I'm announcing this morning that I am suspending my campaign. Not that I was running for office, or supporting any particular candidate during this Primary season. Instead, my campaign was to help generate some sort of rational, informed dialogue about politics, but it has become clear to me now that this is no longer possible.
So it's back to sports, drugs, and rock and roll, with a very occasional helping of political circus. (Note: you can continue to raise money for my PAC.)
And as The Band and I are fond of saying: "Look out, Cleveland!"
I thought that this was a defining moment, in terms of personality and leadership style, during last night's debate (from The New York Times):
Asked whether she would fire the head of the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to remedy water problems in Flint, Mrs. Clinton gave a nearly 200-word response emphasizing the need for a full investigation to “determine who knew what, when.” Mr. Sanders’ 16-word response drew enormous applause: “President Sanders would fire anybody who knew about what was happening and did not act appropriately.”
I was tempted to write in "Dick Gregory" like I did in 1968, but in the end it was down to either Rocky or Bernie, and I chose to feel the Bern one last time.
For those millions of people enduring the withdrawal symptoms of no more NFL weekends or fantasy football, I offer some hope: you can get Vegas odds on the actual day he announces he is "suspending" his campaign.
Taking your suggestions right now.
I wish that in every Presidential debate, candidates from both parties were required to wear NASCAR jackets, displaying the logos of their biggest donors.
John Cassidy (in his New Yorker blog post this morning) summarizes a startling demographic result from last night's Democrat caucuses in Iowa:
"The age gap between Clinton supporters and Sanders supporters was huge. According to the entrance polls, which wrongly predicted a Clinton victory, Sanders got eighty-six per cent of the Democratic vote in the seventeen-to-twenty-four age group, eighty-one per cent in the twenty-five-to-twenty-nine group, and sixty-five per cent in the thirty-to-thirty-nine age group. Clinton, by contrast, was largely reliant on the middle-aged and the elderly. Among forty-something voters, she won by five percentage points. Among the over-fifties, she won by more than twenty per cent."
As Bill Belichick would say, "we're on to New Hampshire".
We'll learn a lot more about the race for the nomination as the Iowa results emerge tonight, but this is an issue of critical importance for me.
"...Sanders, as I understand him, isn’t claiming that his ambitious and costly program is realistic in today’s Washington. To the contrary, he says that the political system is so broken, and so in hock to big money, that it is virtually impossible to effect nearly any substantive progressive change. The only way to make big changes, Sanders argues, is to create a mass movement that faces down corporate interests and their quislings. Once this movement materializes, all sorts of things that now seem out of the question—such as true universal health care, free college tuition, and a much more progressive tax system—will become possible."
This excerpt from John Cassidy's New Yorker post today is a pretty clear-eyed assessment of the Sanders candidacy. I have believed from the outset that both Sanders and Donald Trump have tapped into the same current of extreme dissatisfaction within the American public in general, which is far more widespread and apolitical than the Washington commentariat understands.
"What was different from previous debates was Sanders’s eagerness to go on the offensive against Clinton, and particularly to highlight her most vulnerable area: her ties to the Wall Street plutocracy. Twice, Sanders mentioned that she has received generous speaking fees from Goldman Sachs. The NBC anchor Lester Holt, the co-moderator of the debate, asked Sanders how his approach to bank regulation would differ from Clinton’s. “Well, the first difference is I don’t take money from big banks,” Sanders replied. “I don’t get personal speaking fees from Goldman Sachs.” Sanders’s second jab came after Clinton claimed that she had the toughest, most comprehensive plan to regulate Wall Street. This time, Sanders added a dollar figure, pointing out that Clinton “received over six hundred thousand dollars in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in one year.”
I wonder what Democrats will be watching live in primetime tonight:
Shameless, then Billions
Fortunately, the NFL Divisional Playoffs will be over by then, so that won't provide any competition.