Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The present politics

My son and I watched the New Hampshire primary returns together last night. He's the one who got comfy on the couch, grabbed the remote and said, "Okay! Let's see how things are playing out in the world of politics."

As anyone who's been here for a while knows, I tend to get fairly passionate about presidential politics. This time around, I'm just flummoxed. I watch with disbelief as, on the GOP side, the vulgarian Donald Trump appeals to the lowest common denominator with his sexist, xenophobic and downright fascist speeches, while Marco Rubio repeats his line about Obamacare destroying the country ad nauseum, and Ben Carson stands around looking clueless, and Chris Christie bloviates, and Ted Cruz, the worst of them all, smiles his sinister demon smile and utters all manner of nefarious lies that his constituents swallow like manna. Yeah, I don't care that my Ted Cruz language is particularly inflammatory. The man makes my skin crawl.

On the other hand, I think John Kasich could probably run the country competently. And while I'd hate another Bush administration lining the pockets of the rich and governing for the greater glory of oil, at least Jeb would have the intelligence and experience to make reasoned decisions when the shit hit the White House. I can't even believe I'm saying that.

As for the Democrats, I want to vote for Hillary Clinton. I want to be behind her with all my heart, but for some reason, I just can't muster it. She's definitely the brightest student in class who didn't get all the kudos the boys did, but she just keeps plugging along, determined and full of steel. I admire her, I actually really do, but she has so much political baggage and every word she speaks is so calculating it's hard to get really jazzed about her candidacy.


Meanwhile, my children are really into Bernie Sanders, and his idealism about the role of government, and of course his promise to lift the burden of student loans. Young people are lining up behind Bernie, and they're talking with enthusiasm to their parents about him. I don't know if he'd be able to withstand the right-wing onslaught of meanness and propaganda if he became the Democratic nominee, but you know, he might. He's authentic and unapologetic in his message, so that helps. And this election cycle sure isn't like any we've seen before. We have the fascist Trump at one end of the spectrum, and the socialist Sanders at the other. My son said, "I just worry about whether Bernie can actually deliver on the things he promises, but maybe I'd be willing to see him try."

Meanwhile, even right-wing pundits who made Barack Obama's life so miserable in office, are already missing his grace, intellect, integrity and class. I confess I smirked all the way through this piece by David Brooks, even though I agreed with all his points. "...[O]ver the course of this campaign it feels as if there’s been a decline in behavioral standards across the board," Brooks wrote. "Many of the traits of character and leadership that Obama possesses, and that maybe we have taken too much for granted, have suddenly gone missing or are in short supply."

And isn't this an amazing photo by Doug Mills of the New York Times.








12 comments:

  1. Last night's results are a perfect and clear illustration on how far apart the people of this country are. It's simply astounding.
    I'm with you. And your kids. Let's let the man try. Although...part of me feels that I should vote for Hillary. She's probably the most prepared.
    But there is NO debate about that photo of Obama. I miss him already.

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  2. Yes to all of the above. Cruz makes my skin crawl there is something rotten and hidden behind his eyes. I miss my president too. I will never again be so excited by politics as I was at his election. xo

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  3. From my perspective, we have nothing to get excited about except Bernie...The traditional Democratic machine doesn't cut it and none of the Republicans have ever appealed...So there I am, voting and hoping right along with people half my age and younger...And you are right about that photo.

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  4. I agree that Cruz is the most nightmarish candidate by far. The late-middle-age country guy who did backhoe work for me today said he's a Republican, but between Donald and Bernie, he'd vote for Bernie.

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  5. Kasich is a monster. One of his actions was to muzzle rape counselors in Ohio. He wants to defund Planned Parenthood and cancel the ACA. He cancelled food stamps for urban African Americans while preserving it for rural whites. What's scary is how reasonable he seems; he's not.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ohio-slashes-13-million-in-grants-to-planned-parenthood/2016/02/10/ba9df212-d036-11e5-88cd-753e80cd29ad_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-cards_hp-card-national%3Ahomepage%2Fcard

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    1. I must agree with Allison. I live in Ohio, and the changes Kasich has made are devastating. I'm not sure why he is not seen for what he is, other than his demeanor clouds what he is actually doing to the state and its people. And yes, I think it's sad that he is the best of what the Republicans have to offer.

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  6. I like Sanders, but I am doubtful that he can win in a general race. So far I'm still voting Hillary, but I know what you mean about her calculations and her...staleness. I feel I owe it to her, though. When I voted Obama I thought, "Next time, it'll be Hillary's turn." And I feel like I have to do my part.

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  7. I'm voting for Bernie. I never was excited about Hillary or Bill. I don't owe her anything.

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  8. I've been watching the US political scene more than usual this time around (from Canada). Interesting and scary doesn't begin to cover it. That is a wonderful photo! I wish Obama had not been so thwarted at every turn by political opponents and I am sad to see him go.

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  9. Allison and Elle, thanks for the first-hand intel about Kasich! Very important to know!

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  10. Goodness you are fired up! The GOP bunch, whatever their policies, are a despicable bunch. Apart from K, as you say, there's not one that i wouldn't be embarrassed to have as President. They have taken childishness and mean-ness to a new low.
    I will support whichever Dem gets the nomination but here's my two cents. While Bernie had the more "progressive" ideas, there is no way in hell Congress is going to pass most of them. He will have to shift back to the center in a nano-second to get anything accomplished. Also, he is very, very weak on foreign policy. You can't bang on about the billionaires as an answer to everything.
    Hillary wouldn't be my first choice in an ideal world because yes, there is something about her. However, since every word any of them speak is dissected in the press and there's never a chance to slip-up, I would rather she spoke as carefully as she does. I also applaud her fights against the NRA and those who seek to defund Planned parenthood and her firm support of the ACA.

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    1. Expat mom, I totally agree with every word you say here!

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