Tag Archives: Democratic Party

Big money supporting Biden? Not in this household!

The more I hear Bernie Sanders suggest that Joe Biden has become the candidate of big money, well-heeled special interests, the privileged few who run everything in America, the more offense I am taking.

I want to lecture Sen. Sanders about something. It’s the truth and I won’t back away from it.

I am not wealthy. I don’t get involved in establishment political activity. I watch the news constantly. I study the issues. I try to understand them.

I am drawn to former Vice President Biden not because he represents big money. I am drawn to him because I believe in his message and the promise he presents to return some decency, dignity and decorum to the office of the presidency.

Furthermore, I also suspect I am not alone in that view, given the surge that the former vice president saw on Super Tuesday. Evan Smith, editor in chief and founder of the Texas Tribune, noted during the election coverage Tuesday night that “same-day voters” had broken significantly for Joe Biden, wiping out pro-Sanders advantages run up by the votes cast by those who voted early.

Many thousands of Texans, along with those in other Super Tuesday states, were moved by the stunning victory Biden scored in South Carolina. I had been leaning toward Biden already, so my vote Tuesday wasn’t spurred by some last-minute conversion from one candidate to another.

I mention this only because Sen. Sanders is drawing what I believe is an inappropriate picture of the kind of support that is lining up behind Joe Biden. The so-called big money had written off Biden after his dismal election performance in New Hampshire.

Then suddenly, he awoke from the near (political) dead. Rank-and-file voters administered the smelling salts and he roared back on his own.

None of this will matter to Sanders. He wants to be nominated for president. Sanders will say what he believes he needs to say to revive the “revolution” he purports to lead. That’s his right.

I just happen to believe he is manufacturing a conspiracy where none exists. It offends me.

Actually, Mr. VPOTUS, you need to win … by a lot!

Joe Biden thinks he has the crucial South Carolina Democratic presidential primary in the bag.

Um, truth be told, he doesn’t. Even if he wins, it’s not tucked away. He’s got to win by a lot. You see, the one-time Democratic Party presidential frontrunner had the Palmetto State primary locked up. He was lapping the field. Then Vermont’s independent Sen. Bernie Sanders started winning the early primaries.

Now it’s neck-and-neck between the two of ’em for South Carolina’s primary vote.

Biden said that a single percentage point victory over the field is enough, although he said he expects to win by a comfortable margin. OK, but expectations and reality don’t always mesh.

The former vice president of the United States needs to win by at least double digits. It would be better for him to smoke the field, to trample the rest of the remaining contenders — and that includes Sanders — into the ground.

Anything short of a decisive win spells doom.

It saddens me to say this, as I have staked my own preference on Joe Biden. I want his candidacy to succeed. I fear it’s teetering on the brink of failure.

Democratic establishment channeling GOP counterparts from 2016

How fascinating it is to watch the Democratic Party establishment wringing its hands over the possible — and I won’t yet say “probable” — nomination of a presidential candidate who’s far from the mainstream.

Does it remind you of anything, say, from just four years ago?

The 2016 Republican Party primary battle featured a large field of contenders having to fend off a challenge from a political outsider. Yep, Donald John Trump gave the GOP establishment fits. He stuck his finger in the establishment’s collective eye.

In 2020, the outlier is a guy named Bernie Sanders, who’s doing the same thing to the Democratic establishment.

Try this similarity on for size: Sanders serves in the U.S. Senate as an independent from Vermont; Trump only ran as a Republican because it presented the easier path to nomination and then to election, as he had no active involvement with the party prior to running for the presidency. Trump had no public service experience. He spent his entire adult life seeking to enrich himself.

Sanders’ critics say he isn’t a real Democrat, just as Trump’s critics said in 2016 — and many of us are saying now — that he isn’t a real Republican. I believe criticism of both men on that point has its merit.

Republicans were damn fools to nominate Trump in the first place. To my mind he has proved himself to be a disaster as president. One of his GOP primary foes, Jeb Bush of Florida, predicted accurately that he would govern as a “chaos and confusion” president. Trump has delivered on that prediction.

What’s in store for the Democrats if they manage to nominate Sanders? I’ve already declared that I believe he is likely to lose big to Trump. Then again, as I’ve noted before on this blog, my prediction skills are quite suspect.

I mean, I never thought Trump would be elected. Hah! Silly me. Silly all those other folks who thought they had the 2016 election pegged.

Democrats have been pummeled over Iowa debacle

The Iowa Democratic Party has become the laughingstock of the U.S. political community.

Except the folks at the Democratic National Committee aren’t laughing. Neither are the rest of us out here who want the party to nominate someone who can defeat the current president of the United States, Donald John Trump.

An “app” malfunction at the Iowa caucus might have doomed the state’s goofy selection process, which to my mind isn’t a bad thing.

Except that it has taken most of a whole week to get the results. Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders finished virtually tied at the top of the Democratic heap. Can either of these fellows defeat Trump? Hmm. I have serious doubts.

The party’s electability mantra has hit a number of sour notes as a result of the caucus malfunction in Iowa.

Meanwhile, Trump is basking in that Senate acquittal at his impeachment trial; he is exacting revenge within the White House against those who testified before Congress; the POTUS gave that idiotic, but weirdly popular among his base, speech to the National Prayer Breakfast and then followed that up with an hour-long riff at the White House.

Democrats have some rebuilding to do. They need to establish a frontrunner. The back-of-the-pack candidates need to give up on their longshot effort. They damn sure need to scrap the caucus idea in Iowa and in other states and return to a nominating process that allows voters to cast their ballots in secret, just as they do when the general election rolls around.

I want someone to emerge soon from this mess as a probable nominee. I would prefer the candidate to be from the more “centrist” or “moderate” portion of the party. The Big Mo, though, appears to be generating on the far left wing of the Democratic Party, to which I offer a word of warning.

Think of 1972, when Democrats nominated a lefty to be president. Sen. George McGovern drew huge crowds. They cheered loudly. He filled himself with some sort of deluded hope that, by golly, he might have something significant to offer.

Then he lost 49 of 50 states.

Take great care, Democrats. Fix the political infrastructure and come to your senses.

Hoping the Iowa SNAFU deals caucus a mortal blow

I am old-fashioned guy when it comes to elections.

My strong preference is to allow people to walk into a voting booth, look at a ballot, then select the individual they want to win the contest, or the issue they want to see enacted.

Thus, it is my equally strong hope that the Iowa Democratic Party caucus system has been dealt a fatal blow with the SNAFU that has thrown the entire process into an uproar.

The caucus was supposed to send one of the Democrats off on a clearer path toward their party’s nomination. Then came that goofy “app” that malfunctioned. Iowa Democratic officials were unable to tabulate the results in anything close to a timely fashion.

As it turned out, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg have ended up in a dead heat. They’ve gone on to New Hampshire, where Democratic voters will actually cast ballots in secret.

That’s how we ought to do this presidential nominating duty. We need to declare the winner to be the candidate who gets more votes than the others. In Iowa, they have this multi-faceted system that separates tabulations that determine delegate apportionment and actual votes. It makes me cross-eyed trying to sort it all out.

I don’t have any problem with Iowa being the state that kicks off the presidential campaign season. Hey, one of the 50 states needs to be the first to go. Isn’t that right? If not Iowa, then which state gets the nod? You see, that issue doesn’t matter to me.

What does matter is the way the first state should commence this important process. I get, too, that an actual primary election could result in a tie vote, that there are instances in which no candidates could emerge as clear winner.

If so, then all we have to worry about is how we ensure that the votes are counted accurately. The “app” mess isn’t in the picture.

I am hoping we can say “goodbye” to the caucus system that has shown itself in this election cycle in Iowa to be a monumental failure.

Democrats have just messed up an electoral process at the worst time

I guess you can say this about the Democratic Party: When they mess up an election, they do it in a big way, embarrassing themselves and dousing many millions of Americans watching from afar with a huge splash of ice water.

They had that long-awaited Iowa caucus Monday. Except that the system broke down. Democrats are blaming it on a computer “app” that went haywire. They’re unable to tabulate how the caucus-goers decided to support. As I write this blog at almost noon the next day, they still don’t know who finished where in the caucus donnybrook.

Yep, they blew this one!

It could not have possibly come at a worse time for Democrats,

They have fielded a lineup of competent challengers to Donald John Trump, the current U.S. president. Four of them serve in the U.S. Senate, which on Wednesday will vote on whether to acquit or convict the POTUS of high crimes and misdemeanors. They’re scrambling now to make sense of the mess that has been spilled all over them in the Hawkeye State.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is going to gloat. He’ll make that State of the Union speech tonight and something tells me he might use that high-profile platform to toss a dig or three at the feckless-appearing opposition that tried to conduct a time-honored process to begin the search for a presidential nominee.

Some of us — such as yours truly — prefer an even more venerable tradition in making this determination. How about voting in secret? How about just allowing voters to look at their ballot and place a mark next to the candidate of their choice?

But, no-o-o-o! We have this caucus nonsense that has been swallowed whole by technology that a political machine apparently doesn’t know how to operate.

This is not how you’re supposed to launch an election cycle.

Newt’s legacy lives on with ‘Democrat Party’

REUTERS/Mark Avery

I laugh to myself when I see the term “Democrat” used as an adjective, or as part of the proper name of one of the nation’s two major political parties.

It’s a holdover from an earlier era when Republicans took control of Congress for the first time in 40 years. You remember the landmark Contract With America election of 1994, right? Of course you do!

A then-young GOP bomb thrower, Newt Gingrich, led the insurgency that elected Republicans to the House and Senate that year. The GOP slate took down plenty of heavyweights, including House Speaker Tom Foley and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jack Brooks.

Gingrich essentially coined the usage of the term “Democrat” in a way that sought to cast the other party as a sort of foreign element.

Democrats belong to the “Democratic Party.” Gingrich, who became speaker of the House in 1995, kept referring to the party as the “Democrat Party,” a term that just doesn’t roll off the way the proper term does.

Well, Gingrich left the speakership and the House after the 1998 midterm election and the failed impeachment of President Clinton. He ended up with his own personal baggage — the affair he was having with a staffer while married to his second wife — that took him out; it was one of the more ironic political downfalls in modern U.S. history, given the nature of the charges leveled against Bill Clinton.

However, Newt’s branding of Democrats and their political party lives on. Donald Trump refers to the Democratic Party as the Democrat Party; so do his allies in Congress; so do critics of this blog, by gum, use that term.

It used to annoy me, given my understanding of the motive behind its use: the demonization of a great political party. I’ve gone beyond the point of annoyance. I am now mildly amused.

Stay out of the 2020 race, Mr. Mayor

Michael Bloomberg once was thought to be considering a run for the presidency in 2020.

Then he said “no,” he wouldn’t be a candidate for the White House.

Oh, but wait! Now he’s back in, sort of.

The former New York City mayor has announced his intention to file for the Alabama Democratic primary. It seems that Bloomberg is unhappy with the slate of Democrats battling for their party’s nomination and the right to do battle with Donald J. Trump.

My request of the ex-mayor is this: Don’t do it!

I want a candidate with a set of principles and a commitment to governing. I am not interested in considering someone who is dissatisfied with the candidates who already have made that leap of faith and are asking Americans to join them in that leap.

It’s not that Bloomberg is a fringe player. He’s a mega-rich guy. He has been a registered Republican, a registered Democrat and a registered independent. I don’t know what he considers himself at this moment. That he is going to file in the Alabama Democratic primary tells me he is now a Democrat … for the time being.

I get that the Democratic field so far hasn’t excited a lot of folks. I have problems with every singe one of them still in the fight. None of the problems I have with the Democratic contenders, though, matches the profound loathing I feel for the Republican who is running for re-election as president.

My queasiness with Bloomberg, though, is based on his in-out-maybe-back-in posture. Is he committed to governing or is just interested in making some sort of media splash?

Stay out of the race, Mr. Mayor.

Hoping this dropout triggers many more from Democratic field

Bill de Blasio should have seen it from the beginning.

New York City residents don’t think much of him. Yet the mayor decided he wanted an upgrade, to become the next president of the United States.

De Blasio never got to 2 percent in any national poll among Democratic candidates for president. So, today he pulled out. He’s done.

My hope is that de Blasio’s decision will trigger more withdrawals from the lengthy list of never-will-win Democrats seeking to win their party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

De Blasio didn’t qualify for the latest Democratic joint appearance in Houston, which I suppose was the last straw. The hard truth for the mayor was that a man who couldn’t engender broad support within his own city wasn’t likely to do any better on the national stage.

I reckon the still monstrous Democratic field has more candidates who will pack it in. They’ll leave this race to the half-dozen or so who actually have a chance in hell of being nominated and then running against the huckster in chief, Donald Trump.

Call it a campaign, folks. Follow the NYC mayor’s lead and go home.

Don’t count Beto out just yet

I guess the preliminary verdict is in regarding the first of two Democratic Party presidential primary debates. Texan Beto O’Rourke might have suffered the most serious wounds from the encounter.

I agree that O’Rourke, the former congressman from El Paso, didn’t sound sharp. He got caught flat-footed when former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro went after him over immigration reform; then we had that strange Spanish riff that seemed a bit gimmicky to many listeners’ ears.

However, I am not going to sound the death knell over O’Rourke’s candidacy. That might come, just not quite yet.

O’Rourke appears to be learning how to campaign nationally as he goes along. He ran for the U.S. Senate in Texas without employing any pollsters, or much of a professional campaign staff — and he still came within a whisker of knocking Ted Cruz out of office in 2018.

That first debate did produce some highlights for several candidates: Castro, Hawaii U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New York Mayor Bill DiBlasio, New Jersey U.S. Sen. Cory Booker all scored well.

Beto? He took some body punches. Some of his wounds were self-inflicted.

Remember this: The campaign is just getting started. The candidates have a long way to go. It’s no time for Beto to bail.