Marc Platt's Politics: I'm a Lefty

Nov. 13, 2013

In 2010 Christine O’Donnell emerged from Delaware as a senatorial candidate and changed the political landscape in America. O’Donnell was the first Tea Party  candidate for a major Senate seat without any real legislative accomplishments, but because of her conservative activism was able to garner financial support enough to defeat former Delaware Governor Mike Castle in the primaries. O’Donnell has had a reputation of radical religious anti-abortion views after her failed acting career ended. She was clearly not as qualified as Mr. Castle, but that didn’t stop Wall Street from supporting her bid. She won the primary and that served notice.

This race really serves as a reminder to all moderate Republican candidates across the board in all elections now. O’Donnell lost the general election, but the damage was done.

The entire Republican political landscape is now predicated on the fear of moderate Republicans fearing a “Primary from the Right.” It has crippled the U.S. political system in that the 30-40 far-right Tea Party House of Representatives basically control the house and have hogtied Speaker John Boehner since they took over the House in January, 2011 with a GOP majority.

This has thrown a monkey wrench into the current political landscape. The Tea Party element in the House was responsible, along with Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz in the summer of 2013. Speaker John Boehner was unable to rein this element of his GOP Party.

In the fall of 2013 South Carolina GOP Senator Lindsay Graham threatened to put  a Senate Hold on all confirmations unless the Obama administration complies with his requests to the administration: “So I’m going to block every appointment in the United States Senate until the survivors  are being made available to Congress.” 

It just so happens that a move like this helps Graham in his….Everybody….2014 Senate Republican primary in South Carolina. His opponent SC State Senator Lee Bright is a Tea Party candidate who called Graham "community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood."

Graham has to maneuver his way through changing South Carolina politics, while doing his job in Washington D.C. The radical right candidates continue to  hammer away at the Washington insiders with disdain and they really don’t hold back as Lee Bright showed us with this name calling. It is only the tip of the iceberg for what will happen all the way up through the 2016 Presidential election.

The standard-bearing Republicans like McCain, Corker, Ayotte and Graham are finding themselves in a position of retreat when it comes to Tea Party abuse.  Their own survival depends on them flip flopping on issues they had championed in the past.

Florida Junior Senator Marco Rubio spent the spring and summer of 2013 championing and creating an Immigration Policy that passed the U.S. Senate.  Rubio immediately started getting flak from the Tea Party members of his caucus and outside far right wing groups that fund many Tea Party activities. On October 28, 2013 Rubio started backing away from his own policy saying he now favors “The House Bil,” which is more radical and was not even scheduled to come up for a vote at the end of 2013.

The Tea Party has crippled all legislation and functioning of the U.S. government. The Senate Tea Party members like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have led the charge to cripple the Obama administration and its signature legislative achievement The Affordable Care Act. Obamacare has its own problems with a shaky website rollout for implementation, but the GOP is hammering away at the law itself and the fine print issues that are coming up.

American citizens are pulling out their hair coming to grips with this new way of governing and poor communication by its leadership. Political agendas seem to overcrowd good governance in this decade of what I call “Governmental Incompetance.” The system is broken and the only real solution is the American people electing Democrats in all the branches.

In California, all three branches are Democratically run and the economy is thriving. California alone makes up what is equal to the eighth largest economy in the world.  The U.S., Japan, Germany, China, United Kingdom, France and Italy are larger. In California, most government agencies work flawlessly and the Democratic Governor Jerry Brown has a hands on relationship with the legislature and they are able to get legislation on the books easily.

If the GOP were as interested in good governance, I would have no problem voting for them, but right now there are very few NEW GOP candidates that have shown interest in helping our citizens. They have been about stopping the government.

In the 1980’s Ronald Reagan made his name on getting government out of our way, when in actuality he made government bigger during his tenure. Bush Sr. held that line. Bill Clinton shrunk it down by downsizing our military during peace time. George W. Bush built up the government to levels never seen before with two wars that were being outsourced on a government credit card.

The current administration has been forced by the obstructionist GOP to downsize the U.S. government to its lowest levels in 50 years. Sequestration cuts across the board are partially responsible, but Obama himself has had an attitude of stinginess when it comes to government spending.

The biggest single issue that separates the two parties would be entitlement programs like Welfare and Social Security. Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan has advocated privatizing entitlement programs and having school voucher programs throughout the land. The Democrats are staunchly against this approach. The rubber hits the road between Tea Party officials and moderate Republicans.

The big question that will have to be answered by the 2016 Presidential election is whether moderate Republicans will be swayed by the Tea Party enough in this area? Will the House turn over to the Democrats and give them all three branches? Will that possible development make the final two years of President Obama’s administration end his 2nd term with a flurry of big ticket items such as Immigration and gun reform?

There is a lot at stake in the next few years. Never has one party had so much impact so quickly on our public as the Tea Party. Every candidate in that party fears getting a primary challenge from candidates to their right. The question here is when will that NOT be an issue for Republicans? What will it take to change this dynamic in our country?

It is unlikely that we will see another African American president in the next two election cycles, so how far will this movement go? They sprung up in outrage of their “Country getting taken over.” The Tea Party and “Birther Movement” continually tried to de-legitimizing President Obama, accusing him of “Not Really Being an American” and other signs seen at Tea Party rallies.

I realize that all presidents are vilified by the opposition. This has been going on for centuries, but something seems just a little more vial in the profiling of President Obama by his opposition. Call it racist, call it disrespectful, but at least respect the office of President of the United States.  

We are definitely living in the most polarized political environment since the civil war and the more radical right people make a lot of noise riling up their base with a lot of subtle, but racist rhetoric. Until someone stands up to them, they will continue.

Wall Street is partially responsible for the Tea Party in that they funded them. Now the Tea Party House Republicans repaid them by shutiing down the government and almost defaulting by not paying the bills congress racked up in the most-recent Debt Ceiling debacle. Now we are beginning to see a crack in their armor. Wall Street is starting to pull away from the Tea Party monster and will likely back more moderate Republicans, even some Democrats. Stay tuned.

Nov. 6, 2013

Presidents lie. The degree of the lies can all be subjective based on your political leanings, but the fact is they lie.

I leave it to you to decide the severity of these "LIES."  While I am not happy that President Obama regurgitated his "LIE" hundreds of times on the campaign trail and the ACA Campaign, only history will determine if the claim he continually made about people keeping their old plans even comes close to these other ones:

“The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, in so far as possible, the killing of civilians.”  (Harry S. Truman, 1945)

“I have previously stated and I repeat now that the United States intends no military intervention in Cuba.” (John F. Kennedy, 1961)

"I am not a crook." (Richard M. Nixon, 1973)

“We did not — repeat — did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages — nor will we.” (Ronald Reagan, 1987)

“I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” (Bill Clinton, 1996)

"the Indians in general, receding farther and farther to the west, have retained their savage habits." (Andrew Jackson, 1829)

"If you like your old health insurance policy, you can keep it." (Barack Obama, many times from 2009-2013)

George W. Bush and Iraq in 2003:

"Saddam's removal is necessary to eradicate the threat from his weapons of mass destruction"

"We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have."

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."

"You remember when [Secretary of State] Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons ...They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two...And we'll find more weapons as time goes on And we'll find more weapons as time goes on"


Oct. 26, 2013
"From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that...but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats." (Nixon Strategist Kevin Phillips May 17, 1970 New York Times)

My how times haven't changed.

We are in 2014 and most southern and several northern states are still fighting the Civil War. It seems many of our citizens can not and will not accept the fact that a black man and his family lawfully reside at the White House. There has been blatant and not-so-blatant racism of elected representatives, who would rather de-legitimize President Obama's accomplishments or even existence on our national scene.

When the history is written, the three black American figuresmost likely to dominate the history books will be Martin Luther King Jr., Jackie Robinson and President Barack Obama. They are all pioneers in American history.

With that said, WHY are Republicans doing everything in their collective power to suppress African Americans and women instead of getting them on THEIR side. Mrs. Clinton will be the likely front-running candidate for the Democrats and right now the radical right dominates the GOP. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and the more moderate Chris Christie. 

Each one of those Republican politicians have said and done things during their tenure to alienate African Americans OR Women. That is a lot of voters. Women make up 51% of the electorate alone.

The southern states and states like Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia and North Dakota have enacted radical abortion laws. The state Republican legislatures, aided by their GOP governors have ramrodded anti-abortion measures and closed health care clinics. This has forced women to circumvent these laws by crossing state lines to get abortions in other states. The kicker is that abortion is LEGAL in all 50 states. It has been upholded by the U.S. Supreme Court since the early 1970's.

Someone explain to me how alienating women is a good way to win elections in 2013? 

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was even in the polls this past spring with his Democratic rival for governor Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe is a moderate Democrat and Cuccinelli has championed anti sodemy laws, anti-abortion measures. Cuccinelli is a crusader against many social issues that have spiraled him out of contention. As Attorney General, he has also gotten himself into the same mess as the current governor of the state for taking "BRIBES" from a businessman in the area. He also is leading a charge to get many Democrats purged from the voter rolls in Virginia. Cuccinelli is now 10 points behind in that race.

North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory "Promised" not to touch the abortion laws in his state during his campaign in 2012. Half way through the year his state passed some of the most draconian anti-abortion laws. North Carolina is also in a war against it's own black citizens. There were cases in college towns where the GOP-run election boards tried to dispute the residence of it's college students. These boards also shrunk the amount of polling places in those cities making it very difficult to vote for students. Students who were able to vote ON CAMPUS now had to take a bus and walk down narrow roads to get to the polling place. That, of course, is in the more Democratic precints. The college in the Republican precinct will have no trouble voting on campus.

Call it whatever you want to call it. I call it "FUCKING STUPID." These are stupid people running the show. They are not embracing anyone except white people. We don't live in a "WHITES ONLY" country anymore. Those battles have been waged and lost by these narrow-minded manipulators of far right thinking.

I know Fox News and it's programming has a BIG following. The numbers are astounding but only in a small demographic. The amount of people who blindly follow Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and even the looney tune Ann Coulter do not make up enough to even make a dent in a national election.

So what do these "Journalists" on the right do? They make money off like-minded "Conservatives." People who USED to associate themselves with the "Conservative Wing" of the GOP are looking at a whole NEW ballgame since 2009. These Michelle Bachmann's, Eric Cantors, Ted Cruz's are GREAT at raising money from THEIR constituents. Since only 21% of the American electorate are registered Republicans (and shrinking), it is THAT money that drives them to speak more radically to raise more money.

This latest government shutdown pissed off the business people on Wall Street enough to start backing more moderate Republicans next time (2014). There is a great chance that the House of Representatives will be in play for the Democrats. There is one problem...It won't be the most radical Tea Party members who are in danger of losing. A few of them will, but they are in relatively safe districts unless someone spends a lot of money to defeat them in their primaries.

We may see Democratic organizations shell out big bucks to defeat the Tea Party candidates.

The old "Southern Strategy" is not working anymore. Whatever this NEW "Southern Strategy" is failing on an epic level right now. 

The GOP is imploding and that is NOT good for America. We must have a strong two-party system.

This next year will be the MOST important year in recent political history. The entire political landscape is on the line and the midterm elections will tell us exactly what to expect.

Oct. 25, 2013

Robin to Batman: The way we get into these scrapes and get out of them, it's almost as though someone was dreaming up these situations; guiding our destiny. (From "Batman" TV series, 1966)

How is it all gonna play out?

How will Obama and Biden maneuver their way through the political rubble that is now Washington?

Will our heros be able to squelch the fierce opposition of the Joker (John Boenher)?

Will the elder Catwoman (Nancy Pelosi) survive the evil radicals on the right and take back her gavel?

Will Alfred (Harry Reid) once again resort to fisticuffs with the Penguin (Mitch McConnell, or will the Penguin just disappear in the night in November, 2014?

What about the Riddler (Paul Ryan)? Riddle me this...Will he really come out with a GOP Healthcare Plan?

The big question that MUST be answered is will the evil villains shut the government down again in January and destroy their party in the process. The villains have been on a course of self destruction since November, 2010 when Gotham City was overrun by Tea Party Radicals.

Will the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare actually have a chance to succeed? Will more Republican governors follow Jan Brewer and John Kasich and expand Medicaid bolstering their state coffers in the process?

Will the 37 congressional seats (including Paul Ryan's) actually turn back over to the Democrats, or enough to give the Dems the House of Representatives?

Will the GOP pick up any senate seats in 2014?

Finally...Will the GOP give up on defunding Obamacare, or will they just make up stuff about the LAW BEING BAD, because their website isn't functioning properly, much like Bush's "Medicare Part D" debacle of 2006? In those days, many of the members of congress now screaming about the ACA glitches were imploring the country to be patient about the glitches for "Medicare Part D."

We will all find out "Same Bat Time. Same Bat Channel."


Oct. 17, 2013

"The American people are completely fed up with Washington!"
  (President Obama 10/17/2013)

Read between the lines. President Obama includes himself and his administration in that one statement, along with the least productive Congress in U.S. history. 

We have all read the stories this past month. We know all the players, heros and villains alike (depending which side you favor).

The President and congressional leadership met several times in the final week of the shutdown. Speaker Boehner went on all the news outlets and gave several press conferences and raised his level of rhetoric to an alltime high. 

I thought Boehner did a great acting job of sounding angry: "This is not a damn game" he shouted out one morning in a press conference, but it really was a game that played out in a strange Kabuki-like atmosphere.

Boehner was ALWAYS going to take a deal. He really had no choice. His caucus full of radical Tea Party advocates insisted he drag everyone down and get concessions from Obama and his team. President Obama pledged NOT to ever negotiate again after that August, 2011 Sequestration debacle.

I contend that the leaders all cooked up the timetable in the oval office, even at the expense of $24 Billion. Obama knew that Boehner had to take this to the wire. I believe Obama, Boehner, McConnell, Reid and Pelosi played this hand together. Everyone played their roles perfectly throughout the crisis.

This was a political conspiracy in which they ALL participated and the end game may be the elimination of Tea Party dominance of the GOP. Our country NEEDS a strong two-party system.

My question will be answered in the next few weeks IF any of Obama's 3 end-of-year agenda items (Budget, Immigration & Farm Bill) are acted upon in a bi-partisan way. If Boehner brings ANY of these 3 Seanate-passed bills to the floor and allows Democrats to vote along with Republicans, without having to have a majority of Republicans behind the bills, then we will know.

If John Boehner lets Congress start working its will as a whole body, then we can look back on this episode and we will know leadership and Obama teamed up to thwart the Tea Party hold on our country.