Category Archives: Campaign Notes

U Is For Unpredictable

I started using the image of Harold Lloyd hanging from a clock in Safety Last during the 2018 campaign. It captured my worries and concern for that election, which turned out well. The 2020 election is feeling even more fraught as Democrats seem hell bent on pulling defeat from the jaws of victory.

I was in the Carnival bubble all weekend, which is a lovely place to be. We had a small group of friends over yesterday to cheer on friends who rode in the King Arthur parade. When I came back to reality this morning, I wished I hadn’t pulled that pesky sword from the stone.

Donald Trump is a historically unpopular president* who is rightly seen as a menace by more than half the populace. He is beatable but he’s an incumbent with deep pockets and a willingness to cheat. He may well blow things up but Democrats are back to slashing at one another and sabotaging their chances in the fall. Once again, they’re missing the big picture. Campaigns are about themes and stories. While a positive message is needed, it need not be detailed. Take a look at FDR’s platform in 1932. He knew that the only issue was the failings and failures of the incumbent. In 2020, the most important issue is TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP.

I am, however, enjoying the takedowns of Mike Bloomberg. A 78-year-old misogynist and racist with a habit of changing parties when it’s expedient should not be the Democratic nominee. The guy supported Bush in 2004 fer chrissake.

I had high hopes for the Democratic field last year but the winnowing process has been brutal. I remain frustrated that Elizabeth Warren’s campaign has floundered. Here’s how I put it on the tweeter tube in a response to Herriman biographer and parade route book signer Michael Tisserand:

I’m going to emulate my pal Dakinikat and present some Monday Reads, since on the whole I’d rather be in the Carnival bubble.

First, a piece by former Harry Reid aide, Adam Jentleson: Why Don’t We Know Which Democratic Candidate Can Beat Trump? A reminder that Harry Reid urged Senator Professor Warren to run for president time around. Here’s hoping that Nevada Democrats know that.

NYT Op-ed columnist David Leonhardt poses a haunting question given the caliber of some  of the candidates who dropped out of the race: Did Biden Scare Off Our Next President?

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Debenedetti takes a trip to Obama World: What Obama Is Saying In Private About The Democratic Primary.

Finally, the Washington Monthly’s David Atkins on my preferred candidate: Warren Is Paying The Price for Her Honesty. And Her Gender.

Finally, a message from Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush to despairing Democrats:

Biden/Muskie

Original photo via Salon. 

I don’t usually take requests but this one came from Our Scout Prime. It wasn’t actually a request but a question posed via twitter DM: “You see parallels between Biden and Muskie?”

I do indeed. They were both ratfucked by sitting presidents. Muskie’s ratfucking was more successful: it destroyed his candidacy. He was driven to tears by vicious attacks on his wife Jane. That was long before Cryin’ Speaker Boner and it did not go down well with voters. Muskie won the New Hampshire primary but not resoundingly enough for a New Englander. Sound familiar? It should.

Ed Muskie’s ratfucking, however, was done by Nixon’s underlings, not by Tricky himself. Donald Segretti for one. Roger Stone for another. The latter skated. Sound familiar? It should.

Both Biden and Muskie were frontrunners who lost big leads in the polls. I think Muskie would have been a more formidable general election candidate than Biden. He knew how to STFU. Joey the Shark does not.

Muskie was ratfucked in 1972 because Nixon wanted to run against George McGovern. McGovern was a fine man who was captured by his more extreme supporters. The climate on the left was so anti-military that McGovern could not run as who he was: a war hero who opposed the Vietnam War as a dreadful mistake.

Biden was ratfucked in 2020 because Trump wants to run against, and red bait, Bernie Sanders who has some supporters who continue to damage his reputation.  He deserves better than the Bernie Bros and those supporters whose main goal is to burn down the Democratic party.  We’ve had enough arson in out politics courtesy of the Impeached Insult Comedian. I will support whoever wins the Democratic nomination. Our future depends on it.

Muskie was a better man, candidate, and senator than Biden. He was as steely and stolid as any Mainer. Biden is warm and garrulous, and there’s always been a disconnect between his brain and mouth. It’s been made worse by age.

Finally, anyone who mentions Hunter S. Thompson’s ibogaine canard will have their comment deleted. It was either a sick piece of parody or an act of journalistic ratfucking. Hence my unpopular opinion that HST is overrated. He was the Rick Wilson of the left: funny but sleazy. Teenage me would have disagreed.

The thought of Edmund Sixtus Muskie crying in the snow gave me an earworm. The last word goes to The Police;

 

Taken For Granite

I usually love elections as much as MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki. He has his big board whereas I’m a bit bored by the early stages of the 2020 Democratic race. Some of the candidates who excited me dropped out: Booker, Harris, and Castro. And the candidate I support, Senator Professor Warren is still in the race but gasping for breath after a dismal performance in the Granite State.

Perhaps it’s not boredom but the fact that what’s going on in the nation’s capital is more captivating as well as frightening. The only lesson the Impeached Insult Comedian has learned is that he can get away with anything as long as his party backs him up. More on that later today.

Bernie Sanders was the winner last night but given his spectacular performance in the 2016 Granite State primary, his victory feels a bit underwhelming. He polled about half the number of votes as in 2016 and won with the lowest percentage of the vote of any candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976. He’s going to need a big victory somewhere to overcome the animosity his supporters have sown among Democrats. If he looks like a winner against Trump, people will come around. That’s what really matters, y’all.

I still don’t get former Mayor Pete’s appeal. He has a great comms staff and strategy and buckets of billionaire bucks. Otherwise, he’s the least qualified Democratic candidate in recent memory. Of course, the GOP topped us when they nominated Trump. That should serve as a cautionary tale as to why Democrats need a qualified nominee. And there’s a helluva mess to clean up after Trump shat in the national bed for four years.

Amy Klobuchar’s support had a growth spurt and she finished a solid third. Her speech was the best of the evening. She wisely aimed it at the country, not at the people in the room. It will be interesting to see how she handles the attacks that will be forthcoming now that she’s done well at the ballot box.

Biden had a terrible night. The man with universal name recognition finished fifth. Biden’s campaign considers South Carolina their firewall but he’s slipped everywhere, and it will happen there as well. The third time is not the charm: it’s slip sliding away.

Despite her fourth-place finish, Warren is a fighter and will soldier on. Her supporters on social media are in denial about how bad last night was. Massachusetts pols have traditionally done well in the Granite State including the least charismatic Greek in history, Paul Tsongas. It’s going to be hard for her to raise money after her single digit finish. If you’re a hardcore Warren supporter, donate today. I plan to.

I hope the candidates will learn something from Bloomberg’s anti-Trump media blitz. They’ve spent too much time in the weeds debating the details of their health care proposals and whatnot. Elections are not won on policy details; they’re won with themes and stories. Besides, there’s only one issue in this campaign: TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP. That’s the story, morning glory.

Repeat after me: The national house is on fire and the arsonist lives in the White House. The Democratic nominee needs to douse the fire, win, and rebuild our democratic institutions.

A final note about the process. The Iowa clusterfuck should lead to the abolition of caucuses. They exclude everyone who cannot devote an entire day to caucusing, which is inherently anti-democratic. The results from Iowa remain murky whereas they’re clear in New Hampshire. That’s a difference that shouldn’t be taken for granite.

Since I gave myself an earworm, the last word goes to Oasis:

Score One For The Luddites

Some people love complexity. They think that technology can solve all problems and that an untested app can be used in the electoral process. I am neither a technophobe nor a Luddite but there are some things that should be as low-tech as possible: voting is one of them.

The best argument I’ve seen in favor of simplicity is by New York Times technology columnist Kevin Roose:

After Monday’s Iowa caucus debacle, I’ve decided that Americans should vote by etching our preferred candidate’s name into a stone tablet with a hammer and chisel.

Or maybe by dropping pebbles into a series of urns, as the ancient Greeks did.

Or possibly just by voting the way we voted for much of the 20th century, on analog punch-card machines that spit out paper ballots to be hand-counted by election workers, with zero iPhones in sight.

Basically, we should be begging for the most analog election technology possible. Because what happened on Monday night — a long and confusing delay in vote counting, due in part to a mobile app that was hastily designed and inadequately tested before being deployed in one of America’s most important elections — was an inexcusable failure. It caused distress and confusion, set off innumerable conspiracy theories, and started the 2020 election season by undermining trust in the democratic process.

The World War II generation was on to something with this slogan: KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID. We should pay heed to it and make the electoral process as analog as possible. The Impeached Insult Comedian cheated in 2016 and he will cheat again in 2020.

There are some ridiculous ideas floating around on social media among those who are conspiratorially minded:

First, the Iowa appocalypse is somehow a conspiracy by dark forces. Wrong. Software is glitchy. I believe in considering the simplest possible answer to any question: incompetence is usually the answer. Conspiracies do exist but they’re rarer than fuck ups.

Second, the DNC is behind the non-existent conspiracy. Wrong. The Iowa Caucuses are run by the state party. Primaries are run by the states. The DNC has nothing to do with either. The DNC is now and has always been a weak institution, not the KGB of the 21st Century.

Third, Trump wants to cancel the general election. Wrong. He doesn’t have the power to do so because the states run the election. Additionally, he’s desperate to be loved so he wants to run and win. President* Pennywise’s threat to the election is cheating. Repeat after me: he cheated in 2016 and he will do it again in 2020.

My solution to all of this dumbassery is to revive Civics classes. People have no idea how the government really works so they listen to trolls and idiots on social media. That’s what happens when schools spend all their time teaching students to take tests, not to think. Thinking is important and it’s an increasingly rare commodity in our country.

It’s time to post the Think Flag:

That is all.

 

Random Thoughts

I know what you’re thinking: all my thoughts are random. I stand accused and plead guilty as charged. I have some shame unlike some people. I mean a certain Impeached Insult Comedian with a dead nutria atop his. Fucker has no shame. He can’t wait to take his “victory” lap and brag about his “triumph.” It’s likely to be short-lived.

I want to assure Tommy T that I have his back while he’s having back issues. I’m not posting as early as he does because I try to keep normal hours. If only I could succeed in doing so. I woke up stupidly early this morning but not:

Iowa Blues: I don’t know about you, but I’ll be glad when the Iowa Caucuses are over. Polling them is notoriously unreliable and if the weather sucks, all bets are off. This is one time being a voter’s second choice is not a bad thing. If less than 15% support a candidate in the first round, they either leave or move to another candidate. It’s how Athenae’s boyfriend, John Kerry, won Iowa in 2004.

I pine for the days when Iowa didn’t matter. It’s all Jimmy Carter’s fault. He made it a thing in 1976. I loathe caucuses, they’re anti-Democratic and way too important for a small, rural, mostly white state.

Removal Trial Blues: I’m DVRing final arguments. I don’t have the heart to watch them live. The GOP’s misconduct should bite them in the ass come November. Typing that sentence felt good. I am trying mightily to remain a glass half full person. The numbers are on our side. Plus, President* Pennywise is bound to overreach and ask for help from Macedonia or some such shit.

Last Week Krewe Of Spank Blues: I don’t actually have the KdV blues, there’s just so much to do and only a few days to do it. This strikes me as a good time to link to last year’s minor masterpiece, Confessions of a Krewe du Vieux Member; written for the Bayou Brief before I became the 13th Ward Rambler. Speaking of which, I have some rambling to do so I need to sign off soon.

I have nothing to say about the Super Bowl. I was watching The Sorrow and the Pity. I am not making this up. I guess I stand accused of being a bad American. At least I know where Kansas City is located.

The last word goes to Elvis Costello:

Enough Already

Twitter is extra stupid this morning. It’s ablaze with a pitched battle between Sanders and Warren supporters with the former being particularly inflammatory. They seem to have forgotten CNN’s debate track record; they go for gotcha moments with gusto.

I used to watch CNN in the days of Bernie Shaw and Aaron Brown but it’s all about giant panels and loaded questions in the 21st Century. That’s why I skipped the debate and didn’t even DVR it. Enough already.

I like what Charlie Pierce had to say about this ridiculous flap:

…the Warren-Sanders business is going to be what people take away from Tuesday night. I have no idea what was said during the famous conversation about whether a woman can be elected president. But the response from the Sanders supporters, especially on the electric Twitter machine, has been so hysterically over the top—Responding with snake emojis? That’s only the oldest misogynistic smear of all time, going all the way back to Genesis.—that it does make me wonder whether or not there’s something in that campaign that attracts the Democratic equivalent of the incel boys. I hope it stops soon, but I doubt that it will.

It was inevitable that politics would break out between two candidates trying to be *the* candidate of the Democratic party’s portside. We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again. I see nothing in Bernie Sanders’ platform that would cause me NOT to vote for him in the general election. I’m a Warren supporter BUT the problem is not Bernie, it’s the Berners. Enough already.

We need a coalition, the proverbial big tent, to deliver a well-deserved comeuppance to Trump and his GOP lackeys. I think that Warren gets that. Hell, I think Senator Sanders gets that, but his supporters want to take over the Democratic party and burn it down. That’s nuts. We need all hands on-deck to beat Trump. He’s the real enemy, not moderate Democrats. Enough already.

The other thing that bugs the living shit out of me is that not enough people are talking about the Parnas files. It appears that an American ambassador was under surveillance approved by Crazy Rudy. The Impeached Insult Comedian might have okayed it There’s even a suggestion that Ambassador Yovanovitch’s life may have been in jeopardy. That’s a helluva lot more important than a he-said she-said squabble. Enough already.

People need to prioritize. The national house is on fire and the arsonist lives in the White House. I will vote for any Democratic candidate even one of the plutocrats, the unqualified Hoosier, or the former Veep who has lost his fastball. POTUS* may have authorized a hit on an American ambassador. That’s infinitely more important than what sort of pundit Bernie Sanders is and what Elizabeth Warren had to say about a private meeting. Enough already.

I’d like to paraphrase a  classic 2016 post by Athenae, I’m Done With All Your Liz and Bernie Feelings, Internet. Enough already.

Johnny Mercer didn’t say anything about prioritizing in the song below, but we need to organize our thoughts and accentuate the positive. The last word goes to Dr. John:

 

2020 Candidates In A Word

I haven’t been as wrapped up in the 2020 presidential campaign as I usually am by this stage. Instead, I’ve been following the twists and turns of the impeachment inquiry. It’s hard not to. The national house is on fire and the arsonist lives in the White House. I hate to give that stupid evil fucker the attention he wants but it’s imperative that his malefactions be exposed whatever happens in the Senate.

I thought I’d dip my toe back in the campaign pond by giving my impressions of the candidates in one word. It won’t be easy for a writer who dubbed his Bayou Brief column 13th Ward Rambler. I like words and word play but sometimes you gotta keep it short; unlike this introduction. If I miss anyone, too fucking bad. I’m including some of the dearly departed candidates for shits and giggles.

DEMOCRATS:

  • Biden:                Garrulous.
  • Sanders:            Grouchy.
  • Warren:             Brilliant.
  • Buttigieg:          Unqualified.
  • Bloomberg:       Plutocrat.
  • Booker:               Warm.
  • Klobuchar:         Smiley.
  • Steyer:                 Who?
  • Gabbard:            Troll.
  • Castro:                Impressive.
  • Patrick:               Late.
  • Bennet:               Eyebrows
  • Yang:                   Why?
  • Harris:                 Enigmatic.
  • Delaney:             Bald.
  • O’Rourke:          Gestural.
  • Williamson:       Flaky.
  • Sestak:                Huh?
  • Swalwell:           Young.
  • Gillibrand:         Blonde.

REPUBLICANS:

  • Trump:               Asshole.
  • Weld:                  Patrician.
  • Walsh:                Teabagger.
  • Sanford:            Olé.

I realize that the columns are crooked but so is the Current Occupant. I did them manually without resort to a manual or a chap named Manuel:

The last word goes to Yes and The Beatles:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – back on your heads edition

You know the old joke – guy dies and goes to Hell. The Devil tells him he has to spend all eternity in one of three rooms, and that he’ll let him look and decide.

Guy looks in the first room – hundreds of thousands of people all standing on their heads. Faces bulging, eyes distended, blood running from their noses. It suddenly becomes clear to the guy why being crucified upside down was considered to be a horrendous punishment.

He opens the door to the second room – same thing.  The guy slams the door shut and hesitantly reaches for the third door. This huge room is different – the hundreds of thousands of people are standing knee-deep in human excrement, drinking coffee. The guy thinks – “Well, I guess after a while you can’t even smell the shit any more, and I do love coffee.”

He wades in, gets a cup, and joins the throng.  After a minute, the Devil pokes his head in and says: “Coffee break’s over – back on your heads”.

My coffee break is over.

And with that – the .01% solution!

Trump—“We’ll build a wall along Colorado…”
WE ^ | 10/24/2019 | WE

Posted on 10/24/2019, 10:40:56 AM by mikelets456

President Trump said that in addition to border wall construction in New Mexico and Texas, “We’re building a wall in Colorado.”

Speaking in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the Shale Insight Conference on Wednesday, Trump appeared to flub his geography when it comes to the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We’re building a wall on the border of New Mexico, and we’re building a wall in Colorado. We’re building a beautiful wall. A big one that really works, that you can’t get over, you can’t get under. And we’re building a wall in Texas,” Trump said. “We’re not building a wall in Kansas, but they get the benefit of the walls we just mentioned.”

1 posted on 10/24/2019, 10:40:56 AM by mikelets456
The Freeperati are divided on this one:
To: mikelets456
Who gave him some of Joe Biden’s special loco tea?
I think Nevada could use a western wall though 😀 

4 posted on 10/24/2019, 10:43:56 AM by z3n

To: mikelets456

Drudge has been trying to make this a story for two days now, so thanks for bringing it over hereThe Human Scum in DeeCee have been trying to set DJT and his family up with phony charges since 11/8/16. The man is allowed an occasional slip of the tongue as he battles for us each and every day.

12 posted on 10/24/2019, 10:49:34 AM by JonPreston
Good old “Max Americana” weighs in :
To: imardmd1
I’ve been advocating landmines since I joined 2 decades ago but some limp-wristed Freepers thought Im too rightwing for this forum.. 

18 posted on 10/24/2019, 10:59:55 AM by max americana (Fired ONE libtard at work at every election since 2008 because I enjoy it. I hope every lib die.)

I am SO tempted to doxx this piece of shit – but I would never reveal that he’s a Supervisor at the Oakhurst Chamber Of Commerce.
And finally –
To: Swordmaker
“In context, this was a humorous remark, but, then these people have no sense of humor. Trump was pointing out that a border wall was a wall around each state to keep out crime and protect the citizens of those particular states. He was not being literal about building a wall around Colorado.”
Who knows? Maybe you are right. Perhaps 0.1% see this as a sophisticated 3D chess move. Until he explains it as such the rest of the country will be laughing at him. 

26 posted on 10/24/2019, 11:09:54 AM by plain talk

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This post has been brought to you by the letter “Duh, motherfucker”.
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More after the you-know-what…

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Saturday Odds & Sods: Mystery Train

Train In The Snow by Claude Monet.

I had a head cold this week so I’m going to keep this introduction terse and, uh, heady. If nothing else, I want to prove that I’m capable of brevity. I gave the world a straight line when I called my bi-weekly Bayou Brief column, 13th Ward Rambler. As Captain Beefheart would surely say at this point, Woe-Is-Uh-Me-Bop.

This week’s theme song was written by bluesman Junior Parker in 1953. He cribbed some lyrics from the Carter Family’s Worried Man Blues, which, in turn, borrowed from an old Celtic folk song. That’s American music in a nutshell, y’all.  In 1973, Robbie Robertson added some lyrics to The Band’s version of this classic locomotive tune.

We have three versions of Mystery Train for your listening pleasure: Junior Parker, Elvis Presley, and The Band.

In case you were worried, man, here’s the Carter Family with some hillbilly lagniappe:

Now that I’ve worried you half to death, let’s jump to the break.

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The Case Of The Missing Coattails & Other Tales

The scattered off-year election returns largely confirmed what happened in 2018. Suburban voters are dubious of Donald Trump and prepared to vote Democratic. The MSM and some Democrats, however, remain afraid of the Trump base despite all evidence to the contrary. As Michael F wrote yesterday, the MSM has been going to the wrong diners.

I know nothing about local politics in the Philadelphia suburbs. I do know what it means when voters expel Republicans from power in favor of Democrats. They’re tired of the farce that is the party of Trump. They voted to send out the clowns as did voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

It’s time to slice this post into segments like an orange. It may involve some navel gazing but what’s a bit of navel gazing among friends?

Bluegrass State Goober Race Goes Blue: Tuesday’s most delightful upset took place in Bourbon country where Democrats restored the Beshear dynasty to power. Adding to the pleasure was the Insult Comedian’s election eve rally where he attempted to make the race about him and impeachment. His man, Governor Matt Bevin, lost.

Trump’s sycophants then claimed that Bevin was trailing badly until their dear leader intervened. Another lie: the race was as tight as a tick in all the polls. I guess Trump forgot to pack his coattails. He’s a terrible surrogate, he spends most of the time talking about his favorite subject, himself.

It’s unclear what Bevin’s next move will be. The Commonwealth of Kentucky does not seem to be set up for successful recounts or challenges, but Bevin is whining like a stuck pig about the injustice of it all.

A reminder that Bevin was extraordinarily unpopular with voters, especially in suburban communities across the river from Cincinnati. I have a fairly conservative friend from Kentucky who calls Bevin, Governor Prick.

Then there’s the McConnell factor. The Turtle and Bevin are strange political bedfellows. Bevin primaried Moscow Mitch in 2014 thereby setting the stage for his victory the next year. I’m not sure how far the Turtle is willing to stick his neck out for Bevin since his own numbers are low. Stay tuned.

Whither The Gret Stet Goober Race: President* Pennywise brought his tail-less coat to Monroe, Louisiana to campaign for fake outsider Eddie Rispone. I wish Gret Stet Democrats had had the same reaction as their Bluegrass counterparts: defiance in the face of Trumper provocation. Instead there was whimpering among the tweeting classes who are convinced the incumbent Blue Dog Goober, John Bel Edwards, will lose badly.

There’s no evidence that Rispone has rolled to a big lead, in fact, the race remains as tight as a tick. I’m going to ride that Ratherism until it limps.

I’m on the record as being a clothespin Edwards supporter but all Rispone has to offer is vague promises of a Trumpier future with the reality of a return to the failed policies of Bobby Jindal. No, thanks.

A final reminder that, while Trump rallies may rev up his base, they should have the same effect on his opponents. The Emperor not only has no clothes, he has no coattails.

Who The Hell Is Afraid Of Mike Bloomberg? Not me. He’s running because he’s afraid of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Sure, he’s richer than God but Democratic primary voters are unlikely to look favorably on a guy who went from Democrat to Republican to Independent back to Democrat, Make up your plutocratic mind, dude.

New York City Mayors do not have a distinguished track record as presidential candidates. Remember Presidents Lindsay, Giuliani, or DeBlasio? Me neither.

Of greater concern is Bloomberg switching back to independent for a vanity run that would help his former constituent, the Insult Comedian. Stay tuned.

The Alabama Comeback Kid?  Pinhead former Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants his old Senate seat back. President* Pennywise is not amused and seems poised to oppose Sessions. The most likely benefactor of this scrum is the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent, Doug Jones.

Run, Jeff, run.

Finally, the Insult Comedian plans to attend the epic LSU-Alabama game tomorrow in Tuscaloosa. There was a brief flap over the Bama student body president threatening students who boo the First Boor, but he walked that back.  Free speech, academic freedom, and all that shit.

LSU has lost 8 straight to Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide but I’m cautiously optimistic about the game. Good luck to Ed Orgeron and his charges. I plan to yell myself hoarse tomorrow, which means I’ll sound like Coach O by halftime. Btw, he’s supporting Edwards for Governor. A Tiger win could be a good omen for the Gret Stet Goober run-off. I expect the game to be as tight as a tick.

Quote Of The Day: FDR Edition

I’m annoyed by all the Democrats who urge timidity upon our candidates. Some of those who came politically of age during and after the Reagan era are afraid of their own shadows but they’re wrong. The one-two “punch”  of George W. Bush and Donald Trump has shattered the Reagan coalition. We’re on the cusp of a new era and the future belongs to the bold.

The Warren candidacy has the greedheads of Wall Street and Silicon Valley reacting with a bizarre combination of terror and fury. But there’s nothing in Senator Warren’s political portfolio that would be unfamiliar to pre-Reagan era Democrats. I have one in mind, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. who said this in 1936:

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace–business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me–and I welcome their hatred.

I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.

Repeat after me: the future belongs to the bold. And the bold are not spooked by one poll a year before the election.

Why I Didn’t Watch The CNN Debate

The Tweeter Tube was jam packed with complaints about last night’s Democratic presidential debate. Some were shocked that it was set up to maximize conflict and drama. I was not. It was one reason I did not watch.

For many years, CNN has packaged debates as if they were reality shows. Reality shows require conflict and drama to hold the audience’s interest. While that might be true of a debate as well, that’s not what the candidates are there for. Their goal is to get their message out. That’s hard to do when the moderators want the candidates to comment on the other guy’s message.

A three-hour long debate with twelve candidates is simply too long and overcrowded. It’s aimed at filling time on CNN, not informing the voters. It’s also cruel and unusual punishment to force candidates to go that long without a pee break.

I don’t know about you but I’m fine with never hearing from Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, and Tulsi Gabbard again. The two rich guys have no chance of being nominated and the Congresscritter from Hawaii sounds like she’s planning to run as an independent apologist for the Assad regime. The other candidates are viable until they’re not. Someone else is bound to drop out some time soon.

The biggest problem I have with the MSM focus on debates is two-fold. First, they have nothing to with governing. Normal presidents make important decisions in conjunction with advisers and experts. Second, debates don’t matter in the long run. It’s more important whether a candidate has a strong message and a good organization in the early states. John Kerry and Hillary Clinton were dominant in their general election debates but lost.

I may watch the next time around but if Tulsi is there gabbing, in the immortal words of movie mogul Sam Goldwyn, “include me out.”

Mark Sanford Hikes The Appalachian Comeback Trail

It’s getting crowded and confused on the campaign trail. As the Democratic presidential field narrows, the Republican field expands. The latest entrant is former Palmetto State Governor and Congressman Mark Sanford. He’s best known for two things: an embarrassing sex scandal as Governor and losing a primary to a Trumper last year.

Sanford is challenging the Kaiser of Chaos from the right. Even though he voted for the Trump-Ryan tax scam, he’s running as a fiscal conservative. Perhaps he’ll branch out and discuss the other disasters wrought by Team Trump but right now Sanford is lost in the fog of scandal.

Exploding the budget deficit strikes me as one of the lesser Trump scandals. It’s what Republican presidents have done since Reagan: cut taxes, explode the deficit, then try to shred the social safety. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

Sanford’s fellow former “Freedom Caucus” member, Justin Amash, has cited Trumpian gloating after Sanford’s defeat as a decisive factor in his departure from the GOP. The Insult Comedian is not a gracious winner.

A reminder of  Sanford’s hilarious 2009 sex scandal. He went missing as Governor. While he was holed up in Argentina, his aides claimed that he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail.” He was exposed as a liar, resigned as Governor, was divorced by his wife, and married his Argentine lover. One would think the Insult Comedian would identify with a liar and a cheat but apparently not.

The lame Appalachian Trail excuse was in the news again the other day. Without a hint of irony or self-awareness, Trump has taken to mocking Sanford for it but he’s easily confused: the other day he called it the “Tallahassee Trail.” There is no such thing and anyone who hikes in Florida’s capital city in the summer is apt to get heat stroke. Holy trail mix-up, Batman.

If Sanford had a sense of humor, one of his campaign planks would be to save the Appalachian Trail from the Trump regime and the oil companies. It’s under attack and needs all the help it can get.

There are now three primary challengers to the Current Occupant: Sanford, the Other Joe Walsh, and Bill Weld. The more the merrier. If one of the cable networks schedules a GOP debate, it’s easy to imagine Trump impulsively deciding to participate thereby violating the iron clad rule that incumbent presidents do not debate intra-party challengers because it elevates them. His handlers would be wise to place him in a straitjacket so he won’t accept. It’s where he belongs anyway.

In other campaign news, the Democrats are debating on ABC tonight. I’m undecided as to whether I want to watch. I might have better things to do but if I don’t, I’ll file an instant analysis post.

That’s all, folks.

Jay Inslee Is Out, The Other Joe Walsh Is In

Regular readers will recall that I used this image of Harold Lloyd in Safety Last to count down the 2018 mid-terms. Tick tock, motherfuckers.

Since American democracy is hanging by a thread as long as President* Pennywise is in office, it seemed fitting to re-purpose it for 2020. Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of the presidential race.

OUTS: Jay Inslee exited the race with the same class, grace, and substance that he entered it. His focus on the crucial issue of climate change made a positive impact and prodded the leaders of the pack to respond. He was always my favorite among the no-hopers. I’m glad he’ll be running for re-election for Governor of Washington state.

Seth Moulton pulled out after I wrote the post title. His impact was minimal. It struck me as a vanity campaign, which like that of Tim Ryan was essentially an extended fuck you to Speaker Pelosi. He can return to the Hill to annoy Nancy Smash. My hunch is that he’ll be joined by Ryan sooner as opposed to later.

The presidential race knocked the former Governor of Colorado for a Hickenlooper so he exited. He just declared his candidacy to challenge the most vulnerable Senate GOPer, Corey Gardner, thereby morphing from a political minnow to a whale.

The last word of the segment goes to Stephen Stills and Manassas, which is in Virginia but the song is about Hickenlooper’s home state. Go figure:

INS: The Other Joe Walsh came to our attention as an unhinged Tea Party Republican. He served one term in the House before losing to Tammy Duckworth who is now the junior Senator from Illinois. Walsh is a strident opponent of Barack Obama turned strident opponent of Donald Trump. His twitter feed is highly entertaining.

The Other Joe Walsh is on the verge of entering the presidential race where he’ll join Bill Weld as a GOP no-hoper. I still think Weld will do fairly well in New Hampshire but I welcome anyone who’s willing take on Trump from the right. Thus far, the Never Trump Republicans have been all talk, no action.

I like what Slate’s Jim Newell wrote about the GOP “race” in The Surge:

Joe Walsh, Mark Sanford, Jeff Flake, John Kasich

Let’s get slaughtered and be legends.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’re cheating by lumping four candidates together. But (a) the greatest trick the Surge ever pulled was convincing you there were rules, and (b) each of these four Republicans considering a primary challenge to President Donald Trump amounts to roughly ¼ of a legitimate presidential contender, so the math checks out. As the Washington Post reported this week, “the anti-Trump movement inside the Republican Party—long a political wasteland—is feeling new urgency to mount a credible opposition to Trump before it’s too late.” This “movement,” which appears to be the usual gang of Bill Kristol and a couple of his interns, has been displeased with the lack of enthusiasm out there for the existing Republican primary challenger, boring patrician Bill Weld, and is working the phones for a new candidate to also elicit zero enthusiasm. The idea is that only one of them should run to unify the anti-Trump conservatives. Much like Weld, though, this idea is boring and makes the primary challenge easier for Trump to ignore. All of them should get in, and there should be televised Republican primary debates, tempting Trump to participate.

The Insult Comedian loves shooting off his big fat bazoo and showing off his “very good brain” so that’s actually a possibility. Run, Republicans, run.

The last word goes to the Real Joe Walsh:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Seal Of Disapproval edition

Well, folks – pigs have flown, Hell has frozen over, and the twelfth of Never has come.

I agree with the Freeperati on something.

Unless you stopped breathing early last week or live in a cave you already know about this :

How did Trump end up in front of a presidential seal doctored to include a Russian symbol?
Washington Post via MSN ^ | 7/25/19 | Michael Brice-Saddler, Reis Thebault

Posted on 7/25/2019, 5:24:31 AM by DoodleDawg

At first glance, there was nothing unusual about President Trump’s introduction Tuesday at Turning Point USA’s student summit. In many ways, it mirrored the production style that has become synonymous with Trump’s campaign rallies.

Following a 12-minute video illustrating Trump’s rise to the presidency, music blared as the president’s name flashed across a giant screen in a bold shade of red. Trump took the stage and soaked in the raucous cheers from hundreds of young supporters packed inside the Marriott Marquis in Washington.

Charlie Kirk, Turning Point’s outspoken founder and executive director, was on his left. But the image on the screen to Trump’s right — captured in dozens of photos and videos from the event — is less familiar.

The image almost resembles the official seal of the president; but a closer examination reveals alterations that seem to poke fun at the president’s golfing penchant and accusations that he has ties to Russia. Neither the White House nor Turning Point know how it got there or who created it.

1 posted on 7/25/2019, 5:24:31 AM by DoodleDawg
Usually, the Freeperati react to this kind of thing (mockery) with threats to kill the mocker.
Right?
To: DoodleDawg

 

Someone went through some effort, can’t believe that it’s not easy to find out who as that’s the kind of thing that’s usually shared on social media.

The Russian double headed eagle and holding golf clubs in one talon. I assume that the president’s advance team has learned a lesson that should have been learned about 3 years ago – control all the digital displays while POTUS is in the room.

As far as pranks go, pretty harmless. Yuck it up and move on.

4 posted on 7/25/2019, 5:49:13 AM by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)

JawDrop
To: Albion Wilde

 

Gotta admit it … that’s pretty clever and well executed.

6 posted on 7/25/2019, 5:49:49 AM by al_c (Democrats: Party over Common Sense)

To: yesthatjallen

 

Have to admit – the golf clubs were pretty funny.

7 posted on 7/25/2019, 3:09:37 PM by TomServo

To: yesthatjallen

 

I really have to give props to whoever thought of that and pulled it off. Grudging admiration.

Kind of like the Chinese signs behind Nixon that Dick Tuck pulled off.

Worth stealing.

16 posted on 7/25/2019, 3:25:58 PM by RedStateRocker (We had entirely enough government in 1789.)

To: winner3000

 

And we’d be laughing our butts off here if a similar thing had been done to a Democrat(sic) President.

42 posted on 7/25/2019, 4:06:37 PM by RedStateRocker (We had entirely enough government in 1789.)

To: Innovative

 

I thought it was well done … and funny.

50 posted on 7/25/2019, 4:20:19 PM by sparklite2 (Don’t mind me. I’m just a contrarian.)

One helpful suggestion :
To: I want the USA back
It was clearly deliberate.The people at Turning Point USA were infiltrated.

It seems people at TPUSA let their guard down and this creep had free reign and no oversight.

On a side note, I’d consider changing the name. While TP stands for Turning Point it’s also an abbreviation for toilet paper.

12 posted on 7/25/2019, 3:18:28 PM by yesthatjallen
And your point is ?
.
More below, yo ho!

Continue reading

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Tweets Of The Day: Who’s The Real Kook?

People had a lot of fun with new age sage burner Marianne Williamson last night. I was too annoyed by her presence to pile on BUT it’s unclear if she’s actually kookier than the Current Occupant.

The first tweet comes from ethics guy Robert Maguire:

The second entry is a couplet from my friend Gambit editor Kevin Allman:

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never read Kevin’s book but I dig writers who are into self-quotation. I hope he’s not following in my footsteps on the road to perdition.

Suzan Morninglory is a swell name for a character based on Marianne Williamson. It means that the last word goes to Oasis who pose the eternal question: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?

 

 

Instant Analysis: Cattle Call Debate Act Two

I hate these large joint appearances: that’s why I call them cattle calls. There are too many candidates talking at once and too many bodies on stage. Why were a one note guy like Andrew Yang and a second rate new age guru type like Marianne Williamson allowed on the same stage as the real candidates? I hope we don’t see them again. It’s a waste of the voters time and it’s as annoying as hell.

Speaking of annoying, Chuck Todd is a windy nitwit. I was astonished that he didn’t tweak his performance after the first night’s debacle. He kept asking the “reply in one word” questions that never work in this setting. Give it a rest, Chuck.

The second round was more contentious than the first. The Democratic base was fed more raw meat, which is okay for casual observers but I find it unappetizing. It’s early so I’d rather get to know the serious candidates as opposed to hearing how much they hate Trump. That’s a given.

Unlike the first night, there was a clear winner. The envelope please:

Harris: The junior Senator from California showed that she hasn’t lost her chops as a trial lawyer despite years as an administrator. She ignored the clock and kept talking but in such an authoritative way that she got away with it.

The best moment of the debate was when she went after Biden. He effectively told her to get off his lawn. She declined the invitation.

I think Harris has finally found her groove. I’ve long thought she should embrace her inner prosecutor. We have a criminal president* why not a prosecutor as his opponent?

There was much talk on social media of how Harris would mop the floor with Trump in a debate. Repeat after me: Hillary and Kerry kicked ass in their debates and lost. Debates are a sideshow.

Biden: He was terrible. I wasn’t surprised that he rambled but didn’t expect him to come off as angry. Harris really pushed his buttons and threw him off his game. He needs to get back to being avuncular Uncle Joe or his candidacy will start circling the bowl sooner than expected.

Another reason I think Biden won’t be the nominee is that his staff was backstabbing him DURING the debate. It’s not how winning campaigns operate. It’s starting to look like 1988 all over again.

Sanders: In a word: angry. I’m not sure that the country wants someone who is stylistically similar to the Current Occupant. They’re both shouty old white guys with heavy New York accents.

Buttigieg: I don’t get the Mayor Pete craze. He leaves me cold. I think his troubles back home will eventually tank his campaign. At least he didn’t start speaking Norwegian. I would have thrown something at the teevee if he had.

Gillibrand: I thought she might break through but she was almost as annoying as Chuck Todd. She’s been a good senator. She should stick to her current job.

Swallwell: “People try to put us down. Talking ’bout my generation.”

Bennet: In a word: erratic. The stuff about his family fleeing Nazi persecution was excellent but the rest was a mish-mash. I dig his bushy eyebrows though. They have a life of their own.

I still don’t understand why he’s running against longtime ally John Hickenlooper. Perhaps he thinks he has a better chance because his name is shorter.

Hickenlooper: Despite a record of progressive reform as Colorado Governor, he’s running as an anti-socialist capitalist or something. He should drop out and run for the Senate against Cory Gardner who is the most vulnerable Republican up in 2020.

Yang: Holy one issue candidate, Batman.

Williamson: She should go rub a crystal.

Here are words I never thought I’d write, the last word goes to Eddy Arnold:

On Joe Biden’s Civility Fetish

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: one thing Joe Biden has in common with Donald Trump is a fatal inability to STFU. The former Veep has a tendency to trip over his tongue every time he talks about civility. One might even call him a Lost Civility Causer.

This time Biden took it way too far:

As evidence of his ability to forge personal bonds, the former vice president pointed to his 36-year career in the Senate, which stretched back to 1973 and overlapped with the service of leading Southern Democrats. Biden cited the late senators James O. Eastland (Miss.) and Herman E. Talmadge (Ga.), who were steadfastly opposed to civil rights and racial integration.

“I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland,” Biden said at the fundraiser, where he was introduced by Eric Mindich, an investment manager and former Goldman Sachs partner.

The Democratic presidential candidate, who has led his competitors in early polls of the crowded nominating contest, briefly impersonated the southern drawl of the Mississippi cotton planter, lawyer and lawmaker. “He never called me ‘boy,’ ” Biden said. “He always called me ‘son.’ ”

Biden’s campaign didn’t immediately return a request for comment about why it would be notable that the Dixiecrat — who thought black Americans belonged to an “inferior race” and warned that integration would cause “mongrelization” — didn’t call Biden “boy,” a racial epithet deployed against black men.

The garrulous gaffe machine also invoked the name of former Georgia Senator and Governor Herman Talmadge who was a second generation race baiting segregationist.

Even with Talmadge — “one of the meanest guys I ever knew” — Biden noted, “at least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done.”

Biden cited two of the worst Dixiecrats who remained in the Senate during his early years. There were other segregationists such as John Stennis and Russell Long who changed with the times and were never as overtly racist or hateful as Eastland and Talmadge. Biden might as well have cited Strom Thurmond.

I’ll never forget a story that went around the Hill about Eastland. The Senate threw a reception for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during one of his visits when Carter was president. Eastland took one look at Sadat and said in a loud stage whisper: “Why, I believe the president is a nigra.” He stepped out of the reception line so he wouldn’t have to shake Sadat’s hand. I guess Biden would say of that story, “at least he called him a nigra, not the other n word.” Civility, try it, you’ll like it.

Do I think Joe Biden is a racist? Absolutely not. Do I think he needs to think before he speaks? Absolutely. He seems bound and determined to talk his way out of the Democratic nomination. Another reason I support Elizabeth Warren.

Repeat after me, Joe:

Joe Biden Says The Darndest Things

Joe Biden is the early frontrunner in the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination. The Insult Comedian has given Biden a boost by allowing him to take up residency in the presidential* head. It’s turning into a 21st century version of Being John Malkovich. I’m only surprised that Trump hasn’t tried selling him a condo located somewhere in the dark recesses of his “very good brain.” Perhaps it should be a stall since the president* is a “very stable genius.”

Biden’s strength as a candidate thus far have been his frontal attacks on the Current Occupant. He may, however, have to explain to Donald what “existential threat” means. I don’t think Trump has even heard of Sartre and Camus let alone read them, He should try: Sartre’s No Exit sums up how I feel about our political system under Trump. We’re trapped in a hell made by 46% of the voters in 2016. Thanks, you stupid motherfuckers.

Biden has long been known for his gaffes. I’m not quite sure if the comment cited below by Sam Stein qualifies but it gave me indigestion when I saw it:

I hope that Biden is pandering to the widespread yearning for a return to what Gamaliel called normalcy and Adrastos calls normality. It’s been a long time since Congressional Republicans worked with Democrats for the common good. As Obama’s Veep, Biden should know better. Instead, he’s showing signs of advanced inside the beltway disease.

It’s way too early for Biden to pursue a general election strategy. Early frontrunners have a way of losing as I pointed out in a recent post, Memories Of The Muskie Administration. Biden should consult with 2004 frontrunner Howard Dean while he’s at it.

Biden continues to send mixed messages. On the one hand, he’s ready, willing, and eager to do battle with Trump. On the other hand, he’s nostalgic for an era of political goodwill that didn’t really exist. This is why I support Elizabeth Warren. She’s fighter looking to the future, not the past. We may have to change Biden’s First Draft nickname from Joey the Shark to Joey the Dinosaur.

The last word goes to Todd Rundgren and Utopia:

Adrastos: Elizabeth Warren For President

Photo via the Center For Public Integrity.

I’ve been on the fence about 2020. I find myself at risk of getting splinters so it’s time to dismount and take a stand. I decided to put my pen name in the post title so y’all wouldn’t think this was *the* First Draft position when it’s mine, all mine. Besides, who among us doesn’t like their name in lights? Bright lights, big city and all that rot.

I’ve been closely following the early stages of the primary race. The field of 23 may be unwieldy but it shows the strength of the Democratic party. It’s an impressive group but one candidate has impressed me more than the rest: Senator Professor Elizabeth Warren of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Warren checks all the boxes for me. She’s smart, tough, experienced, an excellent speaker, a good retail politician, and, most importantly, she knows *why* she wants to be president and *what* she’ll do if elected. The ability to govern should be higher on the list of things Democrats want from our next nominee.

Warren’s economic policy chops are deservedly celebrated. I’d like to discuss some of her other ideas. There are two of particular interest to me. First, she favors the abolition of the electoral college. Second, she wants to enact a law to establish the principle that a sitting president can be indicted. The current situation has resulted in the Current Occupant believing that he can violate the law with impunity. That must stop. No American should be above the law.

I’ve urged our readers to take the time to read the Mueller Report. Elizabeth Warren has done so. She came to the conclusion that Trump has committed crimes and must be punished. Thanks to the damn fool DOJ rule, impeachment is the only sanction available. It’s not an entirely satisfactory solution as it’s merely an invitation to the Senate to remove a president. But it’s the only arrow in the quiver right now. Senator Warren understands that we must fire it regardless of the consequences. As I argued last week, it could be politically ruinous for Democrats to fail to act. Courage is required. As the first presidential candidate to come out for impeachment, Elizabeth Warren has shown that she won’t run from this fight.

The reason it took me so long to support her candidacy was the way Team Warren botched the ancestry question. They should have kept it simple. Family stories have a way of not being true. That’s what happened with Warren’s belief that she had Native American ancestry. It was an old family story that turned out to be wrong. Everyone I’ve ever met from Oklahoma is convinced that they have Native American blood; some do, most don’t.

The Democratic nominee in 2020 must be tough and a fighter. Elizabeth Warren has those qualities as well as an unique ability to explain complex issues in terms that people understand. She’s a Senator who does not speak Senatorese.

There’s a palpable feeling among Democrats that our next nominee should NOT be a white male. Women have led the resistance and, along with people of color, spurred Democrats on to victory in the midterms. It’s their turn to lead the party. Senator Warren has the right stuff to withstand the brutal and dishonest assault that the Trumpers will mount against any Democrat in the next general election. They’ve already come after her and she’s still standing.

There’s a long way to go and anything can happen. I will support whoever the Democratic party nominates but I hope that it’s Elizabeth Warren. I believe she’s the right person to lead us out of the wilderness and clean up the mess made by the Trump regime.

My admiration for Elizabeth Warren exploded on the day Mitch McConnell tried to bully her into silence on the Senate floor. To this day, his words ring in my ears: “Nevertheless, she persisted.”

That’s what we need in our next president, someone who will persist regardless of the odds. Repeat after me: Elizabeth Warren has the right stuff.