A New York State of Mind

Do I have a couple of thoughts on the New York primary? Why, yes! Yes I do.

* Hey, remember when Ted Cruz decided to mock “New York values” back in Iowa, a nicely-coded way for him to say that the God-fearing conservative white people of Iowa could trust him because he wasn’t down with minorities or gays or liberals or Jews? Turns out New Yorkers remembered too! Which is why, out of that delegate-rich state, Cruz pried out exactly zero delegates. Meanwhile, Trump has won at least 89 of the 95, with John “Ha Ha Ha Suck It I’m Still In It” Kasich receiving at least three, while outpolling Cruz by a double digit margin.

To put it another way, New York just gave Trump more than eleven times as many delegates as Iowa gave Cruz. I understand why Cruz made his “New York values” snark — Iowa’s the first caucus in the nation, Cruz wanted momentum out of the gate, and he figured in his gormless, delusional way that he’d be much better off in the delegate count by New York than he is, and possibly even that Trump would be out of the running by now. But in retrospect, Cruz bought those Iowa delegates dear. Cruz was probably never going to win New York, especially with Trump in the race, but it’s possible he might have shaved off a few to several delegates by not losing so badly in assorted districts. Guess not!

Which is to say that Cruz, a gross and despicable avulsion that yet managed to sprout opposable thumbs, just murdered any realistic chance he had of ever catching Trump in the delegate count, while at the same time giving Trump a hell of a boost going into next week’s primaries. FiveThirtyEight’s delegate tracker, which measures how many delegates each candidate needs in each primary to win the nomination before their party’s convention, currently has Trump at 95%, which means in the future he has to do only slightly better than he is now to get the nod. Cruz, meanwhile, has merely 57% of his number — he would have to basically run the board at this point to catch up.

He’s not going to. Cruz comes out of New York looking like a loser, I mean, hell, Kasich won an infinite multiple more delegates in New York than he did. Next week’s primaries don’t look good for Cruz — Trump has double-digit polling leads in Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania, and Cruz is neck-and-neck in polling with Kasich in the latter two states (I don’t have polling data for Rhode Island and Delaware, which also go next week). Four of the five states are “Winner take all” or “Winner take most” in terms of delegates. Next week is when Cruz is absolutely, positively mathematically eliminated from winning the nomination outright, while Trump is positioned to win the nomination before the convention.

* But Trump still might not get his delegate numbers! I hear you say. True enough; after next week he’s got Indiana, which might be friendlier to Cruz, and there are a few other states like Nebraska or South Dakota that might go toward Cruz  rather than Trump. But, thing is, even if Trump doesn’t ring the bell, he’s going to come really close, while neither Cruz nor Kasich is getting anywhere near it. It’s not just about who makes it to the nomination, I think, it’s also about the margins the remaining contenders have coming in if no one does.

I mean, let me be clear in case there’s confusion on the matter: I don’t want Trump to be the GOP’s candidate in the general, because humanity deserves better. I don’t want Cruz either, because he’s a necrotic self-regarding blight on the face of American politics — but I’d be happy if the GOP fielded him because once he lost, and he would, oh my, how he would lose, then he’d be done as a serious presidential candidate and would nevermore potentially darken the door of the White House. But I can’t see how the GOP can realistically deprive Trump of the nomination if he’s substantially ahead of his competition and reasonably close to the finish line.

They might want to, and they might still even say fuck it, we’re not going to win this year anyway, so the hell with Trump, and then give it to Cruz or even someone else not currently in the mix (sorry, Kasich). But this really is 2016, not the 1920s, and having the party boffins override the will of a plurality of the party member votes is a dangerous game, especially with some Trump folks open to basically harassing delegates to keep them in line. Bypassing Trump is not going to end well. And if Cruz does get the nomination over Trump despite coming in with hundreds of fewer delegates, well. There’s not enough popcorn in the world for what comes next.

In the end, I think New York effectively buried Cruz’s presidential chances. He’s going to be firing up sneaky parliamentary tricks from now to the convention, but yeah. In terms of making the Oval Office his own, Cruz is a political dead man walking.

* Which makes nice segue for another candidate who I suspect lost the White House brass ring in New York: Let’s talk about Bernie Sanders, shall we? My Facebook feed last night was basically a wall of denial talking about all the ways that Sanders could still pull this one out of the bag, with added imprecation aimed at New York for having a closed Democratic primary, which shuts out independent voters, i.e., the folks these Sanders supporters believe would have carried their man to victory.

Let me address the second part of this first. To begin, speaking as an independent voter, I actually find it entirely unobjectionable that a political party might decide, hey, let’s actually let party members pick our candidate. Is it nice when non-members get a vote? Sure; I took advantage of that myself with this last Ohio primary, when I voted on the Republican side of the fence. But had Ohio’s rules nixed that, I would not have griped about the unfairness of it, because I am not a party member, nor do I want to be (ugh, junk mail), and that’s a choice I willingly made.

I get that it’s cool and hipster to be independent and keep all your options open (or whatever), but the price for that is that you only get to go to the party if the party lets you in. New York keeps the indie rabble on the street side of the velvet rope. Them’s the breaks. If you’re an engaged voter — and you should be! — you should know your state’s primary voting practices, including when you need to register to be participate in party primaries — which, in New York, is very early.

(But we didn’t know about Sanders back then! comes the cry. Okay, but, so what? You know, Sanders launched his campaign in May of 2015, and as I understand it the deadline for changing one’s party affiliation for the New York primaries was in October. So that was four months at a minimum to get on it. And while I certainly will not defend the deadline as reasonable, it also wasn’t a secret, nor was it particularly difficult to register for a party. There was timeIn my mind this doesn’t rise to the level of actual disenfranchisement.)

To continue, the idea that the potential flood of independent voters an open primary might have engendered might have turned the tide for Sanders is kinda suspect. To date there have been thirteen open Democratic primaries, and of those thirteen Clinton has won ten, and of the three that Sanders won, one was a virtual tie (Michigan), and the only blowout Sanders had in the format was in his home state of Vermont. Sanders’ best format for wins is actually the caucuses, which reward the especially fervent — he’s won six of nine closed caucuses and all three open caucuses. Meanwhile in addition to the 10 of 13 open primaries, Clinton’s won three of the four closed primaries (the one of these Sanders won: “Democrats Abroad”).

(In addition, Clinton was a senator from New York and actually, you know, lives there.)

So, no, I’m not hugely convinced that allowing indies to vote would have resulted in a Sanders win in New York. Sanders narrowing the gap of the loss? Sure, maybe, but it should be noted that Sanders narrowing the gap wouldn’t have done him much material good if Clinton had walked away with a net gain of delegates on him; she was already up by a couple hundred delegates.

* Which brings us to that first thing. People, and particularly Sanders supporters, seem to forget that Clinton has margin to burn, and thanks to the proportional delegate allocation of the Democratic primaries, Clinton doesn’t have to win another state. All she has to do is keep her losses close, so that Sanders can’t trim up the (now) 230-some-odd pledged delegate gap he has and get ahead. To be clear, for her own sake and the sake of optics, she should win some more states between now and June 14, when the last primary (DC) happens. But she doesn’t have to.

And I get that this may be frustrating for Sanders enthusiasts. Also frustrating for Sanders fans: Sanders has closed the gap with Clinton in national polls and has recently been within the margin of error, meaning that statistically speaking the two of them are basically tied in terms of popularity. But unfortunately for the Sanders folks, for the primaries, it doesn’t actually matter how many states you win or whether you’re up in a national poll. What matters is delegates, delegates, delegates. Right now, Clinton has more pledged delegates, and there’s a very good chance she’ll add to that number next week, as she has polling leads in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut, all of which (and Delaware) have closed primaries.

(Also, and this is not trivial, according to the FiveThirtyEight delegate tracker, Clinton is overperforming in terms of the delegates she will need to reach the nomination before the convention — she’s at 108% of her number, whereas Sanders is currently at 92% of his number. Note that before NY, she was at 107% and Sanders was at 93%, so the gap there is widening, too.)

With that all that said, look: Clinton isn’t snatching this primary season from Sanders by legerdemain, pulling a Cruz and trying to sneak up on her opponent’s delegates to knife him at the convention. Currently she’s won more contests (21 to 17), gotten more votes (10,387,916 to 7,699,652), and again, won more pledged delegates (1,444 to 1,207). She also happens to have a lock on the superdelegates, by a 10-1 margin, in fact, but she doesn’t need them at this point (and Sanders’ folks, it should be noted, are looking at them hungrily). She’s winning the primary season the same way Obama did in 2008: By grinding the damn thing out, delegate by delegate.

I personally like that Sanders has given Clinton a run for her money — I think he’s driven her out of her political comfort zone a bit and in any event having a Clinton coronation in the primaries would have made her more of a target in the general, even if the GOP is doing her a huge favor by blowing up — but ironically (or perhaps not so ironically) the vibe I get off of Sanders and a large number of his supporters is the thing I think they would like to accuse Clinton and her supporters of: Entitlement. Their own fervor plus the fact that Sanders has done better than the oddsmakers would have predicted has meant that when Sanders has not won a state there must be a reason the state was taken from him rather than simply, you know, lost by him. Thus in New York, the cry that independents were somehow disenfranchised by not being allowed to vote in a primary of a political party they don’t actually belong to.

The shorter, more accurate answer is: Dudes, he just plain lost. He’s likely to lose some more states next week. Even if he does win, if he doesn’t win by enough, he’s still going to be behind in delegates and over time Clinton may well cross that delegate finish line before he does. It’s rather more likely she will than not.

Sanders supporters should not stop grinding it out — please don’t — but they should entertain the fact that the reason Clinton is winning right now is because she is actually winning right now. And that maybe if she takes the nomination, and I expect she will, it will be because she actually earned it — just as if Sanders takes it, it will be for the same reason.

231 Comments on “A New York State of Mind”

  1. (In addition, Clinton was a senator from New York and actually, you know, lives there.)

    John, I usually agree with you, but let’s be honest.
    What color was Senator Clinton’s PARACHUTE?
    Please, keep the facts in the open.

  2. Agree on all points. I’m glad Sanders is in the race but fatigued by the behavior and rhetoric of his supporters. I live in a closed primary state and put up with the junk mail precisely so that I get my say. Anyway, my grandma said she’d come back and haunt me if I did not vote in EVERY election.

  3. For me, a man who’s always been a little leery of Hillary Clinton solely because of the real or imagined “entitlement factor,” her campaign this past year has completely erased that factor from my calculations. She and her people have fought hard, fought intelligently, fought mostly cleanly (by political standards), and I think she’s darn well earned this nomination. Kudos to her; I look forward to voting for Clinton in November.

  4. Another point: The narrowing in the national polls can be explained by the simple fact that Bernie has not had to take any negative flak from the Republicans. That has been leveled against Hillary for years, and ramped up because of the presumption that she will be the nominee. If he would be nominated, and subjected to the Republican smear machine (think “NY Socialist” OMG!) his numbers would collapse.

  5. Lets not forget the other thing that Cruz did to annoy NY: He grandstanded against any aid post-Sandy. And then turned around and asked for aid for Texas a few years later. Bet he’ll be asking for more for what’s going on in Houston right now. A lot of us who lived through Sandy remember that. You can argue that maybe the feds shouldn’t be bailing out everyone (which I think is his argument), you can argue that maybe we should start adapting because climate change is here (something he of course denies), but politics doesn’t work like that. I bet he’ll do even worse in NJ for the same reason.

  6. Shelley Adrienne Mimi Belsky:

    To be clear, are you suggesting Clinton was not a Senator from New York, nor does she live there?

    (I get you may be suggesting she is a carpetbagger, but the facts are, she was a Senator from New York, and it is her place of residence.)


    Yup. I noted elsewhere that an advantage Clinton has over Bernie is that the depth of the dislike of her is pretty much already baked in at this point and can be worked with; Sanders, on the other hand, has a lot of miles to potentially fall, taking the party with him.

  7. I appreciate your commentary. You seem level-headed and knowledgeable and I don’t have the patience or the wonkiness to follow this carnival closely, daily. I’ve backed Sanders because I would be deliriously happy if he became President, but never anticipated he’d come as close as he has; my secondary reason was to goddamn push Clinton back to the left instead of the expedient right-of-center and it looks like that’s working, anyway – at least until she’s actually in the White House. Then we’ll see. IMO, in any case she’s a million times better than the Republican field. (I gritted my teeth to use that neutral term. I’m trying to be civil-er these days!)

  8. Furthermore, whatever you think of Clinton’s decision to move to New York in time for the 2000 Senate elections, at this point, 16 years on, it’s fair to say she’s made it her home.

  9. One of the things about Sanders winning caucuses that bothers me: In addition to favoring the politically fervent, caucuses also make is significantly more difficult for less-privileged groups to participate. The elderly and disabled, those working hourly jobs (which tend to be poorer and with a larger proportion of minority groups), parents without childcare, and others find the caucus process prohibitively difficult. The result is that caucuses tend to be dominated by younger, more-affluent, white people. At my Minnesota caucus, for example, the population was largely white college kids with a mix of middle-aged folks from the neighborhood.

    So the challenge for the Democratic party moving forward will be, how to engage these obviously-passionate voters into their process and party? (Or face the kind of fracturing the GOP is getting this year.)

  10. Oh, other interesting factoid I’ve seen a number of people point out. Clinton won by almost exactly the same percentage and number of votes as she did in 2008. So NY is actually being quite consistent here.

  11. I didn’t hear “New York values” in quite the same way that you seem to have.

    but I’d be happy if the GOP fielded him because once he lost, and he would, oh my, how he would lose

    Perhaps I’m not keeping up on national race projections, but the last ones I saw had Cruz competitive with Clinton. That doesn’t mean a probability of winning of greater than 50%, but a credible shot. Trump, OTOH, was under 10% for being elected.

  12. Even if you don’t like any of the candidates this year, there is a rational reason to prefer Cruz over Trump. If Trump becomes the nominee, and Republicans lose in November (which they will, at least from how it seems at this point) the response will be very predictable: “Oh well, of course we lost, Trump is a RINO, real Republicans stayed at home, next time we need to make sure we run a really conservative candidate” etc.”

    With Cruz losing? That’s not going to work. Whatever heap of insults you feel like throwing at that man (and I can think of a couple), “not conservative enough” is not one of them.

    So that scenario might actually result in a saner Republican party in the future. In my opinion, that would be a very good thing.

  13. Nice, even-handed commentary. I’m a Sanders supporter who is entirely unsurprised that Clinton is ahead and likely to win. She had a hell of a head start. And I’m not going to whine about lack of opportunity for people who don’t register on time according to local rules. What does bother me? Disenfranchisement. Sanders is bringing people to the polls, but they haven’t always been allowed to vote. There have been reports of partisan interference with the polling process in Arizona, Nevada, and now Brooklyn where polls scheduled to open at 6 AM didn’t open until noon.

    This is incredibly short-sighted on the part of the DNC officials who may or may not be involved, but haven’t appeared to step up and promote fair, well run elections. Just about the only thing the Democratic nominee could do to lose my vote in November is to convince me that their primary win was tainted. The DNC would do better to stop trying to influence the primary outcome and focus on bringing Democrats to the polls.

  14. Ah, me. May I just note, sir, that your pithy and eloquent phraseology to describe the senator from Texas brings a smile to my face every time? I’ve committed several of your descriptive phrases to memory simply because they fill me with such joy.

    Sorry, may not be completely on topic, just wanted to express my appreciation.

  15. @Sten T: Your point is a good one, but the problem is, it’s rational thinking. The far right wing of the Republican Party lives so deep in crazytown that they will brand any losing candidate as not a true conservative. (They’ve even painted George W with that brush.) So if the GOP ran Ayn Rand and John Galt on their ticket and lost, they’d be branded as RINOs.

  16. Patrick:

    “What about the people who did register Democratic, then miraculously found themselves not registered?”

    Quite obviously I think that’s a big goddamned problem and needs looking into.

    I don’t know enough to know whether or not it was something sinister or simple bureaucratic incompetence, however. Nor do I (or I suspect, does anyone) know to what extent it would have changed the outcome of the vote overall.

    That said, as I understand the numbers, even if everyone caught in the snafu voted for one candidate or the other, the end result would have been the same: Clinton winning the state and taking the majority of the delegates.

  17. “But ironically (or perhaps not so ironically) the vibe I get off of a large number of Sanders and his supporters is the thing I think they would like to accuse Clinton and her supporters of: Entitlement. Their own fervor plus the fact that Sanders has done better than the oddsmakers would have predicted has meant that when Sanders has not won a state there must be a reason the state was taken from him rather than simply, you know, lost by him. Thus in New York, the cry that independents were somehow disenfranchised by not being allowed to vote in a primary of a political party they don’t actually belong to.

    “The shorter, more accurate answer is: Dudes, he just plain lost.”


    I am not going to quote this immediately as I understand there are a lot of sad/ grumpy Bernie supporters this morning, and I get that. I’m not going to pile on. But if the people I have in mind come back after a while with the entitlement schtick, I’m so deploying this quote. Very well said.

  18. I’m bemused by the folks shouting for open primaries. This is where a political party chooses who that party will put forward in the general election. In an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday, Haley Barbour, former NRC chairman, said that their task is to choose someone who can win in November and then go on to govern. The process is not, and never has been, intended as a general one-person-one-vote measure of the will of the people.

  19. The Republicans are going to have a hard time keeping the ship afloat after this election anyway. I think Reince and the boys are realizing that if they shun Donald he will go third party. That would create a larger fault in the party than anything the San Andreas could consider.

  20. Purely based on my “New York values,” (I’ve lived in NY/NJ my whole life), and with absolutely no data to back it up: Bernie Sanders seems a lot more like a New Yorker to me than Hillary Clinton. Not taking anything away from Hillary, mind you, but given who her opponent was, I think calling it a “home state victory” is probably greatly overstating the effect.

    On the other side, Trump is very much a New Yorker (#notallnewyorkers). I’m sure his margin of victory was helped greatly by that fact.

  21. Celia, you have a point, but primaries aren’t treated as just the internal affairs of private organizations; states give resources, and polling places, and the use of the equipment, and they write laws about what parties appear on the ballot, laws about electioneering within N feet of the poling place apply, etc. I think Barbour’s argument loses a bit in that light.

  22. As an outside observer, the whole Open Primary thing is somewhere between suspect and just weird to me anyway. Freedom Of Association is an equal part of the US First Amendment and one of the central planks of the ECHR. Yes, it’s entirely voluntary whether a party goes Open or not but that it’s even allowed (and that the primaries are official elections paid for by taxpayers) is just weird bad and wrong.

    I’m politically active in the UK, and have been involved in organising candidate selections and similar. We pay for our own internal ballots of members. State endorsement of some but not all parties is just strange.

    But yeah, the dog whistling of Cruz over New York values was abominable, and it’s bit him. Please America, don’t elect Trump President. Please.

  23. Two points.

    1. Hillary Clinton had better live up to her electability argument and beat Trump in the general, otherwise a lot of very serious people are going to look pretty silly.

    2. At some point, obviously not right this minute during this election, we’re going to have to reckon with how the two parties have taken over electoral politics in this country. Yes they’re private entities and can come up with their own rules and decide who gets to vote where and who doesn’t. However, I would argue that once you’ve made yourself indispensable to the way we exercise democracy in this country we should say “Congratulations! You made it. You’re no longer private!”

    Either we get third-party viability, run-off elections, completely open primaries etc.. Or you become a heavily regulated public institution. Your choice.

  24. This – from the blog Shakesville –
    “And to the Sanders supporters who are losing their fucking shit over Clinton’s win, let me make a suggestion: You wouldn’t be so devastated if you hadn’t turned this primary into an epic battle of good vs. evil.”
    “Just settle down. You’ve done your darnedest to demonize her, but she’s not actually a demon. She’s just a politician who won this one, not because of some grand conspiracy, but because she’s run a better campaign in the opinion of more people. Shrug.”
    “I strongly suggest reserving the apoplexy for the general election, when we’ll all be facing an opponent who genuinely deserves it.”

    About what I have to say, just smoother.

  25. @Patrick: Yeah, it definitely is a horrible thing to have ~1200 people disenfranchised in Brooklyn.

    At the same time, HRC won the vote by ~250,000 people. Even if every one of those people had voted for Bernie, he still wouldn’t have closed the gap and/or won the number of delegates that he needed. He needed to have a decisive victory with a substantial margin, and that didn’t happen.

  26. At some point, obviously not right this minute during this election, we’re going to have to reckon with how the two parties have taken over electoral politics in this country

    Er…good luck with that. It’s been ~200 years of a two party system (the parties have changed, the system hasn’t, much) with no sign of changing.

    Or you become a heavily regulated public institution.

    Oh, boy: yeah, that’s a good idea, because heavily regulated public institutions *never* have problems with being captured by special interests, corruption, or mismanagement. And I say that as a very liberal Democrat.

    (Oh, and just generally: in the US system, Clinton is well to the left of center, nearly as liberal as Sanders (based on their voting records in the Senate). We may not like the US political spectrum, but it’s the one we’ve got at the moment).

  27. I’ve only lived in NY for a decade, but I think part of what helped Hillary with NY on the whole (not just NYC) in ’08 and this year is the amount of retail politics she did in her Senate runs. She made it a point during both her Senate campaigns to visit every county and show an interest in local issues. Not being an NYC native maybe helped her be less blind to the rest of the state.

  28. 2 things– well written and researched and thanks for making me look up “imprecation”. It has been a long time since I had to look up a definition and I am happy to learn a new thing on a daily basis. Keep up the great work.

  29. David: Hillary Clinton is a Neocon who has managed to evolve particularly quickly on social issues. So she’s very capable of discussing intersectional feminism whilst simultaneously overthrowing governments of foreign countries. Is she a leftist? I guess ask the people of Libya or Honduras.

  30. ” And while I certainly will not defend the poll test as reasonable, it also wasn’t a secret, nor was it particularly difficult to pass a test before voting. There was time to study. In my mind this doesn’t rise to the level of actual disenfranchisement.”

    ” And while I certainly will not defend the poll tax as reasonable, it also wasn’t a secret, nor was it particularly difficult to raise the money. There was time to find $11. In my mind this doesn’t rise to the level of actual disenfranchisement.”

    Never mind the whole “purge 120,000 voters, overwhelmingly from your opponents territory” with whole buildings and blocks dropped from the rolls, a move that was so blatant that Clinton’s former campaign manager is having it investigated.

    Never mind how the time restriction has a disparate impact on already marginalized groups.

    Never mind that given the function of the electoral college and demographics, this was the only opportunity for nearly one third of the states voting population to have their voice heard and try to influence the direction of the coalition, since the state going to the democratic nominee is a foregone conclusion.

    Never mind how the argument defending the Democrats pushing them out are identical to those from RFRA supporters in Indiana, NC, Mississippi (“we are a private org and we don’t want to serve those people”)

    Never mind how it is even weaker than RFRA defense because political parties use a ton of taxpayer funds to conduct their primaries (elections are not cheap)

    Never mind how it is literally a Jim Crow law, drafted in 1911 in response to the rising power of nonwhites and labor as a threat to establishment power.

    The defense Clinton’s actions last night are a great natural experiment on thesis of whether concern about procedural voting hurdles is driven by partisan concerns or actual principles.

  31. As registered Democrat living in the rural county of Wyoming NY, I held my nose and voted for Hillary. (She got the fewest votes of anyone in my county, including Ted.) My wife and daughter both like Bernie. Heck, I like Bernie too. It’s just that his political promises are (to me) mostly rainbows, jujubes and unicorns. Not quite on the level of Trump. But almost. (With no offense meant to my friends who support Trump or Bernie.)

  32. John, I find it interesting that the clear eyed view of Sander and the delegate count there is not applied to Cruz. The Democrats have the super delegates which many should find objectionable. But, that is the party rules.
    Cruz is using the party rules to gain delegates however he can based on established rules. Your animosity may be clouding your observations. But it’s an opinion blog, right?!
    Delegates are part of the representative democracy process. Delegates can choose whoever they want once that first ballot is over.

  33. Marcus King:

    False equivalences provide false results. But I do hope you enjoyed your moment on the soap box.

    Richard Reeb:

    I’m not aware of saying that Cruz’s maneuvers are against his party’s rules, even if they are ill-advised. My point is that Clinton will likely not have to attempt to wrest the Democratic nomination from Sanders from behind in the delegate count, as Cruz almost certainly will be.

    That Cruz (or anyone else) thinks his parliamentary tricks will work or is wise is an interesting character note about him and them.

  34. Frankly, Ben, if Trump becomes President you are going to have rather more substantial problems than some people looking silly. The fact that you actually think people looking silly is important suggests that you haven’t been paying attention…

  35. I think that Clinton is likely to have won even if the rules were different. This was not a race with a surprising depth of Bernie Sanders supporters. Some is that is down to rules that make it difficult or impossible for voters to decide to vote at the last minute, but mostly it is that there are fewer supporters of democratic-socialism than for socially liberal compassionate libertarianism of the sort the neoliberals like H. Clinton stand for.

    While I think a fair evaluation of the evidence shows that Clinton would have won anyway it also seems clear that she and the Democratic party wanted a campaign that was more a coronation than a contest. The rules and the roadblocks put in place likely precluded a potentially more popular Democratic nominee. A huge portion of the vote for Sanders was “not Clinton” due to fair or unfair views of her that are already baked in.

    As a person on the left I certainly think “better a moderate than a conservative” but not all moderates are created equal. Choosing candidates because it their “turn” is bad for the party and bad for democracy in general. Even if it means that a future Bernie Sanders will not get as close I think the Democratic party needs better rules to provide for a contest that will produce the most electable candidate rather than the one that is best at working internal party rules.

  36. Stevie: Not sure what your point is. If the Clinton Campaign blows this, and Trump gets elected, we’re all in a lot of trouble? Yeah, I agree.

  37. @Richard Reeb – except that the Democratic super delegates mostly go to the winner of pledged delegates, giving further force to their decision and not overturning the will of the voters (though the Sanders campaign is trying to change that).

    I don’t complain about super delegates as long as they don’t swing things away from the front-runner. If Hillary were down and the super delegates gave her the nomination anyway? That’s when shit would hit the fan. That’s when using the rules to spite the voters comes into play. That’s not happening for Democrats, but it’s exactly what might happen for the Republicans.

  38. My family members who live in New York love Hillary. They loved her as a Senator, they supported her eight years ago (then shrugged and voted for Obama in the general), were delighted to see her become Secretary of State, and are still sincerely enthusiastic about her now.

    I mean, it’s not where Hillary was born or grew up. But it’s not where my family members were born or grew up, either. There are native New Yorkers, obviously, but there are also a TON of New Yorkers who moved there. Some of them even moved there because, for instance, they’re loud, smart, ambitious women who wanted opportunities they’d never get in the southern state where they’d previously spent most of their life.

    I also really like Hillary, I supported her in my caucus (she still lost my state, but oh well) and I was pleased to see her win yesterday. But I was ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED to see Cruz come in dead last. The thing that I found genuinely fascinating about the “New York values” comment was that every single marginalized group out there heard it as a dogwhistle attacking them. I heard it as an anti-Semitic dogwhistle (as did most of my other Jewish friends); my LGBT friends heard it as an anti-LGBT dogwhistle; my immigrant friends heard it as a nativist dogwhistle. Well, if there is one group out there he was very bluntly attacking it was NEW YORKERS so I am pleased that New Yorkers as a group told him clearly that he could take those non-New York values he is so very, very proud of, fold them until they’re all sharp corners, and stick them where the sun don’t shine.

  39. You may have read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Lincoln. It overviews all the shennanigans Lincoln’s campaign managers pulled to produce his nomination, beginning with making party leaders think that holding the convention in Illinois (Chicago) would put it on neutral ground. Which is to say, if the Kasich campaign had the latitude to do that much stuff in Cleveland, he would still have a shot to be the GOP nominee….

  40. Of all the thousands of Whatever posts I’ve read, this may be the one with the highest frequency of italics–which I think suits the topic quite well. I especially enjoyed seeing the name Kasich in italics; possibly this is the first time that any writer has seen fit to give the name of Kasich such emphasis.

  41. Hillary Clinton is a Neocon who has managed to evolve particularly quickly on social issues. So she’s very capable of discussing intersectional feminism whilst simultaneously overthrowing governments of foreign countries.

    Er…well, thanks for that whiff of sexism in your response, but I’ll just respond to your first line. Yes, that’s what a liberal Democrat looks like on the American political spectrum (although if you think that’s a neocon, it’s because you don’t know what a real neocon looks like). Right-wingers on the American political spectrum would have invade Libya and spent 10 years blowing it to its constituent atoms. And Syria. And Iran. I don’t particularly like Clinton’s foreign policy aggressiveness but it’s a miles better than anyone who is genuinely rightwing.

    Is she a leftist? I guess ask the people of Libya or Honduras

    As large parts of the 20th century demonstrate, leftists (on *any* political spectrum) are just as capable of violence as anyone else.

  42. Although I am a Sanders supporter I am perfectly comfortable with the way the primary has been going. There have been issues, certainly, and those should be investigated and corrected as soon as possible.

    I believe that the presence of Sanders has been beneficial in polishing both candidates and to bring front and center important issues that could have been lost on the noise being generated by the circus in the GOP, since what the media only really pays attention to is the horse race aspect and superficial glitter like the kind of salads a candidate prefers or type of beer.

    Longer term, it’s more interesting. Once again, we see that the more aggressively progressive wing of the Democratic Party (and, given closed primary, NY is certainly a bellwether for the Party) now constitutes 40%-45%, a very significant shift over the last 20 years. I can say the progressive wing was essentially non-existent in 2000, was trounced in 2004, and was probably only around 25%-30% in ’08.

    As we have seen, such a large plurality is already driving the Democratic party to a more populist/progressive set of positions. It is also noteworthy that a huge portion of the African American vote, while voting with the more pragmatic/centrist block, is more liberal/progressive on racial justice issues.

  43. The county convention for the dem’s in Iowa where I live was an education. At 10:30 a.m. we were all counted and happy in our seats and the vote was 531 to 511 with Sanders ahead. During platform discussions, a gentlemen stood up and said that at check-in, he received Clinton credentials, when he should have received Sanders’- which kicked off an eight-hour long process where in delegates were recounted in different rooms with little to no explanation about the process. Finally, around 6 p.m. a very loud young man dressed as Chewbaca announced that “someone” was wrenching the process in order to make people so frustrated they would leave before the final count. It worked! Last count was 511-497 with Clinton ahead. Democracy!

  44. Carpetbaggers are not unwelcome in New York; Bobby Kennedy was an obvious forerunner.

    Nor are they that uncommon in other states. Scott Brown, who lost reelection to Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, immediately tried his luck in adjacent New Hampshire; James Buckley, who lost his New York seat to Pat Moynihan, moved to Connecticut to run for the vacant seat left by Abe Ribicoff’s retirement, and lost to Chris Dodd. In neither case was carpetbagging much of an issue.

  45. Thanks for the clear-headed post, John. I’m especially glad to see someone pointing out that maybe winning really is just winning.
    I’m curious: do you have any ideas as to why Kasich might still be sticking in the race?

  46. DAVID: “Er…well, thanks for that whiff of sexism in your response, but I’ll just respond to your first line”
    Please, elaborate. I insist.

  47. #conspiracyrealtalk:
    Trump is running to make it easier for Hillary to win. Bernie is running to keep the left-of-moderate space comfortably open for Hillary, while also energizing a bunch of idealist-but-not-particularly-active segments of the voter pool (who need to turn out in large numbers to ensure that the GOP candidate gets walloped).

    (Also voting is a fiction and we live inside a machine.)

  48. Ben:

    Is she a leftist? I guess ask the people of Libya or Honduras.

    You might as well ask Cubans if Kennedy was a leftist. Or Vietnamese and Cambodian if Johnson was a leftist. Or Iraqis, Serbians, and Kosovars if (Bill) Clinton is a leftist. Or Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, and Yemenis if Obama is a leftist.

    Sure, Sanders’ foreign policy would probably be more benign than Clinton’s. But don’t kid yourself: the American left has historically been perfectly OK with bombing campaigns and regime change attempts.

  49. Please, elaborate. I insist

    And you’re going to insist how, exactly? But as a favor, I’ll note that the derisive sniffiness of using “intersectional feminism” was pretty blatant. More than a whiff, really, but I was being polite.

  50. Deborah Furchtgott:

    I honestly have no idea why Kasich is still in it, since I don’t think they will put him on the ballot no matter what. If they’re not going to give it to Trump or Cruz, they’re going to have a really difficult time offering it to someone with even fewer delegates than they. The better course of action would be to wipe the slate entirely clean and draft someone. However, I suspect Kasich disagrees with me in this analysis. And who knows? Maybe he’s right.

    Ben, David:

    If you two could take further sexism discussion into email, that would be lovely.

  51. If you two could take further sexism discussion into email, that would be lovely

    Oh, I’ve said everything I need to on that, thanks.

  52. DAVID: derisive sniffiness? So you were reading words that weren’t there (ghost words?) and attributing them to me. Gotcha.

  53. zemadmax: Indeed, I would argue that most, if not all of those interventions were badly conceived ideas that would warrant the title “Neoconservative” if they were floated today.

  54. I wonder if Kasich is staying in because he thinks it’s a path to being Trump’s VP candidate? The GOP might be in a position to deny Trump funds unless he gives them a foot in the door of his prospective administration.

  55. I hate Cruz with a passion usually reserved for explosive diarrhea. Your description “I don’t want Cruz either, because he’s a necrotic self-regarding blight on the face of American politics — ” was too tame, but clearly you share my dislike of the toad.

  56. I view the primaries as a dry run for the general election. So I’m actually happy when people are willing to point out issues and work to get them fixed.

  57. John Scalzi said: “If they’re not going to give it to Trump or Cruz, they’re going to have a really difficult time offering it to someone with even fewer delegates than they.”

    In that vein, could someone point me to the reasoning running rampant a week or two back that they’d go with Paul Ryan? How would that even be legal? To give the primary nod to someone that wasn’t running and that no one voted for? My Google-fu failed me.

  58. 1) as a NY’er I was very happy to see NY say to Ted -> there’s the door, please please let it hit you hard on the way out.

    2) Regarding independents and primaries
    I think this election cycle raises some interesting questions regarding open primaries. The perceived wisdom is that open primaries would bring both parties to the middle by forcing candidates to be more moderate in the beginning instead of less moderate and pivoting to center after the primary.

    On both sides, this is clearly not happening this cycle – so I think it raises legitimate questions as to what the real impact of open primaries could be. I say this as someone who previously supported open primaries as a way of bringing republicans back to the middle.

    Regarding what the rights are of independents and parties – I think your comments are fair for other countries,with true multi-party politics – but the setup of 12th amendment (see election of John Q. Adams) prevents truly competitive multi-party presidential elections. Once you eliminate the possibility of fielding presidential candidates – whats the point of having a 3rd party (and yes I know they exist and they draw trivial numbers of voters – I’m talking about viable 3rd parties)

    No one who is a Bernie or Trump supporter would want this election decided by the current sitting congress. So what is someone who is not satisfied with either party to do if they wish they could be in a party but neither suits their needs?

  59. “… I actually find it entirely unobjectionable that a political party might decide, hey, let’s actually let party members pick our candidate.”

    I agree but for one thing – these contests are paid for with public money. If the parties want to have public money pay for their contest (the voting, the counting, etc.) that’s fine, but then they must (well – in my opinion, should) let the entire public take part. And that means letting me (or anyone else) vote in whichever primary (or both) that they want to.

    Beyond that – the actual rules for how the primary works? I don’t really care, that truly is up to the parties themselves as private organizations. And I would give them as much leeway as they like – of course, if they really don’t want to pay too much attention to large blocs of their voters, they might want to rethink that.

    As for me – Sanders in the (Oregon) primary, and probably whoever’s the Socialist Workers Party candidate in the General (I am not too worried about a Republican candidate winning Oregon this year).

  60. Okay, two things to note.

    One, voter rolls. A lot of states will use mailing to last registered addresses as a way to check continued eligibility. If the mailing bounces, then the person is off the rolls. It tends to prune people who’ve moved. This often happens in cities. Me thinks I have heard of Brooklyn as prone to this sort of thing? Also, if you have not voted in the last two elections, New York removes your name from the rolls. This is in interest of having voter rolls that reflect who actually lives in a precinct, and reflects the idea that you should vote every year, not just when all the cool kids are doing it. So again, this is about organization, not The Conspiracy.

    Two, I can name one thing that has prevented far more people from voting in the Democratic nominating process than any amount of voter roll maintenance by a state board of elections. This is a device called a “caucus”, where instead of getting to cast a vote at any point during the day, a citizen must seek out and spend several hours at a gathering overtly run by one party or the other. Limiting the vote to the involved is touted as pure democracy in the caucus states that went to Sanders – why are Sander’s supporters suddenly so opposed to it in other states?

    The orgy of special pleading, it deafens.

  61. What do you think about the evidence (and there is some) of voter suppression in New York? Polls only open for certain hours not allowing people to get off work to vote, registration forms lost, etc. The same thing that happened in Arizona happened yesterday and it almost certainly cost votes not only for Sanders, but all the candidates.

  62. I kind of like the description of last night’s results (from MSNBC, I believe), along the lines of “Cruz is in a two-man race with Trump, and managed to come in third”. Supposedly, he actually came in 4th in some districts, losing to Carson or other candidates who aren’t actively running any longer.

    On a theoretical level, I have no problem with the idea that a nominee is the representative of the party, and the party should have complete freedom to decide who gets to represent them… but on the other hand, that idealized view ignores the reality that the two parties are so baked into our political structure right now that they’re effectively a part of it. There are geographic areas where the primary *is* the election, and we’ve long gone past the point where “Hey, if you don’t like it, form your own party” is realistic.

    As a Bernie supporter (and someone who thinks that Clinton v. Trump is just a ‘pick your poison’ election), I still think anyone who was surprised about last night’s results was living in a fantasy world. As any reader of 538 knew, the ups and downs of the last month or two were more a result of geography than momentum, and the basic calculus of the race hasn’t really changed for quite a while. Unless Clinton is found in bed with the proverbial dead boy or live girl–or, still pretty unlikely but within the realm of possibility, indicted–she will be the nominee and has been the prohibitive nominee for some time, for better or (IMO) worse.

    @Katherine V.: Your argument that superdelegates are simply confirming the winner of the actual primaries would be more believable if (a) superdelegates weren’t declaring their allegiance long in advance of the primaries, and (b) the Clinton camp wasn’t pushing (and most media outlets weren’t buying) the idea that superdelegates should be included in delegate counts to determine who’s winning.

  63. “Cruz, a gross and despicable avulsion that yet managed to sprout opposable thumbs”
    “because he’s a necrotic self-regarding blight on the face of American politics”

    I came here for this. I was not disappointed.

  64. Larry: the conventions work by whatever rules the parties each decide; they’re essentially private clubs, not government entities. The modern primary system was born out of the 1968 Democratic convention where the nominee ran in no primaries (they were basically just popular opinion contests and not binding at the time) and was pro-Vietnam War when Democrats as a whole were strongly opposed.

    If the Republicans decide at their rules meeting to open the nomination to any Republican in good standing (currently the rules say they have to have won 8 states), that’s the rules committee’s prerogative, regardless of how undemocratic it is.

  65. I can’t argue with you. I’m a huge Bernie supporter and phone banked for him. But he lost and is almost certainly going to lose the nomination. Sucks for me, but there you go. Nor do I think he lost because of “dirty tricks”.

    But what does stick in my craw is that I think there were dirty tricks against him, and folks who support Hillary, and the party leadership in general don’t seem to have minded much. There was a virtual media blackout (when it wasn’t actively working against him, see the graphic about the Washington Post’s 16 negative stories in 16 hours). There was the DNC actions to cut off his access to databases. The DNC’s decision to accept PAC and lobbyist money. There were the various irregularities in voter registrations. And there’s the generally bad policies like super-delegates, needing to be registered 6 months in advance, etc.

    It feels like you and a lot of people are just saying, “Well, them’s the rules, tough”. I don’t think that’s an accurate description, but when you admit the deadline for registering as a Democrat in NY is unreasonable right after saying “Them’s the breaks” it seems like maybe you and other Clinton supporters aren’t much broken up over policies and tactics that aren’t the most democratic.

    I think we, Sanders supporters, shouldn’t cry to much about the loss. But we’d like to see you cry a little more about some of the less than upstanding things that went on around that loss.

    (I tried really hard not to mention the BernieBros thing, but I just can’t not. It was so disheartening to see a tactic taken straight from the playbook of Frank Luntz used by Democrats against other Democrats)

  66. Jordan Wilson: the noon to 9pm hours for the primaries suck and should be changed, but they’ve been the same in NY for century. There was a problem in some NYC precincts (where the polls open much earlier than the rest of the state) where disorganized poll workers screwed up and didn’t manage to get them open even close to on time. But that’s incompetence, not malice, as far as I can tell.

  67. I’m a Sanders supporter and have been since the moment he announced and I think the Sanders campaign is the best thing that could have happened to the Clinton campaign. All of the people who voted for Clinton in the ’08 Primaries voted for Obama in the general, and I hope that repeats itself in November, whoever gets the nod.

    I still can’t decide which form of implosion I prefer for the Republicans, due largely to the fact that they have a surprising way of winning even when they’re losers.

  68. How much practice do the organizations in later primary states usually get anyways? In a “normal” race, things are pretty well sorted by the time New York votes. It’s not like anyone’s paying much attention to the details at that point.

    Or am I maligning them unfairly?

  69. @Brian Gibbons

    I’d be a lot more likely to take those concerns about super delegates seriously if there wasn’t a history of them simply confirming the will of the majority of voters at the end of the process, no matter who they initially pledged to. In 2008, Clinton started with a majority of super delegates. As the primary season wore on and Obama came out ahead, they switched their allegiances to the new front runner. If Bernie had pulled ahead like Obama did, they’d have done the same for him.

    This isn’t new territory, so it makes me wonder if Bernie supporters have ever paid attention to this stuff before. Or if they just have super short memories.

  70. I basically agree with all of this. My perspective is as someone with a relatively mild preference for Sanders. After NY, it’s just playing out the string. I’d like to see that done productively (basically, can he angle for influence going forward? Can/will he use that incredible donation machine he’s got going to support down-ticket Dems?).

    The fact that Clinton has this won doesn’t upset me, even though she worries me in certain ways. Bernie was a MEGA longshot at the start of all of this, after all. And I’m pro-Bernie mostly for the “pull the Party leftward a bit” reason. I actually have some issues w/him (just like I do with Clinton) as a candidate and as a potential President (albeit totally different issues!).

    The Dems winning the general (and hopefully flipping the Senate, if only for 2 years) is an order of magnitude more important to the advancement of progressive goals than getting Bernie over Hillary as one’s nominee for POTUS. Because Congress. This argument cuts both ways, of course. When Hillary talks about how she can get things done she’s as full of shit as Sanders is with his revolution talk.

  71. @ Timothy Clarke,

    I tried really hard not to mention the BernieBros thing, but I just can’t not. It was so disheartening to see a tactic taken straight from the playbook of Frank Luntz used by Democrats against other Democrats

    This is mostly* true and I agree, but it’s not the only example, sadly. There’s been a ton of stuff thrown at Hillary from (supposed) Bernie supporters online that is simple regurgitation of right-wing agitprop (she’s gonna be indicted any day now, dontchaknow!).

    * – mostly b/c there really were sexist assholes on the internet doing their thing. The problem was trying to make them representative of Bernie supporters in general.

  72. On Trump – I *really* want a contested convention just for the drama. However, I think it would still be tTrump getting the nod because I don’t see an alternative that’s credible. Ryan is out, Cruz has lost to Trump, Kasich likewise… Who could they credibly nominate aside from Trump? No one. If the race were more even with both Cruz and Kasich getting more of the delegates then we could talk about some kind of coalition between them, but that’s a non-starter give the current results.

    On Clinton – She’ll be the nominee and do fine. I’m more aligned with the values Sanders represents but I think his danger to her has been overstated by winning caucus states. Yes he won those states, no they’re likely not as representative of the will of the people of those states as are primaries.

    On process – it’s irksome that we have such a patchwork of contests and that we’re spending a lot of public money to help private entities determine nominees. Heck, in Washington we have both a caucus and a primary (the Dems use the former, the Repubs the latter). It will never happen but I’d like to see some rationalization of this – all states using primaries, any party being bound by the results, winner take proportional delegates (i.e. if you get 40% of the vote, you get 40% of the delegates). I understand why the Dems have super-delegates (in a word, McGovern) but still…

  73. NY didn’t really change anything – it’s still Clinton the right wing warmonger (Libya is largely on her) and Trump.

    Ted Cruz was in Animal House “Put Neidermeyer on it. He’s a sneaky little shit just like you.” I think he got fragged by his own troops in Vietnam. His skulking around collecting delegates is just Cruz being Cruz – a slimeball with his eye on the prize, going “hur hur I’m smart and organized”. Both Cruz and Trumps’ only chance is to get it on the first ballot, after that, it will be Paul Ryan (yeah, he said hes’ not running, but he also said he wasn’t going to be Speaker). I do think that the Republicans are likely to fall in behind the whoever gets most delegates wins it.

    As someone else said, Cruz getting the nomination and crushed in November would give a lie to the “not conservative enough” line – although they may amend it to “conservative enough but too repulsive”. I cannot believe that he is as close in the polls as he is to Clinton, but I suspect the geographical split would lead to a clobbering in the general and I don’t think those polls are being done yet.

    The Dem super-delegates are a bit of a red herring – they’d switch if Bernie did pull it off in the elected delegate count, but he isn’t going to.

    The DNC has been completely in the tank for Clinton since the beginning, but since they are searingly incompetent it probably hasn’t helped much.

  74. As far as Kasich still being in the race, I would say that he is positioning himself for the 2020 race. When he started this campaign, nobody outside of Ohio knew who he was. Now he has some name recognition that he can (hopefully) carry into 2020. In short, 2016 is an audition for him, not a serious race.

    As for Hillary, I got a negative opinion of her during her hearings for husband Bill’s national health plan. A little too much of “trust us, we know what’s good for you.” A bit of that still carries over to today, but I’m willing to vote for her, especially against Trump and Cruz.

    I never thought Bernie had a chance but am surprised at how well he _HAS_ done. He’s been good for the campaign by forcing Hillary (and yes, the Republicans) to at least look at some of the topics he’s raised.

    Trump and Cruz have shown us just how bad a campaign can get. It’s been quite a few years since we’ve seen anything this low in a Presidential nomination campaign.

  75. Clinton the right wing warmonger

    Primary season’s a helluva drug.

    Hillary Clinton is not a right-winger in the context of US politics. She may be to YOUR right, sure. She’s a bit to mine as well. The problem is then taking that to mean she’s right-wing, when all it means is that we’re pretty left-wing. She can be to our right and still left of center.

    I have little interest in defending her FP views, as to me that’s her most troublesome aspect, but I’ll just note that she’s still clearly less hawkish than any of the GOP opposition (you can argue for Rand Paul, I suppose, but his campaign went precisely nowhere). Sadly, US voters are pretty damned hawkish/warmongery/bloodthirsty. There’s a reason mainstream US pols tend to be interventionists: a lot of voters think “kick ass” is a good response to problems in the world.

  76. Nortally- Just to clarify. The fiasco in Arizona was entirely through the machinations of the GOP. Reduction in polling places by 85% from 2008, with minority areas hardest hit. In fact, DNC, Clinton & Sanders are suing state election officials. If you want to see truly out of control Republican politicians just watch Arizona. Frankly, I consider other states as amateurs when it comes to political corruption.

    As for Clinton/Sanders- My concern with Sanders supporters is similar to my concern with the original Obama supporters (I was one & am still a huge Obama fan). Yes, there was a lot of enthusiasm and passion around his campaign but two years later many stayed home and Congress began its descent into madness. I get the same feeling now “I’m only interested in my candidate. I won’t vote if I don’t get my way.” I don’t think either Clinton nor Sanders can be an effective President with our current congressional make up.

  77. As a long time dues paying and donation making Democratic Party member, here’s what irritates many of us. We’ve donated lots of time for years to knock on doors and make phone calls and beg for small donations for candidates from president to state and county office. Despite personally liking many of Bernie’s ideas, he has done nothing to help elect Democrats down ticket except for a couple of emails in a couple of races this year. Nothing in the past. Hillary has raised millions for down ticket candidates this year alone. Bernie has never supported the party and still doesn’t. Why should he? He’s not a member, at least until this year.

    Without a shift in the Senate at a minimum and a much needed change of party in state offices and legislatures, not much would happen even if Sanders became president. I’m glad Sanders had supporters but he didn’t win over many of the hardworking party members with his lack of support and his attacks on the party he was using to run for president. You don’t like party rules? Pay your dues and go to state meetings and help change them.

    Ideals are important but you also have to play well with others to succeed in governing.

  78. @Rob – maybe Clinton’s not super right wing, but she’s sure as hell going to protect Wall Street to the best of her abilities. Though no-one seems interested in holding any of them accountable for anything, ever, and it’s too late to do anything to the architects of the 20018 crash, in any event.

    I’ll give you she’s less interventionist than the Republicans, but she’s certainly more so than Obama.

  79. Nortally and I should be friends. They say much of what I think the same way.

    I hope my fellow Sanders supporters are keeping a level head about Clinton. I’ve heard some who bitch as much about her as they do about the GOP, and each time all I can think is *No … no, I don’t think so. Not really.” Sure, she needs to be called out on some things, but I would take her over anything the GOP is or has run nationally for almost four decades.

  80. @Mishalak, I think you’ve nailed it. Pre-selection and back-door politics are bad policy for a candidate with such low favorability ratings. Bernie’s candidacy has done the party a lot of good and energized new voters, but the DNC isn’t thanking him for it because he’s threatening their Golden Girl.

    I notice that most of Bernie supporters on this thread are pretty reasonable. Could that actually be the case or are we just swallowing our bile and venom so that John doesn’t kill our posts? ;-)

  81. “In that vein, could someone point me to the reasoning running rampant a week or two back that they’d go with Paul Ryan? How would that even be legal? To give the primary nod to someone that wasn’t running and that no one voted for? My Google-fu failed me.”

    Larry: It would be legal (as explained above) because the GOP can decide it is. There will be a vote (the first ballot) that will more or less look like the numbers on 538, CNN, the AP, etc. If Trump doesn’t make it to 1237 on the first ballot, then they will hold a second, third, etc until *someone* hits 1237 (well, they could keep voting until Nov. and then the point would become moot).

    The Paul Ryan logic is this: (1) Trump and Cruz are awful people who cannot win the general; (2) When the ballots open up after the first one, it’s worth considering options beyond those two; (3) Kasich, Bush, Rubio, etc. have all had their clocks cleaned by Trump and are thus tainted as general election candidates; (4) The pool of people with the name recognition and “qualifications” to run for president are, essentially, Romney, Ryan, McCain, Palin and Condeleezza Rice; and (5) of those five, Palin is nuts, McCain and Rice wouldn’t do it, and Romney has kept a pretty low profile over the last 3 years. That’s the whole thing

  82. @ChrisS:

    I do not expect Clinton to burn down Wall Street, it’s true. So I guess it depends on what you mean by “protect.”

    I expect her to pursue targeted regulation that, assuming it gets through and is implemented and not subsequently undermined* might actually help prevent another catastrophe like ’08. I expect there to be much wailing and gnashing of teeth from aggrieved bankers (much like the whining whenever Obama so much as said boo in their direction). I do not expect massive change.

    In some sense, FDR saved American capitalism. Was he a right-winger? The wealthy of his day hated him with the passion of a thousand suns, but at the time it may well have been the New Deal or being strung up from lamp posts. But the New Deal worked. It didn’t burn the whole unjust system down. It substantially reformed that system and made it somewhat less unjust.

    Agreed that Clinton is more interventionist than Obama and this is not good.

    * – this is one reason Bernie’s structural critique has real merit. The financial sector simply has a ton of power and this means they will, over time, chip away at regulation until it’s anything goes again. Bernie’s solution to this is to try and cut them down to size. I don’t think he’s wrong, though I don’t think that’s the whole picture either (Clinton’s point about shadow banking is a good one).

  83. It is interesting that “New York” values and “San Francisco” code words have been changed to religious freedom.

  84. Clinton does need the superdelegates, in the purely technical sense that if they all switched to supporting Sanders, he’d win. That probably isn’t going to change by convention time: she’ll have a considerable majority of the pledged delegates, but not such a large one that the superdelegates couldn’t flip it by all collectively moving to Sanders.

    Of course, it’s extremely implausible that they would do that, but it’s the reed that Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver has been hanging his “contested convention” talk on. I suppose his hope is that Clinton’s approval numbers continue to move south, Sanders becomes more nationally popular than her by July, and his campaign can then make the case that Hillary Clinton’s voters are now regretting voting for her and would actually prefer to have their votes nullified by the superdelegates, and that Clinton cannot win the general election but Sanders can.

    It’s a hard case to make, though, even if that happens.

  85. Dear John,

    (so that people know where I’m coming from [ahem], I live in California and am a big Bernie fan)

    1) I agree with you that Sanders’ chances are now very low (I peg them at about 10%), but I think your political analysis is badly misdirected––I’ll get back to that.

    2) I agree with you about primaries. I think open primaries kind of screw with the whole idea of political parties. Unfortunately (but I think correctly), the US Supreme Court has ruled that voters have a fundamental right to decide how candidates are to be chosen and elected, but political parties (which in their modern form are a Post Civil War development) have no such fundamental rights. In other words, they exist at the sufferance of the voters.

    3) I wouldn’t write Kasich off. Republicans in California are seriously, and I mean SERIOUSLY distressed at the prospect of a Trump candidacy. The shakers and movers are tossing around all sorts of ideas for avoiding that and a brokered convention (there are crazier ideas than that being floated) is not on the “improbable” list.

    The popular Republican vote in California doesn’t count. It’s the money. California is loaded with uber-rich, and they are a major cash cow for the Republicans, just as they are for the Democrats. They have influence disproportionate to their numbers. Right now, you have the likes of John Yoo and Charles Schultz publicly declaring that they will be considering voting Democrat if Trump gets the nomination. WTF?! Kasich is being prominently mentioned here by cash-rich Republicans.

    They’re also seriously worried about “coattails.” We’re back to the historic norm where states rarely split tickets between presidential and congressional candidates. If Trump gets the nomination, the smart Republican money thinks there is a high chance that they’ll lose control of the Senate (only the more extreme pessimists think they could lose control of the House). That’s a lot worse for them than merely losing the presidency.

    4) Back to item 1. You’re analyzing the wrong races. What’s may influence who gets the Democratic nomination will be the electoral vote counts. So far, I haven’t seen any believable numbers on that (lots of hyper-partisan blathering). Either the powers that be aren’t doing the surveys yet (they are expensive to do) or they’re playing it very close to the vest. Regardless, the party machine really doesn’t care about the popular vote.

    The Democrats have a slight advantage in this. The Republican convention ends a week before theirs starts. The Democrats will know who their candidate is going to be matched against. You can bet they will be doing polls like crazy that week before their convention.

    If, and I emphasize IF, the electoral college analysis shows that Sanders is **much** stronger than Clinton against the Republican candidate, superdelegates will switch (and I don’t mean a little stronger, it will have to be a lot). I don’t expect that to happen, which is why I’m at the 10% number. But it might. What’s important for folks to remember that the superdelegates are not candidate loyalists, they are Party Loyalists. They are the Machine––their job is to ensure that the Party chooses the most electable candidate.

    (That doesn’t always work. The Machine chose Kerry in 2004 and that just worked out peachy keen for them, didn’t it!)

    Lining up superdelegates in advance is good for bragging rights and they will stick with their candidate unless there’s a good reason to switch. In this case, I would be surprised if there turns out to be. But, if they do see a good reason to switch, they won’t hesitate. History is written by the victors, and nobody in the party will fault them if they back what proves to be the winning horse.

    Conclusion: all this talk of primaries, popular votes, and elected delegates, it’s somewhere between misdirection and water under the bridge. It’s no longer relevant, unless one of the candidates can go into the convention with a guaranteed majority. At this point I don’t see that happening. Pay attention to the electoral college handicapping –– that’s what’s gonna settle the matter.

    pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery http://ctein.com
    — Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

  86. P.S. Sorry, Dammit, I wish i could edit after the fact.

    On point 3, California Republican donations to the campaigns are WAY down this year. The uber-rich are already speaking with their wallets, and they’re saying they are mondo-unhappy.

  87. Full disclosure: I’m a socialist and will be voting for Sanders in the PA primary. I also go to a legendarily liberal school.

    1. Kasich is in this to be Trump’s running mate. He wants to be Vice-President and wants to prove that he can shore up Trump’s weak spots.

    2. The Democratic primary is very sensibly designed to keep radicals out and put moderates on top. This IS a somewhat corrupt system and favors rich people and those who won’t actually push meaningful change on economics, but hey–it keeps people like Trump. The Republicans have no such safeguard, which is why we’re looking at the Democratic Peoples’ Fascist Republic of Trumpland come November.

    3. Hillary isn’t a terrible candidate. I trust her exactly as far as I trust any politician who’s been solidly bribed; she’s going to do what she’s bribed to do, and that will be it. No problematic idealism to cause moral stands here, everything she does will be calculated and mercenary. That said, she’s also not going to pile on the bigoted bullshit, so I’ll vote for her in November on the grounds that she is competent and won’t break the country.

    4. If Trump wins, I’m moving to Finland. Suomi on rakas maa maailmassa! I have made this decision because Finland is full of invincible cheerful freedom-loving badasses like Simo “Valkoinen kuolema” Häyhä, that beat the pants off of the Soviet Union twice and Nazi Germany once, and I figure they’ll be happy to help me retake America for freedom and equality from the bald orangutan in a bad toupee.

    5. In a way, I’m actually kind of happy that the perambulatory agglomeration of feces colloquially known as “Ted Cruz” lost so hard. Sure, it lets Trump practically cinch the nomination, but on the other hand–Adolf Trumpler versus Hillary? Does anyone even know how absolutely fucked that moron would be? Clinton’s been in politics forever and is to rhetoric as Genghis Khan was to world domination, she’d beat the pants off of Trump in a debate and humiliate him for his tiny dick on national TV. Furthermore, Trump may very well break the Republican Party and force a reevaluation of their recruitment strategies, which IMO is a good thing.

  88. @Rob In CT

    “I expect her to pursue targeted regulation that, assuming it gets through and is implemented and not subsequently undermined* might actually help prevent another catastrophe like ’08.”

    Why do you expect this? This is one of the reasons I wont vote for her (I had decided to vote Green Party long before Bernie Sanders entered the race). What in her actions suggests to you that she wants to regulate the banks in any way? Her record on banking regulation is, at best, mediocre. And she will need their support again when she runs for reelection. I don’t think she’s going to be hot-tubbing with Jamie Dimon while he passes stacks of cash to her assistant, but I don’t have any confidence that she’ll do anything to antagonize the banking industry.

  89. So, hilariously and also gratifyingly, a number of New Yorkers are pushing back on your characterization of Hillary as a New Yorker. I know it looks like she’s a New Yorker — she has the career wardrobe, the trophy address, she’s an incredibly competent go-getter, and fabulous connections on speed-dial, but her heart and soul don’t belong to New York. It’s true we confer New Yorker status on many who weren’t born and bred here, but there are a few tests we impose that she just fails. I can’t give away every answer, else I lose my own born and bred New Yorker status, but
    1. Do you feel that people who live someplace BY CHOICE other than New York are just kidding themselves? New Yorkers can be envious about space and light but they are absolutely convinced this is the center of the universe. Sure, Bernie hasn’t lived in NY in decades, but he’d tell you he left because of work, and someday, maybe, if the wife would agree, he’d come back. And that in his heart, he’s still a New Yorker. Hillary has very nice things to say about all the places she’s lived, but she’s not willing to annoy someone else by elevating NY above all others. Donald may be the most obnoxious guy on the planet, but he passes this New Yorker test.

    2. Are you willing to brag about some piece of clothing or house furnishing or even food stuff that you got through a “connection” that might be the tiniest bit shady? Not that it fell off a truck, but if you can’t brag you “know a guy/lady” or you found it in some dive-y warehouse, you probably aren’t a New Yorker. I got a pasteles lady and a coquito guy when I need sustenance, I know how much cash to flash when the furrier is closing down that tiny closet he calls a showroom, or who to call about some Jules Verne first editions. It’s true that politicians usually have to avoid these situations, but it’s a very New York thing to at least brag about the high-quality workmanship of their “guy” even if we don’t recall his last name.

  90. The Federalist had an interesting article about past brokered (which I initially typoed as “borkered”; a tempting word, damn tempting) conventions: “Brokered GOP Conventions Often Produce A Winning President”.

    Kasich may be trying to emulate Warren Harding’s 1920 accomplishment, where Harding ended up the nominee despite have less than 7% of the delegates committed to him.

    And the “Paul Ryan Scenario”? James Garfield, 1880. The number of delegates supporting him at the GOP convention’s start? Zero.

  91. All compellingly expressed thoughts, John. (FWIW, I’m a slightly disappointed but not surprised Sanders voter.)

    I’m wondering about some even-greater insurrectionism after November by movement conservatives, Tea Partiers, and racial bigots in the GOP, and I’ll tell you why: First, movement conservatives have been soundly trounced, shown to be utterly ineffective (nationwide but of course hardly everywhere) during this primary season, and their existing fears of being neutered politically forever by ongoing demographic change will now intensify. They’ll get the fig-leaf consolation of having been shellacked by a RINO rather than Hillary, but that’s about it, and you know they’ll nurse the delusion of ‘Our universally despised guy would have beat her.’ Rationally, after the expected November outcome, the GOP should do another soul-searching and adjust to the times, but, let’s face it, they’ll double-down and the crazy will get crazier. This is on top of the existing humiliation of trying and failing for eight years to prevent a black president from doing his job.

    I predict that my home state of California’s GOP delegation (172 delegates or 7% of the nationwide total) will be another total Cruz shutout and go all 172 to Drumpf, pouring more salt onto movement conservatives’ wound.

    Second, American politics is always at the mercy of wedge issues and swing (euphemism for ‘dumbass’) voters, especially when turnouts are low (which they tend to be) and thus especially in off-year elections like, say, 2018. All it takes is one to whip up the loons. And Treasury Department may have just handed Norquist and company one: Tubman on the front of the $20 bill, other incredibly important civil rights leaders on the back of the $5, opposite from Lincoln, leaders of the woman’s suffrage movement on the back of the $10. The bills aren’t expected to appear until 2020 at the earliest, but do you think the same element that keeps trying to sabotage Obama’s administration will be whipped up into a froth of rage and invent a new Lost Cause mythology needing avenging? How could they not?

  92. Thank you, oh thank you, JS, for another marvelous quote of the day. “Cruz, a gross and despicable avulsion that yet managed to sprout opposable thumbs.” More, soon, please. America needs you.

  93. @naomikritzer: it’s absolutely a dogwhistle about Jews. (The dogwhistle about LGBT folks, you may recall from Nancy Pelosi’s last campaign, is San Francisco.) Outside of New York, and particularly in the South, there’s a widespread assumption that everybody in New York is Jewish and the city is run by Jews.That’s why Cruz tried to rebut that by going out of his way to have a photo-op with a group of Satmar Jews. To most people, it just looks like a bunch of devout Jewish guys are Cruz supporters, since they’re not aware that Satmar Judaism is extremely right-wing politically and are, shall we say, not really beloved of the rest of the tribe.

  94. @Van

    As a long time dues paying and donation making Democratic Party member, here’s what irritates many of us. We’ve donated lots of time for years to knock on doors and make phone calls and beg for small donations for candidates from president to state and county office. Despite personally liking many of Bernie’s ideas, he has done nothing to help elect Democrats down ticket except for a couple of emails in a couple of races this year. Nothing in the past. Hillary has raised millions for down ticket candidates this year alone. Bernie has never supported the party and still doesn’t. Why should he? He’s not a member, at least until this year.

    Agree completely.

    Bernie Sanders has been a Democratic party member for less than a year (April 30, 2015).

  95. In the immortal words of Terry Pratchett, Sanders is geography. But if he backs off a little and reverts to running a campaign focused on raising the issues of inequality and banking regulation, he will do us all a service and thoroughly deserve a featured spot at the convention. If, however, as has been happening recently, he and his head honchos continue to have White House fever, and to express it by denigrating the party and the party’s candidate, well … to quote one of Clinton’s aides, “I hope this {NY] convinces Bernie to tone it down. If not, fuck him.”

  96. As this discussion continues, can we at least agree that Clinton vs Trump is not, I repeat NOT, a “pick your poison” election. It’s closer to a “democratic hawk vs Holy Sh*t Are We In Trouble” election.

    And for the record, if Trump wins I’m not f*cking moving anywhere. This is my country too so I’m staying right here and studying up on Krav Maga and constitutional law.

  97. An actual quote from a friend of mine on Facebook today:
    ” Between closed primaries disenfranchising independents and the fuckery that’s gone down in most states im ready to get stupid.
    Yup! I’m writing in Bernies name on my ballot in November.
    Because if they won’t put him on there im just going to have to do it myself.”

    I hope she’s the exception. I like Bernie a lot. I voted for him in the AZ primary (mail-in ballot, which I was able to verify counted on-line). But I am not crazy about him the way I was Obama, or like my friend is about Bernie. So all along I have been OK with the notion that I will be voting for Hillary in November. At this point, I am actually beginning to get enthused at the notion of first woman President, even if I’m lukewarm about Hillary herself.

    Trump is a dumpster fire of a candidate and pundits have been saying for months now that he’ll tank in the general. Now that he is almost there in securing the nomination everyone is starting to panic. I guess it’s just the whole “what if” factor, because the thought of someone so horrifyingly unqualified being POTUS is truly beyond imagining, but I don’t expect it to happen.

    A contested GOP convention would be delightful to watch. I’m still hoping there’s going to be a big hot mess in Cleveland.

  98. @ctein: There is isn’t an electoral college analysis that will show Sanders to be *much* stronger than Clinton. There probably isn’t one that will show him to be stronger at all. There are going to be a lot that show him to be weaker.

    Clinton is going to be more electorally competitive in places like Nevada, Colorado, Florida, Virginia, and Ohio, where minority turnout is going to make or break the Democrats. Against both Trump and Cruz, Clinton is going to create a gender gap of unprecedented size in a way that Sanders won’t be able to. If Sanders could turn out the youth vote, that would be an advantage on his side, but the youth vote has never really turned out, so that’s highly speculative.

    The superdelegates are not going to overturn the person with the most delegates at the convention unless they want to risk riots and complete Democratic apathy in November.

    Also, I want to emphasize thomasmhewlett’s point. It ain’t the lesser of two evils this election (if it ever was). It’s going to be the mildly compromised career politician (Clinton OR Sanders) against the fucking anti-Christ (Trump OR Cruz). Stay home this fall and the people who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 will finally be released from purgatory.

  99. @JZS (@JzsJzsammy)

    As for Clinton/Sanders- My concern with Sanders supporters is similar to my concern with the original Obama supporters (I was one & am still a huge Obama fan). Yes, there was a lot of enthusiasm and passion around his campaign but two years later many stayed home and Congress began its descent into madness. I get the same feeling now “I’m only interested in my candidate. I won’t vote if I don’t get my way.”

    Sorry, but I can’t let this pass, because it’s something that Dems routinely trot out to excuse their own failures. We’re to believe that those shiftless, ingrate voters let down our glorious leaders, when in fact those “leaders” have almost gone out of their way to discourage their notional supporters.

    The 2010 midterms are just about the best example of this around. Yes, Obama did have a winning coalition in 2008. Him being the great constitutional scholar ‘n’ all, you’d think he’d know that as a decennial midterm, the 2010 election would be especially important. So we all remember the concerted Dem campaign to get out the vote, right? Yeah, I missed that, too. But I do recall Obama and other national Dems ignoring or belittling their own left wing and labor blocs at every turn. I think my favorite was when Rahm Emmanuel called a national union “fucking idiots”, or some such. How rude that the 2008 coalitions didn’t simply materialize as expected!

    Dems bring this on themselves, every time. The hacks in the DNC are simply incapable of thinking beyond the next election, and even then, they can’t see much beyond the Beltway. Republicans are finally running up against fundamental problems that have been simmering for a long time, but let’s face it, they’ve had one helluva run for the last 30 years. (And as far as I know they will still control the House, and a majority of governorships and statehouses, after November.) They actually give their voters a reason to show up.

  100. Dear Van and Loviator,

    It would depend upon whether or not you’re happy with the way the Democrats have trended over the past 20-odd years, or at least not so discomforted by it that you can’t live with it.

    Me, I’ve watched the party become less and less the party that supports me and my causes, as it panders to the right. I’ve also watched the party become less and less functional (a long-standing joke about Dems, but still), as the conservative wing (aka Blue Dogs**) hamstrung the first two years of the Clinton and Obama administrations and handed Congress over to the Republicans… twice! Talk about slow learners.

    So, telling me in, in essence, that I should “work within the system” or “work my way up through the party ranks” and maybe in 20 years I’ll get my shot at policy? I don’t think so. I want new blood, and I want it NOW.

    Frankly, Sanders did a better job of espousing what I consider the traditional Democratic values than Clinton. So, really, I don’t give a fuck that she paid her dues or that you did. I don’t owe long-time Dems loyalty. To paraphrase, it’s not about what I can do for the Party, but what the Party can do for me.

    IOW, it’s a different point of view. You don’t have any moral high ground, you’re just on the other side.

    By the way, if Trump gets nominated, the smart California GOP money is betting that the GOP will lose control of the Senate. Hardly a sure thing, but that’s the scenario they’re favoring (not with joy).

    (**I’d love to take the Blue Dogs and the Tea Party and dump them both in the same landfill. They’ve pretty much managed to ruin both parties, both functionally and ideologically.)

    pax / Ctein
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery http://ctein.com
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  101. The PA Republican primary has some unusual aspects which make it difficult to predict who wins the most delegates.

    Every Congressional district gets four delegates. The first one is bound by the winner of the popular vote of the candidates–Trump/Cruz/Kasich. But the other three? Each primary ballot contains a list of names to pick three from. Some are local Republican Party county chairs, some are local state senators/reps, some are political activists, and some are just …people. There’s no identification of who they are–just a list of additional names to pick three from to send to the convention as a delegate.

    The people named might have some agreed candidate, or way they’ll vote in the convention. Some will vote for the popular vote winner in their distract; some will vote for the overall state winner. Others have pledged to support one of the candidates to the bitter end, or only for the first or first two rounds of the convention, or have said they’ll make their mind up later. But the key point is no one voting knows what any individual selected will do. There’s nothing on the ballot–absolutely nothing–to indicates what any of the three probable strangers selected by Republican primary voters in each Congressional district will do.

    Our local paper attempted to provide a list of what each of the individuals running to be a delegate plans to do. Many refused to say, and others simply refused to respond to the question. So even someone who wants to find out what the person they’re voting for will do can’t. Fun times ahead.

  102. @Larry 20th at 2:38PM mentioned: “In that vein, could someone point me to the reasoning running rampant a week or two back that they’d go with Paul Ryan? How would that even be legal? To give the primary nod to someone that wasn’t running and that no one voted for?”

    There was a very useful post at Gin and Tacos answering exactly that question. (The guy who runs the blog teaches American Government.) The short form is: 1) a bunch of slightly complicated stuff including that you have to have won at least six primaries to even be considered for the nomination. 2) They can change the rules whenever they feel like it, on the fly. (It’s apparently right in the rules!)

    So, yes, they could ultimately nominate anyone they damn well please. Paul Ryan seems to be too clever to walk into the meat grinder that will be the GOP side in 2016. So the only thing restraining them will be that it looks kind of bad to be ignoring their own voters like that. But, BUT, if the Republican bigwigs become hot and bothered about the will of the voters, it’ll be for the first time. So, unless Drumpf wins outright on the first ballot, look out for that popcorn shortage Scalzi already warned us about!

  103. I’m not going to argue with you on whether Clinton or Sanders adheres more closely to your political causes. They’re your causes so you get to decide that. However, what I am going to argue is that Democrats should get to nominate who they want to represent there party in the 2016 presidential election.

    Our choices:

    A) Hillary Clinton
    – has been a Democratic party member of 30+ years
    – has been a Democratic US Senator
    – has served as the Secretary of State for a Democratic administration.
    – has campaigned for, donated to and supported Democratic candidates for 30+ years and stated she will do so in 2016


    B) Bernie Sanders
    – has been a Democratic party member less than a year
    – only joined the Democratic party so he could run for president
    – says we’ll see when asked if he’ll campaign for, donate to and support 2016 Democratic candidates

  104. Can I just ask where all these passionate Bernie voters arguing for open primaries were during his run of victories in CLOSED caucuses? How many of you knew or cared or brought up justice in registration at that point? Or argued for greater participation for dumping undemocratic multi-hour caucuses? Since I keep seeing the (to me, laughable) contention that closed primaries are voter suppression (which some have actually compared to voter ID and poll taxes and literacy tests in this thread with a straight face, SMH), I’m wondering where everyone was during the closed caucuses which would then be doubly undemocratic. Cuz right about now, it sounds like you only care when you think it affects your guy winning.

    I think the deadline to change parties was obscenely early, but it’s also been that way for awhile, as has the “closed” nature of the primaries. And at least new registrants had until March, tho I wish it were even later – we’re talking about people who have allegedly done this before. I would note also that, for me, the “closed primaries” issue is not at all related to or like the allegations of actual voter suppression resulting from the poor running of the primary such as improper party identification, polls opening later/not being supplied, and improperly purging voter rolls. Those are voter suppression and a huge issue.

    The party switch deadline is something that can be changed by getting involved in the party you allegedly want the right to pick the standard-bearer for. The system can (and should) be improved to allow people to participate even more, in spite of the massive laziness of the American electorate that does not appreciate the importance of its right to vote.

    Motor voter laws and total vote-by-mail are some of the best advances to help with this (thank you to my home state of Oregon for being the first to adopt both), though more can be done.

  105. Dear Loviator,

    And that’s good enough for me, as a registered Democrat, because Sanders is closer to the DP principles and ideals that I support.

    I couldn’t give a damn about the Machine, when it doesn’t give a damn about me.

    It *is* about political principles and policies. You think 30 years of supporting the current DP’s course is a plus. I think it’s a minus. It *doesn’t* make Clinton a “better” Democrat, just an older one.

    pax / Ctein

  106. So we all remember the concerted Dem campaign to get out the vote, right? Yeah, I missed that, too

    I didn’t realize that the ability to go to a voting place and vote — perhaps *the* fundamental responsibility of citizenship — only kicked in if you got an engraved invitation from President Obama.

    How about this? You suck it up and GO VOTE, whether there’s a “get out the vote” campaign or not. Then, maybe the GOP won’t dominate every branch of government except for the Presidency.

  107. The point is whether it’s Bernie or Hillary – without support down ticket NOTHING will get done and lots of harm will occur. You need party support down ticket because those folks don’t have big donors or big pockets – at least in the Democratic Party.

    And you don’t have to spend years in the party to get to go to state meetings. You pay your $25 and go the state meetings. That’s it. You get to talk to the people in your party, meet the candidates, work in roundtables to push your policy, help formulate marketing, encourage young people to get involved and run for office. And it’s about compromise – a hallmark of a democracy.

    It’s always easy to complain, but it’s especially meaningless if you haven’t done any work from stuffing an envelope, to ringing doorbells for Obama, or even running for local office. And just because you get disappointed or don’t get your way, picking up your marbles and going home accomplishes nothing.

    My disappointment with Bernie is his total lack of support down ticket and his failure to acknowledge the hard work and good intentions of those thousands of party volunteers. He can’t bash them through attacking the party and the work they do and then somehow expect their good will and dedication. We will see if the Bernie Bros and the big crowds actually will pound the pavement and do the grunt work that fuels turnout and support.

  108. I am at heart a slightly left of center independent. But I live in a state with closed primaries. If I am registered as an independent, I have no say at all in the primaries. So I have registered for years as a Democrat, so I can vote in primaries. My parents did the same thing. It may sound nice to say “I’m a registered Independent!” if you live in a state with open primaries, but if not… being registered as an independent in states like mine basically means you can’t participate at all in the primary process. (Mind, my state primaries aren’t until JUNE, so our votes are basically not worth much anyway, aside from local and state positions, but…) If you are a voter, you should be aware of the rules governing voting in various elections in your state, and do what you have to do in order for your vote to have a chance to count. After all, just because I’m a registered Dem, doesn’t meant my only choice in the general election is to vote for Dem candidates….

  109. I want new blood, and I want it NOW.

    That would be the downticket support other people are talking about. I am genuinely puzzled as to where you expect “new blood” to come from – much less to succeed and thrive – absent support from higher up in the party machinery.

  110. @Ctein

    I couldn’t give a damn about the Machine, when it doesn’t give a damn about me.

    It would be amusing if it wasn’t so sad to see such vitriol directed at the one political institution that actually accomplishes anything worthy in our divided government. I’m in the process of teaching my son that its not good enough to have a idea/plan or hell even a great idea/plan, you must be able to execute that idea/plan. I’m sure we’d all like a political party that could provide free college education and other liberal/progressive policies. However that’s not happening, so for those of us who actually care about our country the realization is that change through the system is just as sweet as change that comes from kicking over the ants nest.

    Right now, I see the Democratic party as the only meaningful way to effect any kind of positive change in this country. Good luck with your wishes and hopes causes.

  111. sglover: “it’s something that Dems routinely trot out to excuse their own failures. We’re to believe that those shiftless, ingrate voters let down our glorious leaders, when in fact those “leaders” have almost gone out of their way to discourage their notional supporters”

    Well, that’s not what I said but fair enough. I’m sure that the Dems screwed up as politicians always do. But my point is- so what? One of two things happened- 1) voters said- “you said something I didn’t like/insulted me so I just won’t vote” or 2) voters said- “you said something I didn’t like/insulted me so I’m going to vote for that tea party guy who I KNOW is going to trample all over everything I hold dear.” Neither is OK with me. It’s one thing for the millions who are clueless for whatever reason, but to me either choice is inexcusable for someone who is politically aware. I hold myself accountable for my votes and hold other voters to the same standard whatever their political party.

    I’m not passionate about any candidate, I’m passionate about the well-being of my country and its citizens. So, yeah, cult like support of any candidate bothers me a lot. We talk about the outcome if Trump doesn’t get the nomination but I think it may also be a problem if Sanders doesn’t.

    As a side note, I feel no particular loyalty to the Democratic Party- I was an independent until I moved to a closed primary state. But now that the GOP seems as close to my idea of evil incarnate as is possible without horns, I’ll back the Dems every chance I get.

    (Very impressed by all of the italics here but I have no idea how to do that)

  112. I don’t think voting is an exercise in self-validation, and I certainly don’t think not voting “sends a message” – at least, not one worth hearing.

    Someone is going to be inaugurated in January 2017. That someone is going to be choosing Supreme Court nominees, deciding what budget priorities to pursue, and naming people to run agencies that affect our lives directly and dramatically. Whoever is President will have a lot to do with our quality of life.

    Rarely if ever is that President a candidate who mirrors a voter’s every view, every wish, every hope. It is always, ALWAYS, a compromise between pretty good and pretty bad, or between bad and worse. As Heinlein once said, if you can’t find someone to vote FOR, you can always find someone to vote AGAINST.

    The country’s national politics is not set up for meaningful third-party candidates. It just isn’t. Deciding to vote third-party is essentially not voting at all because the vote is meaningless. It isn’t a protest vote because politicians who actually get into office could not care less about protest votes. I get a kick out of people who go around saying they don’t vote to protest the system, as if somehow winning candidates lie awake at night lamenting how few people vote.

    You know what? They don’t. The fewer people who vote, the easier it is to get elected.

  113. @thomasmhewlett: I’m not saying that Clinton and Trump are equivalent, it’s that I think this is a a ‘Poison now or poison later; either way, we’re fucked” election.

    Clinton will be a one-term competent and unexceptional moderate Republican warhawk, very likely followed by President Cruz in a huge GOP wave election in 2020 (more GOP gerrymandering to come!). The only way she’ll get a Supreme Court justice confirmed to fill Scalia’s and probably RBG’s seats is for the Senate to nuke the filibuster for all judicial confirmations, which will haunt us for decades to come after Cruz fills Kennedy’s and Breyer’s seats with whoever the fuck he wants.

    Trump will give us four years of crazy. If we’re lucky, we’ll get a Democratic wave election in 2020 and President Warren, but who knows how long it’ll take to undo the harm.

    I’m not saying they’re equivalent (though, honestly, Clinton’s foreign policy literally scares me more than Trump’s, and the kindest description of Trump’s would be ‘incoherent bravado’); it’s more than I’m worried that the price we pay for getting a non-insane Republican warhawk in office is that we lose the country to the insane branch of the Republican party for the next twenty years.

    There is no good option. Sanders’ supporters’ “We need a political revolution” is as much an unrealistic dream as any other, but it’s about trying to find a path that doesn’t lead to us being fucked as a country.

    A Democratic party which is the party of protecting Wall Street and bombing the shit out of brown people to make the world safe for democracy (just not in as much of an insane way as the other guys!) is not that path.

    Re: Sanders doesn’t support the DNC

    You mean the same DNC that’s headed by someone who was a co-sponsor of SOPA and is working with the GOP to attack the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? Yeah, I’d have a hard time supporting them too.

    I think it’s true that down-ticket races are crucial. To me, however, Democrats not being able to be *Democrats* is one of the major components hampering them in those races. I think four more years of having to be the moderate Republican-lite party is going to kill grassroots Democrats faster than running out of money. Being able to be a party that stands for something would, to me, help revitalize down-ticket Democrats more than any number of Clooney fundraisers.

  114. I think it’s true that down-ticket races are crucial. To me, however, Democrats not being able to be *Democrats* is one of the major components hampering them in those races.

    No, what harms down-ticket Democrats are voters who instead of getting involved sit on the sidelines shouting YOU’RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT. I guess those who can do, those who can’t whine.

  115. I always love your political commentary John, and today I’ve really enjoyed a lot of the reader comments!

    Lisa Hernandez cracked me up–she was so right about her New York values “New Yorker” test. I no longer live in NY, but my father’s “side” all hails from New York, and I recognize myself and my family in her description. I go ridiculously out of my way to get “connections” whenever I’m making substantial purchases (such as house “stuff”–i.e., I can get a hard wood floor placed for $300 labor). Need Broadway tix or really anything in Manhattan? My aunt on the upper West side knows exactly who/where to get it from at the best price…maybe it is a little bit “in the blood”, lol!

    FL Transplant’s comments about the republican Pennsylvania primary shocked me–I thought he had to be wrong or maybe was exaggerating his “facts”, so I Googled it to find the Wall Street Journal and other sources say just what he said–next week, PA will award 17 delegates to the overall state winner. Republican voters will otherwise pick 3 random delegate names for each district, without knowing how these people will vote at the convention–54 delegates–who are completely unbound. REALLY? Yes, really!!

    The Pennsylvania delegates are a complete coin-toss!! I know mentioning PA in this thread is a bit off topic, but I kind of hope John takes a look at it and maybe comments on it in another post–I just find that whole idea to be so absurd–and interesting–that PA basically says “we’re going to send 54 delegates to the convention and just let the chips fall as they may.” In God we trust, I guess–or something….

    I actually kind of like the Pennsylvania approach, it could be a weird fail-safe (or a debacle?).

    I find it amazing how interested many (most?) Americans have become in the process leading up to these elections–if nothing else, THANK YOU FOR THAT, Donald Trump! Lots of people are discussing the potential for high vs. low voter turnout. Look, at this point Americans have spent millions of hours watching, reading about, talking about, thinking about the upcoming election–largely due to the inflammatory entertainment provided by Trump and the other (former) GOP candidates. I think a lot of Americans are so emotionally invested that even if they are disgusted, even if they feel they are voting “against” a candidate in November, I predict we will be turning out in record numbers. However that turns out. I think MANY more people are politically energized (I don’t mean “happy-energized”, just energized) than usual.

    Last thing, I have no skin in the GOP contender fight, I’m a democrat, and I will be voting for Hillary in November.

  116. Ted Cruz is telling his supporters to vote for him and the 3 delegates committed to supporting him in PA. It’s not clear to me that Trump has the organization in place there to do the same for his delegates or if he even has committed delegates in each district. The way he’s been equating his popular votes with winning delegates makes me suspect that he hasn’t been learning the rules well enough to play to win. Cruz has already failed to get enough delegates to win on the first ballot, but he’s been playing hardball to get delegates that he can count on to switch to him if Trump fails to win on the first ballot.

    On the Democratic side, in 2008, Clinton started out the presumptive nominee because of all of the superdelegates committed to her. I think by about this time in the primaries, Obama was beating her in fundraising and primary wins, and enough superdelegates switch to him that he won on the first ballot. I don’t think Sander’s won enough primaries to convince the superdelegates to switch, and I suspect a lot of them also have doubts about his loyalty to the party. I think that some of the superdelegates currently committed to her will switch, but not enough for Sanders to get the nomination.

  117. Clinton will be a one-term competent and unexceptional moderate Republican warhawk</i?

    She is the 11th most liberal Senator. She votes with Sanders 93% of the time. And those differences with Sanders are NOT (with the exception of the Iraq vote) on matters of foreign intervention.

    I think it’s true that down-ticket races are crucial. To me, however, Democrats not being able to be *Democrats* is one of the major components hampering them in those races.

    I think you are incorrect, unless you mean that VOTERS don’t allow them to be Democrats. A lot of places aren’t simply that hospitable to progressive values, though they may work with Democrats.

    The problem with the Democratic the last few years was ignoring the more liberal wing. Dems shouldn’t swing the other way and ignore the more conservative wing.

  118. @Timothy Clarke and others who will not vote for Clinton.

    I understand your reasons and I would actually vote Green Party myself if I did not live in Colorado. As a swing state I think that *unless* a reliable poll aggregator like Nate Silver/fivethirtyeight shows Clinton running away with the election here in November I must vote for her. I will express my displeasure with the DNC by voting Green in every other office where they field a candidate as I live in one of the most Democratic precincts in the most Democratic district in Colorado.

    If you live in a reliably red or blue state, vote Green! Awesome and I really want to have a big discontent vote for the Green Party in those states. If you live in one of the swing states, consider voting for Clinton and doing as I will. Likewise for people who are not happy with Clinton. The system we have for voting is full of bugs, but these bugs produce features like being able to vote for the Green candidate with no negative downside if you live in a state like New York or California.

  119. RE: Conspiracy theories about voter registration in Brooklyn, etc. I’ve lived in NYC for 40 years plus. The NYC Board of Elections has a looong history of f***king up, one way or another. No malice aforethought–they would have had to have been prescient about Bernie’s campaign–just institutional incompetence. (The mess that occurred when the lever machines were replaced by scanners was epic!) Also, to the best of my knowledge, no city polling place opened six hours late,though a few were delayed for a couple hours.I think this notionis a confabulation of the rumour that was going around beforehand that Upstate polls were cutting hours to 12-9 to thwart Bernie voters (which was not true–that’s always been the Upstate hours for Primaries) Finally, I have friends and colleagues who live in Chappequa. They find the Clinton’s to be good neighbors. Hillary is far more a New Yorker than she ever was an Arkansian! These days, their much-loved only child and much-loved grandkid live here and Granma and Granpa visit the city regularly. Bernie, OTOH, apparently hasn’t been back in maybe twenty years. (DC ain’t that far away.) Not knocking him for making as much as possible of his “roots”–but he’s not a New Yorker.

  120. @ Bruce:

    Did a little more research, just to make sure I understood, because those PA Primary rules do sound a little crazy…

    According to “the Official Guide to the 2016 Republican Nominating Process” the Pennsylvania Primary has both a “Winner Take All” portion AND a “Loophole” portion.

    In the “Winner Takes All” portion, 17 delegates are committed to voting for the overall statewide winner, at least on first ballot.

    An additional 54 delegates are chosen–3 from each of 18 districts–and are NOT COMMITTED to any particular candidate.

    Pennsylvania Presidential Primary Rule 8.4 states District delegates “shall run at large within the Districts and shall not be officially committed to any particular candidate on the ballot”.

    Cruz can’t confirm any of these 54 delegates preferences–that would be TOTALLY AGAINST the rules in Pennsylvania–therefore he can’t “tell his supporters” which delegates to vote for.

    The idea is that the 54 “Loophole” delegates will vote in the same direction as the popular “Beauty Contest”….but there is nothing binding them to do so–BY DESIGN. The “Loophole” delegates are free to vote their conscience as an extra fail-safe, if the popular vote is really egregious.

  121. Dear David,

    I think you are likely right– when we get some solid electoral college predictions, they won’t show an overwhelming preference for Sanders over Clinton. That’s why I give him, only a 10% shot. But that’s just guesswork at the moment– we need the surveys. By which I mean full surveys, not some arbitrary subset of states that one thinks are interesting. Data, not supposition.

    Against Cruz or Trump, I’d be terribly surprised if a full electoral college matchup would show either of them beating either Sanders or Clinton. In which case the supers stay put and Clinton’s the nominee.

    I have no ideas what happens if the GOP jumps the shark, and there’s a fair chance it will. Then maybe it gets “interesting” again. Anyways, my point was that it’s the electorals we should be paying attention to at this point. The popular/primary stuff no longer matters and it’s a waste of brain cells even discussing it.

    pax / Ctein

  122. I think that it’s good that Sanders stays in the race even though he may not gain enough votes to get a nomination but there are still issues that may float up for Clinton like the email server handling that can be poison for her. So Sanders is still good to have around and can also show to the rest of the party that a lot of voters aren’t agreeing with Clinton.

    In other places I have seen people willing to vote for Trump rather than Clinton of Sanders don’t get the nomination, but still prefer Clinton over Cruz. Looks like it’s going to be a fun party. Trump may not be the best candidate, but even though he’s noisy and have a strong opinion on the immigration issues he’s relatively moderate on many other issues compared to Cruz. But his personality may be a problem in international relations – especially with countries that are strict on formalities.

    It feels like the US even more gets the candidates that the political system deserves rather than what’s needed.

  123. My absolute favorite comment on the election came from twitter:

    Ivan Hernandez ‏@ivan_hernandez · Feb 1
    I’m proBernie but would vote Hillary as I am a one issue voter and that issue is not opening the seventh seal and ushering in the apocalypse.

  124. Is anyone compiling a list of John’s (and others) Ted Cruz insults? If nothing else, they’re a fantastic example of the benefits of a broad vocabulary

  125. Uhhh—Ctein—-pretty sure the GOP “jumped the shark” sometime during the George Bush years–Sr or Jr, either way. But sometime after Ronald Reagan…

  126. @Scalzi:

    I honestly have no idea why Kasich is still in it, since I don’t think they will put him on the ballot no matter what.

    The VP slot? I doubt he’d want to be running mate for Trump or Cruz, but one never knows. More realistically, Kasich might trade his delegates for the post of VP, Secretary of State, or whatever if they draft Romney or Ryan.


    The pool of people with the name recognition and “qualifications” to run for president are, essentially, Romney, Ryan, McCain, Palin and Condeleezza Rice

    McCain is 79, I’d say that makes him too old. Palin, as you correctly point out, is nuts. It’s doubtful whether Rice wants elected office of any kind, otherwise she could easily have become a Governor or Senator by now. I wouldn’t discount Romney though. He’s got a high profile among the people who matter here (Republican insiders), and unlike Ryan, has not denied he wants another shot at the Presidency.

    Most of the other vaguely plausible Republicans piled into the primaries and were soundly beaten, so we can count them out. Nikki Haley (Governor of South Carolina) is a remote possibility.

  127. Other than his wife, and possibly his father the apocalyptic fire and brimstone preacher, I can’t think of anyone who really seems to like Cruz after getting to know him personally or professionally.

    I’ve met people like that in the corporate world – they tend to get where they are through a combination of hard work, bullying, trickery, and finding likeminded assholes.

    Sanders losing NY should actually be something he’s ashamed of – he’s a native, Clinton isn’t. But Clinton is a Democratic Party insider the way no one other than her husband, Kerry, and Gore were for recent presidential contenders. It’s no secret that the inside Dem machine is a bit more of a self perpetuating group of power brokers than beholden to any group of voters. But that’s at least in part our fault for not taking control of our party.

    Policy wise, I’d prefer Sanders. Getting-things-done wise, I’d prefer Clinton. Not because I think either of them will find anyone in the GOP willing to work with them. They won’t. But because Clinton knows how things work and has better rapport with the party as a whole.

    Clinton’s hawkishness bugs me, but it’s not significantly to the right of Obama. Sander’s inability to explain how he’s meet his goals bugs me a bit too, but he’d stay out of more foreign entanglements. That may or may not be a good idea, given how aggressive Russia has been.

    But either of them are safer for the US and for the world than Trump or Cruz.

  128. My interest in the primaries has declined with the quality of the remaining GOP candidates. Which is to say it node-dived long ago. Moot anyway, I resigned myself to four years of Hillary before she even announced. Demographics is a killer, and the GOP can not seem to expand past theirs. Hint – it takes more than a token black candidate with no political cred.

  129. Yeah, yeah. Its pretty much in the bag for trump and clinton. Congratulations to both political parties: they both managed to nominate the worst possible candidates on their lists. Wall Street has probably already started partying, because at this point they’re the real winners here. Clinton is completely bought and paid for, by wall street, so they can expect at least more years of business as usual. But hey! She’s a woman! Yeah, the female version of Nixon.

    Fuck me.

    I’m gonna send Bernie some more money today. Because fuck the fascists for trump, and fuck the cowards for clinton.

    Right now, the only redeeming quality about Clinton is she isnt quite as bad as Donald Trump.

    Fuck anyone who is celebrating this morning for these kinds of shitty ass results.

  130. I agree with both sides in these comments:
    1) the Democratic Party is the most powerful force for positive change in American politics.
    2) on an absolute level they suck at this job
    3) because of the stark horror of the alternative we have no breathing room to change the first two points.

    So. Go Hillary! Woo?

  131. By which I mean full surveys, not some arbitrary subset of states that one thinks are interesting. Data, not supposition.

    I don’t know what you mean by that: the surveys that are going to count are the battleground states (not some arbitrary subset). New York is not voting for a Republican this cycle; ditto California. Alabama is not voting Democratic; ditto South Carolina. Finding out that Sanders wins California by slightly more than Clinton over Trump doesn’t tell us anything. Finding out what happens in the close states does.

    And it’s not supposition, it’s analysis. There isn’t going to be much of a difference between the two Democratic candidates in a general election matchup against the GOP.

  132. Speaking of “delegates, delegates, delegates,” can anyone explain to me (but that I mean a true sound rational argument) why we are not moving to a direct democracy system? We are automating cars, food establishments, retail stores, and have even developed A.I. capable of dethroning Jeopardy champions. Can someone please give a sound reason why we are incapable of moving to a direct democratic system?

  133. I think if Sanders won the nomination the Republican machine would start on day one pointing out that his tax plan would raise taxes on poor people, to the tune of about $1600 a year for a single person making minimum wage.

    Yes, the real math is complicated, but that’s not what the commercials are going to say.

  134. .
    PLANET-POLL 2016
    by Jonathan Vos Post.
    The Gallup-Galileo poll of Solar System objects for the 2016 Presidential candidates shows the expected picture, and some surprises.
    The Sun refused to endorse but said snarky things about Donald Trump. “Narcissist,” said the Sun, “He thinks that everything revolves around him. Aldo, look how long my solar prominences are, and how short the fingers of that vulgarian.”
    Mercury was hot for Cruz. “He’s on a hot streak,” said the innermost planet. “He’s winning all the delegates, even where Trump won the popular vote.”
    “I’ve got to go with Secretary Clinton,” said Venus, wrapped in a lovely sulfuric acid cloud. “There’s a special place in Hell for goddesses who do not support such a well-qualified woman.”
    Mars was sandy. That is, Mars was all for Bernie Sanders. “The Red State/Blue State terminology is a confusion. I’m Mars, the RED planet. Bernie is a Socialist. Socialism in Red, though not as bright red as Communism.”
    Jupiter said, regally, in decameter radio and ionizing radiation: “Red, schmed. I’ve got a Great Red Spot myself. I’m the most massive planet. Biggest radius, diameter, volume. Also, I have the most moons.”
    Saturn was taking a bath, but answered the 2nd time the pollster came around. “I’m all for running rings around the opposition.”
    Uranus complained about being mispronounced. “So I’m endorsing Governor Kasich.”
    Neptune said: “I’m blue. Who best speaks to those who sing the blues? Hint– that rhymes with Cruz.”
    “I’m the most eccentric in orbit,” said Pluto, “and object to beig called a dwarf. So I’m for the most eccentric candidate, who always stands up for the little guy.”
    Eccentric?” said the new 9th Planet. “And what am I — chopped liver?”
    === The End ===

  135. @thomasmhewlett: I’m not saying that Clinton and Trump are equivalent, it’s that I think this is a a ‘Poison now or poison later; either way, we’re fucked” election.

    This is exactly the sort of weirdly histrionic demonization that is making me monumentally tired of Sanders supporters. GUYS. Come on. Clinton is closer to your guy than to anybody on the other slate. I get that you got all wrapped up in the Bernie movement – not that it was really a movement, in my opinion, he’s just the Democratic Insurgent like Hillary herself was in ’08 – and you’re terribly disappointed. But she’s not a bad candidate, not a bad Democrat, and will not be a bad president. I fully expect her to be the second coming of first-term Obama, and that’s about as good as we can expect these days. Step off the ledge and cut out the overheated rhetoric.

  136. Clinton may be more hawkish than I’d like, but the way I see it my draft-age nephew has a better chance of being shipped off to die for some stupid reason under President Trump than under President (H.) Clinton. Would I prefer President Sanders? Yes. Will I rage-vote against Clinton if Sanders doesn’t pull this out? No, because I like to think I’m not that stupid.

  137. DAVID wrote:

    I don’t know what you mean by that: the surveys that are going to count are the battleground states (not some arbitrary subset).

    Let’s play amateur Nate Silver and run some numbers. 270 electors wins (half of 538, plus one).

    Going by past Presidential elections, Democrats’ 17 safe states: CA (55 electors), CT (7), DE (3), HI (4), IL (20), ME (4), MD (10), MA (11), MI (16), MN (10), NM (5), NJ (14), NY (29), OR (7), RI (4), VT (3), WA (12). Add DC’s three (per 23rd Amendment). That’s 220 I figure Secretary Clinton can probably bank on.

    Republicans’ 21 safe states: AL (9), AK (3), AR (6), ID(4), IN (11), KS (6), LA (8), KY (8), MS (6), MO (10), MT (3), NB (5), ND (3), OK (7), SC (9), SD (3), TN (11), TX (38), UT (6), WV (5), WY (3). That’s 167 for whoever survives the GOP demolition.

    Not safe in 2016, some say? Maybe, but it’s been a strong pattern.

    That leaves 12 swing states’ 154 electors, projected as shown per recent polls:

    AZ (11) – D
    CO (9) – D
    FL (29) – D
    GA (16) – R
    IA (6) – D
    NC (15) – D
    NV (6) – D
    NH (4) – D
    OH (18) – D
    PA (20) – D
    VA (13) – D
    WI (10) – D

    (Every state but ME and NB awards electors on a winner-take-all basis.)

    The swing states will be money-bombed through November, trying to flip them. IMO, any Republican Pres/VP slate really would need to prevail in at least two of FL, OH, and VA to have any hope at all for 2016, and prominent Hispanic and black populations in all three (statewide) mostly are particularly down on Drumpf.

    Based on above, I’m betting: Clinton gets ~358 electors, 88 more than she needs to win, no matter which likely opponent she faces. Maybe higher if it’s Drumpf,

    Let’s hope someone does have an Electoral College majority, because a 12th Amendment referral to the House looks like a shambolic deadlock, as each state delegation must agree on how to cast its single vote: Consider how many states have party-split delegations (33), and how many of those include teabaggers (16). How many could reach agreement and be able to vote? I’m guessing neither the majority required for a win, nor the 2/3 quorum, so the House could deadlock for literally years, while whoever the Senate anoints as VP serves as Acting President. And wouldn’t that be fun?

  138. What Charlie said.

    I prefer Bernie too, albeit mildly as I’ve said. But Hillary Clinton is not eeeeeevil. Or, if she is, the word has no useful meaning.

    Flawed, certainly. She’s not a gifted politician. She’s often tone-deaf. She’s a foreign policy interventionist (which is standard in the US, just to remind people) whose instincts I find alarming. She is… “cozy” with elite people & institutions. She’s also a mainstream American liberal who proposes (relatively mild) reforms that would move American governance leftward.

    I get wanting something better than a mainstream American liberal, I really do. So vote Bernie in the primary (if you haven’t already) by all means, as I will this coming Tuesday. If you’re in a “safe” state for November, sure, throw the Greens a vote. It won’t hurt (it also won’t do much of anything either, but most individual votes don’t so whatever). But if your state is projected to be close? Please remember the concept of harm reduction. President H. Clinton will not usher in a progressive golden age or somesuch (particularly b/c the GOP will hold the House at the least).

    She will, however, owe her election to the Democratic coalition and, as political science researchers have repeatedly shown, politicians really do attempt to keep their promises, and succeed roughly 2/3-3/4 of the time (note this would apply to Bernie too). That means you’re in for some disappointment, no doubt! I know people who are still mad at Obama for not closing Guantanamo (I keep pointing out that congress was key to preventing that, including a shameful # of Democrats, but it’s like talking to a wall sometimes. It’s Obama’s fault, the end. Not really, it might be your congresscritter’s fault). I fault him for some things too! But by and large pols actually work on the things they say they will, believe it or not.


    Also recall that often the most pure & decent Presidents have been the least effective. I think Jimmy Carter is a good man. Perhaps the most decent human being elected US President in the 20th century. Going back further in history, I think John Quincy Adams is a no-joke Great American. Both were fairly unpopular 1-term Presidents who got essential jack and squat done during their single terms (in Carter’s case at least, this was in spite of having congressional majorities). This is not comforting, but it seems to be reality.

    So, where does that leave those of us who would prefer a more liberal or otherwise superior (e.g., relecting Obama if it were possible) candidate? Probably it means we ought to get more involved. Not just voting in primaries (though that’s good). Showing up at meetings at the local level (something I’ve been terrible about overall, despite occasional exceptions) and making our voices heard. Donating to insurgent progressive candidates. Corresponding with representatives (respectfully) when we’re worried about them going wobbly. Calling them. And so on.

  139. Charlie: “Clinton is closer to your guy than to anybody on the other slate.”

    Jesus fucking christ. That statement is only true because the “other slate” has Hitler in the number one spot and Dracula as number two.

    Ya know what makes me “monumentally tired” of Clinton supporters? Their advocacy FOR Clinton almost invariably comes down to 1: its her turn for the white house. 2: its a womans turn for the white house. And their defense OF clinton invariably boils down to 1: she’s better than Hitler. 2: all those millions of dollars from wall street wont affect her policy decisions. She’s so much more above mere money. And their attacks on Sander invariably boil down to: 1. Oh, come ON, its not like you expect government to represent the PEOPLE, do you? 2: we cant afford to spend taxes on what helps *people*, we need to keep wall street humming and the wars waging.

    Clinton supporters will point to Trump and say he is merely appealing to his supporters base fears. Well, what the fuck do you think 15 years of the war in Afghanistan with no end in sight is appealing to? Hillary voted for that war. Hillary voted for the patriot act. Hillary voted for the invasion of Iraq. And Hillary supporters think thats anything but base fear? That Trump is the fear mongerer? There is a lot of self delusion going on this election cycle.

  140. There are two points from this post that I think bear amplification:

    1. The fact that (a) Clinton won New York fair and square, and (b) New York’s electoral rules in general, and the NYC Board of Elections in particular, are uniquely terrible, are mutually exclusive facts. I sincerely hope that the scrutiny the NYC BOE is about to receive over potential mismanagement (or worse) leads to wide-reaching reform and not a few heads rolling. But the fact is, even if we were blessed with a BOE that ran like a well-lubricated German sports car, Clinton would have won anyway.

    2. “In addition, Clinton was a senator from New York and actually, you know, lives there.”

    This is no small point. First, she moved here 16 years ago, which is way longer than many of my friends and colleagues whom I have no problem considering “real New Yorkers” (whatever that really means). It’s so strange how people who disagree with her politics attempt to diminish her credibility by trying to discredit her New Yorker-ness. Hell, Trump is a “real New Yorker”, and he’s politically nauseating.

    Also, anyone in NY who was politically aware during Hilary Clinton’s term as senator knows just how strong of an advocate she was for the state, and how granular and retail her outreach was to every region of a very large and diverse polity. Not that this gives her a free pass from New Yorkers on the presidential ballot, nor does it mitigate the many bad judgment calls she has made over her time in public service. It does, however, give her far more credibility among the people of this state than her competitor.

  141. @Greg

    I think you’ve been talking to the wrong people. Clinton’s supporters say, “this is the most qualified person to run for president in our memory” and “she gets things done” and sometimes, “she’s a pragmatic democrat with good values and who cares about people (although, as with all politicians, there’s never 100% complete agreement on policy).”

    In terms of her gender, the discussion is, “if she were a man, then all of the above would be blatantly obvious and Sanders would have dropped out months ago”.

    In terms of Sanders the discussion is generally, “Yes, I agree with him 95% of the time and Clinton 93% of the time, but he has no plans of how to get things done.”

    You can see these arguments over and over again in the comments on this thread. Just look up.

    Maybe stop having conversations with strawmen?

  142. @Greg-
    I am a (mild) Clinton supporter; it’s more important to me for a Democrat to win this (Supreme Court is on the line) than exactly which Democrat it will be. I looked at your carefully numbered arguments both “for Clinton” and “against Bernie”. I have never thought or said these things, and your rather forceful insistence that I have is not likely to make me consider your points more thoughtfully. I get that you’re mad, but now you’re just calling people names and putting words in my mouth which have never come out of it. Your comment is probably doing the opposite of what you were hoping- unless what you were hoping was to annoy people and make them decide to not take you seriously.

  143. Greg: I would like to add, respectfully, that on the pro-Clinton side, I am equally tired of the various people of all political persuasions who tell me “The only reason you’re for Clinton is that you’re a woman!” And yes, I’ve had Sanders supporters, as well as Republicans of various stripes, say that to me. The Sanders supporters are usually more polite about it. Not much, though.

    I chose Clinton when I voted in my state’s democratic primary for several reasons, including her stand on specific issues. My position would likely be 95% Clinton supporter, 93% Sanders supporter, and if Sanders is nominated I will vote for him. But Clinton is my candidate, and I’m pretty sure she would be if she were male. (That “pretty sure” is because if Clinton were male she would have had a completely different life history and who knows what sort of person she’d be? Being Bill Clinton’s wife and a former First Lady undoubtedly shaped her, and her later experiences. But I emphatically did not select her just because she is a woman OR–God help us–Bill Clinton’s wife.)

  144. I’m waiting for the uproar and outrage when President Clinton does something out of political necessity that will freak out her supporters–especially the ones who seem to think that having your candidate win means you get everything on YOUR wish-list and never ever having to either compromise, settle or give the other side something it wants. you know, like democracy is supposed to work.
    I’m constantly getting Facebook posts from pro-Bernie family that just makes me shake my head. It’s either “Here’s how we can still get the nomination” or “We waz robbed!”. Since it’s from a former sister-in-law who’s not about bashing women, I don’t get the evil evil center-right (which just means ‘she’s not liberal enough for me!’) posts.
    Was it the movie “An American President” where First Lady Bacall responded to her husband’s apology for swearing “Balls!” by saying “That’s all right. I’m a politician’s wife–I have a set of my own.”?
    That’s what I think Hilary would bring to the White House.

  145. Rick Moen — Nice analysis, and I’d add one more point to this:

    prominent Hispanic and black populations in all three (statewide) mostly are particularly down on Drumpf.

    The three groups that Trump has pissed off the most are Hispanics, African-Americans, and women. Clinton has shown substantial strength in all three of those groups. She’s particularly qualified to take advantages of Trump’s vulnerabilities there.

  146. Nicoleandmaggie: “she gets things done”

    Yes, she voted for the afghan war, the iraq war, and the patriot act, the reauthorization of the patriot act, TPP, keystone pipeline, she supports the death penalty, and offshore drilling. Sure, she got things done, but it was entirely the WRONG THINGS. Do you see anything even remotely left-leaning in that laundry list of things she got done?

    She supported the “blacks are superpredators” bill. She changed her position on gay marriage to the point that politifact gave her a “full flop” rating. She only flipped after the majority of the country flipped and it was politically safe for her to support it.

    Again, she gets things done, but entirely the wrong things.

    And what the ever loving fuck of a pretzel do Hillary supporters have to tie themselves into to justify, defend, her wall street money? Speaking engagements? Political contributions? “Everyone is doing it”?

    Show me a Hillary supporter that straight out call this a bad thing, and I will show you the loneliest Democrat in America.

    There is nothing about Clinton that a progressive would vote *for*. There is plenty about Clinton that a Republican-lite would vote for.

  147. I guess you showed us, Greg. That’s clearly everybody! Or…wait…maybe it’s TWO PEOPLE.

  148. @Greg: “Yes, she voted for the afghan war, the iraq war, and the patriot act, the reauthorization of the patriot act, TPP, keystone pipeline, she supports the death penalty, and offshore drilling. Sure, she got things done, but it was entirely the WRONG THINGS. Do you see anything even remotely left-leaning in that laundry list of things she got done?”

    So Sanders voted against the Iraq war, but voted in favor of multiple appropriations bills to continue it. He also voted in favor of the Afghan war, against gun control and various gun violence measures, for Bill Clinton’s various crime bills, and the Libyan intervention. He’d continue Obama’s drone policy and isn’t opposed to coalition-based wars.

    Do you see anything remotely left-leaning in that list of things he got done? Cherrypicked, to be sure, but he’s no perfect progressive, not any more than Hillary is. They sort of bracket Obama.

    It’s no secret that Hillary is more economically liberal than Sanders, more in favor of free trade, and more interventionist in world affairs. She’s further to the right than he is. But let’s not treat him as some kind of progressive Messiah, or her as a Republican lite. They vote identically 93% of the time.

    @Greg: “She supported the “blacks are superpredators” bill.”

    So did Sanders.

    @Greg: “She changed her position on gay marriage to the point that politifact gave her a “full flop” rating. She only flipped after the majority of the country flipped and it was politically safe for her to support it.”

    She did, however, come around, along with a majority of the country. Are people not allowed to change their mind? Do we not want politicians who are responsive to public opinon? I see little reason to continue to hold that against her, particularly since Sanders didn’t really support it either until recently – he refused to even give straight answers to the question, or hemmed and hawed about civil unions. Fact is, most older Americans opposed gay marriage until VERY recently.

    @Greg: “And what the ever loving fuck of a pretzel do Hillary supporters have to tie themselves into to justify, defend, her wall street money? Speaking engagements? Political contributions? “Everyone is doing it”? Show me a Hillary supporter that straight out call this a bad thing, and I will show you the loneliest Democrat in America.”

    What the ever loving fuck of a pretzel do Sanders supporters have to tie themselves into to justify his immense hypocrisy on the F-35 procurement, on Libya and Afghanistan, on drones, on reauthorizing funds for Iraq, on guns, on voting against the Brady Bill five times? Or to think most of his campaign promises are remotely economically feasible or politically practicable?

    I disagree, passionately, with many things Hillary has voted for and done. I highly dislike her conflicts of interest with Wall Street. But I also disagree passionately with many of Sanders’ policies and positions, particularly his stance on gun control, and disagree with many of his votes and actions that were identical to those taken by Clinton. They’re both flawed candidates, I think they’re both basically suitable for the job, and I’d vote for either of them.

    @Greg: “There is nothing about Clinton that a progressive would vote *for*. There is plenty about Clinton that a Republican-lite would vote for.”

    Again: you are uninformed if you think that Sanders is a perfect progressive, or that Clinton doesn’t vote exactly as he does most of the time.

  149. @JZS (@JzsJzsammy)

    Well, that’s not what I said but fair enough. I’m sure that the Dems screwed up as politicians always do. But my point is- so what? One of two things happened- 1) voters said- “you said something I didn’t like/insulted me so I just won’t vote” or 2) voters said- “you said something I didn’t like/insulted me so I’m going to vote for that tea party guy who I KNOW is going to trample all over everything I hold dear.” Neither is OK with me. It’s one thing for the millions who are clueless for whatever reason, but to me either choice is inexcusable for someone who is politically aware. I hold myself accountable for my votes and hold other voters to the same standard whatever their political party.

    Well bully for you! And bully for me! And bully for probably everybody else commenting in this thread! Because each and every one of us follows public affairs and shows up to vote. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be commenting here, or even reading the original post.

    But like it or not, that’s not typical of the American adult population. We can fret about it all we like, but that’s how it is. Politicians certainly know this, since they go to great lengths to procedurally discourage or encourage (depending on which way the wind is blowing) lukewarm voters. A really good politician will even be able to rally the otherwise indifferent. I mean, they like call themselves “leaders”, don’t they?

    Round about October 2010 a so-so 2008 Obama voter might have thought about the Novemeber elections like this:

    The Dems seem pretty eager to shovel money at Wall Street. I thought only Republicans did that! Sure is funny how all those bank execs are getting bonuses instead of perp walks…. I remember Obama said that he was going to make union organizing easier with “card check” — whatever happened to that? Obama promised he was going to end these stupid wars, so what all this “Afghanistan surge” talk?

    I guess it really doesn’t matter if it’s Democrats or Republicans.

    It doesn’t seem like the worst line of reasoning I’ve ever seen…..

  150. Charlie: ” I also disagree passionately with many of Sanders’ policies and positions, particularly his stance on gun control, and disagree with many of his votes and actions that were identical to those taken by Clinton.”

    So, other than Gun Control, you agree that Hillary is no better than Sanders and/or possibly worse.

    “Again: you are uninformed if you think that Sanders is a perfect progressive,”

    Strawman. I never said Bernie was perfect. I just said there is nothing about Hillary that a Progressive would vote *for*. Bernie isnt perfect, but he was fighting for civil rights decades ago. Thats one thing about Bernie that a progressive would vote for over Clinton. If you have some particular position held by Hillary that is more progressive than Bernie, I would love to hear it.

    Gun control? Bernie gets a D- rating from the NRA compared to Hillary’s F rating.

    Any other topic?

    Meanwhile, in Bernie’s favor, we have his long history of fighting for equality, helping the poor, opposing war, and campaign finance reform.

  151. Greg: FOR Clinton almost invariably comes down to 1: its her turn for the white house. 2: its a womans turn for the white house.

    I didn’t say that there weren’t Clinton supporters who supported her “just because she’s a woman”; I said I didn’t support her just because she was a woman. You included the world “almost” in your comment, which I highlighted because I did appreciate your qualifying your assertion: I was just giving you a data point that you could feed into that “almost” and maybe help make it slightly larger.

    In any case, it seemed worthwhile to me to respond as a Clinton supporter who chose the candidate for reasons that have nothing to do with what you said. I really am tired of being told (you did include that “almost,” so I’m going to go with “mostly by others”) that I’m stupidly supporting her just because she’s a woman.That group–Clinton supporters who don’t blindly support her because she’s “the female in the race with a chance”–does exist, and I also believe that it is a non-trivial part of her support base.

    I could have added that I’ve never said “Clinton isn’t as bad as . . .” Hitler or really anyone on the Republican side as a reason for supporting her, but I honestly didn’t think that that was an argument worth disowning. There are Clinton supporters out there saying that? Okay, I believe you, but I add that I think they’re being kind of silly to present that as a major plus for the candidate, especially during the run-up to the nomination–she is, in my judgement, but so what? As a reason for supporting her, that’s at least right up there–or down there–with voting for her due to gender, in my opinion, and I’ve spent most of my voting life struggling to choose between the lesser of two evils. (I do it, but it isn’t a good thing to have to do.) When and while people have a choice that isn’t between two evils, they should choose; I did. And the “Clinton won’t pay any attention to Wall Street”? Of course she will–that’s one of her negatives, again in my opinion, but she certainly won’t be the first or last President of whom that might be said, and on the whole I decided I can live with it. You disagree. That’s why we have elections.

  152. (Another topic.)

    Good thread, especially the humor.

    Opinions here on our two-party system intrigue me – especially comments about third-parties being wasteful. I liked David’s, “Stay home this fall and the people who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 will finally be released from purgatory.” (Here I interpreted “stay home” as voting third party; but others made similar points). Now, as a NON-codependent card-carrying Democrat, I’ve a question: when party loyalties bleed into fanaticism and there’s only two sides, how can things work? Erm, Congress?

    Some here argue for grass-roots changes within parties but where loyalties still matter. My question is, home-loyalties how far. I have two friends from both parties and as a joke I told them I knew of some mayor guilty of pederasty about “two counties over.” You know it. They couldn’t develop opinions over pedophilia until they could figure out party affiliation. They worked hard to see if s(he) belonged to their or the other’s party! (I can appear remarkably vacuous at times and got away with being unhelpful to them about said mayor). Stalemate. Do we want stalemate on our economy? Next time I’ll suggest a mayor demonstrating psychopathy for laughs; but my real worry here is the non-movements in Congress. I’m beginning to wonder if the real problem isn’t a nation’s two-party codependency.

  153. Greg? Quick follow-up to your links at 1:07 PM: I didn’t read them when I was responding (sorry, I know I should have), but then someone else said something about the posters being “only two people” and I got curious if either one might legitimately be said to represent a group. After reading them, I realized that even if they do represent specific groups (the Mormon Housewives one maybe does, I’d guess), they don’t seem to be by Clinton supporters. As far as I can tell. So . . . why are the relevant to my earlier comment? Do you have others? (I have run across one or two I think would likely qualify–which is why I didn’t bother to read the links when you first posted–so I’m not trying to say that you don’t have evidence. I just wondered what your evidence is.)

  154. Mary, on rereading my post, I withdraw that particular comment. I was trying to make a distinction between people voting *for* clinton versus *against* trump or against bernie, or whatever variation is out there. But I was frustrated, and rereading it, it meanders and doesnt parse nearly the way I thought it did the first time around.

    If I were to try to capture that point in one sentence, it might be:

    ::What policy position demonstrated by Clinton is clearly more progressive than Sanders’ demonstrated position on the same topic?::

    The only one that comes up on different venues is gun control.

  155. @Greg: “So, other than Gun Control, you agree that Hillary is no better than Sanders and/or possibly worse.”

    Pretty much. I don’t particularly support one over the other. They’ve each got things I like and other things I don’t, and either way I think they’re both….fine. Not great, not awful, just fine. I’m fine with Obama too. That’s not really an inspired place to be and I have no idea how to turn it into a catchy hashtag, but there it is. #feelingthebernandalsohillarytoowhatevs

    I freely acknowledge Bernie’s probably the most ideologically pure candidate and the one whose convictions are closest to my personal values, but I don’t think that alone is necessarily enough to recommend him, because I’m honestly not convinced of the merits of (for example) a $15 minimum wage or the economic feasibility of some of his healthcare and education proposals.

  156. I am charmed by and sympathetic to Sanders, but I remind lefties of independent and Democratic flavors of two names: Ralph Nader and (on the state level) Jesse Ventura. Some of the demographics of enthusiasm and idealism I observed in those campaigns I see in the Sanders movement. Neither turned out well for the citizens at large. (Which is why I’d love to see either Cruz or Trump supporters flounce off and take a third-party run at the White House, and maybe take the entire Tea Party and their pet legislators with them.)

    While it’s a good thing to have someone loudly advocating for old-fashioned labor-left issues, in the long run Bernie is of much greater use in the Senate, with his more practical colleague Elizabeth Warren (and other non-presidential-aspirant types such as Minnesota’s senators).

    I would also second (or perhaps push farther on) Rob in CT’s remarks above about personal decency and political effectiveness in high office. Presidents are not necessarily nice people–or at the very least, they are people who find it possible to set their niceness aside in order to get whatever they think is the necessary done. It’s a job for a SOB.

  157. Greg asks, ::What policy position demonstrated by Clinton is clearly more progressive than Sanders’ demonstrated position on the same topic?::

    I won’t pretend to speak for even a large number of Clinton supporters, but for me, it is by far and away her leadership on reproductive rights, equal pay, and family leave. Some call these “women’s issues.” I think they’re people issues, and far too often ignored.


    “For decades, Clinton has prioritized bills and policies promoting reproductive rights, equal pay, and family leave—far more so than Sanders. This is not to say that Sanders has not supported such legislation or practices. The key difference is that, for him, they simply haven’t been as much of a priority… The theme that comes up again and again across all these areas isn’t that Sanders doesn’t back policies that benefit women; it’s that, for him and his campaign, they are what they’ve always been—one more issue on the docket, not a key focal point. On many of these topics, he’s a strong ally, but not an active initiator of change.”

  158. WELL. I suppose Greg is right… this life long LESBIAN Democrat (who has been foaming at the mouth for a chance to vote for President Hillary Clinton for 25 year) can’t POSSIBLY be a liberal… a progressive… OR a Democrat. I’m glad you cleared that up for me, man. I’m voting for her because I love her. I love her policies. I love her leadership. Basically everything you are demonizing about her are the *very reasons* she has my vote. This is the most important election of my life. I could not be more proud, excited, and deliriously happy to cast my vote for President Hillary Clinton.

  159. Greg’s chart is supposed to show HRC is a Republican-lite. That chart sets off my BS detector, HARD.

    For instance, it claims HRC is in favor of cutting social security. This is an odd charge I doubt can be substantiated. People rail about Obama plotting to do the same, but it’s funny – it never happened (and when it seemed like it might happen, he quite deliberately killed it by upping his “ask” in negotiations with Republicans in a manner that seemed designed to make them reject a deal and walk away).

    The TPP thing I can understand – she came out against it only recently and is probably BSing on that. But SS? Come on.

    Extra credit for Bernie for being pro-gay marriage earlier, sure. That’s not really what matters going forward, though. I mean, hell, if that’s the test Barack Obama is a horrible non-progressive because he only “evolved” recently (or, if you prefer, he was BSing and was ok with it all along but waited until public opinion shifted enough. Either way, that’s gotta fail a purity test). What matters is that as POTUS, Hillary Clinton will help cement the progress that’s been made and will help – or at worst not hinder – continued progress. Mainly via court appointments.

    The chart also leaves off plenty of other issues that would distinguish HRC from the GOP. I note that there’s nothing about reproductive rights on that chart. Nothing about the environment. Nada about guns. The minimum wage bit is a gotcha, as HRC is on board with increases just not necessarily to $15. It’s fine to point out that there is a distinction there between her and Bernie. It’s BS to pretend that her position is indistinguishable from Republicans (who appear to think that any increase means the death of capitalism).

    Reasons to vote for HRC as a progressive: she will bend the curve of American governance leftward, albeit only slightly. Bernie, by his issue positions, would try to bend that curve somewhat more. It is unclear that, if elected, he would succeed (given the composition of congress, his position as a quasi-outsider) in actually accomplishing more. Reasonable people – progressives all – can disagree on that, I think.

  160. @Greg

    I didn’t realize that someone’s job disqualifies them from being liberal or supporting a liberal agenda. According to our justice system, everyone is entitled to a rigorous defense–you don’t have to agree with what they did to do your job. My mom was a defense lawyer who defended hospital and school systems against victims of heinous crimes. She’d be the first to support reform.

    That whole guilt by association thing is really gross though. And something she attacks Bernie and his supporters for doing. Thanks for proving the point!

  161. @DAVID: Excellent point that Drumpf has ticked off women in a powerful way, including women all over the swing states. And US women are more reliable voters than us of the XY team. And, well, first woman president is still a stirring call. Bearing in mind all of those things, one might envision women voters spearheading something approaching the 1972 Nixon/McGovern rout, if we’re lucky. And coattails for the Senate, pretty please?

    I’m reminded: In 2008, when my now-late mother heard that my wife Deirdre and I intended to vote for Barack Obama instead of Hillary (whom she supported) in the California primary, her comment was ‘That’s a mistake. They’ll never let him do his job.’ I just didn’t believe racial hatred would still be that prominent and crazy in a 21st Century Congress. But she was right and we were mistaken.

    In case anyone was perplexed by the ‘NB’ in my Electoral College rundown, I meant Nebraska (NE). Sorry, Cornhuskers!

  162. Bernie was able to be “pro gay marriage” because he never has anything on the line when he casts a protest vote. I dropped to my knees and thanked Hillary Clinton when she didn’t hop on board with it because I thought, “Too soon! Too soon! If you vote for gay marriage too soon you’ll never be President!” Turns out, she made the correct decision, because they would have BURIED her. And yet, as was expected, I’m still able to get married. She’s brilliant. She is the perfect Commander in Chief. I am so thankful that I was able to rely on her to put me in a position to be able to vote for her as President of the United States.

  163. Katherine, oh get real. If someone came out in 2004 about how they wanted to get behind Kerry, but just couldnt, you wouldnt find it one bit relevant that the person who did it worked for a subsidiary of Haliburton?

    Bernie supporters keep pounding on the fact that Hillary got millions from Wall Street, and Hillary supporters keep saying, derp, wot money? Dis? Oh, dis is nutting.

    Yeah, thanks for proving the point: if Hillary is elected, we can expect zero progress from Hillary to reform campaign finance, citizens united, etc.

  164. Betsy: “Bernie was able to be “pro gay marriage” because he never has anything on the line ”

    You mean except for now, running for president? And here you are, chastizing HIM for supporting gay marriage when it was unpopular and here you are, congratulating Hillary for NOT supporting gay marriage because it was politically beneficial to her personally?

    Yes, I do not understand Hillary logic. But apparently, Hillary is right no matter what she does, even when she is wrong.

  165. @Greg

    Your attempts to bulldoze two progressive women into supporting your candidate really illustrate the problem many of us have with Bernie and his supporters. The condescension and rudeness with which you respond just drives more and more of us away from your “revolution”. It smacks of sexism (women who don’t know what’s actually good for them, let me explain all the ways in which they’re wrong) and classism (if they actually understood who they were supporting, they’d change their minds).

    People were being largely civil until you arrived. Please emulate your fellow supporters on this board and stop trying to bulldoze the competition. We can discuss the issues without this rudeness.

  166. Bernie is against wars (except when he’s not, as pointed out by Charlie, e.g. his Afghan vote, drones, etc) but against gun control. Apparently I’m supposed to be happy about someone who has problems killing people in bulk*, but is just fine with killing them one at a time?** Can’t see as to how that’s a particularly progressive, palatable, or even defensible stance.

    *US military classified docs via WikiLeaks: Iraq War = ~109,000 deaths from 2004-9 (15,600/yr)
    **CDC – firearm death statistics in US for 2013 = 33,636

  167. Katherine, you posted a link bashing Bernie, I posted a link that shows the basher works for wall street. You tried to turn that into an illegitimate “guilt by association” attack. I pointed out how the very same attack would be considered completely legitimate if the target were Dick Cheney being defended by a Haliburton employee.

    I think we will have to agree to disagree on whether a Wall Street hedge fund lawyer is a neutral source for information about Bernie.

    David, Bernie has an NRA scorecard of D-. So, he’s doing something right.

  168. Rick Moen:
    And coattails for the Senate, pretty please?

    From your mouth to God’s ears.

  169. @Greg

    Here’s the thing–I put the link in there not to convince anyone and not because she convinced me, but because that blog post clearly laid out all the problems I’ve had with Bernie’s campaign. There was very little new in there that I hadn’t seen/noticed myself before. I wasn’t using her as a source for debate, but as an illustration because she wrote it better than I could have.

    By saying that we shouldn’t listen to her because she’s a corporate lawyer, you’re in one statement dismissing my feelings/observations as without merit while also playing into the whole guilt by association thing. But it really doesn’t matter who wrote it because she’s not a source for my arguments, but an illustration of my own feelings.

    I put it up here not to change minds, but to help Bernie supporters understand what those of us who aren’t fans see when we look at him. Instead of lashing out, how about trying to understand where we’re coming from? You might be better prepared to convince us that way, rather than arguing that our feelings are wrong or don’t matter.

  170. I dunno y’all, I’m starting to think that Greg is a secret HRC supporter as he’s definitely making me feel even more favorable towards her and less favorable towards Bernie. Maybe that’s his true intention. If so, it’s working!

  171. Speaking as a Sanders supporter and socialist who sings Communist music in public (although more often it’s the Finnish national anthem on the grounds that Finland rocks), I’m perfectly fine with voting for Clinton in the general election.

    On gun control, I actually prefer Sanders because he approaches it from a sane point of view. Clinton approaches it from the dogmatic Democratic platform angle–and the calculated-politician angle. This is no surprise–Clinton’s an immensely calculating (and competent) politician–but what it MEANS is that Clinton, like the Republicans and most Democrats, isn’t interested in meaningful change. She’s interested in putting in arcane, unhelpful measures that won’t be enforced, so that the gun control issue can continue to be milked for infinite political points. There’s nothing particularly unusually bad about that–it’s how the game is played, after all, and after a while it ceases to be craven and simply becomes the order of the day–but it does mean that I think that Sanders, who voted for some reasonable pro-gun laws, and against less reasonable ones, will do a better job on this issue.

    Overall–look, Clinton versus Sanders is basically “corrupt but effective, electable, and not TOO much of an asshole” versus “flaming liberal who’s basically the incarnation of the hard left’s rage in the form of a friendly old Jewish guy from New York”. Both of these people would be perfectly satisfying as President. I want Sanders more, but Hillary is a perfectly fine alternative who will be basically Obama 2.0 policy-wise.

    I’m voting for Bernie but I know that Hillary’s going to win, so I’m voting for her in the general on the grounds that she’s a competent, reasonably non-asinine politician and that nobody, anywhere, deserves Trump.

    On the other side, of course, it’s “perambulatory sack of human feces” and “an orangutan in a suit that likes mimicking Hitler”. Can we please stop bickering and blowing each others’ quibbles out of proportion before we give Adolf Trumpler ammo?

  172. @Greg–RawStory isn’t exactly what you would call impartial. I consider it the Fox News of the far-lefty types. Very SJW.
    Hilary’s big problem with a lot of progressives, I think, is that she’s a practical politician. She ain’t falling on her sword for no good reason.

  173. This hasn’t been said enough: if the Dems don’t take over control of the Senate, it doesn’t matter which of the two, Bernie or Hillary, wins the Presidency. And Hillary has worked harder for down ballot offices. Bernie hasn’t given money or support. There’s a guy running in Pennsylvania who is a Bernie supporter since the beginning and he can’t get Bernie to give him the time of day. No support, no visits campaigning for him, no endorsements.

    If and only if the dems flip the senate does anything get done. Look at the current President. Even before the Senate flipped to the GOP in 2014, he was blocked at every turn by the R’s.

    Not only is the Scalia SCOTUS seat in play, (and NOWHERE in the constitution does it say the President doesn’t get to be president right up to noon on Inaugural day! So much for strict constructionist support for the Constitution!) but there is a good chance that at least two more seats come open in the next four years. Without a Dem Senate, those seats don’t get filled either. Six person SCOTUS, anyone?

    OTOH, if the Dems DO flip the Senate, Mitch McConnell and his gang of thieves have demonstrated that they have no respect for the rules and traditions of the Senate if those rules and traditions get in the way of screwing over a black President.

    So hopefully the new Dem Senate Majority leader would invoke the nuclear option and say, “fuck that filibuster shit, 51 votes confirms a SCOTUS justice”

  174. I truly think the Bernie Bro stereotype is just that, a stereotype. But if there’s any fire producing that smoke, it’s Sanders supporters who act like Greg – rude, dismissive, aggressive, and belittling of anyone who doesn’t support Sanders.

  175. techgrrl1972 is of course right that, without a Democratic Senate, there probably won’t be any practical difference between a President Clinton and a President Sanders — either of them would veto especially extreme rightist legislation, and either of them would have to have make appointments that would be confirmed by a Republican Senate. I’d probably even go a little further: if you imagine a world with a Democratic president and Senate and a Republican House, there probably still wouldn’t be a huge difference between a President Clinton and a President Sanders. Neither of them will get any particularly leftist legislation through Speaker Ryan’s House.

    (And I’d also go along with Ctein’s estimate of something like a 10% chance that Sanders will be the Democratic nominee. It’s not likely, but weird stuff happens and you should never be too certain in your predictions.)

  176. Question: is there anything aside from junk-mail avoidance and general ickyness, is there anything to stop a truly interested independent thinker from joining both parties? Also, is there a significant (whatever that means, which will vary) financial cost to joining political paries?

  177. A set of mixed comments here:
    1. I think that Bernie and Trump shares many similarities – they aren’t really wanted in the parties they candidate in but influences the politics a lot. There are even people willing to vote Trump if Bernie don’t get the nomination. But both of them would probably suffer the same fate as Carter did – the ambitions thrown over end by the general administration in D.C.

    2. With hindsight it looks like Carter took a lot more bashing than he deserved combined with that he also suffered from bad luck in the oil crisis and the Iran Embassy. He took some hard punches by withdrawing funding from the B1 bomber program, but that was used to fund secret programs that couldn’t be revealed and resulted in the stealth aircraft we later saw in the 80’s like the F1-17 and B2. To me it feels like Carter and Ike Eisenhower were the best presidents during the 20th century.

    3. The use of the word “Liberal” has a very different meaning in the US than in the EU. Whenever it’s used in the US it feels like “newspeak” to me.

  178. I suspect I’m not the only woman who is getting tired of hearing that women only support HRC because she’s a woman… I was sort of sitting on the fence between Sanders and Clinton, but now that Sanders is sounding more and more like a tea party activist in the frothing hatred for HRC, I am less and less inclined to consider him as someone I would want to vote for.

  179. Whybird: Question: is there anything aside from junk-mail avoidance and general ickyness, is there anything to stop a truly interested independent thinker from joining both parties?

    Not that I know of, but you aren’t likely to be able to vote twice in the same polling place . . . or at least you shouldn’t be able to, if the poll watchers are sober! And as both parties use the same polling place, there wouldn’t be much point to registering twice. Not sure how caucuses would handle that, since my state doesn’t caucus, but I suspect you have to put your name and address down and that double-dipping would be disallowed, or something like that.

  180. @Greg, Sanders voter and support here, asking you to dial it the hell down. You aren’t helping Bernie, and while you may be making yourself feel better as you vent your spleen, you’re getting spleen all over everyone else.

    Also, I voted for Sanders to push Clinton left, and it seems to be working, at least for now. And while I’d love someone who melds the effectiveness of Clinton with the purity of Sanders, my dream candidate seems to be happy serving in the Senate.

    Really, if you don’t think being effective is important, compare what Warren’s pulled off in three years to what Sanders managed over a decade in the Senate. (And another decade+ in the House.)

  181. @Jon Marcus I get all fluttery with joy when Bernie Supporters barf their spleens all over everything. It proves the point. The BEST part is that one does not even need to say anything negative about Bernie to make their pus pockets burst with spazzy hate and condescension. All one has to do is express their love and admiration for Hillary Clinton. And oh how I love her! Oh how I admire her! Oh how she makes me proud to be a woman and an American! The frenzied, spittle filled Hillary Hatred Handwavium from the Bernsters is just an extra snack on the side.

  182. @ Betsy Darwin: You know, most of us Bernie Sanders supporters are actually pretty chill. Most of us are perfectly OK with Hillary Clinton and respectfully disagree with those who wax eloquent about how great she is.

    Hell, a breakdown of my ten closest friends here at school:
    1 voting Sanders because socialism and to keep Hillary tacking left (yours truly)
    1 voting Sanders because their two best friends are (my best friend)
    1 voting for Sanders because she’s Jewish and wants to see a Jewish President and because he is against Netanyahu’s human rights violations. (best friend’s roommate)
    3 voting for Sanders to keep Hillary honest and to counter the right-wing nut jobs voting for Adolf Trumpler.
    1 voting for Hillary because he’s been a fan of her for years.
    2 voting for Hillary because she’s more experienced and because she’s already been dragged through the dirt so many times that she can’t be dragged through it any more.
    1 voting for an actual dyed-in-the-wool Communist because third party protest vote. (this guy is on the wrong side of Tumblr a lot and thinks that Bush was a Nazi)

    We all still get along just fine. Nobody rants at Abe for being a Hillary fanboy. Nobody hates on Mollie for “betraying her gender” or whatever by voting Sanders.

    If I’m anything like a representative of the “average” Sanders supporter–and having been to a couple of Sanders rallies I think I am–people who rage at Clinton are very much outliers.

  183. @Floored You may not know this, but I have been following your comments since you began commenting on this site. You are my hope for the future. What you have outlined above is what I have been hoping, and it fills me with relief and gratitude. PLEASE let you the “average” Sanders supporter. I have been spreading myself around the internet, and the level of vitriol directed at Hillary Clinton and her supporters by Bernie supporters has been nothing short of stunning to me. I don’t waste time tearing Sanders apart because he is a useful tool for pushing the party leftward… or at least he was until all the sexism. But I’ve just been minding my own business, supporting my candidate, and wishing the Sanders supporters would do the same. And it seems that they are, and they DO exist! Thank you for this! Once again… this is not the first time you have given me hope for the future.

    (Clearly, I will vote for whichever candidate becomes the nominee. I have this silly thing where I vote for the party which considers me to be a human being.)

  184. @Pat, I suspect you’re seeing typical Internet exaggeration of what dissension and passion exists. Upthread, @Floored definitely voices my own view on that. (I’m another Sanders voter.) I’ve long respected Secretary Clinton’s formidable expertise and intelligence, will quite happily back her after the convention, and am actively annoyed at Sanders’s recent Hillary-bashing. With luck, his handlers are now advising him to start acting like the adult in the room (like, weirdly enough, our host’s local boy Kasich).

  185. Even though @Greg’s venting bile was indeed a bit much, I just wanted to express appreciation for some of his turns of phrase. In particular, his bit noting that ‘the “other slate” has Hitler in the number one spot and Dracula as number two’ was pure gold, IMO. Somehow, seeing the despicable Cruz as a downmarket Count Chocula adds a certain something to the GOP clown parade. Perhaps the man can be persuaded to model a cape and some prosthetic fangs?

  186. Love this post and hope that Sanders’ supporters read it carefully and stop accusing Clinton of jiggery pokery (thanks Scalia) as she racks up the crucial delegates which will put her over the top for the Democratic nomination.
    Sanders has done an excellent job of pushing Clinton to the Left and I hope she stays there during the general election and when she is elected.
    In any case, either a Sanders or a Clinton Presidency would be alright — especially when you consider who is competing on the other side. This country, and especially minorities, cannot survive a Cruz or Trump Presidency.

  187. Whybird,
    Based on your question, I assume you are not in the US. Voters in the US do not join a party, they register to vote. When you register, you are asked if you have a party preference and that is when you indicate your party, or alternatively, no preference or some variety of that ( this varies state by state). As far as I know, it would be impossible to register in both major parties.

    On the other hand, here in my current residence of Canada, one pays to become a party member and to be eligible to vote for the party candidate (a practice that I, an American, found somewhat appalling). I would presume that if you were so inclined, you could pay to become a member of all the parties and vote accordingly to choose the candidates at the various party meetings and conventions. But that would be exhausting.

  188. Allison, legally you can join several Canadian parties. But according to rumour, parties share their membership lists with each other in order to legally kick people out. Anyone can still vote as a citizen in elections.

    Naturally, whichever party wins the most seats in parliament is the party who’s leader is declared prime minister. It’s the same in Britain. In both countries, it would be just too weird to have a direct election of the prime minister—what if the people elected someone the winning party didn’t respect?

  189. Bernie may be pushing Hlllary a bit (a carefully calculated bit) to the left, but as soon as she’s nominated she will tack (a carefully calculated tack) back to a precisely calculated center. Say what you want about her, she is a pure politician.

  190. You’re overlooking the massive amount of poll rigging that went on in New York City. It went on in Illinois and Arizona, too. If you’ve ever worked on a campaign you would know that this is what happens. If you look at the map at the election results for NY State, you would see that Sanders won in almost every county, but the absolute number of votes there wasn’t significant enough to make it worthwhile for Clinton and the DNC to rig those polling locations. This is business as usual.

    By any measure (except measures which have been rigged), support for Sanders is broad and deep and growing. But this overlooks the issue of who you support. Obviously, you support Clinton and applaud her campaign. The issues are now pretty well known, so shame on you. You should be supporting Sanders. But you’re not.

    It is dishonest and disingenuous of you to invent these inevitability arguments to augment your personal preferences. You would be better advised simply to state your values: That when big business gets to do whatever big business wants to do, the country in general benefits. That destroying the polities of the countries that surround Israel is the best way to secure the Middle East. That trickle down economics makes sense. That what’s good for Monsanto is good for agriculture. That fracking makes sense.

    For the rest of us, who oppose these things, we still have a chance to support Sanders and so we will.

  191. @ Rhetoric: Speaking as an avowed socialist and Sanders supporter, that’s the most paranoid bunch of bullshit conspiracy garbage that I’ve ever seen from our side, and that includes anti-vaxxing. Furthermore, if you’d taken more than ten seconds to look at Mr. Scalzi’s previous political posts, you’d note that he’s (by American standards) somewhat left of center.

    You know what? Hillary’s going to win, for two reasons. One, Sanders missed his chance to grab the black vote, because black people prefer Clinton on the grounds that she has a proven track record of looking out for them, whereas Sanders is just a nice guy who promises to help them out. As a guy I know said, “we like Bernie and trust him to fight for us, but we know that Hillary has done so in the past and has the ability and cunning to do so now”. Two, Clinton has the superdelegates, which exist to keep radicals out and make sure that the party’s candidate is a reasonable left-of-center sort, which is exactly what the Republican Party lacks (which is why they have a fascist orangutan in a suit leading their polls). The DNC doesn’t NEED to rig a goddamn thing (though the inept New York election commission did screw Bernie out of a few votes, I’ll give those morons that much), because the system is built to make sure that radicals can only win if there’s been a significant large-scale shift in major party voting blocks. And that hasn’t happened yet.

    tl;dr: You’re parroting a bunch of standard fearmongering talking-points that make liberals look like tinfoil-hat-wearing paranoid idiots, and you’re insulting our host, too.

  192. Rhetoric: You’re overlooking the massive amount of poll rigging that went on in New York City.

    Poll rigging? Do you mean vote fraud? I wasn’t aware that there were allegations–or evidence–of that much vote fraud in Illinois, at least: neither by the downstate Republicans or the Chicago Democrats. Some of the touchscreen voting machines had to be recalibrated–is that what you are referring to? Because I remember reading about that, but not worrying too much about it; the poll watchers/election judges seem to have caught most of it, and those machines are offered to a minority of Illinois voters anyway (punch cards are still far more common).

    And if you were talking about poll rigging . . . um. Wasn’t this post about election results?

  193. So funny: “… a gross and despicable avulsion that yet managed to sprout opposable thumbs…”

    I laughed out loud when this was posted days ago. I just tried to read it to my wife and laughed again, so hard that I got spit on my screen.

  194. The science is clear we have less than 10 years to start fixing the issues with the climate and our society, we can’t do that while invading Iran. Clinton will invade Iran, she basically promised it to Israel in her AIPAC speech. I’ll be back in a few years when we are firmly at war with half the world to see how all of you feel about your progressive choices then. Good luck to you all, you will need it.

  195. I’m a Bernie supporter who attends the University of Vermont in Burlington, where Bernie was mayor for 8 years. I just wanted to say two things about my position.

    1. I’ve heard a lot of people argue variations of what George Herold said up-thread: “It’s just that his political promises are (to me) mostly rainbows, jujubes and unicorns.”

    To me, they’re anything but. What they are is smart opening bids. Those of us who are firmly to the left have been very frustrated over the past eight years have been very frustrated by President Obama’s predilection for starting with centrist policy ideas (the ACA, for example, which was a conservative idea before it was a liberal one) which are already compromises and then further compromising in order to get them passed. I want a candidate who will argue for my positions, not watered-down centrist versions of my positions. I’m under no illusions that a President Sanders would accomplish everything he promises, but he would get done more of what I think needs to be done than a President Clinton.

    2. I’m not a single-issue voter by any means, but I do pay a lot of attention to a candidate’s stance on campaign finance and how they fund their campaign. I think a lot of other Bernie supporters feel the same way. To put things bluntly, I don’t think Hillary is going to do jack about campaign finance, because if she was, she’d be leading by example and funding her campaign the same way Bernie is. That, more than anything else, is why I’m so leery about Hillary Clinton.

    I haven’t decided yet, but I may vote Green Party in November. I’ve voted Green before when the Democratic candidate didn’t meet my standards, and I come from the solid-blue state of Illinois, so I wouldn’t feel guilty about it. A lot of my decision depends on whether Hillary tries to tack back to the right for the general election, and how far to the right she goes.

  196. “The science is clear we have less than 10 years to start fixing the issues with the climate and our society…”
    Ye-ah. And we’ve been hearing that claim for over three decades now that I’m aware of, so will pass on panicking this time, thanks.

  197. I hope you’re right that “we have less than 10 years to start fixing the issues with the climate” was an exaggeration ten years ago and is still an exaggeration today, but you’ve neglected the cheerful possibility that ten years ago it was true and today it’s just a comforting reassurance.

  198. nicole: he’s definitely making me feel even more favorable towards her and less favorable towards Bernie.

    Meh. I will wager that you started out supporting Hillary more than Bernie, and nothing I said was ever going to change that support anyway.

    It’s like Robin’s article. It opens by saying “I started out liking Bernie Sanders”, as if she is a neutral participant and could change her support to him if the facts but showed it. But she also states she initially leaned towards Hillary, and her article is nothing but reinforcing her initial choice. She presents herself like the metaphorical addict who can change anytime, yet never does.

    In fact, I’ll open the wager to any Whatever commenter. if there is anyone who can link to a whatever comment showing they supported Bernie and a later whatever comment that showed they switched to supporting Hillary (and both comments are March or earlier) I’ll donate $27 to Hillary’s campaign. Note, a single comment saying they liked bernie but support Hillary doesn’t qualify, for the same reason Robin’s article doesn’t qualify: She always supported Hillary more and never actually changed.

    If one person collects, I’d be surprised, if two people collect, I’d be shocked.

  199. @Allison: AFAIK, the American system of party primaries is unique in the democratic world. In other places, political parties are made up of, and run by, members who pay some sort of subscription fee. Either system has its advantages and drawbacks.

    Trump would have very little chance of rising to the top of an established European political party, he’d have to start his own (as Berlusconi did in Italy). Contrariwise, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK Labour Party, is sort of like a less charismatic Bernie Sanders; let’s say there are some doubts about his electability.

    In the UK, parties do sometimes throw out members for belonging to other parties. This is fair enough, since in order to join the party you have to sign a statement agreeing you won’t support any others. I couldn’t rule out clandestine sharing of membership lists, but TBH they usually find out because the multiple-party-member was blabbing about it on Twitter and/or openly campaigning for the other party.

  200. The arguments about Clinton not qualifying as enough of a New Yorker baffle me. By those same criteria, I am not a New Yorker- I was born in CT and have lived in half a dozen states since- and yet I live in Albany now and my vote counts just as much as someone who was born here. Lots of New Yorkers weren’t born here- and I haven’t found the state to be one that looks down upon transplants. That’s kind of a big part of the prototypical New York story: which usually involves people from somewhere else making this their home. So, in that sense, Clinton is more a New Yorker than someone who, say, fled Brooklyn for the white utopia of the North decades ago and never looked back.
    But in any case, aren’t arguments about the “soul” of the New Yorker irrelevant when, regardless of where she came from, Clinton was chosen by New Yorkers to represent them in Congress? Twice.
    If they’d really had a problem with carpetbagging, it would have stopped her when she first ran for Congress. If it didn’t stop her then, why would it matter now?

    Incidentally, I moved here less than a year ago, and even I knew about the October deadline for registering to vote as a member of a party for the primaries. It was advertised. I still registered unaffiliated (much to the consternation of a Sanders supporter -who tossed my form in the trash before a nicer, very embarrassed and apologetic supporter at the table handed it to me to mail in myself) but I would much rather live in a closed primary state than a caucus state. As someone with social anxiety, I could never handle a caucus, it’s kind of my worst nightmare, even if I did have hours to spare to do it. At least here, if I wanted to vote in the primary, all I have to do is send in a registration form on time and then go to a polling place where I can check a box.

  201. David, they dont collect on the wager because they switched after March. Once we got into April, the numbers started stacking against Bernie to the point that he would need a miracle to win. Once that happens, I fully expect some people will start switching from Bernie to Hillary because they dont like supporting a losing candidate. But thats not the voter changing so much as it is circumstances forcing change on the voter. Thats why I limited it it to March or earlier when it wasnt about external circumstances pushing people to change.

    And I do find it funny that the one positive thing that Hillary supporters will say about Bernie is that he forced her to tack left. But the article you link to is basically saying once Hillary wins, Bernie should fully support Hillary so she can tack back to the center. Whats the point of tacking left if it lasts only as long as the primary and then Hillary immediately says screw you and moves back to the right? All it does is show that she is nothing more than an opportunistic politician, not one driven by any particlular principle.

    I think it is appropriate that Hillary’s campaigm logo is an “H” with an arrow pointing to the right. She is moving the Democrat party far to the right.

    So my earlier question was what political positions is Hillary more progressive than Bernie and the answers so far are: womens issues and gun control. Planned Parenthood has given both Hillary and Bernie 100% report cards. And the NRA gave Hillary an F compared to giving Bernie a D-. So, the two answers given, Hillary is just slighy more progresive than Bernie.

    Meanwhile, the ACLU gave Bernie a 100% report card versus giving Hillary a ~ %70 report card. And we can fully expect Hillary to be bought and paid for by Wall Street to mean she will do nothing of substance to regulate it, along with a continuation of the trillions of dollars spent on war for another 4 to 8 years.

    Nocole: i was responding to you saying how you “feel even more favorable towards her and less favorable towards Bernie”, as if it makes any difference. You were never going to support Bernie over Hillary. So its not like you were ever going to change your position. The only way you were ever going to change to Bernie was if Hillary lost the nomination to him and circumstances forced you to change. You act as if my post could have possibly changed your support to Bernie, when that was never an option. You were never going to change.

  202. @Grog– Your “game” is still a strawman. And you just moved goal posts (personally, I predicted you wouldn’t move goal posts this round but would instead say, “no the rules of my game state that they have to be a reader of Whatever whose mind was changed specifically by me as evidenced by comments they made on the Whatever blog,” but moving goal posts was going to be my guess for next step).

    I should stop picking on you and let your words speak for themselves. You’re doing good work here.

  203. Greg, I couldn’t care less about the wager. FWIW, there are many more commenters in that link I posted who are disenchanted with Sanders now after being supporters earlier. That’s what’s interesting. I’d advise Sanders to listen to them as well as the diehard supporters.

    Josh Marshall just put up a really startling poll that showed while millennials are liberal and getting more so, they’re even getting more aligned with the Democratic Party. Here’s a link:


    And a partial nut graf in conclusion:

    “… Despite press commentary about both parties being deeply divided and millennials fleeing the Democratic brand, these results tell a very different story: Millennials aren’t just liberal. They’re getting more liberal. And rather than being liberal on policy issues but alienated from the Democratic party, they’re actually become significantly more identified with the Democratic party during this primary process. Are they wild about Hillary Clinton? No, they’re not. But in a general election context, liberal political views and the importance of the Democrats winning the 2016 election seems to more than offset that disaffection.”

  204. As a person who voted for Clinton and who realizes Greg is annoying in his volume and repetition, may I say in the name of logic that 1) he did not move the goal posts on his dumb wager and 2) he was pretty much right about the pro-Hilary/pro-corporate bias of the Alperstein article. It does not matter if Raw Story is biased some other way; the optics on the Alperstein opinion piece are awful. Both sides are playing nasty little games; it’s politics. Are we shocked?

    I voted for Hillary for practical reasons, not because she is this age’s Neo. I suggest everyone use similar criteria for their own personal choices.

  205. Nicole: “Your “game” is still a strawman.”

    Were you ever going to support Bernie over HIllary?


    Your post about me being a “a secret HRC supporter” was presenting yourself as if I somehow missed an opportunity to convert you over to be a Bernie believer, but the reality is nothing would make you a Bernie supporter. My wager simply put my money where my mouth is: that not a single current Hillary supporter had ever previously supported Bernie more.

    David: “FWIW, there are many more commenters in that link I posted who are disenchanted with Sanders now”

    Now that Sanders has lost the nomination? Now that Sanders can only become the Democrat nominee by a miracle? Gee. Can’t imagine why people would start jumping ship once they realize it’s sinking. Your commenters don’t prove that people change, they only show that circumstances can force change on people by removing their choice. Bernie can’t win. They have to change or admit total defeat and let Trump take the presidency. Of course they’re leaving now.

    Show me someone who supported Hillary in March but supported Bernie in Jan or Feb. Show me someone who left Bernie for HIllary when Bernie still had some chance of winning the nomination, when circumstances hadn’t yet forced them to leave.

    Oh, and Bernie’s “crime” according to your link? Not endorsing Hillary before she wins the nomination. That’s hilarious. When Clinton ran against Obama for the Democratic nomination, Obama eventually secured enough votes to win the nomination, and Hillary’s campaign went total radio silent for four days before she finally emerged and publicly endorsed Obama. Remember that? Obama won the nomination and Hillary didn’t endorse him until four days AFTER he won. But Bernie has to endorse HIllary before she has the official number of delegates to win? You guys are hee-larious.

  206. Greg: people in that discussion that I linked to aren’t opportunistically jumping ship at all. They’re unhappy with Sanders not being more of a team player. Back in 2008 in early May when Clinton was campaigning in North Carolina and desperate to still win it, she nevertheless said that if Obama was the nominee that she’d do all that she could to help him win. Sanders right before yesterday’s primaries, eh, not so much. Given Sanders has previously said that Clinton was far better than any of the Republicans running, he does seem to be engaging in a little blackmail by implicitly saying that he might not do much to encourage his supporters to elect Clinton if she’s the Democratic nominee. Meanwhile, if you heard Clinton’s speech in Philadelphia last night, she praised Sanders and what he’s done to highlight the issues of campaign finance and inequality. So she’s clearly telling Sanders and his supporters that she’s going to emphasize those issues in the general campaign if she’s the nominee. I’m sure Sanders got the message, so he certainly knows he will have a prominent part to play in the campaign where he can advance the issues that matter most to him.

  207. David, it isnt “opportunistically”. Thats the point. Bernie cant win. Scalzi just posted a thread that he and the others should all just pack it in.

  208. PrivateIron,

    Respectfully, on your point 2), the Raw Story article is not right about the Alperstein piece, and Greg isn’t right for citing it, because the Raw Story article is about as classical an example of the ad hominem fallacy as I’ve seen in a while. That article tries to avoid the fallacy, explicitly, but fails because it offers only a couple of rather weak rebuttals to anything Alperstein actually wrote, with only one of those pointing to (but not bothering to link to) a potential factual error. The others were responses to Aperstein’s opinions, and I guess, tone. The bulk of the article, however, was not arguing that Alperstein was wrong, but that she couldn’t be right because of who she is. Pro-corporate I’l have to leave to the eye of the beholder, but it doesn’t stand out to me. Pro-Hillary, maybe, insofar as many of Alperstein’s issues with Sanders stem from what she sees as misrepresentations and mischaracterizations of Clinton coming from Sanders. But the Raw Story piece still has nothing to do with any of that.

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