Clinton and Sanders and the End of the Road

So let’s talk about last night.

1. First and most obviously, Clinton had the night she needed last night: Decisive victories in the two largest states, New Jersey and California, wins in New Mexico and South Dakota, and a close loss in Montana that netted Sanders a single delegate. Sanders only blew out Clinton in North Dakota (a caucus, his favorite). Clinton ended the night netting two more states, 89 more pledged delegates and roughly 650,000 more votes than Sanders. She didn’t just run out the clock on Sanders, fending him off as he ate into her margin in a surge of populist enthusiasm, she legged on him, expanding her already sizable leads in every category. She won walking away, and is the nominee. Yes, there is one more primary (District of Columbia) next week, but it doesn’t really matter (and Clinton’s gonna win it anyway). Clinton won.

2. Conversely, Sanders lost, and he lost both convincingly and in a way that kicks the legs out of any cogent argument that he has for moving forward. The Sanders folks had pushed their chips on California, hoping a victory there would justify him taking his campaign to the convention. But in the end he was 13 points and over 400,000 voters behind. California didn’t deliver, and because it didn’t, he’s done. Sanders took to a stage last night and vowed he wasn’t done yet, but at this point it’s not really up to him. The Clinton train has left the station and he’s still on the platform, holding his hat.

3. Which I understand is hard for Sanders and many of his supporters to deal with, but I have to confess at this point I’m finding it difficult to be overtly sympathetic. My own politics lie ever so slightly more with Sanders than with Clinton, and had he prevailed over Clinton, I would have happily voted for him in the general over any of the candidates the GOP had in their field this year. For all that, it’s been clear to me since New York at least that Sanders wasn’t going to take the nomination from Clinton. The existential threat of President Trump is enough that I’ve been impatient to get to last night so everyone could stop politely pretending Sanders had some sort of shot at this and focus on stuffing Trump into a dark hole, electionwise.

I mean, yes, Sanders supporters, I get many of you are upset and even grieving about Sanders missing his chance. Sorry about that. Take a few days! It’s okay. But after those few days are over if you’re still trying to find some way for Sanders to win — or less charitably, trying to find some way to punish Hillary Clinton for the heinous crime of having won more states, more pledged delegates and more actual votes than Bernie Sanders — then you should really be asking yourself if you’re letting your own definition of perfect become the enemy of the entire world not becoming a rampaging goddamn trash fire, because that’s really the other option at this point.

This is not to say I don’t expect a certain percentage of Sanders fans to spin off and possibly join the Greens (who are openly trying to reel them in) or, somewhat less congruously, the Libertarians, or whomever, or just sit out in a huff. It’s a nice exercise of one’s privilege to do each of those things. But from my point of view, here’s the thing: Donald Trump is manifestly the worst and least-prepared major presidential candidate in modern history, and unlike some previous GOP presidents who come to mind, he’s not nearly tractable enough to be managed by a cadre of presumably more-engaged minders. He’s the walking manifestation of Dunning-Kruger, a racist and an increasingly-dangerous blowhard, and the fact the GOP is under the delusion they’re going to somehow keep him in line should fill every thinking human with terror (the GOP doesn’t really think they’ll be able to keep him in line, incidentally. They just need to convince you they can do it). As a practical matter, if you don’t want a President Trump — and I don’t — then Clinton’s your gal.

And, yes! It sucks that because the GOP has let a genuinely appalling human become its nominee, you might be called upon to be responsible for the welfare of the entire planet, and vote more practically and responsibly than the GOP did this year. But it really has come to that. I know many of you Sanders supporters will have rationalizations how this isn’t the case, but: Nope! It really is. Get your shit together, folks. It’s actually important.

4. Likewise, this week Sanders gets to show us whether he’s interested in implementing his actual ideals, or is just in it for his own bit of glory. Bluntly: Sanders is never going to be president, ever, so he can either help Clinton (and help save the world from Trump), or he can stay in her way. If he helps her, he’s got a good chance of pushing his ideas further into the working DNA of the Democratic party. Which I suspect will be good for the party in the long term, given Sanders’ popularity with younger voters. He can be the progressive Moses — maybe not getting to the promised land himself, but getting his people there.

If he doesn’t help Clinton, and she wins anyway, then both he and his agenda are done, because you don’t reward the people who fuck with you. If he doesn’t help Clinton and she loses, well. I’m not pegging Trump and the GOP as being on board with Sanders’ progressive agenda, you know? And while I know there are some people who believe things like “Four years of Trump is just what we need to bring on the revolution!” those people are wrong, and assholes besides.

If Sanders is smart, then sometime soon — I expect not too long after his meeting with President Obama on Thursday — he’s going to pack it in, endorse Clinton and get to work helping to get her elected. This would be, incidentally, pretty much what Clinton did in 2008, and her getting with the program has obviously paid its dividends. Sanders won’t get the exact same dividends — he won’t be the nominee in 2024, for example. But there will be a lot he will be able to do, if he wants. Or, you know, he can decide not to. And we’ll see where that gets him, and us.

5. Yes, yes, Scalzi, but what do you think of Clinton? Leaving aside the obvious historical aspects of her candidacy, which are really cool and probably deserving of their own entry at some point, I’m very okay with her. I understand a lot of people feel negatively toward her, with the range going from “mild dislike” to “fervent loathing,” but I’ve never been one, and the idea that she’s somehow corrupt doesn’t really seem to have panned out to any great extent, now, has it? We’ve had Clinton under the microscope for a quarter of a century, and either she’s innocent of all the crimes to which she’s been accused, or she’s such a genius at exploiting the legal and governmental levers of this nation that, honestly, it’s a miracle she wasn’t made dictator for life decades ago. Her only real “crime,” if you want to call it that, was marrying Bill Clinton, who couldn’t keep his dick in his pants and made everyone’s life miserable because of it, and then staying married to him despite it all. But, hey! Maybe she loves him.

Otherwise, we have a presidential candidate who has been a senator, a Secretary of State, a first lady and a first-hand observer of the politics in America for four decades. She’s had amazing successes and crushing failures. She’s smart and flawed and savvy and a politician and she’s neither as inspiring as her most fervent supporters want her to be nor as terrible as her most hateful opponents want us to believe she is. I don’t support everything she’s ever said or done but most of what she supports I can get behind. She’s not perfect! But neither am I. She is good enough on her own terms to get my vote for president.

And this year, also: Jesus fucking Christ, the GOP is nominating Donald Trump. I would vote a lukewarm bowl of soup into the White House before Donald Trump. Every day of the week and twice on Sunday (were it allowed by the Constitution, which it is not). So while I would be perfectly happy to vote for Clinton in most scenarios anyway, given her major opponent this year, voting for Clinton is in my opinion not only a perfectly good choice but also a moral necessity. Welcome to 2016! And since I live in Ohio — one of the vaunted “swing states” — my vote may actually help push the state toward electoral sanity. I’m perfectly all right with this.

So, yeah. As they say: I’m with her.

385 Comments on “Clinton and Sanders and the End of the Road”

  1. Thread notes:

    1. As always: Political thread means the Mallet is out. Play nice with each other, please.

    2. I do understand some Sanders supporters will be feeling a little tender today and this particular post won’t help them. I sympathize! But on the other had I’m not here in this world to hand you a pillow and ice pack, either. You’re grown ups. Please accept the fact that this site exists for me to express my opinions, and they will not always be opinions you like, expressed as you would like them.

    3. Hillary-bashing froth up to and including links to shady sites accusing (say) Bill Clinton of rape and/or murder and/or chewing with his mouth open, etc, will be looked upon askance and possibly Malleted. Please accept as read that internet is full of conspiracy theories involving one or both Clintons, and that I stipulate many people — including possibly you! — do not like either or both. But unless you’re adding something new and verifiably true to that particular bonfire (and you probably aren’t), one, keep it this side of foamy, and two, probably best to just move past it.

  2. “If he doesn’t help Clinton, and she wins anyway, then both he and his agenda are done, because you don’t reward the people who fuck with you.”

    I would suggest that this isn’t always true, and in many cases, it is not true. You don’t reward the people that have nothing to offer you, even if they did fuck with you. I present Joe Lieberman as exhibit 1. to that effect.

  3. For the people who are chomping at the bit for the revolution, they would do well to remember that radical progressives are not the only ones who want to remake the world. If it all goes to hell, it won’t just be the people inspired by Occupy trying to fill the void but the Tea Party, Dominionists, and who knows who else. Considering that the American Left is not known for effective and unified action, I wouldn’t put money on ending up with a progressive and enlightened society once the smoke cleared.

  4. Maybe you don’t reward the people who fuck with you, but do you reward the people you can take for granted?

  5. The sad thing is, the Republican Party has just proven conclusively that they are not a party of principle. They DON’T CARE who their nominee is; the ONLY important thing to them is that whoever is in the White House has the label “Republican” around their neck. They openly admit that even an overt racist is okay with them, just so long as he calls himself a Republican.

    And that baffles me. What’s the value in a name, Romeo? Isn’t the important thing what the candidate stands for and believes in? Isn’t there ANY common ground for a political party to claim? Or is it just a war of labels now?

    I think the Republican Party would fall in line behind a goldfish so long as it was labelled Republican, but bedamned if I can figure out what value that has, compared to the damage the candidate goldfish’s values, beliefs, and demonstrated ignorance and knavery will do to the country.

  6. I’m simply stating that so long as Sanders has value to the Democrats, they will reward him, even if he does continue to the convention and contest it there.

    Joe Lieberman went so far as to endorse and actively campaign for the GOP candidate in the 2008 elections, which I think is the biggest “fuck with you” statement a democrat can make to the party. Rather than run his ass out, he kept his chairmanship. He was allowed to caucus with the Democrats even after the state party decided he shouldn’t be their nominee, and won the election as an independent.

    He was useful to them, so they didn’t trash him.

  7. I can’t stand her. But if it was my vote standing between her and Trump*, I’d vote for her.

    For better or worse, it won’t be my vote. California will vote for her and I can vote for the most attractive loser in good conscience.

    *I can’t decide if he’s the second coming of Hitler or a complete blowhard that will turn into a ineffective moderate (like Schwarzenegger as CA gov) once in office.

  8. Shocking! Don’t you know the unethical tactics Lukewarm Bowl of Soup used to discredit Bowl of Piping Hot Gruel in the Comestible Party primary!

  9. I’ve been avoiding Facebook because I have a lot of Sanders fans friended and I want them to get to the acceptance stage of the candidate mourning process. It was a good run*, and I hope people interested in the campaign start considering what they can do in a more general sense.

    * Though, surprisingly, it was less close than 2008. I had to keep checking the numbers, because my social media bubble presented a different picture. Biases are prevalent in our brains.

  10. I think the GOP would actually rather have Hillary as POTUS than Trump. Her they can stymie in Congress. Paul Ryan has said as little as possible – he’ll *vote* for Trump. Nothing more (except to actually call him out for racist remarks!)

    I suspect that Ryan will run against Hillary in 2020.

  11. Well, from the other side of the pond, I profoundly hope that Sanders and his followers ask themselves whether they want to give Trump the power to turn the world into a radioactive slag heap.

    With any luck President Obama will be asking that question on my behalf come Thursday…

  12. Fabulous article. I’m still not with Clinton, never was and never will be, and I most certainly did not want Trump in office either. Our electoral process has turned into voting for the lesser of two evils. And we are on a straight path to hell with horrible devils that are lining up to run for office.

  13. I think that’s true for a number of them. Not all though, or even the majority.

  14. As usual, you sum up my thinking on this almost to the point. My heart is with Bernie’s ideas, but I voted for Clinton and will support her.

  15. Completely agree and so glad you wrote this. Because now I can just point people here. :)

  16. Hil’s lucky the GOP nominated that steaming pile of ego to run against her. If they nominated Kasich, or maybe even Bush.. she’d lose.

    This november I guess I will have to grit my teeth, clench my ass and pull the lever and think of the homeland. Or not, who knows. It’ll feel much better not even bothering to vote even though the consequences will suck. Moving to Mexico might be nice now that Trump will build a wall to keep him out.
    Maybe move to Germany or Canada for 4 years… if it weren’t so goddamn cold.

  17. I’m finding the strength of the vitriol against Sanders today – not this post obviously, which is measured & everything! just generally – I’m finding it very weird. Who cares? The “he’s hurting Hilary’s chances against Trump!” case is fairly weak. You can make that case, yeah, but why fixate on it? Why is that the narrative? Why continue to focus so much on Bernie vs. Hilary rather than Hilary vs. Trump? Anyways.

    Dana I think you’re right.

  18. Jerome:

    I think I understand your point (that HRC can’t punish/ignore Sanders just because he doesn’t campaign hard for her since young progressives love him), but it’s not quite right. The progressive agenda can continue without Sen. Sanders leading it- it wouldn’t be hard to have any of Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown or Cory Booker (or others) be the lead sponsors of bills that look a lot like what Sen. Sanders has campaigned on. Sen. Sanders can be given a great or pretty mediocre set of committee assignments by the Senate Democrats based on how well they think he campaigned for Secretary Clinton. Tom Perez (Secretary of Labor) could be the VP nominee and be put in charge of spearheading various progressive initiatives.

  19. Sanders is proving himself to be a spoiler, he refuses to bow out gracefully despite any harm done to the party of his choice (well, actually he is socialist and would be incapable of producing any of the results promised in rhetoric). One would hope he would get behind Clinton and help assure that Trump does not make it to the White House

  20. So, John, your “I would vote a lukewarm bowl of soup into the White House before Donald Trump” takes me back to the old National Lampoon Radio Dinner album where they did an extended schtick on the Nixon/McGovern/Wallace race with the candidates being described as cars. It was pretty funny, but what popped into my head was a weary, disillusioned-sounding voice saying. “*Anybody but Nixon. ANYBODY. A blender…”

    Speaking as a wistful-but-not-disgruntled Sanders supporter, I’d like to offer that, plus my own honest-to-god-real-life EXPERIENCE, as a reminder to other more-disgruntled-than-me Sanders supporters: There are worse things than Hillary Clinton, and if you sit out this election, they can happen.

    We ended up with Nixon in 1968 and it was definitely the beginning of the end of our tentative, hopeful evolution towards equity, middle-class prosperity, and many other worthwhile trends. And the beginning of a long slow devolution to a government more interested in spying on and interfering in possible dissent and enabling oligarchic greed, than in building a strong national future in a changing world.

    So, yes. I supported Sanders. The issues he has raised, the solutions he has proposed, the priorities he has highlighted are critical, not just for success, but for survival. I’m glad his voice has been a strong part of this election cycle. I wish the media hadn’t contributed so systematically to suppressing it. And I hope that Senator Sanders and his supporters find ways to work WITH Ms Clinton’s campaign to ensure that voice remains, both in the ongoing dialog and in the priorities of a Clinton administration.

    And I hope Senator Sanders finds a graceful and constructive way to wind down his campaign, and channel the energy he’s inspired into defeating Donald Trump, and giving Ms Clinton the strongest possible base of support, both for victory in November, and for the ongoing fight in the vicious, unprincipled, and destructive rearguard action the Trump supporters and other elements of the GOP will wage from the moment the election is called.

    Because I’ve been down this road before, and I don’t think we can afford another side-trip. The precipice is closer and steeper than ever, and the rocks at the bottom are razor-sharp.

  21. “My own politics lie ever so slightly more with Sanders”

    Your own politics lie slightly more with a self-declared socialist? You secret SJW you ;P

  22. Yes to all of the above (from Scalzi) plus this: if you can’t find someone to vote for, find someone to vote against. Yes, it sucks to choose “the lesser of two evils” but we often have to make the less harmful of two undesirable choices and that’s life. Sitting out this election or voting for a libertarian or greenie will help Trump and put more Alitos and Thomases on the Supreme Court, imho. YMMV.

  23. I think Clinton will make an effective CEO for the nation for the reasons you’ve outlined. I don’t particularly get a warm feeling over her personally, but that’s not germane to the issue at hand.

    Something I saw on Facebook the other day seemed apt. “If you get a warm tingly feeling when you meet someone, that’s your common sense leaving your body.” I think it applies to feelings about politicians as well as it does to the hot person you’ve just met at the bar.

  24. @mirlacca Slightly off topic, but re: this:

    The sad thing is, the Republican Party has just proven conclusively that they are not a party of principle. They DON’T CARE who their nominee is; the ONLY important thing to them is that whoever is in the White House has the label “Republican” around their neck.

    Interesting parallels here with certain foaming canines, no? Only in this case, the Tingle analogue isn’t using his powers for good…

  25. More serious comment: coming, as I do, from that little place known as ‘the rest of the world’ I would urge all Americans to vote for Clinton – I don’t particularly like her, but she is enormously preferable to the possibility that Donald Trump represents. The absolute best you could hope for from Trump would be some combination of Reagan/Bush Jr. and that in itself is a rather terrifying prospect.

    I just really hope Clinton isn’t going to do something stupid like pivot right to try and win over Trump’s supporters, because that way defeat lies…

  26. Gotta love the cavalier notion that a person can just pick up and move to Canada on a moment’s notice. They are, ya know, a sovereign nation with their own immigration laws….

  27. I *was* a charter member of the ABC Club – Anybody But Clinton – but I had to drop out when it became apparent that the GOP was on the highway to Sillyville. I still won’t vote for Hillary, but she’ll take this state (Massachusetts) handily anyway. My vote for Gary Johnson will be a hopeless protest, as in ‘a pox on both your houses’.

  28. What Miles said, mostly. As a North Dakota resident, I expect the Donald to win the state handily…though I may be wrong about that. At this point, this Bernie supporter will probably vote Green or Libertarian to help them preserve ballot access. Glad Bernie won ND, but too little, too late.

  29. dana1119: Can I ask why? Most of the Clinton hate seems to be based on falling for the Rush talking points and not on anything actually supported. I’ve never really gotten a solid answer from a Hillary hater.

  30. I have taken the “political compass” test every few years. I generally end up somewhere in the neighborhood of Ghandi:

    One of the things that women-for-Hillary folks say is that they see Hillary as the first time they get representation in the white house. And in a way, I understand that. The last time a president landed in the lower left corner was probably Carter. But the last few presidencies have been nothing but a race to the upper right, the worst of the absolute worst. And I see Hillary is inching her way into that very same corner. Bernie was the first time in 40 years that a true progressive was running for president and had a chance of winning.

    Hillary got 3 million more votes than Bernie. Good for her. If my math is right, that means Hillary got around 17 million votes total and Bernie got 14 million votes. 55% versus 45%. The thing is, Bernie and Hillary are worlds apart on the compass chart, and yet nearly split the votes between Democrats. That would suggest there is a large chunk of voters closer to the lower left quadrant than they are to Clinton.

    Maybe the best way to get their support and vote for Hillary is to actually represent their politics, by having Bernie be in the Clinton administration in some meaningful way.

    Might be a better alternative than the “lesser of two evils” approach.

  31. +1 for what Jerome says – the whole Lieberman thing was when I realized that the Democratic party were a bunch of wusses – in the UK they’d have shived him and he’d have ended up so far down the totem poll he wouldn’t have seen daylight ever again. Here the Dems just patted him on the head and allowed him to jam his constituents (CT- Insurance Companies) into the ACA.

    Having said that, I really tried to vote for Hillary yesterday, in the interests of party unity, but in the end, couldn’t bring myself to do it. Neither could my wife. so we both voted Bernie. She’s a gas tanker crashing into a raging dumpster fire when it comes to foreign policy, and both the cluster in Syria and Libya have her fingerprints all over them – she still seems to believe in establishing democracy by force in the Middle East, which isn’t going to happen. From a US point of view, and also for the Syrian people, keeping Assad in power would have been the least worst (note: not within a light-year of good, but much less awful than half the country becoming refugees – 3M leaving the country, 6.5M internally displaced) option, and probably the same can be said for Qaddafi in Libya. She has a neocon interventionist streak a mile wide and will continue to get Americans killed in overseas wars which we have no hope of winning. I have a personal stake in this – my BiL is being deployed again to Afghanistan in December, the 7th time or so a family member has been sent there or Afghanistan, to accomplish precisely nothing except generate another generation of martyrs.

    The only thing which is a small glimmer of hope was the Iran deal, but that seems to be mostly Kerry, after her watch.

    Some dodgy e-mail server is not the issue, her total lack of judgement on overseas intervention is more than enough for me not to vote for her.

    If the Dems actually put up an inspiring candidate, or even one with a neutral favorability ratio, rather than -16%, they’d win the presidency, senate and possibly the house. We ended up instead with Hilary and a 70% (at best) chance of avoiding a vulgar talking yam becoming president. SMH. Talk about the Dems snatching defeat from the jaws of victory…

    I’d take the goldfish over Hilary.

    My only consolation is that, out here in California, I can probably vote third party and it not end up with Trump winning. It’d suck if I lived in Ohio, for example, and had to vote for her.

  32. Jean:

    Because I am vast and contain multitudes?

    Also, honestly, and I will have to essay this at some point, I end up supporting a lot of ostensibly liberal positions for philosophically classically conservative reasons. It’s complicated and I suspect I will have to write it down at some point to see if it makes sense to anyone but me.

  33. Gotta love the cavalier notion that a person can just pick up and move to Canada on a moment’s notice. They are, ya know, a sovereign nation with their own immigration laws….

    Shes right you know! I looked into it. :)

  34. Tom Combs

    I have no information on Canada but, on this side of the pond, I think you are grossly over-estimating Germany’s desire to provide a refuge for disgruntled Sander’s supporters; strangely enough they expect people applying for visas to be bringing important skills in important areas.

    A swift glance at your Facebook page, obtained by clicking on your name on your post, suggests you have some difficulties with reconciling reality with mathematics; this is most definitely not what the Germans are looking for…

  35. [Deleted for lack of substance. Drive-by crapping on people makes you feel better but doesn’t add to the discourse, folks — JS]

  36. Having vented my spleen, Bernie should still drop out after meeting with Obama on Thursday and throw his weight wholeheartedly behind Hilary – Trump is by far the worst thing that could happen.

    And please please please drop all the Warren for Prez fever dreams – not going to happen, she’s 66 now and after seeing how much Hilary ages in four years is going to ram home that being close to 70 should be disqualifying for a presidential candidate. I love my dad but he’s 74 and probably shouldn’t be in charge of a country…

  37. Sanders in his speech said he’s taking his fight for income inequality, etc to the convention. He didn’t say he’s taking the fight for the nomination there. I think that was intentional.

    What he can do at the convention- whether party platforms matter-are all valid questions. However maybe he feels he can better lead his supporters to unite with Clinton if he doesn’t surrender now. Maybe he feels there is a greater chance of continuing the ‘movement’ he inspired if he goes on.

    I could be putting thoughts into his mind that aren’t there.

  38. I don’t think it’s worth trying to convince the conspiracy-obsessive Busters to do the right thing. TBH, most of them were either non-voters or backed fringe candidates before, so they’re kind of baked into the picture already.

    I’ve been watching him bleed sensible supporters steadily over the past several weeks, and that Politico article plus his vow to keep going seems to have upped the flow rate considerably. I had hoped for a general reconciliation–a handshake, a “good game” and a look ahead after a bit of a breather–but now it seems like we’re welcoming a fleet of refugees who are noping out as fast as they can.

    It saddens me, not because they’re fleeing, but because they had to. When he entered the race, I actually considered voting for him, as a push to the left, but now I’m glad I didn’t. He raised some very important issues, but he kept trying to conflate support for the issues with support for him–and him alone. He’s apparently the only “real” progressive, and all those traitors like Warren and Booker and Feingold are just fakes. When his supporters started attacking Darcy Burner, of all people, because they mistakenly believed she was a superdelegate, I realized this had turned from an issues-driven movement into a hardcore fandom. When people started talking about genuinely backing Trump if he lost, they lost all claim to be in this for the issues, and for genuine progress. It became all about the revolution, and the man at the head of it, instead of about actually helping people who are getting screwed over.

    I’m hoping Hillary picks one of the well-known progressive rising stars as her running mate, because it will send the message that she DOES care about the issues, and about building a path to the left. It’s possible, even easy to do this. And it doesn’t require Bernie. Which is probably what’s irritating him the most.

  39. Okay, I’ll say it…

    It MATTERS to me that Clinton is a woman. In an alternate universe where the GOP had a male candidate I could vote for, it would be a factor in my decision. Not the only part of my decision. But a factor. Maybe a large factor. Representation matters.

  40. This is my take: I was never really big on Sanders as an actual presidential contender but I am deeply concerned by the fact that Clinton has yet to acknowledge the very substantial minority of democrats who have deep policy differences with her and to reach out to them. I’d like to hear less “I’m the winner surrender already” and more “lets see how I can address your concerns.” The former sounds too much like an echo of Trump. Sanders supporters feel dismissed and disregarded. If Hilary wants them on board she needs to acknowledge that they matter.

  41. Oh my goodness, you’re already my favorite author, and now you’re my favorite political commentator, too! This is almost exactly my thinking, as a similarly liberal leaning Sanders supporter, who voted Sanders yesterday, but will happily vote for Hilary to prevent the giant sucking sound of a Trump presidency.

    I have gotten into way too many arguments with more, shall we say, passionate Bernie supporters who will be sitting out, voting Green, or God forbid, voting for Trump out of protest for not getting “their” candidate.

    I get that Hilary is not the ideal progressive candidate, but in our current system, a protest vote could end up taking us down a path that we don’t want to take. Or have we forgotten Ralph Nader, already?

  42. The key takeaway here is hopefully that we don’t fix the country by giving some fraction of a damn once every four years. The right is willing to attend school board meetings, vote for city councilmen, and pass candidate legislation in the statehouse for the 1459 days the left seems to spend wondering whether the President will single-handedly save us from Le Deluge.

    Recognize the situation for what it is. Vote for Clinton. (Or for the third party you’d most like to see get to 10% of the electorate, if you’re so inclined and your state is super-safe for one group or the other. Clinton’s not winning Tennessee.)

    Then spend the next four years electing the sort of people Clinton wishes would go away until she needs the hippies to vote for the lesser evil again. Elect them to school boards and city councils and boards of aldermen. Give them political experience, and bully pulpits, and opportunities to show that the left can govern.

    Stop trying to be the tip. Be the iceberg.

  43. Love trumps hate! Bridges are better than walls! One Nation, Indivisible! We are stronger together! Move forward, not backward! We all need to keep working for a better, stronger, fairer America! Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

    Loved her speech last night SO MUCH in case you can’t tell. The message is ON POINT. This is the America I want to live in. One that brings people together and doesn’t drive them apart. One with equality of opportunity and a social safety net.

    Also: She has the economist vote locked in based on everyone I’ve talked to, conservative or liberal-leaning. So she’s good on substance too, not just rhetoric. But her rhetoric last night. I have never in my life felt emotional about the pledge of allegiance before. But I did last night. Even my husband got teary-eyed.

  44. Speaking as a Bernie fanboy, this is cool and I’m OK with it. Go Hillary! Down with Trump!

  45. Put me in the camp of people who really liked some aspects of the Sanders campaign but were less than enthusiastic about him as a candidate. I hope he decides to influence the Democratic party from within rather than from without. Hillary Clinton is a decent enough candidate. She won’t inspire the wild-eyed idealists, but to be honest, we wild-eyed idealists are getting a little tired of Democratic candidates who do disappoint us (Mr. President, I’m looking at you.)

  46. For the “fleeing to Canada” brigade; we have fairly rigorous standards for immigrants here, and Trump or no Trump y’all ain’t refugees, so don’t count on getting in. You’re better off cleaning up your own mess instead.

    As for HRC; I’m not a big fan of her foreign policy, but it’s less gormless than Sanders’ and it’s certainly less catastrophic than Trump’s. I’ll be reasonably satisified, if a bit leery, if (when) she takes office.

    — Steve

  47. I like the idea of President as CEO. You are responsible to the stakeholders, 1 vote per stakeholder. You’d think that idea would keep candidates from selling out to corporate donors though…

  48. Greg, my professors would be quite put out with that graph; no units and no source for how we are measuring the scale. Or even if we are looking at platforms, senate voting records, or what.

  49. I think you missed the point of Bernie’s campaign. #NotMeUs is not just an empty slogan. It was never about Bernie, it was always about policy. Hillary needs to do some serious work to court Sanders supporters if she wants our support. Considering all the bribes she took (speech money, Clinton Foundation, etc), her pro-corporate establishment stances due to the company she surrounds herself with, and the fact that she represents that same establishment that this political movement is trying to get rid of, that’s a very difficult sell to make. I hear you on Trump, but Hillary is also part of the problem, not the solution.

  50. Our electoral process has turned into voting for the lesser of two evils.

    “Has become”? If you listen closely, you will hear the sound of my rolling eyes. The two-party system is baked into our constitution.

    Furthermore, I don’t get people who need to feel a frisson of righteousness when they step out of the voting booth. I don’t vote to express myself, I vote to nudge the country in the right direction. I have a responsibility to people who can’t vote because they’re too young or don’t live in the US, but are nonetheless affected by what our country does.

  51. Scalzi:

    I’d definitely like to see another piece explaining your ” supporting a lot of ostensibly liberal positions for philosophically classically conservative reasons.” In principle, I agree with the content of this particular piece, but my issue is the framing. Clinton and Trump are certainly different, and Trump is certainly a disaster, but the issue many (especially young) people have is that Clinton is a part of that history which has led us to the issues of today and which, campaign strategy aside, has not consistently opposed policies that have brought us here. Working within our electoral framework seems to be the problem.

    While some Sanders supporters may continue a bitter, snarky approach to this issue with misguided focus on nonsense accusations, it is still important to preserve that voice of criticism. As with Obama vis-a-vis Guantanamo promises, destabilizing other regions (of which Clinton is also party to), and so on. The devolving of politics into a sort of tribalism where criticism of the ostensible democratic ‘fellow’ is inhibited and shouted down is an unfortunate effect of first-past-the-post, in my view. Adolph Reed expresses my feeling on the issue:

    “Each election now becomes a moment of life-or-death urgency that precludes dissent or even reflection. For liberals, there is only one option in an election year, and that is to elect, at whatever cost, whichever Democrat is running. This modus operandi has tethered what remains of the left to a Democratic Party that has long since renounced its commitment to any sort of redistributive vision and imposes a willed amnesia on political debate. True, the last Democrat was really unsatisfying, but this one is better; true, the last Republican didn’t bring destruction on the universe, but this one certainly will. And, of course, each of the “pivotal” Supreme Court justices is four years older than he or she was the last time.”

    And I wanted to also say that I have followed your blog since I was in high school (I think ~10 years ago) and I appreciate your work. I haven’t yet read your books, but your blog posts are pretty damn good.

  52. “Otherwise, we have a presidential candidate who has been a senator, a Secretary of State, a first lady and a first-hand observer of the politics in America for four decades.”

    Interesting, I didn’t think of this. I personally don’t like her much, but the above is right—she does have the qualifications. Looking forward to see if that will have any influence on the actual voters.

  53. “It’s interesting that you say that your politics align more with Sanders than with Clinton. If I recall, you said you’re “probably a smidge to the right of Obama” ( and yet Sanders is pretty far to the left of Clinton and Obama. Just curious: how do you square that circle?”

    There also buttloads of people for whom trying to put their politics on a simple left right axis is going to drive you insane. It’s not a particularly great way to describe political ideas.

    For me, for instance, my positions are such that generally someone who identifies as the right will put me on the left, and vice versa.

  54. You’re being kind with the lukewarm bowl of soup thing (unless you mean dude soup) against Trump, I’d dig up my building’s sceptic tank and vote for my own turds before that monster. I don’t like Goldman-Sa, er, sorry, Time Warn- damn, I mean Clinton (Sorry, I tend to blur things together when they only difference is semantic) but not as badly as I hate Trump. Oh sure, she can give a completely hollow speech about income inequality wearing a jacket more valuable than the total money I will ever own in my life or send Bill to polling places or claim to she’ll be tough on the banks that paid for her campaign, but that hypocrisy and rulebreaking is nothing compared to “Muslims should be tracked in a database and monitored” or “Mexicans are rapists.”

    This election cycle has basically proven every negative stereotype of both parties true – big-corporation limousine liberals who are out of touch with the common people using their money and influence to flood the social consciousness with their image or shift debates to times that help them (Clinton and CNN are both at least partly owned by Time Warner, for example, so CNN had a good reason not to cover Sanders unless they absolutely had to therefore keeping him out of the running for people who still use obsolete means of getting news like TV) and racist, sexist Republican fascists. Seriously, look up what either side says about the other. Both candidates are basically a caricature of what the other side believes.

    I hate both candidates. A lot. Along with all currently active politicians at this point. I hated Sanders the least but never thought he could win. No outcome of this election is good for poor people. I will always have student debt, I exist to be a profit center for people who piss away my entire life’s worth in an hour of boat-cocaine-hooker parties. Clinton may represent that more than Trump thanks to her banking, hedge fund and big corporate connections, which is why a good deal of Sanders supporters were vocally against Clinton even more than being against Trump. I acknowledge that because facts aren’t there to make me happy.

    Another thing that doesn’t make me happy is a schoolyard bully like Trump will plow right over Clinton, because while facts aren’t there to make me happy in Trumpland they may as well not exist. “Oh those e-mails! Benghazi! $12k Armani jacket at a speech about income inequality by someone whose campaign is funded by those same billionaires that stand to gain by preserving income inequality! Superdelegates! Big business ties! Political dynasties! The banks that murdered your future then got bailed out on your money support her!” Against someone less awful than Trump there’s a laundry list of reasons, legitimate and otherwise, to not vote Clinton. A laundry list Trump and the GOP can and will use to get swing voters and angry progressives who are sick of limousine liberals to vote Trump just to not be voting for Clinton. Also, unlike in the primaries where Sanders had no chance and the media had no reason to allow him any real screentime in order to make sure Clinton got the most attention the media isn’t going to be 100% on her side. She’ll have an actual fight instead of a walk this time and, like against Obama, I don’t think she’s got it in her to win. Basically, I assume Donald Trump is already the victor.

    I’ll vote either for Clinton or for Ron White (because an alcoholic, pothead, womanizing comedian is atually a legitimately better choice than both main party monsters) when the time comes. My state is single-color enough my individual vote doesn’t matter so I might be able to save my conscience by doing that. Or maybe I’ll write in “my literal feces.” Because that’s also better than them or any other active politician.

    But like I’ve been saying on Twitter because it’s better to laugh than cry: “Aerys Targaryen for President, #BurnThemAll2016.” As a poor guy I’m fucked either way, so the only reason I care is because not all my friends are straight white Christian cis males and I’d like for their lives to NOT suck, please, which means a hard no on Donald Trump.

    (Honestly, I think I may steal my own comment for a journal entry myself, but still, it was apropos for this. Thanks for your patience if you read my whole rant).

  55. Ravewulf:

    “It was never about Bernie, it was always about policy.”

    This is addressed in the entry, as it happens.

    Also: No, that’s bullshit. It’s very much about Sanders — you don’t run for President wholly without ego, and certainly Sanders has shown that he believe it’s not just about his ideas, but also him. I know it feels nice to suggests he’s somehow been entirely selfless, but, yeah. That’s not it. It’s about him, too.

  56. Becca, I had posted a longer message with that chart plus a chart showing some historical figures for reference. Either the post got lost in the ether or Scalzi malletted it. Anyway, here is the reference chart:

    As to how they arrived at the numbers for different people, I am not sure. They have a questionaire you can take and shows where you land on the chart.

    I have checked in on the site now and then over many years, and their assessments of politicians seems reasonable to me. Ymmv.

  57. Re Kilroy “dana1119: Can I ask why? Most of the Clinton hate seems to be based on falling for the Rush talking points and not on anything actually supported. I’ve never really gotten a solid answer from a Hillary hater.:”

    I’m not ordinarily a single issue voter, nor am I 100% GOP. Registered as Independent; socially liberal, fiscally conservative (which neither party is nowadays.) I’ve voted Democrat, GOP and third party.

    BUT, Hillary (and the Democrats in general, exceptions noted) is so dam’ wrong on the issue of gun ownership that I could never in good conscience support her. I see her as inevitable and I will tolerate her for four years, hoping that a GOP majority in Congress can limit her potential for harm.

    I look towards 2020 and hope the GOP doesn’t repeat this years’ Bozo Bus primary season.

  58. @nicoleandmaggie Fair point. I’m speaking very much for myself on that one. It’s likely that I was projecting my own unrealistically progressive hopes on candidate Obama.

  59. Thanks, dana1119. I wasn’t really aware of her position on guns. From her website:

    1) Strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in the current system.
    2) Hold irresponsible dealers and manufacturers accountable.
    3) Keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and the severely mentally ill.

    So you feel really strongly about avoiding background checks?

  60. I hate to disagree with you here Mr. Scalzi, I find I rarely do. However, while I do agree with your thoughts on it being over for Bernie, I do disagree that those of like minds should default to Hillary.

    So much of our system of government is broken, skewed, or perverted from its original design. But, we are still a representative democracy. Voting to against someone, or voting for someone that has a chance, or voting for someone simply because they are the nominee of a major party are poor uses of our vote. Instead, if we were to vote for the candidate with whom we feel matches most with our own beliefs and ideals, even if we are voting for an unlikely winner is how our government is supposed to work.

    Imagine, if Jill Stein pulled 30 percent of the vote. It would be hard for cable news to ignore that large of a demographic. Which in turn, would open up donations for Green party candidates in congressional districts, and gubernatorial elections. We might actually have a legitimate third party which is ultimately good for the nation.

    One thing is clear from this elections shit show, people are tired of the status quo. Whether that is a third party president, or Trump or HIllary, this is what our government is designed to do. As horrific and terrible as I think Trump would be, if he is able to secure a majority of the electoral college, than he is a representative of the will of the people. I hope we are better than that, but if we aren’t than so be it. I however, cannot toss my vote to Hillary simply because I think Trump is human offal. I have to give my vote to the person who I think is best suited to run the country.

    As always, I love you and your books, and everyone here. Just my thoughts.

  61. … he’s hurting Hilary’s chances against Trump!” case is fairly weak. You can make that case, yeah, but why fixate on it? Why is that the narrative?

    Bush/Gore, and thank you Mr. Nader is why.
    Been there, done that.
    Sadly, enough voters approve of Trump to have given him the GOP nomination.
    Add to that the GOP’s successes in gerrymandering and voter suppression, and a Trump victory, while pretty much unthinkable, is not at all impossible.
    (I’m thinking of the election as a pretty infallible census of Assholes in America – we’ll have an exact count!)

    The last poll I saw said 25% of Sander’s supporters are saying that they will never vote for Hillary.
    But the majority of these voters aren’t planning to support Trump either.
    Sitting out the election or finding some spite candidate implicitly relies on other voters to elect Hillary, while the elite remain pure, but protected from the consequences of their actions.
    Seems risky to me to count on enough other people to do the right thing, while reducing one’s own vote to a symbolic protest.
    It’s interesting to see people consistently referring to “the Green candidate” rather than Jill Stein – making clear that it is really just not-Hillary.
    And even if every one of Bernie’s supporters decided to back Jill Stein, that’s not enough to come close to putting her in the White House.
    It’s going to be Hillary or Donald.
    If someone is really committed to supporting Bernie’s goals, the important question is who will be more receptive to those ideas – Hillary or Donald?
    And which party will pressure their leader in those directions, considering that it is not Bernie’s lone voice speaking out among the Dems?
    If Sander’s can’t delivery a block of progressive voters to the party, he becomes just irrelevant, and if progressives defect en masse to the Greens then they aren’t a Democratic constituency.
    If this is a movement, and not just a personality cult, it needs to step up and be heard.
    A vote isn’t a “message” – if someone wants to send a message, that’s what words are for.

    I da or somewhere else thing is old, old, old.

  62. I personally never considered Sanders to be much of a Democrat, since he used to be an independent who only caucused with the Democrats up until he joined the party so he could run for President, and I’ll be surprised if he actually does any campaigning for Clinton. While I probably side a bit closer to him on some issues, I don’t think he’d have much chance of getting things implemented, even if the Democrats are able to take back the House and Senate. My personal take on why Clinton has high negative ratings is that when she’s been subjected to a Republican lie-filled smear campaign for over 20 years, anything she really does that’s wrong or stupid (like the personal email server) just get magnified. Still, I hope that most Sanders supporters will recognize that voting third party is potentially going to give us Trump for our next President.

  63. Wtf: ” It’s likely that I was projecting my own unrealistically progressive hopes on candidate Obama.”

    No, Obama campaigned on the Iraq war being a terrible idea, on guantanamo being a terrible idea, on the trashing of the constitution being a terrible idea, and it was reasonable for voters to assume that he would fix those things. He won a nobel peace prize based on nothing but his future potential. That he ended up continuing the war, that guantanamo is still open, that he is one of the most aggressive presidents when it comes to prosecuting whistleblowers, while he shrugs off all the things those whistles are being blown about, that he ended up completely turning his back on the war crimes that went all the way to Bush and Cheney? Those were all the antithesis of his campaign positions.

    Obama’s been fairly good as a president, but he has inched the nation further to the upper right corner of fascism.

  64. Question from the right of the Herring Pond: What are the odds of Clinton nominating Liz Warren as her running mate? I’ve heard various people claim this would be the most obvious step towards getting the Bernie Bros back on-side, but is it realistic?

  65. @Ginjer Buchanan Thank you!

    It is certainly a privileged view to think that anybody can just pick up and leave the country, even if they were guaranteed a home, an income and excellent health care at their preferred destination. Someone who is able-bodied and has money might find it easy. The disabled and the poor would not. (I’m not saying it would be easy for non-white people of any economic situation, but my personal situation involves disability and a lack of sufficient funds to travel while disabled.)

    If your family has never had to run, you may not understand that this is not easy. I’m not talking about flight from religious persecution in the 17th century. I’m talking about leaving Russia two steps ahead of the Tsar’s soldiers in the early twentieth century. That’s only recently out of living memory in my family. I am talking about flight from Germany with Hitler’s soldiers on the doorstep. I am talking about other families running from violent persecution in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

    I would hope that people who cannot bring themselves to vote for Clinton will at least vote down ticket for people who make an effort to block policies and laws that will hurt marginalized people. People with privilege have power. It would be better that they take their cue from our host and use that power to help, not harm or discount the safety of people without privilege.

  66. Administrative question for our host: if a comment does get malleted here, a marker is left in its place, correct?

    (Apologies in advance for the digression from the topic.)

    My brother, a Sanders supporter, had a thought on the whole thing, which was that the advent of Sanders and Trump constitute evidence that the voices of the people are being heard, for good or ill, and political parties do react to that sort of thing, even if it doesn’t happen right away.

    For myself, I have to admit to a certain amount of bias: I briefly met Hillary Clinton once, twelve years ago or so, and came away with a positive impression of her as a person. She has flaws, some of them glaring, but so does Sanders, and oh my sainted aunt don’t get me started on Donald Trump…

  67. @dana1119, you’re the second person today I’ve seen worried about Hillary coming for the guns. Can you tell me what that fear is based on? I’m trying not to be snarky, but it does feel a lot like the fear that Obama was coming for the guns, which doesn’t quite seem to have borne out.

  68. “I da or somewhere else thing is old, old, old”

    Editing scarps hidden at the end.
    Or, possibly, reacting to the horror of re-living the Miami vote count and Supreme Court coup.
    Not again, please.

  69. Philosophically I like Sanders’ policies.
    Practically I like that Clinton Gets Stuff Done.
    I’ll happily vote for either; anyone who thinks that Clinton as a corporate Dem is no different from the GOP has not paid attention to differences. The Dems are not perfect by a long shot – they could move a good deal left for me, for example – but they’re not the party that’s trying to legislate morality by enshrining its idiot bronze-age religion and overpoweringly obscurantist worldview into national statute.
    Democrats are not actively trying to find ways to code racist practices into statute (voting laws, laws which disproportionately cause harm to the poor).
    Democrats are not trying to roll back investment advisor fiduciary regulations (like Tom Cotton) based on bullshit rationalizations that investment advisors won’t work with poor people if they’re not allowed to trade as they see fit, whether or not it’s in the interest of the client..
    Democrats aren’t trying to privatize every piece of infrastructure spending in the country, leading to enormous cost overruns or underspending on vital infrastructure.

    Those are a few of the things that the GOP does that the Democrats do not. Net-net, they’re mostly an evidence-based party. And in the hopes that my vote will be effective, I’ll be voting for Democrats because of that……and not holding my nose, but definitely pushing to the left.

  70. @Dave Crisp: I’d say the chances were middling, because while Warren is one of the most powerful progressives in the nation, she might become less effective as Vice-President than she is as a Senator. Also, the current governor of Massachusetts is a Republican, so if Warren vacated her Senate seat, a Republican would be appointed to complete the last two years of her term, and the current Presidential match-up means that control of the Senate is up in the air.

  71. I have to confess that is I have some rather partisan reasons for supporting Hillary over Bernie which can be summed up in the contrast between their speeches last night; it wasn’t just that he was graceless in mentioning that historical nature of the possibility of a women president following a black president but, for me, it was the audiences. The Bernie crowd could have easily been swapped out for a Trump crowd: a mass of young people ethnically lacking in diversity booing at every mention of Hillary’s name.
    My understanding of demographic predictions is that the United States is becoming more ethnically diverse rather than less so there was a warm feeling in my heart seeing the ocean of brown, black, yellow, and white faces behind a woman standing at the podium. Likewise, one thing that isn’t mention too much was Sander’s lack of ability to attract minority voters which is a must do in the Democratic Party. I think it was a mistake for his followers to trumpet a surprisingly meager record of his (his heyday in the civil rights movement was a period of 6 years roughly 30 years ago… and then a long pause in a state that has less than 5% minorities). I think a certain tone deafness then followed. I still am not sure what he expects to happen in the Washington DC vote which will surely be 70 to 90% against him.

  72. Best damn politico article yet! Despite a mild distaste for the dynastic feeling of another Clinton in office, I’m voting for her and donating to her campaign. She’s very qualified, does not require any OJT, and has proven she’s quite tough. Herr Oompa-Loompa scares the bejessus out of me and the GOP sickens me for not having the balls to stand up to him. I’m 58, white and in the 1% but I will never do anything to help the GOP or their screwed up agenda.

  73. For the “the Democratic Party is part of the problem, it’s a monstrosity, it’s off the rails, it’s no different than the GOP, it carries the banksters/Oligarchs’ water, we need an alternative, it’s unspeakable/unfair/undemocratic/whatever that we don’t have a better choice” crowd:

    As someone upthread said, the two-Party system is baked into our Constitution. It wasn’t originally, and in fact, the framers thereof were horrified by the concept of “party’ politics, but more than 225 years of experience, numerous Constitutional amendments, and countless court decisions establishing precedent, etc., not to mention various State Constitutions, have pretty much cemented it.

    There’s nothing wrong with multi-party democratic systems, a number of functional ones exist elsewhere in the world, most of them developed as part of process devolving absolute monarchies into constitutional/parliamentary systems, some adapted from prior iterations of colonial governance systems, some lifted piecemeal from other models around the world.

    They may, or may not, be inherently better, more representative and/or more functional than the kind of two-party system the US has. Or not. Not all of them have been functioning as long as our system has, flaws may emerge as great and undemocratic as the flaws we’re seeing right now in the US. The forces of Oligarchy are strong and systematically persistent, power tends to concentrate, and where vigilance is relaxed and a citizenry decides that “participation” in participatory government can legitimately be limited to showing up and pushing a button, checking a box, or pulling a lever every so often, power WILL concentrate in the hands of those willing to show up and take over the system.

    The point being, that if you detest the Democratic Party for being part of the problem, you DO have an alternative, if not in this election: Find out where the Party of your choice, Democratic or Republican, meets in your community, who’s on the committees, what the activities are, and show up. Participate. Attend meetings. Run for Party office. Propose platform planks. Get on the Rules committee and CHANGE THE RULES. Persist until you’ve built a sufficient base to move up to the regional Party. And the State Party.

    It can be done, it has been done. Study up on the history of American political parties and you’ll see a steady push-pull of organizing, influencing, changing, evolving. All of it based on who cared enough to do the work, make the very real sacrifices of time and effort and passion and energy and sometimes even blood and sweat and jail time, versus those who thought it enough to buy representation and make or take bribes.

    Yes, it takes longer than just telling the Party-as-it-is-now “You’re getting it wrong assholes, you don’t represent me, you’re evil and I want an alternative.” But I also submit it takes a lot less time than total systemic re-organization to create a viable multi-party system in a country that has a couple hundred years of two-party orientation baked in.

    I could be wrong, of course. YMMV and all those other disclaimers.

    But if you’re not willing to attend some meetings, read a Party constitution, organize other like-minded people to start attending and pushing the change you want, why would you expect the Party to listen when you’re only willing to show up and push a button or check a box now and then?

    You want it to change? Change it. Participate. Oh, it’s too much work/too much time to attend meetings, tough it out, have civil disagreements, serve on committees, listen to others, craft compromises, and work slowly through the mechanisms of democratic change within the party?

    Then you’ll be going through this again in two years. And in four years. And in six years.

    And nothing will change.

  74. Shawna (A Mediated Live) at 2:16, you put your finger squarely on what has made me so uneasy about Senator Sanders. I particularly like your description of that certain segment of his supporters as “a hardcore fandom.”

    I am not wildly enthused by Secretary Clinton for a variety of reasons, but I voted for her in the primary and I will be comfortable voting for her in November. The prospect of a Trump presidency fills me with outright panic on so many levels that I don’t even know where to begin (although the Supreme Court is high on the list).

    Also, with regard to voting for the lesser of two evils – I am 59 years old and have been a registered and active voter for a bit over four decades. This year marks the 10th time I have cast a ballot in a presidential election (primary and general). Out of all those decades and all the dozens and dozens of candidates who have run, I can identify exactly ONE candidate about whom I felt so strongly positive that I described myself as a supporter. The vast majority of the time, I had to hold my nose (sometimes literally) and choose the candidate I disliked the least. But I never, ever refrained from voting. And, I should add, I never, ever threw my ballot at a quixotic candidate who had no chance to win but every chance to deny the lesser of the two evils a chance at winning.

  75. Kilroy to dana1119: “Can I ask why? Most of the Clinton hate seems to be based on falling for the Rush talking points and not on anything actually supported. I’ve never really gotten a solid answer from a Hillary hater.”

    I have very clear, very personal, very deep and very fixed reasons for not voting Clinton. It’s more than I will not. I cannot. Let me just add (in case anyone out there is thinking that) that this DOES NOT MEAN THAT I WOULD EVER VOTE TRUMP. But this is not a simple world, my friends, and there are no simple answers – and feeling nauseated when I look at the orange man with the combover is one thing (and true) but it also does not mean that Clinton gets a vote by default. I supported Sanders because of his ideas about issues I care about; I would have supported Sanders had he been a man or a woman, that was supremely irrelevant. I don’t see why it is relevant,suddenly, when it comes to Hillary – whose ideas I don’t particularly like, whom I cannot grant absolution to on a matter that is viscerally close to my soul. Yes we have a woman nominee. How nice. Americans are reacting to this as though they just invented the wheel, or discovered that there are female politicians out there (shock horror). Newsflash, female leaders have not been unknown in the wider world. The good old US of A isn’t the first country to break ground here – if anything we’re late catching up in which case less crowing and posturing please and more of a humble “here we are at last” would go a long way. But quite aside from that thing I hold against her (and no I won’t get into it – I tried and I get called names, and if anyone is interested there’s a book I’ll recommend you read but I’ll stop there)I find Hillary Clinton smug, insincere, and full of hubris; I find her dangerously pridfeful, I find her complacent, I find her disinterested in any issues that affect the “litle people” who are not of the donor class and can’t pay her minimum-of-$1000-a-plate campaign gatherings. I don’t know that Sanders was the ultimately ideal candidate but he was orders of magnitude better than she is. So count me as one of those who will abstain or vote Green on the presidential ticket (and probably dem downticket) But I”m sorry. I’m NOT with her. And I never can be.

  76. @Kilroy

    As the MOLC has been waved, I won’t go too deep.

    To get right to the heart of this, if Mrs. Clinton was a Republican with an identical history, she would be vilified by most Democrats and the major media…but I repeat myself. For starters, the breadth of hypocrisy of supporting a candidate that has done so much to undermine the women that were harassed and abused by her husband is surprising.

    Consider the fiscal irregularities of her cattle futures trading as well as the ethically questionable language in those purchase agreements for property in the Whitewater development. If anything, she has demonstrated a unique ability to foil investigations.

    Consider as well her desire to use government positions to reward political donors. Specifically the firing of the WH travel office staff so the WH could hire political supporters for that sort of work.

    We could talk about the political conflagration that occurred in the Middle East under her “leadership”. Where the prior administration was leading the region towards peace and representative government, Mrs. Clinton’s leadership abandoned our allies to the depredations of the terrorists currently running rampant in the region. The responsibility for millions of Syrians and Iraqis deaths that occurred after our premature withdrawal from Iraq should be laid squarely at her feet.

    And a modest correction. I don’t hate Mrs. Clinton. I believe that she lacks the character necessary to serve as President of the United States. I believe she is philosophically unwilling to support the US Constitution as it is written. She’s just unqualified for the position.

    I don’t wish her harm in any way. I don’t hate her. I simply don’t want her has President.

    I don’t want Trump as President either and at this point will be voting accordingly.


    That political quiz contains questions that load the results to make socialism appear to be “centrist”. I’m leery of loaded questions in quizes.


  77. From my point of view, the difference between Sanders and Lieberman in regard to getting concessions from the Dems even if they don’t work with the Dems for common cause is this: Lieberman had somewhere else to go.

    He could have switched to the GOP. They’d have gladly taken him, and offered him incentives to do so. And if he’d switched, The Senate was enough of a teeter-totter that it’d have been a disaster to lose him. So he got concessions even though he was a dick.

    Sanders, on the other hand, doesn’t want to caucus with the GOP and they wouldn’t accommodate him if he tried to. He’s a far-left Democrat — not a true socialist, but more of a New Dealer. Considering his political positions, he can caucus with the Dems and have a shot at committee chairmanships or he can wander the wilderness with no party support. And while he can win reelection in Vermont with no party support for as long as he likes, if he wants any greater position of power in the Senate other than “junior senator,” he needs to be part of a party structure, and there’s only one that he can work with, or even wants to.

    I hope he’ll find an accommodation with the Dems that will allow him to pull together with the campaign, and in general I expect they’ll work things out.

    But if he doesn’t, he’s not in the same position as Lieberman. Lieberman got what he got because even after the election he had a gun to the party’s head. Sanders has a fair bit of leverage now, but after November most of it fades away. Unless he builds an ongoing organization that can drive turnout in the midterms, which is something he can’t prove til 2018, and something his supporters insist is happening but I don’t see any sign of it from Sanders himself, yet.

  78. @DaveCrisp: I concur with @BruceK – see above re: Hubert Humphrey – but I also think it is still regrettably the case that a ticket with two women wouldn’t do as well as a ticket with one of each. (The Notorious RBG would remind me that of the several dozens of presidential elections we’ve had in this country, every single ticket but one has had two men on it, and nobody has ever been surprised by that – and she’d be right, but still.)

  79. @Dave Crisp: “What are the odds of Clinton nominating Liz Warren as her running mate?”

    Just my view, but I think the odds can’t be terribly good, though I’ll admit I’m curious as to whether there’s any data by which to judge the possibility. (I searched a bit and found nothing but my google-fu is pretty weak).

    Where I live, there’s a fairly sizable percentage of independents who think of Sen. Warren in rather unfavorable terms and one of my co-workers (who happens to be a Democrat) refers to her as “the most embarrassing Democrat in the Senate”. While I think that’s unfair, I’ll admit that if Sen. Warren were Fmr. Sec. Clinton’s VP candidate, it would give me pause enough to consider voting Green (though I’d probably come to my senses before November b/c Trump’s too crazy to be allowed anywhere near the White House).

  80. I’ve been getting the impression that the difference between those of us who are pretty darn okay with Clinton, and those who think she’s evil incarnate without actually being conservatives, has a decent correlation with generation. I see a lot more “I was leaning Bernie but am perfectly happy with Hillary) in Generation X — and of course, we’ve seen her go head-to-head with a GOP congress, and we’ve watched the manufactured scandals pile up year after year. Many Millennials, though, have no memory of that, and she didn’t really enter their consciousness until her Iraq war vote.

    I could be totally wrong, but that’s the impression I’ve got.

    Anywho, thank you, John. I agree with every word.

  81. @Dave

    I think Elizabeth Warren is unlikely. Not impossible, but unlikely. Taking a senate seat (hopefully temporarily) out of play when the Senate is in the balance can have severe consequences (and the Massachusetts Dems have not proven themselves reliable in winning special elections . . .). This line of thinking also applies to Sherrod Brown, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders (although VT at least has a Dem. governor). If she feels that the VP pick needs to satisfy the left flank, she might lean towards someone like Tom Perez (shout out to the Keepin’ it 1600 podcast) since he’s a cabinet member and would be replaced, anyway.

    Insofar as VP nominees are chosen to satisfy some sort of geographic or demographic variety, she (Warren) also doesn’t do much for the ticket.

  82. @ William R. Dickson: I’m not even 20 and I’m happy to vote Clinton. Again, Sanders fits my views better but Clinton is just fine.

    Then again, I’m an outlier in a bunch of other ways, stands to reason that I would be one here.

  83. Congratulations Democrats!

    You’ve chosen the *ONE* candidate that will motivate the Republican base like no other candidate in the history of the Democratic party. Satan probably couldn’t motivate Republicans like she does. She will ensure that every Neo – Nazi, racist, Church>Government member of even the furthest reaches of the Republican far right (think Bundy Militia/David Duke) has a reason to show up at the polls in November. So even if those Moderate Republicans might be turned off by Trump (and some are) they will probably hold their nose and vote for Trump (because he’s not Hillary), while the base and the outer fringes will show up in droves.

    It is possible that the mere *presence* of Trump on a presidential ballot may energize the Democratic base – but that is no more certain now than it was in 2000 or 2004…

    Hillary Clinton, on the other hand does not motivate the “fringe” of her party at all. There are quite a lot of Democrats who voted for Sanders who are just *NOT* enthralled with her vote for the Use of Force resolution in October of 2002, her support of Fracking (and the State Department’s advocacy of Fracking overseas while she was SoS) and her long history of supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty, only turning against it when she started running for the Democratic nomination. In addition to those problems – there was the whole issue of Hillary obtaining 300 to 400 (+/-) Super-Delegate pledges before the campaign even began, and the DNC’s dropping restrictions on Super-Pac monies when Sanders actually began winning – both of which actions smack of “Machine Politics” – which REALLY turn off a segment of the base I think she’s going to need come November.

    All of these criticisms might be forgivable if Hillary (in my opinion) did not also suffer from one of the same undesirable personality traits that Al Gore suffered from – she’s just not that personable. Her delivery when off message seems wooden and plodding – the hallmark of a Policy Wonk. In contrast, President Obama presented/presents himself as almost the antithesis of a “policy wonk” (personable, outgoing, listening, engaging) – all the while having a great command of the details of the various issues during his election and presidency.

    Trump’s forté is attacking his opponents perceived weakness’, while deflecting attacks on his own positions – all the while entertaining a wide swath of voters with his antics. Hillary’s strengths are her understanding of the issues of the day – which may not be enough to save her candidacy, in much the same way a strong knowledge of the issues didn’t help Al Gore or John Kerry.

  84. “…Obama campaigned on the Iraq war being a terrible idea, on guantanamo being a terrible idea…”

    AND LOOK! We’re mostly out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, it took time, no, it’s not perfect but Obama actually did, over the objection of some military leaders, draw down our troops in both places. Gitmo? If you remember, he proposed moving those people to prisons in the US but was thwarted by Congress (both D and R) who didn’t want that. Contrary to some ideas around here, the President can’t simply do whatever they want – on some things, they can and are stymied by Congress.

  85. Those who think that the only reason anyone would object to Hill is the “Fox news and GOP conspiracy machine” just don’t get it. They just don’t see what is wrong with her as a candidate, what she has done in her career that is questionable, and often it is that rose-colored view of her that makes her most vulnerable in November.

    It’s not about Vince Foster or any of that B.S. Not about her gender.

    When so many want to rage against the machine.. she is the machine. Has been since the 80’s.

    Is it realistic to think Bernie would magically fix it all? Hell no. Learned that lesson with Obama. It’s that we want to believe that the person we vote for has our best interests at heart. I don’t even think Hil has a clue what my best interests are. She sure as hell didn’t when this race started, until Bernie showed her campaign that his message polled well, so she co-opted it. Don’t at all believe she gives a shit about what needs to be done to fix the middle class or turn us away from being an oligarchy.

    She’s nothing but lip service.

    P.S… Stevie, this forum is not a place for whatever bullshit personal attack you decided to attempt. It’s beneath all of us.

  86. I am guessing Hillary wont name Warren or Bernie or any other big name progressive as VP. Hillary wants the spotlight on her, not her VP. my guess is her pick will be someone with less power, less influence, less name recognition at the national level. There is a line of advice that suggests you surround yourself with people smarter than you. But I think Clinton first and foremost is going to surround herself with people she can control.

    Bernie in the Clinton administration makes a LOT of sense, but Bernie wouldnt be beholden to Clinton, so she will never pick him. Same for Warren. Clinton is practically in bed with Wall Street. Elizabeth Warren does not strike me as someone who would sacrifice her principles for a Clinton administration position.

    Clinton is a control freak. She’s not going to pick a VP that she cant completely control, nor is she going to put anyone in her cabinet that she cant control. She will name people who will then feel as if they owe her for the appointment.

    Bernie may get some say at the convention in setting the democrat platform, but once Hillary is elected, she can ignore that platform completely, and likely will. And thats exactly how she wants it.

    The only way I see Hillary going outside of who she can control is if she starts getting worried about Trump and decides she needs a big name VP to help her win the general election. Otherwise, when she announces her VP, my guess is a lot of voters will be saying “Who?”

  87. @Edwin Riker Do you seriously think that the GOP would be more reluctant to attack an avowed socialist?

    As for Trump’s mastery of personal attacks and deflection, I’d say his reaction to HRC’s speech last week calls that piece of conventional wisdom into question.

    — Steve

  88. The fact that the “political compass” site is getting any traction is annoying. It’s so inaccurate.

    Here’s the reality: Hillary and Bernie voted together 93% of the time during their overlapping years in the Senate. And of the remaining 7% that were different, the difference was not always “Bernie’s vote was more progressive”. They pretty much split the difference. Many of Bernie’s votes (against immigration reform, against the Brady bill, for Wall Street derivative deregulation, and several others) were definitely NOT more progressive than Hillary’s.

    Hillary also seems to get confused with her Husband a lot. She is not her husband, she is her own person, and she’s always been more liberal and progressive than him.

    You can complain about all the “mistakes” Hillary has made in her long political career, but at least she ADMITS them and LEARNS from them… and to me, this puts her miles ahead of other candidates that never admit mistakes ever (and Bernie sure seems to be one of those).

    And finally, I view the primaries not just as a test of policies, but as a test of Character. And part of Character is how you win, and how you lose. Hillary has passed these tests with flying colors, always congratulating Bernie on his wins, winning gracefully and generously herself. Sadly, Bernie has failed most of these tests of character… every win is his alone, he almost never congratulated Hillary on her wins (and never dissuaded his supporters from booing her name), and worse, his every loss was the result of some grand conspiracy or rigging or fraud. This is not the kind of person I want in the Presidency.

    Hillary’s skin is thick… she’s taken everything the GOP and RWNJs like Rush Limbaugh have thrown at her for 30 years and she’s shaken it all off and is still standing strong and tall. Bernie walked out on at least four interviews because he didn’t like the question he was asked. There’s a thin skinnedness and brittleness there that is off-putting, and not a good quality in someone who is to occupy the most powerful office in the land.

    I didn’t vote for or support Hillary in 2008. I thought she ran a terrible campaign. I started out this campaign leaning towards Bernie. I was his to lose, and Hillary would have had to win me over with lots of work. And you know what? Bernie lost me over and over and over again. And Hillary managed to win me over… over and over again. She showed the class, the grace, the competence, the understanding that I feel someone needs to occupy the Presidency. She let me know she’d represent my interests. Bernie? Ugh. He squandered so much, and continues to do so.

    So I’m glad Hillary won. The right person won the primary, and I know she’ll go on to win the General (not that I’ll take that for granted). In our system, voting 3rd party is acting as a spoiler, risking the least-desired candidate winning by splitting the majority. The risk of getting the exact opposite of what you’re voting for is too great to even consider, and I just can’t fathom how anyone can even consider it. In the general, a “protest” vote isn’t a protest, it’s surrender. It’s capitulation. And we have too much to lose (including the potential for losing the Supreme Court for a generation). Too many people would lose too much… health care coverage, even their marriages, their very lives.

    Hillary may not be perfect, but nobody is. Especially not Bernie. Or anyone reading this. Or me. But Hillary is one of the best candidates to run for Office in a long time, with the most experience, and with a strong progressive platform that will only help this country, building on the progress we’ve made under Obama.

  89. Dang I wish we could get rid of the electoral college. Make everyone’s vote count. And then all you wusses, who can duck hard choices because of the state you live in, would have to stand up and be counted. (It’d be fine by me if, when you knew your vote counted, you still voted for a third party candidate.)

    Happily holding my nose and voting for Hill.
    (Not that it matters here in NY.)

  90. I get the argument, certainly, and when it comes down to Trump or Hillary I’ll be voting for Hillary. But I think the argument that Bernie needs to throw his support at her NOW, before the convention, is a bad one, for a couple of reasons:
    1. Contesting the convention does let Bernie have a say in the party’s platform this year, either by flat out contesting or by cutting a deal in exchange for his support. After the feuding with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, he’s not going to get that from the DNC just for being a good sport.
    2. Speaking of Debbie, the heavy-handed way the DNC has backed Clinton has soured a lot of people on Clinton and the party in general. Bernie kowtowing alone won’t fix that, the DNC needs to show recognition that a significant chunk of the party supported a Democratic Socialist over what they’ve been peddling for over two decades now. Giving the Berners a proportionate say in the platform, and visibly doing so, is important.
    3. The email issue remains a big problem. It’s not a bullshit scandal like Benghazi, Clinton has been caught mishandling classified information worse than General Petraeus, who had to plead guilty to misdemeanors and could easily have been charged with felonies. The idea that she’ll be indicted in the fall and throw the election to Trump by default terrifies me. If she somehow gets indicted in the next month, the superdelegates could throw the election to Bernie and at least compete in the general.

  91. As for qualifications, Clinton has ’em in spades. Her policy positions are not so different from those of Sanders, except (of course, and of importance) her willingness to involve the US in foreign armed conflicts that don’t threaten the US. She’s an uncomfortable campaigner, whose stiffness is mirrored by her clothing*. She does seem to always be calculating exactly where here position should be even though it’s pretty reliably just barely left of a now pretty-far-right center. Not my ideal choice for a candidate but what was on offer?

    I supported Sanders early on because he’d push Clinton to the left. That seems to have worked. A month ago I was still going to vote for him in the DC primary. But this Monday I voted early for Clinton because I believe Sanders has lost sight of what his campaign was really about.

    No, please, don’t pick any of our star Democratic senators as Clinton’s running-mate. If she wins we’ll need every senator we can get if we want to pass any legislation or get any Supreme Court appointments through. 2016 is our best opportunity in a long time to pick up seats. If she loses, we’ll need every one to block the Republicans from rolling back the 20th Century.

    *Talking about a female politician’s clothes or hair when one doesn’t do the same for men is generally pretty sexist, but Marcia and I think that Clinton’s constant search for a suitable image bespeaks a serious discomfort with her own image. Sort of the exact opposite of Michelle Obama, who clearly knows who she is.

  92. It would be a total waste to move Warren to VP.
    In the Senate she has a lot of power and an independent voice, as VP she’d be muzzled.
    (See Tom Lehrer on the office….)

  93. @David Earle “Contesting the convention”

    Eh? What contest? She’s got the delegates. She’ll get through on the first ballot. There won’t be a contest. I’m not sure what you mean there will be for him to contest.

  94. Go Hillary!
    The unimaginable circumstance of that detestable bowl of soup making rude noises from the Oval Office is enough to get my vote for a squirrel in Tanzania, never mind one of the most qualified candidates we’ve had in three decades.

  95. rickg: “Contrary to some ideas around here, the President can’t simply do whatever they want – on some things, they can and are stymied by Congress.”

    Oh please. Thr president is commander in chief and congress is so spineless when it comes to waging war that the president, any president, can pretty much do what they want militarily speaking and congress just accepts it. Sure, after the fact, congress gets in a huff and passes laws to restrict the president, but then war happens and congress rolls over and pees themselves.

    And it was specifically Obamas decision to NOT investigate any and all war crimes during the Bush presidency, and there were truckloads of war crimes.

    And it was specifically Obama’s choice alone to decide to become the biggest prosecutor of whitleblowers.

    All of those are on Obama’s hands, congress had nothing to do with it.

    And besides, if a republican had been elected instead of Obama, do you think the war in iraq and afghanistan would have been that much different? Nixon went with “vietnamization” to get out of that quagmire. Romney or whoever would have declared “victory”, pulled out, and when the nation collapsed said “not my fault”. Which isnt much different than Obama’s strategy.

  96. I agree with David. Plus, I suspect that there’s more in the works here than we have access to information about. Maybe the meeting with Obama will shed some light — probably not. I voted Sanders….

  97. The whole Clinton email thing is impossible to parse without knowing what was in the so-called classified emails. Troop movements? Names of secret agents? Or just the frigging coffee-maker purchase orders? Over-classification is an epidemic disease in government bureaucracies. Just marking an email as “classified” doesn’t mean it’s actually worthy of such protection.

  98. I really want Trump to come in fourth, behind Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein, and Gary Johnson. That’s my fantasy.
    My reality is that the specter of Trump winning scares me enough that my vote will definitely be for H. Clinton.
    I think Warren is more valuable as a Senator, and with a Republican governor picking her replacement if she did end up VP I would rather not lose the D. Senate seat.
    So, my second pie in the sky wish is for a VP pick. Senator Feinstein, because it’s the only step she would give up her Senate seat for. No, not because I love her(she’s conservative for me, and I have Issues with her. I do. ) but, if she were VP then our Democratic governor could pick a replacement for her in the Senate, and guess what!? Right now California has two qualified Democratic candidates in a runoff election for retiring Senator Boxer’s seat! (Go look! Go look! My first and second choice in a runoff!? Don’t tell me their warts and flaws right now, because I am sure the runoff election will bury me in all that anyway. No one, especially a politician, is perfect).
    The reality is that the VP pick will probably be someone relatively well known from a swing state that shores up Hillary Clinton’s weak spots. In other words, not Californian, because we are probably safely Democratic in the general election.

    Ok, I may be still a little overexcited about both candidates for Boxer’s Senate seat being Democratic minority women, Loretta Sanchez, and Kamala Harris. One from the north end of the state, and one from the south end. I expect the runoff election will be rough, though, because a Senate seat is a big deal.

  99. Pmb: “You can complain about all the “mistakes” Hillary has made in her long political career, but at least she ADMITS them and LEARNS from them… ”

    The only mistake Hillary admitted to for her Iraq War vote was the mistake of trusting Bush would do something her husband did not do. She says she voted for the war because she trusted Bush to let inspections finish and allow diplomacy to solve the problem. But in 1998, Bill Clinton didnt let inspections finish and instead changed the policy towards Saddam to regime change and tried to have Saddam assasinated.

    “I am sorry Bush screwed up” is not an apology.

    And the only thing she learned was deflecting her responsibility for her vote. Bill didnt let inspections finish. Why on earth would she think Idiot Bush would let inspections finish? Or maybe she never thought that, but realized “I am sorry Bush screwed up” is the perfect way to avoid responsibility.

  100. I am guessing Hillary wont name Warren or Bernie or any other big name progressive as VP. Hillary wants the spotlight on her, not her VP. my guess is her pick will be someone with less power, less influence, less name recognition at the national level. There is a line of advice that suggests you surround yourself with people smarter than you. But I think Clinton first and foremost is going to surround herself with people she can control.

    She won’t name Warren because Warren gets her nothing, she’s too old to consider grooming for 2024, she’s far more valuable in the Senate than she would be as VP, and no one wants a GOP governor appointing her replacement.

  101. @pmbAustin

    I agree completely.

    I was part of the Obama coalition in 2008. I was a young college student who was volunteering with the “No on 8” proposition campaign. I was there in Berkeley during the massive celebrations (I had never seen so many happy people in one place). I went home and cried–first for the victory that Obama won and then for the defeat of Prop 8 passing. I stood on Sproul Plaza freezing my ass off, far earlier than I needed to be there to watch Obama’s inauguration one January morning afterwards.

    I actively disliked Clinton in 2008. I grew up making Bill Clinton dick jokes and criticizing her choices, her integrity, her everything. Her poor showing in 2008 clinched it for me–hell no to Hillary Clinton.

    She was ok as Secretary of State, but I had no intention of ever voting for her. I was thrilled with Bernie Sanders joining the race because here was finally a truly liberal candidate! More than even Obama!

    Then he started talking. At first it was fine–free college, $15 min wage, etc. Then he started getting nasty and attacking Clinton directly. 2008 me would’ve welcomed those attacks, but in the intervening 8 years, I’ve had a change of heart. I read her emails, I read articles by former employees, I read her speeches, I looked at her detailed policy plans, and I realized she was actually pretty decent.

    As Sanders’ attacks got more bitter and desperate, he caused me to change my vote. Attacking HRC and Planned Parenthood–both organizations very close and dear to me–was the start. But by the time I voted yesterday, Sanders had lost me. He lost me through his rhetoric. His poorly executed and planned campaign. His lack of detailed policy plans. His lack of understanding and legislative leadership on his most vocal issues. His inability to take responsibility for his own failures and recognize others’ successes. His inability to control or condemn his most violent supporters. His thin skinned, knee jerk reactions to criticism. His resistance to vetting and releasing his tax returns. These are not things I want in a president, so Sanders lost me.

    Clinton, by contrast, has shown poise and grace. She has congratulated Sanders on his successes, while managing to celebrate her own. She has been extremely transparent with her finances. She has messed up, but then learned and apologized. She weathers criticism without snapping or breaking or losing her cool. She understands and articulates Bernie’s policy points better than he does. She provides detailed plans of not just what she wants to do, but how. She’s embraced different coalitions, rather than trying to steamroll over undecideds. The skill with which she ran her campaign–especially in contrast with 2008–is notable.

    So, yes, #ImWithHer. Had you told me a year ago, I’d have told you that you were crazy. But this pinko commie Berkeley liberal voted for Hillary Clinton yesterday and I didn’t have to hold my nose to do it.

  102. For the people who think this has become about the lesser of two evils.

    Somebody said this election is not about Coke vs Pepsi.

    (Personally, I’d compare Clinton to orange juice. I like orange juice. But this is supposed to be from the point of view of lesser of two evils, so for the sake of argument, call her Coca-Cola.)

    This election is about Coke vs sewage water.

    Sometimes the lesser of two evils is really a better choice.

  103. Anton P. Nym says:
    June 8, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    @Edwin Riker Do you seriously think that the GOP would be more reluctant to attack an avowed socialist?
    As for Trump’s mastery of personal attacks and deflection, I’d say his reaction to HRC’s speech last week calls that piece of conventional wisdom into question.
    — Steve

    I don’t. Not one bit, and yet, I find it disconcerting that anyplace I’ve posted these thoughts of mine, nobody has given me any reason to believe that Hillary can overcome the same hurdles that downed John Kerry and Al Gore – both *FAR* more competent than Bush – and yet, Bush won…

    Scares the shit out of me, TBQH.

  104. Clinton VS. Sanders is Coke VS. Pepsi. Clinton VS. Trump is Coke VS. a reeking bucket of pure Vibrio cholerae with some human feces thrown on the top.

    In other words, vote Clinton. She’s not some saint, but she’s better than Trump.

  105. @Theophylact
    “Marcia and I think that Clinton’s constant search for a suitable image bespeaks a serious discomfort with her own image”

    No– it bespeaks someone who would rather wear the same suit every day *like a professional man* but CAN’T because back in 1992 they wouldn’t shut up about her frigging headband. Last time around it was her dressing like a man in pants suits (which, to her credit, she owned). The day before yesterday the top story when googling was about her damn jacket. She CANNOT win. There is nothing she can wear that will get people to not criticize her clothing. Nothing. This is such an UNIMPORTANT issue that it makes sense to hire it out to a stylist so that she can think about more important things. This is like Obama wearing a flag pin even though that’s a ridiculously shallow way to show support for one’s country, but it’s easier to put one one than to let it become an issue. There are way more important things to care about.

    If she dressed like Michelle Obama, that would be too feminine. Clinton’s problem is that her personal style isn’t “right” for people who want her to fit in some impossible box of feminine but powerful. That box just does not exist.


    Preach it! My turning part where I started to take notice (I was Obama ’08) was watching her during the Benghazi hearings. She is presidential. She has had to deal with so much crap– like criticism of her clothing, for goodness sake and it no longer flusters her. And she learns from “mistakes”.

    And to tie that back, nobody uncomfortable with herself could have gotten through all the crap that she’s gone through with such equanimity. She’s amazing.

    My hope is that someday a woman will be able to be a presidential nominee without having to be way overqualified. Without having to care about “style”. You know, just like a man.

  106. I am not ashamed to have voted for Sanders. I am aware that this makes me an allegedly whining person but I would ask that those who did vote for Sanders in the Primaries consider two points.

    1. A Primary is a process to find the Party Candidate that is best representative of the ideals and thinking of all who exercise their right to be heard, by voting in that Party. The Candidates are encouraged to communicate his/her inspirational vision and use this as a persuasive argument to convince the Personnel Board, (Voters) that he/she is the best prospect to move into the Final selection process.
    Once everyone has voted their choice, the Candidate of choice has made the more persuasive argument and has earned the support of those of his party that opposed and voted against him/her.

    2. A General Election is arguably the most difficult job interview any Candidate can undergo. Literally thousands of things can go wrong and the persuasive argument in this phase of the job interview is designed to exhaust and overstretch the coping mechanisms of all the Candidates. I want to see a Candidate lose his cool. I want to see how he copes with the nonstop pressure for the position he is asking for. I want to find out if I’m helping to elect a person who may place my life or the lives of my Children in danger.

    I am not ashamed to have crossed Party lines, in past years, to vote the head of the ticket for a party, I didn’t belong to.

    I don’t like her but, in honest evaluation, I’m a lot less likely to walk into danger with her than with Trump. Count my vote for Clinton, it’s already marked and posted.

    Do I mourn? Yes but I also understand (paraphrasing RAH) that I have a candidate to vote against. So can we please just be the Democratic Party again and stop bashing supporters of other candidates than our own?

  107. I think it’s quixotic at this point for Sanders to continue, but if he wants to take it to the convention, go ahead. I, my (83 year old) Mom, and a sister voted for Bernie in the CT primary, for the sole purpose of pushing Clinton to the left. When she wins on the first ballot, he should put his full support behind her, and give what input he can to the platform. He has a big, motivated base, and this is his chance to get some of his agenda included.

    My GOP coworkers are convinced that Bernie will go Third Party. Based on nothing, really, except that they know that’s about the only way Cheeto Hair has a chance in hell.

  108. If she dressed like Michelle Obama, that would be too feminine.

    And cardigans over cute dresses don’t hide the Kevlar vests. Which are not designed to fit women particularly well, and thus make HRC look even more awkward and frumpy.

    It’s possible to dress in a flattering way as a 60-something-year-old woman. But not if she needs to look professional, powerful, not-too-feminine but still feminine enough without looking sexy, and hide body armor. There isn’t a fashion stylist on the planet skilled enough to navigate that minefield, which is political rather than stylistic.

    (Remember what happened when Condie Rice wore a pair of high-heeled boots on a diplomatic visit? Those boots wouldn’t get a second look in any office in NYC, but she had pearl-clutchers across the country calling her a dominatrix.)

  109. Great post, John–and interesting comments today….Jmazzola left me feeling a bit depressed. Next Monday we will all be treated to the spectacle of a REAL BULLY in the bully pulpit. Donald Trump is promising some kind of press conference where he digs up every nasty rumor/myth/innuendo about HRC and the Clintons from the last 20 years. He’s promising to “bury her”. I’m going to try to enjoy these few days of quiet and celebration, this eye in the storm. The ugly, innacurate, dishonest rehash is about to start up, Trump will put discredited BS out there, and lots of people will believe it. Because lots of people are fools. Voting fools.
    @Robert Stallard: What’s wrong with you? You like John’s blog but haven’t read his books YET? Just teasing–but you are seriously missing out. It’s beach/pool season–I recommend starting with Old Man’s War, maybe then Ghost Brigades, but then check out a few stand alones–Lock In, Fuzzy Nation, Redshirts–before circling back to OMW universe. I’d send you a couple bucks to buy your first book, but you are on your own as I don’t have your address, lol! Just get a copy–your library probably has it for free, even–you’ll be glad you did!
    Back to Monday–really not looking forward to all the Hillary Hate that is about to be spewed, and knowing I’ll be cornered into defending her time and again. Pretty sure Trump’s timing is effort to get us to forget his racist Judge attacks–he finally figured out that wasn’t so smart, and he’s looking to deflect.

  110. As a registered Republican (whatever that means any more), I’m with you 100%. Well, call it 90%. I don’t like Hillary as much as you do. In fact, I have a genuine dislike. But that snowflake of dislike is entirely irrelevant when faced with the blizzard of loathing I feel for Trump as an alternative. I’ll vote for Hillary without a moment’s hesitation.

  111. Perhaps Senator Sanders’ reason for “staying in” till the Democratic convention is because Hillary Clinton might be indicted for mishandling classified information . . .

  112. rochrist: “She won’t name Warren because Warren gets her nothing,”

    Yes. Bernie as VP gets Hillary nothing. But Bernie as VP would be good for the country as a whole.

    My point was simply that Hillary will name people that are best for her. Whats best for the country is a lower priority for her. She will never name someone who isnt indebted to her or beholden to her or someone with less clout at the national level so that she can control them.

  113. @Floored by Scalzi’s awesomeness….too funny–still laughing–pretty awesome, yourself!

  114. @cofax

    Good point– not one I’d thought of. They do have more feminine bullet proof clothing (thank you, Republicans, for making this red state college professor look into it), but it isn’t as effective as the kevlar vest.

  115. Ugh, I’m going to end up holding my nose and voting for the hill-dog, but only because annoying orange could really make things markedly worse, whereas she just likely wont change much. For examples of the things she won’t change; I don’t see her doing much to reign in the banks (being funded by them), fix our broken elections (because she benefits from low turnout as much as repubs do), take a stand on the drone strikes (obama set that precedent), get us back our privacy from the NSA, etc etc. In a normal election, that would be plenty for me to vote the hopeless ticket (whoo green), but again, this isn’t a normal vote between lesser evils. So in the interest of not getting a southern wall or worse, I’m closing my eyes and doing it for the homeland.

  116. nicoleandmaggie: I didn’t say she should dress like Michelle Obama.

    Michelle Obama gets just as much crap from the RWNJs as Clinton does, and what’s more, they go on about her being fat, muscular and mannish (all totally untrue; she’s gorgeous). The difference is that she’s not tweaking her appearance all the time.

    If Clinton dressed like Barbara Mikulski and was comfortable with it there’d be no problem for me. The RWNJs would harsh on her no matter what.

    The Donald probably gets as much crap about his hair as Clinton does.

  117. SONG TIME: Cue Meredith Brooks….

    I hate the world today
    Wanna punch the guy who laughed at my toupee
    Tried to tell you, but some people never notice
    I’m an asshole underneath
    I make you grit your teeth

    Yesterday, I lied
    Shot my mouth off and my campaign should have died
    I keep coming back, and it has me so confused,
    I don’t envy you
    I’m Ferengi, Joffrey, Pennywise, all rolled into one!

    I am rich! I’m The Donald
    I’m like Tricky Dick and Ronald
    I’m the party’s nominee
    I’m your Hell, I’m your nightmare
    I’m your idiot’s delight, there
    And they wouldn’t want me any other way….

    So take me as I am
    I’m a demagogue and I don’t give a damn
    Rest assured that when I start to make you nervous
    And I’m going to extremes
    You’ll get the YUGEST damn depression that the world has ever seen!

    You’re my bitch! I’m The Donald
    And they love me in the South
    And my asshole’s jealous of the shit That comes out of my mouth
    I will screw you over fully
    But I’ll let you be a bully
    And you wouldn’t want it any other way…


    Just when you think I can’t get more horrendous
    It’s like a season of The Apprentice
    I’ll do away with Judicial Review
    And nothing can save you

    Clinton’s a bitch! So’s your mother!
    I’m an asshole like no other
    Got the GOP controlled, you will do as you are told
    Go to Hell, ditch your dream
    Join my brown-shirted regime
    You know I wouldn’t want it any other way

    I am rich, pay my fees
    I’ll bring Scotland to its knees
    We’re a nation built on hate
    As I’ll gladly demonstrate
    Son of a bitch! What do I know?
    Even less stuff than Jon Snow
    And I wouldn’t want it any other way!

  118. @Theophylact

    There’s a problem for WOMEN when you demand that they dress like you want them to dress. Personally I am perfectly comfortable with Hillary Clinton outsourcing her wardrobe to a consulting company because her impressing YOU is not something I care about in a president. But you hurt women when you suggest that your approval of her style choices is something that actually matters. I mean seriously.

    Donald Trump is one of the few men who gets comments about his appearance (Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee, both overweight, and thus also “fair game” are the other two) and is an exception. All women, despite being much more careful about their appearance, have to put up with crap like you’re dealing out all the fricking time.

    Also: I thought Clinton looked great in her 1992 headbands, even if they were out of style. I thought she looked great in her traveling pantssuits. I think she looks great now. I don’t know what your problem is, or how you could possibly think she’s uncomfortable in her skin based on what she wears. Did you not see her at the Benghazi hearings? Implicit bias against women is all I’ve got on that one.

  119. We have a system where a large number of people hate their choices. Not in the good old “look at those clowns in Congress” way, but genuine disdain for their party’s nominee or for both if you are an independent. We have a Republican candidate whom the Party’s own leaders cannot endorse with a straight face. We have a large number of Democrats who believe Clinton does not represent their interests. This is starting to go beyond the Lesser of Two Evils trope. We may be hitting the point where a majority as opposed to a mid-sized minority are voting for candidates from whom they are completely alienated.

    It’s fairly obvious that most Republicans don’t actually want to represent the people they’ve relied on to vote them into office. (I cannot say I blame them for the sentiment, but I can do so for cynically orchestrating the sad state of affairs in the first place.)

    It’s not as obvious, but becoming more apparent, that many Democrats feel abandoned by their candidates after election day. And they are tired of being told “that’s just political reality: this is a right leaning country and our leaders have to work with that.” Or if I was being more even handed, I could say the Democrats just take advantage of a “nicer” class of people than the Republicans have been doing.

    When the apparatus gets un-moored from the base, the results ain’t pretty.

  120. In a perfect world, I’d love to see Saunders working as a sort of ambassador without portfolio for Clinton, working to reach out to youth culture, while simultaneously working to get some of his own ideas endorsed by her. But, yeah- I’d not only vote for a off-the-shelf package of instant Ramen before I voted for Trump, I’d sit through its first State of the Union address.

  121. The person who is going to be president of 300 million people and 50 states is BY DEFINITION going to be a giant compromise and won’t make anyone 100% happy. This is a political reality that people avoid accepting by way of conspiracy nonsense, complete refusal to participate, and by fooling themselves into believing that their preferred candidate is somehow different and better than the system they belong to. Clinton has a lot of flaws, Sanders is compromised on a lot of levels, and both are still better than Trump. I prefer Clinton on account of she’s able to work within the system and since we can’t actually replace the system by electing someone who won’t compromise she’s the best choice by a mile.

    Clinton won because she’s been doing the hard work of building relationships within the party and across the country for around 3 decades. That’s something that everyone should respect and learn from and emulate. Think about what good could be done if the energized Sanders supporters decide to build something from the ground up, by voting and even running in local elections. The real work of politics is what you do between presidential elections. Clinton did that hard work, and any movement for change is going to have to do the same thing.

  122. Thank you, John. Exactly my thoughts but expressed much better than I ever could.

    I am a little taken aback by the widespread dislike of Clinton. I’m with you on “I don’t agree with everything” but I haven’t perfectly aligned with any candidate- ever. I think Obama is the only one I was ever extremely enthusiastic about- and I still am. (Side note- a pox on those who voted for Obama and then voted GOP or stayed home in Congressional elections.)

    Women in politics are rarely considered “likeable”. They are too aware of how easily they can be labeled “weak” and so don’t use the usual fall back “nice” characteristics of their male counterparts. It may not be fair but it is reality. But then, I don’t need to “like” a politician. Just need to believe they will do a good job.

    I think that Clinton will be a fine President. How effective she will be will really turn on how voters show up for the Congressional elections. I’m almost more concerned about that then the big race. You would think that Trump would be enough of a wake up call, but no. Unless the GOP suffers massive losses in state & Federal elections, they are going to continue their extremist policies and we’ll see ever more hate bills, voter suppression, etc. Clinton will use veto power and the cycle of a completely useless Congress goes on and on.

  123. @KFL – sorry, I have that effect on people when I talk politics. It’s why I tend to do it in short, rare bursts before I get back to dick jokes and sharing pictures of food.

    But I also hope the large portion of local and state politicians that can be booted are booted. Because obviously the current crop isn’t working for a lot of people or neither Bernie nor Trump would have ever got off the ground. Anti-Establishment candidates are funny that way.

  124. A comment on the future. The one thing that the mass corporate media and the political hacks themselves seemed to completely missed or not commented on is this: the Sanders campaign has proven that, in the future, political parties, rich individual donors, lobbyists and corporate donors CAN BE IGNORED from now on. We now live in a micro-funding social media environment which has done an end-run around all current power structures. If a majority, especially the future minority-majority, self-funds a grass roots candidate and wins at 51%+ from statehouses up through Congressional seats they are more likely to win from now on than not. I predict all kinds of voter fraud, suppression and etc. as these old power centers try to hang onto power. It could get quite ugly for the Millennials.

  125. I am a well-off white female in a heteronormative marriage. If Trump wins, it seriously won’t change much in my life. It would be really easy for me to say, “Yeah, four years of Trump would be a wake-up call for change.” Or to write in Pinky and the Brain. There are two main reasons I cannot possibly do so:

    The first is that I am acutely aware that four years of Trump, while not problematic for me, would be brutal for a hell of a lot of people. This is not just about me; it’s about my friends and family. Even in demographics where I don’t personally know anyone, I would not wish Trump’s brand of bigotry and jingoism on them. Again, electing Trump would certainly be a wake-up call, but at what cost? Not just for you, but for those in his cross-hairs?

    The second is the Electoral College. There have been very few off-candidate votes and even fewer (If any) votes for third parties since the 1950s*. H. Ross Perot received nearly 20% of the popular vote on one of his runs and got 0 Electoral votes from either of his runs. I can understand voting for a third party so they can be officially put on ballots, but not with any hopes of electing the President.


  126. @Andrew Ross… which Meredith Brooks song? Love your lyrics and I want to match them up to the right tune!

  127. Coincidentally, at the start of the campaign season I read “Joe Steele” by Harry Turtledove. I highly recommend it, Just substitute “Donald Trump” for “Joe Steele” and be very afraid. VERY afraid.

  128. re: Is HRC likable: Not only is it not important, as people have pointed out (see: everyone wants a beer with W), but it’s also not true that she’s unlikable. It’s also pretty unlikely that the majority of people voting for her (who, ARE THE MAJORITY of people voting) are doing so because they dislike her.

    It’s not that it’s hard for women to “be” likable. Women are far more likable than men– they have to be. Like, empirically, they have way better “soft skills” and they are more likely to do the things recommended for leaders to do (listen, admit mistakes, have a growth mindset etc.). They just don’t get credit for it. The narrative positions the bar much higher.

    And it’s hard to be a woman and to say, no, wait, I really like her, when there’s all these scary bros ready to attack you. Far easier to just keep quiet and vote silently. Because we’re supposed to keep our mouths shut. We don’t raise our hands in the classroom. We don’t speak up at meetings. We certainly don’t contradict people online. But that doesn’t mean we agree with what is being said. (Well, I speak up, but I tend to be a bit of a contrarian– a school counselor in middle school told me I should raise my hand less often even if I know the answer because people would like me better, but I figured I’d rather reach my academic potential than be liked by other middle schoolers. Of course, being female, I didn’t tell her that, I just thought it.)

    So there’s this narrative. The narrative is gendered. And the narrative probably isn’t even true. Because of that darned availability heuristic of who gets to talk and who gets listened to.

    p.s. I like Hillary.

    p.p.s. I miss Kat Goodwin today.

  129. I think you’ve given a cogent description, but I have a few issues.

    Regarding #3: I’ve had a chance to meet the man himself, and have attended a number of his events. In his mind, he’s doing the duty of a revolutionary. He’s helping raise the voice of what he believes to be a progressive majority in America, and, in doing so, can revolutionize our political system. I’m sure there’s a certain amount of ego in there running for president, but he also didn’t do it during the prime of his political career, he did it at the end—he did it because he wanted to help create something big in his life and inspire a generation of Americans. And I think he’s done an really fantastic job. A year ago, I was excited to hear he’d entered the race, but even I dismissed his candidacy. He’s truly proven that wrong.

    #4: What Sanders does have and what he has shown is that elections can be run without big money and that a huge percentage of liberals want to see a government that responds to the people over profits. And, frankly, that’s not the system we have today, much as Democrats would like to blame Republicans for it, they’re quite guilty in perpetuating this plutocracy as well. It’s simply a matter of power.

    So there’s a difference between “helping Hillary to win” and “pushing Hillary to be more progressive”, though I would argue that the latter will actually help her to win by winning over support of independent progressives. But that will take some work, and I think Bernie’s best shot at doing that today is going to Philadelphia for a contested convention. It’s not unreasonable, in fact it used to be de rigeur before primary elections became so expensive that dropping out became the only option as funding dried up. So I think Bernie should use every ounce of bargaining power he has today to help force change at the Democratic convention.

    #5: There’s no question Clinton is intelligent, and a great politician. She’s done good work on issues she cares about, and she’s worked hard for years. The problem for me comes down to how she makes decisions, who helps shape those decisions for her, and whether her “shift to the left” is more than simple pandering to an electorate. Her stances have been moderate at best, and really in line with republicans of the 1900s. I could go through in depth on the issues I’ve had with her over the last decade or two—Honduras, Haiti, Libya, and Syria, the Clinton foundation’s middle east involvement, her Wall Street ties, her strong promotion of increasing fracking, even the time she cancelled her trip to San Francisco when we started marrying gays and lesbians, and turned around to give a speech about the sacred bond of marriage being between a man and a woman—but suffice it to say, I don’t believe that these represent a progressive candidate. She’s far more progressive when it comes to gender equality, and I appreciate everything she’s done for that.

    So while she’s unequivocally qualified to be president, I don’t tend to vote for even moderate Republicans, so this election presents a terrible moral dilemma. The focus is on defeating Trump, but that’s such a terrible focus for a presidential campaign, I don’t even know what to say. I will of course do what needs to be done in the fall, but the political revolution Bernie has helped spark is the sort of progressive agenda that transcends a political campaign. To me, you don’t fight bigotry with “slams” or attempts to discredit Trump, you fight bigotry with vision, with unity, and with a positive path forward.

    As Bernie always says, “No president, not Bernie Sanders, not anyone else, can do this alone. This movement is up to you. Change always happens from the bottom on up, it never happens from the top on down. This is your political revolution for social, economic, racial, and environmental justice, and you will shape the future of this nation far beyond this campaign.” That’s how you inspire a generation, and I hope he continues that message as long as possible, and I hope Hillary works to accept more of the message of the political revolution, and, in turn, wins over supporters of this greater movement.

  130. We’re never going to get anywhere like this. There will already be some horrible terrible no good evil we must run to the middle in order to prevent. We will never have a progressive leader in this country. Because this exact story — “we can’t let THEM win” — will always play out exactly the same. As a result, we have doomed ourselves to a corporatist reactionism, begrudgingly being dragged through history while the governments and reformations we inspired shoot past us in every single metric that’s worth anything to common people. That’s what “being with her” means. That’s the inevitable logical conclusion. We can never truly progress, and we will never catch up, because we will always be forced into mediocrity out of fear. And neither will the Democratic party, because thanks to all this, *it will never have to!*

    That’s the future we give ourselves and those who come after us by giving in. Not a leading country, not a better country, but one completely frozen. One might even say, petrified.

  131. The big question of this election is now much easier to parse: “Do you want a Supreme Court that leans to the left or the right?” has become “Do you want Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump nominating at least one person to the Supreme Court and deciding its ideological makeup for the next ten-to-thirty years?”.

    With Clinton, you can count on her nominating someone that the DNC will approve of, which means a more left-leaning SCOTUS, which itself means an ostensible marker of progress going into the future. Maybe not immediate and far-reaching progress, sure, but we’ll see decisions that reaffirm left-leaning ideals more often than not.

    With Trump, you can count on him nominating someone conservative (regardless of GOP approval), which means a more right-leaning SCOTUS, which itself means every possible conservative’s-dream scenario you can think of in that regard. Roe v Wade/abortion rights, worker’s rights, civil rights for racial/gender/sexual minorities—all could be undone as fast as cases can get heard before the court.

    Therein lies the ultimate question of this presidential election, the one that makes this arguably the most important POTUS election of this generation: Who do you want controlling the future of the Supreme Court (and thus the country)?

    Personally: I’m with her.

  132. What phil said at 2:31pm. I like “Be the iceberg.”

    I think pushing Hillary to the left was the most anyone (including Bernie) expected him to accomplish when he entered the race, and all praise to the people who came out for him and made that happen. It’s up to them to make sure she doesn’t forget it, and to help send people to Congress who’ll keep up the pressure.

    The chairman of our local public radio station often remembers the time he heard one legislator groan to another that his constituency was “killing” him on an issue I can’t remember; the “killing” consisted of all of a dozen or two letters (or 15, the number sometimes changes in the retelling). Of course that was in the days when contacting your rep meant calling his or her office or sending snail mail, not just signing an online petition or dashing off a quick e-mail, so I imagine staffers are accustomed to a higher volume of constituent comments now. But they do track what the people at home are concerned about, and if enough of them make a noise attention will be paid.

    In a previous Clinton/Sanders post on Whatever, I mentioned the number of lower-court vacancies the Republicans have stalled on filling, hoping January ’17 will bring them a Republican President to make judicial appointments. This, on 6/4, caught my interest:

    Sen. Marco Rubio blocks confirmation of judge he recommended

    “[Mary] Barzee Flores’ supporters in the legal community — including Miami-Dade, state and national police organizations, as well as prominent former state and federal prosecutors on both sides of the political spectrum — say they are baffled by Rubio’s decision to block her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    “They noted that his reasoning, based on his office’s statement, was contradictory, evasive and reflective of the political divisiveness in the GOP-controlled Senate, which votes on the president’s judicial appointments.

    “It’s unfortunate that Mary has apparently fallen victim to the extreme political partisanship that is plaguing federal judicial nominations,” said former U.S. Attorney Marcos Jimenez, who was appointed by President George W. Bush.”

    The Des Moines Register’s editorial “Grassley ignores judicial crisis and Trump’s racism” is worth a read, too, if only for the final paragraph quoting Edmund Burke and casting doubt on Grassley’s vertebral fitness.

    Judicial activism (as a negative) means different things to those at opposite ends of the political divide; for my money, conferring personhood on corporations and political action committees certainly qualifies. The thought of Donald Trump carrying on the work GWB began with his high court appointments scares me senseless.

  133. Last night I saw a sound bite of Bernie saying “The struggle continues!”

    Well, yes, in the larger sense, the struggle always continues. But Bernie’s run for the Presidency is over, even if he doesn’t want to admit it. I said to Mr. lurkertype, “He’s hit the Old Man Yelling At Clouds stage.” I have vicarious embarrassment for him, like he’s my uncle ranting at a party and I just cringe and wish he’d be more dignified. He’s become increasingly thin-skinned as the campaign went on, and only speaking in general feel-good rhetoric (kinda like Trump).

    I was very puzzled the past week when the Sandersites were so sure that Bernie was going to take CA. He did best in caucuses, low population states, and majority-white states, none of which California is. There are more Hispanics than whites in California, and I’m sure even more, proportionately in the Democratic Party. It’s the most populous state. The two highest vote-getters in the open Senate primary were WoC.

    Hillary won fair and square, in delegates, states, and number of votes. It’s math. It’s not feels.

    Trump, of course, is the impending trash fire and must be stopped. If you don’t personally like Hillary, fine, but at least she’s NOT a) unqualified and b) batshit insane. We’re down a Supreme Court judge, and anyone Trump appoints is going to be completely in the tank for unfettered oligarchy. Hold your breath, plug your nose, avert your eyes, gnash your teeth, but vote for Hillary.

    It’s been a thoroughly weird election — Trump wasn’t a Republican before this, and Bernie wasn’t a Democrat. The Repubs who have the automatic reaction of voting for anything with (R) behind the name are only grudgingly behind der Drumpf; Tea Partiers are calling him a RINO. Bernie hasn’t done SQUAT for the down-ticket races (which is where the Congress the Prez works with/against and future candidates come in), which certainly hurts his standing with the DNC/PTB/Dem Congresscritters/rank and file local party workers.

    I myself am further to the left than Hillary, closer to Bernie. But I’m also old enough to know that you gotta make compromises to Get Er Done, and there’s no way Bernie’s agenda gets anything done with the upcoming Congresses. You think Congress vs. Obama has been nasty and useless? That’s nada compared to Congress vs. Bernie. The perfect is the enemy of the good.

    Hillary can keep us from sliding so far right we can’t recover. Nixon was a flaming liberal SJW compared to today’s GOP. Even Reagan’s family isn’t behind Trump and is insulted by the comparison. As a woman who’d like control over my own body, a person who has PoC friends and neighbors (Many are from Mexico! One of them even wears a headscarf and kneels towards Mecca!), trans and married gay pals, and someone who’d really like to get Social Security and Medicare sooner than I care to admit:

    I’m With Her.

    (Also, face it: Bill as First Gentleman is going to be a HOOT.)

  134. I’ve just never liked what you had to think or say and wanted to tell you that. Then I wanted to tell you, you are a DORK. very closely related to a dinosaur- with the latin root erectus.

  135. I’m only a foreigner and it would be rather presumptuous to tell people who to vote for. But if you want to do the rest of the world a solid (and your offspring and descendants and maybe the people of Florida and everyone in the insurance business) please factor climate change in your decison. I promise I will too.

  136. My personal worst-case scenario? Trump names Ted Cruz his running-mate, wins, then resigns within the first month after he’s told he can’t gold-plate Air Force One.

  137. You have insulted lukewarm soup by comparing it with the Trumpeter at all.

  138. I agree that Bill as First Gentleman is going to be a HOOT!

    My support for Sanders has always been about the issues. It is not at all clear to me what the best path Sanders has for furthering his issues. Unfortunately, my two biggest issues are ending eternal wars, and ending Big Business bribing of Congress. Clinton seems to be wedded to the other side from me on those issues. However, Trump reminds me that there is something worse than Big Money owning the government, and that is Demagogues being in charge.

    Maybe Sanders will have some say on who’s the next vice president. Certainly he can be useful in campaigning for Congressmen and Senators who agree with him – which will be very useful to Clinton. I don’t think the party platform means much. He might be able to get Clinton to be stronger in rejecting the TPP. But Trump supporters aren’t about Trump’s promises, they’re about image. And beating him will be about image as well. Can Clinton distance herself enough from “more of the same” with Sanders’ help? I’m not sure.

  139. To be honest, I’d like to see a Clinton/Sanders ticket. Yes, not likely to happen — if nothing else, the Secret Service may not be up to the task of keeping both of them alive. But it would deal with my main concern, which is that a third-party race will hand the White House over to Captain Combover. Or does anyone here think a left-leaning third party candidate stands a chance in Hades of splitting any votes away from the _Republicans_?

    The best outcome for the country would have been a contested Republican convention. Trump would have ditched his “will support the Republican nominee” promise at lightspeed, the Tea Party vote would have been split between Trump and whoever won the contest (who wouldn’t have been him, because he hasn’t been playing nice with the RNC leadership), and the Democratic nominee would have had a clear run. We didn’t get this, and we’re on the edge of getting the reverse — a split Democratic vote, and we’d be damn lucky if the country is still around in four years to vote Trump out of office.

  140. I’m with Hillary and it has nothing to do with the Trump horrorshow. I’m still reminded of Ross Douthat’s (great name for a…I won’t say it) column that said that the Republican convention is rigged enough to take out people like Trump.

    Except that The Don is the culmination of everything Republican for the last 60 years.

    Like Putin do I want to imagine how many times Trump has said “take him out” over the years, (beat up and…nope, I won’t say it). After all he had to compete with Seymour Durst (All Good Things) back in the day and besides he had his ex-lawyer Roy Cohn to take care of the nasty stuff.

  141. There have been a lot of articles being shared around Facebook in the course of the campaign. I am sharing one of the links I read today, because I don’t want this message to get lost in the noise.

    If this article is indicative of how Sanders’ campaign treated people who didn’t fit their picture of an “ideal supporter” then this is why he lost. You win campaigns by bringing people who want to support you on board, not by dismissing their concerns and turning them away. In this case, the author was originally for Bernie, and was won over by Hillary after the Sanders campaign blew her off. Who knows how many other people out there might have supported him, only they were never made to feel included?

  142. @Cat So many people of privilege seem to disregard the damage that Trump would do to others and say they’d take the easy way out. I deeply appreciate your refusal to do that and your recognition that it’s not all about you personally. Seeing that written out in public is wonderful. Thank you.

  143. A lot of the criticisms I’ve seen of Clinton are for characteristics that don’t get noticed in men. Those making those criticisms will deny up and down that they are sexist, but I think they are fooling themselves. But it is undeniable that she’s in Wall Street’s pocket and supports our current Military/war strategies.

    I will be watching polls closely. If it appears that my state will go one way or another, I will vote for Stein. I recommend that others who are normally either Democratic or Republican supporters also decide to vote for the third party candidate closest to their philosophical positions – provided that vote doesn’t help get Trump elected.

    While we’ve been mostly a two party nation – those two parties haven’t always been the same. If the Democrats have turned into what the Republicans used to be, maybe we can hope that Trump kills the Republican party and we will have the Democratic party and a new 2nd party.

  144. If you find yourself frustrated with voting for “the lesser of two evils” or worrying that candidate X will be a spoiler, find ways to encourage and support Instant Runoff Voting AKA Ranked Choice Voting. Want to express that your first choice is the Green candidate, but that you’d take Hillary as a second choice? With Instant Runoff Voting, you can do exactly that. Not only is it a way to begin deconstructing the chokehold the two “major” parties have on the political process, there’s evidence that it leads to less negative campaigning, increases voter turnout, and absolutely saves money by doing away with separate runoff elections.

  145. Dear John,

    I’m going to take on the question of why and how someone could REASONABLY AND INTELLIGENTLY vote third party… Because that’s exactly what I did in 2004.

    (Note to all readers: this is not a derailing rehash of a 12-year-old election. If you disagree with my assessment of either of the candidates in 2004, that’s fine, but this isn’t about whether we assessed them the same way, it’s about how I assessed them and why I reacted the way I did. So, let’s try not to go there, okay?)

    In 2004, I voted Green. For the first time in my life, in any kind of the major election, I did not vote Democrat. Why? Very simply, because I did not want Kerry to win. That is NOT equivalent to wanting Bush to win. Honestly, at that time, Bush was the very worst president I could imagine, after Nixon (for those who think he was worse, I would note that Bush was not demonstrably insane; Nixon was). Yes, they correlate, but they are not the same positions.

    The reason I took that course was that Kerry campaigned on a platform that wasn’t even DINO. He advocated a number of policies that were repugnant to me, that I would’ve expected to hear from the mouths of what then passed for moderate Republicans. If he were elected and those policies became part of the standard Democratic position, then the Democrats became my enemies. They would not be looking out for my interests on many key issues; they would be looking out for the opposite.

    I’ve already got an enemy in one of the two major parties. The Republicans manage to fill that role quite well. While the Democrats have been a hugely weak-sauce friend ever since 1992, they haven’t actually been my enemy, they’ve just been mostly ineffectual and hamstrung by their conservative wing. Kerry would’ve cemented that conservatism as the norm; he pushed it to new levels. It would’ve made the Democrats my enemy, not as big an enemy as the Republicans, true but I really didn’t need BOTH major parties being my enemy. Really, not!

    Consequently, for (what I consider to be) the good of the future of the party, I voted third party and I am happy that Kerry lost. I am not happy that Bush won. Still, I am happy that we were able to dispose of Kerry. There are times when the “lesser of two evils” may not be sufficiently lesser, and that was one of them.

    A lot of folks like to talk about the “bigger picture.” In this election, why it isn’t about whether or not you like Clinton, but about the possibility of Trump, the Supreme Court, etc. etc. Well, there is also the “bigger picture” of the future of the party, where it is going and what it will turn into. I was willing to sacrifice one election because I saw the Democrats chosen candidate as a clear and present danger to the party I wanted to see in existence, the party that might possibly represent me.

    I am still convinced that was the right call. More importantly, it was a thoughtful and considered call. It was not naïveté or lack of realism or experience with the party system. I analyzed the future and decided a course change was necessary, even if it meant a one-time sacrifice.

    Those are legitimate reasons for voting third-party.

    Now, do I feel that way about Clinton? No. I don’t like her as a candidate. She is somewhat to the right and somewhat more hawkish than Obama, who turned out to be quite the disappointment, partly through his own failings and mostly because of the machinations of the conservative wing of Democrats. But she is only somewhat less palatable than Obama and I can live with it. Her platform does not move the party massively to the right, as Kerry’s did.

    I would’ve much, much referred that Sanders had the nomination. The last time I can recall there being a genuinely progressive viable candidate was Upton Sinclair. I think there’s a good chance I will not live to see the next one. I’m hugely disappointed the Sanders won’t be the nominee. But I can vote for Clinton. She’s not another Kerry.

    But… There are people who have concluded that Clinton is just as bad for the future of the Party as I felt Kerry was. If they decide to vote third party, it is not because they don’t care about the Democrats, it is because they care deeply about the Party and don’t like what it has become.

    That doesn’t make them extremist loners. Polling shows that support by the rank-and-file for both parties is astonishingly low. A very small fraction of the voting populace thinks either party is serving their interests. (Which is how the Republicans got Trump and we almost got Sanders.)

    You can… And do… disagree with that assessment. It’s still a respectable position and it is not one born of childishness or naïveté. And, frankly, it’s insulting when you suggest that is all it is.

    pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery
    — Digital Restorations

  146. For those thinking about moving to Canada, there is this piece ( which includes the following important consideration:
    “…there’s also a moral dimension to the “I’m moving to Canada if Trump wins” movement. Why do you want to seek out a new home country if Trump is president? To escape possible persecution? You’re not a refugee. You’re not escaping neighborhoods turned to rubble or death by firing squad. Trump must still contend with US law and procedure. He can’t just divine through sheer desire, and the military won’t attack on his command. His own party wants nothing to do with him, so who is left? His supporters.

    And this gets to the real reason I think moving away to escape Trump makes no sense. Whether or not Trump becomes president, those who support his bigotry will still live in the United States. Leaving creates a vacuum that will be happily filled by those who want to see the Trump legacy flourish. Their votes mean more when fewer people vote. Their voices amplify when those who would protest go on vacation.

    It might be a better life for you, but what about those people who don’t have the means to leave? They will be forced to fight the Trump agenda without support from those who left them behind.”

  147. Incidentally, that last post by ctein? One of the reasons I still have comments. Smart, detailed, informative — and telling me I’m wrong. Love it.

  148. Making a list here of things women aren’t allowed to do: Change their clothes. Wear out of fashion clothes. Change their hair. Grow old.
    Basically- PIck one style when you are 20 and stick with it for the rest of your life or else no one can trust you because clearly you are having an identity crisis. A varied wardrobe is a sign of weakness.
    Seriously- grow up. Nobody give three farts what the male candidates wear. No one asks where they bought it or how much they paid.

  149. Wow! awesome comments. (some tears)
    Young people, yeah vote your hearts.
    I’m hoping the song will get made somewhere.

    (Oh I so want Hill to crush T.)

  150. Trump is a blowhard buffoon who cannot actually do a single thing he has talked about without the approval of the Congress.

    Clinton, on the other hand, actually subverted and/or ignored the rules, and threatened national security by doing so, while in a position of power and authority as Secretary of State.

    Neither gets my vote in November, not that it matters.

    If it turns out to be Trump v Clinton then Trump will win the popular vote, and Clinton will secure the Presidency via Electoral College.

    And then we see what happens when one third of the country (the ones with lots of guns and hatred) go nuts.

    And after that we settle back into the unchecked corporate handouts, further cuts to civil and social services, and bombing brown people to get business opportunities in other countries.

    Which, apparently, is what we the people want.

  151. Two things people will fight about the most is Politics and religion.
    Great post, and some comments are pretty good as well some of them as big as your post :)
    At the end of the day, it is absolutely irrelevant who will end up in white house,
    because nothing will change, going to happen what ever going to happen.
    If Trump will end up in oval office, it might be entertaining first year, after that he will disappear in everyday work like everyone else did before him.
    Either way, great post…

    Love and Health,
    Alex Moses

  152. If all things were equal, I’d be closer to Sanders than Clinton on issues.

    But all things are not equal, and my determination was that Sanders was not the man to bring his issues into reality. And I thought a) Clinton was sufficiently close enough to do what Sanders couldn’t and B) if she failed, it’s be a HELL of a lot easier for a more competent candidate to solve this issues with her administration than it would be with a Republican administration—cleaning up 4-8 years of mess takes a lot of energy and money that could be used better elsewhere.

    But Sanders’ run was good; it showed that you could win an election with his issues. (I just wish he wasn’t so damned incompetent….).

  153. nicoleandmaggie:

    There’s a problem for WOMEN when you demand that they dress like you want them to dress. Personally I am perfectly comfortable with Hillary Clinton outsourcing her wardrobe to a consulting company because her impressing YOU is not something I care about in a president. But you hurt women when you suggest that your approval of her style choices is something that actually matters. I mean seriously.

    I neither approve nor disapprove of Clinton’s clothes or hairdo; I only noted that her frequent changes suggested a discomfort with her self-image. I wouldn’t even have noticed if Marcia hadn’t brought it to my attention.

    And yes, though it’s rarer, men do get some flak for their hair and clothing: John Edwards for his haircuts, Al Gore for his earth-tone garb, Jimmy Carter for his cardigan. Such comments are intended make a male candidate seem effeminate, because of course real men aren’t supposed to care about their appearance.

  154. Not the end of the road. This is Rivendell after the Ford of Bruinen. The hard part of this road is still to come.

  155. @Bruce K
    You wrote “Also, the current governor of Massachusetts is a Republican, so if Warren vacated her Senate seat, a Republican would be appointed to complete the last two years of her term,”

    Not so. According to Massachusetts law, there has to be a special election to replace Warren within a few months of the vacancy.

  156. yndy Green says:
    June 8, 2016 at 8:24 pm
    Um…New Jersey one of the biggest states? Take a look at a map.

    Population, delegate count, not square miles.
    Acreage doesn’t vote.

    (This issue actually fuels a lot of conservative angst – red/blue state U.S. maps don’t reflect voters – some of those big red areas are relatively empty.)

  157. “supporting a lot of ostensibly liberal positions for philosophically classically conservative reasons”

    I would love to read a post about this, I have liked all of your election-related posts and agreed with a lot of them, and it is clear from your blog in general that you don’t fit any of the obvious political stereotypes.

  158. @Theo

    See Alice’s comment above. Also, nice job blaming Marcia. Again, you’re talking about rare exceptions. Obama wore a taupe suit once and mom jeans once. That’s like two drops in the ocean of what any woman has to put up with. They’re novel because of how rare they are.

    If you want to not be a sexist jerk, just don’t comment on women’s clothing choices. You SERIOUSLY believe that Clinton’s clothing choices have anything to do with her self-image? That is such sexist BS. Even if Marcia, whoever that is, says it.

    And it is harmful to women. What the hell are we supposed to wear so that jerks don’t think we are unfit for our jobs? There is no answer.

  159. I’m a Hillary supporter, and worried about the Bernies not coming around to her. I will point one and all to your excellent piece here. It beats my standard reply of “You don’t have to invite Hillary to dinner…” But I think we are both making a similar point.

  160. @Cyndy Green
    If one uses the metric of number of delegates, rather than square miles of geographic area, New Jersey is, in fact, one of the biggest states. Seeing as how the number of delegates is the topic at hand, it seems the most logical metric to use.

    Why is it your automatic assumption that the most likely reason she routinely changes her hair or wardrobe stems from a “discomfort with her self-image”? I can think of many other possible reasons off the top of my head (a sense of adventure, an outlet for her creativity, a conscious rejection of ingrained habits, a genuine lack of concern, …). The fact that you brought this topic up in the first place and keep insisting that it implies something dark and nefarious about her says more about your personality than hers, I fear.

  161. And since I live in Ohio — one of the vaunted “swing states” — my vote may actually help push the state toward electoral sanity.

    Worth emphasis. For those who do not live in swing states (like me, prior to 2014) protest votes or strategic votes for the Greens or whatever are good and reasonable ways to make your wishes for Party change known. Parties really do look at those totals.

    For those who are in swing States and still value your purity over the lives and welfare of millions of real breathing people (not to mention the minor matter of greenhouse gasses) I can only hope you (and the rest of us) get lucky so you don’t have to explain to your hypothetical grandchildren that you stood aside in 2016.

    Now: a happy thought. At least for me and I hope John and some of you others:

    The eldest daughter of the first African-American President of the United States is 18 this year and will have the opportunity to cast her first vote for the first woman President. Does that totally rock or what?

  162. Heck, if certain polls are to be believed, UTAH is a swing state in a Trump/Hillary race.

  163. Yeah appearance shouldn’t be an issue and bulletproof vests do look bulkier on a 5′ 6 ” woman than on a 6 foot guy.

    All those looking for someone older like Warren or Bernie for VP better check up on the rules to replace a VP if the President dies or the VP does – it needs a Senate confirmation vote and that’ll be a disaster after the Dems screw up the midterms again.

  164. Living in Australia has given me a very different perspective on many of these issues. The biggest being how the two healthcare systems stack up, and how even the “conservative” party wouldn’t dream of rolling back the DHS to something like what the GOP seems to think is a good idea. That’s what frustrates me most about all this electioneering is how tribal it gets on some of these hot button issues when most of the votes don’t even *care* about them. It’s just one party or the other picking these issues for show while ignoring the ones that matter. The biggest issues for me are Environment, Health and Welfare, and avoiding stupid wars. I believe both candidates on the Democrat side would match up pretty well with my preferences and no one in the GOP side does.
    I understand not liking Clinton, and wanting some kind of viable multiparty system so you can vote for someone that fits your views better. But seeing a multi-party system in action, I’ve noticed that unless you have a runaway majority, the person who gets to be PM is often not only disliked by voters, but can and often are disliked so much that they are backstabbed and replaced by other people *in their own coalition*. And the Greens (to use an example) have enough votes to pick up seats, but are still only occasionally able to get something they want passed.
    As much as I want politics to be about what’s best for everyone, so much of it is about ambitious people duking it out and pushing for things (like taxes, business regulations, etc.) that the average voter doesn’t care about but the average campaign contributer does. And it doesn’t matter which country you’re in, it’s just the same annoying BS with a slightly different spin on how it gets settled.

  165. Tom Combs

    “P.S… Stevie, this forum is not a place for whatever bullshit personal attack you decided to attempt. It’s beneath all of us.’

    It appears that you have failed to understand that this isn’t a forum; there is only one person responsible for Whatever; it’s Scalzi. You obviously haven’t even bothered to read his house rules, much less take them seriously.

    If he had concluded that I was making a bullshit personal attack he would have malletted it. I wasnt, and he didn’t.

    I was, in fact, trying, from an European perspective to explain to the people over the pond that it was utterly ludicrous to imagine that Germany would award visas to Sander’s flouncing supporters.

    Similar posts have dealt with your similar claims about Canada, which is hugely unsurprislng, since they arise from the same delusions. In the meantime I shall carry on commenting as I see fit, within Scalzi’s rules.

    He is, I am sure, a wonderful person but his attitude to Whatever is very similar to that of Sygny Mallory and her ship:

    ‘No one runs Norway but me so long as Im in any way to say so’

  166. But seeing a multi-party system in action, I’ve noticed that unless you have a runaway majority, the person who gets to be PM is often not only disliked by voters, but can and often are disliked so much that they are backstabbed and replaced by other people *in their own coalition*.

    Sounds like we should file this under “Be Careful What You Wish For….”

  167. The people of Iran wanted a revolution in 79 to overthrow the monarchy. The Democrats, Socialists, and Marxists thought the revolution was going to bring democracy and the religious extremists rushed in, took over, and crushed the reformers. The Sanders people who think 4 years of Trump is the punishment we all deserve and that it will somehow bring forth the revolution they envision are truly misguided.

  168. To those of you talking about the limits or even impossibility of emigrating to various other countries (ostensibly to evade the inevitable misery of a Trump presidency), there certainly are rules in each country that can make it difficult. Out of curiosity I looked into the possibility of my wife and I emigrating to a number of countries as retirees. Turns out we’d be welcome just about anywhere if we are accompanied by our mid-seven figure investment portfolio. Apparently having a shit ton of money as a retiree is the equivalent of having a medical degree if one is still working. But this was merely an exercise in curiosity; we’re not leaving even if Trump beats the overwhelming odds and wins the general. However, I would probably convert our Vanguard Total Stock Index Fund into duffel bags full of cash in the crawlspace. Go Hillary!

  169. Heads up to folks: I’ll be turning off the comments before I go to sleep. Probably in the next hour or so. They’ll be back on in the morning.

  170. Ctein: “I’m going to take on the question of why and how someone could REASONABLY AND INTELLIGENTLY vote third party…”

    Oh for pete’s sake. No. I am sick to death of this nonsense. People voting for president have about 1/100,000,000th of a voice in the outcome. Voting third party silences that voice.

    Look, people in power only care about power. Hillary didnt tack left in the primary because it was the moral thing to do. She did it because Bernie brought power to bear and she had to respond or possibly lose the primary. The rules of presidential elections reinforce a system where the candidates split the electorate in half. As someone said above, the 2 party system is practically baked into the constitution. Any individual has entirely miniscule effect on the outcome of the election, but even then, what little power you have can only have effect if you vote for one of the two most likely to win candidates. Any other vote is zero power, zero influence, on the outcome.

    The third party myth is that their vote will “send a message” and force the parties to realign. It is nothing more than a power fantasy. Its like all the silly stuff we tell ourselves to avoid facing our own mortality. We are all going to die. And our votes have only a very very very tiny effect on the outcome of an election. The “vote third party to send a message” myth is on par with “die in a holy war to get 72 virgins in the afterlife”. It is a promise of nothing to convince you to do something against your personal interest.

    People need to face the facts of how the system works and maybe then they will see how badly they are disenfranchised: no instant runnof means party hacks pick the candidates, the electoral college system means your voice is muted even morr if you live in a big state because every state gets EC votes based on the population PLUS 2 so small states have more voice, and if you live in a state where all electoral college votes goes to the winner and you tend to vote opposite thd state majority of voters, your voice is completely silenced, and on and on and on.

    Voting third party in a presidential election throws away what little voice you have. And most times someone says they voted third party it comes packed with a power myth that magically grants them MORE power when they actually got less. Or it comes packed with an indulgence of “principle”, which is a different version of 72 virgins. You threw your only voice away and got some mythical “principles” instead. Whatever.

    The one time voting third party for president makes sense is when both candidates are both equidistant from YOU. If not, you either vote for the one closest to you, or you have zero effect entirely while possibly telling yourself some myth about some reward in the afterlife you will get as compensation for throwing your vote away.

    I hate Hillary’s war votes, she loves sending other people to war. I hate that she got millions of dollars from wall street and banks and big business, and I fucking hate the stupid myths her supporters tell about how it wont influence her behavior as president. Of COURSE it will influence her behavior. Am I supposed to believe Wall Street is this bottomless pit of insatiable greed but their political campaign donations are altruistic donations with zero expectations? Yeah, thats right up there with the myth of 72 virgins. I absolutely despise Trump, his bigotry, his compensating for having tiny hands, and hes just about as dumb as a box of rocks.

    So,come election day, I will throw up a little in my mouth and vote Hillary. Because thats the ONLY way my vote has any influence at all.

    The fundamental problem isnt the candidates. Thd fundamental problem is the voting system itself. The perfect system, you still only get 1/100,000,000 of a vote. But then the American system of voting for president strips away what little voice we have until there is an order of magnitude less. But thats what they want. The folks seeking power want you to stay home. Tk vote third party. To throw your vote away, because it means a small group of dedicated assholes can have huge influence, not mythical influence, but real, actual power. The tea party got power by going into local primaries, getting their people on the R ballot, and letting party loyalty get them elected in the general.

    Any justification to vote third party is a myth propagated by people wanting to disenfranchisr you. And adopted by people who cant accept that even in the best situation they only have 1/100,000,000 of a voice, and so swallow the story of a reward in th afterlife or afterelection.

    The only way to exert any actual power is to vote for one of the two main candidates in the presidential election, and then do everything in your power to fix the damn system before the next election.

  171. Stevie: “it was utterly ludicrous to imagine that Germany would award visas to Sander’s flouncing supporters.”

    Be sure to put a little extra sneer on the end there, think empirial officer saying “rebel scum”.

  172. Ctein

    A vote for third party only hurts you and helps all the other candidates running. Trying to justify a third party vote invariably promises etheral rewards in exchange for acting against your own best interests. You have essentially forwarded the religion of the third party vote, with its promise of great (but nonexistent) reward in the afterlife to balance the cost of throwing away your vote in the real world.

    Shorter still, if you die in a holy war, you get 72 virgins in heaven. And if you vote third party in a us presidential election, you influence politics mightily.

    Even short: stop with the creationism.

  173. Bernie will continue because he has little to gain but nothing to lose. A position on Hillarys’ team? Ridiculous! As if she’d forgive him for obstructing her coronation. It’s a shame, because if he costs her the general election, things will be even worse.

    PS, if you’re in a state (like here in Mass.) that you *know* will go a certain way, voting third party is the only way to make your vote count for *anything*. I’ll cast my one lone vote for ‘neither’. Not that they’ll get the message…

  174. Dear Greg,

    Still ignoring, ’cause you’re still not paying attention to what I said. But what else is new.

    Done with you. No more exchanges. Byeeee.


  175. I’ve always been leaning slightly more towards HRC, but I’m glad BS ran his campaign. (BS as in Bernie Sanders, not ye olde pile of BS that’s the Republican party right now.)
    BS has some very great ideals which appeal to my jaded social democrat heart and I think he has given certain social issues and his supporters a loud, angry man voice and he has been heard. And I think he should work with HRC to see what issues she can (and should) take on board.

  176. Ctein: ” 2004, I voted Green. For the first time in my life, in any kind of the major election, I did not vote Democrat. Why? Very simply, because I did not want Kerry to win.”

    Then you vote for Bush.

    But since you didnt want Bush to win either, then you stay the hell home and not vote because voting thir party isnt worth the gasoline for the trip to the voting station.

    What you did was hate Bush really bad, hate Kerry not quite as bad, and then voted third party which let the guy you hated most win. And then you patted yourself on the back about it.

    It is 72 virgins kind of math.

  177. FWIW, as a Sanders voter, I second Our Good Host’s comments. Mostly.

    It’s not like this hasn’t come up, oh, just about every time. The people saying it didn’t matter whether Nixon or Humphrey won in ’68 if they couldn’t get Gene McCarthy were dead wrong. The people who advised me in ’76 that it no longer mattered whether Carter or Ford won after I could no longer get Sen. Frank Church were dead wrong. Every time, it’s been catastrophically bad advice, and this year the chasm in competence, maturity, and basic sanity between the two likely nominees couldn’t be bigger.

    I personally hope Sanders goes to the mat, wringing every possible bit of influence he can out of his large and respect-worthy faction at the convention, and makes the best possible case of being the stronger candidate for November. If as seems very likely he’s not chosen, I hope and expect he and my fellow Sanders supporters will do the right thing and back the party’s candidate. Immediately and fully, like an adult who lives in the real world, and none of this talk of doing a Ralph Nader with the Greens, please.

  178. Comments off for the night. See you all in the morning.

    Update: Comments back on.

    Also, Greg, I see you’ve started the “I’m ramping up the rhetoric for no special reason” games. Please bring it down a notch. There’s a reason people repeatedly tell you they don’t want to engage with you.

  179. The New York Daily News got it wrong, she was NOT the first woman candidate for President…she’s just the first woman presumably nominated by a major party. And for those of you who say you don’t like her, but would rather vote for her than for Trump, I’ll remind you that “the lesser of two evils is STILL EVIL”.
    As for my vote, I’m not telling, you don’t need to know, and it’s called a “secret ballot” for a good reason.
    Have a nice day.

  180. Your idea that Hillary “fell in line” early on in 2008 is wrong. She stayed in the race until the second to last day of the convention, even implying that she was doing so in case Obama got assassinated, which is a weird thing for a presidential candidate to say. Because of the insane intentionally disenfranchising superdelegate system the dems have set up, it is perfectly within Sanders rights to try to get them in his side until they vote at the convention. They are not allowed to vote before then. If he can convince him that he’s is the better candidate against Trump, which all polls indicate at this point,S Anders leading by double digits and Hillary in a dead heat, then the superdelegates, as designed should switch to sanders. That’s what they’re there for. Hillary is the one candidate that can lose to Trump because of all her baggage and by nominating her the Dems appear to be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory yet again, like Kerry in 2004. Hilary will get zero independent or Republican crossover votes, Bernie would get tons. I know lots of people who identify as Republican and voted for Obama in 2008 and would consider sanders this election but would never vote for Clinton. 25 years of fox news propaganda has worked. They believe all of it, hook line and sinker. As a result, sanders would beat Trump handily but a race against Clinton would probably be a coin flip because she will get no crossover votes.

  181. Another reason Sanders needs to stay in is to make sure his policy positions that were so unauthentically adopted by Clinton throughout the campaign stay part of the Democratic platform and he potentially gets a position in her gov, like Hilary got sec of state, I’m sure that was secured before she dropped out on second to last day of convention. If he drops out now, Hilary will shift so far to the right, sanders positions that she tried to adopt as her own will be distant memories. By staying in, he keeps her the progressive she pretended to throughout the primary process. And if the superdelegates look at the polls and see he is the better candidate vs Trump, he becomes the nominee. Hilary will never have enough pledged delegates to win outright, she needs the superdelegates and they can’t vote until the convention. A lot can happen before then.

  182. Oops. Didn’t realize that Massachusetts had special elections for vacant US Senate seats. It wouldn’t surprise me, however, for Clinton to privately offer Warren first refusal on the second slot on the ticket, and for Warren to decline the honor, and then for both of them to go public with it.

    One thing that puzzles me is the number of people who take it as given that Hillary Clinton is irredeemably corrupt and vile. I’ve been observing US politics since I was young, back when nobody knew Bill Clinton from Joe Shlabotnik, back when Reagan’s team had the audacity to sell arms to Iran in exchange for hostage releases, and then to funnel that money to the Nicaraguan rebels – I distinctly remember seeing that report and thinking come on, they couldn’t be that brazen, could they? – and I think I’ve seen just about the entirety of the arc of Hillary Clinton’s political career … and yet, somehow I’m strangely unconvinced of the ineffable horror of Hillary Clinton as President…

  183. Stevie –
    We should hold ourselves to a better standard and not make Scalzi have to babysit personal attacks. We’re in his space and should act accordingly.

    That and your clicking on my facebook as you did would have revealed that I used to live in Germany so your ignorant attack on my supposed ignorance was sad and unnecessary.

    But good for your increased sense of self-worth. Hope it got you through your day.

  184. Clinton is my second choice, inferior to Sanders, but so much better than Trump, who seems to be a test case for Garrison Keillor’s “Worst Case Scenario, inc.”. I’m also counting on Hillary sharing some of Bill’s ability to react creatively to changes in wind direction, and it won’t be as easily blown off as it was eight years ago, when Kucinich was crushed in the primaries.

  185. Something that I think gets overlooked in this is the question of what would have happened had Sanders won despite losing the Popular Vote and the Delegates.

    It would have given the Election to Trump in the same way that the Republicans nominating Cruz over Trump would have given it to the Democrats. You simply can’t ignore the overwhelming will of your base and win. It sucks when you’re in the minority, but, it would suck more to be in the majority and get ignored.

    For all that we talk about how democracy is broken, this primary has proven pretty clearly that we still have it. The fact that the person you like lost by 25% of their total vote means they didn’t run the right campaign, not that the election was flawed.

  186. “Hillary is the one candidate that can lose to Trump because of all her baggage and by nominating her the Dems appear to be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory yet again, like Kerry in 2004. Hilary will get zero independent or Republican crossover votes, Bernie would get tons.”

    It looks that way in polls right now (or at least it did a week or two ago.) But if Bernie DID get the nomination, that illusion of superiority over Hillary would dissolve in a barrage of sewage-soaked negative campaigning from the Republicans – hundreds of commercials quoting Bernie on his praise for Ortega and Castro, superimposed on lurid “recreations” of the rally in Nicaragua he attended where attendees were chanting stuff about death to U.S.

    Bernie has received no negative campaigning from the Republicans and has no inkling of it. His losing has spared him it, but I worry that he doesn’t really get how bad it would have been and will end up pouting over Hillary as the true bad guys.

  187. I have never gotten to vote for the person I’d most like to be President. Those people don’t run. Mostly I’ve gotten to vote for the lesser of two evils. I voted for McGovern, and he came pretty close to my ideal, but it was a hopeless case, especially after the Eagleton debacle. Nixon didn’t have to bug DNC headquarters, but he couldn’t miss the chance to stack the deck. I wholeheartedly supported Obama, but he waffled on a lot of stuff I thought important; he even considered

    The President has the power to nominate Supreme Court justices. To me, that decides any Presidential election. Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, Alito — none of them would ever have been on the Court had a Democrat been in office. Carswell and Bork, one incompetent, the other evil, were fortunately blocked in the Senate.

    Would I have liked some candidate other than Clinton? Sure. As I said, no plausible ones were on offer. I always expected that Clinton would be the candidate, and I always expected to vote for her with some degree of comfort. The supposed Republican “deep bench” of seventeen initial prospects didn’t have a single acceptable player, given my bottom-line criterion.

  188. I’m deeply disappointed to discover that Canada is NOT an amazing immigration wonderland created just for the sake of Americans annoyed by our own domestic politics. Another dream shattered.

  189. Oh, yeah, what was it “he even considered”? Cutting Social Security; but that was later, and I didn’t get around to editing it out before posting. Sorry.

  190. Hey, I lived in Canada for six years. Nice place. Maybe I should have stayed.

  191. PhilOoster:

    Your idea that Hillary “fell in line” early on in 2008 is wrong. She stayed in the race until the second to last day of the convention,

    I’d really like to see your working on that, because in 2008 Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed Obama on June 7th. The convention was held on August 25-28th. Clinton’s name was put into the roll call (which has happened before), but its funny how you’ve conveniently forgotten that in a piece of rather absurd but affecting political theatre, Clinton moved to suspend the roll call and nominate Obama by acclimation. Clinton wasn’t muttering about trying to flip superdelegates that she’d previously attacked as undemocratic and downright corrupt Establishment tools. She wasn’t threatening to try and have DNC chair Howard Dean and Obama-supporting members of the rules and platform committees removed.

    So, you win today’s round of False Equivalence Bingo but you don’t win cash and prizes.

    I get that losing sucks. Been there, done that, brought all the merchandise. More than once. You’d have to be utterly inhuman not to have feels when you’ve been campaigning your arse off for over a year. And since America has this charming thing called a secret ballot, I guess everyone can go off and vote for whoever they want to, for whatever reasons they please, and I’ve no business knowing unless you choose to tell me.

    And if you really think Hillary Clinton is the Devil in a blue pantsuit, don’t bloody vote for her. It’s OK. Really. But I’m all the way over hearing — mostly from spectacularly privileged straight white middle class men who are never going be on the bleeding edge of right-wing malice at any level of government — that Hillary is no different from Trump. That’s not just hot steaming bullshit, but astoundingly irresponsible.

    But as Queen Elsa of Arendelle so wisely sung: Sometimes, you’ve just got to admit you’ve lost fair and square then let it go. Or at the very least, show some fraking respect for the sixteen million primary voters who so obviously had the utter gall to disagree with you.

  192. I get how the Sanders people feel. That’s where I was in 2008. I was a diehard Clinton fan who thought the Dem establishment had their finger on the scales for Obama. It pissed me off no end as an older woman who’d paid her dues and worked her butt off for the party (like Hillary) to be supplanted by a young, hip, handsome male. But, when it was over and Hillary said it was over, and told us all to get behind Obama, that’s what I did. And I’m glad I did as I think he’s turned out to be a remarkable president. I’m old enough to know that you don’t win every battle you fight. Sometimes, you have to suck it up and move on.

  193. Pretty good; but no mention of the possibility that Sanders can affect the super-delegate scam in late July. I think he’s going forward with that strategy.

    Well, Robert, I guess he might — and I don’t envy him and his surrogates approaching people he’d previously been attacking as anti-democratic pawns of a corrupt party Establishment. In a grimly amusing kind of way, Sanders and Trump have both been written a pretty sharp reality check in recent days: Shooting your mouth off at a rally may get your base excited and amuse the media. But you better be careful that you don’t take both your feet with it.

  194. I’m afraid if Trump gets in a large number of Americans will quickly qualify as refugees under our (Canadian) rules. It would be our duty to help but we don’t have the infrastructure to accept very many. And we couldn’t exactly start building it up ahead of time.

  195. I’ll remind you that “the lesser of two evils is STILL EVIL”.

    And I’ll remind you that it is STILL LESS EVIL. And the choice you make also includes the consequences of that choice, even if it is to opt out.

    This is not hard to understand.

  196. “It looks that way in polls right now (or at least it did a week or two ago.) But if Bernie DID get the nomination, that illusion of superiority over Hillary would dissolve in a barrage of sewage-soaked negative campaigning from the Republicans – hundreds of commercials quoting Bernie on his praise for Ortega and Castro, superimposed on lurid “recreations” of the rally in Nicaragua he attended where attendees were chanting stuff about death to U.S.”

    That’s the David Brock Hilary bot narrative that’s out there but I don’t buy it. They’ve got five months to try to attack Bernie in that way and I don’t think it would stick, like nothing seems to stick to Trump. Hilary on the other hand has only five months to try to undo 25 years of attacks that most Republicans think are true and would convince them to vote trump over Hilary. Five months is not enough time to undo that. Hilary is an uninspiring candidate, this election is going to be a complete bloodbath which, given the way attacks seem to stick to Hillary and slide off trump without effect, will likely result in president Trump. Sanders would beat him handily because we know what his moral core is. People respect that and know Hilary is a chameleon that changes her positions based on who she’s taking to

  197. As a general note to the people saying they’ll move elsewhere should Der Donald get elected: In addition to the other good reasons pointed out upthread (What makes you think you’d be accepted? What about the people who *cannot* move? Leaving increases the proportion of the batshit insane!), I add my own – What makes you think any place on Earth would be safe should DT become POTUS? Hell, *any* person the GOP would find acceptable as Presidential timber would be a disaster for our planet. DT would just make it faster and messier.

  198. The political compass site people have linked to looks dubious to me. The scoring is a black box and my result on the test puts me to the left of Bernie Sanders, which is not correct.

  199. Isn’t there something in some holy book or other that states that all human beings have some amount of evil in them? Given that, I think it’s fair to look at the comparative weight of “evils”. You want someone without even the slightest touch of evil? I can only suggest looking in the pantheons, and being prepared to spend a long time looking even so.

  200. @PhilO
    Uninspiring to YOU, but your demographic is becoming increasingly unimportant. Diversity hurts when you’ve been the group in power, but it’s pretty inspiring for the rest of us.

  201. When faced with a Trump ratchet up the fear.
    But that’s not the point.
    Bernie to stay in because the more power he accumulates, the more he hobbles Hillary’s right of center views.
    She may win the election, but she needs to know that she does NOT have a mandate.
    That she HAS to compromise within her own party.
    My battle cry for the foreseeable future is HOBBLE HILLARY.
    Force her to compromise or make her a one-term president.

  202. Both candidates are flawed and at this point it’s about choosing the person who’s best at keeping the ship from running aground.

    Clinton’s problem is she has no vision — yeah, she’s got all the experience and has been around government for decades — but she doesn’t do a good job of providing a roadmap other than “continuing Obama’s legacy and barriers.” Obama is responsible for his legacy and agenda. If she were smart she’d have run as if she was running against an incumbent Republican thereby forcing her to delineate differences, aspirations, and goals for the country (in a word VISION). Breaking down barriers and crib-noting Sander’s passions just won’t do and voters sense it and I would bet Sanders supporters resent it.

    Trump — wrong and Biff-like as he is — at least has a “vision,” wrong though it might be he at least shows he can motivate people and at the end of the day that’s one of the most important jobs of a president. Despite what people think it’s Congress’s job to make the laws, the president implements and enforces, that is their constitutional duty. But that’s the most “kind” thing I can say about him without the mallet.

    If you can’t sell your vision or have no vision, you won’t motivate Congress to make it reality for America, just ask FDR, LBJ or Reagan.

  203. “And I’ll remind you that it is STILL LESS EVIL”, and this somehow justifies it, and you voting for it?



    This is not hard.

  204. but she doesn’t do a good job of providing a roadmap other than “continuing Obama’s legacy and barriers.”

    This is a perfectly good roadmap.It is an incrementalist viewpoint to be sure. And it’s not sexy. But you’ll see women’s rights taken a lot more seriously. You’ll see the needs of minorities continue to be taken seriously. That means a lot to her coalition.

  205. THEM: “If Trump wins, we’re moving to Canada.”
    ME: I’ll buy you a ticket. We’re going to be pretty busy here and you’ll just get in the way.

    THEM: “It doesn’t matter who’s president. It’s just one CEO or another.”
    ME: Before we go any further, I want you to sell your house, quit your job, donate your entire net worth to charity and move into a shelter. Call me in a month and then we can discuss your political opinions.

  206. @Moderate Realist:

    I encourage you to poke around her webpage and to listen to her speeches. There’s vision in the speeches and more detailed policy discussion/recommendation and good thoughtful stuff (in my professional opinion) than I’ve seen in my lifetime. (What’s her vision? You can see my soundbites from an earlier post, or go to her twitter feed, or watch her speeches… it’s pretty clear what she sees for America. And that’s an America I want to live in.)

    People, you keep *saying* these things but it’s like you’re repeating Republican talking points and not actually looking or listening.

    Also, I read a great article the other day talking about why the strategy of building on Obama rather than “revolution” is working. It’s working because things have gotten perceptibly better for minorities and women under Obama. (Professionally, I have to admit there are things that have gotten worse, but for most women and minorities, the answer to “are you better off than you were 7-8 years ago” is YES.) The people who want revolution want to go back to a time when it was great to be a white guy, but not so great to be anyone else. That’s what “Make America Great Again” means (though HRC put it far more eloquently in her speech). That’s part of why Sanders and Trump have been doing better for those demographics, but Clinton has been winning over the majority of this great nation.

    A silent minority that doesn’t want to get attacked for speaking up– I’ve been reading more and more of those articles too. Who are the Hillary voters? Mostly people who don’t want to be harassed. But as it becomes safer to be excited about this amazing woman, more people will start speaking up. HRC won my district and my state handily, but it’s only this past week that I’ve started seeing HRC bumper stickers on cars (as opposed to Bernie). Not because she’s boring, but because nobody wants their windows smashed or their car keyed by some disgruntled entitled white dude. When it’s clear the bullies are a minority, it’ll get easier to see people’s enthusiasm.

    Again, it’s a little weird that you’re lecturing someone who is winning, and winning by larger margins than any candidate in recent memory, to take a losing strategy. Hopefully you’ll take a listen and see what she has to say, but if you don’t, well, I hope it isn’t because deep down you prefer Trump’s vision.

  207. VCarlson

    I too am bewildered by the number of people who are not only delusional enough to think they would be greeted with open arms in whatever places they fantasise about, but also their inability to grasp that radioactive slag heaps do not have an inbuilt safety feature ensuring no US citizen will be harmed by them…

  208. I don’t understand the Sanders supporters who think the superdelegates are going to flip in large numbers to support him instead of her.

    Hillary Clinton has handily won the primaries, no matter what measure you use — she’s got the majority of pledged delegates, majority of states and majority of popular votes. Going against all of this, to nominate Bernie Sanders, would be hugely undemocratic, blatantly disregarding the will and wishes of the Democratic voters.

    Furthermore, Clinton has been a Democrat for decades. She’s supported them in different elections on every level, from local and state politics, to the presidential elections. She’s put in time and effort to do so, donating money, organizing and providing volunteers and professional help, giving speeches in support of Democratic causes and candidates, endorsed them and so on. She’s a party insider because she’s worked hard for a long time to support the party.

    Sanders has been in the politics for decades, too, but he only became a Democrat recently, and only so that he could run for the President as a Democrat. He’s notorious for not being a team player, and for all of his talk about a revolution, hasn’t actually done anything to foster and support such a revolution. And he’s spent a lot of time making attacks on the DNC and rest of the democratic party insiders, specifically including the superdelegates, for being “corrupt” and biased and all-around bad.

    So why on Earth would the superdelegates support the guy who not only lost, but has never really supported or helped the Democratic party, and has gone out of his way to attack them, over Clinton who is one of their own, has paid her dues (literally and metaphorically) many times over, and won the primaries by every meaningful measure?

  209. “Sanders lost, and he lost both convincingly and in a way that kicks the legs out of any cogent argument that he has for moving forward ”

    It seems few people have caught on to the effectiveness of the deliberate dirty trickery performed by the AP on Monday. #JillStein

  210. @PhilOoster Why wouldn’t anything stick to Sanders? Especially since a goodly chunk of US voters finds Sander’s moral core abhorrent (it’s mostly the morally abhorrent voters but you have a lot of those). Especially since Sanders has no counter narrative. It’s not like he’s isn’t going to raise taxes and spend money like it’s poisoned water. “Vote for me! I’m almost exactly what my opponents say I am” is not a winning slogan.

    A lot more stuck to Trump that was shown by the primaries. It’s just that a sizeable minority of GOP voters didn’t care what he was covered in because they like the way it smells.

  211. Yeah, I’m afraid I have to agree. Once the GOP started running the ads about ‘Socialist Bernie’ honeymooning in the Soviet Union and communing with the Sandanistas, his unfavorables would skyrocket. The GOP has purposefully not gone after him to this point because they hope it keeps Hilary focused on him and not on their clusterfuck, and because, I’m pretty sure if you put a gun to their collective head, they’d confess they’d much rather run against him in the general.

  212. @PhilOoster

    “That’s the David Brock Hilary bot narrative that’s out there but I don’t buy it. They’ve got five months to try to attack Bernie in that way and I don’t think it would stick, like nothing seems to stick to Trump.”

    I ain’t no bot. And Bernie ain’t Trump. He lacks that quality of shamelessness that would enable him to shrug off attacks (justified or not). We’ve already seen that he doesn’t keep his cool even under the extremely mild negative campaigning he’s received thus far. His bad temper and huffy indignation won’t play well under Republican attacks – people will take it as a sign they hit home.

    And the people who might potentially be willing to follow Bernie – those who his message would resonate with – lack the thick-skinned “who gives a shit if he lies? He’s our man anyway!” attitude of the Trump fans.

    And it doesn’t take five months for a “WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA, BERNIE?!” attack such as Republicans excel at to have an effect on Bernie’s polling. For a lot of people that sort of thing bypasses the cortex and goes straight to the lizard brain – they don’t need to contemplate it extensively for it to affect the way they see Bernie. Showing those pro-Ortega and pro-Castro quotes and putting an anti-American spin on them to the public – many of whom are completely naïve to this information about Bernie’s past – would have a devastating effect on his polls.

    Now, obviously, lots of those people, given the chance to think calmly about it and research it, might change their minds and decide that there wasn’t a lot of substance to those attacks and Bernie’s not so bad after all. But face it – a lot of people will never bother with second thoughts and research. The rest won’t have time to change their minds. Hillary’s recovered from specious attacks because she’s had years to calmly explain herself and for her supporters to examine and dismiss most of the bullshit. Five months won’t be enough for Bernie to BEGIN showering off the load of crap the Republicans would spray him with.

  213. Ctein:

    In the situation you were describing, the best outcome (from your stated point of view) was that Kerry lost, preventing the Democrats from becoming an enemy. The unfortunate reality was that in 2004 the choices were Bush and Kerry and thus, Kerry losing meant Bush winning. In sum therefore, while it can certainly be true that you didn’t want Bush to win in some metaphysical or absolute sense, it would appear from your statements that you wanted Bush to win more than you wanted Kerry to win, which in the real world equates to wanting Bush to win. (E.g. Bush winning might have been your 700000th preferred choice, while Kerry winning might have been your 700001st choice.)

    Fundamentally, you are right that In such a case voting third party could make sense – but a key precondition is that you want the other guy to win. If you preferred Kerry over Bush, voting for someone other than Kerry makes no sense. Obviously, your reasons for preferring a Bush victory were very different from those of right wing Republicans and your reasons for wanting Bush to win mean that there is a difference between your voting for Bush and your voting third party.

    Note though that to achieve your objective, Kerry needed to lose in a way that made it clear that the reason for doing so was taking the positions you found objectionable and it also needed to be clear that taking the positions you found objectionable would not have precluded victory by Kerry. I don’t know what position of Kerry’s you found so horrible. I would think, since this position hasn’t been held by other Democratic Presidential candidates, it is possible for a Dem to win without holding it. However, your vote for the Green Party doesn’t convey what position was problematic, though it does have a higher chance of conveying such information than a vote for Bush or not voting would have.

  214. Are there actually people who would swing from Sanders to a Libertarian?? If so, that betrays a total and willful ignorance both of what government does and of why it exists in the first place. Not to mention a pouty, juvenile “if you won’t play my way I’ll just take my toys and go home” attitude.

    As to four years of President Trump being just what we need to bring on the revolution: anyone who thinks that is conveniently forgetting that the people who want a revolution are the ones voting for Trump. They’re the ones with the most guns, too.

    I lived in the deep South for 22 years and honestly never thought I’d live to see a black President, let alone a female presidential nominee. I’m with her, too.

  215. Mathematically speaking, there are some people to whom Clinton and Trump are both equally bad candidates. They lie on a line between Margaret Thatcher and Stalin. Everyone else, do the math and do the work.

  216. Put this in the counting chickens category, but assuming Hillary is elected, I’d like to see her nominate Bernie to the supreme court vacancy. 1) It acknowledges the progressive left in a way that gives them real power. 2) It keeps him out of her administration where he could be viewed as a sellout and 3) It completely screws over Republicans who could’ve taken Merrick Garland now, but thought they could do better after November.

  217. I can barely keep up with this thread, much less to write a useful reaction. The good thing is, this thread is making me back off from many presumptions. Now, may I go back to one or Scalzi’s original asides?

    “… the GOP has let a genuinely appalling human become its nominee …”

    I found that an astonishing and discouraging observation. I want to insist humans are rational and that a thing like the GOP nominating Trump happens for a good or productive purpose, but I’m having difficulty with that idea. I am alarmed (and many seem to be). What’s with the GOP?

    Is it from drug-like effects of anger? If enough people get angry, no matter how much gray matter up in their heads, do they go Neanderthal and want to bash heads and hurt mindlessly, or merely prove they’re the baddest asses on the block?

    We fought for freedoms but I think the idea is overstated. Mostly, I think we fight (and fight back, yes as we must sometimes) over SELFISH things. Freedoms occur normally after all that fighting, not because of it. After all the badass pushing, shoving and killing, when folks have finally tired of it, then the survivors may try to negotiate and be civilized. Why? Because they tire of the macho, I think. It’s a living and let live vweltanschauung, IMO, where good is possible, and not so much badass posturing.

  218. You clearly do not understand the process or what Sanders is doing. Let me explain it to you.

    Yes, Clinton has the nominee position clinched, probably. There are still almost half a million uncounted CA votes and that could reverse who won there. CA has 30 days to complete its count. But it probably wont.

    Bernie and his intelligent supporters know this. The point of his going forward is not to win, but gather any remaining delegates he can. Every delegate he has is a leverage point come the convention for influencing the party’s platform and agenda.

    The point was never to crown king Bernie, it was to remake the system. Delegates and supporters who will vote are all hsi leverage to do so. Before he began this, he was just “Crazy Bernie the Senator from VT.” Now, he’s a player in the power politics.

    And THATS what it has always been about.

  219. For all that people want to talk about how Hilary is hated she:

    – Got more votes in California, New Mexico and New Jersey than the entire GOP field did. I mention entire GOP field here because in the races since Cruz and Kasich dropped out, 20% of the GOP votes are still for them.

    – Indeed, in New York as well, Hillary alone got substantially more votes than all the GOP did.

    – Got more votes than Bernie.

    – Has gotten several million more votes than Trump

    So honestly, the hate thing doesn’t seem to be manifesting in the numbers. The primaries aren’t the generals, obviously, but still…..

  220. Anyone who thinks Hillary Clinton is a shining angel in white robes come to save the Democratic Party is grossly misinformed and guilty of neglect where her record and actions are concerned. She is still under investigation by the FBI and her judgement is still in question regarding a host of decisions made on policy and government actions that effect the lives of thousands here and across the globe. Do not tell me she’s the better candidate, I know better than to take her at face value. If she were as ‘squeaky clean’ as she purports then I wouldn’t have this gut feeling that she’s pulling another fast one. I’m still waiting to hear what the government is going to do about the three million uncounted votes in California, just the latest in questionable polling events across this country.

    Save the condescending remarks about how ‘Bernie lost’ and we’re in mourning. With antics like Bill Clinton electioneering and holding up lines early in the primaries, I’d have thought the DNC would have the dignity to reign in such tricks. I’ve been a lifelong Independent voter. This is my first primary and probably my only primary as a Democrat. Bernie Sanders was inspirational enough to get me to sign up and unfortunately the Democratic Party as indicated that they really do not care what the electorate wants and are willing to play games with the political process- one that they use to protect the 1%. (I never thought I’d be longing for the days when Ronald Reagan was in office, but these days, he seems timid in comparison.) Just remember the country receives the President it deserves for better or worse… Good luck with that…

  221. You, sir, are a schmuck, And I’m glad I have never paid for any of your books. (In fact, I only read half of Redshirts and had to throw it away, it was so bad.)

  222. Bruce C. – she might nominate Bernie to the Supreme court but do you believe the Senate would confirm him? More likely she’ll nominate Liz Warren, and may all the gods protect us!

  223. @noblehunter “Especially since Sanders has no counter narrative. It’s not like he’s isn’t going to raise taxes and spend money like it’s poisoned water. “Vote for me! I’m almost exactly what my opponents say I am” is not a winning slogan.”

    And what exactly is Hillary’s counter narrative? She has none that will stick because none have worked already with right leaning independents or Republicans. Say Benghazi or email server to one of them and they get ask Red faced apoplectic and even might bring up whitewater and Vince foster. Her winning in November depends entirely on every single dem showing up and outnumbering ask the reps and independents that will vote trump. Hilary will get no crossovers. That’s just a fact. These mythical attacks on Bernie would still leave him with more crossover votes than Hillary. She’s a horrible candidate. The dems are doing what they always do, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. When we’ve been given the gift of Trump as the repug nominee and we put up a candidate with such high unfavorable ratings and baggage that Hillary has, we have only ourselves to blame when we lose. Just like Kerry in 04, no way Bush should have gotten another term. Even Gore in 2000, if he’d had an ounce of charm we could have avoided bush. Hilary has zero charisma, everything she says seems inauthentic whereas Bernie always seems authentic. Hilary goes wherever the political winds are blowing. She was against gay marriage before she was for it, against $15 minimum wage before she realized that was a reason people liked Bernie because he was for it. She says she’s against fracking but promoted it worldwide. How do you think all the contributions the Clinton foundation from foreign governments that got arms sales while she was sec of state are going to look against trump who is largely self funding his campaign. She will get destroyed in the general. She doesn’t have the charisma and is too attackable to stand up to Trump and when he is inaugurated in January, Hillary supporters and the superdelegates that handed her the nomination will have only themselves to blame.

  224. You know, speaking as a Bernie supporter, I’m disappointed at all the butthurt showing here. Sure, Hillary Clinton’s no knight in shining armor, but she’s a perfectly competent politician with decades of experience. She will keep the country mostly as it is, maybe a little more liberal but eh. She’s better than Trump, and unless you want to see that fascist pig deporting people or worse for “Muslim sympathies” in a year or so, I suggest that you suck it up and vote for her in the general.

    Also, J Scheibeler, kind of you to admit that you either threw away a library book, stole a book and threw it away, or are just trolling for kicks.

    Christ, people, we’re adults. Not infants. Man (or woman, or otherwise) up and cast your vote for the candidate who isn’t endorsed by literal white supremacists.

  225. Is ProfK a Poe or a candidate for “Most Condescending Yet Lowest Content Post of the Thread”?

    There are still almost half a million uncounted CA votes and that could reverse who won there.

    As of yesterday afternoon, CNN has Sanders down by a little under 440k votes. So, no, he won’t win, because every one of those uncounted votes would have to be for Sanders. Also, I would think that “intelligent Sanders supporters” would have figured out how proportional allocation of delegates works by now. Sanders needed to win CA by something like 70/30 to make a difference.

    The point of his going forward is not to win, but gather any remaining delegates he can.

    Oh, so, you do understand proportional allocation. Kind of. Thing is, for a very long time Sanders has been in this zone where he has enough delegates to argue for influence, but too few to realistically have a chance to win. His strategy for fighting for delegates has increasingly been about damaging the frontrunner, which doesn’t make a strong case for influence.

    And THATS what it has always been about.

    Originally, sure. But somewhere in the middle, Bernie got it into his head that he could actually win, and started behaving like a more typical politician. He’s going to have to pivot back to that “change the system” stance, and I’m not sure how many are going to find that genuine. Especially after his “Superdelegates are bad, all the superdelegates should vote for me” stratagem.

  226. I showed my kids the video the Hillary campaign played before her speech on Tuesday. Here it is:

    When I watched it in real time, I choked up. It was about women! Women I consider personal heroes, but whom are still considered by many to be too radical, outside the pale, not worth listening to. (For a recent example, look here: It was a tremendously meaningful moment for me. And when I showed the video later to my kids, my son immediately said, “That’s the exact opposite of what Donald Trump wants.” The 13-year-old gets it.

  227. ” She’s a horrible candidate. ”

    A horrible candidate who is WINNING.

    Seriously, dudes, you can prefer Sanders to Clinton for whatever reason. But it’s over. Even if all of the uncounted votes in CA are for Sanders (which they won’t be– I personally know self-proclaimed Clinton voters in CA who cast provisionally for whatever reason), it’s still over. Sunk cost. Move forward.

    The majority of Democrats preferred her. Just because *you* didn’t prefer her doesn’t take that away. You’re actually in the minority. So no need to explain why she’s so hated. No need to explain why she’s inferior to Sanders or her campaign was inferior. She’s hated by a smaller number of people than she’s supported buy. It’s just an inferior campaign from your perspective, and there are fewer people with your perspective than who believe she was the better candidate with the better campaign.

    Now you get to choose between Trump and Clinton. Or you can abstain if you dislike them equally. If you prefer a racist misogynist crazy guy to Clinton, then I guess that’s on you.

    p.s. She’s not a horrible candidate and she’s awesome. Woooooo!

    p.p.s. re: supreme court nominations: Supreme court nominees are generally legal scholars, and given full freedom of a first-term pick, picking someone under the age of 60 is a good call given it’s a lifetime appointment. So Obama makes sense, but not Sanders so much.

  228. Why the hell would anyone even suggest Bernie Sanders for SCOTUS? Why would he accept? He’s not a judge. He’s education is a BS in Poli. Sci. He has no qualifications for that job, at all.

  229. I think Bob is sadly correct, which is why Hillary bums me out (will still vote for her though). She’ll say what she needs to to bring the berning left into her camp more or less and then do what she was going to anyway. This is much preferred to the tangerine terror, but still not very heartening.

  230. If Ctein lived in California in 2004 as IIRC he does now (and as do I), his voting for Green Party candidate David Cobb in that year instead of Kerry is quite easy to justify as not helping Bush over Kerry: California awards all 55 Electoral College votes to a statewide plurality winner, and was reliably expected to pick Kerry — and did so. It’s one of the ‘safe’ blue states (using journalist Tim Russert’s original meaning for that term).

    Voting third party in a ‘safe’ blue or red state is an arguably commendable way to encourage innovation without ‘wasting’ your major-party vote. Doing it in a swing state is a different matter.

    (Disclaimer: Huge or abysmal turnout could change things, the way Utahans’ distaste for Drumpf (especially among Mormons who remember what religious persecution feels like) is currently giving that state a bluer tinges. Polls can be wildly wrong. The Yellowstone supervolcano might go off…)

  231. (Just to clarify, yes, my comment about Coke and sewage way upthread referred to the general, NOT the primaries. I mean, of course!, right?)

  232. Nope, not Bernie on the Supreme Court – that’s for lawyer geeks – he’d frankly be out of his depth there.
    I mean, he’s not even a lawyer – he has a B.A. in political science.
    He’d get slaughtered, and deservedly so, in the confirmation process.
    There are a lot of qualified choices – he just needs to use the clout this primary has given him to have a say in the decision.

    That’s why he needs not to burn all the bridges now.
    He’s got a lot of political credit, and he needs to figure out how to spend it.
    He helps Hillary, and she owes him; he delivers his voters, and the party owes him, and sees him as a resource.
    (If his followers hare off after 3rd party anti-votes he is merely irrelevant to them, as politically impotent.)
    And – this should be obvious – he only has this pull with a democratic president.
    Trump would have no use for him.

    Nah, Bernie should stay in the Senate, with his new increased visibility and remain there as a strong voice and rallying point for congressional progressives.
    In the meanwhile he should campaign like hell for the Democratic down ticket.
    He should work selectively, and focus on like-minded candidates and on issues, and which make sense in terms of his campaign.
    He can work for stuff that is congruent with his known positions, keeping his credibility with his supporters, and doing some good.
    He’s got a great active base and he should keep it together.

    More broadly, he’s got a lot of political credit, and this is a good place to invest it: his successes will be part of his continuing organizing, and reinforce his message.

  233. Richard Norton: “Is it from drug-like effects of anger? If enough people get angry, no matter how much gray matter up in their heads, do they go Neanderthal and want to bash heads and hurt mindlessly, or merely prove they’re the baddest asses on the block?”

    There was an experiment done with capuchin monkeys a few years ago.

    The monkeys were trained to exchange a rock for food. When a monkey figured out that another monkey was getting better food for the same rock, they generally responded by what can only be described as rage quitting the experiement. The monkeys that got less nice food for the rock might refuse to do ANY trades with experimenters, they might do a trade but not eat the food they got, or they might throw something at the experimenter.

    The purpose of the experiment was to figure out if animals could understand the concept of “fairness”. But I think it is more important to understand the response to unfairness. If you know you can get food by trading a rock, it is to your benefit to do so. But as soon as you figure out someone else is getting a better deal, a lot of people behave in ways that harms their own benefit. Refusing to trade means you get no food. Doing a trade but not eating it means you get no food. Throwing the food back at the person who traded you for it means you get no food.

    This is exactly the nonsense that third party voters indulge in. They harm themselves, voting for a third party candidate who cant win, and help their least desirable candidate win. But they are so incensed by the process being “unfair” that they can’t seem to fucking help themselves. They even invent long and complicated myths to try and justify their actions mathematically, but in the end, they are choosing a course of action least beneficial to them because they think the system is unfair.

    (The goal is to force a redesign of the system, but just as an example, the capuchin monkey throwing the bad food in your face isn’t going to get them a better trade. It’s the whole point of the experiement, and when the experiment is over, no more food trades. Likewise, a third party voter has convinced themselves that their vote will “send a signal” to the major party closest to them. But on election day, it is too late to change candidates to someone better, so it has no effect on who is president the next four years.)

    The thing about “fairness” is it is usually not so straightforward as “what food do I get for trading this rock?” We seem to have a differencing moral engine, but it is wrapped with all sorts of contextual and cultural filters, that adjust the moral weights of things before they get weighed by the moral engine. To a third party voter, they minimize the harm of the least desirable candidate winning, they minimize the differences between the two main candidates, and maximize the perceived “value” they will get by a protest vote. It doesn’t actually ever change the system, but they believe it to be so, and so their perceived value of a third party vote (which in reality is nearly zero) outweighs their perceived cost of having the least desirable candidate win.

    Trump supporters are doing something similar. A reporter recently interviewed a bunch of Trump supporters and asked them why they are voting for him, and their most common answer was that Trump was honest. The candidate that polifact shows to be the biggest lying sack of shit, these knuckleheads have declared to be the most honest. Why? Because of those filters. They amplify the things the trumper thinks is important and downplay the things they think are not important. So, the “great truth” that Donald is saying? It’s the bigotry, basically. Donald is talking trash about minorities of various types, and these trump supporters are bigots who believe that trash talk to be the truth, so they amplify its worth. And when Donald says something non-factual like “candidates don’t always release their tax returns”, they downplay its worth. And then those scaled values end up in the moral engine, and guess what, Donald is the best candidate in their mind.

    In the case of a third party voter, the answer isn’t facts. They have already taken in the facts and scaled them to tilt to justifying their rage-quit result. They have become immune to facts. They spend their time writing gigantic mythologies about how great and powerful they are all in an effort to justify their throwaway vote. The only answer would appear to be bring them down from their rage quit stand, talk them off the ledge, get them to move their thumb off the nuclear button. The problem is Bruce Banner just hulked out and is smashing their home town. Hulk no care about your puny facts. Hulk no like your stupid math. Hulk smash. If the Avengers/Age of Ultron is any indication, the only way to calm the Hulk off his berserker rage is Natasha Romanova in a skin tight outfit, whispering sweet nothings into his ear.

    Culturally speaking, this is de-berserker stage seems to be built into our interactions. Scalzi may have subconsciously (or consciously, he is a wily one) built it into the post here when he said “I mean, yes, Sanders supporters, I get many of you are upset and even grieving about Sanders missing his chance. Sorry about that. Take a few days! It’s okay.”. Compare this to, say, a Hillary Shock Trooper whose response is more like “OK Bernie Bros, your lame ass candidate lost, suck it up and fall into Hillary formation because every microsecond you fail to support Hillary unquestionably is at least ten more votes in favor of Trump”. The first approach is like a mentalist suggesting to a berserker gosh you look tired, sit down, take a rest, that axe must be heavy, why don’t you put it here, and the GM gives them a +4 on their roll. The second is IronMan punching the Hulk in the face saying “go to sleep. go to sleep. go to sleep. go to sleep.” and then when he knocks the tooth out, the color goes out of Stark’s face as he whispers “I’m sorry”.

    When it comes to Trump supporters, I don’t know if there is a way to talk them down. Their version of “reality” is so far out of whack that I don’t think there is any way to appease them. Anyone who isn’t white is a criminal. Anyone who isn’t Christian is a terrorist. Women are weak. Those are their “truths” and nothing else matters. I don’t think there’s a way to de-beserker that sort of person.

  234. “Voting third party in a ‘safe’ blue or red state is an arguably commendable way to encourage innovation without ‘wasting’ your major-party vote. ”

    Not really. Agreed that in a safe state you’re not tipping the election at all but if all someone does is vote third party in the occasional Presidential election it doesn’t really move the needle on that 3rd party’s viability and if it doesn’t do that there’s no real move toward innovation.

    What the people who take this route really should do if they routinely find both major parties problematic is to work with that third party in local and state elections. Get them on city and county councils. Get them in state houses. Build the party into something that really affects peoples’ lives.

    But that’s hard work that often doesn’t pay off and when it does usually only pays off after years of effort. It’s much easier for people to cast a vote for their favorite third party every few years, lie to themselves that they’re making a difference, and then post about it online (that’s a general comment, not specific to you Rick).

  235. @docrocketscience:

    Oh, so, you do understand proportional allocation

    I carry no water for ProfK, but wish to point out the California Democratic Party’s delegate allocation is sort of proportional, and hilariously complicated in the way only Our Dear Party could manage. The details are probably Too Much Information, especially since it’s effectively over and my guy (Sanders) is very unlikely to be the nominee, but I chased down the details for my pre-election analysis piece for local voters.

  236. Oh, and Warren for the Supreme Court is also a bad idea.
    She’s a great politician, and we need her exactly where she is now.
    She can lean on Hillary to get the kind of justice she wants.
    And, ditto Dana above , they need to nominate someone young.

    Obama is a legal scholar, so he’d be a more logical choice, but might have difficulty being confirmed.
    Wouldn’t it be nice, if we had a congress that could do that?
    (See, Bernie campaigning for the down ticket, above.)

    Oh, and heads would explode.

  237. I voted for Bernie on Tuesday. I will vote for Hillary in November. This post explains a lot of the reasons why.

    I vote my principles in every election. My principles go something like “vote in whatever way will have the best chance of decreasing injustice, increasing justice (including economic justice), reducing corruption, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable, ensuring peace, and making America more like the America I was taught to believe in.”

    These are sometimes conflicting goals. Not this time.

    They require a pragmatic evaluation of the effect of my vote. I live in New Jersey; it will almost certainly be solid blue, so my vote probably won’t matter very much. But I guess I think “vote as if it mattered” is also a principle of mine, and I don’t trust pollsters to come within 20% of the election anymore.

    That said, if you’re in a solid blue or solid red state, and it’s NOT within 20% of swinging, go ahead and vote however it makes you happiest to vote. I’m not the boss of you and don’t want to be. If you’re in a swing state, go ahead and vote for Jill Stein or stay home if you want—but I won’t speak in your favor if Trump is elected and my comrades in the Resistance capture you.

    I do think, however, that the Republican Party, by majority vote in state after state, has declared itself to be the party of racism, religious bigotry, homophobia, transphobia, war (including war crimes and nuclear attacks), and disregard for truth, justice, and the American Way. Any person with any remnant of a conscience should quit that party now,* get on the lifeboat, and watch the GOP sink into a tarpit of its own making.

    And it IS of its own making. The GOP’s actions for the past 50 years have paved the way for Trump. They’ve used dog whistles (politically-coded language) so that fiscal conservatives could pretend they weren’t bigots, and so bigots would know they were. (They’re not even fiscally conservative anymore; they’re fine with massive spending as long as it goes into the hands of corporations, and not the poor.)

    The first one I remember is “Law and Order.” That sounded like it meant “take steps to lower the crime rate,” and many pretended that it did, to let them vote for Republicans. What it actually meant, of course, was “put those n*****s back in their place.” I will leave the current ones as an exercise for the reader.

    The current GOP leadership is appalled by Donald Trump, that’s true, but not because he’s a racist. They’re appalled that he’s ignoring the Republican candidate tradition of lying about being racist.

    I think anything legal that helps stop Trump should be done. I’m very close to saying “anything non-violent,” instead.

    *I have formerly-Republican friends who have done just that; one who lives in MA quit the party the very day Trump won the primary in his state.

  238. J. Sheibeler:

    “I’m glad I have never paid for any of your books. (In fact, I only read half of Redshirts and had to throw it away, it was so bad.)”

    You didn’t pay for it… but you threw it away?

    This intrigues me.

    Was it a library book? In which case, you might want to dig it out of the trash and return it. Late fees are no fun.

    Was it someone else’s book? Do they know you threw their book in the trash? You may have just put yourself on the “bad friend” list.

    Was it a gift? You threw away a gift from a friend? Really? I mean, friends get me stuff I don’t like all the time, and I still have it knocking around my house so when they come they see it there, because it’s the thought that counts.

    Were you loitering in a bookstore, reading but not buying the book in question, and then throwing it into the trash? In which case, I don’t think you’ll be allowed back into the story, man.

    Seriously, there’s not a scenario here where you don’t come off as a jerk.

    But I guess that’s why you feel so confident about calling me a schmuck — it takes one to know one.

  239. Cyndy Green, Voting in the US is per person, not per acre. New Jersey is one of the biggest states by population. So Brooklyn is bigger than Alaska, and Wyoming is so small that their having a whole electoral vote makes their voters’ impact unjustly large.

    This things aren’t difficult, unless you’re one of those people who thinks it’s clever to make dumb jokes about New Jersey every time it comes up.

  240. Clinton has legitimately won, and congratulations to her. I still think she represents a continuation of a failed (or failing) economic ideology, but at least she can be trusted not to nuke the store. I’ll grant that refusing to vote for Clinton (if you’re a liberal) represents a certain kind of privilege, but I would also insist that voting for Clinton over Sanders represents the same sort of privilege.

    To my fellow Sanders supporters, I would say this. There are no good options in this election, but there are massively less bad ones. Think back to the Dubya years, and remember the outrage exhaustion you were feeling by 2004. Trump represents that, and more. We won’t even be able to hold the line on basic rights, let alone attempt to pressure him into a progressive agenda. We’re going to be fighting with one of these people for (probably) 8 years, and I’d much rather fight Clinton.

  241. Philooster: ”She’s a horrible candidate.”

    nicole: “A horrible candidate who is WINNING.”

    Trump is a terrible candidate and he WON. Argument ad populum is fun.

    More importantly, people land all over the political spectrum. That political compass chart shows that there is a large swath of people for whom Bernie is, gods honest truth, the best candidate FOR THEM. Even if Hillary is the best candidate FOR YOU.

    Yeah, and now Hillary won, so certain choices are no longer available. But that doesn’t actually move anyone’s position on the political compass chart. Hillary is still hell and gone away from Gandhi. Hillary is still a horrible candidate for folks in the lower left corner. Saying she is WINNING is irrelevant to her not fitting their politics at all, it just indicates that she’s now the only choice they have.

  242. The serious part of the post: On Hillary’s Vice Presidential pick, one of the widely-touted names in the press is Julián Castro, former mayor of San Antonio and currently Secretary of HUD. Credible, might be a useful demographic choice, doesn’t cost the Democrats a Senate seat, and is certain to aggravate Trump’s base.

    The rest of the story:
    – Hillary picks Julián Castro for VP, wins election.
    – Republicans successfully impeach Clinton for Email/Benghazi/witchcraft (she does, in fact, weigh more than a duck.)
    – New President Julián Castro picks his twin brother, Congressmember Joaquín Castro, as VP
    – US President Castro and VP Castro visit Cuba, meet with President Raul Castro and Ex-President Fidel Castro.

  243. Rick Moen,

    Y’know, it doesn’t seem all that complicated to me. They’ve got the delegates in three groups. Two are decided in congressional districts, one by state-wide vote. It’s not as simple as divvying up all 475 by statewide, but it doesn’t require college math to figure out either. And either way, it’s still proportional, which means for a candidate in Sanders’s position going into the CA primary, simply “winning” isn’t necessarily enough to make a difference in the race.

    Honestly, for all the Sanders camp’s complaints about how “undemocratic” the Democratic primaries are, the proportional allocation of delegates is probably the single most democratic thing going on in American electioneering.

  244. Sanders now goes back to the Senate. If you care about the man’s ideas, then your best bet is to put someone in the White House who he can work with, and elect more people to the Senate that he can work with.

    He himself said he could work with Clinton. It should be blatantly obvious that under a Trump presidency, Sander’s agenda has little chance.

    So what do you care about? The progressive agenda or the man?

  245. Belovèd and Esteemèd Host You have misspelled J Scheibeler’s name. I mention this not because the aforementioned deserves better, but because it made it difficult to search for the original stupid comment.

  246. “Put this in the counting chickens category, but assuming Hillary is elected, I’d like to see her nominate Bernie to the supreme court vacancy. 1) It acknowledges the progressive left in a way that gives them real power. 2) It keeps him out of her administration where he could be viewed as a sellout and 3) It completely screws over Republicans who could’ve taken Merrick Garland now, but thought they could do better after November.”

    Won’t happen, would be a terrible idea…but OMG, the thought of all those right-wing heads exploding gave me the laugh I needed today!

  247. @ben

    Voting for Sanders over Clinton also represents a certain kind of privilege. Clinton gets that not all inequality is income inequality. HRC understands intersectionality. That’s why there’s a demographic split among working class voters (Trump/Sanders/Clinton) and why Trump and Sanders are picking up the white dudes harmed by economic inequality and Clinton is picking up most everybody else.

  248. Dear Hillary AND Bernie supporters:

    You had better grow up and get with the fucking program. Either one of them is light years ahead of Trump and if he wins, your precious principles are going to mean shit. Especially to those who have already been disenfranchised and need the rest of us to speak for them. Many people now on healthcare will probably lose it. But that’s OK, you can congratulate yourselves for standing up for your principles.

    The Reich Wing will continue to gut the Constitution and thereby continue to erase the progress made since the days of Martin Luther King, Jr. They will ramp up hate legislation against the LGBT community. They will give their neediness free reign, having failed to persuade by example will use the government to prop up their religion. And there will be no impartial Supreme Court to protect us. But, hey, you will have stood by your PRINCIPLES.

    The reality is that most of you self-absorbed little shits can afford to ride out a Trump presidency while you abandon those who will be most harmed by it. I’m sure they will admire you for you “principled” stand.

    I have a clue for you: this election isn’t just about YOU!!!

    A plague on BOTH your houses!

  249. Bill, Bill, Bill…you know she has to weight the same as a duck, not more. They have to prove that she’s made of wood to convict her of witchcraft.

    I wouldn’t have said anything, but you’re misquoting scripture here.

    A little more seriously, this is the same mistake people make about the weighing of the heart in Egyption religious lore: it’s supposed to balance the feather exactly, not weigh less. The feather represents Ma’at, balance, because of the peculiarities of Egyptian orthography.

  250. “I know it sounds strange to hear it, but there’s seriously never been a better time to be a progressive. The only thing that’ll fuck it up is if we pass up this chance to be part of the process. Is Clinton perfect? Hell no, but with her we can build on the progress of the last eight years. It won’t be as sexy as a revolution, but it’ll get us further down the road to where we want to be.
    Look, I want a progressive utopia yesterday, too. But the cold truth is: we don’t have the numbers.”

  251. On third-party voting – like Ctein and Rick Moen, I live in California, which is going to vote solidly Democratic whoever I vote for, and even when I lived in New Jersey, my vote didn’t have much chance of swinging the state’s electoral college votes. Back in 1984, I thought it was important enough to stop Ronald Reagan that, instead of voting Libertarian, I held my nose and voted Democrat. While I was not the only person in New Jersey to vote for Mondale, I was close, and at best my major-party vote helped send a message to the Democratic Party that they should aim for somebody similarly unelectable, so in 1988 they picked Mike Dukakis, who lost to GHWBush.

    Chacha1 asks how anybody could possibly switch their vote from Sanders to Libertarian. Some people care about more than one issue, and the parties don’t always line up that way. My big ones are war (which I’m against) and civil liberties (which I’m for), and my second choice vote is usually the Greens in spite of our disagreements about economics, as well as preferring Sanders over Clinton. Those were also reasons I preferred Obama over Clinton in 2008 (even though he didn’t deliver on them.)

  252. Edwin Riker @3:55 talked about how much the Republicans hate Hillary Clinton. Sure, the Republicans have been attacking her viciously since 1992, but the people who bought that message and donated money to the right-wing fund-raising mailing lists that were selling it were mostly the same kinds of people who support Trump, not the moderate Republicans.

  253. “She has none that will stick because none have worked already with right leaning independents or Republicans. Say Benghazi or email server to one of them and they get ask Red faced apoplectic and even might bring up whitewater and Vince foster.”

    Hillary has no chance with those who have seizures at the mention of “Benghazi” or “e-mail server”, it is true – just as Bernie would have no chance with those who have them at the words “commie” and can’t hear the word “liberal,” without changing it to “libtard.” (I’d venture to guess there’s a lot of overlap in those 2 groups). But Hillary has been raked over and over with these fake scandals, including an eleven hour session in Congress by Republicans trying DESPERATELY to pin something, ANYTHING on her – and they couldn’t manage it. I’d guess most reasonable people have heard enough of Benghazi and such by now to realize there’s no THERE there, and that the Republicans are beating a dead horse. Those who still foam at the mouth at “Benghazi” hated her before Benghazi. “Benghazi” is not going to dissuade anyone else at this late date.

    “Hilary will get no crossovers. That’s just a fact. These mythical attacks on Bernie would still leave him with more crossover votes than Hillary.”

    No, dude, that’s not a fact, just your opinion. And the attacks on Bernie are only “mythical” because he lost and there’s no chance that the Republicans will ever need to make them. But if he HAD been nominated, the Republicans would not have held back. They wouldn’t stop with his Castro and Ortega praise; they would vilify every moment of his life they could, from his status as an unwed father down to those columns he wrote about rape fantasies. And unlike Benghazi and e-mails and Vince Foster that everyone’s heard the worst of long ago and is bored sick of it, all this is VIRGIN TERRITORY to the public and the media. The press and pundits would have field days bloviating. By the time they got around to interviewing every last busybody neighbor of the mother of his child, the election would be over…and lost.

  254. I wanted to reiterate something I really care about.

    I don’t want Sanders to mouth an endorsement for Hillary and ride off into the sunset.
    I want him to maintain a bond with his followers, and encourage them to continue to fight for change.
    There are more issues and more candidates and a lot more going on than just getting Hillary elected.
    Bernie’s supporters are a unique bunch, with important views on fundamental issues, and there are places where their energy could make a difference.
    The voice of the left needs to be heard on a continuing basis,and that’s where Bernie supporters could evolve into an enduring force.
    Think about the Tea Party and its undeniable success on the right.

    There is a difference between not winning and losing.
    Bernie’s right, change comes from the bottom up, and he needs to be that change.
    The presidency, though, is the top, not the bottom.
    Electing Bernie president of an unchanged democratic party is working from the top down, and that’s part of why it didn’t work.
    So Bernie won’t be president, that doesn’t mean his movement is irrelevant.
    It isn’t simply a matter of the primary pushing Hillary to the left, rather, the entire Democratic party needs this push.
    It isn’t a one time deal that happens in the primary race and goes away.
    If that is all it was, it was a useless noise.

  255. There’s no reason for Clinton supporters to be bothered if Sanders stays in the race or not, she’s already got the nomination locked up. And for centrist Dems and Hillary supporters to call Sanders a sore loser for staying in is incredibly dismissive and patronizing, and will do NOTHING to further the left’s cause. It’s like saying “that’s nice, now go away.”

    The argument for uniting the Dems against Trump isn’t much of an argument at all, as a lot of Sanders’ supporters aren’t Dems to begin with. Also, there will be plenty of time for taking on Trump AFTER the convention, which isn’t far off at all. By staying in the race, Sanders keeps his message out in the public consciousness, which was his primary (no pun intended) intention to begin with. He should concede at convention, after the actual votes are cast.

  256. nicoleandmaggie

    “HRC understands intersectionality.”
    Yes, and the Clinton campaign has used to to great effect. I believe that Hillary Clinton understands that it’s easy to speak to matters of social inequality, and that you will hardly be blamed if you fail to move the needle on them.

    Further more, voting for Clinton over Sanders could be considered a privilege because it means that one is a member of the affluent, professional class (or one expects to be), which means the fact that fewer and fewer people can afford health care (despite the improvements made by the ACA) or education is academic, and the insistence that all sanders supporters are just white bros disappointed in their privilege just helps the neo-liberal medicine go down.

  257. I am not convinced that the usual “solid blue” and “solid red” state thing is going to hold in this election. My state is supposedly solid blue, but I’m damn well worrying about the results as much as if it were a known swing state.

  258. @nicoleandmaggie “‘ She’s a horrible candidate.’

    A horrible candidate who is WINNING.”

    Sure she can win when only registered Dems can vote but she’ll need a lot more than that in the general election. Registered Dems alone will not win her the general against someone as media savvy as Trump. She needs independents and crossover Republicans neither of which she will get while Bernie would and polls back that up. She may be a good primary candidate but she’s a horrible candidate in the general. Get ready for president Trump Hillbots

  259. @docrocketscience

    Y’know, it doesn’t seem all that complicated to me.

    Well, 317 are distributed among the 53 Congressional districts weighted by population, and pledged proportional to vote in that district among candidates who cleared a 15% floor locally. 53 PLEO (party leader or elected official) delegates get added to that stew and pledged the same way. 105 are allocated as at-large delegates pledged proportional to statewide vote among candidates who cleared a 15% floor locally. And 105 PLEOs are unpledged (‘superdelegates”.) You call that uncomplicated, OK: I guest that’s why you’re a doctor of rocket science. Quod erat demonstrandum.

    But yes, that’s proportional, in two different ways, except for the 15% floor, and except for the 105 who famously are not.

    Honestly, the more hilarious bit is the rules about the further details of filling those slots after the election. to which I link on my analysis page. Their heart is very much in the right place. Let’s just say McGovern would have approved.

  260. @ Xopher Halftongue: Exactly! Why the hell isn’t everybody just uniting to stop Der Trumpenführer and agreeing to do so behind Hillary since most of us think that she’s the best way to stop the orangutan in a suit?

  261. @ben

    I believe she’s going to do her best to move that needle. And she’s outlined policies that have a chance to do it. And she’s supporting down-stream races to make it more possible that she’ll have the support to make those changes. That’s the most we can ask.

    My best friend (the other half of nicole and maggie) voted for Sanders. She’s not a white bro. But she’s also whole-heartedly supporting Clinton now.

    There’s one kind of privilege voting Clinton over Sanders but another in voting Sanders over Clinton. For upper middle-class whites, we’re fine doing either. But a black single mom with less than a college education is far better off voting for Clinton while a non-racist white dude who has lost out because of the decline in manufacturing would probably have been better off voting for Sanders (a similar but racist dude, of course, would want to vote for Trump though the instability that would cause might end up being against his best interest, it’s hard to predict with Trump). Now that Clinton is the presumptive nominee, everybody should vote for her, except people who are total bigots and care about being better than a minority group than they care about anything else.

    Also, disagree strongly that Clinton means fewer people will be able to afford health care (remember, HRC tried a much better version of health care back in the 90s and it didn’t pass– the ACA is the result of learning from that experience and working pragmatically, and HRC isn’t the only politician who has tried and failed to implement universal healthcare). Incremental fixing is much more likely to happen than us getting Canada’s health system, even if it’s better and more efficient to have single payer coverage. In terms of academics, I don’t see why my privileged kids should be allowed to crowd out disadvantaged kids from top state schools, which is what free college education for all would do. Rich parents can afford to pay for college education. If free education for all was a solution, then our K-12 systems wouldn’t be so horrendously unequal. (Which again, is very much a race problem, not just an economic problem given that housing segregation has strong racial/ethnic components.)

    As a privileged white woman, I am voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton not just because she’s the most qualified and the most likely to get things done, but because I love her message of equal opportunity. I haven’t always been rich and I want other people to have the same opportunities that my children have. I want them to have the same opportunities that my SON has. I don’t want them to have to fight for those opportunities like I did or to miss out on them because they didn’t have even the chances I had. I’m voting for her because I believe It Takes a Village and she understands that. I’m voting for her because Love Trumps Hate. Because women’s rights are human rights and gay rights are human rights and black rights are human rights and disabled rights are human rights and Hispanic rights are human rights and muslim rights are human rights and so on. Because diversity makes our country stronger. This isn’t just lip service. These are real values backed up by proposals and action.

    I agree with what she wants to do and I can see that she’s doing everything in her power to get things done.

    We should all vote for her and focus on downstream races so that we can make a difference. And yes, if Bernie’s platform is important to you, then push for it. Like Obama said in his endorsement, decreasing inequality is a Democrat value.

  262. Other than the fact that I personally always favored Clinton over Sanders, I agree with every single word in this essay. Thank you for being a white guy who says things other white guys need to hear.

  263. I do quibble with one primary point: that a vote for anyone other than Clinton is a vote for Trump and inherently based in ‘naive privilege’. Anyone who insists that is so cannot read an electoral map or 20 years’ worth of election returns.

    My state will go for the Republican. There is a minuscule chance enough of them MIGHT stay home to put Clinton within 5 percentage points, but they went Romney by over 13 points and Republicans turned out to their primary 2:1 over Democrats this cycle; we’re outnumbered. My vote is meaningless in the Presidential election. I’m used to that because the last vote I cast in a contested state was for *Bill* Clinton. In the last four elections, I think I’ve backed the loser by a sum total of almost 50 points, if you add the differences all together.

    Those of us in wildly uncontested states can use a third-party vote to advocate for change to the system. If third-party candidates can get a chunk of the pie *in states where they don’t spoil anything* then next election they get included in funding and polling, and we can start to see an end to the current masturbatory gridlock.

    Those of us in wildly uncontested states can ignore the Presidential race and focus on Congressional ones, or governorships, or state houses. No matter who wins the White House, Congress *needs* to flip to keep that trash fire from happening. We need Democratic governors to work on individual plans for climate change or immigration reform (whether or not they’re working in cooperation or opposition with the White House) and to keep their states fully participating in the ACA. We need Dems at the state level to undo some of the horrible gerrymandering that hamstrings Congressional districts.

    Instead of yet another tiresome ‘think’piece about Clinton’s inevitability backed with threats of Trump, why not start actually trying to *engage* Sanders’ supporters with necessary goals they can genuinely believe in? Why not, you know, actually talk about reasons to vote for her? You basically say, “Yeah, she’s whatever, I don’t mind her, she’ll be fine I guess, and TRUMP SUCKS!!!!” That’s…not advocacy. That’s not support. That’s not even an endorsement. That’s just useless bandwagoning backed by half-understood political theory and emotional blackmail.

    I get that the name of your blog is ‘Whatever’ but did you have to shrug SO HARD here?

  264. Philooster:
    “Sure she can win when only registered Dems can vote but she’ll need a lot more than that in the general election. ”

    Not exactly true. Clinton won South Carolina, which has open primaries. As a resident of SC not registered with either party, I went to the Democratic Primary, voted for her, and she won. I know that a good chunk of the people in my town are not registered either, yet she won handily here.

    By every measure, as our host has pointed out, Hillary Clinton has beaten Bernie Sanders. Also, polls in May are not election results in November. And it also depends on which poll you pick. The one that meets your bias? I’ve seen a couple showing that Trump will lose. Also, poll results depend on who is asking, how questions have been worded, what responses are accepted (in past polls I’ve not been given the option of the answer I wanted to give), the trustworthiness of the person being asked and of the people asking the questions. Who sponsored the poll?

    Poll results nowadays only apply to the news cycle they were taken in.

  265. Sure she can win when only registered Dems can vote but she’ll need a lot more than that in the general election. Registered Dems alone will not win her the general against someone as media savvy as Trump. She needs independents and crossover Republicans neither of which she will get while Bernie would and polls back that up. She may be a good primary candidate but she’s a horrible candidate in the general. Get ready for president Trump Hillbots

    Media savy? There’s never been a less media savy presidential candidate in my lifetime and I go all the way back to Kennedy. Witness that Trump has managed to turn the media almost universally against him, despite their natural inclination to adore him because he drives rating. Even /most/ of Fox News hates him. And he’s ridiculously easy to bait into mistakes. I pretty much expect Hilary to chew him up and spit him out when he gets on a stage that isn’t confined to the GOP hothouse of crazies.

  266. nicoleandmaggie

    “I don’t see why my privileged kids should be allowed to crowd out disadvantaged kids from top state schools, which is what free college education for all would do.”

    This very nearly sounds like a Republican talking point.

    I think there’s just a fundamental disconnect between us here. You can’t imagine a way to turn disadvantaged kids into non disadvantaged kids (hint: pay their parents a living wage, end the drug war that makes certain neighborhoods impossible to succeed in, etc…), so the best we can hope for is giving a small number of them a leg up when it comes to college admission.

    This really makes me wonder what Clinton supporters will think up when it’s time to slash/privatize social security. Bill tried to do it once before, I don’t doubt they’ll try again.

  267. Clinton can make whatever narrative she wants. It won’t be as authentic or even necessarily true but a shaky narrative that appeals to people is better than an authentic narrative that terrifies them. Sanders’ problem is that unless he starts lying outright, he can’t establish a narrative sufficiently different from the one the GOP will try and create. And lying would be more damaging to him than it would be to Clinton.

    I don’t understand how someone’s too left-wing for the Democrats will manage to pick up a lot of right-leaning independents and Republicans.

  268. Bernie keeps campaigning through the convention: sounds dandy to me.

    Bernie ‘keeps fighting!’ through the convention: sounds like a bad idea for Bernie’s platform.

    I’ve seen multiple comments about how he needs to ‘keep fighting!’ to have influence at the convention. And: no. Clinton has decisively won the popular vote; the superdelegates will follow the will of the party; Clinton will be the nominee at the end of July. Bernie’s influence at the convention – like any other politician’s influence at the convention – is a measure of how credibly he can claim his supporters will show up and vote for Democrats in the general election. And every time Bernie or his close associates mouth off about how Bernie only lost because the Democratic Party rigged it for Clinton, they diminish the odds that Bernie’s core will show up to vote at all, much vote a straight Democratic ticket.

    So, if he keeps campaigning, and stays on topic about raising the minimum wage and making college free and such, I think that will have a salutary effect on the Democratic Party platform.

    But every time he and his senior staff divigate off to how corrupt and unfair it is, that the party aristocracy isn’t overruling the popular vote on his behalf, Bernie reduces his own power. Every time they do Trump’s work for him, Bernie loses influence with the Democrats. Which makes it *less* likely, not more, that the party will adopt his policy suggestions.

  269. @Ben

    I have no idea how you got that out what what I was saying.

    I’m all for free college for poor kids. 100% But people like me should have to pay for our kids’ college. Otherwise, because our kids have had way more advantages which leads to higher grades, higher SAT scores, more extra-curriculars, we will take more slots at the Berkeleys and Michigans etc. of the world because they will be free for us. That will force poor kids who used to be able to get slots at these schools (generally with financial aid) to go to less good state schools. It makes no sense to privilege the already privileged. A targeted approach, for example, increasing the size of Pell Grants and providing more information to lower income college ready students is a much better policy than “free college for all”. (Note: as a low income kid growing up, I got huge amounts of financial aid. That’s part of why I’m high income now. Everyone should have that opportunity.)

    I’m saying that Sanders’ plan of free college for all would hurt the very people it’s trying to help. It would shift where wealthy parents send their kids to the detriment of poor kids. It isn’t a good policy. Specifically targeting poor kids is a better policy.

    In terms of Social Security, I am totally in favor of removing the tax cap and even for cutting benefits for the high income. But the progressivity needs to still be there. It still needs to be available at 62. That’s the general policy community’s belief on the topic.

    Being a Democrat means I care about low income people. As a privileged wealthy person I can see that I could easily pay more in taxes without it negatively affecting my quality of life much and I’m willing to do that. I understand diminishing marginal utility of wealth. Not sure how that is a Republican talking point.

  270. @Rowan Badger:

    We need Dems at the state level to undo some of the horrible gerrymandering that hamstrings Congressional districts.

    I think this is an important truth. Even though it pains me to speak of the GOP as if it were the enemy of democracy (which they haven’t been here in California, where they helped end gerrymandering by proposing the redistricting-commission plan that has been a big success), but the national GOP’s REDMAP (Redistricting Majority Project) strategy spent a mere $30M to gain gerrymander-redistricting power in key state legislatures with the specific aim of distorting the House of Representatives after the 2010 census — and it worked: The House has been caused to be artificially Republican-dominated at least through the end of this decade.

    And yes, REDMAP 2020 was launched last year to perpetuate that artificial control for yet another decade — spending an initial $125M in vulnerable states, this time.

    The national GOP, the Brothers Koch, and Norquist understand demographic shift perfectly well, and, if you think you’ve had your fill of vote suppression and gerrymandering now, you haven’t seen anything yet. Their counter-strategy is to dilute and disqualify the other major party’s (greater) voting strength, plain and simple. And — my point — about all that’s likely to interfere with that is an alert and competent Supreme Court.

    And that’s the biggest reason #ImWithHer, following the upcoming fun in Philly.

  271. @Rick Moen

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but couldn’t congress (with a majority democrat etc.) also rule that districts have to be drawn up mechanically by some specific (geographic, population etc.) rule that doesn’t allow for political gerrymandering? That’s my hope for the next 4 years…

    (We got gerrymandered out of our blue dot congressperson and now they don’t even bother trying to run a democrat. So depressing.)

  272. nicoleandmaggie

    “Not sure how that is a Republican talking point.”
    Because you’ve taken a real benefit and portrayed it as a social bad. You really think that the possibility of a handful of under-privileged kids who might otherwise be swept into a handful of high end states schools theoretically losing that benefit outweighs the good done by legions of other disadvantaged kids being able to go to college at all in the first place. The same way that they say an increased minimum wage will “just hurt workers and old people on fixed incomes.”

    You’ve also bought into the conservative narrative that high quality education is necessarily a scarce resource. There’s no reason education has to be zero sum game except by the insistence of conservatives and the hand wringing of incrementalists that it’s impossible to put real resources against public education. Not to mention family leave, and access to affordable (or free) daycare, which would both contribute in a positive way towards disadvantaged kids getting a better crack at “high end schools”.

    Why be so worried about who’s going to end up on top, when there’s much more benefit to a broad, and accessible middle.

    Incrementalism seems to me to be a luxury of the comfortable to maintain a comfortable status quo, while alleviating the guilt of making it in a country where fewer people do all the time.

  273. John, at least if Trump wins, we will be amused by his attempts to make them show him the crashed alien spacecraft at Area 51. “I’m the president! I demand to see it!” But sir, it’s just a story. “You’re trying to hide it from me etc”

  274. So far for me the best part of this election has been watching all these so-called “progressives” become just as disagreeable, just as venal, and just as indignant over the implication of their own privilege as any “conservative.” Seems Mr. Twain was right all along:

    “One is obliged to concede that in true loftiness of character, Man cannot claim to approach even the meanest of the Higher Animals. It is plain that he is constitutionally incapable of approaching that altitude; that he is constitutionally afflicted with a Defect which must make such approach forever impossible, for it is manifest that this defect is permanent in him, indestructible, ineradicable.?I find this Defect to be the Moral Sense. He is the only animal that has it. It is the secret of his degredation. It is the quality which enables him to do wrong. It has no other office. It is incapable of performing any other function. It could never have been intended to perform any other. Without it, man could do no wrong. He would rise at once to the level of the Higher Animals.

    “Since the Moral Sense has but one office, the one capacity–to enable man to do wrong–it is plainly without value to him. It is as valueless to him as is disease. In fact, it manifestly is a disease. Rabies is bad, but it is not so bad as this disease. Rabies enables a man to do a bad, but it is not so bad as this disease. Rabies enables a man to do a thing which he could not do when in a healthy state: kill his neighbor with a poisonous bite. No one is the better man for having rabies. The Moral Sense enables a man to do wrong. It enables him to do wrong in a thousand ways. Rabies is an innocent disease, compared to the Moral Sense. No one, then, can be the better man for having the Moral Sense. What, now, do we find the Primal Curse to have been? Plainly what it was in the beginning: the infliction upon man of the Moral Sense; the ability to distinguish good from evil; and with it, necessarily, the ability to do evil; for there can be no evil act without the presence of consciousness of it in the doer of it. . . .

    “He has just one stupendous superiority. In his intellect he is supreme. The Higher Animals cannot touch him there. It is curious, it is noteworthy, that no heaven has ever been offered him wherein his one sole superiority was provided with a chance to enjoy itself. Even when he himself has imagined a heaven, he has never made provision in it for intellectual joys. It is a striking omission. It seems a tacit confession that heavens are provided for the Higher Animals alone. This is matter for thought; and for serious thought. And it is full of a grim suggestion: that we are not as important, perhaps, as we had all along supposed we were.”

  275. Oh, and perhaps some of the Bernie people should track down David Brin’s essay about getting high on indignation. Then read THE COLD EQUATIONS and do the math. But stop with all the FOX stuff about orange jumpsuits and indictments and Queen Hillary. Also read about Whitewater and the Benghazi hearings, which just may cause you to wonder if she is actually the spider at the center of a world-spanning crime network. And while you are at it, check and see if you have one of those dictionaries that left out the word ‘gullible.’
    I’m with Scalzi; I like what Bernie started out saying. Pretty soon it changed from ‘vote for my platform’ to ‘my opponent is a crook.’ This is also when he admitted he’d need GOP support to pass any of his platform. I think if he’d run against Trump, he’d have had a better chance.

  276. Nicole: Voting for Sanders over Clinton also represents a certain kind of privilege.

    I must say “Hillary owns the entire political spectrum” is an interesting game. But I don’t feel like playing given its one-sided rules. Sorry, but the best candidate for someone at the -7,-7 spot would be Bernie, not Hillary. And the person at that spot isn’t evil or a bigot either. People are different without being evil. The Hillary storm trooper squad seriously needs to chill the hell out with this “Hillary can do no wrong, Bernie can do no right” nonsense. It’s starting to land as “All shall love me and despair”.

    Just a reminder of how wide that spectrum is:

  277. @ben

    Free education hadn’t made K-12 education of equal quality for all. Until we can figure out how to make free education of equal quality for all, all that making state schools free is going to do is to crowd out the havenots.

    And the effects of college quality on outcomes is an empirical question with a pretty sizable literature. (Summary: quality helps lower SES kids, doesn’t change much for higher SES kids. Flagships and schools with more resources are better for lower SES kids in terms of graduation rates, income etc.)

    But seriously, what do I know, I only do policy analysis for a living.

    If we’re going to be accusatory, I would say that it sounds a lot like you don’t care about the have-nots. Or reality. Who exactly are you trying to benefit here?

    If logically (or to be technical, based on economic theory) something hurts the people it’s trying to help, if empirically it’s not going to happen, then why exactly is it good policy? Why should someone support or vote it? What exactly is wrong with supporting a policy that has the possibility of actually helping people?

    I’m not even sure why you’re attacking me. You’re saying I don’t care about people because I care about people and think that people need to think through policy carefully and understand it before trying to implement something that could hurt the most vulnerable. (Incidentally, Hillary Clinton has a strong grasp of policy. That’s why she’s the economist choice this time around. She also has a strong understanding of political limitations, which is why we also know things aren’t going to be perfect.)

    Maybe this is one of those ideals vs. pragmatism arguments? But are you really sure that you care about poor people and not just yourself and ideology? Because I’m just feeling attacks and not a whole lot of thinking here.

  278. How anyone could not love Redshirts is beyond me–maybe they were attempting to read it during a particularly bad flare-up of pancreatitis? In which case, I’d recommend leaving off the booze for awhile, and maybe giving Redshirts another go after rehab, or at least a few AA meetings….Actually, it is hard to take anyone’s opinion seriously if they can’t appreciate Redshirts…

    Glad to see Bernie’s starting to come around today. I really DON’T think Hillary will start shifting back to the center just because the Sanders pressure relents a bit–here’s why:

    A lot of us long time democrats just didn’t think the country was ready for a more progressive platform. We have been secretly wishing we could advocate for “more progressive” policies for years! But even 3-4 years ago, the term “liberal” was a dirty, dirty word. We accepted the fact that progressive policies had to be slowly spoon-fed to the overall populace in order to get them on board. The far right hasn’t just been demeaning Hillary for the last 2-3 decades, it has also been brainwashing the general public into believing the Dems are somehow Anti-American and scary/bad. Even when Dem policy is obviously better for the “average” American than trickle-down Republican policy.
    I thank Bernie Sanders for showing us that liberals can come out of the closet–seriously! And I’ll bet Hillary is RELIEVED and DELIGHTED she can go more left and not expect to get trounced in the general election for it!! Bernie has shown us change (improvement for our citizenry overall) doesn’t have to happen at a glacially slow pace. In fact, Bernie has done a great job lighting the fire under our collective butts to get it done now. Bernie has already given us the wake-up call we needed–actually, the “permission” we needed–to start acting the way we wanted to all along. I suspect Hillary is very grateful for that–without the Sanders phenomenon, we wouldn’t have realized the country is ready for more progressive policies. So–thank you, Bernie! You WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN! And to the Bernie supporters–the Dems are THRILLED to have you on our team! Please stay, and help keep us moving in the right (er, left) direction!

  279. @ Pedro: thanks for that link–too funny! Sent it to a bunch of my friends. BTW–there are orange howler monkeys in the wild…

  280. @nicoleandmaggie:

    I do like the way you think. Certainly Congress (subject to judicial review) has the power to curb gerrymandering of House of Representatives districts when state legislatures run amok — or perhaps more aptly, one might say, are chauffeured amok (**COUGH** North Carolina, Texas **COUGH**). But taking that kind of action would require, as usual, bills going through the US Senate and House and then harmonised in conference committee and then re-approved by both houses. Part of the aim of the (successful) REDMAP tactic, leading up to the post-2010 decennial redistricting, was to prevent the House from doing that.

    But I’m just a politics junkie, and could easily be missing something.

  281. @Rick Moen

    I’m hoping for this stupid party squabbling to stop and for Democrats to sweep downstream elections, maybe turn a few red/purple states blue. Because how can hate win against love? But we’ll see what happens.

    Plus there’s that irritating thing that politicians are so short sighted. When they’re in power they assume they’ll be the ones drawing the gerrymandered lines which will keep them in power.

    But if there’s a popular movement to push for cutting campaign money, that movement might also be able to hook onto sensible redistricting guidelines at the same time. But probably a pipe dream.

  282. @KFL: “@ Pedro: thanks for that link–too funny! Sent it to a bunch of my friends. BTW–there are orange howler monkeys in the wild…”

    I didn’t exactly have the Republican nominee in mind when posting that link, but now that you mention it . . .

  283. nicoleandmaggie:

    I don’t see why my privileged kids should be allowed to crowd out disadvantaged kids from top state schools, which is what free college education for all would do.

    I’m a Boomer. I grew up around people who had attended college on the Federal dime (GI Bill) and somehow that didn’t bankrupt the country, nor did it keep poorer people out of college.

    Back in the ’60s and ’70s, my partner and I attended the University of Arizona — which at the time came pretty close to the Arizona constitutional requirement of “as nearly free as possible” college education. All we had to pay for was a relatively modest fee for paperwork — no per-hour tuition — and of course books etc. Smokin’ deal.

    Many years later, my daughter attended UA and it cost more for her to attend there than it did for her brothers to go out of State in New Mexico. Ouch! So much for “as nearly free as possible.” But then Arizona is a much wealthier State than it was 45 years ago so of course they can’t afford free tuition any more.

    Today I’m retired from a fun (and lucrative) engineering career and I’m living in New Mexico. Now, New Mexico is one of the poorest States in the USA. Still, I find that I can indulge my long-standing dream of going back to study mathematics and physics at a very good university (NMT) for less than $3600 a semester — and more than half of the student body is on scholarship to top that off. Oh, yeah — less than half of them are white (although too few are female.) Remember, this is a poor State but it seems to come closer to “as nearly free as possible” than much wealthier Arizona.

  284. Pretty good; but no mention of the possibility that Sanders can affect the super-delegate scam in late July.

    In the interest of Democratic reconciliation, how about the superdelegates just collectively sit this one out?

  285. Ben:

    Incrementalism seems to me to be a luxury of the comfortable to maintain a comfortable status quo, while alleviating the guilt of making it in a country where fewer people do all the time.

    With all due respect, the only “luxury of the comfortable” I’ve been seeing the last couple of months is the grotesque sight of faux-gressives saying with a straight face that four years of Trump is what we need to bring about THE REVOLUTION. Which I find totally adorable coming from (overwhelmingly) well-off educated straight white cis-men who, let us never forget, are the least likely to ever feel the full force of radical-right malice at ANY level. This isn’t some college dorm room bull session or a matinee of Les Miserables

    Meanwhile actual progressives are going to keep doing the slow, hard, often infuriatingly glacial, work of getting shit done in the real world.

  286. Nicole: Voting for Sanders over Clinton also represents a certain kind of privilege.

    Nicole: I’m hoping for this stupid party squabbling to stop

    I don’t know… if you don’t want squabbling, maybe you shouldn’t declare all Bernie votes are bad faith votes.

    Just a thought.

  287. Dear JR,

    I entirely reject your first paragraph because you’re declaring that the sole issue I needed to deal with was the battle for the presidency, which I made explicitly false by the rest of my posting. Therefore you are building a false equivalency (or, I suppose, an inequality, to get pedantic about it [smile]).

    You are trying to reframe it so it conforms to your equivalencies. You are trying to reimagine my thought processes to suit your narrative. It does not conform to mine (I’ve lived in here longer than you have, so I’m probably right about this).

    To put it as simply as possible, I decided that the war (the future of the Democratic Party) was more important than the battle (for one election). That’s an entirely different calculus from the one you follow.

    You’re entirely free to disagree with my decision or conclusions, but don’t insist on a nonexistent equivalency.

    As for how else I might’ve gotten my message across, really none of your business. You don’t know what else I may have done during that election. I was only addressing reasons for voting a particular way.

    It doesn’t really matter what other Democratic presidential candidates have held. As in so many areas, it’s true in politics that nothing sells like success. If a candidate, with the full approval and anointment of the DNC, campaigns far, far to the right of the party’s norms (let alone my ideals) and that candidate wins, it will move the party’s position. Because, well, they’d be idiots if they didn’t.

    Which they sometimes are, but I but I don’t like betting in favor of stupidity.

    Of necessity, the party and the candidates do have to be focused on the battles, or else they won’t be around for the wars. Their calculus has to be very different from mine.


    Dear Rick,

    Yup, you are still right! I’m still in California and still in San Mateo County, which means I’m in a solidly Democratic state in an insanely Democratic district. I try not to pay attention to that, because if I did, I would become almost completely disengaged from any political races, because the outcome is in no doubt whatsoever. By chance of demographics and the way the system is constructed, I am effectively disenfranchised on almost everything except bond issues and ballot initiatives.

    So, for the sake of some-definition-of-sanity, I make believe that I’m not, and I make my political decisions and analyses based upon the fiction that my vote for or against a candidate does actually count for something. It keeps me engaged with politics and, you never know, someday I might move to a region where my vote actually does count, so it’s good to keep exercising one’s principles.

    [If I did engage with the reality of my demographic situation, the sensible thing to do would be to reregister as a Republican and do my best to monkey-wrench their nominating processes and party committees. I just can’t stomach that idea. I’ve never much liked strategic voting, anyway.]

    The point being that even if I had lived in a swing state, I still would’ve done what I did, because it was about the war for the future of the Party that I decided took precedence over the immediate battle.

    Others mileage can and will differ.

    pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery
    — Digital Restorations

  288. nicoleandmaggie

    “all that making state schools free is going to do is to crowd out the havenots.”
    That just doesn’t make sense. How can eliminating price as a barrier to entry hinder those without money rather than help? You’d removing the most significant barrier between prospective students without money, and higher education. You say the education system up until that point hinders them, and that’s true. But that’s going to be true with or without free college.

  289. @D.C. Sessions— The GI Bill isn’t the same at all! The world of the GI bill was totally different. Yes, the GI Bill was a wonderful thing and it had really great effects on the productivity of the economy. But it has very little to say about the situation today or disadvantaged people today. Or the kids of rich people today!

    OMG, I’m getting to the point in which I feel like I need to be paid to teach my public finance class. I’m hitting fatigue here so I’m not going to enumerate the differences but it’s not an externally valid experiment– there are differences in settings, differences in participants, and differences in the general equilibrium.

    I teach at a state school– a huge influx of funds to state schools would be wonderful for me personally. But making state schools free for everybody is bad policy. Making state schools free for poor kids (and affordable for middle class kids etc.) is good policy. Please do lobby your state legislatures to put more funds into higher education so tuition costs don’t keep rising. That would be great. Lobby the federal government to increase financial aid. Also great.

  290. @Greg

    “I don’t know… if you don’t want squabbling, maybe you shouldn’t declare all Bernie votes are bad faith votes.”
    When did I do that? I didn’t. Half our blog voted for Bernie. Stop making things up.

    I already explained it. I’m sorry you don’t understand. If you were in my public finance class and/or genuinely interested in policy rather than attacking me, I’d take more time to explain it until you got it. But when I say I want equal opportunity for all, I mean it, and there’s not much point in me arguing with someone who accuses me of being a Republican who doesn’t care about people.

    This is why more women don’t talk about why they support HRC, btw. Because who has time for this garbage. It’s tiring.

  291. I grew up around people who had attended college on the Federal dime (GI Bill) and somehow that didn’t bankrupt the country, nor did it keep poorer people out of college.

    They paid up to 500 dollars a year per person, which is only about $6000 in today’s dollars, and only about 2 million people took part, mostly men, mostly white. It was pretty tough for black veterans to access many of the benefits of the GI Bill, due to educational and especially housing discrimination.

  292. Just a note to say that there is no such thing as free education, just as there is no such thing as free aircraft carriers.

  293. Nicole: “When did I do that? I didn’t.”

    Earlier Nicole: “Voting for Sanders over Clinton also represents a certain kind of privilege.”

    For folks in the left half of that political compass, Bernie is just closer to them politically than Hillary. No invocation of privilege needed to explain it.

  294. Greg, I don’t think you know what privilege means, if you think telling someone they’re privileged is (a) accusing them of bad faith, or (b) somehow mutually exclusive with an explanation of their voting behavior that takes into account their political priorities.

  295. “For folks in the left half of that political compass, Bernie is just closer to them politically than Hillary. No invocation of privilege needed to explain it.”

    People who have been talked down to about how racial issues are largely irrelevant when viewed in the light of class issues might think otherwise.

  296. @Greg

    Read the entire exchange, jerk. Ben said exactly that about people who voted for Sanders and he said it first. Why aren’t you attacking him? That excerpt is from me in response when I pointed out that because HRC gets intersectionality and Sanders chose not to make it part of his platform, then there are differences in who is privileged to vote for one or the other. (Hint: Women and minorities aren’t stupidly voting against their best interests. Neither are the non-racist disadvantaged white dudes who support Sanders over Trump. WHICH I SAID. Jerk.)

    Are you maliciously taking things out of context? I haven’t been attacking Sanders supporters, I’ve just dared to be excited about Hillary Clinton. Apparently that’s all it takes.

    Normally I don’t call people names. But you are acting like a jerk. I do not like being quoted out of context or accused of things I did not do.

  297. Nicole: “Read the entire exchange, jerk. Ben said exactly that about people who voted for Sanders and he said it first. Why aren’t you attacking him?”

    I am not attacking him because (A) he didn’t say that and (B) what he did say:

    ben: ” I’ll grant that refusing to vote for Clinton (if you’re a liberal) represents a certain kind of privilege “

    I took as referring to Bernie supporters voting THIRD PARTY or staying home in the general election. Mostly because his entire next paragraph is addressed “To my fellow Sanders supporters,” and appears to be arguing that its better for a Bernie supporter to vote Clinton, than to not vote or vote third party and help Trump get into the white house, which if you haven’t notice my rants about third party idiocy, is something I entirely agree with. Voting Third Party presidential candidates does *nothing* and is entirely a privileged vote.

    most importantly, (C) you’re the one who said “I’m hoping for this stupid party squabbling to stop” after you squabbled back and forth over Bernie’s position on college tuition and the bit about privilege.

  298. Dear nicole&maggie,

    You are hardly alone in your thinking, but our ‘Steamed Host still prefers that we keep things civil in here. As in, not calling names and not going ad hominem.

    A very good tactic for dealing with certain folks of that j-word ilk is to pointedly ignore them. They hate that. [wicked grin]

    pax / Ctein

  299. “You support Hillary right now or you support Trump right now” is a false dichotomy. Bernie staying in the race until it’s formally decided at the convention doesn’t hurt Hillary – Bernie and Hillary have waged a very graceful campaign against each other and watching the Democratic debates constantly reassured me that no matter who the nominee is, the Democrats will be running a stronger candidate than the Republicans and a better person to boot. Meanwhile, the progressive energy that has coalesced behind Bernie doesn’t have to just dissipate into the ether – it can continue to pull the center leftwards and undo some of the “neo” political damage of the past few decades. I absolutely do not understand why the pro-Hillary crowd is so defensive about this. If you’ve got an obvious winner on your hands and Donald Trump is worse than a bowl of soup, then what’s the harm in keeping a healthy debate going between the actual adults in the room?

  300. A few minor points: She isn’t the first woman to be nominated as President (we had one in the 19th century I believe; she doesn’t quite have all the necessary committed delegates yet; and yet again, the media did its job. It got the anointed one the nomination.

    Still, if things hold to a predictable pattern, she won’t win. History shows that for the most part, people can’t stomach the same party in charge for more than two consecutive terms.

  301. I had been ignoring Greg for days, but he addressed me directly and lied about something I said. That’s either really poor reading comprehension or malicious. I’ve been brought up that calling someone stupid is beyond what is ok, as is calling someone what I had actually been thinking.

    Still, unless it is Ted Cruz one should attack the action, not the person, even in self defense. A good reminder. You’re right, you’re right.

    It is just SO tiring.

  302. nicoleandmaggie:

    I teach at a state school– a huge influx of funds to state schools would be wonderful for me personally. But making state schools free for everybody is bad policy. Making state schools free for poor kids (and affordable for middle class kids etc.) is good policy. Please do lobby your state legislatures to put more funds into higher education so tuition costs don’t keep rising. That would be great. Lobby the federal government to increase financial aid. Also great.

    I am trying to learn here. My point was that the situation 50 years ago, with UCal free to in-State students and roughly the same situation in Arizona worked pretty well — neither bankrupted the States, and (for instance) Berkeley went a long way towards creating the very healthy California tech economy and had some very nice positive externalities for the rest of the country.

    Today, despite being a very poor State, NM seems to be able to afford quite-inexpensive-to-free quality education for a fair number of its students (and a remarkable number of foreign ones, too.) So as a proof of concept, it certainly seems that bringing postsecondary education within the affordability envelope of the non-privileged [1] [2] is within the fiscal envelope. As distinct from the current Red-State trend of defunding community colleges. WTF?

    And, DAMN! how awesome it is to attend commencement and watch as three or four generations of extended family show up to see the first in the clan graduate from a kick-ass program. Especially when that’s a large slice of the graduating class. Those are people who value education.

    Of course, the really big budget busters are K-12 simply due to numbers. Add the tragedy of States that have turned geography into a trap by making bankrupt municipalities like Detroit unable to fund even bad K-12 schools due to nonexistent local tax base, so free postsecondary is useless to the functionally illiterate. And no question that’s a problem with NM too. One thing AZ got right, even if it took a tungsten mallet for the State courts to force the constitutional “uniform system of education.” We do need to fix that somehow.

    So: I suspect you and I aren’t thinking in the same constraints envelope. Or not — either way, as above, please point me at some place to start amending my certainly-imperfect visualization of the Cosmic All.

    Best Regards,
    D. C. Sessions

    [1] Not me. I paid cash for my kids’ Bachelors’ and managed to retire to irresponsible studenthood at 62. I’m working on paying either back or forward, as appropriate.
    [2] I really don’t mind if the privileged get a free ride at the same time, because there aren’t enough of them to seriously affect the budget and, like with Social Security, it improves the political base.

  303. Rural southwestern Ohio is timeless and pleasant. I know. My people both living and dead are all around you. You have been there long enough now that it is certainly under your skin. What a nice way to live and work. All that education and a good bit of success like a big fish in a farm pond. Very comfortable. It would be nice to keep it that way. That area of the country is definitely a man’s world. It’s safe, it’s very white bread, not a place where people like to rock the boat. I’m not saying what I’ll do about voting yet although I’ve voted all my life. I’ve seen hardship. I’ve seen the changes in Ohio, gutted of manufacturing, public schools dumbed down, the middle class decimated. It’s true. It’s hard to go home again. It’s not a time to be pompous in our opinions. The people who have not had a share of the opportunity are in enough pain that they are now willing to share the pain in hopes of creating change, any change. Many are ready to take the risk. Speak to them.

  304. @D.C. Sessions

    You can’t really compare the situation now to 40-50 years ago. A much smaller population and a much smaller percentage of that population when to college back then. There’s been an absolute explosion of college-eligible/intended students and not enough state schools built to keep up with them.

    Berkeley in the ’60s was a good school. People who went there were smart, but typically only applied to 1-2 colleges and went where they got in. It was much less competitive. Berkeley gets more than 50,000 applications every year for less than 15,000 slots. UCLA, UCSD, Davis, UCSB, UCSC, etc. are all the same way.

    We’ve built 1 new UC in the last 45 years. That’s not enough to keep up with demand (as evidenced by the increased competitiveness). Berkeley is expensive–I should know, I graduated from there in 2011. If a rich kid got into Berkeley and Stanford, they’d go to Stanford because it wasn’t that much more and it was more prestigious. If Berkeley were free to all, the rich kid would probably go to Berkeley and leave 1 fewer spot for a poor kid.

    If we’d kept building public colleges at the rate that the student population grew? We’d be having a very different conversation. But free college at public schools isn’t a panacea for all that ails us–it’s the end goal, to be sure, but there’s so much that needs to happen first to make it viable and not counter-productive that it’s not realistic to even talk about at this stage.

  305. Nicole: “he… lied about something I said.”

    Oh for petes sake, I quoted you. And you can complain that ben said the same thing but I didnt attack him, but 99% of his post was “dont vote third party” with one line, in parens iirc, about voting for clinton being a privilege, whereas your post that I quoted was in its entirety about how voting for Bernie was an exercise in privilege.

    So, no, I didnt lie about what you said, I quoted you. And no, i didnt take you out of context because your entire post was about Bernie privilege. And no, I didnt treat ben differently for doing the same thing because he did something entirely different.

    And, again, YOU were the one bemoaning the “squabbling” after you squabbled for several posts about bernie privilege and then *college tuition* of all things. And my “attack” was to point out your contribution to the squabbling, in response to which, you said I attacked you, lied about what you said, and called me a jerk.

    For the more strident Hillary supporters, it isnt enough that Hillary won the primary, they want to annhilate anything positive about Bernie. His is a privilege vote landed along those lines. As did the squabbling over tuition. Tuition??? As someone who got government help to go to college and probably wouldnt have been able to afford it without that help, quibbling over the details of something that is clearly an issue seemed to be more of that burn-anything-bernie attitude. And then you complained about “squabbling”.

  306. The weird thing about all this is that there are SO many people who hate Clinton that when you find someone who actually sees her clearly, as you do, it’s a big surprise. Twenty-five years of smears and whispers, innuendos and accusations, bullshit and flat-out lies, leave a mark on the public mind.

    However … EVEN IF I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT HER, I’d know she was innocent of most of this crap. Why? Because the GOP hates her with a blind passion. But in the past two decades during which the GOP controlled Congress or the White House or both for long periods of time, Hillary hasn’t been charged with ONE. SINGLE. THING. If there had been anything even remotely arguable, they would have — WOULD HAVE — had her indicted.

    Instead … nothing. Zip. Just the lies and bullshit, which even Democrats and liberals, too many of them, have swallowed and internalized.

    So yes, Hillary-haters on the left, hold your nose and vote for Hillary Clinton. You’ll get a president better than you deserve.

  307. Many Independent voters support Bernie. It’s beyond me why they are expected, by democrats, to support Hillary, a product of the corrupt DNC establishment.

  308. Ctein: “A very good tactic for dealing with certain folks of that j-word ilk is to pointedly ignore them. They hate that. [wicked grin]”
    No, I am a big fan of truth, and the thing I hate is people who cause harm and then lie about it. The more the harm, the more I hate it. The bigger th the lie, the more I hate it. The Iraq war, based on lies and killing hundreds of thousands, pissed me off to no end. I will never forgive Hillary for it as long as she refuses to take responsibility for her vote. Thats the lowest circle of hell. Then there are folks who commit individual acts of violence and lie about it. Cops killing unarmed black people and saying they feared for their lives. Anti abortionists saying they are “pro life” when they’re not. And then there are the nonviolent types of harm, wall street buying our democracy, lying about trickle down economics. And then there are things like creationists lying about the second law of thermodynamics to push their dogma, third party voters thinkig they’re changing the world and everyone else are sheeple, when the reality is they have no effect whatsoever.

    I think most people have highly accurate moral scales. The problem is all the lying they do before they weigh things. Personally, I dont care if you call me a jerk, because at least youre telling the truth. Causing a bit of harm, sure, but you’re honest about how you feel. (Course you may be telling some internal lies to justify the name calling, but keep those lies to yourself and I dont care). I dont care if pedro wants to say I am a monkey with small balls. At least he’s being honest. Certainly, he’s being weasely about it trying to be coy about who he is attacking, but at least he isnt lying about it. You want to *ignore* me??? Fine by me, no harm, no foul. But if youre going to go public about voting third party in 2004, then I will point out when you are bending the math to get the answer you wanted, when you are putting your thumb on the moral scale to downplay all the people killed in Bush’s war, and oversell whatever nonsense justification you had for giving Bush another 4 years. Because thats what I hate: people causing harm and then lying about it.

  309. Watching the positively epic amounts of butthurt pour into my Facebook feed from people wailing about how corrupt and unfair it was that Bernie lost makes me realize that this is something new. We’re actually getting to watch a generation of children lose their political virginity right here on social media.

  310. My Facebook has been, over the months, full of posts from family lauding Trump, Cruz or Bernie. The Trump and Cruz have all dropped off but the Bernie ones still keep going.
    Love my ex-sister-in-law dearly but the posts she sends on just make me want to bang my head on the wall. You can’t sashay into a political party where other people have been putting in time and money and just expect them to ‘see the light’ and move over for you and make allowances because you’re special.
    You need to know what time to show up and you need to actually get your people to show up.
    If the AP says that a majority of the superdelegates are going with Hilary (Well, duh!) it’s not some kind of Machiavellian plot. I could have told you that–my father could have told you that–anyone with a brain has been saying it.
    Saying that Bernie would have won except for the “millions of voters who were disenfranchised” doesn’t make it true. Or that “millions of voters” were disenfranchised.
    Bernie has lost. If all those programs and ideals were so vital and important to you, congratulations, now you get to do the hard part and actually work towards getting them instead of assuming that having your candidate win would magically make it happen.
    I, personally, think that what could happen is that this is the goal Hilary’s been working toward all her life. And people seem to think that she’ll be beholden to (fill in the blank) if she does.
    But why? What would she need them for?
    The next step is to consider what she wants her legacy to be. What’s to say she says the hell with you all and does what she wants to create a fabulous legacy as the first woman President.

  311. Many Independent voters support Bernie. It’s beyond me why they are expected, by democrats, to support Hillary, a product of the corrupt DNC establishment.

    Because if they support Bernie and have half a brain, the VERY last thing they want is Donald Trump anywhere near the White House.

  312. Glad I stumbled on to your site. One of the most intelligent places I’ve been for a while. I’m still surprised at the amount of venom and vitriol directed at Clinton, and most of it is just venom on venom — as if the writer just needs to vent. I seldom see any actual explanation for the rage. Trump himself provides more than enough reason, in any event, to vote for her.

  313. Tremendous piece. I’ve been for Hillary since before Obama (though I was enthusiastic about him in the end, and I think he’s been an outstanding president). I met her in a friend’s living room when she first ran for Senate, and she was warm, charming, intelligent… and downright beautiful.

    Of course she’s not perfect, and she’s made mistakes. Any failure to admit to them can be chalked up to her decades-long need to protect herself from the constant slings and arrows hurled at her. She’s a politician–she makes compromises and certainly does what she can to get elected–that’s what politicians do. It’s amazing to me that Hillary has survived that outsized scrutiny throughout all these years. As to why she stayed married to Bill… doesn’t anyone believe in marriage vows any more?

    At 21, she gave a great commencement speech, which sounds downright prescient today. You can listen to her here:

    Completely aside from the fact that it will be cool for women to be represented in the White House at last, it is also true that she is one of THE most prepared individuals ever to run for POTUS. I believe she will win walking away, she will make us proud, and the entire world will heave a sigh of relief when we elect her.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, John. And nice meeting you at SFWA! I was one of the Eunuchs on stage with Emperor Stardust dancing to that funky tune.


  314. @Greg:

    No, I am a big fan of truth, and the thing I hate is people who cause harm and then lie about it.

    You’d be amazed at what you can achieve by simply being kind, though. Ctein is Good People, for example, and you really ought to want him as a friend-from-afar (the 21st C. substitute for actual friend). It’s not merely that he lives in my ridiculously-Democratic-dominated county and therefore is presumptively a man of grace and distinction: I’ve also been encountering him on panels and at art shows all over the West for decades, and he’s one of the more thoughtful cranky lefties (and gifted artists) you’ll ever meet.

    Point is: If you listen to him in the spirt intended, you might learn a few things even if you don’t agree with him. I have, and it’s a great gift. And being kind is, in my experience, one of the first steps towards listening. Once you have committed the sin of empathy, it’s difficult not to listen.

  315. Am from Africa,& the other day was reading articles on the ‘Hillary’ I wish someone can print for her all the comments written underneath every article on her so she can finally see how the world views her.
    & there’s no difference between her or ‘Trump’ ;the only main difference is that ‘Trump’ says all the evil & nasty things he believes in & threatens to be doing extreme things right to our faces;he doesn’t pretend to be someone else!
    ‘Hillary’ on the other hand gives you sugary diplomatic talk & goes on to fulfill her secret evil agenda;she pretends to be someone else & she’s also a real threat to the world,& no group will have there lives better under her watch. She must get out of her own bubble.She’s in the race for her ‘1%’ friends & wall street full stop. Just go read every comment under all articles on her.
    God gave America a chance to become a great nation again via ‘Bernie Sanders’,but there’re those who don’t want to see this happen.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    “Presidents are selected, not elected.”
    Louis- Ferdinand Celine
    “I have never voted in my life… I have always known and understood that the idiots are in a majority so it’s certain they will win.” (Goodreads)

  316. Actually they said that ‘Bernie’s’ position is as same as ‘Obama’ in 2008;he was very behind ‘Hillary’,then everything thing changed for his favour in the end & he became the president!

  317. I was one of the Eunuchs on stage with Emperor Stardust dancing to that funky tune.

    Thank you, Patrice Fitzgerald. Thank you! This is such an awesome descriptor. One of the reasons that I lurk here: the pearls in the comments threads. And our host’s lovely mix of thoughtful and fun and beautiful posts. Also the kittens.

  318. Hillary”s experience does not add up to qualification. Her record shows that she lacks good judgment, whether it was urging the deposing of Qaddaffi in Libya, the ignoring of Ambassador Stevens’ repeated pleas of more security, or the willful misleading of the families of those who died because of her inaction. I won’t even go to how she was fired as an aide by a Democrat senator during the Watergate era for unethical behavior. Her career has been driven by ambition and avoidance of responsibility.

    This doesn’t mean I’m a Trump fan. But he at least has a track record of successfully running a large organization… unlike Hillary. Trump’s rise is the result of the failure of the Republican establishment to fulfill their election promises to their voters.

    I think we deserve Trump, because neither side seems to have the good sense to support someone better.

  319. I suspect that the people spouting bile and venom about HRC here and elsewhere have no idea of the reaction it invokes in people without a vested interest.

    The sheer hatred underlines for me just how badly broken the social contract in the US is; people claiming to have progressive views whilst simultaneously exhibiting profound sexism and profound racism do have insuperable credibility difficulties…

  320. re Steve C. “Just a note to say that there is no such thing as free education, just as there is no such thing as free aircraft carriers.”

    Ahh, and who gets rich building aircraft carriers (and smart bombs and drones etc.)? And who would get rich if we took any and all free market checks on education?

    People forget Eisenhower’s farewell speech at their peril.

  321. RickG: “You’d be amazed at what you can achieve by simply being kind, though.”

    Well, lets give it a try.

    ObiJohn: “fired as an aide by a Democrat senator during the Watergate era for unethical behavior”

    ObiJohn: While I appreciate your efforts to help this country find the best leadership possible, I would add one minor factual correction to you comment: Hillary wasnt fired from Watergate

    I am confident that your clearly strong sense of morality will cause you to retract your statement and reevaluate your assessment of Hillary. And dont worry, people get these kinds of facts wrong all the time because the internet is full of extremists who have no regard for the truth. So now that you have the facts with regard to Hillary/Watergate, I would be interested in hearing your new assessment of Hillary.

  322. Greg: serious question here. Do you really believe that you are a persuasive debater?

  323. Count me as one who has never liked or trusted either Clinton and found some hope and excitement in Sanders’ ideas and candidacy. However, I’m neither a child who threatens to sit in the corner, fingers in my ears yelling “la la la”, nor am I willing to politically kill myself or my country by refusing to accept the reality of a Clinton presidency. Regardless of my personal feelings, she’s on the right side of most of the issues I care about and she’s not an insane man-baby whose sole political experience is limited to rage tweeting at people he doesn’t like.

  324. Trump does not appear to be a particularly good businessperson, so I’m not at all sure he has even that going for him–even if it were a good qualification for the presidency, which I’m not at all sure it is:

    Trump’s driving motivation seems to be to win whatever he decides he wants to win, and his one true gift is self-promotion. That’s not what I want or deserve in a president. I would prefer someone who has a proven track record in government, someone who knows how things get done at the federal level and has a history of being able to work with others in government, as Clinton does. I don’t agree with everything she has done, and her foreign policy tends to be much more hawkish than I would prefer, but I think she’s tough enough to go up against her opponents as needed and will be able to attract effective talent as advisors and cabinet officers. She’s not a loose cannon, as Trump is, and she understands how to operate in a system of checks and balances.

  325. The fact that the Republican Party would endorse a racist in his run for the White House shows what the party has become. It is no longer the party of Lincoln, no matter how Paul Ryan tries to dress it. It has, especially since 2008, when the Tea Party infringed on it en mass, been the divisive party. They have said, in their own words that they would do all they can to ensure Obama would go down in history as the worse president ever. They never once tried to work with him..and I always wondered if it was just because he was a Democrat or because he was black. Now with their endorsement of Trump, I am sure it is both.

    Tea Party Republicans have NOT set out to care about the country’s economy (letting us downgrade our status in the financial market by holding our government hostage and throwing a temper tantrum over Obamacare…), and giving tax breaks to corporations who send their companies overseas and kill jobs in America. Face it, it is NOT immigrants taking jobs away from the working class American Citizens; it is Corporate America who lines their pockets.

    Tea Party Republicans tout, LESS government, yet want to micromanage people’s lives and healthcare, especially women, by shutting down Planned Parenthood Health Clinics and trying to overturn Roe v. Wade. One only has to look to Michigan to see what our Governor Snyder and the Republican legislators can do when they have total control. There are no checks and balances nor transparency. They are destroying public education in this country (Again, just look at Michigan and see what Governor Snyder has done to Detroit Public Schools, and how he has pushed for both charter and online schooling- to line HIS pockets from the likes of corporation owners like DeVos of Amway, and Pearson, who makes a ton of money over-testing our youth. What he is doing is not for the betterment of kids) Snyder has poisoned our prison systems with tainted food and corrupt corporate workers who have abused prisoners to boot. The Aramark Company was chosen to save a few bucks in our prison system and although they are no longer in charge, there are other crises in Michigan that still do as a result of their penny-pinching schemes. The Flint Water Crisis has been done out of micromanaging (EFM = Emergency Financial Manager) Despite the fact that he knowingly poisoned Flint Residents, Snyder has not stepped down. I do not think that should be a choice…

    No, we do NOT need another business man running or rather ruining our country the way Snyder did Michigan. Trump would not be President; he would be tyrant. His foreign endorsements are Russia and North Korea, all other countries HATE him and find him an embarrassment every time he opens his mouth. Making America Great, Again? What by walling us off from the rest of the world? And I am NOT just talking Mexico but in “walling” I mean alienating. America IS a great country. We always come together in times of crisis. Trump will divide us. Racism does that. I do not think Trump has what it takes to lead this country. Nor do I think he cares about leading, just winning the presidency as if it is one more acquisition he can add to the list of TRUMP GREATNESS that exists only in his demagogue tiny little brain, which by the way is smaller than his hands .

  326. “the ignoring of Ambassador Stevens’ repeated pleas of more security, or the willful misleading of the families of those who died because of her inaction. I won’t even go to how she was fired as an aide by a Democrat senator during the Watergate era for unethical behavior. ”

    Well, you shouldn’t go into it because, of course, you’re lying. Or, to be generous, uncritically repeating other people’s lies.

  327. “Look at the tyranny of party — at what is called party allegiance, party loyalty — a snare invented by designing men for selfish purposes — and which turns voters into chattles, slaves, rabbits, and all the while their masters, and they themselves are shouting rubbish about liberty, independence, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, honestly unconscious of the fantastic contradiction; and forgetting or ignoring that their fathers and the churches shouted the same blasphemies a generation earlier when they were closing their doors against the hunted slave, beating his handful of humane defenders with Bible texts and billies, and pocketing the insults and licking the shoes of his Southern master.”

    – Twain, “The Character of Man”
    Published in Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1

    You may not think he had you in mind . . . but I assure you, he did.

  328. I voted in the primaries for Sanders over Hillary because I like progression, not stagnation. Now I must vote for the lesser of 2 evils. The candidate that will not destroy our country and that has the most experience. Both candidates have baggage, but at least Hillary will not take us back to pre civil rights days…nor will she divide us over issues of race. The smartest thing she can do right now to boost her campaign supporters is to make it an all woman ticket and choose Elizabeth Warren as her running mate. Warren on the ticket would put a fire back under Sanders supporters, especially the young voters. They would know there is a TRUE and more honest liberal to help move our party and country in a positive progressive way. I hope she chooses Warren. Warren does not have the baggage Hillary has and will tear Trump apart!

  329. Except that Sanders supporters are already ripping Warren for her perceived lack of support for Sanders, and are declaring that her support for Clinton will not woo them. Meanwhile Mitch McConnell has publicly stated that Trump does not really have the knowledge to be President, but he should be President anyway, because GOP.

    Two versions of the tyranny of party, illustrating Mr. Twain’s observation above.

  330. @ bitter posters.

    We’ve just had a wonderful quote from a bitter man, bitterly complaining about injustices and observable faults in politicians. Erm, this very famous person became a very bitter old man, just to make the point again. Sadly he became one from valid PERSONAL reasons.

    So: as to bitterness, I have a question.

    Do you feel more comfortable if policy makers are bitter people, or rather seasoned and more humane-appearing negotiators? Do you want bitter folks in charge – are those the underlining messages?

    Personally, I prefer folk who can smile genuinely and acknowledge faults to a point, happily kiss babies even, and hopefully recognize but forgive faults that others might have … to a point. To me that makes a less-bitter negotiator and a better politician, someone I’d vote for.

    I’ve seen HRC (that acronym sounds royal somehow!), goof around with snotty little tykes and I’ve enjoyed watching it. Sorry, but that’s a better sign for me.

  331. Sanders will drop out, endorse, and get fully behind the Clinton campaign as soon as the DC Primary is over. Given all that he’s said about letting the voters have their say, it would be awkward for him to drop out before the last primary. (Not that we DC voters matter.)

  332. Think about the differences between “appearance” and what we laughably refer to as “reality,” and I think you may have the answer to your own question.

    “In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”

    -Twain, autobiographical dictation, 10 July 1908. Published in Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 3

  333. From my perspective in Canuckistan, I have always found the Hillary-bashing to be baffling. The level of scrutiny she has been subject to for the last 3 decades would make lesser men crack under the pressure. If the people who want her out of US politics were trying to get her to quit, to go away already, it’s backfired rather spectacularly on them. It’s only made her stronger, made her work harder, made her a better listener. And, more likeable. Even if you had a better voting option than Trump on the GOP side, it’s unlikely they would be as well-qualified, or as well-respected internationally, as Clinton. While I don’t think Bernie is a good choice for VP, I hope he finds a place within the Administration to continue to provide that outsider perspective, because income inequality has reached a point where it is an threat to your political stability.

  334. Erm, Mysteron, who do you think understands the differences between appearance and reality better in The Merchant of Venice — Portia or Shylock? One looks for vengeance, or at least the addressing of slights, and the other for mercy.

    Granted, I’m getting a bit literary here, but…

  335. With regard to Richard Norton’s question about preferences: personally, I’m not interested in self-described mavericks or out-siders who self-identify as those who are separate from their peers. Bitter or cheerful, doesn’t matter to me. I want someone who knows how to get along with others, who can get a consensus out of those attracted to the middle ground and can make things happen. The it’s-all-about-ME-ME-ME types like Sanders or Ron Paul or John McCain wouldn’t make good executives. Obama struck me as just fine and if he’d had decent, honorable Republicans during his two terms, he might have done even more.

    But these above-it-all, better-than-everyone-else’ers, no thanks.

  336. @Magda

    Well said … and I back off to your point.

    I was just getting this taste in my mouth reading all this, and maybe while drinking too much coffee…

  337. They say character is what you are in the dark. Well, what you are when there aren’t any cameras on you isn’t too far away from that, I suppose, for a politician.

    I’ve personally seen how Hillary Clinton acts when the cameras are off – something that I suspect few of her most strident detractors have done – and I’m more than comfortable with the idea of voting for her in November. Even if the GOP were nominating a thoroughly decent person with impeccable morals and character, I’ve already seen enough examples of what behavior gets rewarded in that party, and who gets elevated, that Clinton would still get my vote.

    Could Clinton be more progressive? Without question, much more so, but that’s been the good aspect of the Sanders challenge, making it clear that there are people who want to take the country in a more progressive direction. And there are others in the progressive coalition besides Sanders who will continue to make sure those voices are heard. (Exhibit A: Elizabeth Warren.)

    And a historical note: Hillary Clinton has actually run in general elections – in 2000 and 2006 for Senator from New York. She got no-doubt-about-it majorities both times.

  338. Portia and Shylock are fictional constructs. As are vengeance and mercy. They are all lies we have told ourselves in order to feel better about who we are. Necessary lies, perhaps, but still and all, lies.

    I have no such illusions, nor do I hold myself out as better than anyone else. I am mean, wicked, cynical, and small of mind. I am the worst of a bad bunch: Humanity, a race so self-obsessed and without self regard that it has taken its own name to mean something good in the world.

    This election is one more indication that we are coming to the end of our road as a species. The wood is still, barely, green, and look at how we behave, to and with one another. If this is how we are now, think on how we will be when it is finally, inevitably dry.

    I would bid you peace, but there is no such thing.

  339. This election is now a contest between Candidate Bad and Candidate Worse. Some days its just hard to know who is which. “Paging Gary Johnson. Paging Gary Johnson.”

  340. Pedro, I think you mean, “a contest between Candidate Generally Acceptable and Candidate Ungodly Abomination”. There is simply no way in which Hillary is NOT a better option than Der Trumpenführer.

  341. Candidate Pretty Awesome and Candidate “Wait, what? You’re really going to make him the nominee? I mean, it’s your party and all, but seriously?”

  342. Candidate Shoes For Industry and Candidate I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus . . .

%d bloggers like this: