Five Thoughts on Super Tuesday 2016

Do I have Super Tuesday thoughts? Sure I do.

* The real question I have after last night is: In the general election will the Democratic defections when enraged BernieBros decide to vote for Trump over Clinton be counteracted by the Republican defections when despairing neocons decide to vote for Clinton over Trump? Because, yes, I think that’s where we are right now.

More to the point, I think the general election is less likely to be purely about GOP vs. Democrats as it is likely to be anxious white people vs. everyone else. I mean, it was that before, right? But it used to better correlate with the political parties than it does this year. Trump’s natural constituency appears to be white folks, mostly but not only dudes, working class or below, with a varyingly-sized streak of bigotry in them — sexism, racism, what have you. Basically, those anxious about their jobs, or more existentially about losing their place in the social hierarchy. Which theoretically leaves everything else to Clinton.

Which is not a bad place for Clinton to be — if she can get them out in the general. I think she will, but it’s a long way to November, and remember, I have a healthy appreciation for my own personal political cluelessness.

* But Sanders won four states last night! Yes he did, and good for him, although generally speaking he won smaller states with fewer delegates, by smaller margins than Clinton won hers, particularly in the South. Which means that by the only metric that actually counts — delegates assigned — Clinton’s pulling ahead (her superdelegates are staying put, too). To be clear I’m happy for Sanders to stay in the race to keep Clinton’s feet to the fire. She does have a tendency to tack right when left to her own devices, and I don’t think that helps her any right now. But I really don’t see where Sanders gets to the nomination from here.

Which leaves open the question of where the BernieBros go when Clinton does clinch the nomination, which she is likely to do well before the convention. While (to be clear) I suspect most Sanders supporters would support Clinton over Trump (or Cruz or Rubio) in the general, I think there’s a small but noisy chunk who have declared Clinton the enemy and who will ragequit when their dude gets shut out, take their ball and bat and go play in the Fields of Trump. Because they’re anxious white people, you see! If or when they do, I think this will be an instructive moment for everyone about the contours of this particular election.

* On the Republican side: But Cruz won three states last night! And Rubio won one! First, that’s adorable for Rubio. He finally won a primary caucus! Someone give him a participation star, or something. To be fair, the pundits tell me he has a better chance at states a bit down the line, including Florida in two weeks. Well, okay, fine. Cruz on the other hand is in slightly better position: Texas is not an insignificant win, and Oklahoma and Alaska are nice side dishes as well, and Cruz can make an argument that it is he, and not Rubio, who is the true bulwark against Trump within the GOP at this point.

At which the rest of us can be forgiven our barely repressed giggling, because if there’s one single GOP candidate that would allow the Democrats to run up a higher electoral vote total than Trump, it’s Cruz, the final obnoxious form of a college dorm “Devil’s Advocate.” Note to the GOP: Clinton cannot wait for you to settle on Cruz. She really, really hopes you do. I mean, she’ll take Trump. But she wants Cruz. She’ll be delighted if you oblige her.

But, I suspect it will be Trump. As I noted yesterday, neither Rubio nor Cruz is going to drop out any time soon, so they’ll keep splitting the not-Trump vote between them, and Kasich is in it at least through the Ohio primary, where his primary role will be to keep either Rubio or Cruz out of the number two position that night. Meanwhile Trump will vacuum up his now-standard 30+% of the primary voters, which will likely be enough as we move toward winner-take-all primaries.

* I continue not to envy Republican voters, since it’s likely Trump will be your nominee, and if he’s not Cruz likely will be, and, well. There’s a choice, isn’t there. I suspect this is when a number of GOP voters (neocons especially) will decide that Clinton is basically close enough to a Reagan Republican, and also they don’t really care if women get abortions if they want them, so what the hell, and pull the lever for her this one time.

Which brings me back to my first question: Will their number balance out the BernieBros who ragequit and vote for Trump? My feeling is that in the end it’s likely to be a wash and in fact it’s more likely that the real winner of both those constituencies might be Gary Johnson, who is running as the Libertarian candidate and is therefore a safe repository of third party votes that will ultimately neither help nor hinder the two parties’ efforts (it might nibble away slightly more at the GOP side, but not, I suspect, enough to cause an electoral vote swing). Or they might just stay home and gripe on Reddit! Well, that’s what Reddit’s for.

* And finally, the wild card: If Trump wins the nomination, will there be a third party run to his right? And if he doesn’t win the nomination, will he run a spoiler campaign against either Cruz or Rubio? I see a GOP splinter as an unlikely but real possibility, and more so if Trump is denied the candidacy in a convention fight. I should also note that if Trump leaves the GOP, he almost certainly will take his constituency of anxious white people with him, and then all Clinton will have to do to take the White House is not step in front of a bus.

Clinton would love if you did that splintering, too, GOP. Just so you know.

222 thoughts on “Five Thoughts on Super Tuesday 2016

  1. Personally, I kind of hope that Clinton would pick Sanders as VP. It might be unrealistic to expect that, but I feel like it’d be the best shot to keeping too many Bernie supporters from switching teams.

    Is it bad that I consider Trump’s supporters worse than him? He’s terrible, don’t get me wrong, but it seems like he’s promising wayyyyy more than he could deliver as President, and he’s seemed more flexible on Planned Parenthood, health care, etc., than any other GOP candidate. He’s a pompous windbag who says whatever he thinks will get him what he wants, which is why his supporters are so scary, but the actual carrying out of things is a different issue.

  2. I would bet real cash money that if/when Hillary Clinton secures the nomination, Bernie Sanders will be vociferously campaigning on her behalf between the convention and Election Day, and doing whatever else he can to make sure that his constituency does not flip to Trump in outrage.

  3. I think you’re too concerned about BernieBros defecting to pull the R lever and not paying enough attention to the other marginal voters Sanders has activated who just won’t vote in the general out of apathy. The Dems need those voters to stay activated and I’m afraid Hillary won’t be able to maintain the necessary excitement for them.

  4. I’d been wondering what a venn diagram of Trump supporters and Gamegaters would look like, and then Trumps unofficial Reddit page had an AMA with a prominent Gamergater to confirm that it would pretty much all be within one circle.

  5. John, beinga Brit I know very little about how this section of American politics works – is there a chance that the Democrats end up with Clinton as the Presidential Candidate and Sanders as their VP candidate? That seems like it would keep both parties in the Democrats happy.

    On the other hand, of course, it might lead those who run scared at the mere whisper of the word ‘socialist’ to not vote for Clinton, even if it means Trump getting in.

  6. Hmmm – I don’t really see an appreciable fraction of Sanders supporters falling into Trump’s camp once he drops out. Both candidates are tapping into ‘angry, fed-up with the status quo’ voters, but there’s a key difference. Trump’s angry voters are, as you note, angry that society is changing away from them. Sanders’ angry voters are predominantly angry at the 1-percenters, a group that I would argue is epitomized by Trump. I’m sure there will be some – Clinton haters gonna hate – but I don’t think it will be many at all.

    Side note: I continue to be amazed and amused by your descriptions of Cruz – please keep up the good work. I think my favorite thus far has been “preening, deservedly-disliked tub of self-regard”, which was just perfect.

  7. It’s almost possible that some Republicans (who hate Cruz more than anything, except Trump) will vote for Clinton, or at least stay home – because they realize they’ve gotten pretty good at hobbling a sitting president, and they can see fighting Clinton as a rally point for rebuilding their party over the next four years.

  8. One thing I’ve wondered is how far in advance of their primaries state party organizations need to define the rules for how they award delegates. If the goal of the Republican party establishment has become, “Prevent Trump from gaining enough delegates before the convention so that he doesn’t win the nomination on the first ballot”, and winnowing the field down to one non-Trump opponent hasn’t worked, couldn’t the state party organizations change the winner-take-all primaries to proportionate, so as long as the not-Trump candidates keep getting 60%-70% of the votes between them they’d keep Trump from getting 50%+1?

    From what I recall, rules for primaries and delegates are strictly the province of party, and not actually codified legislatively, right?

  9. Joel, it’s possible (Presidential candidates can pretty much pick whoever they want as their running mate), but I’m guessing there’d be pressure on Clinton to pick somebody younger. She’d be 69 at inauguration, and he’d be 74.

  10. Cruz, I think, overperformed slightly from what was expected. He beat the polling in Texas and got a huge delegate count there.

    As for what people who love Bernie are going to do, that’s really hard to tell, but I think the Dems need to start polling them hard for what they will do in the general if Hillary wins the nomination (which, I mean, it sure looks like she will).

    For reference, and sorry, Bernie fans – I don’t think Bernie ran intending to win. I think he ran to keep Hillary honest/left.

  11. I agree with you, SeanMike, that it would be a smart way to attempt BernieBro retention. It’s possible, but who knows how likely.

    Also, I agree with you about Trump supporters Because regardless of his whole, “I’m not playing the game. I’m just doing me,” he IS playing a game. He’s playing at being a brand. He’s a character, and I honestly don’t know if he knows how to be anything else. This does not make him any less of a bigot or a racist, but gives me the impression that a lot of his nonsense is just political bluster of a different color that will wind up being largely benign. It’s worrisome that people are genuinely–even enthusiastically–attracted to it.

  12. You do know “BernieBros” is largely a Hillary Clinton(™) myth, same as Sexist “Obama Boyz” were in 2008, yes, Scalzi? It really angers me to have my very legitimate dislike of a corrupt triangulating bought&paid for by corporations candidate dismissed as misogyny because that candidate happens to be female – same as the women who support Sanders are attacked as “boy-crazy” or “gender traitors” who should burn in Hell.

    Are there some sexists who support Sanders because they loathe Hillary Rodham Clinton? I’m sure there are, same as there are reasonable Republicans – but they’re so rare as to attract unicorns. Most Sanders supporters have strong opinions, but it’s about things that count like Hillary Clinton’s triangulating and experience – which has been judged and found wanting.

    I don’t think Hillary will stay Left for any longer than it takes to win the Democratic Primary, and that only sporadically because it’s not a natural fit for her. I also strongly believe that, given the General Election against Donald Trump? Hillary will lose.

    There’s too much mud to sling as her – and while Bernie Sanders may be too well-aware of the consequences of the kind of dirty pool Clinton Democrats revel in? Donald Trump isn’t – and he revels in mud-slinging even more than Hillary, and honestly he’s got the mike skills to do a much better job of it than she’s ever had.

  13. I really don’t understand the Bernie supporters who say they would support Drumpf if Sanders does not get the nomination. I am a big Sanders supporter and know that while he is a political outsider in terms of being a largely independent player in politics, he has almost nothing in common with Drumpf’s values and beliefs. I believe this group of people are just bluffing as a last ditch effort to garner Sanders more support, but it is incredibly childish and short-sighted.

  14. @Joel Short: There’s nothing to preclude Sanders being nominated for Vice-President. Besides the qualifications to serve as President under the Constitution, the only restriction with regards to the VP is the prohibition against electors casting their votes for both a President and a Vice-President from their own state. (US Constitution, Article II.) Since Clinton and Sanders aren’t from the same state, that doesn’t come into play.

  15. I think underestimating Trump’s ability to get votes is a mistake, even in the general. But I think it is very possible he will be unable to avoid pissing off a significant chunk of women across the political spectrum. And they will heavily, heavily come out to vote for Clinton, and against Trump. Or more to the point, vote against every condescending sexist boss they have ever had.

    For all of that, I am not sure that Trump would be a significantly worse President than Bush 2 was — because at least he would not have any unified GOP support for his random-ass policies.

  16. Also, I have seen a ton of BernieBro sexism online, and saw a ton of Obama supporter sexism in ’08. Anecdotes are not data, but the behavior certainly exists, and did. See Sady Doyle’s twitter timeline for ongoing examples. Doesn’t mean Sanders or Obama supported or condoned the behavior, but it is not a myth.

  17. For the first time since I’ve been eligible to vote, I am an undecided voter. I truly despise all 4 of the major candidates. Maybe I am an anxious white dude, but the idea of Donald Trump in the White House terrifies me. Cruz is certainly no better, but I can’t make any better arguments for Clinton or Sanders either.

    Congrats to both side for creating this shit show and clearly demonstrating that America’s two party system is very, very broken, There is nobody who represents the middle of the road voter, like me. I tend to be a little more right of center, but by no means am I a right wing ultra conservative nut job. I generally agree with the Dems on the social issues, and more like the Reps of fiscal issues. Where is my candidate?

  18. This is going to be a horrible election; at this point, no matter who gets the nominations, the excitement is going to be very limited (to terrible portions of the electorate on the Trump or Cruz side); and the negatives of the candidates are going to be through the roof. They all have very large negatives; and Republicans have spent too much capital upping Clinton’s negatives to really set them aside easily. Some may go for Clinton over Trump or Cruz, but they will do it like the left voted in the French elections against Le Pen: because the alternative is unthinkable and needs to be defeated, not out of any actual buy-in.

  19. Far as I can tell, the alleged Sanders supporters who claim they’ll support Trump are either (1) Clinton campaign plants; or (2) Republicans who want Hillary to win the Democratic nomination because they’re so confident any Republican can beat her like a gong, @thequickmind. I do know a number of Sanders supporters who say they won’t give Hillary Clinton their sanction by voting for her in the General, though, because they neither like nor trust her….

    It’s too bad our system is rigged (thank the Electoral College) so that only a Republican or a Democrat can win the White House – because I have a funny feeling that this could be Green Party Candidate Jill Stein’s year otherwise.

  20. I dunno man. I think the DNC defectors will be miniscule in number, just a few hundred (loud) jerks on twitter.

    GOP defectors will be people like my parents, the Rocky Mountain/West Coast types who thought John McCain would make a swell president. It’s these guys that the mostly Southerners are revolting against, and they number in hundreds of thousands, maybe millions.

  21. A lot depends on how strongly Bernie Sanders supports Hillary Clinton’s nomination. I’m hopeful that @Bruce K is right when he says that Sanders will support her strongly, because Sanders is, it seems to me, a mensch. And that’s about the only time I’ve used the word “hopeful” in this election cycle.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that Trump is better than his supporters. To paraphrase John Oliver, you might be a racist or just cater to them, but after a point, what’s the difference? That said, Cruz is even worse. Jesus, it’s quite a crapfest the Republicans are running.

  22. > I think there’s a small but noisy chunk who have declared Clinton the enemy and who will ragequit when their dude gets shut out, take their ball and bat and go play in the Fields of Trump. Because they’re anxious white people, you see!

    Some Bernie supporters have indeed declared Clinton the enemy and are anxious white dudes, but I rather doubt they’ll go play for Trump.

    Yes, they’re anxious white dudes, but they’re anxious in an importantly different way than Trump’s supporters.

    Trump’s guys are anxious because, gasp, society is changing to stop keeping down (well, not as much) everybody they’ve historically “othered” and kept down. It’s bigotry-motivated anxiety.

    Bernie’s guys are anxious not because of bigotry, but because they are personally feeling the economic squeeze that all the “othered” people have always been feeling. They can’t see how they’ll ever even make a decent life in this economic climate, let alone ever aspire to crazy-ass pipe dreams like, you know, retiring some day or not dying in poverty.

    Bernie’s guys can see that Trump’s particular brand of demagoguery and all-about-me capitalism will do them exactly the same no-favors as it will do for all the “othered” people.

    They may rage-quit, but I expect they won’t switch teams. They’ll just stay home. The same will probably be true on the other end of the spectrum for Republicans who loathe what Trump has done to their Grand Old Party, yet can’t bring themselves to vote for Clinton.

  23. I know and have read many Sanders supporters saying they’d switch to Jill Stein. Some would just stay home too. I’ve only seen a couple of internet randos who would switch to Trump and none who would switch to Gary Johnson. But I’m no pollster and I haven’t seen a poll directly addressing this topic. I think the Sanders/Trump flip is grossly exaggerated (in a way that feels like a tiny bit of continued character assassination towards the majority of Sanders supporters, as with “BernieBros”). And of course, Sanders will continue to campaign against Trump, even if Clinton gets the nomination. However I expect the stay-home and Sanders/Stein flip will be very significant, especially in the safest blue democrat states (where there’s less fear of third party spoilers). And that will have knock-on effects for congressional seats.

    I continue to find it funny (even if a bit terrifying) how the race that was wrapped up and over months ago is still considered by many to be a tight race. And the race where the party favorite has blown an enormous lead and continues to slowly leak support and stands a very real (albeit small) chance at upset by the underdog is considered inevitable. Similarly darkly humorous, how both parties are dead-set on nominating their less viable general election candidates (if the polls are to be trusted).

  24. moxmas – I’ve seen a lot more Hillary supporters claim “Bernie Bros” than I’ve seen actual Bernie Bros. Of course, I don’t hang out on GamerGate or Sad/Rabid Puppy fora because my blood pressure is high enough already – so my experience may be somewhat limited.

  25. Since you brought up a 3rd party candidate in Johnson, what do you think happens if Clinton and Trump are the nominees and Bloomberg decides to enter the race? Would this be an instance where an independent actually has a legitimate shot?

  26. Kat has it right; the “BernieBro” phenomenon is vastly over-stated and yes, those within that category will stay home in November (quite a few may be bordering on GamerGater territory, but the point is they are on the *correct* side of that border).

    and I can’t emphasize this enough, do not under-estimate Cruz. If he pulls the nom (obviously out of a brokered GOP convention) the amount of money that will suddenly appear in his SuperPACs will turn into a torrent.

  27. I nominate John Scalzi to be Senior Ohio Political correspondent on The Late Show, Last Week Tonight, whatever. I will watch his political commentary, because he actually pays attention and knows stuff and states what I’m thinking vastly more articulately that I can.

    Hell, I’d nominate Scalzi to be President, but I wouldn’t do that to Athena, and Krissy would probably divorce him if he won, and kill me (even if he didn’t win). Actually, belay that–let’s nominate Krissy for president. I’d vote for her.

    Keeping my post slightly on-topic: Another thing that will be interesting will be to see how the media treats all of this. Clearly most sane correspondents think Trump is completely bonkers, but mostly, so far, they haven’t been skewering him in-interview. Assuming Trump gets the nomination, I’ll be interested to see how reporters treat him if he keeps up with the completely out-there statements on recorded television.

  28. @thequickmind: “I really don’t understand the Bernie supporters who say they would support Drumpf if Sanders does not get the nomination.”

    The things is – how many Bernie supporters have actually said they would vote Trump if Sanders isn’t nominated? I know quite a lot of Sanders supporters, and try to stay informed during this election cycle and I have *never* heard that. I’m sure it’s a number greater than 0, but I’m thinking it isn’t much greater.

    That’s what gets me about this whole “BernieBros” thing. I hear a lot of talk *about* it, but nothing actually *from* it. Now, of course there are bigoted asshats all over, and, again, I’m sure there is some number greater than 0 of sexist Bernie supporters. But the way I hear people talk about the “BernieBros” it sounds like it’s the next Tea Party or some other major contingent of his supporters. But at least from my informed perspective, I have seen NOTHING of it. Maybe it’s because I don’t go anywhere near that cesspool that is Twitter, but at least outside of that bubble, this whole “BernieBros” thing has all the features of another made-up media controversy.

    Reminds me of the Starbucks holiday cup controversy. One idiot posts a YouTube video and then when the entire internet crashes down on it, that somehow means it was some widespread legitimate boycott or something. Same thing with “BernieBros” – everyone is calling them out and worrying about how they will or won’t vote when I’m thinking the “I ran out of gas, so I didn’t vote” contingent might be more significant.

    Just because you have a ton of people calling an idea stupid doesn’t mean there are a ton of people with that idea. But current discussions of Internet culture seems to assume that. Maybe that needs to be a new Internet Law – “The number of people outraged by a view is NOT indicative of the number of people actually having that view.” :)

  29. Outside the infuriating BernieBros, there’s plenty of anti-establishment sentiment among progressives and Hillary – regardless of her many accomplishments and qualities – is definitely an establishment candidate, making her unappealing to many Sanders supporters. I’m hoping that most of them will vote for Hillary should/when she get the nomination (and am convinced only a small percentage of them would vote for Trump), but Clinton will have to convince them to show up to vote for a candidate they dislike.

    Sure, preventing a Trump victory seems like incentive enough, but if part of the Dems’ base plus the independent Bernie supporters are demotivated, it may result in a low turnout (something the American Left excels at, unfortunately) which always spells trouble for the Democrats. The news gets even worse as young voters – a group Sanders has been far more successful in reaching – decide to stay home in November because their revolution didn’t happen.

    I do not have a good feeling about this election.

  30. Another question concerns me more than the BernieBros. Will Bernie’s youth voting block (not just the Bros) stay home for Clinton? From the polls I’ve seen Hillary can carry the age 40+ democrats, probably pretty much all of the independent swing votes who care to come out, and a handful of the aforementioned anyone-but-Drumpf-or-Cruz neocons. But how many of the under 40 dems who voted for Bernie and how many of those independents will just stay home and let the country burn?

    It feels like the rhetoric coming out of the Bern camp centered around Hillary’s Wall St affiliations are escalating as Bernie loses more primaries, and those people are getting so disgusted with the establishment, and with what they see as a corrupt party and system, that they are also likely to ragequit the process.

    Also, say what you will about Drumpf, it’s likely all true, but he has a knack for telling people exactly what they want to hear. I fear now that he’s pretty much got the nomination and can shift his focus to Hillary, that 8 more months of him getting all the TV ratings will sway more swing votes his way.

  31. I am seeing a fair amount of Sanders supporters who are more interested in the anti-establishment part than they are of the far-left part. (Don’t get me wrong. Most of his supporters seem to like him because his progressive/socialist politics. Just not all of them.) I can easily see them choosing Trump over Clinton.

  32. I am sympathetic to those who consider Hillary too corporate, but getting the money out of politics is going to require long-term work, not just one presidential candidate. And does anyone actually think that Hillary Clinton is a big fan of Citizens United?

  33. And finally, the wild card: If Trump wins the nomination, will there be a third party run to his right?

    I have this horrible feeling that the Republicans ARE the third party, now.

  34. “I suspect this is when a number of GOP voters (neocons especially) will decide that Clinton is basically close enough to a Reagan Republican”

    I think this is telling.

    Also, “The Fields of Trump” is a phrase that makes my blood run cold.

    I don’t think either party is coming out of this election entirely intact. Certainly the GOP is going to have a long dark night of the soul after this, but the democrats won’t be far behind as alot of Bernie supporters decide that they were never really democrats after all, but further to the left of them.

  35. There’s only been a couple of western contests so far. It’s going to be interesting how well Trump does in those. California in particular.

  36. I’m another who doesn’t think a Trump victory would be necessarily worse for the country than Cruz or Rubio. They’d all be terrible, just different forms of terrible. Rubio is utterly in hock to the big money boys, and Cruz is far too close to Dominionism for me.

  37. I agree with others upthread that Bernie would make a good VP for Clinton. He would give her some progressive street cred while also keeping some of the Bernie folk from jumping ship.

    What’s the Scalzi over/under on Bernie being a VP pick?

  38. “If Trump wins the nomination, will there be a third party run to his right?”
    To Trump’s right? Really? Is the Ayatollah running?

  39. Two thoughts. Trump, for all his horribleness, is still better than either of the Dominionists – Rubio and Cruz. And Kasich has gone so far to the right that Trump winds up being better than him in most practical respects.

    The question is, can Kasich win Ohio? That’s what the GOP really wants now. They want a broken convention so the back room guys can pick, oh, Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney. Someone they can easily control.

  40. Bernie won’t be a VP for Clinton, I think. He’d rather stay in the Senate at that point. Clinton will probably do best to pick up O’Malley, who will bolster her from the left. Though she might foolishly pick another centrist, like Castro or someone of that nature. In which case, I think she will lose because I think Democratic turnout will fall to record lows.

  41. I think Clinton will lean hard on the argument that she’s Obama’s heir to try and keep the younger parts of his base from staying home. She’s arleady using to try and cut into Sanders’ support. It helps that it’s true, though not the out-of-fucks-to-give Obama we have now but rather the original theoretically-progressive-but-in-practice-status-quo Obama.

  42. I really don’t understand the “anxious white people” part of this unless it is specifically about Trump. It may be that I’m not especially anxious about my job and I really couldn’t give a shit less about anyone’s “place in the social hierarchy”, but I don’t see race being a big consideration (again, excluding Trump). I don’t follow political news very close so I could have easily missed something from the other candidates, but is anyone besides Trump screaming to restrict the rights of legal citizens based on race? And as for the Anxious part? I think we should all be anxious to actually see a halfway decent presidential candidate appear.

  43. I’m convinced that Bernie ran not to win at first but to get attention to his agenda. I suspect he was as surprised as anyone at how competitive the race got, and ran with it. Now that it seems that Clinton is likely a done deal, I suspect he’ll go back to doing exactly what he was doing before: forcing certain economic topics to be part of the media radar.

    He’s already sad publicly that Hillary is to be preferred by far over any of the current Republican crop. My prediction is that he gives her a strong endorsement immediately after she is officially nominated. He’d be far happier as a liberal independent in a divided senate with a President Clinton than forced to the margins with a President Cruz or (God forbid) Trump.

  44. Speaking as a guy (a bro, perhaps?) who cast his primary vote for Bernie, I will without hesitation cast my vote for Hillary in the general election. And she will end up being the nominee. While Clinton has her problems (some imaginary, some contrived, and some very real), her superiority over anyone over on the GOP side is measured in orders of magnitude. She is a badass Beltway creature, head to toe, and I can only hope that the positives that brings will outweigh the negatives.

  45. another brilliant post, thank you. I usually ignore all the electoral craziness until it comes down to the general election since I’m not a republican or a democrat. Then I cast my vote for the lesser of two evils. However, I have really enjoyed your posts covering the political shenanigans. Thanks again!

  46. John, I read you every day and comment once every couple of years. I merely want to pose a question, and point out where I think you’re (willfully or not) very wrong in your assessment of what’s at stake on the Left:

    If Athena were eligible for Selective Service, would you be so content to elect Clinton, who I think we can all agree is a hawk, over Sanders, who has a distinctly less hawkish foreign policy stance? If it were the possibility of your daughter being sent to war if a chain of events led to us needing conscripts, would you be so hasty to deride supporters of Senator Sanders?

    And, I mean, it’s nice for you that you have money. I think you’re a great writer. I particularly loved Redshirts. I wish you all the best, and you’re (in general) my kind of guy. I’m glad Tor has you churning out books for the foreseeable future.

    But what’s happening on the Left is down to a lot more than just anxious white people worried about the economy, and I am honestly pretty surprised you’re not acknowledging that. Particularly given that you’re normally more in tune with the nuances of politics.

    Acting as if Senator Sanders appeals to people simply because of economic reasons (and in turn trivializing the impact of economic issues on black lives, for example) is, at best, a huge blind spot, and at worst, disingenuous (even if you’re not consciously aware of lying to yourself and others) .,.

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a strong advocate of economic equality because so long as black people remain in an economic pressure cooker, we’ll continue to see some pretty awful shit occur. He knew this. We’ve seen this. It is imperative that we stop this.

    Senator Sanders is going to raise taxes on you, and on me, if he has his way. But his plans include economic policies which will help to start to raise millions and millions of Americans who are much less fortunate than even my modest household (let alone yours) out of economic despair.

    I’m not supporting Senator Sanders because it stands to benefit me in a direct personal way, I am supporting Senator Sanders because it is our best chance to hammer home real change where we’ve seen nothing but decades of the rich getting richer (helped by Bill Clinton’s Glass-Steagal fiasco) and the poor (*cough* black *cough*) getting more incarcerated (helped by Bill Clinton’s “war on crime” and made palatable for all us white folks by Hillary’s ranting about “Superpredators”)…

    So if you think that’s not worth being angry about—the lives of millions of Americans…the futures of millions of children who could have a real chance to the “American Dream” (maybe some of those kids are just as good at writing as you are…but they won’t get to go to an exclusive school like you did because they’re not that lucky)—then I don’t know what to say.

    I generally respect you, but I think that acting as if Clinton and Sanders are equivalent is hugely self-delusional, and with the size of your platform, a disservice to others.

    As someone who has dual-citizenship and has been exposed to a different kind of democracy, all I can say is that I hope that we see the following on the ballot in every state come November:

    Clinton (D)
    Cruz (R)
    Sanders (I)
    Trump (I)

    Thanks for daily reading material.

    My Best,

    -Mathew

  47. The funny thing about using the Make Donald Drumpf Again chrome plugin is not knowing whether the author of a particular sentence wrote “Trump” or “Drumpf”; on CNN, I can usually assume the former, but over here and in the comments, you never know. So, if it’s alright with you, John, I’m going to assume you referred to him as Drumpf through this essay.

    (At the risk of going meta, the above is nonsensical on its face to folks who are using the plugin as well, just as it will be for me as soon as I hit “Post”.)

  48. As for a Clinton VP pick, I’m not up on the all the contenders, but I think Elizabeth Warren would be a fascinating pick. After Sanders, she would be a pretty solid progressive pick if Clinton wanted to use the VP to boost a weak demographic, plus in the additional common VP roles of a) buttkicking Congress in line, she wouldn’t shy away form that, and b) being the voice on an important issue or two, Warren is right up there with Sanders on a lot of economic issues. Letting Warren loose to lead the rhetoric on that front would let Clinton both focus on other areas, and walk the fine line with Wall Street and economic reform. Let the VP say the dangerous stuff, and the Prez can then work the compromises to keep progressive voters and corporate donors from completely revolting – which is the kind of slow change that is frustrating, but often works in the long run. Plus, even though they are both in their 60’s, it’s not out of the question for Warren to fit the “grooming my successor” VP role as well.

    However, maybe it’s just my wishful thinking.

  49. Now see, I don’t see this as anxious white people vs everyone else. I am a mostly mellow minority (mostly Mexican, El Salvadoran, but with some Irish of all things, whom everyone assumes is either Indian or Pakistani).

    I see this as people who desperately want a change from the establishment vs people who want the traditional face of their party. I am horrified by a Trump candidacy, but only a little less unhappy with a Hillary candidacy. Keep in mind that her own party quickly rallied around Obama as an alternative last time as soon as he started looking viable. Personally I would rather Sanders, or Warren, or a Feinstein, or on the GOP side Maybe a Rubio or a Huntsman. Sure that is a broad spread of views, but all of them seem more talented, more sincere, more thoughtful, more actually concerned with the country than themselves.

  50. “and I can’t emphasize this enough, do not under-estimate Cruz. If he pulls the nom (obviously out of a brokered GOP convention) the amount of money that will suddenly appear in his SuperPACs will turn into a torrent.”

    I’m dubious about this. The only person that the mainstream republicans hate worse that Hilary and the vulgar talking yam is Ted Cruz,

  51. I find your characterization of “BernieBros” to be demeaning and simplistic, as those types are a small minority of Bernie’s supporters. “BernieBros” didn’t donate 40 million in February.

    The bottom line is that the disenfranchised voters that support Bernie will likely go nowhere election day, and hope Hillary wins as the barely-lesser-of-2-evils.

  52. The Sanders Phenomenon is driven by young people. And which group of voters historically votes the least? Young people. All Hillary has to do is hold together the coalition that actually voted for Obama, which she is so far, and she wins. Those 25 year old white progressives weren’t going to vote in the general election anyway. If Bernie wasn’t running no one would really be paying attention to them, and if they stay home in November it will have no real effect on the election.

    The Trump supporters seem to be the same white males who fetishize firearms. The ones who, whenever anyone says “OBUMMER IS COMING FOR YOUR GUNS!” run out and buy more firearms and ammunition. A ready-made army of brown shirts. My fear is that if the Republican leadership is able to force a contested convention and nominate a non-Trump candidate then the people in the streets yelling “The whole world is watching” will be armed. I wonder if the Chief of Police in Cleveland is preparing for that possibility?

  53. The researchers in that Vox article should look at the recent (as of 5 or 6 years ago anyways) stuff on the Witchcraze in Europe. The factors that encourage authoritariansim seem fairly close to the ones that resulted a mass witch trials. In both cases there seems to be a melding of looking for a solution (strongman/dead witches) and scapegoats (minorities/not dead witches).

  54. Like many other commenters here, I think the stay-home crowd is going to be a bigger factor on both sides than the switch-parties crowd. (I’m counting minor-party voters as part of the stay-at-home crowd– barring a Trump third-party run if he’s denied the nomination, that’s effectively what they’ll be in the general election. Though I think they’ll be dwarfed by the number of people who don’t vote at all even though they could.)

    If it does become a Clinton-Trump contest, which seems the most likely matchup at this point, I don’t think we can assume the stay-at-home factor will favor Clinton. She needs to make the voters who are going for populist Sanders now turn out for her in November, if she hopes to match the base that will turn out for populist Trump. Even a 35% ceiling in supporters can get you a majority in an election where your side turns out wholeheartedly and the other side turns out in a more usual 50%-turnout apathy. (And Trump’s base goes farther than just conscious bigots; it also includes people who are financially squeezed, badly want significant change, but for whatever reason don’t trust Democrats, or Democrats like the Clintons.)

    Which means that a lot will depend on how well Sanders can campaign for Clinton, if she’s the eventual nominee. I don’t think this necessarily means she should nominate him for VP– I’d rather have him in the Senate and someone younger in the backup-if-the-president-dies role– but he can potentially convince a lot of his supporters that they’re better off making sure Clinton gets in, despite her not being their first choice, than having Trump (or Cruz, or whoever) get in by default. And Sanders will be able to do this better if Clinton can show a commitment to some of the things he’s been advocating, and not just left-wing-of-the-rich party planks.

  55. Popping in to agree with Matthew, above.

    And I’m a 39 year old white woman with a white husband and white sons. Black Lives Matter, climate change matters, and economic injustice matters. I’ll be voting Bernie as long as I can.

  56. This may be the first year I flip a coin in the booth: Stein (Green Party) or Johnson (Libs)? I think Trump is little more than a pathetic rock star with a lot of money. Clinton I don’t trust at all. As for Ted Cruz, if you put a gun to my head and told me to vote for him or die, I would gently push the barrel away long enough to locate a Sharpie so I could draw you a target on my temple. I wouldn’t want you to miss.

    That said, I’m really hoping it’s Clinton v. Cruz in November. There is a contingent of our population who will have entered their own personal version of Hell having to replace a black man with either a Cuban or a woman.

    Their tears will be delicious to me. To sum up, third party, bullet to head instead of Cruz, mwahahahaha.

  57. And if BernieBros just cannot bring themselves to vote Clinton, I hope they remember that this is not just a presidential election (though in my state, there was no down-ticket yesterday, a sneaky little way to suppress voter participation) and actually go vote for Congress, state officials, and so on. I’m proud to have managed to write a whole email to my stupider Senator yesterday without once using the phrase “Worthless sack of weasel shit.” It wasn’t easy.

  58. The Republicans have always treated their voters as rubes and dupes, using Fox and the noise machine to distract them while the REAL agenda (making the rich richer) was carried on quietly elsewhere. Trump saw this, and is peeling those voters off by promising to actually DO what those people have been led to believe would be done by the Republicans they’ve been voting for.
    This is causing the Republican power brokers much angst, as they realize their real agenda (not the Fox news one)is at serious risk since they are going to lose the ability to lay another snow job on their voters. Thiis going to fracture the Republican party in as-yet unpredictable ways.

    Is Trump electable? Maybe, but I doubt it. He’s pretty consistently drawing about 30% of primary voters, which is really about 30% of 25% of the normal voter turnout. And I believe that’s about as much as he can reasonably expect to get. There aren’t many more disaffected whites, etc. than that, and he won’t draw much from other demographics.

  59. To all the guys upthread (and, based on noms/avatars, it is mostly men) who don’t see the “BernieBros” as a major or real thing: well, you wouldn’t.

    I can tell you, as a woman, it exists. It probably exists as a small (but not minuscule), extremely annoying group not truly representative of the average Bernie supporter, but it is there. I, for one, am tired of guys condescendingly explaining to me that I’m too sensitive about “X” and I just don’t understand the true ramifications of Bernie’s stance. Every time that happens, I think “BernieBro” (it’s a useful shorthand). If said guy then goes on to mouth RW tropes about Hillary, I get really irritated. And yes, I am aware of the possibility said jackass is a RW plant, and, I will, of course, vote in the General for Bernie if he gets the nom. I will not “refuse to grant him legitimacy” by not voting, which would be too close to actually voting for the R for my taste.

  60. I have to admit that I had not considered the possibility of a significant number of Sanders supporters jumping so far right as to bypass Clinton and vote Republican. It’s a thing of nightmares, and I hope (or dread) that Scalzi finds evidence to explore this further as we progress through the campaign.

    Though I am a millennial with a lot of love and support for Bernie Sanders’ platform, his role has felt preordained from its establishment (and from The Establishment) to pull Hillary Clinton to the left – nothing more. Will I happily vote for whoever of the two is on the ballot come November? Absolutely. Am I upset that my first opportunity to use my feminist vote for a female candidate isn’t a vote for my ideal candidate? Sure, but that’s politics for you.

    To those fiercely proclaiming BernieBros as a non-issue, I would encourage you to treat this as a Both/And scenario (e.g. it is entirely possible for BernieBros to be BOTH a fictional creation of another campaign or the media AND a label that identifies sexist and other discriminatory language used to attack Clinton by self-identified Sanders supporters).

  61. There has been an ‘anti-establishment’ trend for ages, but now in the age of American oligarchy (and the oligarchy owning the press) it seems we’re seeing a real rise of a voting block that wants to vote for the candidate who is anti establishment, anti political paymasters-donor class, anti mainstream media, anti oligarchy. It doesn’t matter what end of the right/left spectrum the candidate is at, as long as they push populist themes. That trend for better or worse is Trump on the right and Sanders on the left.

    It’s a mistake to look at the vote swings and defections and not factor in this new populist trend.

  62. to the other marginal voters Sanders has activated who just won’t vote in the general out of apathy

    Since they haven’t actually voted in the primaries, either, I wouldn’t count this as an issue.

  63. I love the comments here, but don’t often contribute (mostly because it’s really hard to restrain my natural jerkishnessosity, of course), but since we’re going all fantasy baseball, I’m going to vote for Bernie because I know he’s going to hit 97 home runs this year, while Hillary is not going to hit more than 5. Because she’s going to break her leg in April and be on the DL. I mean, I’ve never seen so many crystal balls and rock-solid Certainty outside of the last time I went to the Mystic Mystics Convention in Connecticut. Over a long and storied life I’ve learned to start with dessert, not just because I like dessert best, but because you never know how the meal is going to play out. Accordingly, having watched the (apparently reasonable) GOP of my youth descend into utter madness and now outright fascism (and don’t kid yourself: Trumpo is drawing the real core of the GOP voters – the irredeemable 27%), I would vote for Joe Lieberman if he was the Democratic candidate. Some of these comments sound like first-class passengers on the Titanic trying to get a couple of dollars off the dinner bill while the ship is going stern-up – there are kind of more important things to worry about. Also, too, if you really believe that crap about Clinton, be aware that the puke funnel has been pumping that out for 20 years and more. If there is any truth there (however insignificant), it’s vastly outweighed by the masses of foul smoke concocted by Ailes and his Nixon Boys. And this is coming from a strong Sanders supporter. I’d prefer Sanders, but I will have no hesitancy about voting for Clinton if she gets the nod. Have you all actually seen the alternative?

  64. I don’t think Bernie supporters would vote for Trump.

    For myself, I’ll vote for Hillary in the same way that, in a pairing against Trump, I would vote for an inanimate carbon rod: an utterly dispassionate logical qualification that anybody or anything is better than Trump for President. The issue isn’t others who wanted Sanders to be the candidate voting Trump out of anger, it’s them just *not voting* out of despair. To Sanders supporters like me, Hillary’s win is a sign that he was, after all, half right: American politics is wholly owned by and in service to corporate billionaire interests at the expense of everyone else.

    What he was wrong about is believing that is something that will be or can be fixed.

    That can be really, really disheartening to a group of young idealists who have just got their first (and probably last) taste of someone with power telling them that non-billionaires can have a genuine say in the way things are done as opposed to being an afterthought kept appeased as much as the corporate interests can be bothered to afford. Those disheartened people, basically having been told they don’t matter and to make way for the campaign donors and their legal bribes for political favors, would probably just sit it out because, really, with that kind of reinforcement why bother? The system isn’t broken, it’s running exactly as intended so get back to being a profit center for it with your student debt and credit cards.

    And that’s why I think a Clinton nomination means a Trump presidency. Me saying “yeah she is pretty much a Wall Street mouthpiece, but the alternative is Trump” is one thing. Convincing everyone who have been riled up against Wall Street and the billionaire class is another thing entirely that I doubt will happen. It’s lose/lose in my view, but one loss is far more tolerable than the other.

  65. I just can’t conceive of how you can go from a Bernie supporter to a Trump one – it makes no sense to me. And to stay at home because Clinton gets the nomination waa-waa is just infantile behavior – I’d happily vote for anyone other than lLinton (that isn’t a Republican or Trump) as she’s a deeply flawed warhawk who is in the pocket of Wall Street, but she’s infinitely better than the evil incarnate that is Cruz and the puddle of perspiration that is Rubio.

    This is the first US election I can vote in, lucky me, and I get to chose between someone who probably isn’t disastrous and a bunch of clowns who would be, so it’s definitely lesser evil time. Shame Cthulu didn’t get more traction, but I guess he saw Ted Cruz and thought “I can’t compete with that level of soulless evil” and went back to sleep.

  66. More on BernieBros. Here is a article pointing out the falsehood.
    https://theintercept.com/2016/01/31/the-bernie-bros-narrative-a-cheap-false-campaign-tactic-masquerading-as-journalism-and-social-activism/

    My two cents: Clinton was strong with rural Black states however he did better with rural white states. I canvased for him in South Carolina and it did not simply work that having a white person tell a black person about an other white person. Bernie failed to work with the African American Communities for this election. He should have been laying out that message two to three years ago.

    Clinton is winning on name branding.

  67. ARRGHH! “however he did” <- should have been "however she did better" No offense meant.

  68. Brandon: It doesn’t matter whether Trump’s “really” a fascist bigot. As Kurt Vonnegut said, “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

  69. Argh, I’m kinda frustrated reading this piece..
    You started covering Trump as a “summer fling”, but right now he’s winning over the republican party.
    He’s clearly the biggest winner of this election’s Super Tuesday.
    If I were an American – I wouldn’t have being embarrassed, I would’ve being ashmed.
    During the great depression, America turned to Roosevelt for leadership while other newly democratic countries turn to Hitler and Mussolini.
    Because of that choice (and of couse not only that), the democratic countries won WWII.
    Right now it looks like you guys are making the obviously wrong choice.
    For people in other countries, specially in mine, which is enormously depended on America, this is really, really scary..
    I mean things aren’t exactly rainbows and sunshine and all here in Israel, but at least we’re still sane… I think?
    But you started this piece not with pointing out the danger of this choice, but with bashing the “BernieBros” (a term which I have never heard before), and contemplating whether some really small, fringe-tiny minority will revenage-vote for Trump against Hillary? C’mon…
    As a self-proclaimed independed, I would realy love to hear your opinion on Bernie Sanders.
    He is, after all, the longest independent MP in the entire history of your country (and thats alot of History..)
    Altough I’m not even an American, I’m an enthusiastic Sanders supporter.
    I wish we had that kind of leader and politician here in Israel.
    I would argue that he is a much better choice than Hillary.
    Her agenda is about wanting to be the President, his agenda is about changing your country for the best.
    His campaign is active and kicking, while hers is reactive and traditional.
    He’s leading the public debate, talking about the real issues and addressing the fundemental problems in America, while she just follows suite…
    I could name so many different reasons for choosing Sanders over Clinton, but then it wouldn’t be a comment rather than an op-ed.

    So basically my question to you is, if you would have been kidnapped by a consu spaceship and they told you had to make a choice: Hillary or Bernie, who would that be and why?

    Thanks,
    Avi.

  70. The base of the Democratic party is women of color. This has been true since the 1960s, and has become even more true as the white working-class switched parties.

    I have a good deal of sympathy for passionate Bernie fans, but there is a reason he is getting crushed in Southern primaries that have large numbers of women of color — the base of the Democratic party. There is a reason why he is doing well only in states where the democratic party consists largely of liberal white folks.

    If the Bernie fans want to sit out this election, whatever. Vote for Greens or Libertarians or whatever other protest party you want to vote for. That’s what a protest vote is for. Sit at home if you want. Go vote for Trump if that floats your boat.

    But there is actually a reason why the ACTUAL BASE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY (women of color) are overwhelmingly picking Clinton. And for all the protests about how BernieBros are a figment of the fevered imagination or Clintonian plants, I sure managed to read an awful lot about in the comments above how Bernie was clearly the superior candidate for people of color, because reasons (and oh the subtext).

    People of color aren’t idiots. We are not politically unengaged — we cannot afford to be. People of color are supporting Hillary and doing so ENTHUSIASTICALLY. She’s been having greater turnout for her among people of color than Obama in 2008. Perhaps the passionate Bernie fans could stop for a minute and think about why this is the case… and think about why his revolution of young supporters isn’t comparing to the turnout for Obama in 2008?

    Ultimately John’s point stands: Clinton and Sanders are very similar politically, with Sanders more left. Clinton is literally a child of the civil rights era, as is Sanders. They have both been involved in civil rights their entire careers. She is more of a moderate than he is, but she is also not her husband — have people forgotten that she was tarred as the commie pinko wing of the Bill Clinton white house? The parties have changed, the base of the parties has shifted, and the issues are different. And virtually every negative story about her is baseless accusations collected from decades of ceaseless attacks from the post-Gingrich GOP. Why are you falling for the old “if there’s smoke, there must be fire” trick?

    I know millenials are happy to vote for self-identified socialists. I’m perplexed that anyone older than 35 has any difficulty understanding why a self-identified socialist would have significant obstacles trying to get elected by an electorate dominated by people who grew up DURING THE COLD WAR. I’d support Sanders anyway in the unlikely event that he wins the nomination. At this point, however, it’s clear that it’s Clinton, so why are we still debating? Unless you are false equivalence-ing the two parties, or simply have the privilege not to care which party wins, at the end of the day you’re still voting for the Head Implementer In Chief of a party infrastructure (Dems)….or for whatever the heck Trump will be, which is just frightening. Why is this something that is still worth debating? Seriously, either go away and do your protest vote thing, or start working to make sure that it’s Clinton, and not Trump.

  71. The sad part about much of this is that people who actually walk the walk, like Elizabeth Warren, are staying the hell out of politics because they feel that they are more effective where they are. Bernie Sanders I like; as was said earlier, he was probably surprised at how much traction he got when he was mainly in it to get talking points addressed, but I will vote for Hillary in the fall rather than stay home and ragequit if he doesn’t get the nom, and certainly vote in state and local elections. The prospect of any of the RNC Legion of Doom getting near POTUS guarantees that.

  72. The Bernie supporters who are also Trump supporters are anti-establishment voters. They aren’t really voting for the policies of either man, but, against the establishment.

    But, I think it is far from a foregone conclusion that Clinton wins the Democratic nomination. The calendar of primary elections becomes much more amenable to Sanders in the next couple of weeks. And, currently, he is only behind Clinton by about 100 delegates. Ignore the superdelegate counts for now. Many of those will change allegiance if Bernie does well in their states. Given the results in Minnesota, I fully expect Al Franken to change his allegiance. And, he will be pressured by Minnesota voters to change that allegiance.

    I have been thinking that we are about to see the splittering of both parties, but wasn’t sure how it could play out until now. If Trump wins the Republican nomination, and Sanders wins the Democratic nomination, the neocons will do their best to have a brokered convention on the Republican side. I don’t know whether they will go for Rubio, Romney, or even Bloomberg, but, someone the establishment trusts will be thrust into the spotlight.

    Trump and his followers will bold, creating a new party. The DLC and Clintonites will utlimately align themselves with the neocon faction of the Republican Party, leaving the Democratic Party in the hands of the Warren-Sanders wing.

  73. Have already voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary, but am pretty sure Hillary Clinton will get the Democratic nomination and will vote for her as President. That is the consensus among people I know.

  74. IMO, I think the only way an independent candidate can take the general election away from Clinton is if that candidate runs to the left of Clinton, just as Nader did in 2000 against Gore.

  75. @VCarlson

    “RW tropes about Hillary” like what?

    I am very willing to use my vote to write in for President (while voting on all the downballot stuff…I vote, have since I was 17 and caucused for Bill Clinton, will continue to) and really think that veiled allusions to misogyny are unbecoming.

    Clinton supporters routinely berate women who don’t support her candidacy, as if she is the anointed one, here to ensure that America finally has a woman in the White House who does more than keep kids off drugs, in school, working out, or eating right.

    Would you want Carly Fiorina as President? No, of course not, because there’s severe issues with Carly. While Hillary may be a vastly better candidate than various alternatives, there are circumstances under which I (who have a wife and a daughter that I love and respect very much) would not vote for her if she were nominated.

    I do not want to vote for someone who has consistently supported interventionist foreign policy. I do not wish to vote for someone who is so cozy with banking that we’re not meant to hear what she says to bankers. I do not want to vote for someone who takes money from (and served as an officer for) one of the biggest exploiters of domestic labor and importers of Chinese goods.

    You think “Bernie Bros” are a real thing? I’m a 41-year-old labor/socialist and I can tell you for a fact that this is the very first US Presidential election I’ve been around where I had an actual candidate with very real support who I didn’t have to feel as if I were compromising myself to vote for.

    Donald Drumpf (yes, that’s #MakeDonaldDrumphAgain, for those with the extension installed) is potentially no less of a danger in the White House than Clinton. The most terrifying thing about him is simultaneously the most exhilarating: you don’t actually KNOW what he’s going to do.

    With Clinton I am pretty sure I can trust her to be a hawk, support moneyed interests, and make zero attempts to push a real progressive agenda: something we NEED after decades of sliding to the Right based on the Riefenstahl-esque success of Fox News.

    So Trump/Clinton in the general? Why would I not write in Sanders? I’m either getting a wildcard or someone close enough to a Reagan Republican as to make no huge difference. Hell, maybe Trump comes in and governs exactly like he’s spent his money donating…to Harry Reid, Nancy Pellosi, etc.

    If it comes down to some kind of a Hail Mary from the Republicans which gets Cruz in there (Rubio? LOL) I am more likely to vote for Clinton.

    Trump is a complete ass, but he appears more interested in what he can turn the GOP into and how much airtime he can get than he does actually doing things related to his most extreme talking points.

    This isn’t a normal election cycle. There are strange things happening.

    And deriding people who are finally able to point out that we went off the damn rails LONG ago and that NEITHER party’s establishment has the best interest of THE PEOPLE at heart is just wrong. (The Trump side of it is mostly terrifying because it’s all wrapped up in fascism, but a lot of it also has to do with being angry that for 6 years the GOP has done NOTHING.)

    I am not a bad person for being straight, white, cis-male and older. (Not quite old, but getting closer, and not some young idealist…I’ve held my beliefs for decades while voting Dem down the line 1992-2012.) I’m not a bad person for pointing out that Bernie has a much stronger record of Civil Rights work than Clinton. I’m not a terrible person for putting forth the notion that the “lesser” evil thing is sometimes an illusion. I don’t think it’s awful to not want a hawk in the White House after having one there since CARTER…(Obama is probably less hawkish than Clinton and he still authorized drone strikes to kill civilians in our name.) I also believe that it’s my vote, and my right to NOT cast it for someone if I believe that they are not trustworthy, and have a demonstrable history of supporting things which I vehemently oppose. (And boots-on-the-ground reports of wild impropriety from her staffers in Nevada from someone I trust.) EVEN IF IT MEANS THE “BAD GUYS” GAIN GROUND. Being a “Democrat” doesn’t make you a good person inherently, and as above, I can’t guarantee Trump would be any worse than Clinton. (I also can’t guarantee he won’t just quit when someone is mean to him.)

    In any case, yeah…”Bernie Bros” is as real as “Vagina Voters”…sure, there’s some mansplaining and condescension out there. I’ve seen it. But there’s also a ton of pressure brought to bear by women (against other women) that it’s traitorous to not vote for Clinton. (The discussion should be about the issues and the character of the candidates, unfortunately when it strays into the character, people get angry and start to deny the relevance of the history the two bring to the table, or begin to do everything they can to blow small things out of proportion. It’s excruciatingly difficult NOT to, because it’s so easy for both sides to get sucked in.)

    I don’t hate Clinton. I want women to be able to be President. I wish Warren had run. (I hope Warren is the VP pick. That happens and Clinton is much more likely to get my vote.)

    But in the end I am so exhausted by the idea that we need to settle for someone centrist when we’ve been pulled so far Right than centrist might as well mean old Republican…I just can’t really stomach voting for Clinton if there’s wiggle room enough to see another way.

    I won’t decide what I’m doing until later this year. But just as I won’t say that someone who chooses to vote for Clinton is wasting their vote (even though I have extremely strong feelings about her role in both imperialism and economic/racial oppression) I expect people to respect what I do with MY right as an American.

  76. Interesting, I worry that Sanders would depress African American turnout in a general election. We all have our personal anxieties, I guess.

    Do we have polling on Trump’s working class support? We tend to think that poor whites, particularly in the South, vote conservative. I have heard people claim the opposite is true. Poor people, even in red states, tend to vote Democrat, just in smaller numbers in red areas. Rich people, even in blue states, tend to vote Republican, just in smaller numbers. How the middle class swings is what makes a state red or blue. So maybe we ought to stop slandering Bubba and start blaming Steve Small Business’ ire and Buffy Blue Blood’s PAC contributions. Arguing from anecdotes, I remember overtly racist men in rural Pennsylvania famously tell reporters they were voting for Obama.

    To be clear, I don’t have a definitive answer. I am just not comfortable with accepting Common Knowledge either.

  77. Bernie Sanders is going to stay in the race the whole way, and when he loses the nomination, he will enthusiastically endorse Hillary Clinton. He will campaign for her and make it clear that he wants his supporters to vote for. If some don’t, that will be on them, not him.

    Meanwhile, the GOP is dead. They either get Trump as a nominee and he gets whacked in November, or they steal it from him at the convention, and he runs a third-party campaign and the party disintegrates.

    I think Mitt is gearing up for a “Real GOP” run, which will be entertaining. He’s certainly becoming the party’s standard-bearer against Trump.

  78. @Fabio

    If I ask you why you support Hillary “Superpredators” Clinton the Goldwater girl over Bernard “Arrested Protesting Civil Rights” Sanders the career champion of the people, is it automatically condescending because I happen to be a straight, white, cis-gendered man?

    I would hope that my honest curiosity would be received as it is intended. I have every inclination as a human being to wonder why something which seems, on the face of it, a clear distinction between two people, is not seen as such by you.

    You can vote how you want. You have every right to do that. I want for you to do that.

    But I’d also like to understand better (and there’s too damn little analysis of this anywhere because the mainstream media doesn’t give a damn about what PoC think…they’re too busy analyzing why which demo of white folks are doing what) why this is.

    I was reading fivethiryeight last night and a theory put forth by one of their staff (a black woman) was that potentially Clinton being seen as an insider makes PoC believe that she can make deals behind the scenes that will benefit them more than Sanders will be able to by being very blatant about his economic populism.

    I agree with the sentiment that Clinton is more of an “insider” where back-hall deals are concerned, but I don’t think that you need to lean really heavily on that kind of stuff to get things done. Clinton’s unfavorable ratings are extremely high. Higher than Trump’s. It’s in part due to the very fact that people believe she WILL do things behind closed doors that we don’t trust. TPP is NAFTA on steroids. THAT is the kind of thing people who are reticent to support Clinton are afraid of.

    And given that NAFTA disproportionately hurt blue-collar, lower income folks and the TPP stands to do the same even more, I don’t see how wishing that Clinton were in office to close some doors and make some deals is a good thing…

    America is diverse, and we don’t all come from the same culture. (I’m a West Coast liberal. Even Republicans out here support things like public art, cultural programs, etc.) I get that there’s much more conservative Democrats in the world. (I don’t even really want to be a Democrat, but our country’s dysfunctional two-party system pretty much harnesses me to it.) I am fine with the fact that we’re not all going to agree on candidates. (I’ve not always wanted the candidate in the runup to the General that got the nomination, though I’ve always voted for them.) What I am not fine with is being derided as a clueless white dude.

    You hammer on having your own opinions which are fully-formed and well-considered. I respect that. But is it so hard to see that after decades of sliding Right there’s a deep frustration with people who want to remain centrist (pretty much Reagan Republican but not as hell-bent on running a deficit) rather than take a stand for real progress towards the economic equality Dr. King dreamed of?

    Me being white doesn’t make me care less about my fellow Americans, regardless of their skin color. Me being white doesn’t make my vote count any less than someone who declares themselves a part of the true base of the Democratic party. The fact that a lot of my demographic supports Republicans doesn’t make me inconsequential.

    Both the parties are loose coalitions of “Left” and “Right” folks respectively. What you’re seeing right now is four parties fighting it out where there’s two official entities. You have, for lack of better terms, the Economic Populist Democrats and the Centrist Democrats duking it out on one side, often with a series of simple arguments re: why one candidate or the other can’t win—and the New Populist Republicans and the Neo-Cons Evangelical Alliance desperately trying to bail out the sinking dinghy on the other.

    The thing that pisses Bernie supporters off is the condescending manner which we are often spoken about. As if we’re some weird, aberrant species which is nothing more than a curiosity. I think in large part due to the mainstream media’s deep need to maintain the status quo (Bernie’s policies are NOT friendly to media moguls) and the generally intimate ties “journalists” have with establishment sources. (On BOTH sides. Fox News may be the masters of propaganda, but let’s not pretend that MSNBC is always so much better!) It is inordinately frustrating to be looked at as infants because we are FINALLY standing up EN MASSE and saying “enough with your moneyed interests, your warmongering, and your mass incarceration” …

    I respect the right of everyone to have an opinion and vote that opinion. I want to understand peoples’ reasons. But I don’t appreciate the derision in general that has been in large part manufactured by shoddy reporting. Bernie Bros DIRECTLY relates to supposed Bernie supporters being misogynistic and has ZERO to do with the actual legitimate feelings of the overwhelming majority of REAL Bernie supporters who Clinton is going to have a hard time reaching, and who may actually be important to her…because no one demo is the base of either party in our system.

  79. I also think it’s important to note that (assuming the GOP would stop disenfranchising voters and we could instead get mail-in balloting) there’s a large enough voting age population that doesn’t vote every year to change the outcome of any election completely to a candidate that would otherwise get zero votes…

  80. >> The sad part about much of this is that people who actually walk the walk, like Elizabeth Warren, are staying the hell out of politics because they feel that they are more effective where they are.>>

    Elizabeth Warren is a Senator. She didn’t stay out of politics.

    **

    I’m a little amazed by the number of people who seem to think there’s little difference between Clinton and Trump — Clinton’s actual voting record in the Senate puts her to the left of Obama’s and very close to Sanders’.

    Ah well. I’ll caucus for Hillary — though by the time we get to my state, it may be pretty solidly over — but vote for either of them.

  81. I’ve also been attacked by the Bros. I don’t think they represent all, or probably the majority, of BS supporters. But they are real. And they point to Hillary’s support of Goldwater before she could legally vote…and ignore that Sanders, you know, wrote about women fantasizing about being raped when he was 30 (that would have them all shocked if an R wrote it). The picking and choosing of issues to be outraged about…ugh.

    And for those of them who would rather vote Trump than Hillary with SCOTUS on the line. They prove their cis-gender, heterosexual, white male, non-union member privilege. All the while championing their “progressiveness”. They don’t care if SCOTUS screws over everyone else though.

  82. I hope Bernie gets the nomination. If not, I will vote for Hillary. That said, I dont think the Bernie supporters who wont vote for Hillary are all “Bros” or even a majority of them. The implication is that the only reason a dem would not vote for Hillary is because she is a woman and the voter is sexist.

    I will vote for Hillary, but I will be doing it with a pinched nose trying to ignore the fact that I am voting for someone who has flipped flopped so many significant positions such that they just happen to track whatever matches the prevaling winds. Hillary doesnt occur to me as someone with principles so much as someone who does a lot of polling to figure out what her “principles” should be. She is weak sauce when it comes to regulating the banks and wall street and that has no small part to do with getting a massive chunk of her campaign contributions from the same group I want regulated. She voted for the Iraq war and then cant seem to own it for the huge mistake it was. She is more right-of-center than moderately-right-of-center Obama.

    There are plenty of reasons to not like Hillary that does not require being a “Bro”.

  83. Is it irony to complain about poorly executed writing on the website of an author whose early works were admittedly not nearly as good as he thought they were (or hoped they were) upon reflection? *grin*

    If I’d supported Reagan as a teenager you’d have been well within your rights to call me on it. ;)

    For the record, I know a lot of Bernie supporters and none of them have once voiced the desire where I’ve been around to see or hear it that they to vote FOR anyone running on the GOP side. A few have talked about Green/Libertarian candidates, and a good deal have talked about Bernie write-ins. You can make the case that in a two-party system it’s a waste to vote anyone other than those two, but again: decades of sliding Right. Something’s got to give.

  84. I could find myself voting for Sanders over most of the Republican field, but Hillary, not so much.

    Also, it’s amazing how each side appears to view the other as the epitome of evil destined to bring about the Apocralypse while viewing themselves as the One True Savior.

  85. On the day that President Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Andrew Napolitano, is confirmed by a 51/49 party line vote in the Senate, every Sanders supporter who defected from Clinton (or every Clinton supporter who defected from Sanders) will bear a share of personal responsibility.

  86. El Muneco… if you look at the current voter turnout, you may notice that the Dems are getting outvoted almost 2-1. The dems are already behind the 8-ball with everyone group-hugging as far as turnout goes.
    Better hope Trump makes THEM want to stay home. That’s where the game will play out.

  87. El Muneco: Guilt tripping and emotional blackmail have even lower effectiveness as election tools than name-calling.

  88. “You are at fault because you didn’t vote for Clinton in the General,” is fine if you also want to add “I am at fault because I didn’t want to vote for the truly progressive candidate who hasn’t needed to ‘evolve’ on every position once it hit 50+% national polling…”

    It’s not a vacuum. Every evasion. Every handwave. Every excuse (like how DOMA staved off a fictional Constitutional Amendment)—they all contribute to the end result.

    Our votes are our own. If we feel that voting for Vermin Supreme is better than the alternatives, we should do that. (Who doesn’t like boots as hats, anyway?)

  89. For what it’s worth: Yes, I have seen varying degrees of misogynistic “BernieBro” behavior online, both rude towards women and using gendered slurs towards Hillary Clinton. (One of my own personal pet peeves is how it is impossible for Hillary to ever appear anywhere without being criticized for what she’s wearing, and all the guys need to do is throw together a suit and tie and they are pretty much immune to that.) If you are a woman taking a stand on just about any issue in any lightly moderated internet forum that includes many passionate men, several of those men are going to be jerks to you, targeting you specifically because you are a woman or using gendered slurs (etc). I’m sincerely sorry about that, and we all need to call that out.

    But I’ve also seen substantially *more* of the same behavior targeting women who support Bernie. I suspect this has more to do with the forums and people I follow than with the character of the average Clinton supporter. If you haven’t seen this, I suggest it’s because you haven’t been paying very close attention to Bernie’s (many) vocal female supporters.

    But… wouldn’t it be fun to put forward overgeneralizing assertions about the misogyny of Clinton supporters in multiple articles within each of the newspapers of record and most of the liberal magazines? No. The answer is no. It wouldn’t be fun. It would be infantile, vile, and dishonest. I think most people would agree that it’d be a gross exaggeration and more than a little bit crass to constantly refer to most Clinton supporters as “HillaryBros”. Do HillaryBros exist? YES. I’m sorry, but they do. Is HillaryBros an accurate representation of most ardent Clinton supporters? No. Not even close. Is it a stupid and offensive term that distracts from real issues and lowers rather than elevates our discourse. Yes. Is it especially denigrating to the substantial proportion of female Clinton supporters to hear themselves castigated as Bros (or simply written out of the story as irrelevant)? Yes. Well, the same is true of “BernieBro”.

    And although Clinton and Sanders are (to my estimation) roughly equal on traditional “women’s rights” issues, Clinton’s neoliberal economic stance seems to me much more of a limited feminism for the Lean In crowd, emphasizing the breaking of glass-ceilings. Whereas Sanders economic stance which will result in far more equality for the 99% of women at every level of the pay scale. Of course, I’m very much a guy with the standard guy biases and blinders, and I’ve been known to get these things wrong before.

    At least as troubling to me is the cluelessness with which some Sanders supporters have ignorantly talked down to Blacks (and Hispanics), and I’ve seen a fair bit of that. What I see is mostly white ignorance and not blatant bigotry, but it is still there. But again, I don’t really see a huge difference of degree here between white Sanders supporters and any other white liberals talking down to minorities. Again, I’m sincerely sorry about this, but we clearly have work to do.

    That said, I *do* believe that Sander’s platform (and historical record) on racial justice and income/wealth inequality is *substantially* better than Clinton’s. And I suspect Sanders’ biggest problems with minority voters are time and lack of familiarity and needing to fine tune the messaging and the messengers (see e.g. the data at http://www.carlbeijer.com/2016/02/black-voters-and-2016-primaries-part-1.html). I am hopeful because (just as with every other gender and race) the black and hispanic youth *are* moving towards Sanders, even as the boomers stay loyal to Clinton. Nonetheless, the Clinton’s have (wisely and rightly) cultivated their relationships within these communities for 20 years, so I doubt this is something that will be fully overcome within time constraints of this election cycle.

    But I’m a white dude, and at least somewhat aware that white dudes coming with neatly packaged solutions have a really shitty track record on civil rights and economic advancement for minorities. When I converse to black men and women, I still need to do a lot more listening and a lot less talking.

  90. I don’t honestly see many of the politically left-leaning Sanders supporters crossing the line and voting for Trump, although they may ragequit by not voting at all. However, there was an article on one of the political sites – 538, maybe? – about Oklahoma, and how Sanders is also pulling some support from voters who are just opposed to the establishment politicians as a group right now. Those folks are in the ideologically very peculiar place of having Trump as a second choice to Sanders (or vice-versa). I wouldn’t think that’s a large enough pool of voters to have much effect, but who knows?

  91. Crypticmirror: “Guilt tripping and emotional blackmail have even lower effectiveness as election tools than name-calling.”

    You want a good, clean discussion? Fine, then you gotta give as much as you expect to get. And for anyone voting third party that means, first and foremost, they have to acknowledge the objective truth of a third party vote in the presidential election. And that truth is it hurts your second closest choice and helps your least favorite choice.

    Anything else is self delusional bullshit. There are no “signals” sent. Third party voting does not invoke double secret probation upon your opponents. It is nothing more than rage quitting. That is all it is.

    You want folks to be honest but fair with you? You gotta give that same level of honesty back.

    Third party voting that refuses to acknowledge the objective facts of its effects but insists on asserting nonobjective, unproven, feel good nonsense is the “intelligent design/young earth creationism” of american politics.

    I have yet to meet someone who said they were voting third party who had the decency to admit the direct effects their vote has on everyone else. Instead its all about how the vote will make them *feel*: faux empowered with no actual measurable effect from their vote.

    Name one objective effect third party voting has that would directly further your interests in this election.

  92. Mathew, I don’t think Sanders and Clinton are equivalent when compared against each other (or on a graph of what passes for progressive thought in the US). However, if you compare them to the Republican candidates? We’re talking Trump/Cruz/Rubio as the outer planets, while Sanders and Clinton are arguing over which of their sunspots is closer to Earth.

    I would also prefer that Sanders stay in the Senate and continue to make sure his policies and proposals aren’t ignored – I think he does more good there than VP. Conversely, if Sanders wins the nomination I would not want Clinton as VP, because making her (say) Secretary of State allows her vastly superior foreign policy experience to cover Sanders’ decided weakness on that front, while putting her corporate-friendly ties away from Sanders’ domestic agenda.

    I would love it if Bernie Sanders filled out the West Wing scenario and won the nomination. I just don’t see a path for him to do so, and this is most definitely an election where the consequences of of not electing a Democrat are something I don’t want to contemplate. Hence I will vote for Sanders, and if he loses the nomination, I’ll vote for Clinton.

  93. You assume that this is the last election ever. It’s not, and when the system isn’t working, the choice is work inside or work outside. (Or, do nothing.)

    Clinton supporters as a general rule think the establishment is either hunky dory or think you can change it from within. Sanders supporters see themselves as insurgents who finally have someone to rally around.

    How you sort out who is right is a matter of personal opinion. There’s no objective measurement possible.

  94. Nonetheless, the Clinton’s have (wisely and rightly) cultivated their relationships within these communities for 20 years, so I doubt this is something that will be fully overcome within time constraints of this election cycle.

    The only legit way to “overcome” this is to cultivate relationships for 20 years, really. That long standing relationship, even when it’s been rocky at times, is one of the reasons WHY Sanders is being held at arms lengths—there’s a sense of knowing what you’ll be getting vs. a promise that looks like all the other promises made and broken with the black community.

    (What Sanders forgets is that it’s the administration of programs where the black community often gets the shaft. It is HE that needs to get to know the black community and their concerns, and not the other way around).

  95. @Subrata I agree that everyone in the GOP is a far planet with the exception of Trump. He’s more like a new comet we don’t have enough data on to say where he’ll be. We can look at old data and say he’ll be close to those comfy inner planets, or we can look at weird emissions it’s been giving off and assume it’s going to wind up nowhere near. Truth is I don’t even know if he knows yet. (He’s famous for liking to not plan his day and just wing it…)

    My decision will depend on who the GOP nom is, what’s polling, where there’s movement, if there’s a more than 2-way split, etc. etc.

    None of you should worry too much though. I live in California. My vote is worth less than everyone elses outside of other Californians. :)

  96. Sanders supporters see themselves as insurgents who finally have someone to rally around.

    Actually, I hope they take over the levers of power in the Democratic party (and that’s a long term action). I like the positions Sanders lay out; I just don’t think he’s the right man to carry them out. But if his movement sustains itself so that it takes over the Democratic party, there’s a good chance they’ll find a person who can carry them out.

  97. “I am at fault because I didn’t want to vote for the truly progressive candidate who hasn’t needed to ‘evolve’ on every position once it hit 50+% national polling…”

    George McGovern says hello.

  98. Here’s the first (not only) reason I’m going to caucus for Hillary: I want a president who looks marginally more like me than the previous 44 presidents. I mean, women are only 50% of the population, is it too much to ask?
    (Other reasons include international experience, supporting causes I agree with, domestic experience. And I think Bernie can do more good as a senator.)

    As for the difference between Trump and Cruz?
    President Trump means wearing a paper bag on your head and voting like heck at the mid-terms.
    President Cruz means stockpiling birth control and praying my husband gets transferred over seas. I’d take the place above the Arctic circle over an America run by a Dominionist (believer in theocracy).

  99. My take is that Democrats who go for Trump won’t be Sanders fans disappointed in Clinton. They’ll probably just stay home if they’re not reconciled. The Democrats who’ll go for Trump will probably be the kind who used to be called “Reagan Democrats”, attracted to him for the same reason his Republican constituency is.

    I agree, though, that whether these outnumber the Republicans who’d rather have Clinton than Trump is the question. And how many of them will go to the polls.

  100. @gwangung “That long standing relationship, even when it’s been rocky at times, is one of the reasons WHY Sanders is being held at arms lengths—there’s a sense of knowing what you’ll be getting vs. a promise that looks like all the other promises made and broken with the black community” Yes. That’s basically a better restatement of what I was trying to say. :) Although I don’t agree that the *only* way to make the change is to take 20 years. The poll data (especially how quickly the youth vote is swinging) indicates the change could happen much faster, except among the over 65 crowd where it may never happen at all. And I don’t think that *Sanders* is missing or forgetting where the programs get botched and shafted, although certainly many of his (esp. younger inexperienced) supporters probably are.

  101. @Greg As for voting third party being “self-delusional bullshit”, I offer the following: http://fredrikdeboer.com/2016/02/29/democrats-always-prove-the-commies-right/

    When people who are well represented by one of the two parties refuse to acknowledge that our two-party system leads to massive levels of disenfranchisement, and when they moralistically tut-tut anyone who doesn’t fall in line and vote for the Party Choice, that leads to… well, it leads to horrifically low turnout and massive distrust of the government and anti-establishment sentiment and (eventually) populist demagogues that chaotically rip up and remake of the standard electoral coalitions.

    It also leads to a deluded party faithful that just can’t quite fathom that Sanders polls better than Clinton in general election match ups, because that’s just not possible! He’s so much more extreme than she is! (according to the party approved political spectrum.) He’s clearly not electable because my party won’t elect him, so the evidence (polls) that say he’s more electable must be wrong. But what if the general population just doesn’t care about the philosophy of Conservatism and doesn’t trust Wall Street Democrats? What if the New Democrat gatekeepers are the third party spoilers preventing the Social Democrats from winning and not the other way around?

    Our first-passed-the-post plurality voting system won’t allow us accurately measure people’s true preferences, so everyone has to play the (anti-democratic) strategic voting game. But don’t assume they are playing by the same rules or assumptions or goals that you started with.

    @DAVID: McGovern? McGovern polled behind Nixon for the entire election. Bernie outpolls everyone among the general electorate.

    Also, a major *ugh* every time someone mentions Clinton’s foreign policy experience as a positive. Clinton is basically a neoconservative interventionist. Yes, the *best* neoconservative if you’ve decided that’s what you like for foreign policy, but still.

  102. Sanders and McGovern is false dichotomy, as mentioned.

    Props to the admission that women vote for Clinton because she’s a woman. That’s honest, and I very much respect that. It’s a very legitimate feeling that after a black man, a woman makes sense. It does. As I said: I want a woman in the White House. I just don’t want THIS woman in the White House. She’s to the left of the GOP on everything the GOP should have already given up on, and aligned with them everywhere else, with a few notable exceptions. (Gun control, for example.) When she talks about being able to get things done, she’s probably not wrong, if she can ever get past the virulent hate the Right has whipped up for her, because what she wants to get done is, for the most part, what they want to get done.

    As noted, it’s pretty clear that a plurality of America’s voters are not interested in the party establishment politics. (If we go further out on a limb that some of the people voting do it because they feel like they must, and not because they actually like the options, we wind up with a majority of Americans not happy with the two party system…)

    In any case, California is waaaaaaaaaay down the list, so by the time this whole thing gets to us it’s very likely mathematically irrelevant what we do. :)

  103. Also, it’s amazing how each side appears to view the other as the epitome of evil destined to bring about the Apocralypse while viewing themselves as the One True Savior.

    Except Cruz- he things he’s the One True Saviour and he wants to bring about the Apocalypse.

  104. A Sanders supporter here (though female — guess I’ll have to take my chances with Hell) for economic reasons. Everyone would be better off if the shift of wealth flowing upwards started to flow in the other direction again. And, again, although a Sanders supporter, I would not hesitate for a minute to vote for Hillary Clinton. There is no way on God’s green earth I would support any Republican running today.
    When I voted for the first time, I voted for the Republican moderate John Anderson (anyone even remember him?). Now I wish I’d voted for Carter, but I was an idealist. From Reagen on, our country has been struggling behind the rest of the world in wages, health care outcomes and environmental solutions. So I will never vote third party again when it counts.

  105. Yes, I stand corrected. Sen. Warren is not staying out of politics; she is staying at a level where she feels the most useful. Can you tell I admire the woman?

    On the Dem ticket, it’s most likely Hillary will win and that Bernie will be enough of a statesman to say to his supporters, “We fought a good fight; now support Hillary and make sure she remembers why we fought. That and to keep any of the current crop of Republican candidates away from the office of POTUS. Gaaahhh.”

  106. Matthew, I live in Florida and I can almost guarantee that we’ll fuck it up again. That way you can at least think your California vote still counts.

    I am not sure gender will have a lot to do with who votes where. Once again it will be a year where everyone must pick the lesser evil from their point of view.

    The biggest voting block will probably be non-voters. The build-up will be exhausting for all of America and it will be easy to see nothing better at the end of this road.

    We know Clinton will attempt to strengthen the Affordable Care Act. I doubt it will get much closer to affordable but she might be able to put some teeth in it. She was the architect of Bill’s attempt to pass such a thing a while ago.

    What Trump will do is the $64000 question. How Congress deals with his proposals is an even bigger question. My question is if he would be a big enough sledgehammer to shatter the dysfunction of Congress and inadvertently cause realignment of the party lines.

    If he gets that far coordination will be necessary to block what he wants to do.

  107. Hopefully, Senator Sanders’ supporters will be sensible and realize that not voting for Secretary Clinton will lead to a Republican President, which would be devastating for minorities and women and poor Whites for that matter.
    I am pretty positive that Sanders will vote for Secretary Clinton in November and will campaign for her after the Democratic National Convention. We have to defeat the Republicans in the Senate and keep them out of the White House.

  108. Laura W – I too, threw away my vote on Anderson. Lesson learned. Carter’s problem was three-fold – 1. the economy wasn’t doing well, 2. The Iran hostages and 3. Jimmy Carter was too intelligent for the office. He always saw multiple sides to every problem and had difficulty deciding among them. There are seldom simple, good choices. There are multiple choices, each of which offers multiple levels of good and bad consequences. Seeing that every day may have lead to decision paralysis.

  109. I just want to point out that you can vote for Democratic party candidates for congress without voting for the Democratic party nominee for President. It’s not an all or nothing proposition.

    As for how much of a disaster a Republican President will be? Depends on who it is…and if it’s Trump, how he feels that morning.

  110. * by which I don’t mean that you should dismiss it at all. I mean that you should *especially* not dismiss it without really grappling with it and attempting some empathy first.

  111. @mathewr1974
    “…Clinton the Goldwater girl…”

    Oh, please. Hillary deserves quite a bit of opprobrium, but you throwing this at her smacks of throwing ANY smear at the wall to see what will stick. That doesn’t help your cause – quite the opposite, in fact.

    http://www.snopes.com/goldwater-girl/
    http://www.salon.com/2008/04/08/hillary_1968/
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/28/us/politics/how-hillary-clinton-went-undercover-to-examine-race-in-education.html?_r=0

    Yes, Hillary was a Young Republican Goldwater fan in high school and when she started college…before she was old enough to vote. She was her conservative parents’ overachieving Good Little Girl, and emulated their values as such children often do, before they start thinking for themselves. She was campaigning for Eugene McCarthy by ’68, did her thesis on Saul Alinsky, and by ’72 was staff on the House Judiciary Committee investigating Nixon. People sometimes really do change.

    Pray tell, would you condemn Elizabeth Warren forever because she was a Republican till the mid-90’s? After all, she saw the light when she was a bit older than Hillary was in college…

  112. The open supreme court seat will unify republicans. Neocons are not going to vote for Clinton with a former conservative seat up. I dont like trump, but at worst he can be blocked in congress and we can knock him off in 4 years. The rallying cry will be about the supreme court seat.

    I dont expect any bernie voters to support trump. He wants to get rid of
    obamacre.

    The unknown that johnis ignoring is if hillary clinton gets indited. The longer this investigation drags on the more likely it is. If there was nothing there they will close the case soon so they dont impact the election. If it goes on another month odds are an inditement is coming. Even if its just a misdemenor its a big deal. I have done sensitive work for the government, if i did what hillary did id be fired and barred from that work for life. I would also almost certainly jave charges pressed against me. You get briefed on this stuff when you do work for the government…. I only did low level stuff and i a, confident that id hve charges brought against me if i did this.

    You might still get bernie after all. I mean rhis honestly… I am pretty sure I would go to jail if I did what hillary did.

  113. I am pretty sure I would go to jail if I did what hillary did.

    What, rampant misspelling? I don’t think that’s illegal.

    @DAVID: McGovern? McGovern polled behind Nixon for the entire election. Bernie outpolls everyone among the general electorate.

    During the primary season? I’d like a cite, please.

    Sanders and McGovern is false dichotomy, as mentioned.

    Sure. Keep telling yourself that.

  114. I do know a socially moderate Republican or two who are thinking they might vote for Clinton if Trump gets the nomination, but the Hillary hate runs strong in the party, even among that group. Never mind that Bill Clinton, Obama, and now Hillary Clinton, are really centrists on almost everything to do with the economy (and pretty cautious and prone to compromise on social issues too). They’ve been painted as left-wingers for so long, most GOPers just accept it as fact. And I really don’t know how representative my Republican friends are anyway. Not terribly from the looks of things, so they could just be a tiny fraction of GOP voters.

    As for Bernie supporters who would go over to Trump instead of vote for Clinton? I hadn’t considered that as a possibility. My husband likes Sanders a lot more than he does Clinton. He thinks Clinton is too conservative, but he’s never skipped an election, and he’d vote for her before he voted for any of the GOP candidates. He shares my concerns that Trump’s popularity could represent the nucleus of a scary fascist movement in this country (whether Trump actually has the wherewithal to do any of the things he says he would is another question).

    My other friends who greatly prefer Sanders to Clinton seem to be along the same lines as my husband, but it’s certainly possible that some of Sanders’s younger supporters would stay home, at least, if he doesn’t get nominated. Young voters are notoriously flighty. But vote for Trump? Only if the main appeal of Sanders is his white maleness and sometimes “angry” rhetoric. And if that’s the case, wouldn’t they be Trump supporters already?

  115. @jaynsand

    I would have thought that the implied hyperbole of that statement was obvious, but since you didn’t see it I’ll state for the record that in drawing that distinction I was intentionally highlighting exactly how disparate the two can be. (For all those who are baffled by anyone thinking they’re at all different.)

    The two of them are night and day. And then most of the GOP are something like eternal damnation, so there’s clearly a much wider gap between the run-of-the-mill candidate from the GOP and either of the two Democratic candidates.

    It’s been my experience that we don’t really ever outgrow our younger selves. Those kids are always there, and parts of them crop up time and again. I mean, I could just have easily tossed in being a Kissinger hanger on or a Walton-family favorite, or Wall Street’s Mom-In-Law. She doesn’t control her son-in-law’s profession, but she does choose who she socializes with and seeks advice from, as well as where she chooses to work and whose money she uses to campaign with.

    She has clear ties to more conservative sectors than most progressives are comfortable with. She declares herself a progressive mainly on the strength of the fact that she cares deeply about women’s issues (as she happens to be a woman, I find this to be prudent indeed) and has “evolved” on equal rights.

    It is, in my eyes, very necessary to point out the differences, when she’s doing everything she can to flirt with Senator Sanders’ positions…to the extent of actually “evolving” during the election cycle on certain issues which are dear to progressives. If that offends because the specific wording I used annoys, I am sorry. Please feel free to insert one of the other things from above and continue on.

    As for what @guess said, I think that it’s unlikely there’s going to be actual legal issues that derail anything for anyone between now and November. Trump has his whole Trump University legal boondoggle going on as well, but I think Obama was sued for the 50th time this morning, so if people haven’t figured it out, the legal system is just yet another thing that gets played up in politics. (And yes, I get that there’s a difference between an investigation and a suit, but the truth is that there were Secretaries of State who “outed” supposed “secrets” before Clinton ever got into office, and I suspect it’ll happen again in the future. The reason this is such a dogwhistle to conservatives is that they WANT her to be in trouble. Benghazi is pavlovian, and it’s apparently not stuck, so they need something else.

  116. nick: “When people who are well represented by one of the two parties refuse to acknowledge that our two-party system leads to massive levels of disenfranchisement”

    Like I said, third party voters are never about objective facts of the effect of their third party vote. The above, for example, is a red herring and strawman. Strawman because you never heard me say the system was perfect. A majority-vote-wins system gives rise to the two party system trying to triangulate to cover the largest block of voters. If you want to talk about serious disenfranchisement, look no further than the electoral college. Most states give 100% of their vote to whichever candidate gets 51% of teh vote. Which means if you are, say, a Democrat in Texas, or a Republican in, say, Massachusetts, then you likely feel completely disenfranchised from voting because whether you vote or not has ZERO EFFECT on the outcome. The majority-vote-wins-creates-a-two-party-system has nothing on disenfranchisement compared to the electoral college system. THe only people whose votes actually matter to the point that politicians will spend all their time campaigning for their vote are the few battleground states where the voters split 50/50ish, so all the electoral votes are up for grab. That doesn’t even get into the fact that the electoral college is proportional to (state population + 2) which means small states have more influence over presidential elections than large states. So, yeah, lots of ways the system disenfranchises voters.

    The above statement is also a redherring because it has fuckall to do with whether you vote for Bernie, HIllary, Donald, or Asshole number 2.

    YOu don’t like the Electoral College? You don’t like the two party system? There are only two ways to change it: Constitutional Amendment or armed insurrection. Note that neither option said “Vote for Third Party candidate in Presidential election”. Why is that? Because when presented with the game theory table that is the presidential election, the payoffs and costs do not include anything like “Send a signal to the man that the two party system is going down and they need to be afraid”. So, in a discussion about voting in the US presidential election for 2016, bringing up the disenfranchisement of the system to justify your choice is a red herring.

    Again, this is where third party voters indulge in their fantasies. Voting third party has one and only one effect that can be summarized from three different points of view. (1) your third party candidate does not win the election (2) your second choice candidate is robbed of your vote and (3) your least favorite candidate is helped because you didn’t vote for number 2.

    That’s all a third party vote does. It doesn’t send a signal. It doesn’t fight the man. It doesn’t compensate for your disenfranchisement inherent in the system. Third party voting invariably is on par with a man going through a midlife crisis trying to say the sports car convertible he bought was because it got good gas mileage and will be a classic collectible when it gets older. No. Those are all lies you’re saying to feel better about yoruself, but they have nothing to do with objective reality.

    LIke I said, I have never met an avowed third party voter who will admit the facts about voting third party. And you are no exception.

  117. Love your work, but beg to differ with your politics. I am fed up with politics as usual and feel that the only way to have even a small say, is to support Trump. I really can’t believe that the best that the Democrats can come up with is a socialist or a female version of Dr. Evil. I mean, she does somewhat resemble the character…

  118. There’s actually the third road that many states have already taken (mine included) where State law dictates that electoral votes will be granted to the winner of the popular vote as soon as enough states have the same laws.

    If more states (and it’s not that many more) pass the laws, the electoral college will become obsolete overnight.

  119. @DAVID: let me google that for you:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_polling_for_U.S._Presidential_elections#United_States_presidential_election.2C_1972

    Sorry, that only goes back before the primary as far as May, June. The convention was mid July. And a quick lazy googling didn’t turn up Feb, March, April poll numbers. I hope you don’t mind if I toss the citation-needed ball back into your court, if you want to assert that McGovern was actually leading polls by 8-17 points in March (Sanders lead over Cruz, Rubio, or Trump in latest polls) but then suddenly fell and hovered between 30-38% (19-34 points behind) for the entire rest of the campaign.

  120. It’s been real fun, but I have a D&D game to run. I’m gonna have some wizards make my party #feelthebern…

  121. @mathewr1974

    “I would have thought that the implied hyperbole of that statement was obvious…”

    You CALL it hyperbole, but then you present it as an accurate picture of Bernie and Hillary:

    “…but since you didn’t see it I’ll state for the record that in drawing that distinction I was intentionally highlighting EXACTLY how disparate the two can be. (For all those who are baffled by anyone thinking they’re at all different.)…The two of them are night and day.”

    My emphasis added.

    You’re basically drawing a 2-D caricature of The Bern as Good vs. Evol Hillary, while calling it an “exact” depiction of his virtues vs. her vices. You do this by deliberately omitting her ALL her progressive history so that you can insult her with a teenage past she demonstrably outgrew during college. The fact that you feel the need to do in order to make your chosen candidate look better doesn’t make your advocacy look helpful to Bernie; IMO, it’s kind of discrediting to him that you as his follower go around publically doing that (and I say this LIKING Sanders).

    “It’s been my experience that we don’t really ever outgrow our younger selves…”

    So, despite your claim of ‘hyperbole’, you seem to really and truly be saying that Hillary IS the same Goldwater supporter she was as her Republican dad’s good little girl at the age of 17, and can’t truly have possibly changed in any meaningful sense, regardless of any history since. So again I ask: does the fact that Elizabeth Warren was a Republican till the mid-1990’s (a ‘younger self’ than she is now) mean that she IS STILL a Republican in your mind, notwithstanding anything she has done since? If not, why not?

  122. Speaking as a minority millennial voter, the rhetoric from Bernie supporters all over Twitter about how black voters are too “low-information” to support Sanders (& that those minority voters can be safely ignored since they’re in red states & won’t count in the general election) does absolutely nothing to increase my enthusiasm for him. Particularly in tandem w/ his campaign’s focus on predominantly white states, the constant bringing up of marching w/ MLK as if that’s the end-all be-all of activism, etc. etc. There have been PLENTY of racist & sexist assumptions directed at POC & women who support Clinton rather than Sanders (because apparently we’re too ignorant/vagina-biased to have made our own informed decisions). I’m tired of the thin veneer of “If only you listened to someone smarter than you tell you all about how great Bernie is, you’d see the light instead of supporting that evil racist Republican Hillary”, often accompanied w/ blatant misrepresentations of HRC’s record. If you haven’t encountered these types of Bernie supporters, lucky for you, but they definitely exist in not insignificant numbers. There are some of them right in this thread. In the general election I’ll vote w/ no hesitation for either Sanders or Clinton against whatever Republican, but I’m not looking forward to months more of condescension & smears from Bernie supporters who imagine their candidate to be the epitome of ideological purity, and imagine everyone who doesn’t support him in the primaries to be too ignorant to know better.

  123. I am a Bernie supporter and live in Massachusetts. I was so very disappointed that he didn’t win the primary. As an older (over 60) woman, I have seen the many guises of Hillary and just do not trust that she will move the country in the direction I believe we need to move. I do not trust her connection to monied factions.

    I have a lot of ambivalence of voting for Hillary. The only reason in my eyes to vote for her is for the SCOTUS. As Massachusetts is a blue state and no Republican presidential candidate has won the state in recent history, I may vote Green Party. I voted for Jill Stein last election as I am not a major supporter of Obama. Again, it was a “conscience” vote as I knew Obama would take the state.

    To me it’s still a waiting game and no final decision needs to be made at this time. If Hillary chooses O’Malley as VP, I will be more enthusiastic to give her my vote. Again, I’m not hanging up the shingle though until the end and will continue to give my meager monetary support to Bernie.

  124. @tired the “low information voter” slur is pretty ignorant, and yes I saw it in a couple of different places last night and today (by folks who where somehow surprised by the Super Tuesday results, and looking for someone to blame, I suppose). I generally want to (and occasionally have) throw it right back in that person’s face: “If you don’t understand why PoC are voting that way, please consider that *you* don’t know their experience or how they came to their preferences. So at least in that regard *you* are the low information voter.”

    @Greg my state has also already passed this same law. So yeah, no constitutional amendment nor armed revolt necessary. The flip side of the (currently implemented) electoral college is that many people live in a state that is so thoroughly safe that yes, they *can* “send a signal” through a third party vote with little danger of spoiling their second choice, who will continue to get nearly all or nearly none of the votes.

    And forms of disenfranchisement aren’t a competition where only the first or biggest matters. They are additive. Disenfranchisement via voter ID laws doesn’t invalidate disenfranchisement via gerrymandering; it compounds the problem.

    And every now and then who and what comprises the third party is *changes*. But the old guard party establishment may be able to hide this and extend their power for a few extra election cycles via the spoiler guilt trip. What if the current party preferences are actually 40% Socialist, 20% Wall Street Liberal, 10% True Conservative, 10% Libertarian, 20% Authoritarian Fascists? If the True Conservatives and Wall Street Liberals control the media and the money and the party apparatus, how would we know until a seismic upheaval occurs? Those numbers and classifications are completely fabricated by my whim, but… indications do seem to be that 2016 is a year of seismic political coalition upheaval. Evidence: Trump & Sanders. Both were 3rd party before this campaign season. Bernie Sanders has won as an independent for decades, so who’s was the third party in his campaigns?

    Also, you make a strong assumption about people who might want to vote third party and how closely their goals and preferences align with yours. They don’t owe your preferred party nor the other party anything, and they may feel that they get very little from either. Perhaps their preference is thus:

    1) Green/Socialist, 2) roll the dice for 33% chance of spoiling to Republicans and seriously pissing those jerk Democrats off, which is usually pretty funny, 3) mild preference of Democrat over 4) Republican… but at least with a Republican the Democrats will start to vocally care about civil liberties again.

    or maybe

    1) Good and kind anti-establishment… but maybe stalinist? 2) other anti-establishment… but maybe fascist? 3) all the rest are the same to me, same old same old, they don’t care about me, I don’t care about them. 4) that one loon who will start WWIII and nuke us all.

    or maybe

    1) Commie Ancap Fringe Weirdo, 2) screw it they all suck so much I feel dirty voting for any of them nothing I do matters why should I validate the system by voting for someone I hate blah blah blah, 3) Democrat, 4) why even bother fighting against the machine?

    or maybe

    1) don’t vote; voting just encourages them, 2) Democrats, 3) Flying Pigs, Hell freezing over, 4) Theocrats/Republicans

    None of those are *my* preferences. I am *not* your avowed third party voter. I have no desire of spoiling any elections to the current crop of Republicans, Trump very much included.

    But you don’t get to choose other people’s second choice for them. I’ve talked to an awful lot of folks who have a strong preference for a third party, but when it comes to the big two parties… meh… their preference becomes a lot milder. And yes, some of them would prefer chaos and partisans attacking them for “spoiling” the election to violating their conscience or giving an unearned “democratic mandate” through their least-evil vote. Next time, if The Party wants their vote, maybe they should run more attractive candidates?

    Again, this isn’t *my* preference. But your strong words for these folks contain a strong presumption that they very closely match your preferences, when clearly they don’t. Perhaps instead of manifesting such condescending ressentiment towards them, we could try to understand and empathize with them instead. That seems to me a better way to a) persuade them to join your coalition, b) change your coalition to better entice them, or c) more *effectively* neutralize or appease them.

    If we collectively spent half as much time trying to understand and empathize with Trump supporters as we do belittling them, perhaps Trump could have been avoided or neutralized? Too late now.

    Anyway the majority of people don’t protest by voting third party. Instead they just don’t vote at all. I plead with people to *at least* go to the voting booth and write in “No Confidence” or “Vermin Supreme” or “Jesus Christ” or “Donald Duck” if they can’t bring themselves to vote for the “least evil” someone. Perhaps you can agree that’s better than staying at home?

  125. I voted for Sanders last night, and I have no expectation that he will be the Democratic nominee in November, and to tell the truth, I’m not entirely sure I’d want him to be because I have no expectations that he can actually get any of his major campaign initiatives through Congress, and that may be a bad thing for the Democrats in the long run. However, I think that having him in the contest for the next month or two forces Clinton to slide a little left, and also talk about some issues that I think she might otherwise avoid.

    I think that anyone who is progressive and either doesn’t vote, or votes for a third party candidate needs to understand that in a tight race in 2000, this is why George W. Bush won. Gore would have won if Nader had stayed out of the race, and IMHO despite all the hate for George W. Bush, I believe he was a far better president than any of the current Republican candidates will be if they win. And if you think that the conservative Supreme Court was bad over the last decade or so, a Republican president may well be able to switch the Court to 6 or 7 conservative Justices, which will last for the next 20 years or more.

  126. nick:

    yes, they *can* “send a signal”

    your signal is pissing in the ocean. you’ve been holding it in for so long that it feels really good to you. But no one is listening. No one cares. there is no sideband channel. The only thing communicated is the effect, and the effect, that you so insistently refuse to acknowledge (just like every other true believer young earth creationist/third party voter), is: your third party candidate still loses, your second preferred candidate is robbed of your vote, and your least favorite candidate is helped because you didn’t vote for their opponent.

    There is no signal. A third party vote in a presidential election is a fantasy tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    And forms of disenfranchisement aren’t a competition where only the first or biggest matters. They are additive. Disenfranchisement via voter ID laws doesn’t invalidate disenfranchisement via gerrymandering; it compounds the problem.

    RAGE, RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT!

    And so what? this is the second law fo thermodynamics and YEC. THey have nothing to do with each other, yet, like a good little third party voter, you keep insisting they do, even when pointed out that voting third party does fuck all to stop gerrymandering, voter id issues, etc. A third party presidential vote elects no one, it has zero effect.

    What if the current party preferences are actually 40% Socialist, 20% Wall Street Liberal, 10% True Conservative, 10% Libertarian, 20% Authoritarian Fascists? … Those numbers and classifications are completely fabricated by my whim,

    The numbers are completely fabricated, as is any and every effect you think third party voting has. It has no effect save for the one I keep mentioning, the one you keep ignoring: Your candidate loses anyway, your second preference is robbed of your vote, and your least favorite candidate is helped because you didn’t vote for their opposition. It does nothing positive and measurably splits the vote letting your least desired candidate win. Everything else you think it does is entirely fabricated by your whim.

    Evidence: Trump & Sanders. Both were 3rd party before this campaign season.

    OH MY GOD. You don’t even know what a third party is. First of all, It doesn’t matter if Bernie was an independent before. He is trying to get nominated as a democrat. And like I keep saying, the two main parties keep triangulating to appeal to the biggest chunk they can fit under their umbrella. So, if Bernie is nominated as the Dem candidate, he isn’t third party. If Bernie does NOT get the nom and decides to run as an independent, THEN he is a third party candidate. At that point, if you vote for Bernie, you are helping Trump win. AND THAT IS ALL YOU ARE DOING. There is no sideband signal to that vote at that point. If Clinton wins the nomination, and you vote for Bernie, all you are doing is helping the Republican win. That it. ANything else you think you are doing is self delusional bullshit. It’s a young earth creationist yammering about the second law of thermodynamics. Its BS.

    They don’t owe your preferred party nor the other party anything, and they may feel that they get very little from either. Perhaps their preference is thus:

    I never said you “owed” anyone anything. I never said you were “immoral”. All I am saying is that voting for Bernie if Clinton wins the nomination does only one thing: Help the Republican become president. That’s ALL it does. Nothing more.

    You want to vote third party. Go right the fuck ahead. You don’t owe anyone your vote. However, you want to vote third party and say that you’re “sending a signal” to overthrown establishment and actualize a new paradigm shift, then I get to call bullshit. Because that’s all woo woo. Its meaningless. Its not true. If Hillary gets the nomination, then you voting for Bernie does nothing but help the republican win. That is the fact. You can have whatever opinion you want. You can vote however you want. But you don’t get to bullshit in public without other people calling you on said bullshit.

    That was nothing more than an attempt to strawman me to fit into your pathetic persecuted fantasy trope. You don’t owe me or anyone else your vote. But if you’re lying about the second law fo thermodynamics or the objective effects of a third party vote, then calling you on your bullshit isn’t persecution.

    But you don’t get to choose other people’s second choice for them.

    Oh. My. God. Once again, stop spreading bullshit. I am not saying who anyone has to vote for. Third party voting has the same effect whether it splits the republican vote or democrat vote.

    I am *not* your avowed third party voter.

    Then what the fuck are you arguing about? Every time you try to state what my position is, you get it COMPLETELY FUCKING WRONG.

    But your strong words for these folks contain a

    You mean all the words you made up that you think I’m saying? Those words?

    If we collectively spent half as much time trying to understand and empathize with Trump supporters as we do belittling them, perhaps Trump could have been avoided or neutralized? Too late now.

    Oh my god. Are you a Trump sympathizer and you feel no one is trying to understand you? If not, then what are you going on about?

  127. I keep seeing people saying that at this point in the 2008 race, Obama was behind Clinton, and Clinton didn’t drop out until later on after more states had come in, so don’t count Bernie out yet. Whether that’s at all realistic, I have no idea.

    It’s also worth noting that Obama didn’t make Clinton his VP candidate, but did pick her for a plum Cabinet post. Perhaps Bernie might end up with a similar position offered.

  128. Bernie will not be VP. He’s 76 years old. I wish him a long and happy life and I hope he’s still raising hell in 20 years’ time; but in an actuarial sense, there’s a significant chance he could pass away or suffer debilitating health problems in the next four years.

    If that happens, the new VP would have to be confirmed by the Senate. That fight would make the replacement of Scalia look like a playground squabble, especially since Clinton is no spring chicken herself.

    If the Senate keep the Vice-Presidency vacant, and Clinton is removed from office (by death, resignation, or impeachment), the Presidency passes to the Speaker of the House, currently Paul Ryan. Yeah. That’s why Bernie won’t be VP.

    Warren won’t be VP either. Clinton is too cautious to go with an all-female ticket, in case the voters won’t stomach it. She’s likely to go with a younger man who one day could become President himself; Booker, Castro, maybe Martin O’Malley.

  129. I was on Steven Brust’s site yesterday and was reminded again that to real Socialists, Sanders supporters are “low information voters.”

  130. @nick e.

    I hope you don’t mind if I toss the citation-needed ball back into your court, if you want to assert that McGovern was actually leading polls by 8-17 points in March

    I haven’t asserted anything; I’ve asked you to back up your assertion that:

    @DAVID: McGovern? McGovern polled behind Nixon for the entire election. Bernie outpolls everyone among the general electorate.

    You’ve done some of that, but haven’t covered the “early primaries” as I asked.

    You’re under no requirement to do so, of course, but you asserted something, and now the onus to provide evidence is on you.

  131. @Greg umm… You seem… tense. It’s clear we’re really not communicating properly here. I’ll answer and clarify (what I consider) the actual important bits first.

    Are you a Trump sympathizer…?

    No, no, emphatically no. Trump is a horrible nasty troll who needs to be stopped. I also think he’s a shape-shifting hypnotist who has been and still is underestimated by the entire press, left and right. The reporting on his campaign has been shallower than his campaign itself, which is making us all complacent about our odds of beating him. I am truly fearful that the liberals have underestimated him and his appeal just as much as the GOP did. Have I written anything to indicate that I am sympathetic? Were you asking that question sincerely or just trying to get in a personal dig? Because I see no logical connection between trying to understanding Trump supporters and being a Trump sympathizer. I also want to understand why the Germans voted for Hitler. I also want to understand what drives al-Qaeda to attack us. Do you agree that a desire for understanding of and empathy with a group does not imply affinity with that group?

    I enjoyed the John Oliver Drumpf bit (and others) as much as the next guy. Making jokes about these people is fun and it makes us feel better about ourselves. But do we think our jokes make them any less likely to do atrocious things? Or does our belittling just demonstrate to them our “liberal media bias” and recruit more into their fold? Perhaps we ought to focus more on actually addressing their real economic needs so they aren’t so desperately vicious and in need of scapegoats. But that requires empathy and understanding. Yes, empathy for Trump supporters and terrorists. No, we can’t just sing kumbaya and solve the underlying racism. Empathy is a necessary condition, not a sufficient one. In democracy, our job is to persuade the people who believe terrible things to stop.

    When I talk about understanding Trump and his supporters, I’m talking about articles like the following:
    * http://mattbruenig.com/2015/12/30/the-story-of-eric-harwood/
    * http://fredrikdeboer.com/2016/03/01/i-wonder-why-people-are-so-angry/
    * the last two paragraphs of http://theweek.com/articles/608707/could-trumponomics-actually-work
    * http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-america-made-donald-trump-unstoppable-20160224
    * and to a lesser extent: http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism
    * https://www.google.com/search?q=pavlina+tcherneva+inequality+chart
    * http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2016/01/12/six-years-later-93-of-u-s-counties-havent-recovered-from-recession-study-finds/

    …and you feel no one is trying to understand you?

    I really don’t care all that much if I personally am understood, although it does make conversations simpler and more pleasant. And (as far as I know) I have very very little in common with Trump supporters, so understanding them wouldn’t really help understand me. I suspect you intended this as a rhetorical put down, but if you sincerely wanted to know the answer there it is.

    If not, then what are you going on about?

    What I’m going on about is empathy as a virtue that is essential for a healthy democracy (and flame-retardant internet forum dialogue). I want our nation to care about democracy more than it cares about partisanship or winning banal internet arguments. I want *everyone* to at least *attempt* to understand *everyone* else. Relevant to other replies in this thread (and more pleasant than understanding Trump supporters), I want to understand why Sanders is not appealing to most African Americans and over 65 Democrats. I want people who are hostile to third party voters to understand that there are different goals and preferences in which it a logical strategy, and it’s better than not turning out to vote at all (which is far more common).

    I’ll leave the third party debate alone for now. Maybe revisit later? It’s really not as important to me, and we seem to be speaking past each other.

  132. “I keep seeing people saying that at this point in the 2008 race, Obama was behind Clinton, and Clinton didn’t drop out until later on after more states had come in, so don’t count Bernie out yet. Whether that’s at all realistic, I have no idea.”

    It’s technically true. It’s also incredibly misleading.

    On Super Tuesday 2008, Obama won 13 states to Clinton’s 10, and ended up whopping 20 delegates behind Clinton, at 1036 to her 1056.

    Meanwhile, here in 2016, Sanders won 4 states to Clinton’s 8. At the moment, he’s at 399 delegates to Clinton’s 596, with a difference of 197 delegates in her favor.

    He’s way further behind than Obama was, both in absolute and in relative terms. And the polls predict Clinton to keep on winning more states, with bigger margins, than Sanders. I’m sure he will have his share of victories, and it’s not yet mathematically impossible for him to catch up with her. But it’s pretty unlikely, as the proportional primaries mean that just winning isn’t enough; he has to win by a big margin. And every time he doesn’t do that, it gets harder and harder to catch up.

    (None of this takes into account the superdelegates, of course. If Sanders were to catch up with Clinton and move ahead of her, and keep that up until the convention, I’m pretty sure most of them would shift their support to him. But until and unless that happens, they’re going to support Clinton pretty much across the board.)

    Overall, I’d say that Sanders isn’t finished yet. But this is the beginning of the end for him, unless he can pull some spectacular upsets in the upcoming big states… and there’s nothing about the polling that suggests he can do it.

  133. Apologies in advance if this has been covered upthread, I perceive the anxious white privilege thing as real, but not nearly as real as working class anxiety. Sanders looks to attempt an implementation of FDR’s “Economic bill of rights” as set forth in his last state of the union address, and that’s good news for working class types of all sorts, since treating hourlys in a colorblind manner is a path of little resistance to management. Another Clinton administration would not be the worst thing, might even have real progress. “Drumpf” is too much an empty vessel that could be filled with BSF knows what.

  134. @David: If we’re to be tedious citation lawyers, “early” wasn’t in your request. “During the primary season?” was answered. But yes, my case would be stronger if I had data prior to May. From what I’ve read, no one has talked McGovern dropped from a 10 point lead to 20 point behind Nixon from March-May, which would be spectacularly noteworthy. But this was before my time, so… maybe? At any rate, I’ve currently offered more evidence that Sanders is not analogous to McGovern than you have that he is.

  135. If we’re to be tedious citation lawyers, “early” wasn’t in your request

    Fair enough. To continue with the TCL process, I’d be happy to point out that comparing polling in an election with an incumbent President (1972) to one without (2016) is apples and oranges, but then, see below:

    At any rate, I’ve currently offered more evidence that Sanders is not analogous to McGovern than you have that he is

    You were the one who converted it into an empirical argument. I was offering an opinion, and one framed in a ridiculous way. You might as well have responded to my comment (“George McGovern says hello”) by saying that he couldn’t possibly say hello, having passed in 2012.

  136. @DAVID :) fair enough.
    When I googled for those polls last night, I found the following article, which you may (or may not) enjoy. https://newrepublic.com/article/130737/democrats-still-dont-get-george-mcgovern

    @Greg I did type a response, but included too many links so a spam filter either deleted it out it’s stuck waiting to be moderated. We were clearly talking past each other anyway, so it’s probably not worth continuing. But, in case the my post never makes it out of moderation: no, of course I don’t support or sympathize with Trump, and I don’t see how my words could have been twisted to imply that. I think we need to understand and empathize with Trump supporters in the same way we need to understand and empathize with Hitler supporters and with ISIS. A commitment to democracy requires that we not only “defeat” our opponents electorally, but attempt to persuade them as well. And until liberals understand why Trump exists and is winning, we stand a scary chance of underestimating his chances at winning the presidency.

  137. My guess with the hardcore folks supporting Bernie (who aren’t all bros, by the way), is you’ll see a lot–if not most–who won’t vote for Hillary, either voting further left (Jill Stein or whoever the socialist is) or not voting at all. I don’t really see a lot of them (us) going for Trump.

  138. @IainRoberts: in an actuarial sense, a 76-77 year old white male has an expected 10.4 years of remaining life expectancy.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_11.pdf

    Obviously that’s an average, and depending on Sanders’ health overall he may fall above or below that – and certainly his chances of developing health complications are greater than those of, say, a 26-year-old, on average. But in an actuarial sense, as you mentioned, he’s got two terms in him.

  139. Regarding voting for Anderson in 1980 instead of Carter:

    If all of the people who voter for Anderson had instead voted for Carter–Carter still loses. It would have been closer (Reagan’s 329 electoral votes to Carter’s 209), but he still would have lost. (And that’s not counting a couple of the switching states where the total for Carter would have been just a few hundred more than the vote for Reagan–would all of Anderson’s voters voted for Carter instead?)

    I voted for Anderson, but then Oregon was never really in play for Carter that year.

  140. nick “I want *everyone* to at least *attempt* to understand *everyone* else.”

    I *understand* yound earth creationists. Generally, their identity and even self-worth is wrapped up in being God’s special gift to the world. Evolution robs them of their special status, so they fight it and push intelligent design.

    So, I now understand creationists. Big deal. They are still entirely counterfactual and everything they say to justify their position is nonsense.

    “I want people who are hostile to third party voters to understand that there are different goals and preferences in which it a logical strategy”

    Listen. You want to *understand* my point? The really, really get this: there is nothing *logical* about voting third party in the US presidential election. Nothing. Do you understand?

    This is exactly the point I keep trying to make and exactly the point you keep ignoring and trying to counter assert.

    Different goals? Sure. Like for example, a person might want to feel like Gods special snowflake and view their third party vote as their religious righteousness standing up to the evil two party system. That goal is purely a subjective thing: to generate and reinforce a feeling of special superiority over the “sheeple” voting for the two main parties.

    But it isnt a logical strategy to accomplish anything objective. This you have demonstrated the immune-to-logic resistancr levels of a typical third party voter. I *understand* how a third party voter might *feel*. I can empahize on that level. But me understanding them doesnt change the fact that their third party vote does nothing but help their least liked candidate win.

    Understanding them doesnt mean I have to acknowledge their approach as correct. I understanf creationists just find. And their notion of how the world was created is objective garbage.

    Yoh seem to be forwarding a notion that proper dialogue between two groups in disagreement require both groups acknowledge the validity of both side’s position. There is nothing objectively valid about third party voting in an american presidential election. It is about their feelings of frustration overwhelming any objective costs of their third party vote. I understand them. Their position is “fuck it” followed by many layers of bullshit to cover up the actual objective effect of their third party vote to try and justify the “fuck it”.

    In the end, that is nothing but childishness. Dont get exactly your way? Take your ball and go home? Thats a third party voter. I understand the *feeling*. I understand the *impulse*. But I try to be grown up enough to *do the objective best I can even if it means NOT indulging my childish reaction and feelings*.

    I will vote for hillary holding my nose. My gut feeling, my childish response, would be “bernie or bust”. But the objective cost of that far outweighs my feelings.

    You keep talking about this as if I dont understand third party voters. Except I understand them perfectly fine. Its just that they are entirely wrong.

    If a creationist came on the thread and started mutilating the second law of thermodynamics, I would be equally unforgiving in their lies. I understand their feelings, but that doesnt mean I have to allow them to argue from their feeling-based set of pseudo facts.

    Third party voters invariably lie about the objective facts with regard to the actual effect of their vote.

  141. I remember Anderson! I supported him as ardently as a fifteen year old could, but obviously did not vote for him.

    Voted for Nader in 2000. Now *that* was a vote I regret, though fortunately i was in a state where it made no difference. Taught me an important lesson, it did.

  142. As it happens, the only state where Nader’s votes made a difference (other than Florida, which Gore would have won if Scalia & Friends would have let them count all the votes) was New Hampshire, with its four electoral votes.

    But that would have been enough to give Gore the victory.

  143. The real question I have after last night is: In the general election will the Democratic defections when enraged BernieBros decide to vote for Trump over Clinton be counteracted by the Republican defections when despairing neocons decide to vote for Clinton over Trump?

    For what it’s worth, I disagree. I think the question is whether the folks who don’t usually vote but come out & vote for Trump this time because “This guy is SOOO COOOOOOOL!” outnumber the folks who don’t usually vote but come out & vote for Hillary this time because “OMIGOD!! TRUMP IS SCAAAARY!”

    If I’m right, then every poll that surveys “likely voters” is including 0% of the people who will actually decide this election…

  144. I hate that in the end we’ll end up voting for the least evil candidate. Trump is a fucked up mess, but Hillary is just about everything wrong with establishment politics.

    Do you burn down the house, or do you neglect it until it crumbles? What’s worse?

  145. Hillary is just about everything wrong with establishment politics.

    Can you clarify this? I’m not looking to pick on Tom Combs here; it’s a question I’ve been meaning to ask of any number of people. I just have the time to do so here. What is it about Ms Clinton that is objectionable/establishment politics? I hear this a lot from Sanders supporters, but I’ve never gotten a firm handle on what the actual problem is.

    I think the answer to this question will give us a lot better idea of how many Bernie supporters will come vote for Hillary. Are there specific policy positions that Clinton holds that are objectionable? Is it just a general “Well, she’s *clearly* up to something” vibe? Do we have unconscious reverberations from the undeniable shit-storm that got stirred up when she originally pushed for health care reform? What’s the fundamental, tangible objection to her?

  146. @mythago: Average life expectancy at 76 really is 10.4 but this most definitely doesn’t mean that Sanders has two terms in him. That’s not what life expectancy means.

    Doing elementary probability calculations from the US life tables ( http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_11.pdf ) implies that a white 76 year-old man has a 17% probability of dying in the next 4 years and 38% in the next 8. I think this is a sizable risk, that Dems should not run.

  147. Well, on the other side, I know a number of staunch Republicans who say they will vote for either Sanders or Clinton if Trump or Cruz is the Republican nominee. Even though, in at least one case, it will cause her sainted mother to “roll over in her grave” because she will vote for the Socialist.

  148. lilisonna, I may be able to help here. I’m a Clinton supporter who’s further to the left than Sanders, so I can only critique her from that point of view. I can live with the fact that she’s consistently received major donations from Wall Street financial and law firms (because modern national political campaigns are expensive as hell), but wish I didn’t have to, and I’m hardly going to blame her for her son-in-law’s chosen career (and think that Chelsea’s claim that she was ‘rebelling’ by working at a hedge fund is nonsense). I strongly object to her support of imperialist policies and rhetoric, like her support of the 2009 Honduras coup, her speeches praising the repressive Moroccan government, and her support for “closer strategic ties” to Saudi Arabia. The crossover between donors to the Clinton Foundation and businesses that profited from contracts from the State Department during her tenure leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. Her ties to Wal-Mart do not leave me with confidence that she will support labor unions in the manner they need and deserve. I’m really upset that she has said she won’t push to reinstate Glass-Steagal, which certainly wouldn’t have stopped the 2008 crash but might have mitigated it.

    I basically see her as a center-right career politician who’s had to make some nasty compromises along the way, and forming relationships with power brokers is part of that. I get that and I can live with it, because I think she will be a effective executive, who will not underestimate the nastiness and viciousness her opponents will be willing to use against her and her policies.

  149. Penelope Widdowson-Bonefat, thank you.

    Those are objections that I tend to agree with (and have), but I don’t think they cross so far as count as being the embodiment of Evil Establishment Politics. There are structural changes that I would like to see made to our political process, and I don’t think Clinton is the one to make them, but I’m not sure if Sanders would be able to do it either. In any case, if most Bernie supporters are like you and me, then they will cast their general vote for Hillary and be done with it.

  150. @puzzled: I know that’s not what life expectancy means; in an *actuarial* sense, though, the average additional years a white dude is going to live, if he makes it to 76, is about another ten; even taking your math at face value (which I’m happy to do for purposes of this pedantry), he doesn’t have a “significant chance” of keeling over in the next four years, statistically. Of course this is in the absence of any information about Bernie’s health; the life tables just average out the dates people die.

  151. @lilisonna

    She (like Rubio or Jeb!) represents a continuation of what a much smarter fellow than me called the Dubyobama consensus. For all that Obama has accomplished, many of his policies are, if you scratch the paint off, continuations of Bush policies that liberals decried.

    The expanding surveillance state, the collection of policies that continue to concentrate wealth upwards, corporate welfare and subsidies, the never ending cycle of conflict in the middle east, with each intervention a response to the mess we created during the last intervention, and so on. As I and other liberals like to point out, Obama’s not really all that liberal, and never has been.

    Yes, on social policies like LGBT rights and women’s rights I prefer her to any Republican. Yes, I’m aware that there is no realistic alternative. Yes, I’m going to vote for her over Trump or Cruz or whoever, because she’s the less poisonous option. But I can’t imagine enthusiastically supporting the same quasi-neocon foreign and economic policies we have right now with a progressive coat of paint, and that, for all her talk, is what I expect from President Hillary Clinton.

    When I see my friends say “I stand with Hillary Clinton because [social issue],” the moral logic of not caring about the human costs of perpetual warfare elsewhere in the world, so long as Planned Parenthood remains federally funded, is difficult for me to swallow. I’m aware that the republican alternative is worse; perpetual warfare and no PP at all. But I don’t have to be happy about it.

  152. Penelope said it very well, and I would like to state, I never said “evil” establishment politics. To add to her well summarized post, Hillary has not supported ANY wall street reforms, to Glass Steagel, to chopping up the too-big banks, to even prosecution of anyone involved. I can’t just give her a pass saying “Running is expensive” when Bernie is fundraising mighty well without it.
    On top of that she supported the Crime Bill that has really screwed minorities and the poor, she supports trade deals like NAFTA and only halfheartedly denounced the latest trade abortion.

    Plus I remember when she ran 8 years ago, and why I voted for Obama instead.

    But outside all of that, I just think she’s lying to me. In everything she says in every speech, I feel she’s completely disingenuous and is just saying it to get elected. Is that factual? No. Is it any more than everyone else running? Maybe.

    Except for Bernie. I believe he gives a shit about us. Can’t say that for Hillary.

    But if I had to pick between her and any republican, it’s her. It would just be the first time I ever voted because I thought the alternative was worse. The first time I’ll vote out of fear. Guess that will make me feel republican.

  153. Bernie supporter here but hell yeah I’ll vote for Hillary if she’s the Dem nominee. I voted for Nader in 2000, in Florida. I assumed Gore had it in the bag and my vote didn’t count. Never again.

  154. David @ 9:11–I have several decades worth of experience in dealing with classified material at various levels. I have personally taken substantial disciplinary action against individuals who made comparatively innocent procedural errors in handling classified material that are far less than what Sec Clinton did. If I had had someone working for me who was using their personal email account to send and receive classified material, up to and including TS/SCI? They would have been removed from their position immediately, had their clearance cancelled, and been prosecuted for federal offenses. Don’t kid yourself; for those of us who have lived in that environment her actions are not minor indiscretions along the lines of doing 30 in a 25 zone; they’re at the level of speeding in a school zone and running over a group of kids in the crosswalk (and not stopping, but later expecting to be forgiven because she were in hurry to get home to let out the dog).

    Do I still consider her to be a better choice than any of the Rs in the mix? Yes, I do. But I also wouldn’t be even a teensy bit surprised if she is indicted for mishandling classified material. Her ONLY saving grace is that the documented failures on her part did not apparently led to a compromise of the information that was improperly handled.

    On a more general note, I remember reading the book “What’s the Matter With Kansas” a few years ago. The author’s thesis was that the Republican party had been convincing people to vote against their economic and social interests by cloaking itself in social issues that it had no real intention of resolving. One way of looking at the massive wave of Trump’s support is that those voters have finally decided that they won’t allow themselves to continue to be distracted from their interests by the bright shiny chimera of empty promises on issues such as school prayer.

  155. Tom Combs: It would just be the first time I ever voted because I thought the alternative was worse.

    Really??? I seriously envy you. This is like old-home-week, for me. By my third national election, I was wearing a button that said “Darth Vader for President. Because We’re Tired of Voting for the Lesser of Two Evils.” I wore it into the polling place, as I remember–where I did not vote for Darth Vader, but I think you get the emotion behind the gesture. It really wasn’t a joke . . .

  156. Regarding Sander’s life expectancy as President or VP – I don’t think we can count on the usual actuarial tables to estimate his life expectancy for that, considering that the office of the presidency probably is uniquely stressful and may reduce life expectancy more than your average retiree’s lifestyle does. We all have seen how amazingly fast people who’ve held the post visibly age over a relatively short period of time (except maybe Reagan who Gore Vidal called “a miracle of the embalmer’s art”).

    It would be interesting if someone who knew statistics could compile an actuarial table specifically for presidents, to see whether they tend to die younger than the population at large, and if so, by how much (leaving out the assassination victims, naturally – or maybe not? I’m not good at statistics). Though I suppose the number of presidents we’ve had is too small to draw meaningful conclusions.

  157. FWIW, re:BerniBros I haven’t really seen anymore sexism from “the artful smear that shall not be named” than I’ve seen snotty condescension and derision from Clinton supporters. I’m sure there are some salient examples, but I don’t think it’s really a systemic problem outside of Clintonland.

    What the Clinton camp,DNC, and corporate organs of the party don’t seem to get is that in low enthusiasm years Republicans usually win. Maybe alienating supporters of the only Dem candidate that’s generated excitement is a bad idea?

  158. @everyone else. sorry this thing between Greg and me got a bit long and out of hand. This is my last. I promise. :) tl;dr: just skip it in less you’re into inane debates over voting strategy?

    @Greg it’s cute how you keep bringing up young earth creationists as if this had any bearing on your amazing prowess at logic which you are deploying in the current discussion. Are you making an analogy that I’m too dense to notice? Or is this chest-thumping that you are very good at being right on the internet? I accidentally typed a lot of words below, so there will be plenty for you to nitpick and be right about. Too many words really, so I’m done. You may have the last word on this topic. If this is raising your blood pressure though, perhaps it’s not worth it; I may be too unintelligent or stubborn to follow your argument. I’ve been recently compared to young earth creationists, and I agree that they are impossible to reason with.

    You say voting third party doesn’t send a signal. But all voting sends a signal. That’s very literally what voting is: signaling your preferences. They can be weak signals. They can be ambiguous or misleading signals. They can be wasted signals. But we aggregate them together and try to decipher or create a semi-coherent signal from the entire electorate. We amplify that combined signal to determine our socialized decisions. In most elections we have a single winner, but this is a dynamic system, so the signal feeds back into the inputs. It informs the politicians and coalitions and parties immediately upon taking office and then during the next election cycle. Politicians may be emboldened by having a “mandate” to do this that or the other, based on the votes they or their opposition received. Or they may swerve and triangulate to bring more into their coalition, and they will do that based on the various signals they see from likely voters. And one of the more significant signals from likely voters is how they actually voted.

    So young earth creationists have some sort of bearing on your rhetoric. How about flat earthers? Ignoring hills and valleys, the ground in my vicinity has no curvature. When I measure the ground next to it, there’s no curvature. Add up all of the individual curvatures and you get a flat earth. Except that’s complete malarkey. Infinitesimal does not equal 0, and many infinitesimal curvatures can sum up to a very large sphere. If you say that voting third party sends no signal, then I will write you off as a flat earther. (pissing in a pool or a lake is a more appropriate metaphor and scale.) The difference between a weak signal and no signal is non-trivial. And if the signal is incredibly weak and inconsequential for third parties, it is also incredibly weak and inconsequential for the main parties.

    If your preferences are A > B; obviously you vote for A. The obvious vote accurately represents your preferences and gives you the highest likelihood of your preferred outcome. But we’re discussing preferences of A > B > C; and now you need more information before you can make a optimal choice. You can’t know for certain how much support A, B, or C have, since every other voter is *also* making a similar gamble based on their uncertain information and they may be basing their decision based on what they think you will do. You also can’t know for certain how responsive each party will be to voting signals and how much they will triangulate to reclaim lost votes. There are state-by-state-variances, etc. We have parties which usually (but do not always) represent the two largest constituencies. So let’s look at that under various realistic assumptions.

    a > B > C; a is 3rd party with very weak support; B+C are expected to be competitive. In the simplest form, the correct strategy is obviously to vote for B. This has been your point all along, yes? It will inaccurately represent your preferences, and over multiple election cycles B might come to take your vote for granted, but you rationally estimate that being taken for granted by B is better than C. This is one of the facts you “have never met an avowed third party voter who will admit”, right? I haven’t “admitted” it up until now because it is blindingly obvious and thus uninteresting. It is also the absolute simplest scenario.

    a > B > c; where B and C are both nominally big parties, but within your electorate C is almost as marginalized as the third party. You have a rational (albeit uncertain) expectation that 90% of the vote will go to B, and 7% to C and 3% to A. So, do you vote B to avoid spoiling C? If you are satisfied with B, go ahead and vote for them. But if you are unsatisfied and you vote for them, then your (very weak) signal emboldens them on their “mandate”. Do you instead stay home, because nothing you do matters anyway, it’s all just “pissing in the ocean” as you put it earlier? This is what most people do, and given how very weak the signal is, it may be a rational decision that sleeping in on election day is more valuable than casting an inconsequential throw away ballot. B is going to win no matter what. But B wants to maintain an iron grip on the political control of the city, so B *will* be paying attention to A, and they are blatantly willing to triangulate so they can keep their support above 85% at all times. In this case, voting for A is a rational choice, because it the election isn’t actually about getting someone other than B elected, it’s about signaling to B whether they should stay the course or steer a little in one direction or the other. This is not a contrived example, this is the mayoral and city council elections in my city. This is the case for blue voters in strong blue states and red voters in strong red states. Please, convince me that voting for anyone other than B is irrational, and I’ll consider taking your advice in November. Even though I’d prefer Green… I actually kinda like some of the D candidates this year, so (depending on who survives the D primary) I might just vote D anyway.

    a > b > C; e.g. you are a blue voter in a red state or a red voter in a blue state. If you think you have a chance at making B competitive to knock out C, then you should obviously go for it and vote B. But most years the B candidate is completely irrelevant. If B can run an inspiring candidate and form a coalition with A, then maybe they can make a go together (or with all of As supporters jumping to B). But most years that doesn’t happen. So if it’s obvious to B that A voters would be open to a coalition, you may as well vote A. If it A and B aren’t obvious allies or they are so closely allied that there’s no benefit to staying separate, then you should probably just join B and try to change it from the inside.

    So far I’ve mostly just varied the estimates of what other voters are doing. And you can say that these scenarios has no bearing on the US Presidential election. But, every so often, the US political parties undergo a seismic shift. 2016 may be just such a year for party realignment, and things could get very weird before this year is through. If it winds up (unlikely, but possible) a three way between Sanders/Bloomberg/Trump, people are going to need to look a lot harder at polling estimates or else their strategic voting could backfire.

    Perhaps more relevantly, we have also assumed that our own preferences are even and clear-cut. Let’s examine that assumption.

    a=100 > B=21 > C=20; Same polling expectations as above; B and C are competitive. But you don’t think the world will fall apart under either B or C, but your preference between them is weak. Yes, when you add it all up on paper, B seems to come out ahead, so it’s not fair to say that you consider them equal. But there are a few points where C comes out ahead too. It may be entirely rational that you would value your “pissing in the sea” signaling effect higher than your concern about swaying the election one way or the other. The closer you value B and C, the more the relative value of signaling by voting A. If they want your vote, they’ll triangulate in your direction.

    a=1000 > B=10 > C=-100; In this case, you are in love with A, but A is hopeless and cannot win. You find B to be quite good in some ways, but very much part of the problem in others. But C will make the earth open its mouth and swallow you up and fire will rain from the sky. Yes. You hold your nose and vote for B. Obviously. You’ll go beyond that and campaign for B, and pretend you don’t need to hold your nose. Water under the bridge, all that. Even if B and C are not a tight race, you vote for B, because the risk of C is just too high. Assuming Clinton wins, this is roughly my scenario in this presidential election. The Democrat is going to win my state no matter what. I probably could safely vote for Green party. But Trump is so vile that i want a 50+ percentage point spread between him and Clinton.

    a=1000 > B=-20 > C=-25; B is going to cause a financial collapse and widespread destitution and C is going to roll back civil rights to the stone age but there will be food on the table and the trains will run on time. I don’t know. B maybe? Or you agitate and organize for A so that you’ll have I-told-you-so credibility when everything collapses and people start looking around for a way out.

    At this point, I’m partially still discussing this because I’m surprised you are so adamant on a relatively mundane point of voting theory that most people grok intuitively without thinking about any math. Only very intelligent people can fool themselves into thinking otherwise. When I said earlier that you don’t get to choose someone else’s preferences, what I mean was that you seem to be assuming away or explaining out of existence any preference function or scenario, such as the ones I gave above, that would allow a rational selection other than B. So… Enjoy yourself.

  159. I’d like to reiterate that Clinton is my first choice for Democratic nominee even though I am further to the left than Sanders is, because, as I said, I think she’ll be an effective executive. If Sanders is nominated, I will vote for him, but he is decidedly not my candidate, even though I agree with him philosophically. I do not believe he will be able to create or sustain a meaningful legislative agenda. I will take a center-right, imperialist, interventionist candidate who can get shit done and doesn’t think my queer Jewish female self is evil over someone who is saying many of the same things I believe but who doesn’t strike me as an adept negotiator with allies, much less hostiles, and whose depth of policy I am unimpressed by.

    In many ways, I am a Clinton supporter because she is an establishment candidate. She has been in the halls of power before and she knows how the players work. I think she can do the job, and while I will no doubt disagree with many of the choices she makes, just as I have been livid with fury over President Obama’s choices in Afghanistan policy, for example, or his approach to federal whistleblowers, I prefer that to helplessly watching a President hamstrung by his inability to establish or manage a detailed political agenda, as I think Sanders would be.

  160. I really can’t believe we’ve still got eight friggin’ months of this crap to go. This election season has already lasted thirty seven years – that seems low, I know, but I did the math – and I don’t know how much longer I can take it.

    Maybe we should just Thunderdome it. As many candidates as want to enter, one President leaves. Or if for some unfathomable reason we don’t want to kill all but one of the candidates, hold a special WWF Royal Rumble (Presidential Pummeling?) in November in which the two candidates start out in the ring, and every pro wrestler in the world runs down to join them at 90 second intervals. When it’s all over, the last person standing is President, as God intended.

    Actually, I wish I’d thought of that years ago. It might very well have resulted in President Rowdy Roddy Piper, who I honestly believe would’ve done a better job than many of the people who’ve actually held the position. Or President Andre The Giant, likewise.

  161. Greg: Third party voters invariably lie about the objective facts with regard to the actual effect of their vote.

    nick: “You say voting third party doesn’t send a signal. But all voting sends a signal. “

    That is a lie. Voting third party has zero objective positive effect on who wins the presidency. You, sir, are lying. To be a signal, there has to be a recipient and an effect. No one is listening to your weak ass third party vote “signal”, and it is a weak ass vote because it has not only zero positive effect, but actually a net negative effect. It only helps the candidate you like least. So, again, LYING.

    Greg: “If Clinton wins the nomination, and you vote for Bernie, all you are doing is helping the Republican win. That it. ANything else you think you are doing is self delusional bullshit. It’s a young earth creationist yammering about the second law of thermodynamics. Its BS.”

    nick: a > B > C;

    All of this? All of it makes as much sense as some creationist mutilating the second law of thermodynamics. Every last word of it is a misrepresentation of the objective truth. Every last yammering word of it is nonsense with zero basis in objective reality.

    Here are the facts:

    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/03/10/how-third-party-candidates-affect-elections/

    No third-party candidate has ever won a U.S. presidential election. The strongest showing for a third-party candidate came in 1912, when former President Teddy Roosevelt left the Republican Party. He ended up coming in second, with 27.4 percent of the popular vote and 88 electoral votes.

    – It’s generally agreed that Roosevelt’s 1912 candidacy took votes away from the Republican candidate, incumbent President William Howard Taft, allowing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win with just 41.8 percent of the popular vote.

    – … If most of the Nader supporters had voted for Gore instead, Gore would have won Florida’s 25 electoral votes, and Gore would have been elected president instead of Bush.

    That is the ACTUAL effect of a third party vote during a presidential election. And those are the ONLY effects of a third party vote. The third party candidate does NOT win. The vote for third party hurts the next closest candidate because it takes a vote from them, and in the end, that third party vote helps the least-desired candidate win.

    Here is the most important fact about third party voting: the stronger the third party vote, the WORSE the outcome is for them. No third party has ever won the presidency, so even a strong third party vote has no precedence of winning. And the stronger the third party vote, the more it takes away from the candidate most like the third party candidate. The strongest historical third party showing was for Teddy Roosevelt, getting 27% of the vote. But that took votes away from the candidate closest in political position to Teddy, i.e. Taft.

    Nader was left of Gore. His campaign took votes from Gore, and Bush ended up winning the presidency. Those are historical facts.

    The stronger the third party “signal”, the WORSE the actual effect of that third party vote is.

    Everything you’ve said is BS trying to justify a third party vote by assigning it some power/effect that a third party vote DOES NOT HAVE. And more importantly, you CONSISTENTLY IGNORE the actual real-world damage your third party vote inflicts on the outcome.

    Actually, in that regard, “creationism” is probably not the best metaphor for third party voting, it is more like “climate change deniers”. THese knuckleheads will lie through their teeth. They downplay the actual damage their policies are inflicting on the planet.

  162. On top of that she supported the Crime Bill that has really screwed minorities and the poor,

    On that, she’s joined by an awful lot of people, including the Congressional Black Caucus, a lot of the black population….and Bernie Sanders (who was quite active in supporting various tough on crime bills).

  163. Greg, if you’d quit frothing for a moment, you would realize that a high-profile third-party candidate absolutely has won the Presidency: Abraham Lincoln. Third party. Both times.

  164. It really does seem if folks in this thread need a deep breather, so I’m turning off the comments until tomorrow morning. Do something else with your evening!

    Update: Comments back on. Be nicer to each other, please.

  165. Andrew: a high-profile third-party candidate absolutely has won the Presidency: Abraham Lincoln. Third party. Both times.

    Not really. The last time the Whig party was in the top two was 1852, two presidential elections before Lincoln first ran in 1860.

    In 1856, the election before Lincoln first ran, the democrat won with 45% of the vote. The Republican came in second with 33%. And the “American” party candidate took 21%. By that point, the Whig party didn’t even exist really, as it broke up and parts had reformed into the American party, i.e. the “Know Nothing”, party in 1856.

    So, by 1860, Lincoln’s first run for president, the Whig’s didn’t exist, and Lincoln’s party, the Republicans, had already gotten second place in the previous presidential election. Which means, it’s a bit of a stretch to say Lincoln was a third party at that point.

    And even if we ignore whether Lincoln was a third party candidate or not, the numbers only reinforce my point. Lincoln was the only anti-slavery candidate and won the election with only 40% of the vote. He was running against three, count ’em, THREE, pro slavery candidates who got 30%, 20%, and 15% of the vote. Lincoln=40%. Three slaver candidates=65%. The only reason Lincoln actually won was because the opposition… wait for it… split the vote 3 ways with not one, but two third party candidates. I thank God that the pro-slaver people were dumb enough to take the sucker bet and run three different candidates to split the vote.

    So, bringing up Lincoln’s election as a defense for three-party-voting only works if you ignore both the history and the actual numbers from the election.

    Right now, every Dem will tell you their dream scenario this year is that Trump fails to get the nomination some how, and he runs as a third party candidate. Dems would be dancing in the street because that would mean Trump would guarantee split the Republican vote and whoever gets the Dem nomination would be guaranteed in the White HOuse. Every Dem right now gets that Trump as an independent is a sucker bet for republican voters. And yet, “third party vote is a sucker bet” vanishes withotu explanation when someone is trying to justify THEIR third party vote. Not a single Dem would look at Trump==Independent and start shaking in their boots about this magical “signal” that the Trump voters would be sending, because there is no signal. But when someone wants to justify their third party vote, it transforms from a sucker bet to a magical, poorly defined, no specifics in any way, but super mutant power serum.

    When we see the other team get a third party candidate, we all cheer because we see that they just picked a 90 pound weakling for their team. But when we want to justify a third party vote, its not a 90 pound weakling. Its Steve Rogers and he just chugged some super serum and is going to kick ass, send powerful “signals”, and rock the vote as Captain America! Yeah, no. it’s still a 90 pound weakling, the super serum doesn’t actually exist, and this third party candidate is going to drag us down. No signals. Just suck.

  166. @Mythago: @puzzled is correct. If you look at table 5 in the document you linked, then out of an initial population of 100,000 white males, 62,249 have survived to age 76. A total of 2461+2605+2796+2915=10777 will die before their 80th birthdays. 10777/62249 = 17.3%.

    If you don’t think 17% is significant, that’s your prerogative; but if I was Hillary, I wouldn’t take those odds in a VP choice.

    Hillary would be better advised to pick a younger Bernie-approved progressive as running mate. (Assuming she gets the nomination, which seems likely at this point.) Bernie can stay in the Senate, where he’d probably do more good than as VP anyway.

    @jaynsand: Someone’s already done a similar analysis. Compared to election runners-up, national leaders have about 5 years shorter life expectancy. Politicians in general tend to be wealthy (or at least comfortable) and long-lived, but national leaders live about as long as the general population. The stress of the job may cancel out their better-than-average living conditions and medical care. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-presidents-life-expectancy-idUSKBN0TX2OD20151215

  167. There are still 35 states or so left to vote. If you’re living in one of those, and aren’t planning to vote in the Republican primary, now’s the time to do your “send a message” bit, before the general election.

    It’s an unusual election year– usually it’s the Democrats who agonize over voting their conscience vs. voting strategically in the primaries, but this year it’s the anti-Trump Republicans who have to worry about that if they want to keep Trump from being their nominee. It looks to me, though, like either Sanders or Clinton have a good chance of winning against either Trump or Cruz (the two most likely Republican nominees), but that it’s not a guaranteed outcome for either Democrat if they don’t mobilize their voters. So, if you’re partial to the Democrats, vote for the person you most want to support. If that person wins, game on. If not, you sent your message, your group put up a good fight, and now it’s time to make sure the Democratic nominee gets into the White House instead of the Republican nominee. You can also work on strengthening your coalition for the next time round.

    And as part of that, make sure you vote for good people to get into Congress and your state and local offices. That’s where a lot of the action happens that you should be caring about, and the Democrats are starting from a disadvantage in Congress and in the majority of state governments, and that won’t go away quickly or without sustained effort.

    Or if you are serious about a strong third party movement, whatever it is, you’ll want to start by building up strong local bases for it by getting people into local offices and gaining political and governing experience. Without them, voting for a minor-party candidate for President is just a stunt.

    If you’re partial to the Republicans, I don’t really know what to tell you at this point, but I’m probably not the first person you’d ask for advice anyway.

  168. “Not a single Dem would look at Trump==Independent and start shaking in their boots about this magical “signal” that the Trump voters would be sending, because there is no signal.”

    There is, but it’s being sent by Trump (his voters would be kind of a means to an end by that point) to the Republican party. They fuck him over, and he’ll give them four years of basting themselves with their own bile under President Hillary in revenge, and lose them the SC to boot.

  169. “Oh ,no! The opposition party just split. We are totally going to get hammered by all those terrible, terrible *signals* that their third party is going to send us.”

    Said no US presidential voter ever.

    There was an experiment scientists did with capuchin monkeys to see if they understand the concept of fairness. They trained them to exchange some physical token for food. The scientists would give one monkey something small for the token, then they would give a second monkey something big and valued for the same token, in front of the first monkey, and see what the first monkey did.

    What they found was the first monkey invariably signaled that they understood they didnt get a fair exchange compared to the second monkey.

    Great. Cool experiment, right? Monkeys understand when something isnt fair.

    Except the way they often signaled was the first monkey *threw away the food it got for the token*. It was clear to the scientists that the monkey was displeased, but the signal had absolutely zero effect in changing how the scientists treated the monkeys. They were still in cages, and they were still given unfair exchanges for the duration of the study.

    Third party voting is like throwing your own food away. Is it a signal? Who cares. It has no positive effect, and now you dont have that food. Which is a negative.

    Third party voting doesnt make the scientific experiment called electoral college, two party system, majority vot wins, system go away. It has no effect on the unfairness that the signal is allegedly protesting. It changes nothing in that regard. Meanwhile, you just threw away your food. You just threw away your vote, helping your least favorite candidate win. But in this experiment, you dont get to eat again for another 4 years.

    Does the presidential election system contain unfair attributes? Abso fucking lutely. Does throwing your food, vote, or poo do anything helpful to change that unfairness? Fuck no.

    The protest signal is evolutionary. It works only when the protest has an actual effect. It works only when it causes the thing that imposed the unfair situation to evolve. Its the lizard brain level reaction that is on par with banishing those who betray the community. But it only works if influences the thing that was unfair.

    And a third party vote doesnt do that. And everything a third party voter is saying is nothing but a thin verbal misdirection from the fact that they have been taken over by the impulse to throw their own food away in a monkey-level protest.

    Protesting by way of sacrifice only works if the oppressor actually cares and is affected by your sacrifice. Gandhi offered himself up as a sacrifice in protest to British empirialism. It only worked because the British cared enough about their image of themselves as “civilized” people that seeing Gandhi and his followers crushed by their empire eventually overrode the benefits the British got from ruling India.

    You think Trump *cares* about your third party sacrificial vote for some third party lefty? Hell no. You think the Republicans *care* about your third party vote for some third party progressive? Hell no. They will thank you for your support, because they dont care about your stupid, pointless third party vote, and it helps them get what they want anyway.

    As much of a huge fan of nonviolent protest as I am, it isnt some sort of magical, all powerful solution. It only works if the oppressors care about fairness on par with how much they care about power. To those who dont care, your third party vote is meaningless for every signal m3aning you think it sends, and is only valuable to them because it reinforces their power.

    If you are a monkey in a cage held by an owner who doesnt give a shit, throwing your food away in protest is a knee jerk, evolutionary reaction that does nothing but harm yourself. And the way evolutionary reactions work is they make us feel good about ourselves to try and encourage that behavior. But we are, hopefully, not stuck at the evolutionary level of monkeys. We can see the cost/benefit of our actions and filter out the feel-good reaction as a zero effect. Otherwise, we are just having our evolutionary, knee jerk, protest vote, feel good, reaction bevause it makes us feel good in spite of the costs with no other payoff, and then we spend our time trying to bend math so that zero plus zero minus ten somehow comes out as a positive for us, when it actually doesnt.

  170. If I had had someone working for me who was using their personal email account to send and receive classified material, up to and including TS/SCI?

    You’re clear that (as far as I know) the material was not classified at the time she sent it, right, and that it’s being retroactively declared secret?

    You’re clear that, among other things, some of the information that the CIA is now declaring classified is the fact that the US is using drones to bump people off around the world, despite the fact that my cats know about that?

    If the intelligence community wants to act like Clinton was passing the nuclear codes back and forth on a server based in China, that’s fine. The rest of us are not required to play along.

    Also: Abraham Lincoln not really a third party candidate.

  171. David @1:36–classified markings are nice. As are cover sheets in bright colors, and striped markings, and special folders/pouches and (TS/SCI) notations at the start of each paragraph.

    But taking all of those away doesn’t declassify the information. As you mentioned in your second paragraph, at least some of the information is of a type that is immediately recognizable as classified. There were many types of information I and others I worked with that was classified strictly because of it’s nature; from what I’ve read much of the classified information passed around on her unclassified net was of that type. And we all have no idea of any other material that may have been extremely classified that was passed around on her unclass system, do we? There’s a tendency many have to try to talk around classified material to discuss it on unclass systems–strip off markings, reword key elements, use euphemisms (“you know the thing we were talking about yesterday? That important thing we can’t talk about over the phone? Well, the second option–the one involving airplanes–that’s the decision we’re going with…”) and attempt to deal with it the way. Violation.

    When Snowdon’s dump of material was released there were strong cautions passed out not to access it on unclassified IT systems. Despite it having been placed in the public domain it was still classified until it had been properly declassified, and anyone who accessed it via an unclass system was violating a host of rules.

    When you deal with classified material there’s no gray area–it’s either done right or it’s done wrong. You don’t get to make you own rules, or decide the rules don’t apply to you this one time because following them is really, really hard, or just decide you know better. The rules are the rules. If you’re a science fiction fan–likely on this blog–I’m sure somewhere along the way you’ve stumbled across the short story “The Cold Equations”. Handling classified material is one of them.

    (I once watched a two-star end his career and be retired before he wanted to–and before he would have; he was on the fast track to higher rank and responsibilities–because he sent out a note using his official email account instead of his personal one. It was a request for the recipients to consider supporting and donating to the campaign of one of his Academy classmates who was running for political office. He meant to send it out to essentially the same recipients via personal and not official email. Didn’t matter–it ended his career then and there with no appeal. And while those who knew him felt sympathy, there was no disagreement that demanding his immediate resignation was required. The rules are the rules.)

  172. Despite [Snowden’s stuff] having been placed in the public domain it was still classified until it had been properly declassified, and anyone who accessed it via an unclass system was violating a host of rules.

    Yes, and that you don’t see the silliness in this, or the silliness of someone possibly getting in trouble for discussing a newspaper article about drone strikes is what I meant when I said that the rest of us are not required to play along. It’s the silly rigidity of security theater, akin to the TSA strip searching grandmas while missing most of the weapons that get past them. Good job on the “rules are the rules” while Chinese hackers have gotten into government systems *how* many times?

    Worse, it’s the kind of dumb rigidity that destroys people just because there *might* have been a problem. Your final story is an excellent example of this kind of blinkered and rigid thinking. That a skilled and valuable person was thrown on the dustheap because of a petty mistake is just appalling. If you want to see what good sense looks like in a case like you mentioned, try googling “Chester Nimitz” and “grounding”

  173. FL: “the short story “The Cold Equations”. Handling classified material is one of them.”

    The cold equations refer to natural laws, conservation of energy, momentum, whatever. It is enforced naturally and automatically at the subatomic level, and it doesnt play politics. The laws around secret info is man made and can be arbitrarily enforced, and politically motivated.

  174. John, like so many Clinton supporters, you’re fundamentally misunderstanding both GOP supporters & Sanders supporters, & the latter in a particularly insulting way. If Clinton gets the nomination, the bulk of them – those who are already Dem voters – will hold their noses & vote for Clinton; however, a significant percentage aren’t Dem supporters, they’re people who normally sit out elections because they don’t see party machine candidates like Clinton as being significantly better than their GOP counterparts. Those people will just stay home, they certainly won’t be voting for Trump.
    Anyone who thinks that there is even the slightest possibility of upset GOP voters choosing Clinton over Trump or Cruz fails to understand the sheer visceral hatred that the Right have for Clinton; these are people who’d rather set their own genitalia on fire than vote for her. They’ll either hold their noses & vote for whatever garbage-person is on the GOP platter, or just stay home. Interestingly though, I actually know moderate Repubs & right-independents who are saying that they /would/ vote for Sanders over Trump or Cruz.

  175. @Greg: Abso-fuckin’-lutely! As I’ve said before, if you wanna toss your vote away in a hissy fit, you deserve what you get from it. The rest of us don’t and the opposition cheers. Go ahead and through your hissy. I’ll toss you a middle finger and call you every name your mother washed your mouth out with soap for saying. The only difference is that you really deserve those names.

  176. David–
    1. No, we all saw the silliness (a term that’s much more polite than what we used) over being threatened if we accessed information in the public domain. But we also all understood that when dealing with classified material, the rules are the rules.
    2. The two-star’s error when compared to Nimitz’s operational error? One thing the military does very well–which you should be eternally grateful for–is ensure that there is NO public politicization. None. To the point that the retired generals who become partisan “analysts” receive a lot of (quiet) criticism. Haven’t you noticed that they aren’t on the cable TV shows anymore? There’s some pretty good peer pressure results there. But if you want to live in a country where senior military leadership publicly endorses and fund raises using their military resources for specific partisan candidates I’m sure you can find it–it just won’t be this one.
    3. Look, if you want to continue believing that Clinton should get a “no harm no foul” call on the mishandling of classified material that occurred continue doing so. Obviously nothing I’m saying is changing your mind. But you also need to recognize the reality of what she did, and that the rest of the universe that deals with classified material feels differently. You’ll not find a single example of anyone with responsibility for dealing with classified material defending what she did.

    Greg–I understand the difference. My point is that there are situations where the rules are the rules and there are no exceptions. Dealing with classified material is one of them.

  177. Why is it that if you are white and not a Hillary Clinton supporter nor a Democrat, everyone assumes you must be a bigoted, homophobic, sexist etc. etc. etc.???

    John, I’m white, blue-collar, middle-class, and grew up in southwest Ohio…

    My best man at my wedding 31 years ago was a black man. Oh, my.

    My best friend is a gay man. Good Lord.

    I am pro-gun, pro-choice, pro-military, and think for the most part that smoking marijauna should be treated the same as consumption of alcohol. Say it isn’t so.

    I believe in the constitution, a higher power, and that everyone has a right to their life, the way that they want to live it, with who they want to live it with, and with equal treatment under the law regardless of race, sex, sexual preference, creed, or societal status. That last one is important.

    By the way, I love trees… and forests, and clean water, and nature, and I don’t want to starve the poor or kill old people. I don’t hunt, but don’t hate those that do – well, except those that take mountain lions with a modified AR-15 at 100 yds, and then proudly proclaim “Look what I did”. Those people, I’d like to string up from the nearest tree… Do the same with an obsidian knife and then say those words. My money would be on the mountain lion.

    Having said all of the above, I have voted Republican until the party went McCain-Palin – now I consider myself a moderate independent, or perhaps a Libertarian. The current candidates are a joke.

    There’s millions of us out here in America who are like me; too moderate to be considered a conservative, too hawkish to be considered a liberal, and there is no party or candidate for us. Both parties have alienated us by moving to the far right or the far left.

    And we are not all white.

    Interestingly enough, I have an in-law who always votes Democrat, and he voted for Mr. Obama. He is also an active Klansman. Truth is stranger than fiction.

    So much for the “Republican are white racists” stereotype.

  178. It takes a pretty well developed Stockholm Syndrome to look at a set of rules, realize that they’re worse than silly, but still think that their retroactively imposed violation is still worthy of punishment. Congratulations.

    As to the military issue, I do want to live in a country where the military isn’t politicized (though you grievously overestimate how restrained retired generals are, eg http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/11/20/generals-shoot-down-trump-s-fear-mongering-plans-for-muslims.html and this https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/retired-generals-and-admirals-urge-congress-to-reject-iran-deal/2015/08/26/8912d9c6-4bf5-11e5-84df-923b3ef1a64b_story.html ). I would also like to live in a country where an innocent mistake is not a career-ender. Using the wrong email account is *not* a mistake that should lead to the throwing away of a valued member of the military, anymore than grounding one’s ship was reason to toss Nimitz. Zero-tolerance sounds lovely and tough, but it leads not only to the loss of good people but to the remaining people being so rules-obsessed that they lose sight of their purpose.

    But you also need to recognize the reality of what she did, and that the rest of the universe that deals with classified material feels differently. You’ll not find a single example of anyone with responsibility for dealing with classified material defending what she did.

    Oh, please. In 30 seconds of googling, I found someone:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/officials-new-top-secret-clinton-emails-innocuous-n500586

    “The description of the emails as relatively innocuous came from officials,including a senior U.S. intelligence official, who believe Inspector General McCullough has been unfair to Clinton in his handling of the issue.”

    Again, you (though clearly not everybody responsible for handling classified information) may have brought into the security theater, and are willing to get played by the GOP as a result. The rest of us are not required to cooperate in your beliefs.

  179. FL: “the rest of the universe that deals with classified material feels differently. You’ll not find a single example of anyone with responsibility for dealing with classified material defending what she did.”

    Maybe its because the ones who aren’t such absolute dogmatics the way you are, are afraid that if they reveal they see it less absolute, that they might get, you know, fired.

    I mean, one could take your approach to the rules, a similarly naive approach to the effects of their punishments, and simply assume that prior to, say, 1994, you’ll not find a single gay person in the entire US military.

    “Greg–I understand the difference. My point is that there are situations where the rules are the rules and there are no exceptions. Dealing with classified material is one of them.”

    There is no such thing as “no exceptions” when dealing with humans. Torture is a war crime. Has Bush or Cheney been sent to the Hague yet? No? Then by all means, spare me this silly notion of yours where even a single human-created rule can be enforced automatically, neutrally, universally, and without exceptions. I would guess you’re either a young idealistic lawyer or someone who has spent their adult life in some sheltered and fortunate corner of the military as an administrator or some such thing. It’s not a bad thing, just not experienced. Either way, allow me to introduce you to the rest of human kind: Sturgeon’s law applies here as well. Or to quote someone with quite a lot of experience with the spectrum of what humans are actually capable of: 10% of people are always cruel, 10% are always kind, and the rest can be swayed either way. Those are the people enforcing those rules you put your faith in. With that knowledge in mind, it is quite difficult to take seriously the “no exceptions/no politics” idea of yours. There is always politics when there is people.

    Certainly, when people are trying to do the right thing, they try to make good rules and enforce them neutrally. But honestly, the only way to do that is to acknowledge your own imperfections, so you can identify them and overcome them. But that also means acknowledging that its impossible to do that perfectly. If you honestly think the rules really, really are neutral, enforced without exception, then you don’t think you’re biased or that your biases ever made a mistake, and that makes you a terrifying human being in my book, because it means you are capable of hiding terrible behavior behind legalism and rules lawyering, rather than admit that you’re human, capable of bias, error, being un-neutral, inconsistent, and even politically motivated.

    No exceptions? Puh-lease.

  180. I write certainly only for myself. I am not a ‘berniebros’ and know little of ‘gamergate’.
    If I had more information, and Zephyr Teachout or Elizabeth Warren were running, I might prefer either to Sanders.
    Sanders is about as good a Presidential choice we have, because he continues to oppose the scourge of anti-American pay to play plutocracy. I have little concern about most of Sanders’s ‘socialism’. (Three of the four GOP candidates – Trump, Roborube, Cruz – promise conservative socialism with horrible ‘pie in the sky’ deficits, so Sanders is better on that ‘socialism’ and deficit budgets.)

    I wouldn’t consider voting for Trump unless he ran against only one of the other GOP clowns or H1tl3r himself.

    Clinton will almost certainly be the Democratic 2016 Presidential candidate. Clinton’s ‘The Bankers’ associations are a hyuuuuge Clinton defect, but Trump literally is a ‘The Banker’.

    The other three GOP clowns are worse than Clinton on this ‘The Banker’ measure of corruption. Other than some minor faddish squacks purporting dislike of ‘Crony capitalism’, all GOP clowns openly maintain fealty to the plutocracy. (Rand Paul strays from this well-worn path, but Paul’s legislative activity shows that he doesn’t stray far.)

    To summarize, I will not vote for any foreseeable GOP 2016 candidate. I am determined to oppose all GOP candidates in any office.
    Also, ‘Third Way Democrats’ are lesser evil to Republicans, but are still lesser evil.

  181. Oh look, men telling women who speak up about their experiences of misogyny that this never happens, it is all a conspiracy, and they are making it up. Or if it was ever real, it is something we should just ignore because the real offensive thing here is talking about it- because that makes other men feel bad #NotAllBernieBros.
    Sounds familiar.
    We could start a new game: BernieBro or Gamergater? Not as fun as “Emily or Cinnamon” though.

  182. Kevin: Why is it that if you are white and not a Hillary Clinton supporter nor a Democrat, everyone assumes you must be a bigoted, homophobic, sexist etc. etc. etc.???

    Wait a second, did you actually just say, literally, “everyone”?

    You’re condemning sweeping generalizations by making a sweeping generalization? In the same sentence?

  183. is there a chance that the Democrats end up with Clinton as the Presidential Candidate and Sanders as their VP candidate? That seems like it would keep both parties in the Democrats happy.

    This kind of thing is perfectly feasible and has happened frequently in the past: Ronald Reagan chose George Bush the elder as his running mate after beating him in a bruising primary race; Biden was briefly a presidential contender in 2008 before Obama picked him.

    However, Hillary Clinton is herself 68 years old and I suspect she would want someone younger, not older, as a running mate. Julian Castro has been mentioned.

  184. Greg:

    Absolutely – because from where I sit/stand, it appears, at least to me, that everywhere I read or watch, someone is making the assertion that if you are white and moderate or conservative, or ever associated yourself with the Republican party, you must be a racist, sexist, bigot, or homophobe.

    Example – quoting John Scalzi above:
    “More to the point, I think the general election is less likely to be purely about GOP vs. Democrats as it is likely to be anxious white people vs. everyone else. I mean, it was that before, right? But it used to better correlate with the political parties than it does this year. Trump’s natural constituency appears to be white folks, mostly but not only dudes, working class or below, with a varyingly-sized streak of bigotry in them — sexism, racism, what have you.”

    So, the GOP (implied as bigots) and possibly “anxious white people” are the only backers to Trump, and they are, to some degree, bigots. That’s a sweeping generalization, and the one that I was responding to.

  185. @Greg: “Kevin, do you agree that Trump is a bigot?”

    Careful with those Loaded Questions.

    They’ve been known to go off prematurely, in a “when did you stop beating your wife?” kind of way.

  186. @Greg:

    I haven’t followed that whack job – EVER. He might be a bigot, or others might accuse him of it because he can’t put together his views in any way other than coming off as a bigot. I know his communicative skills suck from what little I’ve seen.

    Personally, I think that out of all of the players on both sides, only Bernie Sanders comes across as a genuine person.

    From me, the right-leaning moderate voter:

    Trump – small tactical nuke in a big package. Scary, believes what he is saying – maybe.
    Kasich – he’s my governor and he’s done OK – centrist, probably. Not going to make it in my opinion because the Party wants Cruz or Rubio. Probably the best candidate the GOP has.
    Cruz – actually, J. Scalzi put a very succinct description on this candidate. I think he’s a hater.
    Carson – another whack job. I liked him once – and then he spoke.
    Rubio – spineless wimp.
    Fiorna (sp) – liked her until she spoke too…
    Christy – nope. Never.
    Jeb!(tm) – I am not contributing to dynastic ambitions by any family. Plus – what – where’d he go? Did he even have a position on anything?

    Hillary – being retired military and knowing first-hand how she treats her military and secret service details (I actually have friends), nope, not for me.

    You know, here’s an idea – Hillary gets indicted for whatever, and Biden slides right into her candidacy. He resonates with the blue collar folk like me and he also comes off as a genuine, albeit just plain stupid, guy.

    I might vote for Sanders or Biden or Kasich…

  187. Greg: “do you agree that Trump is a bigot?”

    Pedro “Careful with those Loaded Questions. …“when did you stop beating your wife?””

    Uh, “when did you stop beating your wife?” Loads the question with the implication that you are beating your wife and gives no means to object to that preloaded implication without breaking out of the yes/no format, making it sound like the answerer is avoiding the question.

    “Is Trump a bigot?” Does not preload the question with any such implication. It is a yes/no question, and answering it in yes/no format does not carry any secondary implications loaded into the question.

    I am left to assume either you simply have no idea what a loaded question is, or you like Trump and are willing to attack any criticism of him no matter how legitimate, even if it means misusing terms of debate.

  188. @Greg: Your exact phrasing was, “Do you agree that Trump is a bigot?”

    Use of the word “agree” in the phrasing logically implies that the Asker agrees with the presumption that Trump is a bigot or that the Asker simply perceives that many people believe he is.

    Either way the controversial presumption is embedded in the phrasing, which makes the question a loaded one.

    It would be no different if someone were to ask you: Do you agree that Sanders is a crackpot? or Do you believe that Clinton is a criminal?

    The phrasing of questions that way automatically place the Answerer in the defensive position of having to agree or disagree with a presumed consensus on a highly controversial issue, therefore potentially setting up the Answerer for systematic abuse should he run afoul of the dominant opinion of the moment.

  189. Pedro: Use of the word “agree” in the phrasing logically implies that the Asker agrees with the presumption that Trump is a bigot or that the Asker simply perceives that many people believe he is.

    Er–yes? That doesn’t make it a loaded question. Mildly ambiguous maybe, and only if you haven’t read any of Greg’s earlier comments about Trump. Greg is the Asker, and he has already stated his opinions about Trump fairly clearly–so not a loaded question. If it’s the latter, then he’s implying that Other People believe that Trump is a bigot, and I can’t see that as all that controversial a presumption, myself. For example, there’s me, as one of those hypothetical Other People: Trump has at the very least said many bigoted things over the years, and applying the “if it quacks like a duck” test, I have no difficultly in believing that he is a bigot. Greg is just asking if you agree with me, and him, and possibly others.

    Does that also mean that I also believe that some segment, possibly a significant segment, of Trump’s supporters are bigots? Well, they are voting for a bigot to be president. To me, that means that they are either bigots themselves or they have the reasoning power of guacamole. So . . . which do you think it is? Or do you believe that many-most of Trump’s supporters have common-sensible, egalitarian reasons for voting for a bigot to be president? Because if you do, I’d love to know what they are.

  190. Pedro: “Use of the word “agree” … logically implies … to agree or disagree with a presumed consensus”.

    (1) “presumed consensus” is the ass end of a linguistic pile of horseshit. There is no implied “consensus” loaded into the question, just a single assertion, and a question as to whether you agree with it or not.

    The source of the assertion (a singular me, or a full consensus) is not packed into the question and is left open-ended. But that doesn’t make it loaded with it being a “consensus”. The only way that question might be construed as unfair would be if no one had ever accused Drumpf of being a bigot, and the question was being used merely as a delivery mechanism to level an accusation with no prior grounding. (i.e. a red herring + strawman in question form) However, bigotry is a consistent charge leveled against Drumpf by many and its been leveled for decades going all the way back to the Feds suing Drumpf for not renting to blacks, and his father being arrested after a KKK rally in the early 1900’s. So, the question does come packed with the notion that “bigotry” is a charge that’s been leveled at Drumpf by the public, but that’s it. If there were a consensus, a general agreement, then there would be no need to ask if Kevin in the first place, because the question would already be settled and universally agreed upon, so Kevin’s position on the question would have no impact on the already existing consensus.

    (2) you didn’t directly answer my question whether you support Trump, but its pretty clear now that you do, because.. wow…

  191. @Mary Frances: “If it’s the latter, then he’s implying that Other People believe that Trump is a bigot, and I can’t see that as all that controversial a presumption.”

    – Fair enough. I doubt most of the discussants on this blog would view that statement as controversial. But many others, including his supporters, would react to that statement as if it were a lie, hence the controversy.

    “I also believe that some segment, possibly a significant segment, of Trump’s supporters are bigots? Well, they are voting for a bigot to be president. To me, that means that they are either bigots themselves or they have the reasoning power of guacamole.”

    – That may be true. And if it’s true, do you believe his followers to be morally inferior and therefore deserving of lower social status?

    “So . . . which do you think it is? Or do you believe that many-most of Trump’s supporters have common-sensible, egalitarian reasons for voting for a bigot to be president? Because if you do, I’d love to know what they are.”

    – At least some of his followers are intolerant of opposing views and would fit the textbook definition of a bigot. But that’s not saying much, as the problem of bigotry and its many manifestations are a rather universal phenomenon. Intolerant people are everywhere . . .

    – What passes for common sense and/or egalitarianism is often in the eye of the beholder. In my observation, its appears that Trump’s supporters have loads of grievances and view the man as an instrument of condign punishment, starting with the so-called GOP establishment and the conservative punditocracy that supports it.

  192. Pedro: “But many others, including his supporters, would react to that statement as if it were a lie, hence the controversy.”

    yeah, there is as much controversy around the question of Drumpf being a bigot as there is around the Evolution-vs-Creationism debate. i.e. Evolution is fact and Creationists convinced themselves that their idiotic disagreement with fact is somehow indicative of a “controversy” that needs to be “taught”.

    Drumpf is a bigot, that’s a fact. The howls and protests of his white brigade all pledging allegiance to Drumpf actually supports the fact more than it discredits it.

    Mary: they have the reasoning power of guacamole.

    Pedro: That may be true. And if it’s true, do you believe his followers to be morally inferior

    bigotry is, at its root, a failure of logic, usually in the form of a hasty generalization. However, for that fallacy to continue the bigot must insulate it from introspection by placing numerous false stories on top of it to misdirect any investigation and reinforce old conclusions. Or, in simpler terms, guacamole.

    That doesn’t mean they are “morally inferior”.

    For someone whose foray into this discussion was to argue pedantry of loaded questions, only to confuse intelligence for morality, you’re zero for two right now.

    Its a weird thing about logic that people sometimes forget, but just because one follows a fallacy doesn’t mean they didn’t end up at the correct conclusion. So, if one were to use logic to try to find morality, and they committed hasty generalizations and other fallacies associated with bigotry, they may or may not still come to a moral conclusion. So, pointing out a fallacy doesn’t disprove the conclusion is inaccurate, it only shows that the conclusion is not proven.

    So, if one sees bigotry, one can generally safely assume hasty generalization fallacies and probably a number of other fallacies in place to reinforce the bigotry. But it can’t definitively say anything about the morality of their actions in a general sense. We can show they are stupid, but it takes more to show they are immoral.

    The test of morality is external action. Everyone has immoral thoughts, but most of us override them and do the right thing. Many bigots have biggotted thoughts and suppress acting on them in outwardly obvious ways, so they aren’t actually immoral. One would have to find a bigot acting on bigotted thoughts, imposing them on another human being, to show they are immoral.

    So, again, they’re idiots. But if they can manage to keep it to themselves, they’re not immoral.

    On the other hand, one only need to look at the physical violence being committed towards even silent protesters at Drumpf rallies to know that there is obvious and blatant immoral behavior going on at Drumpf rallies, and Drumpf keeps encouraging the violence, so he is immoral as well.

    They have the reasoning power of guacomole because they’re bigots and bigotry is always based on fallacies. One has to look beyond their thougth process and look at their external behaviors to determine if they are immoral or not. And a quick survey shows many Drumpf supporters are in fact immoral.

    the problem of bigotry and its many manifestations are a rather universal phenomenon. Intolerant people are everywhere . . .

    First of all, that is the “et tu” fallacy. It’s interesting that your second post refers to how “the phrasing logically implies”, which might suggest that logic is important to you, yet you have made numerous basic logic errors on this thread.

    Second of all, bigotry doesn’t “manifest” itself everywhere in equal proportions. That’s a bald faced lie told by bigots. As an example, lets say that cops kill unarmed blacks 7 times more than unarmed whites. Could there be some black cops who are racist towards whites? Sure. But their numbers are so small that one cannot extract their existence from the top-level, statistics. With unarmed blacks being killed 7 times more than unarmed whites, black racist cops are noise swamped by the massive signal of white racist cops. So we can’t even tell if black racist cops exist looking at that level of data. So, in that example, bigotry is not a “universal phenomenon”, white bigotry against blacks shows up substantially more often than black bigotry against whites. And whites are generally more often in positions of power than blacks are, which means white bigots are going to manifest their bigotry in worse ways than black bigots.

    And specifically, around the current round of politicians, Trump has had blacks ejected from his rallies for doing nothing but being black. He ejects them because he sees all blacks as trouble makers. Even if they aren’t doing anything disruptive. This was recently confirmed by some police who were present to provide security, who said Trump told them to remove some black people in the audience who hadn’t done anything. Contrast this to someone like Bernie Sanders, who when two black women got up and started protesting Black Lives Matter, he stepped back and gave them the microphone.

    So, in short, that’s bullshit.

    It’s one of those layers of insulation meant to misdirect any investigation and reinforce the original bigotry. Even a cursory level of honest analysis would show that its bullshit.

    Trump’s supporters have loads of grievances

    Certainly, but you made no effort to distinguish which grievances were legitimate. I am sure you will find many of Drumpfs supporters will list in their grievances that Obama is from Kenya and is not a legitimate president, that Obama has been threatening to take their guns, that Obama is black and is committing all manner of “reverse racism”, blah, blah, blah.

    Counting the people who disagree as the sole indicator of the matter ends up with situations like “Teach the Controversy” trying to say that since these people disagree with evolution, that we must teach the controversy of their disagreement and include alternatives to evolution such as *cough* intelligent design. One needs to at least attempt to apply a modicum of common sense to filter bigotry and other nonsense out of the list of “grievances” to see the legitimate ones.

    I don’t see any legitimate complaints by Drumpf’s supporters that would be best solved by electing Drumpf as president. Drumpf is a bigot. He would be horrible for almost all forms of international diplomacy. He’s also a horrible businessman who declared bankruptcy four times and has a long line of failed businesses. The only reason he’s kept going is he comes from a rich family. He would be horrible for the economy. He would be great for other rich people, making the top 1% even richer. He would reinforce the oligarchy in America. He is clearly an idiot when it comes to the use of force and has the maturity level on Kohlbergs scale of around a ten year old. He’s a blowhard and the last thing this planet needs is to take a bigotted blowhard who is prone to temper tantrums and violence and give him the nuclear launch codes. He’s been married… how many times? I lost count. So he’s no good for making any kind of long term relationship work.

    And besides, other than some bigotted nonsense like building a wall, or registering all Muslims, what actual policies would he bring to the WhiteHouse that would be unique to DRumpf that would make America great again? Wanting to have sex with his daughter?

    Even if their grievances were legitimate (and teh bullshit meter is pegged, so clearly they’re not legit), what specific promises has Trump made to address any specific grievance? “Making America Great Again” is not a policy. Its a sound bite. If you want to play this game that its legit, adn Trump is the answer, then list (1) a legitimate specific grievance and (2) the speciifc policy that Drumpf is advocting that would address that grievance.

    As it is, vague handwaving about it is just a smoke screen.

  193. Greg: “You think the Republicans *care* about your third party vote for some third party progressive? Hell no.”
    An absolutely correct assessment of GOP “gratitude”. Compare how Trump treats rally protesters/dissenters to how Sanders campaign responded to the BLM(t) stage-stormers.
    In office, Conservative officials tend to give dissenters tear gas.

  194. Pedro: That may be true. And if it’s true, do you believe his followers to be morally inferior and therefore deserving of lower social status?

    Speaking of complex questions . . . as Greg pointed out (above) I don’t believe I mentioned morality. You have a case for saying that I believe that many (not all) of Trump’s followers are intellectually inferior, I suppose–I gave you the choice of providing legitimate reasons for voting for him, ones that would indicate that they are using their brains and not just their emotional prejudices, and you just said (basically) that that was too subjective a question for you to answer. I don’t think it is, really. Or at least–try this: what are the specific reasons Trump’s followers give for voting for him? We can then judge their rationality once we have a list, if you want to continue the conversation.

    On the question of whether or not many of Trump’s voters are “morally” inferior”–I don’t like the word “inferior.” They aren’t morally “inferior” to me, anyway; I’m as capable of immorality as any other human being. I also don’t think that they are deserving of “lower social status” for any reason, particularly since I don’t know what you mean by “lower social status.” Do I think they should be denied the right to vote for the candidate of their choice? No. What else matters, in this context? (Aside: No one has the right never to be made fun of. I certainly don’t. It’s part of the risk I take when I state my opinions in public.) They have the courage of their convictions, and I respect that, even if I think that their convictions are dead, dangerously wrong. However. While they may be acting ethically in voting for a fellow-bigot, I don’t believe that being a bigot is ethical–and I do believe that acting on one’s bigotry, one’s irrational prejudices, is immoral. Not just for Trump supporters, but for everyone. Trump’s voters may deny that they are bigots, even when they apparently agree with him about registering all Muslims, or about Mexican immigrants all being rapists and criminals. I don’t accept that–accepting it would require what I find to be some sort of non-reality-based definition of both “bigotry” and “non-bigotry.” So . . . yeah. Bigots are acting immorally when they act on their beliefs, in my opinion. Do you have information about their motives in voting for Trump that would indicate otherwise?

  195. “President hamstrung by his inability to establish or manage a detailed political agenda, as I think Sanders would be”
    I don’t see this happening. sanders has been around a while, and held administrative office as Mayor of Burlington VT (successfully enough to win elections, including to VT state Senator to U.S, Senate)

  196. @Mary Frances: “Speaking of complex questions . . . as Greg pointed out (above) I don’t believe I mentioned morality. You have a case for saying that I believe that many (not all) of Trump’s followers are intellectually inferior, I suppose–I gave you the choice of providing legitimate reasons for voting for him, ones that would indicate that they are using their brains and not just their emotional prejudices, and you just said (basically) that that was too subjective a question for you to answer. I don’t think it is, really. Or at least–try this: what are the specific reasons Trump’s followers give for voting for him? We can then judge their rationality once we have a list, if you want to continue the conversation.”

    Good Afternoon. Appreciate the thoughtful response. FWIW:

    – You did not mention morality. I did. Chiefly to see how you would react, to get an even better sense of your perceptions of Trump’s followers, and a clearer understanding of you own biases. Greg described that as an “et tu” fallacy. To me it was a simple exercise in reconnaissance by rhetorical fire. Thank you for engaging my argument . . .

    – As to the motivation of Trump and his supporters, first, see my response to Greg below concerning Donald Trump. Because I absolutely refuse to support his candidacy, I cannot provide a genuine first-person perspective on reasons why people support him.

    – In my observation, however, Trump followers provide any number of reasons. These range from an absolute frustration with the Republican Party Establishment to deeply felt concerns about jobs and other pocketbook issues. Their concerns about immigration and border control with Mexico get voiced in all kinds of ways, some bigoted, some not. The more thoughtful views about immigration get phrased in terms of staunching the flow of cheap labor and preventing terrorist infiltration.

    – IMHO, Trump’s supporters are absolutely convinced that the country’s elites, ranging from Silicon Valley to Democratic Party leadership to the Entertainment Industry and even to Conservative Pundits, genuinely do not like them and think the world would be a better place without them. For the sake of simplicity, that might be an exaggerated sense of where Trump’s followers are are coming from, but not by much.

    – Another thing that comes through loud and clear: Trump supporters and Right leaning folk in general are fed up with having their “legitimate concerns” dismissed as one form of bigotry or another. Some (not just Trump supporters) would even go so far as to say that the Democratic Party has run out of conceptual gas after an 80-year run during which it largely defined the course of domestic policy, that the Democratic Party has largely become a reactionary organization that is trying to protect an unsustainable socioeconomic status quo that is overdue for major reform–hence the overemphasis on bigotry. These views are all debatable, but they are at least a partial sample of where Trump supporters and other Right Leaning folk are coming from.

    – If you really want to know what Trump supporters think, read Right Wing blogs and publications. You’ll only get a more accurate sense by doing that than you ever will in these confines.

    “On the question of whether or not many of Trump’s voters are “morally” inferior”–I don’t like the word “inferior.” They aren’t morally “inferior” to me, anyway; I’m as capable of immorality as any other human being. I also don’t think that they are deserving of “lower social status” for any reason, particularly since I don’t know what you mean by “lower social status.” Do I think they should be denied the right to vote for the candidate of their choice? No. What else matters, in this context? (Aside: No one has the right never to be made fun of. I certainly don’t. It’s part of the risk I take when I state my opinions in public.) They have the courage of their convictions, and I respect that, even if I think that their convictions are dead, dangerously wrong.”

    – Well said.

    “However. While they may be acting ethically in voting for a fellow-bigot, I don’t believe that being a bigot is ethical–and I do believe that acting on one’s bigotry, one’s irrational prejudices, is immoral. Not just for Trump supporters, but for everyone. Trump’s voters may deny that they are bigots, even when they apparently agree with him about registering all Muslims, or about Mexican immigrants all being rapists and criminals. I don’t accept that–accepting it would require what I find to be some sort of non-reality-based definition of both “bigotry” and “non-bigotry.” So . . . yeah. Bigots are acting immorally when they act on their beliefs, in my opinion. Do you have information about their motives in voting for Trump that would indicate otherwise?”

    – See the above.

  197. @Greg: “Drumpf is a bigot, that’s a fact. The howls and protests of his white brigade all pledging allegiance to Drumpf actually supports the fact more than it discredits it . . . “

    FWIW:

    My Views on Donald Trump: At this juncture, I’m absolutely convinced that you believe Mr. Trump is a bigot. No further explanation is required.

    As for my views on the man? You did ask and it would be unfair at this point to deny you an answer. So here goes: Donald Trump is a “head case”—a malfunctioning narcissist with clear authoritarian tendencies and a demonstrated talent for mass manipulation.

    He has so far displayed a raw, uncanny ability to keep the GOP establishment off balance and to bend the media to his will. That is no small feat given that Democrats significantly outnumber Republicans in the nation’s newsrooms. Can he continue to best the media should he win the nomination. My guess is probably not . . .

    My chief concern about a Trump presidency is what happens the when the bloom comes off the First-90-Days rose? How will he react the first time Congress or the civil service defy his edicts? What will he do when (not if) the Supreme Court hands him a verdict he doesn’t like?

    My sense is that he will react badly and try to force the issue in ways that could provoke a constitutional crisis. I could be ridiculously wrong about this, but the political equivalent of my “spider sense” just won’t stop tingling.

    Is Trump truly a bigot? I’m not certain, but I am certain he is a master manipulator, someone clearly willing to flirt with bigots and/or refrain from pushing back against their nonsense (e.g. David Duke) if he thinks he can gain from such an approach (and I think he clearly does).

    Concerning thuggish behavior at his campaign rallies, Trump is clearly playing with fire here. First, he’s falling right into the narrative trap that is being set for him. (This discussion is in some ways touches on that.) Second, if he is not more careful, one of his rallies could degenerate into a serious brawl. If someone gets killed or seriously hurt . . .

    Your Views on Trump’s Followers: “So, again, they’re idiots. But if they can manage to keep it to themselves, they’re not immoral.”

    – On this blog, Greg, you are operating in a largely sympathetic environment. No one is going to give you much grief for trashing Trump, Republicans, and their supporters. Not even from me. I am an Independent voter, and an increasingly alienated one at that . . .

    However, should you wish to test your rhetorical skills in other online environments, say of the center-right variety, your rhetorical attack would be pretty much dismissed as standard Left-Wing virtue posturing/signaling or as a gross display of unearned moral superiority.

    As to your specific allegations concerning Donald Trump and his followers, the likely response would be to demand factual proof (which I’m certain you could provide to some extent). In rebuttal, they would offer their own “significant facts” and examples of Left Wing bigotry, racism, sexism, and authoritarianism. (See Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, if anyone needs an introductory example.)

    To the extent that you fully documented your allegations, you would quickly find them dismissed (rightly or wrongly, fairly or unfairly) as various fallacies, such as “confirmation basis” (cherry picking data to support your position) or “composition fallacy” (arguing that a part defines the whole).

    The more daring among your opponents would accuse you of being narrow-minded when it comes to your characterizations of Right Wing America, and as such, being no better than the people you despise (e.g. Trump’s “white brigade”).

    If you have tested your rhetorical skills against your counterparts on the Right, then you already know the truth of what I am saying.

    That’s about all I care to say in response (at this point). The rest of your rebuttal is not as clearly written as it could have been. Sometimes less is more, especially at 3:24 AM. Nevertheless, thank you for engaging my argument. It’s been fun. . .

  198. “Concerning thuggish behavior at his campaign rallies, Trump is clearly playing with fire here. First, he’s falling right into the narrative trap that is being set for him.”
    More accurately, Trump created this ‘narrative trap’. Trump didn’t bait violent fans during Trump’s TV career. (though only as far as I know from what I’ve noticed in news, because I don’t watch a lot of TV)

  199. I haven’t read that Rubio, Cruz, Carson, Kasich, Bush, Clinton, or Sanders fell into this ‘narrative trap’. There is “Another Big Liberal Media Cover Up”, apparently.

  200. @Name: Re the “Narrative Trap.” Trump is increasingly behaving in ways that will be used against him by his opponents at the appropriate time and in a concentrated way, should he secure the Republican nomination. Basically, the aim is to to let him go so far out on the proverbial branch that he cannot get back to safety before the Democrats cut it off behind him. . .

  201. “Trump is increasingly behaving in ways that will be used against him by his opponents at the appropriate time and in a concentrated way, should he secure the Republican nomination.”

    Whereas fortunately Hillary hasn’t got any vulnerabilities at all.

    The Guardian has some interesting comments from (closeted) Trump supporters: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/03/secret-donald-trump-voters-speak-out

    It does seem to be about revenge for a few folks: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_revenge_of_the_lower_classes_and_the_rise_of_american_fascism_20160302

    It’s all rather more exciting than usual, though living in Japan I won’t have to deal with the (direct) consequences.

  202. Pedro: “As for my views on the man? You did ask and it would be unfair at this point to deny you an answer.”

    Except I never asked *you*. I asked Kevin and you whined about the big mean loaded question under your bed. Mary and I both flashed a light under your bed to show you were wrong, but I never noticed an acknowledgement of your mistake. Instead, you double downed, changed tactics and attacks, only to swing and miss that one as well. Now you’re pretending I ever asked you about Trump when you butted into the conversation with false accusations, acting like youre doing me a favor telling me your opinion about Drumpf. I dont care what you think of Drumpf. You have attacked with certainty while being wrong and have never shown a capacity or interest in restoring even basic integrity when your mistakes are pointed out.

    “should you wish to test your rhetorical skills in other online environments, say of the center-right variety”

    Ooooh…. do you see this? This is me shaking in my boots.

    Wait. No, Im not.

    Wait. Wait. Did you seriously just resort to an “oh yeah, Im gonna tell my big brother and he’ll beat you up!” response?

    For future reference, if the topic turns to the KKK, I wont care what the KKK thinks of my opinion of them, nor does their disapproval reflect anything towards the veracity of my statements or logical soundness.

    In a conversation where I specifically mentioned the idiocy of the “teach the controversy” morons, you just invoked a similar argument that republicans would disagree with me, therefore, that means anything at all about what I said. Sorry, doesnt work that way for creationists, doesnt work that way for you.

    “I am an Independent voter, and an increasingly alienated one at that ”

    To quote the last line of Buckaroo Bonzai, “So what? Big deal.”

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