Watching the decline...

Monthly Archives: October 2014

Less bang for the buck

So this election is poised to be the most expensive mid-term election in history with outside groups spending more than some candidate’s camps and most of that extra being spent largely on the Republican side. (though the Dem’s Act Blue has been no slouch, it isn’t nearly on the same level of Rove or Koch) As the cliche goes, more is being spent on some of these races than the GDP of many small nations, the up-front payola being no secret on either side. What the general public sees of this investment is absolutely nil, though logically and frankly since we did not make the investment, why should we see any benefit? This is what our American political system has come to. This is the pay to play the Supremes said would not be a result of the Citizens United decision, this is yet another step towards rule by the elites masquerading as democracy.

Two races in particular have called attention to the circus that is our campaign finance system, the Grimes / McConnell contest in Kentucky (fucking Kentucky? Really?) and Udall / Gardner in Colorado. The absolute batshit insanity of the spending and the thought that if they are spending this much on races, exactly how the fuck much do they expect to get back, should keep us all awake at night. Aside from the obvious thought that all this spending is yet another example of the lateral distribution of income it is also a harbinger of far worse things.

If the midterm elections go the way everyone seems to be predicting, both the house and the senate could go Republican and far greater than the President’s legislative agenda is at stake. Supreme court positions that may or may not become vacant, still vacant federal judgeships, one conspicuously absent Surgeon General… Republicans, especially the more right-Libertarian variety have been trying to dismantle government, and all its protections for the little guy for decades, if they win this election, even with the slightest majority, they have a shot at legitimizing the effort, and making it a reality.

So what do the Democrats do? As Rachel Maddow famously stated, maybe the cowardly Democrats deserve to lose, but do the rest of us deserve the results. If you judge us by our turnout, the answer is a resounding yes. Yes, there has been a continual drumbeat by many that signals that voting doesn’t matter, yes there has been constant pressure on Minority groups, and young people who came out in large numbers for both presidential elections to not vote through the enacting of insanely ridiculous laws that would be fine if they accompanied concerted efforts to get voters the state issued IDs they are being asked to provide, and yes there is the fact that we have largely ALLOWED ourselves to be ignorant Wal-Mart zombies who pay more attention to celebrity gossip than politics, but do we really and truly metaphysically deserve serfdom?

So again, what do the democrats do? They suddenly discover Black people. Yep, in one of the most cynical, offensive moves in my lifetime, the desperate Democratic party finally acknowledges the Black vote in a midterm election.

After collectively turning their backs on the President after the 2010 midterms, and doing so AGAIN, they expect African-Americans to be appreciative of their sudden noticing of them and come out to vote? After years and years of pulling to the hard right and for fear of losing their most horribly inconsistent voting block, straight white (angry) men, they suddenly rediscover the most reliable Democratic voting block since FDR and put on the full pander to get them to come out? What the fuck?!!????

If the Republicans get largely deserved heat for playing lip service to Blacks and Latinos, the democrats deserve it twofold, threefold, TENFOLD.

Let’s go down the list of dubious Democratic blunders as far as people of color are concerned, shall we?

1) Completely and utterly ignoring the minority vote: “Blue Dog” southern and Midwestern Dems sided with Republicans for some of the worst reasons imaginable during the 2008 elections through today, from not answering the Republican claims of lies about “Obamacare” death panels, government takeovers and “rationing” (none of which, I might add, have come to fruition, and none of which are being used as examples of the stupid ass, lying sons of bitches most Republicans have allowed themselves to become) by calling bullshit on them as loudly and plainly as possible, therefore getting Barack’s back, and yes, ingratiating themselves to the people who got him elected in the first place, truly and honestly and not suspiciously and cynically after the fact.

2) Being pussies about the ACA: AGAIN, in states where poor people have been helped (or not yet helped, because of stubborn Republican Governors) by the ACA. Angry whites and the Rich almost always vote, engaging the people most helped by “Obamacare” and energizing the ones who haven’t yet should be the job of every single Democrat. Period. Apparently it isn’t only George Bush who doesn’t care about Black people.

3) Ignoring the blatant pandering of the GOP to white racism, brown tide fear and other assorted mental disorders. I have yet to hear a united chorus of democrats call out the GOP on their Racism. This should be coming especially from White Southern Democrats, fuck fearing losing, call out the truth.

4) Distancing themselves from the President. If the Democrats stood with Obama on some of the key issues the Democratic platform stands on, both would benefit immeasurably.

5) Listening to polls. Minority representation in polling is notoriously low. Always has been. In 2012, famously wrong. By catering their message to the polls Democrats largely ignore segments of the population that would otherwise come out and vote, if candidates said what all of their constituents wanted to hear they would be singing a very different tune. Especially in districts where every Democratic vote counts, counting out those historically prone to vote D only makes sense.

With generally dismal turnout rates among all but the most committed “values” voters, and ads skewed to energize them, the Democrats are fighting on a narrow field on which they cannot win. And that is not only bad for us, but it is also terrible for democracy.

Much ado About Ebola

Add Ebola to the list of paranoia inducing world events that don’t matter until they affect us. Check.

Social media is the trashcan of all good ideas buried in the backyard and left to rot. The latest stinking dung pile, Ebola fear, is streaking its way across Facebook as I type this. As usual people are, once again, freaking out over next to nothing.

And by no means do I believe that Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever is anything but terrible, but its less terrible as long as the brown people keep it in their own country. Now that its been shipped by carrier to the US (by someone as described by a friend of a friend as a “piece of shit”) Mericans’ is losing their collective minds. As long as it stayed “over there” it was a terrible tragedy that hardly eclipsed latest YouTube sensation Ray Rice’s video, or the White House gate-crashers , until it came here.

Oh and add to the non-threat Ebola presents at the moment that “conversation” between Sam Harris, Ben Affleck and Bill Maher the internet is abuzz about. First off I like all three of these guys as much as someone who doesn’t know someone from Adam could, they all piss me off as much as someone I’ve never met would, and this conversation between three white guys about Islam makes about as much sense as a priest and a Rabbi walking into a bar.

Look guys, Mr. Harris and Mr. Maher especially I’m not a big fan of religion and its opium dispensing companion spiritualism but going and insulting all Muslims without clearly identifying what its adherents have done in the past several thousand years to advance math, science and literature  is just pissing off Muslims for the sake of pissing off Muslims. And it’s also part of the reason the ones that do hate us. After about a minute of this conversation between what I think are three relatively intelligent human beings, with none of them recognizing the fact that none of them having grown up in the culture of Islam have the authority to make any of these statements without qualification, I honestly tuned out. There is only so much wealthy educated white guys yelling at each other I can take in one sitting.

And on a related note, Joe Scarborough, you are an ass.  Aside from the true fact that the guy from the times was right and global warming does pose the biggest existential threat to the planet at the moment, its fundamentalism, be it Christian, Muslim or any other religious extremism that is the greatest threat as you define it. Singling out Muslims when we have more than our fair share of wingnut crackpots in the good ol US of A, is just plain fucking delusional. Yet again, you prove that you are blinded by your own ignorance and identity, as an America, a Christian, and a Republican.

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