When A Frackenlooper Falls In A Forest, Does Anyone Hear?

There's another primary going on-- for who will dominate the conservative lane in the Democratic primary. In the end, there aren't going to be 24 candidates-- probably just 3: a progressive (Bernie, maybe Elizabeth Warren), an identity politics candidate (likely Kamala Harris) and a conservative/establishment/status quo candidate (likely Biden). But entitled multimillionaires John Delaney and John Frackenlooper aren't giving up. Each is waging a slightly under the radar battle to prove he is the furthest right of all the other Democrats, likely in the hope of grabbing the Biden slot when he inevitably stumbles and self-destructs. Both are loathsome characters and it is impossible to tell which would be a worse candidate for the Democrats.

Yesterday, in a desperate plea for attention, Hickenlooper could hardly wait to get in front of a microphones to denounce the incredibly inspiring-- even transformative-- speech Bernie delivered on Wednesday. He persuaded the National Press Club to let him use their facilities for his anti-Bernie tirade, even though it was apparent from the first moment that he didn't understand a word of what Bernie had to say. His press release announced that Frackenlooper "will discuss successful private-public partnerships he oversaw in Colorado, including a program that dramatically expanded access to reproductive healthcare, reducing unintended pregnancy and abortion among young woman by more than half."

It's questionable whether or not Frackenlooper will be allowed on stage for the first round of debates and no one thinks he will make it onto the second round. The DNC says he has passed one threshold-- an ability to poll one percent in 3 polls, but has failed to have inspired enough individual donors 65,000 people, to be considered competitive. RealClearPolitics polling averages shows Hickenlooper with 0.4% support nationally, at 0.5% in New Hampshire and under 0.5% in Iowa.

His speech yesterday began with how he has "great respect for Bernie" BUT... he "fundamentally disagrees that we should do away with the democratic, regulated capitalism that has guided this country for over 200 years." Did Bernie say that? Here, watch it again and tell me where:

Frackenlooper claims that his reactionary position "is shared by many of my Democratic colleagues, but for some reason, our Party has been hesitant to express their opposition to democratic socialism. In fact, the Democratic presidential field has not only failed to oppose Senator Sanders’ agenda, they’ve actually rushed to embrace it. The majority of the Democratic presidential candidates support at least one of Sanders’ various proposals. Even, the self-declared pragmatists hesitate to directly criticize Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. While it’s true that no one of these policies would completely remake our economy on their own, Sanders said clearly on Wednesday that the goal of his complete agenda is to make the United States of America a democratic socialist country. The urgency now is even greater than before. Democrats must say loudly and clearly that we are not socialists. If we do not, we will end up reelecting the worst President in our country’s history."

Fuckface... I mean Frackenlooper failed to hear a word of what Bernie said. Or maybe Fuckface... I mean Frackenlooper sees FDR and the New Deal exactly the same way Republicans do-- as some kind of communist takeover. Fuckface... I mean Frackenlooper was all negativity, while the only negative words Bernie had were for fascists like Hitler and Mussolini and their current day imitators-- he named "Putin in Russia, Xi in China, Mohamed Bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, and Viktor Orbán in Hungry... plus the U.S. counterpart: Señor Trumpanzee.

Unlike Bernie, who explained how the greatest achievements of the Democratic Party have been made when Democrats have stood up to the GOP "socialism" smears, Frackenlooper ranted yesterday about how "Socialism is the most effective attack line Republicans can use against Democrats as long as Trump is at the top of the ticket.  As some have pointed out, Republicans may call Democrats “socialists” no matter how moderate we truly are. But Americans are smarter than that." Yes, they are-- but is Frackenlooper?

The Republican socialism smear campaign began in 1930, when Hoover was still president. Going into the midterms that year, the GOP help 270 seats in the House, to the Democrats' 164 and 56 seats in the Senate, to the Democrats' 39. As the Republicans howled "socialism" against the Democrats-- much the same way Frackenlooper did against Bernie yesterday-- the voters decided to start redistributing political power. After the 1930 elections, the House flipped blue and the Democrats wound up with a one seat majority-- 218 to 217, the Republicans having lost 52 seats. In the Senate, the GOP lost 6 seats but still controlled the body, 50-45. Two years later, the GOP ramped up their "socialism" bullshit, which turned Hoover into a one-term president. 22,821,277 voters (57.4%) picked FDR to 15,761,254 (39.7%) who stuck with the Republicans. FDR won all but 6 states. The Democrats flipped the Senate, winning 12 Republican-held seats for a 59-36 majority. In the House, 1932 was absolutely catastrophic for the "Socialism-screeching Republicans." Already in the minority, 101 Republicans were defeated, giving the Democrats a 313 to 117 majority.

The Republicans didn't learn a thing from their defeats. They decided to go even bigger with their anti-socialism smear attacks in the 1934 midterms. The voters responded decisively. The GOP 117 minority shriveled further. The new Democratic majority was 322-103 and 7 members from the Progressive Party were elected. In the Senate, it must have felt like the end of the world for the Republicans, as 10 more of them went down to defeat, giving the Democrats a 69-25 majority (with one Progressive and one member of the Farmer-Labor Party elected). It was looking like voters liked all that socialism.

And then came 1936. FDR was reelected in a massive landslide against the anti-socialism fanatic-- 27,747,636 (60.8%) to 16,679,543 (36.5%)-- leaving the GOP with just 2 states, losing even Kansas, where their nominee was from. And the GOP shed a further 5 seats in the Senate, leaving them with a sad rump of just 17 senators, sitting and mumbling "socialism!" to each other. In the House, there just weren't many more districts that could flip. But the GOP managed to lose 15 more seats. The House then consisted of 334 Democrats, 88 Republicans, 8 Progressives and 5 Farmer-Labor Party socialists.

Frackenlooper must have missed history classes when those years were being discussed. He went on to babble his regular bullshit about how he won in 2104 "by talking about how the state collaborated with non-profits and with business. By talking about how I worked with Democrats and Republicans."  He then went into a full-throated defense of Hillarism that the voters already rejected. "Democratic socialism," he claimed, "is not only a poor electoral strategy-- it’s a disastrous governing model. While Sanders has attacked those in the center for preaching incrementalism-- the reality is that pragmatists don’t say 'no' to big ideas, they figure out how to actually get them done. While government plays a vital role in tackling big challenges, it has rarely been successful alone. It is when government has teamed up with the private sector and non-profits-- that we have seen our greatest successes-- from the polio vaccine to the space race." And then some wobbly assertions that can't be substantiated: "I used that collaborative approach in Colorado, and, today, our state has near-universal health care. We’ve had the number one economy in the country for three consecutive years. I am the only person running who has actually done what everyone else is just talking about."

Today Frackenlooper is one of the most hated political figures in Colorado. There's virtually no office in the state he could win. But in his own mind-- and only in his own mind-- he claims to be a hero of the state. Both parties detest him, yet his campaign is based on bullshit like this:

And, we didn’t get any of those big progressive goals done by applying ideological litmus tests.

We took a pragmatic approach.

We understood that sometimes we would have to talk to Republicans.

We didn’t demonize the private sector.

We focused, above all else, on building a state that worked for everyone, by getting everyone to work together.    

Frackenlooper claims he understands-- though he doesn't, "that Americans are frustrated right now-- that they are hungry for bold change." His entire career proves that those are just random words to him. "I understand that our young people, especially, see socialism as an attractive alternative to the political gridlock and economic recession they experienced during their formative years. But it would be a grave mistake to abandon the American entrepreneurial spirit that has always been at our country’s core." Did he listen to a different speech by Bernie than anyone else did-- or, more likely, no speech at all... except the one Republicans made in 1930, 1932, 1934, 1936... "The reality," he claimed yesterday so the Republicans wouldn't feel lone with this losing message, "is that socialism increases tax burdens on working families while often failing to solve the problems it claims to address.  Medicare-for-All does not take on fee for service, the major driver of healthcare costs. (Conservatives fought like mad dogs against Medicare; they still do. Frackenlooper is one of them, no less than Mitch McConnell is).

"The Green New Deal guarantees every American a federal job-- virtually guaranteeing it will never make it through Congress. " Exactly what Republicans said for years about Social Security. "Free college proposals massively raise taxes-- while doing nothing to address economic opportunity for the two-thirds of Americans who will never graduate with a four-year degree...  For too long, our leaders let America’s economic policies drift away from our core values-- especially the value we place on America’s workers and the work they do. At times, our leaders were passive in the face of big forces like globalization and automation, leaving our workers to fall behind. For decades, economic policies have shifted to favor the wealthy and powerful over those who work every day to get by."

He just described his end of the Democratic Party, from Bill Clinton on. Will he ever go beyond 0.4%. Hard to imagine. While I was writing this post, I got a call from a NY Times reporter to talk about the Senate races. I'm just just mentioning that as an excuse for why the post may have come out a little disjointed. He reminded me what I hate so much about establishment Democrats like Frackenlooper. They're, first and foremost, careerists. It's always all about them... never about the values and principles and goals of the Democratic Party, values and principles and goals they absolutely loathe. In fact, all of them-- the Schumers and Lieberman's and Biden's and Frackenloopers... they are self-loathing Democrats. This people are far from being on the side of them working class-- and they have muddied the Democratic Party brand in there process of climbing their personal career ladders. I'm guessing none of what I said to the Times reporter will get into his story. He seemed relieved to get me off the phone so he could get back to the conventional wisdom that the only way to win seats in "red" states like Georgia, Texas and Iowa is to run conservative Democrats, even though I tried explaining how Harkin's wins and Stacey Abrams' and Beto's performances in those states negates the entire electoral premise of the DSCC (and DCCC) that Democrats can only win as lesser of two evils candidates. Kathy Ellis is running for Congress in a super-red Missouri district. She understands this and her campaign is based on it. Kathy Ellis, not John Frackenlooper, is a Democrat in the best sense of what it means to be a Democrat. Watch this video and you'll have a better idea of what I'm talking about and then think about contributing to her campaign here.

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