A reader recently sent me a very nice email, in which he wrote, among other things:
I know you have previously mentioned you're not excited about any of the presidential candidates. Can you let me (or "us", if you're willing to put more on your blog) know more about your perspective on Bernie Sanders - specifically, what you don't (and do) like about him? I'm hoping your insights will help temper my current (uncomfortably high) level of enthusiasm for him.
Hmm. I hope that doesn't mean I'm viewed as one of those people who's good at popping balloons. Euphoria is a wonderful sensation, and let's face facts: it's damn rare in politics. So believe me, I understand the enthusiasm that folks feel toward Bernie.
Still, it does rather astound me that he's so popular with young people. Like Grampa is going to fix everything?
I support a lot of what Bernie stands for: peace, greater economic equality, environmental protection, health care, decent-paying jobs, women's rights, election reform, cleaning up Wall Street, taking care of veterans.
Heck, what's not to like in that line-up?
But things get kind of fuzzy when we start talking about delivering on those promises. And that's where I find it impossible, from a practical perspective, to support Bernie. It's all well and good to “demand” this and that, but exactly how will he get his proposals through Congress, especially if it's under Republican control?
Bernie seems somewhat oblivious to this dilemma, paying scant attention to helping like-minded “down ballot” politicians in their own bids for the House and Senate. So who is going to help him bring his promises to fruition? As the Boston Globe noted:
As Sanders, who has been in Washington for decades surely must know, Congress today is a dysfunctional mess, one in which Republicans block pretty much every single reform effort proposed by Democrats. Why would President Sanders be successful in overcoming Republican obstructionism? If he believes the key to creating a political revolution would come through overturning Citizen United or ending the influence of super PACS or moving toward public funding of elections or ending redistricting, how exactly would he accomplish that?
If, by some outside chance, Sanders became president, his agenda would be dead on arrival. We’d see four more years of gridlock and four more years of dysfunction.
Now that does not sound good.
|Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis|
Speaking of super PACs, Civil Beat/Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar has contributed $100,000 to one that is seeking to defeat Donald Trump. I guess those bad super PACs become good when they fit your ideological bent.
I was rather amused by this comment from Omidyar spokeswoman Sarah Steven, who told Civil Beat:
“Pierre donated to #NeverTrump because he wanted to support the courage of a small group of people, who are standing up to the demagoguery and dangerous rhetoric currently happening in the presidential election.”
Meanwhile, Pierre is funding Center for Food Safety, a group known for its demagoguery and dangerous rhetoric in fighting against GMOs.
Guess those bad demagogues become good when they fit your ideological bent.
Turning to local elections, Kauai Sen. Ron Kouchi told me this morning that he has had no conversation with Jan Kimura regarding a run for the 14th District House. I incorrectly wrote last Friday that Ron and Rep. Jimmy Tokioka had been pushing Jan to run against Nadine Nakamura. Ron said Nadine is amply-qualified, and likely to win the election.
Ron also said that he, state Agriculture Director Scott Enright and Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler had decided to pursue additional air quality monitoring on the westside following a March 1 meeting that all three attended in Waimea.
Though Peter Adler, facilitator of the Joint Fact Finding Group recently credited his panel's draft recommendations with securing a funding commitment from the Kauai delegation for more studies, Ron said he, Enright and Pressler were "moving in that direction long before the fact-finding report came out."
If the air-monitoring studies indicate more research is needed, they'll have the evidence to justify it, Ron said. If they find no elevated levels of pesticide in the air, "then hopefully we can ease the concerns of west Kauai residents," he said. "Information is the best thing you can give them."