Finally, A Museum Dedicated to Our Most Tested Americans

by James A. Kidney I was fortunate enough to get a sneak preview of the new National Museum of African- American History and Culture (“the African American Museum”) on the National Mall six days before it is to be formally opened to the public with a ceremony featuring the President.  It is the nearest building on the Mall east of the Washington Monument and is across 14th Street from the Museum of American History. One of my first questions when I plan to visit a city for a couple of days is whether it has a museum.  If the answer is affirmative, I always visit it.  I am familiar with many museums around the world and, as a native Washingtonian, the Smithsonian museums in particular.  I am no curatorial expert, but believe I know a good museum when I see one. In my judgment, the African-American Museum is spectacular.  It is a model which … Read more of this post . . .

I Just Want to Cry

By James A. Kidney

 The news this week on the race front is so demoralizing and sad that I, a 68-year-old white person, just want to cry.  There were senseless deaths of young black men (again) in Minneapolis and Baton Rouge.  They were guilty of nothing — not even bad conduct.  They were killed because of the skin color they wore.

As senseless, or maybe even more senseless, if possible, are the deaths of five policemen and six others wounded in Dallas. These officers were simply standing by as protestors assembled peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights.  They were killed only because of the uniform they wore.

police clubbing people drawingInstead of progress, we can add “copism” to “racism” in the lexicon of evils eagerly adopted by some men and women in this country.  In both cases, negative characteristics of the few are broadly applied to all based on either skin color or occupation.

My God!  The exclamation is appropriate. The chaos of the American burden — racial dysfunction — is Biblical, and not in a good way.

Read more of this post . . .I Just Want to Cry

Confessions of a Self-Hating Liberal? Not Quite.

By James A. Kidney

Most candidates on the GOP side of this presidential campaign — at least, all of those who seem to have a realistic chance at winning the nomination — bring with them nightmarish visions of impulsive nuclear holocaust, indentured servitude to oligarchic multi-national employers, mass deportation, continued assault on government and unlimited financial rewards-for-nothing to the one percent.

Hoorah for liberals!  We are uniters.  We are lovers.  We hate no one.

But we love no one more than ourselves.  We are, after all, the most tolerant, the most kind, the most sharing. All should flock to our banners.  Our common sense and compassion are obvious.

You know who liberals are, don’t you?  They are you and me.  They are white people who are well-off, well-educated and focused on almost anyone but folks who have lost their jobs in manufacturing, mining and other industries, mostly located between the East and West Coasts.

That is the area also derisively known as “flyover country.”

Who Liberals Love — and Who They Don’t

A good liberal loves to show tolerance for anyone who is “different” from his or her own identity group, especially if the difference is an easily identified one.  Liberals want to help such groups, preferably by singling out their needs as the most pressing for the entire country and to ravish attention upon these needs by asking everyone else to concede to the rightness of the liberals’ chosen cause.

Once this call for tolerance and policies promoting inclusion was pretty much limited to groups with a history of racial oppression.  In the last 20 or 30 years, liberals have also included gender, disability (mental or physical) and other categories in their pantheon of hand-wringing concern.  Now, a good liberal (including me), wants to help the refugees of wars started by us.  Those people aren’t even Americans!

Read more of this post . . .Confessions of a Self-Hating Liberal? Not Quite.

Why Bernie?

By James A. Kidney

The big knock against nominating Bernie Sanders for president is that he is “unelectable.”  “Do you want to repeat 1972 when George McGovern got creamed?” is the chant.  “Do you want a Scalia clone on the Supreme Court?” is another.  If Sanders is nominated, so this reasoning goes, the GOP will win, no matter who the Republicans nominate.  Nominating Hillary, these folks also contend, is a much surer lock on another four or eight years of the presidency.  The current numbers do not support this conclusion.

Bernie-Hillary policy differences chart

It is not surprising that Sanders is viewed by many as a weak candidate.  He is (1) in his mid-70s, (2) a self-proclaimed Social Democrat, (3) Jewish (though not very devout), (4) disheveled (though he has neatened up his appearance over time), (5) not supported by the Democratic Party Establishment and (6) lacks Clinton’s foreign policy credentials.

Now that Sanders has lost the Nevada caucuses, the (5) Establishment is roaring that Hillary Clinton has a lock on the nomination.  This is so although Sanders came within 5 percent of destroying what was once a 20 percent lead by Clinton in Nevada and beat Clinton by 20 percent in New Hampshire.  They tied in the Iowa caucuses.

Although the score is 1-1-1, Clinton’s coronation is assured, we are told.  Only the Republicans have a contest, these folks say, which Donald Trump is winning.

Read more of this post . . .Why Bernie?

Why Hillary?

    By James A. Kidney            We can blame Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Establishment for the fact that Clinton’s only opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination is a 74-year-old Democratic Socialist instead of a younger liberal such as Elizabeth Warren.  Clinton (or, better, the Clintons) and her allies, of whom there are many among the Democratic elite, discouraged others in the party from running, either specifically and directly (“It’s Hillary’s turn.”) or more indirectly (“Hillary is the only one with the financial support to win against the GOP oligarchy.”)  Plus, of course, “There is a special place in Hell for women who don’t support women.” Coronation for Hillary.  Attractive alternatives were never heard from, much less nurtured for the future. But nobody thought about Bernie Sanders. As we predicted (Jan. 20 post, “The Week of the Long Knives”), the Democratic Establishment clubs dropped on … Read more of this post . . .

The Democrats:  McGovern Redux?  Really?

By James A. Kidney

bigger fly swatter cartoon

The “top stories” section of The New York Times online this morning featured news articles about “Bill Clinton Unleashes a Stinging Attack on Sanders” and another about Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem criticizing women who support Bernie Sanders rather than Hillary Clinton.  All three essentially called female Sanders supporters traitors to their gender – “Aunt Thomasina” rather than “Uncle Tom.”

Bill Clinton also blamed Sanders for internet trolls who, according to Clinton, used vicious, sexist language in online comments directed to female columnists and others, male and female, supporting his wife.  This raises a question:  Has Bill Clinton ever looked at internet comments before?  Does he understand that internet trolls are mostly folks holed up in their basements with no friends?  They are not manning the computers at presidential candidate headquarters.  Those folks instead are sending out bothersome emails about the virtues and pressing financial needs of their own candidates.  Well, Bill has his own server as well as servants, so maybe he doesn’t see email spam.

The cause of these attacks is that young voting-age females in New Hampshire are polling overwhelmingly for the old guy and Clinton is getting desperate in the state.  Young and even middle-aged women don’t seem attracted to the Hillary Clinton drumbeat that, no matter how cozy she is with Wall Street and the Robert Rubin crowd, she is a proud standard-bearer for every self-identified racial and sexual group on the planet demanding its rights — except those who are male, straight and white.

Here is an excerpt from her opening statement at the debate with Sanders last week in which she barely recognized the importance of economic issues and jumped to race and gender, which Sanders has not made a focus of his campaign:

“Yes, of course, the economy has not been working for most Americans. Yes, of course, we have special interests that are unfortunately doing too much to rig the game.But there’s also the continuing challenges of racism, of sexism, of discrimination against the LGBT community, of the way that we treat people as opposed to how we want to be treated.”

[Let’s make it clear that either Sanders or Clinton would be head-and-shoulders better than any Republican running for president.  This was proved conclusively at last week’s Democratic candidate debate – the first in which it was just Sanders and Clinton, head-to-head. It was mostly a mature, thoughtful discussion of issues, with much agreement. Backers of either candidate would be stubbornly wrong-headed to stay home on election day if the other person was nominated instead.]

A key issue in the Democratic race is electability.  It always is for both parties. That is where the attacks on Sanders by Clinton supporters are most pronounced and effective.  The second, and as effective, attack on Sanders is for lack of foreign policy chops. There is merit to the second claim,

Read more of this post . . .The Democrats:  McGovern Redux?  Really?

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