It’s Over, Bernie Sanders Fans. Let it Go.

Original Photo by Alex Hanson and used on Creative Commons license. Click on photo for original.

Bernie Sanders is not going to be president, nor is he going to be the Democratic candidate for President of the United States. To date, he has won fewer electoral contests, pledged delegates and total votes than Hillary Clinton, and in each of these cases the margins aren’t close. While it is technically possible for Sanders to close the gap with Clinton in the nine contests remaining, from a practical point of view it’s impossible. In order to pull ahead in pledged delegates, Sanders would have to win something like 70% of all remaining delegates; given that he is substantially behind in polling in California and New Jersey, the two largest remaining contests, this is extremely unlikely.

Even when Sanders wins, he doesn’t win by enough — his win in Oregon, for example, netted him only nine pledged delegates over Clinton, which leaves her 272 delegates ahead. To be clear, and as I’ve said before, Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to win any more states to win the Democratic nomination for President of the United States; all she has to do is not lose too widely. If Sanders could win all nine remaining contests — which he won’t — Clinton would still end up with an overall larger number of pledged delegates and votes, so long as the contests were close enough, close enough in this case being a margin less than 68% – 32%.

Bernie Sanders is not going to going to be president, nor is he going to be the Democratic candidate for President of the United States. I know it. Clinton knows it. Most disinterested observers know it. Sanders himself almost certainly knows it, because he is not a stupid man. He’s being beaten, fair and square, in contests, pledged delegates and vote counts, even before things like superdelegates are added into the mix. The only people who don’t seem to know it are some of Sanders’ supporters.

Or, to be more accurate, a number of Sanders’ supporters are aware he’s losing, but are under the impression that the reason he’s losing is because of nefarious action and the game being “rigged,” rather than, simply, he’s won fewer contests, pledged delegates and overall votes than Hillary Clinton. Why? Because apparently these supporters just really really really want Sanders to win, and because he isn’t ahead there has to be something else at play than more Democratic primary voters preferring Hillary Clinton to their man.

This is not to say Clinton hasn’t been the preferred candidate of the Democratic establishment all along; she clearly has been. But then again, Jeb Bush was the preferred candidate of the Republican establishment this cycle, and look where that got him. You can be the preferred candidate and still have things go south. Heck, Clinton was the establishment candidate of 2008, too — she took her campaign into June, just like Sanders plans to, and still lost, to Barack Obama. Being the establishment candidate doesn’t mean much if at the end of the day someone else wins more contests, delegates and total votes than you do.

Sanders has won fewer contests, pledged delegates and overall votes than Clinton and has done so consistently since the start of the primary season; Clinton’s been ahead in all three since February 20 and the Nevada caucus, unless you think there was some skullduggery involved there (re: this nonsense), in which case she’s been ahead since February 27. It is pretty much impossible that Clinton won’t come into the Democratic convention in Philadelphia with more pledged delegates and total votes than Sanders. Sanders’ team and his supporters are floating the idea that at the convention they will try to dislodge the superdelegates currently declared for Clinton to bring them to their side and win the candidacy that way. But this would require the superdelegates to ignore the fact that Hillary Clinton was the clearly the preferred candidate of both the overall Democratic primary voters, and won more pledged delegates than Sanders. Why would they do that? Why should they do that?

The answer for a number of Sanders supporters seems to be, basically, well, because we really really really want it, and we should get what we want. And I guess it’s nice that you really really want something, but, look: Sanders has won fewer contests, pledged delegates and overall votes than Clinton, and we don’t always get what we really really want, and sometimes you just have to suck it up and be a goddamned grown up about that fact.

And then you start thinking, well, if I can’t have this thing I really, really want, what can I have? At this point, truculent Sanders supporters, either you can have someone in the White House who voted with your preferred candidate 93% of the time when they were both in the Senate, and who generally wants most of the same things your candidate wants (albeit in slightly more establishment ways), or you can have Donald Trump, who isn’t the buffoon you think he is (or, more accurately, isn’t just the buffoon you think he is), who just released a list of potential Supreme Court candidates that reads like a wish list for the reactionary right, and who will soon have the entire apparatus of the GOP chugging away for him because the GOP would rather be in the White House with an ignorant, racist buffoon than not be in the White House at all. And while I suppose a number of you would rather be “principled” and say, my guy or let it all burn, my friends, it will indeed all burn, and you will be trapped in the fire with the rest of us.

(Yes, you can also go third party, and vote for either Jill Stein of the Green Party or Gary Johnson in the Libertarian Party, etc. Have fun! But if it gets to October and the polls are depressingly close, let the specter of Ralph Nader remind you that third party votes offered primarily for protest have consequences in our political system. Yes, that sucks. Doesn’t change the fact.)

In 2008, right around this time in the election cycle, I wrote a piece about how Hillary Clinton, who was clearly not going to be the Democratic candidate that time around, but whose team and followers were thinking of certain parliamentary calisthenics which will sound familiar to Sanders supporters right about now, should let it go. She didn’t listen, of course; she slogged on through to June. Here in 2016, Bernie Sanders is not going to be the Democratic candidate, either. He, too, should let it go. I don’t expect him to listen, either. But this time the people I want to listen are his more fevered followers. Guys, you have to get ready for him not to win. He might win concessions in the platform, which would be groovy. But that’s as far as it’s going to go. He’s not going to be president, and he’s not going to be the Democratic candidate.

And when all is said and done, there will still be the general election. It’s going to be Clinton versus Trump. You’re going to have to decide what you really want for the next four years at least. It’s going to matter what you choose. Not just for yourself but for everyone else.

269 Comments on “It’s Over, Bernie Sanders Fans. Let it Go.”

  1. Notes:

    1. As usual for political posts, the Mallet is out. I expect you all the be polite to each other, or you’ll get Malleted.

    2. I should note that with regard to third parties such as the Greens and Libertarians, I’m not at all opposed to them, and I think in a general sense it would be better if more parties had greater representation in our political system. That is balanced by the practical knowledge that this election year, if you are generally a Democratic (or heck, GOP) voter, and you choose to vote third party, you’re effectively registering as “no vote”. Which is of course your call and I will defend to the death your right to do it, etc, but let’s not pretend it’s not what it is.

    3. As I’ve noted before, I personally have no particular preference re: Clinton or Sanders, in that I will vote for either over Trump. Politically, I probably align slightly more with Sanders than Clinton, although this cycle I’ve generally seen Clinton as the more electable candidate overall. But if you’re going to grouse at me for preferring Clinton over Sanders, you should probably just not.

    4. I genuinely hope no one will make a serious attempt to make an argument that there is no practical difference between Clinton and Trump (or between the GOP and the Democrats generally), because honestly I can think of no better way to install a flashing neon light over your head that says “I’m a fucking idiot” than that.

  2. I am convinced that even if America did get more viable third parties, the quite necessary coalition building and compromises will generate much the same results we have with just two parties; it just that this happens within one organizational structure rather in formalized negotiations.

  3. I’d like to add that “Let it all burn” is easy to say when you’re not too close to the fire, i.e. you’re not the most likely to get your actual direct 24/7 life affected by the policies of the burn it all candidate, in this case, Trump.

  4. So I agree with your premise (yes, he’s not going to win) but you are doing the voters a disservice by classifying them as essentially conspiracy nuts. What went on the other day was an absolutely shameful case of the Party rules lawyering to make very sure their candidate won. As someone who’s actually held public office, I can attest to the many, many ways in which Parties all the way down to the local level can be less than honest with the populace. None of this is a democracy, but then again we don’t LIVE in a democracy :). We live in a Republic, which most people tend to forget.

  5. I no neophyte, I’m a 65-year-old white, female, professional, second-generation American. I knew Bernie wasn’t going to get the nomination, but I supported him in his run because it’s past tie for this country to take a good hard look at itself, and he holds up the mirror better than anyone else, while at the same time reminding us that we are not just passive consumers, we are citizens of the richest country the world has ever seen. Our priorities are not set in stone, but can be changed. My generation had MLK and RFK, Barbara Jordan, and a host of others. This generation needed, and needs, a Bernie Sanders, and it got one. Now, to carry on the torch.

  6. mrtwstr:

    “You are doing the voters a disservice by classifying them as essentially conspiracy nuts.”

    #NotAllBernieVoters. And indeed, I don’t believe all Sanders voters are conspiracy-minded. I do think there’s a solid edge who are. Mind you, there was a solid edge of Clinton voters in 2008 who acted out similarly. Not getting one’s way sits very poorly with some.

    The nonsense with the Nevada thing seems to have been fairly well evenly distributed, to be sure. The irony there is, again, it was for a number of delegates that is ultimately inconsequential with regard to the overall count.

  7. “Or, to be more accurate, a number of Sanders’ supporters are aware he’s losing, but are under the impression that the reason he’s losing is because of nefarious action and the game being “rigged,” rather than, simply, he’s won fewer contests, pledged delegates and overall votes than Hillary Clinton.”

    You say this as though the two are mutually exclusive.

    As an adamant Sanders supporter, I hold no real delusion that he’ll win the nomination on pledged delegates. It’s just… not going to happen.

    Regarding winning on superdelegates, I have mixed feelings on the topic. First, I think that the entire superdelegate “feature” of the democratic party is fairly un-democratic, and think it needs at least to be reworked.

    That said, dismissing Sanders’ supporters desire to have superdelegates effectively “give” the nomination to him as childish and “basically, well, because we really really really want it, and we should get what we want” is ignoring the fact that, despite their problems, superdelegates exist for cases exactly like this in which the candidate losing the popular vote is the one most likely to win in the general election, which, according to practically every national poll, Bernie is. He tends to poll around 11-13% over Trump, while Hillary polls closer to 5-6, which isn’t far off from the margin of error of this sort of poll.

    I also fully agree that third-party-votes-as-statements have political consequences. In this case, the consequences that Sanders supporters (as well as people that just want to vote against Hillary) have to weigh are whether the statement their third-party vote would make (and, ultimately, the impact it would have on the democratic party) are worth the risk of a Trump presidency for the next four years.

    Truthfully, as sick as Trump being president would make me, I haven’t decided yet whether voting for Hillary would make me feel any better.

  8. The D.N.C. brought this dissension on themselves.
    Cramming Hilarity down peoples throats for eight years.
    So many folks were overjoyed at the possibility of an alternative to the “hand picked candidate.
    Sucks when the best plans you can make to control your party go out the window.
    Like, for example, Obama in 2008.
    So we get to choose between the Boogeyman or Baba Yega.
    I wonder how the White House will look on foul’s legs.

  9. Agreed, can’t go the “let it burn” route; we’d end up with some other loser and be even worse off eventually. Can’t vote for either Hillary or The Donald, though. But. Must. Vote. Maybe I’ll join all those independent millennials out there who missed out on the primaries and just put Bernie’s name in as a write-in…

  10. When the FBI comes out and says Clinton is cleared of any wrongdoing (re: the email server), then Sanders should step aside. Hard to fault him for sticking around with the spectre of an indictment hanging over your opponent’s head.

  11. It’s common sense, what you say. But what about the unexpected? I say this as an old fart who has watched many die whom I’d thought would outlive me. What if Hillary has an aneurysm or Trump gets radiated from his hair and his brain really truly turns to glue; what if both happen? What do the parties do then? I also pray that your common sense is prophetic.

  12. I agree.

    I think the Nader comparison fall flat with many younger Bernie fans because they really view 2000 as ancient history. We are old my friend – very very old and teetering on the grave (to anyone in their 20s).

  13. Justin:

    “You say this as though the two are mutually exclusive.”

    If you have convincing evidence that 13 million Clinton primary voters were bribed and/or otherwise corrupt, I will be delighted to see it. Otherwise, yes, in point of fact, I am of the opinion that generally speaking the primary votes were fairly run and recorded. As they were on the GOP side as well, because sure as shit the GOP didn’t want Trump.

  14. I agree that he is probably not going to win. But. There has been skullduggery going on in the voting, etc. My hope is that he continues to the convention and at leasts shifts the conversations to some things that need to happen. The issues he has put out really matter, and there is still very little conversation on making those happen. There also seems to be a lot of bashing on both sides, which has to stop. I’ve read Clinton supporters who make me cringe, as well as Bernie supporters.

    My larger concern is that Trump will now be seen as the “anti-establishment” candidate and Hillary as the “establishment’, which is not going to play out well. I do wonder if Bernie would have a better chance against Trump. I am really frightened, as an Arab American woman, of Trump getting the presidency.

    I am also concerned with the after-effects of this election. The Trump fans are not going to go away quietly if he loses. There also needs to be a plan for channelling the energy from Bernie towards the next set of elections.

    I almost feel like we need to revamp the system, somehow. How, I have no idea. But we need to bring third parties in, in a meaningful way.

  15. The D.N.C. brought this dissension on themselves.Cramming Hilarity down peoples throats for eight years.

    Given that Clinton is quite popular among women and minority communities, I think it’s a tad mistaken to take that position.She has very strong support from some very distinct factions—some of which are key parts of the Obama coalition that won the White House for the last two years. Moreover, Clinton has explicitly said she wants to embrace that legacy and extend them, unlike her oppionent. Those are very rational reasons to support a Clinton run as far as the DNC is concerned.

    In this case, the consequences that Sanders supporters (as well as people that just want to vote against Hillary) have to weigh are whether the statement their third-party vote would make (and, ultimately, the impact it would have on the democratic party) are worth the risk of a Trump presidency for the next four years.

    Given that a) it’s by no means certain a Trump presidency would be just one term, b) it took a better part of two terms of a Democratic president to clean out the droppings from the previous administration, c) the impact would be greater for lower class and minorities than it would be for white and upper and middle class, I wonder if the calculations might be a tad incomplete.

  16. I am glad that Bernie is continuing to speak up and stay on the ballot. I totally get that he won’t win. I mistakenly thought that his accomplishment would command some respect from the Dem party, but it hasn’t. I thought he or some of his great ideas (not all… but some… even one would be amazing at this point) would get some respect. Again I was wrong. I’ve been a dem for 30+ years and I would have voted for H in the general if Dems had shown some respect, but I’m disappointed and disgusted. It isn’t about rigged elections, and it isn’t about winning, it is about H not being a gracious winner. I’m not a big fan of the spiked football and victory dance.

  17. I’ve been saying since day one that I’d be voting for Bernie in the primary and Hillary in the general. Nothing since then has led me to change that plan.

  18. My major objection to the more rabid online Bernie Sanders supporters — a huge percentage of whom I suspect are right-wing trolls — is their habit of screaming “Corruption!” in pretty much the identical tone of voice as their Republican equivalents screaming “Benghazi!” And yes, I take that as highly circumstantial evidence that these are, or are financed by, the same people.

  19. Anne:

    I’m generally a big fan of hand counts. Call me old fashioned. I’m not entirely sure Sanders can rely on potential discrepancies to account for a roughly three million primary vote gap between him and Hillary Clinton.

    Catherine N.:

    I strongly suspect that Sanders voters are generally the next wave in overall Democratic voting and agenda-setting, as they skew younger than Clinton voters generally. Which is to say that Sanders may not make it to the promised land, but his supporters will see it one way or another.

  20. My hope is that he continues to the convention and at leasts shifts the conversations to some things that need to happen. The issues he has put out really matter, and there is still very little conversation on making those happen.

    I hope so, too. I like Sanders’ positions on the issues. I just think he’s the wrong person to implement them. Given that, I don’t have a problem with a candidate that votes similarly 93% of the time.

  21. Or Bernie and his supporters believe his message is really, really important, and his campaign is the best way to get the message out and discussed.

    Maybe it’s all about winning – in which case he needs to give up. But maybe it’s about competing and communicating and fighting for what they believe. In that case, he should continue the good fight.

  22. “But this would require the superdelegates to ignore the fact that Hillary Clinton was the clearly the preferred candidate of both the overall Democratic primary voters, and won more pledged delegates than Sanders. Why would they do that? Why should they do that?”

    They could do that if they believe that Clinton is going to be wounded in the general, particularly if new credible information were to come out before the convention that the voters didn’t have.

    Note that the notion that the Republicans are going to come up with new credible information that will sway anyone’s opinion of Clinton at this time is vanishingly small, of course; if the e-mail server and Benghazi haven’t worked on a voter yet, they’re not going to. But in theory, that’s why a superdelegate would, could and should overrule the voters.

    (An aside: I’m in Washington, which Sanders won, but all our superdelegates are going to Clinton anyway, and I’m okay with that! Because ultimately, the superdelegates are going to get behind who the voters picked nationally, and why would our elected officials want to flick a finger at the likely next president?)

  23. And let’s be honest here. Bernie is and will be (along with Senator Warren) the last gasp of the traditional left.

    The democratic party under Clinton (and under Obama in some ways) will skewer to the center, if not the slight-right-of center. In other words, traditional labels have been thrown up in the air and have landed all akimbo.

    And the Republicans, the raditional right wing? Oh, they have went so far into the right, they have fallen off the chart and are now skewing fascist.

    Hence this:

  24. Atlemar:

    You and I are in agreement that such a circumstance has a very small chance of occurring at this point.


    I’m not fully convinced that a certain number of Sanders supporters are in it for a messaging rather than being angry at the conspiracy against their preferred candidate.

  25. I supported Sanders because I think he’s the only candidate who would have any practical benefit for poor people (or more accurately, the only candidate who would try to have practical benefit for poor people before obstructionist politicians stonewalled him). Greenb-Clinton (Huh, sorry) is, like last time around, owned by banks and corporations so she will work in their interests if president, and those interests are not the interests of people who scrape by at $9/hour wondering if I’ll be able to afford food when rent is due.

    I read an interesting article this morning about how progressives need to break up with the Democratic party and I agree, since the Democratic party is no more interested in actually making life better for the average American than the Republican party – they’re just interested in the votes of the average American. In the long term I agree with that and will strongly consider voting third party. However in the short term you are right, a third party vote in this election is basically the equivalent of the Hugo “No Award” option. And while that has merit my terror of a potential Trump presidency – which I believe to be inevitable in the case of an EMILY’s Li-Clinton (oops) nomination due to progressive mistrust and Republican hatred of her – also makes me consider the option of voting for Goldman Sa- er, Clinton. Honestly, this crop of Republican candidates are the only things that could ever get me to say something like that.

    As far as Sanders and his campaign I don’t see a point in stopping it any more than I see a point in it continuing. Support him or not I knew from the start he was doomed. He already needed 712 more pledged delegates than Citigrou-Clinton (Hmm.) to break even, so I didn’t have my breath held. But still, I do like the idea that a non-corporate owned candidate who has any interest in poor people whatsoever was in the running and could make a convincing illusion that victory was possible. And his continued run would be a statement of “Yes, corporate world. We know you own us and own our government and there’s nothing we can ever do to change the American Oligarchy, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.”

    Either way I’m sure I’ll feel dirty at the end of it. I guarantee 20th Century Fo-Clinton would do less harm than Trump and may not make things actively *worse* for people who aren’t billionaires, it’s really just a question of figuring out if I think it would be by a wide enough margin to stomach entering Time Warne-Clinton, (sorry, what an odd tic, I wonder why I keep doing that) on my ballot.

    But then I’ll be in Massachusetts so the electoral college vote will likely be Lehman Brothe-Clinton, so I may just vote Ron White, a womanizing alcoholic stoner comedian from a poor background. Honestly I think he’d be better than either caricature the two parties are putting forward, even though his chances of winning are even less than Sanders (which was always negligible). But all I can say at this point is a guarantee I will not under any circumstances vote for Trump. On that, whether Democrat or progressive, I certainly hope people can agree.

  26. I think if we want to reform the system there are two things that need to happen.
    1) Redistricting reform. California and Arizona seem to be doing it in a good way.
    2) Some sort of ranked voting. You’re given a list of, say, 5 candidates. You select your number 1, 2,…,5. If your number 1 doesn’t win, your vote is then redistributed to the number 2, so on until someone has 50%+1 votes. This way you can vote for a third party without worrying that your vote will ensure the election of Beelzebub.

    Both of these will, of course, take time. Probably a decade or two of concerted effort to get it done in enough places to matter. But worth it.

  27. I don’t think you addressed the biggest problem with Sanders staying in the Race which is his repeated statements saying that the process is rigged. I’m not sure whether he thinks if he does acknowledge that fact he’ll lose his most ferverent supporters or whether he actually believes it is. Barney Frank (in what is probably a misattributed quote) says that Sanders thinks anyone who disagrees with him is a crook.

    I’m not sure what he seeks to gain by continuing to pound this point, other than feeding his followers the narrative they want to hear.

  28. ” let the specter of Ralph Nader remind you that third party votes offered primarily for protest have consequences in our political system. ”

    Let’s put this one to rest. The election hinged on much much more than Nader’s presence or absence. However for point of argument let’s grant that it does all come down to him, and Bush becoming president are the fault of him and everyone who voted for him

    Even in that case he in no way forced Clinton and the Dems to move to enact Bush’s agenda. The worst parts of which were done with their aggressive support. Ralph Nader was long gone and relegated to a punch line when Clinton voted for the Iraq War with a speech well to the right of the case the Bush administration was making. Nader had nothing to do with the deregulation that Clinton whipped the Dems for. Nader had no part in the roll out of the Patriot Act, of the creation of the surveillance state, of torture and perpetual imprisonment. All of which flows from the Democrats deciding to support Bush as he charged into a moral abyss.

    Their actions, their rank bad judgement, all belongs to them and them alone.

    But invoking said specter allows us to throw the actions of those democrats down the memory hole while providing a useful cudgel to push back against progressive challengers. And that’s the important part I suppose.

  29. wiredog!

    You propose Representative Democracy, like what the rest of the Democratic world uses, as opposed to a Republican form of Democracy that we currently enjoy?

    Oh, how passe!

  30. “(Yes, you can also go third party, and vote for either Jill Stein of the Green Party or Gary Johnson in the Libertarian Party, etc. Have fun! But if it gets to October and the polls are depressingly close, let the specter of Ralph Nader remind you that third party votes offered primarily for protest have consequences in our political system. Yes, that sucks. Doesn’t change the fact.)”

    I didn’t realize that the Democrats *still* blame Nader for losing the 2000 election instead of Gore.

    “And when all is said and done, there will still be the general election. It’s going to be Clinton versus Trump. You’re going to have to decide what you really want for the next four years at least. It’s going to matter what you choose. Not just for yourself but for everyone else.”

    Rather than voting my conscience, I’m supposed to select which political puppet I can stand to look at the longest without retching? You’ll have to excuse me if I opt out and vote Green.

    Sanders was never going to be the Democratic candidate – Clinton was pre-ordained the new heir after the 2012 presidential election. I think this is the fact that Sanders supporters are overlooking.

  31. Sorry for any confusion. I definitely did not mean to imply that any “rigging” was done via vote tampering. If any of that has happened, it has been the exception, not the rule.

    I do, however, think that the deck has been stacked against Bernie from day one, in the form of crummy debate schedules, polling place issues, closed primaries, and (one of my concerns with them) superdelegates coming out day one in support of Hillary, combined with the media, for quite a while (and to this day, in some cases), including superdelegate votes in their delegate counts, making it seem like Bernie didn’t have a chance months ago, when it was still very up in the air.

    This is how you can have every vote be perfectly valid, but still “rig” an election.

  32. Grampa Caligula:

    Let’s be clear. Gore did not lose the 2000 election. He won it.

    Our election system is what caused him to lose the election, given a helping hand by the SCOTUS.

  33. @erigion

    “I’m not sure what he seeks to gain by continuing to pound this point, other than feeding his followers the narrative they want to hear.”

    It builds a bloc of stronger support for enacting changes within the party and its apparatus, while keeping the base energized to a) push for those reforms b) fundraise giving him a source of funds he can direct to other candidates.

    Or basically, the same reason Warren does the exact same thing

    There is much more to politics than winning elections. It is like an iceberg – 90% of it is unseen

  34. I have lots of friends who want Sanders and his voters to give up already and get rid of the tension that is making them nervous. But most of those people also want some of Sanders’ priorities in the democratic platform, and the only way that will happen is if Sanders voters make Clinton and the establishment democrats very, very nervous.

    If Clinton thinks she can take Sanders voters for granted, she will pivot right and try to pick up NeverTrump republicans. She already seems positioned to run to the right of Trump on several issues, among them issues dear to Sanders voters – like trade and war. Given that a lot of Sanders voters were never democrats to begin with, I don’t see that they have much to lose by hanging tough and waiting until the very last minute to see if Clinton will do anything to earn their votes. And if she doesn’t, I would not be surprised if a bunch of them voted for the most left-wing candidate on offer in the general, even if his name begins with T.

    That’s what independent means, after all. Voting the way you think, regardless of party.

  35. Well let’s start with “broadly speaking, I agree with three of the basic premises of your post,” John. Sanders is not going to clinch the Democratic Party nomination in the remaining primary contests, nor in any other fashion, prior to the Convention. I also agree with you that it’s most unlikely that any maneuvering at the Convention itself will result in him being the Democratic nominee.

    I also agree with you that Sanders supporters should, indeed, accept and internalize those facts, and begin thinking about ‘what next,’ including a general election contest of Clinton vs Trump, with assorted 3rd party kibbitzers.

    After that, we begin to diverge. First, I take issue with your dichotomizing the “why” of events to date. You appear to push the model of ‘Sanders Supporters: “if he didn’t win, it must be wholly because of Evil Machinations by a Dark Conspiracy,”‘ versus ‘Others (presumably Hillary supporters?): “if he didn’t win, it must be wholly because Clinton won fair & square and the Democratic Process worked the way it’s supposed to in every respect.”‘

    From a good many decades of fairly close political process observation with particular attention to the Democratic Party, I think the actual explanation is likely to be something closer to “Both.”

    With most of the Party establishment and vast reservoirs of Big Money in support, which are legitimate elements of the democratic process as-is, Clinton has indeed garnered a commanding lead in both regular and super delegates, mostly via ordinary and structurally valid primary vote and caucus vote processes.

    Mostly. Sanders supporters have documented a good many instances of ethically if not legally dubious manipulation of the process at ground level in locations that ranged from ‘likely safe’ wins for either candidate (so why were they bothering? Dunno, maybe they wanted the practice…) to close, possible “swing’ districts. (More point to that, but I freely admit that even without such efforts Sanders would not likely have pulled out a delegate majority.)

    And here’s the thing about that: It’s not exactly a Big Horrible Conspiratorial Anomaly in American electoral politics. Everything from planting agents provocateurs to deceptive GOTV communications to brilliantly crafted negative or dark-process messaging to dubious polling place electioneering to manipulation of local caucus committees and district convention rules to you-name-it are thoroughly institutionalized into our process and Clinton’s campaign hasn’t been either particularly innovative nor even particularly rapacious in employing them (at least by comparison with almost any GOP candidate.)

    But they HAVE employed them.

    Nor do I buy into the argument that everything inept or destructive that Sanders supporters have inflicted on their own campaign has been solely the work of agents provocateurs or Bought Big Media manipulation. Given his lack of access to Democratic Party campaign expertise and his reluctance to play by The Usual Rules, Sanders has been constructing his campaign with a good many enthusiastic (sometimes overly so, admitted) but inexperienced ground staff, and an inevitable overload of Overtly Assertive Moral Superiority in tone.

    It has by no means been the ideal model for a reformed version of electoral process.

    But I, for one, hope that Sanders continues in the process right up to the moment when he firmly and categorically throws his support behind Clinton, for several reasons, one of which you mentioned (leverage in platform construction and messaging,) and several more you don’t- one of which is in the realm of continuing to shine the light into the Democratic Party kitchen and revealing the various cockroaches scuttling for cover. At least it’ll show us where to put the roach motels.

    It’s long past time for the Democrats to do some housecleaning. The rejection of neoliberal ideological influence, curbing the pay-for-play Big Donor stakes, and restoring more genuinely populist elements to the leadership and candidate promotion processes are long overdue.

    And here is where I hope Sanders supporters WILL direct their continuing involvement in the process. Don’t go home mad. Go to a meeting of your local Democratic Committee actuated by a firm, pragmatic, unresentful determination to carry these changes through.

    If you MUST go away mad, focus on the kind of constructive light-shining on the PROCESS and demands for change in things like voting mechanisms, (VOTER-VERIFIED PAPER BALLOTS! Can’t say that one often enough!) combating vote suppression, and even looking ahead to broader demands for campaign finance reform (still and always, until it’s won, the most important fight,) and redistricting/gerrymandering issues.

    So while I agree with you in the short term, John– Sanders will not be the Democratic Party nominee for the 2016 general election– I can’t agree in the long game. THAT’S not over until it’s over, but Sanders, his supporters, and the passions and hopes he has ignited may shorten the timeline on that.

    And to me, that’s a damn’ worthwhile outcome.

  36. The “Bernie polls better in the general election” argument is extremely naive. Until a year ago, he was virtually unknown at the national level. The Republican machine has been been throwing mud at Hillary Clinton for 25 years, and it’s done as much damage as it’s going to do: most people have made up their minds about her, one way or the other. But Bernie? Most Americans know nothing about him. If he were nominated, the Republicans would have a decisive hand in defining his national reputation. Remember, they don’t have to tell the truth.

  37. You know really stacked the deck against the Sanders campaign? It wasn’t closed vs open primaries, debate formats, or caucases vs normal voting, superdelegates announcing their support, or anything else. It’s the fact all his minority outreach attempts failed to convince the new Democratic coalition to vote for him, some of which, early in the campaign were laughable.

  38. Heh. I’m not voting “to make myself feel better.” I’m voting for what’s best for the country. In this case, it means anyone but GOP. Time to take out the trash.

  39. @marcus_king

    He can do all of that while not repeatedly claiming that the process is rigged. That only seems to drive up the feeling among his supporters that they shouldn’t support the eventual nominee or take themselves out of the system completely. Whether that’s true remains to be seen.

  40. Marcus_king:

    “Let’s put this one to rest.”

    Oh, let’s not. Nader’s presence in the race had a material effect, particularly in close state races (see: Florida). The rest of your comment after that point is pretty much immaterial to that.

    Granpa Caligula:

    “Rather than voting my conscience, I’m supposed to select which political puppet I can stand to look at the longest without retching?”

    There are some who would dislike having on their conscience the idea that their vote potentially incrementally increased the chance that someone whose politics they entirely abhorred would inhabit the White House. Sometimes conscience allows for strategic voting. If you’re not one of those people, of course, that’s fine.

    That said, the idea that Trump is someone’s political puppet is fairly amusing, considering the GOP did as much as they could to avoid him being their candidate (they just did it very poorly). As for Clinton being anyone’s political puppet, I was under the impression that the largest complaint about her was that she was the one pulling the strings. It’s all very confusing.

  41. I *hate* the idea of strategic voting. I am loath to vote for a candidate I don’t like just to keep a worse one from being in office. I’ve been on the fence about what to do when it becomes undeniable that Sanders isn’t gonna make it.

    I have to say that your post has decided me. I couldn’t live with myself if the house burned down and I hadn’t thrown a bucket of water because I was standing on principle.

    Still — dammit.

  42. I’m not a diehard “Nobody but Bern” type, and I think your position is the wise one. Nevertheless, since the diehards are the ones you’re trying to convince, I can see what they would believe is a flaw in your argument.

    In response to their proposition that Hillary’s lead is due to an establishment conspiracy, you point out that Hillary was the establishment candidate in 2008 and lost to Obama then. Ah, but the diehards would say, Obama wasn’t really an insurgent, he was just disguised as one, and his disappointing presidency proves that his heart was never really with Hope and Change in the first place. (Never mind any arguments that this isn’t really so: you know that that’s what the diehard Bernie types believe about Obama.) So – the argument goes – the establishment was willing to give Obama a pass, but Bernie is the Real Thing so he must be stopped.

    As for the scale of Clinton’s vote lead, the conspiracy theory doesn’t claim outright vote-fixing, but fooling and bamboozling voters on a large scale, which can certainly be done. (Otherwise how did the Republican field narrow to the repulsive Trump and Cruz?) This is where the Sanders argument folds back into the “but they really really want it” line, because the diehards hold that their candidate is so Noble and Pure they can’t believe anybody would really oppose him.

    Anyway, that’s how I think they’d try to brush you off.

  43. And here is where I hope Sanders supporters WILL direct their continuing involvement in the process. Don’t go home mad. Go to a meeting of your local Democratic Committee actuated by a firm, pragmatic, unresentful determination to carry these changes through.

    Hear, hear! And it will take a lot of effort and a bit of time, but it IS possible. After all, that’s how the Republican party sheered off to the right.

    It’s the fact all his minority outreach attempts failed to convince the new Democratic coalition to vote for him, some of which, early in the campaign were laughable.

    I’m not sure that he even tried that hard. Part of his core strategy is that there’s a great deal of untapped potential for Democrats in the white working class; on more than one occasion, he’s said that the left needs to go after that segment, and that money and class is a more core value than race. I think that’s flawed on several counts, but I don’t think he put that much effort into understanding the various minority communities, and he got trounced accordingly.

  44. I’m pretty much where you are. On the things that Bernie talks about (economy and big money in politics), I align more closely with him than Hillary. He’s great at pointing out problems, not so great at articulating a plan for fixing them, aside from some nebulous “revolution of the masses.” But dude, he couldn’t even get a revolution within the Democratic Party… much less the country as a whole.

    And I think Hillary is too moderate on many things. Too close to Wall Street, too little regard for the woes of the working class. Too interventionist and hawkish. But she’s been excellent on GLBT rights as SoS. I have friends that have worked with her that say she is much warmer and personable face-to-face than she comes across publicly. So yeah, I’ll support her in the general. I just hope everyone who wants a progressive revolution stays engaged and makes it happen in the long term instead of taking their toys and going home.

    Also… I couldn’t read your original posting without thinking of this gem… ;)

  45. One of the benefits of long presidential campaign cycles is the constant stress and pressure of campaigning often reveals the true nature of the candidates. One gaff is an accident (although our media don’t seem to realize this), two gaffs may be a coincidence. By the third gaff you begin to see a pattern that tells you who the candidate really is. The gaff I’m referring to here is not a misspoken comment or awkward photo op but the reaction of the top of the ticket when things go bad.

    Bernie Sanders and his supporters had the opportunity to take the campaign high road. Bernie even announced that was his intention when he started his campaign. That may have been, but as the voting results have not gone his way he and his surrogates have taken short cuts from the high road, have utilized false Republican noise machine talking points to characterize Hillary Clinton and just this past weekend resorted to violence and death threats when they didn’t get their way. So much for the high road.

    That Sanders didn’t come down hard and clear in his reaction to the Nevada debacle disqualifies him from higher office. He may not be able to control everything his supporters and surrogates do or say, but he can control his own reaction to their misconduct and he can set the tone for the kind of campaign he expects them to conduct. He has not done this and it is the final nail in the coffin of his Presidential aspirations.

  46. There’s zero sane reason to not let everyone else vote. Give every state a voice. Then add them up in the convention. Not too much to ask.
    Especially if you claim to like the idea of a democracy, as far diverged as the nomination process really is. It’s the closest thing resembling it.

  47. Re third party voters – If your individual vote will not be the decisive one, and it won’t be, why not vote your conscience? If you believe in the ideals of the Libertarian or Green party candidate, then vote for them. It’s a fallacy that voting for a non-winner is wasting your vote. If the winner’s going to win anyway, you’re wasting your vote on them.

    Ok. I’m the idiot who will argue that for the most part, R’s and D’s are just sports teams people root for. They have absolutely have different ideals but when it comes to what they actually do in Washington comes out mostly the same. Supreme court nominees are certainly an exception.

    Trump is a wild card (no pun intended) in that he doesn’t seem to have an ideology beyond what’s best for me.

  48. It wasn’t just voters who pulled the lever for Nader who made a difference; it was the people who bought his incessantly-stated claim that there was no difference between Bush and Gore, thought “Meh, why bother?” and stayed home.

    I’ve voted for third-party candidates in the past, but always with the awareness that I was throwing away my vote for the privilege of stroking my conscience. Either the Democratic candidate or the Republican candidate will be the next president, and that person will not only make multiple appointments to the Supreme Court but to the lower courts as well; the Republicans have been stalling on holding hearings on scores of nominees, hoping they’ll win the White House and be able to pack the courts with conservatives.

    If you can’t stand Clinton and honestly believe there’d be no difference between her and Trump on the issues most likely to impact the greatest number of citizens, give a thought to what each one’s court appointments would look like. Trump has helpfully compiled (with the assistance of the Heritage Foundation) a list of possibles for the high court — check out some of their rulings for a taste of what a Trump court would look like. Hillary would be in office for four years or for eight; justices are with us for decades.

    As for the disappointed Bernie supporters, yeah, pouring your passion into a losing campaign hurts like hell. But if the last eight years proved anything, it’s that electing a president without electing a House and Senate that will work with her or him is an exercise in futility. Spend your energy on getting more progressives elected to Congress, and demand that they repay your loyalty by working for electoral reform. I think that’s why Occupy, for all the numbers and the marching and the fervor, didn’t accomplish much: the people with the ability to change the laws were given no reason to believe that the tumult would be expressed in votes, and getting reelected (and reelected often enough to chair important committees, and then leave office and make pots of money lobbying) is what a fair proportion of them care most about.

  49. Oh and the “conventional wisdom” that seems to dismiss Trump as a threat because “the republicans hate him and won’t work with him” don’t see the real problem here.

    It isn’t that the GOP won’t do what Trump wants, it is that Trump won’t veto any crazy-assed idea that the GOP controlled congress wants. They kill Obamacare? He’ll sign it. They get rid of medicare and social security? He’ll sign it. Anything their dark hearts desire, he won’t stand in their way, especially if they pass a mexi-wall or the polygamy-for-presidents act, or saying that Miss America legally must now bang the president.

    OK, maybe those last couple are a bit out there, but what insane thing the GOP congress has tried do you think he’d care enough to stop? They JUST PUT ANTI-TRANS LEGISLATION IN A FUNDING BILL hoping to push it past Obama. Do you think Trump would blink at things like that?

    That’s Trump’s real threat. He’s the rubber stamp on the GOP’s wet dreams. Methinks the GOP doth protest too much.

  50. I voted for Hillary in 2008, was disappointed when she didn’t win, then did a hacking-sob ugly cry on election night when our country elected its first Black president. I was worried that he was too green and naive to really get things done, and that worry was proven right the first couple of years, but I was never angry that he became my party’s nominee. Lost a few PUMA friends over that, too.

    This year, I’ve been glad that Hillary’s turn seemed finally to be coming, and also excited about having a genuine shot at a woman president. Yet I also would have preferred a more progressive candidate. My plan, then, was to vote for Bernie in my caucus, to make a showing for the left side of the party, with the knowledge that he wouldn’t really have a chance, and Hillary, flawed but actually likely to do a pretty darn good job of it, would win.

    My plan to do this got scrapped.

    First, it was his lack of chiding supporters who booed BLM protestors at one of his rallies, followed by an awful “but Black people should support me because I’m better for them” reaction. By the time he got around to calling Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the Human Rights Campaign “the establishment” the bloom was so far off that rose the entire rosebush was dead.

    All campaign long, I kept waiting and waiting for him to broaden his message. I waited for him to have strong words about police murdering people of color and the religious right flouting the Constitution to refuse LGBT rights. I waited for him to champion abortion and contraception-access rights. I waited for him to make a point of talking about the ugly racism coming from Trump and his supporters. In all of those cases, he gave only lip service, saying a few words about it, pointing people to his voting record, and then returning to the same five talking points about economic justice he’s been hammering on the entire time. YES, Bernie. We KNOW the working class is getting screwed. What ELSE do you care about? Hillary’s outreach to multiple marginalized communities gets written off as pandering, but at least she’s recognizing that we exist. She’s also been an incredibly strong voice for women’s issues, especially economic ones, when Bernie has said almost nothing. Apparently equal pay, workplace harassment, child care and family leave aren’t economic justice issues or something.

    I really, really wanted a genuine progressive voice in this race. What I got was a radical, agitating for a revolution in which other people, conveniently, will be the ones most turned into martyrs. In other words, just another angry cishet white guy who thinks problems that affect people unlike himself either don’t exist or don’t matter. I started this campaign being tickled to see cranky Uncle Bernie star of C-Span, in the race. I’m ending it mourning the fact that thanks to him, progressivism is now being redefined as only those issues that matter to anti-establishment white guys. I cannot express how sad and angry that makes me.

  51. The dirty bit of blackmail here is that age-old “you must vote for Hillary or Satan will win” nonsense. It scares people. More fear mongering for the masses, as much as Trumps own inane invective. And you know what, he very likely could win in the general election. It could also happen partly because people like myself who are independent minded have no desire to vote for Hillary. This country needs better than political dynasties and stagnant policies. Most people are coming around to that point of view and that is why Trump and Bernie even exist at this point. But I refuse to let the tired old idea of “throwing away your vote” control my thought process. I’ll likely start looking into other candidates who, like say, Trump or Bernie “stood no chance of winning” according to everyone else at one time. Maybe one day, we’ll see that change from the status quo this country so desperately needs. It’s beyond a sickness, this blind acceptance and defense of a deeply broken system is an epidemic which has gridlocked the entire nation and divided everyone into extremist camps of sensationalism and hate. Meanwhile, we face serious problems and everyone is taught to look the other way. As we’ve seen the Republican party implode this cycle, so will the Democrats, it’s only a matter of time. Maybe then we’ll start to get somewhere.

  52. Shelley Adrienne Mimi Belsky- “So we get to choose between the Boogeyman or Baba Yega.
    I wonder how the White House will look on foul’s legs.”

    So there’s no difference between Trump and Clinton?

    OK, I guess these things are not important to you:

    A right to an abortion
    Labor laws continuing to improve
    A minimum wage
    LGBT rights
    Press Freedom
    A president who’s happy to call women “fat pigs” because they dare criticize him
    Global warming
    A new type of police force they will round up and deport anyone looking foreign
    Not going to war with Iran

    And so on. So yeah, if that’s not a list of things that matter to you, there’s no difference between Clinton and Trump. That’s just the kind of person you are.

  53. Russ Linton:

    “The dirty bit of blackmail here is that age-old ‘you must vote for Hillary or Satan will win’ nonsense. It scares people.”

    It should fucking well scare people. Bluntly speaking, the only two people who will be elected president in 2016 will be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. It’s not blackmail to point it out, it’s simple reality. Given that this is a fact, it’s all right to look at the realpolitik implications of where one casts one’s vote and the possible consequences.

    I get that you have a soapbox about how the system is broken, etc, and that’s fine. Also, here in the real world, either Clinton or Trump is going to be president. If you don’t want Trump, you should almost certainly vote for Clinton (and vice-versa).

  54. While I think you’re likely right that Sanders won’t win, I disagree that he should stop running. The further he takes this the more he can talk about his issues with a much bigger audience than he will get should he concede. It gives him a stronger platform for those issues moving forward.

    Tactically speaking while the public face of the campaign to elect Trump is all about Clinton I can’t imagine they aren’t expending internal energy on the what if we’re facing Sanders contingency. If Sanders concedes that stops and those resources go to defeating Clinton.

    Also I think Sanders will have more credibility with his followers to push for Clinton if he pushes to win all the way to the end. I think the majority of Sanders supporters (myself included)will vote for the Democratic candidate in the general election, but the more extreme Bernie or bust crowd is more likely to be convinced to do so if they feel like they tried everything they could first.

  55. A message to many hard-core Bernie Sanders supporters: YOU ARE IN AN ECHO CHAMBER. Yes, it may seem like everyone you know is a Bernie supporter, and Hillary’s continued success must be corruption and electoral theft. It’s not. There are millions of people you don’t know, and who may not be in your social circles at all, who are quietly voting for Hillary in large numbers.

    Yes, the system is not ideal, and Hillary is certainly benefiting from her 48 years of Democratic Party membership when the party runs its nomination process. Is this a surprise to anyone? Bernie has only been a democrat for about a year (if you presume that he became one on the day he declared his intention to seek the nomination. He didn’t specifically declare himself as a democrat until November of last year.) Parties are political beasts, and someone new to the party should expect that they’re going to have an uphill road when going up against the 3rd most well-known and influential member of said party.

  56. I’ll admit I am not American, and that I live in a place where there are viable third party candidates and where who the larger parties are is not an unchanging thing either, but I have to agree that blaming Nader for Gore losing is not a good thing for democracy as a whole.

    Voters get to vote, without penalty of emotional blackmail, for who they prefer and may use any grounds to do so. And that includes non-voting by spoiling ballots or staying home. If a candidate loses because a third party hived off enough votes, or because people stayed home, then that is absolutely and 100% the fault of that candidate. They are not entitled to a win, nor entitled to any votes at all. If they want to win, they have to convince the voters to come out and vote for them. The onus is on them to put across a better message than their opponents, even the small party ones. If Gore lost because more people were persuaded to vote Nader or because not enough people were persuaded to get out and vote for him, then that is 100% his fault and he ought to have had better and more principled policies to attract those voters.

    Blaming the voters is wrong and bad for democracy. It is up to the candidate to listen and to produce better policies.

  57. Crypticmirror:

    “Blaming the voters is wrong and bad for democracy.”

    Well, no. It’s all right to make the observation had Nader not been in the race, Gore would have probably become president, so those who voted for Nader have some responsibility for that. It would be unfair to say it was solely their fault — the larger share of the responsibility, in my opinion, was on Al Gore, who chose to tack away from Bill Clinton rather than to fully take advantage of the incumbent’s relative popularity. But it’s fine to say that voting for Nader rather than Gore (if you would have otherwise voted for gore) contributed to a Bush presidency.

  58. I’d say “Talking points memo is a complete shill for the Democratic Party Establishment” but then you’d paint me as a berniebro and that would get us nowhere.

  59. @Justin – you say ” superdelegates exist for cases exactly like this in which the candidate losing the popular vote is the one most likely to win in the general election” but this isn’t the case. They exist to prevent another McGovern in 72 – someone who gets massive support from one being of the party but who is so far out there in terms of the country that said candidate is unelectable and gets crushed as McGovern in fact did.

    The Bernie supporters who want all of the super delegates to swing to him despite him losing in popular vote, etc are revealing themselves as anti-democratic (small D). You cannot whine about the Nevada issue and claim Clinton has rigged votes and then want to thwart the process by making a backroom end run around the expressed wishes of the voters.

  60. I haven’t seen a single person arguing that people shouldn’t still vote in the remaining primaries. What I do see is people tired of Bernie insisting he has a path to the nomination, and that if he doesn’t win, it will only be because of some giant conspiracy against him. (That apparently 12 million people are in on, I guess.) If he really does see reality, and his goal is the platform, I want to know exactly what he thinks should change about it.

  61. Regarding “strategic” third-party votes:

    Ever since voting for McGovern in 1972, I’ve voted for third-party candidates. However, I lived in Arizona and Alabama for crying out loud — by the time those two were in play, the only question would have been whether it would be a landslide in the Electoral College or just plain unanimous.

    So if you live in Mississippi, go ahead and vote Green. Seriously — I’ve talked to enough of the people who do the work year-in and year-out for the Parties and they’ll tell you that the Parties do pay attention to those third-party votes when they’re making plans and platforms.

    Now I live in New Mexico. Not exactly Ohio — bear in mind that John lives in the absolute poster child for “swing States” and can’t afford to take that lightly — but still on the books as a swing State. And you won’t catch me voting for a minor party. Not voting at all has never been an option, and I haven’t so much as missed a school board election since I was old enough to do it the first time.

    But if you’re not in Mississippi or Oregon, take the responsibility seriously. There really is a difference [1], no matter how much you have come to dislike Clinton.

    [1] Image of the old cartoon, with Clinton’s and Trump’s faces on the babies.

  62. (apologies for the add-on post…)

    “Voters get to vote, without penalty of emotional blackmail, for who they prefer and may use any grounds to do so.”

    And they also have to accept that those votes have consequences. Voters who selected Nader in 2000 KNEW they were not going to get their candidate in the White House – they should also have know that they were going to disproportionately hurt Gore and swing the election ever so slight to Bush. Sanders supporters need to recognize that same dynamic, especially with the 2000 election as a recent example of that effect.

  63. First, this: the words “president” and “Trump” spoken in the same sentence give me the heebie jeebies. I simply cannot believe that any sane person would vote for that poisonous, narcissistic, bigoted, self-centered, bufoonish package of bad news – which makes me wonder about half of America because they ARE, *Someone* wants Trump. This blows my mind and is beyond my understanding. All I can do is whimper at it.

    However, that said – if Bernie doesn’t (as he probably won’t) get the nom, I’m sorry, fellow non-Trumpies, but Clinton isn’t it. I”ll vote Green if I have to. I’ll leave the presidential election slot blank if i have to and vote for the progressives down-ticket. (Yes, I agree that flipping fricking CONGRESS will do a whole lot of good…) But I won’t vote Clinton. Those who know me know my reasons – they’re mine, and personal, and huge, and valid (for me) and no they have nothing to do with all the talking points. I think Benghazi is a nag that’s so dead that they’re whipping the horse’s bones by now; I don’t really know what the big deal with the emails was if the stuff WASn’T classified when it was sent; none of the usual suspects apply here. But reasons do exist, and I can no more ignore them than I can change who I am on the atomic level and become quite a different person. So I”ll stay Bernie, right until Bernie throws in the towel. I think I have a very good idea about what’s about to happen in a place like New jersey, but I am interested in what California does.And I’ll wait it out, and see.

    Come the general election, I would just like to ask one question. There will ALWAYS be a bogeyman (admittedly Trumpty Dumpty is a large one, but if it wasn’t him it woudl be someone else, there was no shortage of them THIS time, it might have been Cruz in his place, same arguments would apply) – and given that there will always be a bogeyman when do we stop running scared and vote for something we WANT instead of against something we’re told to be afraid of? Because THAT never ends. Fear is eternal. There are always the embers, and it never takes much to poke them into open flames. When does it stop?

  64. So I realize that Bernie’s chances of winning the Dem nomination are slim to none. I’m going to vote for him anyway, because what’s the point of voting for the person just because they’re the likely nominee? Also I agree with him more. It’s my job as an informed voter to vote for the person I most want in the position. When we’re past the primaries, I’m again going to vote for whomever I want most for the job, which frankly will be Clinton, because I sure as hell don’t want Trump.

  65. “But if it gets to October and the polls are depressingly close…”
    If the polls are depressingly close, then we very badly chose the wrong nominee, and the failure lays at the feet of the candidate, her performance, and the party machine that fought for her.

    If Hillary Clinton wants to woo Sanders supporters and bring them into the fold, she and her surrogates are doing an astonishing job of botching that task.

  66. Alma – if President Trump scares you but you refuse to vote Clinton and you’re in a swing state then you are effectively voting for Trump. You can try to rationalize that anyway you want, but don’t kid yourself – doing that is helping Trump

  67. I don’t care whether Bernie stays in the race or not. I want his supporters to stop with the harassment and death threats to people like Roberta Lange. It doesn’t matter whether you think she robbed you of a delegate or two, what happened in Nevada is not acceptable.

    The election was not rigged. The deck was not stacked against Bernie. Bernie had plenty of money to run a good enough campaign, he just spent it poorly. His campaign spent most of his money on TV ads and rallies, rather than on organizing and training. In 2008, Hillary didn’t spend enough on organizing and training, while Obama did, and it cost her the nomination even though she came in as the heavy favorite. This isn’t rocket science. I’ve worked on campaigns. Rallies make you feel good, but they don’t get you votes. You have to identify who your likely supporters are, contact them door to door, and get them out to vote. You have to know the rules of the game in every place. You have to know how voter registration works, and make sure your voters are registered in time and properly. There are no shortcuts.

    Caucuses, open primaries, closed primaries: these weren’t just created this cycle to grease the skids for Hillary. Each state party makes a choice, and that choice is based on several factors, including the desires of the national party, what the state rules around registration are, how the state governs elections, and whether the person in charge of elections is elected and appointed. I’ve voted in all three types. They aren’t “disenfranchising.” Some are harder than others to participate in, but nobody is preventing you from voting.

    The Bernie campaign complaining about the Nevada convention being rigged is especially rich since Hillary won the original precinct caucus, then the Bernie campaign got organized and took advantage of caucus rules to stack the deck at the county caucuses, but were mad when the Hillary campaign responded with better organization at the state convention. It’s not about 64 challenged delegates. It’s about 400 Bernie delegates who didn’t show up. Hillary got more of her delegates to show up to the state convention.

    Never mistake passion for votes. Even the most passionate only get one vote. Passion only helps if you turn those passionate supporters into effective, trained volunteers.

  68. @Ben As someone with no skin in the game at all, I agree Clinton supporters seem to be taking more glee in (metaphorically) beating up Sanders supporters, actively insulting them, and telling them to go away, than they do taking on Trump supporters. That seems like a good way to lose an election.

    I’ll also agree that, yes exactly, if the polls are so close that the small amount of people voting for third party candidates makes the difference and causes a swing then the non-third party candidates did an astonishing job of screwing up long before the polls opened. You can’t blame the voters for voting for the person who represented them the most instead of not ticking them off the least, especially if the person who least ticked them off didn’t do a good enough job at not ticking them off to bring more on board.

  69. I’m a Bernie supporter and I will be voting for him in California when I get my chance, but I recognize that I’ll have a choice between Clinton and Trump in the general election and although there are several things I do not like about Clinton, I’ll be voting for her to stop Trump. That would be an utter disaster.

  70. Sure, I only get one vote, but how I vote will affect everyone around me. I can be selfish and grumbly and say I’ll never vote for anyone but my candidate, but elections have consequences. I live in a community – I want the best for that community. While it may make me feel good to vote my conscience, in a two-person race (and that’s what the US system gives us) where one of the people will without a doubt destroy my community, a vote for anyone other than the other candidate is a vote against my community.

  71. I voted for Bernie in my primary. I’ve described myself as a “Bernie Sanders-style liberal” for over a decade. While he was relatively unknown on the national stage until recently, he was much beloved in the politically-active northeast. When I abjure Bernie supporters to get behind Hillary in the general, that’s where it’s coming from.

    Supreme Court appointments, are the obvious bit. There’s other stuff that I’ll get to later but that’s the easiest one to explain.. Even if Bernie supporters staying home or voting third party somehow changed the Democratic party (which has never worked before), the results of a Republican presidency might not be fixable in four years. One justice is on the line right now, but several more could come up. If we had a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, that would be something we might not get to fix for decades – and that Supreme court would make it steadily more difficult for Sanders-style politicians to compete in the future.

    Super PACs only exist because of Republican supreme court appointments. The congressional effort to reverse Citizens United was opposed solely by Republicans. More importantly, remember the Voting Rights Act? It’s the key protection against disenfranchisement that was destroyed by Republican-appointed Supreme Court Justices.

    Also: Down ticket races. This weird focus on these anti-Clinton conspiracy theories hurts progressives badly, because it draws attention away from the real, deliberate skullduggery of a party who has openly admitted that voter ID laws are meant to suppress the youth and minority vote. And how did all those policies get put into place? Down ticket and local races, and Republican supreme court appointments.

    If you really think there’s no real difference between democrats and republicans, then you’re either misinformed or you simply do not consider voter enfranchisement to be an important issue. You also have to not consider the civil rights of anyone other than straight white men a priority, because Democratic officials are passing laws that protect women and the LGBT community as often as Republican officials are passing laws that actively harm them. Oh, also health care for the poor – google medicaid expansion and how that went down and you’ll notice a party-related pattern.

    But yes – if none of that stuff is important to you, then I can see why you consider the parties to be identical. That’s the problem though: every time someone says the parties are identical, I hear “I don’t care about voter enfranchisement, women, the LGBT community, or the poor – because these are the principles upon which the parties visibly, effectively, measurably differ. Millions of people are helped or harmed by these real world laws and policies that differ starkly depending on which major party is in power, but I do not consider them to be relevant to my political decisions.”

    I sincerely doubt that is the case for most Bernie supporters. Many are newly politically active and caught in a bubble of others who are newly politically active – but this stuff isn’t hard to learn about. Heck, you’d know about most of this stuff if you just watched the Daily Show or Last Week Tonight. Or heck, the Nightly Show – Larry Wilmore has been an ardent Bernie Sanders supporter since he announced his candidacy.

    If the Democrats lose this year, the progressive cause will likely be harmed for decades due to the ripple effect of Republican state legislatures and Republican-appointed judges making it more difficult to vote. This isn’t baseless fear-mongering; it is a description of a political reality that has been consistently true for decades. Also: if dems don’t take back state-level governments then the republicans will continue their gerrymandering after the 2020 census, we won’t be able to get congress back – and getting congress back is the only hope we have of fixing the key part of the Voting Rights Act the republican-appointed judges destroyed.

    If you think this is unjustified fear-mongering, tell me why and I can provide additional information. It’s easily googleable, but I’m willing to do it for you.

  72. I would add that for everyone saying, “Hey, the game is rigged, let’s get rid of the Electoral College and super delegates and delegates,” I think there are a lot of really, really good reasons to do that. But doing it in the middle of an election cycle … not going to happen. This comes up regularly, especially since the Bush-Gore debacle, but did anything change? Not really, no. And if you want it to … if you really want the revolution that so many Sanders people discuss (and apparently Trump supports believe in, sort of), then you will probably need to actively participate in the parties at a state level and start what would be a long slog to changing the fundamentals of how US federal elections work at both the federal and state level. But, hey, you can otherwise bitch about it and share memes on Facebook and Twitter and be angry about it.

  73. From what I’ve seen, most Sanders supporters seem set to do what the PUMA crowd did in 2008 – yell for a bit, then swallow their rage and disappointment and vote in the general for a candidate who’s actually got a whole lot in common with their favorite. As for the rest of them, Sanders’ die-hards of one stripe or another, I don’t see any point in Clinton trying to woo or placate them.

    Some of those die-hards are adherents of the cult of Bernie’s personality. That support is not transferable, even if Bernie hadn’t been whining about how the Democratic party is a bunch of corrupt election-rigging corporate shills. But since Bernie and his people *have* been whining about how the Democrats have dishonestly deprived Bernie of the coronation to which he is entitled, no way no how are Bernie’s personality cultists going to support those corrupt election-rigging corporate shills. (Not even in the down-ticket races – which is a shame of Bernie’s making.)

    Some of those die-hards are long-term third-party voters who saw an opportunity to back a socialist in a major-party race. Sanders took those voters from Stein, La Riva, Moorehead, and that’s who they’re going back to. Their votes were never available to Clinton, and there is nothing she can do to get them.

    And some of those die-hards are ‘liberal’ dudes who would rather burn this treehouse down than let a girl in the club. Those dudes are not voting for a woman. They will never, ever phrase it that way, and they will be terribly hurt and angry that anyone could say such awful things about them… but they will not vote for a woman. You can tell by the way their second choice after Bernie Sanders is not Jill Stein or Gloria La Riva or Monica Moorehead, but Donald Trump.

    There is nothing Hillary Clinton can do to get those people on board. She shouldn’t waste time trying. Not when her time could be better spent working to elect Democrats to Congress.

  74. Of course they won’t change the electoral college/nomination process… it’s rigged in their favor, and they can easily game the system to their advantage. The politicians and the rich ruling class.

  75. Re: Shawna- Beautiful. Exactly.

    Re: Justin- 1) Sanders is only (sometimes) seen as more electable because his crazy published rants in the Vermont Freeman when he was old enough to know better (late 20s early 30s) have not been widely reported on 24/7 cable news. Once that happens, added to it some questionable statements he’s made about dictators and socialism, he will be painted as a kook. I forgive him for that nonsense because the counter-culture was what it was and I can put it in context, but it does show that he has never been a particularly deep thinker. The essays are stupid and misogynistic at best. If you don’t know already, he does thought experiments about rape fantasies, essays about cancer being caused by lack of orgasms, and insists that public school is indoctrination and that we should encourage children’s natural sexuality. He seemed overly obsessed with finding the cause of what he perceives to be women’s sexual frigidness without bothering to let actual real live women have a say in it (there were plenty of smart women talking about sexual liberation in an intelligent way by that time which he appears to ignore in favor of Freud and his own experience with female sexual repression). Creepy stuff. The Clinton campaign has been VERY nice to him in this regard because she hopes to win over his voters. Trump will not be so nice- it will be on regular Fox rotation, you know it. It’s going to be hard to say he is so much more electable after that. Keep in mind that neither Clinton nor Trump have any surprises in their past- all the skeletons are already out. Bernie- people know him less, and there are several essays worth of kookiness to take out of context and use against him.

    2) Regarding thinking about if voting for Hilary would make YOU feel better. Nice that you have the privilege of thinking of this way. Those of us who are watching Trump threaten our actual everyday civil liberties (immigrants, women, black people, citizens of the countries he threatens to carpet bomb, gay families, etc) don’t have the privilege of soul-searching over whether or not Hilary would make us FEEL BETTER. She will protect our actual lives, and Trump has repeatedly stated that he will not. I don’t like Hilary either, and despite the fact that I think Bernie is flawed, I voted for him in the primary. But I would vote for ANY Dem in the general because it’s about survival. I’m repeatedly floored by all the supposedly progressive white men who are willing to throw women, lgbt, non-white people and immigrants under the bus in this election on PRINCIPLE. There are lots of ways to be activists. Protect people’s individual rights first, then lobby the government (locally and nationally) for the long-term change you want. It’s impossible to do that in the reverse, and it’s tiresome that non-white and non-men people have to keep pointing this out to so-called progressives all the time.

  76. Um, the electoral college is in Article II of the Constitution, so would take an Constitutional Amendment to change. “They” can’t change it; we all have to.

  77. Shawna:

    You’ve succinctly summarized the problem with Bernie and the campaign. Nevada was a very ugly demonstration of that. But I don’t think that Bernie has redefined progressivism as anti-establishment white guys. His reach simply hasn’t been that far, first off. And second, he did have a young people contingent and while most of those young people were white, they are very centered on LGBT, womens and racial issues — on pushing for equality. So while the left libertarian and anti-establishment white guys did set the main agenda for Sanders’ campaign — economic justice for working class white people 1930’s style, rinse and repeat — a large group of his supporters are going to go on, working in the party to pursue the civil rights issues that have such an impact on the economic ones, either with Hilary’s supporters or going their own way at lower levels of government. And we have all the progressives who were not Bernie supporters as well, who constitute a broad spectrum.

    It is sad that a push to the left did not include major focus on civil rights issues, but I don’t think it’s erased those issues from the more left side or the party in general, far from it. I think overall Bernie helped push the Democratic party platform more where it needed to be, which countered the business bombast of the GOP primary nicely. It’s just we’re in the awkward transition zone to the general election. That got very bitter in 2008 too, but the wounds do heal.

    I think that Bernie has largely lost control of his campaign at this point, and there are competing goals for how to build on what was done within that campaign and that’s what we’re seeing. The minority sending sexist slurs and death threats to female reporters and party officials is loud, but they aren’t the bulk of Bernie’s support, just a sliver. And they are going to find very little traction over the next twenty years in the progressive movement, because that movement has gone beyond them. That’s part of what they are mad about, I guess. Young people do want economic reform, but they also want civil rights reform and overall the Democratic party is pursuing both.

    Tom Combs:

    That’s Trump’s real threat. He’s the rubber stamp on the GOP’s wet dreams. Methinks the GOP doth protest too much.

    Yeah, that’s what happened with W. Bush. Except that W. actually did have a tiny bit of conscience and sometimes had to play nice Christian. Trump has no conscience. If you are truly wanting to fight against large banks raiding the government for cash while crashing the economy and starving the populace, everything you hate is exactly what Trump either desires or has no problem delivering. He won’t even pay the lip service lies that W. and Repubs used to do. He is a profoundly ignorant parasite who thinks he’s running for king (or king of the prom.) He can do ten times the damage that W. did.

  78. Yay I became a citizen two years ago and…. this is my reward? Thanks, guys.

    I don’t like Hilary but she is light years better than Trump – she’ll start wars on purpose, and not by accident, but is less likely to get drunk, nuke Russia and destroy humanity. “Hold my beer and watch this” is not a good phrase near the nuclear football.

    I’m a straight white 1% guy who will benefit handily from the Republican deficit-exploding tax cuts (at least until society collapses in flames) and Trump scares the ever-loving crap out of me – if I was any sort of minority or a woman I’d be looking to move back to the UK. Fortunately we’re too old for the banning of contraception to have any impact on us.

    Bernie is much closer to me than Hilary is, but he’s not going to be the candidate – I can live with that, I just wish there was a better Democratic candidate than Hilary so they Dems had more of a chance of securing the senate (and more than a hail mary chance of flipping the house). But being disorganized and inept is what the Dem apparatus seems to thrive on.

    Anyone who thinks Trump and HIlary are interchangeable is an idiot – for reasons outlined above, even if H is elected and when the senate flips back to Republican control at the mid terms she can still veto stuff, Trump would rubberstamp all sorts of GOP insanity (see – Kansas, North Carolina, Florida, Wisconsin for details) and the Supreme Court appointments are crucial.

  79. FTR, I’m behind protest voting in solidly red or blue states. If you live in one of those and want to vote third party or write in that’s cool–I encourage, it, actually. I especially think moderate Republicans who can’t stomach the idea of voting for Hillary ought to make a decent showing for Gary Johnson. Just please DO vote, because not voting at all doesn’t send a specific enough message. It’s like not showing to work without calling in. Are you ill? Are you dead in a ditch somewhere? Or are you just hungover/stoned/lazy and can’t be bothered? No one knows, and that’s a problem.

    One other thing I would recommend for Bernie supporters is to spend your time between the convention and November researching all the OTHER races on the ballot, from school board to governor, plus any and all ballot measures or other things. If you want better candidates at the national level, you have to vote in better candidates at state, county and local levels. (And here’s where I put in a plug for Darcy Burner, who has the potential to be a major progressive rising star if she wins this year.) Better yet, if you have the time and resources, actually go volunteer for a campaign for something/someone you believe in. Or hell, run yourself. One of the ways the Tea Party grew to such enormous power was by taking over school boards and then working their way up. Find out if there’s an open or weak seat on your city or county council and get on in there.

    Sustainable polticial change doesn’t rest on the shoulders of one man. It’s a team effort, and it does–sorry–require working within the system itself to make things happen. Wholesale revolutions are basically impossible in a country this big and well-established, and they tend to leave nasty body counts when they’re attempted (see: War, Civil.) It’s not sexy, but the business of actually running the government is slow, tedious, boring and deeply uncool. The people who are best able to genuinely get things done are the ones who have the patience and stubbornness to work through those processes to come out better on the other side. When you’re 22 and used to getting almost everything in your daily life instantly on demand, it’s frustrating to see how slow and creaky this machine is. But it’s the same in any lasting democracy, and always will be. I for one never thought we’d make as much progress as we have since I was 22 myself, and I’m ecstatic about how far we’ve come. But it also did take 23 years to get from there to here, which to younger people probably seems like an eon. I love the passion I’ve seen in younger voters this year. I just hope they haven’t pinned it all on one guy, and will put that passion to work on other things once he’s out of the picture.

  80. Mr Scalzi — I think you’ve overlooked a valid reason to vote third-party: to get the party over the threshold to qualify for “major party” status. Various goodies are tied to achieving a particular threshold (e.g., 5% in MN), such as automatic ballot access and campaign subsidies. So the matter is not entirely symbolic.

  81. The rise of Sanders and the rise of Trump are not coincidences, are they’re not strong personalities that came along and whipped movements up out of nothing. The working class is trying to tell us something. There’s a problem.

    All of the electoral shenanigans aside, my primary beef with Hillary Clinton is that I do not think she fundamentally believes there is a problem. If you don’t believe there’s a problem you certainly can’t fix it, and unless it’s fixed, we should except another Trump, or worse, next time around.

  82. I like Hillary. Not, “I don’t like Hillary, but”. I like Hillary, period. Just in case anybody is afraid to come out as a Hillary supporter, you’re not the only one. Even if it isn’t fashionable or you get targeted by #notallberniebros.

  83. Tom Combs:

    Of course they won’t change the electoral college/nomination process… it’s rigged in their favor, and they can easily game the system to their advantage. The politicians and the rich ruling class.

    Changing the electoral college requires a Constitutional Amendment. That takes a two thirds supermajority in the Senate and in the House, just to begin with. Assuming every single Democrat voted for it [1], that would make it just about 17 votes short in the Senate and 100 votes short in the House. But assuming that Republicans were all so high on the day of the vote that they pushed the wrong button and the Amendment passes Congress, then it would have to be ratified by two-thirds of the States.

    That’s 38 States. Currently Democrats have something like 18 of them; the rest are single-party States with legislatures that prioritize things like Voter ID, “religious freedom (to discriminate)” laws, tax cuts paid for by cuts to education, etc. Along with the aforementioned small States that would be reducing their own representation.

    So there’s really no need to postulate any kind of plutocratic conspiracy. The EC was enacted into the Constitution with the intent of producing the very effects that we deplore: giving disproportionate influence to small-population States (then, as now, especially New England.)

    That Amendment has been talked about for over 200 years and if the USA is still around for another 200 it will still be on the table then.

    The only realistic alternative (and by “realistic” I don’t mean likely) is the so-called “National Popular Vote.” If you want to make the EC less of a joke, you could try pushing your State to join, but don’t cry if it doesn’t happen in your lifetime.

    [1] Bear in mind that the current arrangement is very much to the advantage of low-population States. Ones like Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire — those.

  84. The electoral college just isn’t an issue. People complain every 4 years, but it’s VERY rare that the EC results are different than the popular vote results. As for the superdelgates, remember that parties are private organizations. They could nominate by any means they want. It’s not subject to public whims.

    One of the most galling things about the primary season is the weight given to states that simply don’t represent the US. Iowa? NH? South Carolina? Those and a handful of early states simply aren’t reflective of the US at large. IN the meantime, California and other states are relegated to a point in the calendar where their votes rarely hold any meaning.

  85. @Miles

    Supreme court nominees are certainly an exception.

    You say that as though it weren’t the enormous 500 foot tall elephant in the room.

  86. @Russ Linton:

    “The dirty bit of blackmail here is that age-old “you must vote for Hillary or Satan will win” nonsense.”

    Okay, so to set aside any hyperbole, how about this: “One party is trying to make it illegal for people like me to use the bathroom, the other party is not.”

    That simple fact has an impact on my choice of who to vote for in November. It’s not the only determining factor, there are others, but I can tell you, it has some weight. If that’s not the kind of thing that impacts you, great. But it impacts me very directly.

    I like Sanders. I voted for him in the primary. If he somehow won the nomination, I’d vote for him.

    But he won’t be nominated, and right now, I’m in a swing state, and I can’t afford to sit back and watch the “deeply broken system” fall apart because I’m still caught in its gears. It’s not a matter of “blind acceptance.” Watching its destruction from afar is simply not an option available to me.

  87. I don’t live in the US. My interest is the perspective from the other side of the pond; I read the stuff from the hard core Sanders supporters, and I’m left puzzled as to why they would prefer a batshit crazy monomaniac with the capability to start World War III as President.

    I’ve read the posts, but so far nobody seems prepared to acknowledge that fact, much less accept any responsibility for putting a batshit crazy monomaniac into a position where he can start WWIII. Until such time that somebody provides an explanation I can only conclude that there are a lot more bat shit crazy monomaniacs than Donald Trump…

  88. @wiredog and @Giorgio S. Germanos,

    Proportional voting systems such as you outline have been used in Australia for a long time. One potential consequence of these systems, particularly if you have large pools of “minor party” candidates running (in the US I would say the Libertarians, Green Party and Communist Party are all in that group) is that an individual’s primary vote may well end up eventually supporting a candidate who is dramatically opposite to their original intent.

    For instance, the Libertarian party candidate’s votes may end up distributed to the Communist Party candidate because the Libertarian party machinery in that particular election is loath to give them to the Green party, for whatever reason.

    In Australia, which has a proportional representation model for the (Federal) Senate, this type of preference redistribution scheme has resulted in candidates from decidedly fringe-dwelling parties (such as the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party) gaining Senate seats and ending up holding the balance of power.

    This is not to say that proportional voting systems and preference allocation are not without benefits, but the law of unintended consequences still has quite a lot of power.

  89. I would second the plug for Darcy Burner (, who is running for state legislator in Washington, and probably faces an uphill battle to get through the primary. BTW, she’s also been getting harassing messages from Berniebros wanting her to flip her superdelegate support from Hillary to Bernie; problem is, she isn’t a superdelegate.

  90. I’m for Hillary. I used to just lean her way, but Bernie convinced me she was the better candudate. That said, I’m all for Bernie staying in and pushing his message, and maybe pushing Hillary a bit more leftward, which would be good. What I would like for him to do is stop with the “conspiracy” message.

    And, yes, as was pointed out upthread, there will always be a terrible GOP opponent out there, far worse than the Dem, and the Dem PtB have been far too complacent about us hippie liberals. But, as has been demonstrated with Obama’s presidency, the change must be made at the local levels. We need better Dems in the state legislatures and Congress, and better Dems running the apparatus.

    But for this race, the worst Dem is geometrically better than anyone the GOP puts up, and I’m willing to take “pretty good” over “godawful.”

  91. A vote is an exercise of power, not a confession of faith.

    If you are driving and come to a fork in the road, you take either the left fork or the right fork, depending on which choice will get you to your destination soonest. You don’t say “well, there ought to be a road right here” and continue going straight ahead at 40 mph and then blame the Highway Department when your car wraps itself around a tree.

  92. People who hate Hillary so much that they can’t stomach voting for her, SCOTUS not withstanding.are incredibly short-sighted. However, far worse are the Bernie or Bust-ers who have stated that they intend to vote for Trump, in pointless protest that Bernie wus robbed. There is no possible justification for that. I hope, when it comes to it, Bernie sends them a strong message denouncing that.

  93. My husband is so frustrated with everyone that he says he’s contemplating writing in “Boaty McBoatface” for the office. I may fall back on my traditional “None of the Above” write-in as well. I’ve used it more than once.

  94. @Ben I think it was Vox that had an article abut the “snobbery” of the modern Democratic party and how it’s no longer a party of the working class but rather one of Ivy Leaguers, social elites who have had everything handed to them and that, not because “those working class hicks are too dumb to know what’s good for them,” is why you get so many working-class white guys as Republicans despite, yes, Republican policies not being good for the working class at all.

    After this race I have severe doubts I’ll vote for a Republican in the forseeable future, but maybe the party of Lincoln will some day swing the pendulum back around and find some kind of redemption. That said Clinton and the DNC as it is now are almost a caricature, fulfilling as though it was a checklist every self-destructive snobbish action in that article. I’m just saying there’s a reason there is a stereotype of the Democratic party as a load of corporate shills wholly divorced from the reality of the average working-class American and it’s not just the Sanders campaign. Republicans just have a better noise machine to pretend that they care or understand the plight of the worker when they care and understand as little or less.

    And I do have to mention I just had a realization of privilege. And yes, I’m aware as a white, straight, cis man I have so much privilege I could fill an Olympic pool with it. Really the only thing I don’t have is money. I’m a hair above minimum wage and have had days and continue to have days where I couldn’t afford to both feed myself and make rent – which I why I’m a Sanders supporter and will be until he drops out. The privilege I realized is I live in a solid-color state. At the moment that’s Texas, at the time of election it will most likely be Massachusetts. So I will be able to save my conscience without having an appreciable effect on the end results where someone in a swing state may have to choose between living with themselves or needing to pick a party candidate. So I’ll try to be a bit more aware of that in discussions going forward (assuming I don’t block all politics from my social media and just pencil in “a literal turd because it’s better than Trump” on my ballot).

  95. Mike:

    And, with Hillary’s poll numbers dropping, it is not over yet.

    What numbers dropping? The latest polls I could find in the two major states left (CA and NJ) both show solid leads by Clinton. In California, the latest polls show Clinton is ahead by anywhere from 2 to 19 points. In New Jersey, Clinton is even further ahead, with her lead being between 9 and 28 points. Things don’t get much better in the smaller races left, although it’s harder to say given that there is no recent polling data there (all data from RealClearPolitics).

    At this point, expecting all remaining primaries to be a Michigan-style upset seems wishful thinking.

  96. “I should note that with regard to third parties such as the Greens and Libertarians, I’m not at all opposed to them, and I think in a general sense it would be better if more parties had greater representation in our political system. That is balanced by the practical knowledge that this election year, if you are generally a Democratic (or heck, GOP) voter, and you choose to vote third party, you’re effectively registering as “no vote”. Which is of course your call and I will defend to the death your right to do it, etc, but let’s not pretend it’s not what it is.”

    That it is. The target demographic for Libertarians is Republicans who don’t want an ignorant, racist (, misogynist, homophobic, etc) buffoon to win, but also can’t stand the idea of voting for a Democrat (in general, or Clinton in particular). For those folks, voting Libertarian is a good way to tell your Party that you don’t want Trump to be your candidate, much less your President.

  97. The general view is that the Republicans are the party with the greater cohesion problem this cycle. Maybe that view is wrong, because Clinton is like Trump in at least one respect: She effortlessly pisses off lots of people in her own party. . .

  98. We’re not actually that stupid either, John. We know everything you’ve said about what is likely to happen. But you’ve set up a number of false dichotomies to which my only realistic answer appears to be “Both our neither.”
    For example, knowing Bernie is extremely unlikely to win the nomination doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue fighting hard for every delegate we can get. Partly because the very unlikely does happen once in a while, but mostly because there is a purpose to going to the convention with as many delegates as possible, even if that’s not enough to win the nomination: it gets our policies more leverage in deciding platform and other factors.
    We know Clinton almost certainly would have had more delegates based simply on getting more votes if she’d done it honestly. But that doesn’t, in itself, mean she or her people *did* handle it honestly. I’ve seen too many videos of Clinton campaign staff caught on camera doing illegal things — from Bill Clinton campaigning inside voting places in Illinois and Massachusetts to volunteers in Nevada bringing in unregistered voters saying, “We’ll register them afterward,” to believe the Clinton campaign did not commit election fraud. That doesn’t mean she would have lost without it. Nobody sane believes that Nixon would have lost to McGovern if he had not sent people to burglarize the Watergate hotel. But we still take seriously that he did, because it’s wrong to do even if it doesn’t change who won or lost.
    I can also think that Trump is more dangerous than Clinton is personally, without thinking he’s more dangerous than a two-party system gone rogue, in which both are operating within the same narrow range of choices, worth or options stuck between conservative/corrupt, and reactionary/insane. The fact that we have no realistic choice except those is a worse problem than either candidate, and we can’t fix it by voting meekly for the lesser evil. We have seen for thirty years what happens when we do that… both choices get a little worse every time. We’re already facing Trump; do you really think the Republicans’ next offering will be any better? When will we reach a stage at which you believe it safe to vote for third parties again without risking complete disaster? How do you expect us to get to such a point? What possible event will make it happen, if we don’t change our own patterns and stop lining up obediently to vote for the lesser of two increasingly awful evils?
    I don’t have a lot of answers to these questions. Frankly, I thought from the beginning that the United States is a dying empire, and that the only likely way out is by its collapse in blood and fire. Either civil war followed by invasion, or just plain invasion we are, by then, too disorganized and incompetent to stop. But I suspect when future historians (if there are any) study the fall of the United States, they will date it to the 1980s if not earlier.
    The reason some people stew clinging to the hope that Bernie will somehow pull out a win is that he is the only possible way we see to avert the collapse of the country in violence. I don’t think he ever had a very GOOD chance, mind you. Even if he’d become president, a whole lot of other things would have had to go right for us to be able to turn this careening handbasket around. But it was the ONLY chance I could see, however small, that looked even vaguely plausible. Neither Clinton nor Trump will make any effort to do the things which would be needed for our country to have a snowball’s chance in hell. Bernie wouldn’t have been very likely to succeed, but it is still better to have someone who’ll give it his best shot than someone who won’t even try, or who will actively try to make things go to hell *faster*.
    So, yes, of course there are differences between the candidates. But there’s nothing close to *enough* difference to avert disaster. The Democrats have staked their lives and mine on the assumption that our is possible to keep going indefinitely, roughly the same way we have been going for thirty years now. I don’t think it is. I wish I didn’t believe the proof was likely to be so bloody.

  99. I’m perfectly okay with Bernie and his supporters fighting right up to the convention. Hillary did it in 2008.

    Then, she graciously accepted defeat and worked her ass off for Barack Obama, and served him as Secretary of State and did a great job, GOP bullshit notwithstanding.

    In her entire career, she has not only been a Democrat, she has worked to elect OTHER Democrats, because she understands how the real world works.

    I get no sense that Bernie’s supporters understand that a President Sanders dealing with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will accomplish exactly ZERO to advance their progressive agenda. AT BEST he will get to veto the worst of the right wing nutjob crap bills the Freedom Caucus (House) and Ted Cruz (Senate) copy from the ALEC playbook and send up to the White House.

    So, yeah, keep on pushing the Democratic Party to the left — progressive ideals are good. Then, having fought the good fight, do everything you can to elect downballot Democrats to flip the Senate and eat away at the House GOP majority.

    AND, work to flip the 31 states under the jackboot of the current GOP — see Kansas and Wisconsin for what the GOP does to install the agenda of their plutocratic masters.

  100. Wow, John, it seems to me that you are kind of condescending here to Sanders supporters.
    The reason for Sanders to stay in the race at this point — and for his advocates to continue supporting him — has nothing to do with winning it. It has to do with the power to change the Democratic platform, as has been noted by many pundits, which means he can have influence on the way Hillary Clinton goes into the election and on the future of the Democratic Party generally. That is an entirely legitimate reason for voters to continue to support him until there is a final candidate, and to support his views beyond that time.
    Given the fact that not one but two extremely unconventional candidates have gotten this far, there is clearly a major movement afoot in terms of the dissatisfaction of many voters, which is not being addressed by the “mainstream” candidates. The stronger Sanders is, the more he can call attention to that real concern and help the Democratic Party address it. Indeed, there is a reason he comes across far stronger than Clinton in match-ups against Trump, and there is an opportunity here for Clinton and Sanders to join forces and capture that advantage.
    Should people petulantly let Trump win? No, of course not. As someone once noted, the line between “bad” and “worse” is sometimes much sharper than good and bad. Sanders himself made it clear that he felt Clinton is far more qualified than anyone running in the GOP this year. I’ve read a lot of articles lately saying how Sanders supporters should “give up,” “get a clue,” “come together against Trump,” etc. But contrary to popular belief, conflict prior to the convention, or even IN the convention, does not necessarily have any impact at all on the final election, and there are many examples of this historically, including when Bill Clinton and Pat Brown went head-to-head at the Democratic convention back in the day in the convention. Brown never even endorsed Clinton.
    So it is highly realistic (a word that some are using to whip Sanders supporters) for voters to support a movement that better reflects their interests, and influence politicians to respect them. That’s called democracy.

  101. @pocketnaomi: “Both our neither.” Nice oxymoron. Applies to Clinton vs. Sanders and to Clinton vs. Trump . . .

  102. Sanders doesn’t need to drop out, but he does need to stop peddling the conspiracy stuff, and the “burn it all down” stuff, and start talking to his supporters about what else they can do – and by that, I mean beyond just trying to win this primary. Political parties are like giant ships, they don’t just turn on a dime. It takes time and effort. You want the Democratic party to start listening to, and taking progressive candidates more seriously? Get out and be active, not just in a presidential primary, but in ALL primaries. Get out and support like minded candidates. If we had a progressive majority in Congress, it would make a much bigger difference than whether we had Sanders instead of Clinton in the White House. More importantly, it makes the rest of the politicians in the party sit up and take notice. Look at how scared the establishment Republicans got when they started getting booted out of office in primaries. Today there’s barely a hint of difference, and the ones that are left fall all over themselves pandering to those positions.

  103. The “fact” is that Bush and Gore’s electoral votes were the same within the margin of error. And yes, there is a margin of error when counting votes, be it pure electronics, pure paper, or a mixture of the two. Mistakes get made, numbers transposed – and some people can’t vote because records are wrong or whatever. Bush won the tie-breaker in Florida, Gore won the tie-breaker in Ohio (and if Florida had gone to Gore, Ohio would’ve been the next search for hanging chads).

    Gore lost the election because he was no more attractive than Bush to the non-Naderite electorate. (And Bush would’ve lost the election if Gore got the tie breakers because he was no more attractive to the non-Naderite electorate than Gore.) So, yes, Gore’s weaknesses and mistakes are why he lost. But he could have won even with those weaknesses and mistakes if Nader hadn’t run and said “vote for Gore, he’s the best alternative that’s likely to win”. It’s not about “blame”, it’s “what happened and how could it have gone differently”

  104. Steve Kelner:

    “Wow, John, it seems to me that you are kind of condescending here to Sanders supporters.”

    I’m sure that there are a number of Sanders supporters who will see recounting of actual fact to be condescension. I’m not sure why you think it’s my job to coddle them in their delusion that their man is losing because of nefariousness rather than because he’s not more popular with democratic voters than Hillary Clinton.

    Also, with regard to changing the platform, if this is how he plans to do it then I suspect he is going to be surprised when he gets to the convention. You can’t shit all over the process and then expect the process to accommodate you, especially when you’re not actually going to be candidate. He’ll be working from a busted flush.

    Also, of course, Clinton’s people aren’t stupid. If Sanders is going to go full “fuck it” mode, she’s going to do her best to make him pay at the polls as well. So I’m not sure this plan is ultimately going to be in his best interest.

  105. The Sanders supporters are beginning to remind me rather unpleasantly of the Trump supporters in their insistence that if things don’t go their way, the system has been rigged. I suppose it goes to show that nobody has an exclusive right to be stupid.

    I think they need to be reminded of that “voting 93% of the time with Clinton”. Sanders and Clinton really aren’t that far apart. And if Trump winds up as president, the spoiled brats will get exactly what they deserve–and what the rest of us want desperately to avoid.

  106. To inject a bit of numbers-based realism here: A poll a couple of months back had something like 70% of Bernie voters saying they’d support Hillary in November if necessary. Probably another 10% or so are conservatives/sexists/general asshats looking to block Hillary any way they can, and thinking Bernie’s the only one who can do it. A few more are generic anti-establishment sorts who don’t agree with much of anything Bernie actually stands for, but think he’s the best chance at starting an actual revolution (in which they’d supposedly prevail.)

    Which leaves 15-20% or so remaining in the “Buster” crowd who would theoretically support another liberal candidate, but are just generally anti-Hillary for some reason, or who are just pitching a sore-loser fit right now, but might come around in a few months. While it would be nice to change those minds–and sooner, rather than later–I’m not sure it’s all that necessary. Way-too-early polls notwithstanding, Hillary has a good chance of making up for any deficit with left-leaning independents by picking up disgruntled moderates, particularly women. Something like 40% of Republican women said they couldn’t imagine ever voting for Trump. Some of those will go third party or sit out, but I think a decent chunk of them will cross over, or at least won’t be improving Trump’s chances. Mitt managed to win white women in 2012 with only a tiny margin. It’s fair to assume that Hillary will probably do better there than Obama did if only because her opponent makes Mitt look like Bob Ross.

    The other thing to factor in is people actually turning off of Bernie. The BernieLostMe thing going around Twitter in the past 24 hours is pretty impressive where that’s concerned. There are something like half a dozen articles out now from former Bernie supporters cranky with him for what he’s pulled in the past week, particularly in not specifically condemning the attacks and threats against the NV chair. In March or so, after Bernie had lost me already, I posited that his trajectory was going to go something like this:

    1. Who?
    2. Oh, hey, he’s kinda cool. Let me find out more.
    4. Economic justice FTW. K, what else?
    5. Wait. He said WHAT? Oh. Hmmm.
    6. Did he actually just wag his finger in her face? Yikes.
    7: He just dismissed the South while ignoring that most of his big wins have been in places like Oklahoma and Wyoming? Are you kidding?
    8. Oh, Hippie Grandpa. Bitter conspiracy flogging is not a good look for you.
    9. Oh, FFS! REALLY?
    10. #ImWithHer

    I’m fascinated to see that this is actually happening for a lot of people. The more visible he is, the more people are seeing that he’s not what we thought he was at first. And all this is without Hillary doing much of anything to attack him. She’s actually more or less ignored him since New York. And–this I find very interesting–so has the GOP. Some of that is because they can do the math, but some, I think, is because they want him to win the primary so they can open up the vaults and start plastering pictures of him hanging out with Sandinistas all over the media. Hillary is probably the most-vetted serious candidate in a generation. Bernie’s probably the least. What would happen to him between now and November would be a bloodbath, especially because his temperament wouldn’t allow him not to overreact and make things worse.

    Bottom line: There will be disgruntled Berners refusing to vote for her, definitely. But I don’t see that being a big enough factor that the party needs to try to suck up to them, much less bow to their ridiculous demands. And that, I imagine, is probably what’s pissing them off the most.

  107. Allow me to note that this particular thread is playing out as an almost comment-for-comment replay of the ’08 comment thread where I suggested Clinton had no shot, except with “Sanders” where “Clinton” was eight years ago.

  108. Ha! Yes. Birdie Sanders. Though I admit that that poor little thing (actually a finch) did kind of give me an “aha!” moment when I realized he reminds me of The High Sparrow. (Hillary being either Dani or Cersei, depending on one’s opinion of her.)

  109. There’s a great article by Shaun King today that points out something that I wasn’t actually aware of–Hillary is not really leading by 3m votes. Apparently, in some states with caucuses where Bernie did quite well, his votes are not part of the total vote count. I don’t know all the details, but that 3 million number so often touted is inaccurate at best and doesn’t tell the whole story.

    In any case, my stance is very simple. We absolutely MUST put the best and strongest candidate up against Trump. You don’t play an injured, second-string QB in the championship game, and if you do, well, you probably deserve to lose. Hillary has a potential indictment hanging over her head, and there’s nothing to suggest that won’t be used as a political tool to manipulate the election. And if we look at the electability factor, Hillary is, quite apparently, the weaker candidate to face Trump. Bernie wins against Trump by a wider margin than Hillary in EVERY poll. There is really only one reason for that: a wide swath of voters are not being counted in the primary races.

    The biggest portion of that group are Independents, many of whom will just NOT vote for Hillary Clinton. Many of those Independents weren’t able to vote in the primaries, or would have had to become registered Dems in order to vote for Bernie–many long before it became clear that Bernie had a real shot. Look at New York, where it was required to register six months prior to the primary to cast a vote. As you’ll recall, not even Donald Trump’s kids could vote for him because they weren’t registered. There’s also a contingent of Republican “neverTrump’ers” out there who would NEVER vote for Hillary, but who WOULD vote for Bernie if he was the alternative (my own parents fall into this group). We can’t have expected them to go and pre-register to become Democrats just so they could vote Bernie in this one election. The rules are inconsistent and absurd.

    Now, the DNC is a private entity, and they can make whatever “rules” they want, but all of those rules favor the democratic party–NOT the country. Their job is to maintain the party line and put in establishment candidates, and keep out the spoilers. And one major way they do that is with superdelegates. Those that have already pledged to Clinton (and many who did so before Bernie was ever even IN the race) account for 22% of the total delegates she needs to win. They are not beholden to the will of their constituents, and can vote however they want. And they want to vote for Clinton. And they really don’t give a hoot that she is not the candidate best suited to win this race.

    That candidate is still Bernie Sanders.

    And here’s why:

    Bernie and Hillary are in a pie eating contest. Bernie is given 50 pies and Hillary is given 40. They are told that the person who finishes first OR with the least amount of pies left after a limited period of time, is the winner. Plus, for every one pie that one of them finishes, the other will get to count a portion of their pie as well. So Bernie starts to eat pies like a madman. And Hillary eats some pies too, but she doesn’t have to eat nearly as many. And every now and again, someone sneaks another pie into Bernie’s stack of pies (crappy debate schedules, voter disenfranchisement, botched ballots, etc.). Now Bernie knew the rules heading into this and he agreed to them, but if he wanted to participate in the contest, he really had no choice. So he’s eating pies. And amazingly, he’s catching up. He’s probably not going to beat Hillary, who’s eaten a fair share of pies herself, but she’s also probably not going to finish before time runs out. Bernie has managed to eat his way into being competitive, even despite all of the disadvantages that he had to overcome.

    The question is this: for the next round of the competition, do you want to put in Hillary who will probably win because of the advantages she was given from the start, or the person who ALMOST won despite them?

    Look, I’m not worried about the Bernie or Busters. I fully expect most of them to come around when the real prospect of Trump comes into focus. But those independents and republicans whose votes haven’t been counted is a huge deal. They will be the ones to decide this election and most of them would rather have their fingernails pulled out than to vote Hillary.

    The DNC can force Hillary in if they want to, but they’re taking a very big risk–not just for their party, but the country as a whole. That’s not a risk I’m willing to take. Trump will set this country back 100 years, if there’s still an America left to speak of at all when all is said and done.

    It’s not even clear that Hillary can beat Trumpo the Clown in a head to head matchup now, today, before the investigation is over. Plus, if Bernie drops out and puts all of his support behind Clinton and she’s indicted, what then?

    I’ll just be in Canada if anyone needs me…

  110. @D.C. Sessions

    Yes, unequal representation is a problem. There are many ways to fix it, though all of them would take a while.

    That list of states in your footnote is utterly baffling, though. Only one state on your list is currently in the bottom six, which are: Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, and Montana. Yes, New England states are physically smaller than states in other regions, which puts many of them in the bottom half: Connecticut is 29th or 30th, despite being the state with the 4th highest population density.

    Massachusetts, however, ranks 15th in population as of 2015. It had the fourth highest population in 1790. It has literally never been in the bottom half of states by population, and it was in the top 10 in every census prior to 1980. I’m not a history buff but seeing MA on your list that made me immediately suspect your choice of examples was misinformed.

    As for the historical argument: the least populous states that joined the union prior to 1800 were Tennessee, Delaware, Rhode Island, Kentucky, Georgia, and Vermont – states from a bunch of different regions.

    Your list is not an accurate representation of the states that currently or historically benefit most from unequal representation, and its implications are… odd. Sorry if this is pedantic, it’s just… this is the election of demonstrably incorrect facts being represented as historical truths, so when I see something as easily falsifiable as the inclusion of Massachusetts on a list of low-population states (and Delaware and the Dakotas omitted from such a list), I have to do the rudimentary googling necessary to remedy the issue.

    Yes some states have lower-than-average populations that result in disproportionate political power. This is not ideal. But you weaken your point when you include weird, factually-inaccurate regional bias in your list of states the system is designed to benefit.

    This is what I don’t understand about this election: so many arguments can be resolved by a minute or two of googling, yet people still constantly post stories that are based on bizarrely misleading cherry-picked information.

  111. Daniel: The reason caucus states aren’t being included in vote totals is because they aren’t remotely representative of actual turnout–or results, for that matter. Hillary recently won the (non-binding) Nebraska primary, when she lost its caucus. And if things go anywhere near the same way they did in 2008, she’ll probably pick up 10-15 points in the Washington primary over its caucus, too. Given that most of Bernie’s caucus wins have been in low-population states, however, it’s kind of irrelevant to count them anyway. He wouldn’t make up enough ground to change the spread all that much.

  112. Daniel Shuette:

    “Hillary is not really leading by 3m votes.”

    Well, no, King’s wrong. Please see this article posted in the Washington Post not two hours ago about why Mr. King’s assertion is mostly bunk.

    Also, as a general rule, please don’t make an argument about which you “don’t know all the details” for, because a) then you’re just passing along hearsay, which is useful to no one, b) it makes you look a little silly.

    The fact that you state “I don’t know all the details” but then go on to thump on Clinton using that as an initial argument to undermine her legitimacy undercuts every other argument you make. Why should we give your additional arguments credence if your first one, the one you lead with, is sloppy and easily debunked?

  113. @Leah — Just what I was going to say. Thanks for saving me the trouble of looking up all the numbers.

  114. Correcting myself: Those vote totals may be artificially low, as I think they’re delegates, not actual individual voters (this is what I get for doing a bunch of this on my phone!) Still, we can think about it in terms of percentages, and the percentage advantage he has in those numbers isn’t actually enough to offset the percentage advantage she has in the counted popular vote.

  115. Allow me to note that this particular thread is playing out as an almost comment-for-comment replay of the ’08 comment thread where I suggested Clinton had no shot, except with “Sanders” where “Clinton” was eight years ago.

    Ahh, there’s my cue: and don’t think I haven’t noticed that my comments get threads locked either. It’s hard being the real big bad Other sometimes.

    Time for something a little bit different…

    So we get to choose between the Boogeyman or Baba Yega

    I’m highly amused that this little mimetic trend has infected even here. But, hey, that’s what we’re good at – and no, I’m really not on the Fascist’s side. Quite the opposite.

    Reality check time:

    #1 Trump doesn’t make it to the finals. The legal way is the GOP doing some shimmying and [redacted] via Romney and co etc. Cruz is a dead burnt fish now, Rubio is crying on Twitter, Jeb! is looking to join Carter in the “too nice for the politics of their time” gig, but there’s still Kasich. The illegal way is either a “oh, look one of those ex-Mafia connections“, finance or a family affair that means he cuts out or a three-letter-agency-Chess move (of the… well. Look to Brazil etc. When you’re electing Creationists to your cabinet, it’s usually the Family involved).

    The actual serious beltway stuff on this is that China / Russia / EU / UK / DAVOS / Bilderburg can’t afford for the Republic / Empire to actually ruin the subjective illusion or run itself into the ground. The MIC simply won’t let it run (esp. given the news from Siberia recently).

    Or, if you’re really cynical and into the DC muck: he makes it as the only candidate who could make H.Clinton electable. Stranger things have happened…

    #2 If you think that Sanders is still actually running, you’re not paying attention. Sander’s goal is all about Overton Windows and pushing for Political reform. Take good notes at who just called for the chair of the DNC to step down [hint: she’s not a politician, but her father was very connected]. The bottom line is that the “dead duck” Prez played the Game well, and had to watch maniacs shitting all over the Fasces (and, more importantly, his real Base, who have a nice wall with no names on it but lots of Stars).

    When GoldMan Sachs is putting out reports wondering “innocently” if Capitalism is actually the governing ideology of the 21st C, pay attention. There’s a game afoot, and y’all ain’t in Kansas no more.

    #3 This is all past tense now. As stated, 2020 is the goal, this is all a done deal. If you love your country and hate what the little Minds are doing [bathrooms, abortion etc etc], I’d get serious about 2020. There’s nothing more dangerous than dying ideologies and dying majorities who think more in terms of the afterlife than reality. [Spoilers: They Failed Jesus, it’s kinda tragic, and Ayn Rand had big big black black eyes].

    No, really. Check my prognosis. I’m usually right about these things.





  116. At this point in time I think voting to empower a Party that refuses to accept the clear evidence of climate change and what it is already doing to the planet is basically suicidal.

  117. I attended the caucuses in Washington, at the precinct level and as a delegate to the legislative district level. While it’s true that there aren’t precise numbers available, because all of this is being done by hand by volunteers, the estimate put out by the state party of about 230,000 fits, if possibly a bit on the high side. The numbers were slightly down from the 2008 caucus I went to.

    Washington State has 7.2 million people, but 4 million registered voters, so only 5% of the voters attended the Democratic caucus. The Presidential primary is going on now (we do vote-by-mail entirely, must be postmarked by next Tuesday), but the Dems don’t use the results of the primary while the Republicans will use the results of the primary to allocate delegates this time. There have already been almost 250K ballots returned in King County along for a primary that is essentially meaningless.

    So, now, the caucus states aren’t hiding the true closeness of the race.

  118. Something else that would earn one the neon “I’m a fucking moron” sign: Pretending that any current poll taken six months before the event, no matter how favourable/unfavourable it is to your candidate, means anything more than diddly over squat.

  119. Leah:

    Massachusetts, however, ranks 15th in population as of 2015.

    Sorry — I still can’t get over the fact that it has a smaller population than Arizona, but you’re right — it would probably have somewhat more representative influence if the Senate permanently disbanded (not much, though — they’re right around the average for State population at ~6 million.)

  120. I’m a Sanders supporter, but I will hold my nose and vote Hillary in the general election for many reasons. I do think there are shady things in the Democratic primary process, and DWS needs to be removed, but we can’t let Trump win. We just can’t.

  121. He might win concessions in the platform, which would be groovy.

    It’s more than groovy, it’s the entire reason why Bernie ran in the first place. That’s why he’s going to keep on campaigning right up to the convention. He certainly didn’t go into this race thinking that he had any serious chance at winning.

  122. Sorry for all the spamming (last post, I promise!)

    However the numbers are crunched, Hillary’s winning. States won, delegates, popular vote, etc. There is no scenario under which Bernie is actually winning at this point, and no reasonable scenario under which he can win a majority of pledged delegates. He needs 67%+ of the remaining delegates and hasn’t managed more than 55% of the vote in any contest since March. Moreover, Hillary has averaged 36% of the vote in the races she’s LOST. She’s got this in the bag.

    It is true that she won’t reach the magical 2383 on pledged delegates alone before the convention vote, which technically means she hasn’t officially clinched it before then, but she will have a healthy simple majority of non-supers going in.

    In concrete terms: She has demonstrated that a majority of voters want to see her as the party’s nominee.

    In order, then, for Bernie to win, he has to convince a huge number of superdelegates to go AGAINST the will of the voters. And what is his ONLY argument for this? That he’ll do better in the general than she will. His evidence for this: A handful of way-too-early polls, taken before he’s been vetted. That’s it. That’s all he has. He says she’s won big in states that won’t matter because they’ll be red? Sure. So has he. She has ALSO won all the major SWING states except Colorado, which was a caucus, and New Mexico, which has yet to vote, AND she’s won the vast majority of open primaries (thereby proving that she can, in fact, pull plenty of independents; even if she doesn’t get a majority of them, if she gets almost all the Democrats and about half the independents, she’s in.) If he can’t prove that he can win swing states and that no independents whatsoever will vote for her, he has no argument for the party leadership to upend the will of the people. If he can’t even manage to win the primary, how can he promise to win the general?

    The truth is that those early polls, on average, have both of them winning over Trump, and the difference in their theoretical victories is only a few percentage points. To assume that he wouldn’t lose ANY of those points between now and November, as the GOP attack machine hits him with everything it has, is preposterous. Their chances of a November victory, then, are effectively even. That isn’t remotely a reasonable argument for the party to go against the will of voters and nominate someone who wasn’t even a member of the party himself until he entered the race, and who has done absolutely nothing to ensure victory for other Democrats downballot. The party has to look at more than the POTUS race, and more than just a hair-thin, not-even-certain advantage in it. It has to look at trying to take back both halves of Congress, as well as building strength in state and local races (as much as it’s possible to do, of course.) Hillary has already proven that she wants to and can be a leader for the team as a whole, and she has a healthy chance of winning her own race, and that’s why she’ll get the nomination.

  123. Something else that would earn one the neon “I’m a fucking moron” sign: Pretending that any current poll taken six months before the event, no matter how favourable/unfavourable it is to your candidate, means anything more than diddly over squat.

    With respects to our host, I won’t mock this overtly.

    I’m guessing you’re not from farming stock or even Royalty though, which is the basis for taking a rather more longer view than yours.

    No, really.

    No-one spends over $250 billion a year on advertising because they can’t influence the future.



  124. Sigh.

    For a while, I was absolutely energised by the thought of Bernie Sanders. I really liked what he was saying. I was personally disgusted by Citizens United. It’s sickening to me that the SCOTUS encysted “One Dollar One Vote” as the replacement for “one person one vote”. I was all for someone ready and willing to tear that down.

    But then, oh god the Bernie Bros. Dear me. I wish I could buy into the conspiracy lunacy that they were hired thugs to poison the water ‘twixt one Dem and another. But seeing the thumb-fingered palookosity that the GOP have been engaged in – really not so much different in efficacy than the whole Bush presnitcy – I’ve taken bitter comfort in their overarching incompetence and inability to organise a pissup in a brewery. So, no… I have to accept that we did that one to ourselves. What I’d considered Trump Supporter Behavior was coming from the Bernie Bros.

    And for the longest time, I tried to be understanding. We’re talking about an entire disenfranchised generation. One with neither belief nor investiture in a system which has – let’s be honest – failed them. Few opportunities, not much lucre sloshing about, crippling debts from trying to better themselves. I’d be pissed too. But that doesn’t stretch to covering the behavior of ’em. I found myself getting a bit Ghandoid – I like your Bernie. But I do not like your Bernie Bros. They do not seem like Bernie to me.

    And now here we are. Mr Sanders, who I had liked and even admired a bit, seems to be reaching for the flame. Not the good flame, the angry, bitter undercurrent of scabrous shittiness that the BernieBros personify. The mud-slinging, debating not on policy but on character. The “I Win Or I Burn It Down” stupidity. It saddens me more than I can express.

    And what’s worst of it all, is that this contest has made a Trump victory more likely. I find myself clinging to the hope that Young Republicans are as hacked off with the entire debacle as their Democrat counterparts. I find myself thinking thoughts like “Maybe the YRs will be pissed enough to vote for Hillary rather than Trump…”

    The reason I’m saying that is that so many people seem willing to vote for Trump just to shun Hillary. That’s suicidally insane. It’s cutting off the branch whilst perching on the distal end. They’re so obsessed about how poisonous and terrible Hillary is that they’re seriously considering hiring the narcissistic, egomaniacal bungler for Presnit, rather than someone they find, you know… distasteful. As if in any way, in any conceivable metric, Trump had an ounce of decency or selflessness inside him.

    I am not sanguine about anything. But the future we get, I fear, we shall deserve.

  125. Mark H-B

    I’m not sure I can parse this one.

    Either you’re trolling, or you’re a decadent freed devotee of the Maquis de Sade, lace and all. And about 300 years old and of the Anne Rice Vampire lineage. Which is cute and all, but really: I’m only 5,498 yrs old and your mannerisms seem quaint and trite. Do please try to engage with reality and not just wallow in amateur dramatic productions of Byron’s plays.

    Please! You’re hurting our cause with your nonsense!


    Oh, right, reality. Hint: The student debt bubble is… ooooooh. About $1.5 trillion.

    That’s before you try to push mortgages and credit cards and so on.

    You’re fucked.



  126. @D. C. Sessions

    Since I don’t think anyone’s caught this yet, I just want to correct an error in your post about constitutional amendments – 2/3 is the number of states required to propose a constitutional amendment if you want to bypass the Congressional route and call for a constitutional convention. No matter how an amendment is proposed, however, it must be ratified by 3/4 of the states to become part of the Constitution.

  127. 1. Bernie was a Socialist (his term) until last year. He became a Democrat to run for President. Think the Republican attack machine will ignore that, or all his kooky (to be kind) positions?
    2. Yes, he is an “outsider” compared to Hillary, but this outsider has been sitting in Congress in Washington for (you could look it up) twenty-five years.
    3. You don’t like Hillary and can’t bring yourself to vote for her? Fine. That’s your prerogative. But don’t give me the high-minded Saint Bernie nonsense. Whatever reasons Bernie had for getting in the race, somewhere along the line he seems (exactly like Trump) to have swallowed the Kool-Aid and to believe he is entitled to it because, well, what John said up there. He’s got the crowds, he’s got the loud supporters, and he really wants it.
    4. As for the “it’s unfair” nonsense, the Democratic Party has clearly defined rules and procedures, as does the Republican Party. If Bernie’s supporters didn’t know it, they should have, and Bernie certainly did. That is, being “shocked, I tell you, shocked” to discover that only registered Democrats can vote in New York’s primary just makes you look foolish. It has always been thus and, in my opinion, that is the way it should be. Why should be let a Republican determine who is nominated?

    Look, as far as I’m concerned Trump has had an “Emperor’s New Clothes” thing going on for decades, and the idea that so many millions aren’t seeing it is very scary. But Bernie has only done as well as he has because people (and much of the media) hate the Clintons and he has gotten a pretty free ride.

  128. No, really:

    That’s your Government telling you it’s $1.27 trillion a while ago. Well, actually a privately held oligarchy but let’s not go into conspiracy realms too much – they’re all wrong and full of crap.

    Now. Hands up who is voting for a candidate who has addressed this in their campaign?
    Any of the above?





    Have fun John, but cut the bullshit and get real. Your daughter’s generation deserves it.

  129. JMazzola:

    I think it was Vox that had an article abut the “snobbery” of the modern Democratic party and how it’s no longer a party of the working class but rather one of Ivy Leaguers, social elites who have had everything handed to them and that, not because “those working class hicks are too dumb to know what’s good for them,” is why you get so many working-class white guys as Republicans despite, yes, Republican policies not being good for the working class at all.

    You know who is actually also in the Democratic party? Women and non-whites who’ve been told for decades that the only people who matter to the party are white working class and rural males and how they must be catered to at all costs and get to run the party (along with the rich white males of course.) And most of those women and non-whites have been in way worse economic circumstances than working class white men, who have mainly destroyed their own unions and shot themselves in the foot voting for Republicans who hand their benefits over to corporate bosses, while still blocking women and non-whites from getting decent educations, jobs and benefits.

    And when things change so that women and non-whites now have a bit more influence and involvement in running the party and its platform, a bit more of a surge towards political office, suddenly we’re a party of “snobby out-of-touch rich college elites” who aren’t properly bowing to white working class males no more. Funny how that works, eh? It’s standard anti-intellectualism Republican rhetoric since the 1950’s, borrowed for the occasion. Why not add the words “uppity” and “bitches better know their place.” And oh yeah, all those immigrant citizens who worked like gangbusters and risked death to get their kids brought up here and through college? (Like Sanders and his family.) Why in the world should we ever let those college grads or their parents run things in favor of the white guys who hate their guts and didn’t want their black neighbors to get food stamps or their gay neighbors to get married.

    Every single critical vote since the 1950’s and beyond, white working class males, Republican, independent and Democrat, destroyed it against civil rights and economic equality. They gave us Reagan and W. Bush. They gave us segregation and theocracy and killing the ERA and persecution of gay people and de-regulating the banks. The majority of working class white males have voted the way that the rich corporate masters have wanted them to every damn time. And they’ve consistently insisted that women and non-whites and anyone marginalized take a backseat to them. They aren’t in the backseat now, most of the time, but they keep arguing that if they aren’t allowed to drive every time, then it’s snobby condescending persecution of their deeply important issues and obviously it will be a disaster where they will be driven out weeping and we’ll all get ours. Mostly in the form of mass shootings by troubled white working class guys who feel the world no longer serves them properly or pays them enough “respect.”

    And while plenty of anger is expressed at rich white guys who take their family farms and ship their jobs overseas, somehow the actual, physical, voting, policy-oriented anger always gets aimed at women and non-whites, working class or non, while those supposedly horrible rich white guys get a big economic boost from their working class buddies. I know many nice working class white guys, some in my family. But as a general voting group, you stink. Your voting group is continually on the wrong side of history, easily manipulated by the corporate bosses that supposedly run everything now but mysteriously did not before (except that they did and your voting group did their bidding then too.) And it’s not because you’re ignorant in that group, either. It’s because you’ve lost perceived economic power (that was only briefly held in the first place,) and are desperately trying to hold on to the social white male privilege you still have, no matter what the cost to anybody else or to yourselves. Which means we’ve been subject to an endless barrage of white men both whining and being insufferably condescending about how they know what the real important issues are (the ones most important to them.)

    Yes, the Democratic party — like the rest of the electorate — has a bunch of rich people around and often in charge. They’re the only ones to be able to mount elections, the way we’ve got it set up. But it’s not more snobby than the rich Ivy League old money white men who ran the party before. It’s more diverse and with women and non-whites having a bigger voice in it. And white working class males can just get fucking used to it, for once. Because instead of handing everything over to the corporate bosses, like the working class white males have done for forever and definitely the last fifty years, they are trying to get improvements of worker rights for everybody not just white guys, civil rights protections that have economic benefits, more jobs for everybody not just the white guys, better education for everybody not just the white guys, better healthcare and not just for white guys, etc. They are trying to restore some parts of the New Deal that white working class males gave away in the 1980’s. And they are trying to have governments that are not only more Democrat-run to get that legislation and court reform, but more representative of the actual electorate than mostly white guys.

    That shouldn’t be seen as threatening or condescending. It should be seen as a good thing. The Democratic party has been obsessed with white working class males and that’s been one of its big problems. Time to shift the focus onto a bigger, more in touch coalition of everybody in the party.

  130. Oh, and…

    Every one of the people posting who ignore this reality, well.

    That’s the joke.

    No, really.

    The entire point of SF/F is to reveal, enlighten, elucidate, expand, imagine, twist, change or any other number of thesaurus references to change Minds.

    And look it John… look at it.

    They don’t read so good.

  131. Yes, the Democratic party — like the rest of the electorate — has a bunch of rich people around and often in charge.

    Oh, Kat.

    You have no idea how actual Power works.

    No, really.

    We can disagree on Dragons and Symbiosis, but on this one: stick to the Ivory Publishing Tower.

    No, you do not know how this works and no, you do not get how it is done and no, you really don’t know how fucked the system is.

    No, really.

    You don’t. Stay in your cave.

  132. Settle down, Cthulhu. You’re not the one who gets to tell people whether they can or cannot speak here. Do it again and you’ll get the Mallet.

  133. Hint: Do your research.

    Look up when B. Clinton or T. Blair were first put onto the media stage and then their subsequent invitations to certain clubs (*cough* The Big B *cough*) or whatever.

    You’re fingered in University, then onwards.

    You’ve no fucking idea how Power works. And your advice is: “You’re powerless, but play in the system”.

    That shit will get you put to the bonfire. Or guillotine.

    [Meta note – yep, she’s paid n slayed – full on. Told ya so]

  134. @Mark H-B

    These are roughly my thoughts, as well, and I’m a millennial. I honestly can’t conceive of a coherent political view that ranks Trump between Sanders and Clinton on the willingness-to-vote-for scale. Conservatives of various stripes might put Trump above both of the Democratic candidates, sure, and a reassuring number of liberals and progressives are putting Trump at the bottom while ranking either Sanders or Clinton higher depending on their priorities, and that’s all fine — but when someone’s scale goes Sanders > Trump > Hillary, I just can’t wrap my head around it. It’s incoherent.

    (Unless you’re a single-issue voter and that issue is opposing gun legislation, perhaps. That might make that stance a reasoned one. Though I don’t think that makes it a reasonable one.)

  135. Kat Goodwin:

    Now tell us how you REALLY feel.

    No, seriously, wonderful. Passed it along to $HERSELF, who was playing tag with the goons in Chicago 48 years ago [1] and she was impressed. Good on ya’.

    [1] Yeah, that’s for cred

  136. Settle down, Cthulhu. You’re not the one who gets to tell people whether they can or cannot speak here. Do it again and you’ll get the Mallet.

    Ye, I apologize.

    After wasting $500,000,000 beans, there’s some nasty little buggers coming out though (Cruz had ex-CIA working his PR and look at that little spank – there’s some serious old skool nasties on the fringes that took them apart with ease). Not that your crowd know about these types of things.

    I’m doing the Big Bad routine to innoculate against the real deal types. And they ain’t nice.

    And no: 2020 is not a joke. Riding the Horse time and whipped up dead-end stuff.

  137. What is getting my goat is Hillary’s pretty much washing her hands of ENTIRE STATES. Yes she might have techincally “won” by the numbers – but she’s essentially flipping the bird to a state like CALIFORNIA because at this point she doesn’t need them and so therefore they don’t matter. This is the basic beef – where’s hte democracy? People, votes EITEHR matter – in which case it ain’t over until they’re ALL counted and it only gets announced THEN who won, no matter what it looked like at any prior point in hte race, OR they don’t, in which case this entire thing is a charade and we should just hand it over to the superdelegates who of course know SO much better than the rest of us and be done with it. You can’t yammer about “democracy! yeah!” and then turn around and dismiss the rest of the primaries because, you know, they aren’t necessary any more for your playbook.

  138. Hillary is going to be the winner but that is no reason to not continue to support Bernie if that is your preferred candidate. Bernie’s significant (not majority) support will help change the DNC and the coalition it represents. Much the same has/is occurring on the Republican side with Trump’s success. Voting helps calibrate your political parties. Even the debacle of Ralph Nader drove change in the DNC. More people should vote even if it is for a loosing candidate. The greater the percentage of the populace who votes, the healthier the democracy. Telling people to let it go is a disservice.

  139. Alma Alexander:

    “You can’t yammer about ‘democracy! yeah!’ and then turn around and dismiss the rest of the primaries because, you know, they aren’t necessary any more for your playbook.”

    Alma, please spell-check before you send; you have a higher than usual number of errors in your posting.

    Also, you know. One, Clinton’s currently ahead in the polls in California, so I expect she’s liking California just fine at the moment. Two, In most primary cycles, states at the very end like California are frequently ignored in terms of their primaries because at that point the presumptive nominee has other fish to fry, namely whoever is the candidate for the other party. It’s not just Hillary who is doing this, if she’s doing it. I expect Trump right now is not exactly sweating California, either.

    Eric Rhoads:

    I don’t think you and I disagree, actually. I think supporting Sanders so he can work with the Democrats on the platform is groovy. I don’t think a fair percentage of his supporters are there yet, however, and if Sanders as reported is planning a “burn it all” strategy for CA, neither is he.

  140. Alma Alexander:

    What is getting my goat is Hillary’s pretty much washing her hands of ENTIRE STATES. Yes she might have techincally “won” by the numbers – but she’s essentially flipping the bird to a state like CALIFORNIA because at this point she doesn’t need them and so therefore they don’t matter.

    She isn’t discounting California or other states. She’s discounting Bernie because there’s no way he can catch up to her, even if he won 70% of the delegates in California, which he won’t. The polls have her winning California and New Jersey by nice margins. And she’s consistently been 250-275 delegates ahead of Bernie since February. She’s not going to fight Bernie, is what she’s doing, because she already beat him. She’ll still campaign in California and other states, meet with party leaders, volunteers and down-ticket candidates. This is not just about the presidential election again. It’s about the Senate and the House too, and the state legislature. It’s about fund-raising for all of these candidates and courting voters for all of the general elections and progressive policy bills on the docket.

    It was Bernie who dismissed not just states but an entire region when he declared that the Southern states where Hilary won weren’t important and didn’t count, that Southern Democrats, being outnumbered in some states, were of little use in the general election and only the swing states counted. That strategy hurt him a lot and may have shot down any chance of him getting the VP slot, because the Southern Democrats were not very happy about that. And since a lot of the Southern Democrats are black people who continually face disenfranchising down there, it didn’t sit well with that sector of Democrats either.

    The superdelegates are not there to decide who the nominee is going to be. The superdelegates have the job of ensuring that a minority group in the party does not hijack the convention and overturn the popular vote of the primaries. They are there to vote along the lines of the popular vote as the will of the party, which means that most of them will vote for Hilary in line with her share of the popular vote and delegates, and a small proportion will vote for Bernie in line with his share of the popular vote and delegates. You may not like that system, but it’s been in place for awhile and it does not stop the votes of the Democrats in the primaries. The caucuses are much more of an unfair system than the superdelegates. And the popular vote of the primaries continues to favor Clinton, not Sanders. Their voices will be heard, but unless Sanders has somehow hypnotized the entire Democratic voting base of California, their votes will continue the same trend.

    DC Sessions:

    No, seriously, wonderful. Passed it along to $HERSELF, who was playing tag with the goons in Chicago 48 years ago [1] and she was impressed. Good on ya’.
    [1] Yeah, that’s for cred

    Actually that’s what we would call supercred. :) To be clear, I’m not that mad at JMazzola. I’m annoyed that might have trotted out the same crap that media do every four years and that your wife is probably well familiar with hearing. And I’m tired of the “won’t someone think of the white working class men” whining while they’re trying to outlaw abortion in Oklahoma.

  141. The ageing, possibly senile hillarybots believe that their empress is entitled by birth to the entire progressive vote, in furtherance of oligarchy, by virtue of the fact that Bernie probably wont get the nomination. The problem is that most people voting for Bernie are not natural democratic voters, its Bernie that attracts them, not the party, certainly not that shower of shit that passes for the DNC.

    Given hillary’s imperious nature and her lack of magnanimity, the progressive vote will desert her, not necessarily for Trump, more than likely a large number will stay home.

    The problem that we have right now is that there has been this concern on the part of Bernie’s people that the DNC has been on Hillary’s side. … First of all, Bernie did say, in his statement, that he’s against the violence. Also, if you want to talk about violence, only one person’s been arrested — it was a Hillary Clinton supporter, Wendell Pierce, arrested for assaulting a Sanders supporter.
    So, if you’re going to come out and you’re going to talk about violence and you’re the DNC chair, you have to be fair about it. I don’t think she was fair. I think she actually made it worse now. We have to pull these people together. That did not happen.

    If the race started over today and independents were allowed to actually vote (rather than register months in advance) Clinton would lose.
    The 3m figure means nothing when you back out her red southern state votes, and that Sanders was more popular in a lot of non voting caucus states.
    She had the entire party machine going against a guy who less than 5% of voters had even heard of less than 9 months ago. She is a weak candidate and now Trump is ahead of her in the last 2 national polls. She may well lose, and if she does you can thank DWS and the inept corrupt DNC.

  142. Lee Camp:

    So the shorter version of what you wrote, minus the gratuitous slams on Clinton supporters, is “If we lived in an alternate reality, things would be different,” yes?

  143. This is why Bernie is seen as a better opponent, his integrity and humbleness “trump” Mr Drumpf.

    It will indeed be ugly, to see Monica Lewinsky and any number of women bill molested, paraded out like a perverse pageant of misery, who were all attacked by hillary the “feminist”, not really in defense of bill, but to salvage her future presidential prospects.

    It hasnt worked, and I think hillarybots are blissfully unaware of the reality show special Trump has planned for her, she really does not have any media strategy. Probably because her average supporter is 60 plus.

  144. If you go to Hillary Clinton’s web site and click on the Events tab and type in “California”, I think you’ll see that she’s not ignoring California at all. There’s lot of canvassing and phonebanking going on; that’s they way elections are won!

    Yes, Lee Camp, there are a lot of votes for Hillary that are from (gasp) women over 40, and African-Americans, and Latinos, and people who have actually been working on the ground level to improve things for a long time, who have taken the time to register to vote and learn how the system works. Just because we don’t shout as loudly doesn’t mean our votes don’t count, too.

  145. [Deleted because Lee Camp has quickly become a tiresome asshole. If you want to try again, Lee, modulate your ass waaaaaay down and try to make it through a single post without being kind of a dick — JS]

  146. Chtulhu, you’re playing up to your name. ;) I digress…

    I’m sat here with my California voting docs in hand, and I’m honestly torn.

    I was into supporting Bernie because initially, I thought a damned good shake-up *by the right person* was what the system could use. I still do. The right person does not have a dead tribble on his head.

    Later in the game, I was still supporting Bernie, because I saw that his campaign was pushing Clinton in a what I saw as a desperately-needed direction of Obvious Progressiveness. I thought that was great, and Doing Good Work.

    For a while, I even thought “Actually, maybe him as VP would be a Really Swell Idea”. And, you know? On the face of it, it wouldn’t necessarily be bad. I was still planning on voting for him to keep the pressure on.

    Now, much like a mate of mine over some book award last year, I find myself wondering if the stink can be separated from the benefits. And I really do wonder.

    Geh. Nobody ever promised me this shit would be easy.

    I’ll be honest – I’m gonna be fine. I’m white and can fake Christianity really well thanks to too many years in Cathoholic boarding school. But I worry like hells about the people who *aren’t* white enough to skin for a tablecloth. I worry like hell for the economy, because I remember what happened the last time a Republican was designated driver. I worry like *hell* for all of us, because that bumblefuck with the dead tribble acts *exactly* as though he’s the only real person in the world, and everyone else is an NPC to tweak or toss into the grinder just for sharts and gargles.

    Used to be, the only person I was afraid of was my mum. But the Trumpa-Loompa *scares* me. Because he’s got no reason to do anything other than exactly what the fuck he wants. And I’m very, *very* worried how many people who’ll be voting just don’t fucking care. I don’t want Earth’s finale to be an SMBC comic about calling Chinese missile command a bunch of pussies followed by a shell of hard Gamma.

    Maybe I worry too much, but it’s bloody hard not to, especially with the Side of Sanity deciding that sanity ain’t all it’s cracked up to be, and better Trump than… uh… the most intensely-investigated, scruitinised and examined person *on the entire planet*. The person who after 30 years of *furious* investigation by the best-funded and best-connected enemies *on the entire planet* who even had free run of the FBI, Secret Service, NSA, Uncle Tom Cobley AND ALL for eight years…. and who still can’t be proven to have done a single thing wrong.

    Because obviously she wouldn’t have been so thoroughly investigated if she hadn’t done *something* wrong. Innocent until proven guilty? PFFFFT.

  147. “If the race started over today and independents were allowed to actually vote …”

    I’ve seen this kind of thing throughout the primaries about both sides and what people who spout this forget is that these are PARTY nominations. There’s no real reason for either party to want or allow people not in the party to influence the party’s candidate.

  148. Quite frankly, anyone who thinks that Clinton is under the threat of indictment for anything related to Benghazi or her email server has been listening to too much Fox News, or Republican Congresscritters, or secondary sources based on them. The Republican Congress has been trying for years to get the allegations of wrongdoing to stick in their dozen or so “investigations” without getting any traction whatsoever.

    My biggest concern with Bernie Sanders is that unlike Hillary Clinton in 2008, Sanders will make no attempt to get his energized followers to get involved in party politics at any level, from local, state, or national levels. The Democratic party needs to kick out the Republican extremists in a number of states, and I don’t expect Sanders to get involved at all. Why should he? He’s not really a Democrat. Like Trump, he’s riding a disaffected fringe element of the party to national prominence, but the Democrats already know do-nothing, government-hating Republicans in Washington are one of the country’s biggest problems, and don’t have to go to an outsider for a candidate.

  149. Soooo, “progressives” will take thier marbles and go home, even if it means a Trump victory because Clinton wasn’t demure or ladylike enough?

    Yeah, that’s really progressive. Apparently losing makes you folks want the country to tilt so far rightwards that people with Mexican surnames or looks get shaken down by a deportation squad. You want women to go to jail for having abortions. You want the US to “bomb the crap” out of anywhere ISIS might have been and actually land grab the area so we can take the oil. While we’re at it, you want the CIA to torture not just terrorists but the families of terrorists. That’s what we get if Trump beats Clinton.

    Because you’ve decided that Clinton is who Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones say she is.

    Yeah, you’re a “progressive” for sure.

    If Bernie was the nominee, I’d vote for him. Because unlike any of you, I actually am a progressive. And I’m also pragmatic, which none of you are.

  150. Closing the thread for the evening. It’ll be back up tomorrow. Sleep well!

    Update: Comments back on.

    Also, funny story, I posted Lee Camp’s last message (er, before I deleted it) to Twitter and got a bunch of folks there steadfastly maintaining he couldn’t be a Sanders supporter, he had to be a Trump plant. Surprise! Jerks are everywhere!

  151. Let’s look at another factor. Obama owes his presidency to Clinton. Why? The American public was less scared of an African-American president than a woman. Now we are seeing a debate over ‘rigged election rules’ and ‘greased political skids’ because Obama pushed the country a little, but not far enough. Obama’s done a pretty good job, but the debate here shows how far we still have to go. The real question is whether it is better to have a really scary reality TV star or a bitter old Socialist rather than a qualified woman. Sad. Really sad. Yes she has been investigated for 26 years. Little of the mud has stuck, but she can’t change her sex (I am only assuming she doesn’t want to) and so if elected the investigations will continue. After all, she’s only a woman.

    Was I disappointed in June 2008? Yes. I actually pouted and waited 24 whole hours before taking my yard sign down. By September I was doorknocking for Obama.

  152. Justin: … the candidate losing the popular vote is the one most likely to win in the general election, which, according to practically every national poll, Bernie is. He tends to poll around 11-13% over Trump, while Hillary polls closer to 5-6, which isn’t far off from the margin of error of this sort of poll.

    But the Electoral College means that the presidential election doesn’t depend on the popular vote, and Trump has a hard row to hoe indeed to assemble an Electoral College victory over Clinton. Clinton could lose a state or two that Obama won, such as Pennsylvania, and still amass enough votes for the Presidency; conversely, it’s difficult to imagine Trum assembling a winning combination outside of a total landslide (in which case the Republicans keep the Senate and House too, so look out).

  153. I think there’s a few things wrong with calling on Sanders to exit the race or call on his fans to let it go…

    (1) It’s patronizing. I don’t see how its responsible to tell other voters how to vote. Try to be inclusive and encourage people to your view, not denigrate theirs.
    (2) It ignores the serious issues with the primary process itself. Not just with open primaries versus closed primaries, but also the byzantine structures that support the process. (Which are hardly transparent.)
    (3) The DNC, especially Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, has conducted themselves in a very impartial and undemocratic manner. Between the original denial of access to voter records, let alone to some other questionable moves, they’ve made it so that someone running for the nomination has had a significant uphill battle. (This could probably be “just desserts” as Sanders has not been a Democrat prior to this, but he is now.)
    (4) The people that support Sanders support him more than the Democratic Party itself. That is a lot of passion that you can’t just hope for people to redirect.
    (5) No, seriously, it’s just that patronizing. Get over yourself.

    …and while I agree that ultimately the choice should be to support Clinton, you can’t win over people to your point of view with the “hard truth”.

    As Howard Dean pointed out in an NPR interview the other day, Bernie has earned the right to be in the process for as long as he sees fit. It sucks that he won’t acknowledge that his odds of earning the nomination are infinitesimal short of the super delegates exercising a lot of their power based on the possibility that Clinton would lose in the general election (my understanding being part of the reason for which they exist), but I also think that his message is important and has resonated significantly with voters. Yet, the DNC has done a lot to try to ignore that message and even Clinton hasn’t done a lot to acknowledge that. That message should have an impact at the convention.

    Admittedly, the DNC is playing nicer with Sanders than the GOP did with Trump, but I still think at the end of the day, the DNC has done a pretty piss poor job with the primary and what has been going on during the process. I’m an independent, so I’ve no real vested interest in the primary process (as a Maryland voter, my tax dollars supported both primaries even though I couldn’t participate in either) itself. My interest is once the general election hits.

    And given I voted for a former challenger for the Democratic nomination in the Maryland gubernatorial election over the person who won that primary… Well, I’m happy to do so again. I’m hard pressed to support Clinton given her history as a politician and her actions while in office.

  154. Brian Schenk:

    “It’s patronizing.”

    Sanders supporters are precious snowflakes whose widdle fee-fees are not to be hurt under any circumstance because they alone in this world should be immune to bad feelings, got it. Thanks, I’ll be sure to implement that moving forward.

    Also, of course, I’m not aware of telling them they cannot vote how they wish. They certainly can vote for Sanders all they like. I am telling them their favorite candidate has no shot, and they need to think about what they want to do after that. Possibly: Suck it up like grown humans and vote for Clinton over Trump. Or don’t, and live with that reality.

    Likewise, you may have had problems with how the primaries were run, and that’s fine. It doesn’t change the fact Sanders will not be the Democratic nominee for president this time around.

    To be clear, I think it’d be better if Sanders and his supporters were not in denial about him having no shot at the presidency, and called it a day in order to focus on other things (like for example the Democratic platform), but I don’t expect it, and they are all grown humans, free to do as they may (Clinton didn’t give up the ghost until June in 2008, either). If you find that patronizing, that’s fine. I don’t mind.

    Likewise, of course, you can be assured I will take your suggestion to “get over myself” with all due consideration. Thanks for your input.

  155. “Sanders supporters are precious snowflakes whose widdle fee-fees are not to be hurt under any circumstance because they alone in this world should be immune to bad feelings, got it. Thanks, I’ll be sure to implement that moving forward.”

    Ridicule sure puts me in a mood to unify.

  156. “If you find that patronizing, that’s fine. I don’t mind.”

    I called it like I saw it. It seems to me that a lot of people are getting too hung up on their own view when supporting Clinton and having Sanders getting out of the race that they overlook their own tone. Heck, I went back and read your previous post about Clinton, and it felt like there was a difference in your tone then and versus your tone now.

    Just my observations.

    What I don’t get is that it seems everyone is saying “I need to support Clinton in order to beat Trump.” Yet, if everyone is correct about the electoral college math being what it, does it really matter if I do or don’t? At least in Maryland, looking back at historical results, it’s unlikely that the electors are going to go to an independent versus either of the two major political parties.

    But, that being said, if the electoral college math is what it is, why can’t the reverse of that argument be made? Seems to me that if the DNC were to support Sanders, couldn’t they leverage things in the same fashion? Especially if a popular vote in a state helps decide how the electors vote in that state.

  157. “Likewise, of course, you can be assured I will take your suggestion to “get over myself” with all due consideration. Thanks for your input.”

    Sorry my previous little snowflake…

  158. Brian,

    (1) Would you prefer a nice pat on the head and a “Keep fightin’ the good fight, math be damned”?

    (2) Maybe you can help here: how exactly would you, as a Berner, like to see the primary process changed? Presumably you’d like it more uniform, but in what form? Primaries or caucuses? Open or closed? And have you considered all (or any) of the pros and cons of your preference? Berners have been pretty light on details on this evidently very important point. But then, light on details has been my issue with the Sanders campaign from day one.

    (3) Not impartial? Sure, I guess. But where exactly is it written that the DNC (or the RNC, or the Greens, or any other organized political party) has to be impartial in the primary process? Undemocratic? GTFO. Voter records? The ones a “staffer” tried to access illegally? The ones the campaigned was then given access to anyway? How are you still on about that? Uphill battle? Buck up, buttercup. You can’t play the part of the outsider and then expect to have an easy time. Pick one.

    (4) Try to remember that this is the process for determining the Democratic Party’s candidate for the presidency. If Sanders and his supporters aren’t interested in supporting the Democratic Party, but feel like they’re entitled the the Party’s nomination, they’re effectively engaging in fraud.

    (5) *pat* Keep fightin’ the good fight. Feel better?

  159. Kat: white women vote Republican too, though they are finally trending towards the 50% line. The working class does not vote Republican. The working class probably barely exists now. If you mean middle class people without significant assets please say so. The working class and left out of society class* vote Democrat to the extent they vote at all or allowed to do so.

    *I won’t use the term “underclass;” it’s demeaning.

  160. Contrary to what you may take from my post, I’m not a “Berner”. The various political quizzes suggest that he’s the candidate who most aligns with my views, closely followed by Clinton, I’ve never supported him via a vote, donation, or anything else.

    However, to answer some of your questions: Yes, I perceive the process as being somewhat undemocratic. Mostly because the modern election process has aligned much more about supporting the political parties, and less about the candidates themselves. I believe that’s gotten significantly away from what the writers of our constitution envisioned when originally writing it.

    Because so much of the election process has been perverted in support of political parties and the power they wield, it has had a profound impact on things. Rampant gerrymandering? Maryland is awful about it, just like Texas. Just happens that our gerrymandering leans to the Democrats rather than the GOP.

    As for the “data breach” issue, I’ve followed both sides on it. But the response by the DNC did seem pretty damn extreme. Especially since my understanding is that the majority on the data is largely accessible by any of the campaigns, even if sections are restricted. But that goes to Debbie Wasserman-Schulz’s own issues with her election fight.

    I think half the reason the election cycle has been what it has been is because not just from either Sanders or Trump having the populist appeal they have, or nationalist if you prefer for Trump, and people are getting fed up with how balkanized the political parties are getting. RINO/DINO? Check that.

    But the entire “Don’t be patronizing” is just me paraphrasing Wil Wheaton’s phrase. Sorry if my frustration shows there, but my various feeds are literally full of “Get behind Hillary or else” comments. I always joked in the past that I vote the lesser of two evils… But it’s gotten really bad that I would vote for Hillary as a protest vote against Trump.

  161. Brian Schenck:

    For future reference, please, aggregate your posts (i.e., read through the comment thread and make all responses in a single post). Multiple sequential posts from the same person are a bugaboo of mine. Thank you!

    “But the entire ‘Don’t be patronizing’ is just me paraphrasing Wil Wheaton’s phrase.”

    Heh. No, I get it. I think you and I disagree that what I wrote was patronizing in any significant sense, which is, of course, fine.

  162. I agree completely, docrocketscience. I’ve seen that article, and others like it, and it definitely shows his motivations as well. Sanders is hardly some “innocent” in the political process. He knows exactly how it works.

  163. You might want to read up on the history of political parties in the U.S., if you find yourself under the impression that the modern system puts power in the hands of parties over candidates.

    The writers of the Constitution gave us a first-past-the-post election system. They knew damn well people were going to line up on sides. Or if they didn’t, they fucked it up, and we’re left dealing wth the consequences. And if you really want to get back to originalist Constitutional principles, the authors only gave you the right to elect exactly one Representative to the Federal government, for a two year term.

    The Sanders campaigned still broke the rules. And in the end, the Sanders campaign got what they wanted. Could you at least try to reconcile these facts into your view?

  164. Heh, I think Sanders should wait until 4 days after the last primary and he has been formally eliminated before giving his concession speech. He should open the speech with “What does Bernie want?”

  165. Thank you Kat Goodwin, for saying at a lot greater length what was rubbing me the wrong way about that comment. If you think Democrats are east coast ivory tower elites, you haven’t watched my Republican state government gerrymander madly to cut off poor minority neighborhoods, BECAUSE they vote Democratic. Or seen these reprehensible ID laws that overwhelmingly impact minorities. Or the cut off of early voting, which was so helpful for people working multiple jobs who can’t always get out on Election Day itself.

    And chalk me up as another person who rather likes Hillary.

    In fact, I am more politically aligned with Sanders. But I don’t like him. Part of it is living in one of those Southern states he dismissed, part of it is some of his followers. A large part of it is that he devotes no time to any issues I care about BUT income inequality.

    And part of it is that I look at what any older woman in a position of power deals with and think “Christ on a crutch, I wouldn’t handle it a tenth so well as she has.”

  166. What Democrats aren’t looking at is the endgame. Hil supporters are calling for Bernie to walk away and support her now, before all the votes are counted. It’s clear she can’t secure the nomination on pledged delegates alone, and neither can he. But we ALL know that she has more and will likely get enough supers to secure it if they want to.

    But you fail to see the long ball if you think Hil’s really the best overall candidate for the Dems. Sure, people point to the polls which Nate Silver admitted in a well written post yesterday are essentially crap now. That’s not it.

    Bernie has excited the INDEPENDENTS. He’s won every damn primary that allows non-party people to vote, and he’s inspired HUGE crowds to come out to his rallys, that when finally polled, skew largely to independent voters.

    If you want to win a general election, you NEED independent voters. You don’t win it from party support, you win when you get the people in the middle to come out. That’s a large reason that midterms go repubby, independents don’t bother with those overall.

    Which is also why the dems who are smart know they need to let the voting play out. They need to give Bernie a spotlight, they need to make a giant deal about Hil taking all his ideas to heart, and if they really had a goddamn brain they’d make him VP.

    They need to make a play for the non-dems, a group that Hil can’t reach AT ALL. They need Bernie if they expect to win, and right now the superdelagates are hedging their bets until they see how they can take the independents.

    They don’t vote out of fear of Trump, they just stay home. When they stay home, Democrats lose.

  167. “For future reference, please, aggregate your posts (i.e., read through the comment thread and make all responses in a single post). Multiple sequential posts from the same person are a bugaboo of mine. Thank you!”

    Happy to, though I believe in this instance, that throwaway line at the end was edited in after I started to write my reply.

    “You might want to read up on the history of political parties in the U.S., if you find yourself under the impression that the modern system puts power in the hands of parties over candidates.”

    It is hard not to perceive the impact that either the DNC or RNC have on the local process, which has a profound impact on the general election. Seeing as the idea behind the electoral college was a compromise between a popular vote by the people and a vote by Congress, yes, I can see how those with a fair amount of power can greatly influence and control how that process actually plays out.

    Are you claiming that this impression of the process is somehow wrong?

    “The Sanders campaigned still broke the rules. And in the end, the Sanders campaign got what they wanted. Could you at least try to reconcile these facts into your view?”

    I don’t believe I’ve ever failed to reconcile these facts into my view. But like any reasonable person, I can weigh the arguments being made by the DNC about those rules versus the arguments made by Sanders about those some rules.

  168. PrivateIron:

    The working class does not vote Republican.

    “The working class,” in RepublicanSpeak, is a code phrase for the people who were the technical “working class” before WWII: white, male, with at most a high-school education, who started working for The Company [1] before they were old enough to vote and retired almost fifty years later after having raised a bunch of offspring to roughly the same life plan, with some sort of vacation every year. This used to require being paid by the hour but since there are substantial advantages to employers of putting anyone beyond minimum wage on “salary” so that they don’t have to be paid for overtime, this particular requirement has been quietly retired.

    It’s roughly the same as “The Middle Class,” which has many of the same properties but includes people with more education. “The Middle Class” is basically anyone in the United States who doesn’t have live-in servants and is white. Not included are people of color regardless of income or education and anyone who was born dependent on welfare and never kicked the habit. Short terms on welfare (such as George Romney’s) are not disqualifying.

    Both terms have been appropriated since (as Atwater observed) use of explicit racial terms became a liability.

    [1] Be it the Mining Company, the Car Company, the Construction Company, or whatever.

  169. @Tom Combs: Not all independents are middle-of-the-road, could support either side independents. In fact, there’s remarkably few of those compared with people who normally support one party almost exclusively but don’t describe themselves as supporters of a particular party. And there’s also no real reason to believe that self-described independents who vote in primaries are 100% representative of all the self-described independents who just wait until a general election. Primaries are not polling samples.

    What’s odd to me – to the extent that anything so minor could be described as odd in this election given the bar it had to clear – is that the progressive, liberal types who are meant to be Bernie’s core used to also be the ones most against favouring independents over Democrats because it was assumed that they would drag the party to the centre in order to appeal to them at the expense of real Democrats.

  170. D. C. Sessions: I don’t disagree with a lot of what you say and I am aware that language drifts naturally and/or can be appropriated for manipulation? But I prefer to use the terms for what they mean in a substantive sense. Also, is Kat Godwin’s native tongue RepublicanSpeak? Most of the progressives who comment here also use this terminology and frankly, don’t act like they are using terms of art rather than the traditional definitions.

    Are we not supposed to be the reality based policy people?

  171. I’ve figured Trump is a godsend for Clinton, since sheer antipathy towards him will do a lot to make up for her enthusiasm gap. She just doesn’t have the same ability to energize people that Obama and Sanders do. But Trump is good at energizing people against him. Independents or others who could make themselves believe any other GOP nominee won’t really be that bad are going to have a much harder time of it with Trump. If only because Trump doesn’t care about not looking completely awful to anyone but his natural base.

  172. Brian, I think your historical perspective is faulty, to say the least. To see how much modern U.S. politics is about personalities (i.e. candidates) and not about parties, one need only look to the rise of Donald Trump. Or, the “Freedom Caucus”. I don’t see how you can argue that parties are in charge when the Republican party controls so much while in such disarray, while at the same time the Democratic party is (relatively) disciplined but struggling to accomplish much.

    The DNC argument is “These are the rules, the Sanders campaign knew the rules, and violated them.” The Sanders argument is… what? “We don’t like the rules so we shouldn’t have to follow them”? This is a child’s argument. And it’s a point made moot months ago when the the DNC essentially said, “Fine, fill out this form and we’ll just forget it ever happened.” Which the Sanders campaign won’t, because he wants to use it as a cudgel to beat on the DNC with, while at the same time expecting the DNC to support him.

  173. @PrivateIron–

    There are many definitions of “working class.” It is also certainly the case that the white male working class/blue collar workers/service workers/less educated is mostly split among Trump supporters and Sanders supporters. That is reality.

    In terms of whether the working class is growing or shrinking, that also depends on your definition. If you use income as your definition, it is growing and the middle class is shrinking (though the upper middle class is growing). If you use occupation, it depends on which occupations you include and your time horizon– manufacturing has declined, but service has increased (depending on your time horizon), etc.

    Disclaimer: I am an economist, not a political scientist, but I have been to several academic talks this year connecting widening income inequality by education to support for Trump and Sanders. Nothing Kat Goodwin said in any way contradicts the content of those talks.

  174. “Brian, I think your historical perspective is faulty, to say the least. To see how much modern U.S. politics is about personalities (i.e. candidates) and not about parties, one need only look to the rise of Donald Trump. Or, the “Freedom Caucus”. I don’t see how you can argue that parties are in charge when the Republican party controls so much while in such disarray, while at the same time the Democratic party is (relatively) disciplined but struggling to accomplish much.”

    Perhaps we’re speaking past one other, as I feel as though you are conflating my points. Because the “rise” of Donald Trump, or even the influence of the Tea Party/Freedom Caucus, doesn’t really change the amount of influence the political parties have had on the electoral process.

    But there’s influence on the process via the election itself, such as from gerrymandering districts to protect incumbents, and there is influence on the process in terms of how the primary process works for each political party works. And yet, both the DNC and RNC have created those rules in order to protect their party interests. Whether via superdelegates, caucuses, open/closed primaries, etc.

    That this then feeds into the general election illustrates that impact. One of the reasons the Tea Party exists in such strength is because of that gerrymandering and polarization of the process. It is hard to imagine any kind of moderate doing well in some of those primaries because of these issues. Because the system has produced extremist views in many respects.

    Trump might be exceptional in that respect, but proves that even the RNC’s system isn’t without issues. It may illustrate why their changes back in 2002 might have backfired and they may need to reevaluate their process.

    Anyhow, those are the things I am speaking to, and why I find it hard to believe that this is what the writers of the Constitution intended. Do you disagree with my assessment?

    “The Sanders argument is… what? “We don’t like the rules so we shouldn’t have to follow them”? This is a child’s argument.”

    Respectfully, I don’t believe that was ever the argument put forth. I believe the argument put forth at the time this happened was that the staff accessed information due to a server error. That is, some kind of configuration problem allowed for access to the data. Nothing I’ve read suggested that the staffer tried to hack the server or otherwise access the information by going around the security that would normally prevent that, but rather the security on the server failed.

    Now, the response by the Sanders campaign was more than a bit of hand waving in terms of how serious this was, especially given that they were hardly on the up-and-up about access to the data. So, yes, I do view them as being at fault. By the same token, however, I believe the DNC overreacted as well and came down a lot harder than it needed to. Especially with as public as the argument got. Which entirely played to the narrative of “The DNC supports Clinton”.

    Like I said, I’m weighing both sides of that story and trying to reconcile the narrative put forth by both Sanders and the DNC. However, at the end of the day, I don’t believe that either “side” is without fault. Sanders is certainly being opportunistic and changing his view as it fits the circumstances. All the candidates have done that, as have the respective party leadership.

  175. Speaking as a Sanders supporter, why the hell are people making such a big goddamn fuss? Bernie ran, he lost, fair and square. Sure the democratic primary system is rigged, but he would’ve lost even without the superdelegate factor.

    So unless we want Führer Trump come next year, I suggest that we all just admit that Bernie’s lost and vote for Clinton in the general, because Clinton cannot possibly be worse than that shaved orangutan that somebody stuffed into a suit.

    Seriously, what is so hard about that???

  176. Tom Combs:

    If you want to win a general election, you NEED independent voters.

    Research says otherwise. Those “independents” are quite consistent in their voting; they just don’t register. As for winning general elections, the winning strategy since Nixon is based on firing up the Party loyalists to turn out in large numbers. When so many Americans don’t bother to vote, your largest pool of available votes for your candidate is your own people who can be whipped into a frenzy so that they’ll actually head for the polls.

    Thus all of the hot-button issues (abortion, LGBT rights, segregation) that are reliable turnout-enhancers for the Right.

  177. @Scalzi – Assuming the political reality is fixed and unchangeable is a big part of our problem as a nation. It’s why many people don’t even bother voting. In fact, it sort of ignores the fact that this reality has already been changed. Look, Bernie and Trump are independent party gate crashers and they’ve drummed up a collective majority against the established candidates. Why is that do you think? Bernie and Trump may appear ideologically different, but their ground swell comes from the exact same source. Trump could very well use this anti-establishment fervor and beat Hillary in a general election. I don’t think the same could be said if Bernie runs. In fact, I think he’d stand a better chance of ending the Trump problem. Yeah, I know, “polls all say Hillary wins versus Trump.” Show me the pre-primary poll that told us Trump would be the Republican nominee… You really want to stop Trump? You won’t send a career, dynastic politician against him. In either case, I will be voting for some other candidate if the major parties hand us a Hillary v. Trump toxicity test. Could be that the disaster that will be his presidency will finally get people to act and force our stalemated politics to change.

  178. Bernie is the best thing that happened to Hillary, if he was not pushing hard and getting her to push back what would the pundits be saying? Oh Trump, Trump, Trump and occasionally “Trump will be running against Bill’s wife in the general”.

    And the horrible things Bern and Hil have been saying? “you’re too progressive”, “you’re too pragmatic”, not really all that bad and closer to compliments than criticism.

    The Bern will be the VP and pull in all the edge constituencies that would not bother to show up if Hillary was not getting a bit of push.

  179. > “Bernie has excited the INDEPENDENTS. He’s won every damn primary that allows non-party people to vote…”

    This sounded off to me so I tried to track it down. Here is a list of “open primary” states that Clinton has won:

    South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Mississippi, Illinois, Missouri.

    Here is Sanders’:

    Vermont, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana.

    That’s ignoring fuzzier categories like “semi-closed” because I didn’t research all of the rules, but note that in e.g. Massachusetts (which went for Clinton) people who are unenrolled were allowed to vote.

    Am I misunderstanding what you meant?


  180. RE: Sanders polling better than Clinton vs Trump: Sanders had had zero GOP oppo done. Zero. And he’s been largely ignored by Clinton. Those polls are useless. The results would be different after enough ads with ominous voice guy warning viewers about the socialist with nice things to say about the Sandinistas and Castro.

  181. Russ Linton:

    “Could be that the disaster that will be his presidency will finally get people to act and force our stalemated politics to change.”

    Ah, so you really are the “Fuck it, let it all burn” sort. I guess that’s good to know. I personally find the comment above appalling and stupid and that fact that you hold it an indication that your head is fairly well lodged up your ass, in terms of what the real-world implications are for people who don’t have the option of being white and male, like we are. But sure, let’s burn it all down, why the fuck not, it’s only four to eight years of right-wing administration legislation, headed up by a racist blowhard. And it’s not like the Bush years did any damage to the country.

  182. Still reading, still baffled; I still haven’t seen any evidence that Sanders is ‘progressive’, even making allowances for the fact that US politics are skewed to the right wing by comparison with much of Europe.

    What I do see is downright sexism, coupled with the immaturity of people who threaten to throw their toys out of the pram if they don’t get what they want; I accept that behaviour from toddlers, but it is ludicrous to expect that grown ups won’t notice other grown ups behaving that way.

    Particularly when the toy throwing increases the chances of Donald Trump becoming President; deliberately enabling a batshit crazy monomaniac with the power to start WW3 isn’t the sort of thing which any genuinely progressive person would even contemplate doing, much less threaten.

    And yet some of Sanders supporters are proclaiming that this is what they will do, and Sanders hasn’t disowned them; from this side of the pond it looks as if he’s prepared to do anything in his pursuit of power. Which, oddly enough, is exactly what Trump is doing…

  183. For the burn it all down people, you’re aware that approach has a rather dismal success rate? If for no other reason than one usually wants to leave enough to rebuild on but fire tends not to respect the intent of the people who lit it. Especially if there are people who’ll start pouring accelerants at the first opportunity.

  184. Every Presidential election cycle, there’s an argument that some particular candidate is bringing in some new group of voters either to the party or to the electorate in general. It rarely happens, and it rarely happens in significant numbers. Yes, Obama did bring more young voters to the polls than is typical, and they weren’t responsible for his winning, and they promptly disappeared in future elections. Yes, there were Reagan Democrats, but that was the tail end of a process begun in the 60s with the signing of the Civil Rights Act, when the parties separated over race.

    In this year’s Dem primary, we can talk about Independents and open and closed primaries and caucuses, but the fact is, demographics explains almost all of it. Bernie has won only one state (Michigan) where the African-American population is over 15%, and only one state (Colorado) where the Hispanic population is over 15%. Unless he pulls off upsets in California, New Jersey, and New Mexico, none of which look like Sanders wins at this point, that pattern will hold.

    Yes, Sanders does have some African-American support among young voters, but like many other left wing movements, his campaign has tended to focus on how he’s going to solve the economy without talking much at all about the structural problems that still remain for POC and women. Women and POC over a certain age have heard this story before.

  185. “Could be that the disaster that will be his presidency will finally get people to act and force our stalemated politics to change.”

    I remember people saying that about Reagan — that he would be so extreme, so evil, so that his presidency would spark a revolution in our politics!

  186. Reagan did spark a revolution in politics.

    He stole all the working class and working poor voters and SOMEHOW convinced them to vote against their self interests and become republicans. He convinced trailer park residents on welfare that cutting entitlements was a great idea.

    That Unions, who had been the only real power that the working class had behind them, were EBIL and must be destroyed. That revolution.

    A revolution that somehow a generation later has the party forgetting that Reagan didn’t care about Roe v Wade and gave amnesty to illegal immigrants.

    It sparked a revolution, one that made the democratic party a clueless mob who shockingly actually took a presidential election or 5 since then. That if they actually worked together half as competently as the GOP would be running the show because their politics (that they say, yet hardly do) overwhelmingly harmonize with the overall general public.

    Reagan sparked a revolution that has the modern democratic party look like one he’d lead. Clinton was a republican with democratic lipservice, Obama is pretty much the same.

    That’s the Reagan revolution.

  187. Nicoleandmaggie: going by income, the working class votes Democrat. I am proactively rejecting the idea that class is based on job sector or education. A teacher who makes zilch is working class and a plumber who makes a nice income and/or owns his own business is middle class. I also bypass the classic Marxist definition because how many workers these days have their hands directly on the means of production for material goods.

    Defining class by whether you went to college seems to be the very soul of “snobby liberal” thinking. Just like Pat Buchanan or George Bush pretending to be “good ol’ boys” was similarly ridiculous.

    I agree that impact disparity is driving people to reject people who seem to be establishment candidates. (Though they jump right into the arms of people who are just as much a part of the establishment.) I invite Democratic mainstream people to ponder whether that trend is likely to work in their favor or whether they need to rethink tactics/policies in accordance with the circumstances.

    Kat Godwin does miss the point that middle class white women (by any of the definitions posited) support Republicans more than lower income white men do, and they do so with more money and more clout. On another thread, she stated “Fuck the white worker.” How should I spin that phrasing into a positive, either as a matter of political theory or for practical electoral politics?

    Despite the demographic shifts, financially insecure white people are going to remain the largest voting block in the U.S. for quite a while. Do you try to get them on your side? Do you think you can consistently muster enough other people to cancel them out? Trump is probably too silly to win, but how do you see 2020 or 2024 working out? Because I think the type of person who supports Trump is going to grow in numbers. We need to turn them at least partially to our way of thinking, or find a way to reconcile with some of their concerns or we need to be hella’ cohesive in opposition to them. Does the general tone of these comment threads fill you with optimism on that score?

    For the record, I vote Democrat defensively. (And I voted Hillary because that was the pragmatic move.) I used to be an enthusiastic Democrat, but now I am SD/DS whichever term they use for people like me these days.

  188. At this point I’m not overly concerned that the Democratic Presidential nominee will be Hillary Clinton, and I’m certain that Bernie Sanders will rally behind her when the primary dust settles. The Democratic Party will be fine.

    I’m more concerned about some billionaires and top GOP politicians backing a reality TV billionaire who knows nothing about international diplomacy or U.S. economics/finance. I’m concerned about the rabid supporters of this reality TV billionaire who has flamed their hate and loathing into actions of physical violence. I’m also concerned about the voting rights of U.S. citizens being disenfranchised because of voter ID laws that have been passed in red states.

    These are the things that concern me.

  189. @PrivateIron, I think Sanders and Trumps are drawing on the same well of unhappiness, though with different flavors. I’m hoping Clinton will realize that she can bring more of Sander’s base on board by being more left-wing than they’re expecting. She’d do that so she could leverage their support into making the 2018 or 2020 elections into a complete rout of the GOP (since they aren’t being considerate enough to fall apart *before* November). That’ll give her a much freer hand to cement her legacy in her second term.

  190. Reality: Bernie isn’t winning the nomination. It’s not going to happen.

    Also reality: A significant majority of Bernie supporters have already said they’ll switch to Hillary.

    ALSO reality: A percentage of Busters were never inclined to vote for a Democrat anyway.

    A fair percentage of the remaining ~3 million voters will get over their snit eventually, as many PUMAs did in 2008, and do the right thing. A bunch of the ones left after this are white men, who haven’t been a tipping-point factor in national elections in about a generation. That they largely support conservative candidates is baked into the picture. The actual tipping-point factor? White WOMEN. They went for McCain in 2008 and Mitt in 2012 by only very slim margins, and Obama managed to win anyway. Given how horribly Trump is doing with moderate Republican women, it’s extremely unlikely he’s going to win that demo this time.

    As I mentioned on Twitter last night, this election is going to be decided by Megyn Kelly: By white women who have generally leaned conservative until this year, when they finally realized their party has been overrun with misogyny. It’s certainly true that a fair portion of conservative women are just as bigoted as their male counterparts (and let’s not pretend that this bathroom-bill stuff isn’t designed to scare them into going to the polls and voting Trump anyway instead of staying home.) Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin have plenty of doppelgangers in the party. But there’s also a contingent who are much more in line with Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Christie Todd Whitman, etc. who aren’t about to vote for a shart golem like Trump, and who have actually had pretty good experiences with Hillary in the past. THESE are the voters who will make the difference in this election, not a handful of white-dude revolutionaries who think they have more power than they really do.

    This being the case, there’s really no point to trying to suck up to these guys. There simply aren’t enough of them to bother trying to placate them so they won’t take their votes and go home. Moreover, people who would merrily let others actually die just because a political party wasn’t nice enough to them aren’t worth that consideration anyway. It’s a tone argument, at its core: Be deferent to us or we’re not going to fight for your rights. And fuck that. The rest of us way outnumber asshats like this. We don’t need them.

    And that reality is probably what upsets them the most.

  191. Wait, scrolling back, did someone above actually compare Hillary to Baba Yaga as an insult?

    Dude. Baba Yaga is cool as hell. If she was on the ticket *I* would get out and knock on doors. If you’re gonna insult a powerful woman, comparing her to a brilliant all-seeing crone who can fly, keeps talking skulls of her enemies on the fence, and has the best house brand (heh heh) in mythology is so the wrong way to go.

    Baba Yaga is AWESOME.

  192. Shawna, I know anecdotes aren’t data, but you’re describing my mother very well. This is the year she switched from a registered Republican to a registered Democrat so she could vote in the Democratic primaries, and it’s because of Donald Trump.

  193. John, as I see it, there are three types of Bernie supporters:

    – Democrats, such as myself, who vote for the progressive in the primary and the nominee in

    – Independents, who are disgusted with American politics. They’ll never vote for Hillary because they see her as part of a corrupt system: Tweedledee lies to us about who’s responsible for 911, embraces torture, and gets us into an expensive unwinnable war, Tweedledum runs an ethically questionable drone program out of the CIA and fail to prosecute or jail a single Wall Street criminal for crashing our economy.

    – New voters (kids) who are excited by Bernie’s progressive message.

    What I can’t figure out is who you’re trying to reach with this post. Democrats are going to hold their nose and vote Democrat. Independents and new voters aren’t going to be swayed by your telling them what to do. Why not tell them who you support, and why. More carrot & less stick. Did a bunch of Bernie supporters come around and piss on your doormat?

    I’m not unrealistic and I’m not waiting for a miracle. I do plan to use my primary vote to tell the DNC who I support, regardless of the likelihood of their winning the nomination.

    For the record: When Obama ran, I thought a Black American could never get elected. I was wrong. Gavin Newsome allowed gay marriage in San Francisco by executive action in an election year. I thought the backlash would hurt Democrats & progressives. I was wrong. I don’t think Bernie has much of chance. I’d be delighted to be wrong about that one too.

  194. Nortally:

    “What I can’t figure out is who you’re trying to reach with this post.”

    The same people I reach anytime I write: Whoever wanders by to read.

  195. Cthulhu @6:55pm: “With respects to our host, I won’t mock this overtly.”

    Then how about actually addressing it, instead of employing your usual sub-Hunter S. Thompson schtick?

    Start here, perhaps: For some reason, you went on about advertising, when I specifically said *polls*. Explain that, please.

  196. I think the first priority in the transition period is that Hillary and her supporters need to make absolutely clear to Bernie supporters that all of their criticisms of Hillary is sexism, whining, and right wing talking points. Hillary is not to be criticized. That would be the best way to convince them to stop this nonsense, start sending Hillary money, and guarantee they vote for her in the general election.

    Another excellent approach to bringing Bernie supporters into the fold would be to make it absolutely clear to them that any criticism of Hillary, no matter how muted, is nothing but a vote for Trump, which is a vote for fascism and bigotry. And you dont want to vote for fascism and bigotry do you?

    And finally, Hillary and her supporters should make absolutely clear that Bernie lost the primary, and therefore Bernie should have absolutely no influence on events going forward. It would probably be best if Bernie simply remain silent until after the election. Unless he wants to emphatically and unreservedly endorse Hillary without reservation, which would be acceptable.

    talk of having Bernie run as VP is counterproductive. Talk of having Bernie work in Hillary’s administration can do nothing but spotlight a weakness of Hillary. And weakness is not something we can afford in the general election against Trump.

    What is needed to truly move forward is an unconditional surrender of Bernie and his movement and supporters, and that they completely and unequivocally capitulate to the Hillary campaign.

    If Bernie or his supporters give any guff, the first thing to point out after pointing out that they lost is that they only got 1500 voter-based delegates compared to Hillary’s 1800 delegates. A margin of victory so huge that anyone not biased would clearly see that Bernie has nothing to offer and that it would be best for everyone if Bernie just disappeared for a few months.

    If that doesnt get them to shut up, stop all criticism of Hillary, and toe the party line, then point out that Bernie was never a “true” democrat anyway. Sure, he followed the rules to be in the democrat primary, and sure apparently a miniscule number of democrats voted for him (a tiny, paltry 1500 compared to an massive, overwhelming 1800), but he never really stood for democrat principles and the democrats who voted for him were just confused. Nothing makes someone see how totally wrong they were and how totally right you are like a no true scotsman argument. It is logical argument kryptonite.

    And once they see they were completely wrong about everything, they will quickly fall in line behind supporting Hillary without criticism, which is why this is absolutely the best path for Hillary supporters going forward.

  197. @privateiron

    Sounds like you will have problems with any research based work that requires data. Because you have to define things so they are measurable. In Econ we use several different definitions for class because there are data limitations and no single measure captures anything. If that is snobby instead of pragmatic, well, then I guess measuring anything is snobby.

  198. It isn’t over until the party platform is written at the convention and, in fact, Sanders has gotten some concessions on that just last night.

    It all depends what you are fighting for.

    And, frankly, bringing that war criminal, Henry Kissinger, back into foreign policy is a pretty damn evil thing to do on Clinton’s part. I’ve no doubt that Trump would do worse, given the opportunity, but based on that, and a couple of other things which Clinton has either done or participated in, it is hard for me to view the prospect of a Hillary Clinton Presidency with anything but the liveliest horror. In November, likely, it will be time to hold my nose and vote again.

    Sanders knows, too. Clinton complimenting Kissinger during the first debate nearly broke his well-maintained composure. And yet he did not make an issue of it. There have been numerous opportunities for Sanders to trash Clinton and Sanders has taken none of them. Instead, he has just kept on going. Let us learn from his example.

  199. I’m a Sanders supporter who was also an Obama supporter. For those who think Sanders is a better general election candidate: his ground game so far suggests otherwise.

    I know literally hundreds of people who voted in a primary for the first time in 2008, and I don’t remember widespread complaints or confusion about the rules. This year, a substantial percentage of Sanders supporters expressed some degree of surprise or confusion about rules in their area.

    Every Bernie fan who complains about closed primaries or registration deadlines is basically holding up a sign that says “Bernie is unable to convey important voting information to his supporters.” That is a BAD SIGN. I honestly believed that Bernie was the better general election candidate until I saw how bad he’d been at distributing this kind of information; Obama made it look so very easy.

    Sanders had access to the election rules in every state when he started. Educating his supporters should have been part of his campaign. When Obama was running in the primary I saw tons of campaign-produced information about primary registration and primary voting. In-person educational voter outreach was everywhere. This year all I’ve seen are facebook posts from random supporters (not even the campaign page itself), which often appeared days before the party registration deadline. Though the primary system is messy, other non-establishment candidates have managed to get information out to their voters. It is every candidate’s job to educate their supporters on the process, and Sanders has failed at this task on a level that is frankly unprecedented in my political lifetime.

    Some people may argue that Bernie’s terrible ground game isn’t a factor, because if he were the nominee the DNC would swoop in and do his groundwork for him. That’s not how it works – Obama micromanaged his campaigns incredibly skillfully and McCain and Romney micromanaged theirs ineptly. The presidential candidates make most of the strategic and logistical decisions in their own campaigns.

    Those logistics will be even more important this year than ever before. Voting is more difficult – especially in many swing states – due to the left sleeping through one too many midterms. If a campaign can’t navigate idiosyncratic rules that have been in place for years, how will they adapt to an actively hostile and ever-changing system of voter suppression perpetuated by a party that openly touts making it harder to vote as part of its public platform? If they can’t get voter registration information out for the primary, how will they combat the active misinformation campaigns that we see every year during the general?

    I voted for Sanders in the primary. I wanted him to win. My mother and brother also voted for him. But ye gods a lot of the anti-Clinton conspiracy stuff is straight out of Karl Rove’s handbook. Especially transparently painting democratic procedures as corrupt so that when people run up against active voter suppression in the fall the Republicans can say “both sides do it. Look at all that corruption during the Hillary primary!”

    Bernie’s support is incredible given how bad his ground game has been. Obama had the best rally game in decades, but he had a phenomenal ground game to match it. Bernie has a great rally game but his ground game has been anemic. The fact that Sanders hasn’t been hammering home the necessity of registering as a democrat from the very beginning of his candidacy shows that he’s either profoundly disorganized or he didn’t have a long-term victory plan to start out with. If registering as a democrat is such an unreasonable burden for voters, why run as a democrat to begin with when you had to have known the rules?

    Which brings me to the most disappointing thing about Bernie’s campaign so far: he hasn’t really stressed the idea of down ticket races and other primaries outside the main presidential campaign. When asked about whether he’d be supporting down ticket races in the general, he downplayed the question with a vague “we’ll see.”


    If we don’t take back state legislatures by 2020 we are screwed. Very screwed. Even if their party is imperfect, dems have historically protected voting rights for marginalized people, partly because the people who are most likely to be disenfranchised also generally vote democratic. If you want to be able to vote for the next Bernie whenever they come along, you have to make sure people who will defend your right to vote get elected – even if they’re only defending your right to vote for selfish reasons. Also if you don’t know why 2020 is important, google “census” and “gerrymandering.”

    Hillary is raising money for those down ticket races, and has a concrete plan to continue to support them both logistically and financially. That’s important. We’re unlikely to definitively retake congress until after post-2020 redistricting – gerrymandering went so heavily to the republicans last time that in many purple states republicans still win more seats even when more total residents cast votes for dems.

    Right now it’s very important to be detail-oriented and focused on down ticket races; Bernie has shown himself to be neither. Despite the fact that he aligns with me on policy and I voted for him in the primary, I’m not confident he would have been the strongest candidate in the general election.

  200. I feel obligated to chime in too. Bernie lost every chance at the nomination, early, in South Carolina. He totally misread the demographics of the modern Democratic party and played to bring white working class people (back?) into the party. But those folks mostly left during the Lee Atwater days of massive dog whistling racial resentment. I grew up in a white rural working class environment, and despite a century of clever guys like Bernie telling white working people what they should do, that stuff isn’t what white working class people want. They want to go back to the joys of the post WWII era, when minority groups were kept under heel and women didn’t have to work or get educated, and since the rest of the world’s industrial base had been destroyed, plenty of good paying manufacturing job were available. They were horrible jobs that killed you by middle age, but hell, you could raise a family, but a new car, and vacation at the beach and have a BBQ every weekend! Unfortunately those days are not coming back and they can’t seem to let go of the idea.

    Bernie’s campaign we predicated on using the weird, and probably least democratic and upperclass-white-biased voting system, the state caucus, to generate enthusiasm among that demographic. Then focused on rallies, shipping people around to venues instead of doing the traditional retail politics of meeting people in their communities and forming enduring relationships. He really got quite far with it, all things considered, but ended up alienating lots of “natural” Hillary voters, who wanted to be courted. I waited for Bernie to address my demographic, but all I heard was the same speeches, scolding finger wagging, demonizing of many many others, but never producing policy specifics that were even remotely believable or a reason to believe he could lead the country. From here he seemed to be fighting the last battle and ignoring real issues brewing on the horizon. I know plenty of middle aged women who encountered a lot of mansplaining and name-calling from Bernie supporters, but never a good reason to change their support other than some dude thought you were corrupt if you didn’t support him. Excuse me?

    His major problem was that he was fundamentally about the party constituents, the first thing you MUST do is get the African American community on your side and his first appearance on a BET political show was notable for leading with the statement that Obama was not good for the African American community and that Bernie would be better. Talk about tone deaf and mansplaining! He lost half of them after his first statement! The community took great pride in Obama being elected, even if you disagree you need to start without the insulting, talking down to you remarks! Maybe that works in all-white states? And Devine & Weaver didn’t seem to get it, either. “The Confederacy?” Really? You don’t think people took that as dog-whistling?

    In short, Bernie ran a poor campaign if his goal was to win the nomination. Democrats were pro-Hillary at the start, but were open to alternatives, just as like Obama in 2008, and Bernie had to talk to them and pull them to his side. He failed. Where Obama in 2008 understood the party and how to pull them over to his side, Bernie had already lost it by South Carolina by talking past the most important constituents. Everything was just resource management after that. Being 100 delegate down is very hard to overcome, being down 300 is literally impossible. If you think otherwise you just haven’t studied the system. If you don’t know the system you live in why do think you can guess what will happen? Because you feel strongly that you sense of justice is correct and the rest of us are pawns in you puppet show? No, this primary system has been essentially unchanged since I was a child. Hell, the rules have been online for ages and easy to find.

    Now, I’m not saying Bernie should not run or should drop out or that anyone should vote for Hillary “because”. Your vote is your vote, I don’t even care if you vote for You-Know-Who, it is your choice. I’m voting on the D side no matter what because the R side is kind scary looking, but that’s just me. I shudder at what You-Know-Who’s Justice Department will get up to! What will he do with the military, the TLAs? The Commerce Department and the IRS? I can’t think of anything good coming out of it.

  201. nicolleandmaggie:

    Please spread some of the blame my way. I should perhaps have done more than a nod in the direction of the social-science definitions of “working class” and “middle class” before pointing out that in the context of American politics they had been redefined for partisan dog-whistle purposes to be racially loaded. privateiron then took issue with my observation, at which point I was tempted to go into descriptive/prescriptive but chose to let the side track grow weeds.

  202. Okay, first off, Private Iron, when I’m responding directly to somebody else’s post that specifically claimed that the Democratic party had stopped paying enough attention to white working class MEN because it was now supposedly run by snobby college elites, saying that I missed something by not talking about women voting too has nothing to do with the actual debate that was going on. The topic was working class white men specifically, which was the term the poster I argued with used and which is often used in talking about voter demographics, and the role they are given in the Democratic party. You want to weigh in on that specific topic, fine. But I’m not much interested in a critique that says you didn’t talk about fifteen other things, so your argument about the actual topic of that particular conversation is bogus. Nor am I interested in you trying to set up a definition for a term and then insisting that anything I say is bogus because you don’t think I followed your definition.

    Further, the person who I was responding to pointed out, re an article opining such, that working class WHITE MEN have moved to vote Republican and was claiming that’s because the Democrats didn’t deal with their concerns enough, which is not the case JMazzola is correct that working class white men do in fact vote Republican or centrist Democrat. This has been an often discussed issue in the last thirty years of elections. The majority of white men — poor, working class, middle class and high income class — vote more conservatively, towards the center Democrat and Republican, than the other demographic groups. Their voting record on issues and politicians overall sucks.

    Which is why continuing to cater to working class white men and having them heavily influence and run the party, and concentrating on their top goal — income equality for white men — has, in my opinion, greatly damaged the Democrat party platform and allowed other voter groups to get disenfranchised and shut out, causing low voter turnout, which is bad for Democrats in elections. The working class — people in low paying jobs with mostly no college education — is made up of way more than white men. It has been a class in which women and non-whites have traditionally been stuck and blocked into. And those groups overall, along with the poor, do tend to vote Democrat, as the Democrats are the only party with no deliberate glee to kill them and grind them into dust. But the white men sector of them pulls right, (with the white women sector skewing right too but less and less,) and wooing them means a lot of critical progressive issues get slammed aside or delayed. Bigotry is a large chunk of why we have income inequality and in 2016, fighting it needs to be a central part of the platform, not down the list. It is from that a coalition has been built. It is that coalition that got us 90% healthcare coverage, marriage equality, and is shooting for closing the pay gap and court and police reform.

    But because that coalition is in the works, with some women and non-whites having bigger roles and voices in the party, including getting a black man elected president, having his challenger be a woman who now will be the candidate, etc., we get a lot of borrowed conservative speak concern trolling about how the Democrats are now run by snobby out of touch rich college folk (i.e. women and non-whites,) instead of good old salt of the earth white guys with working class backgrounds who they should pay attention to, always and top priority. Because the Democrats have become wider, more inclusive, the complaint is that they should go back to being like the Republicans and concentrate on white male factory workers, as in the mentioned article. And that’s bollocks. That isn’t going forward. So that’s what I was discussing and objecting to as a theory. You aren’t going to have a “revolution” without women, black people and Latinos in the U.S. and without them playing central and leadership roles in the Democratic party.

    The working class is shrinking in some aspects into expanding the working poor, because technology eliminates manufacturing jobs, worker benefits and wages are slashed, it is difficult to get jobs with income power with only a high school degree, and it is difficult for non-white workers to get jobs at all. Likewise, a lot of the middle class is tumbling down with their college degrees and student loans and mortgages into the working class income status because of the Great Recession, stagnated wages and social aid and predatory employers. And bigotry — which has played a big role economically as well as in civil rights. The sweeping attacks on trans people going on are first a way to milk more money out of the homophobes smarting from losing out on marriage equality, and second to bring in sweeping laws that let employers fire workers for being black or female or gay or trans, attempt to control their workers in order to depress their wages, and let businesses deny services and increase market control under the fig leaf of religious pain, and third, to consolidate power in state legislatures for the far right. So trans rights, gay rights, equal pay for women, etc., these are all critical economic issues not only for these groups, but way beyond the groups themselves.

    As for the Independents, as someone else brought up, they also skew rightward, not left. There is a minority percentage of Independents who are leftward. Then another slice that are left leaning libertarian (two things often at odds with each other,) then a lot of centrists, then right leaning and right libertarian. So Bernie has not motivated the Independents — a vast bunch of them don’t like him. He did bring a bunch of left Independents into the Democratic party, many of them again white men, who then began throwing their weight around and demanding the party rewrite itself to their demands (not entirely a bad or good thing.) But traditionally, candidates in the general election have to play to those middle centrist Independents, while getting their own base out. The base is more important than the Independents, though. New Democrats are welcome, but not reliable yet.

    And that base in the Democratic party now is a firm coalition. It’s not just white men and it doesn’t have to concentrate on keeping left leaning working class white men happy above all. Because what makes them happy has tended to be, even when they are left leaning, bad for the country and even bad for them. It’s very social status based chest thumping and it’s annoying. That doesn’t mean I don’t sympathize with white working class men and the economic pain they go through. But they aren’t the only ones going through it, and they suffer less proportionately than the other demographic groups from it. So that article that I complained about I consider mainly bigoted rhetoric and kneejerk anxiety about a more equal political party and society. And also historically inaccurate, since very rich people have been running not only both the Republican and Democratic parties, but the Green party, the Libertarian party, etc. forever. Citizens United made the budgets bigger, but it did not invent them. I’m also not a big fan of anti-intellectualism in any form. Education makes Democrats and workers who stand for their rights — that’s why conservatives work so hard to harm education. Claiming that a woman or a non-white with a college degree is “snobby” is a dog whistle way of trying to discount what they say without openly declared bigotry. (See Hugo Puppies.)

    So I did not agree with that argument presented — in the way that it was presented — and stated why. If you do agree, Private Iron, with that article that the Democratic party needs to cuddle up to working class white males some more or it will be a disaster of elitist educated people taking the party astray, make your argument on it.

    As for Trump’s popularity, that rests with 18% of the electorate — the far right who are deeply bigoted and concerned with maintaining social status power and making money from it. That’s enough now apparently to win the Republican primary, as the Republicans have tumbled into a deep, atavistic hole. But it’s not enough to win the general election. If the Republican machine, as they are grudgingly doing, gets behind Trump and whips the other factions in line, then it’s a bigger deal. And that means that the coalition and getting them to turn out is even more important. Which means more emphasis on the coalition and their spectrum of issues, not a narrow focus on white male and working class white male concerns.

  203. I missed this from Private Iron on the cross post:

    On another thread, she stated “Fuck the white worker.” How should I spin that phrasing into a positive, either as a matter of political theory or for practical electoral politics?

    That conversation was similar in its topic. That statement was part of a larger argument talking about how white workers’ concerns and issues were always given top priority over non-white workers and about urgings, similar to the Vox article, that we should continue politically to give top priority and attention to white workers and their votes and concerns over non-white workers and wider economic issues. And I was saying fuck the white workers as top priority in political issues, because we’ve been doing that for decades and it doesn’t work. I was not saying fuck the white workers as people, as you damn well know.

    If you ever try that sort of misquote insinuation stunt again, Private Iron, then you go on the group of folk here whose posts I do not read and respond to, and you can natter away at me all you like.

  204. Kat Goodwin:

    Another one I want to send around, but one point you touched very lightly deserves more attention, and that’s the “working class men” as “all lives matter” aspect. Democrats, we are told, should be more solicitous of the (white)(male)(“working class”) because they’re hurting too. Well, that sort of glides over a key aspect of WMWC that makes a huge difference, and that’s the “I may be poor but at least I ain’t no nggr!” factor.

    Going back to the 19th century (at least) American plutocrats have managed to get low-SES whites to support policies against their own interests by “poor but at least white” card. In the 19th it was slavery and Jim Crow, during the Depression it was kneecapping the New Deal [1], and most recently it was anti-Obamacare.

    It’s still going on today. One of the key reasons that unions have suffered in the USA is that while Democrats support unions, union members too often fall into the “poor but white” set who reject the Democratic Party because of racial reasons — and thus get shafted by anti-union policies.

    So: not only is panders to WMWC interests bad mathematics in itself, it’s wrong and bad math at another level: to be effective, it means not just deprioritizing women, people of color, LGBT folk, and other “underclasses” but actually requires throwing them under the bus to boot. And even if the Party did, it wouldn’t buy much because of set tribal loyalty.

    So, well, what you said.

    [1] Minimum wages excluded jobs that (surprise!) went to women and brown people, Social Security excluded them, subsidized housing was required to be segregated (guess who got the better ones, hmmm?), etc.

  205. Kat: “If you ever try that sort of misquote insinuation stunt again,”

    Was it a misqote? I cant find the original post, so I was curious.

    JMazzola: “I think it was Vox that had an article abut the “snobbery” of the modern Democratic party ”

    Kat: “the only people who matter to the party are white working class and rural males and how they must be catered to at all costs and get to run the party”

    Wow. Did the Vox article really say all that? or is that your own insinuation misquote stunt?

  206. I changed my official party designation to Democratic so I could vote in the primary. My take was that I had two good options. Neither perfect, neither would accomplish everything they promised or wished to accomplish, but both good choices. I like Bernie Sanders platform and his goals better so I voted for him in the primary. Which is how it works.
    Personally I do not “blame” anyone, real or imagined for how one candidate or another does. Lots of factors are at work, and this is the system we have. Flawed as hell and like life essentially unfair, but it is what we’ve got. And after the respective conventions we will have two major party candidates and possibly some “other” party candidates to choose from. Like we do every four years.
    What I don’t understand is the need to proclaim that I must “give it up”? Why? Why can’t I wait until after the convention to find out who the Democrats will be running? Isn’t that the purpose of this whole process?

  207. I’ll vote third-party because I’ve been ‘ABC’ – Anybody But Clinton – forever. But a) I live in Massachusetts which will go Dem no matter who is on the ballot and b) I’ll be goddamned if I’ll vote for Trump.

  208. Kat, if you said it, I did not misquote you. You explained what you meant and that’s fine. I understood what you were saying the first time too and I still find the comment offensive on its face. There were better ways to make your point, nor do I agree with your use of the term “working class” in this context.

    You actually meant “Fuck the white worker,” and not something completely different. So I am not misrepresenting your basic statement. If you had said something like: “Republicans say ‘Fuck the white worker'” and I cropped out the beginning, then you would have a point. However, I am not obliged to rehash all the nuances of your original argument nor give it the most sympathetic reading possible. The fact that you had what you believe is a legitimate, complex and astute rationale for saying “Fuck the white worker” does not change the plain fact you told them to fuck off.

    I support your right to read as many or as few of the commenters here as you please. I believe there is even software that would aid you in this endeavor.

    Since Scalzi does not want separate posts, I will continue more generally here:

    Since the right uses race as a tactic to divide the working class, I intensely dislike the idea of enshrining this idea on the conceptual level. It’s bad enough we have to deal with the consequences of this strategy on a practical level. I am not going to give it power in my head as well. That so many of you are resigned to giving zombie Lee Atwater editing privileges on your personal vision of American society is quite frankly almost as disheartening as anything else I have read on this blog. I grew up working class in a multicultural, urban area. I don’t feel separate from black people or Latinos, and I don’t feel separate from dumb, poor white people. But more and more, I am starting to feel separate from mainstream liberals.

    The idea that the Left or progressives can build a political movement without the participation of the working class and/or without making the interests of the working class a priority is baffling to me. It sounds absurd as a proposition and doomed as a project. But if it fails and we get some sort of right populist dipshit in power in the next 10 years, are you going to blame yourselves or are you going to blame all the little people who could not see their own interests as clearly as you do?

  209. Bernie Sanders supporters. Do not listen to Scalzi. He is part of the corrupt democratic establishment. Keep fighting and support the democratic wing of his he democratic party. College is expensive. The government should pay for it. Do not listen to corrupt millionaires like Scalzi. He got to go to college for free and now doesnt want to help pay for yours. Take the fight to the convention. Fight the power! Rise up!

  210. @PrivateIron I would argue that the Left and progressives who support Hillary Clinton aren’t convinced that women and minorities need to defer to the the white working class. And what I think we see in voting patterns is that Sanders misses the point and women and minorities see it vote accordingly.

    Sanders stumbled in dealing with Black Lives Matter, for example.

  211. Auntfoggy

    I don’t expect you to give it up. It has become increasingly obvious that people determined to vote for Sanders, come hell, high water, or Trump as President, are profoundly privileged. Only the privileged operate under the assumption that nothing bad is going to happen to them; in some miraculous fashion they believe that Trump is never going to do things which will hurt them.

    Hurting other people is, apparently, not something they worry too much about, and OK, that’s par for the course with trust fund babies, but trust fund babies expecting no one to notice that they are throwing their toys out of the pram demonstrate the paucity of their worldview. They have no comprehension whatsoever of what life is like at the sharp end, and demonstrate that fact every day.

    Bernie’s ‘burn it to the ground’ -so that good will come- is quintessentialy the ‘Rapture’; it’s the sort of thing you notice when you live a long way away. So no, I don’t expect you to give it up, just as I don’t expect batshit crazy monomaniacs to stop being bat shit crazy monomaniacs…

  212. Start here, perhaps: For some reason, you went on about advertising, when I specifically said *polls*. Explain that, please.

    It’s not “Sub HST”.

    It’s a rather more sophisticated joke. That you really don’t get if you don’t understand the advertising and future joke. In fact, the entire irony is that if I bother to do HST level jokes, I get multiple responses saying: “THIS GIRL IS MAD – WHAT IS SHE SAYING!?!?!” or even “WELL, CRAZY IS AS CRAZY DOES, WE NEED A REALITY BASED COMMENT HERE”.

    That’s the meta-joke.

    You’ve devolved too much to even have HST level humor.

    Look, here’s the deal.

    Candidates aren’t made to enact policy, they’re there to entangle groups. “Focus Groups” – look it up, it’s why a whole lot of Hollywood Films are artistically rubbish, but make a lot of money.







    Even Obama.

    When H. Clinton joked “If you don’t support women, you’ve a special place in Hell”.








    [Hint: that’s a rude banana – she was attempting to stave off the Cthulhu memes and was referencing something a little bit close to the mark]

    Not sure you know how politics works.

    Please come back to me when you do.


    Even the NSA views other inter-governmental departments as “customers” and runs “focus groups” [Ok, they all have security clearance] when deciding policy.

    It’s a Disease.


    Your system is that fucked up.

    Baba Yaga is AWESOME.


    A single sane voice in this morass.

  213. @ Guess: Preach it, Comrade! Glory to the People! Glory to the Proletariat! Our working-class Communist Revolution will be victorious through the power of Socialist Labor for Communism and Proletarian Freedom!


  214. TL;DR

    Advertising infected Politics.



    You need a lesson on Lobbying next?





  215. Except that Hillary Clinton didn’t make the comment ““If you don’t support women, you’ve a special place in Hell”.Madeline Albright did.

  216. Except that Hillary Clinton didn’t make the comment ““If you don’t support women, you’ve a special place in Hell”.Madeline Albright did.

    Yeah, but the reaction was the key.

    That whole “WOOOOOOOOOO LAUGH”.

    It’s not a good optic for a Jewish Lady near to death pronouncing about the afterlife (that a greater percentage of those of the Jewish faith don’t actually believe in) to a Christian Nation.

    Especially one who called 500,000 deaths of under 15 year olds due to sanctions:

    “Worth the Price”.




    And, well done.

    You just proved a point.

    :sad trombone:

  217. Cthulhu, I may be just a lowly human, but unfortunately your comments are kind of 100% incomprehensible. What, exactly, are you trying to say?

  218. Cthulhu, I may be just a lowly human, but unfortunately your comments are kind of 100% incomprehensible. What, exactly, are you trying to say?

    Ask a question.

    It’s like a Magic 8-Ball on Acid.

    Give it a whirl.

    The World is your Oyster.

    Hint: you’ll get honesty and reality. You might not like it. But it’ll be True.

  219. The thing that makes me cranky is people trying to say the whole contest is over. No it’s not! My state doesn’t vote until June, so for me the primary’s not over until June. I wish the primaries were all on the same day, or within a month of each other, or some kind of thing that didn’t mean certain states were favored over others, but given the system we have it really burns me up when people try to make states like mine even less important by declaring it over before we get to have our say.

  220. Oh, and here’s the real joke:If you didn’t understand or misunderstood any of the jokes.

    You’re not human.

    You’re a commercial product.

    You missed the entire Human Upgrade and Ethics patch.

    Now, like Wall-E, we can fix that, but…

    Hint: a true Mind will still ask questions, they’ll ignore the dramatic stuff. It’s a meta-lesson ;)

  221. Cthulhu, you’re still incomprehensible. Are you on lysergic acid or something? Because you always seem to write these rambling, incoherent, vaguely nasty-sounding posts, and I can never understand what you’re trying to say.

  222. PrivateIron:

    The idea that the Left or progressives can build a political movement without the participation of the working class and/or without making the interests of the working class a priority is baffling to me.

    Which definition of “working class” are you using in the above sentence? And what happens when “the participation of the working class [1]” is at the cost of “the interests of the working class [2]?”

    Note that the tensions I point out are extrinsic to the Democratic Party: they exist whether the Party takes a policy position on them or not; they exist and have political weight whether the Party is “snobbish” or composed of nothing but the bottom third of the SES spectrum.

    Ultimately, the Party has three choices in light of that particular polarization:
    1) Turn its back on issues where the “working class” is divided (the “New Democrat” approach)
    2) Pursue [3] the “participation” (or “votes”) of the white working class (the pre-Johnson approach)
    3) Pursue the material interests of the “working class” [2] regardless of the internal tensions (the Obama approach.)

    In practical terms, I’m not sure what (1) produces. (2) leads to a bipartisan repeal of the PPACA, minimum wage increases, overtime regulation changes, environmental legislation and regulations, Dodd-Frank, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and more or less everything “progressive” since Medicare. (3) is, of course, “elitist” and roughly the Obama/Clinton domestic agenda.

    Now, perhaps I’m misreading your interpretation of the “working class participation” portion. If so, please clarify; however, I’m getting mine from a fairly large body of social science research from the past forty years on what the white male working class prefers for its policy agenda and interpreting that agenda as the ante for WMWC participation. That ante brings the Democratic Party to parity with the Republican Party, but of course is by no means sufficient to overcome tribal loyalty, social issue preferences such as reproductive rights, educational agendas such as school prayer and evolution, etc.

    What I’m leaving out are the ponies: things like going back to an industrial era when autos were built bolt by hand-turned bolt and the entire Western Pacific Rim was populated by subsistence farmers and handicrafts workers. Because, although precisely what people want [4], turning the technological and developmental clock back 60 years is beyond anyone’s power to actually deliver.

    [1] Republican definition
    [2] In the social science definition
    [3] Or “pander” if you want to slant the verbs
    [4] Well, partly; they like the current prices

  223. LOL…

    Big Bad Wolf.


    You should probably check the CME thing.

    It’s not like I wouldn’t tolerate a few years of torture just to see what your reaction would be. Three days on a cross versus three years? I mean, really: you have orange jump suits in Guantanamo bay who’ve done longer stints. A few days on a cross is now like just a fashion statement or some kind of Burning Man Capitalist-Hippie Art project.

    So, I guess like, we have to suffer for 5 years now due to you being ultimately hypocritical cunts?

    I’m not saying that the old ways were weak, but I don’t give a fuck about Combat-18.

  224. Is Cthulhu CatinaDiamond/Hadil Benu?

    It’s an Art Collective working in a Country that is not nice and who has had multiple members arrested, tortured, raped, burnt and then classified “INSANE” before being released.

    Does that make it more real for you?

    Or do you need a DVD highlights package and a reach around?

    De’se Cunts ar [redacted] – yeah, don’t do that. Slang gets us killed. The Tru Blud know the last word anyhow.

  225. It’s an Art Collective working in a Country that is not nice and who has had multiple members arrested, tortured, raped, burnt and then classified “INSANE” before being released.

    Does that make it more real for you?

    Or do you need a DVD highlights package and a reach around?

    De’se Cunts ar [redacted] – yeah, don’t do that. Slang gets us killed. The Tru Blud know the last word anyhow.

    What the hell are you talking about? You literally make no sense at all, and you seem to be angry at everything and everyone while being insulting and dismissive of those who don’t agree with you completely.

  226. I think a lot of why working class Sanders supporters(including myself) are frustrated with Clinton/the Democratic machine is with millionaires and the elite telling us to “get over ourselves” because we’re tired of a Democratic party designed for sane hedge fund managers. Sanders didn’t invent facts when he got his support from college students and working whites. Wages are stagnant even though productivity is at an all time high. Student debt is fucking crazy(unless you have the scratch on hand to pay outright or are lucky enough to win the zero-sum game of scholarships) and a college education is next to useless to get a job in a lot of cases. These aren’t things that are false, and a Democratic party that wants to protect payday lenders isn’t inherently good just because the other guys are made up of demon-spawn. No-one can afford the republicans, true. But not many people can afford the Democrats as they are either. Ignoring that guarantees that the Obama coalition will not be a factor for Clinton because they won’t come out.

    As long as Clinton and her supporters insist that a dog wearing a top hat could beat Trump they stand a half-decent chance of losing this election due to their own hubris. Sanders is almost mathematically guaranteed to not get the nom, and originally I planned on voting Clinton in a general. But I live in Georgia and reserve the right to vote Green in order to send the Dems a message since my state won’t swing blue for Clinton(don’t delude yourselves into thinking Trump will lose enough republican votes in a state where Obama lost by 8pts. Clinton isn’t going to get the same level of support he got even with Trump in the race). Pissing off the working poor, telling them their concerns don’t matter, and chastising them when they object is a great way to keep them home come November.

  227. What the hell are you talking about? You literally make no sense at all, and you seem to be angry at everything and everyone while being insulting and dismissive of those who don’t agree with you completely.

    Um, ok, right.

    In our reality, four of our original members were taken into police ‘custody’ for various crimes.

    One just got a warning after a week inside [his dad is ++ connected]

    One got a severe beating and no medical attention because he was being a smart arse. [4 months]

    One got raped and then added to the wrong sex/gender stream because he was “gay”.

    One got held for 3+ years and I ain’t going to tell you the rest. Let’s just say it’s worse than G.Bay and silly Orange Hoods and even Oatmeal up the bum – because they were Trans*.

    We’re not angry. You’e just totally delusional about reality. It’s like “DUDE -AMERICA IS TOTALLY LIKE”..

    Hint: it’s not use who don’t make sense: it’s you.

    Oh, and – killer meme #4 wasn’t held in a Soviet or Chinese prison.

    It was the USA.

    No, really.

    Enjoy the Beach and Nice Life, but please don’t attempt to gaslight the real deal out there.

    Now fuck off and grow up.

  228. Private Iron:

    So I am not misrepresenting your basic statement.

    Yeah, you were because you left out most of the quote so that you could imply that I hate white working class people. In fact, you’re trying to aim it that I hate working people altogether. You did in effect crop out the parts you didn’t want to use to make the argument that I’m anti-working class. As someone who has half her family in the white working class, I don’t really appreciate your selective editing and your deliberate misrepresentation of that conversation conveniently on another thread.

    However, I am not obliged to rehash all the nuances of your original argument

    You are obliged not to lie about my original argument on another thread which you injected into this conversation because you couldn’t be bothered to argue on your own in this one. If you want to call that “rehashing nuances” go ahead.

    The idea that the Left or progressives can build a political movement without the participation of the working class and/or without making the interests of the working class a priority is baffling to me.

    Good thing that nobody was actually saying build a political movement without the participation of the working class or even the white working class or even white working class men then. Instead of a strawman argument, maybe you can actually look at what was being said, which is talking about white working class men DOMINATING the party and its policy goals, being the group that is given the highest priority and has to be catered to and placated at the expense of other groups, with its priorities being put ahead of other groups.

    Because that’s what has happened in the past. The working class isn’t just white people, and the non-white working class have had their issues and policy approaches ignored, dismissed and kept on the back burner for quite some time. And the white working class has been heavily involved in running the party and still is, as are middle class and upper class whites. But what’s happening is that they are having to SHARE running the party and developing the agenda more with non-whites and with women in positions of more leadership and in pushing priorities that don’t always interest white male voters, whether they are liberals or more centrist or far left independents coming into the party. That is not something that the white male Democratic party members have always been that enthusiastic about doing, and they tend to then whine about how they are being disrespected, left out and condescended to by “snooty” and “smug” cool kids because people are a lot less hesitant to challenge their authority (something that gets called “dividing” the party when it’s actually expanding the party and making it more inclusive.)

    The coalition includes white males. And most of their particular interests and policy goals are already enfolded into the broader spectrum of party goals. They aren’t excluded at all. But they are not now automatically in charge and setting the whole platform. It is harder for white males to exclude the other groups from the party or ignore their voices or votes. And consequently, we have regular articles and people talking about how Clinton has to win over white working class males, and the party has to pay more attention and elevate white working class males, and how we mustn’t forget the white working class males. (By which they probably mean all white male voters frankly.)

    But the reality is that the white male vote and the vaunted working class white male vote have not been ideal for progressive agendas or trying to win elections now (as Republicans have been finding.) And they’ve pushed a lot of important policy goals off the platform just to keep that vote happy, and then a large swath of them still go vote Republican. Letting them set the agenda and keep it narrowly focused mostly on themselves and their priorities is simply not a good option for the Democratic party in 2016. It excludes the rest of the coalition. Again. It’s an old pattern.

    I don’t think Sanders excluded the coalition, especially with the young people. But in terms of his prioritizing on policy, he did drop a lot of the issues in favor of the ones most of interest to white males and working class white males. And it cost him in the primaries. To say that the party and Clinton should do the same, as JMazzola was supporting based on a Vox article (seems to be more a set of articles,) I believe would be a mistake, repeating a mistake.

  229. How did anyone get the idea that not putting white working-class guys at the top of the priority list means we don’t want to address economic justice issues at all?

    Unfortunately, this is another artifact of privilege: The belief that if anyone else gets any attention, it’s inherently taking attention away from you. People who are used to being the sole focus of action, or at least the top priority, tend to feel aggrieved when it’s pointed out that other people need help, too, even if it’s obvious that everyone’s going to get helped eventually.

    Think of it like triage in an emergency room: Staff are trained to figure out which patients need the most help in the shortest amount of time, and those patients get the help that their condition needs. Everyone, however, is going to get seen eventually (unless there’s just been a disaster or something) so there’s no cause for the guy who comes in with a broken finger pitching a fit because a baby who’s rapidly losing blood gets seen first. We’ve all seen this in action: There’s always that one guy who gets angry if someone else is ahead of him in line. You don’t get it, he’ll complain, HIS needs matter more. HE is important, so he needs his latte before everyone else gets theirs. And that latte had better be made with tender, loving care, and be perfect in every way before the barista gets to do anything for anyone else. We all hate that guy, right? Well, don’t BE him, especially when it comes to justice issues.

    Absolutely, economic justice is a critical issue. It’s especially critical to people who are suffering oppression on other axes. Being poor sucks. Being poor AND female AND Black sucks three times as much. It’s true that relieving the underlying problem behind the poverty will help that woman. But it won’t solve all of her problems, and given that some of the things she may be facing quite literally can be a matter of life and death, it’s important that those issues be addressed. A college kid facing years of student-loan debt is suffering, certainly, and it’s important to fix that, but if said college kjd wants his issues to be fixed first or only? Well, that Black woman can be forgiven if she tells him to put on his big boy pants and be patient.

    Practical, broad-base progressives aren’t saying that economic justice issues don’t matter, or that poor white guys don’t matter. We’re saying that other issues and other people ALSO matter. Economic justice is part of the plan. It’s just not the ONLY plan. If you’re looking for a candidate who will serve you and only you, you may not actually understand what progressivism is.

  230. “Cthulhu, I may be just a lowly human, but unfortunately your comments are kind of 100% incomprehensible. What, exactly, are you trying to say?”

    It is written (perhaps in the secret book of Saddam al-Tikriti) that understanding Cthulhu makes you insane, or maybe it’s the tentacles.

    But I’d like to know, too.

  231. Steve Kelner: “Wow, John, it seems to me that you are kind of condescending here to Sanders supporters.”

    Scalzi: “I’m sure that there are a number of Sanders supporters who will see recounting of actual fact to be condescension.”

    Scalzi, I love you. And I like you being condescending. Hey, it’s me, ya know? And I love the whole “taunting the tauntable” thing, which basically can’t happen without condescending towards someone you think is tauntable.

    So, this post went beyond “fact” when you told people “let it go”. That’s an imperative, not fact. And then when you tell people stuff like:

    And I guess it’s nice that you really really want something, but, look: …. we don’t always get what we really really want, and sometimes you just have to suck it up and be a goddamned grown up about that fact.

    is the dictionary definition of condescension. YOu think you’re the mature adult and you think these other folks are being immature children. It is nothing BUT condescension, whcih again, I’m totally fine with. But it’s…. I don’t know…. weird that you’re arguing that you’re just presenting facts while saying only the immature Sanders supporters will see those “facts” as condescension.

    I’m an adult. I’m still supporting Bernie. I think he has an extremely small chance of winning. But who win/loses the primary is an extreme bifurcation of a much larger, fluid spectrum. I hope he can leverage his continued support into long-term effects on Hillary, the DNC, politics,and voters in general. For example, on the same day you posted this thread, the DNC offered Bernie some concessions. THat wouldn’t have happened if he had given up the day before your post. A number of Bernie’s staffers want to elect an entire progressive congress in 2018. That probably wouldn’t have happened if Bernie had quit a month or two ago. Most every democrat thought Obama was brilliant for putting Hillary on his cabinet. Hopefully, Hillary will see the wisdom in doing something similar with Bernie.

    Bifurcating all that away to nothing more than who wins or loses the primary is not actually the “facts”; it is the antithesis of the facts. It ignores a lot of facts that Bernie could still have an influence on.

    And telling people to “grow up” is the dictionary n definition of condescension. I’m fine with it. Anyone would have to be pretty silly to be on the internet these days and not expect to run into condescension. But for you to be condescending while arguing that you’re presenting nothing but facts, is just… like I said… weird.

  232. Okay. Let’s cut to the chase.
    #1. All women who dare to think that the Democrats and Republicans AND the Independants have been patting us on the head and saying ‘there, there, we’ll take care of you, now go vote like your male counterpart,” are Feminazis.
    #2. College is too expensive so let someone else pay for the debts, like, Wall street! No, that would actiuallt be Grandma’s pension fund as the Hedge Fund Managers are to savvy to get caught by a transaction tax; that’s left for Grandma’s indexed pension fund.
    #3. White males have it worse than anyone ever imagined. They have lost almost (not really) as much as the rest of us in the last recession, and that shouldn’t be allowed.

    Now can we get back to the topic that perhaps a reason that Sanders has not done very well in the real world (actual votes) is because he speaks to a narrow, and passionate base. This is reality and not patronism. Okay. I do understand how it feels to be denied a job you should have had. I do understand how it feels to get passed over for promotion you deserved. I do understand how trying to make a decent living is almost impossible. Yet I am not a white male.

    My advice? Roll with the punches, and make the entire world better, not just one narrowly defined section. Will Trump usher in a better world for women? I think not. For Muslims? Immigrants? NOT. What’s left? Sanders? His main draw other than a faulty economic plan is to wipe out college debt. Doesn’t help me, I knew as a women I could never pay off debt so my education lasted until the scholarships and grants ended. Not a day longer. At 82 cents to the dollar, and with my college degree equivalent to an African-American male’s High school degree in terms of eatning power, college and grad school debt was never an option.

    So rather than hash out crazy Bernie and crooked Hillary (or Scary, very scary Donald) let’s hear what people want to do going forward.

  233. @Shawna: Isn’t that a poor use of resources? If poverty is the cause of 60 to 90 percent of ailments of the Black Woman(access to healthcare and birth control, crime, corrupt/abusive police, lack of positive investment in urban quarters, inability to eat nutritious food or find work) in question which actually do cause death and alleviating that for said Black Woman also alleviates that for every single person across the board whether trans, asian, latin, immigrant, etc. isn’t it a better use of political resources to actually take care of the largest portion of her and everyone else’s problem instead of sniping off corners of the problem? My instinct here is that police violence(which you’re alluding to) is either 50-50 racism/classism or a major trend towards police militarization(which is a lot easier to address than ending “isms”). Neither of us have proof on the primary focus as the CDC hasn’t been instructed to treat death by police as a disease, the second they do we’ll actually have data that can be extrapolated from. But when white teenagers are iced by the cops(they are) it’s not because of racism.

  234. One point about Sanders that seems to be missed (sorry for the second post, Gracious Host) is that he sees economic and social justice issues as inextricably intertwined. In Congress he saw no contradiction in addressing both, and was once the only white person to stand with the Congressional Black Caucus against one of the many William Clinton-era “tough on crime” bills.

    Talking about economics as a small single issue is bizarre anyway: it is the food on our tables and the roofs over our head, the wages we bring home, and the heat in our homes in the winter. If it is a single issue, it is a huge one. Treating it as in some sense separable from racial or gender justice also seems to me wrong-headed. It was after all economics that started North American racism: the desire to have a permanent underclass of slaves. When that ended, instead policy shifted to a maintaining a permanently impoverished class of African-Americans, which successive generations of racist policy impoverished. Coates has written about it: whenever a black middle class began to establish itself, a shift in policy would destroy its savings. Equally, while gender justice stretches beyond economic issues, free servant labor from women has long been a gender justice issue. The economic order of a society is not separable from the power relations of a society. How could it be?

  235. Tom Combs: “Bernie has excited the INDEPENDENTS. He’s won every damn primary that allows non-party people to vote”

    As Chris Tierney has already pointed out, that contention is massively counter-factual. I would, however, like to add the state of North Carolina to the list of open or semi-open primary states that Sanders resoundingly lost. I say “semi-open” because the rule here is that if you’re an independent, you can vote in either party’s primary. The only people who weren’t allowed to vote in the Democratic primary were registered Republicans. (Well, them and the many thousands of people disenfranchised by our Republican legislature’s voter ID laws.)

    Of course, North Carolina was part of the Confederacy, so I hear there’s some argument as to whether we actually matter. On the other hand, we went for Obama in 2008 and are poised to be a swing state this election cycle, depending in large part on how successful the various grassroots organizations working to get people voter IDs are.

  236. Yes, it would help everyone if we directly addressed poverty, lack of health care, and for that matter police militarization. #AllLivesMatter etc.

    Anyone care to guess which demographics can be most reliably counted on to vote against antipoverty measures? For police militarization? Against universal access to health care?

    So tell me, please: when the top of the “working class” wish list is repeal of the PPACA, followed by expulsion of Latinos [1], locking transfolk out of public washrooms, and repeal of Dodd-Frank — when that is their list of “concessions” a la Sanders — what should the Democratic Party do?

    [1] Including my neighbors whose families have lived here since before the USA moved in

  237. Cthulhu:

    I take back the Hunter S. Thompson crack.

    On further reflection, I’d say you’re more of a Yoda, after some grammar lessons, and hooked up to a mescaline drip feed.

    “Not sure you know how politics works.

    Please come back to me when you do.”

    Not sure you understand how *communication* works.

    Please come back to me when you’ve stopped confusing pretentious stream-of-consciousness blathering with profundity.

  238. Abby:

    I want to take back the Senate and the House for the Democratic party as soon as possible, for starters. :)


    If poverty is the cause of 60 to 90 percent of ailments of the Black Woman

    Poverty isn’t the cause of 60-90% of ailments of Black Women — racism is. And that racism causes the excessive amounts of poverty. If you cut the corners of poverty for white people, that’s not going to help black women out much and it’s not going to be as effective improving the economy. Whereas if you tackle racism issues, which are also economic issues, you reduce poverty and improve productivity and the economy. Black women are blocked because they are black and women. They are blocked on that basis from getting student loans and business loans, from graduating, from finding jobs, from being paid a wage comparable to white men, from upper management, from healthcare in favor of white patients, from being kept out of prison on misdemeanors that white people skate on and which affects employment, from childcare, from decent working conditions, etc. They are a resource that is wasted because them having an equal spot at the table is not the status quo and still considered a threat.

    And black families live in a police state which helps keep them segregated and poor. Black people are three times more likely to be charged with offenses, arrested, sentenced and sent to prison, where they provide free convict labor. Even though white people do more of the crime, being a bigger sized group. White people do get shot by the cops but it is open season on black people. Black people get followed, stopped, questioned, searched, etc. way more than whites, no matter their appearance and clothing. Black people get called lazy, criminal thugs and there is outrage if they protest police treatment because they are supposed to stay quiet and compliant. White parents teach their kids to go to the police when there’s trouble and the police will help them. Black parents have to teach their kids early on how to behave as carefully as possible when police turn attention on them, in hopes that it might, with luck, keep their kids from being beaten up, arrested or shot. That’s how they still have to live and that’s what they are trying to change.

    You cannot reduce poverty without dealing with social justice issues that exist solely to keep demographic groups controlled and trapped in poverty so that they are cheap labor and don’t/can’t vote. You cannot improve workers’ rights without dealing with social justice issues that keep people from work and keep them paid less with worse conditions. You cannot improve election outcomes without tackling attacks on women, non-whites, gays, etc. in legislation and voting disenfranchment. You cannot tackle hedge funds’ manipulation of the real estate market without dealing with the racism in that market and non-whites being forced into segregation, poor schools and redistricting. Black people’s issues are white people’s issues, not the other way around as we’ve tried to have it for so long. The entire idea of a black race was created for economic reasons — a cheaper form of labor for British colonial planters — and racism is used as an economic control.

    And more to the point, for tackling both poverty and social justice issues, black women should be having leadership positions in the party. Not sitting around waiting while white guys eventually pay attention, which they consistently haven’t bothered to do.

  239. It looks like we all might be getting a little over heated here, as well as wandering, so deep breaths, and let’s tighten things up, please.

  240. @Leah is right on the money, IMHO. Note that Obama’s ground game had the Chicago machine behind him, and Obama was considered to be an acceptable candidate by the DNC establishment. Sanders has neither of those advantages, and it shows in his organizational problems and in how DNC operatives have consistently worked to favor Clinton.

    Personally, I haven’t heard complaints about not being able to vote Democratic in a closed primary as much as I’ve heard about people who _changed_their_registration_on_time_, but were not given a Democratic ballot. This happened in many states, here in CA it happened to my wife. She’s still hassling the election board to get the right mail-in ballot. These are legitimate complaints and should not be dismissed as whining.

    The DNC may not be responsible for these mistakes, but they certainly aren’t doing everything in their power to encourage independents to vote Democratic and shine a light on the problems. I think it’s shortsighted. Then DNC should use some PAC money to encourage new voters and attack voter suppression across the board. Anyone who votes for a Democrat in the primary is a lot more likely for vote for a Democrat in November than a person who was denied a Democratic ballot or any ballot in the primary.

    I regard any talk of an independent run as so much wishful thinking on the part of the Koch brothers. Sanders has consistently dismissed any such notions. I expect him to lose, endorse Clinton, and go back to the Senate. It’s hard to imagine the Clinton machine offering him an actual contributing role the way Obama did with Clinton.

  241. Nortally

    Clinton earned her ‘actual contributing role’ by working her ass off to get Obama elected once she’d lost the nomination; if Sanders does the same for Clinton then he too will be offered an ‘actual contributing role’, since Clinton isn’t an idiot.

    Unfortunately the probability of Sanders doing that seems very small…

  242. I’ve never understood the Sanders idea that the superdelegates are, or should be, shifting in huge numbers to support him, because of nebulous “momentum”. Yes, these Democratic party activists and insiders (not a value judgement here, just a statement of fact) are totally going to turn away from the fellow long-term Democratic party activist and insider, who is handily winning in terms of delegates and popular vote alike, and support the guy who literally is a Democrat in name only, who’s doing little or nothing to support down-ticket elections, and who is banging a drum about how the Democratic party is corrupt.

    It’s a complete pipe dream, based on some combination of ignorance and, as our esteemed host has put it, really really really wanting Bernie to win, facts be damned.

  243. Stevie: “I still haven’t seen any evidence that Sanders is ‘progressive’, “

    And Hillary I-Love-Henry-War-Criminal-Kissinger Clinton is “progressive”?

    And on a different note, its good to see everyone is really taking the Hillary-Victory-Game-Plan to heart:

    (1) All criticism of Hillary is totally invalid. It’s either sexist, or right wing, or just stupid, stupid, stupid.

    (2) You can only be 100% for Hillary or 100% for Trump. If you are 99% for Hillary you are 100% for Trump. You are either with us or against us.

    (3) An overwhelming massive 8 Million people voted for HIllary. Only a paltry, pittance 6 million people voted for Bernie. What the fuck is your problem, Bernie? You got creamed, slaughtered, landslided. How dare you act like you represent ANYONE at all. How dare you, sir.

    (4) Bernie is not a true scotsman, not a true democrat, not a true progressive. He’s actually a right wing plant, racist and sexist to the core, and I heard that he kicks puppies.

    (5) Bernie and his supporters aren’t “serious”. The government can’t be changed, the system is overwhelming, we have so little effect, the senate and congress are obstructionist, the president can’t get anything done. The only true change we foresee is Supreme Court nominations will, over the course of decades of court cases, slowly pull the nation to a better path. SO GIVE YOUR MEANINGLESS VOTE TO HILLARY! (kazoo sound)

  244. Greg

    I do try to read your posts but it has become more and more difficult; you seem convinced that any comment about any topic must be construed as being about you.

    You have reached the point where your willingness to rewrite anything anyone has written so you can, once more, write all about you, means that in future I won’t bother reading your posts. It’s a waste of my time and energy; the world is full of interesting things, but endless screeds about you isn’t one of them.

  245. I recall a news story some months ago explaining that Hilary had accrued pledged delegates ahead of Sanders because she did work on helping the DNC on other campaigns in the near-past, which Sanders had not. I found this interesting and may well be part of the thread of feeling/thought behind the sense of unfairness in the minds of Sanders supporters. A sense that there is a rigging of the system or a slant to the process. Might even be true, but such efforts paid off for Hilary and didn’t involve whoring ones self out to corporate interests (right?)…so I wonder why Sanders did not consider this as part of his strategy. Whatever the reason, here we are. :Gulp:

  246. Staffordartglass

    Actually, it’s a bit like the puppies throwing tantrums about Worldcon whilst resolutely avoiding getting off their collective butts and doing something; they expect others to do all the work for them, and whine when they don’t get everything they want.

    Frankly, expecting Democrats to vote for someone who has never made any effort to help the Democratic Party in the past is ludicrous; why should they? On the whole, a guy parachuting in, expecting to be met with adulation by the people who built the airfield, is delusional…

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