The political cesspool of the Democratic Party

Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem (Getty Images)

Kissinger and Clinton

Madeline Albright apologized for saying women who don’t support Clinton deserve a special place in hell. Who gives a rat’s ass! There’s nothing she could ever say that would excuse her for what she said about the children of Iraq.

Bernie Sanders nailed Clinton last night for her political friendship with Kissinger. But when you support the Democratic Party, that’s the dilemma since it includes a few smooth-talkers like Sanders but more war-makers like Albright, Obama, & the Clintons. Incidentally, Steinem’s primary political mission remains stumping for the Democratic Party every election. She apparently remains untroubled by the unsavory associations. Conclusions can be drawn from that.

To photo is Steinem & Albright; bottom photo is Kissinger  & Clinton (who Steinem is stumping for)

(Photographer unidentified)

The historic imperative of our era: rebuild the international antiwar movement

I’ve been a participant in the antiwar movement since 1966–now fifty years. I’m not alone; the US antiwar movement today is sustained by the activism of my generation who cannot reconcile to US militarism & its barbaric wars. That’s likely true around the world because in the Vietnam War era, antiwar activity was massive & international.

For decades, on a moment’s notice, thousands could be mobilized to protest military escalations. That prevailed throughout the 1980s & the US proxy wars in Central America but declined dramatically after the Gulf War began in 1990. To my mind that decline has never been sufficiently evaluated politically to understand why. But as an activist who watched the process, I think it has to do, at least in part, with the overwhelming savagery employed by the US military against Iraq. It was terrifying & it may have daunted the fighting spirit of many activists.

Now we are again faced with terrifying & daunting savagery as NATO deploys warships against unarmed refugees in dinghies; with bombers from several nations over Iraq & Syria; with periodic Israeli carpet bombing sieges over Gaza. The 14-year war in Afghanistan has inured us to wars as a permanent fixture of life on planet Earth.

But the only reason that savagery escalates is because there has been no countervailing & international political opposition like existed against the Vietnam War. It is the most imperative political mission of our era to rebuild that movement which was comprised of students, women, Blacks, Latinos, church groups, trade union members, LGBT activists, liberals, communists, socialists, young, old. We cannot stand daunted & let the war-makers tear this planet asunder.

My political generation was taught by our elders that war is a clarion call, a priority to which every other political commitment is subordinate. We learned to integrate our activities into the antiwar movement: as example, contingents of women marched to express the special concerns of women about war; contingents of Black & Latino activists marched because they understood the racism of war.

It is time to rebuild that movement–if necessary, one placard at a time. War is not an abstraction nor a tertiary issue to those sustaining the bombing. Some claim there is no antiwar movement because cynicism allows them to sit on their duffs deploring the state of the human race. If there is no antiwar movement in your area, take initiatives to make it happen. Find allies because they do exist. Everywhere there have always been men & women of good will who deplore war & are willing to take a stand against it.

Rep. John Lewis endorses Clinton by lying through his ass

John Lewis (D-Ga) with Congressional Black Caucus

It’s not in the official history books of the US Civil Rights Movement nor certainly is it reported in media, but the Democratic Party (DP) pulled the same maneuver with that movement as it did with the women’s movement: it’s operatives worked tirelessly, often ruthlessly, to railroad independent political action into the death grip of the DP & turn it into an electoral apparatus rather than an activist movement. The DP succeeded–& the civil rights movement ended long before it had achieved solid ground in ending racist oppression.

Uncompromising Black activists allied in the Black Power movement were hounded by FBI & police. Many ended up in jail on frame-up charges; some were outright murdered; some fled to other countries.

One of those who moved seamlessly from leadership of the Civil Rights Movement to the DP was John Lewis, a Democratic US Representative from Georgia since 1986. Lewis became chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1963; was a Freedom Rider; spoke at the 1963 March on Washington where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech; led the demonstration known as “Bloody Sunday.”

Lewis has a chest full of medals from his service to the DP, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama He belongs to the Congressional Black Caucus, & sits on important Congressional caucuses–like the one on road safety & another on COPD, the lung disease. Talk about taming a tiger!

His service to the republic is primarily keeping Black voters within the political stranglehold of the DP: making sure they register to vote but making damn sure they don’t protest. Though he played a leading role in the Civil Rights Movement, his response to Black Lives Matter has been primarily to chide them to ‘understand the way of peace & nonviolence’.

There’s no record of opposition by Lewis when the Clinton presidency continued the so-called “war on drugs,” which was always a war on the Black community, especially the youth–to prevent any re-emergence of civil rights activity. Martial law was employed in the Black community & thousands of young Black teens were executed or ended up with life sentences for smoking marijuana. But not a peep out of our man Lewis. Was he too busy monitoring road safety & making the lecture circuit on COPD?

Now Lewis has entered the presidential campaign to endorse Clinton. He’s sure to be rewarded lavishly for that & might even end up on the board of the Clinton Foundation. But to reap that munificence, he had to lie through his teeth–which is probably old hat for him now. He actually stood before media & said he’d never seen Bernie Sanders in the Civil Rights Movement but he had seen both Clintons. Talk about degrading yourself for a little largesse! But of course, once you sell your soul, it isn’t worth much any more.

Far be it from principled political people to endorse Sanders as president because he marched for civil rights in the 1960s. But Lewis is making an ass of himself by claiming that he, as a central figure in the movement, remembers who he did & did not see in crowds of thousands of civil rights protesters. The Clintons were unknown entities–especially in progressive circles & the social movements. They were elitists who functioned politically as elitists & shunned political protest.

In the 1960s, Hillary was still in her Barry Goldwater period. Goldwater was a US senator who called Martin Luther King, Jr. a “demagogue,” opposed the Freedom Rides & sit-ins, & voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, calling it a dire threat to Blacks that would create a police state. Goldwater was called “a hopeless captive of the lunatic calculating right-wing extremists” by baseball legend & civil rights activist Jackie Robinson. MLK, Jr. said if Goldwater was elected, the nation would erupt into “violence & riots, the like of which we have never seen before.” So at what point does Lewis claim he saw her marching for civil rights? Did he recognize her after she became first lady?

Photo is John Lewis with members of the Congressional Black Caucus at press conference endorsing Clinton.

{PS: Lewis never saw me either, but I was there.}

Trudeau sends Canadian warship for NATO fleet to Aegean to stop refugees

Caveat of the day: never trust a politician, especially one who runs a country belonging to NATO. That’s like trusting horse manure not to smell.

Justin Trudeau, who takes smarmy to new depths, made a big photo op spectacle of greeting Syrian refugees at the airport. Now he’s deployed a Canadian warship in the NATO fleet headed to the Aegean Sea to stand off plastic dinghies carrying refugees, including children, elderly, infirm, & disabled.

The new Trudeau just like the old Harper–only sleazier.