Tag Archives: Lincoln Chafee

And then there were three…

Democratic presidential candidates Sanders, Clinton and O'Malley react to the crowd before the start of the first official Democratic candidates debate of the 2016 presidential campaign in Las Vegas

Reuters photo

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, former U.S. Secretary of State Billary Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (pictured above at last week’s first primary-season debate) are the three remaining candidates for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. While the Democratic presidential field has narrowed, the Repugnican Tea Party presidential field remains a train wreck in which neither of the top-two candidates ever has held elected office. 

So the field of Democratic presidential aspirants has shrunk dramatically since last week’s first Democratic Party presidential primary-season debate.

Out of the running are Jim Webb (he dropped out on Tuesday) and Lincoln Chafee (he dropped out today), who, I easily had predicted while I live-blogged the debate, would drop out soon. And, of course, non-candidate Joe Biden announced the day before yesterday that he indeed is a non-candidate.

As I’ve written, Martin O’Malley appears to intend to hold on for a while longer, to, perhaps, at least get a vice-presidential bid out of it.

So we won’t have Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee to kick around at the second Dem debate, which is on Saturday, November 14, in Des Moines, Iowa. (The full Dem debate schedule is here.)

Billary Clinton’s performance yesterday before her “Benghazigate” inquisitors has been widely portrayed by the media as a win for her. I don’t know that that will increase her poll numbers, however; in fact, I doubt that it will.

As I’ve noted, it seems to me that the vast majority of voters know Billary well already and thus know already whether or not they support her. Therefore, I could have seen her performance yesterday harming her in the polls had she made any great stumble or stumbles, but, as others have noted, all that she really needed to do was not erupt like a volcano. This was the case probably especially in the wake of dipshit Repugnican Tea Party Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s on-air admission that the whole thing is a Repugnican Tea Party political witch hunt in the first place, which we’d all known all along anyway (well, those of us who have a grasp on reality have known all along, anyway).

So, again, I don’t see Billary having survived yesterday’s hearing giving her a significant increase in her polling, as well before yesterday most voters already knew whether or not they’re supporting her.

Again, what I’m waiting for now is to see how the polls shake out in the coming weeks with only Bernie Sanders, Billary Clinton and Martin O’Malley left in the running. Mostly, I’m interested in seeing how Joe Biden no longer being listed as a polling choice affects the polling between top-two contenders Bernie and Billary.

As I’ve noted, for some time now Biden consistently has come in at third place in nationwide presidential preference polls of Democrats and Democratic leaners (and in polls of Iowans and New Hampshirites). While he didn’t have a shot at winning the nomination – which is why, I’m confident, he ultimately decided not to run – at third place he’d been polling around 17 percent nationally (and also around 17 percent in Iowa and around 12 percent in New Hampshire), most of which now will be divvied between Bernie and Billary.

While the Democratic presidential race has settled to two main candidates, the Repugnican Tea Party presidential race remains a train wreck.

Donald Trump, who wasn’t supposed to last this long (he was supposed to be just a summertime fling – remember?), still leads the nationwide presidential-preference polling for his chosen party. Real Clear Politics (as I type this sentence) shows him around 27 percent among Repugnicans and Repugnican leaners, with Ben Carson in second place at 21.4 percent, Marco Rubio a distant third with 9.2 percent, and Ted Cruz at fourth with 7.8 percent.

Jeb! Bush is in fifth place nationally, with 7.2 percent (and reportedly, Jeb! today ordered his campaign to “cut payroll costs by 40 percent, downsize its Miami headquarters by more than 50 percent, reduce travel costs by 20 percent and cut 45 percent of spending on things other than media and voter contact”).

The members of the Repugnican Party establishment must be shitting their pants, with the presidentially unelectable Trump and Carson, who never have held any elected office before, having held on to the top two spots in the nationwide, Iowa and New Hampshire polls for a while now. (Carson now tops Trump in Iowa polling by four points, and Trump trumps Carson by 12 points in New Hampshire.)

Iowans caucus on February 1, and the New Hampshire primary is on February 9, so there are only about 14 weeks left before Iowa weighs in. Can the struggling campaigns of Jeb! Bush and Ted Cruz hold on that long? Maybe Cruz’s campaign can – I understand that he’s doing OK on money – but can Jeb!’s?

My money still is on Marco Rubio emerging as the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate – a candidate who is acceptable enough to both the establishmentarian Repugnicans and the “tea-party” nut jobs – but again, we have only 14 weeks to go, and Rubio’s nationwide polling – and his polling in Iowa and in New Hampshire – aren’t even at double digits, and Trump and Carson show no signs of slipping from their top-two perches. So if it’s going to be Rubio, the party’s establishmentarians have a lot of work to do over the next three months.

In the meantime, I still support Bernie Sanders, as I believe he’d be the best (that is, the most progressive) president of all of the viable presidential candidates.

The prediction markets favor Billary, the corporate punditry’s choice, over Bernie, but I stand behind Bernie, win or lose.

Minimally, Bernie’s candidacy has shifted the Democratic Party to the left, where it belongs.

Not that that would last all that long at all with a President Billary.

It was just on September 10 that Billary declared while campaigning in Ohio: “You know, I get accused of being kind of moderate and center. I plead guilty.”

During the October 13 Democratic debate, Billary claimed, “I’m a progressive who likes to get things done.”

I have little doubt that as far to the left Bernie could push Billary’s current campaign rhetoric, as president she’d actually deliver to us the same old corporate-ass-kissing, center-right bullshit that her husband did in the 1990s.

If Billary wins the White House – which, yes, I could see her losing to Marco Rubio (current polling match-ups have Clinton leading Rubio by not even two percentage points) – the best that we could say of Bernie Sanders’ candidacy, hopefully (even if he wins the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination but loses the White House), would be that he was to the Democratic Party in 2016 what Barry Goldwater was to the Republican Party in 1964: He set the stage for his party’s later resurgence.

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Coy Joe finally lets us know; Dem prez race has needed tightening anyway

Joe Biden says he is ‘out of time’ to run for president in livestream

Reuters photo

Vice President Joe Biden, flanked by President Barack Obama and by his wife Jill, announces today that he will not seek the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. Even though he never announced, Biden consistently has been polling in third place, behind Billary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, in nationwide presidential-preference polls of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters. Now, we have a two-way race between Bernie and Billary. (Jim Webb wisely dropped out yesterday, ex-Repugnican Lincoln Chafee has almost zero chance, and no, Martin O’Malley isn’t going to surge into the top two, but will remain at No. 3.)

With oh-so-coy Veep Joe Biden finally making it official today that he won’t seek the White House, it will be interesting to see how the Democratic presidential polling reshuffles in the wake of the news.

For some months now, polls of Democrats and Democratic leaners have included Biden, even though he never announced himself as a presidential candidate, and for weeks if not at least a few months now, he consistently has been polling at third place nationally. (Which, it seems to me, probably contributed to his ultimate decision not to run…)

As I type this sentence, for instance, Real Clear Politics shows recent nationwide polling averages of 47.8 percent for Billary Clinton, 25.7 percent for Bernie Sanders, 16.8 percent for Biden, and 1.2 percent for Jim Webb, who dropped out of the Democratic presidential race yesterday, since he apparently had been confused about which party his center-right-wing ideology most matches. (D’oh!)

For the first-in-the-nation-to-weigh-in state of Iowa, Real Clear Politics right now gives recent polling averages of 38.7 percent for Billary, 27 percent for Bernie, 17 percent for Biden, 2.7 percent for Martin O’Malley and 1.7 percent for Webb.

For the second-in-the-nation-to-weigh-in state of New Hampshire, Real Clear Politics right now gives recent polling averages of 36.4 percent for Billary, 36.2 percent for Bernie, 12 percent for Biden, 1.8 percent for Webb, and 1.4 percent for O’Malley.

(Lincoln Chafee doesn’t pull in even 1 percent nationally or in Iowa or in New Hampshire, and I expect him to drop out any time now. O’Malley, perhaps angling for a vice-presidential nod, might stay in longer.)

So, again, it will be interesting to see the presidential polling in the coming weeks, now that Biden at long last has removed all mystery as to his intentions for 2016.

I’ve seen suppositions and arguments on the Internet that Billary will benefit the most from Biden’s non-candidacy, as most Biden lovers want an establishmentarian candidate such as he is and thus will support the establishmentarian Billary in his stead, and that no, Bernie will benefit the most from Biden’s non-candidacy, as most Biden lovers don’t want Billary and thus will go to Bernie’s camp.

We shall see whether Billary or Bernie gets more of Biden’s supporters who have been holding out for him thus far.

I expect most of Webb’s supporters, of whom there aren’t that many, to go to Billary, since, like Webb, she is center-right, and if he drops out soon, I expect most of O’Malley’s supporters, of whom there also aren’t that many, to go to Bernie, since, like Bernie, O’Malley is left of center and has had an anti-Billary aura about him, as has Bernie, even though Bernie hasn’t been attacking Billary and has promised that he never will. (For better or for worse, he has reiterated that his is a campaign of our most pressing issues, not of attacks upon his rivals.)

But it’s Biden’s erstwhile supporters, of course, who significantly could help Bernie or Billary in the coming weeks and months.

I’m not as worried about Bernie’s national polling as I’m focused on his polling in Iowa and in New Hampshire. He needs to come in at first place in at least one of those two states, it seems to me, for his candidacy to survive past early February (when those two states caucus and vote, on February 1 and on February 9, respectively).

For a while Bernie was tied with Billary in Iowa polling, but she apparently has pulled significantly ahead of him there now, and for a while Bernie was leading Billary significantly in New Hampshire polling, but apparently they’re about tied there now.

Again, if Bernie doesn’t come in at No. 1 at least in Iowa or in New Hampshire, I think that it would be insurmountable for him – as I suspect that it would be insurmountable for Team Billary if Sanders were to come in at No. 1 both in Iowa and in New Hampshire. Were Bernie Sanders to win both of those states, it would, I surmise, collapse Billary in short order.

As I’ve written, yes, mathematically (in terms of the delegate count) Billary still could survive not winning at least Iowa or New Hampshire, but it’s not about the math; it’s about the political dynamics, such as the importance placed upon winning Iowa and/or New Hampshire to the point that not winning at least Iowa or New Hampshire most likely would suck her into a Mega-Vortex of Widespread Doubt About Her Candidacy from Which She Probably Could Not Recover.

So, in the short term, what I hope to see is that Biden’s non-candidacy will benefit Bernie more than Billary in Iowa and in New Hampshire.

And hell, I’m sure that Team Bernie will welcome Webb’s, O’Malley’s and even Chafee’s supporters, too.

P.S. Of the four remaining announced Democratic candidates, my preferences, in this order, are: Sanders, O’Malley, Chafee, Billary.

Yup. I’m not being facetious; I’d rather have a President Chafee than a President Billary. Chafee never will be president, of course, as neither party wants him now that he jumped from Repugnican to Democrat in 2007, but still. Among other things, he had the sense to vote against the never-elected Bush regime’s Vietraq War in October 2002, unlike Billary, who incredibly stupidly and unwisely voted for it.

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No, Bernie wasn’t trying to save Billary

Bernie Sanders Does Not Care About 'Your Damn Emails,' Hillary Clinton

The sleazy Billary Clinton was only too happy to believe (mistakenly) that Bernie Sanders was dismissing her e-mail scandal altogether — he wasn’t; he was only trying to put it into universal perspective — and Sanders, immersed in the shallow, rapid-fire, infotaining, sound-bite-frenzied environment, apparently was unable to prevent his intent from immediately being twisted into something that it never was. It was, however, his first live-televised debate on the national stage, and she’s a veteran slime-weasel.

The American people’s attention deficit disorder is worse than I’d thought. The buzz after last night’s Democratic Party presidential debate is that Bernie Sanders was defending Billary Clinton in E-mailgate. He wasn’t. Clearly.

It’s that CNN and the rest of the establishment weasels are so quick to bow down before Queen Billary that Sanders’ rather obvious actual point got lost. Immediately. This is the transcript of the exchange (from the Washington Post’s full transcript of the debate):

CLINTON: … But tonight, I want to talk not about my e-mails, but about what the American people want from the next president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: Let me say this.

(APPLAUSE)

Let me say — let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.

(APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: Thank you. Me, too. Me, too.

SANDERS: You know? The middle class — Anderson, and let me say something about the media, as well. I go around the country, [I] talk to a whole lot of people. [The] middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.

(APPLAUSE) …

Why were Sanders’ words interpreted as a save for Billary Clinton? For a few reasons. One, given her prematurely enthusiastic response, obviously she welcomed such a “save”; when Billary immediately but incorrectly interpreted Bernie’s words as a more or less full pardon for E-mailgate from her strongest rival, she was downright giddy.

Pretty much every time that a fair criticism of her was brought up in the debate, Billary uttered some attempted deflection like, “But tonight, I want to talk not about my e-mails, but about what the American people want from the next president of the United States.” (Something that this American person wants in the next POTUS is that he or she does not run a home-brewed e-mail server from his or her home basement. Um, yeah.)

Other such deflections by Billary from one of her other top flaws — that she voted for the unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War in 2002 — were that she’d already covered this topic in the 2008 primary debates and that Barack Obama had chosen her as his secretary of state, so how poor could her judgment be? (Um, she was chosen as SOS primarily for political reasons, I’m confident. I mean, I’ve had a problem with Obama’s past apparent comparisons of himself to Abraham Lincoln, but Lincoln did apparently believe in keeping his enemies/frenemies close.)

So Billary needed and wanted a save from E-mailgate, and when Bernie prefaced his point with “let me say something that may not be great politics,” the desperate Billary, as did pretty much the entire punditry and the rest of the nation, took it as Bernie throwing her a life preserver.

Bernie then said, turning to Billary, “I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.”

I’m pretty sure that Billary orgasmed at that moment, and that moment immediately was interpreted, quite incorrectly, as Bernie having dismissed E-mailgate altogether. But that fairly obviously not only was not what he actually said, but was not his point, because he then immediately followed that with:

You know? The middle class — Anderson [Cooper, the moderator], and let me say something about the media, as well. I go around the country, [I] talk to a whole lot of people. [The] middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.

But Americans don’t want to talk about the real issues. The real issues are boring. They require research. And thought. And once we’re fully aware of a big problem, we then have the moral obligation to try to solve it. And that’s work. And work is hard. And usually not fun.

Bernie wasn’t saying that E-mailgate is not a problem whatsoever. He was putting it into perspective: “[The] middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.”

After the debate, Bernie was interviewed live by CNN at the locale of the debate and he stated that his one (or largest, anyway) regret about the debate is that the topic of income inequality didn’t get enough play.

Bernie apparently is just sick and tired that relatively minor issues like Billary’s e-mail habits are discussed instead of much bigger problems, such as climate change and the income inequality that has only grown since the Reagan years.

However, because Americans, including, of course, the punditry class (who personally benefit from continued income inequality), don’t want to talk about these huge problems, the narrative became that Bernie saved Billary from her e-mail scandal. Even my fellow leftist Ted Rall, with whom I usually agree, wrote of last night’s debate:

… It’s fun to watch rivals making nice. Party unity is swell. Who knows, maybe Bernie really does think Emailgate is no big deal. But I think it was a mistake.

First and foremost, the investigation has just begun. It isn’t wise to defend someone before all the facts are in, especially when that person’s resume is punctuated by multiple scandals.

Also, I take offense at the argument that, because the American people don’t care about an issue, that it ought not to be discussed (assuming that it is true that voters are tiring of the coverage, which may or may not be the case). Americans don’t care much about drones, the NSA, or turning Libya into a failed state (which Hillary helped do), or Guantánamo. Should we ignore those issues? Leadership is in large part about pointing to a problem and convincing people why they should care and what we should do to fix it.

For me, and I suspect many other non-Republicans, Emailgate points to a problem with Hillary Clinton’s ability to make judgment calls. She knew, in 2009 when she began as secretary of state, that she would soon run for president. Given that the GOP always targets her, it’s crazy that she didn’t play everything by the book. Examined along with her vote in favor of invading Iraq — another bad political decision since it was obvious to everyone intelligent that the war would go badly for the U.S. — it raises serious questions about Clinton’s fitness for the presidency and, as such, should not have prompted a full-throated defense from her chief rival.

Again, Bernie never stated that “E-mailgate is no big deal.” He only tried to put it into perspective — a bit inartfully. He had started to talk about the media, and had he fleshed that thought out, he’d have pointed out that the media love to report on juicy scandals, such as home-brewed e-mail servers, especially when they involve someone like perpetual scandal magnet Queen Billary Clinton, and that reportage on this partisan bickering (such as with E-mailgate and “Benghazigate”) eclipses our much larger problems, such as climate change and income inequality, both of which continue to worsen even as I type this sentence.

I agree wholeheartedly with Rall that “Emailgate points to a problem with Hillary Clinton’s ability to make judgment calls” and that “Examined along with her vote in favor of invading Iraq — another bad political decision since it was obvious to everyone intelligent that the war would go badly for the U.S. — it raises serious questions about Clinton’s fitness for the presidency.”

But for Rall to characterize Sanders’ words as “a full-throated defense” of Billary’s e-mail habits contradicts the words that Bernie actually spoke.

It’s that at a forum that was very deferential to Queen Billary (as Jim Webb complained, she was allowed to speak far more than was anyone else), a forum sponsored by the Clinton-friendly CNN before a largely Clinton-friendly live audience, and in a fast-moving, fairly shallow discussion meant much more to evoke more sound bites for an insatiably starving, zombified corporately owned and controlled mass media than to evoke anything remotely resembling actual thought, Bernie’s intent immediately got lost in the shuffle and then conveniently was corporately repackaged into something that it apparently never was intended to be: “a full-throated defense” of Billary against E-mailgate.

Rall notes that Sanders “clearly was off balance,” and it’s true that Sanders didn’t bring up everything that he could and should have in the debate, as Rall notes in his thoughtful-as-usual commentary. If I had helped Bernie prep for the debate, for instance, in response to Billary’s predictable criticism of him not being good enough on gun control, I’d have encouraged him to point out that his home state of Vermont, which he has represented in Congress since the early 1990s, has fewer gun murders per capita than does any other state except New Hampshire. (Vermont has 1.1 gun murders per 100,000 residents. New Hampshire has 1 per 100,000 residents.)

So when Bernie asserted during the debate last night that gun control is more of an issue for urban areas than for largely rural areas like Vermont, he was correct. Billary was, in her criticism of him, quite wrong, as she so often is on topics that matter.

I’d say that Bernie was a little off balance last night. He made no huge, Prick-Perry-level debate blunder, but he did make a few minor stumbles. But, um, it was his very first nationally televised debate. Billary Clinton is a highly polished liar. She’s been lying, minimizing, deflecting, flip-flopping, triangulating (like her hubby), blaming others, playing the feminism card, playing the victim card, etc., etc., on the national stage at least since the early 1990s. She’s a mega-ultra-slimebag/weasel, whereas Bernie Sanders is a bit of a wonky nerd.*

And Bernie can try to save us from ourselves, but in the end, we have to want to save ourselves.

That Bernie’s admonishment that we pay so much attention to things such as E-mailgate at the expense of larger issues such as “massive wealth and income inequality” and “whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United” fell flat because we’d much rather talk about how “Bernie saved Billary last night at the debate” isn’t Bernie’s fault. It’s ours.**

P.S. In the end, although Bernie prefaced his remarks by saying that they “may not be great politics,” I don’t think that it hurt Bernie, politically, to demonstrate that he wasn’t going to pile upon Billary, which is what I believe he meant to say that so many believe is “great politics.”

Not only could Bernie use a chunk of Billary’s supporters to switch to his team — which he won’t accomplish by alienating them too much — but Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee (and, to a lesser extent, Jim Webb) did plenty of piling upon Billary, which was wholly deserved, but which also made them look desperate because they’re losing (because they are — look at their polling) and which made them look like typical — not visionary — politicians.

I have questioned Bernie’s tactic of remaining above typically dirty politics, but it has gotten him this far, and he never was supposed to have gotten this far.

*I agree with Sanders wholeheartedly that the United States can match the level of socioeconomic success that some European nations have, and that it’s only a capitalism that has eaten itself that has prevented the U.S. from matching those nations’ success, but Team Bernie perhaps does need to think about how it comes off for him to so often rattle off such phrases as “countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway,” as he did last night.

Both moderator Anderson Cooper and Billary Clinton (like snarky junior-high-school students) quickly criticized Sanders’ mention of Denmark — as Stephen Colbert did during a chat with Sanders not long ago (Colbert was much funnier when he did it, but I still found his joke to be a bit disappointing, coming from him) — and while Sanders is correct on this issue, in politics (if you want to win elections) you sometimes have to bow to political realities, such as that Americans are xenophobic and jingoistic and anti-intellectual, and so they don’t want to hear about Denmark…

If Sanders insists on continuing to bring up Denmark — and I suspect that he does and that he will — that won’t sway me away from him one iota, but again, for the most part he’s not dealing with his intellectual equals, and that’s the political reality that he needs to work with.

**We can blame the media only so much. After all, not only do we allow the corporately owned and controlled media weasels to do as they please, but we don’t even fight the problem of corporately owned and controlled media having a monopoly on so-called “free” speech.

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Jump on in, Joe! (And down with Debbie! More debates!)

Joe Biden reacts upon arrival to meet with Jewish community leaders at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie

Reuters photo

Veep Joe Biden, pictured above earlier this month at a Jewish community in center in Florida, is said to be ready to jump into the presidential race within the next month. I hope that he does. While we’re talking about Biden, let’s talk about Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the pathetically ineffectual head of the Democratic National Committee, left, who sorely needs to be replaced by someone who actually is competent and who isn’t a DINO who is only trying to coronate fellow DINO Billary Clinton, such as by limiting the number of Democratic Party presidential primary debates to a paltry six. (The number of Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary debates is 12, three of which already have taken place.)

The political chatter is that Vice President Joe Biden plans to jump into the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary contest within the next month.*

I welcome him in with arms wide open.

Prognosticator king Nate Silver, after all, recently wrote, in an article about Billary Clinton’s being “stuck in a poll-deflating feedback loop,” that “Biden is being included in most polls of the Democratic race, and his numbers have improved as the media has given more coverage to his potential campaign, with most of that support coming from Clinton.” (Link is Silver’s.)

That’s what I’d already figured: That because Biden is an establishment Democrat like Billary, Biden’s entry into the race would take more support from Billary than from the anti-establishment Bernie Sanders.

Not only would such a three-way race (let’s face it, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee aren’t contenders [look at their polling]) help Sanders more than anyone else in the race, but it has been pathetic that more than a dozen fascists have been duking it out for the Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination but that thus far the Democratic Party has had only two real announced contenders (Bernie and Billary).

We would see if an official entry into the race would help Biden’s polling numbers. Thus far, almost all nationwide polls of Democrats and Democratic leaners put Biden in third place, behind Billary at No. 1 and Bernie Sanders at No. 2.

If Biden were to jump in and his third-place status doesn’t improve in the polls, I’d say that he’s a pretty weak candidate. I mean, he’s the vice fucking president, for fuck’s sake. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he never breaks out of his third-place status — after all, he ran for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1988 and in 2008 and the voters rejected him then.

Biden is not a strong candidate, and sympathy for his recently deceased son won’t put him into the White House. (I’m not being mean; just being honest.)

A columnist for The Hill recently put forth the interesting idea that “Biden could at some point announce he is running to be a one-term president, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as his vice-presidential nominee and preferred successor in 2020.”

He adds, “This Biden-Warren unity ticket would be a fusion of the experience of Clinton with the progressivism of Sanders to achieve the progressive populist majority waiting to be born.”

Meh. I, for one, don’t want another four years of a Clintonesque, milquetoast, Democrat-in-name-only presidency. I don’t want progressivism to be deferred for another four fucking years; we already have lost eight critical years under Caretaker in Chief Barack Obama, another Clintonesque DINO who relentlessly had promised us “hope” and “change” but who has delivered only More of the Same.

Anyway, I don’t see Warren joining a Biden ticket while Billary is still in the running for the presidency — Warren thus far very apparently has been quite reluctant to step on Queen Billary’s royal red cape — but in the unlikely event that a Biden-Warren ticket actually emerges from the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary contest, I probably could hold my nose and vote for Biden in November 2016, but only because of the promise of a future Warren presidency.

I cannot, however, foresee myself ever casting a vote for Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton, no matter who the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate turns out to be, even His Royal Trumpness. (Billary, if she emerges as her party’s 2016 presidential candidate, would win my state of California, with all of its 55 electoral votes, anyway, so I wouldn’t need to vote for her; my not voting for her would make zero difference at all. [Unfortunately, some readers do need to be reminded that the U.S. president is not elected by a popular vote, but by the Electoral College…])

Joe Biden may do as he wishes. Unlike the anti-democratic DINOs who claim that certain people (like Ralph Nader) shouldn’t run for president, I believe in democracy, which necessitates that anyone who is qualified to run for president and wishes to do so not be dissuaded from doing so. Let anyone who wishes to run to run and let’s see who wins the contest, for fuck’s sake; let democracy happen.

In the meantime, I continue my steadfast support for Bernie Sanders. Not out of stubbornness, but because I still believe that on the Democratic side he would be the best — the most progressive — president of the United States of America.

And I’m not alone; Sanders leads Billary by around 10 points in New Hampshire and is at least tied with her in Iowa.

Next month will be an interesting one, with the first of the significantly-too-few Democratic presidential primary debates** set for October 13 in Las Vegas (Nevada is the third state to weigh in, with its caucuses scheduled in February, after the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire) — and with Billary set to testify publicly before Congress on the bullshit Benghazigate yet again on October 22.

Hey, I loathe the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, who shamelessly crassly are using the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi in 2012 only for their own political advantage — I mean, Mittens Romney tried but failed miserably to use Benghazi for political gain way back in 2012 — but as I very much don’t want Billary to be the Democratic presidential nominee, I can’t bring myself to defend her too much.

Not only is Billary a despicable, a self-serving sellout, but her political weakening means my chosen candidate’s political strengthening.

Joe Biden jumping into the race and another Benghazi hearing within the same month or so can only help Bernie Sanders.

October should be full of surprise for the Clintonistas.

*Slate.com’s Daniel Politi writes today (links are Politi’s):

On the question of whether Vice President Joe Biden will enter the presidential race, it now looks more like an issue of when, rather than if, reports the Wall Street Journal. In Biden’s circle it seems conversations are now more focused on when would be the best time for the vice president to throw his hat in the ring. Regardless, the Journal warns that nothing is certain yet, pointing out that Biden “could still back out if he finds the emotional toll from the death of his elder son, Beau Biden, too much to overcome.”

Some in Biden’s team want the vice president to jump into the race soon so he can get a spot in the Democratic debate scheduled for October 13. Yet his advisers also have another date in their heads: October 22. That’s when Hillary Clinton is scheduled to testify in a House committee on Benghazi. It is seen as a pivotal moment for her campaign that could weaken or strengthen the former secretary of state’s candidacy. And the opinion there is split. Some want Biden to delay any decision until after the hearing, while others say it will look too opportunistic if he waits for Clinton to stumble in order to join the race.

The Journal article comes shortly after key fundraiser Josh Alcorn was overheard on Amtrak saying that “I am 100 percent that Joe is in,” according to the National Review. Alcorn reportedly expressed uncertainty about when the announcement would be but guessed it was going to take place in mid-October.

These latest signs of Biden’s apparent willingness to enter the race comes as almost 50 prominent Democratic fundraisers and party activists signed a letter calling on Biden to run for president due to the “spectacular success” of the Obama-Biden administration. [“Spectacular success”? Really? Again, while the worst president of my lifetime of course was the unelected war criminal George W. Bush, with Ronald Reagan in second place, Obama at best has been a caretaker president.] “To finish the job, America needs a leader who is respected both home and abroad, and who understands the real challenges facing American families. In our opinion, the next president must be Joe Biden. If he announces he’s running, we’re all in. It’s a campaign we know he will win,” the letter says.

**Democratic National Committee head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is just another fucking DINO, really, really, really needs to go. She never should have been made head of the party in the first fucking place, but now that she has helped to drive the party into the ground (after former DNC head Howard Dean had built the party up), she sorely needs to be replaced with someone who is competent.

Wasserman Schultz’s steadfast refusal to allow more than six Democratic presidential primary debates is anti-democratic, anti-Democratic and unpardonable.

If you agree — and you should — you can sign MoveOn.org’s petition calling for Wasserman Schultz’s removal as head of the Democratic Party here.

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