The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

What's it like for a woman to run against Sanders?

Former Vermont governor Madeleine Kunin ran against Sanders during her 1986 re-election campaign:

When Sanders was my opponent he focused like a laser beam on “class analysis,” in which “women’s issues” were essentially a distraction from more important issues. He urged voters not to vote for me just because I was a woman. That would be a “sexist position,” he declared.

[B]oth Clinton and Sanders have declared they are favor paid maternity and sick leave, and equal pay for equal work. What sets them apart? I believe it is both style and substance. Sanders can shout his message and wave his arms for emphasis. Clinton can’t. If she appeared on stage as angry at the “system” as he is, she would be dismissed as an angry, even hysterical, woman; a sight that makes voters squirm.

An angry female voice works against women but is a plus for men. It demonstrates passion, outrage and power. Sanders bristled when he was accused of sexism after he implied that Clinton was among the shouters. Ironically, it is he who has, according to his doctor, suffered from laryngitis.

For the record, I've been supporting Hilary Clinton for years. Nothing I've seen of Sanders suggests he has the temperament or flexibility to be an effective president, and if he wins the nomination, I think any of the three Republican front-runners will McGovern him into obscurity.

One reason people are pissed off

Calculated Risk updates the "scariest jobs chart ever:"

The chart shows each of the post-World War II recessions in terms of job losses from the pre-recession peak. Notice that the 2001 recession line slides right into the 2007 line, as the Republican policies that led to the housing boom and bust tanked the banking sector.

We haven't fully recovered from the 2001 recession, in other words. We've had a generally-down cycle for almost 15 years now. That is why we should not elect a Republican legislature until they figure out how economics works.

Good analysis of the Democratic candidates

Mark Russell, a writer in Oregon I've never met, posted one of the best descriptions of the differences between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders that I've seen on Tuesday:

[T]he truth is that this is not a battle between good and evil so much as an awkward contest between two animals who evolved in entirely different ecosystems.

Hillary Clinton is like a grizzled hunter in the Amazon. Every day is a battle for survival. She has suffered every venom and poison imaginable and from her time as being the wife of a Democratic governor in a red state to being Secretary of State to the most besieged administration in modern history, she has lived her entire life in a rainforest filled with things determined to kill her. Her political survival instincts have adapted accordingly.

Bernie Sanders is like a wallaby. He hails from the benign ecosystem known as Vermont, where he lacks any natural predators. He will be the beloved senator from Vermont for as long as he cares to be. So he hops around wherever he wants, unafraid that anyone might use his words to crucify him. Propose a $15 minimum wage? Just have a friendly chat with anyone who disagrees. Call yourself a "socialist?" Sure, why not? We're all friends here. On the other side of the world, though, if Hillary Clinton channels her inner Eleanor Roosevelt, the Republicans call it a seance. Write a few State Department e-mails from your personal server? Suddenly there's a major Congressional investigation, even though nobody cared when previous Secretaries of State did exactly the same thing.

I'll be reaching out to him for permission to publish his whole post.

Lengthening reading list

I have three books in the works and two on deck (imminently, not just in my to-be-read stack) right now. Reading:

On deck:

  • Kevin Hearne, "Iron Druid Chronicles" book 8: Staked.
  • Kim Stanley Robinson, "Mars" trilogy book 2: Green Mars.

Meanwhile, I have these articles and blog posts to read, some for work, some because they're interesting:

Time to read.

Meanwhile, I seem to have a cold. Yuck.

Reading list

Stuff:

Someone call lunch...

How stupid is Iowa?

No more or less than any other state. But that doesn't mean Iowans have any ability to pick winning candidates for president:

The problem is not that the people of Iowa are stupid. They are not, by most measurements. It’s that Iowa looks nothing like the rest of America. As a result, the winners, more often than not, are nationally unelectable extremists. Who can remember President Rick Santorum or President Mike Huckabee, both previous winners? Or President Uncommitted, who beat Jimmy Carter in 1976? And what to make of the finding that 43 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoers this year are self-described socialists, prepared to select a dyspeptic and unelectable senator as their candidate?

As a bellwether, the Iowa caucuses are no more predictive than a gasbag on an ethanol high swaying from a bridge in Madison County. As a representative exercise relevant to the concerns of a nation of 322 million people, the caucuses are laughable.

Consider that half of all the babies born last year in the United States were nonwhite. Not in Iowa, of course, one of the whitest states in the nation. On Monday, if the Republican caucus is anything like the 2012 turnout, 99 percent of the attendants will be white. That’s not even the United States of 1816, let alone this year.

Meanwhile, the Republican party held a debate last night that their front-runner skipped, which apparently shows how big his testicles are.

News tuff to read

I may or may not have a letterspacing error in the headline...

Short list today, so I may do it after work before rehearsal:

Not to mention, I still haven't finished the Economist's special Christmas issue. Maybe I need a long flight or two?

It's Friday, I think

This means I have some time to digest this over the weekend:

I might have a chance to read this weekend. Perhaps.

More links

Too many interesting things to read today. I've got some time between work and Bel Canto to get through them:

I have not read Bel Canto, though I understand it's loosely based on an actual historical event. I also haven't ever heard anything from composer Jimmy López before, since it only permiered last month. Friends who work for the Lyric tell me it's pretty good. I'll find out in a few hours.

The State of the Union is...

...a report from the Executive to the Legislature required by Article II, section 3. Everyone is following along, yes?

9:11pm: First applause line: "I'm going to try to make it a little shorter."

9:15pm: My companion: "Fear!" Me: "No, that's Feinstein."

9:18pm: Oh, dear. Third "fear" of the speech. Might not make it...

9:21pm: "Anyone who says America's economy is in decline is peddling fiction."

9:29pm: "There is red tape that can be cut." Bi-partisan applause, for different reasons.

9:32pm: "When the Russians beat us into space, we didn't argue whether Sputnik was up there. ... Twelve years later, we were on the moon."

9:41pm: "People of the world do not look to Moscow or Beijing to lead. They call us."

9:46pm: "If you doubt the resolve of the American people, or mine, just ask Osama bin Laden."

9:54pm: On the Guantanamo line, PBS showed Kelly Ayotte, and her lonely tear. She knows he's right. She knows her party's gone barmy. She knows she's out soon. But she's a decent senator.

9:58pm: "It doesn't work if we believe the people who oppose us are motivated by malice."

10:06pm: Overwhelming urge to watch The American President right now.

10:09pm: "The state of our union is strong. God bless America." Mic drop.