Documentation. Witnesses. Facts. Truth. That's what they're afraid of.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

I Don't Think Our Leaders Get It

#sorrynotsorry that my first day posting in a couple of days has been all doom and gloom, but this is where we really are.

Despite my initial well-documented skepticism (it's nice to have my archive back), Barack Obama is easily the favorite U.S. President of my lifetime. Hillary Clinton would've made a phenomenal successor and I think that her team is not getting enough credit for the job they did. It looks like Hillary may exceed Obama's 2012 vote total despite the fact that there were a huge number of third-party voters and that she was running to succeed a two-term President. Jennifer Palmieri and her team deserve a lot of credit for the job they did, despite the fact that they were institutionally cheated out of the election (forgetting anything hinky happening on Election Day at the polls, or the Electoral College).

In today's WaPo, Palmieri wrote:

I know how to be a gracious loser.
I could have let it go last week when Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, challenged me to look her in the eye and say she ran a campaign that gave white supremacists a platform. I considered for a split second. I knew you were supposed to be gracious when you come for the post-election forum at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. But I decided this was a year where normal rules don’t apply. Speaking the truth was more important. 
Our candidate gave us a good model to follow. She had the grace to call Trump on election night to congratulate him and concede. But in her concession speech she also challenged all of us to defend our rights and principles under the Constitution — rights and principles that she and many of the people who voted for her feared could be under threat in a Trump presidency. The campaign has ended, and we accept that Trump won. But we are not laying down our principles or abandoning our supporters.
If we are not to take Trump’s words literally, he needs to explain what he does mean. The Trump team likes to tell Clinton supporters “hashtag ‘he’s your president.’ ” But this isn’t a one-way street. If Trump expects the Americans who did not vote for him to accept him as president, he needs to show that he accepts all of them as Americans. He needs to show that he understands their concerns and hears their fears.
I suggest he and his team try “hashtag ‘we are all Americans.’ ” We all have a role to play here. But it’s the winner who carries the burden of taking the lead in uniting the country. It’s the burden of leadership. It’s the burden of being the president of the United States.
I know Hillary had to make a concession speech. She lost, and she was following protocol. And Obama had to at least start working on a peaceful transition, because that's protocol too, and we (Team Blue) are CLEARLY the good guys. But once the Bannon and Sessions nominations happened, that had to be it. From Ari Berman:

And then, of course, Labor Department against labor.

This isn't normal. This is the complete destruction of everything that makes America prosperous, things that keep millions off the street, out of the hospital, and from death. On top of that, it disenfranchises voters to the point where democracy is a joke, and potentially sows the seeds of mass persecution. Hell, forget isn't normal. This is light years beyond that.

In the face of that, I feel like everything I've seen and heard from the Democratic leadership is bringing a pen to a nuke fight. We can't continue to ignore the fact that we've been put in a place where a majority of Americans vote for Democrats for the Presidency, the Senate, and the House (often by huge margins) and are ignored. It can't be about having a conservative Supreme Court only because the Senate Republicans were willing to flout the crap out of "advise and consent."

This cannot be about "grace," or "hashtags," or "the burden of being the President of the United States." Donald Trump doesn't give a shit molecule about your "concerns" or "fears." It can't be about a "Sincere and Inspiring" farewell speech. It can't be about crossing our fingers and hoping Mitch McConnell doesn't end the filibuster or begging three Republicans to stand on the side of good on some issues when there is not a single issue or nominee on which the other side is pushing abject evil.

I stumbled upon a post from Edge of the American West from Election Night 2008 where the poster wrote, "The arc of the moral universe feels unbearably long right now, even as a I celebrate President-elect Obama." That's because the other side is doing every goddamn thing they can to bend it towards injustice, and that arc is on the verge of breaking.

We need to hear more from how the top of our party plans to handle this and what we should be doing, because we're fighting the top of theirs. This is a state of emergency. No more words. Plans. Actions. Barack, Hillary, Joe, Tim, Nancy, Chuck... do something.

I'm going a little further than how I ended my last post... If the seat of your pants isn't brown, you're not paying attention. Because that's the color of the shirts the other side might wearing if we don't act in proportion to the gravity of the situation.