Tag Archives: Steve Westly

Lemmings all aboard the Billarymobile!

Hillary Clinton speaks at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa

Reuters photo

Like a one-woman Thelma and Louise, Billary Clinton (pictured above last month in Des Moines, Iowa) is poised to drive all of us off of a cliff in November 2016. Her net favorability rating among all Americans is negative and has no room to grow, whereas Bernie Sanders’ net favorability rating among all Americans is positive and still has plenty of room to grow. Still, the sense among the Democratic lemmings is that Billary has “earned it,” that “it’s her turn” (even though she hasn’t and it isn’t).

Fivethirtyeight.com’s Harry Enten writes today that “barring something unforeseen, [Billary] Clinton’s going to be the [2016] Democratic [presidential] nominee,” an assertion that he backs up with current and historical data and statistics.

I don’t argue against his point that, at least on paper, Billary looks pretty good. Nor do I accuse the thusly-oft-accused Enten of being a Billarybot; his analysis seems sound and impartial enough. And I’ve seen the establishmentarian Democrats front awful candidates and otherwise incredibly stupidly bungle elections in the past.

California state establishmentarian Democrats, for instance, first wholly ignored the fact that the charisma-free Democratic Gov. Gray Davis might get recalled in the bogus, Repugnican-orchestrated 2003 gubernatorial recall election, and so they didn’t support a possible Democratic successor to Davis should he be recalled; as a result, the then-popular Hollywood testosterone-movie star Repugnican Arnold Schwarzenegger won the circus-like recall election in which dozens of gubernatorial candidates appeared on the ballot.

And the same California state establishmentarian Democrats who had bungled the gubernatorial recall election put the nerdish Democrat Phil Angelides (then the state treasurer) against the incumbent Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006, with catastrophic results. (Schwarzenegger garnered 56 percent of the vote to Angelides’ paltry 39 percent, even though voter registration in the state at that time stood at 42.5 percent Democratic to 34.3 percent Repugnican. Um, yeah.)

Angelides would have been a competent (maybe even a good or maybe even a great) governor, most likely, but when does the nerd beat the jock in almost any election? Better had the Dems in 2006 run Steve Westly (then the state controller) against Schwarzenegger – the polls had showed, after all, that Westly would do better against Schwarzenegger than would Angelides – but the blind and stubborn state Dems wanted to reward Angelides for his years in the state party, so they gave him their nod for the party’s nomination for governor instead of Westly. The result was another four catastrophic years of Baby Daddy Ahhhnuld Schwarzenegger behind the wheel.

Similarly, yes, of course, I fully can see the establishmentarian Dems ignoring the flashing lights and wailing sirens warning that Billary Clinton is a weak general-election presidential candidate and giving her the 2016 presidential nomination because of her years in the party. (“She has earned it,” right? [Right?])

But 51 percent of Americans view Billary Clinton negatively, while only 46 percent view her positively (for a total of 97 percent having an opinion of her). Given the fact that the popular vote has been very close for several elections now – 51.1 percent for Barack Obama in 2012 and 52.9 percent for him in 2008; 50.7 percent for George W. Bush in 2004 and 47.9 percent for him in 2000; and 49.2 percent for Bill Clinton in 1996 and 43 percent for him in 1992 (yes, he won on pluralities both elections) – it should trouble the Billarybots that a majority of Americans don’t like their candidate, who can’t count on winning a plurality, as her hubby did in 1992 (and again in 1996, although on a stronger plurality the second time).

But it apparently doesn’t trouble the Billarybots, who, like lemmings, seem just fine with the steep cliff that’s ahead. Eighty-three percent of Democrats express a favorable opinion of Billary, which is great when they’re in rooms with other lemmings Democrats, but nationally, Billary is weak. I could see someone like Marco Rubio, a born liar who smoothly says all of the feel-good things, fairly easily picking her off in November 2016. (Right now, Billary doesn’t beat Rubio by even one full percentage point in Real Clear Politics’ average of presidential general-election match-up polls; she beats Jeb! Bush by only one percentage point; and Ben Carson beats Billary by four percentage points.)

True, Bernie Sanders apparently suffers from not being well-known enough. While he’s been toiling in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for his state of Vermont since 1991, Billary has been running for president at least since 2000, when she carpetbaggingly won a U.S. Senate seat for New York. And, of course, she first ran for the White House in 2008, in a long, dragged-out primary fight in which she tacked to the right to try to smear Barack Obama, who emerged as the victor because while Billary acted like the cocky hare, Obama acted like the slow and steady tortoise.

Forty percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Bernie Sanders, with 38 percent having an unfavorable opinion of him; 21 percent, however, have no opinion of him.

This means to me that Sanders’ net favorability, which at least stands at +2 percent, has room to grow, given that about one in five Americans has no opinion of him at all. Does Billary’s net favorability, which stands at -5 percent, have room to grow, with 97 percent of Americans already holding an opinion about her? I don’t fucking think so.*

I don’t give Billary Clinton even a full 50-percent chance of winning the White House in November 2015 (I’d put her chance of becoming president in November 2016 somewhere in the high 40s). But the legions of establishmentarian Democrats appear to be bound and determined to front her as their champion for 2016, come hell or high water.

Oh, well.

After Billary loses in November 2016, at least she’ll never be a presidential candidate again.

Probably.

All of this said: I at least tentatively plan to live-blog tomorrow’s second of the too-few Democratic presidential primary debates, this one scheduled on a Saturday by Billarybot Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, very apparently in order to avoid any possible damage to Billary. Let’s hope for that damage anyway. We knock Billary out now, at the primary-election phase, or the Repugnicans knock her out in November 2016.

Bernie Sanders goes into tomorrow’s debate in decent shape; yesterday the American Postal Workers’ Union endorsed him, adding to the endorsement he received from the nation’s largest nurses’ union in August. Also yesterday, Nina Turner, a prominent Ohio politico, switched her endorsement from Billary Clinton to Bernie Sanders, stating, “I’m very attracted by his message and his style — and that he has held pretty much strong on his beliefs and the world is catching up with him.” Yup.

Salon.com remarks of Turner that she “is the third prominent African-American to support Sanders. Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) endorsed him this fall, and Cornel West has praised Sanders as ‘a long-distance runner with integrity in the struggle for justice for over 50 years.’”

Turner, by having gone first, also is an example to others who already have endorsed Billary that they can switch to Bernie, too.

Hopefully, Martin O’Malley will drop out after tomorrow’s Dem debate. He’s garnering not even 3 percent in the national polling average and thus is only wasting our time. The only thing that I can figure is that he’s angling for a veep spot, but there are plenty of better candidates for the No. 2 spot, whether No. 1 turns out to be Bernie Sanders or Billary Clinton.

(Yes, O’Malley’s recent swipe at Bernie Sanders that he [O’Malley] always has called himself a Democrat very much rubbed me the wrong way. All kinds of right-wing assholes have called themselves “Democrats.” I’m much more interested in supporting candidates who actually are progressive and who actually are significantly left of center; party labels aren’t primary to me.

The “Democratic” label long has been fairly meaningless anyway, given that the party has become Repugnican Lite. That and I have a history of being registered alternately with the Democratic Party and the Green Party and of casting my votes for Green Party and Democratic Party candidates, and so I found O’Malley’s smear-brag to be personally offensive.

Again, he needs to just go away.)

*Also, it’s important to note that, per ABC News, “Clinton’s challenges outside the Democratic Party include an 85 percent negative rating among Republicans (compared with Sanders’ 56 percent) and 57 percent unfavorable among independents (vs. Sanders’ 38 percent).”

I wouldn’t expect many Repugnicans to cast votes for Sanders or for Billary, so that doesn’t concern me (much), but no presidential candidate can win today without enough support from the independent voters, so Billary’s significant unpopularity with the independent voters should concern the Democratic lemmings. Should, but very apparently doesn’t.

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Brown could blow it

Jerry Brown

Associated Press photo

“We are confident that the Brown campaign is doing the things that need to be done and we’re in the position we want to be in,” Jerry Brown gubernatorial campaign spokesman Sterling Clifford has said of anxiety that Team Brown is doing too little too late against Repugnican billionaire Megalomaniac Whitman’s multi-million-dollar onslaught. (Brown is shown above in Los Angeles last month.) I’d love to take comfort in Sterling’s words of assurance, but then I recall the 2003 gubernatorial recall election and the gubernatorial election of 2006 – and how well the state’s Democratic “leaders” strategized in those

You would think that California’s Democratic Party “leaders” would have learned their lesson by now.

First, the state’s party “leaders” underestimated the chances of the wooden and woefully uncharismatic Gov. Gray Davis losing the gubernatorial recall election of 2003.

To recap, Repugnicans were able to get enough signatures on petitions to make the recall election happen, in no small part because Repugnican U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, who had his own eye on the governor’s seat, gave $2  million of his own funds to the signature-collection effort – only to see Hollywood action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger become the Repugnican frontrunner in the gubernatorial recall race.

The state’s Democratic Party “leaders” either truly believed that the unpopular Davis would survive the recall election or they were in deep denial. Therefore, they refused to front a candidate for the recall election (and Davis was not allowed to run as a candidate in the election*), apparently believing that to do so would be to admit Davis’ defeat before the recall election even took place.

When then-Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a Democrat, decided to run in the recall election (in which I voted for him), he was viewed by the calcified state Democratic Party “leaders” as a heretic, and the state party did not throw its support behind Bustamante, who therefore pretty much was on his own.

The top three vote-getters of the gubernatorial recall election were Schwarzenegger, with 48.6 percent of the vote, Bustamante, with 31.5 percent, and another Repugnican candidate, Tom McClintock, with 13 percent. (More than one individual from each of the two major parties was allowed to run in the recall race.)

Davis was the state’s first governor ever to be recalled and only the second governor to be recalled in the nation’s history. (Eighteen states, including California, allow for gubernatorial recall elections.)

Running against Schwarzenegger in the 2006 gubernatorial election was uber-geek Democrat Phil Angelides, then the state’s treasurer. Polls had shown consistently that the dynamic, youthful, John-Edwards-(before-his-mistress-came-to-light)-like Democrat Steve Westly, the state’s controller, could have defeated Schwarzenegger in November 2006 — and that Angelides could not – but in April 2006 the state’s Democratic Party “leaders” stupidly endorsed the charismatically challenged Angelides anyfuckingway, apparently not having learned a fucking thing from the Davis debacle just a few years before. The state party’s endorsement helped Angelides beat Westly in the June 2006 primary election, but by only 5 percent.

I knew that it was over for boner-shrinker Angelides when I was attending the annual Greek cultural festival here in Sacramento in August 2006, and Angelides, a Greek-American, made a surprise appearance at the festival — and no one there seemed to give a shit. If a Greek-American political candidate can’t wow ’em at a fucking Greek festival, he’s fucking toast. (Do the Greeks have their own kind of toast, I wonder?)

Anyway, in November 2006, Schwarzenegger trounced Angelides. True, it was the jock vs. the geek, and in such a matchup the geek almost never wins, but Angelides’ lackluster-at-best campaign didn’t fucking help things. Schwarzenegger won 56 percent of the vote to the Greek geekboy’s pathetic 39 percent.

Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor — it took me years to get used to that — could have been prevented had the state’s Democratic “leaders” fronted a strong candidate (Bustamante or someone else) in the 2003 gubernatorial recall election instead of petulantly acted as though Gray Davis, who is as exciting as is the shade of gray, couldn’t possibly have been recalled.

Schwarzenegger getting a sequel as governor of California in 2006 could have been prevented had the state’s clueless Democratic “leaders” gone with the more popular Westly instead of the nerdy Angelides, whom they apparently wanted to reward for his past years of work for the state party — even though polls showed that he couldn’t take out the “Terminator.”

So now it’s year 2010, and two-time California Gov. Jerry Brown is running for a third term. He has my support. I even have a campaign T-shirt already.

But Democrat Brown is running against billionaire Repugnican Megalomaniac Whitman, whose millions and millions of dollars of her own money (more than $90 million thus far) that she’s pumped into her campaign have allowed her to advertise ubiquitously.

Some pundits have surmised that Nutmeg’s advertising overkill actually will work against her, that it will turn off voters and send them to Brown’s camp. I hope that’s true, but we can’t fucking count on that being the case.

Polls have shown Brown’s lead over Nutmeg deteriorating to the point that the latest poll (a Field Poll) puts Brown at 44 percent and Nutmeg at 43 percent – with almost four full months of campaigning to go.

Yes, the majority of California’s voters should go with the frugal candidate who already knows how to do the state’s top job because he’s already done it.

But times have changed. The “independent” or “swing” vote — which I like to refer to as the “dumbfuck vote” — decides way too many elections these days, and the members of the dumbfuck voting bloc, by definition, don’t make their decisions based upon facts, but based upon their gut. And the gut’s main source of “information” is the tay-vay.

And it’s Megalomaniac who’s all over the tay-vay like stink all over dog shit.

Team Brown, on the other hand, truly appears to believe that Jerry Brown’s name recognition is enough. Brown’s name recognition is considerable, but Megalomaniac Whitman, come November, might just show us that everything has its price if one is only willing to pay it.

“If you’re going to run for governor, you have to do what it takes. You can’t tell yourself or tell everyone else there is some special way for you to do this that is completely outside the norms that apply to everyone else,” the Los Angeles Times has quoted veteran state Democratic strategist Garry South of having said recently of the Brown campaign. (South was a strategist for Westly in the 2006 gubernatorial race and he strategized for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s bid for the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nomination. [Newsom now is running for lieutenant governor instead.])

I have to agree with South, and although South probably would put it differently, I think that Team Brown woefully has misunderstimated (as former “President” George W. Bush might put it) the power of the dumbfuck vote that Team Nutmeg seemed to realize long ago: Yes, tell the easily duped dipshits the same lies enough, and they’ll believe them. This tactic of propaganda worked wonders for the unelected Bush regime (and the Hitler regime** before it…).

Memo to Team Brown:

Times have changed. We no longer live in the age of the statesman (or stateswoman). Intellectual ability is seen as a fault by as many voters who view it as a strength, it seems to me. (Hell, maybe even more voters view intelligence as a fault than as a strength.)

We live now in the age of Sarah Palin-Quayle – Twittering and on Facebook.

And billionaire Megalomaniac Whitman — to make up for that pony that she never got, or to make up for the fact that she never was made prom queen, perhaps – is dangerously close to purchasing for herself the most powerful post in the state government of the nation’s most populous state. 

It’s past time to fight fire with fire.

*The recall-election ballot had two parts: First was the question as to whether Davis should remain in office or be removed from office. The second question on the ballot was who should replace Davis should he be removed. (Those who voted to retain Davis in office still were allowed to vote for a candidate to replace him as governor in case he was recalled.)

**Brown’s having called Team Nutmeg Nazi-like in its propaganda techniques is not wholly unfounded, and I wholly agree with sexy gay blogger Glenn Greenwald’s recent argument that we can’t make all references and comparisons to Nazis verboten, because sometimes these references and comparisons have some substance to them. (Not that Greenwald would agree with Brown’s having called Team Nutmeg Nazi-like. [But he might…])

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