Tag Archives: DINO

Beto O’Verrated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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For Dems 2020 probably will be 2016 redux (and 2nd chance to get it right)

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Associated Press news photo

No, that’s not Bernie Sanders about to bitch slap Joe Biden, although I hope that happens in 2020 if both of them run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination… (Above is Sen. Sanders being sworn in by then-veep Biden in January 2013 in a re-enactment.)

Salon.com’s Andrew O’Hehir laments that Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders thus far are the top two front-runners for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.*

O’Hehir proclaims that

A Sanders-Biden throwdown would rip the scabs off old wounds, inflame entrenched divisions and cast the party in the worst possible light, making clear on a bunch of levels that it doesn’t know who it represents or what principles it stands for. At a moment when Democrats finally seem to be moving toward the future, this would make them appear stuck in the past.

At least O’Hehir correctly identifies the top two front-runners.

Nationwide polls of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters taken over the past month indeed all show Bernie and Biden as the top two front-runners, both of them in the double digits, while some pundits (most of them identity politicians) actually claim that their favored candidates, who can’t even break into the double digits in the nationwide polls (such as Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and even Beto O’Rourke), actually are in the top tier. (Again, that’s not reporting the facts; that’s trying to get your own candidate into the top tier by lying about the facts.)

That said, I think that O’Hehir unfairly lumps Biden and Bernie together. While Biden doesn’t have much (if anything) more than “Vote for me — I was associated with the last popular Democratic president, Barack Obama,” Bernie has written books about who he represents and what principles he stands for. (Granted, books by most presidential politicians are pretty boring, but you cannot factually claim that Bernie hasn’t put his beliefs, values and ideas out there. He has. Repeatedly.)

Even after O’Hehir proclaims that Bernie being in the race would “[make] clear on a bunch of levels that [the Democratic Party] doesn’t know who it represents or what principles it stands for,” he acknowledges that 

[Bernie] is the standard-bearer for the resurgent progressive movement, who galvanized a rising generation and almost single-handedly pushed Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, free college and other issues of economic justice to the forefront of the party’s agenda after 30 years of managerial neoliberalism. 

So Bernie is an actual Democrat.** Horrors!

A Bernie-Biden match-up would, however, I agree, very potentially “rip the scabs off old wounds” and “inflame entrenched divisions.” (As far as “[casting] the party in the worst possible light” is concerned, does O’Hehir actually worry about what the Repugnicans think about the Democratic Party? I sure the fuck don’t. Nor do I much care about what the low-information “swing” voters think, even if we need their votes, truth be told.)

A Bernie-Biden match-up would be, to a large degree, a Round Two of the Bernie-Billary match-up: the progressive (the actual Democrat) against the sellout establishmentarian “Democrat,” the one who, when he or she must, can pay lip service to some progressive ideas but who, once in office, does little to nothing (just like Obama did and just as Billary would have had she won the presidential election).

If the conflict between the progressives and the Democrats in name only persists (and it does) it’s because it’s yet to be settled. Things move slooowly in politics. We Berners are dead-set on taking over the Democratic Party, frankly. We began the work no later than with Howard Dean’s candidacy in the 2004 cycle.***

We’re in it to win and we’re in it for the long run.

O’Hehir and others may lament all they want that Bernie and Biden are the front-runners, but thus far (according to the nationwide polls) they are the people’s choice, and in a democracy, that’s all that matters.

It will be the primary elections and the caucuses that choose the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee, not any pundit or blogger.

O’Hehir and his ilk apparently believe that what excites them personally — making a relatively nationally unknown but (at least relatively) young, non-white and, preferably, female candidate the presidential nominee — will win the 2020 presidential election.

I disagree.

All American voters, not just the identity politicians who align themselves with the Democratic Party, will vote for president in November 2020.

And given the demographics of all American voters — American voters (i.e., those who actually vote) remain older and predominantly white — it’s probably actually the most strategic to run Bernie or even Biden against “President” Pussygrabber.

The percentage of voters who are white is dropping and the percentage of non-white voters is growing over time, and as today’s youth become tomorrow’s older voters, the nation will, I believe, become more and more Democratic (and, hopefully, more and more progressive) over time. (Indeed, the Repugnicans wouldn’t need to cheat blatantly if they were in a strong position.)

But we’re not there yet.

We’ll get there if we work with what we actually have in the national electorate, not with what we wish we already had.

As president Bernie Sanders can and would, I believe, set us in the right direction toward getting to that promised land.

*Salon.com has gone way, way downhill over the years — I now prefer Slate.com — but I still will read O’Hehir, whose writing is decent enough even when I disagree with him. (He used to write film reviews but then moved into writing about politics.)

**Even though he casually lumps Bernie and Biden together, O’Hehir acknowledges:

It might sound ludicrous to say that Joe Biden is a male cognate to Hillary Clinton with fewer (or at least different) electoral negatives, but that’s approximately true. In fact, whatever populist, mid-Atlantic street cred he may possess, Biden is almost certainly less progressive than Clinton on core economic issues, and not much different in terms of hawkish foreign policy.

Biden is the only prominent figure in the prospective 2020 field to flat-out oppose Medicare for All, a.k.a. single-payer health insurance. He is lukewarm at best on other structural and economic reforms favored by progressives, and has long been a supporter of Clintonite 1990s-style financial deregulation and free-trade policies. (He’s from Delaware, a state whose economy is largely driven by quasi-predatory lenders perched in sinister office parks.)

As a matter of dogma and doctrine he is certain to stake out a range of non-confrontational, “moderate” positions aimed at luring in repentant conservatives and not alienating the donor class. I mean, that worked out great for Hillary, so why not?

***Full disclosure: I didn’t support Howard Dean in 2004, but supported John Kerry, because I saw Kerry as the best candidate to take on George W. Bush and because Dean’s record and personality suggested to me that he’s a fraud, and his subsequent actions and words over the years have proved me right; for years now he has toed the establishmentarian, not the progressive, line.

He slavishly supported Billary, for instance, and still does.

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Super-delegate and caucus reforms making the party democratic again

Getty Images photo

The Democratic National Committee voted yesterday to strip the so-called super-delegates of their anti-democratic power. This means that in 2020, should Bernie Sanders decide to run for president again, the deck won’t again be stacked against him from Day One by constant reports of how many super-delegates, the vast majority of them self-serving party hacks, already have promised to vote at the party convention for an establishmentarian, center-right, Repugnican-Lite, pro-corporate, DINO sellout candidate. (Above: Demonstrators urge the DNC to strip super-delegates of their power at the DNC’s summer meeting that just wrapped up in Chicago.)

The best news for the Democratic Party in a long time came yesterday, when the Democratic National Committee overwhelmingly voted to effectively eliminate the power of the so-called super-delegates.

Against the wishes of a minority of dead-ender DNC assholes who had come to savor the fact that their votes for the presidential nominee have counted much, much more than the votes of us mere peasants, the DNC yesterday demonstrated its new-found realization that if the party wants to save itself, it actually needs to be democratic. (Who knew?)

The party is, however, taking baby steps toward reform. “Saturday’s vote officially [bars] the super-delegates from voting on the first ballot to choose the party’s presidential nominee unless a candidate has secured a majority of the convention using only pledged delegates, whose votes are earned during the primary process,” explains CNN. The super-delegates may vote in a second round of voting if no victor emerges with a majority of delegates in the first round, so while their undue influence has been reduced sharply, the petulant, spoiled babies were thrown some pacifier. (The equivalent of super-delegates in the Repugnican Party must vote the way that the people of their respective states voted, so even the Repugnican Party doesn’t have an anti-democratic, aristocratic system of super-delegates.)

And while I’ve written before that presidential caucuses, which are plagued with irregularities (that is, opportunities for cheating), should be dumped altogether and replaced with presidential primary elections, the DNC yesterday also voted to encourage (again, baby steps) states that still hold caucuses to switch to primary elections, and voted to require states that still hold caucuses to allow some form of absentee participation, given that it’s forever been unfair that those who for whatever reason cannot get to a caucus have not been able to participate in the democratic process.

The dead-enders within the DNC (all or the vast majority of them Billarybots) probably view these positive reforms as being for the benefit of Bernie Sanders, and while he did push for these reforms, having been the victim of the corrupt, calcified, anti-democratic DNC himself, these reforms are good for the people and are good for democracy — and thus are good for the party.

On that note, McClatchy reported (in an article titled “Loyal Democratic Donors: We’re Done with the DNC Until They Get Their Act Together”) just a few days ago:

While Democratic donors have eagerly opened their wallets ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, helping Democratic candidates and groups largely outraise their Republican counterparts, one notable exception has stood out: The Democratic National Committee — the party’s signature organization — has posted its worst midterm fund raising totals in more than a decade.

The DNC has so far taken in $116 million before the November midterm elections — $9 million less than it had taken in at this point in 2014 and more than $30 million less than it had taken in at this point in 2010, the last two midterm cycles.

By contrast, the Republican National Committee has nearly doubled the DNC’s haul this cycle, bringing in a total of $227 million. And of the six major federal committees of both parties, the DNC has by far the most debt ($6.7 million) and the least amount in its bank account ($7.8 million).

After 2016’s defeat of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by Donald Trump, many of the group’s most consistent donors are putting their money elsewhere. A McClatchy analysis found that more than 200 donors who had given more than $1,000 to the DNC in each of the past two midterm elections have failed to pony up any cash to the DNC this time around, despite continuing to support other Democratic groups and candidates. …

Indeed, many if not most ordinary (that is, non-super-wealthy) Democratic donors now give through the wildly successful Democratic fundraising website ActBlue, where they — we — can decide ourselves to which Democratic candidates to give money and how much.

I have given almost $4,500 in a series of donations over the past several years through ActBlue (my average donation is $13) because, frankly, I don’t at all trust the center-right, pro-corporate DNC with my money. (The No. 1 recipient of my donations via ActBlue has been Bernie Sanders, to whom I’ve given more than $1,000, and Elizabeth Warren is at No. 3, with almost $250. At No. 2 [$275] is Kevin de León, who I hope unseats DINO U.S. Sen. Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein in November.)

“The [DNC’s] poor [fundraising] showing could limit the DNC’s ability to provide support, such as direct financial contributions or get-out-the-vote assistance, to candidates and state parties in November. And it puts them at a disadvantage heading into the 2020 presidential cycle where the committee will play an even larger role,” notes McClatchy, but, again, Democratic candidates are getting money via ActBlue, which is a much more democratic venue anyway. (ActBlue’s home page right now reports that since it began in 2004, it has collected more than $2.5 billion in donations to Democratic candidates and groups.)

With ActBlue, we, the people, decide where to put our money. We can bypass the center-right, pro-corporate, anti-democratic Democratic Party bosses, which is wonderful. And that’s how it should work: If avenues are blocked, then we, the people, must create our own, alternate but equally if not even more effective, routes around the obstacles.

For years and years, the DNC weasels took our support, including our money and our votes, for granted. Where else were we commoners going to go? While the DNC continued to rot in order to preserve the undue power of a relatively few weaselly insiders, we, the people, have been doing our own end runs.

Because the DNC and the party establishment as a whole fell asleep at the wheel years ago, we, the people, took over, such as via ActBlue and by supporting progressive (that is, actually Democratic) candidates whether the center-right, Repugnican-Lite party big-wigs wanted us to or not. (Bernie Sanders, of course, is the largest example of that, but there have been many others.)

It has been a long struggle, and it is not over, but we progressives are taking back the Democratic Party, bit by bit. And when — and if — the DNC can be trusted again, its reputation and thus also its fundraising will improve.

In the meantime, yes, it’s time to look to the 2020 presidential election cycle.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll reported last week puts Bernie Sanders against Pussygrabber in a hypothetical presidential match-up at 44 percent to 32 percent, so anyone who says that Bernie Sanders can’t beat Pussygrabber, as he could have and probably would have in November 2016, is, of course, full of shit; Bernie has a double-digit lead over Pussygrabber in the nationwide polling already, just as he had a double-digit lead over Pussygrabber in the nationwide polling leading up to the 2016 Democratic Party National Convention.

Joe Biden also beats Pussygrabber by 12 points in the Politico/Morning Consult poll, 43 percent to 31 percent, so 2020, it seems to me, could be a lot like 2016 if both Bernie and Biden run; it would be the progressive champion against the party establishmentarian.

However, as Biden already has run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination and lost twice (in 1987 and in 2007), I don’t see him as strong a candidate as some would assert. He would be the anti-Bernie vote, but I don’t think that that would be enough. Also, Billary Clinton was the holdover from the Clinton-Obama years, and wouldn’t Biden, as the holdover from the Clinton-Obama years, remind a lot of voters of Billary’s colossal failure in 2016?

In the Politico/Morning Consult poll Elizabeth Warren comes in a No. 3, still beating Pussygrabber but by a much smaller margin, only 34 percent to 30 percent, with 36 percent undecided.

Billary Clinton was within only a few percentage points over Pussygrabber in the nationwide polling averages for a very long time, all the way up to Election Day, and look how that turned out.

If we want Pussygrabber out, we need to select, as the Democratic Party presidential nominee, the one who polls the best against him; we (well, the Billarybots and other zombies) fucked up big-time in 2016 by passing up Bernie Sanders for the candidate who polled much worse against Pussygrabber than Bernie did.

I’ve noted many times that while I like Liz Warren, and would be fine with her as a vice-presidential candidate, I think that as a presidential candidate she’d be painted as a female Michael Dukakis, another clueless egghead from Massachussetts, and I think that while Billary Clinton did not face much actual sexism, Liz actually would.* (That said, if it’s between Biden and Warren, I pick Warren, who is my No. 2 choice behind Bernie. I still cannot support Biden, not for the primaries.)

Also in the Politico/Morning Consult poll, Pussygrabber beats U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, former Attorney General Eric Holder and others by 2 percentage points to 10 percentage points, so unless their polling improves drastically, these second- and third-tier candidates are non-starters for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination for me, and we can’t allow craven identity politics to sink us in 2020 like they did in 2016.

(“Bernie bro,” “brogressive” and the like only backfired, as Billary wasn’t a victim of sexism, but only suffered appropriately and deservedly due to her utter unlikeability due to her inherently corrupt nature and shitty character, which enough voters sure sensed if they couldn’t articulate.)

Methinks that 2020 is going to be a bumpy ride, with identity politics vs. electability once again rearing its ugly head, but at least the road is made a bit smoother because the so-called super-delegates have been defanged and because quaint but corruptible caucuses apparently are on their way out.

*I agree with fivethirtyeight.com’s Perry Bacon Jr.’s sentiment when he writes:

… How comfortable should we be, as a society, with discouraging members of traditionally marginalized groups from pursuing political office because other Americans might have a negative view of those potential candidates’ gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics (or some combination of these characteristics)? After all, a candidate can change her ideology if her platform isn’t appealing to voters — but many of these traits are immutable. …

I agree that of course it’s not fair to punish the victim for the voters’ prejudices and biases and bigotry, but when push comes to shove, it does come down to whether or not you want to win the fucking election. In the 2020 presidential election, for a great example, which is more important: booting Pussygrabber from the Oval Office (presuming that he’s still there, of course) or making a point?

And there are plenty of reasons to reject Kamala Harris and Cory Booker that have nothing to do with race, such as their history of coziness with corporations, their lack of leadership and accomplishment in the U.S. Senate, and their lower name recognition and popularity — and thus their lower polling — than the top-three front-runners Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.

Of the two, I’m more fond of Harris than of Booker, but she has not been in the Senate for even two full years yet, for fuck’s sake. It’s way too early to talk about her being president. As I have noted before, I think I’d be OK with her as the vice-presidential candidate for 2020, but that’s as far as I can go.

In 2016, aside from the copious intra-party rigging that was done in her favor, apparently the idea was to make Billary Clinton the nominee — even she didn’t poll nearly as well against Pussygrabber as Bernie Sanders did — in order to make a point (namely, that the Democrats could nominate a woman [likability and popularity of said woman entirely aside]). How well did that turn out?

If we make that mistake again, we deserve whatever we get.

And I’m no hypocrite; I personally always have disliked DINO Billary Clinton but love Elizabeth Warren, but if it looks like Warren can’t beat Pussygrabber, then we go with the stronger candidate who can. It won’t be enough for me that Warren is a woman.

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

Times of San Diego photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for bernie sanders superdelegates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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