Florida Gubernatorial Primary: The Morning After

I voted for Gwen Graham in yesterday’s primary. My husband voted for Andrew Gillum, who won in an upset that, in hindsight, we should have seen coming.

Levine and Graham split what might be called the center-left vote, and two billionaire vanity candidates sucked up 14% or so of the Democratic votes. In that context, Gillum’s win isn’t that much of a shocker.

I am not a moderate, so why did I go with the more centrist candidate? Fear, to be honest. As I’ve said ad nauseum, Florida is a microcosm of America, with coastal liberal enclaves and a red interior. Read more

Keep Hating Yourself

From my inbox:

WASHINGTON – Today, the Democratic National Committee announced moderators for the DNC’s Future Forum series, which will feature candidates for DNC Chair and other DNC offices.
The third DNC Future Forum, which will take place in Detroit, Michigan, on Saturday, February 4 at Wayne State University Community Arts Auditorium, will be moderated by Ron Fournier of Crain’s Detroit Business.

A Democratic party that has anything to do with Ron Fucking Fournier after his years of trolling, bitching and whining about every goddam thing that the Obama administration did, not to mention his role as GWB’s chief toady in the media, is a Democratic Party that isn’t ready to win an election.

I’m so fucking disgusted I can’t write another god damned word.

Update: Zach was fucking right.

Bayh Humbug

This is intriguing especially as it moved a reach race into a toss-up race for Democrats.

I was just looking at the 2018 Senate Map and it is not as fugly as I thought it had been. There are five red state Democratically held seats up (Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, and West Virginia) and a few swing state seats (Florida, Ohio, Virginia) that would be vulnerable in a lean Republican year. An unexpected seat in Indiana from 2016 would be a nice cushion.

Secondly, what do we know about Bayh — he is an opportunist, a weather vane, and conventional wisdom Very Serious Person. And those are his good qualities.

If he is willing to jump into a race that should be an uphill climb in a neutral environment, the opportunist as a concurrent indicator means things are looking good in November.

The Primary, Again

I was rambling on about twitter earlier, developed my thoughts, and thought I would share. I think the major part of why this election is so frustrating for me is that neither of the candidates excite me the way Barack Obama did in 2008. Everything about that election was just magical to me- I still remember sitting in the hotel room at the conference I was attending on election night with my boss, and we were drinking and hooting and hollering every time another state went for him.

There was just something there in the man that just seemed larger than the times, and that exists to this day. I hope I am wrong, but deep down i don’t think I am ever going to feel that way about a candidate again. He was, in full dork speak, my Neo. I would crawl over broken glass for the man, and still would. Mind you, his record is not perfect. From my perspective he’s been pretty bad on a few issues, but when I balance that with how far we have come, and the grace and dignity with which it has been accomplished in the face of a worthless cowed media, backstabbing blue dogs, and a sociopathic opposition party, and I still marvel at what has happened these past eight years.

I love documentaries, and I often sit and play them like one would a podcast or the radio while I am working, and one that I play quite frequently is Ken Burns on the Roosevelts. I was a newly minted Democrat when Obama took the stage, and he made me a Democrat for life. The same can be said of Obama about me as can be said about the people, now dying off, who still have pictures of FDR in their living rooms.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Bernie, and I think I like the Hillary that isn’t media managed and shielded from me with a screen of bullshit from her sycophants, and I love listening to Al Franken and Sherrod Brown and Zephyr Teachout and Elizabeth Warren up there busting the balls of big banks, but they aren’t Obama to me and never will be.

Having said that, I also get that there are a lot of people out there who feel the same way about Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton that I felt and feel about President Obama, so I try not to be too much of a dick about the nonsense that gets spewed. You can decide whether or not I have succeeded, but if you decide I haven’t, just think about this- I am actively holding back most of the time when I talk about these campaigns. The Bernie Sanders supporters can be some of the most irritating human beings on the planet, as if they took every annoying fucking trait of the Paulites and said to themselves- “Let’s take this to eleven.” Likewise, the thick slime of the permanent Clinton advisors, who will literally say anything, even if it defies all logic and reason, makes me want to gag at times. I think the utter gibberish her supporters spew is also one of her best attributes- she can command such a loyal following that they will willingly debase themselves publicly in support of her. That’s loyalty. And in politics, that is useful and EXTREMELY valuable.

I think the thing that makes me jaded, though, and again, this is just me blabbing, is that I don’t feel like I had to make things up to be outraged about when defending Obama. People were really doing the things that pissed me off. People who should know better were saying outrageous things. I didn’t need to make things up to appear offended about- there was so much offensive shit being launched at Obama that you couldn’t keep up with it.
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Spare Me, DWS

Hillary’s DNC embed, Debbie Wasserman Schultz:

Do you notice a difference between young women and women our age in their excitement about Hillary Clinton? Is there a generational divide? Here’s what I see: a complacency among the generation of young women whose entire lives have been lived after Roe v. Wade was decided.

You’re one of a dwindling number of progressive politicians who oppose legalization of even the medical use of marijuana. Where does that come from? I don’t oppose the use of medical marijuana. I just don’t think we should legalize more mind-altering substances if we want to make it less likely that people travel down the path toward using drugs. We have had a resurgence of drug use instead of a decline. There is a huge heroin epidemic.

I don’t talk about my daughter much, but this is the first Presidential election where she can vote.  She and her politically engaged female friends are supporting Bernie Sanders.  In the words of one of her friends:  “what’s the difference between Hillary and a Republican?” Granted, that’s an overstatement, and it’s also a small sample, but I think it’s possible to imagine that there are a few other young women whose lack of excitement about Hillary could possibly be due to engagement with the political process, not complacency. And, yes, they know what Roe v Wade is, and why it’s important. Could she be any more condescending to the young voters that Democrats need to turn out in big numbers?

Hillary is a wee bit to the left of DWS’ retrograde position on marijuana.  Even so, I can see why Sanders is more appealing to young women (and men) on that issue.  DWS 70’s-era “marijuana is a gateway to heroin” position, coupled with a grudging acceptance of medical marijuana, might play well with her senior citizen constituents, but it’s a sad joke to a generation that recognizes, correctly, that alcohol is a more dangerous drug than pot. 71% of them support legalization.

Another couple of bricks in the wall from the political numbskull responsible for the limited number of Democratic debates, and the positioning of those debates at times where they won’t be watched.

(via Kevin Drum)

Gitmo Closure, Redux

I want Steve M. to be wrong here about Dems chickening out on accepting Syrian refugees, but given the repeated history of Dem cowardice on closing Gitmo, I don’t think he is.

And if this can’t be legally blocked by governors, the courts, or a Republican Congress, I’m predicting raw George Wallace-style resistance by the governments of the Southern states especially — or, perhaps, confrontations involving angry True Patriots with AR-15s. As I’ve said before, I lived through busing in Boston. I know how ugly this sort of thing can get if at least some of the people holding government power reject the rule of law.

We’ve been through this sort of thing before in the Obama years. The president wanted to close Guantanamo, send some of the detainees to stateside penal facilities, and conduct trials in New York City. The backlash was fierce, and no one had his back — and please recall that this was in 2009 and early 2010, when his party had large majorities in Congress. (The mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg, who’d endorsed Obama in 2008, ultimately stabbed him in the back on this.)

When Obama’s opponents have an ideal opportunity to prey on voters’ fears, they’ll do it, relentlessly. So this is going to be a losing battle for the White House.

I don’t doubt President Obama will find a way to get something done on this, but it’s not going to be pretty.  Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire didn’t hesitate to crap out, presumably to help her Senate chances next year, even though the State Department has taken in refugees since 9/11 without problems.

So what happens?  Hearings?  Legislation tacked on to must-pass bills?  I’m not sure, but what I’m not seeing is Democrats in Congress backing the President’s position on this.  And that makes me think it’s possible that this turns into trying to close Gitmo all over again.

But betting on Democrats not named Obama to have moral courage in the face of rampant Islamophobia has already been a loser for the last seven years.  You’ll forgive me if I think it’s not a solid bet this time around, either.

[UPDATE] If this poll that Greg Sargent brings up is any indication, it’s that Islamophobic assholery in the US hasn’t changed too much in 14 years.

A major new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute suggests these GOP lawmakers and candidates may be reading the mood of the overall public — and GOP voters in particular — with dispiriting accuracy.

The poll finds that Americans overall agree by 56-41 that the values of Islam are at odds with American values and the American way of life. Meanwhile, Americans are almost perfectly split on the value of immigration: 47 percent say immigrants strengthen the country with hard work and talent, while a depressingly high 46 percent say they are a burden on the U.S. because they take jobs, housing and health care. The CEO of PRRI tells religion writer Sarah Posner that the findings show an “increased xenophobic streak” among the American public overall.

So yeah, this is not going to be a good time for refugees.

Goose Eggs

Yeah, Richard Mayhew is probably right about why Bevin won, because Kynect/Medicaid wasn’t a factor to voters.

You want to know why it wasn’t a factor to voters?

Big ol goddamn goose egg, that’s why.

You can feel all the sympathy you want for people who voted against their self-interest here in the Bluegrass State, but considering Conway was too busy telling people how awful Obama is, he gets a big chunk of the blame too.

Democrats.  Who Run Away.  From Obama.  Lose.

Why is this so goddamn hard for people to understand?