Tuesday, December 20, 2016

How Did Trump Win-- And What Can We Learn From That?


I hope you weren't surprised yesterday when el President-elect Señor Trumpanzee won the electoral college-- and only lost 2 "faithless electors" (half the number Clinton lost). Over the course of the last two weeks, Blue America got a couple dozens letters asking why we weren't participating in the attempts to get the Republican electors to vote against Trump. I patiently responded to each letter that that isn't what Blue America does. We don't send out phony-baloney petitions-- used to build big e-mail lists-- and we don't ask our members to contribute money to wasteful bullshit schemes. There was never any chance that the electors were going to overturn the formula the unfortunate 2016 election was fought under. Blue America is busy doing real work, recruiting progressive candidates to win back the House in 2018. That's what we do. And that's the way-- as far as I can tell, the only way-- to slow down Trumpism politically.

We have to win back a net of 24 Republican seats. We've endorsed our first candidate already in that quest, Doug Applegate, who nearly defeated Darrell Issa on his first foray into electoral politics. Almost no one ever wins the first time out. We helped persuade Doug to try again in 2018 and he is committed. We endorsed him and we're raising money for his campaign here. (Please chip in. This is for real, not like the futile silliness over the electoral college scams.)

Even before 2018, there will be a few special elections to fill various seats. We've endorsed the best-qualified and most inspiring candidate running for the seat Xavier Becerra is giving up in Los Angeles as he takes on the job of California Attorney General. And that candidate is a young super-progressive Assemblyman, Jimmy Gomez. The case for endorsing him is here and you can give his campaign a hand here. Jimmy's extraordinary record speaks for itself and there's no need to depend on well-meaning campaign promises from novices that will likely go unfulfilled. Presumably that's why people we trust-- from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Supervisor Hilda Solis, state Controller Betty Yee, state Treasurer John Chiang, state Senate President Kevin de León to congressmen Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Ruben Gallego (D-AZ)-- have rushed to endorse Jimmy.

Currently we're working to help persuade good progressives to run for seats being vacated by Trumpish appointees Tom Price (GA-05), Mick Mulvaney (SC-05) and Ryan Zinke (the at-large Montana seat) and for the Albuquerque seat being vacated by Michelle Lujan Grisham so she can run for governor of New Mexico. That's how you stop Trumpism. If he doesn't have Congress he can fulminate all he wants but the legislation he wants to pass will fail and the budgets he needs to finance his schemes won't be available.

The DCCC doesn't do the job. They're incompetent and caught up in the organization's fatally defective ideological DNA that consistently moves them away from progressives and populists and in favor of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. It's how they've managed to lose 70 seats in just the last few years. Pelosi, who originally came from the progressive wing of the party, has bent over backwards to placate conservaDems, so far backwards that she's unbalanced the whole Democratic congressional party in a way that will take a decade to fix. A decade that won't even start until after she and Hoyer are gone-- presuming Crowley and Wasserman Schultz can somehow be stopped from taking over in the post-Pelosi era. People hate this stinking, corrupted establishment. That more than anything is why we have Trump. Yes, more than Comey, more than Putin, more than sexism... people want to overthrow the establishment. Watch this spectacular documentary by Leighton Woodhouse, Trumpland, which will help you understand how Trump could have possibly won:

It didn't have to be Trump. Except for the machinations of a corrupt Democratic establishment, it would have been Bernie. Without Wasserman Schultz and wretched mini-versions of her around the country, Bernie would have won the primary and would have then beaten Trump. That's unprovable-- and plenty of people refuse to believe it. As Michael Sainato wrote in The Observer yesterday, Democratic elites still can’t grasp that Sanders would have won in a landslide. He points out that the "notion that Sanders would have lost to Trump for being too liberal is baseless. Trump won without much support from the Republican establishment, while Clinton touted dozens of elite Republican endorsements, but got nowhere. Trump’s appeal was based on being an outsider. Clinton’s appeal to insiders from both parties repelled many of the voter demographics she needed to win the presidency."
Clinton’s record was filled with scandals and corruption, fueled by her evasive nature. “Crooked Hillary” and “Hillary for Prison” were mantras developed by the right wing that would never have been applied to Sanders, who even Republicans have praised for his integrity.

“I like and respect Bernie Sanders because he is honest, he’s candid,” said Sen. Ted Cruz in an interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball. “We are philosophically different, but Bernie was an honest man,” Sen. John McCain said in an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “I think he’s an authentic guy. I think he’s an honest guy,” 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on Jimmy Kimmel Live. On CNN, conservative and former Fox News host Glenn Beck admitted, “Bernie Sanders is at least honest about who he is.”

Sanders is, across the board, respected and revered by his colleagues because he has remained true to his principles, no matter what government agent or corporation disagrees with him. He has the record of bipartisanship needed to bring together both parties, and enact meaningful reforms demanded by a public disenfranchised by a dysfunctional Congress. The words “socialist” and “radical” have been used to describe Sanders in a condescending manner, but those same labels have been used to describe past presidents who brought about significant changes and progress for the United States. Liberal elites still have a difficult time grasping this reality, and remain oblivious as to why Clinton couldn’t beat one of the most unpopular presidential candidates in modern history, wasting $1.2 billion in the process.

The past few years in America have been marred by a dysfunctional government, vast increases in wealth for the richest one percent, and perpetual warfare and threats from abroad. The problems facing the United States today call for revolutionary actions. The Democrats’ answer to that call was to coalesce around Clinton, who embodies the status quo. Voters chose the only other candidate who offered any semblance of challenge to that status quo, Trump-- many based solely on the reasoning that he isn’t Clinton.

Voters were given a choice between the establishment (Clinton), and something new (Trump). However, as a recent MSNBC forum with Sanders revealed, given the ways in which Sanders’ candidacy would have challenged the establishment compared to Trump, many voters would have chosen Sanders. Too bad they weren’t given the chance.

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At 5:13 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

I'm glad Doug is running again & i'm ready to help him & other progressive candidates in 2018.

At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He won because $hillbillary was too horrible for sentient human beings to vote for.
He won because of the two miserable pieces of shit running, he was the most authentic.
He won because the American electorate keeps getting dumber.
He won because the American people are, in their essence, cowards who are filled with hate and greed.
In a nation where any kardashian can become a millionaire for 'being famous', a drumpf is inevitable given time.


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