Liz Cheney Loses

W.J. Astore

The big news in U.S. politics today is Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, losing her House seat to a Trump-backed challenger.

Liz Cheney has recently built a reputation as the “sensible” Republican, calling on other Republicans to reject Trumpism, alternative facts, fake news, and all the rest of Trump’s baggage. She was an outspoken critic of Trump’s role in the January 6th Capitol riots. She broke from the Trump cult and was punished for it.

Liz Cheney concedes defeat

Trump’s hold on the Republican Party is indeed strong, but I don’t see him as a cult-like leader. I think many of Trump’s followers are with him because of the lack of viable alternatives. Trump’s strength, in other words, is the weakness of his competitors, including Republican has-been challengers like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, but especially of Democrats like Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Nancy Pelosi.

There’s been much hype in the mainstream media about Joe Biden having finally found his groove, with legislation being passed that is supposed to address climate change, to lower prescription drug prices, and to make health care more affordable. But when you look closely at what Biden has signed into law, the benefits largely disappear. Provisions to address climate change include massive handouts to the fossil fuel industry. New regulations to lower drug prices won’t come into effect until 2025 at the earliest, and only for a small number of drugs. (The cost of insulin will remain high for anyone not on Medicare, i.e. anyone under 65 without excellent health insurance.) Subsidies for health insurance are available but drive people into the “marketplace” where they can buy private for-profit health care plans that include high co-pays and deductibles.

In short, the Democrats, the main opposition to Trump, are up to their usual tricks, promising to make things better for the working classes while doing the bidding of their owners and donors. It’s Democratic actions and inaction, more so than the wonders of Trump’s personality, that drive so many people to look to Trump as a viable alternative.

The Democrats could win back many of Trump’s supporters if they simply kept their campaign promises. Those included, among others, a $15 federal minimum wage, significant student debt relief, a public option for health care, and family-friendly benefits for child care, family leave, education, and the like. They simply haven’t done it, and won’t do it, because the quest for corporate money and donors continues to drive policy.

So the Democratic playbook for this fall is the same as it’s been for years: scare the people into voting against “crazy” Republicans. Indeed, the Democratic establishment has actively funded more extreme right-wing candidates, boosting their chances in primaries against more moderate Republicans, because the Democrats assume they’ll have a better chance defeating the “crazy” right-wingers in November. One might ask Hillary Clinton how that worked out for her campaign in 2016 as she boosted Donald Trump against candidates like Jeb Bush, knowing in her heart that Trump would be far easier to defeat. What happened there, Hillary?

Trump, of course, has always been a sly con man. In a sense, he isn’t a hypocrite. What you see is what you get with Trump. With the Democrats, what you see is not what you get. We keep being told that Biden is accomplishing great things, that he’s channeling FDR (!), when it’s obvious he is what he’s always been: a centrist law-and-order Democrat who’s loyally served Wall Street, Big Pharma, and similar big money and corporate interests for virtually his entire 50-year career.

Those Americans who choose to follow Trump, in short, are not a bunch of irredeemable deplorables, they’re not gullible cultists, they’re not bigots, racists, and white supremacists. Not in the main. They’re Americans looking for answers, caught in a vise, being squeezed by the uncaring powers around them, including their own government, and including politicians like Liz Cheney.

Liz Cheney’s father didn’t prevent the 9/11 attacks. He got America involved in two disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that killed and wounded tens of thousands of U.S. troops and hundreds of thousands of Afghan and Iraqi people. He was a director of America’s military-industrial complex that harmed so many of the sons and daughters of parents who became Trump supporters because they were tired of endless wars that served no one but the friends of Cheney. And Liz Cheney used her father in campaign ads that touted her as a patriot against the corruption of Trump.

That obviously didn’t sit well with the people of Wyoming.

There’s an increasing sense of desperation in America, a growing sense that things are getting worse, that we’re headed for Dickensian times of hardship and exploitation. And Democratic “solutions” aren’t even half measures. Nor was signing up Liz Cheney as an ally to rail against Trump and his MAGA followers.

The answer — and we’ve heard it before — is hope and change. Real hope and real change. We had a candidate and a movement in 2008 who seemed to embody true change, but as soon as he won the presidency, he disbanded his movement, kowtowed to Wall Street, and passed a Republican health care bill that ironically became known as Obamacare. After that record, you can see why so many Americans decided they “won’t get fooled again,” and why more than a few Obama supporters switched to Trump in 2016.

What’s the answer? One thing is certain. It’s not “centrists” like Liz Cheney — or Joe Biden. The voters have spoken.

114 thoughts on “Liz Cheney Loses

  1. Trite, but: this fractured, floundering, flailing and failing country (sic) is the loser. I see no light at the end of any tunnels peering at the chaos that “is us.” Instead, I see 400 MILLION guns pointed at me, and you, and you….

    A good, readable, sensible report that, while appreciated, sadly does nothing to dispel my mood of “quiet desperation.”

    Like

  2. The Trump followers I know ARE a bunch of irredeemable deplorables, gullible cultists, bigots, racists, and white supremacists. And don’t forget Christo-fascists. This includes more than a few of my relatives. I can understand being pissed at the corporate ass-kissing Democrats (particularly Manchin and Sinema), but what the hell did Trump and the Republicans DO for “the people? when they held both houses of of congress? They cut taxes for the rich, installed remarkably racist immigration policies, and appointed three right-wing nut jobs to the Supreme Court.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have friends, family, and neighbors who voted for Trump. I wouldn’t lump them all together using these terms.

      Again, recall that many people who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 decided to vote for Trump in 2016. These voters can’t be all bigots, racists, etc.

      Of course, I’d never vote for Trump.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My taxes went down when Trump was President (no, I’m not rich). We started no new wars when Trump was President. Trump was confronted with Covid and vaccines were produced in record time. Biden became President. We started an economic war with Russia and are supplying weapons to Ukraine so they can fight to the last Ukrainian. My taxes are going up thanks to Biden’s big spending, undertaken so he can go down in history as a “great” President. Biden can’t even manage something as simple as an infant formula shortage, which could be cured by the FDA allowing imports of European formula (they won’t do it). Trump was about my last choice among the Republican contenders for the Presidency but he turned out all right I think other than some nasty tweets and the hysteria that opposed him (and still opposes him). Biden, by my view, is a disaster.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Interestingly, I have a friend who works as a skilled technician whose federal taxes went up under Trump.

          I think most of Trump’s tax cut went to the richest among us — not that that’s a big surprise!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Rich people benefited most because they pay the most in taxes. So if your taxes went from $40 million to $38 million you saved $2 million (5%). On the other hand if your taxes went from $5000 to $4000 you saved “only” $1000 (20%). So who benefited more? As I understand it the only people who saw their taxes increase were the people in high tax states (CA, MA, etc) whose tax deductions for state taxes were now limited. Perhaps those state should lower their own taxes (Heaven forbid!). This summarizes the effects, from a national perspective:

            Click to access Trumps%20Tax%20Cuts%20Policy%20Paper.pdf

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess Trump criticized Dick Cheney for his role in our Middle East wars and Liz Cheney took it personally (you can’t talk that way about my father!!), dedicating her life to taking down Trump rather than keeping her promise to her Wyoming constituency and representing them in Congress. I hear she’s going to run again, presumably at the head of a Liz Cheney Party ticket.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As I understand it Cheney speech wasn’t really a “concession” speech. She compared herself to Abe Lincoln. Egads, another one? Spare us from politicians who compare themselves to Abe Lincoln.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As to who Trump’s followers / voters are: While many tend to lump them all into a convenient bucket, I’m unable / unwilling to try to define them with any homogeneous attributes. From my observational point, as with most human conditions at least, there’s a mix of reasons why people voted for Trump.

    Certainly included are the racists (both vocal and closeted), the libertarians and other anti-tax / anti-gummint types, the folk on the ‘right’ side of the culture wars (fundamentalist / anti-abortion / anti-gay / patriarchal / misogynistic and others too uncomfortable with perceived rapid social change). These groups will tend to vote Republican anyway and Trump spoke their language- bluntly and unapologetically.

    Given that both sides of the duopoly actively promote the culture war and focus most of their messaging thereon, with the D’s focusing heavily on identitarian liberalism and the R’s on maintaining “traditional family (white/Christian) values” in reaction, it is little wonder that the partisans continue being held in their camps. Even though Trump’s life should make clear that he has no personal regard for truly Christian values matters not- as long as he said the right things and was willing to pick the right judges.
    In any case, all this part of the Trump electorate was NEVER going to vote for a Dem. Likely, none ever had.

    But together, that cohort of libertarian-leaning and social conservatives probably accounts for, what, a third to 40% ?, of the populace? What accounts for the rest?

    The author is correct in that many voters not already in that R-leaning camp probably saw no viable alternative. Some Obama voters disappointed to find that “hope and change” was nothing more than empty rhetoric- a psychologically manipulative tool no more honest than most mass marketing (Hah! fooled again)- came back with a vengeance. Many voted 3rd party. Many didn’t cast a vote for President. The 2016 results are instructive in that regard: both the 3rd party votes and the number of ballots cast with top line blank.
    Too, we all probably know someone, or at least read the comments of someone who decided, lacking such a viable and meaningful alternative, to “bomb the system” with Trump; to ‘send a message’.

    Now it’s Biden/Harris, whose subsequent failures (along with Congress) to do much more than provoke (and now, escalate) a possibly catastrophic proxy war in Ukraine, and to push China and Russia closer together, all while economic insecurity grows for Americans. Oh, but they did manage to pass a bill that could help move us a bit closer to the already-inadequate commitments (Nationally Determined Commitment or NDC) under the Paris Accord.

    How’s that for restoring faith in the Democratic Party? Surely THAT’S enough to get the independent voters (now the biggest voter bloc) ready to VBNMW?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bill, this Bracing Views reader is appreciative of your presenting a more rational and balanced view of Donald Trump in your blog this week. And throwing off the chains and shackles of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    It is without question a fact that Trump has been unfairly vilified by a rabid hateful liberal press since the first day he decided to run for office.

    The press hates his guts because he dared to call them out on their bullshit. One example will suffice to kick start this debate today, but I have many others:

    Because of a few loose-lipped locker room comments off-stage to his buddies, “grab em by the pussy” etc, the press has relentlessly labelled him as a mean-spirited hateful misogynist. The truth is arguably more accurately opposite to this.

    During his administration The Office of the President alone had over 100 women in politically appointed roles, many as Chief, Secretary, Director, Deputy Director, and Counselor to the President. Women lead commissions such as Eilen Lappin Weiser, Chairman of the Commission on Presidential Scholars; Samantha Ravich, Vice Chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board; Michelle Park Steele, Co-Chair of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; and Liz Sara, Chairperson of the National Women’s Business Council.

    Margaret Weichert did double-duty as Acting Director at the Office of Personnel Management and Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget. Suzanne Kent was his Administrator of the Office of Electronic Government. Mary B. Neumayr, unanimously confirmed, was the Chairman of his administration’s Council on Environmental Quality. Neomi Rao as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs spearheaded the President’s regulatory reform efforts in his first two years, and later served on the District Court of Appeals.

    And the misogynist President Trump appointed 44 female judges to various courts; on par with the number of female judges nominated by Barack Obama.

    ALEX’s statement above – that he (Trump) turned out all right I think other than some nasty tweets and the hysteria that opposed him – will be agreed on by very close to a majority of Americans . (As we will find out the night of the next Presidential election after the Biden train wreck.) Emphasizing what you said – Americans who choose to follow Trump are not a bunch of irredeemable deplorables, they’re not gullible cultists, they’re not bigots, racists, and white supremacists. They’re Americans looking for answers, caught in a vise, being squeezed by the uncaring powers around them, including their own government, and including politicians like Liz Cheney – and if I might add, had it up to here with the corrupt do-nothing Democratic Party.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes — I don’t think I’ve ever vilified or hated Trump. I just don’t think he’s the right kind of person to serve as president.

      I don’t hate or vilify Biden either. I also think he’s not right to be president. His powers are fading and he’s pretty much always been a tool of elites.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. And ALEX taking off from what you said this morning in your comment above….”My taxes went down when Trump was President. We started no new wars when Trump was President. Trump was confronted with Covid and vaccines were produced in record time. We started an economic war with Russia and are supplying weapons to Ukraine so they can fight to the last Ukrainian. (and applied sanctions that have bought the World economy to its knees and my gas is now $5.00/gal). My taxes are going up thanks to Biden’s big spending….”

        If Trump had of been elected for a second term adding to all these achievements: The US would have got out of NATO; Improved American relations with Russia and China would have averted re-ignition of the ruinous expensive Cold War; And also prevented the Ukrainian conflict; The World economy would not be ruined by disastrous sanctions; (your gas would still be $2.80/gal); FAIR trade with China in lieu of FREE trade would have benefited ALL American workers: ( which is what MAGA is really all about – putting a noose around the debilitating deindustrialization of America); Globalization may have not become a dirty word – and who knows, the US might have mandated a livable minimum wage, and with Pelosi cut off at the knees, the Americans would have got Universal Single Payer Healthcare.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Not quite. I’m saying if you vote for Trump or someone like Biden, that is true. We need other parties or we need better mainstream candidates, or both. But the two-party system in America is designed to serve the richest few. The Democrats are, when it comes to Wall Street and Big Money (and Big Military), right wing and so too are the Republicans. Workers have virtually no say in either party because it’s a pay-to-play system.

      What’s the answer? Genuine reform. How do we get there? Probably best through organizing, mobilizing, making our voices heard, and working hard. Quantity has a quality all its own. Workers of the world, unite, comrade! 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      1. True, but the presence of 3rd-party candidates can shove the needle more in the direction of workers.

        If a 3rd-party candidate can get momentum, perhaps with a populist platform that’s truly focused on ordinary Americans, the “big two” will have to pivot in response.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Bill my friend, a 3rd-party in the US is NEVER going to happen. You know that, and now Matthew Hoh joins Ron Paul in knowing that as well. The system going right back to the founding fathers is rigged against that.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I wouldn’t say “never.” It’s happened before in U.S. history.

            Of course, I think you mean a viable 3rd party, because we have a Green Party and a Libertarian Party (they usually get 1% or less of the vote in major elections).

            I applaud Matthew Hoh. He’s on the ballot and educating NC voters about real issues. He is helping to drive real change.

            You just never know, Dennis, what the catalyst might be. Maybe Bracing Views? Ha! 🙂

            Liked by 4 people

            1. Yes, obviously I meant “viable Party”.
              BTW if you want to get really discouraged read my link below.
              Its been pretty ugly for 3rd-party candidates in the US since the “Bull Moose Party” in 1912
              Last time I looked that was over 100-years ago!

              (and BTW its a very very very long stretch from “1% or less of the vote” or even Ross Perot’s 18.9% of the popular vote, to “Real Change”)

              https://ivn.us/2016/07/07/history-third-parties-us-elections/

              Liked by 2 people

      2. Another perspective is a libertarian one, in which government is consigned to fewer necessary function. Libertarians have some voice (e.g. Rand Paul) in the Republican party but nothing in the Democratic Party. Since the philosophy eschews special interest spending, Libertarians have little chance of becoming a majority as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Reform? It’s well over 100 years since the first ‘reformist’ party, the British Labour Party embarked on the reform of British capitalism, where are we today with reform? Nowhere! In fact it’s worse than being nowhere, capitalism has retreated to what it knows best, repression, fascism. So much for reforming capitalism. We’re running out of time folks.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, well, I don’t have all the answers, that’s for sure.

          We need meaningful reform. Whether it comes via concerted political action or violent revolution remains to be seen.

          Or, as you say, perhaps it doesn’t come at all. Perhaps repression via a militarized authoritarianism is in our future — you certainly see it in the present.

          That old saying about fascism coming to the USA wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross highlights the seductive power of a Christocentric nationalism that represses liberty in the cause of God and country. A foreign war (or wars) could be useful here to suppress dissent.

          The times are indeed grim.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. As a lifelong lefty (3rd generation), it’s taken me most of my life to realise that the Western left is so immersed and shaped by the Imperialist mentality, that it’s incapable of escaping from its past (never mind its present!). We need only look at the Western left’s relationship (or lack of) to the Global South and indeed to any country, capitalist or socialist, or something else, that dares to try and ecape the dead hand of imperialism. This is why Ukraine, this is why Taiwan, this is why the 20 million of so people slaughtered by the USA since 1945.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Barovksy, I tend to agree generally with the thrust though I think some nuance is required. For one thing, I’ve for some time felt that the use of labels, esp. that of “The Left”, fail to be useful. “Liberal” itself once had some recognizable meaning- describing a set of values and principles (pro democracy, pro-individual liberty, pro public-interest (such as in environmental protection, the commons, public health & safety, education), etc. But when you listen to Phil Ochs’ “Love Me, I’m a Liberal” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLqKXrlD1TU ), you recognize that “liberal” means a lot of different things to different people. Hearing that might give anyone pause. I certainly eschewed the label myself- at least when describing myself.

              I might have used “progressive” for a while… but that too eventually seemed useless. Many of the liberals I know, who’d describe themselves on the progressive side of the spectrum, are at the same time blind to U.S. imperialism and anti-democratic actions around the globe.

              I suspect that’s due to a couple things at least: one being their provincialism. It’s easy for Americans generally to be isolated from the greater world and this applies across the political spectrum. It owes, I think, partly to geographic isolation, partly to the overwhelming propaganda inherent in American Exceptionalism (the dominant theme in our history books as well as in all current narratives), partly to the comparative comfort (or for the less-comfortable, the opposite: economically stressed preoccupation with survival and security).

              In any case, Americans are generally remarkably shallow in terms of understanding of other states as well as of our own historical entanglements with them. When one travels & converses with people in other nations, it’s obvious that we’re not held in high esteem in this regard. (My old cousin in Ireland remarked with some astonishment, that I was the most astute American he’d ever met. My embarrassment was not simply bashfulness, but rather, for being American, for if what he said was true….)

              Unfortunately, it’s come to my attention, via writers like Victor Grossman (and others) that America’s self-described liberals and progressives aren’t alone in tolerating and casting a blind eye towards our anti-democratic acts around the globe. The German Green Party long ago conceded many of its principles in return for a greater seat at the table, and now endorse war as well. I imagine there are plenty of other examples.

              Liked by 1 person

          2. Yes. I’m not a lifelong lefty, and most definitely not 3rd generation! I’m a retired military officer who voted for Reagan in 1984. But I agree with you. I have no idea what label applies to me. Am I a lefty? A progressive? A conservative? (I really want to conserve the earth and all creatures on it.)

            I’m just trying to keep an open mind, trying to be an informed citizen, trying to make choices based on my principles and values, trying to achieve a better, more compassionate, world, a world committed less to endless wars and expensive weaponry and more to peace and prosperity for all.

            I marvel at the fact that PEACE as a concept is never mentioned by the media or government. War has become our unquestioned normal. And you can’t have democracy when war is your normal.

            Liked by 6 people

            1. I appreciate your honesty WJ, I think your views represent the great majority of people, people who want to live a peaceful, safe and productive life. The question is, how to achieve it and I think it’s clear that whatever else it is, capitalism is most definitely NOT the answer! It’s the cause not only wars and resource theft but the now the very future of our once pristine planet and its chief cause is the USA. The US ALONE, is responsible for 50% of greenhouse gases even as its population is only 5% of the world’s! Its military chows more oil than most of the countries of the planet. It has to be stopped! Which brings me back to your essay; will voting for a corrupt and rigged electoral system achieve this end?

              Liked by 2 people

              1. The media in neutral Switzerland obviously does OK with the money PEACE brings them. Its politicians not destitute.

                Come to think of it Jeff, does not the New Zealand, Australian, Canadian, Italian, Japan, etc etc media survive perfectly well with a PEACE agenda?

                Seymour Melman thought the US could survive on a PEACE economy and wrote about it in his book “The Permanent War Economy: American Capitalism in Decline”. And in his writings in the 70/80’s on – “The defense economy; conversion of industries and occupations to civilian needs”.

                Melman was the President of the Association for Evolutionary Economics, Vice President of the New York Academy of Sciences, co-chair of SANE (Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy), chair of The National Commission for Economic Conversion and Disarmament, and a participant in the Reindustrialization of the United States Project.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. We’re not talking about how much money the media of Switzerland make from PEACE.

                  We’re talking about how much money American media makes from PEACE.

                  Or rather, we’re talking about how much money the American media DOESN’T make from PEACE.

                  Liked by 1 person

              2. As you know, Dennis, the USA is a country made by war. And now we make war. Perhaps it’s our #1 export, especially if you count Hollywood war films and shows here.

                The media is sometimes owned by military companies, like when GE owned NBC. Small wonder that NBC got rid of people like Phil Donahue and other antiwar voices as the Iraq War kicked off.

                Liked by 3 people

    2. That’s at least likely, given the current system, where unlimited private capital rules, and where both sides of the duopoly will act to suppress any challenges to their effective monopoly from 3rd parties. Ranked choice voting (RCV) , which is used in Maine (and just recently, in Alaska) and in experimental use elsewhere, could help to change that. However, until there is sufficient pressure from the bottom to force changes that reduce / eliminate the role of concentrated private capital in elections and remove incentives for politicians to bow towards private interests, the class war against the so-called ‘99%’ will continue to be won by the 1% in terms of policy.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Dr. Astore, I just wanted to say that I greatly appreciated your essay today on L Cheney’s loss and loved the following sentence; ” With the Democrats, what you see is not what you get.” Well, Biden is such a warmonger, and I think most Dems are downright dangerous. I finally decided to vote Left Unity Slate (Greens and Peace and Freedom) in California in the last election just to keep them on the ballot and because I agree with their platform. No more “strategic” voting for the least bad candidate for me. I even feel betrayed by Bernie and the Squad because of their votes on military aid to Ukraine.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Completely agree. I refuse to vote for “the lesser of two evils.” I vote for the candidate whom I think best represents my views. So people tell me I “waste” my vote when I cast it for Jill Stein, Tulsi Gabbard, and similar candidates. But it’s not a “waste” to me. It’s my vote and I will do as my head and heart tell me to do.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Surprised that I haven’t seen Ralph Nader mentioned here, throughout (unless I’ve missed it). He cautioned a group here in Hawaii that included me, in 2004 — as his principal aide asked me to be the Hawaii state volunteer chair for obtaining ballot access for Ralph — “Never vote for the lesser worse.”

        Another niggle: is it an “unmentionable” in this space to address the pernicious influence of the Israel Lobby—->Zionism plus the mostly Jewish neocons plus the MIC that have contributed so greatly to the US’ belligerence, warmongering, etc.? Has anyone read the great journalist-activist Alison Weir’s 2014 book “Against Our Better Judgment — The hidden history of how the U.S. was used to create Israel”? Don’t neglect it…or her ifamericansknew.org .

        Liked by 2 people

    2. When the nation is deeply divided, as when Lincoln delivered his “house divided” speech, interesting things can happen politically as was the case with him, ending up the winner in a four way race for the presidency, and not with a majority of all who voted.

      What’s missing right now is someone to stand up and speak for those who are characterized by what WJA said in a comment: “…an informed citizen, trying to make choices based on my principles and values, trying to achieve a better, more compassionate, world, a world committed less to endless wars and expensive weaponry and more to peace and prosperity for all…(one who marvels) at the fact that PEACE as a concept is never mentioned by the media or government.”

      In a comment Alex implied that Liz Cheney was not representing her constituency in taking her stand against Trump, her defeat the proof of it. It should be remembered that Lincoln served only one term in the House. He was defeated for re-election because of his stand against the Mexican-American War which he called President Polk’s war. He was not representing his constituency as that war was very popular not just in Illinois but across the country. What we need is someone taking a stand and challenging the nation to support him or her, risking defeat. Along with that we need to stop declaring that a third (or fourth) name on the ballot is a sure loser, and that anyone voting for C or D is really voting for A or B.

      We need principle accompanied with ambition for office but with principle in the drivers seat, modeled by Lincoln.

      At the moment we have nothing but ambition unrestrained, Trump, against ambition that sailed the political winds for decades to be rewarded as a time server, Biden.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. CLIF,
        This article in Foreign Policy magazine in July 28, 2016….
        (sorry for the length Bill – but I don’t know what to make of this article! And what do other Bracing Views readers thing of this by the Law Professor at Georgetown University with respect to CLIF9710’s post immediately above? – Satire?)

        Donald Trump Is the Peace Candidate.
        He alone can end 70 years of dangerous tensions with Russia — by extending a hand of friendship to our longtime adversary.

        “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for inviting me to speak here at the Democratic National Convention. Like so many of you, I came here intending to support Bernie Sanders, or maybe Hillary Clinton, or at least Michelle Obama, who gave a kick-ass speech. But also like so many of you, I have found myself asking, time and again, “Yes, Hillary, I get that it would be cool to have a female president, but how do you intend to bring about world peace?”

        Because let’s face it, my fellow Americans, Hillary is not that persuasive as the peace candidate. There was that whole Iraq War vote thing, for instance, for which I forgive her, though the Iraqis may not. And there was the Libya intervention thing and the “I want to do an unspecified something more in Syria” thing. Worst of all, Clinton seems utterly determined to bait the Russian bear. She denounced Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea as “illegal,” and she even once compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler, which, as everyone knows, is not a nice thing to say about someone, even if he is sort of like Hitler.

        Ladies and gentlemen, these are not the actions of a woman who wants world peace. Remember, folks, Russia’s superpower status may have slipped a little in recent decades, but Putin still controls about 8,000 nuclear weapons. Is it really a good idea to make this guy mad?

        That’s why I am here in Philadelphia today to tell you that I have changed my mind. Sure, I would love to see a woman in the Oval Office one of these days, but let’s get our priorities straight. Reducing global conflict and preventing nuclear Armageddon has to take priority over giving a little something to the girls. So here’s what I want to tell you, ladies and gentlemen: I’m voting for Donald Trump, peace candidate!

        It’s simple. Donald Trump is the only candidate we can count on to end 70 years of dangerous tensions with Russia — the only candidate who is actively extending a hand of friendship to our longtime adversary. Where Hillary Clinton has mocked and criticized Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump has speculated that the Russian president might someday become his “new best friend.” Where Clinton once sneered that Putin “doesn’t have a soul,” Trump has compassionately noted: “It’s never been proven that he’s killed anybody.”

        In fact, Trump and Putin seem poised for a relationship that’s truly special. Trump has called Putin “very bright” and praised him as a “strong leader … a powerful leader,” while Putin has described Trump as a “really brilliant and talented person, without any doubt … the absolute leader in the presidential race.” True, some people have argued that, if properly translated, Putin’s words were not quite that adulatory, but let’s not be picky! In a world so painfully full of violence and discord, it is a truly beautiful thing to see two strong, masculine men openly expressing their admiration for one another. In a world so painfully full of violence and discord, it is a truly beautiful thing to see two strong, masculine men openly expressing their admiration for one another.

        But it’s not just a matter of a few personal compliments: Trump has made it clear that if elected, he’ll adopt policies designed to reassure Moscow of his good intentions. Where Clinton has denounced Russia’s actions in Ukraine and suggested that NATO should serve as a counterweight to Russian territorial expansionism, Trump has dismissed NATO as “very obsolete” and suggested he might be reluctant to defend America’s allies against a Russian invasion. Where Clinton has called for tougher sanctions in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Trump has magnanimously declared his willingness to consider recognizing Moscow’s sovereignty over Crimea and his openness to eliminating U.S. sanctions against Russia. And where Clinton has condemned the alleged Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee’s email servers, Trump has taken the opposite tack, inviting Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton’s emails as well. True friends share secrets!

        Imagine, my fellow Americans, a world permanently freed from the once omnipresent fear of nuclear conflict between two great superpowers. Imagine a world in which Russia and the United States stand together as friends and allies — a world in which Donald and Vladimir stand together, hand in hand. To echo Donald Trump’s moving words after the Republican National Convention, what a love-filled world that would be!

        With a Trump presidency, we will finally see two great nations, once bitter enemies, co-sponsoring Miss Universe competitions together and harmoniously collaborating to destroy what’s left of Syria. Together, our two great nations can joyfully divvy up the Baltic and Central Asian states between them. Together, our two great presidents can share ideas on how to undermine the legislative and judicial branches of government — and together, they will pioneer new ways to confound the Fourth Estate and bamboozle their fearful publics.

        My fellow Americans, a Hillary Clinton presidency would be a catastrophe, dangerously increasing the risk of deadly military confrontation with Russia. In a Trump presidency, however, decades of competition and distrust will give way to festive pool parties featuring lovely ladies, fierce leopards, and gleeful cries of “You’re fired!” When Trump and Putin launch the first-ever U.S.-Russian reality TV series, who will want realpolitik?

        Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in supporting Donald Trump — the one candidate who promises peace in our time!

        Rosa Brooks is a law professor at Georgetown University and a senior fellow with the New America/Arizona State University Future of War Project. She served as a counselor to the U.S. defense undersecretary for policy from 2009 to 2011 and previously served as a senior advisor at the U.S. State Department. Her most recent book is How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything.

        Like

        1. She spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, eh? Heh. Must ‘ve missed that.

          But it is hard to argue with her concluding remarks:

          “Imagine, my fellow Americans, a world permanently freed from the once omnipresent fear of nuclear conflict between two great superpowers. Imagine a world in which Russia and the United States stand together as friends and allies — A WORLD IN WHICH DONALD AND VLADIMIR STAND TOGETHER, HAND IN HAND. TO ECHO DONALD TRUMP’S MOVING WORDS AFTER THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION, WHAT A LOVE-FILLED WORLD THAT WOULD BE!

          “With a Trump presidency, we will finally see two great nations, once bitter enemies, co-sponsoring Miss Universe competitions together and HARMONIOUSLY COLLABORATING TO DESTROY WHAT’S LEFT OF SYRIA. TOGETHER, OUR TWO GREAT NATIONS CAN JOYFULLY DIVVY UP THE BALTIC AND CENTRAL ASIAN STATES BETWEEN THEM. TOGETHER, OUR TWO GREAT PRESIDENTS CAN SHARE IDEAS ON HOW TO UNDERMINE THE LEGISLATIVE AND JUDICIAL BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT — AND TOGETHER, THEY WILL PIONEER NEW WAYS TO CONFOUND THE FOURTH ESTATE AND BAMBOOZLE THEIR FEARFUL PUBLICS.

          “My fellow Americans, a Hillary Clinton presidency would be a catastrophe, dangerously increasing the risk of deadly military confrontation with Russia. In a Trump presidency, however, decades of competition and distrust will give way to festive pool parties featuring lovely ladies, fierce leopards, and gleeful cries of “You’re fired!” WHEN TRUMP AND PUTIN LAUNCH THE FIRST-EVER U.S.-RUSSIAN REALITY TV SERIES, WHO WILL WANT REALPOLITIK?

          “Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in supporting Donald Trump — the one candidate who promises peace in our time!” [EMPHASES added.]

          Like

        2. Dennis, Jeff, I think this was meant as a satirical op-ed. I don’t think Rosa Brooks could have said this at the national convention. 🙂

          Still, like all good satire, there’s an element of truth in it. Trump did want to improve relations with Russia. Trump was less of a warmonger than Clinton — and Biden and Obama as well.

          Trump, at times, actually has good instincts. But he has no core principles. He appears to let his advisors talk him out of his good ideas, e.g. he wanted to get out of Afghanistan earlier, he debated the worth of NATO, he sought better relations with North Korea, etc.

          If only Trump wasn’t so irresolute and focused on himself. But then he’d be a different man …

          Liked by 2 people

          1. That’s Trump. Occasionally, good instincts, but woeful self-centeredness that calls into question his judgment and motives; and a corresponding lack of any principles. And the reaction – ‘TDS’ to him among Democrats and others prevented any of his critics from being able to recognize those few actually good ideas of his- related to better international relations, less squandering of resources on war, etc. The reaction, encouraged by the liberal side of news media, encouraged yet more Russophobia and tolerance if not fervor for militarism and war among the Dem-leaning populace. If Trump was for something, they were automatically against it and vice-versa. Just as they claimed about the conservative reaction to Obama. Nuance disappears in this context.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. i don’t think it was merely MEANT to be satire; i know that it obviously was satire.

            If for no other reason than that Brooks did not speak at that Convention. Nor would she ever have been invited to speak at that Convention. And I’m trying to guess where in her “speech” the mike would have been cut off and she escorted from the stage.

            As i have stated unequivocally in the past: Trump is as owned, operated, scripted, handled, commanded, and controlled by America’s Ruling Political Class Elites as Biden, Obama, Cheney/Bush the Lesser, Clinton, Bozo and Bush I, and Carter.

            If the Deep State had wanted Clinton to be President in 2016, it would not have put Trump in the White House. It determined that it had accomplished what it wanted to with Obama, and could accomplish more with Trump there rather than Clinton. Just like it determined that it could subsequently accomplish more with Biden there than Trump.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. WJA, I agree with everything you write here! The only divergence (or nuance) I would like to apply is … yes, Obama sold out; but how much of that rejection was from the frustration of the sellout or just pure racism? In my opinion, America has yet to come to terms with its past.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Who knows for sure? But Obama did win — twice — despite racism. He himself admitted he ruled much like an Eisenhower Republican. So I think many people were frustrated that Obama had failed to keep his promises, that he’d done what so many Democrats do: “fake left, run right.” His policies, his actions, more than his skin color, played here, I think.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. To truly understand Obama and his reign, one needs to ponder the following [written one week before Election2008]:

        THE FOLLOWING SHOWS THE TOP 20 CONTRIBUTORS TO OBAMA FROM 2003 TO 2008, FROM THE TIME OF HIS RUN FOR THE SENATE UP TO HIS RUN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE. AN INTERESTING PATTERN EMERGES WHEN YOU LOOK FOR IT.

        One wonders why the business press (ie, the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, etc) is so frothed about the prospect of an Obama Presidency. It seems pretty safe to say that, at least for the Prime Movers and Shakers on Wall Street, he’s The Boy; one of Da Boyz, in fact.

        And, as a Boy, that he’s been one of Da Boyz since even before he was sent to Washington. God Only Knows how much money these folks have given him since he announced for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; or, especially, since “The ¢ri$i$.” Or ~ even more significantly ~ how much is unreported. At any rate, here are The Numbers:

        Goldman Sachs $748,880
        University of California $625,911
        JPMorgan Chase & Co $493,469
        Harvard University $473,669
        Citigroup Inc $467,849
        Google Inc $426,174
        University of Chicago $424,539
        UBS AG $423,045
        Skadden, Arps et al $394,335
        Lehman Brothers $393,324
        National Amusements Inc $385,803
        Microsoft Corp $380,735
        Sidley Austin LLP $379,802
        Kirkland & Ellis $376,164
        Moveon.org $347,463
        Morgan Stanley $341,320
        Time Warner $338,677
        Wilmerhale LLP $335,398
        Exelon Corp $314,063
        Latham & Watkins $299,650
        SOURCE: http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638 (accessed 31oct08)

        “The Washington Post has reported that only a quarter of the roughly $600 million Obama has raised over the course of the campaign has come from donors who gave $200 or less. The rest of Obama’s money comes from the same high-end donors who’ve always played a disproportionate role in campaign fundraising (emphasis added). … And Obama is taking advantage of a loophole that allows his biggest contributors to give as much as $70,100 in combined contributions to his campaign, to national and state parties and to various other campaign entities. … The New York Times reported that Obama has received donations of $25,000 or more from about 2,000 donors.” (source: Truthdig.com, accessed 31oct08)

        Of course, we are assured, one of Obama’s many first priorities once enthroned is to fix the problems with campaign financing that led him to bypass available federal campaign funding in favor of the far, far more lucrative alternative cited above.

        ###

        Liked by 3 people

  9. i have said it before [ https://bracingviews.com/2022/04/10/reforming-americas-elections-the-notc-way/ ], and i will say it again:

    The FIRST step to begin to effectively challenge America’s political duopoly owned, operated, scripted, handled, commanded and controlled by all those “Special Interests” [ie, the Deep State] is to make “None Of These Candidates” a mandatory choice on the ballot of every federal election, starting with Election2024.

    In the meantime, the step to be taken this year is to launch a nationwide campaign to invite voters in November to write-in “None Of These Candidates.”

    It would be interesting to find out how many Americans who do not vote would vote of “None Of These Candidatesd” was an option, eh?

    See the post cited above for details.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. …….is to make “None Of These Candidates” a mandatory choice on the ballot of every federal election, starting with Election 2024……

    Trying to make NOTC a mandatory choice on ballots has been bandied about by its few isolated proponents since 1975. Is that right? Nearly 50-years of getting zero traction, and making no headway. Maybe, it would be more interesting find out how many people even have heard of it, let alone understand the concept? Less than 1% eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can You give any sources that specifically name which individuals or organizations have been “bandying NOTC” about for 50 years?

      Meanwhile: Voters in Nevada have had the “None Of These Candidates” option in all federal, state, and local elections since 1975; and not by writing it in, but simply by pulling a lever on a voting machine just like every other Candidate.

      In 2016, “None Of These Candidates” received 28,863 Nevadan votes, while Clinton took 539,260 and Trump got 512,058, a difference of 26,202. One wonders how those numbers would have changed if “NOTC” wasn’t an option and all [or even some] those NOTCers voted for either one or the other.

      In 2020, NOTC-NV took 14,079 votes to Biden’s 703,486 and Trump’s 669,890, a difference of 33,596. Apparently, Nevadans felt they had a bit more of a choice this time than last.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jeff, my understanding is that the Republican Party challenged the Nevada NOTC voting in 2012 – claiming it was unconstitutional. This was narrowly overturned in the US court of Appeals. Is that right?

        Wiki – In June 2012, anticipating a close race in Nevada during the 2012 presidential elections, the Republican National Committee challenged the constitutionality of the option. Fearing that the option would siphon votes from the Republican nominee, the RNC claimed that the option is not constitutional because if “None of these Candidates” received the most votes, it would not win the election.

        The Nevada Attorney General, on behalf of the Secretary of State of Nevada, argued that the option is a protest vote intended to send a message and whose outcome is no different from not voting at all. On August 22, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jones agreed with the plaintiffs and struck down the law allowing the option as unconstitutional. He refused to issue a stay pending the outcome of an appeal, meaning the ban on this option would be immediate.

        On September 4, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an emergency stay against the district court’s order. The emergency stay barred the implementation of Judge Jones’s injunction until the Ninth Circuit could hear an appeal, allowing the “none of these candidates” option to remain on the ballot in the November 2012 elections. On July 10, 2013, the Court of Appeals threw out the lawsuit, preserving the “none of these candidates” option. One member of that panel, Judge Stephen Reinhardt, criticized Jones’ handling of the case: “His dilatory tactics appear to serve no purpose other than to seek to prevent the state from taking an appeal of his decision before it prints the ballots…. Such arrogance and assumption of power by one individual is not acceptable in our judicial system.”

        I’m trying to imagine the legal shit storm that would erupt if it was attempted to make “None Of These Candidates” a mandatory choice on the ballot of every federal election (in every state?), starting with Election 2024? How do you think the Republican dominated SCOTUS in 2024 is going to rule on this if they they think it will be detrimental to the GOP?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. As Nevada Humanities’ Dennis Myers points out, with NOTC voting there’s the equally likely possibility that voters will just stay home, an inadvertent consequence that has only grown since the option was implemented.

          In a blog post Myers writes: “Whatever its intent, the option has been a lesson in unintended consequences. It is often described as a way for voters to register protest, but it has been the incumbent’s best friend. Advocates regard it as a way to boost voter interest and turnout, but Nevada has experienced a nearly uninterrupted decline in turnout since its creation.”

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Who is Nevada Humanities’ Dennis Meyers? And do You have a link to that whole blog post? i’m particularly interested in knowing how recently he wrote that.

            In any event, any Citizen who thinks that voting for “None Of These Candidates” is the same thing as ~ and sends the same message that ~ staying at home and not voting does, is too fu- , damn Stupid to be entitled to vote. And the same goes for any politician, pundit, or other propagandist making the same claim.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Yes, Dennis, i am very familiar with the legal challenge ten years ago to Nevada’s NOTC option.

          i particularly liked the Appeals Courts Judge’s judgement on the Federal District Court Judge’s ruling after it was thrown out:

          “His dilatory tactics appear to serve no purpose other than to seek to prevent the state from taking an appeal of his decision before it prints the ballots…. Such arrogance and assumption of power by one individual is not acceptable in our judicial system.”

          And as far as Your “legal shitstorm” goes: NOTC would not be detrimental to just the GOP.

          You can rest assured that all of the following sectors of America’s political landscape and architecture would join together to make sure that NOTC was never an official, mandated choice on every ballot of every federal election:

          The corporatist, crony “democratic capitalist,” neoconservative/neoliberal, post-modern “liberalism” and “conservativism” of the Carter-Reagan-Bush I-Clinton-Cheney/Bush II-Obama-Biden breed [which includes any “anti-Trump” Republicans intent on maintaining some semblance of a non-Trumped GOP].
          The populist, nativist, neo-mercantilist, protectionist, proto-national socialism [with its attendant racist, sexist, xenophobic, patriotist wrapped-in the-Flag-mouthing-the-Bible noise while wiping their butts with the Constitution] of Trump, Trumpatismo, the Trumpatistas, and its inevitable gaggle of Greenes, Proud Boys, and Apprentice Emperor-Wannabe Spawns.
          The noisy but intellectually, ideologically, and politically bankrupt and bereft neo-progressive, proto-democratic socialism of the “socialistic democrats” of the Sandersista/Warrenite, “Squad,” Green New Dealer ilk, and their Spawn.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. In any event, Dennis, You very adroitly didn’t answer my original question: Can You give any sources that specifically name which individuals or organizations have been “bandying NOTC” about for 50 years?

          Liked by 1 person

  11. It would seem the only citizens interested in political reform and a viable third (or fourth or …) party are the people who write blogs and their followers in the comments section (I include myself in their number).
    Certainly neither Republicans nor Democrats have any interest in reform, however slight or cosmetic.
    And while I like the option of “None of these candidates,” my concern is that as Republicans make it increasingly difficult to actually cast a vote, we would never be able to see how effective that system could be. I could see characters from both sides of the aisle encouraging people not to go to the polls to make that selection, claiming it’s really no different than not voting, so save yourself the hassle and stay home. “Not casting a vote is not casting a vote.” Hardly the same thing, but when has the American public not opted for the path of least resistance? And if both parties push that message … I think the proletariat would eat that up. You’d never have to put up with anyone saying “if you don’t vote, don’t complain” again.
    Unlike Winston Smith, I don’t believe “hope lies with the proles,” simply because they’ve never given any indication of having the slightest interest in the process. To quote Edmund Blackadder, “I don’t need to know how cotton works to wear a shirt.” The same goes, I believe, for public interest in the nuts and bolts of the political system.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Any Citizen who thinks that voting for “None Of These Candidates” is the same thing as ~ and sends the same message that ~ staying at home and not voting does, is too fu- , damn Stupid to be entitled to vote.

      And the same goes for any politician, pundit, or other propagandist making the same claim.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Again, I support the idea of having a “None of These Candidates” option. However, I think it’s fair to say we have reached a point in the nation’s history where our leaders and “influencers” (elected or otherwise, in or out of office) think nothing of making outlandish claims on a daily basis, all of which are duly reported as if they came down from the mountain carved into stone tablets. The difference between not voting and marking your ballot “None of These Candidates” may be too subtle for those who prefer their opinions prepared in advance by the media and the so-called “experts” who dominate and control such a large percentage of “the flow of information.”

        Like

        1. i agree completely, butsudanbill, about what You say about stone tablets. And that the difference between not voting and voting NOTC “MAY be too subtle: for lots of folks. But it may NOT be too subtle for an unknown number of other folks.

          That’s just part of exactly Why a national campaign to get NOTC mandated for all federal elections will be a major challenge to any group of folks that take it on.

          Like

      2. “In their analysis of the 1976 and 1978 Nevada elections, Weinberg, Linderman, and Kawar (1982) find that candidates who emerge from primaries where there are significant amounts of NOTA voting tend to do poorly in the ensuing general election.
        Similarly, the consistent and frequent use of the NOTA option by Nevada voters means that most statewide office holders obtain their positions without receiving the support of a majority of votes. Indeed, many state or federal election winners of significance in Nevada take office knowing that more of the state’s voters did not want them in power than did.
        As a consequence, any claims of a mandate by these winners must necessarily differ from those that election winners may make in the absence of a NOTA option. Of course, this kind of discussion does not sit easily in a political science literature that focuses on more concrete expressions of the electoral connection.
        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258180490_Unhappy_Uninformed_or_Uninterested_Understanding_None_of_the_Above_Voting

        Like

        1. So “many state or federal election winners of significance in Nevada take office knowing that more of the state’s voters did not want them in power than did,” eh?

          And what’s wrong with that?

          As V put it: “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

          Like

      3. I remember a long time ago when Democrat Adlai Stevenson ran for President against Republican Dwight Eisenhower. Someone said to him something like: “All thinking Americans are with you, Mr Stevenson.” To which he replied: “Yes, but I need a majority.”

        Liked by 3 people

  12. @JG MOEBUS
    Is this correct and up to date Jeff?

    As of this year state lawmakers in Connecticut, Iowa and Massachusetts, have considered providing a “none of these candidates” option to voters, but the bills have died in committee.( Legislation to make “none of these candidates” a binding vote was actually introduced in Massachusetts, but was not passed.)

    Other states including Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington have considered but rejected adopting similar measures.

    What I’m beginning to think here is that “NOTC Voting” like “Universal Basic Income” sounds like a good idea in theory – but nobody wants to try it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Again, Dennis: Do You have any sources for any of this information?

      And Of Course nobody wants to try it. What politician wants to create any kind of alternative to the current set up that would undoubtedly cost him or her votes in the next election?

      Instead of leaving it up to politicians and their owners and operators, why not take the issue directly to The People in a “YES” or “NO” referendum?

      It would be the first time ~ probably ever ~ that The People could directly tell the Political Ruling Class Elites exactly what they have on their minds.

      Like

    2. Dennis, and Jeff, Re. NOTA / NOTC (I always referred to it as the former): Given that the legislative majority in all states is almost certainly either of the Dem’s or the GOP, I rather doubt that a NOTA option would emerge legislatively in most states. (The attitude among incumbents probably lying towards maintaining the system that worked for them.)

      So the NOTA option would likely require a successful citizen initiative (where that power is enabled by the state’s constitution or legislation).

      Having worked to get citizen initiatives on the ballot and to get them passed, I know full well how difficult it is- and my state’s legislature has, at the behest of entrenched interests, steadily made it more difficult by increasing the number of signatures required to land it on the ballot.

      So my view has long been that if you’re going to go through all that effort and expense, the gain ought to be really worth it. I just don’t think that the NOTA option (much as i’d like to see & use it at times) would rise to that bar; especially when the most fundamental problem – that of private capital’s hold over elections – needs that amount of attention.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. i agree that America’s Ruling Political Class Elites would never bring about NOTC; and would do everything in their power and authority to prevent it from even becoming an issue.

        Like i asked Dennis: “What politician wants to and is going to create any kind of alternative to the current set up that would undoubtedly cost him or her votes in the next election?”

        And the most fundamental problem isn’t “private capital’s hold on elections,” The problem is private capital’s and other Special Interests’s hold on politicians. And THAT ain’t gonna change anytime soon, either.

        After all, the same question applies: “What politician wants to and is going to create any kind of alternative to the current set up that would undoubtedly cost him or her money now, and especially in the next election?”

        So i also agree that the only way NOTC is going to happen is by “a successful citizen initiative (where that power is enabled by the state’s constitution or legislation).” And if that power is not enabled by States, a citizens initiative to enable it.

        Or better, to amend the US Constitution to mandate that NOTC be included on the ballots for all federal elections everywhere.

        In either case, it would take a tremendous amount of effort and expense because it would be a Declaration of War against the RPC Elites and all their “Special Interests,” and the system of politics, government, and governance they have inflicted upon the American People and the whole Planet.

        Like

  13. No specific sources Jeff. Just my own cobbled together conclusions from my internet perusal. That’s why I wondered if you have the correct up to date info.

    There appears to be not much interest in NOTC Voting in the US. Internet articles on it a few and far between. At least I can’t find any advocacy websites. Is there any difference between NOTC and NOTA Voting for example.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i would assume, Dennis, that NOTA means “None Of The Above”; which means that that choice would be at the very bottom of the ballot and constitutes a vote against all the other candidates listed above NOTA.

      And no, i have no further information on any of those other experiments in NOTC. And i’m not really sure how relevant they would be to an NOTC Campaign today. That would depend on when they happened in those individual States.

      And at this point, there is virtually zero interest in NOTC. But that could change.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL. Hey, anything for my rich friend the real estate developer!

        It is amazing, Batman, that FOUR MEN were sent on this bat caper, earning overtime on the taxpayer dime. And was it Mr. Freeze who froze that poor guy’s bank account?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I’m guessing they stopped in Vegas on the way back. They just need to be careful about those $1000/hr charges for “miscellaneous entertainment”.

          Like

    1. Sounds like something from a Godfather movie. Did they make him an offer he couldn’t refuse? Did he find Robin’s severed head under the covers?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Fire the sheriff. Suspend the DA for two weeks without pay. Revoke the realtor’s license. Send a check for $20K with an apology letter to the Indiana guy taken from the sheriff department funds. Audit the (now fired) sheriff’s books. Next case. Man, I would make such a great judge.

      Like

  14. Off topic today, but the Lt. Col’s favourite subject….

    The Pentagon’s Inspector General said Tuesday that the now-defunct US-backed Afghan government had over $7 billion in US military equipment at the time of its collapse last year and that most of it was seized by the Taliban.

    “The DoD estimated that US-funded equipment valued at $7.12 billion was in the inventory of the former Afghan government when it collapsed, much of which has since been seized by the Taliban,” the Inspector General’s report said.

    The report said the things left behind included “military aircraft, ground vehicles, weapons, and other military equipment.” The majority of the equipment was tactical ground vehicles, such as MRAPs and Humvees, worth an estimated $4.12 billion.

    https://news.antiwar.com/2022/08/17/pentagon-estimates-taliban-took-control-of-over-7-billion-in-us-military-equipment/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Every one of those pieces of gear and equipment left behind will have to be replaced in the DoD’s inventory.

      Thus, the MICC will continue to make money off the Afghan War long after its conclusion.

      And that $7.12 billion value of what was left behind is interestingly close to the $7.5 billion that the US has stolen from Afghanistan’s government. Which thus and just ensures that the suffering of the People of Afghanistan also continues long after the War’s end.

      All part of The Plan, no doubt.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. One joker this morning!
    Can Taliban return the US military equipment to Pentagon and receive $7 Billion?
    Yes, but the paperwork would cost $14 billion! LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  16. The total vote in Abe Lincoln’s congressional district (1846) was about 11,400 votes. In the last election the vote total in my congressional district was about 320,000 votes. So what happened in the meantime? The country grew. In the early years of the republic a congressman represented a small number of people. The number of congressmen grew as the country grew. At some point they realized Congress would get very big, the number of congressmen was capped, and so the number of voters per congressman grew instead. The result is that people are more removed from their representation. I’m guessing in Lincoln’s day many of his constituents had met him. Not so much nowadays. Instead of door-to-door retail politics our congressional races are dominated by money. How many millions were spent on Liz Cheney’s primary? And that was just a primary.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. U.S. POPULATION KEEPS GROWING, BUT HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IS SAME SIZE AS IN TAFT ERA

      The U.S. House of Representatives has one voting member for every 747,000 or so Americans. That’s by far the highest population-to-representative ratio among a peer group of industrialized democracies, and the highest it’s been in U.S. history. And with the size of the House capped by law and the country’s population continually growing, the representation ratio likely will only get bigger.

      In the century-plus since the number of House seats first reached its current total of 435 (excluding nonvoting delegates), the representation ratio has more than tripled – from one representative for every 209,447 people in 1910 to one for every 747,184 as of last year.
      Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/05/31/u-s-population-keeps-growing-but-house-of-representatives-is-same-size-as-in-taft-era/

      Based on the 1787 national population, each House Member in the First Federal Congress (1789–1791) represented 30,000 citizens. Source: https://history.house.gov/Institution/Apportionment/Apportionment/
      POLITICAL AD SPENDING IS SET TO SMASH RECORDS IN THE 2022 MIDTERMS

      The nonpartisan firm AdImpact released a report Wednesday projecting that nearly $9.7 billion total will be spent on political ads during the 2022 election cycle.

      THAT IS AN ASTONISHING SUM THAT WOULD NOT ONLY SURPASS ALL PREVIOUS MIDTERM CYCLES, BUT PRESIDENTIAL CYCLES TOO. According to AdImpact’s data, ad spending reached a record $9 billion during the 2020 elections, when the Donald Trump-Joe Biden presidential race was at the top of the ticket, and $4 billion during the 2018 elections, when Democrats took control of the House. [EMPHASIS added.]
      Source: https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/11/politics/political-ad-spending-midterms/index.html

      Like

    1. How much are the Clintons worth today? How about the Obamas? Both of whom spent their entire working lives in government.

      And those two are just the lowest hanging fruit along side Pelosi and other Democrats, as Bill noted. And, of course, there’s an equivalent bunch of low hangers to be found over on the Republican side as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Naturally, after being decisively rejected by Wyoming voters, Liz Cheney is now exploring running for the presidency in 2024.

    Let the grift continue …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maybe Cheney thinks that the American people as a whole are smarter than her Wyoming ex-constituents. Or is at least willing to try to find out.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Jimmy Dore does such a good job.
    For a dumb jag-off comedian doing YouTubes in his garage….
    And doing a much more credible job than all the “professional” TV presenters – with their big staffs preparing all their stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. So is God going to wash away all the sins the American government and people have committed against the Peoples, Lands, Countries, and Nations of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Ukraine, and who knows where else? And that’s just since 9/11.

          And what about all the sins when “liberating” Kuwait and setting up shop in Saudi Arabia in the 90s, or in Central America and bankrolling Saddam and al-Qaeda in the 80s, or Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos in the 60s and 70s?

          Liked by 1 person

            1. And Palestine, of course.

              On August 17, in response to my question as to whether or not God endorsed the Holy Christian Crusades to liberate the Holy Land from Muhammed’s Jihadists, Ray wrote:

              “God endorsing the Crusades would be in conflict with this, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying: Not by military force and not by physical strength, but by My spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts from the OT.

              “The Christ teaches in the NT, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.’

              “Their voices are excluded from US/NATO War Propaganda as the Children of War are on the increase.”

              To which i responded:

              “If, Ray, God’s endorsing the Christian Crusades would have been in conflict with those Voices, what does that make of His command to Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and to invade, conquer, and occupy the land area that eventually became and now is the modern State of Israel?

              “But far more importantly, is Israeli treatment of Palestinians since 1948 ~ and especially since the Six Day War in 1967 and the Occupation of the West Bank, Golan Heights, and Gaza ~ is That in conflict with those Voices?

              https://bracingviews.com/2022/08/13/raid-on-trump/#comments

              Liked by 1 person

  19. Even the Aussies are getting a kick out of the Donald this morning!
    (Trump is such a jerk off!)

    Sky News Australia:
    Donald Trump Jr has released a “priceless” montage video of his father dancing at various events to celebrate Liz Cheney losing to Harriet Hageman in Wyoming’s Republican primary.

    .

    Like

  20. When I was 12, I lived in a Boy’s Home in Montreal with 50 boys, 2 to a room for 1 year while my Mother was in the Hospital.
    That was in 1956 during the Suez Canal Crisis. TV didn’t exist, but innately, I knew it was a significant Event happening in the larger World and I listened to every bit of news I could.
    As a Canadian, I’ve always understood it’s important to know what’s happening Politically in the US Goliath south of our Border.

    Naturally, any reader here would understand that focus would be even more intense after The Kansas City Times was quoting me September 13, 1976 with these brief excerpts, “He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November TO DO GOD’S BIDDING: To tell the World, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of BABYLON,” he said.” […] He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a War with Russia.”

    Obviously I personally had nothing to do with the Spirit in this World Generally unfolding along those lines from over 2 Generations ago.

    This has a lot to do with Liz Cheney and her loss.
    ‘Living in a World Built on All-American Lies’
    Disinformation has triumphed in our all-American world, the most notable being the lies that sparked our “forever wars.” Is there any room left for moral courage in this context?

    Recent episodes of purposeful and accidental truth-telling brought to my mind the latest verbal lapse by George W. Bush, the president who hustled this country into war in Afghanistan and Iraq after the 9/11 attacks. He clearly hadn’t planned to make a public confession about his own warmongering in Iraq when he gave a speech in Texas this spring. Still, asked to decry Russian president Vladimir Putin’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine, Bush inadvertently and all too truthfully placed his own presidential war-making in exactly the same boat. The words spilled out of his mouth as he described “the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified invasion of Iraq — I mean of Ukraine.”

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/57190.htm

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Its really interesting to listen to these Australian right wing commentators today.
    And man oh man – that Harriet Hageman really laid it out there in her speech. Wow!
    This is really going to set the Republicans on fire!
    The right wing base is on a roll! Arguably all over the World!

    Like

    1. I just wish the right wing cared just a tiny bit about the working classes. And by that I mean the right wing in both parties, Republican and Democrat.

      Liked by 4 people

  22. Another incisive look at the Realities by Jonathan Cook

    ‘Those angry at Rushdie’s stabbing have been missing in action over a far bigger threat to our freedom’

    The Satanic Verses novelist is championed by western liberals not because he has bravely articulated difficult truths but because of who his enemies are […] Rushdie has won trenchant support from Western liberals and conservatives alike, not for being a brave articulator of difficult truths, but because of who his enemies are.

    Holding up a mirror
    If that sounds uncharitable or nonsensical, consider this. Julian Assange has spent more than three years in solitary confinement in a high-security prison in London (and before that, seven years confined to a small room in Ecuador’s embassy), in conditions Nils Melzer, the former United Nation’s expert on torture, has described as extreme psychological torture.

    https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2022-08-18/rushdie-stabbing-freedom-assange/

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Americans outraged at the abominations perpetrated and perpetuated by this government have been “missing in action” ever since 9/11.

    Beyond Assange, Snowden, Manning, Et Al, there was “extraordinary rendition/enhanced interrogation” at Abu-Ghraihb, Guantanamo, and to all those other so-called “Dark Sites.” And all those wedding parties successfully droned.

    Being MIA is what they have been told to do by their government and its media and other propagandists.

    And just like the good, patriotically comfortably numb folks wrapped in “Support Our Troops” flags, bumper stickers, and yard signs that they are, they have dutifully complied.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. And speaking of Afghanistan… :

    BIDEN SENTENCES AFGHAN CIVILIANS TO STARVE

    You’ve got to commend the fortitude and resiliency of the Afghan people. Poor people have been engulfed in endless war for decades and now they’re being starved to death and have had most of their rights stripped away. And here we have a right-wing calling for a Civil War over a spray-tanned geriatric con man. The world is a scary place: https://attackthesystem.com/2022/08/18/biden-sentences-afghan-civilians-to-starve/

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I certainly agree that, with Trump, what you see is what you get. Trump has always been Trump, and when you look at his past statements and actions, what he continues to do is pretty much to be expected.

    I do think, however, that I see two kinds of Trump supporters among my family and acquaintances. One kind is so dedicated to him personally that they will continue to support him no matter what he does. This is cult-like.

    The other kind is, as Bill has written, Trump supporters because they don’t see a good alternative.

    Like

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