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Nobody’s Fault

There aren’t many things I dislike more than litigating the last presidential election. Actually, that’s a lie – I hate watching other people relitigate the last presidential election more (much more). I hate it because the “analysis” that everyone presents somehow manages to make every decision they made from the primaries to election day the correct decisions, therefore everyone else fucked up. I presented my thoughts on what went wrong shortly after the election. There were plenty of mistakes made all the way around, and very few people made all of the right decisions.

The pie of blame in this last election has hundreds of slices. I have always maintained that the largest single slice belongs to Hillary. She was the candidate, so to blame anyone else is absurd and childish. She made so many mistakes like focusing on Trump instead of middle class and poor Americans, not going to Wisconsin, not trying to get the forty-three percent of Bernie’s primary voters, but instead focusing in on the mythical moderate republican voter. And the emails. That was the biggest fuck up of all. Decades of being attacked put her in a position of having the lowest trustworthy numbers of the vast majority of politicians in America, and she thought that setting up a private email server next to the Cuisinart in the kitchen was going to help with that? And what the fuck was anyone thinking when they voted for her in the primary anyway? That is was going to be fine? It was never going to be fine, and you were all giant hypocrites for voting for her after being outraged when Bush did the same thing. I can go on and on and on, but I won’t because either you saw what I saw, or you didn’t want to and never will want to.

So why am I writing this post now? Because Hillary’s new book appears to do a lot of finger pointing. The early peeks at the book seem focused in Bernie, but I’m sure she also points at misogyny, Russia, my cats, and a slew of other things that aren’t her for why she lost the election.

I have a lot to say in this post, so bare with me. But let me start with the ways she blames Bernie. Here’s a quote from the book that really steams my beans:

“That’s what it was like in policy debates with Bernie. We would promise a bold infrastructure investment plan or an ambitious new apprenticeship program for young people, and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger. On issue after issue, it was like he kept promising four-minute abs, or even no-minutes abs. Magic abs!”

Magic abs? You mean like the magic abs they have in Europe where everyone has medical coverage? Magic like that? Or magic like in Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Slovenia, and France where their magic abs get to go to college without that mound of debt that our flabby stomachs get to enjoy? I’m sorry Hillary, but it is not unrealistic to want the things that our own lying eyes can see are working in other parts of the world.

This right here, is why democrats have been getting pummeled in election after election for the past ten years. Democrats had been losing their base long before Bernie ever announced that he was running for president. Neither Bernie nor his magic abs is responsible for losing over 900 seats across the country over the past ten years. If democrats aren’t going to fight for the things that are going to improve our lives, they can’t expect blind loyalty to the party. I’m not on “team democrat”. I’m on Team Bitchy, and I will always vote my own self interest. My self interests in the primaries lied with Bernie and his platform. In the general, my self interest was in stopping Trump and supporting Hillary.

Ross Perot taught republicans, who are already predisposed to authoritarianism, that they have to follow their leader no matter what. They will never split their vote again. Liberals have no such predisposition to protecting Daddy at all cost. If Daddy is abusive, liberals will not show up to support him (or her). So when democrats refer to commonplace programs that are working in the rest of the developed world as “magic abs”, they can expect the trend of the past ten years to continue. And before you scream gerrymandering! at me, remember that you have to win certain seats before you can ensure that your party can’t ever lose those seats again. Republicans did that.

Now onto the next thing that Hillary said that I think is complete bullshit that only hurts democrats in the long run:

“Bernie isn’t a Democrat. That’s not a smear, that’s what he says. He didn’t get into the race to make sure a Democrat won the White House, he got in to disrupt the Democratic Party.”

You’re goddamned straight he did. If by “disrupt”, you mean “bring the party back to it’s former platform of representing the working people”, then you are correct. I have said this thousands of times over the past couple of years, but let me go ahead and say it again: when a seventy year old man with no money, no comb, and no tailor comes in and takes forty-three percent of your primary voters, you’d better pay attention to what he’s saying. Ignore his message at your peril. The “he’s not a democrat” argument is ridiculous, and demonstrates that you have no idea what’s happening in this country. Half of Gen X, and all of the millennials have no regard for the team mentality argument she’s making here. Politics is not sports. You don’t pick a team and stick with them no matter how many times they shit on you. Politics is about your own health and well being. I am laser focused on my own needs, and I will not blindly follow anyone who isn’t interested in protecting my self interest.

 

“I’m with her”. That pretty much told you most of what you need to know about the current version of the democratic party. It wasn’t “She’s with you” or “She’s for you”. No. It was “I’m with her”. That’s pretty much what the democratic party establishment is sticking with. That and “Trump is terrible”. That’s the extent of the platform.

There was one other thing she said that made me laugh at her cluelessness:

“That’s what it was like in policy debates with Bernie. We would promise a bold infrastructure investment plan or an ambitious new apprenticeship program for young people, and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger.”
She served in the senate with Bernie, so she should have a better understanding of where he’s coming from than I do but she’s so wrapped up in her own victimhood, that it’s made her stupid.
Please watch this video all the way through:

Now tell me if you can find any daylight between his presidential platform and his agenda from nineteen freaking ninety. Bernie didn’t go bigger to outdo you. Bernie thinks big, and he always has. Wanna know who else thinks big? Republicans. They have taken this country so far right that Reagan couldn’t run on his own record in a republican primary. The amnesty for eye-legals alone would be a nonstarter. So while democrats are going for incremental changes, republicans are going for the gold and they’re getting it.

There is no more consistent politician in the world. He’s been talking about the same issues for forty years. The country just finally caught up with him. Notice how I said the country, and not liberals or democrats? Voters on both sides of the aisle are increasingly feeling more populist, and Trump knew it. He was making preposterous promises and assuring us that unicorns and rainbows were going to come shooting out of his ass to take care of everyone who has been suffering for far too long. She in the meantime, was focused on telling you how horrible he is.

Hindsight is supposed to be 20/20. That is not what’s happening anymore. No one seems to be learning any lessons from what happened in 2016. Hillary voters can’t see that they made a horrible mistake in supporting her during the primaries, and they don’t seem at all concerned with the hypocrisy of assuming that the private email server was no big deal. Hillary doesn’t seem interested in exploring why it is that Bernie took such a giant chunk of the primary vote away from her. She just wants to blame him for being mean to her and “enabling” Trump’s “crooked Hillary” narrative. Never mind the fact that she spent the better part of 2008 calling Obama a child (remember the infamous 3 am call commercial?) The Bernie or busters can’t accept any of the responsibility for setting their votes on fire, rather than sucking it up and voting for Hillary to save the republic.

So to summarize: no one is to blame for Trump. So I guess that must mean that he won because he’s just all sorts of awesome.

People, we all need to start reflecting. There is nothing to be learned if everyone digs in and insists that they didn’t make any mistakes. My Twitter feed is full of people bashing Bernie and Kamala Harris because I guess they think that a two year election cycle is too short, and prefer to instead start the whole nightmare of presidential elections on the day after election day. Stupid.

Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in America, and he’s a liberal. Why the hell would self described liberals be tearing him down? And when Kamala Harris (or any democratic establishment member) embraces single payer health insurance, why would you bash her for that? If you’re on team Bernie, this is a win for you. Just fucking embrace it. Bernie didn’t get into the 2016 race to become president. He got into it to influence Hillary and pull her to the left. He didn’t start running in earnest until February. Wanna know how I could tell? He didn’t have a single field office in South Carolina at the time that the Iowa caucus happened. So take the win, Bernie supporters. He’s managed to move democratic presidential contenders into much more liberal positions than we could have even dreamed of two years ago.

I’m not remotely interested in the 2020 election at this point in time, and neither should anyone else. I’m not hopeful about 2020 or even 2018. Nothing that I’m seeing or reading gives me any reason to hope because no one did anything wrong so therefore, there are no lessons to be learned. Democrats aren’t going to develop a platform beyond “Trump sucks”, Hillary supporters will continue to vote for the least popular candidate in the primary, and Bernie or busters will enable the next W or Trump.

Swell.

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Jason Chaffetz Is Destroying The Last Shred Of Democracy

I bet you thought that Trump was responsible for this, but it’s actually Chaffetz. Let me walk you through my thought process. I read this story yesterday, concerning the war that our intelligence community has declared on Trump. I’m not sure that we needed a formal declaration, since they had just finished taking down Michael Flynn. The war was pretty clearly underway, and probably just getting started. Thus my despair for the state of our democracy continues to grow.

Let me start with a recap of the events that we’re all familiar with at this point: it all started last summer when we learned that the Russians hacked the DNC as part of their efforts to influence our elections. This happened in conjunction with Putin’s army of internet trolls pushing out pro-Trump propaganda. At the time, we had no real evidence that Trump was working with Putin on any of this, but we did have plenty of reasons to suspect that was the case.

Let’s start with Paul Manafort, who had to resign as Trump’s campaign chairman back in August because we found out that he was lobbying for a foreign government, without having formally registered as a lobbyist for that foreign government (as he’s legally obligated to do). That foreign government was of course, Russia. Manafort got a giant pile of cash from Ukranian Prime Minister (and Putin puppet) Viktor Yanukovych.

So that was weird.

A month later, one of Trump’s foreign policy advisors (Carter Page) had to leave the campaign because we learned that he was talking to senior Russian officials about lifting the Obama sanctions on Russia.

So that was weird.

Actually at that point, it had gone way beyond weird when you combined those two resignations with Trump’s effusive and persistent praise for Putin. And yet, Trump supporters and die hard Bernie-or-busters soldiered on with their denial of the kremlin connections and all played their parts in giving Trump (and Putin) the White House.

And then we had the pee-tape leak, which was information gathered by a well respected former MI6 operative who was hired by republicans to gather everything he could find on Trump. Do I know for sure that there’s a pee-tape? I don’t. Do I believe there’s a pee-tape? I believe it’s possible, but I’m waiting for the actual tape to appear on Youtube. The only thing I’m certain about is that if it exists, I will end up on my computer. I do strongly suspect that Putin is blackmailing Trump with something. Nothing else explains all of this.

And then we get to Flynn last week. He was the third person close to Trump who had to resign over improper (and very likely seditious) conversations with Russian officials.

Now, I know that it’s easy to get caught up in the scandals. I did. But when I  took a step back and reflected on the events, I realized that our intelligence agencies are basically running the country right now, and that’s terrifying. They are responsible for all of the information that we know about Trump and Putin, and they let us know by leaking to the press for the better part of a year.

That’s not how this is all supposed to work. When I start thinking about what we don’t know, I become flat out terrified for this country. I don’t know if the intelligence community briefed the Obama administration on what they knew last summer. I don’t know if Loretta Lynch was given the opportunity to investigate. I don’t know if the DOJ knew the full extent of all of this. If they did know, why didn’t they gear up to prosecute? Was the house oversight committee briefed? I don’t know what the fuck happened while Obama was still in office.

I do know that the FBI have been battling themselves in an internal civil war where the NY bureau went rogue in doing their best to put Trump in the white house, which has left the DC bureau steaming mad. I do know that the intelligence leaks that have been coming from the FBI are coming from the DC bureau. I don’t know if the CIA and the NSA are also leaking, or if this is all coming out of the FBI.

I do know that all three agencies have a lot more information than what they’ve leaked so far. It would be completely inconceivable to assume otherwise. Remember the story about Trump turning off the recording during his call with Putin a couple of weeks ago? Well, I’m pretty certain that our intelligence agencies, Germany’s intelligence agencies, the UK’s intelligence agencies, and every other intelligence agency in the world didn’t stop their recordings.

Here’s what I know beyond a reasonable doubt: there is no chain of command left for the intelligence communities to follow with this information. We do know that they did went to the Justice Department with the information they had on Flynn back in January. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Our intelligence agencies don’t have the power to prosecute anybody. The intelligence agencies investigate things and then bring the results of their investigation to the Justice Department. The Attorney General then decides if a prosecution is warranted. Our current Attorney General is Jeff Sessions, who was appointed by Trump. That doesn’t seem like a viable route for the intelligence community to take if they want to expose treason on the part of the president and his staff.

There is another avenue. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform can investigate. Unfortunately, the head of that committee is a republican tool, who has announced that he’s not willing to do his fucking job. Now, Jason Chaffetz is not the sharpest tool in the shed. He’s a lot like a lobotomized bulldog who bypasses any thinking and goes straight to attacking  democrats, just because he can.

That half-wit bulldog is the only hope we have of salvaging the small slivers of democracy we have left. I want to believe that if he decides to earnestly investigate Trump’s relationship with Putin, the intelligence community wouldn’t have to leak like a sieve to the press. We can’t keep going down this dangerous road, where random spies and analysts are basically running the country with raw intelligence information that hasn’t been vetted and reviewed. I know that it’s tempting to be grateful for these leaks right now but trust me, this is not going to turn out well for any of us if we embrace this as the new normal.

I am unfortunately convinced that Chaffetz is entirely too dimwitted to realize that what he’s doing isn’t actually protecting his beloved party, but rather blowing up our democracy. Trump is going down either way. I just don’t see how he can turn any of this around for himself.

So why do I put our fate in Chaffetz’s hands rather than in Jeff Sessions? Because Chaffetz needs to win an election in less than two years. We have some leverage on him. Sessions isn’t directly accountable to a single American Citizen, since he sits in an appointed position.

Chaffetz’s offices in both DC and Provo need to be surrounded by thousands of concerned citizens every single day until he relents. I know that this isn’t likely to work, since Chaffetz has historically demonstrated a complete and utter lack of concern for public opinion, but we have to do something. Our democracy is literally falling apart before our very eyes, and anyone who isn’t in full blown panic mode about this doesn’t fully understand what the big picture looks like.

 

 

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