Quick Political Open Thread 7/26/16

Allow me to preface it by having an imaginary Q&A:


A: That’s not actually a question.


A: Because he got a bit of a convention bounce, it looks like.


A: Still not a question, and also, go ahead and read this from Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium (who, incidentally, has been pretty much spot on for the last few election cycles). It might calm you down.

Q: What are your thoughts about the Russians maybe hacking the DNC?

A: If it’s true, then obviously it’s troubling, especially as the timing makes it appear to be an effort to throw things Trump’s way. The circumstantial evidence is piling up that it was an act by Russian intelligence service but we don’t know for sure (and come on, probably never will know for certain), nor at the moment does it seem like the Trump folks are actively involved, even if they might be a beneficiary. So I’m not gonna blame Trump for this one.

Personally if I were the GOP candidate for president I wouldn’t want to have even the appearance of being Putin’s favorite boy. But Trump doesn’t appear to care, so.

Q: Thoughts on the contents of the DNC email dump?

A: Meh? As Vox notes, there’s not a whole lot of there there, although I understand the Dead-End Berners are het up about it, rather more than Sanders himself is (probably because unlike the DEBs, Sanders himself realizes that this point for the nation, it getting a half a loaf from Clinton is better than it being set on fire by Trump while racists and antisemites dance around the flames in a circle, holding hands). In any event Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is the appointed fall gal, and getting the boot, and apparently no one will really miss her, so, fine. Moving on.

Q: But corruption at the DNC! Favoritism! Dogs and cats living together!

A: Honestly? I kind of don’t give a shit. As I noted on Twitter, the DNC email stuff is venial sin stuff — people who were stupid enough to put things in email that they shouldn’t. Which is not exactly surprising — most people put things in email that they shouldn’t — but also not things that at the moment I care that much about. I’m rather more concerned about the Russians possibly trying to mess with our elections. While you can care about both of those, of course, I know which one of those I care about more. Your mileage may vary.

And of course outside of all of this is the fact that Trump, the worst presidential candidate in modern history, is still a presidential candidate. The DNC email nonsense doesn’t even move the needle in terms of Things That Would Keep Me From Voting For Hillary Clinton If Only To Stop Donald Trump.

Q: What about Wasserman-Schultz being made honorary chairperson of the Clinton campaign?

A: What, a face saving “promotion” with apparently no real power? You do understand how politics works, yes?

Q: Any thoughts on Tim Kaine as VP?

A: Seems okay. I understand some folks distrust his commitment to pro-choiceness, but inasmuch as he’s got endorsements from NARAL and Planned Parenthood it’s not blipping my own concern radar (please note, however, as someone who is not likely to get pregnant anytime soon, my own concern radar is not as finely calibrated as others). The two main knocks on him seem to be he accepted some gifts at one point and that he’s kind of boring. With the former let’s see where that goes, but with the latter, good. I don’t want drama, I want someone who is competent and knows how to do the gig. We have enough drama already.

Q: Will the DNC get messy?

A: Oh, probably, since the DEBs can’t let it go, and everyone loves drama.

Q: Any additional thoughts on the Dead-End Berners?

A: I hope they have fun now, because if they’re still at it after the convention, they’ll basically be admitting they’re happy to dance around the trash fire with the racists and antisemites. It’s nice for them to have the luxury of not caring if they consign others to the flames.

Q: That’s, uh, pretty harsh.

A: Not a question.

Q: Don’t you think that’s pretty harsh?

A: Nope! Or, actually, yes, it is, and? I don’t really have much time for the DEBs anymore, or the privileged stupidity of “Trump and Clinton are the same” or of “she’s just the lesser evil” (or, hilariously, that she’s worse than Trump, if you’re any flavor of liberal or progressive). Get it out of your system in the next couple of days, and then get with the fucking program already, people. It’s important.

Go ahead and chat politics in the comments, folks.

197 Comments on “Quick Political Open Thread 7/26/16”

  1. The thing that gets me is “But Bernie polled so much higher so he’d win!” I like Bernie, if he’d won I’d be voting for him with fewer reservations than I’ll be voting for Hillary. But he polls well because the Republican and Trump attack dogs haven’t gone after him, even pumping him up a bit as “see how terrible Hillary treated him”. If he were to win the nomination, he’s got a lot in his bio that could be used to make those polls swing wildly. We are, even now, a mostly centrist country, with most people a bit left of center or a bit right of center. Hard left or hard right can be made to be very scary very easily.
    One other thing – this is the first election I can remember when I wish that both parties would flip the order on their tickets. I’d vote for Kaine with far fewer reservations, and Pence doesn’t scare me like Trump does. I suspect the VP debate will be interesting and on the issues. (The Presidential debates will be a sideshow)

  2. My thought on the emails, aside from the weird reality that anyone using email should automatically assume that they’ve no expectation of privacy, is that people playing politics for the highest stakes there are in this world generally are not playing by Marquess of Queensbury Rules and that they will sometimes discuss doing things which are not ethical. But since none of these things seem to have been acted upon, this all feels to me much like the discussions teenage friends of mine and I had on how we would rob Fort Knox if we were Goldfinger.

  3. The analogy I’ve been using with my super-left friends is the ABCs of first aid that I learned in Army first aid training, and in the Boy Scouts before that – the things you do to make sure a casualty will make it to the next stage of treatment. Yes, there’s absolutely stuff to be fixed in the political process. But right now, we’ve gotta make sure the patient is breathing and not bleeding out.

    Since my family lives in a pretty solidly pro-Democrat state, some of us are going to go volunteer in a neighboring state which is not as solidly safe as we’d like.

  4. I’m shocked! Shocked! That the DNC wanted to kneecap Sander’s primary campaign.

    I mean, I get they were supposed to be neutral and non-partisan but some of them have probably been working on getting Clinton elected for a decade. They weren’t going to take kindly to an outsider trying to run an upstart campaign. Sanders wasn’t facing an uphill battle just due to a disadvantage in name recognition and money.

  5. Bernie was my first choice but I knew that it was very unlikely. Hillary, because she has locked up the nomination has become, by default, my second choice. I have no third option. I will vote for Hillary because we need to send the message that Trumpism is not f’ing acceptable. It’s not acceptable to campaign as a demagogue. It’s not acceptable to surround yourself with and retweet racists and bigots and misogynists and claim that they “don’t speak for me,” I am fine with voting for the lesser evil. At least the result will be less evil. Think of where we would be if we had just held our noses and voted for less evil in more than 4 of the last 9 elections.

  6. First things first: I would give my left thumb (which I do not use to type) to be able to present arguments as cogently and thoroughly as you do. I had the opportunity to attend UC and didn’t. NOW I’m kicking myself… I wish I’d taken those classes.

    Anyway. Politics.

    I think there is a better-than-average chance that yes, the Russians did in fact have quite a lot to do with hacking the DNC emails, but absent a defector we aren’t likely to find out for sure for decades, if ever. Trump has expressed admiration for Putin, who is smart enough to smile thinly, accept the praise, and continue on his planned course, which is the re-creation and expansion of the Soviet Union, only with a new tsar. Not that he’s planning on a dynasty. That’s the difference between a demagogue and a really intelligent, ruthless man. Trump can casually toss around ideas like using nuclear weapons without having the first clue what that means. Putin knows and doesn’t care.

    As for the DEBs (did you come up with that one, or did someone else?), the phrase “cutting off your nose to spite your face” springs to mind. “The perfect is the enemy of the good” also applies.

    As for the polls–the thing that scares me the most about those is the political hay that Trump will make from them, and the folks who actually believe, in the face of all evidence otherwise (“oh, FACTS. You can prove anything with FACTS”) that he’s telling the truth and/or has the best interests of the country at heart will seize on it to reinforce those beliefs. Not that anything on earth is likely to shift them anyway.

  7. Isn’t there a third-party candidate. I kinda want them. Even though a third-party candidate has never won before, maybe this could be a first president that is neither Democrat or Republican.

  8. Candidates are known by the support they receive. Anyone who can get the support of Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-Un, and David Duke just isn’t going to make my list of good candidates for any office.

  9. Far as I can tell, at this point it gets down to RNC (that’s Republican National Committee, not Convention) strategists hollering “SQUIRREL” at the tops of their lungs while pointing in all directions at once, in an (I hope vain) attempt to redirect uncommitted voters’ attention from the harsh reality that:
    a) the dregs of their Party have taken over and just endorsed an incompetent, utterly inexperienced, unregenerate fascist for President, and
    b) their opponents are about to endorse one of the single most experienced, well-known, highly-vetted, extremely competent individuals EVER to run for President.

    If more than two decades of unremitting vilification, character assassination, misogynist hatred, rabid pecksniffing, FOIA combing, and congressional investigations haven’t come up with a single flaw beyond “some careless emailing,” that effort can at least be charged to the credit side of their leger in the “no smoke without fire” propagandizing column.

    Tell the Big Lie about your opponent loudly enough, determinedly enough, often enough, through enough mouthpieces, with enough blood, sweat, tears and foam, and you inevitably create an uncritically-thinking, negatively-inclined anyway (not to mention probably misogynist) echo chamber of massive volume and proportion.

    Do I just adore everything about Hillary Clinton? Frankly, no. I’ve got a laundry list of things I wish she’d change as far as whether she thinks certain kinds of compromises are worthwhile and where certain lines should be drawn. I like Bernie’s positions better.

    But I’ve never disliked Hillary and always respected her highly. I’d be delighted to vote for her even if the alternative wasn’t a blobby orange narcissistic, sociopathic proto-dictator WITH NOT A SHRED OF EXPERIENCE IN PUBLIC OFFICE.

    At this point, the RNC solons have only the one strategy left in their bag, which is to fling poo, and hope they can attract enough monkey-wrenchers and fellow-travellers and dirty-tricksters onto the stage to deflect attention from reality.

    “Reality” being, that in general, the Democratic Party as a whole is both delighted with their ticket, and cautiously optimistic for an election that will place them in position to bypass some of the relentless obstructionism of the manbabies who’ve been holding the nation’s economy, environment, and infrastructure hostage for the past twenty years.

  10. So this is to be an anti-campaign where the determining factor is in the danger of the opponent rather than the qualifications of the candidate?

  11. I must admit a very small part of me does hope Trump wins the election. Mainly because your blogging, John, is always brilliant when it involves lunatic Republicans and your blog was on fire when W. Bush was in the Whitehouse. Maybe it is nostalgia, but there you are. Plus it would make Brexit only the second most stupid vote result in 2016 and I really want to be in a nation that isn’t in first place for that one.

    As a non-American I do have one question. Is it “Whitehouse” all one word, or is it “White House” two words? I’ve seen it used both ways, so I’d like to know?

  12. To be honest the dem’s emails seem pretty mild (now I’m really curious about the RNC’s emails, given the circumstances I suspect this year’s emails are unlikely to be nearly as mild).

  13. The rest of the world is just hoping that all those to the left of centre and beyond get their arses together and vote for Hillary because we don’t want Trump to have the nuclear codes. And yes, realistically, at this point, it really is about keeping out Trump at all costs. Nothing else matters any more. Hillary can do want ever she wants from this point onwards, she will always be the saner option.

    Damn those pesky term limits, why can’t you just vote Obama back in?

  14. Wow. Super Harsh.

    You are essentially writing off the younger generation by straw manning them as unlikable, unreasonable, and unthinking.

    The Generational warfare focus of Hilary Clinton in the form of not acknowledging the drastic cuts to education spending, and the increasingly regressive nature of the tax on wealth, coupled with a focus on “Bad Government” as defined by the corruption of elected officials to oversee the transfer of wealth and power from the population to the politically connected.

    I understand the necessity of Hillary Clinton to maintain the status quo of the american political system, but as you regularly point out, the Status Quo isn’t good for an increasingly large share of the population, most notably the poor and the young. As we restructure the economy to increasingly favor wealth over work the barrier for entry to the “Middle” and “Upper” class increases.

    Are you, John, comfortable with a Hilary Clinton that wants to farther exacerbates these problems? Aren’t the subclass of democrats and independents that are demanding better policy positions and decision making from Hillary Clinton our best hope for a more constructive, and egalitarian near term political future for our country?

    Yes, Hillary Clinton wants to do less harm (in the short term) to our country in your and my view than Donald Trump, and so it would be best for her to win the upcoming election. But even better than winning without any sort of critical feedback while receiving universal accolades and fathering her self image that she is, like Richard Nixon, incapable of doing wrong, might be a Hillary Clinton that is forced to self evaluate some of her more problematic, irrational, and promoting of generational warfare positions to govern in a slightly more constructive manner.

    In short, shouldn’t we all do our best to encourage Hillary Clinton to do more good and less harm? If so, then shouldn’t you be supportive of the motives if not methods of those trying to do so?

  15. themesretro:

    The two “third party” candidates this time around with the highest profile are Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green). I’ve been encouraging disgruntled GOPers/conservatives to look at Johnson, as he is actually probably closer to most of their positions than Trump is. If you’re a progressive you might look at Stein, although, no disrespect to Stein, every left(ish) vote that isn’t for Clinton this year is effectively a vote for Trump, especially in “swing” states.

    Neither Johnson or Stein is likely to win a state, although Johnson is polling better than he might otherwise, mostly due to Trump (and possibly a bit because of Clinton).


    “You are essentially writing off the younger generation by straw manning them as unlikable, unreasonable, and unthinking.”

    Well, no, as not every member of the “younger generation” is for Sanders (nor for that matter is every “older generation” person for Clinton). Please bear in mind that if I had wanted to say “younger generation,” I would have written that, as I am a professional writer and generally have the skill to be reasonably precise. I said “Dead-End Berners” without regard to age. I am curious why you think I wouldn’t notice that substitution on your part.

    Which is to say before you criticize the mote of straw in my eye, please remove the straw beam from yours, thanks.

  16. Hillary ain’t perfect (but who is?), but we have essentially a binary choice given our electoral system between a fairly mainstream Dem and a bullying ignorant authoritarian demagogue. For me it is a pretty simple decision. The DEBs need to get over their angst and hurt feelings and get on board the train.

  17. President Trump. All down to the DNC failing to push Hillary out to pasture. She had her shot 8 years ago and blew it. The only good thing about Trump is he’s a “Republican” she has an outside shot of defeating – apart from Cruz, any of the others would have beaten her like a drum. She’s the walking embodiment of why people are so pissed off at politicians, and that anger will lead to Trump (like that anger lead to Brexit in the UK).

    I think it’s about 75:25 in favor of Trump now

  18. Why is everyone so surprised that the DNC and Democratic leadership were more inclined to support the candidate who has worked within the party for 40 years building relationships over the outsider who became a Demcorat the morning after he decided to run for the Presidency? There’s a reason the the primary season began with Clinton holding a 500/40 advantage in pledged delegate endorsements.

  19. Note the Reddit Chris S:

    “I think it’s about 75:25 in favor of Trump now”

    You’d have to show evidence of that outside your own brain, Chris. 538 polls-only data currently has it 54-46 in Clinton’s favor.

  20. I keep forwarding on your political posts to all my friends. It just saves much so much time! You pretty much say what I’m thinking, just more cleverly.

  21. themesretro: part of the reason a third party candidate has never won is that our electoral system makes it functionally impossible for them to. Not having a binary which-is-worse choice all the time would be nice, but at the moment that IS what we have. CGP Grey did a pretty good job of explaining the reasons here, IIRC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7tWHJfhiyo

    nellern: in this case Clinton could easily campaign on her merits versus Trump’s, but fear of an incompetent, racist, pathological liar and attention whore make a pretty solid lever for people who might vote third party as a statement or otherwise swing the vote toward utterly fucking everyone.

    I don’t especially like some of Clinton’s positions, but as many people have said repeatedly, she’s got 30 years of public office experience in one capacity or another compared to Trump’s zero. (and before someone brings up business experience as if they had anything in common: she has also never run a company into bankruptcy, started a fraudulent university or tried to trade on her name recognition to sell steaks at the Sharper Image.)

  22. Y’know I read this bit of tag’s post:
    “You are essentially writing off the younger generation by straw manning them as unlikable, unreasonable, and unthinking.”
    And I didn’t recall seeing anything like that in our host’s essay up top.
    So, I went back and reread it, and I still don’t see any of these things.
    At all.
    There’s no mention of the younger generation anywhere? Unlikable, unreasonable and unthinking? Still not seeing it.
    Maybe I am just not seeing it. Maybe someone is reading something into it that isn’t there.
    I’ll go back and read it again, and maybe something will pop out at me this time.

  23. @Not the Reddit Chris S.: She had her shot 8 years ago and blew it.
    Adams. Jefferson. Monroe. Jackson. Harrison. Buchanan. Fillmore. Johnson. Grant. Cleveland. Nixon. Reagan. Bush. Running for President and losing does not seem to be quite the disqualifier for the post that you make it out to be.

  24. What about Starbucks allowing purple hair (http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/starbucks-dress-code-1.3694225?cmp=rss)? Where does that register on your problem scale?

    Okay, back to politics. Pick any polling site (I, too, like Sam Wang and NYT summarizes 7 or 8 sites for ease of comparison) and they all say the same thing — 1) average, average, average and 2) wait a couple (or six) weeks before interpreting anything. Am I happy with a Trump lead? Hell no! Am I worried? Only in the sense if it were Clinton +15, I would be less worried.

    Bernie seems to have brought this on. Not conceding after CA (or, really, NY) was like the face that launched a thousand (conspiracy) ships. He gained a smidgen of leverage over a platform plank or two. Whopee. No one will give two hoots about those come Nov or even 2-3 years from now. But, having Democratic delegates chanting “Hillary for Prison” like a die-hard Trumpkin is just throwing gasoline on that growing trash fire.

    Finally, yes, I am more worried about the Putin connection than anything else. I hope you have frequently referred to Josh Marshall’s reporting at Talking Points Memo (http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trump-putin-russia-connections). Sure, there was never a clandestine, midnight rendezvous with Putin handing Trump briefcases of cash. But, the ready admiration for authoritarianism, multiple advisers with Russian connections, and blatant anti-NATO statements is deeply disturbing. There doesn’t have to be grainy photographs of the briefcase hand-off to justify that worry. Trump and several of his advisers stand to make large amounts of money should sanctions be lifted on Russia and NATO hamstrung from responding to Stalin-esque reconstruction of the Iron Curtain. Trump would never bother himself with a treaty ally or the welfare independent, democratic, states (and their citizens) if he stands to gain. Ugh, he makes me ill.

  25. Inside my brain is scary at the moment.

    So you’re saying that someone regarded as the most qualified candidate in history is basically a coin-flip with the least qualified candidate in history? That doesn’t actually give me the warm and fuzzies.

    75:25 is the election time odds, IMO. Trump has perfected the Bullshit Gallop – spew 40-50 unbalanced and wildly inaccurate things everyday, the press fall over themselves as there are so many, no correction sticks as he’s spewed out another dozen before the next news cycle. Conventional politics are useless against someone with such malleable position(s). People will vote with their feelings even more so than normal this time around.

    I think you’ve got to look at Trump through the entertainment lens, not the political one – he’s like the Kardashians, completely unexplainable to 50% of the population, but still massively rich. Colbert and Jon Stewart both get this, it’s why they are terrified of him – they know he will win.

    The debates will be a shitstorm – Trump will lie and bluster his way through, but Hillary can’t deal with that – this is the post-factual campaign, nothing matters this time apart from conviction and the sense that everything is going wrong, it’s Washington’s fault, lets burn it down – and Hillary has no answer to that – her message is four more years of the same, and that isn’t going to work.

  26. @logophage – Hillary is 69. That’s too old for the position, these days (yes I know Trump is 70, but that’s the least of his problems). Look how much Obama has aged and he was only 47 when elected – I know he stopped dying his hair, but still. She’s a generation or two too old, IMO. She has shown no intent to be a figurehead (like Reagan or Bush 2).

  27. See you at the bonfire! Should be quite a party. I’m the one drinking Everclear from a Sterno can, a Star Trek tattoo on my [censored] and the big sign that says ‘I wrote in John Scalzi — Whatever!’

  28. @Kurt Blumer: why would a major corporation taking the stick out of its backside regarding what its employees do with their hair be a problem?

  29. @Not the Reddit Chris S. Regarding debates, no Democratic candidate should debate Trump. It’s pointless and you can only lose. If challenged, they just need to offer a clipshow of the Republican debates and say America deserves more dignity. Would you vote for someone who !@#$%#’d a pig?

  30. Since nobody else has said it: Tim Kaine is awesome and I am getting to where I want to throw things when people talk about him being boring. The idea that someone who worked that hard to expose and stop racist lending and make the world a better place is boring says a lot more about our culture than it does Kaine. I can imagine these same people complaining that Ghandi’s sartorial choices making them uninterested in his message. “Ugh, so monochrome. Put some color on if you want me to listen to you.”

    It’s outright distressing that some bunch of never-happys have latched onto a minor request to the consumer finance bureau about tailoring regulations to actual risk (not removing any oversight, as I have seen some claim) and spin it to mean he’s some sort of bankster sleaze. This guy went after a redlining company to the tune of tens of millions in damages, and they only escaped that judgment on a nonsense technicality about standing. Find me a letter from Nationwide Mutual Insurance about what a pro-banking dude Kaine is and we’ll talk. I’m pretty sure there’s lenders still using a picture of him for a dartboard. But he’s not full-bore screaming about Wall Street so he must be some sort of conspirator.

  31. Not the Reddit Chris S.: Hillary is 69. That’s too old for the position, these days

    I too tend to pay attention to the ages of presidential candidates–my personal cut-off is 72, in that I vowed once that I’d never again vote for a candidate who would hit 80 during his second term–but I decided fairly early that I was going to have to eat that vow, this time. Sanders is 74, well past my cut-off, but if he’d been the nominee I would have voted for him. Somewhere along the line, I commented that if Sanders won the nomination and actually died before the election, I’d still vote for him over Trump. Clinton, at 69? When she’s picked a solid, 57-year-old Vice Presidential candidate? Pfui. Not a factor.

  32. people playing politics for the highest stakes there are in this world generally are not playing by Marquess of Queensbury Rules and that they will sometimes discuss doing things which are not ethical.

    I’ve become increasingly aware that you pay the iron price in politics. NB: metaphorically! You can do it politely, and even nicely, but it is still the iron price. What I don’t like is the extent to which Mrs Clinton is reviled for paying the iron price, while Mr Sanders and Mr Obama seem not to suffer for it at all.

  33. “Trump has expressed admiration for Putin”

    He’s done more than that. There was exactly one issue on the GOP platform that Trump had input into. Originally, the platform was going to call for sending US arms to the government of Ukraine to help with its Russia problem. Trump had that removed. It was literally the only thing he cared about in the platform. As far as I’m concerned, he’s an agent of a foreign government and the only people voting for him are anti-American filth.

  34. Please, the Russians (and Chinese) have likely been involved in US politics at some point for the last 70 years; just like the US has inserted itself into other nation’s politics (usually to their regret).

    Everyone occasionally writes stuff in their e-mails that they later wish they hadn’t.

    Clinton was the presumptive from the day before day one, which is why Sanders alone out of all possible candidates actually tried to make it a contest.

    There is a progressively angrier mob with torches and pitchforks popping up world-wide, and Trumpaneers are no different (would someone please draw a picture of Trump wearing MM ears?), and hopefully will not be given the keys to this kingdom’s nuclear launch codes (a different kind of torch and pitchfork combined)..

    Actually, none of this mayhem is really surprising. The most surprising thing is all the mayhem about it. Responsible, adult action is wiser, saner, and calmer than running amok screaming and wailing. An appropriate response is not fear. Instead, being the adults in the silly funhouse room is better.

    So,”Yes, what ABOUT Starbucks and that purple hair?!?” Or, equally, the Kanye/Kardashian feud with Taylor Swift! Now THERE’S something to dance around the bonfire about!

  35. I was waiting for this thread. It was inevitable.

    The points raised don’t really surprise me much, either.

    All I have to say is that last night I contributed $27 to Tim Canova, and I drowned my sorrows in $5 pizzas.

    Because what else CAN we do when the shit we said was biased was actually biased? Apparently fall in line behind Clinton…

  36. I would suggest to anyone who wants more than two parties out there with real power to consider the history of politics in Israel and where multiple parties has gotten that country. Or you could look the compromises in many European countries and decide whether you’d prefer that to having the coalitions inside the parties.

    I genuinely don’t understand how, on the numbers, it looks to anyone as though Trump will win. 538 today claims he has an edge, but The Upshot, Electoral Vote, and the Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium all disagree and give HRC from 65% to 80% chance of winning.

  37. @Mechalith: I agree. I just found the coincidence in my RSS feed funny. Scalzi’s talking about trash fires that are actually important. And, Starbucks just figured out that a barista may not conform to 1950’s standards for dress and style.

  38. I’m a little shocked that people are surprised that the DNC wanted Hillary to win. First off, the Democratic National Committee, in terms of the presidential election, has one job: get a Democrat elected as President of the United States of America. The important thing to remember here is that Bernie Sanders is NOT a Democrat. He is an independent. He’s only running as a Dem right now because it’s easier for him.

    And for all the email kerfuffle, it doesn’t seem like the DNC actually DID anything to deny Bernie the election.

  39. The email “scandal” doesn’t bother me much, either. Sanders has long said he wasn’t a Democrat and called the party corrupt. He only joined to run for president, and for months he did nothing to help down ballot races.

    Is it any surprise that the people actually working in the trenches resent him and hoped he would lose?

    They still shouldn’t have put those thoughts into email, though.

  40. Loyd Jenkins:

    Yes, it’s called my retirement account, since I strongly suspect if Trump gets into office the stock market is going to implode.

  41. Heh, I was going to cite the Sam Wang item, so props to Our Good Host for being spot-on.

    Further to what Prof. Wang wrote: Waiting until after Labour Day (Sept. 5th) for meaningful poll numbers is (historically) the bare minimum, but I have low confidence in our getting predictive numbers even then. The problem is that turnout is a huge and destabilising wild factor, and one I doubt the pollsters will be able to correctly track. On the one hand, massive turnout by angry, fearful white guys (which Michael Moore predicts will give Drumpf a landslide) could flip, say, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia and put Drump over 270. On the other hand, the necessary 28 point or so increase in their turnout would be freaky. On the gripping hand, this is the year for freaky.

    My best advice: Politely nag your non-insane US-citizen friends & associates to register, and to verify their registration. Advocate their doing early voting / vote by mail as most likely to be voted and counted. And don’t wait on doing that. IMO, turnout is going to be everything for this one, and you shouldn’t assume your state is ‘safe’ for either party this year, either.

    @tag8833 wrote:

    You are essentially writing off the younger generation by straw manning them as unlikable, unreasonable, and unthinking.

    Passing over the already-noted chutzpah of this talk about ‘straw manning’: Get the younger generation to the polls for a change, and then we’ll talk.

  42. Should it matter whether Trump is knowingly complicit in what Russia’s doing, or only receiving unrequested benefits from a corrupt dictator? Based upon Josh Marshall’s reporting at TPM, said dictator has financial leverage over Trump already, and if he throws the election too, we might as well get Brian Henson to provide a muppet for Putin to manipulate.

    Trump’s banged on about Ted Cruz’s dad being involved with the JFK assassination based upon less evidence. I don’t see why Democrats shouldn’t run with Trump as a Manchurian candidate.

  43. One thing that might give the accusation about Russia legs is that it’s a concrete example of how Trump would a disaster for American foreign policy. Unlike a lot of the worst case scenarios, it’s about something Trump said he would do that he wouldn’t need Congress to sign-off on. Nor is it apocalyptic and “it couldn’t happen here” (again) level stuff.

  44. It’s my opinion that Trump is not running for President of the USA. He’s running for the LAST President of the USA.

    My husband says he’s going to write in Boaty McBoatface. I’ll go with the choice of sane people.

  45. With negatives so high for both candidates, I think we will see record turnout to vote come November and most will be voting against the other candidate and not so much for their own party’s candidate. Electoral College patterns still favor the Dems as this point in the polling. I am actually voting for Hillary and not against Trump.

  46. Ok, let’s say that Clinton is everything some say she is: a corrupt, greedy liar who got her friends to manipulate the system in her favor. Personally, I’ll take corruption over pure unadulterated xenophobic bigotry and fear mongering any day of the week. I mean, really, greed (in it’s many forms) is something you can take into account and work with. Random acts of wild evil assholery you can’t. Here there be dragons.

    As for the DNC emails, I’m pretty much with Scalzi – meh. Nothing would have been different either way, they were stupid enough to put it in writing (basic rule of life: put nothing in writing that you wouldn’t want the whole world to know), and someone paid for it. Ok. Let Donna Brazil take a whack at it for a few months and see she can do better. I suspect so after watching her for years on TV being an actual thoughtful adult and everything.

    On Russia, well, the most disturbing thing thing there is that your basic neo-fascist who longs for the good old days of the Soviet Union actually LIKES and is probably promoting, in his own scummy little way, a candidate for president of the United States. US politics is in a world of hurt when someone like that can look at it see a good outcome for himself.

    But, when all is said and done, on November 9th, America will have to get up out of bed and look itself in the mirror and live with whatever it finds there. Hopefully, it won’t be a moment of “what the hell happened last night?!?”

  47. I’ll be voting for Hillary Clinton. I didn’t vote in the primary because I would have been satisfied either voting for Ms. Clinton or for Mr. Sanders come November. I like her. I like him. This isn’t that surprising considering when you look at their voting records in the Senate they’re substantially similar.

    I tuned out of a lot of this in-party drama a long time ago except for occasionally being distressed at how angry a lot of my friends have been. I don’t know Kaine that well as a candidate but he seems OK, and I don’t think some of the more progressive choices for VP were particularly realistic.

    Trump is an absolutely horrifying candidate and the RNC this year was nightmarish. I can’t believe the level of virulence against Hillary Clinton from some of my compatriots on the left.

  48. People that argue for 3rd party candidates ignore the fact that per the Constitution, the U.S. is designed as a First Past The Post (FPTP) voting system. This is huge impediment to 3rd party candidate success.

    In a parliamentarian system (Canada, UK, Australia, etc), if 20% of the population supports the Green party, then 20% of the representatives in the government would, by law, have to be from the Green Party. This forces compromise and coalition building between similar parties so that someone can gain majority control and appoint the Prime Minister.

    But here’s the kicker… we don’t have that form of democracy. In the U.S. we only have one representative per voting district. And the winner is whoever gets the most votes. A typical scenario… if 55% of a district is liberal and 45% is conservative, but you have 2 relatively liberal candidates and one nutcase conservative… then the 2 liberals would likely get between 20-35% of the vote each, but the conservative gets 45%. Guess who wins. And in swing states the margin is much closer.

    I get really impatient with American who think we can just arbitrarily decide to have a 3 party system without understanding the underpinnings of why things are the way they are.

  49. Can anyone really complain about rigged campaigns in a country where gerrymandering takes place? ALL campaigns for Congress are rigged. The only undefinable is popular vote in the Nationals.

  50. @jmatchan

    UK is a parliamentary system, but also first past the post. Whoever gets a plurality of votes in each constituency is elected to the House of Commons. You are confusing the UK with countries (such as Italy or Israel) that use a proportional system. Hence the proliferation of parties in proportional systems and essentially two-party rule in the UK.

    For the rest you are right of course.

  51. Thanks @RSchiaffino. That explains the UK slant on the anti-FPTP articles I was reading. I guess there are people in the UK trying to change AWAY from it too.

  52. As someone from the other camp, I will be voting Libertarian this year. While I have never been a Clinton fan, there is no possible way that I can back my party’s candidate.

    I fully realize that mine is a protest vote.

  53. jmatchan: “In a parliamentarian system (Canada, UK, Australia, etc), if 20% of the population supports the Green party, then 20% of the representatives in the government would, by law, have to be from the Green Party. This forces compromise and coalition building between similar parties so that someone can gain majority control and appoint the Prime Minister.”

    This is incorrect. You’re conflating a parliamentary system, where the leader of the executive is drawn from parliament, and a proportional election system. In fact, the UK’s last two governments rather infamously failed to win majorities of the vote but got a majority of parliamentary seats. See also the crushing win of the SNP in the election, getting all but one seat despite winning just over fifty percent of the vote nation-wide. PR is better seen with the Scottish parliament or the German budestag.

    Canada is actually a very good example of why third parties are a bad idea in First-Past-The-Post elections like the US. The Conservatives managed to unite into one party and then kept winning despite only getting 60% of the vote. Justin Trudeau is PM now largely because of strategic voting on the left to focus on the Liberals over NPD anywhere they were stronger.

  54. Wow. So we are in an argument whether Sanders won a majority of younger voters in the democratic primary?

    Or whether the Bernie or Bust vote is primarily younger voters?

    Honestly I don’t see where you guys are coming from. Facts say young voters overwhelmingly prefer Sanders. Facts say it is the younger voters who are holding out in larger numbers than the older voters. They prefer Sanders over Clinton because of real substantive policy differences, especially those that focus on generational warfare (AKA a shift of wealth from one generation to another)

    I don’t endorse Clinton’s generational warfare policies, so I support the Protesters outside the DNC. I support their motives if not their methods, and honestly, I don’t know what methods are available to someone like me that doesn’t like the shift of taxation from wealth to income, payroll, and consumption, and the shifting of spending from Education to Defense, Prisons, and Health Care***.

    I live in Kansas so my vote for president doesn’t count. In fact the only elections likely to be close are primary elections. I use my vote as best I can, but it clearly isn’t as powerful as someone who lives in Ohio of Florida, so I’m left ranting on the internet, trying to decide if joining protesters would farther my goals, or interfere with them. Right now I’m on the interfere side, but every time I see a post that disregards what are real, and meaningful policy differences in favor of fear mongering (TRUMP!!!!!!), I feel incredibly depressed and angry.

    ***NOTE: Since Apparently, one incorrectly parsed idea is sufficient to disregard the substance of my post, I want to underline that I support an Increase in spending on health care just not at the expense of Education, I think it should be supported by an increase in taxes on Wealth. Older people are the leading consumers of health care, and younger people are the leading consumers of Education. We can argue about that too if you disagree because you know an Old lady who went to college.

  55. 2nd NOTE: I understand that Sanders is also engaging in Generational warfare in the other direction. I am 36 years old. My education is behind me as are my student loans. I am in the position of increasingly becoming a caregiver for the older generations such as my parents, and my wive’s grandparents. At the same time my Nephew is nearly ready to enter college. What I see now is that my Parents generation has mostly what they need, while my Nephew’s generation are struggling, and because my family is close wealth is flowing from the older generation to the younger to support their Education, and ability to enter the Economy with some good advantages.

    I would like to see a structural shift of wealth to decrease the economic drag on independence, advancement, and achievement that is the burden of the younger generation, even those that aren’t a member of my personal family.

  56. In Canada federally we vote for a member of parliament that also happens to belong to a political party big or small. The leader of the party with the most mps elected becomes Prime minister. Each riding win is first past the post and thank the Lord for that. Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others. Progressivism yes, stability yes. That is not strictly proportional representation but in my opinion one never truly loses their vote. So if third or fourth or fifth parties are your thing rejoin the commonwealth and let’s have bygones be bygones.

  57. RE: Trump and Putin, Trump has been in bed with the American crime families for decades, why would it surprise anyone if he was in bed with the Russian ones.

  58. Ok, first? Trump has more than expressed admiration for Putin. He has hired a Putin surrogate for his campaign manager, his former NY State campaign manager, all kinds of folks. He’s repudiated NATO.


    He’s a barrel of laughs. He credited the DNC breach today to one of “our many friends in Russia or China.”


    But yes, as the retired founding executive director of Tor (not speaking for the project, it’s my CV), I’m telling you there’s evidence it was Russia. That this was known over a month ago and in the Washington Post and you can check that there. It’s not controversial.

    The email breach was reported in WaPo in June at the same time as the theft of opposition research on the Trump campaign. In that story it was reported that the breach had occurred over months.

    There was very little doubt at that point what was up, only shocking thing was that WikiLeaks whored themselves out for it.

    I tweeted to them that there had best be a couple of felonies under all this pony crap. Because now, they’ve painted targets on every hacktivist’s back in the world.

    Regime change psyops cyberwarfare in collaboration with rival foreign intelligence? Turn this around.

    Say LePen’s campaign in France had ties to the NSA, under President Trump, upcoming election. So they hit the incumbent left wing party server, find tasteless cheese-eating gossipy bits the staff says about LePen (target rich environment that), but no real malfeasance, and get a fascist elected president of France.

    You would freak the hell out.

    Welcome to our primrose path, the Way of No Nice Things.

    If you want clean politics, here’s a mop and a bucket, and a schedule of local party meetings.

    Put in the hours or please stop thinking no one’s working on it. It is as much better today as our streets are than Bull Connor’s. You have no idea how nice DWS is than the old machine she replaced.

    You want instant heaven? Find us a way to mix humans and power and not ferment asshats. We are fighting this. You read world building f&sf.

    You think they make these people up? Why do you think Game of Thrones is exciting? It’s based on history and human nature. Risk and threat.

    We confront that in politics. We need more players, more Jedi, more support — less spectators telling us we’re doing it wrong. More of what Robert Anton Wilson used to call pro-noia.

    I have done some admirable things in my career. Even this week. And it’s demoralizing to have that erased in an instant by people more willing to consider politics a transmedia entertainment than a civic duty and a literacy.

    Reading is not enough. Talking to each other is not enough. Please get out of your silos and your ergonomic chairs, meet your neighbors who have different skins and incomes and educations and jobs and religions, and figure out what your community looks like from ground level.

    All politics is local. Do you even know where you live anymore?

  59. The current poll numbers don’t bother me. I’ll wait until the DNCC is over and then check Nate Silver and electoral-vote.com. If THEY say that Trump is winning, then I’ll wet myself.

  60. 318 million people and these two are the best their parties could come up with? And a large portion of the populace think Trump is the better option? At best I have to listen to him spew for another year. I try to be an upbeat human despite my inherent tendencies, this election cycle is making it very hard.

  61. One thing I want to say here is in regards to the DNC email hack. I find it highly implausible that Russian intelligence was behind the leak, because it would compromise their own “sources and methods.” National intelligence agencies don’t usually turn over data to third parties, especially to a non-state actor (rogue?) like Wikileaks. I don’t think it would be super hard to be able to hack into the DNC – for skilled hackers, of which there seem to be plenty in the world.

    Does Putin have a preference in this election? Maybe, maybe not. Trump’s spoken warmly of him, and wants to get along with him, and Clinton appears more militant. However, Putin has dealt with the Clintons in the past-both of them (and really ran circles around them), so it’s not like he’s facing something new and scary in a President Clinton-Trump may be more unpredictable.

    That said I think Putin is thoroughly enjoying the spectacle of American politics, and Russia will be Russia no matter who wins.

  62. I’m from Indiana. Trust me, you DO NOT want Pence. He is boring, evil and a puppet. My nightmare is Trump will win, be assassinated, and Pence will become President.

  63. I work in IT security, so I think there a lot more emails left to come out. It’s not like you need to forge handwriting a whole page or even a signature. You can adjust timestamps, check headers for the proper versions as related to the dates in use, etc. You could even get a bot to turn out hundreds of emails based on the thousands already released to mimic style.
    Figuring someone’s already got the buy-off of Sanders, they’ll release those next since Clinton and the DNC are already shown as not very trustworthy. Right now, he’s setup as the opposition within the party who also happens to be supporting Clinton at this point. Once he’s shown to comprise his principles for the sake of Clinton and to beat Trump, then only one more thing will be needed.
    Some released emails, even manufactured, will show Clinton would stop at nothing to get elected. There won’t be time for another one year FBI investigation. No one will believe the denials because all of the players have burned those bridges. The emails would show some sort of illegal behavior bordering on treason I would think, likely with a foreign government and the Clinton Foundation. There would need to be a third party link to launder the money, but it’ll be some group or person who is questionable and it would be found in documents from 6 months ago or that a reporter has already discussed as suspicious. This new missing email will tie together several known transactions and meetings and be completely plausible. Of course, at this point, it’ll be too late to have another candidate other than Clinton.
    As Trump has made clear, the VP is running the government under him. The Republicans cannot wait to impeach another Clinton if she gets that far. In this election, you’re probably really voting for the VP and not the headliner, unless you actually vote for Johnson or Stein — though she says she wants to abdicate to Sanders anyway. So, I see your choice as being Johnson, Kaine, or Pense. The discussion the other day talked about throwing your vote away with third parties, but really I only see that you’re throwing your vote away with R’s and D’s because you’ll actually get the VP within 100 days or less.

  64. As someone who does still have student loans, I suspect my best chance of getting those reduced and things made better for the generations to come is not letting Trump get elected. Also my best chance of living in any kind of rational world.

    I mean, yes, if you live in a totally safe state and protest vote, that’s fine. Yes, keep bringing up issues and hold the DNC to account, vote for third parties at local levels, and so forth. But this is not the campus theater production of RENT, and the Bernie-or-Bust protesters are acting as if they’re under that impression.

    Generational wealth transfer is a real and legitimate issue, as is the need for taxation, more educational funding, etc. But unwillingness to compromise is not actually a positive character trait.

  65. I am not a fan of RE Lee but he did have a particularly trenchant line after Stuart hung him out to dry in Pennsylvania. When Stuart finally showed up & wanted a head pat for his pointless bravado Lee said, “We have no time for this now, the enemy is before us”.

  66. @ScottH: Okay, but even if your…theory…holds water, I’d far rather have Kaine than a man who wants to abolish the corporate income tax and the Department of Education. I’d far rather have five ferrets in a trenchcoat than Pense.

  67. This thing with the DNC emails parallels a larger trend that I’ve seen occurring recently: that greater transparency leads to more outrage even as objective conditions improve.

    Violent crime is down year after year since 1992. Shootings both by police officers and of police officers have similarly decreased, but as they get more media attention, it’s a bigger issue now than it ever was before. (People are upset because of the racism, but black folks have always been harassed by cops in an overwhelmingly disproportionate manner – although I don’t have any good data I suspect that things are better in 2016 than previously, despite the publicized cases.)

    Hillary has always been the DNC’s favored candidate – if Bernie hadn’t decided to run, she would have been effectively unopposed. No one expected him to do as well as he did – he ran as a protest candidate from the beginning, and I expect he was as surprised as anyone that he gained so much support. I’m not trying to excuse the DNC here – it seems clear that they violated their own charter in supporting a particular candidate – but I can’t help feeling that it’s to be expected, especially given Bernie’s entire career as an anti-establishment activist.

    It seems weird that people say things like “I’m supporting Trump because Hillary’s a liar,” given that everything Trump says is nearly fact-free and Hillary doesn’t seem to lie much more than the average politician, but Trump says what (some) people *want* to believe, and he says it with total conviction, no matter how bizarre it is, and especially when it confirms their existing prejudices – and it helps that he’s not a Washington insider, so even though he’s totally corrupt, he’s not *politically* corrupt.

    I don’t like Hillary. I think she’s incredibly flawed as a candidate and as a human – her warmongering (not even just the Iraq vote that everyone harps on, but “we came we saw, he died,” her involvement in the Honduras coup, etc.), her support for the death penalty, her cronyism (e. g. Sidney Blumenthal), her utterly condescending remarks about and to younger voters – all of these make it hard to vote for her.

    Nonetheless, everything she’s done so far is more or less unexceptional. Picking Tim Kaine over Elizabeth Warren or Cory Booker was the conventional thing to do – you’re losing white men over 35, losing religious people, losing Southerners, so you pick an old white guy from Virginia as your VP. Sure, he’s not all that progressive, he’s got ties to Wall Street, but what are we going to do, vote for Trump?

  68. Scalzi, I love you man, you’re one of my favorite writers, but your political opinions have sucked this election season. They’re just glib and dismissive, and most annoyingly of all, smugly, snarkily evasive of inconvenient implication or evidence. It bewilders me until I remember how terrified of Trump you are, which obviously is justifiable to an extent. So whatever. Be scared of the Small Loan Orangutan. It’s just, progressives do have a point, don’t they? I don’t understand how you can look at us like we’re the enemy too. We can’t give the election to Trump out of spite or anything.

  69. Here is a response, most of which I posted on FB, on a Politivo story about the Dem. leadership’s (IMHO, failed, so far) attempt to dampen the cries for blood.

    I’ve been an independent for the past 24 years, I have never voted for a Clinton, I voted for Sanders in the Calif. June primary.

    I have read and bookmarked literally hundreds, maybe thousands of news articles in the past 14 months. I stay informed, I am jaded beyond belief with Hillary’s corporatist oligarchy leanings, her machiavellian tendencies, and her absence of any sense of principles, that is, principles beyond advocating what the latest polls say. I would not vote for her on a bet.

    And if the Dem. Party leaders think a one-day news cycle of pretensions to unity will sway me, they have another think coming. The last straw, for me, was when I found out that Debbie Wasserman Schulz was quoted in a May 21 email, with 9 primaries to go, saying “this is silly.. he (Sanders) isn’t going to be President.” Her own rules require her to be impartial. But it’s clear, from her own words, that she always wanted and pushed for “a traditional presumptive nominee.” That’s because the party’s Superdelegates wouldn’t be allowed to vote their conscience, but must vote for the party’s presumptive nominee.

    I have a big problem. Clinton is loathsome to me and to a large percentage of Democrats, she is unacceptable, she is a Republican in progressive clothing, and her hubby/advisor, who we will be all but electing to a 3rd term, (as co-President,) is worse. He has pushed for arms deals with his Clinton Foundation that have had the State Department involved in major conflicts of American interest.

    Ok, look. President is a sui generis job. Do you REALLY think Hillary wouldn’t heavily lean on her hubby, even to the point of violation of the 22nd amendment?) Then you haven’t followed her career or her apparent absence of finding anything she *wouldn’t* do, in order to get into office and stay there.

    Yet, she is being presented as the only alternative to Donald Trump!?! Truly an excremental choice. Independents deserve better, and we thought we had it, in Sanders.

    What to do? Write in Sanders? That quite possibly will be my most likely conscientious-imperative-driven choice.

  70. I voted for Bernie in the primary and fully support what he’s doing now: trying to get the platform to be as progressive as possible, trying to get progressive candidates elected at all levels of government (this is hugely important), and trying to get Hillary elected because the Republican platform is appalling.

    The bothersome part about the DNC emails is not that it proves the DNC favored Hillary. People say, “Well that shouldn’t be surprising,” as if surprise is the issue. Of course we’re not surprised, because it was evident all along. The bothersome part is that the DNC DENIED it, with the extreme scorn toward Bernie + his supporters that they’ve shown us all along. They acted as if we were lunatics for even suggesting it, when they knew all along we were right. Is this going to steer me away from voting for Hillary in the fall? No, but it sure as hell steers me even farther away from the DNC.

    I’m uncomfortable with the demonization of Trump, because a huge segment of Republicans holds many of the same opinions he does. There is a danger of people treating Trump as if he is the center of all evil, as if vanquishing him will be all that is required in order for us to restore goodness and justice to the universe. If Trump loses this election, there will still be HUGE tasks ahead, and the Republican agenda will be far from defeated. Yet I fear that if Hillary wins, people will think that’s the happy ending, and will lose interest in the many issues that still need to be resolved.

    I don’t know why the Republicans are acting like Trump is some aberration, as if he doesn’t represent exactly what they’ve been saying and exactly where they’ve been heading for the past 20 years. The RNC dislikes him only because he’s a wild card and they can’t fully control him. But they have few policy differences with him, deep down.

    A big danger of a Trump presidency is that if he gets the position, he’ll probably foist all the actual boring, day-to-day governing off on his VP and aides. With a Republican Congress, all sorts of terrible legislation that they haven’t been able to get past Obama will suddenly get signed into law. That is the main reason I expect to vote for Hillary.

    I just think, like tag8833, it’s important for Hillary to have to question her problematic positions.

  71. “With negatives so high for both candidates, I think we will see record turnout to vote come November and most will be voting against the other candidate and not so much for their own party’s candidate.”

    History would indicate the reverse. People don’t go out to vote against someone.

    Given that the people disaffected with Clinton seem less likely to be people who vote under normal circumstances, whereas the #NeverTrump consortium is made up of Republican base voters, Trump will probably suffer worse.

  72. A reminder to die-hard Bernie fans who want to refuse to vote for “the lesser of two evils” – that’s the thought process that brought us Nixon and George W. Bush.

  73. RT @OwensDamien: I hear you, Sanders supporters who plan to vote Trump. One time I asked for Coke but they only had Pepsi, so I set fire to my head.

  74. The DNC needs to apologize. Even if there is no there there, even if there was no systemic process against Sanders, even if it was just a bunch of individuals at the dnc taking it upon themselves to target Bernie, the dnc should apologize, own it, acknowledge it, apologize for it, and try to make amends for it even if it is only at a token level, if they want this to ever go away.

    Someone very wise wrote some guidelines about how to alologize. The dnc should follow them


    Sanders wasnt a TRUE democrat? Screw your no true scotsman, sanders followed the rules and the dnc did not.

    But we need to defeat trump? Screw your fear mongering as an attempt to exonerate any dnc wrong doing. One does not preclude the other. The dnc needs to be responsible for the actions of its people.

    If the election was close, and the supreme court voted along party lines to give the election to the guy you did NOT like, would you be pissed? Were you pissed when they gave the white house to Bush? Why is it any different in principle if the DNC showed bias and tried to give the white house to one candidate when they are supposed to be neutral? I mean other than because you *want* clinton to win? But you wanted Bush to lose?

    That anger you felt about scotus putting bush in office? Thats the same sort of anger those “dead end berners” are feeling about the dnc pulling for hillary. Its the same sort of foul play at work. If you’re angry about one and not the other, its only because you didnt want bush to win, but you do want Hillary to win, so your definition of what is right is that the means justify the ends.

    When you moral compass is like Jack Sparrow’s compass, and only points you to what you want, not what is truly right, then you really have no access to deal with someone else’s anger when it was your player that committed the offense. So you will dismiss the offense, make fun of the anger, belittle the offended, anything, anything at all, to keep you needle pointing to what you want, leaving everyone pissed.

    The DNC needs to apologize and try to do something to at least at a token level, try to make amends.

    Even if it was only 2 people at the DNC, the DNC should apologize. For the exact same reason if two cops were found sending emails containing racist jokes and kicking around ideas about how to arrest more black people, the police department as a whole should apologize and do the best it can to clean up, review anyone these jokers arrested, and make ammends.

    If two biased cops sending you racist emails upsets you, but two biased dnc people trying to sink Sanders does not, its more because you want hilary to win than anything to do with the principles of right and wrong.

    Apologize, clean it up, make amends.

    Or, dont apologize, attack the people who are pointing out the bias, downplay the effects, say it was only a few rotten apples, blame everyone but yourself, say we have to ignore this to beat trump, all because Hilary in the white house is more important to you than the simple integrity that would give an apology for this screwup.

  75. Reginald Hall:

    You know, if you don’t like the political entries, maybe just don’t read them.

    Re: Being terrified of Trump — yeah, no. I’m a rich white dude. He’s going to work just great for me, until he doesn’t, at which point we’re all fucked. Mind you, people like me are going to get fucked last.

    Also, comments off for the night. Back on in the morning. Sleep well!

    Update: Comments back on!

  76. {I wrote this last night but just missed the comments window. I still feel the same way today, so I decided to post it anyway.}

    J says “The bothersome part about the DNC emails is not that it proves the DNC favored Hillary. People say, “Well that shouldn’t be surprising,” as if surprise is the issue. Of course we’re not surprised, because it was evident all along. The bothersome part is that the DNC DENIED it, with the extreme scorn toward Bernie + his supporters that they’ve shown us all along. They acted as if we were lunatics for even suggesting it, when they knew all along we were right. Is this going to steer me away from voting for Hillary in the fall? No, but it sure as hell steers me even farther away from the DNC.”

    To me, the bothersome part isn’t that some folks — even some high-up folks at the DNC – didn’t play by their own rules. To me (and others that I’ve talked to) it’s that the DNC was so damn arrogant about rules not applying to them that they didn’t see anything wrong with what they did. The highest levels of the DNC were breaking their own rules about being unbiased, and apparently other DNC people knew it, and no one at the DNC said “hey, let’s follow the rules here”. And, when the DNC higher-ups KNEW they’d been hacked, they didn’t even make plans for how to handle it when the material was made public. “We’re sorry and we’ll try to do better” might have been a good start if they got it out right at the start of things. But it took too long. The level of cluelessness on display Monday was remarkable.

    For the folks who say “But Bernie wasn’t a Democrat!” – he followed the DNC rules; by their own rules, he could run as a Democrat. If the DNC doesn’t like it, then they should change their rules next time, not “bend” the rules to be biased in favor of the “establishment” candidate, while at the same time claiming to be unbiased.

    I don’t care if the leaks came from the Russians or from Martians. It’s a hell of a thing that it took that kind of an external force – a hack/leak – to get the DNC to do something, instead of them keeping themselves honest. No internal checks and balances? No self-monitoring? They said this wasn’t happening, but now we see it did, and we’d never know without the “hackers” – how should I trust what the DNC says now? I know I can’t believe what Trump says; I had somewhat higher hopes for the Democrats.

    Oh, I’ll vote against Trump by marking my ballot for Hillary, but even just writing that I’m going to vote for her hurts. And yes, frankly, this last round of crap has made me — and others that I’ve spoken to — much more disillusioned with Hillary and the Democratic party. How many others feel this way? Beats me.

    But it’s not just a “meh” issue to a lot of people, mostly because of how it was handled. (I submit that the actions of many members of DWS’s own delegation, shouting her down and booing her, is an indicator that it wasn’t a “meh” issue to them, either.)

    I don’t think Hillary has enough votes to spare to lose some of them for something she and her team could have foreseen and managed better.

  77. It’s too bad all Democrats have to choose between is Robert the Bruce and Robert Burns. Neither one of them Is Sean Connery.

  78. I have some doubt that Trump will consent to any debate with Clinton, and certainly not more than one. If that is the case, can we hope for the “Have I Got News For You” (UK television) treatment á la Roy Hattersley? When he cancelled for the third time, and at the last minute, his place on the podium was taken by a tub of lard with the namecard “The Rt. Hon. Tub of Lard MP”, and the panel addressed questions to “him”.

  79. Judging from Day One of the DNC, the Democratic Party’s cracks were painfully obvious. And they were widely reported.

    The leaked emails? Even though there was “not a whole lot of there there,” as John put it, there was more than enough “salt” in those emails to inflame the still-open wounds of Sanders supporters.

    The sudden firing of DWS? When was the last time the chairman of a major political party got the boot on Day One of the national convention?

    In this election, the American people have a clear choice between Candidate Bad and Candidate Worse. It’s just hard to tell on any given day which is which and who is who.

  80. Gary Johnson is the closest to sane of any of the candidates. It is a shame that the Repubs wrote him off.

    If it wasn’t for the hangover of being called a Libertarian for half a century because I elected No Party Affiliation I might vote for him.

    Of course there is the fact that I have said this is yet another year to vote against a candidate, not for a candidate. Trump is whom I will vote against and to do that I have to settle for Hillary.

  81. I have not been so worried about an election in all of my 69 years. In thinking about things, it appears to me that the thing that we could most usefully do is to become involved with voter registration and voter transportation at the local level.

  82. Personally, I am not sad that Wasserman-Schultz is out. And I’d like to see a few other top officers out.

    But the reason why she was kicked out is total BS. Just BS.

    And given the strong indications that Russian hackers were behind the invasion, and that they changed files, I think there’s reason to be worried about security of the election machinery.

  83. Leaving aside Trump’s horrible record as a business man, supposedly his greatest strength, about which I ranted several days ago in another sets of John’s comments; leaving aside his apparent willingness to lie endlessly about anything at any time, and to contradict himself when he does; and leaving aside his proclivity to re-tweet racist/anti-semitic/misogynistic tweets originated by neo-nazi and other hate groups, I point out 3 sentences from his acceptance speech last week:

    “I will restore law and order to our country.”

    “Nobody knows our system better than me. I alone can fix it.”

    And, finally, “I am your voice.”

    Most definitions of the word demagogue read something like this: “a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.” Trump appears to me to be the walking definition of the term. ‘I alone can fix it’ ? Tell me why any person living in this country shouldn’t be scared to death of the possibility of this man becoming President. And then tell me why you can’t or won’t vote against him.

  84. I understand the frustration of the Sanders faithful and greatly admire Sanders on many issues and hope that he has been a major force in moving the democratic party back to the center. I do however, remind all of those faithful that we only have two candidates that will be president . Not voting or voting third party is a vote for one of them and against the other . Need I remind the faithful of the Nader voters that were a major factor in putting W in office with all the damage that then ensued that we are still cleaning up. It can happen again and Sanders voters have nothing in common with the modern republican party that will actively work to prevent or undo everything Sanders believes in .

    I also know that Clinton came of age when to win elections, the democratic party had to move to the republican lite side of the issues in many cases. We all hated it but it had to be done. The country has moved toward Sanders and i strongly feel that a clinton presidency will be the most progressive in many years and we have Sanders to thank for helping make that happen.

    We have a chance to move the needle strongly in the progressive direction but we need the vast majority of the Sanders base to help us. With that support we can take the senate and perhaps even the house.

  85. For anyone who says that it doesn’t matter what the source of the leaked DNC emails was: I’d say that if the emails were leaked from certain sources, that might create questions as to whether they were 100% genuine.

  86. My thoughts:

    I wanted Sanders. Hated him the least. He lost. I don’t like Clinton but politicians gonna politic, and that includes favoritism, collusion, lying and cheating. I dislike most of those things but not nearly as much as I dislike fascism. And the DEBs apparently have never seen a polticial interaction before if this is their reactions to politicians doing politics.

    I’ll probably vote Clinton (because of the still-standing candidates I hate her the least), but at the very least I’ll try to convince my “you have to vote Republican even if the candidate isn’t great” relatives to vote Johnson if only to even the scales.

  87. Henceforth, the party shall be referred to as the “Democrat” party. Complaints that that is an attempt to deny the party its democratic roots shall be met with scorn and ridicule, and the party shall be demoted to the “Disenfranchisement” party.

    Hillary appointing her best bud, ballot stuffing DWS as honorary chairman of her campaign? Indefensible. Inexcusible. Unprincipled. If Hilary only wants to reinforce the notion that she “deserves” to be president, regardless of what the people want, it was a perfect move on her part. Otherwise, she should have nothing to do with DWS for the next 8 years, and immediately condemn her failure to keep the DNC unbiased.

    If Hilary has zero principles and only cares about winning with no regard to what underhanded behavior helped her get there, then she is on the perfect path.

  88. I’m sure that Hillary and the DNC (and all of us) have learned some very hard lessons on the use of email. Professional email is not to be used for gossip or scheming/plotting or for classified kinds of correspondence. You don’t use work email for personal use, use your email professionally and with curtsey. As for the rest go to your local pub/restaurant or opinion blog. As Bernie says, “Enough with the email!”

    How about that speech by FLOTUS on the first night of the DNC? That speech alone blew away any speech at the RNC, including El Duce’s dystopian acceptance speech last week.

    Michelle Obama’s DNC speech: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/michelle-obama-speech-reaction_us_5796dff1e4b0d3568f8457b3?section=

  89. Some thoughts from the Democratic People’s Republic of Kentucky (hey, look at THAT acronym!), where it’s been a long hot summer:

    1. Thank God for Netflix and Amazon Prime. No political ads, which is important considering that I’m in the battleground media market of Cincinnati. I can only hope that there is not some diabolical plan at either one to charge more for ad-free viewing because when push comes to shove, I would pay and I think they know that.

    2. Sometimes we travel to true rural KY for family functions on the wife’s side. HOLY SHIT people down there have a bloodlust for Hillary/Obama, the gays, the Muslims, the Mexicans, and sometimes (just for old times sakes) the Catholics, especially since the Holy Father has taken a bit of a left turn recently. Literally no amount of violence directed at the Clintons would be too much for them. And they are VERY amped up that The Donald has finally given them permission to say all of the terrible things that have been on their mind for a long long time. Note to those hanging on to the Bernie dream, before you cast your anti-Hillary vote, go spend some time anywhere east of I-75 and south of I-64. Have a good long talk with folks down there. Do you really want them in charge? If so, you’ll have blood on your hands.

    3. That having been said, C’mon HRC, can’t you do a better job of PRETENDING to care about the rules? I’ve grown immune to all of the bad-mouthing by the right about everything that the Clintons do, but it’s very hard to see the State Department email problems as anything less than a fireable offense. (And an indictable one for someone with less power-Google “Sherry Chen”, for example and try to remember that she was prosecuted by the “good guys”.) Now I’m supposed to vote to give her a promotion? I mean yeah, I know, Donald Trump and his horde of barbarians, but still, I’ll be holding my nose to do it. And the emails dredged up by the Russians (thanks guys, like we really needed that level of complication) seem to have the same fuck-you-we’ll-do-whatever-we-want flavor. Is it possible to just vote for Tim Kaine and Mike Pence?

    Damn, it’s still hot. I gotta go to the pool and imagine a world with Elizabeth Warren on the ballot.

  90. If only Democrats could vote for John Bogie Laird instead of having to settle for Alexander Fleming!

  91. I watched Bernie give his speech last night and thought he did a good job of trying to gather his supporters round the Clinton campfire. Now, I may sound a bit cruel here, and I’m sorry about it. Chalk it up to age. Seeing the Bernie Sanders people crying during his speech was a definite ‘moment’ for me. As in: really? It’s been awhile since I was that young, so my bad.

    I’m with John hoping they don’t just give it up and retreat. Regardless of our technology people still do things–as a people–very very slowly. Don’t think that’ll change until we all have telepathy or are all clones of a single model.

  92. Bruce K and others who say that the emails might have been altered by the hackers: Sure, that’s possible. Possible with all of the wikileaks stuff, for that matter. But in this specific case, it doesn’t seem likely. DWS and others have made *no* denial about sending the most troublesome emails, and have not said anything about them being altered. So I’d regard “altered emails!” as a red herring.

    One assumes that now that the FBI is involved, they will have access to the servers and can compare the published emails against the ones on the servers.

  93. As a heads up: Apparently one particular IP address owned by Cox Communications routes directly to my trash folder for no reason I can cogently ascertain. So if it happens you post a message and it doesn’t show up (and it didn’t contain tons of links or a picture, and you’ve not previously been moderated or banned), that might be why.

  94. It’s not so much that Trump is currently leading in the polls, it’s that there is honestly enough people still out there buying his racist, ignorant BS.
    How the hell is he polling above the Crazification Number of 27 Percent?

  95. When you say “(please note, however, as someone who is not likely to get pregnant anytime soon, my own concern radar is not as finely calibrated as others)” I was slightly surprised.

    As the father of a daughter who is growing into an adult rather quicker than your mind accepts (I know, I have a child of the same age).. I would think that reproductive rights would be more finely attuned. I know they are for me for just that very reason.

    I’m very concerned, especially when you look at the batshit Pence believes.

  96. @Not the Reddit Chris S: For your day job, are you a Hollywood casting director? Because your comments about Hillary being ‘too old’ for the job by a generation (or two!) – while you handwave the fact that her former Democratic rival and her Republican opponent are both older than she is – are baffling. Obama looks older than when he first took office because he is older. By about eight years. And yes, he quit dyeing his hair. So Hillary ought to be 20 to 40 years younger because… she isn’t as messed up as Trump?

  97. I’m not a huge fan of Michelle speech, because it was so out of step with Hillary Clinton’s core principles. ***Yes I know she pretends to be unprincipled when campaigning, but she clearly does have some things she believes in such as: highly interventionist foreign policy, Free Trade, Wall Street Deregulation, and re-balancing government spending from Education to Defense and Prisons****. All of those positions are negative to swaths of young people, and really depends on the economic class of a person’s parents to determine whether they benefit or not.

    So the lead off: “Hillary Understands that the president is about one thing, and one thing only it is about leaving something better for our kids” is disingenuous because, yes, Hillary Clinton will certainly look after the Kids of the Rich and Powerful. But for any child out of the top 10% or so of the socioeconomic spectrum, the core principles of Hillary Clinton are likely to cause real and meaningful long term harm.

    That isn’t saying Trump is better, though he is more of a mixed bag, because as far as I can tell he truly does lack principled positions on most policies, so we can only guess at his policies. Rhetorically he is less interventionist, and much more of a moderate on trade, but also a racist, and classist. Because of his lack of track record, and inconsistencies we can only guess.

    I guess from my point of view if someone was really interested in “Leaving something better for our kids”, you would vote Jill Stein >>>>>> Gary Johnson >>>>>> Hilary Clinton >> Donald Trump. And if you were at the DNC, you would certainly protest the Clinton nomination both because she will struggle much more against Donald Trump, and because most other Democrat’s have core principles more in line with long term grow, equality, and opportunity for the average american.

    *Note: I understand the theory and rhetoric behind Trickle-down economics. I obviously don’t buy into it, and so I have no compunction arguing that what is good for the wealthy isn’t always good for the non-wealthy.*

  98. You can’t look at Trump’s policies, you have to look at the policies of the GOP in congress, because every one of their twisted ideas will be happily signed by Trump.

  99. All I’d like to note is that by Democratic standards this level of conflict is like making the trains run on time. Reince Priebus wishes the GOP was this disorganized. That matters are being sorted out in an organized fashion demonstrates why unless Hillary gets steam-rollered in the debates superior organization will probably carry the Democrats to electoral victory. Then we’ll see what it takes for the GOP to revise itself into a viable national party again.

    As for what looks like Russian messing around in out election, well, it’s just another sign that Cold War II is a thing.

  100. The most insidious thing Bernie Sanders did was make people forget that the presidential election is, and always will be, a choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.

  101. I think this is the last election we’re going to have with this version of the particular democratic party, if the race by dems to cast one another into the outer darkness is any indication. I don’t think the differences are reconcilable anymore, even if the bernie supporters do eventually hold their nose and vote HRC this time around.

  102. Greg, do you know how many elections the DNC runs?

    The answer is zero. Not a one. The state parties organize caucuses, and the states themselves run primaries. I feel like I should be gentle, but here goes: the people who voted for Clinton were like the people who voted for Sanders. They took their time, made their decision, and cast their vote. It’s not a case of Sanders self-aware, noble voters and the other sides hordes of sheeple. People voted, and y’all lost.

    To say that it cannot be called the “Democratic” party because the person who got the most votes one is either the height of arrogance, or solipsism.

  103. Picking Tim Kaine over Elizabeth Warren or Cory Booker was the conventional thing to do – you’re losing white men over 35, losing religious people, losing Southerners, so you pick an old white guy from Virginia as your VP.

    There’s also the fact that Elizabeth Warren made it damn clear she didn’t want to be President, saying she could do more as a Senator, and I don’t see how that translates into a desire to be VP (a job that compares unfavorably to a bucket of warm spit). This way, Warren (and Sanders, for that matter) gets to continue being a pain in the ass (in a good way) in the Senate rather than fading into the background in the West Wing. Plus, pick either Booker or Warren and their spot will be filled be a Republican governor, which puts the Senate in dangerous territory.

    Neither Warren nor Booker have much experience, either. Generally I’d like to think that the VP could step into the role of President and we wouldn’t be completely doomed. Booker is probably headed for greater things, but he needs a few years (same for Julian Castro). Is Kaine capable of being President if something happens to Hillary? Yeah, he could manage.

    Competent, but unexciting. Maybe it’s my age, but “competent, but unexciting” sounds great to me.

  104. @Tag8833:

    You have NO f***ing clue about Clinton’s real record, you’re just spouting Republican and Bernie Bro talking points. Clinton has, from really early on, shown a concern for children, including co-founding Arkansas Advocates for Families and Children, and as first lady fighting for children’s health care. (The woman wrote a book about children, It Takes a Village, remember?) Everyone talks about the Iraq war vote (which, I should remind everyone, 58% of the Democrats in the Senate voted for), but ignores her votes against the Bush tax cuts for the rich, or her efforts in support of veterans.

    For God’s sake people, if you are going to criticize her on her record, do so, but talk about her actual record, not some shibboleth creeping around your brain.

    Oh, and as a reference point, check out this fivethirtyeight.com piece about how Hillary really is a liberal and has been a liberal all along: http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/hillary-clinton-was-liberal-hillary-clinton-is-liberal/

  105. Such doom and forlorn! First, Kaine was a brilliant pick and he will prove that in the months to come.
    Second, and I can’t wait for this, Hillary will take drumpf apart in the debates. Up until now that racist has been allowed a free pass due to the fact that he has only debated other racists. drumpf is going to have four eyes when Hillary kicks his balls up to his eyeballs.
    It’s going to be a fun race to watch

  106. Ben: I think this is the last election we’re going to have with this version of the particular democratic party, if the race by dems to cast one another into the outer darkness is any indication. I don’t think the differences are reconcilable anymore, even if the bernie supporters do eventually hold their nose and vote HRC this time around.

    If you really think that this level of “disruption” in the Democratic Party is the final straw, then may I suggest you check out the history of the 1972 DNC? Or, God help us, 1968? I remember both of them, and this time the disagreements and the rancor–not to mention the violence and threats of violence–aren’t even close. And the Democratic Party came out of those disasters more or less intact, so far as I can tell at this distance. Unless I’m misunderstanding what you mean by “this version of the particular democratic party” (which is of course possible, and if so, my apologies), I think you are overstating the case. There were no Democrats in Philadelphia accusing Obama, with HRC’s connivance, of being a murderer–or at least, I didn’t hear any of them (“Hey! Hey! LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?”). (Yes, some Republicans have more or less accused HRC of murder. Not in Philadelphia, and what Republicans have to say isn’t evidence of disarray in the Democratic Party.) Even going back to the primary season, I don’t think anyone tried to shoot Sanders after he’d won one.

  107. “But for any child out of the top 10% or so of the socioeconomic spectrum, the core principles of Hillary Clinton are likely to cause real and meaningful long term harm.”

    I’m not entirely sure how you come to that conclusion, unless you share the same feelings about Bernie Sanders, as well. Given that 93% of the time, they voted the same way. And on the occasions when they did not, as detailed in this NYT article, their differences were more on specifics, with the exception that Hillary obviously is a BlueDog when it comes to Foreign Policy, particularly when dealing with Iran. LIkewise her time as FLOTUS featured plenty of times when she was doing things that were in the general interest. A lot of minority voters remember the Clintons work on welfare reform and attempts and universal healthcare (which they were never able to sell, but Obama did).

    I’m not a big fan of Hillary. I voted for Sanders in the primary, as did my wife and daughter. But we’ll all vote for her instead the raging trash fire that is Donald Trump. I tend to see Hillary’s biggest missteps as a 69-year-old candidate who has no real idea how to speak to young voters (which is a gift of Sanders, obviously).

  108. “I suggest you check out the history of the 1972 DNC? Or, God help us, 1968?”
    I dunno, I feel like the party changed quite a bit following these events. The era of the Clintons and the DLC didn’t come out of nothing.

  109. ben: I dunno, I feel like the party changed quite a bit following these events. The era of the Clintons and the DLC didn’t come out of nothing.

    Political parties do change over 20 years–or they should, in my opinion, whatever I think about the direction in which they change. Besides, the DLC was as much formed in response to Mondale’s defeat (and Reagan’s rise), as anything earlier, also in my opinion–certainly more immediately. A long-term belief that “if we don’t shift to center from left, we’re never going to win another presidential election” isn’t exactly a sign of irreconcilable differences, I don’t think . . . however, if that’s the sort of change you are perceiving over the next twenty years, okay. I can see that being implied by this election cycle–it’s possible that we are headed in the direction of a philosophical shift in the Democratic Party. I thought you were talking about something more sudden and less evolutionary, along the lines of “the party will cease to exist as a recognizable entity” sort of thing.

  110. J said: “The bothersome part about the DNC emails is not that it proves the DNC favored Hillary. People say, “Well that shouldn’t be surprising,” as if surprise is the issue. Of course we’re not surprised, because it was evident all along. The bothersome part is that the DNC DENIED it, with the extreme scorn toward Bernie + his supporters that they’ve shown us all along. They acted as if we were lunatics for even suggesting it, when they knew all along we were right.”

    Except that the accusation wasn’t, “The DNC favored Hillary.” The accusation that Bernie supporters kept flinging was that the DNC literally rigged the system, changing the rules of the primaries and caucuses in order to ensure that Hillary won. And you know why they denied it?

    BECAUSE IT WASN’T TRUE. The internal emails show it. Whatever bias there was, it did not come out in the form of any rules changes to benefit Hillary Clinton, it did not come out in the form of any manipulation of the results to benefit Hillary Clinton, and it did not come out in the form of any covert, secret or unethical attempt to influence the superdelegates. Bernie supporters are literally choosing as their hill to die on, “They privately didn’t like us very much!”

    And even if this was a grade school election for student council, that wouldn’t actually mean anything.

  111. youngpretender: “To say that it cannot be called the “Democratic” party because the person who got the most votes one(sic)” won?

    People who dope get banned from the olympics because if you cheat, you didnt actually “win” anything. So, how the hell can anyone say Hilary “won” anything, when we dont know how bad the DNC party-machine bias was operating against Bernie?

    So, its Gore v Bush all over again, Bush cheated, but he still “won” because the supreme court voted along party lines to give him the coronation. And now Hilary cheated, but she still “won” because Bernie didnt take it to court or challenge it. At which point, saying Hilary “won” is machiavelian. The statement has zero moral weight.

    If Hilary wants to reclaim some moral ground here, she would condemn DWS and never work with her again, and promise to make the DNC neutral. Silently accepting the DNC bias because it was in her favor sends a clear message: not even the rules will stop Hilary from getting her crown.

    Also, previously, I didnt support getting rid of the superdelagates because thats how Trump won, but CLEARLY the DNC cannot be trusted to remain neutral, so any mechanisms that allow the party machinery to influence the primary needs to be stripped from the DNC. So, get rid of the superdelegates.

    At this point, Hilary is the nominee everyone is throwing their weight behind, not because she followed the rules and won the nomination, but because Bernie isnt fighting it, and everyone is scared shitless of Trump, so any criticism in their mind is pro-Trump.

  112. I have to admit, the most entertaining part of this is watching people fall all over themselves to froth at the mouth, and vice versa. Certainly bodes well for investing in fallout shelter futures. If that isn’t a contradiction in terms.

  113. If Trump wins, I’m moving to Finland.

    But since I love America, I’m voting for Clinton in the hopes that she can beat that seething pustule of ignorance and hate. And I don’t let my disappointment about Bernie not winning rule me.

  114. Greg said: “So, how the hell can anyone say Hilary “won” anything, when we dont know how bad the DNC party-machine bias was operating against Bernie?”

    Because someone just leaked tons of internal emails showing that nobody was manipulating the rules or the results in favor of Hillary? Because we do know exactly how bad it was, and it amounts to “a lot of people at the DNC privately thought Bernie was kind of an asshole and wished they could do something about it”?

    Again, the Bernie supporters have been portraying this as vindication, but “The DNC preferred Hillary” is not a vindication of the claim, “The DNC actively worked to game the selection in favor of Hillary,” and trying to pretend the two are equivalent when there’s no evidence of the latter–or trying to pretend that there’s even secreter evidence we haven’t seen yet that proves their case–is simply the work of people unwilling to let go of their biases.

  115. John has not been shy about dispensing advice to Republicans (with the best intentions, I’m sure) about how to keep from looking so crazy and get some votes from the middle of the road Americans, so here are a couple things that the Democrats might want to address in that area.

    I saw more Soviet flags than American ones at the convention, so that was kind of disturbing. After having this pointed out by various pundits, I see they are now rolling out a few token flags and banners for the podium. Bit late, but better late than never, I suppose.

    I didn’t sit through every speech, but I listened to most of them, and I never heard a word about terrorism or ISIS. Pretty glaring omission, given the current state of world affairs, one would think.

    Suddenly, the administration that couldn’t tell where the emails of their own Secretary of State were coming from, or going to, have sleuthed out with certainty who hacked their porous email system. It’s a nice try, but I don’t think anyone’s falling for the whole “Putin is scared of Hillary so he’s helping Trump” theme. Why would Putin be scared of another Democrat in office? They’ve given him every single thing he wanted so far. It’s silly.

    It’s been entertaining so far, but I don’t think they’ve done much to court the undecideds other than the shameless fear mongering of Trump as the most evil, dangerous, clueless guy on the planet.

    I will say that the First Lady gave a really good speech. It was nice to hear that she’s finally proud of the country. And I thought Cory Booker was, by far, the strongest and most compelling figure at the convention so far.

    Bernie was disappointing, though.

  116. I saw the lack of flags on screen in photos/videos from the first couple hours but didn’t see any soviet ones. Still the lack of USA flags was odd.

    I think it’s more telling to see how many presidents are supporting Clinton than Trump. (2+ to 0)
    I also found their choices in speakers to be telling. Clinton acknowledges the BLM movement and their frustrations over a lack of justice for murders. Meanwhile Trump had his supporters riled up over a manslaughter incident involving an auto and an illegal immigrant. One of these crimes is actually violent, intentional and murder and it’s not the one Trump shows concerns over…

    As far as I can tell in my limited experience as a voting citizen, presidents have major power over 2 things: declarations of war and cultural landscape domestically. Trump’s notion of an ideal domestic culture threatens the welfare of people I love. Clinton’s doesn’t. There’s really no contest.

    As to the warfronts, Clinton is the devil we know. Trump is either a ticking time bomb or maybe he’s as much of a winner as he perceives himself to be, but we won’t know til the fireworks end. I’m just sad that there’s a real probability of finding out the answer to that one.

  117. I don’t care about the pageantry. I only care about what the politicians say, so that I can fact-check the bastards. So far Clinton sounds like a competent leader and Trump sounds like an idiot pulling figures out of his ass. I know who I’m voting for, and it’s not the one who overcrowded the back of his stage with American flags in a false display of fake patriotism.

  118. As a certain Mr. Carlin noted: Flags are symbols, and as such appeal to the, ahem, “symbol-minded.”

  119. Mysteron,
    I didn’t understand your comment. Could you put it in semaphore, please.

  120. “Why would Putin be scared of another Democrat in office? They’ve given him every single thing he wanted so far. It’s silly.”

    He isn’t. But Trump promised to stop supporting NATO (not something any Democrat or Republican has ever given), and Putin would really like that, don’t you think?

  121. Trump did not promise to stop supporting NATO.

    He simply said he wants the nations counting on us to provide their defense to pay us something for it.

    Here is the actual quote (from TPN):

    In an interview with The New York Times last week, Trump hesitated to commit to a defense of Baltic states in the case of Russian aggression, saying that it would depend on whether or not those NATO allies had “fulfilled their obligations” to the United States.

    On Monday night, however, Trump offered an even more explicit ultimatum to NATO allies.

    “I want them to pay,” he said. “They don’t pay us what they should be paying! We lose on everything. Folks, we lose on everything.”

    He went on to criticize former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy record: “She makes it impossible to negotiate. She’s not a negotiator. She’s a fool.”

    “We have to walk,” Trump added. “Within two days they’re calling back! Get back over here, we’ll pay you whatever the hell you want.”

    “They will pay us if the right person asks,” he said. “That’s the way it works, folks. That’s the way it works.”

  122. tag8833: What about CHIP? That program is, by definition, to help poor children get health care. Secretary Clinton was a driving force behind it.

    There are plenty of things to criticize Clinton on. Please choose the ones based in objective fact (as opposed to Speaker Gingrich’s “feelings”).

    And I’ll say it again: VOTE down ticket! We need the House and Senate just as much as the White House. And as someone who has an actual Socialist on their city council, yes, the whole election, every election, matters.

  123. The Washington Post is reporting that Sanders is leaving the Democratic Party:

    [Sanders] also confirmed on Tuesday that he will return to the Senate as an independent, not a Democrat.
    “I was elected as an independent so I’ll stay two years more as an Independent,” he told reporters. As the longest serving independent in U.S. congressional history, Sanders had only declared himself a Democrat when he entered the presidential race last year.

    Why should the DNC support this carpetbagger?

  124. John: “Because someone just leaked tons of internal emails showing that nobody was manipulating the rules or the results”

    The DNC new head did actually apologize to Bernie for the behavior the emails reflected. And yet Clinton apologists cannot abide the idea that anything is wrong.

    Apology 101: stop messing around and admit you did something wrong. Show some goddamn principles, some integrity. Or at least fake that shit for a little while.

    Instead, Clinton defenders handwave and lay smoke and go on and on about Trump. We dont have time to apologize, they shout! Apologies show weakness and we must be strong to fight our war against trump. And besides, we only bent the rules a little bit, but it was for a good cause, donchaknow. No harm done. Lets just sweep this all under the rug. Any attempt to resist said sweeping, well, thats just a vote for Trump.

    A sanchez never apologizes.

    “simply the work of people unwilling to let go of their biases.”

    Yes, yes, if anyone is biased here, it is the folks who supported Bernie, not anyone in the DNC.

    Total irresponsibility. Yay!

  125. Billy: The problem with this statement by Trump ”
    “I want them to pay,” he said. “They don’t pay us what they should be paying! We lose on everything. Folks, we lose on everything.” ”
    is that the NATO treaty doesn’t say anything about anyone paying the US. It says that NATO countries *should* spend a specific amount of their GDP on defense (I think it’s 3%), but there’s nothing about paying anyone. And there’s no enforcement mechanism (besides fear of Russia).

  126. Mythago: Bernie is too old. Trump is too old. Warren is too old. Biden was too old. Presidents should be in their late forties or early fifties to start. I would cut off a first timer at about 60.

    I love the Ginsberg, but at 83 she is starting to lose her filter. There’s a point where a person loses their capacity to do certain jobs. And while there are a few outliers, even they eventually hit the wall. We have no problem saying NFL players decline sharply in their late 30s and a few manage into their early 40s. The brain is just another part of the body and it is affected greatly by the deterioration of the rest of the organism as well.

  127. Greg,
    What should Clinton apologize for? The bias shown in DNC emails? It’s her job to promote herself and have a bias for her campaign. If she didn’t do anything to break any rules which the emails suggest she did not, in fact, break the rules, what would she be apologizing for? Being likable? Winning the nomination? I’m unclear on what you want Clinton to say.
    Obviously if I’m mistaken and the emails do indicate clearly that rules were broken and Clinton was responsible for that, then sure. Apologies are due.

  128. @slybrarian: “Canada is actually a very good example of why third parties are a bad idea in First-Past-The-Post elections like the US. The Conservatives managed to unite into one party and then kept winning despite only getting 60% of the vote. Justin Trudeau is PM now largely because of strategic voting on the left to focus on the Liberals over NPD anywhere they were stronger.”

    While I agree in principle, you make a few errors:

    –The Conservatives never got anything close to 60%. In May 2011 they got a majority of seats with just over 39% (only achieving two minorities before that), and coincidentally Trudeau got the same percentage in October 2015 for his majority;

    –The third party’s name is the NDP (New Democratic Party);

    –It’s not really accurate to say that strategic voting won the day for the Liberals in 2015. In a nutshell, the NDP were, in the first stage of the campaign, looking as though they might form government for the first time, but their leader blew it on a few fronts (too long to recount here). The Conservatives were taking some very nasty positions on social issues (Google the ‘barbaric practices hotline’, for example) that revealed them to be the throwbacks they always were. The Liberals were in third place, mainly because Justin Trudeau was considered to be a lightweight, but Stephen Harper’s decision to double the length of the campaign–thought to be advantageous because they had easily more funds than their competitors–backfired on them badly, because it gave Trudeau a chance to show there was more to him than “nice hair” (that’s another Google-able term for you).

    I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but one of Trudeau’s campaign pledges was to abolish FPTP. This is a particularly gutsy position, because as you point out the Liberals and the Conservatives (in whatever guise) are the only parties to historically benefit from it. The Cons, however, know that without FPTP, they’ll never get within sniffing distance of government again, so they’re terrified.

  129. JustaTech,
    That’s the problem. They are not contributing enough to their own defense. The U.S. is how many trillion dollars in debt? We cannot afford to continue paying for everything, and we shouldn’t. The countries we support should support us and should pay for some of it.

    All the liberals here want free college, but they aren’t going to get it because we are screwed on our debt situation and also are trade imbalances. I would rather pay for every kid in America to go to college than for the defense of nations that aren’t willing to strain their own economy to help out on their own defense.

  130. Greg first said: “Hilary cheated, but she still “won” because Bernie didnt take it to court or challenge it. ”

    Greg then said: “And yet Clinton apologists cannot abide the idea that anything is wrong.”

    There’s a world of difference between “The DNC’s attitude was less than professional” and “Hillary Clinton literally rigged a party election through nefarious means”. If you mean the former, don’t say the latter. If you mean the latter, provide proof. In neither case should you attempt to obfuscate the subject by conflating the two in an attempt to smear Clinton.

  131. I’ve seen a posting from Facebook


    (Never Trump Picture)


    I like it. But it’s not me, because I’m just fine with Hillary

  132. Billy: I agree that the other NATO countries should put a little more effort into their own defense. But they’re still not going to pay the USA, unless “pay the USA” is the same as “buy tanks from companies in the USA”.

    And honestly, even if Estonia spends 6% of their GDP on defense, do you really think that will result in cutbacks in American defense spending? Past experience tells me ‘no’. Sadly.

  133. JustaTech @ 6:22:
    The NATO defense spending requirement is 2% GDP. As it happens, Estonia is one the few NATO countries to meet it. Estonia also fulfilled without complaint it’s Article V obligation by sending troops to serve Afghanistan. So basically, Trump was an ignorant ferret-wearing turnip who is refusing reciprocity to a country that has earned it.

  134. @Billy Quiets: oooh, are we going to play “I would rather have $SOCIAL_GOOD except we can’t afford it because we’re spending money on $BOONDOOGLE”? Because I’m not sure that’s a door you want to open.

    I’m also interested in your take on @Heckblazer’s remark, but perhaps that’s because ‘we can’t keep paying for everything’ is more of an emotional argument than a factual one, and I’m certainly willing to hear the facts behind your argument.

  135. @Pat Greene, @wizardru, @JustaTech

    I never said that Hillary Clinton wasn’t a consistent Democrat, or that she didn’t take any vote possible in an effort to farther her personal standing or that of her party.

    I just said she favored More Interventionist Foreign Policy, which is clear from her own words, and those of every member of the Obama administration that she sought a more aggressive use of military force in Lybia, Syria, and greater drone activity in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I don’t think Hillary Clinton would balk nearly as much as you all did at that assertion. In fact I feel like she might have been asked about it in the primary debates and instead of denying it, she refused to Answer the question.

    I also said she favors Free Trade. Once again. Clinton wouldn’t push back much against this labeling. She is an avowed free trader who holds up Nafta as an Accomplishment, and helped to negotiate the TPP calling it a “gold standard” when it comes to treaty negotiation. It because politically unteneable to continue supporting TPP as a presidential candidate, but anyone can tell based on Time Kaine’s “TPP = love” tour in the week before he officially became the Nominee that the rejection of it is rhetorical only.

    I said she favors Wall Street Deregulation. This year something amazing happened. Both parties included a provision to restore the glass Steagall law in their party platform. The Clinton Campaign was quick to distance itself from this. Hillary has a long record of relationships with Wall Street, and is currently the #1 recipient of Wall Street donations in the history of presidential campaigns (For one campaign, I don’t think she’s pass Obama’s 2 campaigns yet).

    I also said she favors re-balancing government spending from Education to Defense and Prisons. I think she has been very clear that she wants to expand defense spending. Once again we can follow the money. She is the #1 recipient of defense industry spending this election cycle, but also her more interventionist policies, and the few cases where she and Sanders voted differently in the Senate should give an illustration to her favor of defense spending. As far as spending on prisons we only have to look to her full throated support of the 1994 crime bill, and the fact that she is sticking to her guns that it was the right thing to do: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/05/the-tragic-politics-of-crime/392114/

    She did publish a book called “It Takes a Village.” I think I read it, but can’t recall for certain if I read the entire thing. It was received well at the time. Not controversial at all. It expressed the exact traits desirable in a relatable 1st lady. I don’t believe she wrote that book any more than she wrote “Hard Choices”. She is not a writer, and made the sensible decision to hire one to pen a book for her. If you think that publishing a fluff piece of a book means someone has different policies, then you might try “Decision Points” by George W. Bush.

    On the topic of CHIP. I know someone who actually helped to write that legislation. Hillary Clinton Supported it at a time when it was the perfect issue for the democratic party to fight the republican party. She has never been disloyal to the party. I would like to see her make many other policy commitments that she is forced to / incentivized to by the party. The way to accomplish that is to hold her accountable to the people.

    When I think of Hillary Clinton, I think of a politician. Right now, being a politician is about money and influence. Money comes from supporting War, Deregulation, Free Trade, and the prison industry, those causes help the wealthy at the cost of the poor. I think the goal of the DNC protesters is to shift those incentives so that influence can be accumulated by doing things that are good for everyone instead of only the wealthy.

    As I said before, I am sympathetic to their goals if not their methods. I prefer Clinton to Trump. I just think it is incredibly important that we not accept the positions she has taken out that are against the interests of our view of America as a land of opportunity for all people instead of only the wealthy.

    Right now it appears she is self-satisfied in her righteousness, of the belief that she can do no wrong as evidenced by the vision she has that she is held unfairly to a standard of basic honesty. It is my hope that something can change that mindset, and allow her to review her policy positions to get more into line with younger voters, and quit viewing them as the enemy.

  136. Billy Quiets:

    We wouldn’t be nearly so screwed on our debt situation if we went back to making the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes. Even going back to Reagan-era taxes would work absolute wonders.

  137. Mythago,
    As far as Heckblazer’s remark, I would say it’s more of a blonde sable than a ferret. That’s more apropos given the discussion, don’t you think?

    Estonia, is safely in the warm embrace of the American protectorate. When asked if the United States would come to the aid of the Baltic states, Trump said, “Have they fulfilled their obligations to us? If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes.”

    This whole line of questioning is just political cover for Hillary, anyway. The Russian connection to the emails is pure speculation. The DNC didn’t even increase security on their email when a cyber security expert told them it was at risk.

    The Democrats like to speculate about Trump with the nuclear codes, how much more frightening would it be if Hillary had them. Scary.

  138. Billy Quiets @ 8:15 pm:

    The most important NATO commitment is Article V, the requirement to aid the defense of a member if they are attacked. It was invoked for the first time ever in response to an attack on the United States, and NATO is still operating on our behalf in Afghanistan. Threatening to walk away from the whole alliance despite that is just childish posturing that at best is pissing off our friends. Though I guess that’s par for the course for Trump, as he doesn’t have friends, only marks.

    As for the emails, we don’t know for sure who stole the DNC emails or what their motive was, though the circumstantial evidence strongly points to Russian security services. We do know for certain that they were published in an effort to harm Clinton and help Trump. Because that’s what Assange himself said was his reason.

    And the nuclear codes are safer with Trump, a man who when asked about the nuclear triad didn’t know what it was? Please.

  139. The “source” for all these stories on the Russian’s involvement is Hillary’s campaign team. It’s all a head fake, and the compliant media like CNN, and the other outlets that route their stories through the DNC before publishing them, just pump out the narrative like it was the word of God.

    And yes, I would much rather have Donald Trump secure the nuclear codes. I would trust Trump to hold my wallet, or watch my kids. Can’t say the same for Hillary Clinton. Can you imagine if she ran a bank with the same level of competence that she showed with the nation’s secrets? Or a daycare?

    “Sorry, we’ve misplaced little Johnny. Gosh, I hope those pesky Russians don’t have him.”

  140. crypticmirror, I believe it should be White House. In all other respects it should be treated as one word, and a proper noun; it should always be capitalized and never separated. For example, you don’t ever refer to it as “the House” (that means the House of Representatives, the lower house of legislators in our system), and it isn’t “the House that is White.”

    Some links relevant to later parts of the conversation:

    Spy Agency Consensus Grows That Russia Hacked DNC.

    Here’s a breakdown of Trump’s connections to, and financial dependence on, Russia and its kleptocrats.

    And finally, apparently the Dead-End Berners just walked out of the Convention after Hillary was nominated. What a bunch of stupid assholes.

  141. Billy Quiets @ 9:19pm:
    The sources for these stories include CrowdStrike, the DNC’s security firm, Mandiant and Fidelis, two outside security firms, crowd-sourcers on the internet, and the FBI. That’s pretty far beyond just taking the DNC’s word for it.

    I’d note that my initial reaction to the intrusion was pretty much to shrug. Spies are gonna to spy, and I didn’t blame Russia wanting to know what the hell is up with this election and especially wanting to know what the oppo research on Trump turned up. But leaking everything? That’s beyond anything Nixon could have dreamed of with Watergate, and given Assange’s statements the intent absolutely is ratfucking. For some reason odd reason foreign nationals trying to manipulate our elections pisses me off. (And I don’t like America’s history of manipulating other folk’s elections, so don’t bother with the tu quoque).

    And geez, you’d let Trump hold your wallet? That’s brave, given his record of ripping people off.

    Xopher Halftongue @ 9:40 pm:

    I’m going to side with Joe Biden here: “Look, they worked hard, we gotta show a little class and let them be frustrated for a little while”

  142. @Billy Quiets: No, what I see is that Heckblazer made a cogent point about costs in response to your “the kids need to stop turning up the damn thermostat, electricity costs money” handwaving about NATO. I also see that you responded by pulling a 180 with a Trump quote. If ‘we will defend those who meet their obligations’ is the standard, then cost is not the issue, because we’d have to follow that principle regardless of how many college educations it cost us. If the problem really is that we can’t afford NATO, then you’re saying we must back out of our treaty obligations because they’re too gosh-darn expensive and you kids think money grows on trees.

    Also, yes, of course you’d trust Trump with your wallet and kids, because as you’ve affirmed repeatedly, you’re a party loyalist. The question is why anyone else would, given Trump’s extensive track records of business shenanigans, lawsuits, bankruptcies and hucksterism. “Because politics ought to be a blind loyalty test, like Pokemon Go teams or college football fandom” is not really a persuasive answer.

  143. Jane: “I’m unclear on what you want Clinton to say.”

    Here’s a hypothetical situation, any resemblances to actual people is purely coincidental. Imagine you’re playing football. The teams are fairly evenly matched between the small town Progressives and your team, the big city Oligarchs. It’s a long, hard fought game, and in the final score, you win, 15 to 12.

    Your team goes on to play a third team, the Raving Lunatic Fascists. But the way the rules work, you can recruit team members from the Small Town Progressives, if they’re willing to play with you / on your team.

    A bunch of the Progressives come over to your team, but not all of them. Your team is maybe not as strong as the Fascists. You need a few more players from the Progressives to come over to help bulk up your line. And since some Progressives joined your team, the progressive team is actually weaker than it was when they played you, so they have no chance against the Fascists.

    Now, knowing all this, here is my rhetorical question to you:

    When you win the first game against the Progressives, 15 to 12, how do you react to winning? You know you’re going to need the Progressives players to join your team for the second round, so do you call them a bunch of “dead enders” for losing? do you mock them for losing? call them a bunch of amateurs with no real skills? Tell them their playbook was full of fantasy plays that would never work in the real world? You beat them 15 to 12, so do you act as if that difference is monumental, as if you slaughtered them in a landslide victory?

    During the game between your team and the Progressives, there were a couple of disputed calls that went to your team. After the game, it was revealed that at least a couple of the refs liked your team better than the progressives, and they made some of those disputed calls during the game. When a Progressive complains about the disputed call and possibly biased refs, do you shrug and tell them to suck it up? That’s life, you losing loser?

    Now, while you’re recruiting for your game against the Fascists, some of the Progressives are very cranky. Some are extremely sore losers. But you still kind of want those players on your team against the fascists. So, what do you say to them?

    And most importantly, can you be a gracious winner? Tell them good game? The score was 15 to 12, so it was actually fairly close. They put on a good game for being from a small town. WHen they complain about the bad call, do you tell them to get over it, tough shit, grow up, fuck off, and oh, by the way, I want you to play on my team against the Fascists, you small town loser? you dead ender? You sexist bro? play on my team so we can win, you stupid fuck?

    What do you think you should say in that moment? And imagine that the players on all teams are just a random sample of humans, with all the failings that come with being human. Yourself included.

    So, what would you say to the small town progressives? You beat them in a close game, there was some disputed calls and possibly a biased ref. You also want them on your team against the fascists. Which do you think would work best: Gracious winner or cocky winner?

  144. Heckblazer,
    I know the source for the story is CrowdStrike. You are proving my point. This horseshit sideshow is coming straight out of the DNC’s spin room. It’s just exactly like the “video” that they rolled out to take the blame for Benghazi. It worked for them then. By the time anyone could prove it was a complete fabrication, it was too late. I don’t think it’s going to happen this time.

    But keep carrying their water. I’m sure Dmitri appreciates it.

  145. Good idea, John.
    I’m gonna take a deep breath, a large scotch and a small ambien. That should put the debate to bed, for me at least.

  146. Greg said: “So, how the hell can anyone say Hilary “won” anything, when we dont know how bad the DNC party-machine bias was operating against Bernie?”

    John Seavey: “Because someone just leaked tons of internal emails showing that nobody was manipulating the rules or the results in favor of Hillary?”


    Sanders raised more money than Hillary Clinton in each of the first three months of this year. Sanders early in the year also had a massive advantage over Clinton among small donors, raising $67 million from them through January 31st, compared to less than $22 million for Clinton during the same period.

    What the Vogel-Arnsdorf story pointed to, then, was the Clinton campaign – with the aid of the DNC – using large-money donors like Clooney’s friends to get around a fundraising shortfall among small donors.

    This is also significant because one of Clinton’s campaign talking points throughout emphasized that she was aiding down-ballot Democrats, while Sanders was not.

    Sanders was raising more money than Clinton, but Clinton was working with the DNC to get around campaign contribution limits, so that money donated to the DNC was getting funneled to Clinton. That money was supposed to go to not-Clinton democrat candidates, helping down-ballot Democrats, but it was getting siphoned off to Hillary Clinton.

  147. @Mythago: Trump is winning the White Male Working Class vote despite his extensive track records of business shenanigans, lawsuits, bankruptcies and hucksterism because he’s telling them what they want to hear. He’s telling them that it’s harder for them to get manufacturing jobs because the jobs are being offshored by greedy industrialists and currency manipulating and product dumping Chinese and trade agreements that prevent the US from putting tariffs on imports to protect our industries. He’ll put a stop to the dumping and the trade agreements (even though TPP is not with China) and make the companies bring the jobs back. How? He hasn’t told us, but they want to believe. They don’t want to hear that even more jobs have been lost to automation, and they’ll never come back, and the WMWC will probably need more education that they aren’t interested in getting if they want a manufacturing job. Trump is telling them that he’ll bring coal mining back, even though its decline is less from regulation than it is from cheaper and cleaner burning natural gas from fracking. Clinton told the WMWC the truth in the coal mining states and now she’s a pariah.

    Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion, it’s splintered, and there’s violence between the sects and the religious fanatics are also engaging in violence in the US and Europe, and Trump is promising to keep Muslims and the religious violence out of the US.

    Trump is telling the WMWC that they are losing their jobs to illegal immigrants, and he will remove them from the US and keep them out. I’m not sure how that will help WMWC when he wants to get rid of the minimum wage and the WMWC aren’t going to want to take the jobs illegal immigrants use currently have, for the wages they’re currently getting, or potentially even less. But hey, Trump is promising that they won’t lose jobs to illegal immigrants any more, just the legal ones that he brings in to his casinos and resorts

    Trump is also taking advantage of 24+ years of Republican lies, smear campaigns, and yes, Clinton missteps.

  148. @Bruce, that’s fair. But what I’m asking is a little different; not why people are supporting Trump (John tweeted a link earlier to a story in the American Conservative that is very thoughtful), but what those people who support Trump think is a persuasive argument to those who differ politically.

    I mean, presumably a Hillary supporter’s argument to a Trump supporter is that she will be a better President for them too and will make their lives better. You can certainly disagree with those arguments. But in the other direction, what I’m hearing is “you’re the enemy, so who cares?”

  149. The leaked emails show the members of the DNC were unprofessional, and goddamn I bet it’s rubbing salt in people wounds. That’s why I’m glad to see DWS canned and her replacement apologize. However, nothing that’s been revealed substantially affected the election, and focusing too much on the “Bernie was robbed” narrative is I think dangerous for progressives. That’s because it encourages despair (‘why should we bother fighting if the establishment rigs everything’) and distracts from analysis that can help progressives find weaknesses and overcome them so they can win next time.

    One major reason why Sanders lost is that he was unable to get black voters on board. This wasn’t inevitable, however, according to this article “several former members of Sanders’ black outreach team told me the campaign didn’t believe pulling black voters from Clinton was a real possibility; the white vote, the staffers said, was the campaign’s priority.” I highly recommend reading the whole piece.

    Now as for Clinton looking for a ‘coronation’, as some say, well…

    When Obama first won his state senate seat in Illinois he did so by running unopposed. Some people used to claim that showed that he was a lightweight who was given a gift. It wasn’t, it came from Obama being smart, putting in the groundwork, and admittedly being a bit ruthless. What actually happened is that he was aware of the games and corruption in Chicago and so had his people check the signatures on the candidate petitions. They found large amounts of forged signatures and based on that they successfully challenged Obama’s opponents being on the ballot, allowing Obama to run unchallenged. Like Sun Tzu said, “To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill”.

    Clinton getting the establishment behind her is similar, only on a massive scale. She spent years laying the groundwork by courting interest groups, forging alliances and developing personal relationships. This meant she ended up with endorsements from just about everyone in Democratic politics, and just one serious challenger. I agree with Ezra Klein in thinking that this was the feat of a pretty amazing politician, and that the endurance and skill needed is are under-appreciated. Again, I recommend reading the article.

  150. @Billy Quiets:

    Trump did not promise to stop supporting NATO.

    He simply said he wants the nations counting on us to provide their defense to pay us something for it.

    Really? Tell us where it says that in the NATO treaty. We’ll wait.

    NATO is a mutual defense pact. It revolves around Article 5 – an attack on one is to be considered an attack on all.

    Article 5 has only been invoked once. One time only has NATO declared “this is an attack on all of us” and sent troops to the subsequent war that followed. Aircraft from 13 NATO countries helped patrol over the country that had been attacked, ships from NATO countries started interdiction operations in support of the country attacked and, later, NATO put together a multinational force of troops from 27 members – including all the Baltic states – to go out and take part in that war on the ground.

    A brief clue – the date it was invoked was September 12th, 2001.

    Trump is a ungrateful, ungracious sack of shit. If the US elects him, you’ll rightly deserve the contempt of the rest of the world and everything that happens as a result.

  151. @Billy Quiets: That’s the problem. They are not contributing enough to their own defense. The U.S. is how many trillion dollars in debt? We cannot afford to continue paying for everything, and we shouldn’t.

    If other countries pay the US for military services, do they get a veto over what you do with it? Like, for example, when everyone bar Blair said “don’t invade Iraq”?

    No? Then they’re your toys and you pay for them. You want other people to pay for them, negotiate ANOTHER treaty, and one which puts an international committee in charge of using them rather than the US President and Congress.

  152. @PrivateIron: It’d be one thing to say that they’re all too old, or that there should be a maximum age. It’s quite another to say, as the previous commenter did, that Clinton is too old by at least a couple of decades, but her older rivals’ age is not material.

    (And I don’t think I need to point out that analogizing NFL players to people who do white-collar work in terms of age and career longevity might not be the best comparison?)

    Additionally, as various political offices have minimum ages, you’re actually setting not a ceiling, but a narrow range during which a person might qualify for the presidency. That’s pretty crippling given that there are also age minimums for various other offices, such as the Senate, that one would normally expect a candidate to have, and it rewards people who leap into politics as an immediate and first career choice rather than those who start off in other careers and/or raising a family first. Our system already leans towards well-off political science majors who have the personal wherewithal to do unpaid campaign work and internships at the first opportunity; why make it worse?

  153. Xopher, I apologize on behalf of my fellow Bernie fans. SOME of us, myself included, recognize that Trump is a lying, imbecilic con artist with the business sense of the inbred stoat that he wears as a headpiece, and that voting for Clinton is at this point the only reasonable way to stop him.

    Apparently some of us, being idiots, would rather subject the nation to 4+ years of being forced to say “Heil Trumpenführer!” to the telescreens.

  154. mythago: “what those people who support Trump think is a persuasive argument to those who differ politically.”

    Unfortunately, I know quite a few Trump supporters and they quote Fox News verbatim and have no memory of actual history even the parts they were alive for. The invasion of Iraq was justified, according to them, because we found WMDs. Pointing out that the WMDs found were the old stockpiles that Blix was destroying, not any new secret programs that bush said existed and required an invasion to stop, has zero effect on them. According to them, there is no problem with police racism, maybe one bad apple somewhere, but by their logic, blacks are just more criminal, and if they would just do what the nice policeman says, they would never get hurt. According to them, terrorism is an existential threat. And that, to them, overrides all other arguments. You are either with us against the wave of foreign terrorists, or you are destroying the country. According to them, obama is still planning on taking our guns somehow, all gun control laws are stupid and violate the constitution.

    Clinton according to them is a criminal, she may as well have executed the four people in Benghazi personally. Listing the thousands of americans needlessly killed in Bush’s wars has no effect because all of those wars were totes justified.

    Trump is a successful businessman, according to them. The fact that he had 4 bankruptcies doesnt matter because he has money to his name. Trump speaks the truth, according to them, the media is a liberal lapdog, and it takes someone lime Trump to speak the truth and be heard.

    Talking with these folks is like slipping into another dimension. Generally, I avoid politics with them. When they do mention some talking point they heard on Fox, I generally present some facts that show the basic premise wrong, and change the subject. Its very depressing.

  155. Greg,
    It’s really clear to me that you’re coming from a very emotional perspective. There’s no response I can make that won’t further anger you so for the sake of being a decent person instead of being correct, I’ll say that I’m sorry you feel so beat down and hated. I don’t hate you or think you’re a sore loser or a dead ender. I think you’re smart and have good taste in fiction ;) I hope you vote your conscience in November as Scalzi asks. Have a happier day today!

  156. The other thing about NATO v Russia is its not just the member state with people on the line. Forces have been/will be deployed to the Baltics to show solidarity and make the “attack on all of us” actual rather than metaphorical. Is Trump going to hang our people out to dry because the country they’re in hasn’t paid up?

  157. @heckblazer:

    The leaked emails show the members of the DNC were unprofessional, and goddamn I bet it’s rubbing salt in people wounds.

    They were also pretty much the normal degree to which working people mouth off just a bit every day, and anyone expecting the party to be a paragon of impartiality just hasn’t lived in the real world. But I sure won’t miss DWS. Oddly, it seems, neither will anyone at the DNC, by all accounts.

    @Floored: Xopher speaks for this Sanders supporter, too. FWIW, my wife and I had the pleasure of meeting Xopher briefly at Sasquan, so I can additionally put a face to the intelligent commentary.

  158. Hi, I’m Rick, I’m a Sanders supporter who is perfectly content to vote for Clinton.

    (greetings from the rest of the meeting, with muttered grumbling)

    And I voted for Nader in 2000.

    (Gasps of horror, then hostile silence, punctuated by one quietly chilling “you son of a bitch”)

    I know, and I’m not proud of it. But hear me out.

    I was a registered independent for years. I have voted for other third-party candidates. I was fond of saying that the Democrats and the Republicans were two sides of the same corrupt coin and there was no real difference between them. Or that the two-party system is as deeply ingrained in American society as the Communist party was in Soviet society.

    I registered as a Democrat after the Clinton impeachment farce. There is a difference. And although there is no longer a Communist party nor a Soviet Union, my point about the two-party system remains true. We’ll come back to that.

    OK, year 2000. I had Clinton Fatigue, and there were things about Gore I didn’t like. After 16 years, I couldn’t tell you what they were. Maybe they weren’t that important?

    Bush ran a deceptively moderate campaign and I didn’t think it mattered much who won. I didn’t like being forced to pick the lesser of two evils so I registered my disgust with the system by voting for Nader. That will show them!

    Man, did I ever have my head up my ass. I really wish I could go back in time and slap my younger self silly.

    I partly blame Bush for his bait-and-switch, but I mostly blame myself for using my vote to send a message. Votes count (quel concept!). Please don’t cast a vote without considering that the person or thing you are voting for may win. Bush was an unmitigated disaster and I helped put him in the White House. I live with that shame every day.

    So please, hard-core Sanders supporters, don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t sit this one out because you’re pissed. Remember, two-party system. The fact of the matter is that Trump or Clinton will be our next president. If you don’t like either of them, this sucks. But resenting reality doesn’t change it. Whatever you do (or don’t do) will help one or the other. Voting a vote for a third party candidate, or not voting at all, may help Trump win. Unlike Bush, Trump has given us plenty of clues about what a Trump presidency would be like. You can’t claim you didn’t know. It will be worse for you than it has been for me. Be kind to your future self.

    If you’re a Trump supporter already, this diatribe is obviously not aimed at you. If you honestly prefer Trump then you should vote for him. That’s the way the system works.

    Likewise, if you really support Stein or one of the other third-party candidates, then vote for him or her. Without building a down-ticket organization it’s a wasted vote, but that’s life.

    But if you’re a Sanders supporter, please don’t let Trump in by default. Yes, Clinton is a Wall Street stooge. Yes, she cravenly and/or stupidly voted for the Iraq war. But she is smart, she is a policy wonk whose understanding of subjects cannot be completely summed up in a 140-character tweet, and she’s tough. To still be standing after 20+ years of sliming is impressive. Most of all though, her policy positions are a lot closer to Sanders’s positions than Trump’s. Here is a superficial overview: http://presidential-candidates.insidegov.com/compare/35-40-70/Bernie-Sanders-vs-Hillary-Clinton-vs-Donald-Trump.

    If you supported Sanders because you’re done with the two-party system then I can understand the lure of Trump. Both Sanders and Trump show a disrespect for party organization and discipline that I find refreshing. But please compare their policies.

  159. “Sorry, we’ve misplaced little Johnny. Gosh, I hope those pesky Russians don’t have him.”

    “Don’t worry, they’re keeping him occupied looking for the DNC emails that Comrade Trump wants publicized.”

    I am far from the only person to observe that if it were a Democrat with Trump’s connections to Russia, open admiration for Putin, disdain for NATO obligations, and at best laissez-faire attitude about the push to re-instate the USSR, the Republican party would be shitting bricks (and quite rightly so).

  160. mythago,
    Oddly enough, there was a candidate in this race who has much closer ties to the Russians. Good Ol’ Bernie actually had his honeymoon in the Soviet Union.

    Good luck with your Comrade Trump narrative.

    I love Trump’s latest tweet, btw. He’s just trolling you guys now.

  161. Trump’s a f*cking moron if he thinks he can just ask Russia to hack state secrets from the USA and not at least come under investigation for possible treason.

    This guy isn’t even a serious candidate anymore, he’s a joke with a dead fox on his head. Or maybe an orangutan in a suit that’s been trained to hoot excerpts from Mein Kampf with the word “Jew” replaced with whatever ethnic group or religion is currently hated most by angry white people. It’s really hard to tell.

  162. Years ago, a leftier roommate rhetorically curled her lip at my decision to vote for Obama the first time. Voting for the Green candidate (who didn’t win, surprise surprise) made sense to her as her rationale was “What’s wrong with voting out of principle?”

    My response now would have been “voting to keep a far more unqualified candidate out of higher public office” is also a principle. I don’t regret my vote for a flawed man who still remains far superior to the idiot demagogue Sarah Palin. That’s also why voting for Sanders in the primary and Clinton in the general is for me a principled and rational choice.

  163. @BIlly Quiets:

    Umm, not exactly. He was trying to to, ahem, tear down that wall.


    Between this and your previous comment about ‘seeing Soviet flags’ at the DNC, well…

    Maybe it’s time to step out of your bubble and try to see the world as it really is, huh? Look at it WITHOUT the lens of politics for a change and note the differences.

  164. Greg said: “Here’s a hypothetical situation, any resemblances to actual people is purely coincidental. Imagine you’re playing football. The teams are fairly evenly matched between the small town Progressives and your team, the big city Oligarchs. It’s a long, hard fought game, and in the final score, you win, 15 to 12.”

    Except that this isn’t a football game. This is everything that matters about our lives as Americans. I really get very frustrated by Bernie supporters saying, “Hey, you need to be respectful of our feelings because if we’re emotionally distraught by your unfair treatment of us then we’ll just take our ball and go home.” (The literal endpoint of the analogy I quoted the introduction to, above.)

    I’m gonna be honest, with Greg and anyone else in the Bernie or Bust crowd. My son is trans. A Trump victory literally, no hyperbole involved, endangers his life. The Republicans are fostering an environment of harassment and violence against trans individuals, and a Trump victory would embolden them to pass a slew of targeted discrimination laws that a Trump-appointed Supreme Court would no doubt rubber-stamp as constitutional. This puts my son at risk for violence, it puts him at risk for severe depression and suicide–I don’t like talking about it, I don’t even like thinking about it because the stats on homicide and suicide of trans individuals is terrifying. But I gotta put this out there.

    Because you–not just you personally, Greg, but all the Bernie-or-Busters–are saying to me, “Hey, you have to understand that your son’s physical safety is less important to me than my hurt feelings. I understand that yes, people will suffer and die if indulging in our petty grievances results in a Trump victory, but don’t you understand? Democrats have been _rude_ to us!”

    If you want to understand why people are telling you to get behind Hillary and why they’re not sparing your feelings, it’s because of that fear. It’s because I have trans friends who will die in Trump’s America, gay and lesbian friends who will almost certainly face an attempt to have their marriages invalidated by a Trump-packed court, close friends who rely on Obamacare for their live-saving medicine and who will die if Trump gets elected and the last barrier between the Republicans and their craze to repeal health-care reform vanishes. These are real, tangible threats to people I know and love, and every time Bernie-or-Busters try to make it about “feelings”, they sound callous and insensitive and vain beyond belief. My son is ten. He doesn’t deserve to suffer for anyone’s hurt feelings.

    I’m not sure if this is going beyond the bounds of polite discussion in this thread, but I feel like it has to be brought home. This is not abstract. Look around you at the people in your life. Ask which one of them might die if they lost their health care, or if someone took office who is openly, violently hostile to women and minorities. Don’t make it about Bernie, don’t make it about Hillary. Make it about them.

  165. Right, so a couple of people with Soviet flags outside the convention means the whole DNC is a bunch of eeevul communists. Gotcha.

    I guess if I can find photos of the Confederate flag outside the RNC, that means they’re all pro-slavery, right?

    That’s how this rabidly partisan crap works, right? Pretend it’s a football game or something? Ignore reality and cheer your team on to the Superbowl?

  166. @Billy Quiets: So it’s OK if a candidate has close ties to Russia, as long as they’re not too close? Presumably there’s some Russo-Proximate Coefficient by which we can calculate that Trump is not sufficiently Commie-hugging to warrant rejection?

    In all seriousness, the reason you’re driving yourself to Scotch and Ambien is that you’re trying to present an group-affinity argument (D bad, R good) in the framework of a substantive argument. It doesn’t fit. And it’s especially ill-disguised when your response to ‘hey, there’s holes in that argument you can drive a fleet through’ is deflection and non-response.

    But what you’re doing now is the equivalent of a die-hard Wolverine trying to objectively explain that everyone should reject Buckeye fandom because Go Blue is objectively the best fight song. It’s using weak, easily-dismantled ‘objective’ logic as an overlay for the real argument, namely “my team is better and you should be a fan of it”. People who are already on board with you will agree, because they like the end result and aren’t inclined to point out holes in the presentation. But you’ll get frustrated when you step out of the fan zone, and people start actually testing those arguments and pointing out inconsistencies.

    And if it’s just all about being bored and trolling, well, as our host has often pointed out about anguished BernieBros, reflexive contrariness is neither a moral principle nor especially grown-up.

  167. Gateway Pundit, really? Aren’t they the guys who regularly claim that Obama’s secretly a Kenyan atheist Muslim?

    Also, I watched some of the convention coverage. Didn’t see a single Red Flag. Sure, some people waved the Soviet flag outside. Plenty of those protesters are probably communists–they’re certainly more radical than me, and I’m a socialist. In the same way, people regularly fly Nazi and Confederate flags at and outside Trump rallies. Does that make all of Trump’s supporters neo-Nazis and traitorous slaving losers? Not necessarily. Though some of them probably are, many of them are not.

    On a related note, how long’s it going to take for people to just give up and admit that the Confederate flag is a symbol of slavery, of traitors, and of losers? Because Jefferson Davis and his damn worthless traitors got pretty handily crushed into the ground a good 150 years ago.

  168. By this rather odd brand of logic, any American soldier ever stationed to Guanatanamo was automatically and magically transformed into a card-carrying Trotskyite.

  169. I was going to say: I’ve spent about a month and a half, collectively, visiting various boyfriends in the UK. Does this make me James Bond?

  170. Either that or Austin Powers. Which we leave to speculation…

    Given my honeymoon was spent in Rarotonga, I guess I must be a Cook Islands Christian now.

  171. And because he once shot a movie on location in Africa, Humphrey Bogart was an obvious elephant sympathizer.

  172. But how the elephant got in his pajamas, he’ll never know. ;)

    (Yes, I know, edging into sequential posts. I’ll stop.)

  173. @mythago: I’m assuming that a Trump supporter would make the argument that Trump’s aspiration message of “Make America Great Again”, coupled with getting rid of trade agreements that hurt American manufacturing, making manufacturers onshore, getting rid of all illegal immigrants and Muslims, and voting against crooked, lying Hillary are all great reasons to vote for Trump.

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