Hits & Myths


Making of the President 2016 — The Primary Season in Overdrive

“If elections were that effective, they’d be illegal” [Emma Goldman who played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy and supported women’s rights and other social causes in the early 20th century. The US deported her to Russia in 1917]


The Primaries: History of a Good Idea Sabotaged by Money and Power, Its Rebirth and Redeath

It all started in the 1912 election, the first time many delegates to party conventions were nominated by primary voters not party bosses in 13 states. Unfortunately, the democratization of nominee elections didn’t live up to expectations. In the 13 republican primaries, Teddy Roosevelt won 9 but still lost to the incumbent William H. Taft at the party convention. Not until the democratic convention of 1968 did primary reform go into high gear. Hubert Humphrey emerged victorious at the democratic convention even though he hadn’t won a primary. The resultant televised mayhem in Grant Park was a major factor in Humphrey’s loss to Nixon and precipitated primary reform in both parties. Subsequent primaries were essential to the victories of Kennedy (proved a Catholic could win popular support). Reagan (wasn’t too old to get the peoples’ vote and Obama (a Black man could make it in white America). In 2016, somebody left the bar door open and reform slipped out to be replaced by the money derby. The 2016 Iowa primary is estimated to have cost a total of between $20 and $30 million.

The Progressive’s Dilemma: It isn’t much of a choice

The lesser of two evils (we saw where that got us) or the evil of two lessers (a cautionary tale). [Jerry Brown, California Governor]

The Old Girls Club

During this primary season so far, Elizabeth Warren is the only female democratic senator NOT to endorse Hillary Clinton. In 2013, Warren joined the other women senators in a letter urging Clinton to run for president. She has since clarified that it did not signify an endorsement.

Generations of Talk, Generations of Inaction

“All contributions by corporations to any political committee or for any political purpose should be forbidden by law.” [Theodore Roosevelt]

Feeling the Bern

First they ignore you

Then they ridicule you

Then they attack you

Then you win. [attributed to Ghandi]

Anthem for Bernie

“There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come” [Victor Hugo]

Brother Can You Spare A Dime

“These days many politicians are demanding change, just like homeless people. [George Carlin]

The Land of One Party

There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat.” [Gore Vidal]

The Politicians’ Abacus

Those of you who come in with me now will receive a big piece of the pie. Those of you who delay and commit yourselves later will receive a smaller piece of the pie. Those of you who don’t come in at all will receive — Good Government. [Huey Long— 40th governor of Louisiana, senator until his assassination in 1935, a month after declaring for the presidency. A democratic populist who denounced the banks and the rich, he created a “Share Our Wealth plan that called for wealth redistribution measures. ]

Orchestra Pit Theory of Political Analysis (AKA What Makes Donald Run)

If you have 2 guys on a stage and one guy says I have a solution to the Mid East problem and the other guy falls into the orchestra pit —who do you think is going to be on the evening news? [Roger Ailes]

“And Richard Cory, one calm summer night went home and put a bullet through his head” (Edward Arlington Robinson)

The rich are only defeated when running for their lives. [CLR James, Afro-Trinidadian historian, journalist, socialist theorist and essayist.]

Money in Politics —As American as Apple Pie

The real truth…is that a financial element in the larger centers has owned government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson. [FDR to Col. House]

The More Things Change The More they Stay the Same

Those who own the country ought to govern it. [1st Chief Justice, John Jay, 1789]

Did he really say that?

Here [US] voting is rigged and democracy here is a giant profusion of lies and clever brainwashing. [Lee Harvey Oswald as recounted in I Am a Patsy by George de Mohrenschildt]

Mendel’s Dilemma

What do you get when you cross a parrot with a politician? A bird that speaks out of both sides of its beak. (Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, 1968 season)



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