A Message To My Fellow Democrats — Wake the Fuck Up!!!

Over the past few days, numerous articles have appeared on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets, “warning” us about the perils of supporting Elizabeth Warren for President. These articles attempted to “taint” Senator Warren, by utilizing some of the same misogynistic language employed against Secretary Clinton in the 2016 campaign. Naturally, this led the Liar-In-Chief, to join in, reiterating his earlier, oh so clever, “Pocahontas” taunts of Senator Warren.

Given Senator Warren’s progressive cred, not only as a second term senator from Massachusetts willing to take on those who would destroy the American middle class, but as the driving force behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created to shield consumers from shady practices by mortgage lenders, student loan servicers, and credit card companies, permanently earning Warren the enmity of Republicans in both houses of Congress, this is somewhat insane. Even so, some of these articles have attempted to paint Senator Warren as, either a tool of the DNC (surely you jest), or, in an attempt to stir conflict between Sanders and Warren supporters, they refer to her as “Bernie Lite.”

But here’s where my brain began to explode. Minutes after these stories began to appear, Democrats began reposting and retweeting this bullshit propaganda, leading to even more negativity toward someone who should be considered a progressive hero. Forget the fact there is no basis in reality for any of this bullshit. All you have to do, it seems, is throw a little shit to Democrats, call it red meat, and watch them crawl over each other to snatch it up like a pack of voracious wolves. Democrats, it would appear, have a difficult time learning from the past.

At the same time, we know the only reason Agolf Twitler (yes, I still refuse to utter or even type the name appearing on the scumbag’s birth certificate) resides in the White House is due to a combination of Republican dirty tricks — including massive voter suppression — with an assist from their buddy in the Kremlin. No matter — we’re Democrats, so we prefer to blame the past two years on Sanders supporters, the vast majority of whom, we’re told, either sat out the election entirely, or voted for Jill Stein (full disclosure: I was a Sanders supporter during the 2016 primaries, who had no problem voting for Secretary Clinton in the generals. I’m a native New Yorker and all too familiar with the walking Cheeto, so I knew what was at stake. I don’t think I’m in the minority of Sanders supporters, most of whom, I believe, did the same).

The fact Hillary Clinton won the election by almost 3,000,000 votes, losing only because of the unbelievably outdated Electoral College — which allowed 80,000 questionable votes, from three Republican-controlled states — to place a criminal and traitor in the Oval Office, doesn’t fit the narrative that allows us to eat our own, so we, being Democrats, ignore that minor trivial bit of reality. This, even though we all know the voter suppression tactics, as well as Russian interference, were still alive, well and active into the 2018 election.

Why then, has it not occurred to those among the Democratic faithful, that Russian bots and Republican dirty tricksters are, more than likely, behind this early campaign to smear and delegitimize one of the most proven, progressive voices we’ve got? Instead what we see is our own people giving voice and validity to this bullshit, proving, yet again, Democrats are as gullible, and easily swayed, as the worst of Twitler’s sheeple.

Does it have something to do with the dichotomies within our own rank and file? Or, maybe, it’s that we fall in love with candidates, becoming so enamored, we have to believe in their flawless perfection, while seeing (and, all too often, magnifying) every flaw in the other candidates. So much so, we sit, pout and rail at the universe if our candidates name isn’t on the ballot in the general election. We see all too clearly when lower and middle-class Republicans vote against their own self-interest — not so much when it’s us.

Yesterday, former Virginia Governor, and  old, rich, white guy, Terry McAuliffe, wrote an op-ed, published in the Washington Post, in which he criticized some of the more progressive Democratic hopefuls (including Senators Warren and Sanders) for offering “unrealistic ideological promises,” like a $15 minimum wage, federal jobs guarantee, universal free college and downplaying the reality of the U.S. being able to afford universal health care.

On the plus side, McAuliffe’s arrogant comments may have done us a favor by killing his own presidential aspirations, before he even announces. What the overly self-entitled ex-Governor views as “realistic” is a continuation of policies that have put this country exactly where we are now, with a system that benefits the ultra-rich, as well as multi-national corporations, to the detriment of the rest of us, including the implosion of the American middle class. It also demonstrates there are still people in the hierarchy of the Democratic party to whom “reality” means, don’t fuck with the status quo — we like things the way they are.

His stated disdain for Twitler notwithstanding, the truth is, McAuliffe would rather see a foreign agent in the White House, as opposed to a liberal/progressive Democrat, who might actually work to alter the status quo. A Warren, Sanders, Harris, Brown (etc.) led White House, would leave a prick like McAuliffe, holding his own in his hands (where, in my less than humble opinion, it belongs).

But, c’mon kids! Forget all that! Let’s buy into all the crap being pushed. Let’s help get those bots and propaganda pieces reposted and retweeted. Better yet, why not add a few insults of our own. And while we’re at it, let’s help the Republicans continue to control the narrative and messaging — as Democrats have allowed them to do so well, for years. Let’s get that famous Democratic in-fighting going full steam, and then, in November 2020, we can all sit here, blaming each other (again), while the next Republican/Fascist gets ready to take this country even further back into the Dark Ages.

That’ll show ‘em!

A Democratic Civil War, Serves Only the Right

I originally posted this blog on April 21st. I was (and continue to be) worried about fractures in the Democratic Party, which, if not dealt with, could sink the much-hoped for “Blue Tidal Wave” expected in November, leaving us with the most corrupt government this country has ever seen, still in power. Unfortunately, since I first posted this, things within the Democratic Party have gotten worse, not better. And since the mainstream media would rather cover their outrage at Michelle Wolf’s brilliant work at the WHCD, rather than actual news, it’s left to the rest of us to keep this story in front of people’s consciousness. With that in mind, I offer this updated version of my original post.

I saw a confusing post on Twitter a while ago (I know, nothing unusual in that), regarding the New York Times contribution to propagating all the bullshit regarding Secretary Clinton’s emails, as well as “Pizza Gate,” and, of course, the “crimes” of the Clinton Foundation.

Growing up in the ‘60s, the NY Times was considered the paper of record; not only in the metro NY area, but around the country. There was never a day my father didn’t come home with a copy he’d pilfered during his commute to and from his NYC office on Metro North (it was a bonanza day if he also managed to cop a copy of The Daily News and — pre-Murdoch — NY Post). In 7th grade, our English teacher made the entire class subscribe to the Times. Going through it was a daily ritual.

That was then, this is now.

I stopped my online subscription to the Times a few years back, when I realized it had become a partisan rag, with writers and contributors geared toward the same ideal — taking advantage of anything which would sell more papers, true or not. Their once first-class investigative reporting had become more like a gossip sheet, printing anything salacious or provocative, without bothering to seek out the truth in a story, before printing it. Letting go of the NY Times, a paper I’d been attached to most of my life, was emotionally jarring.

When it came to the 2016 presidential election, there are very few newspapers or magazines in this country, which, in retrospect, were on the right side of history. With no care or concern for the American people, they printed every single negative story regarding former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, they could, solely because it was good for business. At the same time, because he was entertaining and sold papers, they printed story after story about The Orange Taint, never questioning or demanding answers to the bile and lies he spewed. Most television networks followed the print media’s coverage.

A year or so into the presidency of He, Whose Name I Cannot Mention (because it makes me want to puke), many of the print publications, radio, and television shows, who had worked so hard to vilify Secretary Clinton, began to realize what they’d done. No real mea culpas, though, because no one in the media (with the exception of Fox, and other right wing media outlets, who were delirious with joy), wanted to accept their rightful share of the blame for helping lead this country down the road toward fascism, simply as a means to sell newspapers, or to achieve higher ratings.

However, what I found more revolting than almost anything, was the NY Times’s participation in this bloodletting. New Yorkers know who and what Donald Trump is. We’ve dealt with that unmitigated shithead for the past 40 years. This is the same, self-promoting, narcissistic, blowhard, who spent $85,000 placing full-page ads in New York’s four daily papers, demanding the death penalty for the “Central Park Five,” even after it was proven they were innocent (if you don’t know this story, you should look it up. It’s a clear demonstration how racism and propaganda often work together, destroying innocent lives in the process). This is why the citizens of NYC and environs voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. Trump not only couldn’t win NY, he couldn’t win his own Trump Tower.

All of which brings me back to the Twitter post mentioned earlier. Once again, I read die-hard Clinton supporters blaming, among others, “Bernie Bros,” for Secretary Clinton’s loss. And herein lies one of my biggest fears for the future of the Democratic Party.

The term,“Bernie Bros,” as utilized by Clinton supporters, is meant derisively. These are the people who want to blame Clinton’s loss on the Democratic “traitors” who, for whatever reason, refused to vote for the Secretary, or voted third party. Here’s why I believe these Clinton-faithful are not only wrong, but could have a disastrous affect on the hoped-for Democratic tidal wave, hoped for in November.

Before proceeding, in the spirit of full disclosure, I supported Senator Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary. It was, and is my belief, he more clearly represented my views on where this country should be headed, then did Secretary Clinton. And while I was furious over the behind-the-scenes maneuvering in favor of Secretary Clinton’s campaign by the DNC, when she won the nomination, she also won my vote.

I wasn’t alone in this. From the Sanders supporters I’ve spoken to, the vast majority felt as I did, resulting in their voting for Clinton, as well. For many, this was not done out of loyalty to the Democratic Party, or it’s chosen candidate, but because we understood the danger of an Agolf Twitler presidency.

I don’t believe in political purity tests. In my opinion, what the Sanders supporters who refused to vote for Secretary Clinton, under any circumstances, failed to comprehend is, very few voters can, or will ever agree 100%, with the position of any candidate for political office. We can’t, because in the game of politics, every successful politician has had to make compromises or concessions, some of which angered their own base. That goes whether the candidates name is Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.

To the Clinton faithful still holding on to the “Bernie Bros,” crap, as a means to vilify the Progressives they want to believe are responsible for the Secretary’s loss, it is your continued demonstration of disdain for the opinions of others in our Party, which threaten it’s very existence. The Progressive end of the Democratic Party is growing larger every day, a fact the DNC would be wise to wake up and note.

Since the election, we’ve all heard Democratic Party leaders say we need to start at the grass roots level, getting new people involved in Party politics, and running for office. They tell us they want to encourage a new generation of Democrats to participate in the electoral system.

Unfortunately, when the 2nd highest-ranking Democrat in Congress, Maryland’s Steny Hoyer, involves himself and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which he represents, in the outright sabotage of a Democratic congressional campaign, those words ring kind of hollow.

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, I refer to the race in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District. Representing the DCCC, Hoyer, told Progressive Democratic candidate, Levi Tilleman, the DCCC had already decided to support his opponent, Jason Crow, a more moderate, corporate Democrat. In no uncertain terms, Hoyer told Tilleman to drop out of the race. The decision to support Crow, Tillemann was told, had been made long ago — it wasn’t personal. Further, Hoyer told Tilleman, there was nothing uniquely unfair being done. As Hoyer put it, “this is how the party does it everywhere.”

In other words, the DCCC gets to decide what candidates the Democratic Party will support and funnel money to, before the primary, making it much more difficult for new, Progressive Democratic voices to be heard. What this also does is remove voter’s right to have a choice. Unfortunately for Hoyer, Tilleman taped their conversation, revealing Hoyer and the DCCC for the back door, old-time corporate Democrats, Progressives have claimed they are since the 2016 election.

This became even sadder, when House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, a politician I have a great deal of admiration and respect for, actually defended Hoyer, and the DCCC’s tactics. What seems lost on the Democratic leadership is, there’s nothing remotely democratic in any of this. What the hierarchy of the Democratic Party seems to want, is nothing more than to maintain the status quo. The damaging part of this is, it justifies and proves the point of Progressive Democrats who claim the party is corrupt, and the playing field not close to being even.

In Montgomery County, MD, where I live, while no tapes have come out, it’s perfectly obvious the DCCC has chosen as its candidate du jour, millionaire David Trone. Even though Trone is running against eight more Progressive candidates, it’s perfectly clear none of these candidates has the money and support behind them to run television commercials, or even post yard signs, as Trone has done. I daresay, most people in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, couldn’t even name two of Trone’s primary opponents.

The problem with all this is, Democratic voters do not get to hear from candidates other than those chosen for them by the party — the system is rigged. They know voters will do exactly what the Party wants them to — go into the booth on primary day, and vote for the only Democrat whose name they know — the one chosen, supported and sanctified by the Party, before the process has even begun. If these two examples are typical of what’s happening around the country, it means the Democratic Party is complicit in silencing a large block of Democratic candidates, cheating voters out of our right to a choice.

If, as is said, the meaning of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result, this is it. Nothing changes, because those in charge — while paying lip service to democratic ideals and principles — work to ensure it doesn’t. In doing so, they prove Progressive Democrats — both old and new — are correct when they say the party doesn’t listen to, or care about our views. And this is what I fear could destroy the Democratic Party, at the exact time we need unification more than ever before in this country’s history.

Party elders who don’t see the direction young Democrats just beginning to get involved with the Party (the Parkland students being a good example), are intent on moving our party and this country, are choosing to remain blind to a future that’s coming — like it or not. If the more centrist members of the Party — those who have held tight to it’s reigns for a number of years — don’t begin to demonstrate an understanding of this, and start to embrace more progressive ideals, they will be the ones responsible for splitting Democrats in half, resulting in a fractured party, and a country headed further down the road toward fascism and totalitarianism.

Hillary Clinton doesn’t sit at the helm of our government today, not because of “Bernie Bros” or Jill Stein voters. Rather, it’s due to collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia; the successful targeting of people via Facebook and other social media outlets with anti-Clinton propaganda; successful Republican efforts at voter suppression in states around the country; and the probable Russian hacking of voting machines, in just enough red states, to hand the (outdated) Electoral College to a person unfit in every way, to lead this country…or pretty much, anything else.

If you want, get mad — hell, get furious! But aim that anger in a direction that will force change, and benefit all Americans. A civil war between members of the Democratic Party, serves only those who would destroy the ideals upon which this country was founded.

Insulting Sanders Supporters Will Not Help Win Hillary Clinton Friends Or This Election

The_ScreamaIn the days leading up to the start of the Democratic Convention, as well as during the first night of the convention and into day two, I have watched and listened as supporters of Secretary Clinton, and even many people who once supported Bernie Sanders candidacy (I’m talking to you, Sarah “you’re being ridiculous” Silverman), spewed an unending arsenal of insults and vitriol toward those remaining in the Bernie Or Bust camp. I’ve seen memes and articles calling those with the audacity to say they will refuse to vote for Secretary Clinton “privileged,” as a means to ridicule and delegitimize their right to vote (or not) as their conscience dictates.

As I have had to wrestle with what I will do when I step in that voting booth come November, I’d like to offer a perspective I hope those hurling invective will listen to.

To start, you have to be fair-minded enough to understand there are a lot of legitimate reasons why people who supported Senator Sanders don’t feel they can support Secretary Clinton. Certainly the actions of the DNC, led by former Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz — an obvious Clinton surrogate — cannot simply be ignored or sloughed off. There’s an excellent editorial in today’s Chicago Tribune that deals with this.

Also, the failure of the corporate media to give any credence or coverage to the rash of lawsuits filed, accusing the DNC and party leaders of election violations, fraud, and the outright theft of primary votes from Senator Sanders, with nary a word from candidate Clinton on the subject, has not exactly added much faith in the system to people — especially young, idealistic people — who have given themselves to changing a system they see, legitimately, as rigged.

Even if you believe all these reasons disappear in light of the frightening possibility of a Donald Trump presidency, by simply dismissing these people and what they’re saying as the ranting of a bunch of “spoiled sore losers,” “privileged crybabies,” or any of the other pejoratives I’ve seen blithely tossed off over the past few days, you risk alienating millions of voters who could be an important part of the future of the Democratic party, not to mention swinging this election to Hilary Clinton.

The concerns and issues these people voice have to be dealt with fairly, honestly and diplomatically. If you tell them to just get in line and support a candidate for whom they have a great deal of distrust, the only thing you will do is confirm their lack of faith in the candidate. If nothing else had, the Wikileaks revelations highlight the fact that Clinton’s supporters — if not Clinton herself — engaged in major ethical lapses. Without a sensitive approach to address these concerns, the resolve of some Sanders supporters to not vote for Secretary Clinton will only harden.

And to defeat Donald Trump, make no mistake — Secretary Clinton needs Sanders supporters — all of them. In order to accomplish this, you also have to be open-minded enough to understand, the Sanders campaign brought millions of new people — many of them, millennials — into a system they mistrusted and had avoided until the inspiring words of Bernie Sanders reached them in a way no other politician ever had. For many, this was their first political campaign. These are not politically experienced operatives; they have not been wizened (or jaded) by previous campaigns; they don’t comprehend how you just shunt aside your anger about your candidate getting screwed, and support the person whose minions did the screwing.

Standing there, calling names and wagging fingers, is not going to instruct anyone in political realities, or rally support to the Democratic banner. You have to exercise patience, restraint and acknowledge the validity of much of what they’re saying and feeling. Only then can you open a dialogue and hope to make them understand the ramifications of this election on their future. If that is not done, don’t blame them, alone, for what happens. It will also be due to the arrogance of people saying things like, “we won, get over it, grow the fuck up!” — which, by the way, is also ridiculous, aside from being patronizing and insulting. That, as much as any other factor, could help elect an orange headed Nazi to the highest office in this country.