Limericks for Dems

From the poetry desk of Ribbie’s weblog.

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“Elizabeth Warren”

Elizabeth Warren from OK to MASS

For some in the field she’ll be hard to surpass

She frightens Wall Street

Biggest foe they will meet

The cure for D Trump’s raving bombast.

“Kamala Harris”

Oakland to San Fran then Capitol Hill

Senator Harris is full of goodwill

For the people

Treats them as equal

Medicare for all an all but signed bill.

“Cory Booker”

The great Cory Booker of Jersey

Won’t show 45 any mercy

So when on the stump

He rails against Trump

To bring back our DEmocracy.

“Pete Buttigieg”

This is the story of a young Mayor Pete

With solid credentials to fiercely compete

At the helm of South Bend

With wisdom to lend

A practical polyglot who cannot be beat.

“Beto O’Rourke”

Guitar playing Dem from West Texas

Live Streaming Midwest for breakfast

Although he does smile

We won’t know for a while

Whether Beto’s appeal is infectious.

“Bernie Sanders”

He’s a force is the Bern from Vermont

A voice in all CAPS who can taunt

Appeals to the left

With considerable heft

Got lots of loyal Berners to flaunt.

“Amy Klobuchar”

Tough Amy K from the great state of Minn

To centrist ideas she is more than all in

A graduate of Yale

Not running FROM jail

Were she to catch fire she surely could win.

 

Clinton DNC Speech Not His Best, But Good Enough

Former President Bill Clinton nominated President Barack Obama for reelection with a classic speech – part lecture, part performance – methodical, entertaining and informative, filled with words like “now” (when making new points),  “you know why?”  and “because”  to explain the differences on key issues between the Republicans and Democrats.  He boiled it down to “you’re on your own”  vs. “we are in this together.”  Me, me, me and only people like me vs. all of us, and I don’t think I have to tell you the side each party supports; as Todd Rundgren sang, I Think You Know.

Clinton reassured the nation that the President’s policies are moving the country in the right direction.  He opined that it would have been impossible for anyone to turnaround the country faced with the mess left by the Republicans in 2008 in just 4 years and that Mr. Obama needed 4 more years to finish the job.  And while Clinton’s scathing critique of Romneyomics hit the spot; as riveting and compelling as it was in its entirety, it needed an intermission.  Seriously, his speech was just toooo loooong; almost an hour.  When he began to sound too wonky there toward the end, I knew it was time for him to wrap up.  And I don’t think I was alone in my assessment.  I was actually hoping that Chelsea or Rahm Emmanuel would make eye contact and look down pointing at their watches.

This address will not go down as his best, and it will not overshadow the President’s; it didn’t overshadow Elizabeth Warren’s speech or Gov. Deval Patrick’s for that matter, but it may have been exactly what the Dems needed to sway a few undecided Independents and to convince the unenthusiastic moderate Dem to actually vote.   That was his job.

Elizabeth Warren Part Cherokee

U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts and Harvard Professor who grew up in Oklahoma, is part Cherokee.  Her great, great, great grandmother was Cherokee, making Warren 1/32 Cherokee.  She has taken some heat for listing herself as part Cherokee and there is some speculation that her “minority” status helped her gain teaching positions, that she has been the beneficiary of affirmative action programs.  I say good for her.  Diversity is a good thing.  All students who attend colleges and universities with a diverse student population benefit.  And is not true that kids from underrepresented ethnic or racial groups could not get in otherwise.  In fact, many of the kids might have gotten in if their race were not known on merit alone.  In some cases, without affirmative action, they might be passed over, even though they meet all the qualifications.

But diversity should be about more than just skin color, which is superficial – we all look the same under a microscope.  I think college and universities need to expand their notion of diversity to include ideological and class diversity.  Diversity of thought is important.  Ever read those college guides that depict a school as a leftist haven, or a squeaky clean young republican resort?  And there’s the school where everybody smokes and the one where everyone drives a SUV with a ski rack and looks straight out of a designer catalog.  And the one where all the students hold hands and pray before lunch.  Let’s not forget the Birkenstock wearing atheists at the school with no degree requirements.  These of
course are caricatures and don’t necessarily reflect the reality at these schools, but perception is important and it’s partly true, especially of smaller liberal arts schools, that the student body is alarmingly homogenous on a number of diversity measures.  A kid from a working class background might not even consider the “preppy” school even though it may be a good academic fit.  The point is, without diversity, students have a very limiting and narrow experience and will not learn how to interact, work and live with people who are not like them, which I argue has led to partisan gridlock in the U.S.

Elizabeth Warren, a former Oklahoma high school debate champion and noted scholar has brought some ideological diversity to Harvard Law School and draws from her distant roots as a Cherokee and her middle class upbringing.  And that’s good for Harvard, good for the state of Massachusetts and the country.

Another SCOTUS Nominee for Obama

Here are the top 3 factors President Obama should consider as he vets  candidates for his next Supreme Court nomination:

Age.  Pick ’em young.  The average age of the 3 Democrat picks on the court is 68.  Of the 6 Republican nominated justices on the court, the average age is 65.  The Republicans understand this strategy well, given that the average age of the 6 at the time of their confirmations was 51.  Chief Justice Roberts was 50 when he began; Justice Thomas was a mere 43.

Gender.  At 77, Justice Ruth Bader is the oldest member of the court.  She might be next to retire, leaving only 1 woman on the court.  Why is this important?  Balance.  Women represent close to 50% of the population, but currently only 22% of the court.  Men are proportionally over-represented.

Ideology.  I’m opposed to a one issue litmus test, unlike former President Bush who looked for justices to overturn Roe v Wade.  The court should be ideologically balanced.  Obama should look for justices who believe in the rights of all people – a justice who will not consistently rule in favor of big business.   I’d like to see a justice with an independent streak who is not always so ideologically rigid.

Who then?  Diane Wood, a 59 year old federal judge appointed by Bill Clinton, confirmed in 1995 unanimously by the U.S. Senate.  An English major at U.T. Austin, Woods graduated with highest honors in three years.  Some of the smartest, most fair-minded and principled people I’ve ever known were English majors.

If not Diane Wood, then Elena Kagan, who at 49 is the solicitor general and former dean of Harvard Law school.  She’s known to have a brilliant legal mind, and not thought of as an ideologue.  Progressives might be disappointed were she to get the nomination.

Personally, I think it would be interesting if Obama chose Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law professor who specializes in contract law and is interested in the economics of middle class families.  Of course this attention on the middle class would give Republicans the opportunity to unfairly brand her a socialist with marxist leanings.