Why we should vote for Hillary in 2016

Someone on another site said he doesn’t know any liberals who WANT to vote for Hillary in 2016 other than the fact that she’s less objectionable to any Republican candidate.I am a liberal, and I will happily pull the lever voting for Hillary in 2016. And I’ll tell you why.

Because she is a woman, and its time we had a female President. Full stop.

Because she is tough and I can’t see Republicans walking all over her like they have Obama for the past six years.

Because I personally like her.

And because she drives Republicans insane. They won’t be able to control themselves, they will go full misogyny. And they will turn off every female voter with half a functioning brain cell, much as they have done so with Hispanics and African-Americans by going full racist the last 6 years. And womenfolk are 51% of the electorate. Republicans will merely engineer their own defeat a decade earlier than they would have.

There are between six and fourteen vulnerable Republican Senators up for re-election in 2016. We need a Democratic wave election to wipe out as many of them as possible. Hillary is beloved by a large swath of the country and really is the only candidate who could create a wave election.

Although a lot of liberals will only vote for her while holding their nose, we all will do so (much as the Republicans voted for Romney) because the alternative of having a Republican appoint additional Scalitos to the Supreme Court is far, far worse.

Yes, if Warren or Sanders had a reasonable shot, I guess they’d be my preferred candidates, but every poll I have seen has them both losing to Generic Republican, while Hillary is able to defeat most Republicans in places like Georgia and Arizona. Neither Warren or Sanders stands a chance in a general election, and I’m sorry, but that’s just how it is right now until the country changes demographically.

When you sacrifice pragmatism (picking the candidate who will most likely win) in favor of ideology (picking the most ideologically pure candidate no matter what), you are going to end up like the Tea Party. Go look at the times that an ideologically pure candidate won their party’s nomination in 1964 and 1972 and 1984. The results have not been pretty. Romney managed to get enough moderates to vote for him in 2012 so that historically he will look like a credible candidate, but imagine if the GOP decided to go full ideology and nominate Santorum. Polls show that Santorum would have lost to Obama by around 10 to 13 points. Romney actually lost by 4. Santorum, had he only lost by 10 would have lost Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska CD2, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In real life, Obama won 332 electoral votes to Romney’s 206. A Santorum “pure ideological” campaign would result in an Electoral Vote count of 411 Obama to 127 Santorum.

When people on here and elsewhere state they want Warren or Sanders to run, they don’t understand how politics and voting works in this country right now. They are unwittingly saying “I want to lose the 2016 election so I can vote for my preferred candidate”, because that’s how winner-take-all elections work. I know this sucks, but you have to vote strategically or your vote ends up being irrelevant and your preferred “perfect” candidate loses.

Now, I’ve presented this argument to the ideologically faithful, especially those that profess to habitually vote third party, and they have always come back with some statement to the effect that if you let Republicans run the government, they will do such a poor job that their preferred candidate or party will win next time. That also is short-sighted and fundamentally wrong. People said that in 1980 when Reagan ran and look what happened. For the next 30 years we’ve had to deal with the mess he created. People said that in 2000 when Bush Jr ran and look what happened. We’re probably going to have to deal with a destablized Middle East for the next 20 years, not to mention the death toll of 9/11, two wars, and 18,000 plus Americans dying every year from lack of health insurance.

On top of the sheer death toll resulting from an incompetent presidency, the ideologically pure don’t understand that just because one party fails does not mean that the extreme of the other party (or a third party) is going to be embraced by the electorate. The voters by and large will vote for the least extreme candidate of the other party, even after a disastrous presidency. Dennis Kucinich was not going to win against McCain in 2008, sorry. Again, we are dealing with ideologues who believe the country to be they way they want it to be, and don’t understand that their belief does not equate with reality.

On its current trajectory, the Republican party will commit demographic suicide somewhere around 2024. It is vital that Democrats keep control of the White House until then. Hillary is the most likely candidate to be able to accomplish that. The country IS changing to accept the vision of men and women like Sanders and Warren, but it isn’t there yet. We have to run a candidate acceptable to the majority of the overall electorate until such a time that someone ideologically to the left of Hillary can actually win a national election.

I know this point of view probably isn’t popular, but it is reality, and life isn’t always fair. In politics, you don’t always get 100% of what you want. You are going to have to hold your nose and vote for Hillary (or happily vote for her like I will) in order to win elections and keep the country from going into the toilet. Or you can ignore my advice and vote for Sanders or Warren, who weaken Hillary (or drive her ideologically leftward, which is the same result) and let the Republicans win in the general election. Or vote third party and let the Republicans win in the general election.

Vote strategically, not ideologically.

Weapons of Mass Distraction – The Post US Election Blues

Now that President Barack Obama has been declared winner of the US presidential election, a sigh of relief has gone out throughout the land among Democrats and many progressives. The media scenario currently being promoted states that Obama is representing the middle class while Republican Mitt Romney is simply a stand-in for Wall Street bankers. (Never mind that the entire election system is completely rigged in favor the two major political parties.)

Green Party candidate Jill Stein the Justice Party’s Rocky Anderson were never a factor in the elections despite their gallant efforts to mount national grassroots presidential campaigns. Despite several alternative party debates sponsored by Democracy Now! and RT, the US corporate media largely ignored them. The press also refused to cover Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. These politicians were all fighting against the first billion dollar election campaign in US history but their supporters were struggling just to get them on the ballot in all 50 states.

Without proportional representation or instant run-off voting systems, the US is left with the antiquated and undemocratic Electoral College to decide who becomes President. Add to that the unsolved issue of Republican owned computer voting machines and the usual state election board shenanigans, and you can see why the country needs international observers during the elections.

But the good news is that in spite of mass spending on negative campaign ads, the infamous Koch brothers were unable to buy the election for their neo-con Wall Street candidate, Mitt Romney. Their politician’s moralistic rhetoric did not convince the majority of American voters to elect a neo-con ideologue or support conservative initiatives. Instead, Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana, while Maryland and Maine supported gay marriage. All of the efforts to suppress the voters came to naught as the majority chose to re-elect President Obama.

So, now that the election is over, what has really changed? Will we finally decide to house the homeless and feed the hungry? Will we stop the foreign military interventions that have bankrupt our nation both morally and economically? Will the federal and local governments continue to impose economic austerity measures on the people, wiping out the middle class and generating mass poverty? What does President Barack Obama have to say to the folks sleeping on the cold streets in downtown Seattle? How will his re-election make these people’s lives better?

My one major observation is this – if we really want to change the politics and economics of our country, we’ll have to start with changing the election system. A significant percentage of the citizenry either doesn’t vote at all, or their votes are being ignored because they cast their ballot for an alternative party candidate who has no chance of winning. Many of these people are completely turned off by a system controlled by big money. Many of the Occupy Wall Street activists refused to vote for Barack Obama because of his support for the public bailouts of corporate banks. They also oppose his support for the NDAA, Patriot Act, presidential authorization of assassinations, and the use of drones. They see him as just another military industrial complex warrior.

The great epidemic of apathy that has infected US civics is the natural result of a culture based on crass media consumerism and privatization of public services and spaces. The multinational corporations are trans global financial entities with no loyalty to their workers or to the communities where they build their factories. Outsourcing of jobs to low paid workers in foreign countries is now the modus operandi for most large companies. President Obama has a lot of work to do if he wants to clean up Wall Street and hold the multinationals accountable. During his first term he seemed to be a hostage to large businesses and their highly paid lobbyists.

After all of the budget cuts to healthcare, social services, public transportation and education, the middle class is fast becoming the new poor. Unemployment, home foreclosures and corruption on Wall Street have all contributed to the current depression, and after numerous public bailouts of private corporations, the banksters are still playing their deceitful game of monopoly.

President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech on November 6th was full of inspiring rhetoric about equality and opportunity. Unlike his opponent in the campaign, it’s clear that the President understands what it’s like to have to struggle in order to survive economically. Although he may have joined the one percent, that is not where he came from. His story represents the old traditional American Dream of the self-made man or woman pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps and inspiring other folks along the way. By comparison, Mitt Romney often came across as a spoiled rich kid.

Barack Obama is a largely a fact based politician. Perhaps he’s too apt to concede his positions on vital issues, but at least he talks to the people as if he understands them. While Romney’s speeches are full of well rehearsed pro-business propaganda and neo-con talking points, Obama has the ability to reach out to the average American and tell their story. Governor Romney could only reach the Wall Street crowd and their traditional conservative cronies – religious and right-wing extremist groups.

Whatever the outcome of this election, the voters are hoping that Barack Obama will use his second term in office to push for the interests of the 99% instead of for the wealthy and corrupted elite. He now has the chance to prove that he’s a man of the people.

If the President continues to give priority to the interests of JP Morgan/Chase and Goldman/Sachs he will lose his current status as a populist figure in the minds of many Americans. Obama has to prove to the country that he is going to stand up for the little guy against the corporate interests. If he really is a leader of the future, breaking down racial and economic barriers and stereotypes, he must bail out the people this time, not just the banks!

BAINPORT: Sunday- Live Interactive Podcast

Join this special interactive live podcast with the Sensata workers of Bainport. They have been striving for an economy that works for everyone, not just “Vulture Capitalists. This is your opportunity to hear from, ask questions with, and bolster the spirits of some of these courageous workers/warriors.

On Halloween, Vulture Capitalists once again descended upon Bainport to harvest away more jobs. Learn how artful activism by Backbone Campaign, Overpass Light Brigade and others helped amplify the terrific work already being done. 

vulture in chief

Story of Bainport: Their labor gave Sensata $500 million in profits in the second quarter of 2012. This wasn’t enough profit for Bain Capital who bought them and is moving their factory to China. The closing of their factory and the off-shoring of their jobs is an inevitable result of “vulture capitalists'” insatiable hunger for profits without regard for the well-being of others. These workers have rallied with their community with supporters stretching across national borders. They have steadfastly encamped across from what once was their place of work withstanding torrential rains, freezing temperatures, and now no running water. Saturday they could be evicted.

Their fight is for justice, fairness, dignity, and respect for their coworkers and workers of the world. Let’s honor their courage to stand up for justice by organizing for it in our own communities.

How To Participate this Sunday November 4th 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific:

  • Watch the podcast on Backbone’s Ustream Channel.
  • There will be time for Questions & Answers so have them ready.
  • Conference Call Phone Number: 1-218-339-4300 Access code is 1037729#
  • If you have a question or want to share your support, mention so in the chat box on Ustream so we know to call on you.
  • Call into our conference line and please stay muted until we call on you to speak.

The story of Bainport has broken international news with extensive coverage on Democracy Now!, CNN, MSNBC’s The Ed Show, and has been covered by The New York Times, The Guardian, Up With Chris Hayes, and visits by Jesse Jackson, Senator Dick Durbin and others.

amykylevulture
Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! with Backbone Board Member Kyle Tanner and a Vulture Capitalist puppet in freezing temperatures. This Vulture made during Backbone’s weekly imagery building gatherings at our HQ.
Bainport_blocking_truck_cropped
The heroes in Bainport are the workers. Sensata workers pictured here with no prior activism experience practiced non-violent civil disobedience by blocking the trucks hauling away the machinery they worked on for as many as 40 years. They were handcuffed and arrested at their own plant just so greedy Vulture Capitalists like Bain Capital can line their pockets by exploiting Chinese workers paying them less than a $1 per hour.

Gar Alperovitz at Seattle Town Hall

“The number that I find most unusual and gives you a sense of what is systemic about it is:  The top 400 people, individuals — you could get them in this space if you squeeze just a little bit — have more wealth now than the bottom 180,000,000 Americans taken together.  That’s a medieval number. I don’t mean that rhetorically.”

Thirty years ago we had 50 people per 100,000 in jail; now it’s about 740. “We have eight times as many people in prison or jail per capita than any other advanced country, including Russia.”

Climate Congress 2014 – The Contract with Climate

The election season is in full hysterical mode. The dems are beating on progressives who are fleeing to Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson, the repubs are beating on the dems with all the corporate money and psycho-linguistic technology they can muster and behind the scenes somewhere we have a bunch of faceless (poor things, they don’t have faces) IT folks who are gearing up to do whatever they are supposed to do with the vote-counting technology to tabulate votes on November 6th.

Michael Connell will not be available to help with the information technology tasks in this election cycle. His private plane crashed and he was killed before he was available to testify about the 2004 Ohio vote-counting, “man in the middle” controversy.

There is lots to worry about in this election cycle even with the tragedy of Michael Connell’s death in 2008. But let’s get real, this election is in the can. Yes, we should all work on getting out the votes for progressive candidates, for local initiatives that might produce change, but the change is not coming by defeating Romney, the change is not coming in this election cycle.

Our best progressive shot happens with the mid term election of 2014. I believe we have three primary branches of govt here in the US of A. The judicial is captured by 4 solidly corporate, reactionary justices, with a conservative swing vote held by Anthony Kennedy. The remaining justices are solidly liberal, but are aging and out-numbered 5 to 4. This is the 5 to 4 court, not the Roberts Court. And it will be the 5 to 4 Court for a very long time. Right wingers do not have to control the Senate to keep a Dem president from appointing a William O. Douglas or Thurgood Marshall type justice to the Court, they only have to obstruct appointments in a manner that the Dems will never do to a Republican potus. Need evidence of that? Samual Alito? Clarence Thomas? John Roberts? Do these names ring a bell? Yes, the dems borked poor Robert Bork, but that was a long time ago and poor Robert Bork had served Richard Nixon too well. Robert Bork actually borked himself in the Saturday night massacre, he was just a late victim of that miserable public affair.

The pick at the top of the ticket in this election is a hobbesian choice. Both of the candidates are firmly in the control of the big money folks, the have-mores as George W called them. Romney might claim to be the candidate of the 53%, but that’s not true, he is the Emperor of Bain Capital. Read’m and weep.

Obama? Sad sack. I voted for him once upon a time. I didn’t believe in him at that time, but I was willing to give it a shot. The Dems are always saying, please, just give us one more chance. I thought why not? in 2008 and voted Obama. I wanted Dean or Kucinich, but the Bainsters who control our political system are not going to allow that kind of option, so I voted Obama. I used to say that the only republican I ever voted for as President was Bill Clinton, but now I have done it twice. Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice… I won’t get fooled again or something like that, Bushisms are so complex in their inanity that they approach genius.

Here is an interesting video that makes the point that the electorate really is trying to choose between pepsi or coke for potus. Tastes better, less filling, tastes better…

Leaves a bad taste. Thanks to Slate, David Weigel, and Luke Rudowski at We Are Change for this work.

I will be back in a day or two to talk about Climate Congress 2014 – The Contract with Climate.

Top of the list? Carbon Tax, baby! A twofer. We jam the environmental destroyers, the petro-bainsters and we fix the deficit in one fell swoop. I love a fell swoop. If you are going to swoop, fell swoop, baby.

If you are desperate to get votes in the Obama column, go steal them from the Romney supporters. That’s a twofer, Romney loses one, Obama gains one. That is where the fruit is hanging low. Hang low, sweet fruit. Pick’m if you want’m.