Saturday, June 25, 2016

Happy 140th Anniversary of the Battle of Greasy Grass, Little Big Horn, Montana

140 years ago today, General George Armstrong Custer lost his bid to be 1876 Presidential timber.

Like Frankenstein Fearing His Monster

Apparently, Bernie Sanders has decided that a priority even bigger than beating Trump is to "change the Democratic Party" starting with its platform. The Democratic platform is important to the extent that it introduces the voting public to the current ideals of the current Democratic Party and its nominee, in front of generally a very large viewing audience. So fine, if Bernie can effect those changes without rancor (from himself or Rosario Dawson or Cornell West, et al.); they are really issues all Democrats have sought for decades — even Clinton, who has been sadly damaged by his fans, damage that only he can and must repair.  But, that said, on the whole, the “platform” is not binding nor is it long remembered. It is also not adhered to by the candidate once elected because of personal priorities or the blockage of congress (the changing of which should be part of a big, two prong effort by both Sanders and Clinton). Meanwhile, demonstrations are being planned by the most ardent fanatics of the Bernie realm — and I hear, so far, no cautions by Sanders to moderate such hijinks. I never have heard him seek to mitigate the excesses of his acolytes — in fact after Nevada, he ginned things up IMO. Could it be that Sanders, like Frankenstein, fears the monster he created?  But he has finally, yesterday, declared he will vote for Hillary Clinton, “most likely” (always wiggle room with this guy), so unless that was a 74-year-old brain fart, it’s a good indicator of where things are heading.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bernie's End Game II

Why is this going on and on? Let’s get together and beat Trump (OR WHOEVER). I'm not sure if Sanders is actually delusional. But he knew the rules (including “super delegates”) when he decided, as a “revolutionary”, to try and gain the nomination of a major national political party to which he never belonged until just after breakfast. He made a fine appeal, got a lot of folks engaged (who should god damn well be engaged anyway), and demonstrated that progressive policies are popular and not frightening.  He has underscored corruption — mainly he has focused on his “own” party. And no doubt there’s some truth to that. But democracy in its most basic means somebody wins and somebody loses. He knew this rule too. But instead of grace, first he took to a Rubio-style strategy of declaring victory if Clinton didn’t win big enough in a particular primary.  He then took to a Trump-style strategy, declaring assorted elections fraudulent, the system “rigged” (except for the ones he won), and Clinton a warmonger.  He refused to tamp down the excesses of his fervent acolytes (damaging Clinton, rioting in Nevada, etc.)  And now, in the face of a Donald Trump presidency looming, he holds a meager hand up against this same Democratic Party wherein his opponent has won more votes, more delegates, more states, more everything.  Yet he keeps making demands of both platform policies and for the head of Barney Frank, and even hocking those same “super delegates” to flip — the ones he derided as part of an undemocratic rigged system of the “establishment”.  He’s become the Black Knight of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  And in the process, he has demonstrably discouraged and enraged all those new voters he has bragged of bringing on board. Hopefully in the end his insurgency won’t have done more damage than good — that is arguable. I’ll try it again: “Fuck sides. What we really need right now is a little solidarity." - Mr. Pink.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bernie's End Game

The first woman is the de facto nominee of a major party, and all Sanders can say we’re going all the way because shit could happen — boo Hillary!  Now Barack Obama is the titular head of the “Establishment”. Unlike 1968’s LBJ, he is not mired in a land war in southeast asia. He hasn’t invaded Iran lately, he made peace. The economy has been in a positive move since 2009. He pushed through the first national health care program with great political cost. He and the Democratic party or even the Clintons are not the problem.  So why is he revolting against them?  Is it that “they”, led by this treacherous woman, are denying the prize he thinks is rightfully his because reasons? (Certainly not because of votes but then, you know, “rigged”).  It’s the Republicans, now personified by Donald Trump, who have been the problem, and the true existential threat to the nation’s progressive well being.  They have raised obstructionism to an art form on a federal level — and on state levels, sociopathic capitalism runs rampant.  Never could understand that about Sanders, this misdirected fire. I liked him very much, but I’m stunned that his “all about me” end game is this delusional demagoguery. He could go out like a hero, a champion, a real catalyst for important change.  Instead it appears his goal is to bring the spirit of the Nevada Convention to Philadelphia, with fervent hopes of Clinton’s indictment mixed in.