Five Quick Notes on Indiana

Original photo by Gage Skidmore, used under Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0). Click on picture to go to original photo.

1. So on one hand, Ted Cruz, a shambling assemblage of skin tabs and ego, has left the presidential race. That’s good!

2. But on the other hand, Donald Trump, angry racist billionaire, is definitively going to be the GOP nominee for president. That’s very very bad.

3. Dear Republicans: Your party is a raging trash fire of hate, obstructionism and stupidity, most recently evidenced by the fact that Trump is going to be your nominee, and that Cruz, a jowly gobbet of tubercular phlegm, was your second choice. Oh my God, please fix yourselves.

4. But more immediately, inasmuch as you seem unlikely to do that in time to do anything about Trump with respect to him being your nominee, and I would never suggest that you just not vote, let me say these two words to you: Gary Johnson. I mean, I understand most of you gag at the thought of pulling the lever for Hillary Clinton. Fair enough! Johnson’s positions on (most) issues are going to be closer to your own, probably, and this way you also don’t vote to drop a straw-haired ball of dangerously inchoate rage into the White House. Everybody wins! Except Trump, which is the point.

5. Hey, Bernie Sanders won Indiana last night! Good for him. The netted him a total of five delegates, which puts him on track to take the 2016 Democratic nomination from Hillary Clinton, oh, let’s see, let me carry the one here, ah, there we go, never. I think it’s fine for Sanders supporters to keep dreaming, and for Sanders himself to maneuver himself into the discussion of the Democratic platform. I also think it’s fine for Hillary Clinton to start serious prep for dealing with Trump, because really, that’s where we are, and everyone knows it. So let’s stop pretending. Because, holy shit, Trump.

146 Comments on “Five Quick Notes on Indiana”

  1. The problem with point #4 in which you suggest voting for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson as an alternative to Hillary is it could actually give the election to the orange bloviator. I’m willing to hold my nose and vote for her and will willingly take in a deep breath of fetid relief as I drive by Trump’s puffed up, rotting corpse along the roadside.

  2. It’s *really* hard to feel anything but Schadenfreude at the GOP’s lamentations about what happened to them because this is exactly what anyone with half a brain could have told them would happen when they set out to cater to the lowest common denominator all those years ago.

    I just wish the rest of the country wouldn’t be stuck with the result as well.

  3. What bothers me more than a Trump presidency is the people he will surround himself with.
    The vice presidency and high cabinet level positions feel like something Trump would give to the highest bidder or the one who would promise to benefit his personal businesses the most. I would not be surprised if every one of his top level positions is given out based on what they will give him in a backroom deal.
    I also expect he would have the highest turnover in any modern presidency. I can’t imagine he would appoint anyone who actually is willing to give real ideas. Trump has always felt like the type of “leader” who feels anyone questioning his decisions or authority is treason against the company culture. So the second they don’t fall in line, he would force them out.

  4. So I hafta know … do you lay awake in the wee hours of the night, thinking up insulting ways to describe Ted Cruz? ‘Cause you seem to have a particular flair that suggests you put in some extra effort. :-)

  5. Am I the only one who is scared to death that Hillary is nominated and then indicted over the e-mail server? That’s the way to a Trump presidency.

  6. RJ:

    Pretty sure that someone who is a Republican who decides to vote for Johnson rather than Clinton will overall help Clinton by reducing the number of people voting for Trump. Of course, if they choose to vote for Clinton instead, that will directly help her. But if you’re Republican, voting for Clinton probably wasn’t going to be something you were planning to do in any event.

    (The other option is to not vote, or at least not vote in the presidential election. I don’t generally encourage people not to vote. I think it’s important to do it.)

  7. @cavyherd: it’s really not that difficult. Cruz kinda writes this stuff for himself.

  8. RJ:

    My reading of point #4 was that it was still aimed at Republicans, who are understandably unlikely to vote for Clinton. I don’t know that shifting Republican votes from Trump to Johnson would necessarily harm Clinton’s chances. I mean, in contested states, a vote for Johnson would still count as a vote for Clinton. But it still means no vote for Trump, which is the point of it all, I think.

  9. I am terrified at the thought of Trump winning. That being said, I think there are some serious conversations to be had on the Democratic side. I know a number of Republicans who WILL hold their noses and vote for Clinton. I also know people who are Sanders or Trump, as strange as that sounds. I do think Bernie needs to stay in the race until the convention, to further those conversations, as that was the whole point of him getting in the race. We do need to break up the big banks, we need banking reform, we need to reevaluate a whole bunch of things. And Bernie is bringing these conversations to the table. I suppose the only reassurance about Trump being the candidate is that now that racism is out and blatant, even in places like CT. And that will promote conversations about it, and maybe help fight it. (My brother in law suggested this morning that maybe Cruz dropped out because Trump promised him the Veep spot!yikes!)

  10. @Scalzi: I gotcha. Rereading it I see you offered Johnson as an alternative to Trump rather than Clinton. The sentence, I mean, I understand most of you gag at the thought of pulling the lever for Hillary Clinton. threw me off. My bad!

    Incidentally, I wrote something down that Republican strategist Steve Schmidt said on MSNBC last night that I thought was interesting considering the source:

    We went from being the small government party but a movement of ideas to being an anti-government party, and when institutions collapse and we no longer propose anything, and we no longer stand for anything, we no longer advocate for anything, and we don’t turn out intellectually the ideas that can move the country forward, you arrive at this moment.

  11. I think you’ll find most Democratic voters would support Sanders if he won the nominaiton, or Clinton if she won it. There’s a loud, extraordinarily vocal minority of Sanders supporters who’re angry enough about Clinton to vote trump instead of her, because like the Trumpsters, they really just want to burn the system to the ground and don’t care who gets hurt when it happens.

    The #IfNoSandersThenTrump voters are vastly outweighed by middle of the road non-commited voters and principled conservatives who actually do intend to hold to #NeverTrump and will either sit things out or vote Clinton in protest.

    What I’m more interested in is how fractured and damaged the Republican party is going to be after this shakes out and either Sanders or (vastly more likely) Clinton takes office. I actually expected Trump to take the nomination after he won the second “Super whatever” block. I don’t expect him to take the presidency because (a) The Democratic Machine is really damn good at it’s job in federal elections, and will rally behind Sanders or Clinton (b) Obama is going to go all in behind whoever is the Democratic nominee, and he’s actually doing damn well popularity wise. (c) Trump can’t peel off significant amounts of nonwhite, nonconservative nonmales who were not already going to vote for him or whoever was the Republican nominee. He’s damaged his brand way too much.

    To those of you who say “he can pivot”. Yeah. Cruz thought he could pivot after taking a crap all over congress while flipping off Boehner. He couldn’t. If he’d played nice all those years back, he’d be beating Trump. Instead, he was a dick to everyone who didn’t agree with him inside his own party, and now he’s paid the price.

    Think Trump can “pivot” better? I don’t. I think establishment Republicans have elephantine memories and hold massive grudges. We’ve proven that true once. But by all means, think Cruz was an exception. Have fun with that. And please, by all means imagine Clinton to be *less* competent at national campaigns than Trump. Ignore the fact that 2 election cycles worth of Obama veterans will probably be helping her. Just be complacent. I’d appreciate it.

  12. Going on, every day is a day Trump is driving at being President.

    I think it suddenly get’s harder for Sanders to do the noble ride to the convention, as every day Clinton has to deal with people holding out due to Bernie-math is a day she isn’t totally focused on keeping Trump out.

    And yes, keeping Trump out alone would be a good reason for a campaign. The fact that Clinton’s positions are to the left of her 2008 positions, and no amount of uncritically parroting Fox News talking points well changes that should matter to us. If we, y’know, actually care about those liberal politics we claim motivate us.

  13. Zemadmax: A vote for Johnson is a half-vote for Clinton, not a full vote. I think of it in the same way as the “Games Behind” statistic in Baseball. A win or a loss changes a team’s “Games Behind” by a half game, so that when two teams play each other, the end result is that they get closer together (or farther apart) by one game.

    If you vote for Clinton instead of Trump, then you increase Clinton’s votes by 1 and decrease Trump’s votes by 1, for a swing of 2 votes. If you vote for Johnson instead of Trump, the Clinton/Trump swing is only 1 vote. So in that sense, a vote for Johnson is a half-vote for Clinton.

    Similarly, a vote for Stein is a half-vote for Trump.

  14. SweetChuck – Who’s going to indict Clinton? All federal law enforcement agencies report to the President. If by some wild chance Clinton gets taken down, Sanders is still there. He can beat Trump too.

  15. Hillary is every closer to her inevitable pivot to the right, which is probably not that great. I’ll admit that as a non-American from Non-Americania I’d have liked you to vote for Sanders as a sensible sort of person. If that doesn’t happen, I’d actually prefer you vote for Trump and spend four years with internal feuding trashing your own country and not trashing huge parts of the world not that far from me in hawkish policy positions which also give my own politicians dreams of military glory. Hillary is kinda the worst of all worlds for me, a right-wing hawk with a fiendishly pro-business slant. But I’m not an American, and at least she isn’t Cruz.

  16. RJ, I just love Steve Schmidt because he represents thinking Republicans which are a dying breed. I’m not Republican, but my parents were. I think they would gag before voting for Trump. As the Republican Party has steadily moved away from “small government” to “anti-government” to “anti-everything”, my siblings and I have all moved away from them. Some of us are Democrats, others Independents, but none of us are Republicans anymore. Anarchy is a future we cannot endorse.

  17. saruby, don’t forget the biggest gift Schmidt gave us: Sarah Palin. I agree that he’s a smart guy, but he really screwed the pooch on that one! :-)

  18. Ah, yes. I had hoped you might break the May hiatus for some commentary after the events in Indiana yesterday, Mr. Scalzi, and you have not disappointed me. And once again, I must observe that your beautifully succinct and exquisitely phrased descriptions of the senator from Texas fill me with a quiet but rapturous glee.

    Thank you. Back to the salt mines, but with a smile on my face.

  19. I think its important to point out here that the GOP isn’t in the total mess people claim it is. They control a lot of states (including Ohio), they control the House, and they currently control the Senate. I think the democrats are distracting themselves with how lousy a job they are doing elsewhere by focusing so much on the Presidency. Ok Clinton wins, but what’s next? She won’t be able to do anything if the same people who vote for Trump are backing similar type of people in the House and Senate.

  20. I think the only way for Hillary to lose this election is to adopt “Because, holy shit, Trump” as her campaign strategy. And I think there’s at least even odds that she does.

    The natural instinct of most people who don’t like Trump is to convince everyone on the planet not to like him either, and to suggest roundabout voting strategies to “keep him from winning.” If the last year has proven anything, it’s that doing this to Trump is like wrestling the pig – you get dirty and the pig likes it. Trump is BETTER at this than Hillary (and he was better at it than Cruz, Rubio, Carson, Christie, and everyone else who tried it), which is why he’s where he is today. If the general election turns into a question of “who do you hate less?” then Trump can actually win – because there is no strategy beneath him (not sexism, not slander, not bold-faced lies) and because watching him do it is so damn entertaining (Cruz’s father helped murder JFK?!? Unbelievable…)

    This is how John Kerry lost to George W. Bush in 2004. He wasn’t content to be the better candidate, he had to take on the issues that Bush was most trusted with (primarily national security) and PROVE to everyone that they were wrong about Bush. It kept the conversation where Bush wanted it, and he won the election.

    If Hillary focuses on her policies and does a straight up compare/contrast with Trump’s policies, Trump will get confused and/or bored with the discussion. And the vast majority of Americans (all Democrats and many, if not most, Republicans) will realize that he really has no plan for running the country. Then she’ll win in a landslide. But it’s going to take a lot of self-restraint that, quite frankly, I worry the Democratic party (and the candidate) doesn’t have.

  21. crypticmirror,

    I guess you missed the places where Trump has advocated using nuclear weapons in the Middle East? That strikes me as a fairly hawkish position for anyone to take.

    And your idea that the US under Trump would just “spend four years with internal feuding trashing your own country and not trashing huge parts of the world” is pretty short sighted. What in anything Trump has said gives you the idea that he would not be just as militarily adventurous as every other Republican president for the last 30 years? Not to mention the fact that if the US economy gets trashed, it would do a nasty number on the rest of the the world economy also. The world is too interconnected in too many ways for any major troubles we have to remain within our borders.

  22. Republicans have been trying to indict a Clinton, any Clinton, for anything they can, for decades now. They haven’t yet, and I doubt they will before November.

    Trump is in for a nasty surprise. His Republican opponents were constrained in how they could attack him early on, for fear of upsetting his supporters that they wanted. Clinton and the DNC (WBAGNFARB) don’t want his supporters and have no reason to hold back. I’ve heard the phrase “Billion Dollar Buzzsaw” in this context. They have lots of oppo research ready to go, starting with serial bankruptcies.

  23. If Trump is elected, I doubt he’ll last four years. That man is a walking impeachment waiting to happen, and quite likely, there’s a Pentagon full of flag officers more than willing to back up Congress if it goes against Trump. None of this bothers me. What bothers me is the empty suit who will likely be his running mate and, unfortunately, the 46th President of the United States. I seriously doubt it will be another Gerald Ford.

    But just think of what that will do for Congress’s approval ratings!

  24. OT, so you can Mallet, but just wanted to THANK YOU for the typeface change! Serif fontz RULE! Well, for those of us “a certain age” and over, anyway… Thanks.

  25. Any chance of you collecting all of your colorful epithets for Ted Cruz in one convenient location? I’ve been reading over old blog posts and collecting the ones I find, but I want to make sure I don’t miss any.

  26. I dunno, I for one am looking forward to the “do you want this man in charge of the red button” commercial. Preferably put out by a PAC rather than from the official campaign.

    I do think that Clinton has substance down. She has to. She’s a woman. Only men can run on potential.

  27. Crypticmirror: Your lack of concern for american women’s right to chose to have an abortion as well as immigrants and Muslims in the US is pretty clear.

  28. Am I the only one who is scared to death that Hillary is nominated and then indicted over the e-mail server?

    Probably not, but count me out. I’ve spent the best part of twenty years waiting for Hillary Clinton to be indicted for anything.

  29. Looks like Kasich will announce today that he’s out, too. Any thoughts?

    Also, when will the press start to mention such inconvenient facts as Trump being even older than Clinton? And possibly unable, physically/medically, to bring the needed brainpower to the office? Every sentence from him is all about how everything is going to be so great, how such wonderful things will happen, under his watch… but can he speak (even from a prompter) for more than 5 minutes without contradicting himself?

    This is the problem with our current media environment: There are no more consensus “trusted sources” of news; if any news organization (even Fox) were to gather evidence that Trump is dangerously out of touch, there would be such an outcry from Trump and his acolytes, and that would be publicized too. Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death should be required college or high school reading these days.

  30. None of this bothers me. What bothers me is the empty suit who will likely be his running mate and, unfortunately, the 46th President of the United States. I seriously doubt it will be another Gerald Ford.

    When you’re looking back on Ford with nostalgia, things have come to a pretty pass.

  31. Ultimately, isn’t it mostly irrelevant who the vast majority of voters choose? I’m in Texas, so my vote for Stein, Clinton, or a write-in for Sanders is worth about as much as a cup of warm spit. The same will be true for the swath of states from Idaho, down to Arizona, across and up to North Carolina. By election day both candidates will be so thoroughly damaged and the electorate so polarized that the status quo will reassert itself: Republicans voting for Trump, Democrats for Clinton. It’s the swing states and undecideds that are going to decide this, is it not? A question might be: Does Trump’s presence slot any more states into the “up for grabs” column? Possibly.

    Once upon a time, nothing scared me as much as the phrase “a jury of your peers”. Now, it’s “undecided voter”. To imagine that anyone could be undecided at this stage of the game causes me to despair of our humanity.

  32. Clinton may not (probably won’t) get indicted for the email. The GOP will continue to slam her for her nonstop nonetheless, along with her Wall Street speeches, her general Clintonness, and oh God 24/7 Benghazi.

    Don’t forget, while a large chunk of Republicans dread the thought of President Trump, they absolutely LOATHE the Clintons. Many can’t stomach the thought of a woman president. Many are still pissed at Bill and won’t stand for him in the White House again in any capacity. Some might live with her as president but can’t take the chance she’ll be nominating multiple Supreme Court judges. And all it takes for Trump to win is a big turnout of GOP, a weak turnout of Dems who think it’s in the bag, and the very likely November Surprise that I’m sure GOP staffers are working feverishly on as we speak. Or a terrorist attack inside our borders. Or some big scary immigrant story. Or even a health scare for Clinton. Anything happens that makes Fox News viewers frightened will make alpha bully Trump even more attractive. President Trump absolutely can happen.

  33. So with Kasich out of the race it just makes it that more important now for the Dem race to be settled quickly.

    Bernie should just get together and agree to be Hillary’s VP. It won’t get him even close to many of his promises, but it would help the party from fracturing and causing a Trump presidency. My second biggest fear (1st is Trump selling all of his cabinet positions to the highest bidder) is Bernie listening to Trump and going independent.

  34. It would be smart for Clinton to tap Sanders for VP but I doubt she will. She still tends to discount his appeal and his ideas more than she should, her backers would probably be against the idea, and she’ll likely go for a young up-and-comer.

    If not Sanders, Elizabeth Warren would be an awesome choice…

  35. For those thinking about a possible indictment, it helps to bear in mind that indictments usually only happen when the prosecution thinks they can win in a trial. If they don’t have at least a semblance of confidence, why risk it?

  36. My personal dream thing would be for Trump to talk Olympia Snowe out of retirement to be his VP, win, and then step down the day after his inauguration. “I just wanted win, and I did. I never wanted to actually run the thing.”

  37. cabridges: Too selfless. That would mean Trump actually hires someone more competent than himself for a job. that would mean he actually has to listen to an expert and take their advice. His VP would be someone he could absolutely control. Likely he promised the VP slot to Christie.

  38. We really need Sanders and Warren in the Senate, though. That is going to be super important, too.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see her pick Julian Castro.

  39. “Because, holy shit, Trump.”

    There’s a significant number of people who are unwilling to let fear of a thing be their primary motivating factor in what they do politically at this point. I’m not saying it’s cowardly to ignore one’s convictions and vote for the lesser of two evils (I’ve done so myself in the past) but I am saying that acting as if people are being children for not feeling as if they can in good conscience continue to engage in this great charade is a bit much.

    I feel (and I read your political stuff every time you post) that you’ve been relatively one-sided in your looks at the Democratic race.

    And I would like to, in closing, note that Trump gets torched by Sanders in every speculative poll, while Clinton? Not so much.

    Worried about Trump? Might have wanted to not vote Kasich, which turned out to be useless. Glass houses, John.

  40. It would be a monumental mistake is Clinton were ask Sanders to be her VP. Clinton is already bordering on too old to be President herself. Her VP needs to balance out this weakness, not exacerbate it.

    Plus the Democrats need to work on strengthening their bench. Clinton scared all of the decent competition from running. She needs to pick someone who is capable of taking the reins if she falls.

  41. @John: “Your party is a raging trash fire of hate, obstructionism and stupidity, most recently evidenced by the fact that Trump is going to be your nominee, and that Cruz, a jowly gobbet of tubercular phlegm, was your second choice. Oh my God, please fix yourselves.”

    Is “fix” really the F Word you had in mind?

  42. Personally, I live in California which will probably go Blue. So being a Sanders supporter I have the option of staying home in a Clinton v. Trump race. If I did vote I’d just put in Sanders and be done with it. But Clinton hasn’t earned my vote, and I doubt that there’s anything that she can do or say between now and November to get it from me.

    What really bugs me about Clinton though is that we’d get 4-8 years of Obama 2.0. Obama campaigned on “Change we can believe in” and we got very little “change” for our support since he turned out to be a right-leaning centrist when he got into the office. Clinton will just be more of the same. Parts of me feel like lets give it to Trump, he’s progressive on some social issues and maybe he’ll get the American Economy running again. Maybe he’ll burn the country to the ground. Maybe then we can then get some real change in the aftermath — a forest fire after all allows for new growth.

  43. Right now they are pushing Tim Kaine in the media for Veep. So it probably won’t be Tim Kaine.

  44. “he’s progressive on some social issues and maybe he’ll get the American Economy running again”

    wait… what? How can somebody who doesn’t think of women and minorities as actual people be progressive on social issues? And uncertainty is an economic growth killer, which is what Trump would bring. (Not to mention that Trump doesn’t understand basic public economics, even if he understood corporate economics, which I’m not sold he does.)

  45. John, I know you don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks of you, and that’s something I admire, but I feel like you’re being kind of a jerk about this whole Sanders thing. Hillary’s a great candidate for you and anyone with your kind of money and I totally support voting for self-interest in matters like that but could you at least acknowledge that some of us are desperately clinging to the possibility that we’ll get a candidate who won’t be more of the same?

    Actually, I suspect I know the answer. I’ll show myself out. Maybe I’ll see you after the DNC.

  46. Mathewr1974:

    Regarding fear, the “holy shit, Trump” isn’t a fear of the man, it’s the recognition he’s far outside the pale even by contemporary GOP and needs to be dealt with sooner than later, and that Clinton is the one who is going to have to do it, since she’s going to win the nomination.

    I’m fine with you thinking my point of view has been one-sided, because it is, and that’s the side of actually looking at the results, in this case meaning pledged delegate counts. Per Fivethirtyeight, there has not been a single time where Clinton has not been ahead of the delegate count she needed to eventually cinch the nomination; conversely, there’s never been a time Sanders has not been below that number. Clinton’s also won more states (and generally won bigger states) and overall has a substantial lead in actual votes. Add all of this up and it means that Sanders has always been behind and now, this late in process, will never catch up. I have no problem saying it. You might have a problem reading it. If that’s the case, maybe stop reading these posts, because I’m unlikely to stop saying it.

    As Sanders is not going to be the nominee, whether he beats Trump in hypothetical races doesn’t really matter much, now, does it. As for my vote, leaving aside that Kasich did, in fact, win the Ohio primary, does this mean that you believe every vote that does not produce a winner is useless? I strongly suspect there will be a lot of Sanders supporters whose votes will have been wasted, then.


    As it happens, Sanders is probably a slightly better candidate for me in terms of my own political positions than Clinton is, albeit only slightly, since in practical terms there’s not that much sunlight between them (I believe they voted together 93% of the time when they were both in the Senate). Sanders wants to take more of my income in taxes than Clinton does, to be sure, but as it happens that’s not a dealbreaker for me. As I’ve noted before, I’m perfectly fine with either being the candidate and will cheerfully vote for either, especially now that it’s definitely Trump on the GOP ballot.

    That said, I’m not going to put lipstick on a pig, either, the pig in this particular case being Sanders’ shot at being the nominee. He’s always been running behind and right now, bluntly, he’s got no shot, and I don’t think it’s useful to pretend he does. I certainly acknowledge a lot of Sanders people are desperately clinging to hope, but I regret to inform you that this isn’t the place where that hope is going to be petted and told it’s pretty. Sorry.

  47. Sanders has basically been out of a win scenario since New York, but the math is worth looking at:

    Clinton has 1,682 elected delegates. Sanders has 1,361, a difference of 321. There are 933 elected delegates remaining, 475 from California. Sanders needs 68% of the remaining votes to win, which isn’t likely. If he splits, the elected delegate tallies will be 2,148 to 1,828.

    At the convention, the DNC is going to confront the issue of picking the best candidate against Trump, and the 1,271 superdelegates will make this decision.

    In the national election, Clinton will get most Democrats, few independents, few Republicans.
    Sanders will get most Democrats, most independents, few Republicans.
    I know who I’d support.

  48. [Deleted because I fixed the error in the previous comment that this comment pointed out – JS]

  49. I do find it very strange when commenters dismiss a Trump presidency along the lines of ‘well it’s just four years where he can’t do that much harm really’.

    He can do a vast amount of damage, and that damage is far from confined to the U.S.; if a chunk of Sanders’ supporters are prepared to vote for Trump then they clearly have no moral commitment to the values that Sanders espouses, which leaves me puzzled as to why they support Sanders in the first place…

  50. I am still wishing that one day before I die I can vote positively for someone. I don’t remember ever doing anything but voting against what I feel is the bigger evil. This year will just be more of the same.

  51. Nortally

    If you proclaim that you are looking at the maths then it helps if you actually look at the maths.

    Instead you conjure from nowhere the claim that

    ‘In the national election, Clinton will get most Democrats, few independents, few Republicans.
    Sanders will get most Democrats, most independents, few Republicans.’

    I realise that expecting you to do what you claim to do may seem somewhat harsh, but you set yourself up for it in the first place…

  52. Craig: I honestly think the only way we will get to that ideal is a true multi party system (one possibility is to force the two parties to split up monopoly style) or completely get rid of the primary system and allow it to be a true free for all.
    No way will either happen. but that is one of the few ways I actually see the opportunity for a positive choice for a variety of people.

  53. Nortally: “In the national election, Clinton will get most Democrats, few independents, few Republicans.
    Sanders will get most Democrats, most independents, few Republicans.”


  54. So I’m planning to either leave the country or start a resistance movement if Der Trumpenführer wins. Should I:
    (a) start a freedom-fighter group
    (b) move to Canada
    or (c) move to Suomi and enjoy…whatever kind of food the Finns have…while living in the greatest nation in the world?

    I’m honestly not sure.

    On another note, I almost prefer Ted Cruz, whose ego has a gravitational field larger than that of Betelgeuse, to Adolf Trumpler. Almost. Though the prospect of a half-shaved orangutan that’s channeling Hitler in the Oval Office is beyond terrifying.

  55. Re Sanders and his supporters: Charles Pierce of Esquire said it best:
    “There’s looking at the bright side of things, and then there’s staring directly into the sun.”

  56. As for the Republican Party fixing itself, I don’t think it can until it hits bottom. By any rational definition, bottom would be nominating Donald Trump for president, but actual rock bottom is miles deeper. Bottom means no more Republican presidents from this point forward; bottom means losing both houses of Congress; bottom means a centrist or liberal Supreme Court; and bottom means losing a majority of state legislatures and governors. Until all of those conditions are met, Republicans will be able to dance to the gentle strains of the Rationalization Polka, and convince themselves that victory is assured if only they can find candidates who are true conservatives, i.e., whackjobs.

    So it’s up to us, the voters, to deny them victories until the GOP comes to its senses. Seems near impossible, but I see no other way that it can happen. As Jerry Garcia once said, “Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.” Yet that’s where we are.

  57. Floored: Thank you for “half-shaved orangutan that’s channeling Hitler.”

    Although in my experience with primates, orangutans are way more amiable, thoughtful, and community-oriented than Mr. Trump, the primate brain does seem to have an inherent vulnerability to delusion. So in this case the combination of appearance and character is genuinely descriptive.

  58. I, for one, am not worried about Trump winning the Presidency. One simply cannot piss on that many different groups of people to win primaries and then expect any amount of pivoting a few months later will win them back over in the general election. Die hard party partisans on either side of the aisle will vote for whoever their party nominates without a second thought, so the voters that need to be wooed to win in the general are moderates and independents – usually a more thoughtful crowd than the party faithful and certainly a crowd far less likely to vote for a demagogue such as Trump. Add in those Trump has maligned – women, minorities, veterans, the list is extensive – and I see The Donald getting his butt handed to him in November.

    All this is no reason for complacency, however, and I’m sure the Democrats will move heaven and earth to get out the vote.

  59. @Floored: If you go with option (a), please let me know where I can get in contact with you.

    Also, is it cool if I bring A LOT of friends to the first meeting?

  60. @ Thomas Hewlett: Sure. We’ll need a decent body of people to decide if we’re fighting for generic democracy or Socialist Labor, anyway. And we’ll have to figure out term limits for Proletarian Leaders in the second case, as well.

  61. @Floored: Hmm. Sounds like I’d better bring sandwiches and coffee. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

  62. John:
    >>The other option is to not vote, or at least not vote in the presidential election. I don’t generally encourage people not to vote. I think it’s important to do it.>>

    I generally agree, but if Republicans want to stay home rather than vote for Trump, thus failing to vote for Senators, Congressmen, governors, city selectmen, whatever…I’m okay with that.

    >> I live in California which will probably go Blue. So being a Sanders supporter I have the option of staying home in a Clinton v. Trump race. If I did vote I’d just put in Sanders and be done with it. But Clinton hasn’t earned my vote, and I doubt that there’s anything that she can do or say between now and November to get it from me.>>

    Then vote for the Senate, vote for Representatives, vote in local races.

    This is why the progressives lose ground in the midterms, because we (as a group) only pay attention to the top race, and if that’s not motivating us, stay home.*

    If you’re a Sanders supporter, vote for the people that it would take to support the Sanders revolution. Even if there was a realistic chance of his being elected, he couldn’t do any of the stuff he’s talking about alone. He’d need liberal majorities in the House, in the Senate, in the Court (an argument for Clinton even if Sanders voters don’t like her), in gubernatorial mansions across America, and on down the pyramid.

    I realize that, in California, you’re pretty well covered for liberals on the federal level, unless you live in a district with a GOP congressman. But even then, the future presidents, senators, etc. will come from people being elected in local races.

    The future of the revolution Sanders calls for is in state and local races. It’s not in “Bernie or Bust,” it’s in “Bernie or Keep Pushing Anywhere You Can.”

    Max Weber described political progress as “a strong and slow boring of hard boards.” It’s not just about getting a guy you like at the top, because despite GOP claims to the contrary, the president is not an emperor. It’s about filling up the pyramid with progressives and those sympathetic to progressives.

    I say all this as a Clinton supporter who likes most of Sanders’s goals, but doesn’t think he has a shot at accomplishing them without a progressive buildup that’ll take more than eight years. So I’m all for the revolution; I just don’t buy into his timeline.

    But if we don’t pay as much attention to downticket races — all the way down — as we do to the flashy ones atop the pyramid, those hard boards will never get drilled through.

    *I’m a fine one to talk, because I live in vote-by-mail Washington State, so I get to vote _and_ stay home…

  63. And people will be wailing ‘but she didn’t earn my vote’ right up to moment when the Trump shit hits the fan and they find themselves covered in it, and they will have nobody to blame but themselves. Actions have consequences, a fact which appears to elude some of Sanders’ supporters…

  64. There’s still time before July. A couple indictments or some other brouhaha could easily derail Hil’s electability. Smart to keep Sanders running because she has some potential skeletons.

  65. I was a Sanders supporter, but that is changing rapidly as he has moved from a position of “If I when the popular vote, I will try to get the super delegates to come over” to, “If I lose the popular vote then I will still try to get the super delegates to move over”. The latter is undemocratic. If he continues on this unwinable path, he will lose my vote and I’ll vote for Clinton.

  66. Re Bashing/ name calling of Ted Cruz: Look I know everyone does it, but that’s not an excuse. We can say we don’t like him without calling him names. (Name calling is sorta Trumpesque isn’t it?) Let’s rise above that. I know many of the commentators here love it and egg you on, but I did want to let you know that I find it distasteful. Thankfully he’s off the political stage, at least for a little while.

  67. @kurtbusiek Thanks from me as well. It drives me nuts when people ignore the importance of down-ticket races (and that includes political parties who don’t run candidates in those districts that are “surely” going to the other party). If you want a diverse party in terms of background and experience, then you need to grow your leaders from diverse places.

  68. Scripsit our generous host, “But if you’re Republican, voting for Clinton probably wasn’t going to be something you were planning to do in any event.”

    Why not? Even Charles Koch and Laura Bush are reported to be leaning in that direction.

  69. Dear America,

    What the fuck?!

    The Rest of the World

    (Not other ways of putting this. You’re scaring us and I sincerely worry that we’ll be looking at WW3 soon if Trump becomes your president).

  70. >> Why not? Even Charles Koch and Laura Bush are reported to be leaning in that direction.>>

    Two prominent instances (and yeah, there are more) does not change the meaning of “probably.”

    Unless you think a majority of Republicans are going to vote Democratic this year, it’s true that Republicans are probably not going to vote Clinton.

  71. I’m just going to leave this here:

    I firmly believe that. Clinton winning the nomination means a Trump Presidency. I’ll vote for Clinton despite her being just a corporate meat suit with no actual political views of her own beyond what her corporate owners tell her to have if the alternative is Trump, but I definitely won’t like it.

    It’s really unfortunate, too, Sander actually looked like a good candidate. I hope he fights to the end out of spite. But if he runs on the Independent ticket afterwards I’m voting for him so I can live with myself. I actually wonder how he’d do if he did run as an Independent now that his name is out there on social media. Between Democrats who can’t stomach voting for someone who is basically a living caricature of everything wrong with the Democratic party, Republicans who hate Clinton but can’t stomach voting for someone who is basically a living caricature of everything wrong with the Republican party and Independents who aren’t included in the Primaries I can delude myself into thinking a worthwhile human being might actually win.

    A guy can hope, right? I would really love an alternative to Monster vs. Monster like it appears we’ll get.

  72. >> I firmly believe that.>>

    That piece is virtually logic-free.

    It depends on people thinking that Benghazi and other outworn attacks against Clinton will suddenly start working, and on the argument that Donald Trump won’t be able to find any effective insults for a candidate who honeymooned in the Soviet Union, has nice things to say about Fidel Castro and wants to raise everyone’s taxes significantly.

  73. By “corporate meatsuit” you mean, “the only candidate who will fight for women to be considered full human beings under the law”… then, sure. The corporate meatsuit sure does have my vote! I’ve been waiting eagerly to cast it for 25 years.

  74. @George Herold

    The problem is, how do you get a fanatic to back off????? Folks, me included, want POLITE politics, viz, where things like respecting others matters, and when politicians do their hypocritical things maybe, but where there’s still a chance for parliamentary procedures to work. But what do you do with folks who simply refuse to play proper, and who happily act like they want to hurt? Name-calling is about as good as one can do, if one doesn’t want to do the same thing they are doing. Doing the same thing is a recipe for civil war.

    My concerns in all this are vague but nettling. I’ve been reading over the English Civil Wars and ours, and it seems to me folks in those times just wanted to fight and hurt, and many times were merely looking for excuses. The great changes came when everybody finally got tired of hate and viciousness. Yes, they still used words (name calling), but they finally got away from stocks, hangings and other kinds of viciousness.

    Read the Old Man’s War saga.

  75. So, a lot of people compare trump to Berlusconi (and in fact Italian friends of mine say “Hey, we survived Berlusconi, you’ll survive Trump). But here’s the thing: Berlusconi is at this point most famous for throwing sex parties, which were by all accounts fun for the participants (if they didn’t look too hard at the ages of the hired help). Can you imagine a Trump sex party?

  76. Hey, I’m still voting for her if it comes to it (I’ll be living in Massachusetts at the time so it’s immaterial, but still). And I’m sure she would fight for women if her owners thought it would be profitable. Overall I think she’d do less harm than Trump, but I was just hoping to vote for less of “keep the other guy out” and more “someone who should actually be President.”

    It’s not that I think she’ll be indicted, it’s that her weaknesses play to Trump’s strengths. He’d be able to deflect any very true criticisms of himself with his usual bullying bluster, either through overt sexism (seems likely) or by exaggerating her corporate ties, her “I’ll be tough on banks!” line when she takes bank money, and the fact that she is then the establishment candidate for an establishment that isn’t working for a lot of people. Things that are actually kind of true, and against anyone else may not be a dealbreaker.

    I may like Sanders more – I think he’s the closest to a decent human being on the ballot, for what little that means in American politics – but my only concern is stopping Trump. Even though I’ve never thought he could actually win I definitely liked this entire time that he was sticking it to the entire system of big money owning elections and politicians. I don’t think it’ll happen again until whatever replaces America, whether that’s in this year or another century. If she does somehow pull one out against Trump, which I think is as foolish to believe as thinking the DNC would allow a grassroots candidate to take their nomination, I expect nothing much will happen. More of the same partisan stalemate. More empty promises. More and more of young people becoming nothing but walking profit centers for the super rich.

    I’m just sad to think not every Sanders supporter will just stomach the bile and vote Clinton if it’s her against Trump. Because I can’t fathom any sort of logic that says pride is worth risking a Trump win.

  77. Ain’t no party like a Trump sex party ’cause a Trump sex party don’t stop until you build a big wall and make Mexico pay for it.

  78. Eep, to clarify, the “I liked that he is sticking it to etc.: line refers to Sanders, not Trump. I like nothing about Trump. Not his bigoted politics, his Islamophobia, or his stupid steaks.

  79. I never miss a chance to vote, for Congress, mayor, even the fire chief. But I know turnout is a major problem among Democrats in local and state elections. I don’t get it. Local and state governments have more effect on most of us. And Democrats failing to vote in 2010 put Obama in a permanent stalemate with Congress. Vote, people! It’s your future.

  80. Okay, there are two things to consider here about a lot of polls about both Senator Sanders, and Mr. Trump.

    The first is that Sanders has barely been attacked, and has a lengthy and interesting biography. Some of this is stuff is ridiculous, but people can care about. Some is serious. None has gotten a full airing yet, as outside of the debates, Clinton barely took a swing at him.

    The second is that Trump has also not been hit nearly as much as he can be. What’s this you say? Haven’t Cruz and Rubio been going after him for a bit? All this #nevertrump business?

    Simple: none of these attacks have involved Trump’s soft spots. It’s a Republican party primary – you can’t hit, really hit, the fact that he is a bigoted asshole because, well, screw everyone who speaks Spanish gets you votes in that situation. You can’t hit the fact that he’s a misogynist because its the party of “you just get back in the kitchen and don’t worry your pretty head.” You can’t hit the fact that he’s a scam artist, because in the GOP primary, people who get scammed are losers who deserve it, takers who don’t get how the free market work, and Mr. Trump is right to take your money because you’re a dirty socialist.

    Outside of a GOP primary, these attacks will start to tell. Currently, Trump polls behind or with Clinton. Clinton is perhaps the best vetted figure in American politics. She’s taken decades of Republican smears, many of them repeated this year by “progressives.” Trump, on the other hand, has barely been touched yet. He has the temperament to react to these poorly. He is vulnerable on a great many fronts. He’s facing a corp of organizational talent that’s been honed over a decade into a well oiled machine. He’s facing a demographic dynamic that has been turning against the GOP for years now, and he’s only exacerbated it.

    This is the election year where a quintessential self-styled tough guy will face a woman and lose. However hard this may be for some otherwise-progressive types to get a handle on.

  81. @Youngpretender If it comes down to Clinton vs. Trump I hope you’re right. I’m just not remotely convinced that enough people who aren’t hardcore Democrats, and by that I mean the Democratic Party and not general left-leaning people (I’m an independent because I think the two-party system is a large part of the problem), can be made to vote for Clinton. Like Trump she’s basically a perfect example of the party she’s leading: basically progressive when it’s convenient but really tied up in big money to the point where it’s basically useless on any real issues especially regarding poor people, since that runs counter to the profits of the party’s owners.

  82. I’m glad Sanders won’t be the candidate since a sexist white man who writes rape fantasies is certainly no advocate for women. So, keep repeating the lie that Clinton has “owners”, while I sit back, knowing that she is the only possible candidate who truly cares about women. Super ticked to cast my vote. I’ve never been more proud.

  83. *tickled… not ticked! The “hold their nose” voters are probably ticked. But not me!

  84. Yeah I thought that was a typo, no worries.

    I’m just saying what’s been said for years, if banks fund your campaign then the promises that you’ll be hard on them ring kind of empty, and like a lot of Sanders supporters my big pet issue is wealth inequality, which I think both parties will gladly perpetuate while I’m here working full time wondering about food and late fees on rent in an apartment complex next to a gang bar.

    But like I said, I’ll vote for her if it’s her vs. Trump, so basically our only substantial point of disagreement here is how gladly we’ll be checking that box. Metaphorical handshake and we call it done?

  85. Betsy, can you please stop the pointless Sanders hate and slander? He’s not going to be nominated, we’re all going to vote for Hillary because she’s competent, intelligent, and not Trump, and frankly all you’re doing at this point is spewing bile at a friendly old Jewish guy, which sounds a lot nastier when I put it that way.

  86. Dear Tom,,

    No, Clinton is not going to be indicted before the election. The only people who imagine that pay no attention to realpolitik.

    Tell me the last time a Cabinet-level (or higher) government official was indicted (or resigned under imminent threat of indictment). Then tell me what they were indicted for/resigned over.

    Yeah, you have to go back a long ways and the level of transgression was vastly, vastly higher than a MINOR security violation.

    The people who get indicted (if anyone does) are the middle managers, the schlubs. THEY are the ones at risk, not the People at the Top.

    That is the way it actually works in reality, rather than paranoid imagination.

    That is why the feds gave Clinton’s sysadmin (or whatever his IT title was) immunity. Because he *was* at risk, if anyone was, and he had every reason to plead the 5th. This lets them proceed with their investigation efficiently and without him throwing up 5th Amendment roadblocks. It’s not evidence that there’s a huge scandal waiting to be uncovered. They’d do it even more willingly if there’s NOTHING worth uncovering. It simply makes it easier for them to find out.

    That’s just the way the system does things. Not some imagining about some sudden horrendous discovery, for which there is still no friggin’ evidence.


    Dear John,

    I’m 99% with you.

    The 1%–

    There’s still the small possibility the Republicans will pull the fire alarm and jigger the convention to give the nomination to someone else. Long-term, that’s even more disastrous for the party than Trump, but parties tend not to think long-term.

    *IF* they do that and *IF* they choose one of the few Republicans who beat Clinton in the polls, then and only then is there a reason for the supers to jump ship at the Democratic Convention.

    Me, I wouldn’t bet on any of this happening, much as I’d love to see a Sanders presidency *AND* the Republican Party go down in flames. 100:1 odds against.

    I’ll happily hope for the 1%. I sure as hell won’t act like it’s gonna happen!


    For the folks who keep saying that Clinton can’t beat Trump, almost every poll that asks which one voters will **vote for** (not like or dislike) in a direct matchup says that either Clinton or Sanders spanks Trump harshly. Yeah, Sanders spanks him harder, but that doesn’t matter. So long as either will do the job, the delegates will stay where they’re pledged, and that means Clinton’s gonna take the nomination.

    Wish it t’weren’t so. But I didn’t get the pony I wished for for Xmas, either.

    pax / Ctein
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery
    — Digital Restorations

  87. “I mean, I understand most of you [Republicans] gag at the thought of pulling the lever for Hillary Clinton. Fair enough!”
    Actually, not fair enough, I would respectfully say. We are on the verge of disaster. The choice is between Trump and a Democrat (almost certainly Clinton). Everyone should do what it takes to make sure Trump loses. Best way to do that is vote Democrat. Voting Libertarian is better than nothing, but we should not be promoting it as a conscience-salving option. Are you a Republican who thinks Hillary’s a crook? Fine. As they said about Edwin Edwards in Louisiana facing David Duke, “Vote for the Crook. It’s important”.

  88. >> Betsy, can you please stop the pointless Sanders hate and slander?>>

    I would hope that request applies equally to people who call Clinton a “meat suit,” refer to her “owners,” and other such delightful descriptions. Or is this one of those “sauce for the goose, none for the gander” situations?

  89. The electoral college math heavily favors Clinton over Trump. Sleep easy. Vote for Clinton and make plans to attend her inauguration.

  90. I can stop the meat suit thing in place of mouthpiece if it makes you feel better. I just feel like “corporate mouthpiece” is a much less impactful way of saying the way I perceive her relationships with the banks and corporations that own her and the DNC.

  91. I am deeply disappointed in murderous weasel Cruz. Why could he have not kept weaseling and threatening a contested convention? Sure, it would have been impossible, but it’s not like Cruz ever has much connection to reality either, and he could have kept reaping in the sweet PAC money and causing damage, scaring Trump into being an even bigger fake far right blowhard. And now Kaisch went too, so it’s going to be pointless speech-making for a month or two.

    On the bright side, it’s looking like the Democrats will take back the Senate. There’s even an estimated shot at the House! Arizona is in play, people. ARIZONA, which has not been in play for decades.

    Primary elections draw the most ideological of voters in their parties. They are most of the people who turn out for primary votes, and even more for caucuses. They are the ones who turn out despite work and kid commitments, having to register in time for the rules of each state, overcoming pesky voter I.D. laws trying to shut them out in some states, and who are not inclined to decide not to bother with primary elections. That’s why Sanders did well, especially with caucuses, and that’s why Trump took over because he would say anything that would get a roar from the (white, male and determined to be coated in nostalgic glory) crowd — the 18%ers. He got the Palin voters (you remember Palin, the person who helped McCain lose by scaring people in the general election,) and even better, he’s a guy.

    But the general election is a different kettle of fish. It’s not a private club election with the most noisy members having the most impact. It’s filled with a bunch of centrist independents who lean both left and right but more gently, center-leaning Democrats and the remains of moderate Republicans — all of whom are way more comfortable with Clinton than Trump. If voter turn-out is high (and the primaries turn-out has been high, but it’s still important to get out the vote,) then Democrats tend to win. If they don’t, then Republicans tend to cement their hold because the most invested and ideological voters come out and the centrists who make up the bulk of the electorate stay home.

    It’s possible that they’ll stay home, but with Trump the candidate? Much of the Republican party is already writing off the presidency and trying to protect the down-ticket candidates who will try to distance themselves from Trump. Because you can’t win a presidential election with just 18% of the voters (if that.) And it’s not just the presidency — this is the full party press of all the party’s people in the general. The Democrats have a popular, ground-breaking president with an economy that has slowed a bit but is still growing after near disaster eight years ago. Trump wants to burn all trade to the ground and bomb everybody. He’s so far in the primaries pissed off women, Latinos, black people, Asians, Arabs, indigenous people, Canada (who are planning a wall if Trump wins, so sorry, Floored,) Mexico, most of Europe, and every trading partner we have. He’s terrifying to many of the older people, most younger people are scared to death of him, and he can’t even hold on to all of the white men. He has the highest polled unfavorable rating of any presidential nominee ever — 55-60%.

    Maybe that might not all matter if the Republican party platform wasn’t even worse than Trump himself. It’s not just Trump that has centrists and liberals worried and not just him they’ll be voting against. So I am simultaneously terrified and very jazzed for this election.

  92. This is the point where I tell people to take nice deep centering breaths, because it sounds like we’re just a couple posts out from someone kinda losing it.

    So: HAPPY THOUGHTS, PEOPLE. Or at least be mindful of your rhetoric. Thanks.

  93. >> I can stop the meat suit thing in place of mouthpiece if it makes you feel better.>>

    I wasn’t asking you, really. I can ignore your insults regardless of what words you use. I think it’s probably counterproductive for someone who’s said they’re Blue No Matter Who, and presumably wants others to vote the same way, but that’s your business.

    But after seeing people asked not to insult Cruz or Sanders, I figured it was worth asking whether those standards of politeness applied to Clinton, too.

  94. @kurtbusiek … but Clinton is an uppity woman who thinks she can do a man’s job. And all those Republican smears over the decades. I mean if Hastert or Gingrich said something and then it was repeated decades later by Fox News, then there must be fire, amirite? Not to mention that when a woman does something that men do all the time, it must be because she’s beholden. Men never have to give something back besides the speech they were paid for– it’s only women who can be corporate whores. You know, because of the whore thing. /s

    I keep listening to people in policy who have worked with Clinton. They continue to say that she is a great boss and a great bureaucrat who wants to get things done for the country and leave a good legacy. Like any politician, she’s limited in her ability to do effective economics, but everyone I meet professionally who works or who has worked in Washington circles thinks she’s the best bet and not a bad bet at that. Some folks are even enthusiastic. Not Obama ’08 levels of enthusiastic, but there’s also a reality-based belief that she’s going to be able to get more of the hopey changey thing done.

  95. I have a dream, a dream of an America where people who care about political outcomes actually bother to find out how the national government works. Aaahh, it’s a lovely dream.

    In reality: Trump as President would essentially be Putin, only please gods let us never see Trump with his shirt off. So America under President Trump might start to resemble Russia. For that matter, American under President Hillary Clinton might start to resemble Russia IF a majority of the down-ticket races go GOP again.

    At this point, people should be getting to the end of their initial tantrums and thinking rationally about who to support for down-ticket races. Which please, let these be non-GOP candidates and let all this emotion and energy go into mobilizing the vote, wherever you are.

  96. jmazzola – the FACTS are that in the 8 years when Clinton was in the Senate she voted the same way as Sanders 93% of the time ( If you continue repeating Sanders/Republican rhetoric about how evil Clinton is, then you have to explain why Clinton is bad and Sanders good despite that fact – and you ARE repeated Republican talking points, make no mistake about it.

    As for “But if [Sanders] runs on the Independent ticket afterwards I’m voting for him so I can live with myself.” then you’re effectively voting for Trump. In doing so, you’d be betraying any principled reasons you had to vote for Sanders as there’s no way Trump would enact any of the democratic socialist principles that Sanders espouses. If he runs as an independent Sanders will siphon off people who would vote for Clinton and may well turn the election to Trump but HE WILL NOT WIN – look at the wins he’s had so far and they’re caucuses which attract the most committed, partisan people. His record in primaries is poor, Indiana notwithstanding. The only reason he’s even close in delegate count are the caucus states.

    Before you chime in with “Clinton, Trump, they’re all the same” – Were Bush and Gore the same? Because Nader probably did just enough to swing that election to Bush. Do you think Gore would have had us in Iraq? If not, then I want to you walk up to an Iraq vet and tell him or her that it doesn’t make any difference who’s President. Tell that to the people with missing limbs, brain injuries. Tell it to the people who will never see their loved one again because that person is dead. Tell it to the 22 vets who kill themselves every day because they can’t live with the PTSD. Go ahead, tell them it’s all the same. I dare you.

  97. Trump’s base cannot be convinced with rational arguments. It’s a group of people conditioned to treat irrationality, arrogance and bluster as signs of honesty. The Republican Party has been denouncing willingness to collaborate, preparedness, education, intelligence, experience as representative of the dreaded “Washington suits” for years, so now that their voters have a candidate displaying the opposite of all those traits, they don’t need the likes of a Cruz or Romney anymore.

  98. Anyone who thinks Clinton and Trump are the same does not care about:

    Abortion rights – Trump will nominate federal judges who’re hostile to abortion.

    Muslims – Trump is more hostile to Muslims than any other REPUBLICAN candidate.

    Women’s dignity in general – Trump is an actual male chauvinist pig in the classic sense.

    A free press -Trump would destroy it, given the chance. he’s said as much.

    Black lives – Remember the Central park 5? No, you probably don’t know them form the Jackson 5.

    General all purpose racism – Trump is a general all purpose racist.

    The environment – Trump thinks global warming is a Chinese hoax. He actually thinks that.

  99. nicoleandmaggie: “there’s also a reality-based belief that she’s going to be able to get more of the hopey changey thing done”

    The “reality-based” part is important. Look at her record (not the Repub smears, her *record*). She’s managed to get a lot done in the teeth of the Republican Congress, and as Secretary of State in the teeth of unfriendly regimes.

    A lot of that has been to help the most disadvantaged: poor kids, foster kids, women suffering violence. She was involved in helping the negotiations to end the Northern Ireland craziness. She laid a lot of the groundwork for the Iran agreement that was signed a while ago. (At the time, the word was that when it failed, it would be her fault. Now that it’s doing okay, you don’t hear about her contribution. Funny how that works.)

    And as for being a corporate suit, Jill Abrahamson, who was executive editor at the NYTimes and whose job over twenty plus years was investigating the truth about politicians, including both Clintons, noted that she hadn’t found a single instance of Hillary changing her votes or policies based on contributions.

    So, really, if that’s somebody who’s “owned,” maybe we need more people like that.

    Entertain for a moment, just as a thought experiment, the concept that the Republican memes may have been lies (I can’t imagine why they would be), and the idea that Hillary is a caring competent politician who does what she can when she can.

    Which, really, is all any of us can do and more than most.

  100. People are throwing up the rhetoric like “Trump will do this…. and that….. and often say the GOP won’t work with the guy…

    But here’s the truth. Trump will be the GOP’s wet dream. The ONLY person who has kept them from repealing Obamacare, getting rid of social security, medicare, the EPA and the IRS and passing all the batshit laundry list of destruction they have drooled over has been OBAMA. His veto has kept them in check (except for voting to repeal Obamacare like 80 times. Guess they gotta measure their dicks often).

    With Trump in office, they can pass every single evil dream they have cooked up over the last 8 years. Do you actually think Trump would veto one thing?

    That’s the apocalyptic scenario everyone should work against. Sure, we need to pick up the Senate and House but how long will they keep it? Two years most likely. Hillary or Bernie gives us at least 4 years of sanity.

    Plus Trump will get 2 Supreme Court justices at least.

    That’s what makes me lose sleep. Sure I think Hillary is as crooked as they come, but I know at very least she is a firewall against madness.

  101. One of the reasons why Clinton will not be indicted for her mail server is because there’s been no sign that she was using it to forward classified material (that was classified at the time she received the email) to people who were unauthorized to receive it. The reason Petraeus got in trouble was because the person he gave the classified material to was unauthorized to receive it. Likewise, there’s nothing indictable over Benghazi, and the Republicans know it, and at this point, both of these “scandals” are starting to reach a point of diminishing value because the only people who care about them at this point are the Clinton haters who will never vote for her anyway.

    What will probably happen is that most of the money spent on the presidential campaign will either by either for Clinton or by a few big donor anti-Clinton ideologues. Most of the typical Republican big money donors will be spending their money trying to preserve the Republican majorities at the local, state, and Congressional level, and let Trump do whatever he wants for his campaign. This is going to be the most expensive election ever.

  102. Pretty much everything I think of has been said, but some does need repeating:

    1) If the last 30 odd years of stuff haven’t stuck to Clinton in a substantive way yet, then not a lot is going to change between now and November

    2) Sanders isn’t going to be a VP pick, she needs somebody younger than her and almost certainly less white – even if they don’t become Prez one day there needs to be some succession planning

    3) Sanders might look like a strong candidate now but… he’s had a pretty easier ride; the times he’s been pushed on actual policies he’s come over as pretty insubstantial – not that Trump is any better but good rhetorical flourishes don’t get stuff done

    4) It isn’t just about Trump in the White House. It’s at least 3 supreme court seats in the first term. It’s about women’s, gay, trans and immigrant rights. It’s about how America is seen in the world.

    He loves to harp on and on and on and on about his ability to make deals – well, here’s the thing with a deal – it only works if both parties want it, its one thing if you have lots of choices to take your building to, or people competing to work with your construction project. There are fewer choices when you’re looking for global trade partners…

  103. I’ll vote for Hillary – her major downside is that she is a hugely interventionist warhawk, but she’s still several thousand times better than Trump.

    Neither Sanders nor Warren will be VP – Sanders is too old, there’s no way the Democratic ticket will have two women on it. Plus Hillary is old, too (fortunately Trump is about the same age so that will be less of an issue in the general) and you need a much younger VP.

    Benghazi was an inter-agency spook pissing match, with the spy “ambassador” probably being set up by the people he was clandestinely meeting. The first two deaths were too soon for any intervention to be realistic, the second two were an unlucky mortar shot, and if the CIA had gotten off their asses earlier, there probably would have been more deaths.

  104. My opinion is, Hillary will be a competent, intelligent, and successful President. Probably mildly corrupt, but honestly, what politician isn’t? Where I’m from, an honest politician is one that does what they’re bribed to do, like Chris Christie, and keeps most of the state running smoothly (which is where Chris Christie fucked up with Bridgegate). Hillary will be a good President, I’ll vote for her in the general, and I want the idiot Hillary fanboys/girls/persons and the idiot Hillary haters (and the Sanders hyperfans/Sanders haters) to shut the hell up and admit that both Sanders and Clinton are fine candidates, Clinton is going to win, and that Hillary is our best hope to avoid having to do a Bellamy salute and say Heil Trumpler whenever Trump’s face comes over the telescreens.

  105. I was thinking of a slippery slope argument when I read an article about how one of the prime VP candidates being mentioned is a “centrist” who has a “nuanced view” on abortion. Because the womens’ vote is key to Democratic success do we really want to re-litigate Democratic support for choice again. Because the Republicans have been so willing to be reasonable on this topic.

    So let’s say that California comes in at 51/41 Hillary as the polls are now. Do we want to say, the opinions of those Bernie voters shouldn’t matter. That the issues that bring them to the polls when they know Bernie can’t win the delegate count aren’t important? I think that Bernie staying in the race to discuss the issues, to keep pressure on the issues like a whole fricking Lobbyist industry in Washington outnumbering elected officials n to 1 does every day is wrong? We don’t listen to voters only lobbyists? That sounds like a bad position to me.

    What if Bernie improves and wins California and gets a few more delegates out of the state than Hillary, but not enough to change the balloting. Does that mean that the Clinton campaign can just ignore those voters’ concerns?

    IMHO, Bernie is continuing to address the issues and this campaign is much calmer than the 08 one. As for the Berniebros, does anyone remember the PUMAs, (Party Unity My Ass)? Right now 25% of the Bernie supporters say they will not support Hillary. The equivalent number for Hillary supporters was 50%. Almost all of them ended up voting for Obama.

    I also remember that Hillary won primaries and Obama won caucuses. And there was a lot of complaining from the PUMAs about that.

    Chill people. People are supporting Bernie for a reason. The way to get their support is to address their concerns, not call them names. I think most of them will support Hillary but picking a conservative running mate to go after the mythical Moderate Republican or Reagan Democrat who doesn’t support a progressive economic agenda would be stupid.

    I think that a good slogan for this election should be “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” You would think that Hillary could get behind that.

  106. While perusing the comments, I saw a couple that brought up orangutans. I find this satisfying because I was thinking to myself the other night: just where DOES one buy orangutan pelts, and who decided that using one as a hair piece was a good idea?

    As for the Bernie/Hillary debates, I have liked Bernie since I first heard him on Thom Hartmann’s radio show years ago. IF by some coincidence he becomes the nominee, I’ll be in line voting for him with not a moment of doubt in my mind. However, the belief that he’s gonna be saved by the Super Delegates is a rather weak one. Hillary has been the candidate with the most votes the entire Primary season, and the Supers tend to go with the wishes of the electorate.

    Just as I would for Bernie, I can promise you–should things work out as they seem to be going–I’ll be in line come election day to happily cast my vote for Hillary. And if an asteroid or black hole should take the two of them out before the convention or election day, I’ll STILL gladly give my vote to whomever the Democratic party nominates.

  107. Maybe it’s because I’m a Southerner born and bred who has lived here for all my 51 years, but I think a lot of my fellow white Americans seriously underestimate just how racist our country remains today. Trump didn’t win the nomination in spite of his rhetoric. He won it because of his rhetoric. He will still win the South. I have no doubt about that. And he will likely win many, if not all, of the other states Republicans typically win. Fortunately, the Presidential electoral map tends to favor Democrats, but Trump has a real shot of winning states in the so-called rust belt as well. He has a path toward getting 270 electoral college votes. It may not be an easy path, but a path definitely exists.

    I think it’s also an open question at this point whether or not our country is more sexist than it is racist. The upcoming general election cycle is likely to be telling on that point, though the so-called “Bernie bros” have already brought some of that ugliness into the light.

    But we face a very real possibility of a President Trump this coming January. It’s not even that much of a long shot. Hopefully it won’t happen. But it’s not far-fetched at all.

  108. You know, Bernie’s backers would have gone a lot further if they didn’t eternally scold anyone who criticizes Bernie’s stances even mildly while screaming that Hilary is a corrupt war-mongering tool. Bernie lost. Definitively. And Floored, just about everybody pronounces Bernie a perfectly nice candidate. That doesn’t mean that we have to agree that his policy stances or plans behind them were all super great. Bernie got way more respect than a non-Democrat insider who threw himself into the Democratic race would have ordinarily gotten. And the party voted and they didn’t choose him.

    The “issues” that Bernie raised were already being raised and have been raised by the Democrats for decades and been regularly part of the party platform. They are not new issues he pulled from thin air. Progress has been made on some of those issues by Democrats, when they could get the votes. Many of them are issues that Hilary is also raising and in some areas — gun control, women’s rights, Hilary is pressing more with a much higher priority. To say that if we don’t let Bernie supporters blather at us about how awful Hilary is that these issues will somehow disappear from the Democratic platform is a ridiculous claim. And the more you keep making it, the less seriously people are going to listen to Sanders’ camp. Raising the issues is great; claiming only you and Sanders care about them and can do anything about them is just demogoguery. We get enough of that from Trump. Not paying much attention to Sanders does not mean ignoring progressive goals.

    As I said before, I had hoped that Bernie would quit now rather than later, negotiating with Hilary and the party on policy and involvement, getting to do a speech at the convention, and allowing the Democratic party to fully concentrate on all the general elections, with an early start on the Republicans. That was predicated on the Republicans continuing their civil war and Cruz staying in and winning Indiana. When Bernie said that he was staying in till June, it wasn’t ideal for the Democrats, but not entirely illogical on his part. It was going to make negotiations harder, but not impossible. However, the longer he stays in and the further Hilary gets to the finish post, the less influence he has.

    But now Bernie is claiming he may try to have a contested convention, which he has no hope of doing and which is a whole other deal. It’s only to cause trouble for the Democratic Party, which further paints him as someone who does not want Democrats to get anywhere in the elections and not someone they want to work with. If he tries to make it a contested convention, they will not let him speak at it and he’s unlikely to have much influence on the party platform. If he does it, he blows his remaining leverage. Hilary has to concentrate on the general election and Trump, not wooing Sanders’ voters anymore. They either show up or they don’t. That doesn’t mean that they are worthless or completely ignored. What it does mean is that they are not in any position to take hostages and claim top billing. They didn’t get the votes to do that. They don’t have the support.

    Disruptive protest is great. Sanders’ supporters should keep doing it and confirming changes are wanted — as they are by other Democrats too. The Democrats can actually use that in the general elections against the Republicans. But if the only point of it is to sabotage the Democratic party and help the Republicans, then they aren’t much use to the Democratic party then, now are they? There’s a difference between keeping the heat on and boiling the bunny. Sanders supporters already made their opening bids and they were good ones — and not as different from Hilary’s supporters as they’ve liked to claim. But if they are only aimed at the Democrats and not the Republicans, then they just help the Republicans.

    And no, Hilary isn’t going to run on it’s the economy, stupid, because that’s Trump’s claim — that the Democrats ran the economy into the toilet and he’s going to save it from them for the upper middle class white people. In actuality Obama and Democrats pulled the economy out of the toilet that Bush sent it into. Not gracefully, not perfectly, but against the opposition they had, not a bad performance that can be built on. For the Democrats to hold on to the White House as the incumbent party, you want to promote those parts of the economy that are doing well, which they are, and argue for continuing to improve jobs, education, jobs for young people, alternate energy industry — as both Bernie and Hilary have been pushing for — rather than the Republicans and Trump’s usual trickle down nonsense and we’re all going to die so change parties theme.

    Hilary is running against Trump, not Sanders, and she does not want to emulate Trump at all. This is no longer a discussion about how far to go on progressive issues and which ones first — though that will be a discussion that starts up again across the country if she and Democrats win. And it’s certainly not a conversation about how we must not make Sanders’ supporters feel bad in any way because we didn’t praise them sufficiently for holding the same basic values we hold. It’s about whether you want the Republicans in charge of the country or not. We are in the general election.

    We’ve been told for the last twenty years that demographics and social climate are turning against the Republican party’s tactics. They themselves attempted to “reach out” to Latinos in recognition of that fact. But we still were looking at maybe another thirty years to really have that kick in. And now there is an opportunity, a very real one, to have that happen faster. Which for dealing with the effects of climate change alone would be valuable.

  109. Since people keep talking about potential skeletons in Hillary’s closet, I’ll just say it: if they had real dirt on Clinton, either Clinton, a quarter century and a hundred million dollars worth of investigations would have uncovered it. There is simply no there there.

    Also, hello Mr. Scalzi. I don’t remember if I’ve commented here in the past, but I’ve lurked for a long time and I enjoy reading you. :)

  110. Once again, for those following at home, Elizabeth Warren is 66 years old.

    And for a thread with no Greg, we are still getting a lot of internecine crap. Some of it couched passive aggressively. Some of it aggressive aggressively.

    I don’t particularly like either candidate, but I fear fascism more than I dare hope for a peaceful socialist libertarian revolution. So here we are. Vote Quimby, early and often.

  111. Sorry for the double post, but to clarify: either candidate is Hillary/Bernie. I cannot describe my contempt for Trumpy* as “don’t particularly like.”

    *Think MST3K Episode 303, except the alien’s carcass is now laid atop some weirdo’s scalp.

  112. Hi, Privatelron, Dave P here:

    Is it just me, or does anyone else think that when the Donald says to himself “President Trump”, what he hears is “President for Life Trump”?

    If you thought there was deadlock between the White House and Capitol Hill for the George W. and Obama administrations, just imagine what the next four years could be like. Not to mention the contortions the Executive Branch is going to have to go through to try to avoid violating the law while following the diktats from His Orangeness. You might see a bit of passive resistance from that quarter.

  113. Well.

    Here are my two cents as someone who’s been a very passionate Sanders supporter: I’m perfectly prepared to vote for Secretary Clinton, should she win the nomination (and of course she will). I’d vote for a kosher pickle if it was on the Democratic ticket. When the alternative is Donald goddamn Trump… I mean, the fact that I think Clinton’s foreign policy is hugely immoral hardly matters here. Trump’s is so much worse it’d be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

    And the thing about Clinton is… look, this is something I get monumentally frustrated with other Sanders supporters over. Early in her life — this is something she’s written on very eloquently — she made the decision to try and change the system from within. And that’s what she’s done: lawyer, political op, senator, government official — and, yeah, corporate speaker. That’s the way stuff gets *done.* I mean, I prefer Sanders on the whole, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to scorn a perfectly good candidate (who would make at *minimum* a decent president) just because she’s had to compromise in order to get into a position to make real changes. (I may hate her foreign policy ideas, but her commitment to women’s rights and LGBTQetc rights is one of the best things about her.)

    I like Sanders. I respect Sanders. And I respect his commitment to personal independence and his ideals, too — but I also respect Secretary Clinton, and just because she chose to work inside the system is no reason to do any differently than you’d’ve done in the general election should Sanders have been the nominee.

  114. @Richard Norton
    It is perhaps my fatal flaw, that I expect better behavior from my allies than I do from the opposition. (Enemies is too strong a word, we are all part of the USA) In the few debates I watched I found Bernie to be a perfect gentlemen. And I can find no fault with how Obama has dealt with the disfunctional congress. Donald has made name calling the norm. He’s a big bully. I don’t think you deal with him by name calling back. We say this is unacceptable by not voting for him. (Perhaps I’m naive?)

    (I’ve read the OMW saga.. I’m waiting for the Lockin sequel, my fav Scalzi book to date.)

  115. Yeah, Sanders has really not been in the picture. It’s almost felt like a feel-good opp that was allowed to run its course. Sounds cruel but it is what it is. I actually like a lot of what Bernie was standing for, but it never seemed to me he was going to pull the rug out from under Clinton as a viable candidate.

    As for Trump and Cruz and the GOP, well, batshit crazy sums that pile up in a nutshell. I have no clue what they are thinking or how they can hold a straight face while spew the stuff they do. It’s astonishing to me. There are a lot of people with these sentiments who have no idea if anything is true or even makes sense. I honestly don’t know how that can be. It’s like the GOP has become a mob of crazies.

  116. One nice thing is that it actually works for women to say, “That behavior is unacceptable” and “I am deeply disappointed” when confronted with unprofessional behavior and bullying. It locks into that women as teachers trope and puts the offender in light of a misbehaving 2 year old. Clinton is pretty good at it. She’s had a lot of practice.

  117. Bernie’s idea of a “contested convention” is really kind of shocking, I think. It starts out from the weird position that since Clinton likely won’t have 2384 pledged delegates, making the votes of the unpledged delegates irrelevant, then the convention is “contested”. That’s a fairly novel line of reasoning for this election cycle right there. And it runs counter to a long standing belief among vocal Sanders partisans that the superdelegates were going to make the decision, regardless of the pledged delegate count, and how that meant the whole thing was “fixed”. But never mind that for a moment.

    Here’s what bugs me. Sanders’s whole campaign has been running off of populist “will of the people” rhetoric. He’s been making the case that the majority of Americans (or, at least, the majority of Democratic Primary voters) want a candidate with positions to the left of the Democratic Party “establishment”. He’s been out there trying to convince Democratic voters to essentially defy the Democratic Party and show that they prefer him to Clinton. Now that it’s abundantly clear that said voters don’t in fact prefer him, by our most reliable metrics on that issue (votes and delegate counts), Sanders is pivoting hard away from that. He’s effectively arguing now that the “will of the people” doesn’t matter, and shouldn’t carry the day. He’s calling on the Democratic Party to elevate him, in defiance to the expressed desires of the voters, on the weaksauce justification that they didn’t prefer her by enough of a margin. That’s not the rhetoric of an ideologue who wants to change the conversation, it’s the desperate, last ditch move of a demagogue (or at least a bog-standard politician) who wants to win.

  118. I think Sanders’ people would argue that if the vote were re-held right now, Sanders would be leading in votes and delegates. So the “will of the people” has changed since they gave Clinton all those votes and delegates. I still think it’s hypocritical as all hell but it’s at least potentially consistent. I also though the previous complaints about superdelegates reflected a certain lack of political savy.

  119. >> I think Sanders’ people would argue that if the vote were re-held right now, Sanders would be leading in votes and delegates.>>

    Considering how many of the final states Clinton won in the 2008 primary, her camp could have made the same argument, and it would have been more true — she _almost_ caught up, and if the races could be re-held with the voters and campaigns knowing how important the caucus states would be, she’d have done better.

    But we don’t run elections on “If we could go back and start over, I’d do better.”

    [And if we did, I bet the voters out there would be so pissed off at the waste of time and tax money in doing them all over again that they’d punish whoever triggered it, so Sanders would lose again.]

  120. @Floored No. Truth is not slander. What is it about Bernie supporters who think we should accept bile thrown at Hillary Clinton… but suddenly it’s *just terrible* to point out those pesky little (completely true) bits about Sanders. Having a President Trump is a REAL possibility, so I don’t have time to listen to the abuse and standard lies about Clinton from the Bernsters when we have an important election ahead of us.

  121. Noblehunter,

    Based on what? What evidence is there that a complete do-over of the Democraotic Primary process at this stage would yield dramatically different results? Or that those changes would even be in Sanders’s favor?

    And also, so what? That’s not how elections work. You hold your vote, and everyone deals with those results. Sanders is only technically correct that since the unpledged delegates have not yet cast their votes, they can vote for whomever they choose. But but that argument isn’t consistent with anything but special pleading, and an “if things were different then things would be different” tautology, with a healthy dose of wishful thinking. They may as well demand Bernie be made king of Narnia.

  122. I believe Sanders is doing better in the polls than he was at the beginning of the year. Or his supporters believe he is doing better enough. If he had his current level of support at the beginning of the primaries, he’d be winning. Certain loud people on my facebook feed are also fond of referring to polls which show Sanders does better against Trump than Clinton. I don’t think either argument has enough merit to override the results of the primary but some people seem to believe that their votes are the votes of ten men because their cause is just and their hearts are pure.

  123. People believe a lot of things. (You have to, to support any politician.) But again, so what? Just because you believe something, doesn’t make it true. and it certainly doesn’t make it rational, logical, or even wise to use a political strategy. To say that “If he had his current level of support at the beginning of the primaries, he’d be winning” is an unsupported assertion about the unknowable result of an impossible event. I’m sure it makes many Sanders supporters feel very good to firmly believe it’s true, but it’s only relevant in an alternate universe where those conditions are true. And playing on the feels of his supporters, in defiance of reason, is where I start seeing the demagoguery.

  124. Betsy, need I note that Hillary supporters spammed Bernie-supporting Facebook pages with child porn, or that Hillary once called black men “superpredators”, or that her husband–with her support–signed DOMA? Hillary isn’t some knight in shining armor. But you know what? This campaign’s been remarkably clean so far, at least on the blue side.

    So please. Stop unilaterally spewing pointless Bernie hate. Though, I could point out the completely true things about Hillary, like that whole Iraq War support thing, and her hypocrisy on the weapons inspections? If that would help?

    tl;dr: I’m sick and tired of people hating on either Dem candidate. Both are competent and reasonably decent (for politicians). The pointless hate and the wanking of either one as some kind of noble angel is both tiresome and counterproductive.

  125. Anybody remember the “Unskewed Pollster” or whatever he was called from a presidential election or two ago? He was so convinced that the results of opinion polls displayed too much of an alleged liberal bias for his taste. His answer was to redo the published polls to show that by his calculations, a Republican President woud be a White House shoo-in. When reality showed otherwise, I don’t remember if he ever publicly apologized for being so spectacularly wrong.

    Are Sanders supporters are doing their version of “unskewed polling” on the delegate count for the Democratic presidential nomination? Sanders has some great and important positions that I agree with, particularly around income inequality. Yet personal agreement with a candidate doesn’t mean allowing the achieving a concrete goal (getting enough delegates to cinch the nomination) to get diverted by wishful thinking. Sanders may have scored victories in several states. But I don’t think the overall margin of success in his victories generally isn’t consistent enough to convince a skeptical superdelegate to throw in with Sanders.

    I don’t feel Sanders should drop out before the convention. He’s brought into public discontent with the raging economic inequality in this country.

    What Sanders supporters can do is support down-ticket Democrats whose positions mirror that of Sanders himself. Continual and generally successful Republican Congressional blocking of Obama’s initiatives show that Sanders could not bring the political revolution America needs by himself.

    Nor is just voting for Sanders and leaving the rest of the ballot blank a good idea. A recent Wisconsin Supreme Court justice candidate seemed vulnerable thanks to her frankly homophobic remarks. Wisconsin Democrats were hoping that the influx of Democrats voting for Sanders in the primary would doom this bigoted judge’s chances. Instead, way too many of these Sanders voters did little more than vote Sanders and skipped the state Supreme Court race. You can unfortunately guess what happened. And don’t get me started on Secretary of State races.

    It sucks that not every candidate running for office is a Bernie Sanders. But voting for Clinton in the general is something I’ll do because the practice of politics generally isn’t to me a “my way or the highway” situation. It’s knowing when to settle for working with a politician who will help me get at least half of what I want.

  126. I’m in southern California and it’s so rare that the presidential nomination isn’t in the bag already before I get to vote that it’s a little like the rain clouds I am seeing outside in May. I’m in shock that my primary vote might actually have some impact.
    Though really I think Clinton has it. Also, those rain clouds out there today are probably not going to drop rain near me.
    I can dream though?
    My pie in the sky pipe dream is that Trump comes in third…or fourth even, behind Gary Johnson and maybe also Jill Stein. I would love it, and it might restore some of my faith in humanity.
    My reality, though, is that I want people to vote for whoever the Dems nominate(and in all the down ticket races!!!!) because our country might just be racist and sexist enough to elect Trump. I don’t want to see who he would appoint, or what executive orders he’d come up with, or how he would help gut the ACA, or any of the other things that presidents do.
    And I also think the Republican Party set the stage for this mess.

  127. @Floored– I hadn’t noticed any child porn on this thread.

    The superpredators thing is more nuanced than you make it sound. There are a few articles on this that you can read about, but at the time (which I remember, even though I was a kid), cities with low income black housing weren’t safe (which, actually, isn’t that different than now) and they were under-policed (also still true, though at the time people outside those communities were not aware of the extent of racism within policing as we are today). Those communities were calling for intervention. Clinton didn’t call all black men super-predators, or even black men specifically. The national conversation was about children getting shot on their way to school, in the United States. I remember volunteering in a fourth grade classroom after a student at the school had been hit by gunfire and the counselor asked who in the class knew someone personally who had been killed by a bullet. And almost every kid raised a hand.

    Hadn’t really noticed pointless Bernie hate on these threads either.

  128. Floored, you know I like you, but don’t do that shit. Some of Bernie’s actual staff did major harassment of female journalists — which is where the “Bernie Bro” appellation came from. Does that make Bernie a sexual harasser? No it does not. Guilt by association is a bad game to get into, as is scolding people that they can’t be critical of your candidate, or for that matter, dislike your candidate. As is insisting that because Clinton’s husband was President, every bit of his record twenty years ago is therefore hers as if she is his property unless she campaigned against him constantly.

    We are not going to have unity and tea and cakes in the Democratic party. We never do. That’s one of its strengths. People are free to dislike Clinton or Bernie, say bad things about them, vote for whoever is left in the primary elections. They are going to argue with each other. Much as I would love to bend all to my will and have them turn out and vote straight Democrat ticket with Bernie dropping out right now and helping the platform, that’s not going to happen, because we are a democracy. Nor are they going to be nice to each other even if they vote the same way. If Bernie supporters keep insisting that everybody be nice to them and treat them as very important people, they are going to get told a lot to screw off. Especially when it’s say white people telling black people that they absolutely should vote for Bernie and are stupid if they don’t — that was one of the things that didn’t go over well. Or when he declared that Southern Democrats who voted don’t count, especially since a majority of them are black people who routinely have to deal with folks trying to eliminate, block and discount their votes.

    Most people think Bernie is a pretty decent politician. His positions mostly sync up with the Democratic party platform. They may not like that he threw his hat into the ring — for some very good reasons — but there were benefits to it — for some very good reasons. But when you don’t get the support you thought you were going to get, that is the time to take stock and regroup, support those still in the race that most match your preferences and figure out what you are going to do to keep your issues alive and have successes next time. Clinton had to do it when she lost to Obama in a much closer race. The Republicans kept claiming they were going to do that, but did not. There are quite a few younger people involved with Sanders’ campaign who are probably going to be running for office down the road. Claiming it’s going to be a contested convention when it’s not does not help those people. Insisting that nobody say nothing unhappy about Sanders and his campaigners and his supporters — who have included like in any campaign some poorly thinking people — is not going to happen.

    As long as Sanders continues to be A) a U.S. Senator in political office; B) running for President as a Democratic candidate; and C) going after Clinton in those remaining primary elections, he and his staff will be subject to criticism, anger, protest and dislike, just like Clinton and every other political candidate. And his supporters will not be welcomed with open arms either. As you note, the Democratic primary campaign has been about as civil as one is going to get. And that’s all you get, young padawan. Bernie is not off-limits while he’s still in the race, especially as a lot of his supporters are just as into talking smack. :)

  129. I’m just saying that I’m tired of both sides–grognards like Greg and Hillary-obsessed people like Betsy–demonizing the opposition and swearing that their candidate is a purehearted icon of goodness. All that does is feed Der Trumpenführer, and I don’t particularly want to spend the rest of my life saying Heil Trumpler to a telescreen.

  130. Christine Feminist:

    Open wager to Hillary supporters: If Hillary is elected and there are American troops in Afghanistan anytime during the year of 2020, you’ll donate $27 to Amnesty International. If Hillary is elected and all American troops are out by then, I’ll donate $27 to Planned Parenthood. I’ll take the first eight wagers. enforcement is honor system.

    every day Clinton has to deal with people holding out due to Bernie-math is a day she isn’t totally focused on keeping Trump out.

    Every day she does NOT name Bernie VP is a day she isn’t totally focused on defeating Trump. It’s kind of a weird logic that Hillary is so often defended by portraying her as have zero agency in how she runs her campaign. Instead, it’s all Bernie’s fault.

    Scalzi: I certainly acknowledge a lot of Sanders people are desperately clinging to hope

    I’m not clinging to hope. I know that, barring some miracle, Hillary will win the nomination. But if Hillary has the nomination in the bag, why so much hate by Hillary supporters to get the Bernie supporters to shut up? California votes in June. If Hillary has the nomination wrapped up, its a purely symbolic vote. Yet Hillary supporters are pushing hard to get Bernie to concede now and take away what little voice California and other voters have.

    It can’t be both purely math that Hillary has it all wrapped up as you present it and steaming rage that Bernie supporters haven’t given up the race already as other Hillary supporters present it.

    Stevie: And people will be wailing ‘but she didn’t earn my vote’ … and they will have nobody to blame but themselves

    Again, I think its a weird approach to defend Hillary by saying she has no agency, no responsibility, in how she runs her campaign and how she appeals, or doesn’t appeal, to voters.

    It’s kind of like looking at Nader splitting the Democratic vote and causing Gore to lose the presidency, and then blaming no one but the voters. The candidates also have responsibility for their actions and their effects.

    Kat:I had hoped that Bernie would quit now rather than later, negotiating with Hilary and the party on policy and involvement,

    I do not recall a point in time where Hillary signaled a willingness to change policy or position in exchange for Bernie’s support.

    doc: [re: Sanders] it’s the desperate, last ditch move of a demagogue


    Hillary turned her primary run in 2008 into a seat on Obama’s cabinet that allowed her to affect and influence Obama’s administration. I hope Bernie can leverage his primary run to have an affect on Clinton’s administration in some way. It would pull her administration to the Left in the long run, and have the immediate payoff of bringing in a lot of Bernie supporters. Seems like a win-win.

    Or to mangle Sun Tzu, always leave your enemy an escape, otherwise, they will fight to their last.

  131. I wouldn’t call Betsy Hilary obsessed. Hilary partisan, yes. Certainly more than me (again, I went for Obama last time.) On the previous thread, some people expressed fatigue with being told that they were wrongity wrong and bad for supporting Hilary throughout the campaign and Betsy was one of those. We’re all tired of the back and forth. Which is kind of why a lot of people would like Bernie to drop out now and get on with the general election. Because being criticized by members of one’s own political party kinda sucks. But it is part of the process and the reality is that people aren’t going to do what you want and they want their voices heard. Partial unity will have to do for now.

    That doesn’t mean that the people who commit crimes on the Web should be patted on the head. It just means we don’t confuse those people with the actual candidates. And it doesn’t mean that the party is falling apart either. This was the primary, which is kind of like therapy for the political party. We made excellent progress. And Bernie is a Senator — he knew exactly what he was in for when he decided to run. But it’s not going to mean much if Democrats don’t get as much of Congress as they can get and downticket races in the states don’t go well. When they don’t go well, we get North Carolina bathroom (and labor) bigotry laws.

    Again, individual charismatic politicians aren’t that important. That’s a hold over from the idea of divinely anointed kings. That’s not democracy. Democracy is groups and the policies, regulations and laws that groups get into place through elections and legislation because they have the political support and public pressure across the board, not just for one person. Public pressure needs to continue. It doesn’t have to be all smooth nodding heads.

  132. Kat: “As is insisting that because Clinton’s husband was President, every bit of his record twenty years ago is therefore hers as if she is his property”

    Hillary’s entire defense of her vote for war in 2002 is she thought Bush would let inspections finish before going for regime change. Why in the world would she think that? She knows inspections were around 90% complete in 1998 when her husband went for regime change instead.

    Either she DID know Bill preempted inspections for regime change, in which case her outrage that Bush did it too is just hypocrisy trying to avoid responsibility for her 2002 vote and her “apology” was nothing but a bait and switch lie. Or she did NOT know Bill preempted inspections for regime, in which case, her 2002 vote was horrendously uninformed, and she never takes responsibility for being so grossly uninformed when she voted for war.

    Either way, she has never taken responsibility for her 2002 vote. Her “apology” boils down to “I’m sorry that Bush screwed up”.

    And rather than allowing valid criticism of Hillary to stand, her defenders have to frame it as if it is sourced by sexists and their sexism thinking she’s Bill’s property.

  133. For: “Democrat Readers”:

    One small note from perhaps a viewpoint outside the Empire: Agreeing on 93% of votes does not mean what you think it means.

    It certainly means that both H. Clinton and B. Sanders (please, stop the faux “folksy” speak of using first names for Democrats and last names for Republicans, do not think this is clever or particularly effective – that moment died with “we tortured some folks“) are part of a political system and have been on the same side for decades. Considering either of them as human entities and not the focal point of vast swathes of communal effort is part of your problem.[1]

    It does not mean that either are champions of “justice” or “light” (and you should be considerably worried about the age slant of this election, entirely designed and depressing, way to not-at-all-subtly show the Millennials who is important). Less worse than their opponents? For sure. Attempting to lessen the sharp edges of Power used without limit? Perhaps, which is the space within which your ideological argument is being held. Part of a political system that is less unjust than Russia, China, Saudi Arabia? For sure, although in many ways not.

    Sanders loses because he has less money and less power and he does not have the Power Players [tm] behind him: it is that simple. If you need any convincing of this, you should probably research how politics works in the USA (Year: 2016). [Which is also a book that might need re-writing, depending on the next few months, but *no spoilers*].

    The current Democratic Party in the USA in 2016 is in no fashion “left” wing or even “anti-authoritarian” to use the four-axis political map. It barely knows what those two terms mean anymore and is firmly X+, Y+ (mid-top right) using the Political Compass Organization’s version.[2]

    If you think otherwise, you’re in a mire of self-delusion.

    Thus, 93% does not mean what you think it means. Patting oneself on the back merely means you’re not staring into the mirror.

    As for the Republicans? Romney was the Rubicon, it’s amazing how much the mask has slipped. Not worthy of consideration, the rhetoric is so far from the realities of what actual policies are. (Hint: Flint, Lead, Permanent Brain Damage for everyone not in the Club, which includes most of their “base”).

    One thing is certain: reality TV does have a cultural effect. Weird that. This is not a celebrity endorsement.




    [1] Be careful of Avatars.

  134. @floored. You might want to introspect as to why when someone supports Hillary enthusiastically, she is “obsessed”. This is gendered and is a big reason why Hillary has been winning quietly because Hillary supporters are attacked and told they’re only voting for the best candidate we’ve seen in decades if ever because she’s a woman. Stop attacking Betsy. Stop using GOP tactics when you’re called out on things. You’re not really trying to get everyone to get along, you’re trying to silence women.

  135. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say an attack on Hil is an attack on women, when you then say that Hil should be considered qualified despite her sex. You can’t use it as an offense and a defense.
    But that’s the safe space many Hil supporters live in. Any attack on her record, her being beholden to special interests and PAC money, and her own voting record… well that’s just an attack because she’s a woman.
    I don’t know who said it, but Hillary is the best candidate for the fucked up political landscape we live in, and Bernie is the best candidate for the political system we wish we had.
    Obama was both. Now we’re only left with half a choice, our ideals v.s. “the way things are”.

  136. Well I’m honestly really surprised that the US contingent are surprised at the point we now arrive at. What did you think would happen? Good lord, the rest of the world shat themselves at the idea that GWB 2 might get in and when he did we all shook our heads and went ‘this can’t end well’ and it didn’t.

    Trump now is pretty much a forgone conclusion and from the other end (of the world) it’ll just be a case of how far we protest not to get sucked into yet another war that he initiates (not sure how far he is embedded in the military industrial complex but I’d be guessing he’s been reinvesting pretty heavily since he got over the initial primaries) Not that Clinton’s a lot better but she at least knows the meaning of restraint.

    It’s kind of hilarious that we’ve gone from the Boston tea party to almost anyone who can claim a relative that came in on the Mayflower gets to be president in the US. And if not them, the oligarchs step in (It’s almost like Russia hey?) It’s amazing that a country founded on revolution has elected most presidents from the key families (the original mayflower ones) and when they don’t, it’s oligarchs.

    Please Usians, lobby for better funding for history studies at your end. Pretty please?

  137. @tom combs

    sigh. Maybe you could read SWM is the easiest difficulty setting again? It doesn’t seem to have taken the first time.

    Yep, women and minorities are trying to have it both ways playing their respective cards. Yep.


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