Dear Cruz, Kasich and Sanders: Guys, It’s Over

I just wrote a much longer piece going over last nights results in detail, but other than the line where I called Ted Cruz “a malignant teratoma with a law degree” it was just boring as hell, so, here’s the shorter version:

Hey! Cruz! Kasich! Sanders! You got no shot! Let it go!

They won’t, of course. They all think they’re going to get something at their conventions (Cruz and Kasich: A presidential nomination that they won’t get and which would be toxic they moment they pried it from Trump even if they could; Sanders, rather more reasonably: A seat at the table when it comes to strategy), so I expect they’ll keep trudging along. But the rest of us don’t have to pretend that these three aren’t in garbage time, as far as their presidential chances go, do we? The rest of us don’t have to pretend they’re doing anything other than “playing for pride” at this point, right?

Okay, good.

My only real regret with respect to any of these three is that Cruz didn’t emerge as a stronger presidential contender this cycle, because this means he’ll be under the delusion that he’s got a shot in 2020. I mean, on one hand, okay, that’d likely give Clinton her second term? But, oy, Cruz all over the TV, again. For months. Just shoot me into space, already.

Anyway: Come on, guys. Wrap it up. It’s time.

 

135 thoughts on “Dear Cruz, Kasich and Sanders: Guys, It’s Over

  1. I’m not sure people should “give it up” when they know they can’t win. Should Jill Stein give it up? I believe she never for a moment believed the Green Party would win. But she has a position to advocate for. Sometimes we just want to make sure we are heard, and work for the long term (no matter what our positions are).

  2. Looking at the US primary season from across the Atlantic ocean, it’s certainly been interesting, in every sense of the word. But everything must end, thank God, and it’s really looking like the whole primary thing is over. I think there’s still some small chance of Cruz and Kasich possibly spoiling things enough for Trump to trigger a contested GOP convention, which would be amazing, but that’s it. Sanders, on the Democratic side, is equally done; thanks to the proportionality, he’s not going to catch Clinton in pledged delegates, and the superdelegates aren’t going to switch over to him, no matter what pie-in-the-sky fantasies his campaign people keep spinning.

  3. Re: Sanders, I think it’s cool if he stays in, and I get that he doesn’t have mind control over his followers and can’t be like “Think this!” and they’re like “Oh OK cool,” BUT I would like to see him start to pivot from “it’s all rigged” sorts of things (like his line last night about Independents not being able to vote in NY — they could vote, they just couldn’t vote for the Democrat, and even so those people COULD have if they’d switched their party affiliation earlier). Good article here from Greg Sergent: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2016/04/26/a-top-clinton-supporter-explains-how-how-hillary-and-bernie-can-make-peace/

    Excerpt: “In the end Bernie knows that Hillary will mean progress — not as fast as he wanted, not as dramatic as he wanted, not as colorful as he wanted,” [Sherrod] Brown said. “But Bernie wants to move the country in this direction, and would find it abhorrent that any of these right wingers would win. I know how personally he cares about this stuff. And he’s not going to let this get away.”

  4. i call these candidates who won’t quit when they know it’s over spoilers, a Nader if you will. We need to focus on the real candidates so we can make real decisions if we haven’t already.

  5. The problem with Trump — well, one of the problems with Trump — is that his crushing defeat in 2016 (fingers crossed!) actually gives Cruz and his cronies ammunition for their 2020 run, in that “Trump wasn’t a real conservative!” A disastrous Cruz defeat this year might’ve awakened some Republicans to the notion that endlessly shuffling to the right is not a winning strategy. (For the record: I vote pretty much straight Democratic, but feel that two strong and intelligent parties is better for the country.)

  6. OMG now there is speculation that Cruz’ “big announcement” is re: his running mate. His running mate! Ha. I know the stakes are high but man, this election…

  7. I liked Sanders, voted for him, and generally politically am closer to him, but it’s getting vaguely embarrassing to see all the people who were singing about the superiority of caucuses and the need to ignore a huge swathe of Southern states suddenly discovering the joys of ballot access.

    I like Rhode Island, but I think it will be hard to say that winning there and no-where else means one is still in the race. I expect many people to take this burden up though.

  8. I’m sort of okay with these losers staying in, but what bothers me about it is that they are still fundraising. I imagine all these young people with massive college debts mailing in $27 checks to Bernie Sanders because he’s claiming the “revolution” can maybe get superdelegates to switch, or something. Isn’t that ultimately a bit dishonest, perhaps even fraudulent?

  9. In truth I am beginning to think Trump is the only hope the GOP has of holding it together enough to try again next time. If, for some reason, isn’t given the nomination he will jump to the third rail and light them up.

    I have talked to many voters who would do the same because they see Trump as the only person strong enough to lead this country. I disagree with them but I can not make them change. Perhaps I don’t want to. Maybe the GOP should become the minor and third party of another political shakedown.

    There is no way to know that yet and I think the next midterm election will be a bigger than this presidential election. It is there that we will see how divided this country really is.

  10. I don’t want Bernie to quit yet. Not because I think he has a shot. He didn’t after the Illinois and Missouri results. I don’t want him to quit because I think his presence is forcing Hillary and the party apparatus to deal with a block they would have preferred to pretend didn’t exist. There are some, okay, a lot, of idiots supporting Sanders. But between him stomping around on the campaign circuit and Warren pushing in the Senate they are showing the party, and the country, there is a large group that wants actual progressive politics. There’s a large group and they’re noisy and you have to work with them now.

    There are some caveats to that. Bernie will have to tone down some of the rhetoric. Not on actual policy ideas but on certain issues like the bank talks. That’s a dead horse. I don’t like that Hillary took such great gobs of money from the banks but I wouldn’t turn it down if I had the opportunity. Let’s acknowledge it happened, it wasn’t the best tactical decision in hindsight, but it probably wouldn’t have mattered if she wasn’t running against a social democrat.

    I want him to keep running. I want him to keep reminding Hillary, Democrats, and the general public that there is a great deal of support for progressive policies and ideas. Also, DWS needs to go.

  11. @Scalzi:

    They all think they’re going to get something at their conventions (Cruz and Kasich: A presidential nomination that they won’t get and which would be toxic they moment they pried it from Trump even if they could

    Kasich may be holding out for a VP nomination or cabinet post from the eventual nominee. Cruz most likely would prefer to stay in the Senate, and is staying in this for the remote chance of the presidential nomination.

    There’s an interesting cost/benefit calculation to being Trump’s running mate. On the one hand, you are shackled to a completely odious human being and will probably lose with him. On the other, if Trump somehow wins, there’s a non-trivial chance of him doing something so egregiously stupid that he gets impeached.

  12. Nah. Sanders is going to want to push Clinton as far to the left as possible until the very last minute, and god speed.

  13. Cruz’s big announcement will be related to the “basketball ring” confusion. That’s how they play on his home world- you fremulate the ball into the ring with your pedipalps.

  14. ::suspicious that the real point here is that scalzi secretly _is_ excited for Ted Cruz 2020 because he _wants_ to be shot into space::

  15. So in past cycles, candidates drop out of the race because their popular support slips and as a result, their funding dries up making them unable to continue to campaign.

    This is clearly not the case with Sanders, Cruz or Kasich.

    There is no incentive for Sanders to quite and regardless of the fact that he has not engaged in the Clinton email server thing (I mean why would he?) he knows very well there is still an ongoing investigation. And he knows that the possibility of an indictment is still valid. Were he to quit, that would allow the DNC to nominate someone else (Biden?) and why would he want that?

    Cruz still has money because he wasn’t financially stupid and he’s been playing the long game all along. He’s believes he’s got the votes on the second ballot if he can just prevent Trump from getting to the number.

    Kasich. Well Kasich. Who is funding Kasich?

    And why?

    This is a very interesting question to me.

  16. “a malignant teratoma with a law degree”

    I choose to believe you threw that in just to make me happy. Thank you.

  17. The opera ain’t over till the fat lady sings. Weird stuff can happen, and sometimes history turns on some totally unexpected event that doesn’t seem such a big deal on the day. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, for example.

  18. In addition to “a malignant teratoma with a law degree,” you’ve described Cruz as
    an overripe pustule of hateful need who deserves to be dropkicked into historical oblivion;
    a miasmic cloud of self-regard;
    a gross and despicable avulsion that yet managed to sprout opposable thumbs;
    a bipedal mound of pig offal that yet manages to form words;
    the final obnoxious form of a college dorm “Devil’s Advocate;” and
    an odious fistula that walks the earth in a human skin.

    Do you make these up as you go, or do you have a list that you’ve been drawing from? Because they are spectacular. Please keep it up.

  19. (For the record: I vote pretty much straight Democratic, but feel that two strong and intelligent parties is better for the country.)

    And when was that last a realistic proposition? :)

  20. From where I sit, the purposes of the United States Presidential campaign are 1) entertainment 2) expose hypocrisy 3) job security for my therapist and pharmacologist 4) allow our nation to act like a 3rd world nation in regards to conducting elections.

    I’m not pretending anything. I’m a registered Democrat in the state of California. In the Primary, I will not vote for the “best choice” or the “most winnable”. I will vote for the person I would like to see in the White House. Later in November I will vote for whomever I think will do more to address global warming, because global warming is the greatest threat to the United States of America and to our species.

    As a backup plan, I’m learning how to chant: ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

  21. There are some, okay, a lot, of idiots supporting Sanders.

    “There is no cause so pure that you can’t find an idiot to support it.”

  22. howardbrazee:

    Should Jill Stein give it up? I believe she never for a moment believed the Green Party would win. But she has a position to advocate for. Sometimes we just want to make sure we are heard, and work for the long term (no matter what our positions are).

    But unlike Sanders (who actually managed to get his message out) Stein’s campaign, such as it is, is pretty much preaching to the choir. I would argue that the Green Party would be better off dropping presidential races completely, and do something like the Working Families Party, and focus on building coalitions with the Democratic Party and/or on local and state legislature campaigns. This would grant them more visibility (and be a better way to spend money) than a pointless presidential run.

  23. Just throwing this out there: if Trump were to name Kasich as his running mate right now, then together, they’d have 1,110 delegates, leaving them only 127 shy of the 1,237 required.

    Also: Trump is from New York and Kasich is from Ohio (Midwest swing state), so the electoral math works pretty well. Also, Trump is criticized as not being conservative enough & Kasich has decent conservative bonafides. Also, Trump is criticized as being CRAZY and Kasich is thought of as the “sane” one.

    If Kasich is really still in this for a VP nod, it seems that declaring with the front runner right now would basically lock up the nomination for the ticket (the general election being a whole other kettle of fish, of course…)

    Thoughts?

  24. @zemadmax

    In my state, the Green party is more likely to run people for state and local elections than the democratic party is. Not that they ever win, but they generally get my vote over the Tea Party Republican and the socially-conservative “Libertarian” also running.

    This I think is a failure of the state democratic party since democrats would be more likely to show up if voting wasn’t so demoralizing. (And they’re not able to take advantage of scandals that make the republican unelectable or even predictable things like presidential years when more democrats come out to vote.) But a coalition with the Green party would at least fill in some of those empty slots if they really can’t find anybody to put their name on a ballot.

  25. Given how Queen $Hillary has CHEATED, bullied, and lied to get the nomination?

    I’m not voting for her or any Clinton Dem – ever again. I’ll continue to support Sanders until he ends his campaign, then I’ll vote Green or other Progressive Third Party so that Republican Lite Hypocrite doesn’t get my sanction. There IS a difference between Clinton and Sanders, Scalzi – one’s a REAL Democrat, and one belongs to the Dynasty responsible for turning the Dems into the NeoLIb Republican Lite Party.

    Given a choice between Clinton and Trump? They’re both two sides of equally evil – and I support neither.

  26. @Simon Jessey “I’m sort of okay with these losers staying in, but what bothers me about it is that they are still fundraising.”

    Meh. If people are sending money to a now-defunct presidential campaign thinking they’re going to get that person to the white house, then I think “a fool and his money…” is the applicable cliche. But, there are plenty of (sensible) reasons to donate even to a candidate you don’t think can win; raising awareness for that candidate’s pet issues, putting your “next choice candidate” on notice that they can’t count on your vote just yet, keeping your preferred candidate in the public eye just in case something *does* happen to the frontrunner and the slot becomes available again, etc. I have certainly donated to campaigns I knew had a zero chance of success just because I wanted them to have ads, commercials, and issues in the national spotlight.

  27. Meh. Go Bernie. As soon as he is officially out, Hillary will swing *hard* to the right and start sucking up to all those wall street donors to reassure them she wont do anything Bernie was pushing. Her logo is an “H” with an arrow pointing to the right, to indicate the direction she is pushing the party.

    Also, Obama secured the votes and Hillary went silent for 4 days before finally endorsing Obama. My guess is she made a backdoor deal, her endorsement in exchange Obama makes her Sec of State, and it took 4 days to hammer it out.
    Bernie should follow the same script and hold out an endorsement until he gets a good cabinet position. Secretary of labor, maybe.

    Also, appropos of nothing, but good for a chuckle:

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2008/06/04/that-other-thing/#comments

    Clinton’s original sin is “hubris” and “entitlement”. And I couldnt agree more. Looking forward to the coronation.

    Also looking forward to the 25th anniversary of the Afghan war.

    ;)

  28. “And he knows that the possibility of an indictment is still valid” LOLOLOL! No. It isn’t. That’s more fairy dust wishing.

  29. @DrDarke Not to stray too far off topic, but I am curious as to what your actual definition of a democrat is: where I come from, (and according to Dictionary.com) it’s “a member of the Democratic Party,” which Hillary most certainly is. This whole narrative of “Hillary isn’t a TRUE democrat” (usually espoused by Sanders supporters, but I am sure there are others) drives me nuts because, well, she registered for the democratic party AND she got a lot of *other* people registered for the democratic party to vote for her. Using the usual democratic platforms, no less. Just because you don’t agree with her exact interpretation of *being* a democrat, doesn’t mean she isn’t one – all those other people pulling the lever for her have just as much right to define the party (and what it stands for) as you do.

  30. nicoleandmaggie:

    That’s interesting to know. I’ll admit I don’t know much about how the Green Party does (or how much it does) in state and local races, but I think these races would benefit from the extra income saved from avoiding a presidential campaign.

    Greg:

    Bernie should follow the same script and hold out an endorsement until he gets a good cabinet position. Secretary of labor, maybe.

    GAH. Can we please, please, please stop with this? I don’t understand why people think its a good idea to weaken the progressive faction of Senate Democrats for some temporary position in the Executive. I’m willing to bet there are plenty of qualified, progressive people who would be a better fit than Sanders for a cabinet position. Should Sanders push for this? Absolutely! But please stop trying to get Sanders or Warren out of the Senate. They are needed there, and they can do much more there than they could as members of the Cabinet or (yuck) as VP.

  31. I’m looking forward to the end of this nomination process. It’ll be nice to be able to mention that institutional sexism is real, ballot access is universally a good thing, and that Fox News’ smears shouldn’t be trusted without hearing from outraged Sanders supporters about how mentioning any of these things makes me a corporate shill.

  32. Given this excerpt from Clinton’s speech last night in Philadelphia, she’s not going to be shifting hard to the right in the general election:

    … “So we will build on a strong progressive tradition from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama. And I applaud Senator Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and giving greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality. And I know, together, we will get that done.

    Because whether you support Senator Sanders or you support me, there’s much more that unites us than divides us. We all agree that wages are too low and inequality is too high. That Wall Street can never again be allowed to threaten Main Street. And we should expand Social Security, not cut or privatize it.

    We Democrats agree that college should be affordable to all and student debt shouldn’t hold anyone back. We Democrats agree that every single American should and must have quality, affordable health care.

    We agree that our next president must keep our country safe, keep our troops out of another costly ground war in the Middle East.

    And we Democrats agree that climate change is an urgent threat. And it requires an aggressive response that can make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.

    And we Democrats agree on defending all of our rights – civil rights and voting rights, workers’ rights and women’s rights, LGBT rights and rights for people with disabilities.

    So in this election, we will have to stand together and work hard to prevail against candidates on the other side who would threaten all those rights and pit Americans against each other.”

    More here: http://www.phillyvoice.com/transcript-hillary-clintons-post-primary-speech-philadelphia/

  33. “I’m not voting for her or any Clinton Dem – ever again. I’ll continue to support Sanders until he ends his campaign, then I’ll vote Green or other Progressive Third Party so that Republican Lite Hypocrite doesn’t get my sanction.”

    Well, if that’s what makes you feel good about yourself.

    Me, I’d prefer to actually get some good things done in the next term. And indeed, while Sanders didn’t win my state, it was still a good primary overall. We nominated a Democratic US Senate candidate who has a good (but far from certain) chance of taking a seat back from the Republicans, and thereby helping flip the chamber from Republican to Democrat. But if it matters more that she endorsed Clinton, well, I guess you shouldn’t vote for her.

    (I actually voted for a different Democratic Senate candidate, who endorsed Sanders. Sanders didn’t return the favor, though– he’s done much less than Clinton has in the way of supporting allied down-ticket candidates– and my candidate didn’t win. So in the general election I’ll vote for the Democrat who both endorsed and was endorsed by the current Democratic presidential front-runner.)

    We also ousted an incumbent Democratic Congressman who’s been indicted on corruption charges. It was still a close vote, thanks to incumbent advantages. The person we nominated in his place was another longtime Democrat. He wasn’t the candidate in the race I liked best personally. He was, however, the only one who ran a broad enough campaign to have a chance at ousting the incumbent, so I’m glad I voted for him.

    Finally, we nominated another newcomer to the state legislature (who’s almost certain to win the general election given our area’s party membership). He wasn’t the establishment-endorsed candidate– in fact, he’d *lost* to the establishment-endorsed candidate in a special election to fill the seat earlier this year. But then he ran again, this time as one of the regular Democratic primary candidates. And he won this time! I think he’ll do a good job in the state house.

    Of course, if your main priority in the election is feeling good about yourself, vote for whoever makes you feel good. For the rest of us, who did, or will, you vote for down-ticket who seems particularly promising?

  34. Sanders has indicated that he’s going to stick around until just after the California primary on June 1st and is hoping to see Clinton make further agenda changes that please him before then. This is actually not a good strategy if he means it and if he actually wants her to do various things. He’s already lost the primaries so she doesn’t have to particularly pay attention to him now. She’ll be concentrating on running against Trump from here on in. Some of Sanders’ supporters will vote for her and she doesn’t really need the rest because she’s never done well with white guys anyway and she’s running against Trump. So he has far less leverage now and is just pissing her off the longer he goes, because not only is it a pain for her, but it hurts the Democratic candidates down the ticket who are critical.

    If he dropped out now and entered into talks with her about throwing her his support, he would have much more ability to shape her and the party’s policy agenda because he’s still useful now in presenting a united front to the Republican party shambles. But if he hangs on until June, not only is that not useful but it harms the whole party and means that they have very little interest in rewarding Sanders with cabinet positions or policy influence. When Clinton hung on too long in the primaries, she lost her shot to be Obama’s VP, but then worked out Secretary of State since she did have some critical voting blocks behind her and party figures whom Obama needed. Clinton was a much bigger threat to Obama in the primaries than Sanders has been to Clinton. And Sanders has shown he has no interest in getting Democratic butts in legislative seats, so there’s even less incentive to include him in strategies to get the maximum number of Democrats elected.

    So Sanders is doing poor strategy at this point — unless he’s feinting by making the threat and is willing to drop out sooner than June 1st if Clinton gives him some agenda influence, which she might to get him to drop out. But she doesn’t have to, and every day that Sanders waits, he has less and less influence, not more. He’s still getting some of his ideas into the conversation, but they are the same ones he already put into the conversation, and the media will give him less and less coverage the longer he stays in. Quite a lot of his supporters are moving on and looking to the next step which is to deal with a panicked world begging us to not make Trump president.

    Trump just gave his “foreign policy” speech — one which his “advisers” had ample time to prepare. It wasn’t pretty. And that’s going to be the focus of the next six months. (Before that, I’m hoping Kaisch and Cruz bleed Trump dry and the Republican convention turns into a total mess.)

  35. @David W.

    In a very real way, what you’re doing is mentioning climate studies to climate change deniers. Anything Clinton says is viewed to automatically be a lie, because The Conspiracy.

    Math which says that several million more people voted for her is wrong because The Conspiracy, etc.

  36. The tree-hugging hippie in me thinks fond thoughts of the Green Party and its various candidates, but honestly? I have never voted for one in a national election, because when it comes to politics I am more concerned with effectiveness. “Making a statement” is for adolescents. Government is about getting things done, within a labyrinthine system, while tied to several anchors of law and restrained by bungee cords of established policy.

    Blaming an experienced candidate for being successful within an established system, and claiming that another experienced candidate was somehow prevented (conspiracy theory alert) from being successful within that same system, is likewise adolescent. Just because the system didn’t deliver the result you want, does not mean that the system somehow cheated. So, yes: Mr. Sanders campaigned well, but he is done, and those of us who DO NOT WANT the U.S.A. to devolve into the world of The Handmaid’s Tale need to work on voter registration and accessibility so that *people can vote.* Because voter suppression by the right poses much more of a threat to the nation than HRC’s “right-pointing arrow,” for chrissake.

    Any design major will tell you that the majority of people are right handed, and English readers read from left to right, so an arrow pointing to the right *makes sense* design wise. It is not a subtext. Get a grip.

  37. @Kat Goodwin If Sanders isn’t there, there’s nothing to hold the Overton window to the left. Clinton will get become offensively moderate as soon as she can, if she follows her past political playbook.

    And I think he needs to stay in all the way to the convention to hold the Overton window left.

  38. @KG
    I think the secretary of state position really was at least partly because Obama was having trouble finding people to fill important positions because there aren’t a whole lot of amazing people out there (also why he over-raided the senate–that’s where he knew people from, and also recall the problems with former politician’s wall street ties like with Daschle). That one line he made about there being a place for her in his administration really said it all to me, along with her reputation for being competent and hard-working. Her reception her first day of work (The daily show likened it to the opposite of the liberation of Iraq– they welcomed her with open arms) cemented that. So not just political shenanigans or repaying favors. But maybe I’m too much of an optimist.

  39. From Sanders’ speech last night after the results were in:

    “The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be. That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast. That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change.”

    Reading between the lines, “in the race until the last vote is cast” seems to be a tacit admission from Sanders that whatever the results are after the last primary, the race will be over then. The assertion in the next sentence of going to the DNC with “as many delegates as possible” when read in that light doesn’t seem at all a threat to take the nomination fight itself to the convention. But it does serve as a rallying cry for his supporters of course, and signals that Sanders wants a significant say in the platform, which I expect he’ll have.

  40. In addition, the rest are also staying in, waiting for the worst case to happen, Trump or Hillary having an accident or getting arrested or dying. TADA, instant bump in the polls.

  41. Kat, Trump didn’t give a foreign policy speech, he gave his usual twenty minutes of content-free bluster for the daily news cycle. Trump is clueless about foreign policy, as this essay makes clear:

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/05/12/the-trump-bomb/

    Here’s Trump on whether Japan should have nuclear weapons:

    “Um, at some point, we cannot be the policeman of the world. And unfortunately, we have a nuclear world now. And you have, Pakistan has them. You have, probably, North Korea has them. I mean, they don’t have delivery yet, but you know, probably, I mean to me, that’s a big problem. And, would I rather have North Korea have them with Japan sitting there having them also? You may very well be better off if that’s the case. In other words, where Japan is defending itself against North Korea, which is a real problem. You very well may have a better case right there…. You know, one of the things with the, with our Japanese relationship, and I’m a big fan of Japan, by the way. I have many, many friends there. I do business with Japan. But, that, if we are attacked, they don’t have to do anything. If they’re attacked, we have to go out with full force. You understand. That’s a pretty one-sided agreement, right there. In other words, if we’re attacked, they do not have to come to our defense, if they’re attacked, we have to come totally to their defense. And that is a, that’s a real problem.”

    I’m sure a nuclear-armed Japan will be just hunky-dory with the People’s Republic of China. Exactly what we don’t need is another India-Pakistan nuclear rivalry.

  42. If my state hadn’t had its primary yet and I were a Sanders or Cruz or Kasich supporter (disclosure: My state’s primary was yesterday, and I voted for a candidate for president, but not any of those three), I would want them to stay in. I would want to be able to register my support for my preferred candidate even knowing that he wasn’t likely to win the nomination. I would want the national party to know that my candidate had the support of me and other like-minded residents of my state. It might help the candidate and/or the party in determining what to do in the next phase of the election process or later. Also, I wouldn’t want to feel I had to hold my nose and vote for a candidate I didn’t want, just because that’s who was likely to win. As it was, I voted for a candidate for House of Representatives who had almost no chance of beating the incumbent, and I did the same two years ago against the same incumbent, because I wanted these people to get enough support that they might stay in politics, get more experience, and maybe try again for that office or a different one. In the general election, I’ll vote for the incumbent, but in the primary, it was more important to me to register support for a candidate whose ideas were more congenial to me or just to get some fresh blood in the local branch of the party.

    TL;DNR: It isn’t always about the horse race aspect of an election.

  43. Regarding the arrow pointing to the right: I’m something of an oldster, but I seem to recall that some of these new-fangled applications for dating require you to show interest by swiping “to the right”. Also, didn’t Beyonce toss a boyfriend in a song with a chorus that included “to the left, to the left, to the left”? If there’s any subtext in the logo, it’s more likely to be “don’t reject me”.

  44. Thank you for not robbing us of your latest descriptor of Ted Cruz when you scrapped the larger piece.

  45. Robini: “definition of a democrat is: where I come from, (and according to Dictionary.com) it’s “a member of the Democratic Party,” which Hillary most certainly is.”

    Sanders followed all the rules to run for the Democrat nomination for president, but Hillary supporters have long squawked about how he isnt a “True Democrat”.

    Zemadmax: “please stop trying to get Sanders or Warren out of the Senate.”

    Warren, probably not. Sanders? Maybe. The governor of Vermont is a democrat and would likely appoint a democrat replacement for Sanders. The governor of Massaschusets is a Republican, so would likely replace Warren with a republican.

    youngpretender: “It’ll be nice to be able to mention that institutional sexism is real, ballot access is universally a good thing, and that Fox News’ smears shouldn’t be trusted without hearing from outraged Sanders supporters about how mentioning any of these things makes me a corporate shill.”

    Institutional sexism: Sanders has a 100% report card from Planned Parenthood. Ballot access: Sanders has a 95% rating from the ACLU compared to 75% for Hillary. Fox News: Sanders has zero “pants on fire” statements compared to 3 for Hillary. Corporate shill: Sanders’ average donation is 27$. Hilllary got millions from Wall Street. But please tell me more about these crazy Sanders supporters and their tinfoil conspiracy theories.

    Chachai : “Blaming an experienced candidate for being successful within an established system, and claiming that another experienced candidate was somehow prevented (conspiracy theory alert) from being successful within that same system, is likewise adolescent.”

    Erm, Gore V Bush?

    Gosh it isnt like stealing a presidential election never happens in this country. Or hasnt happened recently. But now that you’re on the other side, it can only be a tinfoil hat conspiracy theory? Cute.

  46. mmug:

    Also, since English is read left to right, a right-pointing arrow can be interpreted as pointing forward.

  47. @Greg

    Every time politics comes up on Scalzi’s blog these days, you come over here and make everything adversarial and aggressive. People can have different opinions and not be stupid or evil.

    The math is against Sanders. Short of an act of god, he will not be the nominee. Instead of spending all of your time attacking Hillary Clinton, how about spending some of that energy attacking Donald Trump? How about supporting someone who isn’t perfect (by your estimation), but at least doesn’t talk about how many people she wants to carpet bomb or killing terrorists’ families in retaliation, who defends a woman’s right to choose instead of talking about how women who have abortions should be punished, who wants to clean up lead-contaminated drinking water rather than ignoring the issue? I could go on and on. You may not agree with her on everything, but you surely agree with her more than Trump.

    She didn’t steal the election. She played within the rules and did it better than he did. Saying anything else is simply sour grapes and an unwillingness to face reality.

  48. The argument for “Sanders isn’t a true Democrat” is based on the fact that he ran as an independent for 25 years, and was not an actual member of the Democratic party. He is certainly a liberal, but in no way was he a “Democrat” before this election.

    I was a Bernie supporter, but I’ve had it with the bullshit and will not be voting for him on June 7th.

  49. Cruz is going to name Carly Fiorina as his VP pick which I’m certain will revive his campaign. /sarcasm [added that because some might actually take that seriously]

  50. M. Fay:

    If Sanders isn’t there, there’s nothing to hold the Overton window to the left. Clinton will get become offensively moderate as soon as she can, if she follows her past political playbook. And I think he needs to stay in all the way to the convention to hold the Overton window left.

    Congratulations, you used a media term. Now let me explain some political science terms that involve math. The longer Sanders stays in, the more the Overton window will move to the RIGHT, not the left. In the early part of the primaries, when Clinton had to deal with Sanders, Sanders’ approach allowed Hilary to go leftwards to win Democratic voters. She was able to silence any of her advisers who wanted her to go more centrist by saying that she needed to stay left to beat Bernie.

    But Sanders lost the primary back in February with the first Super Tuesday. He has been steadily confirming his loss since then and after this Super Tuesday, it is completely clear that he did indeed lose it. So he CAN’T pull Hilary to the left anymore because he already lost to her and she no longer has to beat him. He is no longer her big concern — the general election is, and in the general election, she has to appeal to the general voters, including independents and scared, moderate Republicans, not just the most dedicated Democrats and certainly not the tiny American far left. Further, Bernie’s early strategy pulled the conversation to the left because the media then had to debate his ideas in the public sphere. But he’s lost now, so the media no longer cares about his ideas — and they aren’t going to care for the next month either.

    The swing voters in the middle are mainly centrist left, although the full block ranges from center left to center right. They want government services for themselves but want to punish their neighbors by denying them those same services. That’s their wheelhouse. You can present them with more leftish ideas (services for all; let’s not harm your neighbors,) as both Obama and Clinton have done before — as long as you don’t scare them that “leftist radicals” will take over the government and punish them while elevating their neighbors.

    If Bernie quits now and hammers out policy ideas with Clinton, he can still leverage his delegates, and with the Democrats left, progressive and centrist as a more or less united front against the Republicans, they can stay left-left center in presenting ideas that will bring swing voters in by contrasting to the horror that is the Republicans. Because the Republicans are so horrible to the right, they can go far more left than they could if the Republicans looked at all moderate and reasonable. In this scenario, Bernie will have a seat at the table because it’s beneficial, because he’s helping. And the Democrats can concentrate on getting Democrats in the Congressional seats in the election.

    This is important because the President doesn’t make laws. Congress does. And state legislatures make state laws in line or against federal policy. If Clinton gets to be President, how much she gets done is entirely dependent on the number of votes she can count on or negotiate for. She needs Democrats in the House and Senate to construct legislation, get it through and negotiate for votes. We would have no healthcare bill if we hadn’t temporarily had a small Democratic majority in the House and Senate. It’s absolutely vital.

    But if Bernie stays in, then Clinton has to write off trying to bring in his far left supporters by giving him a seat and helping with policy. She has to convince the centrist swing voters that she isn’t as far left as Bernie, that Trump isn’t a reasonable, more moderate option, so she has to go further right, not left. Because Bernie isn’t her opponent, Trump is. And Bernie still being around, spitting fire against her, loses her both far left voters and centrists general voters. With Bernie backing her, she can stay left and try to keep his voters. With Bernie still opposing her for another month, she has to write off the far left he has (and the white guys,) and go more centrist to get other voters from Trump. (Not that this is terribly hard, because Trump, but still.)

    More importantly, it hurts the Democratic candidates down-ticket, who also have to go further right to distinguish themselves against still spitting fire Bernie. They can’t get Clinton’s support for their election until much later because Bernie is getting in the way of the Democratic party being able to organize around them and fund them. They are more likely to lose to those viewed by centrist voters as “reasonable” Republicans, which right now is anybody who is not Trump. Which means fewer votes in Congress. Which means we’re screwed if you ever want to see any leftist policy try to become law again.

    Bernie was useful. He helped the Democratic party. He could be useful for left policies backing Clinton. But if he instead remains just an awkward obstacle, Hilary will move away from him, not towards him. It’s legislative math. And also bad blood — a load of Democrats pissed off at Bernie for deliberately causing problems while not being a real opponent anymore are not then going to go with Bernie’s policies. Why should they reward the guy who sank down-ticket political races for the Democrats?

    In short, primary campaigns are useful for hammering out the party platform and Bernie helped keep the platform left. But if primary battles go on too long when they’ve already been lost, then the main candidate of the party — and the ones down ticket — are just getting shredded unnecessarily. Which means the other party’s horrors win even more than they get with gerrymandering and voter obstruction, and THEIR policies — the ones to the right including the extremist ones — pull the Overton window to the right. That’s been happening in many states for thirty six years, which is how we have the bright lights in North Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi running things.

    You want to keep Hilary left at this point? Get Bernie to drop out, talk to her and back her. I’m sure talking is going on, actually, so we’ll see. And if Bernie stays in another month, it will not be disastrous. But it is going to hurt the down-ticket Democrats and that’s really dangerous.

    nicoleandmaggie:

    Clinton was well qualified for State and the world leaders knew and knew they could work with her. And she would still have a platform for which to run for President again. But V.P. wasn’t going to be happening. In a primary, the longer candidates who can’t win stay in, the more damage it does to the party because they can’t concentrate on the general election for all Democrat candidates, not just the presidency. The Republicans are in the same boat, only worse. (Which I’m okay with, of course.)

    Kat, Trump didn’t give a foreign policy speech, he gave his usual twenty minutes of content-free bluster for the daily news cycle. Trump is clueless about foreign policy,

    Which shows that his advisers are even worse and more clueless than he is as they had plenty of time to write the speech and advise him on foreign policy. And these are the people that a chunk of the electorate wants to put into the White House. Or you have Clinton whose speeches are actually foreign policies speeches that don’t yell at Japan for not being able to save the U.S. in a fight because they are a tiny country who we kept demilitarized since WWII, or believe that you could somehow make Mexico pay for a giant wall against them as if you were an underwear gnome.

    I totally get Bernie wanting to influence policy here. I’m all for that, within reason, as long as the dudebro contingent among his followers gets the hell out of the way and lets the other groups take the lead. And if he’s faking about sticking around in order to get Clinton to talk terms, that could work out. But if he’s serious about staying in, then he’s not getting out a message. It’s not just a protest. He’s deliberately hurting progressive candidates in the Democratic party for his own glorification. Which really doesn’t sound like him, so I’m hoping he does not stay in till June.

  51. @Brian Greenberg: Kasich and Trump may numerically have enough delegates between them, but I think it’s a long shot to assume that Kasich’s delegates would actually go for 1) a vice president slot (somewhat perceived as a political booby prize – your job is to back up the president but you have very little power in your own right) at all, and especially when 2) it would put Trump (ie, the anti-establishment Republican that most Kasich supporters are likely voting *against*) in the president’s slot. This is definitely a case where for the “Party of Reagan” Republicans, utter defeat would be better than second prize under Trump. Also, Trump would have to sign off on this plan, which might not sit well with all *his* anti-establishment supporters either.

  52. I love how this “Greg” character thinks he knows everything about everybody. LOL who was talking about Gore/Bush?! Bananapants, indeed.

  53. @KG– I think there were a lot of reasons for Clinton not to be VP, the least of which not being that one of the campaign things against her was her supposed weakness in foreign policy. I know she was seeking VP, but I think Obama was right that she was more needed as secretary of state and secretary of state would serve her better going forward.

  54. @Kat, I kinda disagree Clinton can so easily ignore Sanders now. If she lurches right while the primaries are still going on, she risks provoking a real backlash. Sure, she’d probably win on pledged delegates anyway. But if she lurches right and Sanders beats her by huge percentages in states like CA and NJ, it’ll seriously damage her.

    But realistically, that could only happen if Sanders is still in the spotlight.

  55. I’m incredibly dubious about the idea that Cruz in 2020 is cause for glee.

    Clinton’s first term is going to give us all the legislative effectiveness of an Obama third term, minus any inspiring speeches, plus the most warhawkish policy barely this side of Dick Cheney. 2020 is going to give us a Democratic base that is a combination of disillusioned and complacent, with a GOP base that, having missed every chance to take down Obama and in their final chance to take down Clinton, will be the most fired-up ever.

    Barring another Trump (and I think he’s a once-in-a-generation miracle for the Dems), a potted plant will be able to beat Clinton in 2020.

    It’s one of the reasons I’m kind of perplexed by the Fiorina announcement. At some point (a point which I think was passed a while ago), it’s not about adding a few percentage points to the odds of being the guy who leads a shattered party to losing to Clinton in 2016, but more about being the face of the GOP wave in 2018 to help take back the Senate, and then starting off the race as the presumptive frontrunner in 2020, in what will almost certainly be a much easier race than this year’s. Losing in a way that preserves his credibility is much more important than, well, losing (but by slightly less) in a way that looks foolish.

    (That, to me, is where Rubio went so wrong. He took his eye off the ball—which had always been about just getting a better post-Senate job and an occasional appearance on Fox News—to flail around in the mud with Trump because he couldn’t admit it was over.)

  56. I’ve expected a Hillary Presidency ever since I saw who climbed into the GOP clown car. Will she get a second term? Not if (and it’s a big IF) the GOP can come up with a credible, centrist candidate, and IF he or she makes it through the primaries. But I’d hate to post odds on that…

  57. Katherine: “People can have different opinions and not be stupid or evil.”

    If I called anyone stupid or evil, post a quote and I will apologize immediately.

    “The math is against Sanders. Short of an act of god, he will not be the nominee.”

    And yet, Hillary, the person YOU voted for, refused to concede to Obama in 2008, not until Obama secured the votes to win the Dem nomination, but actually FOUR DAYS LATER. Every time a Hillary supporter is mad that Sanders wont give up early, when she herself rode it all the way to the end, plus four more days, is just hee-larious.

    “Instead of spending all of your time attacking Hillary Clinton”

    Hillary took millions of Wall Street money. Am I supposed to be naive and believe they gave her that money with no expectations of it affecting her behavior? That wall street donated its money altruistically?

    Is that or is that not a legitimate concern?

    [Hillary] “doesn’t talk about how many people she wants to carpet bomb or killing terrorists’ families in retaliation”

    But she is a hawk, yes? Has she voted *against* any military authorizations? The drone wars have killed more civilians than combatants. And the wars we are waging cost us trillions of dollars. We have been in Afghanistan for 15 years with absolutely no exit strategy in sight. The possibility of Clinton continuing our deployment in afghanistan another 8 years is a very real possibility.

    The National Review has an article titled “Hillary, the Ultimate Hawk” She has supported every single major American military intervention since 1992. Her State Department made the legal case for the drone campaign. You should maybe give it a read.

    “who defends a woman’s right to choose instead of talking about how women who have abortions should be punished”

    Part of the reason I support Bernie is he has a 100% report card from Planned Parenthood. Because Bernie would defend a woman’s right to choose without invading Syria or some other place to fight ISIS, or some such nonsense.

    You want Bernie supporters to switch to Hillary? Maybe start by acknowledging their concerns (concerns which seem entirely based in historical fact of Hillary’s past behavior), rather than teling them they’re just whining sour grapes.

    Like, if Hillary pushed some sweet legislation for Wall Street, would you oppose her then? Because supporting hillary without boundary is not really good recruiting strategy to bring in Bernie supporters. And if you cant criticize her at all now, or at least acknowledge that you have a minor legit concerns about some of her past behavior, if all criticism of Hillary is nothing but sour grapes and adolescent whining, then, well, that doesnt really do anything but dismiss my every concern and call me childish. People can criticize Hillary without being “stupid or evil”. They might even have a legit point.

    Kat: “If Bernie quits now and hammers out policy ideas with Clinton, he can still leverage his delegates”

    Kat, did you ever support Bernie more than Clinton? If not, then how the hell do you think you know *anything* about what will leverage his delegates? Someone who always favored Hillary over Bernie is maybe not the best person to explain what is best for Bernie supporters and their “leverage”.

    Steven : “The argument for “Sanders isn’t a true Democrat””

    Is based on arbitrary application of rules. Supporters keep saying Hillary won playing by the rules so get over it. Bernie used the rules to run as a democrat but those same hillary supporters suddenly dont care so much about rules.

  58. Over-ripe bananapants, that were none-too-fragrant to begin with, and have now truly begun to smell.

    A Thing has occurred to me: Is there anything that would prevent Clinton running Biden as her VP candidate? He may not be the best in the biz, but I’d say that he’s got a working knowledge of where the current crop of bodies is buried.

  59. Carly Fiorina’s a perfect match for Ted Cruz – they can bring back the Demon Sheep ad with Trump as the new RINO.

    I’m in California, so my votes for President never count for much – the right-wingers’ hatred for the largest ethnic group in the state means that we’ll be voting solidly Democrat, and since I’m one of those annoying Libertarians I’ll be using my primary vote to tell my party who to nominate rather than telling the Democrats or Republicans who they should nominate.

    It wouldn’t be particularly ethical for me to re-register in one of the other parties to vote tactically, but if I did it would either be an honest vote for Bernie (Clinton’s economics are better, but Bernie’s anti-war and pro-honesty positions are more important) or a malicious vote for the least electable Republican (either Trump or Cruz, depending on delegate counts by then, or much less maliciously for Kasich.) My hope for the GOP is that Trump gets <1237 votes, Cruz steals the contested primary, Trump stomps off and runs as an independent, Clinton (because sadly it's going to be her) wins in a landslide, bringing along the Senate and House on her coat-tails, and on Jan 21st the incoming Congress successfully impeaches her for email/Benghazi/witchcraft, leaving President Julian Castro to be the first American President Castro to visit Cuba, accompanied by his brother Joaquin who he's appointed as Vice President.

  60. Best commentary so far on the Cruz/Fiorina “ticket”: “If I were about to lay off most of my campaign staff, I’d hire Carly, too.”

    ::rimshot::

  61. Jon Marcus:

    Kat, I kinda disagree Clinton can so easily ignore Sanders now. If she lurches right while the primaries are still going on, she risks provoking a real backlash. Sure, she’d probably win on pledged delegates anyway. But if she lurches right and Sanders beats her by huge percentages in states like CA and NJ, it’ll seriously damage her.

    She doesn’t have to lurch right. She’s going to stay left to counter the Donald (and Cruz etc. but basically, it’s apparently, because we now live in Wonderland, the Donald.) This is in part because Trump isn’t an actual Republican nor conservative. He can pull more left policies out when he wants, such as his speaking up against the North Carolina bigot law. So she can’t go rightward with Trump — she has to be much more left than him for contrast and to paint him as not having any moderate or left positions. She has to stay left as the “reasonable” position on foreign policy to counter his far right and isolationist policies. (Isolationism is also a far lefty stance, and one that Sanders partly embraced.)

    But if Sanders stays in, then she can’t go too far left until after the convention, when the Democratic party can focus on the general elections. And she has less and less chance of getting the more left part of Bernie’s support if he won’t quit and throw her support, so she’ll spend less time trying to get them to come on board — less incentive to be leftwards. (I.e. when a candidate knows that they aren’t going to win a state, they often won’t campaign much there but go on to some other state/group where they will potentially do better. Not much sense in courting voters who are sticking with Bernie.) She’s not worried about Sanders in the primaries, but she is worried about how centrists will see the Democratic party with Sanders still screaming in it. She has to counter it. Whereas if she works out a deal with Sanders now and has his backing, or gradual backing, she and the Democratic party can concentrate on a left/left center platform to tackle Trump.

    But the bigger issue is still the down-ticket races. The longer there is an on-going struggle in the primary when there doesn’t have to be one, the less support, funding, and focus the down-ticket folks get. And they will also be under pressure to prove that they aren’t like the wild-haired socialist guy who won’t step down — they’ll move slightly right. We want them all to go left. (Well, us Democrats do anyway.)

    Sanders is not going to beat Hilary by huge percentages in California and NJ. (Again, math and also attrition as voters get ready to throw support to Hilary or not as it’s clear Bernie can’t win.) He’s not going to damage her. But he can cause her problems in strategy approaches to the general election, and he can cause damage to the Democratic party as a whole. I don’t think he wants to do that. If he really wanted to do that, he’d go run as an Independent and his people nixed that idea. So it’s all a matter of timing and I’m sure the two camps are talking to each other. Earlier for the Democratic party would be better than later. The race isn’t as tight as Clinton and Obama was, so it’s workable. After the Indiana primary would be a logical point. But if Sanders wants to go to the end, we’ll just hope Trump continues to be very rightwardly obnoxious. The odds are good.

  62. Thank you Jonathan Z for putting some of Scalzi’s Cruze-comments in a proper order. Until now I’d only imagined Cruze as radioactive sewage – how uncreative!

    As per habit I’ve dutifully printed out the posts that help me learn – you probably know who you are. But as a standard Dem I feel maxed out regarding Top Candidate considerations; things just seem solid and I’m more interested now in Congress-influencing thoughts. (Thanks Kat for considering such.) Shouldn’t we give top candidate arguments something of a rest?

    Hillary impatient? So am I. If the next president becomes a mere lame duck we all lose.

  63. Kat Goodwin, thank you for your excellent, thoughtful pieces in this thread. Very informative and interesting.

  64. cicely: Is there anything that would prevent Clinton running Biden as her VP candidate?

    Age. Clinton is 68. Biden is 73. Obama could pick an older VP because he was only 46 at the time, and anyway Biden was only 65 then; even for a younger candidate, a VP candidate already in his/her seventies would be pushing it. For a candidate who is almost 70 to pick an even older VP? Not sensible.

  65. @Greg

    “Sanders followed all the rules to run for the Democrat nomination for president…”

    Shouldn’t you be giving advice to Cruz and Kasich here? Because we can all tell from this quote that you are a Republican, not a Democrat. Democrats always know how to say “Democratic nomination” and Republicans almost always get it wrong.

    So, what do you think your fellow Republicans Cruz and Kasich should do?

  66. After reading the last few political post comment sections, the May hiatus cannot come soon enough. I remember when we had right ringers to whip on in here. Now that was fun.

  67. Nutella: “Democrats always know how to say “Democratic nomination” and Republicans almost always get it wrong.”

    I say “Democrat” for the same reason some African Americans use the N word:

    “If you call yourself the n-word, you can’t get mad when someone treats you like that.” –Reverand Sharpton

    How the hell the word “liberal” and “democrat” became a slur in some people’s eyes is beyond me, but I refuse to relate to it that way.

  68. Bernie lost me when he refused to acknowledge or support any of his down-ticket supporters who are running for office. If he isn’t working to increase the number of Democratic representatives and senators, then 1) he really has no desire to actually accomplish anything were he to be elected to the presidency, and 2) he isn’t a real Democrat. Actions speak louder than words, and his actions show me that he doesn’t have what it takes to get things accomplished in Washington. We need people that will do things, not spout off and then get fussy when their words don’t automagically lead to the desired outcomes.

  69. @Brian Greenberg: A Trump/Kasich alliance is not likely, for the reasons @Robini says. Also, there’s the scenario where a candidate other than Trump or Cruz emerges from a contested convention. If the party elders bludgeon the delegates into nominating Romney, Kasich would still be a plausible VP candidate, as long as he hasn’t burned his bridges with an opportunist endorsement of Trump.

    @Kat Goodwin: Interesting points, but one nitpick:

    don’t yell at Japan for not being able to save the U.S. in a fight because they are a tiny country who we kept demilitarized since WWII

    Demilitarized yes, but not tiny. Japan has a population of 127 million; more than 1/3 of the USA, and roughly equal to the UK and France combined. Japan could be a serious military power, if it was permitted by the USA, and if it wanted (which is far from a given).

  70. Japan is demilitarized in name only. It has a top-10 military budget, a large air force, a large navy, a substantial population, and one of the world’s largest economies.

  71. @DAVID: AIUI, the Japanese constitution bans military intervention abroad. The (large and well-equipped) armed forces are strictly for defending Japanese territory, and occasional UN peacekeeping missions. That is the main sense in which Japan is demilitarized.

    Also, this is heading way off thread topic, so we’d better knock it off before we annoy our gracious host.

  72. @Kat

    Thanks for your posts, their thoughtful and well considered, there’s definitely a lot to chew on there. And I agree re downticket races. Even as a Sanders supporter his lack of support for those downticket really bugged me. (Wisconsin Supreme court??!)

    I’d love it if Clinton followed your advice and moved left to differentiate herself from Trump. I’m just not convinced she will. That’d be a new approach, and from what I’ve seen she’s not big on new approaches. Dems have won by tacking to the center, and Bill invented (or at least popularized) triangulation. I think your advice is good, and I hope she’ll hear and take it (from closer advisors if not from you). But I’m not convinced she will.

  73. The (large and well-equipped) armed forces are strictly for defending Japanese territory, and occasional UN peacekeeping missions

    Sure — though since Japan is extremely close to both the Soviet Union/Russia and China that defensive posture is going to include a lot of fighting in the case of a large-scale war. More, that self-defense limitation has been greatly stretched in the past decade or so, leading to the deployment of Japanese troops to Iraq in 2004 (albeit under highly restrictive rules of engagement) and Japanese ships on anti-piracy missions off Somalia post 2010. They are not your ordinary combatant but they are not “tiny” and they are not demilitarized in the sense of having no armed forces.

    You’re right about us drifting off topic, so I’ll let it go now.

  74. I’m just coming in late with a few points.

    1. Ideology is all very well and good, but eventually you have to be concerned with a candidate’s ability to govern, or at the very least stumble into office. Look, I’m for Sanders — I have been since I thought he was going to run as an independent — but if Secretary Clinton wins the nomination, *of bleeding course* I’m going to vote for her in November, are you kidding me? In a first-past-the-post system, voting for anyone but the candidate closest to you on principle who’s likeliest to win is a mug’s game.

    2. Is Clinton corrupt? I mean, it’s possible; she’s a professional politician who was a senator for *New York State,* of course she has close ties to the financial industry. But I’m not convinced that matters. No, she won’t be perfect on Wall Street — she won’t be anything like perfect on foreign policy, either, where I think she’s a disaster. But I’ve thought Obama was a disaster on foreign policy too. I’m a Quaker and a pacifist — no candidate who shares my views on foreign policy and war is ever going to be elected President of the United States, it’s just a non-starter. She’s the best we’re going to get. Sanders’s foreign policy views are if anything only slightly less disastrous than Clinton’s.

    2.a. Yes, the Iraq War vote. I despise her for that, and I always will, but when it comes down to it — well, a cleverer man than me said not long ago that there isn’t a great president in American history who hasn’t done at least one unforgivable thing. (He was right, too — FDR and the internment camps, Lincoln and the suspension of habeas corpus, Washington’s reaction to Shays’ Rebellion, the list goes on.)

    3. We’re voting for head of the executive branch, not for chief saint.

    4. Greg, you poltroon, the reason we don’t use ‘Democrat’ as in ‘the Democrat Party’ is that, a, it’s specifically using the wrong name for the party as an implication that it doesn’t stand for democracy, as we all know, which is so ridiculous it doesn’t *need* to be refuted or reclaimed. I suppose we could argue about ‘liberal,’ but personally I prefer ‘leftist’ anyway; classical liberals tend to piss me off anyway.

    5. Sanders has said since the beginning that the small-d democratic revolution he’s trying to lead doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with him being elected president. I think that’s absolutely true, and I think it also ties into things Obama has said along the same lines.

    Look, we desperately need to reform the way the U.S. does politics. Not just economically (although that most of all), but in terms of *how we see politics* and how we interact with the candidates. We need to change the culture. It’s going to be hard, but it’s necessary — what Obama last year called “the hard but necessary work of gorvernment.” We need to stop thinking that any one candidate — a Sanders, a Clinton, a Trump (God forbid) — can save us and put our damn brains to work.

  75. [OOC: Adopting a nonserious tone and a lot of gratuitous Communist rhetoric here, but my sentiments are sincere]

    I voted for Comrade Bernie in the Democratic Proletarian Leader primary, because I think he’d be a good Proletarian Leader and would be a good counter to a lot of the bullshit that’s going on on both sides of the isle. Plus I’m a sucker for socialism and the proletarian revolution of the courageous proletarian working class of the people. Of course, the foul capitalist-imperialist oppression of our corrupt and bourgeois system doomed him, but he also underperformed among our African-American comradely and proletarian comrades, who seem to prefer Comrade Clinton.

    Comrade Clinton will be a fine Proletarian Leader. She is competent, efficient, and canny, and should lead our glorious Motherland to a utopian paradise of Socialism and Proletarian Freedom. She is a capitalist and mildly corrupt, but she has done some pretty decent work for the great People’s Revolution.

    On the other side of the isle…Kasich is a stuffy bourgeois capitalist, but not a bad one, and would be a fine Proletarian Leader, which is of course why he has no chance in the vile oligarchic counter-revolutionary Republican primary. Ted Cruz is a perambulatory sack of mutated toxic waste that has somehow acquired sapience and an ego larger than most stars, and even my Communist propaganda isn’t enough to describe what an egomaniacal, disrespectful piece of shit he is.

    And of course Trump is an orangutan in a suit that’s channeling Hitler’s ghost, but seriously, what did the Republicans expect by openly fostering racism and xenophobia to keep the saps in line while they consistently fucked over said saps? Now the “saps” have gotten wise and are voting with all of their anger AND all of the xenophobia and bigotry that the Republicans have carefully nurtured and fostered. This is what happens when abusive oligarchs treat their people like shit; the people get wise and throw them out, and put a radical strongman in their place. It happened in Germany, it happened in Russia, it damn near happened in the USA.

    So, in a nutshell, we have the following choices for President:

    –An old Jewish socialist who has no chance of even getting the nomination.
    –A somewhat corrupt but intelligent, pragmatic, and competent politician with decades of experience, who can be reliably counted on to do what she’s been bribed to do.
    –A competent governor who has no chance in the primary because his worldview is somewhat attached to reality.
    –An orangutan in a suit that’s channeling Hitler.
    –A massive, sapient slime mold with a smile so fake and oily that if we can extract its essence we can use it to completely replace all fossil fuels used in the USA.

    So we have one decent viable candidate, two halfway decent nonviable candidates, Adenoid Hynkel, and the essence of Mitt Romney’s hair gel in humanoid form. This isn’t an election, it’s a farce. Hell, I can’t even keep up my Communist rhetoric–it’s LESS absurd than reality.

  76. Richard Norton/Jonathan Z: as good as Scalzi is at turning a clever phrase, I don’t think anything is more “damning” than Boehner’s remarks on Cruz.

  77. @Floored by Scalzi’s awesomeness,
    “A massive, sapient slime mold…”
    Hey, what did slime molds ever do to you!?

  78. @ Friend of Slime Molds: Good point, that is insulting to slime molds.

    How about…

    “An agglomeration of drug-resistant Staphylococcus that has somehow imitated a human form and sapience, complete with an ego so massive that its gravitational field eclipses some neutron stars.”

    There, that good? :D

  79. @PrivateIron, I like Scalzi’s language better, but Boehner’s comments certainly capture the depths of his loathing for his former congressional colleague.

  80. I’m DONE with voting “for the lesser evil”. So done.

    The republican side – it goes without saying – well – I agree with every wonderful phrase Scalzi has thrown at Cruz, and even Beohner – BOEHNER! – has called him Lucifer incarnate Let that guy in anywhere and we’r in for hellfire.. I think Trump is a CLOWN (anyone seriously think he can get that famous wall built? let alone get Mexico to pay for it? REALLY?) Kasich was a non-starter to begin with. The real danger here is that the GOP is going to throw their collective hands in the air come the convention and nominate someone else entirely. Someone who never RAN. Someone whose positions on everyhting are both unknown (because they were never talked about in the primaries) and all too well known (because who is teh GOP going to nominate? Someone that the Tea Party could accept. Say no more.) Ain’t no republican getting my vote this side of Armageddon (and quite possibly given the nature of that event not afterwards either).

    The Democrats?…

    Before everyone starts pouring hot oil on my head and accusing me of misogyny (because she’s a WOMAN!) or of voting for Trump by defauilt if don’t help with crowning Queen HRC – stop right now. My reasons for not voting Clinton – they’re real, and they’re huge, and they are ver personal. I’m sorry. Not Hillary. Not for me. I will support Bernie as far and as hard as I can. I wish there was an option of writing in his name on the ballot in November, and that EVERY INDEPENDENT in this country did that – he would win in a landslide. But oh no, we have to toe the line of the DNC. And vote for the candidate the PARTY wants. Well, sorry, but I am voting my values, my issues, my ideas. If the Party-annointed candidate does not match them teh Party-annointed candidate doesn’t get my vote by default. I’ll vote Jill, or I”ll simply not vote the top of th ticket. I’ll vote Dem down the line, for senators and congresscritters, where I can, hoping to take back the legislative arm of this government adn actually get some governing done. But I WON’T vote for Hillary CLinton. If you know me at all you may have an inkling as to why. That won’t change. That can’t change, I can no more go against that and cast my vote for her than I can suddenly shuck my skin and change my very marrow to become someone else entirely, someone who can never again be me.

    And one thing, in parting. Hillary seems to be laboring under the illusion that everyone supporting Bernie will suddenly and seamlessly switch to her if Bernie should disappear. That isn’t the case. By a significant margin. And she ignores that at her own peril.

    I SERIOUSLY don’t want a President Trump or a President Cruz – or even a President Ryan. I don’t. The prospect makes my skin crawl. But in this context all Hillary Clinton is, is the”lesser evil”. And I”m done. I’m done. If I cannot vote for the greater good why would I want to just follow the rest of the lemmings off the usual cliff?

  81. Falstaf: “Greg, you poltroon”

    Right back at ‘cha, good sir.

    “an implication that it doesn’t stand for democracy, as we all know, which is so ridiculous it doesn’t *need* to be refuted or reclaimed.”

    If its so obvious that they both stand for democracy, why are you pissing your pants like the poltroon you are when someone uses “Democrat”? Because you have bought into the notion that it is a perjorative. Exactly what Republicans want.

    I am registered as a Democrat. I am not registered as a “Democratic”. When I vote, I tend to vote for candidates under the column labeled “Democrat” (not labeled “Democratic”). I voted in the Democrat primary, and I call it Democrat primary because thats the name of the party. But you have allowed “Democrat” to be an insult to the point that you are policing Democrats about what they call themselves.

    But since Republicans have shamed people into thinking that “Democrat” is an insult, you feel insulted by me calling it the “Democrat primary”. If Republicans hadnt made “Democrat” an insult, you wouldnt feel the need to insult me for using the word “Democrat”.

    The democrat party website is http://www.democrats.com. Maybe you feel insulted by them too and should call them names. And if you do, its only because the Republicans have been successful in stripping away “Democrat” as a legitimate term and turned it into an insult.

  82. Assuming the Libertarians don’t do something extra-stupid this year like losing ballot status in California or nominating John McAfee just because he wants it, I’ll be voting for them in the general election, knowing that California will vote solidly for Hillary (or maybe slushily for Bernie; I’d check polls in that case); otherwise I’ll probably vote for the Greens’ Jill Stein or maybe Peace&Freedom.

    But it makes sense for Cruz to keep running (he might win, especially since he’s doing a much better job of wrangling delegates, and might attract delegates who were bound to candidates who’ve since dropped out), and at this point Kasich might as well stay in (either if he wants to help Cruz, or spite Trump, or gamble on a brokered convention, or gamble on Trump asking him to be his VP.)

  83. I SERIOUSLY don’t want a President Trump or a President Cruz – or even a President Ryan. I don’t. The prospect makes my skin crawl. But in this context all Hillary Clinton is, is the”lesser evil”. And I”m done. I’m done. If I cannot vote for the greater good why would I want to just follow the rest of the lemmings off the usual cliff?

    Just don’t complain if Cruz or Trump get to set the course of the country for the next quarter century or better through the Supreme Court. Don’t complain when women lose access to reproductive care. Don’t complain when your health insurance no longer covers birth control.Don’t complain when the EPA is dismantled. Don’t complain when the Depart of Education is dismantled. Don’t complain when your Social Security benefits dry up and blow away.

    Just don’t.

  84. I live in Oregon and I’m a Sanders supporter. In fact, it’s safe to say this is a pretty safe state for him–if there’s one primary left he’s all but guaranteed to win, it’s this one. Thing is, our primary’s also pretty late (mid-May). I admit Sanders’ chances of winning nomination are slim at this point. So I’m supposed to…do what exactly? Admit defeat? Vote for the establishment candidate like a good little boy? An establishment candidate I will, barring a miracle, almost certainly be voting for in November regardless, because to do otherwise would risk putting in office a demagogue who will almost certainly be our LAST president?

    Can you see why I, and everyone else in my position, would be a tad reluctant to do that?

    At this point, I think it’s important to not let Hillary rest on her laurels. She may be on the path to victory, but it’s important that she realizes this: we disenfranchised folks, the ones you’ve made it pretty clear you don’t represent, are not going anywhere. We’re watching. We won’t be ignored anymore. The things we don’t like about you and made us want to vote for Sanders are STILL the things we don’t like about you and made us want to vote for Sanders. They’re the exact same things that cost you 2008.

    It is, I think, important to understand a couple things here: first, that this, for lack of a better phrase, “presidential dynasty” system we’ve have going the last couple decades isn’t exactly an indicator of good health for our current political system. Second, the standard Democratic fallback of “hey, that other party is CRAZY” is not, never has been, and never will be a viable long-term strategy. Dems tend to eat shit in the midterms, for no doubt a number of reasons, but this one I think doesn’t get enough attention. Voting for Candidate A not because you want to see them in office, but just because it’s vitally important that Candidate B NOT win tends to get tiresome, along with being one of those signs of poor health I was talking about earlier.

  85. @AlmaAlexander Since you won’t be voting in the general election… why even bother to make a comment here? Your opinions mean absolutely zero when you don’t vote. Typical protest vote. Or pouty non-voting THINKS it’s a protest non-vote. I can’t roll my eyes hard enough.

  86. rochrist: “Just don’t complain if Cruz or Trump get to set the course of the country for the next quarter century”

    Not sure I am a fan of the “if you dont vote (*), you cant complain” dogma. If you dont vote, or if you vote for a third party candidate, you have zero influence on the election, certainly. But one should still be allowed to complain because one voter isnt assigned 100% responsibility for the state of the union. An individual American gets around the neighborhood of 1/300,000,000 of a voice in who is president. And then a huge number of different constraints further disenfranchise people even further. The electoral college in states that assign all electoral votes to the winner end up completely disenfranchising voters for the losing candidate. Plus voter-disenfranchisement laws (voter ID and gerrymandering) and political shenanigans like giving neighborhoods you dont like not enough voting booths.

    Basically, voting comes down to having enough spoons. And if you are a far left progressive in a rabidly right wing state and all your state electoral votes are not going to your candidate, you might not have enough spoons to vote, but you still have the right to complain.

    (*) plus or minus “the way I want”.

    Charles: “I admit Sanders’ chances of winning nomination are slim at this point. So I’m supposed to…do what exactly? Admit defeat?”

    America has a simple majority-vote-wins process. Other countries who have newer democracies often have instant-runoff systems, which tends to better empower all voters. Given we dont have I-R for the general election, you have to vote for your favorite of the two most likely to win candidates, or your vote has zero influence.

    But the primaries are kind of like an instant runoff process for each party. So, it would seem like that is the one place in the American presidential process where a persone has a chance to vote for their true favorite candidate, without resorting to tactical voting.

    If you prefer Bernie, vote for Bernie in the primary. Even if he wont win. Once we get to the general election, we are stuck with either tactical voting or having no voice. But the primaries should be where the people can send their party an indicator of where they truly stand.

  87. “If I cannot vote for the greater good why would I want to just follow the rest of the lemmings off the usual cliff?”

    Of course you wouldn’t, because being a moral exhibitionist is just too much fun!

  88. Iain Roberts:

    Tiny in the past, I meant, and demilitarized right after WWII, but point taken. And my husband says Japan has been helping us out quite a bit, so Trump and his incompetent advisers were completely wrong throughout his entire speech, basically. :)

    Jon Marcus:

    Don’t trust her. I voted for Obama last go-run. And I didn’t trust him either. I don’t trust Sanders either. He’s done shit I don’t like. We’re not supposed to trust them. Our representatives are not our parents. We are supposed to be critical of them, push them, protest, demand change, to get them to work on the policies we want. The more public support policies are seen as having, the more politicians work for that. That’s why Obama told gay rights activist that they needed to get more public support and protest and call for action and pressure on Congresspeople and state politicians (and lawsuits etc.) for him to be able to do anything on gays in the military, much less DOMA, and when they did, he did and Democratic Congresspeople did, etc. I hate that screaming to get change is how it works, but in America, it’s definitely how it works and keeps the politicians on their toes.

    At the same time, we have to understand that as individualistic as American culture is, American politics are not individualistic. They are party politics and numbers matter. (And no, that’s not just because of the electoral college.) The President has very little actual power. You have to hit at every level. Negotiations and compromises are part of the checks and balances by which a bill becomes a law. But when the entire gauntlet for those bills is run by the far right (now known as the Republican party due to their purges,) then we get unconstitutional laws passed through lickety-split and massive obstruction to getting anything productive done, like just fixing our roads and bridges.

    So for what we need Hilary for, Hilary will be fine, and we can keep the pressure up with very vocal demands, not all of which will get met and most of which are dependent on getting as many Democrats in office as possible. I want change faster. I totally support my daughter and her friends demanding change faster. But if there is a Republican in the White House, not going to happen. If Bernie’s supporters go out and vote Democrat and encourage very liberal Democrats to run at mid-terms too and go out and VOTE for them, and keep screaming and calling for change, they will continue to have an impact on policy. If they go off and sulk in their houses and don’t vote, they won’t have an impact on policy. The Republicans and right-leaning independents have been very good at getting their party seats and their policy demands heard. Hence, NC and Mississippi bigot laws.

    Quite possibly, those on the left and Democrats are never going to have as much fun as they’ll have in the next six months going after Trump and snagging more Republican seats away from them. There has seldom been as good an opportunity offered up by the Republicans as Trump, who is a problem for them not because he goes against their policies — he embraces them — but because they know he’s going to ruin the down ticket.

    Hilary needs to go left to beat Trump (although she’s already ahead and he’s hated.) And she’s already going left. I realize women rights might not seem very left to some folk, but actually it is. And Democrats pressurizing her to stay left is exactly what we need to do. But Bernie does not have the pressure because she’s already beaten him. If his campaign continues to try to erode support for her in favor of Trump as if they were still really competing, rather than making policy points, that gives her less incentive to listen to and try to bring in Bernie’s contingent, not more. So if Bernie stays in, he stays in; I’d just like him to do his negotiations with her quicker. But more importantly, it’s the entire Democratic party PLATFORM, not just Hilary, that needs to be pushed — and used to help elect Democrats. That platform is what makes policy, not the lone presidential candidate. And that means focusing on the general election and hammering the Republicans like an anvil. :)

  89. Kat: But Bernie does not have the pressure because she’s already beaten him. If his campaign continues to try to erode support for her in favor of Trump as if they were still really competing, rather than making policy points, that gives her less incentive to listen to and try to bring in Bernie’s contingent, not more.

    Again, a total Hillary supporter giving Bernie supporters advice on what is best for them…. that just happens to be exactly what’s best for Hillary and maybe not actually whats best for Bernie supporters? Priceless. But by all means, Kat, keep pushing the Hillary machine.

    Hillary didn’t hold out for four days after Obama got the nomination because it gave Obama less incentive to listen to her. She held out EXACTLY because it gave her *more* leverage, not less. Advising Bernie supporters that it is in their best interest to capitulate NOW, much, much earlier than Hillary did in 2008? Not only priceless, but also hypocritical.

    Currently, bernie supporters have legit policy concerns about Hillary that need to be addressed, and until they’re addressed, capitulating to the Hillary machine does them absolutely no good. Hillary needs to somehow address the millions of dollars she’s gotten from WallStreet and make some kind of commitment to (A) regulate Wall Street and (B) get money out of politics. Another big concern is Hillary has supported every major American military intervention since the early nineties. Hillary needs to come out and make a clear campaign promise against waging war, and Hillary supporters need to come out and say they would stop supporting Hillary if she wages war, if anyone wants to give Bernie supporters a reason for actively supporting HIllary.

    Hillary supporters who do everything in their power to change the subject from concerns about Hillary to how Bernie supporters are adolescent whiners for not capitulating to Hillary months ago, or giving them “advice” about what’s in their best interest, or basing their argument on how evil Trump is so to avoid any criticism of Hillary, they might be doing their best to support Hillary, but are doing nothing to recruit Bernie supporters to their team. That approach will most likely get Bernie supporters to support Bernie to the very bitter end in hopes that Bernie can magically win the nomination or strike some kind of deal with Hillary that addresses wall street money and 25 years of war mongering.

    So if Hillary supporters want Bernie supporters to jump ship early, they need to address teh concerns Bernie supporters have about Hillary, not simply advise them to magically do whatever happens to be in Hillary’s best interest, while telling Bernie supporters that its for their own good. That will only drag things out as long as possible, and possibly end with a bunch of Bernie supporters staying home on election day. But that does mean, Hillary supporters have to actually be *critical* of Hillary to some degree, which clearly some of her supporters are incapable of.

    So, maybe this whole thing will just ride out to the bitter end.

  90. I’m with Kat. She is 100 percent right about the sulking Berners. If Bernie stays in as a pouty protest… he becomes even more irrelevant. Which is just fine with me. Because ugh… his insufferable dude bro contingent can’t slink away into oblivion fast enough.

  91. You know, Betsy, you’re really not making me like your candidate any more with your sneering elitism. Right now I’m going to vote for her in the general because she’s competent, and she’s neither a sack of shit that walks nor an orangutan in a suit, but you’re seriously making me (emotionally) want to just sit the general out rather than vote for the same person as you. That’s how annoying your comments about “pouty protests” and “insufferable dudebro contingents” are. And, it kind of takes one to know one about insufferable supporters. Need I remind you that it was the Clinton supporters who stooped to spamming pro-Sanders Facebook pages with child porn recently?

    Furthermore, Bernie Sanders is the opposite of irrelevant. He’s shown to Clinton and the Democratic elite that there’s a very liberal wing of the party base that wants radical change, and soon, as opposed to the puttering around that we normally get. We’re also pretty tired of the sneering paternalism we got from Clinton supporters for voting Obama in ’08 (not me, personally–I have close family who voted in that primary, though, and my mom was even called a “gender traitor” for voting Obama), and we’re as sick of the same old establishment candidates being nominated as the Republican base is. You’re also making a huge fuss out of nothing. Remember ’08? Big, divided Democratic primary, pretty vicious, Obama eventually won, Hillary fans were yelling that he was going to cost the Dems the election? Yeah, he kind of won that election handily. And the next one, despite every racist in the USA calling him an atheist Muslim Satanist communist socialist Kenyan Jew and waving every scrap of paper they could find to “prove” that Hawaii isn’t part of the US or some bullshit like that. When your opponent is as bad as Republican candidates have been these past two elections (seriously, the MittBot? Der Trumpenführer? The mountain of shit in a skin suit that we call Ted Cruz?), it’s REALLY hard not to win.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a candidate that better fits my views to win. There is nothing wrong with not “being strategic” in our votes, because let’s face it, Trump’s a bigot and idiot who will be lucky to get 45%, meaning that Hillary will win in a landslide even if Bernie stays in until the convention. Also, remember 2008? When Hillary fans threatened to vote Republican because Obama won the primary, and it took Clinton four days after Obama clinched the nomination to concede? Yeah. Don’t overlook your own clique’s immature behavior when accusing others of the same in what’s actually been a very reasonable, polite, and decent campaign on the blue side. Hell, even the worst insults that Clinton and Sanders have leveled at each other barely reach the point of “mildly impolite”, as opposed to the reeking shitshow on the Republican side.

    tl;dr: Please stop acting superior and sneering at Bernie fans, it’s as annoying as Greg arguing the same point over and over, and it makes us all look bad.

  92. @floored
    Do you not read the misoynistic comments berniebros leave all over the Internet? They are insufferable and they should slink away. It would be great if they could take trump’s talking points with them when they go. All the Bernie supporters I know IRL want them gone too.

    (Obligatory #notallberniesupporters)

  93. Betsy: ” I’m with Kat.”

    Sure, because you have always been for Hillary, and what Kat is saying is good for Hillary.

    “sulking … pouty protest… irrelevant… insufferable dude bro contingent”

    Hillary is a hawk who has supported every major American military action since the 90’s. Those clusterfucks kill tens of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of foreign civilians, cost America trillions of dollars, and do nothing but breed the next generation of terrorists via blowback.

    And the only one who is going to stop that is someone like Bernie and his supporters, because Hillary still refuses to straight out admit her vote for the Iraq war was a huge mistake, and all her supporters continue to insist that Hilly is perfect, above any and all criticism, and any attempt to criticize Saint Hillary, Queen Hillary, can only be sexist dude bros.

    Whatever. You get to choose your course of action. But people who are sick of Wall Street and corporations like Haliburton buying yet another war are going to see your worwhip of Saint Hillary as only reinforcing their belief that they have to support Bernie until he wins the nomination or at the very least until he can get some concessions from her that might help reduce the likelyhood of yet another 15 years in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a new front in Syria, thousands more dead American troops lives squandered in the desert, tens of thousands of civilians killed, the next generation of terrorists raised under American shelling, and trillions of dollars literally up in smoke.

    If peace is pouty, then this is me pouting.

  94. Folks, I have made more stupid mistakes and any three of you put together. It’s life. My makeup is to just keep walking anyway and bless my bad memory, it’s how I am. And I don’t want to abuse anyone from their pouting allowances either — that’s fun, especially with ice cream.

    That being said, I want to tell you what my INSTINCTS say here: Bernie – whom to me seems a standup guy – should walk into that “back smoking room” of the Democratic Party with tail between legs and talk things out with Hillary, and do as told. I’m not saying this because of who’s right or wrong or politics or weltanschauung or anything, but because in the my 6 decades of life I’ve noticed that seems to be how things get done at certain times when political things are happening. And I’d be the *LAST* person to suggest what suggestions should be made in that smoking room! (And erm, sorry, I guess nobody smokes anyway now). Maybe everyone would agree Bernie was right anyway, but only secretly in that room; I don’t know.

    I’m just saying dance steps are dance steps, and the music is playing.

  95. because Hillary still refuses to straight out admit her vote for the Iraq war was a huge mistake,

    “When I voted to authorize force in 2002, I said that it was ‘probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make.’ I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple.”

    Hillary Clinton, _Hard Choices_ (2014), p. 127.

    ““I made it very clear that I made a mistake, plain and simple. And I have written about it in my book, I have talked about it in the past,” Clinton told reporters at an event in Cedar Falls, Iowa…”

    Hillary Clinton, 2015, from http://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/hillary-clinton-iraq-war-vote-mistake-iowa-118109

  96. @Greg: “America has a simple majority-vote-wins process.”

    Ah, no… Ask President Gore about the simple majority-vote-wins process. The presidential nominating process has many different voting methods, including winner take all, proportional allocation, allocation by congressional districts, caucuses, and superdelegates. The general election is determine by the electoral college. We are most assuredly not “majority-vote-wins” here.

    And, Cruz is not going to drop out because he’s going to be the nominee. Trump won’t make it on the first ballot and then all bets are off. Cruz has been stacking the delegates with supporters since day one. He’ll take it on a second or third ballot. There will be much hand-wringing and punditry, and the Trump supporters will probably riot, but if you think Cruz cares about that, you’ve not been paying attention. Why do you think there is so much piling on right now on Cruz? They are trying desperately to head off the pending disaster they know is coming.

  97. DAVID:

    http://www.msnbc.com/hardball/watch/clinton-defends-her-iraq-war-vote-644430403940

    Watch the video.

    She says she was right to fear Iraq because Bill was told in the 90’s that Iraq had nukes. Mathews says he interviewed a guy from the CIA and they never said that because they didnt have evidence. Hillary then says that Hans Blix was trying to get to the bottom of the nuke question, but that doesnt prove anything about they were told in the 90’s because Blix wasnt an inspector until 2000.

    Scott Ritter was the inspector in the 90’s and he has stated Saddam was about 90% disarmed, but the problem was that the CIA or someone had been planting spies in his inspection teams who werent interested in getting Saddam disarmed, they were trying to locate Saddam and kill him. The policy of regime change started with Bill Clinton in the 90’s and Hillary supported that policy. She defends that policy in the interview.

    So Ritters inspections were going along in the 90’s and they were getting pressure to inspect places that had nothing to do with WMD disarmament and everything to do with finding Saddams hiding locations. Attempts were made on Saddams life, and thats when Saddam shut down the inspections.

    Regime change was Bills policy and Hillary still defends that policy even now.

    When Mathews pushes her on the vote again, she says “it was an inteligence failure”. She isnt saying regike change was a problem, she is blaming someone else for her vote.

    Then she says the problem was that she trusted Bush to follow diplomacy and let the inspectors finish. The one and only mistake she admits? That she trusted Bush.

    Again, she still believes regime change was and still is a viable foreign policy. When she says her vote was a mistake, the specific thing she is saying was a mistake is that she trusted Bush.

    That isnt actually taking responsibility for the policy of regime change that was behind the whole war, that isnt saying the regime change policy was a mistake, that taking out foreign leaders is a bad thing. The only thing she is saying was a mistake was that she trusted Bush to execute the policy of regime change well, and now she realizes she shouldnt have trusted him.

    That isnt saying “war is bad, i made a mistake voting for the war”. That is saying “we needed to kill Saddam, and a war to accomplish that would have been ok, but Bush screwed up the execution of that plan.”

    That is not renouncing war, that is saying we just ran the war poorly.

    And that is the crux of the problem with Hawks. Hawks think wars can be easy, cheap, and zero blowback, and its just a problem with execution if a war turns out badly. Hawks think Vietnam was a good war, they just think they got betrayed by the American people. Hawks think we can roll in without a single death, kick out the existing power, be greeted as liberators, hang out for six weeks partying, and then roll out under the banners of a strong democratic culture set up while we are there.

    Hillary is renouncing none of those hawkish fantasies. She is saying the war could have been executed well, but the mustake she made was trusting Bush to do it correctly.

    Once someone really incorporates the true costs of war, the blood shed on both sides for the invasion, the hatred generated by an occupation, the futility of forcing a culture to adopt a “democracy” (but only so long as the “right” people win, *cough* egypt *cough* muslim brotherhood), the inevitability that your troops will cause civilian deaths, and the blowback all that causes, then one either becomes a Dove, or at the very least advocates strongly against military action unless the cost of not acting is extremely high. Generally, hawks call those people cowards, but it seems to me they are simply accounting for the actual, real world, completely inevitable costs of war, whereas hawks like Hillary hold onto the fantasy that one can have a “clean” war, a “cheap” war, and any failure to do that is merely the fault of a bad commander in chief rather than noting the pattern that every war has these costs.

    All Hillary does in this video is repeat all the same hawkish arguments we always hear from Republicans and from hawks: War can be had with little or no cost. The only “mistake” she admits to is trusting Bush to execute the war correctly.

    Which pretty much misses the entire goddamn point.

  98. Wow.

    To answer howardbrazee’s question, Jill Stein should not give up, but she should stop tilting at windmills and get serious. There is no way for a Green Party presidential candidate to win an election in the U.S. with the system set up as it presently is. If she wants to have a say in the outcome of the presidential election, or possibly _be_ president, she has to do what Bernie did.

    As for all the people who keep bashing Greg and saying that he’s being mean, please take a step back and look at what he’s actually said. Change the names from “Bernie” to “Trudeau” or something, and from “Clinton” to “Smith.” And then read it again and see if you can find the places where he said something argumentative. I say this because I’m not seeing it. You may not agree with him, and that’s fine, but I really don’t think he’s said a single thing that’s even unpleasant.

    As for what Sanders should do, he should continue, because we need reform in the Democratic party. I think that if Hillary weren’t running an election against him, she’d agree, because she’s a smart woman, and I think her beliefs are quite a bit to the left of the neo-liberal position that she’s staked out during her career.

    A friend of mine who works for the state department theorizes that her experience with the genocide in Rwanda, and our failure to do anything about it, is behind her hawkishness. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s certainly plausible. It doesn’t make it any better from my perspective, since I think an intervention in Rwanda would have been disastrous, but we don’t need to think of her as being puzzlingly deranged about this particular issue. Unfortunately, the antiquated idea that war is the way you solve problems, which is something we inherited from America’s “Greatest Generation,” is still deeply believed by her generation, and there’s no avoiding it.

    The point being, we don’t have to demonize Hillary to want to try to pull her back from some of her less palatable positions. She’s a human being like the rest of us; the fact that she is very qualified for the job she is at this point quite likely to get is good news; the fact that she has extreme interventionist leanings is not good news, and making efforts to moderate that is work worth doing. Bernie is doing it, and I applaud him for it. I hope he backs off on the divisive rhetoric, but I want him to go to the convention and try to get as much reform as he can, and not just give up and go home.

  99. *Note for those not aware, I don’t read or respond to Greg’s posts, haven’t for years, so cross-referencing need not apply.

    Hilary doesn’t matter. If Bernie had the nomination, I’d be Bernie’s girl. Just as I would if Hilary took the nomination from Obama back in ’08. I don’t care who their followers are or the stupid things they say (although I’m all for protesting those doing egregious things; rap the bros verbally on the knuckles.) I care about getting Democratic butts in the seats. I care about changing the social clime, about policies and laws, which needs in the U.S. Democratic butts in the seats to do. I care about reducing the amount of heavy lifting needed to change the social clime and get progressive policies and laws and problem solutions.

    You are not going to punish the global rich. They prosper no matter the economic condition — they will cause both economic failure and economic success, often at the same time, in order to profit from it. No government controls squat with the global rich. But you can herd them (and regulate and legal them somewhat if you get party leverage in the seats.) Disney wasn’t for gay people and supported politicians going against their rights. And now they are a major company supporter of gay rights, gay employees, fighting anti-LGBT rights, etc., because of economic incentives and changing social clime due to activism. Target’s runners supported anti-gay politicians and initiatives. Now they’re the ones leading the charge in North Carolina to help trans and gay people by their store policy in defiance of the bigoted law. Because of economic incentives, a changing social clime due to activism (which changes the business clime,) and a boycott against them over their previous policies. The same with abolition, segregation, women voting, alternate energy, climate change, education, terrorism, civil rights, marriage equality, economic stimulus and healthcare.

    Protest of the rich is great — it helps change social climes, which shifts how the rich hedge their bets and kept Romney from having any chance at the White House at all. But you’re not going to dislodge them. (Even when they cut off a few heads in the old days, they just got new rich to replace them. Maybe one day long from now when we treat all human beings as equal human beings and the planet as not an ashtray, but not now.) So taking their money to get more progressive policies works too.

    So Bernie’s protests are great because they re-mobolized the Occupy Wall Street folk. Was a little less helpful for other important things like gun control and black civil rights. But the issue is Bernie’s optimum effectiveness. I think if he works out a deal in May, it will be more effective. But if he stays in till June, it’s probably going to be okay.

    As for Teddy Cruz, I want him in there fighting until the end to make Trump’s campaign a mess. :) Of course, there is a scary possibility that if Cruz has to chuck in, Trump will make Cruz his running mate in hopes of taking Texas. But with Cruz having picked a running mate, he made that a lot less likely.

  100. Watch the video

    Here are some excerpts from that video (Transcript here: http://info.msnbc.com/_news/2016/03/15/35266445-?lite )

    All of them are Clinton speaking about Iraq:

    “I’ve said it was a mistake,”

    “Now, he didn’t let the inspectors finish. And that’s where I made a mistake. Because if he had let the inspectors finish, what Blix and others argue, they would have been able to prove to the world, so if there had been any doubt, whether manufactured or believed, it would have been ended. That’s why I’ve said repeatedly it was a mistake for me to …”

    “That was a mistake, and I’ve said it was a mistake”

    “I’ve said Iraq was a mistake.”

    That’s six times she says she made a mistake with Iraq.

    But let me ask you: is there any way that Clinton could frame the apology that you would find acceptable?

  101. DAVID: ” That’s six times she says she made a mistake with Iraq.”

    Thats like a murderer saying “I made a mistake shooting that man in the chest. I was aiming for his head.” Sure, he admits a mistake, but he didnt learn the moral of the story.

    “is there any way that Clinton could frame the apology that you would find acceptable?”

    Sure. Something like this:

    ******
    I said my mistake was trusting Bush to allow inspector Hans Blix the chance to finish the job of disarming Saddam in 2003, that my mistake was trusting Bush to allow diplomacy to do the job before resorting to war.

    But, honestly, my husband and I did not allow inspector Scot Ritter the chance of finishing the job of disarming Saddam in 1998. We subverted diplomacy and used the inspection process to infiltrate spies and assassins to try and kill Saddam in 1998. When that failed we launched operation desert fox to try and kill Saddam with bombs. Ritter says Saddam was 90% disarmed in 1998, but we did not let diplomacy and inspections find a peaceful solution. Instead, we jumped the gun to war that brought an end to inspections and disarmament in 1998, which lead directly to the fear of WMDs in Iraq after 9/11 and the invasion in 2003.

    Had we succeeded diplomatically in 1998, had we finished the job of disarming Saddam, Saddam would have been alive in 2003 but with no WMDs, Bush would not have been able to invade. Had we not adopted a policy of war, of regime change, in 1998, Iraq would not have been invaded in 2003, America would not have lost thousands of lives, trillions of dollars, and the respect of the world. Had my husband and I supported diplomatic solutions in 1998, rather than trying to assasinate Saddam, Iraq would not be a smoldering ruin, caught in an intractable civil war, and ISIS would not even exist today. The choice to subvert diplomacy for war in 1998 was my mistake.

    And when I voted FOR the authorization for use of military force againzt Iraq in 2002, I should not have been the least bit surprised if Bush used that authorization to subvert diplomacy the same way we did, I should not have been surprised that Bush would not allow inspections finish the same we did, and I should not have been surpised that Bush would resort to war before diplomacy could find a solution, exactly as we did.

    If I actually “trusted” Bush to allow diplomacy to find a solution, if I actually *expected* Bush to allow inspections to complete, when my husband and I did exactly none of those things in 1998, then I was being a hypocrite, naive, or both.

    My biggest mistake was subverting diplomacy for war in 1998, and then voting for the Iraq war in 2002 knowing full well that Bush was most likely to follow our exact same game plan.

    –signed Hillary Clinton

    Ya know, something like that. The only “mistake” she admits is that she trusted Bush to allow inspectors a chance to finish. Which is fucking hilarious given how she and Bill followed that exact same Hawkish path in 1998. She hasnt learned any lessons about war, she chastizes Bush for doing the same thing she and Bill did, and she has done and said nothing that would indicate she regrets her very real contribution to our country invading Iraq and the ensuing quagmire. To her, its really all Bush’s fault. And she’s still a hawk.

  102. Instead, we jumped the gun to war that brought an end to inspections and disarmament in 1998, which lead directly to the fear of WMDs in Iraq after 9/11 and the invasion in 2003.

    Wait, so your thought is that a Democratic First Lady made a Republican President invade Iraq? That somehow, post 9/11, George Bush was so constrained by what Bill Clinton had done that he had no choice but to invade Iraq? Greg, JS is going to moderate this, but you’re dumber than a box of rocks and twice as thick. You would foam at the mouth if you had the coordination to manage it. I’m just hoping you see this before it’s deleted.

  103. DAVID, and once again, Hillary supporters show they are incapable of allowing any criticism of Hillary to arise without trying to bury it in insults and strawmen.

    It is actually quite simple: Hillary basically admits that the mistake she made was actually Bush’s fault because he should have given inspectors a chance to finish the job rather than go to war.

    But thats EXACTLY what Bill Clinton did in 1998: preempt inspections when they were 90% finished, and resort to force of arms.

    Hillary supported it when her husband preempted inspections in 1998 for violence. She supported Bush doing it in 2002 by voting for the AUMF. But now that she’s been put on the spot, her only defense is “Gosh, how could I have known a president would skip diplomacy and go straight to military action?” Yet thats exactly what her husband did and exactly the action she supported in 1998.

    I always love talking with that special strain of Democrat who thinks an action is wrong when Republicans do it, but think the same action performed by a Democrat is perfectly fine.

    Bush did not let inspections finish and resorted to military action in 2003. Bill Clinton did exactly the same thing in 1998. Hillary supported the actions by her husband but thinks it was bad when Bush did it.

    Apparently you are also one of those not-so-rare birds that operate on the ok-when-me-or-mine-do-it philosophy. You folks are just so adorable, I could squish your cheeks.

  104. Neither Hillary nor Bernie are ideal candidates in all respects—but you go to war with the candidate you have, not the candidate you wish you had. To paraphrase something or another.

    Meanwhile, Bernie has been doing sterling work holding Hillary’s feet to the fire, and he’s useful where he is. Same as with Elizabeth Warren—a Presidential candidate someday, maybe; but right now, she’s well-placed for the critical work she’s doing.

  105. It’s useless getting into a “debate” with Greg. He’s like the bore at the party who follows you around the room repeating himself over and over again until you’re down to a choice of leaving early or dumping your drink over his head. It’s best just to ignore him. And besides, the topic is Cruz/Kasich/Sanders, not Clinton and especially not Bill.

  106. Magda: “It’s useless getting into a “debate” with Greg. ”

    Well, how about if we crticize Clinton using the one source you will listen to: Hillary Clinton herself.

    1998: weapon inspector Scott Ritter says Iraq is about 90% disarmed. Bill Clinton does not allow inspections to finish and instead follows the policy of regime change. Hillary supported this policy then and she still supports it now.

    2003: weapon inspector Hans Blix says that inspections are moving along, that they havent found any violations, and they should be done in a few months. Bush does not allow the inspectors to finish and instead follows the policy of regime change. Hillary voted for this in 2002.

    In 2016, Hillary says this:

    “Now, he didn’t let the inspectors finish. … if he had let the inspectors finish, … they would have been able to prove to the world, so if there had been any doubt, whether manufactured or believed, it would have been ended. ” –Hillary Clinton

    Hillary’s own words are her own best criticism. Her “defense” of her 2002 vote for war was that she thought Bush would let diplomacy resolve the problem if it could. According to Hillary 2016, Bush’s terrible mistake was not letting inspectors finish and adopting the policy of refime change. And yet, her own words condemn her support of regime change in 1998.

    Hillary only acknowledges that Bush made a mistake not allowing inspectors to finish. In true Saint Hillary fashion, she never acknowledges that her support of regime change before inspections finished in 1998 was just as huge a mistake.

  107. @magda, almost sealionish. I’ve also noticed a gender difference in who he is most likely to focus on if there are several targets. He doesn’t ignore the guys if they’re the only ones engaging, but is much more likely to address the women if that is an option. (Please feel free to prove me wrong by tabulating all your previous responses, Greg. That should take some time and keep you entertained.)

    Like Kat, I realized I should stop reading his comments, but I only noticed his existence relatively recently.

  108. Greg. Please stop.

    Ask yourself what purpose you’re serving with your writing. Whom are you trying to affect? What effect are you trying to have on them?

    If you’re trying to persuade Clinton voters, you’re not going about it in a very persuasive way. If you’re trying to persuade undecided voters, well, you’re not exactly creating an ambience that they’re likely to want to spend more time in. Even the Sanders voters in this conversation are uncomfortable with the way you’re arguing for their candidate.

    I could explain, line by line, how you’re coming across, but I know from long experience that when you’re in this mode you aren’t likely to listen to such an analysis. So I’ll say it bluntly, and you can pay attention to someone who has seen you in this state before in other contexts or not: you’re not doing any good for any cause here. If you can’t be kinder to your fellow conversationalists, you’d be wiser to step back before OGH takes things in hand.

  109. Abi: “what purpose you’re serving”

    Well the most recent bit started with Betsy saying “the sulking Berners” are nothing but a “pouty protest… irrelevant… insufferable dude bro contingent”

    I said there are legitimate criticisms of Hillary that justify supporting Bernie as long as possible. She’s a hawk. Bernie is not. She has supported ever major American military operation since the 90’s. She has never apologized for her Iraq vote, she merely says Bush tricked her.

    DAVID argued that Hillary apologized for her Iraq vote, and he asked “is there any way that Clinton could frame the apology that you would find acceptable?”

    I said that she could take responsibility for the effect her 2002 vote had in enabling the invasion, rather than trying to say Bush somehow tricked her. She could take responsibility for the effect her support of regime change back in 1998 had in creating the mess in Iraq when 9/11 happened.

    Given Hillary won’t take responsibility for her 2002 vote or her 1998 support of regime change, and given her supporters will not allow criticism of said support, it seems the only course would be for Bernie to stay in as long as possible and horsetrade his support for some kind of change-of-course from Clinton that would show that she is tacking away from 25 years of hawkishness.

    Abi: “I could explain, line by line, how you’re coming across,”

    When Betsy said Bernie and all his supporters at this point are a “pouty protest… irrelevant… insufferable dude bro contingent”, I think I came across in reply more polite than that.

    When DAVID told me I’m “dumber than a box of rocks and twice as thick. You would foam at the mouth if you had the coordination to manage it.” I think I replied in a manner more polite than that.

    When Falstaff called me a “poltroon” for using a word he didn’t like, I called him a poltroon back. Maybe that wasn’t the best response. I got a bit frustrated and shouldn’t have replied as I did. For that I apologize to everyone, including Falstaff.

    If you can point to any specific quote or sentence from me in this thread that came across worse than “pouty protest… irrelevant… insufferable dude bro contingent” or worse than “dumber than a box of rocks and twice as thick. You would foam at the mouth if you had the coordination to manage it.” please paste a quote and I will apologize immediately.

    Thanks,
    Greg

  110. Greg, actually, no. You’ve had multiple people tell you over the course of the last couple of threads that you’re coming across as hostile, including me. It’s not about any specific quote. It’s about you generally having a hostile attitude that comes through your posts. Figure it out and scale back the hostility, or if you can’t figure it out, bow out. Otherwise I will be telling you to bow out.

  111. Christ, people, can we just agree that both Sanders and Clinton are flawed but competent individuals who would be good Presidents, and that both are infinitely preferable to the pseudosentient incarnation of arrogance and the Hitler clone in a bad toupee that the Republicans are offering us?

  112. Not to change the subject or anything, but I had a thought that I might as well ask about here since I’m too lazy to find anywhere else. There’s been a lot of talk about the Republicans changing the rules for the convention to counter Trump. Which would be totally allowed because they always modify the rules before every convention, even if it’d really piss off Trump supporters.

    Now that it’s looking very possible that Trump might manage to win enough delegates to clinch the nomination before the convention, my question is, could the rules be changed so that doesn’t matter? I mean, right now the rule is “Get X delegates, you’re the nominee.” Is that one of the rules that can be changed? ‘Cause that would be epic. I’d look forward to it with glee if I wasn’t worried about the rioting that would almost certainly result.

  113. John: ” Greg, actually, no. … you’re coming across as hostile, … It’s not about any specific quote.”

    Abi said she could go “line by line”, so I was just taking her up on her offer. No offense meant by it.

    If my posts are more hostile than directly calling someone a poltroon or directly telling someone they are dumber than a box of rocks, but no specific quote from this thread shows it, then maybe I am too close to the topic to see it. I will drop off and come back in a day or two and reread the thread from the beginning. Maybe some fresh air will let me see it.

    Apologies.

  114. PeterM:

    Now that it’s looking very possible that Trump might manage to win enough delegates to clinch the nomination before the convention, my question is, could the rules be changed so that doesn’t matter? I mean, right now the rule is “Get X delegates, you’re the nominee.”

    Well the rules are a bit more complicated than that. You’re not golden if you get past the majority number in votes/delegates, just very solid. If you get to that point, then there’s no way for any other candidate to pass you in votes/delegates. But the delegates, who represent the primary voters and caucuses who stated their preferences, still have to vote the candidate into the nomination at the convention. So it would be very hard to change it if Trump gets the majority point, but not impossible under the current rules. There are a number of ways you can have a hung convention and several rounds of delegate voting. The delegates are bound to vote for the candidate they are assigned as representing the primary votes, but only in the first round of voting. After that, they may or may not be obligated to keep voting for that candidate, depending on their state rules for the state Republican parties.

    And the delegates and the party officers can also change rules, including changing it so that delegates aren’t bound to the assigned candidate in the first round of voting. Primary elections are not the same as general elections — they aren’t ruled by any state or federal laws. Political parties are essentially private clubs and set themselves their own rules. They don’t even have to have a primary election to decide who they’re going to sponsor for the general election. (That’s why some states have caucuses which only reflect tiny portions of the state party, but you don’t even have to have a caucus. And that’s why the screaming about how Independent voters should be able to vote in all the primaries of parties they don’t belong to is ridiculous. You don’t join the club, you’re not a member, and you only get to vote if the club says you can in your state.)

    Trump does not have the support of any of the Republican party’s ruling factions — he’s an outsider. That also makes him vulnerable since if the Republican party doesn’t support him in the general election, he has a messy time actually being their nominee. So even if he gets the majority, Trump should be trying to do reconciliation and alliances in the party at this point. But so far, he has not really done that. That means the delegates assigned to him (some of whom are also elected by votes in the primaries,) may not be that loyal to him, may believe that he’s destroying the party platform. Trump is claiming that they will be and will even riot if thwarted. But there are wars going on in the party. And the main officers are concentrating on trying to hold the Senate for the Republicans and keep Democrats from making in-roads in the House, since they think Trump will lose the general election.

    If Trump does not get his majority — though it looks like he will — it’s going to be a hell of a convention party. Other candidates can try to combine their delegates to deny Trump the votes he needs to win the nomination. (That’s what Cruz and Kaisch teaming up is about.) If he gets the majority, it’s harder to dislodge him, but not at all impossible. If they go along with giving him the nomination to avoid a full meltdown in the party, that doesn’t mean that the full scaffolding of the party is going to support and endorse him in the general election.

  115. @PeterM

    Basically any rule can be changed. However, the convention itself has to ratify the operating rules for the convention. It is true that delegates bound to a candidate are not bound to support their candidate on rules votes but they are likely to be reluctant to support any changes that are clearly being proposed solely to defeat the candidate that did best in the primary campaign.

    If we’re looking at extreme scenarios, it might actually be legal for the RNC to simply decide that they’re ignoring the convention entirely and simply appointing a candidate. Although I’m absolutely certain that there isn’t going to be even an attempt to go that far.

  116. I am going to chime in to say that Kat Goodwin’s comments are the highlight of the thread. Ten points to (what was your House again?)

  117. Linnen:

    I am going to chime in to say that Kat Goodwin’s comments are the highlight of the thread. Ten points to (what was your House again?)

    Hufflepuff

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