Category Archives: Republican

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

It is the easiest thing in the world to belittle the weak, and the Texas Democratic party has been almost catatonic since J.J. Jake Pickle and Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Democratic force fell by the wayside. Texas Democrats had a brief resurgence in the 80’s and 90’s with Ann Richards as governor and with the Clinton’s in the White House; but truthfully, the Texas Democratic party of old died with Jake Pickle at about the turn of the century.

Which is probably a good thing, because the way the Democrats used to do business is mirrored in the way that the Texas Republicans currently do business. Gerrymandering. Stuffing ballot boxes. The outright purchase of votes and candidates by the wealthy class.

Media pundits know who holds the power now. It’s evident in every broadcast you listen to, every telecast you watch or any article you read. Oh, sure, they pay lip service to the notion that the Democrats are due for a comeback; but the corporate media, the corporation, that most feudal of all still existing human social structures, they make their money ass-kissing the powerful, just as their forebears did to kings and sultans, czars and sheiks. They ass-kiss the Republican party because the Republican party has shown their willingness to engage in a bit of the ol’ ultraviolence by letting a known money launderer and populist dictator wannabe take the reigns of power in the US.

As an example, here is the darling of the liberal press, NPR’s weekly politics podcast, talking about the first in the country primaries in Texas this Tuesday,


MARCH 7, 2018 Takeaways From Texas, As Midterms Kick Off

Even a casual listener of that podcast and the one that follows it can’t help but notice that the only voices heard aside from the hosts are conservative leaders. They even play the entire Ted Cruz ad, as if I haven’t heard it several times already on other liberal news organizations, as well as an interview with Ted Cruz! Free advertising and free airtime for the sitting Senator from Canada, er, Texas. Do we hear anything from his opponent in this race, Beto O’Rourke, aside from their making fun of his showing and his name, yucking it up right along with that son of a dominionist Cruz?

No, of course not. He’s never going to have any power, in their eyes. He’s just not pulling the interest of the news consumers, that skewed demographic that sits at home watching FOX news as if this was still the 1990’s or something. One might think the media would have learned a thing or two from the mess they made of the 2016 races, following the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) around like little puppies afraid they’ll miss the next tidbit of tasty gossip. All the while certain that their free advertising for this dangerously jingoist, nationalist, uninformed conspiracy fantasist wouldn’t help earn him the White House all on its own. Never consciously realizing that their dismissal of the favorite, a savvy, political insider who had been hounded by the press for nearly 40 years would end up creating a vacuum that something had to fill.

No, they just go on blithely doing the mindless reporting that they always do, looking to see what will get them the most viewer or listener numbers. Never really asking if these were the stories they should have spent their precious time talking and writing about. And so the numbers stack up in the conservative column, and the people follow the media who follow the assumed power, none of them ever asking if that leadership is a judas goat or not.

Let me break this down for you, the layman who doesn’t live and breath politics like I do. Republican primary turnout in Texas is high because in Texas you can only vote in one primary for one party. So if you are interested in selecting the leadership of your county or state (cities are generally non-partisan races by design)  you will go and vote in the primary of the party you think will carry statewide offices. And that party in Texas has been the Republican party. Democrats last won statewide office in 1994, the longest dry spell in recent US history. Only a fool votes in a primary for a party that will not control the state after the next election, or so the average voter thinks.

Ted Cruz was essentially unchallenged in his primary race, so Ted Cruz got every vote of every Texan who voted in the Republican primary unless they took the time to not vote for him. And since most Texans voted Republican he got more votes than the Democratic candidates did. Does this mean anything in the grand scheme of things? Only that most people want to be on the winning side in an election and will change their stances on subjects after the fact just to prove how right they always were.

If Texas had jungle primaries like California does, you would see something you’ve never seen in Texas before, cross-party voting on the primary ballot. You would see a lot less racism and persecution of the transgendered and homosexuals, because there would no target demographic that would vote on issues that arcane without partisan primary grandstanding. If Texas had districts that weren’t gerrymandered to a fraction of a percentage point on average party turn-out (like Pennsylvania) but were instead drawn by a non-partisan commission, you might see people voting for the other party just to get a change of government in their district. But we don’t have those things, and so the self-fulfilling prophecy of Republican victory is underscored by pundits who aren’t interested in how the opposition is hobbled in Texas, they just want to congratulate the victors no matter how rigged the races are at the outset.

Back in LBJ’s day, the Democrats did all this stuff too. It’s hard for them to criticize the Republicans for doing things that they did, that they will do again if we let them. The trick is to inform your leadership that you want a level playing field before you send them to office. That you want maximal voter turnout, sensible districting, wide-open primaries and real discussion of issues. Good luck on getting the media to stop following the easy story, the quick click reward. In the meantime you could just stop believing that pundits know what the future holds anymore than you do yourself right now. Then you might at least stop fulfilling the prophecies that they keep making.

Ballotpedia.org

The Blue Wave was real, and then it wasn’t, in the course of about a week. Stranger still, the made-up national story arc seemed to influence in-state coverage as well. Even though Democratic turnout was better than in any midterm primary since 2002, and more than than double 2014, commentators have consistently described the night as at least a mild disappointment, where the Democrats “fell short” of a goal that had been imagined for them.

Texas Observer


The thing is, the way the state goes on the electoral college map doesn’t mean very much at all for the way Texas is governed. And while it’s possible that the party jumps back to life with the shock of winning one or two statewide elections — that there will be a proof of concept, and then everyone suddenly gets serious — it’s more likely that things change slowly, over an extended period of time, and that small gains and positive signs feed bigger gambits. What’s most important in the long run is the overall composition and strength of the Texas Democratic Party at the local and state level.

In that light, the fact that Democratic turnout doubled in urban counties while Republican turnout stayed essentially flat is significant. There are quite a few winnable legislative districts around those cities. The whole ballgame for the party is getting people to vote and to make a habit of voting. Trump is helping them do that — the trick now is to get it to stick, which it most certainly did not after the elections of 2006 and 2008. – Christopher Hooks for the Texas Observer, The All-or-Nothing ‘Turning Texas Blue’ Narrative Needs to Be Retired

The interview with Christopher Hooks on the Texas Standard today spells out exactly what I’m talking about. The media, focused on national races and their outcomes, never even considers the fact that the truism all politics is local holds sway even in places as large as Texas,


Texas Standard, Is It Time To Stop Talking About ‘Turning Texas Blue’?

Progressives are making inroads in Texas, and there isn’t a damn thing that Republicans and conservatives can do about it. For Democrats to win they have to offer real improvement on what the Republicans are doing now. Funding schools. Improving safety. Protecting the environment and moving Texas into the the next century. Listening to the OHM and his canuck croney Cruz talk, you would think that there aren’t fields of windmills in West Texas providing essential electricity to the grid. That solar wasn’t the future and that the emergence of electric cars in the cities isn’t a thing that is happening. You would think that Texas lives and dies by coal, which was never true, and that we’re still in the wildcat days of the oil boom in Texas, which we aren’t.

It’s time to put the conservatives where they belong, in the past with their fear of the transgendered and the homosexual. Their need for their religion to be front and center in everything they do. We cannot afford to be side-tracked into meaningless crusades against the different and the strange. There is real work being left undone because of their fear-mongering and immigrant hating. Time to roll up the sleeves and get back to work. 

What Flavor Politician Are You?

Being Libertarian

I found this image on the Being Libertarian page on Facebook. I have to wonder at naming a page Being Libertarian when it’s been demonstrated that Being Liberal was a thing on Facebook before there was a page called Being Libertarian, but I digress.

The image is attempting to show how silly it is to say that Libertarians are Democrats or Republicans. Stealing votes from Democrats or Republicans. However, there is a problem in their logic, which I will illustrate literally.

Gary Johnson is Crystal Pepsi, not Dr. Pepper. If it means anything, the Orange Hate-Monkey is Pepsi laced with arsenic.

Clinton is not Coke, but then neither is Coke these days. Lacking access to a Coke (to take the metaphor to its proper conclusion) I’ll vote for the thing that says it’s a Coke. At least the can is the right color and the drink will be carbonated and not too sweet.

I don’t like Dr. Pepper anyway.

Just in case that isn’t clear enough, I will elaborate further. Gary Johnson and much of the Libertarian Party (LP) philosophy and platform is Republican. I know they insist they are different, but in reality the GOP morphed into a variation of the LP about the time Reagan was President. They’ve been becoming more and more the LP as the Tea Party took over with each succeeding election since that time.

So there are still only two flavors to choose from. That is by design. The system only works the way we see it working, unless we take the effort and energy to alter it’s framework.

In a system where winners are decided by earning at least 1/N of the vote, there will be N choices.

As I’ve said many times, I’m voting for Clinton. I prefer centrism. I prefer we not wreck the system. I prefer we reduce suffering rather than increase it. So I won’t dilute the vote by shifting my vote to some other candidate which has no chance of beating the two major parties who have hardwired themselves into the system.

Facebook status and consequent comments incorporated and backdated to the blog.

Republican Convention Post-Mortem

I remain amazed at how easily the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) got the nomination. That is the only part of the equation that I remain mystified by. I remain mystified by it because, as any parliamentarian can tell you, it isn’t easy to hijack a convention like he did. And yet there is no other word to describe how the convention went down other than to say it was hijacked.

Did the “never Trump” faction have enough political savvy to stop him from becoming the nominee? The answer appears to be no. He secured the chair with someone who would gavel the convention to order. His supporters clearly understood how to silence a floor fight. All that is left is for the delegates to vote and he’s the nominee, and the GOP can finally accept the labels we have attempted to pin on them for 30 years and more. They are fascists. They are openly racist and xenophobic. They are happy to promote and embrace a christian theocracy, even when lead by a fakir.

It is also worth noting that the best politicians that the GOP can muster could not stop a political newb from taking over their convention and making them all dance his tune. They appear to deserve all the ridicule and embarrassment that can be piled on them at this point. They really are the NSDAP. They equate to the PNF. May they be remembered by history in the same light as their failure predecessor political organizations.

The New Yorker

The choice in this election could not be more starkly drawn no matter what the Hillary haters say. It is now up to the informed and the thinking to lay out just how bad it can be with an authoritarian of the caliber of the Birther-in-Chief. Just how grim the future is when lead by the Orange Hate-monkey. Just how untrustworthy a real-estate developer is. Time to lay it all out for everyone to see so that there is no question that anyone who votes for Trump votes for concentration camps and mass extermination. Anyone who supports Trump wants the US to be destroyed in a paroxysm of self-hatred. Anyone who supports Trump wants to see civilization end. Make them prove that this is not the case at every turn. Hammer them into submission with ideas too strong to be refuted.

The next President will be Hillary Clinton. If we are lucky.

Dick jokes and eager young interns with their hands on your junk. Giggling impotent old men eager for a show. Inflexible self righteous authoritarianism. Anger. Shouting. Marines. Jerking off. Outrage. Violation. Embarrassment. Mortification. Forced to tough it out to the bitter end.

And finally you go home dirty and used, clothes ruined, dignity long fled, covered in sticky goo and shooting blanks.

In the rain.

Honestly, what DOESN’T it have to do with the Republican National Convention?

See you tomorrow, Folks. My regards to Mr. Trump. – Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station on Facebook

Facebook status backdated to the blog.  The 29% chance of winning that Fivethirtyeight gave him on the eve of the election explains everything else you need to know. Comey did it

Cliven Bundy is a White Supremacist? Who’d a Thunk It?

The Washington Post reports on an embarrassing situation developing on the Republicans and conservatives right flank,

The Washington Post

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” Cliven Bundy told supporters last week, according to a New York Times story that published on Wednesday night.

The Nevada rancher was previously best known for refusing to pay two decades-worth of fines for grazing his cattle on federal land and fighting off the Bureau of Land Management for the nth time, this time with the help of armed militia — or for being the patron saint of state’s rights, pick your poison. But since those controversial comments were published, he has seen most of his friends in high places vanish overnight. Republican politicians who saw the Bundy stand-off as an opportunity to connect with the far right are now trying to figure out which adverb will put the most distance between themselves and the rancher.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul went with wholeheartedly, releasing a statement on Thursday saying Bundy’s “remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him.” Nevada Sen. Dean Heller chose completely. His spokesperson said Thursday, “Senator Heller completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way.” Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, who previously battled with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes about Bundy, preferred strongly. “I strongly disagree with Cliven Bundy’s comments about slavery,” she said.

Don’t even pretend to me you didn’t recognize what this man was saying from the beginning, conservative politicians. All of you know where these arguments come from, because “I” knew where they come from. If you didn’t know, your vaunted experience in politics isn’t worth the spit necessary for you to talk about it.

Nothing new here. This is old, old news; that white supremacists still exist, and that their arguments have been adopted and inculcated into the politics of libertarians and conservatives, and through them into the Republican party. I recognized his arguments as being representative of this particular flavor of politics even before he showed his hand in that interview.

What I want to know is, why has this man not been arrested? Why does he still have land, possessions, etc? Because he is a wealthy rancher in a sparsely populated state, he gets to hold guns on federal officials and remain at large? He’s a simple tax cheat. Make an example of him, already.

Facebook status backdated to the blog.