As the nastiness escalates on both sides of the aisle as we continue the 50-state slog better known as primary season, we tend to forget history. I was thrilled to welcome Joseph Cummins on the show this morning because I’m fascinated with his book, Anything for a Vote: Dirty Tricks, Cheap Shots and October Surprises in US Presidential Campaigns which tells about each election leading up to this one, with every one of them displaying various degrees of vitriolic attacks. The bottom line is, which 2016 is dirty, nasty and sleazy – the worse since 1972 – it is certainly far from the worst we’ve seen.
Speaking of political attacks, I found this video compiled by The Atlantic, which shows that the ugliness has been rearing its head for decades:
Today is Wednesday, which always means a visit from Deborah Newell, who helps me expose the DUH in Floriduh weekly. Today, in addition to our criminal governor actually running an ad attacking the woman who dared call him out at a Starbucks in Gainesville last week, we learned about the suspect who led cops on a high speed chase before a body cavity search unearthed a handcuff key stuffed inside his anus, and the man who blamed his vandalism streak on too much masturbation, we did tell a horrifically serious story. Deborah brought us this one about how Rick Scott is following the lead of other horrible governors like John Kasich by signing sickening abortion restriction laws.
We also shared some encouraging news today: Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon endorsed Bernie Sanders, the NY City Transit workers union endorsed Bernie Sanders, and Tom Hayden either just got the biggest cash payment of his lifetime or he’s lost his fucking mind.
For some inconceivable reason, The Nation published a piece by Hayden titled “I Used to Support Bernie, but Then I Changed My Mind.”
The article itself is riddled with inconsistencies (lots of reasons to support Bernie, and few to oppose him, but he somehow tries to do both). His “facts” are of the ilk that Faux News regularly reports (read: made up). For example,
The populist clarity of Bernie’s proposals can be problematic, even for some of his supporters. For example, to simply reject Obamacare in the belief that “political revolution” will lead to a single-payer solution is simplistic.
Bernie Sanders has NEVER, EVER so much as implied that he’d “reject Obamacare”. He helped write the bill, and authored and made sure one of the most important provisions in it passed, the funding for community health centers. He wants to make the ACA actually work by allowing us to buy into Medicare.
But the most heinous part of that article is his “fundamental reason” for voting for Hillary Clinton:
I intend to vote for Hillary Clinton in the California primary for one fundamental reason. It has to do with race. My life since 1960 has been committed to the causes of African Americans, the Chicano movement, the labor movement, and freedom struggles in Vietnam, Cuba and Latin America. In the environmental movement I start from the premise of environmental justice for the poor and communities of color. My wife is a descendant of the Oglala Sioux, and my whole family is inter-racial.
What would cause me to turn my back on all those people who have shaped who I am? That would be a transgression on my personal code. I have been on too many freedom rides, too many marches, too many jail cells, and far too many gravesites to breach that trust. And I have been so tied to the women’s movement that I cannot imagine scoffing at the chance to vote for a woman president. When I understood that the overwhelming consensus from those communities was for Hillary—for instance the Congressional Black Caucus and Sacramento’s Latino caucus—that was the decisive factor for me. I am gratified with Bernie’s increasing support from these communities of color, though it has appeared to be too little and too late. Bernie’s campaign has had all the money in the world to invest in inner city organizing, starting 18 months ago. He chose to invest resources instead in white-majority regions at the expense of the Deep South and urban North.
There’s so much that’s wrong in those two paragraphs for which I have neither the time, energy, desire or low enough blood pressure to deal with. But that is the moment when Tom Hayden outlived what was left of his credibility. He’s now no more than a very sad footnote to history.
The entire article is posted on The Nation’s website here. The best part of it is the comments section. My favorite comment pretty much says it all:
I hear that the Vatican invited Bernie because they couldn’t afford Hillary’s speaking fees. I liked Tom Hayden in the 1960s, but Then I Changed My Mind.
See you tomorrow, radio or not!