Tag Archives: Democratic Party

How Democrats Can Work With Trump

First, how not to work with Donald Trump:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced she will vote for 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

[…]

This vote does not diminish how disturbed I am by what Republicans did to Judge Garland.

Yes, actually, it does. It says you are 100% fine with the craven Republican gamesmanship that denied the last Democratic president his Supreme Court pick. It tells Republicans there are no consequences, only rewards, for such despicable acts. No matter how much you explain that you are outraged by what Republicans did to Merrick Garland (and she goes on for an entire paragraph reaffirming this dismay) you are signaling your approval of that action. Because even though you say,

There isn’t a perfect judge.

… this isn’t about the judge. It’s about the process. The process cannot be allowed to be corrupted. So when you say,

Regardless of which party is in the White House, the U.S. Supreme Court should be above politics.

…. please understand, you are negating those very words by voting for this nominee, any nominee, save Merrick Garland.

So, that’s how not to work with Donald Trump. But is there a way Democrats can work with him? Maybe. Because there’s a whiff of desperation in the air. Stories like this one are appearing with increasing frequency. Trump’s approval ratings are lower than Obama’s ever were in 8 years. Trump wants — no, needs — a win. Not “needs” in the political sense, but “needs” in the psychological sense. His ego demands it. As Tony Robbins observed (correctly, in my opinion):

We were discussing false confidence, and you’ve sat down with Trump, so how would you characterize his level of narcissism? It does seem like its born out of deep insecurity.

It is. His entire life is “you win or you’re nobody.” You’re seen and known. Even if people don’t like you, though he’d prefer to be liked, people will know how you are and respect you. That mentality is a ‘40s/’50s subset that some people have that he was brought up with, and it is him. The level of obsession that he has about the media coverage he gets—if you go to his offices he’s got a room stacked with magazines of everything he’s ever done. I know it sounds absurd, but I feel for the guy in that at any moment, his entire identity can disappear if enough people are upset with him. I hope that he’ll eventually adjust to a CEO mentality and be in a position where he wants to succeed so badly that he’ll do something that’s worthwhile. We’ll see.

Trump needs a win. He started out siding with the extremist far right, but they’ve given him nothing but losses. Trump is now attacking the Tea Party “Freedom Caucus” publicly on Twitter. He’s pissed off. He blames them for his epic losing streak. And he’s sucking up to Democrats right now because if he couldn’t get his win from the right, he’ll try to get it from the left.

I know that makes a lot of people uneasy but please remember: Trump has no principles, no political ideology of any kind. His ideology is “Trump must win.” It’s really no more complicated or deep than that. I firmly believe that. This is a guy who has supported Planned Parenthood in the past. He once supported climate change action. He once supported salary caps on executives receiving bailout funds. He even once supported impeaching George W. Bush.

Trump is the quintessential fair weather president. He has no deeply held beliefs, no adherence to any ideology. He’ll attach himself to whichever side gives him a win. Can Democrats use this to get some wins of their own? Maybe. It’s worth a try. Hell, if things get bad enough, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump didn’t come on board for single payer healthcare, as long as they called it TrumpCare! Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but the point is, Trump is desperate for a win, holds no political allegiances, and will work with whomever can give him a win. I can easily see Trump ditching the far-right policies Paul Ryan foisted on him and swinging back left. Not only do I see it happening, I could almost bank on it.

Even better, if Trump started working with the Democrats, how fast would House Republicans move to impeach him? The mind boggles.

Something to think about it and discuss.

39 Comments

Filed under Democratic Party, Donald Trump

You Had One Job, Democrats

I cannot tell you how furious I am to see headlines that use the words “Neil Gorsuch” and “confirmation hearings” in the same sentence.

Neil Gorsuch is getting confirmation hearings that Republicans despicably denied Merrick Garland. That is a fact, and Gorsuch’s nomination is illegitimate. His confirmation will be illegitimate and, if seated, his tenure on the court will be illegitimate. As David Faris wrote,

Gorsuch’s seat was stolen by a craven act of democratic sabotage, and he will always be sitting in a chair reserved for the nominee of a Democratic president. He is illegitimate today, and he will be illegitimate 20 years from now. The fact that he is willing to accept a stolen Supreme Court seat does not speak well of his underlying character. Nicking a Supreme Court seat is not a victimless crime.

Gorsuch is happy to steal a Supreme Court seat. That makes him a thief, and a liar, and a craven political douche canoe who is not worthy of a lifetime appointment on the nation’s highest court. And anyone normalizing this process as if what we all know happened didn’t happen needs to be seriously checked. That goes for every media person and every member of the U.S. Senate pretending Gorsuch deserves to have this hearing. He doesn’t.

So I don’t want to hear about Neil Gorsuch. I don’t care if he’s a brilliant legal mind or a nincompoop. He does not deserve to be there. Period.

I don’t care that he’s a mysogynist who believes women “manipulate” maternity leave. I don’t care that he’s praised voter suppression or hates the environment. I do not give a rat’s ass as to whether he loves his wife or if he supports an independent judiciary.

This seat is not his to fill. The seat belonged to the person President Barack Obama nominated to fill it, before the Republicans invented some fake “rule” about not filling seats in election years. That rule does not exist, no matter who tried to pretend otherwise. Everybody knows it and anyone who says otherwise is lying.

And how the fuck did this happen, Democrats? Who dropped the ball here? We have been saying since the damn 2000 election that the Supreme Court is everything. So how did everyone just fall in line and act like, “Oh, okay, it’s an election year, got it.” How in the living hell did this happen?

What was it? Was it that Democrats were so sure Hillary was going to win that they didn’t want to get dirty fighting this battle? Is that it? What was the thinking here? Did the pending election take all of the air out of the room?

WHAT HAPPENED?

And where were our allies? Where was the Human Rights Campaign, MoveOn.org, the Center for American Progress, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and everyone else who is constantly badgering me for money? The Supreme Court is the most important thing in every one of your begging emails yet not one of you people fought for Obama’s pick? Nobody ran an ad on cable news? No one thought to rally the troops, get people to sign petitions, call their members of congress, march on the capitol, none of it?

Words fail that the left dropped this ball. THE most important ball.

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Filed under Democratic Party, Supreme Court

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

The Problem With Bernie Sanders, v. 2

[UPDATE]:

This is a classic example of what I’m talking about when I say Bernie has “a problem.”

Would someone please explain to me what the fuck he’s talking about here? Sanders criticizes Obama for not having “presidential leadership” in “bringing millions and millions of people into the political process.”

But then in the next breath he admits that Obama “turned out more voters, particularly minorities, than ever before.”

So what exactly is his problem?

————————————————–

As I noted last month, my big problem with Bernie Sanders’ campaign is that his policies are impractical, unachievable, and unrealistic.

When presented with this idea, Bernie’s response has always been that he’s trying to start “a revolution.” The idea, as he explains it, is that with him leading the Democratic Party ticket, he’d bring so many new people and “people who have given up on the process” into the polls — and they’d all stay engaged, naturally, as opposed to the typical Democratic voter who seems to forget that elections are every single year, not every four years — and they’d all vote for downticket Dems, so that President Sanders would have big majorities in both houses of Congress, and that’s how he’d usher in his ambitious agenda. Medicare For All, free college tuition, breaking up the Wall Street institutions, all will sail through the House and Senate because of his “revolution.” Easy-peasy!

Not only does that defy electoral realities, it appears that’s not even what’s happening — at least, not yet. Those “people who have given up on the process”? Yeah, they still didn’t vote in New Hampshire on Tuesday:

Those who don’t vote tend to be younger and less educated, according to the Pew Research Center. More than half of those who sat out the election in 2012 had no more than a high-school diploma and less than $30,000 a year in household income.

Those are the people Sanders has to get to the polls if he hopes not only to win the Democratic nomination, but also to lead troops of the party’s congressional candidates to victory in the general election, establishing the legislative majority his agenda requires.

At least in New Hampshire, though, younger, poorer and less educated people did not turn out in disproportionate numbers for the Democratic primaries, according to exit polling data gathered on behalf of major television networks and the Associated Press in 2008 and on Tuesday.

Nineteen percent of Democratic primary voters — which, as it happens, can include independents under New Hampshire’s rules — in New Hampshire were less than 30 years old, just one percentage point more than in the state’s primary in 2008. Thirty-one percent had less than $50,000 a year in income, compared to 32 percent in 2008. And the share of primary voters without a college degree apparently declined from 46 percent in 2008 to 40 percent on Tuesday.

Not exactly the hoped-for “revolution,” is it? So, how did Bernie Sanders win in New Hampshire? He did so by successfully making his case to the same people who always vote in primaries: the Democratic base. What he did not do was bring in significant numbers of disillusioned, disenfranchised or “new” voters. In fact, he didn’t even increase voter turnout:

In fact, Sanders won by persuading many habitual Democratic primary voters to support him. With 95 percent of precincts reporting their results as of Wednesday morning, just 241,000 ballots had been cast in the Democratic primary, fewer than the 268,000 projected by New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner last week. Nearly 289,000 voters cast ballots in the state’s Democratic primary in 2008.

This is a bit of reality that the Bernie folks are not going to like. But in fact it’s actually really good news for their candidate: hey, he got Democratic voters on board! Yay! But what should be good news does not bode well for him in the general election, nor does it bode well for a successful Sanders presidency, were he to win the general election.

Yes, you want the base to support you. But Bernie Sanders has been telling us that he’s going to generate energy and excitement among the disillusioned voting constituency, and that ain’t happening yet. If there’s going to be a revolution, it had better start soon.

28 Comments

Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, Democratic Party, Democrats

Vote, Dammit!

There’s been lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth over yesterday’s election results, which put a Fundiegelical wackadoodle into the Kentucky governor’s office, denied transgender rights in Houston, and some other depressing news.

It seems this happens every time it’s not a presidential election year. And there’s a very good reason for that.

Democrats don’t vote in off-years. They just don’t. There may be a lot of good reasons for it — voter suppression, working three crap jobs, etc. etc. but the bottom line is, rank and file Democrats don’t think it’s important to vote in non-presidential elections. They’re not going the extra mile to overcome the obstacles like they do in presidential elections. They just don’t see it as a priority. The volunteers aren’t there, the motivation isn’t there, the energy isn’t there.

Republicans sweep every off-year election (I don’t know, feels like it, at least). Republicans run on amygdala-tweaking issues like gays and ‘bortions and fear and loathing and that gets people to the polls every time. Democrats don’t seem to do that; if they do, it doesn’t seem to resonate. Yesterday we did have one sparkle of good news: the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court. Seems to me people understood the importance of that vote and they made the effort.

This is a big problem for Democrats. It’s why we have Tea Party nutballs in Congress and state legislatures voting on Agenda 21 resolutions. Now thousands of Kentuckians could lose their health insurance as a result.

Democrats, you need to figure this out. Not too long ago Nashville had a very important General Election where we voted for a new mayor. Several of my gay friends, people in their early 30s, did not vote. They “didn’t have time.” Really what they were saying is, they didn’t make the time (although with a week of early voting in Nashville, there’s really no excuse for that). Among those running were a candidate who voted for a GLBT non-discrimination ordinance, and someone else who said they were against such things. You’d think that would have been sufficient motivation. Someone who supports your right to exist, versus those who do not. In fact, one of my gay friends said he supported Megan Barry but when I asked if he voted, the answer amazingly was no! That’s some support, folks.

People, with support like that, how can Democrats win?

Fortunately, Nashville’s mayoral election went into a runoff and I badgered my non-voting friends mercilessly until they went to the polls, and showed me “I Voted” stickers to prove it.

But you know, this is a problem for Dems nationwide. And we will continue to lose elections until we figure out how to impress upon our voters the importance of, you know, actually making the effort to vote.

It seems stupid and it is, but this is something the DNC and state and county parties really need to figure out. There needs to be a public education campaign, there needs to be a real grassroots effort, from the churches to the unions to neighborhood organizations and every other group to get people off their asses. Every election. Not just every four years but every year.

Elections are every year, people! And if you don’t vote in every election, you’re a bad person.

If we can’t figure this out, the rest is just pointless. We cannot succeed with a party that doesn’t care about anything but the White House.

13 Comments

Filed under Democratic Party, rants

The Grownups Take The Stage

Last night’s Democratic debate was notable for the contrast it provided to the Republican debates. The Republicans were a clown show of Trump bragging about his awesomeness and everyone promising ridiculous things like repealing Obamacare and making beautiful border walls, so beautiful you won’t even believe it! They were like little kids throwing their mashed potatoes at each other. The Democrats, meanwhile, were the grownups, talking about serious issues and offering serious ideas. Any of our candidates look far superior to the Republicans, in that context.

Which doesn’t mean we didn’t have our own comedians. Jim Webb didn’t belong on that stage, that was obvious: his constant complaining that he wasn’t getting enough time to speak made him look petulant and whiny. He spent the whole evening looking like his head was screwed on too tight. Lincoln Chaffee saying he voted to repeal Glass-Steagall because his father had just died was just, well, dumb.

The stars of the night were Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley. O’Malley is an unknown to a lot of folks right now and I think he presented himself really well. If you think he’s running for the VP slot, raise your hand.

{raises hand}

For my money, Hillary dominated the debate, hands down. She was definitely the most presidential, and was the most knowledgeable on foreign policy. She was poised and the most prepared, which makes sense since this isn’t her first rodeo.

Much as I may appreciate Sanders’ populism, I really got tired of him shouting at me about the 1% and the 99%. In fact, I just got tired of his shouting, period. He came off looking like a crank, though I think he had the line of the night when he told Clinton he was “tired of talking about your damn e-mails!” You and me both, Senator! When it comes to income inequality and wealth distribution, I think Elizabeth Warren’s approach is better. There’s a reasonable tone to her voice that I think is easier to take than Sanders’ overbearing shout-fests.

Just my opinion, but I think Hillary beat all the men. And everyone scored when they attacked the Republicans — something I hope we see more of in the next debate.

Thoughts?

14 Comments

Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, Democratic Party

RIP, TNDP

Meet the guy who just got elected chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

They just don’t get it, do they? And they’ll just keep losing. If the Tennessee Democratic Party is going to look like the Tennessee Republican Party I really see no reason to support them.

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Filed under Tennessee, Tennessee politics, TNDP

Big Dog

President Clinton’s speech last night was amazing and really, there’s not much more I can say than that. If you missed it or want to see it again, I’ve posted the video below.

One thing that annoys the hell out of me is the way our punditry has to do its “procedural voyeurism” crap, pull Oz’s curtain aside and talk about why Clinton gave the speech: to preserve Hillary’s 2016 ambitions, to preserve his own legacy, to protect “the brand,” blah blah. God, that is so condescending to American viewers! It’s like saying, “Hey you rubes, here’s what’s really going on, you were just too stupid to get it.” A big chunk of the post-speech chatter on cable news was like this. I wish there had been more focus on what Clinton actually said.

Sigh.

What’s really funny is seeing the full meltdown last night’s speech caused in the right-wing propaganda machine. Charles Krauthammer called it a “giant swing and miss,” and “sprawling, undisciplined and truly self-indulgent.” Bwak. Reason’s Nick Gillespie got very shrill with his “Screw Clinton” headline. American Thinker gave it a “meh,” “Nice Try,” they carped. I believe this is what we call the “shitting bricks” portion of the conservative discourse.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, Bill Clinton, Democratic Party

I Saw America

[UPDATE]:

Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be more focused on substantive issues but fuckit, I’m a girl: I totally loved Michelle Obama’s dress, I thought she rocked it and it’s an awesome design from an African American designer who let’s hope sees her career take off. FLOTUS got raves for the dress, too. As Rachel Zoe might say, FLOTUS “shut it down.”

———————————

Wow. The opening night of the Democratic National Convention was transformative. Deval Patrick, Julian Castro and First Lady Michelle Obama knocked it out of the ballpark. Gov. O’Malley didn’t come across as well on TV, but he got some good points across. I was thrilled to see Democrat after Democrat stand up for marriage equality and a woman’s right to control her own body — positions that in the past were deemed too “controversial.” It was a fantastic opening night.

But the most observable difference between the DNC and the RNC was evident when the cameras panned the crowd. Last night I saw black people, brown people, white people, yellow people. I saw old men in VFW hats and young women in their 20s. I saw a dude in a blue turban and a Muslim woman with her head covered. I saw America.

The RNC might have trotted out a few token browns and women to speak from the podium but when the cameras panned the crowd it was a sea of white faces. And therein lies the difference.

In case you missed it, here are last night’s speeches from Patrick, Castro and FLOTUS. Let me say, Julian Castro rang more than a few President Matt Santos bells for me. It will be really interesting to see how his career develops.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, Democratic Party