As the most solemn Christian Holy Day passed and we approach Easter, I can't help but see a modern day biblical story of betrayal play out. As Democrats, we have always expected our party to stand for a set of values that protect the interests of ordinary folks. It's been the party of the little guy and gal and was made so by the strong actions of moral giants like FDR, JFK and LBJ. Those political icons helped hammer out legislation like Social Security, Medicare, civil rights laws and labor laws that protect workers' rights. They are things that now form the fabric of everyday life. The values that helped those giants of the Democratic Party forge that legislation out of blocks of moral steel were held sacrosanct until Ronald Reagan occupied the White House.
When Bill Clinton was elected, the needle of the Democratic Party's moral compass started spinning wildly in the direction of corporate money! Clinton's answer to Reagan Republicans was to “triangulate” (his word) Democratic ideology, compromising so much of what we hold near and dear. Clintonistas always like to boast that Bill Clinton left the White House with a budget surplus, but at what cost? His administration helped to pass and sign enough deregulatory pro-corporate legislation to make a Republican blush! The damage that his legislation caused was like a toxic time capsule that is hurting us today!
Barack Obama has continued the Clinton legacy of corporatism by appointing Wall Streeters and industry insider CEO's to his cabinet and key regulatory positions. One of the troubling aspects of his administration is that no matter how altruistic they look, there is always something in his legislative initiatives that benefits corporations. Passing and signing The Affordable Care Act, instead of a medicare for all national health plan, is a prime example of that. I like to call it life support for insurance corps and big pharma. Can you say trickle down? Another example is his support of “free” trade agreements. Can you say NAFTA II? He even gave FDR a little zinger when he tried to institute stealth cuts to Social Security by championing the chained CPI method of calculating the cost of living. How Republican of him!!
In keeping with the selling out of Democratic ideals, certain leaders of the Democratic party have been trying to pre-ordain Hillary Clinton as their Presidential nominee. As such they have in subtle and not so subtle ways thrown the kitchen sink at the Bernie Sanders campaign, probably because he is a corporatist's worst nightmare. If Hillary does become their nominee, it will be an empty victory because either thinking Democrats will become independents in droves or a new third party will emerge that truly represents the ideals of FDR Democrats.
What it boils down to is that the Democratic Party can only continue to collect its thirty pieces of corporate silver at the expense of its soul which happens to be its identity as the party of the little guy and gal! Party leaders have to take a lesson from this quote from scripture; For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? - Matthew 16:26
Yesterday, the Congressional Republicans of the Benghazi committee conducted what could only be described as a witch hunt that was so specious and partisan that it would even have made Sen. Joe McCarthy blush. For eleven solid hours, Hillary Clinton was subjected to what could only be described as a police interrogation by a crew of GOP thugs. All that was missing was the darkened room and a bright light shining in her face. Needless to say, if their goal was to discredit Hillary to lower her numbers in the polls, they were wasting their time, taxpayers' money and America's collective patience.
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton wasn't discredited by the GOP, she was politically martyred by Republican slimeballs! As everyone knows, martyrs usually become heroes. Hillary stoically withstood their onslaught and looked positively heroic. Could it be that the political party that hired a consultant to concoct the deceptive phrase “job creator” as a description for corporations and billionaires has an underlying strategy behind the Benghazi hearings? Could it be that they secretly wanted to lionize Hillary by putting her through the hearing? Why??
My theory is that Bernie Sanders is the true nightmare of the corporations and billionaires that finance GOP campaigns. If the hearings actually help Hillary win the primaries, corporations and billionaires can breathe easy, they've gotten Bernie out of their hair. At that point, they have a win/win situation on their hands. If Hillary Clinton wins the general elections, they win, if a Republican wins, they win more!
If I were Bernie Sanders, I would make a masterful move that would be the equivalent of his breakout “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails” shout to Hillary, which made him look like he was classy enough to fight the GOP in her defense. I would collar the Committee chairman Trey Gowdy and his GOP pals from my Senatorial bully pulpit and ask the same question that Joseph N. Welch asked Sen. Joe McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings: “ Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” That would definitely put Bernie on the Presidential path!
What would you say if I told you that your political party has an army of demons who are prepared to cast votes at their convention that could counteract your primary vote? What would you say if I told you that Hillary Clinton is fervently trying to harness the power of those demons to cast votes for her in the Democratic Convention? Now before you accuse me of going bonkers, let me tell you that the demons that I am referring to are actually super delegates to the Democratic convention. These loose cannons known as super delegates should not be confused with pledged delegates who are essentially pledged to vote in accordance with the primary results. Super delegates can vote however the heck they want, regardless of your primary vote.
Hillary Clinton's aides are now in the process of pressuring super delegates into pledging that they will vote for Her at the nominating convention. So into the voting booth you go, John and Jane Q. and you cast your vote for Bernie Sanders. The pledged delegates who represent you at the convention dutifully cast their votes for Bernie, only to be met by a flood of pre-cast Hillary votes from the super delegates that she now controls. That's as if Hillary went into the voting booth with you, tore up your vote for Bernie and cast one for herself. Ah yes, democracy in action!
At this point, you might ask how do we over come this obstacle and get Bernie elected? The answer is for now, with a massive number of votes for Bernie Sanders that overpowers any rigging of an already corrupt system! Since too many professional politicians in the Democratic party benefit from the super delegate system which is an affront to democracy, don't expect it to change soon. The only work around is to start a new party that doesn't have super delegates and truly reflects our votes. Hey, why not call it The Really democratic Party?
For some time now, I have been saying that I feel that the GOP has had their 2016 Presidential campaign strategy in place for years based on Hillary Clinton being the Democratic Party's chosen candidate. After watching the first GOP debate a couple of nights ago, it became apparent that my prediction was right on target. FOX News selected the top ten candidates based on national polls and put them in the 9 PM prime time debate slot. They invited the remainder of the GOP hopefuls to participate in a 5 PM debate.
Both debates sounded like the usual GOP circus with its requisite idiotic red meat talking points being said. Except for two notable participants, Donald Trump in the 9 PM debate session and Carly Fiorina in the 5 PM not ready for prime time session, they were quite uneventful. Donald Trump was the political version of a shock jock, raising eyebrows with his remarks in and out of the debate. Carly Fiorina, despite her toxic agenda, came off as being the only adult in either of the two debates. I predict that she will wind up being the GOP's standard bearer in the 2016 Presidential election.
Should Carly Fiorina become the GOP's hope for winning the Presidential campaign and should Hillary win the Democratic Presidential primary, I feel that we would have the precise scenario that the GOP has planned for all along, a woman vs. woman election. Voters who have wanted to elect a woman President for years, but are too red state to even think of voting for Hillary could elect someone that they consider to be a safe choice conservative woman and pat themselves on the back for voting in the first woman president.
If that scenario frightens you, consider the following alternate scenario.
Upsetting both party hacks and Hillary loyalists, Bernie Sanders does surprisingly well and wins the Democratic primaries. Expecting a Hillary win and it being too late to change their strategy, the Bernie win catches the GOP off-guard as Carly Fiorina wins the Republican primaries. After the conventions, Carly Fiorina attempts to remind voters that she would be the first woman president but that isn't enough to overcome Bernie Sanders' populist appeal. Bernie Sanders wins by a landslide!
Anyway folks, that's my theory and I'm sticking to it.
If you've been listening to my radio show or reading my columns on this website for any length of time, you know that I believe in encouraging you to think for yourself. That's why I am so upset with the way the Democrats are handling Hillary Clinton's long expected announcement that she is running for President. High up Democrats are literally falling all over each other in their rush to endorse her candidacy. Additionally, some organizations that I thought were progressive stopped talking about the prospect of running a certain progressive Senator from Massachusetts and want to turn her into a wing of the Democratic Party as if she were an inanimate part of a building. Ostensibly, they want to use this Senator, or should I say wing, or should I say Senator Wing to influence the now anointed Queen Hillary the first to run on progressive principles. That kind of talk, even if it is accompanied by the halfhearted phrase “or any potential candidates” discourages any potential progressive candidate from running and runs contrary to democratic principles.
Here are some solid reasons why we need to pick the next Democratic Presidential contender from a vast field of primary candidates:
Our country's Constitution has been altered beyond recognition by a Supreme Court controlled by a crew of conservative appointees who are in essence, political time capsules put in place to accomplish a corporatist agenda. Similarly, our "representatives" in Congress and the Senate who we elected to do our bidding are for the most part, representing the corporations and billionaires who own them and are ignoring us. Our founding fathers would be shocked and disgusted by the actions of every branch of what passes for democracy and government these days.
To hear me expound on this issue, just visit my Listen Here! page.
If you're a Democrat, you've heard a constant stream of speeches from Democratic electeds decrying income inequality. Since most Democratic electeds supported and signed and still support and sign "free" trade agreements that help corporations offshore high paying manufacturing jobs, we must assume that all of their income inequality clap trap is just empty rhetoric. I must also assume that you are not serious about fixing income inequality because you are tickled, gratified and fulfilled by merely getting Democrats in name only reelected! The reason for my assumption is that way back in 2012, I circulated a petition demanding that our electeds stop signing job killing "free" trade agreements and rescind the existing ones that people like Bill Clinton foisted on us. Your response was so poor (62 people who cared) that I closed the petition out in disgust!
Today, a gentleman decided to tweet out my closed petition which gave me hope that at least one person cared enough about his country to bring it to everyone's attention. All it takes is one person of courage to get things started so I have decided to re-open the petition. If you don't sign my petition this time around, a petition that will help fix many of America's problems, I don't want to hear any whining about income inequality!
Sign My Petition!
Did you ever notice that GOP politicians seem to repeatedly try to undermine or even repeal every Democratic initiative? It appears that they have long memories because their attacks on laws that were enacted for the good of society as a whole not only go after Social Security but even, in the case of some of their electeds, after child labor laws. That would make their party symbol appropriate because they seem to never forget about and endlessly resent any law that was written to help John and Jane Q. if that law was crafted and passed by Democratic electeds.
FDR, JFK and LBJ era Democratic electeds have passed countless bills into laws that have become solid and essential parts of the American way of life. Believe me, Republican electeds resent each and every one of them! So many laws, so much GOP resentment! How does the GOP keep track of them all? Let me give you my theory.
Hidden is a secret vault in an inner sanctum is a GOP Grudge Checklist. Every time a Democratic bill is passed into law, a Republican scribe enters that law into the pages of their Grudge Checklist. That checklist goes back into the vault and becomes a GOP time capsule that will emerge some time in the future at a point in time when we, the people take those laws for granted, become complacent and indifferent. At that time, each law becomes an IOU to their wealthy backers that the GOP fulfills with repeated repeal or privatization attempts. If their one percenter backers can't make a buck from privatizing a social program, they want the program eliminated so there is more money in the budget to give them tax breaks and subsidies a.k.a. corporate welfare.
As I said earlier, the Republican Party symbol of an elephant is appropriate because their electeds have long memories that mark every Democratic social initiative for repeal or profiteering in the future. Conversely, the Democratic symbol of the donkey is appropriate because they have short memories and forget how hard is was for the true Democrats of the past, like FDR and LBJ to get their programs passed and are willing to throw all of it away for short term political gain. If you are uncomfortable with that situation, get out, get involved and let your electeds know that you will not stand for politics as usual.
Can someone answer these questions?
When a politician takes the oath of office and when he or she signs an agreement with ALEC, are they now involved in "A Conflict of Interest?" They, in my understanding are defending and upholding the Constitution of the United States of America, not corporate American interests.
When politicians vote to cut benefits for veterans and Food Stamps for low income people and then vote not to raise taxes on the 1%, CONFLICT OF INTEREST?
When politicians close the government and furlough federal employees and civil employees and yet keep their gym membership, expense accounts and salaries, is that CONFLICT OF INTEREST and Not in the Best Interest of the People of the United States?
When Did Special Interest Groups become the politicians' constituents and NOT even live in their respective areas? Most in my opinion are lobbyists who work for corporations that HAVE agendas they want pushed forward.
Just indulge me for one more question that has me totally confused. When did the corporations and groups like ALEC get elected to Dictate the Laws of Our Land?
These are just my opinions and concerns. Do they ring a bell for anybody else to question what is really gong on and not just sit idle? Just remember one thing, 2014 is right around the corner and we can exercise our right to vote. Oh and one more thing, remember how they also stick in pork barrels when they write laws. Who do they really benefit?
Ciao for now.
Pork barrel Webster's Dictionary definition:
Government projects that benefit people in a particular part of the country and that are done in order to help the political careers of elected officials
The road to social justice for every American is a long, circuitous one. Over the years, those who have chosen to travel down that road, despite the roadblocks put up by many Republican politicians, have given us many things that we take for granted today. Franklin Delano Roosevelt fought tirelessly to give America Social Security which helps scores of Americans retire with dignity and lets many more know that a severe disability isn't a one way ticket to starvation. Lyndon Baines Johnson used his political prowess to shepherd Medicare through Congress and the Senate, giving seniors and the disabled a healthcare safety net that should be given to everybody.
Social Security and Medicare as rights are both measures of our evolution as a society, much as the elimination of debtors' prisons and the passing of child labor laws were for earlier generations. There was a common thread that ran through all of those steps that brought America forward. That thread was the strong Republican opposition that each of those Democratically supported socio-economic advances elicited. What turned those dreams into reality was that politicians like FDR and LBJ had the will, integrity and political courage to take a stand and fight for them! Voters weren't shy about letting FDR and LBJ know that they wanted Social Security and Medicare.
Today's Democrats seem to forget that their party is the party of FDR and LBJ, a party that has helped us evolve as a society. Many of today's Democratic electeds seem to prefer to pay homage to Ronald Reagan, the father of trickle down economics, something that has lined the pockets of the rich and emptied ours. They would rather compromise with (sell out to) the Republicans than fight for programs that protect our interests. In short, the real Democrats of the past wouldn't call them Democrats.
Programs like Social Security and Medicare have withstood the test of time, the bush tax cuts have only been around since around 2001 and have helped put us in the fiscal mess we're in today. I become disheartened when President Obama and other Democrats call making cuts to Social Security and Medicare or raising the eligibility age in exchange for eliminating the Bush tax cuts for the rich a "Grand Bargain." That's hardly what I would call a "Grand Bargain", in reality, it's a fool's bargain!
Have you noticed that there's no one on Talk Radio who speaks for John and Jane Q. Public? I want to change that situation. When I go into the studio and get on the air, I say the things that you've always wanted to say. The big corporate interests have their lobbyists, I want to be your voice. Just think of me as your guy fighting for your interests.
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