The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘Hillary Clinton

Happy Saturday (and Sunday) Widdershins.

We have survived another week. This week was off to a rough start because Hillary Clinton’s book about the 2016 campaign, “What Happened,” was released and before its4c498a1fa3498d0d740dfb69e25bea87--american-life-time-magazine.jpg release virtually every pundit on TV and Twitter had a meltdown about it. How dare Hillary say anything? People have been talking about her publicly for 30 years, but at this point, they said, she needed to go away. But an odd thing happened as the week progressed: as people actually read the book, they found they liked it. Ok, so maybe not the usual pundits. Those have a case of Clinton Derangement Syndrome so strong that nothing would appease them. (No really: Slate wrote an article questioning why Hillary isn’t angrier… like really, this happened.) But the more reasonable types found themselves not unhappy. And Clinton gave a number of remarkable interviews, everyone from Vox (Ezra Klein) to Rachel Maddow to The View. Turns out what Hillary has to say is not only interesting, a lot of it is important. Like the discussion about Republicans potentially working their way to a Constitutional Convention. This needs to make bigger headlines.

So, we found ourselves lifted up by Hillary Clinton once again. She may not run for office, but she herself said that she is not retiring from public life and from politics. Things are too important and too dangerous to step away from.

So, like Hillary, we will continue to fight.

Our weekend fight: Trumpcare is back folks. It’s back, like a zombie that will not die. Republicans are trying to repeal the ACA again. This is not a drill and not a joke. Start telling your friends to call their Senators and Representatives again. It is important. It is happening. Start calling 202-224-3121.

And for our weekend musical theme, the theme is: Fight. Fight. Fight.

What’s on your mind Widdershins?

 

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What a week! Everyone is struggling to explain what is happening. I’ve heard the pundits say it is where “greed meets incompetence” or “malevolence meets the sewer” or any number of unsatisfying descriptors.

It might be an intersection or a confluence, but I prefer the Swindon “magic roundabout”. It is seven traffic circles in one. Here’s an explanation:

So in the Dolt 45 turd-o-matic roundabout, we have greed meeting incompetence meeting malevolence meeting dirty tricks meeting incoherence meeting indifference meeting amorality. It is the non-compunction junction since there are no qualms about any loathsome behavior.

Then last night it became apparent these idiots have sat on these emails for three weeks – emails saying “Clinton-Russia” in the subject line – and yet, they had no plan for dealing with them I was reminded of Burn After Reading, the Coen brothers movie. Burn After Reading celebrated a bunch of incompetents who thought they were genius; when in reality, none of them should have been in public without a Mommy’s Helper leash.

Like a hummingbird during mating season, the excuses have been everywhere all at once. Of course the paragon of square-headedness, Sean Hannity, the dumbest man ever paid to talk on teevee, quickly got to the essence of it all with a demand to investigate Hillary’s emails.

There are bright spots though. People like Russ Douthat ate a big heaping helping of crow:

The benefit of the doubt I extended to Trump was limited, but on a rather important subject: I thought that direct collusion between his inner circle and Russian officialdom during the 2016 campaign was relatively unlikely and the odds of ever finding proof of such a conspiracy vanishingly low.

You can read my argument in full here; it’s a mere six weeks old. It’s also no longer operative, because we know now that Donald Trump’s son, his son-in-law and his campaign manager all took a meeting in which it was explicitly promised that damaging information on Hillary Clinton would be supplied as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

If this was a tease in the review of a sitcom, the next part would be prefaced with, “hilarity ensued.” Having known about these emails for a month, the crack P.R. Team decided to fabricate a story for release last Saturday that morphed into another story on Sunday that again morphed into another story on Monday, and yet again changed for Tuesday. Honest folks don’t have to lie – repeatedly.

The ambulatory carrot stain has dumbed down normal. Of the top ten recounted in the article, here are a few of my favorites:

  1. It’s not normal for the presumptive nominee’s son to take a meeting with a Russian lawyer who claims she has dirt compiled by Russian governmental forces who want to see your guy win.
  2. It’s not normal for the President to sign off on a public cover-up of that meeting when confronted with the facts.
  3. It’s not normal for the President to hold a Cabinet meeting that consists of his staff gushing over him.
  4. It’s not normal for the President to obsess about cable-news coverage of himself, yell at White House televisions, and instantly react to stories before checking the specifics.

But this is normal for this White House and the person illegitimately occupying the Oval Office. What is not normal is the speed at which Special Counsel Mueller is forging ahead. Mueller learned valuable lessons prosecuting Enron, its executives, and related organizations. He will not be daunted by these halfwits and morons.

In thinking about the week, here are my takeaways:

  1. No matter what happened with the hacked emails, the Russian activities, or the various conspiracies, but for the Comey letter on October 28th, Hillary would now be President.
  2. The Mercer family is battling a $6.0 Billion tax bill. They have also bankrolled Milo, pollster Kellyanne Conjob, Breitbart, Steve Bannon, and Cambridge Analytica, their data mining firm. Someone had to identify and target promising precincts in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania and transmit that information to the Russian bot controllers. There is an electronic trail and the NSA probably already has it.
  3. If only Obama had demonstrated the courage to ignore McTurtle’s obstruction last summer and forge ahead with the warning of Russian interference, Obama would have been proved correct and vindicated by the email saving his legacy and the country from the orange plague.
  4. The tightly choreographed kabuki of the G20, starring Pootie, Lavrov, and Dolt was nothing more than a performance for good old Rexxon. If you are Rexxon, how would you feel being played for the fool on a world stage? Watch for a resignation.

Here’s the last scene from Burn After Reading. They ask a good question. If we learn not to let this happen again by making the name Trump synonymous with Benedict Arnold or genital herpes, we will have learned something of value.

 

What’s on your mind today?

 

Filmishmish is an Arabic term meaning “in the time of the apricots” or “when the apricots bloom”, which is something akin to the English phrase “when pigs fly.” It seems as if we Progressive Democrats live in the time of apricots. We are filmishmish flotsam.

Let’s review where we are. With the Republican Party skulking behind closed doors cooking up the greatest transfer of wealth in human history from the poorest, oldest, and sickest to the richest Americans, what are Democrats doing?

Like zombies in the express lane of the lobotomy clinic drive-thru, one set of Democrats are shuffling around mumbling about a special election in a Republican +20 district in Georgia. While another set of self-serving insurrectionists are trying to depose Nancy Pelosi. Yet another set is second-guessing and flirting with Trumpian populism masquerading as BernieBroism. And not to be forgotten, we have the Alt-Left cross-pollinating with the Alt-Right, thereby erasing any semblance of a difference.

Here’s the deal – the loss in Georgia wasn’t the end of the world. Losing sucks. I hate losing, but a win in Georgia would have been the equivalent of a sugar high to a diabetic – dangerous and injurious to our long-term health.

Let’s break it down. First and foremost, Democrats, while losing, are over-performing in these special elections. There is a good piece by Dave Wasserman, no Democratic fluffer, in the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. The report centers on the Partisan Voter Index which measures each district by the spreads in the last two presidential races relative to the nation as a whole.

The Voter Index for the five special elections this year equates to over-performance by the Democrats of 8 points. If Democrats were to over-perform in the 2018 mid-terms at that rate, the Democrats would pick up 80 seats.

Eighty seats!

Realistically, that isn’t going to happen since incumbents are going to be more firmly entrenched than special election nominees, but Democrats are in a strong position in 2018. In fact, we are in a much stronger position than Republicans were in 2010 or 2014.

Democrats allowed the Georgia “expectations game” to froth up into a bad case of hydrophobia. The political consultants sold a bill of goods. There was plenty of money to support the wrong conclusions. The truth no one wanted to believe was this: Hillary was the high water mark for Democrats in the district. Surprise! Hillary was a good candidate. Hillary lost the district by 1½% and a presidential race is always of higher concern than a congressional contest.

That is not to say Ossoff was a bad candidate, but he looked like he just asked his daddy to borrow the car for an after school math club meeting. He didn’t live in the district allowing him to be “otherized” as “not one of us”. Catnip to the tribal instincts of the district.

This brings us to the next major point – tribalism. The base of the Republican Party is full-blown tribalistic and ethnocentric. As such they are enthralled by authoritarianism. Dolt 45 scratches that itch.

Here is a piece of long journalism on tribal epistemology. The frightening aspect of tribalism is that truth is no longer operative. There is no fact outside what is good for the tribe. Hypocrisy is suspended. It is no longer offensive if it furthers the tribal cause. The world exists in terms of “us” versus “them”. The “others” threaten the tribe. It is not enough to defeat the “others,” they must be annihilated.

When you overlay the Republican tribal mentality against the failures of Dolt 45 and his merry band of henchmen, a monumental case of counter-intuitive logic appears like Stonehenge out of the mist.

The tangelo wearing a kangaroo stretch scrotum continues to hold his base because he hasn’t done anything yet. He’s signed some fancy press statements about thinking about doing things, but he has not yet done anything. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

Not until the dissonance occurs between promises and actions will the tribe fall out of like with his Orangeness. For instance, let’s say twenty million people lose health care so that one million rich people can get a tax cut. That is liable to cause more than a little economic angst to creep into the tribal zeitgeist. So much for economic populism.

This is why the Georgia loss is a positive development. Anything that builds confidence for an agenda that has no constituency is blowing smoke up the all too receptive sphincter of the orange biopsy. Likewise, Custer didn’t lose sleep over worrying about overconfidence.

Folks, Dolt 45 hasn’t yet been presidenting for six months. He’s supremely talented at turning everything he touches to crap, but even he needs the time to do it in world-class fashion. Perhaps the season of Filmishmish is upon us, but no pigs fly before their time.

What’s on your mind today?

 

 

 

Let’s review the last twelve hours shall we? Cuba policy dramatically curtailed. Four thousand Afghanistan troop increase. Program for parents of Dreamers formally rescinded by Homeland Security.

So where should our analysis begin? 1874 might be a good starting point.

That just happens to be where three very inquisitive and industrious German economists began their research. From there they studied 140 years of advanced economies and what happened after severe economic downturns. They published their findings last October.

Why am I babbling about this? Understanding what gives rise to something oftentimes tells you what precedes the fall. Our German magi concluded Dolt 45 was most likely inevitable.

Their study finds that after a severe depression or “great recession,” voters skew hard right. Voters want someone to bring stability. Blame is cast on minorities and foreigners. The “other” is cast as the cause of the upheaval.

Here’s the real kicker. Under such circumstances, far­-right parties increase their vote share by 30% in such circumstances. The orange rejectamenta was preordained.

A little side note here: What Hillary accomplished by winning the popular vote is all the more impressive against this backdrop.

Here’s where it gets interesting. First comes Brexit, then Dolt 45’s election, an election in Austria, and a funny thing happened. The orange, runny discharge started talking and people started listening. It seems as if Dolt 45 has peed on the far right tilt. In fact, Nate Silver finds:

The beneficiaries of the right-wing decline have variously been politicians on the left (such as Austria’s Van der Bellen2), the center-left (such as France’s Emmanuel Macron) and the center-right (such as Germany’s Angela Merkel, whose Christian Democratic Union has rebounded in polls). But there’s been another pattern in who gains or loses support: The warmer a candidate’s relationship with Trump, the worse he or she has tended to do.

Who says the umber inveigler couldn’t bring people together?

It is against this background that I ran into this bit of fascinating research from the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group. Without getting all “statistical,” the researcher used a technique that enabled her to drill down on the Dolt’s support. She found five unique types of Dolt voters.

 

Her research is interesting. I won’t wade in too deeply, but the key findings are:

  • This analysis finds five unique clusters of Trump voters: American Preservationists (20%), Staunch Conservatives (31%), Anti-Elites (19%), Free Marketeers (25%), and the Disengaged (5%)
  • There is no such thing as “one kind of Trump voter” who voted for him for one single reason. Many voted with enthusiasm for Trump while others held their noses and voted against Hillary Clinton.
  • Trump voters hold very different views on a wide variety of issues including immigration, race, American identity, moral traditionalism, trade, and economics.
  • Four issues distinguish Trump voters from non-Trump voters: attitudes toward Hillary Clinton, evaluations of the economy, views about illegal immigration, and views about and Muslim immigration.

It is this last finding where I want to shine some light. Of the four issues distinguishing Dolt voters from non-Dolt voters, three of them are the traditional opinions our German researchers warned about expecting after a severe economic catastrophe.

The fourth issue?  Attitudes toward Hillary. Dolt’s voters are motivated by Hillary hate. Folks, this is where it gets interesting.  The core of Dolt’s base, the American Preservationists and the Anti-Elites, are voters, who about half of them had a positive view of Hillary in 2012. After four years of Benghazipalooza and emailgasms, those attitudes reversed resulting in their votes for Dolt last November.

My point is a simple one. Dolt’s entire presidency rests on sustaining Hillary hate. As his poll numbers dwindle, the mercurial House of Representatives where Articles of Impeachment are generated will watch the all-powerful Republican base monkeys. If they start exiting the Trump Train, it will be a stampede.

One thing we know about Hillary. If she isn’t actively campaigning she is obscenely popular. I would suggest there’s an inverse relationship between the distance from November 8th and Hillary’s unfavorables. Better put, Hillary will be more popular by the day. This will be especially true with a group of voters already predisposed to like her.

There’s one thing of which I’m absolutely sure. Dolt is not smart enough to understand this. This has greasy smudges of Bannon’s mitts all over it.

So there is a method to Dolt’s madness when he tweets his Hillary hate. He’s tweeting like his administration depends on it. It does.

What’s on your mind today?

 

Good day Widdershins. I hope it is a good day for you and the beginning of an even better weekend.

Usually I’m halfway able to offer up a cogent theme. Today, I can’t. With the sociopathic static from the orange hobgoblin, a puissant leitmotif is not possible. I apologize for any inconvenience caused by my insistence to inhabit a reality-based world.


Let’s say you have a best friend. You’ve been friends all your life. You are worried though. Your friend happens to be a drunk. You spend years bailing him out of trouble. You talk to him about getting help.

Finally, he agrees to get help. He asks you to drive him so he can voluntarily check himself into rehab. It’s a big deal. It has taken years to get him to this point. He checks in. Two weeks later you come to visit. He gets a day pass and you promptly take him to a bar to celebrate.

In essence that is what we witnessed yesterday on the Paris climate agreement. The loud, ignorant hobgoblin on the bar stool, killed a voluntary, worldwide, long-sought goal by stopping off for a bituminous martini with a chaser of dirty carbon. Just because he could for spite.

The effects aren’t so much substantive, but symbolic. We have abdicated technological leadership on climate to the Germans and the Chinese. They both understand modern international relations are not zero sum transactions. They see transactionalism as insulting and “unclever” – much the same way they see Marmafluke.

The idiocy of this bête noir is even more caustic when placed in perspective. This move appeases a niche of angry, under-educated men, who are barking at shadows because they are dark. Instead of turning on the light of some self-improving education, they have found an incompetent fool who belches and bellows about grievance. It is the strand of commonality in their DNA.

There is not another major political party in the world that denies climate change. Think about that. Not even tribal war lords accept what the Republican Party has accepted as doctrinaire.

This move is a catastrophic debacle. Along with the Iraq War, it will be marked as one of the lines of demarcation in the dimming of American predominance.

 

Without belaboring what has already been discussed in the comments of Fredster’s fine post, I want to add just a few thoughts about Hillary’s presentation at the Recode Conference.

First, Charlie Pierce’s article is outstanding and if you haven’t read it please do. There is a cadre specializing in Hillary criticism: Haberman and Thrush (I’ll leave them to DYB), Mrs. Greenspan, Ruth Marcus (when she’s not playing one of the three witches in Macbeth), and Josh Barro – there needs to be a new measurement of time faster than a nanosecond to measure the interval between Hillary speaking on any subject and Barro tweeting caustic bile in her direction.

I’m not sure what these people want Hillary to do. Self-flagellation does not seem to be enough. Here’s what I do know: It is and always has been cool to “hate on” Hillary. Even Ezra Klein’s very well-reasoned piece begins by acknowledging it isn’t cool to defend Hillary. I’m awaiting his Monday offering to the Hillary haters.

Only Nate Silver and to some extent, Vox contrarian Matthew Yglesias, have dared take on the cool kids in the journalistic lunchroom. They have pushed a simple question: What could the media have done better in the coverage?

It is an uncomfortable question. The three major networks spent a grand total of 32 minutes on policy.

No trade, no healthcare, no climate change, no drugs, no poverty, no guns, no infrastructure, no deficits. To the extent that these issues have been mentioned, it has been on the candidates’ terms, not on the networks’ initiative. These numbers are staggering in terms of the complete retreat they represent from issues-orientated campaign coverage. Just eight years ago, the last time both parties nominated new candidates for the White House, the network newscasts devoted 220 minutes to issues coverage, compared to only 32 minutes so far this year. (CBS Evening News went from 119 minutes of issues coverage in 2008 to 16 this year.)

Here is a graph for perspective:

The one thing all these “Wisconsin whiners” (why didn’t she go to Wescottsen) don’t seem to get is this: How thick must the Kevlar be to withstand Russian hacking, Comey’s letters, residual Obama animus, 25-years of Clinton derangement, patent and latent misogyny, Fox News, voter suppression, 501(c)(4) dark money organizations, and rampant, lazy equivalence by the media? Just how much is enough? And in these divisive times, how do you plan for a Comey letter with just enough votes to overcome the unforeseen?

All these people blame Hillary for not having enough of a cushion to withstand Comey’s bogus letter about 12 emails, ten of which were duplicates. The difference amounted to 77,000 votes spread over 3 states. Nate Silver says without the Comey letter, Hillary would have gained 3%. That would have done it. So yeah, Hillary is entitled to mention it. I intend to help her by mentioning it at every opportunity.

What’s on your mind today?

 

Okay, okay, I know we have been stewing like ceviche in the citrusy juices of the imPOTUS Tangelo for 106 days now, but the allusion to 101 Dalmatians was just too good. If only the birthing of my new googling machine had cooperated, I could have used the title last week.  

The head fake to 101 Dalmatians does serve a purpose though. Taken individually, pups are adorable, even two or three at a time is manageable, but 101 all at once is a herd of pooping madness. It’s like the sophisticated engineering of a single locust, but multiply that evolutionary design by millions and suddenly we are breaking out the Old Testament for gardening tips.

My point is this – no matter if you are an American who sees the daily onslaught of issues as adorable Dalmatians or plagues of pestilence, something alarming is happening in the country.

As disconcerting as yesterday was, with one-sixth of the economy and perhaps 24 million gleefully sentenced to Republican indifference in order to provide the largest historical wealth transfer from the poorest to the richest, it isn’t yet benedictory.

Likewise, it doesn’t even worry me that the poor souls who voted for Dolt 45 are doggedly clinging to him like dung-beetles to an elephant with acute diarrhea.

And not even the extinction level event of me linking to something George Will writes causes my alarm bells to chirp.  Yesterday while describing one of the Trumpanzee’s many disabilities, Will wrote, “[T]he problem isn’t that he does not know this or that, or that he does not know that he does not know this or that. Rather, the dangerous thing is that he does not know what it is to know something.”

What bothers me most was paraded in full view of the world on Tuesday. It is the reason we were denied the most qualified President in history. We were denied not because of hacking or Putin or Wikileaks or gerrymandering or voter suppression or not going to effing Wisconsin enough.  We were denied our rightful President because we have allowed aberrant behavior to be normalized. Not just normalizing Dolt 45’s behavior, but normalizing the wholesale disregard for shared values and expectations.

Notice in GOP Crazyland, Breitbart is larger than Fox in terms of creating a narrative…

That’s how we are punching the clock in our little piece of history. For the past thirty years there has been unparalleled asymmetric polarization. The Right has gotten more philosophically turgid while the Left has stayed philosophically consistent. When the intellectually lazy say, “Both sides do it,” tell them there are library ranges straining under the weight of sociological studies proving they are stupid and should be castrated to improve the gene pool. Both sides don’t do it. It is the Right that has gone off the page in any diagram of philosophical leaning.

To service and empower this time-reversing way-back machine, an epistemic closed loop has extinguished fact and replaced it with tribal truisms.  Tribal truism is a simple construct: Does whatever is said or heard help my tribe or hurt my tribe? If whatever is said hurts my tribe, I ignore it, deny it, or engage in “whataboutism”. I neutralize whatever hurts my tribe since it can’t be true.

For instance, Paul Ryan didn’t want to hear what the independent Congressional Budget Office had to say about the AHCA so he ignored it, called a vote before the CBO score, and for good measure, the Michelin Man doppelganger, Newt Gingrich, called for the abolishment of the CBO altogether. Protect the tribe!

Used to be the press enforced the rules by shaming offending politicians. Not anymore. There is no longer shame on the Right. When you get to the outer reaches of the philosophical spectrum, there is no longer the gravity of shame.

As DYB has so eloquently pointed out, access journalism has rendered the First Amendment a toothless lap dog. When I see Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman, Frick Halperin, Frack Heilemann, or “rock hard abs and Employment Whack-a-Mole” Andrew Sullivan, I’m reminded the only appreciable talent these people have is balancing both pen and paper in one hand while they are otherwise engaged on the business end of a journalistic glory hole.

Even birds are skeptical…

So what does all this have to do with Tuesday’s hearing with the almighty King of the Fibbies? Simple. Comey made a decision to violate DoJ procedure and write his misleading October 28th letter because there were no consequences. The bad consequences for him would have come from complying with the rules and not writing the letter.

The cost/benefit analysis was clear: He would be hounded unmercifully by the Fox/Breitbart/Drudge/Limbaugh/Hannity/PeeWeeHerman infotainment complex if he didn’t write the letter no matter if Hillary won or lost. There were only upsides to feeding the shameless nutjobs of the far, far Right. There were no concomitant upsides from adhering to the shared values and expectations.

Contrary to Comey’s statement, at no point in the criminal justice process, beyond basic fairness, is the reputation of the investigator of any consequence. Comey knew the Democrats would play according to the rules, but he knew the Republicans would not. In reality his contrived self-serving dilemma of “reveal versus conceal” should have been “violate and copulate” since he broke established procedure in order to f*ck the country in order to please himself.

Good government, efficacious policy, and the republic itself is under attack, we will be lucky if it is only 101 predations.

A case of the “bigly sads”…

If you’ve noticed, I’ve purposefully kept the links to a bare minimum today in order to emphasize one superb Vox article:  Donald Trump and the Rise of Tribal Epistemology by David Roberts. It is a few weeks old, but it is a wonderful synopsis of a very complicated web of problems. If you read nothing else today, take the time or bookmark it. It is truly exceptional.

One last thing – thanks to Fredster, DYB, and GAgal for covering during my technological convalescence. I appreciate them.

What are you thinking about today?

Our Fearless Leaders…

THE SCENE: A conference room at the DNC’s Washington headquarters. It’s clear that a long meeting is in progress, from the various soda cans and coffee mugs on the table, scribbles and diagrams on the whiteboard, and the generally exhausted and disheveled air of the 6 participants. At the head of the table is TOM PEREZ, the newly-elected head of the Democratic National Committee. Sitting to his right is KEITH ELLISON, his second-in-command. There are four other people around the table: BERNIE SANDERS, loser of the Democratic Primary by 4 million votes; BILL MAHER, mansplainer extraordinaire; CHUCK SCHUMER, head of the Senate Democrats; and The One, former President BARACK OBAMA. There are, of course, no women present. 

As the curtain rises, we see PEREZ and ELLISON in earnest and quiet discussion. SANDERS’ head is down and his eyes are closed; gentle snores issue from his nose. SCHUMER is gazing raptly into OBAMA’s eyes, while MAHER is on the phone, pacing, at the other end of the table. PEREZ and ELLISON decide to bring the group back in.

PEREZ: Guys, hey! (The men in the room reluctantly begin to shift into “pay attention” mode.) I know it’s been a long day so far. But I think we’ve made real progress. Let’s take a look at the whiteboard one more time. Keith, can you give Bernie a nudge?

ELLISON (checking his watch): Yeah, I guess it’s still light outside. (goes over and gently shakes SANDERS, who unelegantly snorts awake.)

SANDERS: Oh! Sorry about that. I must have napped for a minute there.

OBAMA (muttering) More like the past 90 minutes, man. (SCHUMER snickers.)

MAHER (on the phone): Crap. I’ve gotta go, Ann. Of course I’ll have you on my show again. I don’t care how conservative you are; you’re my kind of woman. (Hangs up) Sorry about that. It’s hard for me to say no to a hot blonde, even if she talks a lot of sh*t sometimes. Am I right?

(SANDERS is the only one who laughs.)

PEREZ (into the awkward silence): Uh. Right! So, to recap: we want to rebuild the Democratic Party to prepare for 2018 and beyond. We can’t just focus on the Presidency every four years. That’s what got us into this mess in the first place!

OBAMA: Hey!

SCHUMER (smoothing it over): Sorry, Mr. President, but you have to agree that we should have spent more money and time building up Congress, the governorships and state legislatures. Now look what’s happened! The lunatics are running the asylum, and we don’t even have the option to impeach the schmuck squatting in the Oval Office to get his d*mn kids and that Breitbart wacko out of there. I feel like I’m living in Bizarro World!

SANDERS (standing up): I couldn’t agree more, Chuck. If it weren’t for that d*mn woman losing the election, we would be in the catbird seat right now. Thankfully you guys took over from that idiot Schultz, so we can take the Party back from the millionaires and billionaires! (sits down, self-satisfied)

(OBAMA rolls his eyes.)

MAHER (snarkily): Catbird seat?! How old ARE you?! (goes back to his phone and stops paying attention)

SCHUMER (politely): Uh, Bernie, that wasn’t actually what I said. In fact, it was pretty much the opposite. And I think it would be just terrific if you would stop obsessing about the primaries now. You know that 4 million more Democrats voted for Hillary. There was no rigging, except what the Russians did for Trump!

OBAMA: That’s right, Chuck. I knew those Russians were up to no good! But it shouldn’t have mattered. They should have come out for her the way they came out for me. (shaking his head) D*mn! I can’t believe my inspirational speeches didn’t work.

PEREZ (muttering): You mean those condescending lectures? Yeah, shocking.

ELLISON: (standing up and going to a whiteboard that turns around) Guys, guys! Come on now. We’re all on the same side, trying to do the same thing. Right? Let’s focus on beating the Republicans in 2018! Take a look at my strategy. I think we can all agree it’s a winner!

(ELLISON dramatically turns the whiteboard around. There is a picture of two people: one woman and one man. The man has unexpectedly sprouted a cartoon p*nis, and the woman has grown very large cartoon breasts.)

MAHER (grinning): Hey, Keith baby. I improved on it a bit.

PEREZ: Oh my God. (puts head in hands)

ELLISON (furiously erasing the offending bits): Bill, what are you even doing here? You’re not a politician. I don’t even know if you’re a Democrat!

MAHER: (standing up) Yeah? Well I figured you’ve got Bernie here, and he’s no Democrat. So what the f*ck, why shouldn’t I weigh in? After all, I know why you liberals always lose – it’s because you focus on the wrong things, like political correctness, instead of appealing to normal people like me.

SANDERS: YEAH!

OBAMA (finally a bit exercised): Oh – you mean we should cater to arrogant white guys who think they’re all that? I was President of the United States, you jackass. Have a little respect!

THE MEN GO SILENT, CHASTENED.

MAHER: Mr. President, I apologize. I got a bit carried away. It’s been a long day. (smarmily) Keith, why don’t we get back to your whiteboard. I promise I won’t touch it again.

ELLISON (not at all mollified, but willing to play along): All right. I cleaned up Bill’s mess, and here we are. These, gentlemen, are our new targeted Democratic voters.

First, we have Brenda. Brenda is an affluent white woman in the suburbs, who usually votes Republican. Our message? We feel your pain. You don’t want to think about the environment, or foreign policy, or how your vote affects people less fortunate than yourself. You just want lower taxes and an easy life for you and your family. And Brenda, you deserve it!

SANDERS (interrupting): Uh, Keith, I’m sure that’s not the message you want to send to Brenda. Don’t you want to talk to her about millionaires and billionaires taking over the country?

OBAMA: (interrupting): Nah, she’s a woman. Talk to her about taking care of her children!

SCHUMER (interrupting): What about abortion? Why can’t we talk to her about that? That’s the main issue for all women.

MAHER (interrupting): Women care about only one thing – a big schlong and a nice house. Why do you think I get so much action? (pointing) Hung like a horse, my friends.

(The meeting dissolves into chaos and yelling.)

PEREZ (commandingly): STOP! (The chaos calms.) Team, this is a mess. I forget, why are we targeting affluent white women again? And the man, isn’t he white too?

ELLISON (sheepishly): Uh, yes, Tom, yes he is. But remember, white people swung the election to that creep. We’ve got to get them to vote for us so we don’t lose again in 2018!

SANDERS: Yeah!

ELLISON (gaining confidence): I mean, look over here at the map of the United States. Come on, everyone, gather round the other whiteboard!

(Everyone gets up and dutifully looks at the whiteboard.)

SANDERS: Wow, is that Vermont? Huh. I thought it was bigger.

OBAMA (sarcastically): We know, Bernie.

ELLISON (clearing his throat): Ahem! Right. So look where the Democrats have all their support…in the East, West and some areas of the South. There’s very little in the middle of the country. That’s where we have to focus our efforts!

(The group murmurs in agreement, except PEREZ, who is scratching his head.)

PEREZ: So, uh…not to be a party pooper here, but…what about our base? African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, etc.? Shouldn’t we focus on turning them out rather than trying to convert people who never vote Democratic? And what about making sure people can vote in 2018? I heard that voter participation dropped 2-3 percentage points because of all those restrictive voting laws in those middle of the country states. If that hadn’t happened, plus all the Russian hacking and the Comey letter, Hillary would have won in a landslide!

SANDERS (getting red in the face): Oh please. She’s a loser! You should all listen to me. I would have won! It would have been YUGE!

ELLISON: I agree with Bernie. She only won by 3 million votes, and that’s mostly because of California. Who cares? It’s the middle of the country that counts.

SCHUMER: Wait a minute. What about New York? The greatest state in the nation!

(The room starts to get contentious again.)

OBAMA: Hey, hey, everyone. Look, it’s clear that we have some differences of opinion, but I’m confident we can work it all out. The notion that somehow Republicans could win in 2018 is patently absurd. Let’s all reconvene tomorrow, when we’ve gotten a good night’s sleep, and look at everything with fresh eyes. Okay?

(The men mutter and shake hands reluctantly as OBAMA ushers them out. PEREZ lingers behind and takes out his phone.)

PEREZ (quietly, making sure no one is around): Hello, Hillary? It’s me, Tom. (pauses) It was rough today. We really need you back. These guys have no clue! Obama does nothing but talk about himself. Maher makes dirty jokes and snarks. Bernie just yells “millionaires and billionaires” and says you’re a loser, then falls asleep.

(A hearty laugh issues from the phone.)

PEREZ: (chuckling) Yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous. Meanwhile, Chuck is too afraid of making enemies to stand up to the others, even though he knows they’re on the wrong track. And Ellison backs whatever Bernie says. It’s a disaster!

(PEREZ pauses for a long moment as CLINTON talks.)

PEREZ: Really? You think it’s time you came out of the woods? Tell me more…

The lights dim and fade out as PEREZ listens to CLINTON.

THE END…?


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Our 2016 Ticket!

Our girl is gonna shine

Busted: Glass ceiling

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She’s thinking “Less than 2 weeks I have to keep seeing that face”

Yeah I can make it

The team we’re on

Women’s March on Washington!

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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

Take the kids to work? NO!

3 turds control fate of healthcare for millions

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

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