Showing posts with label 2024 election. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2024 election. Show all posts

May 25, 2023

2024 election will be the new Battle of Fort Sumpter

 By Hal Brown

Battle of Fort Sumpter, Currier and Ives, Public Domain

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2024 the equivalent of the Battle of Fort Sumpter which marked the beginning of the Civil War will begin.  The bombardment of the fort, which is near Charleston, was by the South  Carolina militia. It ended with the surrender by the United State Army. 

Not that anyone reading this blog needs a reminder, but briefly:

The Civil War remains the bloodiest war in American history with over 620,000 deaths. The war began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate soldiers attacked Union bases at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. It was fought for four years, three weeks and six days until Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865. General Joseph E. Johnston subsequently surrendered on April 26, 1865, while Kirby Smith surrendered on June 2, 1865. Cherokee General Stand Watie was the last Confederate general to surrender on June 23, 1865. (Reference)

When the southern states seceded the country looked like this:

Slave and free states and territories at start of Civil War

There are several slightly different maps showing how the country looks today. Here is one of them. You get the idea.

The issue of the right of people to own people who were kidnapped from Africa (those abolitionists called accurately "slaves") and force them to work for them is what ultimately led to the Civil War.  It could be said to have started with the election of Abraham Lincoln.

The election of 1860 was one of the most pivotal presidential elections in American history. It pitted Republican nominee Abraham Lincoln against Democratic Party nominee Senator Stephen Douglas, Southern Democratic Party nominee John Breckinridge and Constitutional Union Party nominee John Bell. The main issue of the election was slavery and states’ rights. Lincoln emerged victorious and became the 16th President of the United States during a national crisis that would tear states and families apart and test Lincoln’s leadership and resolve: The Civil War.(Reference)

Today children learn to revere Lincoln as the president who freed the slaves... at least this is what they learn in school which teach history accurately.

The coming civil war could be said to have started with the defeat of Donald Trump in his attempt to win a second term and the election of Joe Biden. The beliefs in the superiority of white people which come under the general heading of MAGA have been present since the actual Civil War ended but they increased exponentially in the last century as minority groups became more and more empowered and their votes began to influence elections. 

The election of our first Black president brought American bigotry to a simmering boil but by and large it didn't blow the lid of the kettle off. These people breathed a sigh of relief and their kettle of rage and resentment was removed from the stove when Donald Trump was elected.

Trump coined the term MAGA. It was a big tent which included everyone from self-proclaimed NAZI's to Christian nationalists. His regime gave such people a sense of power they hadn't felt, well, since the Civil War.

Giving credit, or blame, where it is due I have to hand it to Ron DeSantis for turning the concept of being woke from something good and beneficial into something evil. Read about his latest bigoted balderdash here: DeSantis says he’ll turn 'woke military' away from 'gender ideology'.

The upcoming election will pit people who are woke, i.e., those with empathy and who believe in accepting everyone, against anti-woke warriors and MAGA forces. It will be a war fought  against those who believe that everyone should benefit equally from living in America and believe in the crucial sentence from The Declaration of Independence no matter whether they believe in God or not:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I'd like to say that it is unlikely that anybody will be killed on Election Day or as a result of a win by Biden. Only one person was killed and one mortally wounded in the Battle of Fort Sumpter. Tragically I can't say that the re-election of President Biden won't be met with violence and death. Just the other day a man threatening the president tried to crash a U-Haul truck though the White House barrier gates.

The quote, rephrased in various ways* "those who forget history are condemned to repeat it" is attributed to the American philosopher George Santayana. I could turn this quote around and note that there are those who do remember history, in the case of the United States the history of the Civil War, want to learn from what they consider the mistakes of the Confederacy and try not to repeat them in the civil war they intend to engage in if Joe Biden wins the presidency.


  • * This famous statement has produced several variants:
    • Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
    • Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes.
    • Those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it.
    • Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them.
    • Those who do not know history's mistakes are doomed to repeat them.


Violence is the new Republican grift, by Chauncey DeVega

Republicans know more death enhances their power


In all, violence in its many forms (which includes random violence, terrorism, hate crimes, intimidation, and vigilantism) is central to the Republican fascists and larger white right and "conservative" movement's project to end America's multiracial pluralistic democracy by gutting the rule of law and the country's democratic and other societal institutions.

Trump's greatest appeal is how he gives his followers and others in the MAGA movement's orbit permission to be their worst true horrible selves. Violence bonds members of a social group together; this is especially true of political personality cults such as the Trump MAGA movement. Healthy democracies discourage and outlaw political violence because it is antithetical to normal politics with its rules-based deliberation and collective decision-making and other ways of attempting to be legitimate sources of authority among the governed.

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Blogs by Hal Brown, MSW, Retired psychotherapist. More about me.

April 30, 2023

My title is too clever by half, but Republicans really row Roe up the river

 By Hal Brown

Original uploader was Brett Weinstein (Nrbelex)
 at en.wikipedia
 - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons

I grew up in a suburb of New York City where everyone knew what up the river meant. Up the river referred literally to Sing Sing Prison which was about 30 miles up the Hudson River from New York City. 

Going up the river had nothing to do with navigating against the current. Inmates obviously wouldn't arrive on a boat. If they came from New York City they might arrive in one of these:

The virtual museum of the American Police Car

When I was a kid Ossining was rural. We used to go on picnics at nearby Pound Ridge Park and there probably were campgrounds in the area (they currently have them). Quite obviously, anyone sent up the river was decidedly not a happy camper. 

Now we have the ass-backwards position that the GOP has adopted as a major part of their positioning as they campaign for the 2024 elections to represent the country 2024.

They are rowing up the river against the current, meaning the majority opinion about favoring abortion with various restrictions. More than any other of the GOP positions their anti-abortion stance is the one that most Americans are against.

If you've every rowed a rowboat or are into skulling you know that you literally sit backwards as you row. Thus they are leading with their asses.

Public domain from Wiki
The boat they are rowing is certain to capsize. Even the Coast Guard won't be able to save them:

Put another way, they have hitched their campaign cart to asses that are, well, too stubborn to go anywhere.
Adapted by author

Remember how the Democrats defined the tendency to shoot themselves in the foot when it came to campaigning? For example, Hillary and her basket of deplorables comment might have cost her the election.

"Basket of deplorables" is a phrase from a 2016 presidential election campaign speech delivered by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on September 9, 2016, at a campaign fundraising event. She used the phrase to describe "half" of the supporters of her opponent, Republican nominee Donald Trump, saying, "They're racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic". The next day, she expressed regret for "saying half", while insisting that Trump had deplorably amplified "hateful views and voices". Wiki.
It isn't only the Republican candidates and their anti-abortion extremism that is rowing them up the river against the majority of the beliefs of the population. The entire so-called anti-woke agenda earns a hokum ho-hum from the majority, some of whom don't even know what woke or elements of woke like Critical Race Theory are.

Add to that the fact that the majority don't see LGBTQ+ people as carriers of a disease deadly as diphtheria and drag as dangerous as dengue fever. Quite the opposite, so many people have friends, family, and acquaintances who are members of the LGBTQ+ community that they know from personal experience that they are just as human as everyone else.

The pundits I follow lean towards saying that Trump would be an easier candidate for Biden to defeat and express concern than DeSantis would be more difficult. In fact because both of them, and also all of the other candidates described as likely GOP candidates, are embracing and running on, positions and policies not supported by the majority.

This is why I say they should dig their dumbass ditch deeper and deeper because the more they do so no ladder will be long enough for them to climb out of.

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April 26, 2023

If for some reason Joe Biden isn't the 2024 candidate who would be the Democrat's Thomas Kirkman?


Hal Brown's Blog

This is a blog with my opinions on politics, psychology, and other subjects. My posts are sometimes serious and sometimes snarky. I'm a retired MSW clinical social worker/psychotherapist and mental health center director who was also a cranberry farmer. Scroll archives on bottom of page to see previous blog stories. There are new ones added almost every day, although if I don't have anything original to say I try not to say anything at all.

There is every indication that Joe Biden is what is referred to as a superager or super-ager:

A superager, also known as a super-ager, is a person who is at least eighty years of age and retains the memory skills and capacity of someone at least thirty years younger. This population falls well outside the "normal"  memory skill range for people their age. (Reference)

Full-discosure: I will be 80 next year. Do I have the cognitive capacity to be president? You can be the judge of that.

He is likely to live and remain capable of governing at a high level through a second term. Consider Harry Belafonte now being memorialized because he died at 96. In 2020, which would have made him 93 years old, "he spoke with pride about the racial protests that spread across the US in the summer of 2020 after the death of George Floyd, writing that “we have never had so many White allies, wailing to stand together for freedom, for honor, for a justice that free us all in the end…” Reference.

How could I not click to read this on The Washington Post website (subscription):

I am rewatching "Designated Survivor" (read review) and this makes me wonder who would be a Thomas Kirkman? He becomes president when terrorists kill everyone attending the State of the Union addresss. He proves to be an excellent president. Although an independent in the TV show his views are most closely aligned with the Democrats. He's among the highest ranked TV presidents almost tied for number one with Josiah Bartlet from "The West Wing" on Ranker. Kirkman was a Cabinet member as HUD secretary, Pete Buttigieg is transportation secretary. Just a thought....

Below, in order of least likely to most likely:

10. Phil Murphy/J.B. Pritzker: governors of Illinois and New Jersey

9. Raphael G. Warnock: Georgia senator

8. Bernie Sanders: Vermont senator 

7. Amy Klobuchar: Minnesota senator

6. Josh Shapiro: Pennsylvania governor

5. Gavin Newsom: California governor

4. Gretchen Whitmer: Michigan governor (as I write this she's on Morning Joe (image here)

3. Jared Polis: The Colorado governor

1. Pete Buttigieg: transportation secretary

On the worth mentioning list (here) I think New Jersey senator Cory Booker, now on Morning Joe (image) belongs near the top list which even though the title says top 10 the list has 11 possibilities. 

As I think of what the winning ticket would be sans Joe Biden I lean towards Harris/Buttigieg. The more I see Kamala Harris, most recently at abortion rights rallies like this...

... the more I think she has the political chops to win the presidency.

She has been in the limelight ever since the Supreme Court ruled on abortion in the Dobbs case and even more so since the abortion pill brouhaha. This has worked to significantly up her national exposure and profile, far more than her handling the typical tasks assigned to a vice president like representing the United States at overseas meetings or going to sites of disasters or shaking hands foreign dignitaries like she did this morning prior to the president of South Korea meeting with President Biden:

It has also given her experience speaking forcefully to a large television audience. It makes sense to compare her to Hillary Clinton in this respect. There are many factors pundits have elaborated on to explain her loss  but it's impossible to determine whether factoring in all of them she would had won if she'd been a man. How many people didn't vote for her because of misogyny or because they didn't like how she came across? These aren't the kinds of questions people tend to answer honestly when a pollster asks them. Some, like this author, and like this author, say she did. Others, like this author, say this had nothing to do with her loss.

We can thank the anti-abortion forces for giving Harris a far bigger platform than just being a representative of the United States when the president doesn't do this.

It helps that support for abortion with one or another limitation is at a record high. Not only among Democrats, but  a third of Republicans also qualify themselves as mostly supporting abortion rights

Of course there isn't a male chauvinist bigot in the country who will vote for her... thankfully there aren't enough of them to swing a national election.

Were Buttigieg not a happily married gay father he might have something of an edge over Harris except that as heir apparent it would be awkward and poor optics to have her run for the position she already has. Joe Biden selected her to run with him for various reasons but one of them was that he thought she would be qualified to be president if something untoward happened to him.

As for Buttigieg, "No mayor has ever ascended directly to the American presidency, and only three presidents – Andrew Johnson, Grover Cleveland, and Calvin Coolidge – served as mayors before eventually taking the White House." (Reference)

John Lindsay is probably the best known mayor to run a credible campaign for president and he was the mayor of New York City. Buttigieg was the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Like Harris, Buttigieg got  unexpected national publicity. This happened after the East Palestine train wreck. 

Click above to read article 

Of course there's the matter of him being gay.

If it was up to residents of Portland, Oregon, where I live in the suburbs, the majority of people wouldn't give a tinker's damn about his sexual orientation. After all, these are two of the stories on local TV today:

Article one and two

Despite the ginned up focus on being anti-anything remotely LGBTQ+ which Ron DeSantis has made a major plank in his ludicrous anti-woke bridge to nowhere - I mean taking on Disney...

... the majority of straight Americans are totally accepting of members of the LGBTQ+ community and no doubt many of them have family members, friends, or acquaintances who fit into one of the categories in this list of letters.

For winning elections anywhere but in the most red of red places being a woke warrior is worthless. 

The same goes for someone running as a woman of color.


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Does the GOP choice boil down to being between a psychopathic fascist or a sane one?

 By Hal Brown, MSW, Caricatures by DonkeyHotey Click above to enlarge.  The DoneyHotey caricatures show DeSantis looking sane  and Trump loo...