Democrats need a lesson in humility. Consider what Mike Dukakis learned.

Donald won. Hillary lost. Now the Democrats face what The New York Times called “a widening breach in their party.”

Fashion Consistent CandidatesPerched ever farther on the left is Bernie Sanders, perhaps still smarting from being stiffed by the Democratic National Committee while leading revival-style rallies of millennials and urging stiff resistance to the Donald agenda — and to the DNC’s approach to political reclamation. Then there’s the DNC and the party’s elected leaders demanding a more conservative, data-driven approach to finding votes where Hillary didn’t get them.

Oh, well. Good luck with that, Dems. Neither approach is destined for electoral redemption. Professional Democrats have tended toward elitism when selecting and supporting candidates. The national party assumed (as did virtually all media and pollsters) Hillary had an easy road covered with rose petals to the White House. The 2016 version of the Democratic Party continued its longstanding march away from those who had always supported it. The party’s elites oozed a “father knows best” attitude. Cockiness ruled after Donald became the GOP standard bearer.

Perhaps the Democratic Party, and especially the DNC, ought to consider … humility. Consider the example of Michael Dukakis as a Democratic candidate. No, not presidential candidate Dukakis of tank-driving infamy. Look at gubernatorial candidate Dukakis.

Continue reading

When reaching out to better understand my fellow Americans, facts are non-negotiable

Reality has facts, however poorly we see them sometimes. Reaching out to understand someone else’s experience requires common ground, and for me, that common ground must be based upon a shared understanding of objective facts.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article about how I was living in a bubble that distorted my perspective on America. The point was that, while I’m living in a bubble, I’m hardly the only one, and I gave an example of a grandfather from Vigo County, Indiana, who felt that his America was populated by “real people,” as opposed to the presumably fake or inauthentic people in New York City, Los Angeles, or Chicago. But after reading several excellent comments on that article that provided suggestions how to reach people – listen, talk with instead of at, stop dismissing, denigrating, and demonizing – I realized that there is a limit to my ability, even to my willingness, to reach out and have a meaningful discussion.

Facts. They exist. And they’re a non-negotiable entry point for any bubble-piercing attempts I’m going to be involved in.

Let me give a few examples of what I mean. Continue reading

Donald is why we have the Electoral College

The Electoral College should deny Donald the Presidency for rejecting the legitimacy of the election even after he’s supposedly won it.

The Electoral College is a dinosaur of an institution that replaces the popular vote with the votes of electors, selected by but not beholden to each individual state. In living memory, the Electoral College victory has now twice overturned the popular vote in favor of the Republican candidate. Prior to George W. Bush, the last time the popular vote and Electoral College vote was split was in 1888.

But there is a point to the Electoral College. The idea was that electors would be well educated (and, originally, white and male) on the issues and thus would be able to stand in the way of a population that had elected someone who was clearly unfit to serve as President.

Look at the tweets at the right and tell me, honestly, if those look like the words of someone who is fit to be President of the United States of America.

Donald also tweeted the following in a series – I’ve collected them below instead of just linking all the tweets:

Hillary’s debate answer on delay: “That is horrifying. That is not the way our democracy works. Been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a during a general election. I, for one, am appalled that somebody that is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.” Then, separately she stated, “He said something truly horrifying … he refused to say that he would respect the results of this election. That is a direct threat to our democracy.” She then said, “We have to accept the results and look to the future, Donald Trump is going to be our President. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.” So much time and money will be spent – same result! Sad

It would have been much easier for me to win the so-called popular vote than the Electoral College in that I would only campaign in 3 or 4 states instead of the 15 states that I visited. I would have won even more easily and convincingly (but smaller states are forgotten)!

Jill Stein and Clinton have asked for, and will pay for, a recount. And here we have Donald doing the very thing that Clinton accused him of – questioning the legitimacy of the election, even after he’s apparently won it.

I realize that almost no-one who voted for Trump will ever read this. I don’t know how to get it to people outside my bubble (which is one of the major problems with bubbles in the first place). But if there was ever a reason for the Electoral College to reject the candidate that “won” it in favor of the candidate who won the actual popular vote, this is it. The chance of this happening, given how electors are chosen (by the winning party in the state in question), is minuscule, but it’s still the right thing. Here’s hoping for a lot of faithless electors.

Deny Donald the Presidency.

Castro and Miami's Cuban community and what the hell was Ozzie Guillen thinking?

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen recently lost his freakin’ mind. He told Time that

I love Fidel Castro…I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that [SOB] is still there.

Predictably, the world then stopped spinning on its axis.

America and its presidents: what the fuck is wrong with you people?

Let’s begin with a brief Q&A with America.

Q: Let’s say you’re sick with a potentially deadly disease. Who do you want for a doctor?
A: The smartest, most experienced and highly qualified expert in the field.

Q: You’re looking to invest your life savings. Who do you trust to handle your money?
A: The brightest, most agile financial mind I can find.

Q: You’ve been selected to participate in a “private citizens in space” program. Who do you want in charge of building the rocket? Continue reading

Enough already. I'm calling this one for Obama.

by JS O’Brien

The mainstream media is reminding me more and more of football announcers struggling to keep viewers from changing channels.

Bud:  Well, the Bumblin’ Bombers are down by 15 with just under two minutes left, Clint, but the game is far from over.

Clint:  That’s right, Bud.  They have no time-outs left, but if they run their two-minute drill effectively, they can certainly move the ball down the field, get the touchdown, make a two-point conversion, then cover an onside kick, drive for another touchdown, and send the game to overtime.

Bud:  Though the Bombers have been held to only 42 yards in total offense in the second half, this is an explosive team, and they’ve come back from situations like this, before, right Clint? Continue reading

For sale: $3 billion worth of political bullshit

This is your only warning. Turn off your TV set, or your will to live — or vote — may be decimated.

The Television Bureau of Advertising forecasts that the politicians who want your vote will spend about $3 billion in 2008, a presidential election year. As noted earlier at S&R, the presidential candidates alone have collectively raised more than $265 million since the beginning of this year. The eventual nominees will need to raise more than $500 million each to have a chance to win in November.

Now, toss in the folks running for the House and Senate. Add the chumps, er, chaps, who want to be governors and attorneys general. A whole passel of politicians are looking for your money — so they can spend it on campaigning to enlighten you about them, their promises and their records. Riiiight.

Remember, this estimate is $3 billion for television advertising. By politicians. So what do you think we’ll find out in the ads they’ll shell out all that cash for?
Continue reading

One (hu)man, one vote

Imagine you’re a State Department official charged with helping formulate our country’s policy toward a new government in Africa. As you review the files, you note something odd. Their Constitution grants everyone over the age of 18 the right to vote in national elections – which is good – but it also establishes guidelines for how much those votes count. In the South of the country each resident’s vote counts once. In the West, each vote counts twice. In the East votes are scored at 1.5 per voter. And in the North, each vote counts three times.

The Constitution offers some justification for the disproportionality of the system, although the rationale strikes you as arcane at best. When you talk to your counterpart in that country it’s explained that Northern votes count three times as much as Southern votes to assure fairness. Continue reading