The Election Round-up

Because this is an election year, I have to.

Here’s the deal. My liberal leanings aren’t a secret, so if you have a problem with that? Or if you have a problem with anything I say at all? Door’s that way.

But please don’t take it to mean that I’m incapable of criticizing the candidates on my own side – I am not afraid to criticize any-damned-body at all.

I will begin by saying that while yes, I am a huge fan of Bernie Sanders, and will be proud to have him as president, and even have that niggling little feeling that says he just might win – and I had the same feeling about Obama in 2008 – make no mistake in the following statement:

I will vote for whoever wins the Democratic primary nomination, whether it’s Hillary or Bernie, or Martin O’Malley, or anyone else.

Reason being very simple: any of them would do a far better job as president of this country than anyone on the other side of the divide.

But make no mistake of this, either: Hillary is absolutely not the most ideal candidate. She and Bill had a very strong investment – and probably still have it – in the private/for-profit prison industry. She is also very close with Goldman Sachs and the other Wall Street firms that have almost collapsed the national economy. She worked for the Goldwater campaign and, if you don’t remember, Barry Goldwater was a segregationist. Most of her superdelegates have also turned out to be lobbyists. And while yes, I’m wholly aware that politics comes with corruption in any case, I find these factors to be major, major demerits in the Hillary column.

(As an aside, please don’t bring the emails and/or Benghazi and/or any other bogus scandals into the picture. This isn’t the point of the post, and they’ve been debunked already. Shut it please and stick to actual facts.)

The recent debacle about how she won’t debate Bernie unless he changes his “tone” – insulting no matter who it comes from – only adds to the demerits.

Nonetheless. If you’re in the “Bernie or Bust” camp, you are doing yourselves, first of all, a disservice. A massive disservice, at that. Yes, it’s a great thing if we will have a President Sanders. You will find me a supporter of him. However: if you’re sitting home and not voting in the event your candidate won’t win the final nod for the nomination, then you’re as good as voting Republican by not actively voting against them. And those who do not vote, do not get to bitch about the results.

And need I really point out who’s on the other side of that divide?

Like it as not, you’re very likely to see a Donald Trump nomination on the other side. Marco Rubio dropped out, and so did the majority of the clown car. This leaves two serious contenders: Cruz and Trump, unless someone else decides to jump into the fray. Kasich may win it, but Kasich is a nonentity as far as the public eye is concerned, and his track record in Ohio is abysmal.

And Cruz doesn’t qualify by virtue of the fact that he is Canadian. It doesn’t bloody matter how you spin it: regardless of his father, his mother was not an American citizen at the time of his birth because she has, by then, had her Canadian citizenship. The deep, deep irony of the fact that Cruz has been one of the leaders of the birther witch hunt against our current president is caught and disqualified, by the very same tenets that he tried to use against the president, would be hilarious –  but for the fact that people consider either him or Trump to be serious contenders.

If you haven’t read Craig Mazin’s twitter feed, I really recommend it. Short background: Craig Mazin and Ted Cruz were roommates at Princeton and the feed itself is pure comedy gold. Craig Mazin is a pretty nifty director in Hollywood nowadays and his roommate…. was Ted Cruz.

I cant’ say much more about even the likelihood of a Trump nomination than people have said already. I’m frankly horrified at the entire situation. I’ve already gone off like a loose cannon when he used Russian WWII vets to boost his image. The fact that he’s a racist, misogynistic, hateful bastard who successfully exposed every other hateful, racist, misogynistic bastard in the country needs not ever be stated twice. The recent comments on abortion are even more despicable.

But… here’s what concerns me about the Dem side.

Sanders isn’t winning by the numbers. He has the popular vote locked down pat, the social media movement is growing and gaining serious steam, but I have doubts as to his traction by conventional means. Yes, I’m well aware of the corporate media blackout – seeing as some of the media outlets have been contributing to Hillary’s campaign, I’m not surprised – but really, Sanders’s traction in the polls worries me a bit. He’s only now started to close the delegate gap between himself and Clinton. Then again, we’ve seen the same thing with the Hillary vs. Obama match-up in 2008. She was also leading by the polls… and conceded to Obama despite being ahead.

This time, though, I’m not so certain Hillary would concede the nomination, seeing her traction now and her determination. The one thing I do have to say for Hil is that she’s very determined.

Right now, especially with the history of the Clinton investments and affiliations, I’m not entirely sure she’s trustworthy, though. I’m just not. She may be a strong leader, yes. But I  I definitely do not like her affiliations. Too often, I feel like she’d say anything to get the nomination.

I’ve stated all this about Clinton before, and I got rebuked very soundly for it. But guys, really: before you rebuke me, please look at her history. We’ve already learned, by the simple virtue of Trump’s popularity, that history tends to repeat itself. This is not exclusive to any politician, party, time, or place; history is the #1 predictor of all things to come. Yes, she would be a great president, if compared to other candidates. I have no doubt that she is a very strong and capable leader. However: I question her ability to do right by the dwindling middle class and the much-more-expansive-than-anyone-thinks working class, if she’s affiliated with two of the forces that rigged the game against them in the first place.

Oh, and Mitt Romney filed paperwork to run again. AGAIN. Talk about stepping on the same rake twice! Come on, man. You already lost once. We’ll send you packing a second time.

But the most important part about all of this is: until the conventions announce their final candidates, we just do not know for a fact what our choices are, whatever those choices might be. Let’s step back and have a little bit of perspective on the fact that until July, which is when the conventions pick their nominees and we get to know who’s in the VP slots, we just won’t know who’s going to be the nominee for each side. Until then, we’re only seeing a carefully engineered media circus, and none of us are the better for it.

What we need, as a people, is:

  • Affordable food/housing/living, and salaries that can afford that
  • Higher education – hell, education in general – that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg
  • Some sort of security in our retirement, whether it’s 5 years of 25 years away
  • The knowledge that we can go as we please and patronize any business we please and not be discriminated against or attacked because we are the people that we are.

And that’s not too much to ask. You’d think, in any case.

I will later on write a bit more about education and the role it plays in this election year… but that’s for another day.




2 thoughts on “The Election Round-up

  1. Kat, I appreciate you sharing your honest and candid thoughts on the election. I’m not feeling the Bern, but if he is the nominee I will support and vote for him. I think it’s important to add “support” because should Sanders win the nomination, the barrage of attacks on him by the Republicans and their surrogates will be fierce, devastating and unrelenting. Bernie has never suffered the sort of hostility the Kochs, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the Republicans will hit him with.

    That’s my main apprehension about backing Bernie. Not that I disagree with his principles. More that I don’t know how he would handle himself when everything about him is dissected and demolished in a carpet-bombing salvo of 60-second attack ads. I know Hillary Clinton is used to taking that sort of fire. I don’t know if Bernie can.

    As far as this “Hillary was a Goldwater supporter” stuff goes if we’re going to disallow any Democrat who was once a conservative or Republican, we’re going to have to purge a few others like California governor Jerry Brown, former New York mayor John Lindsay, and current liberal leading light, Sen. Elizabeth Warren who was a registered Republican from 1991 -1996.

    Clinton explained to NPR’s Scott Simon why she was a “Goldwater Girl.”

    SIMON: I mean, did you ever, back in the ’60s, between when, I believe, you were Goldwater Girl and…

    HILLARY CLINTON: That’s right.

    SIMON: …Whatever you became politically?

    CLINTON: That’s right. And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with.

    SIMON: Would you ever run for office yourself? Do you ever think about that?

    CLINTON: Oh, I don’t think so. No.

    SIMON: I mean, did you ever, back in the ’60s, between when, I believe you were Goldwater Girl and…

    CLINTON: That’s right.

    SIMON: …And whatever you became politically?

    CLINTON: That’s right. And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with. I don’t recognize this new brand of Republicanism that’s afoot now, which I consider to be very reactionary, not conservative in many respects. I’m very proud that I was a Goldwater Girl. And then my political beliefs changed over time. But I’ve always thought that the role of citizen, the role of advocate, were as important in our democracy as running for office. And so it’s not anything I’ve ever, you know, seriously considered.

    KEITH: So I guess you never say never (laughter).

    SIMON: Yeah, times and circumstances change.

    There are many reasons NOT to support Hillary Clinton and in 2008, when I backed another upstart Senator who delighted progressives in a way she didn’t. I know and I understand them all. It doesn’t deter me from supporting Clinton now. The Goldwater thing is a red herring. If you don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton, that’s okay, but that’s not a good reason to do so.

    I was pushed over into Hillary’s camp when she took the worst Trey Gowdy and his motley crew of Republican inquisitors threw at her for 10 HOURS. Nobody else in this race would have taken that grilling and come out the other side, unbloodied and unbowed as Clinton did. You think Bernie or The Donald or Terrible Ted would have without losing it at some point? Puh-leeze! That was the moment I knew Hillary was ready for that 3:00 am phone call that all hell was breaking loose.

    I don’t know if Bernie is ready for that call and I can’t vote for anyone to be the President of the United States unless I’m sure they are.

    1. I wouldn’t quite say that no one else would’ve been able to take that grilling. She is tough. I won’t deny it. But that’s not my criteria for a choice candidacy: their affiliations are.

      Here’s the thing. Hillary’s past as a Goldwater girl wouldn’t bother me half as much if she didn’t have a heavy investment in the for-profit prison system right now. Yes, the Republicans switched away from the party when the racism switched sides, but I do not like it when someone has a continued investment in what Goldwater would’ve happily approved of. This makes me leery overall, as well as her continued loyalty to Wall Street. We have had enough of the corporatist takeover of the country. Having a president with more of the same? Nope. What else would she profit off of as an investor?

      I would be tempted to disagree with you on Bernie, just on the account that he had a thirty-year stint as the guy who had to deal with the trouncing of the other fools in Congress. Would he be ready for the 3am phone call? Maybe, maybe not. Would he take the grilling? Yes. And probably return fire too.

      The attacks on Hillary, should she win the nomination, would really be no better or less intense than Sanders. Worse because she’s a woman. Worse still because of Bill’s prior BS.

      I want to wait until the conventions, but there is no way that a Republican from this batch should be allowed anywhere near a seat of power.

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