It’s ‘Democratic’

I have been a “cord cutter” for a long time. In its last iteration, my entertainment system relied on an over-the-air antenna and a Tivo with perhaps one or two streaming services. I have also been a big fan of a service called YouTube TV, which not only provides streaming but also offers live television and a sort of hybrid DVR/streaming service that works extremely well. That was as far off the grid as I could stand, and I enjoyed it.

But then my building cut a deal with Spectrum to put 100/100 Internet in our building with cable television. And I thought great, it’ll save me $60 a month that I was spending on Internet. I hadn’t, of course, calculated that once I had the service, I’d want DVR and premium channels as well. The package includes HBO, Showtime, Cooking Channel, and — surprisingly to me the one that I am watching the most these days — Turner Classic Movies.

Lately in the mornings I try to put C-SPAN at least in the background, but there’s no Congress this week, so it’s been MSNBC instead. As such, I caught something on Joy Reid’s “A.M. Joy” yesterday that may make her show a weekend staple for me. It was fabulous.

Essentially, Reid had among her panel a person identified as a “Republican strategist.” And this person referred to something called the “Democrat Party.”

And Joy Reid CORRECTED HER.

And, apparently, it’s not the first time. Here she is correcting a guest previously:

Everyone should do this. Everyone. Chris Matthews should. Rachel Maddow should. Thom Hartmann should (I believe I’ve heard him do this, in fact). Chuck Todd should. Nancy Pelosi should. Everyone who gives even a teeny tiny shit about the Democratic Party should take the time to correct this linguistic idiocy, each and every time.

It was a bit on the nose, too, that as I watched this happen yesterday, they were talking about Rep. Justin Amash’s recent announcement that he is leaving the Republican Party while complaining about factional tribalism in American politics.

Because how can we possibly restore more civility to our civic matters when one of our major political parties regularly employs a known bullying technique of disparaging the opposition by withdrawing the respect to even call it by its proper name?

How can we even talk to each other when you insist on “Democrat Party?”

How?

Dear Punditry: Do more than correct these troglodytes. Call them out. Ask them why they do it. Make them explain it. Shame the fuck out of them. Because every time a Democrat hears “Democrat Party” and blinks their eyes and allows it to shoot into the Jet Stream, it is a pinprick of a victory that your opponent did not earn. You know it’s bullying. You know it’s a flaming bag of shit on your porch.

Put a stop to it.

Be like Joy.

Correctamundo

“As a Republican, I just marvel how Democrats trip over their own shoelaces on this. We have President Trump tweet that the communist economy of North Korea, under the dynamic leadership of its dictatorial leader could achieve unprecedented economic growth; the president routinely picks favorites among companies; he is erecting tariffs walls, which are taxes on American exporters, and Democrats can’t figure out how to defend a market economy with social insurance programs? And let this guy claim the mantel of being the champion of free enterprise? Really?” (David Frum on Face the Nation today)

Now, the Real Shit

Since I’ve now covered that ground, it’s time to deal with the real shit: The 2020 race has begun, good people. And I have to say, and this might surprise some folks who know me pretty well–it is entirely possible that, in 2020, I may be feeling the Bern’.

Understand, please, that I was a real Hillary girl in 2016, and that to a large extent, this was somewhat to the genuine annoyance of some close to me, I’m sure. My go-to line was “Have I mentioned yet that I cannot wait to vote for Hillary Clinton?”

There was a point to all that. You know, when it came to Hillary, people talked about an “enthusiasm gap.” They’d talk about going to vote for her wit’ holding their noses. I can’t see voting for her, I heard–she just has too much baggage.

And this was all from Democrats.

My point, was that one could insist on fueling the “enthusiasm gap,” or one could choose get get excited about voting for a mightily-qualified, glass-ceiling shattering, first-time Planned Parenthood endorsed candidate. The “enthusiasm gap” isn’t a thing. It’s you.

And I am one who thinks that the Sanders campaign contributed to the Trump victory in 2016, that he stayed in the race far after he was mathematically cooked, and that he spent his time and effort shit-talking the process itself, doing everything he could to undermine the presumptive nominee’s credibility until he finally, and I think begrudgingly, endorsed her in July. I absolutely think that Sanders played a role in our current regime under our own little President Baltar, and I think anyone who dismisses this out-of-hand hasn’t really done the math.

Not that I defend the Clinton camp like Tuukka Rask stops hockey pucks. I can’t. Mistakes were made. Hubris did ensue. The candidate leaned too hard on “look at this braying jackass” rather than so much on “I am a really great broad.” She chose a horrible running mate who added no energy to the campaign (can’t even remember his name, can you?)

But stopping short at “she didn’t win because she was a shitty candidate” just doesn’t do it. Not when she actually won by more than 3 million votes. Not when the FBI chief dropped a flaming bag of poop on the door on Oct. 28. Not when Vladimir Putin was literally feeding people the weirdest talking points about our girl ever and actively organizing within the American electoral process.

Or, as FiveThirtyEight put it:

Campaigns probably don’t have that much impact in presidential elections. Clinton’s campaign made some tactical errors but these likely weren’t enough to cost her the electoral college, especially given that she lost states such as Pennsylvania and Florida where she had campaigned extensively.

But I am a voter who tends to reset. I tend to whoosh the slate clean, as I did in 2012 to support Clinton, who I despised after 2008, after she fought and hung on, seemingly threatening a big D win and a vital one at that. (The truth is, Hillary had a far more valid argument for staying in than Bernie did–the math in that race was actually darned close, and it was not out of the realm of possibility considering the potential pull of unpledged delegates.)

I believe in starting over. And, my friends, you cannot deny the fundraising numbers. Bernie Sanders does not apparently suffer an “enthusiasm gap.”

There is, in fact, only one candidate so far I wish would walk the plank. The way I see it, Barry, this is the time to let these people woo me. And Bernie comes at this from a more powerful position than before. So I might be woo’d, indeed. However, I think that Kamala Harris broad has some pretty good skills as well.

We’ll just see how this goes.

Aren’t you glad this one wasn’t about shitting?

Defending Pelosi

One thing you learn when you’re a lifelong Democrat: The phrase “gun control” can also apply to people who like to take the safety off, aim directly at their little piggies, and full-on open fire, then sit there laughing and pointing at the spurting blood.

Democrats are like that.

I have read reports today that there are as many as 18 Congress-critters who won’t vote to renew Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, 12th District, California) as Speaker. This is so woefully stupid it should be in a Star Wars prequel.

I have researched and will continue to do so, but I have yet to find one of these mouth-breathers who have offered a significant reason short of personality politics for their opposition. They do not indicate displeasure with the Speaker’s legislative record. They do not point out any particular legislative failure. There is a vague notion that “new blood” is needed, that a “new voice” should be offered the gavel.

Now. Are you ready for the stupid part?

They don’t have a candidate.

A few have talked about running for the job. None have come directly forward and said they intend to seek it. There is a letter of intent from a bunch of these idiots saying they won’t vote for her. This is supposed to “scare” Pelosi into not running.

I am not making this up.

I have a friend who said he didn’t like that Pelosi answered a question by saying that she um, wanted to work together with the preznit. Yeah, um, that’s not what the broad actually said. Ahem:

In terms of working with the President, I just would say that I worked very productively with President Bush when we had the majority and he had the presidency. We passed one of the biggest energy bills in the history of our country. We passed one of the biggest tax bills in terms of stimulus for low-income people as well as middle-income people in his presidency. And the list goes on. PEPFAR*, he wanted PEPFAR*, we won it big, and there are so many issues we worked with together with him but ultimately opposed him on the war in Iraq.

But the point is is that we worked together. The President (Trump) said we’ll wait for them to send me something. Well, we have ideas, and we can send him something, but the fact is we’d like to work together so our legislation will be bipartisan. We’re not going for the lowest common denominator, we are going for the boldest common denominator. Our position will be a consensus within our own party of what we can support while also welcoming other ideas.

*President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

This was not a capitulation to the Great Orange ID of Pennsylvania Avenue. It was a challenge. And it did not address oversight; she contained her remarks to legislation. She specifically, and correctly, criticized Trump’s approach to law-making and indicated that his nonsense approach would end in the next session. This was not Kumbaya. It was Twisted Fucking Sister.

Nancy Pelosi ushered passage of the Affordable Care Act in the House, and guess what? The House version included a public option. She marshalled through the Lily Ledbetter Act, which directly addressed income inequality. Dodd-Frank. Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.

(Credit due: I am cribbing directly from Sarah Wood.)

I will continue with this list now that you know who I’m cheating off of:

Increased transparency required for credit card vultures. More money for Pell grants. Greater FDA authority over tobacco and food safety. The first minimum wage increase since 2009. Hate crimes, now a thing the federal government can enforce. The Office of Congressional Ethics. The DREAM Act (which floundered in the Senate). An extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Blah blah blah blah blah.

And yet, the following Congress-critters say they’re voting “no,” and, as far as I can tell, there is no more specific reason than that they don’t want Pelosi’s stink on them. Tim Ryan. Seth Moulton. Kathleen Rice. Ed Perlmutter. Kurt Schrader. Filemon Vela Jr.. Marcia Fudge. Bill Foster. Brian Higgins.

See, I don’t think my own Senator, Chuck Schumer should be re-hired as minority leader. But I can tell you why. President Obama concluded one of his greatest foreign policy triumphs (in my humble opinion), the very good Iran disarmament deal, and Schumer chose to use it as a hanky. I think this belies bad judgement, and there are a whole lot of folks I think can represent the ranking side in the Senate much better.

I am not seeing such details regarding opposition to Pelosi, who can now add to her list of accomplishments the greatest margin of win in the House since I didn’t have hairy legs. This is not the time to test a new speaker. This is the time to allow Rep. Pelosi to utilize her accumulated political capital to start setting shit right again.

And, oh, hey. Charles Pierce has a neat idea. Instead of ousting the Speaker? Replace the Whip.

Duh.

Seriously?

Let me get this straight. The Preznit of these Untied States just repeated the argument–an argument he has made previously–in public, in front of television cameras, that the Attorney General of these Untied States should have given him warning before accepting the job that he would recuse himself from matters relating to Russia; that HAD TRUMP KNOWN BEFORE that Sessions’ actions would lead to the appointment of a special prosecutor, he would not have hired him in the first place? This is his * defense * ? This is his defense * against charges that he has obstructed justice * ?

A Singular Argument Against Another Sanders Run As A Democrat

I often say that I hope the Democratic Party learned a large lesson in 2016 and won’t ever run another independent under the Democratic gonfalon. The decision to allow an independent to run as a Democrat was, in my estimation, a large factor in Trump’s win. It was disasterous. Bernie went rogue. He wouldn’t concede and spent his last months in the campaign shitting all over the Democratic Party and its presumptive nominee.

Case in point, from an in-progress timeline project of mine:

June 7, 2016: Hillary Clinton officially secures a majority of pledged delegates after winning in the California and New Jersey primaries. She wins 254 pledged delegates.

At this point, Clinton has won 2,310 delegates, 73 delegates shy of the nomination. Sanders trails her by more than 700 delegates.

Sanders marks the occasion by shitting all over the Democratic Party.

“The message to the Democratic leadership is that if the Democratic Party is to be the party of working people and young people and the middle class, they’ve got to open up the doors,” said Sanders, noting the strong support he’s received from young adults. “You are the future of this country … and the Democratic Party has got to be a party that is more than its candidates going to wealthy peoples’ homes to raise outrageous sums of money.”

*

However, I have struck upon a more crystalized argument for the Democrats to steer away from Sanders and independents in general: Sanders, and independents generally, are uniquely motivated to strong-arm state parties away from closed primaries.

As Sanders did.

Here’s what Sanders had to say about our closed primary in New York in April 2016:

“Today, three million people in the state of New York who are Independents have lost their right to vote in the Democratic and Republican primaries,” Mr. Sanders said standing alongside Mr. Cantalupo. “That’s wrong. You’re paying for this election. It’s administered by the state. You have a right to vote. That’s a very unfortunate thing which I hope will change.”

Such nonsense. Those voters didn’t lose any rights. They chose not to register with their candidate’s party in a state that regularly holds closed primaries.

Here he is in May, buoyed by an upset in Indiana (despite this win on May 3, Sanders is trailing by 300 pledged delegates, and only four more contests would include independent voters):

“More and more people are independents, and I think it makes no sense for the Democrats to say to those people, ‘You can’t help us.’ For Democrats to do well in a national election, they’re going to need a lot of independents and I would not think it’s a good idea to push those people away.”

Who is pushing any voters away? My Granny G was never a Republican, but she registered as one for years so she could vote for her local school board. If your candidate is running as a Democrat and you know your state has closed primaries, perhaps you should march over to the Board of Elections and alter your party affiliation for a while, hmmmmm?

So strongly did Sanders feel about closed primaries that he included it in the list of demands he was carting under his arm to Philadelphia. But, as this Real Clear Politics piece underscores, closed primaries were not likely Sanders’ most consequential problem.

Though he sure did squawk about it a lot.

I like closed primaries. It’s one thing I like about living in New York. I like the assurance that a bunch of Republigoats aren’t going to come in to my primary and vote in Daniel Carver to run as the nominee. So I am not fond of hearing from a national candidate for preznit that he wants to tell my state it’s wrong for how it runs its elections. But when you run an independent as a Democrat, that is inevitable.

And all that was accomplished by Sanders making that argument was to throw more shade onto the process itself–shade that, for the record, stuck around for the general and helped President Moron get elected.

Another Sanders run under the Democratic mantle? Ghey kakken offen yahm.


In Other News
“In Watergate, they said the coverup was worse than the crime. In this ONE, it feels like the coverup WON’T STOP!” (Rachel Maddow)

Election Day

Yep! It’s time to vote. Big Democratic primary here in the ROC tomorrow.

I, for one, will be voting Barnhart. [[ Update: No, you won’t. You moved to Henrietta, dummy! Only a Reform Party primary here! ]]

Rachel Barnhart. Longtime TV news reporter. As such, she has quite the truth-telling instinct. I was lukewarm on her at first; I was not mad about her performance in running for state Assembly. But then, around July, she made this point.

Was there a party at the convention center that was maybe a bit lavish and exclusive?

Barnhart since has made a rep as a tough cookie. She’s directly questioned Warren’s handling of campaign funds. She made an issue of what she saw as special interest handling when it came to courting ride-app companies like Uber (and I’m for any resistance to the shared economy).

One issue of hers I think is vital is her proposal to roundly expand child care in Rochester.

I know. Aaron. What do you give a darn about child care?

So last year I went into the closing Macy’s department store for a depressing little walk. They were selling the bare bones stuff, I mean store fixtures and rugs, basically. It was a chaotic mess. The lights were not the usual bright friendly ones you get when you walk in to such a place. There were barely any display shelves to guide foot traffic, so people sort of lunged around however they liked. There were a bunch of pieces off to the side with big sloppy “SOLD” signs on them in red sharpie. It was scary. I was scared.

And I walked by this counter, and there was a woman behind the counter, and I noticed she was shouting at a little boy who accompanied her. No, we can’t go to work, she was saying to him. I have to work. We can’t go home. What, are you crazy? I have to work.

Imagine that. You’re so in need of work hours that you’ve volunteered for the lights-out brigade, and it’s just you behind a nearly empty counter in all that cannibalistic chaos, and on top of all that, you have to mind your energetic, yet understandably bored, young son.

That is a Mom who is struggling. And if part of a local government’s basic job isn’t to try to lighten a struggling Mom’s load, then I’m Prince and the Revolution.

Yeah. It takes a friggin’ village.

Barnhart leads with this issue, not to mention the notion that access to the Internet should be a public utility rather than a monopoly. And she scowls at the notion of a Broadway-sized mess on Parcel 5 (LET’S GO SEE ‘CATS’ AGAIN, said your average downtown resident, never).

Besides. I’ve been a reporter. I know how well a reporter understands municipal governments and the sadly necessary politics. The Warren camp has taken a last-minute swipe at Barnhart’s experience. Ridiculous. She has plenty.

Polls are open noon to nine. Go vote.

Little Project I’m Working On

2016 Primary Timeline

February 1: Martin O’Malley leaves the race. And then there were two.

April 24: The date of an e-mail from Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, responding to an article describing the ways Sanders felt the DNC was undermining his campaign. She wrote back, “Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do.”

She’s not wrong.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/damaging-emails-dnc-wikileaks-dump/story?id=40852448

May 2: Sanders says there will be a contested convention and that the system is “rigged.”

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/05/02/sanders_there_will_be_a_contested_convention_system_is_rigged.html

May 3: Sanders wins the primary in Indiana. But he still trails by 300 pledged delegates.

May 5: The date of a leaked DLC e-mail suggesting they should question Sanders’ faith.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/damaging-emails-dnc-wikileaks-dump/story?id=40852448

May 17: Date of a leaked e-mail from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who took exception to Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver’s defense of his candidate’s supporters.

“Damn liar,” she wrote. “Particularly scummy that he barely acknowledges the violent and
threatening behavior that occurred.”

Weaver had said:

“There was a horrendous breakdown, where the leadership there in Nevada hijacked the process on the floor, created a tremendous amount of angst among people who were there attending the convention, who were supporters of Sen. Sanders, by ignoring the regular procedure and ramming through what they wanted to do.”

Politifact flagged this claim as “false.”

http://www.politifact.com/nevada/statements/2016/may/18/jeff-weaver/allegations-fraud-and-misconduct-nevada-democratic/

Jeff Weaver was a “damn liar.”

May 18: The New York Times reports:

“Advisers to Mr. Sanders said on Wednesday that he was newly resolved to remain in the race, seeing an aggressive campaign as his only chance to pressure Democrats into making fundamental changes to how presidential primaries and debates are held in the future.

“Tad Devine, a senior adviser to Mr. Sanders, said the campaign did not think its attacks would help Mr. Trump in the long run, but added that the senator’s team was “not thinking about” the possibility that they could help derail Mrs. Clinton from becoming the first woman elected president.”

May 21: The date of a leaked DNC e-mail suggesting a narrative could be used to show that the Sanders campaign is a mess. The idea is nixed. National Communications Director Luis Miranda responds to the idea: “…the chair has been advised not to engage. So we’ll have to leave it alone.”

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/damaging-emails-dnc-wikileaks-dump/story?id=40852448

May 26: The Associated Press announces that Donald Trump achieves 1,237 delegates required to guarantee his nomination for the Republican Party.

Sanders tweets that he is willing to debate Trump. Very funny.

June 1: The New York Times reports:

SPRECKELS, Calif. — Bernie Sanders signaled Wednesday that he would continue his presidential campaign beyond the California primary next week, saying he had the money to keep running until the Democratic National Convention next month.

While Mrs. Clinton is just 71 delegates shy of the 2,383 needed to clinch the nomination, Mr. Sanders said he was “feeling pretty good” about his campaign and hoped superdelegates would realize that he was the best candidate to beat Donald J. Trump in the general election. He also said he hoped the next week would bring victories that could help him make his case at the party’s convention in Philadelphia.

June 6: The Associated Press and NBC News state that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive nominee.

June 7: Hillary Clinton officially secures a majority of pledged delegates after winning in the California and New Jersey primaries. She wins 254 pledged delegates.

At this point, Clinton has won 2,310 delegates, 73 delegates shy of the nomination. Sanders trails her by more than 700 delegates.

Sanders marks the occasion by shitting all over the Democratic Party.

“The message to the Democratic leadership is that if the Democratic Party is to be the party of working people and young people and the middle class, they’ve got to open up the doors,” said Sanders, noting the strong support he’s received from young adults. “You are the future of this country … and the Democratic Party has got to be a party that is more than its candidates going to wealthy peoples’ homes to raise outrageous sums of money.”

http://www.latimes.com/la-na-trailguide-05312016-bernie-sanders-insists-democra-1464733727-htmlstory.html

June 9: Sanders meets with President Obama. After the meeting, he pledges to “…work as hard as I can, to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States.”

This does not apparently include conceding to the presumptive nominee.

Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren formally endorse Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile on this date: Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort meet with a Russian lawyer, ostensibly to get opposition research on Hillary Clinton.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/11/politics/trump-campaign-june-9/index.html

June 16: Sen. Bernie Sanders declines to concede the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton.

http://time.com/4372644/bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton-speech-democratic-nomination/

July 12: Bernie Sanders finally concedes and endorses Hillary Clinton in Portsmouth, N.H.

Candidate Trump holds a political rally in Westfield, Indiana. Introducing Trump, Stephen Miller tells the crowd that Sanders’ concession to Clinton means that “the system is rigged from top to bottom.”

July 22: Wikileaks releases its e-mails hacked from the Democratic National Committee. Many of these e-mails are referenced in this timeline.

July 25: The Washington Post reports on some of the worst revelations to come out of the DNC e-mail dump. Many of these references are included in this timeline. The Post’s reporting acknowledges, yet couches, an important point:

“Basically all of these examples came late in the primary — after Hillary Clinton was clearly headed for victory — but they belie the national party committee’s stated neutrality in the race even at that late stage.”

Oct. 28: FBI Director James Comey announced in a letter to Congress that the FBI learned of the existence of emails that appeared to be pertinent to the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s email server and that the FBI would take steps to allow investigators to review these emails “to determine whether they contain classified information as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”

Nov. 6 On FBI Director James Comey writes a second letter to Congress: “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July.”

Aug. 25, 2017. A federal judge in Florida dismisses a class-action lawsuit brought by supporters of Sanders against the DNC. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/08/25/florida-judge-dismisses-fraud-lawsuit-against-dnc/?utm_term=.6665d8128efb

So Long, Spicey!

This was the largest audience to ever witness a resignation— period — both in person and around the globe.

Now here’s something actually useful

I like a dot of Honest Amish Beard Balm for the mustache, but my chin whiskers are getting John Masters Organics Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil. It’s not even beard oil officially but I don’t care because it smell nice and softens wonderfully.

A little dab will do ya

Jaco Pastorius