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Both Sides Redux

Donald Trump is a racist. He’s a liar and a fraud. He’s an ignorant, arrogant, uncurious, vicious, juvenile, petty douchebag.
The idea that he could possibly be considered for the office of president while dragging behind him gangs of venal hypocrites, Christopathic theocrats, science deniers, gun nuts and Klansmen is both horrifying and deeply disturbing.

Donald Trump must be stopped. And not just by losing the election.
Donald Trump and the entire Republican party must be given an electoral beatdown of epic proportions – chain whipped so severely that the story is used to frighten children.
The party that unified behind him must be curb-stomped and left in the gutter.
It must be made absolutely clear to all who voted for him that such egregious offense to the very idea of political commonwealth – of government itself – will be rejected with the complete and total contempt it deserves.

It is frustrating that the Democrats make stopping him such a disheartening exercise in ethical hypocrisy.

This primary cycle reminded me of all the reasons I preferred Barack Obama in 2008. It also reminded in very profound ways of all the reasons I really don’t like Hillary Clinton.
The same sort of tactics and arrogance; the weaknesses as a general election candidate that made me prefer Obama are all still there, with the addition of new and more significant issues.
Let’s get the stipulations out of the way: Clinton is wicked smart, deeply experienced, absolutely competent and qualified to occupy the office. She is infinitely better than Donald Trump or any other Republican who sought the nomination. She is not Satan.

Clinton also has a very long string of targets trailing behind her that make her, in my view, the weaker Democratic candidate in the general election: Goldman Sachs, the Iraq war vote, emails, Libya, Syria, Honduras, NAFTA/TPP, Bosnian sniper fire…
All of the foregoing in addition to the right wing ratfucking fever dreams (Benghazi et al) that are articles of faith among the Dittohead hordes.
She is viewed as untrustworthy and inauthentic; has higher unfavourable numbers with a majority of voters, and is the least liked candidate in electoral history except for her opponent.
She did, however, win more Democratic primary votes and more states than Bernie Sanders.
Some argue that the primary process was bent from the moment 500+ superdelegates created Hillary’s “insurmountable lead” before a single ballot was ever cast. I’ll leave aside voter registration problems, rule changes, miscounts, coin flips, the refusal of democratic superdelegates in individual states to follow the will of their constituents, and the media alternating between ignoring Sanders or dismissing him with shallow falsehoods about his policies.
Nevertheless, despite having fallen short in the Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders still polls better than Clinton nationally; in swing states; among independents, and puts red states in play. He is viewed as honest and trustworthy by solid majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents. He drives turnout for the Democrats – specifically the possibly significant crowds threatening to stay home, vote third party, or cast a spiteful ballot for Trump. He didn’t take a dime from Wall St., voted against the Iraq war, and isn’t being investigated by the FBI.
He gives anti-establishment Conservatives (for whom Clinton is evil in shoes) an excuse to abandon the ignorant embarrassment leading their party, and also appeals to rust belt Republicans who are angry about the loss of manufacturing and blame Hillary for NAFTA.

I believe the Democratic party is missing an opportunity, as the Republicans nominate a racist jackass with extra-terrestrial hair, to offer an alternative to the status quo that is not only what Americans want but what America desperately needs – one that reflects the ideals the Democratic party claims to represent.

But Bernie Sanders ain’t the nominee.
Fuck. Such a disappointment.
The choice before the voter, then, will be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
“It’s like choosing the noose or the electric chair.”

Welcome to being a Liberal – where the fight never ends, and you never get to win a fucking thing without some retrograde asshole trying to take it away.
It’s time to put down your sippy cup and change your Pampers.
This election is NOT just Hillary or Donald.

Donald brings with him the Freedom Caucus, Paul Ryan’s budget, Inhofe’s snowball and Sarah Palin’s “Drill, baby, drill.” He brings two (maybe four) Supreme Court Justices, all eight paces to the right of Antonin Scalia.
He starts deporting people, banning Muslims, disqualifying judges who rule against him, suing any reporter who asks a question he doesn’t like, and cutting the same sort of crooked deals with China that drove his casinos into bankruptcy.
A belligerent, thin-skinned, narcissistic moron who lavishes praise on sycophants and vitriolic slime on all others. A vacillating buffoon completely confident in the accuracy of his own myopic delusions. A man who uses a presidential debate to talk about his dick and who publicly expresses that, you know, if his daughter weren’t his daughter…

Hillary Rodham Clinton, peace be upon her, brings with her Liz Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Al Franken (he’s good enough, he’s smart enough and people like him), and former President Barack Hussein Obama (you thought he had zero fucks to give now).
If some smug pricks get off their ass and vote, she’ll have a Senate with 56 Democrats in it and a Congress with fewer Republicans, some of whom President Clinton can shiv into line with fear of re-election (“Go ahead – vote against the Clinton infrastructure spending in your home district – see how your constituents like that.”)

Hillary can’t be president forever. What the hell sort of mess are you trying to make for Liz Warren to clean up?
On what moral basis can you shove gays back in the closet, give theocrats the right to inflict bigotry under the guise of faith, destroy health care, education and the environment while enshrining “No taxes for the rich – sink or swim, fuckers” as the governing economic principle for the next four years?
On what basis do you inflict Kansas’ economy, Mississippi’s race relations, Pat Robertson’s curriculum, Louie Gohmert’s abortion laws, Pam Geller’s outreach to Muslims, and the DayGlo orange candidate’s “Climate change is a Chinese hoax” on the country because YOU’RE too fucking pure to vote against Donald Trump?

This argument from moral purity is contemptible, not least because it is premised on a lie.
The predicate assertion is that both parties are equally bad, equally corrupt, and equally uninterested in helping the poor and middle class.
Horseshit.
One party is bent on destroying the poor and middle class. They want to repeal health care, privatize education, end food stamps, eliminate the EPA (the rich can BUY lead-free drinking water) and ban both abortion and education about condoms.
They want an end to Pell grants, contracts for more private prisons, a nationwide crackdown on voter fraud (!), the end of welfare, Social Security and Medicare. They shut down the government with petulant tantrums and threaten to force the country to default on its debts if they don’t get their way.
They openly demand that judges be appointed AND REMOVED based on any ruling that does not comport with their god bothering, gun fetish or freedom to be bigots.
They aren’t rational and they damn sure ain’t adults. They are all lining up behind a man they’re too morally bankrupt to admit is a racist because they’ve been relying on racists since Nixon.
They scuttled the Paris Peace talks; sold missiles to mullahs; ran death squads in Central America; lied about WMD’s; propped up Noriega, Gaddafi and Hussein, and TORTURED people.

Please…show me anything even distantly orbiting equivalent malfeasance by the Democrats.
I’ll wait.
Bill Clinton got a blowjob and lied about it. Hillary wasn’t careful about her email.
You can mewl about her taking cash from bankers and fucking up Libya all you want. None of it comes close to the cracked madness and venal hypocrisy of the GOP over the past 40 years.
“Hillary’s the status quo.”
Damn her. Damn her to HELL.

Are the Democrats too deep in the pocket of Wall St. and the corporate sector? Absolutely.
Is Hillary Clinton likely to sic the SEC on Goldman Sachs? I wouldn’t take any bets.
Trump and the Republicans must be stopped. Period.
I get that you’re too righteous to sully your sparkly moral perch with anything like a vote for Hillary Clinton. But you damn well need to vote against Trump.
It just requires marking the ballot the same way.
Think of it as voting for Obama, again. And for Liz Warren. And WITH Bernie Sanders…who will also vote against Trump.

IF the people who were motivated to engage politics because of Bernie Sanders STAY engaged then, over the course of the next four years…and the next decade, we’ll be able to gain some ground instead of watching every gain of the past eight years rolled back and then some.
And there will STILL be retrograde assholes trying to claw back every inch.
You oppose those rat bastards BY OPPOSING THEM.
Welcome, again, to being a Liberal. Get used to heartbreak and disappointment.
Refusing to vote is not a question of principle. It’s nothing more than surrender under a smug and pretentious facade. YOU are who Hannah Arendt was talking about when she remarked on the banality of evil.
If you’re not in the fight – if you REALLY believe both sides are equally awful and you’re just going to maintain that aura of condescension from the sidelines, at least shut the fuck up. I’m tired of hearing how goddamn clean your hands are.

The Future of the GOP

Barring some hideous event that changes everything between now and Tuesday, it would appear that President Barack Obama will win a second term. This presumes that voting machines in Ohio haven’t been jiggered and Hispanics and blacks are permitted to vote, neither of which are entirely safe bets. Nevertheless, if Nate Silver turns out to be worth his effeminate weight in gold leaf, the GOP will have four more years to try and figure out how to get their vicious junkie hands back on the steering wheel. And there’s the rub.

A goodly chunk of the batshit mad Good Old Party will insist that Mitt Romney wasn’t conservative enough; that if only they’d had a real, bred-in-the-bone Tea Party, Guns, God and ‘Merca Conservative, why, it would have been a landslide.
A rather less crazed faction will, however, recognize that putting Michelle Bachmann on the top of the ticket would best serve one purpose – getting out the Democratic vote and driving every independent voter from the 49th parallel to the Rio Grande to join them. And in this factional divide lies the death of the Republican party. They have no candidate that can possibly win a Republican primary fight and then pivot to appeal to the general electorate. There is no such animal and they have no one to blame but themselves. This is the result of inviting racists, homophobes, Christo-facists, gun nuts, birthers and conspiracy theorists into the big tent; of using Fox News to lie and pander to the mouth breathing, ignorant pig people upon whom they have relied to win every election since Reagan…perhaps all the way back to Nixon.

Look at the slate of candidates they shuffled through in a desperate attempt not to nominate Mitt Romney, each of whom, at one point or another, led the pack and were destined to carry the Conservative banner: Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Perry. That’s not a political primary, it’s a confederacy of dunces!
Some begged for Sarah Palin. Others longed for Chris Christie, but after his praise for President Obama following hurricane Sandy, he’s going to be Excuse #1 why Romney lost and they’ll never forgive him for it. Given that the GOP has collectively managed to pretend that the entire Bush administration never happened, they’ll certainly be able to forget the self-inflicted, fully automatic gaffe strafing with which Mittens peppered himself.

So, who’s left…or rather, who’s right? Bobby Jindal? Tim Pawlenty? Marco Rubio? Jan Brewer? Orly Tate? Rush Limbaugh? Who could possibly be the ultra-Conservative golden child the crazed Republican freaks in tri-corner hats could support, and then make any serious effort at winning a general election?

If you thought this was a particularly strange presidential election, featuring an unprecedented degree of lies, twists and flips, brother…wait and see what rough beast slouches towards 2016.