Monday, February 29, 2016

Super Tuesday -No You Can't Escape It- It'll Conquer the News

In only a few hours Super Tuesday will be upon us.

Tomorrow will be primary or caucus day for both Democrats and Republicans in (in no particular order) Alabama, Arkansas, Vermont, Massachusetts, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Minnesota, Georgia, Virginia and Tennessee.  In addition Republicans in Alaksa and Democrats in American Samoa will caucus that day.

Many are predicting that Trump and Clinton will be the conquering victors for their respective parties with some predicting doom for VT Sen. Bernie Sanders.  While Hillary Clinton will likely win the southern states, Sanders will likely to get Vermont and is looking good in Massachusetts as well as a couple of swing states.  In addition, We're still in a race for delegate counts (not including superdelegates) so even if Sanders doesn't win it's possible for him to get some delegates in the states he doesn't win.  Add to this the fact that there are many states ahead to primary or caucus and, contrary to the mainstream media drumbeat, it's too soon to call it over. 

As for South Carolina, Sanders did lose badly.  However, surprises took his supporters when DNC vice chair Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D, HI) resigned her position to support the Senator with Rep. Alan Grayson (D, FL) endorses Sanders today.  While these endorsements might have little effect on what happens tomorrow they might make a dent as the primary race continues (and there are still a lot of states ahead). While the push for young voters still needs to happen (though I wonder how many of them may be voting where their parents live and haven't had their primaries yet)  things are in a strange state. 

As for voting in the primaries, I don't do endorsements on primciple (maybe in part rooted from college activism lessons but who knows).  However, to riff on an idea attributed to the late Molly Ivins, if you can't vote your heart in the primaries and caucuses then when the hell can you do so?

As for tomorrow, while Trump will be declared the GOP winner (even despite his refusal/inability to disavow the support of David Duke and the KKK) and Clinton will be declared the Democratic victor what will happen with the delegate count is anyone's guess.  Regardless the story will continue. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Long Slow Primary Race Update

Hey!  My apologies for not posting sooner but I've been busy with life in general and wifi problems have kept me largely unable to connect until now.  So let's get to a brief spiel on the current Presidential race.

Today is the Democratic primary in South Carolina.  By most accounts Hillary Clinton will be the likely winner.  The question isn't that as much as whether Bernie Sanders can crack what Clinton supporters have called the 'firewall" she has in that state, especially among African American voters.  Given that, superdelegates notwithstanding (and they can switch their support between now and the convention), Clinton beat Sanders by a little over five points in the Nevada caucus but only has one or two more actual delegates this could put her ahead - as well as give her a boost for Super tuesday in a few days.

While the media will likely claim this is it, there are still states who have caucuses and primaries after Super Tuesday and what happens there is anyone's guess.  Yes, it's possible that the pundits will be right and Clinton will get the nomination but Sanders can also make a dent in these states and make the race close enough that it will take some time to determine who actually gets it.  Regardless, it's not over yet on this side of the race.

As for the Republicans, Donald Trump is appearing to be unshakable for the party's nomination, much to the supposed chagrin of the GOP establishment.  The irony here is that Trump's positions aren't that much scarier than Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, or John Kasich.  All are going extreme right (and some even view Cruz as worse than the Donald).  However, Trump's refusal to disavow support from white supremacists and his unwillingness to see where his ego can be a detriment if he actually got the nomination is what makes him scary - especially when polls in SC and Nevada find Trump supporters actually believing that the executive order to end slavery was wrong and that in SC 20% of his supporters consider themselves to be "white supremacists".

There are some ironic moments here.  For example, in South Carolina, one percent of Ben Carson supporters consider themselves "white supremacists."  While that is a dark comedy that could almost write itself, it does still bode some concern. Also, the fact that Trump is leading mongst conservative christians (i.e.:  fundamentalists/evangelicals/charismatics - I'm using all three terms because they differ amongst themselves.  Granted they differ in such subtle ways many would think they're all evangelicals but it's important to not that).  Put aside that he called Second Corinthians "two corinthians" the fact that he's pandering by claiming he'll strengthen a religion that already faces way less blowback than other faith traditions shows that he may be more than willing to destroy the First Amendment for everyone else in order to protect those who vote for him.

What's happens this Tuesday for either party can either go like many of the polls predict - or they might not.  Considering that each of the two parties has one candidate people in their party establishment didn't expect to stick around this around means things can be uncertain until the votes are counted and delegates get counted and divided.

P.S.:  Almost forgot to mention  how this has shaken up the GOP over the past few weeks with Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina and Jim Gilmore dropping out before SC and the confirmation of Jeb Bush's fall from presumed front runner to also ran after Trump got all the delegates in South Carolina.  Who will be the next to fall?  Who knows but more will fall on the right side of the spectrum.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

NH Primary Is Today (Two Down, A Hell of a Lot More to Go)

Hey!  Sorry for not posting sooner but I had been busy with other things in my life and hadn't been able to post until now,

So today is the New Hampshire Primary for both the Republicans and Democrats.  While the results are far from certain, if polls are to be believed then it appears the winners this time around will be Bernie Sanders for the Dems and Donald Trump for the GOP.  Again, the polling places are far from closed so the actual outcome could very well be different but that's what's predicted.

In truth, it appears the race itself is getting to be more the story than the actual primaries and caucuses for both of the major parties.  Between three candidates dropping out within 72 hours of the Iowa caucus and the heated battle between the Donald and Ted Cruz (including the former mock chastising a woman for calling Cruz a pussy only to repeat what she said at a rally last night) it has taken the right wing's tendency to wrap themselves in the Bible while supporting all sorts of shit Jesus would supposedly never do in a million years and putting it on a speed binge for a creepiness (the "vulgar insult" was invoked over whether Ted Cruz supports waterboarding or not) that would've scared people across the political spectrum in the U.S. 25 years ago.  Add to this Ted Cruz's victory speech for winning Iowa sounding like he already won the election in a way so pompous that he manages to make himself even less likable and one side of the spectrum is heading for a scary nine months.,

On the Democratic Party side, Martin O'Malley's departure on the night of the Iowa caucus leaves just Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the ring.  It has also made the race real in a political sense as the civil tone seems to fade away as the typical race with Clinton accusing Sanders of using an "artful smear" against her by claiming her as part of the Establishment and her accepting speaking feed from Wall Street firms.  She even tried to claim that Sanders accepted Wall Street money via the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for his Senate campaign, imply that every cent of that is from Wall Street.  All the while Clinton claiming that her speaking to wall Street firms didn't affect her vote, even if  there may be evidence that claims otherwise.

Add to this Bill Clinton increasing the heat on the attacks in a similar way he did against Barack Obama in the 2008 race and that leaves us with a more typical political race than the just short of something that made an episode of Mr. Rogers seem angry feel of the early Democratic primary debates.

There are some other factors to include but I feel I should leave that in a separate post.

This leaves us to the primary election today.  While at the time of my typing this in, the results may be somewhat clear it's important to remember that we're still in the beginning stages of the long race to November and nothing should be taken for granted.

Regardless of the outcome, the long crazy ride will continue.