Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I Couldn't Resist One Last Laugh at 2016!

I know that I said in my New Years resolution that I was not going to dance to the Daft Donald's tune and focus instead on real politics. But this was too good to pass up. It's from an article pointing out that every era thinks it's the worst of times. Let's have a last laugh at 2016!

"The truth is that people in every age find reason to believe that their best times are behind them, and all that remains is decline and despair — that note of lament Cicero hit in 63 B.C.: “O tempora, o mores!” But far from uttering a generalized moan, the orator was castigating the corruption of his age as expressed in one man, Catiline, the author of a plot to seize power in Rome. The historian Sallust described Catiline as “reckless, cunning, treacherous, capable of any form of pretense or concealment. Covetous of others’ possessions, he was prodigal of his own; he was violent in his passions. He possessed a certain amount of eloquence, but little discretion. His disordered mind ever craved the monstrous, incredible, gigantic.”
Historians can be so judgmental. I’m sure Catiline just wanted to make Rome great again."

You can see the whole article at 2016: Worst. Year. Ever?  

A New Years Resolution in the Time of Trump

Farewell to 2016!

Farewell to Donald Trump and the "experts" analyzing how he "won"!  He didn't win. He lost by three million votes.

As my New Years resolution I am going to be hopeful about America in spite of Trump because he is essentially a triviality. In writing about politics these next four years, that's exactly what I am going to focus on: politics. If you want anti-Trump rants, you'll have to look elsewhere. If something he or the GOP does is truly significant, I'll take a look at it. But none of us has time for his strutting and shenanigans. My focus will be on nuts and bolts, real stuff that matters. In my next blog I'll be tackling how we get rid of the electoral college's anti-democratic grip on the outcome of elections. No more presidencies going to losers like George W. Bush or Donald Trump, please!

In saying goodbye to Donald Trumpand Campaign 2016 there is, however, an important lesson to be learned by all who care about politics. It's important because it has big implications for the future of campaigning in the technological age. Part of the lesson is set forth by Charlie Cook in the National Journal's How Analytical Models Failed Clinton. Cook first explains "analytics" (the definition is not relevant here; you can read it in his article) and then gets to the meat:

"The re­li­ance, or per­haps over­re­li­ance on ana­lyt­ics, may be one of the factors con­trib­ut­ing to Clin­ton’s sur­prise de­feat. The Clin­ton team was so con­fid­ent in its ana­lyt­ic­al mod­els that it op­ted not to con­duct track­ing polls in a num­ber of states dur­ing the last month of the cam­paign. As a con­sequence, de­teri­or­at­ing sup­port in states such as Michigan and Wis­con­sin fell be­low the radar screen, slip­page that that tra­di­tion­al track­ing polls would have cer­tainly caught."

Regarding this assessment by Cook, it's useful in a general way, but it's also doubtful that polls in the last month alone would have allowed the Clinton campaign sufficient time to correct its course. To mount a real campaign in those states, the Clinton campaign should have made an assessment of those states far earlier in 2016, and its failure to do any assessing, early or late, is dumbfounding. In fact, as I shall explain below, the Clinton campaign had six years to see the clear signs that Wisconsin had skidded off the rails. The failure to recognize this and to do timely polling produced idiot decisions by Clinton's campaign in 2016, as Cook notes:

"[T]he Clin­ton cam­paign did not go on the air with tele­vi­sion ads in Wis­con­sin un­til the weeks of Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, spend­ing in the end just $2.6 mil­lion. Su­per PACs back­ing Clin­ton didn’t air ads in Wis­con­sin un­til the last week of the cam­paign. In Michigan, aside from a tiny $16,000 buy by the cam­paign and a party com­mit­tee the week of Oct. 25, the Clin­ton cam­paign and its al­lied groups didn’t con­duct a con­cer­ted ad­vert­ising ef­fort un­til a week be­fore the elec­tion."

Charlie Cook next points out that "the Clin­ton cam­paign spent more money on tele­vi­sion advertising in Ari­zona, Geor­gia, and the Omaha, Neb­raska mar­kets than in Michigan and Wis­con­sin com­bined. It was Michigan and Wis­con­sin, along with Pennsylvania (the Clin­ton cam­paign and al­lied groups did spend $42 mil­lion on tele­vi­sion in the Key­stone State), that ef­fect­ively cost Demo­crats the pres­id­ency."

To be fair, no one watches TV political advertising. But they do notice one thing about it. They notice when it's not there! What a slap in the face to the good ol' Democrats in Wisconsin and Michigan to see months of no advertising while Clinton was wastefully courting the GOP bastions of Arizona and Texas.

And no personal appearances in Wisconsin ans Michigan by the candidate or her top surrogates! The resulting message to the voters of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania?


Oh, sure, Pennsylvania got a big Clinton campaign "show" the night before the election. A star-studded cast rallying for and with Hillary in Philadelphia. All the big-shots. All the reminders of the elitism of the Clintons. A blatant last minute bandaid. (No pun intended,)

As you readers know, I thought Clinton was a poor choice of candidate, one who couldn't win. But when she started advertising in Arizona, I assumed it was on the basis of her campaign's private polling showing she had the election in the bag. It was inconceivable to me that the Clinton campaign had no idea they were in trouble in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. So I ditched my skepticism about Hillary and told everybody—with firm assurance—that she was going to win. I mean, she wouldn't be spending time and money in Arizona if Wisconsin was at risk, right?

Hillary Clinton deceived me. Just as broadly and badly as Bill Clinton deceived people when he lied on television: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Hillary was actually worse than a liar. She was stupid. She didn't know Wisconsin was going away, had left the Democratic ranks years earlier. She didn't know what was in plain sight. She didn't recognize what any Democratic candidate or old pol could and should have recognized.

Wisconsin. Cradle of the Progressive reforms of a century ago, including direct election of US Senators, the referendum, the recall, workers comp, and more. It was home to the dynamic reformist family, the La Follettes, who changed America. At least one descendant is still active in Wisconsin politics."La Follette Moves Closer To Run For Governor") For a hundred years Wisconsin has been consistently liberal. It has been the light of my life!

Then in 2010, far-right GOP candidate Scott Walker took the governorship, immediately stripped the public sector unions of clout, then defeated a referendum on his outrageous new law, successfully defied a recall attempt although no other governor has ever beaten a recall (How Scott Walker won the Wisconsin recall election - CBS News). He then later won re-election. All this in Wisconsin! 

The sky has fallen! The sky has fallen!

By 2014 I had found a political crony in Wisconsin. "What in hell," I asked her, "is going on in your state? What's wrong in Wisconsin?" 

Now tell me this: how come an old lady of almost 80 years like me could spot a big warning in the skies while the hip, techie, well-paid folks of Clinton's campaign (and I love techies) missed it entirely?

They didn't even need no stinkin' polling! It was blatantly obvious something tectonic had shifted in Wisconsin.

They didn't need any polling about Michigan either to spot it as a trouble zone. Why not? Because  Bernie Sanders had beaten Clinton in the Michigan primary! From that moment on, her campaign should have recognized she had a problem in Michigan. Michigan was telling her that people there were angry about jobs, trade pacts, big banks, the status quo, all things that Clinton wore like name badges at a luncheon.

I should have recognized it. (I did at the time Michigan went for Bernie but I got conned by Clinton's confident spending in Arizona in the general.) The media should have recognized the warning signs too . What the media and I were unaware of was that Clinton's people hadn't recognized the signs. Like fools, we trusted they knew what they they were doing. That they were either already taking necessary steps in these states or had inside polling which showed they were safe.

Again, it was inconceivable that they didn't know the political reality of these states. As the musical "The Music Man" so wisely tells us, "You gotta know the territory."

I suggest that a lot of techie wizards had better peel themselves away from both the polls and the analytics and get out in the field and listen to people. Learn the territory. Also know enough American history that when a seismic shift occurs you can recognize it. In short, politicos of today have gotta learn their stinkin' job!

Politics is people. Numbers are important, but behind those numbers there are people. 

Computers are tools. Computers are not a substitute for listening to people and watching how they behave in their voting. Someday when all the older folk have died off and the unemployed blue-collar folks can afford computers, maybe the computers will truly facilitate political communication of a wide enough swath. Just keep in mind that, for now, the greatly heralded communication value of "social media" is pretty much confined to the young and the hip and the hate-mongers and the twittering of Trump. Stand up from your computer now and then, hang out at the checkstand at the supermarket, chat to the guy pumping gas next to you, walk some precincts, visit with the woman who runs the dry cleaners. Take the pulse of the voters. Have respect for the people.

Listen and learn.

And have a wonderful New Year. Be kind to everyone and life will pay you back. 

For auld lang syne, my friends. For auld lang syne!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Don't Listen to Trump? It Will Drive You Crazy!

Don't listen to what Trump says. Ignore the media focus on his blathering. No, he's not restarting a nuclear arms race. By saying he wants to expand our nuclear force, he's just doing a male cockadoodle strut for the benefit of the other boys on the planet and those in his base. Putin, who is not a boy, has said in reply, "No arms race."

Trump's modus operandi—whether deliberate and crafty or the product of neural deficiencies—is to say lots of outrageous things. Lots of it is just blowing smoke. Lots of it is just bald-faced lying. Most of it is to be forgotten when he wakes up the next day. But it works! It keeps you and the media and everybody off stride.

It's an old trick, usually used by battlers who haven't got much else to fight with. My mother taught me (a little girl of seven) how to "box" by just putting up my fists with elbows bent and then flailing away like crazy in a circular motion. The opponent can't get close enough to hit. Well, it worked.  At least in the second grade.

Confuse the enemy. Send a lot of balls zinging all over the place. Run and dodge and slither. "Serpentine, Shell! Serpentine!" as Peter Falk so memorably yelled in "The In-Laws". That's Donald Trump. An Artful Dodger. A blatherer of inexhaustable nonsense.

You'll wear yourself out chasing his spoutings. You'll ruin your holidays. You'll ruin your life.

Instead just watch what he actually does. We'll get him dead to rights on the mistakes he will make in what he does.

Like commiting the impeachable offense of taking" emoluments", i.e. payment from favor-seeking 
representatives of foreign states who stay at his hotels and from his foreign quasi-governmental  business associates wanting to cut bisiness deals. That emolument stuff is a naughty no-no prohibited by the Constitution. Keep it up, Donald, after January 19 and you are toast! Indeed, some argue he has to divest himself before January 20 of his world-wide business holdings or be in de facto violation of the emolument clause and thus liable automatically for impeachment.

Will this Republican Congress impeach him? It will be fun to watch them squirm around on that one!

Trump's so-called presidency promises to be quite an adventure, with danger and laughs galore. Enjoy the ride. Have some confidence that the good folks and our good institutions will fight him to a standstill no matter if he flails his fists like a seven-year-old.

Now I'll go back to writing the piece I promised on how YOU can get rid of the electoral college's outragous disrailment of our democracy in the future. And after that comes the piece I've planned that's a message of hope for the future, a message grounded in actual numbers.

What a great way to start the New Year, with something real to do to help fix our country and something to hold onto, a promise that good things are on the way.

Now give yourself the Christmas present of ignoring what Trump says. Keep seeing him as the desperate and frightened seven-year-old that he is.

And sometime I'll pass along to you my mother's other lesson in life and politics: "How to walk fast like an FBI agent."

Gosh, I miss her.

Merry Christmas to believers! Happy holidays to those who maybe kinda wish it were all true. May Santa come for both of you!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Russiagate and Trump Impeachment

Article II, Section One, Clause 8:  the oath of office Donald Trump must take on January 20:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."[1]
Note well this commentary on the oath: "This clause is one of several that employ the oath concept, but it is the only clause that actually specifies the language of an oath for a constitutional officer. While the Oaths Clause in Article VI simply requires the persons specified therein to "be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution," the Presidential Oath Clause requires much more than this general oath of allegiance and fidelity. This clause enjoins the President to swear or affirm that he "will to the best of [his] Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." "Essays on Article II: Oath of Office"

Keep in mind how strongly this oath charges the president as to his duty to defend our democracy as embodied in our Constitution.
Now let's look at the strange situation of Donald Trump and this oath he will take.

We begin with this photo of the fiing cabinet that GOP burglars jimmied open when they broke into the Democratic National headquarters in 1972. Next to the filing cabinet is the computer that the Russians hacked into in 2016. Does this picture foreshadow a soon-to-be end of  Donald Trump's presidency? Is Trump headed for impeachment even before he's sworn in?

That sounds comical. Impeachable before he's even president? Nevertheless he is indeed setting the stage for his impeachment even now and may tie the knot just by taking the oath. It is actually the oath that may entrap him because violating the oath is itself an impeachable offense. But first let's look at what you can call "Russiagate" or "Watergate 2", either being appropriate.

I'm not going to recount the details that the media has already covered.  According to both the CIA and the FBI, it's clear that Russia invaded our election with the intention of tipping the election to Donald Trump and did so under Putin's direction. This Putin-directed effort began with hacking the Democratic National Committee's computers just as the Nixon Watergate scandal and Nixon's subsequent impeachment also began with a break-in at the Democratic National headquarters prior to an election.

It doesn't matter whether the Russian break-in did in fact facilitate Trump's win. One can argue it didn't since he actually won the election in four nearly-adjoining Midwestern states that gave him the necessary electoral college majority. That's not the kind of win one would look for as a result of a nationwide smear campaign by the Russians against Hillary Clinton. In fact she beat Trump nationally by aterrific three milllion in the popular vote.

But none of that matters.

Because it doesn't matter whether the Russians succeed in helping Trump or not. What matters is the break-in and interference with our election. That is a hostile act equivalent to an armed attack on our nation. It's even worse than a violent attack, i.e. we recovered from 9-11 but an attack on our most basic component of democracy, our election process, could be an attack from which we never recover. Once people believe that foreigners are manipulating our elections, they may lose faith in our elections. If that happens, this country and its democracy are done for.

The Russians have to be called to account. They have to be punished for what they did. If they are not, they may try again or some other nation may try. Or some individual will try, as did a far-right Putin fan in England: How a Putin Fan Pushed Propaganda to Americans. If we don't fight to protect our institutions, we shall lose them.

The "we" who must fight to protect our institutions definitely includes Trump. As soon as he takes the oath of office, he is obliged to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution to the best of his ability. He can't shrug off the Russian attempt because he and his chief of staff believe it to be "ridiculous". Nor can he undercut or countermand any punishment the Congress or President Obama may now set in motion unless he replaces it with one as strong or stronger.

Nor can he relieve Russia of the sanctions already on it for its past bad acts now that we know of their present bad act.

Yet Trump's choice for Secretary of State is opposed to those existing sanctions.

And this may have been Putin's precise motive in trying to tip the scales to get Trump as president. He knew he would get the Exxon Oil president as Secretary of State, a man who has cut big-time oil deals with Putin. A man who is a big friend of Putin's. A man who who will take away nasty sanctions. And how could Putin know ahead of the election that Trump would give him Exxon Oil's Number One Man as Secretary of State? My guess is that he worked that out with Trump ahead of time.

This puts Trump into a very precarious position. At the very least he is in peril of impeachment if he doesn't punish Putin's current bad acts. Or will he follow the path that Putin and Exxon Oil have picked for him, one that would remove present sanctions and thus effectively reward an attack on our country instead of punish it? This smacks of giving aid and comfort to our enemy. And let's not kid ourselves. The Putin/Russian invasion of our election process was the equivalent of Pearl Harbor—a sneak attack most deadly. Russia has declared war on us. We have been dragged into the arena of cyberwar.

There really isn't time for President Obama to do somthing meaningful. His time of power is rapidly running out. He'd only be shaking his fist at Russia from the back of a train that's pulling out of the station.

This break-in will not just disappear in the next few weeks as a concern. (God help us, if it drops off our screen so quickly.) This is going to be on Trump's plate. And rightly so. He will be the one with the power to take action. Further—and by wonderful irony—these invaders are his chums. It's only fitting that he be the one to deal with them. What better way to send the world a message of "Hands off of U.S. elections" than by having the intended beneficiary of the wrong-doing have the humiliation of being the message bearer.

But to make things abundantly clear before our people and the world, there must be a proper investigation. Even the GOP leaders in Congress have called for an investigation. We need to know the extent of this hacking plot. If Trump or his team were in collusion with the Russians, that could be a treasonous criminal offence. A candidate from 2016 might be going to jail after all, and it won't be Hillary Clinton as Trump so outrageously threatened.

And if Trump was not involved in collusion but does not act to punish Russia? As I've said, that would be an impeachable offense, violating as it does the oath he will swear on January 20.

Meantime we have to keep this issue alive. We have to call (not email) our Congressional represenatives and Senators, urging them to investigate this hacking conscientiously. We must make it known that the American people are not about to tolerate an attack by Russia on the fundamentals of our democracy.

If Trump gets impeached over this, I shall rejoice. But what is important is that he be forced to make clear that he does not welcome outside help in elections from those who would gladly destroy us. He has to show the world that he can and will defend the Constitution and therefore they had better not mess with our fundamental institutions.

And now....It's all up to you. And your friends and your family. Make those phone calls. If you don't help save this country, who will?

"What kind of government have you given us, Doctor Franklin?" the woman asked as the founding fathers left the hall where they had promulgated the Constitution. Franklin replied," A republic, madam. If you can keep it."

Can you?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Upcoming: (1)RussiaGate & Trump Impeachment? (2) How YOU Can End Ugly Grip of Electoral College

I hope to get the RussiaGate/Trump Impeachment one done on Saturday. The one on ending the electoral college mess is possibly going up on Monday. No rest for the wicked? This may, however, be one of the most important times ever in American politics.

Here's to think about until Monday: Did you know the electoral college is actually rooted in slavery?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Why Didn't Trump Ask For an Investigation of Russia's Alleged "Rigging"?

And now comes the report by the CIA that the Russians tried to throw the election to Donald Trump.

There are a lot of unanswered questions about this situation but the biggest one is "Why has Trump failed to ask for a fuller investigation or even a CIA briefing on this?"

Instead he has screeched in a night-time Twitter, "I don't believe it!"

He says we can't trace the hacking. If he is so ignorant as to not know hacking can be traced (I'm 80 and I know it), why does he screech without checking out the possibilies? He has earlier said about Clinton's emails being hacked that "it coud be China or someone sitting on a bed somewhere." Who gives him these ideas? Has he been assured by someone that hacking by Russia can't be traced? And if he was thus assured, who did the assuring and when?

We don't know if the Russians' hacking was all their own idea or they acted in collusion with Trump. We do know, however, that it was Russian done. These things are in fact traceable, though Donald Trump says otherwise.

We don't know if the Russians actually attempted to tip the election scale in favor of Trump. But the CIA says the evidence is high. Judging by what we know of the Russian interference in Democratic House campaigns, there can be little question but they intended to affect our elections. And it certainly seems the attack on the House campaigns did indeed have an effect. How Moscow Aimed a Perfect Weapon at the U.S. Election

We don't know if Trump's appointment of a Putin "friend" to be our Secretary of State is a payback for the purported effort by the Russians to tip the election to Trump.

What we do know is that any attempt by any outside government or other outside entity to "rig" our elections is a worse attack on us than war. We can recover from a military attack; we may never recover from an attack on our elections, our most basic democratic institution.

If Russia even so much as tried this, it must be punished by sanctions at least.  And Trump, no matter his friendly feelings for Putin and Russia, must institute such punishment. If he does not, he is thereby at least an accessory after the fact, helping a cover-up and effectively colluding with Russia in an attack on this country. He will also flagrantly be defying the oath a president takes to defend this country.

For either of these "high crimes" it is the absolute duty of the Congress to impeach him.  If he went beyond this and actually colluded with the Russians prior to the acts, he has committed something akin to treason.  (See the postscript as to an act being treason even when outside of wartime and even with a country not officially an enemy.)

I would have let this matter become clearer before commenting, but things have happened since the story broke about the CIA report. After four days, much is still cloudy in this matter, but two things have become clear to me.

1.  I have already alluded to the first, i.e. any attempt by Russia to interfere in our elections must be punished. This is necessary to deter others and also to reassure our people that our elections are being guarded by sanctions falling on those who trespass into these elections.

2.  Guilt speaks with a loud and quick voice. I was for a time a criminal defense lawyer. It wasn't my job to decide whether a client was guilty or not, and I can honestly say I never did, but I did notice some things about the behavior of the accused: those who yelled loudly that they were innocent and did so before being identified as suspects, often soon faced a mountain of evidence against them.  And that was my job: to be alert to the possibility of such a mound of evidence coming at my client and me. Thus when Trump leaped in the night to Twitter that he did not believe the CIA report, he sounded an awful lot like my clients against whom a pile of evidence would be coming.

So I ask you this: why would an innocent president-elect dismiss out of hand an intelligence agency report going right to the survival of our democracy?

Wouldn't he be as anxious as anyone—even moreso than anyone—to have the matter thoroughly investigated?

One would certainly hope so.

Meantime the GOP leaders of Congress have indicated they want to do an investigation. Will they do one that is honest and thorough? Again, we don't know.

But I think they might. This is a more serious and clearer-cut matter than was Watergate at this stage. They know that. They also know that if they fail to meet this challenge, they have not only failed their fundamental sworn duty to protect this country and the Constitution but risk the GOP losing even the tiny shred of credibility it yet may have in the wake of Trump's takover of the party.

Further, I do believe that at some level these GOP leaders actually care about this country.

Maybe this ghastly Russian shadow will draw us all back into the basic understanding that we all, regardless of party, do indeed love this country.  Maybe we can actually all pull together to fix this terrible thing that may have happened.

Could some good come out of this threatening situation? Could a threat of this magnitude bring us together.

We don't know the answer to that yet either, do we? But let's see if the GOP Congress now takes up its duty and starts its investigation.

Call (not email) your Congressional representatives and senators and say you want an investigation right now and want Russia punished with sanctions.

It's your country. If you can keep it.....

P.S. For an act betraying our country to be prosecuted successfully it is not required that a perpetrator "give aid and comfort to an enemy" identifiable as such because of a state of war. Betraying one's country is a broader concept, e.g. the government employee who stole US secrets in order to give them to Israel, which of course is our ally. These acts are generally prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917. Precisely how an act to destroy an American election would be classified requires some research.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Pelosi: World's Weakest Political Leader?

Let's start on a positive note. Please read this from the NY Times: Frank Bruni's How to Win a Senate Race. It's about Rob Portman's GOP victory in Ohio. Portman even outpolled Donald Trump, Ohio's darling. Bruni's piece looks at how someone won in this wild year by just doing the basic hard work of a campaign and using good political judgment. We can learn from anybody and should, GOP included.

Let's admit that the Democrats had better start learning from someone pretty damn fast because in just two years the Congressional elections come up and then reapportionment per the 2020 census. So far this decade the Democratic leadership in D.C. has become worse and worse at winning the Congress.

Rob Portman wasn't supposed to win the Senate seat in Ohio. Early this year the Democrats looked poised to make at least a net gain of 6 seats in the Senate, including Ohio, which would have given them a majority and thus a bulwark against repeal of Obamacare. That majority would also have blocked repeal of the environmental rules that may stave off climate change. Regaining the Senate majority could also have blocked bad appointments to the Supreme Court. An enormous amount was at stake.

Instead the Democrats won only two seats of the six, a failure almost as surprising and disappointing as Clinton losing to Trump. Instead of analyzing what the Demcrats did wrong, in his column Bruni looks at what one Republican senate candidate did right. It's nothing far out. It's just good basic campaign techniques and lots of hard work. The Democratic Party in D.C. seems to have forgotten both of these.

Nor do they seem particularly interested in remedying their failures. The re-election last week of Nancy Pelosi to the office of minority leader of the House, while having no bearing on the Senate disaster, nevertheless speaks ill for the future. It means the Democrats in D.C. haven't learned from this terrible year that their party leadership is largely worthless at the most fundamental issue in politics: winning elections. If you can't win elections, you can't win anything else. That was the first lesson in politics my UAW buddies taught me.

The media credits Pelosi's hold on the leadership post to her vaunted skill in keeping her caucus in line and getting legislation through.

"Wait!" you say. "What legislation?"

Good question. Because of the GOP's determination not to let Obama have one damned thing, no Democratic measures have moved through the House since the GOP captured it in 2010. Pelosi has therefore accomplished nothing in 6 years. Her skill as a legislator has been worthless. And this is a sad story of her own making. We got no legislation because she failed at task Number One, holding the House in 2010 or winning back the majority in the House in 2012 or 2014. Now she has failed yet again.

For six years she has accomplished nothing. No regaining the House majority and no enactment of legislation.

She did do one thing, however.  She raised money. Pelosi is the pin-up girl for the Democratic party's entanglement with fat cats.

That's her way of keeping power and her leadership role. It's the money she raises—in enormous amounts—that keeps her popular as she spreads it around among her colleagues for their re-election campaigns, thus insuring they will vote for her as minority leader. But money alone doesn't win elections, as Hillary Clinton's well-financed campaign demonstrated. A good party leader has to help win elections with more than money. Just ask Howard Dean, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, who engineered the Democrats' sweeping Congressional wins in 2006.

But Pelosi puts a different face on the situation. After the November Democratic debacle she apparently felt she needed to say something on her own behalf to minimize her failure to get a House majority yet again. Give her first prize for sheer gall for saying,  "We have won elections before and we will do it again."


What elections is she talking about? None that she's won in getting a House majority. She hasn't won any! As I noted above. it was Howard Dean, as chair of the Democratic National Committee, who managed the enormous win of House seats by Democrats in 2006; then Obama's win carried the House candidates along to another Democratic Congressional majority in 2008. Pelosi blanked on 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016. That's 0 wins to 4 losses. If she were a football coach, she would have been canned after such a losing streak.

As for the Senate seats the Democrats should have won but didn't...... Well, let's not get too gloomy all at once.  My understanding from the media "experts"  is that the Democratic candidates were "weak".

Well, yeah. Let's leave it at that for now.
P.S. Watch for my upcoming post on the easiest and fastest way to change the electoral college so that the voters get the candidate the majority chooses. It's called democracy! You can help make it happen. No more of empty land choosing our president!