Archive for Presidential Race

Jan
24

Guess Cruz Is An Acquired Taste

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Guess Cruz is an acquired taste:

One of the Mounties — who refused to give his name or say if he’s even an Iowan, though he insisted he doesn’t represent any campaign or party, Democrat or Republican — also held a sign that read “Ted Cruz Likes Nickelback.”

It’s a sly attack, bordering on obscure. The stars of the oft-maligned Canadian grunge band grew up in Alberta, the same province where Cruz was born.

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Jan
24

Falling in love again

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By Alan Light (Own work by the original uploader) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) orCC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

It is a cliché by now, the observation Bill Clinton once attributed to a friend, “In every presidential election, Democrats want to fall in love. Republicans just fall in line.” But being a cliché does not mean it isn’t true. Mostly. To their great chagrin, the GOP’s base seems to cheating on them by falling in love with Donald Trump.

A flurry of articles in the last 10 days have pointed out both Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’ weaknesses as candidates. They also have their strengths. Those are worth debating on their merits (without rancor, please). But as the cliché suggests, what many don’t acknowledge they really want in an elected leader is a soul mate. As Seinfeld would say, not that there’s anything wrong with that. If that’s what you really want. (Cue Mick Jagger.)

I saw this phenomenon up close at ScruHoo when Heath Shuler ran for re-election in 2010. Progressive readers in the Cesspool of Sin by then had had enough of our Blue Dog and cited a catalog of sins for which they would never forgive him (and certainly would never again vote for him). I got curious. A few weeks later I posted:

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Jan
23

Antics roadshow

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Roadshow_TurtleBaby_t614The National Review’s “dump Trump” edition this week attracted plenty of commentary, including from Digby and Amanda Marcotte. The Republican National Committee, having raised a white flag to Donald Trump, disinvited the National Review from partnering on a February 25 candidate debate in Houston. There is feverish pearl clutching on the pundit circuit, especially in the pages of the Washington Post (being closer to political ground zero than the Times, one supposes).

“A xenophobic and bigoted showman is now the face of the Republican Party and of American conservatism,” writes Dana Milbank. He observes that the Wall Street Journal wrote last July, “If Donald Trump becomes the voice of conservatives, conservatism will implode along with him.” Now the Journal has changed its tune:

A week ago, the Journal reversed course. “Mr. Trump is a better politician than we ever imagined, and he is becoming a better candidate,” the editorialists wrote, speculating that “he might possibly be able to appeal to a larger set of voters than he has so far.”

The establishment Journal has decided to roll with it.

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Jan
22

Fluffer Nutter Palin Butter

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Proving that quote from Peanuts‘ Linus, Ta-Nehisi Coates took Bernie Sanders to task in the Atlantic for failing to support reparations for slavery. When asked in Iowa about the issue, Sanders said he did not support reparations:

“Its likelihood of getting through Congress is nil,” he told Fusion in an interview. “Second of all, I think it would be very divisive.”

Coates questioned why Sanders’ “political imagination is so active against plutocracy, but so limited against white supremacy.” Furthermore:

If not even an avowed socialist can be bothered to grapple with reparations, if the question really is that far beyond the pale, if Bernie Sanders truly believes that victims of the Tulsa pogrom deserved nothing, that the victims of contract lending deserve nothing, that the victims of debt peonage deserve nothing, that that political plunder of black communities entitle them to nothing, if this is the candidate of the radical left—then expect white supremacy in America to endure well beyond our lifetimes and lifetimes of our children.

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Jan
19

Donald the tease

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Donald Trump has a big surprise and Twitter is all atwitter. From Hot Air:

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Jan
12

One more time, with feeling

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President Obama makes his final State of the Union address tonight. Word is his speech will be aspirational, not the usual laundry list of policies that make up such speeches. Whether the aspirational speech will be inspirational is another matter. The Washington Post writes that the speech will attempt to address the “fear and anger” driving both candidates and the 2016 electorate:

To that end, the White House has promised a “non-traditional” speech that, in the president’s words, will cut through the “day-to-day noise of Washington” and celebrate the country’s capacity “to come together as one American family.” Instead of a to-do list of policy proposals that have little chance of passing Congress, he has said he plans to deliver a speech that will describe “who we are” as a nation — or perhaps more accurately, whom Obama, in the last year of his presidency, would like us to be.

Coming together as one American family? That is aspirational. Politico had more background:

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Jan
08

Pushing back the crazy in North Carolina

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There is enough crazy (and crazies) in NC to fill several wildlife refuges. Still, Gov. Pat McCrory is rated one of the most vulnerable Republican governors seeking reelection this fall. With state agencies allegedly dragging their feet over complying with federal voter registration laws, activists are not sitting around waiting for Bernie or Hillary to swoop in and save the day. The North Carolina NAACP and Democracy North Carolina are mounting a multi-pronged get-out-the-vote effort across the state. Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the state NAACP and leader of the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement came to Asheville, North Carolina this week to promote the “It’s Our Time — It’s Our Vote” campaign. The coalition announced the campaign on December 1, the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ protest on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Mountain Xpress reports:

“Others have had their time over past few years to vote on regressive policies. It’s our time now,” Barber commented. “In North Carolina, we have been fighting the worst voter suppression law in the country.” In partnership with other organizations, the NAACP has challenged new voting laws passed in 2013, including voter identification requirements, the elimination of same-day voter registration and the elimination of out-of-precinct voting. Barber asked attendees to spread the word about a July 2015 change in the North Carolina General Assembly statute which allows voting without ID in the case of a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining identification.

“Go and vote,” urged Barber. “The law has not been fully adjudicated. They had to water it down because they knew what they had passed was totally unconstitutional. That came from our efforts and those of our partners.”

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Jan
07

Petty is the new manly

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How is Donald Trump’s enemies list coming? Being a superior businessman, he’ll not want Obama’s FEMA camps to go to waste. Fortunately, with Trump’s rather prodigious enemies list, he won’t lack for people to house in them.

It seems the would-be next leader of the free world somehow got into a Twitter feud with actor Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson told an interviewer for an in-flight magazine that he’s a better golfer than Trump:

Who’s the better golfer?

“Oh, I am, for sure,” Jackson says, then smiles. “I don’t cheat.”

Trump denied having played golf with Jackson.

Then a friend of Jackson’s backed him up:

So then Trump accused the guy he’d never played golf with of cheating at it:

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Jan
06

Not a dime’s worth of difference?

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A couple of articles bring to mind the “lesser of two evils” argument one often hears on the left. That is, from someone who refuses to vote strategically for a candidate they perceive as the lesser of two evils rather than for someone who better represents their (the voters’) true views and aspirations. Or to stay home in protest. Long term, they’d argue, that is voting strategically — if there is ever to be hope of moving the country’s needle left. (Although Peter Beinart argues that’s already happening.)

It seems many Republicans and Democrats face a similar “lesser of two evils” dilemma this year.

Both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump “send shivers down GOP spines,” blares a Politico headline:

One growing worry about Trump or Cruz, top party officials, donors, and operatives across the country say, is that nominating either man would imperil lawmakers in down-ballot races, especially those residing in moderate states and districts.

“At some point, we have to deal with the fact that there are at least two candidates who could utterly destroy the Republican bench for a generation if they became the nominee,” said Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “We’d be hard-pressed to elect a Republican dogcatcher north of the Mason-Dixon or west of the Mississippi.”

He says that like it would be a bad thing.

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