Saturday, May 28, 2016

An Airing of Grievances This Political Season

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
This other, quadrennial "silly season" that we charitably refer to as a general election cycle has come with its share of disappointments. It's been a sort of Festivus in which we've been raining blows on each others' heads by blocking on Twitter and unfriending each other on Facebook at the first sign of partisan non-compliance and waging flame wars to no effect. We've been airing our grievances with others not of like mind and letting them know whether they wish to hear it or not. To not be so engaged and passionate is tantamount to turning in your political wonk membership card. Suddenly, graduation parties and family BBQs involving red hot coals and sharp implements aren't as safe as they once seemed.
     And I am no different. There's nothing wrong about showing concern and political passion when one perceives our interests are being threatened by those who would have us believe otherwise, to vehemently reject the polymer-based smiles and usual campaign promises by those who accept money from Big Business and Wall St banks (and, yes, Hillary, I'm looking right at you). After all, if the streets of Paris can be clogged with hundreds of thousands of people when austerity is threatened, then the least we can do for our own political process is to heave our distended rear ends off our Laz-E-Boys and shake our fists at our laptops (baby steps, baby steps).
     And I'm not going to rail on about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump because I never had any illusions about either of them. Both of them have so many unpleasant things in common it's no wonder the two of them are neck-and-neck in virtually every poll taken over the last couple of weeks. This is why Bernie Sanders has never faltered in his lead over Trump- He doesn't remind people of the right wing loudmouth bully or of Wall Street.
     No, this is about the disappointments to which we've been subjected elsewhere within the Democratic establishment. Over the last several months, many Democratic and liberal stalwarts whom we've admired over the years have been making some troubling statements, taken some dodgy stands and making some inexplicable endorsements.
     Again, this is not about the Usual Suspects, the fish in the barrel. I never had the slightest illusions about Trump, the right wing media that has enabled him or Goldwater Girl Hillary Clinton or even DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (who's in for the fight of her life against Tim Canova in FL-23). My airing of grievances is aimed toward those I'd come to trust and even admire over the years.

Yes, I Sold Out to Big Banks and That's Made Me a Better Liberal
     My problem with Barney Frank is manifold. While I never quite lived in his district, sometimes in years past I felt as if he might have been. His decades of dedication to progressive causes, gay rights and the standard of living of people in Massachusetts is undeniable. It kind of made him a political Dutch Uncle to all of us. It was a sad day when gerrymandering would've given him a new constituency unfamiliar with him, forcing his retirement.
     Then, after retiring from Congress, last June Frank did the unthinkable: He joined the board of a Wall Street bank. When the cries of dismay rose to such a pitch they couldn't be ignored, Frank then penned last December an article for the ages, a breathtakingly arrogant piece for Politico that's actually entitled, Yes, I Took Bank Money. And It Made Me a Better Regulator.
     In it, Frank not only justified taking a highly lucrative position with Signature Bank's Board of Directors, he even had the effrontery to equate the dismay meeting this career move with a "liberal purity test." In other words, I'm not the only one who's sold out and you should get on board because there are no honest men any more and that we should end our Diogenean search for one. 
     Granted, Frank's career in public service was over and he had every right to take a job making him a lot of pelf. But considering his predominant focus as a Congressman and as one of the co-authors of the watered-down Dodd-Frank, the optics looked bad. Frank's move to Wall Street had just highlighted the sleazy collusion and well-oiled revolving door between Wall Street banks and its so-called regulators. It inevitably made those of us who still subscribe to "purity tests" how well he got to know these banksters while allegedly regulating them.
     Frank's ridiculous, self defensive stance that accepting succor from Wall St making him a better regulator is like saying, "Taking countless men between my legs and getting infected with STDs has made me a better nun." But Frank couldn't stop there. His waspishness at criticism of his career move aside, he also, typical of the Wall St wing of the Democratic Party, decided to become a Hillary backer. Not only that, he's been openly hostile to the only candidate who's been honestly critical of Wall St and refusing its money: Bernie Sanders.
     It didn't help his cause any when Debbie Wasserman Schultz named him to one of the three committees that will essentially govern the entire National Convention in Philadelphia in July. This is her right but again, Democrats have shown they are as willfully blind to bad optics as the Republicans, which is the first sign of arrogant politicians holding the voice of the people in complete contempt. In placing Clinton partisans Frank and Dannel Malloy to the committees, it gave the unmistakable perception that Schultz was stacking the deck against Sanders just as Roberta Lange had in Las Vegas several weeks ago.

A Fifth Column Pogrom
     The hostility shown to Sanders by the likes of Wasserman Schultz, Frank and other Jews also touches upon an inexplicable antisemitic backlash against the Vermont Senator. This comes from the Democratic establishment, this new Tammany Hall that's been rearing its ugly head. The sharpest criticism against Sanders and the most naked collusion has been coming from Wall Street-backed Jews such as Schultz and Frank. An optimist would see that the Democrats aren't as religiously partisan as Republicans but pessimists would see it differently. As American Jews historically have voted Democratic and liberal, it's troubling to see so many of Sanders' fellow Jews piling on him publicly and privately because he won't play ball with Wall Street.
     Another big disappointment has been Barbara Boxer, who chose to end her career is in a sad, sloppy, vicious way by giving the finger to Sanders backers in Nevada a few weeks ago. One could excuse her Hillary partisanship by saying that Boxer's daughter married Clinton's brother but that's hardly a reason to back one candidate or another for President. Considering that Boxer's not running for reelection this fall, one can breathe a sigh of relief at her impending retirement while knowing that, at the end of it all, she was no more progressive than her counterpart Dianne Feinstein (who had to use Google to look up Clinton's accomplishments during her brief time in the Senate. Unsurprisingly and undeterred by her ignorance, Feinstein sided with her fellow establishment Jews and endorsed Clinton over Sanders).
     And perhaps the biggest disappointment of all was Rachel Maddow, an unabashed Hillary backer and Bernie basher. In a recent segment on the increasingly disappointing MSNBC, Maddow took the Sanders campaign to task for a letter written to the DNC by its legal team demanding that Frank and Malloy be tossed from the committees. What Maddow chose to elide over were the reasons why the Sanders campaign feels they weren't getting a fair shake. "Collusion, Wasserman Schultz? What is this collusion of which you speak, stranger?" Maddow might as well ask.
     As with Trump acting as both a magnet and lightning rod for the racists, xenophobes, homophobes and misogynist holdovers still left in this country, Hillary Clinton has also been catnip for every corrupt, machine Democrat between the Beltway and Wall Street. Watching the endorsements come out for her during her campaign is like putting on the goggles and seeing the aliens among us for the first time. And a paranoid liberal by necessity has to look askance at what few remaining stalwarts remain to us, fearful that Alan Grayson and Elizabeth Warren have been pulling our legs the whole time.


At May 30, 2016 at 9:52 PM, Anonymous Comrade Rutherford said...

Phew! Good one, JP.

Someone over at Raw Story had the gall to say, "Barney Frank has NOT changed one bit!" I'll point 'em at this.

I bought Tatterdemalion a couple weeks ago, but have been too busy to start it. The only chance I get to 'read' right now is listening to books on tape as I drive to Dartmouth College or Burlington for the sporadic work I get. I seem to spend my evenings online on political blogs, rather than reading...

At May 30, 2016 at 10:24 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Well, in a way, Frank hasn't changed. He was always a Wall Street dildo. He was just better at covering his tracks better than most.

I never listened to audiobooks... until yesterday. I prefer to have a paper copy to read. But I've just learned that Caleb Carr's coming out with a new thriller late this August entitled Surrender, New York. It's a contemporary thriller but it's in the Laszlo Kreizler universe. So now I'm downloading the audiobooks off Frostwire and listening to The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness for, as Kreizler himself would say, "context."

Hope you enjoy Tatterdemalion.

At May 31, 2016 at 3:48 AM, Anonymous CC said...

The Dems are betting that given Trump, Ryan, and the rest of the putrid Repub gang, good Americans have no choice but to back the Dems.

I say punish the easier enemy by not supporting them. Then deal with the harder enemy afterwards.

If you keep subscribing to lesser evilism, the so-called lesser evil becomes the more effective evil.

The best way to feed you a shit sandwich is with sugar sprinkled on top and a benign face. The Dems have this down to a science.

All the regressive legislation that Dems have pushed on us were the stuff of Republican wet dreams. But the Repubs could never have accomplished that on their own.

At May 31, 2016 at 10:43 AM, Blogger Mithras61 said...

Interesting that you should have that allusion to "They Live" in the closing, as the current campaign season reminded both of us so strongly of it that we actually bought a copy to re-watch. I only hope that the end of this campaign comes at a lower cost than the end of that movie.

At May 31, 2016 at 11:30 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

OK, Mithras, that's kind of... creepy. But in a good way!


Post a Comment

<< Home

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
  • The Missing Security Tapes From the World Trade Center.
  • It's a Blunderful Life.
  • The Civil War II
  • Sweet Jesus, I Hate America
  • Top Ten Conservative Books
  • I Am Mr. Ed
  • Glenn Beck: Racist, Hate Monger, Comedian
  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #106: The Turkey Has Landed edition
  • #105: Blame it on Paris or Putin edition
  • #104: Make Racism Great Again Also Labor Day edition
  • #103: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Toilet edition
  • #102: Orange is the New Fat edition
  • #101: Electoral College Dropouts edition
  • #100: Centennial of Silliness edition
  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
  • #71: Grand Theft Autocrats Edition
  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Top 10 Things Donald Trump Said to President Obama
  • Paul Ryan's Top Ten Conditions on Running for the Speakership
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Mitt Romney Won't Run for President in 2016
  • Top 10 Results of the NYPD's Work Slowdown
  • Top 10 Secret Service Security Breaches
  • Top 10 LA Radio Shows That Are Rated Higher Than Rush Limbaugh's
  • Top 10 Reasons Operation American Spring Went Flat
  • Top Ten Facts of the MH370 Air Disaster
  • Top 10 Tips for GOP Congressmen Running Against Women
  • Top 10 Signs Walmart's Mistreating its Workers
  • Top 10 Diversions John McCain Found During Syria Hearing
  • Top 10 George Zimmerman Excuses for Speeding.
  • Top 10 Reasons Paula Deen Got Fired by the Food Network
  • Top Ten Ways Pope Francis is Deviating From Convention
  • Top 10 Reasons For the Pope's Resignation
  • Top 10 Emails Hacked From the Bush Family's Email Accounts
  • Top 10 Lies Told by Mitt Romney at the 2nd Debate.
  • Top 10 Examples of How Hard the Campaign Trail is on Ann D. Romney.
  • Top 10 Ways to Tell The Boston Red Sox Are Finished.
  • Top 10 Things Mitt May be Hiding in His Tax Returns.
  • Top 10 Events at the Romney Olympics.
  • Mitt Romney's Top 10 Wild & Crazy Moments.
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Dick Cheney Got a Heart Transplant.
  • Top 10 Facts About Tonight's New England/Denver Game.
  • My Top 10 Resolutions.
  • Top 10 Rejected Slogans of the Romney Campaign.
  • Top 10 Reasons Herman Cain Suspended His Campaign.
  • Top 10 Trending Topics on Twitter During #OWS Eviction.
  • Top 10 Herman Cain Pickup Lines.
  • Top 10 Changes Since Anthony Weiner Decided to Resign.
  • Top 10 Inaccuracies re bin Laden's Death.
  • Top 10 Ways to Prevent a TSA Patdown.
  • Top Ten Things Not to Say When You're Pulled Over.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Bowed Out of the Presidential Race.
  • Top 10 Ways Evangelicals Will Prepare for the Rapture II.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Today's Parliament Inquiry into News Corp.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Dick Cheney's Upcoming Memoir.
  • Top Ten Ways Americans Will Observe the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
  • Top Ten Advances in Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.
  • Top Ten Inaccuracies in Bill O'Reilly's Book About Lincoln.
  • Top Ten Suggestions From the Cat Food Commission.
  • Top Ten Worst Moments in George W. Bush's Presidency.
  • Top Ten Facts in George W. Bush's Memoir.
  • Top Ten Reasons Terry Jones Postponed His Koran Burning
  • Top 10 Causes for Dick Cheney's Congestive Heart Failure
  • Top Ten Ways That Jan Brewer Will Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
  • Top Ten Demands in Sarah Palin's Contract
  • Top Ten Whoppers in Karl Rove's New Book
  • Top 10 Items Left Behind in Rush Limbaugh's Apartment
  • Top Ten Things Barack Obama said to Rush Limbaugh in the Hospital
  • Top Ten Bizarre Promos Offered by the New Jersey Nets
  • Top 10 Bush Executive Orders Labor Wants President Obama to Repeal
  • George W. Bush's Top Ten Lesser Achievements
  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
  • Towle Road.
  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
  • At Largely, Larisa Alexandrovna's place.
  • The Daily Howler.
  • The DCist.
  • Greg Palast.
  • Jon Swift. RIP, Al.
  • God is For Suckers.
  • The Rude Pundit.
  • Driftglass.
  • Newshounds.
  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Brad Blog.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
  • Existentialist Cowboy.
  • The Progressive.
  • The Nation.
  • Mother Jones.
  • Vanity Fair.
  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • Find, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
  • Powered by Blogger