Michigan and Mississippi and Those Other States Too
Posted on March 9, 2016 Posted by John Scalzi 178 Comments
Thoughts on last night’s political festivities:
1. Wow, the pollsters surely humped the proverbial bunk last night in Michigan, didn’t they? Hillary Clinton was in most polls up by double digits in the state against Bernie Sanders, and yet at the end of the day, Sanders squeaked by with a victory, 49.8% to 48.3%. What’s interesting about it is that the news stories I’ve seen have been like “Hillary Clinton’s surprise loss in Michigan raises an urgent question for her campaign: What went wrong?” when the ledes should be “All the polling in Michigan for the Democratic race has been horribly inaccurate: How did the pollsters blow it so badly?” I mean, with the possible exception of her own internal polling, Clinton’s not exactly responsible for the polling being egregiously wrong, is she? That’s on the actual pollsters themselves. If the polling had been accurate, then the closeness of the Michigan Democratic results wouldn’t have been surprise. This is a reminder that simulations and polling are just that: Simulations and polling. You still have to run the election.
This does put Clinton on notice that she can’t pivot to Trump yet; she still has to beat Sanders, and maybe she shouldn’t take that as a done deal just yet. A useful reminder to be sure. But it should also put the rest of us on notice that, hey, guess what: In this political season, no one knows anything. I mean, everyone got Michigan so wrong I’m glad I was well ahead of the curve reminding people I’m often wrong about political stuff. But this does mean that no one should be genially blithe about the predictions for next week in Florida and Ohio (and all those other states that will be having elections, as if they matter, hmph). The pollsters have shown that when it comes to the Democratic races, at least, they’re currently working on an immense margin of error.
2. With that said, a reminder to justifiably happy Sanders supporters that Clinton ended last night with 18 more pledged delegates than Sanders thanks to her blowout of Mississippi, where she won 24 delegates to Sanders’ three, and because in Michigan she won 58 to his 63, thanks to the closeness of that race. Overall, Clinton is 214 pledged delegates up, and the gap, so far at least, continues to stretch in Clinton’s favor.
Sanders’ problem is that generally speaking, when Clinton wins, she’s won with larger margins than Sanders does when he wins, and (of course) she’s won more states than he has. To mix sporting metaphors, Sanders’ wins are mostly three yards and a cloud of dirt, while Clinton’s wins mostly are triples and home runs. It was a surprise Sanders won Michigan, and that’s energizing to his campaign, and justly so. But he netted only five more delegates out of the state than Clinton did. If he doesn’t start winning some big states with wider margins, he’s just not going to catch up.
Will he? Well, you know. Before last night you could look at the polls and say, oh, probably not, but today, knowing how gloriously the pollsters whiffed in Michigan, you can say, who knows? I don’t think he will — I suspect next Tuesday he’s probably going to lose Florida by a large margin and if he wins other states, he’ll win them by margins like we saw in Michigan. Which means, again, he’ll be further behind in terms of delegates.
But then, what do I know? Apparently, as much as anyone else as regards the Democratic primary races, which appears to be: Not much! It certainly makes for exciting times. The good kind of exciting, mind you, not the scary oh fuck how could this actually still be happening exciting on the GOP side.
3. Speaking of which: Three states and 73 delegates last night for Donald Trump, one state and 59 delegates for Ted Cruz, and pretty much dick for Marco Rubio, who finished the night with one (1) delegate to his tally, or, 16 fewer than John “I’m only in this to win my home state” Kasich. Yes, yes, the #NeverTrump express is chugging right along, my friends. They are blunting his momentum so hard! As a fellow named Max Berger archly noted on Twitter: “It’s somewhat ironic that the GOP will be destroyed by a billionaire against whom they couldn’t figure out how to collectively organize.”
FiveThirtyEight notes that Trump is currently at 106% of the delegate count it thinks he needs, momentum-wise, in order to get the GOP nomination in the free and clear. Inasmuch as Ohio and Florida are winner-take-all states for the Republicans, if he wins either of them next week, it’s a much harder slog for Cruz (realistically the only one who can catch him, although he’s only at 69% of his target count). If he wins both, everyone else in the GOP better start praying for a bolt of lightning to strike Trump dead.
Yet again, the GOP’s problem is that it wants desperately to stop Trump, but unfortunately the voter base it’s cultivated for years to accept a candidate just like Trump is doing what it’s been trained to do. And while the irony is delicious, it has a horrifying aftertaste because it doesn’t change the fact that barring divine intervention, Trump and his fascistic shitshow of a campaign are going to the general election. So, you know, again: Thanks for that, GOP.
(And while I’m at it, GOP, thanks so much also for having the only barely viable alternative to Trump be Ted Cruz, a bipedal mound of pig offal that yet manages to form words. When we’re done with this election, we’re going to have a talk, you and I. Depend on it.)
4. Hey, Scalzi, you ask, do you think the GOP will actually fracture because of Trump? The more I think about it the more I think “no,” because of several reasons. One, and what should be most obviously, the actual people who vote GOP seem to be just fine with Trump. Say what you will about the fact he’s running the most overtly racist and horrible campaign in modern history, but at the end of the day he’s the front runner because he’s earning the votes and delegates. He’s playing by the rules the GOP set up and he’s winning (and don’t think that at this moment the GOP doesn’t wish that it had borrowed that “superdelegate” idea from the Democrats).
Two, the question to start asking is not whether the GOP hates Trump more than Cruz, but whether it hates Trump more than Clinton, or Sanders. Let’s stipulate that the GOP in general hates Clinton with an unholy passion, out of muscle reflex if nothing else. A quarter century of intense dislike of a single person (and her husband) is hard to shake. As for Sanders, they don’t have the same institutional hatred of him as they do of Clinton, but, look, he’s an actual goddamn socialist, or something close enough that the sort of person who thinks Barack Obama is as pink as a Swedish daycare will lose their ever-lovin’ mind about living in Sanders’ America (I’m coming back to this in a minute).
So I submit to you that the average GOP establishment type, confronted with the choice of Clinton or Sanders, or Trump, is going to suck it up and vote for Trump. As Josh Marshall put it, #NeverTrump is actually just #EventuallyTrump, and just as Cruz and Rubio and Kasich stood up there on that podium and after excoriating Trump for two hours and said they would vote for him in general, so will the GOP folks currently holding their head at the shonda that is Donald Trump do the same.
So, no, I don’t think there will be a fracturing, and Clinton and Sanders (but mostly Clinton) are the reason. You might have people sit out; you might even have GOP folks hold their nose and secretly (or not so secretly!) vote for Clinton or Sanders in the general. But I suspect one way or another the GOP holds together. Whether this is a good thing for them in the long run is a discussion for another time, that time, I imagine, being the comment thread.
5. To follow up on this thought in more detail: For the Democrats/liberals in the crowd, I suspect that in general election, an advantage that Clinton has, that Sanders does not, is familiarity — not to the people who like her, but with regard to the people who don’t. I think the vast majority of Clinton’s potential negatives are already baked into her public persona, whereas Sanders’ negatives have yet to be played with in a general sense.
What do I mean by this? I mean that everyone who is going to hate Clinton — for her political positions, for her gender, for her public demeanor, for her husband, for Vince Foster and Benghazi and her email server — probably already does. There aren’t really too many surprises left there. She’s a known quantity for everyone.
Sanders, on the other hand, represents a whole lot of opportunity on the part of the GOP and its various allies to scaremonger and to have that scaremongering be a significant part of the Sanders’ public persona. I mean, come on: If you don’t think the GOP isn’t going to have a field day with the socialist thing, for starters, you haven’t been paying attention to what the Republicans have been about for the last three decades. The Republicans haven’t been very good at government for a long time (in part because they don’t really want to be), but they are just fine at scaring old and/or angry white people, thanks very much, and they’ll be more than happy to fill them in on all the terrible things they don’t know about Sanders.
(And if you don’t think Sanders being a Jew won’t matter in the election, remember who Donald Trump retweets. Be assured the GOP as a party won’t go anywhere near that, and I say that with no wink or nod whatsoever; The GOP knows enough to steer well clear of anti-semitism. But also be assured that Sanders being a Jew, and a Jewish socialist, will be a topic of “conversation” anyway for a fair number of the folks who will be voting for the GOP candidate, particularly if the candidate is Trump.)
This is not to say scaremongering is fated to work. After all, Barack Hussein Obama, Black Muslim born in Africa, was elected twice as president, with majorities both in the popular vote and in the electoral college. But it does mean that there’s more room for Sanders scaremongering to do unexpected damage, because it’s new to the general electorate. The scaremongering on Clinton goes back to the early 90s. It’s stale, and it has a hard ceiling and floor. We don’t know the ceiling and floor on the Sanders scaremongering yet. And that’s a real factor to consider.
As usual with political discussions, the Mallet is out; please behave and be kind in how you treat each other.
As a side note, in noting I think anti-semitism is likely to be at play if Sanders is in the general election, I’ll note that the left currently has people in it who feel negatively toward Israel, in particular regard to its current government and many of its policies, and there’s certainly an argument as to whether (and to what extent) anti-semitism plays a role in that. BUT, it’s not an argument to be had in this particular comment thread, please. It’s waaaaaaaay off topic. Let’s take it as read and stick to the discussion at hand.
@John: “the ledes should be ‘All the polling in Michigan for the Democratic race has been horribly inaccurate: How did the pollsters blow it so badly?’”
The simplest answer? Cell phones. Does anyone ever pickup on unknown caller numbers? I sure don’t.
This phenomenon has become a major problem for pollsters and it is unlikely to go away anytime soon . . .
See this New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/opinion/sunday/whats-the-matter-with-polling.html?_r=0
Michigan is a pretty unique state in that there hasn’t been a contested Democratic presidential primary in over ten years, and things have changed in that state. Additionally, turnout in Michigan was uncharacteristically high, but turnout in Dane County — home of Detroit — was pretty low. Clinton’s campaign can justifiably be blamed to not taking this one seriously, and a lot of HRC voters appeared to have crossed over to vote in the GOP primary, thinking that the election was in the bag. I wouldn’t read too much into it at this point. The race, as you say, is HRC’s to lose (which, if history is any guide, is not outside of her capabilities… :)).
Nate Silver said that the Michigan polling was the largest polling error in the last 20 years.
I just do not understand why all the media stories I read completely ignore your point 2. The way they talk it sounds like Sanders is winning or even (if it weren’t for those pesky superdelegates), but for pretty much each of these primary nights, she’s up on regular delegates, slowly but surely. Is this just a root for the underdog story or something psychological about Sanders just needing to exceed expectations and it seems like he’s won more delegates, or is this garden-variety a woman needs to get 50% more delegates before she’s considered to have the same number as a man?
On the anti-semite issue, arabs also speak a Semitic language, which makes them semites along with the Assyrians and Persians.
I meant Wayne County.
So, we’re having a free and fair election, that’s hotly contested, featuring wildly different candidates. That at least is a good thing.
“anti-semitism,” however, by nearly all accepted definitions, means prejudice against Jews, however, so let’s not try to confuse the issue by being pedantic, please. Let’s also snip off this particular line of comment as it is not relevant to the main discussion.
Here are the things I see that almost nobody is talking about:
Hillary is winning states that will almost certainly go to the GOP in the general, while Bernie is winning traditionally battleground and blue states. What does that suggest about prospects in the fall? (I don’t know.)
Bernie trounces all GOP comers in head-to-head matchups while Clinton has trouble. And Bernie has the highest positives of all the candidates. Of course these are only polls, and it’s a fair point about Clinton’s negatives already well publicized. But is it really a convincing argument to suggest, Well, Bernie’s negatives haven’t been pounded on yet, despite having been active in politics for decades, so he’ll be just as low and *more* likely to lose than Hillary? (I don’t know, but it seems a stretch.)
What I do know is the hate-fest being waged by hardcore Hillary and Bernie supporters towards each other is getting sickening. What are the implications for the fall? Not good. On that, all I can say to anyone who is planning not to vote is this: Not voting is not a vote, except in the sense that you’re empowering someone else’s vote for the opposite of every choice you’d make.
While we don’t know for sure, I do think that there could legitimately be an element of “What went wrong?” when it comes to Hillary’s performance in Michigan. Even if the polls were wrong, they’re more wrong than they’ve been generally, which points towards a possible collapse of Hillary’s support in Michigan. The polls are conducted some time before the actual election, after all. Maybe her debate performance? Maybe something about rallies, either negative (hers didn’t go well) or positive (his did)? Maybe there is a shift in the African-American demographic? I don’t really think so, but remember that Obama didn’t get a lot of support from that demographic for a while because, while they liked him, they didn’t think he actually had a chance of winning.
“And while the irony is delicious, it has a horrifying aftertaste because it doesn’t change the fact that barring divine intervention, Drumpf and his fascistic shitshow of a campaign are going to the general election.”
Reminds me of Schadenfreude Pie. Can’t eat too much lest it come back to bite you.
Actually, the Clinton dislike might get ratcheted up ONE more notch… if she gets indicted about the mail server. I hope that they either do that or announce that they’re not going to, BEFORE the Democratic convention. Do Not Want to go into the general election with a candidate who has a criminal trial scheduled, y’know?
I’m pretty sure that the fascism flirting that’s currently going on in the Republican Party is going to have a lasting effect on American politics for decades to come. Like so many others have commented before, Trump is not the problem, he’s the symptom. With or without him, the problem isn’t going away any time soon. The other Republican leaders and candidates have made that clear – they seem, willfully or ignorantly, to not see the root problem. Until they do, they can’t fix it.
For future reference, if you’re going to change a quote from me, I’d prefer you note what changes you make. As it happens, I don’t like the “Drumpf” thing much, and I don’t use it, so I find my words being changed to incorporate it… unsettling.
It’s helpful to remember that even a poll with a 5% margin of error (not atypical but probably highly optimistic for non-random populations such as people) will be wrong 1 time in 20, on average. Multiply that by the number of polls per day to get the statistical expectation for the daily error rate. This, of course, assumes that the pollsters are 100% objective and unbiased when they design their polls or select their survey population, and that respondents respond honestly and that their response really reflects their eventual intent. Anyone who believes these things can contact me privately to discuss that bridge in Brooklyn that I’m selling. Or some lovely swampland in Kapuskasing that’s perfect for developing condominiums to house Americans fleeing north, post-presidential-election.
As for the Trump express, it helps us to remember that famous maxim that those who don’t study history are doomed. (Yes, I’m misquoting for dramatic effect.) Mein Trumpf anyone? Nastier, if not stranger, things have demonstrably happened within living memory, let alone over a longer time horizon. American exceptionalism is all very well, but it shouldn’t blind us to popular delusions and the madness of crowds.
Obama was born in Honolulu, wasn’t he? That’s not Africa, surely.
There are secret prisons in Chicago. Chicago being an American city, this bothers me The cover up was done by both the DNC and the GOP. The media of this country still does not mention it, the silence on this issue from the so called left and right wing media in this country is truly frightening. The silence from people who supposedly champion social justice is deafening. I will not vote for Hillary Clinton or anyone who is paid by corporation or private prisons.
The water, near my home, was poisoned by the government the EPA tried it cover it up people died from this, many children had their Intelligence permanently lowered. This was not a “republican issue” this was a “money in politics issue”. Try to scare me with whatever boogeyman the republicans put up, I simply do not care anymore. I will not vote for anyone supported by corporate money.
This primary election is the biggest social justice movement in the past 30 years because social justice starts with economic justice, without economic justice there is no social justice. The drums of war are beating on an on all in the name of greed and money, we don’t go to war to protect people we go to war for money. It is not the children of the wealthy or even the middle class who get to fight these wars it is the children of people without any options, neighborhoods where the only escape from poverty is the military, my neighborhood.
The DNC has actively tried to hinder the Sanders campaign trying deliberately to undermine democracy. There is video of Bill Clinton actively campaigning inside polling places during the election this is blatantly illegal, and yet silence. Hillary Clinton takes in hundreds of millions of dollars from the worst human rights violators in the world and she does this while having a serious conflict of interest as SoC and sells them Billions of dollars worth of offensive weaponry. Weaponry which has been used not against ISIS but against people being killed by ISIS.
Vote for whomever you want, but lets not pretend both candidates would be “just fine” one is a warmonger the other is not, one is bought by corporations the other is not.
Polling has generally been good throughout the primary season. I listen to Margie Omero and Kristin Soltis Anderson’s podcast, The Pollsters, and just last week they were commenting on how all the ‘death of polling’ stories were overblown because polling has actually been pretty accurate throughout. The Michigan election is something very very unusual — a polling error that large hasn’t happened in such a highly visible, well-polled contest since the early 80’s. But it’s, you know, one election. In a season where all the other polling has been good. It’s probably too soon to light political polling on fire and dance on the ashes. I’m sure we’ll hear about what went wrong once the data’s been raked over (and I’d be willing to bet that every pollster in the country is poring over the data right now), and we’ll see next week if there’s some unknown-until-now-for-some-reason fundamental flaw in how polling is done that was somehow catalyzed into revealing itself in the Michigan Democratic primary of 2016.
“Obama was born in Honolulu, wasn’t he? That’s not Africa, surely.”
Laura @ 2:13 PM
I would say it is an unknown how the GOP/Trump will handle Sanders, and vice versa, while we can probably predict what will happen if Clinton gets the nomination. Which isn’t to say that he’s more likely to lose, but it’s harder to predict what will happen once the GOP noise machine gets going.
Your political opinion was very helpful. I think you are very well educated in this subject, oh and Bernie all the way!!!!
Clinton lost in 2008 partly because her campaign focused on trying to win *states* while Obama’s campaign focused on winning *delegates.* It seems she has taken that lesson to heart, and is now using Obama’s strategy against Sanders.
As for the polling failure in Michigan: interesting, but I wouldn’t read too much into it just yet. We won’t know until after the next couple of primaries if Michigan is a game-changer, or just an outlier.
@ David Smith: “There is video of Bill Clinton actively campaigning inside polling places during the election this is blatantly illegal, and yet silence.”
First, that story was covered by pretty much every major news outlet, so you have a weird definition of silence. Secondly, the issue is not nearly as cut-and-dried as some are trying to make it sound; basically it depends on what meets the legal definition of “campaigning” under State law.
Lastly, I salute your enthusiasm and support for Bernie. But if you *really* think there’s no difference between Clinton and Trump or Cruz, then I’m sorry but you are the reason we can’t have nice things.
I am desperately eager to see a Dem still in the Oval Office a year hence. I am also no fan of Donald Trump on any level, political or business.
But the thing that has worried me an awful lot in recent weeks is something that Mr. Scalzi alludes to only in passing, namely
“everyone else in the GOP better start praying for a bolt of lightning to strike Trump dead.”
I don’t like the fellow, not at all, not one bit, but I also don’t believe that assassination is a viable method of winnowing the field of candidates. And I fear that the more delegates this guy racks up, the more likely it is that some hothead somewhere will decide the only possible way to “save” the Republican party is to permanently eliminate the giant thorn in their collective side.
Of course, that would inevitably leave them with a candidate who I suspect that many mainstream Republicans loathe nearly as much as they do Trump. But despite that, I think that he’d be seen as at least semi-predictable, less of a loose cannon, and thus acceptable as a stop-gap for this cycle. And if the spin-meisters thought they could convince enough voters that the culprit was a Dem, they might just decide it’s worth the risk as a gambit to tilt the election in favor of the Republicans.
It’s unlikely as hell, I know, and between the guy’s own security plus the Secret Service, I’m sure (or at least I hope) that nobody could get to him. But I’m the worrying sort, and it worries me. I don’t want to see this country go down that road.
@ Laura Lis Scott – which states one wins in a primary is irrelevant to how those states will go in the general – it’s a sheer number of delegates game and if Bernie didn’t play the game right, he’ll face the same fate Hillary did in 2008. Also, by discounting the South, which you’ve just done, you’re basically saying the votes of those people – overwhelming people of color – don’t count. Not saying that’s your intent, but I’ve heard it from a LOT of Bernie supporters and it feels pretty gross. Also: Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska are not likely to go for the Democrat.
I would also note that when a candidate wins more states (13-9 currently), in it inevitable that there will be “more” not traditionally Democratic states just as eventually there might be more traditionally Democratic. The fact is that Hillary has a large delegate lead (not counting supers), and Bernie needs to do more than win by 1.5% in one state while getting trounced in another to catch up.
I’m happy with either candidate (honestly, more politically aligned with Bernie, more aligned with Hillary from a realism/fighter perspective), and don’t get to vote until the end of the primaries, so somewhat luckily for me, I don’t really have to choose (at least not yet). Similarly to how I get annoyed by Hillary supporters accusing Bernie of sexism when it isn’t there, the casual discounting of nonwhite voters by Bernie supporters is insanely counter productive. Likewise the “if only black people UNDERSTOOD his policies would be better for them” comments which presume stupidity or ignorance are unhelpful.
My apologies, John. Completely missed that when posting.
@MJFGates: You mentioned the possibility of the indictment over Clinton’s mail server. While the GOP would have a field day with that, the civil suit against Trump for Trump University doesn’t seem to have any impact on the campaign other than a minor talking point. Would be interested to see if that escalates if/when Trump receives the nomination.
As a Michigan resident for 40 years and someone who is active in politics, I have to say the result surprised me. There was no feeling here on the ground that this was the way the wind was blowing either. I do wonder if the crossover voting was much larger than we think. I know lots of people who did it – both ways, actually. Dems voting for Trump and Repubs voting for Bernie.
People are weary of another Clinton just as they were of another Bush. In the year of the outsider, in the land of totally screwed up state government, that may be the greater truth..
Apology accepted, of course. Are you using the browser add-on that changes the name?
I probably need to deactivate the Trump to Volde add-on. I no longer know when people are calling him You-Know-Who or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named or really typing it. Was fun for a while though.
Another excellent post. I’m really enjoying your political punditry and wit :)
John, what exactly are your thoughts on the “Drumpf” joke? Personally I think it further alienates a block of voters who are already dangerously past the bend and does little to hurt Trump. We can laugh and poke fun at him but so what? It’s all in-jokes at this point. We still have a large segment of the citizenry to deal with who believe that Trump is an honest, straight talking anti-politician who is capable of leading the country.
@JGL, you said: Also, by discounting the South, which you’ve just done, you’re basically saying the votes of those people – overwhelming people of color – don’t count. Not saying that’s your intent, but I’ve heard it from a LOT of Bernie supporters and it feels pretty gross. Also: Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska are not likely to go for the Democrat.
Factually, Democratic votes in the South don’t count. It doesn’t matter whether they’re from people of color or redheaded white folk like me. I have voted Dem in every election where I have been eligible to vote. Not one time has my vote made a lick of difference. Here in GA my state is so far in the red that it practically glows neon. It sucks. Big time.
But because of that, I think @Laura Lis Scott was mostly right. The states that Hillary is winning are the ones that ultimately won’t have any impact on the general election and the electoral vote. The states that Bernie is winning are the states were the electoral vote will likely be Democrat.
I thought it was a funny comment when John Oliver made it, but it stopped being funny quickly. Also, you know. John Stewart did change his name (legally); Trump has always been Trump. The family name was changed long before he came around.
I was hoping that Warren would run. Maybe in 2024. I like Bernie’s ideas, but I voted Clinton in the Primary here in Virginia because stopping the raving loons fom getting the presidency is the most important thing. Consider that the next president will be nominating at least on, and probably 3 or 4, Supreme Court justices, plus all the lower court vacancies.
The people who see so little daylight between Clinton and the GOP are the same sort that didn’t see any difference between Bush and Gore, so why not vote third party or stay home in November. Thanks for Iraq, guys.
The Chrome add-in, yes, I was. Removed it after thinking on what you said about having your words changed when quoted. As @Kilroy said above, it’s hard to know with something that auto-scripts like if the author said the keyword or the edit.
>> Hillary is winning states that will almost certainly go to the GOP in the general, while Bernie is winning traditionally battleground and blue states. What does that suggest about prospects in the fall? (I don’t know.) >>
Nothing, because they won’t be competing against each other in the fall, and presumably almost everyone who cared enough to vote in a Democratic primary or participate in a caucus will care enough to turn out in the fall. And they’ll almost all vote for the Democrat, whoever it is.
However, the idea that Bernie is winning the battleground states and Hillary isn’t is a little shaky.
The key battleground states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia. Of those, Hillary has won three and Bernie has won two. If you expand the list to assume the GOP could make stronger inroads this year into Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all traditionally blue-leaning states, you flop the number to put Bernie one state ahead.
But either way, it’s better described as them splitting the battleground states so far than as Sanders winning the battleground states.
I find outsider candidates most interesting due to their influence on mainstream candidate (and party) platforms. Regardless of whether he wins the nomination, Trump’s positions (and rhetoric style) have certainly bled over into the other GOP candidate positions (with Kasich as notable exception). Similarly, Clinton now includes income equality and tuition as issues that she espouses, whereas before the Sanders surge they were a smaller part of her platform. Unfortunately I do not know of any study of such candidates’ influence on past elections other than how much of the vote they get (or do not get) — Nader, Perot, Anderson, Wallace: did their voices end up shifting policy in any way after the election?
@ Kara – they do count. In the primary, which is what we’re in. Because (as always) the whole country gets to participate.
@jfbeacom: My cousins in the Flint area are all Democrats, and many have become staunch supporters of Bernie Sanders. In fact, they now proudly call themselves “Berniecrats.”
The older ones all lost their jobs in the auto industry, and like many Trump supporters, they are economically aggrieved. The younger ones, who have no memories of the Clinton presidency, just simply dislike Hillary Clinton for whatever reason. . .
>> I thought it was a funny comment when John Oliver made it, but it stopped being funny quickly.>>
Also: I’ve seen reports that people actually named Drumpf are getting harassment and abuse, which I’m sure wasn’t Oliver’s intent.
>> I was hoping that Warren would run. Maybe in 2024.>>
In 2024, she’ll be 76, older than Sanders is now — and if he happens to get elected, he’d be the oldest-ever President. It’s within the realm of possibility, but not likely.
Plus, Warren doesn’t seem to want to be President — she’s got a really strong focus on economic issues, doesn’t have much foreign policy experience and doesn’t seem interested in getting any, aside from how it affects economic issues. I don’t think she wants a job where she keeps getting pulled away from what she cares about to do lots of stuff she doesn’t, and to cheerlead for legislation rather than be part of the legislature and be able to do the work.
Is the mallet warming oven carbon-neutral?
I agree. There are definitely people who see Congress as ticket they need to get punched on the way to the executive office. Warren doesn’t seem to be one of them.
And that’s good. To many people see the executive as the most important political office, when the first Obama term taught us how little can be accomplished without good partners in Congress. She’s smart and articulate. She’s more valuable to everyone in the Senate.
It’s also why I think the cheer-leading for her as a VP pick is a mistake. I think the Democratic nominee can win without her on the ticket, and when they do, they are going to be glad to have Warren in the Senate to work with them rather than wasting her talent in the cupboard under the stairs that is the Vice Presidency.
I think the only way the GOP splits is if Trump gets somewhere in the 42-49% range of total delegates and they stitch him up at the convention, parachuting some retread into the candidate position like Rmoney – they won’t throw Trump over for Cruz, I think the GOP hates Cruz more than they hate Trump. Of course, at that point, Trump will go full on third party run and split the party.
On the Dem side – both Hillary and Bernie are way too old (I think 60 is the age cut off that I’d like to see for a candidate – President years are like dog years, and you have to look 8 years down the track – so Clinton would be almost 80 and Bernie would be early 80s, which is not a good age to be running the country or even working). Also, Hillary hasn’t seen a conflict she doesn’t want to get involved in – thanks Hillary for the Libya mess, if you hadn’t pushed so hard for bombing it would probably be in a better state, and she is a neocon warhawk and right wing bank supporting pol. Her only redeeming feature is that she isn’t Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Kasich etc. She has an incrementalist approach and is not supportive of any left wing policies, with the possible exception of equal pay for women and abortion access – and like Obama, none of those Wall Street fucks will end up in jail the next time they crash the economy.
It’s kind of ironic that lying your way into an unnecessary war, killing 5,000 Americans and at least 500,000 Iraqis barely merits a shrug, but a semi-secure e-mail server and it’s the end of the world as we know it.
“Funny” story – we buy forward exchange contracts from our banks. Every. Single. Time. we get a quote, we have to point out that we have a Bloomberg terminal, so we know they are trying to charge 150% more than they should be. There’s no apology, it’s just the instinctive reaction to try and rip the clients off, and they just shrug their shoulders and charge us the market rate.
I don’t see how the Dems can take the chance of Hillary getting indicted before the election – that just seems a huge risk, and apparently as it is her turn, there are no viable other candidates – the Bernie thing is just media narrative, she is crushing him in delegate count and there’s no real way he can come back.
And for those that think the wars are over, my brother in law (National Guard SF) is being deployed again in December – I think this is the sixth or seventh time now.
It’s all just a giant mess.
Oops. I meant to reference “Warren doesn’t seem to want to be President” sentiment in the , but it disappeared. Spooky.
@ Laura Lis Scott
I disagree that nobody is talking about the things you’re saying. I see exactly those same points in the places that I see people ignoring point #2 in the above article. And I see them as twitter responses and article comments on every single post about HRC. I suspect they are Sanders campaign talking points they’re repeated so much.
In addition to the other responses people have made, Clinton is beating Trump in a head to head match-up with Trump as well. Trouble seems to be out-of-date. (And, see point #5 in the article– if Sanders were in the lead, that would affect head-to-head match-ups because of the publicity machine attacking him.)
Bonus points for use of the word “shonda.” :-)
I wish I were as confident as you that the GOP won’t dabble in some casual antiSemitism. We’ve already heard Ted Cruz’s comments about “New York values,” and while they were leveled at Trump, there’s really no question about the nature of the subtext.
What a sickening mess this is.
Whatever else happens, I’m glad that soon I won’t have to listen to Marco Rubio anymore, or look at his stupid campaign logo with the (continental) United States perching on top of the lowercase “i”.
Jeb probably wishes he’d dropped out sooner or never gotten in. If his humiliation is all the retribution we get for the 2000 election, I guess it’ll have to suffice. He’s only now showing a little wisdom by not endorsing any of the remaining candidates.
There’s a good breakdown of what the possibilities are for the Republicans, essentially a flow chart in verbal form, at (of all places) Salon: http://www.salon.com/2016/03/08/forecasting_the_gop_war_over_donald_trump_how_likely_is_a_brokered_convention.
>> Oops. I meant to reference “Warren doesn’t seem to want to be President” sentiment in the , but it disappeared. Spooky.>>
If you put it in angle-brackets facing each other, WordPress interpreted it as a command, and didn’t show it. That’s why I make my “I’m quoting someone” angle-brackets all point the same way.
I’m sure there are more elegant ways to do it, but this works, it’s easy and I don’t have to remember any commands.
Not the Reddit:
>> I don’t see how the Dems can take the chance of Hillary getting indicted before the election – that just seems a huge risk>>
It’s not going to happen. It’s yet another nothingburger the Right is hyperventilating about, that they will be disappointed over when nothing happens.
Have you seen this (lengthy, but in a good way) article yet: http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism ? It attempts to look at the rise of Trump through an academic lens. The bad news, which perhaps partially addresses the “will the GOP split” question is that it looks like we’re in for many more Trump-like candidates.
I haven’t really spent a lot of time on thinking about which states might go which way (some time, but not a lot), but right off the top of my head I wouldn’t have guessed Florida to be completely for Clinton, in that it’s a state with a fairly significant population of older Jewish white folks. But that’s an entirely off-the-top-of-my-head thought. Republican state, generally, with a lot of Cubans who may or may not think Cruz or Rubio are worth voting for (despite the fact that both of them apparently want to ship all of them back to Cuba on the first boat they can find).
One thing that really scares me about the possibility of Trump getting in – my country is allied to the US. I really don’t want to be on the evil side in the next holocaust.
As usual, you are funny and insightful. Thanks once again for that.
I think the point about Sanders and Clinton splitting the battleground states are relevant. Both seem to show about equal strength there, so either would be a good point with respect to the electoral totals.
And, sorry…but the Southern voters DO count, dammit. Don’t you DARE discount them. It’s part of the Northern attitude of patronization towards whites and blacks in the area, and we’re damn well better than that.
I think I’ve said I lean Clinton, and while the MI results are a little disappointing, it’s like getting top sirloin instead of ribeye (at least for a carnivore like me). It’s not a life or death matter (as opposed to a Republican presidency—and that’s not meant ironically). Besides, a contested candidacy keeps the Dems in the news longer, and it certainly didn’t hurt in 2008.
One interesting tidbit from the Southern states…La had more people vote in the dem primary than the republican.
In a year with Trump and a splitting of the republican party, maybe there is room to make some solid red states purple.
(plus, no one really thinks, for example VT is going to go red if Bernie isn’t the nominee, right? so this fearmongering that blue states will go red if Clinton is is just silly)
I think when you compare the negatives of Bernie and Hilly, you fail to take into account the abject fear that so many righties have been stoked up about Hillary to the point that they think she’s the antichrist. Sure, the anti-Bernie “commie” rhetoric might move the needle a little bit, but I don’t think it is near enough to get disillusioned GOPers who dislike Trump to get out and vote. They’ll come out in buses to stop that evil-harpy-baby-eating-closet-lesbian-gonna-get-ya Hillary.
It’s a question of turnout. Trump will have a lot of GOPers staying home. Only Hillary will really be a motivation for them to show up, close their eyes and vote Trump.
“If you don’t think the GOP isn’t going to have a field day with the socialist thing, for starters, you haven’t been paying attention to what the Republicans have been about for the last three decades.”
I think you misspelled SIX decades there John. Massive Republican/Conservative bashing of anything even remotely “socialist” started in the ’50s (or even late ’40s). Adlai Stevenson may have run twice, but he fared little better than ol’ Hubert Humphrey.
Your descriptions of Ted Cruz are one of the highlights of the GOP campaign for me. I would (editorial comment!) note that “a bipedal mound of pig offal that yet manages form words” should have a handy to added to it.
>> I think when you compare the negatives of Bernie and Hilly, you fail to take into account the abject fear that so many righties have been stoked up about Hillary to the point that they think she’s the antichrist. Sure, the anti-Bernie “commie” rhetoric might move the needle a little bit, but I don’t think it is near enough to get disillusioned GOPers who dislike Trump to get out and vote.>>
That “abject fear” has been baked into Hillary’s numbers for years; to the extent that it’s going to affect the polls it’s already there.
Sanders, on the other hand, has been treated (relatively) with kid gloves so far, because Democrats don’t want to attack either of their candidates too harshly and the GOP would prefer to run against Sanders.
If he got the nomination, though, voters would be hearing every day that he “honeymooned in the Soviet Union” (which he did, technically) and would be treated to repetitive clips of him praising Fidel Castro (also true).
Hillary-bashing has been going on so long that it doesn’t move her numbers much any more. Sanders-bashing has been much, much milder, and has more ability to push his numbers downward in the general.
Whether they could push them downward enough, against Trump or Cruz, I don’t know. But Hillary’s floor is pretty solid, after decades of pounding. Sanders’s floor isn’t. We’d find out how low it can go, but I expect it’s more than “a little bit.”
Just as a point of information: Most Jews don’t speak a Semitic language There are about six million Jews in the US, roughly as many as in Israel, and for most of those English is the first language, Russian or Yiddish for most of the rest. The other two million or so live in 98 other countries, and probably few of them speak Hebrew.
Similarly, most Muslims don’t speak a Semitic language. Indonesia alone has 200 million non-Arabic speakers. Toss in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran and India and you’ve got another 600 million, and I haven’t even considered sub-Saharan Africa.
(The 75 million Turks don’t speak Arabic either.)
Scalzi, of Redshirts and David Simon of The Wire are more than knowledgable about what’s going on.
There is a tendency to underestimate the political party that currently owns Congress. That said: one possible source of their fear and loathing might be the Orwellian Double-think Illuminutty right wing troll farms of YT that extol right wing populist paranoia about government and media.
Anyone wondering who puts out most of them should Google recent statements by Eric Schmidt who ran YT but who diplomatically never mentions YT. Never wonder about the nexus that enables Trump, Pat Buchanan and Giuliani to praise the Christian church-going (he says) thug, Vlad Putin over their own President.
A homegrown example: the intentionally/ unintentionally repellant, “Satan’s Robots, Gang Stalking.” This is not science fiction. This is supposed to be paranoia by and for paranoids but is most likely just the opposite. The narrator is sane, talks a low key crazy, steals/ reinvents scenes from The Truman Show, Tomorrowland and the bible and was my boss in real life 25+ years ago. The fact that he’s acting and is a total liar is besides the point. And, that is the point.
There are thousand of channels like this one in the paranoid style making up for their intentional stupidity with repetition and shear volume of Illuminutty NWO channels leaking into what passes for mainstream right wing “thinking.”
Sanders has genuine appeal no doubt about it. That said, it’s been long known that Republicans who list as independent will deliberately poll, support, vote for Sanders in the primaries. Rush Limbaugh made no bones about instructing his listeners on radio to vote and exit poll for Hillary in 2008 in order to hurt Obama. Now it’s Bernie. This does, does not explain polling discrepancies in Michigan.
Bob @4:24PM I’m with you there. I’m expecting some small amount of *nudge nudge, wink wink* raise an eyebrow antisemitism, just like I’m expecting similar types of other racism. The kicker will be who’s actually saying it. I expect the actual candidates and senior party staff will be able to maintain some form of plausible deniability, while various underlings, interns and other easily fireable shnooks will be the ones to really let it all out.
My parents are non-fundamentalist, non-racist Republicans (what *used* to be the Republican majority and isn’t anymore) and although we rarely talk politics anymore (I’m a Democrat), the subject came up over dinner the weekend before our MN caucuses. They flat-out said they have no idea who to vote for. They don’t like *any* of the Republican candidates. There’s no way they would vote for Trump or Cruz. I’m guessing they will stay home in November or only vote for local candidates. Maybe a write-in?
Sanders, on the other hand, has been treated (relatively) with kid gloves so far,
And, in fact, has received funds from a Republican/Karl Roe PAC.(Not sure that he hasn’t already given them back, but there HAS been fundraising going on for him from the Republican side).
Since you mentioned the GOP effort to stop Trump, I figured I’d share my most recent observation for the Whatever’s viewing pleasure:
The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Think Tank, met recently on a privately owned island resort. In a meeting headed by Karl Rove, Republican leaders and multibillionaires met to discuss how to beat Trump
I don’t know many Trump voters personally, but I can’t imagine many people likely to vote Trump in upcoming primaries will find a secret meeting of America’s elite conservative leadership compelling. They also somehow managed to invite a super rich gay guy (Tim Cook) and a Global Warming believer (Elon Musk) to the table.
Good job, shadowy elite conspiracy of rich assholes! You sure know how to get regular people to think you’re on thier side!
Gottacook: Jeb is “meeting” w/ Cruz & Rubio tomorrow, and Kasich Friday, prob to pick one tp endorse…
Serious question: for as much as the Republican electorate has been criticized for elevating populist demagogue Donald Trump, is it really a stretch to imagine an alternate universe in which the Democratic electorate elevated populist demagogue Martin Sheen after his run as Josiah Bartlet on The West Wing? I say this as someone who dislikes both parties, but is much more in line with the Dems. I suspect that Democratic voters would be just as prone to vote for a populist demagogue candidate, the relevant difference being that Trump had both the money and hubris to actually make it happen himself, while most other prospective candidates in this vein would have fewer financial resources, and would thus likely need to run with the backing of their chosen party’s political machinery. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that the average Republican voter is actually any dumber than the average Democratic voter in this respect.
I am positively surprised that I so far have not seen anyone, after looking at the polls for Michigan versus the actual result, accuse Sanders of election fraud.
I do suspect that if it had been a Clinton win with the reverse polling, or even a republican election day win where the polls had shown a +20% for the democrats in that state the same day, there would be a lot more accusations floating around on the net. I hope I am wrong about this.
Recent terrific real world Op-Ed warning on Trump by Tom Friedman:
“His (Trump’s) second ace is that given the position he staked out on terrorism, if, God forbid, there is a major terrorist attack on our soil between now and Election Day, Trump will reap enormous political benefits. Watch out. I’ve seen how one well-timed terrorist attack tilted an Israeli election.”
“His third ace is that he will indeed go after Hillary Clinton in ways you never heard before and that will delight and bring back a lot of disaffected Republicans, whose hatred of Hillary knows no bounds. “Did you hear what Trump said about Hillary last night? That she was ‘Bill’s enabler!’ Finally! I will vote for him just for that.” Again, beware.”
I have an hypothesis regarding Sanders ‘overperformance’ on Tuesday:
A) There exists a population of voters who are ‘sick of establishment politics’ and are looking to elect an ‘outsider’ or other ‘non-establishment’ candidate, such as Sanders or Trump. The GOP share of these voters are voting ‘Trump’ in droves. In Dem primaries and caucuses they skew towards Sanders.
B) Michigan is an open primary state.
A + B implies that it is possible that the ‘extra Sanders voters’ are disenchanted GOP and independent voters.
NOT to say that Trump = Sanders, but to say that given a choice between 2 ‘non-establishment’ candidates there exist a cohort of voters that find Sanders to be preferable choice.
“he’s running the most overtly racist and horrible campaign in modern history”
Have we already forgotten George Wallace? And dear old Strom Thurmond? Surely credit must be given where it’s due!
@ Joe P.
It’s not so much that authoritarians (this has been linked to, but deserves a second in case you didn’t see it: http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism ) prefer Republicans over Democrats.
It’s that Republicans have made a more determined choice to woo authoritarian voters.
Pushing military over diplomatic solutions.
Pushing the language of purity over the language of compromise.
Pushing blame onto minority groups and the perception of white male Christians as ‘victims’
It’s not that one party is immune to populist demagogues, it’s that the Republicans have courted voters with that attitude. I’m sure there are some authoritarians who vote for Democrats, but there is less active courting of those voters by the Democratic Party.
On your final point:
“I think the vast majority of Clinton’s potential negatives are already baked into her public persona, whereas Sanders’ negatives have yet to be played with in a general sense.”
I don’t think you are wrong, but I think you are right in the wrong way.
The GOP has largely been successful in their attacks on Hillary: her unfavorable rating is extremely high. A Republican campaign against presidential candidate Hillary only has to keep hitting her with well worn attacks. Their very familiarity after decades of use will play to the Republicans: their voters know these ‘truths,’ Democrats will discount them, and independents will be (as they already are) alienated from her.
But. The Republicans in attempting to tear down presidential candidate Bernie have to use unproven lines of attack. We can imagine any number of what those attacks will be, but if they will gain traction or not is far from certain. Those against Hillary have, those against Bernie may or may not.
“Sanders is far from an obscure or unknown figure. Across sixteen national surveys since New Year’s Day, an average of 85 percent of Americans knew enough about Sanders to form an opinion of him.
This is not the profile of a candidate flying under the radar. John Kasich, who fits that description, elicited an opinion from just 53 percent of respondents in the eleven surveys that asked about him. More Americans have a decided view of Sanders than either Rubio (77 percent) or Cruz (81 percent).
That view is strongly positive. Sanders’s favorability ratio of 51 percent positive to 38 percent negative is the best of any candidate in the race, by far. His favorability with independent voters is also much higher than any of his rivals, including Clinton, Trump or Rubio.
There is simply no historical precedent for a major party nominee as popular and well-known as Sanders collapsing in a general election.”
from, full article:
So far, the more that people know about him, the more they like him.
I think this is an election where the old assumptions about allegiances and who will show up for elections will not apply. Democrats, Republicans and the none of the aboves (as well as independents, who are in reality soft Ds or Rs), are pretty universally ‘Mad As Hell and Not Going To Take It Any More.’ If both candidates were pedaling the some old same old, safe assumptions might work. Where at least one candidate is not, the other will lose.
Hillary’s best hope is that Ted is the GOP candidate. What would be truly interesting is a Bernie vs Donald campaign. That could be best visualized as an American elector with an angel on one shoulder, ad a devil on the other.
This entire election is a complete and total crock of shit. The republicans are channeling their inner KKK grand wizard. The democrat party is doing everything in its power to anoint HIlary.
DWS is pathetic to the degree she will use her position in the DNC to help Hilary beat Bernie. Superdelagates are coming out and declaring they don’t have to vote for who the people vote for. At which point, the folks who support Bernie because he is a chance for real change in the election process, in campaign finance reform, in government reform all over, if Hilary wins, its going to be DAMN HARD to convince someone like that to vote for the left leaning candidate stamped out by the political machine, backed by wall street campaign money, funded by superpacs, and helped to the nomination based on back door party machinery declaring quite loudly how undemocratic they are.
So, while Trump is appealing to the masses and mobilizing the right wing vote with him cast as the political outsider, the dems are reinforcing their image as undemocratic, political machinery. Trump is a shitty human being, but he knows how to get ahead in a popularity contest. Clinton and the DNC are doing everything possible to alienate people outside the base. And she still is not anywhere near a slam dunk nomination. If Clinton, Clinton’s supporters, and the DNC, keep this shit up, Hilary will win the nomination, but half of Bernie’s supporters will balk at the idea of voting for the machine.
Michigan has a population that is 79% white, largely rural, a Republican governor, and Bernie’s support is mainly white men — I don’t see the election as that much of a surprise. Clinton has most of the non-whites and women, plus some white men — a coalition that is needed to win the general election, but is rather moot in Michigan. He barely beat her because a good chunk of women and non-whites turned out (despite Michigan having a bigoted voter i.d. law.) The assumption seems to have been that everyone was running to her in terror because of Trump. But Democrats never run to anyone in terror. They are ornery folk who don’t do well with lockstep.
I like Bernie. He’s a good guy. He’s done his state proud. He’s kept Clinton left-ward in this primary, which is a good thing. He’s brought out some enthusiasm in the young, who lean socialist. :)
But, he’s not an outsider. He’s not non-establishment. That’s hype. He’s been in government politics his whole career, and he’s been a Senator for quite awhile. He is not a Democrat, so in that sense his campaign is rather annoying, but he works with them enough. He knows perfectly well what he’s doing and it’s not a revolution. It’s the same song the Democratic Left has sung forever. But Democrats win the Presidency when they run centrists who are friendly to some leftist policies. And the left’s obsession with workers’ issues only (white workers,) is very problematic and highly ineffective. The Presidency of the U.S. is not going to break Wall Street — a global industry that changes entire countries’ economies to make yacht money. A President is not a king. So this romanticism of Bernie’s Wall Street stance drives me nuts.
Bernie is clueless about racial issues, doesn’t see the point of gun control coming from rural Vermont, and he has less foreign policy experience than Clinton and is fairly isolationist. Given the main things we’re facing, that’s not really useful.
Bernie’s wonderful but tiny state of Vermont has practically no influence on downstream Democrat races in the country. He can’t help more Democrats get elected to Congress, governor seats, state legislations, etc. Clinton can. Missouri just passed a persecute the gay people bill after a failed but valiant Democratic filibuster — we need to take back state legislatures or ream after ream of unconstitutional nonsense that has to go to the courts is going to keep being passed and social programs and schools will be cut to shreds even more than the last forty years.
Bernie is winning a few states, but this idea that Clinton will be in trouble in blue states in the general if she gets the nomination is ridiculous. You’re expecting even white men Democrats to go voting for Trump or Cruz instead of her?
I was kind of hoping that Trump would break off and run a third party general campaign. But apparently, he can’t probably afford to do it. So the Republicans are going to be interesting. I don’t think enough of their financial backers have died off yet for them to truly collapse, but the more money they spend duking it out, the better. Trump is Sarah Palin but wealthy and a guy, so America’s racist underbelly is just letting it all hang out.
And yet, somehow, national polls have Bernie obliterating Trump while Hilary is locked in a life and death 50-50 struggle with him.
It’s not so much that authoritarians (this has been linked to, but deserves a second in case you didn’t see it: http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism ) prefer Republicans over Democrats.
Very bad idea to take social science conclusions on up to the moment stuff seriously. Wait for replication, peer review, and the rest of the mechanism to kick in. On this study as well.
There is simply no historical precedent for a major party nominee as popular and well-known as Sanders collapsing in a general election.”
Er…Barry Goldwater, George McGovern, Walter Mondale, and (maybe) Michael Dukakis beg to differ. Also, Adlai Stevenson. In fact, there may be more major party nominees who have collapsed than who haven’t.
The Republicans in attempting to tear down presidential candidate Bernie have to use unproven lines of attack
You’re a socialist! is hardly unproven. You’re an OTHER (Jew, Muslim, etc), is hardly an unproven line of attack. You’re a LIBERAL! is hardly an unproven line of attack. In fact, all the lines of attack against Sanders have been proven over and over again.
Our Gracious Host is clearly missing his usual (web) copy-editor; not only is this post longer than it needs to be, but also the path from assumptions to conclusions is unusually meandering. And long.
Maybe I’ll just go read something of his that I actually paid to read (and that he got money to write).
FWIW, my brother, a registered Republican in Ohio, can’t stand any of the Republican candidates, with Kasich being the most palatable candidate, and plans to vote for the Democrats across the board for local and federal candidates. Among other things, he’s appalled at the obstructionism in Congress, their continued attacks on abortion providers and defunding Planned Parenthood (and continuing to investigate them for criminal sale of fetal material because the first 10 investigations failed to find any wrongdoing), climate change denial, and many other things that the Republicans seem to think their core wants.
>> The GOP has largely been successful in their attacks on Hillary: her unfavorable rating is extremely high. A Republican campaign against presidential candidate Hillary only has to keep hitting her with well worn attacks.>>
I think you’re looking at it backward. They’ve already hit her with those attacks. They’ve done it for years. To the extent that they’re going to work, they have, and her numbers are what they are.
Attacks on Sanders would be new — yes, people have an impression of him, but that impression is not as rock-hard as the impression of Hillary. His numbers can go down, hers are pretty solid.
>> And yet, somehow, national polls have Bernie obliterating Trump while Hilary is locked in a life and death 50-50 struggle with him.>>
Not so. Recent polls show Clinton beating him comfortably.
Plus, this is, again, the difference between hard and soft numbers. Tell people all summer that Hillary is horrible because Benghazi Vince Foster Whitewater e-mail bla bla bla and it won’t knock her down any further; they’ve heard it. After a campaign of Bernie as not merely a socialist, but a Moscow-honeymooning Castro-embracing Commie, his numbers will drop. How far will they drop? No one can say for sure. But they’ll drop.
That’s why Clinton voters think she’s the better bet, because they don’t think polls taken before the candidate gets swiftboated are terribly predictive. They show what the electorate thinks at the moment, not what they’ll think in November. Sanders voters, naturally, disagree. But that’s why we vote on these things; if Sanders can convince enough people he’s the better bet, he’ll win the nomination. If Clinton can, she will.
Aside from that, national polls aren’t terribly meaningful, because we don’t elect the candidate who gets the highest vote total (ask Al Gore). We elect the one that gets the most electoral votes, which means state-by-state polls measure the contest better. If Trump piles up a huge number of votes in Wyoming, or Hillary does fantastic in Massachusetts, no one cares, because those contests, in the Fall, will be a foregone conclusion. What matters is who beats who in the battleground states, and thing look pretty good for the Democrats there. If Hillary’s the candidate, she needs to hang onto the Obama coalition, and it looks like she’s doing that pretty well.
If Sanders is the nominee, he needs either to hope the Obama coalition will turn out for him, even though he’s been performing poorly with various facets of that coalition,* or he’s got to hope for a new coalition, the big-turnout revolution he’s been fomenting. Except they don’t seem to be showing up in the primaries,** at least not in huge numbers, so it’s an open question whether they will in the general.
I’ll gladly vote for him if he’s the nominee, and I like our chances either way, but so far I think Clinton’s the better bet. I like our chances better that way.
*most of that coalition won’t vote GOP anyway, but will they stay home or show up?
**he wins primaries when he gets enough new turnout, but (a) he’s not winning as many as he’d need, at least so far, and (b) when he does win it’s often, but not always, by low margins. Basically, he’s making the mistake Hillary did in 2008, trying to win states while the other guy is trying to win delegates. The person who wins some states huge and keeps it close in the losses will win overall.
Very bad idea to take social science conclusions on up to the moment stuff seriously. Wait for replication, peer review, and the rest of the mechanism to kick in. On this study as well.
But notice the way that the Washington Post piece attempts to define authoritarian vs. populist – many people would say that “a virtuous “people” against nefarious elitists and outsiders” and “a deep mistrust of any group that claims expertise” and “strong nationalist identity” are all characteristic of authoritarians as well – see Bob Altemeyer’s “The Authoritarians”
There’s no reason people can’t be both authoritarian and populist if those are the characteristics Rahn and Oliver are examining.
Taking a primary in a battleground state is not in any way an indication of being more likely to take it in the general election.
If this weren’t the case, Hillary Clinton’s chances would be vastly diminished by the legacy of the John McCain administration. After all, Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination on the strength of primary wins in reliably Democratic states, and went on to take the swing states (that had gone to her in the primaries) in the general election.
In November, the national polls had Hilary beating all the Republicans except Ben Carson. Except for Fox, which claimed that six Republican candidates would beat Clinton. In December, national polls had Clinton beating Trump and Cruz, but not Rubio and Carson, and Cruz had a net negative rating. Now he’s #2. Rubio surged in the polls for a bit. In early March, Clinton polls beating Trump at 52% to 44% (not a 50-50 death struggle and an increase from January,) but TRAILS Rubio, who is sinking fast in the primary. So forgive me if the yet another inaccurate set of polls does not leave me quaking in my boots.
Sanders has a lead on Trump that’s bigger than Hilary’s but not by that much, and that’s largely because A) people don’t know who he is except that he seems like a kindly uncle type — and is a guy; and B) his base is basically pretty much the same as Trump’s — white men, some young people (mainly affluent white college students,) and independents (who mainly lean right and are very likely in the general election to break for Trump or Cruz.) (Trump does well with seniors and Bernie doesn’t — Clinton’s got them according to the polls.)
If Sanders gets the nomination, I will happily vote for him. Straight Democratic ticket. And the black and non-white vote and the women vote may turn out for him in the face of the alternative, which will work. His chance would be pretty good. But Clinton has black, non-white and women support now, and Sanders does not. In a general election, that’s a problem.
The “polls” show that Clinton is leading big in Florida and leads in Ohio and Illinois. Clinton is likely to take North Carolina, may take Missouri. Or not. I fail to see why I should regard primary polls as highly inaccurate but national polls — which change every month — as ironclad. Clinton was predicted to win Mississippi, won Mississippi and got a bigger delegate count than Sanders from both primaries. The Michigan win helped him more in hype than votes.
And for those complaining that the Democratic Party and the superdelegates are not wild for Bernie, there’s no reason that they should be. Part of their job is not simply to get a Democrat president, but to get as many Democrat wins as they can in all offices. Democrat voters were selfish shits who didn’t turn out for the mid-term elections and so the Republicans took enormous chunks of power, including Congress, which has more power than the presidency, and then put up unconstitutional Jim Crow laws to keep more Democrats from voting. So it’s utterly vital that they have a candidate who not only wins but again helps Democrat candidates out to recover any ground, just as they did with Obama.
Hilary is a Democrat. Bernie is not. He’s horned in on the Democratic party and they aren’t happy about it. He has no loyalty to them. He has some relationships but he hasn’t helped Democrat candidates win, nor will he be able to do so better than Hilary. He has had little involvement in their policy attempts but he’s yelling at them that they need to change their campaigns to fit his and doesn’t have a lot of interest in their policy hopes that aren’t (white) worker economic based. And he’s a socialist in a country of centrists. So no, it’s not a love match, because he’s coasting on their coat tails. If he somehow gets the nomination, they will back him. But for now, most of the party is going to back Clinton, because that’s the logical thing to do.
And while everything about this election is weird, Bernie is not pulling in the numbers or enough of a coalition to have good odds of taking the nomination. He’s been part of the conversation, he’s helped, but I doubt he’s going to win Pennsylvania, New York or California by enough to push him up. If he does though, I’ll back him. But I will hope to see less cluelessness from his team.
For me the 2016 presidential campaign season approaches the proverbial wall where you tune it all out until the actual summer national conventions; wake me up when they get here; got other things to do such as read some science fiction novels about galaxy wide political intrigue. Far more interesting and relaxing.
@ Joe P.
“is it really a stretch to imagine an alternate universe in which the Democratic electorate elevated populist demagogue Martin Sheen after his run as Josiah Bartlet on The West Wing? ”
Is it really a stretch to see Al Franken (another TV/movie/radio personality who was a bit of a demagogue) be the Dem nominee? As far as I can tell Franken has been a terrific senator. He has kept a low profile, been pragmatic, and gotten left leaning policies included in major legislation (much like Warren with less publicity). I would love to see him run (he won’t but I can wish).
I realize that we are at the point where it is Hillary vs Bernie …. but why is this our only choice? Why was a Franken not in the mix? Why don’t we have a Dem. governor running? As much as the Republican scrum has been a dumpster fire at least they had a real mix of candidates, some of whom were actually credible …
Lastly, this entire comment stream has focused on the top of the ticket. We currently have a legislative branch entirely controlled by the Republicans … What are Hillary/Bernie doing to help to help switch the other elected branch of government? At this point the coverage is all about them not about enabling their agendas to actually happen. I for one would like to hear more about who is replacing my retiring senator and congress women …. I suppose I could look it up but it is the all Trump channel on local NPR station.
Speaking of extensions I’m also a little uncomfortable with the word replacement ones.
That said someone really needs to do a Trump version of StopTonyMeow which swaps photos of Tony Abbott for photos of kittens…
What a lousy bunch of choices all the way around this year. The guy who appears to have the most character is a 74 year old socialist. Yuck. The likely dem candidate is a poor excuse for a human as you are ever likely to see and she should be in jail for countless reason. I find her vile. The republican candidate is a racist populist fascist.
I think what this comes down to is voter turn out. That means whoever excites the voters the most gets bigger turnout. So far republicans are turning out in far greater numbers than dems.
That means it is likely the fascist racist beats the vile criminal in the general election. Buckle up.
@beaglebyl Purely on the governors issue, part of the problem is that there simply aren’t that many sitting Democratic governors. The DNC hasn’t been nearly as successful with state-level elections as the GOP has, so there are only 18 to choose from, 13 of whom have already endorsed Clinton. Some potential candidates are her longstanding allies, and I suspect other centrist Democrats decided to avoid the race because they worried they wouldn’t be able to distinguish themselves from either her or Joe Biden. Martin O’Malley certainly had the second problem. If I were in many governors’ or senators’ shoes, I wouldn’t have run this year, either.
I certainly agree that there could be more focus on the legislative races, however.
The job of the superdelegates is to make sure that whoever the DNC thinks should win does. Note that I say this with no animosity towards Hilary, I’ll certainly vote for her, but this is inside baseball politics designed to make sure that the dirty plebes don’t muck up the way THEY think the election should go, and frankly, it’s repulsive.
Actually, exit polling I saw yesterday show Bernie getting 80 percent of the voters under 30.
“A bipedal mound of pig offal that yet manages to form words” is an apt description of Ted Cruz. The one that popped into my head yesterday though is “Ambulatory sack of radiocactive vulture vomit”. Radioactive vulture vomit/pig offal… either works for me.
>> Why don’t we have a Dem. governor running?>>
We did. He didn’t get anywhere.
We had a formerly-Republican governor running, too. He didn’t get anywhere either.
>> The job of the superdelegates is to make sure that whoever the DNC thinks should win does.>>
In practical terms, however, the superdelegates have never — never — overturned the will of the primary voters. Hillary had a huge super delegate advantage in 2008, but once Obama started piling up delegates, the superdelegates switched.
They’re there for two reasons: First, to keep the various party leaders throughout the country involved — on that level, it’s about letting them participate at the convention no matter how things go in their states. And they’re there in case of emergency: If a Donald Trump happens, they’re there to stop it. But that emergency hasn’t come up — and if Sanders was winning the majority of delegates, they’d shift over to him, too.
But the GOP sure wishes they had a super delegate system this year…
@beaglebyl: Judging from comments on the local (Minneapolis Star Tribune) news website, and the Cruz supporter on the other side of my cubical wall, the Republicans will never forgive Franken for being a liberal commentator who wrote a book critical of their darling Rush Limbaugh. Despite growing up in MN, and moving back there several years before running for Senator in 2008, I recently saw him described as a carpetbagger, and in general disparage they his entire Senate career as a joke, even though they probably can’t come up with a single thing they specifically object to. Still, in a year when the Senate turned Republican, he was easily re-elected though he originally won the seat in 2008 with only a 300 vote margin.
I am enjoying the GOP race because, as some of American friends have discovered to their eternal exasperation, I consider America the closest thing to a storybook evil empire I’m likely to see in my lifetime. There’s a certain schadenfreude in the enthusiastic coverage and election of an American fascist. I knew you had it in ya, America! I’m not crowing too loudly though because a) my country runs actual concentration camps and b) I have no doubts that we’d be capable of driving the body politic insane with fear and making our very own fascist leader. Certainly our neighbours wouldn’t put it past us.
I agree with Bernie Sanders’ policies, for the most part, but I’m pulling for Hillary to win. She strikes me as the kind of craven politician that will do anything to win votes, which means that if the country does what a democracy is supposed to and have a proper public debate about legislative priorities, she’ll probably go along with it. I don’t think the mandate is there for what Sanders wants, even though it’s all fairly straightforward policy that works well in other countries. I’m troubled by his campaign’s condescension towards black people when it’s abundantly clear that white supremacy is a thing *as well*, especially after he flubbed the opportunity to engage with #BlackLivesMatter after they publically engaged with his microphone while he was using it. I don’t think Sanders is as capable of doing the job (for one thing, I think Hillary’s going to be much better at doing things without Congress), and I think that Sanders is more of a symbol than a candidate: young people, in particular, are willing to re-open that discussion on collective action, trade and the role of free enterprise that the left thoroughly lost back in the 80s. That discussion doesn’t need Sanders, and honestly trying to have that discussion by first electing Sanders is the wrong fucking way to go about it. It’s a democracy! Well it’s a republic but okay you WANT it to be a proper democracy then start making the case to the people. Talk to your friends, strangers, your racist uncle, have all those knock-down-drag-out discussions you’ve been avoiding at Thanksgiving. It’s time to come out as a socialist.
Oh, on the superdelegate thing: it’s actually really important that a leader of a country is on good terms with their team. It’s hard to get things done when you can’t delegate to people because they don’t like your policies. This might be a problem for Bernie – look at Jeremy Corbyn, who has very similar ideas to Sanders and is having great difficulty getting anything done because he doesn’t have a lot in common with his party. Or like the last five years of Australian government, where it’s completely legal for a government that no longer cares for its leader to vote them out at any time.
I am pleased with my choices. I will take Sanders or Clinton for my main course and I will want to save plenty of room for maybe 3 slices of Court Supreme. Ah… then I will be a happy camper for a bit..
Looks to me like Clinton and I will be a Clinton delegate this time. Last time I was an Obama delegate and was pleased to see the Clinton people eventually get on the train. I will be pleased to see that again.
Unfortunately we won’t give our leaders the tool to do the job… a Democratic congress. So after we finish digesting the Court Supreme, I am afraid there are a lot of unappetizing meals to come.
BTW – good job on your write up Kat, as always.
But notice the way that the Washington Post piece attempts to define authoritarian vs. populist – many people would say that “a virtuous “people” against nefarious elitists and outsiders” and “a deep mistrust of any group that claims expertise” and “strong nationalist identity” are all characteristic of authoritarians as well – see Bob Altemeyer’s “The Authoritarians”
That’s not how they separate the two types. They define authoritarians as being fond of order and strong leaders. So, yes, authoritarians could have the characteristics that you mention up above, but that’s not what Rahn and Oliver think makes or doesn’t make an authoritarian.
Note that what differentiates the Trump voters from other GOP voters (who all score high on the authoritarian scale) is their populism.
tl;dr: Trump voters are just like other GOP voters except they’re more populist.
I think many mistook my point. It wasn’t that the attacks on Hillary are played out, and Bernie’s are fresher. I am saying that they’ve spent decades painting Hillary as the antichrist, and that fear will motivate their side to show up to vote against her in droves.
There’s not really anything they could say about Bernie to motivate them to show up. Especially when Trump will be dissuading the GOP “normal” voters from showing up.
It’s all about who actually shows up. That’s why the dems eat shit every midterm.
Explanations of why the pollsters got Michigan so wrong need to deal with the fact that they haven’t gotten most other states that wrong, not when lots of polls are available. What was different about Michigan?
Philip Bump at the Washington Post had what sounds to me like a plausible theory: the turnout projections used to weight demographics were based on 2008. But the Michigan 2008 Democratic primary was itself an anomaly. Michigan and Florida scheduled their primaries on a date that violated party rules, and they were stripped of their convention delegates, so it was a primary that literally didn’t matter in determining the party nominee. That probably greatly suppressed turnout, favoring only the most reliable categories of voter, specifically older people, especially retirees.
It’s possible that the state to look for for a repeat of the polling error might not be Ohio but Florida.
…oh, yeah, and I forgot: Barack Obama actually withdrew from the 2008 Michigan primary while all this was going on: Hillary Clinton’s name was on the ballot, but Obama’s wasn’t. So Obama voters didn’t even have a good reason to show up, further skewing the turnout.
(His name was on the primary ballot in Florida, because he wasn’t allowed to withdraw it there without dropping out of the presidential race entirely.)
Kat: “So it’s utterly vital that they have a candidate who not only wins but again helps Democrat candidates out to recover any ground, just as they did with Obama.”
Yes, if we continue having our elections be driven by who gets the most PAC money, then certainly, Clinton and her SuperPAC machinery would be an advantage in the white house. Half of clintons money comes from big donors on wall street, so, if thats how we want to elect people, then Hillary can leverage that money for Dems. Probably handed out in a quid pro quo fashion. Debbie Wasserman Shultz may have gotten campaign donations from big money that caused her to attack Elizabeth Warren’s bank reform legislation. DWS has been using her position in the DNC to help Hilary get the nomination, and any person can assume she is doing this out of the goodness of her heart and all the political favors she hopes to get from Clinton if she is elected.
On the other hand, Bernies campaign doesnt take pac money, is only funded by small donors. And if elected, it seems pretty clear that one of his biggest drives in office would be to get big money out of american elections. The result of which would make those elections actually, ya know, *democratic*.
So, yeah, if we really want to continue operating inside a broken system of political machinery and money buying elections, Hilary is clearly the best politician for that job. And I am sure she will have some vaguely worded empty promises about fixing the problem of Citizens United, which will lead nowhere because, hey, half her campaign contributions came from wall street. She wont want to give that money up, because without it, she cant help her lackeys like Debbie get reelected and continue attacking reform laws from Elizabeth Warren.
If one does NOT want to see the next 20 years have Citizens United violently shove the country to unadulterated oligarchy, if one wants to see something rather soon to stop this money-gasm in politics, then Bernie is probably the president for that job.
An atheistic socialist Jew. I suspect that is hurting him with southern blacks, who are more religious and more conservative than white northern Democrats (what are Southern blacks going to do, vote Republican?) It appears that Arab-Americans in Dearborn went for Sanders, perhaps because of Clinton’s policies in the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Central Asia, or perhaps because of her respect for and friendship with Henry Kissinger, which is scary for any non-European nationality, and not all that happy for the rest of us.
Gods, what a world.
That’s not how they separate the two types. They define authoritarians as being fond of order and strong leaders. So, yes, authoritarians could have the characteristics that you mention up above, but that’s not what Rahn and Oliver think makes or doesn’t make an authoritarian. -DAVID
I’m not sure about that – look at the quoted portion in context:
I think Rahn and Oliver are measuring a subset of authoritarianism (perhaps ‘populist authoritarians’) rather than a different phenomenon. Is ‘scapegoating of outsiders’ independent of ‘a “virutous people” pitted against outsiders?’ However, I understand that you – and they – see it differently, and am OK to agree to disagree.
Half of clintons money comes from big donors on wall street,
Please document. Also, please be aware that many donation sites aggregate totals from all employes by their employers.
Flyingsquid: “populist authoritarians”
That isnt possible. Populists represent the interests of ordinary people. Authoritarians enforce the power of the few in power.
The only reason authoritarians need to enforce anything is because they do NOT represent ordinary people. They oppress ordinary people to the benefit of those in power.
If the government represents only 1%, it is authoritarian. If it represents 99% it is populist. It is impossible to be both populist and authoritarian, it is impossible to represent only 1% and 99% at the same time. They are mutually exclusive.
Drumpf represents only a certain segment of people: externally they tend to be white, christian. Internally, they align with basic right wing views of fear and scarcity believing the solutions are to concentrate power and wealth into the 1%. Drumpf supporters and the generic GOP are identical in one important aspect: they believe some people are better than others. The current iteration seems to be the myth of the 1% as “job creators”, therefore we must treat them special lest they take away our jobs. The GOP and Drumpf want to concentrate power into the richest people because they hold them as different than, better than, the 1%.
Populists inherently see everyone as equals.
So, it is impossible to be a populist authoritarian, unless we ignore that one is fundamentally about equality, and the other about inequality.
gungwang: “Please document.”
“Clinton’s top 10 cumulative donors between between 1999 and 2016 were, in descending order, Citigroup ($782,327), Goldman Sachs ($711,490), DLA Piper ($628,030), JPMorgan Chase ($620,919), EMILY’s List ($605,174) Morgan Stanley ($543,065), Time Warner ($411,296), Skadden Arps ($406,640), Lehman Brothers ($362,853) and Cablevision Systems ($336,288).”
How exactly will Sanders overturn the Citizens United decision? Has he friends in the House that will pass such a bill? Only Congress can pass a bill to overturn CU. Are you saying the House will start introducing bills, if Sanders is POTUS, and get them passed to the Senate, where they will get passed and arrive on POTUS’ desk for signing or vetoing? Most of the promises POTUS candidates make, they have to depend on Congress to pass a bill. It’s been pretty evident the House, in particular, refuses to do even the bare minimum of its job including budget approval. Individuals contributing to Sanders’ campaign makes no difference in the legislative process that I can see.
If anyone needs to gain a quick, yet clear, understanding of who Trump’s supporters are and why they are tremendously pissed off, take five minutes and read “Andrew Jackson, Revenant,” by Walter Russell Mead (American Interest, January 17, 2016)
The Shot: “Not since he fought with Nicholas Biddle over the future of the Bank of the United States has Andrew Jackson been this controversial or this central in American political life. Jacksonian populism, the sense of honor-driven egalitarianism and fiery nationalism that drove American politics for many years, has never been hated and reviled as often as it is today, and many American academics and intellectuals (to say nothing of Hollywood icons) are close to demanding that Jacksonian sentiment be redefined as a hate crime.”
The Chaser: “Donald Trump, for now, is serving as a kind of blank screen on which Jacksonians project their hopes. Proposing himself as a strong leader who ‘gets’ America but is above party, Trump appeals to Jacksonian ideas about leadership. Trump’s Jacksonian appeal has left the Republican Party in deep disarray, demonstrating the gulf between contemporary conservative ideology and Jacksonian nationalism. Indeed, one of the reasons that Trump hasn’t been hurt by attacks that highlight his lack of long term commitment to the boilerplate conservative agenda (either in the social or economic conservative variant) is that Jacksonian voters are less dogmatic and less conservative than some of their would-be political representatives care to acknowledge. Jacksonians like Social Security and Medicare much more than most Republican intellectuals, and they like immigration and free trade much less.”
FWIW: Mead is a Democrat who has written extensively on U.S. foreign policy and more recently on the steady collapse of what he calls the “Blue Social Model.”
I think Rahn and Oliver are measuring a subset of authoritarianism (perhaps ‘populist authoritarians’) rather than a different phenomenon.
Yeah, we disagree. As you said, we can leave it at that.
@JGL, who says:
“Also, by discounting the South, which you’ve just done, you’re basically saying the votes of those people – overwhelming people of color – don’t count.”
That’s bending words way past their breaking point. Noting that Clinton has won in states where no Dem is likely to win **when it counts** isn’t a value judgement. It’s a pragmatic observation, nothing more. It’s also a true and important observation.
And @ Wiredog, who says:
“The people who see so little daylight between Clinton and the GOP are the same sort that didn’t see any difference between Bush and Gore, so why not vote third party or stay home in November. Thanks for Iraq, guys.”
**Groan**. I used to believe that, too. Of course, if Gore had managed to win **his own** state, we wouldn’t be talking about Nader at all, would we? Maybe choosing a hack like Lieberman as his running mate — the essense of DNC centrist strategic brilliance, that — kinda sorta made it easy for people to confuse Democrats with Republicans?
Golly, between Sanders and HRC, I wonder which is more like to follow that same genius-level intuition?
Siris: “How exactly will Sanders overturn the Citizens United decision? ”
Is fixing Citizens United important to you? Then explain to me how Hillary Clinton, who got 30 million dollars from 100 individual donors via superpacs, is going to do a *better* job at fixing campaign finance than Bernie.
A mere 100 donors gave 30 million dollars to Clinton through superpacs. Bernie is the only candidate to refuse superpac funding. Average contribution to Bernie campaign is 37 dollars. Something like 90% of bernie’s money comes from donations less than 200 dollars.
The idea that Hillary would be better at fixing Citizens United is like saying the Steward Of Gondor would be the best person to deal with problem of the One Ring.
Bernie isnt in it for the power. Bernie isnt in it because he thinks he deserves the presidency or that its his turn. Bernie has a lifetime of living true to his principles, and acting on them. He hasnt flipped flopped his positions to best fit market research and popular opinion. And one of his defining principles is that money shouldnt be able to buy an election. And decades of Bernies history would tell you that he would do his best to make good on that commitment as president.
Hillary? Campaign finance reform? Are you serious?
Look, if Hillary gets the nomination, I will vote for her because she is a moderate right-of-center candidate, and a moderate right of center candidate is hella better than anything the GOP has. But lets not bullshit each other about things that Hillary clearly is NOT.
There’s a disturbing video going around this morning of a Trump supporter sucker-punching a black protester who was being escorted out of a Trump rally by police. The attacker was not arrested, or even detained.
Trump is normalizing something terrifying, and would-be brown-shirts are getting bolder.
I don’t particularly like Hillary Clinton, and I don’t trust her as far as I could throw her to fight for progressive policies, especially economic policies, as president, but I’m no longer entertaining the idea of staying home on election day if she gets the nomination.
Your suppositions about Clinton may or may not be true. Again, how will Sanders overturn CU? Please be specific.
I’m disappointed that Mr. Scalzi is repeating tropes that are likely to lull Dems into snatching victory from defeat.
I think the “socialism” bogeyman, and worries about how Republicans might play it up, is really over-rated. Sure, it will always trigger the heebie-jeebies in a chunk of the electorate — that chunk will be the one that isn’t going to vote for ANY Dem, period. For God’s sake, on the Republican side there are goons who rant about the public schools and vaccination campaigns as “socialism”. These people accuse Obama, a slightly center-left pragmatist, of “socialism”. I think those antics have gone a long way towards removing much of the term’s demon-word connotation.
As a kind of corollary, there’s the stock argument that HRC’s been dogged by so many accusations for so long that she’s somehow impervious, that she’s built up some combination of toughness and shrewdness that makes her unbeatable. I fear this is wrong in many ways, At a minimum, we know that for many people this history has simply rendered her untrustworthy and deeply disliked. Of the two Dems, Clinton is uniquely capable of rallying otherwise indifferent people to vote against her.
I see zero evidence that HRC’s learned anything from all the beatings she’s endured. Look at her stance on the TPP. I don’t know what she’s saying this week, but for a while she was trying to get by with something like, “I haven’t formed an opinion”. Now, as Secretary of State she was a lot more involved than most with the negotiations for that deal. And the TPP has been a lightning rod for almost every traditional Dem constituency for more than a year. Did she really truly believe that she’d be able to get by with, “Gosh, lemme get back to you on that”. “Obtuse” doesn’t begin to describe it!
Finally, all things being equal, both Sanders and Clinton are likely to beat Trump — but Clinton brings a major, unacceptable risk. I’ll concede that Republicans routinely gin up distracting “scandals”, and Clinton’s been the target of her share. But I believe that there’s a ton of **genuine** scandal material associated with her, and that it’s not too far below the surface. The “Clinton Foundation” alone is probably a gold mine for any mildly energetic muckraker. I think you can safely bet a month’s pay that with Clinton, the Dems are certain to have a November Surprise dumped in their lap.
Of course, if Gore had managed to win **his own** state, we wouldn’t be talking about Nader at all, would we?
That’s kind of become the Nader supporters retort du jour. Yes, if Al Gore had managed to completely rewrite the southern realignment to the GOP and get Tennessee in his camp, then he would have won. Gore lost TN by 4%; Obama lost it by 15% and 20%.
He couldn’t completely overcome the South’s shift, and so we are talking about Nader, because he swung the election to Bush by taking both New Hampshire and Florida away from Gore.
likely to lull Dems into snatching victory from defeat.
I’m all for the Dems snatching victory from defeat.
To @kurtbusiek’s point about Bernie and Hillary splitting the swing states and the narrative that “Hillary is only winning states the Democrats can’t take in November anyway”: one factor I haven’t seen come up much is that almost all of the primaries so far have either been in swing states or likely Republican strongholds. The only sure-fire blue states that have held their Democratic primaries are Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Vermont; Sanders won two and Massachusetts was essentially a tie, but the West Coast states and the rest of New England and the Mid-Atlantic are yet to come. I don’t think we can really say yet that Bernie is winning all the Democratic strongholds, because most of them haven’t voted yet.
Siris : “how will Sanders overturn CU? Please be specific.”
Really? You expect me to believe that this beligerence of yours is merely you aggressively striving to know the facts so you can make an informed decision? Oh, sure, why not. Here are the specifics you are missing:
Bernie is Frodo.
Warren, if we were lucky, would be Sam.
Hilary is Galadriel the elf “all will love me and despair” queen.
Trump is Sauramon.
Jeb is Denethor’s forgotten brother.
Cruz is Wyrmtongue.
If we are lucky, someone will run as a third party candidate on the right, and they will play Gollum, who is evil, but ultimately and inadvertantly helps the quest.
Frodo and Sam will take the ring up to mount doom and throw it in. The end.
Now, how will Hillary fix the problem? And remember, “be specific”.
As I thought. You’re being sloppy. You missed this statement:
“Also, the “donors” listed are not the ones who gave the money, since that would be against the law. Rather, it was their PACs, employees and those employees’ families.”
Doesn’t that change things, as employees such as administrative support and researchers are individual donors. That does NOT mean that her support are the companies themselves.
“Noting that Clinton has won in states where no Dem is likely to win **when it counts** ”
You know President isn’t the only office elected in November, right? There are lots of Democratic mayors and Congress people elected even in Deep Red states and it would be good if Democrats there would turn out to vote.
And I assume you remember that Obamacare almost didn’t pass because Mass elected its first Republican senator in 38 years at just the right moment – because Republicans who thought their vote mattered showed up while Democrats stayed home.
100 donors gave Hillary 30 million dollars.
Bernie’s avarage donation is 30 bucks and 90 percent are under 200 bucks.
It seems pretty clear that Hillary views Citizens United as her “precious”. She’s not going to give up the ring of power that got her where she is. If she had to rely on small donations only, she would be out of the race already.
Are Hillary supporters seriously going to delude themselves that Hillary would give up big money when that was the only way she is in the race? Are we seriously going to pretend this isnt UN-democratic? Or that its “ok” when your candidate does it, and really only wrong when the other candidates do it?
Hillary will do nothing to fix the problems created by Citizens United. That is something we can all count on.
I’m not going to try to persuade anyone to vote a particular way in the primaries. I like both candidates for different reasons. But no matter what you think about the likely policies of either candidate, Supreme Court justices are appointed for life. So show up in November!
It seems pretty clear that Hillary views Citizens United as her “precious”.
I note that you didn’t dispute what I said. It seems pretty clear you don’t understand the data you’re citing…so I’ll have to take your observations with a grain of salt.
>>That isnt possible. Populists represent the interests of ordinary people. Authoritarians enforce the power of the few in power.>>
As the history of Europe shows, time and again, it’s an entirely possible combination. Mussolini’s Fascists, the original deal, were populists in that they appealed to the people (by giving them easy answers) and pitting them against the established elites; they were also authoritarians in that they wanted an explicitly anti-democratic, totalitarian society with strong authority at the top.
Similarly, Trump is populist in that he appeals to the GOP base by playing on their fears and frustration, saying the things they want to hear, and promising them what they want. And that, in no way, doesn’t mean that his audience might not be authoritarians: they want a strong leader who will get things done, put those Others in their place, and reward Good Americans like themselves, and they don’t really care about democracy except on the level of buzzwords, if Trump can deliver that.
Aw hell…. You think you’ve proofread something, and then…..
“…tropes that are likely to lull Dems into snatching victory from defeat.”
should of course be
“…tropes that are likely to lull Dems into snatching DEFEAT from VICTORY”
@bookworm1398, who says:
“You know President isn’t the only office elected in November, right? There are lots of Democratic mayors and Congress people elected even in Deep Red states and it would be good if Democrats there would turn out to vote.”
So? If Sanders is the candidate, is that going to discourage southerners from turning out?
I don’t think the two voting blocs are symmetrical that way. It’s a good bet that if HRC loses the nomination, the majority of her supporters will still turn out to vote the party line in November. I don’t think that’s true of Sanders supporters. Proportionately more of them will be first-time voters, or voters identifying with Sanders more than the party. Ergo, more of them are likely to stay home or defect. DNC types can scream at them if they want, but that’s just the way it’s likely to shake out.
This is another reason why, assuming the delegate counts are about equal going into the Dem convention, opting for Clinton would be folly.
“…tropes that are likely to lull Dems into snatching DEFEAT from VICTORY”
That’w what the Dems are best at – see every mid-term, ever.
“There’s not really anything they could say about Bernie to motivate them to show up. Especially when Trump will be dissuading the GOP “normal” voters from showing up.”
I tend to disagree with that. The Republicans have been holding their fire on Sanders because they want to encourage Democratic division, but if he became the candidate, I’d totally expect to see thousands of TV spots blaring about the Sandinista rally he attended in 1985, complete with subtitled video of anything anti-American said at that rally (including, reportedly, chants of “Yankee will die”). If there is no actual video of the event, they’ll do ‘recreations’ with suitably scary actors. This will be followed by quotes from Bernie praising the Sandinistas after attending the rally and accusing Reagan of terroristic activity in his foreign policy. The Republicans can whip up a whole lot of toxic frothy meringue from very little substance, and that kind can get a whole lot of party extremists reliably foaming at the mouth, and even give more moderate Republicans pause, considering how they revere St. Ronnie.
I’d say with that kind of material served up fresh to a fairly uninformed public, the Republicans have the capacity to bring Bernie’s negatives up REAL fast – unlike Hillary, who they have nothing that they haven’t beaten over the head with a thousand times already.
Re: Citizen’s United being overturned. The only likely way that happens is with the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice that wishes to see is overturned, or more likely cabined in some fashion that reduces its impact. The only other option is a Constitutional Amendment, which requires a supermajority in both Houses of Congress AND the approval of 3/4 of state legislatures.
Pretty sure that Sec. Clinton and Sen. Sanders are going to be drawing from the same pool of candidates for that nomination, which is essentially the same pool that President Obama is drawing from today. I believe that all are likely to be in favor of reducing the impact of Citizens United (as well as reducing the impact of Heller on gun control and Shelby County on the VRA.)
I don’t think that ability to overturn Citizens United is a useful tool for differentiation between the candidates. Sorry that I can’t fit this into greg’s LotR analogy.
gwangung: “I note that you didn’t dispute what I said.”
Meh. Your argument apparently hinges on the address of Wall Street and a strict interpretation of who lives there as corporate address verses who merely works there during the day. Yay you! A loophole for Hillary, so you dont have to address the actual problem.
Either way, I will stick with Politicfact saying her top ten donors are the groups most in dire need of government regulation. But look! Over there! Some guy who said he likes Bernie said something Sexist! I’m sure that says somehing about Bernies entire campaign being sexist. Right? Amiright?
We’re all just striving for intellectual honesty here, right? Arent we? Sure we are. Sure we are.
Lurks: “populists in that they appealed to the people (by giving them easy answers) ”
Ah, well, I would define populist as “representing the interests of ordinary people”. Giving people easy answers that arent actually true isnt actually representing their interests.
At some point, I have to draw a distinction between populist and a mob whipped into a fervor based on lies and acting against their own interests. Trump is an authoritarian trying to whip up a mob. Trump is no populist.
Emily’s List and DLA Piper are in dire need of government regulation?
My take on Clinton’s contributors is that they’re about what I’d expect for a Democratic senator from New York. Kirsten Gillibrand’s top backer’s look similar; Chuck Schumer’s tilt much more heavily towards finance. Clinton’s biggest donors this presidential cycle still includes a couple of finance firms, though I also suspect influencing financial regulation is not actually the top priority of number one donor George Soros.
(full disclosure: I once worked at DLA Piper)
Just to be clear for everyone: Greg has no idea how Bernie Sanders would overturn Citizens United.
@David, I have seen purity at work before with Ralph Nader.
Had Gore been installed think how different the world would be. Richard Clarke would have still been sitting on the National Security Council and shaking the bushes. Probably would have averted the 9-11 attack. No war in Iraq.
Would anti corporate Nader been a better President than Gore? I thought so. But even in defeat he did something for me. He cured me of purity.
@DAVID: Apparently Senator Sanders doesn’t really know either.
Apparently Senator Sanders doesn’t really know either
Just to be clear, Pedro, Sanders would still be seven billion times better than any candidate the fever swamp that used to be the Republican Party could think to nominate.
I’m trying to stay out of this brawl, but needed to correct one thing: there’s election finance law and then there’s real life.
““Also, the “donors” listed are not the ones who gave the money, since that would be against the law. Rather, it was their PACs, employees and those employees’ families.” Doesn’t that change things, as employees such as administrative support and researchers are individual donors. That does NOT mean that her support are the companies themselves.”
I used to work for a biggish bank. Not top ten but top 25 (at the time). They had a separate PAC, which was funded by voluntary contributions of their employees, and thus wasn’t directly using corporate money. BUT it was clear to us mid-level managers that you would contribute. My boss would carefully point out that contributions weren’t required and wouldn’t affect your job reviews. But then he would also carefully point out that he knew who in his department gave and who didn’t, and that it made the department ‘look bad’ if we didn’t have a 100% contribution rate. Of course, the directors of the PAC were also top execs of the bank.
It’s not hard to connect the dots. It’s quite similar to the Super PACS who are ‘independent’ of the campaigns and who just happen to recycle slogans, themes and images from the campaigns they favor. Corporate PACS don’t have names like ‘Bob’s PAC’. Instead it’s something like “Fleet Financial PAC’ (to use the name of a long lost bank with which I was NOT affiliated, but was a competitor of my former employer). Maybe the bucks come from the employees, but it’s still the bank bosses who decide who gest the money, and who get thanked for their support.
DAVID: Just to be clear for everyone: Greg has no idea how Bernie Sanders would overturn Citizens United.
Ya know, I really get the independent voter not wanting to vote for Hillary right now. Her defenders are turning into total hypocrites. Citizens United? When the decision came down from the court, everyone leftish said it was bad. But now? now that Hillary is tugging hard for the money shot, hey, ya know, CU is bad, but its not like the presidency could ever do anything about it anyway. And hey! That bernie supporter said something mean! Lets talk about that!
I find it interesting because Bernie clearly beats the shiznit out of Hillary over this topic, and all the Hillary defenders have to tie themselves into hypocritical knots trying to downplay the importance of it because Hillary is clearly prostituting herself for superpac money.
clearly, for these Hillary supporters, the principle doesn’t matter. What matters is who does it.
And this is exactly the sort of thing that will have independent and undecided voters fuck off. One of Bernie’s biggest draws is he actually has honest-to-god principles. He isn’t part of the political machine. Hillary is clearly for sale, and her supporters are tripping over themselves to try and smoke screen the fact that “the ends justify the means” is at the core of the campaign.
You know what Bernie could do? He could lead. There is already a movement for a constitutional convention to get rid of CU. Bernie could actually stump for it, from a point of authenticity, because he didn’t actually sell his soul to get elected. Hillary can’t do that. She can’t put a spotlight on it because she’s taking the money. She can’t sell herself and then turn around and say, “ya know, prostitution is bad”. No one would listen to that kind of hypocrisy.
Obviously, Bernie can’t force an amendment all by himself, but he would actually be able to lead from a position of authenticity, because he wouldn’t be a fucking, obvious hypocrite. he could use the presidency to lead, encourage, cajole, and badger real reform in 4 to 8 years time. If Hillary is elected, we can count on 4 to 8 years of zero significant progress in campaign finance reform. Bernie is clearly far superior to Hillary on this topic. And Hillary voters fucking know it, which is why they’re trying to downplay and misdirect away from the entire topic.
heck: Emily’s List and DLA Piper are in dire need of government regulation?
Here is the top six contributers to Hillary:
Emily’s List $939,881 $930,961 $8,920
Citigroup Inc $883,547 $875,547 $8,000
DLA Piper $847,930 $820,930 $27,000
Goldman Sachs $821,031 $811,031 $10,000
JPMorgan Chase & Co $771,111 $768,111 $3,000
Morgan Stanley $754,538 $749,538 $5,000
Do you see anyone at all in there that might need government regulation? Anyone at all? A single name that sticks out as a red flag for you? Maybe a pattern of names that involves more than one name deserving of regulation?
No? Are you a member of the Democrat party? Because I’d invite you to leave.
Yes? Then what is the gorram problem? We agree on principle that Hillary is getting a lot of money from people who need government regulation, but you had to come back with a “not all companies” response? Because a discussion of the actual principles around campaign money would certainly not look good for Hillary compared to Bernie.
If that’s Michigan, yes, white (mostly male) upper middle class college students and younglings like Bernie, so he’d get most of those who turned out in that state. He is doing well with young people. But not all of them, and mostly white and mostly male. And young people don’t turn out as much and are sometimes blocked from turning out by Republican unconstitutional voting laws and regs meant to keep them out of elections. Young people lean left (and a good thing too, as humans wouldn’t still exist otherwise.) Their job is to call out the problems and demand big change. Especially the white upper middle class kiddos. (Where upon the former young white upper middle class people, finding themselves the ones now called out by the younger generation, gets nasty and defensive and starts to squash the younger people on the grounds that they’ve got theirs so fuck off, demanding children.)
He is not leading the coalition. He is making a lot of pie in the sky promises with not very effective strategy for actually dealing with the Congress we’re going to have. If he somehow gets the nomination, I’ll back him and they’ll figure it out. I think the coalition would turn out for him. But the reality is that Bernie couldn’t work with the Democrats and the Democratic governor to get universal health care financed and operational and get federal funding for it in a tiny blue state (Vermont) where everybody knows everyone and most of them adore him. They likely will get it going eventually and it will be a model more states will copy and the ACA can be developed (rather than thrown out just like the Republicans want to do.) But the bull in the china shop clarion call of mass reform, while useful for rallying the people and pushing the conversation, is empty air when it comes to the Presidency. The President isn’t a fucking king.
Wall Street is international. Business has more money than the U.S. government. The U.S. government CANNOT reform Wall Street. That’s an empty promise. Nor can any of the socialist democracies in Europe, who went down in the Great Recession with the rest of us. The U.S. government can regulate how Wall Street does business inside the U.S. and with U.S. affiliates abroad, how it treats its investors, workers, customers, gets tax breaks, etc. But doing that requires some dancing with Wall Street — Wall Street being able to leave the U.S. completely at any time and crash the U.S. economy at any time and make a profit out of it.
I’m tired of the leftist purity obsession with workers and finance above all else, and by that I mean white workers. And fuck the white workers, especially the ones in rural districts — they vote right and harm themselves. They are an unreliable group. (I will protect their right to vote as they want forever and I believe the U.S. needs stronger unions, but I don’t have to like them.) Raising the minimum wage is important, lots of issues there. But so is the damn school to prison pipeline for non-whites, court and cop reform regarding racial issues and dealing with prison slave labor, which is helping keep wages depressed. So are social issues which actually have a huge economic and labor component. It’s not that Bernie doesn’t support these things; but I’m not seeing what I want to see from their camp.
I am grateful to Bernie for keeping the conversation leftward, and keeping progressive hammering going on many key issues, but I don’t need a presidential nominee running with the Democratic Party declaring war on that party (because he’s not a Democrat,) when what we desperately need is Democrats to take back state legislatures and federal Congress as much as possible. Because if we don’t do that, we’re not getting any reform.
I believe that the Democratic party will back Bernie if he somehow becomes the nominee (although statistically it does not look great for him.) I believe the party and most of Bernie’s coalition will back Hilary if she becomes the nominee. And those who don’t, who sit out the general election or vote Republican or something else? That’s their right to be selfish whiny loser babies. That’s how we ended up with George W. Bush as president. When Democrats turn out, their candidates win. When they don’t (mid-terms,) their candidates lose and we lose control of legislatures to authoritarians. That’s why Republicans have expended so much energy into getting their people in low turn out elections like school boards, and in setting up laws, regulations and gerrymandering to keep voting turn-out low, particularly of groups that lean Democrat. That’s the main reason that half the Republicans don’t want Trump — his policies are the same as their that they’ve been spouting for years. But he’s likely to spur better turn out of Democrats.
Are you deluded enough to think that if the circumstances were different, if Citizens United didn’t exist, HRC would suddenly be entirely unable to raise money? She raises money the way she does because she CAN and because that’s the way the game is played. I’m quite sure if the game changed, she’d have no trouble at all changing her game to match.
@siris <blockquote<Your suppositions about Clinton may or may not be true. Again, how will Sanders overturn CU? Please be specific.
I’ll be specific. By having 2 or possibly 3 (if the GOP managed to stonewall Obama for a year) Supreme Court appointments.
rochrist: that’s the way the game is played.
So, yeah. No one forced Hillary to do it this way.
The game also includes exhorbinant amount of payment for “speeches” *cough* *bribes* *cough* given to wealthy clients. All the politicans are doing that too, so there’s nothing we can do about it.
Oh, right. Except Bernie.
Are you deluded enough to think that if the circumstances were different, if Citizens United didn’t exist, HRC would suddenly be entirely unable to raise money?
If she *could* raise another 30 million dollars from small donors, dont you think she *would* be doing it right now? Are you saying she’s holding back? Swordfighting with her left hand even though she’s right handed? It’s an interesting theory, certainly.
But that would suggest that she *could* have gotten the same amount or more from small donors, but *chose* to take money from Citigroup, JPMorgan, GoldmanSachs, and others instead?
That’s… that’s… entirely counter-intuitive. Almost as if the entire “The way the game is played” justification is complete nonsense.
Kat: “He is doing well with young people. But not all of them, and mostly white and mostly male.”
I think Bernie has been very popular with young people in all of the caucuses to date.
Also consider that Democrats in the South are more conservative than Democrats in the Pacific Northwest or Rust Belt (I grew up in Louisiana, but now live in Washington State).
However, I think Michigan provides interesting data.
From 538’s site:
“Not only did more young voters turn out than expected, but Sanders won 81 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds.”
“Sanders had won less than 20 percent of black voters in most states with large black populations, and Mitchell and YouGov both showed Sanders winning less than 20 percent of them in Michigan. Instead he won 28 percent.”
Muslims in Dearborn also went 2-1 for Bernie Sanders.
Kat: as Mythago and I have queried in another thread, what are the numbers on white working class people? I cannot find any reliable ones, except that the least affluent vote Democrat regardless of racial identity, but their turnout is depressed by many factors. (I imagine their influence on the primary and policy shaping process is even more attenuated.) This just seems to be a convenient, slightly hateful meme. Possibly related to the fact that the lower middle class, maybe even middle middle class in America are conflicted about how they view themselves: it is somehow necessary to be blue collar AND middle class in these people’s world view.
Greg: Caesar was a populist. And an authoritarian. Cicero and Pompey represented the “one percent.” They also saw themselves as Knights of the Old Republic (since we are warping franchises to our own designs today.)
@Greg: “There is already a movement for a constitutional convention to get rid of CU. Bernie could actually stump for it, from a point of authenticity, because he didn’t actually sell his soul to get elected.”
Interesting idea. Let’s say Sanders takes your advice. Let’s further stipulate that he wins and that the requisite number of states agree, petition Congress, Congress assents, and off to the convention we go.
Then what? What kind of deal would Team Blue be willing to make with Team Red to get the “constitutional” campaign finance reform you want?
Team Red might be willing to deal on this issue, but they would probably demand a constitutional ban on the ability of labor unions, both public and private, to make any political contributions whatsoever. They might even demand a ban on collective bargaining by public employee unions. Period.
Would you be willing to pay that price? Would any Democratic politician be willing to pay that price?
Moreover, Team Blue would be at a pretty severe political disadvantage in the constitutional reform process given Team Red’s very sizable current advantage in the number of state legislatures it controls.
Yes. Sanders could advocate a Constitutional Convention, but he would not be the first national politician to do so.
Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has already called for a Constitutional Convention. Because “state rights.”
As a campaign move, advocating a CC to overturn CU is not a “slam dunk” and could generate all kinds of interesting push back that Hillary Clinton could exploit to her already considerable advantage. Imagine how she might try to “force pair” Sanders with Abbott. Because state rights!
There’s isn’t a chance in hell of a constituitional convention accomplishing ANYTHING given the current state of this country. The only way CU gets overturned in through the supreme court.
Putting aside the wisdom of calling for a Constitutional Convention in a country where 20-25% of the population Is supporting a bigot who has called for suppressing the free press, claims of “leadership” as a solution to the most vexatious problems reminds me of “South Park’s” Underwear Gnomes: 1. Leadership 2. ????? 3. Glorious Revolution!!!
Public policy change is accomplished through long slogs of organizing which builds pressure that forces change on entrenched interests. Usually this is incremental change. (See: Affordable Care Act.) Sometimes, like in evolution, there are periods of sudden change (1964 Civil Rights Act/ 1965 Voting Rights Act, or even the adoption of bedrock environmental protection statutes between 1970-1977.) That rapid change happens because of the built up potential energy that releases like an earthquake.
It seems to me that Sen. Sanders, and to an even greater extent his supporters, are seeking the earthquake without the long period of build up that drives it. People are angry/ frustrated, but they are just as likely drawn into Trump’s noxious orbit as to Bernie’s more hopeful vision. The energy isn’t building in any useful way; it is simply being expressed as rage against the system.
I’m with Sen. Sanders on the issues, but I don’t think that he has the infrastructure or temperament to achieve his goals. Sec. Clinton has many flaws as a candidate, but I think she will be a better President.
PrivateIron: “Caesar was a populist. And an authoritarian.”
I think it comes down entirely to where the definitions are most emphasized.
To me, populist and mob are not the same. Mob whipped up by authoritarian are exact opposites. And authoritarian to reinforce the 1% is different from populists using force to defend themselves and their rights.
If its just about numbers, then the terms have a lot of overlap. But i think that there is an important distinction between them that can only be measured subjectively, which is their intent, and who they are really helping.
Hitler was popular, but I dont see him as a populist because to me, to be a populist, you have to have the interests of ALL people as your priority, all skin colors, all religions, all genders, all orientations, all nationalities, and even the interest of your nation as well as other nations as equals. That, to me, is populist. For Ceasar to be populist, he would have to be concerned for the welfare of Rome and the welfare of the gauls, goths, egypt, greece, and others (and himself) all equally.
The more one becomes concerned with one group over others,the further away from populism one goes and if one is willing to enforce the preference of one group of people over another, the closer one gets to authoritarianism.
At which point, maybe we just have to agree that we have different definitions and leave it at that.
Pedro,it seemed fairly clear in a previous thread that you were anti-democrat. So, I find it unlikely that we are engaged in a conversation where you would actually be swayed by anything I say and your line of questioning is more likely an attempt to find a “gotcha” than a solution. So, I dont think I have the spoons for you today.
DC: “seeking the earthquake without the long period of build up that drives it.”
Maybe I’m just old, but it seems the buildup pushing the country to oligarchy and to the further extremes of right wing fascism has been *building* at least since Reagan or Nixon depending on how wide a net we use.
It seems to me that progress is made in lurches and stops and starts and a lot of luck, and being in the right place at the right time. One small action can cascade into an entire movement. One woman refuses to give up her seat on a bus. And the civil rights movement is born. Sometimes its just luck. Lincoln only got 40% of the vote, but the other 60% of the vote was split between 3 pro-slavery candidates and it brought about the end of slavery a century earlier than it could have lasted. I dont *know* with Newtonian certainty what Bernie will and will not accomplish when he becomes president. But what I do know is his presidency is an opportunity that only a fool and the very jaded and cynical would pass up.
I am most certainly NOT going to look at history and decide that there hasnt been enough “movement” to create an “earthquake” just yet, and then decide to vote for the candidate who puts the least amount of pressure for reform. That isnt strategic analysis. Thats justification for resignation.
The thing is, we dont know what will happen in the next 8 years, but I would rather have a president with principles like Bernie in place. Otherwise, that one little event that could spark the earthquake? It might just get steamrolled by politicians and their machines as too inconvenient right now because it breaks their political machinery.
Bernie strikes me as a president who would do the right thing, even if it meant he couldnt, for example, win reelection. Clinton? She strikes me as someone who will do the right thing as long as it doesnt get in her way of keeping, building, and expanding her power. The biggest red flag for this is that her positions historically flip-flop further to the left at the rate which is politically safe to do.
So, the next Rosa Parks comes along, refusing to be pushed around by some systemic injustice. President Bernie would most likely embrace it and do the right thing even if it was unpopular. And maybe that earthquake gets to bring down some systemic injustice. Hillary? Would probably do a bunch of polls and see what people support and do whatever wouldnt jepordize her reelection. And the moment is lost. The political machinery is merely reinforced to absorb the tremors.
Nope, Democrats in the Rust Belt and Mid-West have gotten quite conservative and along with the Republicans, more white protectionist as the populations of their states have gotten slightly less white. A lot of the Democrats in the South are black and while they can be somewhat conservative in the religious sense, they vote left because they are facing more discrimination, whereas the Democrats in the mid-west are majority white and they are concerned with economic issues that mainly hit them.
Yes, and that should bother you. They don’t trust him because he favors white workers and isolationist policies, though he’s improving. Hillary won over 64% of the black vote in Michigan and 89% of the black vote in Mississippi. Women are voting for Hillary and (white) men are voting for Bernie in terms of majorities. White college students turned out and voted for Bernie; voters in Detroit did not and may have been blocked from voting a bit. If more of the black vote from Detroit had turned out, Bernie may not have won Michigan. The young voters are great, but again they are unreliable in the federal election.
But Bernie did win and his win in Michigan is not at all a shocking upset. Bernie won for a very simple reason, the same reason he’s winning in some rural, super white declining manufacturing states who tend to have elected Republican governors selling off state assets to business — he’s anti-free trade and isolationist on foreign policy. White workers, Democrats or Republicans, are seeing a slightly shifting demographic in Mid-West states where they are declining in percentage of the population. They are worried that non-white American workers will increasingly take their jobs — same as other times when black Americans fled northwards from the South and tried to get factory jobs. They are worried that immigrants, legal and illegal, mainly the brown skinned ones, will take their jobs. They are worried about businesses being overseas after they voted in the Republicans that deregulated businesses and accelerated business moving overseas, and they think it can be reversed even though circumstances have entirely changed globally. They blame black people for bankrupting Detroit instead of Republican politicians who deliberately trashed the city. So Bernie is promising what they want, even though he previously voted against the auto bailout. And Michigan is a state with a 79% white population, much of it working class and lower middle class.
So is Trump, who is pretending to be isolationist and anti-free trade, which is one of the reasons Trump is beating Republicans. White working class voters have increasingly voted Republican because Republicans have promised to keep non-whites from getting their jobs, promised to make America great again, etc. They’ve swallowed the lie that the U.S.’ high taxes is the problem in keeping business in the U.S. But we don’t have high taxes for business, we give them huge tax breaks. So much so that European companies set up plants here. But they are doing it more in the South and California than other areas, and the reality is that there will always be fewer manufacturing jobs because technology has replaced them. So resources seem to be declining to folk even though the economy has improved greatly the last eight years, especially in rural areas where agriculture resources have also shrunk due to technology and big business buying all the land and Republican politicians squeezing smaller farmers for big business. And when resources appear that way, in white majority areas, white people start voting for whoever promises them protectionism from non-white people and the magical wish that businesses can be forced to save them instead of squash them.
Which is why in Ohio, labor unions and white working Democrats seem to maybe be leaning towards Trump: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-ohio-insight-idUSMTZSAPEC3ATLGUM9 And that’s a problem — if Bernie can’t bring in white working Democrats and white middle class men, for himself or to then support Hillary as the nominee — if they go for Trump or Cruz, then we’re missing a still important if slowly shrinking part of the coalition. But if the only way to get white working class (and for that matter white middle class,) is to promise to screw over everybody else and pretend we don’t have a global economy, that doesn’t work either. That’s the mistake the Republicans made and look where they are now. It’s been a super winning strategy for them at the state level, but federally, it’s disastrous. And if Bernie’s main coalition remains only mostly white college students and white working and middle class males, that’s a problem too.
Democrats again win when they can get a big turn-out of the whole tent. Hillary doesn’t have the whole tent and that’s something she has to work on, but she is actually aware of it and did learn lessons from losing to Obama. Bernie definitely doesn’t have the whole tent and instead of pretending that’s not a problem, Bernie’s campaign needs to stop acting like it’s 1955. Both I think can lead the coalition but Bernie’s people are way more clueless so far. (I like the underwear gnomes comparison.)
As for the percentage of the voters, you are definitely going to get different numbers depending on how working class is calculated, but you get numbers anywhere from 36% to 50% for white working class. It’s shrunk with age and demographic change and the savage assault on unions, but in recent years also increased as people dropped out of the middle class. Democrats can’t win without some of the white males including the working class, but Democrats also can’t win without non-whites, women, young and old people, etc. And even if the Democrat wins the Presidency, dents have to be made in the legislatures if you want to get any kind of policies through.
Greg – It seems to me like you’ve forgotten the early 90’s when Hillary Clinton was the leftist anti-christ for both Republicans and mainstream Democrats. The one who tried to pass universal healthcare and spent the next 7 years being told to tone down the leftist rhetoric.
She learned a lesson that Bernie has yet to–sometimes embracing a strong (unpopular) liberal position in face of majority resistance gets you burned and destroys the cause you’ve been advocating for. Sometimes the smartest and best way to advocate for change is to start small and embrace an incremental approach.
Your visceral hatred of Clinton blinds you to her liberal positions. Healthcare, gun control, the school-to-prison pipeline, police shootings, comprehensive LGBT rights (not just gay marriage), women’s health and abortion access–these things are just as important as Citizen’s United and the big banks. POC and women are dying in America, not because they don’t have good jobs, but because the system is racist and sexist.
Do I like how hawkish she is sometimes? No. But she’s also a skilled diplomat who’s helped with non-interventionist solutions. Do I like how cozy she is with Wall Street? Not really, but I’m not a single-issue voter, so this isn’t the end-all be-all for me.
Do you know what I appreciate? That she listens when communities tell her their concerns. She doesn’t dictate to POC like Bernie does, she takes their advice on their needs. I appreciate that she understands that legislative success requires work and planning and detail, whereas Bernie seems to speak in broad should-statements, rather than explaining how he’d accomplish his aims.
Also, you don’t seem to understand something very basic about the Supreme Court and the field of Constitutional Law. Once a decision is made, it is very difficult (bordering on impossible) to change it. Even if all the justices want to. It’s called stare decisis and it means “let it stand”. The court will not reverse itself unless it can find a way of doing so without invalidating the previous court’s line of reasoning on the decision. And it certainly won’t do it so soon after a decision is done.
So, how is Bernie going to accomplish this great revolution? Because I’m dying to know. I’d love to live in a worker’s paradise. I just don’t think he can do it. He’s promising his supporters the moon and stars, betting that they don’t know enough about our political and legal system to question whether it’s even possible. I don’t like that kind of dishonesty in my politicians.
@Greg:”it seemed fairly clear in a previous thread that you were anti-democrat.”
As I stated in that previous thread, I’m an Independent. Unlike you, I am not supporting any candidate this cycle. That obviously gives me a little more leeway in our discussions because I do not have to defend any particular candidate.
And yes, I am very critical of the Democratic Party for a variety of reasons, only some of which of I have alluded to in previous threads.
My theory . . . the idea that I keep mulling over and over and over. . . is that the country is going through a profound slump in elite leadership perhaps comparable to the nadir of the 1850s. I think both Sanders and Trump are succeeding to the extent they are because their opponents are simply too weak, for whatever reason, to best them in political combat.
In your response to DC Spartan about political revolutions/earthquakes, my perceptions may be a bit different. I already feel the political ground rumbling beneath my feet. . . the kind of rumbling that occurs when one political-economic order begins to give way and the outlines of the new order are not yet in view. (In seismic terms, I’d put it at about 3 on the Richter scale.)
There’s much more I could say about this, but prefer to withhold for future discussions, should the opportunity present itself.
@Greg: “I find it unlikely that we are engaged in a conversation where you would actually be swayed by anything I say and your line of questioning is more likely an attempt to find a ‘gotcha’ than a solution.”
Obviously I do not share your enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders or the Progressive movement, but we do share roughly the same set of perceptions concerning Hillary Clinton and the profound depth of her corruption.
To me, though, it’s not the Wall Street donations per se, but the foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation, which may or may not be under investigation by the DOJ (depending on the source).
As to my style of argumentation (aka rhetoric), I am not interested in playing “gotcha” games, but sometimes my efforts to draw people into discussion can be . . . provocative.
As to “solutions,” my perspective is no different than the one offered by Elizabeth Bonesteel in John’s “Big Idea” post from yesterday: “90 percent of bug fixing is figuring out what the bug really is; at that point, the solution usually becomes obvious.”
So, at this point, I’m more interested in defining/identifying the main problems than in proposing solutions.
Two thoughts on naming and on word replacement (as it has become a bit of a subtopic here):
1. As a member of the trans community, where people literally lose their jobs, family relationships, and physical safety over the issue of other people _not respecting a name change_, I don’t like deliberate misnaming of any kind anymore. I always found it juvenile, but now I additionally find it to be actively invalidating them as a person, a kind of ad hominem attack.
When I see someone do it, I automatically feel less safe about whether they would respect _my_ identity. I don’t care how much I despise someone’s politics or personality, I will use their given name and pronouns. If you want people with sensitive identity issues to trust you, consider doing the same.
2. I use a word substituter but I use [brackets] to make it clear when something is substituted. My personal favorite is replacing “political correctness” with “[showing respect to people who aren’t me]”. That way I still understand the nuance of the original.
Katherine: She learned a lesson that Bernie has yet to–sometimes embracing a strong (unpopular) liberal position in face of majority resistance gets you burned and destroys the cause
I’m not sure what you are using as evidence that the cause of health care reform was “destroyed”. It might be that raising the issue of health care reform in the 90’s helped it get done under Obama’s term. The important lesson I think history teaches is that principles are not destroyed by failure to implement them perfectly.
The most important lesson of history is progress does not come without a stand for it, a fight for it, pushing for it, demanding it. We started out with the principle “all men created equal” but blacks were slaves and women couldnt’ vote. It took the deadliest war in American history to end slavery. Which was then replaced by Jim Crow for another century and it took the civil rights movement in the 60’s a decade of fighting and marching and standing up to inequality to bring about an end to segregation. And now black lives matter have to fight to be heard about systemic police racism.
At no point in history can I think of a time where people committing immoral violence against other people were told their violence was immoral and simply responded “Oh, yeah, you’re right.” Sometimes it happens on the individual level or on small scale issues. But generally, people had to stand up to the immorality and push for progress towards morality.
Sometimes the push fails, or fails to achieve all teh results it wants. But I don’t see how that means people should stop pushing. Certainly, some people run out of spoons. But the thing about Bernie would suggest that quite a few people have the spoons to take on some of the bigger issues plaguing the nation. Why would you suggest they stand down? Or that standing up before there is 100% guaranteed chance of success could “destroy” whatever their goal is?
Politics isn’t about flipping a switch and suddenly we’ve formed the “perfect union”, end of story. It has always been about always changing, always adapting, always improving.
Your visceral hatred of Clinton blinds you to her liberal positions.
(A) it is not a visceral hatred. It is an observation that her positions change with the polls. To me, that says she cannot be trusted to always do the right thing when the people want her to do wrong. We are not a democracy, people do not directly on laws. We are a republic. And the ideal is we vote for leaders, people who will call us to be better people. Bernie is clearly in the “calling us to be better people” side. Trump is nothing more than a mouth saying whatever appeals to our baser instincts. Somewhere in between in Hillary. We can argue about where “exactly” Hillary is on that spectrum, but if you disagree of the three candidates relative positions, then I don’t know what to tell you.
Clinton voted for the Iraq war. Bernie did not. At the time, support for the war was high, but our leaders should have opposed it anyway. Instead, we had Bush and Cheney cooking the CIA report with lies and stovepiped information trying to whip up the fear in the population to rig the nation for war. That’s not a “visceral hatred”. That’s looking at history, and assessing the relative positions of the candidates, and how that might affect the outcomes of future events. It certainly wont be the last time someone in america wants to turn the mideast to glass. Standing up for a principle that is unpopular at the moment? Priceless. For everything else, there’s Goldman Sachs.
She doesn’t dictate to POC like Bernie does
“super predators… no conscience… no empathy… we have to bring them to heel” –HRC 1994
Also, you don’t seem to understand something very basic about the Supreme Court and the field of Constitutional Law. Once a decision is made, it is very difficult (bordering on impossible) to change it.
I never said appointing justices would change Citizens’s United. Other people said that. I think its going to take an ammendment to really fix it. And until that happens, it will take leaders who can speak to the principle of a democracy that isn’t for sale to the highest bidder. Leaders who can keep pushing for reform. Bernie can do that. Hillary with all her superpac money, can’t.
And again, I’ve noticed that when Hillary supporters have no answer to this, they switch to demanding lots and lots of specifics. Because if some random dude on the internet doesn’t have the entire 8 year plan memorized and digested in some quickly presentable format, then the entire idea is nothing but unicorn farts.
But yes, I knew that SCOTUS is highly unlikely to simply contradict itself so soon. And I know a constitutional convention is going to be an uphill battle. So, it might be that the only thing that can be done is have politicians who can lead, who can call us to be our better selves, and if nothing else, get voters to support basic changes that would at least help. Like demanding transparency for all campaign donations all teh way back to the original donors. Maybe teh Koch brothers have the “free speech” right to give someone a billion dollar donation, but at the very least, they shouldn’t be able to hide that from the public when people are usign that money to run for public office.
So, how is Bernie going to accomplish this great revolution?
The Iraq war will cost America trillions of dollars when its all said and done. TRILLIONS.
Bernie voted against the Iraq war. Hillary voted for it.
Meanwhile, the things that Bernie wants to spend money on is stuff that actually improves the economy. College education means people make more money and higher income means they pay more taxes and have more money to stimulate the economy.
So, you tell me. Is it a “workers paradise”? Or is it “spending tax money on things that strengthen the economy and lift everyone up rather than on stupid pointless wars”?
Its funny how Hillary voters are mad that Bernie supporters are apparently doing nothing but parroting right wing sexist attacks against Hillary. And yet, spending taxes on things that would help the economy is an unachievable utopia, which, as far as I can tell, is nothing but a right wing nonsense talking point since Reagan’s “I’m from teh governmetn and I’m here to help” BS.
Ya know, I voted for Obama for several reasons, one of which was because he said he’d clost Gitmo. He still hasn’t done it. OH GOD OBAMA’S PRESIDENCY IS A FAILURE! er, no.
Greg: Your belief that Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott were the dawn of the civil rights movement in this country underscores *exactly* what I’m saying.
The Bus Boycott was the culmination of more than a decade of organizing. Rosa Parks didn’t suddenly decide to take action. Rather, it was carefully planned ahead of time.
The boycott began at the end of 1955, more than a year AFTER the Court handed down Brown, a decision that had itself been engineered for years by strategic litigation by Thurgood Marshall and Ralph Abernathy. That same legal strategy had also included cases against discriminatory practices on interstate bus lines, providing a legal framework for the boycott.
And it was another decade, after truly massive demonstrations across the country, including the March on Washington and Selma before Congress was moved to act. Leadership by Dr. King or John Lewis or was not sufficient on its own; millions of people had to work together over time. And that energy was harnessed by LBJ, a grotesque human being who nonetheless was able to ensure that the energy was focused effectively in ’64-’65.
There is no denying the anger and energy in the country today. As I alluded to above, the Trump followers see the same inequities that Bernie followers see, and come to opposite conclusions about them. Unfocused rage about REAL problems doesn’t often end well; see 1968 and the birth of the Southern Strategy.
And finally, Lincoln’s 40% election didn’t bring about the end of slavery. It plunged the country into a bloody conflict, a side effect of which was the end of slavery. I’d rather not follow that model for social change.
First of all, you’re really beating the “only white men who are afraid of brown people are gonna vote for Bernie” and “only Hillary can unite the diverse Democratic party” drum, so I’ll state right out I’m a Bernie supporter, a queer young woman of color who is particularly sensitive to environmental issues (my home state of Louisiana was damaged heavily by the oil industry – which also had implications in Katrina). The intersections of “Free Trade” and “environmental deregulation” and people of color are of great interest to me. So you’re gonna hear a lot about that below.
Kat’s QUOTE 1: Nope, Democrats in the Rust Belt and Mid-West have gotten quite conservative and along with the Republicans, more white protectionist as the populations of their states have gotten slightly less white. A lot of the Democrats in the South are black and while they can be somewhat conservative in the religious sense, they vote left because they are facing more discrimination, whereas the Democrats in the mid-west are majority white and they are concerned with economic issues that mainly hit them.
My REPLY 1: I would argue that most important is being “known.” In the South, a relationship runs pretty deep – simply being a Southerner counts for a lot. The Clintons are from Arkansas and have developed a lot of relationships there. I can’t speak very much about the Rust Belt.
Kat’s QUOTE 2:
Yes, and that should bother you. They don’t trust him because he favors white workers and isolationist policies, though he’s improving.
My REPLY 2:
Do you have direct polls reflecting this? Were black voters contacted and asked “Do you trust Bernie Sanders? If no, why?” Or are these just your assumptions? I believe — especially in the South, where relationships are *huge* — that it’s really Bernie’s lack of name recognition. Polls suggest that as his name recognition increases, so does support for him (including among minorities). http://inthesetimes.com/article/18957/will-bernie-sanders-momentum-increase-support-among-voters-of-color
I trust and follow US Senator Elizabeth Warren. What you refer to “isolationist policies,” and “anti-free trade” (below) I call “human decency.” Rough summary: 85% of the people who drafted the Trans-Pacific Partnership were corporate lobbyists. No one who represents human rights or environmental issues was allow to help monitor or draft TPP. Surprise, the agreement benefits corporations, not average citizens. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWXJJy_Tq-U
Suddenly Hillary is against TPP (October 2015) after years of supporting it, right as she’s running against Bernie Sanders. Convenient. But hey, does this make her “anti-free trade” too? http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/oct/08/hillary-clinton/hillary-clinton-now-opposes-trans-pacific-partners/
More on your glorious “free trade” and its implications for environmental rights and POC rights:
The Keystone Pipeline executives have also used ISDS (the settlement body provided for in TPP) to sue the US for rejecting their poisonous plan, which would have terribly affected First Nations people and also tribes in America. Is this “anti-free trade” in your opinion? Is it isolationist” to say that you don’t want to sign a deal that means your country can be sued for trying to prevent environmental destruction? Is it “anti-free trade”? http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/first-nations-say-they-will-fight-oilsands-pipeline-1.1348611 http://www.valuewalk.com/2015/05/v-free-trade-agreement-volcker/ “Now the Canadian taxpayers may be on the hook for up to $300 million in ‘damages’ to the mining company – all because their government had the gall to stand up for its environment and the economic livelihood of its local fishermen. And the next time a foreign company wants a blasting permit, what will the Canadian government do?”
Kat’s QUOTE 3: Hillary won over 64% of the black vote in Michigan and 89% of the black vote in Mississippi. Women are voting for Hillary and (white) men are voting for Bernie in terms of majorities. White college students turned out and voted for Bernie; voters in Detroit did not and may have been blocked from voting a bit. If more of the black vote from Detroit had turned out, Bernie may not have won Michigan. The young voters are great, but again they are unreliable in the federal election.
My REPLY 3:
“May have been blocked from voting a bit” is a serious charge. You are implying that white students had no problems voting, and mostly-black Detroit did. Do you think there is corruption with the commissioner of elections? I don’t think Bernie had anything to do with that. I’d like to see a link to this alleged corruption that aided Bernie supporters and hurt Hillary supporters. Where you do have evidence that young people vote in greater numbers in caucuses or primaries, but not the big federal elections? Here in WA state, it’s actually much harder to caucus (you must show up in person and know where to go; whereas you vote via mail in the big federal elections). What if I just said “women and black voters are all about primaries, but they are unreliable in the federal election?” I hope you’d ask me for some data, especially since “unreliable” is a bit of an insult.
I’ll pull up some numbers to introduce some hard facts.
Iowa Gender: Male: 50% Sanders, 44% Clinton. Female: 53% Clinton, 42% Sanders http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/primaries/IA
Iowa Age: Sanders amassed astounding margins among young people. He crushed Clinton by an almost unimaginable six to one—84 percent to 14 percent—among voters younger than 30. For those tempted to dismiss that as just a campus craze, he also routed her by 58 percent to 37 percent among those aged 30 to 44.” Hmm… so you think everyone from 18-44 just ain’t gonna show up on Election Day ‘cause they’re “unreliable”? Psyche! I vote in every election and even absentee balloted from Japan. Hahah. Hillary crushed it with 65 and older, though.
NBC News reports 55% of female voters in New Hampshire chose Bernie Sanders, while 44% voted for Clinton. Huh, that doesn’t fit your dataset! Maybe the women in NH just want some BernieBro booty (thanks, Gloria Steinem)? http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/primaries/NH
Let’s swing back to Michigan: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/primaries/MI
Male: 55% Sanders; 44% Clinton; Female: 51% Clinton; 45% Sanders
Yes, more men are voting for Sanders and more women are voting for Clinton. I don’t view it as that big of a difference. 6% more women favoring Clinton hardly makes Sanders “the MAN’s candidate” who can’t win any female votes. Bernie still won 18-44 (18-29: 81%; 30-44: 53%).
Kat’s QUOTE 4: But Bernie did win and his win in Michigan is not at all a shocking upset. Bernie won for a very simple reason, the same reason he’s winning in some rural, super white declining manufacturing states who tend to have elected Republican governors selling off state assets to business — he’s anti-free trade and isolationist on foreign policy.
MY REPLY 4:
I’ve already discussed “anti-free” trade. I’m a proud feminist. Do you know NOW criticizes free-trade as anti-woman?” Quote: “There have been two established patterns with free trade agreements: they tend to export jobs abroad and depress wages… Free trade agreements also tend to discourage unionization and increase competition with international workers, which in turn, makes wages lower and worsens working conditions globally. These problematic trends will have the most negative impact on low-income workers, whose jobs are vulnerable and whose wages are low. Women make up two-thirds of these jobs.” http://now.org/resource/issue-advisory-free-trade-and-feminism-how-the-tpp-will-hurt-women/%20%20http:/now.org/resource/fact-sheet-how-the-tpp-will-hurt-women/
Hmm… “Isolationist”… yes, Bernie is very isolationist, as he is against the US supporting anti-democratic regime changes. He is “very isolationist” in that he has been travelling to other countries since his days as a mere mayor, supporting the will of the common people.
Quote: “Bernie believed that President Ronald Reagan should not have funded the Contras against the government of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.” Oooh, so terrible! Doesn’t Bernie know that America, the great white patriarch, knows best and can overthrow those who are democratically elected if the “brown people choose wrong?” FYI, international observers (excepting Great White Father) found the elections to be fair. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/november/5/newsid_2538000/2538379.stm
So is the alternative is Clinton, who is “not isolationist”? Yes, she is VERY interventionist and even points to Kissinger as an advisor, my god…. Is this supposed to appeal to me, she vacations with a war criminal? HONDURAS: Clinton in her role as Secretary of State supported the military coup against democratically elected President Zelaya (2013), and worked to give legitimacy to a cruel dictator. You know the wave of child immigrants from Honduras? Yep. Murder rate soared after the coup. Human rights activists started getting murdered in particular: Recently assassinated indigenous person and environmental activist Berta Caceres criticizes the meddling of North Americans in their elections, and Hillary Clinton in particular – for what would result in “barbarity.” Again, is this what we want instead of Bernie’s “isolationism?” (Both Caceres and Clinton are featured speaking in this link – listen to their words for yourself). https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/03/10/hillary-clinton-needs-to-answer-for-her-actions-in-honduras-and-haiti/ and http://www.democracynow.org/2016/3/11/before_her_assassination_berta_caceres_singled
Kat’s QUOTE 5: White workers, Democrats or Republicans, are seeing a slightly shifting demographic in Mid-West states where they are declining in percentage of the population. They are worried that non-white American workers will increasingly take their jobs — same as other times when black Americans fled northwards from the South and tried to get factory jobs. They are worried that immigrants, legal and illegal, mainly the brown skinned ones, will take their jobs. They are worried about businesses being overseas after they voted in the Republicans that deregulated businesses and accelerated business moving overseas, and they think it can be reversed even though circumstances have entirely changed globally. They blame black people for bankrupting Detroit instead of Republican politicians who deliberately trashed the city.
My REPLY 5:
So it’s not that voters are interested in Bernie wanting to overturn Citizens United, the worst SCOTUS decision in ages that gives even more power to corporations and the 1%? They are afraid of black people taking their jobs? OK, then why would they vote for BERNIE? This is a man who regularly speaks about youth of color and high unemployment rates, and how much he wants to fix it (that is – give them jobs!). If you are afraid of black and brown people, you *don’t* vote for a man who has hired many of the Black Lives Matters organizers! I attended a Sanders rally in Seattle – Ms. Symone Sanders (no relation to Bernie) led us in a chant first about BLM and calling out of the names of victims in solidarity. If there were any people in the rally who were hoping Bernie would speak out against immigrants and POC, they were sorely disappointed (he also spoke out strongly against Islamophobia). No, a chant doesn’t solve the criminal justice system, but naming racism for what it is – that’s a step in the right direction
I’m not saying Bernie is “perfect;” he’s always been most focused on economic issues, whereas POC are also very concerned about police brutality and criminal justice reform. But he’s shown willingness to learn and acknowledge things like it’s “very hard to imagine a white middle-class woman treated in the same way that Sandra Bland was” and his own white privilege: “You know, it’s a funny thing. President Obama’s father was born in Kenya. My father was born in Poland. Nobody goes around asking me for my birth certificate. Maybe it has something to do with the color of my skin versus the color of President Obama’s skin.” He has been willing to engage with BLM and thus has earned the trust and respect of some members (I note they have no official leaders, and each speaks for himself or herself): http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2016/01/16/Sanders-endorsed-by-Black-Lives-Matter-activist/7361452980696/
Kat’s QUOTE 6: So Bernie is promising what they want, even though he previously voted against the auto bailout. And Michigan is a state with a 79% white population, much of it working class and lower middle class.
My REPLY 6:
Ah, I’m gonna Politifact you. That’s only a “half-true” statement. Bernie was against the bailout that benefited corrupt financial corporations. He voted FOR the bill when it was auto-only. Quote: Sanders (and Clinton, too) voted in favor of the December separate auto bailout.
Kat’s QUOTE 7: And when resources appear that way, in white majority areas, white people start voting for whoever promises them protectionism from non-white people and the magical wish that businesses can be forced to save them instead of squash them. Which is why in Ohio, labor unions and white working Democrats seem to maybe be leaning towards Trump: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-ohio-insight-idUSMTZSAPEC3ATLGUM9
My REPLY 7:
Wait, I thought Bernie won Michigan because of all the scared white men voting for him who like his “anti-free trade policies” and anti-brown people language? But now he “can’t bring in white working Democrats and white middle class men, for himself or to then support Hillary as the nominee”? Bernie has HUGE support amongst many labor unions (when the people themselves get to vote as opposed to the board of directors choosing it). And Bernie isn’t interested in just protecting white American jobs. He rejected a worker bill with a guest worker provision that the venerable Southern Poverty Law Clinic described as “slavery.” It would have harmed undocumented people. Also, yeah… DREAM Act: Supports the path toward permanent residency for young, undocumented immigrants. Visa Reform: Reject the exploitation of workers and the use of visas for cheap, foreign labor. Increase opportunities for qualified individuals to take steps towards permanent residency.
Kat’s QUOTE 8:— if they go for Trump or Cruz, then we’re missing a still important if slowly shrinking part of the coalition. But if the only way to get white working class (and for that matter white middle class,) is to promise to screw over everybody else and pretend we don’t have a global economy, that doesn’t work either. That’s the mistake the Republicans made and look where they are now. It’s been a super winning strategy for them at the state level, but federally, it’s disastrous. And if Bernie’s main coalition remains only mostly white college students and white working and middle class males, that’s a problem too.
My REPLY 8: Nope. Bernie’s message of standing up to big corporations can also be a big winner too. Where is Bernie promising to screw over everybody else? And I think I’ve shown via percentages that Bernie is hardly doing “poorly” amongst women, and he’ll continue to improve with minority voters as the race continues and moves out of the Deep South. He’s even reaching out to Arab Americans, and it appears many aspects of his policy appeals to them. I’m really happy; our Muslim Americans need all the support they can get now. http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2016/03/08/spotlight-arab-american-muslim-voters-engage-issues/81486692/
Kat’s QUOTE 9: Democrats again win when they can get a big turn-out of the whole tent. Hillary doesn’t have the whole tent and that’s something she has to work on, but she is actually aware of it and did learn lessons from losing to Obama. Bernie definitely doesn’t have the whole tent and instead of pretending that’s not a problem, Bernie’s campaign needs to stop acting like it’s 1955. Both I think can lead the coalition but Bernie’s people are way more clueless so far. (I like the underwear gnomes comparison.)
My REPLY 9:
Hahahah, did you really say that? If Bernie’s so “1955” how does he have 18-44 locked down? Are we just dumb, gullible kids who can’t be trusted to turn out for generals? Google “Coders for Bernie” for kicks.
Hillary’s “so with it” and “hip” and “big tent?” REALLY? Cause this queer woman just heard her PRAISE Nancy Reagan’s “work” on the AIDS crisis in the 80s. If you are even marginally familiar with the gay community, you know that we loathe the Reagans for how they refused to tackle AIDS. Nancy wouldn’t even lift a finger to help her gay “friend” Rock Hudson get treatment for AIDS in France. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/11/hillary-clinton-comments-reagan-aids-crisis-backlash
Alleged “underwear gnome” Bernie is not perfect, but for you to portray him as “1955” is ridiculous. Quote: In 1983, during his first term as Mayor of Burlington, Sen. Sanders supported the city’s first ever Pride Parade. He later signed a city ordinance banning housing discrimination. Bernie was also getting thrown in jail for protesting segregated housing at the Univ. of Chicago in 1963. In 1964, think Hillary was campaigning for… Barry Goldwater, the segregationist. Who was more “1955” do you think?
Kat’s QUOTE 10: As for the percentage of the voters, you are definitely going to get different numbers depending on how working class is calculated, but you get numbers anywhere from 36% to 50% for white working class. It’s shrunk with age and demographic change and the savage assault on unions, but in recent years also increased as people dropped out of the middle class. Democrats can’t win without some of the white males including the working class, but Democrats also can’t win without non-whites, women, young and old people, etc. And even if the Democrat wins the Presidency, dents have to be made in the legislatures if you want to get any kind of policies through.
My REPLY 10:
I agree. Democrats need a diverse mix of people to win. I think Bernie can continue to make inroads, especially with his message of fighting a rigged economy and taking on Wall Street. I’m not sure how Hillary Clinton, who has accepted massive amounts of money from Wall Street, and numerous suspect donations via the Clinton Foundation, is supposed to help save the middle and working classes. And yes, we need to work to elect good people in the legislatures, and more diverse politicians as well. Getting big money out of politics must remain a priority.
Whew. You made me work for that one, Kat.
I said neither of those things, and the second one, I in fact said the opposite several times. So please stop misrepresenting me in paraphrase. I will tackle all your detailed points tomorrow.
(To quote me more easily, you put the word blockquote in arrow brackets at the beginning of the text being quoted and /blockquote in the arrow brackets at the end of the text being quoted. Occasionally, it gets wonky, but Scalzi will fix it for you if so.)
DC: Your belief that Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott were the dawn of the civil rights movement in this country underscores *exactly* what I’m saying.
oh for the love of god. I said an important aspect of the presidency is “leadership” and you compare that to some South Park episode? Meanwhile, you invent this entire metaphor about politics being like “earthquakes” and I have to take you seriously?
The point of Rosa Parks was to try and talk to you within your stupid earthquake metaphor. To say that civil rights actually began with the end of the divine right of kings, and still has a long way to go even today. And for that, you thank me by not fitting my point perfectly within your metaphor exactly. OK. So, one more time with the stupid, idiotic, moronic, but oh-so-better-than-a-South-Park-episode metaphor that is politics as “earthquakes”. Rosa Parks was an earthquake. She was a visible effect. Sure people were putting pressure on the system for equality before that, but Rosa Parks was a visible tremor.
The problem with your earthquake metaphor is that in politics you dont know when the earthquake is goign to happen. Maybe someone could have written a hit piece article about Rosa Parks saying she was a prostitute, unchristian, practicing voodoo, had children out of wedlock, whatever. Doesn’t matter what exactly is said, but they say nasty stuff, most of America believes it and most everyone sweeps Rosa Parks under the rug of history.
We don’t know when an action will gain traction, so we have to keep pressure up whenever we can.
Will Bernie get a constitutional amendment in the next 4 years to get rid of Citizens’ United? Probably not. But he can still put pressure on the country to pass effective campaign finance reform. There are a lot of things that could be fixed with the system that wouldn’t require a constitutional amendment. He can keep the pressure on and something gets traction, and we end up with a better campaign system. Not perfect, but at least better. i.e. progress. Hillary can’t put much pressure on campaign finance reform after taking millions from wall street and other huge donors. She’s not goign to get much traction. She can’t lead very effectively on that topic because opponents will point out she’s being a hypocrite. And Hillary appears incapable of dealing with being fundamentally wrong or makign a fundamental mistake. She’s never really integrated the mistake she made voting for the Iraq war and took ownership of it. So, I don’t expect her to get elected and then own up to her accepting of pac money as a bad thing and a mistake on her part and we should pass campaign finance reform.
So, you dismiss “leadership” as not an important quality of the presidency, compare it to a cartoon. Then you invent this silly “politics are like earthquakes” and I actually tried to take you seriously and talk to you within that metaphor so maybe you could hear what I’m saying. But all you did was jump on me because you missed the whole point I was trying to make about earthquakes not being predictable because it was more important to point out that I failed to mention the specific work that lead to Rosa Parks. That’s the thanks I get.
And finally, Lincoln’s 40% election didn’t bring about the end of slavery. It plunged the country into a bloody conflict, a side effect of which was the end of slavery. I’d rather not follow that model for social change.
Whaat??? What the hell do you think my “model” is anyway? Correction. What bastardization of a strawman are you trying to pretend my model is, anyway? Elect a president and declare war on the nation?
How can you possibly sit there and type that kind of nonsense and even remotely pretend that you are attempting to have a discussion in good faith? I can’t even wrap my head around how fucked up the model you’ve created is, never mind that you’re trying to pretend with a straight face that its’ what I’m actually advocating for. This is flat out dirty pool now.
Also? Lecturing me on the just-prior-to-Rosa-Parks history, and then mangling the ever-loving-shit out of Lincoln and the civil war? Fucking priceless. Lets take a quick look at all the places you totally fucked history just to be right on the internet.
“Lincoln’s 40% election didn’t bring about the end of slavery. It plunged the country into a bloody conflict, a side effect of which was the end of slavery.”
Lincoln’s election didn’t plunge the country into civil war. Lincoln was against slavery, but was willing to let the South have slaves because of the fight he knew it would cause, but had been pushing to keep slavery out of new states. He didn’t want slave states to become a majority influence on the federal government. He was willing to engage in containment. But the South reacted to Lincoln’s election kind of the way the NRA reacted to Obama’s election. They tried to secede from the nation. The South was sure Lincoln was going to try to take their slaves. The NRA is sure Obama is gonna take their guns. So they tried to seced. And when that hit political opposition, the South launched a military attack.
So, lets be very clear here: Lincoln’s election did not “plunge the country into a bloody conflice”. Lincoln was elected. The South lost their collective minds and launched a first strike against the North. The South plunged the country into bloody conflict. Not Lincoln. YOu’re using the sort of arguments that right wingers use today to justify stockpiling more guns: because Obama is goign to try to take them so we have to be ready for war. And then we get knuckleheads like Bundy trying to act like they were “forced” to stand up to the “injustices” of the federal governmetn.
Second, slavery was never a side effect of teh civil war. It was the SOLE REASON for the war. It wasn’t about state’s rights, except for being about state’s rights to have slaves. You’re arguing like today’s southerner’s trying to justify the Confederate Flag as being anything but a symbol of slavery and racism. It wasn’t even about seccession so much as it was about seceding so the South could continue to keep their slaves.
So, again, fitting this whole thing into your stupid “earthquake” metaphor. Lincoln pushed for reforms. Prior to being president, he pushed to keep new states from becoming slave states. Once elected, he pushed to contain slavery to teh South and keep it from spreading to new states. The South lost their goddamn minds and tried to secede from the union to keep their slaves. and when that failed, they launched a military attack. This launched the full out civil war. At which point, does anyone think that given the cost of war, that Lincoln would not free the slaves if the North won the fight? Lincoln opposed slavery, and was tryign to keep it otu of new states.He didn’t push to abolish it in the South because of the war-like resistance he knew was there. Once the war started though, triggering the South’s anger by outlawing slavery is really a non-concern. They’re already mad. At which point, the immancipation proclomation of some form or another made sense.
Again, teh point is no one knows when your political “earthquake” is going to strike, get national attention, adn change teh way the country works. So you keep up as much pressure as you can. Which means if campaign finance reform is an issue, then Bernie can put pressure on it in a way that Hillary simply has no capacity for. Can Bernie outlaw slavery in all states? I mean can Bernie completely undo everything around Citizens United? probably not. A constitutional amendment would be a tough slog. But he can put pressure on it. Implement a process of containment. Whatever. ANd if tehre is an earthquake, adn suddenly the issue gets traction, he might be in the position to make a full amendment happen. The thing is we don’t know when it will get traction, so we always have to keep pushing.
I suspect that crossover voting, both from one party to the other and the party intervention of independents, is the answer to the polls going wrong. (It isn’t cell phones: other states where the polls have been right also have cell phones, but not all states have open primaries.)
Either the pollsters asked “Who do you support?” rather than “Who do you intend to vote for?” or the respondents took it that way, and thus a mismatch between the polling results and the election results.
This has happened before. In 1992, people who said that GHW Bush was doing a good job as president weren’t asked the next question, which is whether they intended to vote for his re-election. Turned out that a yes answer to the one didn’t necessarily imply a yes answer to the other, but that surprised the pollsters. (I was one in that category: approval of his handling of the Kuwait crisis didn’t mean I wanted his economic policies.)
1. I didn’t say at any time that only white men afraid of brown people are going to vote for Bernie. What I said was the factual statistical voting record, which is that Bernie is doing well with young people and white men, not as well with non-whites, women and older people. It’s not that he doesn’t have any non-whites, women and older people. But the voting stats show his main base of support is white men, followed by young people (and the young people’s big voting bloc is college-educated upper middle class white kids, like my daughter, who supports Bernie.) To get the nomination, he will have to make more in-roads in the other groups in the remaining primaries and he’s running out of time to do that. But he may do that. I’m married to a poly sci prof and that gang views it as a long shot, but he may.
2. I didn’t say that only Hilary can unite the Democratic party, What I said is that she is drawing a wider base of support than Bernie so far, and that is factually statistically true in the voting record. Bernie’s campaign has to deal with that, not pretend it isn’t true. I said several times that if Bernie gets the nomination, I will back him whole-heartedly. And that I believed the coalition of the Democratic party will fall in behind him (the opposite of what you claimed I said.) They should, since he has to first draw on them more to get the nomination. I believe, I hope, that the coalition will fall behind whoever of them gets the nomination. Because if too many people go off and pout or vote for Republicans or others, then we get President Trump or President Cruz and the country goes in the toilet.
And if Bernie is the nominee, he will have the well-oiled, business financed machine of the Democratic Party behind him, just like Obama did, no matter how many small donors he’s got. That’s why he ran in the Democratic Party instead of the Socialist Party.
The Democratic party is never united. It is always critical of its politicians, hectoring them on policy, pressuring them. And that’s its strength. Bernie and Hillary challenge each other in pandering to voters. They change or adjust positions. They get a little wiser about non-white issues. But it also becomes a problem if it leads to low-turn out and desertion, in not getting Democratic butts in political seats. Louisiana is an excellent example of what happens with Republican governors and Republican dominated state legislatures. So is Michigan, Kansas, etc. To get to jobs, environment, minimum wage, social justice, etc., you need a flood of Democrats able to make and get through policy, not just the presidency, which has only small, if pivotal power. And Bernie is seen as not as good an option for helping the downstream elections by many. It’s a fact his campaign has had to deal with.
Free trade is a tricky kettle of fish because it’s not a monolith and it’s not just the U.S. making trade agreements. Business makes use of trade pacts, but they don’t actually need them. They’ve been used to shut out third world countries, let businesses demolish their lands, etc., but they’ve also been used to help reduce global poverty and disease, and build up the middle class in some countries. They’ve been used to both break up regional monopolies and create them. But the reality is that we are a global economy. Protectionism and isolationism not only are ineffective, but in 2016, not really possible for the U.S. to do. We need to protect our land with regulation, but we can’t shut our doors. Nor can we avoid involvement in international armed conflicts. I don’t think Bernie would be totally isolationist in office, but it’s an issue in the primary for many.
U.S. workers angling against free trade are not worrying about the environment and labor practices in Cambodia or the Ivory Coast and using influence and regulation to improve those things. They want the U.S. to close their doors to Cambodian products, not let Cambodian immigrants into the country, etc., in hopes of bringing in jobs. But telling the rest of the world to fuck off is not going to bring in jobs or help the environment, which is global, not just regional.
Working class whites have a tendency in states where their numbers are decreasing to lean towards protectionism, isolationism and intolerance towards immigrants who they see as job threats. I’m not happy about it and I’m not giving upper middle class whites a pass here. They are worse, but they’re also less worried about jobs as they have the system rigged to keep them in charge of everything (including labor unions.) I’m not happy that working class white people keep drifting to the Republicans and say they’re doing so for reasons like they are against government aid for black people. Democratic working class white people are better, but they tend to focus on jobs instead of the environment or social justice which effects the economy and jobs, — they focus on the issues that most affect them. And that’s not necessarily the best central focus for the party platform — jobs for mainly working class whites. Luckily, Bernie and Hillary are pretty close on most issues across the board.
The voting record has black voters favoring Hillary. And yes, they have asked them why they support Hillary (search “why black U.S. Democrats vote for/lean towards Clinton.) They apparently feel that her experience is better on foreign policy, that she will help more of the downstream elections, etc. In the South, it definitely does involve the relationships Clinton formed and less name recognition for Bernie — and he lost the primaries. That’s part of the concerns some have about Bernie in the general election. I don’t know if Bernie can further increase his non-white participation or not in the primary. He may, he may not.
I love Elizabeth Warren. I hope to have her nipping at business heels and working for regulations on them for some time to come. But while she’s helping us protect the U.S. landscape, she has no actual power over Exxon, Apple or Goldman-Sachs. I’m not “pro-free trade,” or pro-TPP. I’m for dealing with world problems, which often sadly involves making deals with the giant companies that caused a lot of the global problems. If you could shove all the corporate lobbyists out of Washington, businesses will still get their way. It’s a matter of convincing them to choose a way with the least amount of damage we can manage, and regulating them to protect folk and land as best we can. Of mass outcry that changes the climate. But “human decency” that helps U.S. citizens and screws other people on the globe isn’t the answer, for me, and pie in the sky promises about how multinationals will be made to knuckle under from protectionist policies (which are NOT the same thing as safety and environmental regulations,) doesn’t actually get us change.
Bernie pulling Hillary leftward on trade is fine. And Bernie changing his mind about anti-gun control instead of pandering to rural Vermont voters and gun companies because of Hillary is also fine. And the Black Lives Matter campaign jumping on both of them to get them to change their positions on justice reform and economic equality is also great. I’m very pragmatic that way — get their butts in the political seats, hector them to work for policies we want, keep hectoring them with as much pressure as possible. And both Bernie and Hillary are pragmatic and willing to change their positions under such pressure.
The Canadians did benefit from NAFTA a lot. They also protected themselves from a lot of the harm of the recession with better regulations on banks and real estate than the U.S. The Canadians benefited enough that they wanted to run a pipeline through the U.S. to sell oil to China. (They have other pipelines running through Canada, oil sands that pollute and automated oil trains that derail.) That was the Conservatives in charge at the time (think moderate Republicans.) A combination of efforts of Canadian and American activists halted the effort, by pressuring Obama and the DEMOCRATIC party enough to stall on it, allowing it to die, despite huge Republican support and some Democratic support, mainly in Western states. The Canadian government did not make a brave stand against their own pipeline. The Conservatives, whose central support is oil-rich Alberta, wanted the thing. The Liberals (think centrist Democrats,) are now in charge and have inherited the project and are basically taking the rather limp position that it’s probably too late to actually do it, especially with U.S. opposition, so let’s just scratch it. But it’s still a big issue in Canada, actually. Energy industry has a lot of power up there.
And for the record, doing trade deals with environmental protections, or not doing a particular deal because of environmental concerns, like the pipeline, is not the same thing as isolationism and protectionism. Protectionism is when you won’t let another country’s products come into your country in order to preserve a monopoly of your own industry. It’s shutting out other businesses to protect your own big businesses, not help the average citizen. Which is a crock since the native big businesses are also mostly multi-nationals that just claim a U.S. base, like WalMart and Ford. It’s refusing to import Japanese rice because we want to protect and subsidize big rice growers in the U.S. And isolationism is the position that we shouldn’t send aid to other countries, shouldn’t help them, certainly not in developing sustainable crops say, and concentrate only on the U.S., even though foreign aid is a very small part of our budget. So yes, Bernie has some problematic stances, but it’s not either/or situations. The issues are complicated and while I am rabid lefty on environmentalism, I don’t think I can wave a magic wand and make global businesses do what I say. It takes public will, political will — and persuading that into CORPORATE will. Environmental activists are not funding the wind and solar energy industries.
Democrats and socialists don’t set up voter i.d. Jim Crow laws, Republicans do. And Michigan is a Republican run state. Why would Bernie want to stop black voters? That doesn’t make any sense. Voter I.D. regs are used by Republicans to block those who vote Democrat and will have trouble with them — non-white voters especially lower income, married women, etc. They also use them to block college students and young people from voting, as they tend to vote Democrat. Michigan’s voter id laws aren’t as bad as some other states, so I said that it MAY have affected voter turn out from mostly black Detroit, which was lower than expected, not that it definitely did. Whatever the reasons, they did not turn out. And since the majority of black voters in the Michigan primary went with Hillary, if there were more black voters from Detroit, they likely would have favored Hillary, which might have diminished or erased Bernie’s lead. Might have, not definitely. Bernie did better with black voters in Michigan than other states — which may have been partly the college students.
And I salute you for it. But it’s the 18-25 year olds who are unreliable voters and only a portion of the electorate. They are valuable, but a lot of them don’t turn out in elections. (Again, factual math.) Sometimes they get blocked from turning out by the Repub voter I.D. laws. So we’re all really hoping that the young voters turn out for the general election and keep voting in the primaries too. But the Democrats can’t win with young voters alone. Bernie needs to expand his coalition of main support to win primaries. He’s working on that.
You do realize that “my dataset” is the actual voting record reported by NBC and others and endlessly poured over by media and academics, right? Bernie was expected to win New Hampshire and it would have been quite bad for his campaign if he hadn’t. It’s the state next to Vermont — they know him. It’s a red state that doesn’t like New York. And like Michigan, it is a rural, declining manufacturing state that is mostly white and seeing a slight decrease of that. Bernie is going to do well in those states — not because he’s against non-white workers, but he is promising them stuff that allieviates the concerns of white working class males — the group that has steadily moved towards the Republicans for years on those concerns.
I’m not telling you to switch to Clinton, anymore than I’m telling my daughter that. And I’m not telling black voters who support Clinton that they’re idiots who hate the environment either. I will support Bernie as the nominee if he ends up the nominee. But for various reasons, some of which I have expressed here, some of which other people have expressed, Clinton I find a stronger candidate. And she’s ahead. Again, statistically Bernie’s shot is long (which doesn’t mean that his campaign is not valuable.) That may change. But the Michigan win wasn’t a game changer in terms of the numbers.
Kat, thank you for explaining blockquotes.
I completely agree. I’m glad both Democratic candidates have said they will end the use of private prisons. Clinton agreed to donate the money she received from private prison interests after pressure from activists; I’m worried she had to be pressured into it.
One of the big reasons we Washingtonians voted to legalize weed was to stop it from being used as a racial weapon in the justice system (Blacks and Latinos are far more likely to receive harsh sentences for weed than whites). And of course, immigrants are also targets (the article below talks about campaign contributions among other things).
Oh yeah, prisons don’t waste any of the free labor that comes their way. And then a lot of them don’t get to vote, of course. Handy system for them. For me, it’s one of the biggest priorities, justice reform. And the environment. I think most Democrats are in general agreement about major issues.
@Kat Goodwin: “The Canadians benefited enough that they wanted to run a pipeline through the U.S. to sell oil to China. (They have other pipelines running through Canada, oil sands that pollute and automated oil trains that derail.)”
I very much enjoy reading your contributions on this blog, which help me to better understand center-left political dynamics in this country.
That said, may I offer a minor clarification? The Keystone pipeline network is now operational and is delivering heavy Canadian oil from Alberta to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast. And small amounts of Canadian oil are being re-exported from U.S. terminals.
Keystone XL, which President Obama rejected late last year, would only increase the Keystone network’s capacity.
Canada’s oil and gas sector is hugely dependent on the U.S. market, which consumes virtually all of Canada’s oil and gas exports.
The Harper government pushed two West Coast oil pipeline projects (Northern Gateway and the TransMountain upgrade) and one East Coast pipeline (Energy East).
The new Trudeau government opposes Northern Gateway, intends to put the TransMountain expansion through the approval process a second time, and nominally supports Energy East.
@greg ” And I know a constitutional convention is going to be an uphill battle.”
I’m sure you realize that the constitution has never successfully amended that way. But more importantly, I’d be very, very careful what I wished for. The Right has been dying for a constitutional convention for a long time. I’m pretty sure the results wouldn’t be happy ones for you. Remember who controls the majority of the state governments in this country currently.
If we’re wishing for a constitutional convention to get rid of Citizen’s United, can I have a pony, too?
Pedro: Thanks for the more detailed picture.
DAVID: Don’t give Trump any new ideas.
DAVID: Don’t give Trump any new ideas.
The Trump Sparkly Pony (™).
Urf: good point.
Has it ever occurred to anyone that if you don’t focus on the needs of someone, they might not vote for you? They might just go out and vote for whomever looks least like the current bunch.
We’ve got an evil guy.
We’ve got a crazy guy.
We’ve got a plutocrat who doesn’t want to be too mean.
We’ve got a guy who isn’t socialist enough and does not seem to have picked up on some of the last few decade’s cultural developments.
If we get the crazy guy, it might just be because we the “good guys” could not come up with something better than the last two options above. For what it’s worth, I voted for the plutocrat because I thought as a purely practical matter, she was the best option to save something, not much, just something. The fact that she is the best option is just more proof that we are all in deep guano. And you should not be shocked that there are large numbers of people who lean right, left and every which way, who think she is indistinguishable from the rest of the establishment. Nor should you be overly startled if they don’t make the “sane” choice I personally did.
In case you have not already seen it or been sent it, The Guardian published an article where they put numbers to the Sanders supporters who would switch to Trump in the case of a Clinton win. They put the number as being about 7% of Sanders supporters. That would make them no more than 3.5% of Democrats, and probably less. It would certainly hurt Clinton in the general election if there is not a significant number of anti-Trump supporters switching their usual Republican votes for Clinton.
While it does not predict what will happen it at least gives an idea of the numbers involved. My own interpretation of the numbers is that after a serious campaign Clinton will win an election against Trump by a modest margin comparable to Obama in 2012.
Rochrist: “I’m sure you realize that the constitution has never successfully amended that way. ”
Bernie is still the better candidate for anyone progressive.
It seems that all the excuses given by Dems for voting Hillary is that she is more “electable”, which appears to be code for “more to the right”. Which explains how Hillary is a moderate, just right of center candidate, running for the Democrat nomination.
For as far as the Democrat party has moved over the years, they could likely nominate Reagan, given how leftish some of his policies were. Sure he was a hawk, but case you havent noticed, so is Hillary.
The Dems is such a sucky party sometime. They’ve pretty much integrated the Republican attitude that “liberal” is an actual perjorative, so they move to the right. They have taken on as a central strategy to get more votes by moving to the right. They keep moving to the Right, which allows the Republicans to move even further to the right. So now we have Clinton, center right, being touted as the Dems hope over Trump, righty right right. Meanwhile, the actual progressive candidate, Bernie, is attacked by the Right as a wisher of unicorns for wanting to spend taxes on things people actually need and things that would actually help the economy, *and the Dems believe it*, and start attacking Bernie for being unreasonable.
The D’s can be such a spineless party sometimes. And I cant stop the line repeating in my head that ‘democracy gives people the government they deserve’. And its being spoken by Leonides when he said to the Hunchback “may you live forever”. (Historical fan fiction, but it nails my feelings lately).
PrivateIron: “Has it ever occurred to anyone that if you don’t focus on the needs of someone, they might not vote for you?”
The problem is that politics is not a single dimensional spectrum with everyone’s politics somewhere along a single line. I read an article about 4 years ago where someone decided to interview a bunch of “undecided” voters. The parties had the idea that the undecideds were somewhere on the line in between them. The interviews revealed that the people who were undecided more often than not held completely contradictory views. An undecided voter might feel strongly that all abortion should be outlawed but support universal healthcare. Or maybe they like the idea of heavily regulating Wall Street but support the use of extreme torture. Or maybe they think the NSA should spy on every American but they also support gay marriage.
The problem is, when the Dems try to triangulate to include the undecideds, they invariably move to the Right, but because a lot of undecided voters have contradictory views, for every voter the D’s get moving Right, they often lose one undecided. This keeps up until we end up where we are now, the Republicans are running a complete Fascist, and the Dems are a centrist party of progressive principles that can be sacrificed if you’ll vote for us, which one would you like us to toss aside first? We dont want to be accused of chasing *unicorns*, we are “serious” people in a “serious” party. All our principles are conditional on popularity, so vote for us!
It is partly the Dems fault, but the pattern arises because undecided and independent voters often hold contradictory views so it is impossible to appeal to them on any consistent set of principles.
Greg: I was not considering tactical voter by voter triangulation, more long tern strategy and policy. Along the lines of commenters here saying “bleep the white workers” and we cannot make white workers the central focus of the party. Then saying it makes us sad that white workers are drifting away. It is perfectly cromulent to say white workers are not going to be a priority, but then one should own the consequences.
The Republicans made themselves the party of anti-governance. Now they are shocked people don’t want them to govern. People were supposed to buy the lie, vote and then get out of the way as the Republicans actually governed to suit a particular set of interests, not necessarily those of the typical right leaning voter.
The Democrats made themselves the party of the establishment. Now they are shocked people who feel betrayed by the establishment are not flocking to them as the best option. For all the good that Sanders does in trying to shift the discourse, most people don’t buy he can actually govern according to his principles. Cause he does not have a party and the party whose space he is renting will hold most of the cards if he is elected. And that party is happy putting a smiley face on some important issues, but then running business, war and policing not all that much differently than Kasich would.
Scalzi seems like a very nice guy. He is also a self described Rockefeller Republican and he’s found his home in the modern Democratic Party. Now we just need a party for Democrats. Do you know any?
The Democrats made themselves the party of the establishment
The Democrats have (with very brief interruptions) always been the party of *an* establishment. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, despite his rhetoric, was about as establishment as they come. Truman, Kennedy, LBJ: solid members of the establishment.
In addition, substantial numbers of the Democrats used to be extremely conservative; you would not have liked the Democratic Party of Strom Thurmond, Scoop Jackson, and Woodrow Wilson.
On average, Democratic Congresspeople are as liberal as they ever have been (since the start of the 20th century, at least).
PrivateIron: “Along the lines of commenters here saying “bleep the white workers””
Not sure who you were referring to there. The first match is Kat’s nonsense assertion: “And the left’s obsession with workers’ issues only (white workers,)” with its payload the implication that the left is racist. Which fits nicely with Hillary folks bullshit that Bernie supporters are all sexist “Bros”. Brrnie got arrested at a civil rights march in his 20’s, but that was all just strategic planning to look good to black voters decades later.
Whatever. Some people pick their candidate and from that point forward, the facts dont mean shit. And lying in favor of your candidate or lies about any opposition are just fine.
“He is also a self described Rockefeller Republican and he’s found his home in the modern Democratic Party. Now we just need a party for Democrats. Do you know any?”
It is a weird time. The republican party seems on self destruct. They’ve been pushing bigotry for years in code words and dog whistles and are now “appalled” that Trump pushes bigotry with blatant language and threats of violence. Best case scenario is the republican party splits. One piece gets all the bigots. Thr others get any sane folks who are socially flexible but fiscally conservative. Maybe they form a new party. But maybe its too small, so instead they vote for the center-right, hawkish candidate that is Hillary Clinton. The Dem party is already straddling the centerline with some of Obamas policies. And if bigotry is removed from the equation by pushing them to Trumps party of Fascism, then Hillary and the Democrat party might be the place for moderate conservatives to go to.
But a party for progressives? Dunno. I thought it was the Dem party, but the Democrat machinery say thats all wishing for unicorns, so aparently not. All one has to do is look at the shit DWS, head of the DNC, is doing to help Hillary and stop Bernie, and look at superdelagates like Howard Dean say he is voting for hillary no matter what so fuck off, to see the political machinery of the Democrat party is against the progressive movement.
So I dont know. Apparently there is no party for progressives of any significant size. We were fooled into thinking it was the Dems. But clearly its not.
“On average, Democratic Congresspeople are as liberal as they ever have been”
Given how recently segregation was the norm, how recently homophobia was common, how recently the economy crashed because of unregulating wall street, how recently the vast majority of americans supported the invasion of Iraq and a huge number supported torture, how recently most shrugged when it was revealed the NSA was spying on the entire country, your attempt to say that “on average” Dems are to the left of that is saying jack shit.
Greg: I did not mean you when I said “commenters.” Given the history here, I wanted to avoid naming names as I don’t want this to be about personalities. Though some of the comments were surprisingly harsh and/or honest, in my opinion.
David: Tip O’Neil said the biggest change in Congress was that the people got better and the politics got worse.
FDR was from the establishment. The things he did to save it were probably more than most of his colleagues would have been able to. Sometimes a patrician actually is the man for the job. I am not sure I would call his program a direct continuation from the status quo ante.
Democrats from both regions used to have a common enemy: the northern rich. Obviously things shifted over decades.
There’s a difference between supporting one form of “the Establishment” and another. There’s also variations on how you support it. We live in a time when the Establishment owns a larger share than any period since the Gilded Age. Said Establishment is also much more insulated from local or even national political pressure than it was in the past. JFK and LBJ did not have to be paragons of civic virtue or completely free from nefarious interests to be better than what we have now.
Progressive or liberal cover a lot of ground. If you are friendly to gay rights (which you ought to be), that’s progressive. But you can still support a lot of very much not progressive stuff into the bargain. So what assemblage of opinions and policies allows you to call yourself a progressive. Obviously, that’s in the eye of the beholder.
Democrats from both regions used to have a common enemy: the northern rich.
Well, not really. The Bourbon Democrats of the late 19th century were quite good friends with the northern rich. Grover Cleveland, good conservative Democrat that he was, quite liked rich people, and thought the Gilded Age was just peachy.
There’s also variations on how you support it
Absolutely — but I think there’s a substantial difference between saying that the Democrats have lost their way (implying that they used to be pure and righteous) and saying that they’re worse than they used to be. It suggests a different way of responding, among other things.
I think you were always making a big leap inferring that I thought old time Democrats were pure and righteous. I want a Democratic Party which has a similar relationship to the present state of the country that FDR had to his time. That does not mean I would be fine with internment camps or segregation. That does not mean we once had clean hearts which have since been poisoned with neon. That means the current party has stopped representing me, but I have no other alternatives. So me, I is miffed to the extreme.
The O’Neill quote was a Tip off that I would prefer a government that worked to one with the right aesthetics. Getting both would be fine, but I am wary of people who love politicians. Politicians are supposed to be plumbers not rock stars.
And what the do 19th century Democrats have to do with the Green/FDR era compromise between the rising immigrant classes of the North and the South’s resentment at being relegated to the dust bin? Not a damn thing.
Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the supreme court is exactly why this country needs Bernie and not Hillary. A guy who helped establish the legal black hole in gitmo and who has almost zero decisions in favor of the rights of criminal defendents is not someone who should be on the Supreme Court.
Time to send Bernie more money.