Those Who Are Too Smart To Engage In Politics

Are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.  — Plato

By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor

What a feeling I awakened with this morn.  Friday evening was the Anne Arundel County Central Committee annual dinner.  A meeting of the most political of political people in politics.  People who are the unseen forces behind the every Democratic Party Member running for any office.  The people who watch CSPAN and listen to NPR, or are on NPR or CSPAN.  The people who watch Prime Minister’s Questions.

Oh, and there were the elected too.  Anne Arundel County provides the high power to the Maryland Assembly.  The fight to keep Governor Hogan from going all Republican on Maryland rests with the Speaker of House, Rep. Busch.  A few miles away is the now blinding white dome over the Congress. Several Maryland members of the Congress came to the dinner too.  Rep. Steny Hoyer was great as usual. Our candidates to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski spoke well and gave good reasons to vote for either of them. Sen. Mikulski was not at the dinner to my disappointment.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
The night was even more exciting because of the key note speaker, Rep. Elijah Cummings.  Oh the deep feelings he brought out.  His speech was full, heartfelt and powerful; from his poor childhood and that of his parents as near slaves in South Carolina, to today as one of the most important Democrats in the Congress.  He is the one man who destroyed Republican attempts to blame Ms. Clinton for Benghazi and pretty much everything else that has happened since the Romans left England.

He reminded us of what we are – Democrats.  We can see what Mr. Weird Hair is doing, and why those voting for him do so.  We are Democrats and we must never forget why so many are falling for the bluster and wild talk.  It is up to us to make life better for all Americans.

For all the political power in the room, and there was a lot, we enjoyed a nice night together.  In politics one often gives everything to achieve the win, or preventing someone else from winning.  Long hard hours, constantly promoting your candidates, often calling people asking for money.  You make this relaxation time your fun time.

Okay, politics is still in the air. Rather, politics is the air.

You have slogged through so far and want the candy.  Today, there is no candy.  Today is the “ask”.  The point of all this is to lure you into getting involved in politics.  Politics is the putting a stamp on an envelope.  It is getting a nice walk on a weekend to meet fifty or one hundred people at their homes to hand them literature about a candidate.  It is driving a candidate from one house party to another house party (you get to eat campaign food doing this).  It is doing whatever you feel comfortable doing to help elect a woman or man you want to represent you.

A dinner, you pay a lot for, is a reward.  No awards are given out.  Maybe a shout out, but most likely not.  The dinner is how political people take a break from politics.  More politics.

A side effect is you might want to run for office too.  That is a blast, at least for some of us.  For others, not so much a blast as a drudge through the mud.


Author: Blue Bronc

Born in Detroit when Truman was president, survived the rest of them. Early on I learned that FDR was the greatest president, which has withstood all attempts to change that image. Democratic Party, flaming liberal, Progressive, equality for all and a believer in we are all human and deserve respect and understanding. College educated, a couple of degrees, a lot of world experience and tons of fun. US Air Force (pre-MRE days). Oil and gas fields, computer rooms and stuff beyond anything I can talk about. It has been quite a life so far. The future is making my retirement boat my home. Dogs, cats and other critters fill my life with happiness. Work pays the bills.

76 thoughts on “Those Who Are Too Smart To Engage In Politics”

  1. “The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then get elected and prove it.”

    —P.J. O’Rourke, Parliament of Whores

  2. This gave me an unintentional laugh.  I had moved north for a job and on an election day many decades ago I was standing in line to vote when thoughts of my normal activities on an election day caught up with me.  I turned to a friend and blurted out:

    “Almost everyone I care about is eating rubber chicken in the Valley and I’m rotting in Oxnard!”

    So I will echo Bronc’s recommendation.  For all the angst and frustration, politics really can be fun.


  3. The (Un)Democratic Party
    by Charles Blow

    “Furthermore, caucuses dispense with the privacy and anonymity of the voting booth and have the potential to inject an element of peer pressure into the democratic process. People should be free to vote with their conscience — and in private! — and feel no pressure whatsoever to bend to the consensus of the community.
    Indeed, the Boston Globe editorial page argued for the elimination of caucuses last month, saying: “In a caucus, voters who aren’t physically able to sit in a school gymnasium and debate the merits of their candidate with their neighbors get shut out. And obscure rules that vary from state to state governing delegate allotment and proxy balloting make for confusing inconsistencies when tallying results.”

    For a Democratic Party that prides itself on the grand ideals of inclusion and fairness, the nominating process is anything but.”

    Charles making your point..

  4. OSH “Jamie- you work with Peter Daou? ”  No sorry didn’t mean to imply that.  Just spent a whole lot of time spreading the info and fussing with others.

    Craig,  Remember how bitter things got in 2008?  It will all come together eventually.  Not only do I expect a lot of the Sanders folk to come over to Hillary, but a lot of Republican women sneaking over the line thanks to the GOP candidates being idiots.

    Wisconsin should be interesting tomorrow as the race is really tightening.  It is an open primary so a lot will depend on what the Independents do.  Will they jump on the #NOTrump activities or move to Bernie or will the more conservative settle in the middle with Hillary.  I’ll love watching the precinct reports.


  5. Gay Pride and Prejudice in Dominican Republic
    Ernesto Londono

    “Shortly after taking up his post as American ambassador to the Dominican Republic in November 2013, Wally Brewster got a bit of unsolicited advice from the Vatican’s envoy to the Caribbean nation.
    “If you keep your private life behind the walls of your embassy, you’ll be O.K. here,” Nuncio Jude Thaddeus Okolo told Mr. Brewster. He meant that Mr. Brewster, to be an effective diplomat, would be wise to keep his husband, Bob Satawake, out of sight in a country where prejudice against gay people remains widespread.”

  6. Things that could be a whole lot of fun if it isn’t drowned out by politics:  The Panama Papers

    Sunday’s jaw-dropping Panama Papers leak, which shows a global network of offshore companies helping the wealthy hide their assets, is already being called “The Wikileaks of the mega-rich.” 

  7. How Hillary Clinton Can Build a Bridge to Trump Supporters
    Emphasizing infrastructure spending may give the Democratic front-runner the chance to win over disaffected working class voters.
    Peter Beinart
    ” Which means that if Clinton expands her infrastructure proposal now—bringing it more in line with the country’s actual needs, which are vast—she may be able to accomplish something big on infrastructure next year.
    That wouldn’t only make America more prosperous. It would make America less divided. Putting Americans to work fixing bridges and roads constitutes a form of government action that clearly benefits everyone. It can’t be easily racialized. And it would show that the new political order that Clinton and Obama symbolize has something to offer Trump’s supporters. Trump is playing on their fears of economic, cultural and racial dispossession. Clinton needs to show that, even in defeat, it’s still their country, too.”

  8. from msn and ibt

    A massive leak of documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, dubbed the Panama Papers, is blowing the lid off of widespread international corruption connected to offshore tax shelters. A dozen world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, are among those linked to the offshore accounts exposed in the leak. 

    More than 11 million documents detailing day-to-day operations of the secretive Mossack Fonseca firm were obtained from an anonymous source by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on Sunday, the BBC reported. The documents reveal how the firm set up offshore, paper companies and secret accounts to help clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade taxes. 

    “Unfortunately, these findings are not surprising,” Mark Hays, senior adviser of Global Witness, a nonprofit organization that acts as a watchdog against international corruption, told International Business Times. “What is surprising is that this is just one law firm involved in this practice, but there are thousands of companies involved in orchestrating these schemes … [This leak] shows the number of players in the game and how far it goes.”


    and see original story in bbc’s Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite’s tax havens

  9. BB,  Plato and P.J?  What a great set of bookends.  I never could understand why PJ O’Rourke ever became a conservative, but he’s smarter than the average pugn and can see how ineffective pugns are at governing.

    Love the John Oliver bit – I watched his show last night – not the rollicking tone he usually sets, but a good one nonetheless.

  10. Why Hasn’t Bernie Sanders released his tax returns – David Cay Johnston

    What may surprise some is that of the five remaining Presidential candidates, only Hillary Clinton has been completely candid and forthright about her and her husband’s income tax returns, a policy of theirs that dates at least to 1992. Despite her singular transparency, news organizations routinely write, without citing any verifiable supporting facts, about Clinton’s perceived mendacity.

  11. hillary accepts debate on gma


    and wrap quotes her: “I want a debate, and I’m confident that we can work out a time to do that,” Democratic challenger tells ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos — no word from Bernie Sanders’ camp yet

    Hillary Clinton agreed on Sunday to participate in an upcoming debate hosted by ABC News’ “Good Morning America” program.

    “I want a debate, and I’m confident that we can work out a time to do that,” she told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, in an exclusive interview to be aired on Monday.

    “‘GMA’ offered a debate during ‘GMA’ on Friday the 15th. I’ll be there,” she added. “I think it’s a great opportunity to reach an audience that may not always be able because of other obligations to tune in to debates.”

  12. Here’s a different take on the constitutional issues related to appointment or non-appointment of Scalia’s replacement.  Warning, the punchline speaks to the need to elect the right people to make laws rather than fret about filling the vacant spot on the Court.

    And the Wisconsin Dem primary remains close according to the polls, and 538 rates it at a 4 point margin in favor of Clinton winning it (that’s chances of winning, not poll differentials). Question – If the polls are right and Bernie wins narrowly, or 538 is right and Clinton wins narrowly, is that a setback to his campaign?

  13. pogo, exactly.  he pooh-poohed a debate during men’s basketball with younger/mostly male audience and a debate during mornings when maybe more moms/retirees are watching.

  14. Pogo, I still don’t see the delegate path for Bernie, even if he wins WI. And then there’s NY in two weeks, huge opportunity for HRC to widen her delegate lead.

  15. Me, too, Poobah, me too.  Hillary’s poll results in CA, NJ, PA and MD have remained about the same since the initial Bernie wave, ranging from a 10-35% margin (I do not believe the one that showed a 48% margin in NY by Emerson is anywhere near right.)

  16. OK, here’s one for ya that could make your blood boil.  Cops allegedly did a roadside cavity search of the guy (read rectum here) and had the woman expose her breasts in front of male cops, god and anyone driving down the road during a traffic stop based on LEGAL temporary plates on the woman’s car. Flatus, Sturg, business as usual in rural SC?


  17. Tad Devine oozes arrogance and contempt.    And while I think most Hillary voters would still support  Bernie, the current rhetoric of the Sanders campaign isn’t designed to make new friends.

  18. are polls indicating how the unaffiliated are voting? will the indies in Wisconsin affect the races?  if they’re the anti-establishment kind they’ll go bernie or drumpf just to poke the “elites”

  19. Really windy with lots of tree movement at the nest, but the kids are up and active

  20. Patd

    There doesn’t seem to be any way to know until there is some reports on turnout and which party they decide to visit most.  There could be all sorts of fun and shenanigans.  Of course Bernie wants them to turn out for him.  Hillary would love for them to play with the Republicans.  So shrug your shoulders and wait for the returns.


  21. Those Who Are Too Smart To Engage In Politics

    “…Flatus, Sturg, business as usual in rural SC?” Well, Pogo, Aiken really isn’t rural. It’s a hodgepodge of stuff welcoming people to SC as they travel I-20 east from Georgia.

    The criminal allegations, as reported, are absolutely beyond the pale. They do not represent policing in urban or rural SC. That is not to say that the state does not have an abysmal record of officers misusing their authority and their weapons.

    When external authority is made aware of allegations by any means (governmental reports, media, citizen videos, statements, medical facilities), the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division will be called in to make an independent investigation. Often these investigations will result in indictments followed by convictions.

  22. Re: the Mossack Fonseca story – This will only help Bernie, as he points to the corrupt 1%-ers.

    Will we know if the Repug convention will be a free-for-all after tomorrow’s primary?  Too soon to tell?  Invest in popcorn futures?

  23. WI has a long history of voting for Socialists, environmental fanatics, and levelers. In between, it also has a long history of voting for klansmen, red baiters, and scott walker. The Wisconsin reich doesn’t seem to have achieved much progress in climbing out of the recession, unlike neighboring MN, so I presume that there is considerable frustration built up. The Dem will win big in November. In the meantime, I think Bernie will squeeze through by as much as one percent.

    In the ripper war, trump really sings to the racists. A law still on the books in Kenosha forbids black folks presence after sundown. this ordinance is not enforced, but it is a reminder of how far some parts of the state have traveled since Father James Groppi  died. WI is as German as Pennsylvania, and the name Drumpf sounds normal in both places. I’ll pick trump by an orange hair.

  24. Yeah, I did spend some time near Green Bay long ago.  Some of the people my age just had the nasal “Wiscaaansin” accent, but a few of the older folks sounded like Lawrence Welk  and used the definition article at odd times.  In particular, one guy referered to a wrestling show as, “the wrAstles.”


  25. I’m waiting for journalists to dump the folks named in the Mossack Fonseca list into an Excel spreadsheet, then do a v-look-up against a sheet listing donors to lobbying groups…and to The Clinton Foundation, of course.  (I’m a troll, what did you expect?)

  26. Blue

    Considering that by income, the Sanders family is in the 1% and they have many mutual funds, you just might find some other interesting names, particularly since the Karl Rove PAC is heavily backing Bernie.


  27. blueid, hope this is helpful in your research.

    Clinton Foundation  Contributor and Grantor Information which says:

    As part of the Foundation’s commitment to transparency, we publicly disclose those who support our efforts on a quarterly basis. This list is comprised of those who have made contributions or grants to advance the work of any part of the Clinton Foundation, as well as membership, sponsorship, and conference fees for the Clinton Global Initiative. This list indicates cumulative lifetime giving through December 2015.

    the lists of donors are categorized by amounts (starting with $25 million or over) given. 1st on list: bill & melinda gates…. two of those 1%-ers bernie seems not to like



  28. The Sanders campaign tries to beat up Clinton on the super delegates saying that is how Obama won and then saying she learned her lesson and worked hard to get them.  Now there is a big whiny  story in the Times about how they could have done better if he wasn’t working so hard in the senate in 2015

    They then went on to say she should have worked to change the system instead.

  29. Robert Gebelhoff discusses Bernie’s free college education proposal.  Brings up some interesting points.  One point suggested is the federalism slant – if this was anything beyond a grant program to fill  in the gap between state funding and total cost of tuition, would it run afoul of the 10th amendment? Seems to me it would be in roughly the same nether world as state insurance exchanges under the ACA.

  30. from npr

    Supreme Court Upholds ‘One Person, One Vote’ Standard

    The challenge to the longstanding definition argued that only people who are eligible to vote should count in drawing voting district lines and other government purposes. The court was unanimous.

    longer article also at new york times

  31. Jamie, the Shelby County v. Holder decision throws the districting decisions back down to the states and sets them up for disparate impact challenges.  It may signal the re-emergence of the voting rights act.

    Apparently the NC anti LGBT law  is starting to have its effect – and not what the guv and his fearful legislature had hoped for.

    BTW, I’ve never had to show a birth certificate to use the restroom before. Will that be the requirement in NC government buildings?

  32. “I’ve never had to show a birth certificate to use the restroom before. Will that be the requirement in NC government buildings?”

    pogo, what about said facilities in federal, cherokee nation, airport hubs, churches and other non-nc state regulated buildings?   are babies and toddlers exempt?  will the androgenous dressed person, short haired girls and long haired ear pierced boys have to flash ids as well as flashing other relevant proof?    inquiring minds need to know 🙂

  33. Congrats to the Supremes.  They got a no brainer right, as in not another “don’t bother counting votes, we anoint the Republican”.  We will need to meet at the local physic to know how the recently departed voted.  Our country is a representative government – not a democracy.  A republic.  A representative is elected to represent all in her district, not just the white male propertied types.  This is one decision which does a lot but does not go all the way. Typical.

    Does the head cheese state count this year?  Maybe, maybe not.  What is important is the media perception.  Even if the evil haired one loses, he wins because the media once again gives him the air time.


  34. Gotta give ole Trump some credit for fighting like hell in Wisconsin today despite the polling odds against him. Hillary shoved off to New York, her surrogates all but conceding a Sanders victory in Wisconsin, probably wise politically, but still …

  35. Introducing @BernieSanders, @TimRobbins1 hits Clinton’s primary wins: Winning South Carolina is like “winning Guam”

    Umm, another Bernie surrogate dissing a Southern State.. How ignorant to make such a statement.. Truth be told he wishes Bernie had won some of those Southern States and maybe wouldn’t be in the fix he’s in..

  36. Half of the people showing up in Wisconsin will not be able to vote.  The law has changed and the id requirement is very restrictive.

  37. I worked on a failed campaign for state rep long ago.  I found it to be quite unpleasant and boring.  Kudos to those who like to meet and greet, etc.

  38. Wisconsin, number one in cheese and voter suppression.  🙂

    Yep, I was wondering if Jane’s name would show up somewhere.  That’s going to be one interesting trail!

  39. Gov Walker says he just keeping things secure although the incidence of voter fraud doesn’t seem to merit the draconian measures put in place

  40. Tim Robbins figures that Clinton’s South Carolina win is about as important as winning Guam

    by Phillip Bump

    “”After the Southern primaries,” he said, “you had called the election” — apparently referring to the media. “And who’s fooling who? Winning South Carolina in the Democratic primary is about as significant as winning Guam. No Democrat is going to win in the general election. Why do these victories have so much significance?”
    This is a not-uncommon argument among supporters of Sanders. Yes, Hillary Clinton is winning. But she’s winning largely because she ran up big margins in Southern states. That, the argument goes, bodes poorly for the general, since those Southern states usually vote Republican.
    This is a bad argument that borders on insulting.”

  41. b-in-d  I’ve supported and worked hard for a lot of losers.  But, I believed in them enough to do door to door, dialing for dollars and stuffing envelopes.  Even knowing my candidate was not going to win was not enough for me to stop.  Maybe the next time they run.  They key is if you think they should win.

    I can only believe my volunteers thought the same of me.

  42. Craig

    Since the “surrogates” were her husband and daughter, it was hardly a shabby brush off of the state.



  43. Jamie, I can’t tell if Clinton camp downplaying WI because they’re giving up or downplaying expectations for a surprise victory. My guess is the former. Either way they are clearly focusing her time on NY.

  44. If Clinton camp really is wimping out on WI that gives Sanders two weeks of bragging rights heading to NY. Polls seemed close enough in WI to get the candidate there and make a vigorous final effort, but for whatever reason they didn’t do it.

  45. The pink Clinton stickers from Enchanted Chocolates are great ! Thanks, Ms Hag !


  46. A lovely pic of the Clintons; a moment of domestic bliss.

    A nice clean house.

    She bakes cookies, too.

    Is there anything she can’t do ???

  47. x- glad you like them!  im so sorry, i meant to reply – was confused about the ex x stuff.  are you still the same x i’ve known since like 2007?  anyways, my apologies. enjoy!

  48. the picture is great- only missing xmas decorations- but easily envision them anyways.


    Those Who Are Too Smart To Engage In Politics

    “… Winning South Carolina is like “winning Guam””

    I call South Carolina home. But I’ve served on Guam during the Vietnam War. And I’ve ferreted through the dense jungles of that Island and have come across the burned out Japanese tanks that our brave soldiers, trained in South Carolina, some of whom escaped the Japanese sacking and brutal occupation of that Proud Island Territory of Our Country, destroyed when retaking the Island.

    “Winning Guam” my ass. That individual should apologize until both her knees bleed.





  50. “Faith of America is in you to take us forward on Tuesday; to remain strong and independent of the status quo political establishment so your vote will truly represent your optimistic spirit and desire to WORK!” Palin wrote. 

    However, undeterred by this exhortation, the dead pig remained dead.

  51. Just as there are delegates and super delegates, there are surrogates and super surrogates.

    In the end HRC has to win this on her own, but deploying a certain ‘super surrogate’ to Wisconsin is hardly a case of throwing in the towel. She simply has the luxury of being able to make her case in two places at once.

  52. Winning Guam is more like winning Alaska . . . . And, who won Alaska ?

    Note to Flatus : This is not meant to be a comparison to the 2 battles for Guam in WWII. Fortunately, we haven’t come to that.

  53. If people think Az voting was screwed up wait until the out of  state students can’t use their student ID as id for voting



    Per Nate Silver, to remain on target, Hillary’s goal for Wisconsin is 38 out of the 86 available delegates.  So we can keep an eye on the returns tomorrow to see if she exceeds those goals.

    Of course if Bernie does take the majority of the delegates as expected there will be the ever increasing sarcasm from that realm and even more slobbering adoration on the part of MSNBC while minimizing every decent thing Hillary has ever done in her lifetime.

  55. They are already decorating Brooklyn for Bernie.

    BlueB – It wasn’t the loss.  I just hated it from the get-go and wished I hadn’t committed to the campaign.

    I just had a flash-back to working a phone bank in college, too. (I guess I completely blocked that out; no idea who it was even for at this point.)  I did it for one night…and I was miserable.

    I had a hard time selling Campfire Girls candy as a kid, too.  Just not in my make-up to those things, I guess.

  56. Craig – And then she has to face the good people of NY and their opposition to fracking.

    She can keep scooching to the left, but we know she doesn’t mean what she says now and won’t stay where she says she is on issues.

  57. Ms Seahag,

    The laptop and operator here at Xrepublican changed in ’08. Stuart is the ex-Exrepublican. You can call me X, Xr, xr, or Rex. We were neighbors, best friends, co-conspiritors, drinking buddies, fellow younkers. He’s better looking and small, has a better memory, is even grumpier, and coulda been somebody. Not me. I’m friendlier, 20 lbs heavier (was 40 lbs), smarter, happier, more charming, and could never have amounted to anything.

  58. Oh, yeah, and we get together in coffee shops, open our laptops, and type away. So, he often knows everything that folks are posting here. But he has writing to do, and doesn’t have too much time to kibbitz.

  59. My guess is Clinton internal polls tanked among Wisconsin’s sizeable college vote after she slammed Bernie supporters with the “don’t do their own research” remark that went viral. I noticed they pulled the plug soon after that. She’s got to be more careful.

  60. Sanders will romp on WI: 49.3 – 49.0, with 0.5% for Obama.

    duh cruzher will wallop drumpf and kasich 44 – 40 – 9, with 4% for walker, 1% for tommy thompson, 1% for joseph r. mccarthy.

  61. I predict that the meejuh will miss the ‘Big Message’ of the WI Primary, which is :

    We are now one step closer to the New York Primary, and the front runners are still the front runners.

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