Thursday, March 5, 2020

I’m not one given to cheerleading for a political candidate, especially someone running for president. Part of it’s because I think having a worshipful opinion on a President or any sort of unearned hierarchical authority is a bit weird and a flaw in the human psyche. People ask me who’s my “favorite President” is like people who ask me “who’s your favorite Roman Emperor,” just as silly and they’re going to get a sour-if-confused look.

Maybe it has something to do with coming of age during the Reagan era with my first presidential choice between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, if you want to talk about “the lesser of two evils”. Some of it, no doubt, has to do with a fondness for dictum usually attributed to H.L. Mencken , “The only way a reporter should look at a reporter is down.” I’m as vulnerable to a good shuck as anyone, don’t get me wrong. I had to make a point of not watching Obama speak live because his mojo worked on me. I don’t pretend to be “totally objective,” but one must keep a clear head when one does Journalism. It’s too important to screw around.

That all being said, I’m a bit disappointed at the news of Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the race, as inevitable as it was. For whatever reason, she never was able to make much headway when the voting got started despite a strong start out of the gate. A lot of people said she was “too wonky” or “too hectoring”, “too socialist” or “not socialist enough”. There’s an argument that sexism played a role, especially coming from folks who sneered at Hilary Clinton but claimed they’d have voted for Warren.

The whole Native American business was an ugly mess, but if she was the first white person who claimed Indian blood, it’d be different. From what I understand, Cherokee elders came to terms with Warren and accepted her apology. Some individual Natives still have problems with her and deservedly so. But ever white guy cracking wise about “Pocahontas”? Get the fuck out of here. Nobody believes a country that’ll fight that hard to call a football team “Redskins” gives two tugs of a dead dog’s dick over “cultural appropriation of Native Americans”, and nobody believes you really give a shit over “appropriation”. Claim all you want, you’re a liar. White America does not have the benefit of the doubt on this one.

For me, she made for what I look for in a president: someone who has a plan to get shit done and was willing to twist some balls to make it happen. I don’t need a leader or an inspiration or someone to care for me or someone to have a beer with. I just look for someone who can act as a good administrator and executive. That’s just me, though, but I do think we wouldn’t having to be arguing over three septuagenarians of dubious quality.

Sanders may’ve had more radical ideas, but I think Warren would’ve been able to get those ideas implemented. People seem to think what a candidate promises when running is what will happen when said candidate is in office, apparently unaware what kind of pain in the ass Congress can be. Politics requires finesse and ability to cut deals, and Warren always struck me as a serious nut-cutter when things got down and dirty. Ah, well.

Speaking of the dirty business of politics, it’s currently kicking the shit out of Bernie Sanders. Worse, his followers ain’t helping any. After the shellacking he got on Super Tuesday, he seems to be abandoning the South. For one, he’s canceled an appearance in Jackson, MS, to concentrate on Michigan, which looks like he might not win anyway. In Florida, the third most populous state, he’s getting stomped like an egg-sucking dog by Joe Biden 62% to 12% in the polls. That Castro business that was revisited last week didn’t help him none, neither.

One understands that Sanders sees more use in throwing his luck at Michigan and, as many of his followers are saying, the South is a lost cause anyway. We’re going to go red regardless so he needs to concentrate on the General, right? Well,… maybe. See, here’s the thing that I wonder if Sanders gets and I know his followers don’t.

For one, to even to begin worrying about the General, he needs to win the Primary and he won’t win the Primary by giving up on states. Secondly, this whole “fighting for people you don’t know” business doesn’t fly when you basically tell those people, white and especially black given his problems there, that they don’t warrant your attention.

Back in November, Trump did one of his rallies in nearby Tupelo and these stump jumpers got even more gooey over him. Why? They think he cares. They honestly do believe Trump gives a tinker’s damn about our pitiful cracker lives. Now, I can’t help with this sort of mass self-delusion, that sort of bullshit is what makes politics swing.

People in the South are nervous enough about the whole “socialism” thing and they need to think, to believe, Bernie Sanders actually gives a shit about them. Even if he wins the general against a solid red South, a president can only do so much when that much of the population figures they’re below his attention. This plays into Biden’s strength, as well, since his whole shtick is based around his experience and stability. Something to think about, perhaps, and maybe tamp down on those followers that claim Southern African American voters don’t know what’s good for them.

Okay, anyhow, couple more things. By now we’ve all heard about the horseshit going on with people trying to vote in black and Latino districts, particularly in Texas.  Shut down voting areas in minority districts, five-plus hour weights, etc. This is part of the on-going effort by the GOP to choke off voting by constituents who won’t give them the time of day. There are plenty of black conservatives and until fairly recently Latino voters were a reliable pool for the Republican vote. Granted, pitching a hissy fit about the immigration issue doesn’t help much there, but that’s more layered and complimented than can be discussed here.

And finally, a new rule concerning the Environmental Protection Agency will go into effect this summer that will basically kneecap it. In essence, it limits the ability of honest science to make suggestions or even do work that goes against corporate interests. Effectively, fossil fuels concerns will have final say over what can be presented by the EPA when helping the government decided how regulations will limit what corporations can do.

It should be noted that the current head of the EPA, Andrew Wheeler, is a former lobbyist for a coal company called Murray Energy. The company is privately owned by Robert E. Murray, one of Trump’s biggest backers, who paid Wheeler between $300,000 and $3.3 million to loosen environmental protections in favor of fossil fuel companies. Also, he’s the vice-president of a group called “The Washington Coal Club”.

Remember, the current head of the CDC that’s responsible for handling the coronavirus concern believes AIDS is God’s punishment for homosexuality. So, yeah, draining that swamp, there. I really don’t know what anyone expected.

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