DONALD TRUMP: Gold Medal Olympic liar, white supremacist, bigly grammar assassin, sexual predator, threat multiplier, xenophobe, misogynist, corrupt, fact allergic, unencumbered by reality, probable tax fraud, confirmed con man, less sophisticated election thief than Robert Mugabe.
These are the nicest things I can say about him.
MIKE PENCE: UGGHHHH...If he refers to Trump one more time as "broad-shouldered," as in Trump's "broad-shouldered leadership," my hair will turn as white as his. Calls himself a Christian - Where does Jesus say you should support a president who is guilty of crimes against humanity (e.g. locking little children in cages at the border)?
REPUBLICAN SENATE: Even for politicians, they take hypocrisy to stratospheric levels. Willing to blind themselves to avoid seeing Trump's unhinged tweets so they don't have to comment on all his outlandish conspiracy theories. Absolutely committed to voter suppression and confirming conservative justices to the Supreme Court NO MATTER WHAT because God forbid the American people should have health insurance or reproductive and labor rights.
MITCH MCCONNELL: Aka Satan. Suffers from situational ethics, has dubious connections to Russia, unclear if he is running Trump or vice versa.
JOE BIDEN: "Here's the deal, folks." Such a weak candidate. Could never beat Trump in a thousand years. However, Covid can and will beat Trump. Lucky for Biden because even with all the Never Trumper Republicans and Corporate Democratic Establishment behind him as well as all the regular people who detest Trump, he is still a shockingly feeble candidate with a badly run campaign who talks more about his kids than any actual policy.
However, he is BETTER THAN TRUMP. VOTE FOR HIM!
KAMALA HARRIS; Multiracial but mono-capitalist? Let me find a good article that explains how progressive Kamala is not.
DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Largely useless. Never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Cozy with Wall Street, shady billionaires, tech tycoons and other oppressors of working people.
Still, way better than Republicans because they at least pay lip service to human rights etc.
COVID-19: Trump's criminal mishandling of the public health crisis caused by the pandemic, the economic fallout as a result of the public health crisis, his GOP Senate's determination to confirm a Supreme Court justice instead of dealing with the Dems to pass a Coronavirus relief bill to help the hurting millions cope with job loss and food insecurity, and his Fed's socialist backstopping of Wall Street so that the stock market can continue to soar while the Main Street economy sinks deeper into depression mean that Trump is badly damaged and will struggle to win the election EVEN with all the GOP-orchestrated voter suppression and Trump's voter intimidation tactics utilizing the white supremacist Proud Boys who are "standing by"...
US ELECTORATE: About 45% of them don't ever even bother to vote, they seem unaware or uncaring that the president they (don't) pick becomes the "most powerful person on Earth" and can therefore do nonsense everywhere in the world. Presumed by pundits to have extremely short-term memories i.e. Donald Trump can be incompetent and evil for five years but it only matters what he does in the last five days before the election on 3 November because that's what the voters will vote on. They are ill-informed because...
US MEDIA: It is very difficult to find good news coverage in the US. Cable so-called news shows whether on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC are mostly long on opinion, short on news. They are too often variations on the breathy talk show, The View. Good coverage can be found on PBS, NPR, Democracy Now. I will post links below to other good clips as I find them. Funniest funny man covering Trump is Jimmy Kimmel!
YOU!: Whether YOU are a US citizen or not, you can help get Democratic Senators and Biden, uninspiring as he is, elected. Let me rephrase that. You can help defeat Trump and Republican senators like Lindsey Graham. If you are not a US citizen, you cannot vote and you cannot donate money to any campaigns. However, you can, according to the Federal Election Commission, volunteer your time to help get candidates elected. At WTF can I do?, they provide various options like texting with swing state voters or amplifying strategic messages with your social media. Check it out! We can't survive another four years of the Tangerine Bully!
2020/OCTOBER SURPRISES: 7 October was the anniversary of the Access Hollywood tape coming out shortly followed by the Wikileaks from Hillary's campaign. This year has been a doozy! Who knows what kind of and how many October surprises will come up this year. Buckle your seat belt....we are all on this roller coaster for the foreseeable future...
Restarting this page on 6 October, 2020, or, 28 days till the US Election!
Herewith: Links, commentary, and opinionations on the the epic crusade to end the nightmare of the Trump presidency.
Qualifications: The US is the new Zimbabwe. As a bourgeois Marxist who grew up in Zim, I know all about failed states, tyrants and the fragility of democracy.
Frequency: If my mental and physical health allow, almost daily updates - Scroll down. However, the Donald Trump Show is a very triggering and thoroughly exhausting roller coaster! Sometimes I have to log out.
Readers: Only boffins please. If you are not a boffin, please do not read and absolutely do not email me.
The song that I sing is part of an echo. 'Not me. Us.' (Bernie Sanders' campaign slogan)
(ALMOST) DAILY UPDATES ON THIS SEASON OF THE UNITED STATES: ELECTION 2020
Saturday 17 October, 2020
If you missed what happened this week on the national stage, you can catch up in half an hour here on PBS's Washington Week with Bob Costa, an old-fashioned straight newsman despite being a member of the over-opinionated millennial generation. But today we have to focus on one of the most fascinating senate races. Now, it's all very well to win the White House but a Democratic president without a Dem senate won't be able to do much especially with Satan's shenanigans. So...
Battle for the Senate Part I
Iowa. Where is Iowa? This was my question too when the Bernie campaign said they needed people to go to Iowa in freezing cold January to knock on doors. I thought I could go to New Hampshire as it was the second primary scheduled for a week after Iowa's infamous caucuses on 3 February. I know where New Hampshire is, you go north from New York up the East Coast and you will get there. Iowa on the other hand, as I would find out, is a 20-hour-plus drive from New York deep into America through areas where black people are not welcome. And did I mention that it was FREEZING COLD?
Iowa is also one of the whitest and most agricultural states in the US. I didn't really know how I would help the Bernie campaign there but the universe works in mysterious ways. We were headed to Des Moines but ended up in Iowa City, home to the famous Iowa Writer's Workshop and more importantly a wonderful community of Sudanese. Thanks to Grandma Jan and all the lovely Sudanese people who welcomed us so warmly and helped Bernie fend off (just barely!) Wonder Boy Buttigieg's surprisingly strong showing in Iowa, the trip was rewarding and heart-warming. You can see below for pictorial evidence and more on those good old days when Bernie was leading the pack but I have recounted this long story to prove to you that I am now an expert on Iowa. :) Okay, maybe not, but I am interested in Iowa and particularly in whether Senator Joni Ernst, the type of nasally climate change-denying politician who provokes an automatic gag reflex, can be unseated by Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield because Joni has messed up BIGLY.
During the candidates' debate on Thursday night, Joni had the most cringe-worthy moment of the decade. She won her 2014 race claiming to be a nice Iowa farm girl who loves to castrate pigs and shoot (down the Affordable Care Act). Now she is busy campaigning by riding around Iowa on a Harley Davidson motorcycle but she will never live down this instantly classic moment when the Midwestern-nice debate moderator asked her the price of soybeans. Trump's trade war with China has decimated the soybean market and mind you, her opponent, also a farm girl, had just answered the question, correctly, about the break-even price of a bushel of corn. But systemic racism denier Joni? She tried to pivot to a different topic, she claimed perhaps her headphones were not working properly....but in the end it was so sad, so embarrassing, so campaign-killing, she did not know the price of soybeans in Iowa, a state full of soybean farmers. You can read about it here or watch this delightful three minutes here. I am going to watch it ten more times.
Friday 16 October, 2020
Today is World Food Day. Covid-19 and the failed government policies which have in various ways exacerbated the economic pain and failed to contain the virus mean that millions and millions of people around the world will be hungrier and more desperate than ever before.
One of my fave South Africa-based commentators has written this excellent review of the new documentary, Totally Under Control, in which he plumbs the "the corollaries between South Africa and the United States, two staggeringly unequal, staggeringly corrupt hypercapitalist societies with long histories of racial and class warfare" and compares their different but equally detrimental responses to the pandemic. Richard Poplak is an acerbic wit who walks us through the documentary's assessment of the Trump administration's appallingly inept pandemic response incorporating brilliant insights like this: "As with every Trump story, at some point in the tale the son-in-law must enter the picture. Jared Kushner, an inhuman concoction developed in the bowels of a zombie Barbie and Ken factory, was put in charge of the federal government’s PPE procurement policy." Needless to say, Jared brought his usual verve and competency to the problem and hey presto, just like he solved Israel-Palestine, he also...oh wait, that was a complete and utter DIZA (an astronomical disaster)!
Speaking of dizas, Presisdent Criminal Gangsta is right now hosting another super-spreader, emotional support rally in Florida. He's busy lying to a bunch of seniors who are courting death by squeezing together sans masks indoors about his non-existent healthcare plan. How does he plan to win if all his supporters are too sick to vote or god forbid, deceased by election day?
Really, all one can do is eat tiramisu gelato and concentrate on the positive news. Biden's boring townhall had one million more viewers than Trump's boxing match with suburban mom Savannah! This will really irk the Bully-in-Chief because he's a shallow narcissist who lives for high ratings. Meanwhile, Caroline Giuliani has penned this brilliant essay urging everyone to vote against Trump. Since her father is one of his most feverish enablers and a Russian mis/disinformation machine, this is courageous. Imagine if Ivanka had the moral caliber to say, I love you, Dad, but you're not fit to be president. This has as much likelihood as happening as Jared bringing peace to the Middle East.
Speaking of Trump enablers, one of the most repellent is Attorney General Bill Barr. If this is not the death throes of US democracy and the American Empire, it will be because of brave people like Phillip Halpern. He has resigned from a long career at the Department of Justice because of Barr's revolting obedience to Trump. The number of career bureaucrats who have fallen on their swords by becoming whistle-blowers is laudable. But yet, there are so many more enablers...
But the Republican silence about Trump's daily travesties is finally ending as his political capital dwindles more each day. Senator Ben Sasse's audio was frank and brutal in its assessment of Trump's flaws. (He said that Trump "flirts with white supremacists." It's not a flirtation, they are betrothed). And now today, John Kelly, Trump's former Chief of Staff has said: "The depths of [Trump's] dishonesty is just astounding to me. The dishonesty, the transactional nature of every relationship, though it's more pathetic than anything else. He is the most flawed person I have ever met in my life." Ya think?
So they all know and they have known for the last five years but yet, they have remained despicably silent. Eat some more gelato and look at this, the best political cartoons of the week.
Trump took the notion of dueling town halls to heart and decided to duel with suburban mom, Savannah Guthrie. The Donald is losing with suburban women, and women overall, across the country and in every demographic group, bigly. So does he think his combative attitude towards Guthrie will help him woo back female voters? The only demographic Trump is still winning is white men, especially those without a college education.
If you missed the townhalls, NPR's summary will catch you up. It was calm and boring Biden versus chaotic and gladitorial Trump. You can also watch this hilarious ABC power politics roundtable analysis. Sarah Republican Lady, a constant Trump apologist on the Sunday roundtable who seems to really believe Trump is rational, said that Trump failed to condemn the QAnon conspiracy when Savannah gave him the chance to do so because he "overthinks" his answers to these questions. Coz it's really complicated, QAnon, White Supremacy, how would an intellectual like Donald Trump comb through his deep historical knowledge and training in moral philosophy to reach a conclusion about where he stands on these groups? Yes, we know him well, he is constantly guilty of "overthinking."
Lol! He's a white supremacist and always traffics in conspiracy theories, Sarah, so of course he is not gonna condemn QAnon. They are his base.
Mainstream Republicans should stop pretending that his "record of achievement" (tax cuts for billionnaires, deregulation e.g. unethical capitalists can further ruin the environment without pesky regulations to constrain them, super conservative, pro-business judges in their hundreds "packing" the courts) can somehow make up for his character deficits, corruption, racism, misogyny ETC. ETC.!
Sarah Republican Lady said that his only option for winning is if his bombastic and bullying campaign can inspire white men to come out in record-breaking numbers and a) register to vote before the deadline and b) actually go and wait in a long, long line to vote for him. Yvette Fly Gal Simpson was on the panel too and she said Trump can only win if he steals the election. One of the ways that can happen is through the multiple attempts at voter suppression i.e. making people wait in long, long lines to exercise their democratic right.
O America, you are so, so Zim these days! Owing to the corrupt and broken government, Zimbabwean people are used to getting up "makuseni-seni," before dawn, to go and queue for any and everything, whether a bus, or a passport, or to cast a vote. Imagine my horror when I hear that people in Georgia, mostly black people, are doing the same thing, waking up at ungodly hours to go and queue to cast their ballot. For shame, America, for shame!
Channel 4 has some good, on-the-ground reporting from Pennsylvania and Georgia about the people determined to vote despite the attempts to stop them doing so.
I better do some work now. Later we need to talk about Giuliani's daughter bravely speaking out against her dad's BFF, Giuliani himself and Russian mis/disinformation, and how Republican rats are finally fleeing the ship. Yes, I am looking at you Ben Sasse!
Thursday 15 October, 2020
Might be off topic but seriously, does Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN ever sleep? He is on there every second. Meanwhile, so uncool the way the Tangerine Bully is attacking the ever-adorable Dobby aka Dr. Fauci.
These are such trying times. Now the bad news first: Thomas Edsall is depressing us with the news that in many swing states, more Republicans are registering to vote than Democrats. That's good news for Trump and bad news for decent people. On the other hand, Let's Talk Elections take a deep dive into the latest polls and seem convinced that Biden will win.
Tonight there will be dueling town halls - Biden on one channel and Trump on the other at the exact same time - because NBC doesn't care about American democracy apparently and is crassly chasing ratings. They are the ones who gave us The Apprentice which is why many people believed that Trump was a successful businessman when of course, he only played one on TV. But Trump is already lowering expectations in case he implodes. He is calling the town hall that he desperately needs to jumpstart a flailing campaign a "set up." The first debate badly damaged him and now he's trying to pre-game tonight in case it all goes pear-shaped again.
I really hope Trump spontaneously combusts live on NBC when he is forced to interact with real people and answer their reality-based questions! Remember he is allergic to facts!
As for the Zizek/Chomsky references below. Always go with what Chomsky says - he's a true blue boffin. He says vote for Biden even though he is no progressive Bernie and so, yes, we'll vote for Biden and then lobby him from the left, "the day after the election," as Bernie says.
May also be off topic but can you imagine that Hope Hicks whom the White House basically tried to paint as Patient Zero is busy boarding Air Force One sans mask? Well, she is!
Wednesday 14 October, 2020
President Criminal Gangsta is holding another super-spreader rally today, this time in Iowa. Now...if Trump's campaign was going well, why would he have to go to Iowa now? He won the state by almost 10 points in 2016 because as this informative article from Iowa's most influential newspaper explains, it is a state full of white people, most of whom do not have a college degree i.e. Trump's base. Today's polling shows he is tied with Biden.
The article lays the blame for Hillary's loss in 2016 on Jim Comey's ill-advised statement at the end of October that she was under FBI investigation. Trump never did thank Comey for delivering him the election, instead he fired him. The bad memories aside, the truth is that the tides - in the plural - have turned against Trump and insch'Allah there will be no such Comey-like October surprises. The vast numbers of Americans who have already cast their ballots in early voting illustrate huge anti-Trump sentiment judging by the counties in which it is happening.
Meanwhile, ACB continues to furnish significant non-answers in the sham "hearings" for this shameful Supreme Court nomination. Kamala Harris massacred her for her anti-worker rulings (85% of her business-related cases found in favor of the big corporation and against the worker). This whole process demonstrates an appalling lack of integrity and the Supreme Court for the next 30 to 40 years will be viewed as illegitimate. Trump did not win the popular vote but now a minority president and his minority party that is distinctly anti the rights of so-called minorities have installed three judges - two stolen from the Dems. They put that milquetoast Catholic conservative Neil Gorsuch in the seat that Satan denied Merrick Garland, Obama's center-of-the-road nominee. Then came that hot mess frat boy, I like my beer, Brett Kavanaugh - no idea if he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford because the FBI did a non-investigation into her allegations but did you see his shenanigans during his nomination hearings? That is NOT a judicial temperament. Now they do not honor RBG's dying wish and ram through ACB Handmaid in an insultingly short amount of time. No, guys. If I ever found myself before that court I would not care if they ruled for or against me because they are such a tainted bunch of political appointees.
Tomorrow I will opine on Noam Chomsky versus Bernie's former spokesperson, Briahna Joy Gray on El Chapo Trappo podcast (that's not their real name but I always forget what it is). They are rebooting an argument from 2016 and actually every presidential election where progressives are forced to vote for the Democrat as the "lesser of two evils." I am still angry with Slavoj Zizek's 2016 position, for his indefensibly white privileged position of acting like a vote for Hillary was somehow as dangerous as a vote for Trump. Utter balderdash and unbelievably dangerous. For black and brown people, Trump's presidency has been an unmitigated tragedy that has cost lives (even his Covid response has resulted in more black and brown people dying). Hillary of course would have been very much so the lesser of two evils! More tomorrow insch'Allah.
Tuesday 13 October, 2020: 21 days until the election!
The presidential race and even battleground senate races are breaking big time for the Dems. Trump fatigue. Reid Wilson of The Hill gives an excellent breakdown here. And this is a good explanation of why everyone is too scared to say Biden is gonna win. Boring, bland Biden is gonna win but it's more that Trump is gonna lose BIGLY!
Watching the ACB hearings makes one realize again how ancient most of the Senate is. The word senate comes from the Latin word senex for old man so yes, since Roman times, a bunch of old people, still mostly men, have been ruling all the rest of us.
ACB says she is against the politicization of the Supreme Court but like a politician she doesn’t answer any questions! Like when Senator Leahy tried to get her to say whether she would recuse herself if the SC ends up deciding the election since Trump has openly and explicitly said he’s putting her there to decide in his favor.
What is quite jarring is how she speaks in such a confident and forthcoming tone as if she is actually answering the questions but yet, because of judicial something or other she keeps saying she cannot be forthright about any matters that she may one day rule on. So we continue with the farce that her long history of anti-abortion activity/statements will not determine how she will rule on Roe v. Wade. This is a good article from a woman who went to the same Catholic school as ACB and is familiar with the charismatic Catholic group of which she is a member and that makes Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale , look like a psychic. Chilling!
However, even more chilling and instructive was Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's fantastic diatribe against the "puppet show" of the hearings. He showed how much dark money in politics is responsible for judicial picks like that of ACB who will in turn allow more dark money in politics which means that the puppeteers aka super rich people have outsized influence in the political system.
In other news: the nutso president did a rally last night, a mere week after coming out of hospital, and apparently plans to do a rally every day until election day. What did they give him in the hospital? Well, not the much-touted vaccine. It seems there will be no vaccine before election date and poor Dr. Fauci. The Trumpster campaign has put him into an election ad without his permission.
Doesn't Dr. Fauci remind you of Dobby from Harry Potter?
Tim Alberta at Politico says that anti-Trump sentiment can make up for a lack of Biden enthusiasm. I agree. He also says that if Trump is defeated in a 1980-esque landslide, the Republican Party will not back him when he refuses to accept his loss. This one I am not so sure about. The Republicans have done nothing but enable this atrocious man. I have often wondered why they didn't disbar him from running in their primary on 16 June, 2015 when he came down his escalator with paid actors cheering him on as he announced his bid for the presidency. He officially kicked off his campaign by making xenophobia and racism against Mexicans ("rapists" and "criminals") his central plank. Macy's department store cut ties with the Trump brand after that but the Republican Party was far less ethical. They welcomed him into the primary process and the rest as they say is history.
People in Georgia had to wait in line for 10 hours to cast their vote...and Americans call themselves the greatest democracy in the world.
Monday 12 October, 2020
Trump declares he is immune to Covid-19. No, of course he is just immune to facts as usual.
Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearing begins and it's all about using her kids as props. Why do Americans do this? It's really grotesque as Robin Givhan ably demonstrates. Her seven children, especially the two adopted from Haiti who are making the Republicans uber-excited as if having black kids proves conservatives are not racist, are being used to humanize her but they should just drop this farce. Why are they even having this hearing when we all know, as Lindsey Graham himself said, that all the Republicans will vote for her NO MATTER WHAT. Even if this power grab costs them the senate, many conservatives seem to think it is worth it because she has been hand-picked by Trump to replace RBG because she will rule against Obamacare and Roe v. Wade. The GOP should stop pretending that they have no idea how she will vote on these matters. They know how she will vote - judicial independence is a chimera - and that's why they are willing to sacrifice the Supreme Court's last vestiges of legitimacy to get her into this lifetime position.
If Amy Coney Barrett was an ethical person she would refuse to accept the nomination under these tainted circumstances but alas no such luck.
If Lindsey Graham wasn't such a revolting hypocrite, he wouldn't be Trump's BFF after claiming that John McCain was his closest friend and he wouldn't be ramming ACB's nomination through mere weeks before an election after he said on tape that he would never do such a thing. But that's Lindsay Graham for you, Gold Medal Pretzel-maker - he can twist all his supposed beliefs and statements into the opposite direction when needs be. Will Jaime Harrison who raised a record-breaking 57 million dollars actually manage to defeat him? More on that race coming soon...
Sunday 11 October, 2020
Overwhelmed with a wealth of material that is already a satire of a caricature, Saturday Night Live still manages to rise to the challenge. Yet the most important moment this week over and beyond the VP debate parody etc. was when Kate McKinnon broke character and said she was obviously not okay. She spoke for millions or possibly billions of us on this pandemic-paralyzed globe...
In other very very important news, Rafael Nadal comprehensively defeated the world number one and his greatest nemesis, Novak Djokovic, to win his 13th Roland Garros title at the socially-distanced French Open. More and more commentators, despite the polls' failure in 2016, are beginning to speculate that Biden will be delivering Trump an equally comprehensive defeat in the weeks to come. In fact the only two polls that predicted a Trump victory are now predicting a landslide for Biden...
Friday 9 October, 2020
Whatever one may say about Nancy Peolosi, she is the most effective Trump troll! She also is very beautiful and can successfully walk briskly down the corridors of the Capitol in sky-high stilettos, all at 80-years-old. Today she is convening a press conference to troll him further. Excerpt below is from this Guardian article:
'In the surprise move on Thursday, Pelosi revealed that Democrats will meet to focus on the 25th amendment to the constitution, which contains a clause that allows a president to be removed from office against his will because of physical or mental incapacity.
Her office followed up with the announcement that Pelosi and the congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland will hold a press conference at 10.15am on Friday “to discuss the introduction of the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office Act”.'
Nancy says Trump is dissociated from reality. Yeah, no kidding. His coronavirus is also dissociated from reality. A week ago today, he was diagnosed, supposedly receiving a positive test for the first time. Then the very next day he needs oxygen and has to be airlifted to hospital? Then he is in hospital for 72 hours during which he goes for a joyride to wave at his supporters and then takes Marine One back to the White House where he films campaign videos. Taxpayers are paying for all these helicopter rides as well as his three different anti-Covid meds which cost more than US$100,000 according to one report. But this is not the normal timeline of coronavirus - from symptom onset to "recovery," something is not adding up...
Meanwhile, today I will be watching the French Open but I will quickly switch over to watch Nancy's trolling at 10:15ET and I will also keep a close eye on the investigation into Mike Pence's strange itinerary change. He was supposed to go to Indiana to vote but suddenly returned to D.C. Why? Has he tested positive or is he just missing "broad-shouldered" Donald? I say Pence is Trump's lipstick but Timothy Egan says it far more elegantly, "Pence is the silk to Trump’s sandpaper."
Thursday 8 October, 2020
What a snooze fest of a debate. Kamala Harris and Mike Smooth Operator Pence did not provide the WWE-style smackdowns we have become accustomed to in the era of Trump. I could barely get through it. I don't think I even heard Pence say "broad-shouldered" once but I could have missed it. As Sarah Palin used to say, you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig. Pence's demeanor is calm and collected, his tone is so reasonable and sincere you can get lulled into forgetting that his rhetoric is as hateful and dangerous as Trump's - just in velvet prose. Last night he denied that there is systemic racism and did not commit to a peaceful transfer of power if they should lose. Trump is the pig and Pence is the lipstick that never wears off.
Is there another job besides politician where you can sidestep every question and just talk off-topic? They both did that but Pence had the audacity to say at one point that Harris did not answer a question. "Let the record reflect that she did not answer the question," he said. It was true, she and Biden constantly refuse to say whether they will add more Supreme Court justices to the court if Coney Barrett is confirmed. I am not sure if this is a winning strategy. However, Pence hadn't answered any questions at all the whole debate yet he nonetheless had the chutzpah to say that the Trump administration "follows the science" and more than once told Kamala that she "was entitled to her own opinions but not her own facts." OMG!!! The science-denying Trump administration only traffics in "alternative facts" which are known to regular people as lies.
There was no winner but I don't think Pence managed to convince anyone that Harris is some radical left-wing communist (I wish she was!). No, she was super corporate and mainstream and centrist suburban moms will feel very comfortable with her. And her hair looked great. As for the fly on Mike Pence's hair, it was more than a metaphor. Biden-Harris need to hold the Trump admin's feet to the fire more and more often for their woeful Covid response...
Wednesday 7 October, 2020
It's been another exhausting day. Best plan is to take refuge in some delicious tiramisu gelato...the VP debate starts in a few hours. How many times will revolting Mike Pence refer to Trump's broad-shouldered...[Insert noun here]?
"President Trump's broad-shouldered leadership when it comes to fighting the coronavirus has kept America safe." I am sure he will say some variation of that despite/because it is a statement diametrically opposed to truth, empirical evidence and Trump's greatest enemy, reality!
The diabolical Trump policy to separate children from their parents - some of whom the administration later lost leaving these children orphans - is one of their ongoing crimes against humanity. Today, the New York Times has published this article which outlines how various officials like Jeff Sessions came to support such "zero tolerance" policies no matter how cruel in a bid to please the Xenophobe-in-Chief. Why can't these people be tried in the International Criminal Court?...Ahhh, that's why the US is not a signatory to the Rome Statute which would bring them fully under the court's jurisdiction. All those war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and various other countries would also be fair game.
One of the reasons, Trump is desperate to get Amy Coney Barrett on to the Supreme Court is because in addition to taking away a woman's right to choose and destroying Obamacare, they will also rule on a case about his tax returns. Those infamous tax returns he is always desperate to hide. Yet, today an appeals court ruled that he cannot block a subpoena from New York State for his returns. Instead of wasting more time and money, he should just hand them over. We all know he's broke now that the NY Times revealed he only paid $750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017. However, no, he wants to send the case to the Supreme Court. It's not like they are busy or anything.
Today, the US media is debating whether Trump's crazy behavior is because of the anti-Covid steroids he is on? Really? How would anyone tell the difference?
Meanwhile, tonight is the debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence. They can both speak English and compose full sentences, unlike Trump and Biden. So we expect less interruptions, outright lies and untrammeled malarkey. There should be more meaty debate...We shall see but we shall certainly not hold our breath.
Overnight, the mercurial Trump signaled via his preferred platform, Twitter, that he may change his mind on supporting a desperately-needed stimulus bill without which he stands no chance of reelection according to Catherine Rampell.
Tuesday 6 October, 2020
Last night, Trump flew home from Walter Reed hospital on Marine One. Taxpayers are paying for all these flights up and down. Supposedly he is better after being diagnosed with coronavirus, four days ago...Hmmm, highly suspicious. Non-conspiracy theorists like political scientist, Dr. Christina Greer, think he might have lied about testing positive for coronavirus since he is a Gold Medal Olympic Liar.
Can he really be better already if he really did contract the virus? Will he relapse before this is all over if he really only got sick on Thursday?
The last 10 days have made us all queasy. Can you still remember that the late great RBG passed away a few weeks ago?
For some incomprehensible reason, Trump thinks that stopping a coronavirus relief bill will help his chances of getting elected coz broke and hungry and unemployed Americans will flock to the coronavirus-ridden polls to vote for him. INSANE AND EVIL.
More can be found here as everyday and significantly they also cover Eric Trump's deposition about to the New York Attorney General about potential Trump Organization...you guessed it, fraud! : https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/
29 MARCH - 6 OCTOBER, 2020 - THIS PAGE WAS IN A COMA BECAUSE THE DEMS COLLUDED AGAINST BERNIE AND MADE BIDEN THE NOMINEE.
SCROLL DOWN AND DOWN MORE TO RECONNECT WITH THE GOOD OLD DAYS WHEN BERNIE WAS STILL IN THE RUNNING AND WE DIDN'T KNOW CORONAVIRUS WAS GOING TO MAKE BERNIE'S MEDICARE FOR ALL POLICY EVEN MORE NECESSARY!!!!
Sudanese community caucusing for Bernie Sanders in Iowa City; Cutest and most adorable Sudanese-American kids whom I forgive for learning my phone's pin code and downloading games since you deleted them :); Bernie volunteer extraordinaire, Ms. Jan Taylor, who was recently profiled in the New Yorker and is such an effective canvasser, I am sure she can turn Texas into a democratic state!
SAD PAGE HISTORY
In my personal life, 2016 was a happy and exciting year until...Yes! Until, Donald Trump was elected.
At the beginning of 2020, before I knew that this would be the CRAZIEST year ever, in a pre-Covid and pre-Democratic Party shady shenanigans to steer the Democratic nomination towards Biden, I began this page. I thought I would be posting about Bernie Sanders' route to becoming the Democratic Party's candidate.
I believed and hoped that although it would be an immense struggle, the Democratic Party establishment and their corporate donors would not sabotage Bernie's quest to become the nominee. I am still an unrequited Bernie supporter and if you scroll to the bottom of the page, you will find out more about the volunteering I did for his campaign in Iowa, South Carolina and North Carolina.
When the Corporate Dems decided Biden should be the nominee, I stopped this page because who can get excited about Biden. Really, Biden?!
However, Donald Trump has said he will not accept the election results unless he wins. He is fomenting election violence and trying to appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court who will rule in his favor should the election results be challenged in court. The US is becoming a Banana Republic/
Third World pariah state.
Since I grew up in Zimbabwe which was and is all of those, I am an expert on what is unfolding now.
See below for absolutely incisive and brilliant insights into this season of the United States, a whackadoodle reality show, long on crazy, short on sanity.
VERY OPINIONATED OPINIONS ON ELECTION 2020 FROM MOI, A BOURGEOIS MARXIST
SUFFERING THROUGH THE ERA OF SURREALITY POLITICS
24 January, 2020: Yeah, I didn't know either but it's true!
Image: Tim Sanders
What am I saying here to filmmaker, all-round good guy and Bernie Sanders surrogate, Michael Moore? I am asking him to get a message to Rep. Ilhan Omar because the deputy mayor of Iowa City - Okay, wait, let's back it up. I had NO idea but as every single black person I met there told me laughingly, "You didn't know there were black people in Iowa, did you?"
And no, I didn't! I had no idea but it's true! There are not only African-Americans in Iowa but also African immigrants and the deputy mayor is actually a Sudanese Muslim woman! (All these exclamation marks and caps are absolutely justified because seriously...Iowa?!)
The idea was to have Rep. Omar contact the deputy mayor to encourage her to endorse Bernie Sanders before the Iowa caucuses (hot mess!) on 3 February. Once I have recovered from the FREEZING COLD and terrible SNOW AND ICE (winter has absolutely come!), I will write about my great times with the Sudanese community in Iowa City and all the beautiful kids. The Sudanese tipped the election for Bernie because they came out in big numbers, especially the women. SHUKRAN!
29 March, 2020: Exactly what I had feared...
"Post-ABC poll shows Trump and Biden in a competitive race for the White House," reads the title of a Washington Post article which gives voice to both my fears and predictions: "Despite the rapid consolidation around Biden...the former vice president suffers from an enthusiasm gap when contrasted with the incumbent president. More than 8 in 10 (86 percent of) registered voters who currently side with Trump say they are enthusiastic about their support. That compares with 74 percent of Biden supporters. More telling is the gap in the intensity of that enthusiasm, which can translate into who turns out to vote and who might not. Among registered voters who support Trump, 55 percent say they are very enthusiastic about backing him while 32 percent say they are somewhat enthusiastic. Among Biden’s supporters, a far smaller 28 percent say they are very enthusiastic while 46 percent are somewhat enthusiastic."
Even with Trump's disastrous and dastardly handling of the coronavirus outbreak, the feeble Biden campaign cannot take advantage and establish a definitive lead over the Tangerine Bully. Only 28% of voters are very enthusiastic about voting for Biden compared to Trump's 55% - that's a huge difference. As I wrote below, Bernie Sanders is more electable than Biden for this very reason: Bernie inspires enthusiasm and energy. Biden does not. I can only hope at this point that the Democratic Party will not reap what it has sown in November: the defeat of a tepidly-supported Biden by a galvanized Trump base.
18 March, 2020: 18 Days of Coronavirus Chaos, Stock Market Convulsions and Consolidation
18 days ago on 29 February, I was driving in a car with other Bernie volunteers down a dark highway in rural South Carolina when a cop car pulled us over for speeding. We were speeding because we had spent a long Leap day trying to turn out the vote for Bernie and now the results were coming in and things were looking bleak and we had a long distance to travel. The police officer turned out to be a charming and gracious Southerner who was probably a Republican but told us he respected what we were doing - he could see the Bernie paraphernalia all over the car - and merely gave us a warning. Then he asked, "Who's winning?" I held up my phone and said, "Biden. But Bernie won the first three states so why are you guys so behind the times?" He tipped his hat at me and said, "Ma'am, we're just doggone country people down here." I laughed.
Now, 18 days later, it seems that either America is full of "doggone country people" or the media narrative that blew up Joe Biden's South Carolina victory into a path to the nomination cannot be underestimated. 18 days ago, Bernie was the front-runner and Biden's campaign was a joke without a punchline but the Democratic establishment successfully consolidated behind him... On 6 March, there were 100,000 Coronavirus cases worldwide and today, 12 days later, there are over 200,000. Head-spinning is not an adjective robust enough to describe what a roller coaster, queasy-making month this has been thus far and I am not even referring to the stock market volatility...
13 March, 2020: Does Bernie still have a fighting chance? Or are voters opting for the "safe" option?
Read this excellent explainer about how investors and voters alike are searching out safe havens in these unsettled times: Flights to Safety by Tim Frasca. Then let's meet again after the debate on 15 March to reflect on how weak a candidate Biden actually is...
6 March, 2020: Did Super Tuesday burn Bernie so badly he can't recover? Why did Boy Wonder Buttigieg drop out? Could Biden defeat Trump?
According to Matt Karp of Jacobin, Bernie can still win the nomination despite the shellacking he took on Super Tuesday. Tim Frasca argues in "On the doorsteps of the Carolinians, Part 3" that he is not so sure America is ready for the revolution that Bernie is promising. I don't know whether Bernie can still win and nor do I know whether it is the American people who are not ready for his policies or if it is the Democratic establishment which is most certainly not. I had half-thought and sincerely hoped that the Democratic establishment was somewhat of a fictional bogeyman but now it appears to be a real force intent on keeping the status quo and protecting its corporate donors and Big Money backers from the taxes Bernie would impose upon them.
There appear to be serious behind-the-scenes shenanigans underway amongst the party insiders which shed new light on my own naivete. A mere week ago, I had a conversation with an elderly black man in South Carolina which now seems sadly prescient. He was sitting on his tiny porch watching the dying sun slip behind the block-like buildings that formed the low-income housing complex in which he resided. I asked him to please come out and vote for Bernie and he said that of course he would vote for the Democrat. I thought he was yet another voter of whom there were many who was confusing the primaries with the general election. I said, "Sir, this is our chance to choose who the Democratic nominee will be so we can decide who will run against Trump." He replied, "The Democratic Party will decide who the nominee is and then I'll vote for their candidate. My vote don't make no difference but I sure do appreciate your coming."
I shook my head, disappointed by this passive, fatalistic attitude. However, after seeing the lightning speed restructuring of the presidential race engineered by the Democratic party between Saturday night (29 February) and SuperTuesday eve (3 March), I have to say that gentleman was 100% correct. Bernie supporters have long suspected the Democratic party would try and outfox Bernie at the convention and deny him the nomination even if he had the most votes at that point but the Democratic party decided not to wait until the convention. They want Bernie gone now. Is that why Boy Wonder Buttigieg and the capable Amy Klobuchar dropped out so suddenly, fell into line and endorsed Biden? I saw Buttigieg on the Sunday morning talk shows the same day he dropped out and he didn't sound like he was going anywhere. What happened?
Again, I don't know what happened but I do know that the Democratic establishment has anointed Biden as their consensus candidate. Tomorrow, I will write about why they are less concerned with electability than profitability and the tawdry tales of private prison money staining the integrity of some influential South Carolina politicians and how this plays into the battle for the nomination. But for now, I will say that the media is working overtime to paint Bernie as a dead man walking when last week this time, it was Joe Biden who was on life support. I can barely understand this complicated delegate math so I will point you to Doug Johnson Hatlem who explains why he believes Bernie is still in the game, mathematics-wise. And let's hope he is because I am very, very fearful that Biden cannot defeat Trump...Hasta mañana!
1 March, 2020: Black people in South Carolina bring Biden back to life. But for how long? Will Buttigieg dropping out help Biden?
Having attended a very boring, rambling, low-energy, badly-organized Biden event in Iowa that lacked any of the excitement and ebullience of a Bernie rally, I am saddened that black people in South Carolina decided to rescue Joe Biden’s campaign from life support. At the event I attended, a week before the caucuses, Biden roamed through the small crowd of seated pensioners and crooned into the microphone about the good old days with Barack (if they were so good, how did Trump come to power?), reminisced about his children (unfortunate because I know more about them than his policies), talked about rebuilding the middle class (what was he doing 2009-16?) and went to his go-to line on how he would “beat Trump like a drum” (no-one knows what this means).
The nostalgia for a pre-Trump era that is fueling his run for the nomination is different from the nostalgia that powered Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign but they are both problematic. 2016 did not just mark the rise of Trumpism but threw into sharp relief some of the failures of Obamaism…More on this one day soon and more on South Carolina which is stuck in some kind of pre-Civil Rights era time warp but for now, it’s time to concentrate on winning every vote possible for Super Tuesday. This race keeps changing but today, it seems that Biden is back in the game and could become the “moderate” candidate behind whom nostalgia-driven voters are going to coalesce behind. Enter stage left, Bloomberg the billionaire who is spending more than the GDP of some small countries to try and buy the presidency.
And tonight, Pete Buttigieg has decided to drop out which is somewhat of a mystery to me because he has the third most delegates behind Bernie and Biden. Why would Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren stay in if he’s leaving (hint, hint)? How will this change the calculus for Super Tuesday? The truth is, no-one really knows because voters, unlike pundits, do not vote in lanes so not all “moderate”-lane voters will automatically go to Biden. If Warren suspended her campaign, not all her voters would cross over to Bernie even though they are both in the “progressive” lane. So, farewell, Mayor Pete, and congratulations on your run! I will miss complaining about your aggressively bland podcast. Will it continue?
Hello Super Tuesday. Will black people again buttress Biden’s bid for the presidency? After three runs, he has finally won a state with South Carolina (the polls were right). Will Bloomberg play spoiler for Biden and help Bernie by preventing Biden from winning more delegates than Bernie? We shall see. May the polls that have Bernie leading be correct and may the force be with us so he wins big on Super Tuesday - cross fingers, light candles, cast spells…whatever it takes…
28-29 February, 2020: Will Joe Biden win South Carolina? What are Bernie’s chances?
This morning I read a shockingly erroneous article in the Washington Post. David Weigel writes in The Trailer: How to win South Carolina that Biden is the only candidate with a campaign office in South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District which runs “from the Pee Dee region of the state, with plenty of rural black voters, to Myrtle Beach's Horry County.” This is not true. The Bernie Sanders’ campaign has two campaign offices in this district, one in Florence and one in Myrtle Beach. I have been in both of them in the last 48 hours. Weigel goes on to report that Biden and Tom Steyer have both made stops in this district this week but fails to mention that Bernie held a highly-energetic and well-attended campaign rally in Myrtle Beach on the 26th. What kind of reporting is this that is so full of holes? What kind of research is Mr. Weigel doing before weighing in on the state of the race in South Carolina? I find it difficult to put any stock in his opinions considering the factual errors in his reporting.
This brings me to the polls. There have been several polls in the last few days which suddenly show the flagging Biden campaign surging in South Carolina. In the last weeks, Bernie had been closing the gap but suddenly everyone is predicting that Biden is going to win handily by double digits and perhaps even in a blow-out. Do these pollsters have better methods than Mr. Weigel for deciphering the electorate’s predilections?
I really don’t know. All I can say is that as a canvasser on the ground in South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District in the Pee Dee region in places like Bennettsville, Cheraw, Society Hill, Florence and Marion, I have found many voters to be a) ignorant of the election, especially those in Marlboro, Florence and Chesterfield counties b) those who are aware of the vote seem to think it is the general election in which they can support the democrat against Trump c) those who are aware that this is the election to nominate the Democratic candidate for president are mostly undecided less than 24 hours before the primary d) those who have chosen whom they will support decline to share that information viewing it as a private decision. So really, where do these pollsters get their information?
Working in the semi-rural areas in Marion county where there is a large population of working-class black voters, I have been surprised but delighted to see how committed to voting they are as opposed to those in some of the other counties. There is a lot of support for Bernie Sanders in these areas because people who live in those communities and support Bernie’s agenda have been working since last summer to get the word out and in some instances since 2016. Will these “hidden” pockets of supporters swing Marion County for Bernie over Biden? We’ll find out.
But Bernie’s message is resonating with voters, even those concerned about his “electability.” Here is a conversation I had with an intelligent and thoughtful voter, a bearded, middle-aged white man living in a black-majority trailer park down a dirt road off the highway.
Voter: I like Bernie’s policies but there’s no way America will ever vote for a socialist. The Republicans are going to hang that around his neck.
Me: Sir, the Republicans called Obama a socialist. They are going to call any democratic candidate a socialist.
Voter: That’s true but I still can’t see how a socialist can win.
Me: Sir, Bernie Sanders is not a socialist. He is a democratic socialist and we can’t let the media be reductive. We have to be smarter than that.
Voter: Yes, we do. I agree. His policies are good but America is afraid of socialism.
Me: Sir, may I ask you? Are you a Christian?
Voter: Yes, I am. I am a Catholic.
Me: Well, sir, a Catholic is not the same as a Protestant, is it, and a democratic socialist is not the same as a socialist.
Voter: I can see that. I can agree with that.
Me: And if you tell everyone you know that and I tell everyone I know that maybe we can beat the Republican propaganda?
Voter: I do like Bernie’s policies.
Me: Bernie’s policies are commonsense policies for regular working people.
Will Biden win big tomorrow thus resuscitating his flagging fortunes? Or will Bernie come an uncomfortably close second and pick up a good portion of delegates? Will Tom Steyer who has spent a fortune on this race chip into Biden’s so-called “moderate” lane? Will any of the other democrats outperform the polls? Or will Bernie who won the popular vote in Iowa, came first in New Hampshire and decisively defeated all the other candidates in Nevada continue his winning streak and make it four out of four?
Here is Tim Frasca’s take: "On the Doorsteps of the Carolinians, Part 2"
24 February, 2020: South Carolina - Do the people here know there is a primary election on the 29th?
(BENNETTSVILLE, SC) -- South Carolina was supposed to be Joe Biden’s firewall, his sure-win state. But the Feb. 29 primary here is now so clearly in play that the former VP is no longer even claiming that he has to win to remain a viable contender. That’s quite a descent from his early 27-point poll advantage over second-place Kamala Harris (remember her?) Biden’s early strength stemmed from the fact that the Democratic Party voter base in South Carolina is 60% African-American (whites here are overwhelmingly Republican and Trumpist), so Biden benefited from having been Obama’s #2. That may prove to be thin gruel rather than a breakfast of champions.
20 February, 2020: Bloombito for president?
After Bloomberg's disastrous debate performance last night - clearly billions of dollars cannot buy one iota of charisma - I see today he is giving speeches about how he can beat Trump because he's a New Yorker and thus knows how to handle another New Yorker. What a ridiculous message. You know who else is a New Yorker? Bernie Sanders! He is from Brooklyn, Trump is from Queens and Bloomberg only came to Manhattan as an adult. When I find time, I am going to write up the 12 reasons why Bloomberg's campaign should be summarily suspended.
Electability for Boffins: 12 reasons Bernie is the most electable candidate
Melissa Tandiwe Myambo (also available here)
Have you heard of this disgrace to humanity with less moral fiber than an amoeba? His name is Donald Trump. The most unelectable candidate in the history of the universe because he is:
- A repellent misogynist and self-confessed sexual predator — see his Access Hollywood tape and the 25 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct or worse. It’s become a cliche but is still a fact that more white women voted for him than the first female nominee for president, the extremely well-qualified Hillary Rodham Clinton. Self-hating women?
- A thrice-married adulterer who has affairs with playmates and porn stars…yet, the evangelical Christians love him. Hypocrites?
- A racist, a bigot, a corrupt con man, an Islamophobe — yet my Uber driver in Iowa City, a Bangladeshi Muslim immigrant, told me shortly before the caucuses that he voted for Trump who campaigned on introducing a Muslim ban because he “couldn’t vote for that woman.” Back to misogyny again?
I could literally be here all day writing up all the reasons why Trump was and should have been unelectable but the point is that once Trump was elected — despite being totally unelectable — we should have put the kibosh on this whole discussion. Yet, here we are still talking about this when clearly, Bernie is the most electable candidate.
Although no-one really knows what electability means, pundits, journalists and the powers-that-be keep talking about it because they have a vested interest in equating electability with moderate/centrist/status quo. This bland Mr. Politics-as-Usual straight out of some imaginary political science textbook offends no-one and is amenable to big business, corporate interests and the political elite. He is preferably a middle-aged, well-educated, dignified WASP who can appeal to that biggest myth of all, centrists, independents and swing voters, especially those in swing states.
This is more fantasy than reality. Let me give you a dozen very good reasons why Bernie Sanders is the most electable Democratic candidate. There is a narrative floating around out there that voters are torn between their heads and their hearts when it comes to Bernie. Then to make things more complicated, they try to second-guess what other voters will consider electable. Whilst their hearts supposedly love Bernie’s policies, their heads say an anti-establishment democratic socialist who is almost an octogenarian will never win the nomination or defeat Trump.
Wrong, wrong and wrong. Unlike many other Bernie fans, I didn’t choose to support Bernie because of my heart. Yes, I am tickled by the endurance of his strong Brooklyn accent after decades of living in Vermont but I made a cold-blooded analysis of the current global conditions. Then I rationally examined all the Democratic candidates running. Subsequently I deduced a la Sherlock Holmes that Bernie is the most electable, not only due to his strengths but also counter-intuitively because his perceived weaknesses are often interpreted as strengths by his supporters.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. — Sherlock Holmes
1) There is no political candidate who is perfectly electable across time and space. Electability is not a set of static characteristics. It must meet the moment. In 2004, John Kerry got the democratic nomination because he was pro-war. Today, being pro-war is anathema. Electability depends on the current zeitgeist and right now, we are in an era of fervent populism. Trump represents negative, xenophobic, divisive, racist populism. Bernie channels a populism that unifies across difference to create a diverse coalition which is advocating for positive social and economic change for the majority of people.
2) Arguably, if Bernie had been the candidate in 2016, he would have defeated Trump. Trump is only one, albeit horrendous, man but Trumpism is another story. The other Democratic candidates are running campaigns but Bernie has got a movement and that movement can defeat not only Trump but Trumpism.
3) Dynamic enthusiasm and revolutionary zeal are on the side of Bernie Sanders because a populist movement is so powerful that it can propel an outsider candidate to victory just as it did in 2016. If the DNC, corporate and/or establishment Dems try to artificially prop up a more centrist/moderate/“electable” candidate as they did in 2016, they will again be guilty of severely misreading the current moment. The energy of the democratic party is on the progressive left and if that fire is put out by a Buttigieg, a Biden, or a billionnaire Bloomberg who can blanket the airwaves with his omni-present message, the Democratic Party will not win against Trump in November. I know this because…
4) There are no swing voters anymore who can coalesce behind a centrist candidate. Since the Great Recession of 2007–9, the political landscape has been completely upended. There is no longer any appetite for campaigns that promote moderate, centrist, pragmatic Washington insiderism. Severe income inequality and its corollary culture wars have polarized Western democracies into warring tribes and tribalism does not welcome wishy-washy nibbling around the edges. Tribalism, for better or for worse, likes BIG and BOLD ideas. Politicians trying to chart a course down the middle will soon find themselves sinking into the treacherous quicksand that currently occupies the erstwhile middle ground. Bernie is the opposite of that formula for failure.
5) Every time the Dems go with the safe, establishment candidate, they lose. Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, HRC — they all lost! Don’t take it from me. Michael Moore always mentions this point. If Dems want to win, they have to go BIG and BOLD, not timid and tinkering. People can’t just vote against Trump or for the “lesser of two evils.” They have to be motivated to vote for something and the progressive wing of the party is the most galvanized and invigorated and will work hard to turn out the vote for Bernie in order to achieve fundamental structural and systemic change.
6) The safe option ran in 2016 but who can remember Hillary’s platform or any of her policy positions? No-one. Even on the historic night she clinched the nomination as the first female Democratic nominee for president, it was difficult to muster much excitement. At that moment, Bernie Sanders had lost the nomination but he had already won the argument. He so successfully captured the democratic base with his ambitious policies that he single-handedly moved the party to the left and now, four years later, everyone is singing from some version of his hymn book. All the remaining candidates want a $15 minimum wage, some type of universal health coverage, greener policies etc.
7) So whose afraid of Bernie Sanders? A lot of people apparently! Many pundits have tried to paint Bernie’s progressive leftist policy positions as a liablity, especially after the Labour Party suffered their biggest loss since 1935 in the December, 2019 election in the UK. In the lead-up to the election, the Labour Party, under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, supposedly Bernie’s doppelganger, offered up a panoply of far-left policies that were then roundly rejected by the electorate. Will Bernie suffer the same fate? No. The reason Labour lost is because they had a muddled and confused message about where they stood on Brexit. The BoJo-led Tories, inspired by the UK’s version of Steve Bannon, one Dominic Cummings, had a clear message, “Get Brexit Done!” Three pithy words which speak to the British psyche and self-image of people who keep calm and carry on. Does Bernie have a clear message? You betcha.
8) Bernie’s campaign slogan is, “Not me. Us” because the movement’s goal is to bring together millions of people to demand change yet one of the most common talking points of the anti-Bernie brigade in the GOP and the mainstream Democratic Party is that Bernie will lose because he is a self-proclaimed democratic socialist. Sigh dramatically, gasp fearfully — He will be painted as a rabid socialist or even — clutch your pearls, here — a communist! Fact: People under 40 don’t suffer the same negative Cold War associations with communism and socialism. Policies older people may consider radical socialism, younger generations who witnessed first hand the ravages of the 2008 recession and the corporate welfare extended to Wall Street actually view as common sense responses to a planet that is running out of time when it comes to climate change and a gig economy that has made their lives and livelihoods all too precarious.
9) There is no such thing as “the economy” and there is also no such entity as “the American people.” There are myriad interlocking and sometimes overlapping micro-economies in which a huge diversity of American peoples are experiencing vastly different living conditions. Well-paid anchors on cable TV like to talk about how great Trump’s singular economy is because their stock portfolios are doing well thanks to the soaring Dow Jones. Try speaking to the average New Yorker who is working three jobs and still can’t afford child care or her rent. Working people know that unemployment numbers do not reflect the reality of their underpaid work and exploitative wages. This majority can swing the vote for Bernie.
10) Besides, voters don’t only vote on policy and its intricate details. They vote on the values that underpin policy positions. Frankly, there is more chance of Medicare for All than Mexico paying to build Trump’s dumb wall. Probably most Trump voters didn’t really believe Mexico was ever going to pay for the wall’s construction but they liked the chutzpah behind the proposal. Predicting the decisions of would-be voters is a hazardous business because voters do not always conform to cookie-cutter stereotypes that political strategists use to model their behavior. But sit down with the average American and listen to their complaints about their health insurance coverage. Medicare for All sounds like manna from heaven to millions and Bernie “wrote the damn bill.”
11) Hindsight is 20/20 and so in 2020, we should recognize what we failed to identify in 2016. Like the last election, 2020 will be a change election. MAGA-supporters are on the defense as they have changed their slogan to Keep America Great. Yeah, good luck with that. More than half of the country does not think Trump or his version of America is great and let’s not forget he only won by the slimmest of margins: 78,000 votes in three states- Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. Do not forget this. Trump is a pretty weak incumbent. Can Trump win? Sure he can. Will he win? Not if Bernie is his opponent because Bernie won both Michigan and Wisconsin in the 2016 primaries. If he had been the candidate in 2016 instead of HRC, he would have likely carried them. Can a strong advocate of working families win those states plus Ohio and Pennsylvania back for the Dems? Yes, if a large enough majority is motivated to work to make it happen. Not me. Us!
12) Finally, Bernie’s age is often portrayed as a weakness and even I wish that he was ten years younger but oddly, his age actually plays to his benefit and makes him even more electable. Unlike his age-mates, Bloomberg and Trump who are also very old, Bernie has been consistent through the decades whereas both Trump and Bloomberg have opportunistically changed their party affiliations and their policy stance when the political winds change direction. Bernie is like the proverbial rock in the storm and it actually comforts many Bernie supporters that over the last forty years, he has doggedly, stubbornly, persistently stuck to his beliefs — when they were popular and when they were not. Pete Buttigieg, to his credit, wrote a compelling and convincing essay when he was a high school senior in 2000 about Bernie’s authenticity and integrity because no matter what, Bernie is a man of principle, whether you like those principles or not.
Do I agree with Bernie Sanders about every little thing? Oops, should I continue and risk the wrath of the famous internet trolls the media obsessively calls “Bernie Bros” — Well, yes I will continue. Do I agree with him on gun policy? Am not so sure. What is his actual stance on the dairy industry which receives huge government subsidies and brutalizes animals? I am an ethical vegetarian since the age of 9-years-old. I could have a problem with that and I will always raise my voice for animal rights to Bernie or anyone else. A big tent party requires unity not uniformity.
Are there other good candidates? Sure there are. Would I not like to see Boy Wonder Buttigieg impress the world with his fluency in several languages, especially after a president who hasn’t even mastered English?
What about Biden with his dazzling smile and his warm empathy? Or a capable woman like an Amy Klobuchar or the efficacious Elizabeth Warren?
Yes, all light years better than Trump. I love Tom Steyer’s bold approach to talking about reparations for African Americans. Can Steyer and Mike Bloomberg’s billions buoy the hopes of the Democrats? Sans doute! But should spending billions bulldoze an insurgent people-powered campaign into submission? No! America is not supposed to be a plutocracy or an oligarchy and big money in politics is why all the politicians are beholden to the people with excess capital instead of us, the people.
Do I think that Bernie is The Chosen One, the Messiah or a Savior who can reverse all the ravages of this brutal capitalism that privileges profit over people?
No, I absolutely do not.
But do I think he’s the best man to defeat Trump and change the country’s direction in this populist moment at this inflection point in the country’s trajectory? Yes, I do.
I think he’s the only candidate who can do it and you don’t know me but I am always right! :)