We are disappointed with the President; it doesn’t mean we don’t support him

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As the 2016 Democratic contest moves to more diverse states, Hillary Clinton’s new tactic is to to hold on with all her might to President Obama’s record. Like an overprotective Abuela, Clinton fiercely defends her former rival and is attempting to shame any progressive that is anything less than 100% satisfied with the Obama administration. To her it is a sin.

As someone who voted for the President twice, I must say; I am disappointed with President Obama but it doesn’t mean that I don’t like or support him. Yes, I can have it both ways. While I am proud of the President’s accomplishments, I cannot push aside my many disappointments and it is not good for the Democratic Party to demand that I, or Bernie Sanders do so.

The reality is that President Obama did not live up to his promises. I can literally fill a page of broken promises and grievances, from ending our wars, closing Gitmo, ending Bush tax cuts, being transparent, being unable to work with Congress and deporting more immigrants and prosecuting more whistleblowers than any other President.

Now the President is not responsible for falling short on all of his promises, we all understand that he has been met with unprecedented obstruction and hatred, we don’t fault him for the huge backlash to his Presidency. And yes, I like so many other supporters failed the President, when I probably stayed home during the off-year elections making it possible for the construction of the stalemate Congress that we have been living under for 6 years. That was our bad. But the fact is that Obama made mistakes too. He is human after all and he is allowed, just as I am allowed to be disappointed.

We understand that the presidency is a complex job and that even the President of United States can’t keep every promise, we are adults like that. We also understand that it is important that we have honest discussions based on truths and facts so as to better our country; we differ from the Republicans like that.

There is something to be said about a period of truth and reconciliation, something that the Democratic Party is going to eventually have to have about the Obama Presidency, like all Presidencies. It would behoove the Democratic Party to consider speeding up the process so as to avoid making the same mistake that the Republican Party has made regarding the Presidency of George W. Bush; never coming to terms with his mistakes, which have been painfully drudged up by Donald Trump this week.

From this view, Hillary Clinton’s inability to entertain a critical word against President Obama is childish at best and just an overt ploy to gain the support of minorities at worst. Whichever one it is, it is insulting.

 

 

2016 Looks A Lot Like 2008

 

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As the 2016-nomination season steams ahead, do you have a feeling of deja vu? I am sure Hillary Clinton does. She and the rest of the Democratic Party have found themselves in the same exact scenario as 8 years ago and Secretary Clinton is headed down the same road, making the same destructive moves she did in ’08.

The scenario we find ourselves in is that of the inevitable nominee Hillary Clinton, with all her experience and baggage, running against Not Hillary, and then there are the voters, who seem to be following their hearts. (Read my blog  Clinton, not Sanders will bring more gridlock in which I predicted this would happen.)

In some ways Senator Sanders is doing much better than Barrack Obama was in 2008, doing better in the demographics that Obama used to beat Clinton. Back in 2008 Obama won 57% of Iowa voters under 30 years old to Clinton’s 25% Sanders won 84% of those under 30 to Clinton’s 14%. And the demographic pattern in Iowa and New Hampshire goes on from there.

Those still unable to believe that Sanders has a shot at the nomination, need only substitute the word “Sanders” for “Obama” in the 2008 Huffington Post article, that analyzed why Hillary lost to Obama,

          ” Obama’s message has been consistent from Day One. Clinton lurched from             experienced  insider” to “populist outsider” from Margaret Thatcher-like “Iron Lady” to    a “victim   being bullied.” And of course, Obama’s huge small-donor-driven fundraising advantage gave him the ability to out-communicate her in the paid media – often by a factor of two-to-one.”

It is worthwhile to take a second look at the entire article to understand the similarity to 2008 and to see just where this campaign is headed.

It was in NH in ’08 that Clinton said her feelings were hurt when asked about Obama polling higher in likability than her.

This scene has repeated itself again for Clinton, as she has been significantly trailing Sanders in likability.

It was also in New Hampshire in ’08 when President Bill Clinton couldn’t help himself and got nasty, attacking candidate Obama, something that backfired then and now, as we saw this week when President Bill Clinton attacked Sanders.

The backlash of comments made by Hillary surrogates Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem solidify that it only hurts Hillary when her campaign goes negative. President Clinton should not be stumping for his wife; he is a brilliant campaigner but he is incapable of towing the line and refraining from going nasty. We don’t blame him, its his wife, but it is not good for Hillary and its not good for his legacy, he should not be put in that position.

Next stop along Deja Vu Avenue is a Clinton campaign shake up, which is rumored to be underway right now, this didn’t happen in ’08 until much further along in the contest. Perhaps this is a sign that Clinton realizes she is traveling along a dangerous and familiar road. Secretary Clinton herself has maintained that this would be a close race. If Clinton foresaw this happening, then her campaign should have been able to see these ’08 potholes that keep popping up, because as someone who isn’t even supporting her this time around, it is getting painful to watch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Sanders has Taught the Democratic Party

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Bernie Sanders, an Independent Democratic Socialist has helped the Democratic Party more than any other candidate in recent years and all before he won a single delegate. Regardless of who gets the nomination, the Democratic Party will forever be stronger because of the candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

How many times have we heard political pundits proclaim that President Reagan could not get elected today because his politics would not be considered conservative enough for the modern Republican Party? Why is this you ask? It is in part because the Democratic Party has lost its way over the last few decades. Unable to coalesce and fight for a true liberal agenda it has allowed the Republican Party to pull the center of the country to the Right.

Now when I say Democratic Party I’m not talking about the rank and file, I’m talking the leaders, the machine, the message, think Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Instead of furthering a platform that includes such Democratic ideals as economic equality, social and criminal justice reform and fixing a corrupt campaign finance system its sole focus in recent years became reducing Republican damage. The Party of FDR and JFK turned its back on being a Party of bold sweeping ideas and has been complacent and satisfied for far too long with running on preserving social security and keeping a Republican appointee off the Supreme Court. That is until now.

Bernie Sanders is doing now what so many Democrats before him failed to do; he is dragging the Democratic Party (kicking and screaming) to the left. We have already seen the fruits of his labor as Clinton has quickly dropped her status quo agenda and adopted his progressive rhetoric.

While it would be impossible to list all Bernie Lessons, here are 4 specific takeaways that would behoove the Democratic Party to remember, wash and repeat.

 

  1. Have a vision – It should be big
  2. The vision must be authentic – From the heart not polls or lobbyists
  3. The vision cannot be keep the guy from the other Party out of office
  4. Vigorously defend your vision – There is a reason Republicans call Democrats flip-floppers