Friday, January 20, 2017

It's Trumpanzee Inauguration Day And God Is Crying Cold Tears


Yesterday, Alan Grayson e-mailed his supporters to ask them to support John Lewis-- which you can do here, at the Resist ActBlue page. When he was in Congress, Grayson always spoke reverentially about Lewis. In his e-mail he reminded his supporters why Lewis feels Trump is an illegitimate president and why he's boycotting his Inauguration today. "I don't see this President-Elect as a legitimate president," said Lewis on Meet The Press. "I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected, and they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton."

Before Lewis' interview, only a small handful of congressmembers had heeded Luis Gutierrez's call to boycott the inauguration. We may never know how many members skip it, but so far over 70 have made public statements about why they are staying away-- and most of them mentioned John Lewis and the way Trump responded to him. Back to Grayson:
The Tweeter-in-Chief responded as follows:

"Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime-infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk-- no action or results. Sad!"

I don’t know what’s worse about President-Elect Trump, his thin skin or his thick skull.

Make Donald Trump even more angry-- show your support for John Lewis.

John Lewis was one of the original 13 Freedom Riders, who challenged racial segregation on the buses in the South.  He also was the Chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.

In 1961 and 1962, Lewis was arrested. Twenty-four times.

In Anniston, Alabama, Klan members deflated the tires of a bus that Lewis and the other Freedom Riders had boarded.  Then they firebombed it.

In Birmingham, Lewis was beaten.

In Rock Hill, South Carolina, two white men punched Lewis in the face, and kicked him in the ribs.

In Montgomery, a mob met the bus, took Lewis off the bus, knocked him over the head with a wooden crate, and left him unconscious on the bus station floor.

On one day in 1965, a day known as “Bloody Sunday,” Alabama state troopers in Selma hit civil rights demonstrators with tear gas, charged into them, and beat them with clubs. They broke John Lewis’s skull.

I’ve seen the scars on his head.

Somehow, all of that . . . pain . . . forged an outstanding Congressman. A champion on universal healthcare.  A forceful proponent of gay rights and gun safety.  An apostle of peace.

Let me sum it up this way.  Whatever John Lewis has done, he has done for others. And whatever Donald Trump has done, he has done for himself-- bigly.

I’m glad that there are people like John Lewis in public life.
So are these 71 Democrats, all of whom have explicitly confirmed that they're skipping the Trump inauguration today:
Terri Sewell (New Dem-AL)
Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Ruben Gallego (D-AZ)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Ted Lieu (D-CA)
Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA)
Judy Chu (D-CA)
Mark Takano (D-CA)
Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Grace Napolitano (D-CA)
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Jared Huffman (D-CA)
Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
Karen Bass (D-CA)
Jerry McNerney (D-CA)
Raul Ruiz (D-CA)
Tony Cardenas (New Dem-CA)
Juan Vargas (New Dem-CA)
Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC)
Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
Darren Soto (New Dem-FL)
John Lewis (D-GA)
Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
Bobby Rush (D-IL)
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
Mike Quigley (New Dem-IL)
Dan Lipinski (Blue Dog-IL)
Pete Visclosky (D-IN)
John Yarmuth (D-KY)
Katherine Clark (D-MA)
Mike Capuano (D-MA)
Jamie Raskin (D-MD)
Anthony Brown (D-MD)
Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
John Conyers (D-MI)
Keith Ellison (D-MN)
William Lacy Clay (D-MO)
Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
Alma Adams (D-NC)
G.K. Butterfield (D-NC)
Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)
Bonnie Watson-Coleman (D-NJ)
Donald Payne (D-NJ)
Albio Sires (D-NJ)
Jerry Nadler (D-NY)
Yvette Clarke (D-NY)
Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)
Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)
Jose Serrano (D-NY)
Louise Slaughter (D-NY)
Grace Meng (D-NY)
Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Pete DeFazio (D-OR)
Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR)
Dwight Evans (D-PA)
Mike Doyle (D-PA)
Brendan Boyle (D-PA)
Bob Brady (D-PA)
Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
Al Green (D-TX)
Joaquin Castro (New Dem-TX)
Filemon Vela (Blue Dog-TX)
Donald McEachin (D-VA)
Don Beyer (New Dem-VA)
Gerry Connolly (New Dem-VA)
Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
Adam Smith (New Dem-WA)
Mark Pocan (D-WI)
Like Grayson, Steve Israel is no longer a member of Congress. However, unlike Grayson, I haven't seen Israel, a former Blue Dog and a lobbyist-loving corruptionist, have anything to say about John Lewis' service. His dismally failed messaging talents have been so catastrophic for the Democrats that he was just hired by the corporately owned and operated Third Way organization to bring his "his decades of experience... to help Democrats reconnect with middle class voters and offer a compelling alternative to bring Democrats out of the wilderness." Here's some Fake News from Third Way:
“Democrats are on the cusp of becoming a regional party. We are winning only in the more comfortable and elite coastal areas and losing badly virtually everywhere else. We are thrilled that Steve Israel will be joining our organization and serving as a leader in our New Blue campaign. Steve’s tremendous expertise will be an integral part of devising the economic strategy and messaging that will restore the Democratic Party nationwide,” said Jonathan Cowan, President of Third Way.

Mr. Israel said in a statement, “I am eager to join Third Way’s work on this vital task. I came to rely heavily on Third Way’s insights in my own swing district and as DCCC Chair. They are the smartest think tank in Washington when it comes to innovative policies with broad appeal. And, as I saw first-hand in evenly-matched areas around the nation, we need a vision for the Democratic Party that constructively taps into the unique convergence of anxieties gripping middle class and working families. The New Blue campaign is precisely what our party needs as we rebuild in message, mobilization, and values.”
Blue America is looking forward, not backward to the failed era of Steve Israel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Blue Dogs, the New Dems and Third Way but towards young leaders of working families like California Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, who is running in the special election to replace Xavier Beccera in Congress from a district that Steve Israel and his allies from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party might want to characterize as one of the "elite coastal areas" (like Old Westbury, Great Neck, Oyster Bay, Manhasset, Roslyn, Mill Neck and Woodbury-- all among the richest towns in America and all formerly represented by Israel), although the district Gomez is running in is a fast-growing and vibrant but an area that is ranked as one of the dozen poorest congressional districts in America. That's Third Way's and Steve Israel's idea of an "elite coastal" area. Oh, yeah-- Steve Israel doing messaging for the Republican wing of the Democratic Party... what could possibly go wrong?

Writing on his Facebook page yesterday, Robert Reich referred to today's freakshow as "a sickening event in the history of the United States, a tragedy for America and the world, and a victory for hatefulness, racism, misogyny, and authoritarianism."
[W]e say farewell to the first African-American President-- a man of decency, integrity, and dignity-- and turn the national reigns over to a thin-skinned, vindictive, impulsive, sociopath. Trump is a conman and bully who is ignorant about democracy and disdainful of its basic institutions. He lies constantly. He has cheated his customers, investors, and contractors. His countless tweets and stream-of-consciousness statements at his rallies reveal a nasty, greedy, mendacious, bigoted human being, with a level of egotism and narcissism rare even among politicians and celebrities.

Trump fueled his campaign with the sense of dispossession and anxiety found among millions of voters-- most of them white-- many of whom voted for him because they thought he would carry their resentments and fury to the nation’s capital, and make our political economic system work for them instead of the privileged few. Some say Trump rose on racism. But racism has been with us since the founding of the nation. Trump rose on downward mobility and economic fears, which allowed him to exploit racism and as well as fears of foreigners and Mexican immigrants, Islamophobia, and the rest of his hateful arsenal.

Trump is the ultimate price our political establishment pays for doing almost nothing to improve the plight of the bottom 60 percent of Americans for over thirty years.

As David Remnick has written, the most hopeful way to look at this grievous event is that it and its consequences in coming years “will be a test of the strength, or the fragility, of American institutions. It will be a test of our seriousness and resolve.”

Every decent American-- regardless of political party, or wealth, or race-- must now commit herself or himself to combating Trump’s authoritarianism, calling out his lies, protecting the weak and vulnerable among us, keeping hope alive, and preserving what we can of what is best about America.

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At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you believe in that gawd, you MUST believe that gawd GAVE us this ghastly unitary. If your gawd makes this kind of mistake or allows this degree of evil, your gawd is really a devil.

As events continue to prove that your gawd does not and cannot exist, why the delusional insistence on belief?

The human flaw that guarantees our eventual, quick maybe, extinction.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Fiddlin Bill said...

This is a terrific post. The mention of God in the head might be viewed as metaphoric. Sort of like, ummmm, Mississippi Goddam.

At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i lay the blame of a trump presidency squarely on the doorstep of the corporate 3rd way democrats. A group of political parasites so tone deaf they still don't get it.

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Lewis shares some of the blame for today by helping to push Hillary and the anti-FDR wing of the party down our throats.

At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:44, Mr. Lewis' mea culpa comes far too late. Because he and his CBC shilled for $hillbillary, blacks supported that monster in a pavlovian way. Had he ignored the call of the money (look at his voting record. You'll see a lot of money votes in there... sadly) and looked only at which candidate was FAAAAARRR better for minorities... oh well. At least he admits it.

However, at this time in our history, admitting it after the damage is done is NOT good enough.

At 11:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What has John Lewis done since 1961?

Is It Time To Revoke John Lewis’s Lifetime Civil Rights Hero Pass?
A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Kim Kaufman

At 7:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kim, leave it alone. What he did BEFORE 1970 is enough.

I know his congressional voting record has been uneven since and he's supported some real bad corporate D candidates. But he stood tall and took the beatings. He's earned MY respect.


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