So why has George H. W. Bush magically been rehabilitated in death?
For two reasons, that I can see:
One, most people are assholes who fear death, and when they see that someone else has died, they are reminded of their own assholery — and, of course, most paramount, they are reminded of their own mortality. It’s not actually about the person who died; it’s all about them. When they die, they don’t want people telling any ugly truths about them; they want to be whitewashed, too.
Also, of course, compared to “President” Pussygrabber, even the George Bushes seem like Abraham Lincoln — in style, anyway. (In substance, at least under Pussygrabber thus far we haven’t had another bogus war or another economic collapse. [Not that either or both of those things couldn’t still come yet, and yes, Pussygrabber has acted like an acid on what we call our democracy, and the damage from that is difficult if not impossible to calculate.])
Perhaps the ignorant masses conveniently “forget” what an evil asshole George H. W. Bush actually was because it makes them feel a little bit better about the Joffrey Baratheon-like “president” that they allowed to rise to power. (Yes, Joffrey Baratheon — a cruel, crass, wholly unfit and quite illegitimate ruler.)
Also, of course, I’m sure that there are many who think that praising George H. W. somehow hurts Pussygrabber.
And/or maybe they believe that praising George H. W. somehow will inspire Pussygrabber to clean up his act. But look at George H. W.’s act.
I, for one, certainly hope that Pussygrabber doesn’t match the damage that George H. W. Bush so casually inflicted upon so many millions of others.
I do, however, very much hope that just like George H. W., Pussygrabber humiliatingly is booted from the White House after only one term.
And it will be interesting to see how the ignorant masses try to whitewash Pussygrabber after he finally dies and goes to hell.
(No, “President” Pussygrabber is not included in the presidential rankings, since his “presidency,” unfortunately, isn’t over yet, and one president, Glover Cleveland, was president twice, and so usually is called the 22nd and the 24th president, but, of course, up to and including Obama, only 43 men have been U.S. president. [And yes, we need that streak of men to stop, but no, Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton wasn’t the woman to break that streak.])
So, which 16 past presidents are ranked above Obama? They are, in this order: Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Harry S. Truman, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Andrew Jackson, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Lyndon B. Johnson, James Madison, John Adams, James K. Polk and James Monroe.
(I agree with the top two, anyway, and no, I wouldn’t have Reagan in there, and Jackson, Pussygrabber’s idol, was a prick who caused harm to many, many people, too.)
And the five ranked below Obama, to round out the top half of all of the past presidents, are Bill Clinton, William McKinley, Cleveland, John Quincy Adams and George H.W. Bush. (George W. Bush, in case you were wondering, ranks at No. 36, which is too high, in my book. [And again, Pussygrabber isn’t ranked because it’s too early.])
So Obama ranks in the top half, which is better than ranking in the bottom half, but still, historians and political scientists overall give him a fairly middling ranking, at toward the bottom of the top half.
What has benefited Obama the most, methinks, is that he was sandwiched between two of our worst presidents ever, Gee Dubya and Pussygrabber.
But historians and political scientists, taking a longer view and a more dispassionate view than most of us commoners do, rightfully don’t rank Obama up there with Lincoln, and I surmise that as the years pass, Obama’s ranking won’t improve, but probably will drop, although probably not dramatically; I suspect that he’s at No. 17 in large part because his presidency is still so fresh and because even academics, being human beings, can’t help but to some degree compare him to Gee Dubya and to Pussygrabber.
I don’t allege that Obama was a bad president, just that he wasn’t a great one. He was, as I have noted before, a caretaker in chief more than he was anything else. With Obama it was refreshing to have a president actually win the popular vote — twice — and while Obama committed no huge blunder like Gee Dubya started the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War (after he apparently had just allowed 9/11 to happen), just allowed Hurricane Katrina to kill almost 2,000 Americans, and tanked the U.S. economy, Obama had had a shitload of political capital at his disposal when he first took office in 2009, and he squandered it on “Obamacare,” which requires Americans to buy for-profit “health-care” insurance, which has been called “progressive.”
Another FDR Barack Obama was not. Let’s get that historical fact straight.
But the widespread but incorrect belief that Obama was a great president apparently has given rise to the widespread — if (mostly) publicly unspoken — belief that the next Democratic president must be black, too.
(And, I further surmise, Gee Dubya and Pussygrabber have given the widespread impression among many of those who call themselves Democrats that all white presidents are bad, and therefore, we never should have another one. This is incorrect thinking that is blinded by recent history [as well as by anti-white sentiment], and it lacks historical perspective.)
If Politico’s report is true, it’s proof that the Democratic Party establishment has learned nothing — no thing: It’s A-OK to front a total corporate whore as the next Democratic Party presidential candidate, as long as this corporate whore isn’t a white man, because the Democratic Party establishment still wants to play identity politics as cover for the fact that it still wants to lick corporate and plutocratic ass while still calling itself “populist.”
Here is my deal: I won’t support another corporate whore. I refused to support corporate whore Billary Clinton. I refused to vote for Obama a second time after it was clear from his first term that, whether we fairly can call him a corporate whore or not (we probably can), he had had no intention of enacting a boldly progressive agenda. (Yes, I’m old-fashioned; I believe in actually holding an elected official to his or her fucking campaign promises.)
I don’t give a flying fuck that, very predictably, the selfish, narrow-minded, black-supremacist Only Black Lives Matter crowd will call those of us who won’t support a black corporate whore like Cory Booker or Deval Patrick “racist.”
I don’t give a flying fuck about that any more than I did about the sellout Billarybots calling us men who have supported Bernie Sanders because he was the only real Democrat in the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination “sexist” and “misogynist.”
Such lame identity-politics terrorism doesn’t work on me; instead, it makes me support my chosen actually progressive candidate only even more so; it only strengthens my resolve to work against the sellouts and craven identity politicians who call themselves “Democrats.”
That and, unlike the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging Pussygrabber supporters, I know how to vote in my own best fucking interests, and supporting just another corporate whore who calls himself or herself a “Democrat” while furiously sucking corporate cock is not in my own best fucking interests.
Of the top three potential black Democratic/“Democratic” presidential candidates widely spoken about thus far for 2020, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of my state of California is the one I can support the most, but she just became a U.S. senator in January, for fuck’s sake.
I’m not at all yet sold on Harris being presidential material. It was a big mistake to put Obama in the White House after he had been in the U.S. Senate for only four years, not even a full Senate term — Obama pretty much ran only on his gauzy and ubiquitous (and, ultimately, bullshit) campaign promises of “hope” and “change” — and it would be a mistake to do the same with Harris.
For 2020 I’m still supporting either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, should one of the two of them run. Why? No, not because they are white and I am white, but because they are the least beholden to corporate interests and are the most progressive.
If both of them were to run, it would be a shitty choice to have to make since I respect and admire both of them, but, as I have noted, Bernie’s nationwide approval ratings long have been significantly higher than have Warren’s, and I still surmise that while Billary did not face actual sexism and misogyny — Americans just fucking hate her because she’s a despicable “human being,” regardless of her sex (indeed, in general she still polls no better than does Pussygrabber) — Warren would face actual sexism and misogyny, I surmise.
No, I don’t want to give in to the sexists and misogynists, but I also want to deny Pussygrabber a second term, and overall, Bernie Sanders to me appears to be better able to do that than does Warren, who would, I think, be depicted (probably successfully) as another Michael Dukakis (and thus probably would go the way of Dukakis).
And that’s because although the “Democratic” sellouts say that Bernie isn’t even a Democrat, ironically, he is so popular because he is a real Democrat — one of only a few real Democrats in D.C.
Really, I need say no more.
P.S. You know that I can’t shut up, though.
One (probably) final thought: Yes, undoubtedly, Obama had the style of being U.S. president down pat, but he woefully lacked substance. His was a rather hollow presidency. And he wasn’t playing the U.S. president on TV; he was the actual president, and we sorely needed more than style from him, especially after what Gee Dubya (“w” for “wrecking ball”) had done to the nation.
True, Pussygrabber woefully lacks both style and substance, but is a chaotic, incoherent colossal mess, and even Gee Dubya, compared to Pussygrabber, had the style thing down a lot better.
But for me, substance is going to win out over style every time, and I’d love a president with some fucking substance for once.
That wouldn’t be a President Patrick, a President Booker or, probably, a President Harris, who as California’s attorney general was competent enough but who safely went along the established Democratic Party lines and never did anything especially courageous that I can think of.
The world of finance! There’s nothing inherently wrong with it. People need banks so they can buy houses and cars, and need to invest their money for retirement and whatnot. Some of my closest friends work in finance, and I enjoy being invited to their beautiful country homes, where I drink their pink lemonade and lounge on their fine divans.
And yet … do I think that any of these friends of mine should run for president in 2020 on the ticket of America’s liberal party during an era of unprecedented wealth inequality and consolidated corporate power?
No! And neither should Deval Patrick, the ex–Massachusetts governor who now works for Bain Capital and is for some reason the subject of a Tuesday Politico story with this headline: “Obama’s Inner Circle Is Urging Deval Patrick to Run.”
You may remember Bain Capital as the private-equity company co-founded by Mitt Romney — as in, the Mitt Romney who Barack Obama (a Democrat) effectively attacked for enriching himself through mass layoffs during a 2012 election that many “Obama insiders” should have at least a passing familiarity with.
As it happens, many Obama voters — including those in, to name three states at random, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan — would go on to vote four years later not for the Democratic candidate whose insider connections and high-priced speeches to Goldman Sachs became a major campaign issue, but for the Republican candidate who made repeated and energetic (albeit totally dishonest) promises to stick it to the rich and powerful.
Apparently Obama insiders do not have a passing familiarity with that election, but it was bad. It was a problem.
This is not merely a matter of “optics” or electoral strategy, though. It’s also a matter of principle. Individuals whose main day-in, day-out concern is the well-being of financial service executives and corporate shareholders naturally tend to advocate policy goals friendly to the interests of financial services executives and corporate shareholders.
Those interests sometimes, but do not always, overlap with the interests of potential Democratic voters, as this comparison of corporate profits to inflation-adjusted household income during the 21st century indicates:
Corporate profits: way up! Income for normal people: eh.
Is a finance executive who conducted his Politico interview at “Bain headquarters in Boston” really the ideal messenger for this sales pitch?
The Politico article acknowledges this practical reality, sort of, writing that “Bernie Sanderized Democrats … are suspicious of finance types to begin with, and were taught by Obama’s 2012 brutal campaign attacks on Mitt Romney to think of Bain as a curse word.” (Again, though, the group that swung the 2016 election was not “Bernie-addled coastal leftist elites,” it was former Obama voters in the Midwest.)
The piece then suggests that Democratic voters in 2020 might rally around the idea of “taking on Trump’s management shortcomings” and “calling for a different way of merging government and business experience.”
And, well, I suppose anything can happen in three years, but if the 2020 Democratic primary turns on an angry base’s passionate demand for “a different way of merging government and business experience,” I will eat a hard copy of the Mitt Romney “47 percent” video. …
Indeed, Billary’s ties to the weasels of Wall Street hurt her more than the Billarybots ever will admit. I just ordered OR Books’ copy of this* —
Judging by the stance of the leadership of the Democratic Party and much of the media, Hillary Clinton’s devastating loss in the presidential election of November 2016 was all the fault of pernicious Russian leaks, unwarranted FBI investigations and a skewed electoral college.
Rarely blamed was the party’s decision to run a deeply unpopular candidate on an uninspiring platform.
At a time of widespread dissatisfaction with business-as-usual politics, the Democrats chose to field a quintessential insider. Her campaign dwelt little on policies, focusing overwhelmingly on the personality of her opponent.
That this strategy was a failure is an understatement. Losing an election to someone with as little competence or support from his own party as Donald Trump marked an extraordinary fiasco.
The refusal of the Democratic leadership to identify the real reasons for their defeat is not just a problem of history. If Democrats persevere with a politics that prioritizes well-off professionals rather than ordinary Americans, they will leave the field open to right-wing populism for many years to come. [Emphasis mine.]
Drawing on the WikiLeaks releases of Clinton’s talks at Goldman Sachs and the e-mails of her campaign chief John Podesta, as well as key passages from her public speeches, How I Lost By Hillary Clinton also includes extensive commentary by award-winning journalist Joe Lauria, and a foreword by Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.
It provides, in the words of the Democratic candidate and her close associates, a riveting, unsparing picture of the disastrous campaign that delivered America to President Trump, and a stark warning of a mistake that must not be repeated.
Fully expect the Democratic Party establishment to try to repeat that mistake, however. It’s up to us to stop them.
Trump’s presidential illegitimacy is different than was George W. Bush’s — and here I never have written “President Bush” but only “‘President’ Bush,” because Bush always was and always will be a quite illegitimate president. (He lost the popular vote in 2000 by more than a half-million votes and was installed in the White House by his then-Florida-governor brother Jeb!, by then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and by the five Repugnican members of the U.S. Supreme Court who stopped the recount in Florida, the pivotal state for Gee Dubya that his brother very conveniently governed, and who thus, with the other conspirators, decided the presidential election for us commoners.)
In that thus far he has lost the popular vote by a significantly larger margin than Gee Dubya did — if we think that it’s at all important that in a democracy the candidate who actually earns the highest number of votes of the people actually is the one who takes office — Trump is even more illegitimate than George W. Bush was, but Bush’s illegitimacy was worsened with the blatantly partisan — and treasonously anti-democratic — involvement of his brother, Florida elections chief Katherine Harris and the wingnutty members of the U.S. Supreme Court.
That said, it still has yet to be determined exhaustively how and how much Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to try to get Trump rather than Billary into the big chair in the Oval Office. Arguably, Trump’s having had the help of a foreign government to win the White House is even more treasonous than anything that Team Bush ever did to steal the presidency.
The Washington Post has been all over Trump’s ties to Moscow, with recent news stories such as these:
A rather clear pattern has emerged, and it’s pretty fucking funny (in a sick and fucking twisted way, not in a humorous way) that the American right wing, which for decades was opposed to the “evil empire,” very apparently has as its “president” a treasonous piece of shit who has colluded with that “evil empire” in order to win the presidency — with the “evil empire’s” full expectation, of course, that in return, “President” Trump will do its bidding (in Syria and elsewhere).
True, Trump’s die-hard, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging supporters don’t care even if he’s in bed with Vladimir Putin, perhaps even literally, but these self-defeating dipshits are only a minority of Americans. The majority of us Americans — not just Democrats and Democratic leaners, but also old-school, non-Trumpist Repugicans, too, as well as most so-called independents — take a U.S. “president”-“elect” colluding with a foreign government very, very seriously.
Indeed, The Angel of Political Death looms over “President”-“elect” Donald Trump, its scythe at the ready for swift use at any moment.
If he makes it that far, I don’t see Trump finishing even one term, especially once his ties to Russia are fully investigated and publicized. (Unfortunately, however, even for such blatanttreason,billionaires only very rarely are ever put behind bars in our two-tiered “justice” system; only we commoners ever are to be punished, even for petty fucking crimes.)
Even if it weren’t for Russia, our Muscovite Candidate always has done whatever the fuck he pleases — clearly, he’s inside of that billionaire’s gilded bubble from which only a prison cell (perhaps) can release him* — and if it wasn’t his collusion with Russia, it always was going to be something else, some other act of corruption and/or treason, that was going to make his time in the White House short.
That reason that Trump is the first to have broken these historical norms for the presidency during my lifetime (Lyndon B. Johnson was president when I was born) is that he is uniquely unqualified for the presidency, and the American system more or less has been set up to prevent such an unqualified person from ascending to the White House — which is probably why Trump apparently had an awful lot of help from Russia to “win.”
I’m with Michael Moore on this; it’s possible that Trump won’t even be sworn in next month, perhaps especially with the apparently substantiated-enough allegations that he’s a Muscovite Candidate** swirling about him.
If not, I expect Trump to hang himself with his gilded rope. If he makes it to Inauguration Day 2017, I don’t see him making it to Inauguration Day 2021.
P.S. Michael Moore, back in July, predicted that Trump would win the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. In an e-mail to his supporters dated July 23 (I still have this e-mail), he wrote (this is a copy and paste from that e-mail, with only slight edits for style and correctness):
… Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust-Belt Brexit. I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the Rust Belt of the upper Great Lakes — Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states -– but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat).
In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) than the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done?
Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states.
When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35 percent tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States.
It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next door, John Kasich.
From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England — broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the middle class. Angry, embittered working (and non-working) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room.
What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here. …
And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four Rust-Belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November. …
But even if Trump did win Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin fairly and squarely — but the fact that Trump & Co. have sued to prevent recounts and any other audits in the Rust-Belt states that they’re supposedly so certain that they won makes me have to wonder if Russia indeed was involved in the presidential election, quite intimately — Trump still lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, which is the largest gap between the Electoral College and the popular vote in U.S. history.
That indeed is politically damaging, which is why Trump lied that “millions” of votes were cast illegally for Billary Clinton.
Finally, I want to make it clear that I’m no fan of Billary Clinton. I supported Bernie Sanders, the actual Democrat in the Democratic Party presidential primary, and for president I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein (whose recounts of three states I have supported wholeheartedly, even though I don’t think they’re going to go anywhere).
Billary Clinton indeed is corrupt, but her corruption pales by comparison to Trump’s, whose ties to Russia very much appear to have crossed the line from garden-variety political corruption into treason territory.
*That’s yet another example of Trump’s projection onto Billary Clinton: not only is she “corrupt” but he isn’t, to hear him tell it, but she belongs in a prison cell but he doesn’t.
Indeed, Trump very apparently believes, in typical wingnut fashion, that if he simply accuses others of his own brand of wrongdoing, then that alone magically lets him off the hook.
**For anyone who doesn’t get the reference — shut the fuck up, because there will be some who don’t get it — I’ve morphed Manchurian Candidate (with this definition of that term in mind) into “Muscovite Candidate,” as “Muscovite” is what you call someone from Moscow.
These electors then in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, in their respective state capitals for president and vice president of the United States. Each of the states casts as many electoral votes as the total number of its senators and representatives in Congress, while Washington, D.C., casts the same number of electoral votes as the least-represented state, which is three.
Once the voting for the presidential election has concluded and all the votes for each state have been accounted for, the electors are then advised as to what candidate won the majority in their state. The electors of that state then will cast the vote of that candidate to represent the people of their regions’ majority decision.
However, “Twenty-one states do not have provisions that are fairly specific in directing the electors to vote for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of their party.” This means that an elector could possibly vote against the majority decision of the state due to there being no law that binds electors otherwise in those states.
In modern times, almost all electors vote for a particular presidential candidate that their states’ majority decided upon; thus, the results of the election can generally be determined based on the state-by-state popular vote.
The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes for president or vice president (currently, at least 270 out of a total of 538) is then projected to be elected to that office.
If no candidate receives an absolute majority of electoral votes for president, the House of Representatives chooses the president; if no candidate receives an absolute majority for vice president, the senate chooses the vice president. …
I remain of the strong opinion that the Electoral College needs to be scrapped altogether. There is no compelling reason not to go with the popular vote alone, especially since we call ourselves a democracy, and since the Electoral College has failed us twice in my lifetime of not even 50 years, awarding the White House to the candidate who fucking lost the popular vote.
(Well, the Electoral College has yet to confirm a president for January 2017, and while it’s possible that the Electoral College on December 19 will not pick Trump, it strikes me as an outside chance that the Electoral College will deny Trump the victory. Most people tend to fall in line rather than do the right thing, even if the right thing is staring them right in the face.)
The presidential election is two months from today, and as I type this sentence fivethirtyeight.com gives Donald Trump a 31.2 percent chance of becoming the next occupant of the White House to Billary Clinton’s 68.8 percent chance.
That’s about a one-in-three chance for El Trumpo, which is still too close for comfort for me.
How can fivethirtyeight.com give Billary a bit more than a two-thirds chance of winning the White House when nationwide she’s polling no more than around two to five percentage points ahead of Trump? That would be due to the states where she’s leading and how many electoral votes they have. Right now fivethirtyeight.com projects that Billary is likely to win more than 300 electoral votes (she or Trump needs 270 electoral votes to win the White House).
Fivethirtyeight.com right now gives Billary a 99.6 percent chance of winning my state of California — and thus all 55 of its electoral votes, which is more than any other state’s — so it will be quite safe for me to vote my conscience and thus to vote for Jill Stein.
If the probability between Trump and Billary is too close for comfort in your state and you want to prevent a President Trump by voting for Billary, I can’t be mad at you for that, but if, like I do, you live in a solidly blue or solidly red state where it’s pretty fucking foreordained that Billary or Trump is going to win the state — say, by more than a 75 percent or 80 percent chance — and you don’t want to vote for Billary or for Trump, then I encourage you not to.
Take Texas, for instance. Fivethirtyeight.com right now gives Trump a 91.6 percent chance of winning Texas. Sure, you could vote for Billary if you’re a Texan voter, but she’s not going to win Texas and thus she won’t win any of its electoral votes in the winner-takes-all Electoral College system, so you might as well vote for another candidate if you don’t want to vote for Billary or for Trump. You might as well cast a protest vote, as I am doing.
Like California, Billary is going to win New York; fivethirtyeight.com puts that at a 98.6 percent chance. If you’re a New York resident who doesn’t want to vote for Billary, then don’t. She’s going to win your state and all of its electoral votes anyway. Go ahead and make that protest vote; you’re quite safe in doing so.
It all comes down to which candidate reaches 270 electoral votes (270 is the majority of the total of 538 electoral votes possible, from where Nate Silver’s website fivethirtyeight.com takes its name), so if you live and vote in a state that actually could make a difference in the outcome of the presidential election, such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Minnesota or Nevada, then by all means hold your nose and vote for Billary.
It’s funny (pathetic funny, not ha-ha funny), because it doesn’t matter which candidate wins; he or she most likely will start off on Inauguration Day disliked by a majority of the American people.
Our “choice” in this presidential election is bullshit, and that fact contributes to why I’m voting for Jill Stein, even if it amounts to a protest vote.
I wrote “our ‘choice,'” in the preceding paragraph, but we, the American people, should have choices,not just the choice between only two candidates. Voting for a third-party or independent presidential candidate is a way to say Oh, hell no! to the partisan duopoly of the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party (can’t tell the difference between the two? Yeah, most of the rest of us can’t, either), which has devolved to our “choice” of Billary Clinton or Donald Trump.*
As I noted, even a 31.2 percent chance of Trump becoming president (where it stands right now) is too close for my comfort, but I’m not sure at which point (if at any point) I’d give Billary any money to help her defeat Trump. I’ve yet to give her a penny, as I don’t want her to be president, but I want Trump to be president even less.
Trump strikes me as a dangerous demagogue whose fascist presidency could bring harm to millions of people here at home and abroad, and should he actually win the White House and I had done nothing at all to try to prevent that, I probably would regret it.
(The only thing that I really could do to help prevent a President Trump, given the restrictions on my free time and energy [and given the fact that no, I won’t make phone calls to voters in other states, as I hate receiving political phone calls myself], is to give Billary money; she doesn’t need my vote, since she essentially has won my state already.)
Johnson, I surmise, is siphoning more votes from Trump than from Billary — the Libertarians (and Perot was Libertarian-ish) aren’t centrist but are right of center — but, I surmise, not to the point that Ross Perot siphoned votes from George H. W. Bush.
If Billary wins the White House, she most likely won’t do it with even 50.0 percent of the popular vote, and she’ll be weak from Day One.
That list of 11 states mostly coincides with fivethirtyeight.com’s list of “tipping-point” states above.
For the most part, I’d say that if your state appears on either list (most of the states cited appear on both lists), you probably strongly should consider voting for Billary (while holding your nose after having taken an anti-emetic, if necessary) in order to block Trump.
I’m not voting for Billary because my not voting for her won’t help Trump at all. (If you actually believe that the U.S. president is chosen by the popular vote, please educate yourself on the Electoral College.)
And I still maintain that Bernie Sanders was the stronger of the two Democratic candidates to go up against Trump, and that the Democratic Party made a big fucking mistake by making Billary its nominee.
Of course, I don’t blame the primary voters and caucus-goers entirely for that; there was, after all, a lot of corruption within the calcified, obsolete Democratic National Committee to ensure that Billary won the pageant.
Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane appear at a campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky, today. Thus far in the tallying, per Politico, Bernie has won 53 percent of Indiana’s vote to Billary Clinton’s 47 percent, not enabling him to put a significant dent in Billary’s lead in pledged delegates (delegates won in presidential primary elections and caucuses), but certainly demonstrating that he still can win a populous state and that a sizable chunk of the Democratic and Democratic-leaning electorate still wants him, and not Billary, to lead the party and the nation.
Bernie Sanders’ presidential-primary-election win in Indiana today, coming on the heels of his loss in New York two weeks ago and his winning only one of five states that were up for grabs a week ago, is great but also a bit cruel, as it remains close to impossible for him to go into the party convention in late July with more pledged delegates than Billary Clinton — and that was his best argument for the super-delegates to vote for him instead of Billary.
As I type this sentence, Bernie’s estimated pledged delegate count is 1,370 to Billary’s estimated 1,665, a difference of 295 that Bernie is highly unlikely to surmount with the only nine more states to go (plus D.C.).
That said, again, every state that Bernie wins is a state that Billary didn’t win. Yeah, I know, deep, but, again, this hasn’t been just a battle for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, but has been a battle for the direction — and the soul — of the party itself.
Bernie very probably won’t win the nomination, but when he has won as many states as he has — and here they are, mapped out in green (to Billary’s puke yellow):
— he can’t be called a “fringe” candidate, especially given how this has been his first crack at the White House.
Bernie thus far has won 45 percent of the pledged delegates to Billary’s 55 percent — again, this puts him well out of “fringe” territory (just 5 percent more and he’d be tied with Billary), and again, that it is this close shows what a weak candidate Billary Clinton is within her own party; she’s been shrieking on the national stage since the 1990s and this is her second run for the Oval Office, for fuck’s sake, and this is the best that she can do.
Of course, Billary just wants a win; I can’t imagine that she’s any more concerned about the margin of her win than George W. Bush & Co. were when Bush “won” “re”-election with only 50.7 percent of the popular vote in 2004. (This 50.7 percent was a “mandate,” the Bushy traitors claimed.) Power is power, no?
If Billary makes it to the White House — and yes, Donald Trump could beat her, as right now match-up polling has Queen Billary beating Der Fuehrer Trump by only 6 percentage points (Bernie beats Trump by 14 percentage points) — I predict that she’ll be another Jimmy Carter or George H. W. Bush, a one-termer.
Either way — if she wins the White House or loses the White House in November — I surmise that the Clintonian bent of the Democratic Party ends with her.
And the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, which represents the face of the future (he dominates among those voters who are 40 and younger) as much as Queen Billary’s 1990s-era campaign represents the mouldered dead hand of the past, has been instrumental in driving a stake through the vampire’s cold heart at long last.
And that, my friends, can be described only as a victory.
Leftist Jeremy Corbyn yesterday won the leadership of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party by a larger margin than the center-right Tony Blair won in 1994 when he became the party’s leader. Corbyn won the election despite the predictions of doom by the center-right assholes who use the Labour Party label, much as how the center-right assholes here in the United States who use the Democratic Party label predict doom should democratic socialist Bernie Sanders win the party’s 2016 presidential nomination.
It’s interesting how the political climates of the United States and the United Kingdom so often mirror each other.
Right-wing, pro-plutocratic, anti-working-class U.S. President Ronald Reagan of the Repugnican Party was in office from early 1981 through early 1989, and right-wing, pro-plutocratic, anti-working-class UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the Conservative Party was in office from mid-1979 through late 1990. They were two fascistic peas in a pod, and the socioeconomic (and other) damage that they wreaked upon us commoners in the U.S. and the UK remains today.
Probably at least in part due to how long wingnuts had reigned (recall that Reagan was followed by four years of King George Bush I), “Democrat” Bill Clinton, part of the small movement to move the Democratic Party to the right (namely, the now-thank-Goddess-defunct Democratic Leadership Council) — the “thinking” apparently was that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em — turned the Democratic Party into the Repugnican Lite Party, or, as I like to think of the two duopolistic parties, the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party. (If you can’t tell the difference between the two, don’t worry; many if not most of the rest of us can’t, either.)
Tony Blair, UK prime minister from mid-1997 through mid-2007, apparently was quite inspired by Bill Clinton’s electoral success from having politically triangulated the United States and dragged the Democratic Party to the right. Given Blair’s blindly obedient support of King George Bush II’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War, you would think that Blair had been affiliated with the UK’s Conservative Party, but nope, he was affiliated with the Labour Party.
It’s no shock that Tony Blair, who had sold the Labour Party out just as the Clintons and Barack Obama have sold the Democratic Party out — I mean, it’s awfully interesting that Billary Clinton in October 2002 voted for the Vietraq War, so she was in lockstep with Tony Blair as well as with the unelected, fascistic Bush regime — had warned hyperbolically that the election of true progressive Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party would mean the party’s “annihilation.”
For all of Blair’s self-serving blather, Slate.com notes that yesterday Corbyn “won 59.5 percent of the more than 400,000 votes cast, meaning he won leadership of the UK’s main opposition party by an even larger margin than Tony Blair’s historic 1994 victory, when he got 57 percent of the vote.”
To American audiences, it is difficult to overstate the degree to which Blair is now an outcast in British politics. He may retain some affection here in the United States, but not in Britain. If there were any doubts about his current place in the politics of his country and particularly in the party he restored to prominence in the 1990s, it became clear with Corbyn’s landslide victory.
The Labour Party has been in turmoil since the general election in May, when Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party scored a surprising victory, securing an outright, if narrow, parliamentary majority when almost all polls predicted another hung Parliament and the possibility of a back-door path to power for Labour under its then-leader, Ed Miliband.
The election proved a wipeout for the Labour Party. Miliband resigned immediately, and as the party began the search for a new leader, it was plunged into a tumultuous debate about its future direction — a debate that hardly will be settled with the Corbyn election.
Blair weighed in days after the general election, warning that Labour had veered too far left under Miliband and that the road back to power required the party to recapture the center ground it had held from 1997 until 2010. As polls showed Corbyn rising, Blair warned of the potentially fateful consequences of an even sharper left turn. …
Again, Blair is like the Clintons, arguing that to succeed, the Labour Party/Democratic Party must mimic the Conservative Party/Repugnican Party. And like the self-serving Clintons, the self-serving Blair very apparently is wholly untroubled by how repulsive many if not most members of his party (the party that he claims but whose ideals he has sold out) find this ongoing “argument” to be.
And, of course, the comparison of the leftist Corbyn to the leftist U.S. presidential aspirant Bernie Sanders inevitably has been made, because Sanders now faces what Corbyn also has faced: being a member of a formerly progressive, formerly pro-working-class party that was taken over by self-serving, center-right assholes who over several years turned the party into a shadow, a husk of its former self — indeed, into a paler imitation of the opposition right-wing, anti-working-class, pro-plutocratic party to the point that the term “opposition party” no longer has meant much of anything.
For all of Blair’s self-serving blathering and for all of the self-serving, center-right conventional “wisdom” in the UK that making the Labour Party progressive again would mean its DOOM!, Corbyn has prevailed.
The self-serving, center-right conventional “wisdom” here in The Mirror Land of the United States of America also is that making the Democratic Party actually progressive again would mean its DOOM! Therefore, for Democrats to elect democratic socialist (gasp!) Bernie Sanders instead of Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton as their 2016 presidential nominee would Destroy the Democratic Party!
Except that the Democratic Party was destroyed long ago.
The Democratic Party talks about caring about us commoners, but for years now that’s all that we commoners have received: talk. Talk, lots and lots of talk, such as of “hope” and of “change.”
So when Billary claims to wuv us so much, against the mountains of evidence to the contrary, it rings hollow.
But the game is up, which is why those who benefit from playing the center-right game for some months now have been ignoring and dismissing how well Bernie Sanders might do and indeed how well he is doing.
(If Biden does jump in, one must ask which group he appeals to more: those of us who are beyond sick and tired of the Democratic-in-name-only establishment and thus who are going to stick with Bernie Sanders, come hell or high water, or those who still plan to hold their noses and stomach the DINO establishment, of which Biden and Billary are huge parts, believing that that is the best that they — and we — can do against the Repugnican Tea Party fascists.)
And if Billary were so strong, why does she need a “firewall”?
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t predict a cakewalk for my chosen candidate, Bernie Sanders.
Now that Jeremy Corbyn has won the leadership of the Labour Party and is poised to return it to its roots, he will face certain opposition not only from the Conservative Party, but also from the center-right supporters of Tony Blair and his ilk who will do their very best to politically cripple Corbyn and who then will blame it on the supposed inherent unworkability of his political ideology and practices.
This is what the United States of America long has done to the sovereign socialist nation of Cuba, for example: Do everything possible to cripple it and prevent it from succeeding and then blame any and all of Cuba’s problems entirely on its leaders’ political ideology and practices, entirely ignoring the blatant sabotage of Cuba by the wingnutty, capitalist swine in the U.S.
This dynamic is most likely what a President Sanders also would face: opposition and sabotage not only from the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, which goes without saying, but also opposition and sabotage from the embittered center-right DINOs whose years of privilege (gained by blatantly having sold the rest of us out) had ended with Sanders’ election and who now wish to show that their center-right way of doing things is the best way of doing things, as evidenced by the failure of the Sanders administration, which they have done their best to bring about.
Seriously: It’s bad enough to face opposition from the fascists on the right, but to have to face opposition also from the Fascist Lites who also use your party’s name is a special insult to injury.
Again, this is what Sanders is up against.
Not only is it going to take an all-out political revolution to put Bernie Sanders into the Oval Office, but it’s going to take an ongoing revolution to keep him there.
A truly populist revolution — a revolution in which a government that truly reflects the best interests of the majority of the people (that is, an actually democratic government) is established — always is vulnerable from attacks by those who benefited, at the expense of the many, from the old way of doing things.
Again: Getting Sanders there would be, in the scope of things, the easy part. Keeping him there will/would be the real battle, as we Americans have a tendency to show up for presidential elections every four years and that’s it (if we even do that much).
I, for one, am ready for the long haul.
Years and years of damage by center-right party sellouts aren’t reversed in one election.
In the meantime, I am inspired by Jeremy Corbyn’s win, and I see it as indicative that the winds in the West are blowing leftward.
Is there enough of a political difference between Joe Biden and Billary Clinton for Team Bernie Sanders to worry about Biden jumping into the presidential race at rather the last minute? Methinks not. I see establishmentarian Democrat/“Democrat” Biden drawing more support away from DINO Billary than from Bernie. A perfect alignment of the stars for us progressives would be Biden running and helping Bernie to beat Billary for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, and Donald Trump running for the White House as an independent, Ross-Perot style, and helping Bernie to win the White House by siphoning votes away from the Repugnican presidential candidate, whichever wingnut that turns out to be.
Perhaps Obama didn’t want to be overshadowed by a stronger personality were he to win the presidency, making Joe Biden a Dan-Quayle-like choice for veep. In any event, it apparently has been clear to Biden, with the exception of a “gaffe” or two, that as vice president he very much has been the beta male. No Dick Cheney role for him (at least certainly not publicly).
As vice president Joe Biden has been unremarkable, and since he at least has given the public appearance of being on board with All Things Obama, and since I find Obama’s presidency to have been incredibly disappointing, to put it mildly — as I’ve written a million times, Obama’s biggest mistake was not pushing through a progressive agenda when the Democratic Party held control of both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009 and 2010 (and yes, to me, the ubiquitous promises of “hope” and “change” signified progressivism, not more of the same) — for the most part I view Biden as jut another establishmentarian “Democrat,” along with Obama and Billary Clinton.
Yes, we do get to judge you by the company that you keep.
My support of Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination remains unswayed and unchanged by the news that Biden might jump in.
I did enjoy, as I wrote at the time, watching Biden thoroughly thrash Paul “Pretty Boy” Ryan in the vice presidential debate of October 2012, which started the hilarious Internet meme that cast Biden as the Hulk and Ryan as the villainous pretty boy Loki, whom in the 2012 hit comic-book movie “The Avengers” the Hulk picks up and smashes to the ground, leaving him in a crater created by his own body.
But of course that doesn’t mean that Biden should be president, and after he dropped out of the presidential race in 1988 due to the plagiarism scandal and after he dropped out after the very first contest of the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primary season because he’d done so poorly in Iowa, I don’t see Biden as a strong presidential candidate now.
Yes, vice presidents often go on to run for the presidency, but of course they don’t have to. George H.W. Bush and Al Gore did (and both of them won [yes, of course Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election]), but even Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney knew better, and I put Biden’s strength somewhere between those two groups of vice presidents who did run for the presidency and who did not.
Bernie Sanders is not. Again, I’m still with Bernie. Whatever Biden does or doesn’t do, it won’t change that.
What I can see Joe Biden doing, however, is helping Bernie Sanders.
I can see Biden and Billary splitting the establishmentarian Democratic Party/DINO vote, which could only help Sanders, who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate only as an independent, as a self-described little-“d” democratic socialist. (He is running on the big-“D” Democratic ticket now only because third-party/independent presidential runs are Herculean feats; it’s much easier to run for the White House within the duopolistic party system, as flawed and anti-democratic as it is.)
Sanders has distanced himself from the establishmentarian Democrats his entire political career, so his status as an outsider, which is what so many of us who are left of center want, is solid. (Perhaps you could call him the Donald Trump of the left.*)
Indeed, those who have a problem with the word “socialist” never, ever were going to vote for a Democrat for president in the first place. Indeed, even Obama, who has been a moderate at best — I don’t think that it would be inaccurate or unfair to describe Obama as having been center-right on the political spectrum — has been labeled by the lunatic fringe of the right as a “socialist.”
We shouldn’t worry about what the right-wing nut jobs who never are going to vote for a Democrat anyway are going to think. They never were going to be on our team in the first place, thank Goddess.
And young voters love Bernie Sanders.
While the enthusiasm that surrounds Sanders is not the same as that which surrounded Obama in 2008 — every presidential campaign season has its own flavor, and every presidential candidate has his or her own flavor — I’ve seen youthful enthusiasm for Sanders that I haven’t seen for the utterly uninspiring and uncharismatic Billary Clinton.
So I am perfectly fine with Joe Biden jumping into the race, even though it seems awfully late in the game for him still to be able to do so and to be successful. Not only is it perfectly his democratic right to do so if he wishes, but again, because he has been so closely aligned with the disappointing DINO Barack Obama, as has DINO Billary Clinton, I can see Biden only taking more support from Billary than from Bernie.
P.S. Should Al Gore jump into the race soon, as one Salon.com writer recently wrote he wishes would happen, that would be different. As Al Gore already won the White House in 2000, and as the writer for Salon.com correctly noted that Gore probably could bridge the establishmentarian “Democrats” and progressives (which, in my estimation, Billary can’t do and Biden can’t do much better than Billary can), I could see Gore winning the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination were he to run, even at this late date. He’d be a powerhouse.
But I doubt that he’ll run.
*While of course I loathe Donald Trump, the success of his presidential campaign thus far — right now he tops the Repugnican Tea Party presidential preference polls — demonstrates that a sizeable chunk of the American electorate remains displeased with the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party. (This seems to be fairly unchanged since Ross Perot, who always struck me as a wingnut [he might be labeled as libertarian or leaning libertarian, but the libertarians always have struck me as wingnuts], ran as an independent presidential candidate back in 1992, garnering just short of 19 percent of the popular vote.)
While the poor and the working class who support Trump (and the “tea party”) stupidly support him (and the “tea party”) like chickens stupidly supporting Colonel Sanders — they have the lottery mentality that they can be billionaires, too (of course, they can’t) — cannot identify the real problems of and the real enemies to the nation (the treasonously self-serving plutocrats like Trump, the Koch brothers and the Bush crime family [and yes, the Clinton crime family, too], not labor-union members and “illegals,” are destroying the nation), they at least correctly identify that the duopolistic, corporation- and plutocrat-loving Democratic Party and Repugnican Party stopped representing the majority of Americans’ best interests long ago.
Of course, just as I’d love Joe Biden to jump in and hopefully suck more votes away from Billary Clinton than from Bernie Sanders — which I surmise would be the case — I’d love for Donald Trump to pull a Ross Perot and run as an independent presidential candidate in 2016.
While some argue that Ross Perot’s run didn’t take more votes away from incumbent President George H.W. Bush than from Bill Clinton in 1992, I’ve always surmised that Perot, being right of center, of course siphoned more votes from Bush than from Clinton, thus helping Clinton to win the White House with only a plurality of the votes.
Similarly, I think it is inarguable that were Trump to run for the White House as an independent in 2016, of course he’d take more votes from the Repugnican candidate, whoever that turns out to be, than from the Democratic candidate, whoever that candidate turns out to be.
It’s interesting that we supposedly now are “re-evaluating” the unelected reign of George W. Bush in the White House on the occasion of the impending (May 1) public opening of his library and museum in Dallas — which, I’m guessing, consists of coloring books, connect-the-dot books, and, of course, many copies of The Pet Goat, and maybe such relics as aluminum tubes and that vial of white powder that were used to justify the Vietraq War, and maybe that dog leash that was on that Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib. (The original plans for World Trade Center: The Ride and the Hurricane-Katrina-themed water park next door to the library and museum were nixed for maybe sending the wrong messages.)
Will any of Gee Dubya’s amateurish paintings be put on display at his museum? It’s funny — Adolf Hitler was a bad artist before he became a fascistic dictator, and Gee Dubya pulled a Reverse Adolf, first becoming a fascistic dictator and then becoming an awful artist.
Seriously — what to say about a presidency that began with a blatantly stolen presidential election (replete with George W. Bush’s brother Jeb in the role of the governor of the pivotal state of Florida and Florida’s chief elections officer, Katherine Harris, making damn sure that Gee Dubya “won” the state) and that ended with our national economic collapse (including a federal budget surplus turned into a record federal budget deficit)?
The eight, very long George W. Bush years to me were like a series of national rapes. Never before had a president who had lost the popular vote nonetheless been coronated president by the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court that ruled that it was most expedient to stop recounting the ballots in Florida and just declare a “victor” already.
So raped did I feel over this, the largest blow to democracy in my lifetime, that I attended a “Not My President Day” protest rally on Presidents’ Day in early 2001 at the California State Capitol. Not long enough after that, I attended another protest rally at the state Capitol, this one over the impending launch of the obviously bogus Vietraq War in March 2003.
That is the only good/“good” thing that I can say about the George W. Bush years: That the unelected Bush regime’s stunning incompetence and its criminal and treasonous acts and failures to act made me more political than I’d ever been before — indeed, to the point that shortly before the Bush regime launched its Vietraq War, I started to blog in the fall of 2002, and I was more involved in the 2004 presidential election than I’d ever been involved in any presidential election before or since.
I get it that there are certain individuals out there who, because they identify so much with the Repugnican Tea Party, never will admit the colossal failure that was the George W. Bush presidency.
That’s fine. They can, and will, remain in their delusion and lies.
The rest of us, however, know and never will forget that there isn’t enough lipstick on the planet to put on the pig that was the unelected, treasonous reign of our own former mass-murdering dictator*, George W. Bush.
*A dictator, by my definition, is someone who did not receive the majority of the votes but who takes office through intimidation or even physical force anyway.
The death today of George McGovern, a progressive who ran unsuccessfully against incumbent President Richard M. Nixon in 1972 (and who is shown above right campaigning in 1972 with his first running mate, Thomas Eagleton), only reminds me, shortly before another presidential election, how far the Democratic Party has fallen.
It’s a perverse fact of politics that the possession of intelligence and compassion (concomitantly known as wisdom) often, if not usually, dooms an individual who is running for high public office.
I was only four years old when in 1972 Democrat McGovern lost to incumbent Repugnican President Richard M. Nixon in a landslide. A landslide — and look how wonderful Nixon’s second term turned out to be: It was the Democratic Party’s operations that Nixon’s operatives were snooping into in June 1972 in the Watergate scandal, which ultimately led to Tricky Dick Nixon’s resignation in disgrace in 1974. (Nixon’s remains the only presidential resignation in U.S. history.)
The masses often get it wrong.
I don’t remember McGovern’s presidential campaign, of course. The first sitting president I remember seeing on television was Gerald Ford, who followed the disgraced-by-Watergate Nixon, and I seem to remember seeing a perpetually stumbling and falling Ford parodied by Chevy Chase on “Saturday Night Live” more than seeing the actual Ford himself on TV.
I remember seeing also Jimmy Carter on TV, and of course I remember Ronald Reagan and all of those who have followed him. But during Carter’s first and only term, I was an elementary school student who was interested in “Star Wars,” not in politics, and it wasn’t until Reagan’s eight-year reign during most of the 1980s that my political identity started to form.
My father always has been apolitical, not giving a rat’s ass about anything outside of his immediate personal universe, and my mother is one of those “swing voters” who seem to make their presidential picks based upon the logic of a Magic 8 Ball. (My parents reside in Arizona, where they belong, and I in California, where I belong.)
My point in bringing up my parents — which makes me feel like Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka when the topic of his parents is brought up — is to illustrate that neither of them even attempted to influence my own political views, with one of them being apolitical and the other being politically muddled at best, so the fact that I grew into a left-winger in the red state of Arizona, which is not conducive to the development of little “socialists,” suggests to me that a progressive political viewpoint is the natural path of human development, unless that path is obstructed (such as by committed right-wing parents who probably should be committed, a “Christo”fascist social environment, etc.) and the journeyer cannot overcome those obstructions, as I was able to do.
The first presidential race that I remember caring about was the 1984 race. I was in high school at the time, and I supported Democrat Walter Mondale over the re-election of Reagan, and I don’t know if I even could have articulated very well why I preferred Mondale over Reagan, since it certainly wasn’t my parents who influenced my preference for Mondale. If memory serves it was a visceral thing, my visceral, intuitive identification of Mondale as the truly wise (again, the compassionate and intelligent) candidate and Reagan as the poser, the phony.
Of course, in 1984 the very first presidential candidate whom I supported (not with money, because as a minor I didn’t have any [and are minors allowed to contributed to presidential campaigns anyway?], and not with my vote, because I wasn’t yet 18), very much like McGovern had done in 1972, lost to the Repugnican incumbent in a landslide.
Four years later, in 1988, Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, whom I supported and voted for as a college student (I remember having to sell my plasma as a starving college student, so I’m pretty certain that I wasn’t able to give Dukakis any money), performed barely better against George H. W. Bush than Mondale had performed against Reagan four years earlier.
Um, yeah, so I wasn’t off to a great start in life in my presidential picks, and for 12 long years as I was politically budding, I suffered through first Ronald Reagan and then George Bush I. (I never will forget graduating from college with a worthless degree but with plenty of student-loan debt during The First George Bush Recession of the late 1980s-early 1990s. These early socioeconomic experiences tend to color your political outlook for life, as the Great Depression very apparently colored my Scrooge-like maternal grandmother’s outlook for the rest of her life.)
Then in the 1990s came pseudo-Democrat Bill Clinton, who, although he benefitted from a rebounding economy (how much of the 1990s’ economic rebound was from his policies and how much of it was from the natural course of economic events I’m not certain), gave us such gems as NAFTA, welfare “reform” and DOMA — oh, yeah, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal, because having an intern blow you in the Oval Office never can blow up in your face.
So the first Democratic presidential candidate whom I supported — I rooted for and voted for Clinton in 1992 and in 1996 — and who actually wonthe presidential election was the so-called Democrat who destroyed the Democratic Party by dragging it so far to the right that the Democratic Party today looks like Repugnican Lite. Yay!
Bill Clinton benefitted from a three-way race in 1992, and won with a plurality, not a majority, of the popular vote, which today’s Democratic hacks forget or ignore. (Dems deny that third-party candidate Ross Perot, who garnered a-very-impressive-for-a-third-party-candidate 19 percent of the popular vote in 1992, harmed George H. W. Bush’s re-election bid, but it seems to me that the majority of Perot’s supporters were right of center and that most of them would have voted for Bush over Clinton. [If memory serves, my Magic-8-Ball-wielding mother voted for Perot, and my guess is that had Perot not been a choice, she would have voted for Bush or would not have voted at all.])
I get it that after a string of Democratic presidential defeats — George McGovern, Jimmy Carter (denied a second term), Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis — and after long time in the political wilderness during the Nixon/Ford, Reagan and Bush I years — the Democratic Party apparently wanted to pull away, far away, from the egghead image.
Democrat Adlai Stevenson, who lost to Repugnican Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and again in 1956 yet sought (but did not get) the Democratic Party’s nomination yet again in 1960, seems to have been the eggheaded Democrats’ founding father, at least of our modern era, and indeed, Stevenson was the last presidential candidate from either of the two major parties who, despite having lost a presidential election, was nominated by his party to run in the very next presidential election. (These days, losing a presidential election very apparently means that you’ll never get another shot at your party’s presidential nomination again.)
The last Democratic egghead who lost — but who, surreally, actually won — a presidential election was, of course, Al Gore, who in 2000 won 48.4 percent of the popular vote to George W. Bush’s 47.9 percent, for a difference of more than 500,000 votes.** Only in the United States of America could the candidate who won fewer votes be made — crowned — president by the U.S. Supreme Court and his cronies (such as his brother, who was governor of the pivotal state that he “won,” and the chief elections official of that state who made damn sure that he “won” it), and this is yet another of those wonderful, deeply anti-democratic events during my lifetime that has shaped my current outlook.
So Al Gore’s win/loss in 2000 might have been the death knell for the eggheaded Democratic presidential candidate, but isn’t there some middle ground between a Bill Clinton and an Adlai Stevenson?
You might argue that President Barack Obama more or less fills that middle ground, since he’s known as both intelligent and non-nerdy (and, importantly, highly unlikely to be blown by an intern), but today we have Obama in a race for re-election that shouldn’t be nearly as close as it is, and probably wouldn’t be as close as it is had Obama spent his first two years in office actually delivering upon his ubiquitous 2008 promises of hope and change while both houses of Congress were controlled by his own party, a rare alignment of the stars that never should be squandered, and that even George W. Bush, dipshit that he is, did not squander. (Nor did Bush II, dipshit that he is, shit and piss all over his own fucking base, which seems to be the Obama administration’s and the Obamabots’ favorite fucking pastime.)
In Barack Obama, other than in empty rhetoric and false promises, we see precious little of the spirit of George McGovern that used to infuse the Democratic Party. In Obama we see instead the cynical, opportunistic, center-right spirit of Bill Clinton, an approach that the modern Democratic Party argues is the only approach that works, yet in actuality has no track record of effectiveness.
Again, in my book, Bill Clinton won in 1992 in no small part because of “spoiler” Ross Perot, and again, in 1992 Clinton garnered a plurality (43 percent of the popular vote), not a majority. (The only other president during my lifetime who garnered not even a full 44 percent of the popular vote was Richard Nixon in 1968, the year of my birth.)
Clinton again failed to get a full majority even in 1996 (he got 49 percent of the popular vote), and in his 1996 (and pre-Lewinsky) re-election bid he benefitted from having an incredibly wooden Repugnican opponent in Bob Dull — er, Dole — and he benefitted from a strong economy, which, again, I am not certain how much resulted from his economic policies and how much resulted from the natual ebb and flow of the nation’s economy.
Again, he ran on a progressive (if too-vague) platform of hope and change.That was the bait.
Obviously, if Obama hadn’t perceived that that was what the majority of Americans wanted, that wouldn’t have been what he promised.
That progressivism is what the majority of Americans wanted, and that progressivism is what Obama Version 2008 promised (even if gauzily), even though his hacks (the Obamabots) love to engage in historical revision and deny that fact, but what Obama has delivered as president is just more Clintonesque, center-right, “bipartisan,” Repugnican-ass-licking bullshit, replete with Billary Clinton as his secretary of state and Bill Clinton as his current campaign surrogate.
So the news of George McGovern’s death early this morning at a hospice in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at age 90 only underscores for me, with another presidential election only a little more than two weeks away, the fact that the Democratic Party of today is only a shadow of what it used to be.
I lament that the only presidents named George whom I got during my lifetime are surnamed Bush, and I have to wonder how George McGovern felt about the likes of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who turned the Democratic Party into the center-right, corporate-ass-licking, lesser-of-two-evils monstrosity of a fundraising machine that it is today.
And I can’t see how I can honor the memory of George McGovern by blackening the oval next to the name of Barack Obama on the mail-in ballot that sits just yards from me right now as I type this sentence, yet unmarked.
George Stanley McGovern (July 19, 1922-October 21, 2012) was a historian, author and U.S. representative, U.S. senator and the Democratic Party presidential nominee in the 1972 presidential election.
McGovern grew up in Mitchell, South Dakota…. [After he fought in World War II] he gained degrees from Dakota Wesleyan University and Northwestern University, culminating in a Ph.D., and was a history professor. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1956 and re-elected in 1958. After a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 1960, he was elected there in 1962.
As a senator, McGovern was an exemplar of modern American liberalism. He became most known for his outspoken opposition to the growing U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He staged a brief nomination run in the 1968 presidential election as a stand-in for the assassinated Robert F. Kennedy.
The subsequent McGovern-Fraser Commission fundamentally altered the Democratic presidential nominating process, by greatly increasing the number of caucuses and primaries and reducing the influence of party insiders.
The McGovern-Hatfield Amendment sought to end the Vietnam War by legislative means but was defeated in 1970 and 1971.
McGovern’s long-shot, grassroots-based 1972 presidential campaign found triumph in gaining the Democratic nomination but left the party badly split ideologically, and the failed vice-presidential pick of Thomas Eagleton undermined McGovern’s credibility. In the general election McGovern lost to incumbent Richard Nixon in one of the biggest landslides in American history. Re-elected senator in 1968 and 1974, McGovern was defeated in a bid for a fourth term in 1980.
Throughout his career, McGovern was involved in issues related to agriculture, food, nutrition, and hunger….
Wikipedia also notes that anyone running against the incumbent Nixon would have had an uphill battle anyway, but after high-profile Democrats such as Ted Kennedy, Walter Mondale and Hubert Humphrey and other Democrats declined to be McGovern’s running mate, McGovern picked U.S. Sen. Thomas Eagleton, whom McGovern later replaced with Kennedy clan in-law Sargent Shriver after Eagleton’s history of treatment for mental illness came to light, casting doubt on his fitness to handle the presidency if it came to that, and raising doubts about McGovern’s judgment.
Wikipedia notes that Team McGovern didn’t vet Eagleton thoroughly and that Eagleton and his wife intentionally kept Eagleton’s hospitalizations for mental illness from McGovern. Bloomberg notes that less than a week after McGovern had proclaimed that he supported Eagleton “1,000 percent,” he replaced Eagleton with Shriver.
Bloomberg notes that McGovern later wrote in his autobiography, “I did what I had to, but the Eagleton matter ended whatever chance there was to defeat Richard Nixon in 1972. In the minds of many Americans the Eagleton episode convicted me of incompetence, vacillation, dishonesty and cold calculation, all at the same time.”
Bloomberg notes that “The Eagleton misstep ushered in today’s rigorous vetting of potential vice presidential candidates,” which doesn’t really explain what happened with Dan Quayle or Sarah Palin, but whatever…
**You might argue that the last Democratic egghead who ran for president actually was John Kerry in 2004, and while he does hail from Massachusetts, a la egghead Michael Dukakis (indeed, Kerry was Dukakis’ lieutenant governor), Vietnam vet Kerry ran such a war-hero campaign (the “swiftboaters'” defamation of him notwithstanding) that, in my estimation, anyway, he fairly escaped being branded as an egghead.
If this guy is elected (or allowed to steal office a la 2000) in November, there will be more massacres. (More Photoshop jobs on this theme here…)
The United States of America is one big dysfuckingfunctional family.
Every once in a while, one of us snaps and kills a lot of people. The rest of us then all act shocked and horrified and say how “senseless” it was (when really we’re primarily just celebrating the fact that we weren’t among the body count), and then we go back to our lives of self-centeredness and greed that will help create the next massacre.
Every time one of these massacres occurs, I write essentially the same blog piece, but fuck it, as long as it keeps happening, I’ll keep writing the same blog piece. So here goes:
No, I promise you, he developed entirely within a social context.
My guess is that Holmes has some screws loose, but the fact of the matter is that Holmes is just one of millions of young Americans whose nation has failed them beyond miserably.
The Associated Press reports that according to a neighbor of Holmes, “Holmes struggled to find work after graduating with highest honors in the spring of 2010 with a neuroscience degree from the University of California, Riverside.”
Holmes isn’t a drop-out pothead. The AP also reports of Holmes that he “enrolled last year in a neuroscience Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver but was in the process of withdrawing, said school officials, who didn’t provide a reason.”
Yes, Holmes was a Ph.D. candidate, one of our brightest young people. Neuroscience, for fuck’s sake. Sounds pretty close to a brain surgeon to me.
My guess is that like millions of his cohorts, and like millions of members of my generation (Gen X), Holmes graduated from college with a mountain of debt but with no good job prospects whatsofuckingever.
I, too, graduated (in 1990 — during the first George-Bush-induced recession) with a worthless bachelor’s degree but with student-loan debt, and I, too, initially returned to school (to get my master’s degree, which I ultimately didn’t get) because there were no jobs out there and I didn’t know what else to do. (At age 44, I still am a member of what my fellow Gen-X foaming-at-the-mouth leftist Ted Rall calls the “overeducated underclass.”)
Since the 1980s, under Ronald Reagan, who couldn’t blow the Wall Street weasels enough, our higher-education system stopped being about preparing students for good jobs. Those jobs, under the vulture capitalism that Mittens Romney and his ilk perpetrate, perpetuate and defend, have been evaporating from the United States these past few decades.*
The American higher-education system now is about, and for some decades now has been about, handing our young over to the student-loan sharks for their feeding frenzies. Our colleges don’t produce young people who are ready for the good jobs that await them — our colleges instead produce young people who start off in life neck-deep in debt to the student-loan sharks, struggling to survive by taking jobs that are way beneath their abilities.
Starting out like this, many if not most of them never even will catch up, but will lag behind for the rest of their days.
We lie to our youth about the importance of going to college and doing well so that they can get fulfilling, well-paying jobs — jobs that don’t fucking exist and haven’t for some decades now.
Our youth are punk’d royally, so of course they become angry and bitter.
True, not all of them shoot up a movie theater. They just become alcoholics and/or druggies and/or go on Big Pharma’s antidepressants and/or abuse those in their lives and/or immerse themselves in materialism and commercialism and/or become sex addicts or some other type of addicts and/or commit suicide.
Everything is connected, whether we want to acknowledge that fact or not. (And for the most part, we don’t. We prefer what we believe is the safety of our own little bubbles, even though are bubbles are not our own safe houses, but are our own fucking caskets.)
Blowhard Rush Limbaugh recently accused filmmaker Christopher Nolan (“Inception,” the latest “Batman” trilogy, etc.) of, in Nolan’s current “Batman” movie, modeling (or at least naming) Batman’s enemy Bane after Mittens Romney’s vulture capitalism outfit Bain Capital — in order to make a political, anti-Mittens statement.
(Bain, Bane — apparently one-syllable homophones mesmerize great minds like Limbaugh’s.
Of course, the “Batman” comic-book character of Bane was created in 1993, well before Mittens ever decided to run for the White House, but mere facts never stop the likes of Grand Dragon Daddy Limbaugh and his fans.)
It was at a midnight showing of the latest “Batman” installment, “The Dark Knight Rises,” that James Eagen Holmes committed his massacre, and yes, it seems to me, there is a Bain connection here: It is vulture capitalism run amock that created the socioeconomic context within which this latest massacre occurred.
As insane income inequality grows, the pain and suffering of the poor and the middle class and the working class increases, and yes, some of the victims of vulture capitalism do snap and act out.
The only thing that’s shocking is that we don’t see a whole fucking lot more of it.
James Eagen Holmes very apparently snapped under the pressures of the oppressive socioeconomic system that not enough of us fight against. If enough of us did fight against it, our oppression at the hands of the filthy rich, treasonous few would stop.
Instead, way too fucking many of us, such as cops (the taxpayer-funded security guards of the plutocrats, who, of course, pay no taxes themselves) and members of the U.S. military (a.k.a. cannon fodder for Big Oil), and, of course, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, insanely side with our oppressors instead of with their fellow oppressed.
Better to curry favor with the oppressors, the rich and the powerful, than to be one of their victims, right? Of course, cops and soldiers and “tea party” dipshits are just as much victims as are the rest of us. These fools are the plutocratic oppressors’ tools, whether they realize it or acknowledge it or not.
Of course I don’t advocate massacres in movie theaters — I see a lot of movies myself, including at the Century Theatres in my area** — but it nauseates me to hear the same old predictable bullshit that the American sheeple bleat when massacres (Columbine, 9/11, this morning’s, etc.) are in the news.
We don’t understaaaaaaand, the sheeple bleat.
Yes, the sheeple do understand, at least dimly, at least on some level.
It’s that they don’t fucking care.
If theydid,they’d have to change.
And that might even mean — gasp! — having to fight.
The sheeple secretly would prefer more massacres of other sheeple.
P.S. Of course the Mittens and President Hopey-Changey campaigns had to weigh in on today’s massacre. They have to pretend to care about us, you see.
“Ann and I are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence that took the lives of 15 [sic] people in Colorado and injured dozens more. We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice.”
“Senseless” violence. Right. A brilliant young man can’t find decent work in a nation that doesn’t give a flying fuck about him and sees no future for himself and so he snaps. “Senseless.” Makes no sense at all. None whatsofuckingever. Happened just out of the blue. Randomly. Just one of those things that no one possibly could even begin to explain.
Look how quickly Mittens was to pounce upon the idea of “justice” for the perpetrator.
It’s funny, because if those truly responsible for today’s terrible crime actually ever were brought to justice, Mittens and his treasonous, plutocratic ilk would be behind bars, where they belong.
But they can rest easy.
So-called “justice” is meted out only to the 99 percent of us, and almost never to the 1 percent.
If you kill a dozen people, like James Eagen Holmes apparently did today, and are a member of the 99 percent, you at least will go to prison.
But if you are amass murderer and are among the 1 percent,like George W. Bush or Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld or Condoleezza Rice — or yes, like Barack Obama, who loves assassinations (with and without the use of drones) and who loves keeping the traitors who comprise the military-industrial complex happy with billions and billions of our tax dollars that aren’t going to the things that we need, such as job creation, education, health care, environmental protection and infrastructure improvements — you are allowed to run loose.
It’s not just within the arena of the military-industrial complex that mass murderers go free. Corporations’ profits-over-people practices routinely kill scores and scores of innocent people, yet the corporatocrats get off scot-free — even though corporations, according to the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court, are “people.”
Why would, how could,anyonesnap in this oh-so-fair-and-justUnited States of America?
*The No. 1 goal of capitalism is not job creation, as the Repugnican Tea Party traitors among us proclaim. The No. 1 goal of capitalism is profiteering. Fucking duh.
Labor is expensive. Under American capitalism, if you can replace your American workers with machines or with other automated systems and/or outsource their jobs to sweatshops overseas, you do so in order to increase your profits.
The vulture capitalists are not job creators. They are wealth aggregators, as fucking evidenced by the fact that over the past several years the wealthiest have gotten even wealthier while the jobs have dried up and rest of us have gotten poorer.
If these treasonous plutocrats were job creators, there would be jobs.
There aren’t jobs because it isn’t about us. It’s all about them, the 1 percent.
**I will see “The Dark Knight Rises,” by the way. I love Anne Hathaway and the character of Catwoman, Nolan is a good director, and Tom Hardy is a hunk (OK, even though as Bane his face is obscured), so I’m there. I just generally avoid trying to see blockbusters on opening weekend.
You are much more likely to be killed in a car accident, or killed by a car while crossing the street, that you are to be shot dead in a movie theater.