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Bernie Sanders is still No. 1, and ‘Democratic’ ‘superdelegates’ are an endangered species

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The Democratic National Committee is about to vote on seriously reducing the anti-democratic power of the so-called “superdelegates,” power that even the Repugnican Party’s equivalents do not have. Of course many of the over-privileged “Democratic” “superdelegates” are crying foul.

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake periodically updates his top-15 list for the most likely 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee.

Bernie Sanders still tops that list, which Blake last updated on July 6.

Bernie still gives the self-serving, sellout DINO members of the dying Democratic Party establishment heartburn, of course, because his continued popularity and influence threaten their continued abuse of power that always has been at our expense.

A big thing that Bernie has been working on changing, for a great example, is reining in the so-called “superdelegates.”

Remember them? “Superdelegates” are so fucking evil that even the Repugnican Party did away with them a long time ago — that is, because Repugnican “superdelegates” must vote the way that the voters of their states voted, they’re basically, at most, just window dressing, as they should be.

So ironically anti-democratic and craven is the “Democratic” Party establishment, however, that many if not most of the party’s “superdelegates” are fighting to preserve their unfair power to vote against how the people of their states have voted.*

Yup. A recent Politico article quotes several “Democratic” “superdelegates” whining like the petulant, over-privileged children that they are that proposed party rules changes for the 2020 presidential election cycle — the changes wouldn’t allow the “superdelegates” to vote in the first round of voting at the party convention — would make them (much like their Repugnican counterparts) irrelevant.

Um, they have been irrelevant for years. We never needed them, don’t need them, and never will need them, and their insistence on maintaining, against the will of the voters, their undue power and influence is harming, not helping, the party.

(Indeed, because of how the Democratic Party establishment fucked over Bernie and simply coronated Queen Billary, I re-registered as an independent voter about two years ago, and I never, ever give a penny to the Democratic Party or to any of its arms tentacles, but only to Democratic candidates who strike me as actually progressive [that is, more or less actual Democrats].)

Remember how 2016 went down? (It’s etched in my mind.) We were reminded, constantly, even before a single ordinary person had cast a vote at a presidential primary election or at a caucus, that Billary Clinton already had x number of “superdelegates” in her pocket.

Indeed, even before we Californians got to weigh in on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, the date of our presidential primary election, the media were reporting that Billary already was “the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee” because between 500 and 600 “superdelegates” reportedly already had promised to vote for Billary at the convention (no matter how the voters of their states already had voted or later would vote).

“My problem is that the process today has allowed Secretary Clinton to get the support of over 400 superdelegates before any other Democratic candidate [even] was in the race,” Bernie Sanders stated at the time, adding, “It’s like an anointment.”

“Like”? Indeed, the constant reportage of how many more “superdelegates” Billary had than Bernie did very apparently was meant to give her the image of the winner — and thus the momentum — and Bernie the image of the loser, even though “superdelegates” are just over-privileged party insiders.

Back to The Washington Post’s top-15 list: Bernie has topped the list for some time now. The top 10 are:

  1. Bernie Sanders (he was at No. 1 last time)
  2. Elizabeth Warren (she was at No. 2 last time)
  3. Kamala Harris (was at No. 4 last time)
  4. Joe Biden (was at No. 3 last time)
  5. Cory Booker (was at No. 5 last time)
  6. Kirsten Gillibrand (was at No. 6 last time)
  7. Deval Patrick (was at No. 9 last time)
  8. Terry McCauliffe (was at No. 8 last time)
  9. Eric Holder (was at No. 12 last time)
  10. Michael Bloomberg (his first time on the list)

There’s no reason to regurgitate all 15, because pretty much only the top five listed above have a chance, methinks.

And the further down in the rankings you are, you’re probably vice-presidential material, if even that.

Perhaps ironically, to me the most troubling race would be Bernie vs. Elizabeth. For progressives it could be a difficult choice. Both Bernie and Elizabeth are progressives, but a critical distinction between the two of them, to me, is that Bernie has been willing to take on the Democratic Party establishment weasels — just having dared to run against Billary “Crown Me Already” Clinton was very brave of Bernie — whereas Elizabeth hasn’t wanted to rock the boat, but always has played it safe.

The boat needs rocking, much more rocking, so Bernie remains my top choice for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination. A leader is willing to ruffle some feathers, and Elizabeth has been too cautious. Way too cautious.

That said, I could accept her as Bernie Sanders’ running mate, although that probably won’t happen, since they are senators from neighboring states (indeed, the two states share a border).

A better pairing probably would be Kamala Harris as Bernie’s running mate.

I’m fine with Harris as vice president (and maybe, after that, president). But just as it was a mistake to send Barack Obama to the White House after he’d been in the U.S. Senate for only four years, it would be a mistake to send Harris to the White House after only four years in the Senate. She needs to learn D.C. a lot more before she takes the top job there; Jesus fucking Christ.

Indeed, I have to surmise that it was because Obama had been in D.C. for only four years before he became president — because of his naiveté and his hubris — that he squandered 2009 and 2010 trying to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress, who obviously never were going to work with him in the first fucking place, and therefore the Democrats lost the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2010 and then the U.S. Senate in November 2014.

Indeed, for at least six of his eight years in the White House, Obama was crippled, and his crippling was of his own doing. Again, he didn’t own and use the political capital that he’d earned in November 2008, but instead squandered it spectacularly in 2009 and 2010.

Harris as the 2020 Democratic Party vice presidential candidate would be a nice geographical placement (a president from Vermont and a vice president from California), and as there appear to be two broad wings of the Democratic Party — progressives (those who focus first and foremost on socioeconomic issues) and identity politicians (those who focus first and foremost on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, etc.) — the pairing should bring the party together as much as it’s possible to bring the party together.**

Personally, while I like Elizabeth Warren, despite her disconcerting lack of courage, I see Team Pussygrabber taking her down rather easily in November 2020, painting her as the weak egghead (the whole “Pocahontas” bullshit entirely aside), so I hope to hell that she doesn’t win the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

I’m just being honest about that. I’d very probably vote for her should she actually win the nomination, but I wouldn’t expect her to win the White House. I’d expect her to get Dukakised.

Joe Biden remains a has-been. He’s too aligned with both Billary Clinton and with Barack Obama, and that brand of the Democratic Party — the do-nothing center-right — is dying to the new Democratic Party that is struggling to be born. I cannot and will not and would not support Joe Biden. It would be going backwards.

Cory Booker is a corporate whore and an empty suit who only cynically and superficially would be trying to be the next Barack Obama. I cannot and will not and would not support Cory Booker. I wouldn’t even want him as a vice-presidential candidate.

There’s no reason to even discuss Nos. 6 through 10 because none of them is going to win the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, unless Nos. 1 through 5 die unexpectedly.

Although it’s discussed as though it’s a wide-open field, really, it’s not. I agree with Aaron Blake’s assessment that the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee probably is going to be Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris — maybe Joe Biden, if he runs and if he gets lucky, if he can eke out a win via the dying Democratic Party establishment’s bullying, anti-democratic bullshit. (Even Billary couldn’t do it, so I doubt that Biden could.)

Bernie has run for president before, giving him a big leg up, and not only that, but he won 22 states and 46 percent of the pledged — the actually democratically won — delegates to Billary’s comparatively paltry 54 percent, which was a very strong showing for someone who had pretty much come from nowhere to challenge Queen Billary Herself.

Indeed, had it not been for the rigged, anti-democratic system of “superdelegates” (among other pro-Billary riggings within the Democratic National Committee), it might be Bernie Sanders instead of “President” Pussygrabber sitting in the Oval Office right now.

The Billarybots never will tell you this, but Bernie always polled a lot better against Pussygrabber than Billary ever did (see here and here), and even one of Pussygrabber’s own pollsters said that Bernie would have beaten Pussygrabber had he been the Democratic Party’s nominee.

If you want to blame anyone for “President” Pussygrabber, blame the anti-democratic, self-serving, center-right Democratic Party establishment hacks who still are trying to suppress the will of the people in order to preserve their own undeserved power and over-privilege.

We’re still stuck with “President” Pussygrabber for the time being, but at least you’ll be right — instead of a buffoonish sellout who deserves only derision from those of us who actually live in reality.

P.S. Some more great editorial cartoons about the “Democratic” Party “superdelegates” from 2016:

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*As CNN reported in early July 2016, when they and other media coronated Billary (The Associated Press was most at fault), “They [superdelegates] make up 15 percent of the total delegate universe, which makes it nearly impossible for any Democratic candidate for president to secure the nomination without the support of both pledged delegates and superdelegates.”

**To be clear, the Democratic Party must address both socioeconomic issues and issues of equal human and civil rights, but to me, if we must rank the two, socioeconomic justice is more important for two reasons: One, it affects more people, regardless of their demographics, and two, if you want to win a national election these days, you must make socioeconomic justice your centerpiece, for fuck’s sake.

If you are, for example, a toxic “feminist” (you know, the kind who tosses around terms like “Bernie bro” and “brogressive” [because you’re actually just a misandrist]) or a race hustler who demands that every Democratic president from here on out must be black (because Obama!), then you are going to lose huge swaths of the electorate who (gee!) for some reason don’t share your bitter hatred of them. Case in point: November 2016.

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Nate Silver: Bernie Sanders would be ‘losing’ even when he is winning

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Nate Silver provides this chart to support his argument that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders — hailing from the state with the highest percentage of white liberals — could win the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary yet still lose the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. If the 50 states all voted and caucused on the same day, Silver would have a solid point, but as the states will caucus and vote over a bit more than a four-month period, Silver’s argument misses the factor of momentum (or, as I might put it, the movement of the lemmings from one candidate to another) over time. Silver’s argument demonstrates, however, that Bernie Sanders is an uber-underdog.

Far be it for me to question Prognosticator King Nate Silver (Prognosticator Queen? Like I am, he is gay…), but a recent post of his on his website fivethirtyeight.com bears this headline: “Bernie Sanders Could Win Iowa and New Hampshire. Then Lose Everywhere Else.”

The emphasis there, I think, I hope, is on the word “could.” Lots of different scenarios could play out from this early point in the game, but I find it unlikely that Sanders would win both Iowa and New Hampshire and yet not win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

The crux of Silver’s argument apparently is that “Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa and Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire are really liberal and really white, and that’s the core of Sanders’ support.”

The chart above is posted with Silver’s article, and assuming that its statistics are correct, yes, it’s no shock that Bernie Sanders is polling well right now in Iowa and in New Hampshire, the first two states to pick their 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate, in early February.

Silver notes that “Sanders has so far made very little traction with non-white Democrats,” suggesting that this could cost Sanders the eventual win.

I don’t know about that.

I do know that Billary Clinton, for whatever reason or reasons, is big here in California, so I couldn’t see Sanders winning California — if California voted early. But California isn’t voting early in 2016; in 2016, California’s presidential primary election will be in June.

Billary beat Barack Obama here in California in 2008, but that year the presidential primary was held here in February, on “Super Tuesday.” It was a big chunk of delegates early on for Billary, but Obama still eventually beat her and won the nomination, of course.

Given that California doesn’t weigh in until June 2016, when it most likely will be (but might not be) a moot point anyway, yes, Billary could still win California’s primary, even if Bernie already had sewn up the party’s presidential nomination (and Billary had conceded), I suppose, but at the same time, in the world of presidential politics, June 2016 is a long, long time away, and so of course it’s possible that Sanders could win California’s primary in June 2016, especially if he already had swept most of the states in the earlier voting.

Not just California, but many other states, probably especially red and purple states, might remain steadfastly loyal to Billary in 2016, even to the bitter end, but as this was not an insurmountable obstacle for Obama in 2008, I don’t see that it would be an insurmountable obstacle for Sanders in 2016.

As I have intimated above, perhaps the biggest flaw in Nate Silvers’ argument is that to me his chart of the states and their makeup of white liberals seems to suggest that all of these states are going to be voting close together, when, in fact, the 2016 presidential primary elections and caucuses stretch from February 1 through June 7 (yes, California is the last to vote, along with four other states on that date.)

If all 50 states held their primary elections and caucuses on one day, or even within one month or maybe even two, then yes, I’d probably expect Billary to win, but that won’t be the case; that won’t be how the game is played. (But nor do I see the 2016 contest being drawn out until June, as it anomalously was in 2008. My best guess is that it will be done by April at the latest. [John Kerry wrapped up his 2004 win in March, and Al Gore also had wrapped up his 2000 win in March.])

All of that said, no one really knows what might happen if Bernie Sanders were to win both Iowa and New Hampshire. It seems to me that Billary probably would implode spectacularly. Yes, it is true that only two states aren’t representative of the entire nation, but coming in at first place in Iowa gives a candidate a huge boost, as it did for Gore in 2000, Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008. All three of those candidates, of course, went on to win their party’s presidential nomination. (The last time that the Democratic first-place winner of Iowa didn’t go on to win the party’s presidential nomination was Tom Harkin back in 1992.)

Yet we’re so sure that for some reason or reasons it would be different for Bernie Sanders were he to win first place in Iowa. (He is nothing if not an underdog.)

I could see an Iowa win giving Sanders such momentum that of course he wins New Hampshire, and from there it easily might be All She Wrote for Billary. Billary can come back from losing Iowa — her husband did in 1992, after all (and while she lost Iowa to Obama in 2008, she did win the popular vote in the 2008 New Hampshire primary [but tied with Obama for the delegate count]) — but were she to lose New Hampshire in February, too, um, yeah…

Of course, as many have noted, the better that Bernie were to perform in February, the more that the panicked Clintonistas (who pretty much are synonymous with the center-right Democratic Party establishment) would attack him. It is an unknown as to whether the Clinton Machine could destroy Sanders. It certainly didn’t destroy the upstart Barack Obama during the long, drawn-out presidential primary season of 2008 (again, Billary didn’t finally concede to Obama until June 2008).

And you never know how an attack is going to play out for you. It might work and you might win; or, it might generate sympathy for your victim and hurt you, either giving your victim the win or giving you a very tarnished win, a pyrrhic victory.

I mean, Bernie Sanders comes across as the humble, rumpled college professor whom you like, the professor who at first appears to be fairly eccentric but whom, once you listen to what he has to say, is quite sane and quite wise and quite big-hearted, you realize. Sanders also (probably wisely) fairly steadfastly sticks to his philosophy of not savaging his political rivals, but of sticking to the issues.

By attacking Bernie, Billary can’t come out of it not looking like an even bigger harpy with a dynastic, coronate-me-already mindset than she already does. So Team Billary savaging Bernie is far from an assured winning strategy.

And again, I’m quite surprised that in his piece, Nate Silver doesn’t talk about what I might call The Lemming Effect of Iowa and New Hampshire. It wasn’t that long ago that John Kerry rose from the political dead in early 2004, beating Howard Dean to win Iowa and New Hampshire, shocking pretty much Everyone in the Political Universe, even his long-time supporters (such as myself), and once he won Iowa and New Hamsphire, the vast majority of the rest of the primary and caucus states quickly fell to him like dominoes. (Howard Dean won only his home state of Vermont. John Edwards, who would go on to be Kerry’s running mate, won only two states.)

Again, it speaks to Bernie Sanders’ status as the uber-underdog, methinks, that one might posit that while the rest of the states fell like dominoes after John Kerry won both Iowa and New Hampshire in 2004, this wouldn’t happen for Bernie Sanders.

And look at where John Kerry’s home state of Massachusetts sits on Silver’s chart: It is listed at No. 4, but apparently tying with Iowa as the third-most white and liberal state. By Silver’s own argument, it seems to me, John Kerry, because he came from such a white and such a liberal state, shouldn’t have done nearly as well as he actually did.

I’m not especially picking on Silver, and I think that the moral of the story is that presidential politics can be much like a Plinko game: the chip, once dropped, can fall in one of many directions, and predicting where it finally will land can be very difficult. Especially before the chip has even been dropped — before Iowans have caucused and New Hampshirites have voted — we can only speculate what might happen. Only after the chip has dropped and gained momentum will prognosticating be easier and more accurate.

Still, I find it fun to discuss what might happen. Again, my best guess is that if Bernie Sanders wins Iowa and New Hampshire, it’s all over for Billary Clinton. She probably would win significantly more states’ primaries and caucuses in 2016 than did, say, John Edwards in 2004, but losing both Iowa and New Hampshire would be, I believe, such a blow to her right out of the gate that she’d never be able to recover.

I just don’t see that Billary has the charisma to recover from something like that. Few Billary supporters will admit it, but most of them don’t actually like her all that much, don’t find her to be warm and fuzzy and likable. (Certainly, those voters in three important swing states find Billary to be neither honest nor trustworthy, and almost 60 percent of all Americans don’t find Billary to be honest or trustworthy, and when Obama famously once remarked to Billary during a 2008 primary season debate, “You’re likable enough,” he was being quite charitable.)

No, most of Billary’s supporters support her because they delusionally believe that a candidate whose unfavorability ratings consistently exceed her favorability ratings in national polls is a strong candidate. They delusionally believe that as unlikable as Billary is, she’s the only Democratic candidate who can keep the White House in the party’s hands come November 2016.

But how strong can Billary be when so many of her so-called supporters have to hold their noses in order to support her, and support her primarily or even only because they believe that she’s the only candidate who can prevent the Repugnicans from taking back the White House?

That’s not a very strong base of support, and so were Bernie to win Iowa and New Hampshire, again, I think that most likely we’d see a sea change; we’d see the Lemmings for Billary rush to Team Bernie. After all, Billary never exactly excited them anyway; at best, they found Billary likable enough. Or at least that’s what they told themselves and/or others.

P.S. Again, let me be clear: I could see Bernie Sanders winning the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination but losing the 2016 presidential election, as the American electorate can be stunningly anti-intellectual and pro-dipshit, as we saw with how Americans just allowed the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging George W. Bush to blatantly steal the 2000 presidential election. (Al Gore, widely perceived in an anti-intellectual nation as a wooden egghead, didn’t inspire the in-the-streets revolution that a stolen presidential election should have.)

One could argue, I suppose, that New Englanders, being whiter and more liberal than the nation as a whole, or at least being perceived as such, tend to do poorly in presidential elections, and point to Michael Dukakis’ loss in 1988 and John Kerry’s loss in 2004. (Both are from Massachusetts, of course, as is U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whom I’d most likely be supporting right now if she were a presidential candidate.)

But Bernie Sanders is well positioned to win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, it seems to me, and I’d be willing to risk losing the 2016 presidential election with Sanders as the Democratic Party’s candidate, as the Democratic Party’s long slide to the right (first under Bill Clinton and then under Barack Obama) has to be reversed (and not continued and worsened under a President Billary).

As I’ve noted, if Bernie Sanders ends up being something like the Barry Goldwater of the left, that’s perfectly fine by me. Better to win the long game than to lose the long game, and a President Billary would mean losing the long game.

P.P.S. As I’ve noted many times before, I always go for the most progressive presidential candidate possible, regardless of his or her demographics. Being a Californian, I also highly value diversity — note that Nate Silver’s chart puts white liberals like me at only about a quarter of California’s population in 2008 — and so it would be great if Bernie Sanders weren’t yet another older white man and if he came from a more diverse state (Vermont is in the top few whitest states in the nation, if it isn’t at No. 1).

But Bernie’s demographics are his demographics. His being an actual progressive trumps Billary’s being a woman but being a Democrat in name only who no doubt as president would continue to kiss plutocratic ass and sell out the working class and the remnants of the middle class, as her triangulating husband did in the 1990s.

And, of course, our first non-white president has done little to nothing to significantly socioeconomically boost non-white Americans.

A white-male progressive certainly could do, and probably would do, more good for more people than would a DINO president who is not white or who is a woman.

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George McGovern’s death makes me yearn for real Democrats

George McGovern, War Critic Routed by Nixon in 1972

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The death today of George McGovern, a progressive who ran unsuccessfully against incumbent President Richard M. Nixon in 1972 (and who is shown above right campaigning in 1972 with his first running mate, Thomas Eagleton), only reminds me, shortly before another presidential election, how far the Democratic Party has fallen.

It’s a perverse fact of politics that the possession of intelligence and compassion (concomitantly known as wisdom) often, if not usually, dooms an individual who is running for high public office.

I write that with the death of real Democrat George McGovern* in mind.

I was only four years old when in 1972 Democrat McGovern lost to incumbent Repugnican President Richard M. Nixon in a landslide. A landslide — and look how wonderful Nixon’s second term turned out to be: It was the Democratic Party’s operations that Nixon’s operatives were snooping into in June 1972 in the Watergate scandal, which ultimately led to Tricky Dick Nixon’s resignation in disgrace in 1974. (Nixon’s remains the only presidential resignation in U.S. history.)

The masses often get it wrong.

I don’t remember McGovern’s presidential campaign, of course. The first sitting president I remember seeing on television was Gerald Ford, who followed the disgraced-by-Watergate Nixon, and I seem to remember seeing a perpetually stumbling and falling Ford parodied by Chevy Chase on “Saturday Night Live” more than seeing the actual Ford himself on TV.

I remember seeing also Jimmy Carter on TV, and of course I remember Ronald Reagan and all of those who have followed him. But during Carter’s first and only term, I was an elementary school student who was interested in “Star Wars,” not in politics, and it wasn’t until Reagan’s eight-year reign during most of the 1980s that my political identity started to form.

My father always has been apolitical, not giving a rat’s ass about anything outside of his immediate personal universe, and my mother is one of those “swing voters” who seem to make their presidential picks based upon the logic of a Magic 8 Ball. (My parents reside in Arizona, where they belong, and I in California, where I belong.)

My point in bringing up my parents — which makes me feel like Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka when the topic of his parents is brought up — is to illustrate that neither of them even attempted to influence my own political views, with one of them being apolitical and the other being politically muddled at best, so the fact that I grew into a left-winger in the red state of Arizona, which is not conducive to the development of little “socialists,” suggests to me that a progressive political viewpoint is the natural path of human development, unless that path is obstructed (such as by committed right-wing parents who probably should be committed, a “Christo”fascist social environment, etc.) and the journeyer cannot overcome those obstructions, as I was able to do.

The first presidential race that I remember caring about was the 1984 race. I was in high school at the time, and I supported Democrat Walter Mondale over the re-election of Reagan, and I don’t know if I even could have articulated very well why I preferred Mondale over Reagan, since it certainly wasn’t my parents who influenced my preference for Mondale. If memory serves it was a visceral thing, my visceral, intuitive identification of Mondale as the truly wise (again, the compassionate and intelligent) candidate and Reagan as the poser, the phony.

Of course, in 1984 the very first presidential candidate whom I supported (not with money, because as a minor I didn’t have any [and are minors allowed to contributed to presidential campaigns anyway?], and not with my vote, because I wasn’t yet 18), very much like McGovern had done in 1972, lost to the Repugnican incumbent in a landslide.

Four years later, in 1988, Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, whom I supported and voted for as a college student (I remember having to sell my plasma as a starving college student, so I’m pretty certain that I wasn’t able to give Dukakis any money), performed barely better against George H. W. Bush than Mondale had performed against Reagan four years earlier.

Um, yeah, so I wasn’t off to a great start in life in my presidential picks, and for 12 long years as I was politically budding, I suffered through first Ronald Reagan and then George Bush I. (I never will forget graduating from college with a worthless degree but with plenty of student-loan debt during The First George Bush Recession of the late 1980s-early 1990s. These early socioeconomic experiences tend to color your political outlook for life, as the Great Depression very apparently colored my Scrooge-like maternal grandmother’s outlook for the rest of her life.)

Then in the 1990s came pseudo-Democrat Bill Clinton, who, although he benefitted from a rebounding economy (how much of the 1990s’ economic rebound was from his policies and how much of it was from the natural course of economic events I’m not certain), gave us such gems as NAFTA, welfare “reform” and DOMA — oh, yeah, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal, because having an intern blow you in the Oval Office never can blow up in your face.

So the first Democratic presidential candidate whom I supported — I rooted for and voted for Clinton in 1992 and in 1996 — and who actually won the presidential election was the so-called Democrat who destroyed the Democratic Party by dragging it so far to the right that the Democratic Party today looks like Repugnican Lite. Yay!

Bill Clinton benefitted from a three-way race in 1992, and won with a plurality, not a majority, of the popular vote, which today’s Democratic hacks forget or ignore. (Dems deny that third-party candidate Ross Perot, who garnered a-very-impressive-for-a-third-party-candidate 19 percent of the popular vote in 1992, harmed George H. W. Bush’s re-election bid, but it seems to me that the majority of Perot’s supporters were right of center and that most of them would have voted for Bush over Clinton. [If memory serves, my Magic-8-Ball-wielding mother voted for Perot, and my guess is that had Perot not been a choice, she would have voted for Bush or would not have voted at all.])

I get it that after a string of Democratic presidential defeats — George McGovern, Jimmy Carter (denied a second term), Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis — and after long time in the political wilderness during the Nixon/Ford, Reagan and Bush I years — the Democratic Party apparently wanted to pull away, far away, from the egghead image.

Democrat Adlai Stevenson, who lost to Repugnican Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and again in 1956 yet sought (but did not get) the Democratic Party’s nomination yet again in 1960, seems to have been the eggheaded Democrats’ founding father, at least of our modern era, and indeed, Stevenson was the last presidential candidate from either of the two major parties who, despite having lost a presidential election, was nominated by his party to run in the very next presidential election. (These days, losing a presidential election very apparently means that you’ll never get another shot at your party’s presidential nomination again.)

The last Democratic egghead who lost — but who, surreally, actually won — a presidential election was, of course, Al Gore, who in 2000 won 48.4 percent of the popular vote to George W. Bush’s 47.9 percent, for a difference of more than 500,000 votes.** Only in the United States of America could the candidate who won fewer votes be made — crowned — president by the U.S. Supreme Court and his cronies (such as his brother, who was governor of the pivotal state that he “won,” and the chief elections official of that state who made damn sure that he “won” it), and this is yet another of those wonderful, deeply anti-democratic events during my lifetime that has shaped my current outlook.

So Al Gore’s win/loss in 2000 might have been the death knell for the eggheaded Democratic presidential candidate, but isn’t there some middle ground between a Bill Clinton and an Adlai Stevenson?

You might argue that President Barack Obama more or less fills that middle ground, since he’s known as both intelligent and non-nerdy (and, importantly, highly unlikely to be blown by an intern), but today we have Obama in a race for re-election that shouldn’t be nearly as close as it is, and probably wouldn’t be as close as it is had Obama spent his first two years in office actually delivering upon his ubiquitous 2008 promises of hope and change while both houses of Congress were controlled by his own party, a rare alignment of the stars that never should be squandered, and that even George W. Bush, dipshit that he is, did not squander. (Nor did Bush II, dipshit that he is, shit and piss all over his own fucking base, which seems to be the Obama administration’s and the Obamabots’ favorite fucking pastime.)

In Barack Obama, other than in empty rhetoric and false promises, we see precious little of the spirit of George McGovern that used to infuse the Democratic Party. In Obama we see instead the cynical, opportunistic, center-right spirit of Bill Clinton, an approach that the modern Democratic Party argues is the only approach that works, yet in actuality has no track record of effectiveness.

Again, in my book, Bill Clinton won in 1992 in no small part because of “spoiler” Ross Perot, and again, in 1992 Clinton garnered a plurality (43 percent of the popular vote), not a majority. (The only other president during my lifetime who garnered not even a full 44 percent of the popular vote was Richard Nixon in 1968, the year of my birth.)

Clinton again failed to get a full majority even in 1996 (he got 49 percent of the popular vote), and in his 1996 (and pre-Lewinsky) re-election bid he benefitted from having an incredibly wooden Repugnican opponent in Bob Dull — er, Dole — and he benefitted from a strong economy, which, again, I am not certain how much resulted from his economic policies and how much resulted from the natual ebb and flow of the nation’s economy.

Let’s reflect upon the fact that Barack Obama garnered 53 percent of the popular vote in 2008, which was better that Bill Clinton or George W. Bush ever did in the elections from 1992 through 2004. Obama’s 53 percent in 2008 bested Jimmy Carter’s and John F. Kennedy’s take of the popular vote, too.

How did Obama do it?

Again, he ran on a progressive (if too-vague) platform of hope and change. That was the bait.

Obviously, if Obama hadn’t perceived that that was what the majority of Americans wanted, that wouldn’t have been what he promised.

That progressivism is what the majority of Americans wanted, and that progressivism is what Obama Version 2008 promised (even if gauzily), even though his hacks (the Obamabots) love to engage in historical revision and deny that fact, but what Obama has delivered as president is just more Clintonesque, center-right, “bipartisan,” Repugnican-ass-licking bullshit, replete with Billary Clinton as his secretary of state and Bill Clinton as his current campaign surrogate.

So the news of George McGovern’s death early this morning at a hospice in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at age 90 only underscores for me, with another presidential election only a little more than two weeks away, the fact that the Democratic Party of today is only a shadow of what it used to be.

I lament that the only presidents named George whom I got during my lifetime are surnamed Bush, and I have to wonder how George McGovern felt about the likes of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who turned the Democratic Party into the center-right, corporate-ass-licking, lesser-of-two-evils monstrosity of a fundraising machine that it is today.

And I can’t see how I can honor the memory of George McGovern by blackening the oval next to the name of Barack Obama on the mail-in ballot that sits just yards from me right now as I type this sentence, yet unmarked.

*Wikipedia’s entry on George McGovern reports, in part:

George Stanley McGovern (July 19, 1922-October 21, 2012) was a historian, author and U.S. representative, U.S. senator and the Democratic Party presidential nominee in the 1972 presidential election.

McGovern grew up in Mitchell, South Dakota…. [After he fought in World War II] he gained degrees from Dakota Wesleyan University and Northwestern University, culminating in a Ph.D., and was a history professor. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1956 and re-elected in 1958. After a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 1960, he was elected there in 1962.

As a senator, McGovern was an exemplar of modern American liberalism. He became most known for his outspoken opposition to the growing U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He staged a brief nomination run in the 1968 presidential election as a stand-in for the assassinated Robert F. Kennedy.

The subsequent McGovern-Fraser Commission fundamentally altered the Democratic presidential nominating process, by greatly increasing the number of caucuses and primaries and reducing the influence of party insiders.

The McGovern-Hatfield Amendment sought to end the Vietnam War by legislative means but was defeated in 1970 and 1971.

McGovern’s long-shot, grassroots-based 1972 presidential campaign found triumph in gaining the Democratic nomination but left the party badly split ideologically, and the failed vice-presidential pick of Thomas Eagleton undermined McGovern’s credibility. In the general election McGovern lost to incumbent Richard Nixon in one of the biggest landslides in American history. Re-elected senator in 1968 and 1974, McGovern was defeated in a bid for a fourth term in 1980.

Throughout his career, McGovern was involved in issues related to agriculture, food, nutrition, and hunger….

Wikipedia also notes that anyone running against the incumbent Nixon would have had an uphill battle anyway, but after high-profile Democrats such as Ted Kennedy, Walter Mondale and Hubert Humphrey and other Democrats declined to be McGovern’s running mate, McGovern picked U.S. Sen. Thomas Eagleton, whom McGovern later replaced with Kennedy clan in-law Sargent Shriver after Eagleton’s history of treatment for mental illness came to light, casting doubt on his fitness to handle the presidency if it came to that, and raising doubts about McGovern’s judgment.

Wikipedia notes that Team McGovern didn’t vet Eagleton thoroughly and that Eagleton and his wife intentionally kept Eagleton’s hospitalizations for mental illness from McGovern. Bloomberg notes that less than a week after McGovern had proclaimed that he supported Eagleton “1,000 percent,” he replaced Eagleton with Shriver.

Bloomberg notes that McGovern later wrote in his autobiography, “I did what I had to, but the Eagleton matter ended whatever chance there was to defeat Richard Nixon in 1972. In the minds of many Americans the Eagleton episode convicted me of incompetence, vacillation, dishonesty and cold calculation, all at the same time.”

Bloomberg notes that “The Eagleton misstep ushered in today’s rigorous vetting of potential vice presidential candidates,” which doesn’t really explain what happened with Dan Quayle or Sarah Palin, but whatever…

**You might argue that the last Democratic egghead who ran for president actually was John Kerry in 2004, and while he does hail from Massachusetts, a la egghead Michael Dukakis (indeed, Kerry was Dukakis’ lieutenant governor), Vietnam vet Kerry ran such a war-hero campaign (the “swiftboaters'” defamation of him notwithstanding) that, in my estimation, anyway, he fairly escaped being branded as an egghead.

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Did Newt Gingrich just swiftboat ‘Massachusetts moderate’ Mitt?

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich makes a campaign stop in Laurens, South Carolina

Reuters photo

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, pictured above campaigning in South Carolina, where he decisively was victorious yesterday, now goes on to Florida in his quest to prevent the coronation of “Massachusetts moderate” Mitt Romney as the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee.

My bad — I just now watched the Newt Gingrich ad in which Gingrich states, correctly, of course, that “Massachusetts moderate” Mitt Romney hails from the state that brought us supposedly ultra-liberal Democratic presidential candidates Michael Dukakis and John Kerry. (Of course, it’s not the denotation there that is critical to the ad’s effectiveness, but it’s all of the ad’s connotations.)

The ad was talked about primarily as the ad that nails Mitt for speaking French — just like John Kerry does (the ad features brief clips of both of them speaking French) — but the ad in general likens Romney to Kerry and Dukakis and essentially asks how anyone from Massachusetts can be a real conservative.

The French connection (indeed, the ad is titled “The French Connection”is interesting, however. It serves several purposes, I think: It’s meant to indicate Romney’s supposed otherness and supposed un-Americanness (maybe even treason?) and Romney’s supposed effeteness (the French, after all, are cowardly and weak, no?); and, of course, it’s a great slur steeped in the anti-intellectualism that is so much a part of the American right wing (many if not most of whom cannot speak or write even their mother tongue correctly): He speaks French! Fluently!

It also, of course, speaks of socioeconomic class: John Kerry is rich and John Kerry speaks French. Mitt Romney is rich and Mitt Romney speaks French. They both went to expensive, exclusive Ivy League schools, where they had the luxury of learning French.

This long has been a problem for the Richie Rich wing of the Repugnican Tea Party: How to appeal to the Cooters and Skeeters and Jebs and Jethros — the “tea party” wing of the party whose votes the Richie Riches need in order to win elections — when the Richie Riches are about as far away from rednecks as you’re going to get.

However, up until now, for the most part the Repugnican Tea Party candidates who appeal primarily to the rednecks haven’t openly, publicly assaulted the aristocratic wing of their party, so Newt’s attacks on Romney’s lofty socioeconomic status seem rather novel. (“Kamikaze,” actually, might be the better word for it…)

Apparently Gingrich’s attacks on Romney in the deep red state of South Carolina worked wonders. I mean, Gingrich beat Romney in South Carolina yesterday by double digits, and since 1980, whichever Repugnican presidential primary candidate who won South Carolina also went on to win the party’s presidential nomination.

And if Gingrich wins again in Florida on January 31, it could be all over for Romney. It doesn’t matter how well Romney has been polling in the upcoming primary states as of late; if he widely is perceived as a losing candidate after having lost South Carolina and Florida, it could start a rapid domino effect that will make his previous support in those upcoming states evaporate rapidly — just as it did in South Carolina.

Romney, we know now, didn’t actually win the Iowa caucuses; the state’s Repugnican Tea Party now says that Rick Santorum won, and, as The Christian Science monitor notes, Santorum having won Iowa, Romney having won New Hampshire and Gingrich having won South Carolina “is the first time in modern GOP primary history that three different candidates won those three states.”

This indicates a Repugnican Tea Party that still is in serious disarray and that might not be sorted out for weeks to come. And if Mitt does manage to make it out of primary season alive, he might be so badly damaged that his chances of beating President Barack Obama in November are greatly diminished — and, ironically, all along Romney has polled better against Obama than have any of his primary season competitors.

We know what we would get with a President Gingrich, I think. One of Big Brother’s main slogans was:

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Possessing intellect — such as knowing a foreign language — is a weakness, you see, among those who can barely speak their own native English (a.k.a. Newt’s base). And the only way to be “safe” from “terrorism” and other “evil” is to have perpetual warfare against the “evildoers,” which a chickenhawkish President Gingrich no doubt would embrace, just as chickenhawk George W. Bush did. And don’t even get me started on the topic of freedom (freedom, oh, freedom — that’s just some people talkin’…).

President Thomas Jefferson apparently could speak Latin, Greek, French, Italian and Spanish on top of English. “President” George W. Bush barely fucking could speak English. That’s how “far” we Americans have come.

And now, we have in Newt Gingrich a man who essentially would represent a third (and maybe a fourth) term by George W. Bush.

I mean, it’s no accident that upon his recent departure from the race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry — who also had wanted to continue the policies and practices of the unelected Bush regime — endorsed Newt Gingrich.

P.S. For all of the undeserved shit that First Lady Michelle Obama gets from the wingnuts, I find Gingrich’s current wife, Callista (pictured below in South Carolina last week), to be (like Newt) a fucking skank ho. I mean, when she was his aide she apparently had an affair with Newt for six years while he was still married to his second wife (with whom he’d been having an affair while he still was married to his first wife).

Gingrich had a six year affair with Callista Bisek -- now Callista Gingrich -- before divorcing his second wife

AFP (that’s French) photo

That, and the creepy Callista Gingrich looks just like the femme fatale (there’s some more French!) in Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks!”:

Careful! She bites

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