It isn’t a feeling that I get often…, or ever often got for that matter. It’s been a good many years since I shuffled around a pool table…, and even back in the days when it was an all too common occurrence…, I did way more rackin’ myself than I ever did instructing others to do so.
But every once in while…, OK, make that, great while…, I had one of those nights when the stars all aligned and that old pool cue had a laser light in the tip. And you could literally feel the fear and self-doubt building in the local hustler as game after game was slipping away…, and after sinking another 8-ball…, you take a long pull out of a bottle of ice cold Hamm’s…, sit it down firmly…, look him in the eye…, and say, “Rack’em up!”
I got that feeling on Tuesday night when I saw the projected results of Bernie Sanders Wisconsin Primary win. Yeah…, that’s seven out of eight now…, and this was another double digit win in what was supposed to be a close contest. A couple weeks back the three states that I have lived in, Idaho, Alaska and now Washington…, were on the agenda and once again the main stream media were doing their best to sow doubts about Bernie’s prospects…, or ignoring him altogether. I even found an excuse to get to town on caucus day, “Honey…, the empty beer cans are piling up on the back porch. I better make a run to town and dump them at the Boy Scout recycle bin.” She didn’t question why I couldn’t wait until Monday when I would be going anyway…, or why I was taking the check book. I drove by the high school…, hoping that there would be a group of Bernie supporters like me…, too principled to publicly testify to being a Democrat…, standing around outside with signs and such. There weren’t…, I didn’t need the check book. Back at The Ranch…, I tried to concentrate on chores to keep my mind off of the pending results…, but I had built up a substantial nest egg of new empty beer cans on the back porch before I came inside to check on the outcome. The glow that I already had on, set off on a whole new trajectory. I couldn’t have been prouder of my fellow statesmen. Bernie literally wiped the table with Hillary that night…, in all three of my patron states.
Also last night, Thom Hartmann tried to remind Democrats about…, what he thought were…, some important points regarding this primary. It was obviously recorded prior to any knowledge of the Wisconsin results:
The Democratic Party is facing a serious existential question. And if the party doesn't make the right moves in 2016 -- if it doesn't hang onto the Independent voters and first-time voters who are turning out in droves to vote for Bernie Sanders and other progressive challengers to the Democratic National Committee establishment -- the Democratic Party seriously risks alienating an entire generation of voters.
But the reality is that the people who are turning out to vote for Sanders -- the people who seem to endlessly share Sanders memes online, the people who are turning out by the tens of thousands just to hear him speak -- are mostly average, hard-working American men and women of all races and ethnic and economic backgrounds who are sick and tired of a rigged political system and a rigged economy.
What the Democratic Party needs to realize is that many of Sanders' supporters are voting for the first time, whether they're 18, 30 or 50 years old. And just as importantly, even if they have voted before, many of them are voting as Democrats for the very first time.
Sanders' supporters can't force the Democratic Party to embrace universal health care and tuition-free college; they can't force the party to embrace expanding Social Security and raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour; they can't force the party to make overturning Citizens United and ending our dependence on fossil fuels into core parts of the Democratic platform. And they can't cause a riot to force the Democrats to embrace a true progressive vision for America.
But they shouldn't have to.
I think Thom is wasting his breath. This is the first time in a long, long, time that there is a serious contender to vote for and the Sanders supporters are supporting him. The Democratic Party isn’t going to hold many of those voters…, and most definitely not this one…, once Bernie is out of the race. And no…, no amount Bernie’s emails or Thom’s essays…, are going to entice me to support Hillary or the Democratic Party on their merits.
A while back John Michael Greer weighed in with these comments on Hillary:
To a very real extent, Hillary Clinton’s faltering presidential campaign is a perfect microcosm of what Spengler was talking about in his cold analysis of democracy in extremis. Her entire platform presupposes that the only policies the United States can follow are those that have been welded in place since the turn of the millennium: more government largesse for corporations and the rich, more austerity for everyone else, more malign neglect for the national infrastructure and the environment, more wars in the Middle East, and more of the fantastically stupid policy of confrontation—there really is no gentler way to describe it—that has succeeded, against all odds, in uniting Russia, China, Iran, and an assortment of smaller nations against the United States, by convincing their leaders that they have nothing to gain from a US-centric world order and nothing to lose by challenging it.
It’s possible—indeed, I think it’s likely—that Clinton will manage to squeeze past Sanders and get the Democratic nomination by fair means or foul; it’s considerably less likely that she’ll be able to overcome Trump in the general election; but even if she does, others will follow where Trump and Sanders lead, and sooner or later one of them will triumph.
The more likely option just now, I think, is that the Clinton campaign will meet a crushing defeat at Trump’s hands, and the decline and fall of Hillary Clinton will also mark the end of the failed consensus that has dominated American politics for decades. That fact alone doesn’t guarantee improvement; no law requires that whatever policies replace the conventional wisdom must be better. Nonetheless, things will change, and it’s at least possible that some of the changes might remove at least a few of the worst features of the bleak era now stumbling to its end around us.
And Chris Hedges offered up this:
The Democrats are playing a very dangerous game by anointing Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate. She epitomizes the double-dealing of the college-educated elites, those who speak the feel-your-pain language of ordinary men and women, who hold up the bible of political correctness, while selling out the poor and the working class to corporate power.
So…, this good feeling might not last too much longer. April 19th is the next “critically important” primary…, as so many have already been called this year. While there has been speculation about Hillary being able to finally “put Bernie away” previously…, that all too real possibility looms large in the New York primary. It is a closed primary…, we independents are barred from voting…, and we are Bernie's strong suit. And April 19th and dates close to it have some bad connotations….,
1889 – 4-20 – Adolf Hitler Born
1906 – 4-18 – San Francisco Earthquake
1912 – 4-15 – Titanic Sunk
1927 – 4-15 – Great Mississippi Flood
1993 – 4-19 - an FBI siege ended at Waco, TX with the death of 81 people.
1995 – 4-19 - Oklahoma City Bombing
1997 – 4-19 - Red River Floods
1999 – 4-20 – Columbine School Shooting
2010 – 4-20 – Deepwater Horizon Blowup
2013 – 4-15 - Boston Marathon Bombing
They weren’t all tragic events though…, some good things happened on 4-19 as well:
1775 – 4-19 - first shots fired in the American Revolutionary War
1943 – 4-19 - Dr. Albert Hofmann discovers LSD
1952 – 4-19 - I was born.
So…, anyone who has read my blog knows that I will at least be celebrating my birthday…, if not something else…, on 4-19-16 this year. Yeah…, Bernie has a long way to go yet and the likelihood of him prying the nomination from the greedy fingers of the plutocrats and oligarchs and blood sucking vampire squids that have those fingers already firmly wrapped around the likes of Hillary and another Clinton Catastrophe for the working class…, and the world…, are about the same as my chances of running the table…, but it is the only chance I see… so…,