Tag Archives: Trump

The 2016 Campaign

It’s been a very long campaign period.

I’m one of those politics junkies. I pay attention all the time, but every four years I enjoy the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Championships of politics, the race for President of the United States. With one month remaining, a look back is warranted.

NOTE: On an individual level, the most important elections are local, then state. Our priorities are upside down – local elections draw the worst turnout, state election vote totals are so-so, and the Presidential elections draw over 50% of eligible voters. While the President may be the “face of the nation,” it is our state and local officials who directly impact our lives.

For Democrats, especially, it is vital that we vote twice each year, every year.

The Democrats

Hillary Rodham Clinton filed to launch her campaign on April 13, 2015. At that moment, my mind was made up – she had my vote. I’ve been an admirer of Secretary Clinton since she broke the mold of the First Lady, drawing eternal hatred from the Republican Party. (google: clinton chocolate chip cookies)

Her term as Senator from the State of New York was marked by consistent bipartisan efforts. Even Republicans who had excoriated her found her easy to work with. Her stint as Secretary of State was rewarded with amazingly high approval ratings. It was only especially when she ran for President in 2008 and now 2016 that she was thoroughly vilified by the right, and then only because she was a WOMAN who had a clear shot at winning the Oval Office. In fact, it is my opinion that Hillary’s being a WOMAN clearly qualified for the office helped Barack Obama become the first African American president. Misogyny trumped racism. This is not to say that Obama was not deserving of the office; quite the contrary. I’m just making up the fact that more voters were opposed to electing a woman than were opposed to electing a black man. Remember, Obama was “cool” and Hillary was “bitchy.” Coulda smiled more, too…

Misogyny –
dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women

There is no debate that Hillary Clinton was the ordained 2016 Democratic Nominee for President before the race even began. With Obama nearing the end of his second term, the Democrats looked around for viable candidates and the single biggest name on the list was Hillary Clinton’s. There was talk of perhaps Joe Biden getting in, and he did toy with the idea, but that didn’t happen. Martin O’Malley declared, but it is typical that people with no real shot would play at running for president. The little-known Lawrence Lessig, Lincoln Chafee, and Jim Webb would pretend to run for about four months, but all three exited before the primaries began. No, in the beginning, the nomination was Hillary’s.

We all knew that. This was the presumption, and the Democratic Party people no doubt thought they’d have an easy time of it, while the Republicans battled it out. They would only have to become involved when the Republican candidate was named and the general election period began.

Out of nowhere, Bernie Sanders – seizing upon the historic wealth inequality and hatred of all things Wall Street – switched his party affiliation from Independent to Democrat and announced his intention to run. Not only did he launch a serious campaign that damaged the presumptive nominee, but he stayed in the race far longer than he should have, damaging our candidate even more. Sanders did no favors for the Democratic Party, but then Sanders was no Democrat. He was simply (admittedly) using the party as a basis for his campaign and the reach it afforded him.

In the end, millions more Democrats came down on the side of Hillary Clinton and the primary season ended with a groan. The Democratic Convention at which Clinton accepted the nomination was far more divided than it should have been.

Books will be written about the Clinton v. Sanders primaries, coming down on both sides, I’m sure.

The Republicans

Wow. What a shit-show.

The 2012 primaries were memorable and remarkable for the incredible (and incredibly incompetent) slate of candidates (“Oops”) that produced a nominee no one really wanted, Mitt Romney. Not so much a winner as “last man standing,” Romney was no one’s prediction as the winner and he stood as the absolute opposite of the incumbent president. The choice of Romney made no sense whatsoever, and was taken as a full repudiation of the “Republican establishment.” No lesson learned in 2012, we’d do it all again in 2016. (Remember the Republican “autopsy,” Jindal’s warning about “The Party of Stupid.” All for naught.)

The first announced candidate for the 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination was Mark Everson, former commissioner of the IRS, in March 2015. (For 6 months in 2007, Everson was President/CEO of the American Red Cross, but was asked to resign after he had a “personal relationship with a subordinate employee.” Otherwise, he bopped around in various capacities during the Reagan and Bush 43 administrations.)

Shortly after Everson’s declaration, Ted (The Evil One) Cruz threw his hat in the ring, and the race was on.

Eventually, we would have (16) Republican candidates and debates would be split into two groups: the main stage debates and the little kids’ table. While the undercard (why are they even hanging around?) drew little attention and wasn’t even a warm-up for the “grown-ups,” the main events were an entertaining show of candidates either attacking each other or begging for attention. Very little of substance or policy, but lots of great zingers. Ironically, the man with the worst zingers – real grade-school playground insults – would best them all! Gutless cowards, from “little” Marco to “low energy” Jeb! to “lyin'” Ted Cruz (let us not forget Carly Fiorina with “that face”) had no clue how to fend off the brilliant logistical strategery that was Trump’s ambush style of name-calling.

Looking at this list of all-stars and judging them on their policy positions, here is my ranking of the Republican candidates in order of acceptability. If I had to, I could have held my nose and voted for Pataki, perhaps even Jeb! After that, almost all of the rest are unacceptable, from the incompetent to the dangerous. It is not a mistake that the eventual nominee is the least acceptable of all of these candidates.

George Pataki (Gov. NY)
Jeb Bush (Gov. FL)
Jim Gilmore (Gov. VA)
John Kasich (Gov. OH)
Rand Paul (Sen. KY)
Carly Fiorina (CEO HP)
Lindsey Graham (Sen. SC)
Marco Rubio (Sen. FL)
Ben Carson (Dr. Brains)
Mike Huckabee (Gov. AR)
Rick Perry (Gov. TX)
Rick Santorum (Sen. PA)
Bobby Jindal (Gov. LA)
Scott Walker (Gov. WI)
Chris “Reek” Christie (Gov. NJ)
Ted Cruz (Sen. TX)
Donald Trump (CEO Trump)

Donald Trump ran the anti-campaign. Many of us were convinced that he was in it just for the publicity, that he never seriously wanted the job. He ran a campaign that seemed designed to fail – a series of gaffes, misstatements, and outright outrages which would have ended anyone else’s campaign only seemed to reinvigorate his. He attracted the worst among us – truly a “basket of deplorables,” and his main base of support was just “undereducated, older, white males,” obviously racists, obviously women-haters, obviously afraid of anyone who would want to come into the country.

We then thought he was in it for the money – repay the “loans” he made to the campaign out of the donations from the masses, then collect the rest when he got out and call it a day.

I cannot envision the Con Man actually taking the job of POTUS or even attempting to. He’s not a grunt, he’s the front man. He’s the glad-hander, not the policy wonk. He famously offered Kasich the day-to-day chores of the presidency, which would fit my impression of him, and one has to wonder if he made the same deal with Pence. The ultimate delegator.

There should have been no way that Trump would win the nomination, but I (and everyone else) severely overestimated the Republican electorate. There was no low bar that Trump could trip over. There was nothing so horrible that he could say that would lose him a single vote.

But here we are.

The Democratic Party is in good shape going forward. As the Republicans have moved further and further right, the Democrats were becoming more centric. The 2016 campaign gave the Democrats a firm tug back to the left, to the progressive liberal roots of the party.

The Republican Party is in ruins, in disgrace, in flight. After Trump fails, who is left to raise the banner of the party? Who has not soiled themselves by embracing or promoting this clown of a candidate? Who still has any gravitas, any bearing to take the Republican Party into the future? Has the party had enough of the ultra-right wing, the Tea Party / alt-Right? Can the so-called “moderate Republicans” reclaim the party, or is it time to blow it all up and start over?

As I write this*, anticipating the 2nd debate (a town hall, in which Hillary should cement her election), I am expecting Hillary Clinton to win, to become POTUS45, the first woman to hold the office. Given her record, she is the ONE person who can bridge the divide and get the government moving again. Expect the Republicans to throw a hissy fit, but they’ll come around eventually.

It would help greatly if the Democrats can at least reclaim the Senate. After all, imagine a Republican Senate blocking Supreme Court nominations for the next eight years…

* Actually, as I write THIS, a 2005 video from Access Hollywood has surfaced, showing exactly what Trump’s attitude toward women truly is. This is a billboard, there is no walking back from this. This is who he is. This, finally, should end this threat to America.

Lipstick

​The Republican Party (i.e.: the people who run the party) are about to try “putting lipstick on a pig,” if I can borrow from Half-Governor Palin. Throughout the convention and the 3½ months until November, they are going to try their hardest to get you to forget the entire last year. They will succeed with a large portion of Americans, whose collective memory is at best two months and those who will vote Republican no matter what.

The main-stream, lame-stream, liberal/conversative media is going to try to get you to forget, too. The storyline they want to push is that this race is extremely tight, could go either way. They’re going to point out every instance when Trump is “presidential,” while using code words for Hillary Clinton (you know, the bitchy words). Pay attention. Nobody is going to consume media if this becomes a lopsided, obvious-outcome race, so they will perpetuate the notion that it’s “coming down to the wire.” (It’s coming down to the wire.)

WE remember. WE don’t forget.

If your impression of Donald Trump is that he is a pig, a xenophobe, a misogynist, a racist, a fraud, a liar, a pig (did I say pig?), ignorant of the U.S. Constitution and federal laws and treaties, a cheat, a deadbeat, and on and on, you are correct.

From the day he descended the escalator into the realm of politics, he declared himself a bigot. With his very announcement speech (Mexicans, rapists, and some of them, I’m sure, are good), he rang a bell that the Pale Skin Militia could hear 3,000 miles away. Since then, he has managed to target one segment of the population after another, with the exception of stupid, older, white men (of which, ironically, I am one) and all who believe that a lack of melanin somehow conveys an innate biological superiority.

These men have no scruples, no honor, no self-respect, no dignity. And these are the men who want to choose as your next president the unstomachable Donald Trump.

This article (by Chris Kirk, Ian Prasad Philbrick, and Gabriel Roth at Slate.com) lists a STAGGERING number of missteps made by Trump over the last year. A mere 10 years ago, any one of these might have forced him out of the race. Today, all of these are absolutely acceptable to Republicans, as they now work their asses off to get this man into the White House.

And now the Party People think they can wrangle Trump, bend him to their will, and make him a much more appealing candidate for the general election. As disgusted as they’ve been, as #neverTrump as they’ve been, as humiliated as they’ve been, it’s all in the past and their one goal now is to DEFEAT HILLARY CLINTON. These men have no scruples, no honor, no self-respect, no dignity. And these are the men who want to choose as your next president the unstomachable Donald Trump. The guy with the tiny hands.

When you see Trump looking down and reading his speech, he’s reading the words that his handlers have written out for him. When he uses a teleprompter, he’s reading prepared text not his own. When he goes off script and begins to extemporize, his handlers cringe and we can all look forward to yet another newsworthy verbal faux pas that offends a whole lot of folks.

His chosen vice presidential candidate was not a Trump pick. Pence was put forward by the Party People in a deal for their support of Trump. Trump didn’t pick Pence, Trump doesn’t even like Pence. Trump’s introduction of his new “partner” showed that about as clearly as possible. The King of the Deal got outdealt by the political hacks. But Trump doesn’t give an orange crap about who the VP candidate is, since that’s outside of the scope of his attention – himself. VP is irrelevant. Trump is All.

(And if he wanted to assure that women would not vote Republican, the only candidate worse than Trump himself would be Pence. His record on women’s issues is a disaster.)

This might all just work.

When I see a poll that says that more Americans think Trump is more “honest” or “trustworthy” than Clinton, I know that I’ve given the American public too much credit. The fact-checkers (the people who check “facts”) rate Hillary the MOST truthful of all 20 candidates, far above “Lyin’ Donald” (also above Bernie, but that’s no longer relevant). The Republicans have spent 25 years painting Hillary as the Devil Incarnate, and it seems to have stuck with the majority of idiots – I mean, Americans. There are “articles” and videos all over the internet proclaiming Hillary to be a liar, an incompetent, ineffective, even a murderer. And yet, even after 128 Congressional inquiries and investigations, she’s still walking around free. And it drives them crazy. With every Republican attack, Hillary just gets stronger. Hillary Hulk.

Christian evangelists are voting for Trump, because they’re completely screwed up to begin with. These Christian evangelists are neither Christian nor evangelists. They are hate-filled radicals who cheer every insult of “others” and readily believe that Trump’s favorite book actually is The Bible, a book he’s never read (or owned, probably, before it was brought to his attention that he should oughta maybe have one). Every time he talks about how religious he is and always has been, he embarrasses himself. It is obvious how NOT religious he is.

The good news is that Christian evangelicals are not the major religious voting bloc. That award goes to the Unaffiliated (atheists, agnostics, people who choose not to pick one religion out of many). And the Unaffiliated are leaning heavily Democratic. While Christians profess to believe in an ancient alien (by definition) who hates all things Democratic, more and more are coming to see that that’s a whole lotta garbage that they can live without and that we all have more in common than we thought.

Gun worshippers think voting Trump is the way to go. May be, since he really doesn’t care about that, either, while the Democrats want sensical, popular restrictions. They love their guns above all else. Any side-eye is enough to get them riled up, as if the jack-booted thugs are comin’ to git their guns! I’m convinced that the gun worshippers, as a class, are among the stupidest, low-information voters there are. We’re all agreed that universal background checks should be routine, but if you try to pass that law, even the gun worshippers who SUPPORT that start screaming about chipping away at their 2nd Amendment rights and hug their guns even tighter.

WHEN we come to take away their guns (uh-huh), we should start with those who insist on Open Carry. Open Carry means that I can wear a holster, like in the Wild West, or sling a long gun over my shoulder while wearing my paramilitary gear or camo and go grocery shopping. But let’s think about this… Why would anyone want to carry a firearm out in the open in public?

1) They’re very afraid. Or
2) They’re looking for an excuse to use it.

If you’re not afraid, you don’t need to walk around with a gun. But, just like drawing a sword, if you carry it, you better be ready to use it. And look forward to it.

If there’s another reason, I don’t know it. But our collective insanity over guns is a topic for another day.

Economic conservatives are voting for Trump, thinking that he’s the answer to our sluggish economy. Yes, the man who exemplifies the flow of all money to the top is the very man who’s going to solve the problem of income inequality. In a lipstick-covered pig’s eye. He has no real plan (other than everything’s going to be great) and he’ll be surrounded by the same Republicans who’ve sabotaged the U.S. economy for the last 16 years. So what’s going to change? “He’s a great businessman.” He’s great at declaring bankruptcy, extracting millions for himself, and leaving thousands of workers holding an empty bag. This is the very picture of Wall Street greed that even rank-and-file Republicans are supposed to despise, but now they’ve nominated him as their candidate. Crazy.

Sentients will not be voting for Trump.

Women will not be voting for Trump. Aside from his piggishness (and tiny hands), Trump is not exactly an advocate for women’s causes. His new running mate is exactly OPPOSED to women’s causes. The Democratic candidate, on the other hand, has long been a voice for women, at home and around the globe. Hillary Clinton is famously a warrior for women’s health, education, workplace respect and dignity, and, of course, pay equity.

Educated people are not voting for Trump. Apparently, the least little bit of higher education imparts enough sense to avoid political candidates like Trump. Even college-educated white men are leaning Democratic. It’s obvious that colleges are teaching reading skills and, maybe, How to Use The Google 101.

Minorities are not voting for Trump. With only the rare exception, people of color are smarter than to vote for a man who has flat-out insulted them, threatened them, denigrated them. A recent poll showed that Trump’s share of black voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania was 0%. That’s a zero. Okay, it was rounded DOWN to zero, but that’s still really close to zero. (Psst – the very concept of zero came from the Arabic peoples, by the way.) Minorities are not just knee-jerk Democrats, they are among the most discerning of voters, fully aware of issues that matter to them, and they know full well that today’s Republicans are actively attacking them.

Basically, Trump gets stupid, old, white guys

This is what it comes down to – the largest bloc of voters for Trump are “working class” (read: no college) Caucasian men over a certain age. That’s the one reliable group that he can count on, and that’s the group that all of his attention has been on for the past year. He had them from “Mexican rapists,” so he really should have spent his time courting other demographics. His loss. But he gets the Klan, obviously, and all of the right-fringe radicals hiding throughout the 50 states, waiting for the White Nation to rise again. Notice now how often these fringe elements are beginning to come out into the daylight. The Trump candidacy emboldens them. David Duke chose NOW to run for the Senate from Louisiana. No coincidence.

Vote, dammit

But it is not enough to win the election and install Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office. That’s just asking for another 8 years of obstruction, hate, threats. We need the proverbial landslide – the STATEMENT election that says, “Crawl back under your rock.” The message has to be loud and clear that we will not tolerate racism, xenophobia, or misogyny in our politicians. We will not tolerate this from the people who support such politicians.

The message has to be loud and clear that we will not tolerate racism, xenophobia, or misogyny in our politicians.

And we need to take back the Senate (well within reach) and as many seats in the House as we can manage.

We need to reclaim State houses, so the Republican-gerrymandered districts can be redrawn (this one is much harder; the damage was done in 2010 and may take decades to undo).

The Republicans have cheated their way into a large majority in State Houses across the nation. They’ve passed hundreds and hundreds of anti-abortion bills across the country, ruined state budgets by giving tax breaks and subsidies to corporations and the wealthy, while simultaneously attacking our very right to vote. They are determined to hold onto power, despite being a minority party.

If every eligible Democratic voter would vote twice each year for the next four years, we could put an end to a lot of the Republican nonsense. That’s all it would take. Ten minutes of your time, twice each year, for the next four years. DO IT.

“He lies so constantly and so fluently that it’s hard to know if he even realizes he’s lying.” — Ezra Klein (read this)

The First Woman President

I was saying on Twitter last night that Hillary’s campaign is like a crash course in misogyny.

I am married to a strong (and often opinionated) woman, and I have a grown daughter who is one of the finest people you’re ever likely to meet. I thought I was attuned to the troubles that women face in everyday life, but my eyes are being opened wide these days and it’s exceedingly ugly.

When I scan the replies to Secretary Clinton’s tweets or even to tweets of people who just express an interest in voting for her, I see nasty, nasty, nasty people out there with a profound hatred of everything woman. I don’t get it.

There was much to-do recently over a segment on Morning Joe (MSNBC) where host Joe Scarborough and journalist Bob Woodward waxed poetic about Hillary’s speaking style – “she shouts too much.” Shrieks, too. They went on and on about her shrill voice turning off potential voters and how the great Ronald Reagan knew how to hold a mic and keep his voice down (’cause, you know, “man”).

Hillary shouts

Someone put together a video mix in response, showing some of the male candidates shouting and yelling, and at the end was Hillary just quietly answering a serious question. Now which talk show hosts are complaining about all of these men shouting? At best, they get made fun of on SNL or The Daily Show.

In my humble opinion, the real shrieker – the voice I can’t stand hearing – is Ted Cruz. There’s almost a cartoonish quality to his voice, a “regional theater” practiced style (as one writer put it), that I cannot abide. And listening to Donald Trump on the stump is like having a conversation with a gangster.

Hillary Clinton has been hounded, investigated, interrogated, called before Congressional committees, slandered, insulted, held up as Satan’s spawn or the ultimate expression of the Evil That is Woman

One of the questions that folks love to keep asking is why Hillary made $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman-Sachs over the course of a year. I thought she answered it very well during a recent town hall event: “Well, that’s what they offered me.” Fact is, Hillary is very much in demand as a speaker, and her average fee per event is $225,000, ranging up to as much as $400,000 for a single appearance. She can get that because she has earned that. She was, after all, The Most Admired Woman in the World for 20 of the 23 years 1993 through 2015. But ONLY HILLARY is asked to make public transcriptions of her speeches, whether to Goldman-Sachs and clients or whomever. Who else has EVER been asked for this?

I wonder if anyone has ever asked any of the male candidates (of which there are many) about their own speaking fees. I know that some of W’s post-presidential appearances were criticized because of WHO he was talking to, but no one ever thought he was being overpaid. In fact, I just Googled “Ted Cruz speaking fees,” and I got an article about his loans from Goldman-Sachs, a link to his agency, a couple more articles about questionable dealings, and then a WHOLE BUNCH of articles about Hillary Clinton and Goldman-Sachs. So if Ted Cruz is speechifying and collecting fees, nobody is talking about it.

Women who support Hillary are accused of “voting with their vagina” (yes, really), as if the only reason a woman would vote for Hillary is because she is a woman. No man is ever accused of voting with his penis, if he supports any of the male candidates. (This might also have something to do with the fact that, other than Shirley Chisholm, we’ve only EVER had old white men to vote for.)

“Bernie Bros” have all kinds of reasons why they are voting for Bernie Sanders, thereby codifying their intellectual superiority. They must think that if you are going to vote for Hillary Clinton, it’s only because you haven’t done any research and you’re voting with your heart, not your head. (In other words, you’re WRONG and probably a woman.)

Since Bill Clinton was elected President in 1992, Hillary Clinton has been hounded, investigated, interrogated, called before Congressional committees, slandered, insulted, held up as Satan’s spawn or the ultimate expression of the Evil That is Woman. And still, today, she handles it with aplomb, with quiet strength. Watching her testify before the Benghazi committee (STILL ongoing) and the stark vision of this competent woman versus a host of Republican men dying to make their bones by bringing her (finally) down, I couldn’t help but be mightily impressed.

Clinton at Congress

Most of the candidates running for president this year are a joke, of one kind or another. But of all of the candidates on either side, the strongest is a woman, and Hillary Clinton is the one I want to see in the Oval Office.

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