Bulldog Had Nothing to Say About Our Election

Bulldog Had Nothing to Say About Our Election

I’ve placed a high priority on covering important events here on da bulldog blog. So it may seem just a bit strange that I had nothing to say about the result of the recent Presidential election. Yeah, that was exactly one month ago today.

I did have quite a bit to say about this train wreck of an election in the social media universe. A lot.

But for whatever reason or reasons, I was loathe to write about it here. I’m aware of what some of the reasons were. I’m not sure I fully understand all the reasons why I chose not to blog about what is, without a doubt, the biggest event in our public life in this country in a very, very long time.

But as I end my silence on the subject of this year’s Presidential election, let me just make two or three points which effectively lay out my bottom line on this subject.

The first is that the election of Donald Trump to the nation’s highest office is a tragedy for America. If you’re rolling your eyes at that statement, just know that early on in this con man’s presidency, you’ll understand — as will all of us who didn’t drink the Kool Aide — that his elevation to POTUS will usher in dark days for us all.

The second point is that the things conservatives have been saying about our corporate life in the aftermath of the election are really comical. What I mean specifically are the appeals to those of us who cannot accept and will never accept this scum bag as our President to just close ranks behind Fearless Leader so we can heal our divisions and move on from here. You know, leave behind that politics-as-usual stuff, unite for the good of the country and make America great again! After all, that would be the patriotic thing to do, right?

Not happening. There are plenty of reasons why that’s so. One being that Herr Drumpf is so thoroughly unfit to hold the office that opposing him is not only NOT a bad thing, it should be seen as a sacred duty for Americans who love their country.

But speaking for me, the main reason is that I remember well the events of the last eight years. Yes, I remember the way Republicans, Tea Baggers and folks who proudly wear the conservative label behaved after the country elected Barack Obama as President. And, of course, he won in 2008 with a much larger margin than tRump.

I remember the demonstrations where effigies of President Obama were hanging by a noose. Or were burned.

I well remember the Tea Party rallies where people who hated our President carried photo shopped posters depicting him as a Witch Doctor with a bone through his nose. Yeah, remember when Obama orchestrated that complete government takeover of healthcare?

I remember elected officials who have called the President and the First Lady apes or monkeys or have forwarded cartoons depicting them and their children as primates, as something less-than-human. Then there’s that Moochelle Obama thing. Yeah, that kind of shit is hard to forget.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. Recalling this kind of mindless hatred is taxing on me spiritually; when I descend into that putrid cesspool of right wing, racist malevolence, it drains me of all serenity and good will toward my fellows.

So how do we who see this hateful, deceitful and thoroughly unqualified cretin for who he is move forward after this election? Well, as strange as it may seem, I’m going to model my behavior after my dear right-wing brothers. That’s appropriate. Especially since many of them have this annoying habit of holding themselves out as true patriots and fabulous role models, while suggesting that naive lefties like me are stupid–and that we hate our country, to boot!

Yes, I’m going to model my behavior after patriots like Ted Cruz, Joe Wilson, Mitch McConnell and birther-in-chief Donald J. Trump. Even though this goes completely against my laid-back nature, I’m going to do what these guys taught me to do. I make a solemn pledge today to show our new President exactly — and I mean exactly — the respect the Republicans and Tea Folk showed Barack Obama after his election.

Don the Con is not worthy to even set foot in the White House, much less to be sitting in the Oval Office.

Buckle up, America. It’s going to be a wild ride.

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Yes, There is an Org called Republican Women for Hillary!

Over the years I’ve found many timely and insightful features in Rolling Stone Magazine. Their work about politics has always been very solid. Great feature this time around about conservative and Republican women who are leaving the Trump camp in droves and backing Hillary with their voices and their pocketbooks.

When former HP and ebay exec Meg Whitman defected, the media was all over the story. But she’s got plenty of company among other conservative women who can no longer stomach their party’s nominee’s constant displays of contempt for women. Sally Bradshaw was an adviser to Jeb Bush’s campaign and she’s on-board; former Chris Christie staffer Maria Comella has also thrown her lot with the nascent org Republican Women for Hillary. And more defections are coming each day.

That this is happening surprises me not one bit. It’s been fascinating to glean a few details of this inevitable spectacle from Rolling Stone.

To read the whole piece, follow this link. Now pardon me, if you would; I’m gonna go make the popcorn.

Hillary Makes History

July 26, 2016

There I was, in my living room, TV tray and all, watching Hillary make history. My bachelor’s feast of hot dogs–all beef, of course–and chips was well-suited for the occasion. My party–the Democratic Party of the United States–had just nominated Hillary Clinton to face Donald Drumpf in November. And although it’s true that Hill and Bill are actually one-percenters, they well understand that we cannot move forward with corporations and their buddies in the upper brackets always getting the lion’s share of everything.

There’s so much to like about Hillary and about the Democratic platform in this election. One of the planks of the platform that I am 100% behind is the move to do something about the Citizens United SCOTUS decision. That’s got to happen. Getting the money–dark money, in particular–out of American politics should be priority one. So there I was, parked in front of the tube with my working man’s dinner, watching my fellow Dems officially nominate Hillary to run.

It was a watershed moment; it’s not about the first woman President as much as it is about ordinary Americans having a leader who will have their back. Yes, I know Mrs. Clinton has had a cozy relationship with Wall Street. But what was true about Barack Obama is true of her as well; they’re not leaving for work each day with their brown bag lunch, but they “get” working people and will fight to make sure they’re not left behind.

Of course, getting anything accomplished that actually benefits working people will not be easy. It’s that Mission Impossible kind of stuff, particularly when you consider how hard Republican pols work to thwart any move that would benefit the 99%. It’s not hard to see how thoroughly-committed they are to tilting the proverbial playing field. Their steadfast opposition to raising the Federal minimum wage is a case in point. That certainly could be the subject of another post. But not tonight…

Continuing on this path of funneling all the good stuff to those who need it least is not a good strategy. That trickle-down bullshit has been discredited again and again. Didn’t work in the eighties when David Stockman and King Ronnie first foisted it on the American people, didn’t work when George W. Bush was President and will not work now. But I’m certain that Hillary is going to give it her best shot. It’s quite possible that, if elected, she will face the same level of obstruction that has plagued President Obama from day one; I’m not hopeful about ultimate success, but I’m sure she’s ready for that fight.

There is so much one could say as we reflect upon this historic moment; journos and pundits are laboring mightily at that task now as the Convention winds down and we hurtle headlong into the really gritty part of this election. For my part, I just want to remember that as I watch events unfold in this, my twelfth Presidential election, we could be taking in a singular event in our shared history. I fervently hope that Hillary will be our first woman President; I think we’re going to make it happen. It may well be that others will follow in her footsteps. But whether that’s how it unfolds or not, I’m certain that the election of 2016 will have moments–many moments–the like of which we’ll never see again.

No more convention-watching and blogging for me tonight. For a more in-depth look at the story of Hillary’s ground-breaking nomination, follow this link.

Hillary Taps Virginia Senator Tim Kaine!

Hillary Taps Virginia Senator Tim Kaine!

I got an email from Hillary today. Everybody’s heard the news by now, but we donors and supporters got the scoop before the media… Well, about 30 seconds before, but that counts! Flashes big grin…

Sen. Tim Kaine is a very able public servant. This former Governor of the State of Virginia is a man of vast experience and was an excellent choice. Virginia is a swing state, this pick makes sense strategically. And unlike Sen. Warren, his successor in the Senate will be chosen by a Democratic Governor.

The Ochre Ogre will not set foot in The White House. Without a doubt, this election is going to be one for the ages.  Hillary’s ready. Tim’s ready. So am I.

To read a good and detailed feature on Sen. Kaine joining the Democratic ticket, follow this link.

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Hillary in Handcuffs! NOT!

Hillary in Handcuffs! NOT!

I’m not at all surprised that FBI Director James Comey announced that no charges are appropriate and that none will be brought against Hillary Clinton or anyone else on her staff in the dust-up over her use of a private e-mail server during her tenure as Secretary of State. Some folks were quite surprised. Shocked. Some folks had their world rocked when Comey, a Republican who has been highly praised by conservative lawmakers in the past, made the announcement in a surprise news conference yesterday. (Meaning July 5th.)

For many of us, this is more than a little amusing. Many legal experts had said repeatedly that it would happen–or not happen–that way, but the Hillary haters would have no part of that!

Of course, I know that people who live in the Fox News bubble were told by their legal “experts” almost daily that she would, in fact, get cuffed and stuffed at any moment! Andrew Napolitano from Fox was leading the chorus.

But all the while, folks in the legal field who had no ax to grind were telling readers and viewers that the chances of Hillary facing charges were very small. I read at least four different articles to that effect in the last 60 days. But I know that a huge chunk of people who thought they smelled blood in the water would never see nor read any article like that. Their heads were pointed in a different direction, and they had lots and lots of sources who wanted Mrs. Clinton to get smacked down by a Grand Jury so badly that they talked themselves into believing the Republican talking points were true.

Of course, they had a fail-safe strategy; if they were right and the FBI recommended charges, they were geniuses and Hillary was finally getting what they believed she had deserved since the Whitewater and Vince Foster days.

And if they were wrong and no charges came down, they could explode with outrage and claim that the outcome just proved that Hillary–master manipulator and paragon of evil–had “gotten to” Director Comey and used some kind of very special and very evil mojo to get Mr. Comey and A.G. Lynch to shut it all down!

And, of course, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

I’ll certainly allow that Bill handed the haters more ammo when he met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix last week. I don’t know what that meeting was all about, but it’s crazy to think that if the Evil Clinton Cabal was going to get the AG to squash the investigation that they would summon their minion to a secret meeting just a few days before the inquiry was complete.

The fact that charges were not brought and that investigation has now been closed should not have been a surprise. The rock-solid certainty with which many believed it had to go the other way bordered on delusion.

I think there’s a definite parallel to the behavior of the right four years ago in the lead up to the 2012 Presidential Election. A huge chunk of the right wing hated Barack Obama so thoroughly that they truly believed Mitt was going to kick his ass on election day. Of course, it was ridiculous to believe that when all but a few polls–especially the ones that had proved the most reliable in previous elections–said that Obama was well in front of Mr. Romney. But they wanted that gay, commie, Muslim pretender-to-the-throne out so badly that they showed up at their pitiful victory parties on election night fully believing that their dream of “taking their country back” was about to come true. Not the best election night victory parties ever… Frowny face!

Writer Will McCleod came out with an excellent piece in Daily Koz today that deserves a wide reading. If you were sucked in by the hucksters who were selling the “Hillary’s goin’ down” gospel to all who’d listen, you should read it from start to finish. Thousands upon thousands of Americans’ jaws hit the floor Tuesday morning as Mr. Comey read his statement. For many of us that was the real surprise.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

As we head into the thick of the 2016 elections, this could happen

As we head into the thick of the 2016 elections, this could happen

The Bulldog Barks

I’ve been paying close attention to elections since Nixon vs McGovern in ’72 and although I’ll admit to not voting in that one, I haven’t missed one since. I was a freshman in college out of my home state and waited too late to get an absentee ballot and mail it in. But that was the first and only time I didn’t make it to the polls.

There have been some important and memorable contests in the 43 years and ten elections which have come and gone since then. I was in Navy AOCS in Pensacola back in ’76 when Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford squared off. Voted for Mr. Ford in that one. Both had solid careers in the Navy, but I’m thinking that few in my class went with Mr. Carter.

Being the flaming, tree-hugging liberal that I am today, I hate to admit this, but I did volunteer work in both Reagan campaigns and voted for him. Twice. Loved pretty much everyone on King Ronnie’s team back then, Col. Oliver North especially. Suffice to say that I saw the world very, very differently back then.

The 1980 contest was not noteworthy only because Reagan won; it saw John B. Anderson run the first third-party candidacy the American people has seen since George Wallace that had to be taken seriously. Well, semi-seriously. Okay, I noticed it, because he appeared in Tulsa, where I was living at the time, and I happened to catch it. Didn’t change my vote, but he made an impression.

By the time Reagan’s second term was winding down, my views on politics had changed considerably. I did not vote for “George Bush the Elder” in 1988, though I generally respected him. Of course, Dan Quayle was pretty hard to take. Yes, before Sarah Palin was let loose on the world, there was V.P. Dan Quayle! Boy, that was quite a spectacle back then, wasn’t it? Some of the drama we’ve seen in recent elections is not so different. But I digress.

If you’ve gotten this far into this piece, I will not bore you with my recollections of all the other elections that have taken place in the last quarter-century. But I will say that 2000 was a big one, of course, and that I still carry in my heart a white-hot hatred for both Ralph Nader and Antonin Scalia for the roles they played in making George W. Bush our 43rd President. Pundits and politically-savvy people went on and on about how Nader’s candidacy would suck votes away from Gore and it did. Some maintain to this day that Gore’s shortcomings are the real reason he lost, but I look at the 97,488 votes Nader got in the Sunshine State and cry “bullshit!”  And, as we all remember, Bush carried Florida by 537 votes. For a good treatment of that debacle click here.

As for the role played by Mr. Scalia and the four other justices who joined in his twisted, partisan logic in Bush v. Gore, that would be fodder for another post. On another day. Wait, let me get an Advil. Or three.

True to my word, I am not going to go into the four intervening contests in this post, so let’s bring back the focus to 2016. A whole lot of people who pay attention to Presidential elections are beginning to say that this year’s contest is starting to look a bit like 2000. I am one of those people. Even though we’re still not “there” yet as far as having two official nominees, it’s going to be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I’d bet that somewhere around 92% of the political prognosticators would say so. And I’ll be damned if the candidacy of Bernie Sanders isn’t starting to loom Nader-esque on the American landscape. I think there’s a damn good chance that Bernie could do to Hillary what Ralph did to Al. I hope to God I’m wrong about that. But it’s a  possibility that can’t be easily dismissed. May the soul of Yogi Berra rest peacefully; I damn sure hope it ain’t “deja vu” all over again!

 

Barking from my semi-palatial doghouse in Orlando, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

© 2016 Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile