H2O Man's Journal
Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 07:49 PM
Number of posts: 56,096
Number of posts: 56,096
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One of the more interesting dynamics on DU:GDP is found in the discussions of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “server” and e-mails. To the left are found many who believe that Hillary is very likely to be indicted; to the right are found those who insist the FBI’s investigation is yet another 1990’s republican attack on all things Clinton. I suspect that the truth lies somewhere else, and not necessarily “in the middle” of those polar viewpoints.
No thinking person can deny that there were “mistakes” made, including dealing with information that was of the nature known as “classified.” Likewise, only the brain-dead would deny that the rabid republican right engaged in a hostile program to smear both Bill and Hillary Clinton throughout President Clinton’s years in office.
Like everyone else here, I can only speculate on what the outcome of the FBI’s investigation may be. I suspect it will not be either Hillary being led away in handcuffs, or the FBI concluding the entire controversy was a 1990’s master-plan by republicans in the House of Mis-representatives. Of course, I could be 100% wrong, and both results could occur simultaneously.
I suspect the most likely outcome will be that the investigation will conclude there was some wrong-doing, and some people -- other than Hillary -- will be identified as being responsible. It may be that one or more will be charged. Or that no one will face any criminal charges.
Thus, I would think that a more relevant conversation for our consideration would be what the impact of this scenario would be, should Hillary be our party’s nominee.
Posted by H2O Man | Sun Mar 20, 2016, 10:59 AM (222 replies)
“Old man, look at my life
I’m a lot like you were.”
-- Neil Young
I attempt -- at least once a day -- to look objectively at the Democratic primary process, and evaluate how it will impact the Democratic National Convention …..which will then impact the presidential election in November. This morning, on Face Book, I saw a picture from the 1968 DNC in Chicago, with the saying: “This is what happens when you refuse to listen to the People.” Moments later, I started reading DU:GDP. Yikes!
It’s often said that DU does not represent the Democratic Party. That’s not entirely true. Certainly, it does not represent the sum-total of our party. Nor is it the only thing that represents it. But it does represent a couple significant groups within the larger party. For example, the forum DU:GDP represents the thinking and values of both Bernie and Hillary supporters.
Last night, I was able to listen to an interesting conversation while driving home after picking up my older daughter from her school. Her high grades, along with my financial status, allow her to attend a private university for a fraction of what she’d be charged by the state university system. Also in the vehicle was my oldest son, a graduate from the state university system, who is under-employed in a local factory; he owes a lot on his college loans.
All four of my children support Bernie Sanders. (Three are currently in college full-time; two of these work part-time, to get by.) Both daughters are truly afraid that Donald Trump might be elected president. Of the “Sanders for President” club at the younger one’s school, she estimates that over 50% will vote in the general election, even if Hillary is the nominee.
At the older sister’s school, she said very few of the Bernie-supporting students will vote if Hillary is the party’s nominee. She finds this frustrating, and unacceptable. In part, she believes this is because some of the students are mere fad-participants; while others simply believe Hillary Clinton to be part of the corrupt system they reject. My daughter believes that a Trump presidency poses so many dangers, that it has to be prevented, even if it involves voting for the lesser of two evils.
Her brother pointed out that the biggest stumbling block that will prevent everyone joining in a “big tent” effort to stop Trump would be Hillary, if she were to win the nomination. I said that there were potential difficulties with Bernie as candidate, too -- the truth is that most of the establishment will oppose his being elected. For, regardless of if they are socially-liberal Democrats, or conservative republicans, the establishment allows places money as their number one voting priority.
The two of them discussed the strengths and weaknesses of Bernie and Hillary, without a single insult or attack upon either candidate, or each other. Neither attempted to score cheap debaters’ points. They stuck to facts, opinions, and values. It can be done!
But it doesn’t seem to be a common feature on DU:GDP. Rather, this forum is a microcosm of the larger society’s divisions, which are rapidly becoming more entrenched. Our “differences” with each other are surely at least as important a factor in discussions here, as our beliefs about each candidate. More, neither Bernie nor Hillary can fully repair the damage being done today. Every politician would like to be a popular, unifying figure, of course. But it is evident that there are many here who will not support the nominee, if it isn’t the candidate they currently support. That holds equally true on both sides.
Just as DU:GDP is representative of parts of the Democratic Party, the three people in my vehicle last night are, too. It does not appear that DU:GDP can serve as a vehicle for uniting people behind a common goal -- or set of goals -- at this time. But maybe both sides could reduce the tensions, by at least acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of both of the candidates.
Posted by H2O Man | Sat Mar 19, 2016, 12:22 PM (47 replies)
“Expert, texperts choking smokers
Don’t you think the joker laughs at you?”
-- John Ono Lennon; I am the Walrus.
I have a simple, two-part question for all DU:GDP enthusiasts who would be willing to take a minute to respond. I ask this in a sincere manner, and I am convinced that if community members give an honest answer, it will provide a picture of how very differently we view “politics.”
The two-part question is based on the possibility that the November election will pit Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton against republican candidate Donald Trump. It is not to determine who you would vote for, or who you believe would win. There are more than enough OP/threads dealing with those topics already.
If the contest is between Clinton and Trump, who do you believe the Bush family will be supporting? Why?
I ask these two simple questions, not to focus on the general election. Rather, I am curious about people’s level of understanding of what factors come into play in the two party’s primary contests.
Thank you for your consideration.
Posted by H2O Man | Fri Mar 18, 2016, 12:10 PM (156 replies)
One of the most important issues to consider in a national election is “international affairs.” Much like “domestic affairs” -- with which there is significant overlap -- the manner in which a US President, and his/her team, approaches the rest of the world influences the quality of life in America. However, it influences different groups of US citizens in very different ways. Too often, in my humble opinion, we are provided -- by the candidates, their campaigns, their opponents, and the media -- to a highly inaccurate picture of the impact of foreign affairs.
Perhaps the single best resource for illustrating the different impact that foreign affairs has on various people in the US is found in Vincent Bugliosi’s 2008 classic, “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.” He contrasts the pain and suffering of thousands of American families -- as well as Iraqi families -- with the obscene, glib behavior of a president who enjoyed watching violence from afar.
Clearly, the manners in which Americans experienced the war in Iraq is distinct. In the layers between those dealing with the tragic, and a president who was clearly sexually aroused by gore and bloodshed, there were many raking in millions of dollars -- even billions -- from this unprovoked invasion of a weak foreign nation.
One of the things that both Barack Obama, in 2008, and Bernie Sanders, in 2016, have spoke of in their campaigns is that then-Senator Hillary Clinton voted to give George W. Bush and Dick Cheney the power to invade Iraq militarily, in a vote that ended any chance that the UN Inspectors could have completed their study, and documented that there were no WMDs in Iraq. Both point out that it’s essentially an issue of “judgment.”
That is true. However, to be fair, despite knowing better, a heck of a lot of other Democrats in Washington, DC -- in theory there to represent you and I -- cast the exact same vote. Again, to be fair: most of those Democrats were simply spineless cowards, concerned only with maintaining the comfort of their elected office. And, they refused to step up and oppose the President …..and those interests that were intent upon exploiting the war for massive financial gain.
I believe that in other elected Democrat’s defense, it could be accurately attributed to “political ideology” -- as much as to “judgment,” and more so than cowardice. And that brings us to a split among Democrats, that began in 1967, and has continued until this day. We rarely talk about it here on DU:GDP, and the few times it has been, the discussion soon degenerates into name-calling.
Even in discussing it here, in as factual a manner as I can, it is possible some people will react with an emotional post. I think passion about politics is great, so long as it doesn’t involve insults and name-calling. For, as the great Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- a gentleman who celebrated St. Patrick’s Day -- is often quoted: “You have the right to your own opinion, but not your own facts.”
I have mixed feelings about Senator Moynihan. Actually, much like Ted Kennedy, I think he was a good fit in the US Senate, but I’m glad he never became president. I say that as a life-long Kennedy Democrat. I think it’s fair to believe that even within our party, there are not only people with different talents, but times that call for specific candidates. No one should be called a “disloyal” party member for thinking in this manner. No one.
Speaking of Senator Moynihan, he was a neoconservative. This allowed him to function in both Democratic and republican presidential administrations equally well. Now, my accurately referring to old Daniel Patrick as a neoconservative might cause an emotional response in some here. This is largely due to a specific, republican cluster of neoconservatives that served under several recent republican presidents. And those fellows -- for example, Dick Cheney -- had the same neoconservative ideology, but were obviously far more aggressive about threatening to, and using, the military.
To understand the beginning of neo-conservatism, one needs to learn about two events that ignited it within the Democratic Party in 1967. The first was Dr. Martin Luther King’s combining of the civil rights and anti-war movements, in his April 4 speech at the Riverside Church. That’s the primary domestic issue. The international event was the Six Day War in the Middle East. Again, Dr. King spoke of the conflict between advocating a non-violent approach to dispute resolution domestically, while advocating massive military strikes and interventions to resolve conflicts abroad.
That was among several major divisions within the Democratic Party. It wasn’t the only one, of course. But it is one that is still present today, and is creating a serious divide within our party in the form of the primary contest. The simple truth is that, under the umbrella of the Democratic Party, there are different ideologies, and very different value systems. And it includes very different understandings of the many connections between US foreign and domestic policy. These include everything from domestic unemployment and international trade policies, to trying to reduce gun violence in the US, while selling weapons, directly or indirectly, to nations and other groups. It includes renewable energy and foreign wars that never end.
Neoconservatism simply means a liberal domestic policy, with a strong military “defense” around the globe, with a special relationship to one nation in the Middle East. And it has included an on-going focus on Central America since 1981.
The Bernie Sanders campaign advocates a combination of a strong national defense -- it is really foolish to argue that any candidate doesn’t -- but with more emphasis on non-violent dispute resolution. Simply put, warfare should be the last option.
For many good, intelligent Democrats, Bernie Sanders has not adequately addressed some foreign policy issues. This is a valid concern, and one we should be able to discuss like rational human beings.
For many good, intelligent Democrats, Hillary’s past actions, and current positions, have convinced them that as president, she would continue the machine’s aggressive military policies. This is a valid concern, and one that we should be able to discuss like rational human beings.
Thanks for reading an old man’s ramblings. I hope that people will consider this worthy of a serious discussion.
Posted by H2O Man | Thu Mar 17, 2016, 05:59 PM (24 replies)
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
-- Declaration of Independence; July 4, 1776.
At the time of the American revolution, about a third of the colonists supported the Patriots, another third were Loyalists, and the remaining third were neutral. I find myself thinking of this today, while reviewing the outcome of yesterday’s primaries. Especially so, when I read comments by my good friends who support Hillary Clinton, who are convinced that we -- the Sanders revolutionaries -- should recognize that in several primaries, Bernie is “only” getting a third of the Democratic votes.
Are we ready to give up? More, are we prepared to throw in with the Clinton campaign? The answer, of course, is, “No. Not even close.”
It’s not that we disagree with their position that, among the “royal families” that rule this country, Hillary Clinton is among the nicest individuals. Hillary doesn’t advocate the brutal treatment of US citizens, in the manner of, say, Donald Trump. Her policies of extreme violence are specifically aimed at foreign people, who refuse to acknowledge the supremacy of the US ruling class.
Other Clinton supporters point out the significance of electing the first female president. This is, for me, the only possible reason to consider supporting Hillary at this time. But when I think back on Margaret Thatcher, the “Iron Lady” of England, I am confronted with the harsh reality that all politicians must be evaluated as individuals, rather than by genitalia-identification. I can say that not a single one of my relatives from the Old Sod found a single advantage under Thatcher’s rule. Quite the opposite.
All credit goes to the Clinton campaign on their victories thus far. Still, we expected them to do better in the southeast/ bible belt. We’ve been fighting on their territory, their home turf. And, truth be told, our side has done much better than anticipated. So much so, that now we are in a much better strategic position -- heading into the stretch leading up to the Democratic National Convention -- than even I had hoped for.
So, no ….we aren’t tired, discouraged, or injured in any way what so ever. No, we are not even thinking of quitting, and falling in behind the establishment candidate. Not even close.
We understand that, due to the unexpected strength of Bernie Sanders’s campaign, something that no Team Clinton supporter anticipated, that we are now confronted not only by the establishment of our own political party, but by the full force of the machine that was intent upon making “Bush vs. Clinton” the main event in 2016. That isn’t going to happen, now, is it?
The Sanders revolution is in the tradition of the patriots in the Revolutionary War. Our struggle is in the spirit of that Declaration of Independence. We really do not identify our friends who are Loyalists to the establishment’s crown as our “enemies.” You are good and sincere people ….but you are confused. You are frightened, and seek the comfort and security that the establishment promises to those who behave as prescribed by the crown.
Our side is only warming up for battle.
Posted by H2O Man | Wed Mar 16, 2016, 12:01 PM (160 replies)
I would like to give an up-date on the “road rage” case, that I have spoken about on DU”GD over the past year and a half. It’s a case where many, many forum members have provided much-appreciated support to my family …..including writing, texting,and calling both the District Attorney and County Judge to demand that the “accused” murderer not be granted bail. We not only far surpassed the county’s previous record for public imput, but the DU community set the bar extremely high.
For those newer DU community members who are unfamiliar with the case, it began on October 27, 2014. My cousin was a passenger in his son’s vehicle. After having breakfast in a local diner, they were on their way to run some errands. Another vehicle started tail-gating them; as it turned out, the driver of that vehicle was enraged that my cousin’s son was driving at 53 mph on a curve on the highway. The young man pulled over to let the fellow go by, and within a minute, that driver would get out and shoot my cousin.
His son got out to try to save his father’s life. Thus, the gunman shot him, fatally. He then attempted to put a bullet into the back of my cousin’s head, but the gun miss-fired. My cousin was able to write the guy’s license plate number down, in the dirt on their back window. He then held his son in his arms, while the young man bled to death.
A half-mile up the road, the gunman threw his pistol towards the river. The following day, the NYS Police were able to recover it from the thick under-brush. The gunman next stopped at a convenience store for a 12-pack, and was on his way. Because he was an off-duty law enforcement officer, he had a scanner in his vehicle. When he learned the police were looking for his vehicle, he decided to go to the nearest State Police headquarters.
There, he told a story -- which the police taped -- in which he claimed the pair had been dogging him, threatening his life, for several days. Thus, he tail-gated them, so he could act in self-defense. The investigators knew that he was lying, and arrested him.
He had been a NYC police officer for 20 years, before being forced to retire. His personal files are sealed. He first became a campus security officer at a local college; he was fired from that position, for bullying behaviors. He then became a part-time guard at the county jail where he currently resides. He also had had at least four similar incidents, three for road rage, in which he pulled out his weapon. (In one, he shot in the direction of teens on a neighboring property, as their noise disturbed him.)
In my family system, my cousin is my brother. My children know him as their uncle. His children know me as their uncle. His parents -- my aunt and uncle -- are extremely close to my children, as are his three sisters. My aunt and uncle are in their mid- to late 80’s. For us, this is not the first time we’ve had a close relative murdered. My aunt and my mother’s brother was murdered in the late 1960’s, after winning a hand of cards in a local bar. Fifteen years later, his oldest son was brutally murdered, over an argument about a ten dollar bag of pot. In neither of those cases was an arrest ever made.
Some of our family were afraid that this thug would skate, because of his law enforcement background. In many areas of the US, I think he would have. But the State Troopers and BCI Investigators here are honest men and women. They find this thug to be repulsive, and they understand how this type of case damages the reputation of police. They have taken the case very seriously, and we couldn’t ask for more on their part.
In some up-dated news, the thug’s wife filed for divorce soon after he was jailed for murder. One of my associates had a casual friendship with the wife. She said her husband was an abusive, violent, controlling thug. She had not dared to leave him, until he was behind bars.
Yesterday, the thug and his attorney informed the Court that he does not want a jury to hear his trial. Previously, he had expressed confidence that he could convince any jury that he had acted in self-defense. I suppose his attorney has been able to break through this guy’s delusional self-confidence.
Personally, I wish he had the decency to simply plead guilty. But he has no decency. The trial, which is scheduled to begin next month, will end one chapter of this case. It cannot, of course, bring about closure. For literally every day, my family feels the loss of a good young man, and for no reason other than this rabid jackass was “angry.”
Here are a couple of links to today’s newspaper reports:
I will, of course, be providing daily reports after court ends.
Posted by H2O Man | Tue Mar 15, 2016, 03:24 PM (49 replies)
Tuesday, March 15, is an important 24-hours in the presidential primary contests. Five states are in play: Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, and Missouri. Both Democrats and republicans will be voting. I hope that tomorrow is a good day for the Democratic Party, with an extremely large voter turn-out.
The contest for our party’s nomination is, no matter who you favor, one of the most intense that we will witness in our life-times. It is not what anyone anticipated a year ago. We all remember the intensity of the 2008 Democratic primary, which eventually led to Barack Obama’s historic presidency. And many of us can recall other primaries and conventions being contested fervently. But none were as important to the future of life in the United States as 2016’s.
Of particular concern to me -- although it has to do with the republican primaries -- is the ever-increasing violence on the part of Donald Trump’s supporters. It is an undeniable fact that the more unhinged of his following believe that his campaign has granted them a license to be violent. Of course, this comes as no surprise to anyone in the DU community. You might be supporting Bernie Sanders, or you might be supporting Hillary Clinton -- it makes no difference -- you’ve seen this coming.
When Trump feigns being a tough guy on stage, and says that he’ll pay the legal fees for anyone charged with “roughing-up” a protester, there’s really only one outcome. That doesn’t mean 100% of the audience is going to engage in an orgy of violence. But it does mean that we are coming closer to it. Crowd psychology comes into play.
I remember that John Lennon, during the last tour with The Beatles, had a frightening insight while on stage. When he bend one knee, and dipped his guitar in one direction, the crowd reacted; if he looked in another direction while singing, another section of the crowd reacted. He recognized that it wasn’t a group of individuals any more: the crowd was an organism, and entity. And, despite some performers’ gimmicks, he knew The Beatles no longer had any control over the crowd. Indeed, the fact they needed security, to both get on and off the stage, reinforced his understanding that crowds are not easily controlled.
A few years later, of course, Jim Morrison of The Doors conducted fascinating “experiments” with crowds of people who, as individuals, were laid-back, peaceful people. But, as a crowd, they became anything but the vision of “hippies.”
In my own experience, I’ve studied two types of crowds. The first was those who attended boxing matches, both amateur and professional. I’ve seen people behave in totally out-of-control ways, that they would never do as individuals. In fact, after my 329th bout, which was my last, the father of the fellow that I had just easily defeated jumped into the ring, and challenged me to fight him. I was polite, but very firm, in communicating to him as an individual that he didn’t want to go there.
The other example involves public meetings, where people are tense, because important social-economic-political issues are being debated. I still keep both sections of a board that a gentleman broke by hitting me over the head with it. One half includes a piece of an American flag decoration that he had applied to the board, to identify -- in his mind -- what “team” he was on. In recent years, at public hearings about fracking, six people have -- in front of plenty of witnesses -- threatened (or promised) to kill me. (Note: this does not bother me, as I believe that if anyone was serious, he would not warn me.)
When an associate and I were handing out an epidemiological study’s survey, going door-to-door in an upstate New York community, my partner was shocked at the aggressive behavior of several people in an upper-middle class neighborhood. He wanted to get his rifle, quite literally, and stand guard while I continued going door-to-door. He was that intimidated. (Obviously, I would not call upon this associate for further public work. More, he was not the only person to react that way.)
The amount of fear plus hatred that Trump campaign on convinces these gadflies that they have the right and responsibility to “destroy the enemy.” And you know that they hate both Hillary and Bernie. In fact, they hate you as much as they hate me. They have identified you as their enemy, and a threat to their family’s security ….simply because you have decided to vote for a specific candidate, and/or feel strongly about a specific candidate.
We need a huge voter turn-out tomorrow. I don not care if you are supporting Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders …..what is important as that if you live in one of those five states, get out there and make your voice be heard. For in doing so, you are not only supporting one candidate, you are saying “No!” to an aggressive, mutant form of cancer growing within our society. And that is huge. It is essential for our effort to revive our constitutional democracy.
Posted by H2O Man | Mon Mar 14, 2016, 06:01 PM (41 replies)
“Intolerance betrays want of faith in one’s cause.”
-- Mahatma Gandhi
“If we shatter the chains of egotism, and melt into the ocean of humanity, we share its dignity. To feel that we are something apart is to set up a barrier ….. A drop in the ocean partakes of the greatness of its parent, although it is unconscious of it. But it dries up as soon as it enters upon an existence independent of the ocean.”
-- Mahatma Gandhi
Within every community -- from a university campus, to a rural village, to a big city -- there are groups of people who are going to vote for either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in their state’s presidential primary. Now, there are also people who will be supporting a republican, or some other candidate. And people who don’t vote. But today, I’d like to focus on the groups supporting Democratic candidates.
These two groups are largely self-identifying members of the Democratic Party. So that’s another layer of social identity, and one that we generally share. And it allows us, in the age of the internet, to participate within some newly-accessible communities. A good example of that, for me and many others, is the Democratic Underground.
The DU community is of value for several reasons. It can serve as a resource for information, including documented information. One can sharpen their debating skills here, if that’s their thing. You can make new friends, and some really good friends. And, at times, it offers much-needed support.
In October, 2014, an off-duty law enforcement officer, in an unprovoked fit of “road rage,” shot my cousin and his son. My cousin was seriously injured, and endured several surgeries. His son bled to death in his arms, in a gravel parking lot. People here offered me support, and more: as pre-trial hearings approached, this community made more calls, e-mails, and sent letters to both the DA and County Judge. It set a new record for contacts from the community in our county, by more than doubling the old record.
Next month, the trial begins. And I’ll do a daily report on it, on DU:GD. And that’s to thank everyone who helped my family and I. It was the DU community that did so, not the supporters of one candidate, etc.
So, I’m trying to think of something that might be interesting, even of potential value, that includes everyone, without any hostility towards other community members, or either of the candidates and their supporters. It still doesn’t mean everyone likes one another. But that, as community members, we all value some things.
Thus, I hope people will consider answering a few questions: name an issue that you find especially important; tell how you became interested or involved in this issue; and then tell us how you think your candidate might best deal with that issue. Everyone should be able to participate, and contribute something of value, without any need to insult anyone else.
An issue that I am concerned with is the environment. My interest in these issue can be traced, in large part, to some outstanding teachers that I had in grade school through college. I believe that among the many actions that Bernie Sanders will take to help protect the living environment, will be to include traditional Native American leaders in the national conversation. I am confident that the non-Indian public, in electing Sanders, has reached a point where the teachings of the Elders -- the Faith-Keepers, the Wisdom-Keepers, the Fire-Keepers, and the Clan Mothers -- has already started taking root. I think that we can again become a constitutional democracy.
Posted by H2O Man | Sun Mar 13, 2016, 03:14 PM (6 replies)
I just read an OP/thread by our good friend cyber, regarding “plants” at the Trump rally. Here is the link to this, which should be read and fully appreciated:
I’d like to talk about this, without appearing to attempt to hi-jack an OP/thread. But I think this is something that is important for both Hillary and Bernie supporters, in the context of our Democratic primary. For while we are engaged in a “family fight” for our party’s nomination, we’ve reached the point where our real enemies are attempting to destroy either of our candidates’ chances of winning in November.
Now bear with me here. Even those Clinton supporters who believe that I am prone to investing in “conspiracy theories” need to listen with an open mind. For this is reality, and well-documented. And each one of our candidates is already the target of powerful parts of the republican party, and one will continue to be, up until Election Day, and their first term in office.
In recent days, republican candidate Donald Trump took some heat for statements at rallies, when he encouraged aggressive behaviors aimed at protesters. Hence, at today’s rally, he was sure to request the protesters were not injured as they were taken out. He then spoke about pressing legal charges against them. Later reports have suggested that some of the protesters were republican plants.
Before we get to what actually took place, and who benefited, I would suggested that anyone interested in the infiltration and disruption of campaigns and campaign events in recent political history, read The Senate Watergate Report. It’s not new. Some people have made careers of doing this type of thing. Still others pursue them from the shadows ….
Trump got some benefit from today’s events. His plan was to have a jolly rally, where he could go on record as saying not to hurt protesters, and to rely upon law enforcement. But it was what followed ….as hoped for by the protesters, and those who hired some of the protesters …..that harms Donald Trump’s campaign, especially if it goes into the general election.
Some may disagree with me on this, but I suspect that Mr. Trump doesn’t react well to people’s challenging his “authority.” In Donald’s delusional thought system, he is The Alpha Dog. So the protesters’ challenges to his rally were able to upset him in a relatively short time.
What I believe upset him the most was the recognition that he can no longer control the crowds that surround him, and attend his rallies. “Crowd behavior” is something that he has never really been confronted with before. He is plenty intelligent enough to understand that he can’t exercise the level of authoritarian control as in his comfort zone.
Now, where were the protesters from? Possibilities include: Sanders-supporters; Clinton supporters; MoveOn; free-agents/ free-thinkers; people opposed to racism; and supporters of other republican candidates. The truth is that there was at least one person there from each group; and several people there from one of those groups. Guess which one?
So who is responsible for having the republican plants there, you ask? Great question! So glad that you asked. Let’s consider the possibilities: Ted Cruz & Co? Marco Rubio’s team? Maybe John Kasich’s troops? No. Even if they had the resources, they didn’t have the authority at this time.
In early 2016, the republican elders began meeting to try to identify how to have one of their boys win the nomination. The Bush family’s council of wise men had been discredited -- not only by Junior’s mis-administration -- but especially in light of Jeb’s tragic campaign. Others have equal, or greater, influence.
The elders “okayed” a coordinated approach, which they continue to up-date. They tell the three candidates what they can and cannot do. Hence, we see Rubio advise voters to go for Kasich in Ohio, as the best way to stop Trump. And they also have outsourced the disruption of Trump’s campaigns to reliable outfits.
As the disruption unfolds, people are watching it, unaware of the many levels upon which it is unfolding.
Be aware of this type of thing. It will be happening on a much higher frequency, between now and summer.
Posted by H2O Man | Sat Mar 12, 2016, 09:50 PM (24 replies)
“Whatever is morally necessary must be made politically possible.”
-- Senator Eugene McCarthy
One of the most important points that I’ve made on DU:GDP is the fact that a political insurgency measures its progress and success in very distinct terms from a political campaign. Hence, the supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are watching the same results in their primary and caucus contests, and interpreting them in very different ways. These differences -- which are rooted in very different values -- can make it hard to engage in meaningful discussions.
A political campaign is based solely upon the interpretation of numbers. In terms of a presidential primary, it counts delegates; in a presidential general election, it looks for a winning combination of states to reach the winning number of delegates. This should not be mistaken for a slight upon that process, for the ability to win these contests is both an art and a science. When we consider the examples of John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, we can see that the bar has been set very high.
An insurgency also includes numbers. This is true in both types of political insurgencies in presidential races. Let’s consider the examples provided by Jesse Jackson’s two runs in the Democratic Party’s primaries. In 1984, Jesse ran a symbolic insurgent campaign. His goal was to highlight the large numbers of progressives in our party, so that the establishment candidates would feel pressured to reach out to them.
However, although Jesse would win over 20% of the popular vote, the establishment’s rules resulted in his having 9% of the delegates. This allowed Walter Mondale to largely take Jackson and his supporters for granted at the Democratic National Convention. Jesse did give an inspirational speech, but everything he spoke of was completely ignored during the fall campaign. Mondale thus lost an election that he could have, and should have, won.
Thus, in 1988, Jesse again entered the Democratic primaries. He again ran an insurgency campaign; the difference was that this time, it wasn’t merely symbolic. Jesse recognized that there was a possibility he could win the party’s nomination. And during the primaries, it became apparent that he actually might win.
There was a growing shift in the American public’s perception, which nourished the insurgency. Thus, the establishment candidates’ campaigns got together in private, to decide how to prevent a Jackson win. This was basically what the republican establishment has hoped to do, in regard to Donald Trump. Thus, it became a competition between Jesse’s Rainbow Coalition and the establishment’s candidate, Michael Dukakis.
When Dukakis got the nomination, he turned his back on Jackson and his supporters. The Democratic Party’s establishment was convinced that they could take progressives for granted, a foolish miscalculation. More, because Jesse had gotten support from some grass roots republicans, the Dukakis campaign believed they could invest the resources that should have been used to appeal to the Democratic Left, to instead try to gain republican support in the general election. As a result of establishment politics, our party lost in a humiliating defeat.
That same shift in public perception is taking place today. My good friend BigBearJohn has nailed it in a couple of OP/threads in the past day, most notably here:
In the past week, I have been encouraged to hear from family, friends, and associates who are expressing surprise by the very real changes they are seeing firsthand. There are common features, from what they see and hear at public meetings, at work, in diners, gas stations, and more. People are waking up to the realization that the very things which Bernie Sanders has been talking about are true. That the political and economic corruption that has damaged our democracy is harming the lives of them and their loved ones.
More, they are becoming consciously aware of the fact that they do have the power to help bring about meaningful change. And that the needed change cannot, and will not, come about by way of the establishment’s “business as usual” approach.
This is a historic movement. It is that “revolution in values” that Martin Luther King advocated in 1967-68. And it is taking place right before our very eyes. Indeed, I am confident that many of our friends who have sincerely supported Hillary Clinton are beginning to perceive it now, taking form behind the fog of establishment politics and media misinformation and disinformation.
Lamh foisneach abu!
Posted by H2O Man | Sat Mar 12, 2016, 11:51 AM (7 replies)