Joe Biden and the cards we’re dealt

So it looks like Joe Biden will be our nominee.  Meh.

As I said in a post just a few days ago, I rarely get my first choice when it comes to nominating candidates. And often, that means that the person I thought would have the best chance of winning doesn’t get it, and then we lose in November.

The majority tends to go for the safe and predictable. Often the bland. Poll the majority on their favorite restaurant and you’ll get Olive Garden. Ask them their favorite music and it’s Celine Dion or whatever is on some reality TV show about singers. Favorite books are the trashy ones. Favorite movies never win Oscars.  Favorite art is dogs playing poker.

Why we suddenly expect different results with politics is beyond me.

Anyway, I thought that Bernie and Biden were two of our weakest candidates this time around. Warren, Harris, Booker or Castro would better stir up the base and get people on our side.

But of the two, Bernie and Biden, I prefer Biden. Not because I agree with him more on the issues. Definitely not — Bernie’s message is what I’ve been fighting for my entire adult life. But Bernie the messenger? That’s a different issue. (Warren had pretty much the same message but she does not have the baggage Bernie would bring.)

There are moderates around the country who hate Trump but could never bring themselves to vote for a “socialist.” Some of that is seen in the primary results.

We can’t pretend that isn’t true just because we don’t want it to be. We need to sweep the smaller races too in places where that’s possible, and if you talk to any political expert in a purple state, that’s what they’ll tell you: Bernie being the candidate would hurt their chances. Could Bernie win the Presidency?  Sure, but it’s not just about that. We have to look at the big picture.

It’s just politics, people. I’m not thrilled with what we’re ending up with, but you don’t give up. You don’t whine about losing. You don’t attack the party because a majority of its members have a different view than you. Oh sure, you can debate whether it’s a good idea and you can discuss the ramifications of the decision — this is politics, after all, we’re going to disagree — but these are the cards we’ve been dealt and we have to keep playing with what we’ve got.

Do I wish the vote had gone another way? Of course. Like I do most of the time. But bitching and complaining that you didn’t get your way solves nothing.

 

I’m used to losing

The problem with democracy is that you don’t always get your way.

The first and only time my preferred candidate in the primaries ended up as President was with Obama. And I’ve been voting a long time.  Here’s my terrible track record of who I supported in the primaries and who won the nomimation:

1976: Jerry Brown (winner: Jimmy Carter)

1980: Oops. I voted for a 3rd party (John Anderson) and then vowed never to make that mistake again

1984: Gary Hart (winner: Walter Mondale)

1988: Michael Dukakis (was living in Boston at the time, did some work on the campaign)

1992: Paul Tsongas (another Boston guy) (winner: Bill Clinton)

1996: Bill Clinton was unopposed for re-election

2000: Tom Harkin (winner: Al Gore)

2004: John Kerry (another Boston guy)

2008: Barack Obama (and he won!)

2012: Obama was unopposed for re-election

2016: Bernie Sanders (winner: Hillary Clinton)

2020: Elizabeth Warren (What? Another Boston candidate?)(winner: we shall see)

So while I am very disappointed that Warren did not get the nomination and while I am also very disappointed with the choices we now have, I guess I’ve become used to it.  Maybe I’m just more cynical as I age, maybe I’m just jaded. Life goes on. (My top three choices were Warren, Harris, and Booker. So much for that.)

I certainly understand the anger and frustration many young Bernie supporters have about the situation. The fact that I once felt the same way back when I was younger I’m sure doesn’t comfort them, but it’s really a broken record: The people in power keep the power and keep out anyone who wants to change how things work, and the only way we can force that change is by voting the bastards out — something we apparently are incapable of doing. In the primaries so far, young people (who are Bernie’s main constituency) hardly even voted.

“OK Boomer” I can hear them saying now to me. “Thanks for your comments, grandpa, but we’re not giving up.” And I don’t want you to. What I want you to do is vote — that’s the only way we can get the change we need.

Who will I vote for when the Pennsylvania primary finally rolls around? Well, as usual, it will probably already be decided by then, but I’m considering my options between the two old white guys, both of whom have negatives I have to consider. In future blog posts, I will examine the pluses and minuses of each.

Warren’s experience mirrors every professional woman’s life and career

Guest post from Gail Z. Martin

Here we go again, proving that we as a nation can’t handle a competent woman in charge.

The most telling paragraph from an article about Warren’s drop from the race: “She was hypersensitive to public criticism and tended to overcorrect in her efforts to ensure her competence. Her responses often earned her more criticism, not less.” OMFG, that’s the story of every professional woman’s life and career. Remember the old joke that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did—only backwards, and in high heels? The gallows humor about women needing to be twice as good to get half as far? Those are painfully funny because they’re true.

When Hillary lost to DT, we showed that we’d decided the presidency was an entry-level job, no experience necessary—that we would accept a reality TV star and many-times bankrupted failed businessman rather than a woman so competent she scared the Russians. Now Warren is out of the race. Who do you think worried the Russians more—Biden, Sanders or Warren?

Warren had a plan for everything—-which got criticized—-as men without a detailed plan or the guy who doesn’t believe any experts keep winning. Baggage? Nothing that even compares to almost all of the male candidates at every level that have ever gotten elected (and re-elected).

Yes, I will vote for whatever blue candidate gets nominated, which at this point is certain to be another old white guy—-maybe even the one who says he’d take a Republican as his VP. (And how, exactly, is that going to create any change at all, when we’ve seen no willingness for the GOP to rein in Dear Leader, no matter how he shreds the constitution?)

Please, no attempts to mansplain why Warren is so much worse than the men. I am just so fed up with this country’s utter disdain for women that I could howl at the moon.

Gail Z. Martin is a novelist who writes thrilling fantasy and science fiction adventures. Her web page is here.

Are women candidates held to a different standard than men candidates?

Yes.

Republicans know that if everyone votes, they lose

Republicans know that if everyone votes, they lose.

That’s why they have spent 50 years

  • fighting against the Voting Rights Act
  • purging people from voting lists
  • closing precincts in minority neighborhoods
  • enacting restrictive voter ID laws
  • prohibiting felons from voting
  • stopping early voting and mail-in ballots
  • making sure election day isn’t a national holiday
  • killing any bill designed to prevent Russian interference
  • making sure no paper ballots are used
  • getting rid of election finance laws
  • fighting against abolishing the electoral college
  • promoting gerrymandering

There are even tapes of them admitting it.

Anyone who denies this is true is just denying reality. These guys are literally against democracy.

cartoon by Steve Sack

The next President…

The next President is going to need an adviser who is an expert in both economics and law if we’re going to fix things in America. Maybe a person who taught those things at a top school like Harvard Law School. Maybe someone who has written a lot of books on the subject that have been used as textbooks over the years. Maybe even someone who has been an adviser to the President on these subjects in the past.

Oh, wait.

Democrats: Stop trying to appeal to people who will never vote for you

Look.

There’s like 33% of the population who will never vote for Democrats no matter what (as we have seen, based on those who are supporting Trump no matter what). These are almost all the same people who also think gay marriage should be illegal and blacks should know their place and women should be subservient and Christians should run everything.

So Democrats: Stop trying to appeal to them. Stop being afraid to standing up for what is right. It’s not going to work. All it does is discourage the majority of Americans from supporting you, because they don’t think you actually believe in anything.

Elizabeth Warren was recently asked a question about how she would respond to an “old-fashioned” supporter who believes marriage is between one man and one woman.warren
“I’m going to assume it is a guy who said that,” Warren replied, “And I’m going to say, ‘Well, then just marry one woman. Assuming you can find one.”

Ooh, snap. Some people loved it and some Democrats sweated buckets and said, “Oh, goodness gracious! She’s going to alienate some voters with that!”

Well, no, she isn’t. The kind of person who would be insulted by a comment like that would never consider voting for her in the first place.

Republicans know this. They don’t care a bit about trying to appeal to a “middle.” They say what they think. Of course, they are more confident of winning because they cheat (through gerrymandering, voter suppression, voter purges, voting machines that don’t leave paper trails and their buddy the Electoral College, but that’s a separate topic).

Democrats are always advised to “reach for the middle” and that makes them afraid to say anything that may alienate a pretend group that would consider voting for them “if only.” That group does not exist. We are the majority. We are the mainstream.

And we should act like it.