Posts Tagged ‘Democratic Party’

So, was there a “BLUE” wave?  You decide…
Image of chart showing elections where Democrats made gains in the House of Representatives

Elections since 1976 where Democrats have gained seats in the House of Representatives

Of course, the image (above) ONLY shows the years with “net” gains – and this year is the largest numeric increase for the Democrats since 1976.  The chart does not show the years 1980, 1984, 1992, 2002, 2004, 2010, 2014, and 2016 where the Democrats had net losses nor the magnitude of those losses.  (Pretty significant losses in 1994 and 2010.)
Image of Popular Vote Last 6 of 7 Presidential Elections

Trends for Republicans to worry about…

What should be more troubling to the Republicans is that the second image (just above) shows in Presidential elections, the Democratic candidate received the majority of the “popular” vote in six of the last seven elections.  In 2000, George W. Bush became president (like Trump in 2016) because of the Electoral College, NOT because he received the majority of the individual votes by Americans.  And, in “W’s” case, Republicans won only because the Supreme Court stopped the recount in Florida while “W” had the lead.
It is (IMHO) extremely unlikely there will be any Constitutional change to the Electoral College system and the House (i.e. the States) is sooooo gerrymandered it is unlikely the moneyed party (the Republicans) will lose many of the plains and mid-west States without another major financial / economic collapse (like at the end of Bush’s term: 2008).  The “hope” of a demographics shift is “always” there as a forecast on the horizon, but it never seems to be the super-storm which reaches shore.  Finally, I have read projections of upwards of ten House seats being “flipped” due to the 2020 census.  So having (and holding) governorships and state houses coming out of 2020 will be critical for the next decade’s elections, too.
The work is just beginning folks…  Take a deep breath and then get ready to get back to the grindstone.  Democracy still has some catching up to do in this Republic.
On This Day In:
2017 The Promise At Risk
2016 Or As Will Come In Time
2015 It Is Another Beautiful Day At The Red Pony Bar And Continual Soiree…
2014 Days And Years
2013 Currency And Transport
2012 Something Which Did Not Exist Before
2011 True Magic

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I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.
   —  J. Wellington Wimpy
Guess what?  We’re having an election this year.  Guess what?  A number of Democratic Party office holders are in states which the President won – some by double digits – in 2016.  Guess what?  Most of those same office holders are more interested in trying to hold onto their offices than they are in trying to defend the American working class and future members of the working class (DACA “Dreamers”).  Guess what?  Sometimes I wonder why I continue to support a “Democratic” Party which fails – over and over again – to stand up to Republican right-wing reactionaries and hypocrites.  Why did the Democratic leadership collapse?  Because they don’t have ANY leaders who can deliver a message to the average American with a simple, honest message about what it takes (costs) to be a free people in modern times.  The Democrats don’t know how to SELL freedom, opportunity or civilization.  The result is Republicans SELL false security (behind an expensive and useless wall), protectionism from the “thems” and the “others”, and the naivety that if we place our lives in the hands of our “betters” (the rich) and go back 50 to 100 years in civil rights and liberties, we will somehow restore America to our glorious past.
At least we have the “firm” commitment from the Senate Majority Leader that they will “consider” voting on the DACA “sometime” in the future.
On This Day In:
2017 Sincerely Yours
2016 Only Good To Say
2015 A Series Of Temporary Conditions
2014 Gaps
2013 Duty
2012 Cost Not Price
2011 The Simple Normalcy Of Everyday Life – “Squirrel!”

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This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support.  Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty.  The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all.  The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.
All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency.  They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force;  to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community;  and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
   —    President George Washington
From his “Farewell Address“, September 19, 1796
[What happens when the minority party, the opposition party, dedicates itself to making the President a one-term President and a failed administration the first day after his inauguration?
In Republican Presidential candidates Trump and Cruz, we are seeing the results of almost a quarter century of putting a political party ahead of the good of the country as a whole.  The Republicans attempted the destruction of two eight year administrations simply because they were Democrats and then blindly supported their own eight year Republican administration which refused to raise taxes to pay for an unnecessary war which cost trillions of dollars.  The Republicans, the “party of business, fiscal responsibility and defense / security”, carried the war funding “off-budget” so they would not have to disclose the cost to the American public.
Now Trump wants to build a multi-billion dollar wall on our southern border and have Mexico pay for it.  (I guess he doesn’t feel “off-books” will work again.)  Now Cruz, who has spent the whole of his time in the Senate alienating himself from his own party (let alone anyone else who might be a Democrat) wants all the other Conservative  Republicans to fall in behind him because Trump is not a “true” Conservative.  (Now he wants friends.)  If they both weren’t so pitiable, they would be laughable.  It is truly frightening to think a major American political party would put either of these men forward as nominees for President of the United States.  But then again, what can we expect from a party which offered up Sarah Palin to be one heartbeat from the President eight years ago.
Okay.  I will now climb off of my soap-box and return you to your normal programming…    —    KMAB]
On This Day In:
2015 Still 99%
2014 Affirming The Wall
2013 Maintain The Freedom
2012 All Good
2011 Fountains Of Life
Staying Alive

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Best Of Enemies  (2015)  —  movie review
Today’s review is for the documentary “Best Of Enemies“.  The documentary purports to show the start of today’s version of acrimonious televised pundit’s political analysis by referencing back to a series of ten debates between conservative commentator William F. Buckley, Jr. and liberal commentator Gore Vidal which occurred during the 1968 Republican and Democratic conventions that summer.  The operative word in this last sentence being “televised”.  There should be no doubt that vitriolic personal animosity has always existed (to some lessor or greater degree) between the defenders of opposing sides in virtually every political debate – especially those which deal with “moral” issues.
First, as usual, full disclosure:  as I’ve stated before on this blog, I am a life-long conservative Democrat.  I grew up a BIG fan of Buckley (from TV) and have almost complete ignorance of Vidal.  I have, of course, seen his image and probably seen him on TV, but I have never (to my recollection) read any of his books.  When I saw this documentary was available on Netflix, it immediately went to the top of my “must watch” list because I anticipated a contest between intellectual giants casting Zeus-like bolts at each other in their arguments of liberalism versus conservatism.  And this with the advantage of 50 years of history to underline which side prevailed (or at least was correct).
In the end, while fascinated and wildly entertained, I was sorely disappointed.  There is no “there” there (or should I say “there” here).
Instead, what we are treated with is a documentary demonstrating the art of the personal attack as a means – not of winning a debate – but as a means of diminishing one’s opponent, so as to appear to “win” a debate by means of embarrassment.  If this movie is to be believed, Vidal is the clear winner.  If history is the final judge, the answer is less certain.
Vidal opens with the defining challenge:  can a party whose sole standing policy is greed, continue to gather enough support from the masses of the public (who live with the failures of capitalism) to elect Republican politicians in general and a President in specific.  Although, the conservative (Buckley) loses the debate, the answer is ‘yes’.  Not as resounding a “YES” as one might think, but a ‘yes’ none the less.  George Wallace splits the democratic vote in the South (with the Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey) and Richard Nixon goes on to win the Presidency.  And beyond that, for twenty of the next twenty-four years, the Republicans control the White House and the Executive Branch.
From this time reference, one might judge Republican conservatism to have been successful and therefore correct as a political theory or somehow “better” than Democratic liberalism.   Again, as I said earlier, the answer is less certain.  The record of history over the last 120 years is that Conservative Republican policies lead to (“cause” is probably too strong a word) economic failure:  the Great Depression, the Great Recession of the 80’s, the collapse of the Savings and Loans, the collapse of the American middle class and the recent recession and financial collapse (of 2007/08).  The sad truth is that the “party of business” doesn’t know how to run an economy when it is in power.
But I digress.  Final recommendation:  strong, but qualified.  This is a documentary about how business executives learned to turn political news into confrontational entertainment.  And, similar to modern political punditry, it entertains without providing the foundation of the ideas upon which the two sides rest.  Just because it’s spicy doesn’t mean it’s filling.
On This Day In:
2015 Positive Acts Of Creation
2014 One Thing Is Clear
2013 Corrections
See Greatness
2012 Gemutlichkeit
2011 Back On The Asphalt
It Is Just Not The Same

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