In which I explain as far as I know

To be clear, I hope he dies, and I don’t care who knows it, and the notion that he might die alone and gasping for breath from a disease that he refused to do anything to prevent is so karmically beautiful that I almost don’t know what to do about it.

A few years ago, I was trying to not be that kind of person; I have given up that fight. It’s lost. I hope he dies. He’s a terrible person and he’s responsible for hundreds of thousands of dead people and the fact that my mother never got a funeral and his painful, solitary death would be one of the very few 2020 events that counted as positive.

That said, it’s a little bit constitutionally complicated, so let’s run through some scenarios.

If he dies before the election: Mike Pence becomes President until at least Jan. 20. It is too late for the Republican Party to put anyone else’s name on the ballots. They are printed and thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of people have already voted, and state deadlines have passed. However, continue reading.

If he dies before the election, and loses the election: Mike Pence is still President until Jan. 20, there is likely no Vice President named, and Biden becomes President on January 20.

If he loses the election, then dies: As above. Pence takes office until Jan. 20.

If he dies before the election, and wins the election: This seems unlikely but isn’t impossible, and is where it starts getting complicated. The Republican party is in control of both their nominees and their nomination process, neither of which are specified in the Constitution, since the Constitution knows nothing of political parties. Furthermore, remember, you’re technically not actually voting for President, you’re voting for electors who are bound, sometimes not actually legally, to vote for that person later. There would, no doubt, be a quick party convention where someone– presumably Pence– would be nominated for President, along with a different VP. The Party would then inform their electors in the states they won to vote for whoever the person they chose was. This would have the potential to get really, really interesting if the Republicans find out they can’t coalesce around a single candidate, but that goes beyond my knowledge of the procedures involved. This would skirt some state laws that require electors to vote for the person that won the popular vote in that state, but I don’t see actual prosecutions being likely in this case, although that little wrinkle has potential to make this even more complicated if, say, there’s a state that he won that somehow has a Democratic legislature and governor.

If he wins the election, then dies before the electors have voted and the votes are officially certified by the House: The Electoral College votes on December 14, over a month after the election, and then there’s over a month between the Electoral College voting and the actual inauguration. This is where it gets really interesting. Pence still takes office for at least a little while, but I don’t know if things still work the same way as they would if he wasn’t alive for the election. I think they probably do, so long as the electors have not voted yet, the party can still scramble to pull an actual ticket together, and it wouldn’t automatically be Pence.

If he wins the election, the votes are certified, and then he dies: Pence becomes President, and remains President for the second term, as far as I know. For all I know, it ends up in the Supreme Court, because holy shit is there no precedent for this, but I don’t see it coming out any other way.

Not a lawyer, blah blah blah. If you see anything I’ve blatantly gotten wrong, let me know.

Just a thought

There have been years– not a lot, but they’ve happened– where I spent more on my classroom than the person in the White House did in Federal taxes in the year he was elected.

I’d like to think that these recent revelations are going to make a difference, but I’m not surprised by anything in them and I doubt many other people are either. That said, the article is worth a read, if you can handle the inevitable explosion of hatred and anger while you’re reading it.

I don’t generally miss presidential debates, even if I don’t liveblog them, but I really might have to skip this one.

In which I try to rank Elizabeth Warren and a bunch of people I don’t want to vote for

The last time I did this was– Jesusalmost a God damn year ago, and since then not only has Kamala Harris dropped out, but so has everyone else I wanted to vote for except for Buttigieg, who has spent most of the last eleven months making me dislike him. I have gone from a Democratic presidential primary where I went through eight people before even entering “meh” territory to one person I want to vote for– Warren– a bunch of people who I despise, and Amy Klobuchar, who I wouldn’t have even considered a serious candidate any longer until New Hampshire, and frankly I probably shouldn’t start treating her for-real seriously until she does better in more than one state.

What I have been saying for the last several months remains true: this race is still Biden’s to lose, despite his poor performance in Iowa and New Hampshire, because unless the poll results have shifted radically in the last couple of weeks he’s still the only candidate with a serious base of support in the black community, who are still the base of the Democratic party and who haven’t had a chance to vote yet because of how fucking stupid our nomination process is. I have heard tell that those numbers are starting to shift, though, and if they are, Biden’s fucked, which is kind of fine because I think he’s slowly losing his shit and I don’t really want to vote for him.

But … God, I don’t want to vote for any of these fuckers other than Warren, and every time I try to think seriously about ranking them, I spend most of my time pondering the inevitability of death instead. I mean, to be clear: I’m voting for the fucking Democratic nominee in November, full stop; I don’t give a fuck who it is. But I really don’t like any of them beyond Warren, and I remember enjoying being able to vote for candidates who I wanted to hold office, damn it.

So.

2. … Klobuchar, I guess? Who is an asshole, and a moderate, and she’s shitty to her staff, but that’s all I’ve got and she hasn’t managed to personally piss me off yet? Plus, she’s a woman and she doesn’t have one foot in the grave or any obvious decline in her mental facilities? So, yeah, sure, Klobuchar’s second, I suppose, mostly because someone has to be.

3. Buttigieg. I have voted for Pete Buttigieg literally every single time he has run for office, and I don’t want to ever vote for him again. Yes, in March I was somewhat enthusiastic about his candidacy. And he’s spent damn near every second since then trying to drive me away with his Jesusiness and his Kumbaya approach to “working with” people who would literally rather see him dead than in office. But much like Klobuchar he has the advantages of not being senile or nearly dead, and I’m not convinced he’d be a shitty President, and he’s smart, if perhaps not as smart as he thinks he is, and if he made a sensible pick for VP he might not be a disaster as a President, although of the current group I think he’s the one most likely to run for a second term and lose.

4. Fuck it, Biden. Who is running an absolute shit campaign, and who is perhaps not as senile as I thought he might have been a bit ago (I was unaware until recently that he has battled a stutter his whole life, and that explains a couple of things) but is still noticeably not as sharp as he was a decade ago, and has run for President three times now and so far still has not ever managed to finish higher than third in a primary. And he clearly doesn’t understand the nature of the opposition he’s facing, either, because he’s competing with Pete for the Kumbaya naïveté awards. But at least he’s not either of those other two assholes, and of the group of three he’s the one most likely to have some fucking sense and not run for a second term in the first place. Leaving me with …

Bernie and Bloomberg, and fuck both of ’em, I’m not ranking them. I loathe Bernie Sanders. I like his policies but Warren’s are every bit as good as his and she’s not a garbage human and she’s actually got some accomplishments in her life, unlike Mr. Myocardial Infarction Where The Fuck Are Your Taxes, whose life’s work boils down to not having a job until he was 40, naming a couple of post offices, and exactly three black-and-white photos of him being a massive civil rights hero on par with Malcolm X, Jesus and Martin Luther King combined. He will be a desperately shitty President and nothing will be accomplished during his single term in office, if he even lasts that long without dying, because who the hell knows what kind of condition his God damn heart is in; his campaign has lied about it endlessly and he’s refused to release his medical records. Which is not fucking forgivable even before you get to the part where he’s basically a cult leader and I cannot tolerate the idea of an America where the Bernie Bros have political power.

(Am I calling every Bernie voter a cultist? No. I am explicitly not doing that, and if you are a Bernie person and I know you I am also explicitly not calling you personally that. But I stand by the statement nonetheless, particularly in the context of the vile hordes of his people I have to deal with online.)

Bloomberg, on the other hand, is a racist piece of shit and a blood-gorged tick on the nuts of humanity, and he’s carefully and clearly exposing every single thing wrong with what we are still calling our “democracy” for some reason. I have no idea why anyone would ever choose to vote for him, and the fact that he’s registering in the polls at all is a sign of how dangerously and completely fucked we are. If somehow the race is down to these two by the time the Indiana primary rolls around I’m probably just not going to vote. Again, I’ll vote for the nominee even if I hate him, which is looking more likely by the day, but I’ll be damned if I endorse either of these fuckers twice if I don’t absolutely have to.

(EDIT: When and if Bloomberg turns out to be a serial sexual harasser and/or a rapist, which I’m figuring even odds on, he immediately falls off the list altogether. That would be one thing that would definitively shove him under Sanders for me.)

On Bernie

The following things are, I believe, all true:

  • I will vote for Bernie Sanders if he is the Democratic nominee for President. I will do this cheerfully, with a spring in my step and a song in my heart, and there is nothing on this planet or in the heavens that can prevent me from voting against the shitgibbon next November short of my own death.
  • I would prefer nearly every other serious Democratic candidate currently running to be the nominee. I might end up choosing Bernie over Biden at this point, honestly.
  • While I am not a fan of Sanders, I bear the man no actual ill will. I’m happy for him to remain in the Senate for as long as he’s able, and I’m grateful for his role in bringing the more leftward elements of the Democratic party more to the forefront.
  • I’m glad he’s recovering and out of the hospital.
  • He is 78 years old, will be 79 when inaugurated, just had a heart attack, had two stents put in, and his campaign lied about it for three days.
  • That is not as catastrophic of a medical disaster as it would have been even ten or fifteen years ago. My mother and my father-in-law both have stents in various parts of their bodies. It’s a fairly simple procedure, as these things go.
  • He needs to drop out anyway, and everyone who knows him and loves him needs to be telling him this until he listens.

I’m genuinely sorry to have to be saying this right now, despite the fact that I have gleefully called for Sanders to drop out of the Presidential race more than once in the past, and fully expected to be doing so several months into the future. But I was expecting for some votes to have been cast before we reached this point. I don’t like the idea that the guy needs to drop out so that the race doesn’t literally kill him. But this is it. It’s enough. He’d be the oldest President ever inaugurated, and it’s the toughest job on the damn planet, and a 78-year-old man who just had a heart attack and whose campaign’s first instinct was to hide from it is not up to the job. I am aware that one of my preferred candidates is 70, and believe me, I wish she were a decade or so younger. But this guy is five years older than the monster in the White House is now, and that guy’s visibly falling apart on a daily basis, and I’d expect Bernie to actually pay attention were he to become President.

It’s time for Bernie Sanders to withdraw gracefully from the race, before his body betrays him again and he has to do so under less voluntary circumstances.

Democratic POTUS Candidates Loosely Ranked, June 2019 Pre-Debate edition

Let’s be clear here: right there in that picture is the ticket I want, and I don’t much care what order their names are in. I haven’t updated this since March, mostly because not a whole lot has happened to change things other than that my affection for Warren and Harris has continued to grow. I once told a phonebanker that I would drag my nuts across a mile of broken glass to ensure that I voted for Barack Obama; I’m not quite at that level yet but I’m certainly getting there. And, really, once you get past these two, there’s not a whole lot of talking to do.

SECOND TIER: In no particular order, Inslee, Gillibrand, O’Rourke, who hasn’t annoyed me in a while, and Castro. I don’t think any of these four will be the nominee but I’d be perfectly fine if it happened.

THIRD TIER: Klobuchar and Booker.

YOU FUCKERS AREN’T EVEN REAL PEOPLE, RUN FOR SOMETHING YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN: de Blasio, Ryan, Hickenlooper, Delaney, Williamson, Yang, Bennet, Swalwell, and that Montana jackass who announced his campaign in May and thinks it’s a sign of a conspiracy that he isn’t in the debates. These folks don’t count at all and they’re a distraction to the process. I only know they exist because I copied their names from the debate lineup and I couldn’t pick any of them out of a lineup. After the first debate they need to all drop out.

HA HA, BYE, ASSHOLE: That Starbucks dickhead, who I think dropped out finally.

STILL DON’T WANT TO VOTE FOR YOU BUT YOU HAVEN’T PISSED ME OFF ANY MORE THAN USUAL LATELY: Sanders and Gabbard.

FUCK THESE GUYS: Biden and Buttigieg, who are probably going to end up being the fucking ticket. Biden, in particular, who I wasn’t excited about running for office but certainly didn’t dislike six months ago, has done every single thing he can to keep me from generating even the slightest whiff of enthusiasm for his campaign, including praising motherfucking James Eastland today. He clearly learned nothing from being Obama’s Vice-President for 8 years and still thinks that Republicans are just misunderstood nice folks who can be negotiated with if we just all come together. Well, they aren’t and they can’t, not anymore, and not recognizing that basic fact about the state of politics in this country right now is disqualifying for the Democratic candidate. Combine that with overt, undeniable sexism and an utter inability to keep his fucking hands to himself and this is not someone I want to vote for. He may even be legitimately lower than Sanders at this point. Plus, he’s getting the same kind of support that that one asshole who lost my most recent Congressional race did– in other words, he’s on top of the polls for some reason but hell if I can find even a single person anywhere who thinks of him as their top candidate. I asked Twitter about this earlier:

Not one response, other than a guy who said he wasn’t in his top 5. This guy has to have some fans somewhere. Who the hell are they?

Buttigieg, on the other hand, was once right behind Harris and Warren, and has spent most of his time since then basically doing the same shit Biden’s doing except at lower volume and without the handsiness. He’s a step above Biden and Sanders, certainly, but he’s drawing from the same Kumbaya school of thought about where we are right now and I’m not fucking having it. His reluctance if not outright refusal to release anything resembling actual policies is also starting to get on my nerves, particularly when stacked up against Warren, who I think at this point probably has a detailed plan for alien invasion, the Yellowstone caldera erupting, and multiple varieties of zombie attack. He probably doesn’t belong in the same tier as Biden if I’m being honest but I’ve still spent most of my time thinking about him lately being annoyed by whatever he did most recently. Another difference: I know people who are fervent supporters. I know where his people are coming from. Not the case with Joe. Seriously, if you consider yourself a big fan of his, identify yourself. I promise I’ll be nice.

Will there be a liveblog of the debates next week? Yeah, chances are there will.