Who Will Be the Next President?
by Mike Kimel
Who Will Be the Next President?
We don’t know much about Panama before the Spanish arrived other than that it fit the usual pattern you see just about everywhere – there were periods of bloody violence (wars, genocides) alternating with periods of some sort of coexistence. After the Spanish arrived, there was more of the same, but we know more details, most of which we can dispense with here. Eventually, what is now Panama and what is now Colombia made up a single country: the Republic of New Granada, and did so not once, but twice. in 1903, Panama managed to secede from Colombia for good, with some cooperation by the US which was interested in the construction of the Canal.
Today, the differences between Panama and Colombia are apparent. In 2015, GDP per capita in Panama was about $21,800 compared to $13,800 in Colombia. Other measures of well-being favor Panama. For example, its people have a longer life expectancy, partly due to its much lower murder rate. The result is that there is a lot of immigration from Colombia into Panama, much of it illegal. Some estimate that as many as 50% of those illegally in Panama are from Colombia. And some politicians have alleged that Colombians are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the crime that occurs in Panama.</a>
That’s the extent of what I know about the subject. But the other day, apropos of nothing at all, I was wondering – how would the Panamians react if groups of Colombians held large protests against Panamian immigration policy in major cities? What if during those protests, some Colombians waved the Colombian national flag, and several of them stated that one day, Panama would be Colombian again? What if some Colombians burned the Panamian flag? And what if these protesters made a habit of holding their protests at rallies held by groups dedicated to stopping illegal/undocumented immigration from Columbia?
Now, in the US, perhaps either Clinton or Trump will implode on the mountains of toxic baggage that each is carrying around. If not, however, I think the next election will be determined by how many voters would view musings like those in the paragraph above as a close parallel to the current situation in the US.
If this is the Unity policy in practice: http://www.bluejersey.com/2016/06/kumbaya-over-bernie-sanders-nj-chair-wisniewski-summarily-dropped-as-dnc-member-2/
This is probably the answer: http://hubpages.com/politics/The-Willie-Stark-Strategy-for-Sanders-Supporters
It still amazes me how much I can learn from fiction vs. nonfiction.
And anticipating the shrieking of the never Trumpians I will acknowledge that bernie would never go for it. Unfortunately.
“Mountains of toxic garbage.”
As Bev said,
I think Leonard Pitts column suggests the real question is how many people will view the state of affairs in the US the way adherents of the NAZI party viewed things in Germany in the 30’s. All of the white men in this country who long for “the good old days” but not too old when Spain owned most of the country and Russia a good chunk of the rest(never mind Native Americans) may support Trump but they are not the brightest bulbs and will surely be disappointed that being able to call Hispanics “wetbacks” and “beaners” and wish everyone Merry Christmas does not make their lives better. The vast majority of immigrants to this country, legal and illegal, make the country stronger and better and want nothing more than to be Americans. Agriculture would end in this country in several important respects without immigrants. It would have cost me 3 times as much to replace my leaking roof without immigrants. A good friend in Chicago could not have run his business without illegal immigrants–from Ireland. Of course the United States should control its borders more than it has historically, but we are not going to build a wall, we are not going to deport or commit genocide against illegal immigrants and Muslims and we are not going back to the days of male white privilege. Everybody but the tea baggers gets that and that is why unless the left sits out the election because they do not like Hillary, Trump will not win. It is nonsense to suggest that poorly educated white men ( and the women who do not think they can do better) can win nationwide elections. That is particularly true given the electoral college system of electing the President. The fact is the vast majority of voters are not going to vote based on Fox News snippets of Hispanics acting badly and illegal immigration is well down their list of issues. One only has to look at the polling on Trump’s attack on the “Mexican” judge from Indiana to figure that out. By the way my wife who grew up in Canada insists on flying the Canadian Flag on July 1. I let her because we are off to New Brunswick if Trump does win, grandchildren be damned.
From the State Dep’t’s website, its mission statement is: “The Department’s mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere.”
From memory, in her first term she was mostly concerned with fixing the mess left behind by the previous administration in Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan, and dealing with Iran. Later, the focus shifted to Arab Spring, and in particular, Egypt, Libya and Syria. There was also a symbolic visit to Burma. Now, maybe she was focused on other things that I am not remembering, but from that list, the only clear success according to State’s mission statement was the fly-in to Burma. Unless you view the outcomes in Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Afghanistan, not to mention our relations with the Russians as a raging success, her record constitutes part of that mountain to which I referred.
You seriously believe that the average Trump voter wants Trump in office in order to promote genocide?
“Mountains”, not “parts”.
Want to criticize her actions or inactions? that’s fine with me.
But the ‘mountains of toxic garbage” you assign to her is way too much.
Lol yeah. It’s only a flaming dumpster fire of toxic garbage. Perspective!
I cannot even begin to imagine how anyone, anywhere or in any position can possibly deal with the situation in the middle east. It is well past the point where we should even try. Nothing we do(or can do) will help.
Time to run away.
So much for owning the predictable consequences of intervention.
“You break it you bought it” still sounds like wisdom to me. Unfortunately.
And fwiw as heart wrenching as the memories of images of terrified refugees hanging on to the edges of helicopters lifting off from embassy roofs are to me, it was at least the end of that particular form of disaster.
I admit I basically believed we were due for a similar set of images in Iraq after W. But they never happened in some sense. And here we are.
first, i agrre with the sane part of what you said.
second, i would bet i am better educated than you are.
third, as long as you dismiss the people who disagree with you as ignorant bigots, assuming they believe what you assume they believe
you are going to push them into the Trump camp. I know there are really bad … ignorant bigots…. out there, but it’s a mistake to just assume everyone who disagrees with you is one.
And wishing people a Merry Christmas should not be a crime. In fact, I’d say your objection to it makes you sound like an ignorant bigot.
“Want to criticize her actions or inactions? that’s fine with me.”
She is running based in large part on her experience. One of the things she claims distinguishes her from her opponent is foreign policy background. In other words, she is claiming she is pretty good at this. So either she actually is pretty good at it and her detractors are wrong (you don’t seem to be on board with this likelihood based on your comments above), she is mediocre and she knows it (i.e., she is lying), or she is mediocre and she doesn’t know it (i.e., she is delusional).
As an FYI… in 2008, I voted for her in the primaries. At the time, I felt she was corrupt (and have felt that way since the whole cattle futures affair), but the alternatives seemed to me at the time to be worse. However, what is different this time around is that in addition to some shading dealings, we also know how she performs in a powerful role in the executive branch.
we go to the polls with the politicians we have, not with the politicians we would like to have.
that’s why i never objected to a little honest corruption. that is better than incompetence or a settled determination to hurt the innocent.
of course middling competence is also about all we can expect. you don’t get an Abraham Lincoln, or Franklin Roosevelt every day, or even every eight years.
i don’t like Hillary much from what I have heard her say this campaign. (I voted for her in the primary against Obama because she was mostly sane about SS and he was bone ignorant. Still is.) But she may know what the people want to hear.
As for her “reputation” I really can’t sort out what might be true and important from the lies of the real haters in this country (Thing about all that bombing and stuff is that it goes with empire. Never has been a politician in power who wouldn’t kill people to save the empire. Not that many of them have even been competent at it. So I guess I’ll have to vote for her, and not hope for much… except maybe sending a message to the Trumpets that they are backing a losing cause.
Coberly, just for the record I have 19 years of education but that misses the point in two respects. First it is not education that I am talking about but gullibility. Bill Gates has less education than me but I will readily admit he is smarter. More important I grew up in a Catholic blue collar town and most of the folks are decent, hardworking people who have gotten a bad shake from the “elites”. I am counting on them and the women who love them not to fall for the snake oil that Trump is peddling. I also know that there is a mean element in this country that does not give a crap about anybody but themselves and wants to blame Muslims and Hispanics and black people and brown people for their miserable lives.
Hey Mike, I did not use genocide carelessly. We plainly have done it in the past against Native Americans and African Americans and I heard the “Christian ministers” after Orlando suggesting it was too bad more sodomites did not die. Do I really think Trump has a “final solution” in mind? No, but he is clearly treading on that ground and he has about as much support as Hitler did when he blew up the Reichstag and look how that ended. So if your point is that we should take him seriously and do everything in our power to defeat him including voting for a candidate who has obvious flaws I am with you. To the extent you think he and his supporters have a point you can go to hell IMHO
in my experience the most gullible people are the ones with the most education. they can fool themselves about anything.
and what does all this have to do with wishing people a merry Christmas.
Are you aware that Martin Luther King was a Christian, as are most of the illegal immigrants, and even the blacks, and even some of the gays you want to save from from all of us ignoramuses. And I would go so far as to suggest most Moslems believe even more strongly in those aspects of Christianity that you think you are superior to.
As for that “merry Christmas” has about as much “Christianity” in it as “Happy Holidays” but it’s a little bit less oh so correct. (wish me a Happy Chanukah and I would most likely wish you one. I’m not so good on the less common (in America] traditions.
And yep there are mean people in America, and they are so grateful to you for driving the simpler but less mean folks into their camp.
Nice to know that HRC is 100% responsible for everything the US has done in the ME for the last half of a century, if not longer.
Every person alive two hundred years ago was the descendant of people who had committed genocide, and that many times over. That certainly doesn’t minimize the horror of genocide. If Trump supporters are guilty of genocide because their forbears were engaged in the practice 200 years ago, then by your logic, everyone else is guilty of it too.
From what I can tell of Trump voters, they don’t seem to have any more interest in committing genocide these days than anyone else. They do want borders to be enforced. Which, they would point, is something Mexico does… along its southern border. Or, as this post points out, as many Panamians do. And I would hazard guess that people in just about every country in the world feel that way.
To compare a notion that borders should be enforced, whether you agree with it or not, with genocide and start talking about the Reichstag burning down is ridiculous hyperbole, unless you feel that the average Mexican is in favor of genocide because he/she supports the existence of a border with Guatemala.
Anyway, I tried to write this post without taking the side of Clinton or Trump. I would have thought that the last paragraph made it clear I am not exactly an enthusiastic supporter of either candidate. (That said, I admit I may have misunderestimated some people’s capacity for poor reading comprehension.) But this is a center-left blog, and I figured it would be useful for folks who read the blog to understand the other side. If I was writing the same post at a center right blog, I’d be trying to point out that Hilary Clinton’s supporters are not choosing to advocate that we commit suicide by advocating for less border enforcement. And I am sure there’d be some folks who would be incapable of grokking that concept too.
Not sure if your comment is in response to mine. A person should be measured against what they did.
Until they started edging away from Bill Clinton because his crime bill doesn’t pass the party’s litmus test of 2016, Democrats used to proudly point to Bill Clinton’s performance on the economy. That was based entirely on what happened from 1993 to 2000. Measuring someone’s performance is important if you are going to derive some lessons from it. Mr. Obama apparently failed to notice that GW’s economic performance was dismal, and perhaps as a result, largely continued GW’s economic policies. That he generated GW-style stagnation was predictable to anyone paying attention.
Measuring a person’s performance is particularly important if they are seeking office again. Remember “Heckuva Job” Brownie? He has experience with disaster relief on his resume? Would you hire him to run the Red Cross? Would you hire Don Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney to give advice on military issues? How about nominating GW to head the Fed? No? But he had eight years of experience running the US economy! He must know what he is doing.
By the same logic, should you elect a President who used to be a Secretary of State? Well, you look at what that person did as Secretary of State, and whether the results were positive or negative, particularly if that person is touting her experience as being one of her qualifications. Now, in the real world, you can’t win ’em all, but a person who did not generate positive outcomes on any of her major signature issues is someone you should think long and hard about.
Sure, the Middle East has been a mess for a while now. But you can’t argue it has gotten worse, from an American perspective, as a result of what happened from 2001 to 2008, and that’s on GW and his people. I think you’d be hard pressed to argue that the situation didn’t deteriorate from there through early 2013. GW and his people weren’t calling the shots then. Obama and Hilary Clinton were.
But of course, there’s the rest of the world too. Point out the successes. That’s how you argue someone should be the next President. Point to their successes.
As you stated(I think), Hillary should not have any credit or blame for what her husband did). I agree.
At the same time, Hillary should be held accountable for ME policy that she was involved with, but was certainly not 100% responsible.
Meanwhile, she had done other things, on the domestic front, that should be paid attention to.
Your post seems to say she has never done anything positive in her life. That is over the top.
Look, I do not like HRC even a little bit. Never have, never will(barring a miracle). But to take an all encompassing shot at her like you did is beyond the pale. She has campaigned and supported many progressive candidates. She has worked for many progressive issues.
Let’s be fair.
Let me know if you have someone in this race who has done more for the progressive cause than her, other than the last two years.
Of course you should consider the totality of her career when looking at her experience. But you weigh Sec of State most heavily for a few reasons. First, because President is head of the Executive Branch of gov’t, and this is the one example we have how she actually did run a piece of the Executive Branch. It’s the experience she has that is most similar to being President. Second, because it is her most recent experience. If a position she once took as senator is inconvenient to her now, she can disavow it and say she has changed. But as Dan Quayle discovered, you cannot blame youthful indiscretions for stuff you did recently.
If you ask me who has done more for the progressive cause than her, that’s a question I will shy away from as I don’t think its relevant. (More on that below.) I would say I didn’t find anyone I thought would likely be a good President on any side of the race (including third parties). We live in lesser times.
AS to the progressive cause, in particular…. Bill Clinton’s crime bill was pretty progressive at the time, if nothing else because it was largely geared toward reducing crime affecting minority populations. And it worked. If you put super predators away, they aren’t preying on the folks on the street.
The problem is that to the surprise of nobody at the time, the super predators preying on neighborhoods at the time were, in fact people from the neighborhood. And they have family and friends who talk about how its unjust that their loved ones are behind bars. So now, the progressive cause on that particular topic has morphed into a desire to reduce crime without inconveniencing criminals by incarcerating them. Its fairly obvious what the outcome of that is going to be in the end.
I prefer to measure a candidate whether I think they are pushing views that will help communities, not by whether they are going to pander to people who don’t get the concept of cause and effect.
So Hillary accomplished nothing during her role as Secretary of State and neither has she assisted domestic and foreign communities?
Much more on the topic of criminal justice, dealing with incarceration is akin to closing the barn door after the horse takes leave of the barn. A more poignant issue is the lack of adequate legal representation for minorities and low income people similar to what a well funded white person might receive. Such a defense does not exist at state levels and mostly did not exist for incarcerated people. The court system is little more than a revolving door with 85% of cases passing through the courts are still plea-bargained. I can only imagine who the 15% are. From the state’s view point, this is justice. From the imprisoned it is a flawed system where little choice is offered and a harsher consequence in the wings. From the economy point of view, it is a business often times in areas where business would never relocate.
There was more than just HRC who supported harsher sentencing guidelines. Hmmmmm? And much of America was open to the change and “still” believe it is wrong to change the laws.
We could spotlight the 90% black on black crime; but then, we would have to contend with the 80% white on white crime.
” Bill Clinton’s crime bill”
No idea what you mean, other than that the bill was more than just his. After all, it was heavily supported by representatives of the communities most affected by crime.
in some of the most violent neighborhoods across America, people were complaining about the crack epidemic. They wanted those involved in the crack trade off the streets, and for good reason. As I said, it was primarily Bill Clinton’s crime bill and was viewed as a piece of progressive legislation. Now it’s viewed as anathema. Bill Clinton was forced to walk some of it back during a campaign stop fir Hilary. So ehat passes for progressive thinking today is that the crime bill was s mistake. You cannot both want less crime and more criminals on the street in a given neighborhood. It’s like GW’s plan to cut taxes, spend more money and pay down the debt.
What I am saying is that talking about HRC’s actions should not include Bill Clinton’s actions and should not include her actions as First Lady either.
I never said they did. Read my comment again. I noted that what was considered a perfectly fine piece of progressive legislation that progressives used to be proud of has become, in a few years, untouchable because the progressive agenda on crime has been hijacked by magical thinking. That’s why I don’t think in terms of what is good for the progressive agenda, but rather for the country.
Lysenkoism used to be something you saw on the right in the US in the 1990s. Now you see it in the left too. It is very sad.
Well here’s another post that highlights the ability of liberal minded people to under cut their own ideological perspectives, especially in regards to electoral politics. Thanks Kimmel for yet a second try at divisiveness. Unity is how elections are won. Back biting is how a group of some what like minded people can insist that only their particular minutia is of great importance. It’s the weak fighting the weak, and a dirt bag like Trump can take that as an advantage. Keep in mind that George W. Bush, a totally disingenuous career taker, was chosen as President twice. A clear indication of the disarray the Democrats will allow their party to fall into. It can happen again.
Clinton is not great? I guess so. Who is amongst our political class? Trump is a ridiculous huckster who has managed to scam investors and banks for the past four decades and in the process of multiple bankruptcies amass a personal fortune. Of course starting out with Fred’s real estate fortune was a big help to even a huckster. So what’s all the diatribe regarding who the Democrats have chosen within a fairly democratic process? Try focusing on the deceitful and deceptive practices of even the best of the Republican leaders, not just Trump. That’s where the vigorous denunciations are best applied. Trump is only the logical extension of the past several Republican choices for leadership of their party. Tell me if the names McConnell, Ryan, have anything in common with honesty in politics and good government?
Hey according to the latest polls Clinton is competitive in Utah, Kansas and I keep hearing even TX(!?!) So relax, she’s got this.
Everybody is free to vote their conscience without worrying about short fingered vulgarians taking the oath next January. It’s win-win!
Yep, everyone is free to vote their conscience as long as they remember that there are consequences to their actions.
“Nader could defend this decision — by, say, making the case that keeping the Democrats from moving too close to the center requires throwing the occasional election to the Republicans. Instead, he persists in simply deflecting the issue away from his own behavior. Blaming his candidacy is a “politically bigoted comment,” he tells Hobson, because “They are assigning a second-class citizenship to the third party.” (Actually, they are merely recognizing the fact that third parties do not have a chance to win the election, but can impact which of the two major-party candidates does win.) …….
Nader himself once cited a poll showing that only 38 percent of his supporters would have voted for Gore, against 25 percent for Bush, and the remainder staying home. Nader presented this as evidence in his own defense. But if we apply it to the results in Florida, it clinches the opposite conclusion. Ninety-seven thousand Floridians voted for Nader. By his own figures, he swung a net of more than 12,000 votes from Gore, many times larger than Bush’s margin of victory.
In his interview, Nader goes on to defend his idiosyncratic belief that people are under no obligation to consider real-world impacts in their voting behavior. Vote for a third-party candidate, write in a candidate, follow your own conscience: “I think voters in a democracy should vote for anybody they want, including write in or even themselves. I don’t believe in any kind of reprimand of voters who stray from the two-party tyranny.” Why should people vote for candidates at all? Since, by definition, the person we most closely agree with is ourselves, why not just write your own name in every time?”
“You cannot both want less crime and more criminals on the street in a given
this kind of either-or thinking is bad logic. what’s wrong with tough on crime thinking is that it gives too much power to the haters who put people in jail and then treat them worse than their “crimes” deserve. and the “justice system” has demonstrated time and time again it cannot separate the good from the bad.
i don’t know that run has put his finger on the reason: i’m not sure better lawyers for the poor would solve the problem. John Walker Lindh had access to good lawyers and got twenty years because of mob stupidity and a judge glad to have the chance to harm a basically decent person.
for the record I voted for Gore. Nader did not cost Gore the election, Gore did. with a lot of help from W’s brother in Florida, and the criminal behavior of Republican “operatives.”
If Nader and his supporters had known that Nader would take away the winning votes from Gore I suspect enough of them would have voted for Gore. But the thing is you can’t know in advance, and voting for the guy you think you really want is one way to “tell the people” that there is something wrong with the “lesser evil” choices they are offered.
i hope Sanders has a plan to actually get some good policy from Democrats. But the way to do that is to scare them into thinking that not giving good policy will cost them votes and deliver the spoils, if not the country, to the Republicans.
You would have thought that eight years of Bush 2 would have taught the dems to offer something to the “left” to bring them out to vote. well they did… they offered them a pretty face and a lovely song… who gave us eight more years of Bush policies.
Incorrect. If you vote for a third party candidate you know your vote is wasted and you know your lost vote benefits those most opposite your belief.
Gore easily wins Florida if Nader does not run. That is a fact. Nothing else is relevant.
reminds me of a debate i heard on bbc between a catholic priest and a baptist minister.
the priest was explaining the two versions of creation in genesis by explaining that “it’s a story.”
the baptist said, in a voice like it came out of a stone idol: “we don’t judge the bible. the bible judges us!”
so hold on to that “nothing else is relevant” it will get you through hard times.
Gore actually won FL. Another fact.