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Up And At Em, Hillary Supporters

I am currently contemplating hauling my happy (sarcasm) ass to Pennsylvania to campaign for Hillary. Not because I think she’s an awesome candidate. I was an adamant Bernie supporter in the primaries. I’m not thinking about campaigning for her because I think she’s going to do anything good on my core issue: campaign finance reform. I don’t believe she’s going to do anything about ending the planet destroying practice of fracking. I don’t believe she’s ever going to stand up against a shitty trade deal. I don’t believe that she’s going to do a number of different things that are important to me because she’s simply not as liberal as I am, and because she’s being paid by corporations whose interests will always come before mine.

I do believe that she will do some things to not completely fuck me over, like nominating Supreme Court Justices like Sonya Sotomayor who will stand up for my civil rights. I do believe that she’s going to so something good on the issue of the minimum wage. Will she fight as hard as I want her to, or go as far as I would like? No, but it’s going to be better than the big fat nothing that Trump will do on this issue.

I’m thinking about campaigning for Hillary in order to save the republic from the absolute fucking disaster that is Donald Trump, and frankly, I resent having been put in this position so I have something to say to people who voted for Hillary in the primaries: It’s time for you all to get off your asses and clean up your mess. You voted for her, despite the fact that not some, not most, but all the polls clearly told you that Bernie was going to be a much stronger candidate against Trump that Hillary is. You ignored me when I told you that putting a corporatist up against a populist was a very bad idea. You all kept saying stupid things like, “he hasn’t really been tested yet and his poll numbers will go down once he is”. Right, cause Hillary wasn’t really trying to win the primary and didn’t bother with all that pesky opposition research. She deployed an army of paid trolls to pollute the internet with nonsense like accusing the most liberal part of the electorate of being misogynistic “Bernie Bros.” She colluded with the DNC to get every advantage she could, but she didn’t look for any dirt on her opponent. Right. You kept saying that “it will be fine, she will kick Trump’s ass.” Well guess what? She’s not, and now it’s time for you do everything you can to fix this shit show you helped to put on for us.

If you live within 500 miles of a swing state, it’s time for you to get into your cars, put on your most comfortable shoes, and spend every weekend between now and November 8th convincing as many people as you can that  of all the bullshit you all slung about Hillary’s fabulousness in the primaries is actually true. Up and at em. If you have the means to take a vacation, you need to invest that vacation money into flying to a swing state to campaign. I’m sorry, but you guys need to put your backs into this election to make sure that your fabulous candidate can beat the two bit grifter she’s basically tied with right now.

If you can’t afford to get yourselves to a swing state, no problem: you can sign up to phone bank from the comfort of your living rooms. You should all plan on making a hundred calls a day on every Saturday and Sunday between now and the election.

It’s time for you to proactively tell those sweet little lies you told yourself during the primaries, to swing state voters. You broke it, it’s time for you to buy it. We have a serious lack of enthusiasm on the democratic side. You need to stop assuming that everything is going to be fine, and start proactively working toward making sure it’s going to be fine. Ohio and Florida are not looking good for Hillary right now. Pennsylvania, who hasn’t voted for a republican since 1988 is too close to get comfortable with.

Hillary is in trouble here, and it’s time for her supporters to stop with the denial and start working hard to get her elected. If you gave her your vote in the primaries, it’s time to give her your weekends until the election. Don’t want to admit that you may have made a giant mistake? No problem, I understand that admitting mistakes is hard. Tell yourselves that it’s time to spread the word about how fabulous you’ve always known she is. Spend your time telling people in swing states how right you’ve been all along.

I don’t care what you tell yourselves. I need you to spring into action. I get calls almost every day from friends who need to be reassured that Trump isn’t going to win. You need to do your part to mitigate the anxiety that many of us are experiencing.

If I can take time out of my life to make sure that Hillary is elected, then you should be able to do that too. Finish what you fucking started. More importantly, you need to spend at least as much time on this as I am, so as to lower my level of resentment toward you.

Let us not forget that my level of bitchiness should be one of your primary concerns. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. Up and at em. We need to save the republic now.

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Sucking It Up In November

So you’ve all figured out by now that I’m supporting Hillary in the election, after a year of die-hard Berning. I planned on explaining my calculations in September, when everyone had a chance to calm down a little bit after the primary. Well, here we are so here I go. This one is going to be longer than my usual bite sized posts, so I hope that you will bare with me.

First let me start by saying that my opinion of Hillary hasn’t changed at all. I see her now, as I’ve always seen her: she’s a run of the mill corporatist democrat who, like every other corporatist democrat will put the needs of her donors ahead of the needs of the people. I have never seen her as a criminal, Satan, or the worst thing that could possibly happen to this country. She is a corporatist democrat, very much on the same spectrum as our current corporatist democratic president. She is an entrenched part of the establishment corporatocracy, and the only reason why some of you despise her and tolerate or even like President Obama, is that she’s been around for twenty more years than he had been when he became president. A long record is much easier to demonize and twist than a short record is.

I have the same issues with her that I’ve always had. The giant pile of Wall Street cash, her hawkish foreign policy views, her terrible votes in thinly veiled corporate giveaways like the Panama Trade deal (cause precisely no one seriously believed that opening up trade with a country whose GDP was equal to that of News Corp’s was going to create a glut of American jobs), and  a slew of other issues you can scroll down on my Facebook page to read.

I have always advocated voting in your own self interest, and I always will. Bernie was by far the best choice for my own self interest, and he still is (more on that later) but he didn’t win the primary and he’s not the nominee. So the question before me now is: what is in my own self interest, given my current options. Answering that question should not be done emotionally. Yes, the system was rigged against Bernie.  I wrote about this before we saw the DNC emails. None of the fucked up things that happened in the primary change the situation that we’re in now, and punishing Hillary isn’t in my self interest. Stopping Trump, who most of us agree is horrific on a level that makes me regret ever having said, “it can’t get worse than this” during the Bush years. Punishing her means foisting Trump on myself. That would not be a rational choice.

Trump must be stopped, but that’s not even my primary reason for supporting Hillary. Before I get to my primary reasons, let me address the dumbest of all dumb arguments that I’ve heard in the past few months, “You’re voting out of fear and that’s the only reason you’re supporting Hillary”. You bet your incredibly dumb ass that I am! Fear of real threats is how rational people think, and if more people in Germany had been more seriously fearful of what they were seeing in the early 1930s, Nazi Germany may never have happened. Being fearful of something that you know is destructive is the most reasoned thinking you can have. Don’t make that stupid argument to me. Your lack of critical thinking skills shines brightly when you do. I recognize that Trump must be stopped because I don’t approach politics with my hurt fee fees, and I can accept that the person I’m supporting now played dirty against the candidate I really believed in.

I still want Bernie, and the fact of the matter is that supporting Hillary is the best way for me to get some Bern in my government. Bernie is now one of the most powerful senators we have. The forty-six percent of the vote that he got in the democratic primary has garnered him a lot of political capital that would evaporate if Trump is elected. He won’t have any power in a Trump administration. He would have a lot of power in a Clinton administration (especially if democrats take back the senate). That’s just a fact, and we all watched him drag Hillary to the left during the primaries. Let’s give him the power to use our voices to keep pulling her to the left as president. Trump doesn’t give a flying fuck about your voice, and Bernie won’t have one at all if Trump is elected. That should be the only argument that needs to be made to liberals to convince them, but I’m not done yet.

Bernie’s candidacy showed us that there’s a groundswell for liberal change coming, but the fact of the matter is that we don’t have the numbers we need yet. The only way to stop an election from being stolen, is for it to not be close enough to steal. Now let’s assume that with no hard evidence at all (you know how I fucking hate to assume things without evidence, but I’m going to do it this one time just for you) that everything the DNC and Hillary did erased enough votes that it actually cost Bernie the election. Here’s what I believe we need to do to make sure it’s not close next time: elect Hillary.

At this point, you think I’m nuts but let me show you the data I’m relying on to make that assessment. As of 2013, the largest chunk of the electorate (by far) self identifies as “independents”. We have 25% identifying as republicans, 31% identifying as democrats, and 42% identifying as independents. Do I think that there’s a large block of people out there who sometimes vote for republicans, and sometimes vote for democrats? No. I think that those people vote for the party they’ve always voted for, but are so disgusted by that party, that they don’t want to be affiliated with them anymore. During President Obama’s first five years in office, six percent of democrats stopped wanting to be affiliated with the democratic party. During that same time period, three percent of republicans stopped wanting to be affiliated with the republican party. We have twice as many democrats leaving the democratic party during a democratic presidency, as we have republicans leaving their party. Here’s why I think that is: republicans can blame Obama for what’s going on with flat wages and income inequality because he’s president. They can still hang onto their party until the next republican president comes along and they have to one to blame but republicans. Democrats are being let down by the guy they voted for and are starting to see that the democratic party doesn’t represent them. The best way to keep this trend going, is to give them another democrat. A Trump presidency is only going to coalesce liberals around the democratic party.

If you want to keep Bernie’s revolution (no, I’m not saying that Bernie started it but he’s the one that gave it a megaphone) moving forward, you have to stop Trump from becoming president. This is the primary reason why I support Hillary. I’m not interested in taking two steps back before we can take another step forward. I’m playing the long game for my own self interest.

I am now going to give third parties more words than they’ve earned from me, what with the lack of seriousness they’ve demonstrated. “Where’s Aleppo”. Okay, we’ve dispensed of Gary Johnson so now on to Jill Stein. She’s an idiot (go ahead, click on it and judge for yourself). I hate to be the one to break it to you, but she’s a Herman Cain style idiot with less education than that highly educated idiot Ben Carson. No objective person can read that interview with her and not conclude that she’s an idiot. She wasn’t even asked any complicated questions about foreign policy or the economy. She was asked questions about topics that are in her own fucking platform. She clearly has no grasp of her own issues. I personally know two progressive podcasters whose Youtube subscribers exceed the number of votes she got in the last presidential election. They have both requested interviews with Stein, and she has declined every time. Why would  she be turning down opportunities to get her message out to a self selected progressive audience? Because she doesn’t want anyone to realize that she’s an idiot. Either that, or she’s not running for president. I realized she wasn’t actually running for president when I went to the events section of her website after the primaries ended, and didn’t see any campaign events. She didn’t start campaigning until August 25th of this year. She’s not trying to be heard.

Here’s a fun fact about Jill Stein: the second time she “ran” for governor in bright blue Massachusetts, she tied with “blank”. What do I mean by “blank”? I mean that people showed up to vote, cast votes on all of the down ballot issues and candidates, but found their gubernatorial choices so distasteful that they just left that line on their ballots blank. My only question is: did she not bother to campaign (as she has in two presidential elections), or did she campaign to the point where people realized that she has no idea what she’s talking about?

Forget the fact that neither the libertarian nor the green party are not taking themselves seriously with these clown candidates for a minute. Third parties are not viable in our current campaign finance system, and the great irony is that people who vote third party know that better than anyone else. Your “protest vote” is utterly meaningless, and the major parties don’t care what you do because they’re always going to win. Voting third party is literally putting the cart before the horse, which is why they haven’t moved forward at all in the past forty years. You have to change the system before a third party ever has a prayer of being viable.

No one cares about your “conscientious” third party vote. If your conscience leads you to be complicit in a Trump presidency, you need to recalibrate your conscience because sitting back and allowing horrible things to happen means that you own a piece of those horrible things. Just like the Germans in the 1930s. Yes, Hillary is a terrible candidate. Yes, I know she doesn’t represent your values. No, she will not be the only one to blame if Trump becomes president. Everyone who failed to show up to vote, or burned their vote on an idiot candidate will own a piece of every horrible thing that a Trump presidency brings.

Bernie is the only sitting legislature that can keep the issue of campaign finance front and center (where it should be). But let me repeat my earlier point: in order to get Bernie, you have to suck it up and swallow Hillary. If you don’t believe that Bernie can have an effect on Hillary and all the other corporatist democrats in congress, then you never really believed in his ability to do anything he says he wants to do.

I’m voting for Hillary for the same fundamental reason I supported Bernie: I’m voting my own self interest.

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Grotesque. The Republican Convention Was Utterly Grotesque

That’s what the first night of the republican convention was: grotesque. It was grotesque, even by republican standards and I only made it half way through.

I’m still shell shocked by what I saw, and I’m deeply saddened that Melania Trump is all anyone is going to talk about. She’s a stupid twit. She’s a Slovenian Sarah Palin, but I already knew that. I don’t give two shits about her or her plagiarism. There are more disturbing atrocities to discuss about the republican convention. STOP talking about Melania! It’s a distraction.

Let me start with the tweeked out of his mind guy on crystal meth, adderall or some other upper he was clearly self medicating with. He was a former Navy Seal who was up there to advocate for having the strongest military with the greatest equipment the world has ever seen. At the republican convention. He was at the republican convention to talk about the best equipped military in the world.

“You go to war with the army you have—not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

-Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary Of Defense for President George W Bush

And everyone is cheering him on instead of getting him the help he obviously needs. The man is in eighteen different kinds of pain, and at least eighteen different kinds of drugs to help with that pain, and he’s being treated like an oracle instead of someone who desperately needs help. My heard bleeds for that guy.

Then there was the tragedy porn portion of the republican convention competition. They found about a half a dozen family members of people who died tragically to stand on that stage and exploit their loved ones deaths in the most disgusting way possible.

There was the BEEEENNNNNGGGHHAAAZZZIII mom whose desire to know why her son died didn’t include reading the nine congressional reports on the events of that night. She trotted out every right wing lie that precisely none of those reports found to be true. She really put on a vomit inducing display of ignorance and exploitation.

Then there were the family members of people who were killed by someone who was undocumented. They were there to stand on their family members’ corpses to tell their anecdotal stories so that people wouldn’t notice that what they were saying is completely contradicted by the facts. The fact of the matter is that violent crime among the undocumented community is exponentially lower than violent crime among the citizenry of this country. The fact is that this president has deported more Mexicans than any other president in US history. The fact is that net immigration has been in the negative numbers for the majority of President Obama’s term.

I revile every single one of those craven people who made me sit through their ignorant tragedy porn. Someone made a comment on my Facebook page last night, suggesting that I should respect their pain. No I shouldn’t. When a family member is diagnosed with a fatal or serious disease, you become an expert on that disease. We educate ourselves to the point of having earned half of a medical degree. I had a dear friend who was diagnosed with a glioblastoma many years ago. There is literally nothing I don’t know about glioblastomas, including the fact that she was going to die within three years of the diagnosis. This was a few years after she made me an expert on the endometriosis she had that required she get a full hysterectomy at the age of thirty-six. There are hundreds of millions of people who are experts on breast cancer, Parkinson’s, prostate cancer, multiple sclerosis, and a slew of other medical conditions because someone they love has been diagnosed with one of those diseases. Some of those people make curing those diseases their life’s work. You become an expert on things that are going to, or have killed someone you love.

These fucking people didn’t bother to educate themselves at all. They just seized on the opportunity to stand on their loved ones corpses to make a political point that was the opposite of the truth. I don’t need to respect anyone who doesn’t respect their loved one enough to educate themselves so that they can work to come up with fact-based solutions to the problems that killed someone they claim to love. They were all full of shit, and I’m repulsed by them. Sorry, there will be no respect coming from me

And then there was “blue lives matter”. They apparently matter to the exclusion of all other lives in America. There was cheering for the fact that another cop involved in the Freddie Gray incident was acquitted. Because obviously Freddie Gray nearly decapitated himself, and no cop who was involved did anything wrong. They stopped short of promising that all cops under a Trump presidency will be armed with machine guns and shoulder fired missile launchers, but that was implied.

It was grotesque. It was soul crushingly grotesque. This republican convention was grotesque on a much bigger scale than any before it.

They put the worst of humanity on that stage last night and claimed that was America. No it’s fucking not, and I’m not going to let anyone believe it is for a second.

Anyone who is thinking of getting cute with their vote by Bernie or busting, or Jill-not-Hilling needs to have their heads examined. I’m serious. If you’re thinking about doing either of these things and you haven’t bothered to watch what happened last night, you need to watch it immediately (it’s on CSPAN’s website). I mean it. Watch it now because more information is better than less information. Voting is about making informed decisions. Inform yourselves and then see if you still feel the same way.

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STOP Trivializing Misogyny

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Here’s the latest pile of irrational poop that Hillary supporters are putting out there. I saw some variation of this three times yesterday. Twice, my totally respectful comments were deleted (that’s pretty telling). I guess they were too threatened to allow the absurdity of this meme to be pointed out (and yet the meme stayed up in both instances, sans my comment).

I’ll get to the misogyny later, but let me first address the complete and utter ignorance displayed here. When someone takes forty-six percent of the vote in a primary, they make demands. This has been true since the beginning of time. This is how George HW Bush became Reagan’s veep even though by all accounts, the Reagans and the Bushes couldn’t ever stand each other.

On September 11, 2008, Obama came to Bill Clinton’s office (one block from my house) for what was supposed to be an hour long meeting. The Clintons hadn’t yet started campaigning for Obama. Yes Hillary endorsed him a couple of months earlier, but it was clear that the Clintons weren’t really throwing much support behind him. That meeting lasted for over two and a half hours. I know this, because a friend of mine and I were waiting out front to get a glimpse of Obama. When Bill and Barack finally came out, I looked at my friend and said, “Bill got something big out of this”. That was very likely the day that Hillary became Secretary Of State. Less than ten weeks later, Obama announced that she would be his Secretary Of State.

Here’s a picture I took that day:

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Either the women posting this meme have no earthly idea how politics works, or they’re trivializing real misogyny because they have long term thinking deficiency, and believe that this kind of bullshit is going to help their cause right now. But it’s not helping you right now, because lots of people know how unelected officials get their posts. If you don’t know how literally every cabinet level nominee and veep have been chosen since the very first presidential election, it’s best you not post about politics. This is clearly not your thing, and you should stick to what you know. If you’re intentionally shitting on every woman in the world who has been a victim of real misogyny because you think this serves you well right now, it’s best you stop commenting on misogyny because you’re actually hurting women.

You are hurting the victims of GamerGate. You are hurting me, who gets private (I’ve taken to making them public and getting a little public shaming out of the deal) messages calling me a cunt, or telling me to “eat a bullet” (that was from a couple of days ago) simply for voicing my opinions on the internet. You are hurting all of us by trivializing misogyny. And you’re doing it by sounding like a bubble headed ditz who knows nothing about politics. Can you tell that I’m offended to my bitchy core by these idiotic people?

What’s worse than that, you’re advocating for misogyny. The very definition of misogyny, is treating women differently simple because they’re women. You want the guy who got forty-six percent of the democratic primary vote to be the only primary candidate in history to do that well and walk away with nothing? Why? Because Hillary is a woman. That’s what you’re saying. Treat Hillary differently because she’s a woman.

Think. Think before you post. What you’re doing here is eighteen different kinds of inane. And by the way, this looks to me like it has David Brock’s fingerprints all over it. You know David Brock; he’s the guy running Hillary’s social media. You know, he’s the guy who once very effectively labeled Anita Hill “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty”. Yeah, that’s the guy Hillary is working with now( cause she’s an awesome feminist, and you’re helping him by peddling his bullshit.

Perhaps the people posting this meme are just dazed and confused by the fact that Bernie isn’t asking for something that will further his own career. He’s not demanding to be veep, and he’s not demanding the position of Secretary Of State. He’s asking for the democratic party to adopt a more liberal platform. Quell horreur! I would very much like to ask the intellectual powerhouses who have been posting this drivel to explain something to me: which part of Bernie’s ask are you opposed to? Have you even thought about it?

Have you thought about any aspect of this kind of propaganda? Because from where I sit, there’s nothing intellectually sound or honest here. As a woman with a presence on the internet, I beg you to stop it. You’re not helping me, and you’re not helping your daughters. You’re certainly making zero difference to Hillary and her current situation as the presumptive nominee of the democratic party.

Stop. Just fucking stop.

 

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Why The Douchiness, Hillary?

It’s like the Clinton’s can’t stop themselves from being gratuitously douchey.

Seriously, setting up an email server next to the coffee maker in the kitchen. Why? How did you think this was going to turn out for you?

Bill showing up at several polling locations on primary days. Why? Were the few votes you may have ginned up worth making yourself even less trustworthy than you already are?

And now she’s declared victory on the night before the most delegate rich state in the country votes? Why? What’s the fucking point? What does she have to gain by telling California and New Jersey that it’s over and that they don’t get a say in the results. Sorry, thanks for playing! She could have waited twenty-four hours, secured enough pledged delegates and votes to ensure beyond the shadow of a doubt that Bernie didn’t get enough votes or pledged delegates to overtake her, and then announced that she was the near certain presumptive nominee.

She could have proudly pointed out that all the votes were cast, and that if the super delegates voted perfectly in line with either the direct votes or the results in their respective states, she won.

But no, instead she’s acting like (and the media is helping her) she secured enough pledged delegates to win. She hasn’t, and she technically won’t until July 25th.

Twenty-four (okay, maybe closer to twenty-eight) hours is the difference between douchebag and winner.

She’s going to win. That’s a foregone conclusion. So why not fucking wait until all the votes are cast. What has she gained by shitting on Bernie voters in California and New Jersey?

Nothing. Not a damned thing, other than to validate the opinions of people who think she’s shady and not to be trusted.

I don’t know why the Clintons keep doing ridiculous things that offer very little benefit for them, but I do know that anyone who makes the argument that their untrustworthy numbers are entirely a product of republican attacks are slightly more ridiculous than the people they’ve chosen to make themselves stupid to defend.

Stop it Hillary. Just fucking stop it. You still need to win the general election, and banking on the fact that your opponent is a bigger douchebag than you are isn’t what I would call a winning strategy.

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Don’t Do It Bernie

This post probably won’t make my fellow Bernie supporters happy but please hear me out and know that when I say that politics isn’t emotional for me, I’m being earnest.

Bernie might win California tomorrow (that’s a big maybe). He will definitely lose New Jersey. He most definitely will not overtake Hillary in the pledged delegate count. He would have to win two-thirds of all the votes in both New Jersey and California in order to do that. It’s going to be over for him tomorrow. It is my sincere wish that Bernie gracefully exits the race next Tuesday, after the last primary ballot is cast in DC.

I know what my fellow Bernie supporters are thinking right now: It was rigged so he should take the fight to the convention! Yes it was rigged, but not nearly as much as you think. Here’s a little reality check:

  • Of the nineteen open primaries, Hillary won eleven to Bernie’s eight. Of the twenty-three closed primaries, Hillary has won fourteen to Bernie’s nine. The percentages were roughly the same, although Hillary did a little better in the closed primaries.
  • Hillary keeps claiming that she’s gotten three million more votes than Bernie. Shaun King made a case that this number is a lie. He’s right. It’s not an accurate number, but it’s not nearly as inaccurate as he claims. If you take the percentage of votes cast in the caucuses for each candidate, and extrapolate those numbers out to the number of voters each caucus goer represents, Bernie doesn’t even pick up three quarters of a million votes because Hillary would also get more votes by doing that.
  • The voter suppression was real, and the long lines we saw over and over again for the first time in a democratic primary were no accident. We have a systemic voting problem in America, and both parties are guilty of creating the problem. But to assume that every single voter who was turned away, was going to vote for Bernie is absurd. The correct assumption is that the voters who were turned away would have voted in roughly the same proportion as the votes that were cast. You would have to practice some utterly baseless kind of magical thinking to assume that Bernie would have won if all the votes were counted (and cast). Hillary’s lead was just too insurmountable for that to be possible.

I will say this though; Hillary supporters who were fine with what happened in this election with polling locations closing or mysteriously moving without notifying anyone, voter rolls being scrubbed, and the rest of the fuckery that went on here should be ashamed of themselves. I’m ashamed of you. I now know that you were full of shit in 2000 and 2004 when you were screaming, “Voter suppression!” We should all be incredibly offended when any American’s vote is taken away from them. But not you guys. No, you’re the sorriest group of so called liberals I’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter.

But I digress. My point is that Bernie didn’t win, and no amount of Cirque Du Soleil like acrobatics you try and do on the data will ever change that simple fact.

So back to my point. I emphatically believe that Bernie should not push for a contested convention. He simply has no basis with which to make his case. He didn’t win the popular vote, nor did he didn’t win more pledged delegates. While it’s true that every single poll shows that he’s the strongest candidate to defeat Trump in November, he can’t make that case without being a massive hypocrite. That argument basically tells super delegates that the voters made a mistake, so they should subvert the will of the voters and select him for the sake of the party. Selecting the nominee is not what super delegates should do, and Bernie has been saying that all along. To turn around now and ask them to select him would make him look like just another craven politician who will do anything to get elected and that will disillusion a lot of his voters.

Bernie did something extraordinary here. He inflamed and mobilized liberals who have figured out that the democratic party doesn’t represent us. He shed a bright light on the corporate corruption of our government, and managed to break through the republican framing of the issues that we’ve accepted for thirty years. For thirty excruciating years, we’ve been talking about low taxes, big gubment, and defense, defense, defense! Remember when Bill Clinton declared that “the era of big government is over!”? Well that was the last nail in the liberal coffin, and Bernie is the first politician in thirty years to pull the fucking lid off that coffin. He ran on a platform of raising your taxes in order to provide you with more cost effective health coverage. Could anyone have imagined that running on a platform of raising taxes would garner 46% of the vote in any election in America?

I would hate to see this movement damaged by Bernie angling for a convention fight that will ultimately get him nowhere. He’s not going to be the nominee, and the super delegates aren’t going to select him. He literally has nothing to gain by angling for a contested convention, and Hillary is just going to pummel him and the media with the data I shared with you above. Pushing for a convention fight is a move that includes no gain, and nothing but pain. It would be a terrible idea.

I believe that the best path forward for this movement is for Bernie to leave the race and endorse Hillary on June 14th. He should spend the next five months campaigning for real progressives running for congressional seats all across the country. We should all be focused in giving Hillary a significantly bigger progressive caucus to have to deal with than the one we have now.

Yes, I’m going to advocate for supporting Hillary but I’m not going to share my reasons just yet. Emotions are running too high, but trust that I have reasons that aren’t what you think they are.

This movement didn’t start with Bernie, and it isn’t dependent on Bernie becoming president. The numbers clearly show that we don’t have enough people with us to take the white house yet. But there are certainly enough of us to make a difference in state and congressional races. That’s where our focus should be.

Time is on our side. Hillary’s base is the fifty-five and older demographic. This has never been a particularly liberal demographic. I recently saw a tweet that said, “Hillary is pulling her voters to the right”. Bullshit. Hillary’s voters were once proud Reagan democrats. They were always right of center. That’s who the baby boomers are. But Gen X is clearly to the left of them, and the millennials are even further left of Gen X. We know which direction the electorate is headed. We just need to be smart about plotting a course forward right now.

I strongly believe that our path lies in down ticket candidates. If we can find more progressives to run, and to support, we can take over the democratic party. But damaging this movement with a convention fight is not going to help to advance the cause in the short term.

I hope Bernie is going to be smart about this. He was smart enough to run as a democrat, rather than an independent. He was smart enough to take 46% of the vote away from Hillary, despite all the money she had collected before last summer was even over. I sincerely hope that he’s going to do the smart thing next week.

 

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An Open Letter To David Brock

You’re a media hitman. It’s what you’re good at, so it’s what you’ve dedicated your life to doing. You started off your miserable career by going after Anita Hill and then Bill Clinton by propagating lies and innuendo about them that you knew were lies. And you did it well.

And then you did a mea culpa in your book, “Blinded By The Right”. Good for you! Except that you didn’t change your tactics, you merely switched sides. So now you’re doing what you do on behalf your former target’s wife. This propaganda machine you’ve built for Hillary is impressive. Buying left wing blogs to help push out your lies about Bernie has been very effective. I’m seeing those bullshit links posted all over the place because even now that we all have access to the internet, you know that people don’t bother to fact check anything they just like the sound of. They just share, share, share with no regard for facts.

So bravo for your despicable smear work with Blue Nation Review. You’ve still got as good a game as you had when you were trashing Anita Hill and Bill Clinton.

And now you’ve upped your game by unleashing a battalion of paid trolls to attack Bernie and his supporters. I guess that you weren’t getting enough volunteers who were interested in supporting Hillary to do that, so enter the professionals to shut down Bernie supporters. Yesterday, you orchestrated and coordinated an attack in which your trolls-for-cash descended on at least seven Facebook pages who support Bernie Sanders.

Classy. Nothing says, “I’m supporting the best candidate and I know it” like shutting down anyone who doesn’t agree.

I would like to tell you that you’re making a horrible mistake. See, the people who support Bernie are largely in that self identified “independent” category that have been fleeing both parties in droves over the past decade. These are people who probably aren’t inclined to vote in every election and they’re certainly not inclined to vote along party lines, since they chose to send the parties a message by ending their affiliation with them.

Your mistake lies in not thinking ahead to a short ninety days from now, when you’re going to be begging those people to show up for Hillary in November. Remember, your fabulous candidate isn’t the strongest democrat against any republican who might get the nomination. Bernie is. So you’re desperately going to need to bring his supporters on board with Team Hillary.

Do you really think that your sleazy anti-democratic tactic of shutting down other people’s voices is the way to get the job done? Do you really think that the nearly half a million people whose access to the content they want to see was denied by you are going to forget what you did? Do you really think that this will get them enthused about Hillary, ever?

I’m going to do my best to be the voice of reason in November, by persuading my readers to do what needs to be done, but how effective do you think that I and other Bernie supporters like me are actually going to be?

You’re playing a dangerous and sleazy game here, Mr Brock. Unfortunately, there’s some chance that the whole country is going to pay for your oiliness. You need to retire for the sake of the country. No really, you do. You’ve literally never done anything good to elevate the political discourse in this country.

I would just like to say one thing to Hillary: shame on you. This man smeared your husband eighteen ways to Sunday when he was president. You’re a special kind of scumbag for unleashing this kind of sleaze on someone else, when you know what it feels like to be on the receiving end.

You’re lucky that I’m not emotional about politics. I will advocate that my readers do what needs to be done in November to keep a republican sociopath from becoming president and fucking the Supreme Court for another thirty years. But right now, at this moment, I’m utterly disgusted with you and with your media hitman.

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A Deal For Hillary Supporters

I have a proposition to make to all of the Hillary supporters who follow this blog. To demonstrate that I’m earnest in making this proposal, I’m going to start with a proffer in the form of a decisive statement and then a confession.

First, a decisive statement: Bernie Sanders is not going to be the democratic nominee. It’s just not going to happen, but not for the reasons you think. I know you’ve all been proclaiming he’s done, even as you’ve been watching him win primary after primary over the past month. Your commitment to denying what’s happening before your very eyes is adorable. Bernie isn’t going to be the nominee because neither Bernie nor Hillary are going to get enough pledged delegates to cross the finish line. They’re both going to the convention, and they both have a strong case to make for taking it to the convention.

It is mathematically impossible for Bernie to make up the 244 delegate deficit he has against Hillary at this very moment. He can’t do it. That’s a fact. He would have to win all of the remaining states by a 20 point margin to close that gap. It’s not going to happen. The pledged delegate gap at the end of all of this is going to be between 5% – 7% of the total delegate count, so it’s not going to be a decisive enough win for Hillary to reasonably claim that Bernie shouldn’t go to the convention to fight for the seventeen percent (of the total delegate count) of unpledged (or super) delegates.

Bernie will justifiably go to the convention, and nobody who isn’t completely bias can reasonably claim that he has no right to do so.

Now for my confession: At no point in this election, did I believe that Bernie was going to be the nominee. I’m not going to say that there weren’t a few fleeting moments here and there where I got caught up in the Bernmentum and didn’t think to myself, “he may actually pull this off” but those literally never lasted more than a few minutes at a time. I’m more analytical about politics, than I am emotional. So why have I so fervently supported Bernie? Why didn’t I make this confession to my closest friends until last week? Because getting Bernie as far as possible in this race has been a great thing for all of us. And whether you realize it right at this moment or not, Hillary supporters, you want him to go as far as he can too.

There are some terrible things that Hillary supported, that she can no longer do because of Bernie. She can no longer approve Keystone. She can no longer sign TPP into law. Don’t get too excited though. The fact that Hillary can’t sign TPP into law, probably means that Obama is going to have to do it as he’s walking out the door, like a thief in the night (a la Clinton repealing Glass Steagall). There are just too many corporate interests at stake for TPP not to be inevitable. There are a half a dozen less devastating (to some) bad ideas that Bernie forced Hillary to change her positions on; she no longer supports deporting immigrant kids, she probably won’t be promoting fracking (yes, she toured the world to promote fracking) in the US, she’s will never again claim that a $15 an hour minimum wage is too much to dream of. There are several more policy changes that you can Google for yourself.

My point is that Bernie made Hillary more liberal, and he so effectively cornered her on some issues, that you (Hillary supporter) are happier with her. You are. Don’t lie to yourselves.

You, dear Hillary supporter, agree that money is corrupting our political system. I know that you do, because ten years worth of polling data tells me that over 90% of democrats believe it (70% – 80% of republicans agree). You haven’t forgotten what you know, I’m positive that you haven’t. You’re just taking a little break on the issue. That’s fine, but you want this conversation to continue for as long as possible especially since I’m telling you that there’s no chance that Hillary isn’t going to be the nominee. This conversation will definitely quiet down after the election. It’s in all of our interest to keep it going for as long as we can. You, dear Hillary supporter, want single payer health care. I know you do, because I heard you while Obamacare was being hammered out. I know that for this election, you’ve convinced yourselves that single payer is a pipe dream, but it is in your self interest to keep this conversation alive for as long as possible. You, dear Hillary supporter, want tax payer funded higher education. Those of you in New York and California remember when it was available, and you got San Francisco and Manhattan as a direct result investing in education. Silicon Valley didn’t open up shop in California because they didn’t know that there were states in this country with no corporate income taxes. They opened up shop in California because that’s where they had access to a well educated candidate pool. I know you know this, Hillary supporters.

The most important reason why you (hang in with me for 2 more paragraphs) and I need for Bernie to have a strong argument to make at the convention is superdelegates. No one thinks that superdelegates are in any way, shape, or form democratic. Yes, they may be working in your favor sometimes, but you can’t fundamentally believe that the democratic party should have them. We should all be able to agree than when one candidate wins a state by twelve points, their opponent should not walk away with four more delegates in that state. We can all all agree that’s not democracy, right? I get that a fucked up thing seems slightly less fucked up when it’s working in your favor. I totally get that, but you still know that it’s fucked up. And it will continue to be fucked up long after it stops advancing your immediate goal. Seventeen percent of the total number of delegates can do whatever the fuck they want, regardless of how their constituents or former (many of them are no longer serving in office) constituents voted for. Some of them are lobbyists now. Both Dodd and Frank are lobbyists now. They’re both superdelegates, and they both have interests that aren’t yours.

We need to blow up this superdelegate thing once and for all. Getting Bernie to the convention with the closest margin of pledged delegates that we can will help to seriously damage this anti-democratic system. Let me repeat something I said earlier in this post; neither Bernie nor Hillary are going to get enough pledged delegates to cross the finish line. Superdelegates are going to take Hillary over the finish line. The closer we can get the pledged delegate count, the brighter the light that will be shone on this superdelegate system will be. We all want this. Let me repeat something else I said earlier in this post: Bernie Sanders is not going to be the democratic nominee. There is no chance that superdelegates will make Bernie the nominee. You are going to win this primary election, Hillary supporters. Bernie’s chances are as close to zero as is possible, without taking something completely unforseen (like a sudden and severe illness) into account.

It is in all democrats and liberals self interest to vote for Bernie at this point, especially if you’re on the fence. I know that some of you think that I’m trying to pull the wool over your eyes at this point. I’m not. We’re voting here in New York tomorrow. Bernie is not likely to win. He’s definitely not going to win by anything resembling enough to close the delegate gap by more than a handful of delegates. If he ties Hillary here, he’s going to have to win Pennsylvania and California by nearly 80% to close that delegate gap. It’s just not going to happen. If he loses to Hillary in New York by 5%, he’s going to have to win CA and PA by 83%. It’s not going to happen. He’s not going to be the nominee. But none of us need for him to leave the public stage before the very end.

Bernie Sanders is the first politician since Reagan started his last (of 3) bids for the white house, to reframe the public conversation in liberal terms. Bill Clinton put the final nail in coffin for liberal framing when he said, “The era of big government is over”. That’s when the left was officially shut out of the conversation. We’ve been operating under the right wing premises that taxes and government are bad ever since. Bernie has struck the only significant blow to that fucked up right wing framing that we’ve seen in thirty years. He has irrevocably changed the conversation in a way that both Hillary and Bernie supporters need. Hillary’s platform was initially based on accepting that fucked up framing, and it still is to a large extent. “We can’t afford to have the nice things that the rest of the first world has”. Bernie is literally the only candidate (on either side) who has been asked how he plans to pay for things. Ted Cruz says he wants to increase our fighter jet production by fifty percent, and no one bothers to ask him how he plans to pay for that? Hillary doesn’t have any sweeping reforms in her platform because she seems to have accepted the premise that all government spending is bad and that “big government” is bad, so she’s not going to do anything major or historic.

I know that you don’t believe that government is bad, Hillary supporters. I know you don’t, because see your non-Hillary posts.

So help me keep Bernie in this until July. You have nothing to risk and everything to gain.

I in turn, will do everything I can to get everyone to coalesce around Hillary in the general. Look, I’ve already pissed off and disappointed all of my Bernie peeps by writing this, so you know that I mean what I say.

We don’t have to wait until July to come together. We can all get what we want, and more of it if we come together now.

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The Ironically Named “Democratic” Party

For months now, some of us have noticed how thoroughly rigged the democratic presidential primary process has been. Others are too blinded by the fact that the game is rigged in favor of their candidate to notice. I’m going to ask Hillary supporters to set their emotional attachment to Hillary aside and hear me out for about the next five to ten minutes, because I promise you that I have information and empirical evidence of said rigging that will disturb you.

Let’s start with the obvious debate schedule debacle. Here’s a list of both republican and democratic debates (not to be confused with town halls) for this election cycle.

Republican:                                                                      Democratic:

Thursday, August 6th

Wednesday, September 16th

Wednesday, October 28th                                                Tuesday, October 13th

Tuesday, November 10th                                                  Saturday, November 14th

Tuesday, December 15th                                                   Saturday, December 19th (weekend before Christmas)

Thursday, January 14th                                                     Sunday, January 17th (MLK holiday weekend)

Saturday, February 6th                                                      Thursday, February 4th

Saturday, February 13th                                                    Thursday, February 11th

Thursday, February 25th                                                   Sunday, March 6th

Thursday, March 10th                                                        Wednesday, March 9th

Do you notice anything (other than the fact that republicans got to have the national conversation to themselves for nearly 3 months before a single democratic debate happened)? Democrats have only debated on Five nights when a large number of people would actually be watching versus republicans’ eight. There’s a reason why you can’t get into Shondaland on Saturday nights. Larry Wilmore was spot on when he called them “top secret debates”.

Then there’s all the DNC staffers who are moonlighting on Hillary’s campaign, the fact that a lot of Hillary’s campaign headquarters are actually in DNC field offices, and that time when the DNC finance chair got caught throwing a fundraiser for Hillary (thereby breaking DNC rules), and that time back in August when the DNC helped Hillary shore up a huge number of superdelegates before the election had even started. And then there was the data breach. You know, the one where instead of quietly handling it in house, Little Debbie called a press conference to announce that Bernie was a cheater? You know, the one where she never provided the data logs so that we could all see which staffers on both campaigns accessed the two way breach.

That’s all stuff you know, and that some have managed to dismiss. Now for the new information that should infuriate all democrats who value democracy, and feel that voters should pick the party’s presidential nominee.

So apparently back in August, Hillary made deals with thirty-three state parties to create a joint fundraising entity called “The Hillary Victory Fund”.

At this point I have to step back and have a wonky moment, wherein I recap a disastrous 2014 Supreme Court ruling that decimated the few campaign finance laws that were left after Citizen’s United. The case was McCutcheon v FEC. Before the McCutcheon ruling, individuals had an aggregate limit of $123,200 that they could donate. That means that they could give the maximum $2,600 contribution to a number of candidates or federal offices, but the aggregate total of their donations had to be no more than $123,200. There are different caps for different contributions, but those aren’t relevant to this post so you can click on that link if you want that information. The McCutcheon ruling got rid of that aggregate limit, meaning that a rich donor can give the maximum allowable amount to as many candidates, state, and federal parties they want to. So if someone wants to max out their contributions to (say) thirty-three (or fifty) different state democratic party organizations, as well as the DNC, they can do that.

Now back to the The Hillary Victory Fund (although most of you can see where this is going at this point in the post). The legal limit in contributions from an individual to a state democratic party is $10,000 a year. Let’s assume that the thirty three states we know about are the only ones who entered the The Hillary Victory Fund agreement. If each of Hillary’s billionaire donors maxed out their contributions and their spouse’s, that would be $660,000 per year that they contributed to Hillary. The deal was made in 2015, so they have two years worth of caps to max out. That would be 1.3 million dollars from each donor over the course of this primary cycle. By the end of 2015 (4 months after the fund was established), the The Hillary Victory Fund had raised 26 million dollars.

This whole thing is a legal money laundering scheme to funnel money into Hillary’s campaign. According to Counterpunch, the fund is administered by Hillary’s campaign’s COO. She has complete control over the fund and decides how much should go back to the state parties. Since she’s facing a stronger primary challenger than she had originally anticipated, I promise you that most of that money is going into her primary campaign rather than flowing back out to the states. But don’t feel too bad for the state parties that made this pact with her, since she’s going to raise a ton of money for them if she becomes the nominee.

Now at this point, the die hard Hillary supporters are going to assert that I’m practicing a lot of conjecture here. Don’t worry, I’m not done. The Montana Democratic Party entered into this fundraising scheme with Hillary in August of last year. Before the year was up, they had received maximum donations from the creme de la creme of democratic big money donors including: Susie Buell of California, Imaad Zuberi of California, Fred Eychaner of Chicago, Donald Sussman hedgefund manager from New York, Chicago real estate mogul J.B Pritzker, gay rights activist Jon Stryker of NY, NRA and Viacom lobbyist Jeffrey Forbes and entertainment mogul Haim Saban. I checked, and there are no records of contributions from any of these people to the Montana Democratic Party prior to 2015. Coincidentally, many of them donated maximum contributions to the parties for the other thirty-two states involved in The Hillary Victory Fund. That Counterpunch link I posted above goes into many more details about shenanigans in several other states and how they’re playing a shell game with the cash. I highly recommend you read it.

So while Hillary claims to be opposed to Citizen’s United, she’s making deals to reap the benefits of both that ruling and the McCutcheon ruling to rig the primary. Now I understand not wanting to show up to the general election gun fight with a pocket knife, but that’s not what’s happening here. The democratic party apparatchik is deciding for you, who the democratic nominee will be.

When Bernie is asked if he will support down ticket democrats, he’s not being asked so that you have more information. He’s being asked in order to remind the superdelegates and sitting members of congress, where their bread is buttered. I don’t imagine that Bernie has any plans to help blue dog, establishment corporate democrats get elected, nor would I want him to. There have been a few endorsement flips from Hillary to Bernie. Not many, but a few. Hillary doesn’t want to allow a domino effect to happen like it did in 2008, so she needs to use the massive purse strings she holds to reign in anyone who might be thinking about jumping ship.

This whole system stinks and you should agree regardless of who you support. Hillary isn’t going to be running for president forever, so her supporters should be very concerned about who is going to be dished out to them next time.

The most disturbing thing to me about this election cycle, has been watching democrats who used to believe that corporate money is the toxin in our political system, suddenly act like all of  Hillary’s corporate contributions are swell. I imagine that a lot of those people will resume posting articles and memes about the Koch brothers corruption of our politicians after this election is over, and acting like they’ve been on the right side of this issue all along. Or maybe they’re posting them now, alongside their pro Hillary stories, in the most stunning display of cognitive dissonance I’ve even witnessed.  I earnestly don’t understand how that pivot is possible. But honestly, if alarm bells aren’t going off for you over what she’s doing to game the primary, I have no hope for you.

Corporate money in our political system is the number one issue that needs to be addressed. It’s the issue that creates virtually all of the other issues that we have. It’s the reason for climate denial and why we’re so actively participating in the destruction of the planet. It’s the reason for the record breaking income inequality we’re seeing in the US. It’s why we have so many guns with precious little information on who has them. Your kids are literally being gunned down by corporate money in politics. It’s the reason why we have 25% of the world’s prison population. I can go on with a litany of other things, but you get the point. Until we deal with the money issue, we have no hope of dealing with most of the other issues that threaten our lives and livelihoods every single day.

Do I believe a candidate who is exploiting campaign finance laws to legally launder money into her campaign when she says that she wants to get money out of politics? I laugh…… oh how I laugh. I’m not an idiot, and I don’t know why anyone else would be for any candidate. I don’t know what her supporters think they’re going to get from her in exchange for their intelligence, but I hope it’s something good. Maybe a golden unicorn? Make no mistake, you’re going to get what you’ve been getting for decades: guns, prisoners, pollution, and a shrinking paycheck.

If I believed that Hillary was going to make getting corporate money out of politics a top priority, I assure you that I would be supporting her. But that’s simply not the case. Why would you want to fuck with the system that got you in the white house? Especially when you have two generations of your offspring to set up for their time in the white house.

I’m sorry, but I like democracy too much to fall for this shit. I wish that everyone did because other than amending the constitution, Bernie is our last chance to keep the focus on this issue which makes him our last hope of changing it. Fortunately, Bernie has greatly expanded a movement that will outlive him and this election. It is a movement built on the backs of the generation who has been fucked the most by thirty years of corporate rule of government. This is the first, but not the last generation who will make less o money than their parents made. This is a generation whose kids are going to be more fucked than they are, if things don’t change. This is not a generation that’s going to shut up and take it.

The degree to which my generation (Gen X for those who are wondering) got fucked by the corporate takeover of our government is, and should be, the limit of what can be tolerated. The millennials have gotten fucked much harder than even we were. They have every right to fight back, and I’m delighted to see that they’ve correctly identified the problem. They know that Hillary is not a “friendly”.

And after the information contained in this piece, you should too.

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The Merrick Garland Disaster

It’s impossible for me to feel more bitchy about this nominee.

I’m not going to take a deep dive into his record because I’m positive that if you’re reading this blog, you’ve already done that. I will say that his record on criminal justice is abysmal, especially if you’re a president who has been talking about criminal justice reform. He’s a former prosecutor so he’s prone to seeing every defendant as a criminal that needs punishing. And he has, in virtually every criminal justice case he’s ruled on. He’s the guy that always dissents from more liberal judges on these issues.

Here’s what ScotusBlog said about him (in 2010) in regard to his rulings on constitutional issues;

“In various other contexts, Judge Garland has in a few cases rejected assertions of constitutional rights, disagreeing with his more-liberal colleagues.  I am not aware of counterexamples in which he has staked out a more liberal position.”

He seems okay on civil rights issues, but we really don’t have very many civil rights rulings from him to look at.

Like Roberts, Garland has never met a corporation he hasn’t agreed with. YAY!

We don’t have really anything from him on the issues of campaign finance (my biggest issue) or women’s reproductive rights.

Here’s the bottom line: there isn’t much evidence to demonstrate that he’s liberal so at best, he’s a complete centrist.

We know that republicans love him. Right wing whackadoodle senator Orrin Hatch said this about Garland;

“Merrick B. Garland is highly qualified to sit on the D.C. circuit. His intelligence and his scholarship cannot be questioned… His legal experience is equally impressive… Accordingly, I believe Mr. Garland is a fine nominee. I know him personally, I know of his integrity, I know of his legal ability, I know of his honesty, I know of his acumen, and he belongs on the court. I believe he is not only a fine nominee, but is as good as Republicans can expect from this administration. In fact, I would place him at the top of the list.

Mega whackadoodle senator from Alabama Jeff Sessions said;

“He has a high position with the Department of Justice and, by all accounts, does a good job there. There will be a number of judgeship vacancies in the D.C. trial judges. He has been a trial lawyer. He would be a good person to fill one of those. I would feel comfortable supporting him for another judgeship.”

Former republican senator from Arizona, Jon Kyle said;

“I believe Mr. Garland is well qualified for the court of appeals. He earned degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and clerked for Judge Friendly on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Justice Brennan on the Supreme Court and, since 1993, he has worked for the Department of Justice. So there is no question, he is qualified to serve on the court.”

Remember, Jon Kyle is the lunatic who proclaimed (on the senate floor) that 90% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions. When he was called on it, his office released a statement saying, “that was not intended to be a factual statement”. Wow, you must be awesome to get that guy’s praise.

It gets better. Here are Strom Thurmond’s thoughts on Garland;

“I have no reservations about Mr. Garland’s qualifications or character to serve in this capacity. He had an excellent academic record at both Harvard College and Harvard Law School before serving as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. Also, he has served in distinguished positions in private law practice and with the Department of Justice. Moreover, I have no doubt that Mr. Garland is a man of character and integrity.”

This is not a person that a “liberal” president should be nominating to the Supreme Court. Wanna know how I can tell? Because when republicans get their turn, they nominate and fight for people like Clarence fucking Thomas, Sam Alito, and Antonin Scalia.

I love it when republicans talk about preserving the balance of the court. You mean like when you guys replaced Thurgood Marshall with pervy, right wing mute, Clarence Thomas? Preserve the balance like that?

“Preserving the balance” of the court is only an issue when a democrat occupies the white house. When a republican occupies the white house, they get to go for the fringiest of the right wing fringe nominee they can find. But democrats don’t ever get their turn at nominating anyone who is anything resembling left of center. Or left of center right. And democratic voters are happy with this. It’s like they suffer from some kind of fucked up Stockholm Syndrome, where they can’t even conceive of going for a nominee in the model of Earl Warren.

So to recap; republicans get to assemble their right wing dream team when given the opportunity, but democrats are perfectly content with someone who “isn’t as bad as Scalia”. I have some news for you; comparing a nominee to the worst of the worst isn’t a good calibration of your good nominee barometer. That’s like comparing a president to George W Bush. Why not aim a little higher with your comparisons?

Now let me get to the heart of the Stockholm sufferers’ argument. Obama is actually playing three dimensional chess by nominating someone republicans like, and forcing their hand on a nomination. And by refusing to hold hearings on a “friendly” nominee, he’s exposing republican obstructionism.

Let me pick this argument apart. First off, republicans have already done that when they proclaimed that they wouldn’t consider anyone Obama nominates. That already happened. Republicans have already exposed their own obstructionism. Check. Polls taken days after that announcement show that republican senators prospects for reelection had been damaged by that stance. Three republican senators are in big trouble in terms of their prospects of being reelected if the republicans refuse to confirm anyone. That’s without knowing who the nominee even is. Americans are fundamentally fair. Yes, there are partisan hacks on both sides but that’s not the majority of Americans who approved of Bill Clinton to the tune of 68% after republicans tried to impeach him over a private affair. You don’t get to 68% without the support of a significant number of people who call themselves republicans.

The idea that Obama is forcing their hand by nominating someone they like, and thereby furthering that perception of their obstructionism is predicated on the idea that the American people pay attention to the background of a Supreme Court nominee. That’s nonsense, and there isn’t a shred of evidence that’s true. In fact, the evidence points the other way. Two thirds of Americans can’t name a single sitting Supreme Court justice. That’s right, two thirds of Americans can’t come up with a single name. A whopping 20% can manage to come up with the Chief Justice’s name. Wow, that’s impressive. The percentages go down after naming Roberts:

  • John Roberts — 20%
  • Antonin Scalia — 16%
  • Clarence Thomas — 16%
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg — 13%
  • Sonia Sotomayor — 13%
  • Anthony Kennedy — 10%
  • Samuel Alito — 5%
  • Elena Kagan — 4%
  • Stephen Breyer — 3%

Trust me when I tell you that Americans give almost no shits about the background of a Supreme Court nominee. Not only is there no upside in nominating a centrist, but the huge downside is that it perpetuates the current reality that democrats can’t ever nominate a liberal. This is a terrible long term strategy. Obama should have nominated Thom Hartmann or the ghost of George Carlin. The further left, the better. Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders would also be excellent choices.

There’s another factor that hasn’t been considered by democrats who think that Obama is being “brilliant” with this move: Trump. Democrats are convincing themselves that this is a brilliant move because republicans are never going to confirm this guy. I believe they’re wrong. Right now, republican operatives are trying to figure out what to do about the Trump problem. They really only have two choices:

  • Let him be the nominee, which jeopardize all of the down ticket candidates. They’re justifiably afraid that an anti-establishment nominee hurts down ticket establishment senators and congress candidates. In order to save the senate, they’re effectively going to have to run against their own presidential nominee. They’re already talking about sacrificing the presidency to save the senate.
  • Pull a fast one at the convention and pick another nominee. This poses a risk of revolution within the republican party and also hurts down ticket candidates, since it makes the establishment look even slimier than they look now.

That’s it. There are no other options for the GOP. Trust me when I tell you that, given these two options republicans are going to try and save the senate seats. Saving the senate means not doing anything to jeopardize a single senator who’s up for reelection.

The three dimensional chess theory is dependent on republicans refusing to confirm this guy. I think that the odds are that they will because they have to. Certainly given the Trump factor, the odds are better than they will confirm, than they won’t.

As I said, I don’t see anything good about this nomination. For a democrat to think this is a good thing, you would have to employ some magical thinking that combines the acceptance that we’re in a perpetual hostage situation, blind ignorance to the position that republicans are in with their inevitable nominee, and assumptions that are completely supported by a shred of evidence.

I don’t suffer from Stockholm Syndrome so I’m experiencing some acute bitchiness this morning.

 

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