2016 election

I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Commonalities of Bernie and The Donald

Personally, I wish Elizabeth Warren would call out Bernie Sanders, in addition to her tough talk about Donald Trump.  As far as I know, Liz hasn't been upset over some of Bernie's recent demands. Bernie, the losing candidate for the Democratic nominee position, having been a Democrat for about one year, has claimed the right to appoint members of the Party's platform committee, and he's currently demanding a voice in Hillary Clinton's presidential appointments, even though he's warning her not to declare herself the nominee just yet.

Warren needs to acknowledge that Bernie, her favorite for the nominee position, boasts some very superficial claims to authenticity: uncombed hair, rumpled suit, fist raised, perpetual scowl, etc. And yes Bernie does have some things in common with the Trump, for example, both of these grown men frequently throw temper tantrums when they don't get their way.

In the meantime, I'll give Liz due credit for publicly standing up to Trump:

WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), amplifying her her recent attacks on Donald Trump, admonished the presumptive GOP presidential nominee in a no-holds-barred speech on Tuesday, calling him “a small, insecure money-grubber who doesn’t care who gets hurt.”

Warren recounted the story of a Nevada family whose home was foreclosed at the height of the 2008 economic crisis while accepting an award from the Center for Popular Democracy, an economic justice organization. The story served as a segue into an excoriation of comments Trump made before the crisis, hoping the housing market would crash so he could profit from it.

Read more:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sanders' outrageous demands

 (Tracie Van Auken / European Pressphoto Agency)
Bernie Sanders calls to mind an expression I learned years ago in childhood: "Give him an inch, and he'll take a mile."  The Democratic Party that he has maligned daily, after it embraced him in April 2015, has allowed him to appoint members to its Platform Committee. Having been given an inch, Bernie is now demanding his mile: he wants a say in Hillary Clinton's presidential appointments. The Democratic Party should be on the alert as it looks as if the loser in the election of its 2016 nominee will continue to increase his demands. By the way, Bernie is accusing the party of rigging the election in favor of Hillary Clinton. Talk about sour grapes.

Susan Madrak at the Blue Nation Review writes:

Jonathan Martin, NY Times national political correspondent, told CNN that Bernie won’t be satisfied with symbolic platform committee spots, he wants a say in Hillary’s presidential appointments.

When I heard this, I thought, not for the first time, that Bernie’s actions have become deeply undemocratic. He truly believes his opinions are more important than that of the, what, three million more voters whose support Hillary has earned — so far.

When I voted for Hillary here in Pennsylvania, I was voting for her choices. She’s smart, principled, and good at moving the levers of power. I want her judgment, not his.

Read More:

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sanders' problem in facing reality

Bernie's angry face is all over the Internet, photo via the New Yorker.

Senator Bernie Sanders stepped on the national stage with a halo around his head, proclaiming he was above politics and holding up his flag of idealism for all to see. He roused the college kids with his notions of starting a revolution and leaders on the ultra Left, old enough to know better, were also stirred by Bernie's inflammatory rhetoric. The Democratic Party welcomed Bernie into its fold as he non-idealistically needed its cash and support for his presidential run.

What has Bernie done for the Democratic Party since it embraced him? Well, he sued the DNC for penalizing his team for hacking Hillary Clinton's files. He has repeatedly accused his newfound political home for rigging the election of its nominee in Clinton's favor, and among other things, he's threatened to depose Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Chair, when he's elected.

Then there was his response to the Nevada episode where his supporters - the Bernie or bust folks - got a little out of hand, as noted by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman who titled his recent post: 'Questions of Character:"

Like a lot of people, I was shocked by the statement Bernie Sanders put out about Nevada. No hint of apology for his supporters’ behavior, lots of accusations about a “rigged” process when the issue in Nevada was whether Clinton should get more delegates in a state where she won the vote. And the general implication that the nomination is somehow being stolen when the reality is that Clinton won because a large majority of voters chose to support her.

But maybe we shouldn’t have been shocked. It has been obvious for quite a while that Sanders — not just his supporters, not even just his surrogates, but the candidate himself — has a problem both in facing reality and in admitting mistakes. The business with claiming that Clinton only won conservative states in the deep South told you that; and even before, there were strong indications that he would not accept defeat gracefully or even rationally.

Read more: 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

American politics: it's nothing but a game of cards

Craig Barritt via Getty Images 
 Gloria Steinem at the May 4 premiere of Viceland’s “WOMAN.” 
Photo via the Huffington Post.
Card playing in American politics is a big deal. Standing up against racism means you're playing the race card. If you support Muslims, you gotta be playing the religion card. And lately you're either playing the man card or the woman card. Who else but Donald Trump would come up with the woman card in his feeble attempt to put Hillary Clinton in her place. The Donald should have known better, but then he repeatedly demonstrates that he's not very bright; whereas, Hillary is known for her intelligence, knowledge, experience, and grasp of the important issues in the political arena. She's also a sharp card player. "Deal me in," she chided Trump, reminding him of the strong positions she's taken in support of sisterhood, which Robin Morgan continuously reminds us is a powerful force to be reckoned with. Yes, indeed, Donald:  Sisterhood is powerful!

Since attacking Hillary the other day, Donald Trump has been introduced to the powerful sisterhood of Hillary and Gloria Steinem - Steinem didn't miss a beat in suggesting that Donald plays a number of cards, including the masculinity and testosterone cards - she backed off that one as she recalled that both genders have testosterone - I didn't know that until I read this article by Emma Gray,  Huffpo's executive women's editor:

Gloria Steinem has strong feelings about Donald Trump, and unsurprisingly, they’re not glowing.
During the Wednesday night premiere of her powerful new docu-series for Viceland, “WOMAN,” Steinem did not mince words about Trump’s misogyny. The feminist icon responded to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s assertion that Hillary Clinton plays the “woman card.”

Read more:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Trump plays the women's card against Hillary

Hillary Clinton speaks during a primary night event in Philadelphia. (Tracie Van Auken / European Pressphoto Agency)

Although I’m somewhat of a political junkie, I’ve managed to tune out Donald Trump; I just haven’t paid that much attention to him. After all, in a presidential election year in which Democrats Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin Omalley have risen up against Republican candidates Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina,  Marco Rubio, etc., to name just a few, can Donald Trump be expected to stand out? Maybe not.

Guess what? Trump got my attention today when he dismissed Hillary Clinton by saying “I think the only card she has is the women’s card.” Evidently, Trump got the attention of quite a few others with that comment: quoted in Business Insider, Matt Lauer asked Trump: 'Do you even care' that so many women have a negative view of you?”

On the East Coast, according to the NY Times, Trump keeps playing the women’s card against Clinton: “He claimed that women do not like Mrs. Clinton, and he has every right to attack her.”

Meanwhile on the West Coast, the LA Times reports: Trump's 'woman's card' jab at Clinton isn't how GOP wanted to get female voters' attention.”

LA Times reporter Cathleen Decker writes: 

When Republican leaders declared after the last losing presidential election that the party had to do more to attract female voters, this was not what they had in mind.

Before a national audience Tuesday night, Donald Trump railed at Hillary Clinton’s qualifications for the White House, describing her as an affirmative action hire by the Democratic Party.

“The only card she has is the woman’s card; she’s got nothing else going,” Trump said Tuesday. “And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5% of the vote. … The beautiful thing is women don’t like her, OK, and look how well I did with women tonight!”

Bluster? Yes. Reality? No.

Trump has grown increasingly popular among Republican women. But one of his biggest weaknesses as he looks toward a probable November clash with Clinton is the broader pool of female voters. They aren’t all rapt Clinton supporters, but they like her far better than they like him.

His routine broadsides against women — mocking Carly Fiorina’s face, raising the specter of Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycles, passing along an unflattering picture of an opponent’s wife and now asserting that Clinton lacks the “strength” and “stamina” to serve as president — do little to endear him.

And describing a two-term U.S. senator and former secretary of State in dismissive, gender-freighted terms plays straight into the Clinton campaign’s hopes of picking up non-Democratic women in November.

At her victory rally on Tuesday, Clinton explicitly made a play for Democrats, independents and “thoughtful” Republicans as she brushed back against an earlier Trump broadside.

“The other day, Mr. Trump accused me of playing the “woman card,’” Clinton declared. “Well, if fighting for women’s healthcare and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in!”

Gender insults are nothing new for candidate Clinton. During her 2008 run, young men in the audience chanted “iron my shirts” and cable pundits compared her to hectoring mothers and the deranged bunny-boiling character in the film “Fatal Attraction.” One entrepreneur sold the “Hillary nutcracker,” a plastic representation of Clinton with serrated blades lining her inner thighs.

Trump played on another stereotype, of women being too weak and soft to inhabit the White House — ironic, because in the same bout of criticism he cast Clinton as a warmonger. 

In her 2008 campaign, Clinton was reluctant to emphasize the historic nature of her effort to become the first woman president until it was nearly over. This time, she has been more overt, but most of the time her historic reach is most visible in that she is a candidate in a pantsuit and kitten heels, not a button-down and a tie.

It was the mere fact that she is a woman that seemed to set off Trump in recent days. Asked repeatedly in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Wednesday about how, exactly, Clinton has played “the woman’s card,” Trump had no meaningful response.

 “How do you call someone on being a woman?” Cuomo asked.

“You just tell them they're playing the woman's card,” Trump replied.

“But what does that mean exactly?” Cuomo said.

“Frankly, if she didn't she would do very poorly,” Trump said. “I know it because I think if she were a man and she was the way she is, she would get virtually no votes.”

Read more:

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hillary takes New York!

Time to celebrate - Hillary Clinton, a long-time, loyal Democrat just defeated Bernie Sanders in the NY primary. Bernie is the guy who became a Democrat in 2015 and since then has done his best to divide the party, and he has certainly not done anything at all to help Democrats.

Dishonest Bernie vs. truthtelling Hillary

Photo courtesy of CNN.
Hi friends of Katalusis,

I'm on edge this morning thinking about the NY primary today and hoping that Hillary's win will prove that Americans are better than the reprehensible behavior of Bernie Sanders and his followers indicates. This letter from Hillary's campaign hit my inbox this morning, and it reveals how low Sanders is willing to stoop in order to get what he wants, never mind what he deserves:

Virginia --

I want to let you know about a development that just occurred, because it matters. The tone of this primary matters, and the condition of our party at the end of it will matter as we prepare to face Donald Trump or Ted Cruz this fall.

Earlier today, the Sanders campaign wrote a letter to the Democratic National Committee, falsely accusing us of violating campaign finance law.

You won’t be surprised by what happened next: 26 minutes after the letter was sent, his campaign sent a fundraising email attempting to capitalize on the phony charges.

(Before you read any further, let's get one thing straight: this accusation is false. They're questioning our joint fundraising agreement with the DNC, which allows us to support Democrats running up and down the ticket -- the same fundraising structure used by President Obama in 2008 and 2012.)

This latest incident is part of a troubling pattern of behavior -- occurring just as Bernie’s mathematical odds of winning the nomination dwindle toward zero -- in which Sanders and his team are not just debating us on issues (which we all agree is perfectly fair), but rather attacking Hillary Clinton’s character, integrity, and motivations.

The fact that they include the Democratic Party in these charges -- an organization we want future generations of progressives to trust and support -- further confirms that the Sanders campaign has let things get out of hand in its waning days. To wit:

  • Over the weekend, they had protesters outside one of our fundraising events -- one whose proceeds went not just to Hillary for America, but to the Democratic National Committee and 32 state Democratic Parties -- throwing dollar bills at Hillary’s motorcade, as if they were at, shall we say, an adult entertainment venue. This was just days after someone introducing Bernie at a rally called Hillary a “Democratic whore.”
  • In last week’s debate, Bernie questioned Hillary’s commitment to fighting climate change because a whopping 0.2% of the money given to our campaign has come from employees of oil and gas companies. Not even 2%, mind you: 0.2%.
  • And of course, Sanders spent several days calling Hillary unqualified for the presidency, based on an entirely false claim that Hillary had said the same about him. She hadn’t (and still hasn’t, even after what he said).
To be clear, we welcome a debate on the important issues facing Americans, like how to prevent gun violence, encourage tolerance, and do more to level the playing field for Americans who are counting on us.

But it’s hard to see how anyone -- other than Donald Trump and Ted Cruz -- benefits from this downward spiral of irresponsible and baseless attacks. Right about now is when we ought to be talking about coming together as a progressive movement, not undermining a generation of voters’ faith in the Democratic Party and in the woman who is almost certain to be its nominee.

Thank you for everything you do to support our campaign.


Robby Mook
Campaign Manager
Hillary for America