Election Reflection

Posted on November 7, 2014 by

Here are my three “takeaways” from the midterm election fiasco:

1) Warren vs. Clinton

There’s a powerful impulse to conclude that compromise and concession with Republicans get us nothing so why not go big in ’16 with Elizabeth Warren.

We have to be careful, however, that this isn’t some kind of “reaction formation.” In other words, a defense against the pain of what just happened.

We don’t want to be destructive. Hillary Clinton would probably get elected if nominated. The “elites” would flip out over a Warren candidacy. And we don’t want another McGovern (I’m too old for that shit).

Also, there’s reason to believe that even if she were to govern up the middle, Hillary would be more adroit and proactive than the current president when the Republicans try anything and everything to destroy her.

So think about it this way:

Warren is the only alternative to Clinton.  No male candidate could beat Hillary in the Democratic primaries. And, anyway, Bernie Sanders doesn’t have the temperament to operate under that kind of scrutiny (take my word for it. I am, after all, an honorary Vermonter, having left that state only 35 years ago).

If the progressive wing of the democratic party organizes behind Warren we might, in fact, have the capacity to lift her to the top of the ticket. It’s very tempting.

2) Let Obama be Obama

There’s very little value at this point in obsessing over Obama’s performance (is that the right word?) as president. He played it like he played it.

I will always respect and admire him. For the next two years, he’s going to govern how he wants to, within his capabilities and – like everyone else – limited by what he’s able to tolerate.

3) I Love L.A. (and CA) 

We’re now the bluest of the blue. 

L.A.’s new majority on the uber-powerful Board of Supervisors is at least as progressive as the iconic but still unproven media darling mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio. 

And Jerry Brown (beginning his fourth term forty years after his first) showed us, among other things, that you can raise taxes on the rich and win re-election in a landslide.

Comments (6)


  1. Joseph Gainza says:

    You will always be a Vermonter.

  2. Doris Sachetti says:

    I did not vote for Hillary Clinton the first time for many reasons, as the many of others who didn’t vote for her.

    My reason for wanting Elizabeth Warren to run has nothing to do with the mid-terms or Hillary Clinton, I believe she is just a better candidate and represents the middle class without a doubt. Hillary on the other hand seems lack in the composure department, and I do not trust her as she has lied and been caught more than once. Her coming on deck in Colorado after Elizabeth had already been there was indicative of Hillary knowing that Elizabeth is a huge threat to her, and her drama speech to Elizabeth was also telling again how she can switch gears to benefit her on a moment’s notice. She and Bill made sure they jumped the gun and came out 2 years ahead of the 2016 elections to get ad publicity out and where in the he- – did they come up with these ridiculous polls. No one I know nor any of my 5,000 friends on Facebook had ever been polled. (Secret?) I hate the deviousness of both Clintons and would never trust Hillary in such a important position. Her position as Sec of State was less than inspiring and she would never have gotten that position if President Obama wasn’t gracious enough to give it to her and more than likely she would be another lobbiest. She could never match President Obama’s achievements and popularity among everyone one not just one level of people, she has no idea how the middle class lives. I do not know who you are nor have I ever read any of your comments, but I am a firm follower of what is happening in this country and it is sickeningly overrun with people with wealth controlling the decisions that are being made. The Supreme Court is shameful and an embarrassment to our country. No one will convince me and all of Elizabeth Warren’s grassroots followers that she isnt the right person to run for this position, she proves what her capabilities are every single day. Spreading ill words about her will only encourage her base to work to get her to agree to run more. Absolutely No Hillary this time or any other time. The Clintons have had their share of time in the White House and she is not owed this position, no matter what Bill Clinton and his gift of persuasion words try to make people think. I would never trust Hillary nor Bill and they are out for a Clinton trophy and that’s it. Thank You very much for reading my comments.

  3. Ethel says:

    The previous writer makes some very good points about Elizabeth Warren. I, too, feel she represents much that I believe in, and feel she would make a very good president. But I want a Democrat who can win in 2016 and I do not think she can. I agree completely with Lou and will support Hilary. I supported her 2008 and was disappointed when Obama was selected to be the Dem’s candidate. I am still disappointed with the direction Obama has taken, but respect what he has attempted to do under very difficult circumstances.

  4. barton parks says:

    Good thinking which surely will need adapting as realities emerge.

    If Jerry Brown can win landslides when raising taxes on the rich, so can other candidates. Beyond inequality we need to talk about concentrated power at the top. What the super wealthy want beyond their riches is even more power. They want America for themselves, to run the show. They are clearly well on their way. Between the elections of 2012 and 2014 they went from splurging their wealth to little effect, to using it to great effect: they won the senatorial races in all five states where they focused their money.

    If as 2016 gets underway and the powerful right wing grows even more effective, that will scare the bejesus out hopefully many of us. If given still more power the right wing will waste no time in making America the horror of the 21st century. Under these circumstances I would want Hillary as the democratic candidate in 2016, simply because she is a safer bet to win.

    If by 2016 the progressive left gets our act together and/or we find ways to minimize the power of the extreme right–I don’t know what these ways are–then I want Elizabeth, by all means.

    My highest priority is no right wing president. My second is to find ways to energize/organize our progressive base. Perhaps I should reverse these. Right now I can’t.

    If ever a struggle for democracy–or to keep what of it we have, and grow it–was clear, it is now. History teaches us that “old” empires ossify, meaning power moves toward the top. We are in that right now and if we repeat history human progress will be lost again. Given the state of the planet this is one more major historical trend we have to learn how to change.

    Anyone want a challenge?


  5. Donald McLeod Keefer says:

    The elites would flip out? Really? You mean our New Masters? Good! Tax these right wing billionaire bastards till their eyeballs bleedl They’ll leave the country with their money? Again, good! from what I read, their money has already left, and as for their delightful personalities and world-views, I think most of us would say “Good riddance!” As for Hillary, with her regular visits to the cash trough at Golem-Sachs, her husband’s farsighted “modernization” of financial markets, and their daughter married to the son of a Wall St. crook fresh out of jail, she can leave with them. Move to Luxembourg, the Caymans, or Dubai..one of those other artificial bubbles of corrupt mega-capitalism. It’s pretty clear where her real sympathies and self-interest lie. Despite having correctly called out the “vast right wing conspiracy” that was jus tbeginning to gel two decades ago, they aren’t with us. Plus, she’s an inveterate war hawk, more John McCain (who’s never met a war he doesn’t like) than MLK or RFK. A wolf in sheep’s clothing…with lipstick.

  6. Rod Bradley says:

    I agree with the above commentators. Doris’s very astute comments about the narcissistic deviousness of both Clintons are absolutely accurate.

    It was Bill Clinton, who wanted to be president to be president, not for any vision of greatness for the country, but for himself. But he had the charm (which thank god Hillary doesn’t) to get away with it. Don’t forget he was the guy who really lead the way for the democratic party to lose what was left of his soul. He was the “win at any price” guy who got rid of Glass-Steigel,
    who did “wellfare reform” — who did NAFTA which has been ruinous for Mexico (and contributed to that countries corruption and agarian disaster) and on and on. A gutless cunning slick politician who is all about Bill. And now parades around like he’s the great and munificent elder statesman. Frankly makes me vomit (and I worked in his initial campaign.)

    Anyway, Obama is a product of the Clinton reign and stacked his cabinet with Clintonistas — and of course has had no outstanding cabinet member, because he’s so weak and controlling and indecisive. He is a ceremonial “leader” who can’t lead. He is not a member of the democratic wing of the democratic party. The democratic wing is maybe two dozen lone-rangers in the congress who are deliberately and deeply marginalized.

    Bernie Sanders, whom you malign as not having presidential temperament, is a man with a heart who fights the good fight every day. That strikes me as much more the temperament we need at this time than the well-meaning but insecure professor in chief who admittedly is cool calm and collected, but seems totally disconnected from the common citizen.

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