Monday, November 26, 2018

The Worst Democraps Who Want To Be President-- Part II, Kirsten Gillibrand


It's been two weeks since we kicked off the series with Tulsi Gabbard, an obscure congresswoman from Hawaii who wants to be president (of the United States). Gillibrand, the junior senator from New York, is slightly better-known. Unfortunately for her, outside of her own state, she is only known as the hateful, manipulative fanatic who got Al Franken's scalp for the #MeTooMovement. But long before people who have now labeled her a "man hater" ever heard of Kirsten Gillibrand, she had proven herself unqualified for any kind of leadership role. In other words, her disgraceful and now widely-recognized, shenanigans around the Franken episode have a context, which, alas, few voters are yet aware of.

When she first got swept into Congress in the 2006 anti-red wave-- she defeated rising GOP star John Sweeney-- who Gillibrand successfully portrayed as a drunken wife-beater, possibly the issue that led her to victory in an R+3 district with a huge GOP registration advantage. The district no longer exists as it did back then but it stretched along the eastern New York border with Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont from the Dutchess County suburbs of NYC up through Rensaeler County east of Albany to as far north as Lake Champlain in Essex County. Sweeney had never had a serious reelection challenge until Gillibrand, with the focused help of the Clintons, destroyed his career. She wound up beating him 125,168 (50.0%) to 110,554 (44.2%).

In 2009, the American Conservative painted a very different picture of Gillibrand than the one I had come to know during the 2006 campaign. She persuaded me-- despite having been the lead defense attorney for Philip Morris in both civil and criminal lawsuits-- that she was a heartfelt progressive. (She claimed she only helped Phillip Morris sell cancer and death so she could have enough money to defend abused women and their children for free. Using abused women and children to advance her career is her #1 trademark; it's what she's known for and what will be on her political tombstone one day.) I admit that I was taken in by her lawyerly guile. "Gillibrand," wrote Michael Dougherty for the American Conservative, "won her upstate New York district by running to the right: she campaigned against amnesty for illegal immigrants, promised to restore fiscal responsibility to Washington, and pledged to protect gun rights. After winning by six points, she joined the conservative-leaning Blue Dog Coalition... In her first term, she voted against McCain-hatched immigration reform, assailed Bush’s bailouts, and received a perfect 100 percent rating from the NRA. She crushed her Republican challenger by 24 points in 2008 and bragged that her voting record was 'one of the most conservative in the state.'" For Blue America she was a lesson learned and we began to reassess our policies of recruitment and candidate support. We had been all in on Gillibrand, even cutting this ad with Rickie Lee Jones and the Squirrel Nut Zippers for her:

In the House, she was a poster child for two things: the NRA and their toxic, murderous agenda, and a really vicious, racist xenophobic campaign against Hispanic-- and, to some extent, Asian-- immigrants. She made her bones among fellow conservatives by breaking theirs-- a real piece of work. An opportunist (they used to call her "Tracy Flick" on Capitol Hill) to her very core-- her goal was to build up her right-wing bona fides by denying drivers licenses to immigrants, by voting to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities and by voting to make English the official language of the U.S.

When Obama appointed Hillary Clinton Secretary of State, Gillibrand was the choice of the corrupt conservative Democratic establishment-- especially the Clintons-- as the replacement. She immediately went back to pretending to be a progressive since she would soon have to win election statewide. Like I said, no moral core whatsoever. No one doubts she could flip back to her conservative self in an instant if it meant advancing her shameful career. Right now-- aside from trying to claw her way onto a national ticket-- she is a sudden big proponent of eschewing corporate PAC money. This from a bribe-taking machine who has sucked down $9,779,939 from the finance sector, more than any sitting senator who hasn't run for president other than Wall Street bagmen Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

But what's made her a national figure has been her scurrilous role in the destruction of Al Franken, somewhat reminiscent of the way she utterly destroyed Sweeney-- with a possibly bogus wife-beating charge-- a decade earlier. For her, revving up a war against men has been a calculated stepping stone towards a White House bid. She maneuvered behind the scenes to force Al Franken to resign, something which now seems to have backfired on her.

This morning, reporting for Politico, Natasha Korecki and Laura Nahmias, wrote that the Franken scandal is haunting Gillibrand's (non-existent) 2020 chances. "Today," they wrote, "nearly a year after Gillibrand led the charge in calling for Franken’s resignation, the anger is fresh on the minds of major donors across the country. More than a dozen prominent West Coast, New York and national donors and bundlers-- many of them women-- said they would never again donate to or fundraise for Gillibrand or would only do so if she ended up as the Democratic presidential nominee. Gillibrand has defended her approach by insisting she placed deeply held personal values over party loyalty. But the still-burning resentment among the donor class now confronts Gillibrand as she explores a presidential bid, cutting her off from influential and deep-pocketed contributors and their networks at a time when an expansive 2020 field will compete for their dollars."
[A] major Manhattan-based donor said the episode raised suspicions that it was a craven political move by Gillibrand.

“I thought she was duplicitous,” the donor said. “Once the whole thing happened with Al Franken, it was confirmed 1 billion percent that she’s not to be trusted. I think that she hurt the Democratic Party. I think that she hurt the Senate. I think that what she did for women in politics was dreadful.”

The Franken accusations came in the weeks after a parade of powerful men were toppled by the movement; among them Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Louis C.K. and Garrison Keillor. The wounds over Franken’s ouster were reopened, some Democrats say, during confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, who faced sex misconduct allegations but still took a seat on the Supreme Court.

...Gillibrand has stood her ground, never publicly backing down from the criticism, even when it came from the Democratic Party’s most prolific donor, George Soros. In June, he told the Washington Post he blamed Gillibrand for cornering Franken into resigning, accusing her of doing so “in order to improve her chances,” in 2020.

In August, Gillibrand responded specifically to Soros, telling the Huffington Post in a statement: “If standing up for women who have been wronged makes George Soros mad, that’s on him.”

Gillibrand’s campaign pushed back against the criticism, asserting that the senator did the right thing by speaking up.
I suspect that Bernie wasn't thinking about Gillibrand when he told New York Magazine that he's "not one of those sons of multimillionaires whose parents told them they were going to become president of the United States. I don’t wake up in the morning with any burning desire that I have to be president. If there’s somebody else who appears who can, for whatever reason, do a better job than me, I’ll work my ass off to elect him or her. If it turns out that I am the best candidate to beat Donald Trump, then I will probably run."

Trump and the GOP will be spending hundreds of millions of dollars eviscerating anyone the Democrats run in 2020. But Gillibrand would be their easiest target to destroy, since she's laid so much of the groundwork herself. She is the ultimate opportunistic flip-flopper who, even as a VP nominee, would destroy any chance of making Trump a one-term president. This series is about the worst Democratic prospective candidates. I can't imagine one worse than Tracy Flick.

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At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After what she did to Al Franken, she gets no love from me.

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

She's certainly not getting my vote once a corporatist always a corporatist.

At 6:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

after you've done the final 'worst democrap who wants to be president' (part CCCLXII), I bet you will still be immune to the epiphany that is the ONLY logical conclusion (deductive, inferential) you should be reaching.

How about you skip all these and come up with a way to start being helpful in steering lefty voters toward something that will actually represent them?
You iteratively prove that the democraps will never be that.


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