Our political problem is not so-called tribalism, the desire to protect one’s own. The reason politicians fail these days and are despised is because their priorities are reversed. Their first and overwhelming priority is to keep their jobs at all costs. That drives everything. They will say and do anything as long as it allows them to keep their jobs. The next item on the list is to protect their party’s majority because that’s where the power resides. That implies the corruption of satisfying the desires of their money sources. And last and certainly least, most obviously at the bottom of the list, is obligation to country. If one understands this, our politics becomes very clear. The lack of spine is fear of losing one’s job, the country be damned. And Trump is the paragon of this.
Having been disgusted with Republican leadership, it felt good to hear James Comey take Republicans to task for putting up with Trump who is clearly a crook the sake of tax cuts and a supreme court justice. These have been my feelings for the entire Trump presidency. For my part, their behavior has been so selfishly political that there is absolutely no concern for the rule of law and the institutions of this country. For Ryan to put up with Nunes’ chicanery and for McConnell to refuse to protect Mueller is more than disgusting. It is truly treacherous. If I ever vote for a Republican again, may my fingers that push the levers fall off.
There is no question in my mind, in retrospect, that the last fifty years of racial progress is a deception. Yes, some things have come to pass: the legal if not actual elimination of segregated schools, the somewhat improved economic state of African-Americans, their forced acceptance in the workplace and so on. But in truth, as the legacy of Obama has demonstrated so obviously, racism has merely been buried and festering until its explosion with the bucket of deplorables called the Trump base.
The blatant resentment of this black, brilliant, articulate, family-man rising to president was too much for them to bear. It brought out the festering racism and worship of Trump, with the ignorance that had been so long buried. Sixty plus votes against the affordable care act, so-named Obamacare for one reason alone, to marginalize this black president’s legacy.
That most republicans, especially the racists among them vote emotionally against their own self-interest is common knowledge to politicians. Otherwise how could republicans ever get elected to anything? But this last year of the worship of stupidity and overlooking of the sexual harassment of Trump and the pedophilia of Moore, rather than rational thought is record setting. As that paragon of truth, Sarah Huckabee Sanders had continued to repeat that these things were litigated during the election and the people elected Trump anyway.
We can only hope that this nation of the people, by the people and for the people can survive long enough for this racist and abysmally stupid kernel to die out. Hopefully, their worshipped leader will be impeached, have a stroke, have a heart attack or in any other presently inconceivable event, be removed from office or at least be too incapacitated to do any more damage to this beloved nation.
Once upon a time, republicans were sane and civilized. Now, it’s obvious to me there’s no such thing as a good republican. I wish all of them ill.
OUR ELECTORAL PROBLEM IS NOT THE CONSTITUTION
I’m old enough to remember how the parliamentary democracies were laughed at after WW II for their seeming instability. We Americans with our hubris pointed to our “superior” stable two party system. Now who’s laughing? Look at the mess our two party system has created.
But there is nothing wrong with our constitution as far as elections go. The problem is not even, as some claim, the electoral college itself. In fact, it’s a help. The problem is the all-or-nothingness of the electoral college that messes us up. Assigning electors proportionately would go a long way toward straightening us out. First of all, the parties are divided, the republican party irreconciliably. The democratic party is divided more by personalities than principle. We have three or maybe four virtual parties that cannot express themselves independently in an election without shooting themselves in the foot by hurting one of the major parties. The republicans should bite the bullet and split but they won’t give up their majority which is currently artificial. If they did, there could be a center right party picking up conservative democrats and marginalizing the extreme right wing. So how to solve it?
If the electoral college votes in every state were proportional, the opportunity for a third party (or fourth) to form and run candidates would be possible and there would be an incentive to do so. With enough electoral votes, a strong third party could prevent either of the major parties from getting a majority and would force a compromise with a third or fourth party to form a coalition government with a coalition president. The other probable result would be the toning down of our cult of personality arising from an incessant campaign for president, including a brutal, excessively lengthy primary process. We are in a continuous electoral cycle which is destructive to our ability to govern. In the parliamentary governments the voter frequently doesn’t even know who the prime minister will be. The party leader is selected by the representatives.
We could learn something from those we snubbed our noses at years ago. Then maybe we could get something done. As it stands now, the only possibility is eternal gridlock.
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I am not excited about parsing words our fake president speaks but i’m happy to see it. In my view, anything that casts negatives on the man is good. He is clearly mentally ill and saying he is unfit for the job is an understatement. In addition to being a nut case, he is dumb, historically illiterate, and generally disgusting. The sooner we get rid of him the better. But where are the republicans? They are sniveling cowards totally unconcerned about the health of our country.
Last night I watched Seth Lugo pitch for the Mets. After giving up four runs in the early innings, the Mets caught up and went ahead, 6-4 Then Lugo pitched his 101st pitch and was taken out. Why? He was in a relaxed pitching groove. He had given the Phillies nothing and was relaxed and in complete control. But manage-by-pitch-count Collins took him out, put in Hansel Robles who never threw a strike to the first two batters. The only reason he got any outs at all was that the batters were swinging at balls. Then he gave up the home run that tied the score. I don’t know who’s worse, Robles, Collins, the manager or Warthen, the pitching coach. I like the new kids that they brought up from the minors but for crying out loud, get a pitching coach who can do something else besides count pitches.
They say Trump was advised not to begin his term with health care. He didn’t listen. Why, they ask? I listened to an hour of bullshit that totally missed the point. For me, the inference is simple. I suggest that the most important thing to Trump was his hatred of Obama. Everything else was insignificant. He latched onto the racist sixty plus house repeal votes and saw that as his tool to attack OBAMACARE and remove Obama’s legacy. Combine the loonies in the house that voted to repeal it with McConnell’s racist hatred of Obama and all we got was hatred and no substance. Nothing else mattered. Fucking the American people, not important. Destroy Obama’s legacy was the only objective regardless of the cost. Lindsay Graham summarized it best. “It would have been nice to have a bill that the people liked.” That’s why healthcare failed. It offered nothing but racism and hate which has a limited audience – bigger than it should be, but still limited.
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I love the Met players but Terry Collins has to make up his mind who is playing and who isn’t and where. The pitching coach, Dan Warthen, needs to be tougher with his pitchers. And needs to teach them how to pitch. They can throw but they can’t pitch. You can’t be a relief pitcher and walk the first man you face. You have to be able to throw strikes with secondary pitches. Trouble is the Met relief pitchers can’t even throw fastballs for strikes. If a relief pitcher comes in and the first pitch is a ball, and keeps doing that, I would read him the riot act. And if he walked the first man and keeps doing that, I would send him back to the minors for more seasoning or get rid of him. And if Warthen doesn’t fix that, I would get rid of him.
Finally, this business of managing by pitch count is ludicrous. I remember Don Newcombe pitching a shutout in the first game of a double header and then pitching five innings of the second game. It never hurt him. Many pitchers in the league during my Brooklyn Dodger fan days, didn’t get warmed up until the sixth inning. Spahn, Sain, Roberts, Maglie, Reynolds, Raschi Feller. Newhouser. Batters had to get to them early because they were death in the late innings.