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Democratic Diva

Oh hell no, John McCain

17 Aug 2016 05:12 pm
Posted by: Donna

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, the Democrat challenging fossilized John McCain for the Senate seat he has held way too long issued a press release last Thursday decrying the following:

So Kelli Ward, who is challenging McCain for the GOP primary, was campaigning in Winslow and she and some supporters did a jovial little homage to the Eagle’s song featuring the famous corner in the tiny town. Silly, but not quite Rodney Glassman “Sweet Home Arizona” level cringe-inducing.

As you can see, John McCain’s PAC described it thusly:

#StreetCornerKelli sings her heart out

Winslow, AZ has a new street act that will pump you up past the 2:30 slump! Introducing #StreetCornerKelli!

I’m so sure the political operatives who came up with the “Street Corner” label – and made it into a hashtag – for a woman had no idea of its connotations! And the second statement? Oh, sure, that must be about singing. I see you, McCain, and whichever dudebro on your staff thought this was clever.

I understand there may be those who feel that women are misinterpreting and overreacting to this. That we’re being overly, wait for it, PC about it. Well, let me offer my rebuttal as a 10 year military veteran, followed by another decade in a high tech male-dominated field, experience that has bestowed upon me a PhD from the University of Dealing With Harassing Dirtbags and Their Many Enablers: bullpucky.

I can’t speak for Ward but I can tell you that Ann Kirkpatrick has to respond to this because McCain’s campaign is giving her a little taste what she’s in for when he is her (very likely) general election opponent. Basically women have two choices in this situation:

1. Say nothing and the abuse escalates. Be seen as weak and unwilling to defend yourself, thus deserving of abuse.

2. Defend yourself and be seen as an oversensitive hysterical bitch who can’t take a joke.

Neither are great options (you can’t win, ladies!) but your best bet is (if possible and safe for you) to go with the second option in most cases, and especially if you’re running for office. Taking the “high road” on attacks via creepy sexual innuendo will only encourage them to see how far they can push it. Don’t count on the media or voters to be outraged on your behalf. You have to call it out and make them own it.

And if you want to know just how far McCain can go with misogyny, recall:

John McCain called his wife Cindy a “cunt” in front of at least five witnesses on the campaign trail in 1992, according to Cliff Schecter’s new book:
Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain’s intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain’s hair and said, “You’re getting a little thin up there.” McCain’s face reddened, and he responded, “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt.” McCain’s excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.

You better believe he surrounds himself with guys who think just like he does.

Man, the chutzpah on Catherine Miranda!

16 Aug 2016 01:45 am
Posted by: Donna

Here is another example of the kind of deceptive mailers going out for Catherine Miranda in LD27 in South Phoenix. This time it’s from Miranda’s own campaign.

miranda flyer

Michelle Obama? I doubt the First Lady would approve the use of her image and quote from her strirring appeal to equality and progress in Philly at the DNC in the campaign materials of an anti-choice, anti-LGBT “Democrat” who endorsed both Doug Ducey and Michele Reagan in 2014. (I’m told there was a mailer with her and Hillary Clinton too, because of course there was.)

You could maybe make an argument that some of the Dem primary voters in Miranda’s district agree with her culture war issue views (though Dems who don’t hold them have gotten elected easily there). But it’s difficult to argue that those voters would feel warm toward Catherine Miranda had she put an image of Governor Ducey on her flyer, along with a quote from him about the need for a voter suppression measure aimed directly at many of her constituents.

“We join 18 other states in this common-sense approach to maintaining the integrity of our elections.”

If Miranda wanted to aim high, as in the words of Michelle Obama that she appropriated for her primary campaign message in that mailer, then she would recant her support for the man who accused people, including many in her district, of violating the integrity of elections. Among other gross things Doug Ducey has done, since being elected with her help.

The kind of dark money that operates in plain sight

11 Aug 2016 01:33 am
Posted by: Donna

rock products flyer

Several LD 27 (South Phoenix) Democrats who got the above flyer are understandably fuming about it. Incumbent Senator Catherine Miranda is about as Democratic-in-name-only as a DINO can get. She’s anti-choice and has a penchant for doing things like endorsing Doug Ducey and Michele Reagan. Ick. Fortunately, she’s got a strong challenger for the upcoming primary in Maritza Miranda Saenz.

Senator Miranda’s seatmates are Reps Rebecca Rios and Reginald Bolding, both of whom are popular Democrats with solid records on the issues we care about. Both have issued statements on Facebook that they are not endorsing in the Senate primary (probably a prudent move on their parts) and did not authorize the statement made in the flyer. (more…)

The problem is Republicans, not our political system

09 Aug 2016 01:44 am
Posted by: Donna


The above tweet is about as good an explanation as it gets for why I don’t vote for any Republicans. And Trump surrogates are not the only people who feel this way (that pregnant women infected by the Zika virus should be denied abortions). So does Marco Rubio, along with the vast majority of his GOP colleagues in Congress.

But there are some deluded souls, generally found in environs like DC or Brooklyn or Manhattan, who feel that if more us would simply cross the aisle to vote for politicians who don’t represent our interests well and may even hold views we find repugnant (such as wanting to force Zika infected women to bear babies), the system would improve!

One such person is David Wasserman, U.S. House editor for the Cook Political Report, who cited lack of crossover voting (among other factors including the usual laundry list of “hyperpartisan polarization” ills such as primaries and geographic sorting), in a recent piece for FiveThirtyEight.com

Straight-ticket voting — Voters are splitting their tickets — voting for a Republican for one office and a Democrat for another — at lower rates than we’ve seen in decades. They’re just not making distinctions between parties’ presidential and congressional candidates like they used to. The decline of local news readership probably plays a role — after all, these outlets have traditionally provided an avenue for candidates to build a personal brand independent of their party’s. (more…)

The working class Joe Lunchpails of Zip code 85255 gave the most money to Trump

03 Aug 2016 06:36 pm
Posted by: Donna

Per Open Secrets comes this interesting tidbit about contributions to Donald Trump:

85255 OS
It’s a hardscrabble existence for those long-suffering working class whites in 85255, which is in the Maryvale section of Phoe…oh wait WHOOPS, no! It’s in this section of Scottsdale:

85255It’s a hard knock life for us…

But, you know, as you were with that narrative.

Scott Adams demonstrates why we need programs like Emerge

02 Aug 2016 12:07 pm
Posted by: Donna

So cartoonist and world renowned manbaby Scott Adams tweeted this:

Which led to me tweeting this:

Possibly my most retweeted thing ever.

And then Dr. Matthew Taylor tweeted this in response:

To which Scott Adams tweeted this:

I’m fairly certain the moon landing wasn’t achieved on the strength of people who believed themselves capable of mastering any topic in an hour.

Emerge is a program to train and mentor Democratic women so they are prepared and confident to run for office. I went through the program in 2007 and remember the first thing I learned there was of the difficulty of recruiting women to run for office. The well-worn adage is that men see a President staring at them in the mirror and women see someone who isn’t even good enough to run for the state legislature. This needs to change.

And we need to make Scott Adams a very, very sad man on November 8th so let’s do this, ladies!

That time Jerry Emmett set me straight

27 Jul 2016 03:07 pm
Posted by: Donna

jerry emmett
Photo: Miriam Wasser, Phoenix New Times

Easily one of the coolest moments of Tuesday night was when it was the Arizona delegation’s turn to announce its vote totals. Per The Guardian:

Clinton was formally nominated as the Democratic candidate after a roll call of the states in the Philadelphia arena. And in a tender moment, the centenarian joined her state’s 85-member delegation, which split 51 for Clinton and 34 for her Democratic rival, the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.

“I’m Ruben Gallego from Arizona, the beautiful state, the natural state. We’re proud to say that we’re the home state of Cesar Chavez, home state of many native tribes, home state of electing some of the first women leaders in this country,” the congressman said. “And I am proud to be joined here by Jerry Emmett, age 102. Madame Secretary, Arizona casts 34 votes for Senator Sanders.”

Gallego handed the microphone to Emmett, who leant forward with a wide grin.

“And 51 votes for the next president of the United States of America, Hillary Rodham Clinton,” she said, as the crowd erupted in cheers.

Emmett, the star of the Arizona delegation and a lifelong Democrat, was six years old when women earned the right to vote in the US and remembers the moment when her mother cast the first vote of her life.

If you are active in Arizona Democratic politics at the state level, you have undoubtedly encountered Geraldine “Jerry” Emmett at a state committee meeting or a Heritage Dinner, usually accompanied by one or several from her coterie of fiercely loyal friends. She’s a delight to be around. She may not remember you but she has no problem regaling anyone in her presence with tales of her eighty some years of Democratic activism. I learned that she and I share a love for Joan Crawford movies at the Fourth of July Parade in Prescott (where Jerry lives) in 2010, while I was there for a campaign I was working on. She was a slip of a 96 year old back then, but she brushed off my suggestion that she be the honorary grand marshal of the parade the next year by grabbing my forearm and exclaiming, “oh, honey, I don’t buy green bananas!”

In February of that year, I accompanied a statewide candidate I was working with to a Democratic women’s luncheon in Prescott. Despite it being on a weekday afternoon, the room was packed with ladies of a certain age, the kind of stalwart women who mostly, and enthusiastically, supported Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary. Jerry was one of them, and was the keynote speaker. I recall (I’m going off memory since I can’t find my notes) the usual round of several candidates giving pitches and then it was Jerry’s turn to speak.

What followed, from this woman who had supported Hillary Clinton with all her heart before, was a rousing defense of President Obama. It left an indelible impression on me, not just because of who Jerry was, but also because of who I was at the time. I had been a big Obama supporter in 2008, travelling to other states to canvass for him (as I have done for Hillary this year). But by early 2010, though I still loved him personally, I felt deeply betrayed and demoralized by President Obama. Like many other lefties, I thought he had sold us out on the progressive hopes and values that (we believed*) we had propelled him to office with. We felt he wasn’t acting enough like FDR. You heard that a lot back then in Liberal Land.

Well, Jerry Emmett was having none of that. She began by describing what it was like in the American West in the 1930s. They were not only dealing with the Great Depression, but also with the Dust Bowl conditions brought on by mismanagement of farmlands and a horrendous drought. There was dust everywhere, Jerry said. On every surface. It got in your mouth all the time. People were literally starving. That was the situation into which Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected.

Jerry then went on to explain the crucial differences between FDR and Barack Obama, that for one thing Roosevelt (who was white, obvs) was from an established New York patrician family, about as close as you could get to aristocracy in America at the time. That was an advantage in his favor that Obama lacked. FDR also had enormous majorities in Congress. Even so, he had a very difficult time passing his initiatives, and when they did pass they were often compromised and left entire groups of people out (ie Social Security). Jerry admonished us disappointed liberals to consider what President Obama was up against (often opposition from members of his own party in addition to GOP intransigence) and to look to the good he was doing (such as the Affordable Care Act) and to the bigger picture.

I truly believe Jerry’s talk sparked a change in me. I wish I could say I never went on to be angry at President Obama (not always unjustified, as with The Year of Our Deficit Wankery and The Simpson Bowles Granny Starving Attempt of 2011) but I gradually stopped blaming him for things he truly doesn’t control and for falling short of arbitrary standards that are impossible for him to meet. I’ve gradually grown out of seeing politics and voting “as an act of performative virtue” and into seeing it as the way you use the power of democracy and elected office to do the most good for the most people.

And I really believe that talk by Jerry Emmett six years ago is what set me on the path leading me to picking Hillary Clinton as my candidate in 2016, on the basis that a diverse coalition, armed with steely pragmatism, is the key to our progress as a nation and in implementing progressive goals.

May Jerry be able to buy green bananas if she wants for as long as possible.

*We didn’t. See: coalition, diverse