GOP as Entertainers
by Deacon Blues
Days like today remind you that politics can be so entertaining.
John Boehner tells us what he really thinks about Ted Cruz.
Former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight tells us that Donald Trump would be the most prepared man ever to assume the presidency. Apparently Knight thinks that George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush were all slackers.
Five vulnerable GOP Senate incumbents up for reelection this year are damn near praying openly for ticket-splitting voters to save their asses.
And how does a Trump cabinet of Chris Christie, Carl Icahn, Sarah Palin, Ben Carson, and Rudy Giuliani sound?
Then again, the GOP nominee is nothing more than a reality TV star, so why should we be surprised at this?
A Long Haul
by Deacon Blues
The American electorate faces a long slog this summer, as the two parties' presumptive nominees become clear, and a collective sigh of disappointment takes hold. On the Democratic side, with Bernie's announcement last night that he was now focusing on the convention and making the party's platform as progressive as possible, and today's news that he is stashing his bucks and cutting staff, the only real question is whether or not he and his supporters actually join the party to fix it from within, or continue the assault as a hitchhiker from outside, taking Hillary down along the way.
On the GOP side, it's hard to see what is more pathetic: Ted Cruz thinking his gambit to name Carly Fiorina as his running mate makes them both presidential instead of pretenders, or Donald Trump's preening as a foreign policy leader loathed by our allies but loved by Vladimir Putin. And it's laughable to hear Trump smear Hillary while he himself is being dragged into a fraud trial by those he bilked at his Trump "university." I said this months ago, and I'll say it again: Hillary should mock Trump.
Party leaders should also challenge Sanders and his supporters to come inside the party and push for their "revolution" while helping it. Having millions of dollars and thousands of young supporters is laudable only if his "revolution" evolves into change from within. Sitting on the outside and throwing rocks at a party that gave you a vehicle for your revolution, without actually voting for the party's nominee and contributing to the party's improvement and progressive challengers makes you nothing more than a destructive hitchhiker.
Earn Your Stripes, Kids
by Deacon Blues
I saw parts of the Democratic New York debate last night, and agree with many observers that:
1. Hillary and Bernie are wearing thin on each other;
2. Bernie is going after her tooth-and-nail now;
3. Bernie needs to score an upset next week in the NYC race to validate the venom.
If Bernie loses New York next week, after going all-in on the negative rhetoric, then he either needs to dial it back and return to being a protest candidate, or failing that, he needs to fully commit himself, and his supporters, to being a Democrat for the remainder of the election cycle.
I don't expect Bernie to dial it back, because he is raising boatloads of cash and because he is a viable candidate for the nomination. But if you are making the argument that you are more electable than the perceived front-runner, and if that front-runner has done much more to support the party down-ballot than you ever have in your life, then Bernie Sanders and his supporters can no longer hitchhike on the Democratic Party to have their revolution fantasy. If you are committing to a full demolition derby on the party's front-runner all the way to the convention, then your right to do so derives from being inside the party.
No matter how many times he says it, it is frankly irrelevant that Bernie draws thousands of young, liberal supporters if those supporters stay outside of the party throwing rocks at the establishment. If you want your revolution, then make the commitment and come inside, and earn the right to move the party to your candidate and in your direction. If you are not willing to make that commitment, and instead just simply want to shout for Bernie and his revolution, and against Hillary, then I question what you are really after.
Principled opposition like Bernie's message and supporters purport to be carries with it a responsibility as well. If you think so strongly that the party's front-runner is so flawed and so lacking in judgment that she must be opposed at all costs, then kids it is time to come in from the rallies and step up, and be held accountable for your revolution.
Because simply shouting for Bernie and swooning for a revolution against "the establishment" is the easy part. The hard part is the responsibility for execution and commitment to carry it out and take over a political party.
It's easy to be against Hillary; as I've said, that's a dime-a-dozen stance to take. Now earn your righteous indignation and channel it into actually winning the election through the whole party.
Obama Coddled the Bankers
by Deacon Blues
The Obama administration, and specifically his first Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner were in the tank for the nation’s banks. Even though the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) was created under Hank Paulson on George W. Bush’s watch, most of the regulatory and enforcement actions in the aftermath of the great recession were a creation of the Obama administration and his economic team. And their record in holding the nation’s banks and financial institutions accountable for their roles in crashing the mortgage and financial sectors is damn near criminal.
Don’t believe me? Then why are the largest Wall Street firms like Chase and Goldman Sachs getting a slap on the wrist, while Geithner’s Treasury Department made sure that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were never allowed to retain their post-bailout profits? You could argue that both agencies had no right to any “profits” after they were bailed out by the taxpayers, except that both agencies had already paid back their bailouts at the time Geithner secretly changed the bailout agreement to siphon off new profits that could have been used by Fannie and Freddie to recapitalize and get back into the mortgage market, and help eliminate the housing debt overhang that still dampens the economy to this day.
Instead, Wall Street got what it wanted: a crippled Fannie and Freddie no longer freely able to compete with private lenders, no HARP programs that actually required the private lenders to help millions underwater on their mortgages, and of course no perp walks for bank CEO’s.
Forget It, McCrory
by Deacon Blues
A pathetic, little man, North Carolina's Republican Governor Pat McCrory, worked with his bigoted and discriminatory GOP legislative fellow travelers to push through an anti-LGBT law in the dead of night several weeks ago. When he got busted for signing the rushed-through law, and faced a predictable backlash from his business community, he lashed out and accused his opponents of smearing him and his fellow travelers, even though it was he who abused his powers to favor the fringe.
In typical little man GOP fashion, McCrory tried to undo some of the damage today by issuing an executive order directing that state employment and discrimination policies not reflect the recently-signed anti-LGBT law. In other words, it's still OK in McCrory's North Carolina to target the LGBT community; now please let us have our tourism and conventions back, please.
No dice, slimeball.
Since McCrory feels this is a "solution", companies, entertainers, and the tourism/convention business should now make the full commitment to abandon North Carolina. Likewise, the Obama administration should hit the state and its higher education system with whatever it can. State Democrats should suggest that the state GOP replace the lost revenue with as many right-wing, fringe, evangelical events as they can find. Let the evangelical churches and their flock make up the lost revenue.
Let McCrory and his cronies explain to the cities and counties what happened to their economies and tax bases by his pandering to the fringe. And let Little Pat and the Zealots stand in the bright sunlight during this fall's reelection campaign and explain why North Carolina needs another four years of such enlightened leadership.
Getting Ready to Bolt
by Deacon Blues
Mark my words, and I've said this before: Donald Trump will bolt the Republican Party if he is denied the nomination. He's talking this way right now, as he realizes that he wasn't prepared to actually capture the delegates he mistakenly thought he was winning all these weeks. He's already broken his "pledge", and as he loses more and more of what he thought were his committed delegates, he will leave the GOP process. And he'd do it knowing that he would take a large number of people from the GOP column with him.
The big question is whether he will do this before, or during the Cleveland convention in July.