Tag Archives: elections

Nicolas Maduro wins mandate!

Venezuelan presidential candidate Maduro celebrates after official results gave him a victory in Caracas

Reuters photo

Nicolas Maduro, the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor, celebrates his victory in Venezuela’s presidential election yesterday. The sore losers on the right are trying to cripple Maduro right out of the gate by casting unsubstantiated charges of election fraud, just like the wingnuts do here at home.

I say that tongue in cheek. Of course 50.7 percent of the vote isn’t a mandate (the definition of which to me is something like “unquestionably strong majority support,” which, I suppose, would need to at least approach 60 percent), but I am struck by the irony of how the unelected Bush regime (and its friends in the corporately owned and controlled media) called its 50.7 percent of the popular vote in 2004 a “mandate” while the very same wingnuts say that Nicolas Maduro’s 50.7 percent in yesterday’s presidential election in Venezuela means that the Chavistas are in deep doo-doo because Maduro didn’t do better than he did.

Why wasn’t George W. Bush’s 50.7 percent painted as a problem for his party in 2004 — even though, in retrospect, it seems fairly clear that Bush’s 50.7 percent was, in fact, far from being a “mandate,” actually a harbinger of upcoming presidential election losses for the Repugnican Party?

(Bush’s 50.7 percent in 2004 was higher than the 47.9 percent that he got in 2000 — when he was defeated by Democrat Al Gore, who got 48.4 percent of the popular vote — but Barack Obama, with his popular vote wins of 52.9 percent in 2008 and 51.1 percent in 2012 [to Mittens Romney’s awfully ironic 47.2 percent], earned more popular votes that Bush ever did.)

It fits the right wing’s narrative nicely to assert that Nicolas Maduro is a weakened president from Day One. It wasn’t in the wingnuts’ best interests to assert that Bush was a weakened president, so instead they claimed the opposite — that his 50.7 represented a “mandate.” Bush himself bragged about having earned “political capital” that he was going to spend on a shopping spree.

Indeed, Bush not only spent any “political capital” that he’d actually earned, but he ran up his party’s credit card debt, a debt that still plagues his party. (Not only do the Repugnican Tea Party traitors still talk as though Ronald Reagan was the last Repugnican president, but I clearly recall that even while Bush still sat in the White House in 2008, neither John McCainosaurus nor Sarah Palin mentioned him in their televised national debates or in their public appearances, but also pretended that Reagan was the last president from their party.)

So: If you are a right-wing politician, then your 50.7 percent is a “mandate.” But if you are a left-wing politician, then your 50.7 percent means that the vote was so freakin’ close that you might as well just step aside and allow your opponent to take office instead of you.

Sickly, even many on the left fall into this double-standard bullshit, and, as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) noted in November, while Bush’s “re”-election immediately was branded a “mandate,” even though he “won” only 286 electoral votes in 2004, Obama’s win of more than 300 electoral votes in November was “definitely not a mandate.” (After all of the votes were counted, it turns out that Obama won 332 electoral votes in November.)

When push comes to shove, it doesn’t matter whether Nicolas Maduro won a “mandate” yesterday. All that he needed to do was get the higher number of votes — to the victor goes the spoils — and he apparently did that. His right-wing opponent, Henrique Capriles, has demanded a recount, and Maduro has said that he’s fine with every vote being recounted.

Of course, Maduro can’t claim, as the unelected Bush regime falsely did in 2004, that he has a “mandate,” but at the same time he shouldn’t allow himself to be stymied by the right-wing sore losers’ attempts to cripple him right out of the gate. A win is a win, and very apparently he, not Capriles, was chosen by the majority of the people.

(Despite right-wing charges of rampant election fraud in Venezuela, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, whose organization monitors elections around the world, said last year, “As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.” [Of course, Jimmy Carter is just a “socialist,” too, so of course he would say that!])

Maduro, no doubt, has his work cut out for him. My guess is that the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, after he had consolidated his political power, in his later years didn’t work as hard for the people as he had in the past (in fairness, though, of course his battle with cancer no doubt slowed him down), and Maduro needs to be more about improving Venezuela than about maintaining a rock-star brand name, especially the Chavez brand name.

Chavez  is gone, and while it’s fine to carry on his ideals — I hope that they are carried on not only in Venezuela, but that they spread to the United States of America one day — it’s a mistake to make a movement about one person instead of about principles, because while principles can be eternal, the flesh is weak and quite impermanent.

As long as Maduro and his supporters refuse to get caught up in the right wing’s bullshit propagandistic narrative that Maduro didn’t really win the election, and as long as Maduro works hard for the greatest number of Venezuelans — as his own person, and not as the clone of Chavez — Maduro can be re-elected in another six years.

In the meantime, all of us on the left, regardless of which nation we live in, need to be vigilant about the double standards. The bar always has been set higher for those on the left than it has been for those on the right, and at the minimum we on the left need to stop cooperating with that bullshit. The wingnuts act like they’re winners even when they’ve lost, and we on the left tend to act like we’re losers even when we’ve won.

And Senor Presidente: That pornstache prolly should go. Just sayin’.

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Four more years (of [largely] the same old shit)!

Ann Romney grabs Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney from behind as he greets members of the crowd after the conclusion of the final U.S. presidential debate in Boca Raton

Ann Romney holds onto her husband, Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, as he reaches down to shake hands with members of the audience at the conclusion of the final presidential debate in Boca Raton

Reuters photos

I expect little actual progress from the pseudo-progressive President Hopey-Changey over the next four years, but at least during that time I’ll be spared of having to see the Ann-Cunter-like, bleach-blonde harpy Ann Romney trying to fuck us all repeatedly with her strap-on. (Yes, that’s an actual news photo, and so is that one, too.)

Oh, yeah, there was an election on Tuesday.

As I have noted, I voted by mail for Green Party candidate Jill Stein for president — yes, practically speaking, as a protest vote — but I knew that President Barack Obama would win my state of California by an overwhelming margin, and he did: thus far in California’s vote counting, Obama has 59.3 percent to Mittens Romney’s paltry 38.4 percent. (Stein, in case you were wondering, is at No. 4, with a whopping 0.6 percent of the state’s vote.)

What I didn’t expect, however, was that as a result of Tuesday’s election — elections, as they say, have consequences — the California Legislature would be on the verge of having a two-thirds “super-majority” in both houses, the state Senate and the state Assembly.

Wow.

This “super-majority” — if utilized — makes the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the Legislature even more irrelevant than they already were before Tuesday.

Not that the Democrats will use their power, of course. Although “super-majority” power, if used to its full extent, would make even the centristy Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown fairly irrelevant, since the Legislature could override his vetoes, there are plenty of center-right “Democratic” California legislators who could threaten any two-thirds threshold.

And, of course, already Jerry Brown has assured spooked California Repugnicanswhose registrants don’t comprise even a full 30 percent of registered Californian voters (the Dems, on the other hand, have almost 44 percent of the state’s registered voters) and whose party doesn’t hold a single statewide office — that his party won’t do too much to upset them, even though, of course, were the state’s parties’ positions of political power reversed, the Repugnicans would ram their right-wing agenda through ruthlessly.

When George W. Bush was “re”-elected in 2004 with a measly 50.7 percent of the popular vote, he called the election results a “mandate.” A “mandate.”

That’s how the Repugnican Tea Party traitors roll: They don’t care even if they don’t even win the popular vote (recall the 2000 presidential election) — they just want to be in power no matter fucking what. They want to shove their Randian, theofascist, neo-Nazi agenda down our throats whether we, the people, give them our permission, via our votes, to do so or not. (So of course if you’re perfectly willing to steal power even when you lost the election, 50.7 percent would be, I suppose, relatively speaking, a “mandate.”)

Votes remain to be counted, but right now Obama is sitting at 50.6 percent of the national popular vote to Mittens’ 47.9 percent. Obama on Tuesday sewed up 332 electoral votes to Mittens’ 206. Including the all-important Ohio and Florida, Obama on Tuesday won all of the states that he won in 2008 (when he garnered 52.9 percent of the popular vote and 365 electoral votes), except for two of them, Indiana and North Carolina, which aren’t exactly solid-blue states anyway.

(Indeed, in eight of the last 10 presidential elections, including Tuesday’s, North Carolina went for the Repugnican, and in nine of the last 10 presidential elections, including Tuesday’s, Indiana went for the Repugnican, so Obama’s win in those two states in 2008 was the exception, not the rule, and his loss in those two backasswards states on Tuesday was the rule, not the exception, even though the pathetically straw-grasping Repugnican Tea Party traitors have tried to make some hay out of the fact that Obama didn’t win those two states again on Tuesday. [Indeed, the bar, when it is set by whites, is always set higher for blacks than it is for whites.])

Cheer up, though, white-supremacist wingtards! Mittens did better than John McCainosaurus and Sarah Palin did in 2008. They garnered only 45.7 of the popular vote and 173 electoral votes against the guy with the Kenyan ancestry.

Of course, while George W. Bush in 2004 declared 50.7 percent of the popular vote to be a “mandate” and the fascist traitors who comprise his party talked of a “permanent [Repugnican] majority,” only two years later, in 2006, the Repugnicans lost the U.S. House of Representatives and Democratic California U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi became the first woman to become speaker of the House in U.S. history, and then two years after that, in 2008, Barack Obama, the nation’s first non-white president, won a higher percentage of the popular vote than either George W. Bush or even Bill Clinton ever had.

So some caution needs to be exercised before declaring a “permanent [insert party name here] majority,” or even a “mandate” based on not even a full 51 percent of the popular vote, but at the same time, to the victor goes the spoils, and the so-called “leaders” of the Democratic Party need to stop acting like losers even after they’ve fucking won.

(Yes, on the heels of his second electoral victory, Obama still is talking about cooperation with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress, even though the past four years have demonstrated amply that you cannot negotiate with such terrorists, because the assumption that they are rational creatures capable of compromise is patently incorrect.) 

The Repugnican Tea Party traitor-fascists act like winners even after they’ve lost, and if the damage that they’ve wreaked upon the nation is to be reversed (if that’s even possible at this point [it very most likely isn’t, perhaps especially in regards to global warming]), the Democrats really need to stop snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

I’m not holding my breath, however.

I expect the next four years to look and feel much like the past four, although I expect things here in California to improve more quickly than they improve — if they ever improve — nationally, since here in California we have demonstrated how to edge the Repugnican Tea Party traitors more and more closely to the endangered species status that they oppose so much.

As California goes, so goes the nation, it has been said.

I hope that that is correct.

P.S. Of course I’m happy that on Tuesday the voters of three states — Maine, Maryland and Washington — voted for same-sex marriage, being the first states to adopt same-sex marriage upon a popular vote, and pushing the number of states that have same-sex marriage from six (before Tuesday) to now nine. (The other six states are Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. The District of Columbia also has same-sex marriage, as do two U.S. Native American tribes, apparently.)

The 2008 election results were a bittersweet pill here in California, because although Barack Obama had become the nation’s first black president based upon his ubiquitous campaign promises of hope and change (and to a large degree they were just that — promises — we know now), Proposition Hate had shot down same-sex marriage, which the California Supreme Court had ruled earlier in the year was every Californian’s constitutional right.

If same-sex marriage were put up to a vote again in California today, of course it would pass this time — even though, let me be clear, no one’s constitutional guarantee of equality ever should have to be put up to a fucking vote — and it’s gratifying to see that the Mittens Romney-Pretty Boy Paul Ryan ticket, representing the Mormon cult and the Catholick church respectively, were rejected by the majority of the nation’s voters, since the Mormon cult and the Catholick church were the biggest sponsors of Proposition Hate, in their attempt to shove their brand of theocracy and theofascism down our throats, Taliban-style.

Karma is a bitch.

(Just like Ann Romney is. I am sooooo happy not to have to see her fucking face as first lady for the next four years, by the way. Ann Romney reminds me of an Ann Cunter who actually ate something. Why are so many Repugican Tea Party women bleach-blonde harpies who act like sorority chicks who are getting revenge upon all of us for the ponies that they never got as spoiled little girls?)

P.P.S. For all of their post-election sore-loserism crying and whining, the white-supremacist Repugnican Tea Party traitors are fucking lucky that we are seeing a for-the-very-most-part bloodless, demographic revolution in the United States, and not (thus far, anyway…) the actual bloody revolution that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors deserve to have launched against them, a la the French Revolution.

After all, the “47 percent” that Mittens “Let Them Eat Cake” Romney talked about in May when he didn’t know that he was being video-recorded actually is a bit more than 50 percent, we see from Tuesday’s presidential election results.

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Repugnican Indiana secretary of state found guilty of felonious voter fraud

FILE - This June 8, 2011, file photo shows Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White in Indianapolis.  White faces voter fraud charges Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, in a case that could decide if he remains as the state's top election official. Prosecutors claim White fraudulently used his ex-wife's address on his voter registration form in the May 2010 primary when he actually had a condo elsewhere with his fiancee. They also allege that he collected his Fishers Town Council salary after moving out of that district. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

Associated Press photo

Repugnican Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White (pictured above in June 2011) today was found guilty of felonious voter fraud. Gee, could it be that the true face of voter fraud in the United States of America is not brown-skinned and brown-eyed?

For all of the right-wing, democracy-hating traitors’ viral lies about rampant voter fraud being committed on the left — in order to make it more difficult for likely Democratic voters to vote by passing voter-suppression legislation because of this supposed rampant voter fraud on the left — the worst enemies of a fair and untainted democratic process always have been on the right.

Think Repugnican Katherine Harris, the former secretary of state of Florida, who made damn sure that George W. Bush “won” that pivotal state in 2000, even though he lost it, and how she not only was the state’s top elections official, but c0-chaired the state’s committee to elect Gee Dubya at the same time.

Think ditto for Repugnican Ken Blackwell, the former secretary of state of Ohio, who made damn sure that George W. Bush “won” “re”-election in that pivotal state in 2004 — even though Blackwell also as the state’s top elections official also was a co-chair of the state’s committee to “re”-elect Gee Dubya.

Now, think Repugnican Charlie White — the secretary of state of the state of Indiana who has been found guilty of, of all things, felonious voter fraud. (Harris and Blackwell also are, in my book, felons, but many if not most such felons never see the inside of a prison cell because they never are convicted because their status as elitists protects them from being subjected to the criminal justice system, which is only for those of us who don’t have money and power.)

Reports The Associated Press today (emphases are mine):

Indianapolis — Indiana’s top elections official could lose his job and his freedom after jurors convicted him of multiple voter-fraud-related charges [today], leaving in flux the fate of one of the state’s most powerful positions.

Republican Secretary of State Charlie White has held on to his office for more than a year despite being accused of lying about his address on voter registration forms.

A Hamilton County jury found White guilty of six of seven felony charges, including false registration, voting in another precinct, submitting a false ballot, theft and two counts of perjury. He was acquitted on one fraud charge.

White expressed no outward emotion as the verdict was read, and later said outside the courtroom: “I’m disappointed for my family and the people who supported me.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what would happen to White’s elected office. He has resisted calls to resign from Democrats and Republicans, including Gov. Mitch Daniels, but state law bars anyone convicted of a felony from remaining in office.

White’s attorney, Carl Brizzi, said he will ask the judge to reduce the charges to misdemeanors because his client has no criminal background and has a long record of public service. [Bullshit — a felony is a felony, and to let White off the hook with a misdemeanor or misdemeanors is to say that voter fraud committed by a state’s top elections official is no big deal.]

Daniels announced [today] he had appointed White’s chief deputy, Jerry Bonnet, as interim secretary of state.

“I have chosen not to make a permanent appointment today out of respect for the judge’s authority to lessen the verdict to a misdemeanor and reinstate the elected office holder,” Daniels said in a statement. “If the felony convictions are not altered, I anticipate making a permanent appointment quickly.” …

The jury verdict came after a weeklong trial in which White, who had vigorously protested the charges in hearings before a state elections panel, presented no defense.

Prosecutors said he used his ex-wife’s address instead of a condo he had with his fiancée because he didn’t want to give up his $1,000-per-month Fishers Town Council salary after moving out of that district. He faced seven felony charges, including voter fraud, perjury and theft.

White, 42, has said the charges ignored a complicated personal life in which he was trying to raise his 10-year-old son, plan his second marriage and campaign for the statewide office he won that November. He said he stayed at his ex-wife’s house when he wasn’t on the road campaigning and did not live in the condo until after he remarried. …

No sentencing date was set. …

Republican special prosecutor John Dowd expressed satisfaction about the verdict.

“We believe it was about someone who violated the law and cheated the system — and gamed the system,” Dowd said. “And, obviously, the jury thought the same way.” …

During his closing arguments, assistant special prosecutor Dan Sigler Jr. argued that White knew that he was committing voter fraud but did it anyway for political power.

“If we aren’t going to enforce election law against the secretary of state of Indiana, who are we going to enforce it against?” Sigler said.

Indeed.

Where was the right-wing criminal James O’Keefe’s hidden camera, I wonder, when the right-wing, white male Repugnican Indiana secretary of state was committing voter fraud?

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Wingnuts’ call for California’s split is disingenuous

Southcalifornia

New York Times and Los Angeles Times graphics

Just say oh, hell no!: The current Repugnican Tea Party proposition to split California into two states is meant only to help the shrinking Repugnican Tea Party in presidential elections.

It’s been in the news lately that some wingnuts in Southern California want to split the state into two states, “North California” and “South California” (a la North Carolina and South Carolina or North Dakota and South Dakota).

California is just too big to continue to (try to) manage as one state, they argue (correctly or incorrectly).

This argument has been made before many times in the history of the nation’s most populous state, and repeated efforts to split the state into two throughout the state’s history have failed.

So should this one.

As the Repugnican Tea Party traitors always do, they give benign, reasonable-sounding reasons for their plan, but in actuality, their plan serves only to benefit them politically.

With a population of more than 37 million according to the 2010 U.S. Census, for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, California has 55 electoral votes. Texas, the second-most-populous state, has 38 electoral votes. (New York, at No. 3, has 29. [Each state gets two electoral votes for its two U.S. senators, as a baseline, and top of those two baseline electoral votes, gets one electoral vote for each of its members of the U.S. House of Representatives.])

Fifty-five electoral votes — that’s a lot of electoral votes, and the Repugnican Tea Party traitors long have wanted to get their grubbies on a chunk of them for a long time now.

Q: How to do that, given that California is a solid blue state and that like most of the 50 states, California awards its electoral votes on a winner-takes-all basis?

A: (1) Try to turn California from a winner-takes-all state to a state that awards electoral votes proportionately, like Nebraska and Maine do. Or, (2) try to split the state into a blue state (“North California”) and a red state (“South California”), giving the Repugnican Tea Party another red state in its column.

Don’t get me wrong: I’d be giddily happy to no longer have to share the great state of California with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors and other assorted right-wing nutjobs — but not at the expense of helping the Repugnican Tea Party traitors more easily win presidential elections.

I’m fine with proportionally allocating electoral votes within the Electoral College; I don’t like the current winner-takes-all system myself.

But unless all fucking 50 states award their electoral votes proportionately, it’s unfair (and, it seems to me, unconstitutional [specifically, violating the Constitution’s requirement of equal protection]). You don’t hear the Repugnican Tea Party traitors pushing for, say, Texas’ electoral votes to be split proportionately, do you?

Best of all would be to abolish the Electoral College altogether and elect our president on a straight national popular vote. (If our system had been set up that way, as it should have been and should be, we would have had President Al Gore instead of “President” George W. Bush, since Gore won more than half a million more votes than Bush did in the official 2000 presidential election results.) If it’s good enough for us to elect our governors on a straight popular vote, it’s good enough for us to elect our presidents this way.

In the meantime, reforms or changes that are meant to benefit one party over another are bullshit and need to be blocked.

Sure we can split California into a red state and a blue state. But only when and if we split the red states, such as Texas, into red states and blue states.

(What’s that, wingnut? Suddenly it’s not such a great fucking idea?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.)

P.S. As I painstakingly pointed out way back in April 2009, the red states take more from the federal coffers than they put into the federal coffers, yet the red states piss and moan about how horrible they have it under the blue states when the red states are, in effect, welfare states — drains on the blue states.

Similarly, Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown’s office has pointed out that the red area of the state that would comprise “South California” takes more from the state’s coffers than it puts into the state’s coffers.

(And Brown’s spokesman said that talk of splitting the state into two “is a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody’s time,” adding, “If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there’s a place called Arizona.” [Or Texas or…])

So again, yeah, except for the fact that it would help the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the presidential elections, I’d be more than happy to see the blood-sucking red counties of California go their own way from those of us in the blue counties who are carrying their pathetic, worthless asses.

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Democracy begins at home

So the debate continues on whether or not Iran’s presidential election on Friday was rigged.

My guess is that it was — since Iran is a theocracy and the theocrat in chief wanted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to remain as Iran’s president — but by how much, who knows?

I consider the source when I see news accounts of the likes of hawkish Repugnican John “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” McCainosaurus and hawkish former Bush regime ambassador John “I Am the Walrus” Bolton claiming that of course Iran’s election was stolen. They want Iran wiped off of the map as much as Iranian hardliners want Israel wiped off of the map, so I discount their rantings and ravings.

I found one Politico article titled “Ahmadinejad Won; Get Over It” to be interesting. The authors make a rather compelling argument that Ahmadinejad has much more popular support within Iran that is commonly discussed in the Western media.

My stance, from all of the viewpoints and all of the news stories that I’ve read, is that no one really knows what happened in Iran. Thankfully, the Obama administration, although pressured by the Israel-first lobby and the warhawks and the war profiteers to declare Iran’s election invalid, has taken a fairly balanced approach thus far, declaring that the election results look fishy but that right now all that we Americans can say about the election is that we just don’t know.

But what I find most interesting and frustrating about the discussion of the validity of Iran’s presidential election is that although there were serious concerns among democracy-lovers about presidential election irregularies in the pivotal state of Ohio in November 2004 — so much so that only for the second time in the nation’s history, a U.S. senator (Barbara Boxer) joined a U.S. representative in filing a Congressional objection to the certification of a state’s Electoral College votes — the debacle in Ohio in 2004 was swept under the red, white and blue rug.

And don’t even get me started on the obviously stolen U.S. presidential election of 2000. And if George W. Bush never was elected legitimately in the first place — and he never was — then there is no way that his “re-election” could have had any legitimacy, either.

Americans are all too eager to scream “election fraud!” at Iran — even though Iran, along with Iraq and North Korea, comprised the hawkish, unelected Bush regime’s “Axis of Evil,” so it’s not like the U.S. government could be objective about Iran, which it already has declared its enemy — but Americans are not willing to ensure that their elections at home aren’t rigged.  

Democracy begins at home.

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