Let’s unpack that a bit, starting with the state of play among our Republican friends.
We are not the first to notice, but it is worth underlining that not one single national pundit has correctly called the Rise of Trump. So why on earth should anybody think that those now predicting The Fall of Trump are anywhere near reality? Nobody knows nuthin’.
We do know Trump will sweep Nevada tomorrow in the GOP caucuses. And next Tuesday, barring a Cruz-inspired Divine Intervention, Trump will also take the biggest bite of, if not all, the booty in the March 1 Super Tuesday primaries. The math here is pretty clear. Neither Father Cruz nor Baby Rubio have a prayer of beating Donald so long as they both stay in the race—and neither one is going anywhere anytime soon.
Further, there is no tangible evidence that if one dropped out, the rest of the Republicans would somehow coalesce around the lone survivor and quash Trump. Nor is there any evidence that the 30-35% level is Trump’s ceiling. Though he uses a classic quasi-fascist appeal: ultra nationalism, pro-torture, pro-military expansionism, a patronizing and authoritarian tone laced with rabid xenophobia, Trump appeals just as much to “moderate” and lamestream Republicans as he does to fringies and the mentally challenged.
By the way, this was also the case with classic European authoritarian movements leading up to and through WWII. Yes, they sprouted in sweaty, proletarian beer halls, but once they blossomed they were readily embraced by small business owners, middle class professionals, and eventually the financial elites.
A couple of hard non-negotiable takeaways for the moment:
- The American media has never before hit such a debasing low. It’s so called “objective” ethics of he said / she said “reporting” have served to completely whitewash and mainstream the pro-torture, racist and belligerant fringe politics of Mister Trump. Hope Donald doesn’t have any rectal exams scheduled soon as the proctologist would panic finding the crowd of reporters living up there deep inside. This is felonious behavior and I will revert to Spanish in addressing the media: me cago en su plato!
- George W. Bush left the GOP a zombie party. Trump has now shot it in the head. The Republican Party has been defeated from within even if, God Forbid, Trump becomes president. It’s dead as a national force. Who knows what its walking corpse will do.
What Should Bernie Do?
Now, about those Democrats. If anybody thinks that their party is not just about as dysfunctional and brain dead as the GOP, they are probably members of the DNC or have simply overdosed on Blue Kool-Aid.
It was disappointing to see Sanders not win Nevada but then again as recently as three or four months ago nobody would have even considered him a contender. He came in with 45% of the vote after Senator Harry Reid—who IS the Nevada Democratic Party—got nervous and at the last minute pushed the powerful Culinary Workers Union to (indirectly) mobilize the troops for Hillary. Fair enough. But note that Clinton’s victory was anything but overwhelming, a 53 to 48% finish that means the race was decided by 3 percent of the caucusers. Sanders came closer than Obama did in 2008 in Nevada.
The consequences are far more dramatic. Losing Nevada and facing certain defeats in South Carolina and in most of the states in the round of primaries running to March 15, Sanders has no credible or visible path to victory. Always the odds-on favorite, Clinton will be the nominee. If she had lost Nevada, things might have been more iffy. But she didn’t.
So, now what? Should Sanders drop out, “unify the party” and start stumping for Madame Secretary.
Hell, no! (I think this is the second time I have quoted former tobacco lobbyist John Boehner.) Sanders’ candidacy revealed a very deep and generational fissure in and around the Democratic Party that must be taken very seriously. Put simply, about 40 percent of Democrats and potential Democratic voters (not the same thing), for better or for worse, cannot stand Hillary Clinton and what she stands for. They are not members of the VRWC who think Clinton shot Vince Foster and who forced Bill Clinton to not have sex with that girl…er ..woman.
These folks, disparaged as Bernie Bros and Berners (and now as racist xenophobes), are liberals, progressives, and radical Democrats who object to the neo-liberal AND neo-conservative policies that both Clintons have infused into the party. The Democrats have always had a more liberal minority uncomfortable with its official leadership and they often find a weak protest candidate that lasts a few weeks every presidential cycle.
That division, however, has reached critical mass; thanks to the shit economy we are living in (better since 2008 but still shit), the shrinkage of the future, the continuation of war in the Middle East, and the general fecklessness of the Democratic Party.
That means that the unanticipated vigor of the Sanders campaign is not your run of the mill once every four years symbolic protest vote (that usually tops out at 5% or less). It is as serious as a small heart attack, a symptom of real malaise, and left untreated will eventually kill off the patient…in this case, the Democratic Establishment.
This cycle has already seen the destruction of the GOP as we know it. Arr Democratic lemmings also now excitedly rushing toward the cliff as they don their Ready for Hillary T-Shirts? Probably!
The Sanders insurgency is all about the future, what the rising generation sees as its future, who and what it sees as its political representative and what it says about the next 10 years of the Democratic Party. I am willing to stick my neck out and say this much: If Hillary Clinton is elected President, she will be the LAST president to come out of the party machine. She has had to use ALL of the power, money, influence, and connections accumulated over the last 25 years to beat a Jewish socialist from Vermont who has no power, machinery or network.
The instinct of the Clinton camp will be to continue mocking the Bernie Bros and gloating over their coming “victories.” Suicidal. Their time would be better spent digesting the fact that a lot of those Sanders votes do not organically belong to Clinton come November even though she is going to need them. Those who like Hillary and who like being a Democrat (two things I do not understand very well) better start playing nice with the Berners. Unless, you are in favor of killing your children only to get yourself eaten by Trump.
And Bernie? No he should not quit. It is important, it is critical and urgent, that he aggregate as much support as he can to bring not only to the convention floor (mostly a TV show) but more importantly into the ranks of political action and activism to change America and to radically change or eventually replace the rotted out Democratic Party.
Hopefully, when the current direction and leadership of the Democratic Party continues to fail bringing the big-time overhaul this country needs, there will be forces there, ready, to step in. Those forces today are housed and incubating inside the Sanders campaign. It’s important they grow and mature and strengthen. Now, more than ever, if Clinton is inevitable, those who object to her policies must demonstrate their strength and extract from her and the party as much as they can and find some way to build a post-election institution independent of the Democratic leadership.
Those who follow me on Facebook have already seen my relentless criticism of the opportunistic relic known as Dolores Huerta. She is a pathetic sycophant to power and does not nearly have the clean record of a civil rights hero that is ascribed to her.
No surprise to me. I expected her to be dug up and used by Hillary. I did not fully expect her to go to the lengths she has to paint Sanders and his supporters as anti-immigrant English Only xenophobes. Total invention and political slander. I’d say shame on her except Dolores has no shame.
I wrote about the total organizational and moral demise of the UFW ten years ago here. A few months later, L.A. Times reporter Miriam Pawel ( a pro union writer) penned a withering reveal on the inner corruption of the UFW that you should definitely read here. Miriam, a terrific reporter, followed up with two great books on the UFW that are Must Reading for anybody who wants real and not sanitized history. Do yourself a favor and buy both books. They are really terrific.
Meanwhile, I left a voice message for Gloria Steinem asking her if she’d mind picking up Dolores and getting her home. She was last seen wandering the Strip alone and chanting Si Se Puede to herself.
You’re at your weekly home game of no limit hold-em and you look at your two hole cards and, boom, they are A A. Pocket Rockets. American Airlines. Bullets. Pocket Aces!
What do you do?
Hint: Don’t smile.
But how hard do you play them to get maximum value? And how do you avoid losing your whole stack to some errant bad beat? Answer at the bottom of the page under the photos.
Hey, if I’m gonna do a newsletter for free I get to promote my daughter as much as I can. Check out her long read for Al Jazeera America on California’s Guantanamo for certain sex offenders. Did you know that sex offenders deemed violent can be held INDEFINITELY even after they have finished their prison sentence and have volunteered for castration? Read all about it.
Maybe we really are a “single-issue” country. What’s the point of debating policies that can never pass a congress dominated by elite money interests? Unless we get big money out of politics we are fooked. Check out this essay by Michael Winship, senior writer for Moyers & Company.
So what about John Kasich? You know him as the friendly Republican Governor of Ohio, the nice guy, upbeat and positive, the first presidential choice for the media, and…. a true moderate. Not! Read this from Washington Monthly.
I spent last weekend in Death Valley to catch the beginning of what promises to be a “superbloom” of colorful wildflowers. It isn’t super yet (might be in a handful of weeks) but it sure was glorious! Here are some of my pics from the shoot. You can see all of them and many more from everywhere on my Flickr pages.
Poker Quiz Answer
Short answer. Raise it up to narrow down the callers but don’t get carried away and telegraph your hand. I like to have one or maximum two callers. After that it gets too scary and unpredicatble. Also, know when you are beat and don’t cling to the Aces. In the end, they are just one pair. And a donkey who called with trash can hit two or the flop or a set (three of a kind). When you have AA pre-flop you are about a 75% favorite to win. That means there’s still many ways to get beaten. Here’s the complete answer.
See you in a few days.