Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Make Them Blow It Up

If the Republican Party and their leader Donald Trump wants to take over the country entirely, as it appears they've wanted to do for the better part of a decade of utter failure to participate in governing, let them have it. And let the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch be the point at which they do so. And let them, and by them I include all of us, suffer the consequences of ending the American Experiment.

Judge Gorsuch is an  eminently qualified judge and has the credentials and temperament to be a Justice of the Supreme Court. No argument there. But so does Merrick Garland. The argument that a qualified nominee doesn't even deserve the courtesy of a hearing, simply because the presidential primary season is upon us is about the shallowest and arbitrary standards that could be applied to such an important appointment. There is no official start to the primaries and as a practical matter the race for president never ends anymore. Donald Trump has already filed his papers for 2020. Does that mean the race is already officially on? If so, then by the McConnell rule, no hearings should be given to any SCOTUS nominee. The people should be left to decide in 2020.

Well, isn't THAT absurd? Welcome to American politics in 2017.

It's true that the Democrats started all this foolishness with Supreme Court nominees going back to 1987 when they rejected Judge Robert Bork on ideological grounds even though by any measure he was a thoroughly qualified nominee. And then the dems did it again on a cabinet appointment by defeating the nomination of  John Tower as Secretary of Defense because of allegations of drunkenness; an allegation which would have disqualified as much as 75% of all politicians at any given moment.

Since then these nomination fights have been escalated in a tit for tat manner for a payback that seems to have no end. It has escalated on both sides, finally culminating with the humiliation of Judge Merrick Garland following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. The problem now is that there is no standard by which to determine when or even whether to consider important appointees and under what circumstances should that appointee be approved.

My opinion has always been that unless a nominee simply isn't qualified for the position (Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education for example, Harriet Miers for Supreme Court) or has egregious character flaws (white supremacist G. Harrold Carswell for SCOTUS by Nixon in 1970), they should be confirmed. Elections have consequences and the Senate has a duty to see that all positions that the President must fill are indeed filled in as expeditious a manner as possible.

But that is no longer the case. Although both sides have plenty of blame for getting us here, it's the GOP that took it to the limit with their shabby treatment of Judge Garland. Accordingly, the Democrats in the Senate must stage a final stand via filibuster thereby refusing to allow a final hearing on Judge Gorsuch.

Gorsuch may very well be the least offensive choice that Trump could have made from the list of judges he put out during the campaign. But it's not relevant. The seat in question was formerly occupied by Antonin Scalia, a Justice who's extreme and questionable jurisprudence has been white-washed because he was such a delightful guy to be around. Whomever Trump would nominate next - since he's a spiteful shit he'd surely follow up with the most odious choice he can find - would really only be replacing like with like. It's just a matter of the nominee's personal conviviality.

The only option the Republicans would have would be to invoke the so-called "nuclear option". Currently, 60 votes are required in the Senate to cut off debate on Supreme Court nominees. It used to be the case with all nominees until several years ago when the Republicans in the minority had so bottled up the process of filling the federal bench, that Harry Reid was left with little option but to change the rule for all except the Supreme Court. The Republicans effectively shut down the process for the Supreme Court while in the majority last year, and now the Democrats should force them to decide if they really want full responsibility for everything that happens in American government or if it's finally time for a return to the usual give and take which has been the hallmark of our politics for over two centuries.

It's a risky move of course, but no more risky than those taken by the GOP for the better part of a decade with great success. Should any Justice from Kennedy and left (Ginsburg and Breyer most significantly) die or retire before the Dems have a chance to retake the Senate in 2018 or the White House in 2020, the court will either dwindle in numbers (if the nuclear option is not invoked) or be heavily populated with the most outrageous possible nominees.

Of course, if McConnell DOES invoke the nuclear option, should the Dems retake the Senate and the White House by 2020, AND the Justices on the left hold on, a liberal era of jurisprudence will rise and fly for generations to come. I say take that chance because the alternative is darkness no matter what.
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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Lying About Danger From Refugees

"Extreme vetting" is utter horseshit. It's merely a method of executing a Muslim ban by degrees when none is warranted or useful. This is especially true as it applies to refugees from Syria seeking to escape from the kinds of people we are supposedly protecting ourselves from. The refugees want the same thing we do. Safety and freedom. The US used to be the shining light of such things. But the Trumpisti are determined to violate everything good about the United States as understood across the world for centuries.
To those who disagree, your fears are unfounded. Your "belief" has no basis in measurable reality. And this reality CAN and HAS been measured. Call it what you want, but the process of vetting which has been in place for over 30 years is pretty damn extreme. Much moreso than anything in Europe. Follow the explanation and links in this article which is from June 2016.
Educate yourself on what it is you're actually ranting about when it means that genuinely endangered people will be consigned to death because you wouldn't extend your hand as an American when they reached out to you for help.

Wrong: Donald Trump says there's 'no system to vet' refugees

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Friday, January 20, 2017

As Darkness Descends, Get Ready For The Dawn

As you'd expect, I watched and commented on the inauguration today with my colleagues from Progressive Blend Radio for our new show Trumpled Underfoot. Trump's speech was a reworked version of his stump program made all the more dark by his false dystopian view of a United States suffering from the ravages of a "carnage" that few would see if they weren't hearing it from their fearful leader. In short, it was a grotesquerie that will eventually receive recognition as among the worst and most negative speeches ever given by anyone to ascend to the highest office in the land.
Here's my takeaway from the day.
My friend, the writer and activist, William Rivers Pitt of truthout.org, was once press secretary for Dennis Kucinich wen he ran for president in 2004. Pitt quoted Kucinich talking to a crowd while campaigning in Iowa, "You are the one you've been waiting for. You've been here all along." He continued to say for himself, "I pity the dawn, for it shall find me pissed. Onward."
I've always thought I was involved and doing what I could to help nudge things in the right direction. I'm now certain that I've been kidding myself all this time.
I am upping my game and contributing more time and action than simply what I do in front of this cybermachine.
I suspect this may be true for a lot of you who are reading this. And if nothing else comes out of what we're about to experience, the notion that we will ALL be upping our game together, no longer waiting for ourselves, to instead BE what we've been waiting for, that dawn better make way. Because we WILL win the day.
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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Congress, ALL of Congress Better Sack Up Fast

It's 2:25PM EST, January 12, 2017. 8 days before the official start of the Trump administration. I'm watching C-SPAN3 for what was supposed to be a hearing featuring Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis (ret). The purpose is a pre-hearing in the House in advance of Senate confirmation hearings for his nomination to be Secretary of Defense. The United States military must be managed by a civilian. Civilian management of the military is a bedrock principle of the US and is a substantial reason the US has never seriously worried of military takeovers. Often though, retired military officers have been appointed to the office and for most of the past century a law has been in place that required any former members of the military be retired for a number of years before being eligible for the position. Currently, the retirement period is 7 years. General Mattis has been retired for less than 7 years. Accordingly, Congress has decided to consider a narrowly written law which would carve out a niche for General Mattis to serve now.

Since this is an unprecedented situation, Congress decided they wanted to have a hearing with the General to discuss his civilian experience and how he distinguishes the difference between civilian life and military service. Most importantly House committee wanted to hear General Mattis discuss his understanding and appreciation for why the Constitution mandates civilian management of the military.

For his part, General Mattis, who has testified before Congress in numerous capacities throughout his years of public service, was prepared and looking ahead to testifying. It seems though at the last moment, the Trump transition team and probably Trump himself, had the General stand down and not appear for the hearing. At this writing, there is no explanation for the sudden change.

What we are witnessing is a power play by the Trump admin's to be executive branch. Trump is declaring clearly that he will not be questioned or vetted at all much less in passing by anyone even by right. He is engaging in imperial behavior before taking the oath.

The Congressional committee is in near unanimity in their anger over Trump's meddling. What needs to happen and fast, is that Congress, ALL of it, House and Senate, Republican and Democratic, needs to recognize the threat posed to their constitutional authority by Trump and his handlers. Now, regardless of individual merits, they should reject the bill to waive the 7 year requirement for General James Mattis unless and until he is allowed to testify as requested.

The Congress must follow by rejecting each and every matter in which Trump interferes with their authority and make it clear that Congress is, as always, first among co-equal branches. It's unfortunate that this is where events are going already, and it's of grave concern that Congress has been so absent from engaging its responsibilities for so many years. My confidence that the people sitting in Congress now even KNOW what it means to do their jobs in a serious way is in severe question but if ever they were ready assert their primacy n American government, that time is NOW.
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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Almost Isn't Good Enough

Long form writing doesn't come easily for me because it's hard to untangle the interconnected thoughts into linear sentences. And I edit myself. And re-edit. Then try to add links. And a little joke here or there. And before you know it, it never gets done and never gets posted. I'm gonna give it a go at keeping it shorter and see how that goes.

We have reached the height of the long Republican Party plan to game the system so carefully set up by the founding fathers of the United States. They feared one thing and believed they had designed the system to avoid the one pitfall.

They fear what they called "factions" and we call political parties. The solution to the problem was to have a nation so large and diverse that no faction to set up and last long enough around enough ideas to keep it together and overrun the rights of the people.

But since the late 1950s, the conservative "movement" has managed to pull it together just large enough in widely dispersed area, and kept it together to confound the system. Successive 10 year cycles to do well in census years allowed constant control of redistricting to lock down state houses and congress for the foreseeable future.

How did they do this? By doing an end around the usual means of information sharing with voters, namely, the media. Back to the 1950s...

William F. Buckley began using TV and magazines to focus the conservative message. No attempt to be "fair and balanced".

Think tanks were formed to promote the ideas put forth in magazines and TV. Politicians were educated in the language of the movement.

Direct mail in the 1970s spearheaded by Richard Viguerie. Go right to the people so they don't have to listen to media elites like Walter Cronkite or Wolf Blitzer tell them what to think about national and world events.

Ally with evangelical religionists so that not only was the message "right", it was "righteous". And with that it became ok to call out people who don't behave right. Redefine what it means to be American just as the term began to include groups besides white Christian men.

Simplify it with incessant repetition for a couple of decades. God, guns, and gays. Masculine, physical strength mythologized by rugged individualists like the John Wayne characters that no one even pays attention to anymore. Vigilante justice taking up where the "system" has failed.

Repeat it over and over and over and over...

Welcome to the world. The Constitution is confounded and all the founders worst nightmares have come to be. Just like they thought it could but hoped it wouldn't.

The US was a good idea while it lasted. We very nearly pulled it off.
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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Why Is THIS The One That Broke the GOP Establishment Against Trump?

Donald Trump has called Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers. He has called for a ban on all Muslims from entering the country and thrown suspicion upon all of them who are already here including those who are citizens. He attacked a family who lost a son at war for the US. He has a long history of racial discrimination going back to the 1970s and has nearly 0% support from blacks nationally. The litany of horrors that has done and has spilled from his maw goes on and on. Yet it is his 11 year old hot mic pre-interview gibberish with Billy Bush -- where Trump brags about how he attempted to bed a married woman, talks about her as merely a sex object, then continues on to do the same about a woman about to bring him to a soap opera set for a cameo, while explaining that as a "star" he can get away with doing anything to women, including just walking up and grabbing them "by the pussy"-- that finally has his own party in an uproar. This doesn't even touch on his "policies" of kowtowing to Russia, encouraging nuclear proliferation, instigating worldwide trade wars, and further rigging the tax code to favor the filthy rich over middle class Americans.

Since Trump has already defined himself as a caricature of a human circa 1955, why is this interview such a big deal?

People of conservative bent have a tendency to think of the world and politics purely in terms of their own familiarity; the words they want to hear, the people they already know, the ideas that came before them.

All of the other statements that have shaken Democrats, liberals, leftists, and the rest to their bones, make little to no impression on conservatives because to them, such statements are mostly hyperbolic abstractions that don't sound like anything other than code for standing tall and being the best, greatest, amazing, winning country that the US should be but isn't.

This time, this one hits close to home because Trump's base, the GOP base, the common thread between the party and the campaign, has the one thing being taken advantage of in his comments.

White women.

Trump is talking about "doing what he wants" because he's "a star" to white women he comes across. the GOP/Trump base is composed almost exclusively of white men and white women. Trump can indeed get away with talking badly or violently about some abstract "other" especially since most of them are some shade of brown who are far away or at a minimum unfamiliar in their look or daily affairs as he imagines them. But every good Republican is or has personal contact with good old American white women every day, and talking badly about them is not acceptable.

Finally.
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Sunday, October 2, 2016

I’m not with her. But I’m voting for her.

You can’t compare her to Bernie. Bernie is an anomaly. You can’t compare her to Trump. Trump is a waking nightmare of American culture. You can compare her to politicians of the post-WWII era. They were all men who campaigned hard and could cut each other within certain bounds of mutually accepted decency. And when the race was over and it was time to do the work of governing, they governed. They did politics. They worked to get things done by recognizing an issue which needed to be addressed, laying it all out on the table, and addressing it. If they were coming from a position of strength they did not seek always to get everything they wanted at all costs because they knew they had constituents who did not want everything the politician wanted. If they came from a position of weakness, they bargained for a piece of the action, prepared to use that as an advantage for the next election. Destruction was not the end being sought. They advocated strenuously for their positions and then gave in order to get so as to get things done. Live to fight another day. Why? Because we were all Americans, we had that in common no matter the differences in details on how we defined it. Total war against fellow citizens served no useful purpose. The idea of We The People had meaning measured in the population of the country, not just as some abstract calligraphy on an old parchment. Regardless of anything else, the people and the system put in place by the people to govern it was respected.

Hillary Clinton and her supporters respect that system. The republican candidate and his supporters do not. This election is no longer about which set of policies is worthy of favor, but whether the entire nature of the American system will continue as it is. With Hillary, it is fair to conclude from my assessment that she is then just more of the same. I agree with that. Considering our options, more of the same is preferable to blowing up everything, possibly literally. In Hillary we have a candidate who may very well be more aggressive internationally than someone of more progressive bent. She is presumed, rightly I think, to be a close friend of big money in business, finance, and government.

But she is also as socially liberal as any progressive candidate would be. In view of the likelihood that we will have 2 and potentially as many as 4 Supreme Court changes coming in the next 4 years, 2 of which may come from the right wing of the court, having Hillary making the nominations will assure for the next several decades that the liberal victories on social issues will remain in place. This is no small matter in view of the attacks on women’s rights, voting rights, racial issues, gay rights, and so much more that the right has engaged in relentlessly as long as any of these issues has existed in public discourse.

As a practical matter, Hillary’s policies represent about 80% of policies I support. Though she doesn’t take many as far as I would prefer, it’s much better than the backwards and deformed approach of her opponent.

I don’t buy in to the similarly decades long attack on every single aspect of her character and activities. They have been systematically whipped up by what she long ago defined “the right-wing hit machine” and have so seeped into the zeitgeist of US politics that it’s simply assumed that she is the most dishonest politician ever to hit the American scene. While she does have an aura of Nixonian non-transparency and slipperiness about her, nothing has ever stuck in any substantial way that suggests she’s any more than a standard issue high level political actor who will always, as is the nature of the game, toe right up to the edge of propriety without going over it. I may not like that kind of behavior, but again, in context of this election, I am willing to tolerate it. I do not believe that she is the consummate liar or criminal or murderer that she is accused of being. She is a centrist politician who is to the left socially and to the right in foreign affairs.

My conscience would like to have a viable candidate to choose. But one does not exist. Gary Johnson has proven himself to be almost as ignorant on important matters as Trump. He’s just a decent guy, and though that stands for a lot in this election, it doesn’t qualify him for the White House. He’s had many years to define clear positions on every issue yet he has not done so. Too many of his actual policies are the opposite of anything any progressive should get close to. Jill Stein as well, has no business being seriously considered. I agree with much of the Green Party platform, but the Green Party barely exists as an entity outside of California. Stein herself holds a handful of oddball leftist dog whistle positions and is just not a seasoned politician at a time when one is needed to counterbalanace the intensity of the right-wing loony bin. When the Greens make a sustained effort at building a bottom up party foundation that can show its viability at all levels of government, I’ll take its presidential candidates more seriously. For both the Libertarians and the Greens, simply showing up every four years to run for president and complain of unfairness in an electoral system which has stood for over 200 years is not serious. It’s adolescent entitlement. It’s a hobby.

The argument about having a clean conscience by voting third-party or not at all is the leftist counterpart to the right-wing individualist argument that all taxation is theft and that all government is an infringement that helps no one. The continued existence of this country, at least as it is and still hopeful for what it could be, is more important by a long way than the purity of my conscience and the consequences of a Trump presidency. My conscience will do fine supporting Hillary to avoid the horror of Trump. Being wrong about Hillary is considerably more tolerable to me as opposed to making a third-party vote and ending up with Trump when I could have tried to stop him with the simple act of a vote for her. I have no desire to stand on the ash heap of civilization with the serenity that I kept my conscience clean. The nation and the planet are more important to me than that.

I agree with Bernie Sanders that the best way for now to achieve progressive reform is to take the long view. He has, Moses-like, taken us to the mountaintop and shown us the way. It’s up to us to get there without him (although of course, he’s still here). The Democratic Party is nearly split between centrist, older, Hillary supporters, and liberal much younger, progressives. Every demographic analysis suggests that the trend towards younger and progressive will increase rather than slow. There are only so many shenanigans any party apparatus can engage in before sheer numbers overwhelm them. This is how party policy has shifted since the beginning of large American political parties in the mid-1800s. And with patience and continued activism, we may see this shift by 2020, and permanently by 2024.

I am resolved to fight another day. A movement does not succeed in one major election cycle. As progressives we are bound by our ideals to preserve our system rather than destroy it. We wish to improve what is wrong and maintain what is right. We seek to avoid actual violence wherever we can while standing strong for our principles, our process, and our goals. We can only do it by staying in the arena, learning everything we can about every aspect of party building and nation preserving. We cannot do it by allowing a creature as vile as Donald Trump and his unhinged supporters to rule over us.

Hillary Clinton isn’t the best choice among people who would make a good president. But she is also not nearly the worst and I do not believe she is as bad as she is made to be by her opponents. I DO believe that she is now the only choice to avoid the disaster that is embodied by Donald Trump and his supporters, and as an American pragmatic voter, despite my misgivings and concerns, I WILL be voting for Hillary Clinton to be the next President of the United States.
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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Birthshit

The latest absurdity from the Trump campaign is that he has helped the country by finally concluding that Barack Hussein Obama was indeed born in the United States and is therefore a legitimate citizen qualified to be President of this once Great Nation. He accepts all thanks for this announcement and regrets he had to clean up this issue after it was shamefully initiated by the Hillary Clinton 2008 presidential campaign.

Wait what??

Yes, Trump says word about the veracity of Obama's US birth came to him through Mark Penn, Hillary's 2008 campaign manager, via a strategy memo Penn wrote in March, 2007 when the campaign was just getting started. The memo includes a section called "Lack of American Roots". At the time, Obama was promoting his upbringing in both Hawaii and Indonesia as an example of a young, modern, and more worldly potential president than any who had come before. Obama's pitch was geared towards the burgeoning youth vote as a move to mobilize that notoriously difficult to reach demographic. It was a strategy that made the difference for him both as a candidate for the Democratic nomination and eventually as successful candidate for President.

Penn argued that then Senator Clinton should, as a counterpoint, highlight her upbringing as a child of the midwest as an appeal to middle-aged, middle class voters.

Regardless of anything else involving the content or application of the memo to the campaign, not a word of it makes any reference, directly, indirectly, or by any sort of insinuation, that Obama was not born in the United States.

In other words, as usual, Trump is utterly full of shit and is flat lying about the initial source of his interest in the topic, what he did or didn't believe about it, and why he continued to keep it alive for years until last week.

Almost everything Trump does is in some way a dog whistle to the racist right-wing of republican party support. It remains shocking that the folks in the GOP support system who don't fall in that category remain so quiet and tacitly supportive of such a candidate or people among their ranks.

My recollection of the birther movement was that it was promoted by a certifiable public loon named Orly Taitz. I saw her all over the news on TV and print/online making one absurd claim after another all of which eventually disappeared from public discourse including, finally, herself.

The gist of the argument devolved from the notion that we had a black guy with an Arab sounding name - which included as his middle name the last name of our recent Iraqi nemesis, who had nothing to do with terrorist acts against Americans, not that that mattered to these crazy people - running for president. The worldliness of his perspectives on international relations had nothing to do with any of it. Black people with Arab names aren't true Americans and Hawaii is so far away that it must be that he was really foreign born, especially since his father really WAS Kenyan so there you have it.

Thinking that a legitimate connection between his upbringing and worldview indicates foreign birth is still baseless, but it is also much too nuanced an explanation for anything that comes from the crazed right of this country's politics, or from the thin soupy mind of Donald Trump. It should all have been treated like a joke.

The man lies. Then he lies about his lies. Then he has his surrogates invent more lies to cover for this matryoshka of a word game that he plays and gets away with because our corporate media abides low standards.

But Hillary didn't tell anyone about the obvious pneumonia she was suffering from for a few days, so nevermind what Trump says.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The DNC Did Not Make Bernie Lose

A major theme of this year's primary season has been that the system is rigged. Although the accusation has been leveled at both parties, it's the Democrats who have been most specifically accused of rigging the game against Bernie Sanders. With the release of stolen emails from the hacked computers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), those accusations rose to the pitchforks and torches level and led to the resignation and effective disappearing of Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. But the question remains, did DNC tampering create a difference that changed the outcome of the contest?

I say no.

I'm not going to get into the guilt or or not of the DNC or any other people involved in vote counting at any of the various places around the country where shenanigans were called. For the purposes of this analysis, let's just assume that all the accusations are true. Had none of it happened, Bernie would still have lost.

Calling the Sanders campaign a longshot when it began was generous. Clinton had about an 80 point lead just about anywhere you looked. Nevertheless, Bernie DID have a base from which to begin. He's had a consistent political philosophy since he first engaged in activism in the early 60s and never wavered in his message. He's been on the right side of most of the major issues since first entering congress in 1991. For the better part of a decade he has made the rounds on liberal talk radio, featuring on a long-running segment called Brunch with Bernie on the Thom Hartmann Radio Program. He has most significantly been a favorite on college campuses across the country his entire tenure. His base was young, liberal college students, of which there are many.

In order to do well for a start, Bernie needed to assure his base turned out on election day. Typically, young voters are known to be fairly lazy even though registration windows are long and early voting through a variety of means is available in most states. The exception to the low youth turnout was Barack Obama in 2008. Bernie knew going in that he would need to have similar numbers to have a shot at Hillary's lead and name recognition.

Secondly, he needed to make serious inroads into Hillary's base among African-Americans. Those voters constitute nearly 30% of the Democratic primary vote, so it's a must for any serious contender to be well-represented.

Finally, he had to know the rules as well as or better than Hillary. The Democratic party primaries is a chaotic mess of quirky individual state and sometimes county rules regarding when and how to vote, when to count, and what determines final delegate totals.

All of these factors require a top-notch high energy staff and ground game to get the message out and get the voters in. When all was said and done, Bernie failed badly on all three counts and STILL nearly won the nomination.

Very simply, the kids didn't show up in nearly the numbers hoped for and nowhere close to what Obama pulled in '08. That failure became clear even in the euphoria of the near-win in the first contest in college student-rich Iowa. Had there been a turnout in the same range as '08, Bernie would have had huge win instead of merely shocking the nation by coming within a point of victory. This trend stayed true throughout the process. Turnout was good but it needed to be great.

Bernie failed miserably when it came to attracting African-American votes. The story of his early years in the civil rights movement was appreciated but there didn't seem to be much in the way of direct action since he'd been in Congress. For Bernie's part, his method was to work for economic justice as a means to assure the rise of blacks in American society. But today, the focus is more on institutional justice. It took Bernie a while to understand the significance of the Black Lives Matter movement and the toll taken by mass incarceration in the private prison industry and the drug war on young lives, primarily young black men.

The tell that Bernie had failed here was in the rousting he received in the fourth primary in South Carolina. This drubbing was followed quickly by much of the same throughout the South. He lost the black votes by as much as 70 points when he needed to come within 15 to be able to claim cutting down that advantage.

And finally, Nevada showed his people didn't fully grasp the complexities of the rules. A simpler version of the lack of rule mastery occurred in New York when millions of potential voters went unregistered in the closed primary because the campaign was not aware of the very early deadline, a rule in New York that went back to the late 1800s.

It's likely that all of this went down as it did because in the early stages Bernie had no realistic expectation to do as well as he did. As a result he kept his simple basic economic message and never beefed up and expanded into other issues. By the time he needed a broader outreach, it was already too late.

The "rigging" of the DNC would have made the difference of a few points and hence only a handful of delegates in the states where it happened. But this was nothing against the big losses Bernie suffered in many states because of failed minority outreach, lack of youth registration, or turnout. He needed to run a perfect campaign. He did not.

Bernie talks in terms of "a political revolution" which emanates from within the confines of the Democratic Party. He didn't necessarily envision it simply as himself winning the White House. He wanted to regain a place for liberals and progressives in their traditional party, where the Clinton movement had taken it firmly to the center. To accomplish that, Bernie wanted to win seats at the table and increase membership rolls for young liberal activists who were going to be around a long time and who are to come into their own demographically by the end of the decade.

Knowing the difficulty of new parties or even growing minor already-existing parties, Bernie has advocated that his supporters stay in the party even though the DNC appears to be as rotten as a worm-eaten old wooden boat. He argues for determination and focus for the long haul in order to wrest control from the centrists and spread the liberal message across the country, where it received such an unexpectedly positive reception. And he argues that none of it will be possible if the Republicans are allowed to retake the White House and control the future of the Supreme Court.

To Bernie's experienced mind, the only chance to reignite the progressive spirit which built and sustained the middle class and finally began the still unfinished work of the Civil Rights, Women's Rights, and Gay Rights movement, is for his supporters to lick their wounds and get back to work.
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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Gravitar Profundus to Attend Trump Event in Boca Raton, Florida Tonight

I have my ticket to enter the Trump event tonight in Boca Raton.
I don't plan to get myself in trouble. I'm not wearing any Bernie gear, no tie dyes, nothing that can be misconstrued to indicate I am anything more than the short, fat, bald, middle-aged guy that I am. My mouth will be kept in check. I'm there to listen and watch. If nothing else, my ticket prevents a true believer from checking in with their fearful leader.
This is what I hope will be a soon to pass eruption of what I never doubted existed in the worst parts of the American personality. I presume most of the people there for real support really don't go along with the hatefulness and violence that Trump espouses. But despite that, they assist it into being and by that association, they are just as guilty as those who join in the hate and violence.
For my part, I think it's important to engage personally when something like this is happening. If a KKK parade were gong down my street, I wouldn't cower in my closet until it went away. When you leave the floor to bad ideas and bad people, they will take it and never easily give it up.
I've had my suspicions about why Trump got involved in this process at first. But regardless what his original purpose might have been, he's become mostly a rallying point for all of the worst aspects of the American character. I and some of my friends will be there hoping to represent at least some of the better parts of that same character. At a minimum, I have to bear witness to this.
Pictures, possibly some video, and surely some posts to follow. I'm heading to the event around 4. The actual begins at 7. It's an outdoor venue and rain is in the forecast.
PEACE!!!
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