Category Archives: Commentary

The new Whiny Right (Updated)

I posted about this topic last year, The secret to Trump’s success: the GOP is the party of white identity and white grievances.

New York Times columnist Charles Blow now has a must-read column, America’s Whiniest ‘Victim’:

Donald Trump is the reigning king of American victimhood.

He is unceasingly pained, injured, aggrieved.

The primaries were unfair. The debates were unfair. The general election was unfair.

“No politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or more unfairly,” he laments.

People refuse to reach past his flaws — which are legion! — and pat him on the back. People refuse to praise his minimal effort and minimal efficacy. They refuse to ignore that the legend he created about himself is a lie. People’s insistence on truth and honest appraisal is so annoying. It’s all so terribly unfair.

It is in this near perfect state of perpetual aggrievement that Trump gives voice to a faction of America that also feels aggrieved. Trump won because he whines. He whines in a way that makes the weak feel less vulnerable and more vicious. He makes feeling sorry for himself feel like fighting back.

In this way he was a perfect reflection of the new Whiny Right. Trump is its instrument, articulation, embodiment. He’s not so much representative of it but of an idea — the waning power of whiteness, privilege, patriarchy, access, and the cultural and economic surety that accrues to the possessors of such. Trump represents their emerging status of victims-in-their-own-minds.

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7th Annual MegaMania 2017! at PCC Downtown

MegaMania!! 2017
Saturday, July 15, 2017 (1:00PM – 6:00PM)
Pima Community College Downtown, 1255 N. Stone Ave. Tucson

“Time to put on your best cosplay and gather up your bag of holding!

MegaMania!! 2017 is here and it is bigger and better than ever! Gather up your friends and join us at Pima Community College Downtown as we celebrate our seventh year of free comic-con fun.

Pig out on free pizza, drinks, and snacks in the Cantina, try to clock your best time running through our inflatable obstacle course and immerse yourself in the many different cultures of Tucson in our Cultural Room.

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What he said!

David Rothkopf is the author of the forthcoming “The Great Questions of Tomorrow”(TED Books/Simon & Schuster, 2017). He is a visiting professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

In the Washington Post he writes, The greatest threat facing the United States is its own president:

Last week, at the Aspen Ideas Festival, I moderated a panel on U.S. national security in the Trump era. On the panel, former CIA director David H. Petraeus offered the most robust defense of President Trump’s foreign policy that I have heard. Central to his premise were two facts. First, he argued that Trump’s national security team was the strongest he had ever seen. Next, he argued that whereas President Barack Obama was indecisive to the point of paralysis, such as in the case of Syria, Trump is decisive.

Toward the end of the conversation, we turned to Trump’s erratic behavior and I noted that for the first time in three decades in the world of foreign policy, I was getting regular questions about the mental health of the president.

I asked Petraeus, a man I respect, if he thought the president was fit to serve. His response was, “It’s immaterial.” He argued that because the team around Trump was so good, they could offset whatever deficits he might have. I was floored. It was a stunningly weak defense.

That is where we are now. The president’s tweeting hysterically at the media is just an element of this. So too is his malignant and ever-visible narcissism. The president has demonstrated himself to have zero impulse control and a tendency to damage vital international relationships with ill-considered outbursts, to trust very few of the people in his own government, and to reportedly rant and shout at staff and even at the television sets he obsessively watches.

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Collective Punishment Passes House: The Downward Spiral Continues

I’ve reached the point at which I’m less troubled by the outrages that are being reported than by those that are going unnoticed.

There’s been extensive coverage of the Republican health care proposal, and appropriately so. It’s an outrage that a major political party is pushing legislation that would place critical health care beyond the reach of millions in order to fund a tax cut for billionaires.

It’s chilling to see so many politicians willing to send Americans to avoidable death in order to confer additional wealth on a group of already very wealthy people. Chilling, yes, and perhaps more extreme than past measures, but it’s nothing new. For decades now, our leaders on both sides of the aisle have been all too willing to sacrifice the well-being of the many in an effort pamper the few.

Barely covered, however, was a House vote in favor of what really is a form of collective punishment, with many Democrats, including Kyrsten Sinema and Tom O’Halleran, joining the Republicans. That is an outrage of immense proportion. Yet most Americans are unaware. Continue reading

J Pride “Love Wins Party”

“JPride will sponsor a Celebration of Love, Family, and Community at the Jewish History Museum on Sunday, June 25, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is the group’s second annual event commemorating the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage on June 26, 2015.

Weather permitting, the event will be held in the museum’s garden.

JPride, then known as the LGBT Inclusion Project, began in 2005 when the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona became one of the first federations in the country to actively reach out to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members of the Jewish community. JPride is a joint project of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Tucson Jewish Community Center.

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What are Democrats Doing for Disillusioned Trump Voters in Mobile Home Parks??

There’s a groundswell of new volunteers at the Democratic Party. Candidates are talking about healthcare, gay rights, and Planned Parenthood. This plays great with progressive voters. But we are all talking to ourselves inside a bubble.

What are we doing for all the white and Latino working class people who voted for Trump? Are we going to totally blow it in 2018 because we ignored the victims of bad housing because we didn’t knock on doors in trailer parks? These are the people who elected Trump, and they are losing confidence in him.

Consider this:

  • 44,000 people live in mobile home parks in Tucson. They are Trump voters if they voted.
  • There are 430 mobile home parks where tenants are living in a housing nightmare, being abused and taken advantage of by park landlords. They live at the whim of the landlord.
  • 10% of housing stock in Tucson is mobile home parks.

It is Dickensian and it’s right here in town. In my Precinct, #238, I knocked on doors and made phone calls to people who live in beautiful condos and grand houses sitting on enormous lots. As Tamar Rala Kreiswirth pointed out, 25% of these Democrats in Tucson didn’t vote in 2016.

You know that lily-white Republicans would never leave their country clubs to  dirty their hands by going into a trailer park.

Are we going to let it happen again?

Are we afraid to see poverty in person? Do we lack the guts to meet housing victims face-to-face? Are we too prissy and effete to actually go to the homes of people who need our help?

Or are we Democrats people with cojones, guts and heart?

The National Low Income Housing Coalition shows that a typical Arizona renter needs to work 70 hours a week just to pay rent.

A person working in zip code 85705 makes $13.27 per hour or $520 per month. The Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom home is $690 per month.

Read some of the headlines:
Two weeks without water for mobile home park residents

Tucson’s aging mobile homes: Problems run deep, but solutions do exist

Goal: Hold irresponsible trailer-park landlords accountable in Tucson

So put on your camo baseball cap, change out of your sandals and get into some shoes from Walmart. Put on a shirt from Bass Pro Shops. Leave your jewelry behind and stop reading The New Yorker and read Hillbilly Elegy.

We may be able to win seats in the 2018 mid-term election, but not if we sit in our comfortable houses and ignore voters who are being viciously mistreated. Get out there and be real Democrats, dammit.