The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘2018 Election’ Category

Well, dear Shinners, it’s almost here. The day we will finally kick the GOP out of Congress and the White House.

It has been a dreadful and horrible four years. Things we never could have imagined happened. Drumpf stole the election and got away with it, robbing us of the President we deserved and voted for, Our Girl, Hillary Clinton. We saved the Affordable Care Act, but lost John McCain. Our heroes John Lewis and RBG left us when we needed them most. Notre Dame burned. We almost got into a war with Iran. Robert Mueller fizzled and no one investigated the Mango Moron’s financial ties to Russia. Patriotic public servants were forced to resign. We deserted the Kurds and allowed Russia to pay the Taliban to assassinate our soldiers. We jailed legal migrant families  and separated them from each other at the border, then pretended we didn’t know how to reunite them when the country rose up in horror. The Presidency turned into a pay-to-play money machine. Rudy Giuliani became a puppet of Putin. Three totally unqualified and disgusting Supreme Court Justices were appointed to the Supreme Court. We gave young migrant women in custody involuntary hysterectomies and tracked their menstrual cycles. And of course, the pandemic, which Drumpf actually knew about as early as January but f*cked up in the most spectacular way possible because, GRIFT.

But there have been moments of goodness as well. The elections of 2017, 2018 and 2019, in which Democrats gained more and more ground in states we had no business winning. Nancy Pelosi becoming Speaker of the House once again. #MeToo. The Women’s March and BLM. The Parkland kids and their activism. The massive waves of early voting, including record turnout for young voters and black seniors. The #trumpregrets. The Lincoln Project and Republicans for Trump.

And above all, you, dear Shinners, have helped keep me sane (well, as sane as I ever am). Thank you so much for being here with me, Fredster, DYB, GAGal and Quixote. I have no idea how I would have made it without you!

Let’s bring it home.

This is an open thread.

Yesterday, the most dangerous man in America testified before the House. Drumpf’s (or Putin’s, or whomever’s) right-wing populist agenda is being magnified and empowered by his actions; Drumpf’s criminal money-laundering and grift are being protected thereby. During his testimony, he lied, he obfuscated, and he pretended he didn’t read Drumpf’s tweets. It was a disgusting, oily, arrogant performance by the most evil man ever to become Attorney General.

Here are a few highlights.

Rep. Jerry Nadler condemned him for delivering campaign video to Drumpf via the jackbooted thugs teargassing moms in Portland and invading other Democratic cities (like NYC! Stay safe DYB!).

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee attacked Barr for not believing in systemic racism.

And here’s Rep. Eric Swalwell putting together a legal tour-de-force about the commutation of Roger Stone’s sentence, with a great explainer by Brian Tyler Cohen afterwards. Enjoy this – I don’t think Barr did.

After the latest horrific display of the Attorney General’s manifest unfitness to be hired by anyone more ethical than Better Call Saul, I personally have only one question:

When will this skid mark on the underwear of justice be dis-Barred?!

Tawk amongst yerselves!

It’s women who will be Drumpf’s final downfall.

The Mango Moron could never handle women who refused to fall into a faint when he stalked into a room, curls of hair from his merkin floating daintily around him. And now that he’s flunking the leadership test the coronavirus has presented, it’s women who are calling him out for doing so.

First, Hillary Clinton trounced him in 2016. (No way he won the electoral college legitimately.) He has been obsessed with her ever since. When the Democrats took the House in 2018, Nancy Pelosi became the next powerful women to foil the Narcissist-in-Chief. Remember all the way back in January of 2019, when this country was reeling from a shutdown – and it looked like the government was never going to re-open?

Pelosi beat him like a drum.

Flashback 40 days and Nancy Pelosi’s return to the speakership was a hard-won prize marred by Democratic grumbling.

After the midterm elections, 15 House Democrats signed a letter urging their colleagues not to support Pelosi for speaker: “We promised to change the status quo and we intend to deliver on that promise.” To recapture the gavel, Pelosi had to promise to be a “transitional” speaker, and many Democrats felt she only regained the role because there were no compelling alternatives.

t’s not that House Democrats dismissed Pelosi’s skills as a legislator, but what they needed was an answer to President Trump, and that didn’t seem like a role Pelosi was suited to play.

But in recent weeks, Speaker Pelosi proved a powerful foil to Trump, politically humiliating him in a way no other public figure has. Today, Trump buckled, agreeing to reopen the government in exchange for absolutely nothing, just days after he agreed to Pelosi’s demand to postpone the State of the Union.

How did she do it? She understands Drumpf, as so many women have always done.

Pelosi has long held that Trump is weak, easily confused, and easily baited. That informed her strategy. Along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, she baited Trump into saying, while the cameras were rolling, “I will shut down the government. I am proud to shut down the government. I will take the mantle.” In interviews and meetings, she tweaked the president, calling the crisis “the Trump shutdown” to Trump’s face and suggesting the billionaire thought furloughed workers “could just ask their father for more money.” She was betting that Trump would overreact rather than turn her into the aggressor, and he did.

And that was just the first time she dominated him. There was, of course, the whole impeachment process, which the press seems to have forgotten as soon as the GOP acquitted him, but which We The People remember with deep gratitude.

So while so many men who should know better are are cowering and allowing themselves to be bullied into doing incredibly stupid things, women have decided they are not taking his sh*t anymore.

Case in point: female reporters, like Paula Reid.

Yesterday, the CBS reporter Paula Reid was determined to ask him about it at a White House press conference. “How do you close down the greatest economy in the history of the world when, on January 17, you have no cases [of Covid-19 in the US] and no deaths?” he replied. “On January 21, you have one case and no deaths. Think of that, we’re supposed to close down the country?”

In the exchange, the president highlights his decision to close US borders to China, and suggests that Democrats, in particular Joe Biden, accused him of xenophobia at the time.

But Reid was not convinced. “The argument is that you bought yourself some time. But what did you do with that time? You didn’t use it to prepare hospitals, you didn’t use it to ramp up testing. Right now, nearly 20 million are unemployed, tens of thousands of Americans are dead,” says Reid.

You want more? Okay, how about this? This article is from February and is really terrific; here are a few excerpts.

The most profound change in American politics today and in the years to come will result from a massive movement of women into the Democratic Party. As this realignment takes place Hillary Clinton may well go down in history as this century’s equivalent of Al Smith. Al Smith was the Democratic nominee for president in 1928 and the first Roman Catholic ever nominated by a major political party. Although he lost the election, his campaign presaged the movement of Catholics into the Democratic Party in 1932 when Franklin Roosevelt won the Democratic nomination and the presidency. Smith’s race was initially considered a failure, as was Hillary Clinton’s. But her defeat has set off a chain reaction likely to lead to a realignment of party coalitions and relative political strength in 2020 as sweeping as FDR’s victory in 1932.

[snip]

The shocking defeat of Hillary Clinton at the hands of the overtly misogynistic Donald Trump put the existing trend into hyper-drive. It broke upon the national scene in cities across the country with previously unseen numbers starting with the Women’s March the day after Trump’s inauguration. Then it surprised almost everyone when it led to the election of a Democrat to the Senate in Alabama in a December 2017 special election. That result, which stemmed in significant degree from defections of Republican women in the state’s cities, suburbs and college campuses as well as a massive turnout of African-Americans, was quickly dismissed as an anomaly since the Republicans had nominated a sexual predator and pedophile as their candidate.

But no one could ignore the size and national impact the same shift had on the outcome of the midterm elections in November 2018. Exit polls that year showed women favored the Democratic candidate for Congress by 19 percentage points (59% to 40%), while men favored the Republican candidate by four points (51% to 47%). The resulting gender gap of 23 points was the widest one in the last twenty years.

I want to be clear here – I am not in any way disrespecting our wonderful Widdershin men, or any other men who are doing the right thing and standing up to Drumpf.

But damn, women are having a moment. And I am all the way here for it.

Tawk amongst yerselves!

 

Hello Widdershins, we have made it to another weekend. Yay us!!!

Do you all remember that the ACA enrollment is currently open? Spread the word because the Orange Turd is keeping it quiet, some people may not even realize.

This week saw some good news – the blue wave continues – we picked up a governorship in Kentucky (Moscow Mitch and Russian Rand’s home state) and took control of the Virginia government. That’s huge. Republicans in Kentucky actually considered voiding the election and placing the Republican into the governor’s mansion, but they decided even they couldn’t be so brazen. Or something. In any case, they’re letting the Democrat stay (how nice!)

Bloomie is jumping into the Democratic primary. The man who ran for NYC mayor as a Republican and then became an Independent wants the Democratic ticket. Ok. To Bloomberg’s credit “Moms Demand Action,” the gun-control organization he is funding has done extremely good things in helping flip places blue. But if he really wanted to be helpful he would just start a Super PAC with a few hundred million he’ll spend on his campaign and support one of the very excellent people already running, like Kamala Harris or Amy Klobuchar. Alas, vanity thy name is a billionaire he’s jumping in. Time will tell what comes of it.

But enough about politics. I wanna hear some tunes! I want to hear some DUETS!!! Because what can be more beautiful than two people working together to achieve beauty? DUETS!!!!

Luciano Pavarotti and Mirella Freni grew up together – they even shared the same wet-nurse! The beautiful duet that ends Act 1 of Puccini’s “La bohème” as sung by Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti in 1964 and then in 1996.

 

 

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Something really inspiring happened yesterday, Widdershins. It answered a question for me: Why did Cecile Richards, one of the most effective leaders Planned Parenthood has ever had, resign from the organization?

She had to partner with Alicia Garza and Ai-jen Poo to form an exciting new women’s organization, called SuperMajority!!! (Okay, the exclamation points are mine. I am just so excited!) Yes, anyone can join, regardless of gender. You just have to believe in the mission.

In an apparent reference to the #MeToo movement, the organization, which describes itself as multiracial and intergenerational, said that “in the past two years, we’ve seen what happens when women mobilize. But while “women are on the cusp of becoming the most powerful force in America,” Supermajority’s co-founders say that to “fundamentally transform this country” women must work together.

To help further that goal, the group’s leaders say their organization will provide on-the-ground training to help women advocates “get and stay informed on issues that affect their lives,” in addition to creating a “women’s agenda” that will put women’s issues first, “from economic equity and opportunity, to dignity and safety on the job, to keeping families and communities safe.”

While Supermajority’s aim is to push politicians to adopt a “women’s new deal,” as Richards told The Associated Press in a recent interview, the group is not expected to endorse individual candidates.

A “women’s new deal!” Oh, yes, PLEASE!!!

I remember way, way back in our PUMA days, when I suggested that a new Women’s Party should be formed. I wrote:

So let’s review. The Democrats make appropriate noises about women, but don’t follow through when push comes to shove. The Republicans are so backwards as to be laughable.

Isn’t it time we had our own Party, ladies?

I am tired of hearing that the interests of 51% of the population are not important enough to focus on. I am tired of hearing that we should shut up and vote Democrat because they are the lesser of two evils. I am tired of seeing *ssh0les like Obama get away with breaking his promise to pass FOCA first thing and sell out our reproductive rights to pass a bill the Supreme Court will most likely overturn. I am tired of seeing mindless monsters like Jesse Lee Peterson being given airtime by Defenders of the Hateful, Faux News. I am tired of the religiously insane trying to pass laws that will humiliate and kill our sisters.

It will f*cking kill me to vote D on Election Day, even though I won’t be voting for Obama at the top of the ticket. I am frankly weary of the crapulence of the PFKAD. I want a Party that represents women and puts our equality FIRST, that won’t be distracted by the latest shiny object. One Party, one goal: Pass the ERA! Fight for women’s equality in every aspect of our lives. That is what we women need now.

I’m not sure why it’s taken so long for women to wake up. Maybe women got too complacent with Obama at the helm, naively believing their rights would never be threatened again. Maybe we all “knew” that Hillary would win in 2016, so we thought we didn’t need to mobilize separately. But once the giant pile of orange slime slithered his way into the White House, maybe that was the catalyst we needed. The Resistance, MeToo, OnwardTogether…and now this amazing new organization!

After the horrors of the past few years, it seems unbelievable that anything good could come out of our long national nightmare. The latest attack on a temple in San Diego, killing one heroic woman and wounding others, is just one of the many hate crimes inspired by Der Drumpfenfuhrer and his Nazi minions. But maybe if we women (and all genders who support us!) do band together, we can finally turn this country in the direction it so desperately needs to go.

This is an open thread.


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