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Posted by on Jan 23, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 5 comments

Booker, Beto, Bernie, and Biden: The Unannounced Democratic Presidential Candidates

 

 

Note:  Here’s the follow-up to yesterday’s column on Democratic presidential candidates which focused on those who have announced, so far.  Today’s continuation features a look at the top candidates who remain, at least for now — “undecided.”    READ HERE:  AN EARLY LOOK AT THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL FIELD

 

I believe the odds of Donald J. Trump either running or being the eventual nominee for re-election are less than 50 percent.  There’s certainly some chance that Trump will either be indicted, impeached, won’t win his party’s bid, or hopefully save us all the giant embarrassment of a lengthy trial and choke on a bag of cheeseburgers.

However, under the unthinkable presumption that “Teflon Don” (Trump, not Gotti — though sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference) somehow manages to avoid prison and stay out of the grave, here’s my shrewd political analysis of the remaining Democratic presidential candidates, focusing on those who have yet to declare their candidacy nor make an official announcement about future plans.

Let the presidential derby now begin:

 

Cory Booker is the cleanest politician ever from New Jersey, the state widely viewed as The Sopranos of politics.  Booker will likely be a force to contend with for decades to come.  Yet, it remains to be seen if Booker wants to endure the same vicious mudslinging certain to blasted in his direction by the well-oiled Republican hate machine that smeared another trailblazing Black man who broke so many barriers for others.  Indeed, the Right does have a vicious gift for making lies stick, even when things aren’t at all true.  Sen. Booker isn’t much beloved by the far-Left, either — so he has some work to do.  His ass-kissing capitulation to Big Pharma only a few years ago on the critically-important federal bill that would have allowed importing medicines from Canada (and elsewhere) at much cheaper prices set off a signal flare to progressives everywhere that this guy is no Booker T. Washington.  Hell, he couldn’t even pass the cool test at a concert by Booker T. & the MGs.  [Note:  Google is your freind].  Sen. Booker also bombed in some national media spots in recent months, fumbling easy softball questions, which gives me pause that he’s ready for the scrutiny of a grueling national political campaign.  It’s now up to Booker to prove me wrong and win our support.  I’ll keep an open mind.

 

Beto O’Rourke is a charismatic former U.S. congressman representing El Paso, which I think is a town located somewhere in western Ecuador.  He’s young, great-looking, energetic, and gives a fiery campaign speech.  He even speaks fluent Spanish, which is certain lock up all the support of all those millions of undecided illegal aliens who dress in Halloween costumes and vote multiple times in our elections.  Viva Beto!  Trouble is — Beto lost to Holy Cruzader, who lost to Donald Trump.  He couldn’t even beat “Lyin’ Ted.”  Even most Republicans hate Ted Cruz.  So, if Beto can’t defeat Cruz, how the bloody shit is he going to trump Trump on a much bigger stage?  To Beto’s credit, he’s been cool as hell when under fire.  Even when the guy sweats, he looks cool.  Beto says all the right things.  He’s a unifying force.  He’s a fresh face, except for the fact he’s a White male — which means as a Texan within the Democratic Party he might as well be Lyndon Johnson campaigning at Hyannis Port.  Probably a solid VP-choice at this point.  Already, the hashtag  #harisbeto2020 is trending on Twitter — I kid you not.

 

Bernie Sanders is the ideal progressive presidential candidate, provided you add a dash called a sense of humor and subtract about 20 years.  I know, ageism isn’t fair.  It’s downright discriminatory.  Sanders would be 79 if somehow he’s inaugurated on Jan. 2021, which would be like awarding the “Best New Artist” Grammy to Bob Dylan.  Yeah, the sound and message are inspiring — but what in the holy hell are you doing up there onstage, Bernie?  History will rightly remember Sen. Sanders as a maverick political figure, the first in the modern era to run openly as an avowed Socialist yet not come across as the bastard lovechild between Stalin and Mao at Ho Chi Minh’s communist orgy.  Bernie was that tasty souffle baked fresh and smelling so wonderfully delicious way back in the year 2016 when we were all naive and thought the monstrosity of Trump was impossible; but he’s now a stale political leftover, Thanksgiving turkey and dressing with freezer burns hopelessly distasteful to many voters should he mistakenly thaw (out of) his mind and decide to run.  Please, Bernie — I beg of you and I say this as one of your most enthusiastic supporters — don’t run.  Be the respected elder statesman.  Continue to speak out.  Be our voice on the critical issues.  Be smart enough to recognize these time’s they are a-changin’ — but that you’re not the ideal candidate, nor the right personality for this race.  Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Unitas — they all played at least one season too long.  Learn from history, Bernie.

 

Joe Biden is a remarkable man, a marvelously gifted public servant, a political natural, and a beacon of abject sincerity.  I even supported Biden once, but that was way back in 1988 when he first ran for president.  Since then, Biden has padded his public image and enhanced his sterling reputation as a party leader and global statesman.  He’s become a sort of Dwight D. Eisenhower figure within the modern Democratic Party, a likable and trusted old anchor that surely knows how to get things done.  For this reason and given his Vice Presidential pedigree, Biden becomes the automatic ringmaster should he enter the big tent of the 2020 circus.  But he also has Bernie’s age issue to contend with, which is an albatross.  Fact is, Democrats are now looking to the future, not the past.  As seasoned, sincere, and smart as Biden is as a national political candidate and voice for progressive policies, he’s going to have a tough time persuading many of us that he deserves to be the oldest nominee for president ever in American history.  If only we could stick Biden, Bernie, Harris, and Beto into a political blender and hit the whip button — that would be the perfect Democrat milkshake.  I defy anyone to watch this short clip of Biden and not acknowledge his innate humanity and fitness to be president.  [CLICK HERE]

 

Hillary Clinton.  I know what you’re thinking.  Oh gawd, please fucking — no.  I’m totally on board with the “no” crowd on this one.  Remember my comments earlier about Bernie Bob Dylan?  Hillary Clinton might as well be Tammy Wynette baking cookies in the kitchen.  She’s more “Yesterday” than Sir Paul McCartney.  To be fair, Mdm. Clinton should and will go down as one of the most remarkable women in American political history.  She overcame innumerable obstacles, including a 24/7 hate-conspiracy machine, her own lack of charisma, gross misogyny, and the fact that her idiot hubby couldn’t keep his dick tucked inside his pants, and yet somehow still served effectively as First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State.  But she’s also lost to the last two eventual victors, which kinda’ makes her into the Marv Levy of contemporary American politics — someone many of us both respect and feel sorry for who got a raw deal because of a bad kicker.  Really, I feel sorry for Hillary.  Like Bernie, she shattered lots of barriers and laid a solid foundation for future generations, mostly women (there are likely to be at least four in this race).  Okay, I’ll say it — if she would have ditched Bill Clinton’s sorry, cheating, lying, miserable ass, and not deleted all those e-mails, she’d probably be our president right now.

The Field is the real Democratic darkhorse.  Maybe even the favorite.  Out of the shadows of anonymity have come Jimmy Carter (1976), Bill Clinton (1992), and Barack Obama (2008).  Each eventual winner upset heavily-favored, far better-known establishment figures, so-called “machine politicians” in the Democratic primaries.  The same thing might very well happen again in 2020, although if you don’t mind me saying — Jimmy Carter may be a bit too old to run again.  “The Field” includes names like Michael Bloomberg, a smart and successful New Yorker who is actually a bonafide billionaire and not some bronze encrusted popover used to mop up the extra prime rib gravy at Lawry’s.  There’s also Sherrod Brown, who I’m told is a Senator from Ohio which is certainly from a crucial state, but who absolutely no one knows outside of the three big C’s — Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati.  If Brown stuck up a convenience store, there’s no need for a mask.  Nobody would recognize him.  As for Amy Klobuchar, the current Senator from Minnesota, she’s going to have a difficult time differentiating herself from a field already packed with gifted and capable women fully qualified to be president.

It’s going to be an excuciating an exciting next two years.

 

__________

 

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Posted by on Jan 22, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 1 comment

An Early Look at the Democratic Presidential Field

 

 

The 2020 presidential campaign started on November 9, 2016.

That’s the morning after the utterly unthinkable happened when an antediluvian mechanism known as the electoral college anointed an infantile reality television star to be the 45th President of the United States, this anomaly despite losing the popular vote to a pantsuited ragdoll by a whopping 2,915,391 ballots — all of which alleged to be cast by MS-13 gang members who usually hang out in the parking lot at Home Depot.

And now, here were are.

Elizabeth Warren was the first Democrat to announce her candidacy.  She’s an ultra-liberal senator from Massachusetts.  That makes her sort of like all the Kennedys — sans any of the charisma, the funny accents, and the car crashes.  Warren is the darling of progressives.  She’s right, err I mean “Left” on every major issue.  Indeed, I love Warren’s politics.  Hey, if we were electing someone the local PTA President, Warren would win in a landslide.  Trouble is, she’s presumably running against Donald J. Trump, assuming that he’s not dragged out of the White House kicking and screaming while tweeting in handcuffs.  Not that I’ve been to any dogfights recently, but that’s sort of like tossing a fresh-groomed poodle into the kill pit against a rabid Rottweiler.  If somehow she gets the nomination, prepare to massively overdose on “Pocahontas” references.  Yes, Liz Warren would make a terrific president.  But she’s likely to be a terrible candidate.  I hope she proves me wrong.

Kirsten Gillibrand announced her candidacy in front of millions of viewers watching on television and a packed auditorium full of screaming fans.  Too bad all those were present to see a live performance by Blink 182.  But hey, when your public profile is like 3 percent, your ride coattails where and when you find them.  I don’t want to say Gillibrand lacks name identity, but I keep having to look up how in the hell to spell “G-I-L-L-I-B-R-A-N-D.”  The junior New York senator took the seat once held by Hillary Clinton.  Those aren’t exactly encouraging footsteps, sort of like following tracks in a snowstorm and seeing them lead off a giant cliff and into the abyss.  In her favor, Sen. Gillibrand (I got it right this time without looking it up — it’s TWO “Ls”) may have some appeal to moderates, since she’s been accused of being way too conservative in the past.  Her middle of the road (i.e. pro-Wall Street) sell-out act might work in a general election but won’t win much support in Democratic primaries where conservative positions on anything are about as welcome as Charles Murray speaking at Middlebury.  Maybe if Gillibrand announces Blink 182 as her running mate early on, that’s her ticket to victory.

Julian Castro joined the race recently.  Imagine if America actually elects someone with the last name “Castro.”  Wouldn’t that be amazing?  Viva la revolution!  Hey, we already elected a guy with the middle name “Hussein.”  Twice.  So, perhaps we’re past all the prejudice stuff about incendiary names.  So far, I’m impressed by what little I’ve seen from Castro, who was Hussein’s former Secretary of H.U.D.  But let that sink in for a moment.  Secretary of H.U.D.  Wow.  That sort of makes him into the Ben Carson of the Democratic Party, only without the crazy cuckoo’s nest and the Black Jesus portraits hanging in his living room.  Seems like a premature jump for a former city mayor and unassuming cabinet secretary to be taken seriously as a major presidential candidate.  Castro should feather his political nest first before making the big leap.  Try starring in an unwatchable reality TV show, filing multiple bankruptcies, and paying off porn stars.  Then, he’ll be all set to go — and win based on recent history.

Tulsi Gabbard became the third woman to announce her candidacy, which is a great thing.  I say, let’s declare “affirmative action” on all forms of advancement, including the presidency.  That means the next 45 presidents should be female.  Sorry, old White guys — you had your shot and fucked it up.  Time to move aside.  Let someone else rule.  I’m perfectly fine with this so long as there’s also a special Sarah Palin Amendment stating she doesn’t qualify.  Sort of like an insurance policy rider when they bring up a pre-existing condition.  Anyway, back to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the former combat veteran and current congresswoman from Hawaii.  I’m not sure the country is ready yet for a president who claims to be born in Hawaii, which really shouldn’t be part of the United States.  A president born in Hawaii?  Puuuhleeeeze.  I totally missed her “big” announcement since it was held in the city of Honolulu on a beach, which means it was like 3 am here in the real United States.  There’s also the “Tulsi” thing.  Are we really ready for a president named “Tulsi?”

Kamala Harris appears to be the rising rock star in the field of candidates who have announced, so far.  She double clicks most of the key boxes on what Democrats want in a viable candidate.  She’s sensitive — but tough.  Left — but a little Right.  Young — but old enough.  Kinda’ Black — but not scary-ass Stokely Charmichael Black [if you’re offended by that, post hateful responses in the Comments section — thanks].  Harris will be the candidate to beat among the five currently in the race.  A sitting U.S. Senator from the most populous state in the country, easily able to raise campaign money, boosted by what’s already a national profile — these factors provide obvious advantages.  Her law and order background as California’s Attorney General could hurt her among the Democratic base, but would also be appealing to pro-law enforcement moderates and independents (all the indecisive idiots still somehow on the political fence).  And one more thing:  So long as “Tulsi” stays in the race, no one will make much fun of the name “Kamala.”

 

Coming Up:  A look at the (undeclared) presumptive Democratic nominees.

 

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Posted by on Dec 17, 2018 in Blog, Essays, Politics, Rants and Raves | 5 comments

Should Expressing Extremist Views on Social Media Be Grounds for Termination?

 

 

Should social media posts be banned if they offend a vast majority of people?

Most of us probably believe the answer is no.  We should all be allowed freedom of expression.  After all, free speech is a fundamental right.  Besides, who’s to determine what’s acceptable versus objectionable?

However, let’s also agree that social media posts widely considered offensive should be accompanied by consequences.

This too becomes problematic.

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