Clinton and Sanders and Trump and Kasich and Also a Bit About Cruz and Rubio

Well, that was an interesting Tuesday night in American politics, wasn’t it? A few thoughts about it.

1. First, sympathy for Sanders supporters out there, who after last week’s emotionally satisfying win in Michigan — even if Clinton ended the night with a net gain of delegates thanks to Mississippi — had to deal with their candidate going 0-5 in state results last night. To be fair, there’s still a small possibility that Sanders might pull ahead in Missouri once absentee votes are tallied in, but after the other results of the evening, winning by the thinnest possible margin in a single state is the political equivalent of “playing for pride.”

However and more importantly, Clinton yet again expanded her pledged delegate lead. Leaving out Missouri for the moment, Clinton netted more than 100 delegates over Sanders in the other four states voting last night. Given the closeness of the Missouri race, and the proportional nature of delegate allocation in Democratic primaries, it doesn’t matter if Sanders eventually squeaks out a win there — Clinton still ends the night with a triple-digit delegate gain.

2. I had someone on Twitter last night say, yes, well, but Florida is a closed primary state where Clinton was favored; okay, but she also took Ohio by 13 points, and that’s an effectively open primary (technically “semi-open”). I do see some Sanders supporters pinning hopes of victories based on whether a particular state has caucuses or open primaries, which is fine, but it’s a bit of fetish thinking. There are four types of primaries and caucuses: Open, closed, semi-open and semi-closed. Leaving out semi-closed caucuses (only one state has that and hasn’t voted yet) Clinton has won contests in every format but open caucuses; Sanders has won contests in every format but closed primaries. I’m not sure Sanders can rely on voting format to save him.

Even if he did, a) the next set of contests features a closed primary (Arizona) with the largest delegate count of the evening, and Sanders hasn’t won any of those yet, and there are nine more of those including New York and Pennsylvania, b) there are only two more open caucus contests left (that being the format Clinton hasn’t won in yet). So, uh, yeah. That math doesn’t look great for Sanders.

Ultimately Sanders’ problem isn’t format, it’s that he doesn’t win enough contests (nine to Clinton’s nineteen), doesn’t win enough big states (he’s won only one contest with more than a hundred delegates; Clinton’s won six), and the one big contest he won, he won by a slim margin (49.8% to 48.2%) meaning he netted only a few pledged delegates over Clinton (four). Meanwhile Clinton’s pledged delegate net in the large state contests she’s won is 218 over Sanders.

3. But Sanders can still take it! Well, as a matter of pure mathematics, sure. As a practical matter involving real voters in real states and territories going to actual polling stations or caucuses, it’s pretty much over at this point. It’s not to say that Sanders can’t or won’t win more states; I suspect he will. But the question is will he ever catch up in the pledged delegate count, and the answer is, that’s going to be a hard row for him to hoe. Someone on Twitter last night suggested that they said the same thing about Obama in 2008, and look where he is now. But on March 16, 2008, one, Obama was ahead of Clinton in the pledged delegate count, not the other way around, and two, as a matter of percentages, Obama and Clinton were substantially closer than Clinton and Sanders are now — Clinton had 92% of the pledged delegates Obama had then; Sanders has 72% of the pledged delegates Clinton has now.

And while we’re considering this, bear in mind we’re only talking about pledged candidates here, not superdelegates. With superdelegates, Clinton is already two thirds of the way to the magic number of 2,383 delegates needed for the nomination. Adding in Sanders’ superdelegates, he’s 35% of the way there. Superdelegates can change their mind between now and the election, but if I were a Sanders supporter I wouldn’t be holding my breath. Again, it’s not impossible for Sanders to win the nomination, but at this point it’s gone from “unlikely” to “really goddamned difficult.”

If my Twitter feed is any indication, I suspect a number of Sanders supporters have begun the grieving process — the disbelief that Sanders lost Ohio (it was supposed to be like Michigan!), the glumness of looking at the Florida result, the glimmer of hope in Missouri, extinguished as Clinton ground out a .2% victory. As I noted before, I have sympathy for Sanders supporters. It was not a good night for them. Clinton supporters, on the other hand, have to be feeling pretty good.

4. On the other side of things, oh, hey, look, John Kasich won Ohio! Which is nice, and deprived Trump of its 66 delegates, which means for the first time since early February, Trump is below his Fivethirtyeight delegate tracker number, that being the number of delegates he needs to clinch the GOP nomination ahead of the convention. He was at 104% of that number going into the evening; now he’s at 96% of that number. As someone who voted for Kasich basically to achieve this very goal, I feel I had a vote well cast (note well, this number may not include his Missouri delegates).

Not, mind you, that I think Kasich can win the nomination; some folks have suggested that he would have to win 110% of the currently available GOP delegates from here on out to do so, and, well. That would be a stretch, wouldn’t it. Nor do I think Cruz will get it either; Fivethirtyeight has him at 54% of his delegate goal. At this point, and despite Cruz’s self-lathering nonsense suggesting he could win the nomination outright, Cruz and Kasich are in the race to keep Trump from hitting his delegate number, forcing a contested convention.

At which Trump is already hinting there will be riots if he isn’t given the nomination! One, bless his heart. Two, he’s not wrong, especially if Trump is close to the number of delegates he needs going in. The sort of folks willing to cold-cock protesters at rallies aren’t folks who will be willing to let some back-room bureaucrats snatch their man’s rightful nomination out of his famously not-short fingers. It’s of course keeping with Trump’s personal idiom to give a speech last night about the party needing to come together, and then this morning strongly hint that his people are going to wreck shit if they don’t get their way. Congratulations, GOP! Your frontrunner is a classy dude.

5. That said, let me go out on a limb and suggest Trump is going to hit his number. Why? Because Ohio was a semi-open primary, which meant people like me, who don’t normally vote in the GOP primary, were able to cross the line and do so, and it appears that a lot did — there were 1.6 times as many voters in the Ohio GOP primary last night than in the Democratic primary, at least some of which were folks like me voting against Trump. Which is nice, but there’s only two more open primaries on the GOP docket (Indiana and Wisconsin) and one open caucus (American Samoa). The rest of the contests are closed or semi-closed, limiting the number of people willing to save the GOP from itself. From here on out it’s up to GOP voters to do it.

And will they? Unclear. There have been four closed primaries so far, and they’ve split half for Trump and half for Ted Cruz (who, to be clear, is not exactly an optimal alternative). The closed caucuses have also split between Trump and Cruz (and Minnesota and DC for Rubio). As most of the upcoming contests are winner-take-all, Trump wouldn’t have to share most of his delegates when he wins, so if he wins, even by a tiny margin, he still leaps ahead.

Trump is going to win more, and it seems likely to me that Cruz and Kasich, the other guys in the race, will probably eat each others’ lunch to Trump’s benefit. One of them should probably drop out if at this point they really aim to stop Trump. Kasich is the obvious one to drop, since he has no chance to win the nomination outright, and because Cruz won’t, no matter what; he’d rather push an entire troop of Girl Scouts under a bus than give up his run. Also there’s the matter of who are Kasich’s supporters at this point. He presumably would pick up whoever was still voting for poor Marco Rubio. Those three people won’t help him.

On the other hand, Cruz is an overripe pustule of hateful need who deserves to be dropkicked into historical oblivion, and the rest of the GOP primary schedule doesn’t really match his political strengths, so maybe he should drop and let Kasich roll as the sane alternative to Trump. But again, Cruz has no intention of leaving the race until the race leaves him. So onward Trump will likely go, to the nomination.

6. And what about Marco Rubio, who exited the race last night? Honestly, I can’t be bothered to think of him any further. He was always underready, and the fact that the GOP ever seriously considered him as their answer to Obama is a reminder that the GOP neither understands Obama nor understands anyone who isn’t white as paste. Look! A young ethnic person! The kids love that! Surely we shall win the White House now! Meanwhile, Rubio’s politics were those of a conservative 73-year-old white dude shaking his cane in the yard at the kids riding their bikes in the road (Cruz’s politics are the same, except the 73-year-old is also praying for God to send a bear to rip the children to shreds). Dear GOP: Voters do pay attention to policies and positions, not just packaging. Which is why (among other things) an old white man is more popular with under-30 Democratic voters than his opponent.

But now Rubio is gone, and good riddance. He’ll soon be gone from the Senate as well, and where he goes from here I have a complete lack of interest, so long as it is in the private sector and I never have to deal with him again. I’m sad for the GOP that he was their Great Establishment Hope for ’16, and that what we have left is Kasich, who has no chance, Cruz, who should have “well, actually” in blinking neon over his head, and of course Trump, the walking embodiment of political nihilism and sub-standard cuts of beef. The GOP deserves no better than this, but our nation certainly does.

144 thoughts on “Clinton and Sanders and Trump and Kasich and Also a Bit About Cruz and Rubio

  1. I’m split on whether a contested convention would be good from a Democratic standpoint. On the one had, if they wrest the nomination away from Trump, it seems pretty good odds he’d go ahead and run anyway, in which case, Yay, it’s a runaway. On the other hand, if he for some reason -didn’t- run and Cruz was the nominee, he’d have a better chance of winning (IMO) and worse, doing more long term damage.

    So.

  2. On the one hand, I’m pretty sure that Hillary could take Trump in the general election. On the other hand, I wonder how far and fast Trump will triangulate in the campaign after he wins the nomination. He’s a showman, and up to now his role has been aimed at getting the nomination. His next role will be trying to get people to consider him presidential. How far will he stray from appealing to his base? No way to forecast that accurately, but I bet we’ll see him moderate his tone. (Not that he could he really make it more extreme.)

    On the third hand, there’s always an element of chance involved. Obama won in 2008 in part because of the financial crisis, a true black swan. A serious downturn in the economy (not very likely in my opinion) or worse, a violent terrorist attack close to the election, could definitely change things.

  3. “the fact that the GOP ever seriously considered [Rubio] as their answer to Obama is a reminder that the GOP neither understands Obama nor understands anyone who isn’t white as paste.”

    This is dead on. It is particularly true of what a completely myopic view the GOP has of the latino/hispanic vote.

    I’ve despaired of how many times GOP folks have come out to say how the latino/hispanics are “a natural GOP constituency” because of their “strong family values”, “religiosity”, etc. Those may seem superficially to be correct, but in fact if you scratch the surface a bit they are horribly incorrect. Especially first or second generation latino immigrants; they are used to government services, and while they distrust government individuals, they like big government programs like health care. Religiosity varies greatly, and in countries like Mexico it is anathema to have the government mix in religion or religion mix in government; they find it distasteful and it causes distrust. And “family values” relate to strong extended families, and not to the kind of “family values” that the GOP-value-voter is talking about.

    More seriously, there is no single “hispanic constituency”. Those of mexican descent have a very different set of priorities from those of cuban, puerto rican, central american, or caribbean descent. The GOP has strong ties to the Cuban community (of which Rubio and Cruz are both parts), but Cubans are generally disliked by the rest of the hispanic population in the US, who view them as receiving special treatment (because they do); Cubans don’t really care about the plight of immigrants, because they get a pass. They are much more strongly pro-intervention abroad, which most or Latin American, having been subjected to U.S. intervention for years and years, is very much against. If the GOP thought that Rubio (or Cruz) would give them a fighting chance with the Latino vote, they were greatly mistaken; they might give them Florida, but it would not give them much else.

  4. I still disagree with the notion of saving the GOP from itself. It’s spent decades making this bed, it should lie in it. Even if it is aflame.

  5. I adore the fact that you threw in the bible reference about those godless killing machines. As god as my witness, I thought that bible story was a joke until I looked it up (2 Kings 2:23-25).

  6. I want to see a contested Republican convention – it is the surest way to know what the priorities of the Republican leadership actually are. Will they risk the consequences of negating Trump’s winnings and thereby enrage his supporters, or do they kowtow to the man after all of their public teeth-gnashing and thereby turn off all of their moderates? I’m very curious to see how those equations play out, especially if they play out in public where the results and the calculations are clear to all onlookers….

  7. Yeah, yesterday pretty much sucked. I am sending Bernie a bit more money, but it looks like I will be stuck choosing between right-of-center political machine, no principles Clinton and some extremist nutjob from the GOP and/or fascist Trump . So, Yay Democracy!

    Meanwhile Obama nominated a right of center judge for the supreme court in an effort to outnegotiate the Republicans by giving them, quite fucking literally, EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT. I think Grassley suggested the guy in the first place. Fucking bullshit.

    Congratulations America, you win the “you suck” award this week.

  8. Here’s the thing: Cruz can’t drop out. He’s God’s anointed King to preside over America during the end times redistribution of wealth. I know so be cause his father said so. That and the Dominion stuff about religion being in control of very facet of society scares me silly.

    Trump on the other hand is just sub-standard cuts of beef. He’s all stuff that get shoved in the sausage grinder that you really don’t care to know about. The fact that he’s happily fomenting violence in his name scares me too.

    Being a Democrat from South Carolina, I hate to agree with our Senator Graham, but the choice between Trump and Cruz is the choice between being shot to death or being poisoned.

    If Kasich drops out, which of those to bags of radioactive vulture vomit is he going to throw his support to? Or does he hold on ’til the end and hope the GOP delegates throw a revolt and give him the nod? Possibly make a third party run? I don’t see that actually happening as I think he toes the party line and will either take the bullet or the poison.

    No matter how it gets sliced though, the Republican side of the equation is thoroughly fucked up. Common sense has fled the party and the slime has seeped out from under the rocks looking for the return to power of (for) Old White Men! Even with a win by the Democratic nominee, it will take a long while to beat that noise back into being socially unacceptable. If the Republicans win, I expect a full bore effort to role equality back to pre-1861 at the least.

  9. It’s all but inevitable that Trump will go into the GOP convention with a big lead in delegates. This presents the party elders with an interesting choice.

    They could use backroom shenanigans to deny Trump the nomination, within the letter of the party rules. At that point, it may be too late for Trump to mount a viable third-party run, but he can do a lot to hurt the GOP and whatever not-Trump candidate it puts forward (Romney? Kasich?). In the extreme version of this scenario, we see thousands of angry, heavily-armed Trump supporters rioting in the streets, a prospect which scares the hell out of me.

    Alternatively, they can cut a deal with Trump. In return for some concessions on his VP choice, planned cabinet appointments, and the like, they agree not to deploy shenanigans, and he gets his shot at the Presidency. The GOP resigns itself to probable defeat at the hands of Hillary, and begins strategizing for 2018 and 2020.

    I’m guessing they will go for the second option, but with all the craziness we’ve seen so far, who the hell knows?

  10. 2 things:

    1. “Overripe pustule of hateful need” is the best description of Cruz yet.
    2. I am very curious as to your opinion of what this means for the future of the GOP. It’s perhaps a little early to game out, but do you see the party splitting if Trump falls short of 1237 and is then subsequently denied the nomination on floor votes? If so, can a “Trump Party” schism be far behind? This stuff is fascinating in a sow-motion catastrophe sort of way.

  11. I don’t resent having to vote for Hillary even though I’m a contributing-donation Sanders supporter. I always knew he was a long shot. I do hope he stays in a while longer though, because what he has done is valuable, in that he’s brought attention to issues that needed it, and forced Hillary to pull left on things she was ignoring or wavering on previously. And he could keep doing that for a while.

    As for Trump – the less said of that tiny penis in search of validation, the better.

  12. As a Florida resident who very much likes Sanders, very few things were pleasant about yesterday’s result…. except the sun setting on Rubio’s political career. I hope.

  13. @smarmaset

    “I still disagree with the notion of saving the GOP from itself. It’s spent decades making this bed, it should lie in it. Even if it is aflame.”

    At this point, I suspect it’s less about the GOP’s bed being on fire, it’s that the rest of us are worried that the fire might spread, and if that means pulling the GOP out, so be it.

  14. Dear GOP: Voters do pay attention to policies and positions, not just packaging. Which is why (among other things) an old white man is more popular with under-30 Democratic voters than his opponent.

    Wait, what? The clear front-runner is almost entirely about packaging and almost devoid of policies & positions. I don’t think we can credit (blame?) ANYTHING in this election cycle on substance…

  15. The best news is that Rubio finally got the hint and dropped out. And thank you fellow Floridians for showing him what we really think of him. Agree with Everything you said in point #6, hopefully we will never have to hear from him again. Bye Bye little Marco :)

  16. In the event of a contested convention, I kind of hope that the GOP strikes a deal with Trump where they give him the nomination in exchange for picking his vice president– and then have Congress immediately impeach and remove him from office when he’s sworn in.

    Realistically, I know that’s almost certainly not going to happen, but if it did, at least we’d see both parties in Congress working together on a major issue.

  17. Aaahh, I’m so glad I went for a walk and then read “American Dancer” last night.

    I think it’s going to be a Trump-Clinton contest, and that people who are really worried about a Trump presidency should be out organizing the vote, making sure people who the GOP has been steadily disenfranchising can actually get to the polls with the paperwork they need in order to cast their ballots. And there needs to be a lot of actual face-to-face going on in non-coastal America.

    You can’t change someone’s opinion by telling them they are wrong. But you can sometimes make them think about whether they are right – or not – by giving them some facts about the consequences – consequences of interest to them personally – of different policies. Most people only pay lip service to big picture issues. They are moved to action by things that affect them personally. (This is why homophobes have been known to change their tune when suddenly it’s *their* kid coming out.) This kind of thing needs to be done quietly and one-on-one, not confrontationally in a public, group setting. Confrontation makes people dig in.

    We need more people voting Democrat this fall, plain and simple. Then we can figure out what to do next.

  18. Oh hey great, we get to vote for an empty meatsuit mouthpiece for corporations versus Donald Trump. Ugh, they both disgust me to no end but I’ll grit my teeth and vote Hillary when it comes to it. I mean, maintaining the status quo of making profits for billionaires and corporations at the expense of the environment and anyone who isn’t already rich is way better than Trump’s America, for what that’s worth.

    Too bad for me and my blood pressure I am firmly in the camp that believes a Hillary nomination means a Trump Presidency. Between the animosity of Republicans, the ambivalence of Democrats and the young Sanders supporters who were already in this “to vote Bernie” and who likely won’t bother in the general election due to feeling their votes don’t count she has no chance against someone whose attitude is so perfectly in-tune with America as Trump. That doesn’t even bother including the fact that Trump’s schoolyard-bully tactics could easily keep her on the defensive so he doesn’t need to cover his similar lack of any actual policy stances.

    Maybe the GOP will do the right thing and simply refuse to nominate Trump. I doubt it and that still leaves a host of other problems (Cruz, for example). Maybe Clinton will do the right thing and simply let her ambition and that of her corporate owners wait an election cycle until the threat of Trump has passed, also unlikely. It’s a sad state of things in America, but like I said, I’ll vote for the corporate mouthpiece over the fascist demagogue. When Trump bulldozes Clinton in the general election at least I’ll be able to say it wasn’t my fault, and that bitter, bitter “I told you so.”

  19. There is a tide in the affairs of men, and Trump looks more and more like the big kahuna who’s going to ride it all the way into the shallows.

    I’ve been housesitting in Europe for the past three years, but come May, I’ll be living in a small town in Washington State where I house-sat in 2010 during the great Obamacare terror. It was nuts then. I reckon it will be mega-giga-nuts as we roll through convention season an on into the election.

    I expect a Trump presidency. Here’s my (hopefully wrong) take on it: http://www.matthewhughes.org/loser/

  20. There are other “natural constituencies” that the Republicans don’t win. Gay DINKs (double-income, no kids), Hispanics (mainly either Catholic or Evangelical), Jews (above-median income, pro-Israel for the most part), Asians (above median income and education). Economics or religion might be in favor of their becoming Republicans, but the party’s relentless homophobia and ethnocentrisim turns them right off.

  21. John, I see it is being reported in some of the press that ex-speaker Boehner is saying that Paul Ryan ought to be appointed at the convention as the nominee, do you think that will end up having any bearing on events or is it just a warm up for Ryan running in 2020?

  22. “The GOP deserves no better than this, but our nation certainly does”… True, but I don’t see “better than this” coming from any candidate in this year’s election.

  23. Don’t you think it would be better if Trump wins the nomination so that he can be mercilessly trounced in the general election? It is very hard for me to believe that he could beat either Clinton or Sanders, not to mention Clinton-Sanders. And what would be more satisfying than showing the world that demagoguery is not acceptable by the majority of Americans? Maybe this is the only way to quash the ugly racist element that Trump has energized.

  24. It was a dissapointing night for the idealist in me — who will still back Bernie as long as possible. I don’t think Bernie originally came in to win, but to bring up the issues the corporate Democrats were ignoring and making sure they were being discussed. I think it was a big surprise even to him how many people were ready to follow him due to his basic honesty, history and ideals. I hope those who were energized by his campaign don’t give up, but stick around to keep fresh ideas in the Dems. As far as the other side goes, if I think about it too long, I fear for the future of this country. Not in an abstract way, but a real gut-wrenching fear.

  25. A commentator on NPR this morning mentioned that the GOP establishment muckety-mucks were meeting behind closed doors to seriously consider the possibility of running a third-party candidate if/when Trump gets the nom. My poor spouse was quite concerned about my gleeful cackles of maniacal joy in response.

    I will say that I am glad that Sanders is managing to hang on as well as he is with respect to the delegate tally. I recognize that he won’t compile enough to ultimately prevail over Clinton, but my hope is that the clear evidence of broad support for his positions might nudge her at least a teensy bit more left. Not terribly optimistic, but at least it doesn’t look like being a complete walk-over, so maybe it might have some small effect.

  26. I think of everyone in the field, Clinton does have the most coherent plan, and the political know-how and connections to back it up. I am, however, very glad Sanders is out there and doing as well as he’s doing. He’s pulling Clinton to the left.

    I don’t think Clinton has done too much thinking on the subject of income inequality and the plight of the (primarily white) lower-middle-class worker. Whereas she has studied and mostly understands how systemic racism works. There are clear parallels between systemic racism and systemic sexism; a thoughtful woman ought to be able to make this leap. (Grokking the idea of intersectionality is another thing, alas.)

    So, Sanders is a very good thing. Clinton needs to learn what he’s talking about, how less affluent people are being screwed, and not necessarily by racism (though that’s certainly a large factor for browner folks). I think if she can be made to understand the problem there, she will look for solutions to both problems (systemic -isms and overall economic destruction of the working class).

    Personally, I hope ultimately she cuts a deal with Sanders where he will go on the stump for her and she’ll make him Secretary of Labor.

    ————

    As for the GOP…

    If Rubio’s delegates all go to Kasich, he’s within striking distance of Cruz. If Kasich were to suddenly have a good showing going forward, I would, in any other year, lay even-odds that the GOP would backroom him into the nomination.

    The problem, though, is Cruz. Short of the party threatening to cut off his testicles, and maybe not even then, Cruz will never agree to release his delegates to anyone else. He is not that guy. Cruz has burned every bridge and salted every field behind him.

    Trump may be damaging to the party, but one-on-one he stills knows how to be charming to the bigwigs of the party. Cruz has pissed off (and pissed on) everyone who has ever worked with him. The party movers and shakers are horrified by Trump, but they hate Cruz.

    And doing as well as he has is no motivation to a guy like Cruz that he should learn to play nice. He’s definitely of the “double down on your approach” mindset. He has a belly full of “Fuck you” and isn’t afraid to vomit it all over.

    I’m sure the party apparatchiks don’t want the GOP to split–that’s effectively giving government to the Democrats for the next decade–but both Trump and Cruz are exactly the sort of guys to take their toys and go start their own He-man Woman Hater’s Club.

    The GOP has to ask themselves which one (of Trump and Cruz) could more effectively run a third-party campaign. Answer: Trump. So they will keep Trump and risk Cruz taking his lesser number of disgruntled voters elsewhere. I suspect the party bigwigs would be perfectly fine if Cruz skulked off into the night.

    ————

    In the general election, I would like to see Clinton vs Cruz. Trump flommels around too much to make hitting him possible, even for a seasoned pro like Clinton. Mostly you have to depend on him scoring own-goals (which his supporters think are points for him). Whereas Cruz tries to be serious, which would make him an easy target for Clinton. Every debate between them would be Kennedy vs Nixon.

  27. Laura W.
    From my own experience of getting young people into voting, they only stick around if they can see their values being put into action. I just don’t see Hillary doing that, I think once she has seen Bernie off she’ll not incorporate much or anything from his campaign into her own, she’ll tack back rightwards again. That means the kids will walk away from politics for another couple of elections at least. Disillusionment is the hardest thing for kids to learn how to cope with.

  28. The problem, though, is Cruz. Short of the party threatening to cut off his testicles, and maybe not even then, Cruz will never agree to release his delegates to anyone else. He is not that guy. Cruz has burned every bridge and salted every field behind him.

    From what I understand, some of the delegate releases happens automatically if votes don’t come up with a majority at the convention. Cruz can accelerate the process, but can’t prevent it save by changing the rules (and for that he needs actual allies).

  29. I agree with JFBeacom and John :)

    I’m hoping for the Republicans get the contested convention. I’ll always root for better candidates from either party, and at a contested convention they are free to consider choices of people not already running (which if it comes to that is at least as probable as Trump or Cruz who the Republican establishment both hate).

  30. John, please note that “Those three people won’t help him” resulted in my monitor being sprayed with coffee. Well played.

  31. @Scalzi: The sort of folks willing to cold-cock protesters at rallies aren’t folks who will be willing to let some back-room bureaucrats snatch their man’s rightful nomination out of his famously not-short fingers.

    The really scary thing about a possible backlash of his supporters if Trump is turned out in a contested convention is that a lot of them (probably most) own firearms. These won’t be like Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter protests. These folks have already racked up points for being unhinged to some degree simply by supporting Trump.

  32. I think when it comes to subtleties in candidates (you know, like between Reagan and Carter) the Kids tend to evaporate from the political environment as soon as the writing’s on the wall. Trump, however, is anything but subtle. He’s a clear and present danger to our political welfare. It’s not an issue of whether taxes will go up or down, or we go to war or not somewhere. It’s a matter of ___________________ (fill in your own nightmare because it could happen with Trump) or not. I’m not one to exaggerate or blow hot air where the sun don’t shine, but in this instance it seems completely justified to make these claims. Should Trump become president we will be living in interesting times.

  33. @crypticmirror
    That’s one thing that has me somewhat worried about Trump. He’ll say anything that seems like a good idea without hesitation or shame. I could see him targeting promises at frustrated Democrats and winning. For people and groups who do care about racism and equality but have it as a third or fourth place priority behind economic or health issues, he could be dangerous.

    For example, I suspect in the general he’ll be a full supporter of Obama’s health initiatives. I could absolutely see him promising student loan forgiveness. He’s been explicitly advocating attacking Wall Street. He’s coming from a very different place than Sanders and progressive reformers, but that doesn’t prevent a certain amount of parallel evolution. Sharks and Dolphins being shaped the same etc.

    If we get an election where Clinton finds herself in the position of defending Goldman Sachs and predatory student loan systems while Trump runs a no holds barred attack campaign because he really gives no shits and has no donors or lobbyists he is beholden to, I would no be willing to try and predict the outcome.

  34. “That means the kids will walk away from politics for another couple of elections at least. ” Well, then, they and any other Sanders supporters who stay home in November deserve President Trump and Supreme Court Justice Christie.

  35. So good to come here for intelligent, honest, well-written political commentary. I just heard Kelly O’Donnell use the phrase “if you will” three times in thirty seconds. Thankfully MSNBC took a commercial break before she had the opportunity to toss “irregardless” in there a few times.

  36. @jmazzola

    If America is so perfectly in tune with Trump, if the voters in this country are so abjectly stupid that they would elect him, then the American experiment has failed miserably and the country should just pack it in now.

  37. Bernie has forced Hillary to tack left. But once Bernie is out, I see nothing in Hillary’s character that indicates she will stay left. If Bernie loses, my guess is Hillary will immediately tack right to keep those corporate donations coming in. At which point, Bernie supporters will feel zero incentive to vote for her. She might have the foresight to see this, but my guess is she will hope Bernie asks his peeps to vote clinton in the general election, rather than, say, Clinton giving Bernie some sort of position of actual effect on the administration, and thereby drawing Bernie voters based on the principle that they can see some of Bernies principles in the Clinton administration. Except I dont see Clinton caring one iota for Bernie or his principles and would rather simply get his voters without promising anything in return. Clinton appoint Bernie Labor Secretary? Unlikely. If she gives him any sort of position, it would be more likely an ambassadorship to Agrabah or some similar colorful backwater.

  38. I am scared of a Trump win, I am utterly terrified of a Cruz win. Cruz is smarter than Trump, and actually believes in the Dominionist platform. Trump just believes in Trump.

    Trump would do horrible things, but he’d bully and deal his way to doing them within the existing system. Cruz would do his best to restructure the government, and that’s not something I want to see someone who thinks the Republic of Gilead is closer to Utopia than Dystopia doing.

    The 2016 Republican field: Lex Luthor vs. Nehemiah Scudder.

  39. “..he’d rather push an entire troop of Girl Scouts under a bus than give up his run.”

    In fairness, from what I’ve seen of the man, I’d bet he’d rather do that than almost anything else you can think of. Probably one at a time. If they ever do a remake of Silence of the Lambs, there’s your Buffalo Bill.

  40. Well said, as usual. Yes, I keenly agree.

    I’m rather pleased to see Clinton likely to get the nomination. Yes, I definitely like Sanders’ politics better–and no, I’m not talking about the pursiflage that’s been thrown up around Clinton’s career by the GOP; this is a statement of positives–but I just don’t think he’s got the moxie to make a good President. I’d worry that the GOP would paint him as the Crazy Old Liberal who wouldn’t be able to get anything done (a bit like was done with Carter) and they might take the Senate back in 2018 and the Presidency back in 2020 to the probable death of us all.

    OTOH, Clinton has had every piece of biliousness thrown at her that the GOP can think of for decades (Whitewater! Vince Foster! Lewinski! Voted for the Iraq War! Benghazi! Email!….) and she’s survived all of it rather well. More importantly, she’s tougher than the lot of them and she knows where all the bodies are buried. People might argue–with some measure of credence–that Clinton wouldn’t represent a major change in politics in the US, but I think that half a loaf is better than none… and the GOP is not only no loaf at all, but this crop of candidates will shoot you and steal the loaf you already have.

    The GOP seems to have jumped the shark completely and might not survive this election (oh, please!) but the Democrats have been letting themselves get pulled farther to the right for 35 years. So even if Sanders is not elected, even if he’s not even nominated, I think Sanders has done a huge amount for politics in this election. He’s helped drag the DNC back to the left instead of the close-to-Reagan-and-slightly-to-the-right-of-Richard-Nixon POV they’ve had in the last few years. (Nixon, don’t forget, started the EPA, wanted single-payer health care, college benefits, and a national living stipend for all US citizens. A candidate who talked about that these days would be branded a Commie for their opinions. I don’t believe even Sanders is pushing for a stipend, though he’s certainly strong on the other issues.)

    If Sanders gets the nomination at this point (doubtful, IMO, for the reasons John has outlined in his initial post), I will be only too glad to vote for him, but I will also be pushing for whatever I can do to clear the way for him to have an EFFECTIVE administration. And if Clinton gets the nomination, as is likely, I’m going to be doing what I can to convince Bernie-or-nothing friends that there’s a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge difference between having Clinton in office and having Trump as President. Yes, voting is a matter of personal preference without a doubt and you should vote for the candidate who you want, but I also want them to remember what happened in Florida in 2000 in large part because Ralph Nader sucked away just enough of the vote.

  41. @crypticmirror:

    I share your worries that Clinton won’t remember her left flank in the general. The decision I’ve arrived at is that, especially if she does that, and is still expected to win by 10-15 percentage points in my state (WA; the question is whether Seattle continues to overpower the rest of the state’s population), she doesn’t need my vote. TBH, I’m not enormously worried about social policy, though… only business (which is a problem to the extent that it can affect social policy) and foreign policy.

  42. I have the uneasy feeling that in the end the Republican party would prefer settling with Trump, rather than splitting the party by going with the loathed Cruz. I think what might happen is that the Republicans will get together with Trump at the convention, have him sign on to a declaration of a few cosmetic policy concessions, and then kid themselves they’ve got him under control while they (mostly) fall into lockstep behind him. They’re best at the lockstep, after all.

    In my worst nightmares, this strategy actually works in the general election.

  43. I think I’d actually prefer Cruz to be nominated. I’m terrified of the prospect of him as President, but I think he’s an easier beat for Clinton (because, it’s Clinton) than Trump. Trump, in theory, can appeal to moderates and undecided voters. Cruz is unabashedly conservative (and widely hated) and I don’t see the moderates voting for him at all. Ever. The Democrats would be able to get out the vote with a simple “For the love of God, not President Cruz”. Plus, his loss would dent part of the GOP story, which is that they’ve lost the Presidency because they didn’t nominate a “true conservative”. Cruz is quintessentially conservative, so if he gets the nomination and loses anyway the GOP would have to do some reevaluating.

    I’m hoping for a brokered GOP convention because I can’t see how it would be anything other than popcorn-munchingly awesome.

  44. [Deleted for stupid — JS]

  45. “On the other hand, Cruz is an overripe pustule of hateful need who deserves to be dropkicked into historical oblivion….” Scalzi has such an enviable way with the delicate bon mot.

  46. I ask this in all seriousness:

    Where does this “Hillary is a Wall Street shill” stuff come from?

    Logically, it makes zero sense. Consider:

    1. She’s already wealthy. Just look at her zip code, my friends.

    2. She could continue to be just as wealthy by sitting around and doing nothing.

    3. Or she could occupy her time being dean of any law school in the country she wanted. Or writing books. Or going on the lecture circuit.

    4. She already has plenty of connections in high places. Possibly the only person with more connections is her husband. She doesn’t need to be the president to pull strings.

    5. Wall Street could send anyone to run for president. They have lots and lots of candidates available. Why would they choose Hillary of all people? Try to remember we’re talking about a very bro-centric industry that barely comprehends women as sentient creatures, much less people who aren’t there to serve drinks and look pretty.

    6. Hillary knows what a massive irrational hate-on the GOP has for her. She has stood in the hail of shit for decades, and she knows damn well it’s going to be flaming bags of shit being flung at her as soon as the primaries are over. I cannot imagine what Wall Street can possibly be offering her that makes that worthwhile.

    The only logical conclusion is that she thinks she could do some good. Yes, there is surely a pile of ego wrapped up in this, but how exactly is that different from anyone who decides they are qualified to be leader of the world’s most powerful democracy?

    What good does she think she can do? Well, that’s what reading her policy plans is for. I don’t agree with her on all points, and I think she is omitting some very important things (which Bernie is bringing up, hooray Sanders!). But what I don’t see is any indication that she intends to do everything she can to make Wall Street richer and less accountable than they already are.

    Is she a professional politician playing by many of the same rules as other politicians? Of course. I don’t think she’s some angel come to save us all from the tyranny of capitalism, and she is too much to the right for my tastes. But she seems to get a lot more people screaming “WALL STREET TOOL” than any of the other candidates who have been openly and objectively Wall Street tools.

  47. @–E
    I don’t think it’s so much that Clinton has been bought by the financial industry and other big business groups so much that she has bought into their general world view.

    Charles Erwin Wilson, the former Secretary of Defense who is famous for the somewhat misquoted line “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country” was asked if he could make a decision as Secretary of Defense that would be adverse to the interests of General Motors, Wilson answered affirmatively. But he added that he could not conceive of such a situation.

    I do not think that Clinton can conceive of a situation where the entrenched financial interests of the United States are the problem rather than the solution. By definition, if a course of action would be bad for Goldman Sachs I think she would view it as bad for America.

    This is someone who has sat on the board of directors of Wal-Mart. Who’s wealth is sourced from speaking fees paid by large banks and corporations. The massively funded Clinton Foundation didn’t get that way based on $20 cheques from mechanics and nurses. When Goldman Sachs paid her $700,000 for a few hours of her time no one thinks they were paying for $700k worth of inspirational worlds. It was about paying for access to the presumed next president of the United States. They are an investment bank, and anyone who does’t think that was an investment is nuts. Now, it may turn out to have been a bad investment, but they obviously didn’t think so.

    Will this all turn out to be false worry? I certainly hope so. But to dismiss the concern as lacking any basis is baffles me as much as the concern itself obviously baffles you.

  48. Have to agree with –E’s comment re: Wall Street. Plenty of places for Hillary to make lots more money; I don’t think she’s running for the money, and running to defend Wall Street is just not compelling enough to put up with the s&*^ she gets for it. I do think she really believes she can make things better.

  49. Ryan, I guess I’m nuts, since I’ve had to negotiate speaking fees (on a smaller scale) for an event before, and I wasn’t buying access, I was renting someone to PUT BUTTS IN SEATS. Odd, that.

    I’m sure the American Camping Association was also investing in the future President as well, to enact their long-standing Canvas Initiative.

  50. “Voters do pay attention to policies and positions, not just packaging. ” – from your musings to the MSM media’s ears. I am sick to death of this horse race coverage and skimming over the substance.

  51. The Clintons are a bit too conservative for my taste, it’s why I voted for Sanders in the primary, but Hillary will be preferable to any of the elephant droppings. Perhaps one day the GOP will have their rectal cerebral inversion corrected…

  52. For those that complain about the center-right Hillary, or Obama’s center-right Supreme Court nominee… we only have ourselves to blame. If progressives would get off their tookuses and actually vote in off-years, then the Republicans would not control both the Senate and the House. The congressional districts would also not be gerrymandered in such a way to ensure a Republican lock on Congress.

    It’s great to support Bernie because he vocalizes some serious progressive ideas… but there is no magic bullet to fixing what ails us. You want some Hope and Change… then volunteer locally and invest as much in progressive institutions as you spend weekly at Starbucks.

  53. This is someone who has sat on the board of directors of Wal-Mart.

    And someone who, apparently, did not make herself popular while she was there. She butted heads with Sam Walton over promoting women and environmental issues (she wanted more women in management positions and a greater focus on environmental responsibility, in case anyone was tempted to suggest otherwise). She wasn’t particularly outspoken about Wal-Mart’s notorious anti-union stance, but as the lone liberal voice she had a lot to tackle.

    So, yeah, she served on the board of Wal-Mart.

  54. Ryan H:

    Thank you for explicating.

    I don’t object to people criticizing Hillary Clinton’s political ties (and presumed obligations) to corporations. But I get the creepy-crawlies when it sounds exactly like planted talking points: all shouting, no details.

    The concern-qua-concern doesn’t baffle me. I’m no fan of her corporate ties, either. It’s the somewhat strident focus on it we see from some quarters. As if that’s all Hillary intends to do in office, and as if this is something new that no candidate has ever done before. There’s a whiff to it that’s special to Hillary. While Romney was targeted for being a rich dude out of touch with ordinary working Americans, no one accused him of being in anyone’s pocket but his own. Ditto Shrub, Bill Clinton, Bush Sr, and Reagan.

    Additionally, the implication that somehow she can’t possibly be in charge of her own decisions but rather is dancing on corporate strings is straight out of the sexism playbook: She can’t possibly have thought that up! Someone must have given her the idea! Not something one typically hears about male candidates, who at least are presumed to be working in partnership with their corporate backers. (Possible exception: Bush 2, who folks generally didn’t think was that bright. But Hillary Clinton is a million times smarter and more educated than GW Bush.)

  55. @John D.
    I think there’s a substantial difference between hiring a speaker for a paid public event and a bank hiring a speaker to come privately talk to their own employees.

    Do I think she wants to be president for the money or a profit motive? No. But I also don’t think she’s indifferent to the groups giving her the extremely large sums of money to fund her campaign and other aspirations.

    When Coca-Cola (among lots of other corporations) is signing seven figure cheques for the Clinton Foundation that pays her daughter’s and friend’s salaries do you think that’s going to be in the back of her mind the next time national nutritional guidelines are being developed? I do.

    It’s all lobbying and it’s very worrying.

  56. E: “Where does this “Hillary is a Wall Street shill” stuff come from? Logically, it makes zero sense.”

    How about *objectively*?

    Objectively speaking, no one is paying Clinton a hundred grand for a couple hours to hear her “speech”. One could apply “logic” and a generous dose of naivete, and conclude it possible and therefore Hillary isnt beholden to those who keep paying to hear her “speech”. But to quote Westley, we are men of action, lies do not become us. (Bonk)

    “But she seems to get a lot more people screaming “WALL STREET TOOL” than any of the other candidates who have been openly and objectively Wall Street tools.”

    Thats because the chickens raise a louder fuss when the fox is *inside* the hen house.

    Of course any republican candidate is going to be a Wall Street tool. Historically, it is safe to assume so until proven otherwise. The republican party may as well be the Oligarchy party at this point. One doesnt have to raise the alarm very much in that regard because its fairly common knowledge.

    Hillary is running as a Democrat. And Democrats are supposed to the the party of the people, not the party of the oligarchy. But here she is, with many of her top donors coming from wall street, with many of her money coming from pacs, with many of her donations coming in large amounts from just a few people. And that causes a lot of democrats to raise the alarm.

    People have said Bernie isnt a Democrat, but Hillary most certainly is not. Bernie’s average donation is something like $30. 90 percent of his donations are less than a couple hundred bucks. He refuses to take pac money. From an objective behavior point of view, Bernie is a Democrat and Hillary is a moderate Republican.

    So, either Hillary is the interloper in the democrat party and raise the alarm, or the democrat party isnt really about the people, and yay hillary and her political money machine!

    Every time the discussion comes up, people who support Hillary over Bernie generally do two things: they strawman Bernie as a dreamer and they say Hillary is more electable, which as best as I can tel, from any objectively measurable observations means Hillary is better at selling herself to deep pockets and more willing to take their money. So, the folks who support progressive ideas are alarmed at Hillary’s lack of principles and prioritization of money. And folks who just support the “Democrat Party” regardless of their actual politics are shrugging their shoulders going, “whats the big deal? We’re winning!” At which point it is more about the tribalism around the party than any particular principle that Hillary stands for.

    On any position of actual principle, name one principle position held by Hillary that is better than the position held by Bernie on the same topic. The only responses I hear boil down to “she is more electable” which means she is more willing to sell out her principles to win. Which really isnt a principle. She is “pragmatic” is the same thing. Bernie is a “dreamer” is little more than attacking Bernie for holding to his principles that Hillary is willing to sell.

    So many problems in America can be traced back to wealth inequality, and wealthy people influencing government to get even more wealth. You can only bandaid the effects of you are unwilling to treat the disease.

  57. Elsewhere someone brought up a point on Clinton/Sanders that I hadn’t considered:

    Sanders should stick it out [1] to the convention. Sure, he has no serious chance but the alternative is to sit on the sidelines while the Republicans rumble along demonstrating Ultimate Machismo. “Not sitting out an election” is one sound reason for objecting to a coronation instead of a primary. Free media time is another.

    Related to them both is a chance to get policies (instead of penises) out in front of the public. All of which I consider to be Good Things for the public regardless of actual partisan preferences.

    So, Senator Sanders: carry on — and show us your best.

    [1] Assuming he can keep it classy — going negative at this point is Not Cool

  58. Greg, if you’re talking about people arguing online, it’s worth noting that it’s a very small and very skewed sample. For instance, almost everyone I see on social media or discussion threads prefers Sanders to Clinton, yet she’s winning. That rather suggests I don’t have a representative view of primary voters. It seems likely the same criticism applies to the discussions you are referring to.

  59. Kt: “I do think she really believes she can make things better.”

    So does Bernie, Trump, Cruz, Bush, etc

    jmatchan: “If progressives would get off their tookuses”

    Lets just be honest here. The problem is that progressives in America are a small minority. The only thing “progressive” about Hillary is she is a woman and no woman has ever been president. Beyond that? Not much.

    E: “she can’t possibly be in charge of her own decisions but rather is dancing on corporate strings is straight out of the sexism playbook”

    I was hoping Elizabeth Warren would have run for president. I was hoping she would be Bernie’s VP. It has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with politics. Specifically with Hillary, she is a center right politician, a moderate republican, trying to get the Democrat nomination and succeeding. Either she doesnt belong in the Democrat party or the Democrat party has become a center-right political party.

    Lately, I am of the mind that the Democrat party is a center right party, and that the country has moved so far to the right that it feels normal to her supporters.

    Kind of like how every once in a while, Obama would do something that felt like it betrayed progressive principles. But the dems just keep cheering him on. Obama normalized the shift of the Democrat party to the right. Hillary will only reinforce that and move it further right.

  60. If Kasich drops out, which of those to bags of radioactive vulture vomit is he going to throw his support to? Or does he hold on ’til the end and hope the GOP delegates throw a revolt and give him the nod?

    There’s also “stick it out to the convention and pay your dues to the #NeverTrump forces” plan. The possible payoff is gathering markers from all of the Establishment machers who will be looking for a standard-bearer four years from now and who is both loyal and not totally crazy.

  61. What an unmitigated failure of a primary season. Has there ever been a worse crop of major party candidates in the history of our country? We’ve got Nixon 2.0 vs a dumber version of Andrew Jackson.

    Will it be the least substantive general election in history? Almost certain. Will the next president likely do real and meaningful harm to future generations of Americans? Definitely. It might be foreign wars, class warfare, economic vampirism, generational economic warfare, or most likely all of the above, and it is going to cost young people substantially in the long run, and that is too bad.

  62. DC Sessions, Quite right. Bernie should stay in for the whole ride. He’s having a wide range of good effects, not least by stressing economic inequality. If he’s not nominated and elected President, I hope he stays in the Senate, where he and Warren should keep everyone else honest. I hope Feingold will be back to help them.

    Greg, despite your many excellent comments, I disagree with one closest above.
    1. Turnout is a real problem for Democrats, who don’t seem interested in the midterms. Turnout in 2014 was 37%, hardly anybody but Republicans. All the non-Republicans, especially progressives, do indeed need to get off their tookuses. I voted in 2014, not least so that the current Congress is not my fault.
    2. One notably progressive thing about Hillary is her career-long support for women’s economic, social and political rights and for children’s health care and education.
    3. One might have called a person with Hillary’s views “a moderate Republican” when Eisenhower was President. Not now. Being to the right of Bernie does not mean that a person is not a Democrat.
    4. Please pardon my pedantry, but the party whose nomination both Bernie and Hillary are seeking is the Democratic Party. Republicans’ adjective impairment isn’t communicable.

    Tag8833, the Republican candidates are a fine and accurate illustration of their intellectual and moral bankruptcy. The Democrats, in contrast, have two good candidates, either of which I’d be happy to vote for.

  63. Sigh. The GOP has hit upon the only strategery that will make me vote for a Clinton again. At least it isn’t Bush v. Clinton.

  64. Greg – for fuck’s sake, maybe some of us Democrats support Hillary Clinton because we want someone who defends sexist pay disparities, who vociferously supports a woman’s right to choose, and who’s pro-gun control. Maybe some of us progressives think she’s better at those things than Bernie. Maybe some of us liberals believe that those issues are more important (or just as important) as economic policy.

    You’re so narrowly focused–Hillary is extremely progressive for many issues. Just because she’s center-right for the things you care about doesn’t mean that she’s center-right for the things I care about.

  65. I just wish that we on the left would get fired up and revolutionary about local and state politics. This idea that an Obama or Sanders is going to fundamentally transform things is complete nonsense. Trump could “transform” American, but only because the Republicans mobilize at the local and state level and have the machinery to make that transformation happen. Getting really really behind one single figure at a time and putting all your hopes on them isn’t going to help, but in a mid-sized county registering a few thousand voters could let you decide every single local issue.

  66. Excellent Katherine V.! Every time I hear yet another “progressive” yammering and trying to demonize Hillary… I think, “Those are EXACTLY the reasons I’m so excited for her to be President.”

  67. If it helps Sanders’ supporters, when it gets to the convention and Clinton accepting the nomination, Sanders and his supporters are going to have a huge influence on the Democratic party platform, because the party and Clinton need their help. Sanders will continue to influence policy for quite some time to come. Which seems to have been his main intent in getting into the race in the first place. He’s definitely shown Democratic candidates that sounding like a hard-assed Republican is not a good strategy in the general election.

    And if it also helps, my husband tells me current poll info has both Clinton and Sanders beating Trump at 52% to something like 44-45%. Not as big a lead as one would like, but it’s early yet and everything is in flux. Clinton has faced attacks from Republicans for twenty-five years, her whole political career. I’m not real worried on that front, and if the nominee is Trump, when it comes to his favorite insulting technique, the woman insults will slash little bits of his support every time, especially as Clinton again has nearly thirty years experience dealing with gendered insults aimed by politicians at herself and at her daughter.

    As for Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, knowing that the Republicans will refuse to hear and block any nominee and so the nominee will not be chosen, the choices for at least embarrassing the Repubs and making them look stupid for the first pick were for either Obama to try a far left nominee or a center-right nominee. The far left one would be mainly for giggles as they would be shouting all manner of awful things about the person in the press, how this just shows Obama is still a communist atheist Muslim black supremicist, and show that they were being utterly partisan. But the center-right nominee was the more sly, damaging choice, as such a pick should be one that Republicans could have little objection to, given their expressed preferences, but they would have to denounce and dismiss and refuse, showing that they were not only partisan but objectionist, hypocrites, etc., with no concern for the American people or the Supreme court.

    We were curious as to which Obama would go for, with odds on center-right, and he and his people went for center-right, with all the attendant screaming. It’s called rope-a-dope and he’s been doing it brilliantly for over seven years. Now the administration can repeatedly bang the party in the press for having no good reason to refuse a hearing on the nominee and being deliberately objectionist. It’s possible that Obama will dump his new choice later in the year and try somebody else, who will also be blocked, making Repub obstructionism look even worse. Or, since the Republicans are running out the clock on purpose, Obama sets it up well for a hopefully Democratic new president to appoint a more liberal justice that the Repubs look ridiculous in continuing to block a hearing on. (If it’s Trump or Cruz, there’s not much he can do anyway.)

  68. A nearly-lifelong right-leaning independent, I find myself moving away from the Republican side by the day, with one policy exception: I still fail to see how voter ID laws amount to disenfranchisement [ducks the mallet, but someone else brought it up]. Then again, I’ve been the victim of voter fraud, so I’m not an unbiased viewer on the matter.

    I recently likened the choice between Hillary and Trump like the choice between cyanide and arsenic. Not sure if it’s accurate, but it’s currently the way I see things. Those things might change by November.

  69. Jay E. – it’s pretty simple: voter ID laws are designed to target people who are least likely to have valid ID. The poor, minorities, the elderly–i.e. people who are most inconvenienced by the cost (of time and money) of schlepping down to the DMV. In fact, many Republican-controlled states have closed DMVs in areas with higher concentrations of POC to deliberately make it harder to renew. Then they make the acceptable IDs super narrow (driver’s license, gun license, etc. but not utility bills or mortgage papers) and suddenly you have a system that adversely affects people of one party to deliberately suppress the vote.

  70. I do not anticipate a Trump presidency. Various people note Sanders voters who might stay home. I note moderate Republicans, and they exist, who will vote for Clinton before they vote for Trump. The Obama numbers and current demographics heavily favor a Democratic presidential nomination.

    @scalzi, good strategic voting, not sure I would have done it myself (I live in California) but I admire the thinking behind your vote.

  71. Oh, and about Rubio: he thought he could be the Republican Party’s Obama, except without Obama’s personal integrity, intelligence, and hard work.

  72. @Jay E. – It is indeed unfortunate that you’ve been a victim of voter fraud. While that may make you biased, you might take a moment to Google: ‘incidence of voter fraud in the USA’ (spoiler alert: it’s vanishingly small, in spite of your victimization).

    While you’re at it, Google ‘pro and con of voter ID laws’ or similar. Maybe you’ll be pushed a tad farther to the left by such investigations (the ‘left’ in this case meaning ‘a more level playing field’.

    A quick look into ‘gerrymandering’ mightn’t go amiss, neither. ‘o)

  73. center-right

    Er…in the American political spectrum, Clinton is quite solidly of the left. You may argue that the American spectrum is shifted right compared to other countries, but that’s the American voters’ responsibility, not the politicians’. Anytime she’s in a position where it’s possible to rate her (as a Senator, eg), she’s quite solidly of the left (and not that far from Sanders, now that you mention it).

  74. Much like Our Gracious Host, I pulled a Republican ballot for the first time in decades, and cast it for Kasich. But in my case, it wasn’t an “anyone but Trump” vote, but a statement of support for the only person in his race who actually seems to live on the same planet I do.

    I don’t agree with Kasich on all that much, but his proposals logically follow from his stated intentions, and that’s vastly preferable to, um, otherwise.

  75. I love Bernie Sanders to death; hearing him speak in New Hampshire was like be lectured to by a really cool professor.

    His fans, on the other hand, try my patience. Katherine V. said it better than me about one of the reasons that his fans annoy me. Another reason is the insistence that Bernie Sanders was the choice of rank and file democrats, despite the fact that Hillary Clinton was getting more votes than him. I hope after last night I don’t hear any white, male, liberal commentators tell me how popular Bernie Sanders allegedly is.

    On the Supreme Court nominee, my view is that the Senate republicans are waiting for the results of the general election. If a republican wins, no Obama candidate gets a vote. If a democrat wins, then look for the lame duck session of the Senate to rapidly confirm Obama’s candidate.

  76. Regarding voter ID laws: I suggest that before opining one might read Richard A. Posner’s writings on the subject (search “posner voter id”). Posner is a conservative jurist and perhaps the most-cited legal authority living; last I looked he’s more cited than Supreme Court justices. He wrote the 7th circuit opinion upholding voter id in Indiana.

    He has since written requesting rehearing on that subject.

  77. I loves me my Bernie. But I will vote for HRC when the time comes. If offered the choice I would pick Trump over Cruz. Not sure what any of that means. I hope my beloved country will be kinder to itself in the future.

  78. Katherine: defends sexist pay disparities, who vociferously supports a woman’s right to choose

    even planned parenthood, who endorsed Hillary says:

    Sanders has consistently co-sponsored and voted for pro-women’s health legislation… for legislation aimed at addressing the gender pay gap… for birth control, family planning, and sex education

    What a horrible, horrible position.

    and who’s pro-gun control.

    His voting record on gun control has been moderate-right. His voters are from a rural pro-gun state, but the NRA gives him a grade of of C- to F, so he is no gun nut. But the Dems insistence on *banning* is going to be a nonstarter.

    Hillary is extremely progressive for many issues.

    But only more progressive than Bernie on 2 issues?

    those issues are more important (or just as important) as economic policy.

    Not just economic policy. Military policy. War powers is probably the biggest power the president wields, a president can push us into a war without congress or the courts acting as a check/balance. And Hillary is a hawk. Hillary has also been quite open to big money campaign contributions, Bernie refuses PAC money. Speaking of which:

    Betsy: Every time I hear yet another “progressive” yammering and trying to demonize Hillary

    So, is it “demonizing” if the yammering is data?

    Those are links to motherjones and huffingtonpost which are the most progressive (note the lack of scare quotes) sources I could find.

    Of 20 nations that donated to the [Clinton] Foundation, 17 had more robust weapons transactions in the three fiscal years that State was led by Hillary than in the last three years of the previous administration.

    This would be roughly on par with Oliver North’s fiasco.

    DAVID: Er…in the American political spectrum

    your yardstick, not mine.

  79. I like Bernie, even though I consider him a “sort-of Democrat” because of his long history of running as an independent. But I think I’d rather see Hilary as the Democrat nominee because I view Bernie as a more liberal Obama like politician running on “Hope and Change”,. Because of his age, he is even more likely to be a one-term President, and will be dealing with a House that still has a large enough contingent of Do-Nothing Republican Representatives that he won’t be able to accomplish any of his major campaign goals. Ultimately I think that is worse for the Democratic party than a nominee that has fewer liberal goals and maybe accomplishes some of them. I think Hilary, with help from Bill, might just be able to work out some deals with the DNRRs, but if not, nobody will be surprised based on the extreme hatred the Republicans have been spewing her way for the past 20 years. If Congress continues to do nothing through the 2020 election, it might just mean that the Republicans will lose enough statehouses that they’ll lose their gerrymandering advantages in 2022.

  80. >> Objectively speaking, no one is paying Clinton a hundred grand for a couple hours to hear her “speech”.>>

    That’s not remotely objective, merely insinuating.

    If you want to try to measure things objectively, you’d probably be better off seeing who gets paid lots of money to give speeches, where Clinton ranks on the list and whether everyone in that bracket is being pursued for access. To give a hint as to the result: They’re not.

    Some people are in huge demand. They charge a shitload for speeches, in part because they can get it, in part because it allows them to say no a lot (these people often waive or lower their fees to speak for what they consider a worthy cause). But they charge what the market bears for people who they don’t especially want to do favors for, because they can get it.

    Those people include celebrities, ex-politicians and more. Katie Couric gets paid a crapload for a speech – is it for access? Trump was the highest-paid speaker in the world even before he ran for office; nobody was paying him to get close to the next President. Reagan got paid ridiculous amounts for speeches after he left the White House.

    Why pay, if it’s not for access? For bragging rights, for prestige, to supply something an audience can’t get just anywhere, and so on.

    There are reasons beyond access to pay for speeches. And if there are, then assuming that the only reason to pay Clinton on the scale people at her level of fame get paid must be access because, well, it just _must_ be, isn’t objective.

    Whether there’s something wrong with Clinton getting paid to do what a lot of people get paid to do when she’s pursuing (or even about to pursue) public office is an open question, and there are certainly arguments to be made on both sides. But the idea that people wouldn’t pay market value to have her speak because they objectively wouldn’t doesn’t make sense. They pay other people that kind of money, so objectively, yeah, they do.

  81. kurt: “celebrities, ex-politicians and more. Katie Couric gets paid a crapload for a speech”

    I would love to see a list of people Goldman Sachs paid hundreds of thousands to hear speak. Is that list chock full of celebrities, and Katie Couric?

  82. Would you vote for a candidate who said this:

    “In my opinion, we’ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that frankly, if they were there and if we could’ve spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges, and all of the other problems; our airports and all of the other problems we’ve had, we would’ve been a lot better off. I can tell you that right now.

    We have done a tremendous disservice, not only to Middle East, we’ve done a tremendous disservice to humanity. The people that have been killed, the people that have wiped away, and for what? It’s not like we had victory.

    It’s a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized. A total and complete mess. I wish we had the $4 trillion or $5 trillion. I wish it were spent right here in the United States, on our schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that are all falling apart.”

    If so, you’d vote for Trump. On the day he said it, at any rate. God knows what he’d say the day before or the day after. But other Republicans would never say it and Democrats are too gutless.

    I’m very curious to see where Trump’s political rule-breaking goes in future campaigns. He’s violated every single one of the kabuki practices that make politics seem like something from another universe (SF tie-in!) to normal people. Are there smart politicians watching this and taking note that they can break away from the norm and talk like a real person again?

  83. If so, you’d vote for Trump. On the day he said it, at any rate. God knows what he’d say the day before or the day after.

    Aye, there’s the rub. He’s a conman, and he constantly contradicts himself. He cannot be evaluated the way we normally evaluate a candidate for office. Donald Trump as Commander In Chief is, to me, both an absurd and scary scenario. We’d have little idea what he might do, and that goes double for foreign governments.

    Clinton is scarily hawkish to me, but I’ll vote for her in the general with no qualms. She will be the best (least worse if you prefer) choice, hands-down, from the perspective of a liberal (i.e., me). I will thus have fulfilled my responsibilities as a voter to the best of my abilities (as I will when I vote Bernie in the CT primary).

    One other thing: it’s not really that Democrats are “afraid” of saying something like that. Some of them do say things like that. Most do not, because they don’t believe it. There are a lot of people who sincerely believe that we should be intervening militarily in conflicts around the world (for various reasons, including the – dangerous to my mind – doctrine of “responsibility to protect”). This is not to defend the view: my point is that the Democratic party is, by and large, pro-intervention (albeit with a preference for international coalitions, UN backing, etc.). They think they can do these things without being egregiously stupid about it and thus get decent/acceptable results (for instance, I wonder how many Democrats look back on Bosnia as a mistake?). The broad FP consensus in DC is, sadly, to go in guns blazing.

  84. I don’t think we can regard the primaries as settled until, at least, California and New York have voted. The best reason for Sanders to stay in the primaries until the end is a chance to sway the party platform at the convention. In Congress, “Sanders was skilled at the amendment process and also had a unique ability to reach across the aisle to make deals,” (Matt Taibbi), so this is a sort of politics that Sanders understands very well. However, many of Sanders positions are in direct opposition to positions that Clinton has held for a long time, and which are strongly supported by her financial backers (and why do candidates for office in a democracy have financial backers anyway?) He’s going to have a hard row to hoe.

    In terms of Clinton’s negatives, well, from the viewpoint of the Trumpites, she’s got the wrong body and she doesn’t hate Muslims and African-Americans enough. She is a fairly conservative: corporatist, a neo-liberal on macroeconomic policy, a believer in the ideology of the “deserving poor,” and regards Henry Kissinger as a friend and foreign policy mentor. She is a genuine feminist, but of the snobbish conservative sort, and rather creepily Christian. From my viewpoint, well, neo-liberal economists are about as credible as flat-earthers, the Clinton welfare reforms of the 1990s killed people, and Kissinger is a war criminal who participated in the deaths of hundreds of thousands and ought not be allowed anywhere near the State Department.

    I am pretty sure that Clinton is a slower evil than Trump, but I am not at all sure that she is a lesser evil. If she becomes the Democratic nominee, voting for her will be hard.

  85. Greg @ 7:39 am:
    Goldman Sachs regularly brings in outside speakers; this lengthy list on their website includes the likes of Tom Brokaw, Deepak Chopra, Yao Ming, Maya Lin (designer of the Vietnam War memorial) and Ava DuVernay(director of the film Selma). What fees they were paid by Goldman Sachs isn’t listed. However, this website does seem to list standard speaker fees, with Brokaw charging $50,000+, Chopra charging $100,000+, Lin charging $20,000-$30,000 and DuVernay charging $30,000-$50,000. Clinton’s standard fee of $200,000 puts her in the same ballpark as the Duck Dynasty guys.

  86. Heckblazer. Cool list! Should I infer anything from Hillary not being on it?

    So, if in the next 8 years, Goldman Sachs does something that really requires government regulation, would you say the $675k Sachs paid to Hillary will have no effect on her actions as president?

    I do recall the Left beating the ever loving crap out of Cheney for his financial ties to Haliburton and the rewards he got as a result of the iraq war. And I think it was Ted Cruz who got some heat fairly recently because his wife worked at Goldman Sachs for a half million dollar salary. Does the Left still hold that as a red flag or are we ignoring that now?

  87. @kurtbusiek
    I think the key word in this sentence

    Reagan got paid ridiculous amounts for speeches after he left the White House

    is ‘after’.
    Clinton has been in the process of openly running for president for the last ten years. Her behaviour should be judged on that basis.

    (as an aside, as a huge fan I get a big kick any time I interact with you here or on file770)

    @Magda
    @Rob in CT

    Trump is a huge con-man. And he will say anything. That’s a huge worry for me. I have nightmare images of a Trump vs Clinton debate where he forces here into the position of defending Middle-East hawkishness and H1B visas and predatory student loan policies and un-reciprocal trade deals. Like Magda pointed out, listed as bullet points and taken out of context a lot of Trumps statements have the potential to be very attractive.

    If you put aside his rampant racism (which is a huge thing!) and general disturbing character, I think he poses some real danger to her base. his racial politics are a huge problem, but people are used to holding their noses on one or two issues. On polls racism and race relations tends to show up as a first priority for four or five or six percent of people. I’m worried that for people where it’s priority four they are going to be willing to overlook it for a candidate who they agree with on priority numbers one through three. For the large number of voters who are not impacted personally on a daily basis by racism (as of 2010 numbers, more than half the states were still 75%+ white) even if they are strongly against racism it’s easier to be strongly against it when they are not worried about their jobs and other immediate concerns.

    Historically, the route to power for odious populist demagogs is to identify the two or three issues that voters really care about and then say anything they have to say. When it works, the fact that most people may disagree with them on issues four though fifty becomes entirely beside the point.

  88. Raven, if Sanders gets every single currently unendorsed superdelegate, he *still* needs 62.69% of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination (with no supers, he needs 74.33%). Clinton needs 59.22% of the remaining pledged delegates to clinch without any superdelegates at all (if you allocate all of her current endorsements, that drops to 37.4%).

    A whopping TEN superdelegates switched from Clinton to Obama in 2008 prior to June, when he wrapped up the nomination. For all the heat and noise regarding potential superdelegate switching in 2016, it’s just not that common.

    A 320 pledged delegate lead with 2131 pledged delegates remaining to be proportionally awarded is not insurmountable, but it is veering into “Act of God” territory. Sanders has to win, and win very big, to get the nomination.

  89. @ Raven Onthill, I agree with your first paragraph. Even if he isn’t nominated, Bernie should stay in the race all the way, because he is having a good effect on the debate and on Hillary. In terms of Hillary’s negatives, you are mainly listing those stressed by Bernie supporters. Fair enough; I don’t disapprove of the form her lifelong feminism or her religion takes, and I can list a lot of her friends and influences who aren’t Henry Kissinger, war criminal and winner of the Nobel peace prize. And yes, I remember the racist dog-whistles from about 2 decades ago, but I am busier remembering her loud current advocacy for the people of Flint.

    @ Greg: “Heckblazer. Cool list! Should I infer anything from Hillary not being on it?”
    Well, I wouldn’t, as her speaking to them is about as secret as the sunrise, but why should you stop now? And why not engage with Heckblazer’s comment that Hillary’s speaking fees are in the range of the odd people from Duck Dynasty?
    “Does the Left still hold that as a red flag or are we ignoring that now?” I for one will not wave it until some action, not a suspicion or a prediction, justifies it.

  90. Greg @ 11:30:
    Clinton isn’t on that specific list because she spoke in different program series, reportedly the 2013 AIMS Alternative Investment Conference (sponsored by Goldman Sachs), the Builders and Innovators Summit (she’s not listed on that page) and at 10,000 Women.

    As to how much deference that buys, it looks like big banks paid the Clintons $9.5 million – or around 6% of their total speech income. I think it means Hillary might take Lloyd Blankfein’s phone call, but not necessarily anything more than that. YMMV.

    One more thing: if giving a speech to Goldman Sachs really is that corrupting you should probably be worried that the list I linked to also includes the head of the NAACP, a leader of the Congressional Black Caucus, a deputy Secretary of State, and the American ambassador to the UN.

  91. msb: “Hillary’s speaking fees are in the range of the odd people from Duck Dynasty?”

    Duck Dynasty dudes made $675k from Goldman Sachs?

    ” I for one will not wave it until some action, not a suspicion or a prediction, justifies it.”

    Huh. So, you think voters should *wait until a politician sells out the people* before raising concerns or red flags? That is mighty generous of you. So you have no problem with Ted Cruz’s wife working for Goldman Sachs? No issue with Dick Cheney and his money ties to Haliburton? Or, hey, how about the corporate-paid, registered corporate lobbyists who are Democrat super delegates? No red flags until AFTER they have been caught of wrongdoing and maybe even convicted in a court of law?

    So, when Hillary returned all that money she got from those private prison companies, your reaction would have been, “no! Keep the money! Only of you pass legislation that unfairly helps the prison industry should we raise that as an issue!” ?

    Like I said, thats might, ehem, “generous” of you. And you are this generous with all politicians, no matter what party they belong to? You arent just being generous with Hillary because you support her more? I must say, that is impressive.

  92. Heck : “big banks paid the Clintons $9.5 million … Hillary might take Lloyd Blankfein’s phone call, but not necessarily anything more than that. YMMV”

    Really? Ten million will get a phone call?

    Well, if thats the case, then I dont know why I and so many other Americans are so upset about Citizens United. I mean, if it is impossible to change a politician’s position with 10 million dollars, then politicians as a whole are incorruptible. Clearly our filtering process picks only the best humans to run for office.

    Maybe we should just change the law so Goldman Sachs can simply write blank checks to Hillary without even bothering with the “speech” smokescreen. Since money cant possibly corrupt her, and the money will only have a positive effect, helping her defeat Trump, lets just have unlimited cash flow from corporate boardrooms to Hillarys bank account.

    I guess I was worried about nothing. Thank you for your evaluation of the incorruptibility of Hillary in the face of a measly 10 million dollars. it is useful insight.

  93. Greg,

    Why are you finding it so hard to believe that many people view the act of being paid to speak as non-tainting. We keep telling you that we don’t look at this like it was wrong. Your innuendo is tiresome.

    I view owning stock in a firm that profits off of government contracts, and being paid an ongoing salary by a company as very different things than being paid a one-off fee for a speaking engagement. I get that *you* feel like the speaking fees are disqualifying and that they are barbaric acts against the Republic, but *I* don’t. Nor will you convince me that they are.

    My first paragraph, though, did ask a serious question. You seem to truly be having problems accepting that other people experience the world differently than you, and prioritize things differently. I am not you. I don’t want to be you, and I assume you do not want to be me. Can you at least do me — and, by extension, others — the courtesy of accepting that I am just as sincere as you in my beliefs?

  94. JohnD “being paid an ongoing salary by a company as very different things than being paid a one-off fee for a speaking engagement”

    So, you have no issues with Citizens United as long as unlimited corporate cash is paid to polticians in the form of “one off” contributions?

    You had no problems with Hillary taking one-time money from private prison companies?

    Someone could give you ten million dollars in a one time donation, and if they later broke the law, you would have them arrested and treated like any other criminal? No difference whatsoever?

    And what about the foreign countries who donated millions of dollars to thd clinton foundation and ended up getting better weapons deals while Hillary was sec of state? Money had absolutely zero influence there too because they were one time donations instead of salaried positions and so on?

    Yeah, no. If thats the story you’re selling, then Im not buying. Anyone who says Hilary, unlike any other politician, is unbiased by money, no matter how “sincere” they say they are, is only kidding themselves.

  95. msb: “I can list a lot of her friends and influences who aren’t Henry Kissinger, war criminal and winner of the Nobel peace prize.” Yes, Kissinger was given the Nobel Peace Prize. It was for ending the Vietnam war. It turned out that policies he shaped had extended the war for years, and helped the odious Nixon to win a Presidential election. Then there was Indonesia, Chile, and I think I’m leaving out a few places.

    100,000 dead here, 100,000 dead there, pretty soon you’re talking a real body count.

    If Donald Trump, say, counted Pol Pot as friend and mentor, would you give him a pass on it, even if “some of his best friends were Vietnamese?”

    She doesn’t get off this hook.

  96. John D: yes, the votes of the little people don’t count. Even if Sanders gets a majority of popularly-elected delegates, it won’t be enough.

    Is this supposed to warm the cockles of my heart? Make me an enthusiastic Democratic voter?

  97. John D: yeah, so, I noticed you avoided every single one of my questions too. I will do my very best to divine what your answers would be:

    You think Hillary is biased by money but you dont care. You think citizens united is bad in general, but if Hillary gets money you dont care. You dont care if Hillary gave weapons deals to countries that donated to the Clinton foundation, because its money for Hillary. You have no sincere principle other than Hillary, no matter the cost. Got it. As you said, glad we cleared that up.

  98. John D: yeah, so, I noticed you avoided every single one of my questions too. I will do my very best to divine what your answers would be:

    You think Hillary is biased by money but you dont care. You think citizens united is bad in general, but if Hillary gets money you dont care. You dont care if Hillary gave weapons deals to countries that donated to the Clinton foundation, because its money for Hillary. You have no sincere principle other than: Hillary, no matter the cost. Got it. As you said, glad we cleared that up.

  99. Greg – I’m really not understanding the vitriol against Obama from that article you posted. He did the math and said that it looks like Bernie won’t win. You know, like the rest of the country. She’s way ahead in pledged delegates and he cannot close the gap, without an act of god anyway. It’s not a close race, no matter what his campaign is telling you.

    Why so mad bro? The constant yelling and condescension is completely unnecessary. If enough of Bernie’s supporters are behaving like this, it’s really a mystery why they’re not connecting with the rest of us.

  100. JohnD: it’s not just the speaking fees, it’s all the banker-friendly and neo-liberal policies she’s supported over the years. These people are her friends, confidants, and advisers. Her daughter has even married one of them. Unless she shifts on these issues, as Duncan Black puts it, the banks will continue to take away the punch bowl before the DJ has even arrived, and wages will stay low.

    The Democratic Party might allow Sanders to lead the Democratic left in support of a Clinton candidacy. That would be hard for the party leadership, which has leaned conservative for at least a two decades. If, however, they were willing to take the left back into their coalition, it would vastly strengthen them in the general election.

  101. Katherine V: “Why so mad bro?”

    Because the Democratic leadership keeps reminding us they doesn’t want us, only our money, time, and votes. I don’t have money, and I’m not donating time without significant concessions on the part of the Democratic leadership. The only leverage I have left is my vote. Maybe they’ll get it. Maybe.

    And, yes, this is a horrible situation.

  102. Raven Overhill – I don’t understand some liberals’ preoccupation with the banks to the exclusion of all else.

    Women’s healthcare is under extreme attack in this country, or hadn’t you all noticed? Abortion restrictions and TRAP laws are springing up daily in most states, making it difficult or impossible for many women to access necessary, often life or death, healthcare.

    Black men and women are dying on the streets from cops who shoot or beat them with impunity. Sandra Bland didn’t need a good job–she had one. Breaking up the banks wouldn’t have kept Tamir Rice alive.

    Young white men are shooting up elementary schools, abortion clinics, their workplaces…They are killing their wives and girlfriends who try to leave and escape the violence.

    Where is Bernie and where are you on these issues? They’re treated as unimportant or secondary. These are the things I care about. More than the banks. More than free college. More than the economy. I care about forced birth, systemic racism, gun control. That doesn’t make me less of a liberal. That doesn’t make me unprincipled or even less principled than you. It just means we care about different things.

    So stop with the condescending tone and accusatory bullshit. I’m sick of being told that I’m not a true liberal because I care about some things more than the goddamn banks.

  103. All this wangsting over super-delegates when it would be political suicide for super delegates alone to make the minority candidate the nominee. The reason they’re almost all lined up behind Clinton is that they figure she’s going to win the most pledged delegates. If Sanders actually pulled ahead, they’d flock to him just as they did to Obama. Which means they should get rid of the whole deal but heaven forfend a whole lot of egos don’t get stroked.

  104. Ryan:
    >> I think the key word in this sentence…is ‘after’.>>

    Since the charge was being made that objectively, the only reason to pay that kind of money for a speech was access and influence, the point of “after” there is to show that people get paid ridiculous money for speeches for other reasons, even when access and influence are no longer factors.

    I did point out later that there can certainly be a discussion of whether being paid to make speeches as a way of funding a foundation when one is aiming at the Presidency, but in this particular case I was debunking the idea that it’s objective to say that the only reason to pay that kind of money is as some sort of quid pro quo.

  105. @E,
    that’s an excellent argument on Clinton’s behalf (“corporate pockets” that I hadn’t considered.

  106. You can’t count the superdelagates. Because the Dems are all [deleted because I don’t like the word used here. “Wimps” is close enough for understanding – JS] at heart and the superdelagates will all just lock-step into whoever’s camp has the most votes at the convention.
    They did this with Obama, when for months the media and punditry all claimed Hillary had the superdelagates all sewn up.
    Which is really their FUCKING JOB. To swing the nomination to the actual winner of the most primary delagates. When the threshold to win it outright isn’t achieved.

  107. Katherine: “I don’t understand some liberals’ preoccupation with the banks to the exclusion of all else.”

    I believe a whole truckload of this countries problems can be traced back to all manner of ways in which voters are disenfranchised, the biggest one of which is big money influence in who gets elected. In any kind of a feedback system, you cant fix a target offset if something is pulling you off target faster than you can correct. Big money is a huge force pushing us away from the target that is fair elections.

    And as long as big money has such a powerful influence, any forward progress that big money doesnt like will simply be undone in the next election with a big enough check.

    Womens health? I posted a link to Planned Parenthood who endorsed Clinton, but the *worst* they could say about Bernie was that he consistently pushed for womens rights, pro choice, equal pay, etc. Hillary, according to them, pushed “harder”. But again, money overrules if it wants to overrule.

    “Black men and women are dying on the streets from cops who shoot or beat them with impunity.”

    This? This just boggles my mind. How can anyone look at Bernie who marched with MLK, who was arrested at a civil rights march, who has pushed for racial equality for, literally, decades and say he would do anything but put as much pressure to end racism wherever it exists?

    “Where is Bernie and where are you on these issues? They’re treated as unimportant or secondary. ”

    BernieBro are all about being sexist againt Hillary? And Hillary supporters will rewrite reality and several decades of Bernies actions to attack Bernie.

    “I’m sick of being told that I’m not a true liberal because I care about some things more than the goddamn banks.”

    Yeah, thats not the main accusation. The main accusation is people lying through their teeth to support Hillary. You care about equal rights? Fine. But anyone says Hillary is immune to ten million dollars in donations is lying. You care about gun control? Fine, but anyone who says Hillary will regulate banks fair and objectively with complete disregard to the millions she accepted from them, is lying.

    I think the first and formost thing that separates Dems from Republicans is that Dems are first and foremost *fact based*. But there is a whole lot of “money denial” going on in this thread.

    You hold gender rights more important than campaign finance? Great. But whem folks start saying that all ten million dollars is going to buy you is that Hillary might pick up the phone and talk to you??? That is complete and total bullshit

    You wanna talk womens rights? Sure, PP says Bernie is a solid and consistent defender of womenz rights and pushes to improve womens rights consistently. And they endorsed Hillary because she pushes “more”. You want to talk gun control? Bernie has voted against a number of gun control measures he thought went too far, and voted for a number of policies that he thought would improve the problem of gun violence.

    Holding a gun manufacturer liable for criminal use of a gun? Thats kinda weird. Most laws hold companies liable for product defects. Universal background checks would be a huge step to reducing gun violence. Suing a gun manufacturer? The advantage of that would be to get rid of a company all togethrf from making guns (an indirect ban, and bans inevitably create backlash) and take money from them in the form of lawsuits so maybe its harder for them to donate money to politicians. But if you fix campaign finance, you fix that problem directly.

    Dont try to ban weapons, just reclassify certain kinds as NFA weapons on par with machine guns, requiring background checks, fingerprints, and a 200 tax. They arent illegal, they arent banned, but in 80 years of NFA law, only 2 legally owned machine guns were ever used in a murder. The NFA has also stood up to court challenges and has a history of being constitutional.

    I am not entirely sure Hillary knows anything about guns other than “guns == evil” and thats not going to get very far in this country the way it is.

    On the other hand, FIX CAMPAIGN FINANCE, and the NRA cant dump big chunks of money on politicians to buy their vote, and you fix the biggest roadblock to gun reform right now.

    So, issues? Yeah, we can talk issues. But when someone dodges the question about millions of dollars of campaign contributions and waves it away saying that Hillary will just magically resist the power of the ring, thats fantasy.

  108. Tom, I wish the DNC would be braver with the superdelegate system. In principle, handing the nomination to the losing side of a swing of less than 10 percentage points ought to be fairly reasonable. And the reality is they can’t move the a difference if the swing is more than about 37 points. I rather suspect that to the DNC, the superdelegates represent something of a nuclear option: they’re only going to be able to sway the nomination away from the popular vote winner once, maybe. It would certainly spell the end of the superdelegate system, it may spell the end of the party, and the put forward for as the Democratic nominee would have a hell of a time actually winning anyway.

  109. Katherine V: “I don’t understand some liberals’ preoccupation with the banks to the exclusion of all else.” Maybe because everyone needs some sort of living? I’ll come back to that. But meantime, I’ll answer your questions.

    “Where is Bernie and where are you on these issues?”

    Sanders, asked in the first Democratic debate: “Black lives matter.” (All the other Democratic candidates, including Clinton, hemmed and hawed.) Women’s right to choose is not negotiable.

    Back in the 1990s, the Clintons were all about tough on (African-American) crime. Recently Hillary Clinton said she would compromise on abortion rights if the compromise “[took] into account the life of the mother and her health.”

    I clipped a whole much longer section covering that, with links. I don’t want to be beating up on Clinton, who I may reluctantly vote for.

    Meantime, I’m going to return to the economics. Would it do us any good to be pure as the driven snow and yet poor as church mice? I keep hearing about how this is a one of many issues. But when you stop the police from killing you, when women have the right to control their own wombs, everyone still needs food to eat and places to sleep. We are not free if we are most of us deeply impoverished.

    I hate writing this. Hate it hate it hate it. I want to believe in Hillary Clinton, as I wanted to believe in Barack Obama. But, no. There’s too much wrong here.

  110. Raven, the votes of the little people *do* count. And are still counting. And are massively on Hillary Clinton’s side. I don’t really understand how the candidate who is winning the actual vote, the actual Democratic vote, the actual pledged delegate count, the superdelegate count, and the vote of every demographic cohort with the exception of under-45 voters is somehow considered to not be representing the voters.

    Tom Combs, prior to June 2008, a whopping 10 superdelegates shifted from Clinton to Obama (well, 11 did, but one shifted back to her in the same month he shifted to Obama). About 40 more did AFTER he sewed up the nomination in June.

    Rep. Dennis Cardoza (Calif.) switched to Barack Obama – 5/23/08
    Kevin Rodriguez (V.I.) switched to Barack Obama – 5/10/08 back to Hillary Clinton – May 28, 2008
    Rep. Don Payne (N.J.) switched to Barack Obama – 5/8/08
    Jennifer L. McClellan (Va.) switched to Barack Obama – 5/7/2008
    Joseph J. Andrew (Ind.) switched to Barack Obama – 5/1/08
    Senfronia Thompson (Texas) switched to Barack Obama – 2/27/08
    Dana Redd (N.J.) switched to Barack Obama – 2/20/08
    Sarah Swisher (Iowa) switched to Barack Obama – 2/15/08
    Rep. David Scott (Ga.) switched to Barack Obama – 2/14/08
    Rep. John Lewis (Ga.) switched to Barack Obama – 2/14/08
    Christine Samuels (N.J.) switched to Barack Obama – 2/14/08

    There was never a whole slew of faithless superdelegates in 2008. That is a myth being promulgated in 2016 by people who should know better.

  111. IIRC, a Texas politician said something like, “If you can’t take their money, drink their whiskey, date their women; and then vote against them. Then you’re not tough enough to be a Texas politician.” Certainly I believe that the Citizens United decision was bad for the country, but the speaking fees bought the chance to mingle with, and make a phone call to Mrs. Clinton. Given the amounts that Wall Street spent on her and Bill’s opponents, politically in the past, I doubt they will get anything more than a chat with the President if Hillary wins
    Personally, I like Sanders the best of any candidate, but I also think the Democrats will be better off politically with him in the Senate and Hillary in the White House. And I’m glad that’s what it looks like is going to happen. I also hope Bernie stays in for the duration, as long as he and Hillary can refrain from mentioning hand size, it makes the whole Democratic Party look better than the Republicans.

    And Thanks for the chance to read and vent.

  112. John D: the votes of the little people *do* count.

    From the guy who thinks billionaires with million dollar contributions have zero influence on politicians, you clearly have zero qualifications to talk about “little people”.

    I don’t really understand how the candidate who is winning the actual vote

    Except it was never a fair fight. The DNC, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz specifically, have been doing everything in their power to make sure Clinton gets the coronation, from cutting off Sanders from DNC data, scheduling Democrat debates in low-visibility timeslots, to stacking the superdelegates with corporate-paid registered lobbyists.

    Hillary is winning, but that’s more because the political money machine backed her, not because of her overwhelming concern for the “little guy”.

    What is clear now, is that given that Hillary supporters have lobotomized themselves to justify Hillary’s millionaire donation circuit as representing “little people”, America can expect zero improvement to the whole Citizen’s United fiasco for at least 4 more years.

    So, yay you!

  113. John D.. You are only making my point FOR me. I said the superdelagates are irrelevant now because IN THE END they swing to whoever has the most votes. Like they did in 2008. You quoted a bunch of people who moved BEFORE he took the lead, not after.

    There is a lot of voting to be done, and a lot of it favors Bernie on the ground. We just have to wait until the voting is done for a coronation, because whoever gets the most voted delegates will get all but a few asshole holdout superdelagates in the end.

    That, and Hillary’s impending indictment will muck up the waters a bit too.

  114. Tom, I’m not really sure what your point is anymore. What is it you’d actually like out of the superdelegates?

    There is a lot of voting to be done, and a lot of it favors Bernie on the ground.

    But not in a way that’s likely to swing the pledged delegate count in his favor. I saw somewhere on social media an image macro that indicated that Sanders is 200-something delegates behind but California has 500-something. The implication was clear: winning CA would out Bernie on top. But I did the back-of-the-envelope math, and Bernie would have to win CA by something like 60 points just to catch up. Also CA is a very late primary, and Sanders hasn’t managed to even shrink the gap in a while. “Favored for Bernie” means he either ekes out small wins (which keeps the gap basically stable) or wins by maybe 10 points. That’s not going to cut it. Well, it’s mathematically possible, but just not likely.

    I know it’s gratifying to pretend the entire political class in America is abjectly stupid, but I wouldn’t hold your breath on that impending indictment. Political theater, like regular theater, is almost entirely fictional.

  115. @ Greg,
    In response to your seven questions, I hold the unremarkable view that I condemn only actions and/or crimes that have been committed, and not merely suspected or predicted.

    @ Raven Onthill, I know about Kissinger’s crimes and his more admirable activities. I heard about them on the news in real time. “If Donald Trump, say, counted Pol Pot as friend and mentor, would you give him a pass on it, even if “some of his best friends were Vietnamese?”” No, because Pol Pot was (a) committing genocide, not just war crimes, and (b) Cambodian, not Vietnamese.

  116. Greg, what the hell are you nattering on about?

    I am talking about *voters*, not supporters. You know, the people that go into their polling place and actually cast the votes.

    They are the ones who are preferring Clinton. She is leading in pledged delegates. She is leading in the vote count. She is leading in the vote count when restricted solely to Democrats. She is leading in the vote count when restricted to just independents and Democrats. She is leading with women. She is leading with minorities.

    The people’s voice is being heard. You just don’t like what is being said.

    Conspiracy theories about debate scheduling (Prime-time events — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_presidential_debates_and_forums,_2016), superdelegate selection (67 are current or former lobbyists. Less than half of those are for corporate lobbyist groups. The bulk of superdelegates are automatic from being Democrats currently holding federal office), or “coronation” are bullshit, and I suspect you know it. It’d be nice if you stopped raging about this, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

    Tom, FIFTY swung in 2008. Most stayed put even after the nomination was sewed up, because they had no effect on the outcome. 2016 will be more of the same. It is extremely unusual to have large portions of the superdelegates change candidates.

  117. The very reason superdelages exist is to widen a margin where necessary and secure the person who gets the most votes delegates crosses the nomination barrier. Not to have their own opinions of who is better influence the outcome. Their job is to listen to the electorate first.

    Which is why they’re completely irrelevant now. If they’re doing anything more than voting for the person with the most voted delegates, they are not doing their jobs as it was designed.

    If they do anything more than support the person who gets the most votes, they deserve retribution. They would be putting their own needs before the party and should lose any influence they may have in he future, and must be thrown out of the party.

  118. Tom, your take is both ahistorical and not supported in the bylaws, rules, or regulations of the Democratic party.

    A superdelegate is an unpledged delegate, who is specifically given the freedom to vote for whomever they prefer, or for nobody at all. This is by *design*. You do not get to say that their role is illegitimate, since those rules were extant, understood, and agreed to before the primary began. These delegates are not new. They are not underhanded. They aren’t wrong.

    I get that *you* do not like them, and that’s fine. But you for damned sure do not get to tell them how to vote. John Lewis switched to Obama in 2008 not because he was winning the nomination, but because the voters in his state went more strongly for him, and he felt like his endorsement should reflect that. That’s perfectly proper, even had Clinton secured the nomination in the end. Because he was given a vote, by the rules, and the freedom to exercise it howsoever he wished.

    Nobody made you the arbiter of the Democratic Party. If you want to see the role of superdelegate eliminated, join the DNC, gain influence, and work to get the bylaws changed. Until then, your opinion will carry as much weight as mine — none.

  119. If the DNC is to represent the electorate it represents, then the will of the voters should be served. We are ALL arbiters by our votes supporting them.
    At least that’s how democracy is SUPPOSED to work. Pardon my optimism in the democratic process as it should be and not the circlejerk clusterfuck it is.

  120. MSB: I get your general irritation with some of Greg’s rhetorical methods, buy you just put your yardstick on social acceptance somewhere BETWEEN “war crime” and “genocide.” That’s not a good road. Plus in practical terms, it can start to sound a lot like “war crime ” is something we do* and genocide is something other, worse people do.

    *Wicked, bad,naughty Zeut!

  121. Tom, so… because the superdelegates, who have the power (up to a point, that point being a 20 percentage point difference between two potential candidates) to circumvent the popular vote, have never actually circumvented the popular vote, and have never given any indication that they would circumvent a popular candidate, and in fact this year have signaled that they intend to support the current front runner who’s lead continues to build… therefore is a group of craven cowards and the antithesis of democracy? Is that what you’re trying to say?

    And while I’m sure having a hedge against letting the inmates run the asylum was on the minds of the DNC leaderhip back in the ’60s, circumventing the majority of voters isn’t the primary reason for the superdelegates. The nomination goes to the majority winner, but what if you get to the convention with three (or more) viable candidates and no majority? Sure, you could send it back to the states to hold new primaries/caucuses, at great expense, and hope you get clearer results, and still have enough time before November to mount an effective campaign for the actual election. That should go swimmingly. Or, you could trust elected Democrats and party leaders (who have direct interactions with the members of the party) cast votes to settle the issue. It’s not ideal, but once you get to the convention without a delegate majority, you’re already outside of “ideal”.

    It’s not as though a party could reasonably function without something like a superdelegate system. The RNC has their first ballot/second ballot method to do basically the same thing: pick a nominee when there isn’t a clear majority.

  122. >> That, and Hillary’s impending indictment will muck up the waters a bit too. >>

    Honestly, for your own continued health, don’t hold your breath.

  123. “Cruz is an overripe pustule of hateful need who deserves to be dropkicked into historical oblivion,”

    Just-wow. Now I know why I’m not the writer.

  124. http://www.politicususa.com/2016/03/15/red-state-radicalism-thrives-women-cares.html

    Studies have shown that the number one way to boost countries’ economies and create jobs and new businesses is to improve women’s legal and economic equality and opportunity (including non-white women in white dominated countries.) Which is exactly why the anti-choicer forced birthers are trying to tank abortion and birth control access and legality — to keep women a poor, desperate, trapped work force with no legal equality or control of their healthcare. The same with black equality — the prison pipeline is to keep a poor, desperate trapped work force that is part slave labor who can’t vote, and deprive them of education and jobs (in favor of white workers.)

    But hey, the only important thing is white men’s jobs. This is the problem that a lot of people have with the far Left — their chief concern is mainly with (white, male) labor issues and trying uselessly to scold global banks and finance. It is a problem that a lot of people have with Sanders’ campaign — their priorities — and with the Democratic Party in general.

    Republicans have gotten themselves in control of state offices by gerrymandering districts, blocking voters, and then throwing red meat in unconstitutional laws to social conservatives wound up by conservative business that wants a trapped labor force willing to take low wages to survive — that trapped labor force being mainly women and non-whites who are kept to the worst jobs and have the hardest time being hired or getting business loans and mortgages, and are often shut out of power in labor unions. And a lot of the Left’s positions about what is needed to be done to help Labor play right into conservative economic models.

    You aren’t going to get jobs or homes or food if you don’t put social equality issues on the front burner. You aren’t going to end poverty unless you put social equality issues that cause most of the poverty on the front burner and break down unjust laws and establish legal protections of civil rights. Black lives don’t indeed matter if banks and labor issues — issues that effect white people and men the most — are always vaulted ahead. Because only the white male workers are really going to benefit unless there is a civil rights component, just as it’s white women who get most of the affirmative action and rural whites who get most of the food stamps and Medicaid benefits while the black people are accused of being thieves.

    We aren’t going to have a liberal in office because none of the candidates are liberals. Sanders is not a liberal, but instead a left socialist focused on economics first. Clinton is a centrist, like Obama, and they win for the Democrats because the country overall is centrist. Clinton will do some women’s rights stuff because she has to, and will do some non-white civil rights if they keep the pressure on. But both she and Sanders are white people from very white backgrounds representing majority white states. Sanders being not interested in gun control works for white male labor interests. It does not work to help jobs, as workplace safety is a major issue and women and non-whites are major targets of gun violence. This stuff is all connected. And the Republicans are all rabid rightists ranging from opportunistic social conservatives (Kaisch) to Dominionists who want a (white) theocracy (Cruz) to amoral pirate lords (Trump.)

    While the U.S. Congress can blunt the impact of the banks deciding to trash the economy, as Canada managed, they can’t stop the banks from trashing the economy. The banks will produce another recession around the end/beginning of the decade, as they’ve been doing. And then, if it’s another big one, the U.S. government and other governments will have to cough up more money to give them to not totally destroy jobs and the economy due to bond loans and other factors. The only way that changes is a global effort requiring cooperation among allies, trading and otherwise. And a lot of Sanders’ stances aren’t going to help with that.

    Democratic presidents produce jobs. But that’s in large part because Democratic presidents — and Democratic controlled Congresses — are obligated to spend part of their time on social equality issues. Improve those, we get a stronger economy. We get more businesses, consumer spending, technological advancement, etc. But not if we keep sending a large chunk of non-whites to prison, keep women out of positions of power and money-making jobs in STEM and elsewhere, letting gay people get fired, and segregating kids in public schools for separate but not equal education. Fix the social and you start to fix the economic too, but it doesn’t always work the other way around. And there is way too much hand-waving in Sander’s economic promises.

    I’m not going to like a lot of Clinton’s presidency. But what happened during Reagan’s presidency was disastrous (including to all labor,) what happened during Bush Senior’s presidency was damaging and what happened during Bush Jr.’s presidency nearly destroyed the country. Even Mitt Romney in office will burn the U.S. to cinders. Sanders has made his case. He hasn’t convinced enough people on the Democratic side or the Independent left. And a good chunk of that was due to the social issues and the insistence that economic (white) interests need to come first. You can rail about it or you can get to work making sure that the Democratic Party platform incorporates as much of Sanders’ agenda as it can. But if Clinton is the nominee — and it looks like she will be — and you don’t back her? It’s your choice and fuck you for it. Because you are choosing to turn over the country to people you say you hate, just to watch it burn. And the people who will get hurt the most in that of course are not white males. Manufacturing in the U.S. is not going to be like it was in the 1930’s or 1950’s. We need new solutions that address the discriminatory systems in the country that drag down the economy and business.

    The Democratic Party stances can be changed. Clinton’s policies can and have changed. It just takes pressure. Not taking your toys and going home because you’ll probably be safe while the rest go under. Support the Democrats in your state elections. Because that’s where the real war is going on, and it’s not just a matter of jobs or even environmental pollution. The Left abandoned the country in 2000 and gave us Bush Jr. The Democrat voters abandoned the country in the mid-term elections, which directly led to both Trump and Cruz. I will be really pissed if they do it again.

  125. msb: “In response to your seven questions”

    So you have no problem with Ted Cruz’s wife working for Goldman Sachs? No issue with Dick Cheney and his money ties to Haliburton? Or, hey, how about the corporate-paid, registered corporate lobbyists who are Democrat super delegates? No red flags until AFTER they have been caught of wrongdoing and maybe even convicted in a court of law? So, when Hillary returned all that money she got from those private prison companies, your reaction would have been, “no! Keep the money! Only of you pass legislation that unfairly helps the prison industry should we raise that as an issue!” ?

    “I hold the unremarkable view that I condemn only actions and/or crimes that have been committed, and not merely suspected or predicted.”

    It is “unremarkable” only in that it is yet another stupid argument made to defend nonsensical political positions. People vote for politicians only because of how the voter predicts the politician will behave in the office being voted for.

    Oh, and by the way, you chastized me for not engaging Heckblazer to your satisfaction, yet you didn’t actually answer my questions. At all. They are simple yes/no questions. And what you did was unremarkable in that it was a dodge changing the subject, not answering the actual questions. The next time you feel compelled to tell me I failed to “engage” someone to your satisfaction, feel free to shut yer trap.

    John D: I am talking about *voters*, not supporters. You know, the people that go into their polling place and actually cast the votes. They are the ones who are preferring Clinton.

    I have a question for you, a yes no question, and if you dodge it, then don’t bother replying at all. Here it is:

    Does campaign money influence voters?

    Different flavors of the same question: Is Citizens United a problem? Is money in politics a problem? Is campaign finance reform important? Does campaign money affect advertising and therefore affect who the voters see and know about?

    That’s the question to you. And if you can’t give a straight answer, sod off with whatever nonsense you want to blather.

    Campaign money influences voters. That’s pretty much the universally accepted truth. If you want to deny that, then say straight out that money doesn’t affect voters. If you accept it is true, I want you to state it.

    If you don’t think money affects voters, then you’re so far down the “I will lie about anything to defend Hillary” rabbit hole, that there’s no point in talking with you further, and we can just end the conversation here.

    If you DO accept that money affects voters (along with pretty much the other 99% of the population), then how can you state the voters “are preferring Clinton” without regard for all the money and dirty tricks the DNC has been doing to favor Hillary?

    You know, Obama instated a rule that the DNC could not take money from lobbyists and pacs. The DNC threw out that rule after the primaries started, bringing all manner of superpac money to help Clinton. And it could only hurt Bernie, who had vowed not to take any superpac money.

    So, here you are, what was the word, oh yes, here you are nattering away about how “the voters” are supporting Hillary, with no mention of how the DNC changed its rules to allow tens of millions of dollars of PAC money to help Hillary. If money influences voters, then that influence must be accounted for before talking about the votes. And if the money backing Hillary is from multimillionaires, you most certainly don’t get to say the “little” people support Hillary and avoid the heavy hitters who are altering the vote with their deep pockets.

    If you do NOT want to talk about how the DNC is stacking the deck against Bernie by allowing tens of millions of dollars to help Hillary, then you’re saying that essentially campaign finance reform is an interesting theory like global warming and evolution but in practice, you’ll allow your candidate to take all the money she can get and you’ll pretend is has no influence on how the voters actually vote, because what is right in your book is defined by who is doing it.

    Yes, voters are voting for Hillary, but that’s partly because Hillary got tens of millions of dollars from Wall Street to campaign. THe DNC changed the rules to allow that. And they did this knowing that Bernie would not take PAC money.

    Put another way, if Hillary was limited to the same donations as Bernie, no pac money, no millionaires, no 200K speaking fees, do you seriously think she’d be getting exactly the same number of votes as she is now?

    the answer is no.

    So, sure, HIllary is getting the votes. But that’s only because she’s sold her campaign to wall street millionaires. If money in politics is a problem in general, then it is a problem specific to Hillary and your attempt to ignore all that by focusing on nothing but the votes just reinforces the notion that Hillary and her supporters are inauthentic.

    Doc: because the superdelegates, who have the power … to circumvent the popular vote, have never actually circumvented the popular vote, and have never given any indication that they would circumvent a popular candidate,

    You know how the media generally tries to NOT announce intermediate results of an election mid-day because it can affect who shows up the rest of the day? It’d be nice if maybe the superdelegates all just shut the hell up about who they endorse until after all ballots from all states are counted.

    Kat: But hey, the only important thing is white men’s jobs.

    The is a complete bullshit strawman, but hey, the only thing important is to get Hillary the nomination, no matter what.

    You aren’t going to end poverty unless you put social equality issues that cause most of the poverty on the front burner and break down unjust laws and establish legal protections of civil rights.

    Heh. Funny. I think Martin Luther King Jr. felt exactly opposite. He started out on racial issues, but started shifting his focus to also combat poverty. In 1966, he and Al Raby launched a major campaign to fight poverty. The “Poor Mans Campaign” was something he organized the year before he was assassinated. I think MLK saw that you can have desegregated schools and desegregated busses, but you can’t have equality with the people around you if you’re straddled with the generational poverty that comes from centuries of slavery and jim crow laws.

    But, ya know, HILLARY! FOR ANY REASON! Also I heard that Bernie guy is a communist or something, and maybe some sexist Bro’s support him.

    The Democrat voters abandoned the country

    Well, this time around, it’s more like the Democrat Party said “Fuck You” to Democrat voters who wanted Bernie, the DNC dumped a bunch of money on Hillary and fiddled with the rules to help her win. So, the message this time around from teh DNC is something like “Sure, we fucked you over, but if you don’t vote for Hillary in the general election, its your fault we get Trump. We won’t accept any blame for acting like total shits to get her there.”.

    Gee, for the life of me, I can’t imagine why the word that keeps coming up to describe Hillary and her supporters is “inauthentic”.

  126. @ PrivateIron. What I thought I was doing was pointing out that Raven’s equivalence was factually incorrect. Pointing out that there are gradations of evil differs from welcoming any of them.

  127. msb: “committing genocide, not just war crimes”

    People who die in a genocide are dead. It’s different when people die in war crimes, they’re…dead, too.¹

    ¹ The acts that the Nixon administration, on the advice of Kissinger, encouraged and supported in Indonesia have been called genocide. This may not be technically true in international law, but at least 100,000 died and many more were imprisoned.

    (one last remark on this matter)

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