Category Archives: 2016 Election

Inherent Bias

The Atlantic has an amazing story about the entrenched biases that affect peoples’ perceptions of the world, and how they are affected by political allegiance. Aptly titled “It’s Not About the Economy,” author Alana Semuels uses the northern Indiana town of Elkhart to illustrate how in this post-truth era, political tribalism affects our views more than economic realities:

Elkhart’s unemployment rate, which had reached a high of 22 percent in March of 2009, is now at 3.9 percent. Hiring signs dot the doors of the Wal-Mart, the McDonald’s, and the Long John Silver’s. The RV industry makes 65 percent of its vehicles in Elkhart, and the industry is producing a record number of vehicles, which is creating a lot of jobs in this frosty town in northern Indiana.

Despite this good economic and jobs news, Elkhart voters don’t credit President Obama or the Democrats. Not only do they think the economy improved in spite of, not because of, Obama, they also blame Obama for things he didn’t do, or don’t give him credit for things that he did. It basically boils down to this: people in Elkhart, IN don’t like Democrats, period, and nothing will change that:

These biases are only increasing as the country becomes increasingly polarized. As people become increasingly loyal to their parties, they are unlikely to give leaders from the other party credit for much of anything positive. Both sides are instead more likely to believe narratives that suggest that the other party has only made things worse.

“People’s predispositions affect their factual beliefs about the world,” said Brendan Nyhan, a professor of government at Dartmouth College who has researched why people believe what they do about politics. “What we want to be true influences what we believe to be true.”

Indeed, as the economy began improving, Elkhart voters grew less likely to support Democratic candidates for president. Obama won 44 percent of the vote in Elkhart County in 2008, 36 percent in 2012, and Clinton received just 31 percent in 2016.

Thanks, hate radio and Fox News! Really, this has to be the Fox Effect, more than anything. (And yes, it works the other way, too. Democrats generally won’t credit Republicans with doing anything right, either. Although we do embrace conservative policies, and hullo, who ever thought Democrats would fight to the death to support a Republican healthcare plan?)

Check out these reasons why people in Elkhart don’t like President Obama:

Ed Neufeldt, whose daughter and two son-in-laws now work in the RV industry after losing their jobs in it during the recession, told me he thought Obama was responsible for improving the economy in Elkhart, but that he still didn’t like the president because of his stance on abortion.

Okay, I can buy that. I don’t agree with it, but at least it’s an actual policy disagreement. For the record, Ed Neufelt was the only person Semuels spoke with who credited Obama with improving the economy. But he found another reason not to like him. Funny how that works.

And then there’s this:

Brandon Stanley owns a bar in Elkhart. He says he’s optimistic that the economy is improving now that Republicans have regained power, but emphasizes that there are still a host of economic problems that haven’t been solved in Elkhart. As for the shrinking unemployment rate in Elkhart, “they changed how they report unemployment numbers,” he told me, so they’re not believable.

Ah, the “damn lies” contingent. When the facts are in opposition to your preconceived political bias, the facts must be wrong. For the record, I remember a version of this among liberals during the Bush years: yes, unemployment numbers were at a certain rate, the popular talking point went, but it didn’t reflect those who had “given up looking for a job.” I’m quite certain I repeated that line myself, and it may or may not have been true at the time. I now hear that same line repeated by Republicans in regards to current unemployment numbers. And thanks to the internet, it’s really easy to find links bolstering whatever argument you want to make.

Now let’s meet another Elkhart resident with some really good reasons for hating Obama:

Andi Ermes, 39, offered a number of reasons for disliking Obama. She said Obama didn’t attend the Army-Navy football game, even though other presidents had. Obama has actually attended more Army-Navy games than George H.W. Bush. She said that he had taken too many vacations. He has taken fewer vacation days than George W. Bush. She also said that he refused to wear a flag pin on his lapel. While it is true that Obama did not wear a flag on his lapel at points during the 2007 campaign, it was back on his suit by 2008. Ermes told me the news sources she consumes most are Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and a local conservative radio show hosted by Casey Hendrickson.

What did I say about hate radio and Fox News? This is particularly stupid because, really, who gives a shit if someone wears a flag pin or not? And it just goes to show, there’s nothing a Democrat can do to earn the votes of the brainwashed. Just as there was literally nothing Donald Trump could do that would lose the allegiance of these same brainwashed folks. As long as you have that “R” behind your name and spout the same stupid approved points, you are golden with these folks.

I’m not sure what the solution to this is. It all seems part of a larger social and demographic unraveling. I also wonder how uniquely American this is. Other countries have the internet, fake news, partisan news media and biased columnists. Has the poison of hyperpartisanship affected Canada, Australia and the UK? Do people blindly not accept facts that challenge their preconceived worldviews in France and India and China?

If living in a cocoon of ignorance is more palatable than moving one’s biases one inch to the right or left, we are all truly doomed.

6 Comments

Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, economy, unemployment

America, You Break My Heart

Meet Your New First Lady

Meet Your New First Lady

I don’t think I can stomach all of the think pieces about “economic anxiety” and “demographics” and “the anti-establishment vote” and all the other bullshit punditry we’re going to see over the next few days.

No. Just shut up. Shut up about all of that. Here are the facts:

1- Republicans control all three branches of government now. The last time that happened we got two wars, a record high budget deficit, a crashed economy, and a government so inept that it let one of this country’s greatest cities drown. So congratulations, America. You bought it, you own it.

2- It’s not a vote against the “establishment” when you send the same assholes back to Congress. See item 1.

Seriously, shut up about that. I saw a Trump supporter on TV last night say she wanted to “drain the swamp.” It’s not “draining the swamp” when virtually the same swampthings are headed back to D.C., except now with an authoritarian Putin wannabe at the helm. You’ve basically turbo-charged the swamp.

I mean, come on. They sent John fucking McCain back to Washington, you guys. John McCain was first elected to Congress in 1982. He’s been in Congress for 34 years. You don’t get more establishment than that.

3- Racsim is a real thing and it’s stronger than you know. Please stop denying the deep, rotting undercurrent of racism in this country just because we got two terms of a black president. Here’s a fact: America’s first president to follow its first African-American president was sued for discrimination and endorsed by White Nationalists. Last night’s vote was a vote about white fear. Own it.

Republican racism is now mainstream, has been for a long time. When Chief Justice John Roberts gutted the Voting Rights Act, states like North Carolina wasted no time enacting new policies that targeted people of color. This was craven, political opportunism, and it targeted voters of color. It targeted black people. That is the literal definition of racism.

4- Third parties were spoilers. Again. They always are, people. What have I been saying? We have a two-party system. That’s reality. Don’t like it? Move to fucking Britain where they have a Parliament. We don’t have one, so learn to count. Option one is the Republican candidate. Option two is the Democratic candidate. That’s it, folks. There is no third option.

I’m talking to every single one of you people intelligent enough to see that a President Trump would be a disaster. Yes, you folks on both the right and left: if you failed to vote for the only viable alternative to Trump, then you can go fuck yourselves. Yes, fuck you Susan Sarandon, Viggo Mortensen, Sen. Lindsey Graham, friends of this blog, and my own financial advisor down in Brentwood, Tennessee, who said he was voting for Gary Johnson because he wanted to “shake things up.” You voted for these people, even though Gary Johnson is a blubbering idiot who knows nothing, and even though Jill Stein, aka Tofu Palin, is an equally incompetent nincompoop who pops up every four years like a bad case of herpes. And in so doing, you elected Donald Trump. If you cast your vote for these people, you own the results.

I especially want to give a stiff middle finger to the folks who voted for Gary Johnson or Evan McMullin and voted to send their Republican Congress critters back to Washington (See Item 2). You basically cancelled out your “vote against the establishment” by empowering this idiot with a full Republican majority.

4- The Fourth Estate is dead. The American institution known as the news media has failed. It failed by promoting candidate Trump, promoting a bullshit Clinton email story, and filling the airwaves with behind-the-curtain “process stories.” Instead of informing the American people, they talked about the horse race (is feature not bug, I know, I know). Sorry, Steve Kornacki, but when MSNBC put you in front of your little map to do your mathematical jujitsu, it was a waste of everyone’s time. We don’t need to know the finer points of electoral math, demographic shifts, and turnout comparisons to 2008 and 2012. We need to know what it means if a President Trump renegs on our NATO obligations. We need to know what will happen if our trade agreements are suddenly null and void.

And another thing: news media, you spread fear and promote racism. You know you do. It can’t be a coincidence that Scott Michael Greene’s name has virtually disappeared from the papers; if he’d been Abdullah Mohammed we’d still be talking about him.

5- Evangelical Christianity, now with extra hypocrisy. Seriously, nothing screams religion is dead louder than a guy as morally repulsive as Donald Trump grabbing the vote of the Jesus people. You are completely dead to me.

6- Our system is broken. For the second time in the modern era, it appears the Democrat won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote. And it went so well last time, didn’t it? (Again, see Item 1.) This is the kind of thing that would have had Donald Trump calling for revolution and lawyers and Second Amendment Solutions had the shoe been on the other foot. So no, Republicans, you do not have a mandate, what you have is a broken system you were able to manipulate.

I really fear for this country. I fear for my students, who have names like Ahmed and Mohammed, who are black and Muslim and come from war-torn places like Syria. I fear for the people I know who are Hispanic. I fear for my gay-married friends. The few bright spots — legal cannabis in California, Massachusetts and Nevada — cannot overcome the seriously bad news that yesterday brought. Because what America did yesterday was endorse hate, racism, bigotry, and intolerance. We said that it’s okay to hate your neighbor. And that is not my America.

39 Comments

Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, racism, right-wing hate

There’s No Downside To Doing The Right Thing

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing”

[UPDATE]:

Drip drip drip ….

One team managed Emily West, a budding musician who later appeared on “America’s Got Talent.” The other managed Luke Bryan, a country singer and songwriter who has gone on to notable success.

During the boardroom session that decided which team did the better job transforming its artist, Trump turned the conversation sharply ― and at times, uncomfortably ― to West’s physical appearance, specifically her skin.

“I assume you’re gonna leave this off, don’t put this shit on the show, you know. But her skin, her skin sucks, okay?” he says, according to the transcript. “I mean her skin, she needs some serious fuckin’ dermatology.”

Mild, compared to “pussy-grabbing,” but I assume this is just the start …

———————————————————-

That Donald Trump is a repulsive, sexist bigot has been the worst-kept secret in media and entertainment circles for years. Everyone who has ever worked with him or been around him has known this. I’ve heard stories from my industry friends of things Trump has said to female entertainers at awards shows, charity events and the like. Things that reveal who he is: a man who sees women as objects, not human beings.

It’s long past time for these people to come forward. Because it’s one thing when you’re talking about a skeevy TV star (paging Bill Cosby!). It’s quite another when that person is seeking elected office — and not just any elected office, but the highest office in the land. He wants to be President of the United States, you guys. This shit’s important. It actually matters.

And to be fair, women have come forward, actually. But they aren’t “names,” they haven’t received traction in the media. We’re now starting to see a trickle of reports make it onto the airwaves, but I just have to wonder why this hasn’t happened already?

A big reason, of course, is how women are treated when they come forward with stories of sexual assault. We’re called liars, sluts, gold-diggers, accused of looking for a payoff. But now that we have Trump bragging about how fame allows him to assault women, maybe more will come forward.

There’s plenty of evidence out there on video, too. The story is that there are “Apprentice” outtakes in which Trump uses the “n” word, and worse. Because TV producer Mark Burnett owns “The Apprentice,” leaking this video could result in costly litigation. Now that a Clinton supporter has perhaps offered to pay those fees, we might actually see that video. We need a whistleblower to put the final nail in Donald Trump’s sad, delusional, despicable campaign.

Because the sad truth is, America doesn’t believe anything unless they actually see it on TV. Someone can tell you Donald Trump pulled you into a bedroom and tried to rape you, but in modern America where we have to “check the kerning” on everything, we are a nation of skeptics.

Women describing sexual assault in particular are viewed with doubt, anyway. So I get why it’s hard. I get why there’s reluctance. But now is not the time to be squeamish. Now is the time to be brave. The fate of the republic is literally at stake.

1 Comment

Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump, media

I Don’t Feel Sorry For The Crazy Party

This election just reached Defcon Crazy. I don’t even know what to think, except that I don’t see how Donald Trump can stay in the race at this point. But on the other hand, he’s such a stubborn narcissist, and his supporters are so crazy themselves, I don’t see how he can drop out.

Republicans are in a fine pickle, my friends. Trump is bleeding “elites” — Hugh Hewitt, Mike Crapo, John Thune, Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, etc. etc. have all withdrawn support. The RNC has reportedly halted its Victory Project activities. Paul Ryan disinvited Trump from a rally today.

But Trump is standing firm, in interviews and on Twitter:

trump

And his ardent supporters are standing behind him. Paul Ryan was booed and heckled by Trump supporters at his rally today — the one he’d disinvited the candidate from:

Defiant Trump supporters voiced their frustration at Ryan and other Republicans who spoke at the county fairgrounds in front of two large American flags, rows of pumpkins and stacks of straw. Ryan — who said Friday he was “sickened” by Trump’s words — was heckled with shouts of “Shame on you!” and “You turned your backs on us!”

(By the way, has anyone checked on Ted Cruz? Seems like just yesterday he was endorsing Trump. He’s gotta be kicking himself now.)

Trump has people who love him precisely because he’s a boor and a pig and a bigot, not despite. These are the people who are cheering the candidate on now (note the 57k “likes” on that Tweet as of 2:40 pm today, a number which had grown to 62k as of 7:40 pm). That chorus of fans is all his ego needs to convince him to stay in the race. And will the RNC make that impossible by withdrawing financial support, GOTV assistance, etc? I don’t see how, especially as they have down-ticket races they are desperate to win. Replacing Trump on the ticket seems increasingly impossible, and by the way: how hypocritical is it that just yesterday Republicans told us they couldn’t extend voter registration a day because of a hurricane, but now some want to scrap the entire ticket (or at least half of it)? Puh-leeze!

Sorry, Republicans, but you own this one. No, actually, not sorry. Not sorry at all. You had ample evidence that Donald Trump was unfit for office, a sleaze and a bigot and someone who would definitely cause problems for you as the nominee. To your party’s credit, some of you actually realized this early on. Kudos to the #NeverTrump crowd who showed some spine.

Too many conservatives didn’t (and still don’t). I especially love those phony Christians like Tony Perkins, who would rather support a man who brags about how he can grab a woman’s crotch because he’s famous, than the Democrat, because,

[…] Christians “are left with a choice of voting for the one who will do the least damage to our freedoms.”

Yeah, nothing screams “freedom” like having your privates mauled by a famous guy. Let’s empower this perv by making him president! But I digress.

We’ve known Trump is repulsive for months. We’ve seen the evidence. We heard him say despicable things about Mexicans, Latinos, people of color, Muslims, atheists, you name it. We’ve seen the lawsuits. The New York Times wrote about his refusal to rent to African Americans. The Los Angeles Times wrote about how he wanted to fire unattractive women. We heard what he said about Miss Universe. None of this is new, guys. Somehow seeing it on video is more powerful, I get it. And so maybe this is the last straw. But I don’t see an out here for anyone on the right. Just take your lumps, lose the election, and for God’s sake, try to figure out how you fucked up and gave the big prize away to a despicable turd like Donald Trump.

10 Comments

Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump

Mas Tacos!

Hey Democrats! Are you ready to turn Election Day 2016 into Taco Tuesday? I think we are!

Ever since Latinos For Trump founder Marco Gutierrez made his bizarre statement about taco trucks on every corner if we don’t do something, now!, Democrats have had a good time trolling this weird bit of fearmongering. I mean, I’m so old, I remember when Republicans fearmongered about mushroom clouds and duct tape & plastic sheeting. Now it’s taco trucks and lesbian farmers? Guys, you aren’t even trying anymore!

Not long after the taco truck comment, Hillary Clinton Tweeted this photo:

Hillary

Then came the Denver Democrats, who set up a taco truck outside Trump’s Denver campaign HQ, where they registered voters:

Denver

Then the Arizona Democrats hosted a taco truck outside their Phoenix office today and mocked the Republicans with this sign:

636084313534419147-IMG-0343

And in Detroit, the owners of Tacos el Caballo parked their taco truck outside the church where Donald Trump did his “black outreach” today, where they did brisk business:

-361e8ef0ce02107c

Ah, the eternal joy of the Trump Surrogate. The gift that keeps on giving!

I, for one, welcome our taco truck overlords. So if this is the Republican dystopian future, bring it on! There is a taco truck right outside my workplace (yes, on a corner, why do you ask?) and I have enjoyed delicious chicken tacos for a mere $2 and a wonderful, cane sugar Mexican Coke on more than one occasion. But while it’s fine to laugh about this, I must say, I’m very disturbed by Gutierrez’s comment. Because what he said, his entire comment, was this:

My culture is a very dominant culture, and it’s imposing, and it’s causing problems. If you don’t do something about it, you’re going to have taco trucks on every corner.”

Let that one sink in for a minute. He’s saying the problem is the Latino culture, and uses food as an example of that. He’s not talking about jobs, or crime, or “free stuff,” any of the other bullshit arguments people like Donald Trump have used to justify their hard-line attitude toward immigrants, documented or otherwise. He says the problem is his culture.

How fucked up is that? Every wave of immigrants to these shores has brought their native culture with them and in the process of assimilation, enriched American life. We have Christmas trees because of German and Scandinavian immigrants. We have spaghetti suppers and St. Patrick’s Day because of the Italians and Irish. We have salsa dancing because of the South Americans and Cubans. We have the blues and jazz and Creole food and quilting and a hundred other wonderful things because of African culture. Chinese and Japanese food are incredibly popular in the U.S. Etc. etc. etc. And that’s just the obvious stuff.

The idea that someone would be so self-hating as to say the problem is their culture just boggles the mind.

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Filed under 2016 Election

A New Generation Of Dirty Tricksters

Looks like we have another James O’Keefe wannabe:

The young volunteer seemed like any other when she stepped out of her white pickup and into a campaign field office for Russ Feingold’s Senate campaign in Wisconsin on Monday. She said she was a recent transplant from Minnesota, where she claimed she had done phone-banking for Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken. She later declared an interest in women’s health, the environment, and labor issues. On a nondisclosure agreement with the campaign, the blonde woman signed her name as “Allison Moss,” and pledged not to share the campaign’s proprietary data and confidential information private.

But when the Feingold campaign tried to vet its latest recruit—standard practice in the age of opposition research—they could find no record of an ‘Allison Moss.’ A Facebook search revealed an account created days before. Her phone number was registered with a New York area code. Her photo matched those of an activist, Allison Maass, caught last year trying to infiltrate the offices of the Hillary Clinton campaign in Iowa.

“I really like, like, women’s health, the environment, that’s something that I’m passionate about,” ‘Moss’ told a campaign staffer when interviewed about her political interests when she returned to the offices Tuesday. “I know in Wisconsin, it’s a big thing, like, union rights, worker’s rights, it’s such a big thing and something that it’s like sad that people in Wisconsin have to fight for stuff like that but Scott Walker has made it just so hard for them.”

Turns out Allison Maass is part of a right-wing ratfucking group called Campus Reform:

AllisonMaass

Campus Reform is itself an education-oriented offshoot of the right-wing Leadership Institute, the same conservative mill which produced James O’Keefe.

The conservative hydra has so many tentacles, all trying to influence public opinion and manipulate the media. I find it almost funny. Here are some of Allison Maass’ “hot scoops” when she wrote for Campus Reform: “SCSU philosophy professor charged with smuggling rhino horns and elephant ivory,” “U of M Duluth adds LGBTQ minor, gender-inclusive housing,” “Univ. of Minnesota hosts golden condom scavenger hunt,” and”Students protest Redskins name, call fans ‘bigots’ at Sunday’s game.” Oooooh! Seriously?

I can’t imagine what she hoped to find at the campaign offices of Russ Feingold. Artisanal muffins in the break room? Failure to recycle the copy paper? Or perhaps she planned to secretly record a staff meeting, where someone suggested something stupid (as often happens in staff meetings). The idea, no doubt, being to “win the morning” by broadcasting someone’s boneheaded idea to use a candidates’ religion or lack of religion against them in a supreme “gotcha” moment. /eyeroll

I really don’t get these tactics. Seems to require a lot of investment for very little return. And hey, it’s not as if campaigns haven’t figured out that they’re being targeted. Gosh, I’m so old, I remember when dirty tricks extended to dumping bogus “campaign flyers” in the trash, and then pretending to be shocked when they’re “found.” Or dressing your son up as a “union thug” who “snatches” a campaign sign from your little girl, who then turns on the waterworks for the cameras.

Aren’t we all a little too savvy for this nonsense these days?

5 Comments

Filed under 2016 Election, conservatives

Why The Berners Are Wrong

There’s been a long discussion about Bernie v Hillary in the “This Is Just Sad” comment thread, and while I’m sure everyone is sick of the conversation, this is my blog, so I get to have the last word. Tee hee.

Bernie has obviously lost the nomination, but there are still some true believers out there, the folks I call the Stalwarts. Most of those, I maintain, are people who never intended to vote for Hillary anyway and probably never will. They call themselves #NeverHillary for a reason. Alrighty, then. I really don’t see the need to play nice and give Bernie all sorts of concessions and basically coax and coddle the Stalwarts along. They call themselves #BernieorBust for a reason, too.

But here’s where I get to tell those folks why they’re wrong.

I’ve seen the Berner arguments against Hillary here, there, and everywhere. It’s all the same exact stuff, verbatim, whether it’s on my blog, on Bernie Twitter or in Facebook groups. So, let’s unpack this, shall we?

The Stalwarts’ main arguments come down to three basic things:

1) Hillary is corrupt/a corporate puppet/Wall Street whore;
2) The system is corrupt and only a “non-establishment” person can overhaul it;
3) I live in a Red State so my vote doesn’t matter anyway, so I’ll lodge a protest vote.

These are the most common arguments; I know there are others. Some Stalwarts may have a pet issue they deeply care about — Keystone XL, pensions, Wall Street reform, Israel, etc. If you are one of those people, then you do not want to vote for Bernie. You want Bernie in the Senate where that stuff actually gets addressed. I would maintain that Bernie has a very poor record of accomplishment during his tenure in Congress, but YMMV. The point is, Congress makes the laws and holds the purse strings. Not the White House.

Let’s look at the other arguments.

• Hillary the corrupt/puppet/whore. Facts not in evidence. And can we please stop calling powerful women “whores”? That is some sexist shit, and it needs to stop. Now.

These are the same Republican arguments I’ve been hearing for decades. I find it really amusing that people who call themselves left-wingers are so eager to parrot Breitbart/Broadside Books when it suits their needs. But I’m not surprised. The right-wing has turned hating the Clintons into a cottage industry for over 20 years. Remember “what will we tell the children?” This is what they told the children: the Clintons are sleazy, corrupt, whores, thieves, yada yada. This is how the conservative machine delegitimizes successful Democrats. I eagerly anticipate the coming smear campaign against Barack and Michelle Obama. God forbid either of them should aspire to achieve anything beyond the White House, right? Gotta poison that legacy.

Many of the Stalwarts were in grade school during the Clinton impeachment hearings. They internalized this messaging without even realizing it; it was fed to them with their morning Fruit Loops. So they drank the right-wing Kool-aid without even being aware of it. No wonder.

(Let me say: I am relishing how all of the main players from the impeachment days have finally gotten their come-uppances. The Clintons, however, have done just fine. Interesting, that.)

• The system is corrupt and we need a “non-establishment” person to overhaul it. Ah yes, this is a very popular talking point among the Stalwarts. After all, “I voted for hope and change and all I got was the same old stuff.”

Well, that’s not EXACTLY true, we did get the biggest advance on healthcare coverage in my lifetime. Obamacare has actually saved lives. We also got marriage equality for my gay and lesbian friends. We got pulled out of the worst economic depression in my lifetime. We got a lot of stuff: a changed relationship with Cuba, a deal with Iran, etc.

But if you’re one of these purity trolls who thinks that wasn’t good enough, that it was only half an enchilada not the whole enchilada, then pay attention: Obama ran for president because he wanted to change the way business was done in Washington. That was the big theme of the 2008 campaign. And he failed. He concedes that he failed. He promised what he could not deliver. And Bernie, too, will fail at this.

A big reason why is because the damn young people failed to show up to vote in 2010. Until the whiners and complainers remember that change happens when people show up to vote IN EVERY ELECTION, not just every 4 years, they will always be disappointed and change will always be a pipe dream.

The other reason is that these are deeply entrenched, long-established systems and institutions. Changing them will take a long, long, long time. No one candidate, no one president, no one election will do that. Change happens slowly and incrementally. That is reality on earth. Your not liking it doesn’t make it any less true. Take it from an old person who knows.

But the main point is, if you were disillusioned by Obama because reality didn’t match up to the campaign promises, then you would be extremely disappointed in Bernie. He cannot deliver on his promises. Obama couldn’t, and he can’t, either.

• I can lodge a protest vote because I live in a Red State. Just, no. Oh, how tired I am tired of hearing that. Yes, my state is deep red, but every vote still matters. Excuse me for pointing this out, but Donald fucking Trump is the Republican candidate, in case you hadn’t noticed. The Republican Party’s weakest, most divisive candidate in a generation. Republicans are fleeing the “look at my African American over there!” guy like rats off a sinking ship (a tired metaphor but unfortunately apt).

Trump is poised to give the Republican Party its final shiv, something which has been coming since the disastrous W presidency. This is an electoral game-changer, and there’s no doubt that some Red States could turn Blue this time around. Et tu, Utah?

This is truly unprecedented. The fractured Republican party has handed Democrats a big opportunity. Anyone who thinks they have the luxury of a protest vote at a time when any state could flip is a selfish idiot that I have no time for. Also, too, those “Clinton is the same as Trump” people. That is too stupid for words. If that is what you think, then crack a book sometime. Maybe read up on what happened in 2000 when 500 Stalwarts could have kept George W. Bush out of the White House.

So yes, I am right and you’re wrong. It’s my blog after all. 🙂 Also, I’m going to be super busy the next week or two so this may be my last post for a while. Thought I’d make it a meaty one.

13 Comments

Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton

Berning Down The House

What to do with a problem like Bernie? He has no chance of winning the nomination and yet he keeps telling his supporters otherwise. There is no “Bernie Sanders movement,” just the same wealthy, white liberal arts college elites and Hollywood lefties who have always represented the ideological far-left.

He and his surrogates are ginning up resentment and discord on the left, stoking those ideological fires that have unfortunately refused to spark a revolution. But still they won’t quit. They are increasingly resembling a cult, a dangerous and creepy one.

Why? Because the purpose of Bernie Sanders’ campaign is not to elect Bernie president. The purpose is to tear the Democratic Party down to its studs so it can be rebuilt in their Socialist image.

Jamelle Bouie nailed it months ago when he astutely observed that Hillary Clinton is running to lead the Democratic Party while Bernie Sanders is running to remake it.

And I hate to break to the DNC but no, “seats on a key convention platform committee” are not going to make these people happy. Nothing short of a complete overhaul of the Democratic Party back to what they see as its “New Deal ideals” will suffice. Bernie doesn’t want to be president so much as he wants to burn down the house.

I’m not sure this is the way to do that. I’m not sure death threats and lost elections are going to accomplish that goal. But keep dreaming, Berners.

14 Comments

Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, Democratic Party

It’s Always About Disaffected White People

The same disaffected white people who listen to Rush Liumbaugh and rail against “political correctness” are flocking to Donald Trump and his promise to “Make America Great Again.” Problem is, America has always been great … for them:

Which America is he promising to us? If you ask his supporters, they say life has gotten worse for people like them over the last 50 years. It seems safe to assume that, in the eyes of Mr. Trump’s overwhelmingly white male fans, America was greater a half-century ago. Indeed, it was pretty great — for them.

It’s not just that factory jobs were more plentiful or that women and minorities were largely kept from positions of power. Large national programs that radically changed the country kept America great specifically for white men. New Deal-era systems like Social Security and unemployment insurance; rules that demarcated minimum wages and maximum work hours and protected unionization; and the G.I. Bill at the end of World War II substantially transformed the country and created a booming middle class. But they all purposefully left out most women and minorities.

It’s a little-remembered fact that the social safety net, that product of the Great Depression, initially was available primarily to white working-class men. Social Security excluded domestic and agricultural workers until the 1950s — jobs held largely by people of color and women. Ditto unemployment insurance and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Gays and lesbians, excluded from the right to marry until last year, of course were denied all of the legal benefits of such contracts: inheritance, property settlement in divorce, insurance benefits, Social Security spousal benefits, etc.

So yes, America has always been great for white men. Particularly straight white men. And these are the folks whining that America isn’t great anymore because they have to share their piece of the pie after 240 years? Get the fuck outta here.

I know this isn’t any groundbreaking news to liberals. I’m just really happy to see the paper of record acknowledge what’s really going on with this “Make America Great Again” nonsense. I’ve heard far too much about “wage stagnation” and “income inequality” as if it’s really economics driving the rise of Trumpism. I don’t think that’s it at all. I think it’s the same old shit that it’s always been: loss of white privilege. The news media seems awfully loathe to call out the racism in our electorate, as if it’s impolite to call things what they are. But there you have it.

Here’s something else I learned: watching one of the weekend MSNBC shows, I learned the last Democratic president to receive the majority of the white vote was Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Gee, now what happened in 1964? Thinking … thinking

From a presidential perspective, that doesn’t seem to matter: we’ve had several Democratic presidents who managed to get elected without white peoples’ votes. Here’s a nice little run-down. We even managed to have majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate during that time period. So I’m really not too worried about my party losing white voters. If all they want to do is whine about how they have to share their toys, well, let the Republicans have them.

At some point this is all going to change, though. The generation that remembers when they owned the playground is going to die off and a new generation will take over. These will be people who grew up at a time when everyone played together; they weren’t alive at a time when others suddenly got the same rights and privileges they’d been enjoying for decades. That all happened long before they were born. It will be interesting to see what America is like when that happens.

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Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump, feminism, GLBT, racism

IOKIYAR: Donald Trump Has A Fucking Butler, You Guys

Donald Trump’s former butler is apparently a racist sack of shit. That’s about par for the course. But, you know, setting aside for a moment that he’s a despicable racist, can we talk for a second about how Donald Trump has a fucking butler?

Sorry, but I’m so old, I remember when John Kerry was mocked as an out of touch elitist for windsurfing and drinking green tea. Joe Biden’s great sin was wearing French cuffs on his shirts. Obama doesn’t connect because he wouldn’t eat at Applebee’s and then there was that weird Dijon mustard on the burger imbroglio.

Donald Trump has a fucking butler, you guys. How do our glorious pundits and political observers of all political stripes disqualify Democrats as being “out of touch” for French cuffs, Dijon mustard and windsurfing, but Donald Trump has a fucking butler, you guys and he’s still a “populist” candidate?

IOKIYAR.

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Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump