Archive for the ‘2016 Election’

Rats Off a Sinking Ship

August 16, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: 2016 Election, Sumbitches, Trump

After Cheeto Jesus’ inauguration, he announced with great fanfare two councils of CEOs all designed to Make America Great Again, whatever that means.  The two councils, the Manufacturing Council and the Strategy & Policy Forum, were supposedly organized to help shape policy to increase business and generate jobs for American workers.  In reality, though, they were simply figurehead in nature, designed to reward CEOs for supporting Trump.  In fact, to my knowledge the councils never actually met outside of the initial photo ops, and were just used to raise the profiles of its members.

All that puffery came crashing down the last few days after Trump’s catastrophic response to the violence in Charlottesville, defending neo-Nazis and racist white supremacists and attacking the media for simply asking questions.  In the face of this disaster, CEOs began bailing from the Manufacturing Council. Today, the Strategy & Policy Forum met in a conference call, and in the face of a crowd of CEOs ready to resign, they disbanded.  Later, through Twitler, Trump also disbanded the Manufacturing Council.  I guess he decided that the defections were simply too glaring to gloss over.

This development is not insignificant.  Think about it – Trump rode to the WH on the backs of bigots and the ignorant; but worse, he also rode on the shoulders of business executives who were so self interested in stuffing their wallets even more full that they allowed themselves to be used to elect a depraved carnival barker.  These very same executives are now fleeing like rats off a sinking ship.

The Actual Problem

August 08, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: 2016 Election

As much as I despise Donald Trump and his infestation of the White House, he’s actually not the problem.  As much as I opposed Hillary Clinton’s candidacy (twice), she’s actually not the problem.  Barack Obama’s presidency being blocked from greater accomplishments is actually not the problem.  All of the screaming heads on cable TeeVee are not actually the problem.  The idiots in state houses all over the country trying to strip people of their rights and places to go to the restroom are not actually the problem.  All the other nonsense going on in politics around the US is not actually the problem.

The actual problem?  It’s the Did Not Vote vote.  Did Not Vote wins most every election.  Have a look at this map:

Of eligible votes in 2016, Clinton received 28.43% (65,845,063) of all votes compared to Trump’s 27.20% (62,980,160) and Did Not Vote received 44.37%(102,731,399).  Did not vote won, and the American people lost.  Again.  This is how you get nut jobs like Dan Patrick, Sid Miller, Greg Abbott, and Rick Perry elected to statewide office.  When half of eligible voters can’t be bothered, this is what you get.  If voters actually voted, Russian hacking wouldn’t matter.  Gerrymandering would have much less effect.  Politicians would be driven toward compromise and making government work, rather than barricading themselves in their extreme corners heaving molotov cocktails at the opposition.  They would stop holding Americans hostage over budget squabbles, healthcare, Social Security, and energy policy.

If the majority of Americans actually voted, we would have a government that actually worked.  As it is today, while people sit around watching America’s Got Talent eating their Cheetos and drinking their Diet Coke, evil and/or crazy people make decisions that damage our democracy, threaten Americans’ lives, and make us the laughing stock of the world.

This is the actual problem.  This is what actually needs to get fixed.

 

 

 

The Disaster of the Democratic Party Laid Bare – And Who’s Trying to Fix It

June 18, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: 2016 Election, Hillary

Our readers who are Hillary loyalists don’t like when I write about the disaster of her campaign last year and the mess that is the Democratic Party.  Like it or not, though, the criticism is true, and I’m not the only one.  Tim Dickinson wrote a lengthy piece in Rolling Stone this last week that talks about how the party got hollowed out during the Obama years especially during Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s term which set a low watermark for corruption and plain ol’ incompetence.  Even Tim Kaine, Hillary’s running mate and former DNC chair, got into the act and was quoted in the piece saying, “That congresswoman had no idea what she was doing.”  And that was the polite criticism.  Rather than grow the party, she actually used her position for self promotion to launch a campaign to land her in House leadership.  That blew up and she dug in when even Obama tried to oust her from the job.  We all know how that story ended.

It gets worse, especially for Hillary’s campaign.  An unnamed Democratic strategist described her candidacy in blunt terms:

“And she was really surprised by how strong Trump was – and part of it was she just sucked. At a really fundamental level we gotta get people to acknowledge what a f*****g piece of sh*t her campaign was, because Donald Trump should not have won this election.”

Well, OK, then.  That’s about as blunt as it gets (even more blunt than me).  The rest of the article speaks of how Tom Perez is trying to un-fossilize the party, recruit new candidates, and resurrect the money machine that it became under Howard Dean and Barack Obama during the very successful 50 state strategy in 2006 and 2008.

However, the job is not a simple one.  During the Obama administration, Democrats lost all over the country in state and federal elections due to simple neglect (and DWS’s incompetence).  No one, including Obama, was in charge during that time, and his staff had no national plan except to get him re-elected in 2012.  There’s now a huge deficit to make up for all that neglect, and Trump is certainly leaving a huge opportunity for the Dems to hoover up if only they don’t blow it…again.

This Rolling Stone article is a sobering read, and will certainly piss off loyalists.  But truth is truth, and facts is facts. This chapter is long from over, and the sooner progressives recognize what a complete disaster 2008 to 2016 actually was, the sooner they can fix it.

 

The Democrats’ Real Problem

May 09, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: 2016 Election, 2020 Election

“A shockingly large percentage of these Obama-Trump voters said Democrats’ economic policies will favor the wealthy — twice the percentage that said the same about Trump.”

Greg Sargent, writing in the Washington Post, revealed results of polls and focus groups taken by Democratic pollsters since the election, and the above quote is the over-arching theme; many people who voted for Obama in 2012 switched to Trump in 2016 because they either believed Trump better represented their interests, or opposed Hillary as a candidate.  The studies found that over and over, it was clear that the Democrats have lost serious ground with working class whites.  I believe there are several reasons for this: First, working class wage growth has been stagnated since the Reagan years, virtually destroying the American dream of a home, a car, and higher education.  Second, the Republican noise machine has successfully targeted this group since the early 90’s, blaming Democrats and liberal policies for the working class’s woes.

What’s happened?  Well, for one, starting with Bill Clinton, the Democrats have allowed themselves to be dragged farther and farther to the right.  As staunch liberals died off, the new generation of Democrats, lead by Clinton, adopted more conservative policies including limiting welfare, don’t ask don’t tell, and DOMA.  He took one stab at healthcare reform with Hillary leading that effort which ended in failure.  For the rest of his White House days, he was embroiled in scandals, some manufactured but some stupidly self-inflicted.

During those years, the Democrats, rather than being staunch supporters of workers and US industry, tried to walk the fine lines between liberal-moderate-conservative to avoid being labeled by opponents, and stopped defending labor and the Working Joe as Republican policies to push industry and money offshore seriously damaged US workers.

The inexorable slide was slowed a little by the rise of Barack Obama and his populist/social justice agenda.  He spoke clearly to the working class, and they came to him by the millions. However, after he was elected, he was effectively stymied in many of his initiatives because of Great Recession as well as the weakness of the Dems and pervasive stonewalling by Repubs.  The only significant legislative legacy for Obama was the ACA, which is now threatened with repeal after the Dems were swept out of office in 2016.  Now they are thrashing around trying to make sense of the shocking loss in November.

The Democrats ignore these findings at their own peril.  The opportunity to make huge gains in 2018 and 2020 are there; all the Dems need do is grasp the message and policies that propelled the party to dominance for the 40 years begun by FDR.  They need to reclaim their legacy of being the party of the middle and working class.  Until they do that, they will continue to flounder.

It’s time to stop licking wounds.  It’s time to acknowledge the mistakes and poor leadership in recent years and get to work.

Back from the Brink

May 07, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: 2016 Election, Trump

Major media is now reporting that, in France, non-establishment but centrist Emanuel Macron has decisively defeated Trump-like, anti-immigrant candidate Marine LePen.  Hacking of Macron’s campaign seems to have had little effect on the outcome.  Is this the beginning of western civilization pulling back from the brink of hate-filled, racist, authoritarianism that peaked with the election of reality television star Donald Trump as president of the US?

When You’re in a Hole…

May 03, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: 2016 Election, Hillary

You know the old saying:

When you’re in a hole, stop digging.

Hillary could well take that old saying to heart.  Yesterday, during an appearance at a women’s rights conference, she was asked about the election.  Rather than demure and speak about the issues of the conference, she went to DefCon 4 and started into launch mode.  In doing so, she yet again put on display her utter tone-deafness and why she is a terrible campaigner.  She blamed the Russians.  She blamed FBI director Comey.  She groused about Trump.  While offhand acknowledging that her “campaign wasn’t perfect,” she placed the blame for her loss on everyone but herself.

She didn’t take responsibility for losing the Rust Belt by ignoring those voters.  She didn’t take responsibility for letting number grunts override the instincts of her twice elected husband.  She didn’t acknowledge rigging the primaries and packing the DNC with loyalists. She falsely accused debate moderators for not asking Trump the hard questions.  She didn’t take responsibility for being incapable of articulating exactly why she wanted to be president.

But she showed in high definition and full color the reasons why she really lost – she was a awful candidate.  She was a terrible campaigner.  Her campaign, just like in 2008, was in chaos most of the time with staff in conflict and competing against one another.  But most of all she did, and indeed still does believe it was her turn.  This was her election, and it was pre-ordained that she would win.  There was no reason to campaign in Michigan; the number grunts said it was hers.

It should have never been close enough for Russian interference or FBI letters to make a difference.  Hillary Clinton lost to the worst presidential candidate in US history.  Period.  Yeah, yeah, she got more votes in the popular, because of big turnout in New York and California, but that doesn’t count, does it?  She lost because, as Glen Thrush of Politico put it last September – she was (and is) the “Queen of Coasting”.  It was on full display yesterday.

Well, the Queen needs to stop digging and put down her shovel.  She’s not helping.