Impeach Him – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
03.16.2019

Impeach Him

I am not sure what is going on with the work that congress has undertaken to exercise oversight on the Trump administration, to investigate his lies and crimes, both before he took office and after.

There is a lot of ground to cover, and it makes no sense for the Democratic Party’s leadership in Congress to take impeachment off the table.

Clinton was impeached, though he was not removed from office he was impeached, and that is a permanent part of the record of his presidency.

Trump deserves no less.

Impeachment without removal from office is still impeachment, and the things this man has done, mark him as the most corrupt president in the history of the United States. The house of representatives needs to impeach him, regardless of whether the senate will toss him out of office.

The man has lied, suborned perjury, cheated, stolen, obstructed justice and abused power. He will into be indicted for his crimes while he occupies the oval office. Therefore he must be impeached.

Impeachment hearing must be held, it must be debated on the floor. Every congressperson must be forced to vote on it, and everyone in the senate has to be put on the record, stating unequivocally how much the value the principles of our democracy.

Speaker of the House Pelosi, and the rest of the leadership who are hedging, the just need to learn how to tell the story. Impeachment does not need to end with the Trump being expelled from office.

Impeaching Trump is step one and it is the responsibility of the House of Representatives. Expelling him from office is the responsibility of the Senate. If he is impeached and the senate elects to not throw him out, that is on the Senate. He will still have been impeached.

Do it now.

Blame It On the World – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
11.24.2018

Blame It On the World
“Blame it on the world,” the fake President said, in reference to the murder of a journalist, a man who wrote for the Washington Post, a newspaper the fake president has decried as a purveyor of fake news, which according to the fake president’s rhetoric makes them the enemy of the people.

“Blame it on the world, the world is a nasty vicious place,” the fake President said, about the murder of this man who lived in Virginia, who was a permanent resident of the United States, who was lured to Turkey, by the government of Saudi Arabia on the grounds that he needed to visit the consulate there to acquire the paperwork that would allow him to marry.

Mr. Khashoggi was a citizen of Saudi Arabia, and a vocal critic of the House of Saud, the Crown Prince, his government and their horrible record of human rights abuse.

The Crown Price is on record for stating that he wanted this journalist silenced. The Crown Prince ordered that they lay a trap for Khashoggi in Turkey. The Crown Prince sent fifteen members of his personal security detail to Turkey to murder him, including a doctor equipped with a bones saw to oversee the dismembering of his corpse, and a man who played as a body-double posing as Khashoggi, wandering around Istanbul in the murdered man’s clothes, after the killing had been done.

“Blame it on the world,” the fake President said, “the world is a nasty vicious place.”

I know that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is nasty and vicious. T-Rump is nasty and timid, he is a coward, but he delights in the viciousness of others, that much is clear.

The CIA, and numerous other intelligence agencies around the world, among our allies have reviewed the evidence of this murder provided to them by the Government of Turkey, they have authenticated it and concluded the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is responsible for ordering Mr. Khashoggi’s murder.

T-Rump has opted to take the word of the murderer instead, accepting his denials, even though they were preceded by numerous other lies, which the Crown Prince walked back, he accepted those denials for some murky reason we have yet to discern.

It is reminiscent of his acceptance of Vladimir Putin’s lies and denials about interfering with the 2016 election.

The fake President cannot help himself when he thinks there is a dollar to be made, and he is hungry for those dollars.

“Nature is red in tooth and claw,” Saint Augustine said.

Thomas Hobbes wrote his seminal work Leviathan, as a reflection on this premise. “We live in a Hobbesian World,” Thomas Jefferson wrote, and that is why the founders took such pains to draft our constitutions with its extensive system of checks and balances in place..

The recognition of this reality is not a cause to excuse it. Rather, the recognition of this reality is what requires us to adhere to the dictates of our social compact. It is why we need a government derived from the consent of the governed, and this is the principle motivation behind the American experiment in self-government.

Without this social compact the strong will always tyrannize the weak, in keeping with the nature of the world, as a nasty vicious place. We cannot allow this to be the way of our world. We cannot look away from the face of brutality. We cannot excuse the tyrant.

It is the duty of the American President, of whoever holds that office, their legitimacy notwithstanding, to represent the American ideals to the world. We cannot abandon American principles for cheaper oil, for an arms contract, for a fistful of dollars, or a pocketful of lies.

Conscience – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
08.019.2018

Conscience
It is time for all people of good conscience to abandon this president, if you ever supported him for any reason, or even just hoped that he would bring something new and different to the politics of our country, you must admit that you were wrong, give up those hopes and abandon him.

It is time for all people of conscience to abandon their support for the party that Donald Trump represents, for the party that supports him. If you call yourself a Republican, if you have voted for the republicans in the past, you must in good conscience disavow your support for that institution.

If you are an office holder with an R next to your name, it is time to put an end to your feelings of shame, change that R in for an I, go Independent and reclaim your dignity. Donald Trump does not deserve your support, he is a disgrace. No one is asking you to give up your values, but it is time that you allow control of congress to shift to the party out of power, so that this corrupt and criminal regime may be subject to fair and judicious oversight.

Do it now.

Have some courage.

Do not wait for mid-terms.

Let the wave begin, it may just help you save your seat.

Let your conscience be your guide.

If you have ever sworn an oath, to uphold and defend the United States of America, our constitution and our way of life, if you are a person of good conscience you will do this now.

All of our Veterans, of which I am one, every single office holder, and every person of has ever sworn the pledge of allegiance has a moral and ethical obligation to live up to their oath, and work to undo the harm that traitorous Trump, that Trump the treasonous is doing to our country.

Act now.

The Brexit…Exit Common Sense – Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

06.25.2016

The Brexit…Exit Common Sense

We are in a place that our culture has not occupied in my lifetime. By our culture I mean, our American-Western-European culture.

We are in a place of nonsense, of anti-intellectualism, of abject denial, of absurdity.

We are in a place where the average person knows nothing about their government, economics, science, and they imagine themselves as being wiser than people who have studies these things their entire life.

  • The masses are shouting that the earth is flat, and the universe less than 10,000 years old.
  • There are no such things as greenhouse gasses-global warming is a myth.
  • Nicotine does not cause cancer – go ahead and vape.
  • Walt Disney faked the moon landing.
  • My religion is better than yours (even though no-one can ever know the truth).
  • My book is more authentic (even though it is all mythology).
  • My Christian witness more faithful (because I hate in the name of Jesus).

This week the people of The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union because they had been fed a lie about how their membership in that international organization was holding them back. The majority of those voting to leave were old, poor, uneducated, rural voters who were being told that their future prosperity, their retirement security, their access to health care depended on their “going it alone.”

The following day global markets plunged, the English pound fell to a fifty year low. The people that were lying to them about how much money would be freed to flow into the health care system, came on T.V. and admitted that those claims were false.

Millions of those who voted to exit the E.U., for Britain to leave, to “brexit”- broke it, finding themselves bereft of common sense – they want their vote back, but there is no redo.

Their Prime Minister; David Cameron called for the referendum as a gamble. He never wanted to leave the E.U., he called for the vote because he thought he would win, and thereby silence the critics of globalization and modernity.

He lost and now he has resigned.

Millions of young, college educated, urban voters have been left out in the cold. They are facing another decade of recession, they are no longer free to travel, to work, to go to school, to develop new relationships, to find spouses, to raise families anywhere in Europe. They are holed up on their island; in despair.

Now Scotland wants to leave the U.K., and Northern Ireland, and France is talking about “frexit,” the Netherlands are talking about “nexit,” generations of work to make Europe a safe and inclusive place, to set aside war and conflict in favor of open borders, and free trade. That work is gone, set aside, undone.

There in Europe, and here in America, those masses of people our speaking from a place of fear, and imagined insecurity. They are afraid of immigrants, they are afraid of education, they want guns to protect themselves from the “other”, and to win the lottery. When they have more to fear from the gun in their own home, and their possibility of being struck by lightning is greater than the chance that they will pull the Powerball.

Wake up America…

Wake up and vote…

Berning it Down – Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

03.19.2016

Berning it Down

There was a subtle shift in the Sander’s campaign this week; as he continues in his quest for Democratic Party’s nomination for President. I found it troubling, and a little bit amusing, but mostly worrisome, and befuddling.

BS lost every contest on Tuesday. His campaign spent a lot of resources, and they believed they would win at least one of the contests, if not two, and they were hopeful that they could make it three.

In two of the contests; Missouri and Illinois the margin was razor thin; virtually tied, but he lost. HRC won Ohio by a by a larger margin, but it was still relatively close. However, she blew the Sander’s campaign out of the water in North Carolina and Florida.

HRC expanded her lead in the contest for delegates in a significant way, I am speaking of pledged delegates, votes that are committed to HRC.

The Clinton campaign holds a commanding lead; something like 95% of the un-pledged, “super-delegates.” Making her path to victory almost guaranteed. BS has complained bitterly about this through the contest so far; stating over and over again that if HRC only wins because of the votes of super-delegates her victory would be un-democratic and illegitimate.

This line of reason has been vociferously echoed by the BS supporters all over the Web and throughout social-media. Only now, now that his path to victory has become extremely dubious; BS has begun to suggest that he might continue his campaign all the way to the convention even if he arrives there without a majority of pledged delegates, and try to convince the super-delegates to make him the nominee anyway; in what his campaign has already called an un-democratic and illegitimate way.

I am amused by this because it speaks directly against the Holier than thou, I am not a regular politician image that the BS campaign has successfully foisted on the public imagination. The amusement can only go so far because such a path risks fracturing the democratic party just at the point when it needs to be unified.

This troubles me because it is a concrete foreshadowing of what I have been asking my friends, who are BS supporters to think about; my estimation that BS would gladly tear down the party jut for a chance to win an argument. That is the kind of guy he seems to be.

Mind you, I am not saying he would tear down the party just to win an argument; he would tear it down just for a chance to win, and jeopardize any possibility of advancing the progressive agenda that he claims to care so much about.

People, who are fans of BS have made a lot of noise about the notion that the Senator is untouched by political corruption. I challenge that notion on the basis that, people can be greedy for other things than money. Human beings are corrupted by their desires, and as the Buddha says, desire is the cause of all suffering. Desire causes suffering both from within and without. Our own desires cause us to suffer, and the desires of others inflict suffering on those around them.

Most people desire mundane things, material things; they are greedy for wealth, privilege, power. Some people however, have more intractable desires, more difficult for us to understand, not as easy to put our finger on, like; purity, righteousness, rightness. I contend that we have more to fear from those who crave these things than we do the other.

I ask you to think about this in the coming weeks as the BS campaign continues its rhetoric about the super-delegates, condemning HRC out of one side of their mouths for stacking the deck with these pledges at the outset of the contest, and out of the other side of their mouths giving us their strategy to capitalize on the same. While threatening to Bern down the party in the process.

 

Voting – Heart vs. Head

Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

03.05.2016

Voting – Heart vs. Head

I went to my caucuses last Tuesday night. I showed up to vote for Hillary, and I did, as I said I would. I am proud to have done so, proud to be casting this vote for the person I expect will be the first woman to hold the office of the president.

The caucus site was disorganized. There were three different precincts voting at Jefferson Elementary, and there was not much clarity about where you were supposed to go. However, once I figured that out, matters proceeded in an orderly fashion.

I was expecting something different from what I experienced. I thought there would be a period to persuade and convince the other voters, but there was not.

I showed up; received my ballot, marked it and put it in a box. Many people left after that point. Fewer than one-hundred, of six-hundred stuck around. I did.

I listened to the organizers, tell us the rules of the caucus. They went over the agenda. We elected people to committees. I was elected as a delegate to the endorsing convention for DFL Senate District 61.

I listened as a number of ballot resolutions were introduced by various party activities. Most of the measures I supported. There were some that I was disinterested in. There was one that I spoke against. The measure I spoke against passed, and I was the only person opposed to it. It was a call for a constitutional amendment to reform campaign financing, the issue that was articulated seemed that it could be gotten too much sooner through the normal legislative process, or through the courts; than through the more onerous, and more dubious process of a constitutional amendment.

There was little, actual opposition, to any of the resolutions that were offered, though I sensed that there were real opposition that simply went unspoken.

Many of the resolutions had a “daydreaming” quality, “pie in the sky” realism.

It set me to thinking about some of the conversations I have had about my support for Hillary.

My precinct went for Bernie at a rate of about 4 to 1 (a little better). Minnesota went for Bernie in the final count. Here in my neighborhood, at my job, and among my friends I have definitely felt like I was in the minority.

When asked about my support; my response begins with this: “I have always supported Hillary Clinton. She is smart and capable, and will prove to be an effective manager of government.

“While I agree with the idealism that Bernie Sanders expresses, I do not believe that idealism and politics should mix.”

This seems counter-intuitive to most of the people I have spoken with.

There is a well-established, but uncritical norm; vote for the candidate you like, for the candidate you believe is right. Vote for the candidate that speaks to your heart, for the one that make you feel good.

The slogan of the sanders campaign is not: Understand the Bern, analyze it, asses it, and know it. The slogan is Feel the Bern.

Feel it.

I am not suggesting that we should not feel good about our votes, but feelings are more easily moved than reason, more easily preyed upon, and more easily misdirected.

While the appeal to idealism may articulate the place we want our society to be, when that appeal is fueled by the power of emotions it does not leave any room to negotiate, or compromise with those on the other side of the table.

Idealism is too easily transformed into fundamentalism, the uncritical sense of empowerment based on the belief that you are right.

Fundamental-idealism is a powerful force. It can motivate a lot of people, but it also brings out an ugly and even violent aspect of our human nature. This is true wherever the arrow of your idealism is pointing.

I have heard a lot of my sisters and brothers on the left side of the political spectrum tell me:

If Bernie loses they will sit out the election.

They will never vote for Hillary.

Hillary is no different than a republican.

Republicans and democrats are the same, that’s why we need a socialist.

Hillary is evil and she must be stopped.

This is the place that fundamental-idealism brings us to in our politics. This is the power of the heart over the head.

We suffer the machinations of the fundamentalists on the other side of the spectrum all the time. They have taken over the republican party. Their idealism has led them to name corporations as people, to curtain the voting rights act, to fear the immigrant, to religious intolerance, and too many other atrocious principles to articulate.

Though I predisposed to supporting the agenda from the left wing, tyranny can also flow from those good intentions, but it will only flow from that idealism if it uncritical and fundamentalistic.

Voting for Hillary Part III – HRC v BS II – Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

02.20.2016

Voting for Hillary Part III – HRC v BS II

A couple of days ago I made a comment on the Face Book page of a friend of mine. I said something to the effect of this:

“If Senator Sanders wins the Presidency (and I think he could do it if he wins the nomination of the Democratic Party), it will set back the progressive agenda by a generation.”

This may seem counterintuitive to most people who read it, because Senator Sanders (BS) is clearly the most ardent, and idealistic spokesperson for the progressive agenda in our public life at this time (with the possible exception of Senator Elizabeth Warren).

Why is that the case, why would the torch-bearer of the progressive movement, be the biggest threat to the cause of progressivism?

This is complicated, and I ask you to allow the whole argument play out in order to arrive at its conclusion.

Therefore, let us talk about the candidates, and what they would bring to the table if they were President. What are the expectations attaching to each of them

I think I think Secretary Clinton (HRC) will be a least as effective as President Obama in advancing the progressive agenda. Many idealistic progressives will scoff at this; many of the most active liberals I know think that President Obama has accomplished very little in terms of genuine progressivism, and so this claim is not convincing to them. Those people complain that the Affordable Care Act was a giveaway to the insurance agencies, that our armed forces are still far too involved in conflicts around the world, they complain about the rate at which immigrants are being deported, they complain about the sequester, and so on. While they complain the apologists for President Obama, of which I am one, will tell you that he got what he was able to get while negotiating with Congress; Congress which actually controls the legislative agenda.

President Obama barely passed the Affordable Care Act, at a time when his party controlled both chambers of congress, when he had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. At the same time President Obama could not even close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, which he ran on as a first order of business for his administration. Why was it so difficult to get the one thing done, and impossible to do the other? It is because every little thing that the president wants to do are reduced to negotiating points to be made with hostile actors; hostile Republicans and intractable Democrats alike. A president cannot even rely on members of their own party to support their agenda; if those members discern even a tiny bit of political peril in it for them.

In the current political climate, while Republicans control both chambers of Congress, making some advances on the progressive agenda would be great, even small ones, but holding the line on what has been achieved over the past eight years is even more important. No backsliding!

When we Democratic voters, we liberal progressives are dreaming about raising the minimum wage, universal health care, strengthening unions, breaking up big banks, overturning Citizens United, subsidizing college tuition, major increases in domestic spending, protecting voting rights; we must bear in mind, that roughly half of the electorate will be voting for the other side. The other side already controls the Senate, already controls the House of Representatives, controls the majority of state legislative assemblies, and the majority of gubernatorial chairs throughout the country. The other side wants no minimum wage, no regulation of banking, health care provided through the free market, no right to organize unions, Citizens United affirmed, and the rights of corporations expanded, no support for higher education, and all domestic infrastructure spending made piecemeal through block grants, given to the sates and along to the private sector, they want all of that and the sharp curtailment of voting rights. Throw into the mix their long standing desire to privatize social security, to keep burning fossil fuels, and to ramp up the war footing of the Nation.

Holding the line will, if that is all we are able to do, that will be a victory for the next President. I believe HRC can do that, and I believe she can do more. I believe she can build on the legacy of President Obama. HRC will able to hold the line precisely because her rhetoric is not calling for revolution. While some may criticize her for setting the bar too low, I believe she is setting the bar realistically. This is vital, because the most important thing about keeping the agenda moving forward is too not lose the support of the base. If you promise what you cannot deliver, they will become disillusioned and fall away. This happened to President Obama, people have written books about how he has “betrayed” the progressive agenda, and it happened to President Jimmy Carter, whose legacy should be a cautionary note for how we can view a possible BS administration.

Because the agenda that HRC has put forward is as tempered as it is, ordinary people on both sides of the political spectrum, everyone in the much maligned-muddy-middle, all of those supposed moderates, they can understand it, and because they understand it, they won’t feel threatened by it, they can support it, even in the face of opposition. Some people on the left might want more progressivism, some on the right might want more conservativism, but when one side or the other wins an election they get the mandate to expand their cause. The majority of Americans understand this, but they do not want, and they do not expect to gyrate wildly from poll to poll, they expect a moderate expansion of the franchise from the margins at the middle.

The majority knows who to hold at fault when the government gets shut down, if one side is being moderate, and the other side is acting from the demands of their ideals. If a BS administration threatens to veto a budget because it lacks some provision he has demanded from the furthest reaches of his idealism, BS will get the blame, and not congress.

Listen to me; progress is progress, even if it is gradual, and incremental.

This is not exciting. I realize that, but it is the truth, and I hope you can realize this too.

This is exactly how we would view it if the conservative side gets a victory. If the republicans win and decide to try and implement a legislative agenda that looks like the most ideal version of their conservative torch-bearers; deport eleven million people, build a giant wall on the border with Mexico, go to war again in Iraq, and in Syria, ban Muslims from entering the country, undermine the separation of church and state etc, etc, etc…we would expect our democrats to muster whatever power they had to block everything. That is what will happen if progressives try to do the same, they will block everything (only the conservatives hold more cards right now).

Here is what will happen in a BS administration. He will either compromise severely, thereby disillusioning his voters (I don’t think this is likely), causing them to fall away. Or he will stick to his idealism, and he won’t even get democrats to work with him. A BS administration will be a laughing stock either way, and it will ruin the cause of progressivism for at least a couple of decades; ala Jimmy Carter.

I have not heard BS say this himself, but I have heard Tad Devine, his campaign manager say it. He has admitted that the endeavor the BS campaign is engaged in is going to take a generation to develop. He is an experienced operator, and it is obviously true. They know that they have not only to win the presidency, and hold it, but that they also have to win a majority in congress, and keep it for at least one or two cycles. If liberal progressives are going to have a lasting chance, and the BS revolution succeed, they need to control congress in 2020 when the entire legislative map is up for redistricting. Unless they can do that; liberal progressives will continue to be at a significant disadvantage, and the BS revolution, even if he wins the presidency, will never materialize.

BS does not talk this way on the stump, but his more candid spokespeople do. They are talking behind the scenes about the realities of gradualism, the necessity of incrementalism, in this way they are indistinguishable from HRC. There is a difference however; HRC is leveling with people, and BS is trying to get people caught up in his romantic revolution.

HRC’s approach asks people up-front to sign on for the long haul, wherein progress (no matter how small) will be hailed for what it is progress. BS is asking people to “Feel the Bern,” to light the match, but as we all know the flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.

What will happen to all of that passion when the cold water gets thrown on it. Will people be writing books about how BS betrayed the progressive movement? I don’t think so, BS is not the type to compromise, at least not on the big things. He will stand his ground, and the ground will fall out from under him, progressives may not blame him for standing his ground while giving voice to their ideals, but as the ground falls out from under him; because he is unable to compromise, it will fall out from under the progressive movement as well; creating the opportunity for a nearly completely discredited conservative movement to come roaring back

Remember Jimmy Carter; arguably one of the smartest, most rationale, most authentic, and most sincere of our modern presidents. He did not lack for good ideas, he behaved like a leader and put those ideas forward, but his inability to accomplish those goals turned his legacy into a subject of ridicule. I am not saying that his administration deserves the ridicule, but they suffered under it anyway, and continue to suffer from that ridicule thirty-six years later. The failures of the Carter administration set the stage for the so-called Reagan Revolution. A BS administration threatens to set that stage again.

It was under President Reagan that the nation began to move to the rightwing in a way that has been; anti-intellectual, anti-science, religiously fundamental, ahistorical and absolutely irrational. We risk that happening again, unless we are able to demonstrate in an irrefutable way that the leadership of Democratic presidents, championing liberal ideal, while implementing progressive policies is the key stability for the nation; and that will set the stage for economic growth, economic justice, and prosperity for all.

I believe that HRC can do this, and I have no faith that BS can. I believe this because Hillary speaks directly, and honestly to these points, while Bernie continues to dream the revolutionary dream.

More to follow…

Voting for Hillary, Part II HRC v BS, Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

02.06.2016

Voting for Hillary, Part Two – HRC v BS

There is an election coming on Tuesday, people are voting in the State of New Hampshire, and the election matters.

The choices the voters face is not between republican and democrat, that choice is coming. The choice is between former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and sitting Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders.

There is a lot of talk going around about which of these candidates best represents the Democratic Party; its values, and aspirations, even though only one of them, Hillary, is actually a democrat. Nevertheless, there is a lot of momentum behind the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, and that needs to be addressed.

In politics there are many vectors of concern.

On the one hand our politics are about the future, our ideals, and where we want to see the country move to. Politics are aspirational.

On the other hand, politics, and voting are about the practical reality of governing.

Politics are just as much about the public policies we would like to see enacted, as they are about the public policies that can be enacted, practically, in a nation that is ideologically divided between left and right.

As we listen to our candidates propose the policies they would like to implement, it is vital that they articulate more than the goal of their policies (though the end game is important), they must also be able to articulate the path they will take to get there, the specific strategies, strategies that demonstrate an appreciation for the past efforts to move us toward those goals, as well as realistic appraisal of the political world, with its ideological divisions, that we live in at the present time.

Let us not pretend that if Bernie Sanders is elected, like magic, Citizens United will be overturned; wave a wand and will have a new federal minimum wage, blink and there will be a trillion dollar package of new domestic spending, wiggle his nose, and we will have universal health care.

That would be revolutionary, and sober minds know that the likelihood of any of that happening in America today, is very remote. Yes, we must move toward those goals, but any such movement is aspirational, can only be aspirational, as it always has been.

That is because our country is deeply divided, and it will take cooperation from those on the opposing side of the divide to make those political aspirations a reality. It will require consensus, and it will require compromising with people who believe in their heart that corporations are people, who believe in their hearts that there should be no minimum wage, who believe in their hearts that the government should be dissolved and that there should be no public spending on infrastructure; because the private sector can do it better.

Hillary and Bernie Sanders both want those things for America. What differentiates them from one another is that Hillary talks straight about these aspirational goals, and Bernie Sanders is pretending that he can get it all done with a wink and a nod. I value Hillary’s practicality on this matter, and I am offended that the Sander’s campaign will not address these political realities.

The answer that Bernie Sander’s has settle on, in response to this line of questioning, is that he intends to lead a political revolution, a revolution that will sweep aside the old way of doing things, and sweep in a mandate for his agenda.

The language of revolution is unfortunate, it touches on the romantic notion of radicalism while leaving unspoken the violent realities of conflict. For a revolution to be swift and sweeping it must be supported by an overwhelming percentage of the people, people who are united in their ideology and their aspirations. That is not where we are as Americans. We are deeply divided, we are a 50/50 nation, we are left and right. That is not the fermentation bed for a revolution, it is the fermentation bed for deep civil unrest.

Set this aside for a moment, because I do not wish to be gloomy in the face of hope and optimism. I am both hopeful and optimistic that our collected aspirations can be achieved.

Let us discuss the qualifications of our candidates, who is best able to carry on the work of fulfilling our liberal and progressive ideals.

Some think it is a significant qualification that Bernie Sanders was chief executive (Mayor) of Burlington Vermont, a city with a population of 200,000 people. I think Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State, speaks to a wider degree of executive experience.

Some have suggested that because Hillary was merely appointed Secretary of State, not elected to it, this does not count as a political achievement, but are talking about is political experience; individual accomplishments and experience managing government, in that context it does not matter if you are elected, appointed (and confirmed), or if you are a career bureaucrat; experience is experience.

Some have suggested that Bernie Sanders’ 25 years in congress, as a Representative and a Senator means that he has the institutional knowledge and relationships to aid him in accomplishing his agenda. I think they are an indictment of his ineffectiveness. He has been making the same speeches for his entire life, and has failed to advance his agenda, failed to grow a grass roots movement to do anything.

To be clear, I don’t think that Hillary has a stunning record of legislative accomplishment either, but I value her experience as First Lady, as Senator, and as Secretary of State more than Bernie Sanders’ time as an “outsider” in congress.

They are both smart people, but you need more than smarts to succeed as President. You need relationships. Hillary has those relationships, and Bernie Sanders is still an outsider, as evidenced by the overwhelming number of endorsements Hillary has from: sitting and former members of congress, as well as private organizations, unions and newspapers, not to mention the count of super delegates who have committed to her.

As we are talking about their respective legislative records and success rates, let us appreciate a few salient facts. During the time that Hillary and Bernie Sanders both served in the Senate, they voted the same 93% of the time.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/28/upshot/the-senate-votes-that-divided-hillary-clinton-and-bernie-sanders.html?_r=0

This article from the New York Times tells the tale. On the very few things where they differed from one another; I would suggest the outcome is mixed, with each of them demonstrating wisdom in some things and a lack of wisdom in others. Some votes had tragic consequences, like Voting forthe war in Iraq, but Bernie Sanders would have let the entire economy sink in 2008 – 2009, because the TARP bill and other economic stimulus bills, that were put in place to stem the economic disaster that was taking, were not “perfect.” That also would have been tragic.

Let us dwell for a moment longer on their general records of success in congress, remembering that they voted the same 93% of the time.

In all of Bernie Sanders’ time in congress he has only sponsored 5 bills that became law, while Hillary, in her much shorter tenure sponsored three bills that became law. Hillary co-sponsored 74 bills which became law (100% success rate). Bernie has co-sponsored over 5,000 bills, only about 200 became law (5% success rate). Please be mindful, I am not talking about the merits of these bills, I am just speaking to their success rate as legislators.

In my judgement, Bernie Sanders, if elected, would be a disaster as president, and a disaster for the progressive causes you and I care about. Ineffectuality will quickly turn into a referendum against him, and the party he represents. I point to the Carter administration, as evidence for this claim. Jimmy was a smart and capable leader, if we had followed his plans for domestic energy consumption (among other things) the world would be a different place. But Jimmy Carter was an outsider, he had zero ability to execute his agenda because he had no relationships with anyone in congress, no relationships among the career people in the federal government.

We know how history has treated him (even though he doesn’t deserve it). We do not want to set up a right wing reaction against that kind of failure, as happened with Ronald Reagan.

Hillary has those relationships. The Clinton team will come to the job with those relationships in place, they have already managed the government, have been managing the government, and they are good at it.

I must reiterate; the excitement for Bernie Sanders fails to acknowledge the political reality that the right-wing controls congress, controls the Supreme Court, controls the majority of gubernatorial seats, and the majority of statehouses across the country. The people who elected them do not even want the things Bernie and Hillary are talking about. They think the liberal agenda is un-godly. They don’t want a minimum wage (at all), they don’t want the federal government…they are not going to help. They will actively obstruct. We on the left will do a disservice to our cause if we put people in power who will meet their obstruction with obstruction.

If we desire the liberal and progressive agenda to move forward we will work toward fostering political and economic stability in our country. We are only ever able to expand the franchise of citizenship and social empowerment when the people at large, feel secure; when they are frightened (for real or imagined reasons), when there is chaos, they will move the other way.

In my work as a manger of systems and people I have come to understand the following things:

It is always easier to point out problems than it is to find solutions.

It is always easier to imagine solutions than to form the plans to put them in place.

It is always easier to make plans, than to actually implement them.

It is always easier to begin an endeavor than it is to keep it moving forward.

I believe that Hillary, not Bernie Sanders has what it takes to carry us all the way through these steps.

That belief is based in part on the fact that Hillary is being honest about these challenges, while Bernie Sanders is pretending otherwise.

If you believe that Bernie Sanders is in reality an aspirational candidate, just like Hillary, and not a revolutionary; if you believe he is not made of magic and his agenda will take a generation (or more) to take effect, then you should get behind the person who shares the same aspirations, but is willing and able to negotiate the political resolutions, to cut the deals that will take us there.