Tag Archives: Watergate

Pussygrabber Jr. met with Kremlin-linked lawyer, but Papa Pussygrabber assures us it’s ‘time to move forward’

Updated below (on Tuesday, July 11, 2017)

Getty Images photo

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Pussygrabber Jr., photographed above, met in Daddy’s tower with a Russian lawyer from whom he had expected to receive damaging information about Billary Clinton, he has admitted himself. Reuters reports that like all of the other swamp creatures in “President” Pussygrabber’s swampy orbit, Pussygrabber Jr. has lawyered up.

The unelected and thus illegitimate Pussygrabber regime’s ties to Russia continue to be exposed at the same time that “President” Pussygrabber assures us that it’s “time to move forward” and actually talks about the United States working with Russia on cyber security.

What is established and not in dispute is that in June 2016, during the presidential campaign, Pussygrabber Jr. met with “a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer” at Pussygrabber Tower in the hopes of getting politically damaging information about Billary Clinton for use by the Pussygrabber presidential campaign.

The New York Times reported yesterday (emphases in bold are mine):

President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.

The meeting was also attended by the president’s campaign chairman at the time, Paul J. Manafort, as well as by the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kushner recently disclosed the meeting, though not its content, in confidential government documents described to The New York Times.

The Times reported the existence of the meeting on Saturday. But in subsequent interviews, the advisers and others revealed the motivation behind it.

The meeting — at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, two weeks after Donald J. Trump clinched the Republican nomination — points to the central question in federal investigations of the Kremlin’s meddling in the presidential election: whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.

The accounts of the meeting represent the first public indication that at least some in the campaign were willing to accept Russian help.

While President Trump has been dogged by revelations of undisclosed meetings between his associates and the Russians, the episode at Trump Tower is the first such confirmed private meeting involving his inner circle during the campaign — as well as the first one known to have included his eldest son.

It came at an inflection point in the campaign, when Donald Trump Jr., who served as an adviser and a surrogate, was ascendant and Mr. Manafort was consolidating power.

It is unclear whether the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, actually produced the promised compromising information about Mrs. Clinton. But the people interviewed by The Times about the meeting said the expectation was that she would do so.

When he was first asked about the meeting on Saturday, Donald Trump Jr. said that it was primarily about adoptions and mentioned nothing about Mrs. Clinton.

But on Sunday, presented with The Times’s findings, he offered a new account. In a statement, he said he had met with the Russian lawyer at the request of an acquaintance from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, which his father took to Moscow.

“After pleasantries were exchanged,” he said, “the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.”

He said she then turned the conversation to adoption of Russian children and the Magnitsky Act, an American law that blacklists suspected Russian human rights abusers. The 2012 law so enraged President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia that he halted American adoptions of Russian children.

“It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting,” Mr. Trump said.

Two people briefed on the meeting said the intermediary was Rob Goldstone, a former British tabloid journalist and the president of a company called Oui 2 Entertainment who has worked with the Miss Universe pageant. He did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the president’s lawyer, said on Sunday that “the president was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.”

Lawyers for Mr. Kushner referred to their statement a day earlier, confirming that he voluntarily disclosed the meeting but referring questions about it to Donald Trump Jr. Mr. Manafort declined to comment. In his statement, Donald Trump Jr. said he asked Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kushner to attend, but did not tell them what the meeting was about.

Political campaigns collect opposition research from many quarters but rarely from sources linked to foreign governments.

American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian hackers and propagandists worked to tip the election toward Donald J. Trump, in part by stealing and then providing to WikiLeaks internal Democratic Party and Clinton campaign emails that were embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton. WikiLeaks began releasing the material on July 22.

A special prosecutor and congressional committees are now investigating the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with the Russians. Mr. Trump has disputed that, but the investigation has cast a shadow over his administration. …

Again, this is a convoluted saga, but it boils down to the fact that Pussygrabber Jr. met with a lawyer from the enemy state of Russia in June 2016 on the premises of Pussygrabber Tower with the understanding that this Russian would give him usefully damaging information about Billary Clinton.

There is, methinks, a reason that Pussygrabber Jr. never mentioned Clinton in his first account of his meeting with the Russian lawyer in his daddy’s tower.

As The Times notes, “Political campaigns collect opposition research from many quarters but rarely from sources linked to foreign governments.” Indeed. That stench that you’re detecting is the whiff of treason.

I tend not to believe, by the way, Pussygrabber Jr.’s claim that the Russian lawyer “stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton.”

Not only did Pussygrabber Jr. not state this the first time, but this claim is a way-too-convenient reversal of the fact that, as The Times notes, “American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian hackers and propagandists worked to tip the election toward Donald J. Trump, in part by stealing and then providing to WikiLeaks internal Democratic Party and Clinton campaign emails that were embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton.”

However, even if Pussygrabber Jr. were telling the truth — and as Papa Pussygrabber is a pathofuckinglogical liar, there is no reason to believe that the acorn has fallen far from the rotten tree — the fact remains that, again, what is uncontested is that Pussygrabber Jr. met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign in the hopes of getting negative, damaging intel on Billary Clinton.

That Team Pussygrabber is claiming that Papa Pussygrabber had had no knowledge of any of this activity that happened on his own property — which I find hard to swallow — is indicative of how politically damaging it is.

Also indicative of how politically damaging this is are the fact that The Times (as I type this sentence) retains yesterday’s news story as excerpted above as its top story on its home page and the fact that Pussygrabber Jr. has now retained his own lawyer, like everyone else surrounding our swamp monster of a “president.”

(In a two-paragraph news story, Reuters reports today:

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, has hired New York lawyer Alan Futerfas to represent him in connection with Russia-related investigations, the lawyer and Trump Jr.’s office said on Monday.

Futerfas, a sole practitioner who specializes in criminal defense, would not say when he was retained or whether he had any input into the statements Trump Jr. made over the weekend about a meeting with a Russian lawyer.)

As if all of this weren’t enough, yesterday Papa Pussygrabber not only proclaimed that he spoke sternly to Pootie about it and so it is “time to move forward” from all of this Russian collusion stuffeveryone who is under criminal investigation believes that is it “time to move forward,” of course — but he also surreally indicated that the U.S. and Russia can work together on cyber security. 

Pussygrabber’s tweet from yesterday read:

Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded..

After The Universe roared in laughter, Pussygrabber later tweeted this:

The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t-but a ceasefire can,& did!

Gee, hear that? Pussygrabber simply spoke “strongly” to Pootie about all of that election-meddling hoo-ha, and so “a ceasefire can,& did!” happen where Russian espionage on and sabotage of the United States and its elections is concerned.

I feel so safe and secure now; the whole Russian problem has been solved in one tweet!

I’d say that this shit can’t go on, but our long national nightmare probably will continue for some time to come. It’s a steady drip, drip, drip of a politically corrosive acid that probably isn’t going to take down the unelected Pussygrabber regime in one fell swoop, but that dooms it nonetheless.

Almost six months into this debacle, Pussygrabber’s approval rating doesn’t make it to even 40 percent in most reputable national polls, especially in Gallup’s.

He hasn’t hit even a 50-percent approval rating in any reputable national poll since he took office on January 20.

And traditionally, the strongest numbers that a president is going to get are in his first year in office. Terrorist attacks and the launches of wars, such as 9/11 and the Vietraq War, do produce spikes in a president’s approval rating* as a scared and/or bellicose nation wants to show its support for its imperious leader, but the general direction for a president’s approval ratings throughout his time in office is a downward slope.

Pussygrabber’s supporters are an obnoxiously vocal minority of Americans, but with his approval ratings mired at below 40 percent in most reputable national polls, I don’t see how Pussygrabber can get a second term, if he survives this one.

Update (Tuesday, July 11, 2017): As I’ve noted before, The New York Times and The Washington Post have been doing a bang-up job on covering the illegitimate Pussygrabber regime’s collusion with Russia. I have subscribed to both news organizations’ websites because not only do I want access to their reportage, but I wish to financially support it. Without such coverage, we would have the wholly fascist nation that Pussygrabber and his treasonous, fascist ilk want us to have.

The Russian collusion story isn’t going away because it’s true. If it weren’t, it would have dried up and blown away long ago. There is a shitload of “there” there.

The Pussygrabber regime’s collusion with Russia is in the top three blows to the United States’ so-called democracy in my lifetime; I put it up there with the treasonous, illegitimate George W. Bush regime’s blatant theft of the 2000 presidential election and the same regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked — and wholly bogus — Vietraq War.

(I was just a tot during Watergate, but even Watergate didn’t involve the wholesale theft of a presidential election like we saw in 2000, a wholly bogus war like the Vietraq War, or the collusion with an enemy nation by a presidential campaign to win the White House.) 

The New York Times reports today (emphases in bold are mine):

The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

If the future president’s eldest son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material — or the notion that it was part of a continuing effort by the Russian government to aid his father’s campaign — he gave no indication.

He replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

Four days later, after a flurry of emails, the intermediary wrote back, proposing a meeting in New York on Thursday with a “Russian government attorney.”

Donald Trump Jr. agreed, adding that he would most likely bring along “Paul Manafort (campaign boss)” and “my brother-in-law,” Jared Kushner, now one of the president’s closest White House advisers.

On June 9, [2016,] the Russian lawyer was sitting in the younger Mr. Trump’s office on the 25th floor of Trump Tower, just one level below the office of the future president.

Over the last several days, The New York Times has disclosed the existence of the meeting, whom it involved and what it was about. The story has unfolded as The Times has been able to confirm details of the meetings.

But the email exchanges, which were reviewed by The Times, offer a detailed unspooling of how the meeting with the Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, came about — and just how eager Donald Trump Jr. was to accept what he was explicitly told was the Russian government’s help.

The Justice Department, as well as the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, is examining whether any of President Trump’s associates colluded with the Russian government to disrupt last year’s election. American intelligence agencies have determined that the Russian government tried to sway the election in favor of Mr. Trump.

The precise nature of the promised damaging information about Mrs. Clinton is unclear, and there is no evidence to suggest that it was related to Russian-government computer hacking that led to the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails. But in recent days, accounts by some of the central organizers of the meeting, including Donald Trump Jr., have evolved or have been contradicted by the written email records.

After being told that The Times was about to publish the content of the emails, instead of responding to a request for comment, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out images of them himself on Tuesday.

“To everyone, in order to be totally transparent, I am releasing the entire email chain of my emails” about the June 9 meeting, he wrote. “I first wanted to just have a phone call but when that didn’t work out, they said the woman would be in New York and asked if I would meet.”

He added that nothing came of it.

On Monday, Donald Trump Jr. said on Twitter that it was hardly unusual to take information on an opponent. And on Tuesday morning, he tweeted, “Media & Dems are extremely invested in the Russia story. If this nonsense meeting is all they have after a yr, I understand the desperation!”

At a White House briefing on Tuesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy press secretary, read a statement from President Trump in which he defended his son. “My son is a high-quality person, and I applaud his transparency,” the president said.

But Ms. Sanders said she was “going to have to refer everything on this matter to Don Jr.’s counsel.” She said she did not know when the president had last spoken with his son.

The back story to the June 9 meeting involves an eclectic cast of characters the Trump family knew from its business dealings in Moscow. … [I suggest that you read the entire Times news article for that back story.]

As others have noted, it’s not “transparency” when you release information only after a media outlet has told you that it’s going to release it. And indeed, as The Times reports, Pussygrabber Jr.’s account of his June 9, 2016, meeting with the Russian lawyer about how to fuck over Billary Clinton has changed over time, with him admitting to extra, incriminating details only after they’ve already been reported by The Times.

For instance, initially he had said nothing about speaking about Billary Clinton with the Russian lawyer on June 9, 2016. Now, we have the e-mail chain that proves that Pussygrabber Jr. knew from the very first e-mail in the chain what the agenda was:

“The Crown prosecutor of Russia … offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” Pussygrabber crime family crony Rob Goldstone** wrote to Pussygrabber Jr. in the June 3, 2016, e-mail, adding, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump…”

Without flinching — without a “What do you mean, ‘part of Russia and its government’s support’ of Daddy?” — and not even a half-hour later, Pussygrabber Jr. replied: “Thanks Rob I appreciate that. … Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?”

So Pussygrabber Jr., in his own fucking words, welcomed the proposal of receiving potentially politically damaging and thus potentially politically useful intel about presidential candidate Billary Clinton from an agent or agents of the Russian government.

It is the intent that is the crime; whether it’s true or not that Pussygrabber Jr. never actually received any damaging intel about Billary Clinton (useful or not) from a Russian agent doesn’t matter. What matters is that he tried. Treason doesn’t have to be successful to be treason. It can be treason in the attempt.

Yes, Pussygrabber Jr. is “a high-quality person” — if by “high-quality person” we mean a traitor. Of course, Muscovite candidate Pussygrabber Sr. is a traitor, too, so it’s unsurprising that he would call his offspring “a high-quality person.”

And something that we have to annihilate right fucking now is the “argument” that Pussygrabber’s underlings are new to this whole politics thing, and so they are to be held immune from the laweven for fucking treason — because of their naivete.

The Hill reports that South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham said today, “Anytime you’re in a campaign and you get an offer from a foreign government to help your campaign, the answer is ‘no,'” and “We cannot allow foreign governments to reach out to anybody’s campaign and say, ‘We’d like to help you.’ That is a non-starter.”

The Hill added: “Graham acknowledged [that] he knows [that] Trump Jr. and the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who also attended the [June 9, 2016, meeting], are new to politics.”

So fucking what?

So we are to reinforce our two-tiered “justice” system in which you may commit treason if you are a rich white man — while the rest of us are told, unforfuckinggivingly, that ignorance of the law is no excuse?

Fuck. That. Shit.

If every person who has participated in the treasonous collusion with Russia, from the very top to the very bottom, is not punished to the full extent of the law — well, that would be the stuff of which bloody revolutions are made.

P.S. To be clear, I’m not a Democratic Party hack. I’ve been very, very critical of the Democratic Party here for years. And I’m registered with the Green Party. After what the pro-Billary weasels of the Democratic National Committee did to Bernie Sanders, I immediately switched my registration back to the Green Party, and I’m done with the Democratic Party establishment.

Initially, yes, the whole Russian collusion thing might have seemed like an attempt to explain away Billary Clinton’s “loss” in November 2016 (it’s not a loss when you actually won the popular vote by millions), but over time is has become clearer and clearer that the Russian government has been very, very involved in helping to put Pussygrabber into the White House so that he would do the Russian government’s bidding, and that should disturb anyone of any party. No one can be unperturbed by that and still call himself or herself a patriot.

Those on the supposed far left who still keep saying that there is no “there” there on the Russia collusion thing really need to stop embarrassing themselves by shutting the fuck up. The evidence of the Russian collusion mounts day by day, and they need to take their head meds. I share their dislike of the Democratic Party establishment, including, of course, the Billarybots, but let’s fucking face reality.

Finally, to be clear, I’m also no fan of Democrat in name only Billary Clinton, as I’ve written here for many years. I never cast a vote for her, in the primary or in the general, and I never gave her a penny. She’s an incredibly awful human being, if she is a human being.

But that is not what matters here; what matters here is that we have evidence that Team Pussygrabber at least attempted to collude with the enemy nation of Russia in order to put Papa Pussygrabber into the White House.

We are indeed a numbed-out, dumbed-down nation, but this some serious, serious shit.

*Yes, of course there is the possibility that Pussygrabber will fabricate his Reichstag fire like “President” George W. Bush had his 9/11, which he used as a bullshit pretext to launch his illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War for the war profiteers and for Big Oil, but I just don’t see Pussygrabber getting away with it like Gee Dubya got away with it.

Pussygrabber’s credibility already is nil and his approval ratings are too low for him to try to drag the nation into a distracting war, methinks.

I think he’d get pushback even from members of his own party, such as from South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham, who said this of Pussygrabber’s recent meeting with Putin, which he called “disastrous”: “You [Pussygrabber] are hurting your ability to govern this nation by forgiving and forgetting and empowering [Russia],” adding, “The more he [Pussygrabber] talks about this in terms of not being sure [about Russia’s espionage and sabotage], the more he throws our intelligence communities under the bus, the more he’s willing to forgive and forget Putin, the more suspicion [there is]. And I think it’s going to dog his presidency until he breaks this cycle.”

He won’t break the cycle. It’s all that he fucking knows, and as he and his henchswampcreatures are as guilty as sin, he has to keep the attempted diversions flying.

**The New York Times describes Goldstone as “a British-born former tabloid reporter and entertainment publicist who first met the future president when the Trump Organization was trying to do business in Russia.”

 

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LOCK THEM UP!

“Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence,” The New York Times reported yesterday in a bombshell news story.

(Dan Rather wrote that this might be bigger than Watergate; specifically, he wrote, in part: “On a 10 scale of Armageddon for our form of government, I would put Watergate at a 9. This Russia scandal is currently somewhere around a 5 or 6, in my opinion, but it is cascading in intensity seemingly by the hour. And we may look back and see, in the end, that it is at least as big as Watergate. It may become the measure by which all future scandals are judged.”)

“President” Pussygrabber’s shit storm of a tweet storm lambasting, among others, the supposedly “failing” New York Times and Washington Post (which aren’t “failing,” of course, but are growing, ironically in large part because of Pussygrabber and his non-stop bullshit) only bolsters the Times’ case; the pathologically lying fascists who comprise the Repugnican Tea Party always encourage us commoners to ignore the message and to shoot the messengers, as this is the best possible outcome for them.

(In his uber-presidential tweet storm, Pussygrabber, a noted media expert, also oh-so-helpfully noted that while MSNBC and CNN are “unwatchable,” “Fox & Friends” “is great!” [“Fox,” of course, is just short for “the fox guarding the hen house”].)

In a nutshell, yesterday the Times reported that during regular surveillance of Russian intelligence operatives (which not only is routine and very apparently very necessary, but is legal by U.S. law), U.S. intelligence operatives and law-enforcement officials discovered that several members of Team Pussygrabber, in the year before the 2016 presidential election, “had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials.”

While the Times reporters make clear in their news story that right now they have no evidence of these members of Team Pussygrabber having coordinated illegal activities with Russian intelligence officials, or even knowingly having had contact with Russian intelligence officials, that the associates of a presidential candidate (knowingly or not) had sustained contact with a foreign (and, in this case, an enemy foreign) nation’s intelligence officers is a stunning revelation that at the bare minimum reveals deep incompetence, negligence and untrustworthiness if not proven illegality.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors, from the “president” on down, of course are focusing on the leaks to the media rather than on the substance of the leaks, but the leaks are necessary, because obviously the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party is not going to investigate itself. It has an obvious inherent conflict of interest.

When do the powers that be ever allow anything to threaten their grip on their own power?

Thus, leaks often (if not usually) are patriotic acts, especially when they reveal treasonous acts that otherwise never would come to life because the perpetrators and their aiders and abettors obviously are going to do everything within their power to prevent the knowledge of those treasonous acts from ever coming to light.

“President” Pussygrabber would much, much rather that we watch “Fox & Friends” than read The New York Times and The Washington Post.

I’ll stick with the Times and the Post, Mr. Pussygrabber, fuck you very much.*

*Again, it’s rather ironic that the “president” quite unintentionally greatly has helped the formerly struggling print media, whose services we need now more than ever.

I have subscribed to the Times online and I also read articles from the Post online daily. Both news outlets have been producing high-quality journalism for a while now.

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George McGovern’s death makes me yearn for real Democrats

George McGovern, War Critic Routed by Nixon in 1972

Getty Images

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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