Bernie Sanders as most likely to win the 2020 Dem Party presidential nomination, with Joe Biden at No. 2 and Elizabeth Warren at No. 3. The Hill put Kamala Harris at No. 4.

*Pussygrabber lost the popular vote by almost 3 fucking million. He is, therefore, in my book, unelected. The anti-democratic (and anti-Democratic) Electoral College should have been abolished long ago.

If we actually believe in democracy, then the candidate who wins the most votes actually takes office. Fucking duh.

**As soon as we have a female president, I’ll write “his or her” or “her or his.” I promise you. (I don’t do “their.” “Their” is for two or more people, not for “his or her” or for a “non-binary” designation.)

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No, you actually don’t get a medal for voting in your own best interests

Roy Moore

Reuters news photo

Democrat Doug Jones, pictured above at his victory celebration, will represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate after yesterday’s special election in the deep-red state. Black Alabama voters are being praised for their high turnout, but they’re supposed to vote in their own best interests anyway, and I easily could argue that because black American voters supported the widely despised Billary Clinton over the much more popular Bernie Sanders by a margin of three to one, they were instrumental in putting “President” Pussygrabber into the White House — so the meme that black voters are saving the nation needs to stop right about right now…

I was happy to learn last night that Democratic candidate Doug Jones (to whom I gave $20…) beat Repugnican candidate Roy Moore in the special election for the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by Nazi elf Jeff Sessions when he became U.S. attorney general.

For a left-wing Californian like me, Doug Jones is pretty centrist, but I get it: He ran in Alabama. And the alternative was “Christo”fascist Roy “Moses” Moore.

But I was disturbed today to hear the meme that this narrow victory (Jones reportedly won by around 1.5 percentage points) was brought to us by black voters.

Let’s unpack that:

About 27 percent of Alabamans are black (whereas nationally, blacks are about 13 percent of the population).

I would hope that the voters of Alabama of all races would vote in their own best fucking interests, and it was not in their own best interests to vote for backasswards sex criminal and far-right piece of shit and nut job Roy Moore.

Is the message that white Americans sure should be thankful that black Americans voted for Doug Jones — even though he is white? Are the black voters of Alabama to be praised for not being black supremacists?

I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and I didn’t expect a fucking Brownie button for having done so because I’m white; I perceived Obama as the most progressive yet still viable candidate, and therefore I voted for him.

Obama’s being biracial wasn’t high on my list of reasons for having voted for him (and it wasn’t at all on my list of reasons for being unable to vote for him again in 2012; it was how he lost the House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections by having spectacularly squandered his political capital in 2009 and 2010 that prevented me from being able to vote for him again*).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it over and over and over again: I vote for the most progressive yet still viable candidate; that is, I vote in my own best interests, at least as how I perceive them. I don’t give a rat’s ass about a candidate’s race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

Perhaps what I find most disturbing about the heaps of praise for the black voters of Alabama for simply having wisely voted in their own best interests is that it probably is going to be parlayed as a race-based quid pro quo: We black voters voted in white man Doug Jones, so now the Democratic Party had better make, say, Sen. Kamala Harris or Sen. Cory Booker its 2020 presidential candidate; if not, we black voters will bolt from the Democratic Party! You can’t win without us!

To that I say: OK, go ahead and bolt. I won’t be your fucking political hostage. Because the Democratic Party is not actually supposed to be the vehicle through which only 13 percent of the U.S. population gains political control over the entire fucking nation. That’s not democracy. That’s a race-based takeover of the entire fucking nation by a minority of Americans.

Should a black candidate be the most progressive yet still viable Democratic Party presidential candidate for 2020, he or she will have my full support. But it won’t be because he or she is black; it will be because he or she is the most progressive yet still viable candidate.

Thus far I don’t see Kamala Harris or Cory Booker as presidential material. Harris hasn’t done anything thus far — she hasn’t even been in the Senate for one full year yet, and anyway, as long as the Repugnicans control the Senate, what could she do? — and Booker is a fakey-fake, a self-serving corporate whore and a pathetic knock-off of the “Kumbaya”-singing Obama whom I find unacceptable.

(Deval Patrick, another black American whose name is bandied about as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, works for Mittens Romney’s Bain Capital; I’ll very probably pass on him, too. I rejected Billary Clinton in no tiny part because of her coziness with Wall Street, and I love Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in large part for their distaste of Wall Street and their refusal to be Clintonian corporate whores.)

Black Alabamans, I am glad that you voted en force to prevent Roy Moore from being your new U.S. senator (even though Alabama makes it as difficult as it can for you to be able to vote; you probably do deserve credit for your perseverance). But you did your civic duty, I think I’d argue. You are, after all, between a fourth and a third of the population of your state. Methinks that you probably don’t get special props for doing your civic duty and for voting in your own best interests.

I’ve voted consistently since I turned 18 — one could argue, I suppose, that voting is pointless, but I vote religiously because I know that the religious and the other assorted wingnuts vote religiously — and I expect no thanks or praise for doing what I should do anyway. (Yes, in fairness, California doesn’t put up as many roadblocks as possible to prevent Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters [or any voters] from being able to vote.)

It is sweet that Alabama’s new U.S. senator is a Democrat, but the bigger picture is that if the Democratic Party hasn’t learned what a losing game toxic identity politics is over the long run, then it will continue to — and it will deserve to — keep losing.**

Billary Clinton lost in November 2016 in no tiny part because she and her supporters basically told voters that if they didn’t vote for her, they’re sexist pieces of shit. Not only was this toxic-identity-politics message related to us “Bernie bros” relentlessly, but Team Billary even trotted out crone Madeleine Albright, a war criminal, to tell women that if they didn’t vote for Billary, they’d find themselves in “a special place in hell,” to which Billary gave one of her grating cackles.

Calling Democratic voters “racist” for rejecting a black presidential candidate who, like Billary, is a center-right Democrat in name only, will result in yet another instance of the Democratic Party snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. You can’t win a national election by catering to 13 percent of the national population. That’s just called math.

*While I didn’t vote for Obama again in 2012 because I don’t believe in rewarding an elected official who has violated his or her campaign promises by voting for him or her again, let me be clear that it was safe for me to decline to vote for Obama in 2012 because I live in California, and it was a foregone conclusion that Obama would win California and all of its electoral votes in 2012 as he did in 2008. So shut the fuck up and educate yourself about the Electoral College.

**Largely because of toxic identity politics, a while ago I switched my voter registration from Democratic to independent. I approach 50 years old and it’s the first time in my life that I’ve been registered as an independent (I’d only ever been registered with the Democratic Party and with the Green Party before I switched to independent).

After the pro-corporate, anti-populist, center-right Democratic Party establishment royally fucked over Bernie Sanders, I left the Democratic Party and I won’t ever return to it until and unless it earns my support by ceasing and desisting with the Clintonian bullshit, which includes pushing identity politics while ignoring our grave socioeconomic problems, since our corporate overlords and campaign contributors don’t much care about identity politics but sure the fuck don’t want the socioeconomic status quo to be threatened.

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Et tu, Al?

Updated below (on Friday, November 17, 2017)

In the current climate, it was only a matter of time before someone I really have liked and respected was going to be outed as having acted sexually inappropriately in the past. This time, there is photographic evidence:

Franken gropes the accuser while smiling

That’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota apparently pretending* to grope a sleeping woman (radio newscaster Leeann Tweeden) during a U.S.O. (United Service Organizations) tour in the Middle East in 2006.

From his expression, he fairly clearly thinks that it’s pretty fucking funny. Of course, it isn’t, which he has acknowledged, and he has apologized for his inappropriate, immature, abusive, disrespectful act, and Tweeden has stated that she accepts his apology and that she doesn’t believe that he should step down.

To me, that’s pretty much case closed.

More disturbing to me than the frat-boy-level photo above is Tweeden’s allegation that Franken, under the guise of rehearsing a skit that he wrote that (rather conveniently) required him to kiss her, kissed her forcefully against her wishes (and gave her tongue, she adds).

Such unwanted contact constitutes sexual battery, in my book, but Franken said that “While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences.”

He immediately added: “I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.”

So: This contact between Franken and Tweeden happened in 2006, before Franken became a U.S. senator in 2009. (And in Tweeden’s own words, “Franken had written some skits for the [U.S.O.] show and brought props and costumes to go along with them. Like many U.S.O. shows before and since, the skits were full of sexual innuendo geared toward a young, male audience.” That’s some context, and context matters.)

The New York Times reports that “Ms. Tweeden said that no one else witnessed the [alleged forced] kiss, and she did not tell the tour’s organizers [about it].” (Indeed, Tweeden’s own words to this effect are here.)

Franken couldn’t have been convicted of sexual battery at the time even if Tweeden had gone to the authorities, because they apparently have different versions of the same event that no one else witnessed. Legally, it seems to me, that’s pretty much that.

It seems to me that absent a felony conviction, which should disqualify anyone from becoming or remaining a U.S. senator, it’s up to the voters of Minnesota to decide Franken’s fate when he comes up for re-election in 2020, assuming that he decides to run again.

It’s probably safe to say that any hope that Franken might have had about running for president in 2020 is dashed — even though “President” Pussygrabber bragged about grabbing women by the pussy and still became “president” — but I refuse to write Franken’s political obituary today. I believe that he can come out better and stronger for this (and that yes, hell — who knows? — he still might become president one day).

No, I don’t condone sexual harassment of any kind, from non-body-contact sexual harassment, such as making unwanted sexual remarks to taking a photo of yourself pretending to grope someone sexually to exposing yourself to someone who doesn’t want to see your goods, to actual body-contact sexual harassment, such as actual groping or forceful, unwanted kissing.

But nor is it productive to take the stance that we should utterly fucking destroy anyone who has misstepped.

That self-righteous revenge-seeking goes beyond justice and becomes a crime in and of itself; that is, to assert that those who can be redeemed cannot be redeemed, but must be destroyed for the rest of their lives, is to commit yet another type of violence against the human spirit.

P.S. Two more things:

One, there seems to be a definite double standard where Democrats and Repugnicans are concerned. Again, “President” Pussygrabber in 2005 bragged, on tape, about grabbing women by the pussy and kissing them without their consent, and yet that was A-OK with enough voters to allow him to take the Oval Office.

Two (which is related to one), what U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama has been accused of, especially the under-aged shit, is much worse than what Franken has been accused of (and was photographed doing), but even for a backasswards, right-wing piece of dog shit like Moore, I would say that absent a felony conviction — that is, he had had his day in court and was found guilty by a jury — it still would be up to the voters of Alabama to decide whether or not to send him to the U.S. Senate. (And then the Senate could, I understand, refuse to seat him, although I’m not sure of all of the legalities on that.)

But let’s not compare Al Franken to Roy Moore (or to “President” Pussygrabber). Franken so far has had one accuser, who was an adult at the time. Moore thus far has had at least eight accusers, some of whom were under the age of 18 at the time of their reported events.

Update (Friday, November 17, 2017): Leeann Tweeden said this on “Good Morning America” today: “I didn’t do this [publicize Franken’s actions of 2006] to have him step down. I think Al Franken does a lot of good things in the Senate. You know, I think that’s for the people of Minnesota to decide. I’m not calling for him to step down. That was never my intention.”

She also apparently said of the bullshit comparison of “President” Pussygrabber’s actions to Franken’s, “His [Pussygrabber’s] issues — that’s a whole other thing.”

Yup. More than a dozen women thus far have accused Pussygrabber of having perpetrated sexual harassment to sexual battery.

Sadly, I’ve seen, among others, Slate.com’s otherwise thoughtful and intelligent Mark Joseph Stern and the progressive group Justice Democrats both call for Franken to step down immediately. (And in an e-mail that I received, the Justice Democrats also called for Franken to be replaced with U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison by Minnesota’s governor. I admire Ellison and I supported him for the chair of the Democratic National Committee, but he should run for the U.S. Senate if he wants to be a U.S. senator. Denying Franken due process and summarily replacing him with Ellison is not what I’d call justice or democracy, Justice Democrats!)

We all need to take a deep fucking breath and not be even more outraged than the actual victims are and therefore call for even harsher punishments than they are calling for. (And no, let’s not say that part of the victims’ victimization is that they’re just not outraged enough and that they are too forgiving, so we need to “correct” that. Jesus fucking fuck.)

And yes, as both Stern and Justice Democrats and many others have argued, we who are left of center don’t want to be called hypocrites on the subject of sexual harassment and sexual assault and sexual battery.

But we also need to take each case on its own (each case can vary widely in severity) and not lump all of the cases together, or collapse the many different kinds of sexual violations into one big generic sexual violation because we don’t feel like dealing with shades of gray.

And if we claim that we care about justice, then we need to give the accused the chance to explain him- or herself — and/or to be investigated as fairly and impartially as possible — instead of immediately calling for his or her head on a silver fucking platter so that we can try to look cool by keeping ahead of the news cycle.

Nor should our No. 1 concern be what the fucking Repugnicans will think. They never fucking care what we think, which is why they “win” elections even when they lose them, such as “presidents” George W. Bush and Pussygrabber both did.

*To grope someone is to touch him or her with your hands, and while the incident in the photo widely has been described as a groping, to me it appears to be Franken pretending to be groping or pretending to be about to grope the sleeping woman. Not that even pretending to do so is OK, but it’s not as bad as actually groping. There are levels of bad, for fuck’s sake.

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DNC must return party to progressives or die the death that it deserves

Washington Post news photo

Crooked Billary Clinton and Bernie Sanders appear together at a bullshit “unity” event on November 3, 2016, days before Billary spectacularly blew the presidential election. Former Democratic National Committee head Donna Brazile has confirmed for us further how much the DNC was in the bag for Billary all along.

Former interim Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile’s new book, excerpted by Politico, only confirms what we already knew, only it’s even worse than we already knew: Billary Clinton’s presidential campaign was so thoroughly enmeshed with the financially struggling DNC — which relied upon mountains of cash from the Billary camp to keep going — that of course actual Democrat Bernie Sanders never had a fucking chance.

I suggest that you read the Politico piece by Brazile. No, she’s not perfect — she has admitted having fed Billary town-hall questions in advance — but she is the highest-level former DNC operative to have shed light on the corrupt bullshit that happened.

The DNC not only floundered under the awful former DNC chair and Queen Billarybot Debbie Wasserman Schultz (who had to resign in disgrace), as Brazile details, but it still is in deep shit. Politico reports just today that

The committee’s slow fundraising has been a serious problem for the party since the 2016 election. Skeptical donors have stayed away from the DNC, while giving more to individual candidates and other committees. The party had just $7 million on hand heading into October, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

The DNC raised $51 million from January through September as it rebuilds under new chairman Tom Perez, who took over in March. But the Republican National Committee brought in $104 million over the same time period.

The DNC just fired its head of fundraising, but you can’t blame one individual for the DNC’s inability to raise money. You can blame only the so-called Democratic Party establishment, the self-serving assholes who haven’t really changed a thing since it was revealed well before the November 2016 presidential election that the DNC was in the bag for Billary, whose karmic fucking due was not becoming president. (Being a fucking baby boomer, though, of course she still got a lucrative book deal out of it.)

Who wants to give money to a corrupt party organization? I sure the fuck don’t. I don’t trust the DNC with a fucking penny.

Because of the corrupt Democratic Party establishment, which has yet to be taken over by us progressives, us actual Democrats, I changed my voter registration to no party and I won’t register as a Democrat again until and unless the party deserves my return.

For years the Democratic Party has acted as though we, the people, owe it, and that it owes us absofuckinglutely nothing.

I still give money to individual candidates, and yes, the vast majority of them are progressive Democrats* — I’d rather castrate myself with a toothpick than cast a vote for any Repugnican — but they’re the candidates of my choosing, not the DNC’s. (On that note, I gave Bernie more than $1,000 in campaign contributions over time. That’s more money than I’ve ever given any other political candidate by far.)

The answer to the DNC’s money woes is pretty clear: People won’t give you money unless they’re minimally excited about you and what you’re doing and they trust you. You have to earn their money. (Who knew?)

On that note, per Wikipedia, through April 30, 2016, Billary raised about $204 million to Bernie’s roughly $228 million. She’d run for president before and he entered the race largely unknown, but Bernie still out-raised her, and most of his donations (as he told us tirelessly) were small ones.

Excite the people and earn and thus gain their trust, as Bernie did, and the money will follow.

But as long as the ghosts of Billary and the other Democrats in name only still haunt the DNC and as long as the establishmentarian DINOs only continue to shit and piss on us progressives — us real Democrats — the DNC can keep on digging its own grave.

We progressives are fine just sitting back and watching that happen. The DNC as it exists today doesn’t deserve our support. Indeed, if it continues to resist returning the party to us progressives, it deserves to die, as it will without us, and we progressives will continue to build for ourselves the party that we deserve.

P.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the highest-ranking Democrat in office who has stated publicly that of course the DNC was in the bag for Billary.

Among other things, Warren said that current DNC Chair Tom Perez “is being tested now” and that he “is going to succeed by bringing Bernie Sanders and Bernie Sanders’ representatives into this process … or he’s going to fail, and I very much hope he succeeds.”

It is good to hear her say all of this now, but, to be fair and balanced, Warren pretty much sat back and stayed silent while Team Billary’s theft of the presidential nomination via its collusion with the DNC was happening, and only Bernie Sanders had had the courage to oppose the coronation of Billary by daring to run in the primary against her. Warren didn’t dare to step on Queen Billary’s cape.

If Bernie runs again in 2020, he has my full support. He has earned it. He was there and he led.

*When I give money to a candidate, it’s usually a candidate who actually has a chance of winning, and so yes, I vote mostly for Democrats. Usually my aim is to support the candidate who is the most progressive yet still viable.

That said, the United States sorely needs to adopt a multi-party, parliamentarian system. To collapse the entire American political spectrum into only two main parties, the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party, is an anti-democratic joke. The corporations and our plutocratic overlords love it, but the duopolistic partisan system stopped serving us, the people, many, many years ago.

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Kevin de León for U.S. Senate

Come January 2019, current California state Senate President Kevin de León, pictured left, should join Kamala Harris, pictured right, representing California in the U.S. Senate. Fivethirtyeight.com recently has noted that incumbent “Democratic” Sen. Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein “has voted in support of President Trump’s agenda 31 percent of the time,” which is “a bigger pro-Trump gap than any other Democrat in the Senate.”

In 2016, I’d really wanted California to elect a Latino or Latina U.S. senator to replace the retiring Barbara Boxer, but unfortunately, the Latina who ran in 2016 (Loretta Sanchez) is a nut job who, had she been elected, would have embarrassed the state continually.

In the top-two primary-election system of California that pitted two Democrats (well, one Democrat and one “Democrat”) against each other, Kamala Harris clearly was the better choice to represent California in the U.S Senate, and so I voted for her.

Why did I want to be able to vote for a Latino U.S. senator in November 2016? Because more Californians are Latino than are of any other race, and it’s long past time that California’s Latinos, now a plurality of the state, had their own representative in the U.S. Senate.

Of course, “Democratic” Sen. Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein, who has “represented” California in the U.S. Senate since 1992 and who at age 84 is the oldest U.S. senator, refuses to step aside but is seeking a fifth six-year term.*

Feinstein’s old, dead hands of the past have a death grip on her Senate seat, which she and her supporters need to realize doesn’t actually belong to her, but belongs to us, the people of California.

We, the people of California, can and should retire Feinstein at the ballot box.

Thus far, I support Democrat Kevin de León, the current president of the California state Senate, to replace Feinstein come January 2019. He formally launched his bid for the U.S. Senate seat today.

De León not only is Latino, but is 50 years old and is much more in step with the California of today. He is the fresh, much more representative face that California needs. Out-of-touch multi-millionaire Feinstein doesn’t need, and should not be allowed, yet another six-year term in the U.S. Senate at the end of which she would be 91 years old.

Huge kudos to de León for having the cajones to face Feinstein in the June 2018 California primary election. Many if not most of California’s so-called Democrats, the establishmentarian zombies, already knee-jerkedly and stupidly have endorsed Feinstein, which is a big fucking mistake before the field is even known.**

The calcified Democratic Party really needs to stop frowning upon primary challenges, such as it did for mega-weak, center-right, widely despised candidate Billary Clinton, and let the voters decide.

Otherwise, the party will continue its slide into irrelevance. If an incumbent candidate is strong, he or she can fucking handle a primary challenger. (Of course, a weak “Democratic” candidate nonetheless will get all of the help possible from the center-right “Democratic” establishment, as Billary did.)

Kevin de León knows how to legislate and how to lead. He served in the California state Assembly for four years, from 2006 to 2010, and then was elected to the state Senate in 2010, and has served there since, having been made the president of the state Senate in 2014.

De León’s legislative accomplishments especially have been in the area of environmentalism and renewable energy; Wikipedia notes that “De León is the author of much of California’s renewable energy and environmental protection regulations, which are regarded by environmental groups as exemplary.”

Gun control is one-trick pony Cryptkeeper’s forte, but de León is strong on that issue, too; Wikipedia notes that “In 2016, de León led the charge in the passage of a package of eleven bills intended to prevent gun violence.”

De León is quite qualified to be a U.S. senator and very probably can do a better job than can the Cryptkeeper.

The predictable cries for “party unity” (How dare de León challenge the Cryptkeeper?) that we’ll hear are meant only to preserve the power and the privilege of center-right, pro-corporate, pro-plutocratic, anti-populist, self-serving “Democrats” who have plagued us since at least the Clintons in the 1990s. They know fully well that the multi-millionaire, octogenarian Cryptkeeper has their conservative, elitist, plutocratic backs.

These “Democratic” sellouts aren’t going to give up their power.

We, the people, must take it from them.

And it is within our grasp; fivethirtyeight.com reports that “Dianne Feinstein’s Senate Seat May No Longer Be a Sure Thing,” noting that:

… Feinstein is feeling the heat [from the California electorate right now] in part because her more liberal constituents are correct in surmising that she is more conservative — relative to the politics of the state she represents — than other Democrats.

Feinstein has voted in support of President Trump’s agenda 31 percent of the time, according to our Trump score. Ten [Senate] Democrats have voted with Trump more [than she has].

But because California is so liberal — Trump lost there by 30 percentage points in 2016 — we’d expect Feinstein to vote in line with the Trump position just 19 percent of the time. That’s a bigger pro-Trump gap than any other Democrat in the Senate.

California just passed legislation to become a “sanctuary state,” a move that has been met with displeasure by the Trump administration. De León seems likely to play up the state’s need to assert itself as a powerful bloc of resistance to Trump.

In recent weeks, local news sources have noted de León’s rebukes of Feinstein, whom he paints as sympathetic to Trump. In August, after Feinstein said Trump “can be a good president” if he were to “learn and change,” de León hit back, saying, “It is the responsibility of Congress to hold him accountable — especially Democrats — not be complicit in his reckless behavior.”

Most recently, de León pushed back against Feinstein’s comments that the recent massacre in Las Vegas couldn’t have been prevented by changes in gun laws because the shooter had passed background checks. …

Feinstein has been able to get away with her center-right, Richie-Rich elitist bullshit in the U.S. Senate for about 25 years now.

The tide finally seems to have turned on Cryptkeeper, however; if it hadn’t, you wouldn’t see such a high-level challenger to her like Kevin de León, whose decision to buck the status quo and not just allow Cryptkeeper to coast to yet another do-nothing Senate term already demonstrates his courage and his leadership.

*Cryptkeeper went to the U.S. Senate in a special election in 1992 (then-California U.S. Sen. Pete Wilson became California governor, freeing up the Senate seat) and then had to run for a full six-year Senate term for the first time in 1994, and won that election and the elections of 2000, 2006, and 2012.

**The field could expand beyond de León and Cryptkeeper, which I acknowledge by having written “Thus far, I support Democrat Kevin de León.”

However, I much doubt that anyone who impresses me more than de León does will enter the fray, and so I most likely will be marking my ballot “Kevin de León” in the June 2018 primary election and hopefully also in the November 2018 general election.

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