Archive for Voting

Incivility, gender, race and hate

I threw on my cloak of optimism, supposing that Hillary will become POTUS and that this will be a springboard for a nation more at ease with a woman at top.

I spent many years in Virginia and still identify with the best of us there. Thomas Jefferson in Notes on the State of Virginia (XVIII: Manners), “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just…”

As this motley, churlish election cycle completes in less than a week, let’s discourse on big themes, such as:

  • Following the no-colored-Presidents-for-me tone, how deeply are we experiencing, the no-dames-for-President tone?
  • Are 40% to 50% of us truly OK with a puerile, impulsive ignoramus as out leader?
  • Are the judgmental Europeans right about us as bigots and socially retrograde?
  • Can this election catapult us to a new America of tolerance and egalitarianism?

We’ve had 8 years plus the campaign of “Oh, no, it’s not that Obama is Black. It’s that he’s foreign; Muslim, a pinko. :Assuming POTUS Clinton the Greater, do we then get, “Oh, no, it’s not that Hillary’s a women. It’s that she’s a crook, a criminal, a pinko.”?

I can’t believe 6% or more of the electorate is undecided, or so they claim. Then I”m an incredulous sort. Playing cards so close to your vest makes them tattoos. Bad form.

Let’s kick around the final days of a much too long, far too nasty season.

icon for podpress  Incivility may end [17:38m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Donnie Points and Whimpers

For consistency, note that I called out GOP would-be POTUS Donald trump as a mommy’s boy in June. He’s still at it.

Granted, Sen. Elizabeth Warren politically popularized “the sysetm is rigged” several years ago. Then realizing her weakness with progressive sorts in her campaign against Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton wore the RIGGED button figuratively at speeches.

Now the delicious irony is amoral Dem turned pseudo-Republican Trump overuses the term to tedium. The election is rigged. mass media and pols, even GOP officials, conspire against him in a fixed election.

Another bit of humor is that Sanders a tiny bit, and both the Clintons and Warren and her hubby Bruce have done very well financially. They don’t rob from ordinary folk, but they can’t claim to be even anywhere in the middle-class.

The key difference here is that Trump’s claims:

  • Are strictly about himself and not the commonweal
  • His are without evidence and patently false

Let’s discuss whether he has any case at all.I love that Okie Warren’s word repeatably comes from the fake donkey’s mouth.

Let’s also touch on how the pathetic 35% to 45% who’d torch democracy for anti-woman, anti-lefty emotional voting will deal with the now-destined defeat. Some threaten rebellion, even assassination. The rotting husk of the Republican party chooses lizard-brain reactions right now. Can they come to democracy and the commonweal?

icon for podpress  Rigged [18:38m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Divert Political Anger With All-Dem DC

Independents and self-described Conservatives are pissed. Number one is Congress does nothing. That’s hard to argue with but easy to fix.

Let’s consider for a moment the odious Donald Trump’s “What do you have to lose?” That’s jive from the con artist. Yet that question haunts.

If all the angry voters, or even most of them, get real on November 8th, the fix is before them. Elect a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate, and a Democratic Senate. Then watch and wonder. The obstructionism we all despise will vanish. The do-nothing Congress will become a do-it-all legislature.

Four or eight years of a healthier, richer, more righteous America await.

Each and all of us tend to love our memes and clichés, even the most irrational and unsupported ones. Beware those who orate and proclaim of their statements, “It’s only common sense.” Nearly always that means, “I got nothing here. Just don’t question or challenge me.”

I grew up hearing what I still do about U.S. civics. A recurring theme is that you need to divide government to keep it in check. At its worst, as i the past eight years, we have seen check become checkmate. The do-nothing Congress, both GOP-led houses, dragged our economic recovery, stymied expanded health care and on and on.

The “common sense” types pretend that Dems are monolithic and wildly leftists, instead of the wishy-washy moderates nearly all are. The likes of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are two lighthouses in an unmoving sea of blah.

Electing a Dec-controlled Senate and ideally matching it was a Dem House could mean only what they right wingers and angry voters of all stripe have screamed for — a Congress that accomplishes the necessary, passes legislation and moves America forward.

Liberal/Conservative SCOTUS leanings and votes here.

One of many economists’ papers showing how much better the U.S. economy does with a Democratic POTUS. Reasons are debatable; results are not.

icon for podpress  All-Dem DC: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Scarlet Letter for Voting

It’s an atavism, a vicious one. Many of our states continue perpetually to punish ex-convicts who have, as the American ideal runs, served their debt to society. That is, after they are out of prison, not on parole and not on probation, they still can’t vote. In 11 states, that is permanent.

The U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is on the case. He has been speaking on the irrationality and counterproductive nature of such laws. For great background, check his speech last week on reforming criminal justice here. In it, he draws heavily on a report from The Leadership Conference, which you can see here.

Among the must-know findings are that 5.8 million Americans are thus disenfranchised. They are three times more likely to re-offend (33% in contrast to 11% for those allowed to vote after prison). The United States is the only democracy that follows this inane throwback policy.

Today, we ran down the basics, discussed the Democracy Restoration Act, itself imprisoned in a U.S. House committee since 2012, and suggested direct involvement. Learn a bit from these sources linked. Tweet or blog your thoughts. Contact your U.S. Rep. and maybe Senators. This bill could use some sponsors and visibility.

Otherwise, for near-term podcasts, we’re roping in some more MA gubernatorial candidates. Watch this blog for notices. Also, if you want more direct contact, consider the Suffolk Law Rappaport Center’s lunch roundtables with the candidates, which you can sign up to attend here.

icon for podpress  Perpetual Punishment [23:00m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Permanent Disenfranchisement of Millions by Old Laws

We’ve been on this before, but have new good company. A serious American cliché is that any of us can serve our debt to society in prison, thus behind rehabilitated and re-entering as full citizens. Not bloody likely.

Our Attorney General, Eric Holder, has put the lie to that. He is working to see laws past to remedy huge civil-rights wrongs. In particular, he lists the many states where convicted criminals permanently lose their ability to participate in democracy. They can’t vote, for the worst example.

Much of America thinks that’s swell, He cited detailed analysis and study proving that doing so dramatically increases recidivism. Meanwhile, many folk figure if you commit a crime and get convicted, there really is no such thing as serving your debt.

We’ll be talking it tomorrow. If you can join us live, go here at 2:30 PM Eastern, Tuesday, February 18th. Afterward, you can hear or download the show there, back here at Left Ahead or on our iTunes page.