Bernin’ For You

 

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I’m…

Don’t say it.

I’m F…

Don’t say it!

I’m Feel…

Don’t say it!!

I’M FEELING THE BERN!

Are you serious?

I’m as serious as the heart attack The Establishment is about to have!

Well, you know what they say…

What’s that?

Democrats fall in love; Republicans fall in line.

Love is all around us.

Are you serious?

What’s the problem?

You mean other than Bernie Sanders can’t get elected?

Yes, other than that.

The other party is imploding and you want to hand them the election?

We’re not handing them shit. This country is not going to elect Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

But why take the chance?

What if going with Hillary turns out to be the losing bet?

That’s what you said in ’08.

Exactly.

Don’t you want the next president to be able to get anything done?

That’s my favorite argument: that anyone is naïve enough to think the Republicans are going to work with Hillary!

At least we know what they’re going to throw at Hillary. They’ve already done it.

I’ve got several hundred million Koch dollars that say you ain’t seen anything yet.

At least we know what we’ve got with Hillary.

If we wanted half-measures, we should have just voted for Hillary in ’08.

It might have worked out better…

Better? Hillary would have one-and-done Jimmy Carter style and been beaten like Mondale.

No. Hillary getting elected would have killed the GOP. Just the fact of her in office would have annihilated the entire Republican party.

Actually, she would have energized them for a generation.

No, she would have won. The Clintons always win!

Except in ’08.

Okay, fine. But why not get on board now?

I can’t.

Why not?

Because that’s what the Republicans always do.

Do what?

Going with the safe bet; going with the Establishment choice.

They’re not doing it this time.

Yes, and it’s going to cause them to lose in historic fashion!

Not if idiots like you make a Socialist the nominee.

Democratic Socialist.

Full-on Mao Communist by the Time Fox News is finished with him.

Fuck Fox News!

No. Fox News fucks you. That’s the history of the last two decades in a nutshell.

Those days are over.

Those days have scarcely begun.

It’s different this time.

That’s what you suckers say every four years.

You’ll see.

What is your problem with Hillary?

Nothing. If she wins the nomination, I’m behind her 100%.

Why not now?

She wants it too badly, which is alarming. She expects it, which is insulting.

Can’t you say that about any candidate?

No. Her husband wanted it more badly than breathing, but he never expected it. Dubya expected it, but his life wouldn’t have ended had he lost. Obama cut the balance.

So what’s Bernie’s secret?

He is allowing the people who want it badly to make the difference.

You mean like Ralph Nader?

No, this is different (and that is insulting).

What’s different?

Well, for starters, look at his poll numbers.

Well…

And, um, how about his showing in Iowa and New Hampshire?

Well…

And the fact that, from jump, Nader knew he was playing spoiler, at best. Also, fuck Ralph Nader. And fuck Gore for not fighting harder. And double-fuck him for running a campaign that made Dukakis look competent. And fuck Scalia and the rest of the so-called Constitutionalists for handing the election to Bush, just like the founding fathers intended…

Look, I’m all for fairy tales and rainbows, but I’m also about reality.

What’s unrealistic about the most grotesquely wealthy country on the planet investing in its own?

It’s unrealistic because it can’t happen.

It has happened.

A long time ago.

Yes, and even a long time ago, it was the result of struggle, and a politician who was willing to fight the special interests.

You mean FDR?

Yes, I also mean Teddy Roosevelt.

That was a long time ago.

You know what Obama could, and should, have done, at any point during his first six years?

What?

Borrowed the “I welcome their hatred” speech from FDR.

He did the best he could with what he had.

No, at first he was too cocksure everyone would go along with him, then he was unwilling to get his bully pulpit on, and he only started fighting back once he’d been already been shat on for three years.

So a rational, moderate liberal can’t get it done, but a full blown Socialist can?

Yes, you’re falling into the trap again. It’s not because Obama really wanted it, it’s because he was too easily corrupted, too easily cowed, too easily distracted. I’m not saying he didn’t do his best for the most part, but do you actually believe he really wanted it, like up in the middle of the night agonizing over it?

So you’re going to fall for this Sanders flavor of the month shtick?

Sanders has been walking the walk for decades.

So has Hillary.

Sure, she’s evolved, and fought the pretty-good fight. But Sanders was marching for minorities, women and gays when Hillary was still a confused Republican. (Also, let’s not rehash the policies from the Clinton years that hurt employment, fucked minorities and opened the casino doors to the Wall Street shitshow that crashed our economy.)

Look, every Democrat can get behind the spirit of what Sanders is saying…

I think Hillary—and her supporters—are incredibly wrong to assume voters, especially young or undecided voters, are going to be swayed by caution and the same formula that fails to work in every mid-term election.

It’s not Hillary’s fault she isn’t exciting.

No one gives a shit about that. Do you think people find Bernie Sanders exciting? It’s what he’s saying and the lack of fucks he has to give that is resonating with liberals and, quite possibly, people who usually tune politics out.

People get scared of what they don’t know.

No, people get enthusiastic about what they never knew was possible. Bernie’s support thus far has already proven that.

Hillary isn’t promising people magic and dreams.

No, she’s promising that she’s going to tack to the center even quicker and more naturally than Obama did. And that’s why she’s not inspiring people. Don’t blame the people who fail to be impressed that she hasn’t been impressive.

What if Bernie has already hit his ceiling?

Bernie hasn’t even begun yet. Wait until the mainstream media can no longer ignore or further marginalize what he’s accomplishing.

What makes you so sure?

We know Democrats tend to sit at home during mid-terms. Do you think the debacle of this last cycle that might have had something to do with that load of craven, faux-centrist shitheads running away from Obamacare and trying to split the difference between tea-party lunatics?

So they won’t sit it out this time?

Have you seen the crowds Sanders is getting?

Are they sustainable?

Here’s the thing. We know Democrats get demoralized, especially when they’re offered the same old shit. But how about the fact that Republicans undoubtedly sit out too? Maybe a whole lot of them. Maybe the ones who are, at long last, fed up with being taken for granted and generally fucked over during the last three decades, but pandered to every four years, and every time jobs go overseas and wages freeze and their kids are sent to ill-advised wars and their water is poisoned and they’re told how great America really is, maybe some of these otherwise impossible to reach old and young red state voters might find someone who’s actually telling them precisely what he’d do and exactly who he won’t work with and how his policies will tangibly improve their lives. Maybe this is proof that all the inside-the-beltway, elitist Democratic strategists with their lobbyist friends buying them dinner are entirely wrong and being forever surrounded by career consultants, like Hillary, is exactly why she suddenly finds herself battling for her life against Bernie Sanders.

Won’t you feel silly even if Bernie gets elected and none of his promises are attainable?

You know what I think is silly? Not prosecuting a single Wall Street executive. Insisting that it was way too soon to have reasonable and belated action taken on same-sex marriage (thanks again, Joe Biden!). Going to the negotiating table meeting intransigent Republicans half-way to the farthest right position (then getting shut down), and making that mistake time after time throughout the better part of two terms.

But what if little of what Sanders talk about is achievable?

By moving the conversation to the left and resetting the terms of the debate, he’ll be doing, at long last, what the GOP has been doing for their cause since 1980. If nothing else, Sanders will work toward a very overdue recalibration.

If he helps Hillary be more outspoken about liberalism, isn’t that a good thing?

It’s not a bad thing. But the fact that it requires Bernie’s presence to persuade her speaks volumes about why people are flocking to Sanders.

But at the end of the day, we’re not Europe.

We’re not Europe. We’re not even America anymore, as we once knew it. And just accepting the very least we should expect from representative government is neither tolerable nor sustainable.

I still think you’re dreaming.

You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.

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This piece originally appeared at The Weeklings on 2/19/16.

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Ted Cruz: Pimpin’ is…actually pretty easy

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There’s simply too much riding on the 2016 Presidential election to be intimidated by its vast field of candidates. So in the spirit of true post-partisanship, the Weeklings has decided to help America vote right. Over the course of this 8-part series kicking off with the Iowa Caucuses and running through the New Hampshire Primary, we break down our favorite Republican contenders, and tell you exactly who’s worth pulling the lever for.

YOU KNOW WHAT prevents decisive action and dooms presidencies?

Self doubt.

Reagan had it (but he had his wife—and she had her astrologer). Bush 41 had it; you could read his lips. Clinton…what was driving that unrestrained libido other than self-loathing and the Big Dawg’s Daddy Issues? George W. Bush? Even The Bard and Oedipus, locked in Hunter S. Thompson’s belfry, couldn’t concoct that kind of pathology. Obama? What the liberal media calls thoughtful and cautious the rest of us recognize as petrified and paralyzed.

Who then, amongst us, doesn’t suffer from a shred of uncertainty, doesn’t question for one second who he is, what he wants, and how much he deserves?

Ted Cruz.

The nerve of us, really.

Here’s a man willing not only to sell out his colleagues, friends and family, but preempted the ordeal of forming principles so he could save time betraying them. And we can’t at least ensure he’s our next president?

Did it ever occur to any of the naysayers that alienating every single person you’ve ever met is exhausting, often thankless work, and something that requires the type of ambition and effort that would likely reduce a lesser specimen to a used-up husk, a conscience-ridden shell of a swindler, on both knees in a (Southern Baptist) confessional?

Bear with me.

Americans obsess over which candidate we’d most enjoy sharing a domestic beer with, and this becomes the implicit or, in the case of Gore vs. Bush, explicit issue driving public perception of a candidate’s so-called electability.

How about, at long last, flipping the script and going with a guy we despise from the get-go?

Seriously.

No honeymoon period, no disillusionment, no bad blood halfway through the first term (or, if he or she is a Democrat, half a week after their inauguration).

We agonize, needlessly, over the types of trivial imperatives that inform high school elections. It’s time we acted like adults and select someone who would do anything to do the job.

Think how liberating it would be. For us. For him.

Imagine, instead of starry-eyed chants and extravagant optimism, we held our collective noses, averted our eyes, and treated our commander-in-chief the way we treat our dentists, doctors, CEOs and especially our lawyers. We need them, and they need us to need them, but who ever said you had to like the asshole repairing your car or your teeth or, heaven help you, your heart.

Case in point: national security. If Ted Cruz is thoroughly reviled to the point of being scorned on public stage by his own compatriots, imagine how many fucks he won’t give about our “allies” abroad?

Obama draws crowds wherever he travels? Good for him.

Cruz will make America feared the way an abused child cowers from his alcoholic stepfather. That’s what this nation needs after coddling terrorists, fretting about due process and kidding ourselves that sanctions are more effective than carpet bombing.

Remember when Bush embarrassed everyone by claiming to look into Putin’s eyes and getting a sense of his soul? No worries with Cruz: everyone knows he doesn’t have a soul to speak of, at least the way we usually speak about souls and who has them.

Can we be certain Rubio would really stop at nothing to overturn a woman’s right to choose? Are we positive Jeb (!) will preserve our 2nd Amendment rights? Can we count on Christie to terminate, with extreme prejudice, those who’ve had enough chances already? Do we really believe Donald Trump will put God before himself? Too many Republicans are willing to pander on these issues, and then forget them once America hands them the keys to the country. Can anyone doubt that Ted Cruz doubts himself on any of these issues?

How we feel about the fervency of his faith says more about us than him. If you have doubts, consider the source: it’s God’s word, right there in the bible, in plain English.

If we want to eradicate uncertainty and avoid the nuances of not knowing who we’re really dealing with, there’s only one choice and it’s that beautiful black boot in our face. We must lick that boot and surrender ourselves to the brute, brute heart of a brute like Cruz.

 

This piece originally appeared at The Weeklings on 2/4/16

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She’s Got Her Whole World In Her Hand

Sarah Palin has officially out-cliched cliche. You can no longer even use the lazy –if entirely accurate and appropriate– depictions like “jumped the shark” or “stranger than fiction” or “a new low” because her capacity for shamelessness and self-aggrandizement is literally limitless. There is, as she displayed once again this weekend, no bottom to where she will wallow in order to score cheap (and untrue) political points, all while ducking any questions of any kind from anyone besides Fox “News”, and eagerly stoking the ignorant, bigoted sentiments of her knuckle-dragging demographic.

But you have to hand it to her. No, really. Can you, under any circumstances, imagine a time when you’d compare anybody to George W. Bush and catch yourself thinking a thought that began with the words “Well, at least he wasn’t…” Wow. Does it get any better for Palin, who has yet to answer a real question from a real reporter (and no, Katie Couric does not count, and even in front of that lightweight with those softball questions –what fucking newspapers do you read?– she made an ass of herself) continuing to mock Obama for, among other things, using a teleprompter. You mean like the one you used for your own speeches? At least, so far as we know, when Obama doesn’t have his teleprompter handy, he doesn’t have to…um…write answers on his hand like a fifth grader during a math exam. Let me repeat: wow.

(Sidenote:

As anyone with a sliver of sociopolitical awarness can attest, many of these Tea Party puppets have genuine and understandable gripes. The dilemma, as anyone with a modicum of historical awareness (and proximity to reality) understands, it’s precisely the policies and obsessions of the GOP that took us from boom to bust in unprecedented and appalling haste. Less than a year ago, one of the only redeeming aftershocks of the Great Collapse was that, at long last, the “free market” farce of voodoo economics, which had reached its unfettered and full flowering during the Bush years had crashed and burned so spectacularly and unmistakably, at least, finally, we had black and white cause and effect for those misguided, irresponsible and demonstrably immoral policies. Ah, but how quickly those least-served by these policies forget! As usual, as ever, it was the taxpayers (!!) who got stuck with the tab, and now we are waist-deep in a massive recession and jobs crisis. Suddenly, fiscal restraint is the operative priority, and these same charlatans who borrowed and spent like there was no tomorrow are decrying the same stimulus they initially supported (that same stimulus that may have kept unemployment from growing to 25% and causing a genuine Depression with a capital D). Rome is burning and the right-wing spin-pigs are not just fiddling, they are actively promoting disinformation and stoking the aforementioned fear and loathing. Not that the idiots foaming at the mouth at these tea parties understand the ways 2+2 =4, in part because they can’t count to four. The GOP, led by the Tea Party Queen who, displaying her ceaseless loyalty to the “real” Americans whose pain she is profiting from, only charged $100k to speak this weekend, scoffs at the blue sky and calls for rain. They tear up the old playbook and throw a Hail Mary into the wind, telling these easily-led assholes the policies extending their unemployment benefits are part of a big government takeover by the Socialist president. And it works. Put us in charge again so we can kill some more jobs and bankrupt the rest of your 401-k and after that, get busy privatizing social security. It’s real America, all right. Real dumb America.)

When it comes to the farce that is Sarah Palin, Andrew Sullivan has done virtually all the heavy lifting, since the MSM has predictably reacted in two ways to the Palin phenomenon: dismissed it altogether (which is irresponsible) or else treated it with the both-sides-of-the-story stenography which has increasingly become their most notable M.O.. I’ve long held the opinion that if/when Palin ever, however improbably (though at this point it seems a hell of a lot less improbable than it did one year ago when she uncermoniously quit her post in Alaska, a circumstance that would have absolutely anihilated all further chances for any other politician in the world) she manages to slime her way to the nomination in 2012, the media will finally, at long last, have no choice but to lift the rather large rock that conceals her sordid and embarrassing (even for a politician) personal life. The inconsistencies, the outright lies, and especially the myriad deficiencies that make her a non-starter as presidential material and a natural leader of the Tea Party mob of half-wits and bigots.

If you truly have no clue what I’m referring to, just visit Sully over at The Daily Dish and, if you have an hour or two, catch up on (some of) what you’ve been missing. One almost hopes Palin gets that far just so the rest of us have the opportunity, finally, to see her actually have to answer an unscripted question. Again, it is to the MSM’s eternal shame that they let this inarticulate piece of bacteria fester and mutate into the media monster she has become. It’s all in the name of ratings and (I reckon?) the ostensible aim of being impartial that they have so cynically stood by, not even bothering to pretend being journalists. But while I know enough to not casually brush off the possibility of her rise to real power, I also am relatively confident that, as happened (albeit way too late in the game) with McCain, the supine media finally takes off its blinders and, (gasp) inquires about the unavoidable gaps and distortions in the carefully crafted mythology.

Speaking of McCain, what a contemptible swine. Good grief, despite the fact that his whole maverick shtick was calculated, insincere and frivolous, there was at least some redeeming value in the man (above and beyond the fact that he courageously served his country, which is an inviolable subject that I’ve never heard a respectable person take issue with). Ever since he sold the ragged remnants of what was left of his old, arid soul to win the nomination in 2008, he has been on a warp speed mission to become the quintessential fake politician –and that is saying a lot considering the competition for that odious crown.

There he goes: the handful of things he actually accomplished, for the good, he’s happily disassociated himself from, in the name of (unlikely) political expediency. it will be fun watching him run for his life in the suddenly too-close-for-comfort race in Arizona (and talk about the chickenshits coming home to roost: he is being out-reactionaried by a genuinely revolting troglodyte). Despite the typical, and farcical shenanigans we have practically come to expect from our pols, the one thing no one could take away from McCain was his eloquence on the matter of torture, he having had some considerable experience on that front. It was genuinely pathetic to see the man, for nakedly obvious (and oblivious) political reasons, actually go all Orwell and doublespeak about the exact same methods that were used against him, claiming they were not, actually, torture (Note: he never was honest, if crazy, enough to say he himself was not tortured, but that the same practices, when used by the U.S.A., do not qualify. If that is not the literal definition of cowardice, I’m not sure what is.)

As if that were not lame enough, his attempt (clearly prompted by the aforementioned threat to what he considered was he emeritus status as senator of Arizona, which has obliged him to lean further rightward) to cling to the old party line on gays in the military, hanging by his shriveled, gnarled and splintering old fingernails to the ugly side of soon-to-be-history should be a case study for future politicians on how not to succeed. Here’s the thing: a remotely intelligent person watches this desperate spectacle and thinks “But how can he kid himself? Also, what about what he is doing to his legacy, how will history not expose his shamelessness?” And the answer, regrettably, is that for a man with no soul and interested solely in extending his ever-weakening, sluggish hold on some semblance of power, legacy and history are luxuries he can’t afford. He has no time for reflection because the shadow behind him keeps getting darker and larger, and he knows better than anyone it will be sooner than later that his craven, corrupted ass will be snuffed out.

And, lest we ever forget, McCain may ultimately be (if he is not already) best known for his most ignoble achievement, which was foisting this talking point with boobs on an unsuspecting country.

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