If Ted Cruz can announce a running mate, so can I.
My running mate will be Mrs. Danvers. She is loyal to a fault, meticulous, and can talk people into jumping out of windows. This latter skill will be invaluable in my administration. She promises she will not set the place on fire unless she is seriously disappointed. You wouldn't want to disappoint her, would you?
This piece in Roll Call treats Donna Edwards like a fully realized person, while Chris Van Hollen is reduced to a stick figure. The substantial support he received from black leaders in MD is treated as an obvious betrayal, with not a word spent on acknowledging his accomplishments or considering that anyone might have a non-contemptible reason for supporting him. He is not allowed to be a real person; Julianne Malveaux actually referred to him as part of the "Master Plan" in a FB post. Scornful reference to "The Establishment" is treated as magically vanquishing any argument. As with Clinton vs. Sanders, those of us who care about actually getting something done are treated as part of the problem, as sellouts, by definition. I should not have to point out that, in my 36 years as a DC voter (having moved here from the MD 8th District which Van Hollen now represents), I have supported and worked productively with a great many African Americans and women.
Hillary's record as First Lady, alone, tells you all you need to know. From Vital Voices, which spurred women in politics internationally, to the Children's Health Insurance Program, The Adoption and Safe Families Act (1997), The Department of Justice's Violence Against Women office, the Foster Care Independence bill, and of course the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in China in 1995 -- she has led the struggle. This is a remarkable story.
Yet, throughout the 90s, as First Lady, Hillary was routinely attacked for her leadership, because she was a woman, pushing her unelected weight around, as they saw it, and the men hated it. They branded her a socialist for her health care push, which she doggedly dragged forward, taking on big pharma and the health insurance industry. How dare she? They sued over her even being involved as First Lady. And so began a now decades-long smear campaign to discredit and disempower her, with not a single finding of wrong doing, despite millions spent on special prosecutors and investigations.
And on Bernie:
He's been a lone-wolf his whole life, crying the beautiful call of economic justice from the woods of Vermont and the Senate floor. But this is not a winner-take-all election. This is not a theoretical government. His campaign is all theory and no plan. That is a recipe for conflict: the wrong kind of conflict. Obama got a lot done, despite the ferocious racists rebuke, because he was smart, not angry. Wise, not adversarial.
My latest Blade column takes a historical view of how public policy is changed. We must honor the struggle, not avoid the work by indulging in magical thinking. Here's an excerpt:
Chez Pazienza of The Daily Banter put it well: "If You're Liberal and You Think Hillary Clinton Is Corrupt and Untrustworthy, You're Rewarding 25 Years of GOP Smears." Bernie Sanders has yet to face the brutal assaults of the GOP war machine in the way Secretary Clinton has for decades. Indeed, the Republicans want Sanders to get the nomination.
Brett Arends of MarketWatch compiled a list of the terrible things Hillary is accused of doing. My favorites are #12, "Unnamed and unverifiable sources have told Peggy Noonan things about the Clintons that are simply too terrible to repeat," and #44, "She's really ambitious and calculating, unlike all the other people running for president." Bob Woodward says Hillary is too loud. Really? Has he heard Senator Sanders? Susan Sarandon slams Hillary for not endorsing marriage equality until 2013. Is Sarandon aware of the global LGBT rights initiative Hillary launched in December 2011?
Sanders opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 on states' rights grounds. He endorsed marriage equality in 2009; but in 1982 he described marriage as "a lifelong commitment between husband and wife." Granted, that was typical for the time. Few gay activists then focused on marriage. In 1981, AIDS had hit American cities, and D.C.'s first attempt to repeal its sodomy law was blocked by Congress. That was the year I came out to my family. I didn't have my first argument with a politician on same-sex marriage until 1994, fifteen years before D.C. enacted marriage equality.
D.C.'s marriage equality victory resulted not from revolution but from strategizing, researching, organizing, drafting, negotiating, messaging, and electioneering. It required careful preparation, coalition building, and long-cultivated relationships with public officials. It ripened via sustained work that began long before the final bill was written.
Those seeking change must honor the struggle, not just the result.
The relentless demonizing of this accomplished woman has failed. The haters will continue to spew their venom on social media; but at some point the voices of traditional media need to face reality. They don't have to like it, just recognize that once again, she is still standing. Her endurance and resilience, in fact, are key job skills.
From four years ago, an extraordinary and illuminating tribute to our former Secretary of State. You may learn things you didn't know from this. And if you have bought into the decades of calumny, you may decide you have sold her short. Appropriate viewing on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.
The president soared last night, a fact that was all the more clear as Republicans, trapped in their refusal to give him credit or respect for anything ever, sat on their hands. He outclassed his detractors by so far it was embarrassing, and showed he was the grownup in the room. Here are excerpts.
"Will we respond to the changes of our time with fear, turning inward as a nation, and turning against each other as a people? Or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, what we stand for, and the incredible things we can do together?"
"Some of the only people in America who are going to work the same job, in the same place, with a health and retirement package, for 30 years, are sitting in this chamber."
"Food Stamp recipients didn’t cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did."
"Sixty years ago, when the Russians beat us into space, we didn’t deny Sputnik was up there. We didn’t argue about the science, or shrink our research and development budget. We built a space program almost overnight, and twelve years later, we were walking on the moon."
I really should have gotten you that gag gift for your last wedding. I mean an actual gag, to shut you up long enough to stop the plunge of our national intelligence level. But I truly am sorry. Sorry that you won't stop making crap up. Sorry that you are so self-absorbed you make the average politician look like Albert Schweitzer. Sorry that your need for attention is so unquenchable you are prepared to wreck the country to satisfy it. Sorry that you trust a murderous despot like Putin more than our own president. Sorry that you are such an entitled skinflint that you routinely expect to be comped by every restaurant you enter. Sorry that you make Marco and Jeb look like statesmen by comparison. Sorry that you appear proud of stoking crass ignorance that makes Sarah Palin look like an intellectual.
Okay, I was kidding with that last one. I do agree with something Mama Grizzly said: it's time we put a Republican back at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue. I'm afraid that would be the back side of the Commerce Department, but I'm sure we can redecorate a room there for you with public donations. And don't worry about your insults. Hell, I've been called worse things by Rahm. Just remember, it's Madam President Bitch to you, come noon on Jan. 20, 2017.
With all due respect to Spike Lee, some of whose movies I have admired very much, rape is about power, not sex. Thus his suggestion to Stephen Colbert the other evening that the sex strike in his new movie Chiraq, inspired by the Aristophanes play Lysistrata, would be useful in combatting campus rape, is foolish. Ta-Nehisi Coates does a nice take-down.
Vox reporter Sarah Kliff refutes lurid Fiorina description of Planned Parenthood video: "Either Fiorina hasn't watched the Planned Parenthood videos or she is knowingly misrepresenting the footage. Because what she says happens in the Planned Parenthood videos simply does not exist."
Watch Senator Elizabeth Warren crush it on the Senate floor during the debate to defund Planned Parenthood: “Did you fall down, hit your head and think you woke up in the 1950s or the 1890s? Should we call for a doctor?”
The people trying so hard to demonize Hillary, calling her a liar, should least to get their own facts right. But all they seem interested in doing is divide and distract. As POTUS says about the Iran deal, what is their positive proposal? Know-nothingism, attacks on immigrants and religious minorities and LGBT folks and reproductive freedom and voting rights are not going to cut it. All they have are hatred and paranoia.
"Treating women as second-class citizens is a bad tradition. It holds you back. There’s no excuse for sexual assault or domestic violence. There’s no reason that young girls should suffer genital mutilation. There’s no place in civilized society for the early or forced marriage of children. These traditions may date back centuries; they have no place in the 21st century." —President Obama in Kenya: http://go.wh.gov/Ko3xvP