RNC 2016: The Audacity of A Dope

I’m with Stupid.

I didn’t watch the first night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and I don’t plan on watching any other nights either. I did hear something about Melania Trump, Donald’s mail order bride engaging in an absurd act of plagiarism and from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech to the Democratic National Convention, no less.

The audacity of such dopiness deserves breaking my blog silence. For those wanting the relevant passages to compare, read ’em and draw your own conclusions:

Mrs. Trump, Monday night:
“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily lives. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Mrs. Obama, in her 2008 speech:
“Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them. And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them onto the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.

Mrs. Trump:
“I was born in Slovenia, a small, beautiful and then-communist country in Central Europe. My sister, Ines, who is an incredible woman and a friend, and I were raised by my wonderful parents. My elegant and hardworking mother, Amalija, introduced me to fashion and beauty. My father, Viktor, instilled in me a passion for business and travel. Their integrity, compassion and intelligence reflects to this day on me and for my love of family and America.”

Mrs. Obama in 2008:
“And I come here as a daughter — raised on the South Side of Chicago by a father who was a blue-collar city worker and a mother who stayed at home with my brother and me. My mother’s love has always been a sustaining force for our family, and one of my greatest joys is seeing her integrity, her compassion and her intelligence reflected in my own daughters.”

What say you, gentle readers? Is Mrs. Trump an innocent conveyor of words coincidentally complied as a previous presidential aspirant’s spouse once did or is she guilty as hell of deliberately and purposefully ripping off Michelle Obama?

Set aside the sadistic schadenfreude of Melania Trump’s face-plant before a national audience, it can be reasonably argued her shitty speech was no better or worse than all the other shitty speeches I ignored in Day #1 of the Republican National We Hate Barry and Hillary Convention. However, not being important is not the same as not mattering.

When your best argument against the other candidate is they are dishonest and crooked and gets away with lying and then you lift entire sections from a speech made in public eight years ago, that goes past arrogance and headlong into stupid. Every word Melania Trump uttered was going to be recorded, fact-checked and stress tested. How long did campaign manager Paul Manifort think it would take before somebody stirred in their chair and said, “Say…that sure sounds familiar…?

For nobody on Team Trump to have caught this isn’t incompetence. It’s knowing their base won’t give a fuck.

This is how the Trump “campaign” does it. They lie and they lie loud and long and when they’re caught in the lie, they deny they lied in the first place, but if they did, it’s Clinton’s fault! Only groupies. blind partisans, and idiots let Trump get away with this shit and don’t believe the truth matters when they’re being lied to right in their face. David Frum lists ten reasons why Melania’s howler feeds into the narrative that the Trump “campaign” is like Indiana Jones making it up as they go along.

1) Melania Trump’s speech was the first and best opportunity to humanize Donald Trump. That opportunity was not only wasted, but the whole project of humanizing Trump has become a farce that will haunt the later attempts by Trump’s children to undo Monday night’s debacle.

Trump Family Values

3) Since Sunday, every journalist at this convention has been collecting examples of the Trump campaign’s failures and incompetence: the quarrel with Ohio Governor John Kasich, the absent senators and governors, the no-show donors, the convention’s financial embarrassments, the floor fight over rules, the lack of a proper schedule, and the defective apps and other technology. Suddenly, there is one easy-to-understand incident that encapsulates in one grim joke all this convention’s cavalcade of derp.

5) Trump has just vividly demonstrated that his campaign—never mind the campaign, he himself—have zero skill at crisis management. Confronted with this comically absurd failure, their instinct is not only to lie, shift blame, and refuse responsibility, but to do so in laughably unbelievable ways. It’s all a big joke when the crisis in question is a plagiarized speech by a would-be first lady. It won’t be so funny when a President Trump tries to manage a truly life-and-death crisis in the same blundering, dopey, and cowardly way.

9) Plagiarism draws attention to content of the passage plagiarized. In 2008, Michelle Obama summed up the values that she had learned from her parents and that she and Barack Obama now tried to instill in their children: work hard; tell the truth; keep your promises; treat others with dignity and respect. Donald Trump epically does not tell the truth, does not keep his promises, and does not treat others with dignity and respect. A plagiarized speech (and the failure to detect the plagiarism) pretty strongly confirms that the Trumps do not much care about hard work, either. “Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee.”

Plagiarism MATTERS. Or at least it should, unless we accept when we’re talking Trump, the rules do not apply. I do not accept. The first night of the Republican convention is a bit early for a Clint Eastwood’s Chair moment but whoomp there it is.

Grumpy Old Man Gets Older and Grumpier

McCain in a bad light.

Remember when John McCain was the Reasonable Republican leader?   If you do, you’re showing your age.  That Johnny Mac is long gone.  This is who he is now.  A grumpy 79-year-old man who having got punked by Donald Trump.  In 2008,  McCain screwed his presidential chances by selecting Sarah Palin.   Now he sounds like Sarah Palin.

“Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaida went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures, utter failures, by pulling everybody out of Iraq. “So the responsibility for it lies with President Barack Obama and his failed policies.”
~ Sen. John McCain, 06/17/16

What in the entire fuck is wrong with McCain?  Is this just a Republican senator taking on a Democratic politics in the usual “I don’t like this guy since he beat my ass eight years ago and took the job I deserved, so I’m gonna hate on him and blame him for the worst mass murder in recent history.”

Politics are involved, all right. The politics of “I’m in a tough reelection fight and I can’t afford to piss off Donald Trump voters so even though he totally disrespected me, I’m gonna out-Trump Trump.”

McCain is in a harder primary fight than he expected, and even if he wins it he faces a strong Democratic challenger in the fall. He’s trying to save his ass and to do so he’s joined the lunatic fringe. If Trump had said the same damn thing everyone would shrug it off as the latest word vomit spewed from his rancid piehole. We’ve come to expect The Donald’s special disdain of truth and facts.

But this is Johnny Mac. Big-time war hero. P.O.W. Soldier. American hero. For him to shit out this garbage doesn’t lessen Barack Obama, but it does diminish McCain. It makes him small and it makes him look weak and like an old pol who’s hung on too fucking long, and right about now, those are things he can’t afford to be.

“I misspoke” is bullshit. Weak-ass BULLSHIT. It was bullshit as an excuse as Trump saying he was “misconstrued” in his bigoted attacks on Judge Curiel and it’s bullshit when a U.S. Senator accuses the President for being personally culpable for the deaths of 49 people. It’s worse when McCain does it, because when his mouth disengages from his brain, people actually listen and many of us can’t believe what we’re hearing from him.

Let’s apply John McCain’s twisted logic to his favorite person: John McCain. As a fighter pilot during the Viet Nam war, McCain was a pilot and part of the Operation: Rolling Thunder bombing campaign of North Vietnam. Estimates of civilians killed in the bombing vary between 52,00 and 182,000 killed, and critics of the war say villages and hospitals were targeted. McCain was personally involved in 23 combat missions.

A small man continuing to grow smaller.

A small man continuing to grow smaller.

Applying the senator’s reasoning to himself, instead of running for reelection as a war hero shouldn’t he be prosecuted as a war criminal instead?

Ludicrous? Absurd? Ridiculous? Sure, but so is Johnny Mac as he bows down to Trumpism, the philosophy of the guy who said about McCain, “I like people who weren’t captured.”

I like people who don’t run scared and talk out their ass.

First You Pray. Then You Act.

OrlandoStrong-660x330

Any country which has made the conscious decision to defend its guns over its own children has gone mad. If you can’t get some sensible gun laws passed when they’re carrying out the bodies of slaughtered children, you’re not going to get it when they’re carrying out the bodies of slaughtered gays and lesbians.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother to TRY.    I’m  damn tired of maniacs using the Second Amendment to shield them from scrutiny and give them the means to get assault weapons and other tools to commit mass murder.  IF we allow what happened at the Pulse nightclub to go by with nothing more than prayers and hand-wringing, we are going to see another maniac try to beat Omar Mateen’s body count.

What we do is taking it to Congress and we can start by calling and writing our U.S. Senators and demanding they answer this question:   What are YOU going to do to prevent another mass shooting like the one in Orlando?

I’ll provide the contact information for your senator at the end of this post.   Today, I came across a call to action from a man I know and respect,  Phil Martin.   Phil is the former executive director of Stonewall Columbus, a founder of the Columbus Gay Men’s Choir and a professor at North Central State College.    He is a conscientious activist, a passionate advocate and a stand-up dude and all-around damn fine human being.

I asked Phil if I could share here what he shared on Facebook and here it is:

When you get done being upset or sad…get angry!! REALLY ANGRY!!!

I’m ANGRY because our legislators are bought and paid for by the gun lobby!

I’m ANGRY because our spineless congress won’t do a God. Damn. Thing.

I’m ANGRY because this country has already said it is ok to kill first graders (Sandyhook), high school kids (Columbine), college kids (Virginia Tech), shoppers (Killeen, TX), and even soldiers (Fort Hood)…so what will it matter that a slew of young gay folks were killed??

I’m ANGRY because this will simply set a new record that someone will try to beat when they easily get their hands on these weapons of mass destruction.

orlando-shooting.2

I’m ANGRY at all the politicians telling us to pray for the victims! When you’re done praying, get up off of your knees, STAND UP and demand that something be DONE for the victims!!

But most of all, I’m ANGRY because I’m TIRED OF BEING ANGRY!!!

Something MUST change!! Don’t vote for spineless politicians!! STAY ANGRY and hold our elected officials accountable!!! They have blood on their hands…and if we don’t do something, we do too!

I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I don’t want blood on my hands.   Well, maybe I want Mateen’s, but the Orlando SWAT team beat me to it.    That’s still no excuse for the 45 Senators who blocked background checks for gun purchases in the wake of the Sandy Hook rampage.   Many of them are still in Congress and every last mother’s son and daughter among them should have to answer for it now.

One of my representatives, Sherrod Brown voted correctly.  The other, Rob Portman did not and he is up for reelection in November.    Portman was considered vice-president material by Mitt Romney in 2012, but was passed over for Paul Ryan instead.   It was rumored what knocked Portman out of consideration was his vocal support for his son who had come out as a gay man.

The Orlando terrorist targeted the Pulse nightclub because it was popular with the LGBTQ community and Mateen reportedly was offended when he saw two men kissing.   Gay men like Rob Portman’s son.   Now there’s some irony in there.   Portman needs to account for his 2013 vote and what he’s going to do for the dead gay sons of other fathers gunned down in a spasm of hate and blood.

This is the phone and email information for the Senators of the 114th Congress.  Take a stand.  Ask the questions and don’t stop asking until you get the answers.

http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

orlando-shooting-0612-exlarge-169

Do not let this happen again because you did nothing now.

Hillary Makes History…To Be Continued.

In case there was any confusion.

First things first.   With all the faux drama of “What’s Bernie Gonna Do?” and “Ooh! The Donald Can Read a Teleprompter. How So Very Presidential of Him!” it should not be lost as the 2016 primaries come to a close  for the first time in American history a major political party has chosen a woman as its presidential nominee.

You can like it or you can lump it, but I think its a pretty goddamn significant moment for this country.    I get it some folks may not have set their alarm clocks and waking up to the reality of Hillary Clinton being the Democratic nominee for President of the United States may cause them to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over their heads, but it’s not going to help.

What happens next after the primaries are over (or all but over as the District of Columbia votes next week) is the winner starts consolidating the various factions of the party to form a united front against the other party’s top dog.   Usually, that’s how it plays out, but like everything else this political season, Bernie Sanders is making noises he’s got his own playbook and he’s not ready to make nice with Clinton.

This should surprise no one.   The Democrats are calling for unity, but Sanders has little inclination to heed the call.

Feeling Berned

The clock has chimed midnight and the masks are off. Tell me something I didn’t already know. There’s many reasons to slag Debbie Wasserman Schultz for the shit job she’s done as the DNC head, but the top reason is she should NEVER have allowed Sanders to run as a Democrat when he is not a Democrat, has not been a Democrat and will never be a Democrat.

Sanders has perpetrated a fraud and now that he’s over, done, cooked, toasted, roasted, basted, marinated and served up, he’s gone into his full Grumpy McCrankypants mode threatening to drag on a fight he’s lost and with nothing left to fight for.

If Hillary Clinton is indicted tomorrow the Democrats will not nominate Bernie Sanders to replace her on the ticket. If Hillary Clinton walks through a revolving door and disappears, spontaneously combusts or is abducted by aliens, the Democrats will not nominate Bernie Sanders to replace her on the ticket. If Hillary Clinton is brainwashed into supporting Bernie Sanders, the Democrats will not nominate Bernie Sanders to replace her on the ticket.

If by some quirk, trick or cosmic accident Bernie Sanders were to become the Democratic nominee I would not vote for him.    Take your Hillary Hate and go vote for Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Donald Trump or DyJuan D. Barnes Yahweh and the other zombies running for prez.  Have a party.

But please don’t stand on your soapbox demanding someone “prove” something to you or plead with you for your vote. That’s not gonna happen and please have a bit of dignity and take that, “Well, I just might support Trump.”  You have fun with that.  Nothing says temper tantrum like voting for the guy your guy was running to beat.

Frankly, progressives who say they’d rather vote Trump than Clinton need to reconsider what’s so progressive about backing a bigot?   Anyhow,  it’s not much of a threat.  One of the most baffling things to contemplate is how in the entire hell anyone can say with a straight face, “I’m gonna vote for Trump because you made me.”

I’m bored silly by the petulant whining of Bernie Sanders and his supporters. There are no circumstances that exist or could even be imagined where I would come crawling on my hands and knees to Sanders and his supporters begging please, oh please, vote for Hillary and save us all from Donald “Captain Queeg” Trump!

If Clinton was such an awful choice and a weak candidate, why isn’t Bernie the nominee.  It should have been easy.    Because Clinton, Wasserman Schultz and the Democratic establishment cheated Sanders?  Save the bullshit.    How exactly was Sanders  “cheated?” The Bernie or Bust crew is long on rhetoric and real short on specifics. Like any specifics.

Nobody has told the Sanders supporters the ugly truth, not even Sanders himself, so I’ll share a little secret with y’all.  Democrats choose moderates, not liberals and there is no new liberal renaissance on the horizon. Not yet, anyway.

I am so completely over the entitlement of Sanders supporters who cry “You need us.” No. I really don’t. What I need is for YOU to shake yourself and wake up from this wonderful dream where you get everything you want despite your sainted candidate losing the popular vote, losing the pledged delegate count and losing  most states that held primaries.

It would  be nice to think there’s a middle ground where Sanders supporters and Clinton supporters could meet where they could say, “I don’t like this about Bernie and you don’t like that about Hillary, but we both don’t like anything about Donald.” Sadly, we’re nowhere near that middle ground and believe it or not, that was the same thing in 2008 when it was Clinton vs. Obama: Dawn of a Presidential First. It was ugly and divisive then too.

Eventually, the two sides came together to take on a mutual adversary, Sen. John McCain and the story ended with Obama as POTUS and Clinton as his Secretary of State. Yay. Group  hug.

This may happen. As time passes hot temperatures cool, rifts mend and wounds heal. The divisions of June may linger on recede when faced with the terrible alternative of President Trump in November. Or it may not.

I am an unapologetic Clinton supporter who will be proud to elect her as the nation’s first woman Chief Executive.  No one will be begged, coerced, bribed or butt-kissed to do likewise.

Do as you damn well please.

Never forget.

Fear of a Trump Planet

Ain’t No Stoppin’ Me Now.

In his quest to become America’s next and quite possibly LAST president,  Donald J. Trump locked up the Republican presidential nomination next week.  Now the only thing between him and victory is a little loved career politician plagued by hints of scandal and too much ethical flexibility.  It’s time to start thinking the unthinkable.  Donald Trump could be president.

I can see the idea is starting to take hold among some that as he pivots to the general election Trump is going to moderate his message and become “more Presidential.” Which is horseshit because Trump doesn’t DO moderation. Trump doesn’t know how to be “more Presidential.” Why anyone would expect a reality show host to become a statesman?

America can’t afford that sort of dangerous naiveté. Americans can’t be sanguine that the risks associated with electing an autocratic despot will to lead to peace and prosperity.

Now is not the type for this sort of magical thinking. If you want to call that “thinking” at all.

Weak people long for a strongman to tell them HE has the answers and HE will make what is wrong, right and HE has a plan and only HE has the vision for HE is strong and he will lead the weak.

For those that do not wish to lead nor follow, Donald Trump has nothing to offer. I have far more respect for the Republicans who refuse to get in bed with Trump and assume the position than I do for those who opposed him yesterday and now spread their legs for him today.

Trump is the wolf in the fold and he will take vengeance against those whom stood against him. He does not forgive and he will not forget. Give this man the full force of the Justice Department, the IRS, the CIA, FBI, NSA, and the U.S. military and who will stop him? Who will be there to tell him “No, Mr. President. You can’t do that?

The final decision rests with the president, but its vital the president has aides, advisers, and others who can tell him or her not what they can do with their immense power, but what they cannot. Who will tell President Trump anything other than, “That’s a great idea, Mr. President!

It’s possible there is a reasonable, intelligent, well-articulated argument for Trump, but nobody’s made it to me.

The graffiti vote has spoken.

The unreasonable, stupid, and barely articulate arguments for Trump I’m quite familiar with. They don’t have much more depth than “He’ll make America great again” and that’s nothing more than a bumper sticker slogan. If all you’re looking for is a shit-stirrer who will divide the country worse than it already is, widen the gap between the haves and have-nots worse than it already is, sour racial relations worse than they already are, make the world an even more dangerous place than it already is, and take the country into a darker direction than its ever been, then you should absolutely take the plunge and vote for Trump.

Surrendering to a temptation can be fun. It’s also fun to piss off annoying people. It’s no fun for those who suffer the consequences of indulging a temptation that unleashes terrible consequences. Trump doesn’t have to become an American Führer to be a dictator or start WWIII. All he has to do is get elected and start trampling over the rights of millions and treating the Constitution as a list of suggestions instead of guiding principles.

Donald Trump is very scary if you’re on his Shit List and a lot of Americans already are and don’t know it. Some of them are laughing their ass off now and will be crying in their beer later. Some will play along with Trump and wave away his most outlandish remarks as nothing more than campaign rhetoric and over-the-top hyperbole designed to play to the crowd, not become national policy. Just like everybody else who predicted Trumpmania would pass was proven wrong, they’ll be wrong again, but this time it’ll be too late when the president-elect raises his right hand and takes an oath he neither believes in nor will adhere to.

There’s always a possibility Trump’s talk of rounding up and deporting millions and banning Muslims is just that–talk. A little something for the nativists, xenophobes, and other bigots to smile about, but nothing more than another vague promise abandoned by a candidate as soon as the suckers vote them into elected office.

OR…

Trump means it. He’s not kidding. He’s going to build a wall and he’s going to make Mexico cough up the cash to pay for it. It wasn’t just polarizing campaign rhetoric. It was a real thing and once he’s got the power to do it, he’s gonna DO it.

Now I’d suppose some of the Undesirables would go out like the Japanese did during WWII when they were the Undesireables to be rounded up and placed in internment camps. For the most part, they went quietly. They didn’t necessarily like it, but they weren’t being kicked out of the U.S. either.

This time around when the police or the National Guard or the Army come a’knockin’ on Granny’s door to pack her away on a bus, Granny’s sons and daughters, nephews and nieces and friends will be ready and spoiling for a fight, and that’s when it will get bloody.

I’ ve heard some voters will vote for Trump because we’ve had enough of politicians and need someone in the Oval Office who isn’t one. That, or this Is what Americans deserve for not supporting Bernie Sanders. Then there are a few who think it’s a good gag to vote for Trump.

I really don’t care about the sort of deranged thinking it requires to believe the best alternative if you can’t have Sanders is to vote for Trump, the guy he’s ultimately trying to square off against. Maybe that makes sense in the La-La Land of Susan Sarandon’s headspace but it make no sense in mine.

Some people find hilarity in the looming prospect of tragedy. Some people inhabit a world of privilege and believe they can float above it all. Some people are so thoughtless, selfish and a bit stupid that they just don’t care. It’s all one big fucking joke to them as long as somebody else is the butt of the joke.

It’s fun to laugh at those who cry “wolf” as worry warts panicking over a threat that hasn’t happened. At least its fun until you realize to your sorrow the wolf is not at the door. The wolf is inside the house and it is a hungry wolf.
The naysayers can keep proclaiming, “…all is well. All is well” and pooh-poohing the threat posed by Trump’s ascendancy as nothing new and just a slightly more colorful version of business as usual.

Some of us are a bit less flippant, a bit more contemplative and a lot less dismissive of the threat posed by a Trump presidency and we know better. The rest will have to learn on their own, if indeed they ever do.

 

The Republican’s “Deep Bench” Got Trumped.

trump

Exit…Stage Right.

There will be no contested convention in Cleveland.   No white knight will rise to rescue the Republicans from the monster that devoured them.   We started off with 17 governors, senators, former CEO’s and other leading lights of the GOP.    One-by-one they were out put out to pasture.  Insulted, humiliated, and belittled until they were beaten by a dude who may not even be a Republican.

Last week in Indiana, Trump’s final remaining challengers, Terrible Ted Cruz and John “Son of a Mailman”Kasich finally faced the cold hard truth.  The voters weren’t buying what a Texas senator and the Ohio governor were selling, but they were all-in for a billionaire businessman from Noo Yawk who’s never held elected office.  With Donald Trump Ascendant it’s time to ask one question and its the one question which needs answering more than any other question.

What the hell happened to that “deep bench” of candidates the Republicans had as opposed to the weak scrubs the Democrats had?

The myth of the Deep Republican Bench has been exposed as the total and complete fraud it was.   Writing in the Washington Times, Joseph Curl boasted in 2014 how the GOP was stacked to the max with presidential contenders while the poor Dems were left with little more than cold pizza and moldy meatloaf to choose from.    Curl got a good giggle from the prospective candidates.

…Hillary Rodham Clinton, who got crushed last time by a first-term senator no one had ever heard of, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a one-dimensional politician who has repeatedly said she does not plan to run in 2016.

The Dem bench thins significantly after that — ever heard of Jim Webb or Martin O’Malley? Didn’t think so. They get mentioned most often after Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Warren. And party leaders still talk seriously about Vice President Joseph R. Biden making a run. Highly unlikely. So crushable.

It’s so much fun to look back with the benefit of hindsight isn’t it.   It gets better.   Carl next crushes on The Notorious B, Bill Kristol, the Weekly Standard editor and former head cheerleader for Sarah Palin’s presidential hopes, who rhapsodized wistfully draming of the 26 (!) potential Republicans who would wrest control of the White House from the Kenyan usurper/occupier come the next election.

“…the Republicans are sitting on the deepest bench they’ve had in decades. Bill Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard, counts some 26 potential candidates: “John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Pete King, Mike Pence, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Joe Scarborough, Scott Walker, and Allen West … Dick Cheney, Tom Cotton, Mitch Daniels, Joni Ernst, Newt Gingrich, and Rudy Giuliani.”

The Donald and the 16 Dwarfs

“Each of you would be a better president than Hillary Clinton. You would deserve the thanks of man and woman if you beat her. And if your name is not on this list, don’t feel slighted. Rather, feel free to volunteer you’re also more ready than Hillary. If you think you’re the right person go for it.”

He missed a few others: Nikki Haley, Brian Sandoval, Susana Martinez. And of course Rand Paul. That pushes the number to 30. Not all are top-tier, ready-to-govern candidates, but all are, as Mr. Kristol points out, “more ready than Hillary.”

I don’t read Curl on a regular basis and in retrospect, in 2014 nobody saw the Trump Express bearing down on the rest of the Republican, but these are among the WORST prognostications made about the 2016 presidential race.   You could hardly be as wrong as Curl was.     The Republican field featured five current and former U.S. Senators (Graham, Cruz, Rubio, Paul and Santorum),  nine current and former governors (Christie, Walker, Kasich, Huckabee, Pataki, Perry, Gilmore, Bush, Jindal),  a well-regarded brain surgeon (Carson) and a less well-regarded CEO (Fiorina).     If you had asked the experts like Mr. Curl if Trump would have been the one to crush ALL of them, he’d probably blow snot bubbles out of his nose laughing at the suggestion.

Who’s laughing now?  Besides Trump that is?   The GOP establishment is trapped in a nightmare they can’t wake from and the only thing that stands between Trump and the rest of America getting caught up in it as well is Hillary Rodham Clinton.   It’s a terrible position to be put in for a Republican who abhors Trump to have to rely upon a woman they’ve hated for decades to save the country from a narcissist infected by megalomania.

What happens next?  Don’t ask me.  This is unfamiliar territory to all of us.  The experts are now saying Trump can’t win in November no way no how.  They were saying that when he was over a year away from November 2016.  Now he’s only six months away.

Meanwhile, for all you Cruz/Fiorina ‘16 fans, get your orders in NOW. Operators are standing by. They got no choice.. The movers have already taken the chairs and desks and are coming back for the phones.

Buy this crap now before some poor kid in El Salvador or Haiti ends up rocking the gear of two assholes like Cruz and Fiorina who’d never let them in this country in the first place.

Collectors Items? Nah. Just garbage.

Can Hillary Win Sanders Supporters? Should She Even Try To?

Are the Bernie Bros open to switching to Hillary?

There’s one rule to remember when playing the game of presidential politics and it’s this:  Don’t play the game if you only want to win.   I’ve come around to the sad conclusion many of Bernie Sanders supporters have forgotten this rule or they never knew the rule which is worse.

Maybe I’d have to get a time machine and travel back to 2008, but dammit, I don’t remember this sort of dogmatic questioning of one’s political allegiances, intelligence and good sense by Barack Obama supporters of Hillary Clinton supporters.   Maybe it was this bad.    It sure seems worse.

I’m no Bernie Bro, but I like a lot of what he represents and repeatedly said if he’s the Democratic nominee he has my vote.   On the flip side,  I wanna know is will the Sanders supporters make the same commitment if their guy doesn’t get the nomination as it presently appears he will not?   I kept asking and could not  get a straight answer to that question.  So I kept asking until finally a Sanders gave me a straight answer.

No, I will never, ever vote for someone I don’t like or trust. To me, Hillary is what the perfect Republican should be and used to be. Bernie is what a Democrat used to be and still should be.

I will not vote for Hillary.

Trump would be no worse than Hillary as president?   So Hillary would deport 11 million people. And Hillary would bring back waterboarding and worse. And Hillary would tear up the nuclear deal with Iran. And Hillary would build a fucking wall between the U.S. and Mexico and make Mexico pay for it. And Hillary would repeal Obamacare. And Hillary’s tax cut would go to the top one percent. And Hillary would punish women who have abortions.

The “Clinton-is-Trump” in a pantsuit sort of reasoning is so wrong-headed and so far removed from who Clinton is  unworthy of being taken seriously.   You actually have people such as actress Susan Sarandon who are so far up Bernie’s butt they say things might be BETTER if Trump wins because she can’t trust Clinton and we deserve a hard lesson in tough love for the heresy of  not backing Bernie.

"Bernie or Bust?" Definitely bust.

“Bernie or Bust?” Definitely bust.

I don’t know what to say to Sarandon who says its better to lose with Trump than win with Clinton.  “Grow up and don’t play the game of politics if you only want to win and you’re a horrible sore loser,” comes to mind.   That, or simply wave “bye-bye” as she drives over the cliff in November in an reenactment  of the end of Thelma and Louise.

Not helping, Susan.

The mind-boggling stupidity of Sarandon’s “Bernie or Bust” philosophy is the hissy-fit whining of a privileged White woman who’s just been told by the waiter they’re all out of designer water and have to settle for what comes out of the tap.    Sarandon’s wealth and status will insulate her from the selfish consequences of voting for Trump far better than a crew of illegal Mexican workers mowing her lawn in Hollywood.

As the Good Ship Sanders begins to take on water and list, besides throwing staffers overboard, the campaign still hasn’t done anything to put an end to the continued harassing of Democratic superdelegates. If anything, it’s getting even uglier.

Sarandon is a Sanders Sista not ready for Hillary.

The trolling of the superdelegates by Sanders supporters is another manifestation of the “Bernie or Bust” dead-ender “strategy.” Some of these “progressives” are now pleading to the FBI for an indictment of Hillary Clinton over her email server.

How does someone call yourself a progressive and purposefully  share the same wet dream as of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump?   These are some of the most juvenile acts of thumb-sucking I’ve ever seen from a losing campaign’s supporters.

Anyone who says there’s not much difference between Clinton and Trump either has no grasp of the issues at all or is so blinded by Clinton Derangement Syndrome, they can’t see the difference.

Mathematically,  its all over but the shouting for Sanders.   Clinton’s lead in the delegate count isn’t insurmountable, but whatever the closet thing to insurmountable is, it’s that.   This is not what Sanders voters want to hear, but it would be cruel to tell them this race is still winnable.  It’s not.

You have to take two things under consideration. First, it’s hard for a lifelong outsider to beat a political insider for a party’s nomination. Sanders was never going to nudge Clinton aside with the superdelegates. Big crowds are visually impressive, but they have to be matched by big wins and Sanders hasn’t racked up enough of those to deny Clinton the nomination.

Yeah. We are pretty sick of each other.

Second, if Sanders has done nothing else exposed Clinton’s glaring weakness with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and prevented her from pivoting to the general election by rushing to the center of the lane. She can’t ignore their disdain for her and thinking they will eventually support her based on Fear of a Trump America, isn’t going to be good enough.

I’m always blown away by how losing candidates think they can demand the winning campaign adopt their issues. If those issues resonated with enough voters the losing candidate would be the winning candidate. Were the positions reversed, Sanders wouldn’t feel any compulsion to offer anything more than an olive branch to Clinton and her backers.

If Sanders wants his “Revolution” to have a lasting impact he has to stay in the Democratic Party and not revert back to his earlier Independent status and support Clinton in denying Donald Trump the White House. A third-party bid or an ugly denouncement of Clinton will only make Sanders a pariah in the party.

Clinton will make all the right noises about inviting Sanders supporters to join her and Bernie will get a nice big prime time address during the Democratic convention to plug his priorities. He’ll press on to California to bring attention to his issues, but few of them will become part of the Democratic platform in Philadelphia.

There are issues upon which the two former colleagues can and should agree on, but anyone expecting Hillary to come out in favor of free college is going to be let down. She is not going to reinvent herself as Sanders Lite.     Believe it or not, Clinton has her supporters too and there’s only so much outreach she can do to Sanders and his backers before it begins to look like appeasement.

Every campaign reaches a point when it must recognize it can’t win and must decide what sort of loser it will be.   Sanders can play this smart and maximize his support to bring about the political revolution he speaks of, but to do that he has to do in within the Democratic Party.   Go outside of it as a third-party candidate and all he will do is wound Clinton, elect Trump and earn the eternal enmity of the party.

Bernie Sanders can be a change agent or he can be a sore loser and pariah like Ralph Nader.    He can maximize his new clout into creating an enduring and empowered progressive wing of the Democratic Party.   Sanders won’t directly benefit as this was his best shot at the presidency, but if he thinks beyond himself he can turn his energized and engaged voters into something good with candidates and polices that mirror his own.  Take over the Democrats  and build a legacy than endures beyond one man’s political fortunes.

Sanders could do that.   Or he  can sulk and pout and put a reactionary Republican in the Oval Office.   The question is which course will Sanders supporters let him follow?

The Outsider and the Insider headed in different directions.

This Is How Bernie Sanders Lost My Vote

"Sure, I'll friend you on Facebook, Bernie."

“Sure, I’ll friend you on Facebook, Bernie.”

The day Bernie Sanders lost my vote was last Sunday during the debate with Hillary Clinton before the Michigan primary, which he narrowly won.  Good for him and next Tuesday is the Ohio primary.     On most issues my heart is with Bernie, but because of his inelegant ineptness on race, my vote will be with Hillary.

I don’t have an overarching political/philosophical preference for Clinton over Sanders and there’s no great policy position between the two which moves me to favor one over the other.

In a general election the Republicans and their well-oiled attack machine would blast Sanders into unrecognizable tufts of hair, broken glasses and brain matter. Hypothetical polls in March how he fares well in hypothetical matches against Trump or Cruz don’t impress me in the least. Sanders hasn’t convinced me he can win in November.

There are two Independents in the Senate who caucus with the Democrats. One is Angus King and the other is Sanders. Which begs the question why is Bernie Sanders running as a Democrat when he isn’t one?

Sanders isn’t a Democrat and has never supported the Democratic Party until he decided to run for president as a Democrat. Yet he still maintains his status as a declared Independent in the Senate. Good for him for remaining independent even if he has ideologically contaminated himself by throwing in with a political party he’s always held in low regard if not outright disdain.

Sanders could have run as an Independent but he wanted the advantages, ballot access, higher profile and being taken seriously that comes with being on the Big Stage with the first team. I’m really baffled why Hillary hasn’t nailed Bernie on his 11th hour conversion. It looks so calculated and it is.

What it comes down to is while I don’t like Hillary Clinton so much more than Bernie Sanders, I’ve begun to like him a lot less when he says stuff like this during the debate in Flint, Michigan:

Hillary Clinton, seeking to cement her lead among black voters, released statements from the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis on Tuesday criticizing Bernie Sanders for saying white people “don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto.”

The Vermont senator, who has struggled to persuade blacks to support him, made the statement during a debate in Flint, Mich., on Sunday. The CNN moderator Don Lemon asked both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders to describe their “racial blind spots.”

“When you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto — you don’t know what it’s like to be poor,” Mr. Sanders said. “You don’t know what it’s like to be hassled when you walk down the street or you get dragged out of a car.”

The remarks provoked an immediate online backlash from people who pointed out that many whites also live in dilapidated housing and in low-income neighborhoods.   Mr. Sanders clarified his statements on Monday in comments to several reporters in Detroit.

“What I meant to say is when you talk about ghettos traditionally, what you’re talking about is African-American communities,” said Mr. Sanders, standing near his campaign’s chartered plane.

On Tuesday, the Clinton campaign released statements from Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Mr. Martin, and Lucia McBath, the mother of Mr. Davis. The two black teenagers were killed in separate shootings in Florida that became racial flash points.

“Senator Sanders is wrong to suggest that the concept of the ghetto is inextricably connected to black America,” Ms. Fulton said in the statement. “We need a president who understands black families don’t all live in ghettos — and who has a plan to end the racial violence that too often plagues families like mine.”

Putting aside the Clinton campaign enlisted the mothers of two murdered Black youths to zing Sanders, he comes across as a classic, condescending White liberal wringing his hands over those poor, poor Black people suffering in the ghetto.

If I had to put my finger on the one thing that bugs me about Bernie, his cluelessness on race would be it. Even his “what I really meant” follow-up was full of shit. When you’re talking about ghettos you’re traditionally talking about is African-American communities?

The Hillary and Bernie Show rolls on and on and on….

Says who? Says you, Bernie! Here’s what Merriam-Webster says:

plural ghettos also ghettoes

  • 1 : a quarter of a city in which Jews were formerly required to live
  • 2 : a quarter of a city in which members of a minority group live especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure

You can find a ghetto in many places including Jewish ghettos like those in Poland during WWII or spread across Europe in the 17th century designed for one purpose:  to keep the Jews trapped in poverty and hopelessness.    Ghettos aren’t confined to bombed-out neighborhoods in Detroit.  You can find a ghetto in the Appalachian hills in West Virginia or a trailer park in Columbus, and I guarantee there will be a lot of White faces wondering what you’re looking around there for.

Sanders has a problem with race as how people of color experience in 2016:   He doesn’t know much about it.  I’m told by Sanders supporters he’s the best candidate for real progress being made, but I’ve grown weary of Bernie’s shoot-from-the-lip remarks about Blacks.   At this point in his life he doesn’t get it, can’t get it and won’t get it that he doesn’t get it.

Trump has made a series of stupid quips over the years  well he gets along with “the blacks” and  that’s him doing Shit Donald Trump Says.  However, Sanders is so awkward and forced when he says anything about Blacks it comes off like he’s never met any before he ran for president,   It’s taken as fact Trump is a pompous and conceited con man, but that’s his schtick.  Sanders seems to want to emulate the Trump swagger and be sanctimonious while doing it. That’s just aggravating.

I fail to see why its asking too much to expect an actual Democrat running to become the de facto leader of the Democratic Party.   I wouldn’t call Sanders a DINO (Democrat In Name Only) but…oh wait…yes, I would.

When you want all the benefits without paying any of the dues, it’s hard to trust Sanders is a Democrat or will stay a Democrat should he fail to win the nomination. He’ll just go back to being the same independent Socialist who has always held the Democrats at arm length until he needed their legitimacy to run for president.

There’s a name for that sort of slick move: opportunist. Sanders is working a hustle and I’m baffled how  Clinton gets slammed as an insincere panderer while Sanders gets a pass.    For these reasons and more,  it comes down to  Hillary didn’t win my vote so much as Bernie has lost it.

“…and how many Black people do you know, Senator?”