Watching the rally in Philadelphia last night and seeing Chelsea Clinton introducing her father, former President Bill Clinton, who introduced our First Lady Michelle Obama who introduced her husband, President Barack Obama, who then introduced the woman we hope will be our next president, Hillary Clinton, I was struck by what it means to be a Democrat.

We put smart, caring, capable people in the White House.

We do not insult people’s intelligence by saying that having “enough working digits to hold a pen and sign legislation” is the only qualification for the presidency. We do not pretend that words, and actions, don’t matter, that a reality TV celebrity is the same as a person whose depth and breadth of experience makes her the most qualified presidential candidate in our lifetimes. We put country over party by making sure that the candidates our party nominates are qualified and capable not just popular or flamboyant.

We are the Democratic Party and look at how wonderful our political leaders are!

Transcripts of Michelle Obama’s and President Obama’s speeches are below.

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Posted by: JanF | September 26, 2016

Don’t lie down with the pig!

A few days ago, a popular liberal pundit Tweeted out that Hillary Clinton must bring up the birtherism issue in the debate and that if she doesn’t, she is stupid. Maybe a stupid woman? It is hard to tell what is in someone’s thought bubble when they are limited to 140 characters.

So that, I suspect, is the template for “advice” to Hillary Clinton for the debate. Something like this: “I would be very surprised if Hillary doesn’t raise [latest outrage]. Big mistake if she doesn’t!!”

But undecided voters don’t want to see eye pokes, they want to see who looks and sounds presidential.

(It is different for partisans who *do* want to see blows landed. But we are already voting for her!!)

Remember … if you wrestle with a pig, you will get coated in pig poop. And even if you “win”, you will still stink.


Posted by: JanF | August 4, 2016

The limits of forgiveness, the power of our votes

Yesterday, the State of Alabama denied parole to the murderer of these children.

(Clockwise from top left, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carol Denise McNair)

These girls were killed for one reason: hatred for the color of their skin.

We are often called upon to forgive (and forget – now that we are post-racial!) but these four girls should never be forgotten and their murderers should never be set free.

Say their names:
– Addie Mae Collins
– Cynthia Wesley
– Carole Robertson
– Carol Denise McNair

We must never again allow racism and bigotry to be accepted as the norm. We must forcefully reject a political party, the Republican Party, where politicians who embrace the rhetoric of white supremacy can be nominated for the highest office in the land. Reject hatred, reject bigotry, reject Republicans.

The only way to end discrimination is to keep the power to make laws out of the hands of those who do not recognize the worth of every person.

Vote. And then when you finish voting, help someone else to vote.

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Dear Democratic Party,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you.

We don’t always see eye to eye, Democratic Party. Some of the choices you have made over the years have left me shaking my head.

But in my lifetime you have never once nominated someone completely unsuited, someone who rejects Democratic Party values, someone who I would be unable to vote for over concern that my country, and the world, would be damaged if they were to win the election.

Oh, you flirted with it: Strom Thurmond (actually before my time) and George Wallace come to mind. You sometimes allowed single issues to take priority over electability, leaving us out of power while Republicans hurt us and our causes, but you never nominated someone who I couldn’t vote for.

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The United States has a two-party system of government. We elect a president from one of our two major political parties. It is winner take all, loser gets nothing.

Good, bad or indifferent, that is the reality. If a presidential choice turns out to be an absolute disaster, there is no “call a new election” option as there is in parliamentary democracies such as Canada and the United Kingdom. We are stuck with that president until the next presidential election … and the Congressional majority until the next biennial election.

The latest Pew Poll (July 7, 2016) showed that people are expressing widespread dissatisfaction with both major party candidates.

It also showed this terrifying graph reminding us of what happened in 2000; that the last time the lie of “both parties are the same” was sold to people as conventional wisdom, we ended up with Republican President George W. Bush.

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Posted by: JanF | May 18, 2016

Please Don’t Bust This

There are two political parties in America. One of the them just nominated Donald Trump as their presidential candidate.

The other party is the Democratic Party.

When you attack the Democratic Party, you don’t attack the DNC or DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, you attack every Democrat who has worked their butts off to make the Democratic Party a party that can win national elections.

You attack Barack Obama.

You attack Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin and John Lewis and Keith Ellison.

You attack Paul Wellstone and Lyndon Baines Johnson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

And you should stop. Now.

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Posted by: JanF | May 6, 2016

Trump did not “hijack” the Republican Party

And “movement conservatives” planning a third-party, featuring a conservative candidate to rally around in November, will find that there is actually no single candidate who appeals to the disparate factions that were cobbled together to create the modern Republican Party.

The problem that Erick Son of Erick and his compatriots will run up against is that the Republican Party is shattering not splitting and the groups that the GOP has brought together under their aegis – nativists, racists, misogynists, religious extremists, tenthers, teapartiers – have no common identity except their hatred of People Not Like Them.

The men who used to run the party, the “establishment wing”, are horrified to discover that the rabble they attracted with racist dog whistles now want one of their own – “Give us the vulgarian!!”, they are shouting. The #NeverTrump’ers crying over the debasing of their party are risible; the Republican “identity” was an illusion, a mask covering up a hideous visage. Trump did not hijack “their” party, he simply pulled away the mask that the GOP has been putting over their pustule-ridden face since 1968. Purdy, ain’t it?

When the Party That Should Never Be Called The Party of Lincoln pick around in the detritus left over from the November election, it is anyone’s guess what they will find to build on.

All I know is that we Democrats need to focus on our party and our presidential candidate and win back the Senate and the House so that our coalition, the Obama coalition, can finish the work started in 2009.

From Springfield Illinois, 2/10/2016:

President Obama:

The point I’m trying to make is I care about fixing our politics not only because I’m the President today, or because some of my initiatives have been blocked by Congress — that happens to every President, happens to every governor, happens to everybody who participates — anybody who participates in a democracy. You’re not going to get 100 percent of what you want all the time.

The reason this is important to me is, next year I’ll still hold the most important title of all, and that’s the title of citizen. And as an American citizen, I understand that our progress is not inevitable — our progress has never been inevitable. It must be fought for, and won by all of us. […]

We’ve got to build a better politics — one that’s less of a spectacle and more of a battle of ideas; one that’s less of a business and more of a mission; one that understands the success of the American experiment rests on our willingness to engage all our citizens in this work.

And that starts by acknowledging that we do have a problem. And we all know it. What’s different today is the nature and the extent of the polarization. […]

this isn’t just an abstract problem for political scientists. This has real impact on whether or not we can get things done together. This has a real impact on whether families are able to support themselves, or whether the homeless are getting shelter on a cold day. It makes a difference as to the quality of the education that kids are getting. This is not an abstraction. […]

… I do want to offer some steps that we can take that I believe would help reform our institutions and move our system in a way that helps reflect our better selves. And these aren’t particularly original, but I just want to go ahead and mention them.

He went on to mention money in politics, gerrymandering, and making it easier to vote.

One speech will not fix all that ails our republic but this speech, if anyone cared to listen to it, has a good roadmap.

Thank you, President Obama.

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Our next president will likely get to choose three, perhaps four, people to sit on the Supreme Court. Those women and men are the ultimate arbiters of our laws and appointing people with integrity, and who are not warped by partisan ideology, is one of the most important tasks of the executive branch.

But justice is more than just who sits on the Supreme Court – it is the Justice Department and the power to prosecute those who willfully flout our laws and trample the civil rights of our citizens.

Yesterday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the Justice Department  has filed a lawsuit against Ferguson Missouri. The City of Ferguson had agreed to modify their law enforcement practices after negotiations; abruptly, the city council, apparently under pressure from the county, voted down the agreement.

Attorney General Lynch:

Video on CSPAN:


Today, the Department of Justice is filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the city of Ferguson, Missouri, alleging a pattern or practice of law enforcement conduct that violates the First, Fourth and 14th Amendments of the Constitution and federal civil rights laws.  We intend to aggressively prosecute this case and I have no doubt that we will prevail.

The residents of Ferguson have waited nearly a year for their city to adopt an agreement that would protect their rights and keep them safe.  They have waited nearly a year for their police department to accept rules that would ensure their constitutional rights and that thousands of other police departments follow every day.  They have waited nearly a year for their municipal courts to commit to basic, reasonable rules and standards.  But as our report made clear, the residents of Ferguson have suffered the deprivation of their constitutional rights – the rights guaranteed to all Americans – for decades.  They have waited decades for justice.  They should not be forced to wait any longer.

Full text of opening statement is below.

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Posted by: JanF | December 9, 2015

Both sides DON’T do it!

Once again, the Fair and Balanced Media has declared that “Both Sides Do it” as they analyze the Trumpism phenomenon that is degrading American politics.

Margaret Chase Smith: ‘… I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny — Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear’. Sadly, there is no Margaret Chase Smith to bail your bony asses out this time, GOP. You drove all the Reasonable Republicans away.

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