Tuesday, November 18, 2014

An Open Letter To Senator Bernie Sanders - Bernie, Please Don't Do It

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

My Dear America:

(I would really appreciate it, America, if you could look over the following "Open Letter to Senator Bernie Sanders" and provide me with some feedback regarding the letter.)  

Dear Senator Bernie Sanders:

Greetings Senator Sanders.  My Name is Jerry Gallagher and I am a lifelong Democrat.  In recent years, however, I have found myself paying increased attention to much of what you have had to say and have found myself in agreement with almost everything you have had to say.  Thank you for your extremely honest support of issues like Free Healthcare for Every American and Sensibility in Foreign Policy.

I know that at this point in time when it is looking like the front runners in the Republican Presidential Race for the White House look like a bunch of Lunatics, that it must be difficult for a Socialist like yourself to look at  the 2016 Republican prospects with anything besides horror.  

I saw you last night on "The Colbert Report" and listened with intensity to your announcement that you are considering a third party run for the Presidency.  While it is a free country and you are certainly free to do what you want to do, I sincerely believe that your candidacy could, and probably would, lead to another Republican Presidential Victory in 2016.

The truth is that while many Americans do consider themselves to be Independents, like yourself, most Americans, even those on Social Security and Medicare do not consider themselves to be Socialists, even though they might be living fairly well as a result of those admittedly Socialist programs, which the Tea Baggers and the Republicans in Congress are intent on destroying.

The truth also is that in a Perfect World I would be the First person to get on board the Bernie Sanders Bandwagon and promote your candidacy.  As you know very well, however, we are living in a far from perfect world and political realities being what they are your chances of reaching the White House are as likely as a snowball's chances of surviving in hell.

Whatever you do, Senator Sanders, I wish you well in your endeavors.  I must admit that there is a  nagging little thought in my brain saying "Why Not Sanders?  Maybe he might just have a chance.  Maybe its his time.  Maybe the American People are ready for a candidate as good as Sanders"  All of this may be true I tell my brain but lets be realistic.  

Although Ralph Nader never had the decency to admit to or apologize for his role in giving us George W. Bush, Nader's candidacy certainly played a role in Al Gore's defeat and our having to live under the yoke of W's 8 years of hell on earth, especially for Iraquis.  Certainly Nader had a role in Democratic defeats more than once.  It is troubling to recognize that although Nader did a lot of good for America, he will always be remembered mainly for his role in defeating Democratic Presidential Candidates in 2 major elections.

I hope, Senator Sanders, that you never have to apologize for playing a role in Hillary Clinton's defeat in 2016 when and if she runs.  Although Hillary Clinton is not a perfect Democratic Candidate she certainly is heads above the entire Republican Presidential Hopeful Candidate Cast of Mad Men.

Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Scott Walker.

As my mother, bless her heart, was fond of saying: "God Bless Us And Save Us." 

As I said previously I admire you, Senator Sanders,  for continuing to speak out bravely and consistently on the issues which confront Americans every day and I hope that you continue to do so.  I would advise you, however, to, if you feel that you must run for President, to abandon your Independent label and turn Democrat and then run for the Democratic Presidential Nomination.

Who knows, that Snowball's chance in Hell is still a chance, after all

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Yesterday On A Bad Day For Democrats The 2014 Campaign Ended But Today The 2016 Campaign Begins

Wednesday, November 5th, 2016

My Dear America:

Back in 1972 outside of Senator George McGovern's South Dakota Campaign Headquarters on the day after the landslide defeat of McGovern by President Richard Nixon a sign said the following:

                                             IT IS OVER

When the Supreme Court in 2000 declared Al Gore's Election prospects Dead, once again it seemed to Democrats as though the roof had caved in.

Today, once again we have seen the fickle finger of election fate poke Democrats in the eye once again as the Arrogant Bastards in the Republican Party who have continually stalled progress since the election of Barack Obama in 2008 have prevailed in yesterdays elections and have been rewarded for their arrogance and lack of cooperation and respect in the United States House of Representatives and Senate by now having full charge of not only the House of Representatives but also the Senate, as well. 

What in the hell is going on in this country?  Why are people so stupid that they vote against their own interests time after time after time.  It is maddening and frustrating.

The truth is that we Democrats in Pennsylvania don't have as much to bitch about.  At least we replaced our awful Republican Governor, Tom Corbett, with a man who looks to me like a light at the end of the long dark Corbett Tunnel.

I spent part of my day at my local Emmanuel Church Polling Place handing out flyers for a congenial and I thought genuinely good candidate named Walter Felton who was running for the Pennsylvania State Senate.  Unfortunately Mr. Felton lost his race although he did have a good showing in his race against a long time incumbent Republican who has proved to be unbeatable over many years in office. 

While I passed out flyers at my poll I had the pleasure of spending time with Pete Schweyer, a young man that I have known for several years, who was running for the Pennsylvania State Legislature for the first time.  Watching Pete meet and greet voters was like watching a young master politician at work.  Pete instinctively knew the right things to say and do as he shook hands with and talked with the voters arriving at the polls.  Pete had met many of these voters at the polls before when he ran for the Allentown City Council and whether they might have been Democrats or Republicans everyone who was greeted by Pete left the polling place with a good impression of this fine young Democrat.  I also enjoyed my talks with Pete when we were both without voters to greet, which was much of the time. I felt as though I was watching an expert politician at work at the Emmanuel Church polling place and indeed I was.  Pete Schweyer is a Democrat who is going places.  One of the places he is going is to the Pennsylvania State Legislature.  Pete beat his Republican opponent in his race by a landslide margin.  

Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania's new Governor, might have been responsible for at least some of Pete Schweyer's success but not all of it.  Wolf seemed to bring out a far larger number of voters to the polls than normally show up at Pennsylvania Polling Places in off year Pennsylvania elections.  Tom Wolf was able to establish himself early on even in the Primary Elections as a Man of the People and since his Republican opponent, Tom Corbett, was a well established man of the Corporations and in particular the Fracking Industry there was a clear choice for Pennsylvania Voters. Wolf won by a hefty margin.

Elsewhere in the country things clearly did not go as well for Democrats as they did for Tom Wolf and Pete Schweyer in Pennsylvania.  Certainly efforts to prevent blacks, hispanics and young voters must have had some effect on some of the Congressional and Gubernatorial races in some of the states that had succeeded in trying to limit voting by those voting blocks. 

Why things went so horribly wrong for the Democrats is actually not that easy to figure out.  The Dems had some very good candidates who were unsuccessful.  There were also several candidates who ran away from President Obama and his policies and accomplishments, who might have done better with the President's help.  Certainly Tom Wolf was welcoming of President Obama's stumping for him in Pennsylvania and the President's endorsement didn't seem to hurt Wolf.  

There were also some Democratic Candidates who just weren't great candidates.  Bruce Braley in Iowa and the attractive but dimwitted young lady who ran against Mitch McConnell in Kentucky who would not admit whether she voted for President Obama in the 2012 Election.  That was not a good move.

There will be a lot of time in which to second guess this election but what Democrats need to do is to take stock of what went wrong in this election and fix those things that can be fixed by the time 2016 rolls around.

In the meantime the politics of obstruction will continue to go on only this time we won't have the U.S Senate to save the day at the last minute.  

President Obama seemed today in his news conference to be unperturbed by the Republican successes.  "Republicans had a good night," he admitted but he made clear that although he would consider some reasonable tweaking of the Affordable Health Care Act he would be vetoing any attempts to repeal the act.

In the end the Republicans have proved that with unlimited amounts of unidentified and untraceable money available to fund trash talking television ad campaigns for their candidates they can find enough Americans stupid enough to buy their bullshit and vote against their own individual interests. 

As the 2016 Campaign begins it is certainly frightening to view the Republican Presidential Campaign prospects.

Good God.  Say it isn't so.

Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker to name a few.

Suddenly Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush don't seem so bad.

I think it is likely that Hillary Clinton will Run for President and if she does run I think she will win despite the Republican Venom Machine.  I hope so anyway.  If she does run and win I think the Republicans will do to her what they have done to Barack Obama, as well as to her husband.  They will make her life a living hell.  Certainly a lot of things can happen between now and election day, 2016.

Hopefully some of the things that might happen will be better than what happened last night.   

As my mother used to say:

"God Bless Us and Save Us."

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher