Tag: comments

Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright offend women who support Bernie

AUTHOR’S NOTE: From this point forward in the 2016 race for the Democratic presidential nomination, “Hillary” refers to Hillary Clinton, and “Bernie” refers to Bernie Sanders.


This is really one of those times where, admittedly, I wish I had a female co-blogger to help push back against the offensive remarks by some of Hillary’s supporters towards women who support Bernie.

If you’re wondering what I was referring to in the above paragraph, I’m referring to recent remarks by women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright, both Hillary supporters. In both cases, offensive remarks were made about women who support Bernie.

Steinem went on the HBO show of Bernie backer Bill Maher (YouTube video here, Steinem’s remarks about Bernie supporters begin at the 3:50 mark) and claimed that women who support Bernie are only doing so to meet men:

The feminist icon made an alarmingly sexist remark on “Real Time with Bill Maher” Friday night, suggesting that young, female supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders only support him because dudes do, too.

Steinem was discussing Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sanders. When Maher noted the Vermont senator’s popularity with young women, Steinem responded with her theory that women get more “radical” as they get older.

“When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘Where are the boys?’ The boys are with Bernie,” she said.

I’m not going to comment on Steinem’s theory about men becoming more conservative, and women becoming more liberal, as they get older, since I’ve not seen any scientific study on that matter. However, what I will say is that women who support Bernie are not doing so because they want to meet men. After all, if they did, I’d probably have a girlfriend by now (in reality, I don’t have or want a girlfriend). Women who support Bernie support him because they share and support many of his values and ideas, such as restoring good government, making college truly affordable, raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, and significantly reducing health care costs.

Not to be outdone by Steinem, Albright claimed that women who support Bernie are going to hell:

Former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright attempted to shame young women voters at a Hillary Clinton campaign event on Saturday, repeating her now-famous line: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

[…]

The 78-year-old diplomat, who served in the Bill Clinton White House, complained that some young women “don’t understand the importance of why young women have to support Hillary Clinton.”

In my opinion, Albright’s remarks were even worse than Steinem’s remarks for one reason. To claim that women who don’t support a particular candidate are going to hell and saying that they have to support a particular candidate is basically a way of saying that you don’t believe in democracy, without actually saying that. Democracy is about choosing between political candidates, not forcing someone to support a particular political candidate.

While women make up approximately 56-58% of the Democratic primary and caucus electorate nationwide due to the institutional gender gap in American politics, you cannot completely run on shaming women into supporting a female candidate and win nationally, even in a Democratic primary or caucus. The Democratic Party cannot be seen as being condescending towards women who don’t see eye-to-eye with the party elites, or we’ll end up with a President Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, or some other Republican.

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Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan attacks vast majority of constituents for being progressive and supporting Bernie Sanders

Despite having, by some standards, the single most progressive voting record in either house of Congress, U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI-2) has done everything possible to sound like a moderate DINO while in office, especially when it comes to backing corporate Democrats, which Pocan has done repeatedly.

Now, Pocan, who hasn’t endorsed a presidential candidate that I’m aware of, has tried to claim that supporters of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign don’t exist at all and openly attacked the vast majority of his own constituents:

…In the case of Sanders, nobody is saying, “What I really want is a 75-year-old socialist.” Right? But it’s that message that they kind of like. It’s that populist message on the left.

First off, Pocan gave an incorrect age for Sanders: Sanders is actually 74 years old, but will be 75 years old on the date of the 2016 general election. Pocan attacking Sanders for being old is clearly an ageist attack by Pocan. Secondly, Pocan implied that Sanders supporters don’t exist at all, which is clearly not the case, as Sanders drew 10,000+ people to a rally in Madison, Wisconsin a few months ago. It’s quite clear to me that there’s a statistically-significant amount of support for Sanders in Pocan’s district. Finally, the kind of “populist message on the left” that Pocan is attacking is the kind of message that resonates with a very large segment of voters in this country, especially in Pocan’s home district. That’s because a very large percentage of Americans agree the progressive values of restoring the American middle class, making higher education truly affordable, and making America a more equal country that people like Sanders espouse.

Mark Pocan is just the latest establishment Democrat to join the War on Progressives within the Democratic Party. Pocan attacked the vast majority of his own constituents, who are fiercely progressive and are of a more-than-a-century-old progressive tradition in Wisconsin that dates back to the days of Robert Marion “Fighting Bob” La Follette. It’s clear to me that Pocan regards progressives, who are the vast majority of people and voters in the 2nd Congressional District of Wisconsin, as a political enemy.

If Democratic members of Congress won’t support Bernie Sanders, than that, in and of itself, is justification for Sanders supporters to run for public office and use the primary process to defeat corporate and establishment Democrats within their own party, which there are a ton of at all levels of government in this country.

Kirk the Jerk makes offensive remarks once again

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is, once again, making some downright offensive statements. This time, he (figuratively) put his foot in his mouth while talking about the fact that fellow U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is also a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has no wife:

“I’ve been joking with Lindsey, cuz he doesn’t have—did you see that?—have a rotating first lady. He’s a bro with no ho. That’s what we’d say on the South Side.”

(emphasis mine)

Kirk the Jerk’s remarks were offensive for two reasons. First, he pandered to the black community. Secondly, he said something incredibly sexist about women.

Kirk the Jerk pandered to black Illinoisans in a absolutely ridiculous way. Not all black people in Illinois refer to men as “bros” and women as “hoes”. In fact, most black Illinoisans would find Kirk talking in that manner to be downright offensive. Additionally, Kirk the Jerk also implied that all women are prostitutes (“ho” is a slang term for a prostitute), which is flagrantly sexist.

Keep in mind that Kirk the Jerk is about as much of a South Sider as I am. (“South Side” refers to the predominantly-black South Side of the Chicago). Kirk is from Highland Park, a mostly upper middle class/wealthy suburban community in Lake County (I’m not sure where he currently lives), and I’m from Westville, a mostly poor/working class former coal mining town in Vermilion County, neither of which come even close to being like the South Side of Chicago.

Wisconsin Democratic operative Brandon Savage, who supports Jason Rae for Wisconsin Democratic chair, throws Tammy Baldwin under the bus

Brandon Savage, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-area Democratic operative who is a political ally of conservative Milwaukee County Executive Chris “Boss” Abele and candidate for Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) chairperson Jason Rae, reportedly stated on Facebook that he thinks that U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin will lose re-election in 2018 if a Democrat wins the 2016 presidential election, in fact, Savage went as far as to name the individual who he thinks will defeat Baldwin:

Right now, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is thinking, “why would I settle on running for (Milwaukee) mayor in 2016, when I could run for US Senate in 2018 and take out (Tammy) Baldwin?” If (Hillary) Clinton is president, Dems have a guaranteed bad midterm. The end result is simple: US Senator David A. Clarke, Jr.

Please note that it’s possible that someone other than Hillary Clinton, such as Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders, could win the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and go on to win the general election.

For those of you who don’t know who David Clarke is, he’s the ultra-conservative Milwaukee County Sheriff who keeps getting re-elected to his current office by running in Democratic primaries and getting Republicans to vote in the Democratic primary for him. If Clarke were to run for a partisan statewide office, he’d likely run as a Republican, since he’s a staunch supporter of gun lobby groups like the NRA and is a member of far-right groups like the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), additionally, it’s very hard for someone like Clarke to run in a statewide Democratic primary in Wisconsin and get Republicans across the state to vote for him in a Democratic primary. Clarke has made no secret of the fact that he’s considering running for other offices (most notably Milwaukee Mayor in 2016), so Democrats and progressives in Wisconsin need to be prepared to strongly oppose Clarke if and when he decides to run for either another term as Milwaukee County Sheriff or for another office.

For Brandon Savage to essentially throw Tammy Baldwin, who has served Wisconsin to the best of her ability for the past two years and has built up a mostly progressive voting record as a U.S. Senator, under the bus by saying that he thinks that she’s going to lose re-election to a far-right nutjob like David Clarke even though it’s nearly four years until she’s on a Wisconsin ballot again (if she decides to run for a second term in the U.S. Senate, which is likely) is absolutely disgusting. Furthermore, Savage’s doom and gloom remarks about Baldwin’s re-election chances is indisputable proof that Savage, Mike Tate, Jason Rae, and the rest of the failed Democratic leadership in Wisconsin and their allies aren’t concerned one bit about winning elections in a critical swing state to the Democratic Party. Also, regarding Savage’s comments about how he thinks that the 2018 midterm elections being a “guaranteed bad midterm” year for Democrats, it’s nearly four years away, so it’s practically impossible to predict what the political landscape in this country would look like then. It’s worth noting that, in 1998 and 2002, the incumbent president’s party won a net gain of seats in at least one chamber of Congress, so it wouldn’t be unprecedented for a Democrat to win the 2016 presidential election and then for Democrats to do well in the 2018 midterm elections.

In fact, Savage’s doom and gloom comments about Baldwin’s U.S. Senate re-election chances may have been a huge turning point in the race for DPW chair, given that Savage is backing Jason Rae for DPW chair and, therefore, Savage’s remarks are something that Rae will have to answer for. If Tammy Baldwin decides to endorse a candidate for DPW chair, she might not endorse Jason Rae over Savage’s remarks about her re-election chances, although she probably won’t endorse Joe Wineke, given that Baldwin defeated Wineke in a 1998 U.S. House Democratic primary in the Madison-based 2nd District of Wisconsin. This could be a big opening for someone like Jeff Smith or Stephen Smith, the two other candidates currently in the race for DPW chair, Mary Lang Sollinger, who is likely to run for DPW chair, or one of the several possible candidates who are considering running, such as Lori Compas or Tanya Lohr. Of course, Baldwin’s vote is only one vote out of (likely) several hundred at the DPW convention in June (and that’s if she’s a voting convention delegate), and it’s certainly possible that a DPW chair candidate can get elected by defeating a Baldwin-endorsed candidate. However, Baldwin is the most high-profile Democratic elected official in Wisconsin, so any endorsement by her could have an effect on swaying any undecided delegates.

Likely Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson praises ISIS at RNC meeting

Ben Carson, a Maryland neurosurgeon who intends to run for Republican presidential nomination, publicly praised the Islamic fundamentalist terror group Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS, at this year’s Republican National Committee (RNC) winter meeting in Coronado, California:

Republican presidential prospect Ben Carson on Thursday compared the Islamic State group to American patriots willing to die for freedom.

In a speech to the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting outside San Diego, the former neurosurgeon and conservative favorite praised American patriots for their willingness to give their lives for their beliefs. Then he mentioned the Islamic State group.

“They got the wrong philosophy, but they’re willing to die for what they believe, while we are busily giving away every belief and every value for the sake of political correctness,” he said as Republican officials from across the country interrupted him with applause. “We have to change that.”

The Islamic State terrorists are not like those who fought to make the United States of America an independent, sovereign country in the late 18th century. Islamic State is fighting to impose a Islamic religious fundamentalist agenda over its enemies, whereas those who fought for an independent United States of America fought to make their homeland a sovereign country ruled by representatives of the people.

This kind of bizarre praise of Islamic State from Carson reminds me an awful lot of Ozzie Guillen, a former Major League Baseball manager for the Miami Marlins, bizarrely praising former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, which ultimately resulted in Guillen being fired by the Marlins:

“I respect Fidel Castro,” Guillén is quoted as saying in the online article. “You know why? Many people have tried to kill Fidel Castro in the last 60 years, yet that [SOB] is still there.”

For this country to elect a nutjob like Ben Carson to the White House would be a huge travesty.