Tag Archives: John Kerry

Bernie now No. 1 in WaPo’s ranking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But I digress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After that, the nomination was all Kerry’s.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for bernie biden

Associated Press news photo

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

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

O’Hehir proclaims that

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

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

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

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

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

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

So Bernie is an actual Democrat.** Horrors!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I disagree.

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

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

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

But we’re not there yet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bernie Sanders soars under the radar

Updated below (on Saturday, December 12, 2015)

FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2015, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a concert hosted by his campaign in Davenport, Iowa. For Sanders, victory in Iowa’s kickoff presidential caucuses hinges on a simple proposition: that his message of political revolution will inspire people who typically stay home on that deep-winter night. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Associated Press photo

Bernie Sanders addresses a crowd in Davenport, Iowa, in October. Despite the myth that Sanders is “unelectable,” he is doing better against the top Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidates in match-up polling than is Billary Clinton. As I type this sentence, Real Clear Politics’ averages of match-up polling show Billary beating Donald Trump by 3.3 percent, whereas Sanders beats Trump by 8 percent. Sanders beats Ted Cruz by 5.6 percent, whereas Billary bests Cruz by only 2.5 percent. Neither Sanders nor Clinton beats Marco Rubio — who is, as I have said, the Repugnican Tea Party candidate to take down (Trump is just an incredibly loud distraction) — but while Rubio beats Bernie by only 0.7 percent, he beats Billary by 1.6 percent. Billary Clinton is so disliked by the electorate as a whole that the comparatively unknown Bernie Sanders does better than she does against the top-tier Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes.

A few items encouraging to us Bernie Sanders supporters have caught my eye over the past few days.

There are plenty of naysaying pieces on Sanders on the Internet that amount to screaming to us Sanders supporters, “Surrender, Dorothy! But in reality, we have no reason to give up.

First, as I’ve noted, Bernie Sanders is polling significantly better than is Billary Clinton against the top three Repugnican Tea Party presidential contenders (Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz) in match-up polling. (Again, I’m quite confident that Ben Carson will not emerge as the Repugnican Tea Party’s presidential nominee.)

As El Trumpo himself might say, that’s yuuuuuge. It annihilates the “argument,” the conventional “wisdom,” that only Billary can win the White House. In Reality Land, there is a good chance that she cannot.

But then there’s also this (from refinery29.com):

Though there’s no way to know exactly how Americans will vote in the 2016 elections, one university has a perfect record when it comes to predicting presidential outcomes.

Western Illinois University has correctly prognosticated each president since 1975, and it’s got some ideas about next year’s contest, too. According to the university’s mock election, the 45th president of the United States will be Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who’s running as a Democrat in 2016. The university also predicted that former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will be Sanders’ vice president.

So how did the university reach its conclusion about Sanders? While his main opponent in the Democratic field, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, is leading in many polls, Sanders has managed to raise support from small donors at an unprecedented pace. The senator has supporters from a variety of demographics, explains Liberal America, which makes him a highly electable candidate. And a recent Quinnipiac poll found that Sanders is polling better than all of the GOP’s 2016 presidential candidates, including Donald Trump.

In WIU’s mock presidential election, Sanders garnered more than 400 Electoral College votes. A proposed Jeb Bush/Marco Rubio ticket, meanwhile, earned just 114 Electoral College votes in the mock election. As for the popular vote in WIU’s mock election, Sanders beat Clinton in 22 out of 26 primary states there, too.

Thousands of students at the university simulated the election process, including Iowa caucuses, state primaries, nominating conventions, and the Electoral College vote, from October 20 to November 2, in order to determine the results.

I find it interesting and encouraging that the university that correctly has predicted the next U.S. president since 1975 has predicted that Bernie Sanders will be our next president. (I’m not wild about Martin O’Malley as Bernie’s running mate, but O’Malley is better than is Billary, who wouldn’t deign to be Sanders’ running mate. But Sanders shouldn’t ask her, as her center-right political record and philosophy are contradictory to his left-of-center record and philosophy.)

There’s this, too, from Matthew Yglesias for Vox.com (emphases in bold are mine):

Donald Trump, as you have probably heard, is dominating national polls of Republicans who want to lead their party in the 2016 presidential election. As you have likewise probably heard, Hillary Clinton is currently crushing left-wing challenger Bernie Sanders in national polls of Democrats.

What you have probably not heard as much about is that Trump and Sanders have approximately equal levels of public support. …

Trump right now is a few percentage points ahead of Sanders in terms of the number of Republicans backing him versus the number of Democrats backing Sanders. But because there are more Democrats than Republicans in America, Philip Bump of the Washington Post reckons that there are actually slightly more Sanders supporters in America than Trump supporters.

Nonetheless, Trump has dominated media coverage of the 2016 campaign while Sanders has largely been a non-factor in coverage since Clinton started handing in solid debate performances.

The reasons for this are not exactly mysterious – Trump is ahead in the polls and might win the GOP nomination, while Sanders is losing badly and clearly won’t be the Democratic candidate.

But while the media’s priorities are comprehensible, the horse race fact that mainstream Democrats have consolidated around a single champion while the non-Trump Republicans remain badly divided is creating a distorted picture of the real state of the country. Wall-to-wall Trump coverage is, for example, helping boost morale at white supremacist groups, which are now benefiting from a newfound sense of momentum.

But while there is clearly significance in the fact that a large minority of Republicans are willing to flock to Trump’s banner and the cause of ethnic chauvinism, the reality that an equal number of people are flocking to Sanders’s banner and the vision of an expansive Nordic welfare state is equally significant.

Indeed, in terms of analyzing broad trends in American life, the Sanders phenomenon is probably more significant than Trumpism. Trump’s supporters, after all, are older than the average Republican, while Sanders’s are younger than the average Democrat. The Trump movement is benefiting from an exceptionally chaotic situation among mainstream Republicans, while Sanders is up against the strongest non-incumbent frontrunner in American political history.

In the short term, that all means that Trump is more relevant to 2016. But the values that Sanders reflects are likely to grow stronger in future cycles, while Trumpism is likely to grow weaker.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ll take the word of the students of Western Illinois University over Yglesias’ where it comes to Bernie Sanders’ chances of winning the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination (and then the White House). But I like (and agree with) Yglesias’ conclusion that the future belongs to us Sandersistas, not to the Trumpites.

And, as I’ve noted before, if Sanders’ 2016 run ends up like Barry Goldwater’s run in 1964 – if in retrospect it’s clear that Sanders rescued the Democratic Party from the death grip of the center-right Clintons – then we can count Sanders’ 2016 run as a win, whether he becomes our next president or not.

Speaking of which, it’s true that Billary’s lead in nationwide polls have her far ahead of Bernie – 55.4 percent to 30.8 percent, per Real Clear Politics’ average of polls, and 55 percent to 31 percent, per the Huffington Post’s average of polls. So it seems safe to conclude that right now, nationwide, Billary does beat Bernie by more than 20 percentage points in the polls.

But the nation won’t be voting and caucusing for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee as a whole on one day, but states will be voting and caucusing over the course of many weeks. And wins in early states often (if not usually) snowball into wins in successive states.

First to vote (caucus) will be Iowa, on February 1.

Yes, Billary is leading Bernie by double digits in Iowa polling right now – by about 14 percentage points, per RCP, and by 19 percent, per HuffPo – but, as prognosticator god Nate Silver pointed out recently, since 2004, “In Iowa, on average, only 35 percent of voters had come to a final decision before the final month of the campaign. And in New Hampshire, only 29 percent had.”

That leaves plenty of room for Bernie to win Iowa, as we have more than a month and a half before Iowans caucus.

And Bernie Sanders leads Billary in New Hampshire, which votes on February 9. RCP has him 4 percent ahead of Billary there, while HuffPo has him 1 percent ahead of her there.

Should Sanders pull out a first-place finish in Iowa – which we were taught is not an impossibility when, in 2004, the “inevitable” Howard Dean came in at third place in Iowa after the moribund John Kerry came back from the dead like Lazarus on crack and came in at No. 1 in Iowa and then went on to win the nomination (due to the aforementioned snowball effect) – Sanders no doubt would win New Hampshire, too.

And I don’t see Billary recovering from Sanders winning both Iowa and New Hampshire.

It’s true that Donald Trump has been sucking most of the oxygen from the room, and that the pundits (like Yglesias) have coronated Billary Clinton as the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee already.

But the pundits and the corporately owned and controlled media whores won’t be caucusing and voting in Iowa and New Hampshire (well, the vast majority of them don’t live in those two states, anyway).

I suspect that in February we will see, rather jarringly, that there are two parallel “realities” in the United States of America: (1) our corporately mediated “reality” that pumps up center-right, pro-corporate political candidates like Trump and Billary and, at best, mostly ignores truly populist candidates like Bernie Sanders, since truly populist candidates like Sanders aren’t great for the corporations and the plutocracy; and (2) actual reality, which consists of individuals voting and caucusing the way that they want to, not the way that they’re told to by our corporate/plutocratic overlords.

I suspect that for some time now, Bernie Sanders, in actual reality, has been soaring under the radar of our corporately mediated “reality.”

While we might compare Sanders to the tortoise in the parable of the tortoise and the hare, I think that I’d rather liken him to the bald eagle that had to put Donald Trump in his place.

P.S. I get it that way too many “superdelegates” have jumped the gun, voicing their support for Billlary before we, the people, have weighed in on our choice between Billary and Bernie, but how would these “superdelegates” proceed if Bernie pummels Billary in the caucuses and primary elections?

Many if not most of these “superdelegates” are, after all, accountable to the voters. And they aren’t bound to supporting Billary; they may flip their support to Bernie instead.

Update (Saturday, December 12, 2015): I find it interesting that within 24 hours of my having written that there exists a “corporately mediated ‘reality’ that pumps up center-right, pro-corporate political candidates like [Donald] Trump and Billary [Clinton] and, at best, mostly ignores truly populist candidates like Bernie Sanders,” the Sanders campaign put out an e-mail that reads:

I’ve always been interested in media and have always been concerned that corporate media doesn’t really educate people in this country. They refuse to talk about the serious issues facing our country.

That’s why I wasn’t surprised yesterday when I saw this headline: “Report: ABC World News Tonight Has Devoted 81 Minutes to Trump, One Minute to Sanders.”

It’s no shock to me that big networks, which are controlled by a handful of large corporations, have barely discussed our campaign and the important issues we are bringing up. They’re just too busy covering Donald Trump.

We can’t allow the corporate media to set the agenda. We have got to get the real issues out there. And that’s why I’m asking you to join me in a major petition to the big networks.

Add your name to our petition to tell ABC, NBC and CBS to cover our campaign — and more importantly to cover the issues we are bringing up.

This is what the corporate media is all about: more Americans support our campaign than Trump’s according to recent polls, but still ABC’s news program has spent 81 minutes on Trump and only 20 seconds talking about us. NBC Nightly News only spent 2.9 minutes covering our campaign. CBS? They spent six minutes.

The point is: our political revolution certainly will not be televised. It’s more important than ever for us to hold the large corporations that control the media accountable.

Please sign our petition to tell the big networks to put aside their corporate interests and allow for a free and fair debate in this presidential campaign.

I know we can win this fight if we all work to get the message out there.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

I encourage you to sign the petition.

The corporately owned and controlled mass media give more time not only to Donald Trump over Bernie Sanders, but also to the many Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes, like Jeb! Bush, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina and even Lindsey Graham, who aren’t polling at even 4 percent within their own party and who don’t have nearly the chance of securing their party’s presidential nomination that Bernie Sanders does of securing his.

As Matthew Yglesias points out in his piece above, “Sanders is up against the strongest non-incumbent frontrunner in American political history.” Given that fact, Bernie Sanders is, again, soaring — albeit under the radar of the corporately mediated “reality” in which we live.

P.S. Sanders’ e-mail correctly notes, as I noted yesterday, that Donald Trump is sucking all of the oxygen from the room, but the media are covering El Trumpo not only because he is, as he has been called, a carnival barker (on crack, I would add), but also because the plutocrats who own and control our corporate media would much rather that their media outlets cover The Donald’s latest “gaffe” than cover issues that might actually threaten treasonous corporate/plutocratic profiteering, such as:

Income inequality (including, of course, the need to pay every worker a living wage, the necessity of forcing the rich and the super-rich to pay their fair share of taxes, and the need to whack the Wall Street weasels), climate change (our No. 1 problem, even though it might not be evident to us on an everyday basis, because it’s a slow, ongoing progressive problem), the unaffordability of health care (including, of course, treasonously priced pharmaceuticals) and of higher education (student loans have got to go — we must foster our youth, not treat them as cash cows), our crumbling-from-neglect infrastructure, and the waste of billions and billions and billions of our tax dollars on the treasonous war profiteering of the military-corporate complex.

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More post-debate thoughts: We all lose when Billary Clinton ‘wins by not losing’

Photo from The Washington Post

Billary Clinton has become Rudy Guiliani in drag. Billary walks, talks and acts like a Repugnican, which means that should she become the “Democratic” presidential candidate in November 2016, a majority of voters probably will just go ahead and vote for the real Repugnican presidential candidate (perhaps especially if that candidate is Marco “Bootstraps” Rubio).

In its post-Democratic-debate analysis, Vox.com (typical of the conventional “wisdom” of the mass media) proclaims of Billary Clinton, “To some degree, Clinton wins by not losing,” adding, “And while she hardly had a perfect night, she definitely didn’t lose.” Vox.com proclaims of Bernie Sanders:

To be somewhat tautological about it, Sanders lost by not winning. The one, narrow path he has to the nomination comes through a surprise win or close loss in Iowa, followed by a big win in New Hampshire — trusting that the momentum from winning early will carry him, much as it did for John Kerry in 2004. Given that Sanders is losing Iowa quite badly at the moment, and he has less than three months to go before the caucuses, he needed something big to happen to get his Iowa numbers rising again.

But while he didn’t do a bad job in the debate, per se, he didn’t have any real marquee moments that would make Iowa caucus-goers stand up and take notice. …

Despite acknowledging that Billary’s “most serious error of the night was implying that she received support from Wall Street, and took Wall Street-friendly policies as senator from New York, because the financial industry was targeted in the September 11 attacks,” adding, “It was a bizarre moment,” Vox.com nonetheless proclaims Billary the “winner.”

(Actually, Vox.com was quite generous in its report of what Billary actually said. This is what she actually said, from CBS’ own transcript:

Oh, wait a minute, senator. (LAUGH) You know, not only do I have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small, I am very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60 percent. (APPLAUSE) So I — I represented New York. And I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked.

Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy. And it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country. (APPLAUSE)

Again, note Billary’s knee-jerk reversion to playing the feminist/“sexism”/“misogyny” card when she is under attack, even quite legitimately, in this case for her history of taking loads of campaign cash from the weasels of Wall Street.* But claiming that her self-serving, obedient support of Wall Street — which harmed almost all Americans when the economy resultantly cratered in 2007 and 2008 — “was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country” is incredibly craven, even for someone of Billary’s character.

No, it’s not that Billary is just another corrupt politician who’s on the take; no, by giving the Wall Street weasels everything that they wanted, she wanted to “rebuke the terrorists”! [As Joe Biden once put it: A noun, a verb and 9/11!])

This bias — to the point of proclaiming that Billary “won” the debate last night even though she uttered the most cringe-worthy lines (including, yes, her refusal to support more than a $12/hour federal minimum wage while everyone else is calling for a $15/hour federal minimum wage) — demonstrates what Bernie Sanders has been up against.

Bernie has been laboring in D.C. even longer than Billary has — he became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in November 1990, while Billary didn’t become first lady until a couple of years later — but he hasn’t had the fame (or, luckily, the notoriety) that Billary has.

As I’ve stated, Billary has been running for president at least since her 2000 run for the U.S. Senate, and since she ran for the White House in 2008 but lost, she widely is considered by the limousine-liberal intelligentsia (such as the folks at Vox.com) as “having earned it,” as “it’s her turn.”

Therefore, all that Billary has to do to “win” a debate is not have an emotional breakdown or an episode of Tourette’s on stage, apparently. (And even then, were you to dare to say anything about it, it would be cast by the Billarybots that you hate women!)

Martin O’Malley during the debate last night referred to Billary and/or one of her policy prescriptions as “weak tea.” Yup. As I wrote last night as I live-blogged the debate, she would prescribe only a lukewarm glass of water for a raging house fire. On almost every issue, be it raising the minimum wage to a living wage, reining in the gross abuses of the Wall Street weasels, the legalization of marijuana, and even “her” “signature” issue of health-care reform, she proposes doing as little as is humanly possible.

When you start off asking for/demanding so little, in the negotiating process in D.C. you’ll end up with even less.

During last night’s debate Billary surreally praised Barack Obama’s “record” of “accomplishment” (my words, not hers), which is telling, since the hopey-changey President Obama has done little to nothing. I, for one, can’t say that I’m much better off in year seven of Obama’s presidency than I was when George W. Bush was still president, and that’s because Obama has barely touched the status quo; he’s been barely a caretaker president, much more a leader. If he’s Billary’s role model, we know that with President Billary we’d get four more years of the same.

Despite Billary’s staunch refusal to stand up for the common American instead of for her millionaire and billionaire campaign contributors — and for the older, more right-wing voters to whom she appeals — she does, alas, lead in the polls.

Vox.com is correct: Bernie lags by double digits in Iowa, the state that goes first when it caucuses on February 1. On February 9 it’s the New Hampshire primary, where, according to Real Clear Politics’ polling average, Billary is ahead of Bernie by three percentage points, but where, according to Huffington Post’s polling average, Bernie is ahead of Billary by eight percentage points.

I agree with Vox.com’s analysis that if Bernie loses Iowa, it needs to be close; he needs to come in at a close No. 2 if he can’t pull out a first-place win. (And then, he really needs to win New Hampshire; he can’t afford even a close second there, I believe. If he doesn’t come in at No. 1 at least in Iowa or in New Hampshire, I don’t see him recovering from that.)

All of that said, before we write Bernie Sanders off it’s important to remember that John Kerry came back from the dead to beat Howard Dean in Iowa in January 2004. Wikipedia notes of the 2004 Iowa caucuses:

The Iowa caucuses revived the once moribund campaign of Kerry, who proceeded to the New Hampshire primary as one of the front runners, and [he] ultimately captured the Democratic nomination. …

The results were a blow to Dean, who had for weeks been expected to win the caucuses. He planned afterward to quickly move to New Hampshire, where he expected to do well and regain momentum. At the time, he had far more money than any other candidate and did not spend much of it in Iowa. Dean’s aggressive post-caucus speech to his supporters, culminating with a hoarse scream that came to be known as the “Dean Scream,” was widely shown and mocked on television, although the effect on his campaign was unclear. …

What do John Kerry and Bernie Sanders have in common? Tad Devine as a senior adviser.

Could Bernie Sanders pull a John Kerry in Iowa?

Yes, I think so, which is why I refuse to write Bernie Sanders’ political obituary, even though, as Vox.com points out, Sanders has not even three full months before Iowa.

I wouldn’t call Sanders’ campaign thus far to be “moribund,” either. It’s true that in nationwide polls he lags by double digits — 33.5 percent to Billary’s 54.5 percent, per RCP, and 33.2 percent to Billary’s 56.5 percent, per HuffPo — but put into perspective, Bernie’s not doing badly for a relative unknown, a dark horse, who fairly came from nowhere to challenge the “inevitable” coronation of Billary Clinton.

And, as I’ve noted before, the entire nation isn’t voting on the same day, but over the course of several months (even though the race is likely to be wrapped up over the course of several weeks [I don’t expect the race to go past the end of March, by which time more than 30 states will have weighed in).

Therefore, if Bernie scores early wins, it could give him the momentum that it gave the once-“moribund” Kerry campaign. (The once-“moribund” Kerry went on to win all but a handful of states.) This snowball effect makes the nationwide polling a poor predictor of the final outcome of a presidential primary race — because, again, the entire nation doesn’t vote on one day.

I’ve never supported Bernie Sanders merely to push Billary Clinton to the left. This line of thought presumes that Billary was going to be coronated from the get-go, and that any opponent to her would be only for show.

I recognize, of course, that Bernie Sanders might not win the primary race; it remains an uphill battle. (As Bernie tells us repeatedly, unlike Billary Clinton and the other Repugnican presidential candidates [yes, to me Billary might as well be running as a Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate, as a “moderate” Repugnican], he’s not funded by the billionaires). But once it was clear that Elizabeth Warren was sitting this one out, I’ve always seen Sanders as the candidate best suited to be president.

Nor do I have any confidence — none whatsofuckingever — that merely pushing Billary’s campaign rhetoric to the left during the primary race actually would result in any actual progressive action on her part should she actually become president.

Billary’s history is one of lying, of switching her political positions like a human weather vane on crack. We can’t trust any of her promises. Barack Obama, at least, was an unknown; when he relentlessly promised “hope” and “change” in advance of November 2008, I thought that he might actually at least try to deliver on these campaign promises. With Billary, I know that she won’t.

Billary also clearly wants to be president only for her rapacious baby-boomer cohort. It’s clear that she wants to keep things just as they are, until after the baby boomers all finally die off, and leave us Gen X’ers, Millennials and those who follow us X’ers and Millennials holding the bag, with not even the short end of the stick, but no stick left at all. (Clintonista Paul Begala once called the baby boomers “a plague of locusts, devouring everything in their path and leaving but a wasteland.” Yup.)

Leadership is about vision and having an eye to the future. Bernie Sanders has shown that vision, that far-sighted wisdom. Billary, like her Wall Street buddies, views only what she can get in this quarter.

As I’ve stated before, Bernie Sanders might be like Barry Goldwater was in 1964: Goldwater didn’t become president, but he is credited with having started the “Reagan revolution” that came after him.

Similarly, probably especially if Billary Clinton wins the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination but then loses in November 2016 to, say, Marco Rubio (since she’s using his and other Repugnican Tea Party talking points, why wouldn’t the voters go ahead and vote for him or for another Repugnican Tea Party candidate?) and Billary’s losing in November 2016 easily could happen, given that the majority of Americans do not like her — perhaps the Democratic Party finally will wake the fuck up and rid itself of the virulent center-right stain that the self-serving Clintons put on it in the 1990s. (I just now thought of that infamously stained blue dress, but that wasn’t actually meant as a pun…)

Even if Bernie doesn’t win, at the minimum he is breaking ground for another actually progressive candidate, such as Elizabeth Warren, to not only win the White House but to finally take back the Democratic Party, to return it to its rightful progressive roots.

And that would be a huge win.

In that event, you might even say that Bernie won even while “losing.”

*Rolling Stone notes:

Over the course of her career, four of [Clinton’s] top five donors have been Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. Someone has to be the moron, and if it’s not the rich guys whose jobs are buying things that advance their self-interest, then it’s the people at home buying a new regulatory zeal from someone who’s never much evinced an inclination toward it before.

It gets better. Much like I have noted, Rolling Stone’s Jeb Lund continues:

Clinton’s response took the form of a vaporous appeal to identity politics, followed by an invocation of September 11 crass enough to make Rudy Giuliani’s cheeks redden in either shame or envy. Addressing Sanders’ comments above, as well as the number of small donors to his campaign, Clinton said:

“You know, not only do I have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small, and I’m very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60 percent… I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.”

This rancid bucket of word scrofula does a lot of coldly profitable hand-waving and at best only creates more questions than it answers. Clinton’s disclosure forms reveal reams of high-dollar Wall Street contributors, so what does a majority of women donors signify that obviates the former in any material way? Would significant Wall Street backing disappear as an issue for a gay candidate who said, “60 percent of my donors are gay”? Does all of Cory Booker’s “love money” from hedge fund ghouls get less problematic if he hits a threshold of black donors?

And, after 14 years of every opportunist creep in a blue suit and red tie exhuming the corpses of the World Trade Center dead to festoon themselves with sanctified victimhood, it’s amazing that there are still new ways to be forced to ask the question What the fuck does September 11 have to do with any of this shit, asshole? Would Hillary Clinton become a card-carrying Communist if the CPUSA headquarters had been hit by a plane? Would her donor lists be full of members of Supertramp, Fairport Convention and Oingo Boingo if Al Qaeda had attacked the A&M Records building? What possible causal relationship exists here? And how does attending to Wall Street’s fortunes rebuke the terrorists? …

Lund does proclaim that “despite flogging the nation’s honored dead for the billionth beshitted time this century, Hillary Clinton won the debate handily,” by which I take it that he means, from that link (which is his, not mine) that most Democrats think that Clinton won the debate handily.

Sure; I buy that. As I’ve recently noted, most self-proclaimed Democrats seem poised to go right over that cliff with Billary on November 8, 2016. That doesn’t mean that Billary actually “won” the debate — not if we define winning a debate as actually being truthful in the debate and not resorting to such sleazy, slimy, weaselly tactics as exploiting identity politics and using a noun + a verb + 9/11.

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Time to panic, Bernie supporters?

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., reacts to supporters during a concert hosted by his campaign Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Davenport, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Associated Press photo

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders reacts to supporters during an appearance in Davenport, Iowa, last week. Reports of Bernie’s political death have been greatly exaggerated; I can see Billary Clinton imploding like Howard Dean and I can see Bernie rising like Lazarus like John Kerry did in 2004. In any event, I have a novel, even revolutionary, idea: Let’s let the people caucus and vote! Let’s let the people decide!

Billary Clinton has had a decent month (at least so we’re told). The corporately owned and controlled media pronounced her the “winner” of the October 13 debate, even though post-debate focus groups and online polls showed Bernie Sanders to be the clear winner.

This month Billary had Katy Perry perform for her, while Bernie Sanders was impersonated by Larry David proclaiming (as Bernie) that he owns only one pair of underwear and not only doesn’t have a superPAC, but doesn’t even have a backpack, and thus has to lug everything around with him (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!).

This month Billary survived her “Benghazigate” inquisitors, which, for some bizarre reason, widely has been seen as some sort of “accomplishment” for her. As “Benghazigate” always has been trumped-up bullshit anyway, what, exactly, did she accomplish?

No matter; when you’re Billary Clinton, you don’t have to have any actual accomplishments; you have the surname, and for many if not even most of those who call themselves “Democrats,” that’s enough.

Bernie Sanders apparently maintains a slim lead over Billary in New Hampshire, but Joe Biden’s belated announcement that he isn’t running still hasn’t taken full effect in the polling. Therefore, I’m not panicking over the polling that gives Billary a wide, double-digit lead over Bernie in Iowa right now. The post-Biden dust still hasn’t settled in the polling. We’re going to have to see.

That said, yes, I’d say that if Bernie doesn’t come in at No. 1 in New Hampshire or in Iowa – if Billary comes in at No. 1 in both states – no, I don’t see Bernie recovering from that.

Should Bernie win Iowa and New Hampshire (I still expect him to win New Hampshire, but I am concerned about how he’s doing in Iowa right now), we could see Billary collapse, but I don’t expect her to give up; I expect her to do what she did against Barack Obama in 2008, which was to keep going for as long as she could (indeed, the 2008 Democratic presidential primary fight ran all the way to June 2008).

In the meantime, to anyone who is predicting Bernie’s loss to Billary already, I say:

  • The first voting (in Iowa on February 1) is still more than three full months away. Billary, apparently way too high on undeserved praise from the corporately owned and controlled mass media punditry, keeps making offensive and untruthful statements (characteristic of her 2008 run for the White House), such as that the odiously homophobic Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that her hubby signed into law actually was meant to staunch the bleeding where LGBT rights are concerned, and that Bernie Sanders is sexist! (Women who shamelessly mendaciously play the feminism card for personal and political gain only hurt the feminist movement; Billary should be ashamed of herself, but, as she amply has demonstrated over the many years, she is unburdened by anything remotely resembling a normal human sense of shame.) Also, the FBI is still investigating Billary and those involved in her home-brewed e-mail server. A lot can happen in the political world in three months.
  • Two words: Howard. Dean. Howard Dean for a long time was the “inevitable” 2004 Democratic Party presidential nominee. Only he imploded spectacularly in Iowa in early 2004, coming in at third place, behind both first-place winner John Kerry, whose moribund campaign had come back from the dead like Lazarus on crack, and behind second-place winner John Edwards. In the end, the only state that Dean won was his home state of Vermont. (No, that Bernie also is from Vermont doesn’t mean that he’s destined to share Dean’s fate, and yes, I can see Bernie making a John-Kerry-like resurrection after he’s already been written off as politically dead.)
  • Four words: Donald Trump. Ben. Carson. These two “men” have topped the Repugnican Tea Party presidential polling for a while now, yet few who truly know anything about political science and U.S. history really see either of them ultimately gaining the party’s nomination. (Neither has held elected office, and never in my lifetime of more than 45 years has anyone made it to the White House who had not been at least a U.S. senator or the governor of a state.) Why would it be that Donald Trump and Ben Carson can fall from their lofty perches, but Billary can’t fall from hers?
  • Finally, but certainly not the least importantly: Let the fucking people vote and caucus! Let the people decide! If Bernie Sanders ultimately comes in at No. 2 to Billary Clinton, so be it, but it’s to be decided by those voting and caucusingnot by the punditry. Not even by me (although it should be…).

The only thing that we Bernie Sanders supporters have to fear is fear itself. The Billarybots would love for us to become dispirited and thus disarm (yes, that’s a pun on Team Billary’s lame attempt to make gun control a big issue [funny, it hasn’t been until very recently that Billary ever made gun control a big issue; the timing of her new-found “concern” is awfully interesting]).

The corporately owned and controlled media would benefit much more from long-time corporate whore Billary Clinton sitting in the Oval Office than they would from democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, so when they report that Bernie can’t win, consider the source and ask yourself if the corporately owned and controlled mass media care more about your welfare than they do their own.

We Bernie Sanders supporters must ignore the naysayers, who have a right-of-center agenda of their own, and continue to support him as we have been. I just gave him another donation, for instance, and there’s no way in hell that I’m ever casting a vote for Billary Clinton, no matter what bile and venom spews from the mouths of the Billarybots.

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Sanders and Trump represent hope and fear as responses to the nation’s crises

Both are older white men who have interesting hair and who appeal to disenfranchised voters, but that’s where the similarities between democratic socialist Bernie Sanders and fascist Donald Trump end. Presidential aspirants Trump and Sanders appear to be the natural result of the United States’ increasing political polarization and long slide into fascism, with the right trying to strengthen fascism and the left (the true left, not the center-right bullshit exemplified by the Clinton Dynasty and the hopey-changey Barack Obama) trying to destroy it and bring about an equitable system that benefits the highest possible number of people instead of only the plutocratic few at the expense of the masses.

The United States of America is in crisis, as it has been for some time now — arguably, it has been in crisis since its founding (ask the Native Americans, among many others) — and the presidential campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump represent the two main responses to crises: hope and fear, the higher response and the lower response, respectively.

Hope and fear as responses to crises come from correctly identifying the sources of the crises and from incorrectly identifying the sources.

Donald Trump & Co. quite incorrectly have identified the main source of the United States’ ills as “criminal” Mexicans who come to the United States to rape our pristine young white women and to drop their “anchor babies” — the brown-skinned hordes whom we must fear and against whom We Must Build a Great Wall.

Bernie Sanders correctly has identified the main source of the United States’ ills as the billionaires who (in no certain order) don’t want to pay workers living wages, who don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes, who don’t care about workers’ conditions, who want to wipe out what’s left of our labor unions, and who don’t give a fuck about the environment that they devastate for their personal profiteering.

It’s the treasonous plutocrats, not impoverished immigrants, who have been destroying the nation since at least the days of the fascist Repugnican President Ronald Reagan. The vast majority of the wealth of the American working class and what’s left of the middle class has been going upward, to the plutocrats like Donald Trump and his treasonous ilk, not downward to the impoverished, including immigrants from Latin America. (Indeed, if it were, they wouldn’t still be impoverished. The wealth is going to those who are only getting richer and richer, obviously.)

But the “tea party” fucktards, like chickens idolizing Colonel Sanders, refuse to recognize this obvious fact, and, because one day they’d like to be like Colonel Sanders themselves, they worship Colonel Sanders. This is the dynamic that we’re seeing with Donald Trump: He’s Colonel Sanders (no relation whatsoever to Bernie Sanders) and his supporters are the chickens.

Donald Trump appeals to the base ignorance, fear and hatred, the bigotry and xenophobia, of the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging fucktards — most of them white supremacists and jingoistic nationalists, most of whom would say that they are members of the “tea party” (or at least sympathize with it) — who are his followers and who are the psychospiritual (if not in some cases the actual) descendants of the Nazi Germans.

Even though most of Trump’s followers experience financial distress because of him and his fellow treasonous millionaires and billionaires, their lottery mentality leads them to believe that they, too, might become filthy rich one day (um, they will not), and because their juvenile jingoism is so easy to appeal to, all that Trump has to do is pose with a bald eagle and they orgasm.

The rise of Trump can’t be a huge surprise in a nation that has been sliding toward fascism for some time now. Lest you think that I’m tossing around the hippie term “fascism” lightly, know that one scholar defined “fascism” as “the government of the financial capital itself. It is an organized massacre of the working class and the revolutionary slice of peasantry and intelligentsia. Fascism in its foreign policy is the most brutal kind of chauvinism, which cultivates zoological hatred against other peoples.”

Yeah, that would describe a President Trump to a “T.” (Not that he’s the only fascist running for the White House; Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, et. al., are fascists all, and even Billary Clinton is at least Fascist Lite [doing little to nothing to counter fascism is pretty fascist in itself].)

I expect Trump to implode eventually — that is, I at least moderately doubt that he’ll ever sit in the Oval Office — but his current campaign, with anti-Latino-immigrant sentiment as its centerpiece, is chillingly reminiscent of the Nazi Germans’ scapegoating use of anti-Jewish sentiment to gain political power for themselves, no matter the brutal cost to their victims.

I, for one, would not idly stand by while a President Trump and his Schutzstaffel rounded up Latinos for persecution.

Trump leads the fascist, treasonous Repugnican Tea Party presidential pack by double digits in most recent polls, so it’s too early to dismiss him entirely. It seems to me that he could emerge as the party’s presidential nominee, but what I’m hoping is that the party’s panicked establishmentarians push him out of the primary race, piss him off by doing so, and so he runs as an independent presidential candidate, siphoning off votes from the Repugnican Tea Party establishment’s candidate.

Which would be a path to the White House for Bernie Sanders, should he emerge as the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee, as even the Millennial snobs at fivethirtyeight.com recently finally have acknowledged might actually happen. (Interestingly, one of them, in their online debate/discussion, even makes the point that I made last month: since John Kerry came back from the dead after having won Iowa and then New Hampshire in early 2004, winning him the vast majority of the rest of the states in toppling-dominoes fashion, why wouldn’t the same happen for Bernie Sanders?)

Speaking of Bernie, while fear, represented by the face (and that hair) of Donald Trump, is doing well on the right, hope, represented by the progressive agenda of Bernie Sanders, is doing well on the left.

Two recent nationwide polls of Democrats and Democratic leaners have Billary Clinton down by about 10 percent and Bernie Sanders up by about 10 percent in just a one-month period, from last month to this month.

A CNN/ORC nationwide poll taken August 13-16 puts Billary at 47 percent, down from the 56 percent she’d received in a CNN/ORC nationwide poll taken July 22-25. The August 13-16 poll puts Bernie at 29 percent, up from the 19 percent he’d received in the July 22-25 poll.

An August 11-13 Fox News nationwide poll puts Billary at 49 percent, down from the 59 percent she’d received in a Fox News nationwide poll taken July 13-15. The August 11-13 poll puts Bernie at 30 percent, up from the 19 percent he’d received in the July 13-15 poll.

The two independent nationwide polls average 9.5 percent down for Billary in just one month, and 10.5 percent up for Bernie in just one month.

That’s a lot of movement in just one month.

As I’ve noted, I welcome Veep Joe Biden to become a Johnny-come-lately in the race; his support would only further erode the support for Billary, I surmise, and that’s because while he and Billary are closely associated with the disappointing Barack Obama — the answer to Sarah Palin’s infamous, snarky question, “How’s that hopey-changey stuff working out?” is “Not very well, but that’s because the crypto-center-right Obama never actually even tried to actually deliver on his promises of hope and change” — Bernie Sanders, who his entire career in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate has been an independent, the lone democratic socialist, truthfully can say that he’s been outside of the Democratic Party establishment.

Sanders and Trump are only superficially alike in that both of them are surging because a huge chunk of the electorate have had it with establishmentarian, duopolistic partisan politics. They correctly recognize that the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party stopped representing the best interests of the vast majority of Americans long ago.

But, again, the Trump side, in order to stoke up ungrounded fear for political gain, blames the wrong people for our crises — those on the Trump side, as all bullies do, pick on the weaker, on those who can’t much fight back — whereas the Sanders side blames the right people for our crises.

And that fight, which is the right fight, the good fight, is the much harder fight to fight, because our opponents — the treasonous plutocrats (like Trump), who of course would rather have us wrongly persecute immigrants than correctly come after them with our torches and pitchforks — aren’t weak, not financially, not politically.

But they are incredibly morally weak, and they are vastly outnumbered, which makes them defeatable.

We of the left could use the Colonel-Sanders-worshipping chickens on our side instead of on Colonel Sanders’ side, but we continue to fight even for them without them.

Because Barack Obama, Billary Clinton and the rest of the establishmentarian Democrats in name only, despite their betrayals and their failures, haven’t completely destroyed our hope.

P.S. I should note that Donald Trump’s hate-filled rhetoric is, of course, not harmless. And it certainly isn’t amusing. It’s chilling.

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, in a piece titled “Donald Trump Just Stopped Being Funny” (again, to me Trump never has been funny — fascism isn’t funny), writes (links are Taibbi’s):

So two yahoos from … my hometown of Boston severely beat up a [Latino] homeless guy earlier this week. While being arrested, one of the brothers reportedly told police that “Donald Trump was right, all of these illegals need to be deported.”

When reporters confronted Trump, he hadn’t yet heard about the incident. At first, he said, “That would be a shame.” But right after, he went on:

“I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country. They want this country to be great again. But they are very passionate. I will say that.”

This is the moment when Donald Trump officially stopped being funny.

The thing is, even as Donald Trump said and did horrible things during this year’s incredible run at the White House, most sane people took solace in the fact that he could never win. (Although new polls are showing that Hillary’s recent spiral puts this reassuring thought into jeopardy.) …

That made Trump’s run funny, campy even, like a naughty piece of pornographic performance art. After all, what’s more obscene than pissing on the presidency? It seemed even more like camp because the whole shtick was fronted by a veteran reality TV star who might even be in on the joke, although of course the concept was funnier if he wasn’t. …

So already Trump has demonstrated that he’s a sociopath who should be nowhere near the White House. Of course his hateful rhetoric spurred a hate crime — gee, what a shock that the hate speech of a powerful billionaire running for president actually resulted in a hate crime — but of this hate crime Trump will only say that “the people that [sic] are following me are very passionate.”

This is a man (and I use the term lightly) who shamelessly freely used the freak shooting of a young woman in San Francisco by an undocumented immigrant from Mexico as “proof” that his xenophobic, cruel anti-Latino-immigrant platform is sound, but whose evil won’t allow him to take responsibility for the simple, obvious fact that his anti-Latino-immigrant hate speech — as was entirely predictable — resulted in a hate crime.

This is a “man” who wouldn’t flinch at building concentration camps for the nation’s new scapegoats for the approval of his “passionate” followers who only “love this country” (just as the Nazi Germans were “passionate” lovers of their country).

All of the signs are there. Trump refused to condemn a race-based hate crime that resulted from the fucking centerpiece of his presidential campaign, which is hate speech against Latino immigrants. Instead, he merely called the perpetrators of the race-based hate crime “passionate.”

We ignore the blatant signs of fascism that Trump is displaying for all of us to see at our own peril.

It strikes me that it’s quite possible that should this “man” ever actually make it to the White House, those of us who are true patriots are going to have to get “passionate” and deal with him, as Adolf Hitler needed to be dealt with.

The only good fascist is a dead fascist.

And after Americans just allowed the fascist George W. Bush & Co. to steal the presidency in 2000, we true American patriots cannot just assume that Donald Trump absolutely cannot make it to the White House. The precedent more or less is there.

P.P.S. Here is a frightening news photo of Führer Donald greeting his nearly-all-white adoring supporters in Mobile, Alabama, on Friday:

It looks quite surreal, but it’s quite real.

Of course, with American fascism (like with Nazi German fascism), we have to throw theocracy and toxic “Christianity” in there, too (along with the white supremacism, the jingoistic nationalism and the blind, self-defeating obedience to the titans of capitalism). “Lord Jesus” wants Donald Trump to be president! Of course! How can you argue with that?

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Sanders surges while naysayers blather

Bernie Sanders

A supporter holds a sign during a rally for democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Los Angeles Times and Associated Press photos

Presidential aspirant Bernie Sanders is doing quite well, bringing in massive crowds, polling well, and recently having been endorsed by the nation’s largest nurses’ union, yet some still persist with the worn-out “wisdom” that he can’t win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination and/or that if he does, he can’t win the White House. (Perhaps especially if billionaire jackass Donald Trump does run as an independent, Ross-Perot style, Sanders can win the White House.) Sanders supporters are shown above at a gathering for him at a sports arena in Los Angeles on Monday.

Bernie Sanders is surging.

For the first time, a poll has him beating Billary Clinton in the critical state of New Hampshire beyond the margin of error, and New Hampshire is a purple state, only leaning Democratic a bit. So much for the “democratic socialism” thing being an insurmountable barrier.

Indeed, the conventional “wisdom” about Sanders being unable to win within our rigged political system is bullshit. While the corporately owned and controlled pundits continue to announce that he can’t do it, Bernie just keeps chugging along, doing it.

And as to Sanders’ electability, that should be up to those who actually cast ballots and participate in the caucuses beginning in February, not to the mediocre, soulless pundits whose paychecks depend upon their continuing to act as propagandistic guardians of the status quo.

Among other things, Sanders’ crowds just keep getting bigger and bigger. Again, Billary Clinton has yet to reach a crowd of 6K – and that was at her kick-off in New York – but within the past week, Sanders hit around 28K in both Portland, Oregon, and in Los Angeles.

I agree with this commentator’s view that it’s the Internet and social media that are behind Sanders’ surge. We, the sociopolitically disgruntled, are bypassing the gatekeepers of the corporately owned and controlled “news” media and are communicating to each other – by the millions. This explains why Bernie is actually doing what the corporate-whore mouthpieces are saying he can’t do.

I do credit much of the groundswell of support for Bernie to his fellow Vermonter Howard Dean, who pioneered the use of the Internet and social media to propel political candidates. Unfortunately for Dean, the wave that he created wasn’t large enough to propel him into the White House, but the disappointing, mostly milquetoast Barack Obama, by ubiquitously promising “hope” and “change,” certainly rode the wave that Dean created right on into the Oval Office.

But the Deaniacs never went away, and many if not most of those of us who weren’t with them at the time (myself included; in 2003 I supported John Kerry early on and I kept on supporting him all the way to the November 2004 presidential election) are with them now.

And because Obama punk’d us by apparently only pretending to be a progressive doesn’t mean that the values and desires of those of us on the left just went away. No, they just went latent, and Sanders has reawakened them.

Billary doesn’t excite a majority of Democrats because even the dullest Democrats and Democrats in name only recognize that Billary represents (at best) only more of the same. Only 35 percent of the Democrats in the New Hampshire poll that puts Bernie ahead of her said that they are “excited” about Billary, and I surmise that a sizeable chunk of those poll respondents were lying (or perhaps kidding themselves).

Vice President Joe Biden also apparently represents only more of the same to Democratic primary voters; he came in at third place in the New Hampshire poll, with 9 percent (to Sanders’ 44 percent and Billary’s 37 percent).

Bernie not only is drawing the massive crowds and is polling better than anyone had thought he would (perhaps even himself), but he also is proving himself amply able to adapt quickly to the demands of the campaign.

He has hired Symone Sanders (no relation to him), a black woman who has been a blacks-rights activist, as his press secretary – a hire that was in the works before “Black Lives Matters” idiots selfishly and aggressively refused to allow him to speak this past weekend at a scheduled event on the topics of Social Security and Medicare in Seattle.

Some would call the hiring of Symone Sanders pandering, but those very same people would criticize Sanders if he didn’t have any black American on his campaign staff, so with those people – who are haters and malcontents – Sanders can’t win anyway (usually because he’s white, because he’s not of the “right” race).

We progressives need to ignore these haters and malcontents (many if not most of whom, ironically, are much more racist than they accuse others of being); we progressives have a presidential election to win, and we cannot afford to waste our time and energy on these dead-enders.

Sanders also recently released his platform on racial justice, which also apparently was in the works before the “Black Lives Matter” morons commandeered his first of two appearances in Seattle this past weekend.

This isn’t pandering, either (and again, if he didn’t have it in his platform, he’d be criticized for not having it in his platform); this is responding to the demands of the campaign, and this demonstrates (or at least strongly indicates) that as president, Sanders would respond effectively to the demands of the nation’s highest elected office, which includes serving the interests of many different groups of people.

Bernie Sanders, to our knowledge, is heterosexual, but as a gay man, I have full confidence that as president he would represent the interests of and would fight for the rights of us non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals.

Why some apparently can’t imagine that Sanders would have their backs even if he’s not within their particular demographic eludes me. (Well, not really: it’s the result of an utter lack of sociological imagination and of empathy and it’s the result of of toxic identity politics, including misandry posing as feminism and anti-white racism posing as racial justice.)

Bernie Sanders could, I suppose, ultimately flame out, but because he has called himself a democratic socialist and because his fellow Vermonter Howard Dean flamed out doesn’t mean that Sanders will.

Nor is Sanders destined to be another George McGovern, the late darling of the left who, like Bernie Sanders is, was a U.S. representative and then a U.S. senator, and who then went on to lose the 1972 presidential election to Richard M. Nixon in a landslide. (Yes, the American voters sure got that one right, didn’t they?) That was then; this is now.

Little in politics is certain, but something that is fairly certain is that we progressives can’t win with Sanders if we don’t give it a serious effort.

The corporately owned and controlled pundit-whores and their conventional, “Surrender,-Dorothy!-And-crown-Billary-already!” “wisdom” don’t dissuade me from doing what I can do to ensure that the most progressive candidate (regardless of his or her demographics) emerges as the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential candidate.

That candidate, hands down, is Bernie Sanders.

He isn’t concerned about the naysayers, and the rest of us shouldn’t be, either.

He is rolling up his sleeves and getting to work.

So should we.

P.S. E-mailgate is getting even worse for Billary Clinton. Apparently, “top-secret” information was exchanged via Billary’s home-brewed e-mail server when she was secretary of state. See this and this.

As much as some bash Bernie, I can’t see Billary going into the November 2016 presidential election from a position of strength. If the Democrats stupidly make her their nominee, she’ll be a considerably tarnished and weakened general-election candidate at best.

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