Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Straight Blue

This wouldn't have been a title of a blog I'd have written ten years ago because although I've always leaned toward the Democrats, I rarely voted a straight ticket.

And I'll admit to a certain amount of conflict with the Dems. I am not a Progressive. I've never been able to stand Bernie Sanders. I think he's as much the reason Hillary lost the presidency as Russia or WikiLeaks or Jim Comey.

I'm more a middle-of-the-roader but I do think the D's made a mistake by leaving the same old tired politicians in power for so long and not giving enough space for their younger ones to grow. I do think the energy is on the more liberal side of the party.

Having said that, I believe that we should promote whoever is the best fit for their district - conservative Democrats in conservative districts and lefty Democrats in lefty districts. I want to win, however, we have to do it.They can fight policies out among themselves when they are in control again.

Yes, I will forgive Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Heide Heidkamp if they vote for Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. What difference does it make? Trump is going to get one of his picks and they are almost interchangeable so why risk a Senate seat in a losing cause?

In the next few years, I would like to see the DACA kids get a chance for citizenship. I would like to see veterans who fought for their country to stop being deported. I would like to see a humane immigration policy. I would like to see a more selective "Muslim ban" instead of one that judges all members of a particular religion the same. I would, ideally, like to see Medicare for all. I would like to see the minimum wage increased to a living wage. I would like to see us out of Iraq and Afghanistan. I would like to see fewer tax breaks for rich people and corporations and more for the middle class or at least to demand the corporations share their cuts with their employees, rather than stock buy backs and investor dividends. I would like us to go back to free trade. I would like to see us re-join the Paris Accords, the TransPacific Partership, the Iran Agreement, NAFTA. I would like to see us acknowledge our allies in NATO and the G7 as our friends and not our foes. I would like to quit playing kissy-face with the Russians and North Koreans.

I might get some of these things from Democrats; I won't get any of them from Republicans. The current Republicans aren't the R's I once knew. They cower in their corners in the face of Donald Trump's tweets. They have turned all their previous principles upside down. Deficit hawks - ha! Free-traders - ha! America - the leader of the free world - ha!

Their hypocrisy in the way they treated Obama versus the way they toady to Trump is awesomely awful.

So, I will vote for Democrats from the top to the bottom of the ballot. I will vote for them no matter their basic political philosophies - conservative, moderate, liberal or progressive, old or young, black or white, male or female, straight or gay.

I will be voting a straight Democratic ticket until our politics returns to normal and Republicans decide they are patriots rather than partisans.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

It's Looking More and More Like Treason


If I had even the slightest morsel of doubt that perhaps I was over-reacting about Donald Trump and just maybe he and his followers weren't as bad as I thought, his performance in Helsinki and their response wiped out that sliver of doubt. I'm 72 and while I think other presidents have sometimes shown misjudgment (the Iraq War being a prime example) none of them has ever disgraced and demeaned our country like this one. None of them has ever purposely thrown our allies under the bus. (My own personal feeling about the reason for his animus toward Therese May and Angela Merkel is that he has absolute contempt for women and assumes all females are weak by definition).

Putin bounced and strutted to the stage in Helsinki like a cocky rooster who'd just screwed a hen. He grinned from ear to ear. He looked like a happy, contented man.

Meanwhile. America's own president was submissive and groveling, agreeing with everything Putin said, like thinking that his idea to send our investigators to Russia to work with Putin's KGB interrogators to "figure out" who hacked our election. This is a suggestion so far beyond the pale that it is almost impossible to believe an American leader could think that way. This while every single intelligence agency we have believe it is an incontrovertible fact that Russia is the culprit.

That Mueller just indicted 12 KGB agents in the hacking probe three days before and that Trump was briefed about it before the meeting, makes it infinitely worse.

And why did Trump insist on meeting Putin alone, without even note takers? Why did he not even want his advisors to know what went on? Did he not realize that the U.S. would then be reduced to obtaining the information from the Russians. Best case scenario, it would be a "he said, he said" so that no one could dispute what Putin said with any authority. But it wasn't a "he said, he said", it was a "both agreed" situation and Trump himself hasn't released even a summary of what was talked about to his people.

And Jesus God, now Trump has invited Putin to the White House before the midterm elections! How freaking stupid are we?

And yet, I've been arguing on Facebook with Trump cult members who are totally behind Trump. What makes me the angriest is the false moral equivalency they try to draw between America and Russia.

"Well, we're not so great either," they claim. According to them, our entire government is a hotbed of deep state corruption including Democrats, Republicans, intelligence agencies, the FBI, the Justice Department and of course, the fake media, who are acting to bring down their adored Trump.

This is all bullshit of the highest order. We don't imprison or kill our political opponents (despite what the Trump nuts say about Hillary).  We don't imprison or kill journalists. We don't beat up citizens who disagree with the government or put them in labor camps. We don't go to other countries and poison people with chemical weapons. We don't invade other countries and claim them for our own.

The right seems to like America less and less as the Trump administration goes on. He has successfully convinced a large swath of us to turn against our own nation. In the war of Trump (and Russia) against the U.S., they are on Trump's side. They despise the Democrats why more than they despise Putin.

Trump leads his fanatics around by the nose with a web of pathological lying. Putin leads Trump around by the nose with a web of pathological lying. Like attracts like.

I hate saying this but it begins to look more and more like treason to me.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Put My Mind At Ease, Conservatives


I'm really asking these questions respectfully to try to learn why I'm so nervous and you're not. Do you have answers that I don't have? If you do, please share them.

I've been anxious about Russia from the very beginning. Put all those questions about collusion and obstruction aside. For the sake of argument, I'll accept your claim that it is all baseless.

But why did several Republican senators spend the Fourth of July in Moscow meeting with their Russians counterparts with no Democrats, no press, no official agenda or transcript of what was discussed. Does that make you even a little bit uneasy? What do you think it was all about? 

And, reportedly when Trump meets with Putin in July, he wants a one on one meeting - again with no press and no schedule of what they will discuss. We will be dependent on Moscow to tell us what went on as we have been every time the two leaders have met. Why is that do you suppose?  I'd sort of like to be informed, wouldn't you?

The Republicans changed exactly one thing on their platform - a statement to go lighter on Russia regarding its attack on Ukraine.

Since the election, our government has acceded to everything Putin had on his wish list. There is a huge divide between America and its allies. It appears Trump is ready to pull us out of NATO, the alliance that has kept mostly peace in the world since the end of World War II. Is that a good thing, do you think? Do you really believe Putin and Kim Jung Un are better and more reliable friends to us than Germany, France, England and Canada?

Putin wants to divide us from our traditional allies in every way. Trump cooperatively withdrew America from the Paris Accords, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, The Human Rights Commission, The Iran Agreements. The negotiations on NAFTA have broken down. All these have been replaced with...nothing. And yet, with not nearly the safeguards to ensure compliance as the Iran Agreement, Trump assures us we can rest easy because North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat.

Trump thinks Russia should be allowed back in the G7 although he was rejected for taking Crimea and attacking Ukraine and that hasn't changed. Trump is talking about letting bygones and simply allowing Russia to keep Crimea.

He called to congratulate Putin even though everyone knows his "election" was a sham. Putin is a dictator, not an elected leader.

Trump didn't want to impose sanctions on Russian and refused until Congress forced his hand. Even then, he waited a year.

Please assure me, Conservatives, that you honestly see nothing to be alarmed about in all of this...and please explain why you feel that way.