Hillary vs. Bernie in the Ultimate Showcase Showdown

It’s been a hot minute since I wrote on this sombitch, but 2016 is an election year in the U.S., and political discourse has a way of igniting a fire in my heart like so many wayward matches left on forest floors. It’s a polarizing time in the U.S. and any time the subject of Presidential candidates comes up, you’re bound to be verbally assaulted no matter who you support. But I’ve always enjoyed the attack. Defending one’s opinion should not be something we fear to do. If your convictions are strong enough, they will withstand any bombardment, just like the energy field protecting the Rebel outpost on the planet Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back.

Living in Seattle, I am surrounded by Bernard “Bernie” Sanders supporters. I even took one of those online tests to see who aligns with my political values and Bernard came closest. We both support the public option in health care, higher taxes on the 1%, and a robust environmental policy. I’m not completely sold on free college education yet, but I think it’s a “nice to have” once we reach that far-off American utopia. I believe Mr. Sanders to be a person of conviction, steadfast moral principles, and a true progressive in every sense of the word. However, despite this conjunction of heart strings and personal truths, Mr. Sanders is not who I intend to cast my ballot for in the Washington caucus (March 26) later this month. If he wins the Democratic nomination, I will wholeheartedly support him, but there is another candidate who I think is better prepared to fight the GOP war machine, and that….you guessed it, is Hillary Clinton.

clinton_sanders_showcaseshowdown

I can hear the collective moans now. From my friends and associates. From my family. But life has taught me to be pragmatic above all else. I voted for Obama twice and have absolutely no regrets, but even I knew when he was elected (along with a filibuster-proof Senate and a huge majority in the House), that the progress he’d make would fall short of his lofty goals. I say this with no disrespect, as I feel as though President Obama tried to offer compromise in his early months, but the “My Way or the Highway” mantra of the GOP derailed bipartisan efforts. I do believe his successes will go down in history as great leaps forward: Repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the Affordable Care Act (which does need improvement), saving the American auto industry (their bailout was paid back with interest), and investing in renewable energy. I believe him to be a good man, and a good leader. I am proud of those votes.

Bernie affects my emotions in a similar way. But from a tactical point of view, I also see baked-in weaknesses for him as a general election candidate: a 74-year old who has never run against the full barrage of Republican chainsaws. Keep in mind, Senator Sanders is elected from one of the most liberal states in the U.S. [Vermont] and has never had serious competition from the Right. His judgement may be good on legislative votes, but he has virtually no foreign policy experience. When asked in the first Democratic debate how much he’d have to raise taxes to pay for his ambitious plans, he wasn’t even certain. He did offer a subsequent answer in a later debate, but how does one run for President and not even know their economic plan’s specifics until a few months after they decide to run? Besides, the Republicans are not going to lose the House (it’s gerrymandered all to hell until after the next census), so none of Bernie’s plans are happening, folks. They are a cruise ship brochure, only you won’t be getting on board because the GOP controls U.S. Customs.

On the other side, Hillary is definitely an old war horse with lots of baggage. She’s notoriously calculated and hardly a “people person”. She comes off as fake and her public statements often shift with the wind. Her persona reads as a standard politician, and I understand why people don’t like her. However, in this candidate, I also see a woman with a locomotive drive who has withstood virtual nuclear assaults from the GOP since 1992. Yet here she is, and stronger than ever. Resilient. Familiar with manipulating the levers of power in Washington, and someone who opponents fear on both sides of the aisle. Will she get a lot done? Probably not with a GOP House, but she’s a crafty shrew and I believe she’ll be quicker on the draw with executive orders than a President Sanders. She’s hardly a liberal’s teddy bear to inspire cuddles and promises of a perfect society, but rather a Valkyrie in cold armor navigating the treacherous hurricane of Washington’s power base. She is a flawed candidate, but an impressive bulwark against a Republican party now controlled by nefarious fringe (and racist) elements. She’s like a Hoover Dam against a flood of cruelty and hate. Practical, even if she’s somewhat menacing to look at.

History is a good teacher, and I suspect that no matter which Democrat wins the White House in 2016 (well, assuming they do), they will likely be a one term President. Bernie will be pushing 80 in a job that already ages a normal man faster than any other on the planet. Heck, Reagan wasn’t even that old when he assumed the Presidency and even he was getting a little nutty by the end of his first term. Hillary, if elected, will continue to be a scandal magnet and I think by 2020, Clinton fatigue could be a very real problem. Barring some major economic bloom that happens under her watch, I think the American people will be ready to move on. The Left will find a new, younger champion (perhaps Corey Booker, D-NJ) and the Right – having learned the scorched-earth lessons of this year’s childish and bizarre primary campaign – will anoint a moderate face with a better chance of winning. Perhaps Marcobot 2.0 (with optional mobile app features).

 

Advertisements

The President’s Horrible Anus

Dear Google News Editors,

Please DO NOT use Latin in a U.S. headline. Case in point…

annus_horribilisNow, I know that this headline translates to “Obama’s Horrible Year”, but my first read/reaction was, “What is so horrible about Obama’s anus? Is he eating too much Quizno’s or something?” Quite frankly, I am not sure it’s fair to judge that body part as they are all pretty gross in my book. In fact, I am willing to wager that Queen Elizabeth’s is probably MORE horrible after years of digestive abuse via afternoon tea and scones.

My next thought was, “Fuck these guys, I’d go to a different proctologist for a second opinion.”

 

I got a dog in this fight…

Well, another U.S. election has come and gone. I suspect about half the country feels like a tsunami hit them and left nothing but chaos and wreckage behind it, while the rest are celebrating the victory of one of their most beloved Presidents. An even larger group probably never cared much to begin with and as such, won’t notice much of a difference.

All that said, I had a dog in this fight, and by that I mean Referendum 74  which has been approved by a majority of Washington state voters; marriage equality for same-sex couples is now legal in my current state of residence.

Since I had been rabidly following the polls for this initiative since early summer, I felt pretty confident that it would pass. The margins were always in its favor, however I did not anticipate the emotional impact it would have on me when it finally became approved with nary 52% of the vote. Seriously, this cranky ol’ sombitch got tears in his eyes. It was like watching a film montage of all the anti-gay moments I had experienced in my life culminate into a crowning moment of pure, brilliant light where that cold chain of disappointing events exploded like a hash brown supernova.

So yeah, it was a good night for me. I know that’s not true for everyone, and I never want to be someone who throws a political win in people’s faces, because I certainly didn’t enjoy it when my side lost in November 2004. However, I believe that bringing another minority under the umbrella of rights that everyone else enjoys will ultimately be a healthy thing for this country. I think in about 20 years (maybe less), people will wonder what the big deal was about gay marriage.

On a humorous note, I came across some subtle journalism humor on the night of the election:

About two dozen people attending the Reject R-74 party at a coffee shop in a strip mall in Lynnwood had earlier cheered very early returns that had shown Washington voters rejecting R-74. Later, with King County’s votes counted and the approve Ref. 74 side gaining the lead, the mood was more subdued but still upbeat.

Newsflash: If you are planning your “victory” party in a strip mall coffee shop, chances are the evening is not going to end well for you. LOL

The Pressing Question on Everyone’s Mind?

So I was reading this gruesome story last night about an LGTB activist who shot someone at the Family Research Council. Take a gander at this and let me know if you think this section ends a bit odd…

Conservative, Gay Rights Groups Spar Over Shooting

As authorities revealed details about the Family Research Council shooting, the head of the influential conservative organization blamed the attack on “reckless rhetoric,” but then delivered his own politically-charged remark, saying critics gave the accused gunman “a license to shoot an unarmed man.”

Tony Perkins’ comments Thursday fanned already-inflamed statements from both sides, tapped into deep divisions over abortion and gay marriage, and drew more finger-pointing.

Meanwhile, the accused shooter, Floyd Lee Corkins II, was ordered held without bond on accusations he opened fire a day earlier inside the lobby of the council’s headquarters. Corkins, whose parents said he strongly supported gay rights, had a backpack full of Chick-fil-A sandwiches and a box of ammunition when he said words to the effect of “I don’t like your politics” and shot a security guard, authorities said.

The guard was shot in the left arm but nonetheless managed to help take down the gunman, preventing what the police said could have been a deadly attack.

It wasn’t immediately clear why Corkins, 28, had the chicken sandwiches.

 

Of course. The pressing question on everyone’s mind: Why the chicken sandwiches? After all, why shoot somebody when you have a delicious blend of herbs and spices in your backpack? The horror.