Category Archives: Stupid Blue Dog Tricks

What Are You Looking At?

I cannot tell you how exhausted I am of the Democratic Party pretending there’s only one race that matters: 

Still, the party’s expectations about Clinton demonstrated just how bad parties are at analyzing what they need to fix to win. Next year, while it is not what they boast about, Democrats are expecting mistakes by Trump — the most unpopular incoming president in decades — to create opportunities for them. Their debate about winning a new majority is not about a savior from red America, or even a change in policy. It is about better organizing, and how to win back voters who were Democrats until the party was branded as neoliberal and pro-trade.

 

Democrats can’t just organize at the national level and run for president and lose every House and Senate seat and every state house and expect those losses not to eventually bite them in the ass at the national level too. Let the blue states become seething roiling pits of anti-everything sentiment, from Scott Walker’s rageaholic anti-education Wisconsin to Bruce Rauner’s union-bashing Illinois, and those feelings reach a critical mass.

If every voice from every leader is an authoritarian Republican one, how do you expect them to listen to what Democrats are saying? Where are they supposed to read your 5-point plan? Twitter?

When we look at the future, what are we looking at? National numbers on Trump’s unpopularity? If that shit mattered John Kerry would be opening his presidential library and Hillary would be having Bill measure the Oval for new curtains. State numbers are all that matters, and maybe this more than anything: How far down the Republican rabbit hole have the state legislature and the house races gone?

If those have all been won by tea-freak bigots, I don’t care what it did in the last election, that’s not a blue state.

What are we expecting otherwise? “Well, on a local level I approve of drug testing for welfare and repealing worker protections and gutting public schools and bashing professors and throwing the entire economy into a tailspin so I can regulate where transgender people pee, but nationally? I’m all for fairness, sharing, kindness, gay people, single mothers and the idea of a representative democracy!”

Forget a 50-State Strategy. We need a 50-State Legislature Strategy.

A.

It Can’t Be Said Often Enough: Trump Was Not a Surprise

Not if you’d been paying attention in any way: 

A 2006 report by the Institute for Policy Studies found that, in 2005, CEOs of the largest U.S. private defense contractors continued to profit from the ongoing wars.

Defense CEO pay was 44 times that of a military general with 20 years of experience and 308 times that of an Army private in 2005. Generals made $174,452 and Army privates made $25,085, while average defense CEO pay was $7.7 million.

In contrast to wealthy individuals who became even wealthier, those who were sent to do the actual fighting comprised disproportionately high numbers of working class Americans. In the combined efforts of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom, almost 7,000 U.S. soldiers have died. More than 970,000 veteran disability claims have been registered with the Veterans Administration.

Returning soldiers face higher unemployment rates than their civilian counterparts, particularly among male veterans age 21 to 24. Between 2009 and 2012, the youngest veterans had an unemployment rate of 21.6 percent, compared to 13.5 percent for civilians.

Veterans struggle to find proper healthcare in a system ill-prepared for the number of wounded, particularly those with catastrophic injuries and mental health issues that require long-term care. Private nonprofit organizations have been picking up the slack left by inadequate funding in the federal budget.

Like their ancestors who fought in and survived the Civil War, today’s soldiers return to find their situations either the same, or much worse, than when they left. Who would blame them for being angry? As soldiers go off to war we say, “God bless our troops.” Maybe we should add, “God help them when they come home.”

It reminds me of when 9/11 happened and there was a sea of stories about “why they hate us” and other stuff, like, how dare those illogical people blame America for the fact that their kids are killed by bombs we sold to their enemies, what crazy talk. To profess surprise at Donald Trump’s message taking hold is to admit you were asleep the entire last half of the last century and the entirety so far of this one.

And the veteran piece is a critical one because for a lot of people, including a lot of people I know, service was the fastest and most reliable way out of a dead-end situation. So they join up to escape poverty, and then get plunged right back into poverty when they get home, only now they’re minus a leg and need medication the VA can’t give them for three months. You’ve taken what is already a monstrous situation — go to war so your family can eat, kids! — and made the best case scenario end of it (that you come home alive) a horror show.

I don’t blame anybody at a Trump rally one bit for being pissed the government doesn’t listen to them. Because you know what? It doesn’t.

A.

I’m Done With All Your Hillary and Bernie Feelings, Internet

TED CRUZ WANTS TO SET THE WORLD ON FIRE.

Genuinely, I think he does. I think he wants to bring about the end times. I think he is living in a comic book and none of the rest of us are real to him.

Marco Rubio is six years old and he keeps thinking if he talks faster and louder it will make him sound smarter. Debate moderators ask him why his own people think he sucks, and he yells about his Lord and Savior.

Jeb Bush once ruined an entire family’s life just to make points with the Jesus freaks over Terri Schaivo, and the freaks are not even voting for him now. Like, think of that. You mortgage your soul for someone, and they’re like, “Ick, get away.”

I don’t know what to worry about more, that Donald Trump is gonna pick somebody for his VP that he has already publicly called a giant shitlord who will then sink him from within, or that he’s gonna choose a military dude like Petraeus. Then he’ll win, and quit, leaving us with a morally dyslexic G.I. Joe in charge.

ANY ONE OF THEM gets to appoint Supreme Court justices, as Sainted Dead Scalia reminded us last night, and Notorious RBG ain’t gonna live forever. If we make her deal with one more Republican president, she would be well within her rights to give the concept of existence on this planet the finger.

So if I read one more thinkpiece about ageism, sexism, Bernie-ism and who isn’t respecting who enough online, I will send this whole Internet to bed without supper. I have a Mom Voice now. I can do that.

I mean, dear God. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, writers. It’s not about you. It’s not about you, people who have time to be penning this or that for a publication that exists to explicate the zeitgeist or whatever. God damn, what is happening in this country right now during this political campaign, it is not about you.

Some of the things being said at and near Bernie’s fans remind me of how I was treated as a young person at my first paying gig: You’re only 22 so nothing you say is legit, like call us when you grow up. Some of the things being said at and near Hillary remind me viscerally of how I was treated the last time I asked for a raise at my job: You need to be nicer because that matters more than any other skill you have. 

Some of the things being said to younger and older voters are making me ragey and some of them are making me sad and you know what those feelings of mine, those deep and real feelings mean to a bunch of people in Flint, Mich. whose kids have been poisoned by lead in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ Two Thousand Sixteen?

FUCK.

ALL.

There was a Democratic debate Thursday night or during the Super Bowl or whenever, and two candidates on stage — a Jew and a woman, both the first of those groups to win major primaries — were discussing their responses to systemic racism. Systemic. Racism. They were discussing institutionalized hatred of black people and the dehumanization of them by the government.

Yes, later John Lewis and Bernie Sanders supporters snapped at each other on Twitter and yes, Hillary could not get away with having a prominent supporter who goes by “Killer Mike” because of sexism. But at that debate OUR PARTY HAD A GODDAMN DISCUSSION ABOUT FIXING RACISM.

The Republicans, at their debate last night, were fighting over who gets to hold the fire hoses and unleash the German Shepherds. 

And not for nothing, but a few weeks ago we had a sitting U.S. Goddamn President name of Barack Hussein Obama who spoke not tentatively, not neutrally, not cautiously but ADMIRINGLY of the courage of young gay men and women living their lives as full citizens of the United States. He PRAISED THEM. As role models not just to other gay people but to everybody, in front of a joint session of Congress, behind a fucking podium with a seal on it, to thunderous applause.

Later, at the Republican debate, a bunch of guys talked about if we could put Don’t Ask Don’t Tell back into effect somehow and make everybody forget if Gunny Highway likes dudes and stack the Supreme Court with people who will go around forcibly divorcing every gay married couple on earth.

The differences between Bernie and Hillary are real (see Kissinger, Henry and Dead, Why Isn’t He Yet) and explanations of them are welcome and necessary. But the constant online whining about behavior of campaign supporters towards one another and the over-identification with the candidates personally* is starting to feel like therapy for the comfortable commentator class. Maybe we’re forgetting that BEN CARSON DOESN’T KNOW WHAT THE DEBT CEILING IS..

It is starting to remind me of 2003 when Yes Hippies Are Right But They Smell, or 2004 when Yes Democrats Are Right But The Midterms. I do not want to see President Trump elected so that all U.S. progressives can Suck On This for not supporting Bernie. I do not want somebody else’s kids to fight three more wars so We Can Learn Something This Time It Serves Us Right for not supporting Hillary. We who are here to type stuff into the Internet don’t get to write checks for other people’s asses to cash.

I am supposed to be freaking out right now because calling someone a Bernie Bro is reductive and mean and makes you less likely to vote Hillary? I will call you anything you WANT, okay? What do you want me to call you so we can get some work done? I am sorry I was born after Roe v Wade but I’ve had by conservative estimate 37 transvaginal ultrasounds, so if I give you a pin commemorating the fight to make abortion legal can we please elect Bernie to stick a probe up Scott Walker’s bunghole?

President Bernie, President Hillary, are not going to lead-poison our children to save a few bucks and then be all LET’S NOT TELL ANYBODY when they get a memo about the poisoning. They’re not going to make cracks about turning Syria into a glowstick and they’re not gonna slap their junk on Putin’s dinner table and they’re not gonna forget where China is or whatever it was Trump did last week. They’re not going to punish poor women by faux-investigating the only medical clinics that give a shit if those women live or die.

I want a woman president, maybe this woman. I want a non-Christian president, maybe this dude. I would rather have CLAIRE as president than any combination of any of the Republicans currently running and I’m sincerely afraid that we might not survive a couple of them. Far too many of the things I’m reading lately are forgetting that soon and very soon that will be the fight we’ll have to have.

At that point the therapy sessions will be over, and not a moment too soon. So work for your chosen candidate. But don’t confuse that work with the kind you need to do on your psyche, because the latter you can get done on your own goddamn time.

A.

*Call me, John Kerry, you are 8 feet tall and it still charms me senseless.

Are You Proud Now, America?

Nothing.

There was nothing there.

Not only was there nothing there, but there was something less than nothing there, because people actually got themselves INDICTED for making out like there was something there.

Not only was there something less than nothing there, but anybody with two brain cells to rub together looked at the sterling credentials of the people making out like there was something there and said, there’s nothing there.

They were, of course, the exact kind of carnival barkers they seemed to be, and this news only surprises the people who make a living being surprised when the curtain gets pulled back and, instead of an alien life form, the freak show’s just one sad goat with a weird mark on its neck.

I don’t really blame the barkers. They’re doing their jobs, and people will do the same job after them just as people have done the same job before them.

No, I blame everybody else, who should KNOW BETTER BY NOW.

Are you proud of yourselves, CNN? Most Trusted Name in News? Are you proud that you ran your first story on this mess like this? 

An anti-abortion group has released an online video that it says documents how Planned Parenthood is selling fetal organs for a profit, a felony, while violating medical ethics by altering normal abortion procedures so as to preserve the organs.

Are you proud that the very next day you ran a commentary calling the video “a horror movie?”

But, frankly, the detail is up for lawyers to debate. What matters about this video is what it appears to reveal about the reality behind America’s sanitized image of abortion; the reality of what an abortion is and how it morally compromises us all.

Are you proud that during YOUR SPONSORED DEBATE, you let a presidential candidate describe those videos, and that your after the fact “fact check” called it “true, but misleading?”

The clip does show what appears to be a fully formed fetus on an operating table with its legs twitching. But the clip Fiorina references is not part of the CMP sting video but was instead taken by another anti-abortion group and was added to the sting video. The Center for Medical Progress, however, doesn’t explain where the fetus video was shot, so it’s not clear whether it was taken at a Planned Parenthood clinic. For its part, the women’s health organization has flatly denied the accusations.

VERDICT: True, but misleading

Are you proud that when someone did what everybody thought someone would do when presented with the kind of foaming nonsense you put on TV hour after hour after hour, your coverage conveniently forgot that he not only admitted to a motive when captured, he was fucking thrilled about it?

Are you even going to have a meeting? Are you going to sit down with anyone involved in any of that coverage and say, how did we manage to get snowed by these assholes again? After ACORN, after the NPR video, after everything? Are you going to say while it is their job to play us, we should at least try not to be played OR ACT SORRY WHEN IT HAPPENS? Do cable networks even run corrections? Would you, if you could?

Or is it going to be bygones, nobody could have known, truth on both sides, problem was how it looked not what it was, and on and on until the next thing, when they take us by surprise again?

Are you proud, all you people who followed in cable news’s wake? All you two-bit pundits and columnists who gleefully tweeted along with #DefundPP because OMG BABY PARTS, everybody who said okay, look, cancer screening can’t happen unless everybody denounces every woman who’s ever had an abortion, one by one?

Are you proud, Congress? I don’t mean you tea freaks, I mean you people who are lauded as Serious Republican Thinkers and Conservative Democratic Stalwarts and shit. Are you proud you got taken in by something this transparent? Are you happy you spent months, months, of company time screeching in hearings at poor women and their representatives, saying they were whores and sinners, thanking God someone finally exposed their perfidy?

Are you proud, everybody who stayed quiet? Who hedged your bets, kept your powder dry, and waited to see who turned out to be right when you knew goddamn well who was right and who was going to hell? Are you proud now that the world’s most predictable result is here, and everybody who is saying I TOLD YOU SO is being derided as mean, when you should be forced to wear signs that say I WAS COWARDLY?

Are you proud this is how it happens now? Yeah, the guys who are going to jail should be ashamed of themselves, but everybody who joined their idiot chorus and everybody who stayed quiet because OMG CONTROVERSIAL and everybody who would rather some people get killed than some women get health care and everybody whose job it is to make sense of all the competing forces at work in modern politics should be even more ashamed.

The carnival barker’s gonna bark. That’s his job. He sells the freak show tickets. It’s right there on the sign. You shouldn’t be proud that you read it and walked right into the tent.

A.

The Generational Feminism Olympics, Yay!

I am so not looking forward to the next 10 months of this bullshit: 

Do you notice a difference between young women and women our age in their excitement about Hillary Clinton? Is there a generational divide? Here’s what I see: a complacency among the generation of young women whose entire lives have been lived after Roe v. Wade was decided.

Guys? Which one of you forgot to send Debbie Wasserman Schultz the list of stuff ladies younger than 40 care about? Because she seems to be under the impression that young women aren’t working as clinic escorts, or donating to Planned Parenthood, or supporting pro-choice candidates, all of which is the case. Moreover, she seems to  be under the impression that if she doesn’t “see” it, it doesn’t exist, so obviously we need to make sure to do stuff on her timetable if we want any respect as people.

Christ. First of all, most of the serious assaults on Roe have come at the state level, in places like OH I DON’T KNOW WISCONSIN where lots and lots and lots of young people tried to recall the anti-choice governor. Where was the DNC while this personhood-amendment-supporting, 20-week-ban-signing asshole was riding roughshod over a pro-choice man and then a pro-choice woman opponent? I mean it, where were they? Because if they want to talk about complacency, I’d like to hear an explanation for the WAREHOUSES full of dry powder they decided not to waste in that case. I’d like to talk about that before we go full metal jacket on the college kids.

Second of all, if anyone is to blame for the erosion of Roe, it is the anti-choice men in statehouses and Congress and the Supreme Court eroding it. I’d like to hear a little more about THEM, and what Democratic and abortion rights groups intend to do to stop them, and a little less about those ungrateful teenage bitches who just don’t understand real activism or whatever. Something something Twitter.

This is WHAT ANTI-CHOICE MEN WANT. This is what rich old jackwagons who hate women and especially poor women WANT. They want us yelling at each other so we’re not yelling at them. They want the DNC chair talking shit about her own voters instead of saying “I think young women are incredibly energized and excited about the possibility of a female president, and even if there are generational differences in how women approach the issues, in the end any movement that doesn’t welcome the contributions of younger members will dry up and blow away. Look at the Republican party, for example.”

They WANT us to jab about the menopause caucus burning their bras and the girls who care more about the Kardashians and being naked than they do about their rights. And here we are giving them exactly what they want. Look, people will always try to play you, but you don’t have to welcome it. You don’t have to follow the script. You can refuse to dump on other women to make yourself look better. You can refuse the premise of the question.

Schmuck.

A.

Democrats Who Voted for SAFE Act are Cowards & Traitors

Once upon a time: 

What I want to know, what I want to know, is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the President’s unilateral intervention in Iraq?

What I want to know, is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting tax cuts which have bankrupted this country and given us the largest deficit in the history of the United States?

What I want to know, is why the Congress is fighting over the Patient’s Bill of Rights?  If the Patient’s Bill of Rights passes, is a good bill, but not one more person gets health insurance and it’s not five cents cheaper.

What I want to know is why the Democrats in Congress aren’t standing up for us joining every other industrialized country on the face of the Earth in having health insurance for every man, woman and child in America?

What I want to know, what I want to know, is why so many folks in Congress are voting for the President’s education bill — “The No School Board Left Standing Bill” — the largest unfunded mandate in the history of our educational system?

[snip]

I want to end on a personal note.  Three years ago next month I signed a bill into law called the civil unions bill [cheers], which gives gay and lesbian Vermonters the same rights I have: visitations of your significant other in the hospital, inheritance rights, insurance rights.  Vermont truly is a place where every American is equal in the eyes of the law.

I want the President of the United States to explain to all Americans why he doesn’t believe all Americans should be equal under the law.  [cheers].  I signed, I signed that bill six months before an election when it was at 35 percent in the polls.  I never had a conversation with myself about whether I ought to sign the bill or not because I knew that if I was willing to sell out the hopes and dreams of a significant portion of our people, that I had wasted my life in public service.

Come back, Dr. Dean. Your country needs you now.

Come back, because way too many Democrats are cowards.

In several meetings, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) presented fellow Democrats with polling data showing that lawmakers who didn’t support tighter restrictions would be in the sharp minority. As former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Israel is often called on to give advice on electoral matters. And while he didn’t explicitly encourage members to vote for the SAFE Act, the implication was clear: you will be vulnerable if you don’t support the only piece of refugee-related legislation that has gotten a vote after the Paris attacks.

Come back, because they’re looking at the man in the White House and saying hey, he’s on two weeks’ notice and we still have elections to win.

The top House Democratic aide said that members were encouraged to support the bill in part because they believed it would ultimately fall short of becoming law. That, combined with a sense that the underlying reforms weren’t severe, led many to conclude a “nay” vote wasn’t worth the political blowback.

Come back, because way too many Democrats are traitors.

Come back, because they’re looking to their own pockets, instead of to the values of their country.

Come back, because way too many Democrats are whiny babies who would rather complain that they weren’t wined and dined enough than do the right thing for the sake of their immortal goddamn souls.

One House Democrat, who requested anonymity, said he went into the meeting with administration officials opposed to the bill but left in support of it.

“If the White House hadn’t royally fucked this up they’d have lost maybe 20 Democrats,” said the lawmaker. (He ultimately voted against the bill.)

Come back and rip them another one, and remind them, as you reminded them once, that they can’t give people a choice between a Republican and a Republican. Come  back because if they do that, it doesn’t matter who they vote for. We’ll get Republicans every time.

Come back because they’re doing it AGAIN. Come back and remind them what happened last time they tried this. What happened last time they let a crisis scare them, let a bunch of bullies cow them, let the anonymous poll answers speak for them. Remind them what our country looked like when that was done.

Remind them what another country looked like, too. Remind them how many people died because they either turned a blind eye, or couldn’t be bothered.

Remind them it may take a lifetime but they will answer for that. One of the great solaces of belief is considering what weight the unjust will have to carry, even if it is in some kind of afterlife.

Remind a lot of them they lost elections anyway. Remind them it’s not a deal with the devil if the devil doesn’t even pretend to promise them something.

Not that they care. Not that they’ll listen. They didn’t listen before.

Remind them anyway. It’s our job to remind them. It’s our job to stand up even if it’s useless, even if it’s never worked, even if the club of the most of them are dirtbag losers who run screaming when they see a Rassmussen poll. Remind them so that WE don’t have to feel, as they may someday, that not every single thing was done to make it stop. Remind them so that you can look in the mirror.

Remind them so that they know that somebody fought back, when they couldn’t be bothered.

Light. Them. Up. 

A.

The Pre-Palin GOP Was a Scholar’s Paradise, and Other Lies We Tell Children

Bill Daley, attempting to let Republicans off the hook by complaining about those filthy Republican voters: 

Calling the current GOP primary “carnival-like,” Daley said the party had a chance to right itself after Palin’s “blatant lack of competence and preparedness” became apparent and contributed to the collapse of the McCain campaign.

“What’s critical is that substantive, serious Republican leaders either wouldn’t or couldn’t declare, before or after the election: ‘This is not what our party stands for. We can and must do better,’” Daley wrote.

“Once McCain put Palin on the ticket, Republican ‘grown-ups,’ who presumably knew better, had to bite their tongues. But after the election, when they were free to speak their minds, they either remained quiet or abetted the dumbing-down of the party,” he continued. “They stood by as Donald Trump and others noisily pushed claims that Obama was born in Kenya. And they gladly rode the Tea Party tiger to sweeping victories in 2010 and 2014.”

I hate to defend Sarah Palin, but I’m defending Sarah Palin. I hate to defend Donald Trump, but I’m defending Donald Trump. And I hate to defend Republican voters, but I’m defending Republican voters. Neither of them did anything but vote for their own best interests. Their own best interests were racist, dumb, petty and loud, but I’m not gonna sit here and say they don’t have a right to those interests. If that’s what they want, they get to vote for it. That gets to be what power looks like for them. THIS IS HOW IT WAS DESIGNED TO WORK. You can’t bitch that the system that got you rich is now making somebody else rich, assholes.

Sarah Palin did not make the GOP stupid. Donald Trump is not making the GOP stupid. GOP primary voters are making the GOP stupid, because stupid is what the GOP wants.

And to be honest, I don’t like the carping that once upon a time Republicans were good, principled representatives of the people. That hasn’t been true for at least six decades. (Don’t throw Lincoln and Eisenhower at me. Those people might as well have been aliens from another planet for all that they’d be able to relate to either party today.) Longing for a time when the serious and sensible Republicans were in charge is just longing for a time when Republicans hid their racism and murderous economic policy with adept use of the English language.

Oooh, Ronald Reagan would never make it through a GOP primary today? Well, isn’t that sad. Saint Ronnie would never have said gay marriage is like man-on-dog! He would have just let gay people die, quietly, by the tens of thousands, because he said nothing about the disease ravaging them. At least his silence was articulate, right?

Sarah PALIN made the GOP stupid? George W. Bush stuck our entire national dick in a bees’ nest, killed thousands of American soldiers, destabilized the entire Middle East, and none of his advisors have come up with a coherent reason why. It’s been 14 fucking years and they’re still flailing around. I don’t care how many countries girlfriend can see from her house or how silly she sounds in interviews. Exactly nobody is dead because of her.

And let’s not forget, Sarah Palin did not put herself on the GOP ticket. That decision was made by John McCain, a man whose honor is so sacred to the Republicans that they’re about to elect a guy who called him a loser.

According to Daley the Republican’s have become captives to candidates like Trump, who is thriving in a system that is built upon “opportunistic soundbites above seriousness, preparedness and intellectual heft.”

One: Captives. They are powerless in the face of their complete and total ability to not elect Trump if Trump is not what they want. Pity their weakness. They can’t help it!

Two: Seriousness and preparedness. Like that of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Feith and Wolfowitz.

Three: Heaven forfend we lack the intellectual heft of the GOP of yore. Take it away, Jesse Helms: 

All year, Peterson reported, “Helms campaign literature sounded a drumbeat of warnings about black voter-registration drives. . . . On election eve, he accused Hunt of being supported by ‘homosexuals, the labor union bosses and the crooks’ and said he feared a large ‘bloc vote.’ What did he mean? ‘The black vote,’ Helms said.” He won, 52 percent to 48 percent.

In 1990, locked in a tight race with an African American Democrat, former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt, Helms aired a final-week TV ad that showed a pair of white hands crumpling a rejection letter, while an announcer said, “You needed that job and you were the best qualified. But they had to give it to a minority because of a racial quota.” Once again, he pulled through.

That is not a history to be sanitized.

(That’s DAVID FUCKING BRODER.)

Take it away, Dick Armey: 

The House majority leader, Representative Dick Armey of Texas, set off a dispute on Capitol Hill today when he referred to Representative Barney Frank, one of several openly homosexual members of Congress, as “Barney Fag.”

Mr. Armey said later that he had simply mispronounced Mr. Frank’s name.

Take it away, Trent Lott: 

At his 100th birthday party Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, the Republican leader, paid tribute to Mr. Thurmond, saying the nation ”wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years” had he won the presidency in 1948. The racially charged political firestorm over the next two weeks forced Mr. Lott to resign his leadership post.

Take it away, Norm Coleman: 

When asked about the recount and how it is affecting him personally, Coleman said he starts every day with a prayer and that he knows “God wants me to serve.” Coleman did later temper those rather immodest remarks by adding that he is not indispensable and that others can serve as well.

Boy, the pre-Palin days were a paradise of learning and ideas. If only the dumb snowbilly bitch hadn’t screwed it all up for everybody.

Schmucks.

A.

Poll Worship & The Louisiana Silly Season

I hate articles about polls. There’s way too much poll worship in the world and when the polls are wrong, as they were in the U.K. general election, people freak out. It’s part and parcel of worshiping a false deity.

Poll worship is wreaking havoc on national politics right now with the candidate trying to be the first insult comedian elected President leading the GOP field. The polls also show a backbench Independent Senator from Vermont doing surprisingly well in the politically quirky Granite State. All you need to know about that is that New Englanders often win that primary *and* that they love insurgents: Pat Buchanan stunned Poppy Bush by getting 37% of the vote in 1992. I guess Bush should have been more honest about being a bona fide Yankee and invited everyone in New Hampshire up to Kennebunkport for a ride in his power boat. They love retail politics in that state, which is one reason the insult comedian will fade there unless he meets every single Republican voter. It’s what they expect.

The point of the previous paragraph is that we’re in the political silly season and it’s too early to put much stock in polling data from any organization or in any state. New Hampshire doesn’t vote until 2/9/16 and anything could happen including the alien invasion that occured in the fine SyFy teevee show, Defiance. That could, in turn, lead to gruff, crooked outsider Datak Tarr winning New Hampshire. I told you it was the silly season…

Meanwhile in the Gret Stet of Louisiana, we’re having an uncharacteristically boring Gubernatorial (hereinafter Goober) campaign. One of Jindal’s many unfortunate legacies is the dulling down of Louisiana politics. It’s not as bad as what he did to health care or education but his two terms have, at least temporarily, drained the life out of our politics. The current race for Governor is thus far lacking in drama, intrigue, and seasoning, to use a food metaphor.

That brings me back full circle to the post title. It shouldn’t be our silly season since election day is Saturday 10/24, but we’re busy debating a recent poll showing the lone Democrat in the race, John Bel Edwards, in first place with 30% of the vote followed by Gopers Bitter Vitter and Public Service Commissioner/former PBJ aide Scott Angelle at tied 21%. That’s right, we’re talking about a fucking poll. Sigh.

It’s a banal and sterile argument because 30-35% is more likely than not the dull Blue Dog State Rep’s ceiling. Additionally, Vitter hasn’t spent much money on the race as of yet and has nearly $10 million in his coffers. That hasn’t stopped Team Vitter from trying to discredit pollster Verne Kennedy. It’s what they do:

… the Kennedy poll showed Vitter losing support among several of his core constituencies since May. (Kennedy polled the Louisiana electorate in May, June and July.) The senator wasted no time trying to shoot the messenger.

Kyle Ruckert, campaign manager for Vitter, sent an email blast accusing Kennedy of “fantasy-land polling.” He cited several alleged instances of Kennedy’s polls being widely off the mark, including Vitter’s 2010 Senate primary against former state Supreme Court Justice Chet Traylor. Vitter won that primary with 88 percent of the GOP vote.

Ruckert’s email claims that Kennedy’s poll in that race had the two men “almost even” with Vitter leading 46-34 percent. (That’s not “almost even” — not even with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent — but politics is the mother of hyperbole.) “Kennedy’s poll was wrong by more than 40 points,” Ruckert wrote. At the end of his email, he concluded, “it’s silly season, and desperate candidates try desperate things.”

Kennedy, who is not polling for any gubernatorial candidate, says his two polls in Vitter’s 2010 primary election did not come close to the results cited by Ruckert’s email. Kennedy sent me a copy of an email he sent to Ruckert citing the actual results of his surveys. Far from showing Vitter’s primary contest close, Kennedy’s polls showed Vitter ahead by huge margins. In June 2009 (a year before the primary), Kennedy’s poll had Vitter leading Traylor 54-15 percent. In August 2010, Kennedy’s poll showed Vitter with an even bigger lead of 66-14 percent.

Kennedy called the Vitter camp’s response to his latest survey in the governor’s race “foolishness.”

“I asked Kyle Ruckert to share his sources, because I can’t find anything even close to what they’re saying,” Kennedy said. “I don’t expect them to send it to me.”

One would have thought that the Vitterites would blame Obama for their loss in support. It’s what Diaper Dave usually does and the blame Obama approach helped elect his lackey Double Bill Cassidy to the Senate last year. Instead, he’s blaming a respected pollster who often works for business groups. In short, it ain’t no librul conspiracy.

This whole mishigas is *another* reason I hate stories about polls. The only reason the lackluster Edwards is in the lead in Kennedy’s poll is the pollster’s custom of automatically giving any Democrat 90% of the African-American vote. He may be the leader on paper but he’s not the frontrunner: the odds are long against his prevailing in a run-off against ANY Republican.

In case you were wondering, John Bel Edwards is NOT related to former Governor Edwin and has none of Le Guv’s panache and style. He’s also more conservative than the last 2 Democrats to win major statewide office, which is conservative indeed. He’s very much a part of the Gret Stet good ole boys club, his brother is the current Sheriff of Tangiapahoa Parish as was his father before him. The father was, however, a staunch EWE ally. None of the EWE charisma rubbed off on JBE: his nickname among internet smart asses is Gomer. That’s right, Gomer for Goober. I feel another sigh coming on, y’all.

I considered apologizing for discussing polls in a post expressing dislike for articles about polls but decided not to. It would be akin to not discussing Bobby Jindal in an article about Louisiana politics. I might rather not think about how he fucked the Gret Stet over but his shadow looms heavily over the Goober race. In fact, the one good thing I can say about Gomer is that he has been very critical of the PBJ record throughout the latter’s second term. It’s not his fault that fear and loathing of a black President turned a purple state deep red. I seem to have crossed over the Bridge Of Sighs

I’m reluctant to predict the outcome of the not so great Gret Stet goober race. I’m not sure who the GOPer will be right now but I still think Vitter will rally his base of bigots, bible bangers, and assholes and make the run-off against the hapless Gomer. Whatever happens, the Blue Dog is gonna be left for roadkill in the run-off.

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Your Own Self-Interest

Charlie:

There is no question that the Democratic party has done a god-awful job of explaining to white working people who’s screwing them and why. Most of the people who have tried that have found themselves marginalized, and not always by Republicans, either. Senator Professor Warren is one of the few of them who has managed to explain these matters in such a way that they are both easily understood, and in such a way that she doesn’t sound like she’s talking down to anyone. And she still has a long push up a dirt road before she moves the political dialogue to the point where white working class voters actually act on what she’s saying to them. Sooner or later, it’s up to the voters to decide to stop being stupid about their own self-interest, and to stop falling for scams about how the Poors and Browns are the ones stealing all their money.

Ah, the idea that people get the government they deserve. I get it, I do. In 2004 I was all “fuck everything, let these fucking people rot.” But nobody deserves this, even the people who say at the ballot box every four years that yes, yes we do.

The reason the scams about the Poors and the Browns work is that absolutely no one is offering any other answers. I hear this maddening thing all the time about people voting against their own self-interests and what everybody saying it has to figure out is that people aren’t voting against their own self-interests. They’re voting for the person who is going to make them feel better about losing, since nobody will help them WIN.

Who else is offering a competing, compelling message? Who else is making sure their lights stay on? Who else is standing up for their right to live in a decent society where we all take care of each other, take responsibility for each other, lift each other up?  Who else is backing up magnificent words with actions? Who else is paying for presses and TV stations to make sure those words don’t end up twisted and broken?

It’s not the party agreeing that single payer would have been socialism, so let’s have this other thing. It’s not the party whose president promised to walk with picketers and absented himself from the Midwest when those picketers showed up. It’s not the party of every other bullshit triangulating thing, afraid to stand up to the war until the war was almost over, just fine with torture once its president oversaw the torturing, constantly running from its own principles and afraid of the cable news blowhards calling them mean for smiling at anybody on The Professional Left.

I get the temptation, but blaming people for their own subjugation helps them throw off that subjugation not one fucking bit. Nobody deserves to have this done to them, and nobody signed up for the economy they’re getting except that asshole in The Wolf of Wall Street and his bros. The responsibility for the theft of this country rests with the crooks, not their victims. However much we might want to say seriously, lock up your shit next time.

A.

I Do Not Mourn The New Republic

Mostly because of shit like this: 

Now the left-leaning weekly has admitted that it was wrong to have backed the war based on the administration’s claims that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction.

“We feel regret, but no shame. . . . Our strategic rationale for war has collapsed,” says an editorial hammered out after a contentious, 3 1/2-hour editors’ meeting.

“I wanted the editorial to be honest not just about the war and other people’s mistakes but our mistakes,” Editor Peter Beinart says. “We felt we had a responsibility to look in the mirror.”

You know what would have been better than apologizing, Petey? NOT SUPPORTING A WAR THAT LED TO ALL THOSE DEAD PEOPLE, because they don’t care about your fucking feelings, and boring on about your personal growth and how strong you are to consider your own failings is pretty much an invitation to throw rotten fruit at you in the street.

You had a responsibility to look in the mirror? Where was that responsibility when you were writing things like this: 

The unhappy truth is that, if the Bush administration wins the war but betrays the peace, the political consequences for the president will be small. Once the fighting is over, the American press will turn its attention elsewhere, just as it has in post-Taliban Afghanistan. But the consequences for hawkish liberalism will be great. Having been played for fools, most liberal hawks will retreat to a deep skepticism of American power. They will end up on the decent, feckless left–in the company of those who sincerely condemn men such as Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam but have no strategy for toppling them except empty exhortations to people power. And that soft isolationism will likely retake the Democratic Party.

Support Daddy’s fantastic new war or you’ll look like pussies in the long run, fellas. And then nobody will be there to save the peoples of the world from themselves by dropping lots of freedom bombs!

(By the by, the only reason the president’s political consequences were “small” was that THE POLITICAL PRESS OF WHICH YOU ARE A MEMBER decided holding Bush accountable would be awkward and rude. Don’t act like things just happen when it’s your hand on the cookie press, asshole.)

So that’s the magazine I’m supposed to be all aflutter about now becoming just another morass of buzzwords and quizzes, a purveyor of We Supported Triangulating Bullshit and You’ll Never Believe What Happened Next type of stories? Boy, will I miss its historical seriousness and the journalistic guts it took to cheerlead for a war based on nothing. This is a dark day for news indeed.

A.

The T Word

I’ve tried to avoid election post-mortems. But I’m a political junkie so my efforts to bury the recent past were futile. The problem with most of them is that they haven’t focused on the big problem for Democrats: the T word. No, not teawads but TURNOUT.

The national turnout was 36.3%, which is beyond pitiful. It’s woeful and many other words ending in ful. It’s also becoming a chronic problem in off-year elections since Republicans tend to vote in every election. That means that Congress, state leges, and Governors are all more conservative than the general public. That’s the main reason for election results like 2010 and 2014.

I’m not saying anything startlingly original, but the T word is much less cited by the political punditocracy than other factors. Why? It’s undramatic and lacks the va-va-voom of blaming the President or poor “messaging.” Every time I hear that dread word, I think of Hollywood movie mogul, Sam Goldwyn nee Goldfish, who once said: “If you want a message, call Western Union.” Goldwyn, was, of course, referring to “message pictures,” but I love obscure historical references so what can I tell ya?Ironically, Goldwyn produced the best movie about post-WW II veterans, The Best Years of our Lives.

Now that I’ve established that I watch too much TCM, back to the matter at hand: poor turnout. I’m not sure how to change this. Off-year elections lack the drama and sweep of a Presidential election even though the process is similar: we elect the Oval Ones on a state by state basis via the dread electoral college. The whole Dems vote less in off-year elections thing is a recent development as Jamelle Bouie pointed out in a great piece at Slate:

Midterms have always been bad for the president’s party, but rarely were they wave elections—or near waves—of the kind we saw this year and in 2010. Instead, they were modest shifts in one direction or the other. In 1986, running at the end of Ronald Reagan’s term, Democrats won a net five seats in the House of Representatives andeight in the Senate. In 1990, running against President George H. W. Bush, Democrats won a net seven seats in the House and one in the Senate. In other words, until very recently, Democrats didn’t always fare poorly in midterm elections.

The generational divide in partisanship, for instance, didn’t exist 25 years ago, or at least, not in the same way. Take the 1988 electorate that chose Bush for president. There, Michael Dukakis won roughly the same share of seniors (49 percent) as he did voters younger than 30 (47 percent). Four years later, Bill Clinton won 43.5 percent of voters younger than 30 and 50 percent of voters 65 and older. If there was a generation gap, in other words, it was that older voters favored Democrats, not Republicans.

<SNIP>

But why is there a GOP midterm advantage now as opposed to 20 years ago, when the overall electorate was substantially whiter? The answer is demographics. First, as Ronald Brownstein has argued for the Atlantic, differences between white and nonwhite voters weren’t as severe as they are now. In congressional and presidential elections, Democratic candidates performed well with minorities and decently with whites, giving them a cushion in midterm contests—yes, the electorates were older, but they weren’t as Republican.

This is important. In the 1990s, a substantial number of older voters—if not most older voters—belonged to the Greatest Generation, the men and women who grew up in the Depression and fought in World War II. They were New Deal Democrats in their formative years, and they kept that affiliation through the rest of the 20th century.

Those political ties were evident in how they voted over time. According to a massive survey on the “generation gap” by the Pew Research Center, voters who turned 18 when Franklin Roosevelt was president were 8 points more Democratic than the average voter in 1994, 1996, and 1998; 11 points more Democratic in 2000; 3 points more Democratic in 2002; and 14 points more Democratic in 2004. By contrast, the next oldest cohort of voters—those who “came of age” during the Truman and Eisenhower administrations—were substantially more Republican in most years.

Sorry for the epic quote but this is the single best analysis of the off-year election blues that I’ve read. Props to Jamelle for using history well and wisely. He isn’t able to provide a solution to the problem but he explains why it’s happening. Well done, sir.

Where do we go from here? Democrats need to stop being swayed by momentary fluctuations in approval polls. Except in the South, President Obama’s poll ratings are mediocre, not terrible. He’s never gotten as low in the polls as Truman, Nixon, Carter, or Bush the lesser. Running away from the President was a futile gesture that fooled nobody. There was no rational reason for the President to stay away from states that he carried in 2008 or 2012. I really think he could have energized the base in Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Colorado. The DNC and DSCC are still singing from the 1990’s Clintonian hymnbook: triangulate, obfuscate, and woo independent voters. Team Obama successfully ran a base election in 2012 and it should be the model for off-years in the future.  Remember, the GOP won a wave victory in 1994 when the Clinton model was at its apogee. That’s my new favorite word, I plan to use va-va-voom more as well even if Nicki Minaj beat me to the punch.

I don’t think Democrats need to move farther right or left, I think they need to stick to their guns and not blow with the slightest breeze. This year’s wind didn’t not have to result in a gale force result;  our focus should have been on getting 15-20% more voters to the polls. You don’t accomplish that by hiding in plain sight. Haven’t these strategists ever played sardines or hide-and-seek for chrissake? I guess they’re too busy chatting on the Tweeter Tube to focus on the T word. Turnout your base and you will do well; playing duck and cover has never won an election and never will.

Chickenshit or Lazy or Evil, Take Your Pick

Maybe all of the above: 

One of the clearest demonstrations of the contradiction came during the Republican National Convention in 2012, when the party gave one night of speeches over to the theme, “We did build that,” a deliberate misinterpretation of something the president had said. Speaker after speaker spoke of how they pulled themselves up and built their success without interference from “government.” By the end of the night, the bootstraps has been pulled up so hard and so long that they must’ve extended from Tampa halfway through Alabama. But there was a curious thing about these speeches. A great many of them began with, “When my Dad got out of the Army…” There was the guy who built his business who never mentioned the small-business loans he’d obtained. There was Chris Christie, railing against the dead hand of big government while nearly sobbing over how important the GI Bill had been to his Dad. There was Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma who, against all history and logic, explained how her state had been built only through the sweat of Oklahomans. It was a night of organized bullshit so epic that it stands alone in my memory. It should have been all anybody talked about for a month. It should have defined the Republican party for a generation. Hell, if it weren’t for the New Deal, Ronald Reagan’s father would have been the town drunk. Government wasn’t The Problem then. Instead, it passed without conspicuous notice.

Howard Dean (remember him) in 200FUCKING3: 

What I want to know is why in the world the Democratic party leadership is supporting the president’s unilateral attack on Iraq.

What I want to know is why are Democratic party leaders supporting tax cuts.  The question is not how big the tax cut should be, the question should be can we afford a tax cut at all with the largest deficit in the history of this country.

What I want to know is why we’re fighting in Congress about the Patient’s Bill of Rights when the Democratic party ought to be standing up for health care for every single American man, woman, and child in this country.

What I want to know is why our folks are voting for the president’s No Child Left Behind bill that leaves every child behind, every teacher behind, every school board behind, and every property tax payer behind.

Christ, that speech. That was our chance, wasn’t it? Our chance to turn this fucking country around. He could give that speech tomorrow and but that there’s a Democrat in the White House, nothing’s goddamn changed.

Why? Take your goddamn pick, Howard. I think some of them are scared and some of them are greedy and some of them are listening to every professional fuckwit on the Sunday shows talk about how mean they all are these days, what with wanting to CURE DISEASES and TEACH PEOPLE TO READ, and some of them just can’t be arsed because it’s hard, Mom, and we just want to sleep in.

Some of them are up the ass of BP or the telecom industry, some of them are in hock to the Russian mob, some of them know there are photographs out there of that thing with the goat, some of them need to keep paying off that hooker, and some of them are that hooker.

Some of them are really stupid, too, and let’s not ever discount that.

A.

Dr. Empty Suit Speaks

I haven’t written much about the Gret Stet Senate race because it’s a rather depressing topic. Mary Landrieu, instead of subtly tacking to the right as is her usual pattern, has gone full blown blue dog on a wide variety of issues. We’ll see if it works, but my nose is sorer than usual from wearing a clothespin when I contemplate the race. The good news is that the other guy is much worse. He’s also a dumbass with limited knowledge of the history of the institution he wants to serve in:

Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) runs the Senate “like a plantation.”

Cassidy’s comments were published by E&E Daily on Tuesday. Cassidy, who is running for Senate, made the comments while bashing Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who he said has helped Obama “get his agenda through” thanks to her support for Reid.

Cassidy added that Reid “runs the Senate like a plantation.”

“Son instead of the world’s greatest deliberative body, it is his personal, sort of, ‘it goes if I say it does, if not it stops.’ Senator Landrieu’s first vote for him to be re-elected means that every other wish for a pro-oil and gas jobs bill is dead. Reid will never allow a pro-oil and gas jobs bill.”

I wonder if Dr. Empty Suit has ever heard of a guy named Lyndon Johnson? He ran the Senate with an iron fist as did Bob Dole in his day as Majority Leader. I personally adore the pugnacity of Leader Reid, but he’s no dictator let alone a plantation overseer. Being Majority Leader in 2014 is more like herding cats than whipping the help. It’s also kind of a stomach churning image for a Congressman from a former slave state to use. Marse Harry? Gimme a break, Doc.

Cassidy’s gearing his comments towards oil and gas is an excellent illustration of the state of the Gret Stet Senate race. Both candidates are competing to see who can give the oil and gas people the bigger orgasm. The incumbent’s edge on this issue is that she’s Chair of the Senate Energy committee, a position she obtained via Marse Harry Reid. Maybe he’s one of the *good* plantation owners. Either way, the big oil will have a Senator in their pocket.

If I were a betting man, I’d bet that Landrieu runs first in the November open primary; I refuse to call it a jungle primary. If Landrieu doesn’t close it out then, there’s a good chance that she’s a goner since the run off is in De-fucking-cember. Maybe the Dems can convince Governor PBJ to fly in from Iowa and stump for Cassidy, that would certainly hurt his candidacy.

I was more patient with Senator Landrieu’s Blue Doggery in the past.  I know from people who know her that’s she more liberal than her voting record, but that’s wearing thin in her bid for a 4th term. When it comes time for me to vote, I will essentially lay back and think of Harry Reid when I vote for her. I guess Dr. Empty Suit would call me a plantation dreamer…

Finally, I have a piece of advice for Mr. Cassidy. Pick up a copy of Robert Caro’s Master Of The Senate and learn something about the club you want to be voted into. I warn you, it’s long and uses a lot of big words but since you’re an M.D. I think you can handle it.  If not, toting around a book of that girth is good exercise.

we’re all very sorry but what are we doing?

Hillary, finally: 

We can’t ignore the inequities that persist in our justice system that undermine our most deeply held values of fairness and equality. Imagine what he with would feel and what we would do if white drivers were three times as likely to be searched by police during a traffic stop as black drivers. Instead of the other way around; if white offenders received prison sentences 10 percent longer than black offenders for the same crimes; if a third of all white men, just look at this room and take one-third, went to prison during their lifetime. Imagine that. That is the reality in the lives of so many of our fellow Americans and so many of the communities in which they live.

I applaud President Obama for sending the attorney general to Ferguson and demanding a thorough and speedy investigation, to find out what happened, to see that justice is done, to help this community begin healing itself. We should all add our voices to those that have come together in recent days to work for peace, justice and reconciliation in Ferguson, and beyond, to stand against violence and for the values that we cherish. We can do better.

We can work to rebuild the bonds of trust from the ground up. It starts within families and communities. It was 51 years ago today that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr called us to live out true meaning of our creed, to make the dream real for all Americans. That mission is as fiercely urgent today as when he stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in the hot August sun all those years ago.

So we have a lot of work to do together. At Nexenta, you say, better living for a better world. At the Clinton Foundation, we say, we’re all in this together. If you put those together, it comes out to a pretty good road map for the future. We need all of you, your energy and your efforts, your innovation, your building, your creating to help us achieve that better world.

And I have the same problem with her statement as I had with Obama’s: YEAH AND SO WHAT?

We have these problems and we’re all very sorry about them, white people, “good” white people, people with consciences and such, who aren’t at the moment setting police dogs on anybody. We’re very, very sorry, and we believe everyone should look into their hearts and not harbor so much hate. Hold hands in church. Take flowers to your neighbor.

Yet when it comes time for welfare “reform” or bankruptcy cramdown or anything else that would actually help the poor communities of color and address injustice the only way it can be addressed, with goddamn MONEY, suddenly all those good intentions fucking evaporate and everybody goes off whistling like “Man, I wasn’t even THERE.”

This country does not need Dr. Phil-in-Chief. This country doesn’t need beer summits. This country needs goddamn pallets of cash being dropped from helicopters, to build playgrounds and staff building inspection departments and pick up litter and oh, yeah, hire some cops that aren’t total mouthbreathing doucheturtles who have to use beanbag rounds on grandmothers because otherwise granny would outrun them. This country is not going to repair itself with love and understanding. It’s going to do it with giant fucking checks.

These powerful people act like the only thing they have the power to do is say nice things, and if they do, then it’s all “Oooh, he used the bully pulpit,” or “Oooh, she made a strong statement.” And next week, when the cameras are off Ferguson and in some other shithole town we’re going to pretend doesn’t exist until it implodes? All the national therapy won’t mean dick. The town will still be neglected and the people will still be broke and there will still be no fucking jobs.

Until some politician proposes spending on America like we spend on Iraq, until somebody takes the photos of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner blowing goats out of the safe and uses them to get us to “waste” money in every direction on U.S. soil the way we do whenever there are people to freedom-bomb, you can spare me the peace, love and understanding rhetoric.

Is it better than saying nothing? Maybe. But not much.

A.

Your problems are nothing

Charlie, trying to be patient: 

If Obama’s speeches aren’t as dramatic as they used to be, this is why: the White House                   believes a presidential speech on a politically charged topic is as likely to make things worse as to make things better. It is as likely to infuriate conservatives as it is to inspire liberals.

[snip]

Weariness in a president is understandable. It’s the worst job in the world. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that I should never vote for anyone who campaigns for the office because they are either power-mad or insane. But weariness in a president can be dangerous. Vietnam — and the national upheaval it occasioned — nearly killed LBJ. Nixon was eaten alive by Watergate. Reagan was a symptomatic Alzheimer’s patient for most of his second term. Lincoln once said that he felt like “the tiredest man on earth.” But, even at the end of their respective ropes, LBJ got a gun-control law passed, and Nixon increased the minimum wage, and Reagan managed to work with Gorbachev, and Lincoln managed to win the Civil War. The president can say anything he wants now. He will never run for re-election again. His opponents are going to screech like ravens on meth no matter what he says. Weary or not, he should take a tip from Ron Johnson and walk his beat again tonight.

I’m out of patience. The fucking earth is caving in, and you can’t bestir yourself because, what, the angry race warrior thing again? The midterms? How this is going to LOOK? How about how it is? How about the dead kid lying in the street for hours, Mr. President? A politically charged topic? Are you kidding me with this bullshit?

This isn’t a politically charged topic. It’s a dead kid in the street. It’s a police force that really thought “bring it you fucking animals” was their FIRST BEST OPTION. It’s arresting reporters and tear-gassing protesters and fencing off a place where people were assembling and petitioning their government for a redress of grievances. It’s a culture that says black men are better off met with bullets first and questions later.

It’s not a politically charged topic. It’s fucking American lives.

This isn’t about inspiring liberals or inflaming conservatives. Those are just these abstract Beltway media whore … Fucking hell. At some point we all decided that nothing that is happening is real, that nothing we can do is going to affect anything, that Both Sides Do It, that it’s all just too hard, and that anyway what did you expect? At some point we stopped expecting our leaders to lead because fear of some asshole on TV saying something mean was taken as an actual excuse to suck, no matter what was really going on in the world.

There’s an American city burning down and there’s a country rotting from the inside out and somebody’s counseling the president that there’s no upside to showing up for work today? There’s no upside to, just for example, hopping in the giant plane he controls, getting his ass down to St. Louis, and convening a “fuck you summit” on the rights of protesters and reporters and the apparent need of local cops to pretend they’re Chuck Goddamn Norris? No upside?

How about he can look himself in the mirror for the rest of his life? How’s that for a goddamn upside? I swear to you all, there are things you do or you risk your immortal soul. There are things you do or you spend the rest of your life, you spend every waking hour, making up for not doing them, and it’s not about politically charged topics. It’s about you being able to live with your actions and stare down the barrel of them at three in the morning. You’re going to tell me the president is fucking tired now?

How tired will he be contemplating what he could have done, and didn’t?

And most importantly, how tired is Michael Brown’s mother right now?

Weariness in a president is only understandable, only permissible, on the understanding that if the president is weary that means many, many other people are wearier. And those are the people that have it rough. Those are the people who need championing. Those are the people whose voices need to be amplified and recognized. Those are the people whose upside need to be considered.

A.

Oh Spare Me, Now That You’ve Got Yours

He's not wrong about this: 

He turned out to be something else altogether. To blame Republicans ignores a glaring truth: Obama’s record is worst where they had little or no role to play. It wasn’t Republicans who prosecuted all those whistle-blowers and hired all those lobbyists; who authorized drone strikes or kept the NSA chugging along; who reneged on the public option, the minimum wage and aid to homeowners. It wasn’t even Republicans who turned a blind eye to Wall Street corruption and excessive executive compensation. It was Obama.

But for fuck's sake, this didn't happen in the past eight years alone: 

In the late ’70s, deregulation fever swept the nation. Carter deregulated trucks and airlines; Reagan broke up Ma Bell, ending real oversight of phone companies. But those forays paled next to the assaults of the late ’90s. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 had solid Democratic backing as did the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. The communications bill authorized a massive giveaway of public airwaves to big business and ended the ban on cross ownership of media. The resultant concentration of ownership hastened the rise of hate radio and demise of local news and public affairs programming across America. As for the “modernization” of financial services, suffice to say its effect proved even more devastating. Clinton signed and still defends both bills with seeming enthusiasm.

Where was this impassioned dissent when you were cashing Bill Clinton's checks? Did you fight against both those bills and the type of triangulating bullshit for which your employer was known? Or did you figure eh, politics, whaddayagonnado, and keep on getting paid? 

God, I am just so done with the "once I got my paycheck I realized everything my masters had done was horrible and wrong and I'm sorry" genre of political journalism. See also every Bush aide who has come out against the war in Iraq in recent months, saying they knew it was going to be a clusterfuck from the start but somehow just managed not to say anything at the time that would have stopped it. See also every post-campaign campaign manager confessional piece in which whoever is admitting his sins was of course the lone voice in the wildnerness, powerless to effect change in the campaign they were running. 

You know what? You see something happening you know is fucked up, you either stop it then and there (COLIN GODDAMN POWELL) or you spend the rest of your life making up for your failure not in your words in some airhead thinkpiece but in your actions. Jimmy Carter, God love him may he live a thousand years, went and built houses for poor people after he screwed the presidential pooch. Everybody else needs to heed his example and shut the fuck up. Nobody cares about your guilty consciences but you. 

A. 

Because Nobody Cares About Blowjobs Anymore

For serious:

“A huge portion of the electorate that’s going to be her target don’t remember the Clinton administration at all,” Tim Miller, who’s heading an anti-Hillary PAC called America Rising, told TPM recently. “A lot of the negative stuff about the Clinton era has congealed into like a joke or a historical blip, but people don’t remember the details.”

“While that’s not going to be central to our nominee’s campaign against Hillary, what was happening in 1994,” he continued, “I do think it’s important for that to be part of the discussion about her, so that the folks who are getting information about 2016 don’t have a clouded vision, a nostalgic vision of the Clinton era.”

They have a lot of ground to make up. For starters, young people vote for Democrats in droves. They might identify more as independent, but they reliably vote for Democrats. That’s a fundamental element of the American electorate for the foreseeable future, which Miller acknowledged.

But even more troubling for Republicans, the Clintons themselves are more popular with young Americans than older voters. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released last week showed the Clinton family with a 77 percent favorability rating among those ages 18 to 39. That dropped off to 62 percent for those from 40 to 64 and down to 55 percent among those older than 65.

Before Candy Crush became a thing (I HAVE A PROBLEM) maybe we had time to worry about this crap. Like, before On Demand and Netflix and a whole Internet devoted to amusing us with quizzes about what Star Wars character we’d be if we weren’t already a My Little Pony and a breakfast food, we had time to freak out over if the president was being blown.

I don’t mean kids are too concerned about their iPods to worry about real issues. I mean kids are too concerned about their iPods to worry about STUPID BULLSHIT. Is it getting me a job or feeding me a burrito? Okay, then whatever, man, get back to me when I need to be here for this meeting because if I have to do nothing I’d rather look at pictures of cats wearing fedoras. I actually applaud the blasé-ness of the Modern Young Things to sexual peccadillos and if the president wore the appropriate tie today or has too much Nelly on his phone or whatever.

Most of what the 24-hour networks and the “name” pundits tell us to pay attention to is utter crap, and that was massively the case during the Clinton years. You know why young people tune this out? Because they’re smart. Their parents nuked the entire U.S. economy, they’re bazillions of dollars in debt to predatory loan companies, and potential employers can’t believe they don’t want to be treated like slaves. Put up against that, what exactly about getting some head in the Oval is supposed to turn them off?

Besides, these are abstinence-educated kids, it’s not like they don’t know how oral works.

A.

Because Nobody Cares About Blowjobs Anymore

For serious:

“A huge portion of the electorate that’s going to be her target don’t remember the Clinton administration at all,” Tim Miller, who’s heading an anti-Hillary PAC called America Rising, told TPM recently. “A lot of the negative stuff about the Clinton era has congealed into like a joke or a historical blip, but people don’t remember the details.”

“While that’s not going to be central to our nominee’s campaign against Hillary, what was happening in 1994,” he continued, “I do think it’s important for that to be part of the discussion about her, so that the folks who are getting information about 2016 don’t have a clouded vision, a nostalgic vision of the Clinton era.”

They have a lot of ground to make up. For starters, young people vote for Democrats in droves. They might identify more as independent, but they reliably vote for Democrats. That’s a fundamental element of the American electorate for the foreseeable future, which Miller acknowledged.

But even more troubling for Republicans, the Clintons themselves are more popular with young Americans than older voters. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released last week showed the Clinton family with a 77 percent favorability rating among those ages 18 to 39. That dropped off to 62 percent for those from 40 to 64 and down to 55 percent among those older than 65.

Before Candy Crush became a thing (I HAVE A PROBLEM) maybe we had time to worry about this crap. Like, before On Demand and Netflix and a whole Internet devoted to amusing us with quizzes about what Star Wars character we’d be if we weren’t already a My Little Pony and a breakfast food, we had time to freak out over if the president was being blown.

I don’t mean kids are too concerned about their iPods to worry about real issues. I mean kids are too concerned about their iPods to worry about STUPID BULLSHIT. Is it getting me a job or feeding me a burrito? Okay, then whatever, man, get back to me when I need to be here for this meeting because if I have to do nothing I’d rather look at pictures of cats wearing fedoras. I actually applaud the blasé-ness of the Modern Young Things to sexual peccadillos and if the president wore the appropriate tie today or has too much Nelly on his phone or whatever.

Most of what the 24-hour networks and the “name” pundits tell us to pay attention to is utter crap, and that was massively the case during the Clinton years. You know why young people tune this out? Because they’re smart. Their parents nuked the entire U.S. economy, they’re bazillions of dollars in debt to predatory loan companies, and potential employers can’t believe they don’t want to be treated like slaves. Put up against that, what exactly about getting some head in the Oval is supposed to turn them off?

Besides, these are abstinence-educated kids, it’s not like they don’t know how oral works.

A.

Because Nobody Cares About Blowjobs Anymore

For serious:

“A huge portion of the electorate that’s going to be her target don’t remember the Clinton administration at all,” Tim Miller, who’s heading an anti-Hillary PAC called America Rising, told TPM recently. “A lot of the negative stuff about the Clinton era has congealed into like a joke or a historical blip, but people don’t remember the details.”

“While that’s not going to be central to our nominee’s campaign against Hillary, what was happening in 1994,” he continued, “I do think it’s important for that to be part of the discussion about her, so that the folks who are getting information about 2016 don’t have a clouded vision, a nostalgic vision of the Clinton era.”

They have a lot of ground to make up. For starters, young people vote for Democrats in droves. They might identify more as independent, but they reliably vote for Democrats. That’s a fundamental element of the American electorate for the foreseeable future, which Miller acknowledged.

But even more troubling for Republicans, the Clintons themselves are more popular with young Americans than older voters. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released last week showed the Clinton family with a 77 percent favorability rating among those ages 18 to 39. That dropped off to 62 percent for those from 40 to 64 and down to 55 percent among those older than 65.

Before Candy Crush became a thing (I HAVE A PROBLEM) maybe we had time to worry about this crap. Like, before On Demand and Netflix and a whole Internet devoted to amusing us with quizzes about what Star Wars character we’d be if we weren’t already a My Little Pony and a breakfast food, we had time to freak out over if the president was being blown.

I don’t mean kids are too concerned about their iPods to worry about real issues. I mean kids are too concerned about their iPods to worry about STUPID BULLSHIT. Is it getting me a job or feeding me a burrito? Okay, then whatever, man, get back to me when I need to be here for this meeting because if I have to do nothing I’d rather look at pictures of cats wearing fedoras. I actually applaud the blasé-ness of the Modern Young Things to sexual peccadillos and if the president wore the appropriate tie today or has too much Nelly on his phone or whatever.

Most of what the 24-hour networks and the “name” pundits tell us to pay attention to is utter crap, and that was massively the case during the Clinton years. You know why young people tune this out? Because they’re smart. Their parents nuked the entire U.S. economy, they’re bazillions of dollars in debt to predatory loan companies, and potential employers can’t believe they don’t want to be treated like slaves. Put up against that, what exactly about getting some head in the Oval is supposed to turn them off?

Besides, these are abstinence-educated kids, it’s not like they don’t know how oral works.

A.

Because Nobody Cares About Blowjobs Anymore

For serious:

“A huge portion of the electorate that’s going to be her target don’t remember the Clinton administration at all,” Tim Miller, who’s heading an anti-Hillary PAC called America Rising, told TPM recently. “A lot of the negative stuff about the Clinton era has congealed into like a joke or a historical blip, but people don’t remember the details.”

“While that’s not going to be central to our nominee’s campaign against Hillary, what was happening in 1994,” he continued, “I do think it’s important for that to be part of the discussion about her, so that the folks who are getting information about 2016 don’t have a clouded vision, a nostalgic vision of the Clinton era.”

They have a lot of ground to make up. For starters, young people vote for Democrats in droves. They might identify more as independent, but they reliably vote for Democrats. That’s a fundamental element of the American electorate for the foreseeable future, which Miller acknowledged.

But even more troubling for Republicans, the Clintons themselves are more popular with young Americans than older voters. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released last week showed the Clinton family with a 77 percent favorability rating among those ages 18 to 39. That dropped off to 62 percent for those from 40 to 64 and down to 55 percent among those older than 65.

Before Candy Crush became a thing (I HAVE A PROBLEM) maybe we had time to worry about this crap. Like, before On Demand and Netflix and a whole Internet devoted to amusing us with quizzes about what Star Wars character we’d be if we weren’t already a My Little Pony and a breakfast food, we had time to freak out over if the president was being blown.

I don’t mean kids are too concerned about their iPods to worry about real issues. I mean kids are too concerned about their iPods to worry about STUPID BULLSHIT. Is it getting me a job or feeding me a burrito? Okay, then whatever, man, get back to me when I need to be here for this meeting because if I have to do nothing I’d rather look at pictures of cats wearing fedoras. I actually applaud the blasé-ness of the Modern Young Things to sexual peccadillos and if the president wore the appropriate tie today or has too much Nelly on his phone or whatever.

Most of what the 24-hour networks and the “name” pundits tell us to pay attention to is utter crap, and that was massively the case during the Clinton years. You know why young people tune this out? Because they’re smart. Their parents nuked the entire U.S. economy, they’re bazillions of dollars in debt to predatory loan companies, and potential employers can’t believe they don’t want to be treated like slaves. Put up against that, what exactly about getting some head in the Oval is supposed to turn them off?

Besides, these are abstinence-educated kids, it’s not like they don’t know how oral works.

A.