Tag Archives: Julian Castro

Race and sex are inherent biological characteristics — not qualifiers for office

Ted Rall nails it, as usual.

If there ever was any doubt that Team Kamala Harris’ political “strategy” was going to be to label you as a “racist” for not supporting her presidential campaign, her official campaign announcement today, on Martin Luther King Day, should remove all of that doubt.

“Vote for me — because if you don’t, that means that you’re a racist (and/or a misogynist/sexist)” is such an inspiring campaign message, which is delivered indirectly and even directly. (But it certainly captures the zeitgeist…)

If Kamala Harris had significant experience in Washington, D.C. — she has been there for two whole fucking years now — and if she were a dyed-in-the-wool progressive (she’s not; Google “Kamala Harris progressive prosecutor”), I’d be happy to support her.

That she’s a woman and that she’s half African-American and half Indian-American (“Indian” as in descended from the people of India, not Native American, although “President” Pussygrabber still might call her “Sacagawea” or the like…) would be the icing on the cake, because women and non-whites deserve much, much more representation in our state and federal governments.

But I never would vote for a fucking Repugnican candidate because she is a woman and/or is non-white, either. For me, political ideology trumps all else, followed by experience.

Comparisons of Harris to Barack Obama don’t fill me with inspiration. Like Harris, Obama had been in the U.S. Senate for only two years before he decided to run for president. Yes, he won his election, and he made history by becoming the first non-all-white president, but he did not govern as a progressive, but as a centrist caretaker.

Obama’s lame, unsuccessful attempt to sing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican traitors (redundant) in Congress during his first two years in the White House — his only opportunity to try to push through a progressive agenda, because it was only during those two years of his presidency that the Democrats controlled the White House and both houses of Congress — displayed either a stunning lack of savvy as to how D.C. actually works and/or stunning hubris that The Great Obama could do What No One Else Had Ever Done: successfully bridge the divide between the right and the left, a divide that cannot be reconciled because the left and the right are as diametrically opposed as are good and evil (respectively).

Obama’s record looks much better than it actually was only because he was sandwiched between the two worst “presidents” of my lifetime, George W. Bush and Pussygrabber (both of whom lost the popular vote and then went on to take a wrecking ball to the nation).

Obama for the most part kept the status quo. I don’t want another status-quo-keeping “Democratic” president.

To be fair to Harris, she’s not the only candidate who officially has announced a campaign for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination who I cannot and will not support.

Julian Castro does not have my support. I’d love for us to have a progressive Latino president, but I don’t see a former mayor of San Antonio and a former U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development being elected to the White House.

(Pussygrabber is the first “president” of my lifetime of five decades who had not first been at least a U.S. senator or the governor of a state before becoming “president.” Pussygrabber broke that mold — with a lot of help from Russia — but I don’t see that he changed the game for those who will follow him.)

Tulsi Gabbard? She’s only a U.S. representative. She has a snowball’s chance in hell, even if I could fully forgive her anti-LGBT past.

Kirsten Gillibrand? She’s a U.S. senator, but she’s also a sanctimonious piece of shit who way prematurely (and incorrectly) demanded Sen. Al Franken’s head on a silver platter — and who, just like Billary Clinton, changes her political positions on a dime whenever it suits her. (In fact, overall she’s just way too much like Billary 2.0, including the whole “vote for me or you’re a misogynist/sexist” bullshit, which is well understood even when it’s not explicitly stated.) She must never be president.

Richard Ojeda? Not only did he lose his last election, to the U.S. House (he was a state senator, so at least he has held elected office), but he voted for Pussygrabber in November 2016, not nearly long ago enough to claim convincingly that he has changed. (Plus, to be frank: Cuckoo! Cuckoo!)

Elizabeth Warren? She’s my second choice, behind Bernie Sanders. She has both experience in Washington, having completed an entire six-year Senate term, something that Obama couldn’t be bothered to do and something that Kamala Harris doesn’t want to be bothered to do, and her ideology fairly closes matches mine.

But Bernie Sanders remains my first choice. He has much more experience in D.C. than Warren does (he was elected to the U.S. House in 1990 and to the U.S. Senate in 2006), his ideology more closely matches mine (Warren apparently thinks that capitalism can be reformed, which is something that I doubt, whereas Bernie doesn’t shy away from the label of democratic socialist), and, while Warren didn’t have the cajones to oppose Queen Billary in 2016, Bernie did — and he did quite well, having won 22 states and 46 percent of the earned delegates (while Warren sat it out).

Bernie has my full support if he runs. He has earned it.

Again: Experience and ideology matter. Your biological sex and your race are biological characteristics that you inherited at birth — not qualifiers for elected office.

We have that quite twisted, and we need to untwist it, not only if we want to put another Democrat in the White House come January 2021, but if we care about the long-term welfare of our democracy.

P.S. On a related note:


I’m on Kamala Harris’ e-mail list, and received an e-mail from her campaign today titled “I’m running for president.” The campaign logo on the e-mail reads “Kamala Harris for the People,” and the e-mail begins:

Decency. Justice. Truth. Equality. Freedom. Democracy.

These aren’t just words: they’re the values we, as Americans, cherish. Right now, they’re all on the line.

We face the greatest crisis of leadership we’ve seen in our lifetimes, and powerful voices are filling the void, sowing hate and division among us.

We’ve witnessed an Administration that aligns itself with dictators and refers to white supremacists as “very fine people.” They’ve torn babies from their mothers’ arms and put children in cages.

They’ve slashed taxes for corporations and the wealthiest among us — placing the burden on the middle class. They’ve actively fought against efforts to combat climate change. Time and again, they’ve sabotaged our country’s health care. And they’ve attacked our free and independent press at every turn.

We know America is better than this — but it’s on us to build it. We’re going to have to fight for it.

Robert, I’m ready to take on that fight alongside you. That’s why, today, I’m proud to announce that I’m running for President of the United States. …

That e-mail is a litany of platitudes, as Ted Rall talks about in his editorial cartoon above (featuring a Kamala Harris-like candidate), and the e-mail quoted above outlines the “bold stances” (my words) that Kamala Harris always has taken as a politician here in California — that is, she’s courageously against such things as cancer, fatal drug overdoses and kitten crushing.

You’ll never see her take a bold, controversial stance on any subject; you won’t see her go out on a limb. It’s not in her DNA.

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Billary blew it with ‘safe’ Tim Kaine

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia greet the crowd during a campaign event on July 14 in Annandale, Va.

Getty Images photo

Billary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine campaign in Virginia last week. Today Billary announced a Clinton-Kaine ticket.  Wake me up when this snoozefest is finally over. Zzzzzzzzz…

Queen Billary Clinton’s No. 1 requirement in a running mate, I am confident, was that he or she must not overshadow Her Highness. 

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, her pick, certainly fits that bill.

An adjective often used to describe him is “boring.” (He even calls himself “boring.”Yahoo! News notes that Billary’s selection of Kaine is “a safe, centrist choice that will likely disappoint some in the progressive wing of her party.”

“Some”?

The No. 2 requirement in Billary’s running mate had to be that he or she is a centrist, that is, a fellow Democrat in name only — certainly no Bernie Sanders, and not even an Elizabeth Warren.

Billary’s pick of a moderate Democrat/Repugican Lite from the South is wholly in line with her and her husband’s political start in Arkansas — and their long history of giving the party’s left-of-center base the middle finger.

In having picked Tim Kaine, Billary in effect picked herself — as a man who is a decade younger.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t hate Tim Kaine. Indeed, I (and millions of others) know little of him, pretty much only that he personally opposes abortion, given his Roman Catholic background, and that he has been supportive of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which even Der Fuhrer Donald Trump opposes.

But Tim Kaine (whom I might come to hate in the future, as I learn more about him) is wholly uninspiring. His political philosophy, like Billary’s, appears to be stuck in the 1990s.

I’m glad that Billary didn’t pick as her running mate New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; he’s an empty suit, a Barack Obama wannabe.

And while we’re long past due for our first Latino or Latina president or vice president, neither U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez nor U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro has the experience to be only a heartbeat away from the presidency. Perez’s only elected office was a seat on a Maryland county council, and Castro’s only elected offices were a member of San Antonio’s city council and then the city’s mayor.

In my book, if you want to be president you had better have been a governor or a U.S. senator, and if you want to be vice president you had better have been a governor or a U.S. senator, since as vice president you might end up as president.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, like Kaine, was a governor, so he has vice-presidential chops, but, like Kaine, Vilsack isn’t an exciting or an inspiring person, so I’m glad that Billary didn’t pick him.

Billary should have picked as her running mate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Why?

Billary, I believe, with her choice of running mate sorely needed to excite her party’s base more than she needed to try to assuage any fears of the voters of the flyover states — states that are going to go for The Donald anyway — that white men are losing their grip on positions of power to women and to non-whites.

(This was, methinks, Billary’s No. 3 requirement in a running mate: that she pick a white man in order not to spook too many centrist, center-right and even right-wing voters, to whom she always has shown more allegiance than she has shown to the Democratic Party base.

I mean, these are fragile voters, and after we’ve had our first non-white president, we can’t have a two-woman ticket or a ticket of a white woman and a non-white person!)

Even Donald Trump picked yet another milquetoast white man to be his running mate. Billary couldn’t do better?

Had Billary picked Liz Warren, she would have excited the hell out of her base. She would have excited progressives and women.

Instead, Billary picked Tim Kaine. Yawn.

To be fair, maybe Billary asked Liz and Liz said no. (If Liz were smart, and she is smart, she would have said Oh, hell no! to playing third fiddle in the Clinton White House 2.0.) I don’t know.

I do know that the addition of “safe” and centrist Tim Kaine to the ticket gives me and millions of other progressives (most of us Berners — and Bernie won 45.6 percent of the pledged Democratic delegates, let me remind you) zero reason to vote for Billary.

I mean, I’d had no intention to vote for her anyway — I still most likely will vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein — but the addition of an actual progressive to the ticket was the only thing that, coupled with the looming fascism of Der Fuhrer Donald, perhaps could have induced me to vote for Billary.*

And a two-woman ticket wouldn’t have been a bad idea; it would have been a brilliant idea, after having had nothing but two-man tickets throughout our nation’s history.

But instead of making a bold, visionary — even revolutionary — move, the utterly uninspiring, charisma-free Billary played it “safe.”

We’ll see what and where “safe” gets her on November 8.

*Queen Billary is going to win my state of California and all 55 of its electoral votes anyway, so it doesn’t really matter for whom I vote for president or whether I even vote for president at all, but I will vote for president.

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