Will Cleveland be the GOP’s Jonestown?

Cartoon_54One week from today, the Republican National Convention gets underway in Cleveland, Ohio.

Will convention delegates “drink the Kool-Aid” and commit mass political suicide by selecting the “Toxic Trump” as the GOP nominee? Will Cleveland be the GOP’s Jonestown?

The #NeverTrump delegate revolt has a plan to deny Donald Trump the nomination, but it has no challenger around whom to rally. The Washington Post’s conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin recently pleaded, GOP delegates shouldn’t pick the worst candidate available:

There are any number of pathetic voices trying to rationalize support for Donald Trump. He is better than Hillary Clinton! (Really, how exactly?) The Supreme Court! (What about it? Trump shows no commitment to any judicial philosophy and is just as likely to make a deal with Democrats to get something he cares about.) He could pick stellar advisers! (They wouldn’t work for him, and if they did, he’d ignore them.)

It seems one argument even Trump’s most strident defenders can make is: He’s the best candidate to beat Hillary Clinton. Actually, he’s the worst, and it would be politically suicidal to nominate him when other credible contenders are readily available.

Read more

The Democratic Party platform comes together

DNC-LogoIn case you missed it over the long 4th of July holiday weekend, the draft Democratic Party platform was posted in advance of the convention. 2016 Democratic Party Platform DRAFT (.pdf).

Steve Benen writes, Bernie Sanders scores big wins with Democratic platform:

[Bernie Sanders] and his aides turned their attention to the Democratic platform, launching a spirited fight to move the document to the left. As of late last week, there can be little doubt that Sanders has succeeded: as MSNBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald reported, Dems are moving forward with “what is almost certainly the most progressive platform in the party’s history.”

The draft platform states Americans should earn $15 per hour and have a right to join a union, and it supports a so-called “model employer executive order” to raise standards for federal government contractors. It calls for the complete abolishment of the death penalty, stating, “It has no place in the United States of America.”

On Wall Street, the platform lays out a number of reforms proposed by Clinton, Sanders and other Democrats, and states the party “will not hesitate to use and expand existing authorities as well as empower regulators to downsize or break apart financial institutions,” it states.

The document, which is available in its entirety, is surprising in its audacity on everything from free community college to expanding Social Security, overturning Citizens United to banning assault weapons, criminal justice reform to repealing the Hyde Amendment that prevents public funding of abortion.

Read more

Democratic Party platform is coming together (Updated)

The starry-eyed idealists who see themselves as revolutionaries and demand strict adherence to their ideological platform manifesto no doubt will see this compromise as selling out their cause, a betrayal of the glorious revolution.

In this respect, the left really is no better than the Tea Party on the ideological right. They reject the old axiom that “Politics is the art of compromise,” or as Otto Von Bismark framed it,Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable – the art of the next best.” For them, “It’s my way or the highway.”

Nevertheless, more pragmatic and reasonable people are coming together on the Democratic Party platform. Bernie Sanders is getting much of what he wanted, but not all, as is the way of compromise.

David Weigel of the Washington Post reports, Here’s what Bernie Sanders has won in the Democratic platform (so far):

DNC-LogoOn Friday evening, Sen. Bernie Sanders told supporters in Syracuse, N.Y., that the Democratic Party was not yet embracing the progressive platform planks that he wanted — that the whole movement wanted. On Sunday, he repeated himself, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that “we’re going to take that fight to Orlando, where the entire committee meets in two weeks, and if we don’t succeed there, we are certainly going to take it to the floor of the Democratic convention.”

In the meantime, four of Sanders’s five appointees to the platform drafting committee had signed off on their partially finished product. (Cornel West was the lone holdout.) Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who had starred in an America Rising video that aimed to show Democrats that they were getting sold out, voted for the platform and praised its “significant accomplishments that move our party firmly toward justice, fairness, and inclusion.”

Read more

Trump tells GOP to get in line, or ‘I’ll do it by myself’

TrumpFascismThis is exactly what one would expect from a megalomaniac narcissist with an authoritarian “strong man” personality.

The short-fingered vulgarian Donald Trump has told those in the GOP who are publicly condemning  his Islamophobic rants and his accusing President Obama of siding with the enemy over the American people to shut up and get in line, or he will just go it alone and “do it by himself.”  “I don’t need you!Donald Trump Vows to “Do It by Myself” If GOP Prudes Won’t Lend Him a Hand:

In the wake of Donald Trump’s toxic response to the Orlando shooting, Republican leaders have tried to distance themselves from their presumptive nominee, going so far as to physically flee from reporters.

On Wednesday, however, a passionate Trump refused to stand down, claiming that he had more than enough self-love to satisfy his needs.

Read more

Primaries end, now attention turns to defeating the dangerous demagogue Trump

The long primary season finally came to an end on Tuesday night with the primary in Washington, D.C. Hillary Clinton easily won with over 78% of the vote.

Screenshot from 2016-06-15 04:46:05

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders met Tuesday night to discuss the next phase of the campaign. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Meet as Their Battle Ends:

Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders met privately for nearly two hours on Tuesday night to size each other up as they started exploring what kind of alliance they might build for the general election battle against Donald J. Trump.

Yet Mr. Sanders chose to withhold his endorsement of Mrs. Clinton, several Sanders advisers said, because he wants her to take steps to win his confidence before the Democratic convention, where his supporters expect him to speak and Clinton advisers hope he will give her his full-throated backing.

Aides to Mrs. Clinton said she had never expected his endorsement Tuesday night. A statement from the Clinton campaign after the meeting described it as “a positive discussion about their primary campaign, about unifying the party and about the dangerous threat that Donald Trump poses to our nation.”

They discussed issues like raising wages and reducing college costs, and “agreed to continue working on their shared agenda, including through the platform development process for the upcoming Democratic National Convention.”

Read more