Grrl power

Gracie Allen ran strictly for laughs, as opposed to Donald Trump, who doesn't seem to realize that he's comical. Photo by CBS via Getty Images

Gracie Allen ran strictly for laughs, as opposed to Donald Trump, who doesn’t seem to realize that he’s comical. Photo by CBS via Getty Images

Nearly a century after women won the right to vote in this country, a major political party has finally picked one to be its candidate for the presidency.

Others have had a go, of course.

In 1964, Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman to have her name placed in nomination by a major party (the GOP).

Too, the Green Party and various socialist parties have regularly put women at the top of their tickets.

And Gracie Allen — yes, that Gracie Allen — ran in 1940 under the auspices of the Surprise Party. Her platform? “Redwood, trimmed with nutty pine.”

“My opponents say they’re going to fight me ’til the cows come home,” she said in a campaign speech. “So, they admit the cows aren’t home. Why aren’t the cows home? Because they don’t like the conditions on the farm. The cows are smart. They’re not coming home ’til there’s a woman in the White House.”

Gracie was (mostly) kidding, of course. But Hillary isn’t. Neither is Sarah Silverman, a supporter of Comrade Eeyore who told the Bernie or Bust faction that they were “being ridiculous,” which they were.

And definitely not kidding was the other Clinton, the Big Dog, who brought his gift for rambling discourse to the rostrum last night.

Ol’ Bill freestyled a lot of his speech, ’cause he likes to and ’cause the teleprompter was acting out (Ber-NIE! Ber-NIE!). I always appreciated the way the man could shoot the shit (his mendacious Monica Lewinsky chatter not included). But I never voted for him, because I didn’t trust him out of my sight, and I said more than once that his old lady was smarter, tougher and meaner than he was.

Well, Bill seems to agree with me. And so does the works faction of the party, because they gave her the nod.

Now, I don’t trust the Hilldebeast any more than I do her old man. Peas in a pod, those two. The Clintons seem all too typical of our political elites, many of whom think rules are for rubes. That said, there’s no denying that they’ve done the work, unlike the other fella in the contest, who won’t even pay for it, much less perform it.

Herself and I placed our faith in Bernie. But clearly faith wasn’t enough. Works will have to do. Say g’night, Gracie.

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25 Responses to “Grrl power”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    We were right next to you and Herself with faith in Bernie. Gave him some money we did. But now we are stuck with, well, those three. How low can I go in November?
    Plus, can’t even ride today. Got house shit to do, again. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a front loading washing machine. In the rinse cycle now, spin coming up.

    • khal spencer Says:

      After Monday, I was afraid the DNC would resemble that washing machine video.

      O’G, you nailed it. Politics is the art of sausage being made. We too went for Bernie, but this is no time to be squeamish about the process.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I love that washing-machine video, having felt that way many a time myself. But I managed to log another 40-miler, out to Bernalillo and back. Some sketchy shoulder on parts of NM 313, but as an old cyclo-crosser with 38mm tires I never felt seriously at risk.

  2. Charley Auer Says:

    Re: the washer video. I see the guy feeding the chink of metal (Mitch McConnell & Paul Ryan) into the washer (Congress) as Charles Koch, guaranteed destruction!
    Without a doubt Bernie had the better and important message. But, for me, Hillary has the strengh, ability, and perserversnce to get the results we need. This is all dependent on what happens in Congress!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Bernie seems to have pushed the Hilldebeast and the party platform leftward a smidge. Let’s see if they stay there. And yeah, if we can’t flip the Senate at least (I think the House is out of reach), she’ll have some heavy lifting to do whether she’s positioned left, right or center. The Repugs hate her more than they do the dude who has the gig now.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        The Bern got some important platform concessions on minimum wage, TPP, and college tuition. But without congress, and a fully supportive congress with reasonable leadership, even compromise bills on those three issues will never get to the floor. You won’t see any meaningful action with Pelosi, Reid, Ryan, and McConnell. And as far as reasonable financial industry reform, I think that is not going to happen with Clinton in charge, no matter who is in congress. Not much concrete talk in either camp on core issues like budget, debt management, climate change, and war. Sorry MD, I want a woman in the white house like you do; maybe not as badly for obvious reasons, but men have totally screwed it up lately. But, for me, her name was Elizabeth Warren. But, I will suck it up and vote for Hilliary for obvious, maybe too obvious, reasons. And do I think there is a group of oligarchs in the back room pulling the levers and taking advantage of a ignorant and apathetic voting public? Damn right I do. And Trump is one of them. And that causes my frustration. I do not like being played for a fool.

      • Steve O Says:

        All other things being equal, we should have a Democrat in the White House and a Republican controlled lower house for the next 25 years. In a general election, the Democrats have a huge manage, but for congressional races, the Dems waste too many votesin the urban/metro centers. They win a bunch of races with a 80:20 ratio, and everywhere else the GOP wins 55:45.

      • Steve O Says:

        Key phrase being: everything else being equal

  3. md anderson Says:

    In January of 1972 an amazing woman named Shirley Chisolm announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President of the USA. Her drive, her vibrancy, her call to action spoke to me; an eleven year old middle school white girl from upstate NY. I have never forgotten her.

    And now, a woman, another amazing woman, is the Democratic nominee for President. I am energized, I am proud, I AM WITH HER. I have waited 44 long years for this and no one can take it away from me!

    This is a historic milestone and everyone’s response is to complain about who her husband is. Yikes.

    So enough with the “two peas in a pod” stuff. Yes, I liked Bernie, his run made major changes within the Democratic party platform. Now it’s time to live in the real world. To get to work at the hard business of change. Hillary Clinton has been doing this, most times with no publicity, all her life.

    And in case you’re interested, here is Chisolm’s announcement speech. She out-Bernied Bernie.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’ll stand by the “two peas” reference, MD. The Clintons are political tag-team partners, joined at the hip. Not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, when it works.

      But I still wonder whether we might have been spared eight years of Alfred E. “Worry” Bush if Bill had been cowboy enough to keep it in his pants. As we all know, his second term devolved into what Charlie Pierce calls The Great Penis Hunt, and the otherwise admirable Clinton legacy took a while to regain its luster. Plus Al Gore ran a shite campaign to replace him and Al sure didn’t need any help fucking it up.

      But as you note, that’s him, not her, As regards Hillary, I think she will be more hawkish than either Obama or Bill; having spent a lot of my life in military towns, I’m about over seeing the consequences of global adventurism. And I expect that she may be as disappointing as Obama on civil liberties, given her tendency to turn turtle under pressure, which is a constant for the Clintons. Goddamn, have they ever made a shitload of persistent and vengeful enemies.

      I don’t deny her work ethic or palmares. And I concur that it’s long past time that a woman got The Big Gig. Dudes have been fucking it up forever; as the Pythons say. “time for something completely different.”

      But in the end, the question is moot. Faced with Ronald McDonald McTrump, I’d vote for a sock puppet, a three-legged Chihuahua or one of the voices in my head before I’d pull the lever for an R, or even a laudable third-party alternative. Too much at stake.

      Now, Shirley, there was a candidate anyone with smarts could get behind. In “Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72,” Hunter S. Thompson recounted how she stunned the smart money at the Massachusetts “Rad-Lib Caucus.” George McGovern won, but Chisholm finished second, ahead of Gene McCarthy.

      “The Chisholm strength shocked everyone,” he wrote. “There was no mention in the press or anywhere else that some unknown black woman from Brooklyn might seriously challenge these famous liberal heavies on their own turf.”

      Chisholm would say later that as a candidate she took more shit for being a woman than she did for being black. “Men are men,” she observed. Oy, are they ever.

      • md anderson Says:

        Thompson’s book about the “72 campaign is hopefully required reading in any PoliSci class. It was and still is a mind blower.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        My old paperback copy is in tatters, but I hold onto it nonetheless. One of my favorite quotes:

        “This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable. The tragedy of all this is that George McGovern, for all his mistakes… understands what a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race this country might have been, if we could have kept it out of the hands of greedy little hustlers like Richard Nixon. McGovern made some stupid mistakes, but in context they seem almost frivolous compared to the things Richard Nixon does every day of his life, on purpose… Jesus! Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be President?

      • Steve O Says:

        Re: Bill and his pants

        Good bit in yesterday’s 538 live blog ( but can’t find a link to it tonight ) about how a typical Clinton’s popularity or lack thereof was

        He actually became more popular after the Monica affair

        His impact on Al Gore makes for interesting speculation. Easy to plane Clinton, but Gore was the one who decided to distance himself from Bill

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Good point, Steve. I forgot to mention that, and I think it was critical.

        After Gary Hart got busted acting the fool I started wondering whether we might be better off if candidates took the rap, delivered the mea culpa, and then immediately returned to the issues — “Sure, I fucked up, but can we talk about the country’s future now?”

        Sidelining Bill was a grave tactical error. The Gore-Bush contest should never have been close.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Where did you grow up in Upstate NY, MD? You are pretty much my middle brother’s age (he was born in ’61). We lived in a little burg called Alden, NY, about fifteen or so miles east of Buffalo. That election was my freshman year at the Univ. of Rochester and I recall being pretty depressed at that landslide for Mr. Milhous.

      • md anderson Says:

        A little town called Mayville in Chautauqua County. 60 miles south and west of Buffalo close to the PA border. Left town right after high school before my 18th birthday and never went back except to visit the family. But they’ve pretty much been gone from there for 20 years now.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Aha. North end of Chautauqua Lake. Lovely area. Back around 2010 before my wonderful uncle Ted got really sick with cancer, we drove from his home near Buff State along Elmwood Ave to his cottage near Little Valley and then wandered over to Chautauqua for lunch and sight-seeing and bumbled around the lake. My parents also had a cabin in Little Valley. it is still there, but quite a bit worse for wear. Loved that area of the state.

        Like you, I made myself scarce from Alden after graduating. I’ve gradually shed some of the ghosts from that part of my life, but my wife Meena sometimes wonders why I ever go back at all. One has to make peace with one’s self, if not one’s relatives.

      • md anderson Says:

        My sister lives in Northern PA. So i get back to the general area a fair amount. It’s a beautiful place to visit, especially Chautauqua, but no way could I survive a humid summer, or a northeast winter ever again.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Summers seemed nice from what I could remember. Winters could be hell.

  4. smitwil1 Says:

    I like the way you put it: “works” wins over “faith”–at least this time. I, too liked what Bernie had to say, even if I didn’t really see how he could pull it off. H is at least a relatively competent and seasoned professional who’s actually DONE stuff (more good than bad IMHO). As much as I like an underdog, I hope that the Greens don’t wreck it like they did in 2000…

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/jill-not-hill–green-partys-stein-seeks-sanders-backers/2016/07/27/ecf3e1d4-5413-11e6-b652-315ae5d4d4dd_story.html

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I was always dubious of Bernie’s chances of (a) winning the general, and (2) getting anything done. The problem with dropping an outsider on top of the governmental apparatus — and despite being a senator, as a socialist independent Bernie is very much Not One of the Boys — is that the two-party hacks will simply wait him/her out or actively fuck with them. We’ve seen both stratagems employed against the Crypto-Muslim Socialist Kenyan Usurper.

  5. Steve O Says:

    George and Gracie were one of a kind. (which sounds like something Gracie might’ve said)

  6. Larry Theobald Says:

    I’ve made a flaming re-entry into the land of the Baconator and Big Gulp just in time to see Bernie get screwed worse than the Dems did to Howard Dean. But just like back then, a vote for some fringe party candidate is gonna do nothing but help the even worse candidate, in this case Trump. Bernie’s fans need to listen to Bernie – hold your nose and vote for Billary.

  7. B Lester Says:

    I read this a while back. Seems that Barney Frank isn’t impressed by Bernie. I thought that he made a few good points.

  8. Opus the Poet Says:

    It says something that Gracie Allen sounds more and more like Drumpf making a campaign speech.

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