Posts Tagged ‘Republican Candidates’

Trump is only slightly more crazy than the others

December 31, 2015

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I confess that I never thought Donald Trump would get as far as he has.  I thought he would crash and burn, like so many of the Republican candidates in 2012.  I thought Hillary Clinton was the inevitable Democratic candidate, and that Scott Walker might take the Republican nomination away from Jeb Bush.

I did not think that somebody as sleazy as him would be taken seriously by the mass of ordinary Americans.

I kept waiting for Donald Trump to say something so outrageous and stupid that his candidacy would fail.  But here he is, stronger than ever – as Thoreau of Unqualified Offerings says, something like The Mule in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series.

I still don’t think Trump will be nominated, and, if he is, I don’t think he will be elected.  I most certainly wouldn’t vote for him.

But I don’t see that he is that much crazier than the mainstream Republican candidates or Hillary Clinton.

Muslim-bashing is bad, immigrant-bashing is bad, and “roughing up” black protesters is truly vicious.  But it is just as badworse to accept perpetual war as normal, economic decline as inevitable, and financial fraud as something you can’t do anything about, which is what almost all the so-called mainstream candidates do.

LINKS

Eight Things About Donald Trump by John Scalzi on his Whatever blog.

How Republicans and Polls Enable Donald Trump by Nate Silver for FiveThirtyEight.

Six Crazy Things Trump Says That Are Spot On by Ted Rall for Japan Times.

The cruel logic of treating abortion as murder

September 1, 2015

For a long time the leaders of the Republican Party have said that “abortion is murder,” but, until now, they haven’t meant this literally.

130306_prolife_abortion_605_reutAll the Republican presidential candidates from George H.W. Bush to Mitt Romney have opposed abortion, but made exceptions, such as for women who are pregnant as the result of rape or incest.

No such exception would be allowed by Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Rand Paul or Mike Huckabee, according to a report by Thomas B. Edsall of the New York Times.

If you honestly believe that abortion is murder, it is logical to say, as Huckabee did, that friends of a 10-year-old girl in Paraguay who became pregnant after being raped by her step-father has no more right to commit murder than anybody else.

Edsall noted that the top 15 Republican candidates, including Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina, all agree that life begins at conception.  This sounds strict to me, but Edsall pointed out that, to some of the most powerful anti-abortion groups, it is not enough.  To these groups, life begins at fertilization.

The difference is that conception begins when the fertilized egg is implanted in the womb.  Most fertilized eggs fail to be implanted.

The importance of this difference is that the “morning after” birth control pill works by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg.   Experts disagree on whether IUDs prevent implantation of fertilized eggs.   Extremist anti-abortionists think such forms of birth control are the same as abortion.

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The political scene – August 25, 2015

August 25, 2015

The Do-Something-Else Principle by Doug Muder for The Weekly Sift.

The simple-minded populism that controls the GOP by Paul Waldman for The Washington Post.

teaparty.GOP.USA.worldDoug Muder and Paul Waldman wrote about how the leading Republican candidates operate on the principle that “ignorance is strength”.

They not only are uninterested in the details of policy.  They lack understanding of how a Constitutional government works.  They seem to think that Presidents can do anything they want by decree, and the only qualities needed are decisiveness and average common sense.

Dr. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump have no experience or interest in government.  Senator Ted Cruz, although he holds public office, also manifests no interest in actually governing.  The popular appeal of such candidates is a measure of the frustration of the American public with the present bipartisan consensus.

One-party system: What total Republican control of a state really means by Herman Schwartz for Reuters.

The Republican Party has much more grass roots strength at the state level than the Democrats.  But except for those who think gun rights and the suppression of abortion are more important than anything else, they’re not governing in the interest of American working people.

The Age of Imperial Wars by James Petras.

Insouciance Rules the West by Paul Craig Roberts.

The establishment Democrats and Republicans understand the workings of government better than the Tea Party Republicans do.  But in their overall policies, they, too, are either disconnected from reality or powerless to change the direction of a government that is on automatic pilot for drone warfare, covert warfare and proxy warfare.

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What if Bernie Sanders actually wins?

July 29, 2015

When Bernie Sanders announced he is running for President, I decided that, barring the unexpected, I will vote for him, not because I thought he could win, but to “send them a message.”

I don’t think Sanders himself expected to win.  I think he ran in order to get his ideas before the public.

Bernie SandersNow the relative weakness of Hillary Clinton and the leading Republican candidates in public opinion polls indicate that Vermont’s 73-year-old Senator has a real, though small, change of winning the Democratic primary and the general election.

What if he did win?  Sanders himself has said many times that no President can bring about the changes that are needed in this country unless there is a political revolution.

What I take him to mean by political revolution is a mass movement among the public, as in the Populist and Progressive movements prior to World War One, the labor movement in the 1930s or the civil rights movement of the 1960s.   Only with movements such as this at his back could any President force reforms through Congress and overcome the reluctance of the bureaucracy.

The changes Sanders advocates are not revolutionary in themselves.  Although he calls himself a socialist, he is essentially a Roosevelt-Truman Democrat.  But the financial establishment, and the military-intelligence deep state, are so dead set against even modest reforms, that to bring them about would require a shift in power than would be virtually revolutionary.

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The Ron Paul dilemma

January 3, 2012

Rep. Ron Paul opposes many things I am for.  He is opposed to civil rights laws.  He is anti-labor.  He wants to destroy the social safety net.  He opposes legislation to protect health, safety and the environment.  Under ordinary circumstances, I would regard him as a dangerous radical extremist.

But he is one of the few prominent political figures to oppose the perpetual war policy supported by both the Democratic and Republican parties.  He is one of the few to stand up for basic civil liberties.  He is among the few to stand up to the oppose the Wall Street bailouts.

So there is a dilemma.  Ron Paul wants to repeal the New Deal.  But the Bush administration, the Obama administration and most of the current Republican candidates are willing to repeal the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and rights of due process that go back to Magna Carta.

I think the Constitution is more important than the New Deal.  So long as the Constitution endures, it will be possible in the fullness of time to reconstitute the New Deal and the civil rights laws.

But that doesn’t resolve the dilemma.  Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Senator Bernie Sanders and other political figures that are just as clear-eyed about war and civil liberties as Ron Paul.  Why aren’t they as prominent as Ron Paul?  In my opinion, it is because Ron Paul’s anti-liberal backers give him a stronger base of support than liberals would give to an anti-Obama liberal Democrat.   Some liberals are willing to make common cause with Ron Paul supporters, but I don’t think many long-time Ron Paul supporters, or maybe any, who are willing to make common cause with liberals.

I don’t think I would vote for Ron Paul in the extremely unlikely event that he was nominated, and the equally unlikely event that the outcome in New York state was not a foregone conclusion.  But I am glad Ron Paul is in the race.  Even though I don’t agree with some of the things he believes in, I admire his grit and his willingness to speak the truth as he sees it.  He raises issues that need to be raised.

Click on Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletters for documentation on why Ron Paul’s old newsletters from the late 1980s and early 1990s were so inflammatory.

Click on Ron Paul’s Shaggy Defense and “Old News”  for Ta-Nehisi Coates’ take-down of Ron Paul’s defense of his newsletters.

Click on Grappling With Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletters for Conor Friedersdorf’s commentary in The Atlantic on the significance of the newsletters.

Click on Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies for Glenn Greenwald’s argument as to why Ron Paul’s views are no worse, from a liberal standpoint, that Barack Obama’s actions, and video links to Ron Paul’s statements about war and civil liberties.

Click on Why Ron Paul Challenges Liberals for Matt Stoller’s analysis of Ron Paul’s political views about the connection between the Federal Reserve System and the ability of government to finance wars.

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